->''"He was never mine to lose."''
-->-- '''Eponine''', ''Theatre/LesMiserables''

She is beautiful. She is sweet. She is sincere. '''''So why can't she get the guy already?''''' The Unrequited Tragic Maiden is (usually) a female character that seems to have all the perfect characteristics to make her the ideal romantic interest or even TheIngenue of the story, but alas, for some reason the object of her affections does not view her as such. Usually this is because she is [[OvershadowedByAwesome overshadowed by another female character]] who has captivated the heart of the guy, placing the Unrequited Tragic Maiden on the sideline only to be seen as a [[JustFriends friend or ward]].

No matter how painful her yearning for love is, the Unrequited Tragic Maiden never truly achieves her happily ever after with the one she loves. She endures it all with a sad smile and is often reduced to a tragic fate. She is the poster child of {{Unrequited Love|Tropes}}. In the end she will often sacrifice herself or her happiness [[IWantMyBelovedtoBeHappy to make sure her beloved is happy]].

[[BaseBreakingCharacter Fan reactions to her tend to be mixed.]] Many fans will cheer and push for the Maiden's success, to the extent of calling TheHero an UngratefulBastard if he doesn't fall at the girl's feet (because the--more often than not '''never asked for'''--pining and sacrifices are seen by fans [[EntitledToHaveYou as him owing her affection or sex, no matter what he actually thinks or says]]) or SlutShaming any possible female love rival (because TheHero is seen as [[DoubleStandard a tool of women's validation]] and some think that women [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy shouldn't act on their own romantic feelings if it interferes with others's]]); and if the Maiden doesn't succeed, much bashing of ''the author'' shall be expected. On the other hand, others will turn against the Maiden and call her insulting names, from "idiot" to "bitch" to "slut" to "bad example for women": this is especially obvious if either TheHero has another prospective love interest or female friend [[RealWomenDontWearDresses who's perceived as being "stronger" and "cooler"]] than the maiden herself (because again, TheHero is a tool for women's validation, and a woman seen as "strong" will not be fully completed if she doesn't have the love interest that fans want for her), or the Maiden has a second prospective love interest (who's often male, but at times female) whose canon-or-not feelings she passes up on to favor TheHero (because a woman's feelings for Man 1 are automatically less important than Man 2/Woman 3's feelings for her, and she ''owes'' Man 2/Woman 3 affection no matter what).

(It should also be pointed out that, especially in modern times, several of these Maidens are also full-blooded characters with motivations, relationships, backstories and/or interests that go beyond their {{Unrequited Love}}s. And yet many fans will '''insist''' on [[NeverLiveItDown only focusing on their love woes]], either ignoring or refusing to see their non-romantic {{character depth}}s.)

Compare to HopelessSuitor and RomanticRunnerUp, who is the brother of this trope but usually with a less tragic end. May wind up becoming TheLostLenore after death if the person they loved grieves for them, blames themselves for her death or else only discovers that he loved her when it was too late. Contrast to GreenEyedMonster, in which the woman is more prone to sabotage and a devious nature unlike the docile nature of the Unrequited Tragic Maiden.

This is starting to become either a DiscreditedTrope (as romantic portrayals of females become less dependent on the male characters), a DeconstructedTrope (to showcase a point-of-view of it being an unrealistic idea of romantic love) or a GenderInvertedTrope (since male examples are starting to be more common).


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* PlayedWith quite a bit in ''Anime/PrincessTutu'' -- both TheHeroine Duck/Tutu ''and'' [[AntiVillain Anti-Villainess]] Rue/Kraehe vie for this position. Considering that [[spoiler:Drosselmeyer was trying to write a tragedy]], it's not that surprising. And considering [[ScrewDestiny the theme of the show]], it's not surprising that [[spoiler:they both subvert this role]].
** Duck has an [[UnrequitedLove unrequited crush]] on [[PrinceCharming Mytho]], and at first she thinks that he'll take notice of her once she starts helping him as [[MagicalGirl Princess Tutu]], but soon she discovers that because she's Tutu, [[StarCrossedLovers she'll die if she ever confesses her love to him]]. Not to mention that although Mytho falls in love with Tutu, [[LovesMyAlterEgo he never finds out that Duck is Tutu]], and only thinks of her as a friend. Ultimately {{Subverted|Trope}}, though, when she realizes that [[spoiler:[[LovingAShadow she was never really in love with him to begin with]]--she ''does'' care greatly for Mytho, but more outta admiration than romantic love]]; therefore she refuses to give up hope as [[spoiler:[[MadArtist Drosselmeyer]]]] clearly intended her to, and [[spoiler: she falls in love with ''another'' man... Fakir, TheLancer to Mytho and the local KnightInSourArmor.]]
