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Everyone Can Seeit
Ted: Guys, I think my feelings for Robin may be resurfacing.
[everyone at the table laughs]
Lily: Ted, honey, they were in a shallow grave.

...Except for them, of course.

This trope happens when two characters are just perfect for each other, but neither realizes it (or only one realizes it). However, everyone around them—such as their friends, family, and enemies—can see their obvious feelings for each other. This can also happen when people (outsiders) mistake them for a couple when they're not together, resulting in a She Is Not My Girlfriend situation, designed to show the audience (and the characters) just how strong/obvious their feelings for each other are.

One of the popular ways to do this is to bring in the Romantic False Lead for an episode or a few, expressly in order to contrast this short-arc relationship with the long-arc relationship that's been developing. The Romantic False Lead will be the character to comment on how perfect they are for each other. Will likely require Selective Obliviousness on both parts.

Sometimes one or both of the prospective couple can see it, but nothing ever happens because they Cannot Spit It Out (to the great annoyance of all observers).

A sister trope (sub-trope?) of Oblivious to Love (in which one character is oblivious to the unrequited love of and potential happiness with another character), Everyone Can See It primarily has to do with the characters around the pair knowing how perfect they are for each other. It is also a frequent companion trope for Belligerent Sexual Tension. Compare It Meant Something to Me, where one character defiantly denies they feel anything for the other.

It can also be seen as an Idiot Ball or Idiot Plot, because the characters' stupidity about their feelings is what fuels the romantic (sub)plot. On the other hand, sometimes this trope will be subverted by "everyone else" seeing feelings that really aren't there due to their Shipping instincts.

See also The Matchmaker, Shipper on Deck, and Transparent Closet. Contrast Mistaken for Romance.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime/Manga 
  • Kyon and Haruhi in Haruhi Suzumiya. This is rather difficult to tell, given Kyon is an Unreliable Narrator and half the time he's lying to himself, the reader, or other people. This has created a large Will They or Won't They? among the fanbase, considering Kyon's being especially vague and there being a larger alter-motive behind everything he does that would normally be counted as romantic feelings. However, given the 95% chance he's probably getting with her, Kyon refuses to acknowledge the relationship and says nothing on the subject. This doesn't stop all of his classmates from assuming that he's Haruhi's first love interest in a while, adding to Kyon's reputation for liking "weird girls"...
  • Detective Conan:
    • Heiji and Kazuha. "It's so obvious it can be painful."
    • And, to a lesser extent, Shinichi and Ran. Except for the fact that she blatantly tells "Conan" about her crush in the first episode. Still Selective Obliviousness on his part though.
  • Otani and Risa in Lovely Complex are shipped mercilessly by their friends well before they get into a relationship.
  • The Mazinger series:
    • Mazinger Z: Kouji and Sayaka. Everyone but Kouji can see it.
    • Great Mazinger: Tetsuya and Jun. Unfortunately, Tetsuya was even more oblivious. How oblivious? He thought Jun would replace him with Kouji in spite of: Jun barely knew Kouji; and she had spend the whole series trying Tetsuya noticed her.
    • UFO Robo Grendizer: Duke averted this trope with Hikaru and with Rubina. However, Kouji was absolutely oblivious to the feelings of Maria. Of course, he was the only one.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Alphonse Elric gets some mileage out of teasing Ed and Winry about their obvious feelings for each other. Riza also makes Ed have a rather spectacular Spit Take on poor Black Hayate (resulting in a Crowning Moment of Funny) when she addresses his love for Winry. As a note to just how obvious Ed and Winry are, not only can Al and Riza see it, but Hughes assumes they are in a relationship already. Heck, Bradley and Kimblee seem to have figured it out, which should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about these two. When the literal personification of Wrath and the genocidal Mad Bomber have picked up on it, it's pretty obvious that yes, Everyone Can See It.
    • On the other hand, the cast also ships Roy/Riza. This is an odd case, however. It isn't quite so much that they're in denial about how they feel for each other as it is that they're not allowing themselves to act on it for other reasons. (He's her direct superior in the military, and there's an indication that an anti-fraternization law is one of the things keeping them apart.) Everyone can still see it, though, and that unfortunately includes Bradley and his cohorts. In this series, No Loves Intersect, but everyone can see all of them. And ships them.
      • Word of God confirms that the anti-fraternization law is the one reason they aren't married. Presumably, when Roy becomes Fuhrer, they'll finally get together.
  • This characterizes Cosmo's and Tails' romance in Sonic X—at least in the 4Kids dub. The Japanese version had them be more explicit about it.
  • Ouran High School Host Club has Wholesome Crossdresser Haruhi and her obvious feelings for the Host Club's King, Tamaki, and vice versa. The entire club, being in on the crossdresser thing, takes note of the impending coupledom before the characters in question even begin to entertain the idea. Of course, it doesn't help that Tamaki used to see himself as Haruhi's second father, and have we mentioned the whole crossdressing thing yet?
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! treated Konoka and Setsuna like this during their Not a Date during the Kyoto Arc. Everyone present (except Yue, for some reason) immediately assumes the obvious. Including Negi, who's the epitome of Oblivious to Love. Konoka was probably aware of this, but Setsuna takes a lot longer to catch on, finally getting it when they finally make a pactio and the kiss lasts forever...
    • Nagi and Arika. Every single Ala Rubra member can see it.
  • Kyohei and Sunako in The Wallflower. By the manga's second half, the main plot question has gone from "Will Sunako ever become a lady?" to "Will these two dense idiots ever realize they're in love with each other?" Even their housemates are getting tired of it.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler's Hinagiku is clueless as to how everyone around her can see her crush. But then, this is a series where pretty much the entire cast is suffering from an Oblivious to Love epidemic.
    • Hayate's crush on Hinagiku is even worse for being clear to everyone. He even tries to tell others that she couldn't possibly like him. There's also the incident in the elevator in the student council clock tower where Hayate completely failed to hide it from a barely-disguised Maria.
    • Miki, Maria, Nishizawa, and possibly even Athena make it clear that they know about Hayate and Hinagiku's mutual crush. Even Nagi seems to know about it and has expressed both suspicion and jealousy at various points in the manga.
      • Oddly enough, she let Hinagiku go on a dinner date with Hayate to show his appreciation for all her help in Greece but refuses when Ayumu tries to do the same. Most likely, she guessed that nothing would happen. She was waaaayy off.
  • Played with in Kimi ni Todoke, when everyone jokes about Sawako and Kazehaya liking each other, only to have unknowingly spoken the truth.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia: Throughout one of the Drama CDs, it's rather explicit that the nation-tans see America and England (both real heavy on the Tsundere traits) in this way. In the last track, everyone else stranded on the island hears an exchange between England and America at night.
    Lithuania: R-Russia! Everyone was pretending not to hear anything!
    England: W-what? Everyone's awake, after all?
    France: That's because you were having a lover's quarrel here.
    England: Don't say it was a lover's quarrel!
    Japan: Well, it's not like we were peeping and such...
    • Even the dubbers can see it: one episode of the dub has France asking America and England if they're done "releasing sexual tensions".
  • In Fruits Basket, (manga only) everyone discusses how obviously in love Tohru and Kyo are, but they just Cannot Spit It Out.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: In spite of the ending, Shinji and Asuka's relationship played into this. Touji even comments they bicker like an old married couple. It's deconstructed over the course of the series. Despite the fact that they kiss, visit each other when one of them is in hospital, she flirts with him and sleeps beside him when no one's around and he is attracted to her and jacks off over her comatose body, they never see it. That's what leads to that ending: the world effectively ends, at least for humanity as we know it, and it could very possibly have been averted if these two had realised what they could have done for each other.
    • Asuka calls Hikari on her Belligerent Sexual Tension with Toji, saying that everyone can see it except for the "Three Stooges" (Toji, Kensuke and Shinji).
  • Elie and Haru in Rave Master, to such an extent that the Big Bad—who spends, at best, a total of one hour in contact with them over the course of the series—feels the need to tease them about how slowly they've been taking their relationship.
  • The Yamamoto sisters in Hanamaru Kindergarten have Guiness World Record levels of obliviousness to love. This despite the fact that, in the older Nanako's case, even kindergartners realize Tsuchida is in love with her. Making it even funnier, Nanako is blatantly aware that Hanamaru-sensei has feelings for Mayumi, while Mayumi is likewise aware of Tsuchida's feelings for Nanako, and one episode ends with both of them expressing pity for the guys having to deal with such a clueless girl.
  • In Kaze Hikaru, most people are under the impression that Okita and Sei are a couple. Since Sei is disguised as a boy, this also means they're Mistaken for Gay.
  • Mikado and Anri from Durarara!!. It's noted in the Light Novels that one of the only reasons people don't ask Anri out is that they just kind of assume she and Mikado are already dating.
  • Deconstructed and later reconstructed in Berserk. Before Guts leaves the Band of the Hawk, Judeau pushes the would-be relationship between Guts and Casca as a way to persuade him to stay (or rather, to get him to take her with him), saying that they would be good together. However, Guts pulls the "Just Friends" routine, because he believes that Casca only has eyes for Griffith and that he was no competition for him. He couldn't have been more wrong, and only realizes this after he returns to the Hawks a year later when everything turned to shit but luckily he and Casca get to share some joys in their new found relationship upon his return...before shit turns into deeper shit.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, everyone can see that Mikoto is completely and utterly smitten with Touma. Even Kuroko can see it, much to her chagrin. Even her clones can see it, especially #10032 (aka Misaka Imouto) who happens to feel the same way and openly declares that she'll "take a different route than the original" before glomping onto his arm. Touma (probably) hasn't noticed, but that's justified because he has amnesia but refuses to tell anyone.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, about half the cast (primarily Duo, Trowa, Quatre, and Dorothy) recognizes the really close bond that Heero and Relena share, which has a really good chance to become mutual love, and do their best to help things along. Unlike most instances of the trope, the two do get along quite well normally, but Relena (whose Image Songs outright say she's in love) won't press the issue because she doesn't want to force his hand and/or destroy the closeness they already have, and is just happy knowing that he's looking out for her. Not to mention, the girl is already very devoted to her cause for peace as specially after being the Queen of the World and becoming Vice-Minister. Heero's own feelings are left more in the dark, but the common assumption is that he doesn't feel worthy of her, or possibly that his unusual upbringing means he doesn't quite understand his feelings for her. In any way, he does care for her and will help her when she needs it.
  • Pretty much everyone in Tiger & Bunny has caught on to the fact that Karina has a giant, poorly-disguised crush on Kotetsu—except for Kotetsu himself.
  • A good part of the Mawaru-Penguindrum cast has at least commented once on Ringo Oginome and Shouma Takakura's odd relationship. Shoma's siblings, Ringo's mother, Ringo's crush as well as said crush's own girlfriend, Kanba's Clingy Jealous Girl...
  • Ranma ˝: When it comes to Ranma and Akane, everybody but the rivals and Ranma's harem can see it. The entire school thinks the two of them will get together, because they argue so much, and they enjoy teasing them both about it.
    Boy: Ooo, a lovers' quarrel!
    Girl: Practically married already.
  • In Sword Art Online, it takes people about five seconds of watching the pair interact to realize Asuna and Kirito are going to end up together. This can be heart-rending when the ones realizing this are girls who have fallen for Kirito.
  • Revy and Rock in Black Lagoon. It's so obvious that Eda constantly brings it up with Revy, and Bao flat out asks Rock if the two of them had a fight just because he happened to not be with her when Bao saw him.
  • Ryuuji and Taiga in Tora Dora spend a significant chunk of the series explaining to others how they're not going out and don't have feelings for each other. Yet somehow, nobody is surprised when the two of them show up in the middle of the night, running away to elope.
  • Horimiya's main characters, Hori and Miyamura, both deny feelings for each other, although Hori's reasons are more that of a typical Tsundere and Miyamura's are more that of feeling unworthy. Of course, everyone else has a hard time believing it, even Hori's Dogged Nice Guy Ishikawa, though it does practically send him into a Heroic BSOD every time.
  • Played with in Bokura no Kiseki. Everyone living in the castle in Zerestria could tell that Veronica and Glen were a couple. But when Veronica's Arranged Marriage is decided on and Glen's fellow squires all gather to comfort him, in surprise he tells them that there was absolutely nothing between him and Veronica beyond a close friendship. The protagonist Harusumi, who is Veronica's reincarnation, confirms this. However, a deeper look at their feelings shows it's likely they were merely both Oblivious to Love, thus playing this trope straight.
  • Averted for the most part in Sakura Trick, as everyone comments on how Yuu and Haruka are a little too clingy for friends, but no one seems to notice the two are in a Schoolgirl Lesbian relationship despite them being very bad at hiding it.
  • From the series Place to Place, Tsumiki is very obviously crushing on Io and the only one who doesn't seem to notice it is Io himself. All the other characters ship them wholeheartedly and their reaction to learning they were compatible from a magazine's compatibility test basically amounted to "Well, duh!"
  • Patlabor: The Mobile Police:
  • Youre Under Arrest: Similar to the Patlabor example, it's no secret to anyone at Bokutou Precinct that Miyuki and Nakajima are crazy about each other, except they're both too shy to say anything. Natusmi and the others have even gone as far as to set them up on dates to try to get things going between them, but to no availnote .
  • In Magi - Labyrinth of Magic, during a flashback of Alma Torran, everyone (except Ithnan) could see that Sheba nursed a Precocious Crush on Solomon for five years. And after Arba gave her blessing to be Solomon's wife, she had the difficult task of making Solomon fall for her, seeing how he treated her like a child. He eventually reciprocated her feelings.
  • Highschool of the Dead: It takes them awhile to get there, but by chapter 28, it's clear that Takashi and the others can see how things are shaping up between Hirano and Saya. When Saya admits she'd been watching him so she could learn to fight like him, it leads to a tender moment where they exchange guns, which cause Alice to wave a pair of flags while the others smile knowingly.

