Incompatible Orientation
Elliot (straight) ← Justin (gay) ← Susan (straight) ← Catalina (lesbian)

"'Cause Carol's a lesbian… and I'm not one. And apparently it's not a mix-and-match situation."
Ross, Friends

A character has an Incompatible Orientation when they are coveted by someone who can never have them, because they just don't swing that way. They can be any character who has an incompatible sexual orientation to their admirer—a staight person with a same-gender admirer, a gay person with an opposite gender admirer, or an asexual person with an admirer of any gender.

To meet the requirements of this trope the relationship must be stated as hopeless or impossible in-universe (by a character or through Word of God) at some point in time. This means that Incompatible Orientation doesn't have to be a permanent state of being, and attempts may be made within the plot to "fix" it somehow.

In a lot of works, especially manga and anime, this is often done mostly for amusement purposes, by turning the person in love into a Hopeless Suitor or even a Butt Monkey. Lesbians are particularly prone to receive this treatment, although others are not exempt from it.

Can be the result of Even the Guys Want Him or Even the Girls Want Her. The admirer may or may not be a Fag Hag or Hopeless Suitor. May overlap with All Love Is Unrequited and Gayngst. The reason why Sorry, I'm Gay is supposed to work. Of course, some characters can simply resort to Jumping the Gender Barrier or perhaps, if they're desperate enough, resort to Genderbending.

Compare to Settled for Gay, where they may have incompatible orientations, but they decided they probably wouldn't find a suitable suitor anyways. Compare also Last Het Romance, where the incompatibility causes a character to discover they're gay and break off the relationship. See also All the Good Men Are Gay. If a character informs someone about an Incompatible Orientation, it's either Sorry, I'm Gay or Dude, She's a Lesbian.

Truth in Television.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Almost aggravatingly so in Hana-Kimi with Nakao and his blatant crush on the womanizing Minami Nanba, whom Nakao still believes he has a chance with.
  • In Sasameki Koto Masaki Akemiya has an adorable, albeit unfortunate, crush on his girl-loving classmate Sumika Murasame. He develops Wholesome Crossdresser traits due to his affections.
  • Kuroko from A Certain Scientific Railgun has a major crush on her onee-sama Mikoto, who in turn has a huge crush on Touma, the main character of A Certain Magical Index, a guy. There is hope for her though, since she's made it clear that she lusts after anyone who looks like Mikoto, and Mikoto has 10,000 clones. At least one has to be a lesbian who would be interested in Kuroko.
  • In Taisho Baseball Girls, Tomoe has a thing for Koume, who in turn seems to be rather content with her arranged fiancé.
  • Kämpfer: This is the primary romantic woe of Senou Natsuru: His crush, Sakura Kaede, turns out to be a lesbian. This became more complicated when she falls for his female self.
  • Masato from Manga no Tsukurikata is in love with his childhood friend Morishita, who in turn is in love with his sister.
  • Kudo from Doki Doki School Hours has a major crush on Suetake, who in turn is totally oblivious regarding his feelings. Of course, this could also be due to the fact hat Suetake is a complete dolt. And Kitagawa definitely has a thing for her teacher Mika, who doesn't appear to swing that way at all.
  • Toyed around with endlessly in Maria†Holic. The main character goes to an all-female school to meet girls, and basically falls in love with every girl she meets.
  • Saber Marionette J makes a running gag of the attraction the flamingly gay rich boy Hanigata has for the poor, industrious (and fundamentally straight) Otaru.
  • Girls Bravo:
  • In WORKING!!, Jun is having a hard time with his feelings for his colleague Yachiyo, who in turn is in love with Kyouko, her female boss at the family restaurant they work at.
    • Questionable - although Yachiyo is utterly devoted to Kyouko and would almost certainly be willing. There is no direct evidence that they have ever been lovers or that either have ever had lesbian sex with anyone.
  • In Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Lussuria has a creepy love for Ryohei to the EXTREME even though he is straight (and one of the few to be obviously married in the future).
  • Jessie from Battle Athletes is completely straight. That doesn't stop her from attracting a one-episode female Stalker with a Crush.
  • Kou from Aoi Hana has it tough, since Kyouko, the girl he is engaged to, is lesbian—at least judging by her crush on Yasuko.
  • Magic User's Club takes the cake for having multiple cases in the same Love Dodecahedron. Aburatsubo, the bishonen gay vice-president is crushing on Takeo, the straight club president (who lusts for Cute Witch Sae, who is too shy to express her feelings for Takeo). Meanwhile Nanaka (another Cute Witch and club member) has a crush on Aburatsubo, which he can't return either. They have a heartwarming moment when she confesses and he turns her down... but admits that he knows fully well how she feels, unable to have the one you love.
  • Vampire Game: Laphiji is in love with Seiliez, his Not Blood Sibling. Unfortunately for him Seiliez is shown to be straight considering his crush on Ishtar. However this can also be subverted for it is hinted later on that Laphiji and Seiliez do begin a sexual relationship... albeit one that is likely to not last long.
  • Happens twice in Karakuridouji Ultimo. Akitsu has a crush on Rune, who has a crush on his best friend Yamato, who has a crush on a girl named Sayama. We should point out that Rune does not take it very well. At all.
  • I'm Gonna Be an Angel!:
    • Sara develops a big crush on Mikael in the second season but it never goes anywhere because first, Mikael has only eyes for anything related to angels and second, he's already in love with his male teacher, Raphael— even if he has problems admitting the fact to himself
    • Similarly, Natsumi has some questionable feelings towards her deceased older brother Fuyuki over whom she obsesses throughout the whole series, but again, it never goes anywhere because first, Fuyuki is well, dead and he turned into an angel Raphael and second he's in love with his male student, Mikael
  • In Hayate the Combat Butler, Luca confesses to Hayate that if he were a guy, she'd have fallen for him. She thinks he's a girl because she's only met him while he was crossdressed, so she doesn't know that Hayate is actually a guy, and that she actually did confess to him because of it.
    • Even before the confession he didn't want to let her know he's actually a guy.
    • Both Miki and Ayumu have expressed romantic interest in Hinagiku as well, and decided to take a backseat to things, since Hinagiku is smitten with male Hayate. Ayumu has expressed interest in Hayate as well, allowing her to possibly supercede the limits of this trope without changing any orientations.
  • Bakemonogatari: Suruga is in love with Hitagi who is straight and dating Koyomi.
  • Makoto from Wandering Son has fallen for several boys (and adult men), however the current object of her affections is her (ignorant and immature) friend who is Oblivious to Love.
  • Possibly the case in Kyo Kara Maoh!. Wolfram is head-over-heels for Yuuri. Yuuri wishes people would stop assuming he feels the same. Alternatively, the rest of the world could be right, and Yuuri could be living in a Transparent Closet.
  • In The Gentlemen's Alliance, student council president Shizumasa aka Takanari has so many women chasing after him that he has Maguri, another male member of the Student Council, pretend to be his lover. The problem with this arrangement? Maguri actually does have feelings for him, and has to sit by and watch while he chases the main heroine instead.
  • Outlaw Star:
    • Camp Gay Arms Dealer Fred Luo is in love with straight Handsome Lech Gene Starwind, but neither of them seems to Gayngst about it. Gene uses Fred's crush to score better deals on parts and weapons, and Fred uses Gene's desperation for said parts as a bargaining chip in his less legitimate business endeavors.
    • Lampshaded when Fred tells Gene that, in exchange for supplies, he 'owes him a favor'. Gene doesn't miss a beat before responding "I'm not going to sleep with you Fred."
    • Fred Luo's also on the receiving end of this trope, as his parents refuse to accept he's gay and so have an Arranged Marriage for him to a woman named Reiko Ando, who genuinely does love Fred even as he finds her sexually repugnant.
  • Furui of Poor Poor Lips, despite his initial dislike towards her, ends up having a crush on Ren. This causes him no small amount of angst since one of the causes for his initial dislike is his discomfort around the fact that Ren is an out of the closet lesbian.
  • Ladies' man Sanji of One Piece is wanted by the entire population of the gay island Kamabakka Kingdom.
    • Boa Hancock could have any man in the world who was even slightly attracted to women... but she ends up falling for the asexual and aromantic Luffy.
  • Haiyore! Nyarko-san
    • An example of Incompatible EVERYTHING with Cuuko (Cthugha). She's got a lesbian crush on Nyarko, who is both straight and head-over-heels in love with Mahiro Yasaka. On top of that, Nyarlathotepians and Cthuguhans are mortal enemies, so their very natures are in conflict, and the idea of two even being friends is unheard of; Nyarko tells Mahiro that Cuuko's family would be utterly shamed if news of the crush got out. Of course, Cuuko's inconsistent on this; one arc has Mahiro and Nyarko swap bodies, and Cuuko immediately puts the moves on Mahiro-in-Nyarko, saying "Just Nyarko's body is fine."
    • Cuuko eventually develops feelings for Mahiro and starts advocating the threesome solution; while Mahiro's straight, he still rejects the idea because Cuuko's proposal includes "I bear Nyarko's child, the Boy bears mine". And finally, Cuuko has a cousin called Cuune who is so in love with her that she asked her to make a Childhood Marriage Promise with her (Cuuko was too young to understand the implication of it). Mahiro had to play The Beard to Cuuko so that Cuune would give up on Cuuko and so that Cuuko's love for Nyarko wouldn't come out and ruin everything.
    • Of course, part of the story's whole hook is this. Mahiro is attracted to Nyarko as a person, but is put off by the knowledge that she's Nyarlathotep, the malign god of chaos and madness from the Cthulhu Mythos. The fact that she could shatter his sanity just by changing forms, and that she might be lying about being in love with him just to screw with him, are deal-breakers in Mahiro's eyes, but over time he grows to accept her honesty and his true feelings for her.
    • Hasta is also in love with Mahiro, and he's both a Humanoid Abomination (Hastur) and a guy. Ironically, in general terms Mahiro gets along with him the best out of the alien trio because he acts more like a needy little brother and less like a Clingy Jealous Girl.
  • Misa Amane of Death Note is in love with Villain Protagonist Light Yagami despite the fact that Word of God reveals he's "incapable of loving women." The same applies to the other woman vying for his affection, Kiyomi Takada.
  • In High School D×D, Issei Hyoudou has a few boys in his Unwanted Harem. While he cares about them as brothers and protects them from harm, Issei is 100% straight and finds Ho Yay moments to be annoying and embarrassing.
  • Parodied to hell and back in the aptly named Jump SQ one-shot "I'm the protagonist of a Harem manga, but I'm gay so my life is a living hell."
  • Yuureitou:
    • Tetsuo is a straight trans man. He's noted that it is hard being romantic as women get turned off when they learn his sex. His only friend Amano has a crush on him, originally because he was attracted to him as a boyish woman but later he began seeing him as male. It turns out Tetsuo is actually bisexual, though he didn't acknowledge it until meeting Amano, and they end up the Official Couple.
    • Tetsuo's mother once tried to marry him off to a man. Tetsuo refused because he didn't like men, though stated that he wanted to be like brothers with his fiancee. When he told his fiancee of his dislike of being female and his lack of interest in men, he ended up confused. When they meet several years later he still considers Tetsuo his fiance but he has mental problems and doesn't even recognize that he is horribly disfigured, nevermind that Tetsuo is living as a man.
  • Bokura no Hentai:
    • This is the source of Tamura's troubles. He falls for a straight classmate and that's why he begins crossdressing. The problem is his crush is homophobic and only uses him for sex. He isn't interested in a romantic relationship and is abusive towards Tamura. He eventually expresses disinterest in sex with Tamura once his voice begins deepening and he grows taller. By then Tamura has become fed up with him and they stop talking soon afterwards.
    • Mai is attracted to Marika however Marika only likes boys.
    • Akane develops feelings for Tamura however he is gay and in love with her best friend Marika.
  • Midori from I'll Bring You Mille-Feuille! really wants a husband despite being a lesbian. Her friend tells her it's a useless idea however Midori doesn't acknowledge her, until she tries to have sex with a man but is too repulsed to.
  • Seraph of the End: Mitsuba and Shinoa and another school girl are shown to have feelings for Yuu and Akane is a Hopeless Suitor for Mika as well. Too bad for all of them that it's implied Mika and Yuu have feelings for each other and instead focus more attention on the other. There's also another time when Yuu was encouraged by Yoichi to compliment Mitsuba in her civilian clothing. He acts disinterested but instead compliments Yoichi on his clothing.
  • In Queen's Blade Grimoire, when Alicia and Tiina share a dance, Tiina admits she has a crush on Alicia and wishes Alicia were a boy. Alicia quickly says she doesn't swing that way.
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid: Tohru is quite open about her feelings for Kobayashi. Meanwhile, Kobayashi appears to be heterosexual, since she objects to the idea of female dragons having sex with her on the grounds she's a girl, and only shows interest in Tohru that way during a Gender Bender (and even then, it could be a side effect of the spell).

