->''"Hey, the movie's called ''Back in Action'', not ''Back in Love''!"''
-->-- '''WesternAnimation/DaffyDuck''' commenting on some deleted scenes from ''Film/LooneyTunesBackInAction''

When a romantic subplot is tacked onto a work with little relation to the overall story. Especially blatant when the setting or premise of the plot leaves little room for romance, such as [[AfterTheEnd after the Apocalypse]] or in the [[ActionSeries land of racing cars and guns]].

The reasons behind this are understandable: love is often quoted to be universal, and directors and producers want to cater to the [[MultipleDemographicAppeal largest demographic possible]]. [[MenBuyFromMarsWomenBuyFromVenus What better to draw females to theaters]] than with [[GirlShowGhetto a few tender scenes inserted here and there in an action or disaster movie?]] Or to [[{{Fanservice}} titillate]] the [[MaleGaze males]] [[AllMenArePerverts in the audience]] with a GreenSkinnedSpaceBabe hanging around the hero? Or [[FemaleGaze vice]] [[AllWomenAreLustful versa]]?

Meanwhile, more cynical voices will claim that the romance is merely there to make absolutely sure that audience knows what canon sexuality the given character has. Homo- and bisexuality still remain somewhat controversial subjects in this day and age, so establishing that a character is in a relationship with the opposite or same sex is sometimes used as a more roundabout way of enforcing HaveIMentionedIAmHeterosexualToday (or more rarely HaveIMentionedIAmGay) and thereby avoid alienating (or in some cases directly appeal to) certain demographics.

Unfortunately, the romance subplot itself tends to be shallow and underdeveloped, existing only because the audience expects the hero to have a healthy love life. In fact, if the romance was removed entirely, it would barely leave a ripple in the overall plot quality. The love interest is nothing more than a bland, forgettable SatelliteCharacter, and may even be [[DisposableLoveInterest ignored or replaced by another love interest in a sequel]].

Sometimes it [[TropesAreTools works]], but even then, it'll still have "obligatory romance" stamped on it because the mere presence of a lone hero with the [[TheSmurfettePrinciple token female]] is enough for the audience to anticipate sexual tension.

Not to be confused with TokenMinorityCouple. Can become a RomanticPlotTumor if it threatens to [[PlotTumor overwhelm the main plot]]. Often added in an adaptation by making a minor character PromotedToLoveInterest. Contrast HookedUpAfterwards. See also StrangledByTheRedString. When the couple skip the token ''romance'' and just have a token sex scene, it's CoitusEnsues.

This page is not "Complaining about love subplots that you don't like." Please do not treat that way.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* There is some of this in ''Anime/WindyTales'' with the relationship between Miki and Jun. They are declared a couple out of the blue, even though they don't do anything which indicates that they are (Miki sure isn't always that nice toward Jun, for instance). Sure, there is Miki's contrived fit of jealousy in one episode which is solved by [[spoiler:one make-up kiss]], but that's about it.
* ''Manga/TheEnigmaOfAmigaraFault'' has a tacked-on romance between Owaki and Yoshida, seemingly just to offer a HopeSpot before things [[FromBadToWorse gets worse]].
* ''Manhua/CyberWeaponZ'' feature a quite blatant example between Park Iro and Anling, since their rather contrived feelings and budding relationship don't really have any use for the plot other than demonstrating Iro's attractiveness or just to...er... give Anling more bearing to the story??
* In a one-sided case between major characters, the anime adaptation of ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' has Kuwabara constantly hitting on Botan throughout the Genkai and Spirit Beast arcs. Then Kuwabara learns about Yukina, falls madly in LoveAtFirstSight from looking at her picture on a briefing tape, and drops his attraction to Botan like a hot rock. Botan's reaction to this is a highly sarcastic "Oh, darn," and then they go on through the rest of the series without Kuwabara's failed courtship of Botan ever being mentioned again.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The most contrived BackStory in ''ComicBook/XMen'' history[[note]]The majority of Storm's blood family in Africa didn't let her know they existed because they were afraid of the patriarch -- a dictator Storm could've gotten rid of in all of two seconds without even calling in the rest of the X-Men[[/note]] was created so that Storm could leave the X-Men, go to Wakanda, and marry the Black Panther. This was a case of ExecutiveMeddling, as the ComicBook/BlackPanther title was written by the owner of BET, and it was his opinion that the two most powerful and high profile black characters in Franchise/MarvelComics should become [[TokenMinorityCouple the Flagship Pairing for black characters]]. The fans did not receive it terribly well, so Marvel had their marriage annulled during ''ComicBook/AvengersVsXMen''.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail'': Tony and Bridget's romance was a LoveAtFirstSight one and tangential to the main plot of Fivel reuniting with his family and then kicking out the cats.
