Love at First Sight

"Today I saw you and spoke to you for the first time.
It was like an earthquake; everything in me was overturned, the graves of my heart were opened and my own nature was strange to me.
I am forty, and I believed I had reached the autumn of life.
I had wandered far, known much and lived many lives. The Lord had spoken to me, manifesting Himself in many ways; to me angels had revealed themselves and I had not believed them. But when I saw you I was compelled to believe, because of the miracle that happened to me."
John Angelos,The Dark Angel by Mika Waltari

Love at First Sight. It's a staple of Fairy Tales, love songs, and the Disney Animated Canon. Two characters meet, and fall deeply, madly, passionately in love with each other immediately. This is one of the most common story archetypes, probably going back to Greek Mythology.

Depending on where a story falls in the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism, Love at First Sight is either a recipe for Happily Ever After or eventual disillusionment and heartbreak. Of course, even if the characters really are perfect for each other, they can still be Star-Crossed Lovers who are destined to be apart, or simply can start a relationship based on this trope and develop it into a deeper and more sincere one.

Note that this trope is compatible with Oblivious to Love. In a Love Epiphany, it can suddenly dawn on the character that he is in love and has been for some time, from their first meeting.

Sometimes, only one character falls in love at first sight. That character usually spends the rest of the story trying to win the heart of the other one. If the character is a hero or heroine, you usually get a pleasant courtship. If the character is a villain, he or she becomes a dangerous Stalker with a Crush, because Love Makes You Evil.

Compare Fourth Date Marriage, The Dulcinea Effect, and the vocal equivalent Love at First Note. The Serial Romeo is a character who falls into this over and over again. The opposite is Hate at First Sight.

Not to be confused with the manhwa with the same name or the Chinese drama Love At First Fight.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Manhwa 
  • In the Manhwa Pig Bride Ji Oh and Mu Hwa get one of the most detailed Love at First Sight sequences ever. 4 pages are dedicated to the few seconds where Ji Oh first sees Mu Hwa perched on his dormitory veranda railing and there's even a close up of her reflected in his eye when she springs at him wielding a sword. The strangest part? They're only the Beta Couple!

    Comic Books 
  • Colossus and Zsaji from Secret Wars, despite the facts that a) they couldn't speak each other's languages and b) she died days after they met. A popular Fanon theory states that Zsaji was an empath who either intentionally or inadvertently manipulated Peter's emotions, especially since he went from pining over Kitty to doting over the alien healer so fast that the boy probably got whiplash. And apart from his subsequently breaking things off with Kitty (which was the sole purpose for Zsaji's existence), she was almost entirely forgotten within a year and is almost never mentioned.
  • Supergirl: In the seventh issue of her first solo book, Kara Zor-El/Linda Danvers remembers how she fell for a guy called Tony Martin as soon as she saw him.
    Supergirl: Ohh... What a dreamboat! I thought love at first sight was just for fairy tales — until now!
  • The ElfQuest concept of Recognition is this trope in spades. "Soul meets soul when eyes meet eyes, stands your lover recognized." At times a male elf and a female elf see each other, immediately recognize each others' soul, and are compelled by a biological imperative to have sex. A life-long romance is not guaranteed (Dewshine and Tyldak), but does tend to follow more often than not (Cutter and Leetah).
  • When Susan "Sue" Storm was 12 years old, her aunt rented a room to a Teen Genius university student named Reed Richards. She fell for the Hollywood Nerd at first sight, but would only date and marry him when they were older.
  • In Brazilian comic Monica's Gang, the Unrequited Love between Franklin and Marina (though it starts with some Post Modernism: Marina, author Mauricio de Sousa's daughter, entered the comic book world, where Franklin promptly fell in love with her; when she returned, Mauricio reveals he created a character based on Marina).
  • This seems to happen quite often to mortals who spend time around the Endless. In Endless Nights, the mortal protagonists of Death and Destruction's stories both end up falling in love with them after spending a short time in their company. Death gets it the most in general, too.
  • Thugboy fell for Empowered hard when he first laid eyes on her — it even broke him out of his terminal "Whatever." mood.
  • Victor and Lillie from Runaways. It doesn't work out, though.
  • Tarot and Jon from Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose.
  • Occurs temporarily in Swordquest: Waterworld, when the two heroes each end up falling for the leader of two warring factions; partially justified due to some Identity Amnesia from the Big Bad's evil sorcerer.
  • Archie from Archie Comics (2015) fell for Veronica at first glance. He even states that in his fourth-wall breaking monologue.