     Comic Books 
  • Batman villain Two-Face has spent the better part of the last decade obsessed with Renee Montoya despite her lesbianism. In fact, it was one of his attempts to woo her that ended up outing her in the first place.
  • Renee Montoya, by that time the new Question, was involved in another example, this time on the other side. Both in Birds of Prey and in the Question back-up feature in Detective Comics, Question teamed up repeatedly with Huntress, and it became quite clear that she was interested in Huntress (Helena Bertinelli) romantically. The storyline never had time to develop very far before DC's "New 52" reboot, but Huntress had always been portrayed as straight, and was not even aware that Question was gay, at one point asking if she and the previous Question, Vic Sage, had been lovers.
  • In Batman Incorporated, the Hood tries to hit on Batwoman while they're Working the Same Case, unaware that she's a lesbian.
  • Runaways:
    • Lipstick Lesbian Karolina spent much of the first two volumes pining for her best friend, Nico, who was a little shocked when K finally tried to kiss her. After beginning a relationship with shapeshifting Skrull Xavin, who takes on the form of a human girl, Karolina loses romantic interest in Nico. Then again, this hasn't stopped them having Ship Tease moments since.
    • The straight male Chase was clearly interested in Karolina in the early issues. He and Nico eventually got paired off with, respectively, Gertrude and Alex. Neither pairing ended well.
  • Northstar once had a crush on Iceman. It didn't take him long to realize it would never happen, since in his own words "He's straight. End of story." (It was only introduced to squash fan speculation that Iceman might be gay.) Ironically, that fan speculation turned out to be dead on, since Iceman was outed as gay a few years later.
  • Subverted in Exiles: Morph had a crush on teammate Sunfire without realizing she was a lesbian. When she made The Reveal, he accepted it wholeheartedly and continued to act as a brother figure to her, even supporting her relationship with Spider-Woman. (Well, accepted it wholeheartedly after giving the "Hey, I'm a shapeshifter, I can do lesbian" line a shot...)
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8 comics female Slayer Satsu falls in love with Buffy and they have sex at least twice. But Kennedy, another lesbian Slayer, dissuades Satsu from pursuing a relationship with her. Why? Because she claims that ultimately, Buffy is straight.
  • Molly von Richtofen from The Punisher dashes Detective Soaps hopes when she reveals she's a lesbian. It also turns out that the whole reason she's such a pariah at the NYPD is because she turned down the commissioner's advances while unaware that she was within range of a microphone.
  • When Lady Blackhawk joined the Birds of Prey, she began nursing a crush on Creote, the muscular, deadly, Russian ex-special forces soldier who is the partner of Savant, the not-quite-irredeemable villain that Oracle is trying to rehabilitate into a good guy. Everybody knows that Creote is in love with Savant, except for Savant himself, but nobody quite gets around to letting Zinda in on this. When she finds out she is somewhat surprised.
  • Tom Pearce never stood a chance with the object of his crush in Camelot 3000. Of course, it was further complicated by the Gender Bender nature of reincarnation.
  • At one point in Superman comics, Dan Turpin of the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit had a crush on his boss, Maggie Sawyer, even going as far as to propose to her. She explained the situation to him (off-panel).
  • Avengers Arena has Cullen Bloodstone in love with his straight best friend Aiden/Anachronism, but Aiden was too pre-occupied with vampy Atlantean Nara.
  • When Kevin was introduced into Archie Comics Veronica fell for him. Kevin is gay and has a boyfriend.
  • Played with in Fearless Defenders. Annabelle Riggs kisses Valkyrie, but Valkyrie doesn't seem to reciprocate. It initially seems like Valkyrie is giving Annabelle the cold shoulder because she's a lesbian, but it turns out that it's mostly because after thousands of years of being kissed, she simply doesn't view it as a significant or meaningful gesture. She even clarifies that she's been kissed by plenty of men and women throughout her lifetime.
  • Discussed in Circles. Paulie loves Mrs. Nussbaum as a dear friend and he comments, "Why, if I were straight..."
  • In Robyn Hood, Marian initially has a crush on the solidly heterosexual Robyn.
  • Lady Death: Wargoth has nurtured romantic feelings for his longtime companion Satasha, despite him being aware of her orientation.
  • Red Ears: The punchline to a comic where two men and a woman are sitting in a train cabin and the woman starts to agressively hit on one of the guys, who flatly ignores her advances. After she angrily storms off, the other guy asks him how he could possibly resist and notes that the woman turned him on so much that he's ready to jump a fly. The first guy starts mimicking buzzing.

