A boy meets a girl of his dreams
, falls in love with her, is reciprocated, and all seems shiny... until The Reveal
that the girl isn't quite compatible with him biologically. For example, she is an alien
. Or a ghost
. Or a demon
. Or a six-foot praying mantis in a person-suit
. Or... Either way, she is not human and that's a slight hindrance in their relationship. How exactly it plays out depends largely on the author:
(completely or partly
) variations are also included.
If they stay together, Half Human Hybrids
Subtrope of Interspecies Romance
. May be a case of Magical Girlfriend
or even Action Girlfriend
. A common trope in Paranormal Romance
but it appears in other genres as well.
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Anime and Manga
- Asobi ni Iku yo!: Boy meets Cat Girl Alien, knows a Half Alien.
- Baccano!: Boy meets immortal, borderline-asexual homunculus.
- The Devil Is a Part-Timer!: Girl develops crush on MgRonald's coworker. Girl goes out with coworker. Coworker's alleged ex-girlfriend interrupts date and warns girl to stay away from coworker, as he is Satan incarnate. Girl discovers that alleged ex (really a half-angel hero) was being literal.
- Dragonaut: The Resonance: Boy meets giant, alien dragon.
- Retroactive example: Dragon Ball Z: woman learns her husband is an alien. He didn't know either until his brother showed up.
- Although he was pretty obviously not a human from the beginning, as he had a tail and turned into a giant ape under the light of the full moon. We just didn't know he was an alien.
- Dragon Crisis!: Boy meets Dragons and a Half-wolf girl.
- Eureka Seven: Eureka is actually a Human Alien. Renton finds out late in the series, by which point he doesn't care, even after she starts changing.
- FLCL: Boy meets a girl who eventually turns out to be an alien. Alien seduces boy, uses him, then tosses him away.
- Fractale: Boy meets Doppel and a clone.
- Fruits Basket: Girl meets boy(s) who turn to have a secret, magical association with the signs of the Chinese Zodiac, and turn into total animals whenever they're hugged by a member of the opposite sex.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!: Boy meets all of the above.
- Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch has an inversion (mermaid meets boy), which is later subverted as the boy isn't entirely human either; they are allowed to remain together. The other members of the Power Trio, also mermaids, get human love interests as well; the manga makes it more clear that they'll probably end up Starcrossed Lovers because of this, but the anime ends on a happier note. Finally, the series' backstory includes other stories of boy-meets-mermaid played straight; one is a legend with an ambiguous ending, but the other... didn't end well.
- Tasogare Otome X Amnesia: Teiichi doesn't realize Yuuko is a ghost when he first meets her.
- Tsukuyomi Moon Phase Japanese boy meets nekomimi-wearing vampire girl in a German castle.
- From Vampire Knight, we have Yuki, a human, falling in love with the vampire Kaname. But then we find out that Yuki is actually a vampire as well. All the students at the Night School are secretly vampires.
- Yumekui Merry: Boy meets Dream Demon.
- Space Pirate Mito relates the story of her own reveal to her beloved Kagero to her Half-Human Hybrid son Aoi and asserts that he is the living embodiment of The Power of Love because Kagero married her anyway. Aoi later gets a reveal of his own when the girl he's fallen for turns out to be a Human Alien Galactic Patrol officer staking him out to capture his mother.
- In Tokyo Ghoul, it's Gender Flipped.
- Nishiki has a human girlfriend as part of his efforts to blend in with human society. When he's critically injured by Kaneki and she comes to check on him, he attacks her in desperation but is too weak to overpower her. To his surprise, once she gets over her shock at discovering he's a Ghoul, Kimi accepts him and helps protect his secret.
- Similarly, Yoshimura once had a human lover that discovered his secret. She readily accepted him, though this eventually led to tragedy and their murderous Half-Human Hybrid child.
- Original Underworld: Boy meets vampire and turns into a werewolf himself.
- The Tales from the Darkside: The Movie movie has a Downer Ending version of this. Guy finds out his wife is a gargoyle, after telling the tale of seeing one once, and promising never to speak of it.