    Comic Books 
  • Batfamily members Nightwing and Oracle are sometimes linked this way, though since they have a complicated story of being attracted to each other but never at the right time since they were teens, their occasional obliviousness can come across as willful blindness. After a one night-stand between Nightwing and Huntress:
    Huntress: Fine. So you and Oracle have a "thing" going on. I'm not jealous, but I'd like to think you feel that you could trust me with—
    Nightwing: What? A what? A "thing"? We—we're friends but...but...
    Huntress: Oh, I get it. You guys don't even know yet. How cute.
    Nightwing: I...don't know what you're talking about.
  • In Spider-Girl, we have May Parker and Wes Collins. He's crazy over her, and only one person in school can't see it. Unfortunately for him, this person is May herself.
  • Lemont of Candorville writes a long-running newspaper serial that's implied to have very similar content to the comic itself. His Author Avatar and the stand-in for his female best friend are the Fan-Preferred Couple. Lemont calls Shipping Goggles on this, but accidentally undermines himself by talking about how the two characters make each other feel complete.
  • X-Wing Series (comics): Ibtisam and Nrin Vakil. She was a Mon Calamari, he was a Quarren, their species traditionally didn't get along and they argued often when they first joined the squadron... but one of their wingmates predicted that if they didn't kill each other, they'd take union vows. Their wingmates even basically played matchmaker with them. And what do you know, they did hook up. Pity that Ibtisam died a few pages after that...
  • Minimonsters has Frank and Henrietta. They have mutual crushes on each other, but they can't be a pairing because of their shyness and Henrietta's Kick-Ass alter-ego, Miss Hit. However, everyone thinks they are a couple, and whenever they say something about that, Frank, in denial, says: "She Is Not My Girlfriend!".

