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[[quoteright:325:[[Franchise/{{Superman}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Lois_Loves_Alter_Ego_Resized_146.JPG]]]]
[[caption-width-right:325:The man of ComicBook/LoisLane's dreams [[LamePunReaction is closer than she thinks]].]]

->''"I am tired of being my own rival!"''
-->-- '''Christian''', ''Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac'', Act IV

Often, ClarkKenting leads to a TwoPersonLoveTriangle.

The main love interest of the PartTimeHero. The problem: she won't give him a second glance because she's in love with someone else. The complication: that someone else just happens to be the hero's SecretIdentity. He wouldn't dare tell her and burden her with all the risks that come with being a SecretKeeper, which, quite frankly, is moot since she automatically [[DamselInDistress seems to be a magnet]] for MonsterOfTheWeek attacks anyway when she isn't [[GoingForTheBigScoop running towards them.]]

This trope may overlap with SecretIdentityIdentity: the love interest reacts differently to the "super" and "normal" personas of the hero. Eventually, she may even begin showing affection to the persona that she'd been uninterested in originally (wonderful wish-fulfillment fantasy fodder, this).

In the best-case scenario, she'll discover the truth by pure accident, which somehow makes it more okay than if the hero had told her (or not, expect fireworks at being LockedOutOfTheLoop). In the worst-case scenario, after the {{masquerade}}-maintaining ItsNotYouItsMe, she'll eventually hook up with some other civilian besides the hero, who [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy just wants his beloved to be happy]]. Is it any wonder TheMasqueradeWillKillYourDatingLife?

How come love can't always be as simple as DatingCatwoman?

Compare HatesMySecretIdentity, for non-romantic cases of people reacting differently to the two identities. See also LikesClarkKentHatesSuperman, which is when a character has negative feelings to a person but positive ones to his alter ego / secret identity.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In each of Creator/StudioPierrot's MagicalGirl series (''Anime/MagicalAngelCreamyMami'', ''Anime/MagicalStarMagicalEmi'', ''Anime/PersiaTheMagicFairy''), the heroine is in love with an older boy, who prefers her metamorphosed alter ego, leading the poor magical girls to be jealous of themselves.
* A rather peculiar take on this appears in ''Manga/AiToYuukiNoPigGirlTondeBuurin''. The main character Karin has a crush on her Junior High School soccer captain Kouichi Mizuno. He is in love with her secret identity Buurin. [[InterspeciesRomance But she is a pig in that form]]! Add in the issue of Karin being stuck as Buurin if anyone finds out about her secret identity, then you have yourself a very peculiar conundrum. [[spoiler:When Kouichi, along with Karin's classmates, finds out that Karin is Buurin, he is upset by this revelation. After fighting his own DemonicPossession, he comes to love her again]].
* The manga / anime ''Manga/CatsEye'': The main characters are barmaids and part-time SpyCatsuit thieves. One of them has a boyfriend, who happens to be a police officer, and who cannot make up his mind if he likes his girlfriend or her SecretIdentity more. (This, obviously, is the cause of much frustration on the main character's part.)
* In ''Anime/CodeGeass'' almost all of his love interests have this.
** ActionGirl Kallen has a BodyguardCrush on Lelouch's masked identity, [[DarkMessiah Zero]], but has a very low opinion of Lelouch, mostly because he cultivates a reputation for being an [[RichIdiotWithNoDayJob apathetic]] [[JerkassFacade jerk]]. When Kallen dramatically learns Zero's true identity, she gets a HeroicBSOD because she wonders [[WasItAllALie if the whole Black Knight rebellion was a big farce]]. In season 2, after still going through a "you're Lelouch when I hate you and Zero when I love you." kind of relationship for some time, she comes to love both of them.
** Shirley loves Lelouch Lamperouge but hates Zero [[spoiler:for killing her father]].
** C.C. loves Lelouch vi Britannia but sees Zero for the fraud he is. The difference is that C.C knew about them from the very start.
* ''Manga/DNAngel'' has a love triangle revolving around this trope. Daisuke has a crush on Risa, but she rejects him because she wants to date someone "cool". Enter [[PhantomThief Dark]]--who is actually Daisuke's alter-ego. Just to make things more complicated, Dark actually has a separate personality and is a big flirt to boot, so Daisuke and Dark sometimes end up in a fight over Risa. Later on in the manga, the situation [[LikesClarkKentHatesSuperman reverses]] as [[spoiler:Daisuke realizes that the one he ''really'' loves is actually Risa's twin sister, Riku. Riku cares for him in return, but in a twist, she ''hates'' Dark and thinks he's a pervert.]] This causes all sorts of complications, since Daisuke's [[CursedWithAwesome family curse]] won't leave him until he's completely loved for who he is--which includes the part of him that's like Dark. It's still complicated because [[spoiler:Dark is in love with Riku, who's in love with Daisuke. Eventually--in the manga--he begins to reciprocate ''Risa's'' feelings, although knowing that they could never be together because he'll disappear once Riku accepts that Dark is a part of Daisuke.]]
* In ''Manga/DeadmanWonderland'', Ganta was unaware that [[spoiler: his beloved Shiro was the true identity of his arch-nemesis, The Red Man]]. When he finds out, it's not pretty.
* Kouta quotes this to Lucy about her and IdentityAmnesia personality, Nyu, in the end of ''Manga/ElfenLied''.
* A strange case in ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'', Luca appears to have started to fall for Hayate's alterego, but shows no signs of being a lesbian. She'll probably be relieved to find out that Hayate is actually a guy, though probably unhappy about having to deal with his UnwantedHarem.
* Umaru has this issue with her friends in ''Manga/HimoutoUmaruChan''. Umaru presents a persona of TheAce at school, but at home she is a LazyBum {{Otaku}}. Her best friend Ebina is friends with "Outside-Umaru", but has never seen "Inside-Umaru." Kirie has befriended both, wrongly believing that "Inside-Umaru" is actually Umaru's little sister Komaru. The straightest example is Sylphin, who met Umaru while the latter was in her "masked gamer" identity of U.M.R.; they become so close that Slyphin recruits her to help her in her FriendlyRivalry against Umaru.
* ''Franchise/{{Jewelpet}}''
** ''Anime/JewelpetHappiness'': Mouri has a crush on a punk girl who once entered the Rock Cafe. That girl was actually ProperLady Nene, who took on that disguise to analyse what made the Cafe so successful. Mouri eventually starts crushing on her too, but doesn't learn the truth until much later in the series.
** ''Anime/JewelpetKiraDeco'': Io has a crush on his teacher Coarumi, who is actually Coal in disguise and drag. Io hates Coal for taking up Opal's time.
** ''Anime/JewelpetMagicalChange'': A boy named Souya falls in love with Larimar in her human form. When Larimar turns back into a Jewelpet after having to use magic to save him, he thinks she has gone away and leaves in disappointment. He learns the truth in a later episode and is fine with it.
* ''Manga/KaitouSaintTail'' offers us a rather complicated example: [[SympatheticInspectorAntagonist Asuka Jr.]] is obsessed with Saint Tail, who has a thing for him both as Saint Tail and her SecretIdentity Meimi... Except that: [[SecretIdentityIdentity Meimi has a sharp personality change as Saint Tail]], and CannotSpitItOut in her civilian persona while Saint Tail couldn't be more obvious; [[ObliviousToLove Asuka Jr. is somehow unable to figure out his own romantic feelings, let alone those of Meimi-as-Meimi, Meimi-as-Saint Tail, the ones of an underclassgirl and those of the local]] ClingyJealousGirl; near the end of the series Asuka Jr. admits was obsessed with Saint Tail because ''she looked like the girl she liked'', said girl being ''Meimi''... And ''[[ObliviousToLove had not realized his feelings until after he thought for days about what he had blurted out]]''.
* In ''LightNovel/{{Kampfer}}'', Natsuru loves Kaede and Kaede loves Natsuru. The catch? Kaede loves [[GenderBender THE FEMALE NATSURU!]]
** To make things even more ridiculous, Kaede is under the impression that the male Natsuru is her love rival. [[spoiler:It turns out she knew it all along because she's the BigBad. And she really wants only the female Natsuru.]]
* ''Anime/MagicalProjectS'': In one episode, Konoha uses Sasami's baton. She puts Hiroto under a love spell, but he only falls for her transformed self, Funky Connie.
