Danny: Does he make you laugh? Tess: He doesn't make me cry.
Alice and Bob are friends, or Bob has a crush on Alice. They go on a date and kiss, and Alice finds that she does not feel anything for Bob, as much as she tries. He is a great guy, but that special something is just not there.
This tends to come up with Test Kiss
, but can happen in any situation where two people try out a relationship but find they have no chemistry. This is often the fate of the Dogged Nice Guy
, and always the fate of the Unlucky Childhood Friend
and the Romantic Runner-Up
. It will also happen if they are Better as Friends
or Platonic Life Partners
A more explicit version of this trope is when someone is unhappy in a current relationship, and we see them having unfulfilling sex or no sex. Kisses with the soon-to-be-dumped significant other are perfunctory and short.
It is only No Sparks
if the character in question has never
felt a true spark towards his or her attempted significant other. If there used to be chemistry but it's gone, that's Dead Sparks
This trope sometimes occurs in romantic comedies during the sad period when the hero and heroine are estranged. One or both of them try to date someone else, but it does not work because there are No Sparks
. This is taken as an indication that the lost guy or girl is The One and should be won back at any cost.
Sometimes No Sparks
happens when the wrong guy comes first
. The lack of sparks discredits the bad relationship, often retrospectively.
This can be a method of Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends
. Or creating them
Related Tropes: Better as Friends
, Platonic Life Partners
, Like Brother and Sister
, Romantic Runner-Up
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Anime And Manga
- Bleach: One of the reasons the Arranged Marriage between Ryuuken and Masaki was doomed no matter what was that they both knew they were romantically incompatible. Aizen's experiments accidentally hollowfy Masaki, introducing her to future husband Isshin. This also frees Ryuuken and his childhood friend Katagiri to Marry for Love.
- In 27 Dresses, Katherine Heigls character kisses her boss, who she has crushed on for years, and finds she does not feel anything for him.
- In Back to the Future, Lorraine pursues Marty with a passion, to the point where his attempt to turn her off by coming on too strong fails because she jumps him first. But when she kisses him, she suddenly feels like she's kissing her brother. Understandable of course, given that Marty happens to be her son from the Future.
- In Enchanted, the failed kiss from Prince Edward might count.
- In Ocean's Eleven, Danny strongly suspects his ex-wife Tess doesn't love her current boyfriend Terry Benedict (the guy whose casino he's trying to rob). So he asks her if he makes her laugh, and Tess points out that at least he doesn't make her cry, basically admitting that she doesn't love Terry, but shutting down Danny's criticism through a cutting reminder of why she and Danny broke up.
- In The Princess Diaries movie, the failure to foot-pop while kissing is shown as an indication of a lack of sparks.
- This trope is resurrected in the sequel when Mia's fiance fails to get her going.
- In Spider-Man 2, Mary Jane asks her fiance to kiss her upside down, reenacting her awesome kiss with Spider-Man. He feels it; she does not.
- In The Wedding Singer, Julia's lack of chemistry with her fiancee is played up, most hilariously in the scene where she's trying out her wedded name-to-be ("Julia Guglia") and finding it... less than satisfactory.
- Nicely played in Bringing Up Baby when Cary Grant's character is engaged to his coworker who basically says that she will not have sex with him when they are married and their marriage's purpose is to solidify their working relationship. The next few scenes include Cary Grant experiencing Meet Cute with Katharine Hepburn, so when Cary's fiance is shown again the lack of sparks becomes even more apparent.
- This is pretty much how the Superman/Wonder Woman ship has been torpedoed in the past (and a major reason it stays that way outside of Elseworlds): there was really nothing there to make them stay more than friends.
- With the recent New 52 reboot, however, the relationship seems to have a chance of sticking.
Live Action TV
- Riki and Rin in Little Busters! actually start off as this - Rin asks him out just because they get along and it seems like it'll work out, and Riki agrees for these reasons and because he only just gave a vague answer in response to a girl's love confession and he doesn't want to do it again. But when they try it out, they're so used to being friends (having been so since they were children) and such shy, easily embarrassed people in general that their floundering attempts at romance routinely fall flat and they just end up doing everything they used to do as friends instead. They do manage to find sparks later on, though.
- Nanase in El Goonish Shive breaks up with Elliot for this reason, and can't understand why. Then Elliot's Opposite-Sex Clone Ellen arrives, and she has her reason.
- And then, when Elliot and Sarah start dating, they eventually discover that their relationship isn't as sparky as they hoped it would be, and they're actually more Like Brother and Sister. Will Elliot ever find true love?
- Jake from Homestuck considered going out with Jane, who has had a crush on him for a while, but wasn't sure because although it seemed like a nice enough idea, he never really felt the sparks. When Jane accidentally makes him think she doesn't like him, he admits that it's probably for the best they never went out. He also suspects this is the case with his feelings for Dirk, although he's yet to reach a definite decision and has at least seriously considered a relationship.