** [[DarkMagicalGirl Rue/Kraehe]] is set up as the hypotenuse of the LoveTriangle, TheVamp and temptress who wants to corrupt the heroic Prince. Once [[DarkAndTroubledPast her very tragic reasons to be the way she is]], the massive pain she has gone through thanks to the BigBad and her ''actual'' love for Mytho are shown, though, she becomes more and more of [[AntiVillain a tragic character.]] Mytho starts out [[EmotionlessBoy indifferent]] to her despite Rue actually ''being his girlfriend'', and ends up [[spoiler: downright abusive once she contaminates what's left of his heart]], while he clearly develops feelings for Tutu. After Rue/Kraehe finally manages to express her love [[spoiler:via a mixture of AnguishedDeclarationOfLove and an HeroicSacrifice (and one that Duck/Tutu ''explicitely says that she would have NOT managed to pull off, were she in Rue/Kraehe's shoes'')]], however, [[spoiler: Mytho remembers their shared past]], [[spoiler: recognizes her love as well as his own love for her]], [[spoiler: rescues her from a cruel DeathTrap she's been put inside after her HeroicSacrifice]], and [[spoiler:[[HappilyEverAfter takes her as his princess]]]] at the end.
* In ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'', Sayaka Miki is a sharp, vicious {{deconstruction}} of the trope. She ''seems'' to play it straight at first sight (she yearns for Kyousuke's love, but he shows no romantic interest in her and [[spoiler:after Sayaka doesn't confess her love for him in time, he hooks up with Hitomi, who ''does'' come forward when she had the chance)]]... [[HiddenDepths but the truth is FAR more complex]]. [[ShyblueHairedGirl Sayaka]] already had serious self-esteem problems from ''before'' becoming a MagicalGirl, and when she's offered to become one and mentions that [[GreaterNeedThanMine she wanted to use her wish for Kyousuke's sake]], CoolBigSis Mami [[ArmorPiercingQuestion immediately questions her purpose.]] She makes her wish for him against Mami's warnings, since [[AFriendInNeed she sincerely believes it would still be worth it]]; only ''then'' Sayaka learns that being a MagicalGirl [[BlessedwithSuck is NOT as sparkly and beautiful as she thinks it is]], which clashes with her black and white view of the world ''and'' her emotional conflicts. While [[spoiler: losing in the LoveTriangle]] is a part of the reason why [[spoiler: [[DespairEventHorizon she fell]] [[FaceHeelTurn out of grace]] and [[AndThenJohnWasAZombie witched out]] and it took her [[Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion quite a while to recover]] ]], it's not the '''''only''''' reason... but [[FanDumb several of her "fans"]] peg the girl '''only''' as the local Unrequited Tragic Maiden, reducing her to a one-note character and little more.
* Shirley Fenette from ''Anime/CodeGeass''. At first PlayedForLaughs, then for [[PlayedForDrama intense drama]] with a side dish of BreakTheCutie. [[spoiler:And right when it looks like she ''may'' have the chance to get Lelouch's love... BAM! Fatal injury to the gut, pool of her own blood, death in front of Lelouch.]]
* Played with in ''Anime/AnoHanaTheFlowerWeSawThatDay''. Meiko aka Menma suffers a tragic death right after hearing Jintan deny having a crush on her. In reality, he returned her feelings while she was alive, and still liked her even when she was a ghost.
* Kaede Fuyou from the ''VisualNovel/{{Shuffle}}'' TV series is a rather unusual example, as she plays this straight first... and then dips into ''{{yandere}}''. [[spoiler:Though she gets better, and [[DarkAndTroubledPast she has pretty good reasons]] for her {{Yandere}} episode.]] In the original VisualNovel, whether Kaede is this or not...it actually depends on the player.
* PlayedWith in regards to [[ShrinkingViolet Hinata]] [[NiceGirl Hyuga]] in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''. For the majority of the series, she ''seemingly'' played this trope straight--Naruto did grow to care for her quite a bit, but [[ObliviousToLove he never noticed]] [[EveryoneCanSeeIt her feelings for him]], even after the times she put her own life on the line to save him, and instead had a [[LovingAShadow one-sidedcrush]] on [[{{Tsundere}} Sakura]]. Even when [[ShipSinking he let go of Sakura]] after Chapter 469, and even when he and Hinata started having [[UnresolvedSexualTension significant]] [[HoldingHands moments]] [[MindlinkMates together]] from the WarArc onward, Naruto ''still'' never noticed Hinata's feelings for him. In the GagSeries spin-off and some of the anime {{Filler}}s, this situation was often parodied for the sake of comic relief. It finally got Subverted in the [[DistantFinale epilogue]], [[spoiler:where [[OfficialCouple Naruto and Hinata]] are HappilyMarried with two children]]. It got completely Averted in the {{canon}} movie ''Anime/TheLastNarutoTheMovie'', where, judging by the dialogue from the other characters ([[ShipperOnDeck including]] [[CoolBigSis Sakura]]), it's heavily implied that [[spoiler:Naruto ''had'' been in love with Hinata for quite some time, but he couldn't fully realize it until the movie for two reasons. First, his emotionally-stunted childhood and lack of a stable and loving home environment left him unable to properly tell the difference between familial love or even the love for ramen from [[WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove romantic love]]. Second, Naruto confirms in his HeroicVow that, deep down, [[InsecureLoveInterest he's insecure around Hinata]] because [[ICantBelieveAGuyLikeYouWouldNoticeMe he never thought someone like her]] would genuinely [[WartsAndAll love him for him]]--which was implied by [[ShipperOnDeck Kiba]] in the WarArc.]].
