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Love Dodecahedron

"You know the trouble with you lot? You're all in love with the wrong people."
Mrs. Patmore, Downton Abbey

Love Triangles are stressful and often heartbreaking. Add five or ten more people to the mix, and instead they become comedy: Characters A, B, C, and D all love character E, who might love any of them, but can't commit for reasons of honor or basic wishywashiness. There's also character F, who might love E, and whom he might love back, but they get on each other's nerves so it's hard to tell. Meanwhile, G is sweet on C while H and I both love A. Except on alternate Tuesdays, when H's third cousin from Osaka expresses her intent to marry Character F's dog, who has an odd thing for D...

You get the idea.

Many series have official diagrams so the fans can keep track of the Loads and Loads of Characters.

The Seven Basic Plots Christopher Booker uses this concept as his definition of the Comedy genre, only the point is that the Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends isn't a shoehorn but the soul of the plot:

  • Start with at least 3 ideal relationships;
  • Each relationship is stymied because the people involved are:
  • The Villain (or sometimes the Hero) is the source of the biggest road block, so
  • Make him repent (dramatically), and then
  • Everyone can cheerfully enter into the relationship they were meant to be in all along.

The Villain (or Hero) acts as a Fisher King, casting a darkness and confusion across all the relationships until his Heel-Face Turn, which frees up the main couple to get together and that, in turn, frees up everyone else.

The Love Dodecahedronnote  is a superset of the following tropes:

Also, see Gambit Pileup, which is similar to this trope, but with gambits. Though Love Dodecahedra can be the cause of such pileups. The opposite of this is No Loves Intersect. There are three kinds of stable Love Dodecahedra: 1) everyone staying friends, 2) everyone marrying the hero, or 3) the hero abandoning his harem. Can also sometimes be resolved by Squaring the Love Triangle. Compare Dating Do-Si-Do, which is similar with the lots-of-tangled-up-relationships part but the relationships do not necessarily have to be in competition with each other. Tangled Family Tree can be considered a sister trope, and a Love Dodecahedron can turn into one of those if given enough time.


Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • The archetypical Love Dodecahedron comes from Rumiko Takahashi's Ranma ½ with Ranma Saotome to Akane Tendo and the story follows their relationship changing from outright hatred, to a close friendship. Here's a simple chart.
  • Urusei Yatsura, another, earlier, famous manga by Rumiko Takahashi subverts this. It looks like a dodecahedron at first, but the relationship chart is much simpler: Every Man in the Universe loves Lum, who Loves Ataru, who loves every woman in the universe.
  • Another Rumiko Takahashi example: InuYasha, with six or so sets of love triangles all linking in with each other. Okay, so where to start.
    • Inuyasha is in love with both Kagome and Kikyou. Kagome also loves Inuyasha, but is openly jealous of his relationship with Kikyou due to both her own teenager insecurities and the fact that lots of people see her as a poor replacement for her. After being forcibly brought back to life, Kikyou also loves Inuyasha, but is less open of her jealousy of his relationship with Kagome, and at first she's very poisoned with the hate spilling from their terrible separation and for the Came Back Wrong deal, making her a downright Yandere for a while. In the end, Kikyou dies peacefully in Inuyasha's arms, and after mourning her properly he gets together with Kagome.
    • Kouga is in love with Kagome, however Kagome is only in love with Inuyasha. The anime only character Ayame is in love with Kouga, ever since she was a child and very open of her jealousy of Kagome (at least at first). However, Kouga claims to only love Kagome. He may or may not have any feelings for Ayame, whom he made a Childhood Marriage Promise to when he was a teen youkai and she was a little girl — which is the reason why she loves him in the first place. Kagome heartily supports Ayame's affections for Koga and is pissed when he ignores the other girl, since poor Ayame's feelings for him are extremely genuine. In the anime, they ultimately get married. Kouga and Ayame, we mean.
    • In the past, Onigumo lusted for Kikyou after she took care of him when he was burned alive. However, she was only ever going to be in a relationship with Inuyasha. Therefore, Onigumo became Naraku, to win Kikyou and get rid of Inuyasha. Naraku is bothered by Onigumo's heart with feelings for Kikyou at the beginning of the series. At the end of the series it's no longer clear if Naraku really does love Kikyou or if it was just Onigumou's heart still so he may be in love with her too, when he isn't despising her for existing. Except she evidently hates him, and with good reason.
    • In the present, we have Houjou, who loves Kagome, yet she only sees him as a friend. Then in anime/movie only, we get Houjou's ancestor, Akitoki who also loves Kagome — except again she only considers him a friend. The actual Hojou fades away from the plot, the Hojou from the past marries a girl named Suzuka... and asks her to rename herself Kagome.
    • In the Shichinitai arc, we had the homosexual Jakotsu having a huge fixation on Inuyasha. However, Inuyasha considers Jakotsu only as a nemesis... and a disturbing one, considering how Jakotsu doubles as a Combat Sadomasochist. Jakotsu also has a very close friendship and respect towards Bankotsu, and may even love him romantically as well. Bankotsu's own relationship with Jakotsu can be considered brotherly, though still close enough that he tells Jakotsu that he's his only real friend and that he eagerly kills Renkotsu for, among other things, killing Jakotsu. Phew, that was confusing.
    • Miroku and Sango should be fortunate that aside from the one time characters appearing here and there, they're otherwise strictly in love each other without any interferences. Except from themselves.
  • Some would put Marmalade Boy above Ranma ½ in this respect. The eyecatches throughout the series helpfully sort out who's actually an Official Couple for the viewer.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!, is full of Love Dodecahedrons involving the main characters alone. The relationships are made ridiculously complex by the inclusion of amnesia, being under the influence of magical trees/candy, ambiguous use/interpretation of the word "partner", sexual assault by clones, time travel, magically aged bishonen, misplaced parental affection, mind reading, a cursed vampire loli, self-depreciating lesbian half-demons, and a robot. Here's a chart and a partial translation made around chapter 250. Not that it makes anything less complex. Another chart as of chapter 297. They're even used in-story.
  • UFO Robo Grendizer: In one of the Mazinger Z sequels, the relationships chart got pretty complicated: Hikaru is in love with Duke. Duke may reciprocate her feelings. Rubina is in love with him. Duke certainly reciprocates her feelings. And Minister Zuril was in love with Rubina. It is even more complicated if you think about Kouji and Maria and add Sayaka to the mix.
  • For Persona 4: The Animation, in Episode 5, we have Ai dating Yu to make Ichijou jealous, since he's actually in love with Chie, who Yosuke tries to hook up with Yu because he thinks she likes him, incorrectly. Though Chie's reactions in later episodes when Yu compliments her suggest Yosuke might not have been wrong. We also get the complications from Yu being a love interest for any readily present female social link, which results in hilarity ensuing on at least one occasion.
  • In Shin Sekai Yori, Mamoru has a crush on Maria who likes her best friend Saki, who loves Shun, who reciprocates her love but is going out with Satoru, who also loves Shun.
    • Not to mention how Saki remarks, in the novel, that her strong bond with Satoru makes him the person that she is most comfortable to be with. And when she sees Shun and Satoru together she isn't sure of whom she is jealous of.
  • Steel Angel Kurumi 2 has a small Love Dodecahedron, involving girls only, and more than half of them are androids. In one scene representing Saki's thoughts, an incomplete Love Chart is actually displayed with Super-Deformed versions of the involved characters and arrows indicating who likes whom.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion plays with this trope. All the major recurring characters and most of the minor ones are caught up in a Love Dodecahedron that series creator Hideaki Anno played for every last drop of angst and tragedy he could wring out of it, rather than laughs.
    • Here's a diagram, assuming some of the major theories are true.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Tomoyo and Syaoran like Sakura, Syaoran and Sakura like Yukito, Meiling and Sakura like Syaoran, Yukito and Nakuru like Touya, and Touya likes Yukito and used to date Kaho. Oh, and Clow said that Yukito and/or Yue whom he shares his body, was supposed to end up in love with Sakura, while Yue is implied to have loved Clow deeply while Clow was still his master and given Yue's Tsundere tendencies towards his new mistress Sakura, he just may end up loving her that way too.
    • Don't even bring up Tsubasa Chronicle. Anyone who tried to figure it out would probably end up mentally disabled.
      • Isn't this shown to be averted in the last book? Unless you want to include trans-universal interactions...
    • Relationships are also complicated in Tsubasa's sister series, xxxHOLiC. Doumeki and Kohane are devoted to Watanuki, but he's got a massive crush on Himawari, who may actually like him back but he thinks she likes Doumeki (when she's really more of a DoumekixWatanuki shipper) which makes Watanuki jealous up the wazoo. Then Watanuki makes a bigger mess of things when he throws away his friends, family, and freedom in order to pull an extreme I Will Wait for You stunt for Yuuko, who had a relationship with Clow, whom Watanuki has been specifically noted to resemble.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: Soi loves Nakago (while Nakago pretended to be in love with Yui.) However, Suboshi was truly in love with Yui but she is in a relationship with Tetsuya, before which she was in love with Tamahome who loved Miaka (and vice versa), and Hotohori was in love with Miaka before moving on to Houki while Nuriko pursued both Hotohori and Tamahome (for a while anyway), and trails off a bit to Miaka. And then there's Tasuki, who is secretly in love with Miaka. All hell breaks loose when Miaka has to choose between Tamahome's reincarnation Taka Sukunami or the "real" but evil Tamahome—and it doesn't even end with that. Mayo Sakaki of Eikoden then falls for Taka.
    • Yuu Watase's other stories don't mess with our heads as much as Fushigi Yuugi does, but Shishunki Miman Okotowari has a mild example. Asuka Higuchi is Manato Sudou and Kazusa Sudou's half-sister. Kazusa has an incestuous admiration towards Manato, who falls in love with Asuka long after she falls in love with him. Youko also likes Manato, whose friend Tooru liked Kazusa (who kinda felt the same way... kinda) before moving on to Asuka, who nearly trailed off to him a bit to kill the incest. And then things are spiced up: Manato isn't really related to Asuka and Kazusa, who turn out to be full siblings. He was adopted by Yashiro-sensei (whom Asuka briefly thought to be a pedophile), whose real name isn't even Yashiro — it was his best friend's surname, which he took after said best friend died. The real Yashiro, meanwhile, is Manato's real father, while Yashiro-sensei is the real Sudou who is Asuka and Kazusa's father, who was himself involved in a love triangle with the girls' mother and the real Yashiro. So in the end, Manato and Asuka get together anyway. Did I mention that Asuka, Manato, Kazusa, Youko and Tooru resemble Miaka, Tamahome, Yui, Nuriko and Tasuki respectively?
  • Hatsukoi Limited is shaping up to be like that. Intentionally.
  • One of the Genshiken manga volumes actually contains a Love Chart for the dodecahedron in Kujibiki Unbalance, which was designed specifically to contain every permutation of the trope that it could... along with everything else. Just for fun, the volume following that one had the diagram for Genshiken (which isn't a Love Dodecahedron series).
  • Martian Successor Nadesico sports a kind of dodecahedron, with Yurika's childish and possessive long-time love for Akito constituting F and A, and the rest being filled by various, changing constellations of the rest of the cast. As required by the trope, in the last episode Akito thinks Yurika is actually his great love and decides to marry her and live happily ever after.
    • The trope is even invoked during the dub's opening prologue, as delivered by the Little Miss Snarker:
      Ruri: "And what started out as a love triangle has become a septagon by my count..."
  • School Rumble. Any further explanation of the tangle of relationships would turn into a full-on plot summary. Misunderstandings abound, the characters put each other through endless lovey-dovey torment.
  • Vision of Escaflowne: Merle likes Van, Van likes Hitomi, Hitomi likes Van and Allen, Allen likes Hitomi and Millerne, and Millerne likes Allen and Dreidn.
    • Hitomi's crush from Earth, Amano. It turns out Hitomi's best friend Yukari was also in love with him but decided to support Hitomi rather than going after him herself. Van's appearance actually interrupted Hitomi's chance at a First Kiss with him. Allen has a very... "complicated" love life. Before the beginning of the series, he was in love with Millerna's older sister Marlene, who died three years ago. Marlene was married off to the duke of Freid... but not before he impregnated her with a child she was barely able to pass off as the duke's son and the prince of Freid. Now he's in love with Millerna and Hitomi.
  • In a rare non-shoujo manga example, Berserk has two particularly complex Love Dodecahedrons—both of which are primarily triangles, but complicated by the presence of additional people. Ready? The first, most central one is the Guts-Griffith-Casca relationship. Both Guts and Casca have deep feelings for Griffith, possibly partly romantic in Guts's case, definitely partly romantic in Casca's case. Griffith cares about both but seems incapable of fully returning their feelings, although he may have some romantic feelings towards Guts (but it is also hinted that he may have some feelings for Casca and would have possibly gone with her if his original plan did not succeed 100%). Eventually, Guts and Casca get together themselves, but only briefly before it all goes to hell thanks to Griffith becoming the Big Bad, which partially happened because Griffith became a Green-Eyed Monster. This is turned from a particularly complex triangle into a dodecahedron by the presence of Judeau, who is quietly in love with Casca, and Princess Charlotte, who Griffith has manipulated into falling in love with him for the sake of his plans. Later, things get even more complex; Guts becomes involved in a subtle triangle with Serpico and Farnese, which is then muddled by the introduction of Farnese's fiance, Roderick. Meanwhile, Guts is still in love with Casca... who can't love him back at this point in her life because of her traumatic post-Eclipse condition and an incident involving Guts' Enemy Within. And now, the young witch Schierke has a crush on him, and Tagalong Kid Isidro may be developing a crush on her; this might become even MORE complex with the arrival of new teammate Isma who has been hanging around Isidro more and more. Got that? Good. Phew!
  • Almost every manga by Riyoko Ikeda will have one:
    • A seriously huge Love Dodecahedron occurs in Rose of Versailles. Let's see if we can catch everything: Fersen and Marie-Antoinette love each other but can't be together, Louis XVI loves his arranged wife Marie-Antoinette, Oscar and Marie very seriously respect (maybe love?) each other, Oscar loves Fersen, André loves Oscar since they were children, Rosalie loves Oscar who would fully love her back if she (Oscar) were male (straight from the manga), Rosalie's lost sister Charlotte loves Oscar, Alain loves Oscar (but whether he says it or not is different in the two continuities) but is also one of André's closest friends so he doesn't act on it in the end, Gerodelle loves Oscar (and almost gets her to become his wife through Arranged Marriage), Bernard loves Rosalie who comes to love him back though she still has lingering feelings for Oscar, and in the end Oscar then loves André and then they both die tragically. Phew!
    • Then we have Oniisama e.... Mariko a clingy obsession with Nanako and later is tsundere for Kaoru and Takeshi; Nanako loves Rei, who pines for her half-sister Fukiko, who acts possessive towards Nanako but it's a cover since she actually loves Nanako's Big Brother Mentor Takehiko and mistakenly thinks Nanako is her rival; Tomoko isn't as super open as the others in these regards but she has a really cute Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with Nanako; and Kaoru also loves her ex-boyfriend Takehiko, who returns her feelings despite the problems in their relationship , and she has quite a bit of Les Yay with her best friend Rei, while also being the target of Mariko's admiration. Whoa.
    • And a third manga by Ikeda, Claudine, also has one. Lead character Claudine de Montesse falls in love with local Hot Librarian Cecilia Lacques, but she doesn't return his affections because she sees him as a girl despite him actually being a Transsexual. Cecilia's younger brother, Louis, is sleeping with Claudine's father Auguste, as is Cecilia. Claudine's neighbor Rosemarie is in love with him since they were kids, is jealous of Claudine and Cecilia and serves as an Unwitting (or perhaps intentional) Instigator of Doom when she reveals Cecilia and Auguste's affair to Louis, who goes Yandere and kills them both. And we also have Claudine's other loves: the cute little maid Maura who first gets broken and then Put Ona Bus and the ballet dancer Sirene who ends up choosing Claudine's brother André over him... with fatal consequences form Claudine's part.
  • In Gundam SEED, Kira and Athrun care very much for each other, Kira loves Flay, Ssigh loves Flay, Kira re-meets with Athrun as enemies and then befriends his girlfriend Lacus, Athrun and Lacus care for each other as friends, Flay has sex with Kira to manipulate him but ends up falling in love with him for real, Kira befriends Cagalli and it seems they might fall in love, Athrun meets Cagalli, Athrun almost kills Kira after Nicol dies and ends up killing Tolle instead, Miri hates Dearka and he hates her back, Kira and Athrun make up thanks to Lacus and Cagalli, Lacus and Kira fall in love though he still holds some guilt because by that time Flay is believed to have been killed, Miri and Dearka make peace and sorta fall in love, Athrun and Cagalli fall in love, Flay gets Character Development and wants to apologize to Kira but dies tragically in the middle of the last battle, and that's it!
    • Also, Mu loves Murrue. He's later believed to have died in battle and Murrue keeps working for her and others's sake (and strikes a Platonic Life Partners deal with Handicapped Badass Andy), but in Destiny it's shownj that Mu survived but was left amnesiac. Once he recovers his memories and switches sides, he and Murrue get back together.
    • Its sequel series, Gundam SEED Destiny, has one that revolves around Athrun. There's Cagalli, Meer, Meyrin, and for a time Meyrin's older sister Lunamaria... such is expected for the series' resident Char-clone. Meer dies in an Heroic Sacrifice, Lunamaria gets together with Shinn, and it's left up in the air whether he'll return to Cagalli's side when she's done with handling the ORB reconstruction, or stay as Just Friends with her and view Meyrin as his Second Love.
  • Strawberry Panic!. To the extreme. Between almost everyone, but especially towards Nagisa — who is mostly quite reluctant about it.
  • A minor Love Dodecahedron figures into Mai-HiME, used for both comedic and dramatic effect: Reito likes Mai (and so does his Enemy Within alter-ego); Yuuichi also likes Mai, but doesn't want to admit it; Mai cares for both of them as friends, but doesn't want to decide between either (at first); Shiho loves Yuuichi, and is extremely jealous because she thinks Mai's trying to steal Yuuichi from him (she isn't...he's the one who takes the initiative); and Mikoto and Mai apparently like each other a lot. Then again, Mikoto "likes" a lot of people, but she's closest to Mai and Reito, her brother.
    • It's also present in the manga. Not only do Mai and Shiho still love Yuuichi (who also loves Mai) and Mikoto still likes Mai, but Natsuki also likes Yuuichi, with Takeda still pursuing her and Shizuru having an implied interest in her.
  • By the time Princess Tutu reaches the finale, it's had enough love triangles and other flings that the relationships get...complicated. Ahiru loves Mytho, Mytho (as his emotions are restored) appears to love Princess Tutu (who is Ahiru in disguise), Rue also loves Mytho, Professor Cat threatens all the girls with marriage but seems particularly sweet on Ahiru, Fakir begins to love Ahiru in the second season, and she may love him back. Pique has a crush on Fakir, but in one episode thinks she loves Mytho. Fakir's childhood friend Raetsel loves his adoptive father Charon, and almost gets married to Mytho, but ends up married to some guy named Hans in the end. Autor confesses love to Rue, but too late, because Mytho chooses Rue in the end. Throw in some Ho Yay with Fakir and Mytho, Rue and Ahiru, and Autor and Fakir and you've got what fans call the "OT5", or "only true fivesome". That is, almost any of the four main characters, plus Autor, could be matched with another with some logic to it. Although the poor side characters still get left out of that.
  • D.N.Angel. Let's see here: Daisuke likes Risa, but Risa only likes him as a friend and would much rather have Dark, which is Daisuke's secret Bishōnen alter-ego. Dark, on the other hand, seems to have a thing for Risa's twin sister Riku (though, depending on the medium, he might have a slight thing for Risa, too), who hates Dark but has a crush on Daisuke, who may or may not like Riku back. Meanwhile, Satoshi's getting his Ho Yay on with Daisuke (and probably Dark, too), while his Superpowered Evil Side Krad wants to rip them limb-from limb (and also seems to be interested in his host in that way). Daisuke's best friend, Saehara, is in love with Menou, but also develops something for Mio Hio, who develops feelings for Daisuke.
    • Satoshi may also be developing feelings for Risa. (The anime left them smiling shyly at each other).
  • Asu no Yoichi! has one slowly building. Tsubasa likes Washizu, who accidentally confessed to Ayame when he was really trying to confess to Ibuki (his crush), while Ibuki is slowly building feelings for the title character, who's really too much of an Idiot Hero to even notice that someone is in love with him. This can only get more entangled.
    • Ayame and Tsubasa's bodyguard Angie have a crush on him as well! And a new girl's been just introduced by kissing title character in front of Ibuki.
  • While the Gravitation manga has a definite Official Couple throughout its run in Shuichi and Yuki, that doesn't stop other characters from complicating matters with Ship Tease and subtext. Shuichi is the only person Yuki truly likes, but Yuki's fiancee Ayaka likes him almost as much as Shuichi does. She gets over her crush on Yuki in time to fall for Shuichi's best friend Hiro who likes her back, but shows hints that he harbors more-than-friendly feelings for Shuichi. Shuichi's boss Tohma is married to Mika, Yuki's older sister, but is implied to at the very least have scarily protective feelings towards Yuki (which is made even squickier when you realize they're technically brothers), and is fawned over by devoted subordinate Sakano. Tatsuha, Yuki's younger brother, once molested Shuichi because he looks a lot like his adored idol Ryuichi, and gets into an actual relationship with Ryuichi who probably likes him back, but also has the hots for Shuichi (as revealed in the sequel series).
  • Humorously done in Maze Megaburst Space. Everyone the titular character travels with ends up sexually interested in either of the two mazes, with the exception of the old man. Wanna know what's worse? The two mazes eventually are revealed to be siblings and in love with each other. Guh? And everything seems to get settled with everyone ending up together. Isn't it wonderful when it cleans up nicely?
  • Rizelmine has more of line than a polygon but it's complicated enough to count here. Rizel and the daughter of one of Rizel's foster parents are after the main character... who has a crush on his teacher, who is about to get married; meanwhile the main's best friend has a crush on a classmate who has a crush on Rizel (or at least her bear-print panties).
  • Hinata likes Naruto, who likes Sakura, who likes Sasuke (complete with endless Ship Teasing about how any of these might become requited, though the last one has fallen out of tease). On top of this Ino might still like Sasuke and Tenten might like Lee who in turn might still like Sakura, and Shikamaru might like Ino, who might like him; or he might like Temari, who also might like him. Meanwhile, Karin is totally hot for Sasuke, except she isn't anymore, except she is again. Dear God in Heaven! That's not even all of it.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler has a huge one just centered around the main character, Hayate. Said dodecahedron contains a few girls who look much too young for him, a handful of classmates, one former classmate, two men, a tiger and many more. The only thing keeping it from turning into a Harem Anime is that Hayate is (for the most part) completely unaware. And don't get me started on the other little love triangles that aren't part of the main Love Dodecahedron Love Escher-scape Geometry.
  • Even Hamtaro has a chart. Hamster relations are Serious Business.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: Haruhi is definitely not Kyon's girlfriend. (Except for that one time they kissed, but nothing romantic seemed to come of that, other than saving the world...) Neither is Sasaki. Kyon has an unspoken crush on Mikuru, but is unable to act upon it, because Haruhi might get jealous and destroy the world without even knowing she's doing so. Mikuru has been groped and molested by Haruhi at least once. Kyon also has a very tender, protective relationship with Yuki, who once tried to alter reality so they could be together; Yuki also has lots of Les Yay with Ryoko, who is sometimes shipped with Kyon, despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that she tried to kill him. And then there's Koizumi, whose hobby seems to be making Kyon feel uncomfortable with his sexuality, but is shown in an alternate continuity to be in love with Haruhi (and claims that Haruhi is a covert Yaoi Fangirl as an excuse for all his Ho Yay... but then again, this is Koizumi, so who knows what truly goes with him). And that's not even getting into the Foe Yay that each character has with his/her evil opposite in Sasaki's group.
    • Sasaki is not Kyon's ex-girlfriend with a crush on him. Also, Kyon can't act on his feelings for Mikuru because as Mikuru is a time traveller, cross-temporal romances are forbidden. And then there's the scene in the snow lodge, where the geometric properties of the Love Dodecahedron is actually a plot point.
  • Peach Girl is a love dodecahedron that just gets more complicated with each episode. It starts off with Momo in love with one character, but another character is in love with Momo. Then Sae steps in. Every complication in the series comes from her and just keeps going.
  • In Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, there's a rather intriguing Love Dodecahedron (though quite a bit of it goes into the realm of obsession and Ho Yay). Tsuna has a crush on Kyoko, who is incredibly oblivious and only seems to care about her brother Ryohei (though she did express attraction to Gokudera). Depraved Homosexual Lussuria is... interested in a weird, sadistic necrophiliac sort of way with Ryohei. Ryohei is oblivious like his sister and only concerned with living TO THE EXTREME. Gokudera is Tsuna's Stalker with a Crush that has a huge Bodyguard Crush on him and hates anyone that gets too close to Tsuna. Then there's Yamamoto, who seems annoyed that Gokudera hates him and wants Gokudera to open his heart up to him. Haru had a weird Shotacon crush on Reborn at first, but eventually falls (more seriously) in love with Tsuna, who only seems to see her as a friend. And then there's Mukuro, who... *ahem* wants Tsuna's body, and Mukuro's two followers who admire him to the point of being obsessed fanboys. Chrome might sort of like Tsuna, or she might like Mukuro-sama (though Mukuro seems to see her more like a sister / comrade in pain). And Hibari, who seems awfully obsessed with meeting Mukuro again to pay back for the humiliation Mukuro put him through. And I-Pin has a crush on Hibari. Then Ryohei has a brief infatuation with I-Pin's adult form, while in the future he and Hana are a canon couple.
    • Bianchi's love for Reborn.
    • Memetic Molester Spanner and his friendship with Irie Shoichi and their boss Big Bad Byakuran who is very friendly and discusses the meaning of flowers with his enemy Mukuro? No wonder the fangirls go crazy...
    • Dino and Hibari. It doesn't help that their weapons are a whip and a pair of handcuffs respectively, and that their training sessions are always very physical. Make of that what you will.
    • The Varia Love Dodecahedron. Well, let's see... Squalo seems to have something like a Bodyguard Crush on his boss Xanxus. Xanxus views everyone as trash but has something for the one who defeated him a.k.a Tsuna. Belphegor and Fran have this interesting relationship including Bel stabbing Fran just for fun. Oh, Squalo and Yamamoto's relationship could be considered something between Foe Yay and Mentor Ship.
    • And now with the Simon Family thrown into the series, Enma and Tsuna's chemistry.
  • Black Cat, although being a shounen action manga / anime, has a rather impressive love dodecahedron. Kyoko, Rinslet, Saya, and Creed all fell in love with Train, though Train is mentally / emotionally immature and apparently asexual, therefore rendering all of their feelings for him unrequited. (Although it's impossible to say whether or not Train would have eventually matured mentally to start developing romantic feelings for Saya, but that's beside the point). And then there's Echidna who loves Creed, but Creed is too gay for Train to care. And then there's Janus' feelings for Rinslet, but Rinslet (at least in the manga) seems to be hesitant about returning his feelings due to her crush on Train. And then there's hints that Charden might like Kyoko, who explicitly states that she would like Charden if not for Train. And then there's Eve's crush on Sven, but Sven is much more concerned with Train (being Train's Heterosexual Life Partner and all)... it's all a mess.
  • Gankutsuou is one huge Love Dodecahedron. There's the Count, who used to be in a Love Triangle with Albert's parents, but his love and friendship with Albert's mom and dad turned to hate. Haydee seems to love the Count too, though it's debatable whether it reaches the realm of romantic or just as a father substitute. And then Albert has a gigantic crush on the Count, who might have eventually felt something for Albert too, considering that it was the power of Albert's kiss that made the Count return to being human. Albert also initially seemed to have a crush on Peppo, until he found out that "she" was actually a "he", and that he was actually a spy for the Count. Peppo does have a crush on Albert, though. And Albert's best friend Franz is secretly and desperately in love with Albert, who is completely oblivious. But Franz has a fiancee, Valentine, who was in love with him (and rather jealous of Albert). Maximilien falls in love with Valentine, and she eventually reciprocates his feelings. And then there's Albert's fiancee, Eugenie, who initially thinks she doesn't love him, but realizes later that she does — Albert, however, is sort of confused about her however in the end he realizes that he really loves her. And then there's Andrea, who, for revenge, tries to rape Eugenie and seduces his own mother... and that's not even getting into all the women the Count managed to seduce. Messy relations indeed.
  • Akikan! has one that encompasses almost all of its cast. Goro "Gigolo" Amaji is in love with Yurika, who's lesbian for Najimi. Najimi has been in love with Kakeru since they were kids, but her Akikan Yell is sweet on her. Kakeru has Najimi's crush on him, as well as his Magical Girlfriend and Akikan, Melon. He may have something going for Kizaki, while Kizaki's boss Otoya is in love with him.
  • The Love Dodecahedron in Code Geass mostly centers on its protagonist Lelouch AKA Zero. He's loved by Shirley, Milly, Kaguya (as Zero only, since she never meets Lelouch until everything turns sour), Kallen (initially only as Zero, changes when she learns his identity), and Euphemia (Brother-Sister Incest half-sibling version). He sees Shirley as a friend until he's forced to mindwipe her, realizing his feelings for her only then, but pushing her away until Rolo kills her. Thinks of Milly as a good friend, has little interest in Kaguya due to her rather young age, (she IS 14) but seems to be fond of her and respects her intelligence, (and her suggestion of a harem is approved by C.C., and never shot down) and considers Euphy his first love. About Kallen... he has feelings for her, but the extent those feelings is never fully explored within the show, though are clearly strong. He and C.C. have strong mutual respect that at times seems much deeper than the "strictly Platonic Life Partners" which Word of God has labeled it. Suzaku and Euphemia enter into a relationship late in Season 1, only to end tragically when Lelouch kills Euphy out of necessity; it's also said that he and Lelouch's little sister Nunnally have feelings for one another, or at least she has a crush on him. (And Lelouch once in a while wondered if hooking Nunnally up with Suzaku would be a good idea.) Late in the series, when Lelouch pushes everyone away while pretending to be the evil Emperor of Britannia, the writers attempted to hook Kallen up with Suzaku's Lancer Gino, but the poor execution annoyed most fans and was later shot down by the staff. This is without dipping into the Ho Yay / Les Yay (Lelouch/Suzaku, Lelouch/Rolo, Kallen/C.C., etc.), the supposed-but-not-too-unplausible Brother-Sister Incest angle between Lelouch and Nunnally, and other things (Ohgi/Viletta, Jeremiah/Sayoko...).
    • Word of God actually says that Lelouch views C.C as his equal and not as a mother figure, but at the same time made it clear that those feelings are are not romantic in nature. It's more a case of A Boy and His X. Well, A Boy And His waifish, immortal Geass Witch, as the case may be.
    • Overall, Lelouch is a Celibate Hero and highly reactionary about romance. Even his short-lived romance with Shirley is started by her alone, without any suggestion that Lelouch was interested in a romantic relationship with her beforehand. On the other hand, he admits that the closest to a first love he had was Euphemia, and propositioned Sex for Solace to Kallen during a Heroic BSOD of his (and got rewarded with a slap).
  • Ichigo 100%. Where to begin. Revolves around a main character and three (arguably seven) heroines. Main character Manaka Junpei wants to film girl A. He confesses to girl B because of the resemblence between A and B. Girl A actually has a crush on him but is loved by main character's friend/rival. Girl C is also interested in the main character. Childhood friend girl D sleeps in the same room as him, usually naked. His teacher is interested in young boys (or so it seems). Too shy girl E, friend of girl A, grows close to main character because of Girl C's actions. Main character is indecisive. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The Negamoon Arc (season 2) of Sailor Moon has one, although it wasn't so much confusing as long. Best summed up by a comment left on Youtube:
    "Wait a sec... If Prisma likes Saphire, and Saphire liked Emerald, and Emerald liked Diamond, and Diamond likes Serena, and Serena likes Darian... Then does that mean this whole plot is a love Hexagon?"
    • An interesting four-way on the Doom Tree arc. Usagi and Mamoru have an interesting dynamic because only she remembers that they were in love while Mamoru is still hit with amnesia so he's weirded out by her advances, which he sees as coming out of nowhere. Alan and Ann are Humanoid Aliens and last of their kind, as well as in love with each other. Alan falls in love with Usagi, Ann falls in love with Mamru, and both are oblivious to it. Yet Alan gets jealous of Mamoru over Ann, who gets jealous of Usagi over Alan. When Alan sees Ann with Mamoru he seems to forget that he is in love with Usagi and the same goes for Ann when she sees him with Usagi. Alan and Ann argue over this in their final episode. By the end they get rid of their Yandere-like obsession and leave Earth together and happy, while Mamoru (who has gotten his memories back) and Usagi re-hook up.
  • Full Metal Panic! Kaname and Tessa are in a Love Triangle with Sôsuke. Sōsuke is confused about his feelings for Kaname (seeing as how he's never really loved anyone before) and it's not until way later that he finds himself returning her feelings. Tessa's antagonistic brother Leonard is in love with Kaname to Yandere extremes, but she dislikes him. Tsubaki is also in love with Kaname, has a bunch of Foe Yay with Sōsuke, and Mitsuki has an unrequited love for him. And then there's Gauron, who is an Ax-Crazy Stalker with a Crush that has a crazy love and obsession for Sosuke. And the two twins he raised, Yu Fan and Yu Lan, are both very much in love with him (and eachother). And then there's Gates, who has an unhealthy paedophile obsession with the twins. This Love Dodecahedron is made even more complicated in the novels, where Nami, who also falls for Sōsuke, is brought into the picture, and Sōsuke has slight romantic feelings for her. And then Lemon likes Nami (but also seems to have quite a bit of Ho Yay with Sōsuke).
  • Pokémon, surprisingly. Because there have so many main characters, this has evolved out of Shipping. And that doesn't even go into loving Pokémon angle.
    • Let's try to describe it: Misty was highly hinted to have feelings for Ash, but she left the show without any resolution on that, and the former head writer even said that she never really had romantic feelings towards him, but since he left the show a long time ago and the pairing received hints after he left, it's still a strong possibility. May had a Belligerent Sexual Tension routine going on with Drew, but she was also hinted to like Ash. Dawn had Ship Tease moments with Ash, Kenny (who was highly implied to have a crush on her) and Zoey, and she's also stalked by Conway. Ash was hinted to like Misty during the early seasons, but by Johto he turned into a full Chaste Hero, though there are still rare moments of Ship Tease from his side with all 3 female leads. And then there's a bunch of minor characters and some Pokémon with confirmed crushes on Ash. And then we have Brock, who crushes on every pretty girl he sees, but it never goes anywhere, even with the girls that are interested, and his single attempt to settle down ended with him running away for reasons that were never explained. And there's also Jessie and James of Team Rocket, who may or may not have feelings for each other. And there are probably some more people that I forgot. To make matters worse, the anime tendency to Ship Tease all sorts of couples but never actually resolving anything means that this Love Dodecahedron will probably only get more complicated in the future. Also, it's hinted that Iris and Cilan both have crushes on Ash (and with Cilan being a male, Ash would cross into Even the Guys Want Him... sorta) and/or each other.
      • At some point the show will have run for so long that we'll require some sort of 3D model just to see everyone in this web of relationships.
      • Now Pokemon X/Y has introduced Serena who is STRONGLY implied to have a massive crush on Ash that originated from a chance meeting when they were younger. She doesn't even have a traveling goal: Her main reason for leaving home was to see Ash again.
    • Even Pokémon Special isn't safe from messy relationships. Here, Misty likes Red who either likes Yellow, Blue (female), who seems to enjoy flirting with him more than any other character or is Oblivious to Love. Meanwhile, Gold has Ship Tease with Crystal and Yellow, but also has some Ho Yay moments with Silver who may or may not have feelings for his surrogate sister Blue (female). From the Hoenn trio, Ruby has a canon Slap-Slap-Kiss relationship with Sapphire who may have had a crush on Red, and Emerald has sort-of feelings for Crystal. Lastly, Diamond has a crush on Platinum who might feel the same way or she might also like Pearl who might like her back, or she's really just Oblivious to Love. And those were just the main characters....
  • Aoi Hana. Let's see: Kyouko has unrequited feelings for Yasuko, who is in love with her ex-teacher Kagami, who is engaged to Yasuko's sister Kazusa—and her sister Kuri appears to have liked him as well. Fumi is heart-broken when her lover Chizu announces that she's getting married and starts an affair with Yasuko to get over her pain although it doesn't last long. Fumi also struggles with her resurfacing feelings for Akira, who in turn is blissfully out of the loop for most of the series. And yes, aside from Kagami they are all girls.
  • Things start to get pretty messy in Chrono Crusade when it comes to relationships. Chrono has known Rosette since she was a child, and they both start to develop feelings for each other. However, Rosette also has a crush on her legal guardian, Father Remington. Soon, Rosette and Chrono get Azmaria and Satella in their group of True Companions. In the anime, Azmaria has a crush on Chrono, and in the manga Satella is a shotacon and finds Chrono (who is a demon that's nearly a century old, but appears to be a 12-year-old boy) very attractive. Chrono and Rosette are looking for Joshua, Rosette's brother, who was kidnapped by Aion, a former friend of Chrono's. Joshua is driven insane by demonic power and is obsessed with his sister, but is also very attached to his maid, Fiore; In the anime, he thinks she's his sister, but in the manga he's very aware she isn't and instead seems to possibly have a one-sided crush on her. Fiore may or may not care for him in return. However, Shader glomps Fiore in one scene and asks her to marry her, and at the end of the manga, they're shown riding off together on a motorcycle. Also, Joshua later kidnaps Azmaria and then blushes when he sees her wearing a pretty dress; he later ends up marrying her. In the past, Chrono and Aion were best frends (with some Ho Yay, particularly in the anime), until Chrono kidnapped a girl named Mary Magdalene and fell in love with her. Father Remington was her guard, and also appears to have been in love with her. In the manga, Aion may or may not have cared for her, as well. It finishes badly, since Magdalene herself ends up dead at Chrono's hands. In the past, Shader seems to have been close to Chrono. Also, Rizel is in love with Aion, but Jenai is in love with her. Aion ignores Rizel and focuses on Joshua and Chrono. In the manga, he seems obsessed with Chrono and Pandaemonium, it's later revealed that it's because Chrono is his twin brother, and Pandaemonium was formerly their human mother, Lilith. His obsession with them, particularly with Pandaemonium — whom he appears to kiss in one scene! — ocassionally borders on incest.
  • Bleach fandom likes to believe that the show has elements of this, but in truth most of the "evidences" are subject to interpretation and fan wishes. Ichigo has somewhat of an Unwanted Harem that has developed over the course of over 400 chapters, consisting of his classmate Orihime, the Arrancar Nelliel, possibly the Soul Reaper Rukia, the shapeshifter Yuroichi, who would transform naked in front of him just to tease him, and Xcution member Riruka. Rukia and Renji were close before becoming Soul Reapers, and Renji is hinted to still have feelings for her, while Rukia never confirms or denies her feelings for Renji. Ishida acts like he might have a crush on Orihime, but he doesn't address the matter, and she likes him as a friend but only has eyes for Ichigo. And then there's Aizen-Hinamori-Hitsugaya-Matsumoto-Gin, and every leg of that except Hitsugaya-Matsumoto has a decent amount of support in canon. Die for Our Ship abounds, and the Zanpakuto filler arc doesn't help any, because while Hinamori and Matsumoto get along pretty well, their Zanpakuto spirits Tobiume and Haineko don't — in a sort-of way.
  • To Love-Ru has a pretty impressive one in the anime alone, and the manga gets even crazier. Going into full detail might take up half this page, but in addition to the standard love triangle, it also has shy/emotionless assassins and aliens who change gender when they sneeze. In the latter case, the alien's male side is in love with one of the two female leads, while the female side is in love with the male lead. Naturally.
  • Seto no Hanayome. Where should we start? Okay, * deep breath* .
    • Nagasumi and Sun are engaged/dating, and are definitely in love with each other.
    • Lunar is friends rivals with Sun, but in love with Nagasumi, who she treats like a slave.
    • Mawari is Nagasumi's childhood friend and more or less in love with him.
    • The Class Representative has a crush on Nagasumi, but can't admit it. She's also accidentally confessed her love...to Sun, forcing her to create the Last Amazoness persona.
    • Kai is Sun's childhood friend, and very much in love with her, even though she's not really interested. Hasn't stopped him yet.
    • Akeno is trying to break up Nagasumi and Sun's relationship, but is starting to admit that she thinks Nagasumi is getting pretty manly.
    • And Masa...confuses Nagasumi. And his mother. Mostly just for laughs, though.
  • Shinshi Doumei Cross is a soup opera-esque shoujo manga with a predominantly teenage cast; it's no wonder this trope is very much applicable. Aside from the main Love Triangle involving the protagonist and twins, there are many unrequited feelings to go around, much misconception of the characters' feelings to be had, and the occasional Romantic False Lead shows up to complicate things even further. The male and female protagonists both have their own (partially) unwanted harems and characters decide to go from passionately pursuing one character for chapters on end to another at the drop of a hat (or when the storyline demands it)...and this isn't even taking into account the tangled love lives of adults in the story: the family of the major characters.
  • Keroro Gunsou, with the added Squick value of having most of the arrows being interspecies. Let's see. Quite a few people have crushes on Fuyuki including Momoka and a reporter from the school newspaper. He is mostly Oblivious to Love, but seems to have developed a crush on a one-shot character he met near the beginning of the story (a mermaid, by the way). Keroro has attracted the attentions of Tamama (another male Keronian) and Angol Moa. Koyuki likes Natsumi and so does Giroro. Natsumi for her part likes Mutsumi, who likes himself I mean shows no strong romantic interest. Giroro himself has also attracted the attentions of another: a cat.

