Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match!
Find me a find, catch me a catch!
You all know Alice and Bob
. Alice has a crush on Bob. Bob may
or may not
have a crush on Alice. Then there's Jane. Jane is a close friend of Alice who has nothing but Alice's best interest in mind. So she encourages Alice to go for it with Bob. Over and over again. Jane is a matchmaker.
This person is notable for several things. One, they can't seem to grasp the concept of personal space. Two, they seem to have a pathological obsession with hooking up their friends. If the subject is a single pair, the revelation that this person has feelings for one or both of them
is entirely possible. Otherwise, this is something of a Love Triangle
with only one romantic connection.
Take note that in older or period works, it is not uncommon to find an older figure who is rather skilled at this. Keep an eye out for professionals and relatives.
A serial Matchmaker is often Oblivious to Love
. Expect several attempts to make a match for the character madly in love with the Matchmaker, and resolution only to come at the very end. They may take cues from Astrology
or Personality Blood Types
when making their matches.
See also Yaoi Fangirl
, Yuri Fan
and Perverse Sexual Lust
, for variants. Compare Shipping
for more meta examples. Shipper on Deck
is a subtrope. See also Match Maker Quest
, where the player can take on this role.
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Anime and Manga
- Mutsumi Otohime from the Love Hina manga and anime tries more than anybody to help Keitaro and Naru be together. Mutsumi wants Keitaro to be happy (with an massive case of "I Want My Beloved to Be Happy"). Even though Mutsumi has loved Keitaro since childhood.
- Haruna Saotome from Mahou Sensei Negima!, who has taken a personal interest in seeing her friend Nodoka advancing her relationship with their teacher Negi. The best way to summarize her mentality is that when Nodoka builds up the nerve to ask Negi to go with her group on the trip, Haruna berates her for settling for just that, dares her to confess to him, and starts talking about actual romantic dating.
- Of course,
Albert Chamomile...uh... Chamo isn't much better. While he's been shown to have his own reasons for his actions, he has encouraged Negi to kiss girls on multiple occasions and even setting him up with several, most notably with the "Kiss Negi" competition. He's also been shown to encourage the girls themselves on a few occasions.
- Shakugan no Shana has Ike, who tries to help Kazumi get together with Yuji, but he doesn't really have a pathological obsession with watching other people get into relationships, and the ending heavily implies that he ends up paired with Kazumi.
- Ayuki in Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl has an interest in resolving Hazumu's Love Triangle, and does have the pathological obsession with seeing people other than herself getting into relationships.
- Tsuruya from Suzumiya Haruhi. At times, she talks to Kyon about his relationship to Haruhi and Mikuru. Well, this quote probably says it best: "Well, Mikuru will always follow you! But, don't be mischievous. That's the one thing that's not allowed. If you wish to be mischievous, do it to Haru-nyan. Just my intuition. Mhm, I'm sure she'll always forgive you!" Oh, and she also likes to tease him, but that's just for fun.
- Akane in the Kimagure Orange Road mangas.
- Matsuda from Death Note seems to fit. He always seemed to want Light and Misa together, when really there was nothing there.
- Parodied in this Death Note deviant comic. (gotta wonder about Matsuda)
- In the second season of Princess Tutu, Pique and Lilie decide that Ahiru has a thing for Fakir and attempt to match make them, even writing a love letter from Ahiru to Fakir in an attempt for them to get together. Pique even has a crush on Fakir, but sets it aside in hopes that Ahiru could have a relationship with him. What they don't realize is that it's the other way around—Ahiru is still enamored with Mytho and is spending time with Fakir to try to save Mytho. Fakir, on the other hand, is developing feelings for Ahiru...
- In later volumes of the manga Chrono Crusade, it's implied that Azmaria is silently trying to matchmake Chrono and Rosette, including purposefully having her and Satella separated from the two of them so they can be alone.
- There's a brief scene in the epilogue of the manga that seems to imply that Rosette is trying to set up Joshua and Azmaria, too. If so, it works—they get married not long before she dies.