* Ako Izumi from ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' falls in love with Negi's aged up alter ego "Nagi".
* Kaito in ''Manga/MermaidMelodyPichiPichiPitch'' is confused between Lucia and the pink mermaid.
* Noel in ''Manga/MintNaBokura'' [[DisguisedInDrag pretends to be a girl]] to attend the same boarding school as his sister. When he runs into his crush on a day he's not wearing a dress and wig, he tells her that he is "Noel's cousin Tohru". "Tohru" begins dating her. [[spoiler: She dumps him when the truth comes out.]]
* In the initial anime PV for ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'', we've got it twice over. GenkiGirl Marinette is in love with the brooding intellectual Felix, but he can't stand her. However, when he transforms into Black Cat, he's swooning over Ladybug, who snubs him. Ladybug, of course, is Marinette. (Compare in Western Animation below.)
** Similar to the [[Franchise/SpiderMan Flash Thompson]] example in comics, AlphaBitch Chloe Bourgeois loves nothing more than bullying and belittling Marinette, but she's also a closet Ladybug fangirl.
* In ''Manga/MonthlyGirlsNozakiKun'', many guys can't stand [[{{Jerkass}} Seo]], but are in love with 'Lorelei' from the music club... who is Seo, or at least her singing voice; the chief victim of this is Nozaki's junior Wakamatsu. In an inversion, Seo doesn't particularly seem to care either way, and if anything enjoys destroying people's fantasies by revealing who she is.
* Yuuki in ''Mugen Densetsu Takamagahara: Dream Saga'' is actually the ''main'' character, and all over both Takaomi and "that other guy named Takaomi with the same mark on his head but a totally different personality".
* Natsumi from ''Manga/{{Nicoichi}}'' initially fell for the [[WholesomeCrossdresser female persona]] of the protagonist Makoto, not knowing his true identity, which [[StupidSexyFlanders greatly confused her]]. To complicate matters, Natsumi actually disliked Makoto in his normal self, which created lots of problems for Makoto when he was trying to reciprocate the love.
* In ''Manga/{{Onidere}}'', the female protagonist uses an alter ego called Angie to get close to her boyfriend without ruining her reputation as the school's top delinquent and is afraid of losing him to her alter ego, unaware that he figured it out the moment he met her alternate persona. And then another boy named Souta develops a crush on Angie.
* In ''Manga/PhantomThiefPokemon7'', Nazuna is in love with Pokemon 7. She's not quite so fond of Hiori.
* ''Franchise/PrettyCure'':
** In one episode of ''Anime/FutariWaPrettyCure'', a boy asked Nagisa out, only to eventually dump her because he'd decided he preferred Cure Black. An unusual case in that Nagisa never actually liked him back, but the same idea.
** In ''Anime/HeartcatchPrettyCure'', Tsubomi falls head over heels for a mysterious handsome young man who, later on, resembles her late grandfather when he was younger. Sadly, she's crushed when she comes to find out that he's [[spoiler:her grandmother's fairy partner, Coupe.]]
* In ''Anime/PrincessTutu'', Mytho is enamored with the eponymous MagicalGirl, but only considers Ahiru a good friend. (One that he can "tell everything to", but a friend nonetheless.)
* ''Manga/RosarioToVampire'' is something of a subversion of this trope. Tsukune falls in LoveAtFirstSight with [[NaiveEverygirl Outer Moka]], but he's at least quite fond of [[{{Tsundere}} Inner Moka]], and has recently said that "he'd like the two of them to become one". Take that as you will.
* ''Anime/SailorMoon''. In the first anime, Usagi[=/=]Sailor Moon loves Mamoru/Tuxedo Mask, while he has a mysterious need to protect Moon. Usagi can't stand Mamoru, who also seems to dislike "Odango Atama". At the same time, he's in love with the mysterious princess of his dreams [[spoiler:who is actually Usagi's past self.]] In the second season, there's also the Tsukikage no Knight, whom Usagi loves while she also loves Mamoru/Mask, though he turns out to be [[spoiler:the astral-projected manifestation of Mamoru's love for Usagi when his memories are sealed.]] The [[Mamga/SailorMoon manga]] is even worse, because Usagi and Mamoru actually like each other there before learning each other's identities.
** And Usagi/Serena's little brother Shingo/Sammy idolizes Sailor Moon but can't stand his sister.
* Tadase in ''Manga/ShugoChara'' likes Amulet Heart, Amu's heroic form. His feelings toward the normal Amu are "just friends". This one is especially weird because he knows from the start that the two are the same person and even tells Amu herself about his confused feelings. [[spoiler: Later he confesses that he actually loves Amu for who she is, not her alter ego.]]
* Suguha in ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'' begins to fall in love with her brother Kazuto ([[KissingCousins who is actually her cousin]]) whom she knows is in love with another girl. In order to forget about those feelings for him, she tries to fall in love with an online person she met called Kirito. Kirito is Kazuto's online persona. When she figures this out, it breaks her heart since she's fallen in love with the same person twice [[FridgeLogic (which to be quite frank is rather shocking considering the fact that Kirito's avatar shares his face with only minor differences).]]
* Played for laughs in ''Manga/ToLoveRu'', when [[BromanticFoil Saruyama]] falls in love with "Riko" (Rito's [[GenderBender genderbent]] persona).
* ''Manga/TokyoMewMew'' complicates things. Ichigo loves Masaya, who loves Ichigo but also Mew Ichigo, and then in comes Ao no Kishi, and ''he'' loves Mew Ichigo, and she's stuck between not only this guy but also her UnwantedHarem. ''Then'' comes the traditional [[BrainwashedAndCrazy trial]] of every MagicalGirl's MysteriousProtector, and we know ''that'' can't be good.
* For a few episodes of ''Manga/WeddingPeach'', [[spoiler: Yuri/Angel Lily is confused about her feelings for both Yanagiba and Limone.]] Guess what the next [[TheReveal reveal]] is.
* Subverted in ''Manga/WildRock''. Yuuen thinks he's doing a much better job at [[DisguisedInDrag being a woman]] than he actually is and assumes Emba's in love with that side of him. He's not.
* Anzu/Téa in the ''Franchise/YuGiOh'' [[Manga/YuGiOh manga]] and [[Anime/YuGiOh anime]] is frequently confused about whether she's in love with Yugi or "the other (Yami) Yugi."
** Zig-zagged - the fact that Yami is Yugi's alter-ego isn't a secret for that long, so she knows that they're the same person. However, initially both Anzu and the gang thought that the Other Yugi was just a split personality brought out by the Puzzle, and Anzu in particular thought that the 'true Yugi' was a mixture of both. After learning the Other Yugi is actually another person, she focuses her attentions on the Pharaoh until the end of the manga. The anime adds more ShipTease between Anzu and Yugi as well, but the situation is [[MaybeEverAfter resolved ambiguously in both versions]].
* ''Manga/YubisakiMilkTea'' first play it straight when Wataru fall in love with [[WholesomeCrossdresser Yuki]], the alter ego of his best friend Yoshinori, the main protagonist. Later an odd example comes to when Yoshinori realise that ''he'' is in love with his OWN alter ego. Both causes a few issues.
* Played with in the anime adaptation of ''Franchise/{{Zorro}}'': Lolita loves Zorro and barely tolerates the cowardly Diego, but it's implied she actually loves Diego and is infatuated with Zorro [[LovingAShadow because he's like Diego was before his voyage to Spain]].
* In ''Manga/SonicTheHedgehog'', Amy was the girlfriend of Nikki, but not of his superhero alter ego, Sonic the Hedgehog. Amy would eventually become part of the main franchise, along with another friend called Charmy.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Franchise/{{Superman}}:
** ComicBook/LoisLane in her earliest incarnations -- although she and Clark Kent became HappilyMarried in the mid-1990s and he revealed the truth to her once he was sure she loved Clark instead of Superman.
** Post-Crisis Lois was initially very skeptical of the Man Of Steel and far more interested in Clark since he was the only person able to routinely scoop her.
** Pre-Crisis Comicbook/LanaLang was in love with Comicbook/{{Superboy}} -later Superman- and regarded Clark as her childhood friend. Post-Crisis Lana inverted this.
