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Star-Crossed Lovers
One night every year is all that they had...

From forth the fatal loins of these two foes,
A pair of star cross'd lovers take their life,
Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife
.

Two lovers—often teenagers—destined to be kept apart no matter how hard they struggle to be together. It may be Fate, or fatally-Feuding Families, or it may be something as mundane as a few hundred miles' separation, but something will always be in their way. Often, the two can only be Together in Death. William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is the most famous example (and the Trope Namer), but the archetype dates at least as far back as Mesopotamian Mythology and Egyptian Mythology, making it Older Than Dirt.

In modern times, the term "star-crossed" is often unknowingly misused to mean lovers who are meant to be together. It means just the opposite—the stars (i.e. destiny or the heavens) have ruled against them, or "crossed" their plan—get it? Compare the word "disaster", which has the etymology "away; without" ("dis") + "star; planet" ("aster"). Then again, if the stars rule that much, they probably decreed the love as well as the impossibility, making the stars capricious and cruel, at the very least. It also refers to destiny and the inevitability of the two characters' paths crossing each other. It usually, but not always, refers to unlucky outcomes, since Romeo and Juliet's affair ended tragically. Further, it connotes that the lovers entered into their union without sufficient forethought or preparation; the lovers may not have had adequate knowledge of each other or that they were not thinking rationally.

One common version of this trope, Love Above One's Station (i.e., being in love with someone from a different social class), is at least discredited if not actually dead and buried in contemporary settings, but was very much true in the past, and can still work when applied to historical settings. While it's difficult even today to have a relationship with someone from a very different background, in the old days, it was all but impossible: if you were from the lower class and courted your "better", you'd be treated with the vilest contempt and risk arrest and/or violence (possibly even death); meanwhile, a "better" who reciprocated would be disowned and possibly shut off in a nunnery, a monastery—or even an "asylum", an ironic name for a place which, until a century or two ago, was usually even worse than prison. See Suddenly Suitable Suitor.

Hence all those tragic "servant/slave/peasant loves the lord/lady/king/queen, and their Love Ruins the Realm" stories. The accepted practice for someone in love with a royal, at least in contemporary fiction, was to express that love through loyalty and duty rather than presume to have a romantic relationship with them.

Compare Dating Catwoman, where the relationship is forbidden but doesn't usually end tragically. Notice the overlaps with Interspecies Romance, Inter-Class Romance, Mayfly-December Romance, and Maligned Mixed Marriage. See also Bury Your Gays. Often the case for a Vampire-Werewolf Love Triangle. May be used as a Pretext for War.

Contrast Love Transcends Spacetime. Compare Nobody Thinks It Will Work and Uptown Girl.


Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • The new Axe advert “Soulmates”, a 90-second spot tells the story of a man's ill-fated pursuit of a woman throughout human history. It starts in prehistoric days with a bearded cave man trying to reach a woman, until the earth below splits, and there’s a divide between them. The same man and woman are shown in different time periods and places: Ancient Pompeii; an Arabian palace; a cowboy bar in the American West; foggy 19th century London; a sinking ship (the Titanic?); a war; a 1960s anti-war protest. There are either natural disasters or human interventions that prevent him from reaching her. It isn't until the current day, inside a convenience store at a gas station, that the same man we saw in all of these other time periods takes down an Axe product. He uses some body spray on himself and the long-pursued girl immediately is at his side. They leave together and, as they walk away, a truck crashes into the gas pumps and the station explodes: the intervention of the Axe product prevented another act of fate from keeping them apart.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Inuyasha and Kikyo from Inuyasha, thanks to Naraku's making them think they betrayed each other, fatally injuring Kikyou AND making her seal him. Later she's forcibly revived by a witch, and things aren't much easier as he's starting to fall for her reincarnation and she's filled with rage and pain. In the end, she dies again but much more peacefully, in Inuyasha's arms.
  • Marie Antoinette and Count Fersen from Rose of Versailles. Oscar/Andre are another pair from the series (they do manage to get together, but die immediately afterwards).
  • Evyione Ocean Fantasy: Yashin and Evyione. Not only is Yashin a merman and Evyione a human, but Evyione is also a princess and very few of Evyione's life choices are actually made by her. If Evyione chooses Yashin, there will be severe political and personal consequences for her.
  • Kazuya and Erika in Daimos. Kazuya is the pilot of Daimos, defender of Earth from the Balm invaders. While Erika is the little sister of Richter, Prince of Balm and leader of the invasion. They get their happy ending, but not before much heartbreak.
  • Mazinger saga:
    • Mazinger Z: Shiro Kabuto and Lorelei. He was the little brother of Kouji Kabuto, The Hero and pilot and from Mazinger-Z. She was the daughter of a foreign Mad Scientist, or better said — a Robot Girl built by that Madscientist, who wanted to prove he was better than Dr. Kabuto, builder of Mazinger-Z and Shiro's grandfather. What happened? He built a Humongous Mecha, Rhine X1, and a Robot Girl, Lorelei, that was meant to fuse with it to make it work. When the scientist got a fatal wound, he confessed the truth to her and pleaded her to defeat Mazinger; determined to fulfill her father's last will, Lorelei merged with Rhine and challenged Mazinger to a death match, so Kouji was forced to fight and kill her. Poor Shiro was devastated after that.
      • Minerva-X and Mazinger-Z itself also are an example. Minerva-X was a Fem Bot designed by Dr. Kabuto specifically to be Mazinger-Z's Battle Couple. Unlike Mazinger, though, she was a robot capable of thinking and feeling emotions like an human being, and she was in love with Mazinger-Z. However, Dr. Kabuto never got around to build it. Unfortunately, Dr. Hell got his hands on the plans and built her to destroy Mazinger-Z. However, Minerva-X freed herself from his control and refused to fight Mazinger-Z, so he decided to destroy her. Their condition of Star-Crossed Lovers not only comes from this but also it comes from Mazinger-Z IS a machine and it simply can not reciprocate her feelings.
    • UFO Robo Grendizer: Duke Fleed and Hikaru Makiba. Hikaru's father refused accepting their relationship, since Danbei was an Overprotective Dad was perfectly willing to killing any male came near from his daughter), but that was not the real obstacle (or an obstacle for that matter). The real obstacle was that Duke wanted to return his Doomed Hometown of a planet to rebuild it if he managed surviving the war, whereas Hikaru did not want to leave Earth. Not matter what their feelings are, a separation is inevitable.
      • That same logic also works for Kouji and Maria.
      • Also, Duke and his fiancèe Rubina. Duke is Crown Prince of planet Fleed, a world was invaded and scorched by the troops of King Vega, and he now is fighting the Vegans to prevent them from conquering Earth. Rubina is King Vega's daughter, and the closest to a loved one that Vega had. They got engaged before the Fleed's invasion, but King Vega -who never agreed the engagement in first place-, refuses seeing his daughter getting married with Duke. Of course, it ended up in tears.
  • Pokémon: The male and female Nidoran from the Orange Islands episode "Wherefore Art Thou, Pokémon?", an obvious Shout-Out to Romeo and Juliet. As a bonus, they are named Tony and Maria after the protagonists of West Side Story, a modern take on the original play.
  • In Tower of God, any Zahardian princess who ever loved a man. To stop the spread of Zahards blood, they are forbidden to have relationships or children, a rule that is enforced with the death penalty. This applies especially to the parents of Anak Zahard, who got assassinated, kicking of her journey to get revenge.
  • Sakura and Syaoran in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. At first, even though they are physically together, Sakura is never allowed to remember she is in love with him (that is, from the looks of it, until all her feathers are found). Then it gets much, much more complicated, with all the complications putting more distance between them, metaphorically. That clones of both are involved is only the the beginning.
    • Yuuko and Clow may count too.
  • In the Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch manga, Rina and Hanon both fall in love with humans, knowing full well that they will eventually have to leave them to rule over their kingdoms. (Hamasaki actually has a mermaid ancestor, but this seems inconsequential.) They tell Lucia this too, but her guy turns out to be the prince of an ancient powerful race that can breathe underwater, so she's safe.
    • Hippo and Yuuri. Just... Hippo and Yuuri. To clarify: Hippo is a penguin who can turn into a little bishonen and is a guardian, fighting alongside the mermaid princesses. Yuuri is part of Gakupo's henchwomen, so they do end up falling love and fighting each other. At the end of the first season, Yuuri gets turned back into her original non-human form and she and Hippo are separated. An episode in the second season revolved around the two getting to meet for one night only in their human forms and she will disappear again when the sun rises. Half the episode is about how they are afraid to meet each other because it will be just for one night. It's a heartbreaking episode.
  • Shinji Ikari can be seen as having relationships like this with either the second Rei Ayanami or Kaworu Nagisa in both Neon Genesis Evangelion and the Rebuild-Tetralogy. In one way or another — God it sucks to be Shinji
    • Rei: She's perhaps the only person (other than Kaworu) to give him unambigous, unconditional affection in his hell of a life, and he's the only person to value her for herself, not her function as Mecha pilot, Apocalypse Maiden or Replacement Goldfish. Too bad she's a Half-Human Hybrid Artificial Human created to destroy the world, not to mention partially cloned from his dead mother and thus Shinji's half-sister, with neither of them knowing that last bit. In the classic series, she pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to save his life, in the Rebuild movies, she gets eaten by an Eldritch Abomination while he's in 10-Minute Retirement, and he ends up inadvertently causing The End of the World as We Know It in a futile attempt to save her. Finding out what happened proves too much for his fragile and delicate mind.
    • Kaworu: In the classic series Shinji met Kaworu in one of the lowest points of his whole life (and that's saying a lot), was drawn immediately to him, Kaworu offered him kindness and told him that he loved him (whether romantically or not, he still said it)... and then it turned out he was an Angel in human form, which completely shattered Shinji's mind. But Kaworu still cared, offered few to none physical resistance when Shinji confronted him, and ultimately allowed Shinji to kill him while saying that thanks to Shinji, his life was meaningful. And in the Rebuild series he also approaches Shinji kindly after the heartbreaking deals with poor Rei, but also ends up sacrificing his life again.
    • In the Girlfriend of Steel Visual Novel, Shinji and Mana. Out of nowhere comes this attractive, kind and energetic girl who openly shows interest in Shinji and the two of them hit off very well... until Mana is revealed to be an ex-test pilot for a JSSDF Humongous Mecha who got severely injured in the course of her job but wasn't allowed to quit. Instead, she got forced into seducing Shinji and using him to spy on NERV in order to find out the Evas' possible weaknesses - and ended up falling in love with him for real. When she tries to defect for Shinji's sake, she almost gets killed first by a JSSDF plainclothes commando unit then an N2 mine, with NERV deciding that whatever she knows is not worth the price of pissing off the entire Japanese military. In the end, Mana is forced to assume a false identity and disappear from Shinji's life, with neither having any illusions of ever seeing each other again. Poor Shinji just can't catch a break, can he?
    • Gendo and his wife Yui, who died before the start of the series.
    • Misato and Kaji end up being this too, after the latter is shot and killed by an unknown assailant.
  • Arguably averted in Blue Submarine No. 6. Hayate and Muteo part ways at the end because she has to look after a emotionally-devastated Verg and he has to help in the rebuilding effort of what remains of humanity. However, it's implied by the final episode ending credits, that they will eventually get back together again once things finally settle down.
  • Mari and Hagino from Blue Drop are divided by the fact that one is a high school student and the other the commander of an alien battleship, whose people plan to invade earth.
  • Wolf's Rain has not one but four sets of lovers, all of whom could be considered "star-crossed" in various ways.
    • Much of Lord Darcia's motivation for becoming the series' villain involves his lover Hamona falling into a coma and subsequently dying, which he blames on the wolves.
    • Hubb Leboski spends most of the series trying to get back together with his ex-wife Cher Degré, which indirectly leads to his getting involved with the wolves.
    • Kiba's main love interest is Cheza, the girl made of Lunar Flowers. Unfortunately, her status as a MacGuffin Girl keeps her trapped by many Nobles, forcing Kiba to fight his way back to her.
    • The wolf Hige, who's always dreamed of finding a hot babe, eventually gets together with the wolf-dog Blue.
      • Of course, with everything else that's going on nobody gets much time for romance, and they all die in the OVA episodes. At the very end Hige is apparently reincarnated as a human, along with the other wolves, but we don't see Blue.
  • The Chinese daughter of a crime lord, Li-En, and her Mamodo partner, Wonrei, from Gash Bell. No matter what the outcome of the battle between the Mamodo is, Wonrei will have to eventually return to the Mamodo world.
  • Chrono of Chrono Crusade has the worst luck when it comes to relationships. First, he meets Mary Magdalene, who informs him after he's known her for months that she has had prophetic dreams since she was a child that he would be the one to take her life. He does, although not in the way either one expects. He's so guilt-ridden over her death that he sleeps for 50 years in her tomb, waiting for his energy to deplete to join her in death. But Rosette Christopher comes and wakes him up from his years of slumber, and things start to be going good for him...until her brother Joshua is kidnapped by Aion and he's forced to make a contract with her, slowly draining away at her life. In the anime they die together, Rosette as a result of the contract and Chrono from his wounds in the final battle, but in the manga they spend six years apart, and Chrono arrives back to her side just in time for her to die in his arms. It's implied that he lives on for decades afterwards.
  • Subverted in Princess Tutu. Ahiru is forced to give up the pendant she uses to transform into a girl to save Mytho, but Fakir still promises to stay by her side, even though she's now just a duck. Played straight with Tutu and the Prince in the fairytale, since the former is cursed to turn into a speck of light and vanish when she confesses her love. Almost played straight with Rue and Mytho, due to her being Princess Kraehe and him being cursed into a Raven... but Rue's Heroic Sacrifice unlocks Mythos's feelings earns their happy ending.
  • The Berserk universe has made it its personal mission to ensure that Guts and Casca never find happiness. That moment of love the two of them shared near the waterfall in the Golden Age arc was the closest they came to it before the Eclipse went down and everything went completely to hell.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth: Emeraude and Zagato. They can only be Together in Death.
  • Subverted in the Vampire Princess Miyu OAVs. Kei Yuzuki is a very handsome human who is horribly bored with his life but does his best to hide it, so at first he only wants eternal youth and beauty and consults the Uncanny Valley Girl from his school, Ranka. Turns out she's a Shinma and she promises to give him what he wants yet planning to make him her prey... but later, the guy ends up falling in love with her despite knowing who she is, and much to her own shock Ranka finds herself returning these feelings. They reach an agreement and Ranka transforms Kei into a Shinma, so Miyu (who had her eyes set on him too, thus she was horribly humiliated when she found out) had to send them both to the Dark. The last time we see them, they happily and peacefully walk together towards the Darkness.
  • Takaki and Akari in 5 Centimeters per Second are an interesting example in that they have marginally more of a chance at a happy ending than most examples, but it doesn't stop their movie from being a huge Tear Jerker.
  • Newtype romances, in any Gundam series that includes Newtypes, generally do not end well. This goes double if Yoshiyuki Tomino, Mister Kill 'em All himself, is actively involved in the series. Note that newtype analogs, like the Coordinators from SEED, don't really count (they tend to survive, and have stable relationships).
    • Unless you see Stellar and Shinn's bond as romantic. Then, they get the raw-est part of the deal. Not helped by how Stellar's Famous Last Words are "Shinn... I love you". If they don't count, is there a sort-of trope that is an equal of "Star Crossed Lovers", but with friends and family?
    • Also, while Kira and Lacus do get their happy ending, Kira and his first girlfriend Fllay count as this. She started out as a Yandere who pretended to love him to get revenge since he didn't save her father from a really messy death, then truly fell for him when he showed her genuine kindness... but she could only sort-of tell him her true feelings after she was murdered by the Big Bad.
    • Saji Crossroad and Louise Halevy fit this trope after the Wham Episode of Gundam 00, where she became a Sole Survivor and lost her hand as well. The second season has them fighting on opposite sides, as he's forced to join Celestial Being as their Tagalong Kid to save his life and she's become a Dark Action Girl for the A-Laws. It takes them LOTS of effort to get back together.
      • Lyle Dylandy and Anew Returner. It doesn't end well for them, since she turns out to be an Innovator Manchurian Agent and betrays Celestial Being when her "trigger" (her Innovator twin Revive Revival) appears and "resets" her. When Lyle offers her a Last-Second Chance she almost takes it, only to be mind controlled by Ribbons Almark into fighting him anyway and she eventually has to be killed by Setsuna to keep her from killing Lyle.
    • The Gundam Wing novel Frozen Teardrop give us Treize's parents, Ein Yuy and Angelina Khushrenada. They tried to run away to escape the Parental Marriage Veto coming from her family, but her Smug Snake father Cinquante kidnapped Angelina back into the clan and got Ein killed. She was so broken that she went insane with grief. Also, Trowa Phobos and Kathy Winner may end up as this too.
    • And now we have Flit Asuno and Yurin L'Ciel from Gundam AGE. Yurin dies in the Wham Episode, and while Flit marries his childhood friend Emily and they're still together after the Time Skip, Yurin's death was also his Start of Darkness and Emily simply can't fill the void she left.
      • From the Third Generation Kio Asuno and Lu Anon. It's bad enough that Kio's from Earth and Lu's from Vagan, but Lu also suffers from an incurable disease due to Mars Ray exposure. While Kio eventually got her medicine (which only relieves the symptoms and doesn't actually cure the illness), she dies in Episode 38, leaving Kio heartbroken as he escapes Vagan with his father.
  • In Arashi No Yoru Ni: Averted. Mei and Gabu seem doomed to part ways because their Interspecies Romance is frowned upon by both their kin, but they find one another again in the end.
  • Basilisk, which is essentially a Japanese Tokugawa-era send up of "Romeo and Juliet", has its star crossed lovers: Gennosuke from the Kouga and Oboro from the Iga. They even make reference to the old belief that star-crossed lovers will be reborn as twin siblings.
    • Also, the beginning of the show shows another pair of star crossed lovers: Koga Danjou and Iga Ogen, Gennosuke's grandpa and Oboro's grandma respectively.
    • Probably, also Kagero and Gennosuke. She would've been an excellent prospect for him except for her being Blessed with Suck and him truly liking his arranged fiancee Oboro, thus she's stuck as the Unlucky Childhood Friend and that takes a HUGE toll on her emotional well-being.
  • Ai and Yota from Video Girl Ai, since he's a human and she's a Robot Girl who shouldn't have human feelings.
  • Two of Adachi Mitsuru's manga series feature romances forbidden by feuding parents. In Rough, the parents run rival confectionery businesses. In Katsu!, the fathers are former boxing rivals. In both cases, the girl's father is more rabid than the boy's father.
  • In the manhwa The Bride Of The Water God, the couple Habaek and Nakbin who, according to Su Wang Mo were destined only as passing friends fell deeply in love with each other amidts the deceit and controversy which resulted to Nakbin's death just to protect Habaek. That after her death, both made drastic decisions in order to meet again. With Habaek requiring human girls as sacrifice, and Nakbin escaping the world of the dead by deceiving the god governing it. In the end, their efforts are futile as circumstances always lead to Nakbin choosing death instead of forsaking Habaek along with the fact that he is already connected by the red string to Soah. And even though Habaek admitted that he can never let go of his longing for his first bride, just like the leaves and the flowers of the Spider Lily, the two of them can only long for each other but will never be reunited. Though currently, Nakbin is reincarnated as a human without a memory as conditioned by Hoo-ye to Su Wang Mo.
  • In the village of Hinamizawa, there were Satoshi Houjou and Shion Sonozaki.
    • Not really. While Satoshi's disappearance causes Shion to snap and go insane, eventually resulting in her own death, the whole 'go insane' part only happens in 2 chapters, and not in the actual ending. Additionally, it's revealed that Satoshi is actually alive(though comatose) in the finale, and Shion will wait every day for him to recover. Also, the grudge against the Houjou family is dismissed, and upon his return, it's not unlikely that the Sonozakis would support a relationship between the two.
  • Code Geass has two couples like this: Ougi and Viletta, then Lelouch and Shirley (at least in Shirley's mind). The first ones subvert the trope and get their happy ending, even if YMMV on that.... the second couple plays it depressingly straight.
  • Yaoi Genre example: Riki and Iason Mink from Ai no Kusabi.
  • Simon and Nia from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann in a truly epic Tear Jerker ending. Lampshaded in-series by the Big Bad. Nice guys really do finish last.
  • Seishirou and Subaru from both Tokyo Babylon and X1999.
    • And as revealed by X1999, Subaru's sister Hokuto and Kakyou Kuzuki.
  • Romeo X Juliet, obviously, given the source material.
  • Lucy and Kouta in Elfen Lied.
  • Bleach: There's a long-running joke in the fandom that a sign a pairing is official is if one (or both) of the pair has been killed off. Every confirmed romance has ended tragically with none being allowed to remain together for a lifetime.
    • Isshin and Masaki Kurosaki. Masaki died at a time when Isshin didn't have the power to save her. Masaki's death is a driving force behind the entire manga as it's one of Ichigo's major motives for fighting to protect people. The ultimate cause of her death also turns out to be of major importance in the final arc for both Ichigo and Uryuu.
    • Ryuuken Ishida and Kanae Katagiri. Despite them overcoming considerable odds to be together, Kanae collapsed suddenly one day and languished in a coma for three months before she finally died. Masaki and Kanae's deaths were caused by the same incident, on the same day, but Kanae died slowly whereas Masaki died quickly. Her death is a major factor in Ryuuken and Uryuu's dispute over Uryuu's desire to become a Quincy and important to their motives in the Final Arc.
    • Byakuya and Hisana Kuchiki. A nobleman marrying a commoner broke the Kuchiki Clan rules, but that didn't stop Byakuya. Nevertheless, despite him winning that war to claim the right to marry her, he was only able to stay married to her for five years before she fell sick and died.
    • Kaien and Miyako Shiba. Miyako was killed by a strange hollow that had been created by Aizen's experiments. When Kaien tried to avenge her death, the hollow destroyed him from the inside. Rukia, who was in love with Kaien and worshipped Miyako, was forced to kill him, an act that was as much a driving force behind her actions in the manga as Masaki's death was for Ichigo.
  • Sankt Kaiser Olivie Segbrecht and Hegemon Klaus Ingvalt from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vi Vid. Long before they were crowned rulers of their respective countries, the two had grown up together to become very close. Alas, the Ancient Belka War happened, and they found themselves leading opposing sides, and in the end, Hegemon Ingvalt failed to stop Sankt Kaiser Olivie from performing the Heroic Sacrifice that she would eventually be famed for. He would carry this regret all the way to his grave and beyond, with Heidi Ingvalt, his descendant and sort-of Reincarnation, still carrying the sadness of his failure as she meets the clone of Olivie, the Magical Girl Vivio Takamachi...
  • In Uzumaki, a girl from Kirie's class is in love with a neighbor boy, while their families absolutely hate each other. The two sneak out together a few times (and of course, get caught and separated again), until they see two snakes making love. This inspires them to...well, this being Uzumaki, the two lovers spiral their bodies tightly around each other to form a human rope, telling their families that they will now be together forever, before throwing themselves into the sea to drown.
  • In volume one of Bizenghast, two spirits needing to be released are those of a young pair of lovers. They had wanted to marry, but the man's mother refused to let him marry a girl of slightly-lower status. So one night, during a ball, the man stabbed his lover in the back as they danced before killing himself. As Dina frees their souls, the young woman's ghost whispers to her lover "I forgive you..."
  • Haikara San Ga Tooru has three of these:
    • First is the main characters, Nice Guy Shinobu and The Lad-ette Benio, after Shinobu goes MIA and later has Trauma-Induced Amnesia.. They get better, but not before MUCH heartbreak.
    • In the backstory, Shinobu's grandmother and Benio's grandfather, who were in a Perfectly Arranged Marriage but were torn apart by political/social standings (One family was pro-Shogunate, another supported the Meiji Restoration.) The reason why the leads were betrothed was a sort-of promise made to them: if their kids or grandkids have a chance to marry, they'd be engaged to do so as a sort-of solace.
    • And there's more! Shinobu's own parents were an example, too. His father was a member of the Iijyuin clan, but his mother/Colonel Iijyuin's mistress was a German woman. They couldn't marry due to social standing and her heritage, so after Shinobu's birth she was forced to leave her child in the care of his paternal family and leave Japan.
  • Krory, an Exorcist and Eliade, an Akuma in D.Gray-Man. It was his nature to destroy Akuma and it was her nature to kill Exorcists. He ends up killing her before he joins the Black Order.
    • Also, any person who tried to make a deal with the Earl to bring back their loved one, which would only end badly for both parties.
    • Taken further with Kanda and Alma, who were lovers in a previous life, only to be brought back to life by the Black Order as part of the failed super Exorcist program. Then Alma was driven mad into a massive killing spree and Kanda was forced to kill him. Only for Alma to not be dead and fought Kanda to the death again when he was revived. But this time, thanks to Allen, Kanda is able to send Alma to the afterlife in more or less peace, and later come back.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi, we have Tatara and Suzuno, the Byakko no Miko. They fell in love, and Suzuno summoned Byakko and asked him to keep her and Tatara together forever. Byakko said he couldn't do that, and sent her back to her own world in Tokyo. She eventually married someone from our world and raised a family more or less happily, while he asked his Time Master fellow Seishi to stop time for him so he could guard the Shinzaho better — but they never forgot each other. When the now-widowed Suzuno died in her grandson Toki's home of old age, Tatara died in a battle in the book, and in the meantime Miaka's brother Keisuke read to the dying Suzuno about her lover's destiny. Their souls are reunited across space and time to spend the afterlife together.
  • In The Secret Agreement, as if being gay lovers from very different class strata ca. 1920s-30s wasn't star-crossed enough, it turns out that if Yuuichi doesn't steal Iori's life energy he will die instead. There is really no way for them to win.
  • In Wild Rock, Yuni and Selim decide there's no way to overcome the fact that they're from Feuding Families and are both future chieftans, so they part and each have families of their own. It isn't until their sons fall in love and decide to unite the two tribes that they meet again, agreeing it was long overdue.
  • When you're a Girls Love couple from The Seventies, this is pretty much a given. The list includes the following cases:
    • Resine and Simone from Shiroi Heya no Futari, the first Yuri manga. Simone? She's stabbed to death by an ex-boyfriend. Resine? She refuses to fall for anyone in the rest of her life.
    • Maya and Reina from Maya's Funeral Procession, both of them expies of Resine and Simone. Not only they're half-sisters, but Maya later commits suicide.
    • In the Oniisama e... anime, Mariko tells Tomoko and Nanako about the legend of two lovers who died in Seiran School. They were separated by their different social class and killed themselves to not be torn apart, under the biggest elm tree in the garden. It's the same tree that Rei waited for hours underneath, under Fukiko's orders, causing her to catch a huge fever.
      • Nanako and Rei might qualify as well. Especially in the anime where Rei dies in an accident right when she was going to meet up with Nanako, in what's all but stated to have been this close to become their first date.
  • Akiko Hashou and Takao "Taka" Itou from the old jousei manga Kasei Yakyoku. Sara Uchida's own love on Taka doesn't have much more hope, either, and it's even worse when she does get something close to a love declaration as well as passionate sex from him... and then The Great Kanto Earthquake destroys Tokyo.
  • Kikuno and Shuichi Takatori from Weiß Kreuz. They were very in love, but she was forced to marry his evil older brother Reiji. Then it got worse... Specially for their off-marriage child, Mamoru Takatori... aka Omi Tsukiyono.
    • And later, Omi himself, when he falls for his cousin Ouka Sakaki... Reiji's illegitimate daughter and the only person he loves. And she's shot to death in his arms.
    • Also, Youji Kudou and Asuka Murase. So much that he ends up killing her when she's the amnesiac Dark Action Girl Neu.
  • Aslan and Paiva in Kaze to Ki no Uta in the backstory of the manga. Their son Serge's relationship with Gilbert dosen't fare well either, but considering that it took place in 1880's Europe, it was bound to happen.
  • In Winter Cicada, Akizuki and Kusaka are lovers on opposite sides of the Boshin civil war. It ends pretty much how you'd suspect.
  • In the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward Elric and Winry Rockbell somewhat fit into this category. Even though these versions of them aren't canon, they are hinted to either have mutual feelings, or one of them has Unrequited Love for the other. But whatever the case, Ed's fate and decisions have kept them apart time after time. And in the movie Conqueror of Shamballa, this trope especially fits— Edward has to go back for the sake of his world's safety, leaving Winry solo. She even says with a melancholy gaze, "That's Ed. I know it. I guess this is goodbye for good..."
  • The main pairing of Gosick lived under a prophecy stating that this would be the case for them, hearts entwined but separated by war. Ultimately, the trope was averted: the war ended and finally the two found each other again.
  • Erza Scarlett and Jellal Fernandez seem to be this in Fairy Tail. Both have confessed (or been interupted while confessing) to have loved one another, spend more time thinking about one another than any other potential couple in the series (except maybe the two background characters whose whole schtick is not being able to confess their love), have displayed a telepathic ability to tell when one is in trouble or rooting for them, and every time they're about to get a chance to be together something will happen to take Jellal away, like corruption, or death, or arrest, in that order.
  • Windaria: Roland and Veronica, the heirs of the countries at the brink of war. It looked to be subverted as the Queen of Lunaria hoped a marriage between them would neutralize the possiblity of war but they ended up fighting.
  • Jeudi's parents Friederich and Helene in Honoo No Alpen Rose. Specially because they did get married and had Alicia/Jeudi, but then they had to run away from Austria to Switzerland, Helene and Jeudi went missing, and it went From Bad to Worse.
    • As things get worse and worse, it seems the Universe itself is conspiring to give Lundi and Jeudi trouble. Specially when Lundi disappears when the train he and Jeudi have boarded to reach Austria is caught in a bomb attack, and Jeudi has to go to Austria alone.
  • In another Michiyo Akaishi work, Ten Yori Mo, Hoshi Yori Mo, Mio Mizumori and Shou Narumiya were this. In at least two lifetimes.
  • Meiko Akizuki and Shinichi "Nat-chan" Namura from Marmalade Boy, due to the Hot for Teacher angle as well as the social class difference (Namura is middle-class, Meiko is The Ojou). Subverted later: they do get their happy ending.
  • Hikoboshi and Orihime, the two lovers in Japanese mythology who could only see each other once a year, are referenced when Ranma and Akane go to the Weaver festival in one chapter of the Ranma ½ manga. The star crossed lovers are mentioned again later on by a somewhat-delusional-from-being-fried-by-fireworks Ranma.
    Ranma: (to the Akane in his dream) I feel as if we are... we are like Hikoboshi and Orihime when they finally met each other.
    The real Akane: Huh?
    • In the anime, two one-shot characters, Princess Ori and Kengyu, are a play on Hikoboshi and Orihime, as well.
  • In Sailor Moon, we have two instances of this:
    • In a one-shot from the Sailor Moon manga, there is a variant of the legend of the Weaver and the Cowherd, where the couple shirked their duties because of their love, and thus were barred from seeing one another. The Weaver was the villain of the story, because the Cowherd saw her without make-up on during one of the days, and feared that he no longer loved her now that he saw she was really very plain (and getting fat from overeating due to boredom). At the end of the story, he shows up and assures her he still loves her.
    • Princess Serenity and Prince Endymion from the Silver Millenium days. She's the Princess of the Moon and he's the Prince of Earth, so they're not allowed to even meet and thus they have to do it behind their people's backs. Then the war comes in, Endymion is killed, and Serenity either kills herself due to grief (manga) or dies alongside him as she's hit by the same blast that takes his life (first anime). Then they're reincarnated into Usagi/Sailormoon and Mamoru/Tuxedo Kamen, who do manage to get AND stay together.
  • This crops up quite often in The Tarot Cafe, seeing as most of Pamela's clients are involved in some sort of Interspecies Romance. How well they work out varies. Some end happily, like the man who pursues a lake spirit, even after he unknowingly hits her three times and thus banishes her from his home. Some end not-so-happily, like the Reincarnation Romance between a vampire and a human, in which the vampire killed the human in the past and then, to keep himself from killing her reincarnated self (who he still loved) committed suicide. Besides the clients, there's also Aaron and Nebiros (separated because of a moment of distrust between the two, though they eventually reconcile) and Pamela and Belus (unable to have a happy ending, because Belus is really the Devil, though they are implied to remain friends. The beginning of the series also has Pamela and Ashes.
  • Remy Matsuda and Merril Benten Tamagawa from Cyber City Oedo 808.
    • And also Makie and Taki Renzaburou by the end of the Wicked City movie.
  • Chigusa Tsukikage and Ichiren Osaki in Glass Mask. The world also seems to be hell-bent on keeping Maya and Masumi away.
  • Hiromi Oka and Coach Jin Munakata from Aim for the Ace!, mainly due to the fact he was dying of leukemia by the time they met and fall in love.
  • Detective Conan
    • Hideomi Nagato and Miyuki Hyuuga. First, he and his friend Mitsuaki caused the fire that killed Miyuki's parents. Second, Hideomi had a Heel Realization, then returned and saved little Miyuki but was badly burned. Third, while he helped Miyuki out as much as he could, Hideomi thouroughly hated himself due to guilt. Fourth, and the most important reason: when Miyuki fell for him despite knowing what he had done and asked him to marry her... Hideomi crossed the Despair Event Horizon and commited suicide. It went From Bad to Worse later.
    • Shinichi Kudo and Ran Mouri themselves. While their feelings have been kinda wavering for quite the time, as time passes they have grown stronger - but Shinichi is trapped in the body of a little boy (the titular Conan) and cannot openly tell Ran who he is, lest she and his friends will be targeted by the same evil organization that shrunk him. In the meantime poor Ran waits for Shinichi's return...
  • Anju and Souma Miki from Kishin Douji Zenki. Later, Inugami and Sayaka — they double as Inter Species Romance since he's a powerful devil and she's a human girl.
  • Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss has this as his default view on human/youkai relationships. Naturally, he ends up in one such relationship with Nanami.
  • If you're a Member of the Zodiac in Fruits Basket, you and your beloved will be Star-Crossed Lovers. The only question is whether you get scarred by Akito (physically, mentally, or both), or just never confess your love and languish in your misery. When Akito is defeated and has a Heel-Face Turn thanks to Tohru, the curse is slowly broken and the major part of the separated/unconfessed couples get together..
  • Solomon and Sheba from Magi - Labyrinth of Magic. After knowing each other for five years and Sheba gaining a long unreciprocated crush on him, Solomon finally fell for her, they became a couple, and he got her pregnant. Their happiness was short lived since Solomon fused his soul with Ill Ilah's Rukh in order to Screw Destiny and had to leave Sheba behind. She only had his Empty Shell of a body left. Sheba was left alone and heartbroken, but decided to endure her grief in order to accomplish her beloved's dream, only to be betrayed and killed by her former friends and die without getting the chance to meet her son Aladdin.
  • In Nanatsu No Taizai, there is Ban and Elaine. Ban became an immortal thanks to a Heroic Sacrifice made by Elaine, thus the barrier between life and death separates them. Ban however decided to make it his personal mission to find a way for them to be reunited.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, relationships between Ghouls and Humans are rare but do occur. A provision of the Anti-Ghoul laws addresses this concern, with the human facing serious time in prison and their Ghoul lover facing either imprisonment in Kokuria or execution on the spot.
    • Yoshimura and his Lost Lenore, Ukina. Their romance ended in tragedy, but changed him from a ruthless loner into the kind Friendly Neighborhood Vampire of the current story. It also resulted in the Big Bad of the series, their Half-Human Hybrid child being hunted by various organizations.
    • Nishiki and his human girlfriend, Kimi. She explicitly points out that if he's exposed as a Ghoul, he'll be killed and she'll be sent to prison. When Anteiku is raided, he makes the decision to leave her in hopes of protecting her from suspicion.