- In Gankutsuou, Albert becomes this for Valentine and Maximilien, after becoming convinced that people should only marry for love.
- Seto from Tenchi Muyo GXP takes this to extraordinary heights.
- She does this for both strategic use and to screw with other people for the hell of it (as pictured expression should explain).
- One doesn't get called Jurai no Onihime ("Devil Princess of Jurai") for nothing. It's all good-natured, really, but still Seto is a force of nature that tends to completely steamroll everything and everybody in her vicinity. Her Fanon status of amnesiac Naja Akara notwithstanding.
- Hatsune Arisaka from Tona Gura tries early and often to play this for her uptight younger sister Kazuki and her Coyote-like affectionate-but-dense pursuer, Yuuji Kagura. Kazuki's pleas that she stop this, needless to say, fall on broadly smiling deaf ears.
- Usagi in Sailor Moon dresses up as an actual matchmaker to get Rei and Yuuichirou together. It doesn't work.
- Then, in S, she persuades Naru and Umino to enter a love contest.
- Finally, fandom ratchets up her "love for all" mentality until she's trying to pair up everyone who has ever talked to her. Minako is also put into the matchmaker role because her realm of influence is love.
- Tachibana Juuta from Otomen goes to great lengths to help Asuka and Ryo hook up. Then again, the plot of his manga depends on it.
- In Miki Falls, this is part of the job description of the Deliverers, super-natural beings charged with protecting love.
- Judeau fits this role for Guts and Casca in Berserk. While he was secretly in love with Casca, he was also good friends with Guts, and being the only one of the Hawks who actually paid attention to the complicated Love Triangle between Guts, Griffith, and Casca, Judeau decided to at least resolve the non-conflicting triangle between he, Guts and Casca by trying to push Guts and Casca together, since he correctly predicted that things would not work out between Griffith and Casca but that she was more suited to be with Guts. It eventually pays off, after a hunk load of shit happened over a time span of a year, and it then took a tragic turn when the Eclipse happened, and Judeau sacrifices his own life to save Casca's, but one the last things he does is reassure Casca that Guts loved her, even though he never got to tell her how he felt himself. Oh sadness!
- Mikage from Kamisama Kiss is a Shinto God that specializes in matchmaking and marriages. Nanami is an Ordinary High-School Student who ends up becoming his replacement and takes to this divine duty with extreme enthusiasm. She especially seems to like pairing up ordinary humans with demons.
- May Parker had to work hard and persistently to set up a date her nephew Peter and her good friend Anna Watson's niece Mary Jane. After the Gwen Stacy clone appeared, Aunt May encouraged MJ to fight for Peter's love. And after Mary Jane returned from a long absence in the 1980s, Aunts May and Anna once again set up a date between her and and Peter.
- In a time-travel story in Spider-Girl, Peter and MJ's daughter Spider-Girl visits Aunt May before Peter and MJ's first date. Aunt May is at that point just about to throw in the towel because Peter keeps avoiding a meeting with the Watson girl, but "May Day" encourages her not to give up.
- Mr Mxyzptlk, of all beings, when Clark and Lois had split up in the Superman comics.
- In the sequel to the Twilight Princess fanfic "Til the Sun Grows Cold and the Stars Grow Old," Rusl plays matchmaker in order to Pair the Spares among his old Resistance buddies.
- In Red Dead Virgo, Blue!Karkat was one of these before he got into SGRUB. Kanaya calls him out on deliberately pairing off poorly matched blackroms so that more trolls would kill each other to provide food for his troll eating lusus. Karkat doesn't deny it, but he still boasts that despite that he is the best relationship consultant Alternia has ever known. Appropriately enough, his title in the game is "Thief of Heart".
- Deconstructed in the Homestuck fanadventure Be the Sea Dweller Lowblood with Nepeta, whose obsession with shipping her friends causes her to ignore their true feelings. For example, Eridan has outright stated that he and Feferi are moirails and happy that way. However, she continues to see them as flushed and unwilling to admit it, and goes incredible lengths to try and get them together. This includes her breaking his heart, and at the same time trying (and failing) to replace Feferi as his moirail, enraging her. She gets called out on it, and accused of trying to manipulate others' quadrants after being explicitly told not to.