     Fan Works 
  • In the Mass Effect fic Another Realm, the protagonist Cieran and his friend Trena become Platonic Life Partners largely as a result of this, as she prefers other asari.
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer fic Compelled, there was a subplot where Connor had a crush on Kennedy, who is both lesbian and taken. It mostly served to give him some Character Development.
  • In The Knight's Consort, another Buffy the Vampire Slayer fic, Kennedy the Vampire Slayer (a lesbian) slowly falls in love with Xander (not just a crush or a strong friendship, but actual romantic-poetry-flowers-and-schmaltzy songs love). Unfortuantely, the fact that he is male (and has no interest in not being male) keeps her from being attracted to him, or wanting to actually consummate their relationship beyond a single experimental kiss.
  • Evangelion 303: Jessika is lesbian and she likes Asuka. However Asuka is straight AND taken -by Shinji-, so that Jessika kept quiet. It does not help that Jessika already has a girlfriend.
  • In Respawn of the Dead, the RED Spy is in love with the RED Engineer, who is both straight, and has a family back home. Needless to say the Engineer rejects him (not helped along by the many atrocious acts that Spy commits over the course of the story), and the Spy ends up killing himself.
  • In the Katawa Shoujo fanfic From Shizune's Perspective, which was written prior to the game's release, Shizune is bisexual and Misha is heterosexual, resulting in Misha rejecting Shizune's confession. This becomes Harsher in Hindsight when you consider their backstory in the final game where Shizune is the one who rejects Misha.
  • In Fallout: Equestria Lilpip grows up with a crush on Velvet Remedy, who is straight. They later become best friends and Velvet goes so far as to become something of a motherly figure to her. Notable in that it's Lilpip's feelings for Velvet that compel her to leave the Stable when Velvet runs away. So this trope actually sets off the plot! (Not that kind, get your mind out of the gutter!)
  • The Conversion Bureau: Not Alone has Andrew (a male human) and Ice Breaker (a male pony). Andrew admits that he's developed a crush on Ice Breaker (well aware of the incredible likelihood of this trope being in force). It is, and they remain Just Friends.
  • Dragon Ball Abridged's Dende, who comes from an race with No Biological Sex, finds himself smitten by Bulma's breasts. Later, we find he has something of a crush on Gohan, as the two had been friends for a while. After a few months of living together, he confesses his love, to Gohan's confusion. Poor guy...
  • In, surprisingly, a Lord of the Rings background-era fanfiction, OC Andrahar is in love with his master/best friend, Imrahil. Imrahil is very straight, however, and if this wasn't already made clear by his conspicuous tendency to frequent brothels, he offers to sleep with Andrahar "to see if he is a man for men". The results are definitive, and disappointing for Andrahar. Later fics by the same author imply that Andrahar never falls out of love with Imrahil, but they remain lifelong best friends in spite of it.
  • In You Got HaruhiRolled!, Kyouko has a MAJOR lesbian crush on Sasaki, who will have none of it. The only person Sasaki feels attraction towards is herself. Kyouko is completely oblivious to this.
  • In This Nearly Was Mine, Frederic Horshoepin has a massive crush on his bandmate Octavia. Unfortunately for him, this universe has the VinylTavia ship in full play, so he's stuck watching the love of his life making out with the DJ mare.
  • Reading Rainbowverse has Big Mac's crush on Twilight, who admits she doesn't see stallions that way.
  • The Thor fanfic 5 People Who Thought Loki Was Gay and One Who Knew Better has Thor and Jane's relationship end this way, as Thor finally comes to terms with his sexuality, something he has struggled with for the entire story (which spans centuries).
  • In The Dashverse, Cloud Kicker eventually confesses to Twilight that she actually is in love with Rainbow Dash. Unfortunately for her, Dash is not only straight, but completely oblivious to her feelings, as she just assumes its part of Cloud Kicker's usual personality.
  • Some fans of the Picard/Q pairing from Star Trek have pointed out the implausibility of a stout heterosexual man like Captain Picard (with several noted love interests in canon) changing his preferences by pursuing a relationship with Q's male form. As an Energy Being Q has no mortal body, so any form he assumes is more like a costume than anything else, and that "costume" could just as easily appear to be female as it does male; this is something that Q even lampshades in canon.
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening fanfic Pretender Robin is love with Chrom, but unfortunately who is straight and gets married to Sumia early in the story.
  • In Despair's Last Resort, Kazumi is in love with Shizuka, who is stated to be straight and was possibly in love with someone during the year at Hope's Peak. Kazumi makes it clear though that she won't chase after her, though Shizuka's execution is not handled well.
  • In Angel of the Bat Cassandra has unrequited feelings for best friend Stephanie Brown, who is both straight and in a relationship. Despite her desires, Cassandra only admits it because she is tired of carrying it and doesn't want to hurt their relationship.
  • Applejacks Love; Applejack has a crush on Rainbow Dash, and eventually confesses her love. Rainbow is straight, hates being Mistaken for Gay, and thus takes AJ's confession badly.
  • The Mysterious Case of Neelix's Lungs: Harry Kim (gay in this fic as an Actor Allusion) briefly carries a torch for Tom Paris, but late in the first season he complains to Emil Tarak that Paris isn't into men. Harry also has to rebuff advances from a female Sikarian in "Factoring Primes".
  • The Elements Of Friendship: Book II, Applejack confronts Twilight on the kiss she gave her in Book I, Twilight explains it was chaste and she's aromantic. Applejack admits she's kind of disappointed.
  • In the Frozen fanfic Becoming Free, Freya kissed her childhood friend Greta when she mistook their bond for romantic. Greta reacted badly. She ran off, told her family, and later that day her family came and burned down Freya's house. They likely would have harmed Freya if she hadn't escaped.
  • The Alarmaverse: Twilight Sparkle and the Case of Old Res: Resonius IV and Pitch Drop. One's hetrosexual and in love with the other one, but the other one is gay.

  • Carrie (2013): The best friend/lackey of the Alpha Bitch, Tina, is shown, while lying drunken together in bed, briefly trying to kiss her friend, before Chris stops her and goes back to making out with her boyfriend.
  • Gus Van Sant's 1991 film My Own Private Idaho provides a great example of this trope. Mike Waters (played by River Phoenix) is in love with his straight best friend, Scott Favor (played by Keanu Reeves). It doesn't end well.
  • Cher falls in love with Christian in Clueless right off the bat. But it ends up okay - he becomes her favorite shopping buddy.
  • The Kevin Smith film Chasing Amy is primarily about a straight man trying to win the affections of a lesbian woman he fell in love with. And for the record, her name isn't Amy. The title regards a story within the story.
    • To make matters more complicated the woman in question is technically bisexual but identifies lesbian, and this confuses everybody.
    • Not to mention the possibility that the straight guy's best friend may be feeling some secret Ho Yay for him as well....thus leading to the disastrous suggestion Holden makes at the end of the movie.
  • In Threesome: Alex is in love with Eddy, but he's gay and in love with Stuart - who is straight and in love with Alex.
  • The Object of My Affection is all about this trope; a woman falls for the gay man who becomes her roommate after her husband leaves her.
  • In Rock N Rolla, One Two discovers that his close friend Handsome Bob is gay, and secretly has feelings for him. Hilarity ensues.
  • In But I'm a Cheerleader, the plot not only starts with this trope but revolves around this trope. Starting off, Megan is a gay (known to everyone but her) cheerleader who's currently dating a member of the football team. After her friends and family confront her about the "problem" with her sexuality, she's sent to a camp to fix her. Both gay males and females (and one straight person) are forced to be straight and even partnered up in groups of 2 to be a final step towards their straight-ness
  • In Election, this is why Lisa stops being friends with Tammy. She was straight (and only "experimenting"), while Tammy was a lesbian who thought that the two of them were in love.
  • At the end of The Children's Hour it's revealed that Martha has been in love with Karen, her straight best friend who was going to get married until her fiance left her due to thinking she was cheating on him with Martha, the entire time they've known each other.
  • Occurs in the film The Upside Of Anger, when the youngest daughter Lavender tries to seduce a classmate and he rebuffs her by declaring he's gay.
    Lavender: Have you ever had gay sex? What about sex with a woman? Just have sex with me and if you don't like it, then you can be gay.
    Gorden: That's really nice of you. (leaves the room)
  • In Radio Days, Bea is desperate to get married and goes on a string of dates looking for love. When she tells her date Fred that she has a crush on him, he comes out to her. Being the 1940s, it takes Bea a few minutes to fully understand what he means.
  • Bridget Jones in the film version of the sequel feared her boyfriend Mark was cheating on her with his assistant Rebecca Gillies until it turned out that Rebecca was sharing her colleague's affections for Bridget.
  • Prudence in Across the Universe falls for both the cheerleader chick and Sadie during the course of the film. Both are straight, and seeing someone else. The unrequited nature of her love for Sadie causes her to suffer a Heroic B.S.O.D. until her friends sing to her about how beautiful she is and help (literally) coax her out of the closet.
  • Sort of the premise of a few necrophilia-themed films, like Kissed and Nekromantik 2. The former even ends with the man who is in love with the main character killing himself so he can truly be with her.
  • Kissing Jessica Stein played around with this trope - while technically subverting it, as the straight eponymous heroine falls for another woman - the bisexual Helen, they don't make it in the long run, due to lack of sexual chemistry. By the end of the movie, Jessica and Helen are just friends, and it's implied that Jessica gets back together with her ex Josh.
  • Calla and Rachel find this out in Rachel, Rachel when, after an emotional moment at a religious revival meeting, Calla kisses Rachel square on the mouth. Rachel is weirded out by this and keeps her distance from Calla for a while, but they reconcile by the end.
  • At the end of ParaNorman Courtney decides to stop flirting with Mitch and invites him to a movie. Mitch happily (and completely unaware that she had been flirting with him all the time) mentions that his boyfriend is a Chick Flick nut.
  • In Blackbird, Randy is in love with a boy who is straight and has a girlfriend.
  • In Batman Bad Blood, Dick Grayson mentions that he used to have a crush on Kate Kane when they were kids, until he found out she was a lesbian.
  • Knights of Badassdom: When the succubus tries to seduce him, the guy playing an elf says she's "marching down the wrong battlefield". Naturally it doesn't stop her from killing him.

