[[quoteright:300:[[ComicBook/ArchieComics http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cheryl.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Can't choose between your BettyAndVeronica? TakeAThirdOption!]]

Bob is in a LoveTriangle with two girls, Alice and Carol, who often have a BettyAndVeronica dynamic. He likes both of them, and both of them like him, [[StatusQuoIsGod and he can never, ever choose between them]]. While this dynamic has plenty of dramatic potential, on occasion the writers will want to shake it up a bit. To avoid showing favoritism to either of Bob's existing love interests, they may have him fall for a third girl: the Third-Option Love Interest, Donna, whose job is to shake up the status quo of the relationship and breathe new life into it by tempting the vertex of a love triangle to TakeAThirdOption. From the perspective of fan reaction, this can be very risky. Alice and Carol are likely to both have [[{{Shipping}} established fanbases]], and as such pairing Bob with some new girl who lacks this built-in support runs the risk of alienating ''everybody''.

The Third-Option Love Interest can be of either gender depending on the initial triangle. They can sometimes even overlap with the GayOption.

May lead to a LoveDodecahedron… or, since StatusQuoIsGod, Donna may be PutOnABus, leaving the original two LoveInterests to duke it out. Sometimes Alice and Carol will [[EnemyMine lay aside their rivalry]] and unite against the interloper--[[TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou each would rather lose Bob to the other than to anyone else]]. However, in some cases [[LastGirlWins Donna/Bob]] will become the OfficialCouple.

In FanFic, the Third-Option Love Interest is a frequent target of DieForOurShip, since both Alice/Bob and Carol/Bob shippers will descend on her with the fury of Hell. Also, expect accusations of the character being a Canon RelationshipSue (which may or may not be true). May also be ThirdOptionAdaptation.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/AirGear'':
** The love interests Ringo (the Betty), and Simca (the Veronica), (and [[GayOption Akito]]) for Ikki were shaken up by the arrival of Kururu. [[spoiler: Ultimately averted: Ikki chooses his Betty -- Ringo]].
** There's also [[GayOption Kazu]]. When all three girls (Simca, Ringo & Kururu) find out a way how Kogarasumaru can still participate in the Glam Scale tournament they all hasten to tell Ikki about it thinking 'whoever manages to tell him first will secure their future at Ikki's side'. So, who's the one who gets to tell Ikki first? Kazu, of course! It's played for laughs but it does make one wonder... He's a speed freak, so it only makes sense that he would beat the girls.
* ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'':
** [[PsychopathicManchild Russia]]'s part of a canon PsychoticLoveTriangle, harboring MadLove for [[TheWoobie Lithuania]] and being chased by his [[BrotherSisterIncest sister]] [[{{Yandere}} Belarus]], but he also seems to display some interest in his southern neighbor China in a couple of strips (if "putting on a panda suit and stalking him" or "inviting him to live at his house in a very creepy way" can be considered ShipTease, which it probably can given [[PsychopathicManchild Russia's]] [[StalkerWithACrush nature]]). Many fans happily take this third option, especially given the two countries' extensive real-life history together, to the point where Russia/China is actually more popular than Russia/Lithuania and Belarus/Russia combined. Russia gets plenty of other love interests in fanworks, [[LauncherOfAThousandShips of course]], but China is the one who has the most canon support after Lithuania and Belarus (even if he probably isn't very happy about it in canon).
** [[http://joze-chiiyo.deviantart.com/art/Thailand-to-visit-Russia-3-End-309359649?q=%20sort%3Atime%20hetalia%20thailand&qo=68 Thailand's also viable option for Russia's]] based on their mostly positive relationship albeit that this fandom is MUCH smaller than other. The unique thing is that he;s often portrayed that he likes Russia back as well and that his [[BewareTheNiceOnes 1 percent hidden personality]] completely(or at least, almost) shutoff any sort of {{Wimpification}} that may appear. Similarly, Poland is a viable third option for Lithuania who's actually [[FanPreferredCouple way more popular]] than the other two options.
*** He's also a pretty popular option for Hungary below, considering their good relations.
** Greece and Turkey are the most canon-supported BettyAndVeronica pair for Japan. However, fans almost never view Turkey [[HopelessSuitor as having a real chance to get Japan's attention]] and hence almost always treat [[{{Tsundere}} England]] as the Veronica instead (making him a technical third option) and bring up [[LoveFreak America]] as a plausible third (fourth?) option too. In fact, [[LauncherOfAThousandShips an entire article could be devoted to all the *other* "third options" chosen for Japan in fanworks]], but England and America are the ones that have the greatest fandom support and actual canon interaction with Japan.
** Also, in regards to England's "love life", we have America, Japan and France. Then Himaruya reveals that he's working on sketches for Portugal. Cue to fangirls latching onto Portugal and hoping they become this in one, two, three...
