%% ZeroContextExample entries are not allowed on wiki pages. All such entries have been commented out. Add context to the entries before uncommenting them.
[[quoteright:350:[[Disney/WreckItRalph http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/felix_x_calhoun.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"You are one [[TraumaButton dynamite gal]]... please don't kill me!"]]

So, you've got a [[TheProtagonist protagonist]] who's a bit abrasive, a bit rough around the edges. If you wanted to make a love interest for that character (assuming the character is the type that has the human capacity for love), you ''could'' either make the love interest just like the protagonist, make them single, or TakeAThirdOption: you could make their love interest completely passive.

The inversion of AllGirlsWantBadBoys and AllAmazonsWantHercules, Pitbull Dates Puppy is when someone who's tough and NotGoodWithPeople enters a relationship with TheWoobie, NonActionGuy, TheHeart, or the ExtremeDoormat -- often by force, though it is possible for one or the other to naturally fall in love with each other.

Often done in historical romance novels where a badass decides to marry some [[TheIngenue fresh young innocent thing]] as a change from his usual [[TheVamp Vamp]] or FemmeFatale choices. May be a RomanticFalseLead if done deliberately to screw with a more suitable ex.

Contrast BestHerToBedHer. Also see TrueLoveIsExceptional for when a similar OppositesAttract dynamic actually works out, and {{Aggressive Submissive}} when the relationship works like this most of the time, until the time they actually have sex, when suddenly their roles get inverted. Compare BeastAndBeauty and MasculineGirlFeminineBoy.

In psychology, this is known as the [[https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/are-we-born-racist/201205/the-precarious-couple-effect "precarious couple."]]


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Lua and Ladd from ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'' may have fit this trope, with Lua, by the end, almost getting up the courage to suggest that maybe she doesn't ''want'' to [[MadLove die by his hand.]]
* The bloodthirsty CuteAndPsycho Miyamiya from ''Manga/BambooBlade'' has the unassuming {{Gonk}} boy Dan for a boyfriend. She never really demonstrates the especially violent aspects of her personality around him, however. It's occasionally hinted that Dan has his own dark side. He's just less easily provoked and hides it better even when he is.
* ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' has the kind, caring NonActionGuy Rock and the homicidal, bloodthirsty criminal Revy.
* Gajeel and Levy from ''Manga/FairyTail''. Gajeel is a rough and violent BloodKnight literally MadeOfIron and Levy is a short, sweet and friendly CuteBookworm.
* ''Manga/FruitsBasket'' has Kyo as the pitbull (ironic due to his zodiac year) to Tohru's puppy. In the early chapters, Kyo was verbally aggressive to her and even accidentally hits her at one point, but he gets better and learns to control his temper around her.
* ''Manga/FutureDiary'' has the psychotic, violent and possessive {{Yandere}} Yuno who is completely obsessed with the cowardly ExtremeDoormat Yukiteru. Taken to an extreme when she kidnaps him, ties him to a chair and keeps him drugged for an entire week, to ensure that he'd stay "safe".
* ''LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai'' has a variation of this with NiceGuy Kokuto and SociopathicHero Shiki. In one case taken to its logical extreme when Shiki once puts a knife to his throat and threatens to kill him. Eventually, it works out when she lets him be her MoralityPet.
* {{Chessmaster}} megalomaniac Char Aznable of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'' first dated Lahla Sune, a sweet, demure Hindu girl (though she's also a TykeBomb), and then later dated the similarly-dispositioned Nanai Miguel. Taken to the extreme in the novels, where he ultimately winds up with a plump GirlNextDoor named Margaret who works as a secretary (which may have been the whole point, as the sort of people he usually meets through his work aren't really the kind anyone sane would want to start a family with).
* In ''Manga/MonthlyGirlsNozakiKun'', careless troublemaker Seo is [[ImpliedLoveInterest curiously fond of]] her good-natured underclassman Wakamatsu. PlayedWith in that Waka wants to make Seo feel bad so she won't bother him anymore, but fails in ways that make him look like he's invested in their relationship.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'': At heart, Shinji and Asuka truly care about and are attracted to each other, but Shinji's extreme passivity and Asuka's similarly over-the-top aggressiveness prevent them from forming a real relationship during the series.
* Kanou and Ayase from ''Manga/OkaneGaNai'', accentuated even more by their massive height difference. Their relationship is supposed to work out somehow but they've got a long way to go, considering that Kanou's still extremely forceful and dominant over the frail, would-rather-martyr-himself-than-harm-even-his-would-be-rapists Ayase 7 volumes in.
* In ''Manga/{{Onidere}}'', gang leader Saya is head over heels for nerdy Tadashi.
* Flipped around all over the place with ''LightNovel/{{Toradora}}''. Ryuuji has the FaceOfAThug, so much so that on the way to class one morning, two guys gave him their wallets, pleading for their lives. He's actually a very nice guy, as well as a major NeatFreak. Contrast with Taiga, who's a short, very cute girl... and known around school as the "Palmtop Tiger" for her angry demeanor and occasional violent outbursts (she punches out Ryuuji when he accidentally bumps into her).
* ''Manga/YandereKanojo'':
** The delinquent-girl Reina and unassuming stoic guy Manabu fall for one another. HilarityEnsues as Reina tries ([[OpenSecret vainly]]) to keep their relationship a secret in order to preserve her reputation.
** GenerationXerox for Reina's parents, CuteAndPsycho Ran and ShrinkingViolet Kouichiro.
** The Principal who is a SternTeacher and HeroicComedicSociopath has a FragileFlower of a wife

