Stalking Is Funny If It Is Female After Male
Oh oh oh / She's following me!A man who creeps after a woman, spies on her and builds a Stalker Shrine in her honor is creepy. The woman, however, not so much, especially if she is conventionally attractive, but even if she isn't, she is far more likely to be treated sympathetically and the whole thing far more likely to be Played for Laughs than if the gender dynamic were reversed. In Real Life, it shouldn't need to be said, stalking is a Bad Idea™ and, depending on the extent to which the stalker goes, almost certainly illegal no matter which genders are involved. Unfortunately, this trope can be found in Real Life insofar as men are often less likely to be taken seriously by the authorities than women in a similar situation. That said, as with similar tropes, No Real Life Examples, Please! Compare Stalking Is Love and Stalker with a Crush. This trope is related to and often overlaps with Abhorrent Admirer. This trope tends to serve as the Lighter and Softer Sister Trope of Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male, note though the stereotypes regarding stalking aren't quite identical to the stereotypes regarding rape.
Oh oh oh / She's out of her tree!
Oh oh oh / She's off of her rocker!
I want to marry my stalker!
Oh oh oh / She's out of her tree!
Oh oh oh / She's off of her rocker!
I want to marry my stalker!
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- A series of commercials for the Android smartphone featured a girl who couldn't stop talking about her new Love Interest, Brad, and all the different ways the Android's apps let her keep tabs on him. She could go through his Facebook and compare herself to photos of his ex-girlfriends, watch his Twitter to see if he mentioned her, and so on. Taken to the disturbing extreme when she talked about checking in on Foursquare... which had just declared her the 'mayor' of Brad's closet. The wide-eyed, vacant, faintly unhinged expression on the actress's face only made it that much creepier, but the whole thing was Played for Laughs. Hard to imagine them being as funny if the stalker was male.
Anime and Manga
- Axis Powers Hetalia: Russia's younger sister Belarus stalks him and tries to force him to marry her, totally Played for Laughs.
- In Death Note, Misa Amane stalking Light (a Cute and Psycho Yandere Serial-Killer Killer stalking another Serial-Killer Killer) is mostly Played for Laughs.
- Ayame Sarutobi from Gintama frequently stalks Gintoki, and being a ninja, she tends to show up in unexpected places. She's infiltrated his home on numerous occasions, with his typical response being to throw her out onto the street. However, as a masochist, the repeated rejection only motivates her....
- Averted in Mirai Nikki, where Yuno's stalking of Yuki is portrayed as terrifying and unhealthy behaviour, and Yuki is clearly appalled by it, only choosing to stick around with Yuno as she is his only chance of making it through the Survival Game alive. Initially, at least....
- Hinata is this for Naruto, what with how many times you see her watching him from the sidelines.
- Karin is the same for Sasuke, only less sympathetic, because while Naruto actually likes Hinata, Sasuke finds Karin creepy (which might have something to do with the fact that she once planned to drug their teammates so she could rape him while he was injured).
- Kotone in Nyan Koi! is a Nightmare Fetishist who crushes hard on the hero because of his curse. She has an entire fantasy journal about him in her cell phone, and has no qualms about bugging his house. Her twin sister Akari does not approve of this, reminding Kotone that she shouldn't stalk people before turning 20.
- Mizore Shirayuki from Rosario To Vampire initially averts this due to her yandere tendencies, but when she moves past those, her stalking habits become far more comical. She has hidden in trash cans, outside the second story window, and many, many other strange places. All because she finds it "fun".
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei has a girl stalking her teacher...persistently, and much to his chagrin. But that's just one thing in that anime that Crosses the Line Twice. And in a twist, it isn't funny just because of the student stalking her teacher, but because now the student is being stalked by her ex-boyfriend, the ex-boyfriend by his current girlfriend, etc. leading to a chain of stalkers.
