So your favorite couple is in the middle of a deeply romantic scene. The camera zooms, the lighting is perfect, and the music swells up. Chances are, the music playing is the couple's love theme. May also be designated as such in official soundtracks. This music can take on several forms, depending on the characters involved, the setting, and the story moment when it is played. If it plays over a deeply romantic scene like a Big Damn Kiss or a Grand Romantic Gesture, it's likely to be an epic, sweeping heartwarming moment. However, it may also be a Tear Jerker if played over a breakup, a Last Kiss, or when one lover dies in the other's arms. Many themes end up as both a CMoH and a tear jerker at some point. In musical theater, such a theme is likely to show up as Duet Bonding and then repeat instrumentally. Compare Love at First Note, Dance of Romance, Duet Bonding, and Falling in Love Montage. Subtrope of Leitmotif. Not to be confused with themed love.
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- Disney movies do this a lot, often with the song being played in full once and then in instrumental snippets over other romantic scenes.
- The titular song from Beauty and the Beast
- "A Whole New World" from Aladdin
- Tangled's "I See the Light"
- Cinderella: "So This is Love", sung while Cinderella and Charming are having their Dance of Romance.
- Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has Prince Charming sing "One Song" to Snow White.
- "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" from The Lion King.
- "Love Is An Open Door" between Anna and Hans from Frozen is set up to be one, but it's a subversion as Hans isn't really in love with her and is in fact the villain.
- Madagascar: Europe's Most Wanted has "Love Always Comes As A Surprise for Alex and Gia.
- The Swan Princess has "Far Longer Than Forever" in which Odette and Derek declare their determination to find their way to each other. An instrumental version is used later as Derek dances with her, actually a fake Odette. They also have another love theme played only over the credits, called "Eternity"
- Titanic (1997) has the famous "My Heart Will Go On" love theme.
- Star Wars:
- Top Gun has Berlin's "Take My Breath Away".
- The Trope Codifier is possibly "Theme from A Summer Place" aka "Love Theme [A Summer Place]," which holds the record as the longest-lasting instrumental #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
- The Godfather has "Speak Softly Love (Love Theme from The Godfather)"
- The Barbra Streisand remake of A Star Is Born had "Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star is Born)", which also doubled as an Award Bait Song (it won).
- Doctor Zhivago had the iconic "Somewhere My Love (Love Theme from Dr. Zhivago)"
- Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo has an iconic surging love theme as part of the orchestral score by Bernard Hermann.
- "Can You Read My Mind?" from Superman.
- "The Prime Minister's Love Theme" from Love Actually, shows up in a lot of trailers.
- "Come What May" from Moulin Rouge! serves as the Love Theme on three distinct levels: as the "secret song" for the lovers of the Show Within a Show, as the song's true plot purpose as a real "secret song" for the leads Christian and Satine, and as the movie's most famous and most romantic song.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Close Your Eyes" is Buffy and Angel's theme, and one of the themes that manages to be epically romantic and utterly heartbreaking at various points in the series. It makes a return appearance in the spinoff Angel when Buffy makes her inevitable appearance.
- Although only heard once in its entirety, fragments of "Jack's Love Theme" from Torchwood appear in other romantic scenes, notably Jack/Ianto ones.
- From the same series, "Gwen and Rhys".
- Fringe's Peter and Olivia have variation on "Love in the Time of Crossing Over". The central fragment also resurfaces in Season 4's "Together Again For the Very First Time."
- Several of the couples on Downton Abbey have their own themes, most notably "Such Good Luck" for Matthew and Mary and "Emancipation" for Tom and Sybil. Both take on Dark Reprises when used after Matthew and Sybil's deaths.
- On Doctor Who, "Rose's Theme" later doubles as the theme for Rose and the love theme for her and the Doctor.
- Amy and Rory have their own eponymous track as well.
- Merlin gives us "Gwen and Arthur" as a recurring motif for the future King and Queen's love story.
- Battlestar Galactica (2003) had "Roslin and Adama", a Celtic-inspired waltz. Composer Bear McCreary called it the only true love theme of the show. It comes back as both "Roslin and Adama Reunited" (in heartwarming fashion) and "So Much Life" (in utterly heartbreaking fashion).
- Once Upon a Time:
- On Glee, Kurt and Blaine have their own piano theme that plays during many poignant moments in their relationship. A variation of it is playing when Blaine proposes to Kurt.
- Call the Midwife has the lovely instrumental piece "The Letter" for Dr Turner and Sister Bernadette.
- The Disney version of Aida, "Elaborate Lives" serves as Radames and Aida's love theme. It recurs as a Dark Reprise near the end when they're dying in the tomb.
- Les MisÚrables has "A Heart Full of Love", which is Marius and Cosette's big love duet. However it only re-appears once and different themes are used for their other scenes together, so there isn't as strong an association as there might be.
- The Phantom of the Opera's "All I Ask of You" between Raoul and Christine, with a reprise later by the Phantom.
- The Student Prince has "Deep In My Heart, Dear," reprised in all four acts.
- "Some Enchanted Evening" from South Pacific.
- The Cat and the Fiddle has two themes heard in all of Victor and Shirley's important romantic scenes: a cadential theme based on descending fourths and octaves, and the slowly ascending melody of the song "One Moment Alone," which undergoes several transformations.
- Dragon Age:
- Mass Effect has one for each game:
- Final Fantasy X: "Suteki Da Ne" plays as Tidus and Yuna find comfort in each other after several world-shattering revelations.
- The aptly-named "Theme of Love" from Final Fantasy IV plays during scenes between Cecil and Rosa, the Official Couple.
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has "Romance In The Air", when Link and Zelda first talk.
- Fire Emblem Awakening: When two characters reach S level support (marriage) either "Id~Serenity" plays if the Avatar is one of them or "Ha, ha! Yes, it will take some getting used to" if between other characters.
- Mother 3's Love Theme, although it's more a theme for love in general (platonic, motherly, romantic, etc.). Also a Recurring Riff.
- Played with in Metal Gear Solid 4, which has a Recurring Riff called "Love Theme", but it is used to represent scenes of Snake's suffering.