I feel compelled to warn you, most of the guys I've dated recently have died. Pete Shanahan:
As in... Carter:
Various circumstances. Pete:
I'll risk it.
Being paired up with a Badass
never ends well for the other person.
Any Love Interest
that the hero meets is either wormfood
or otherwise removed forever
from his or her life by the end of the episode or arc
. Named for the hunky Cartwright family, father and three sons, of Bonanza
. This also happened in the case of any love interest of the males on Bonanza
s competitor, The Big Valley
(or maybe not just the males
; after all, their mother was a widow when the show opened and their sister wasn't exactly lucky in love herself). If the two of them wind up getting married, it's even worse — chances are that the Love Interest won't even make it to the honeymoon, or even through the ceremony!
If they're together at the end of an arc, be prepared for Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome
in the next one. If the show has any amount of spy intrigue, there is at least a 50% chance that the new love interest is working for the other side and/or milking the relationship for intel; on intrigue-heavy shows such as 24
, this probability approaches 100%, and odds are good that the hero will be required to personally contribute to his or her sweetie's demise.
Puts the "Temporary" in Temporary Love Interest
and serves as the "Yank" in Yank the Dog's Chain
. Is a subtrope of Doom Magnet
. Don't expect these widow(er)s to be particularly shook up
at this untimely parting.
The reason for all this romance being cut short (besides an authorial inclination for their heroes to stay single and available
) is the fact that many villains just can't resist tormenting the hero however they can, particularly by going after friends, family and loved ones (and even the Team Pet!) of the hero
. It's little wonder that many Genre Savvy Celibate Heroes
(who have likely been through this multiple times) have an "It's Not You, It's My Enemies
" speech handy.
In TV series, this is often caused by the closely related trope Status Quo Is God
. Fatal Attractor
is a variation of this, except that the love interests in question usually survive, but prove to be woefully unsuitable for the hero in some way, if they don't turn out to be bad guys. Sometimes the two of these are combined, making for a character who really
can't catch a break in the romantic department.
Compare Her Heart Will Go On
, a variation where the love interest is killed off to show how strong and empowered a female protagonist is. Expect the Crusading Widower
to have new potential love interests die to not distract them from their vengeance.
As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.
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Anime & Manga
- Jun of Devilman Lady suffers a bisexual version of this trope. Only one of her male love interests whom she doesn't end up with is immune.
- Almost any woman who falls in love with a Gundam pilot is doomed to die. Averted with Lacus and Cagalli from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Lunamaria and Meyrin from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny but played straight with Fllay and Stella. Also largely avoided in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing.
- Also avoided in Mobile Fighter G Gundam.
- It's more of a love/extremely close female friend dies mid-season to spurn the protagonist to greater heights, though almost exclusively in early UC and SEED. Mobile Suit Gundam has Lalah and Sayla for Amuro (though she doesn't die, due to problems with her VA, she was dropped rather than recast), Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam has Beltorchika for Amuro (vanished) and Four and Rosamia for Kamille (dead due to enormous, as opposed to giant, robot), Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ has Puru and Puru two, whom both die due to enormous robot. SEED has Flay for Kira, who dies, and Destiny has Stella for Shinn, once more due to enormous robot.
- Turns out it's not limited to women either, as Bernard Wiseman found out.
- Terry Bogard in the anime version of Fatal Fury suffered from this. His first love interest, Lily McGwire, is killed by his nemesis Geese during the first TV special, while his second love interest, Sulia, ends up sacrificing herself to defeat her brother in the end of The Motion Picture. The video games averted this completely, by pairing Terry up with Blue Mary, who can take care of herself.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann had the female version of this. Shortly after Yoko Littner and Kamina kiss, promising to begin their relationship after the upcoming battle... Kamina dies. In fact, both characters who kiss Yoko die shortly thereafter, though in fairness the second one (Kittan) went on a suicide mission knowing he'd die (Well there is a reason why she is nicknamed Doombitch...)
- YOKO. You Only Kiss Once.
- Likewise, Tsunade of Naruto also seems to suffer from this, ranging from her brother Nawaki, to her lover Dan, and finally to Jiraiya.