    Fanfiction 
  • An astonishing number of South Park fanfics apply this trope to Stan and Kyle.
  • Evangelion 303: The only ones did not realize what was going between Shinji and Asuka were Shinji and Asuka themselves (up to the chapter 5).
  • It seems like this Sonic the Hedgehog Fan Fic applies this to Iltinis and Amy.
  • In The One I Love Is anyone with eyes could see both Asuka and Rei were after Shinji...except Shinji. Similarly, anyone could see he liked Asuka. Including Rei.
  • The Second Try: Humorously inverted in this Peggy Sue fic. The rest of the cast assume this is the case with Asuka and Shinji. However, no one has any idea that, not only are they a couple, but they are also lovers, have been married for over 5 years, and raised a child together.
  • In Walking in the Shadow of Dreams, Shinji says nobody back in high school would have seen Asuka and him getting together. Touji replies EVERYONE saw it but the two of them.
  • As Ship-to-Ship Combat is averted in the Galaxy Rangers fandom, Fanon will have Doc and Zach taking this route when it comes to Shane and Niko.
  • Tom Sawyer practically invokes this trope by name when trying to help his friend who just Cannot Spit It Out in "The Private Diary Of Elizabeth Quatermain".
  • Tales of the Frog Princess, Confessions of a Vampire Prince: Ben and Andy. Oh GOD, Ben and Andy. (No, Andy is not a guy!) Garrid begins to have his suspicions, and it's revealed towards the end that Ginny and Gwen, the twins, saw it too.
  • The canon Everyone Can See It scenes for America and England are Taken Up to Eleven in fanfiction; just try and find an UST-heavy America/England fanfic that doesn't portray them as practically the only ones in the world who don't realize that they're in love with each other with every single other character either commenting on this or trying to push them into resolving their BST for once and for all. One example is You Cant Take The Sky Away From Me, in which even children and people who've chatted with just one of them for all of two minutes pick up on America and England's feelings for each other.
    • Additionally, while America/England is easily the pairing that gets this treatment the most in fanfic, it's hardly the only one; there are a lot of fanfics where either Romano fervently denies that he has feelings for Spain and everyone else whispers "tsundere" behind his back, Germany says that he's Just Friends with Italy and everyone else wishes they would just get together already, or Japan insists that he never had sex with Greece and everyone else goes "Riiiight." That's not even all the pairing examples; to list every one of them would essentially be listing every single APH pairing that has at least one member being Tsundere or Oblivious to Love.
  • All over the place in the Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and ×××HOLiC fanfic Freefall, for at least three different pairings.
  • In Buzz Lightyear of Star Command fic One Hundred Days, it seems that even the bad guys can tell that Buzz Lightyear and Mira Nova are made for each other.
  • In the Tamers Forever Series, the only person blind enough not to notice Takato's "secret" crush on Rika, is Rika herself.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfic Guide Me Home: Pretty much the whole Southern Water Tribe team can see how Hakoda and Ursa feel for each other a mile away in Qwi-Xux's fanfic.
  • Fanon causes almost every NaruHina fic to treat Hinata's crush on Naruto like this. In canon, only Hinata's teacher Kurenai is really observant enough to realize that Hinata has feelings for Naruto and Sakura (one of the characters in fanfics who most often facepalms at how clueless Naruto is about it) while Sakura never really realized it until later after Hinata nearly sacrificed her life to save Naruto from Pain.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Toward the World's End, just about every single character other than themselves can see how Arthur feels about Nanoha. Jokes abound about "Lovers Intunition" between the two, and it is hinted that Nanoha even returns Arthur's feelings, except of course, just as she can't see his, he can't see hers.
  • In White Devil of the Moon, there was a betting pool on when Fate would confess to Nanoha. Amy Haralown won.
    • And in an omake Hayate was pissed cause if they had waited two more weeks she would have won.
  • In Kira Sweetheart Misa and Rem notice how close L and Light are before they do (or are willing to admit it):
    Rem: I take it that Kira means something to you, human.
    L: Yes... Kira is the one I am sworn to defeat.
    Rem: No. He means more to you than that. You're just like Misa.
    L: WHAT?
    Rem: When she thinks of him it makes her cheeks go all red too.
  • Rainbooms and Royalty has Rainbow Dash's crush on Shining Armor.
  • In The Avengers fandom, it would be easier to list Steve/Tony fanfics that don't contain this trope. Steve and Tony are always the last Avengers to know how much they want each other. A very common ending to stories in which those two get together is money changing hands among the rest of the Avengers. Other pairings get this as well, but not to the same extent it seems like.
  • Played with in Children of Time, as Beth Lestrade is very aware of her feelings for Sherlock Holmes and quickly confides in Sally Sparrow. Ironically, the Great Detective seems to be the only one who can't see that Beth is in love with him — indeed, is quite uncertain of his own feelings for her. His actions make that painfully clear.
  • This trope comes up in In The Fledgling Year, in which Cor and Aravis continually refuse to admit their feelings for each other, while Cor’s Unwanted Harem drifts around in the background, not wanting to come between them, and Hana actually rebukes Aravis for even suggesting that anyone besides herself marry Cor.
  • Used in the Hunger Games fanfic Some Semblance of Meaning. While Obsidian isn't nearly as Oblivious to Love as Vale, there's still a long list of people who realized his feelings for Vale long before he did: his fellow Careers, Phlox, Vale's little sister Laurel, Caesar Flickerman...
  • In the Star Trek fanfic Written in the Stars, Fem!Kirk and Spock fall in love...and then find out that the rest of the crew were holding a betting pool over how long it would take them to get together. Uhura won.
  • The God Empress Of Ponykind has Shining Armor and Cadence. Celestia picks up on their crushes right away, and in the last chapter Twilight casually asks them when they're going out. Even Luna is able to pick up on their feelings when she speaks with Cadence in The Warmistress Of Equestria and actively encourages Cadence to pursue Shining.
  • Child Of The Storm has Loki/Sif. Even Amicable Ex Thor (for Sif) and Fandral can see it — and ship it. They themselves are aware of their feelings for each other, but Loki's density and obliviousness to Sif's feelings for him, along Sif's temper for said density are why they aren't together yet.
  • Pretender has Robin/Frederick, all the Shephards with the exception of Chrom (and he eventually finds out as well) that Frederick has feelings for Robin and think they should get together. Although Frederick doesn't act upon his feelings at first because of Robin's feelings for Chrom.
  • Mirrors Image: Everyone can see Prince Blueblood's crush on Twilight Sparkle. Everyone except Twilight Sparkle, that is.
  • In Hunting Series Dean and Neo being oblivious to each other in highschool, while Bobby, John and everybody else already knows.
  • The Equestrian Wind Mage: By Season 2, it's obvious to everyone that Vaati and Luna are infatuated with each other. However, both are hesitant to act on their feelings, especially Vaati, who can't quite get around what he perceives as beastiality.

     Film - Animated 
  • In Toy Story 2, we already knew that Buzz held a torch for Jessie and that she probably returned his affections. In the third movie, it's obvious to the characters as well - especially when Buzz is reset into Spanish mode.
  • In Swan Princess, by the time they were teenagers, Derek's friend Bromley teased him about being jealous about Odette and the villagers and the servants were singing about how they can't wait to see the wedding.
  • Hugo and Rita from the Danish movie series Jungledyret Hugo. It's so obvious to pretty much everyone so that they've to endure a lot of teasing from others, much to their embarrassment (or in Rita's case, annoyance when her younger siblings does the teasing). Even the bad guys can see it, like when Hugo and Rita have a heartwarming reunion, a couple of stray cats Hugo antagonized earlier mocks them for being out to "take a look at the moonlight", or like when Cupmann blames Hugo's defiance on Rita's "bad influence" over him, and so wants to kill her to break that defiance.

