A type of Satellite Character who exists primarily to serve as the love interest for a main character. It doesn't matter what their life was like beforehand; their focus in the story revolves around the sole fact that they dig said main character, and the main character digs them. A staple of Harem Series. When part of a movie, it's usually because the plot revolves around a second love interest that is used to show how much better the Satellite Love Interest is for the protagonist.
The test of course, is to ask "What does this person do when they're not being a love interest?" ...if it's hard to answer, you probably have this.
Contrast with Designated Love Interest, in which a character's characterization isn't involved enough with loving another character, thus making the "love interest" moniker seem tacked-on. Not to be confused with the Satellite of Love.
Please don't use this trope as an excuse to bash characters whom you dislike for X/Y/Z motives. Being a love interest doesn't immediately equal being a satellite character, and many accusations fit less in this trope and more in Die for Our Ship.
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Anime and Manga
Miho Azuki of Bakuman。, whose only goal apart from becoming a voice actress is getting together with Moritaka Mashiro, and even then, those two goals are intertwined because of her promise to only marry Mashiro when they both achieve their dreams.
Princess Charlotte from Berserk fits this trope to a T. Her only role in the history is being Griffith's Meal Ticket and she seems to only think about him all the time. And for worse, the Crapsack Worldpunishes her for being such.
Chii in Chobits is literally this since she's a Robot Girl without an operating system and her entire personality starts from scratch. Later flashbacks to when she wasn't yet a Love Interest show that can be much deeper (and possibly would become like that again).
Subverted in Deadman Wonderland. Main character Ganta is trapped in a prison whose inhabitants are, by and large, not very nice people, when he meets a painfully shy and sensitive girl who clings to him from the word "hello." Minatsuki is actually a psychopathic killer who puts on the nice-girl persona and then gets sexual pleasure from the look of betrayal on her victims' faces right before she kills them. She is starting to get a little better, though.
Ren in DearS — a particularly extreme example, given the series enjoys the term slave.
Misa Amane from Death Note is an interesting illustration of this trope. She's dedicated to her career as an idol and her "job" punishing the guilty, so she can't quite be called shallow... but where Light is concerned, she's shallower than any five other examples on this page. Her willingness to submit to his slightest whim is so extreme it's scary. It's certainly possible to picture her without Light — we see her before they meet, and she's clever and dangerous. But after they meet, she'd rather die than live any kind of life without him. And she apparently does in the ending of the anime, when you see her standing on the wrong side of a guardrail...
There are two of note in the Dragon Ball franchise, both of them intentional examples. First is Marron, Krillin's first girlfriend in Z (and practically a clone of Bulma) that appeared during the Garlic Jr. Saga, only for her to dump poor Krillin in the only stand-alone episode in the series. Then in GT, Goten was seen on a date with Pares, a girl that got perplexed by ice cream... on a cone.
Nyu in Elfen Lied; like Chii, Nyu is a Blank Slate, picked up by Kouta from a beach. Possibly a subversion, in that Nyu's attraction to Kouta is a reflection of her true personality Lucy, a borderline psychopathic mass murderer with real, complex, and disturbingly heartbreaking reasons for loving him.
Midori from Green Green. If she weren't allowed to squeal "Yuusuke" every ten seconds, she would lose her reason for existence.
Subverted in GUNNM. In an argument with Gally over her choice to become a Hunter-Warrior, Ido lets it slip that he revived her with the expectation that she would be one of these. Gally, like any sane person would be upon hearing this, is pissed.
Koutarou Azumamiya of Hayate the Combat Butler used to be this for Hinagiku originally, and the anime even added a few episodes of this to him, but since the second year started, he's actually gotten some character of his own.
In Honey Crush it never becomes very clear why the two other girls are so heavily in love with Madoka (one of them even continues to do so after her death, turning her into a ghostly Stalker with a Crush). Sure, Madoka might be pretty, but her personality remains elusive throughout the series.
Shino from the manga Ichiroh! is a comedic example, as it's a gag series and can get away with it. She's never seen away from Nanako and almost all she does is lust over her. It doesn't help that she's also a mix of Clingy Jealous Girl and Stalker with a Crush with a pinch of Psycho Lesbian at her worst.
Hojo from InuYasha is a male example of this. Of course, we don't see him enough for him to have much of a personality. And he exists for the sake of a Running Gag rather than actual romantic tension.
Something similar happens in Kamichu!, where Yurie is much closer to Matsuri than her supposed love interest Kenji.
Kämpfer's Natsuru Senou is the rare case of a Satellite Love Interest who is the main character. He is primarily defined by his rather basic crush on Kaede. When someone asks him in episode 8 why he likes Kaede so much, he first refers to her beauty and elegance. When it's brought up that most of the girls he knows are also beautiful and elegant, all he can do is shrug his shoulders and say that you "don't need a reason to love someone". Seriously, the guy has no personality outside of his crush and his frustration with his new Gender Bender status. On the other hand, Kaede herself has some Hidden Depths...
Kyoko from Katekyo Hitman Reborn!. Her main personality trait is... she's a good Girl Next Door. And a huge reason why Tsuna has a crush on her is because she was the only girl who bothered being nice to him in 12 months.
Koharu in Koharu No Hibi, so very much. Deconstructed, but with no lasting effects.
Yuno from Mirai Nikki basically has no personality outside of her devotion to Yukiteru. This is played as straight as possible to make herscary while being a deconstruction of the trope. Her entire world revolves around Yukiteru, and if anyone threatens to take him away from her, she flips her shit and equates it to her entire future being taken away. This is with good reason: before meeting Yukiteru, Yuno had just killed her Abusive Parents, who were sitting dead in her house for three weeks. She had absolutely no hope for her own future, and was deeply moved when Yukiteru's hope for the future was for his family to get along. So when Yukiteru jokingly accepted her offer to become his bride, she was thrilled since she finally had a reason to keep living her life — her life very literally depends on having Yukiteru there for emotional support, he is her future after she lost everything. It gets even more interesting in that Yuno recognizes this fact and basically gives a "The Reason We Suck" Speech about how it was "pretend love" and she would have been fine with anyone as long as she could emotionally depend on him. Fortunately, it turns out that maybe their love isn't that meaningless after all.
Sakura in Naruto starts as one in the manga, but begins to grow more well defined around The Forest of Death Arc. The same can be said of Karin, who started out as the usual blank slate love interest, but became a more thought out character some time after her introduction. Hinata is also one, because most of her character focus is on or related to her love for Naruto.