  • Pandora Hearts: Between the main character, Oz,'s shippy moments with everyoneAlice, Gil, Sharon, Echo and Elliot are only the tip of the iceburg — and all the Foe Yay that goes around (Vincent especially contributes to it), it's no wonder fandom is divided when it comes to pairings.
  • Nagasarete Airantou comes with being the only guy on an island full of females that he can't escape from
  • SHUFFLE! plays this trope straight in the anime version. In the visual novel is the same situation, the only difference being that you choose person F.
  • Subverted slightly in the manga Wa!, while there is a compilcated love comedy situation involving many characters, the path of crushes and admiration is written so that it forms a perfect circle. A loves B who loves C who loves D who loves E who loves F who loves A. How this will be eventually resolved is anyone's guess.
  • Kaguya Hime: Would be a simple cyclic Love Triangle, except everybody wants Akira. Except Yui, whose feeling towards Akira are ambiguous while he seems to only live for Midori. Midori, like everybody, wants Akira. Akira wants Yui — and Mayu, but won't let herself touch Mayu. Mayu loves Akira but thinks sex is a horrible, dirty thing, and threatens/blackmails her into promising not to ever sleep with anyone. Oh, and everybody wants Akira. And then there's everybody else.
  • Tora Dora is practically the king of this trope. Taiga really likes Yuusaku. Yuusaku likes Sumire, who may or may not like him back. Also, Yuusaku liked Taiga before, back when she didn't like him. Ryuuji likes Minorin. Minorin likes him back but there might also be Taiga. Ami really likes Ryuuji. By the end, only Taiga and Ryuuji are the official couple. Make of that what you will.
    • As one YouTube commenter puts it- "The SHIPPING standings- Ryuuji likes Minorin, but likes Taiga as well without knowing it. Ami likes Ryuuji. Taiga likes Yuusaku, but probably Ryuuji as well without knowing it. Yuusaku is friends with Taiga, but not really anything else. Minorin likes Ryuuji, but thinks that Taiga likes him more."
  • The relationships in Revolutionary Girl Utena defy two-dimensional love charts. Juri, Ruka, and Shiori are isolated in a relatively simple Type 2 (possibly type 12) Love Triangle, but everyone else? Where to begin... Utena falls for Akio, who is sleeping with Anthy, while Anthy may have feelings for Utena, who may have feelings for her in return. Touga, meanwhile, falls for Utena while still dating half the girls in the school, including Kozue, who had a relationship with her brother Miki , who now has a crush on Anthy because he projects on her his thoughts on Kozue... sorta. Nanami has a crush both on Miki and on Touga, and Mitsuru has a crush on her. Touga also has some serious unresolved issues with Saionji, who claims to adore Anthy (even though she may just be a means to an end), and certainly isn't interested in Wakaba, whose crush on him precipitates the entire story and makes her oblivious to the affection of Tetsuya. And depending on how you want to interpret the car, Akio seduces both Utena and Touga, and quite a few others, including Tokiko who was loved by Mikage, though he now fixates on her younger brother Mamiya. And Mamiya was Dead All Along, and is being impersonated by Anthy. And I am very sure I've missed a few, so feel free to add anything in. Also, see the series page for another interpretation of all the relationships; it's... complex.
    • Ikuhara's other series, Mawaru-Penguindrum, has a dodecahedron. Ringo is trying to become her dead sister Momoka and thus fixing her broken family by coming on and almost raping Momoka's love Tabuki, who is married to the very shady and mentally/physically scarred Yuri, who also loved Momoka and tries to rape Ringo because they're so much alike. And then Ringo starts to fall in love with Shouma whose parents killed Momoka in the first place. The incestuous Love Triangle between Kanba, Himari and Masako looks like an episode of Leave It to Beaver by comparison.
  • Psyren: Both Kagetora and Ian have proposed to Matsuri several times and been turned down. Sakurako and Marie love Ageha, who confessed to the former and is oblivious to the latter. Shao loves Marie, who is also unaware, while Frederica and Misura have some Les Yay tendencies toward Marie (who even has her own Stalker with a Crush, Vigo). On top of that, Kabuto has a thing for both Frederica and Sakurako, and Oboro is really Ho Yay for Ageha.
  • To Aru Majutsu no Index has Touma's immense harem complicated by: the fake Unabara Eztali, lesbian Stalker with a Crush Kuroko, and who knows how many other Fangirls/fanboys who want Misaka; among other characters (trying to get the list and directions together is a hefty task).
    • And that's just Touma's harem.
  • Durarara!! sets up an interesting one with Celty's story: Shinra has a crush on Body!Celty which may or may not be requited, while Celty really just wants to get her head back, but Head!Celty is in love with Seiji, who is caught in a love triangle between Head!Celty and his sister Namie, as well as his girlfriend Mika (who got plastic surgery to look like Head!Celty). Though it turns out to be both simpler and more complex than that as the story progresses.
  • Vampire Game runs on this. Lucy loves Ashley loves Leene is crazy about Yuujel who's got a thing for Ishtar who's in love with Darres who she thinks is in love with Selen who actually loves Galahad. Laphiji loves Seiliez likes Ishtar while everyone thinks he's sleeping with his mom but he's actually banging Sharlen who's also doing Jened who raped the Old Man of the Sea's daughter and has a creepy obsession with Falan only matched by Illsaide's creepy obsession with Falan who herself loves Illsaide but who is also very fond of Vord who loves Ishtar. Also on the Ishtar-loveboat is Duzell, who also has feelings for Illsaide and used to have a thing with Rishas/Lailis while flirting up a storm with Diaage and having some serious Foe Yay with Phelios. Phelios, meanwhile, had an affair with Diaage while telling Duzell "I want you to be mine". Lailis loves Duzell but Lassen loves her. Hume loves Illsaide and Jill loves Maura loves Jill. Nobody loves Krai.
  • Fairy Tail actually doesn't have a Love Dodecahedron, although that doesn't stop Juvia from thinking there is.
  • Reimei No Arcana: Cain has unrequited feelings for his arranged fiancee Louise, who in turn has unrequited feelings for Cain's brother Caesar, who is in love with Nakaba, who returns his feelings. Loki may or may not have unrequited feelings for Nakaba, but it is strongly hinted that he does in Chapter 21.
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time has Chiaki and (possibly) Kousuke having feelings for the main protagonist Makoto who is oblivious and prefers to stay friends with the two of them until she realizes her feelings for Chiaki. Makoto's friend Yuri likes Chiaki who, as stated above, likes Makoto. Same with another student Kaho who likes Kousuke.
  • Amakusa 1637 has one of these as well. Natsuki loves Miyamoto. Miyamoto loves her but later is amnesiac — and then he falls again for her when he gradually recovers his memories. Naozumi loves Natsuki and also Shirou, though he also saw him as a Replacement Goldfish for Natsuki since he was her Identical Stranger, and killed him when he realizes it. Otsu loves Miyamoto whom she knows as Miyamoto Musashi. Kinji may have had feelings for Shirou coming from their shared childhood but later redirects them to Eri. Eri kinda reciprocates Kinji's feelings but she also has a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with Natsuki and says that, had Natsuki been a male, she would be fully in love with him.
  • Ouke no Monshou's own love dodecahedron is like this. Pharaoh Memphis of Egypt and Carol Reed love each other. Memphis's sister Isis and Princess Caphra of Libya love Memphis. Prince Ishmin of the Hitites, Prince Minos of Chrete and Jimmy Brown love Carol. High Priest Minueh loves Isis. Kapta lusts after Carol, while Emperor Algol of Assyria wants Carol but only as his puppet queen to dominate Egypt. Phew!
  • Idol Pretender has Chinami who's in love with Yuika, who eventually declares her love for Fem!Chinami, Chinami acting very Tsundere towards Oguri, and Aoi and Takizawa crushing on Chinami and Oguri, respectively.
  • Simoun starts off with Neviril in love with Amuria, who dies in the first episode. Aaeru very obviously crushes on Neviril, though the former just doesn't get it while the latter is more afraid of her than anything. Paraietta is in love with Neviril, too, but is heavily friendzoned. Kaimu loves Paraietta herself, but she prefers to ignore it. Meanwhile, Kaimu's own sister Alti loves her in a very unsisterly manner, much to her discomfort. As if to counterbalance that, the series gives us four very stable pairings: Dominura/Limone, Mamiina/Rodoreamon, Anubituf/Guragief, and Yun/Onashia.
  • In Chronicles of the Cursed Sword Jaryoon loves Shyao, who Ray also loves unconsciously. Hyacia seems to love Ray and he feels at least similarly towards her, but the Sorcerer of the Dark and Mingchen both want Hyacia to themselves. Then Shyao who is also the sage Rana, gets her memory back and decides she wants Ray to herself too.
  • Ano Hana has version that starts as Puppy Love and stays strong after several years have passed in-story. Both Jinta/Jintan and Atsumu/Yukiatsu crush on Meiko/Menma, and they still do years after her death. Naruko/Anaru liked Jintan as a kid and still does as a teenager, but Yukiatsu considers her as a possible Replacement Love Interest since they have many things in common. Chiriko/Tsuruko likes Yukiatsu despite knowing that he views them as Just Friends while he's still hung up on Menma and might move onto Anaru rather than her. And for Menma herself, as a Cute Ghost Girl with the mentality of a child, she still likes Jintan back like she did before kicking it.
  • Nerima Daikon Brothers has Hideki, who's in love with his cousin Mako, who's in love with her cousin (and Hideki's brother) Ichiro, who's in love with...a panda.
  • At one point in Shinryaku! Ika Musume, Eiko notes the "chain of attraction" that's developed: Sanae is obsessed with Ika, who loves terrorizing Nagisa, who has a crush on Goro, who is in love with Chizuru.
    • And then Kiyomi and her friends enter the picture, too.
    Eiko: I don't even want to imagine the relationship map for this.
  • Haiyore! Nyarko-san has its own version of the harem standard. Nyarko is madly in love with Mahiro, and while he likes her he won't admit it partly because her zany and overbearing attitude puts him off. Cuuko loves Nyarko and Hasta loves Mahiro, but since they're straight it's Incompatible Orientationnote . Cuuko initially didn't like Mahiro, but after temporarily using him as The Beard to get her own Psycho Lesbian cousin Cuune off her back, she partly falls for him and is now advocating the threesome option. Tamao has a crush on Mahiro, but is friends with Nyarko, decided she can't compete, and thus stands aside and even helps Nyarko out, and might have something going with Yoichi. Luhy Distone eventually develops feelings for Hasta, and considers Mahiro a romantic rival (to his confusion). In the anime Yoichi keeps running into Canon Foreigner Tsuruko, and in the yet-to-be-adapted novels Atoko is actively trying to destroy the Nyarko-Mahiro relationship because she literally feeds on the suffering of broken hearts. And on top of all this is the fact that Mahiro has a certain je ne sais quoi that makes him "strangely attractive" (Nyarko's own words) to all sorts of aliens.
  • The clash between the love dodecahedron happens in Beelzebub's Santa Claus arc, where there the Best Couple Grand Prix is held in Saint Ishiyama High. When Kunieda, who is obviously in love with Oga, asks him to participate together, he already is participating with Hilda. Tojo and Shizuka also go together, causing Izuma, who has apparently a crush on Shizuka, to ask Kunieda to enter the competition with him, so neither Shizuka nor Oga would win. After Tojo and Shizuka are defeated by Oga and Hilda, Izuma loses his motivation because of Shizuka's loss and leaves Kunieda behind, resulting that she has to replace him with Aiba, who has a crush on her.
  • Minami-ke has Kana, Fujioka, Riko and Akira. Akira is attracted by Riko's long hair, who probably doesn't even know him, Riko has a crush on Fujioka, who doesn't know it and loves Kana instead, who doesn't figure out that he loves her. Kana and Akira are good friends, leading to Fujioka being jealous of him. Akira mistakes Riko for Fujioka's girlfriend, believing that glancing at her is the reason why Fujioka is mad at him.
  • In Bakuman。, Akito Takagi, seeking ideas on how to write female characters, meets fellow mangaka Yuriko Aoki ("Ko Aoki"), but keeps the meetings secret from his girlfriend Kaya Miyoshi out of fear that she would get jealous over him turning elsewhere for advice. While there, he meets his former classmate and academic rival, Aiko Iwase, who gives him a copy of her book with a love letter inside. Miyoshi then discovers the letter and becomes quite upset and mistakes him for cheating and she and Takagi have an argument. The Love Dodecahedron involves even the Alpha Couple Moritaka Mashiro and Miho Azuki, since they are the respective best friends of the Beta Couple. Mashiro refuses to tell Azuki the truth, resulting that these two have an argument, too. Fearing that Mashiro and Azuki might break up, Takagi and Miyoshi want to discuss the situation, but Takagi meets Aoki, who suddenly hugs him and is about to confess her love for him. Of course, Miyoshi sees them and mistakes him for cheating with yet another woman and tries to run away, forcing Takagi to catch her up and to propose to her. Takagi and Aoki clear up the misunderstanding and the relationship of Mashiro and Azuki is rescued as well.
  • In Glasslip, Yanagi likes Yuki who likes Touko who seems to be getting interested on Kakeru, who is strongly hinted to return said interest, while Hiro likes Sachi who also likes Touko.