* Colin and Lisa from ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsonsMovie.'' Many fans liked it, admittedly, but Colin exists only for the movie, and he doesn't have any major influence on the plot; it seems that the writers just decided for some reason that Lisa should have a LoveInterest (perhaps [[OutOfFocus just so she had some sort of subplot at all]]), and they scrapped the idea of using [[DoggedNiceGuy Milhouse]] because they felt it would interfere with the main show. Colin also disappears for much of the second half.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirls'': Flash Sentry is extremely tangential to the plot and has only a few interactions with Twilight, at most building a tentative friendship. [[spoiler:She leaves him behind in the end, and although there's a pony counterpart of him in Equestria, they have even less of a connection.]] Also, he does not appear in season 4 of WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic outside of a few minor cameos. This has not stopped fans from vilifying him even before seeing the movie.
* In ''WesternAnimation/JetsonsTheMovie,'' Judy's subplot consists of getting a date with a teen heartthrob, having to cancel said date because of the family's move, angsting for a bit, and then meeting some new [[InterspeciesRomance alien]] guy named Apollo Blue. This has little to nothing to do with the main plot, and includes multiple love songs that just serve to pad the run-time (and prove that WereStillRelevantDammit)

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The main plot of ''Film/IvansChildhood'' is a rather grim story of a teenaged boy, orphaned by UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, who thirsts for revenge and now works as a spy behind German lines. But there's also a subplot of a romance between his spymaster, Capt. Kholin, and Masha, a lovely officer from the medical corps. It doesn't relate to Ivan's plot and it goes nowhere, with Masha eventually reassigned.
* ''Film/PearlHarbor''. Most of the reviews said the action sequences were well made, but the romance didn't seem to have any bearing on the story ''at all''. Even with it being copied from ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}'', at least that film made the tragedy influence the romance. Here the actual Pearl Harbor story is just a backdrop to give it some flavor.
%%** ''War of the Worlds'' (1953)
* ''Literature/KingSolomonsMines'' (all movie versions). The book was about a British lord who hires the heroic explorer hero to find the lord's brother, who disappeared somewhere in DarkestAfrica. Various films have adapted this plot, and all of them wedge in a female character who serves as a love interest for either the lord or the heroic explorer. Which is ironic, since the original book ''has'' a romantic subplot between a member of the party and a beautiful native girl, but it (sadly understandably) doesn't work out because it's a 19th century interracial romance. No doubt, even a story about a ''failed'' interracial romance was considered too risky in old-time Hollywood, so other more conventional romances got stuck in instead.
%%** ''Film/JourneyToTheCenterOfTheEarth'' (1959)
%%** ''The Lost World'' (more than one version)
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'':
** While Arwen and Aragorn are originally in the book, the spotlight was highly tweaked to feature more Arwen than the narrative could support just because she was one of the only significant female in the book. Perhaps justified, in that Tolkien himself supposedly expressed regret for not giving Arwen more to do in the books.
** The films don't lay the foundation for Éowyn/Faramir.
* Likewise in ''Film/TheHobbit'' a spurious sexual tension is introduced into the narrative between the character Kili (who is [[AdaptationalAttractiveness conspicuously]] [[FanService hotter]] than any other dwarf in the movie), and [[ActionGirl Tauriel]], who is a non-canonical character.
* In the [[ContinuityReboot rebooted]]'' Film/StarTrek'' film, Spock and Uhura's romance could be removed and its loss wouldn't affect the plot at all.