    Film 
  • When Harry and Sally finally hook up in When Harry Met Sally, their respective best friends remark to each other "Finally." It's not that easy, sadly.
  • Mu Bai and Shu Lien from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, who decided to remain Just Friends despite what they really wanted. Everyone, from their old friend Sir Te and the main character Jen, either urged or wished for the two of them to just get together.
    • Justified in this case, as both openly acknowledged their mutual attraction but, due to loyalty to Shu Lien's dead husband (who was Mu Bai's best friend) they remain Just Friends.
  • Sarah and Karl in Love Actually, to the point where her boss called her into his office to specifically talk to her about what she was going to do about it.
  • In Star Wars, everyone (including Luke, who has by this point gotten over whatever crush he supposedly had) knows that Leia and Han are perfect for each other, even if Leia tries denying it.
  • In Far And Away, the entire whorehouse knows that Joseph and Shannon aren't "brother and sister."
    Molly: *after watching them argue* Oh, why don't you shag her and get it over with?
    Joseph: She's... my sister!
  • In Gilda, everyone can see that Johnny and Gilda have something going on.
  • Will and Layla in Sky High insist that they are Just Friends, but everyone (including the villain) can tell that Layla has a crush on Will- except for Will himself. He doesn't even realize it until it's pointed out to him by his archenemy.
  • This is a source of embarrassment for Linda in Mogambo, since she is carrying on an adulterous romance with Vic. When she points out that everyone can see how he looks at her, Vic replies that while everyone else can, her clueless husband Donald can't.

    Literature 
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Corran Horn commented that Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade were the only ones who didn't realize they were meant for each other.
  • Tony and Lee in Smoke and Shadows.
  • Everyone opposed to Elinor's and Edward's budding romance in Sense and Sensibility is convinced that the two will marry, no matter how much the two try to hide it (particularly from each other).
    • In Pride and Prejudice, meanwhile, it's played around with more. Everyone who sees Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy spend any time around one another over the course of most of the novel is convinced that they're practically a confirmed item (whether they like it or not). On the other hand, Elizabeth's immediate family are uniformly taken completely by surprise when Darcy proposes, and she has to do a lot of convincing before her older sister and her father will believe her when she says she really does want to marry the man.
  • In the novelisation of Star Trek The Motion Picturewritten by Gene Roddenberry — a footnote reveals that rumours about Kirk's relationship with Spock have been floating around even in-universe. In response, Spock merely raises an eyebrow and gives the inquirer the equivalent of a Vulcan glare, and Kirk infamously dances around the topic in a quote that doesn't really answer much at all. Yes, Kirk, everyone noticed.
  • In the Honor Harrington stories, the relationship between Honor and Hamish Alexander. The first six chapters of War of Honor are full of secondary characters who are restraining themselves from telling the two principals that they're only fooling themselves.
    • And in the Jane Lindskold short story "Ruthless", this trope is subverted: The long list of people other than Crown Prince Michael and Judith who can see it include a pair of plotters who intend to use their feelings for each other against Queen Elizabeth.
  • By the time you get to the last book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, it's pretty obvious that everyone around them can see that Percy and Annabeth are in love with each other. It's made especially apparent towards the end of the book when they finally kiss and Clarisse growls, "Well, it's about time!"
    • It's actually a given that they're going to end up together since the goddess of love herself, Aphrodite, tells Percy she's going to set him up with Annabeth, too bad no one else heard it but him.
  • Animorphs: Despite initially trying to keep their relationship low-key, it was very apparent to everyone that Jake and Cassie were smitten with each other. Marco also sarcastically makes the same observation in an early novel regarding Rachel and Tobias.
    Rachel (threateningly): What did you say?
    Marco's thoughts: Like it was some big secret.
  • Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter. Harry starts seeing it around Book Four (as did readers, which is why the films start the Will They or Won't They? in Movie Two), and even basically shouts "Finally!!!" in his head after the Big Damn Kiss in the final book.
  • The title character and Lord Sheftu in Eloise McGraw's Mara, Daughter of the Nile. Sheftu is extremely put out when he realizes this is the case.
  • Tom Levin and Rose Casson from the Casson Family Series. Rose takes a lot of guff for it due to her stubbornness and the fact that she can't see that she has a Precocious Crush on him, especially in Permanent Rose.
  • Taken to almost a comical level in L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series. While Anne is completely oblivious to the fact that her former enemy and childhood friend Gilbert Blythe is madly in love with her, everyone in the town of Avonlea are perfectly well aware. After Gilbert proposes and she refuses, everyone reacts with disappointment. This happens so often for awhile, it leads to this conversation:
    Anne: I wonder why everybody seems to think I ought to marry Gilbert Blythe.
    Miss Lavendar: Because you were made and meant for each other, Anne — that is why. You needn't toss that young head of yours. It's a fact.
  • In the Little House on the Prairie series, everyone but Laura herself seems to figure out rather early on just why Almanzo's willing to make the long, cold drive every weekend to bring her home from her teaching job. She's quite shocked when one of her friends clues her in, and initially panics. Fortunately, Almanzo sticks it out as a Dogged Nice Guy until she falls for him, too.
  • Fairly tragically in The Dresden Files, where everyone knows that Molly is head-over-heels in love with Harry. For a variety of reasons, this won't happen.
    • After the events of Cold Days, though, Harry doesn't rule out the possibility due to the shifted power dynamics.
    • More conventionally, everyone from Harry's family to his perennial Friendly Enemy can see that he and Murphy have feelings for each other.
  • In Helm, Leland and Marilyn.
    Margaret de Noram: Don't you see it? It's plain as rocks to anyone else. You both sit in the same room trying so hard to ignore the other's presence that it's obvious you both want — no, need to talk to each other.
  • The consensus opinion of the villagers about Nell Harris and Kit Smith being a perfect couple is this trope, at least after the death of Prunella Hooper in Aunt Dimity: Detective. The process takes a few years (and a few novels), but after many postponements (for a variety of reasons), they wed at the end of Aunt Dimity Down Under.
  • Very much the case in Greek Ninja, where everyone seems to notice the tension between Sasha and Daichi, whereas they are oblivious to it (or denying, like Sasha).
  • Griffin's Daughter: everyone knows Jelena and Ashinji are crazy about each other. Each denies it for differnt reasons: Jelena because she didn't want to get her hopes up that an elf prince could love a "hikui", (a half-elf), like her. Ashinji because he fears his sadistic brother will try hurt her just to spite him.
  • It seems like everyone in Panem knows that Katniss is in love with Peeta Mellark before she does. Including the other guy in the love triangle.
  • Captain Vorpatril's Alliance centers on what the principals think is a quickie marriage of convinience between a runaway Jacksonian Mafia Princess and a well-connected Barrayaran Officer who considered it a better option than the former throwing herself off his balcony to escape Immigration. Neither his relations (including the guy he thought he had roped into signing off on the divorce) nor hers miss the feelings they have for each other.
    • In Shards of Honor, Cordelia and Aral can't take their eyes off each other, and she reflects they'll have to work on that. A doctor calls Aral out on the unspoken relationship.
  • At the beginning of the Enderverse prequel Earth Unaware Victor's family elders sent his second cousin Alejandra to another clan's fleet because they noticed that they were developing feelings for one another even though they hadn't realized it, and endogamy is forbidden. After it's pointed out to him Victor realizes it was true and spends much of the book mooning after her.
  • In Överenskommelser by Simona Ahrnstedt, Sofia and Johan know that Beatrice and Seth should be together. But alas...
  • In the Prince Roger series, Roger and Sergeant Despreaux spend a novel and a half in UST, partly because they're part of the same military unit and partly because she's one of his bodyguards. The other soldiers, instead of acting to stop this, set up a betting pool about when they'll get down to business.