- Devil Hunter Yohko: Yohko had a hard enough time asking guys out to begin with. But, after becoming the next Devil Hunter in the Mano Family line, anyone she takes a romantic interest in either dies, or ends up possessed by demonkind, to ensure she never has children, so she won't be able to continue the bloodline.
- Black Jack seems to have this problem: all the women he loves either die, are already spoken for or, in one case, change their identity to male after a complete hysterectomy.
- In Gatchaman Joe Asakura falls for one woman while on the racetrack who ends up being a Devil Star in disguise. He ends up killing her in a showdown as Joe the Condor being unaware of her identity, and is heartbroken when she doesn't show up later for a race they had planned. Just to rub it in further, it is revealed much later in the show that the woman was the fiancee of his priest childhood friend Alan.
- Another woman accompanies him on an endurance race in one episode. She is shown to have a past with Joe and is a pretty assertive and confident lady, showing of her skills with her Cool Gun. However she is revealed to not only be from Galactor but also a cyborg and after learning of her treachery of trying to leave them, Galactor remotely self destructs her. Damn...
- All four of the protagonists of Weiß Kreuz suffer from this curse, given that all four of them are massive Doom Magnets, but Ken and Yoji get the worst of it; Ken has to give one prospective love interest the It's Not You, It's My Enemies treatment, and both of them end up having to personally kill their lovers at least once.
- To a certain extent, Yuuichi from Kanon. Makoto "dies" at the conclusion of her arc, Mai and Sayuri are hospitalized for the remainder of the school year, Shiori has a terminal illness, Akiko gets hit by a out-of-control vehicle, and Ayu was Dead All Along (or better said, comatose all along). Granted, most of them are all miraculously healed in the final episode, but prior to that, Yuuichi has every symptom of the curse.
- It's a good rule of thumb for a lot, if not all, of Key Visual Arts stories that the canonical girl who hooks up with the protagonist dies in some way, with Nagisa and Misuzu being prime examples.
- As for Sara's love interests in Soukou no Strain, both get killed off in battle just as the relationship with Sara was getting serious.
- In Sailor Moon:
- Anyone who genuinely falls in love with Usagi of tends to die a lot. Mamoru/Endymion how many times now (though he always gets better). Prince Diamond/Dimande/Demand. And even Seiya is killed in the manga... Seems the only person who ever got spared for liking Usagi even the slightest bit was Umino who later moved on to Usagi's Best Friend in the first anime, and filler character Ali/Ail/Alan (but in his case, his sister/love interest commits a Heroic Sacrifice in order to save him, so he very nearly missed the mark there...).
- And to further drive the point home, Mamoru himself also seems to have his share of dead love interests... Usagi/Serenity, Beryl, Fisheye...it just goes on... Lucky for Usagi and Mamoru that they aren't allowed by the story to stay dead, otherwise they'd have never lasted long enough to actually get together.
- Ami/Sailor Mercury of the first anime has Urawa (Greg in the DiC English dub), who transfers to Juuban at the start of the episode and moves away by the end. He does get a second appearance for one episode later in the season, where he and Ami actually go on a date, but after the first season's Grand Finale, he's never mentioned again. In the finale, he was only seen as an illusion cast by the enemy to distract Ami and kill her.)
- Lupin III: Given that the lack of continuity for this series/franchise means that none of the characters ever have a long term relationship, all five characters qualify. In this series, Love Interest means potential corpse. The only exception is Fujiko and Lupin's relationship. This curse is probably the reason Lupin will never get what he wants from her, though.
- Only one of Madlax's love interests or would-be love interests is still alive at the end of the series. Apart from the survivor, only one of them was still alive at the end of the episode he/she was introduced in. Two of them died shortly after Madlax agreed to go on a date with them, but before the date could actually happen.
- Masaru Katou from Gantz has really bad luck with women, as in all the girls that show interest in him tend to die. Might be why he prefers to cultivate his True Companions, particularly his bonds with his best friend.