    Comics 
  • The Scott Pilgrim graphic novels are known for this. The inside back cover of the third book consists of an absurdly complicated diagram detailing the relationships of all of the characters thus far (including such descriptors as "in a band with", "still likes" and "dating(?)") that is rendered obsolete before the end of the first chapter of the next book.
  • Archie Comics has the famous Betty/Archie/Veronica triangle. However, Veronica also regularly dates Reggie, who keeps trying to date Midge, much to her boyfriend Moose's wrath. Other than Betty, Jughead mostly runs from girls, especially his constant admirer Ethel, who occasionally has to settle for Dilton. Then Cheryl Blossom came along. They've all had countless one-time love interests. Chuck and Nancy have enough sense to keep out of this mess.
  • After they turned it into a soap opera, the Archie Comics Sonic the Hedgehog series twisted Sonic's love life into a Gordian Knot: Originally hooked up with Sally Acorn, she got stuck ruling the country and shoved the relationship to the side to focus on her new duties, prompting Sonic to fall in with Mina Mongoose, starting a rivalry between the two women for Sonic's affection. He then started seeing Fiona Fox on the side, which not only pissed off Mina and Sally, but Tails, as well, who had a crush on her due to falling in love with a robotic duplicate created by Robotnik several years earlier (don't ask). Eventually, Mina got her own boyfriend, Sally got Sonic once again, and Tails got tossed into a brick wall by Fiona, who gave them all the finger to have a relationship with Sonic's evil clone from another universe. Sally later started dating Monkey Khan but broke it off due to her history with Sonic. And that's not even counting the mini-tangle between Antoine, Sally, Bunnie Rabbot, and Antoine's evil clone from the same universe Fiona's new beau comes from.
  • Almost every member of the X-Men has been in love with another member at some point. One of the more famous dodecahedrons: Wolverine loved Jean Grey, who loved Cyclops, who loved her back but married her clone Madelyne Pryor, who had an affair with Cyclops' brother Havok, who almost married Polaris but left her at the altar for Nurse Annie, who kissed Iceman, who was unaware that Northstar was secretly in love with him...
    • For those less familiar with the complicated relationships under Xavier's roof, Uncannyxmen.net made a flowchart.
    • In the early days when Jean was the only female on the team, all of the men were in love with her (yes, including Xavier, but nowadays it never gets mentioned). Warren and Scott were the only serious contenders for her affection. Scott is also well known for attracting telepaths, having serious relationships with Jean, Madelyne Pryor, and Emma Frost most recently. He was also mutually attracted to Psylocke, but nothing serious ever developed.
  • Also, Daredevil, Hawkeye, and Iron Man keep dating the same women. Daredevil dated Black Widow, who also dated Hawkeye and Iron Man, and Hawkeye slept with Echo who is another of Daredevil's ex-girlfriends, as was Heather Glenn who was involved with Iron Man for awhile, etc. Yet another DD ex, Typhoid Mary, once tricked Deadpool into sleeping with her. Iron Man, for his part, has had a plethora of ladyfriends including Emma Frost (Cyclops' current flame), She-Hulk, and the Wasp. Remember kids, when you kiss Tony Stark, you taste Galactus.
  • Strangers in Paradise begins with a Love Triangle and then... hooboy. Katchoo loves best friend Francine unrequitedly, then takes up with David because he has been in love with her for years. Then Francine, who had a crush on David, starts to sort-of reciprocate Katchoo's feelings. Casey, unhappily married to Francine's ex-boyfriend Freddie (who still loves Francine), falls in love with David at first sight. With their marriage on the rocks, Freddie pursues Francine while Casey pursues David and also Katchoo. Katchoo, unable to deal with the issues of her past and family, finally drives David away. Francine becomes engaged to Brad and then breaks off her engagement to be with Katchoo, but still cannot consummate the relationship, so a frustrated Katchoo sleeps with Casey on the side. When Francine discovers this she goes back to Brad. When confronted at gunpoint by Katchoo's sister Tambi (who insists that their two families produce an heir via David and Katchoo), David offers to produce a child with her in exchange for his life and Katchoo's release from the obligation, and after they attempt this Tambi secretly falls for David. David returns to marry Katchoo, but the two part amicably once she learns about Tambi and realizes she prefers women. Casey finally gets to shack up with David...then Katchoo joins them so they can all be happy together. Eventually, Francine leaves Brad for cheating on her; David dies, leaving Casey to take up with Tambi, and Francine and Katchoo end up together for good. Freddie ends up alone..
  • Jaimie and Gilbert Hernandez's Love And Rockets features several of these, particularly Gilbert's Palomar stories which are influenced by Hispanic telenovelas.
  • Due to their decades of continuity, many Marvel Comics series have dodecahedrons so complex you need a 3D model to keep track. For example, Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four romanced Crystal, but she married Quicksilver instead and they had a child. But Crystal also began an ill-fated romance with Dane Whitman, who was not only involved with Sersi but also hopelessly pining after Wasp. Wasp was the ex-wife of Hank Pym, had an ill-fated one-night-stand with Magneto (Quicksilver's father!) and briefly dated Tony Stark, aka Iron Man (see above). To top it off, Crystal is currently betrothed to Ronan the Accuser, ruler of the Kree, who was formerly romantically involved with Una-Rogg, who tried to seduce Genis-Vell, who... you get the idea.
    • Due to various destructions, memory wipes and rebuilds, Marvel's Vision is a one-character love dodecahedron.
  • There's some sort of bizare love-lust-hate-obsession dodecahedron going on between Daredevil, Elektra, Punisher, and Bullseye. Bullseye is obsessed with Daredevil (in the AU Daredevil Noir Daredevil actually falls in love with Bullseye's genderswapped counterpart) and Punisher. Punisher and Daredevil have some angry manpain UST going on. Elektra and Daredevil were in love, and she and Punisher are attracted to one another (in yet another AU, the 2099 verse, they had a daughter, Cassandra). Elektra and Bullseye's relationship can best be summed up by his quote to her: "I love to see you bleed."
  • In the Teen Titans comics, Speedy Arsenal Red Arrow is into Wondergirl Darkstar Donna Troy, who got married to Terry Long. Meanwhile, Starfire was once involved with, and still has feelings for, Robin Nightwing the new Batman, who's engaged to Barbara Gordon. Red Arrow also had a crush on Raven, who had a crush on Kid Flash the Flash (who is now married to Linda, but had a relationship with three other women first), then one on Dick Grayson, and now one on Beast Boy (which she might be over now). Beast Boy had a crush on Terra, then on Starfire, and is now in love with Raven. Still not sure where Aqualad Tempest stands in all this. Cyborg is the only one that was smart enough to stay out of this crap, or he would have, if not for his ambiguous feelings for Sara Simms.
  • For a comic which is only a decade old, the Ultimate Spider-Man (now Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man) continuity has a pretty impressive one for Peter. Depending on how you count things, Peter's current love interests include Gwen, Mary Jane, Kitty, and Johnny Storm. That's not mentioning the fact that Peter currently lives with Kitty's ex-boyfriend Bobby as well as Johnny, who made out with his Opposite-Sex Clone. Added into this is Felicia Hardy, who was rather blunt in her attempts to woo Peter until she realized he was fifteen years old.
  • In Quantum and Woody, one develops between Quantum, Woody, Amy Fishbein, Tempest Sheridan, and Holly Williams. Just don't ask how the goat fits in...
  • The basic premise of the DC Comics title Young Heroes In Love.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Kyon Big Damn Hero: As of Chapter 31, Kyon is confirmed to have 7 girls with romantic feelings towards him. And yes, Haruhi is among them, and she's planning on a Marry Them All resolution. Bet you didn't see that one coming, did you?
  • Seduction: Marjani, who is an arranged engagement with Kurumi, is in love with Sarakshi. Who Tora also has a thing for. While Sarakshi doesn't seem to have romantic feelings for either, Linda seems to harbour some for Marjani (As of Chapter 18, his engagement with Kurumi has been dissolved and they are... in a bit of a relationship) and Yuki seems to harbour some for Tora.
  • TDWT Reducks Redux seems to be developing a massive one: Ezekiel likes Bridgette, who's dating Geoff yet has Ship Tease with Harold, who also has Ship Tease with Lindsay even though he really likes Leshawna, who broke up with him because she likes Alejandro. Lindsay was dating Tyler, who looks like he'll eventually hook up with Gwen, who likes Duncan (who's dating Courtney) even though Cody still sort of likes her, and Sierra likes him...
  • In Ragnarok despite being a Celibate Hero Light has practically everyone chasing after him. Mello and Matt are in a relationship but Mello still engages in some uncomfortable flirting with Light and Mello and Matt make it clear they're open to a three-way. Light dated Takada in college, had a brief but happy affair with Stephen Loud a.k.a. Gevanni of the FBI, and he went on a single date with Mikami before realizing how crazy he was and has been trying to avoid him ever since. Misa loves Light but they agree that they're Better as Friends. Also L has been stalking Light for the past year and Light has been stalking L. Also Near gets all flustered around Gevanni and Sayu.
  • The titular boys of The Ballad Of Stoot And Argyle, Terrance Stoot and Phillip Argyle, are unknowingly enmeshed in one of these. Karen Mc Cormick likes Terrance, who's in a trial relationship with and might be falling for Eric Cartman. Meanwhile, Phillip is in love with both Terrance and Bebe Stevens, and unknowingly has half the female student body fangirling over him. Add in the boys who might like those girls, and you've got a tangled web.
  • The Ponies Of Olympus series has Spike ending up in the middle of one in Atlas Strongest Tournament — he still has feelings for Rarity, but is also attracted to Ran Biao, who is using him to hurt Rarity, who she has twisted feelings for, feelings Rarity is reluctantly starting to return, even while realizing she's in love with Spike, and on top of that, Scootaloo likes Spike too, and it's hinted he might feel the same way. And then Scales and Wavedancer get involved...
  • Moon Daughter has Nico, Alabaster, and Hades all hitting on Flavia; meanwhile, Flavia starts out claiming she was in love with Luke and won't date ever again, but then crushes on Chiron, flirts with Nico, moves on to Alabaster, dumps him, then goes back to Nico, claiming he's her one true love. And then she moves on to Percy...
  • In Of White Trees And Blue Roses, between Ashara Dayne, Barristan Selmy, Brandon and Eddard Stark. Like in canon, Barristan had his crush on Ashara. Ashara had a crush on Brandon, and Eddard had a crush on her. Ashara rejected Eddard's feelings for her, while Brandon dropped Ashara faster than a hot potato after a one-night stand. However, he fathered a bastard.
  • In The Other One, Eridan ponders the canon entanglements between himself, Feferi, Sollux, and Aradia, respectively. (Terezi/Karkat are the Beta Couple.)
    It took every ounce of self control not to roll his head across the keyboard and let that serve as his response, a mess of mashed buttons and still-unresolved flushed feelings. Aradia was Sollux’s other one, he knew that. Or maybe a better way to put it was that she might be Sollux’s one, which made Fef the other one, which made him hate that guy even more.
  • Subverted in Flash Fog: Deuteragonist Pencil Pusher has a big crush on Fluttershy, who is implied to at least like him back. This excites Rarity and Rainbow Dash to the point that they start meddling to try and get the two together — Rarity more than Rainbow Dash. Unfortunately, this backfires, resulting in Fluttershy and Twilight Sparkle thinking that it's Rarity & Rainbow Dash who have crushes on Pencil Pusher, which leads to Spike fearing Pencil Pusher could be a rival for Rarity. The subversion comes because, after a couple of chapters of setup, Spike openly talks to Pencil Pusher about Rarity and is corrected, whilst Applejack, upon hearing about the situation from Rarity and Rainbow Dash, drags all four of the mares into a private room and tells Fluttershy about Pencil Pusher's crush and Rarity & Rainbow Jack's efforts to get Fluttershy to notice him.

    Films 
  • Theres Something About Mary features a Type 3 Triang Relation extended into a Love Dodecahedron with Mary at the center. Everybody is in love with/stalks Mary, including the main character and football star Brett Favre. Naturally, Mary chooses the main character over Brett. (She's a Niners fan.)
  • Tootsie has a great example of this:note 
    Michael: You should have seen the look on her face when she thought I was a lesbian.
    George: "Lesbian"? You just said gay.
    Michael: No, no, no — Sandy thinks I'm gay, Julie thinks I'm a lesbian.
    George: I thought Dorothy was supposed to be straight?
    Michael: Dorothy is straight. Tonight Les, the sweetest, nicest man in the world asked me to marry him.
    George: A guy named Les wants you to marry him?
    Michael: No, no, no — he wants to marry Dorothy.
    George: Does he know she's a lesbian?
    Michael: Dorothy's not a lesbian.
    George: I know that, does he know that?
    Michael: Know what?
    George: That, er, I... I don't know.
  • The 1982 avant-garde movie Querelle has a complicated and bizarre love-lust-hate dodecahedron. The main character, Querelle, is attracted to the madame Lysiane, who is the mistress of his brother Robert. But Querelle first purposefully loses a bet to Lysiane's husband, Nono, and has sex with him as payment before becoming Lysiane's lover. Querelle also sleeps with Nono's friend, the corrupt police captain Mario. Meanwhile, a construction worker named Gil (confusingly played by the same actor who plays Querelle's brother Robert) murders his co-worker Theo, who has been sexually assaulting him. Roger, who is in love with Gil, introduces him to Querelle hoping that Querelle can help Gil escape. Instead, Querelle begins an affair with Gil but betrays him to the police. In the end, Querelle sails off into the sunse with his superior officer, Lt. Seblon, who has been obsessed with him the entire movie. So the Dodecahedron looks something like:
    • Robert loves Lysiane who is married to Nono but who has an affair with Querelle, who also has sex with Nono, Mario, and Gil. Roger is in love with Gil, but loses him to Querelle. Seblon is attracted to Querelle and gets him in the end.
  • Spoofed towards the end of Woody Allen's Love And Death:
    Natasha: It’s a very complicated situation, Cousin Sonja. I’m in love with Alexei. He loves Alicia. Alicia is having an affair with Lev. Lev loves Tatiana. Tatiana loves Simkin. Simkin loves me. I love Simkin, but in a different way than Alexei. Alexei loves Tatiana like a sister. Tatiana’s sister loves Trigorin like a brother. Trigorin’s brother is having an affair with my sister, whom he likes physically but not spiritually.
    Sonja: Natasha . . . It’s getting a little late.
    Natasha: The firm of Mishkin and Mishkin is sleeping with the firm of Taskov and Taskov!
  • Crazy Stupid Love: Robbie has a thing for his babysitter Jessica who has a crush on Robbie's father Cal who is going through a really rocky relationship with Emily, who had a one-night stand with David but is also the mother of Hannah, who's the girlfriend of Jacob, who teaches Cal how to "regain his manlihood," which allows him to pick up multiple women, including Robbie's teacher...
  • Unconscious: Salvador loves Alma and is married to Olivia, who eventually runs off to Paris with Frances. Alma finds both León and Salvador attractive. León has affairs with several of his patients, but claims that Salvador is the love of his life.

