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The Love Slap of Epiphany
Alice knows Bob well but doesn't care for him. And at times she treats him callously, with pranks that go too far or simply not giving due consideration. Alice most likely does not realise what she's doing; Bob simply does not register on her awareness of others.

Then one day Alice goes too far, and Bob snaps at her. The result is a loud, dramatic slap and he storms out. Alice is stunned at someone defying her so and realises that she deserved it. And starts seeing Bob very differently...

The Love Slap of Epiphany sets a self-centered and manipulative character on the path to atoning. Expect a My God, What Have I Done? from the receiver, and for the sender to become their new Love Interest, and possibly their guide to redemption. It may also lead to a reversal of the romantic situation: the slapper most often decides he has had enough of her, exactly at the very moment she realizes he is the love of her life.

A subtrope of Love Redeems and a more dramatic version Did You Think I Can't Feel?. Compare Armor-Piercing Slap, where a character allows themselves to be slapped, but with no lasting effect on the person. For other kinds of life-changing slaps, see Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!.


Examples

Anime & Manga
  • Shouko Inari of Kuragehime receives one of these halfway through the series after manipulating and blackmailing Shū and finally breaking his temper by staging a fake suicide, which results in a textbook example of the trope.
  • A staple of shoujo manga writer Miyuki Kitagawa.
  • Hisamitsu of Toradora begins to have feelings towards Maya after a heated argument with her during the ski-trip which ended with her crying and claiming that he went too far.
  • In ZERO Shu beats the female boss of the school gang. She instantly falls for him (overlapping with Best Her to Bed Her) and decides to stop being a fighter & delinquent and become the perfect cute girlfriend for him.
  • Ojamajo Doremi has one whole episode where one girl wants to be slapped because it's a proof of love, and she doesn't stop escalating her misbehaving until she gets her wish.
  • Futariwa Pretty Cure: Pollun wants Hikari to get mad and slap him to show that she really cares about him.
  • Nerima Daikon Brothers: Ichiro to Mako... but he doesn't love her in a romantic way. Subverted when Hideki (who is sincerely in love with Mako) tries to do the same thing.
  • Inverted in ...Virgin Love. Daigo gets kissed by some random girl at a club and Kaoru slaps him, which Daigo reads as Kaoru having feelings for him. Kaoru freaks out when he realizes this might be true.
  • In the opening of Takumi-kun the melodramatic school "queen" Takabayashi has it out for Takumi because he wants Gii, the school idol. When he goes after Takumi with a piece of glass, his roommate, Yoshizawa, who is in love with him, slaps him and scolds him for his behaviour. Somehow this leads to Takabayashi realizing he likes Yoshizawa back.
  • Gunslinger Girl. Cyborg girl Petrushka is in love with her handler Sandro, who just assumes her declarations of love are simply a result of her conditioning. To prove otherwise Petrushka slaps her handler and insults him, an act that makes her physically ill from the strain of fighting the conditioning that prevents her from harming him.
  • Flame of Recca: Slapping Kurei for being a Jerk Ass was how Kurenai got his attention (and eventually, his affection).

Film
  • Gilda: Johnny's slap to the title character.
  • And God Created Woman with Brigitte Bardot. She marries this guy she doesn't love, then behaves like a slut with all the boys in town, taking advantage of her husband's gentleness, until he can't stand it anymore and slaps the crap outta her. Then poof! she realizes she's crazy about him: she had been gradually falling in love with him all that time since their marriage.

Western Animation
  • The Bongo story in Fun and Fancy Free features as a plot point that bears show affection by slapping each other in the face. There was even a song about it.

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