Longing Look

Stare like that for seven years, and she'll eventually turn her head. note 

"Watching through windows,
You're wondering if I'm okay."
Cyndi Lauper, "Time After Time"

Bob has feelings for Alicenote , and reveals those feelings with a soulful look, tender gesture, or verbal cues that Alice rarely ever notices. There are a lot of possibilities, here are some of the more common ones:

  1. Bob's expression changes when he looks at Alice to one of love (though only if she isn't looking).
  2. When Alice talks about dating Charlie, Bob involuntarily clenches his fist.
  3. If Alice comments how "crazy" it would be if they were a couple, his agreement is either less than enthusiastic or sincere, or he goes too far the other way.

Of course, this may also indicate less than noble love when Bob is a Stalker with a Crush. Usually his expression will be envious or darker, or he might look more intensely than he should. In either case, if caught and Alice (or Charlie) asks why and for how long he's been looking, Bob will either deny the accusation or answer with "I wasn't looking at you, idiot! I was just distracted!" or the like.

The reciprocated version, most likely between Star-Crossed Lovers, is the Held Gaze.

Compare Beautiful Dreamer and Long Last Look, which may overlap with this. Contrast Male Gaze, Female Gaze, and Eating the Eye Candy.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Future Diary brings us a particularly disturbing example. Yuno Gasai's intoxicated expression as she promises to "protect" the main character, Yuuki, is known as the "Yandere Trance", which has since reached Memetic Mutation status.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura has both Syaoran and Tomoyo give these to Sakura.
  • Kuroh to Shiro in K, particularly in the end of Missing Kings, when they have been separated for almost a year. Shiro's gazes towards Kuroh tend to be more of the Eating the Eye Candy variety, but sometimes it's this, too.
  • Mazinger:
    • Mazinger Z: Sayaka to Kouji, constantly. Kouji's reaction depended on the version: in the anime, most of the time he did not notice or he teased her about it; in the manga, he was nicer about it (the anime adaptation made him bigger of a jerk).
      • Disturbingly, Big Bad Dr. Hell did this constantly to Yumiko Shiozai -Kouji's grandmother- the whole time (according his Back Story narrated in the Gosaku Ota manga episodes). Of course, he represented the stalkerish verison of the trope. Yumiko either didn't notice or pretended she didn't.
    • Great Mazinger: Jun to Tetsuya. Constantly and blatantly. And spite of it was incredibly obvious to anyone endowed with eyes, Tetsuya never noticed. In fact, once he accused her of wanting to replace him with Kouji (that proves he DID care but he DID not see it). Tetsuya IS an Idiot Hero but the real problem here were his huge psychological issues preventing him from realizing there was life beyond piloting a Humongous Mecha and people could actually love him.
    • UFO Robo Grendizer: Hikaru to Duke, several times. Fortunately for her, he was willing reciprocating. Unfortunately for her, he also was in love with Rubina.
  • Naruto:
    • Sakura to Sasuke.
    • Hinata to Naruto. Constantly.
    • Naruto gives a rather incredible one to Hinata in The Last: Naruto the Movie — his eyes shine in a way that makes it look as if he's seeing her, really seeing her, for the very first time.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinji and Asuka looks at each other with wistfulness or admiration several times. Too bad neither of them noticed because that is one of the things could have avoided The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Parodied by Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, in a stalker character's common line "I was here all the time."
  • Fruits Basket:
  • This happens a lot to Sousuke from Full Metal Panic!. Pretty much every person who's had feelings for him (which is almost everyone?) has done this to him at least once (with him remaining completely oblivious). Kaname has done it numerous times (notable instances include the episode where she was fondly watching him run away from security guards in the Bonta-kun costume, and the episode where she was watching him try to pick up girls unsuccessfully, only to see him help an old lady with a birthday present for her grandson). The class idol, Ena Saeki, apparently also did this to him. As she confesses in her love letter to him, "I've always watched you from afar and sighed..." while it shows her watching him planting land mines in the school. Tessa is even worse about it, as she's even shown slithering out of bed to go and happily watch him as he sleeps. And Nami (from the novels) is constantly shyly watching him - especially during celebration parties after a victory in the AS tournament, where he'll be off alone drinking water. And then there's Gauron, who apparently recorded footage of Sousuke and was watching it with ecstasy. Guess there's just something about the boy that inspires people to act like Stalkers With Crushes gaze longingly at him.
  • Simon to Yoko and Yoko to Kamina in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
  • In Gankutsuou Franz talks about loving someone even if you can't marry them, while looking sadly at Albert.
  • Ryoga of Ranma ½ does this to Akane a few times.
  • In Hayate the Combat Butler most of the characters have actually been caught by their romantic interest with looks of this, in both directions, sometimes they've actually been prompted by said interest. Save for Ayumu, none of them have had the nerve to actually confess though, so their lack of romantic knowledge ends up with it just being played for UST.
    • Actually, Ayumu is only the first (and she did so twice) of three to have confessed, Athena (though she then 'rejected' him, and then denied it as Alice) and Luca have as well (although Luca confessed to Hayate under the impression that he was female and added the condition that 'if he were a guy'). Hayate is just to clueless to have picked up on any of them.
    • Hinagiku and Hayate have Longing Looks from both directions, unfortunately not at the same time.
  • Yusaku Godai of Maison Ikkoku does this to Kyoko a lot — especially when she's just doing little things like working.
  • Chi gives this to Hideki a lot throughout Chobits, and so did Freya towards her creator/father Ichiro. Hideki even immediately recognizes the look when Chitose shows him the video.
  • France from Axis Powers Hetalia often looks at Austria while spying on him, saying that his "face is beautiful" and that he "wants to lick it".
  • Given all of the Triang Relations that exist in Yona of the Dawn, this trope pops up often.
    • Romantic runner ups Kija and Jaeha are often seen gazing at protagonist Yona.
    • Hak is notorious for this, to the point where it's even lampshaded when a woman who is interested in him immediately gives after seeing the way he watches Yona.
    • Yona herself demonstrates the trope with two different characters. Through most of her childhood, she often watched Su-won with a bad case of Crush Blush. Later in the series, she begins unconsciously watching Hak—getting particularly flustered when he smiles, and particularly bothered when other girls swarm him.

