"There's a girl I knowIt's a simple story: Boy Meets Girl; Girl Meets Boy; Boy And Girl Like Each Other. Other Boy Meets Girl; Girl Meets the Other Boy; Other Boy Likes Girl Too, But Girl Is Paying So Much Attention To Boy She Doesn't Even Notice Other Boy's Affections. Now take a deep breath if you read that out loud. Overuse of capital letters aside, this is Triang Relations #4: a character who has a crush on someone who's already engaged in (at least potential) Shipping with someone else, after all, All Love Is Unrequited. Distinct from the Romantic False Lead in that the latter will actually catch the Girl's attention and make Boy jealous and uncomfortable (forming a Love Triangle). The Hopeless Suitor thinks that his rival is a Romantic False Lead, when in reality there was no competition in the first place, the object of their affection simply doesn't notice them. The center of the love triangle will always think the Hopeless Suitor is just a friend. Sometimes, but not usually, it's a case of Incompatible Orientation. In rare, very rare occasions, through sheer determination as befitting a Dogged Nice Guy, they might win over the object of their affection. It very well might take years or decades, like a Victorious Childhood Friend. The key is that there isn't any hinting towards Unresolved Sexual Tension between them, the tension is all one sided for a very long time before feelings are reciprocated. Usually doesn't get as far as Stalker with a Crush, unless he's Wrong Genre Savvy enough to be a Prince Charming Wannabe. Compare Romantic Runner-Up and Unrequited Tragic Maiden. Can be caused by an Incompatible Orientation.
He loves her so
I'm not that girl..."
He loves her so
I'm not that girl..."
— Elphaba, Wicked
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Anime & Manga
- In a slight twist on the harem genre, none of the girls aside from Aoi in Ai Yori Aoshi ever really had a chance. To blow up any shipping attempts, the first few episodes makes it pretty clear that Kaoru can't/won't choose anyone other than Aoi.
- In Asu no Yoichi!, Ayame is this towards Yoichi, although it's because of her sister Ibuki; the fact that she doesn't seem to spend much time with him; and when she does, she seems hostile. Then she wonders why he doesn't seem to romantically notice her.
- Washizu is this towards Ibuki, who never really acknowledges his feelings, either because he can't say it to her directly, or when he tries, it gets misinterpreted.
- In CLANNAD, pretty much any girl who's not named Nagisa in the anime. All of the main girls even show up at Tomoya's house in episode 18 with food after he got expelled taking the blame for a fight for Tomoyo. Tomoyo and Kyou even blame the awkward lunch date on him for not making it clear who he likes. But at the end of the episode, after a tennis game, Tomoya indirectly makes it clear who he wants to be with, crushing all of their hopes in one fell swoop.
- For those of you who refuse to accept the Official Couple that the anime chose, luckily there are two episodes where Tomoyo and Kyou both get a shot with Tomoya, and how their lives would've played out had Nagisa not of been there. And there's always the Visual Novel too.
- The biggest example is Ryou. Even in the visual novel, there is no happy end if you choose her as your girlfriend.
- Mazinger Z: Boss had a painfully obvious crush on Sayaka. Of course, given that she's The Hero's Tsundere girlfriend and he's the Gonkish comic relief, he doesn't stand a chance (although some people would argue by the end of the original Manga, he actualy does have a chance, judging from how Sayaka acts in front of him, but by this time, either he realized he has no chance or he already become such a good friend with Koji, that he doesn't care about it anymore).
- In Please Teacher!, Koishi is this in regards to Kei. Maybe if she acted in the first episode, but after that, her chances were blown.
- The former Trope Namer, Daisuke/Davis Motomiya from Digimon Adventure 02 has a crush on Hikari/Kari (Girl) and sees her friendship with Takeru/T.K. (Boy) as a genuine romantic threat. He becomes very jealous, characterized in the English dub by Davis never getting T.K.'s name right (ex: T.J., T.A., T.L. instead of T.K.). The character dynamics vary between the English dub and the Japanese dub, but the lack of success of Daisuke's romantic pursuit is there for both. note
- Krillin of Dragon Ball Z showed every sign of crushing hard on Bulma. She, of course, was deeply in love with Yamcha (until she wasn't) and Krillin himself was too easily cowed to even hint to her at his interest. Besides, he ends up married to another girl — Android #18.
- In Dragon Crisis!, Misaki, one of Ryuuji's classmates. She never really stood a chance, since he's snatched away by his older cousin within the first 5 minutes of episode 1, and is quickly taken away by Rose. Not that it stops her friend Mao from attempting to hook them up anyway.
- Ai falls into this trope as well, although it's largely because she's introduced later in the series well after Ryuuji's already been with Rose for a while, and she doesn't attend the same school as they do. But despite that, she decides to show up on the fourth floor window of their school at the end of the series, which one of Ryuuji's friends wonders how she managed to get up there from the window.
- A tragic version happens to Shin in the first arc in Fist of the North Star in regards to Yuria. Though he's the Big Bad (through the manipulations of Jagi, Kenshiro's disgraced adopted brother), he genuinely loved Yuria, and despite defeating Kenshiro to claim her the first time, she never loved him. Her attempted suicide broke him ( but she survives, but was willing to give her up for her safety from Raoh).