* Creator/MichiyoAkaishi's stories have two of these:
** There's one in ''Manga/TenYoriMoHoshiYoriMo''... [[spoiler:But it's ''not'' Mio Mizumori, who actually has her feelings for Shou requited very soon. It's Miyabi Fujiwara, the local {{Ojou}}, who falls for Shou at first, then is manipulated by Tadaomi due to her feelings... and ends up dying in a plane crash caused by Tadaomi in an attempto to kill Shou.]]
** Akaishi also provides the ''very'' RareMaleExample: [[spoiler:Naozumi "Kotaka" Yatsuka]] from ''Manga/{{Amakusa 1637}}'', who's painfully and deeply in love with Natsuki and that ''really'' doesn't help him [[spoiler: when he's stuck in the past and ends up GoingMadFromTheIsolation.]]
* [[spoiler:Shirley Marks]] from ''Manga/CaptainTsubasa'' loves [[spoiler:Stefan Levin]] deeply, can't tell him her feelings [[spoiler:because his dead fiancée Karen was her best friend]] and she clearly knows he simply can't love her back. This is [[LoveHurts a pretty sucky situation]], but the girl is somewhat [[GenreSavvy savvier]] than usual and she attempts to not complain about it.
* ''Manga/InuYasha'':
** At some point, this is discussed... and ultimately defied: [[spoiler:The Baby deals several and ''extremely'' cruel {{Breaking Lecture}}s to Kagome, telling her that she's pretty much condemned to be this to Inu-Yasha himself, due to his feelings for his ex-girlfriend (and Kagome's past self) Kikyou. Kagome is ''this'' close to give in and have a FaceHeelTurn, which is the Baby's purpose... but then she [[ShutUpHannibal snaps back at him]] via first admitting that yes, she ''is'' often [[ClingyJealousGirl jealous of Kikyou]], but then adding that these feelings are [[HumansAreFlawed proper of human beings]], and finally stating that she ''does'' love Inu-Yasha anyway.]] Such emotional honesty, and specially coming from [[spoiler:a {{Tsundere}} and self-admitted ClingyJealousGirl]], is VERY welcome and refreshing. [[spoiler: And even more so when [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome it keeps her from]] going the "LoveMakesYouEvil" way.]]
** In the anime, Princess Sara plays it straighter. [[spoiler:Her deal is [[BreakTheCutie much]] [[DespairEventHorizon more]] [[DealWithTheDevil complex]], though.]]
* Played with in ''Manga/DailyLifeWithMonsterGirl'', with Mero. She ''[[InvokedTrope wants]]'' to be the Unrequited Tragic Maiden to the man she harbors affection for, eagerly stepping on the sidelines and only wanting to be a tangential part of the protagonist's harem. Later on, after she has a brush with an ''actual'' tragedy, [[RealityEnsues she decides that maybe it's not all it's cracked up to be.]]
* ''Manga/MarmaladeBoy'' :
** In the anime, Anju Kitahara has more than one whiff of this, being a YamatoNadeshiko and loving her ChildhoodFriend Yuu, who already has a girlfriend named Miki by the time they meet again. She immediately [[GenreSavvy recognizes the trope]] and tells Miki that not only she will not step in between them but she'll support them as much as she can. [[spoiler:She ''does'' have a slim chance later when Yuu and Miki break up during a crisis, but since they hook up again later, Anju decides to step aside.]]
** Played much straighter with Ryoko Momoi, a local teacher who is this to her fellow teacher Shinichi Namura, who is in love with [[HotForStudent his student Meiko and is loved back]] [[StarCrossedLovers despite how everything is against them.]] [[spoiler:She gets better in the end, but not before much heartbreak.]]
* ''Manga/DetectiveConan'':
** Several of these appear, with the most tragic case being [[spoiler: Shouko Utakura from the ''Seance's Double Locked Mystery Room Case''. Who ends up '''murdered''' by the guy she loves (Ryuuichi Mifune) because he mistakenly believes her to be involved in the death of his girlfriend Kira. (She sorta ''is'', but definitely NOT in the way he expected her to.)]]
** The reason why [[ShippingTorpedo Sonoko]] dislikes Shinichi is because she thinks Ran will end up as Shinichi's UTM. For all that she knows, he's out there resolving cases while she pines endlessly for him! (Little do the girls know that Shinichi is the titular Conan, however.) [[spoiler:Sadly, the ''Stranger of Ten Years'' OAV implies that were Shinichi not to return to normal, ''[[IWillWaitForYou Ran would be very likely to play the trope straight]]'', or at least he deeply fears that she would do it.]]
