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.
- Digimon Adventure 02: Motomiya Jun/June is this to good-looking Ishida Yamato/Matt. She's a fan of his music, but he doesn't return an iota of her interest and is exceedingly unhappy with the attention. (Also worth noting that she's in high school, and he's in eighth grade.) The other kids' response to him being stuck on a bus with her for several hours? Laugh. It's hard to imagine this being remotely funny if you reverse the genders.
- 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 Future Diary, 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....
- In the manga itself, Hinata's a Downplayed version of a Stalker with a Crush who's too shy to approach Naruto, but anime fillers and the SD spinoff tend to exaggerate Hinata's character into an obsessive stalker.
- 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 + 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.
- Shimoneta: Anna's relentless pursuit of Tanukichi is one of the series' main sources of comedy. She's done everything from staking out his apartment, to quite literally chasing him around the halls at school, because she fails to realize he's terrified of her.
- 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.
- This is the only thing keeping Romilda Vane's behavior in Harry Potter fanfic A Question of When from being utterly disturbing, as she is willing to rewrite reality just to find the perfect moment to approach Harry and convince him they are meant to be together.
- 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
- Averted in Swimfan, where Madison's constant stalking is driving Ben crazy. He also finds out that this isn't her first time stalking.
- 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 with Merope depicted as in the wrong for doing so, although Merope is 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. Misaimed Fandom sometimes even says Tom Riddle Sr was in the wrong for leaving Merope and deserved it for being a snob, ignoring that Tom Riddle as a date rape victim has every right to leave the dangerous strange woman who took advantage of him.
- In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, it's mentioned that as Viktor Krum settles in to study in the library, a group of fangirls sneak in to spy on him from behind the bookshelves. This is Played for Laughs, with Harry and Hermione opting to leave because the giggling distracts them from their own research.
- In Hush, Hush, Nora tries to steal Patch's student records and convince a co-worker to give her his work application. This is treated as comedy. The sequel has her stalking Patch after their breakup (which she initiated) which, while not portrayed as funny, is still treated as a sign of her broken heart and meant to show her as sympathetic. Her friend, Vee, also comes up with several boyfriend-hunting schemes that would be played for creepiness if it was a man pursuing a woman but are used as a sign of how zany she is (for instance, her proposing that she and Nora peep in on her latest love interest's bedroom to see if he's awake).
- Downplayed in the Agatha Christie novel N Or M: Tuppence and Tommy are undercover at a seaside town, with Tuppence going as a widow. She explains that her character obviously trying to get her hooks into the handsome and well-off man will both give them an excuse to be together, and lower suspicion since a woman with matrimonial intentions chasing after a man is always funny.
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.
- Myra's stalking of Steve is a straight example, of course. She's very easily forgiven for spying on Steve in his bedroom and drawing nude sketches of him.
- 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.
- 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. The whole thing is nevertheless Played for Laughs.
- 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. This is coupled with the fact that Lwaxana is a very aggressive flirt with the rank of ambassador, who tends to say whatever she wants to people knowing that if anyone gets on her nerves it could start an international incident (essentially turning this into a case of textbook sexual harassment). To highlight the double standard further, the same episode had Sisko boasting that on an occasion when a male ambassador was making inappropriate advances to a female officer, he broke protocol and punched him in the face, but laughs off Odo's formal complaint.
- Inverted in Mr. Young. Adam is quite literally madly in love with Echo, and even admits while under the influence of Truth Serum that his feelings for her are "kinda creepy". It reaches Love Makes You Evil levels at times, such as in one episode where Echo gets cast as Juliet in a production of Romeo and Juliet and Adam tries to murder the guy playing Romeo to stop them from kissing. This is always Played for Laughs.
- Crazy Ex-Girlfriend seems to play this trope straight throughout much of the first season, with both main character Rebecca and her best friend Paula going to incredible lengths to keep tabs on Rebecca's ex-boyfriend Josh, but by the end of the season it winds up subverted and deconstructed when both women realize that their behavior has been creepy and disrespectful to Josh and his girlfriend, as well as massively unhealthy for their own friendship.
- Happens in the pilot episode of My Three Sons. Doreen Peters calls Chip at his house late one night and stands outside his home the next day, waiting for him to come out. When Chip expresses his chagrin his father just tells him to be a gentleman. It's more justified than most examples though, as Doreen is only eight years old.
- 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. Indeed, this is a big reason she's rather unpopular within the fandom.
- Yandere Simulator zigzags this trope. Word of God says that it's unlikely you'll be able to play as a male Yandere, though he might consider making it a crowdfunding goal. The official videos posted on its Youtube channel also has some Black Comedy relating to its premise. However, in-game Ayano's treatment of Senpai and Ryoba's treatment of her husband are played dead seriously. One Game Over type has Senpai get creeped out and tell Ayano to leave him alone.
- 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.
- Billy the Cat: A Star Is Born features the cat character Mr. Hubert, (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!"
- 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 is obsessed with Jimmy TwoShoes. Given that the show runs entirely on Black Comedy, it fits very well. Downplayed, as she's still portrayed as creepy and evil.
- 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 Eugene's obsession with Susan are Played for Laughs. However, Eugene is a flat-out Abhorrent Admirer, with Susan fully aware and utterly disgusted by his advances on account of his repulsive appearance and clingy personality. 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 Eugene have attempted to use mind control or otherwise force their obsession to be with them. Eugene 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.
- Towards the end of the series, it is revealed that Gil always refers to Susan and Mary as "Girls I've Never Seen Before" because after he inevitably gets caught up in their failed experiments, they always wipe his mind to cover it up, and this has apparently caused him alot of brain damage, explaining why he Took A Leve In Dumbass as the series progressed.
- On Phineas and Ferb, Candace Flynn is like this to Jeremy before their relationship started. Linda even mentions her shrine. Candace continuing to act like this after they were together was played as her being an insane Clingy Jealous Girl, although Jeremy seems to be into it.
- On Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Janna stalks, spies on, steals from, blackmails, and invades the privacy of Marco in nearly every episode she appears. His horror and discomfort is always played for laughs.
- Sierra to Cody in Total Drama. 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.
- 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.
- Kaeloo: Mr. Cat is constantly stalked by the main four's annoying neighbor, Pretty, who doesn't seem to realize that he utterly despises her and actually wants her to die.
- Miraculous Ladybug:
- Marinette Dupain-Cheng has stalking her crush down to a science — literally, since she has a detailed schedule based on her analyses of his life, having as well an actual shrine of him by filling one of her walls with his photos, stealing his phone and so on. The episode "Numeric" offers a visual contrast with another stalker. "Volpina" also deals with Marinette's Stalker tendencies, with her apparently learning her lesson, even if by the nature of the watch-in-any-order season, any lesson she learns by the end of one episode is rendered meaningless.
- Tiny Toon Adventures:
- As the Distaff Counterpart of Pepe Le Pew, this is Fifi Le Fume's entire gimmick. The female skunk chases after boys who might even find her attractive if not for her odor.
- In the episode "Prom-ise Her Anything", Elmyra's stalking of Montana Max in an effort to get him to go to the prom with her is portrayed as sympathetic, and Max is portrayed as being in the wrong for rejecting her. Part if this may be that Max is the Designated Villain. The fact that later in the episode he is forced to take her to the prom by Buster and Babs despite not being interested in Elmyra nor even going to the dance makes him Unintentionally Sympathetic to many viewers.