*** ButWaitTheresMore [[TallDarkAndHandsome India]] has entered the fray as well, having been one of the more important English colonies in the past. While the fandom tends to pair him up with Prussia due to their UsefulNotes/{{Bollywood}} dancing scene that's easy to see as a DanceOfRomance, some people have also added him to England's list of possible love interests...
** While [[ActionGirl Hungary]] is more often than not paired up with [[ShelteredAristocrat her ex-husband Austria]] or [[UnluckyChildhoodFriend her old friend/enemy Prussia]], some fans think that her ''other'' enemy [[MaskPower Turkey]] shouldn't be completely discarded due to the FoeYay prospects. And now that [[BadassLongcoat Romania]] has received a face and profile, fanarts of him and Hungary having loads of FoeYay are springing up too...
*** Although less popular, she also playfully flirts with [[LesYay Ukraine]] in a bonus strip in the fourth volume.
** Korea himself might find the way into this too. As even though he groped Japan and China, he does take interest in Taiwan and is surprisingly nice to her. To summarize, both are actually the third option for each other, considering Taiwan's own share of ship tease ''also'' related to China and Japan...
** Spain, who's mostly trapped between chosing [[AllLoveIsUnrequited Romano]] and [[GirlNextDoor Belgium]], has to option of being paired off "rather" easily with [[FoeYay Netherlands]]. The bonus is in form of ShipMates that shipped of Romano and Belgium sweetly.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** [[GenkiGirl Senna]] from ''[[Anime/BleachMemoriesOfNobody Memories of Nobody]]''. By the end though, Ichigo/Rukia shippers and Ichigo/Orihime shippers can [[DoomedByCanon rest easy]].
** On the canon side, another potential choice is Tatsuki Arisawa, a childhood friend of Ichigo's and Orihime's best friend. She has little effect on the overall plot, but she has had a few ShipTease moments with Ichigo. The other most popular secondary love option is the arrancar Nel, who's quite affectionate towards Ichigo (though there's a good chance that's just because she's a touchy-feely person, not necessarily because she's romantically interested in him).
* A rather marginal example, as well as a subversion, pops up in ''Manga/ElfenLied'' with manga-only [[ShrinkingViolet Nozomi]], who provides a third alternative of a girl who has feelings for the male lead Kouta that isnt [[ClingyJealousGirl Yuka]] or [[LoveableSexManiac Nyuu]]/[[{{Yandere}} Lucy]]/[[WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds Kaede]]. It's ultimately Averted in the anime (as she's not even included there!) and subverted as per the manga's rather... messy ending.
* Qawool from ''Anime/ElHazardTheMagnificentWorld''. The male lead, Makoto, has already chosen his girlfriend ([[spoiler: Ifurita]]) and has other girls still chasing after him [[spoiler: (Shayla and Nanami)]], but when Qawool meets up with him, she immediately snags a spot in his harem. Incidentally, she's also TheScrappy for other reasons, so the DieForOurShip gets especially toxic.
* The first two seasons of ''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero'' saw a [[LoveDodecahedron wide variety]] of love interests for Saito, but by the end of season two it was pretty much narrowed down to [[{{Tsundere}} Louise]] and [[{{Meido}} Siesta]]. Enter [[GagBoobs Tiffania]]. Louise's reaction in particular could be heard from space. And then Tiffania was pushed to the back and replaced by [[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses Princess Henrietta]], whereupon both Louise and Siesta were simply dumbfounded and stricken with worry: Louise had a HeroicBSOD and Siesta finicked about how she could easily remove all opposition and be alone with him.
* In ''Anime/{{FLCL}}'', Naota plays the "Archie" role to Haruko's "Veronica" and Mamimi's "Betty", but it's eventually shown that his classmate Eri is also interested in him. [[spoiler: She's actually the ''only'' one interested in him: Haruko is using him for her quest for power, and Mamimi is trying to pull a SettleForSibling. Both of them think better of it by the end,]] leaving Eri as the only remaining love interest.
* [[DisabledLoveInterest Ayase]] from ''Anime/GuiltyCrown'' appears to be this to Shu.
* ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'' pretty quickly establishes a basic LoveTriangle with Hayate as the "Archie", Nagi as the rich "Veronica", and Nishizawa as the ordinary "Betty". Maria, who was introduced in Chapter 1 unlike Nishizawa, typically plays the role of HaremNanny but early on was teasing enough that Nagi seemed more concerned about losing Hayate to Maria than Nishizawa.
** However, the two biggest contenders for Third-Option Love Interest by far are Hinagiku and Athena. Athena was mentioned by Hayate as his "ex-girlfriend" (they were 6 at the time) in an early chapter, and it's clear there are still some feelings on both sides by the time they reunite. Hinagiku was initially more of a supporting character that turned up periodically, but she was a huge target for Nagi's jealousy and insecurity due to how easily Hinagiku and Hayate got along (and how easily he started flirting with her and doing things to impress her...). Due to Hinagiku's [[BreakoutCharacter all-eclipsing popularity]] and both her and Athena being [[FanPreferredCouple the two most popular ships for Hayate]] (although leaning pretty heavily in Hina's favor), the "third options" have actually become pretty much the main LoveTriangle by the later parts of the manga. Humorously, Athena and Hinagiku both pre-date Nagi as Athena was set up to be the main heroine originally and Hinagiku was the main heroine, along with her sister, of Hata's even earlier pilot that was turned into backstory for the manga.