* Played straight in the first [[Franchise/StarWars Star Wars]] Triology (IV - VI) with Han and Leia. She is not a minor character but the [[TheSmurfettePrinciple only woman]] with a little more lines. The plot, however, focusing on the fight against the empire and other subplots, is not affected by their romance although Leia and Han are both main characters. [[spoiler:When Leia [[DistressedDude saves Han]] from Jabba in Return of the Jedi there is a "saving your love interest" background but the plot rather focuses on the male characters and their [[DamselInDistress rescue mission]] for [[GoGoEnslavement Leia in the bikini]]. However, if they had just been friends or at least allies this wouldn't have changed anything.]] Even later when there is implied that Han [[spoiler:is [[TwoGuysAndAGirl jealous of Luke]] of his bond with Leia]] this doesn't cause any real conflict between the three about this; nothing would be different if there wasn't a love subplot. [[spoiler:That part is [[LongLostRelative easily resolved]] later on anyway.]]
%%* Disney's ''Film/{{Newsies}}''.
* ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheTempleOfDoom''. Not only do Willie Scott and Indy (along with the audience) seem to actively loathe each other, there is absolutely no plot reason for her to even ''exist'' in the movie.
* Most ''Film/JamesBond'' films. There's a reason the term "Bond Girl" was created. In every movie there's a new woman that Bond falls in love with but has little bearing on the plot and won't be seen again.
** ''Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService'', ''Film/TheSpyWhoLovedMe'', ''Film/TheLivingDaylights'', ''Film/LiveAndLetDie'', ''Film/GoldenEye'', ''Film/CasinoRoyale2006'', and ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'' avert this. ''Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService'' and ''Film/CasinoRoyale2006'' dedicate great amounts of time to develop their story's romances, while ''Film/QuantumOfSolace'' averts it entirely as Bond doesn't get together with the girl in the end.
** Add ''{{Film/Goldfinger}}'' to the list in that it was Pussy Galore who actually saved the day. Bond wasn't even aware he'd turned her to his side until he'd already been rescued by Felix. ''Film/FromRussiaWithLove'' and ''{{Film/Thunderball}}'' also have the love interest be the catalyst to kick off the plot. In the former, she's used by SPECTRE to bait Bond into stealing the Lektor. In the latter, she's the sister of the original pilot of the plane carrying the nuclear missiles and just happened to be the villain's lover.
** A nice subversion in ''Film/TheWorldIsNotEnough'', where Elektra King is strongly hinted to be Bond's token love interest early on but is subsequently [[spoiler:revealed to be the [[BigBad main villain]]]].
* Bond's parody in the Film/AustinPowers uses this trope in all its movies. For instance, Foxxy Cleopatra drops into the main plot about Austin and his father Nigel.
* TheMovie of ''Film/TheChroniclesOfNarnia: Film/PrinceCaspian'' throws in a love subplot between Susan Pevensie and the title character, giving Susan more to do than she had in the book. Audience reactions were mixed.
* TheMovie of ''Film/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy''. We do not see much of Arthur and Trillian together; we do not see much chemistry between them. She [[{{Weenalized}} wasn't even supposed to be his love interest anyway]], but in the end, he is supposed to love her enough that he would give up his place on Earth for her. Despite the negative reaction a lot of fans had, it's worth noting that Creator/DouglasAdams penned their romance himself before he died; he was one of the writers for the script and it was his idea to include it. Adams was also fond of changing the details of the story for each adaptation, so it was only a matter of time before he decided to make them love interests.
* Parodied in ''Film/WaynesWorld''. At the end of the first movie, as the [[spoiler:whole cast gets their happy ending in Hollywood fashion]], Garth wins the love of his dream girl. She was an earlier throw-away joke... in fact, the audience was not sure whether she really existed or was just a dream.
* In ''Film/{{Tombstone}}'', Wyatt's thing with the actress serves little more than to illustrate his inner conflict [[spoiler:and to provide a happy ending]]. In this case [[TruthInTelevision it actually happened.]]