** There was a case where Conan, Eri and Ran met up with a judo champion named Yuuko. She used to be this to her [[SempaiKouhai sempai]] Hajime, a sportsman whom she adored enough to get into sports to follow his example... but was already HappilyMarried when this took place, so Yuuko's love for him was fully unrequited. [[spoiler:Yuuko married another man, Shirou, who believed she was ''still'' hung up on Hajime... and got so horribly jealous that he ''deliberately had an affair with Hajime's wife'' to "punish" the woman who, in his mind, didn't love him enough. When Yuuko realized this, she was so angry and hurt by Shirou's pettiness she ended up ''murdering'' him.]]
* ''Manga/CandyCandy'';
** [[spoiler:Annie Brighton]] ''believes'' that she is this to her beloved [[spoiler:Archibald "Archie" Cornwell]] in the BoardingSchool arc, which does ''not'' mixes well with her strong self-esteem issues coming from both [[spoiler:her background as an orphan]] and [[spoiler:her secret jealousy of the titular Candy, her best friend and the girl whom Archie seems to crush on]]. It turns out that [[spoiler: Annie's love for Archie ''is'' requited in the end, as he realizes that while he ''does'' care for Candy, [[SecondLove Annie is the girl he actually loves]]. And Candy is a ShipperOnDeck [[LoveHurts with her own romantic woes]], anyway.]]
** Also subverted with [[spoiler:Susanna Marlowe.]] [[spoiler:She has ALL the signs of being Terry Granchester's tragic maiden -- but he ultimately decides to stay by her side after she falls victim to BreakTheCutie.]]
* In ''Manga/ProjectARMS'', Yugo is clearly in love with Ryo, but knows he loves Katsumi and thus does everything in her power to help rescue her. [[spoiler:She eventually dies saving him and everyone else from the Jabberwocky.]]
* Subverted by Youko Nakagawa in the anime of ''Manga/CardCaptorSakura''. She pines for Touya Kinomoto who (unbeknownst to her) is starting to develop feelings for [[HoYay Yukito Tsukishiro]], and plans to tell him about her love in the SchoolFestival. She does cry when Touya politely turns her affections down at the end of the episode she's featured in, but she actually apologizes for crying and tells him she'll be okay. Her only request is for him to dance with her around the bonfire.
* Played for Laughs in ''Manga/UruseiYatsura'', with Lum playing the tragic CuteAlienGirl, pining for the love of a CasanovaWannabe named Ataru. [[spoiler:Interestingly enough, this was supposed to be played straight with Ataru staying with his original girlfriend, [[FirstGirlWins Shinobu]], after all the hijinks ended. But Lum became such a [[SpotlightStealingSquad popular character]] that the storyline was changed so [[LastGirlWins Lum]] wins in the end.]]
* ''Anime/AshitaNoNadja'':
** Sylvie Arte is a beautiful woman who's in love with a BlitheSpirit friend of hers named Raphael [[spoiler:who simply cannot love her back because he was widowed in very tragic circumstances]]. The trope is also discussed, as Sylvie explains her situation and Raphael's to Nadja and warns her that not everything in love is happiness.
** This is also what [[spoiler:Marianne Hamilton]] turns out to be in the end, since [[spoiler:her love for Francis turns out to be pretty sincere, but she can't do anything to sway him away from Nadja.]]
* In the backstory of ''Manga/PleaseSaveMyEarth'', there is [[spoiler:Enju towards Gyokuran. And arguably Shusuren, [[LesYay in regards to her]].]] In the present, [[spoiler:Enju's reincarnation Issei was about to become a RareMaleExample to Jinpachi, the reincarnation of Gyokuran, but it's averted as he ultimately falls for Sakura aka Shusuren's reincarnation.]]
* Heartbreakingly subverted in ''Manga/FushigiYuugiGenbuKaiden''. [[spoiler:Firuka sincerely believed that she was this to Urumiya Hagas... but in reality Hagas loved her dearly. He couldn't ever show it to her, however, since he was an IllBoy whose days were numbered ''and'' was planning a SelfSacrificeScheme; Firuka only learned that his other wish was for her to be happy and loved when he was ''already'' dead, and the one who told her was his surviving twin brother Tegu aka the one Hagas pulled his SelfSacrificeScheme for, and who'd eventually become Firuka's SecondLove.]]
* Surprisingly, once [[RareMaleExample his]] actual motivations are explored, [[spoiler:Juuzo "Ultimate Boxer" Sakakura]] from ''Anime/DanganRonpa3'' ends up fitting in this trope. [[spoiler:He loves Kyousuke "Ultimate "StudentCouncilPresident" Munakata deeply but knows he can't have his romantic affection, would rather step aside and give Chisa "Ultimate Housekeeper" Yukizome the chance to love him and being loved back, suffers enormously for such feelings (even if he shows it in very different ways than the standard trope), and ends up dying in a terribly tragic manner to, among other things, protect Munakata with his life. His FamousLastWords are about how much he wants Munakata to live no matter what.]]
* For such a short story, ''Manga/NatsuENoTobira'' has two of these for TheProtagonist, a PrettyBoy named Marion Fiesse:
** The first is Ledania Francoise, a quiet and gentle young woman who holds secret feelings for him, while [[HelloNurse all the boys in town have crushes on her.]] Marion is doesn't return her love, [[spoiler: and when Ledania ''does'' tell him about, he's already in love with Sara and rejects her]].