** There have been other additions to the so-called harem but for the most part they never stick or are just comedy characters to begin with. The two exceptions are Chiharu and Ruka. Chiharu got quite a bit a ShipTease with Hayate after the Golden Week arc, even [[spoiler: moving into the Violet Mansion]] but it has largely tapered off. Ruka was initially pretty tame what with [[spoiler: first meeting Hayate while he was cross-dressed and believing him to be a girl]] but began to heat up along with her rivalry with Nagi, even going so far as to [[spoiler: steal a kiss from Hayate and use a vaguely-worded promise he made to get him to agree to marry her if she won the doujinshi competition against Nagi, and was subsequently PutOnABus after her loss]].
* In the ''Manga/KimagureOrangeRoad'' manga, [[FilleFatale Sayuri Hirose]] attempts to be the third option for Hikaru's Betty and Madoka's Veronica. The catch is she means nothing to Kyousuke, so her attempts to seduce him were unsuccessful.
* Sasuke Uchiha from ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' has two girls that have a crush on him pre-time skip, Ino and Sakura. Post-time skip he gets another admirer in [[StalkerWithACrush Karin]], while Ino stops crushing on Sasuke and moves onto Sai [[spoiler:who she marries]]. At best, [[DumpThemAll Sasuke never shows romantic interest in any of the girls.]] At worst, [[AxCrazy he stabs through them]] to further [[RevengeBeforeReason his revenge]]. [[spoiler:He ends up with Sakura in the end.]]
* In ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion,'' Kaworu is arguably one for the tangled [[HotBlooded Asuka]]/[[SociallyAwkwardHero Shinji]]/[[EmotionlessGirl Rei]] dynamic, with the twist that [[IncompatibleOrientation he's a guy]] and Shinji is [[AmbiguouslyBi ostensibly heterosexual]]. (''How'' ostensibly depends on the adaptation.) The LighterAndSofter adaptation, ''Manga/ShinjiIkariRaisingProject,'' plays this whole thing much straighter: the relationship between Shinji and the girls is explicitly a LoveTriangle, and they're willing to team up against Kaworu. (There are a few other girls who temporarily hold this role for Shinji, but none are as threatening as him.)
* In ''Manga/OnaniMasterKurosawa'', does Kakeru end up with Takigawa, who he had a crush on, or Kitahara, the one he eventually [[DefrostingIceQueen defrosts]]? [[spoiler:Neither of them. He actually ends up with Sugawa, [[AlphaBitch the bully]] and his first victim, since by the time they start getting together, she has become much less mean and more {{Tsundere}}.]]
* In ''Anime/ParallelTroubleAdventureDual'', Yayoi, Mitsuki Sanada, and D's chances with Katsuki are ''apparently'' ruined when he meets Mitsuki Rara. The girls themselves (apparently) come to an unspoken mutual agreement to all [[MarryThemAll share him by living together]], even in the newly created combined world. For his part though, Kazuki only really shows any reciprocated feelings for Mitsuki Rara.
* Ukyo Kuonji in ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf''. Until her arrival, the primary contenders for Ranma's affection had been Akane (Betty) and Shampoo (Veronica). Although she never escaped UnluckyChildhoodFriend status, Ukyo was still a relatively plausible third option and remains a popular choice in the fandom; she's even hit with DieForOurShip ''less'' often than Akane and Shampoo are, in direct contrast to the common trend of the third option getting hit by the hardest with DieForOurShip.
%%* Fumina Konoe in ''LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana''.
* In the ''VisualNovel/{{Shuffle}}'' anime the main character, Rin Tsuchimi is being pursued by Lisianthus (Gods) and Nerine ([[OurDemonsAreDifferent Demons]]), and his childhood friend Kaede. Who does he fall in love with in the end? [[spoiler:The close buddy and tease, Asa.]]
* In the 11th volume of the ''Manga/SorcererHunters'' manga, Carrot fell into a serious relationship with a girl named Mousse, leading Chocolat and Tira to confront him with their true feelings. However, it turns out [[spoiler:Mousse wasn't even real (?)]] and the plot turned out to be a set-up for the epic FinalBattle in which [[spoiler:[[FirstGirlWins Carrot eventually chose Tira]]]].
* Satsuki Kitaouji in ''Manga/StrawberryOneHundredPercent''. She is introduced as the third love interest of Junpei Manaka, the main character, after Aya Tojo and Tsukasa Nishino. However she is reduced to an HopelessSuitor in the second half of the story, when Junpei is clearly between Aya and Tsukasa only.