* ''Film/RomeoMustDie'' with Jet Li and Aaliyah felt more like a generic kung fu flick than an adaptation of ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet''. The two leads had no intimate scenes (not even kissing), and felt more like PlatonicLifePartners. In fact, Aaliyah herself added nothing to the story besides being [[SassyBlackWoman sassy]] and helping Jet Li [[WouldntHitAGirl take out a female goon]] in an admittedly-cool fight scene. However, Jet Li's films generally lack romance, which he says is because of his marriage. It's a strange excuse for an ''actor''.
* ''Film/PumaMan'' has the romance between Tony the Puma Man and Jane Dobson. Its bearing on the plot was minimal at best.
* ''Film/VerticalLimit'' is about an expedition to rescue stranded climbers on K2, the second highest mountain in the world. It ends with a kiss between the male lead and a female nurse after a movie whose only hints of sexual or romantic tension were between [[BrotherSisterIncest the lead and his sister]] and [[HoYay a pair of brothers]].
%%* ''Film/NationalTreasure'''s "romance"
* The Brian De Palma adaptation of ''Film/{{Carrie|1976}}''. It creates a scene where Tommy dances with Carrie at the prom and kisses her, implying he has fallen for her, despite this being a pity date. The remake averts this by having the same scene but then revealing Carrie had just gone into an elaborate day dream. In a bit of irony, the remake shows that Carrie does have a crush on Tommy while the original just had the kiss come out of the blue.
* ''Film/{{Dragonheart}}'' has this between Bowen and Kara who HookedUpAfterwards. It's biggest contribution to the plot is [[VillainousCrush to make Einon creepier]].
* Kelly and Jason in ''Film/MysteryTeam''. Granted, Kelly was essential to Jason's character development, but it's still a fine line.
* ''Film/{{Oldboy 2003}}'': Dae-su's relationship with Mi-do initially appears to be an essentially irrelevant sub-plot to his quest to find the person responsible for locking him up all those years, [[spoiler: [[SubvertedTrope but instead turns out to be the whole point]] of the villain's revenge scheme]].
* The romantic subplot of ''Film/TheSorcerersApprentice'' would, on its own, have made a decent RomanticComedy about a music buff falling for a physics nerd. As a subplot to a modern fantasy film, it felt like it was duct-taped on.
* The romance between Sam and Mikaela/Carly in the Film/{{Transformers}} movies is one of the main attractions of the movies that doesn't involve Giant Robots and Explosions. When Mikaela is PutOnABus in the third movie it has little impact on Sam as a character or the plot.
* During the early stages of the ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'' adaptation, one exec purportedly tried to crowbar in a love interest for ''Rorschach''. It didn't take long for that to be shot down. Rorschach is enough of a mess that he can barely accept having friends, much less anyone more intimate - ''and'' he's disgusted by sex.
* In ''Film/ScoobyDoo,'' every human gets a LoveInterest. Fred and Daphne hook up at the end, and while fans sort of expect them to, it's not hinted beforehand. Shaggy gets a LoveInterest named Mary Jane and their romance is unnecessary, but she at least takes some part of the plot. Velma is the strangest: she has a short conversation with a random guy halfway through the movie, mostly for exposition, and winds up with him at the end.
* ''Film/KingKong2005'' has an in-universe example of this as Denham's justification for hiring Anne for his movie:
-->I go out there and I sweat blood to make an ideal picture, and then the critics say "If this picture had a love interest, it would gross twice as much."
* ''Film/TheRaid'' proves that TropesAreTools. The heroic Officer Rama has a pregnant wife who appears briefly at the beginning and then is gone from the rest of the movie. Knowing this makes us care more about what happens to him and a later scene has him drawing the strength he needs to keep fighting from his love for her.
* ''Film/TheIronHorse'' is a drama about the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. The hero is an idealistic Pony Express rider and son of a railroad surveyor, who does battle against an evil land speculator and his corrupt engineer sidekick. Eventually the hero defeats the bad guys and the railroad is built. He also has a girlfriend. They have a romance. If every bit of footage with the romance had been eaten by termites, the flow of the story would not be any different.
* In ''Film/JurassicWorld'' the romance between Claire and Owen could not only be easily excised without changing anything, but there's barely any time for it to even happen. It's established that they had gone on one terrible date some time prior to the movie, then everything else they say and do is about dealing with dinosaurs except for one wordless kiss halfway through, then they get together at the end.
