main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Kickstarter Message
TV Tropes Needs Your Help
Big things are happening on TV Tropes! New admins, new designs, fewer ads, mobile versions, beta testing opportunities, thematic discovery engine, fun trope tools and toys, and much more - Learn how to help here and discuss here.
View Kickstarter Project
Foe Romance Subtext

"Venom... I've been all over this city looking for you! You never call, you never write... It's like I'm the only one interested in making this relationship work..."

The implications of sexual tension between arch-enemies.

Just as Ho Yay is about the situation of implying romance where even the characters' canonical sexual orientations make it implausible, this trope intentionally creates an even deeper paradox by subtextually implying love in a relationship that is, textually, the opposite of love.

This trope is much more likely to come into play if one is The Rival and The Only One Allowed to Defeat You, or a Rival Turned Evil. If enemies have to work together, it can give the impression that adversity makes strange bedfellows. Since most heroes and their villains tend to be the same sex, this results in most examples of Foe Yay overlapping with Ho Yay, but opposite-sex foes qualify too. This trope is also very likely to occur if the in-series explanation for the two characters' obsession with each other is that they used to be close friends but had a major, evil-related falling out. See the Doctor Who page and the Smallville entries below.

Other times, this trope can be invoked by a villain who seems to be too eager and persistent about trying to convince or force the hero to rule the world together, and eventually appear as a one-sided Villainous Crush. Terms of Endangerment often feature in many Foe Romance Subtext exchanges.

Dark Magical Girls are often depicted as understanding their Magical Girl counterpart far more than anyone else, and after inevitable redemption at the very least become Heterosexual Life-Partners, if not more. Watch out for the Take-That Kiss, often a Foe Romance Subtext marker.

When it ultimately goes from subtext to text, and the two admit that they love each other, it is called Dating Catwoman. Contrast with Defecting for Love. For the villain who really is sexually obsessed with The Hero, see Stalker with a Crush, Mind Game Ship, In Love with Your Carnage, and Villainous Crush. A major conclusion to Subtext. See also Destructo-Nookie, when they actually do go the whole nine yards.

See also Foe Yay Shipping, for the subjective audience reaction of insisting that after a certain number of such scenes, the two should become a couple (this appeal often lies in the forbidden nature of the relationship, a staple of the shipper diet). Please move non-objective examples to that page. Oh, and be careful: some of the "examples" on here may require Brain Bleach.

Not to be confused with Faux Yay.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 