- Splash: A variation on the classic mermaid-falls-in-love-with-a-human story; she can appear fully human unless she gets wet, which comes as quite a surprise to him the first time it happens.
- Let the Right One In. A dark puppy-love version. A Boy meets a mysterious girl and makes friends with her, only to discover, later, that she's a vampire responsible for a series of local murders. Also, "she" is actually a castrated boy.
- The 2010 remake Let Me In has the same. Without the twist of the original.
- The Deaths of Ian Stone has a peculiar relationship to this trope. In the very beginning, everyone in the setting seems clearly human or clearly inhuman. The second iteration of the main character's Dream Within a Dream reveals that his secondary love interest is both completely inhuman and willing to kill him if he finds out about it. A later iteration reveals that he's inhuman too, albeit with Laser-Guided Amnesia. Unlike most examples, this isn't about the human primary love interest learning to accept him—rather, he learns to think and feel like a human.
- Galaxy Quest. Fred Kwan and Lailari, who he thinks is a Human Alien. He's quite wrong. But he doesn't care.
- The Man Who Fell to Earth gender flips and deconstructs this with alien Thomas Jerome Newton and his Earthly mistress Mary-Lou. They actually consummate their relationship before he reveals his true, Rubber Forehead Alien form to her. Once he does, their already-troubled relationship is only further damaged — out of his disguise, he's not capable of lovemaking in the human manner, and she finds him physically hideous anyway. They ultimately fall out of love with each other.
- The Bermuda Depths: Magnus and Jennie, servant of a sea demon.
- Played with in Shrek: Princess Fiona finds out that the knight who saved her, the title character, is an ogre. Fiona is taken aback, but continues to travel with him anyway. One reason is because, before they got to know each other, he was only planning to take her to Lord Farquaad, rather than for himself. The other reason is the fact that she's cursed to turn into an ogre herself by night.
- In Halloweentown III, Dylan (a half-human warlock who Does Not Like Magic) gets involved with a girl just as dorky as he is, only to find out she's a furry pink troll wearing a costume. He reacts badly, tries to apologize, only for her to respond that he looks weird and ugly to her too. By the end of the movie they've made up and are about to have their big kiss...but she suddenly backs out of it, he acts relieved, and they agree that they're Better as Friends.
Folklore and Mythology
- There's a Japanese myth about Yuki-Onna, which plot was used for the Tales from the Darkside: The Movie mentioned above.
- Older Than Print: Kitsune are subject to this trope. Kitsune-wives usually left when their true nature was exposed, but in at least one tale, the husband called after her, reassuring her of welcome, so she returned, but only at night.
- The Selkie myths of Ireland, almost exactly the same as the kitsune-wives, but the men capture the women by hiding the pelts that let them turn back into seals.
- The Huldra women of Norwegian folklore become mortal and gain souls when they are married to a man. However, they still keep their magic and freakish strength, much to the peril of unfaithful husbands.
- Subverted in an Arab folktale. A daughter of a ghoul (human-eating monster) winds up with some of its magical powers. She nearly gets married to a prince except for the presence of another girl. She throws herself into an oven and reforms, leaving fresh bread ready in the oven to start a welcoming feast for the prince. The other girl claims similar abilities, throws herself into the oven, and burns to death.
- The medieval story of Melusine, which dates back at least to the 12th century, tells of a knight marrying a woman called Melusine:
- One version is she marries him on condition that he never look at her naked. One day his curiosity got the better of him and he peeked while she was taking a bath. To his horror he saw that she had a snake-like tail, showing she was a water-sprite or mermaid. When she realized that her secret was out, she left through the window, never to be seen again. In the most common version of the story, this Melusine is the supposed ancestress of the French Lusignan family.
- Another version had the condition that she be allowed to be alone, locking herself in her room, every Saturday or Sunday till noon, and the knight would never try to look at or visit her then. This was because she was cursed -by her mother!- to turn into a serpent from the waist down during that time, and did not wish him to know. All of her children were born with some slight deformity, but were otherwise brave, good, and fortunate. But the whispers that the children were deformed because they were not his became too much for the knight, and he spied on her. When she found out, she left him, never to be seen again.