** Before Clark and Lois got married, there was also the character of Cat Grant, who was in love with Clark Kent and had no particularly personal feelings for Superman (whom she liked and admired in the way most Metropolitans like and admire him).
** In ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman'', Lois never moved past this (which is fitting here because this incarnation thought of himself as Superman and Clark was an act.) To the point where she didn't even believe him when he changed into Superman right in front of her and repeatedly insisted that Clark and Superman were one and the same.
** The Clark-Lois-Superman love triangle was later brought back to continuity in ''ComicBook/SupermanSecretOrigin''.
** The ComicBook/{{New 52}} reboot gave Lois a new boyfriend for a while, until she (and the rest of the world) finds out Superman's secret in ''ComicBook/SupermanTruth''. Since then, the situation came back to post crisis state, bringing back the married Lois and Clark in ''Comicbook/DCRebirth''.
** [[DependingOnTheWriter Sometimes]] ComicBook/LexLuthor does the [[InvertedTrope inverse]], respecting Clark Kent a little more than Superman. In some stories they were even friends as kids. A particularly amusing example happened in ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman'', where Luthor praised Clark Kent over Superman.
** During UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|OfComicBooks}}, a trio of ComicBook/JimmyOlsen stories (all written by Jerry Siegel) was published depicting Jimmy assuming the identity of "Magi the Magician" and courting a woman named "Sandra Rogers", who was actually his girlfriend Lucy Lane in disguise. While this trope is played straight with Sandra/Lucy, Magi/Jimmy (who was far more invested in his relationship with Lucy than Lucy herself) constantly felt guilt for romancing who he thinks is another woman. A more in-depth look at this can be found [[http://captaincomics.ning.com/profiles/blogs/from-the-archives-deck-log-entry-33-when-sandra-met-magi here]].
* Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}:
** In ''Action Comics #361'', a boy wanted to date Linda Danvers/Kara Zor-El because he suspected that she was Supergirl. When Linda/Kara managed to make him believe she was a normal, powerless girl, he stopped being interested.
** During her time working as a photographer in San Francisco, Linda Danvers had a crush on her boss Geoffrey "Geoff" Anderson. Geoff was not interested in Linda but he liked Supergirl. He even kissed her at the end of ''Comicbook/DemonSpawn''. However, Linda quit her job and moved away shortly after, and they never saw each other again.
** In imaginary story ''Comicbook/JimmyOlsen Superman's Pal #57'' Linda and Jimmy marry. However Linda is amnesiac and depowered when the wedding happens, and doesn't remember anything about her SecretIdentity. When Linda regains her memories and her powers she decides she needs to tell Jimmy she is Supergirl but in a tactful way. Her "great" plan was revealing Supergirl's existence to him. Then, as Supergirl, she will make him fall in love with her. Then when he is in love with both Linda and Supergirl, she'll reveal she is one and the same. Surprisingly, her nutty idea worked.
* Franchise/SpiderMan:
** This has occurred with Betty Brant and Gwen Stacey (who liked Peter but distrusted Spider-Man due to blaming him for the death of a relative) and [[ComicBook/BlackCat Felicia Hardy]] (who loves Spider-Man but disliked his bland alter ego, to the point of begging him to put the mask back on when he revealed himself to her). It's more of a subversion with Mary Jane, though: in the 1960s, when she was generally only involved with Peter Parker, she once used an occasion when Spider-Man rescued her to flirt with him. So the double ID would never have been a romantic obstacle as it was with the others. In addition, a later {{Retcon}} has it that she always knew, but didn't say anything.
*** The AlternateContinuity title ''ComicBook/SpiderManLovesMaryJane'' explores this from Mary Jane's perspective.
** The Felicia Hardy case above is even worse in the [[Comicbook/UltimateSpiderMan Ultimate]] version: she was so grossed out she ''vomited on him''. In her defense, the Ultimate Black Cat was a complete [[InvertedTrope inversion]] of the standard one; she ''wanted'' to live a normal life with the man under the mask. The problem being she's an adult (at least in her mid-20's) and he's a 15 year old kid. Definitely a justified {{squick}}.
** Also, in just about every continuity, JerkJock Eugene "Flash" Thompson is a huge fan of Spider-Man and thinks he's the coolest guy on the planet while usually doing whatever he can to make Peter Parker's life miserable. Generally, he grows out of it, though; Flash tends to mellow with age, and he and Peter end up getting along famously.
** In some continuities, Aunt May loves her nephew Peter dearly, but can't stand Spider-Man (reasons vary from her thinking he's a dangerous vigilante to her having arachnophobia).
* In UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|of Comic Books}} ''Comicbook/GreenLantern'', one of the obstacles to Hal Jordan's relationship to Carol Ferris was that she couldn't decide whether she was interested in him or in his alter ego. Eventually she found out that they were the same person, and they moved on to problems like ''her'' [[SuperpoweredEvilSide alter ego]].
* ''Comicbook/WonderWoman'''s Steve Trevor is a classic example; for decades he ignored bespectacled coworker [[ClarkKenting Diana Prince]] in favor of her Amazonian alter ego. (After the book's [[ComicBook/CrisisOnInfiniteEarths Crisis]] reboot, this dynamic was disposed of; Diana no longer had a secret identity and her relationship with Steve was non-romantic.)
** Currently, Wondy has her Diana Prince identity again, and Tom Tressler (the BadassNormal formerly known as Nemesis) is [[LovesMyAlterEgo in love with someone's alter ego]].
* This is repeatedly inverted with the comic book character Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}. Almost all of his female love interests have been looking to date Matt Murdock, not his alter ego. This applies even when the interested party is also a superhero.
** Matt Murdock dated Mary Walker. The trouble was that while Mary is an innocent woman, she has two evil personalities, Typhoid Mary and Bloody Mary, who clashed with Daredevil frequently. Since Daredevil is blind and the three personalities have different speech patterns and biometrics, it took a while for him to figure out they were the same person.
* Parodied in Marvel's comedic superhero team ''GLA'', with the infamously short-lived Grasshopper, a superhero who wore a grasshopper-themed power armor, and was a member for about 6 seconds before he was accidentally killed by the assassin Zaran. ComicBook/SquirrelGirl presented his backstory in a prequel, showing that he was Roxxon security officer Doug Taggert who mooned after researcher Cindy Shelton, who only had eyes for Grasshopper.
* Vicki Vale was Franchise/{{Batman}}'s Lois Lane (in fact she was a pretty blatant ripoff, being a nosy reporter with an alliterative name and all) throughout the '40s and '50s, but eventually the writers got tired of her and she quietly slipped away into comic-book limbo. She still turns up in Franchise/TheDCU from time to time as a TV reporter, but after [[Film/{{Batman}} the Tim Burton film]], she didn't properly turn up again until ''WesternAnimation/TheBatman versus {{Dracula}}'' (See RuleOfCool).
** She's now back at the Gotham Gazette and [[spoiler: knows Batman's secret]]. This results in [[spoiler: Bruce recruiting her as an ally.]]
* Italian ''ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse'' stories involving the classic version of [[ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures Paperinik]] (Donald's superhero identity) love to play with this:
** The standard formula is of Daisy Duck holding her boyfriend Donald somewhat in contempt while admiring Paperinik, with one story going so far to have her temporarily ''dump Donald for Paperinik''.
*** Played tragically in one story where Daisy found out about his secret identity... And when Paperinik fed her an altered memory wiping candy to protect his secret identity she ''[[TearJerker forgot about Donald while believing she was Paperinik's girlfriend]]''.
** In other stories, mainly the darker ones close to the first Paperinik stories, Daisy ends up as a collateral to Paperinik's revenges and is either scared or pissed at him and admires Donald for being the only one who can not only stand up to him but even put him in his place.
** When the authors remember that Daisy has her own superhero alter ego Paperinika it's mutual and {{Inverted}}: Donald and Daisy love each other but can't stand each other's alter ego, and the alter egos despise each other.
*** In the miniseries ''Ultraheroes'', which basically is about the founding of a ''Justice League Disney Comics'', Paperinik and Paperinika actually starts to get along, and even falling for each other... Which causes them no small amount of angst, since they both already ''have'' a significant other - the other's secret identity. This also may pop up in 'normal' stories, as when they're forced to collaborate they find out they could actually get along very well, but between already having a significant other and past fights [[StatusQuoIsGod they end up back at square one]].