Rin and Obito are this in a sort of odd scenario where both of them are this to each other. The only real characterization Obito receives is the fact that he loves Rin, and the only real characterization Rin receives is the fact that Obito loves her. This may be justified in Rin's case, since she's a Posthumous Character so she isn't exactly around to receive characterization, although she still isn't characterized all that much in flashbacks she's featured in - she's a kind girl, a Combat Medic in training, and nothing else. Obito is also a Posthumous Character although this turns out not to be the case, as he's actually Tobi and the one behind the Akatsuki. This still fits mostly because everything Obito does as the villain has been entirely or partially motivated by Rin in some way. This was likely intentional, to show that Obito has so thoroughly lost himself in her that everything else is meaningless.
Saya from Peacemaker Kurogane. She pretty much exists only to be Tetsunosuke's love interest. She fits very much with the question, "What would her personality be if she never met the male lead?" Nothing. Come on, we know she's mute and all, but even mute people have personalities and quirks.
A complaint some fans have with Pokémon's Serena. She started her journey to join Ash, mainly acts as support, and cooks him food. The writers seemed to have taken note of this; while she has no life goal yet, she is still searching for her purpose in life.
Inverted by Outer Moka from Rosario + Vampire. This is entirely justified, as she is an artificial person created to protect the true Moka and Outer Moka is aware of this, and she even does her best to put aside her own feelings to pair up Tsukune and Inner Moka, albeit this is far more explicitly done in the manga as opposed to the anime. And, to further the inversion (again, in the manga at least), the two of them have worked together to support each other in regards to Tsukune, while Inner Moka's wishes and intents are kept the primary consideration.
School Days: In the anime the two main female love interests get reduced to only being known for their obsession with Makoto. And that is the point, actually: the series shows the psychological strain and the extremes that being completely centered on a single person can bring... specially when said person is a Jerk Ass who uses both of them and others for his own pleasure.
In Shugo Chara!, Amu's crush on Tadase started out based on looks and really nothing more because she'd never spoken to him. Later on in the series, Amu's feelings for Tadase develop into her liking him based on his personality once she gets to know him.
Fatina from The Tower of Druaga. She spends the first 3/4ths of the first season as a character whose sole character traits were being a bitchy Neeba fangirl. This changes later on, where we get an episode where she and the main character are stranded together and bond a little, removing her from Neeba and giving viewers a bit more insight into her character. She never really goes back to being a complete Neeba fangirl after that. To add to things, Neeba offers Fatina and Fatina alone an invitation to join him and Kaaya after they betray their groups. She turns down his offer and stands by Jil's side.
The Vanishing of Nagato Yuki-chan, a spin-off manga of Haruhi Suzumiya, turns the protagonist of the main series into this. Kyon's tendency to be passive stays, while the observational narration is gone, so he has little to show other than caring for Yuki.
Himawari of xxxHOLiC comes off like this for a good while. Then we find out that her, Doumeki and Watanuki's bonds are far more complex.
Carlie Cooper from Spider-Man was supposed to be "perfect" for Peter. The problem was, she was kind of quickly introduced and then forgotten about for a significant amount of time while the rotating writers focused on THEIR pet characters. When she reappeared it got a collective "huh?". Seemingly to make up for lost time a lot of her appearances consisted of everyone talking about how super awesome she was -even those who had never met her before. If this weren't bad enough, she appeared in an issue titled The Many Loves Of Spider-Man before they were even dating. When they finally got together Peter declared it was "the rightest thing in the world" (despite the fact she was dressed up as his ex). What few personality traits could be assigned to her were seemingly all sewn together from other love interests that were much better-developed characters. She and Peter had a laughable lack of any actual chemistry (quite a feat when you're dealing with not actors, but drawings), she was named after Joe Quesada's daughter, and no one could decide what she looked like. Not to mention, she was quite obviously meant to replace fan-favorite Mary Jane Watson, whom Joe Quesada infamously dislikes. She quickly became The Scrappy and when she and Peter broke up during Spider-Island the fandom rejoiced. She's still in the books, but now they're focusing more on her job as a crime scene investigator, so hopefully this trope will be averted and more of an assignable personality will surface.
Sadie in Starman has no character outside of her relationship with Jack and worry about her brother.
Laurie Juspezyk from Watchmen was employed by the US government essentially to be one of these for Dr. Manhattan after she quit her old job in the Superhero business. Deconstructed in that she actually does have a personality, and it winds up conflicting to some extent with her mission of keeping Manhattan focused/sane/human, because the fact that he's too much the first of those and not enough the third upsets her, which in turn upsets him.
The prequel miniseries Minutemen features Norbert Veldon, Nelson Gardner's "friend" who presumably helped him recover after losing his beloved Hooded Justice. Veldon briefly shows up at Hollis Mason's shop to threaten him with a lawsuit unless he stops writing his memoirs, claiming that the advance copy that he sent Gardner has upset him (we later find out that specifically, Gardner's turmoil stems from the part of the memoirs where Mason confesses to killing Hooded Justice and suggests that HJ was behind the circus kidnappings that Nite Owl and Silhouette had investigated. The miniseries also features Gretchen, Ursula Zandt's partner and personal physician, although she's somewhat more developed, as we learn much of her backstory when Nite Owl gets ahold of her and Silhouette's notes.
Lady Sif from The Mighty Thor is supposed to be a badass Lady of War and the second greatest female warrior in Asgard. Sadly, despite nearly every other supporting character been well developed over the decades Sif's stories have focused almost exclusively on Thor with only a few making an attempt to give her any personality beyond that.
Navarone and Kumani in Diaries of a Madman, with Kumani having little purpose in the story other than being Nav's girlfriend. Nor is the relationship itself particularly deep, mostly being based around compatibility in the bedroom, which is acknowledged in-universe.
Lightning and Starla in My Little Unicorn. They develop a crush on first sight and we never learn much about her other than her interest in astronomy, which is practically forgotten after her introduction. Starla doesn't even appear in the author's video of character bios for the fic!
Another example would be Rhymey and Fluttershy in the later half of the story.
Celestia to the Grand Ruler.
Discussed in The Stalking Zuko Series, the reason Suki's competition with Zuko escalated to the heights they rose because she felt that everyone only saw her as "Sokka's girlfriend." She feels that since her talents are overshadowed by others and needed to distinguish herself somehow for anyone to see her differently.
Roxanne in A Goofy Movie has a characterization that amounts to "has some of Max's surface flaws" and "is Max's Love Interest." Oddly enough, PJ's girlfriend in the sequel, who suffers from both No Name Given and limited screentime, is probably the biggest aversion among the movies' love interests.