    Live Action TV 
  • On The West Wing, Josh's love interest Joey Lucas, one of Donna's boyfriends, and just about everyone else can notice Josh and Donna's UST.
  • in The Mighty Boosh Howard and Vince are constantly mistaken for husband and wife, at least once an episode, sometimes multiple times. Naboo, Dixon Bainbridge, Bollo, and Lance Dior all imply they have feelings for each other. Even the pencil case girl, the only 'Girl' ever interested in Howard, suggests she should 'give them some time alone'. Naboo has pointed out that Howard is sexually attracted to Vince. The list goes on.
  • Psych: several characters, particularly Case of the Week characters, have commented on the potential romance/romantic feelings between Shawn and Juliet (some fans consider these to be Anvilicious).
  • On Farscape, everyone could tell John and Aeryn were into each other — the crew of Moya, random one-offs, villains, and the entire planet Earth. Which makes John's attempts to keep his feelings hidden for Aeryn's protection even stupider.
  • On Bones, characters have commented, primarily in the first season, about Booth and Brennan's possible feelings for each other and/or UST. It gets a little insane when their co-workers, Brennan's father, random one-shot characters, and even the families of the murder victims are shipping them.
    • In the fifth season, Doctor Lance Sweets reveals to doctor Gordon Gordon that he did not publish his book on Booth and Brennan because his book was finished with the conclusion that Booth and Brennan are in love with one another and that he can't say that to the entire world if they themselves can't admit it. Also Booth finally acknowledges that he is in love with Brennan. He can't bring himself to admit it to her though.
    • As of the 100th episode, "The Parts in the Sum of the Whole" (5x16), Booth has admitted his feelings, and Bones reciprocates but fears a relationship. So now Everyone Can See It. Everyone.
    • As of the "The Hole in the Heart" (6x22), Booth and Bones have slept together—for comfort—after Vincent's death. In the season finale, "The Change in the Game" (6x23), the ending is the reveal that Brennan is pregnant.
    • Surprisingly enough they get a lot fewer comments on it now that they are married with a daughter.
  • O'Neill and and Carter in Stargate SG-1. Sadly the old no-fraternization rule keeps getting in the way.
    • Daniel and Vala actually got teased about it in one episode, well, technically Daniel was the one who got teased.
    • Stargate Atlantis has John and Elizabeth. Everyone from the team to visiting superiors learns very fast not to get in between the pair when one of them's in danger...or they're arguing...or just having private time on the balcony...
      • Hell even the recurring villian knows what was going on. The amount of times he uses John or Elizabeth as leverage to blackmail the other makes him look like a Shipper on Deck!
  • The X-Files Mulder and Scully. Oh, sweet Jesus. Even people who met them earlier that day can see it.
    Holiman: You spend every day with agent Scully a beautiful, enchanting woman. And you two never, uh...? (no response from Mulder) I confess I find that shocking. I've seen how you two gaze at one another.
    —"The Rain King"
    • It gets to the point when even the cold, murderous, manipulative Big Bad Cigarette Smoking Man berates Scully for not just admitting she's in love with Mulder. Literally every single character in the damn show saw it except for them.
    • The fact that they're so obviously one another's Living Emotional Crutch means any Big Bad who wants to piss off/hurt one of them does something nasty to the other. This never ends well for whoever gets between the two, but every now and again someone will be dumb enough to try.
  • Subverted on Scrubs somewhat. When Elliot and J.D. eventually hook up, the hospital staff are pretty apathetic about it since they've seen it coming for as long as they have. Likewise for their subsequent relapses into coupledom. Amusingly, before they get back together for the last time they had become closer and spent more time together than they ever did before, but remained platonic. The instigating event that brought them together is an innocent comment that they WERE a couple anyway, they just didn't let themselves see that.
  • Angel
    • Even though Angel broke up with Buffy, nearly every one of Angel's crew knows he still loves her. Even after a few years later, when Angel gets new friends that never saw him with Buffy (Gunn, Fred), they all take it as legitimate fact that Angel's not over her. Angel has never denied or confirmed this after S3 to anyone except Spike.
      Doyle: (talking about Buffy) Maybe he's over her?
      Cordelia: You have so much to learn, little Irish man.
    • The crew all know there's something going on between Angel and Cordelia before even they do.
  • Buffythe Vampire Slayer
    • Everyone knew there was still something going on between Spike and Buffy after he got his soul even though Buffy and Spike had denied it many times.
    • For Buffy's inner circle, they all know Buffy still has feelings for Angel after breaking up with years before.
  • Doctor Who
    • Harry and Sarah. They argue/flirt in like, EVERY SINGLE EPISODE of Season 12. And then there's Terror of the Zygons. Lots of good Harry/Sarah moments in that one.
    • Ian and Barbara. Where to begin?
      • When Vicki notices Barbara's bracelet in The Web Planet, she asks where it came from. Barbara tells her "It was a gift." Vicki's immediate assumption is that it was a gift from Ian.
      • Even King Richard points it out. KING. FRICKEN'. RICHARD. Upon noting Ian's eagerness to go out and rescue Barbara, Richard asks the Doctor, "Is it love of peace or love of your companion that prompts his enthusiasm?"
    • Romana and the Doctor. Even when considering that, as the actors were married at the time, this effect was likely somewhat emphasized.
    • The Ninth Doctor and Rose (in spite of insistent denials from both parties). Even the Daleks call them on it.
    • The Tenth Doctor and Donna are an inversion. A Running Gag throughout Series 4 was numerous people mistaking them for a couple whereas their relationship is more Like Brother and Sister
    • Amy and Rory used to be this. Luckily, their best friend and future daughter informed them that everyone could see it and gave them the push they needed to start dating before their first proper appearance.
    • When the Cybermen point out the Doctor's sexual tension with Miss Clara Oswald, this trope could be happening with them too. The kids she used to babysit basically refer to him as her boyfriend and ignore all protests to the contrary.
  • House and Cuddy. Several characters through the series comment on Cuddy's lenience with House and often question whether or not she loves/is attracted to him, which she obviously is but always seems surprised by the fact that others can see it, too. Strangely, people don't seem to suggest that House loves Cuddy, though this might be because of his deliberately open appreciation of her physical features, notably his sexual harassment of her (and all other female staff members), which causes people to take his advances less seriously, and in some cases see them as completely fabricated and done for the shock factor (as one of the women he interviewed for his new team did, knowing he liked to 'play games').
  • The Jim and Pam Will They or Won't They? romance on The Office became so blatant that nearly every other character commented on it.
  • Parodied on Seinfeld when Kramer makes a totally out-of-left-field attempt to enforce this trope. Jerry and Elaine are having a typical argument, which he interrupts, roaring, "Don't you two see that you're in love with each other?" They give him a look, shake it off and resume yelling at each other.
    • Generally speaking however, this trope is in force with Jerry and Elaine, with many characters noting that they spend an incredible amount of time together despite being ex-boyfriend and girlfriend. Julia Louis-Dreyfus even interpreted their relationship as such, stating that they were in love with each other but too immature to realise it.
  • Done a lot in The Nanny, as virtually all characters (and of course the audience) knew about Maxwell and Fran except for them. When they're finally together for good, they enter the house by announcing Max said "I love you" to Fran, which surprises nobody. When Maxwell adds "and I'm not taking it back" they're all shocked (and happy about it, except for CC).
  • The UST between Detective Kate Beckett and Richard Castle in Castle is getting to the point where everyone in the world seems to be able to see it except Beckett. Complete strangers casually ask whether they're a couple, people who've never met one of them can tell that something's going on just from how one of them talks about the other, and it is awesomely line-dropped by Kate's Black Best Friend Lanie Parrish:
    Beckett: Anything else?
    Lanie: You tell me.
    Beckett: What?
    Lanie: Don't "what" me! Castle's lost love?
    Beckett: Yeah, what about it?
    Lanie: Girl, I'm gonna smack you! You work side-by-side every day, he writes a sex scene in his book about you that had me reaching for ice water — and now little miss bride shows up, don't tell me you're not the least bit jealous!
    Beckett: Oh please, you've been inhaling too many... autopsy fluids.
    Lanie: Honey, just because you don't see what's going on doesn't mean everyone else doesn't see what's going on!
    Beckett: Shut up!!!
    • Castle finally admits his feelings when Beckett is shot at the captain's funeral in the finale of season 3 episode 24. In fact Beckett can see it too, and Castle calls her out on it earlier in the episode.
    • Ironically, when Castle and Beckett finally hook-up, they are able to hide this from their friends and family for quite some time primarily because everyone has gotten so used to the UST that it no longer crosses their minds that Castle and Beckett might actually become a couple.
  • NCIS: Tony and Ziva have had co-workers, witnesses and other people comment on their relationship. Even Gibbs has sort of commented; he has given meaningful looks and vague references.
    • And one of the latest episodes has them "apparently" hooking up on a mission in Paris. The episode heavily hints at it the entire way through, with even the witness they had met a few days before commenting on it.
    • In the episode "False Witness," even one-shot character Jerry, unfamiliar with the show's characters and their history, can see that there's something between Tony and Ziva, though they both deny it.
    • In the episode "Housekeeping," former Tony flame EJ Barrett comments to Tony that he and Ziva have a special connection.