    Comic Books 
  • Young Avengers: Cassie Lang (Stature) and Nate Richards (Iron Lad) seem destined to be star-crossed lovers, separated by centuries and because Nate's destined to grow up to be the evil supervillain Kang the Conqueror.
  • X-Men: Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Jean Grey (Phoenix). Often described as destined soul mates who were meant to be yet have been through so much tragedy, including death and destruction. Scott and Jean's relationship has basically been nothing but pure doom and tragedy.
  • Gambit and Rogue have long been one of the cruelest examples. They've been deeply in love for years, but Rogue's inability to touch a person without him falling victim to her powers keeps him forever at arms length. She recently managed to figure out how to avoid this problem, but that initially made it worse; it started a fight with Gambit, who wondered if their relationship would have been anything more than a "one night stand" if they had been able to touch from the start. She seems to have gained full control of them and reconciled with Gambit following the events of X-Men Legacy, but how long it will last is anyone's guess.
  • Peanuts: While it's unclear how strongly his feelings are returned, Charlie Brown's hopeless infatuation with the Little Red-Haired Girl is tragically doomed to remain star-crossed, as he lacks the nerve to speak to her.
  • Nikolai Dante: the title character and Jena Makarov end up in this situation because Nikolai is an illegitimate scion of the Romanov family, who eventually go to war with the Makarovs.
  • Hawkman and Hawkgirl. If they acknowledge their love for each other they will be killed by their reincarnating archenemy. Because Destiny Says So.
    • In Blackest Night #1, finally Hawkgirl admits that she's fallen in love with Hawkman. Immediately, they are killed and turned into Black Lanterns. Toldja.
      • In Brightest Day instead, while Hawkman and Hawkgirl get briefly resurrected by the Life Entity and freed by their curse, the same Entity, responsible for empowering and protecting every life in the universe, turns Hawkgirl into the latest air elemental, barring her from living her last life with Hawkman. He's not that happy.
  • Again in Brightest Day, Deadman gets the same treatment: while he's resurrected too, and starts to appreciate his new stab at life by romancing the overtly cute and lovely superheroine Dove, he gets returned to his undead state, the Entity using his life force to resurrect and empower the new iteration of the Swamp Thing. All the while with Dove still able to hear his disembodied voice, but tearfully aware of their separation.
  • The ice goddess Kelda and the mortal fry-cook Bill in the recent Thor series.
  • Also Thor-connected: Asgardian wolf prince Hrimhari and Rahne Sinclaire of X-Factor. The first time they got together, they had to part when the X-Men left Asgard. When Asgard reappeared on Earth, Hrimhari and Rahne were reunited, only for Hrimhari to give up his own life to save Rahne and their unborn children.
  • Spider-Man: Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson were forced into this by One More Day. Stan Lee even lables them this in his afterword in the OMD Trade Paperback. Fortunately, there still very much together in the MC2 and Newspaper Strip continuities, the latter of which continues to this day.
  • Another Marvel example is Thena of The Eternals and Kro of the Deviants. Kro is far more powerful than most Deviants, and unlike most of them, seems immortal, like the Eternals are. He and Thena fell in love more than twenty millennia ago, but as their respected races are mortal enemies and would never approve of their relationship, they've been forced to keep it secret. They've actually been more successful than most examples of this Trope, having two children as a result, Donald and Debora Ritter (Thena concealed this from her fellow Eternals by using her own powers to secretly transfer them, as embryos, into an infertile human woman; the twins didn't learn who their true parents were until adulthood.)
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: Peter and Mary Jane end up as this, what with the former being Killed Off for Real.
  • In DC vs. Marvel, Robin and Jubilee had a brief romance during the crossover. Later they're separated and they weren't happy at that.
  • Ms Tree found herself in that situation when her stepson fell for the daughter of the boss of the Meurita crime family. Subverted, regardless of her opinion of this situation, she considers the matter purely the kids' affair and enjoys seeing the girl's mother's attempt to keep them apart backfire into strengthening their relationship.
  • Thanks to Executive Meddling, this seems to be the case for Sonic the Hedgehog and Princess Sally Acorn - whenever these two get together, something bad happens to one of them - Sonic gets launched to the other side of the galaxy, Sally falls for Monkey Khan, then she later gets turned into a robot.
  • Bruce Banner and Betty Ross. His uncontrollable transformations into the Hulk have made him a fugitive chased by the United States military. Not to mention Betty's father, General "Thunderbolt" Ross, harbors an intense hatred of him.
  • Princess Celestia and a good version of King Sombra. Seperated in different universes due to Celestia's friend Star Swirl realizing that both their kingdoms need their ruler more than they need eachother.