Though she did make a reappearance in House of Mouse in which Max was taking her on a date at said club, he asked everyone to "act normal" cue Mickey and the gang being as embarrassing as possible. Roxanne admitted that she had no negative reactions to the embarrassing moments and that it only made her love him more.
Tony in The Incredibles, who shows up in the beginning and the end of the film and mainly exists as Violet's crush. In fact, he only really exists to demonstrate Violet's character development. At the beginning of the film, she's too shy to even remain visible in his presence. At the end, she's able to talk with him and get a date while he's stammering nervously.
Celia in Monsters, Inc. Aside from being Mike's love interest and the company secretary, she doesn't have much characterization. On her date with Mike they don't really talk about anything but their relationship and it is difficult to see why he likes her so much, aside from the obvious.
Bo Peep from Toy Story. Sure, she's sweet and has a bit of a naughty side, but both those traits are used in order to demonstrate her affection for Woody (grabbing him around the neck with her shepherdess's crook, for example). She never really interacts with any other toy on-screen and she exists mainly as a sympathetic ear to Woody. Bo Peep's lack of development — and the popularity of the other female characters, Jessie the Cowgirl and the tour guide Barbie doll from the second Toy Story movie, and the logistics of having Bo Peep actually be involved in the action of the third movie (given that she wasn't actually a toy at all, but a china figurine) — were the reason why she didn't appear in the third movie
Sleeping Beauty. Both Prince Phillip and Princess Aurora are static non-characters. Phillip does try to get out of the mold, but fails as the fairies still end up as the more interesting ones. The fact that he actually has a first name still demonstrates that he has much more character development than the princes in Cinderella and Snow White.
The Prince from Snow White. One of the video releases said that the original intent was for the Prince to be captured by the Queen while looking for Snow White and have scenes involving his imprisonment and breakout. They were dropped in favour of the climax focusing on the dwarfs. Prince Phillip later gets to do all these things though.
The Prince in Cinderella was also ridiculously bland and barely has any lines. And all the lines that he had...were to say that Cinderella was wonderful and where she was going when she was running away. Which just makes it worse. Disney appeared to have noticed this, and well made up for it in the third movie where Charming is given not only more lines, but a rather snarky side.
Faline in the first Bambi movie doesn't really have a personality, especially when she grows up into a Doe. The midquel fleshes her out. Likewise neither Thumper's nor Flower's love interests have any personality, though they only appear very briefly.
Vixey from The Fox and the Hound has barely any personality, due to being introduced around the time Tod was put in the nature reserve, and meeting and immediately triggering Tod's affections within two minutes of her first appearance. She is implied to have known Big Mama for some time from the sound of her introduction, but that's pretty much all we know about her besides the fact she and Tod love each other.
Film — Live Action
Jocelyn in A Knight's Tale. She's beautiful, rich, likes clothes, loves William... and that's it. All the poor girl gets to do is stand on the sidelines and then have either a love scene or a fighting scene with Will. Though she's lucky enough to even get moments of witty lines and displays of spunk.
She also kind of lampshades this. Her initial rejection of Will is based on him treating her like this, as every knight who was smitten with her pretty face has done. She asks him to think of her as a person, not a prize, and when he does she falls for him. Not that the audience gets to know her very well, she still fits the trope for us.
Irina, the Greek princess in Astérix at the Olympic Games, whose entire personality is pretty much 'I love poetry, I love Lovesix, I don't want to marry Brutus'. The person chasing after her, Lovesix, is pretty static as well.
Jennifer in Back to the Future. She appeared very little in the first movie and apparently existed only so that Marty would have someone to spill exposition on in the opening scenes. Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale tried to write her out of the sequels, but the way they ended the first movie made that difficult; she did get some development in the second and third movies.
Joanna and Elizabeth, the Royal Princess Babes from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. While this was somewhat justified in the first movie due to their brief screen time, they remain featureless in the second movie, even with their more prominent role in the heroes' lives.
Marianne from The Boat That Rocked has no consistent personality in her ten minutes total screen time except to be an object of adoration for the teenage protagonist. She almost immediately breaks his heart by sleeping with another guy on their 'date', but they get back together in the last 15 minutes with practically no apology and no explanation from her.
In Cherry 2000, the title character is a Robot Girl with a very limited AI (she probably wouldn't pass a Turing Test). The whole plot of the movie is the hero's trek to find a body to replace her lost one. She only appears for a few minutes of the movie, and is unceremoniously dumped to save the female tracker who the hero fell in love with during the journey.
Since she's a sexbot, she's more or less supposed to be this. Dumping her in favor of a real person is character development; if she had a personality it would be more of a Kick the Dog moment.
Casey in Chronicle is notable in that being a Satellite Love Interest was a cover for her actual role in the film; to provide another camera for the film's Found Footage style. Ironically, she clearly has more depth than he does near the start, and they seem to have some offscreen development of their relationship.
Justin Timberlake's girlfriend in Edison exists only to remind everyone that he's a hip, sexy twenty-something and get beaten to a bloody pulp by the corrupt cops he's investigating.
Prince Edward from Enchanted parodies it from the usual Disney Princess. However, it was averted in one scene where after his kiss didn't wake up Giselle; Edward realized he wasn't the one for her and immediately asked Robert to do it, showing he is open-minded and not above putting Giselle's well-being over his own. And after Giselle woke up, he was genuinely happy for the two of them. And in the epilogue, he hooks up with Robert's girlfriend Nancy.
Link Larkin in the original 1988 film version of Hairspray had no personality whatsoever outside of being a love interest to Tracey. The musical adaptation gave him a lot more character.
John Tucker Must Die is an example of the male lead (John Tucker) being the guy who shouldn't end up with the main character, so that the Satellite Love Interest can come in at the end.
Ali Mills in The Karate Kid fits this trope to a T. She basically exists only to be Daniel's girlfriend and to sit pretty.
Meiying in the remake is very shallow too - and even weaker than Ali.
Averted (but barely) by Kumiko from the second movie, who is shown to have her own dream to become a classical Japanese dancer. . She's written out of the third movie, and the in-story reason is that she chose said dream over being with Daniel.
Katie Deauxma in the Kick-Ass movie, who is every bit Dave's dream girl to the core, even to the point of immediately forgiving him for pretending to be gay and having sex with him right afterward, plus having sex just about anywhere—including on a dumpster. She is given an occupation and her interest in comics is touched upon, but her entire character ultimately centers around being Dave's perfect girlfriend. The most important role she plays aside from that is sending Dave after Razul, which leads to him meeting other important characters.
Tina Carlyle in The Mask. To the point that they had to reveal that the other half of the Betty and Veronica was The Mole for the Big Bad in order to find a good, non-sexual reason why Stanley should prefer her in the end.