Oh, God, how do you explain?
How do you make her understand that you weren't trying to take her red lover away from her? You just wanted to help them become the other kind of red lovers. You never wanted to break them up, never meant for any of this to happen—you had a plan and it was going to work out so perfectly, you were going to help Eridan realize that Feferi was a perfect flushed match for him and then you were going to help him win her, and then you would have proved what a perfect moirail match you could be for him, but—
But, tonight messed all of that up. Tonight he said something you never expected him to say, and tonight you had to say something you had never planned to say this early, and tonight you watched Eridan break and break and break again, and tonight you learned that when Eridan breaks you have no idea how to put the pieces back together, and—
And the one thing you know for sure is that you never wanted to hurt anybody. You never wanted to steal Eridan away from Feferi. You wanted them to be in the perfect quadrant, you wanted them to be happy, YOU wanted to be happy. You have to make her understand that, but, God, talking about all your plans and your ideas and your matches and your ships, you have no idea how to explain this without sounding like a lunatic, like a, like a control freak, like a...
A highblood playing around with a couple of sea dwellers. Like a cat batting at two fish in a bowl.
Oh, God. Eridan was right about you.
- There is also Double Subverted with Equius and Gamzee. The former tells her time and time again that he hates the other platonically, but she doesn't listen. She keeps trying to get him to admit his "true" feelings, and even (temporarily) breaks up their moirailleigance over it. After the previously mentioned mess up with Eridan, she starts beating herself up over that and convincing herself she was wrong and shouldn't have done that. Turns out she was right about Equius and the two do end up getting together.
- In The Translation in Blood, Commander Shepard eventually does this to her mother and Councilor Sparatus.
- Web from Super Saiyan Kirby Adventures is an Appledash and Twinkie shipper. Keep in mind that Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle are people he works with.
Films — Animated
- Rafiki plays this role in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride.
- The first twenty minutes or so of Mulan focuses on Mulan's appointment with the town matchmaker, which has disastrous results.
Films — Live-Action
- A rather subtle case in the Hellboy film with John Myers. Hellboy thinks John is taking Liz out on a date, but the whole time, John is trying to convince Liz to accept Hellboy. Hellboy follows and Hilarity Ensues.
- In The Dark Knight Rises, everyone from Lucius Fox to Alfred seems to be trying to set Bruce up with someone, first with Ms. Tate, then with Ms. Kyle. Alfred especially would like to see Bruce hang up the cowl and settle down.
- The plot of the first Back to the Future revolves around Marty trying to get his parents to date so he can exist in the future.
- In Men In Black II, J neuralizes his partner in a diner after the latter's Heroic Wannabe tendencies nearly screwed up a mission. After wiping the guy's memory, J tells him to get married and have a bunch of kids. Before leaving the diner, J tells their waitress that his friend thinks she's hot. She grins at his ex-partner, and his ex-partner grins back.
- In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a Running Gag regards Black Widow discussing with Captain America some S.H.I.E.L.D. women he could date. Even during their missions. Overlaps with Shipper on Deck as she repeatedly tries to convince him to ask out Agent 13 who posed as his neighbor.
- In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Bennet fills this role for her daughters.
- And in Emma, the titular character tries to match up various members of her circle of friends. It doesn't always go so well.
- Anne from Anne of Green Gables seemed to make a habit of this. She finally gave it up when she threw a party intended to bring a couple together... except the party was a complete disaster and it turns out the couple were already engaged.
- Washington Square has a Genre Savvy variant of this trope in the main character's ditzy aunt Lavinia Penniman; played with in that the man she is trying to match her niece with is an obvious Gold Digger, but she is so enamored with living out a romance novel that she doesn't care.
- In the XV century Spanish novel "La Celestina", the titular character is both the Trope Namer and Trope Codifier for the Spanish language. So much that it's even used in real life for naming people who matchmake their friends.