    Fanfic 
  • Any Dragon Ball Z fanfiction that features Trunks and Pan as the main pairing.
  • Pikachu and Pichi in A Pikachu in Love have shades of this. Both of them are owned by different trainers who plan on leaving the forest they met in and going there seprate ways in three days. Though it doesn't end in death like most victums of this Trope, in the end Pikachu is forced to part ways with Pichi so he can continue his adventures with Ash.
  • In I Love Thee, L says this to Misa. And with good reason. They fall in love, and have a wonderfully blissful relationship... only to have L be killed. The summary of the story gives it away: "As the quote stated, the hottest love usually has the coldest end."
  • Aki and Heathcliffe from One Piece: Parallel Works. Although they are both from wealthy families, Heathcliffe's parents kicked Heathcliffe out of his own house and forced him to become a Street Urchin and Aki's aunt and father keep putting her in one Arranged Marriage after another so the Chung-Feng family could obtain more power and wealth.
    • Yuki-Rin (the daughter of a Tenryuubito) and Kazuma (the son of a dojo master) started out as this because of Roscoe, but it looks like their love isn't endangered anymore.
  • Avatar The Last Airbender Fanfic Cold Water mentions a Water Tribe legend about a woman from a hunting tribe and a polar bear. It ends up tragically, when her brother kills the bear and she heartbroken leaves her village.
  • There's a Harry Potter fanfic But You Alone which is based on Tristan and Isolde, featuring a star-crossed love that destroys the lives of everyone involved. The author pulled the story from the internet, so it's now quite hard to find. Harry and Hermione are engaged, but she has doubts. A chance encounter leads to Hermione and Snape falling madly in love with each other, but he then harshly rejects her, thinking that she deserves better. She returns to her fiance. Just before the wedding, Snape realises he can't live without her and tries to rush to her side to explain, only to be attacked by a rogue Death Eater and end up in a coma until after she's already married (and she now hates him and thinks he hates her). Finally they realise their mistakes and start having an affair... the suspicion of which begins to drive Harry insane with paranoia and jealousy. Things get worse from there. If you're familiar with the story of Tristan and Isolde you can already tell how this is going to end.
  • A rather popular clichè in Hungary/Prussia fanfiction is to have them being separated when she becomes one half of the Austro-Hungarian Compromise, but still having feelings for each other that they must hide for obvious reasons. (Bonus if Hungary's canon husband Austria is subjected to Die for Our Ship and Ron the Death Eater treatments to make Prussia look as a better option).
    • Conversely, Austria/Hungary fics set in the Cold War has them fulfilling this trope as she's a member of the Eastern Bloc while he's on the other side of it. They remain separated until the fall of communism.
    • There's also France and Joan of Arc in fanon, crossing to Mayfly-December Romance.
  • The Warden and the Mistress almost become this in Extended Stay until the revelation that Mistress is pregnant is revealed, allowing her to stay and thus, allowing them to be together.
    • The reason this is is because of the plot, which goes something like this: Ultraprison is running low on fuel and needs to stop someplace to refuel. Conveniently, the nearest spot for them is Superjail. Once they have enough fuel to leave, this trope comes up.
  • This trope pops up (rather inevitably) in the Hunger Games fanfic Some Semblance of Meaning with Vale and Obsidian. Both really wish that they could have met outside of the context of the Hunger Games and realize that their relationship is bound to end in tragedy. It does.
  • In the Blue Exorcist fanfic Memories of You, the back story of the first major arc reveals that the Kamiki family got it's start from a pair of them. The ultimate grandmother of the family met and helped a Kitsune when she was a little girl. The Kitsune later turned into a human and ended up marrying her when she was older. They had a daughter and managed to live happily for a time, but a zealous ex-suitor of the woman killed her and framed her Kitsune husband for it, before killing him. This resulted in the Kitsune cursing the family, driven to possess the eldest daughter of the family every generation in his quest for revenge. The only way to halt it is for one of the people closest to the eldest daughter must kill her to halt the possession. This resulted in another Star-Crossed Lovers in the past, as one of the victims of the curse had to convince her lover to kill her, which eventually let to him committing suicide. Aside from that Rin and Izumo know very well that there are a lot of people out there determined to turn them into this, starting with the Vatican; all because Rin happens to be the Son of Satan and thus they don't want him to have a relationship with a girl that could result in a child. And now Yukio and Paku might very well join them in that struggle, as, like his brother, the Vatican don't want Yukio to breed.
  • The Hotel Transylvania fic How to Zing has Dracula and Martha. He's a Vampire, she's a Human. They play this trope straight until the very end, when they decide they love each other too much to let their differences get in the way. It works better when Martha becomes a Vampire like him. But of course, anyone who's seen the film will know that things didn't end too well for them...
  • The Star Trek fic Written in the Stars mostly averts this, but the Spock and Fem!Kirk in the alternate reality of the mirror universe play this straight in that unions between Vulcans and Humans were forbidden after the Romulan attack on the Kelvin. The pair still fall in love and attempt to bring down the Terran Empire in order to be together.
  • Several My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfics pairing Twilight and Trixie makes use of this trope: Trixie cannot give up her itinerant lifestyle (because being a traveling performer is her destiny) in order to stay in Ponyville, and Twilight cannot possibly leave her friends in Ponyville behind to go with her.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Adjustment Bureau's whole premise is this.
  • Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar from Brokeback Mountain due to society's homophobia. The film poster is in fact modelled after that of Titanic.
  • Edward and Bella from Twilight.
  • Noah and Allie from The Notebook.
  • Rose and Jack from 1997's Titanic are probably the second most infamous use of this trope, after the trope namer.
  • Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala from Star Wars. Due to their respective roles as Jedi and senator requiring them to be on different planets, they were often literally star crossed. Even their romance theme was entitled: ''Across the Stars''.
    • By Revenge of the Sith this overlaps with Dating Catwoman to an extent. He sides with Chancellor Palpatine while she leads the political opposition against him. Hints of this are shown earlier in which he talks about how much he hates politicians and that a system with a benevolent dictator would be superior.
    • Or the worst one, identical with all romances in Knights of the Old Republic: the player of both games vanish into the Unknown Regions, never to be seen again, leaving his/her loved one behind.
  • Jamal and Latika in the movie Slumdog Millionaire. At least until the very end of the movie.
  • The eponymous tribesman Uncas and Alice, proper English girl, in Last of the Mohicans. Barely a word is spoken between them, but we know they are destined for this. Sure enough, Alice commits suicide after Uncas dies trying to save her.
  • Invoked in Heathers. Everyone in town thinks the two dead high school football players killed themselves because they were gay lovers who believed that the community would never accept them. Everyone, that is, except for the two people who murdered them and forged the suicide note that lead the town to believe that two heterosexual football players were secretly gay lovers.
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Rebellious Princess Jen and Lovable Rogue Lo, Lady of War Shu Lien and Warrior Therapist Li Mubai. The first couple gets together in the end (for a very brief period of time.) The second ends as Her Heart Will Go On after Mubai dies in Shu Lien's arms, as they both aknowledge their feelings.
  • The lovers in My Beautiful Laundrette are maximally star-crossed. One is from a tradition-minded Pakistani family, the other runs with National Front skinheads, and both are boys... But it's subverted in that there's no angst, there's minimal bitching about their star-crossed status, and at the end they end up together, realistically happy, without ever telling anyone about their relationship.
  • Ladyhawke - the title character Isabeau and her lover Captain Navarre travel together but only ever set eyes upon each other for the briefest moment because due to a curse, Isabeau turns into a hawk at dawn and Navarre turns into a wolf at sunset. The movie is all about them and Navarre's companion, Philippe, trying to go Screw Destiny and break the curse itself. It works in the end.
  • Max and Elise in Suicide Kings, kept apart by the fact that Max's stepfather slept with Elise's mother and her father found out.
  • In Memoirs of a Geisha, this is shown in the form of three women: Hatsumomo, Mameha and Sayuri. Hatsumomo was in love with a baker but was forbidden by Mother to never see him again, because as a geisha, she mustn't give her body up to men who can't earn enough money. Mameha was hinted to have loved the Baron at one point but had long given up that emotion. And the last one is Sayuri who had loved the Chairman at first sight and from that moment on, did everything she could to meet him again. Like the others, she was doomed not to have a future with him. However, Sayuri earned her happy ending as the Chairman reciprocated her love and they remained together.
  • In Partition, 38-year-old Hindu Gayan Singh falls in love with 17-year-old Muslim girl Naseem Khan, set against the dramatic backdrop of the Partition of India.
  • The Bubble: The lovers, besides both being men, are an Israeli and a Palestinian; the Palestinian is from a conservative Muslim family and is being pressured into an arranged heterosexual marriage.
  • You Never Dreamed has Roma and Katya, whose families have bad blood between them and try to keep them apart.
  • The backstory of Underworld has Lycan slave Lucian and Sonja, the daughter of Vampire Elder Viktor, the latter of whom was executed after becoming pregnant with a hybrid. This sparks off the war between the Lycans and the Vampires that form the basis of the series.
  • Nate and Dana from Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam is this because they are from opposing musical camps led by two former bandmates turned rivals. Added points that Dana is the daughter of Camp Star's leader, and Nate is the nephew of Camp Rock's leader.
  • Tristan and Susanna in Legends Of The Fall. The latter ends up being Spurned Into Suicide.
  • Upside Down (2012), in which a man falls in love with a woman from an inverted universe.
  • Peeta and Katniss from The Hunger Games. When Peeta reveals in his pre-game interview that he is in love with Katniss she thinks he is deliberately invoking this trope (and it is indeed mentioned by name by the show host). She later plays it up for all it's worth to help save her own life, never realizing that Peeta was telling the truth and honestly loves her.
  • Landon and Jamie in A Walk to Remember.
  • The protagonists of Love Me If You Dare.
  • German corporal Walter and Jewish prisoner Ruth in Sterne. The title of the film means Stars, and is a reference both to this trope and to the infamous yellow stars.
  • R and Julie from Warm Bodies.
  • Essentially the plot of Lovers Of The Arctic Circle.
  • Wu Luan, originally with Wan, and then with Qing in Legend Of The Black Scorpion. The crossing of their stars in both cases is highlighted by the fact that in the scenes where the couples are closest to realizing their mutual affection, Wu Luan and Wan/Qing are both wearing all white and moving together in a synchronized fashion. Wu Luan spars with Wan and performs a dance with Qing. And then everything falls apart.
  • Matias and Maria from The Elite Squad. He was a cop. She had drug connections. Their relationship could never have worked.
  • The two teen protagonists of the Mexican film Amar Te Duele (which appropriately translates as Love Hurts).
  • Kaji and Michiko of The Human Condition. Kaji's only motivation to go on is to get back to his love, but his humanity is continually tested.
  • Steve Rogers and Peggy Cater in the Captain America films. Minutes after their first kiss during World War II, Rogers sacrifices himself to save the Eastern United States. When he comes back in the modern day, Carter is bedridden from old age and has Alzheimer's/dementia, thus preventing her from permanently retaining the knowledge that he's alive.
    • One might be inclined to say the same of Steve and Bucky.