    Literature 
  • Shaping up to be one between Piper, Jason, Reyna, Percy, and Annabeth from The Heroes of Olympus, in that order.
  • Edward Cullen from Twilight loves Bella. Bella loves Edward and Jacob, but she loves Edward more. Jacob loved Bella but then falls for her unborn daughter. Mike, Eric, and Tyler all have deep crushes on Bella, but she ignored them. Mike dates Jessica but breaks up with her. Tyler dates Lauren. Rosalie was supposed to be Edward's mate, but she ended with Emmet. Alice is with Jasper, but she kind of gives off lesbian vibes for Bella. In the end, everyone of note loves Bella in some way.
  • The Host also fits this trope. Melanie loves Jared so much that the alien parasite controlling her body also falls in love with him. However, it's implied the love is mostly physical. Ian has a crush on Wanderer, and Wanderer finds herself falling in love with him for his personality. Even when Wanderer is given a seperate body from Melanie's at the end, Melanie has a slight crush on Ian but loves Jared and Wanderer still has a slight crush on Jared but loves Ian. And this isn't even including the romances between the side characters.
  • At the heart of Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov is an intricate Love Dodecahedron which isn't really fleshed out until the later chapters. It starts with Fyodor Karamazov and his son Dmitri (the eldest brother) who are both smitten with Grushenka, the local Hello, Nurse!. But in love with Dmitri is Katerina, an aristocrat who is smitten with him for some services he did for her in the past. In love with Katerina is Ivan, the middle Karamazov brother, but he maintains that he doesn't really love her. Grushenka herself plays with Fyodor's and Dmitri's affections, but really she's been pining after Mussyalovich, a Polish gentleman who spurned her five years ago. Grushenka also shows some attraction for Alyosha, the youngest Karamazov brother, but his attentions are turned towards Liza, a young girl crippled by a fever at the outset of the novel. But towards the end Liza shows more attraction to Ivan than anyone else.
  • Also by Dostoevsky, The Idiot. Myshkin loves Aglaya, and is briefly in love with Nastasya but mainly just pities her (which nevertheless makes Aglaya see her as a romantic rival). Gavrila loves Aglaya, but for various reasons won't commit himself to her; he doesn't love Nastasya at all, but he's seeking her hand anyway because of her impressive dowry. Rogozhin only has eyes for Nastasya. Nastasya used to be Tostky's mistress but now she hates the man; she seems to despise Gavrila; she's in a full-on Masochism Tango with Rogozhin, so it's unclear whether she loves or hates him; and she seems to be afraid of Myshkin—his love threatens her self-image as a bad person, and in her more selfless moments she fears that she'll hurt him.
  • Every Blandings Castle novel, and, in fact, most of the works of P. G. Wodehouse. He was a master at these, and could successfully create and solve one of these plots in a single book. If one were to create a chart detailing the relationships of all the characters who appear in his connected universe, one would probably go insane just from reading it.
  • The Seven Realms Series has a lot of this, with Han Alistar and Princess Raisa at the center. Raisa and Amon are very much in love with each other, but their love is forbidden. At the same time, Raisa enjoys flirting with Micah Bayar for fun, but their love is also forbidden and it turned out Micah was using magic to get Raisa to like him more, but Micah doesn't seem to care. Han is a supreme Chick Magnet that gets quite a few suitors for himself including Micah's sister, Fiona. Han is a commoner that's managed to piss off the Bayar family by keeping an incredibly powerful MacGuffin out of their hands. ('Cause, y'know, they're evil and would kill Han even if he gave it back.) When Raisa and Han travel to Oden's Ford, Han gets a few suitors from the female student body (much to Fiona's chagrin.) Amon also finds a girl who is, by political standards, a much better match for him. Raisa is not pleased and is only convinced that they won't be together by the magic spell keeping them apart knocking Amon out after they kiss. Then Raisa and Han finally start spending large amounts of time together in tutoring sessions and they quickly start to feel attracted to one another. Then, when Princess Raisa openly admits that as the heir to the throne, she is looking for a Royal Consort, gifts from suitors come in by the boatload. By book three, Raisa and Han, the couple that fans had been shipping for ages finally admitted that they want to be together. Blue Blood politics won't make that so easy, though...
  • In Maria McCann's As Meat Loves Salt, Jacob loves and marries Caro, but rapes and abandons her over jealousy of her friendship with his brother, Isaiah. Then he meets and falls in love with Ferris, only for Caro to reappear and start an affair with Ferris. Then its revealed that Jacob may have had a sexual relationship with Isaiah in the past.
  • In Chekhov's The Seagull Medviedenko loves Masha, who loves Treplyov, who loves Nina, who loves Trigorin, who is loved by Irina. Everybody's unhappy.
  • A poem by Brazilian author Carlos Drummond de Andrade: "João loved Teresa who loved Raimundo who loved Maria who loved Joaquim who loved Lili who loved no one".
  • The main characters of John C. Wright's Chronicles of Chaos consist of three boys and two girls. Some interesting permutations work out.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Ned Stark married Catelyn Tully to cement the Stark/Tully alliance against the Targaryens, but he also apparently had a thing for Ashara Dayne (who may or may not be his babymama, and who was also lusted after by Ser Baristan Selmy, and some theorize by Ned's brother, Brandon). Ned also had a healthy amount of Ho Yay with his best friend, Robert Baratheon, who was in love with Ned's sister, Lyanna, but ended up marrying Cersei Lannister. Both Lyanna and Cersei had the hots for Rhaegar Targaryen, though Cersei is also getting it on with her twin brother Jaime, her cousin Lancel, Lady Taena Merryweather and two of the three Kettleback brothers. Catelyn's sister Lysa is married to Ned and Robert's adoptive father, Jon Arryn, but is also engaged in a clandestine affair with Littlefinger, whom she eventually marries after her husband's death. Littlefinger, however, was madly in love with Catelyn, who loves him like a brother, but no more. Now, though, he's found a suitable replacement in Catelyn's teenage daughter, Sansa. Robert's brother, Renly, is married to Margaery Tyrell, but is implied stated (by Word of God) to be sleeping with her brother Loras. Additionally, Renly's bodyguard, Brianne has a major crush on him, but latter develops a rather tender relationship with none other than Jaime Lannister, Cersei's brother. Yeah, love in Westeros is complicated, and this doesn't even get into Jon and Dany's generation.
  • The point of Pride and Prejudice is resolving one of these. (beware spoilers)
  • In Anthony Trollope's Ayala's Angel, the title character is beloved by Tom Tringle, Johnathan Stubbs, and Captain Batsby, but Batsby also takes a fancy to Tom's sister Gertrude, who wants to marry Frank Houston, who is in love with his cousin Imogen Docimer. Meanwhile Lady Albury has an interesting relationship with Stubbs, but is determined not to cheat on her husband Sir Harry. Also Tom's other sister Augusta accuses Ayala of trying to steal her fiancee, the honourable Septimus Traffik.
  • The Secret History revolves around six college students, five men and one woman, who are all too smart for their own good. A Love Dodecahedron and many Tragic Dreams ensue.
  • Ah, Warrior Cats.
    • Let's start with the main character, shall we? Cinderpelt (who seems to have some chemistry with Littlecloud) was in love with Firestar, who never knew. Firestar and Spottedleaf liked each other for the brief period of time that she was alive, and they continue to meet in dreams even after her death, much to the chagrin of Sandstorm, his mate, who previously was friends with Dustpelt, who thought it was something more. Dustpelt eventually became the mate of Ferncloud. Now skip ahead about six books, and you'll find that Cinderpelt has been reincarnated as Cinderheart after her death. Cinderheart falls in love with Lionblaze, Firestar's grandson. Lionblaze used to be 'friends' with Heathertail, who hates him because he broke up with her, and she may or may not be Just Friends with Breezepelt.
    • Tigerstar. First off, Word of God confirmed in an author chat that Leopardstar loved Tigerstar, though he probably didn't feel the same way. He's had children with both Sasha (his true love, according to Erin Hunter) and Goldenflower, and it's questionable if Goldenflower loved him or not.
    • The New Prophecy is great with this. Stormfur, Ashfur, and Brambleclaw all liked Squirrelflight. Stormfur knew that he didn't have a future with her, and eventually ended up with a Tribe cat named Brook. For a while it seemed as if Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight would become an Official Couple, but fell out because of Brambleclaw wanting to be friends with his half-brother (it makes a bit more sense in context), whom some fans say he had Ho Yay with, and Squirrelflight went to Ashfur. However, she never truly loved him, and later left him for Brambleclaw once more. This drove Ashfur insane, to the point of betraying his Clan, abetting in almost murdering Firestar, and trying to kill Squirrelflight along with her 'kits'. This forced her to admit that they weren't hers, and were in fact the children of Leafpool and Crowfeather. Crowfeather had previously been in love with Feathertail (who died), had a brief affair with Leafpool (which produced Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Hollyleaf), and then took Nightcloud as a mate in WindClan solely to prove his loyalty and have a kit with her.
    • Spiderleg became Daisy's mate, but they broke up after having two kits. Prior to this, Daisy had an unrequited crush on Cloudtail, who was already with Brightheart. Daisy's previous mate was Smoky (who also had kits with Daisy's sister, Floss, who he liked better, according to Daisy) and he fathered Mousewhisker, Hazeltail, and Berrynose. Berrynose hooked up with Honeyfern, but she died. He later mated with Poppyfrost.
    • Graystripe was Silverstream's mate, and later had kits with Millie. Graystripe's mother, Willowpelt, went through quite a few mates: Tawnyspots, Whitestorm, and Patchpelt (who is her own brother, though that was an accident with the author forgetting they were siblings since, though they have the same parents, they were born in different litters).
    • Bluestar had a brief relationship with Oakheart and had his kits. Thrushpelt had a crush on her, though she didn't return his feelings, and he pretended to be the father of her kits in order to help her out (since they were the result of a forbidden inter-Clan relationship).
    • In OOTS, Dovewing fell in love with Tigerheart, but broke up with him when he used her to get herbs and she realized he was training in the Dark Forest. She later became closer to Bumblestripe, and according to Word of God chose him in the end (they just didn't show it in the book because it didn't fit in with the emotional final scenes).
  • A slight invocation of this trope appears in The Three Worlds Cycle, specifically in the second quartet to make up the cycle. Nish loves Tiaan, who doesn't love him back. Then Nish has a short affair with Irisis, who hates Tiaan, simply to get back at her for rejecting him. Then Irisis has a brief affair with Xervish Flydd, who seems to have possibly had a thing with scrutator Halie. Meanwhile, Tiaan falls in love with Minis, who loves her back but betrays her and spends three books beating himself up over it. Tiaan then meets Gilhaelith who seems to lust after her. Back to Nish and Irisis, they end up in a will they/won't they situation right up until the end of the fourth book, where Tiaan swears off men for life, Flydd has been castrated anyway, and Irisis and Nish finally get it on. Well, almost manage to...
  • In Gone by Michael Grant, there is a huge one. Sam and Astrid like each other, but Taylor likes Sam, who makes out with her when drunk. Diana jokes about wanting Sam, but she really wants Caine (or does she?), and he wants her, but so does Computer Jack, who likes Brianna, who likes him back, but Dekka also loves her. Meanwhile, Drake is obsessed with Diana and possibly Astrid in a way that may or may not be sexual, and it seemed for a second there that Sanjit wanted Diana, but turns out it's really Lana that he's into, who's also liked by Edilio and Quinn. And then Penny's obsessed with Caine, only maybe not so much after he dropped her off a cliff. And it goes on . . .
  • Mortal Instruments. Jace loves Clary who loves him back. Simon likes Clary. Isabelle and Maia like Simon. Isabelle's brother, Alec, likes Jace. Magnus likes Alec and they end up together. Clary also liked 'Sebastian' for a short time and they kissed.
  • In Ranger's Apprentice Halt spends time with Alyss and thinks If I were twenty years younger... He ends up marrying Lady Pauline. Alyss kisses Will. Will spends time with Evanlyn but can't handle that she's really Princess Cassandra and falls for Alyss instead. He and Evanlyn still have feelings for each other and this causes tension between Alyss and Evalyn and between Will and Horace. Horace and Evanlyn end up falling in love and become engaged, as do Will and Alyss.
  • Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake is an infamous example of a Love Dodecahedron, it'd be easier to name a character not in love with or part of Anita's Reverse Harem.
  • Laurell K. Hamilton's Merry Gentry series features Merry in the middle of a Love Dodecahedron with a Reverse Harem.
  • Mansfield Park. Mr. Rushworth is in love with Maria, and Mr. Yates is in love with Julia, but both Bertram sisters are in love with Henry Crawford, who claims to be in love with Fanny, who is in love with Edmund, who is in love with Mary Crawford, who is in love with money.
  • In Prized by Caragh O'Brien, Leon loves Gaia, who is also loved by Chardo Will and Chardo Peter, who once dated Adele, who is now married to someone else.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo is full of this. To start off, Edmond Dantes is in love with Mercedes who however marries Fernand, who betrayed Edmond and had him thrown into the Chateau d'If. Their son is supposed to marry Eugenie, daughter of Danglars, who was one of the people Fernand put together to betray him. That's not possible, because Edmond's slave Haydée tells him about how Fernand betrayed her father. So, Danglars' wife, who had a scandalous relationship with Villefort, another of Edmond's betrayers, had a son, Benedetto, with him who is also supposed to marry Eugenie, but she leaves in a supposedly lesbian relationship. Villefort's daugther Valentine loves Maximilien Morrel but she is forced to marry Count d'Epinay, which is finally not possible because Valentine's grandfather killed d'Epinays grandfather. Oh, and Edmond suggests that Morrel marry Haydée, but in the end marries her himself. See spoilers [1] for the full details.
  • In the Star Trek Novel Verse, Captain Klag reads a novel involving Damiani (a three-gendered species) and Andorians (four genders) in a dangerous romantic septangle.
  • In The Wheel of Time, there's 1000+ characters. With such a large cast, you could probably draw an appropriately epic-sized chart detailing the relationships.
  • Legacy of the Dragokin: A weird example in that it's not the focus of the plot and yet it is at the same time. What is definite is that it is NOT played for comedy.
    • Daniar and Kalak are married but having problems so they both go to comfort from other people (Jago and Zarracka respectively) while Mordak has a Lady and Knight thing with Zarracka and a yandere thing for Kalak while both of them can't stand it/him and yet are dependent on Mordak, who, by the way, is weakened by love. Then add in the fact that Kalak is jealous of the attention his wife gives their son who is head-over-heels for his mother's protegee who is Married to the Job and it gets more complicated.
  • In Sherwood Smith's Inda series, the people involved keep shifting as they get killed or find true love, but at around the midpoint of the story: Hadand is in love with Evred, who is in love with Inda. Hadand is betrothed to Evred in a political Arranged Marriage (which he inherited from his brother who Hadand was originally betrothed to). Inda is still in love with his original arranged bride, Tdor, but with the death of his older brother he will inherit his brother's betrothed, Joret, who is in love with Cama, who loves her back but is betrothed to somebody else entirely. Tdor still loves Inda, but is now betrothed to Whipstick Noth, who doesn't have any kind of strong romantic feelings for anybody but likes Tdor well enough.
  • In The Great Gatsby, Gatsby has his heart set on Daisy who is married to Tom, who has an open affair with Myrtle, who herself is married to George.
  • In Beautiful Darkness. Ethan is in love with Lena, who he believes left him for John Breed, and is begining to be attracted to Olivia. Link is also attracted to Olivia, but at the same time he's still pining for Ridley. Ridley and John are often seen together, so subtext could lead to interpretation of them as a couple. Lila Jane Evers' first love was Macon Ravenwood, but he had to leave her because he was afraid of hurting her, so she met Ethan's father. She's still enough in love with Macon to save him from dying. He never stopped loving her.
  • In New Arcana, Roland likes Kiri but hooks up with Miranda, who has a crush on Luke, who has a crush on Corryn, who used to be involved with Kurt but also seems occasionally to hook up with Elmin, who hooks up with anyone, including Kiri and Miranda, who ends up in a relationship with Wynne, who is an “old friend” of Elmin’s.
  • When A Man's A Man, by Harold Wright: note  Phil loves Kitty, who loves Patches (who is temporarily engaged to her) and briefly deludes herself into loving Professor Parkhill (who proposes to her, but is rejected). Patches himself loves Helen, who is Happily Married to Stanford. At the last minute, Kitty conveniently realizes that she really loves Phil, and the two get together. The Professor leaves the ranch, and Patches goes on a journey with Yavapai Joe, who he has homoerotic subtext with.