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''Crystar Crystal Warrior,'' the [[TheNapoleon short, tough-as-nails]] warrior woman Shen is the much older, somewhat bumbling wizard Ogeode's wife. She's completely devoted to him and won't tolerate anyone insulting him in her presence; he meanwhile seems a little intimidated by her. They have a daughter, the beautiful sorceress Ika.
* SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker and Harley Quinn's relationship. True, Harley is psychotic and destructive like Joker, but is still much more innocent. Their relationship is usually Joker abusing Harley, though it's occasionally implied that [[AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther he does actually care about her.]]
* In ''ComicBook/KillerCondom'', [[TheBear bear]] Bob "Bladder" and Plumley, a normal sized mature man who manages to look quite like a puppy next to the [[CarpetOfVirility incredibly hairy]] mountain of meat, Bob.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* For ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' fics, there are these:
** In ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'', Shinji's female schoolmates don't understand why he is infatuated with Asuka because they think that she's a brutish tsundere and he a timid wallflower.
** ''Fanfic/TheChildOfLove'': Asuka could be very abrasive and overbearing, especially at the early stages of her pregnancy when she was madder and more depressed, and Shinji was pretty meek and wimpy, but both were drawn to each other.
** ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'': Asuka is a very aggressive, hot-headed woman and Shinji is a non-confrontational, quiet, shy man. Asuka always claimed she wanted to someone confident, determined and muscular and she was not interested in scrawny boys. Still she fell in love with Shinji and after seducing him they are unable to live without each other.
** In ''Fanfic/GhostsOfEvangelion'', Asuka is bold, aggressive, and she can get nasty and mean when she's in a bad mood. Shinji is more passive and acquiescent. If someone asks him why they are together, he answers that he owes her, he doesn't really mind her bad moods, she is real nice when she wants (and she doesn't mean most bad things she says), and she actually wants him to be assertive and stand up for himself.
** ''Fanfic/{{HERZ}}'': Kurumi often wondered why Shinji -a quiet, unassuming guy- married a fiery woman as Asuka. In reality Shinji and Asuka need each other desperately and they think no one else will ever be able to understand their pain.
** ''Fanfic/LastChildOfKrypton'': Despite of her abrasive, bold nature, Asuka could not help to be drawn to quiet, non-belligerent, unasuming, polite Shinji. And it was Shinji's kind nature that allowed him seeing she was a better, kinder person than she thought she was despite her aggressive, forward behaviour, and falling in love with her. Subverted when she discovered he was ''Franchise/{{Superman}}''.
** ''Fanfic/SOE2LoneHeirOfKrypton'': Asuka is fiery, hot-blooded, aggressive, hard-headed, impatient... and she is ''Comicbook/{{Supergirl}}''. Shinji is a NonActionGuy passive, quiet and meek. However, Shinji fell in love with Asuka precisely because he admired her strength, willpower, courage and determination, and Asuka fell in love with him precisely because he was gentle, caring and dependable.
