Ah, true love's... kick?!
"Yusa Chiemi! That spin kick you gave me... Hit me in the right spot! Go out with me, please!"
— Hirata, Jun'ai Tokkou Taichou
Sometimes Love at First Sight
They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, but if that first impression involves you insulting, smacking or punching anyone with an arrogant personality, then you'd best watch out. You may have just made yourself a cruel and brutal enemy...
... and if they don't
become your enemy, they may become something even worse
Yes, that's right. The snobbishly bishonen Student Council President
, the hulking school bully, the stuck-up Alpha Bitch
— admire them, grovel before them, and they'll barely take any notice of you. Make a snide, cutting remark about their attitude or launch your foot into their face, and they'll be putty in your hands. It is not known why people with Jerkass
tendencies tend to go gaga over the people who stand up to them — maybe because it is so rare for someone to stand up to them, and when someone does they don't just become worthy of respect, but often the only ones they are able to perceive as an equal partner
The hero or heroine who puts the bully into their place very rarely
appreciates his or her amorous attentions. This is because bullies are usually villains, and villains tend to have a rather perverted and/or amoral approach to most aspects of their lives, including love. Bully Love tends to be a rather obsessive and one-sided affair, which can be played for comedy
if the object of their affections is equally strong and aggressive (and if they're not, the whole thing can just come off as damn creepy
). Some heroes find themselves completely flustered by a bully's attentions, especially if the bully is female and the hero is a male who has qualms about hitting women
. An aggressive heroine
with no such qualms against violence may likewise find it hard to launch into a bully who is less physically strong than she is — and even if he's a gigantic brute, the heroine may
find herself feeling just a little
bit guilty about tossing him into a wall if he's approaching her with hearts in his eyes and a bouquet of flowers in his arms.
Occasionally, the bully may try to reform in an effort to win the heart of his beloved
. In series where Status Quo Is God
, this oftentimes will not go very well. If the villain becomes pathetic enough in his or her endeavors, the hero/heroine may start to love them out of pity. This can lead to a Slap-Slap-Kiss
type of situation wherein the protagonist and the bully enter into a period of bickering which may eventually bear fruit when they graduate to Belligerent Sexual Tension
. Death might be preferable.
In a number of situations, it is a form of Meet Cute
— haloed in light and slightly out of focus
, she's the first thing you see upon waking up from the horrific beatdown she just inflicted upon you. What better way to meet the love of your life?
The stronger version of Defeat Means Friendship
, and the lighter version of You Got Spunk
. This is very likely to overlap heavily with I Love You Because I Can't Control You
, and may be a sign of an Amazon Chaser
. See also Well, Excuse Me, Princess!
and compare Dating Catwoman
. Contrast Best Her to Bed Her
, where the defeated is bound by vow/law etc to marry the victor regardless of their feelings; they may overlap.
Not to be confused with the Chinese drama Love At First Fight
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Anime & Manga
- In Batman, this is what Joker says happened when he first met Bats in several versions.
- In the case of Robin (Tim Drake), it was love at first 'brick' with Stephanie Brown. After their first encounter, Tim couldn't get her out of his head and proceeded to stalk her civilian identity.
- A recurring theme regarding Robins and Batgirls. In Batgirl: Year One, Dick (as Robin) is enamored with Barbara (as Batgirl) all while getting beat up by her.
- In Bowling King, the bratty, rich Handsome Lech Jen Ni falls for Tz'zun for real (having only been superficially attracted to her before) after she violently refused his advances. "I know, she's playing hard to get!" This, of course, is him being a moron; nobody else in the world would interpret a Groin Attack as anything but "no."
- In Preacher, Rev. Jesse Custer's parents met when his mother ran up to his Marine father, spat in his face, and called him a "baby-killer". Later she found him and apologized, explaining that she felt pressured into her actions by the hippies she traveled with.
- Knuckles and Julie-Su ended up meeting this way in the Archie Sonic comics. Granted, Julie-Su was Defecting for Love at the time (and still is, in a sense,) but still...