    Live Action TV 
  • This trope is why daytime soap operas exist. ''Nuff said.
  • Chow Yun-fat, before the Heroic Bloodshed roles that put him on the map of Hong Kong movie stardom, rose to fame as a man caught in several love dodecahedrons in the (appropriately named) Hong Kong drama series "The Man in the Net."
  • Grey's Anatomy features a love dodecahedron in which George loves Meredith, who loves Derek, who can't decide if he loves Meredith or Addison, who also is still in love with Derek but at one point was in love with Mark, who slept with Callie, who is married to George, who slept with Izzie, who used to date Alex, who's lusted after by Addison (and that's before you get into the subtext). Coincidentally, the best-remembered episode of the first season featured a hospital-wide outbreak of syphilis.
  • The first season of Smallville, after setting up a Love Triangle with Clark and Whitney both wanting Lana, regularly increases its geometrical complexity by throwing others into the mix; the (Kryptonite meteor rock-influenced) Villain of the Week is sometimes romantically interested in Lana as well (and might even start to get somewhere until revealed to be hideously transformed when not masquerading as still human), and Lex Luthor will intervene to try to break up some of these pairings... but is this being done as friendly help for Clark's benefit, or because he too has secret designs on Lana? (Or even Clark?) It doesn't help that seemingly every man, woman, and child in Kansas has developed an unhealthy obsession with Lana Lang at some point, and Lex's relationship with Clark is staggeringly homoerotic until that little incident where Lex has Clark's family held hostage.
    • Like it ends there. Chloe is in love with Clark. Jimmy and Pete are in love with Chloe. Chloe dated Jimmy, but he dated Kara briefly when they were broken up. Jason and Lex later have relationships with Lana. Lois is destined to be with Clark, but has so far been with Aquaman and Oliver. Lionel Luthor has romantic designs on Martha Kent after Jonathan dies, while Lex's obsession with Lana moves briefly onto Kara. Lana and Lex get married, but that ends when Lana fakes her own death using a clone, frames Lex for the murder, then returns and gets a divorce. Only in Smallville, folks.
    • And moving into season 8 adds Davis, who is in love with Chloe, and Tess, who manages Ho Yay and Foe Yay with every single member of the cast (Clark, Lois, Oliver, Chloe, Zod, potted plants, office furniture, etc.).
  • The combined Love Dodecahedron for Buffy and its spinoff Angel ends up being so complex that it's mathematically impossible to draw with non-crossing arrows:
    • Willow likes Xander, but Xander likes Buffy, but Buffy likes Angel. Xander also dates Cordelia, Willow winds up dating Oz, and the one time Xander reciprocates Willow's feelings it leads to breaking up Willow/Oz (temporarily), and Xander/Cordelia (permanently). Because of that break-up, Cordy invokes the wrath of the vengeance demon, Anya, who almost marries Xander, and Cordelia later gets involved with Angel. All the while, Dawn has a crush on Xander, and they eventually date, but not before Buffy confesses she now has feelings for Xander as well.
    • Then you add the vampires: Angel and Buffy wuv each other, but when Angel goes evil he starts being naughty towards Drusilla. Spike and Drusilla have been together for around a century, but he starts crushing on Buffy from the moment he sees her, and also hooks up with Anya in season 6. In the past, Spike and Angel had "that one time" together. Angel was in a relationship with Darla for a long time, but she left when he got cursed. Darla's relationship with the Master was creepy, and her relationship with Drusilla was subtexty.
    • And adding in the Spinoff characters: Angel develops feelings for Cordelia, who reciprocates. Cordy sleeps with Angel's teenaged son Connor. Wes and Cordelia liked each other on Buffy but have since decided they're Better as Friends. Wes has a destructive romance with Lilah but loves Fred, who has a crush on Angel and then dates Gunn before finally ending up with Wesley. And Lorne just sits back and watches it all.
    • Faith. Definite Foe Yay between her and Buffy, and she takes Xander's v-card. She is also seemingly obsessed with Buffy's sloppy seconds: in addition to Xander's long-standing crush, she tried to come on to Angel at least once, showed interest in Scott Hope, slept with Riley while she was in Buffy's body, and in season seven she slept with Robin Wood and seemed like she was going to take up with Spike.
    • The whole mess is even lampshaded in "Beneath You":
      Anya: Hey! Hands off the merchandise, Spike. You don't get to go there again.
      Spike: Please... I've already forgotten about our little time together.
      Nancy: I thought you were Xander's ex-girlfriend?
      Anya: I am.
      Nancy: But you and Spike?
      Anya: Had a thing.
      Spike: Didn't last.
      Nancy: But weren't you Buffy's...
      Spike: Briefly.
      Buffy: Never serious.
      Nancy: Is there anyone here who hasn't slept together?
      [Xander and Spike glance at each other]
  • Lost Girl is a prime example of this. The series starts with a (bisexual) love triangle between Bo/Lauren and Bo/Dyson. Bo dates/sleeps with both of them throughout the first and second seasons. Then the show brings in Tamsin in S3 to give Bo a third love interest. This of course does not even count all the guest stars that Bo has kissed or slept with. Another example is Kenzi, Bo's platonic life partner/roomie though the two of them have kissed. Kenzi likes Dyson, but also Hale.
    So in short, Bo likes both Dyson and Lauren and Tamsin. Dyson hates Lauren, but is attracted to Tamsin. Kenzi has a minor crush on Dyson, hates both Lauren and Tamsin, but likes Hale, who likes her back. Kenzi has kissed both Dyson and Lauren, but also Hale, who's also kissed Bo. Through a weird bodyswap mindmeld, Dyson and Lauren have slept together, which Bo sees as herself and Lauren, even though it's really Dyson and a female guest character. To say things are complicated would be a dramatic understatement.
  • Teen Wolf has this in the first and (to a lesser degree) second season. Scott likes Allison. Jackson is dating Lydia. Stiles is single. However, Allison broke up with Scott, and Jackson seems to like flirting with Allison. Stiles has liked Lydia since the third grade, but Lydia doesn't care about Stiles. Lydia likes Scott and likes having her trophy boyfriend Jackson. Scott doesn't have any real feelings for Lydia, but the full moon and misinformation causes Scott to fulfill Lydia's affair and slap Stiles in the face.
    • Then in season 2 along comes Erica, who actively pursues Scott to push him into joining their pack and also had a crush on Stiles when they were younger, but he never notice her. Erica also shares a hot kiss with Derek and eventually begins a relationship with Boyd. Erica also made out with Jackson and Isaac in the infamous club three-way scene. Also, Jackson's best friend Danny begins flirting with Matt, who Jackson advices him to pursue, but it turns out that Matt was a Stalker with a Crush for Allison, who does not reciprocate in any way.
    • In season 3, Isaac starts a relationship with Allison, whereas Scott begins to date Kira Yukimura, the new girl in town. During the first half, Lydia has sex a couple of times with alpha werewolf Aiden, whose twin brother Ethan begins to date Danny. Stiles and Lydia share a kiss, but end up as just Platonic Life Partners in the end and Stiles eventually hooks up with a girl called Caitlin, who later hints that Stiles may or may not be bisexual, and later loses his virginity to Malia Tate, a werecoyote and Peter Hale's daughter.
  • The Secret Life of the American Teenager had this in the first season: Ricky impregnated Amy, who fell in love with Ben. Even though Ben proposed to Amy, we also got a hint that he wanted Grace at first. Grace was dating Jack, but when she wouldn't have sex with him, he cheated on her with Adrian. She dumped him and started going out with Ricky, but he too was having sex with Adrian behind her back. Jack began a relationship with another girl, but it didn't last. Ricky dumped Grace when his dangerous father returned to town, hinting that he might've cared for her after all. Adrian started sleeping with her stepbrother, Max, but it too didn't last. The season ended with Grace and Jack getting back together and a hint that Adrian and Ricky really did love each other. The second and third seasons are too complicated and scatterbrained to even describe.
  • Battlestar Galactica perhaps takes the cake for this. Adama loved Carolanne before they fell out and now he loves Roslin, who was previously having an affair with President Adar. Apollo loves Starbuck and Starbuck loves Apollo, but he married Anastasia Dualla and she married Samuel Anders. Starbuck also once disastrously bedded Baltar, who loves Number Six, who is now pregnant with Colonel Tigh's child, even though the Colonel mourned the death of his promiscuous wife Ellen. Boomer and Tyrol were having an affair until Adama broke them up. Boomer died at the hands of Cally, who married Tyrol, who still loved Boomer. Athena married Helo, who used to have a crush on Boomer, who is the same person as Athena, except not really. Racetrack has a crush on Helo. Helena Cain had an affair with Gina, whom Baltar tried to seduce. Also, Baltar was the object of some affection early on from Felix Gaeta. Starbuck's tricky relationship with Leoben Conoy. Practically every major and secondary character has tricky relationship issues.
    • There is an Official Frak Chart.
  • Beverly Hills 90210 has David longing for Kelly (resolved when they become step-siblings), who started the show as Steve's ex. During the first two seasons it seemed that they were to become a couple again, which never happened (except for once she got drunk and slept with him). As the show progressed, relationships and hook-ups multiplied: Kelly slept with her best friend's boyfriend, then with her boyfriend's best friend; Clare began virtually stalking Brandon and then having a relationship with David and then with Steve; Valerie slept with Dylan, Steve and David and almost with Brandon once; Gina was with Dylan and then David, who finally married her cousin who was also her half-sister.
  • 90210, in its short-lived run so far, has had a lot of that: Ethan left Naomi for Annie, then kissed Rhonda and finally, before leaving the show, fell in love with Silver, who was Dixon's girlfriend and in season two would become official with Teddy, who had been the reason why Adrianna broke up with Navid. Teddy also flirted with Naomi (but nothing ever happened once they discovered who he was).
  • Friends plays the trope a bit subtly, with most main characters having made out with each other (including same-gender pairs) although only Ross/Rachel and Chandler/Monica actually slept together. Rachel dated Joey but they broke up before having sex. It's also worth mentioning that several minor characters were with at least two of the main cast (Chip with Monica and Rachel, Janice with Chandler and Ross, Kathy with Chandler and Joey), resulting in short-lived triangles that sometimes could fade away quickly, sometimes added some weight to the storyline.
  • Gossip Girl: Let's see...there's the short-lived Serena/Nate/Blair, which then turns into Serena/Dan/Vanessa and Nate/Blair/Chuck, which coincides with Bart/Lily/Rufus/Allison. (This is just season 1, btw.) In season 2, it's briefly Marcus/Blair/Chuck and Vanessa/Nate/Catherine, and then finally Dan/Serena/Aaron, and Jenny/Nate/Vanessa. Bart/Lily/Rufus is still happening minus Allison and until Bart dies.It makes you wonder if these people even know anyone else in Manhattan. Then in season 3 we have Olivia/Dan/Vanessa they actually have a threesome together Nate/Serena/Tripp/Maureen, soon turns into Jenny/Nate/Serena and finally by the end of the season Nate/Serena/Dan/Vanessa. Dan and Serena are kind of step-siblings at this point. And you know who else is kind of step-siblings? Chuck and Jenny. But that doesn't stop Jenny from losing her virginity to a guy that nearly raped her once
    • By season 3, all the love triangles and hook-ups linked together just involving the core characters is: Chuck/Vanessa/Dan/Blair/Chuck/Blair/Nate/Serena/Dan/Vanessa/Nate/Jenny/Chuck. At least two of these pairings are step-siblings, one by marriage, and another by that same marriage + adoption. This doesn't include any of the minor characters or the adult characters.
      • By the middle of season 4 Chuck, Louis and Dan are involved in various stages of love with Blair.
  • That '70s Show had quite a bit of that among the main teenage characters. At times lampshaded by the adults.
    Kitty: You kids change partners more than square dancers!
  • LOST's irritating love dodecahedron was originally a simple triangle involving Jack and Sawyer, who both loved Kate, who couldn't decide between them. Then the introduction of Juliet in Season 3 threw a wrench in the triangle, as Jack cannot decide between either (though Juliet thinks he's just using her to make Kate jealous). Thanks to the show's time-travelling, Sawyer and Juliet ended up spending three happy years together, but as of early 2009, it appears that the dodecahedron is about to kick back into play.
    • The obvious fanservice moment when Kate and Juliet fall in the mud after being handcuffed together...
    • Ana-Lucia filled the same role in a love square during season 2.
    • And Ben is in love with Juliet, who hates him but was in love with Goodwin, who was married to Harper (until Ben got him killed). Juliet tells Jack she's worried what Ben would do to him if he found out she had feelings for Jack.
  • Pretty Little Liars: the romantic entanglements in this show are such, it's hard to keep track of who was with who at this point.
    • Season 1 starts with Ezra/Aria/Noel, Melissa/Wren/Spencer, Ben/Emily/Maya and Sean/Hanna/Lucas, as well as Jenna/Toby and Emily's trying to move on from her old crush on Alison. Early on, Ben/Emily break up after he tries to rape her and she's saved by Toby; then Emily comes out of the closet and begins to date Maya. Sean and Hanna eventually break-up, but then Caleb is introduced and she begins to date Hanna, so it remains Caleb/Hanna/Lucas instead. Melissa breaks her engagement with Wren when she finds him making out with Spencer, and eventually gets together with her ex Ian, who she marries. Ian, by the way, had a secret affair with Spencer before the start of the story. And so did Alison. Oh, and towards the end of the season Spencer beings to date Toby while Emily is approached by Paige, who dates Sean as The Beard but decides she wants Emily. Maya's Put on a Bus to rehab, so Emily begins to date Paige, but because she doesn't want to go back living in the closet she breaks it off. She also briefly dates Samara (they break up early in season 2).
    • Season 2 introduces Jason/Aria/Ezra/Jackie and Toby/Spencer/Wren. Also, Mona and Noel suddenly began dating, but break up off-screen a couple of episodes before the finale. Maya returns to town and eventually begins dating Emily again, but is killed in the finale. Season 3 has Paige/Emily/Nathan, Wren/Hanna/Caleb, Wes/Aria/Ezra/Maggie, Noel/Jenna/Shana (and Jenna/Nathan) and Toby/Spencer/Andrew, and then we hit gold with season 4, which not only introduces Mike/Mona, Ezra/Aria/Jake and Travis/Hanna/Holbrook, but there's also the reveal of past relationships Mike/Hanna and Ezra/Alison, which happened prior to Ali's disappearance and just overall further complicate things. As if it wasn't complicated enough.
  • In an episode of My Name Is Earl, this trope was used. Earl was in love with Billie, but so were Stuart, Frank, and Catalina. Paco, Catalina's childhood lover, was in love with her — but she didn't believe him. Frank was also interested in Billie's cousin. And Kenny was in love with Stuart, too. In the end, it was turned into four neat couples, two of which were continued at least until the end of the season.
  • The Taiwanese Buddy Cop Show Black and White has a Love Dodecahedron that transcends the borders between police and outlaws. The mismatched buddies dandy Chen Zai Tian and straight-laced Wu Ying Xiong are at the center. They both like Mafia Princess Chen Lin who can't decide between the two. Chen Zai Tian also loves a girl from his past and Wu Ying Xiong rekindles an old flame which ends badly. Chen Lin has another admirer in runaway mercenary Ma Xiao Ming. Then there is Lan Xi Ying from the forensics who has a deep crush on Wu Ying Xiong but developes a nice connection with Chen Zai Tian also and she awakens long buried feelings in the hitman Cheng Nuo.
  • Glee has an extensive one. An excellent illustration of the current relationship "tree" can be found here. A slightly outdated "tree" from season 4 can be found here.
    • Season One: Will was married to Terri but has a crush on Emma. Emma returns the feelings but settles for marrying Ken. Once each of the couples break up, they kiss. They eventually decide to go out, but break up due to the divorce. In that time, Will also has feelings for rival glee club coach Shelby and Lady Drunk April Rhodes. Then in episode 21, he tried hooking up with Sue and it's indicated she has some feelings for him. Meanwhile with the students, Jacob is into Rachel who is in love with Finn, but she tried dating Jesse for a while until he broke her heart. Kurt also liked Finn until he dropped the f-bomb, and Finn was actually dating Quinn until he realized that she had slept with (and got pregnant by) Puck. Puck's somewhat interested in Quinn (and seems to be dating her) but has a sex-only relationship with Santana, who may or not be hooked up with Brittany (who might still have feelings for Kurt after they dated). Beta-ing are Tina and Artie, with some Ship Tease for Tina and Mike and Artie and Quinn. And all this is not including one-off crushes and relationships that were contained in the episode, such as Rachel and Puck trying to go out twice, Sue and Bryan Ryan sleeping together, Puck and Mercedes briefly dating, Rachel going Hot for Teacher on Will, Mercedes liking Kurt, Santana and Brittany dating Finn at the same time, Finn later having a one-night stand with Santana, and so on. And this is all only one season.
    • Season Two Emma is dating Carl and marries him in Vegas, though Will keeps chasing her and has post-divorce sex with Terri, once. Finn and Rachel become the closest the cast has to a Beta Couple (until they break up when Rachel finds out about his fling with Santana and promptly cheats on him with Puck...again), when Tina dumps Artie for Mike. Artie wants her back, but dates Brittany to make Tina jealous (though he seems to be over her now). Kurt tries to seduce the new kid, Sam, but Finn and Burt convince him to back off, leaving Sam open to date (sorta) Quinn, until she cheats on him with Finn after which he starts dating Santana, who is actually in love with Brittany but initially too scared and make it a real relationship, until she does and Brittany lets her down easy because she's still dating Artie. The one time Kurt stands up to Karofsky, he kisses Kurt, though the latter denies it. Kurt was currently crushing on Blaine (the only other openly gay character on the show, not counting Rachel's dads), And Puck has a one-night stand with Lauren in return for her joining Glee club, and still seems to have a crush on Quinn. Blaine and Rachel also made out, then went out on a date as well.
    • And that was up to mid-season. Kurt and Blaine are officially dating, but there was a (false) rumor that Kurt cheated on Blaine with Sam, who was also (wrongly) accused of hooking up with Quinn while she was still dating Finn, who broke up with her afterwards to try to get back with Rachel, and Rachel seemed on her way to getting back with Jesse. After being turned down by Brittany, Santana "convinces" (read forces) Karofsky to date her:to act as each others' beards, but when Brittany dumped Artie (who wants her back), Santana was on the move again. By now, Lauren and Puck as well as Mike and Tina are pretty stable couples with not much relationship drama for a change. Oh, and Sam and Mercedes get together in the last episode of the season.
    • Season Three: Will and Emma seem to be going steady, but Lauren broke up with Puck who is now Hot for Teacher with Shelby (who also happens to be the adoptive mother of Puck and Quinn's daughter), and Mercedes and Sam broke up over the summer and she's together with some huge football player who doesn't really have any purpose besides being Mercedes' boyfriend, but Sam is trying to get her back. Mercedes ends up cheating on her boyfriend with Sam. They break up, and Mercedes decides to just stay single. The new kid, Rory, had a crush on Brittany, much to her girlfriend Santana's displeasure. Later, both Rory and Artie developed feelings for Sugar, who chose Rory over Artie as her date for Valentine's Day.
    • Season four: Rachel has dumped Finn and has been dating Brody, who slept with Cassandra. Blaine cheated on Kurt while Santana broke up with Brittany. Sam then started dating Brittany while Sugar started dating Artie and Tina and Mike both became single. Tina also has a new crush on Blaine while Blaine had a short-lived crush on Sam. Quinn also started a relationship with a college professor but then slept with Santana. There are also new members Jake, who dated/ broke up with Kitty and is now battling Ryder for Marley.
    • It gets some Lampshade Hanging at the start of the third Season. Kurt and Rachel show up in Emma's office and she suggests they might be going out, as it's possibly the only Glee club relationship pairing that hasn't happened yet.
    • Lampshaded again in season four.
      Emma: You glee kids have dated so incestuously I can't even remember who can tolerate who anymore.
    • Season Five: Blaine and Kurt get back together and are engaged, Finn's death has left Rachel single, Will and Emma are Happily Married, Santana is dating a girl named Dani, Artie gets together with Kitty, Jake cheats on Marley with Bree and they break up.
  • Ugly Betty had always had a few of these, but by season four things just got ridiculous.
  • In an episode of Frasier, Frasier and his family (including Daphne and her friend Annie) go to a ski lodge. Frasier lusts after Annie, who in turn desires Niles, who wants Daphne. Daphne wants Guy, the ski instructor, who (unbeknownst to her) is gay, and also wants Niles. When everything is finally revealed, Frasier is frustrated that no one wanted him.
    • In an episode in Season 2 called "An Affair to Forget, we have a doozy: there's Niles' default atraction to Daphne, who doesn't perceive it; he's married to Maris, who is suspected of having an affair with Gunnar, her German fencing instructor, who is also married to a woman named Gretchen. When Niles and Frasier confront Gunnar about it, due to a Poor Communication Kills, Gunnar thinks Frasier is having an affair with Gretchen, and to complicate it, Roz is trying to set Frasier and his dad up with a woman in her building. Admittedly half of this love tangle is only perceived, but it's still impressive.
  • Let's talk about some of the Alias relationships between seasons 1 and 3. We have Sydney, who loves Vaughn, who's married to Lauren, who's boning Sark, who loves Allison as Francie, who loves Will, who loves Sydney.
  • Skins loves this trope.
    • Generation 1: Tony and Michelle were dating when the series started. But Tony's best friend Sid was in love with Michelle. And Tony cheated on Michelle with Abigail and Maxxie. Then Cassie fell for Sid, and by the end of the series Sid returned her feelings and they became a couple, while Tony and Michelle broke up. Michelle hooked up with Abigail's brother, Josh, leading Tony to frame Josh as having slept with Abigail - Josh retaliates by drugging Tony's sister Effy and demand that Tony has sex with her if he wants Josh to call an ambulance (he doesn't, but Effy survives). Then in S2, Cassie moved away and Sid and Michelle hooked up, with Abigail claiming Tony as her own. Cassie returned and rejected Sid for his infidelity, suggesting to Tony that the two of them should hook up. A few episodes later, Sid and Michelle break up and they get back together with Cassie and Tony respectively.
      • Meanwhile, Chris is in love with his professor, Angie, but she's torn between him and her ex. She eventually leaves him brokenhearted, and he eventually falls in love with Jal. Then Angie returns and he briefly reunites to her, before realizing that it's Jal who he really wants.
    • Generation 2: In the first episode, best friends Freddie, Cook and JJ all meet Effy and all immediately fall for her. Cook and Effy sleep together and continue to for much of the series, while Freddie continues to pine for Effy. Effy's best friend Pandora gets together with Thomas, but after he leaves the country, she starts an affair with Cook, which she continues after her boyfriend returns. While all this is going on, Naomi and Emily start up a heartfelt but unofficial romance behind closed doors. Naomi tells Cook that she'll sleep with him if he wins the student election, which she almost goes through with when he does. Emily gives JJ a sympathy shag for him to lose his virginity. Effy falls for Freddie, but he has started a relationship with Emily's twin, Katie. While high on shrooms, Effy gets into a fight with Katie and hits her with a rock, and then sleeps with Freddie. After Katie is taken into hospital, Effy shamefully skips town with Cook. The next episode, despite Katie's interference, Emily and Naomi resolve their issues and become an offical couple. Meanwile, Pandora apologizes for her affair and makes up with Thomas. In the series finale, JJ and Freddie track down Cook and Effy. JJ demands that Effy choose between the three of them right there and then; she picks Freddie. In series 4, Freddie and Effy are a couple but Cook still holds feelings for Effy. Naomi cheats on Emily with Sophia (who kills herself when Naomi begins ignoring her) and the two all but break up. Emily falls to pieces and starts punishing Naomi by having affairs with other girls. Thomas, still angry at Pandora for sleeping with Cook, cheats on her with Andrea. Naomi kisses Cook but rejects him because she's in love with Emily. JJ finds a girlfriend in Lara. Katie kisses and develops feelings for Thomas. Effy goes crazy and almost kills herself, and gets a psychologist, John Foster. Foster falls in love with Effy and so beats Freddie to death with a baseball bat. The series ends with both Naomi and Emily and Thomas and Pandora reuniting, while Cook ambigulously fights Foster to avenge Freddie.
    • Generation Three: Nick and Mini started the series as a couple. Franky met and apparently developed feelings for Matty. Rich and Grace became a couple. After Mini was reluctant to sleep with Nick, he cheated on her with her best friend, Liv. The next episode, Liv hooked up with Nick's brother Matty in a drug-fuelled night of passion, and then they became a couple, but Nick seemingly held a torch for Liv. Matty eventually admitted he was in love with Franky. But Mini too was falling in love with an oblivious Franky. In the finale, Liv, desperate to keep Matty, made romantic advances on Franky, but they stopped before it went too far. She finally just broke up with him and he proceeded to go after Franky. They nearly had sex, but she stopped it, likely due to Rape as Backstory. Mini comforted her and the episode ended with no real answer as to whether Franky was still pursuing Matty or if she was moving on.
    • US: Following the pattern of UK's Gen 1, Tony and Michelle are a couple, while Stanley loves Michelle and Cadie loves Stanley. But Tony loves Tea, as does Abbud, while Tea, a lesbian, strikes up a relationship with Betty, but sleeps with Tony. Abbud then sleeps with Daisy.
  • Community descends into this group rapidly.
    • The bare-bone relationships in the first season: Jeff wants to sleep with Britta so he starts a study group to get close to her. Britta thinks he is manipulative and wants to be just friends with Jeff so instead dates Vaughn for a short while. Annie has had a crush on Troy since highschool. Troy not knowing this starts to date Randy (Randy can be a girl's name!). Realizing Troy won't recipricate her feelings, Annie dates Vaughn. Jeff and Britta unsuccessfully try to sabotage Annie's relationship with Vaughn by getting Troy interested in Annie. Jeff starts a comitted relationship with Prof. Slater, his statistic professor. Jeff and Annie share a kiss while participating in debate. Britta drunk dials Jeff. Jeff drunk dials both Britta and Slater. During the last dance of the year Annie breaks up with Vaughn when he moves to a new college. At the same dance Britta and Slater make public professions of love towards Jeff. Jeff runs away from both and moments later makesout with Annie.
    • Down the road, Britta and Jeff have a Secret Relationship, which Annie takes too personally. Later, it becomes clear that Annie and Jeff are very much into each other and in at least one alternate timeline they make out again. Meanwhile, Britta has fallen for Troy who likes her back, but really she'll only ever be second to Abed. Speaking of whom, Abed's curious ability to adopt movie identities once led Annie to make out with his Han Solo persona.
  • iCarly: Carly once dated Freddie, who is in love with her, only for them to break up because Sam told Freddie that Carly's feelings for Freddie were hero worship (he saved her life). Sam has a crush on Spencer, and then later has full blown feelings for Freddie, who enters a relationship with Sam. Gibby has shown interest in Carly and Sam, and had a girlfriend named Tasha, who had an episode where it looked like she cheated on Gibby with Freddie. Melanie, who is Sam's twin sister, had an obvious crush on Freddie, and has kissed him as well. After Freddie rekindles his crush on Carly, the series finale has Carly go up to Freddie and kiss him.
  • Degrassi The Next Generation has so many examples of this, that listing them here would take up the whole page. There was even a commercial on The N (now known as TeenNick) which parodied this. Spinner walked into a South of Nowhere love triangles therapy session, only to be told to go next door. He then walked into a room for love hexagons therapy and sees the cast of Degrassi fighting about who's supposed to be involved with who that week.
  • The ABC show Pushing Daisies has Olive who's in love with Ned, to the point where she's completely oblivious to the affections of Alfredo, It's only after he gets Put on a Bus and leaves (at least partially due to said obliviousness from Olive) that she realizes she might have actually had feelings for him. Olive later begins dating Randy Mann, although her feelings for Ned are still somewhat prevalant. This is shown to make Ned at least a little jealous even though he's deeply in love with Chuck, who, in turn, loves him back. That would all be fine and good except, due to Ned being Blessed with Suck (Or Cursed with Awesome, depending on your interpretation of his abilities) they can't touch. Ever. Then there's Chuck's Aunts, One of whom, Lily, is actually Chuck's mother because she slept with her sister, Vivian's, fiance and Chuck's dad Charles Charles. Also, she tries to kill Vivian's new beau Dwight Dixon. Although that's mostly becuase he turns out to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who's only using Vivian to get to Her supposed-to-be dead neice, Chuck's, pocket watch, which he later tries to get anyway by robbing her grave.
  • Torchwood: Jack is in a relationship with Ianto but also has feelings for Gwen at times. Gwen loves Jack (at least in the earlier seasons) and is married to Rhys, and had an affair with Owen which ended after Owen had a thing with Diane, whose thing for planes overrode her thing for Owen. Andy is in love with Gwen. Tosh was in love with Owen unrequitedly.
    • Around the same time Ianto was clearly involved with Jack, Jack was involved with his namesake in the episode "Captain Jack Harkness".
    • Tosh was also mata hari'ed by an alien dissident terrorist by the name of Mary, and had a fling with Tommy Brockless, a cryo'ed babyfaced soldier from World War One. Once Owen was zombified their relationship seemed to kick up a notch. As usual for Tosh, it ended with heroics and tragedy.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In series 1, Rose is dating Mickey, but then runs off with and falls in love with the Doctor, who loves her back, though nothing really happens. While they're on their travels, Jack turns up, having a crush on both Rose and the Doctor. The Doctor falls in love with Madame du Pompadour while his and Rose's relationship remained unresolved until the end of Series 4 when Rose ends up with a Meta-Crisis, half human Doctor in an alternative universe.
    • In series 3, Jack (who at the time had recently kissed Ianto in Torchwood) and Martha both have unrequited crushes on the Doctor, while the Doctor (in the guise of John Smith) romances Joan Redfern. Martha eventually gets over this and marries Mickey Smith, who also seems to be over his hangups with Rose.
    • And then there's Amy, who likes the Doctor, and Rory, who's in love with Amy. Though Amy and Rory end up getting married and having a child Then there's River, who's in love with the Doctor, who likes her back; and as if that, along with the above, isn't bad enough, Clara comes along into the mix. Word of God says that the Doctor is romantically interested in her as well, and is 'smitten'. Clara, amongst her teasing and playful flirting, has been hinted at loving him back as well ( in the prequel to the episode where she scatters herself into a million pieces across time and space, knowing that she would die, to save the Doctor, no less ), the fact that their relationship is generally that of a domestic, married couple doesn't help the Love Dodecahedron ( Or the shippers )at all.
  • Fringe has steadily been progressing into a rather convoluted dodecahedron: Peter loves Olivia who liked John at first but he died and she liked Peter back but she doesn't remember him as of season 4 and now has a thing for Lincoln who is quite smitten back but is friends with Peter who seems to ship them as well for some reason but Olivia remembered Peter again and now Lincoln is brokenhearted but back in the alternate time line Peter thought that Fauxlivia was Olivia and spent seven episodes enamoured with her even though she was dating Frank but Alternate Lincoln liked her too and seemed to be fond of our Olivia as well when Walternate mind raped her into thinking she was Fauxlivia but in the amber timeline Fauxlivia has broken up with Frank and Lincoln was her "shoulder to cry on" but then he died but the other Lincoln said he'd stay and help and Seth Gabel (who plays Lincoln) ships them so perhaps that will go somewhere. Whew.
  • Don't even get me started on the Spanish cop show Los Hombres De Paco. To make it easy, everyone in the San Antonio Predicate Really Gets Around with each other. There's plenty of office sex to go around since they are all related one way or another. It was nicely lampshaded by Lola in one episode when Silvia was talking to Pepa. Rough English translation:
    Silvia: It's just that between your magnum and your "hot blood", you'd be a good match for Lucas.
    Lola: Don't even start with that. Our family is already complicated enough.
  • The downstairs characters on Downton Abbey, as lampshaded by cook Mrs. Patmore in the page quote. In the first two seasons, footman William loved kitchen maid Daisy, but Daisy was infatuated with first footman Thomas, not realizing that he was, also in Mrs. Patmore's words, "not a lady's man" who had recently been rejected by the duke who was courting Lady Mary. By the third season, Daisy had fallen for new footman Alfred, who was smitten with new housemaid Ivy, who had her eye on the other footman Jimmy, who (probably) cared for no one but himself but was also the object of Thomas's affections.
    • Actually, there have been some signs that Jimmy is (or at least was) interested in Daisy.
  • The characters in Wizards of Waverly Place. Alex and Justin have a complicated relationship, meanwhile Alex is going out with Mason, who in turn confessed his undying love for Juliet, who is also the current girlfriend of Justin, who Harper is a Stalker with a Crush for but who may also love Zeke, and...
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. developed one over the course of Season 1 involving all six (later seven) leads. It started fairly simple: Simmons maybe has a crush on Fitz, who has an unrequited crush on Skye, who has a crush on Ward, who's pursuing May, who might have some lingering feelings over an implied history with Coulson, who's pining for his lost love Audrey (and devoted to his Companion Cube car Lola). Then it starts to break down: Fitz forgets all about Skye a few episodes in after realising he's in love with Simmons, who unfortunately has apparently forgotten that she maybe felt the same way about him at the start since meeting the new guy, Triplett. Meanwhile, Ward and May start sleeping together, but neither is really romantically interested in the other, and Ward admits to romantic feelings for Skye, and the two start tentatively dating. The whole thing resolves neatly into two basic Love Triangles by the last few episodes: May/Ward/Skye in one, Fitz/Simmons/Triplett in the other (Coulson, by now, more or less resigned to loving Audrey from afar while still Faking the Dead). But there's a couple of twists left before the big finale: Ward is revealed as The Mole, effectively ending his relationships with both May and Skye, who now both despise him, while Fitz-Simmons seem finally about to get it together at last, until Fitz ends up in a coma right before the season break. Quite complex for the show's first 22-episode run, isn't it?