  • In Gone, Dekka has a crush on Brianna, who is straight.
  • In Doctrine of Labyrinths, especially at the beginning of the second book, Felix (gay man) is attracted to Mildmay (straight man). Incompatible Orientation isn't even the biggest problem here; the biggest problem is that they're brothers. Less squickily, a girl they meet on a journey develops a crush on Felix and decides it's true love; he has to explain to her that no, he's not interested.
  • The Inda series by Sherwood Smith combines this with All Love Is Unrequited. Hadand (straight woman) is in love with Evred (gay man), who's in love with Inda (straight man). To make things more complicated, Evred and Hadand are in a highly political Arranged Marriage (they're king and queen; he's an Unexpected Successor and she was betrothed to the previous heir), Inda and Hadand are siblings, and Inda is Evred's military second-in-command.
  • The Rules of Attraction features a bisexual college student in love with another guy, but this guy's straight and in love with the former's (female) best friend.
  • In Master and Commander, Mr. Marshall, a known "paederast," is hopelessly attracted to Captain Aubrey.
  • Lord John's hopelessly unrequited love for Jamie in the Outlander series.
  • In The Princess Series near the end of the first book Snow White is placed back in her magic coma and can only be awaken by a True Love's Kiss. Talia (Sleeping Beauty) kisses and awakes her openly showing her love for Snow White for the first time. Snow is a major flirt who is blind to Talia's true feelings. Talia seems to realize it wouldn't work out so tells Snow that she just used a spell to wake Snow.
  • In Kiss by Jacqueline Wilson, shy Sylvie believes she is in love with her best friend Carl, and is convinced they will one day get married. However, Carl discovers he's actually gay, and Sylvie not only has to deal with the aftermath (including his being bullied and attempting suicide) but also come to accept that he can never love her as more than a friend.
    • In the Girls series, Ellie has a very strong crush on an older guy she meets in town, and pretends to her friends that he is her boyfriend Dan (causing her embarrassment when they meet the real Dan, who is awkward and nerdy.) It turns out that the older guy is gay, but he and Ellie become good friends later on.
  • Luna by Julie Anne Peters includes a subplot about a straight girl being love with another straight girl ... because the girl she likes was born with a male body and hasn't told her friend she's transsexual yet. The friend with a crush thinks 'he' is gay - "But gay people get married, right? They have kids. He could change." There is some tension after The Reveal, but they stay friends.
  • In Thief of Souls, Drew (who is gay) has a crush on Michael (who is straight).
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Sansa sports a crush on the gallant and handsome Ser Loras, Knight of the Flowers, that George Martin has confirmed as the lover of the late King Renly.
    • Likewise, Brienne is in love with Renly.
    • Arianne Martell also attempted to seduce Renly when the Baratheons visited Sunspear, but Renly seemed mostly amused by her attempts.
    • Jon Connington was in love with Rhaegar Targaryen, who was straight.
  • Comes into play in Robin Hobb's Farseer and particularly Tawny Man trilogies between hero Fitz, who is quite straight, and his best friend the Fool, who is quite in love with Fitz. The Fool is quite open about his feelings, though he denies that there's anything sexual implicit in love; the situation serves, however, as a major source of discomfort for Fitz once rumors start flying about their relationship. Possible subversion in that the Fool might be a Wholesome Crossdresser, but probably not.
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar series, Melenna feels this way about Vanyel in the Last Herald-Mage trilogy.
  • In the Alex Delaware novel Self Defense, one of Alex's patients, Lucy, tells him that she's falling for Alex's Friend on the Force Milo. This puts Alex in a very awkward position, since he can't violate Milo's privacy by telling Lucy that Milo is gay, and can't violate Lucy's by telling Milo about the crush.
  • In Sputnik Sweetheart, K (the narrator, straight man) is in love with Sumire his best friend. She in turn meets and falls in love with Miu, another woman.
  • Not as romantic, but in Ben Elton's Dead Famous, the somewhat perverted Sgt Hooper asks Straight Gay policewoman Trish out after she's spent a while naked and wearing a variety of wigs to trick the murderer. Her response? "Sorry, sarge. I'm gay."
  • The Heroes of Olympus: In The House of Hades, it's revealed that Nico di Angelo has/had a crush on Percy Jackson. Percy, who fell into the depths of Tartarus to be with Annabeth.
  • In The Red Vixen Adventures this is Ali's whole problem while working for the Red Vixen and later Salli. Fortunately the latter decides If It's You, It's Okay.
  • At the end Quarterdeck after Prince Edward's banquet, Renzi reveals to Kydd that he fell in love with a woman "of the Sapphic persuasion" offscreen. As expected, this "romance" didn't last very long.
  • In Of Love and Shadows, Mario becomes infatuated with Francisco Leal, who is straight. When the latter conveys his disinterest, it doesn't prevent the two from forming a close friendship.
  • In the Warrior Cats novel Tallstar's Revenge, Reena seems to like Talltail/star and is obviously flirting with him. The only problem is, Talltail is gay, so her advances don't even show up on his radar. Reena later complains to Shrewclaw about it.
  • In Sword Sisters, the Red Reaper prequel novel, Amelia is unaware her boyfriend is gay and this causes her to become a candidate for a Virgin Sacrifice.
  • In the Jacob's Ladder Trilogy Rien (explicitly likes girls) falls in love with Perceval. The latter comes to reciprocate on an emotional level, but makes the boundaries clear, which saddens Rien as she really, really, really loves Perceval.
  • In the Erebus Sequence, Dino attracts a degree of female interest, but realises that he's gay. However, prejudice means that he's unwilling to simply say so, which means pretty much everyone ends up unhappy with their love life.
  • In the Zeroes series, Scam spends six months pining after Mob and trying to work up the courage to confess his feelings to her, unaware that she's a lesbian. He's very upset when he finds out that pretty much all of his friends (including Mob herself) were aware of his crush and that it was hopeless, and yet none of them bothered to actually inform him of the fact.