  • Played tragically in Peggy Sue fic The Second Try. Shinji and Asuka can't let anyone know they are together, so in public they can't support each other physically- no matter how depressed or glum one of them is- and they have to resort to throwing stealthy, longing glances at each other.
    • For context, these two had finally got their relationship up and running (read: they were "married")... before being sent back in time.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: Before getting together, Shinji often gazed at Asuka longingly, averting his eyes right when she looked back.
    Predictably, perhaps inevitably, Shinji found his gaze wandering away from the moving images on the television and focusing on Asuka's prone form, as if drawn by some invisible force. […] Suddenly, Asuka called out, making Shinji jump and quickly avert his eyes.
  • In Last Child of Krypton:
    • In chapter 2 Asuka laid her eyes on Shinji for first time and she rapidly looked away before he noticed she was staring.
    • A chapter later Shinji is gazing at her longingly from afar.
  • In Nightmares Are Tragic, Luna gives Twilight Sparkle one (because she's realized Twilight is the reincarnation of her Dusk Skyshine) at the party after she's been forgiven by her sister, then stops when she realizes that if she keeps this up everybody will know her feelings. Bonus points because her expression is actually in the original episode, though probably not meant to be taken that way!
    • In Fluttershy Is Free, we learn that Rainbow Dash noticed that look, though she didn't figure out the reason for it. If Rainbow Dash noticed something emotional, there's a good chance that other ponies did, too. Poor Luna.
  • Misty is prone to giving these to Ash in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines. It's hinted that her Psyduck picked up that she had a crush on him by noticing them.