  • The fight between Ladd Russo and Chane Laforet atop the Flying Pussyfoot in Baccano! is punctuated with this, as Ladd repeatedly declares his love for Chane and monologues about how she loves him back. Even while he's trying to blow her to bits with a shotgun. It's implied that Ladd's just trying to mess with her, but when he starts to caress her cheek and play with her hair, one can't help but wonder.
    Ladd: I'll take it. I accept this love from you, young lady! But you have to accept my love, too...
  • The attraction that Slan, the female member of the Godhand, has to Guts from Berserk. Given that she's a sadistic demonic god, she basically derives a lot of pleasure from all the suffering she and the other God Hands can put him through. And it's not exactly helped by the fact that Slan is Too Kinky to Torture — the only thing Guts succeeds in doing by impaling and blowing off half of Slan's torso with his Arm Cannon during his battle with her in the Qliphoth is giving her an orgasm.
  • Bleach: There is a very twisted straight example in the warped relationship between former 3rd Espada Nel Tu and 5th Espada Nnoitra Jiruga. Nel's constant attempts at saving Nnoitra, coupled with the fact that Nnoitra, no matter what he does, cannot seem to get her out of his head don't help.
    • Orihime has had quite a bit of subtextual Foe Yay shipping going on, mostly with Ulquiorra and Grimmjow, but there's even a little with Aizen too.
  • Busou Renkin: Papillon's obsession with Kazuki. Magnified by the fact that there's already a lot of subtext around Papillon with his flamboyant outfit including speedos and a distinctive butterfly mask.
  • Chrono Crusade has Aion/Chrono. In the manga, Aion is really Chrono's twin brother, unknown to him, and actually cares quite a bit for Chrono. The anime adaptation also included a scene where Aion holds Chrono's face in his hands and leans so close while speaking to him that their lips are almost touching. He also has a bit of In Love with Your Carnage for Chrono in both versions.
  • Clover has Barus and Kazuhiko's innuendo-laden dialogue. Barus is especially fond of Kazuhiko, and likes to call him his "prince." And snuggle with his severed hand at night.
  • Death Note has Serial Killer Light and Sympathetic Inspector Antagonist L, who (willingly, at least on one side) become handcuffed together for an indeterminate amount of time. It doesn't help that Light's girlfriend immediately protests by saying:
    Misa: Light is mine and I don't want to share him with you!
  • This defines the relationship between Rally Vincent and the Big Bad Goldie Musou in Gunsmith Cats manga, even though it's decidedly one-sided, with Goldie's desire to possess Rally, body and soul is the main reason for their conflict. There's also some Foe Yay between Rally and the Jerk with a Heart of Gold rival/enemy/ally Bean Bandit.
    • To a lesser degree, also the relationship between Goldie and Rally's junior sidekick Misty Brown. In one scene Misty drugged senseless in her underwear, in the next Misty in leather bondage gear, crying. Cue Squick. And in the last book of the series the two end up in a consensual relationship! Seriously!
  • Heavy Metal L Gaim: Lampshaded by The Hero Daba Myroad in chapter 15, as seen in the quote above. Unknown Rival Gablet's became so driven and so obsessive with defeating Daba that sometimes it sounded like if he had a crush on him.
  • Kemono no Souja Erin: Damiya becomes suddenly very touchy-feely with Erin, when it turns out that she can control the beast lords. During their first meeting one-on-one he grabs her hand, gets very close with her and compliments her eyes. Unsurprisingly, when they are interrupted by his aunt, she assumes that he tries to force himself on her. He also seems to be impressed, when Erin doesn’t buy his sweet talk and is overly fascinated by her ability, even comparing her to Je, when she rides on Lilan to rescue the queen.
  • Soubi with two of the main villains from Loveless One being Ritsu-sensei in which they actually were sort of in a relationship. (Ritsu took his ears) and Soubi was upset when Ritsu gave him to Semei. But currently they're both just sort of neutral to each other now. And, of course, Semei. With Soubi's obsession to obey the man's every word, despite the fact that he purposefully abandoned him. And replaced him with his real Beloved fighter Nisei. However, Soubi's obsession could be because of the way he was trained and nothing more.
    • Ritsuka and Semei. Though Semei doesn't see Ritsuka as his enemy, Ritsuka is kind of torn on what Semei is, exactly, due to what people have told him about him and many unanswered questions. Such as why he faked his death.
  • Inspector Zenigata, who chases after the titular Gentleman Thief Lupin III, is rumoured to be married. To a lady. Huh. Could've fooled everyone. (It's actually rather sweet how his life falls apart whenever he's taken off the Lupin case.) Of course, our dear protagonist doesn't help matters by constantly flirting with him.
  • Michiko Malandro and Atsuko Jackson in Michiko to Hatchin. Michiko even flat out implies that Atsuko used to get aroused whenever Michiko would beat her up or overpower her when they were younger.
  • In Mother Keeper, Turkes has one on Ricalna, even Adam who didn't see what happened between them could tell. Turkes makes comments about wanting to make Ricalna his man at least twice, willingly gives him whatever information he has and has no sense of personal space when it comes to Ricalna.