- Maxima really fell for Superman after he beat her up.
- The very first thing Olive Oyl ever said to Popeye was, "Aw, shut up, you bilge rat!" And the two continued to fight for weeks.
- In the crossover story The Bridge, a shrunk down Gigan gets into a fight with Mane-iac. After she coils her Prehensile Hair around him, he hacks most of it off and drops her from a high height. Soon as she recovers she's smitten, much to his distraught.
Films — Animation
- Disney is rather fond of this:
- In Beauty and the Beast, Belle is the first person after the Enchantress to actually tell off the Beast for his behavior and stand up to him.
- In The Princess and the Frog, likewise, Tiana is possibly the only person besides the King and Queen of Maldonia to confront Naveen about being a lazy womanizer. Of course, unlike his parents, she also takes time to teach him how to take care of himself which is a bit more effective than cutting him off and saying "You're on your own".
- While Phoebus seemed attracted to Esmeralda at the beginning of the movie, he openly admires her spirit and cunning as she fights off himself and the rest of the soldiers. "What a woman!" he exclaims, moments after narrowly ducking a flying helmet.
- Mulan is all about this. Mulan manages to first win Shang's respect after beating his challenge, then he falls for her after finding out she's actually a girl. She literally punches him at one point during the training montage, which gets a smile from him.
- In Enchanted, Giselle and Robert seem to get very close after their "Can you say anything but 'no'?" argument, which was actually the first time Giselle felt angry about anything (she's quite thrilled).
- This is the basis of Tangled. Rapunzel and Flynn's relationship kicks off with her knocking him out with a frying pan after he breaks into her tower.
- In Pocahontas, John Smith starts falling for Pocahontas after she outright chews him out for his automatically assumed European superiority and racist attitude against the natives - although she, of course, did it through song.
- Wreck-It Ralph: Felix and Calhoun meet when she kicks him to the ground and aims a gun at him, thinking he's an intruder. He's clearly smitten from then on.
Films — Live-Action
- Gone with the Wind has Rhett Butler falling head over heels in love with Scarlett after witnessing her not-so-ladylike behavior and being on the receiving end of her insults. Likewise, Scarlett probably fell in love with him because of his sexy boorishness and his refreshingly brutal frankness in a world where no one ever calls anything by its right name. (And just note how ga-ga she goes over him after he drunkenly grabs her and whisks her away upstairs to bed.)
- In Herbie Rides Again, Mrs. Steinmetz introduces Wiloughby to her caretaker Nicole. She says, "How do you do?" and slugs him because he came as an agent for his uncle, Big Bad Alonzo Hawk. It's kind of a trained reaction to Hawk because she slugs him again when she learns he's Hawk's nephew. It's only later that she realizes he was utterly clueless about Hawk's exploits and was actually an honestly-decent man who eventually joins her side, staring them on the way.
- In Just Married, the main couple meet when the guy accidentally hits the girl with a football.
- In Scrooged, a trip to Frank's past reveals that he first met Claire after she accidentally flung open a door and clocked him on the bean. It's also where she came up with the pet name "Lumpy" that she still calls him years later.
- Britomart and Artegall in The Faerie Queene, who first met in a brutal, bloody swordfight grudge match while the former was disguised as a man.
- When Luke Skywalker first met Mara Jade, she wanted to kill him more than anything. She later changed her mind and, ten years later, married him. Talk about a false start.
- Vladimir Taltos's first encounter with his eventual wife consisted of her trying to assassinate him for a rival crime boss (she technically succeeded, but coming back from the dead isn't impossible in this setting).
- In Anne of Green Gables, Gilbert fell in love with Anne after she smashes his slate over his head, retribution for calling her "Carrots". Anne is a little sensitive about her red hair.
- In Guards! Guards!, the tiny swamp dragon Errol sends the gigantic, bullying dragon King tumbling out of the sky using a sonic boom ... and the (female) King starts mewling like a kitten, so impressed that she accepts the pugnacious little critter as a mate.
- Discworld trolls as well. At least one couple got their start after a rock being thrown at a head.