    Music 
  • Pops up in a few Beatles songs, naturally: "I've Just Seen a Face" used to be the page quote. In "With a Little Help From My Friends", it's discussed via Call and Response.
    "Would you believe in a love at first sight?"
    "Yes, I'm certain that it happens all the time. . . "
  • The song "Loving You" by, not so wide known artist, Pauline:
    I've been dreaming about you
    Every night and day
    From the first time I saw you
    I got swept away
  • The Brobecks have a song called "Love at First Sight".
    "Could this be love at first sight, or should I walk by again?"
  • "Hello, I love you, why don't you tell me your name?"
  • Defied in Carly Rae Jepsen's "I Really Like You", in contrast to her Signature Song "Call Me Maybe".
    I know this isn't love, but I need to tell you something.
    I really, really, really, really like you.
  • Brian McNeill's "Bring the Lassie Hame" portrays the meeting of his father and mother in post-WWII Austria as this.
    When it was over, still nae bed o' clover
    A continent lay bleedin', and tears like ne'er before
    And then ye found her, hard times around her
    And ye knew that yer life had changed forevermore

    Myths & Religion 
  • Greek mythology has its share of Love At First Sight, usually caused directly by some god or goddess.
    • Eros, after a quarrel with Apollo, got back at him by shooting him with an arrow that made him fall in love with Daphne at first sight, after he shot Daphne with an arrow that made her (in simplest terms) hate at first sight.
    • Aphrodite, Eros' mother, because she was jealous of the beautiful Psyche, asked Eros to shoot her with an arrow so that she would fall in love with someone repulsive at first sight, but Eros ended up falling in love at first sight with Psyche.
    • Narcissus was so beautiful that every woman who looked upon his face fell instantly in love with him, but he would always spurn such people and break their hearts. He was cursed to fall in love with his own reflection after spurning several nymphs this way.
      • And in other versions, falling in love with his own reflection was punishment for spurning probably much older * male* suitors. Values Dissonance? Perhaps. Creepy? Just a tad.
      • Although in Greek culture of the time young men were supposed to have older male suitors, as well as continue to be attracted to women, so both versions technically work. (Male suitors of the same age? Now that was just weird.)
      • And this doesn't count as Values Dissonance... how?
      • No matter who else got rejected by Narcissus, the last person is always Echo in an exceptionally cruel manner. Since she had the misfortune of getting cursed to repeat only what people said to her, it was a big problem when Narcissus needed directions to the nearest city. He had no way of knowing she was cursed, but it doesn't mean he should have called Echo an idiot and gone out of his way to avoid her. Rather understandable that Aphrodite considered this the last straw — especially since Echo was so in love with him that she couldn't bear to cause him harm, even to seek justice for herself.
    • Hades and Persephone. A bit one-sided, but he (also) gets shot with Eros' arrow of love. Instant attraction and abduction ensues.
      • Weirdly enough, they end up the most stable (and presumably happy) couple in Greek mythology. It probably helped that he lavished gifts and non-sexual attention on her to genuinely win her over — and unlike Zeus, he never cheats on her. Just because he's the king of the Underworld doesn't mean he can't respect his wife's feelings.
      • On a different point of view since Hades primary methods of romance seems to be kidnapping, lavishing her with gifts, tricking her into eating those seeds and waiting several months for Stockholm Syndrome to ensue, you could bet that seduction isn't his forté.
      • On some versions. In another (which may be the closest to the original and untouched myth), Persephone willingly came to Hades, spoke to him and they reached an agreement — he wanted a consort, she wanted to get away from her overprotective mom, they FAKED her supposed kidnapping and she ate the pomegranate seeds willingly to tell her mother that she wanted to stay in the Underworld.
      • Well, he cheated once or twice... in three-thousand years of marriage. That's leagues above a lot of people, let alone Zeus or Poseidon.
      • And the time a nymph went to Hades and openly told him that she wanted to be his mistress? Persephone wasn't pleased. (Though she was quite kinder to his other old flame...)

    Visual Novels 
  • Tsukihime:
    • Arcueid admits that she fell in love with Shiki at first being horribly butchered, something he reciprocated and spent 90% of the story denying to himself. Arcueid acts rather annoyed if Shiki goes for the other girls in their routes. Shiki counts much more than Arcuied does. She was more fascinated with him at first, rather than in love, and she was an Emotionless Girl before Shiki "broke" her. Shiki, on the hand, lusted for her, to the point of insanity, even if it largely due to his bloodline. He even admits that she was easily the most beautiful girl he's ever seen or will probably ever see.
    • Roa, for Arcueid hundreds of years ago. Didn't end well.
  • Fate/stay night:
    • Shirou falls in love with Saber upon first seeing and doesn't actually realize it for two weeks. The other two routes get around this by not letting Saber get enough contact with Shirou for them to really hit it off. Each route is... rather... different as to how it goes about it.
    • In Rin's route, Saber gets captured early on and then has an important argument with Archer, who uses his future Shirou credentials to make her reconsider her own motivations, a process which took past Shirou a route and many arguments to complete. She does not spend enough time with Shirou for the remainder of the route for them to hit it off, but the finale then has either her letting Rin have him or deciding to share. Saber, however, does not realize why Rin's so happy to have her stick around.
    • It's rather more tragic in Sakura's route, where the love at first sight is completely destroyed. The method? Kill Saber early in the route. Then have her come back. Evil. Then have Shirou mercy kill her, and get so torn up doing it that he deliberately kills every memory he has of her, promising himself that he will forget her and move on to save Sakura and stay with her. Much like everything in the last route, a bit... sad, especially since Shirou never understood what he felt towards Saber, but continued anyway.
    • Sakura herself claims to have fallen for Shirou from when she first saw him trying to overcome a jump that was completely impossible for him for hours on end. Supposedly, the same could be said for Rin.
  • Esperia in Eien no Aselia fell in love with Yuuto at first sight, however, she wasn't sure what kind initially. She also has a lot of difficult actually opening up to people. In Kyouko's route, Yuuto becomes an Eternal without her, so she forgets him. When he comes back, she falls in love at first sight and is extremely confused and upset. When she becomes an Eternal as well to follow him, her newly ex boyfriend does the same. Minus following her, because he probably can't.
  • Kouri, in Brass Restoration, fell in love with the protagonist Ryo at first sight during a drum performance he put on in middle school. She even went to the same high school so she could be near him.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials & Tribulations:
    • Desirée fell in love with Ron Delite when he rescued her from a couple of bandits. They're nothing alike, but they truly love each other. When he is accused of grand larceny, she goes to the extent of entering Detective Atmey's office to take his bag (which contains a Smoking Gun) and bring it to court just to prove Ron innocent.
    • Maya thinks this trope is in play when Phoenix and Iris meet in Hazakura. In reality they knew each other already, but they both were shocked beacuse neither expected to run into the other.

