What Does She See in Him?
This man: this no-thing: vile: this brutish slave:
This man is beloved, and rules another's soul.
A man and a woman coo over each other
. A bystander turns to another and says, "What does she see in him?" Or, conversely, "What does he see in her?"
May also inspire comments about how love is blind — sometimes justly
, sometimes unjustly
. Common with Romantic False Lead
and the Love Triangle
. Ugly Guy, Hot Wife
may inspire it. So may Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy
, if she actually gets him. When jealously motivated, may be coupled with What's He Got That I Ain't Got?!
In Single Woman Seeks Good Man
, likely to be said by less mature characters than the woman; in All Girls Want Bad Boys
, the characters who say it are prone to have a better view than the girl, who is prone to dismiss it with You're Just Jealous
When one of the couple wonders "What do you see in me?" it's I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me
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Anime and Manga
- Christine "Chris" Robbins from Itazura Na Kiss has terrible taste in regards to men's looks Really terrible taste◊. She finds guys like Naoki ugly and guys like Kinnosuke sexy. It is implied that she got her tastes from her mother.
- Naoki's own mother wonders why girls like him, due to his cold personality. Also, a gender swapped verison often occurs after people find out that Naoki married Kotoko due to her seeming to have no talents. That's likely because he has a "cold personality." (Looks aren't everything you know? Okay, maybe it is.) And yeah, Naoki is quite the Jerk Ass.
- In the Distant Finale of Stellvia of the Universe, Kouta's doctor wonders what Shima sees in a "blockhead" like him.
- In the Gravitation anime, Suguru is surprised when he learns that the famous novelist Eiri Yuki, an emotionally reserved guy to say the least, is going out with the hyper, bubble-brained Shuichi and asks Hiro why Yuki would be interested in someone like Shuichi. Hiro replies, "That's what I'm trying to figure out."
- In Full Metal Panic!, Leonard, the jealous Romantic False Lead, says something along these lines to Kaname about her love for Sousuke. He comments on how it's ridiculous that she likes Sousuke more than him, since Sousuke killed hundreds of people. Little does Leonard realize that he's fighting a losing battle when the object of desire is Sousuke.
- Occasionally asked of Kousaka and Kasukabe in Genshiken. As it happens, Kousaka is actually a loving, caring guy... it's just it only comes up when his otaku switch is set to "off", and during ninety percent of his screen time it's "on".
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion, this is Asuka's reaction to hearing that Hikari has a crush on Touji.
- Detective Conan: Sonoko sees Shinichi as a mystery otaku. What does Ran see in him?
- Several characters in Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu (especially students who attend the same high school Nogizaka Haruka and Ayase Yuuto do) wonder what the popular, talented and wealthy Nogizaka Haruka sees in average-looking Ayase Yuuto.
- In Azumanga Daioh, some students wonder what their literature teacher's wife saw in him. To elaborate, said literature teacher is Mr. Kimura, who openly ogles girls half his age and once answered the question of why he went into teaching with a shout of "BECAUSE I LIKE HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS AND STUFF!" His wife appears to either not notice this or not care; given the amount of ditziness she displays in her appearances, it's more likely the former. It helps he's a decent guy when not being perverted (he donates large amounts of money to charity).
- This is many people's reaction to the general Harem Genre and shojo romances.
- In Gundam 00, this is some people's reaction to the uber-serious, professional, and competent Kati Mannequin falling in love with an ineffectual goofball like Patrick Colasour. Some scenes in the series imply that she enjoys the fun he brings to her life: having him around helps her unwind and stop taking everything so seriously all the time.
Patrick: "Colonel! I've come to ask you on a date!"
Kati: "At a time like this!? The world is currently on the verge of a revolution. You don't have any thoughts on this?"
Patrick: "No! None at all!"
) *sigh* (smiles) "Wait, right here. I need to go change."
- In Say I Love You, a few characters, particularly girls, wonder what Yamato Kurosawa, the most popular boy at their high school, sees in Mei Tachibana, a friendless outcast who keeps to herself. However, his interest in her is genuine, and keeps trying to get to know her more until she finally opens up to him. And despite that, several characters still try to sabotage the relationship, such as Megumi.