     Live Action TV 
  • Season 4 of Heroes has Claire's roomate Gretchen reveal herself as a bisexual who has a crush on her. This appears to be a case of incompatible Orientation as Claire is thought to be completely straight at this point. This however is subverted in the episode "Pass/Fail" when Claire officially declares she also has feelings for Gretchen.
  • Rae and Archie in My Mad Fat Diary.
  • A George Carlin HBO special had "Love and Regards," which begins with Rebecca asking the narrator to "give Klaus her love," and ends with:
    'What if Klaus doesn't want Rebecca's love? What if Klaus wants to give Wilhelm his love? If he asks do you say, "BULL-shit, Klaus! You give your own love to Wilhelm! I'm off to find... Rebecca!"'
  • In Glee, Kurt has a crush on Finn. In one episode, Rachel points out that she will always have more of a chance with Finn than he does because of the simple fact that she is a girl.
    • Mercedes also had a crush on Kurt. For reasons unfathomable, he turns her down.
    • Kurt also starts making out with and dating Brittany in one episode because he feared that his father saw the heterosexual Finn as a better son. His dad is understandably confused.
    • Depressingly, this also happens between Sam and Kurt. Kurt was only vaguely interested in him and more just determined to make him admit he dyes his hair. (Which he does.) This pairing seems to be 10% canon, 90% indignant fandom who are mad that Ryan Murphy changed his mind at the last minute (again) about Sam being Kurt's love interest.
    • Also, Blaine and Rachel, if only for one episode. After a drunk kiss with Rachel, Blaine (who has until then believed himself to be gay) decides that maybe he's actually bisexual. They go on a date, but when they kiss again while sober, Blaine realises that he was wrong about being bisexual. Subverted, as Rachel didn't seem to actually be in love with Blaine. It seems that the fact that he can sing and is a good kisser is enough for her to decide to date him, and she's positively thrilled when he tells her that he's gay after all:
    Rachel: That was amazing! I am speechless! I just had a relationship with a guy that turned out to be gay; that is song writing gold!
    • Also, in one episode, after Kurt gives Rachel a pep-talk, she says that she wishes he was her boyfriend. It's mostly joking though, since they are both taken.
      • Blaine also gets two of the girls from Dalton's sister school charmed by his performance of Animal and try to give him their phone numbers, asking him to call them. His response? "Sweet, but not your team."
    • Blaine was also crushing on Sam for a while in season 4. It took him a while to confront his feelings and to share them with Sam. Sam turned him down gently, saying they are first and foremost best friends.
    • Santana ultimately turns out to be this for Puck. He takes it well, though; by the time she's on the road to coming out, he's moved on, and in the episode where the club helps Santana dealing with her outing, he says that he knows that he "was just a phase" and is fine with it.
    • As of "Sadie Hawkins", Tina believes Blaine (gay) is her soulmate despite him turning her down for obvious reasons. Blaine has a massive crush on Sam (straight) but won't act on it because he doesn't want to be a "predatory gay" and because he's "proud that a gay guy can be friends with a straight guy."
  • Several examples in Skins:
    • In the second season, Maxxie, who is gay, is stalked by a girl whom everyone calls Sketch. She sabotages her way into the school musical just so that she can kiss him, convinced she can make him love her. She also follows him home, sneaks into his house, masturbates on his bed and then hides under it while he is sleeping. Now you know how she got that name. The strangest thing about Sketch is that she is aware that Maxxie's gay and somehow thinks that by dressing in masculine clothes and binding her breasts, she'll break through the Incompatible Orientation barrier. When she decides to go after his best mate Anwar (who is straight) instead, she stops binding and starts wearing more frills and make-up.
    • Naomi tries to tell Emily this in the third season, but it's eventually revealed that she was just Armoured Closet Gay and has always loved Emily and only Emily.
      Naomi: Me, not muff-muncher. Me, cock-cruncher.
    • J.J and Emily. Emily offered to take his virginity the same day that she came out of the closet.
      Emily: This is a one-time only charity event, you understand?
      J.J.: Got you. Because you are gay.
      Emily: Yes, I'm gay. Get on with it.
      • This understanding didn't stop him from hoping for the possibility of a relationship when she asked him to the Love Ball, but it turned out that he was her beard, and she left him when Naomi showed up.
    • Cook and Naomi. She tried to jump him when she was still in denial about her sexuality, but stopped after about forty seconds of mad snogging, since she realized that she didn't want to do it. In the fourth season they share a big heart-to-heart, and Naomi ends up giving him a very platonic kiss, giving us:
      Cook: [beat] for f—ks sake, I'm never gonna get to bone you, am I?
      Naomi: [Very matter of factly] No, I love someone.
    • When new character Alex is introduced in the sixth season, Liv gets a crush on him, only for him to reveal that he's gay when she admits her feelings.
    • The American remake has a very strange version of this with lesbian Tea and straight Tony. Tea sleeps with Tony as a joke, but he gets feelings for her. Yet, for some reason, she keeps sleeping with him, out of either a power trip or because she's confusing their platonic chemistry with sexual chemistry, depending on which interview you read. It ended up as a Relationship Writing Fumble since Tony and Tea were more believable together than Tea with her actual girlfriend and love interest, Betty. And yet, the show kept insisting that she was a complete, 100% lesbian with no interest in Tony.
  • In a Will & Grace episode, Grace encounters a Fag Hag who is in love with her gay best friend, Will's love interest . Having been down this road, Grace tells her that she has absolutely no shot with him whatsoever. She denies it at first before confessing why they can't be together despite their perfect compatibility.
    • For that matter, virtually the entire premise for the series ("I wanted to raise the kids to be Jewish; you wanted to sleep with men").
  • My So-Called Life: After her disastrous crush on Brian, Delia has that glorious dance scene with Rickie. By the last episode, the only one oblivious to her newfound crush is Rickie. When he tries to reciprocate, she tells him she knows he's gay (in that awkward, teenage way—"You're gay, right?")
  • In 'Allo 'Allo!, the very campy Gruber is hopelessly infatuated with the very straight Rene, who is frequently discomforted by the fact that Gruber "fancies" him. (Ironically, Gorden Kaye, the actor who played Rene, is in real life a very content and "out" gay man.) The series finale showed that Gruber had married Helga after the war and had many children with her, perhaps making this a further case of Incompatible Orientation from her side.
  • Played for comedy in an episode of The Catherine Tate Show where a lesbian nurse falls in love with (the very man-eating) Bernie.
  • Frasier:
    • In a second season episode "The Matchmaker", Frasier introduces Daphne to his new boss, Tom Duran, Daphne finds herself immediately smitten to Duran, only to be crushed when she finds out that he's gay. At the same time, Tom finds himself attracted to the Frasier, having no idea that he's straight.
    • In another episode, a Love Dodecahedron forms during a visit to a ski lodge. Frasier pursues a beautiful friend of Roz's, but she's more interested in Niles. Niles, meanwhile, is trying to develop things with Daphne, who has a crush on the ski instructor, Guy. Unfortunately, Guy is also more interested in Niles. When everything unravels, Frasier is most incensed that no one was attracted to him.
  • In Waterloo Road, Phil and Roz find that they're compatible personality wise, and form a relationship which runs smoothly until Roz falls in love with her female teacher. At the climax of this plot point, Phil and Roz agree that since Roz is now a lesbian, they probably wouldn't go well together after all.
  • In The George Lopez Show, this is subverted in the episode "What George Doesn't Noah". Carmen brings home what seems to be the ideal boyfriend, Noah, after dating bad boy Zack. George and Benny spy on Noah and find him with another man in a movie theater. Turns out, Carmen was using Noah as a cover so that she could date Zack secretly.
  • In Lip Service, Ed has a hopelessly unrequited crush on his lesbian friend Tess.
  • Following J. K. Rowling's outing of Dumbledore, Saturday Night Live did a sketch portraying McGonagall having this sort of relationship with the gay Dumbledore:
    Dumbledore: Oh Minerva, if only you had a penis and balls!
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    Buffy: Willow, you're a gay woman! And he...isn't!
    Willow: This isn't about his physical presence! It's about his heart.
    Anya: His physical presence has a penis!
    Willow: I can work around it!
    • Willow's case overall in the series tends to fall under No Bisexuals: now that we've established her as lesbian, we just couldn't have her be interested in a man, despite her previous physical relationships with Oz and Xander.
    • In the same episode Willow attempts to get around this trope by using a spell to change the man into a woman. Fortunately for him Xander and Spike stop her from completing the spell.
    • Buffy is this with Satsu. Even though Buffy is flattered, and sleeps with her (twice!), she is quite adamant that she is not a lesbian and they can't be together.
  • The last episode of Britannia High, has this funny moment between Ronnie and Jez:
    *Ronnie pushes Jez against the lockers and kisses him*
    Jez: Ronnie! ... I'm gay!
    Ronnie: Awww, so!?
    *Grabs Jez and smooches him again*
  • Fiona from Degrassi has come out of the closet, in the process revealing she had a thing for her best friend Holly J. However, after Holly J finds out, she tries to set Fiona up with another girl at a school dance. This doesn't amuse Fiona, but the two later reconcile, remaining best friends.
    • In another episode, Fiona's locker is near the hockey team's lockers, and Dallas hits on her. She then says that she and her girlfriend Imogen are lesbians, but he doesn't believe her, since they don't kiss.
  • In The Nanny episode "The Playwright", Maggie is in love with Gracie's ballet teacher, who helped her with her make-up and does great Liza Minelli impressions. Fran is just suspicious until Maggie says something about him getting along well with his "roommate" Chuck.
  • The short-lived John Ritter show Hooperman featured a Running Gag involving a gay cop named Rick and a fellow officer named Mo who repeatedly hit on him despite him having no interest in women.
  • Sherlock: There's a lot of this as the titular character is basically asexual and aromantic, making him incompatible with everyone. (Heterosexual) Molly Hooper's unrequited crush pales in comparison to the hideously confusing love triangle between Sherlock, John, and Irene. Sherlock is asexual, John constantly reminds everyone that he is heterosexual, and Irene is a lesbian. Yet Irene becomes sexually fascinated with Sherlock and observes that John is in romantic love with Sherlock whether he realizes it or not (with a physical dimension - John knocks Sherlock around to fake an alibi but can't bring himself to hit Sherlock's nose or teeth to make it convincing). Sherlock has a tongue-tied sexual fixation on Irene, while also feeling romantic love with no apparent physical dimension towards John. In short: the lesbian is in love with a man, the heterosexual man is in love with the same man, and the asexual is in love with both of them.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "Rose," the Ninth Doctor flips through one of Jackie Tyler's gossip mags and exclaims, "Oh, that'll never work! He's gay and she's an alien!"
    • Played with and ultimately averted in a flashback scene from "Let's Kill Hitler"; when Mel questions why Amy and Rory haven't gotten together yet, Amy answers, "I'd love to, he's gorgeous, he's my favorite guy, but he's, well, gay." Rory then informs him that he is not, and after awhile Amy realizes that there is one girl Rory has eyes for; her!
  • Friends:
    • Rachel reveals that she kissed one of her sorority sisters, which Phoebe doesn't believe. Rachel takes Phoebe to dinner with the sorority sister, who insists she has no idea what Rachel is talking about. After dinner, the sorority sister reveals that after that kiss, she started feeling differently about Rachel and in fact pictures her face when she makes love to her husband. Rachel obviously does not return the feelings.
    • In a later episode, Joey attempts to woo the hot nanny Ross and Rachel hired to look after their infant daughter, only to discover she's a lesbian. Of course, he doesn't seem to mind this turn of events.
    Joey: It's like my favorite bedtime story come true: 'The Princess, the Stable Boy, and the Lesbian!'
    • Ross is divorced from his lesbian ex wife Carol but still retains feelings for her early on. After some heated arguments involving her life partner Susan and the birth of their son, Ben, they maintain a healthy friendship and share custody of Ben. It is strongly implied that he and Carol would still be happy together if she was straight.
  • The reality show Boy Meets Boy had a gay male bachelor choose a mate among several guys, but unknown to him, half the guys were straight and planted by the show to see if he'd fall for one. One of the straight guys, however, had a change of heart when he grew to like the bachelor as a person. He eliminated himself because he wanted him to have a real chance to find love.
  • An episode of The Thin Blue Line concerns Constable Maggie Habib meeting a handsome firefighter and trying everything to get into bed with him. In the end of the episode, it's revealed that he hasn't touched her because his interests were focused on her colleague, Constable Kevin Goody, who's spent the whole series pining after her. In the last scene they all sit at a pub musing about their love triangle woes.
  • In True Blood, many gay men become attracted to Jason Stackhouse, who is straight. Lafayette complains that it's not fair that such a beautiful man like Jason would only be into chicks.
  • In Once Upon a Time Mulan finally gets the guts to tell Aurora she's in love with her...and Aurora beats her to the punch by announcing she's pregnant.
  • On Happy Endings, Max's old high school girlfriend is visiting and she and Dave hit it off. Max gets very upset by this, which Dave can't understand since Max is gay and obviously won't be getting back together with her. Max, in order to make Dave jealous, grabs Alex (Dave's ex-fiance) and kisses her, but Dave doesn't care because he knows it doesn't mean anything. Then Alex, who enjoyed the kiss, spends the rest of the episode mooning after Max (while Penny tries in vain to get her to see it's hopeless).
  • There are subtle implications and innuendos throughout Young & Hungry that suggest the heterosexual, young, wealthy, good-looking website designer Josh is subject to a crush by his Camp Gay assistant Eliot, and some humor is based around Josh becoming more aware of this and deflecting Eliot's stealthy advances. It may be why Eliot is so snarky towards Josh's new cook Gabi, who had a drunken one night stand with Josh on her first day to their embarrassment. Played for Laughs for the most part as for the first season.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Brienne of Tarth was in love with Renly Baratheon, but he was gay.
    • Sansa Stark had a crush on Loras Tyrell, but he is gay (Sansa was oblivious to this).
    • The bisexual couple Prince Oberyn Martell and Ellaria Sand have an orgy in the brothel with male and female prostitutes. The prostitute Olyvar apologizes to Ellaria because he "has no taste for women."
    • Renly is unable to consummate his marriage to Margaery in spite of her accommodating efforts.
  • Usually averted in Orange Is the New Black, because being in prison often makes the ladies reconsider, but present from time to time.
    • Poussey and Taystee may be the most compatible life partners you'd ever seen on TV, but the latter just isn't a lesbian.
    • Nichols tries hitting on Fischer, but is understandably turned down; Fischer is straight and a guard. Well, Nichols is ambitious.
      • Luschek suffers from the exact opposite problem concerning his crush on Nichols. She's gay and an inmate, making a romance both impossible and a crime.
  • Night and Day's Fiona and Mike Brake, despite many years of marriage.
  • Oz: When Richie Hanlon (gay) joins Shirley Bellinger (straight) in the Death Row block, Bellinger offers to show her vagina if Hanlon shows her his penis. He points out that he's gay, but obliges anyway when she says she doesn't care either way.
  • Alec's feelings for Jace on Shadowhunters, since Alec is gay and Jace is straight.
  • Murder in the First: Jamie Nelson is obviously attracted to a pretty female bartender, and thus visibly disappointed when she's revealed to be straight, with a boyfriend.
  • iZombie has a rare temporary example. Liv and Lowell are both zombies, which means they take on the personality traits of anyone whose brain they eat. Shortly after they start dating, Lowell eats the brain of someone gay, and suddenly isn't attracted to Liv anymore. He spends a night as her Gay Best Friend, and promises that his next brain will be "ludicrously straight," discussing the idea of possibly digging up Wilt Chamberlain.