    Music 
  • The main character in R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet slowly discovers that he has stumbled into one of these. Flowchart can be found here.
  • Here Comes My Baby by Cat Stevens. Especially apparent in when covered by Sons of Admirals in a music video.
  • The song 'Alter Mann' (old man) by the German fun-whatever band Knorkator features one of these in the first verse.
    Daniela likes Jonas, but he has a thing for Vanessa
    Vanessa would rather be with Lars, but he likes Melanie better
    She on the other hand loves Tim, Tim is on love with Jennifer
    Jennifer on the other hand likes Kevin, but Kevin is... gay
    Tobies has the hots for Annika, and she actually likes him too,
    but the thing is that her best friend also has a crush on him.
  • Moosebutter's song "Doug", which used to be the page quote. To explain how it works, I love you, but you love Doug. I don't really like Doug. Doug loves Martha, but Martha don't really like Doug. Martha loves Brad, but Brad don't really like Doug. Brad loves Sue, but Sue loves truth. Truth don't really like Doug.
  • "I Got It From Agnes". Tom, Agnes, Jim, Louise, Harry, and Marie appear in the first verse alone.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Peanuts: Marcie loves either Charlie Brown or Peppermint Patty, who loves Charlie Brown, who loves the Little Red-Haired Girl. Woodstock loves (or at least is jealous of) Snoopy who loves Marcie. Then you have Lucy who loves Schroeder who loves his piano. Sally loves Linus, who loves Ms. Othmar and/or his blanket.
    • In the the earlier days, Frieda loved Schroeder, and Eudora loved Linus. Linus did eventually get over Miss Othmar and did have crushes on girls his own age (but not Sally). And in the '90s, Charlie Brown had a girlfriend/crush named Peggy Jean... this is so confusing... and nobody is over the age of 10.
  • In Flash Gordon, Flash loves Dale, Dale loves Flash, Ming loves Dale, Aura loves Flash, Barin loves Aura, Ming hates Flash, and everyone hates Ming. Eventually this straightens out when Aura shifts her affections to Barin, and Ming comes to hate Dale almost as much as he hates Flash. Other women such as Freya and Undina also find Flash attractive, which always makes their boyfriends mad at him.

    Tabletop Games 

    Theater 
  • A Little Night Music has a series of interlocking Love Triangles that take in most of the cast.
  • Older Than Steam: William Shakespeare loved Love Dodecahedrons; one found its way into most of his comedies, including Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
  • This also extends to all of the plays, books, and movies based off of said Shakespeare works. One such example is All Shook Up: Chad loves Sandra who hates him and loves Ed who doesn't exist because he's actually Natalie because she wants to be with Chad who's first sidekick is Dennis who loves Natalie whose dad is Jim who loves Sandra and later loves Sylvia who is so jaded that she doesn't love anyone at first but later falls for Jim who gives Dennis advice on how to approach Natalie, who is friends with Lorraine who is in love with Dean who is Matilda's son who hates interracial marriage despite giving birth to a mixed child but later marries her sidekick Earl who is supposed to arrest Chad who later loves Ed/Natalie until he finds out that Ed is actually a woman and runs away. By the end of the musical, Jim is married to Sylvia, Matilda is married to Earl, Dean and Lorraine are dating, Sandra and Dennis (inexplicably) get married despite the age difference, and Chad gets over Natalie being a girl and they marry by compromising "maybe once in a while you can put on that hat and the beard... we'll work something out".
  • In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney loves Lucy. So does the Judge. Mrs. Lovett loves Sweeney, who is indifferent to her. The Judge loves Johanna. Anthony loves Johanna, who loves him back. After that, things get a little confusing.
    • There's also one of the "Parlor Songs":
    Sweet Polly Pluncket saw her life pass
    Flew down the city road crying:
    "I am a lass who, alas, loves a lad who, alas, has a lass loves another lad, who once I had in Canterbury.
    • "Love" is a rather strange word to use about Judge/Lucy and Judge/Johanna. "Lust" is more like it. It depends on the production, but at least in the movie adaptation she doesn't appear very loving.
  • In Wicked, (at least the musical adaptation) Nessa loves Boq, Boq loves Glinda, Glinda loves Fiyero who becomes her boyfriend, and Elphaba and Glinda are best friends, but Elphaba starts to develop feelings for Fiyero. Then Fiyero starts reciprocating those feelings and ultimately breaks things of with Glinda to be with Elphaba. And to make things more complicated, being together doesn't diminish that Elphaba and Fiyero still do care about Glinda. And that's not even getting into any subtext issues. Yikes.
  • The whole point of Aspects of Love. Alex loves Rose who loves his uncle George who loves her back because she looks like his dead wife despite having a mistress, Giulietta. Giulietta and Rose have major Les Yay while Rose and George get married and have a daughter, Jenny. Rose takes on a lover named Hugo while Jenny falls in love with Alex. Alex loves her back but is disgusted since they're cousins. Alex and Giulietta fall for each other while both Rose and Jenny beg Alex not to leave them...and now I've gone crossed eyed.
  • Hair
    Jeannie: This is the way it is. Sheila's hung up on Berger. I'm hung up on Claude. Claude is hung up on a cross between Sheila and Berger. And Berger's hung up everywhere. As a prospective mother I must say something very weird is going on here. And to make it worse, Woof's hung up on Berger.
    Woof: No I'm not. I'm hung up on Mick Jagger.
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie. Millie decides she'll marry her boss...once she gets one. She finally decides on Trevor Graydon. Meanwhile she had Slap-Slap-Kiss with Jimmy and upon realizing her feelings she catches him hanging around her friend Miss Dorothy. Millie tries to go back to Trevor but he has Love at First Sight with Miss Dorothy. Jimmy tries to win Millie back while one of Those Two Guys hanging about falls for Miss Dorothy as well.
  • {{Merchant Of Venice }}Bassanio has something going on with Antonio, marries Portia, who is loved by the Prince of Morocco and others. Then there's Jessica and Lorenzo and Nerissa and Gratiano.

    Video Games 
  • In Breath of Fire IV, Ryu is in love with Nina, who is in love with Clay, who is in love with Elena, who is trapped in a marriage with the evil prince. It was a love daisy chain, only made more disturbing by having Nina and Elena as siblings, and everyone else being different species. Significantly simpler in the orignal, as the Nina's love for Clay was added in the translation.
    • Made all the more complicated in the official manga adaptation, Utsurowazarumono, where Scias' reason for doing a Heel-Face Turn and returning to the party is explained by him developing a big crush on Nina. (In the video game, it's just simply assumed that, due to spending so much time fighting in the party, he developed a bond with everyone.)
  • In The Sims, it's far too easy to set one of these up. It can even happen by accident.
    • Actually, there's a pre-made one in Pleasantview in The Sims 2. Darren is love with Cassandra, who is engaged to Don, who is in love with Nina and has a crush on Nina's sister, Dina. Dina is dating Cassandra's father, Mortimer, who is married to the missing Bella, and who also has a default want to flirt with Nina. Dina was also married to Cassandra's uncle, Michael, before he died. Don also has memories of putting the moves on Cassandra's mother, Bella, just before her alien abduction. Don is also currently having an affair with Kaylynn, the maid. Kaylynn is in turn having an affair with Daniel, who is unhappily married to Mary Sue. Here's a picture for those who couldn't follow that.
  • Fire Emblem 10 has a relationship Dodecahedron in game, updated as the player progresses. A full version can be found here (Major spoilers).
    • Actually letting the player decide how to resolve the love dodecahedron has been a major gameplay/story element since, oh, sometime before they started releasing the games outside of Japan.
  • Most of the routes in Brass Restoration focus on Ryo and his love interest, but Yoshine's route has a Love Dodecahedron as part of the plot.
  • Luminous Arc 2 have one mostly revolves around Roland. He can end up with either Althea or Fatima, while gaining affections, via Intermissions, from Dia (who also have a few Ship Tease with his brother, Rasche), Sadie and Karen, who's oblivious to Ace's interest in her, as well as getting distracted by some of the girls in their Hot Spring Intemissions (Dia, Luna, Ayano, I'm looking at you). Rina, despite being Roland's childhood friend, just Fangirl over Richter.
  • Just look at this chart. At least eight people in love with Shiki plus Arihiko on the side crushing on Ciel and Akiha and possibly the maids. Even the girls at school seem to be somewhat attracted despite not being insane like his other love interests. Shirou is only the center of four-six girls' affections (Mitsuzuri being subtext and Ilya being up to your interpretation, but probably only familial), but there's other entanglements besides his making it even more complicated when you figure in Gilgamesh -> Saber and Bazett -> Lancer and Avenger. Curse you Nasuverse!
  • Lampshaded in the Nancy Drew game Stay Tuned for Danger, where a tabloid newspaper headline refers to Light Of Our Love character Rory's "Love Octagon".
  • One village in Dragon Quest VII features one of these: To pay off her family's debt to the richest family in town, Linda is engaged to their son Iwan. However, Linda really loves Pepe, one of their gardeners. Meanwhile, Maid Kaya loves Iwan, but Iwan is too busy lusting after Linda and fuming with jealousy over her obvious love for Pepe. Notably, things don't work out in the long run.
  • Legend of Mana — Matilda loves Irwin (who sort of loves her back, but since he's a demon he expresses it weirdly), but is also more or less married to her job; Escad loves Matilda; Daena is torn between Matilda and Escad. It ends with everybody except one person dead, Matilda as the Seventh Wisdom, and Irwin wanting to reincarnate himself without any memories of the woman he loves because it was so messy.
  • In Baten Kaitos Origins: "Quadrangle"
  • Thanks to the massive shippers and Memetic Mutation Touhou Fanon often displays all of the characters stuck in this situation. And there's a lot of characters. Here's a fanmade chart to help out. Warning: Ads are NSFW.
  • Ace Combat 04 has the Storyteller Boy crushing on the Barkeep's Daughter, who crushes on Yellow 13, who very much obvlivious to his wingwoman Yellow 4's feelings for him, because he is busy generating Foe Yay towards Mobius 1.
  • In Blaze Union, Siskier has rather obvious feelings for her childhood friend Garlot, who is completely oblivious—partially because he's aware that their other childhood friend Jenon, despite his incurable tendency to flirt with anything that has breasts, has had a crush on Siskier for a long time. Siskier has no idea that Jenon likes her. Garlot himself develops a crush on Nessiah when the latter joins the party, and while Nessiah flirts with him quite a bit, it's ambiguous as to whether or not he's serious about it. So: Nessiah/Garlot/Siskier/Jenon, with crushes going from right to left; also factor in that most of the party is implied at some time or other to have a thing for Garlot and that this flies miles over Garlot's head. The resolution to this situation (when there is one) varies by Road Cone.
  • Smaller version in Theking Of Fighters. Kyo Kusanagi and Yuki are in a relationship already, which goes by Belligerent Sexual Tension in some versions. However, Athena Asamiya is all but stated to be or have been in Unrequited Love with Kyo in the Spin-Off manga and games The King of Fighters KYO (and maybe in the Alternate Universe manga KOF G), whereas Athena's partner Sie Kensou is her VERY clingy Dogged Nice Guy despite how Athena herself sees their bond as Just Friends and either ignores or rejects his love declarations. And in the KOF:KYO manga we also have Takaya Maeta who has a massive crush on Yuki and wins a date with her, as well as Yuki's friend Sanae who encourages Maeta's crush while saying she finds Kyo hot but never directly hitting on him.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Mario and Luigi are both attracted to Peach and Daisy, and the feelings are mutual. Mario also at one point had a girlfriend named Pauline. Bowser is in love with Peach even though she rarely ever returns his feelings except for some Ship Tease in Super Paper Mario. There also are also at least a few other minor character who have been shown to be attracted to the Brothers or Princesses.