  • Naruto: It's been stated that the sharingan awakens with the loss of a loved one. Madara Uchiha awoke his sharingan when he ended his friendship with Hashirama Senju, who would eventually become (though reluctantly) his Arch-Enemy. Even into the modern day, after both men have long passed, when Madara is revived he starts bashing on the Five Kage for not being as good as Hashirama, and is obsessed with having a rematch when he senses his enemy's chakra. Hashirama, for his part, is perhaps the character most sympathetic to Madara, speculating that all of Madara's actions are ultimately him lashing out in grief after his brother Izuna's death.
  • Tabool in Now and Then, Here and There is unhealthily obsessed with garnering any attention whatsoever from his best-friend-turned-rival, Nabuca, to the point that he gets jealous of a freaking six-year-old. Long story short: Nabuca continues to reject Tabool and it does not end well.
  • Phi Brain Puzzle Of God gives us Rook and Kaito. The two were childhood friends. Unfortunately, Rook was taken away as a child and eventually became a Tyke Bomb who determined that Kaito was the perfect candidate for Phi Brain, a program filled with Death Trap puzzles, the ultimate goal of which is to create the perfect puzzle solver. It Makes Sense in Context. As Kaito solves puzzles, Rook gushes over how beautiful he is when doing so. He even concocts a plan to convince Kaito that the best thing to do is to leave his True Companions behind and join him. It doesn't work. He gets very angry when Kaito's Love Interest, Nonoha, displays how close she and Kaito are. When Kaito finally makes it clear that he will never join POG, the conglomerate Rook works for, Rook goes into a mad rage, screaming that Kaito is his and that he has to join him. Rook's personal Dragon needs to hold him back from making a grab at Kaito himself.
  • In one episode of Sonic X, during a fighting tournament, Rouge fights Tails and beats him... by kissing him. A few episodes earlier, she essentially flirts with Knuckles. Worse yet, the latter relationship is canon.
  • Good lord, do Akagi and Uozumi have this in Slam Dunk. It's been mentioned that Uozumi talks about defeating Akagi everyday and from what we've seen, this is probably not an exaggeration. He almost instantly took an interest in Akagi when he first saw him, cheered him on during the Kainan game, and his rivalry with him is his main motivation for improving. Even after quitting basketball he still travels all the way to Hiroshima just to see Akagi play and even gives him advice in the middle of a game. On Akagi's side he considers Uozumi the better player (despite what everyone else says) and has a great deal of respect for him. Their bromance is even mocked at times, such as when they hug and cry on each other's shoulder, only to show that they're both far too ugly for this to be anything but fan disservice.
  • Ayeka and Ryoko from Tenchi Muyo! Depending on which Alternate Continuity you choose, they are old childhood acquaintances or mortal enemies, but they always fight — and not just over Tenchi's affections. In at least one alternate world glimpsed during an Alternate Universe episode of the television series, though, they are clearly in a relationship with each other. Though outside forces were involved.
  • In the Seinen manga Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest, there's the Big Bad Haguro Dou, who is the young son of a powerful Yakuza boss, and who becomes completely and crazily obsessed with protagonist (and werewolf) Inugami. He initially doesn't care about or even think twice about Inugami... until he pushes Inugami too far. Which results in Inugami showing him his true form and scaring the shit out of Haguro. Haguro goes insane from it, and obsesses and stalks Inugami after that, even cutting himself all over his arm and carving the word "Inu" onto his hand. And yes, it's creepy to the point of being something of a sexual obsession as well - Haguro has been shown after that to, while having sex with his (equally crazy) girlfriend Ryuuko (who, by the way, also lusts after Inugami and thinks about him while having sex with Haguro), think only about Inugami, and pretty much screams his name while imagining him. Later, Haguro even ends up raping his male subordinate to death, while again thinking of Inugami. And after Inugami decides he's had enough of this shit and tries to move away, Haguro, being the stalker he is, tries desperately to do stuff to piss Inugami off so that he'll come back.
    • Haguro is damn near the epitome of this trope. Having violent sex with his girlfriend Ryuuko and having an orgasm while screaming Inugami's name? Buttraping the hell out of his male subordinate while, again, thinking about Inugami and how this is a punishment for him? Brutally raping Aoshika while recording it so that Inugami can see, practically talking to the camera (and, therefore, to Inugami) through the entire thing so that Inugami will come back to him? The only thing that's missing is for Haguro to actually try to rape Inugami himself, and pretty sure he's working on that one as well.
  • Zero no Tsukaima: In the fourth season's OP, Louise gets licked on her face by a new, evil purple-haired girl named Janette and the girl hugs Louise close to her with a blushing Louise struggling to get away. And in episode two Janette tricks Louise by pretending to be a plebeian, gets close to her face, and licks her again. She also touches her face and says that if things had worked out different they could have been friends. She also calls Louise "cute and innocent".