Aaron from Mean Girls is a rare male version. He pretty much solely exists to be a pretty (and gullible) face and stuck in the Love Triangle between Cady and Regina. Aaron proves he does have some depth under that handsome facade when he chews out Cady for flunking math so he can tutor her, even though she's good at it.
Adam in Morning Glory. This troper had to look up the character's name just to list it here.
Sort of in Pain and Gain. Daniel is partially motivated to the crime to get with one of the sexy clients he trains, but she is never seen or mentioned again after the gang kidnaps Kershaw. Played straight, however, with Sorina.
Jane from Puma Man. A character so lacking in personality that she barely qualifies as a cardboard cutout.
Whatsherface, Joan, from The Starfighters. The whole movie is an endless stream nothing of interest happening to incredibly uninteresting people, and she does not disappoint.
In TRON: Legacy, Olivia Wildewent out of her way to ensure that her character Quorra didn't get saddled with this. We see the beginnings of an attraction between the Sam and Quorra once they get to know each other a bit better on the Solar Sailer, which is probably a more natural true-to-life progression than this trope: they only recently met.
In-universe in The Truman Show. Truman's wife Meryl doesn't really love him and is only acting the part of his love interest. At one point, he even asks her "Why did you marry me? You can't stand me." After she leaves the show, the studio was set to have Truman start a new relationship with a hot new co-worker.
Oliver from Whip It acts like the very definition of this trope, since his scenes mainly consist of him digging Bliss, and Bliss digging him right back. The trope is deconstructed a bit, however, as he only acts this way in order to get into Bliss' pants. And she falls for it.
In A Song of Ice and Fire, Jeyne Westerling is Robb Stark's Satellite Love Interest. Her entire role in the plot is for Robb Stark to first sleep with her when mourning the supposed deaths of his brothers and marry her to preserve her honor and in the process break his vow to Walder Frey, and all she talks about is how to be a good wife to Robb. (The fact that there are no point-of-view chapters for Robb explains this somewhat; we never see the two of them interact one-on-one, so we don't know what their relationship is really like.)
Jeyne's simplicity is most likely one of the reasons why the Game of Thrones writers cut her out and replaced her with a new Love Interest for Robb who, admittedly, is a better developed character: a field nurse who maintains a strong opinion against the war and is quite intelligent in her own right. It's easier to buy why Robb breaks his engagement to a girl he's never met for her.
Bart and Robert in the Baby Sitters Club series, whose only purpose is as love interests for Kristy and Stacey respectively. By contrast, Mary Anne's boyfriend Logan was a much more rounded character and was part of the club himself.
Will Yamakawa from the book Babysitters Summer Vacation was a Satellite Love Interest for Claudia. This also counts as a Token Minority Couple.
Ada from Dickens' Bleak House falls under this trope. She is sweet and so beautiful that Even the Girls Want Her and completely in love with her cousin, Richard. And that's it.
Ditto for Lucie in A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens was at such a loss to develop her that her most memorable attribute is her ability to arrange furniture nicely.
Samson's infatuation with an unnamed Philistine woman in The Bible.
Kathein, in Courtship Rite, the woman the maran-Kaiel were originally planning to marry. She's a brilliant scientist, whose research becomes important to the plot more than once, but since they were ordered to marry someone else, the maran-Kaiel have been forbidden to see her, so she gets only a minimal amount of screen time and character development.
Lin Carter's Cthulhu Mythos tales have a variant of this in the form of the Great Old One Idh-Yaa, whose only purpose is to be Cthulhu's mate and the mother of his three sons. This may be one of the reasons why some fans disregard Lin Carter's Mythos.
Male examples in Dracula. Lucy's suitors function in the story as only that. Arthur (who is the one that gets the girl) only hopes for Lucy's affections and then mourns her death. Quinsy doesn't get the girl and only contributes owning a hunting knife to fight Dracula and getting killed off so Dracula could kill someone. Lucy's third suitor Jack avoids this. He is more developed as he works in a mental hospital where the patients sense Dracula's presence and it's he who first notices something wrong with Lucy.
Cimorene's fiancee Therandil in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. They're only in a relationship because their parents decided to betroth them, and she can't stand him because he's utterly shallow. Most of their interactions consist of her trying to get out of the marriage or trying to convince him to go away after she moves in with a dragon to get out of the marriage and he tries to rescue her. Once she finally gets rid of him (By convincing him to rescue an equally shallow princess being held by a different dragon instead) he only ever gets mentioned when she's explaining to other people how she got him to leave.
Played with in the Eternal Champion story by Michael Moorcock. The hero, Ekrose, wins a battle and becomes betrothed to the beautiful princess Iolinda, even though he just met her. Over the course of the story, he starts developing a much deeper connection to Ermihazd which develops into more genuine love. This has far reaching consequences by the end of the story.
In Firebird (Lackey), Ilya falls in love with Tatiana because she's incredibly beautiful. After rescuing her from the Katschei, he comes to the unpleasant conclusion that her looks are the only pleasing thing about her. Fortunately, he catches her cheating with his brother Piotyr, which gives him grounds to end their engagement.
Bryce Loski of Flipped is a subversion. Juli is only interested in him for superficial reasons, and her family sees him as a pretty shallow person. In reality he's got lots of Hidden Depths, he's just also a raging Stepford Smiler who deliberately projects his shallow image to cover up how bad things are at home. A major theme of the book is Juli learning to looks past appearances and Bryce learning to act like a decent human being.
In Aaron Allston's Galatea in 2-D, Kevin had divorced because Donna was not this, and painted Julia this way. In the end, after he killed Kevin, Roger paints Julia a new Kevin, who will treat her better — it wasn't after all her fault.
A Princess of Mars has John Carter do things beyond the impossible all for his relatively basic love for Dejah Thoris.
In the entire ten-book canon, Dejah Thoris' characterization never really gets much beyond "beautiful princess who loves John Carter." The only books in which she actually gets to do anything are the first (Princess) and the eighth (Swords). In books two and three (Gods and Warlord) she's essentially a MacGuffin, she spends almost the entirety of book nine (Synthetic Men) in a coma, and in the other five she makes only a cameo appearance at the end (and sometimes in the beginning as well), with the bulk of the story being about a different couple (Carter himself is a significant character in only one of the five, Llana of Gathol).
Many of these in Sweet Valley High and its spin-offs. It was almost guaranteed that once a book Elizabeth, Jessica or both would meet a new love interest who led her into some sort of scheme or caused her to become torn between him and her loyal regular boyfriend. Steven and other supporting characters got Satellite Love Interests too.
One of the most bizarre examples of this trope can be found in the concept of "imprinting" in Twilight, in which males "recognize" the females that they are destined to fall in love with — which can occur as early as child-birth (in fact, Jacob imprinted on Bella's child before she was even conceived). Many of these female imprintees are "basic" by default considering they're infants or toddlers and thus have no fixed personalities at all. Their lives revolve entirely around their future husbands considering the teenage boys appear to become their caregivers until they're of marriageable age, and whether the girls ''want'' to be in these relationships is treated as somewhat irrelevant in the text. They are future wives, nothing more. In-universe, it's explained that the boys become anything and everything that the girls want. They literally live and breath to make their imprints happy. So they're satellites as well.
One example of this was when Jacob came across his friend Quil (a teenage boy) on a date with Claire (a two year old) at the beach, which involved Quil just watching as Claire played in the sand.
Also, Bella Swan, our romantic heroine and POV character herself. We never learn much about her life in Phoenix, and although she easily makes friends in the beginning of the first novel, she immediately dumps them to be with Edward. Her whole life revolves around Edward, to the point where she actually goes catatonic when he leaves her, and in the last book she turns into a vampire, and completely leaves her human life behind her for a life with her Edward. She also has no character development at all throughout the books. At one point her mother literally compares Bella to a satellite around Edward—always orientating herself to always be near him—and Bella agrees with her mother with no second thoughts.
Ramandu's daughter in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader only appears in the last chapter and exists largely to be beautiful, be the group's host, and provide exposition on the curses that affect both her father Ramandu and the three lords that still remain alive. She isn't even named in the text, though Word of God says she's called Lilliandil. She marries Caspian when it's all over, and we're informed that they live happily ever after Until poor Lilliandil gets nommed by a snake and provides the inciting incident for The Silver Chair.
Silverstream from Warrior Cats. She never appeared in Into the Wild (not even as an apprentice or at least in the allegiances), and her first appearance in the second book was only to rescue Graystripe from drowning. She never had an appearance where it didn't involve another more important character, and the only notable thing she did outside of bearing Graystripe's kits was getting Firestar in touch with cats who knew something about Redtail's death.
Jorge Luis Borges wrote that Teodelina Villar, one of the characters of his short tale, The Zahir, was this trope for him. Then he states that in Real Life, this trope isa a deconstruction of the Artifact of Attraction: After all, a Shallow Love Interest is someone who nobody (not even the guy who is in love with her) can define why is he in love, Borges cannot justify why he is in love (fascinated by) Teodelina: Teodelina was described by Borges as a Rich in Dollars, Poor in SenseRich Bitch when she was younger, and then she was a Fallen Princess. Even when Borges describes her as pretty stupid, he claims to love her, even when he cannot justify why, except because Borges admit he is a snob.
Kennedy from season 7 appears to be interested in Willow for two reasons: she's cute, and she's willing to have sex with girls. At one point Willow asks her flat out what Kennedy knows about her, and Kennedy is barely able to come up with anything. But by the next episode, they're in a relationship.
Scott Hope, Buffy's incredibly forgettable high school boyfriend. The writers probably made him shallow deliberately to contrast with Buffy's vampire boyfriend Angel who had just been killed.
For all his popularity with the fandom even Oz counts; in his entire time as one of the main cast he had no individual plotline that didn't involve being Willow's love interest. Proof that Tropes Are Not Bad in that he still managed to be a likable, entertaining character.
Dr. Peyton Driscoll has hints of this. She had the potential to be a great character, as an ME she was obviously smart, but the writers ruined this by making her very first scene one of her in bed with Mac. Later on, it seemed virtually every scene with her had to be connected to Mac in some way.
Christine is getting milder complaints about this, though she's better liked than Peyton. Some fans feel she hasn't been fleshed out enough or given enough personality to allow people to relate well to her, and they feel she's a bit too perfect to seem real or that she's a written a bit too much like Mac's perfect woman. They point out things like her being quick to forgive Mac for initially shutting her out somewhat from his aphasia problem and that in several scenes, she's been sitting in her restaurant with the door open after hours,even in dangerous New York, as though just waiting for Mac, even the time when she hadn't been answering her phone and wouldn't have known he would be coming over.
Doctor Who, thanks to its unfortunate habit of writing out female companions by marrying them off, ended up resorting to this on occasion - great examples are David from "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", who is just there for a romance with Susan, and Troilus from "The Myth Makers", who does not have a single line of dialogue which is not about how much he loves Vicki, how happy he is loving Vicki or about how angry he is when people try to hurt Vicki.
Dollhouse: Mellie starts out as this as she is just Paul's neighbor/girlfriend. Later it is revealed that she is a doll and the whole Mellie personality was made just to be Paul's Love Interest. Her real persona, Madeline, actually has much more going on in the story.
Blaine Anderson; his primary role being Kurt's boyfriend. He rarely gets any real plots or scenes for himself; even the few that don't directly involve Kurt nevertheless end up being more about Kurt than Blaine. In the third season, he had a few Kurt-free plotlines such as friction with Finn and Sam, and his relationship with his brother.
Season four sees him become almost completely independent from Kurt. He has plenty of his own storylines and scenes.
Heroes: West, Caitlin, Yaeko, Simone. Most of these examples are so egregious as to be almost Bond girls (boys?) with how little we see of them if at all after the season they're introduced in. One of these lucky ladies is introduced and then retconned out of existence in show.
Horatio Hornblower: Mariette from "The Frogs and the Lobsters" is given very little personality. She is there just so Hornblower can fall in love with her and she reciprocates. Nearly everything she does in the episode is related in one way or another to Horatio. For example, when she's insulted by the chauvinistic Marquis, it's just a set-up to show that Horatio acts like a gentleman even to a French peasant girl.
The Inspector Lynley Mysteries: Helen Clyde, who exists almost entirely to serve as Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley's love interest. When compared to the other woman in his life — his partner Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, who is about as three-dimensional as it gets and has her own storylines, quirks, and foibles — Helen appears practically cardboard by comparison. Throw in a very healthy dose of UST and a reciprocal case of The Not-Love Interest between Lynley and Havers, and there's a reason Lynley/Havers is the show's Fan-Preferred Couple by an overwhelming margin.note This isn't the case in the novel series from which the show was adapted, where Helen is much more three-dimensional — the show, although quite beloved in its own way, is treated as an Alternate Continuity by fans with good reason — but Lynley/Havers is still the favourite by a considerable distance.
