Love Hungry

"YOU'RE... GOING TO LOVE ME!"
Fluttershy, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, "The Best Night Ever"

Love is something best given freely, not demanded; it's something that has to be earned and worked at to keep alive, not a one sided entitlement. However, the Love Hungry character didn't get the memo. They are so insecure, greedy, and/or starved of affection, they don't care: they want absolute, unconditional, and perpetual love, and feel that the ends justify the means. They won't settle for being merely loved by others, but in having their love enslaved to always do so. Even a genuinely kind person may become Love Hungry by being broken by fear of losing their love, anger at rejection, jealousy for another's love, or a narcissistic desire to be the most loved.

This character may try to gain love through sabotaging other's relationships, deception, manipulation, propaganda, or even murder. If they lack this finesse or get really desperate, they may kidnap the person(s) that they want to love them and try to create Stockholm Syndrome. Of course, this Tragic Dream usually gets the opposite result, with the target becoming angry or fearful and rejecting the Love Hungry. The presence of magic and powers usually means that Love Is in the Air, Charm Person, and Glamours will be used to create this forced love.

This plot usually has An Aesop about not forcing others to love you, and many characters who try this regret doing so before long and return wiser to the Status Quo. If they don't, it usually means they'll do a Face-Heel Turn before long.

Compare Yandere, who is violent about keeping their lover. Compare All Take and No Give, where the taker tries to force someone into loving and serving them. See also Love Makes You Evil and Love Makes You Crazy. Relate to Happiness Is Mandatory and Getting Smilies Painted on Your Soul, where happy emotions are forced on others. For a more literal take, see Emotion Eater. For a non-villainous version, see I Just Want to Be Loved. See also Dogged Nice Guy.

Examples:

Anime and Manga:
  • In the backstory material for Code Geass, CC, then a young slave, who is adorable but has never had a best friend, wishes that everyone would love her. It quickly becomes a Be Careful What You Wish For tale as she learns that if you force everyone to love you, then none of it will be genuine. Full spoilers here.
  • Greg in A Cruel God Reigns. He is convinced that if he whips and rapes Jeremy enough, he will come to love him. Greg believes that everyone loves him, and therefore so should Jeremy, but it kind of backfires on him and Jeremy eventually tampers with his car and kills him.
  • Oonagi in Copernicus Breathing, although he doesn't do this outright to Bird's Nest at the beginning. At first he is kind to him, but when Bird's Nest starts falling for his old circus co-worker Leo, Oonagi ties him up for days, demanding his love.
  • In the second half of Princess Tutu, Mytho's emotion of Love is corrupted by the blood of the Raven king. Rather than "a prince who loves all and is loved by all", he demands that people love him, and hate everyone else.

Fan Works

Film - Live-Action
  • In Citizen Kane, this is Kane's big problem. The only thing he wants out of life is love, but he wants it on his own terms.
    Susan: Love! You don't love anybody! Me or anybody else! You want to be loved - that's all you want! "I'm Charles Foster Kane. Whatever you want - just name it and it's yours! Only love me!" Don't expect me to love you.
  • Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith for Padme's love. Even more explicit in Matt Stover's novelization, where Anakin reacts angrily and violently towards any perceived threat to his relationship with Padme.

Film - Western Animation:
  • In The Rescuers, Babysitter from Hell Madame Medusa lampshades this. Penny might have been willing to accept Medusa as a foster parent if Medusa had not prioritized obtaining the MacGuffin over Penny's safety. Spoilers here.
    Madame Medusa: Snoops, you don't have a way with children. (sweetly) You must gain their confidence... make them like you.
    Snoops: Yeah? How do you do that?
    Madame Medusa: (angrily) You FORCE them to like you, idiot!

