->'''Harry Kim:''' ''[after telling Tom he's in love again]'' I know what you are gonna say...\\
'''Tom Paris:''' No, no. Actually, I was gonna congratulate you. I mean, she's not a [[Recap/StarTrekVoyagerS4E5Revulsion Borg]], she's not a [[Recap/StarTrekVoyagerS3E13AlterEgo hologram]], and she's not [[Recap/StarTrekVoyagerS6E18AshesToAshes dead]]. Looks like you might have finally found yourself the perfect woman.
-->-- ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', "Drive"

Some people are just unlucky in love. Others seem to have done something to personally piss Cupid off and are spending the rest of their lives paying for it. The Fatal Attractor is a character whose LoveInterests always end up having some sort of critically serious flaw, be it personality, physicality or just a [[SuicidalCosmicTemperTantrum maniacal urge to destroy the universe]], which ultimately precludes any kind of long-term relationship.

By making sure that the relationships are doomed via the use of flawed love interests, the writers are able to make sure that StatusQuoIsGod without having legitimate love interests StuffedIntoTheFridge. The trouble is, when it's done to a character several times over the course of a long-running series, they end up coming off as either having really bad taste in love interests or being a magnet for psychotics. Or both.

For this reason, long-running series characters are the main ones to run into this problem, especially ones who use GirlOfTheWeek or MonsterOfTheWeek format (usually the two end up being combined). Usually only males suffer this problem, but that has more to do with the fact that MostWritersAreMale than any inherent quality of this trope.

Interestingly, this usually only happens to secondary characters -- leads tend to have more functionally sane love interests. In any case, all of them suffer from the CartwrightCurse.

Like everything else that he can't catch a break with, the ButtMonkey is usually the most common victim of this trope.

See also: DatingCatwoman, FatalAttraction, RomanticFalseLead.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Used in ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn,'' where Longchamp Naito has a different girlfriend in every appearance. Played with in the sense that they're all hideous, so it's not like the writers are even pretending that they have a chance.
* Yuuichi Aizawa of ''VisualNovel/{{Kanon}}'' is often joked to attract girls with psychological problems or on the verge of death. The one normal girl in his harem? [[spoiler: Her mother gets hit by a car.]]
* Train from ''Manga/BlackCat'' doesn't seem to be able to attract very normal love interests. It would be rather interesting to know if he would still choose to be a CelibateHero and appear to be [[{{Asexuality}} asexual]] if a halfway decent and semi-normal woman would come into his life. His (possibly) blooming feelings for Saya (the most normal of his love interests) is cut very short by... a certain very jealous person. Rinslet is a very manipulative thief who constantly takes advantage of him and tricks him into doing things for her. Kyoko is too much of a borderline {{Yandere}} who is overly aggressive and a StalkerWithACrush. And that's not even mentioning Creed, who is the most [[StalkerWithACrush insane and obsessive pervert]] when it comes to Train, and is the one responsible for what happened to Saya.
* ''Manga/SakuraGari'': Every one of Souma's lovers are shown to have horrible endings. He even notices and mentions it himself. Of course, this doesn't stop him from continuing to take lovers.
* This trope is what [[TheHero Terry Bogard]] in the [[TheAnimeOfTheGame OVA and animated movie adaptations]] of ''VideoGame/FatalFury'' becomes. At the point in time in which they were made, Terry did not have a canonical love interest (indeed, [[TheSmurfettePrinciple The One Girl]] existing in the games proper at the time was/is crushing on Terry's younger brother), so a pair of CanonForeigner girls were added in to amp of the drama:
** The first OVA gives us BrokenBird Lily [=McGuire=] [[spoiler:who is practically a slave to the BigBad, Geese Howard, and in fact was partly responsible for an incident in which Geese killed Terry's father, which emotionally broke her. Regardless, the two fall for each other, and just as Lily has made her HighHeelFaceTurn and agreed to finally leave Geese to be with Terry, Geese [[KiAttacks Reppuukens]] her through a window to her death. His [[FailureKnight failure]] to protect Lily haunts Terry for the remainder of the trilogy.]]
** In TheMovie, Terry meets PluckyGirl Suila Gaudemus [[spoiler:who as luck would have it, is the [[MadScientistsBeautifulDaughter Crazed madman Laocorn Gaudemus' little sister]]. Terry spends the movie trying to keep himself from getting too close to Sulia because of what happened to [[ILetGwenStacyDie Lily]], but just as he's coming to terms with his feelings, Laocorn becomes [[AGodAmI a godlike being]], and Sulia makes a HeroicSacrifice that allows Terry to beat him.]]
* ''LightNovel/DenpaTekiNaKanojo'': Juuzawa Juu, a TroubledButCute {{Delinquent|s}} picks the interest of a lot of girls. Only Fujishima Kanako was… sane. The other ones are a SerialKiller StalkerWithACrush [[spoiler: (who killed Fujishima and tried to kill him)]], a ManipulativeBastard, [[spoiler: (who tried to kill him)]] a {{Tsundere}} who proposed him SexForSolace and a girl who claims to be his MagicalGirlfriend. Also, because AllGirlsWantBadBoys and therefore EvilIsCool, TheBully is obsessed with destroying his life. Fortunately, the girl who believes herself a MagicalGirlfriend will protect him, but Juu could not have a relationship with her because she is, obviously, CrazySane and he is AboveTheInfluence.
* Shinji from Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion. This being a CrapsackWorld filled with DysfunctionJunction, it's not unexpected but Shinji seems to be the only one attracted to actually evil non-humans. Rei turns out to be a clone of his mom and Lilith and the key to jumpstarting the Apocalypse. Kaworu is actually Tabris, an angel. [[BrokenBird Asuka's]] the most normal and that's saying a lot.
* ''Manga/SeraphOfTheEnd'': Guren has Mahiru as a girlfriend who just so happens to [[{{Yandere}} be willing to do anything up to including betrayal, researching cursed weapons, putting innocent people's lives in danger, and becoming a demon in order to be with Guren]].
* ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'': Sousuke attracted Gauron's [[StalkerWithACrush ''attention'']] without even trying. Unfortunately for Sousuke, Gauron is a AxCrazy PsychoForHire, and a man.
* ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'': Sasaki/Kaneki seems to have a knack for attracting admirers of the VillainousCrush variety — Tsukiyama, Nico, Roma, and Eto are all fascinated with him to one degree or another.
** And now Mutsuki who shows increasing worrying distructive behaviors and mental instability towards himself and others makes it explicity known that he has feelings for Sasaki/Kaneki.
** Mutsuki is the unfortunate target of a crush by [[StalkerWithACrush Saeki/Torso]] and Ayu/Nutcracker expresses attraction to him at one point via licking and kissing his face.
* ''LightNovel/AiNoKusabi'': Riki. Most of the people that want him have very serious issues to work out and he always ends up paying for it.
* ''Anime/SchoolDays'': In the anime, Makoto is in a PsychoticLoveTriangle and is TheCasanova to boot and ends up paying for it at the hands of his love interests.
* ''Manga/KurenaiSanshiro'': Whenever the titular character meets a GirlOfTheWeek, the girl gets in trouble or already was knee deep in problem. [[spoiler: At least one of them dies.]]