- In Greek Mythology there were a few examples of this type. For instance, male gods would occasionally reveal who they were on taking leave from the woman they had just impregnated. In a more spectacular example, Hera posed as an old woman to trick Semele, one of her husband Zeus' lovers, into getting him to promise to do her a favour and then make that favour to show himself to her in his true form. She did not survive the experience.
- Twilight: Girl meets vampire.
- Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Wild One: Boy meets werelynx.
Dwarf-raised human boy 2-meter tall dwarf meets werewolf.
- All The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries, where girl meets vampire, werewolf, were-tiger, etc.
- Let the Right One In: as with the movie, a young boy meets a strange girl, and an innocent childhood romance develops, before he discovers that she's a bloodthirsty vampire. The book is even more explicit than the movie about the fact that Eli is a mutilated boy.
- Blood And Chocolate: Boy meets werewolf. One of the more cynical cases, as not only does their relationship not work out, it's implied that it's impossible for humans not to hate and fear werewolves.
- Haiyore! Nyarko-san takes this to a comparative extreme: boy meets Nyarlathotep.
- Harlan Ellison has a short story called "She's A Young Thing And Cannot Leave Her Mother" where boy meets cave-dwelling mutant cannibal descendant of Sawney Beane (a.k.a. "Camilla").
- The Door Into Fire: Boy meets fire elemental.
- The Gravesavers by Canadian author Sheree Fitch had a girl meet a boy, who turned out to be a ghost from the wreck of the RMS Atlantic.
- In Philip Josť Farmer's The Lovers a man from an oppressive puritan theocracy meets the girl of his dreams in another planet. Except that she's actually a lalitha a highly evolved arthropod.
- In Cinder, the cyborg Cinder falls in love with the human Prince Kai, but at the ball is revealed to be a cyborg and a member of a race of people living on the moon called Lunar.
Live Action TV
- Night Gallery, a show famous for its twist endings, liked this one.
- "The Phantom Farmhouse": she's a werewolf who's actually a ghost.
- "Lindemann's Catch": she's a mermaid.
- "The Girl With the Hungry Eyes": she's a psychic vampire.
- "Death on a Barge": she's a regular vampire.
- Isabel in Roswell married Jesse Ramirez, who was human, but he didn't find out Isabel was an alien until later in season 3.
- Big Wolf on Campus in the second season has this. Human girl Lori Baxter dates werewolf Tommy Dawkins. However, towards the end of the season, they break up because their relationship was getting in the way of their monster fighting.
- The main character of Moonlight was turned into a vampire by his wife on their wedding night, who forgot to run it by him first before doing so.
- True Blood has Tara and Sam, human meets shifter.
- Being Human has werewolf George fall in love with regular human Nina.
- In Season 2, ghost Annie goes on a date with human Saul Except he's not so normal himself..., and seemed to have feeling towards normal human Hugh. Also vampire Mitchell is falling for regular human Lucy.
- Star Trek 'verse: Boy meets android, or hologram, or Leanansidhe IN SPACE, or astral projection of someone else's subconscious self, or dead Redshirt with instincts of aliens who resurrected her, or long dead to stay and the messages to each other are going through a time warp, or woman whose presence will erase bits of your memory relating to her once she's out of sight... the list goes on. The girls' dating lives are no easier, just not featured quite as often.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Subverted with Tara, who thinks she's a demon and goes to considerable length to prevent Willow from finding out. Turns out she's not; it was just part of her abusive family's "spin to keep the ladies in line".
- Xander has been referred to as a "demon magnet", as a good deal of the girls he falls for turn out to be not so human. In "Teacher's Pet" he has crush on a substitute teacher, who is actually a giant praying mantis that wants to mate and then eat his head. He later falls for "Inca Mummy Girl", and in season seven he goes on a date with a nice girl who changes her eye colour and offers him as a sacrifice to open the Hellmouth.