- Definitely Juvia's obsession with Gray in Fairy Tail. Especially before she joins the titular guild, since before then she doesn't have a chance to hang out with him every day and just stalks him because of that. She has even kept track of the number of days they've known each other, the fact that her room is full of Gray dolls is portrayed as cute, and most members of the guild think Gray should just date her already. He has now put up with her antics for almost 300 chapters, but when Lucy is followed by a suspiciously-looking man (who is soon revealed to just be her father gone from Riches to Rags), she is genuinely afraid and freaks out over what his intentions might be.
- Played straight in the Death Note fic A Cure for Love when Misa gives Light a Forceful Kiss and everyone laughs. Averted earlier when L warns Light just how dangerous Misa's "crush" is:
L: It must have quite distressing to come home and find your family murdered only to watch the perpetrator evade justice... However, considering that psychological trauma, she is most definitely and unsurprisingly unbalanced. She exhibits signs of erotomania in relation to you, Light-kun.
Light: I wouldn't go that far... It's a crush. I can handle it.
L: Yes, by avoidance. I dealt with a case where the victim handled it in the same way as you're doing. Didn't end well.
Light: They died?
L: No, but 56 other people did when their stalker decided that their deaths would be an appropriate tribute.
Light: Oh, that's comforting.
- This is Lampshaded in the Death Note fic Fever Dreams. Many background characters find it humorous how Misa stalks Light (or even think he's lucky to be stalked by a hot celebrity chick) and only when Misa gets really violent and crazy do people even consider calling the cops.
- It's implied in the Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja fanfic "Prom 1985" when we learn why the Nomicon chose Randy as the current Ninja. She saw him shirtless when she was using her psychic powers to observe possible candidates.
- All About Steve has Mary, who is stalking Steve across the country as she's decided he's her one true love. She's oblivious. Steve's crew thinks it's hilarious. Steve is terrified.
- Fatal Attraction is probably one of the most memorable depictions of stalking on film, and it subverts this trope in terrifying fashion.
- Subverted in He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not, a French movie starring Audrey Tautou. Initially, the film presents the relationship between the male and female leads from the perspective of Tautou's character as if it were a typical romantic drama. Halfway through the movie, it's flipped and the same events are depicted the eyes of her unwitting crush, revealing that Tautou's character is actually a deranged, violent stalker.
- High School Musical: In the second film Sharpay anonymously hires Troy to work for her, spies on him almost 24/7, has his manager track his movements, and blackmails him into singing romantic duets with her. All while he has a girlfriend he is very much in love with and repeatedly indicates he's uncomfortable with Sharpay's attention. While Sharpay's clearly in the wrong, her actions are played as a frivolous teenage crush instead of anything more serious, and most of the blame falls on Troy for not getting rid of her.note
- In the Harry Potter universe, magical date-rape drugs are sold out in the open and it's considered wacky hijinks when Ron gets dosed by Romilda Vane, a crazy fangirl who intended for Harry to take the potion. In the case of Merope Gaunt's stalking Tom Riddle Sr. and dosing him with a love potion it's at least depicted as unhealthy, although still far more sympathetic than a male-on-female equivalent would be. What's especially weird is that both of these events are described in the same book, and yet neither is brought up in reference to the other.
Live Action TV
- Kat from the sitcom The Class stalks Benjamin, taking disturbingly specific pictures of him and developing them herself, then stacking them in large piles and knowing exactly where to find a particular picture. Initially funny, until she starts dating Benjamin and he finds the pictures. But then he forgives her.
- Family Matters has a subversion in that Steve Urkel stalking Laura Winslow is presented as funny... although that's only because Steve is a little coward who wouldn't - or couldn't - hurt a fly.
- Two and a Half Men: Rose being Charlie's stalker is a Running Gag. Even the fact that she murders him is Played for Laughs.
- Played for Cringe Comedy with Mel in the music comedy show Flight of the Conchords. She stalks Jemanie and Bret, the two members of the band, despite being married. They grudgingly put up with some amount of it because she's the band's only fan.
- Subverted in one episode of Friends, when Joey, acting as the character Drake Remoray on Days of Our Lives, attracts the attention of an obsessive fan who believes that Joey actually is Remoray and doesn't understand that he is only playing a character - and who happens to be played by Brooke Shields. Joey is initially pleased by her adoration of him, but gradually begins to realize just how deranged she is and quickly gets out of the situation.