* While there's half a dozen girls after Tenchi Masaki in ''Anime/TenchiMuyo'', the relationship map stabilizes relatively quickly with six girls chasing Tenchi. Until ''Anime/TenchiInTokyo'', which introduces [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Sakuya Kumashiro]] into the equation. She's probably one of the biggest examples of the DieForOurShip effect relating to this. [[spoiler:Though she eventually succeeds in winning Tenchi, she doesn't survive to the end of the series.]]
** The third OVA introduces Noike [[spoiler: who shows up already arranged to be married to Tenchi by a very powerful matriach of the Jurai royal family.]] Ryoko and Ayeka are not amused. Fan reaction, oddly enough, is less extreme than what Sakuya faced, but that's probably because the third OVA seems to get even more FanonDiscontinuity than ''Tenchi In Tokyo'' (the latter being treated as relatively more acceptable because it's just an alternate universe anyway).
* In ''Anime/{{Vandread}}'', romantic tension is developing between Hibiki and his three love interests, and then in the second season a GirlInABox shows up and decides he's cute.
* In ''Manga/XxxHolic'', the [[DoubleSubversion Double Subverted]] LoveTriangle between Watanuki, Himawari, and [[ShippingGoggles Doumeki]] has a monkey wrench thrown into it when it turns out that for all his intense crushing on Himawari and numerous bonding moments with Doumeki, the one Watanuki cares the most about is... [[spoiler:his boss and mistress Yuuko Ichihara, for whom he sacrifices the right to leave the shop indefinitely, [[IWillWaitForYou in hopes he will one day see her again]]]]. Doumeki is... less than pleased about this arrangement. However, this has not discouraged Doumeki from ''still'' [[HoYay acting like he's his husband]].
** Watanuki's feelings for Yuuko and the [[MentorShip pairing itself]] is becoming more and more canon. ''Especially'' after chapter 193, where Haruka pretty much comes out and has a heart-to-heart talk with Watanuki, giving him a relationship-advice pep talk ([[spoiler: "If you truly believe you and she will meet again, then you mustn't do anything that will make her cry."]]). Which prompts Watanuki to [[spoiler:go into one of his melancholy worshiping moods of Yuuko, holding her pipe and saying her name]].
* [[AnimeChineseGirl Vivian Wong]] is this in the fifth season of ''Anime/YuGiOh''. There is an unspoken rivalry over Yugi by his close friend Anzu, who cares for Yugi a lot but is mostly [[LovesMyAlterEgo interested in the Pharaoh]] and the aggressive BrattyHalfPint Rebecca who is quick to shower him with affection. When Vivian starts trying to shoehorn in, Rebecca and Anzu are quick to unite against her, including Anzu cheering Rebecca on in her duel against Vivian.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/ArchieComics'':
** Cheryl Blossom, the character in the page picture and the former Trope Namer. She was a bombshell redhead introduced in the '80s who saw the original BettyAndVeronica going after Archie and decided it would be fun to show them up. She makes her big return in the 90s in the Love Showdown storyline, where Betty and Veronica escalate their competition for Archie, which ends in Archie choosing Cheryl Blossom instead (although the Status Quo is restored in a follow-up special). ''Archie'''s tried to retcon Cheryl in the early 2000s due to her being too provocative, to the point where Ginger Lopez was created in order to replace her in reprints, but that was quickly forgotten and Cheryl is back to being a staple ''Archie'' character. Since then, however, she has apparently started going out with the nerd of the cast after getting to know him on the internet, in a ThrowTheDogABone moment.
** Cheryl is also shown as being in the way of ''Reggie'' too. A humorous issue shows her winning a talent contest (with Archie and Reggie as the judges) over Betty and Veronica. What'd she do? Batted her eyelashes at them.
** Valerie from ''ComicBook/JosieAndThePussycats'' has also become a possible alternative for Archie's lover. ''Archie Comics'' even released a four-part WhatIf story in which Archie marries her instead of Betty, Veronica, or Cheryl.
* With Franchise/{{Batman}} this tends to happen. Usually torn between Catwoman and Talia al Ghul, writers have recently decided to add Franchise/WonderWoman to the mix, although Batman doesn't like to acknowledge it. Sometimes.
* ''ComicBook/SpiderMan''
** Early in ''The Amazing Spider-Man'' Betty Brant (brunette) and Liz Allan (blonde) are competing for Peter Parker. Then Aunt May introduces them to her best friend's niece, Mary Jane Watson. They are both aghast at the thought of having to compete with this knockout beauty. Mary Jane's face is only shown several issues later, but fitting in with this trope, she turns out to be a redhead.
** Occasionally, Black Cat is played as the third option to the other loves of Peter's life, MJ and Gwen.
** Although not to the extent between Wonder Woman and Batman, Spider-Man has had at least strong feelings at one point toward fellow heroine Ms. Marvel whom she reciprocated. Out of all the superheroines, she's arguably the one with the best chance with Spider-Man.
** ''ComicBook/UltimateSpiderMan'' for a time went with this trope; at the end of Ultimatum arc in Ultimate Spider-man, Kitty accidentally revealed to MJ that she still had romantic feelings for Peter. 6 months of unresolved plot development, Peter was now in a romantic relationship with Gwen Stacy. It didn't last.