    • In a weird way, this trope is almost subverted—at times, it seems as though even Tony and Ziva know they're in love with each other, they just don't act on it. There are several instances in which they correctly peg the other's jealousy when one of them (or both) are even remotely interested in someone else. And more than one occasion where Ziva flirts with a non-recurring character because she knows it drives Tony crazy.
  • Life: Reese and Crews are often mistaken for a couple, and an FBI agent helping comments how he met met his wife in the bureau and that she was his partner. Only the word "too" is missing.
  • True Jackson, VP: True and Jimmy.
  • Gilmore Girls did this for five seasons. Each season brought in a new love interest, for either Lorelai, Luke, or both of them, only for the relationship to dissolve because "you're in love with someone else." When Lorelai and Luke finally got together in season five, the entire town of Stars Hollow said, "Took you long enough."
    • To a lesser extent Rory and Jess. Lorelai, Lane and Paris know, and the whole town notices even if they disapprove. Even Rory's boyfriend is all too-aware of their attraction. Hell, even Luke picks up on it!
  • Smallville: Lana saw immediately that Lois and Clark were attracted to one another from the start of their friendship , even though Lois and Clark deny it (Clark insists that he and Lois are merely Vitriolic Best Buds and Lana notes "the best ones always start that way"). One episode later, Chloe notices a spark of attraction between them during the dunk tank event at Smallville High, Jimmy repeatedly notices UST, Oliver makes his share of observations, and Jonathan and Martha both have their own bemused suspicions that Clark and Lois's Vitriolic Best Buds routine is masking something else. By Season 8, the UST gets to the point where neither Lois nor Clark can deny it much longer.
  • Chuck: By roughly the mid-way point of Season 3, Casey, Ellie, Captain Awesome, Morgan, Jeff, Lester, General Beckman and Big Mike (i.e. the entire cast) all ship Chuck/Sarah, and help try to make it happen. Most of their love interests see it too. Of course, for most of the show they were deliberately pretending to be in a relationship...
  • On The Vampire Diaries, Stefan and Elena fit this. Almost all of the characters on the show can see or have commented on Stefan and Elena's undying love for each other. An example of this would be Klaus telling Damon referring to Stefan and Elena's love for each other: "Crazy or not, that kind of love never dies". A second example is when Caroline told Elena: "Stefan is your epic love". A third example is Lexi telling Elena referring to her love and relationship with Stefan: "When it's real, you can't walk away". Other characters on the show have noticed and commented on Stefan and Elena's love and devotion to each other, such as Damon, Katherine, Klaus, and Rebekah. Various characters on the show have also been shown to be Stelena supporters or shippers. Such characters include Klaus, Caroline, Bonnie, Matt, Lexi, Jeremy, Jenna, etc. The producers of the series, Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec have both referred to Stefan and Elena as being the true epic love story of the show. Kevin Williamson has repeatedly referred to Stefan and Elena as soul mates. He also suggests that although the plot is about a love triangle (between Elena, Stefan and Damon), the series revolves around Stefan and Elena's love story and that their relationship is the central plot and "anchor" of the show.
  • Good God, Phil of the Future. Once an Episode at the LEAST. They were voted "Cutest Couple" by the whole school, for crying out loud. And the student body cheered when they kissed for the first time.
  • Zoey 101 has Chase and Zoey. Chase's love for Zoey is the school's worst kept secret, and Zoey's obliviousness is almost painful.
    • In the third season premiere, Lola and Quinn try to tell Zoey of Chase's feelings for her. When Zoey doesn't believe them, Lola pulls a random student from the hallway to illustrate her point.
      Lola: Ginny, could you come in here a moment?
      Ginny: Sure, what's up?
      Lola: Blank is in love with Zoey. Fill in the blank.
      Ginny (in a matter of fact tone): Chase.
      Lola: Thanks for playing.
    • In "The Play", the school's drama teacher wonders aloud whether Chase's casting of Zoey for the lead role in his play was due to her acting ability, or because there was a kiss written between their characters in the final scene.
    • Even people who don't know them think they're together. In "PCA Confidential", Zoey and Chase (and Stacy Dillsen) act as a panel to answer questions about the school to potential students. The last question was asked by a girl who said she had a question for "Zoey and Chase" (this is actually the original quote; the episode was supposed to air at the end of the third season, but ended up airing after the fourth, after Chase and Zoey were already together).
      Girl: Are you guys boyfriend and girlfriend?
      Chase: No.
      Girl: Have you ever been?
      Zoey: No.
      Chase: Why do you ask that?
      Girl: Just a vibe I was picking up. (cue Chase/Zoey montage)
    • Michael tries to tell Chase that he's extremely obvious in his love for Zoey:
      Chase: Would you stop saying that [that Chase is in love with Zoey] so loud?
      Michael: Why?
      Chase: I don't want people to know, okay?
      Michael: Everyone on planet Earth knows you love her! The people on Neptune even know. Yeah, they're up there right
      now on Neptune saying... (mimics alien voice) "Did you know Chase loves Zoey?" "Why yes I do, the whole galaxy knows."
  • Ross and Rachel on Friends. At one point Rachel realizes she's still subconsciously attracted to Ross and Phoebe tells her everyone just assumed she knew. "It's like telling Monica 'You like things to be clean.'"
    • Surprisingly averted when Chandler and Monica start their Secret Relationship. The gang take months to figure out they're together, despite blatantly obvious hints. Possibly because the pair were extremely close before hooking up, sharing each other's deepest secrets and frequently seen cuddling up together. Their friends may not have noticed the change from platonic to romantic affection.
  • Rigsby and Van Pelt in The Mentalist.
    • Jane and Lisbon fit this, especially in season five. In the season 5 opener Lorelei tells Jane that he is a little bit in love with Lisbon. In the season 5 finale a physic from Jane's past points says that Lisbon was lying in bed thinking of Patrick and proceeds to say "You're a little in love with him."
  • Rookie Blue has Sam and Andy, whose chemistry is noticed by everyone including Luke, Andy's ex-boyfriend.
  • One-sided version: everyone knows that Niles is hopelessly in love with Daphne in Frasier, including him, but Daphne remains blissfully unaware for several years, and everyone keeps quiet because Niles Cannot Spit It Out, and they don't want to meddle in his business. When Daphne finds out about his feelings (without Niles knowing), it leads to a Crowning Moment of Funny when she tells this to Roz with the air of disclosing a earth-shattering classified state secret, only for Roz's response to be "Well, duh."
  • Fabian and Nina from House of Anubis embody this trope so much, it's almost painful to watch. It gets to the point where other students in the house (not to mention the entire fandom) are asking Fabian to please just ask her out already.
    • This conversation alone proves it-
    Mick: So, Fabian, who are you planning on asking to the prom?
    Amber: A certain play writing scholarship student with a thing for antiques and apple pie?
    Mara: Of course he'll be taking Nina...if he ever gets around to asking her.
    Fabian: I don't know what you're talking about. Me and Nina...we're not an item.
    Mick: Come on. Everyone knows you two secretly like each other...well, not so secretly.
    Mara: Yeah, so when are you going to put Nina and the rest of us out of our misery?
  • On Burn Notice, She's Not My Girlfriend is a Running Gag, cropping up once every few episodes with Mike and/or Fiona saying it. And everyone else knows that they are.
  • Harm and Mac on JAG.
  • Merlin: Arthur and Guinevere. And they consider it a Secret Relationship. Every single character manages to make the jump that they're together within days. Even Uther, the most Genre Blind character on the show, manages to figure it out (although luckily they convince him it was just an enchantment and aren't seen together in front of him after that).
  • Downton Abbey: Matthew and Mary. So, so much. Even their respective fiances see it.
  • How I Met Your Mother has Ted and Robin, where the first few episodes had them obviously attracted to each other but in very different stages of their lives (Ted is ready to settle down and start a family, Robin is Married to the Job and uncertain of EVER getting married). They agree to remain friends and Robin becomes very close to him and his group of friends. They both insist there is nothing romantic between them but it's obvious to everyone and the viewers it's a matter of timing and not feelings. They officially get together in the second season and break up amicably towards the end, as we already know Robin isn't the mother. Throughout the rest of the series it is obvious those feelings haven't disappeared completely.
  • On Game of Thrones: close associates and complete strangers alike can figure out in seconds that Jorah Mormont is in love with Daenerys. Actor Iain Glenn seemed utterly bewildered when a journalist questioned him on the issue:
    I think I made it patently clear that I really, really fancy her. I really fancy her.
  • Boy Meets World's Mr Feeny thinks that he has been discreet about his feelings for Dean Lila Bolander. He is hilariously wrong.
    Eric: Who knows who Feeny loves?
    The Entire Class: [in perfect unison] The Dean!
  • In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Fitz-Simmons are the only ones who seem remotely surprised to discover they might have romantic feelings towards one another. Everyone else seems to have been well clued in from the beginning, and have even been referring to them by their in-universe Portmanteau Couple Name since Day 1.
  • Heroes: After Sylar uses his empathy power on Claire, he tells her he knows she has feelings for Gretchen.
  • In Supernatural, from the point of view of EVERYONE EXCEPT DEAN AND CASTIEL, their relationship is this. Even GOD can see it. He enjoyed watching a play that talked about it, held a panel about the "homoerotic subtext of Supernatural" and writes down literally everything in his books. He knew from the beginning (which is likely why he sent Cas to pick up Dean in the first place) and He likes it.
    • The other angels, however, HATE IT so much that they have tried to murder Cas many times, saying he abandoned all of heaven for one man (and they're actually right).