- This is a traditional method of flirting amongst trolls. For reasons of romance it is often insisted that it be a pretty rock.
- The Legend of Phoenix Mountain has the main character's grandfather, who fell in love with the main character's grandmother after she slammed her fist into his right eye.
- There is a P. G. Wodehouse short golf story parodying this, where a timid young man falls for a brash, strong willed female explorer who has never married because she wants the type of man who'll drag women around by their hair. He can't bring himself to act like that and gives up all hope of winning her and focuses on golf. When he's in some tournament she stops on the fairway to tie her shoe and he strikes her with the ball. This causes him to tie rather than win and when he find out it was her and not a sheep (his glasses were missing) he throws his putter in a fit of anger. It hits her on the shin quite by chance and as she rushes to kill him he rushes forward to apologize and winds up biffing her in the eye on accident. She's now convinced that they can't both have been coincidences and falls into his arms. He has the sense not to correct her and she ends up his doting and submissive wife.
- The Dragaera book Five Hundred Years After mentions a gender inversion (which makes sense since most female Dragaeran characters are Action Girls). Rollondar e'Drien, who was the Warlord (commander of all military forces) fell in love with his wife after she defeated him in combat. It's noted that he receives a lot of ribbing in the barracks because of this.
- Somewhat implied with Malta Vestrit in Robin Hobb's Liveship Traders cycle, with her subconscious view of herself and Reyn showing an ancient kidnapping marriage.
- And explicitly stated with her aunt Althea, who apparently could never fall in love with a man who asks permission before kissing her.
Myths & Religion
- Older Than Feudalism: In Greek Mythology and Epitome of the Bibliotheke, Achilles falls in love with Amazon queen Penthesilea at the precise moment that he kills her in battle and then orders a magnificent burial for her as an apology, which is very tragic. And also killed Thersites for making fun of him crying over the body. Or saying "She's still warm."
- Bernice Summerfield: when her son Peter first met Antonio, Antonio made the mistake of treating Peter like a puppy (complete with cutesy noises). Peter did not take this well. A few lines later Antonio was still calling Peter cute but in a different way.
- In Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, Petrucchio finds Katherine's shrewishness, wit, and stubbornness not only impressively equal to his own but a sporting challenge to overcome.
- Beatrice and Benedict from Much Ado About Nothing get a double dose of this: They're equally matched masters of wit who save their best efforts for each other; their constant volleying of insults has lasted for years. This makes them dear friends at the start of the play — each one genuinely enjoys the wordplay and battle of wits — and by the end of the play they've realized that they're actually in love, and get engaged. None of this stops them from zinging each other.
- Anton Chekhov's short play The Bear: the boorish Large Ham Smirnov is at first very disdainful to his debtor's widow Popova, finding her prissy and pretentious, but becomes smitten when Popova reveals to be a Hidden Badass.
- Fiyero meets Elphaba in Wicked when his cart almost runs her down. In his defense, he was sleeping at the time.
- In Skies of Arcadia, Handsome Lech Vigoro becomes obsessed with chasing Aika after she is part of giving him a violent smackdown and insults his manhood afterwards.
- Fire Emblem:
- Bartre the Axefighter from Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken comes to feel this way about Karla, the Princess of Swords... the first fighter who completely defeated him in a duel. If you get their supports, you'll see that they end up getting married and have a daughter, Fir. But if you've played the sixth game, Sword of Seals, you'll also know that poor Karla passed away of illness some years later.
- In the Mitsuki Oosawa manga adaptation of Seisen no Keifu/Geneaology of the Holy War, it seems Rebel Prince Lex and Action Girl Ayra fell for each other this way: Their first scene together is him fighting her outside Genoa castle, and after that part of the chapter is wrapped up they're shown sitting side by side, awkward and blushing. Not to mention, their fight itself was dripping with Foe Yay. He ends up on top of her at some point, ffs!
- Atelier Iris: Eternal Mana has Lita thrown an insult at the protagonist when they first meet because he couldn't beat a hawk monster on his own, and we're supposed to know they're a couple from the intro a few minutes before that.