* In what is a hilarious and awesome example, when the '90s Supergirl goes to an alternative Earth to take the original Silver Age Supergirl's place (it's long and complicated, ''but awesome''), she ends up ''marrying'' the original Superman. In the wedding splash panel, you can see [[BettyAndVeronica Lois Lane and Lana Lang]] saying "Please oh please -- [[SuperDickery let it be a hoax! Or a dream! Or an imaginary tale!]]"
** And Lori Lemaris, a friggin' mermaid, was Supes' original third option winner.
** For a time in the 80s, Cat Grant was definitely in the running. Lacking any L's in her name probably doomed her.
** Recently Wonder Woman has become Superman's third option, at least in the historic sense. It can be argued, she's merely replace Lana in the triangle, since Lana hasn't been a legitimate love interest in decades.

* In the LightNovel/DisgaeaNovels, [[Characters/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness Laharl]] is given a rather big harem of girls as the novel series goes on, but [[Characters/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness Flonne and Etna]] are his closest friends and therefore his primal love interests, and he is not all that fond of the rest. But in the 3th novel we are introduced to [[Characters/DisgaeaNovels Ozonne]], Flonne’s little sister, and she & Laharl hit it off pretty well.
* In the ''Literature/{{Gone}}'' series, over the first three books there were hints at a possible love triangle between Quinn, Lana and Edilio. In ''Plague'' Sanjit and Lana become a couple.
** And in ''Lies'', Edilio and ''the Artful Roger'' become a couple.
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', Sansa Stark is initially infatuated with both her betrothed Prince Joffrey Baratheon and pretty boy Loras Tyrell. It's later revealed that the former is a sadistic psychopath and abuses her terribly, and the latter is gay for Renly Baratheon, but in the meantime she's developed an odd chemistry with the much older and more [[labelnote:obviously]]Joffrey, at least, isn't exactly NON-violent (see "sadistic psychopath"), but Sandor is more honest about it[[/labelnote]] violent Sandor Clegane.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Many fans felt that [[ReplacementLoveInterest Nina]] filled this role on ''Series/{{Angel}}''. Of course, Cordelia was [[PutOnABus MIA]] at the time and [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Buffy]] was busy with her own series… but when has that ever stopped anyone?
* The season 1 finale of ''Series/{{Community}}'' had Jeff in between GranolaGirl [[FirstGirlWins Britta]] and HotTeacher [[RomanticFalseLead Slater]]. He ends up choosing [[FanPreferredCouple Annie]], although he hasn't been romantically involved with any of the three in season 2.
** It is revealed by the end of season 2 that he has been secretly seeing [[spoiler: Britta]] but they break up once others find out about it.
** In season 2 Annie still has feelings (including a lot of resentment) towards Jeff but there are hints that she and Troy might get closer. In the season finale [[spoiler: Abed]] becomes a third option out of the blue.
** Season 3 seems to run with this pairing, however. From the episode "Remedial Chaos Theory" onward, the [[ShipTease show hints]] that Annie and Jeff are being groomed to be the OfficialCouple of the show, with Troy and Britta paired together concurrently.
* During Season 7 of ''Series/{{Degrassi}}'' we had the love triangle of Holly J (Veronica) and Mia (Betty) going after Sav. The two girls brutally tear into each other for Sav's attentions, finally leading to Mia thinking Sav picked her... until it turns out he likes Anya.
* [[CampGay Kurt]] from ''Series/{{Glee}}'' spent most of season one deluded that he was a mix this trope and GayOption to Finn. He wasn't. [[spoiler: Kurt hooked up with Blaine instead.]]
* On ''Series/GossipGirl'', Colin was this to the Dan-Serena-Nate triangle.
** Also, fans were crazy in Season 4 to know who Blair would pick--Chuck (Vanessa) or Dan (Betty)? Turns out she picks Louis. No one was happy.
* {{Invoked}} in the season five finale of ''Series/OneTreeHill'', where the audience sees Lucas call a girl and propose to her. The show gives three options for who he could be calling- either [[RunawayBride Lindsey]] and [[FirstGirlWins Peyton]], who had been part of a season-long love triangle, as well as high school ex-girlfriend [[SecondLove Brooke]], who hadn't even really been part of the equation until the finale threw her in as an option. [[spoiler: It was [[TheyDo Peyton]].]]
* Series 3 of ''Series/RobinHood'' had the title character in a LoveTriangle with outlaw Kate (Betty) and villainess Isabella (Veronica). If you're wondering where his traditional love interest Marian is, she'd been [[spoiler: KilledOffForReal at the end of the previous series]], and became the third option when Robin [[spoiler: also dies and is reunited with her in the afterlife.]]