** Subverted in ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji''. At first sight, Asuka seems to be the pitbull to Shinji's puppy because she is brash, loud and demanding, whereas Shinji is quieter... But in reality Shinji is the pitbull. A conniving, crafty, manipulative pitbull.
** ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfAnElderGod'': Although they're less damaged than their canon counterparts, Asuka is still pretty aggressive and combative, and her LoveInterest Shinji is pretty wimpy and timid, so their relationship looks like this to their friends.
** ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'' subverted it. Everyone thinks Shinji and Asuka's relationship is this because Shinji is wimpy and meek and Asuka is harsh and aggressive. [[PeggySue In reality their relationship got over that phase several years ago, but they pretend otherwise in order to keep their time-travelling status secret.]]
** ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide'': Shinji and Asuka's relationship is pretty difficult and complex since Asuka is very abrasive and bitter due to a dismal childhood and deep trauma, and Shinji is somewhat wimpy. Nonetheless, it gets better when Shinji makes a serious effort to support and help Asuka, and she mellows down when she acknowledges that he cares about her. Shinji also comes to find that trying to appeal to Asuka's better nature in an argument often works much better than being confrontational with her.
** ''Fanfic/OnceMoreWithFeeling'': Since Asuka is abrasive, loud and temperamental and Shinji is quiet, calm and non-confrontational, most of their acquaintances consider that they have this kind of relationship. Touji and Kensuke think their "poor" friend Shinji needs to be saved from the "Demon Red", and Misato doesn't get how Shinji appears to be utterly, impossibly immune to everything Asuka throws at him in her standard attempts to push him away.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/WallE'' has its title character and EVE. WALL•E is TheWoobie and a very sweet, caring robot who only wants someone to love after spending hundreds of years alone, while his love interest EVE is a tough ActionGirl prone to blowing things up with her plasma cannon at the slightest provocation.
* In ''Disney/WreckItRalph'', the short, sweet, and NiceGuy Fix-It Felix Jr. gets paired up with grizzled ActionGirl SpaceMarine Tamora Calhoun.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
%% * Leigh Ann and Sean Tuohy from ''Film/TheBlindSide.'' However, in contrast to many examples of this trope, their relationship is happy and healthy.
%%% Zero-context example -- who is a puppy and who is a pitbull?
%% * Owen and Ouiser from ''Film/SteelMagnolias''. He doesn't seem to mind, though.
* In noir film ''Rider on the Storm'', heroine Mellie has probably never stood up to anyone, let alone her somewhat domineering and chauvinistic husband. The [[BreakTheCutie events of the movie]] manage to show that she's legitimately MoreDeadlyThanTheMale without changing any of this.
%% * The central premise of the HighConcept film ''Film/MySuperExGirlfriend'' is this trope gone awry.

* ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'': In the backstory, we have quiet-spoken, dignified Alannon, who was married to a band of rough soldiers in an ExoticExtendedMarriage. In the present, there is Cullen Moorland, a sweet, innocent and thoroughly harmless boy, who gets married to [[spoiler:Alannon's granddaughters, the Whistler sisters, who are anything ''but'' harmless.]]
* Jaded English spy James of ''Your Scandalous Ways'' resolves to marry some sweet innocent girl when he gets back home, as he's really sick of {{Femme Fatale}}s. (This doesn't happen.)
* Kethry of the ''Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar'' series--a tough mercenary sorceress whose lack of combat training is made up for by a magic sword--ends up HappilyMarried to Jadrek, a brilliant and learned NonActionGuy who suffers from severe arthritis (incapacitating when they meet, later somewhat alleviated by magic).
* ''Literature/TheHungerGames'': Katniss and Peeta. While neither of them is a trained warrior, Katniss was taught archery by her father, and regularly hunts for the family. Peeta is the baker's son from her village. His skills are cake-decoration and talking to people. There is a love-triangle with Katniss childhood friend Gale. [[spoiler: Which is resolved when Katniss decides to be with Peeta, who is a better match because he's so gentle and nice, just what cynical Katniss needs.]]
* The human lead of ''Literature/TheGeneral'' series, Raj Whitehall, is a gifted officer from a frontier province that generally provides soldiers rather than taxes to the Civil Government. However in [[DeadlyDecadentCourt the pit of backstabbing, manipulation, murder, and other entertainments]] that is the political scene of East Residence; the man is a puppy. His petite, beautiful wife Suzette? ''[[TheVamp She]]'' is the pitbull, made all more vicious for wanting to keep the man she loves intact.
* Matthias of ''Literature/AWorldLessVisible'' is a [[TheBear an]] [[RatedMForManly alpha]] [[TheBigBadWolf werewolf]] with some [[UnstoppableRage minor anger management issues]]. His boyfriend, Daniel, is a skinny [[CampGay twink]] and EmpathicHealer who tends to [[NonActionGuy throw up around violence]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Herr Flick and Helga on ''Series/AlloAllo''. PlayedForLaughs in that the roles tend to switch between the two - Helga is usually entirely submissive to Flick and even fears him a little, but she is also the more experienced in sexual matters which tend to frighten him.
* ''Series/AllyMcBeal'': John Cage, nicknamed "Biscuit", is a sensitive dorky lawyer who dates a gorgeous but icy Nelle Porter (nicknamed "Sub-zero") in season 2 and 3. Their relationship is quite happy and Nelle gets a bit warmer, but they later break up.
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'':
** Quinn, who began as the AlphaBitch of the series, and Finn, the BigManOnCampus who just happens to be a really NiceGuy. During the time they were together, they genuinely were in love with each other, but Quinn slept with Finn's best friend and tried to pass the baby off as Finn's and Finn himself kissed Rachel while he and Quinn were still together.
** Alpha Bitch Quinn follows this up when she starts dating dorky but cute nerd Sam Evans.
** Santana and Brittany. Santana can be a bitch and Brittany is an adorable CloudCuckoolander, Brittany's the only person Santana is genuinely nice to and the only one that can actually control Santana's meanness.
* ''Series/{{House}}'' has two doctors who date in season 4 and tried to keep their relationship secret. The pitbull is Amber whose nickname is "Cutthroat Bitch" and the puppy is Wilson, a rather sweet sensitive guy. Part of the arc of their relationship was her trying to teach him to stand up for himself, even to her. Their relationship lasted for half a season. [[spoiler:She died in season finale.]]
* In a medical drama ''Series/MondayMornings'', Dr. Sydney Napur dates Dr. John Lieberman. He asks her out in the first episode but she kind of made him by almost-screaming and being pushy. Generally, she is way tougher than him. When Sydney discusses it with her colleagues, BaldBlackLeaderGuy Dr. Jorge Villanueva thinks he'll "go through her like crap through goose", and she gets angry. Dr. Lieberman reacts with a FlatWhat.
* April and Andy on ''Series/ParksAndRecreation''. They get married, and it seems to work, probably because April is actually a softie under the snarky exterior. His main tactic to get her back when she was trying to make him jealous and toying around with him? Being nice and inviting her revenge boyfriend to jam with him on old Dave Matthews Band songs.
* Darlene and David's relationship on ''Series/{{Roseanne}}''. Darlene is a somewhat aggressive snarker, and David's terrible homelife has left him completely downtrodden.
* ''Series/VeronicaMars''
** Bad boy Logan (pitbull) and TheIngenue Hanna (puppy).
** PrincelyYoungMan Duncan (puppy) and JerkWithAHeartOfGold Veronica (pitbull). She and Piz had a similar dynamic.
** RichBitch Jackie (pitbull) and DoggedNiceGuy Wallace (puppy) had shades of this too.
** By the end of the series debatably, Logan (puppy) and Veronica (pitbull)