    Web Animation 
  • Doki of There she is!! falls head over heels, crazy in love with Nabi the first time she sees him. Nabi...well he comes around eventually.
  • In Lucky Day Forever, Prole 514 falls in love Sasiadka upon seeing her argue with her abusive boyfriend.

    Web Comics 
  • A short comic by A-gnosis has Dionysos fall for Ariadne's dress when they first meet. (For anyone who is not familiar with the myth; it is said that after Ariadne was left on a desert island by Theseus, the god Dionysos fell in love with her.) He's a Wholesome Cross Dresser, and wearing a pink robe at the time, so his interest is obviously sincere - it is implied that they bonded over this compliment. This comes off as much less creepy than if he had talked about her, as people familiar with Greek Myth tend to have certain prejudices when it comes to gods and their respect for consent or the lack thereof.
  • The Law of Purple: Red falls for Rose on first sight. Much of the attraction is that she's thrashing a purse-snatcher at the time, as seen here.
  • In Girl Genius, Zola plans to manage her meeting with the heir to the Storm King — and make it look like Love at First Sight.
  • minus.: what happens when Cupid gets really out of hand.
  • xkcd: This comic
  • Homestuck: Trolls, due to Bizarre Alien Reproduction, have a form of romance which is essentially hateful archnemesishood. The first time Karkat sees John (in person), he is instantly struck by total, all-consuming, overwhelming hate, complete with spade-shaped Wingding Eyes. Not the purest example, though, as they have interacted before through an instant messenger client, and there's a certain amount of time shenanigans involved as well.
  • Subverted in Dresden Codak. Kimiko sees a handsome guy with an FM-2030 book and instantly turns into a tongue-tied twit, fantasising about either an idyllic relationship (on an airship!) or a UST-laden scholarly rivalry. See here. Unfortunately for her, he turns out to be kind of a moron.
  • In Endstone, Jon disowns believing in this when he first met Kyri.
  • L's Empire has a species (Kayoss) that falls in love this way, mainly due to their Magic Genetics. This does have a side effect (referred to as Love Struck) which involves light headedness, drooling from the eyes, and passing out.
  • In Erstwhile, in the comic about the fairy tale "Sister and Brother" the king and the eponymous sister. Within moments of meeting, Crush Blush followed by his proposing and her accepting, with the only condition that her brother come with her to the castle.
  • In El Goonish Shive, this appears to be what happens between Tedd and Grace. However, much later, Tedd admits that it started out as simple attraction, since he was the first male her age she wasn't related to, and she was a hot girl in his house. It definitely evolved into love relatively quickly, though.
  • Erfworld: In the prequel book 0, we see that Jillian actually fell in love with Wanda before first sight. Merely hearing Wanda's name with no further context was enough to send Jillian's heart racing. Then Wanda captured her and tortured her for a few dozen turns, and then Wanda joined Jillian and helped her croak Wanda's Ruler, and then Wanda betrayed Jillian's father while Jillian was out in the field, and then Wanda captured Jillian and tortured her a few more times. Their relationship is... complicated, even without bringing in the large amount of Fate connecting them.
  • Knights of Buena Vista is a Campaign Comic about Frozen, and Hans's player includes an ability to induce this as a charisma bonus. So that's how Anna falls for him almost instantly.
  • It's what connects Nick and Ki in General Protection Fault right from the start, even though it takes them ages to act upon it, with lots of Will They or Won't They? in between.
    Ki: Nice butt!
    Nick (that evening, in his diary): I wonder if I should reconsider my self-imposed restriction on dating co-workers.
  • It takes Sun Jing all of about five seconds to fall heads over heels for Qiu Tong the first time they run into each other at a convenience store in Their Story. The attraction deepens all the more when they become friends.

    Web Original 

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/LoveAtFirstSight