    Films — Animated 
  • Mulan: What totally gives away Mulan's crush on Shang to Mushu.
  • Frozen: It's subtle, but right after she jumps down into his arms and then walks off, you can see Kristoff giving one to Anna.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Right before the phone call that informs them that Kevin Costner has killed himself, Glenn Close does this to Kevin Kline at the beginning of The Big Chill.
  • The 2005 Pride and Prejudice has Darcy doing this to Elizabeth virtually every time she isn't looking.
  • In The Searchers, a couple of very long exchanged glances are the audience's only clue of Ethan and Martha's feelings for each other.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Ron directs a lot of these towards Hermione.
    • One notable example: In the scene where the Power Trio are in a cafe after having to flee from Bill and Fleur's wedding, they're ambushed and attacked by a pair of Death Eaters. When the smoke clears and the bad guys lie unconscious, Harry and Hermione talk Ron out of killing one, at which point he goes over to Hermione and strokes the side of her face, wiping away a spot of blood, in a very protective gesture.
  • Clara Bow's "triple gaze" (first lovestruck, then lusty, then innocent) at her soon-to-be romantic interest in It.
  • Thor: Sif did this for the titular character on a couple of occasions, hinting at her secret feelings for him and the upcoming love triangle of the sequel.
  • Done subtly in Avengers: Age of Ultron with Wanda and Clint. During the scene where he motivates her to become an Avenger, she looks at with in a way that could easily be interpreted as this. Even after that, she has a few moments where she gives him similar looks, implying she may have a one-sided crush on him. She also gives a similar look to Vision when he's created.
  • In The Patsy, Pat has a habit of staring at Tony—her sister's boyfriend—with her big blue eyes in an obvious look of love. Tony never notices, but Ma does, and berates Pat for "mooning" at Tony.

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:
  • In the first book of The Pendragon Adventure, Bobby happens to stumble upon Loor bathing. They didn't have anything romantic going at that point in the series, but in hindsight, could have been foreshadowing.
  • In Threads Of Time, it's later revealed that Sali Tayi had always been watching Atan Hadas from afar, ever since she was a child. He evens thinks to himself while reminiscing that she was his only source of light and happiness (while showing a shot of him watching her while she's playing with her little brother). "I've always been watching you" indeed. The series tries to play it like it's sweet, as he holds such deep love for Atan Hadas. Unfortunately, it only seems to add to his creepiness, and makes him have the added quality of being a Stalker with a Crush.
  • In Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn does this toward Arwen enough for Elrond to call him out on it.
  • Half of every Twilight book is Bella gazing longingly at Edward and describing every facet of his perfect features.
  • In Silver Brumby Kingdom, after Baringa finds Dawn alive, he just stops and stares at her for several minutes, incredibly happy that she survived the flood.
  • In Heart of Steel, Alistair directs a lot of these towards Julia in the first third of the novel, when she's so terrified of him that she won't even let him touch her.
  • Pride and Prejudice has Darcy constantly doing this to Elizabeth. Since the first opinion she heard him express was that she wasn't pretty enough for him to dance with, she interprets the looks as his finding further fault with her until he finally makes his first (utterly terrible) proposal of marriage.
  • In Seeds of Yesterday, the fourth volume of the Dollanganger Series by V. C. Andrews, Cathy is worried to notice younger son Bart repeatedly doing this to brother Joey's wife Melodie. Later, she observes her son Jory doing this to the hired nurse Toni.
    • In the second book, Petals on the Wind, Chris and Cathy do this without even realizing it, allowing others to pick up on their relationship.