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* More superheroes than can really even be counted. The lucky ones (Franchise/{{Superman}}, Franchise/SpiderMan, etc.) at least have a single canonical love interest, but most of them just end up in an endless revolving door of doomed relationships.
** Comicbook/{{Daredevil}} is the king of this trope. He's had several girlfriends who have been insane (Milla Donovan) or misguided or evil (Lady Deathstrike, Typhoid Mary, Echo).
*** Even one who was mostly one of the good ones, Karen Page, became addicted to drugs for a time and sold his secret identity to the Kingpin.
** Comicbook/{{Batman}}, who is generally attracted to Anti-Heroines if not outright villains. His most enduring loves are [[DaddysLittleVillain Talia Al Ghul]] and [[ClassyCatBurglar Catwoman]]. His penchant for bad girls once convinced him that his girl of the week was evil due to her being a bit too vanilla.
** Nico Minoru of ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}''. [[spoiler: Her first boyfriend, who she still hasn't completely gotten over after his death, turned out to be TheMole and [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy she ended things with her second boyfriend because he fell for another girl.]] She also made out with a vampire at one point.]]
* The title character from ''Comicbook/MsTree''. Most of Michael's boyfriends since the death of her husband have turned out to be killers.
* From what we see of his various exes ([[TimeAbyss and he's had several]]), Morpheus from ''Comicbook/TheSandman'' is ''really'' bad at relationships. In fairness, just about all of them are just as much due to his own flaws as his lovers': Being an AnthropomorphicPersonification of dreams and fantasies Morpheus is really adept at the 'seducing' part, but his {{pride}} and sense of [[MarriedToTheJob duty]] means he's downright rotten at working to keep a relationship going.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''FanFic/ASmallCrime'': Artie. The first girl he loved thinks that he's a loser. The second girl he loved [[spoiler: is supposed to kill him]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* This was lampshaded in ''Series/CharliesAngels: Full Throttle'', where the Angels confirm a character is an assassin by asking Drew Barrymore's character whether she found him attractive.