  • The t.A.T.u. song Malchik Gay (or Mal'chik Gey, "Gay Boy" in Russian) is about a girl in love with a gay boy who spurns her.
  • Amore Si by Tanita Tikaram is a heartfelt evocation of unrequited homosexual attraction where the singers' acceptance of the impossibility of a relationship collides with blind love. Going on with a friends-only relationship is tearing the protagonist apart.
  • Rihanna's "Te Amo" is about a woman who gets confessed to by another in Spanish. She doesn't know Spanish but knows what "te amo" means. She doesn't like the woman back though.
  • Ally Hill's Song "In Love with a Straight Girl" is ecactly about this. Ally gives other lesbians the advice to "let the straight girls be" because if they aren't queer they won't reciprocate their feelings.
  • White Town's "Your Woman" (later covered by Tyler James), about a straight guy in love with a gay woman, which makes the line "I could never be your woman" kinda obvious.
    • A different interpretation has the song be about a gay man in love with a straight man, which is still this trope.
  • "She'll Never Be Your Man" by Chris Cornell, which is either about the bitterness and resentment of either a straight man losing his girlfriend to a gay woman, or a gay man losing his boyfriend to a straight woman.
  • "Ziggy", from the famous (in France) musical Starmania (known as Tycoon outside of France), a song later covered by Céline Dion, is about a barmaid (who somehow serves as narrator of the musical) who is in love with a very gay fan of David Bowie.
  • Weezer's Pink Triangle.
    I'm dumb, she's a lesbian,
    I thought I had found the one.
    • Inspired by something that actually happened to Rivers Cuomo, but ironically in reality it turned out to be a case of Mistaken for Gay: He wrote the song after harboring a crush on a girl, then noticing a pink triangle patch on her backpack one day (not "on her sleeve" as the lyrics state). However, long after he'd already written the song and fallen out of contact with the girl in question, he learned that she was straight, and was wearing the symbol to show her support of gay rights.
  • Reel Big Fish's "She Has a Girlfriend Now" is about a guy despairing that his ex now only dates women. He offers to get a sex change to appease her, causing the girl to croon "Oh, that's so sweet!"
  • Of Montreal's song "Tim, I Wish You Were Born a Girl" is about this.
  • At the end of the music video to "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen, it turns out that the dude she's been obsessing over is gay. This is followed by Carly giving an expression of pure, undiluted "WTF". The guy is interested in the guitarist in Carly's band. It's implied that this too is a case of Incompatible Orientation.
  • This is one interpretation of R.E.M.'s song "Losing My Religion": that it's about the (male) singer's gay crush on a straight man.
  • The Pet Shop Boys' cover of Oh Romeo's "Try It (I'm in Love with A Married Man)" changes the perspective from that of a woman in an adulterous relationship to a gay man in love with a married straight man. The video for "Domino Dancing" also appears to depict this trope.
  • "Beautifully," by Jay Brannan is about a girl very much in love with a boy who can't return her feelings.
  • An interpretation of Fall Out Boy's "Sugar We're Goin Down" suggests this: the lyrics in the liner notes say "wishing to be the friction in his jeans" instead of the recorded version's "in your jeans". The song also includes references to "watching [a couple making love] from the closet" and "sleeping for the wrong team."
  • This happens tragically in the Twist Ending to the music video for K.will's song "Please Don't..." Spoiler alert: Seo In Guk's character is in love with his best friend, not his best friend's girl.
  • Rapper, Cakes Da Killa turns this Up to Eleven with his song, "Fuck Ya Boifriend", where he proudly tells a random girl that he wants to fuck her boyfriend. Everything's obviously gonna go well for Cakes at the end.
  • "I Found A Girl" by The Vamps is about this:
    I found a girl who's in love with a girl
    She said that she tried, but she's not into guys
    Oh why, tell me why, did I fall for those eyes?

     Newspaper Comics 
  • Joanie Caucus from Doonesbury had a crush on Andy Lippincott, who turned out to be gay. She was with him when he died of AIDS. Earlier in their relationship she thinks he's married, but he reveals that's not the problem.
    Andy: Joanie, I'm gay.
    Joanie: There's nothing wrong with that. I'm pretty cheerful myself most of the time.
    Andy: No, I mean...
    Joanie: Oh my God.


    Video Games 
  • Implied to be the reason Juhani and Dak Vessar had a falling out in Knights of the Old Republic. They were both Jedi Padawans, but started to have their doubts about the Order. Dak made up his mind to run away, and tried to take Juhani with him, pleading he loved her. Unfortunately, Dak...wasn't Juhani's type.
    • The male player character can try to flirt with Juhani. It doesn't work very well; she's openly disgusted in fact.
  • Mordin (from an Asexual species) and Shepard in Mass Effect 2. If Shepard keeps going back and talking to Mordin often enough and is not otherwise in a relationship, Mordin will assume that Shepard is expressing "interest" in him, and lets them down gently. Shepard then has the option of saying that their stopping by for conversation so frequently is Not What It Looks Like. Or you can run with it and sarcastically thank Mordin for letting you down easy. Mordin's response to that gives a little Too Much Information.
    • It's possible to have Kaidan or Liara run into it with Shepard in the first game. Kaidan finds out if Liara is chosen in the confrontation while Liara may be told one-on-one that Shepard is only interested in men.
    • Male Shepard can run into this in Mass Effect 3 if they try and hit on Samantha Traynor. Female Shepard can use this to reject Traynor when she tries to seduce her.
    • If female Shepard returns to speak to Jack frequently enough in Mass Effect 2, Jack will inform her that she "doesn't swing that way".
    • This is implied to be the case if Male Shepard turns down all of the women pursuing him in the first two games and romances Kaidan or Steve in the third.
  • Advanced V.G.: Yuuki is a lesbian, who entered the VG Tournamentnote  as an excuse to see as many naked women's bodies as possible, and ends up falling for Satomi, who's an athletic 17 year old tomboy. Problem for Yuuki is, Satomi's not only straight, she isn't interested in any sort of romance, period. At least, not yet.
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • Implied between Craig Boone and Manny Vargas. When Boone's wife went missing, Manny could barely hide his joy, leading to Boone ending their friendship. Conversation with Manny (particularly if the player has a certain perk) shows that Manny was always jealous of Carla (and her generally unpleasant demeanor didn't win her any favors), though Boone is apparently unaware of his true feelings.
    • Corporal Betsy is a Butch Lesbian who shoots down a Courier who tries to hit on her with the Ladykiller perk.
    • Cass also gets a bit of this. If the male Courier has the "Confirmed Bachelor" perk, he can make it rather clear to Cass that he is not interested in being more than platonic companions. This text option comes after a potentially flirtatious remark from Cass' end.
  • In the female protagonist's route in Persona 3 Portable, the later ranks of Aigis's Social Link have her lamenting that she's not male and, between that and being a robot, is thus not an ideal love interest for the heroine. Exactly how incompatible she is with the heroine's orientation is to some degree open-ended, but there are no opportunities for the heroine to actively reciprocate her feelings, making it fall more or less into this trope.
  • Invoked in the "Wedding Day Massacre" DLC for Borderlands 2, where Gaige the Mechromancer admits to having a crush on Sir Hammerlock, but no chance of getting him, since he's only interested in men. She does assert she'd be all over him if ever he became straight.
    • Krieg is in love with Maya, who doesn't share the feeling due to being asexual.
  • Appears in The Starship Damrey with Large (gay) and Nick (straight). The main problem is that the emotionless computer discovered this and started casually spreading word of it amongst the crew, horribly embarrassing poor Large, although Nick, for the most part seems to have been sympathetic about it.
  • Comes up multiple times in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
    • Cassandra and Cullen can be flirted with by a female and male Inquisitor respectively, but both will eventually turn them down politely. Cassandra also turns down Sera's interest.
    • Dorian will playfully flirt back with a female Inquisitor, but makes it clear that it can never be serious.
    • Sera will bluntly turn down a male Inquisitor and then change the subject. If she is flirted with again after she and the Inquisitor become friends, she more tactfully says that the two of them are too much alike because they both like girls.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the Hidden Block route of Asagao Academy Normal Boots Club the main character asks out Ian aka "Brutalmoose" who, very confused, asks "You know I'm Gay, right?". They do end up going to the festival as friends though.
  • Katawa Shoujo:
    • In the past there was a failed confession between Misha and Shizune, with the latter being straight.
    • In Emi's route, Hisao thinks the track team captain will be a rival for his affections for Emi, but it turns out that she once confessed to him, only to find out that he's gay.
    • Hisao can have a sex scene with Misha however it is heavily uncomfortable both due to her being gay and because Hisao was dating Shizune at the time. The scene directly leads to Shizune's Bad End.
  • Steins;Gate has Urushibara Luka, in love (most likely) with the protagonist Okabe, who is alas straight. Knowing that Okabe can never answer his feelings, he sends a mail 17 years in the past to make himself be born as a girl. One of the endings has them become a couple this way and even having a child.