* One of the criticisms of ''Film/AntMan'' is that the [[spoiler: ending kiss between Scott and Hope]] comes completely out of nowhere, and that there was little buildup for it in the actual film. Especially since Hope actively ''resents'' Scott for most of the movie because her father chose this random dude to be his successor and not his own daughter.
* ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'' has a kiss between Cap and Agent 13/Sharon Carter. This seems to be there because they've been an on and off couple in the comics and she was introduced in ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheWinterSoldier'' as a potential love interest. However, there's no indication they've even seen each other in the two years that passed in-universe. Also, he has just learned she's the niece of his World War II love interest [[spoiler:who just died.]]
* ''Film/PitchPerfect'': Becca and Jesse's relationship adds little to the plot and nothing to her character. All of her growth comes about due to her interaction with The Bellas. We get no indication that he has any impact on her whatsoever. The filmmakers seem wise to this since by the time of the sequel, Jesse is essentially DemotedToExtra.
* ''Film/BlackPanther'': It's easy to forget that Nakia is technically T'Challa's ''ex''-girlfriend for most of the movie. The ComedyOfRemarriage subplot feels so tacked-on, you need only change a few lines of dialogue to think they were a current couple dealing with the stress of a long-distance relationship.

* Parodied in the ''Literature/CiaphasCain'' novel ''Death or Glory,''. A footnote describes a popular holodrama called 'Cain's Heroes' that was made out of Cain's adventures and explains that Cain himself [[note]] THE HERO OF THE IMPERIUM [[/note]] loathed the production largely because of a "wholly invented subplot in which one of the militia recruits has a clandestine love affair with him". Though there's just a hint that Cain slept with one of the refugees, a female techpriest.
* Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures novel ''Lucifer Rising'' describes a holodrama based on the events of the TV story "The Seeds of Death". This has grafted on a romance between Professor Eldred (who has become thirty years younger) and Gia (TheSpock).
%%* The romance between Jonathan and Shannon in ''A Skeleton in God's Closet''.
* Beck and Johannssen's relationship in ''Literature/TheMartian''; not only does it have little to no impact on the plot, it happens almost entirely off the page. [[Film/TheMartian The movie]] cut it down even further to Johannssen giving Beck a quick good-luck kiss at the climax and showing them having HookedUpAfterwards [[BabiesEverAfter and started a family]] in the last couple of scenes.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'': Starting in season 7 Phoebe would have three different boyfriends, each lasting five or six episodes, [[OutOfFocus just to give her character something to do]]. An episode of season 8 rectified this.
%%* The romance that develops between Mick and Roe in "Series/TheLastTrain" is unnecessary and if removed would not affect the plot in any way.
%%* ''Series/DancingOnTheEdge'' involves a love affair between band leader Louie and photographer Sarah. It doesn't add to the storyline.
* The romance between Jonathan Archer and Erika Hernandez on ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'' was almost entirely unnecessary to the plot -- while Erika herself was critical in helping Archer deal with the emotional hell that was season 3, that story arc would have worked just as well if they were merely old war buddies, and in any case her main purpose to the plot was to be the HeroOfAnotherStory. TropesAreNotBad, however; the actors have lovely chemistry, their relationship does make sense, and it never becomes a RomanticPlotTumor.
* ''{{Series/Babylon 5}}'' has Carolyn Sykes in the pilot and her SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute Catherine Sakai as a recurring character in season one as love interests for Commander Sinclair. Carolyn merely acted as the exposition recipient regarding Sinclair's experience during the Minbari War. Catherine did receive a subplot relevant to the overall arc, but once Sinclair was PutOnABus in season 2, she was never seen again. Even when TheBusCameBack for Sinclair, she wasn't referenced. It was eventually mentioned she'd disappeared. In any case, neither romance was really tied to Sinclair's story arc and they could easily have just been old friends or relatives. This is all quite thoroughly rectified in ''To Dream in the City of Sorrows'', the only fully canon novel of the B5 universe and considered by JMS an essential part of the storyline.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights''
** Al of the romances in could have been developed much further than they were, but Aribeth/player in the main campaign does not count as a TokenRomance because it is extremely plot-relevant. Aarin/player and the three possible pairings in Hordes of the Underdark qualify.