* Early seasons of ''Series/{{Smallville}}'' had Chloe (Betty) and Lana (Veronica) as possible love interests for Clark, naturally leading to ShipToShipCombat from fans when [[ForegoneConclusion Lois Lane]] showed up, although the "Clark is either with or crazy over Lana while Chloe secretly still loves him" formula lasted several more seasons before [[spoiler:Lana is PutOnABus and both Chloe and Clark end up with others.]]
* In ''Series/WhatILikeAboutYou'', Holly leaves for England, while [[BadBoy Vince]] (Veronica) and [[NiceGuy Henry]] (Betty) both expect her to choose one of them. She comes back from England with a new guy, Ben. Henry eventually moves on and goes to [[IvyLeagueForEveryone Princeton]] and Holly ends up with Vince.
* ''Series/JaneTheVirgin'': Jane is in a love triangle with Michael and Rafael, who are each both Betty ''and'' Veronica in some ways. Jane--briefly--sets them both aside to pursue HotTeacher Jonathan Chavez. She returns to the love triangle soon enough though and makes a serious decision, picking one of them for real.
* ''Series/LostGirl'': Bo has been in a long running love triangle with Lauren and Dyson. And then she picks… Rainer, who no one's even met. She calls him "her destiny;" not a single person in the main cast was pleased with that announcement. [[spoiler:He gets killed off before too long, and then it's back to the love triangle.]]
* ''Series/ThisIsUs'': After his ex-girlfriend and former co-star Olivia comes back, Kevin gets in the middle of a love triangle between her and Sloane, the writer of the play they were to perform in and Olivia's replacement as lead actress. Kevin still has feelings for Olivia, but he wants to do the "right thing" and continue dating Sloane. He has a LoveEpiphany later on in the episode, realizing he's still in love with his ex-wife Sophie.
* ''Series/{{Revenge}}'': Season One introduced Emily/Amanda's two major love interests: HoneyTrap victim Daniel Grayson and ChildhoodFriend Jack Porter, resulting in a LoveTriangle. Emily had strong feelings for Jack, but had to stay with Daniel for her plan and is implied to have some feeling for him as well. Season Two introduced the third option: Aiden Mathis, who met Emily at "revenge school" and is the only one of the three that knows all sides of her. While her feelings for Jack were strong, there is no doubt she was in love with Aiden. [[spoiler:Any chance Daniel had with Emily died by Season Three, and between Jack and Aiden, Aiden would've won (if only because Jack stepped aside), but he was KilledOffForReal in the Season Three finale. After that, it became obvious that Jack was going to be the winner, though Season Four did try to throw in some red herrings by introducing a ''fourth'' love interest in Ben Hunter, Jack's police partner, and redeeming Daniel. ''Both'' were promptly KilledOffForReal, and the series ended with Jack and Emily marrying and sailing off into the sunset]].

* In the ballet ''Rodeo,'' the Cowgirl and the Rancher's Daughter are both in love with the Head Wrangler, who in turn is interested in the Rancher's Daughter. During the final movement, "Hoedown," the Cowgirl gets the Head Wrangler's attention--but instead winds up with the Champion Roper, leaving the Head Wrangler and Rancher's Daughter to pair up.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/ArTonelicoMelodyOfElemia'' and [[VideoGame/ArTonelico2 its]] [[VideoGame/ArTonelico3 sequels]] start with two potential love interests, and add a third one in the mid or late game. The third love interest is always ReallySevenHundredYearsOld.
* The Enhanced Edition of ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'' introduces the half-elf wild mage Neera as the fourth romantical option for the male protagonist.
** It also includes [[spoiler: Dorn Il-Khan, a male half orc Blackguard. Overlaps with gay option, though the women can romance him too]]
** For female protagonists, it adds a second, third and fourth option. One of which is a gay option, [[spoiler: and also [[BoyMeetsGhoul a vampire]]]].
* In ''VideoGame/DotHackGU'', Haseo can romance almost any character, though the two canon options would probably be Atoli (Betty) and Shino (Veronica). However, play your cards right, and Endrance, who is a dude, will win Haseo's heart, much to the chagrin of every female in the party.
** There's also Alkaid who is unlike Shino or Atoli in that she's firey and agreesive. While she and Haseo are initially at each others throats, they warm up to each much much faster than Haseo does with the other two, probably because Alkaid doesn't have psychological issues like them and is actually able to communicate effectively.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', men have their choice of Leliana (Betty) or Morrigan (Veronica), with Zevran overlapping with the gay option. For women, he's the Veronica to Alistair's Betty, and Leliana serves as the third option.
* The DS version of ''VideoGame/DragonQuestV'' introduces Debora, who functions both as this and as the 'Veronica' to Bianca and Nera's Betties. After showing no interest in the hero's actions or his completion of the EngagementChallenge he completed in order to possibly marry her sister, and turning an indifferent eye upon Bianca's entrance into the equation, she breezes in and offers herself as a third option at the last possible moment -- although, naturally, she views herself as the ''ONLY'' real choice. (Even her ''dad'' is surprised at this! But not displeased, since he'd previously resigned himself to ''never'' being able to get anybody to marry Debora.)