- Lelouch from Code Geass has three love interests (the main ones, at least; there are many more). Shirley dies and Kallen tries to kill him. In the end, though, it doesn't matter, because he can't be with any of them anyway. Also Nunally and Euphemia, who where both childhood crushes despite being his sisters. He caused the death of Euphemia and the apparent death of Nunally.
- Shu Ouma from Guilty Crown, both of his love interests wounded up dead via Heroic Sacrifice. While he had three though the third was rather ambiguous and she survived at the end.
- Kyle Rayner. His first girlfriend, Alexandra DeWitt, was the Trope Namer of Stuffed In The Fridge (as well as Women in Refrigerators). His other two superhero girlfriends also died not long after each other. (They both got better). And what happened to the boy who had a crush on him... Or the girl who he had a one-night stand with who committed suicide.
- In fact during Blackest Night, one of his dead love interests taunts his current girlfriend by saying that she'll eventually end up like the rest of them.
- Wolverine is "the best there is at what he does", and "what he does" is apparently "bury love interests" note . The fact that he's functionally immortal means that he's accumulated a LOT of them. To be fair, one of them is still alive, but she is a crazy killer cyborg that wants to kill him.
- Daredevil has had his share; four of his major love interests have died, and a fair number have gone insane.
- The exception being Black Widow, though the same thing has happened to a few of her lovers. They probably just cancel each other out.
- Semi-example: her love interests are fine, but Renee Montoya's partners/best friends tend to die tragically (see: Crispus Allen and Vic Sage). Harvey Bullock gets off easy with just leaving the police force in disgrace.
- Crispus later came back as the new Spectre.
- John Constantine frequently hangs the ol' lampshade on this as a defense mechanism for his utter despair and self-loathing. Though you don't need to sleep with Constantine for this to happen — everyone who knows him goes this way...
- This trope applies itself in-universe to the main character, Alex, in Nightschool . When she was young, her best friend was driven to suicide and blamed Alex for it in her suicide note. The girl's mother, in a fit of grief-stricken rage, cursed Alex with something called a Neren Hex at her funeral, which functions as a literal Cartwright Curse. Anything she expresses even the slightest bit of affection for is instantly pulverized. Apparently, this is the reason behind her Jerkass Façade and homeschooling; she's terrified of getting close to people in case she slips up and something horrible happens to them.
- Don't fall in love with John Wayne, or let him fall in love with you. You can be his friend, his surrogate daughter, or his friendly antagonist. You can even fall in love with his friends. But if you fall in love with The Duke himself, your chances of death are upped considerably. Your chances only improve if 1. You and the Duke are an estranged couple, looking for a reconciliation, 2. You're played by Maureen O'Hara, or 3. You marry another character, thus giving the Duke something else to angst about.
- Duncan and Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod of Highlander. Having people with swords hunting you doesn't help, neither does out living everyone you date!
- Getting in bed with James Bond is, under Massachusetts state law, Assisted Suicide. Tracy, the one woman whom he married in On Her Majesty's Secret Service, didn't even make it to her honeymoon—and really, how cruel is that? Why else would anyone marry James Bond if not for the experience of the honeymoon? Even Dominique Paradis, the first girl in video game Nightfire gets kicked off a roof for her trouble. Generally speaking, it's best to be the second woman Bond hooks up with during the course of a mission. More often than not, the first woman he sleeps with is killed while the second survives. As an overall statistic, as of Skyfall, sleeping with Bond brings with it a 30.36% chance (17 out of 56) of dying before the end of the movie. Of course, this varies from Bond to Bond. Timothy Dalton managed to get a 100% survival rate (although in one of his two movies his friend Felix Leiter got married to a younger woman and guess what happened to her), while the current Bond, Daniel Craig, has reached a staggering 80% mortality rate, and it took him three movies to get below 100% dead (And the sole survivor of his lovers is a chick who appears in a vacation montage, who has a grand total of one scene and zero lines). Ladies, don't kiss him unless your will is in order.
- It was implied Leiter's wife was an ex of Bond and there were still feelings. Which means even Dalton's survival rate is < 100%, if you count pre-movie nookie.