- A somewhat of a love triangle version happens with this: Rei loves Mamiya who loves Kenshiro. And it's pronounced for both of them. Rei is unable to act upon it later on as he was dying after fighting Raoh. And Mamiya did not act upon hers because she knows Yuria is the only woman Kenshiro loves/
- Baron Kelvin from Black Butler falls in love at first sight with a seven-year-old Ciel Phantomhive and has surgery on his face from parts taken from actual children to make himself more beautiful, thus having a greater chance of becoming Ciel's suitor. It doesn't work out for either of them.
- To an extent, Korea from Axis Powers Hetalia borders on this with his two older brothers, constantly groping them and downright flirting with them. This is taken to a further extent with China in the strip parodying a dating sim game, in which he's given a 'yes' or 'no' answer to Korea's seemingly innocent question of "Do you like me?" No matter which option China chooses, it ends with either sex or rape.
- Belarus is the female version of this,due to the person she is "courting" is her own BROTHER, Russia.
- Prussia can also be viewed as one, due to hints in canon that he's attracted to Hungary and/or Italy, both of whom are overtly paired up with other characters. He's even treated to the sight of Hungary and Austria being happy together on Christmas as he walks alone in the cold and tries to tell himself that he doesn't mind being alone at all. Ouch.
- The Turkey/Japan/Greece triangle is marked as a Type 3 in the author's notes (Turkey and Greece both like Japan, Japan hasn't explicitly favored one of them over the other), but well... just take a look at the number of Turkey/Japan fics vs. Greece/Japan fics on Fanfiction.net. Needless to say, virtually all fans who believe that Turkey likes Japan also believe that he doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell against Greece, the one who not only actually gets enough page time with Japan to show just how well they get along but also has had Umbrella of Togetherness and Did They or Didn't They? scenes with him. Even fans who don't ship Greece/Japan and want Japan to be with someone livelier almost never consider Turkey to be a viable option. (He fares somewhat better in J-fen, though. Somewhat.)
- FAKE has JJ, who cheerfully refuses to acknowledge that Dee 1) has a new man in his life, and 2) never even liked him in the first place. Also Berkely, who thinks of himself as a Romantic False Lead but really, really isn't. However, both of them give up on their crushes in the epilogue "Like, Like, Love". Berkley hooks up with Action Girl Diana and JJ surprise kisses his semi-partner Drake.
- Kei Kuruno kind of suffers from this, since his love interest Kichimoto has fallen for his best friend Kato.
- Reika also suffers from this, since her love interest Kei Kuruno has fallen for Tae.
- Niki from Urotsukidouji, whose unrequited love for Akemi drives him to chop off his own dick and turn into a rampaging monster.
- Maken-ki!: Usui and Celia find themselves pining after Himegami and Takeru respectively.
- In the manga, while Usui does have genuine feelings for Himegami, he's mostly driven by lust. Which she's well aware of, because it's the reason she doesn't take him seriously. Her attitude towards him ranges from indifference, to sociable at best. But it's finally subverted in chapter 65, when she tells him he juus~sst might have a chance with her after all.
- Celia is actually an inversion. She has it all: looks, a stunning figure, a singing career, and she's a pro wrestling champion. All she's missing is Takeru's love, especially now that he knows she's really a guy. But she continues to try anyway.
- In Love Hina, while Mutsumi seemed likely to snag Keitaro due to Naru not being able to clarify her feelings for him, the other girls never really had much of a chance, particularly Shinobu and later Motoko. Su hints at liking Keitaro, but never really pursues it.
- In Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu, although she tries, Shiina never really had a chance to get with Yuuto, since the first episode makes it pretty clear he ends with Haruka.
- Ryoga in Ranma ½ is chasing after Akane who doesn't even realize he's courting her.
- Also, all of Ranma's suitors. One of them (Kodachi) even admits to Ranma that she knows he doesn't love her back, but that this will in no way stop her from continuing to pursue him anyway.
- Almost all. Akane counts as the one exception, but even that's a little iffy at times, due to Ranma's Celibate Hero status.
- Also, all of Ranma's suitors. One of them (Kodachi) even admits to Ranma that she knows he doesn't love her back, but that this will in no way stop her from continuing to pursue him anyway.
- Ren in To Love-Ru. The poor guy never had a shot. So much that his male half was essentially Put on a Bus and he remained as the very female Run for pretty much the rest of the series, who was naturally a haremette in the Unwanted Harem of his romantic rival. Ouch.
- Harima from School Rumble is this with regard to Tenma and Karasuma, and Nara with regard to Tenma and Karasuma, Tenma with regard to Karasuma and some delicious curry...
- In Pokémon, Grovyle to a Meganium who's apparently already with a Tropius. The revelation causes him a Heroic BSOD, even when he's evolved into Sceptile.
- As the Shiptease (and a recent Love Chart) suggest, Serena has a crush on Ash. The chart also confirms that he sees her as a friend.
- Candy Boy has a lesbian variety in the shape of Sakuya, who keeps running after Kanade, even though she has lost by default to Kanade's fraternal twin sister Yukino.
