Alice discovers that there's one person that just doesn't like her. She freaks out because she must be liked by everybody. "How can Bob not like me? What's not to like?" Alice may go through every single event of her life trying to figure out why Bob doesn't like her. Sometimes, this type of story is used to teach the audience An Aesop that "You can't please everyone." but other times Hilarity Ensues.
For some reason, Alice never wonders why she wants to befriend someone who's consistently rude to her despite her kindness. At worst, it's less about the other person and more about her ego. Her attempts to reverse this dislike will only succeed in really giving the other person a reason to hate her.
Arguably related to Unrequited Love Tropes, if the hero romantically pursues the one person who can't stand him, which can range from "sweet if hopeless" to "you're only doing this for the challenge, aren't you?" to "Stalker with a Crush."
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Anime and Manga
In Fruits Basket, Tohru is deeply distressed at Akito's dislike of her. It stems from confusion over Akito's behavior (their first meeting had Akito being rather shy and eager to befriend Tohru, only for later meetings to have Akito revert back to Standard Creepy Mode) and Tohru's usual belief that if someone is angry with her, it's caused by some fault on her part and that she should do whatever she can to make amends for it.
In one episode of Ranma Ĺ, a cursed brooch made Shampoo despise Ranma rather than love him madly as usual. Rather than being grateful that one of the most troublesome angles on his Love Dodecahedron had fixed itself, he took a massive blow to his ego and set out to win her back, just so he could feel manly.
The World God Only Knows touches on this when a pop idol insists that The Protagonist love her music in order for her to have a sense of self-worth, ignoring the millions of cheering fans. Ultimately the trope is subverted; by the end of her arc Kanon is able to live with the fact that not everyone will be her fan, and Keima has come to like her music.
Played for Drama in the comic series Irredeemable. The Plutonian has an intense, driving need to be loved by everyone around him and receives endless praise from being the world's greatest super-hero. But he's unable to get over the few people who don't shower him with praise, leading him to bitterly think that the entire population of Earth are nothing but selfish, ungrateful animals.
Discussed in Wayne's World. Wayne mentions that it's okay if a few people don't like his show and explains it this way:
A rare non-comic example may be found in author Flannery O'Conner's short story "Revelation". In it, smug Ruby Turpin is the well-bred wife of a successful farmer and highly respected by her town and church; she seldom lets anyone forget how blessed by God she is. Everyone goes along with this and with her constant passing judgments until a girl from a white-trash background insults Mrs. Turpin and hurls her philosophy book at her. (It's implied the girl is mentally disturbed.) Shaken, the older woman returns home, refusing any consolation, shouting at her black farm help who keep saying they admire her. Ultimately the girl's words leave Mrs. Turpin severely upset, recoiling at the unpleasant truths she sees about herself and railing at God.
Twilight kicks off this way. After everyone Bella meets at school is friendly and welcoming to her, she is nearly driven to tears because Edward Cullen is distant with her. Instead of doing her best to ignore it, she does nothing but obsess of this. In later books, Bella has a paralyzing fear of even talking to Rosalie and Leah, because they are pretty much the only vampire and werewolf respectively who don't like her.
Is it really that hard to fathom that somewhere, in this vast cosmos, there might exist a single person - a single ENTITY - that thinks ya suck?
When Ray Romano did stand-up comedy at just for laughs, he posited to the audience that everybody truly loved him. There were three objections: Herb from New Brunswick (who is not Micky Dolenz), the swinging Levines, and Shelagh Rogers from CBC's This Morning.
Done in a Golden Girls episode, in which Rose has a coworker that cannot stand her. Her efforts to make him like her only worsen this, naturally, and quite frankly, border on harassment.
This often happens to Frasier; it's often lampshaded with the frequently-offered explanation that Frasier is a pretty emotionally needy person and possesses a deep-seated yearning to be liked by everyone. But one notable instance was an episode when his show was being focus-grouped — out of twelve people in the group, only one person (played by Tony Shaloub) didn't like the show and didn't like him. Rather than accept that eleven people did like him, Frasier of course obsessed over the one person who didn't, and ended up hounding him to the extent that he accidentally burnt down the man's news-stand. It turned out that the only reason the man didn't like Frasier before was because he thought Frasier was a bit of a know-it-all, but he certainly had reason enough not to like him after.