- Gender Flipped example in the film Practical Magic: the women in the Owens family are cursed so that their husbands will always die tragically.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Starting with the second movie, Elizabeth Swann seems to bring death to anyone she kisses. Sometimes within 30 seconds (depending on what you consider dead).
- Lampshaded by Jack in the third movie, who refuses a kiss. Once is quite enough, indeed.
- In Rambo: First Blood Part II, the female lead is gunned down within seconds after their first kiss. You can spare her in the (surprisingly decent) NES Game Of The Movie by simply running past her without speaking during a certain cut scene cue. Naturally, the Game gives you no clue that this even possible, let alone a good idea.
- To a lesser extent, this happens to Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) in the Lethal Weapon saga. His wife died in a car crash (but it turns out really she was murdered) before the first film, and his love interest in Lethal Weapon 2 slept with the fishes. Even Lorna Cole (Rene Russo) in Lethal Weapon 3 almost bought the farm, but ultimately subverted the curse.
- The Death Wish movies were pretty notorious about this trope. Any woman Paul Kersey loved, be it his wife in the first movie, his daughter in the second one, and his girlfriends in the other three movies, were doomed to be killed off in vicious fashion in order to start up the Roaring Rampage of Revenge all over again. The only major woman he was involved with who didn't get killed off was his Love Interest in the second movie, who dumped him after finding out that he was a vigilante, and she was originally going to be brought Back for the Dead in the third or fourth movie.
- A Gender Flip is the core of the plot of the '60s Shirley MacLaine comedy, What A Way To Go!! She plays a wealthy widow telling a psychiatrist her past 'luck' with her various husbands, each who die after gaining great financial success after marrying her. Averted at the end, after she marries her old formally-rich hometown suitor. It appears he's struck it rich as well, but she becomes relieved when it's shown he hasn't.
- Wolverine in the X-Men movies. First Silverfox, then Jean. Averted, surprisingly, with Mariko, who was killed off in the comics.
- The extremely spiteful demon Asmodeus, and his habit of killing anyone who wanted to marry his victim. Since Asmodeus originates in the deuterocanonical Book of Tobit, this makes this trope Older Than Feudalism.
- Alex Cross has fallen victim to this. The women he loves have been murdered, turn out to be evil, or leave him. Sometimes even his exes aren't safe. However, this pattern seems to have ended when he marries his girlfriend Brianna Stone.
- Richard Sharpe, from the Sharpe books gets a new girlfriend frequently. They always leave, either by running away with his money, dying, or otherwise being written out.
- If Sinklar Fist, one of protagonists in Michael Gear's Forbidden Borders series, has anything in which he truly excels over his father and lifetime rival, Staffa Kar Terma, it's his bad luck with women. Whoever he gets romantically attached to, ends up dead, often for no discernible reason at all. Sink is well aware of this curse and tries not to get too close to anyone by the end of the series, but, well, he's The Woobie...
- A Song of Ice and Fire. Any man engaged/married to Margaery Tyrell ends up dead. She married Lord Renly Baratheon, who was assassinated and Joffrey Baratheon was assassinated on their wedding day. It's plausible that, after five books and three marriages, she's still a virgin. It's lampshaded when one character mentions that marrying Margaery is a death-sentence.
- Given that her third husband is prophesied to die before his mother, he's likely to die soon too.
- Nick Carter's spouse Ethel perished in Nick Carter Weekly #384, 7 May 1904, during a drawn-out battle with Dazaar.
- Poor, poor Arsène Lupin can't keep a wife to save his (or her) life. Every woman he marries or otherwise hooks up with tends to not survive the book. (Or disappear between books.)
- Averted in The Teeth of the Tiger. That one ends with Lupin happily married and retired, albeit under another name.
- Donald Hamilton's character Matt Helm suffers from this, badly.
- Travis McGee had this problem.
- Burke suffers from this to an extent; the majority of his love interests are Put on a Bus, but Belle was shot to death by the cops while covering Burke's getaway at the end of Blue Belle and Crystal Beth was killed in an apparent homophobic attack on a gay rights rally (that turned out to be something else entirely). Belinda Roberts and Candy were killed by Burke himself (or Max acting on his behalf, in the latter case). They had it coming.