** The second is [[spoiler:actually a RareMaleExample: Claude, one of Marion's school friends. Claude claimed to have feelings for Ledania but in reality his love is all for Marion, and for worse he's strongly implied to be [[DrugsAreBad drug-addicted]]. When he gives Marion a disastrous AnguishedDeclarationOfLove with a side-dish of AttemptedRape, a terrified Marion hits him, and Claude is found dead in the river the day after; Marion is [[HeroicBSOD devastated]] and [[MyGreatestFailure heavily blames himself]].]]

* In the original story of Creator/HansChristianAndersen's fairy tale, ''Literature/TheLittleMermaid'', the mermaid rescues and falls in love with a prince. He marries a different girl whom he believes had rescued him, and who actually ''did'' help in his rescue (and in some versions she ''was'' actually his betrothed from before the mermaid incident happened). Because she was unsuccesful in making the prince fall in love with her, the mermaid turns to sea foam, choosing his happiness over her own life. In some versions she is rewarded for her sacrifice with a new life as an air sprite, during which time she will earn a soul (mermaids don't naturally have them) and go to Heaven.
* Myth/ArthurianLegend:
** ''The Lady of Shalott'' (the page image) from Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem of the same name which is based on the Arthurian Legend character Elaine of Astolat, who pined after Lancelot (who, of course, only had eyes for Guinevere) and eventually died of a broken heart.
** The Arthurian canon also includes a strong aversion of this trope. The young lady in love with Lancelot in this case opts for a platonic relationship in which Lancelot becomes her friend and champion. It works.
* ''Literature/{{Ivanhoe}}'': Rebecca of York to Ivanhoe, due entirely to the fact that she's [[ValuesDissonance Jewish]]. She warns Ivanhoe not to fall for her at their first meeting and does a graceful IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy bow out at the end allowing [[FirstGirlWins Rowena]] and Ivanhoe to be together and devotes the rest of her life to doing good works. Notable in that even the ''author'' [[FanPreferredCouple preferred]] Rebecca and Ivanhoe, but couldn't pair them up due to MoralGuardians.
* Actually subverted in the original ''Literature/LesMiserables'' with Eponine -- she's more pitiful than tragic, and [[{{Yandere}} far from selfless]]. She despairs when he falls in love with [[TheIngenue Cosette]], so she figures [[IfICantHaveYou she'll just have him die with her]].
* ''Literature/ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath'' has two {{Gender Inverted|Trope}} examples:
** Dally to Jame. He's her first friend in Tai-tastigon, and as good a friend as you can imagine, trusting and honest. He loves Jame, so he just keeps being a really good friend, hoping she'll start liking him too. But unfortunately for him, she's never shown any interest like that in non-Kencyr. In the end, [[spoiler:Dally gets killed]].
** Tirandys to Jamethiel Dream-weaver. When their lord made a DealWithTheDevil, Tirandys followed him, knowingly and willingly damning himself--partly due to MyMasterRightOrWrong, and partly because he loved Jamethiel. She was already the above mentioned lord's consort, though, and Tirandys didn't get get her. But oh, he loved her, and even ''3,000 years of unrequited love later'', he said:
--->'''Tirandys''': She was only his tool and may yet save her compromised honor by choosing to disobey him. I would gladly give what remains of both my honor and soul to see that.
* Deconstructed in ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'' with Éowyn. She is beautiful, she is of noble birth, she falls in love with Aragorn... who is already engaged to Arwen and has been in love with her for a long time. She even actively works towards a tragic death, which doesn't work. And not only she's saved by [[MedicalMonarch Aragorn]], but he had recognized her feelings and ''specifically'' tells Éowyn's older brother Éomer that she's [[LovingAShadow more in love with the idea of him]] rather than with ''him'', in what's quite the direct pot shot to the trope itself. [[spoiler: Once Éowyn calms down and starts recovering, she bonds with the WarriorPrince Faramir, and they develop feelings for one another; the next time Aragorn speaks to them, he notes how she's much happier than before.]]


[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/HeartbeatOfTheWarGod'' has Shukidevi, Tenou's seer and half-sister, who holds a great passion for Yasha and equally great enmity towards Ashura to whom Yasha is absolutely devoted and loyal towards. She's also concious that that [[HopelessSuitor Yasha will never love her the same he does love Ashura]] but she is willing to be happy enough with [[spoiler:being the mother of his child.]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Emily from Tim Burton's ''WesternAnimation/CorpseBride'' could qualify as one of these. A beautiful young woman murdered on the night of her elopement [[spoiler:by who she THOUGHT was her true love]], she who spent her afterlife heartbroken and longing to experience real true love. When she found it in Victor, he was already betrothed to a woman named Victoria, [[PerfectlyArrangedMarriage with whom he sincerely was in love.]] Albeit Emily initially insisted that Victor keep a promise to marry and spend eternity with her [[AccidentalMarriage that he made unwittingly]], in the end she was willing to let him go and spend his life with his own true love, rather than keeping him to herself ''and'' causing Victoria a pain that wasn't much different from the one she felt. Once this was said and done, Emily finally released herself from her pain and was able to ascend to Heaven, [[ButterflyOfDeathAndRebirth her undead body turning into butterflies that peacefully flew away.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', Chloe is solidly pining after Clark for the first five seasons, and even after [[spoiler:getting together with Jimmy]] for season six and seven, it is pretty obvious that she would be with Clark if she gets to choose. Not to mention an AnguishedDeclarationOfLove in late season seven. Subverted when [[spoiler:she seems to be HappilyMarried with Jimmy]]. Double subverted when [[spoiler:Jimmy divorced her for always taking Clark's or Davis' side]]. ''Triple'' subverted when [[spoiler:she ends up with Oliver. Although that probably counts as being StrangledByTheRedString.]]