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Rather common in Creator/BioWare [=RPGs=], usually with a protagonist on the darker end of the MoralityMeter:
** Aggressive!Hawke with CloudCuckooLander Merrill in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII''. Interestingly enough, this can still occur down the [[PetTheDog Friendship]] [[MoralityPet path]] as easily as the [[BastardBoyfriend Rivalry]] [[LoveMartyr path]].
** [[PlayerCharacter The Warden]] in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' can be played as a rather grim, vindictive, and aggressive character, and still get together with [[DeadpanSnarker Alistair]] the perfect gentleman or [[JeanneDArchetype Leliana]] the sweet former nun.
** The Warden can be an IncorruptiblePurePureness -- innocent and selfless all-around NiceGuy and get with the [[TokenEvilTeammate quasi-Token Evil Teammates]], the SocialDarwinist snarky[[LadyOfBlackMagic witch]] Morrigan or the blithe ProfessionalKiller cassanovian Zevran.
%% ** Putting the PC in the Puppy position, Diplomatic!Hawke with Fenris.
** In ''Franchise/MassEffect'', this trope can be achieved with a Renegade Commander Shepard with naive archeologist Liara or girl-next-door type Tali. Can also go the opposite direction with a Paragon Shepard and [[TheLadette Ashley]] or Jack.
* In ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'', Francis, a hot-blooded biker who enjoys fighting and stealing stuff, falls for cute little news reporter Rochelle. She reciprocates. Everyone else is thoroughly confused.
* ''Franchise/MetalGear'':
** ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'': There's clearly something going on between [[ColdSniper Sniper]] Wolf and Otacon. While Otacon's massive crush for her is not entirely requited, she still is very fond of him. But even though she puts on a tough appearance, she's actually a DeathSeeker and knows it will be only more painful for him if they get closer.
** Meryl and Johnny in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4''. He is a complete loser and dork, while she's one of the toughest [[ActionGirl Action Girls]] in video game land, and has a rather mean temper as well. She shows no interest in him at all and constantly berates him for most of the game, until he saves her life not once but twice, after which she admits her affection for him, but is still quite mean most of the time. When he finally asks her to marry him, she refuses on the ground that in this relationship SHE has to propose to him, which he then gladly accepts.
* Yuri and Alice in ''VideoGame/ShadowHearts''. He's a rude, crude brawler with a bunch of demons fused to his soul, and she's a sweet, gentle WhiteMagicianGirl exorcist. It takes them a very long time to admit it, but they're pretty head-over-heels for each other.
* Implied with Rita and Estelle in ''VideoGame/TalesOfVesperia'', though it gets no further than subtext. Rita's aggressive and pragmatic, whilst Estelle is noble, naive and sweet. She's also the only one who brings out Rita's softer side.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Parodied in ''Webcomic/HarkAVagrant'''s "Strong Female Characters" story, where Susan B. Assthony becomes enticed by the "incredibly weak male lead" character, and apparently marries him.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'':
** Deconstructed with Vriska and Tavros. Vriska's a ManipulativeBitch who crippled Tavros for a laugh as a child, and years later, continues to mess with him to try and toughen him up. It later turns out that part of the reason she's doing it is to try and invoke [[spoiler: GenerationXerox. Her ancestor wound up in love with (and was killed by) Tavros' ancestor, who incidentally was one of the greatest heroes trollkind had ever known.]] In the end, Vriska finally winds up [[spoiler: killing him because she feels he's toughened up too late. Vriska and Tavros finally start dating in the afterlife, and their relationship is every bit as messed up and dysfunctional as you'd expect. It doesn't last long, of course.]]
** Vriska's relationship with John reconstructs the trope, mostly because she's learned from her past experiences "helping" people. Not only does she succeed with him in every way she failed with Tavros, but she actually starts wanting to be a better person as a result. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, she's killed right after she asks him out on a date.]]
* In ''Webcomic/BadMachinery'' Mildred and Jack have a mutual interest in each other, but he's an extremely nervous good boy while she recently stole a car. At the end of "The Case of the Severed Alliance" he turns her down because of this.
-->'''Jack:''' Mildred I like you but... I think you might be...\\
''[turns and runs away]''\\
'''Jack:''' A dangerous nutter!!\\
'''Mildred:''' AND?\\
'''TheRant:''' Mildred and Jack: star-crossed lovers or a fox and a chicken? I'm really not sure. I don't think they're sure either.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Janet Barch and Timothy O'Neill on ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}''. A [[DoesNotLikeMen man-hating]] divorcee and borderline StrawFeminist falls for and dates [[spoiler: (and eventually marries)]] a shy, neurotic, utterly inoffensive HippieTeacher after O'Neill gives her an impromptu therapy session about venting her feelings over being divorced.
%% * ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'': Jimmy and Heloise, though here it's more "Pitbull Courts Puppy", since Jimmy [[ObliviousToLove hasn't figured it out]].
* ''WesternAnimation/KaBlam'''s Henry and June. June is a hot-tempered, deadpan, tough, bossy girl with a crush on Henry, who isn't that strong or smart.
* ClingyJealousGirl Eska and Bolin in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', for the brief period they were together. Eska treats Bolin like her slave, and when he essentially leaves her at the altar she gets '''[[{{Yandere}} very]]''' [[UnstoppableRage pissed]]. (Keep also in mind that while Bolin may have been a naïve little creampuff at that point in the story, he ''is'' an [[DishingOutDirt earthbender]] and a badass in his own right; it's simply that Eska was ''just that scary''.)