Malcolm in the Middle: Subverted Trope in one episode. Malcolm accuses his then-girlfriend of only dating him for the thrill of sneaking around. She retaliates by explaining why she genuinely likes him, citing reasons that actually make sense (e.g. he's funny, even when he's complaining.) Malcolm then figures out that he actually likes her as well, again citing reasons that she actually demonstrates. Double Subversion two episodes later, when she dumps him for being self-centered.
Deliberately an Invoked Trope between Arthur and Vivian, the latter being a Royal Brat who only exists to flounce around in pretty clothes. The two of them are put under a Love Spell that makes them act like Sickening Sweethearts, much to the bafflement of everyone else.
But notably subverted with two more of Arthur's Romantic False Leads: Princess Elena and Princess Mithian. Both are brought to Camelot (at different times) to join in an Arranged Marriage to Arthur, but instead of treating them as mere impediments to his happiness with Guinevere, both are likeable and developed characters. Elena's importance to the narrative has less to do with her relationship to Arthur as it does her role as an Unwitting Pawn in The Fair Folks' attempt to take over Camelot, and though Mithian's function was simply as a Love Interest to Arthur, she was also a three-dimensional character who ended up being popular enough to return to the show in the next season.
But played straight with Freya, Merlin's Lost Lenore. She gets one scene in which she's permitted to share details of her past (and even that is more of a Mythology Gag that establishes her affinity for lakes), the rest of the time she only exists so that Merlin can be her Caretaker, enjoy openly using his magic in front of her, and experience manpain when she dies. It's especially glaring when he takes her to a lakeside in order to Let Her Die Happy and she mutters: "you remembered..." Well of course he remembered - her love of lakes is the only personal detail she ever shares with him!
Base Breaker Guinevere is often accused of being "just a love interest" by detractors, and though it's true that most of her screen-time does indeed centre on her relationship with Arthur, the ultimate purpose of her Character Arc was to become Queen of Camelot — and it's unclear how her cynics expected this to happen without a relationship with Arthur arising (as you may have guessed, a lot of Die for Our Ship was at work here). Her Character Development involved a significant boost in confidence brought about by Arthur's love for her, and many of her strongest scenes note outsmarting the Witchfinder, freeing Sir Leon, confronting Agravaine, withstanding Morgana, trapping Ruadan occurred when Arthur was completely absent. And by the end of the series, she assumes control over Camelot after Arthur's death with confirmation by Word of God that she successfully ruled over the Golden Age in his stead. She could be described as a case of a Satellite Love Interest in the sense that she's Never a Self-Made Woman, but her character was given plenty of personal development and independent power as a direct result of her role as Arthur's Love Interest.
Revolution: From the pilot episode, Nate Walker to Charlie. He has saved her life more than once and you can tell that the show is trying to portray them as Star-Crossed Lovers, even though we don't get to see that much. However, episode 5 reveals that he is Jason, Captain Tom Neville's son. He has contributed to the plot in a number of ways. Episode 7 has Jason revealing that Aaron Pittman has the pendant, prompting Monroe to sic Will Strausser on Team Matheson. Episode 11 has Jason refuse to obey his father's orders, causing him to get thrown out with bruises and he warns Charlie about the air strike occurring in 12 hours. Episode 16 has Jason helping Charlie and Nora stage a mutiny to free Dr. Ethan Camp and his family, as well as finally getting some bonding time with Charlie. Episode 18 has Jason shoot down Jim Hudson and proving that he hasn't been working against them. Episode 19 and the first season finale show Jason trying to be a Morality Pet or at least a Morality Chain for his father, but it doesn't seem to be working so far. All in all, he's a subversion of the trope.
Sanctuary: Clara. She is the last descendant of the original Invisible Man, so the Sanctuary team has to recruit her to complete a mission. She and Will hook up pretty quickly despite the fact that they have absolutely nothing in common and she really has no purpose in the show other than Fanservice (she has to be naked to turn invisible.) Despite the fact that their relationship lasts all of four episodes, Will later describes it as one of only two "serious" relationships he's ever had. Abby has shades of this, though she does have her own job (which conflicts with the Sanctuary sometimes) and she and Will have a history together that makes their instant relationship a bit more palatable. She's still something of a Scrappy, though.
Scrubs: Elliot's boyfriend, Jake. This was explained as his having trouble expressing emotion, so they never really got to know each other very well.
Though sometimes subverted as many of the dates are complete and utter weirdos.
Silent Witness: Nikki and Harry both had a number of these, ostensibly to ramp up the Ship Tease between them when all of these relationships prove to be short-lived. Nikki continues to have them every so often after Harry leaves and Jack Hodgson arrives.
An interesting subversion with Jo in the second season. She made her first appearance as an obvious love interest for Dean, complete with an "adorably" feisty demeanor, a tragic backstory that mirrored the Winchesters', and - despite her tiny frame, lack of muscle tone, and dearth of any special powers - the ability to somehow best Dean in a physical altercation. However, by the time her subsequent appearances rolled around, the writers dramatically scaled back on her Sue tenancies, having her pull an inconveniently timed "I'm coming with you" on the Winchesters, idiotically deciding to go alone into the lair of a Monster of the Week whose MO was known to be the gruesome slaughter of young, attractive blondes, and having to be rescued by Sam and Dean, both of whom found her presence a burden and were only too happy to hand her back to her mother as soon as possible. She pretty much disappeared from the season after that, making only one more appearance which existed mainly to establish that the idea of any romantic relationship between herself and Dean was ridiculous, and that he would never come close to caring for her as much as he cared for Sam. Word of God states that Jo was originally conceived as a love interest for Dean, and that she was phased out of the series due to negative fan reaction, which explains the rapid scrapping of her original characterization.
Deconstructed Trope in "Wishful Thinking". In this example a guy uses a magic coin he inherited to create a wishing well, so he can make the girl who he's been in love with since high school, but is oblivious to him, love him over anything else. At first he's happy with the new situation, but eventually gets disheartened from the fact that she literally has no personality other than pleasing and loving him, even killing others for him to maintain their "love".
Ugly Betty: Austin has no last name and is more of a plot device to get Justin to realize his sexuality than an actual character.
Salem: Gloriana, a sex worker whom Cotton Mather is apparently in love with.
Aaron Hill, Luann's long time crush object. Very pretty... and that's it. Even attempts at giving him depth (the revelation of his relationship with legally-adult Dianne) only served to underline what little personality he had.
There was an arc where Luann was spending a lot of time with Gunther, only for the end of the arc to reveal that it had been Aaron in disguise the whole time, trying to teach her a lesson about judging on appearances vs. actual merits. It's telling that, aside from disguise time, the most interaction the two had was Aaron berating Luann for missing the point when she asked to try on the Gunther mask.