    Live Action TV 
  • In Smallville, we've lost count how many times Chloe looks at Clark like this. Lana does it too occasionally.
  • In Game of Thrones Season 7, Daenerys and Jon Snow are constantly stealing glances at each other when one thinks the other won't notice.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Angel is always smoldering at Buffy, especially after they consummate their relationship and realize that they can't... consummate, anymore.
    • In "Who Are You?", Faith realises instantly from the look Tara gives Willow that the two are lovers.
    • Later, Spike takes over the lovelorn vampire role and possibly mopes about it even more than Angel, alternating between smoldering lust and sappy adoration.
  • In spinoff series Angel, Angel observes Cordelia at her desk this way in one episode.
  • There's at least three of these in the pilot episode of Firefly between Mal and the courtesan Inara. In fact, any time the two of them are together in a scene, either they just miss seeing a Longing Look, or they share one simultaneously. But, for various reasons they never quite seem to figure each other out. Joss likes this trope.
  • The 2000s Battlestar Galactica has Lee Adama giving Kara Thrace quite a few of these and Kara giving him a few right back, though the Held Gaze is far more common between the two of them - to the point where it's better known as "the eyefrak".
  • Bones: Booth is always giving the title character these long soulful looks, especially later in the series when the UST becomes the world's worst kept secret.
  • Friends
    • Ross did this to Rachel a few times in the first season. Chandler and Joey always teased him about it. "Could you want her more?"
    • Monica and Chandler do this to each other during their Secret Relationship. (They couldn't act like a couple in public.) There's even a point when Rachel wonders why Monica won't go on a double date and doesn't realize that Monica is busy staring right at Chandler as she speaks.
    • Chandler towards Monica in the Season 5 finale when he thinks she still loves Richard. A brief scene has him watching her, almost saying something and then quietly walking away.
  • On Ugly Betty, Daniel gives Betty one of these while Hilda is giving a speech about being in love with your best friend.
  • The X-Files: There were sometimes looks between Mulder and Scully with this meaning, but most of the time they were the star-crossed-lover reciprocated Held Gaze variant.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
  • Chakotay from Star Trek: Voyager did this many times to Captain Janeway, particularly in the episode "Resolutions". When she only has a towel on and she's just stepped out of a bath? Totally checking her out. Creepy.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise Subverted. Malcolm Reed does this to T'pol, and she has noticed.
  • Very, very prominent in the early seasons of The Office. Jim and Pam were so into giving each other longing looks that they would subconsciously still do it when the other wasn't around.
  • Barney when he fell in love with Robin on How I Met Your Mother.
  • Happens with Chuck and Blair on Gossip Girl. Nate also throws a few Serena's way in season three.
  • In The War At Home Larry's best friend Kenny is constantly giving him these looks, because he is secretly gay and in love with Larry.
  • Arthur and Guinevere on Merlin. And then Lancelot joins in...
  • Niles often did this to an oblivious Daphne in Frasier. After their Unrequited Love Switcheroo, Daphne starts doing it to an equally-oblivious Niles, which finally caused Frasier to decide "enough of this shit" and forcibly set the two of them up.
  • On The Nanny, Fran and Mr Sheffield do this a lot, as do Niles and CC in later seasons.
  • Call the Midwife's Dr Turner casts too many of these to count at Sister Bernadette, and she's just as bad — when they're not already gazing into each others' eyes like there's nobody else in the room, that is. As her title gives away, however, Sister Bernadette is a nun. This... complicates things. A lot.
  • The 1995 serial of Pride and Prejudice naturally has Darcy doing this a lot. It's almost a Funny Background Event; Colin Firth's laser-like gaze is fixed on Jennifer Ehle in every scene they're in. Elizabeth eventually asks his cousin (as she does in the novel) why the hell Darcy keeps doing it.
  • Ethan and Vanessa during Season 2 of Penny Dreadful were constantly sharing many long, meaningful looks, particularly at the end of the episodes "Fresh Hell" and "Above the Vaulted Sky."
  • Doctor Who, particularly the modern-day revival, has featured numerous examples of this, either by the Doctor towards a companion or other individuals he has developed feelings for, or by companions who have felt likewise towards the Doctor or another character. Examples include Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Rory Williams, Amy Pond, Jack Harkness, River Song and Clara Oswald. Even lampshaded at one point:
    Doctor, describing a Perception Filter: Oh, I know what it's like. It's like, it's like when you fancy someone and they don't even know you exist. That's what it's like.
    Jack to Martha: You too, huh?
  • In an interview, George Clooney and Julianna Marguiles jokingly referred to first season ofER as "The Year Of The Longing Looks", referring to the fact that their characters, who were dealing with unresolved issues from their broken relationship, frequently exchanged these.
  • General Hospital's Jason Quartermaine warns his brother AJ that he's noticed him giving these to his girlfriend Keesha. A few days later, his cousin Ned warns him that he's noticed it also.
  • In Halt and Catch Fire, after a chummy moment with a waitress at the local burger joint, Haley watches as she walks away. Joe doesn't miss the implications at all.