- Harry Dresden. One ex he thought was both dead and evil (she came back, briefly), one woman who was turned halfway into a monster (and who he has to kill in a Human Sacrifice in Changes), and a woman who was revealed to have been brainwashed into falling for him. And when the poor guy makes a date for drinks and maybe some casual sex, he's the one to get killed. Guy can't catch a break.
- A few of Jessica's love interests in the Sweet Valley High series.
- Lampshaded in Redshirts, when one of the titular Red Shirts starts dating one of the head officers of the ship. Once she understands what's going on with the ship, she comes to the conclusion that her purpose is to make said officer depressed after she gets killed in some unlikely manner.
- Bert Kling in Ed McBain's 87th Precinct series. The poor guy just can't catch a break. His girlfriends either end up dying, having too many issues to cope with a relationship, going off with another man or just getting fed up with him.
- The trope doesn't apply to Clary from The Mortal Instruments, although when she meets Sebastian/Jonathan for the first time she describes him as looking like a character from her manga who was this.
- The House of Night seems to be heading in this direction. Out of Zoey's 4 lovers, two have died and one seems to be turning on her. The remaining relationship ain't lookin' so hot either, as of Revealed.
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe has a very unfunny tendency to kill off any and all women that Obi-Wan Kenobi ever has feelings for. There are four women that he has admitted to loving- Cerasi, Siri Tachi, Taria Damsin and Satine Kryze- of which Taria is the only one not to have died in his arms. However, considering that she was dying from a terminal illness in her last appearance, it's only a matter of time.
- Felix Jaeger in Gotrek & Felix has two main settings in his relationships with women: either they leave him, or they die. He loses a girlfriend to a madman in a short story in "Trollslayer", his girlfriend in "Skavenslayer" leaves him for an old boyfriend, and Ulrika Straghof still exists, but as a vampire, so it's a little hard to rule on whether or not she counts as "alive".
- A variation that just doesn't cover Love Interests in The Infernal Devices. When he was younger, Will opened a Pyxis and ended up being cursed such that anybody who cares for him will die. Or at least, that's what the demon told him.
Live Action TV
- According to Pop-Up Video, the video for Paula Cole's "I Don't Want to Wait" is about an immortal woman who keeps outliving her significant others.
- Which is ironic because in the song lyrics her significant other comes home from the war and lives to see his granddaughters.
- In The Bible (well, the Book of Tobit, which is in some Bibles) a woman named Sarah has a bad case of this—she is married seven times, but each groom dies before the marriage can be consummated. It turns out a demon named Asmodeus is in lust with her, and killing all his competition; the hero and her cousin, Tobit, marries her and is able to drive the demon away following instructions from the disguised Archangel Raphael. He survives the wedding night while Raphael definitely seals Asmodeus away, and he and Sarah live happily from then on.
- In another example, from the Book of Genesis, a woman named Tamar is married to Er, but he dies without leaving any heirs, so she is married off to his younger brother Onan: common practice among many ancient Middle Eastern peoples—including, historically, the Hebrews—known as levirate marriage. The first child of a levirate marriage is considered to be the child and heir of the deceased first brother. Onan doesn't want to father children on someone else's behalf, so he uses coitus interruptus, which his death is attributed to. Their father Judah, has one young son named Shelah left, and fears for Shelah's life since he believes Tamar to be cursed; Judah tells her that he'll give Shelah to her when the boy grows up... but when Shelah grows up, he is not married off to Tamar as promised, so she impersonates a shrine prostitute and sleeps with Judah so she can get pregnant and continue the bloodline, with the precaution of taking some of Judah's belonging as "payment" — which she shows to Judah before explaining herself. Judah realises Tamar is in the right and accepts responsability, with Tamar's twin kids being aknowledged as part of the family.
- In "Doubt Academy', Misaki Watanabe has lost two boyfriends Jack Myōji and Kuu Fukubaka to Monobear's killing game.