Aaron ended up getting more depth with later stories, though that ended up being negated when he was Put on a Bus. But he has nothing on the blandness of Quill, who is handsome and... Australian. And that's about it.
A prime example is The Little Red Haired Girl from the Peanuts comics. We hardly know a thing about her, she didn't appear onstage in the strip (her first on screen appearance was in an animated TV special in 1977) or even her name (the specials called her "Heather"). Of course the whole point of this romance is about Charlie Brown's one-sided affections and inner emotional turmoil for her, rather than actual interaction.
Which actually makes her essentially the opposite of this trope: her life emphatically does not revolve around Charlie, and she presumably has her own interests, we just don't know anything about them.
Papagena in The Magic Flute is one of the most blatant examples ever - having literally the same personality as Papageno but as a woman.
Lia in Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana. The whole show is about her sweetheart, Zark, going on The Quest to find her after, sometime prior to the beginning of the show, they were separated for reasons unknown to the audience. With this in mind, she only appears in the final scene.
Many early video games featured a Damsel in Distress as part of the backstory who didn't even manage to rank as high up as static, since the poor girl spends the whole game imprisoned somewhere and rarely gets to do more than possibly say thanks to the heroes at the end.
Even today, Peach still barely has a personality. This is due to executing meddling by Shigeru Miyamoto by his insistence that Mario games should only have gameplay, no story.
Li in Aquaria due to the fact that we only ever hear Naija talk, and in the past tense.
Naija to Li, as well. When she was on her own, her desire just to figure out what the hell happened to everyone made for a pretty compelling motivation; when she meets Li, the story utterly derails as she loses all interest in solving the mystery or exploring; she's so happy that she's not completely alone anymore that as long as she doesn't have to be alone ever again, the game could end right there for all she cares. She literally only continues along to find the answers and beat the final boss because there's a mouse cursor telling her where to go and what to shoot.
Rika Shiraki's "path" in Bible Black. Minase is only slightly interested in her at first because she's the popular "school idol". After he puts a love spell on her, she only exists to have lots of sex with not just Minase, who she is now obsessively in love with, but anyone Minase tells her to have sex with.
Rosa Joanna Farrell from Final Fantasy IV is often criticized for her only noticeable character trait being her dedication to Cecil. Ultimately subverted in that she does have reasons to oppose Baron that are unrelated to Cecil.The DS version in particular allows the player to view her thoughts on the game's events; they have remarkably little to do with Cecil.
All of the playable characters in Fire Emblem Awakening can marry each other at any time in the game, while The Hero Chrom must marry at the end of Chapter 11. He can get good development with any of his five love interests (including a Female Avatar), and though pairing with Olivia is more or less forced if you chose to do it (she joins the same chapter Chrom has to marry), he can support with her after the fact, and many fans consider said supports to be pretty cute on their own. note (And there's a rather popular Alternate Character Intepretation about Olivia and Chrom's deal being a Love at First Sight that later developed into true affection.) However, if all of Chrom's choices are married off, killed off or have no affection points with him before then, he marries a generic village girl who only appears in one scene and isn't heard of after that.
Out of Chrom's love interests, Sumia is the one who's more frequently accused of being this to him. Predictably, the potshots come from insecure and rabid Chrom/Female Avatar shippers who feel threatened by her being the otherImplied Love Interest for him, and therefore the one who poses the biggest "threat" to their ship. Sumia's romantic and non-romantic supports, limited as they are, rarely if ever mention Chrom himself in almost any way, focusing instead on how she tries to help other people and work on her insecurities.
Diana Allers from Mass Effect 3 is the most shallow love interest in the series by far, a title formerly held by Kelly Chambers. She initially joins the Normandy crew to help drum up support for the war effort, but as she interviews Shepard, she makes increasingly flirty gestures at him/her; if the player has Shep reciprocate, it's treated as an incredibly brief fling and never referenced again. You're not even admonished or locked out of pursuing a legitimate romance for giving Diana an exclusive. Particularly telling is that she is the only love interest who will even attempt to hit on Shepard if a true romance has already been locked in.
Sunny Funny from Parappa The Rapper. Her role in both games revolves around her being Parappa's crush.
Persona 3 has Aigis, whose development leads her to become a Satellite Love Interest as part of her Become a Real Boy plot. Her role in FES expands on this, but her relationship with the protagonist is still the core of her character.
Justified: She is a Shadow destroying robot. The protagonist fights shadows and has the worst one sealed inside him so naturally she joins him.
Beth in Shin Megami Tensei II was intended as such for the hero, but she also proves useful in battle, thus giving her a useful purpose. Is totally subverted because she also does a Heroic Sacrifice and gives you her power in death, as, even though you find out she was created to serve you, her love for you was quite real.
Mist, Mana, and Shara are considered the Canon love interest in their respectable Rune Factory games. Unsurprisingly, they also tend to be the ones least likely picked by players for marriage due to the much more interesting choices the game gives for other bachelorettes. Rune Factory 4 manages to subvert this by throwing away the idea of a canon love interest all together.
Molly in Achewood semi-averts this at first, with her introduction giving her plenty of reasons to find interest in Roast Beef. However, this development (such as her interest in computer programming) was more or less dropped when she moved in with him. She then pretty much played this trope to a tee, getting defined only by her relationship with Roast Beef (to the point where she almost never even interacted with the other characters). As of recently, though, she's been getting more development.
Alex in Candi. He seems to be getting more static and more dense with every appearance. Not that he was ever much more than "Candi's boyfriend" before.
Regardless of whether or not it was intentional, Yosue Makoto from Red String ended up like this by the end of the comic's run. From his first appearance and throughout the comic, all he has ever wanted was Miharu, even while she was engaged to Kazuo (and while he was engaged to Miharu's cousin Karen.) He never gives Miharu (or the audience) a reason why he's in love with her, he just is. The most insight we've gotten into his single-minded desire to completely possess Miharu is that he fell in love with her image in a photograph. Aside from his obsession with her, we don't know much else about him aside from a few throwaway traits. All of which completely vanish as in the final ten pages of the comic, he literally makes a phone call to his parents to arrange things so he can safely quit his job, explicitly so he can date Miharu full-time, and then travel the world with her doing...apparently, nothing but eating, given his description of their future activities as "I want to taste food...together."
Pretty much every female character in Sonichu, but the most obvious is Rosechu, who mostly cooks, cleans, and has sex with her titular boyfriend (later husband)... despite issue 8 showing off The Incredible Lioness, who would definitely aid in some later issues, but is never brought up again, and pretty much only exists to show that Sonichu is STRAIGHT. Ivy O'Neil in the comics can be considered this too. She's told by God and Jesus that her true love is to be Chris himself once he escapes from the mirror, and she accepts this without question or protest. She's pretty much not characterised at all beyond that.