* Willow on ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' was this for a while, pining away for Xander, until she [[spoiler:got a boyfriend of her own. And then became (or realized she was) a lesbian or a lesbian-leaning bi.]]
* Emma on ''Series/BatesMotel'' seems to be one of these. She is every bit as hot as Bradley, but Norman just likes Bradley better.
* Molly Hooper on the BBC's ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' spend almost the entire show not-so-secretly pining for the main character, with questionable and within the fandom, very debatable results.

* ''Theatre/{{Giselle}}''. In some versions, Giselle falls in love with Albretch, but Albretch is engaged to Bathilde. After dying of a broken heart ([[IllGirl perhaps]] [[HeartTrauma literally]]), Giselle becomes TheLostLenore.
* Ophelia from ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' might be seen as one. Against the warning of her father, she's fallen in love with the Prince, and as soon as Hamlet begins to feign madness, the first thing he does is try to break off his relationship with Ophelia. [[BreakTheCutie She doesn't take it well]], and then things go FromBadToWorse. At her funeral, Hamlet sobs profusely for his love for her.
* Viola describes herself like this (although she claims to be talking about her sister) in the middle of "Twelfth Night", trying to explain to Orsino that sometimes you don't end up with the person you want and there's nothing you can do about it. She does get the guy at the end of the play, though.
-->'''Viola:''' My father had a daughter loved a man, as it might be, perhaps, were I a woman, I should your lordship.\\
'''Orsino:''' And what's her history?\\
'''Viola:''' A blank, my lord. She never told her love, but let concealment, like a worm i' the bud, feed on her damask cheek: she pined in thought, and with a green and yellow melancholy she sat like patience on a monument, smiling at grief.
* Liu the slave girl from Puccini's ''Theatre/{{Turandot}}''. She continues to follow and care for Timur only because his son, Calaf ''smiled at her''. Once. But Calaf is in love with the Princess Turandot and doesn't realize Liu's devotion to him until she dies rather than reveal vital information.
* Eponine from ''Theatre/LesMiserables'' is in love with Marius and does everything she can to help him, even though he is in love with Cosette and only views Eponine as a friend. This portrayal contrasts with the one she has in the original [[Literature/LesMiserables book]], where she's more of a StalkerWithACrush.
* Helen Chao from ''Flower Drum Song'' is one of these. Like Eponine, she gets one of the arguably better songs in the show and does everything she can to be a supportive friend to Ta. He first rejects her by chasing the wrong love object before again passing her over.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Namine from ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'' is drawn to Sora and wishes she were Kairi ([[spoiler: which, in a way, she ''is'']]. In the end, [[spoiler:she wants Sora and Kairi to be happy and merges with Kairi thus destroying her own identity and existence in some ways.]]
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'' has a few of these [[LauncherOfAThousandShips due to most characters being given multiple romantic partners]].
** The {{Trope Codifier}}s for ''Fire Emblem'' come from [[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia from the Archanea continent]]. Not only that, but they're sisters: the LadyOfWar and the eldest of the Pegasus Knights sisters, Palla, is in love with the cavalier Abel [[spoiler:who marries her youngest sister Est]], while her second sister Catria has feelings for Marth [[ChildhoodFriendRomance who is already in love with Princess Caeda.]]
*** Perhaps an even more tragic example, Princess Nyna. She is in love with General Camus of Grust, who ''does'' [[BodyguardCrush love her back]], [[UptownGirl but they can't be together due to social differences]] and him [[spoiler: having to keep her prisoner for some time to save her life]]. [[StarCrossedLovers The circumstances put them in opposite sides of the conflict]], [[spoiler:and Camus is seemingly killed by Marth over the course of the story.]] Afterwards, Nyna marries Prince Hardin (who ''also'' has a BodyguardCrush on her) for political reasons, has to pretend to romantically love him despite her love for Camus, and this drives him to despair [[spoiler: and ultimately become BrainwashedAndCrazy]] when he finds out. Even worse when it turns out that [[spoiler: Camus is NotQuiteDead but by that time he has assumed a new name and fell in love with the WhiteMagicianGirl Tatiana, [[FlorenceNightingaleEffect who saved his life]]. Though he ''does'' help release Nyna when she's used as a BarrierMaiden, he cannot stay with her any longer.]]