- In the second Urusei Yatsura film, Beautiful Dreamer, Shinobu outright ask Lum this very question. Of course she's being a hypocrite, because she use to be Ataru's girlfriend herself.
- In the beginning of episode 2 of Kotoura-san, other girls in class are puzzled on why Manabe is in love with the "creepy" New Transfer Student Haruka.
- In Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru, practically all of Eita's classmates wonder this when Masuzu gives him a Love Confession, since he seems completely focused on studying, while she's the most popular girl at school who's rejected numerous boys. His Childhood Friend Chiwa wonders about this as well...
- During one episode of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Stocking falls in love with a guy who's incredibly disgusting, foul, sexist and just all-around vile. Panty (and every single onlooker) wonders what Stocking sees in him. Even worst, the guy is quite obviously a ghost, raising even more questions. The question might have finally been answered during the Gainax Ending, when Stocking revealed herself to be a demon before she sliced Panty into 666 pieces.
- In A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun, Kuroko Shirai is in love with Mikoto Misaka, but she's in love with Touma Kamijou. Kuroko doesn't understand why; she thinks he's just a dumb brute and is completely unaware that he saves the world a lot and has saved Mikoto and her sisters.
- In Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyon decides on a whim to try and talk to the eponymous girl (who is extremely beautiful and fiercely rejects any social interaction). The rest of their class do not disguise their shock when she talks back.
- Used almost word-for-word in Runaways.
Victor: If I live to be a hundred, I will never understand what you see in him.
Gert: None of us is going to live that long, Victor. That's the one thing Chase knows better than anyone...
- Cyclops is awkward and work-obsessed...yet somehow managed to marry Phoenix (a winner of the Superpower Lottery who literally had her pick of men).
- Birgitte Silverbow in The Wheel of Time series elicits this from almost every female character she gets to know. Birgitte is a blonde warrior, and many men find her attractive, but she has a stated preference for ugly men. The man to whom she is fated to love in every one of her lives, Gaidal Cain, is nobody's idea of handsome—with the exception of Birgitte.
- In the Darkest Powers series, anyone who sees Derek and Chloe together, especially other supernaturals, is very likely going to think this (Chloe's aunt certainly does) about them. Chloe is very pretty, petite, and blond-haired and blue-eyed. She also tends to be very sweet, kind, and friendly to people who aren't total dicks. Derek, on the other hand, is hulking, not attractive, acned, generally unfriendly and mostly standoffish with people he doesn't know, and has a bad temper. (He does have good qualities. Seriously.) He's also a werewolf, which are considered by most people to be evil (unfortunately, a stereotype that most of them fulfill), or, at the very least, dangerous animals to be avoided with great prejudice, and killed if necessary.
- In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Ron asks this about what Hermione sees in Krum. Harry immediately points out that he's a famous international Quidditch player, to which Ron responds "Yeah, but besides that!"
- In Jack Campbell's Relentless, after a conference with Rione and some officers, the officers' reaction to Rione's acts is to comment on how it explains things. Duellos explains to Geary that they had wondered what he saw in her; now, they know.
- The protagonists of Warrior Cats often wonder why the arrogant Berrynose attracts Poppyfrost and Honeyfern.
- In P. G. Wodehouse's Jill The Reckless, Barker wonders this about Jill's engagement to Derek. Mrs. Barker urges his good looks.
- Jane Austen's Mansfield Park: Fanny Price often wonders at what Edmund can possibly see in Mary Crawford. She admits that Mary is beautiful, spirited, and witty, but she's aware that he's blind to her faults and twists facts so that they would fit to his ideas. Of course, Fanny is the jealous variety since Edmund is her only friend and teenage crush.
- The narrator of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey observes this about Mrs Allen: "Mrs Allen was one of that numerous class of females, whose society can raise no other emotion than surprise at there being any men in the world who could like them well enough to marry them."
- Just about everybody in The Worm Ouroboros wonders why on Mercury the beauteous Prezmyra picked Corund of Witchland - at least a decade her senior and frequently compared to an ox in appearance - out of a score of suitors. She is clearly devoted to him to the point of committing suicide after he is killed.