     Comic Books 
  • Made explicit in Mark Waid's Irredeemable, in which the genius supervillain explicitly confesses a homosexual obsession with the hero.
  • The Joker often makes comments toward Batman of this nature, talking about their relationship as though it were romantic, and making flirtatious advances. It's not clear if this is out of some actual attraction or simply to make Batman uncomfortable. To say nothing of how in Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth he actually slaps Batman's ass.
  • in Nth Man: The Ultimate Ninja , a flirtatious relationship gradually develops between the American ninja John Doe and the Soviet KGB leader Colonel Novikova... to the consternation of their subordinates and comrades.
  • Superman and Lex Luthor clearly have something going on, even if Lex is more recalcitrant about it than the Joker is with Batman. It is genuinely explicit that jealousy of Superman is a major motivating force for Lex; the exact nature of that jealousy, however, can vary quite a bit from the usual platonic state.
    • In the Silver Age, Superboy kept a trophy room of mementos of Luthor before he turned evil, including some of his lost hair. Note that before he turned evil, Lex likewise had a Superboy room.
    • When Superman died, Lex immediately arranged for him to be cloned - with the clone having genes added in from Lex himself, making the new Superboy for all intents and purposes the biological son of Superman and Lex Luthor.
    • In the nineties, Lex had an ongoing affair with Supergirl, who, in that version, was a shape-shifter, and there was at least one scene where she used her shape-shifting to flirt with him. You have to wonder how often he asked her to wear her costume to bed. For that matter, there were also at least a few times when Supergirl shifted to look like Superman or Clark Kent, so that Clark and Superman could be seen together. You really have to wonder.