** [[spoiler:Princess]] Julia from ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral Geneaology of the Holy War]]''. She falls in love with [[spoiler: her half-brother]] Seliph, but cannot be with him... [[GoodBadBugs without glitches and lots of patience in the player's part]]. (And it's even lampshaded in-game, with Seliph's potential love interest [[CoolBigSis Lana]] actually ''feeling guilty'' upon having '''her''' feelings requited.) Averted in the Oosawa manga, where the ending strongly hints at them ending up together even after finding out that [[spoiler:they're half-siblings]], and [[spoiler:Lana's feelings seem to be geared towards another childhood friend of hers, Larcei's twin brother Ulster.]]
*** Ironically, ''Lana'' herself can potentially fit in as well if she doesn't get paired up with anyone. She will mourn about Seliph not noticing her crush on him, but if she stays single she doesn't tell him either.
*** Sylvia also is this in the Oosawa manga. She fell in love with Lewyn [[BecauseYouWereNiceToMe after he showed her the kindness nobody else would]] and proclaims her feelings for him more than once. However, Lewyn already has feelings for Erinys, whom he professes his love to during the Silessa arc, after apologizing to Sylvia due to being unable to like her back. When she confronts Erinys about it, rather than issuing a challenge over Lewyn like in the game, Sylvia explains her backstory and then runs away crying, which brings Erinys to tears too.
** [[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe Blazing Blade]] has a DoubleSubversion in [[WhiteMagicianGirl Priscilla]]. She ''does'' have a number of possible lovers she can Support with, but due to her status as nobility, she ultimately ends up in a StarCrossedLovers situation -- with all but one of them [[spoiler:the magician Erk, who has peerage only due to his tutelage under Pent, the Count of Reglay]].
*** Also, if Eliwood reaches an A support with anyone but Ninian, she will become this since her romantic feelings for Eliwood are set in stone regardless of support levels [[spoiler:and she must return with her brother Nils to the land beyond the Dragon's Gate anyway, if she's not romanced.]] Though [[BreakTheCutie she also has]] [[SurvivorsGuilt several other reasons]] [[HeroicSelfDeprecation to be depressed]], [[spoiler: and if she has to leave for the Dragon Gate lands, she is able to tell Eliwood goodbye without crying a single tear, [[SilkHidingSteel having recovered]] [[BreakTheCutie from her former trauma]].]]
** VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones has the VERY {{rare male example}}: [[spoiler:Prince Lyon of Grado, who has always had feelings for Princess Eirika and a very complicated bond with Prince Ephraim. Then it all goes FromBadToWorse...]]
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Path of Radiance]]'' has [[LadyOfWar Titania]], second-in-command and TeamMom of the Greil Mercenaries. It's revealed in her Supports with Ike that she grew close to and became enamored with Ike's father Greil while training under him, but [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy she pushed away her feelings for Greil]] when she discovered that he was already married with children. It should be no surprise that she (along with Ike and Mist) is hit the hardest by his death at the hands of the Black Knight (to the point that she breaks down into tears in their A Support when Ike thanks her for taking care of his father in his final years). She ''does'' have ShipTease with Ike, Boyd, and Rhys in ''Radiance'', but ultimately ends up single by the end of ''Dawn''.
** Cordelia in ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' is in love with Chrom and is hurting ''badly'' over it, but will never say anything because she's sure it'll never work out. The game mechanics don't even let the player pair them! Sadly, while this aspect ''is'' a prominent part of Cordelia's character, the FanDumb ignore her ''[[BrokenAce other]]'' [[SurvivorGuilt reasons]] [[ThePerfectionist to be depressed]] and in the process completely '' [[NeverLiveItDown flatten]]'' [[NeverLiveItDown her]] into either a Chrom-dependent weepy maiden who "deserves" his affection better than any of his other prospect girlfriends, or a creepy StalkerWithACrush who thinks she's entitled to Chrom and will throw everything away for him. And that, in a further subversion, [[SecondLove she can be romanced by other male characters]] -- including [[PlayerCharacter the Avatar]]). [[spoiler:In the BadFuture, however, her daughter Severa is under the mistaken impression that she still is one, tries [[CallingTheOldManOut to call her out on it]] in both frustration [[AngerBornOfWorry and fear of losing her in battle]]... [[PartingWordsRegret and it]] [[NeverGotToSayGoodbye backfires TERRIBLY]].]]
** In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'', Felicia's older sister and fellow NinjaMaid Flora is strongly implied to have a crush on the Avatar's BattleButler Jakob, and even tries to give him a LoveConfession in-story but [[AbortedDeclarationOfLove he interrupts her]]. What happens to her is different, according to what path is chosen... [[spoiler:In the ''Birthright'' path, she commits suicide after a huge BreakTheCutie process completely shatters her. In the ''Conquest'' path she can be recruited towards the end and potentially [[SecondLove be romanced by a male Avatar]]. In the ''Revelation'' path, she must run away with the survivors of her tribe but can potentially be recruited later too ''and'' have the Male Avatar as a SecondLove.]]