- Ichinensei ni Nacchattara: Touta (~7 years old boy) jumps on Iori (7 years old girl) and tries to kiss her every chance he gets. Being as how Iori is secretly a genderbent highschooler, this attention is very much unwanted.
- Beauty Pop: Ochiai for Kiri, although he doesn't give up; possibly Billy for Kiri as well, but it's hard to say.
- Juvia, in Fairy Tail, whose crush on Gray is so huge that it can get her to forfeit major battles and lose focus of absolutely anything she was doing before seeing him. Her rival in love isn't actually interested in Gray, though. There was just a misunderstanding. She does get to spend time with him, but until she joins Fairy Tail she's just a Stalker with a Crush.
- Kyouko from Aoi Hana keeps pining for Yasuko, even though Yasuko won't even give her the time of day. Kyouko's plight gets worse when she finds out Yasuko is actually dating another girl, which means Yasuko is not rejecting her because of her gender, but for other reasons. The scene in which Kyouko begs Yasuko to give her a chance after all has to be one of the saddest in the series.
- In Pumpkin Scissors we are given Schultz and Alice. Schultz likes Alice even enough to shamelessly pursue her even though she's engaged to Leonir Taylor. This is not out of selfishness really; Alice was, after all, put into an arranged marriage with Taylor. However, chances are even if she wasn't engaged, she would probably not consider Schultz because of her dedication to her job.
- Randoll from Future GPX Cyber Formula is this for Asuka. He has a crush on her despite the fact that she's in love with Hayato. In fact, he and Hayato once competed for her love. He keeps on presenting her with little gifts, even after her engagement to Hayato.
- In a completely odd turn around, Hayate the Combat Butler has something of this between Hinagiku, Ayumu and Hayate. Hayate does notice Ayumu's affection for him (helped by the fact that she's the first of the unwanted harem to have confessed), even stating that they could have been dating, but realizing that Hinagiku is the one he's infatuated with, Nishizawa has taken to this trope herself, and is trying to get Hinagiku to admit her feelings to him. It doesn't help at all that Hinagiku is trying to play matchmaker between Ayumu and Hayate because I Want My Beloved to Be Happy.
- Also, Miki for Hinagiku, Miki realizes the Incompatible Orientationness of her situation, to her regret. But that doesn't stop her teasing of Hinagiku one bit.
- Poor Yugi Mutou; he's in love with Anzu, but Anzu's in love with his split personality. Yes, it makes things weird. The alter ego leaves in a heart wrenching scene in the last episode. The shipping issues are never resolved.
- This seems to be a curse for protagonists in the whole franchise; either he is a Hopeless Suitor, or there's one or more girls who are Hopeless Suitors to him. In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Asuka came within a hair's breadth of admitting her love to Judai in the final season, but never did (and it was clear that he was never interested anyway, being with someone else at that point).
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Yusei and Aki came close, but went their separate ways at the finale. Jack's situation was worse; he had an Unwanted Harem of three women competing for his affection, but in the end, he decided he was too Married to the Job to choose one of them, and let them all down easy (this despite previously being an Official Couple with one of them before a Relationship Reset Button came out of nowhere).
- Yu Gi Oh Zexal actually defied the status quo. Yuma also had an Unwanted Harem of three girls, but in the end, Cathy and Anna stepped aside with the ending suggesting he and Tori would be happy together, making Tori the first major character in the entire franchise to finally get the guy.
- In ...Junai No Seinen, Ian comes to Japan hoping to get together again with his ex-sex friend Kaoru. Kaoru's lover think that Ian is the Romantic False Lead, as does Ian himself, but he's actually the Hopeless Suitor and never stood a chance.
- The Ouran High School Host Club manga gives us both Hikaru AND Kaoru as Hopeless Suitors for Haruhi's affections. It's mostly Hikaru since Kaoru decides to confess to Haruhi telling her he loves her, but that there is still someone more important to him (his brother). After this Kaoru tells Hikaru he's stepped back and will support him as he goes against his love rival, Tamaki. It was already a losing battle for Hikaru, but he gave it a try anyway.
- Wandering Son plays several characters affections as this, both minor and major. The most apparent is Mako and every boy he's ever liked, and Saori with Nitori.
- In Hajime No Ippo, being a Hopeless Suitor is a national sport. The main character falls in Love at First Sight with Kumi, the sister of Mashiba and Kumi ends up falling for him too. Although Neither Of Them Can Spit It Out, they basically act as a couple. Then Itagaki Manabu, Ippo's kouhai appears and falls for Kumi, while his younger sister Nanako and the Hot Scoop Iimura Mari both fall for Ippo. Knowing Ippo and Kumi are made for each other (which Nanako can't seem to admit), Manabu later asks Mari out on the pretext that they are both "runner-ups"! Add to all this that Manabu's rival Imai Kyousuke is also a Hopeless Suitor for Nanako and you have a fine little mess. Oh, and in the early volumes Kimura falls for a nurse and, when he thinks this is serious, discovers she has a man. Seconds before entering the ring for a match. Ouch.
- In the SHUFFLE! anime, although the series teases us as to who Rin ends up with, the biggest loser is probably Kaede, the girl he's living with. It gets worse when Rin does choose a girl to spend time with, and causes Kaede to go a little Yandere. Averted in the Visual Novel however, since you get to choose who Rin ends up with.