    Literature 
  • The teen science-fiction series, Animorphs has Rachel and Tobias. She's a beautiful, smart, independent, funny and spirited suburban teenage hottie. He's a boy trapped in the body of a bird. And then The Beginning happens.
    • Also Elfangor and Loren, who're not only from different species but separated by time travel, a meddling Ellimist and memory erasure. The end result: he's dead and she can't remember his existence. Elfangor's human morph Allan "Al" Fangor did leave Loren Someone to Remember Him By: Tobias. Yeah, the stars really hate that family.
  • The ancient Sanskrit play, The Little Clay Cart, written by the Indian playwright Sudraka around the 2nd century BC. It was about a forbidden love between an impoverished young man and a wealthy courtesian.
    • The play later inspired the 2001 film Moulin Rouge!, which features a similar tale about an impoverished young man and a wealthy courtesan. The movie also features a play resembling The Little Clay Cart.
  • The medieval Arabic/Persian epic, Layla and Majnun, a tragic love story written by Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi in the 12th century, based on an Arabic tale from around the late 7th or 8th century. The story is basically: boy meets girl, boy goes the Love Makes You Crazy way, boy loses girl since she gets an arranged marriage to another guy, boy loses what's left of his mind, girl soon dies of either illness or a Death by Despair, boy is found dead near girl's grave after carving his last words of love for her on a stone. Its popularity in the Middle East and Asia is comparable to (and predates) that of Romeo & Juliet in the Western world.
  • Hilariously lampshaded and (eventually) averted in David Eddings' The Belgariad and The Malloreon: A knight and a lady are in love, but she is married to another man. Various other protagonists grumble about the fact all three characters are genre-aware of their plight, play up to it, and even actively avoid possible solutions because they love the melodrama so much. Eventually, after the husband dies, the main character gets sick of the ongoing Wangst and forces the couple to get married at the point of a seven-foot-long sword.
  • Parodied in the Discworld novel Mort with the characters of Mellius and Gretelina "whose pure, passionate and soul-searing affair would have scorched the pages of History if they had not, by some unexplained quirk of fate, been born two hundred years apart on different continents."
  • Two examples from The Dresden Files:
    • Harry and Susan are the more obvious. Susan ignores Harry's warnings and Harry not telling her enough of his life led her to make a dangerous choice and ended up a half-vampire. Because she deeply loved him and wanted him it made her inner demon want him all the more, so they separated, only later did they have one night of passionate sex (with Susan bound and gagged so she didn't hurt him) and then she was gone from his life for many years. Then she came back telling him their child, conceived on that night of bondage, was kidnapped. Harry told her that keeping the knowledge he had a child from him ended any chance of them getting back together. She accepted that and, by gambits of others in play, would sacrifice her life to permanently destroy the Red Court vampires with Harry being her killer.
    • Thomas and Justine. Thomas is an incubus, while Justine is a rather disturbed hottie. Initially their relationship is mutually beneficial, with Thomas feeding on Justine's Life Energy and stabilizing her mental state in the process. Then Thomas was badly injured, on the verge of death if he did not feed. Justine willingly gave herself to Thomas knowing she could die and Thomas stopped himself moments before he was about to kill her, even if it could cost him his life. The result was both acts of genuine love now was contained in each other. Since Thomas is literally Allergic to Love, Justine's genuine love makes it so that they can't touch each other without seriously injuring him as he wants her so much he instinctively feeds on her. Finally averted when Justine starts having sex with a girlfriend so she can then have sex with Thomas, and then regain the protection. He heartily approves.
  • Though romance is not a major theme in the books, Eisenhorn and Bequin from the Warhammer 40,000: Eisenhorn series. Eisenhorn is a Psyker and Bequin is a Blank (anti-psyker), thus meaning it was painful for Eisenhorn just to be near Bequin. The only time he is able to be close to her and open his heart is when Bequin is in a coma (thus canceling her 'Blankness'), after trying and failing to stop a possessed Imperial Titan. Unfortunately she doesn't wake up.
  • Lyra and Will from the His Dark Materials series, specifically the last book, The Amber Spyglass.
  • More than one couple, or sad non-couple in the Spaceforce books, mainly because of the Taysan Empire's insanely restrictive rules on who can marry whom, and how. Sexual relationships outside marriage, and marriage between people of different 'degree', are serious criminal offences. Jay defies the law to elope with and marry Ashlenn in an Earther wedding ceremony, but both pay heavily for it. Prince Ragoth and his bodyguard Maydith, we assume, never even discuss their mutual attraction - and Jay's commander Salthar had reciprocated, but nonetheless hopeless feelings for fellow agent Mizal.
  • About half of all romantic relationships in A Song of Ice and Fire. The best you can hope for is a Perfectly Arranged Marriage or a spouse who's accepting of you keeping a lover on the side (though even that can be problematic if you have any children with the latter).
    • A notable example, since they're the basis of In-Universe folktales and love songs, are the Prince of Dragonflies and Jenny of Oldstones. Prince Duncan Targaryen abdicates the throne for the common girl he falls in love with, leaving his less worthy younger brother and far less worthy nephew to run the dynasty into the ground within two generations.
  • In the first book of The Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta use this trope for all it's worth to gain sympathy.
    • In the third book of the series the trope ends up subverted as Katniss reciprocates Peeta's feelings and marries him.
    • The real star-crossed lovers of the trilogy turn out to be Finnick and Annie, with her even ending up with Someone to Remember Him By.
  • Devdas: The book (and subsequent movie versions) is definitely of the second variation, having been written in 1917 when such rules still existed. The eponymous hero (son of a wealthy upper-class family) and Childhood Sweetheart Paro (daughter of a middle class trader family) fall in love upon adulthood, but because Devdas is too weak-willed to stand up to his father's disapproval of their getting married, the two of them spend the remainder of the book apart. He spends his days drinking and mourning her, while Paro is in an Arranged Marriage to an older aristocratic gentleman. Sensing that he's close to death because of his drinking and despair, Devdas crawls to Paro's house and dies in front of her gate, fulfilling a promise he made to her on the day of her wedding, and Paro can't even see his face because of the rules of Purdah.
  • Renata Remedios "Meme" Buendía del Carpio and Mauricio Babilonia play the role in One Hundred Years of Solitude. Not only theirs is an Uptown Girl deal (Meme is from the powerful Buendia clan, Mauricio is a mere mechanic and hinted to be of Romani heritage), but there's a HUGE veto coming from her family — specially her mother Fernanda. They try to overcome said veto... and it goes From Bad to Worse.
  • Catherine and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights.
  • Maigrey and Sagan in Margaret Weis's The Star of the Guardians. Complete with The Masochism Tango and Together in Death.
  • John Grady Cole and Alejandra from All The Pretty Horses. He's a poor American ranch hand, she's the daughter of the wealthy Mexican ranch owner that employs him.
  • Winston and Julia in 1984.
  • Shades of Grey, Eddie and Jane. Jane, who is the epitome of Tsundere, would rather kill Eddie than marry him, and he's supposed to marry upwards anyway. And then when they do fall mutually in love, it turns out Jane is a Green and shouldn't even talk to eighty-six-percent-Red Eddie, much less marry him.
  • In Holes, we have the tragic case of Miss Katherine and Sam, though in love with each other, cannot be together because she's white and he's black. When the rest of the town found out that they had kissed (a huge crime back in their day), they burned down Miss Katherine's schoolhouse and killed Sam in front of her.
  • In The Iron Dragons Daughter, Jane and Tetigistus. When she and one of his incarnations (Rooster, Peter, Puck or Rocket) got together, it ended in tragedy. M;ore for him than for her.
  • M. Paul and Lucy in Villette.
  • Scrooge and Belle in A Christmas Carol, who were driven apart by Scrooge's greed and obsession with money.
  • Pip and Estella in the original ending of Great Expectations. Subverted in the Revised Ending.
  • Occurs in The Silmarillion between King Finwë and his first wife, Míriel. She gains the distinction of being the only person to die in the Undying Lands, much to the puzzlement of the gods, who finally decide she's staying dead out of sheer stubbornness. Finwë re-marries, (which means Míriel can never reincarnate, since Elves are no permitted two wives) but his second wife outlives him. Once he dies, he is re-united with Míriel, and chooses to stay dead forever so Míriel can reincarnate.
  • In the Warrior Cats series, medicine cats cannot fall in love, and neither can cats from rival clans. This results in cases of missing parents and fake parents.
    • Evident with Bluestar, who ends up pregnant with her lover Oakheart's kits, but due to them being in different clans, she has to leave her kits with him and not acknowledge her relationship with him or her kits for the rest of her life, up until she reveals to her kits that she is their mother just before she dies.
    • Ditto in the case of Leafpool and Crowfeather, except that Leafpool is also a medicine cat. Leafpool has to give her kits to her sister to raise, and has to pretend to be just an aunt when she is actually their mother. Furthermore, when the truth comes out, one of her kits turns insane and nearly murders Leafpool. Because of that, she even gives up her place as medicine cat, but still cannot be reunited with Crowfeather, as he is stuck with a mate he does not love, as well as another son, who is also a Jerk Ass.
    • Crowfeather and Feathertail as well. Both of them are also from separate clans, but become close in their journey for a new home. When they finally confess their love for each other, Feathertail is killed shortly afterwards in a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Ryewhisker and Cloudberry in "Code of the Clans". Just as Cloudberry is pregnant with Ryewhisker's kits, he is killed defending her from his own clanmates as she is from a rival clan. This causes an even bigger wedge to be driven between the two clans.
    • Warrior Cats is chock-full of such examples.
  • In C. S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces, Orual, queen of Glome, falls in love with Bardia, her captain of the guard, who is already married. At the end, it's revealed that the stress her devotion caused him lead him to an early grave.
  • Walter Huff and Phyllis Nirdlinger in Double Indemnity. They murder Phyllis's husband and attempt to make it look like an accident to get double indemnity on his insurance policy, but it falls through, they get found out, and subsequently commit mutual suicide by jumping from the stern of a cruise ship.
  • Lenina and John in Brave New World; alternately, Lenina and Bernard. She likes him, he likes her, but everyone is cruel to Bernard due to his differences.
  • A couple of instances in the Deryni novels:
    • Duncan McLain and Maryse MacArdry. Expecting to be parted over a feud between their clans, they marry in secret and Maryse conceives a son, Dhugal. Duncan later learns Maryse died of a fever the following winter, but he doesn't know the rest of the story until much later.
    • Rothana Nur Hallaj and Kelson Haldane. After much thought, she decides to put aside her temporary novice's vows and marry him, then he disappears down a waterfall and is thought to be dead. She is persauded to marry someone else traitorous Conall Haldane, and feels she cannot marry Kelson once they are both free to do so. She even arranges for him to marry someone else!
  • Vlad Tepes and Elizabeth Bathory in Count and Countess. Or so they insist.
  • The original fate of Gwidion and Emily in Symphony of Ages. While soul mates, they were born millenia and continents apart. By the time the two met in the original timeline, Emily was ancient and giving birth to their son, who could Set Right What Once Went Wrong, killed her. The changes to history averted this trope, eventually.
  • In Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet series, Captain Bradomant and Colonel Rogero, on opposite sides of the war. Both intensely honorable and adamant against doing anything against their own sides.
  • Enchantress from the Stars has Elana, a girl from The Federation, an extremely advanced society, fall in love with Georyn, a young man from a planet stuck in Middle Ages. Neither of them could be happy in another world, so they part once the Federation's expedition departs.
  • The books by Strugatsky Brothers feature several:
  • The lead couple of Hans Christian Andersen's short story "The Shepherdess and the Chimney-sweep" are two porcelain figurines who fall in love, but a mahogany satyr figure is in talks to an also porcelained Chinaman figure (who is a sort-of Parental Substitute for the Shepherdess) to get her in an Arranged Marriage for him. So the two attempt to run away so they won't be separated. Unusually for the very angsty Andersen tales, they get their happy ending.
  • Edward Cullen and Bella Swan from Twilight. Not.
  • Stefan Salvatore and Elena Gilbert from The Vampire Diaries. There is nothing that these two have not been through. Their love story is inspired by Romeo and Juliet according to the author. Stefan and Elena is a combination of Love Before First Sight, Boy Meets Girl, Love at First Sight, Starcrossed Lovers, One True Love, Red String of Fate, Interspecies Romance, Mayfly-December Romance, Eternal Love, and Inter-Class Romance all rolled into one. Stefan is a five hundred year old plus immortal vampire boy (who died at the age of eighteen) and Elena is a seventeen year old normal human girl who fatefully meet each other. Stefan was once a human boy who was a noble during the fourteenth century and he comes from a wealthy, noble and Blue Blood family. He tragically becomes a vampire after he has a feud with his brother Damon and his brother Damon kills him, cursing him to a lifetime in the shadows and away from light and humanity. Elena is a beautiful human girl who is from a small town in Virginia, someone who is lost and feels empty inside due to the loss of her parents and feeling like she has no place to call "home". Both Stefan and Elena were lost souls who had endured so much tragedy in their lives and had been engulfed in sadness and darkness. When Stefan and Elena first meet, it's Love at First Sight for Stefan and Elena, as both feel a strong, powerful, undeniable and indescribable connection with each other. Although, Elena is more passionate about Stefan than Stefan is about Elena at first because Stefan is deliberately pulling away from Elena, as she coincidentally bears an almost striking physical appearance with his first love who tragically "died", Katherine. Stefan tries to steer clear of Elena's presence as her presence causes him to feel immense pain and reminders from his dark and tragic past. Stefan also hides a centuries old dark secret that he is a vampire from Elena, fearful that Elena will find out and see him as a monster or a creature of darkness that has no soul and is incapable of love or being loved and accepted. Numerous obstacles try to keep the two from being together, including Damon, Stefan's older and malevolent brother, who planned on stealing Elena from Stefan to make his life miserable in order to get revenge against Stefan; Katherine, Stefan's first love who became evil, sinister and obsessive over Stefan over the centuries and tried to kill Elena out of jealousy; Klaus, who tried to kill both Stefan and Elena and tried to destroy their lives, not to mention Elena dying repeatedly and Stefan being ripped away from Elena constantly, with one instance of Stefan ending up trapped in a prison in the Dark Dimension to the point where Stefan almost faced death. Despite everything that these two have been through, Stefan and Elena have proven that they simply cannot function or live without each other. Stefan and Elena are also soul mates who are destined to be together, meaning that destiny wants them together. However, fate seems to disagree as they are constantly being torn apart by outside circumstances. Despite that these two love each other so much, they can never find any happiness in the long term.
    • It gets even more tragic in the Evensong trilogy when Stefan accidentally almost kills Elena by exsanguination, when he let his strong passion and love for Elena take him over while he was feeding on her blood. Basically, Stefan ended up almost killing Elena to the point of death because of love. For that reason, Elena needed a massive blood transfusion in order to save her life. Stefan ends up saving Elena by getting her an immediate blood transfusion however, Stefan painfully realizes that due tot he circumstances of him almost killing Elena, Stefan realizes that he cannot be with Elena as he feels he poses a threat or danger to her safety and well being. Because of this, Stefan ends up using a special neurological virus to get inside Elena's (and the rest of her friends) memory so that she will forget everything about Stefan, their strong love and his existence. As of currently, Elena has forgotten that Stefan existed because of what Stefan did and now Elena thinks that she is in love and in a relationship with Damon.
  • Adam Conant and Cassie Blake from The Secret Circle.
  • The eponymous Ethan Frome and his wife Zeena's cousin Mattie Silver.
  • The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. Tatiana (a seventeen year old girl who's never been in a relationship) and Alexander, a 23 year-old Soviet army officer, fall in Love at First Sight. Alexander walks her home and finds to his horror that his current Girl of the Week is Tatiana's older sister. And Tatiana refuses to let him break up with her because of this (and even if they did, Tatiana sleeps in the same bed as her sister; given the Soviet housing shortage, she can't just move). If that's not bad enough, Alexander is actually Alexander Barrington, the son of American communists executed by the Secret Police, and has a False Friend who hopes to use Alexander to escape to the United States, and views Tatiana as a threat to this plan.
  • Augustus and Hazel in The Fault in Our Stars are Genre Savvy star-crossed lovers with terminal cancer.
  • From Honor Harrington: Eloise Pritchart and Javier Giscard. Just when it seems like they might have a chance at a happy ever after that doesn't include hiding from State Sec and/or fighting a war they don't want to fight, he is killed in battle. She never quite recovers.
  • By the end of The Underland Chronicles, it's strongly implied that Gregor will never see Luxa again.
  • An Alaskan version of Romeo and Juliet, with a boy and a girl from feuding villages, forms a major part of the plot of the Kate Shugak mystery Bad Blood. Author Dana Stabenow says in her introduction that she always the play was more about the families than the lovers, and that Shakespeare could have handled the elopement far better.
  • Ava and Jacob in The Kingdom of Little Wounds. Jacob fled the country (presumably to Denmark) because it wasn't safe for him to be a Protestant in Skyggehavn.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Orange Is The New Black has Alex Vause and Piper Chapman. There is also the Daya and Bennett relationship which is doomed for several reasons. One is that Daya is an inmate and Bennett is a correctional officer meaning that a romantic relationship between them is against the law. The other reason is that Daya is pregnant with their child and Bennett WILL go to prison if word of this ever got out.
  • Takeru and Mio/Iyal from Hikari Sentai Maskman. Unfortunately, they never got together in the end and had to break up due to Iyal's duties to Tube.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy and Angel.
    • Averted with Wishverse!Buffy and Angel however; Wishverse!Buffy doesn't recognize Angel (saying crudely "Is this a 'get into my pants' thing?" when he starts talking about destiny), is fully prepared to leave him chained up when she discovers he's a vampire, and has absolutely no reaction when Angel dies saving her life.
  • Cole and Phoebe from Charmed.
  • Bill and Sookie from True Blood.
  • Angel and Cordelia in Angel. Also Fred and Wesley.
  • Farscape's Aeryn and John screw up enough to count as this. He lampshades this when he says that destiny is keeping its promise to always draw them together "but screwing us over in the fine print". Seriously - first there were her emotional issues, then he just wanted to go home, then she died, then she came back to life and realised a relationship would complicate things too much, then he split into two, then one of them died, then she had more emotional issues and ran away, then she nearly died again, then she was pregnant and didn't know who the father was, and now my hand is about to drop off.
  • Played for laughs in Degrassi Junior High. Snake and Melanie are hopelessly crushing on each other, but every attempt they make to date ends in a comic disaster. In one episode, they plan to meet at a Wild Teen Party. Snake and his friends are put in charge of bringing the beer, but get arrested by the cops on the way—so Melanie doesn't get to see him, and the Wild Teen Party doesn't get to be wild.
    • Played much straighter with Joey and Caitlin.
    • In Degrassi: The Next Generation, this happens with just about every couple. Special mention to JT and Liberty though; JT was stabbed and killed before he could tell Liberty that he still loved her.
      • And then taken further as of Season 12 with Maya and Cam, the latter of whom committed suicide.
  • Sayid and Nadia, LOST: he searches for her for eight years, finds her, and marries her. She's killed only months later.
  • Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined): Lee Adama and Kara Thrace.
  • Played with in Battlestar Galactica. Helo and Athena are in love. The problem? He's one of the few surviving humans left and she's an agent of the Cylon race that just nuked his species to near extinction. The result is that she spends the majority of the second season locked up in a holding cell and the two of them have to deal with people who want to abort their unborn child Hera and rape her for information. Ultimately, this trope is subverted as Athena has won acceptance, been freed from prison and married to the man she loves after the timeskip in between seasons.
    • Played straight with Starbuck and Apollo. It's love at first sight for them...only she happens to be dating, and eventually gets engaged to, his younger brother—who dies partly as a result of a mistake she makes. They become best friends, teammates and quasi-family to each other, but the guilt keeps them apart for years afterwards, to the point where they find it easier to hook up with—and eventually marry—other people rather than face their feelings for each other. They rekindle their romance, but being married makes it impossible. And then she dies, comes back for just long enough to lead the Fleet to Earth, and just when there seem to be no more obstacles left to them being together, she tells him she isn't coming back and vanishes into thin air.
      • Any Cylon/Human couple where the Cylon actually develops genuine feeling for the human could be considered this, as the humans don't react well when they inevitably find out their lovers aren't human.
  • The Doctor and Rose in Doctor Who. The episode "School Reunion" has him explicitly tell her that, because of his long lifespan, it's impossible for them to stay together.
    The Doctor: You can spend the rest of your life with me, but I can't spend the rest of my life with you. It's the curse of the Time Lords.
    • Subverted with the Ass Pull in "Journey's End" that regeneration energy in the Doctor's hand when touched by a human can grow a human Doctor.
    • The Doctor and River are also this, considering that the audience and the Doctor know not only that River will die but also the last time he will see her before her death.
  • Oddly enough the Ultra Series has this with Ultraman Ace's hosts Seiji and Yuuko (yes two people become him at least at first). At first it seems like a standard blooming romance between hero and heroine but then a Wham Episode hits. Yuuko is a kind of energy being from the moon, and having accomplished her task on Earth must leave. Seiji is heart broken but swears to keep her in his heart as he becomes the sole host of Ace. However in the Grand Finale Seiji must merge with Ace permanently and he too has to leave Earth, as Ace has duties on the Ultraman homeworld. Decades later (both in series and in real life) Seiji and Yuuko would finally meet again during the Anniversary series Ultraman Mebius, and sort of confess their feelings to each other. Since both are energy beings now it is implied that they could potentially get together.
  • The Office's Michael Scott and Holly Flax. The dorkiest, most adorable pair of soulmates you ever did see, cruelly separated by Dunder-Mifflin corporate for business reasons (he's the Scranton office manager, she's in HR.) Michael fully intends on waiting for her as long as it takes. Awwwww.
  • Hugh Laurie sings a song to his love in A Bit of Fry and Laurie, about how strange his devotion is given that they've never met and she has in fact been dead for almost 16 years.
  • The underlying premise of the Beauty and the Beast TV series; she can't live in his world without giving up her job and her life, and he can't live in hers at all.
  • Two examples from Babylon 5: Susan Ivanova and Marcus Cole and Susan Ivanova and Talia Winters.
  • Pushing Daisies: Chuck and Ned—this is essentially the whole point of the show. Kind of, anyway. They're together, but they can never be together.
  • Downton Abbey: Lady Sybil and Branson. She is an Earl's daughter and he is the family chauffeur. Mrs. Hughes warns him that he stands to lose his job and gain a broken heart when she finds them holding hands.
    • As of the end of series 2, they are married with a baby on the way, although Lord Grantham isn't pleased. But to really show that they're star-crossed lovers, Sybil dies in childbirth. Her family has finally accepted Branson though, even letting him co-run the estate.
    • Mary and Matthew, up to a point. They seem to have their acts together by the end of series 2. Until Matthew gets killed after the birth of his son.
  • In Chinese Paladin 3, the mortal Chanqing and demigoddess Zixuan have two separate Reincarnation Romances which end tragically. By the third time around, Zixuan and Chanqing have both learned from their mistakes and are willing to do anything to make it work. And then they still can't be together.
  • John Fitzgerald Byers and Susanne Modeski in The X-Files.
    • Lyda and Maurice from the episode "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas" were a pair of lovers who formed a Suicide Pact at Christmas in 1917 so that they could stay together for eternity. It worked, as they haunt their house and try to get other couples to re-enact their fate.
  • Lancelot and Guinevere from Merlin. It's Love at First Sight for Lancelot, and Gwen seems to reciprocate, only for Lancelot to be exiled from Camelot. They meet again during a Rescue Romance, but when Arthur turns up, Lancelot realizes that he's in love with Guinevere and decides not to interfere. Lancelot returns for the third time at the end of the third season and is reinstated as a Knight of Camelot, but by this point, Guinevere has fallen in love with Arthur and in a committed relationship with him.
    • Only for him to return once more after dying in series 4, and shaking things up again, although this is all Morgana's fault.
    • Merlin and Freya also classify as this trope.
  • Dawson and Joey from Dawsons Creek. The two are soul mates and even admit it as much, although Joey ends up with Pacey in the end.
    • Joey referred to herself and Dawson as "ill-fated, star-crossed soulmates".
    • Pacey even compares Dawson/Joey to Romeo/Juliet in 5.05.
    • Jen asks Dawson how he and Joey "the star-crossed lovers" are doing in season two.
  • Michael and Nikita from La Femme Nikita.
  • Teen Wolf: Scott and Allison. Taken up several notches when Allison tragically and unexpectedly dies in Scott's arms at the end of season three.
  • One Tree Hill: Lucas and Peyton. They were described as being soul mates who were meant to be together by the series creator Mark Schwahn. They had to overcome many obstacles and issues over the course of the series.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
  • In the show Greys Anatomy, Cristina and Owen appear to be star-crossed lovers as they have faced countless obstacles in their relationship and break up every season (but eventually they get back together. This remains to be seen in Season 10.
  • In the series Smallville, Clark and Lana were often referred as star-crossed lovers.
  • In Lost Girl, Bo and Lauren are considored this; the main reason for this is Bo is a Fae and Lauren a human. One of the number one rules of being Fae is not to fall in love with humans. And even if they get past this and all other personal problems Bo is going to outlive Lauren hundreds of years. Plus, there's the fact that Lauren was initially being used by the Ash to spy on Bo, and Lauren's girlfriend Nadia who ends up getting killed by the Garuda
    • We also have Bo and Dyson, especially in Season 2, where he gave up his ability to love her in order to save her life. Kenzi gets it back for him thanks to threatening the tree-based Fae who holds it with a chainsaw
  • Castle and Beckett are beginning to seem this way.
  • While it took place during one of The Movies, Kamen Rider Fourze/Gentarou Kisaragi ends up falling in love with an alien lifeform...before a rogue member of Kamen Rider Double's Foundation X captures her, effectively kills her and turns her into an Astro Switch.
  • Gilmore Girls: Rory and Jess have shades of this. Word Of God states they were meant to end up together, but they suffer continual obstacles. From the start, they're treated as polar opposites, (the bad boy rebel and town princess respectively) and their entire town disapproves of their feelings for each other. (Or even being friends). Despite parting and reuniting numerous times throughout the series, they're prevented from getting together happily. (First Rory is stuck dating Dean, then Jess needs to face his past, then she's dating Dean again, then he needs to sort out his life, then she needs to sort out her life and finally he's in a different city and she's dating new guy Logan). They part heartbrokenly in the penultimate season, accepting that their time is never going to come.
    Rory: I'm so sorry I came.
    Jess: Don't be. It is what it is...you...me.
  • Veronica Mars:
    • Logan and Veronica. They try it out several times, but each time circumstances contrive to keep them apart, usually their clashing personalities and Logan's self-destructive behavior. This is subverted by the 2014 movie, however.
    • Duncan and Veronica are the best example since not only can they never be together, they can't even so much as contact each other without the risk of spending the rest of their lives in prison. Veronica herself lampshades this
      Veronica:True Love Stories Never Have Endings
  • Star Trek
    • Star Trek: The Original Series:
      • Kirk may have been a womaniser, but he did have two tragic loves during the series: Edith Keeler and Miramanee. Miramanee was carrying his child when she died to save his life and he had to stand back and watch Edith die to repair an altered timeline.
      • Kirk's relationship with Carol Marcus, the mother of his son David, can also be viewed as this since it canonically ends with their going separate ways. In fact the 1990s Expanded Universe comic even calls the three-part arc expanding on their romance "Star-Crossed."
      • And Kirk again from the EU with his long-running affair (spanning all the way from his Farragut days to the time period between Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) with Romulan captain T'Cel in the Debt of Honor graphic novel. The last time they see each other Kirk quotes a song to sum up their relationship: "Star blessed for having met you, star crossed because it's only to see you go."
      • Bones and Nancy were never meant to be.
      • Nurse Chapel's fiancé, brilliant scientist Dr Korby, went missing on a mission. She spent the next five years searching for him. The outcome was not a happy one.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • Poor Picard and Kamala, the look on his face during Kamala's wedding sure didn't make things easier. He kinda looked like someone who's just been kicked in the gut.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • Kira and Bareil ended in tragedy.
      • Kira and Odo. Odo spends the entire show resisting his people's request for him to rejoin them, partially because of his love for Kira (although not entirely for this reason). In the end, he comes to realise that the best chance for the future of both the Alpha Quadrant and the changeling race is for him to return to his people and teach them to tolerate humanoids. He has to sacrifice Kira to do it, but she understands.
      • Garak and Ziyal. From the outset, Dukat and Kira were convinced Garak would be bad for Ziyal but in the end she actually came a cropper by helping Kira's La Résistance against Dukat's oppressive regime. Word Of God states the writers created the romance because they wanted a tragic, doomed love between the woman that never lies and the man that never tells the truth.
      • Worf and Dax. Jadzia was killed by Dukat and Ezri would never have been able to have a formal romance with Worf because Trill law has a taboo against getting involved with the partners of previous hosts.
      • Sisko and Kassidy. The Prophets tried to prevent them getting married but the reason they gave was cryptic. In the end, Sisko was forced to leave the world he was used to and join the Prophets in theirs. He left behind his son Jake, his wife Kassidy, and their unborn child.
  • Roswell: Max and Liz get a really spectacular version of this in season two: a future version of Max showed up and announced that the fate of humanity depended on Max hooking up with Tess rather than Liz. This plot point was ignored entirely once Tess was revealed to have killed Alex, and Max and Liz did eventually get together, but still, points for effort.
  • Despite (so they say) just being friends, Big Pete and Ellen get this in The Adventures of Pete & Pete special, "Apocalypse Pete," where their fathers declare a prank war on each other and forbid the two from interacting. The two immediately start pining for each other (in a totally platonic way, they swear!)
  • Passions: Luis/Sheridan, Ethan/Theresa, Chad/Whitney and Miguel/Charity. They are all destined soul mates who did not end up together (with the exception of Ethan/Theresa, who did end up together).
    • Luis/Sheridan have been said to have shared many past lives together, confirming that they are canon soul mates. They have shared past lives on the Titanic and in Ancient Egypt. However, despite Luis and Sheridan constantly finding each other and falling in love in past lives, something always manage to tear the two apart and they can never stay together as a result. This is evident when in the current lifetime, Luis/Sheridan did not end up together and instead, Luis ended up with Fancy (Sheridan's niece) and Sheridan ended up with Antonio (Luis' older brother), despite the fact that the two will always be soul mates.
    • Ethan/Theresa's relationship is built upon the concept of fate and destiny, just like Luis/Sheridan. Ethan and Theresa have gone through endless struggles just so that they could be together. And when they do manage to get together, there is always some kind of obstacles thrown between them to destroy their happiness. eLuckily for the both of them, Ethan and Theresa do overcome the obstacles and end up together at the end of the show when they get married.
    • Chad/Whitney don't end up together due to the fact that Chad is shot and killed by his own father, Alastair.
  • All My Children: J.R./Babe and Cliff/Nina.
  • The O.C.: Ryan/Marissa. Ryan was a bad boy who suffered from Parental Abandonment and originally came from the wrong side of the tracks in Chino and Marissa is a Spoiled Sweet rich girl who is originally from Orange Country. The two loved each other even though numerous things tried to prevent the two from being together. Sadly, their love ended in tragedy when Marissa tragically died in a car accident at the end of season 3.
  • Hiro and Charlie from Heroes. It's Love at First Sight for Hiro (time traveling shenanigans put Charlie's "first" meeting with Hiro at the end of a six-month relationship), but Sylar kills her just hours after they first meet. He attempted to jump back five minutes in time to save her, but ended up six months in the past, detailed in the Tie-In Novel Saving Charlie. Eventually, Hiro gains better control of his powers and manages to return to that day and actually convinces Sylar to not only spare Charlie, but also to save her from the aneurism in her brain. Of course they're Too Happy to Live, and so the evil carny Samuel has his own time traveler trap Charlie at an unknown point in the past to force Hiro to work for him. Hiro does eventually find her again, but she's now old and has built a long and happy life without him. Rather than erasing all her children and grandchildren from the timeline by traveling back to rescue her, she convinces Hiro to leave her life alone.
    • He also has a brief romance with Yaeko in Feudal Japan, but can't stay with her due to the many ways it could break the timeline, such as him ending up his own great-grandfather and the fact that Kensei was supposed to be the one who ended up with Yaeko, not his little sidekick.
  • Simon and Alisha from Misfits: They're trapped in a time loop where Alisha has to die at Rachel's hands in order for Simon to decide to go back in time and save her life, in order for him to meet an earlier version of her who falls in love with him and so encourages his earlier self to become a hero, so that he can go back in time to save her life when she dies at Rachel's hands...