* Bertie Wooster of ''Literature/JeevesAndWooster'' attracts--and is attracted by--girls who turn out to be either complete weirdos or just terrible people.
* Chiao Tai, former highwayman turned Judge's assistant in the ''Literature/JudgeDee'' mysteries is an ancient Chinese poster boy for this trope. One girl turns out to be an enemy agent who tries to kill him. Another woman is a husband killer and his true soul mate is not only a dancer-courtesan but a murderess.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' plays this to ridiculous levels.
** [[Franchise/{{Superman}} Clark Kent]] is, of course, a textbook example of DoomMagnet, as [[DesignatedVictim Chloe]] and [[DamselScrappy Lana]] could attest, and they both have been attracted to him for years. Clark himself may become a danger whenever he comes in contact with red kryptonite, or possessed, or mind controlled. For short term LoveInterests, Kyla turns out to be a [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent shapeshifter]] who accidentally killed the VictimOfTheWeek and [[VillainTeleportation Alicia]] tried to kill Lana, [[TheScrappy not that anyone wanted Clark to stop her doing just that]].
** Chloe has very little luck with love even not counting [[ObliviousToLove Clark]]. Sean turned out to be a murderous psycho, Justin turned out to be a murderous psycho, Ian turned out to be a murderous psycho, [[spoiler: Davis]] [[OverlyLongGag turned out to be a murderous psycho]], and [[spoiler:the marriage between Jimmy and her [[TearJerker/{{Smallville}} ended with tears]]]].
** Lana also attracted a bunch of [[MonsterOfTheWeek freaks of the week]].
* Harry Kim, from ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', who is described in the quote at the top of the page, fairly accurately sums up this trope. And for those of you who were wondering, the person being discussed in that conversation turned out to be an alien saboteur who was trying to start an interstellar war. Poor Harry just can't catch a break in the romantic department.
* Neither can Xander from ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', who in addition to his past relationship with Cordelia and his unrequited crush on the title character, always seems to end up with murderous non-humans. (Except for the murderous non-human who transformed into a law abiding human). FanFic likes to make this go UpToEleven and a source of constant LampshadeHanging.
** Buffy herself doesn't fare much better. Her three boyfriends (counting Spike, but not her one-night stand) were, respectively, an Ensouled Vampire who [[CurseEscapeClause lost the soul]] [[CantHaveSexEver after her night with him]], a Super-Soldier, and an Unensouled Vampire who proceeded to get a soul and whose relationship with her was quite an unhealthy one.
** Lampshaded in Season 1. At the end of an episode, Willow is depressed because it turned out the "boy" she had a crush on and that seemed interested in her was in fact a robotic demon. Buffy and Xander tries to cheer her up by pointing out that Buffy's current boyfriend is a vampire and that Xander was recently attracted to a She-Mantis. It doesn't quite work, as they ALL end up depressed.
** On ''Series/{{Angel}}'', Cordelia ends up with a similar problem, combined with mystical pregnancies.
* Ah, the poor characters on ''Series/{{NCIS}}''. Somebody's new girl/boy friend turning out to be evil happens just about once a season, to the point that fans instantly suspect anyone's new love interest. There was an undercover Mossad agent, an identity thief, two serial killers, the daughter of an international arms dealer, and a ''freaking South African assassin.'' [=McGee=] ends up having the aforementioned assassin try to kill him, and she ends up shot and dying in his arms, prompting him to mumble, "I swear I'm joining a monastery." Tony has sexual tension with (probably over) half the female killers on the show. Abby's ex-boyfriend stalked her and intended to kill her and a make it look like a suicide. Even ''Ducky'' got in on the action by dating a serial killer. It makes Gibbs look kinda normal, though he's gone out with a few (yes, literal) killers over the course of the show.
* Daniel Jackson of ''Series/StargateSG1'' only ever seems to get a reprieve from this when his CartwrightCurse kicks in. The lecherous, amoral starship thief whom he only ever had a committed relationship with in an alternate universe was actually a step ''up'' for him.
** And, considering her husbands included [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking a religious zealot bent on utter domination of the galaxy and a cook who couldn't make pie]] he was kind of a step up for her too.
* Justin in ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace''. First there was the werewolf, then there was the vampire...
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': Sam Winchester. His love interests have included a kitsune, a werewolf, a demon (twice!) and multiple arachne (they were turned into monsters after Sam slept with them but ''still''). Even girls he simply befriends turn out to be monsters or evil (like Meg or Ava). In "Sex and Violence", Dean uses this trope to deduce that the girl Sam is sexing up is the current monster of the week. [[spoiler: Surprisingly, he's wrong.]]
** Dean has attracted some female demons as well, the most dangerous being perhaps Abaddon. Also, in a later season he attracts the Darkness, often called by another name, Amara, who is a supremely powerful primordial entity who has existed since before the beginning of time, predating both God and Death, who were of similar age.
* Series/JonathanCreek and his boss, Adam Klaus, both have a tendency to date girls who end up being that episode's murderer.
* One of the principal tropes of ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}''. Jerry, George and Elaine have all routinely dated people only to break up with them over one minor character flaw or another.
* Oliver Queen from ''Series/{{Arrow}}'' has this on top of his CartwrightCurse. Helena Bertinelli, he mentored until she JumpedOffTheSlipperySlope and Oliver had to put her in jail. Sara Lance is a member of the League of Assassins, who while an ally, is much more ruthless than he. Isabel Rochev turned out to be the Ravager and working with Slade. Lampshaded in season 3
-->'''Oliver:''' Last girlfriend? She's in the League of Assassins. My girlfriend before that shot my girlfriend before that. Not exactly a catch at the moment.
* ''Series/{{CSINY}}'''s Stella Buonasera has been attracted to someone who turned out to be a murderer at least ''thrice''.
* In ''Series/The Sentinel'' both Jim and Blair have attracted unsuitable women--thieves, assassins, stalkers, serial killers, and general nutcases. Fanfic writers have Flanderized this.
* ''Series/{{Gotham}}'': Jim unintentionally attracts a laundry list of admirers, male and female, most of whom are Ax-Crazy. At last count they include: Penguin; Nygma; Barbara; Sionis; and last but not least Theo Galavan who genuinely planned to have Jim at his side when he took over Gotham but due to Jim's refusal to bend to him finally orders him killed.
* ''Series/RizzoliAndIsles'': Jane unfortunately seems to be a psycho magnet, in that she attracts the attention of SerialKiller Charles Hoyt and a delusional man who kidnaps her while insisting she's his wife.
* In Series/ScreamTVSeries Emma just has worse luck in love - 1. Will, [[spoiler:whose [[TheirFirstTime first time]] with her was on a dare]], 2. Kieran, [[spoiler:who turned out to be the season 1 accomplice and season 2 killer]], and 3. Alex [[spoiler:a.k.a. Tom, who murdered a whole bunch of people ''for'' Emma because he's in love with her, thinking [[NotSoDifferent they're the same]]]].