- s-CRY-ed has Scheris Adjani for Ryuho, who only sees her as a comrade and has feelings for Mimori. Scheris ends up letting go and giving her life to save Ryuho's. But in a twist of cruel irony, she gets the last laugh from beyond the grave when her sacrifice is the reason Ryuho cites for NOT getting in a relationship with Mimori in the end.
- Tiger & Bunny's Word of God confirms that Karina is unlikely to have any luck when it comes to her crush on Kotetsu — for reasons ranging from a rather big age difference to Kotetsu being married (though widowed, he is still devoted to his wife) with a kid. Not to mention his complete and utter obliviousness to her advances.
- Played for Laughs in One Piece with Boa Hancock's unrequited love for Luffy.
- Sanji himself is the master of this trope.
- Nanami from The Pet Girl of Sakurasou. She may have a chance for Sorata prior to Mashiro's appearance, but after that, she falls right into this trope.
- Itsuki Koizumi is this to Haruhi herself in Haruhi Suzumiya. He's Genre Savvy enough to know that acting on his feelings would just confuse her however; so he mostly just teases Kyon about her feelings for him and plays Yes-Man to her.
- In Kotoura-san, Hiyori keeps courting her Childhood Friend Manabe, who keeps ignoring her actions. He instead fall for the telepathic New Transfer Student Haruka.
- Cat Girl Merle in The Vision of Escaflowne, who wants to get into a Childhood Friend Romance with Van. But try as she might, Van only has eyes for Hitomi.
- Attack on Titan. Jean meets Mikasa. Jean has a severe and instantaneous crush. Mikasa's brain on the other hand, is locked on "protecting Eren" position and unlikely to change its function anytime soon. That's only one of the poor guy's many misfortunes.
- The Middle School AU Spin-Off, Attack! Titan Junior High gives this role to Bertolt. His hopeless crush on Annie is played for laughs, with a two-chapter story devoted to his fruitless efforts to impress or woo her as his friends cheer him on. However, it's mixed with a touch of I Want My Beloved to Be Happy, as he recognizes Annie's feelings for Eren and is content with her agreeing to play a festival game with him.
- In Sakura Trick, Student Council President Mitsuki is this towards Haruka, as the latter's is already an Official Couple with Mitsuki's sister Yuu.
- Patlabor: Captain Gotoh's got it bad for his fellow Captain, Shinobu, who's aware of his feelings for her, but maintains a strict working-class relationship between them. It doesn't stop him from trying though, inevitably, it ends in disappointment.
- Kish for Ichigo in Tokyo Mew Mew. Even though his Villainous Crush supposedly evolves into true love, he's unable to win Ichigo over. She views him as her enemy and spends the entire series falling in love with Aoyama. A lot of fans feel bad for Kish when Ichigo rejects his confessions, regardless of his Yandere tendencies and stalkerish behavior.
- Chris Portman could have been Haru's perfect match in Ojojojo, if she hadn't already undergone character development and wasn't in a relationship with Kawayanagi.
- Naruto and Sakura. In spite of all the Ship Tease, it became clear in the end that Sakura would only ever have eyes for Sasuke. Naruto himself realized this subconsciously, but continued to pursue Sakura as another facet of his rivalry with Sasuke. Eventually, he comes to realize his affections for Sakura, while vaguely romantic at one point, are ultimately familial, and he finds his One True Love in another: Hinata.
- A far more humorous example would be Rock Lee, who sees Sakura, falls in Love at First Sight, and pledges to protect her at all costs. Lee is actually a genuinely nice guy and a splendid ninja, but it's very clear that, for a variety of reasons not limited to his Big Ol' Eyebrows, that he has less of a chance with Sakura than Naruto, let alone Sasuke.
- Shiho for Shikamaru is played pretty straight. Shikamaru never notices her feelings and instead turns his attention to his One True Love Temari. By the end of the manga, Shikamaru and Temari are married with a child.
- Hinata, two years after the manga ended, is fully convinced she's this for Naruto. The Last proves her dead wrong.
- In Quantum and Woody, Eric Henderson (Quantum) has this with his longtime crush Amy Fishbein.
- Wolverine is this for Jean Grey aka Marvel Girl in pretty much every media safe Ultimate X-Men (though this also didn't last long).
- Peanuts had quite a few: Charlie Brown was one towards the Little Red Haired Girl, Sally was one towards Linus, and most of all, Lucy was one towards Schroder. (Many fans had to wonder just why he even let her into his house to bother him, as she could often be an outright vandal when he ignored her, destroying his piano on two separate occasions.)
Schroder: Don't tell me I've become accustomed to that face.
- There were times Schroder could get along with Lucy. Also, when she was away for awhile, he realized that she was his muse, much to his chagrin.
- Evangelion 303: Saburo is this towards Kaworu. They dated for a while but Saburo broke up in a fit of jealousy. Later he regretted it, but for then Kaworu had moved on, was developing a growing relationship with Rei and wanted nothing with Saburo. Saburo is constantly trying to get him back, but all what is he achieving is pushing Kaworu away him and towards Rei.