- Subverted in the eighth season of How I Met Your Mother. The rest of the gang are clearly horrified by Jeanette's actions while stalking Ted. Unfortunately, Ted is not.
- In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Odo is sufficiently unnerved by Lwaxana Troi's unwanted romantic attention and refusal to take "go away and leave me alone" for an answer that he goes to Commander Sisko asking for help dealing with the situation. Sisko brushes him off and tells him to "handle it," and the whole thing is Played for Laughs. Significantly, Odo had an extremely difficult upbringing, "growing up" surrounded by beings that had no biological similarities to him and who didn't even realize he was sentient for quite a while, and consequently has always found socialization rather difficult. Try to imagine a female officer in similar circumstances dealing with the unwanted romantic attentions of a male dignitary being treated the same way by her commander. Not funny, is it?
- Kesha's "Steven" (wherein the narrator is a female Stalker with a Crush going after what she claims is the one guy immune to her charms) plays this trope straight so hard that it arguably swings right into being a Dark Comedy Deconstruction. Most especially when you consider the official music video. It's funny not because it's "harmless" or non-threatening, but precisely because the narrator is utterly nuts...
Cause you're my object of affection
My drug of choice
My sick obsession
I want to keep you as my pet
To play with and hide under my bed
- Completely averted in the music video for Song Ji Eun's "Going Crazy." There is nothing at all funny about a Yandere Stalker with a Crush tying up her love interest, taking him for a Blindfolded Trip in the trunk of her car, and then dousing him in gasoline before throwing a match behind her back as she walks away.
- Slate's Amanda Marcotte expressed surprise that Alanis Morrisette's "You Oughta Know" was ever considered a feminist anthem when it's clearly written from the point of view of a stalkerish woman who won't take no for an answer after the relationship's over.
- Amy Rose from Sonic the Hedgehog. It's supposed to be adorable because she's a little girl and he's a famous hero, but thinking about it can make Amy come across as rather creepy, especially when she's throwing herself onto random hedgehogs, thinking they're Sonic.
- Noticed and defied by The Nostalgia Chick's obsession with Todd in the Shadows. Because people were rooting for her more than they were for Todd to get Lupa, the Chick went through some Sanity Slippage very quickly and started kidnapping him, tying him up, stealing his stuff in order to manipulate him to go out with her, tried to kill Lupa because she rejected him, expressed a wish to make love to his corpse, looked forward to a "date" where he would be a vulnerable drunk, and sexually assaulting him when he was asleep. Still Played for Laughs (as is Todd for Lupa), just pitch-black ones.
- The "Overly Attached Girlfriend" meme. Most responses are to the effect of "I wouldn't mind being kept locked up in a dark room with my legs broken so I can't run away by her". In the videos by Laina herself, however, the tone is definitely meant to be horrifying. Misaimed Fandom indeed.
- Played straight and inverted on The Fairly OddParents. Timmy is constantly trying to shake off Tootie and Veronica, who are so madly in love with him and do incredibly creepy things to get his affection. Of course, Timmy has also done plenty of creepy things to get Trixie's attention, but it's just as funny.
- On Family Guy, Meg usually stalks guys who are nice to her, at one point or another stalking Brian, Joe, and Kent. However, it comes to a point that her stalking isn't played for laughs and the police had to stop Meg from raping Brian. Kent once calls her a psycho after she attempts to trick Chris into sleeping with him.
- Yo for Chum Chum in Fanboy and Chum Chum. Let's see, now - she has a shrine dedicated to him and has repeatedly attempted to kidnap him. She fails mostly because of Fanboy, who's always protecting Chum Chum from her. So far, there were two episodes in which her uses of Fanboy's distraction/handicap to take Chum Chum away became a major plot point.
- Helga from Hey Arnold!! has a shrine to Arnold in her closet, made out of his used bubble gum that she collected, for Gord's sake! It's not always Played for Laughs, though, especially in the later episode "Helga on the Couch" where Helga seeks therapy for her anger issues and tsundere tendencies toward Arnold.