- Plenty of P. G. Wodehouse's characters indulge in this. Jeeves, in particular, spends a good deal of time and scheming in not only setting up couples, but breaking up the ones he doesn't approve of. (Bertie does a lot of this, too, but usually because he gets talked into it. On one of the few occasions when he did instigate matchmaking—between Bingo Little and Honoria Glossop—his scheme failed so disastrously that he ended up unwillingly engaged to Honoria.)
- In an L. M. Montgomery story "The Education of Betty", a man, having been the best man while his best friend marries his true love, then did his best for the widow and orphan. When the girl is grown up, he tries to pair her with a man his own age, and demands to know why she refused — whereupon she declares her love. Prior to that, his awareness had been limited to realizing that her mother was not so perfect after all, lacking her daughter's spirit.
- In the Aunt Dimity novels, Dimity is a highly skilled one. She introduced Lori's parents, she presciently told a then-twelve year old Bill Willis that he and Lori would wed, and has a hand in pairing Emma and Derek (then a widower with two children).
- A few professional matchmakers show up in Judge Dee. The judge himself accidentally becomes this when he hears several confessions of love (from a girl who thinks she has a case of Les Yay and a crossdresser) and brings them into contact. All well and good, but he still has a murderer to catch.
- A particularly hilarious example is Cheng Pa, who has a massive crush (hinted to be reciprocated) on a Miss Violet Liang, a Mongolian wrestling champion. He gets Sergeant Hong to put in a good word to her for him, which he does (but until he makes a proposal through the proper channels, won't make up her mind).
- In Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, when Mr. A. H— speaks of how Marco and Celia are clearly besotted, Hector Bowen tells him he should have been a matchmaker.
- Friends has this for one episode where Phoebe, Chandler and Monica go to great lengths to get Rachel a date for a business dinner, and start shilling their respective dates right in front of them. She at one point finds a date on her own, and they end up scaring him off in an almost Die for Our Ship manner. Naturally, the whole thing eventually blows up and Rachel ditches both guys.
- Charlie simply loves to do this on The West Wing. "She's a fine-looking woman." "Stop saying that!!"
- The Eleventh Doctor. Particularly for his companions Amy and Rory, but he also helps his landlord-for-a-week with his unspoken crush on a friend. Lampshaded by Amy.
- A variation is shown by Dr. Phlox in Star Trek: Enterprise. "I do believe that they are about to mate. Do you think that they would let me watch?"
- Boy Meets World had Shawn take up this role for a while when Corey and Topanga broke up, with a lot of people commenting he took the breakup harder than they did, and being the number one champion of the get-back-together cause.
- Also reversed later in the show, where Corey becomes obsessed with getting Shawn and Angela back together. Doubly so at the end of the show when Corey completely IGNORES Topenga's interview with New York until the very end of the episode, where he is caught off guard that she wants to move to New York.
- iCarly: Carly does this for Sam on multiple occasions. Once during iMake Sam Girlier, another time during iSpeed Date, and again in 'iOMG' although in that case she might not be correct as to who Sam likes.
- The title character in Frasier is always doing this, mostly as a way to vicariously live through the other couples while he himself is consistently lonely or having relationship troubles. These attempts almost always either fail hilariously or leave him bitter and miserable if they're successful, but his machinations regarding Niles and Daphne (which began with painkiller-stoned ramblings), ended with Happily Ever After.
- In Gilligan's Island, Mrs. Howell was a matchmaker in one episode.
- In Person of Interest, Finch and his fiance, Grace, were matched up by the Machine. Yes, that's right: the sapient government surveillance supercomputer took time out of its busy schedule of fighting terror and spying on everyone in New York to find daddy a girlfriend.
- Shake It Up: in one episode CeCe tried to match her friend Deuce to Savannah and after that pair fell apart, Dina.
- Smash: In one of his moments of genuine friendliness, Jimmy plays matchmaker when he sees his best friend Kyle gazing at lighting designer Blake, then proceeds to ship them for the next several episodes.
- Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker and its musical sister Hello, Dolly! focus around a professional matchmaker at the turn of the twentieth century. Both works are farcical in nature.