Live Action TV
- "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" by Joe Jackson is all about this.
- Not to mention Alanis Morrisette's "You Oughta Know".
- Gender-flipped version in Adele"s "Rumour Has It"
- Comedian Graham Fellow's One-Hit Wonder song "Jilted John" is all about the 'moron' called Gordon who's stolen his girlfriend, although the song then subverts itself by saying "Just 'cos he better looking than me, just 'cos he's cool and trendy".
- Gets a mention in the Train song "Mermaid":
- The Smiths' only-live song "What Do You See in Her", which was recorder with different lyrics and theme into "Wonderful Woman".
- In Rodgers and Hammerstein's Allegro, Joseph Taylor Jr. is about to walk down the aisle with Jenny Brinker, and the guests express their concerns in "What a Lovely Day for the Wedding":
The Taylor Group: What can he see in her?
The Brinker Group: What can she see in him?
The Taylor Group: The Brinkers are all stinkers!
The Brinker Group: All the Taylor crowd is grim!
- This is Noce's attitude toward Alicia's relationship with Welkin in Valkyria Chronicles.
- From Dragon Age: Origins, this is pretty much what Alistair says if you continually gain approval with Zevran.
- Amusingly, he asks this to Leliana, who invokes All Girls Want Bad Boys and implies that she can also see the attraction.
- Oghren will also ask Morrigan this in exact words, if the Warden is in a romance with her. Going by some other things he says to her, he's probably at least a little jealous. That and likely intends to steal your moves to pick up the ladies.
- Morrigan herself will pose this question to a male Warden that romances Leliana instead of her. To a female Warden who romances Alistair, she will remark that he must be very good in bed, because she can't imagine any other reason why a woman would want him.
- Leliana will pose this question to Alistair if a male Warden pursues a relationship with Morrigan.
- Alistair poses this question to Wynne if a male Warden romances Morrigan. It's not so much out of jealousy, but more him likely wondering if he should find a straight-jacket for his fellow Warden, as they have quite clearly gone crazy.
- Also, in Dragon Age II should a female Hawke romance Fenris instead of Anders, the latter will stop her and outright ask why, likening him to a dog.
- If a male Hawke romances Merrill, rival Isabela will ask her what she could possibly see in Hawke, not knowing where to even begin listing his flaws.
- Although never explicitly stated in-game, this must have crossed the minds of many characters in Monkey Island when Elaine, the rich, intelligent, gorgeous and independent governor, who turned down proposals of marriage from many eligible suitors, married a goofy-looking, dorky nobody like Guybrush Threepwood.
- Etna asks Flonne this in Disgaea 3 when they start arguing over who gets to be Laharl's "wife" when they pretend to be Mao's parents.
Then tell me, what part of this
made you want to marry him?
- Nah in Fire Emblem Awakening is a rare case of a Kid from the Future wondering this about her own parents! Though given that her mother Nowi is not only a Cloud Cuckoo Lander but a 1000 year old dragon with the body of a pre-teenage girl, it's kinda understandable. To wit, her first assumption on why her folks got married is that she's under the assumption that her father got Nowi pregnant.note
- In BlazBlue: Continuum Shift EXTEND, Hazama literally asks Tsubaki Yayoi what she sees in Jin Kisaragi at one point during Slight Hope, making it clear that he knows she's in love with him. To be fair, he could give a shit less, and is looking for ways and/or reasons to exploit their relationship for his own ends. Any manipulation would have to be done in another iteration of the past century, however, as Tsubaki's friend Makoto Nanaya broke all his plans in this one.
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations: Nobody has a clue what attracted Desiree DeLite (extremely attractive Biker Babe) to her husband Ron (a high-strung, nebbishly girly-boy) at first. Turns out it was a Rescue Romance.
- If you follow Ittosai's Good ending in Yo-Jin-Bo, this is the general reaction of the other guys. However, due to their tendencies toward jealousy, it comes off as "What does she see in him that I'm not better at?"