- HERZ: Kurumi is this towards Shinji. Neither Sinji’s marital status nor intellectual realization that she IS hopeless stops her from keeping trying to seduce him.
Films — Animated
- The three sons of the three lords in Brave who are competing for Merida's hand in marriage and are all undesirable in her eyes. At the end of the movie, the three sons reveal that they didn't want to marry just yet either.
- A mild and comedic example in An Extremely Goofy Movie, Bobby, an Attention Whore Surfer Dude is attracted to a Tall, Dark and Snarky Beret Girl. She is significantly more interested in PJ, a Shrinking Violet Nervous Wreck, to the point she bluntly rejects Bobby and then immediately flirts with, comforts, and asks out PJ. Their mutual friend and third member of their Power Trio Max teases Bobby for this. After the intiial meeting, Bobby is happy to let the two be.
- Gaston of Beauty and the Beast is determined to make Belle his wife and becomes increasingly aggressive in his pursuit of her, not seeming to realize that Belle not only wants nothing to do with him but is destined to be with the Beast (it's in the friggin' title, for crying out loud!note ).
Films — Live-Action
- Bernie Kuntz, a hopeless-dorky overweight appliance salesman with a bad combover toward Stephanie Plum, the spunky, ridiculously-attractive heroine of One For The Money.
- In A Face in the Crowd, Marcia spends a long time waiting in vain for Lonesome Rhodes to propose to her. He actually does propose to her once, but shortly after that she gets a visit from the wife he never told her about. After his divorce is taken care of, she bluffs to a guard that she's his fiancée, only to find out that he's just eloped with another girl.
- Laurie in Little Women, forcing him to Settle for Sibling. Tom's pursuit of Nan in the final sequel Jo's Boys.
- Henry Crawford in Mansfield Park, unsympathetically as he's a Stalker with a Crush (making the narrator's interpretation very Fair for Its Day) and a shameless womanizer.
- Word of God has it that Leopardstar of Warrior Cats loved Tigerstar. However, Tigerstar does not return her affections as he loves Sasha.
- Housemaid Rosanna Spearman is hopelessly in love with protagonist Franklin Blake in The Moonstone. Hopelessly because not only is he a 'gentleman' and so out of her class but he's in love with Rachel Verinder.
- Lettice Protheroe for Lawrence Redding in Murder At The Vicarage. He is in love with her stepmother, however. He is also a murderer- and her stepmother, too- so his indifference is probably for the best.
- Michael for Rosamund in the Knight and Rogue Series. He actually helps to reunite her with her love, figuring that if she tries a few days of Ruby's less glamourous life style she'll be disenchanted. He's wrong.
- Brienne of Tarth in A Song of Ice and Fire, hankering after the confirmed-gay Renly Baratheon.
- In An Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers, there’s one for each side of the Official Couple:
- Alexander tries to confess his love to Hadassah, but she shuts him down with a Love You and Everybody speech, because she is still in love with Marcus despite thinking their relationship is impossible.
- It’s genderflipped with Tabitha, who falls in love with Marcus and hopes he’ll propose, only to be disappointed by his lack of attention because he is pining for Hadassah despite thinking she’s dead.
- In Jane of Lantern Hill, hired man Step-a-yard is in love with Miss Justina Titus, but knows that it's hopeless as she is faithful to the memory of Alec Jacks, who died in World War One. The main character mentions that Miss Justina still wears her hair in a pompadour, as that was how she wore it when she said good-bye to Alec.
- Just about every guy who isn't Edward. Most of the guys at school have either tried to court Bella or had secret crushes that were never revealed. Mike Newton especially is a sensitive guy who tried for about two books to win her over. Poor guy.
- Vampire Academy:
- Mason Ashford acts as the boyfriend of Rose briefly in Frostbite but she is still obsessed with Dimitri throughout.
- Adrian Ivashkov is a persistent suitor for Rose and even becomes her boyfriend briefly. But she is obsessed with Dimitri the whole time. Hopeless and heartbroken, at least until he found Sydney.
- Tasha Ozera has an unrequited crush on Dimitri. She proposed to him and was turned down. He preferred Rose to her.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Xander Harris in the first season. He gets over it.
- In Smallville, it is a poorly kept secret that Chloe wants Clark for the first part of the series, while Pete in turn secretly wants her.
- In Grounded for Life, Brad pined after Lily and assumed that her emotions were divided between himself (whom she barely noticed and openly discouraged any kind of advance) and her boyfriend Dean (whom she was all too ready to get hot and heavy with). Eventually Brad decided to "back down" and openly referenced the concept that they were in a "love triangle" to Dean, whose only concern was "The two end points don't touch, do they?" Though it might have been subverted later on when Lily broke up with Dean and ended up dating Brad anyway. Who's hopeless now?
- Steve Urkel in Family Matters is a special case in that he knows he's the Hopeless Suitor — he's just not willing to let that stop him, hence the Catch Phrase " I'm wearing you down, baby!" His only shot at Laura was the transformation chamber that turned him into Stephan Urquelle, the epitome of smooth and cool. Steve Urkel himself managed to win Laura over in the shows last season, after some 8 years of Laura insisting on Just Friends.