- In Fiddler on the Roof there is Yente, the (professional) matchmaker, who fails to make any successful matches in the story.
- In How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Smitty's raison d'étre, particularly evident in the songs Been A Long Day and Cinderella Darling.
- The Miser has Frosine, a professional matchmaker who's determined to get the old, greedy Harpagon and young fair Marianne together. However, she later sides with Marianne and her lover Cléante (Harpagon's son) and supports their romantic plans, not having "a heart of flint" to get in the way of "young people loving each other in all earnestness and honesty".
- In The Sims 2, you can summon a gypsy woman who will provide a matchmaking service for your active Sim. The more Simoleons you're willing to shell out, the more compatible a match she will provide.
- Talesof Legendia has Norma, who spends the first half of the game trying to get uptight and shy Chloe to interact with main lead Senel. When Shirley, the female lead, joins the party though, Norma also seems to be helping her with her relationship with Senel. Really, it seems like Norma doesn't actually care that deeply about relationships and is just messing with everyone for fun.
- In "The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion", there's an undocumented quest in Chorrol that allows YOU to be the matchmaker between the Captain of the Guard, Bittneld and the owner of the Grey Mare, Emfrid. There's no failure condition, just some running back and forth between the two, but eventually it's implied that they start dating. This fact is even lampshaded by Casta Scribonia, who was the gossip who originally told you that they looked good together.
- In Dragon Age II, there is a quest to help Aveline get together with one of her colleagues. Though it goes disastrously due to misunderstandings and Aveline being unable to spit it out, she will hook up with him at the end, even if Hawke has been trying to pursue Aveline him/herself by using the romance dialogue options. It is entirely possible to confess your feelings to her during the quest, though there is no further romance possible and she will let you down gently.
- In El Goonish Shive, Sarah talks Grace out of "playing Cupid" for Nananse and Ellen, then does so herself.
- Jones of Gunnerkrigg Court, of all people, nudges (literally) Smitty and Parley into admitting their feelings to each other, apparently in an effort to make Parley's latent powers manifest.
- Surma also did a little of this for Anja and Donald, as seen in the page image.
- Fans!: Meighan secretly hired Julia to the staff of Station 13, a company she co-founded with Tim and Guthrie, largely to get Tim and Julia together.
Guthrie: I am not very sexual, Meighan, but I am not blind. I know that Julia has been unfortunate in love. I know Tim makes a terrible first impression, so simply "fixing him up on a date" would be counter-productive. And you know better than I how his compassion shines under conditions of shared stress."
- In Sinfest, God promises to, but warns that match-making is inexact.
- Roxy Lalonde in Homestuck constantly goads both Jake and Jane to try to make them go to "SEX LAND," even as Dirk also has feelings for Jake.
- Nepeta's ancestor, Meulin, is obsessed with shipping to the point of hooking up her friends together. After all, she's a Flanderized version of Nepeta in general.
- In Sunstone this is Cassie's other hobby. There's not been a scene between her and Alan or Anne where she's not trying to get the two of them to meet. She's not very good at it either. Neither of them were ready for a relationship at that moment, and when, after some time, they do meet Cassie has got nothing to do with it. (Though she must have felt pretty smug when they got married)
- In The Adventures of The League of S.T.E.A.M. episode "Hairy Hijinks", Mrs. Potts tries to play this with Jay Are and The Russian.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Of a non-romantic type. One of the few things that will elicit an enthusiastic and energetic response from Fluttershy is suggesting you might be interested in getting a pet. When Rainbow Dash suggested she might eventually want a pet, Fluttershy proceeded to drag Dash off to her cottage so she could introduce her around to the various and sundry animals she's caring for at the moment.
- Pound Puppies: In the same vein as above, what the Pound Puppies basically do is match each person to their "perfect pup" and vice versa.
- The Powerpuff Girls set up a date between the Professor and their kindergarten teacher in "Keen On Keane."
Matchmaker, matchmaker, plan me no plans!
I'm in no rush! Maybe I've learned...
Playing with matches, a girl can get burned!