Love me! Why, it must be requited.
So let's say Alice and Bob have had some Unresolved Sexual Tension
since forever. Everyone Can See It
- how Bob hopelessly pines after Alice day after day but doesn't dare act on it, because Alice has declared that she has no feelings besides friendship for Bob, which is probably true - until Alice somehow hears via Exact Eavesdropping
, from another person or from Bob himself
, that Bob has feelings for her.
Alice, naturally, is shocked. All of a sudden, she's looking at Bob differently, and is starting to feel something different for him, too!
This trope comes in two flavors:
- Alice already had feelings for Bob, but it took hearing Bob's feelings for her to realize them.
- Alice begins to develop feelings after she hears that Bob likes her.
This often is a cue for a long-overdue Relationship Upgrade
in a She Is Not My Girlfriend
situation. A common variation is to have Alice fall for Bob after hearing that he has feelings for her despite Bob not actually having feelings for her; often this set-up is Played for Laughs
A subtrope of Love Epiphany
. If Alice realizes her feelings for Bob after he confesses to Cheryl instead, that's Green-Eyed Epiphany
. The inverse of this is Entitled to Have You
, in which Bob loves Alice and expects Alice to love him back. This trope can sometimes lead to Unrequited Love Switcheroo
Anime and Manga
- At the end of the first season of Gundam 00, when the UN Forces attack Celestial Being, Lichty uses his body to shield Christina from a blast fired at the Ptolemy by a GN-X. Due to the injuries he sustained, Lichty's cybernetic body is badly damaged and torn apart, with the boy on the verge of death. It is through this action that Christina (who previously maintained a professional relationship with Lichty despite knowing of his interest in her) realizes how great a guy Lichty really is and returns his feelings of love. Sadly, both die soon afterward.
- Makoto and Chiaki from The Girl Who Leapt Through Time are of the UST variety; Makoto's denial over the fact that Chiaki asked her out sets off the rest of the story as well as culminates in her ultimately accepting her feelings for him.
- The anime finale of Cardcaptor Sakura revolves around Syaoran finally confessing his love for Sakura, who ultimately requites the feeling and spends most of the closing movie trying to do the same. While established as being Oblivious to Love, Sakura's closeness towards Syaoran had been developed throughout the series, and punctuated by being rejected by her own unrecognized crush, Yukito.
- Toradora!: A major plot point that Taiga was confessed to by Kitamura and only started to develop feelings for him after that.
- Fumiya from Wandering Son had always shown attraction to Saori but it wasn't until after he begged her to go on a date with him that she agreed to dating him. Saori isn't the best of girlfriends but there isn't much to say that she doesn't love him back.
- What happens in Air Gear between Ikki and Ringo is an example of the first type. The two had known each other since they were children, and though they both cared about one another, Ikki only really thought of Ringo as a really good friend while she was so blatantly in love with him it was almost painful. It didn't help that Ikki was Oblivious to Love and had two other love interests that were more attractive than Ringo was. However, when she finally managed to confess to him, he was completely shocked, and after thinking about it for a while, he realizes that he feels the same way, and a relationship upgrade happens soon afterwards.
- This happens in Frozen when Olaf reunites with Anna after she realizes her love of Hans wasn't true love. When she says she doesn't know what love is, Olaf says Kristoff loves her; this makes Anna realize her feelings for him.
Live Action TV
- Subverted in Anne of Green Gables, Gilbert Blythe confesses his love to Anne Shirley in the book Anne of the Island, hoping she will return his love when he finally speaks to her about it. Anne is still Oblivious to Love (in this case, her own love for Gil) and so she refuses his declaration of love/marriage proposal. (They end up together anyway.)
- In The Sleeping Beauty Godmother Lily doesn't realize she's developed feelings for Jimson until Jimson accidentally calls her "my love".
- Mentioned in High Fidelity, when Rob thinks about how he tends to look at someone differently after finding out they're interested in him.
- In The History of Middle-earth, this is how Tolkien describes Finwe falling in love with Indis, who has loved him for a long time, after the death of his first wife Miriel.
...and when Indis saw Finwe climbing the paths of the mountain (and the light of Laurelin was behind him as a glory) without forethought she sang suddenly in a great joy... And when Finwe heard that song falling from above he looked up and saw Indis in the golden light, and he knew in that moment that she loved him and had long done so. Then his heart turned at last to her, and he believed that this chance, as it seemed, had been granted for the comfort of them both. 'Behold!' he said. 'There is indeed healing of grief in Aman!'
- In Frasier, Daphne starts to develop feelings for Niles once she finds out that he has feelings for her.
- Done second hand in Friends. Rachel develops feelings for Ross after Chandler accidentally spills the beans about Ross's love of Rachel while Ross is in China. She decides she loves him too and goes to meet him at the airport when he comes back, only to discover he's got a new girlfriend.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Odo was friend-zoned by Kira until in "Children of Time," when a parallel version of Odo tells her he loves her. From that point on, Kira begins to develop feelings for him over several more episodes.
- An episode of The Mindy Project featured Danny 'accepting' his feelings for Mindy after inferring (incorrectly) that she was romantically interested in him.
- Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing are tricked into falling in love because each believes that the other is in love with them.
- In Penny and Aggie, Aggie becomes attracted to Penny when Penny reveals her own interest in her during a parlor game. As becomes clear from subsequent, similar moments early in their relationship, the reason Aggie only now has romantic feelings for her is that Penny, in confessing her interest, is also showing Aggie her vulnerable side for the first time.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, Kat has been questioning her sexuality for some time. However, she doesn't have feelings for her classmate Paz specifically until Paz sends her a Love Letter, then confesses in person and suggests they go on a date sometime.