  • In America 3000, the women of Frisco and Kansos in Colorado have an entire mythology built up around hating the men and wanting to exterminate them, and the free men Korvis leads in his compound at Camp Reagan have generally adopted a similarly hostile attitude toward the women. So why does the young Vena smirk and take a good long look when her mother cuts off young Korvis' loincloth near the beginning? Why, when Korvis and his men later raid Frisco, does he get distracted and linger over the sleeping form of the newly-crowned Tiara Vena in her shelter? Because of perfectly natural desires, and because they're going to get it together with each other later, that's why.
  • Bond/Le Chiffre from Casino Royale (2006). When your naked torture scene begins with the villain eyeing Bond up and saying "You've taken good care of your body"... This is actually more explicit in the novel where Le Chiffre addresses Bond as "dear boy" during the scene and of course, is the fact that Fleming based him on the bisexual Alastair Crowley. It's also worth noting that the idea of Le Chiffre having a girlfriend is movie-only (the original liked to patronize the string of brothels that he owned).
    • Skyfall throws "implications" right out the window with Silva's opening scene, where Bond is tied to a chair and Silva unbuttons his shirt to touch a scar on Bond's shoulder, continues to caress his throat, and strokes Bond's thighs. Bond responds to Silva's quiet snark, "Well...first time for everything, yes?" with, "What makes you think this is my first time?"
    • Craig's Bond is not the first to have subtext with the villain — there was a bit of homoeroticism between Bond and Alec in Golden Eye.
    Alec: "James and I used to share everything... absolutely everything."
  • Batman and The Joker in The Dark Knight ("You complete me!") One reviewer described the delivery of that line as "like a bride to a groom". The Joker also pretty clearly enjoys Batman beating him. This particular bit of subtext goes back a long way, and has become more or less canon in the comics.
  • While Xerxes, as portrayed in 300, appears to be into everything, and his feelings were not reciprocated, his interest in Leonidas certainly appeared to be more than political. The director felt that the teenage boy demographic would find Xerxes scarier if he was presented as a Depraved Homosexual intent on molesting the protagonist. Unfortunate Implications ahoy!
  • Roxy/Velma from Chicago. Even besides the whole Girls Behind Bars aspect of it, Roxy and Velma do spend a lot of time glaring at each other while wearing nothing but skimpy underwear. And during the last number they seem... a lot more friendly.
  • Dirty Harry. Scorpio's reaction to seeing Inspector Callahan's .44 Magnum revolver for the first time. "My, that's a big one." Reportedly actor Andrew Robinson ad-libbed that line, which made the crew laugh. One of many allusions to Scorpio's stereotypical "gayness". Look at the hair, the whiny, murderous hissy fits, and, when Callahan stabs him in the leg, hear the strangled, limp "uuuuuuuugh" he emits, as opposed to a full-throated "AAAAAARGH!"
  • There is a strong albeit disturbed vibe from Hannibal Lector towards Will Graham in Red Dragon.
    Clever boy. I think I'll eat your heart.
  • In Scanners II: The New Order, The Dragon Peter Drak makes a point of repeatedly referring to protagonist David Kellum as a "pretty boy", "Davie", and commenting on his "pretty eyes".
  • Fight Club. Aside from the fact that they're basically the same person, there's a large amount of subtext between The Narrator and Tyler, as Tyler is the epitome of everything the Narrator wishes he were, compared to the Narrator's docile, repressed sexuality. The movie opens with Tyler shoving the barrel of a gun down the Narrator's throat, they live together, bathe together, spend their nights beating each other to a pulp while shirtless and covered in sweat, and let's not forget the chemical burn scene, in which Tyler kisses the Narrator's hand and holds him down while he burns him, and Marla's almost jealous reaction when she sees the scar ("Who did that to you? Guy or girl?"). There's also the Narrator's jealousy and subsequent brutal beat-down of the pretty blond guy who started to seem like Tyler's new favorite.
  • Seymour and Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors. In its first Villain Song, 'Feed Me', Audrey II (who is named after the woman Seymour loves, by the way) seduces more than convinces Seymour to aid him. Audrey II sings to him "feed me all night long", puts one of its roots up Seymour's shirt, and forces Seymour into a chair before bringing him uncomfortably close to his face. Audrey later pulls Seymour's pants down, and lastly, it punches him in the scrotum. And also in his song Mean Green Mother From Outerspace, in a brief part Audrey says: "I got garden style, major moves, nasty thoughts, and I'm using them.". Though being a plant, well....[1].
  • X-Men: First Class: Erik with Charles, to the point where Television Without Pity gave them the "Best Couple" award. Also present in the original X-Men Trilogy. It's supported both by James McAvoy (who plays Xavier in First Class) and Ian McKellen (who plays Magneto in the other films). A bit of a variation on this trope in that they're actually friends despite their opposing goals and the subtext comes from the friendship rather than hostility.
  • Deliberately inferred in the original The Hitcher, to the point where it creeps out the cops to watch the lead characters interact in the interrogation room.
  • L.A. Confidential: Half the characters are convinced there's something more to detectives Bud White and Ed Exley's rivalry than just hatred.
    Jack: (to Ed) Bud White's gonna fuck you for this if it takes him the rest of his life.
    Lynn: (also to Ed): Fucking me and fucking Bud aren't the same thing.