Literature
  • Rare, heroic example - The Child-Goddess Aphrael from David Eddings' Sparhawk setting. Rather than 'romantic' love, she aims for 'parental' affection, but it's no less binding, and she's perfectly ruthless about it, going so far as to be incarnated as Sparhawk's biological daughter, just so she'd have a stronger hold over him. To be fair, she does love him herself and tends to spread her love around; most people actually love her because she truly is a good person who cares for others (and as a deity, she treats her worshippers benignly).
    • The Belgariad provides a darker example. The Big Bad God of Evil, Torak, is driven by the need to be loved, by which he forces his people to make Human Sacrifice to appease him. At the climax of the series, he attempts to use his godly will to force Polgara to become his willing bride, and her ability to refuse him is what causes him to be defeated. Afterward, it's revealed that the other gods and his mother the Universe did love him, but he couldn't recognize it because he was so essentially narcissistic and self-centered that to him love meant obedience and abasement.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, this is what would become of Galadriel if she had succumbed to the Ring and claimed it for her own. The former page quote is Galadriel's way of telling Frodo this.
  • In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, it's revealed that Voldemort's mother, Merope Gaunt, was desperately in love with Tom Riddle Sr. So much so that she used a love potion to get him to elope with her. Tragically, she grew to want him to genuinely love her and released him from the effects of the potion. Once released, he fled, leaving her with their unborn child. Her Death by Childbirth (possibly due to a combination of complications, depression, homelessness, and a broken heart) left her son an orphan.

Music

Tabletop RPG
  • One of the vignettes in Demon The Fallen has a recently released demon in possession of a human woman (it's closer to a Mental Fusion). She's tempted by an Eldritch Abomination with enough power to get everything she wants, and part of that included mentally enslaving her already loving husband to never stop loving her. Like Galadriel, she realizes the vision is ultimately hurtful and refuses.

Video Games
  • In Grand Theft Auto V, Trevor Philips has this as one of his primary character traits, due to his combination of Ax-Crazy personality and weapons-grade abandonment issues.

Web Comics
  • Amical from morphE. Consider that he gets upset if he suspects that his beloved seedlings do not adore him. When they call him out on being a kidnapper and a murderer he breaks down in tears. He is exceptionally eager to please.
  • Show to be the main tract of The Sues in Ensign Sue Must Die, starting around the final moments of Wrath of Sue to then be completely explored in Crisis of Infinite Sues. After being left powerless and imprisoned out of frustration by Kirk, Ensign muses that all she wanted is to belong in their stories and to be loved. She then comes to realize that forcing others into loving you is not real love at all, and tries to get this idea into her Mother, God Sue/Lt. Sue's head with no results. Made more ironic when it's revealed that, despite all her claims of being a benevolent being who loves Spock with all her heart, God Sue is actually incapable of loving, and only cares about her love hunger being satisfied.

Web Video

Western Animation
  • On one episode of The Fairly OddParents due to Timmy's Wish, he and Trixie are the only two male and female left on the planet, and although Timmy initially enjoys being with his Love Interest due to Trixie's attention demanding personality, she wants Timmy to show her the attention that normally lots and lots of people would give to her, eventually exploding into full-on Yandere mode.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Best Night Ever," Fluttershy tries to get the woodland creatures around the gala to come to her in a Friend to All Living Things fashion. For some reason, they're all scared of her (she usually can get wild animals to flock to her and sing on cue), and she slowly cracks to the point of trying to capture them all, culminating in causing a stampede of wild animals fleeing her in terror and ending with the page quote.
    • A non-romantic version of this (similar to Galadriel's under Lord of the Rings above) serves as the main motivation behind Princess Luna's backstory. She wanted to be as loved and appreciated as her sister and wanted her night to be as loved and appreciated as the daytime. Her plan to achieve this? Muck about with dark magics (which may or may not have possessed her) in order to become stronger than her sister, install herself as Equestria's sole ruler, and institute everlasting night in the hopes that finally her subjects would come to appreciate and love her and her night. Nevermind that most of Equestria's population would have starved and/or frozen to death had she suceeded...
    • Pinkie gets an example in A Friend In Deed. Pinkie feels compelled to become friends with every single resident in Ponyville, and judging by this episode (and a few others), she is. Until Cranky Doodle Donkey arrives in town and wants nothing to do with her. Hijinks Ensue.