*** Cordelia's expy [[spoiler:and, in the ''Revelation'' path, possible granddaughter]] Caeldori subverts it since she's more of a mix of SerialRomeo and SmittenTeenageGirl. She tells the Male Avatar that once had a deep crush on her caretaker [[spoiler: from the Deeprealms]] but had her feelings rejected, and she's crushed on other men without much more luck. Still, she can be romanced by other guys (the Male Avatar included) without much trouble.
** In the ''VideoGame/FireEmblemGaiden'' remake, ''Echoes: Shadows of Valentia'', the GirlNextDoor Faye is quite in love with her childhood friend Alm and joins his group out of desire to stay with him, despite him having feelings for their ''other'' female childhood friend Celica. Her ending says [[TheOneThatGotAway she never fully gets over him.]]
*** Defied by a potential RareMaleExample, the CampGay archer Leon. He's secretly in love with his best friend Valbar and is perfectly aware that he's not likely to return his love (especially since Valbar is a CrusadingWidower), but he doesn't angst about it and all but states that he's perfectly okay with just having said feelings [[BashBrothers and being close to Valbar forever.]] If Valbar lives to the end, he opens a shop and they stay friends forever; if Valbar dies, Leon becomes a well-respected military instructor [[TheMourningAfter but never gets over him.]]
*** In Alm's route, there's an NPC Rigelian girl who can potentially fill in. [[spoiler:If the group fight/kills the aforementioned Zeke and then goes to the nearby village, when Alm speaks to the girl she reveals that she loved Zeke from afar and then curses the group. If Zeke ''and'' Tatiana are rescued and recruited instead, she'll greet the group happily and tell them [[FlorenceNightingaleEffect how Zeke and Tatiana met]], implying that she likes him but [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy thinks that if he's happy with Tatiana, then she's happy for them]].]]
* ''VideoGame/DragonQuestV'': Potentially Bianca, provided the hero chooses to marry Flora instead. She helps him complete his EngagementChallenge, gets her hopes briefly raised and then dashed, and proceeds to get bodyslammed by a load of extra angst just to drive home to the player [[GuiltBasedGaming they made the wrong choice]]. At least the remakes dial it back.
* ''{{VideoGame/Drakengard}}'': Furiae is a BarrierMaiden preventing the coming of the Apocalypse by a number of seals that are successively broken by the Empire, causing her ever-greater pain, in addition to the fact that the man she loves is unaware of her feelings for him (and when he finds out, rejects her), causing her death in all story branches ([[CameBackWrong and rebirth into...]] [[HumanoidAbomination something... in one]]). All in all, it's a shame that man was [[spoiler:her own brother Caim]].
* ''VideoGame/XenobladeChronicles'' has [[SquishyWizard Melia]] fall in love with [[TheHero Shulk]]. As Princess of the High Entia and a very attractive girl in general, she would be a great LoveInterest for Shulk... if it weren't for the fact that he was already in love with [[ChildhoodFriendRomance Fiora]].

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* [[spoiler:Beatrice]] from ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' may qualify, depending on [[MindScrew which versions of reality the players believe]].
* Subverted during [[spoiler: Shizune]]'s path in ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo''. [[spoiler: Misha]] fits in this trope well... but [[spoiler: the person she's hopelessly in love with is ''Shizune'', not Hisao.]] Which also makes her [[spoiler:the rare SchoolgirlLesbians version of the trope.]]
* You Tsukuba from ''VisualNovel/SayaNoUta'', in UnrequitedLove with Fuminori and totally outclassed by Saya. [[spoiler: Since theirs is a CrapsackWorld, [[BreakTheCutie it]] [[ButtMonkey does]] [[RapeAsDrama NOT]] [[SexSlave end]] [[KillTheCutie well]].]]
* Played with in regards to Sakura Matou from ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight. [[spoiler: Because of [[DarkAndTroubledPast her]] [[RapeAsBackstory past]], she believes that she [[DefiledForever doesn't deserve]]]] Shirou's affections and thinks this is how she'll eventually end up. And while we don't know her fate in the first two routes [[spoiler:(which, considering that Zouken Matou, the one behind her suffering, is still alive by BOTH route's ends...)]] in the third she is [[spoiler:driven mad by a combination of jealousy and being possessed by an evil spirit, but is saved and redeemed]] by Shirou and [[spoiler:her sister, Rin]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Up to episode 50, this seemed to be Daphne on ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated''. And that was mainly because Freddy was acutely clueless about Daphne's love for him.
* Pearl from ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' can very easily be seen as being this for Steven's MissingMom [[HomoeroticSubtext Rose Quartz]], who she was deeply in love with because she made Pearl feel like she was "everything". This [[HeroicSelfDeprecation and]] [[NervousWreck several]] [[NobleBigot other]] [[DevotedToYou factors]] left [[BrokenBird Pearl]] seriously messed up, and she's still reeling from [[TheLostLenore Rose's death]] [[TheMourningAfter after at least 14 years]].