Darwin's Soldiers has Aydin Marcos. His only defining personality trait is the fact that he loves Aimee.
In Noob, Arthéon and Kary bonded over both being The Roleplayer, but Kary's role in the story seems to limit itself to dating Arthéon long enough for him to get deeply attached to her, then choosing the discovery of new game content over their in-game wedding that Arthéon viewed as a first step towards a real-life one. This causes the Rage Breaking Point that ends pushing Arthéon's storyline in a new direction, and Kary is out of the picture after this.
In All Grown Up!, Rachel (Tommy's girlfriend) is this to a T. Not only doesn't she receive any character development, but she has no close connections with any of the Rats, nor is she seen with anyone else aside from Tommy. Compared to more popular fan pairings such as Tommy/Kimi and Tommy/Lil, Rachel generally contributes nothing to the series. In addition, their romance has had its share of complications. In the end, because of her family moving away, she generally breaks up with Tommy. But to make matters worse, when Rachel sees Tommy with another girl, she tells him that she never wants to see him again.
Queen Rapsheeba, Snap's love interest on ChalkZone.
Explored in a more realistic way in Daria, with Daria and Tom Sloane. They get along fairly well, there's a brief Love Triangle with tom's original girlfriend/Daria's best friend Jane, they hook up in the end when it's resolved — and they break their relationship amiably in the end, since they simply had different interests in life.
Angela from Fish Hooks really has no character outside of being Oscar's girlfriend and having a lot in common with him.
Ruth MacDougal (the brunette sixth grader with braces whom Arnold had a crush on during the first season) on Hey Arnold! is an example, though Arnold stopped pursuing her on the Valentine's Day episode when Ruth talks and Arnold discovers that she's not like he imagined her.
On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Jez and Saffi exist only to be girlfriends of Lucius and Beezy, respectively, and are ignored when these connections aren't important. This is notable in one episode involving Beezy being put in an Arranged Marriage, when he points out he has Saffi, she's wheeled out to say "I don't mind," then proceeds to disappear other than a cameo near the end.
One-shot girly girl Dawn from KaBlam! who showed up in the episode "A Nut in Every Bite!". As soon as he saw her Henry fell in love with her. However, she was rather boring personality-wise, especially compared to the snarky tomboyish June, and other than finding him hilarious, she didn't return his affections. He forgets about his crush on her at the end once he realizes that she wasn't worth it.
Parodied in Kim Possible, where Senor Senor Junior kidnapped a computer expert so he can find the perfect girl that matched his Shallow requirements. Turns out it's Bonnie.
Angel has no noticeable personality traits outside of being a girl version of Stitch and being his love interest. Oh, there's also something to do with her singing being able to turn older Experiments evil and that's about it.
Lilo's love interest Keoni.
Moral Orel: As adorable as their relationship is, Christina is pretty hard to characterize outside of being Orel's crush and eventually, his wife.
Flash Sentry from My Little Pony Equestria Girls has received quite a bit of criticism for this reason. He looks nice, helps Twilight twice, plays a guitar, generally seems to be a Nice Guy, was Sunset Shimmer's ex-boyfriend, and his equine counterpart is a guard in Cadance's castle. And that's all we ever know about him.
Jeremy Johnson from Phineas and Ferb used to qualify. Earlier episodes gave him no purpose other than being a bright spot in Candace's life, but recent episodes develop him more. He's shown to have his own life and friends, and is savvy to Candace's freak outs. He's even got extensive interaction with other characters up to and including Dr. Doofenshmirtz.
In The Proud Family: Suga Mamma is attracted to Lasienaga's Grandpa, although the latter not only has no interest in her, but also seems to insult her every time, and in at least one episode also wished for her to disappear. Literally the only reason why she continues with her crush anyways is because she doesn't understand Spanish (the grandpa always speaks in Spanish). Then again, in this case it's just a Running Gag so that the grandfather can insult her and laugh maniacally afterwards.
AndrAIa from ReBoot has this problem, especially after she grows up & loses the naive Fish out of Water characteristics that made her so endearing at the beginning. She was originally created to do nothing more than try to kill a guy in a submarine, so it's not like she would have needed much of a personality. Also, she's a bit of an Action Girl, so it's not like she's totally useless.
Johnny V. from Recess only existed to give Spinelli a Temporary Love Interest. To the point where he doesn't even appear outside the episode he first appears in.
Several minor characters from The Simpsons can come off as this, defined entirely by being the wife of a more prominent character. Sarah Wiggum, Bernice Hibbert and Brandine Spuckler all come across as this at times, although to some degree they have all developed to a limited extent. Averted with Helen Lovejoy, whose personality of being a gossipy Moral Guardian is more than enough to stand on its own.
Lola Bunny in her initial appearance, because Bugs Bunny needs to be romantically infatuated. The Looney Tunes Show revamped her into a character that does date Bugs, but has a defined personality, family life, and interests that make her a unique character as well. To a smaller extent, she also had a defined personality on Baby Looney Tunes outside of Bugs, though largely because everyone was now infants, there was no romance going on.
Trent from Total Drama has some characterization, but really never gets a plotline that doesn't involve Gwen. The writers don't seem to have much else to do with him, at least in the context of the Show Within a Show—he's voted off as soon as they break up in season two and he's not a contestant on season three, though there is a minor subplot about him forming a boy band with Cody, Harold and Justin.
X-Men: Evolution. has two examples: Scott's SLI is Taryn Fujioka, whose only connection to the cast besides Scott is the fact she's apparently one of Jean's friends, one that appears once or twice for a few seconds standing next to Jean, then doing nothing until suddenly being interested in Scott. Jean, meanwhile, got Duncan; however, the writers brought him in as a Jerk Jock to give him something besides dating Jean (IE, making him pick on Toad and, to a lesser extent, Blob, and giving him a rivalry with Scott), before he developed during seasons 3 and 4 into a mutant hater with a penchant for grudges who's smart enough to avoid antagonizing the mutants that will fight back with their powers.
Gandra Dee in DuckTales is this. She has no purpose on the show other than being Fenton's love interest/girlfriend. She only appeared in six episodes though.
Littlest Pet Shop (2012) has Josh Sharpe, whose only known traits are limited to, he's nice and is in a band. The show had several crushes for the pets who only appeared in one single episode note Delilah was in a two-parter and they were all developed much deeper. Except for the polecat Captain Cuddles who also didn't have very much characterization aside from being charming. And Philippe Boudreaux who was a Dog Mime, nothing more.