** There's the option of hitting on some of your teammates after you complete their third "find [item]" quest, which have no significance at all beyond one pickup line and are never brought up again.
** ''VideoGame/TheBastardOfKosigan'' has an extremely large number of [[OptionalSexualEncounter possibilities]]. However, all of the [=NPCs=] involved will either die a senseless death, disappear and never be encountered again, or never mention your encounter after they join up with you.
** ''VideoGame/ADanceWithRogues'' mostly averts this, though it has five romances, because the player's quest to find somewhere she belongs is a major part of the story and the romance partners help out.
* ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'' has two of the original four, due to cut content.
%%* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfGraces'',
* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'' plays with this trope. The romances with [[BiTheWay Leliana]] and [[DepravedBisexual Zevran]] have no impact on the plot. However, Alistair's romance becomes extremely relevant when it becomes apparent that [[spoiler:one of you has to die to end the Blight]], not to mention that with the right Origin [[spoiler:you can become queen.]] Equally, Morrigan's romance ends with her desperately trying to deny her feelings for you [[spoiler:because she has to get you to impregnate her with baby-Cthulhu and then run away through the Eluvian to an entirely different plane of existence.]] Yeah, [[LoveHurts it doesn't end well.]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', you can choose a spouse from a wide range of people (race and gender are irrelevant), and all it amounts to is them moving into your house and providing a few services. None are relevant to the main plot, and none come across as particularly romantic - it's just another feature for your home. {{Lampshaded}} and (maybe) {{justified}} in-story: it's stated that because Skyrim is a violent place where lifespans tend to be short, most people don't bother with lengthy courtships or a lot of romance.
* George and Nico get this by the back end of the first ''VideoGame/BrokenSword''. Up until the train to Scotland, the two spend their sparse moments of time together sniping at each other and Nico even shoots down George's attempts to probe into her relationship status by reminding him they were working together in a strictly business capacity. It's a little jarring to have George suddenly refer to Nico as "the woman I love" and even go so far as to kiss her while she's tied up (she's offended, but not by much). Roughly a day later, they're embracing and otherwise acting like a couple.
** The Director's Cut edition attempts to pad this out a little by having Nico's inner monologues during her segments say she's comforted by having George working with her, but since these segments are bolted on to the existing plot she still doesn't act any nicer to George during the bulk of the game.
** Parodied and lampshaded by Director Hawks in ''The Smoking Mirror'':
--->'''Hawks''': "Gotta think box office! People like that kind of thing."
* In [[VideoGame/ShiningForce Shining Force 2]] the main character receives the StandardHeroReward, while [[UnluckyChildhoodFriend Sarah]] gets paired with Kazin.
* ''Videogame/DragonsDogma'' features an Affinity system for almost every NPC in the game that rises when you either give them a gift or do sidequests for them. Unless you deliberately game the system, your character may end up with someone completely unintended such as shopkeepers or even child characters as their Beloved in the final quest.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Discussed and mocked in ''WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation'', in regards to forcing Token Romances into games where it feels particularly jarring, such as Survival Horror.
-->"The trademark sense of isolation is another point the game misses like a champ when you're given a spunky female sidekick. This is another peculiarly American habit that seems to always go unchallenged: why does a love interest subplot have to be shoehorned into everything? Imagine if there was some kind of parallel universe where every game and movie, regardless of genre, was required to incorporate at least one line dancing competition. We'd think they were all raving lunatics!"

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' appears to play this straight in Book 1. A LoveTriangle subplot ends with Korra and Mako getting together, but not only does it contribute little to the main plot, it comes across as shallow, with the characters involved not getting a whole lot of friendly interactions together and only seeming interested in one another due to their looks. Book 2, however, [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructs]] it. It turns out that Korra and Mako don't have any real chemistry together, they frequently break into arguments over the smallest of disagreements, and can never reconcile their differences. It culminates in them eventually breaking up. [[spoiler:They do not get back together.]]