    Manhwa 

    Music 
  • Everybody Knows (Except You) by 'The Divine Comedy' is a variant, in that everyone can see that the singer is in love with the girl, except the girl herself. Of course, this IS because he just went around telling everybody and everything about it (to the point of driving his friends away and making a small boy cry).
  • Something To Talk About by Bonnie Raitt plays the trope straight. The singer hears rumors about her and a friend, and starts to realize that said friend is in love with her and she with them. Once they recognize the mutual attraction, the narrator suggests they give the rumor-starters "something to talk about."
  • Just Friends by the Jonas Brothers is another variation, in which everyone can see it (including the narrator), except for the girl in question.
  • You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This by Toby Keith

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In Safe Havens, Samantha and Dave used to tell anyone and everyone that they were Just Friends. Absolutely no one bought it, especially their circle of friends. They eventually progressed to dating and Official Couple-dom but balked at attempts to go beyond "just dating," physically or legally. In 2012, however, they announced their engagement....

    Theatre 
  • Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing revolves around this trope. While Hero and Claudio are happily in love with their perfect romance, Beatrice and Benedick never lose an opportunity to mock each other (with sex jokes) or deny their feelings for one another. It takes a bit of manipulation on Hero and Claudio's parts to bring them together.
  • In Pokémon Live!, Brock can easily tell Misty loves Ash, though Ash himself is clueless.

    Video Games 
  • Early in Utawarerumono, the villagers around Hakuoro drop some rather pointed hints concerning Eruruw that he apparently never catches on to. Such teasing more or less stops after he becomes emperor and she becomes royalty as well, but he still seems more or less oblivious.
  • In Mass Effect 2, Kelly Chambers says "You two would make such a cute couple!" in response to Tali (if Shepard is male) or Garrus (if Shepard is female) joining the crew. Those two are both possible love interests for Shepard of the indicated gender. Master thief Kasumi Goto also gets in on the action, thanks to the new DLC.
    • In the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, Liara will tell a Shepard who is romancing Tali that Tali has been awestruck since she first joined the Normandy crew.
    • In Mass Effect 3, Ashley and Kaidan's complete lack of surprise when Shepard and Tali start flirting in the middle of a mission is telling.
  • The male player character and Elanee in Neverwinter Nights 2, at least from Neeshka's general reaction to her.
    • Though it works just as well in reverse if the player's relationship with Neeshka is higher than it is with Elanee.
  • Paraphrased from the game:
    Wynne: So, you and (your Love Interest).
    The Warden: You know about (your Love Interest) and me?
    Wynne: Everyone knows about (your Love Interest) and you. Trust me, in Zevran's case, half the camp sleeping in their tents wishes they didn't.
    • Notably, Anora—having seen both characters for maybe fifteen, twenty minutes at the most—can tell that a romanced Alistair is sweet on the female Warden if you bring up the possibility of her and Alistair marrying: "I rather thought you and the boy...?"
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story in regards to its two leads, Claude and Rena. They have a small problem of Cannot Spit It Out, but it doesn't stop the rest of their friends from trying to spell it out for them. In fact, it was so obvious that even Dias (The Stoic, a childhood friend of Rena and a sort-of-rival for Claude) can see it.
  • Fox and Krystal from the Star Fox series are obviously attracted to one another, but rarely will they ever mention it. Pretty much everyone on the Star Fox team (and even some people who aren't) know that the two are in love with each other and will occasionally comment on it. At one point in Star Fox Assault, Prince Tricky tells Fox and Krystal to come back to his planet for their honeymoon which causes Fox to get all embarrassed and yell at Tricky.
  • Kingdom Hearts has Sora and Kairi. When Sora witnesses a Disney couple getting their happy ending (most prominently Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann), Donald and Goofy can tell who he's thinking about (Kairi) and call him out on it. Sora's feelings for Kairi are also the entire reason Saďx found kidnapping her to be useful. And a good third of the plot of Chain of Memories is caused by the villains knowing that Kairi is the most important person to Sora.
  • By halfway through Final Fantasy VIII, even Squall himself can see that everyone he knows thinks he and Rinoa are perfect for each other (and is mostly annoyed at how obvious they're all being).
  • Adell and Rozalin in Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories eventually end up like this. Eventually lampshaded by Etna, who sees they've got "one of those relationships going".
    • By the time of Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten, they have a hard time convincing people they're not married (though they... Uh, live in the same house together).
  • A Ho Yay example would be Ryo and Hibiki from Lux-Pain. It seems obvious to a lot of people that Hibiki has an obvious crush on Ryo but the latter is either oblivious or purposely leading him on.
  • Twilight Princess: Link and Ilia are childhood friends and possibly more. The Ordon kids almost seem to think of them as parental substitutes; particularly when Collin notes how Link and Ilia always look after them. It doesn't take Telma long to see it either. But the most telling instance, is after Link helps Ilia recover her memories of their time together. Renado, Cor Goron and the others give them their privacy, though Talo has to be yanked away from the window, by Beth.
  • Done adorably in Galaxy Angel Moonlight Lovers with Vanilla who doesn't really understand what love is and thinks she's sick and dying. Finally Dr Creta gets Ranpha involved and Ranpha does a poor job of explaining that she's lovesick for Tact. As Tact himself doesn't even realize what's wrong with Vanilla the entire ship starts trying to get them together before Tact realizes what's happening and sits down with Vanilla to explain to her what love is.
  • Wadanohara: Pretty much everyone in town can tell how much Samekichi and Wadanohara love each other. While Samekichi's feelings are a LOT more obvious despite how he tries to hide them, characters make comments about how the two of them "get along so well" and how cute they are together. Samekichi's feelings are so obvious that one character tells him "a thousand fish in the sea would all say they knew" when he confesses.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night: EVERYONE can see that Sakura is absolutely head-over-heels for Shirou.
  • The entire orchestra in a2 ~a due~'' thinks that Hao and Sona like each other. Depending on your choice out of two dialogue options, they're all either very wrong, with Sona thinking to herself that she and Hao are only close friends, or they're very right, with Sona silently admitting that they might have a point.
    French horn player: It's because you love us, don't you, Sona?
    Cello player: But not as much as you love Hao~.
    Sona: You're getting your face punched in first, just so you know.