- A client elf in Atelier Iris 3 falls in love with the short receptionist Phenyl after she beats him continuously. Following this scene, he is referred to as having newly-discovered "masochistic tendencies" in the character codex.
- The player's first encounter with Silk Fox in Jade Empire consists of her trying to kill him/her for being one of Death's Hand's agents. She is a potential Love Interest for a male or female character.
- In Shadow Hearts: Covenant, Karin was consistently hostile to Anti-Hero Yuri Hyuga, and once gave him a slapping. In one particular dungeon, she begins to hallucinate and Yuri slaps her out of it. She immediately starts acting gushy and switches to permanent Tsundere mode.
- In Skyrim, one of the NPC's you can marry becomes an option after beating her in a bar brawl.
- In Princess Maker 2 the younger dragon at the ruins coming to propose to your daughter after she kicks his butt refusing to pay a toll.
- In Sengoku Basara 3, Keiji proclaims his undying love for Magoichi immediately after she delivers a flying kick to his face. Magoichi ignores this, until he starts following her everywhere.
- In Konami's dating sim Mitsumete Knight, when you first meet the tough-as-nails Gene Petromolla as she has nearly ran over you with her stagecoach and yells at you for being on the way, choose to violently retort back and call her on her driving, and she'll be so impressed by your guts she'll befriend you instantly (and eventually fall in love with you if you target her).
- Liu Kang and Kitana from Mortal Kombat go through this in most versions. The two have a short one-on-one duel in both the first film and the reboot and start getting attached.
- In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater Ocelot develops a giant man-crush on Snake/Big Boss after the latter beats him into submission.
- In Mass Effect 2, Garrus tells Shepard about his first love from his cadet days. The two were at the top of their class and when they sparred, it ended in a draw because they were evenly matched in their own ways: "I had reach, she had flexibility." Later that night, they got together for a...rematch: "I had reach, she had flexibility."
- The dragon falls for the protagonist in Dra Koi after he manages to hit the reverse scale on her neck, which is her weak point.
- Battler and Beatrice in Umineko no Naku Koro ni. They start out as bitter enemies set out to torture each other endlessly. They end up Happily Married.
- Code Lyoko: Yumi and Ulrich first met as sparring partners in a martial arts class.
- When Van Helsing (in his younger years) from The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy couldn't find the thing that was missing in his life, he meets a girl on the street and she knocks the crap out of him. Of course, this was the thing that he had been searching for.
- Unfortunately, she falls for Dracula instead, which is why Van Helsing wants to kill him.
- Sokka in Avatar: The Last Airbender doesn't initially take Suki's Amazon Brigade seriously. After she shows him why he should, he swallows his pride and asks to be trained by them, impressing her. Suki falls for Sokka right away because Sokka showed humility to someone who is both a warrior and a girl, and Sokka falls for Suki right away because she's an amazing girl.
- Teen Titans: Starfire comes to earth, she bashes Robin in the face, she kisses Robin on the lips so she could learn the language. It takes five seasons and a movie before they kiss again, but everyone saw it coming.
- Happens in Transformers Prime with Breakdown towards Airachnid. We're not given an exact indicator of how much it's reciprocal. Also doubles as Bile Fascination.
- Airachnid ended up rending him limb from limb and leaving his body for MECH to find. Guess it wasn't reciprocal.
- In the 101 Dalmatians: The Series episode "My Fair Moochie", both Mooch and a visiting wrestler fall for Cadpig after she beats them up.
- Adventure Time: Finn developed his crush on Flame Princess after she smacked him in the face with her (burning) hand and nearly destroyed his house with her fire powers.
- In the second volume of his memoirs, Russell Brand mentions that he fell in love with Katy Perry when she flung a bottle at his head during rehearsals for the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards. They got married in 2010... then split up the next year.
- In some cultures, when a girl hits a man, it means she likes him.
- Along the same note, some younger kids will pick on someone because they have a crush on them.