- iCarly: Freddie towards Carly. Although he isn't so hopeless any more since Season 3.
- There are elements of this in Sheriff Carter's relationship with Allison Blake in Eureka, especially after she agrees to marry former husband Nathan Stark for a second time. Even to the point that when Stark sacrificed himself, Carter decided not to pursue.
- George played this in the first and second season of Grey's Anatomy - he was in love with Meredith, who spent the time pining over her married ex-boyfriend and sleeping with random guys she met at a sleazy bar. Eventually they slept together, but she started crying in the middle. It kinda didn't go too well. Lexie, Meredith's half-sister, becomes romantically interested in George, but he's the only who doesn't notice and is interested in other women.
- Crais is interested in Aeryn in Farscape, and it takes her a long time to realise that's why Crichton's acting like a two-year-old around her. Of course, the fact that Crais continually called her "Officer Sun" is probably one of the reasons it didn't occur to her that he was interested in that way.
- In ER, Ray was this towards Neela. In the end, they are seen together. Another case would be Romano and his friend Dr Corday.
- For at least 7 episodes during the first season of Glee, Emma plays the hopeless suitor to the seemingly oblivious Will.
- And Karofsky to Kurt in the second and third seasons.
- Friends: Gunther had an obvious longtime crush on Rachel, but she never even knew about his feelings until the last season and the entire audience knew that she was going to be with Ross in the end.
- Martha from Doctor Who just can't compete with her crush's Lost Lenore. It doesn't help that he is the king of Oblivious to Love.
- Moriyama towards Tenkaichi in The Conditions of Great Detectives who loves the attention but ignores how honest her feelings out. Banzo tells her every single episode that she isn't his love interest, Fujii is.
- Gossip Girl is currently playing this straight with Dan and Blair. Blair (as always) is in love with Chuck. She treats Dan like her closest friend and confidante, and even ships him with her friend (and his ex) Serena, apparently oblivious to the fact that he's been in love with her for half a season.
- Lennier on Babylon 5. In this case Delenn obviously has a great deal of affection for him; she is simply unconditionally in love with Sheridan, and that, as they say, is that.
- C.C. Babcock, Maxwell Sheffield's business partner on The Nanny, wanted him to be with her rather than Fran Fine. However, she does get together with Niles, Maxwell's butler in the end.
- Pushing Daisies: Poor Olive never stood a chance with Ned once Chuck appeared on the scene.
- Very briefly on The Big Bang Theory, Raj to Penny. The reasons are a little complicated, Penny was having dinner at Sheldon's apartment with Raj and, because Sheldon can be hard to be around, was drinking a little too much. Sheldon went to bed and while she continued talking with Raj she confessed she still had feelings for Leonard but he was now taken in a very serious relationship. The combination of alcohol and both feeling romantically frustrated ended with them waking up in bed together the next morning. Raj interpreted it as him being Penny's "#2" after Leonard in the social group, while she was too embarrassed and apologized for leading him on. Unusual for the trope once the dust settles Penny and Raj do become closer friends.
- Leonard viewed himself as this with Penny during the first season, at one point ready to sell his geeky collectibles because he felt they would be a deterrent to Penny's interest. Penny was largely ignorant of his crush until later in the season, and her feelings for him grew as she realized how different he was to the obnoxious meatheads she would normally date.
- When Penny became a pharmaceutical salesperson, one of her clients, Dr. Lorvis, becomes smitten with her and goes to her appartment to woo her. It seems he took her flirting sales tactics too seriously, a problem he also had with the woman at the pet store who got him to buy an iguana and later with Sheldon's girlfriend Amy.
- Baby Gat from Noah's Arc relentlessly pursues Noah, particularly in the movie (to no avail).
- Jonathan, Jack Donaghy's assistant on 30 Rock, is hopelessly obsessed with Jack and devoted to him.
- Funnily enough, the same actor who plays Jonathan, Maulik Pancholy, plays Sanjay on Weeds and is similarly obsessed with Nancy.
- Elaborated into an entire episode of How I Met Your Mother, crossing into Master of the Mixed Message. It referred to letting someone be on your "hook" where (intentionally or not) you allow someone to be enamored with you and you gather all the benefits of an ego-booster without having to commit to them, sometimes sprucing up your dialogue with "I can't be with you... right now." Ted was doing this by accident to a girl at the university library, and when he realized a girl was giving him the runaround too he sought to make things right with her. In a more long-term issue, Lily's high school boyfriend Scooter has shown up throughout the series and has made it clear he wants her back.
- Joy Mercer on House of Anubis is this for Fabian Rutter, having liked him for at least a year BEFORE Nina even knew Fabian. even AFTER Nina leaves, Fabian still turns her down, and rather rudely too.
- Damon on The Vampire Diaries. He never gets the girl and the girls always seem to choose his brother Stefan over him. Damon does not have much luck in the romance department.
- One Tree Hill: Mouth for Brooke (who doesn't lead him on, and in fact they develop an Odd Friendship out of it). He also is one for Rachel, who does lead him on, repeatedly, which pisses Brooke off (because of the stated friendship between her and Mouth).
- Helen Chao in Flower Drum Song. Wang Ta does get her in the Dream Ballet, but when he's awake he gives her no reason not to reprise "Love, Look Away."