- Played straight with the female squirrel from The Sword in the Stone that is in lust with Wart. She stalks and repeatedly touches him after he explicitly tells her, "No." She chases after him when he tries to run away, and he becomes so desperate to be left alone he resorts to begging Merlin to be turned back into a human in order to escape her. Merlin only complies when he gets his own female squirrel stalker after him, because he thought Wart's situation was amusing.
- Heloise on Jimmy TwoShoes. Given that the show runs entirely on Black Comedy, it fits very well.
- Also subverted with Heloise's stalker, Peep. He's male, but it's still played entirely for laughs.
- On Johnny Test, both Susan and Mary's obsession with Gil and Bling-Bling's obsession with Susan are Played for Laughs. However, Bling-Bling is a flat-out Abhorrent Admirer, with Susan fully aware and utterly disgusted by his advances. Gil, meanwhile, seems completely unaware that the girls are interested in him. He did call them out on their behavior once, when they locked him in the lab to keep him from encountering any of the rampaging Gil-bots, yet remained clueless as to why, and continued to treat them normally in later eps. Both Susan/Mary and Bling-Bling have attempted to use mind control or otherwise force their obsession to be with them. Bling-Bling is seen as a villain for this and gets punished, while Susan and Mary tend to get no worse than failing to get Gil. That's not even going into the fact they have him under constant surveillance with a wide variety of technology.
- On Phineas and Ferb, Candace Flynn is like this to Jeremy before their relationship started. Linda even mentions her shrine.
- Sierra to Cody in Total Drama World Tour. And in the fandom, Sierra fans often argue that it's alright that Sierra stalks Cody, because it's just a Gender Flipped version of Cody "stalking" Gwen. The thing is, Cody never stalked Gwen—he obviously has a crush on her and has occasionally edged into creepy territory (sniffing her hair, for example), but never did anything weird enough for Gwen to stop considering him a friend. Sierra, however, ignores all of Cody's obvious objections while she steals all his underwear, messes with him while he sleeps, paralyzes him all Played for Laughs. There's a reason lots of fans dislike her.
- Billy the Cat:
- It features, at one point, a human girl who knew that Billy the cat used to be human, and was saved by him from being permanently turned into a rabbit herself. Toward the end of the episode, she finds Billy, picks him up, and kisses him, saying "I'll never forget you." It's clearly meant to be an endearing way for her to thank him, but it's made clear that Billy feels annoyed at it, and you can't help but think it wouldn't be as endearing with the genders flipped.
- Jolly Mouser involves Billy rescuing a bunch of female cats who were imprisoned on a ship to be sold as pets. After they're rescued, they all surround him and take turns kissing him, even though he voices some discomfort at this.
- A Star Is Born features Mr. Hubert, also a cat, and for that matter one who's sort of a mentor to Billy, becoming famous among cats for his role in cat food ads. The episode ends with several female cats chasing him off screen and Billy's reaction being "go get him, girls!"
- Homer is stalked by Julia, a gorgeous black-haired woman in an episode of The Simpsons, and it's all Played for Laughs - even when she tries to kill him with a poison-tipped dart at the climax. This episode also subverts Beauty Is Never Tarnished (the woman is a wild-haired harridan by the time the police take her away) and plays straight Slapstick Knows No Gender (she is captured after a chandelier falls on her).
- The Kim Possible episode "Gorilla Fist" concludes with the reveal that the plot was driven by DNAmy manipulating Team Possible into finding Monkey Fist, who had fled from her unwanted attentions. Ron pronounces it "wrongsick", but it's clearly played for laughs from the audience viewpoint.
- Subverted by Giffany in Gravity Falls. The few points where her stalking of Soos is Played for Laughs, it has more to do with her being a computer program and him a human rather than her being a girl and him a guy. Even then, it's pretty clear that something's wrong with her. Soos even notes that it's a red flag, but ignores it because he's happy for the attention. He does eventually recognize that she's a threat and deals with her by destroying her game.