King Harold: You can't force someone to fall in love!Ah, the Love Potion. Not since the Eskimo Freezer was patented has there ever been such a useless invention. Not that love potions are ineffective, mind you; it's just that they rarely ever work as intended, to the point where one wonders why a character would even bother to use them at all. When you see someone employ a Love Potion these days, you almost expect it to fail. It should be a Discredited Trope by this time, but for some reason, even the most Genre Savvy of characters continue to use Love Potions, with said potions continuing to cause far more trouble than they're worth. If the plan for using the Love Potion is actually well thought out and shouldn't go wrong, expect some Contrived Coincidence to ensure that it does. The Love Potion comes in three general forms:
Fairy Godmother: I beg to differ. I do it all the time!
Fairy Godmother: I beg to differ. I do it all the time!
— Shrek 2
- Love First Person Sighted potion
- Love Only Person X (often containing a hair or other piece of Person X) concoction
- Get In Touch With Your Wild Side aphrodisiac
- Anime and Manga
- Comic Books
- Fan Works
- Films — Live-Action
- Live-Action TV
- Tabletop Games
- Video Games
- Web Comics
- Western Animation
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- Helga tries to rekindle the love of Hägar the Horrible to her twice. Once, she puts a love potion in his soup, and he immediately shouts how he loves - the soup. Another time, she puts an amulet of love under his pillow. Which he falls in love with.
Films — Animation
- Defied in Aladdin: Genie states that one of his rules is that he can't make people fall in love. Young children watching might think this is just a lame cop-out to keep from resolving the plot too easily, but older viewers will understand that this would be rape plain and simple. Later, when Jafar has the lamp, he wishes for Jasmine to fall in love with him. Just as Genie tries to explain that he can't do that, Aladdin sneaks in to steal the lamp back; Jasmine sees him and suddenly begins to flirt with Jafar as a distraction, to Genie's complete confusion.
- Shrek 2 has one of these. (If you look carefully, you'll see that the bottle has "IX" written on it.) Fiona's fairy godmother orders the king to pour it into Fiona's drink so that she will fall in love with Prince Charming instead of Shrek. It doesn't work because the king decides not to give Fiona the potion-laced drink after seeing how much she loves Shrek.
Fairy Godmother (furious): HAROLD! You were supposed to give her the potion!
King Harold (smugly): Well, I guess I gave her the wrong tea.
- The main conflict of Strange Magic is formed around a love potion. Making one is incredibly difficult since you need the petal of the primrose flower which only grow on the border of the Dark Forest and are constantly being cut down by the mooks of the Bog King. The only one who can turn the petal into the potion is the Sugar Plum fairy, whose imprisoned by the Bog King. He really, really doesn't want there to be love potions. He's got practical concerns since it can and does lead to chaos, but his real reason is that the love potion failed to work for him since true love overpowers the potions.
- The song "Love Potion #9" (recorded first by The Clovers and then The Searchers, among others) plays with this trope, illustrating why, if you ever get your hands on a love potion, you should not test it on yourself.
- In the song "Funky Cold Medina" by Tone Loc, the singer attempts to be Genre Savvy by testing the eponymous substance on his dog. If he'd paid proper attention to the results, he would have realized that it doesn't work exclusively on the opposite sex rather than having to figure that out the hard way. He continues using it anyway until he finds out that some of the people he's using a Love Potion on will react by wanting to marry him in addition to having sex with him.
- Averted in The Spider Cliff Mysteries: Katherine Sprawling's use of a love potion on Thomas Elkwood hit the correct person and resulted in a 30 year marriage. Annabelle's attempt at using a potion appears to have failed due to the intended target being forewarned about the exact mode of delivery.
- Supermarioglitchy4s Super Mario 64 Bloopers:
- In "Peachosal Love", after Mario's final attempt to get Peach to love him fails thanks to "gay Bob-ombs", he attempts this with help from Merlon. Unfortunately, it turns Peach into a raging monster.
- In "Awkward Weddings", Mario and Luigi get a love potion from the Rock Wizard so that Peach and Daisy would fall in love with them. Unfortunately, they fail to hear the warning about the first person in the drinker's sight being their love (because an old man in a bathtub ran over the wizard); as a result, it backfires horribly, with instead SMG4 and X being the first people Peach and Daisy see, which almost results in them getting married. Thankfully, Ruffman 8890 (the Rock Wizard's crazed assistant), who was demanding who used all of his toilet paper at the time, farted, breaking the spell.
- Erikas New Perfume's eponymous perfume seems to work like this, among doing other things — since it was used on them both Erika and Sarah have found someone, and Marie seems to have found a boy she likes to pick on too.
- From the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, Ambrosia is a living Love Potion. She emits super-powered pheremones that cause men to just lose their cotton-picking minds, falling all over themselves to make her happy. The power has made her very, very cynical about the opposite sex.
- The story thread "Lust Dust" on the Anime Addventure features a powerful aphrodisiac that makes a mess of many, many relationships.
- In Receiver of Many golden arrows shot by Eros are very potent in igniting love and desire. Even being close to one can make someone aroused against their will. Being simply scratched by the arrow causes Hades to obsess over Persephone. If it has actually reached its target – his heart – he would probably be driven mad with need and snatch her away and had sex with her the moment he found her.
- In the Super Mario Logan episode, "The Love Potion!", Cody invents a love serum for Bowser Junior to inject into Britknee, the newest student, to get her to fall in love with him. However, there are two catches; once injected, she falls in love with the first person she sees (who happens to be Jeffy), and after a few hours, the serum turns her into a dragon.