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' has Aerith and Tifa being the main BettyAndVeronica for Cloud, although the date scenario has Yuffie as a Third-Option Love Interest. You can also go for the gay option with Barret.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'': Played with. At the start of the game, Tidus meets Rikku (Veronica), and then Yuna (Betty); an early cutscene implies he is conflicted about his feelings for the two of them (he invites Yuna to see Zanarkand with him, only for Rikku to jog up and claim he invited her first), but about midway through the game he has the option to tell Lulu he'd rather be with her instead, invoking this. It's all subverted from about Macalania onward when [[OfficialCouple Tidus and Yuna]] get a definite RelationshipUpgrade, however.
** And it should be noted that the Lulu dialogue option is PlayedForLaughs:
--> '''Lulu:''' Hmm, I suppose I could add you to my list.
* ''Franchise/FireEmblem'':
** ''VideoGame/FireEmblemJugdral'':
*** Tailto in ''Fire Emblem: Geneaology of the Holy War'' could easily be this for Prince Lewyn: Serious, honorable Ferry and flirty, clingy dancer Sylvia compete for Levin's affections (well, [[UnknownRival Sylvia does most of the competing]]), but the player can easily push them aside and pair him with Tailto, a girl with no prior plot connections to him. [[spoiler: Ferry's CoolBigSis Mahyna could have also been this if she'd survived.]]
*** A male example would be Arden for Ayra; Lex and Holyn both have canon crushes on her, but Arden is her third predestined lover even if she never speaks to him outside their chapter five love talk.
*** Raquesis has... ''two'' of these, actually. Her most "canon" love interests are Finn and Beowulf, to the point that in ''Thracia 776'' [[spoiler: her son Delmud is Beowulf's kid and her daughter Nanna is Finn's.]] However, if she gets enough love points with either Dew or Noish, she can have love talks with them as well.
** In ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade Blazing Blade]]'', the main lord Eliwood's potential wives are fellow lord Lyn, the MysteriousWaif [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragon girl]] Ninian, and... Fiora, a pegasus knight who is an optional recruit and has no plot significance.
** In ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening Awakening]]'', [[Really700YearsOld Ti]][[OurDragonsAreDifferent ki]] is this for a [[PlayerCharacter Male Robin]], due to only being recruited to your army if you complete [[BonusDungeon Paralogue 17]], the last paralogue that isn't Spotpass-based at that, without her dying, and her paralogue doesn't appear until the main game is three-quarters over.
*** Out of Chrom's potential girlfriends, Olivia is set up as this since she's recruited in Chapter 11, aka ''right before Chrom must get married''. Even more, under certain circumstances she can potentially become the girl with the highest marriage priority, ''beating out even [[ImpliedLoveInterest Sumia and the Female Avatar]]''.
* If the player restores the deleted romance with Neeshka in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'', Safiya can become the third option with Elanee as Betty and Neeshka as Veronica. Similarly, if you restored the deleted romance with Bishop, Gann becomes the third with Casavir as Betty and Bishop as Veronica.
* It's possible for Tatsuya to either romance Maya (Betty) or Lisa (Veronica) in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}: Innocent Sin''. However, it is ''also'' possible for him to start a [[GayOption homosexual romance]] with Jun.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfLegendia'', the two women who were fighting over Senel most aggressively were [[BettyAndVeronica Shirley and Chloe]]. Unfortunately for them, it's revealed that the one Senel loved was Shirley's [[spoiler: dead]] sister, Stella.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}: Subterranean Animism'', those playing as Marisa had to choose between the two biggest contenders of her harem (in fanon, at least) Alice and Patchouli...and Nitori, a character that had only been introduced the previous game and had little, if any, connections with Marisa prior.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffectAndromeda'' has an interested variation, the Veronica on each gender and sexual orientation combination is often the last one met, while the second option combines both aspects of Betty and Veronica. Bettys would be either Cora (for straight males), Liam (straight females), Gil (gay males), or Suvi (lesbians) and Veronicas would be either Peebee (straight males and lesbians) or Reyes Videl (straght females and gay males). Combining both aspects on all sexual orientations would be the good hearted turian smuggler Vetra and the very openly emotional angaran Jaal (after a patch made him a bisexual option).

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Aside of the BettyAndVeronica dynamics with Kotonoha and Sekai, there are three potential {{Third Option Love Interest}}s in the ''VisualNovel/SchoolDays'' games: Otome, Setsuna and Hikari.
** Cross Days, which is from the perspective of Yuki, rather than Makoto's, has [[spoiler:Ai]] and [[spoiler:Makoto himself]]. [[spoiler: Roka]] probably counts too.
* ''VisualNovel/WhiteAlbum2 Concluding Chapter'' introduces '''three''': Chiaki, one of Haruki's schoolmates at the university he goes to; Koharu, a high schooler going to Haruki and Setsuna's old school; and Mari, Haruki's boss at the Hirasakura Company, where he works at. All three represent facets of what might help shake off the lethargy he's been living through, which can be summed simply as: looks like Kazusa (Koharu), acts like Kazusa (Mari, albeit more socially-adjusted), and is ''not like Setsuna'' (Chiaki, who has no ties to and cares little for Haruki's past).