After Babu's restaurant goes under because of Seinfeld's advice. "Was mother wrong?"
George cannot take it when Jerry's girlfriend doesn't like him; it goes so far that he falls in love with her because she dislikes him so much.
On another episode, this trope was turned on its head, when Jerry starts going out with this cute, perfect girl. The only thing is, everybody else - close friends included - talk about her as if she were a loser, like he's doing her a favor by going out with her. Naturally, Jerry obsesses over what hidden trait could possibly make her undesirable... Until she meets his parents, and they just love her. He dumps her immediately.
Jerry's mother's reaction to Crazy Joe Davola wanting him dead: "How can anybody not like him?!" His father is not so surprised.
A whole episode on Mad About You is devoted to Jaime's need for the new stuffy English couple who move in next door to like her. After many incidents - including Paul getting caught with the neighbor's wife's panties on his head, a mis-delivered pizza, and Murray getting lucky with their prized show dog - the couple can't stand either one of them. Somewhat unique for this trope, they stay on as regular supporting characters.
JD's constant efforts to get the Janitor to like him, or eventually just to call off his grudge, usually backfire in this manner. There have also been a few episodes where it is implied or outright stated that in fact a lot of people at the hospital don't like him, though he usually manages to avoid the revelation.
On the episode of "Med School" JD get a negative review from a student after spending an entire class period explaining why he is the best teacher around. JD then spends an episode trying to figure out who that was, only to find out that it was Dr. Cox himself. Also happens when he checks his ratings on the RateMyDoc website, after being rated #1.
A 3rd Rock from the Sun episode involved Dick getting upset that a cafeteria lady hated him. This is pretty bizarre when you consider how Dick is usually apparently okay with several regular and recurring characters disliking him. In fact, when he got angry that she didn't even hate him for an actual reason, Nina replied "Does she need a reason? 'Cause I can give her reasons."
Drew Carey was horrified to discover that he had a hate group that composed of people he'd accidentally wronged. Drew spent an episode apologizing, only to accidentally wrong another character, starting the cycle anew.
Friends had a plot like this: Phoebe forgets to mail an invitation to Rachel's mother for the baby shower that Monica is throwing. Rachel's mother blames Monica for it (because it was Monica who called to tell her about the mistake) and Monica spends the rest of the episode obsessively trying to make Rachel's mother like her again. In the end, she learns nothing.
Another one has Chandler finding out that Monica hasn't told her parents about their relationship because they don't like him. Eventually he finds out that years ago Ross lied and told them that Chandler had smoked pot in his room.
On Better Off Ted, Ted found that he was not as popular with males over 50 in the company as he was with all the other demographics. He spends half the episode trying to find out why. He eventually decides that he doesn't want to make them like him, and goes back to normal.
An episode of The Latest Buzz has Michael desperate to get validation for his fashion choices from a total stranger after he thinks the stranger made a sarcastic remark about his tie.
Susan on Desperate Housewives with anyone, but especially when Bob and Lee moved in, and mistook her for being homophobic. She ended up hiding their lost dog so that she could help them find it. Of course, things really backfired when they figured her out.
On 30 Rock, Jenna is upset by the fact that Frank doesn't like her, and spends an episode trying to win him over. Strange, in that Jenna is a gorgeous blonde and Frank is a geeky, slovenly pervert. In another episode from another season, she was upset that Frank wouldn't brag that he slept with her - Frank had his reasons, though. Everyone is disgusted when they find out; disgusted at Frank for sleeping with Jenna.
One episode of Will and Grace had Grace and her husband Leo both obsessing over why Karen doesn't like Leo (she doesn't think he's funny). Leo even digs up an old yearbook to show Karen all the signatures he got, proving everyone loved him and thought he was hilarious.