- Many characters (justifiably) have this reaction to Lois' marriage to Peter in Family Guy. At one point, Brian asks her: "Have you ever stopped to think 'Wow I married that guy?'"
- She doesn't answer him then, but she's thought about it.
Lois: My god, you're dumb. Thank god for that ass.
- The canon answer is that she finds fat men attractive, and they share a sense of humor. Whether this is enough to make up for Peter's regular Jerkassitude is another matter.
- Which seems to Retcon from an earlier episode when she couldn't form sentences when Peter became thin and muscular.
- The Simpsons: Marge and Homer Simpson are (sadly) a milder version of this trope.
- Some episodes answer the question.
- In The Movie Marge actually can't come up with an answer to this question after his latest and most extreme bout of jerkassery and selfishness, and leaves him as a result. He does make up for all the dickish things he did, though, and they got back together.
- In one episode, Bart questions what the baby sitter sees in Jimbo. "What do you like about him? He's just a good-looking rebel who plays by his own rules." Which makes both the babysitter and Lisa sigh dreamily.
- Patty and Selma never approved of their relationship throughout the entire series. Upon meeting him when they were teenagers, they immediately hate him for no reason at all. They spend most of their time trying to separate them and pair Marge with someone else (usually Artie Ziff). Though, Selma is more tolerable to their relationship, because Homer helped her out and was jealous of their relationship. But Patty continues to hate Homer, even more so after she got out of the closet.
- Sam says these exact words to Danny in one episode as he drools over Rich Bitch Paulina.
- Some characters (and fans) notably Peggy and Mihn wonder why Luanne hooked up with Lucky in King of the Hill as he's a stupid, ugly, bucktoothed, middle aged, stereotypical hillbilly. You might ask what HE sees in HER. He's generally at least smarter and more mature than she is.
- While other characters wonder this about Nancy and Dale as they rarely show their love for each other and Nancy cheated on Dale with John Redcorn for years. In fact, this trope applies for many couples in the series.
- In the fourth season of Kim Possible, Ron gets quite a bit of this when he starts dating Kim, even from the villains they're fighting.
- Especially Dr. Dementor, who was more obnoxious about this than Bonnie Rockwaller, even.
- Played for laughs in Flapjack. Peppermint Larry starts kissing Candy Wife, which causes this exchange:
K'nuckles: "There she goes again, givin' him kisses! What does she see in that guy?! Why doesn't she ever give ME kisses?!"
Flapjack: "Maybe 'cause she's married?"
- Batman says it almost word-for-word in reference to Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor in the Cold Opening for "Scorn of the Star Sapphire!"
- Helga on Hey Arnold! utters this many time to all the crushes that Arnold goes through over the course of the series.
- Even Greg himself from Steven Universe wonders what the late Rose Quartz saw in him. A bumbling one man band/carwash owner, who lives in his van. It is later stated that Rose could see the inner beauty of living things.
- This happens mutually with Steven and Connie. He considers himself a screw-up and can't see what a nice girl like her would see in him, whereas Connie wonders why a boy with superpowers who seems to be destined for bigger things would hang out with an ordinary girl like her.
- Regular Show: Eileen, who's genuinely friendly (and Adorkable) in her first appearance has a crush on Rigby, who's a rude, lazy Jerkass towards her at least in the beginning. In later seasons he has warmed up to her and secretly finds her attractive.
- In Darkwing Duck, Darkwing is shocked when Tia expresses interest in Launchpad. According to Tia, it's because he's kind, has a good heart, and taught her how to laugh and have fun.
- Brad of Detentionaire feels this way about Tina picking Lee over him.
- In one episode of Donkey Kong Country, Bluster Kong outright asks Candy Kong what she sees in Donkey Kong("...This big hairy ape?")
Candy: He's...a big, hairy ape! And you're not."
- In Justice League, it's revealed that thousands of years prior to the series, Wonder Woman's mother, Hippolyta had been seduced by Hades and tricked into helping him overthrow the gods of Mount Olympus. After the League defeated him when he was unleashed by Felix Faust, Wonder Woman asked her mother what she saw in him. Hippolyta merely replied, "Ancient history."