  • Hrathen towards Sarene, in Elantris. Later turns from subtext to Love Epiphany, although the latter character remains totally oblivious to any of this.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Spike to Angel, in the latter's titular show.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor sobbing over the Master's body in "Last of the Time Lords" and pleadingly telling him "You could be beautiful" in "The End of Time". And don't even start on Scream of the Shalka (although the Master isn't a foe any more)... There's also that phone call in "The Sound of Drums" where the Doctor says all they have is each other.
    • While observing from afar, Missy in the eighth season of the Revival Series refers to the Doctor as her "boyfriend." When they finally meet, she starts things off by snogging him in a near-tackle, much to his confusion and horror. Oh, and she's a female incarnation of the Master.
  • Just as in Red Dragon, there's quite a bit of this between Hannibal Lecter and Will Graham on Hannibal.
  • Murdoch Mysteries: James Gillies, the criminal mastermind on the show, kisses Detective William Murdoch on the mouth for a full three seconds towards the end of "Midnight Train to Kingston."
    Gillies: For the last time, this is it for us. Doesn't that make you just... a little bit sad?
    Murdoch: No.
    Gillies: Not even a teensy bit?
    Murdoch: [shakes his head]
    Gillies: Come now, Detective. You and I share something, something... special. I'll miss you, you know that. [grabs Murdoch by the collar and kisses him]
  • Sherlock: In spades. Jim Moriarty (who, by the way, Sherlock deduces to be gay at first sight) just loves flirting with Sherlock.
    • It begins from the first message Moriarty sends to Sherlock, which is also the first-ever communication between the characters. Moriarty's very opening words are "Hello, Sexy".
    • They later meet in person when Jim is masquerading as Molly Hooper's boyfriend, and even in disguise Jim overtly flirts with Sherlock, giving him his phone number just like you would to a romantic prospect. Moriarty (as his true self) later talks about this like he's a jilted date:
    Moriarty: I gave you my number. I thought you might call.
    • Even his threats have romantic or sexual overtones:
    "I will burn the heart out of you."
    "Twelve hours to solve my puzzle, Sherlock, or I'm going to be so naughty...
    • And Sherlock himself, unemotional as he is, isn't unaware of the romance subtext in this relationship:
    "We met twice, five minutes in total. I pulled a gun, he tried to blow me up. [snarkily] I felt we had a special something.
  • Lex Luthor and Clark Kent on Smallville go above and beyond the already high bar for homoerotic subtext set by their comicbook source material, to the point they may be the epitome of this trope in distilled form.
    • Just like in the comics via genetic engineering, they basically have a son together. Unlike the comics, there is a Maiden Name Debate of sorts for said son, Alexander Luthor/Conner Kent.
    • In the earlier seasons of Smallville, Television Without Pity kept a running tally of Gayest Looks of the Episode. Yeah.
    • Clark has it with both incarnations of Zod, too. (It didn't help that the first was borrowing Lex's body for their final battle.)
    • Lois Lane and Tess Mercer on Smallville. Exhibit A:
    Lois: What is it with you and physical violence?
    Tess: The last time you and I saw each other, things did get a little... physical, didn't they? *wiggles her shoulders suggestively*
    Lois: And then what happened, Tess? Inquiring minds want to know.
    Tess: You don't remember?
    Lois: Well, a three-week concussion can do that to you. But I think that you bonked me on the head and then held me somewhere.
    Tess: Held you? That's wishful thinking, Lane. When I came to, you were already gone. We never did get to finish what we started, though. Little rematch?
    • Another time, she said she missed the French maid outfit Lois had once disguised herself in. It'd be easier to list the scenes with the two of them that don't scream "For the love of Rao, just make out already!"
    • Chloe Sullivan and Lionel Luthor. This one is canonical (from Lionel's end, anyway; they actually had an Almost Kiss, but Lionel was in Clark's body), at least according to Word of God, since John Glover, the actor who played Lionel, actually said he was putting attraction to Chloe into his portrayal of the character. You can see for yourself here.
  • In Intelligence Mei Chen, a rogue Chinese Intelligence operative into whom Dr. Cassidy implanted a chip under duress, gets very flirty when she encounters Gabriel, likewise a chipped operative. Among other things she compares him to Adam (to her Eve). He is not interested, though he does fake it at one point to lure her in so the team can remotely delete some classified data from her chip.
  • Spoofed in Dr. Terrible's House of Horrible where the Yellow Peril Diabolical Mastermind and the Gentleman Adventurer Guile Hero are noted in the commentary track to have played it "like they used to be lovers", although it wasn't in the original script and mostly conveyed through the extreme UST in the acting. Mark Gatiss explained in the commentary that the relationship between hero and villain is inherently a romantic one, as heroes need villains in order to express their glory and villains need heroes in order to have someone to defeat.
  • Babylon 5: Londo and G'Kar start off as fierce rivals, with Londo revealing in the first regular episode ("Midnight on the Firing Line") that he'd had a prophetic dream about his death, where the two of them would choke each other to death some twenty years in the futurenote . As the series progressed, the rivalry waxed and waned (with others often commenting about the two ambassadors' unique relationship), with the two settling into a sort of bickering Friendly Rivalry / Vitriolic Best Buds situation by the end of season four, with the two would often arguing Like an Old Married Couple.