- Buffy discovers that Angel is a vampire.
- Willow's relationship with Oz is blooming, and then she discovers he is a werewolf. (Though he only found out less than a day before she did.)
- Played with extensively in Season 4: Riley discovers Buffy is the slayer (which means demon infused) as she discovers he is a superagent (which is ultimately revealed to be a little bionic).
- Charmed: Mid-way through series 1 it's revealed that Piper's (then) boyfriend Leo is not human and that he's a whitelighter. There had been a few comedic suspicions about him prior to the reveal due to Piper's bad luck with men (her boyfriends often ended up being revealed as evil warlocks) but the reveal that he's their guardian angel does come as a shock to all of them. Since whitelighter/witch romances are traditionally forbidden, the couple do spend most of the entire eight seasons struggling to make it work before everything finally works out in the end. Subverted in that whitelighters are actually born human but are transformed into whitelighters and can be turned back into humans if the occasion demands. All three of their children are half-whitelighter, half-witch.
- On The Vampire Diaries, Elena unexpectedly meets Stefan and feels an instant connection with him in season one. However, Stefan is hiding a deep, dark secret: he is a century old vampire. As Stefan and Elena fall harder for each other, Elena eventually discovers that Stefan is a vampire.
- In The Outer Limits (1995) episode "First Anniversary", two aliens are stranded on Earth use their power to fool people's senses in order to pass as human. Specifically, as very pretty human women who act romantically interested in some rather plain-looking men. Unfortunately, people tend to become resistant to their power after about a year or so, and the men who marry them tend to Go Mad from the Revelation after seeing their true appearances. (In an aversion of Take Our Word for It, when they let down their disguise, it's on-screen - and they really are horrifying.)
- Red's backstory in the first season of Once Upon a Time includes this. Her boyfriend didn't know he was dating a werewolf. Course, Red didn't know that either, and, thinking it's he who is the wolf, ties him up before the change can take him. Then she turns into the wolf and kills him. Oops.
- There was a subplot in the Game Boy Advance RPG Robopon 2 based around this. You have to round up a group of alien schoolgirls on a field trip from the moon (It Makes Sense in Context) and one of them disguises herself as a human and has a guy fall in love with her. You chase them all over the world map. When she finally admits to him that she's an alien, he says that he'll love her no matter what.
- This is one of the possible endings in the Interactive Fiction game Afflicted, where you are a restaurant inspector who stumbles across a feud between vampires. After the player reassembles Sofia's body, he can agree to be turned into a vampire himself; if you simply leave Nikolai's Bar afterwards, Sofia ends up moving in with you.
- Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword: Boy meets dragon.
- Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories: Boy meets demon. Turns out to be a non-issue since Disgaea: Hour of Darkness already showed that human/demon Half Human Hybrids are possible (and for those who haven't played it, a character from that game explains it anyhow). And it doesn't matter anyway, as boy is a demon too but doesn't realize it. Of course, by that point, it's stopped being "boy meets demon" and started being "boy meets reincarnated God Of All Overlords."
- Teddie's crush on Labrys in Persona 4 Arena inverts this. He meets her thinking she was a normal human girl, feeling ashamed of his own non human nature when it is revealed to her soon after. The eventual reveal that she isn't human either, but an amnesiac battle android only makes him more enthusiastic about winning her for himself, if anything.
- Ow, my sanity, explicitly a deconstruction of the Magical Girlfriend genre, pairs a human with a Humanoid Abomination. The strip is ongoing, but it looks like said human is going to get an Unwanted Harem composed entirely of Lovecraftian monstrosities.
- xkcd has this comic, where the reveal shows unexpected dangers of online dating.
- The comic Orange Marmalade focuses heavily on the main character Ma-ri's dilemma to both keep the fact she is a vampire hidden from her boyfriend but also struggling over whether or not she should tell him she is. When he eventually discovers the truth from a third party, he is disgusted and horrified to say the least.