    Web Comics 
  • Bittersweet Candy Bowl 's central story is about a love dodecahedron. Mike, a dogged good guy, and Lucy, a tsundre, seem to be destined for each other at the start of the comic, but over time the pair drift apart as Mike finally acknowledges that he is in a Long Distance Relationship with his love from third grade. Mike is a handsome cat, and Daisy, his best female friend other than Lucy, pursues HIM doggedly, while she herself is being pursued by the aloof Augustus and the dogged stalker/white knight Abbey, with Paulo, her best male friend, possibly being interested in her as well, though this is less than clear and if it is so, she is quite oblivious to it. Meanwhile Lucy for her part shares a crush with Paulo, a confident jerk with a heart of gold, but he feels that he would just mess her up further. Several other friends fancy Lucy, including David, a dog who she is completely uninterested in, and Jessica, who is bisexual. Paulo himself is at the center of several female's attention, including his almost girlfriend Tess, an older girl who does not want to commit to a relationship with him despite the two being in love with each other, Rachel, who, being a dog, cannot stay with him if she wants kids, and Jasmine, a younger girl who looks up to him. Further complicating matters, Paulo slept with both Jessica and Rachel, who are Tess's archenemies, and little did he realize at the time, but the pair did it to get back at Tess for wronging them two years ago. The comic creator, Taeshi, actually sells a relationship chart poster in her store.
  • As an Animesque production, MegaTokyo also features its own Love Dodecahedron: Piro is in love with Kimiko; Kimiko is Erika's best friend; Erika is in love with Largo (Piro's roommate); Largo was nearly seduced by Miho, whom he hates and thinks is an undead wench; Miho has a rather ambivalent relationship with Piro, whom she claims is her former lover; Miho is also best friends with Ping, who is Piro's robotic girlfriend.
  • In El Goonish Shive, a rather surreal love dodecahedron is played for both laughs and drama, but has been resolved so that four of the six involved are now in relationships: Elliot with Sarah, and Nanase with Ellen, though whether or not one of those characters (Ellen) qualifies as being in the Dodecahedron is complicated, due to Cloning Blues being involved. Clever way to have Nanase's Loving a Shadow with Elliot end in her finding someone perfect for her, though. The last one, gay Justin, has given up on straight Elliot, and wound up stuck in I Want My Beloved to Be Happy land. Melissa, attached to the Dodecahedron via Justin, doesn't get that he's gay, while Susan, whose Kindred Spirit relationship with Justin is revealed essentially the moment they meet, apparently has some feelings for him but knows she can't pursue them. For a brief period after her splitting off from Elliot, Ellen displayed feelings towards Sarah, though it's implied that she's over it.
    • When you throw magical transformations into the mix it gets even more complex. Elliot's got a spell that can turn him into a superhero and one of three girls (for secret identities), and the shy one has a crush on Justin. Dan, you are cruel.
    • It can get more complicated. While Nanase and Ellen are dating, Ellen shows at least some attraction to Tedd (going as far as admitting that he is sexy and confusing), both Catalina and Matt Cohen asked Susan out on a date, Catalina is currently dating Rhoda, and Melissa has a friends-with-benefits situation with Noah. If you include subtext, Rhoda shows signs of interest in Diane, the prevailing opinion is that Justin's coworker George has a crush on him, Noah gushes over both Grace and Elliot (though there are non-romantic reasons for this), and Susan seems to be attracted to Elliot, of all people. Not exactly something out of place in a high school.
  • Experimental Comic Kotone was designed to incorporate every anime trope in the book — and as such, the unnamed main character is caught in the center of a severe Love Dodecahedron, which is constantly in danger of growing even bigger due to him suffering from the rare Love Sim Syndrome...
  • Avalon: Ceilidh and Joe are the Official Couple, but Joe is primarily interested in Helène, the girlfriend of Alan (who would much rather be with Ceilidh), and secondarily interested in Phoebe, who, if she likes anyone, likes Ceilidh; Ryan and Iain are also interested in Phoebe. Ceilidh herself isn't sure whether she likes Joe, Iain, or Phoebe... but definitely not Alan.
  • Implied in this xkcd comic (though strictly speaking it could just be a cycle or even a collection of disconnected relationships).
    • Perhaps this is a better example?
  • Arthur, King of Time and Space, or at least the Space Arc where everyone is crammed into the same spaceship, is heading in that direction, mostly using canonical relationships. Arthur loves Guinevere but has a child with Morgan. Guinevere loves Arthur and Lancelot. Lancelot loves Guinevere but has a child with Elaine of Carbonek. Galehaut loves Lancelot. It's still relatively easy to follow, but the comic is meant to last twenty-five years...
  • Questionable Content: Marten lives with Faye and is in love with Dora, who's Faye's boss. Faye has a "antagonists-with-benefits" relationship with Sven, who's Dora's brother. And that's just scratching the surface...
    Therapist: Hang on, hang on. I'm gonna get some thumbtacks and colored strings so we can diagram this.
    • The apparently complicated lesbian dodecahedron at the university.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court has slowly revealed that the prior generation is a surprising tangle of former couples and unrequited love. By contrast, all the pairings among Annie's generation are pretty straightforward (even if the exact nature of their relationship isn't).
  • Star Guys has a wonderful one: Jupiter likes Venus, who likes Jupiter back (but neither know), Centauri also likes Venus and wants her back, but Venus is oblivious to him. Meanwhile, Saturn likes Mercury, who likes Neptune, while Earth and Orceus like Ana, who's asexual, and hates Earth. Finally, Pluto likes Mars (who may or may not like him back), whilst Jeeves likes Pluto, despite him stating that he's gay.
  • The Love Scorecard explains things in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!.
  • Homestuck: On Alternia, trolls are biologically hardwired to form love dodecahedrons (they pool genetic material and another species incubates it). As Karkat puts it, "FOUR IS PRETTY MUCH THE MINIMUM VALUE FOR LOVE-HATE N-DRANGLES." They have four types of romance, divided into quadrants depending on whether they are red (compassionate) or black (hateful), and concupiscent or conciliatory (pseudo-platonic). Matespritship () is the closest to the human concept of romantic love; kismesissitude (♠) is passionate, carnal hatred; moirallegiance () is close-knit friendship functioning as someone's better half; and auspisticism (♣) is a three-way relationship in which a mediator prevents two trolls from escalating into kismeses. Trolls are urged to secure mates in every quadrant, which means things can quickly get chaotic and confusing for everyone involved. A volatile love dodecahedron is illustrated in the story itself.==> 
    • Oh, but there's more. ==> 
    • And again... ==> 
    • This gets even more confusing now, and when you put into account the Earth Kids, as detailed in this image.
      • Karkat had a hatecrush on John, and pre-Cascade pesterlogs indicate that he might have been developing flushed feelings for Jade. Meanwhile, Karkat also believes that Vriska is crushing on John, though John is unsure about this when Karkat tells him, and Terezi has been acting rather flirtatiously towards Dave, though when questioned on the subject by Rose, Dave responded that his and Terezi's relationship was nothing more than an "interspecies partnership in incredibly shitty cartooning."
      • And then there's more: ==> 
      • But Wait, There's More! ==> 
      • And that's not all! ==> 
      • It keeps happening! ==> 
      • I warned you about Love Dodecahedrons bro! ==> 
    • Just to complicate things even further, not only does Homestuck accommodate multiple kinds of romance, but also multiple versions of the same person in different timelines, universes, or alternate realities. So while Mom and Dad were in a relationship in the pre-scratch human universe, in the post-scratch universe Mom's alternate self, Roxy, is the same age as Dad's daughter, Jane, and only thinks of him as kinda hot. This leads to a situation in which the whole John/Vriska thing was apparently resolved when Vriska dies and John claims he was never into her, only for it later to turn out that dead!Vriska briefly dated the dead John from the doomed alternate timeline before breaking up with him and dating dead!Tavros instead.
  • All of the major characters in Out There, with the notable exception of John, have at one time or another been infatuated with at least one of the other major characters. Miriam, as the main character, has dated, had flings with, or been otherwise at least temporarily fascinated with no less than 8 major characters: John (unrequited love/lust), Wally (fling, as part of the back story), Chuck ("officially" dated), Clayton (aborted fling), Sherry (unconfirmed, but strongly implied, past fling and/or relationship), Rod (fling), Steven ("officially" dated), and Araceli (infatuation); this doesn't even cover the list of characters (most of them minor or non-recurring characters) who have been at least temporarily captivated by her. While Miriam holds the record in all love/lust categories, Sherry's list is almost as impressive (embarrassing?): Steven (dated, as part of the back story), John (brief, and relatively mild, infatuation during a short period of essentially platonic dating), Chuck (big-time crush, finally culminating in an "official" relationship that is ongoing), Rod (brief interest until he "blew it"), Clayton (one-sided—he wants her, she's repulsed), Araceli (one-sided—Sherry is clueless about Ari's infatuation), and Miriam (unconfirmed). Out There is unabashedly a soap opera.
  • Shortpacked!. Lampshaded, with reference to an earlier invoking and an actual relationship diagram here.
  • Ménage à 3: You'll need a flowchart. See the notes on the comic's own page, which can at least try to keep up with the madhouse; there's little point in duplicating them here. Let's just say that the joke in a guest strip about everyone in Montreal having sex with everyone else looks less excessive by the month.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Code Lyoko. Let's see now... Ulrich loves Yumi, Yumi loves Ulrich, and despite their best efforts, they Cannot Spit It Out. In the meanwhile, Sissi loves Ulrich, and William loves Yumi. Ulrich flat-out hates Sissi, while Yumi is friends with William, but not quite that friendly. Johnny loves Yumi, but he's barely a threat. Hervé loves Sissi, but he's ugly. Théo loves Sissi, but he's a one-episode character. It's mentioned several times that "guys flip over" Sissi (though we never actually see many doing so) and it's implied that Ulrich is popular with the ladies in general. Meanwhile, Odd's dated nearly every girl in the school (and several outside, such as Sam and Brynja), and has a few ship-fueling UST moments with Sissi. Jérémie and Aelita emerge surprisingly unscathed, unless you count Odd's platonic flirtation with the latter.
    • The teachers! Jim liked Yolande after her XANA-created clone kissed him, but it turns out she's engaged. Then Jim and Ms. Hertz have some tense moments, but Hertz is dating some guy named Pedro. And I don't even want to know where Jean-Pierre factors in. In the DS video game, it had been stated at one point that Jim was in love with Nicole Weber, Jean-Pierre's secretary.
    • Milly, who has a big crush on Ulrich in Season 1, and gains herself a suitor in Season 4 with Hiroki, Yumi's younger brother.
    • Also, Aelita is posing as Odd's cousin, or that one time they pulled a Fake-Out Make-Out.
  • Danny Phantom himself has been in a love rectangle, or even pentagon, if you consider secret identity separation. Sam and Valerie both love Danny, who has his eye on Paulina for the first couple seasons, who in turn idolizes the ghost boy, who is actually Danny. (Valerie, for added confusion, hates the ghost boy.) And that's not taking into account Kitty's jealousy ploy with him.
    • Danny himself at one point even uses the phrase "love rectangle."
  • Archer is in a love triangle with Lana and Cyril, as he and Lana have feelings for each other. He's also crushing on his ex-fiance, who may like him back despite dating Barry. Adding to that, Archer and Pam are Friends with Benefits, and Pam had a crush on Lana that culminated with them sleeping together. This is after Cyril had a long-standing affair with Cheryl, who slept with Archer several times, and briefly dated Krieger.
  • Timmy is also in one of these. He is love with Cindy Vortex and Trixie Tang. Also Tootie, Veronica Star and Vicky (when he wished that he was older) are/were in love with him. There are also hints of him having a relationship with Molly. On one of the days of FLARG he started up a relationship with a girl named Carly that resulted in tattoos (which his was a washable one.) Carly was an older woman
  • On The Spectacular Spider-Man, the dynamics of the Midtown High group are enormously complicated, but succinctly: Gwen Stacy and Liz Allan both like Peter Parker, Peter likes Gwen and Liz and also Mary Jane Watson, Mary Jane flirts with Flash Thompson but comes to really like Mark Allen (Liz's brother), Liz has lingering feelings for ex-boyfriend Flash, who finds MJ attractive but then focusses on Sha Shan, Gwen dates Harry Osborn, who previously dated Glory Grant, who left him (somewhat inexplicably) for Kenny Kong, and I'm sure there are others in there.
  • Spiderman The Animated Series also had one — For a while, Mary-Jane and Felicia were both chasing Peter, Felicia doing so despite the fact that she was dating Flash at the time and also dated Jason Macandale (AKA Hobgoblin) for a while. Also, Harry had an unrequited crush on MJ, which later drove him to become the Green Goblin. Eventually, however, it worked itself out — Felicia ended up with Morbius, Flash somehow ended up with Debra, and Peter got MJ.
  • Gargoyles example: Goliath and Elisa are the main couple. However, Goliath had a previous relationship with Demona, a coupling which produced a daughter, Angela. Demona later tricked Macbeth into marrying her while she was really in a relationship with Thailog, Goliath's clone, but Thailog left her for Delilah, a "clone" he made using genetic material from both Elisa and Demona. Delilah later was pursued by both Goliath (as a rebound deal) and Brooklyn, but has apparently chosen Brooklyn's clone Malibu. Brooklyn, on the other hand, has also unsuccessfully pursued Maggie the Cat, who is in a relationship with fellow mutate Talon (Elisa's brother); and Angela, who was also pursued by Lexington and Broadway before beginning a relationship with the latter. Elisa has also showed interest in Jason Canmore and (as a rebound deal) Morgan Morgan.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has this in spades. Where to start...
    • Aang. He's both The Hero, and alphabetically the first character. Aang early on develops affections for one of the other core three characters, Katara. Katara later develops feelings for Aang as well and eventually chooses him. Aang is also the target of a strong crush by Meng, the assistant to the fortune teller Aunt Wu. Also, nearly all of the young girls on Kyoshi island are Aang fangirls, attempting to win his affections.
    • Katara has strong feelings for Aang, but it takes her time to sort out exactly how she feels about him. She also develops an off again on again, sometimes hostile feelings with the freedom fighter Jet. She also, at one point, opens up her heart to angsty Zuko, and considers using the Plot Coupon magic water on him. Some interpretations of the show also hold that her feelings towards Haru the earthbender are romantic.
    • Sokka first becomes romantically attached to Suki, one of the warriors of Kyoshi island, who opens his eyes to the fact that a person can be both a girl, and a warrior. Later on, after they have separated for a time, Sokka develops a strong attachment to Princess Yue, the princess of the Northern Water Tribe. They go on several dates before, as Sokka puts it "My first girlfriend turned into the moon."note  After leaving the north pole, they pick up the fourth member of their four kid band, the earth bending master Toph Bei Fong. She eventually develops a one-sided affection for Sokka. Acrobatics and pressure points master Ty Lee definitely thinks that Sokka is cute, and is quite flirtatious with him, even in the middle of combat. At several points in the series Sokka returns at least some measure of the flirting. Suki later joins the group on a more permanent basis, and the two get together. Then there's the way he treats his boomerang...
    • Prince Zuko is in love with with Mai, the daughter of a bureaucratic noble family, and member of Azula's three girl band. In one episode Zuko also becomes involved with Jin, a girl from the earth kingdom city of Ba Sing Se.
    • In the simplest terms possible - the Avatar fandom has paired everyone with everyone else at some point or another. So, naturally, all the above mentioned dodecahedrons and then some tend to show up.
    • Sequel Series The Legend of Korra has one between Big Fun Bolin who likes The Hero Korra at first sight, Korra, who likes Bolin's Tall, Dark and Snarky older brother Mako, and Mako, who fell hard for and is dating, Uptown Girl Asami but also discovers he himself has some feelings for Korra. The first three comprise a pro-bending team, which Asami, as a pro-bending Fangirl and Mako's girlfriend, has talked her wealthy father into sponsoring in the local Tournament. Not surprisingly, the quadrangle causes both personal and professional trouble when one party decides to make a move on another, and is witnessed by a third, who is devastated.
      • And now Meelo has entered the picture with a crush on Asami as well.
      • Appears to have been resolved by the end of Book One, with Mako and Korra falling in love, Bolin getting over his crush, and Mako and Asami breaking up. Bolin and Asami voice actors PJ Byrne and Seychelle Gabriel even jokingly complained to creators Mike and Bryan about being cut out of the dodecahedron in a Comic Con interview.
      • As of Season 3 Korra and Mako are broken up for good and Mako and Asami are also broken up due to his behavior and inability to be in a committed relationship at the time of this writing (30 JUL 14). Both girls are now better friends who bond over their shared crush and Mako's awkwardness around them both until episode 3 or 4 of the new season when they confront him and he admits he's trying to figure out how to act around them in a just friends way. Bolin has a new love interest introduced named Opal who is one of the new Air Benders who has left to study under Tenzin. Who's daughter Jinora has her own new love interest named Kai. Tenzin is none to happy about this by the way ...
  • Jimmy from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron has his original love interest, Betty Quinlin, who seemed to have a "aw he's cute, but it'll never happen" attitude towards him. There's Cindy. He falls for a pretty girl at the rodeo (along with Sheen and Carl, who battle with him for her affections). In "Win Lose Kaboom", he gets in a brief relationship with a Green-Skinned Space Babe named April, much to his main love interest's dismay.
  • Hey Arnold!. Let's see, Brainy likes Helga, who likes Arnold, who likes Ruth. Later, Arnold likes Lila, who doesn't like like him back but does like like his cousin Arnie, who has a girlfriend Lulu who likes Arnold who likes Hilda who likes Arnie and... ugh! Lulu and Hilda were All Just a Dream. Which makes this both more and less confusing.
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures is a complicated case of this. Pepper has a crush on Gene and Tony with hints that she may feel something for Rhodey. Whitney has feelings for both Tony and Rhodey. Tony has an almost romantic life long friendship with Rhodey, clearly cares about both Whitney and Pepper very much, fanboys Gene Khan almost constantly until the end of season one, and yet Tony will also flirt with anything that moves. Gene is obsessed with Tony and may or may not have feelings for Pepper. Rhodey is Tony's most trusted and reliable friend (who he lives with) and has a crush on Whitney, though his feelings towards Pepper are mostly platonic. Mostly.
  • Total Drama World Tour develops a lot of this by the end. Originally, Gwen was with Trent. Trent's friend Cody also liked her, but decided to help them hook up instead. Eventually Gwen and Trent broke up, though, partially because Trent thought that Gwen had an attraction to Duncan, who was dating Courtney. Then in season three Cody wants another shot with Gwen, but instead she does hook up with Duncan, leaving a heartbroken Courtney to begin crushing on Alejandro, who has a Slap-Slap-Kiss / Will They or Won't They? romance with Heather even as he manipulates Bridgette (who's with Geoff), Leshawna (who's off-and-on with Harold) and to a smaller extent Lindsay (who's off-and-on with Tyler). Cody also picks up a Stalker with a Crush in Sierra, and for added fun we get some random Ship Tease of Noah/Bridgette and an Operation Jealousy where Courtney pretends to be crushing on Tyler.
    • Shockingly, this makes Izzy / Owen the most stable couple on the show. (Incidentally, they broke up that season with significantly less drama, due to one of Izzy's Split Personalities. They might be back together.)
  • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers with its many one-shot characters: Both Chip and Dale have the hots for Gadget who in turn seems to be interested in Sparky ("Does Pavlov Ring a Bell?"). Then there is Foxglove ("Good Times, Bat Times") who is in love with Dale, Tammy ("Adventures in Squirrelsitting") who has a mad teenage crush on Chip, and Rat Capone ("The S.S. Drainpipe") who wanted Gadget to be his moll. Not that Monty and Zipper don't have their own respective Love Triangles.
  • On Young Justice, Wally likes M'gann who likes Superboy. Artemis also likes Superboy. However, it soon becomes clear that both Wally and Artemis actually like each other, but won't admit it. Meanwhile Wally also flirts with any other woman he meets, Artemis has a bit of Ship Tease with her old friend Icicle Jr., and fans interpret both of them as having sexual tension with Robin, who likes Zatanna. Zatanna likes him back, but so does Barbara Gordon, who appears to be jealous when she sees him with Artemis. Then Icicle Jr. starts flirting with M'gann while she's disguised as Shimmer.
  • The "Mayhem of the Music Meister!" episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold features one of these. Green Arrow and The Music Meister both have their eyes on Black Canary. Black Canary is all about Batman. Batman loves fighting crime. (Well, and Catwoman, but she wasn't in that episode.) Thankfully, Green Arrow and Black Canary, the most sane of these people, get together in the end.
  • In Superjail!, the Warden has an unrequited crush on Alice, who is an Abhorrent Admirer to an inmate she likes to call "Sweetcheeks". Meanwhile, Warden shares Belligerent Sexual Tension with the Mistress, who dated Lord Stingray for a while before breaking up with him and then slept with Alice at the end of the season 3 premiere. And don't even get us started on how Warden gravitates toward the Hunter. Lord Stingray himself is the target of Warden's obsession and had a wife Mistress Kilda who had a boyfriend Columbo. (Eventually, Alice killed off Mistress Kilda during the three-way battle against Lord Stingray's and General Stars 'n Stripes's troops.)
  • Surprisingly, [2]. Stan likes Wendy, who likes him (At first) but also seems interested in Gregory and (for one episode) Cartman, who says he has a crush on a girl named Patty Nelson. Wendy goes on to date Token, who later dates Nichole, who likes Kyle, who earlier on had liked a girl named Rebecca and was the object of a crush from Bebe, who left him for Clyde, who later dates Lisa, who liked Butters, who had earlier dated a girl named Lexus. Not to mention all the Ho Yay between Stan, Kyle, Cartman and Butters.
  • Detentionaire has a few tangled webs of relationships, which is pretty typical for a High School Dramedy. The introduction of a Mind-Control Conspiracy in Season 2 Brainwashing several students into asking out unusual date choices only served to make the whole mess even more confusing.

    Real Life 
  • These aren't as uncommon as one might think. This sort of thing can happen in any social circle or group of friends. Especially with teenagers.
  • In Carrie Fisher's memoir, Wishful Drinking, she has a chart indicating all of her parents' marriages, and her siblings, step-siblings, etc.
  • The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was eaten up with this trope. Dante Gabriel Rossetti married his model Elizabeth Siddal, but also had an affair with another model, Jane Burden, who married another artist, William Morris. Rossetti also had an affair with Annie Miller, a barmaid and the fiancee of artist William Holman Hunt. Hunt took her back, but finally broke off the engagement when Annie became involved with the 7th Viscount Ranelagh. Annie Miller ended up married to Ranlagh's cousin while Hunt married Fanny Waugh, and after her death, remarried to Fanny's sister Edith. His colleague, the sculptor and poet Thomas Woolner, had also been in love with Fanny Waugh; he married Alice Waugh, the third sister of Fanny and Edith. Meanwhile, John Everett Millais fell in love with Effie Gray, who was still a virgin despite being married to critic John Ruskin. They wed after she left Ruskin.
  • Simone de Beauvoir and Jean Paul Sartre, who had been in a lifelong relationship, are known to have been involved in one as de Beauvoir made it the basis for her novel She came to stay. It involved one of de Beauvoir's teenage students in whom Sartre had been interested, but being ignored he turned to her sister, who eventually ended up marrying one of de Beauvoir's former lovers. It's unknown what part he played in it, but the whole thing was the reason that ended Sartre's friendship with Albert Camus.
  • Two days after Barack Obama was reelected, CIA Director and Four-Star Badass David Petraeus became the focus of a still-expanding Love Dodecahedron. It cost him his job, may put his biographer in jail (for removing classified materials), could sink or derail a number of military careers, deal a blow to American intelligence efforts and effectiveness around the world at a crucial time, and provided plenty of fodder for late-night comedians who thought that they had lost a mother lode at Mitt Romney's election loss.


So if the love is altruistic, does that make it a Platonic Solid?


Living PolyhedronGeometry TropesMagic Square Puzzle
Lookalike LoversEnsemblesLovely Angels
Local HangoutPt/Índice de TraduçãoLove Triangle
LoliconYuri GenreSlice of Life
Love Across BattlelinesOlder Than SteamMad Scientist
Loser ProtagonistHarem GenreLover Tug of War
Imaginary Love TriangleLove TriangleMuggle and Magical Love Triangle
Love ConfessorLove TropesLove Epiphany
Lethal Harmless PowersImageSource/Web ComicsMistaken for Pregnant

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