  • Jonathan Coulton's Nemeses is this trope, and unrequited obsession, and Unknown Rival. An earlier version of the song made it even more clear.
    Could it be that you and me
    Are always meant to be together
    Promise me you'll let me be
    The one, the best of your arch enemies
  • The Megas, a Mega Man fan band, have the song "Blue Like You" about Flash Man feeling this for Mega Man.

  • Played for Laughs in the fifth and final season of Bleak Expectations, where it becomes increasingly obvious to Ripely that her husband and the evil Mr Benevolent do have a romantic relationship.
    Ripely: Oh, look. It's your boyfriend.

     Video Games 
  • Dota 2 exemplifies this on, of all people, Tidehunter and Kunkka. They are established in their backstories as hating each other - Tidehunter's hatred for Kunkka is never explained though, but out of that hatred he sunk his beloved ship. Those are some of the responses they have to each other:
    Kunkka: I never tire of hearing my name on your lips.
    Kunkka: Ah, nobody hated me like Tidehunter. He made me feel appreciated.
    Kunkka: Ah, Tidehunter, you cared enough to hate me. You can't buy that sort of love.
  • Darksiders: A creepy one-sided version of the Watcher towards War. They're magically chained together, with the Watcher imbued with the Charred Council's favor to supervise War. The Watcher's every other line reminds War that he's his bitch, and some of his lines sound a bit less-than-chaste. (The Watcher being voiced by Mark Hamill doesn't help, considering...)
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Here we have Knuckles and Rouge, particularly in Sonic Adventure 2. The two spend the better part of the game at each other's throats, mainly because they both want to restore the Master Emerald after it as broken earlier, albeit for different reasons, noble and selfish respectively. However, in their final confrontation when Rouge was in trouble, Knuckles saved her and the two gazed in each other's eyes while holding hands for a good few seconds before Rouge pulled away in disgust. Knuckles calls her out on her ungrateful attitude, but then Rouge teases that he just wanted to hold her hand. Rouge decides to just give up her pieces and leaves it at that, Knuckles apologizes if he hurt her in their previous fight and Rouge gives a small smile in his direction before departing.
  • League of Legends: Garen and Katarina, both paragons of diametrically opposed city states. They received high compatibility ratings under Blitzcrank's matchmaking service but aren't an official couple. During the game, Garen has unique jokes specifically toward Katarina, which are somewhat flirty.

     Web Comics 
  • Sluggy Freelance: In the story "Girls' Night Out", a series of random events leads the main characters to get tangled with a minor, animal-obsessed Diabolical Mastermind called Tadius Greasenherr, and Zoë having to bluff him that she's a fellow criminal boss called Cacamille to save the others. As soon as she's away from his sight, though, she's forced to admit out loud that she finds him ridiculously cute. They ultimately part on hostile terms, but events years later force Zoë to adopt the "Kaka"note  persona again to make a deal with Greasenherr; and even though they end up parting on hostile terms again, she's still affected by his cuteness again, and he's smitten by her coming across as a Chessmaster and Magnificent Bastard (and as controlling Bun-bun).
    "My heart is filled with Kaka."
  • The page image is from Hark A Vagrant, in a strip about a pirate and a British naval officer who get a little too obsessed with each other.
  • Oglaf: Invoked and Deconstructed in Punching Above Your Weight. To give a swordsman-in-training proper motivation, his master instructs his to develop an attraction to his male opponent and find strength in his rage at being a Hopeless Suitor. (As per Rule of Funny and Sexy, he actually succeeds.) This does backfire, however, when the swordsmen just snog in the arena, to the master's fury.
  • The troll concept of "kismesissitude" in Homestuck is rooted in this, and is actually a vital part of their reproduction process. It's strongly implied (if not outright stated), that Jack Noir and the Black Queen have this attitude towards each other whether they realize it or not.
  • One Princess Pi comic ends with Pi impulsively saving her greatest enemy, Princess Ip, from getting flattened by the Monster of the Week. Ip responds by kissing Pi while exclaiming, "You do care!" As Pi stands startled and shocked, Ip leaves while exclaiming, "Well, that was embarrassing!"
  • This strip from xkcd, where a character takes the saying "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes" a little too far.
  • Magick Chicks has this up the wazoo, between Faith, who's Artemis Academy's morally grey student council president, and Tiffany who is the school's self-appointed champion of justice. Faith is all for it and has repeatedly said as much, but Tiff still thinks of Faith as her enemy. Which is why she's still coming to terms with the realization that she's attracted to her.
  • Ménage à 3 has the bisexuals Yuki and Sonya, who can't stand each other. Yuki can't deny finding Sonya attractive, though, and Sonya gets pointedly accused of wanting Yuki in one crucial scene. An eventual resolution ... doesn't actually remove the enmity.

     Western Animation 

Ho YayGender and Sexuality TropesHomosexual Reproduction
Ho YayJustForFun/Tropes of LegendLes Yay
Evil UncleImageSource/WebcomicsLoveable Rogue

alternative title(s): Foe Romantic Subtext
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy