Love Revelation Epiphany

"Love me! Why, it must be requited."
Benedick, Much Ado About Nothing

Two characters have had some sort of Ship Tease, but there's no sign of it progressing to a Relationship Upgrade. Likely, one character will have feelings for the other, but are resigned to All Love Is Unrequited — until the other character somehow hears (from another person directly or indirectly or from a Love Confession) they have feelings for them.

They're shocked. All of a sudden, they begin to look at the other character differently, resulting in them beginning to have feelings, 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 or Unresolved Sexual Tension situation. A common variation is to have one fall for they other after hearing that they has feelings for them despite there not actually being feelings involved; 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. If the timing isn't right and Alice realizes her feelings after Bob has moved on, it's Unrequited Love Switcheroo.

Examples

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     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.
  • Naruto realizes the true nature of his feelings for Hinata in The Last after finding out the depth of her feelings for him. Justified, as Naruto had an emotionally-stunted childhood that made him unable to comprehend romantic love (and other social graces, for that matter). Thus, when the girl that has been in love with him nearly all her life (seemingly) betrays him (in order to get a better chance to save her sister), right after he confessed to her, Naruto does not take it well, and it takes Sakura shoving in the fact that Hinata has only ever had eyes for him for Naruto to snap out of it.
    • Shikamaru has one in Shikamaru Hiden, where he realises that he actually loves and wants to protect Temari. It's what helps him resist Gengo's charm and find the strength to fight against him.
  • Played for Drama in The World God Only Knows. While it was never openly shown throughout the story, some readers view Keima's Tears of Remorse in FLAG 189 over breaking Chihiro's heart as evidence of this.

     Fan Works 
  • A Crown Of Stars: Intending to help them to fix their relationship, Daniel talked Asuka about how much she meant to Shinji and how much he had done for her, and he revealed Shinji that Asuka constantly dropped hints that she liked him, but he missed them all.
  • Advice And Trust: Subverted. Misato thinks that Shinji and Asuka are oblivious to each other's feelings and in the Prologue she tries to make Shinji realizing Asuka loves him. Ironically they had gotten together several weeks ago and had kept their relationship a secret.
  • Evangelion 303: In chapter 5 Jessika often teases Asuka about her liking Shinji. At the beginning Asuka denies it vehemently and refuses to admit it to herself, but due to her friend's prolonged teasing she starts to second-guess herself and realizes she really likes Shinji.
  • The One I Love Is: In chapter 1 Rei gave Shinji chocolates. In reaction Asuka got beyond mad, yelled him and slapped him. Then she cried and ran out of the class. And Shinji had absolutely no idea of why. Later Hikari yelled him he was a blind, thick-headed idiot and told him that Asuka loved him. Shinji was shocked because he liked Asuka but he could not believe she was interested in him.
  • Shatterheart: While R!Syaoran and Kurogane have a close relationship, Kurogane remained indecisive on what his feelings for him were. It isn't until Syaoran confesses his love, thinking they were going to die that Kurogane realizes he loves Syaoran.
  • Thousand Shinji: Shinji realized Touji and Hikari had a crush on each other but were completely oblivious to each other's feelings. He took great pains to make amazingly dense Touji noticing Hikari's feelings.

     Film  

  • 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.
  • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa: When Gloria discovers the true depths of Melman's feelings for her (As he tells her current suitor Moto Moto about how lucky he is to have her), she soon realises she feels the same way.
  • Happens in the Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama. After Ron says, in his own roundabout way, that he has feelings for Kim, she begins to realize that she does too.

     Literature  

  • 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 Warrior Cats, Fireheart starts falling for Sandstorm after Cinderpaw tells him everybody can see that Sandstorm is very much into him.

     Live Action TV  

  • 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.
  • Mad Men of all shows does this with Peggy realizing she's in love with Stan after he confesses to her

     Theatre  

  • 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.

     Webcomics  

  • 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.
  • In Homestuck, Jake was initially shocked when he realised that his friend Dirk had feelings for him, but the more he thought about it the more he realised that the idea of them dating wasn't nearly so ridiculous as it had seemed at first, and he eventually asked him out. It's ultimately subverted, though - while Jake does seem to be bi, it soon became very obvious that he never had any true feelings for Dirk, and only forced himself to try it out because he was sure Dirk would push for them to date either way.