- Eponine's feelings for Marius in Les Misérables.
Eponine: And although I know that he is blind, still I say there's a way for us...
- In pantomime, Buttons is always this to Cinderella, who considers him more the brother she never had. Fortunately for him, most productions have him fall in love with somebody else, usually the Fairy Godmother or her assistant.
- Roderigo in Othello is a particularly nasty, and disturbingly accurate version of this. He clearly has no chance with the object of his adoration Desdemona, but he is willing to go to murderous ends to win her love. Which makes him perfect prey to be manipulated by Iago
- Boq from Wicked would qualify. Galinda diverts his attention with Nessarosebut he covets a long-lasting infatuation with her, so much so that he attempts to declare his feelings for her... at her engagement party.
- Mega Man X8 introduces a new member of the Maverick Hunters' Mission Control, a very Stripperiffic (which is saying something, since she's a Reploid) Layer. She obviously has feelings for Zero. However, the latter is not only a Celibate Hero, he's also very clueless to these advances.
- A Running Gag in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is that Anthony, one of the crewmen on the Red Sprite, keeps falling in love with demons. Your job is to convey his feelings to the demons... who always turn him down.
- In Duel Savior Destiny the main character's new best friend Selbium is constantly trying to get together with Mia, but whether she's aware or not (she probably is) it's pretty clear that it's never going to happen. She's clearly much more interested in jumping her brother's bones despite his disinterest.
- Art of Fighting inverts the trope, 'cuz at the rate Yuri's going, she'll die an unwed virgin because her dad and her brother won't let her have a love life. Ignoring the fact that she's an adult and mutually attracted to Robert. So she and her would-be boyfriend are stuck in the same boat.
- Advanced V.G.: Yuuki has nursed a one-sided crush on Satomi, ever since meeting her. But Satomi isn't into other women, nor is she interested in romance. At least, not yet.
- In Medieval II: Total War, your royal family's princesses serve as diplomats until they get married and focus on popping out heirs. If one conducts negotiations with a settlement containing a marryable character, they may pick up a Persistent Suitor as part of their entourage, who penalizes the princess' Charm rating and reduces their personal security viz a viz assassination attempts.
- Groose in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is hopelessly in love in the headmaster's daughter, Zelda, which is why bullies her closes male friend, Link. When Zelda goes missing and discovers what happened, he goes Wrong Genre Savvy and believes he's destined to save her and earn her affections. He's absolutely crushed to learn he's no hero and eventually comes to accept Zelda will never return his feelings.
- Catria from Fire Emblem Akaneia trilogy is described to have a crush on the main character, Marth, but gives up on him since Marth is engaged to a childhood friend and a princess warrior Caeda. On the other side, Catria's elder sister Palla likes Abel the Social Knight, but gives up to make way for her youngest sister Est.
- Catria's Expy, Cordelia, from Fire Emblem Awakening has the same relationship with her leader Chrom. To add insult to the injury, while she clearly shows an attraction toward him, she is unable to build supports with Chrom within his own pool of love interests.
- Tia from Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals tries to push a romantic attempt which doesn't go anywhere because the fans already know who Maxim is going to end up with. If anything, it only makes Tia even more sympathetic character.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction, Jean-Claude Magnum tries and fails to propose to Mai again, dueling the player for her hand in marriage when she backs out of dueling him.
- In the first Pretentious Game, the blue square turns out to be this to the pink square.
- Akiha in the canon Tsukihime ending. Shiki will generally notice that all the girls around him are attractive, except for Akiha, as she's his adoptive sister. Akiha tends to respond very poorly to all his love interests except Hisui, not just Arcueid.
- In Grisaia No Kajitsu Chizuru shows every bit as much of a crush on Yuuji as anyone, but doesn't get any kind of acnowledgement. In Grisaia No Meikyuu's bonus section she got even more fun poked at her expense thanks to her fantasizing about him in public. In Grisaia No Rakuen Kazuki goes through a list of everyone on the island and rating their chances with Yuuji. Chizuru is the only one who gets a zero percent chance, which she acknowledges with a laugh since her family wouldn't approve anyway. That said, she gets a bone thrown to her with a bonus H scene that would actually fit neatly into canon without a ripple. And even the treatment before is better than what Millie gets: Punches to the face and complete lack of mention in the epilogue.
- In Nip and Tuck, Gilly has to have his role explained to him.
- In Homestuck, Eridan continues trying to go after Feferi even after she rejects him and starts a relationship with Sollux. To complicate matters, Eridan also begins to desire a blackrom relationship with Sollux because of it. Both are unrequited. It doesn't end well.
- Also, Nepeta's crush on Karkat, who is in love with Terezi and later Jade.
- There's also Roxy's crushes on both Dirk and Jake: Dirk is gay from the outset and interested in Jake, who already has enough on his plate figuring out how to handle Dirk and Jane.
- Also, there's Kanaya's crush on Vriska, who is exclusively into Tavros (and later John) and who never sees Kanaya as any more than a faithful Morality Pet. In case it's not obvious, Homestuck is very dedicated to the All Love Is Unrequited trope.