    Music 
  • Bracey Everett's The Lover's Curse is about this trope.
  • The Decemberists' song "We Both Go Down Together" is about a common girl and a young man of rich means whose parents don't approve of his love to said common girl. They solve their problem in the classical manner, if you get my drift.
    • There's also an alternate lyrical interpretation that takes the unlucky rich kid's somewhat patronising tone and extrapolates that rather than preparing to die with her, he's leading her on so he can murder her, possibly for being pregnant with his child.
      • There's also also the interpretation that the rich male is actually a deluded rapist who believes that they are in love. The rape angle seems to make sense, but the leaving her for being pregnant fits in well with the theory that "We Both Go Down Together" and "Lesley Anne Levine" are interlinked. Possibly it's a bit of both.
    • "O Valencia", on the other hand, is spot-on for this trope; in fact, the first bit almost seems lifted from Romeo and Juliet: A young mobster (probably son of the Don/Boss/whathaveyou) falls in love with Valencia, the daughter of a rival Don; her sister rats on them; her brother confronts them; Valencia runs to her lover's side just as her brother is shooting, and gets hit instead; she dies in her lover's arms; the lover decides to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Referenced in the Blue Oyster Cult song "Don't Fear The Reaper" as well.
  • The song "Barricade" by Stars is occasionally, and erroneously, taken to be about a pair of revolutionary lovers who are torn away from each other by The Man. It's actually about a pair of violent football hooligans who are only being kept apart by the fact that one of them grows up and gets a job while the other stays a shiftless thug. Members of the band are somewhat... annoyed by the first interpretation...
    • On the other hand it's implied fairly strongly that the narrator has feelings for the other football thug, and that both of them grew up eventually, but in different directions.
  • The song "Jueves" by the Spanish group La Oreja de Van Gogh, is about a man and a woman who confess their love for each other in a train... just seconds before dying in the terrorist attacks of March 11th.
  • "Futari wa" ("The Two of Us") by Miyuki Nakajima. The song tells a modern variation on Love Above One's Station: the love between a prostitute and a client who cannot have an actual relationship with her without being rejected by his friends.
  • "Havana Moon" by Chuck Berry sings a tale about a man waiting at a dock for the eponymous boat, carrying a tourist he fell in love with. He dreams of them moving to the Big Applesauce, but the boat carrying her never arrives. Swigging rum, he decides her promise to come back for him was a lie, and sleeps off the alcohol... and the boat comes. The woman looks everywhere for him until dawn, where she decides to leave port, heartbroken. He wakes up as the boat sounds its last call, and reaches - just in time to see Havana Moon sail into the horizon.
  • "Running Bear", famously sung by Johnny Preston, is essentially a Romeo and Juliet story between two Indians from warring tribes.
  • Exaggerated in Tom Waits' song "Fish and Bird". Doesn't stop it from being a tear-jerker.
  • Parodied (but nevertheless sad) in "Misalliance" by Flanders and Swann.
  • Nightwish's song "Astral Romance" is all about this. Arguably also several other of their songs.
  • The song "Starcrossed" by Ash.
  • "For Love" by Blood Angel and Kate Warwick (Gothic-/Symphonic- Metal, also released as a single)
  • David Bowie's song "Heroes" is about two lovers who are separated by the Berlin Wall.
  • Secret Lovers by Atlantic Starr is about a pair of these—they aren't allowed to be together because they're both engaged/married to someone else.
  • "The Leader of the Pack" by the Shangri-Las, im which the guy dies in a motorcycle accident immediately after their breakup.
  • The animated character and his real-world girlfriend in the video for A-ha's "Take on Me". The story is concluded at the beginning of the "The Sun Always Shines on TV" video.
    • Also the narrator and his ex-girlfriend in Manhattan Skyline. They refuse to get in a Long Distance Relationship, the girl leaves on a boat, the guy angsts about how he won't be able to fall again... and then decides to leave to New York.
  • The song "Que no destrocen tu vida" ("Don't let them tear your life apart") by Los Prisioneros is about a person whose close friend and said friend's girlfriend are in this situation, and is telling them to not give up on their relationship.
  • One of the main themes of the song Fatal by The Amazing BrandO. The trope is even mentioned by name.

    Mythology & Folklore 
  • Tristan and Iseult (also known as Tristan and Isolde). The legend of Tristan and Iseult is an influential romance and tragedy, retold in numerous sources with as many variations. The tragic story is of the adulterous love between the lovers. The narrative predates and most likely influenced the Arthurian romance of Lancelot and Guinevere, and has had a substantial impact on Western art and literature since it first appeared in the 12th century. While the details of the story differ from one author to another, the overall plot structure remains much the same.
  • Guinevere and Lancelot from the Arthurian Legends, which is also a form of Bodyguard Crush. Some stories have Guinevere not only cheating on Arthur (and Lancelot with Elaine), but have her plotting Arthur's downfall with Mordred. Ouch.
    • Merlin and Nimueh may or may not count; it certainly does for him, since she winds up locking him in crystal in most incarnations of the legends.
  • Pelleas and Melisande (French: Pelléas et Mélisande) is a Symbolist play by Maurice Maeterlinck about the forbidden, doomed love of the title characters. A classical myth, was a common subject for art during the Renaissance and Baroque eras.
  • Hero and Leander. It's a Greek myth, relating the story of Hero (Greek: Ἡρώ), a priestess of Aphrodite who dwelt in a tower in Sestos, at the edge of the Hellespont, and Leander (Greek: Λέανδρος, Leandros), a young man from Abydos on the other side of the strait. Leander fell in love with Hero and would swim every night across the Hellespont to be with her. Hero would light a lamp at the top of her tower to guide his way.
  • Prince Paris of Troy and Helen of Sparta of The Iliad seem to be this, but it's subverted in that Helen really regrets what happened and clearly doesn't like Paris.
  • Orpheus and Eurydice from Greek Mythology. When Orpheus’ wife dies from a snake bite on their wedding night, he does what any doting husband would do: he dives down to the depths of the Underworld to rescue her. After hashing things out with Hades, Eurydice is freed on the condition that Orpheus will not look at her until they return to Greece. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Orpheus fails. His beloved is sent back to the Underworld, leaving Orpheus to wander the countryside.
  • Classical Mythology has several: Hero and Leander, Troilus and Cressida, and Aphrodite and Adonis.
    • Adonis is based directly on Innana/Ishtar and Dumuzi, the Older Than Dirt Mesopotamian story of the vegetation god whose annual death and resurrection cause the seasons because of the misery of his bereaved love.
    • Aeneas and Dido, Orpheus and Eurydice, and Pyramus and Thisbe show up in Ancient Roman writings.
  • Geb and Nut, Egyptian god of the earth and goddess of the sky, respectively, are forever kept separated by their father Shu, god of air and light. As in, he physically holds them apart so they can't touch more than their toes and fingertips. One version has him trying to prevent the birth of the god Set.
  • Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl. It refers to a number of mythical and folkloric explanations of the origins of the volcanoes Popocatépetl ("the Smoking Mountain") and Iztaccíhuatl ("white woman" in Nahuatl, sometimes called the Mujer Dormida "sleeping woman" in Spanish) which overlook the Valley of Mexico.