* In ''ComicBook/{{Flare}}'' backup series ''Sparkplug'', this situation is inverted; the superheroine Sparkplug is adored by a local male reporter in both her superhero identity and her civilian identity... because he can tell that they're the same person; he sees Olga ''and'' Sparkplug practically every day, [[ClarkKenting a wig isn't going to fool him]].
* Inverted in ''ComicBook/AlphaFlight''; Aurora is dating teammate Sasquatch, but her alter ego, Jeanne Marie, is horrified by the relationship. (She's a split personality, obviously.)
* Several variations of this occur with ''ComicBook/SheHulk'' - originally in ''Savage She-Hulk'', she was dating two guys... one as Jennifer Walters and one as She-Hulk, although that was mutual. Later the trope was inverted when she was married to John Jameson, who repeatedly expressed a dislike of Jennifer's powered She-Hulk form - much to her chagrin.
** Which is a bit hypocritical of her, since she later stated that she didn't like him when his Man-Wolf alter ego.
* Ironically averted in ''ComicStrip/ThePhantom'', one of the first masked crimefighters in comics. It's complicated, but the Phantom doesnt strictly ''have'' a secret identity, not in the traditional sense. He's the latest in a line of crimefighters dating back centuries who have all used the Phantom identity. His birth name is Christopher Walker, which is also what he uses when travelling incognito but in his private life he's still the Phantom, he even wears his costume at home with his wife and kids. He never made his second identity a secret to his wife, and it was eventually Retconned that they had met as children.
* Thundermind of Franchise/TheDCU's ComicBook/GreatTen has this in his secret identity (him being the only member of the team to really have one). In a shameless (and [[RuleOfFunny hilarious]]) riff on UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|of Comic Books}} Superman, Thundermind is also the nebbish, bespectacled schoolteacher Zou Kang. His affections for attractive coworker Ms. Wu are ignored because she only has eyes for Thundermind.
* Happens to TheHulk, believe it or not. Betty prefered Bruce Banner, Jarella preferred Hulk and Caiera loves both.
** That Betty loved the integrated Hulk shows her consistency; she loved him for his mind rather than his body in all incarnations.
* Hilariously inverted in ''ComicBook/{{Superlopez}}'': Luisa Lanas (Lois Lane's {{Expy}}) loves Juan López but hates Superlópez with a passion.
* Adrian Chase, the Vigilante's, relationship with Marcia King; she wanted him to renounce the identity of the Vigilante.
* In Jeff Smith's [[ComicBook/{{Shazam}} Shazam! The Monster Society Of Evil]], Helen Fidelity, a Lois Lane {{expy}}, flirts shamelessly with adult Captain Marvel, but finds the 10-year-old Billy Batson rather annoying. Billy has an obvious PrecociousCrush on her, but Marvel (who's a [[SuperpoweredAlterEgo separate personality]] in this version) seems entirely indifferent.
** The sequel series, ''ComicBook/BillyBatsonAndTheMagicOfShazam'' carries on this basic dynamic, but {{Ret Con}}s Billy and Captain Marvel into one personality, making it more of a TwoPersonLoveTriangle.
* During UsefulNotes/{{the Silver Age|of Comic Books}}, ComicBook/LanaLang was usually smitten with ComicBook/{{Superboy}}, but only thought of Clark as a friend. This stretched into their adulthoods, though she eventually (during UsefulNotes/{{the Bronze Age|OfComicBooks}}) lost interest in Superman, and even started dating Clark by the late Bronze Age.
* In ''Big Bang Comics'', Superman CaptainErsatz Ultiman is really Chris Kelly, but this isn't a secret to his co-workers, because he works for the government in his capacity as Ultiman. However, he keeps another identity on the side: that of his own twin brother, Carl Kelly. "Carl" is a shiftless womanizer, despised by the Ultiman-crazed Lori Lake.
* Howard Chaykin's DC title ''Mighty Love'' takes it UpToEleven: policewoman Delaney Pope and public defender Lincoln Reinhardt can't stand each other. However they ''both'' have costumed alter egos and Skylark and Iron Angel have a mutual attraction, even if they don't know who's behind the other's mask.
* In Creator/LewisTrondheim and Fabrice Parme's ''Comicbook/{{Venezia}}'', the deuteragonists' civilian identities, an opera singer and a painter, can't stand each other; but their spy selves, the Black Scorpion and the Eagle, are quite friendly and exchange witty banter as they work for their respective countries against Venice.
* Inverted in ''ComicBook/JemAndTheHolograms''. In sharp contrast to the cartoon, Rio loves Jerrica but thinks Jem is a bratty diva who shouldn't be in the band.

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* In some versions of "Literature/BeautyAndTheBeast", Beauty is haunted by [[TalkingInYourDreams dreams of a handsome prince who begs her to find him]], and this is why she rejects the beast's advances. It isn't until she leaves the castle and stops having the dreams that she realizes that she loves the beast, who of course turns into the prince from her dreams when she agrees to marry him.
* In [[http://www.surlalunefairytales.com/eastsunwestmoon/stories/enchsnake.html "The Enchanted Snake"]], the king promises the heroine she [[EngagementChallenge can marry the prince if only she saves him]]. Recovered, the prince nevertheless refuses because he has promised himself elsewhere; the heroine, delighted, reveals that she is that woman.
* In ''Literature/TheLittleMermaid,'' the Prince says that he won't marry the Princess to whom he's betrothed, because he already had LoveAtFirstSight with the woman who found him after he nearly drowned. Then he meets the Princess, and it turns out she ''is'' the woman who found him! It's a PerfectlyArrangedMarriage...except that the protagonist of this story is [[UnrequitedTragicMaiden the Little Mermaid]]. Who will suffer magical death if the Prince marries anybody but her, but [[CuteMute is unable to tell him that]].
** Kind of counts double, in that regard: he wants to marry "the girl who saved him," but since he was blacked out, he just assumes that he washed up on shore and was found by the Princess, not that the Little Mermaid kept him from drowning in the first place.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* In a large number of ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' fics involving Gohan and Videl, Videl almost inevitably falls for Gohan's identity as either The Gold Fighter or as Saiyaman before finding out that they're actually Gohan.
* Inverted in the ''Manga/LoveHina''[=/=]''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' crossover "[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3570558/1/ Four Seasons]]", with Keitaro asking the net idol Chiu for advice on dealing with his unrequited feelings for a girl...and when she "just out of curiosity" (since unbeknownst to him, they actually know each other) asks the girl's name, he reveals that it is Chisame, her true identity.
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/8795118/1/The-Hollow-World The Hollow World]]'', [[Manga/SoulEater Death the Kid]] continually fights [[Anime/BlackRockShooter Dead Master]], unaware that she is the SuperpoweredEvilSide of his crush, Yomi Takanashi.
* Inverted in ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' SuperFic ''FanFic/ImGivingYouANightCall'', despite their terrible break-up Roy is still head over heels over Edward but he can’t stand the vigilante Fullmetal. He is actually rather ashamed of his attraction to Fullmetal, considering he's trying to get Edward back.
* Played with in a number of ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'' fics which start with the setup of the show (see under Western Animation below) but instead go in the direction of pairing up Marinette and Chat Noir for a slow-burn "friends to lovers" story, as each is the persona that the other likes, respects and cares about but doesn't (at least at first) romantically love to the point that they can only communicate through incoherent stammering or annoying flirting. ''[[Fanfic/{{Tendencies}} Obsession]]'' is a prime example, in which Chat Noir develops [[MyInstinctsAreShowing a cat-like addiction to petting]], and doesn't want to go to Ladybug for help, as he gets the sense that she'd do it out of duty without the affection he craves from her. As he puts it to Marinette, "My lady couldn't feed me macarons and chocolate milk. My lady wouldn't wait up in the rain to make sure I'm okay. My lady's smile doesn't light up her face when she sees me. Yours does. She can't give me what I need, Marinette. What I need, my Princess is you. And a princess is far brighter than a lady." He only finds out that they're the same girl later in the story, after she's found out his identity.
** There are also stories that deal with Ladybug and Adrien's mutual attraction (Ladrien), the discovery of which can be handled in a number of ways. If Marinette finds out about Adrien's crush on Ladybug, it can sometimes push her to approach him as Ladybug, often by visiting him in his bedroom, or else lead her to feel even less secure about measuring up to herself (see ''[[http://www.archiveofourown.org/works/10210028/ The Parts of You]]'' for an example). Alternately, if Adrien finds out about Ladybug's crush on him, he may view it as an opportunity, or, as in ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/9511511 fresh eyes]]'', come to believe that his Lady is a lot shallower than he believed, since "a boy she’s really only ever seen on billboards and screens has more effectively stolen her heart than her partner."
* ''FanFic/SecondChances'': [[spoiler:L fears Light Yagami, as his defeat at Light's hands broke him -- he dearly wishes that Light will never enter the regular afterlife. At the same time, during the course of the fic he falls in love with his Shinigami, Rae. It's not until towards the end of the story that it is revealed that Rae is actually Light Yagami in hell, and even then L is still unaware to the truth]].
* ''Fanfic/ExtremelyNaughty'': Marinette has a crush on an unsuspecting Adrien and ends up telling the flirtatious Chat Noir (completely unaware that he and Adrien are one in the same). She eventually ends up in a relationship with Chat Noir (even having sex a few times) before she puts two and two together and finds out his secret identity.
* ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' Modern AU fan fiction ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12224763/1/Struggling-in-Arendelle-City Struggling in Arendelle City]]'' has Elsa masquerading as a superhero and lived a double life as both a sister and a Snow Queen and Anna is shown to fall in love with the masked woman, completely unaware of her true identity. [[{{Understatement}} She does not take it well]] when she realizes that both Elsa and Snow Queen turned out to be the same person and the person [[BrotherSisterIncest she fell in love all the time turned out to be her sister]].

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'' has this with Roxanne falling for [[spoiler:the eponymous character impersonating Bernard]].
* In ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'', Eric has vowed to marry the girl who rescued him but since the only thing he clearly remembers about her is her beautiful voice, he assumes that the mute girl he finds on the beach soon after can't possibly be her and is thus reluctant to kiss her even though he's clearly attracted to her from the start. He actually decides after Grimsby's advice that he prefers the flesh-and-blood girl to a "dream girl" who might not even exist, but then Ursula shows up in disguise pretending to be his actual dream girl...

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheMask''. Tina falls in love with the Mask (while Stanley's wearing it), but eventually realizes she loves Stanley for himself.
* ''Film/{{Roxanne}}'', mirroring the Cyrano example below.
* In ''Film/BatmanForever'', Dr Chase Meridian first has an obsession with Batman, and then falls in love with Bruce Wayne.
** Leading to a [[FunnyMoments FunnyMoment]] when after Chase breaks up with Batman because she loves Bruce, Batman grins widely once he's out of her sight.
* Inverted in, of all places, ''Film/DeathWishII''. Unusually for a plain clothes adventurer of 1970's and 1980's film, Paul Kersey did in fact maintain a dual identity/alter ego, since the general public did not know that Paul Kersey acted as the vigilante and Kersey continued his work as an architect while acting as a vigilante. In ''Death Wish'' 2, Paul Kersey gave an engagement ring to radio announcer Geri Nichols, and they had scheduled their marriage and honeymoon in Acapulco. Nichols did not initially know that Kersey acted as the vigilante, and she strongly opposed the death penalty and unlimited punishment of criminals. When she discovered that Kersey acted as the vigilante, she left the engagement ring behind for him, since his actions as the vigilante clashed with her code of ethics.
* In ''Film/TheLegendOfZorro'', Joaquin idolizes Zorro, but thinks his father is a loser.
* Mary Jane loves Film/SpiderMan1, but eventually loves Peter Parker instead.
* Addressed in ''Film/YouthInRevolt'', but subverted by the end.
-->'''Nick''': [[spoiler: I can feel in my heart that Sheeni is in love with me, not with some fantasy lover in a French romantic novel but me, Nick Twisp. It's funny, after all that, Nick Twisp was enough.]]
* A variation occurs in ''Film/ACinderellaStory'', where Austin falls for Sam whilst in her Cinderella disguise. When he finds out her true identity, he is less than enthusiastic about it. [[spoiler:Ultimately averted, as he comes to genuinely love Sam for who she really is.]]
* In ''Film/{{Vertigo}}'', [[spoiler:Judy loves Scottie but he's too hung up on Madeleine -- the dead woman she impersonated as part of Gavin's scheme -- for her attempts to make him love her true self work, and she ultimately agrees to be "Madeleine" for him. It doesn't work out well for anyone involved.]]
* In ''Film/{{Supergirl}}'', Ethan falls in love with Linda Lee and is merely grateful and respectful to Supergirl after being rescued by her. He eventually learns they are one and the same.

* Even though she knows who he really is, ActionGirl/[[TheLancer Lancer]] Elli Quinn from Creator/LoisMcMasterBujold's ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'' is deeply in love with her commander, Admiral Miles Naismith--but not so enamored of his real identity Lt. Miles Vorkosigan. ("I've heard you do his accent" is as close as she can come to acknowledging it.) Her refusal to come to terms with this exasperates Miles ("I don't do his accent; he does mine") and eventually scuttles the relationship.
* Subverted in ''Death Sentence'' (the sequel to ''Death Wish''), Paul Benjamin starts a relationship with a court employee named Irene Evans. Her comments about the vigilante (whom she does not know as just Benjamin's alter ego) do not seem to indicate she particularly supports the vigilante.
* Averted in ''The Spider''; Nita Van Sloan supported Richard Wentworth as himself and the Spider.
* ''Literature/TheScarletPimpernel'': Marguerite Blakeney is estranged from her ditzy fop of a husband Sir Percy and in love with the brave, selfless, mysterious vigilante the Scarlet Pimpernel. Talk about some things never change...
* This becomes a major problem for Gara Petothel in ''[[Literature/XWingSeries X-Wing: Wraith Squadron]]'', who is an imperial secret agent who likes her covert identiy as an Alliance pilot so much, she would rather like to [[BecomingTheMask become the mask]]. Unfortunately the one pilot to show romantic interest her is the only survivor of an ambush she had set up months before. Not only did the death of all his friends traumatize him deeply, it's also his friendship to her that slowly helps him to recover.
* In the Bengali play ''Chitra'' by Rabindranath Tagore, Princess Chitra is a plain-faced {{Tomboy}} who prays to the gods that she be granted perfect beauty for one year, so as to seduce the warrior Arjuna. She gets her wish and romances him under a different name. As the year comes to an end, Arjuna hears of Princess Chitra's famous exploits and begins to fall in love with her. When he confesses this to Chitra, she reveals herself to him and they live HappilyEverAfter.
* Simon and Blue from ''Literature/SimonVsTheHomoSapiensAgenda'' fall for each other online, but don't know each other in person, and Simon is stressed that Blue would no longer like him when he finds out who he really is.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Unlike all other adaptations, in ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', Lois might be a HeroWorshipper of The Blur (don't ask why they never used "Superman"), but she is with Clark all the time.
* ''Series/HannahMontana'' has Oliver in love with Miley's alter ego, the rockstar Hannah Montana. Of course, he finds out. His reaction: he fainted. Later, Jake undergoes this, only this time, he didn't faint.
** Jake: "Jake Ryan doesn't faint, but [[SecretIdentity Leslie]], on the other hand, is a little woozy."
* ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' / ''Franchise/PowerRangers''
** Zonette in ''Series/GekisouSentaiCarranger'' loves the hero Red Racer, but not his civilian identity Kyousuke. He loves her back, but wants to do so as himself, leading to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNMSZS5qqCw this]] CrowningMomentOfAwesome.
** In ''Series/MahouSentaiMagiranger'', Kai's crush Yuka goes gaga over Magired, but [[spoiler:the trope is subverted when she figures out his identity during the movie that takes place halfway through the series]]. Notably, [[spoiler:[[SecretSecretKeeper she hints but never outright tells him that she's aware of his identity]].]]
** In ''Series/PowerRangersDinoCharge'', Chase gets hit with this, much to his frustration.
--> "I went behind my own back! I stole her right out from under my own nose!"
* A running theme in ''Series/LoisAndClark'' was Clark's frustration that Lois never noticed him but swooned over Superman. Much later (after Lois had known for a while and the two of them were married), there was an episode that played with this trope from a different angle: there's a scandal when a tabloid reporter catches Superman in bed with Clark Kent's wife.
** In a twist, the show departs from the comics by having Lois deduce Clark's identity before he can propose to her, leaving that uncertainty about what Lois loved about Clark. She does not reveal that she knows until he proposes. This was somewhat settled when he became normal and she got his superpowers for a little while. In the comics, Lois finally fell for Clark then found out about the secret after they were engaged.
** Furthermore throughout the first season and first half of the second (that is: before Lois and Clark start actually dating) Lois is depicted as being ''very'' attracted to Clark, [[HeIsNotMyBoyfriend but very deeply in denial.]]
** Mayson Drake comes at the issue from the opposite angle. She definitely has the hots for Clark Kent, but views Superman as dangerously close to being a vigilante.
* ''Series/KamenRiderDenO'' has an odd variation that relates to TimeTravel rather than secret identities. [[{{Ojou}} Airi Nogami]] was engaged to [[BigBrotherMentor Yuuto Sakurai]] when he vanished, and interacts with a time-displaced teenage version of him without realizing who he is [[spoiler:except she ''does'' know, the ignorance is just a front]]. Airi and the younger Yuuto are never really treated as a potential romance until the end of the series, where the elder Sakurai vanishes into the timestream. The first film of the ''Chou Den-O Trilogy'' addresses this further: Yuuto's BattleButler Deneb ineptly tries to set them up together, before he (and Airi) realize that Yuuto and Sakurai are different people, but the roots of his kind-hearted future self are there and slowly developing, with the ending teasing at what might happen.
** In ''Series/KamenRiderFourze'', [[PerkyGoth Tomoko Nozama]] appears to have some sort of feelings for [[AloofAlly Kamen Rider Meteor]], while becoming closer to [[FalseFriend Ryusei Sakuta]] who, unknown to her, is Meteor. [[spoiler:They pretty much end up together after she finds out.]]
** ''Series/KamenRiderAgito'' has an inverted version: Ryo Ashihara is good friends with Shoichi Tsugami, but hates Agito because he (wrongly) believes Agito killed a girl he liked. When he learns the truth, Ryo realizes he must have been mistaken because there's no way a guy like Shoichi could be a murderer.
*** The same plot was repeated eight years later with ''Series/KamenRiderKiva'' (which had the same head writer): Keisuke Nago likes and mentors Wataru Kurenai, but thinks Kiva is an evil mass-murdering enemy of humanity, and has the same resolution where Nago learns Kiva's identity and realizes he was wrong. In this case Nago's attitude is a bit more justified because there was a different Kiva in the 1980s who ''did'' want to kill off humanity and he had no way of knowing.
* On ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer,'' Angel is prone to going through a HeelFaceRevolvingDoor between himself and his evil, soulless identity, Angelus. Interestingly, Drusilla--who's not exactly sane--seems to blame Angel for Angelus' evil actions toward her (torturing him as she recounts them in one episode) even though she loves Angelus. (And of course, this trope also applies to Buffy and Darla, but they don't seem to make the same odd disconnect between the two halves that Drusilla does.)
** Though Dru's crazy, so do with that as you will.
* ''Series/{{Community}}'':
** Annie gets smitten with Abed whenever he's pretending to be [[Series/MadMen Don Draper]] / ComicBook/{{Batman}} / [[Film/StarWars Han Solo]] / etc. For bonus points, Abed lampshades that these roles match Jeff's archetype, who is Annie's actual love interest. Annie has a very clear type.
** In season 4, the Dean pretends to have [[FreakyFridayFlip switched bodies with Jeff]] (though Jeff refuses to acknowledge it) and does a spot-on impression of Jeff. Annie spends the entire episode getting hot and bothered around the Dean and having absolutely no idea why.
--->'''Shirley:''' What is happening with you?\\
'''Annie:''' ''I don't know''.
* In ''Series/{{Taxi}}'', Latka's girlfriend Simka returns to New York, but when he tries to declare his love for her, he suddenly turns into [[TheCasanova Vic Ferrari]].
* In ''Help! I'm A Teenage Outlaw''. Swiftnick the teenage highwayman's confederates include a girl called Deedee, who he sees as just a friend, if not a total pain who keeps undermining his authority. Meanwhile, he has a hopeless infatuation for RebelliousPrincess Lady Devereaux. He has never realised that Deedee is Lady Devereaux in a peasant smock.
* As shown in ''Series/HenryDanger''. Piper adores Kid Danger and even thinks he's hot, which of course completely contrasts her [[AnnoyingYoungerSibling usual behavior]] towards Henry. Charlotte [[LampshadeHanging immediately tells Piper]] that she ''[[{{Squick}} really]]'' [[BrotherSisterIncest shouldn't be saying that.]]
* Played with in ''Series/{{Misfits}}'', the gang is followed by a man in a mask (AKA Superhoodie) who turns out to be [[spoiler: a future version of Simon. Future!Simon and Alisha hook up and he tells her that they are together in the future.]] In the present, they enter into a relationship and he can't help be a little jealous of himself.
* The Mighty Carson Art Players lampshade the hell out of this in a ''Tonight Show'' skit that had Johnny as Clark Kent/Superman. Kent and Lois get married as, in their honeymoon suite, Lois wishes she had married Superman. Kent reveals he's Superman, much to Lois' joy. The lights go out when they're in bed, and their consummation lasts all but five seconds. The lights go on as they each light up a cigarette. Opines Lois: "They're right about you, Superman. You ''are'' faster than a speeding bullet!"
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "[[Recap/DoctorWho2016CSTheReturnOfDoctorMysterio The Return of Doctor Mysterio]]". Grant is the mild-mannered nanny to Lucy, whom he's been pining over for 24 years. His alter-ego is a masked superhero called the Ghost. Naturally, when the Ghost saves her life, Lucy is interested in him, while largely ignoring Grant (who starts feeling jealous towards his other self). During her interview/date with the Ghost, the latter starts to make fun of her male nanny, causing Lucy to get defensive and have a LoveEpiphany about Grant. Everything gets resolved by the end, when Grant is forced to reveal his powers to her, although she says she prefers his superhero costume... before putting the glasses he dropped back on him (i.e. his supernanny costume).

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* During the "Blue Dudes" story arc from ''Drabble'', Norman tries to propose to the girl he's been dating, Norma. She rejects him as she's in love with someone else. He's so crushed that he eventually quits the Blue Dudes in the middle of the next game they attend. At that point, he not only finds out the "someone else" Norma was in love with was his Blue Dudes alter ego, but his previous love, Wendy, was as well.

* OlderThanTelevision: in the play ''Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac'', both WarriorPoet Cyrano and BookDumb but so very handsome Christian are in love with Roxanne. Since Cyrano thinks he doesn't stand a chance with her anyway because of that big nose issue, he uses his gift for poetry to [[PlayingCyrano help Christian woo her]] so at least he can know [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy they'll both be happy together]], which backfires because it tears them both up for years to know Roxanne's really in love with Cyrano but thinks she's in love with Christian. [[spoiler:There's also the fact that Christian is ''killed'' later and Cyrano ''still'' CannotSpitItOut to not break Roxanne's heart... and keeps denying that the letters are his until his death.]]
* [[TheIngenue Margot Bonvalet]] in the operetta ''Theatre/TheDesertSong''.
* Oscar Wilde's ''Theatre/TheImportanceOfBeingEarnest'' has its own version of this, with Jack's ward Cecily falling in love with his alter ego and "Bunbury", Ernest. Not having met him, though, she doesn't know the first thing about him, making it possible for Jack's friend Algernon to pose as Ernest to woo her. Of course, the traditional Loves My Alter Ego is not quite there, but that is somewhat thanks to Algernon who takes on the role of Ernest. Meanwhile, Jack's -- who goes by the name Ernest in the city -- LoveInterest Gwendolyn is convinced that Jack is Ernest, eventually leading Cecily and Gwendolyn to briefly think they're in love with the same man, until it turns out that ''no one'' is Ernest.
* Polly falls in love with Bobby's "alter ego" in the play ''Theatre/CrazyForYou''.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce'', Luna loves Geo's super hero form, Mega Man, but not Geo himself; after learning that they're the same person, she ''still'' claims she only likes Megaman and couldn't care less about Geo. However, she warms up to Geo over time. In the games, she's pretty clearly just messing with him, as she frequently calls Megaman, Geo and discusses his heroics while they're hanging out. In the anime though she seems almost delusional about pretending they're two different people even when he changes right in front of her.
* ''VideoGame/DeadlyPremonition'' has Emily falling for York [[spoiler:which he is Zach's SplitPersonality, rather than Zack, the real person, himself]].
* ''The Strangers'' mod for ''VideoGame/FreedomForce'' has one of these. [[ScienceHero Ordinary doctor]] Biff Bateman is completely oblivious to the fact that his assistant, [[HotScientist Marla Manners]], is madly in love with him and tries to talk him into a date/bed constantly. In an attempt to get his attention, Marla takes some of Bateman's [[ShrinkRay shrinking technology]] along with a taser and a costume she made herself to become The Spider, the beautiful and mysterious crimefighter. Bateman, at about the same time, lets his fascination with other superheroes get the better of him and borrows some experimental military tech to make himself into The Fly, defender of justice. The Fly meets The Spider on the job, and it's love at first sight... for The Fly only, because of a [[AllMenArePerverts bad first impression]]. So The Fly dreams about the Spider, who hates his guts, and Marla dreams of Bateman, who doesn't pay attention. [[spoiler: Things don't get resolved until they finally learn each other's secret identities.]]
* In ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', Carth Onasi falls in love with [[spoiler:the protagonist (if female)]] and hates [[spoiler: [[BigBad Darth Revan]]]]. It is eventually revealed that they are the same person. An unusual example, in that the [[spoiler:the protagonist]] doesn't know that [[spoiler:she is Revan]], owing to [[spoiler:AmnesiacDissonance]].
* Whenever Tart asks Hamil about his meeting with "her big sister" Tanit in ''VideoGame/TearsToTiara2'', he voice his unending admiration. Leads to punches, blushes, and tears.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Jack in ''The Green Avenger'': http://www.green-avenger.com/d/20051205.html
* Micki in ''Smithson''. Despite her interest in Scooter, she's definitely intrigued by and possibly attracted to Chumucka Man, the SecretIdentity of Scooter's roommate, Chuck. [[ClarkKenting She still hasn't figured it out]], despite the [[StevenUlyssesPerhero similar name]] and seeing Chuck [[TheGlassesComeOff without his glasses]]. Since both Chuck and Micki are ComicBook fans, copious [[LampshadeHanging lampshades are hung]] on this.
* [[http://boymeetsboy.keenspot.com/d/20031124.html This strip]] in ''Webcomic/BoyMeetsBoy''.
* In ''Webcomic/DumbingOfAge,'' Danny explains that he can't date Amber, since he realizes that he was subconsciously attracted to her mainly because of her uncanny resemblance to his ex-girlfriend. Then he explains that he's set his sights on Amazi-Girl instead. (Shocking non-twist: [[spoiler:Amber is Amazi-Girl]]!)
* Played to the point of parody in ''Webcomic/SidekickGirl'' where [[https://sidekickgirl.net/maelstrom-iii/ Mackenzie feels guilty for crushing on Maelstrom]] because of her boyfriend in her secret identity, Drake. Drake is Maelstrom. [[https://sidekickgirl.net/maelstrom-iv/ He feels similarly guilty about crushing on Illuminia, who is Mackenzie]]...

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Inverted in ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDragonJakeLong'' where Rose likes Jake, but hates his dragon form, due to hunting him down. Luckily, she gets to find out they're the same person near the season 1 finale.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' short "Moon Over Minerva", [[HelloNurse Minerva Mink]] spurns the affections of the nerdy and unsophisticated Wilford Wolf -- until she realizes he becomes a hunky werewolf under the full moon. She immediately takes up with Wilford because "some things are worth waiting for."
* Parodied in a special [[SuperDeformed chibi]] style short of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''. [[OfficialCouple Aang]], [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys Jet]], [[ShipsThatPassInTheNight Haru]] and [[FanPreferredCouple Prince Zuko]] all battle it out for [[LauncherOfAThousandShips Katara's]] affection...only to find out she's already chosen [[CrackPairing the Blue Spirit]], who's Zuko's alter-ego on the regular show but inexplicably a separate person here. Zuko faints, saying "I did ''not'' see that one coming."
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'':
** In a non-romantic version, Terry's younger brother Matt idolizes the new Batman as badass and the epitome of cool but sees his own older brother as a boring workaholic who's never around.
** Inverted with Terry's relationship with Melanie. Melanie loves Terry, but is lukewarm to antagonistic towards Batman.
* On ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold,'' [[ComicBook/BlueBeetle Jaime]] spends one episode [[PrecociousCrush smitten]] with ComicBook/{{Huntress}}. The same episode has him escorted around Gotham University by [[HotTeacher Professor Bertinelli]], whom [[ClarkKenting he doesn't recognize]] and doesn't seem particularly attracted to. (Though perhaps that's because her Huntress outfit [[MaleGaze diverts attention from the face]]...)
* This has happened to Ben of ''Ben 10'' on occasion. In the [[WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}} original series]], he meets the tetramand female Tiny while as Fourarms, and she immediately starts hitting on him. Luckily, the Omnitrix times out, turning him back to human. "Saved by the beep!" Later in the episode, Tiny asks if he'll go back to Fourarms, to which he replies, "Never!"
** In ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse'', Ben turns into an Incursean to infiltrate their fleet, attracting the eye of Princess Attea. Due to the influence of Incursean DNA, Bullfrag (Ben's Incursean form) actually starts flirting with her! When all is said and done, Attea offers Ben to join the Incurseans... provided he does so as Bullfrag.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Cybersix}}'': Subverted, Cybersix's civilian alter ego is her [[SweetPollyOliver crossdressing]] as Lucas' best friend Adrian. Lucas is in love with Cybersix and vice versa... but then Lucas sees Cybersix go into Adrian's apartment and assumes they're lovers.
** Don't forget Lori, a student at the high school who has a pretty open crush on "Adrian," but considers Cybersix to be a tramp (possibly not helped by the fact that she was the one who initially jumped to the "Cybersix/Adrian" conclusion because she tried to see Adrian in his own apartment). [[spoiler:And then all is resolved in the final episode, when Cybersix hands Lori "Adrian's" glasses...]]
** It's subtly hinted that Lucas [[spoiler: ''might'' be bisexual and is also attracted to Adrian, regularly taking "him" out for dinner and at one point even invites him to go see a romantic movie. He even drops everything when Adrian got injured by the monster that turns invisible, sent to hunt down Cybersix, so he can take him to the hospital; and tells him sternly to stop making a fuss when he refused to go to the hospital.]]
* Paulina on the comic book-esque ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom''
** An AlternateCharacterInterpretation goes that Sam is this as well, as an odd variant that also knows his secret identity.
** Inverted with [[HunterOfMonsters Valerie]], who likes Danny Fenton but hates Danny Phantom.
** And since he is an expy of Flash Thompson above, [[JerkJock Dash Baxter]] worships Danny Phantom while tormenting Danny Fenton.
* ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'' has a non-romantic example. Dexter experimented on a lab monkey, creatively named Monkey, in hopes of giving him superpowers only to get frustrated when all of it seemed to have no effect. In reality, the monkey gained a slew of [[SuperpowerLottery superpowers]] and fights to protect the Earth as a superhero under the codename Monkey. Dexter remains oblivious to all this but frequently shows admiration for the superhero.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'' episode where Timmy is "the Masked Magician" may qualify for this--Trixie Tang, who (usually) detests him, finds his eponymous alter-ego to be "a ''cute'' superhero!"
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Freakazoid}}!'', Dexter Douglas can't catch a break from the ladies, but they're all over Freakazoid. Freakazoid [[SplitPersonality has a mind separate from Dexter]], which occasionally caused him to actively mock Dexter for this. In the first episode, Dexter even turns into Freakazoid to make out with a girl who couldn't stand him--he even acknowledges how shallow it is, but he doesn't care. Freakazoid's girlfriend Steff won't even talk to Dex and when she found out the truth, she was at first incredulous, then thought it was funny more than anything else, and never brought it up thereafter.
* In ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'', Phil is constantly trying to seduce Birdgirl--despite it being horribly obvious to everyone else that Birdgirl is Judy, his ''[[{{Squick}} daughter]].''
* ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983'': Teela has a crush on He-Man and dismisses Prince Adam as a lazy coward. Similarly, in ''WesternAnimation/SheRaPrincessOfPower'', Bow likes She-Ra and ignores Princess Adora. (To be fair, both Adam and Adora deliberately show less heroism in civilian guise).
** Inverted with Sea Hawk, who respects She-Ra but prefers Adora.
* On ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold,'' Arnold's attraction to Helga (disguised as Arnold's French pen pal Cecile) in the episode "Arnold's Valentine." Helga even soliloquizes about it:
-->'''Helga:''' He likes me. He really likes me! Ohh! (beat) Wait a minute - he doesn't like me, he likes Cecile. Well, not ''Cecile''-Cecile, ''me''-Cecile--so he ''does'' like me!. [[LampshadeHanging Oh, criminy, I'm a basket case]]!
* Similarly, Rosemary the police dispatcher is smitten with ''WesternAnimation/HongKongPhooey'', but couldn't care less about Penrod Pooch.
* Playfully inverted in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/HouseOfMouse'': Clarabelle accepts a date from Goofy, but in his cluelessness, Goofy believes she turned him down. He later becomes Super Goof and does various heroic acts around the House of Mouse. After he saves Clarabelle from a meteor, he asks her out, but Clarabelle refuses -- because she has a date with Goofy.
* Rio from ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}}'' is torn between Jerrica and her secret identity Jem--and he has a bad temper concerning those who deceive him. Inverted with Riot, who was introduced in the last season. He is head over heels for Jem but is vastly indifferent to Jerrica.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPandaLegendsOfAwesomeness'', Tigress falls in love with the Midnight Stranger who is actually Po in disguise. When Tigress finds out who he really is, she leaves to throw up.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MiraculousLadybug'' this works both ways: in their civilian forms, Marinette has a huge crush on Adrien, but becomes a flustered wreck whenever she tries to talk to him, leaving Adrien ObliviousToLove, though still friendly with her. However, when they meet in their superhero personae of Ladybug and Chat Noir, Adrien is the one flirting while Marinette is indifferent and underestimating ''his'' interest in her.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLifeAsATeenageRobot'', Jenny falls for the Silver Shell, a robot suit piloted by Sheldon, who has a crush on her. He originally designed it so that he could act like a jerk and dissuade her from liking robot boys, but instead decided to take advantage of the changing situation.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThePenguinsOfMadagascar'': In "Otter Woman" Skipper falls for Arlene (Marlene in disguise due chlorine accident)
* A ''WesternAnimation/PepperAnn'' episode had Pepper Ann become the mascot of her school's field hockey team. While performing in her otter costume, she managed to win over upperclassman Craig Bean. Pepper Ann continued to meet Craig in guise of the otter, but eventually decided to reveal herself to him. Craig subsequently admitted that he knew all along that Pepper Ann was the otter, and also acknowledged how ridiculous it would feel if it turned out he ''did'' love Pepper Ann's mascot self more than her.
* Inverted in ''WesternAnimation/{{Phantom 2040}}'': police officer Sagan Cruz has {{UST}} with Kit Walker, but sees the Phantom as a glory-hogging jerk. Particularly when he used his "Good Mark" to ''deface a necklace Kit gave her''. (It struck him as appropriate since it ''already'' symbolised their friendship, but it hadn't occurred to him that it looked like the actions of two separate people.)
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' plays with this in one episode. Isabella gets annoyed that her usual crush, Phineas, keeps disappearing when she needs him. Meanwhile she swoons over the Beak, the new local superhero, whom she follows around ComicBook/LoisLane-style. Of course, the Beak is actually Phineas (and his brother, Ferb) in a robotic suit. GenreSavvy Candace calls her out for her GenreBlindness.
--> '''Candace:''' Congratulations, you just earned your "''Uh, Durr''" Patch.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' [[WhatCouldHaveBeen almost]] had a platonic example--apparently, in the early seasons, Krusty the Clown was going to secretly be Homer, with Bart disrespecting Homer but worshiping Krusty. This was deemed too complicated and eventually scrapped, with Krusty becoming his own character.
* Platonic example on ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''--Shelly loves the singer {{Music/Lorde}}, unaware that "she" is actually her own father.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries'' Felicia was in love with Peter, but Black Cat was in love with Spidey. Eventually, Felicia decided not to pursue a relationship with Peter Parker so that her Black Cat persona would be free to be with Spider-Man. In the end, she left with a vampire, and he went with Mary Jane anyway, but it was all very dramatic at the time.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'': A very brief example. Star is clearly smitten with Marco in disguise during their dance, only to snap out of it when he surprises her by revealing himself.
* Daisy on ''WesternAnimation/StaticShock''; Static [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] this once.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' [[spoiler:Rose Quartz aka Pink Diamond]] got this on both ends. [[spoiler:The Crystal Gems loved Rose while they hated and feared Pink Diamond. The Gems of her court loved Pink Diamond while they hated and feared Rose Quartz for (supposedly) shattering her.]]
* The Franchise/DCAnimatedUniverse's version of Lois Lane gets a twofer in the original "World's Finest" crossover between ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' and ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries''.
-->'''Batman''': ''It's ironic, you know. She likes Bruce Wayne, and she likes Superman; it's the other two guys she's not crazy about.''
-->'''Superman''': ''It's a pity we can't mix and match.''
** Which is ridiculous because in ''WesternAnimation/SupermanTheAnimatedSeries'' Lois ''is'' attracted to Clark; [[HeIsNotMyBoyfriend she's just in denial]].
** Similarly, Catwoman loves Batman, but only considers Bruce a friend. He knows both her identities and, according to the "perfect world" illusion created by the Mad Hatter, would marry her, if [[DatingCatwoman Batman and Catwoman]] were out of the equation.
** In another animated take on it, ''[[WesternAnimation/SupermanDoomsday Superman: Doomsday]]'', Superman and Lois are actively dating and outright lovers, and he still hasn't revealed his secret identity to her. The normal trope is subverted in that she ''knows'' who he really is and makes it clear that she knows; she's just waiting for ''him'' to admit to it and stop the pointless denial "for her safety", seeing it as the last blockage of any real commitment between them. [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming He finally does in the last scene]].
* On ''[[WesternAnimation/TotalDrama Total Drama Revenge of the Island]],'' Mike's relationship with Zoey is continually impeded by his SplitPersonality, Vito, having make-out sessions with Anne Maria. Neither girl knows about Mike's condition at first and assumes that the personality they're into is the "true" one and the other is an act.
* DarkActionGirl Paige from ''WesternAnimation/TronUprising'' ''hates'' "The Renegade", despite certain [[DatingCatwoman flirtatious remarks]] she makes during their confrontations. Yet she ends up developing an attraction to his civilian persona, Beck, upon getting to know him better.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLooneyTunesShow'', Speedy falls for Porky's dance partner (Bugs duisguised as a woman). Once he reveals who "she" really is, Speedy says that he was only being polite, since he considered her to be really ugly (Bugs does make a really ugly woman). Until it's revealed that he had a shrine, AND EVEN AN ENGAGEMENT RING.
* Sweet Polly Purebred (practically a Lois Lane {{Expy}} anyway) from ''WesternAnimation/{{Underdog}}''.
* ''WesternAnimation/WordGirl'':
** TJ has a fanboyish obsession with Word Girl that seems to border on a PrecociousCrush...but Word Girl is actually his ([[NotBloodRelated adopted]]) older sister Becky. In an episode where her family discovers her identity, he is mortified and throws away his [=WordGirl=] merchandise, unable to handle that his hero is also his painfully "ordinary" sibling. He even refuses to help her when the entire family is captured by Dr. Two-Brains. In the end, the family's memories of Becky as [=WordGirl=] are erased, returning things to the StatusQuo.
** Tobey has a VillainousCrush on Word Girl, but generally treats Becky either indifferently or as an annoying rival. Some episodes have him suspect that they are the same person, though by the end of them, events conspire to once again dissuade him of that theory.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* In a non-fantasy vein, this is certainly true of "ordinary" people who idolize celebrities. The "real person" more often than not is [[BrokenPedestal nowhere near as glamorous once you get to meet them]].
* Music/MileyCyrus once stated in an interview that, while she and her little sister Noah didn't get along, Noah was a big fan of Miley's TV alter-ego Series/HannahMontana.