- Magick Chicks: It's no secret that Faith has a raging libido and has slept with much of the student body at Artemis... excluding her secretary, Sandi. She's deeply in love with Faith and would give anything for the chance to be with her. Except she's been permanently friend-zoned.
- Furry Experience: Alice seems to be shaping into one for Louis, who barely notices her most of the time, and even more so when Diana's around which incenses Alice. In this case, though, it's unclear if Louis and Diana are actually in a relationship or just really good friends, but Alice still sees her as a rival.
- In an odd example, Nocturne fails to romance Scribble Quill... and then discovers that ladies of other species take an intense liking to him.
- Linkara has had it bad for The Nostalgia Chick ever since she pretended to sleep with him. He puts her on a pedestal and encourages her distaste for responsibility by blaming her stalkage of Todd in the Shadows on Todd himself.
- In Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse, Ryan constantly tries, and fails, to make Barbie love him more than she does Ken. Ryan's sister, Raquelle, constantly tries, and fails, to make Ken love her more than he loves Barbie. Midge also has a one-sided crush on Ryan.
- Jaune Arc of RWBY is a hopelessly inept Casanova Wannabe who has a crush on Weiss Schnee, and he's asked her out several times. Unfortunately for poor Jaune, it is obvious to everyone but him that Weiss despises him - although he shouldn't worry too much, Weiss has that opinion of a lot of people. Doubly tragic is Jaune, for all his fruitlessly chasing Weiss, his own partner Pyrrha Nikos is attracted to him, but he never realises it despite the anvil-sized hints she keeps dropping on his head.
- The Ulrich/Yumi pairing from Code Lyoko actually has two of these (William is a Romantic False Lead):
- Sissi, who is crushing on Ulrich. However, even after losing his memory in one episode, Ulrich can't stand Sissi and would much rather be with Yumi.
- Johnny, who has an all-too-blatant crush on Yumi. However, she'd rather be with Ulrich (and besides, Johnny is a little young for her). Hiroki (Yumi's little brother) even tells his friend how little chance he has with Ulrich around.
- A minor version is Milly's affections towards Ulrich, only shown in a few episodes. Considering she is two or three years younger, that is why she was never considered a serious threat. The show really did dance around the Love Dodecahedron.
- Total Drama Island had Cody trying desperately to get with Gwen, who was officially with Trent. He usually came to great personal injury due to it. In later seasons, Gwen and Trent break up, and Cody tries to get with her again only to be snubbed in favor of yet another guy (Duncan). Cody himself has an unrequited admirer in Sierra.
- Rogue had this going on with Cyclops in X-Men: Evolution; it's not entirely clear whether he ever actually realized she had a hopeless crush on him, but in any case his feelings for Jean (even before they officially got together) made it a moot point.
- Liz Allan in The Spectacular Spider-Man managed to hook up with Peter, but it was clear from the start that Peter's always had feelings for Gwen. Inevitably Peter dumps her to be with Gwen, causing her to hate his guts again. But seeing as the series ends with him unable to hook up with Gwen due to Gwen dating Harry now, it seems Liz is having the last laugh.
- A minor case in an episode of Danny Phantom has Valerie being pursued by a geek named Nathan, a situation she is not in favor of. She ends up dating Danny briefly instead.
- Vlad is a more straight example. The show makes it all too obvious that Maddie will only ever love Jack, now or in alternate reality where she married Vlad. Even as a computer program, one that is specifically designed to love and acknowledge him and disparage Jack, Maddie still rejects him and loves Jack (or "The Jack Program" in this case). It's for the best — not only does it allow Jazz and Danny to exist, but the alternate reality makes it clear that Maddie would have never been happy with Vlad, as Vlad does not love her so much as he loves the idea of having her.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- Meng, a young girl with a crush on Aang. Aang doesn't notice this and spends much of said episode trying to woo Katara. He knows eventually, but he gives her the Just Friends speech, one she accepted...in public.
- Toph has a crush on Sokka and he loves Suki.
- In Sequel Series the The Legend of Korra Big Fun Bolin gets Love at First Sight for The Hero Korra but she only has eyes for his Tall, Dark and Snarky brother Mako.
- Peep in Jimmy Two-Shoes loves Heloise. Unfortunately, she has Single-Target Sexuality for Jimmy, so he has no chance.
- In ThunderCats (2011), Lion-O is this for Cheetara until she makes it perfectly clear that she loves Tygra. Lion-O is happy for them, but he does argue with Cheetara for her way of assisting and advising him.
- He then turns his affections to Pumyra... Who is then revealed to be a Sixth Ranger Traitor. Ouch.
- Family Guy does this repeatedly with Brian towards Lois, which is ultimately reconciled after a fairly big fight. Stewie also tends to do this with Brian.
- Neil Goldman was like this toward Meg in earlier seasons, before his bout of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
- Chuck in Motorcity is this to Claire.
- In American Dad!, Snot has a huge crush on Hayley and often goes to great lengths to win her affection. He always fails. Miserably.
- Subverted in one episode where with Jeff in space, he manages to win her affections for a short while only to no longer be interested in her.
- Mordecai of Regular Show started off as this to the rather promiscuous Margaret, but over the course of the series it's slowly deconstructed to nothing.