* In ''Webcomic/BittersweetCandyBowl'', both Lucy and Tess were love interests for Paulo, but he ended up [[spoiler:choosing Jasmine, a girl introduced at the last minute. However, it doesn't last.]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' has this with Vriska, who had romantic feelings for Kanaya, Tavros, and plausibly Terezi. [[spoiler: She ends up asking John out, and dying before hearing a response. On the other hand, due to her species' romantic customs, she could have plausibly ended up with [[MarryThemAll all of them]] in different quadrants.]].
** Used for many other romantic entanglements as well. For example, John gets ShipTease with Rose and Vriska only to settle on [[spoiler:Roxy]] as his heavily ImpliedLoveInterest, and Dave's options seem to be Jade and Terezi before he ends up with [[spoiler:Karkat]].
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', after Elliot's breakup with Sarah, Susan and Diane both slowly develop feelings for him...only to get beaten to the punch by Ashley, a new girl he starts going out with right after he first meets her.
* ''Webcomic/MenageA3'': Zii tries to set up Gary with Yuki or Sonya, but due to a combination of events out of his control, he ends up sleeping with Kiley (Yuki's therapist). [[LoveDodecahedron It doesn't last very long]], but at least Gary got over one of his psychological issues.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'' example: Thunderbird has all four of Sizzle, Aztecka, Tesla, and Widget interested in him for almost a year, but he never realized it because they were all playing some sort of KidCom style romantic gambits (e.g., Sizzle would parade new boyfriends around trying to make him jealous, Widget would show off her latest inventions to him to make him think she was interesting, etc.) trying to get his attention. This backfires on all of them, sending them to the FriendZone in his mind. They all lose out when Chaka realizes Thunderbird is a total 'boy scout' type and snaps him up in about ten minutes.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' originally had [[EmperorScientist Princess Bubblegum]] as [[KidHero Finn]]'s main love interest, but many fans also liked [[VampireMonarch Marceline]], even though the two explicitly considered each other BetterAsFriends. Both are physically [[PrecociousCrush several years older]] than Finn and chronologically even older ([[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld Marceline is canonically 1000]], and [[OlderThanTheyLook Bubblegum might not be far behind]]). In "Incendium" the show introduced [[PlayingWithFire Flame Princess]], who is Finn's age, and whom he instantly becomes infatuated with after previously being miserable over Bubblegum's gentle rejection. Later episodes gave Flame Princess more backstory and more depth in her relationship with Finn. Sadly, Flame Princess dumped Finn over a misunderstanding in "Frost and Fire", and friend-zoned him in "Earth & Water". Finn is still in love with her, as revealed in "The Pit", but in "The Red Throne" his attempts to win her back lead to disaster, and the day ended up being saved by [[spoiler: ''Cinnamon Bun'', who TookALevelInBadass and wound up winning Flame Princess's heart.]]
-->'''Finn:''' Did I just get shown up by [[spoiler:''Cinnamon Bun'']]?
** [[spoiler: WordOfGod, though, states the relationship between Flame Princess and Cinnamon Bun is strictly platonic, due to a large age gap that would cause squick in a heartbeat. Finn, though, is still under the belief they are indeed dating, and as a result, has cut off all communication with Flame Princess out of anger.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/ArchiesWeirdMysteries'', a sea monster turns herself into one on purpose by using a potion to combine the traits of Betty and Veronica that Archie found most attractive.
* Early on in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', Korra is briefly at the centre of a LoveTriangle with [[SiblingTriangle Mako and Bolin]], and Mako becomes the centre of another one between [[BettyAndVeronica Korra and Asami]]. Ultimately, though, [[spoiler: Korra and Asami choose each other.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/PacManAndTheGhostlyAdventures'' started out with a feud between Cylindria (Betty) and Pinky (Veronica) over Pac. Cheryl was introduced late in the second season in the form of Ellitica (Elli).
* In ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'', Mordecai spends much of the series pining after Margaret, then later Cloudy J. In the DistantFinale, he is shown to have married and had children with an unnamed bat woman.
* ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama Island'' originally featured a LoveTriangle between [[PerkyGoth Gwen]], [[ChickMagnet Trent]] and Trent's friend [[ExtravertedNerd Cody]], who [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy stepped aside]] when it became clear Trent was the one she actually liked. By ''WesternAnimation/TotalDramaWorldTour'', Gwen and Trent have broken up, but Gwen passes up Cody [[FanPreferredCouple for Duncan]] instead. [[DoggedNiceGuy Cody just can't win]], even moreso when Sierra's involved.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerbStarWars''--during the DancePartyEnding, Leia is dancing with [[EverythingsBetterWithPlatypi Perry]] as Luke and Han both glower on the sidelines.