    The most popular version of the myth says that Warrior Prince Popocatépetl went to war in Oaxaca to overcome the Parental Marriage Veto coming from his beloved Princess Iztaccíhuatl's father; however, this was an Uriah Gambit from her dad, and when it failed he told his daughter that her beloved boyfriend had died in battle and she succumbed to Death by Despair. When he returned and found himself in the path of his girlfriend's funeral, poor Popocatépetl commited suicide on the spot; the Gods then covered them in snow and transformed their corpses in mountains, with Popocatépetl's angry and pained spirit transforming his new rock body in a volcano rather than a simple mountain.
  • Layla and Majnun (by the Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi). It is a classical Arabian love story. It is based on the real story of a young man called Qays ibn al-Mulawwah from the northern Arabian Peninsula, in the Umayyad era during the 7th century. There were two Arabic versions of the story at the time. In one version, he spent his youth together with Layla, tending their flocks. In the other version, upon seeing Layla he fell passionately in love with her. In both versions, however, he went mad when her father prevented him from marrying her; for that reason he came to be called Majnun Layla, which means "Driven mad by Layla". To him were attributed a variety of incredibly passionate romantic Arabic poems, considered among the foremost examples of the Udhari school.
  • Mark Antony and Cleopatra.
  • Oepidus and Jocasta from Oedipus the King.
  • Pictured above: Chinese mythology speaks of the Weaver and the Cowherd, a legend of the stars Vega and Altair. Star-crossed lovers Zhi Nu and Niu Lang are separated forever across the Milky Way. They may only reunite once a year when magpies form a bridge between them. This is the basis of the Chinese cultural equivalent to Valentine's Day.
    • Tanabata no Matsuri is the Japanese version, with Orihime and Hikoboshi as the star-crossed lovers.
    • And Chilseok as the Korean version with Jik-nyeo and Gyeonwu.
  • The Butterfly Lovers of Chinese folklore, Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai. The Butterfly Lovers is a Chinese legend of a tragic love story of a pair of lovers, Liang Shanbo (梁山伯) and Zhu Yingtai (祝英台), whose names form the title of the story. The title is often abbreviated to Liang Zhu (梁祝) and often regarded as the Chinese equivalent of Romeo and Juliet. The girl, Yingtai, convinces her father to let her disguise herself as a young man in order to attend school. She meets and becomes roommates and best friends with Shanbo, a nerd who doesn't pick up that his roommate is actually a girl. Eventually he figures it out and they fall in love. Unfortunately, Yingtai is betrothed to someone else; Shanbo becomes heartbroken and eventually dies. On her wedding day to the Romantic False Lead, Yingtai visits Shanbo's grave. The ground swallows her up and both of their spirits become beautiful butterflies.
  • There's a Japanese belief that twins are star-crossed lovers reincarnated.
  • The Spanish version is Los Amantes de Teruel, "The Lovers of Teruel": they were childhood friends but he was poor, she was rich, and he left to fight the Moors and find enough money to be allowed to marry her. When he returned, though, he found that her father had made her marry another man. He tried to get her to kiss him, but when she said she couldn't cheat on her husband no matter how much she loved him, he died of grief. During the funeral, she appeared dressed in her wedding dress to say her goodbyes, kissed his corpse and collapsed dead as well. They were buried together. And, since then, there is a refrain about them:
    Los Amantes de Teruel, tonta ella, tonto él. (The Lovers of Teruel, stupid him, stupid her.)

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Spike Dudley and Molly Holly's romance in 2001, as their families (the Dudley Boyz and the Holly Cousins) hated each other. The storyline took on new meaning when the WWF vs. the WCW/ECW Alliance feud began, as Paul Heyman kept trying to get Spike to "come home".

    Theater 
  • Subverted in The Fantasticks: two neighboring fathers maintain the appearance of a virulent feud and forbid their children (a son and a daughter) to even look at each other as part of a scheme to get them to fall in love and marry.
  • William Shakespeare did this a lot, either because he liked it or his audiences did.
  • Again, Tristan and Isolde, but now in the opera by Richard Wagner.
  • Haemon and Antigone in Antigone by Sophocles.
  • In the musical adaptation of The Secret Garden, it is revealed at one point that Lily Craven's family, especially her sister, were dead set against her marrying Archibald because he was a hunchback. Her sister threatened to disown her, but she married him anyway because she loved him so much. Then she died. Archibald is still in a mess over her death when Mary arrives ten years later.
  • In Les Misérables, Eponine and Marius (or at least Eponine thinks they could be). Eponine sings about this in "On My Own", and unfortunately she is the hypotenuse in a love triangle involving herself, Marius and Cossette. She becomes a victim of Death of the Hypotenuse and lies dying in Marius' arms. In some stagings, they Almost Kiss, but she dies before they do. Bummer.
  • Elphaba and Glinda from Wicked. It's far more blatant in the musical then in the books, and fits this trope far more than said source. That greatly depends on the staging. It's more like a star-crossed friendship. In the book, Elphie and Fiyero are the star-crossed lovers.
  • Tuptim and Lun Tha in The King and I.
  • In the original Vanities play, the three childhood friends are driven apart by their differences in the third scene, although The Musical fixes that. Played straight with Joanne and Ted, who are divorced by the musical's finale.
  • Maria and Tony in West Side Story, a musical based on Romeo and Juliet
  • In Knickerbocker Holiday, though Brom and Tina finally get a happy ending, they spend most of the play separated by the latter's Arranged Marriage and the former's threatened hanging. They also discuss it:
    Tina: We'd be figures in story, the legendary lovers of the early Dutch occupation, Brom and Tina, drinking passion and death together in one dark draught!
    Brom: I'd love to read about it, but that pleasure, unfortunately, would never be mine!
  • Aida and Radames in the musical Aida. Their lover's duet is even called "Written in the Stars".
  • Charlie and Sammy in Joshua Rollins' 25 Saints.

    Video Games 
  • Mellthas and Sira in Albion. Not only Interspecies Romance, but Mellthas can't even talk! (one female gamer called it "The Little Mermaid in reverse!")
  • Fei and Elly in Xenogears, multiple times. They are trapped in an endless cycle of reincarnation, and every single time it ends quite badly for both of them. Until they break the cycle, of course. At least one of their doomed romances has shades of Love Above One's Station.
    • Arc and Elle of Terranigma find themselves in an almost identical situation, as they reincarnate endlessly to save the world... and be killed off just as their love blooms and the world is safe, each time.
  • Aerith Gainsborough and Zack Fair. After Zack goes on the infamous Nibelheim mission and disappears for years, then dies just outside Midgar before he can reunite with Aerith, and she never learns what happened to him until her own death at the blade of Sephiroth. However, after the events of Final Fantasy VII, Aerith and Zack end up Together in Death, as shown in Advent Children.
  • The Warrior of Light and Cosmos from Dissidia: Final Fantasy, as well as Cid and his wife, whose likeness they were created in.
  • Tequila and Billie, the daughter of Big Bad Mr. Wong in John Woo Presents Stranglehold.
  • Timpani and Blumiere of Super Paper Mario. Or, as you know them for most of the game, Tippi and Count Bleck.
  • The Didact and Librarian from Halo. First, the Didact gets sealed in a chamber in hibernation for a thousand years. Then, after the Librarian puts her plan in action to reunite them, he is sentenced to death. Luckily, he is reincarnated in Bornstellar as the IsoDidact, and then it turns out that the original Didact is Not Quite Dead after all. Unfortunately, the Librarian is forced to seal away the original after he goes insane, while the IsoDidact is forced to fire the titular Halo rings in order to defeat the Flood, presumably killing the Librarian in the process. The last time they speak to one another, the IsoDidact is pleading with her to return to him, even as she accepts her own fate. To top it all off, the Librarian is told right before the Halos activate that the firing of the rings will destroy the Domain, condemning the original Didact to Go Mad from the Isolation.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem Akaneia:
      • Abel and Est. Abel was forced to fight against Marth in Mystery of the Emblem because his wife Est was held hostage. The player can save both of them. Est's endings states that she left Abel, probably due to the guilt of being captured and her husband having to fight his lord because of her. Abel looks for her but nothing else is said.
      • Even more so: Princess Nyna and Camus. Holy shit, Nyna and Camus.
      • This is rooted in the backstory, actually, since Anri the Hero and Princess Artemis of Akaneia weren't allowed to marry since Anri was a commoner and Artemis was the last survivor of her noble house. Artemis married Duke Cartas and fell victim to Death by Childbirth, Anri remained celibate for the rest of his life, and its said that Artemis cursed the Fire Emblem before dying, calling it 'the end of war, but also the end of love'.
    • Fire Emblem Jugdral:
      • From Seisen no Keifu, there's Sigurd and Deirdre. They did marry and have a child, but then Deirdre was kidnapped and brainwashed into marrying her half-brother, and said half-brother killed Sigurd. Yikes.
      • And then there's almost any couple coming from the first part. Ethlyn and Quan perish in the desert via Dragon Rider ambush, all the males over 15 years old except for Fin (and Lewyn, but he's actually Back from the Dead via Holsety) die in the Battle of Barhera alongside Sigurd, and the girls either are missing (Ayra, Briggid, Raquesis, Sylvia), retired (Adean), or dead (Tailto, Fury) as well.
      • The second part gives us Trabant's adopted daughter Altenna ( or better said, his spoil of war after he kills her parents and takes her hostage) and his full-blooded son Areone. In a subversion, you can give them a happy ending - but it heavily depends on your strategies.
      • Thracia 776 adds more details to the Raquesis and Fin situation, as it's all but stated that Fin is the father of Raquesis's daughter Nanna, but it's also mentioned that Raquesis has been MIA for years already (confirmed in Seisen if you pair her with Fin) and in the end Fin spends years seeking for Raquesis, but never finds her. The game also adds Dean and Linoan: they really like and care for each other, but Dean is is bound to his duty as a Thracian Dragon Rider and disappears after the war, and Linoan never marries afterwards.
    • Fire Emblem Elibe:
      • This happens to Priscilla, if she is paired with either the myrmidon Guy or the Dragon Rider Heath. Basically, she's a noble girl. But Guy is a tribesman from Sacae, and Heath is a deserter from Bern. So in the end, they back down. This is especially true on the Heath-Priscilla pairing, their A Support Conversation is almost on Tear Jerker level.
      • Priscilla herself was already plagued with a troubled past. She was born to Lycia's house Cornwell, which was destroyed by Ostia for corruption, and was given to Count Caerleon of Etruria when she was only 5 or 6. She then traveled back to Lycia with Erk, who was advised as a chaperone/mercenary/bodyguard while Priscilla searched for her long-lost brother, Raymond/Raven. She reunited with him, then either befriended Raven's vassal, Lucius, or fell in love with either Erk, Guy, Heath, or Sain. Unfortunately, only the first of the four was able to not end up in tragedy.
      • Legault/Isadora ( they find each other as enemies in the battlefield, years after the game events), Renault/Isadora ( he disappears, she leaves the military and becomes a cleric to find him but we never find out if she does or not) and Harken/Vaida ( reach an understanding, long for each other... then they never meet again). Also, if you don't pair up Eliwood and Ninian via supports, she has to leave with Nils to her own world behind the Dragon's Gate, and since her crush on Eliwood is pretty much canon... So yeah.
      • The 6th game had Miledy and Gale, which reaches near-epic levels of Tear Jerker, especially when you let Miledy talk to Gale before you kill him. They're not the only ones either: there's also Astol and Igrene. Their supports are just as moving and sad, because it's hinted that they are already married, but lost each other several years ago... and since he's a spy of Ostia, he can't return to her no matter what.
    • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones:
    • Fire Emblem Awakening:
      • This can happen and then defied if Chrom marries a female Avatar — because in the future, after the Avatar and Chrom defeat Validar at the Dragon's Table, the Avatar becomes possessed by the Evil God Grima and kills Chrom. The catch and defiement is that you can avert this — especially since Chrom's daughter Lucina and the children of the other characters will join you to change the future.
      • By extension, this involves all the pairings including The Avatar, whether male or female, since Chrom's murder at the hands of the possessed Avatar will always be what kicks off the Bad Future where all the parent charas die and all the kid characters go through Break the Cutie. And strong cases can be made for all the parent pairings, for obvious reasons.
      • Any couple involving Nowi or Tiki (and maybe Nah) will cross between this and Mayfly-December Romance. Being Manaketes (or half manaketes, in Nah's case) means that all of them will outlive any possible boyfriend/husband.
  • Laguna and Julia in Final Fantasy VIII. His son Squall and her daughter Rinoa have rather more success.
  • EVERY single pair of lovers in Odin Sphere.
  • This could apply to Final Fantasy X's Tidus and Yuna with Tidus being actually a dream of the Fayth. But at the good ending of Final Fantasy X-2, they are happily reunited.
  • In Persona 3 Portable, it's possible for this to occur between the female protagonist and Ryoji Mochizuki. He's an amnesiac Anthropomorphic Personification of Death itself. She's doomed to sacrifice herself to seal a Cosmic Horror, like the male protagonist before her. Yeah, it's not gonna end prettily for either party.
    • Similarly, it's possible to start a relationship between the female protagonist and Shinjiro Aragaki. He knows that he is going to die one way or another in this case, and so tried to distance himself from her. In Irony, completing his social link prevents his death, but the protagonist is doomed to die anyways. Depending on how you view the Heroic Sacrifice, they could have been Together in Death.
    • Also, Junpei Iori and Chidori Yoshino. He's The Lancer of your True Companions, she is a Dark Magical Girl who works with Strega, a faction that opposes SEES. Even more so, she actually dies protecting him.
    • This last couple is fortunate in that this fate can be Averted in Persona3 Portable; it is possible to avert Chidori's death; she'll lose her memories of the Dark Hour, but she'll live and be happy with Junpei. All the other couples that involve the main character, however, are still doomed to tragedy.
  • Male Player and Bastila, Female Player and Carth, Female Exile and Atton, Male Exile and Handmaiden, heck, pretty much every player character/party member pairing in Knights of the Old Republic one and two, as canon states that both the PCs eventually left their loved ones behind and departed to the Unknown Region for good.
    • There is also a side quest in the first game that features and example from two feuding families.
  • This can happen all over the place in Dragon Age: Origins, unavoidably if a male PC romances Morrigan, and possible if any PC takes the Heroic Sacrifice at the end after pursuing any romance - or if Alistair takes it after being romanced. There are also the origins - the City Elf will have to leave their Arranged Marriage candidate (and regardless of what they may have thought of them, said potential spouse seems to have a definite attraction to them), this comes into obvious play on at least one end (the other, of course, depending on whatever the player thinks their Warden feels) for the female Dalish Elf, and mage-hating Cullen has a crush on the female mage that, needless to say, doesn't go too well for him. Not to mention Jowan and Lily, also appearing in the Mage origin. To prove how prevalent this is, the dwarf noble origin can have it too, with a female PC and her second, Gorim. This is portrayed as an established but probably ultimately doomed relationship, due to the nature of the dwarven caste system.
    • Yeah, all of the Origin Story "romances" are doomed to fail. Let's see...
      • In the Human Noble origin, you can choose to have a sexual encounter with one of two certain characters. Regardless of which one of them you choose, they will be brutally slaughtered when the castle is ambushed that same night.
      • In the Dwarf Noble origin, there appears to be something intimate going on between the female player and Gorim, seeing as the player has several suggestive dialogue options with him. But it is made fairly clear that they cannot marry because he is of a lesser caste. Later in the game the player can find him in Denerim, only to discover that he has already married another woman and is expecting a child with her, and he breaks off the relationship for good. A male player, on the hand, has the option of having a sexual encounter with two "noble hunting" women during the origin story; but it's quite clear that these ladies only want to sleep with him because of his status, for their own personal gain, because they want to have his child so that they can live in the palace. Gets even more star-crossed by the fact that if the player does choose to sleep with them, one of them does end up having his baby, but because he got himself exiled the day after he slept with her, and because a child inherits their status from their same-sex parent, the child is casteless and when the player encounters her again later in the game, she bitches at him and blames him for her misery and accuses him of ruining her life and all that. Go figure.
      • In the City Elf origin, you're being forced to get married, but then a drunken human noble lord comes and ruins your wedding and kidnaps the women. If your character is female, then your fiance ends up being murdered by the lord's men. If your character is male, your fiancee ends up rejecting you after you rescue her from being raped and likely killed, claiming that "Grey Wardens can't have wives or families."
      • In the Mage origin, it is quite obvious that the templar Cullen is infatuated with the female player, although if the player tries to proposition him for sex he'll get incredibly nervous and run away. Later in the game, when the templars are overthrown and the tower is taken over by rebellious blood mages, the player will find that Cullen is the only templar on the upper floors who has not been slaughtered - when the female mage player finds him again, he will outright reveal his infatuation for her, but because of the psychological torture he has endured, he has developed a burning, immense hatred for all mages and pretty much rejects the player because he doesn't care for her anymore.
      • The Dalish Elf origin has, perhaps, the most heartbreaking conclusion. It ends with Tamlen missing and the player joining the Wardens. Later, during the Shriek attack on the camp, you find out that Tamlen has become a ghoul, someone corrupted by the darkspawn. He confesses his love to the female Dalish elf before she is forced to kill him.
  • Max Payne and Mona Sax.
  • Leon and Ada in the Resident Evil series.
  • Adol and Lilia in the Ys series, as well as pretty much every other girl he meets. This is the only girl he gets close to getting serious with.
  • Rufus and Alicia from Valkyrie Profile 2 Silmeria.
  • Kei Odagiri and Ukyou Tachibana from Samurai Shodown straddle the line between this and Courtly Love. They're in love but Ukyou has to keep his distance because she's a high-ranked noblewoman while he's a swordsman, and an Ill Boy who will die sooner or later. She gets married to someone else, but they still hold feelings for each other in their hearts, and when Kei needs Ukyou's help he will immediately go to her aid.
  • In the Mass Effect series, this is the current fate of the possible romance between Shepard and Ashley/Kaidan. In the second game, Shepard is in an uneasy alliance with Cerberus while Ashley/Kaidan remain loyal to The Alliance.
    • It can also happen in Mass Effect 2 if your love interest dies during the suicide mission.
      • Or if you're romancing Thane as female Shepard, thanks to his illness and Kai Leng from 3.
    • Pretty much happens to all love interests who were part of your crew in the 3rd game, what with them being stranded on Gilligan's Planet, the relay system in ruins and Shepard being dead in the Sol system in most cases. One of the many reasons the ending is hated by the fans.
    • In the "Extended Cut" DLC, the Normandy is no longer stranded and the Mass Relays are only damaged and eventually repaired (unless the player's Effective Military Strength is too low, in which case they are still destroyed), but Shepard is still dead in all of the endings except for "Destroy" with high enough EMS.
  • Xianghua's parents, Chai Xiangfei and Kong Xiuqiang in the Soul Series. She was training in a temple, he was one of the warrior monks in it, ans they held a Secret Relationship where they even managed to have a daughter, Xianglian. When they were found out Xiangfei was forced to return to her house, Kong was expelled, and Xianglian was forcibly taken away from them, but he gave her a sword as a proof of love before they were separated. Little did they know that said sword was the treasure krita Yuga, and that Xiangfei was pregnant with Xianghua...
    • Xianghua herself and Kilik are this by the time Soul Calibur V hits. They were in love, and even had a child named Xiba, but not only Xiba is also infected with his father's curse but Kilik believes that he is only hurting Xianghua due to how much she has suffered for his sake. So as Xiba is raised away from both parents, Kilik has gone Walking the Earth, and Xianghua has married someone else (a high-ranked general and the father of Xianghua's daughter/Xiba's younger half-sister Leixia.)
  • Cole and Elsa in L.A. Noire.
  • Liu Kang and Princess Kitana of the Mortal Kombat universe, which is bound and determined in both the original series and the reboot to ensure they never find happiness.
  • The prince and princess in the original Prince of Persia games.
    Narrator: And so the young lovers were wed and lived happily... well, for eleven days.
  • In Shira Oka: Second Chances, one of the routes results in the inevitable death of its focus character, Yui
  • Chaos and Varuna, the god of darkness and a goddess of light, will never be together in the Agarest Senki series. Heck, half of the reason why the war of the gods started was because Chaos never got Varuna.
  • The Joy/The Boss and The Sorrow of Metal Gear Solid 3. They were together for a while, and they even had a child ( Ocelot), but in the end, their devotion to their countries (the United States and the USSR, respectively) put them on opposite sides of the Cold War, and the Joy ended up being forced to kill the Sorrow. They're Together in Death by the end of Metal Gear Solid 3.
  • Chibi-Usa and Anshar from Sailor Moon: Another Story, if you have his older sister and local Big Bad Sin defeated by Chibimoon's team.
  • Serah and Snow in Final Fantasy XIII-2. The first game's ending was pretty good for them, then the sequel kicked in and Snow went on a quest to find Lightning. It all goes downhill from there. Except in one of the Paradox Endings, i.e. an alternate, non official ending, where they go on adventures together.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Jon Battle-Born and Olfina Gray-Mane, members of two feuding families split over the civil war, are secretly courting each other.
  • This is practically how the war of the gods started in the three games of Record Of Agarest War with 2 being the one that concentrates on it the most. Chaos, the god of destruction and rebirth and a dark god, and Varna, the goddess of light, were in love with each other but cannot be together because both light and darkness cannot co-exist with each other. In the end of Agarest 2 however, they finally reunite with each other.
  • Gabriel and Malia in Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. Tetelo, Malia's ancestor, was killed by Gunter, Gabriel's ancestor. She's the head of the Voodoo cult he's after the entire game; Tetelo possesses Malia's body during ceremonies. Reclaiming the Ritter talisman causes the entire place to erupt into flames, allowing you to try to kill or save Malia though the canon ending is saving her, as the other one kills you. But even if you try to save her, she is swallowed by the flames.
  • The Last Of us DLC Left Behind reveals that Ellie and Riley were this.