- If you're female, in a Metal Gear game, and Otacon likes you, international companies will deny you life insurance. Prepare to die in a mind-blowingly cruel (if beautiful) way, just so that Otacon can suffer beautifully.
- In fact, just 'if Otacon likes you'. Look at what Snake went through in four. Sure, it didn't KILL him. Yet.
- This seems to happen in Max Payne too except if you pass the game on Dead on Arrival, then Mona lives. Sadly non-canon in Max Payne 3.
- In World of Warcraft Jaina Proudmoore's luck SUCKS. Seriously. She was desired by Kael'thas Sunstrider for quite some time. Nothing ever came of this, as she was already beginning a relationship with Prince Arthas Menethil. If you've only played World of Warcraft, you may know him as the Lich King. Kael'thas himself was utterly crazy by the time of Burning Crusade. Given all that, this does not favor her most recent love interest (the blue dragon Kalecgos) at all.
- Zevran from Dragon Age: Origins. His previous love interest, Rinna, died. Plus the scores of romantic partners who either died or were murdered from his time in the Antivan Crows. You can also romance him as a Warden who commits a Heroic Sacrifice at the end of the game, meaning that every significant lover he's ever had is dead.
- The Mass Effect series contains a very unique and interesting example since the curse is actually an unintentional (or intentional) result of certain decisions the player makes. It's only played straight if you leave your love interest to die on Virmire in the first game and if your choices gets your second love interest killed during the suicide mission in the second.
- Not just love interest, but anyone who is close enough. If you really, really mess up in Mass Effect 2 both your squad and ship crew die. Shepard's background options: If you really want to push this forward she/he has upon that point lost both her/his family in a slaver raid and marine friends in a Thresher Maw ambush.
- Following the premiere of the Extended Cut DLC, you can now do this in the third game as well. If you go into the final attack on earth with a low war asset value, and bring your love interest in the squad for the final level, they get fried by Harbinger's beam. It is now possible to make Shepard fall in love with, and lose, a different person in each of the three Mass Effect games.
- As with Zevran and a dead Warden, it's possible for the player character to inflict this on Steve Cortez (whose husband died in the Collector attacks).
- Soldier of Fortune II: Taylor ends up dead halfway through the game.
- Dead to Rights: Both women Jack encounter get Stuffed into the Fridge.
- Every woman in the series ends up getting killed, usually in an ignoble and pointless manner. It takes until the 4th game in the series for a female character to survive to the end, and she gets shot in the gut about 3/4ths of the way through. The 4th game is a Continuity Reboot anyway, so perhaps one of the things discarded was the series's major Stuffed into the Fridge trend.
- Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon has the in-universe legend of Artemis' Curse - whenever a hero takes up the eponymous Fire Emblem to save the world, s/he is doomed to never be with his or her true love. This goes even worse for the direct descendants of the Archanean royal family, who are cursed to forever live lives of tragedy and doomed relationships due to the founder of Archanea being a thief who stole the Fire Emblem from its sacred temple and sold its pieces to fund his rebellion against the Dolhrian Empire. Until Fire Emblem Awakening, that is: once the Bad Future is stopped, Chrom (already Happily Married by that point) and his daughter Lucina can have much happier love lives.
- Lon'qu from Fire Emblem Awakening deconstructs this. His first friend was a young girl his age, Ke'ri, who was killed by bandits (and apparently in an Heroic Sacrifice to save him) while he couldn't do anything to rescue her. As a result, he started to believe he suffered from this trope, to the point where he developed gynophobia: he does not hate women per se, and leaves it very clear whenever he's asked, but cannot bring himself to get close to them out of the deep fear that he will get them killed. The only girls he'll approach without much trouble will be either his girlfriend/wife and a prospect daughter fathered by him.
- In the PC game series Dark Parables, Prince James suffers from a form of this in the second game. He's The Frog Prince, and he's immortal... so he's had to watch everyone he loves die, including the five fairy tale princesses he married.
- Characters who bear the Magician Arcana in the Persona series are generally doomed to have short-lived romances. Junpei's love interest canonically dies saving his life and Yosuke's is the second victim of a serial killer.