In one episode of Boy Meets World, Cory discovers that Angela keeps trying to avoid him and spends the entire episode trying to figure out why she doesn't like him. Eventually it is revealed that she is only avoiding him because she is hurt over her breakup with Shawn and being with Cory is a painful reminder. The revelation brings the two of them closer together.
In How I Met Your Mother, Ted finds out that he's gotten loads of glowing reviews from his students on ratemyprofessor, from "A++++" to "brilliant puns", but ignores them all and fixates on the single person who called him "boring". He spends the entire episode obsessing about it, and sure enough, boring everyone to tears with his constant attempts to prove he's not boring.
Rocky Blue of Shake It Up is particularly adamant that everyone likes her, and spends an entire episode trying to win the favor of the cantankerous old witch Mrs. Locassio.
One episode of Community had Jeff finally realize he'd had a locker for three years, which was filled with mail, one piece of which was a note from someone named Kim who hated him. He spends the whole episode obsessing about what could have made Kim hate him, and more or less completely fails to realize that Kim didn't like him because he's honestly a huge jerk to everyone.
Cheryl in According to Jim, lampshadedly by Dana, when she hears Andy's girlfriend doesn't like her. She learns it's because she is too perfect.
In the Ultra Fast Pony episode "So Random!", Pinkie Pie stakes her entire self-worth on being regarded as a hilarious comedian. Cranky doesn't think she's funny at all, so she becomes obsessed with convincing him otherwise. The absurdity is lampshaded at the end of the episode:
Cranky: Oh, I'm so happy now! Pinkie Pie, how can I ever repay ya? Pinkie: Can you please tell me that I'm funny? Cranky: I don't understand, we've only just met. Why does my opinion even matter? Pinkie: Look, Lanky, if I can't get the approval of complete strangers for my sense of humor, then my life will never be validated!
In the same episode, Moe tries to comfort Homer by saying that there are people who don't like him, too. Homer refuses to accept this.
This also happens in an episode where Homer and Marge go to a remake of Mr. Smith Goes To Washington where Homer gives the only negative review because it didn't have any mindless action of lowbrow humour. True to the pattern, the director (Guest star Mel Gibson) decides to listen to Homer and only Homer and allows him to advise on his next movie.
The Recess episode "Nobody Doesn't Like TJ" has TJ obsesses over why Gordy doesn't like him.
In The Weekenders, Tino spends an entire episode trying to get someone to invite him to a party, and he doesn't even like the guy.
In an episode of Family Guy Brian finds out that Quagmire hates him. As you'd expect from any sitcom, he goes through several ordeals to improve their relationship, only to make it worse and horribly awkward (including thinking that Quagmire's sister [whose boyfriend is abusing her] is one of Quagmire's dates and tricking Quagmire into thinking that Cheryl Tiegs [the only woman whom Quagmire was really in love with; the break-up of which was what turned Quagmire into a sex addict] was taking him to dinner). When Brian asks him why he hates him, he replies with a long tirade based on viewers' complaints about Brian's personality.
In another episode, this reaches the breaking point when Brian unknowingly sleeps with Quagmire's father, who just had a sex change. Tellingly, Quagmire was fine with this until he found out it was Brian.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The episode "A Friend in Deed" has Pinkie Pie encounter Cranky Doodle Donkey, the one creature in Equestria she's met who refuses to be her friend. She spends the rest of the episode trying to change that, and true to the pattern, makes it worse. She pulls it off by reuniting him with his lost love.
SpongeBob SquarePants has "Plankton's Regular" which features Mr. Krabs throwing fits and going to ever increasing measures to lure back the one, count 'em, one customer who ignores the Krusty Krab in favor of Plankton's Chum Bucket.
One episode of the 2007 George of the Jungle has George growing increasingly upset over the one animal in the jungle who doesn't call him a friend, a sloth that shows no affection or even interest in him. He runs around screaming and crying himself into a complete nervous breakdown before finding out that the sloth actually does like George, but is very, very, very slow to show it.
The late-fifties Terrytoons short "Flebus" about a guy who is genuinely liked by everyone. When he meets the one person who doesn't like him, Flebus starts obsessing over him. Turns out the guy who hates Flebus is obsessed with him as well, as he's the only one he hates.