* Parodied by ''Website/TheOnion'' [[http://www.theonion.com/content/node/34124 here.]]

* Myth/ClassicalMythology makes this one OlderThanDirt, when Aphrodite got pissed off at Pasiphae, the wife of King Mino of Crete, so she made her fall in love with the Cretan Bull, which would attack and kill anything that got close to it. Well anything except the royal cattle, thus leading to Pasiphae disguising herself as one of these cows and conceiving the Minotaur.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* [[ComicStrip/{{Garfield}} Jon]] before he started going steady with Liz was like this with pretty much ANY girl he dated.

* In ''Webcomic/CtrlAltDel'', all of Lucas' ex-girlfriends are crazy or wanted to harm him in some way. It got to the point where he wore a bulletproof vest on his latest date. As for how that one turns out, [[spoiler:it's a loveless relationship where the other party allows him to essentially use her for sex and companionship in the hopes that he'll reciprocate her deeper feelings]], ''and they are both fine with this''.
** Until Lucas DOES reciprocate her feelings and walks in on her taking advantage of the open nature of their relationship... with another man.
* In ''Webcomic/SomethingPositive'', Davan's girlfriends usually turn out to have something very wrong with them. The sole exception left him (with his blessing) because her dream job required her to move. His current relationship with Vanessa seems to be working out okay, though she has her little quirks.
* Justin from ''Webcomic/WapsiSquare'' described himself as a crazy chick magnet. [[spoiler: It turns out that there's a little bit more to it than that. He doesn't just attract crazy women, he attracts crazy ''paranormal'' women, many of whom want to do things that he is uncomfortable with.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', most of the woman Church knew were this, which includes his girlfriend Agent Texas and his daughter, Carolina. {{Lampshaded}} by Tucker.
-->'''Tucker''': Church, the more important question here is: do you know any girls who aren't complete bitches, that won't sleep with me?
-->'''Church/Epsilon''': Sorry, dude. That seems to be all I have in my life.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Hadji from ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuestTheRealAdventures''. His two main love interests over the run of the show were:
** A succubus-like monster who was using him to get to Jessie so it could consume her life force, and
** The daughter of his adoptive father's terrorist arch-enemy. After this particular Reveal, Hadji's friend Jessie lampshaded his status as one.