  • The straight pop star Stasia in Marry Me is adored by her lesbian fangirl Parker, who doesn't stand a chance. At an inopportune moment during a concert, Parker hands off her 'marry me' sign to Guy, her male, heterosexual best friend. Stasia is still emotionally unstable from her last breakup, and ends up accepting Guy's "proposal".
  • In Something*Positive, PeeJee nursed a crush on Jhim (gay) for years.
    • PeeJee is established as having this as a near-superpower, up to and including precognition. At one point, one of her ex-boyfriends, a lying scumbag who cheated on her with different women, later comes out as gay after they break up.
    • A short, three-strip story has Jhim ask out a somewhat mannish woman who looked like an attractive male from behind. He tells PeeJee that they got along really well; if only she were a man! (PeeJee, naturally, is annoyed.)
  • In Queen of Wands, bisexual Angela has a thing for her straight best friend Kestrel. It becomes a major point near the end of the comic, nearly ending their friendship.
  • Magick Chicks: Subverted in Faith and Tiffany's case. It initially seemed as if Faith didn't have a shot with her, since Tiffany is straight. Plus, she regards Faith as her enemy. Despite this, she agreed to go on a spa date with her, which ended in a kiss between them. Still, she remained adamant about not being attracted to other girls, which she isn't. But she eventually reached the point where she could no longer deny being attracted to Faith. Confirmed by the comic's editor:
    T Campbell: "For instance, there was some debate about Tiff's sexuality, and for awhile the committee resolved that she was straight and knew it without doubt, putting Faith in the unusual-for-her position of courting someone who would never, could never, return her affections. We changed our tune on this somewhat, though I think the evidence that Tiff is attracted to guys is fairly conclusive."
  • Vampire Cheerleaders: Even though Zoe vehemently denied it for most of the series, vol.4 confirmed she did have the hots for Suki. But the feeling wasn't mutual. Suki was put-off by Zoe kissing her and even moreso when Zoe humped her leg in front of everyone at the amusement park.
  • El Goonish Shive has this times five, because Gayngst is one of the things Shive writes well:
    • Justin Tolkiberry (a gay male) has Melissa, a straight girl (and his former best friend) who's in love with him and refuses to accept that he's not interested.
    • Melissa thinks that she can "cure" Justin. Currently, she's in a relationship with Noah. He claims that their relationship is a mutually beneficial one "for close comfort and pleasure". It hasn't been stated outright, but the vibes are that Noah is himself gay, or at least bi, and that Melissa sees her relationship with him as some sort of "proof" that Justin can be "cured".
    • Susan had a crush on Justin before she learned he was gay. Notably, they're still very close, relate to each other very well, and during the Gender Bender party (which turned Susan into a bisexual man and Justin into a straight woman) they had a heartfelt moment which almost escalated into something they would have regretted.
    • Justin himself is in love with his male friend Elliot Dunkel, who's straight.
    • Worse still, when Elliot is in his "mild-mannered girl" form he finds himself attracted to Justin. Making this an Incompatible Orientation situation twice over.
    • Nanase's relationship with Eliot turned out to be a case of this. Nanase liked him but wasn't really physically attracted to him. When she learned of Sarah's crush on Elliot, she ended the Love Triangle in short order by breaking up with Elliot and admitting she had just been going through the motions. Nanase didn't really consider the ramifications of this, until Elliot accidentally created an Opposite-Sex Clone that Nanase found disturbingly attractive.
    • Catalina later falls in love with Susan; the latter still wishes to be friends however. Susan even had an Imagine Spot about a date with Catalina, but she's well aware she's straight.
    Susan: Could've been nice...
    • Susan herself expresses 'strangst' (straight angst) in an early appearance, wishing she were a lesbian because of her and her mother's issues with men. (Susan's mother is saddened that her daughter isn't attracted to women. This is mostly due to a traumatic event in Susan's childhood when she discovered her father was having an affair.)
  • Chad Dracul in Muertitos is lusted after by pretty near every girl in his school, but is himself asexual.
  • Averted in Arthur, King of Time and Space; although either Tristram or Isolde may be gender flipped depending on the arc, their sexualities will always change to match. Also avoided; in at least one arc, Nimue is a guy, but how this affects her/his relationship with Merlin is never addressed.
    • In every arc, though, Galehaute's feelings for Lancelot are unrequited, and indeed unspoken.
  • Out There has more than one.
    • Rod and Araceli. She's gay, he's a rake. They have a history. Ari is in favor of letting history remain history; Rod wants history to repeat itself.
    • Araceli and Sherry. Araceli has a secret crush on Sherry, who is straight (at least as far as Ari can tell).
  • In Ménage à 3:
    • Gary is smitten with Yuki on their first meeting. Zii informs him (apparently correctly) that Yuki is not actually gay, she just only sleeps with women. Later, in fact, Yuki finds herself returning Gary's feelings, and makes efforts to get over her ... complicated personal issues.
    • For a more straightforward case — Dillon, Gary's former roommate, has a hopeless gay crush on straight Gary.
    • Dillon's infatuation with Gary remains somewhat active after he gets his own comic, Sticky Dilly Buns. Likewise, his roommate Amber continues to display a fondness for him that would pretty clearly turn physical given half a chance — especially as she knows that Dillon is a master of a special oral sex technique.
  • In Questionable Content:
    • Tai often complained that of all the attractive lady friends Marten has, he's dating the only one who is into girls. After Marten and Dora broke up, Tia and Dora got together, once Dora was ready to date again and Tia had checked Marten was okay with it.
    • Marten's parents still care deeply for each other but just couldn't bear to remain married after Marten's dad came out of the closet.
  • Homestuck has a complex series of intra- and inter-species romantic incompatibilities.
    • A traditional human version of the trope occurs in Universe B-2: Roxy has a crush on Dirk, who is gay. She knows, or at least suspects, that they're fated to have kids together. Too bad about the "ectobiological cloning" thing... Dirk in turn has a crush on Jake, who is still considering whether to identify as straight or bisexual. Later, Dirk tells Jane with uncharacteristic sincerity that he truly wishes he could reciprocate Roxy's feelings because it would make things much easier for everyone involved, but his love for her is completely platonic.
    • Alternian society is binormative so gender is rarely a dealbreaker for trolls, but other types of incompatibility are still possible. Karkat develops a doomed same-sex hatecrush on John. To heterosexual John, the fact that they're both guys is the biggest issue with this. To Karkat, whose native language doesn't even have a word for "orientation", what's much more problematic is that as a human John lacks any concept of romantic hate. The interspecies romance between Dave and Terezi falls apart not because of the troll partner's bisexuality but because of their polyamory. The monogamous human partner was not prepared for the troll norm of polyfidelity.
    • The Squared Sprites. Jasprosesprite was extremely interested in Nepetasprite until she merged with Davesprite. After the merger, the new Davepetasprite is actually more receptive to those advances but the Rose half of Jasprose finds that, even mind-melded with Nepeta, Dave triggers her incest taboo.
  • A bizarre inversion in 1/0: So there's never been a fourth wall, and there's very little in the setting except a featureless plain and a bunch of tiny things who chat. Terra would very much like to fall in love with Zadok, but Terra's a lesbian earthworm and Zadok's a male grass golem. She briefly gets a personal fourth wall in order to lose the concept of lesbianism (solely an out-of-universe thing, since none of the characters are human and Terra is the only character with a metabolism), but self-deception is a turn-off for him. The philosopher of the group solves things by successfully arguing that applying the constraints of human biology to people without it is absurd. Love is therefore a function of personalities, and therefore limiting it is a violation of free will and their purpose as characters. Around 1/0, we call this a Tuesday.
  • Oglaf, being a (very NSFW) sex comedy comic, has this in spades. Recurring offenders are Ambassador Sandoval's desire for strictly straight Ivan the Apprentice, and the various men (and odd shapeshifter) trying their luck and getting shot down by snarky lesbian mercenary Greir.
  • In Dubious Company, Marty has a tremendous crush on Elly. Both are straight males. Marty has yet to understand the "male" part, despite being repeatedly told by everyone that Elly is a man.
  • Shortpacked!:
    • Leslie Bean has a habit of developing crushes on girls who don't swing that way, although once she managed to be an exception.
    • Robin had a crush on Ethan back before she (or he) realized he was gay.
    • Malaya and Ultra-Car developed a close relationship, but the former is a Robo Sexual while the latter is asexual and finds sex (or really, any human biology) gross. They eventually find a way around it. (Basically, it turns out the sex Malaya wants is less "involved" than Ultra-Car expected.)
  • In Dumbing of Age, Ethan felt like being gay had taken over his life, so he begins dating Joyce as The Beard. Oddly, Joyce has discovered the truth, but they're still dating—largely because she has issues with sex (especially lately) and sees him as "safe," though she seems to slowly be realizing that this won't work long-term.
    • Before Joyce, Ethan had been dating his childhood best friend, Amber; they went to prom together and were going to have Their First Time after, but naturally that ended with Ethan finally admitting the truth. Amber tried to be supportive and helped him come out to his family, but her broken heart has made their friendship rocky since then.
    • Joyce got this again with Becky, her best friend from back home, who tried to convince herself that Joyce's boy-crazy personality was all an act. She was wrong.
  • Girls with Slingshots approaches this situation a few times.
    Angel: I'm a lesbian. Our first base is, "she's not straight".
    Jim: Oh, that's my "foul ball". I hit a lot of those.
    • Heterosexual Jamie and asexual Erin are in love and have a non-sexual romance. Relationship stress ensues when Jamie suffers from sexual frustration, and neither of them wants to have sex with the other.
  • Discussed at length in Meaty Yogurt with a subplot about a man who cannot get over his feelings for a lesbian waitress. At one point he speculates that finding every woman he likes is a lesbian makes him sorta a lesbian in a man's body. The object of his affections assures him that being a lesbian never coincides with finding every woman you like is a lesbian. Ever. In the history of the universe.
  • In The Dragon Doctors, the existence of "orientation adapters" allows people to defy the trope in-universe when appropriate (e.g. following an involuntary Gender Bender inflicted upon one's spouse).
  • Alpha Bitch Zoey Irwin from Sandra and Woo is revealed to be infatuated with her friend Michelle who, in turn, is crushing on Cloud Williams. Michelle is furthermore not a part of the gay-acceptant faction of humanity, much to Zoey's dismay and despair.
  • In Narbonic, Artie realises he's gay when he's attracted to ANTONIO SMITH FORENSIC LINGUIST!, who is "married to grammar. And actually married."
  • The Order of the Stick; Elan tried to break out of prison once by using an illusion of a woman to seduce the guards. This failed due to one guard being married and the other being gay.
  • One of the omakes to Cross Heart has a boy confessing to Haru. Not only is she gay but she is taken.
    Boy: I like you! Please go out with me!
    Haru: Huh? B-but you... you're a boy.
    Boy: Yeah, I am.
  • In Check, Please!, Bitty thinks this is the case when he realises he has feelings for Jack, whom he assumes to be straight.
    Bitty: ... It is something I should've learned a long time ago. Never fall for a straight boy.
  • In Khaos Komix, early on in Charlie's and Tom's friendship Charlie confessed to Tom. Being gay, he turned her down. Charlie got over it quickly and they're platonic friends current time.
  • In Scandinavia and the World, Sister Finland has a thing for Sweden, who is in a committed relationship with his boyfriend Åland. It doesn't go quite like you'd expect, though, since she's either unaware of his true orientation or doesn't really care, and he knows her to be a stoic psycho who probably wouldn't take no for an answer (at least not without killing him in the process), so he reluctantly accepts it to the point that he has a kid with her to hide his homosexuality (since he also has, or at least had, issues with accepting his preference and having people know about it). Åland, meanwhile, seems mostly unaware of it, only appearing to know anything about it at the christening of the child (and being as shocked as you might expect). Since the relationships between characters are loosely based on how the nations they represent interact with each other in real life, though, it's fair to expect that this Love Triangle has some plot holes for the sake of comedy (though it's also possible that Åland knows how Sister Finland is and understands Sweden's difficult position).

     Web Original 
  • A parody short posits that the reason Sonic the Hedgehog makes such fast tracks when Amy's around is because he doesn't have the heart to tell her he and Tails have long since passed the point of goo-goo eyes. Amy is not impressed.
  • More than one guy has made passes at Phase in the Whateley Universe. His entire team (and his girlfriend) know that he is really a heterosexual, heteromantic guy trapped in a mainly-female body.
  • Death Note: The Abridged Series (kpts4tv): Butch Lesbian Rem is in love with Misa, who is in love with Light, who is in love with L, who is "snack-sexual". Also, after Mikami abandons Takada she considers going out with Light, but then remembers he's gay. Rem later ends up with Misa by possessing Mogi and Jumping the Gender Barrier.
  • In Glowfic, The Kanim template tends to end up pining for Bells, whose orientation is not compatible with their gender, for example the original Kanim with Glass, who is lesbian. Also happened briefly between Shell Bell and Pearl, but Shell Bell managed to make an exception.
  • In Strong Bad Email #8, Strong Bad gets an email talking about how hot he is and how the sender would like to go out with him... that turns out to be from a guy named Brian. Strong Bad bluntly replies "Look, man, unless Brian is short for... Brianrietta or Brian-Sue or something like that, it's just not gonna work out between you and me, okay?"

     Western Animation 
  • Mr Burns to Smithers in The Simpsons.
  • In an episode of 6teen, Caitlin confesses to being a co-worker's secret admirer, only to find out Kevin "plays for the other team".

    Real Life 
  • Actress Lea Michelle joked about the fact that her father once told her that of all the men in her life, the only one that was worthy of her was her best friend and (Spring Awakening and Glee) co-star Jonathan Groff. It is easy to see his point.
  • Herman Melville's attraction to Nathaniel Hawthorne.
  • Mixed-Orientation Marriages of the type where a person who is in the closet about his or her exclusively homosexual identification is married to someone who identifies as heterosexual. Now also called "brokeback marriages" after more recent famous fictional examples.
  • A depressing fact of life for many queer teenagers. Since only a small portion of the population identifies as gay or bisexual, there's a strong chance that their crush will have an incompatible orientation, and asking about compatibility may be out of the question if they live in one of the many areas that are hostile to homosexuality. On top of that there's the universal problem of mutual attraction. Adulthood usually offers more options for meeting people of compatible orientation but doesn't change the basic fact of queer sexualities being a minority.
  • It's also a cliché that straight girls involved in theatre or music in high school will inevitably crush on at least one closeted gay guy.
  • The dating website OkCupid installed a feature where gay and bi users can keep their profiles from showing up for straight people; one of the reasons was that a lot of straight users were attempting to date attractive gay members of the opposite sex on the site.