    Visual Novels 
  • Arcueid/Shiki from Shingetsutan Tsukihime.
  • Might as well throw Saber/Shiro from Fate/stay night in there. They're even worse since at least Arcueid/Shiki had a "Good Ending" and maybe a sequel to the "True Ending?"
  • Hisao Nakai and Lilly Satou in Katawa Shoujo, if you get their Bad Ending and Lilly goes back to Scotland with her family, never to return. The Good Ending is all about Hisao deciding to Screw Destiny and taking a Race for Your Love to stop this at the last moment.
    • Also Hisao and Rin Tezuka, specially in the Neutral Ending where she leaves Yamaku to go to Tokyo, fully knowing that she'll become a great artist but at the cost of destroying herself mentally. Her last scene has her begging Hisao to forget about her, and they share a last hug under the rain before she abandons him and her former life forever.
  • In Hatoful Boyfriend, Anghel claims that he and Hiyoko were star-crossed lovers in a previous life. And at the end of Nageki's route, Nageki and Hiyoko. Nageki fades away, due to him realising that he loves Hiyoko, and tells her that as he loves her as he disappears.
  • Haruki and Kazusa in White Album 2, particularly during the Introductory Chapter (the part which got adapted into an anime). Haruki and Kazusa. Haruki is a normal, if friendly and helpful guy, while Kazusa is a budding pianist with potentially world-class talent. The climax of the anime hammers home the fact that, in any other circumstance, it would still be impossible for them to be together. Which is exactly what happens in the end: Kazusa leaves to further develop her craft in Europe, and leaves Haruki behind in Japan.

    Web Animation 

    Webcomics 
  • BLU Sniper and RED Spy in Cuanta Vida. Though it didn't last long...
  • Kat and Alistair from Gunnerkrigg Court. It was a Foregone Conclusion that Ali would leave at the end of the week, but it's made worse when the details of his departure (and the word of the narrator) ensure that Kat will never see him again.
    • Jeanne, one of the Founders of the Court, and an unnamed male elf from Gillite Wood.
  • Aaron and Lily from Demonology 101. It did not end well for them.
  • It's unclear just how much attraction there may be between Bob and Voluptua in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!. Unfortunately, Voluptua is a disguised giant bug, so nothing can come of it. Bob is going steady with Jean anyway, but the hint of a Love Triangle involving Voluptua still pops up now and again.
  • Lance and Silvia from Shape Quest (Silvia is a princess!)
  • Mom and Dad in Homestuck are brutally murdered shortly after hooking up after years.
    • Eridan and Feferi (in both their current lives and their past incarnations) are a political example of this. One is a traditionalist who supports Alternia's caste system and defines himself as a warrior; the other is an idealistic rebel who wants to build a better world for all trolls. They may love each other, but they can never really agree on anything.
  • In Question Duck, he and the mermaid had to part.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • American Dragon Jake Long features a romance between a dragon and a girl raised by a family of dragon-slayers. Think of it as Romeo and Juliet, except they don't kill themselves, they try to kill each other.
    • She gets better, though.
  • Angels Friends features at least two romances between two sets of angel's and a devil's.
  • South Park:
    • Parodied in "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy" with Ms. Stevenson and Ike.
    • Played straight with Kyle and Rebecca in "Hooked on Monkey Fonics".
  • Charmer and Ranger in The Animals of Farthing Wood.
  • Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders has Shaggy and Scooby seemingly meet their soul mates in a hippie photographer and her dog, only to find out that they're actually aliens. And while they do have feelings for Shaggy and Scooby, they feel a long distance relationship of several light-years wouldn't work.
  • Danny Phantom had Half-Human Hybrid ghost hero Danny and Valerie, the Ghost Hunter. They dated briefly with Valerie breaking up because of her job, unaware of Danny's ghostly alter ego, but love-lost feelings were mutual during the aftermath...until Season Three.
  • The original series finale of Justice League was called "Starcrossed" and had to do with the fate of the relationship of the Green Lantern and Hawkgirl. Though really, it could have been called "Planetcrossed" just as easily.
  • Avatar The Last Airbender has this in the story of Oma and Shu, who became some of the first Earthbenders, learning from the badgermoles. When he was killed by her tribe, she unleashed rage and vengeance on both until they agreed to work together. Actual in-series example would be Sokka and Princess Yue.
  • Interestingly, Sequel Series The Legend of Korra includes a Firebender dating a non-Bender during a time when Benders and non-Benders are at war but never draws attention to that detail.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons series has three couples like this. The first one is Presto and Varla, and the other two have Diana and either Kosar or Josef.
  • Played with in the Friendship between Gus and Corn Chip Girl in Recess. His father is in the Army. Her father is in the Navy. Do the math.
  • Finn and Flame Princess from Adventure Time are getting closer and closer to the trope.
    • Tree Trunks and Pig are a downplayed version. Everyone just finds them kissing in public gross, and spend a part of the episode keeping them apart.
  • Parodied in Drawn Together episode "The Other Cousin", when Captain Hero sees Bleh for the last time before she goes away:
    Captain Hero: Maybe it wouldn't work out... I mean, we come from two different worlds. I come from the planet Zebulan and you came from a mom who drank when she was pregnant.
  • In Angels Friends - Poor Raf and Sulfus they aren't even allowed to touch each other.
  • Moral Orel has Orel and Christina. They like each other, but their families end up hating each other over different interpretations of the lord's prayernote . Christina's family ends up moving away, but Orel later goes out of his way to invite her to his school's dance and later ends up marrying her.

    Real Life 
  • This example, between a Hindu boy and a Muslim girl.
  • Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga in Malawi. Their marriage was annulled because Tiwonge is a trans woman, they were jailed, then pardoned, then forced to move back to their respective home towns. Steven eventually married another woman.
  • Peter Townsend and Princess Margaret of Great Britain. Townshend was an Ace Pilot and war hero, having flown Hurricane in the Battle Of Britain, and clearly had deserved the hand of princess and half the domain. Queen Elizabeth said "no" for their marriage; Townsend was a divorcee. That broke the hearts of both. Townsend later revealed Margaret was his only true love.
  • Jose Rizal and Leonor Rivera who are first cousins. When Rizal traveled overseas to pursue studies, the two kept on sending letters to each other, hiding coded messeages since both their parents do not approve of their relationship (partly because Rizal is wanted by the Spanish authorities.) Leonor continued to be faithful to Rizal for six years despite not seeing him (and probably not knowing that Rizal had affair with numerous foreign women.) Rizal tried to marry her many times but their meeting is always prevented by their parents. In the end, Leonor was forced to marry an Englishman. The leading characters who are lovers in Rizal's Noli Me Tangere, Crisostomo Ibarra and Maria Clara, are inspired by the situation between him and Leonor Rivera.
  • The aptly nicknamed "Romeo and Juliet of Sarajevo," Bosko Brkic (Serbian, Orthodox Christian) and Admira Ismic (Bosniak, Muslim), who were shot while trying to flee the city together during the infamous Siege of Sarajevo. As they attempted to cross the bridge over the Miljacka River, they were both fatally injured by snipers; Bosko died instantly, Admira crawled to his corpse and died next to him.
  • Dorothy Osborne and Sir William Temple faithfully obeyed the Parental Marriage Veto as long as it was in effect, but when their fathers died, and Dorothy suffered smallpox to the ruin of her looks, they were permitted to marry.
  • The romance between a Soviet soldier and a German girl. They met at the end of the war because he was sent to interrogate her father, they fell in love and lived together for a while until he was sent back to Russia for this relationship, since his party offials told him he could be sent to a gulag and so he was forced to end the relationship. They managed to meet again only 60 years after, both at age 80 and married to other people and decided to move in together, leaving the respective spouse. And since in USSR it was forbidden get married with foreigners until 1953, pretty much every Soviet soldier who had a German sweetheart ended up this trope.


Parental Marriage VetoRomance Novel PlotsLove Hurts
ShapeshiftingArchetypal CharacterThe Storyteller
Rule of RomanticRomance Novel TropesSturgeon's Law
So Proud of YouTear JerkerStay with Me Until I Die
The Mad HatterShout-Outs Index    
Self-Fulfilling ProphecyTragedyA Tragedy of Impulsiveness
Stairway to HeavenOlder Than DirtStrategy Game
Stable Time LoopWe Are Not Alone IndexStink Bomb
TanabataImageSource/OtherWicca
Stalking Is LoveLove TropesStood Up
Sour SupporterCynicism TropesStarter Marriage
Spooky PaintingImageSource/ArtStarfish Aliens

alternative title(s): Forbidden Romance; Star Crossed Lover; Romeo And Juliet Plot
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