  • This is pretty much the premise of Eric Carmen's song "Hungry Eyes."
  • Mentioned by name in Elvis Costello's "Everyday I Write The Book."
  • Described in Dolly Parton's "Baby, I'm Burning".
    You look at me that way
    I know what your eyes say
    Your eyes reflect love and desire
    I see that you need me...

  • Cyrano de Bergerac: Montfleury gives one of these to Roxane, this is the true cause of Cyrano’s grudge against him.
    CYRANO (rising): This Silenus,
    Big-bellied, coarse, still deems himself a peril—
    A danger to the love of lovely ladies,
    And, while he sputters out his actor's part,
    Makes sheep's eyes at their boxes—goggling frog!
    I hate him since the evening he presumed
    To raise his eyes to hers. . .Meseemed I saw
    A slug crawl slavering o'er a flower's petals!

    Video Games 
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: Though the engine isn't designed to show it, Visas (whose Force powers put her in a position to know) comments that the Handmaiden's tone of voice changes drastically and her heartbeat accelerates noticeably when she is talking to the male player.
  • In Red Dead Redemption, Bonnie does this near the end of the game, looking at John with his wife with what described as a deep and longing look as they leave her family's ranch.
  • If the player romanced Fenris in Dragon Age II, Merrill will tease him about giving Hawke 'puppy eyes' when s/he looks away
  • In Mass Effect 3, a previously romanced Kaidan will give a female Shepard one of these when she coolly walks past him on the way to her trial (or, alternately, a romanced Ashley to male Shepard, though Kaidan's is more pronounced).
  • Namine tends to always give Roxas this look in Kingdom Hearts II. Roxas is at first kinda creeped out but then he gives her the same look when they meet again.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Zelda first aims one at Link after he protects her from Yiga Clan assassins and can be seen doing so again in a few chronologically subsequent memories. Mipha also aims one at Link during the latter's Knighting as a Champion.

    Web Comics 
  • Happens in Dominic Deegan in a rare same-sex example. Dominic's childhood friend gives Dominic the longing gaze. Luna sees him doing so and demonstrates it for Dominic. This is particularly cute because Luna used to do it for Dominic herself before they got involved.
  • Penny to Aggie, in a same-sex example from a Dream Sequence.
  • Played for Laughs in a Lackadaisy bonus strip featuring Viktor explaining to the socially clueless Mordecai why a woman is "making eyes" at him and trying, unsuccessfully, to show him how to reciprocate.
  • How we are introduced to both Alfdis and Gunnora from Alfdis & Gunnora, because neither thinks the other even notices them.
  • Lydia, in Cobweb and Stripes, is starting to receive these when her back is turned.

    Web Original 
  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog So very, very many longing looks and involuntary fist-clenching on Billy's part. And with the girl of his dreams dating his arch-nemesis, who's surprised?
    Penny: Billy?
    Billy: Hmm?
    Penny: You're driving the spork into your leg.
    Billy: ... So I am. Hilarious.
  • At the end of The Nostalgia Critic's The Wicker Man (2006) review, Malcolm stares after Tamara this way. Luckily for him she comes back because Critic thinks she's Abusively Sexy.

    Western Animation 
  • Rodolfo does this for his ex-wife Maria in El Tigre, though he also does it when she is aware of it. He's got it bad.
  • Helga does this constantly to the title character in Hey Arnold!.
  • Aang of Avatar: The Last Airbender has all three varieties for Katara.
  • The Simpsons: Homer and Marge show this in a few episodes.
  • Exo Squad: Maggie Weston and Alec De Leon share a few, as do J. T. Marsh and Colleen O'Reilly; but neither of them hold a candle to the looks that Nara Burns gives Marsala. The longing look seems to be permanently affixed to her face in his presence.
  • Daria gives Trent one from an upstairs window at one point while he's still mostly oblivious and has just walked off with another girl. Jane and, surprisingly, Daria's sister Quinn are sympathetic about it.
  • Beetlejuice is prone to doing the first kind, subtly, to Lydia at times when she's not looking. He also does the second kind, complete with steam coming out of his ears, when another character asks her to marry him.
  • Family Guy: In "He's Too Sexy for His Fat", Lois constantly did this to Peter when he got surgery to become muscular and good-looking.