- Elf from Schlock Mercenary. She even managed to kill off Captain Tagon in an alternate timeline. At one point, several other troops point this out when a Mauve Shirt demolitions expert tries hitting on her. Guess what happens to him...
- To discredit this, she gives a kiss to each of the other men on her squad and then tells them that now they are doomed they can bloody well start marching. Apparently, that didn't count since they survived. (Except for one who died much, much later.)
- Almost immediately after Kevyn dated her, he got killed, and only his blood nanites managed to bring him back from the dead.
- Considering that he keeps a running count of the number of times he's cheated death, this is similar to the Stargate example above, except canon.
- To wit, Elf is now five for six for killing men she's kissed. As has been mentioned, Tagon was an alternate reality, and Kevyn got better, but the only survivor of Elf's kissing (Nick) had a good chunk of a story-arc dedicated to "breaking the curse."
- Torg from Sluggy Freelance has a pretty bad track record when it comes to girlfriends. One was an evil vampire who he had to kill. Another is a psychotic and assassin who keeps dying and coming back. Another was driven insane after being traumatized by satanic kittens. And a fourth was killed by a demon lord trying to catch him. With all this Torg's inability to tell Zoe he loves her is perfectly justified.
- Eventually Zoe came to the realization that not only was Torg in love with her, she loved him back! Which directly resulted in Oasis using pyrokinetic powers and almost killing her. She spent some life support. She was completely restored, except for the memory of the day in which she realized that she and Torg were in love and ended up getting incinerated by Oasis.
- Sollux Captor from Homestuck can be said to suffer from this, as both Aradia and Feferi have died at least once during the story. Feferi has, so far, stayed dead, but Aradia got better eventually—but not before dying twice.
- Really, the poor guy can't catch a break in this regard. Aradia's first death involved Vriska mind-controlling Sollux into murdering her, and her second death involved her robot body exploding right after she gave Sollux a (seemingly) final goodbye hug—though, as mentioned above, she recovered. Feferi, meanwhile, died at Eridan's hands, having rushed to avenge Sollux after Eridan blinded him.
- Gender inverted in one strip of Monster of the Week: Flirty Science Guys dies few scenes after being flirty with Scully, prompting her Big "NO!".
- Sapphire: Somewhat. Ivanka gets killed, but only five years after she marries Alec, which in turn was four years since they first met.
- Possibly genetic with the Water Tribe siblings on Avatar: The Last Airbender: Katara's love interest, Jet? Turns out to be evil, reforms and ends up dead. And Aang is killed or nearly so in the season two finale, but then is brought back to life with magic water. Sokka's love interest, Yue? Died to save the Moon Spirit by becoming it herself. His other love interest, Suki? Ended up tortured in a Fire Nation prison, with the audience and the main characters not even sure if she was alive. But she was! Hooray!
- One wonders why Toph seemed to have an unrequited crush on him at times. I mean, you'd have to be blind not to se-... Oh, right. Sorry.
- It even traces back to their parents and grandparents! We never hear a word about Kanna's first husband, and Hakoda's wife Kya... well...
- Given none of them lose more than one, that's more like "man, this setting with all its war and attempted genocide has a high mortality rate!"
- Zuko, on the other hand, has something like three Love Interests, although only one of them's at all serious, and they're all fine, although he stole Song's ostrich-horse and got Mai sent to prison.
- Dizzy invokes this trope in Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles as the reason she won't admit to loving Rico.
- The Boondocks episode "It's Goin' Down" parodies 24. The character known as Jack Flowers had this problem with his relationships: The first woman had her head sliced off by a sword, the second woman was flung off a building only to explode by a bomb strapped to her before hitting the ground, and the last woman was tied to a rocket.
- Played for Laughs—very darkly— on Metalocalypse, where anyone or anything Toki Wartooth loves will die before the end of the episode. Fans, music teachers, pets, even children can die this way. Only Doctor Rockso the cocaine snorting rock and roll clown has survived so far due to Joker Immunity. Even his family is not immune; he has despised his parents his whole life for their cold, religious zealot way of raising him and his father subsequently died the instant Toki forgave him.