    Webcomics 
  • In the furry webcomic Divided Sky, Kittifox and Stryde are a good example of this trope, where the mute friend picks up on this and a blind angel says bluntly, "You love her."
  • Tonya mentions this to Lance in Shape Quest.
  • Parley and Andrew Smith from Gunnerkrigg Court. She's all over him (literally); he puts up with it because he thinks she's "hotter than hell", but he's oblivious to (or in denial over) the fact that she likes him. It takes a homicidal ghost chastising Parley for precisely this for them to see it.
    • Goes to the hilarious degree when her friends see these two merely in the same room, pretending too hard they have absolutely nothing to do with each other... and then simultaneously jump to the correct conclusion.
  • Reika and Eiji were so obvious in Red String, their friends actually say "finally" when they—finally!—hook up.
  • Agatha Heterodyne and Gilgamesh Wulfenbach from Girl Genius. Partially subverted in that they themselves know, but just Cannot Spit It Out.
    • Also subverted in that Gill proposes to Agatha as the first end to a story arch and then goes on campaign when she "dies" clutching his engagement "ring" close to his heart.
    • Moloch von Zinzer's feelings to Sanaa — usually causing all mental and motoric activity going haywire on sight — were (surprise!) rather obvious to other prisoners of the Castle:
    Moloch: Did everyone know about that?!
    Dr. Mittelmind: Hm? Oh, not everyone... just those of us who noticed that anyone who got to your kitchen after Sanaa was served boiled sponge with gravy.
  • Haley and Elan in The Order of the Stick. Exhibit A.
  • Mike and Lucy in Bittersweet Candy Bowl. Very far gone. Until suddenly, it is gone. When Lucy finally realises this, she is not a happy kitty.
  • Questionable Content
    • Faye and Marten for the first 400+ strips. Then they have "The Talk".
    • Later, Faye and Angus, though it's more Faye saying that "nothing had been decided yet" when she likes him, he likes her, and everyone knows they're going to get together. As of Number 1736, they're official.
  • Penny and Aggie: Aggie and Penny. It builds slowly, but by the evening when they finally get together, everyone present seems to have realized there's something there.
  • Sequential Art Valentines sequence: pleasant surprise, blush, awkwardness, facepalm.
  • Karkat and Terezi in Homestuck, to the point where even the humans, who have just met them, comment on it.
    • This is echoed with Kankri and Latula - Aranea mentions that by the end, pretty much everyone was aware there was some Unresolved Sexual Tension between them, even though Latula was apparently happily in a relationship with Mituna. Latula seems to know what's going on, but Kankri, as a dedicated Celibate Hero, very much doesn't.
  • Between Elliot and Susan in El Goonish Shive. Not only do each of the main characters have at least some inkling of it, but the in-universe fandom for their movie review show ships them as well.
  • Split Screen: Jan and Jeremy. Even someone who's only seen them react to a picture of the other can see it. Jan doesn't outright say she love Jeremy (to him), but she doesn't try to hide it. Jeremy insists there's nothing there, but his reactions are... Mixed.

    Web Original 
  • Linkara and Marzgurl on That Guy with the Glasses. Whenever they appear together about 90% of the comments will point this out. Apparently it's just good chemistry (and Ship Tease), because Linkara later proved to have a real-life girlfriend known as "Iron Liz".
    • The Nostalgia Critic/The Nostalgia Chick. It's one of the reasons why Nella forces her to go on the date with him, Mara wanted to kill the Chick because she needed to punish Critic more, and an earlier draft of To Boldly Flee had even Mechakara trying to test 7-of-11's loyalty by making her shoot Critic. Of course, they know it too (and history with sexings have been confirmed by Word of God), but Critic is scared of what she could do to him and she hates admitting emotions.
  • A lot of characters have noticed that Starry and Elliott in Starwalker mean a lot to each other but both of them show Selective Obliviousness when someone tries to bring up the subject.
  • Thalia and Apollo in Thalia's Musings. Let's see, Apollo and Thalia have feelings for each other. Hephaestus sympathises with her during the Daphne debacle, Eros and Aphrodite keep offering to set them up together. Even Artemis knows that her brother becomes aflicted with a case of Love Makes You Stupid when he is showing of for Thalia. Also everyone in Olympus speculates about them.

    Western Animation 
  • Number 3 and Number 4 of Codename: Kids Next Door:
    Number 2 and Number 5: Wally and Kuki, sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G!
  • Danny and Sam on Danny Phantom, to the point where their best friend, nameless classmates, Danny's usually thick-headed dad, and villains who are usually in another dimension and wouldn't see anything all pointed it out. A Running Gag line, repeated by several characters throughout the series during moments when it appears as if Danny and Sam are doing something intimate is "I always knew you two losers would wind up together." Which immediately gets coupled with Danny and Sam retorting "S/He is not my girlfriend/boyfriend!"
  • Earthworm Jim: Played with very oddly in the cartoon version; Jim himself insists that the relationship between himself and Princess Whats-Her-Name is obvious enough to be just like this. The Princess herself, however, has no idea what the heck he's talking about whenever he refers to them as a couple, and Jim laughs at this.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes: Dorkus reveals that everyone in Miseryville knows that Heloise is crazy for Jimmy, while Jimmy is so Oblivious to Love it boggles the mind.
  • Jimmy Neutron: Jimmy and Cindy. Extraordinarily so. First it began as Belligerent Sexual Tension, but gradually faded into a genuine attraction as time went on. The final episode had them flirting and acting all lovey-dovey (hell, they were playing footsie at one point), before finally kissing. It should be noted that during that episode, Libby exploited it for her gossip segment during the news show the main cast was making, as if to lampshade how obvious Jimmy and Cindy were being.
  • Kim Possible: Kim and Ron (for the first three seasons, before they were an Official Couple). Every character in the series, from their classmates and families to the villains to Kim's ten-year-old, agoraphobic webmaster knew how those two felt about each other. Even Bonnie knows, but is repulsed by it and the fact everyone else accepts it.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Phineas and Isabella. It's somewhat subverted in that only one of the two is oblivious (Isabella makes her crush very vocal).
  • Robin and Starfire on Teen Titans. It got so bad that people were shipping them on the Internet in their own universe.
  • Ulrich and Yumi in Code Lyoko. The only two people that didn't consider them to be a couple were...Ulrich and Yumi. It's tentative, but they do decide to give it a shot at the very end of the last season. In Code Lyoko: Evolution, they're right back where they started.
  • Total Drama: Heather and Alejandro. Everybody saw that they had the hots for each other, and it only became more obvious as time went on.
    Blaineley: "Heather and Alejandro, just give it up and make out already!"
  • Archer has the eponymous character and Lana. The two spend every single mission together in heated arguments to the point where one begins to wonder if it's a thinly veiled attempt to get some kind of release. It's later lampshaded in "Heart of Archness: Part III":
    Noah: (after a long pause after the two are done screaming at each other) OH MY GOD JUST SCREW ALREADY!
    Bucky: Seriously.
    Rip: Then kill each other, and then shut up. And then kill each other again. And call me, so I can watch you do it.
  • A subversion occurred in Justice League Unlimited between Batman and Wonder Woman. Green Lantern and Zatanna figure it out within minutes after hearing one talk about the other, and it's so obvious that even Circe, who had never even met Batman previously, figures it out when she sees the two together on a stakeout. The subversion is that while the attraction is obvious, it's a Foregone Conclusion that they'll never stay together as a couple even if they ever get together, thanks to Batman Beyond.
  • Ben 10: Omniverse: Ben and his "former" crush Kai Green. Their endless bickering grates on the nerves of everyone, because the attraction between them is so obvious that everyone is shouting in their heads for them to just make out already. The Forever Knights even initially thought Kai was Ben's girlfriend, while Rook comments on their arguing as "romantic bantering".


Date PeepersRomance ArcFalse Start
Commitment IssuesThis Index Is Not My GirlfriendFallback Marriage Pact
Eternal LoveLove TropesExiled to the Couch
Child Of The StormShip TeaseLuminescent Blush

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