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Pair The Suitors

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A Love Triangle is resolved when a character dates or falls in love with their romantic rival.

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
meticulousMorology on Aug 3rd 2017 at 3:35:11 AM
Last Edited By:
meticulousMorology on Sep 30th 2017 at 9:50:20 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

In which a Love Triangle results in the two suitors, who had previously been competing over the same person, developing romantic feelings for each other instead.

At least one character in the love triangle needs to be gay or bisexual for this to work. For that reason, it's most commonly seen in works with lots of LGBT characters, such as fanfiction, new media, and the yaoi/yuri genre.

Examples:

Anime and Manga

  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, one of the initial sources of Syaoran's rivalry toward Sakura is that they both have crushes on Yukito. Once Syaoran realizes that he's more attracted to Yukito's moon-based magic than Yukito himself, he starts crushing on Sakura instead, and they end the series as the Official Couple.
  • The Twist Ending of an arc of School Mermaid. Two girls go into the school at the same time to try to use the mermaid flesh to make the same boy fall for them. When dawn falls the only mermaid they killed has the wrong name, forcing both of them to cast the spell on each other instead. They instantly transform from hated enemies into a lovey-dovey couple.
  • Implied in My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, in which both Yui Yuigahama and Yukino Yukinoshita are (secretly) in love with Hachiman Hikigaya, but the former has a close friendship with Yukino... too close for many of their close ones, at the point Hachiman once mistaken (with a purpose) her last name for "Yurigahama."
  • In ×××HOLiC, Doumeki and Kohane are two of the many people interested in Watanuki. They're shown to be married after a Time Skip, although it's implied that they got together not out of love, but to have children who could continue Doumeki's family legacy and protect the now-immortal Watanuki.
Fanfiction Film
  • The premise of Plan B: Bruno tries to steal back his ex-girlfriend by seducing her bisexual new boyfriend, but instead starts to fall for the new boyfriend- Hilarity Ensues.
  • When in Rome: Beth ends up with an Unwanted Harem as a result of a love spell gone wrong. After the spell is broken, two of her suitors are last seen flirting during Beth's wedding.
Video Games Webcomics
  • Gay love triangle version in Boy Meets Boy: Skids loves Mikhael, Tybalt tries to seduce Mikhael, and eventually Skids and Tybalt end up together.
  • Attempted in Friendly Hostility: After his much-older girlfriend dumps him, Paolo hits on her ex-husband, Leslie, but Leslie turns him down, saying Paolo is just confused about what he wants.
  • Homestuck has Dave and Karkat both competing for the attention of Terezi, with the subtext between them mostly Played for Laughs. After John's Cosmic Retcon, however, neither seem particularly interested in getting with Terezi and are heavily implied to have feelings for each other.
  • In Korean yuri webcomic It'd Be Great If You Didn't Exist, the protagonist Guk-Hwa finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, and dumps him, only to end up in a romance with the other woman.
  • While "romantic" is a bit of a stretch, In Ménage à 3 after Yuki and Sonya's disastrous competition for Gary's affection and after they also served as rivals for Zii, the two of them realize that they have more fun with their rivalry and have a long period where they just keep egging each other on for hate sex.
Western Animation
  • The first season of Legend Of Korra features a love triangle between Korra, Asami and their mutual love interest Mako. Both girls date, and later break up with, him at different points in the show. The series finale ends with Korra and Asami becoming a couple.

Feedback: 16 replies

Aug 3rd 2017 at 9:13:24 AM

This would be Pair The Hypotenuses, but the sorta left field nature? Or [Of] the Korra example would make it fit what the title says? Haven't checked spoilers.

Aug 3rd 2017 at 4:55:45 AM

Except we don't have Pair The Hypotenuses. Part of this seems to be covered under Triang Relations, but I'd say that this focuses on the resolution rather than the situation.

I think both Pair The Hypotenuse or Marry The Hypotenuse works as a trope name, but would prefer Pair The Hypotenuse over the latter. I can even see a later Ship The Hypotenuse.

The laconic should be shorter, eg: Competing love interests fall for each other.

Aug 3rd 2017 at 9:14:38 AM

Whoops, I mean PTH in reference to Pair The Spares, which is a made trope.

'Cause right now, this reminds me of Murder The Hypotenuse. ... Whose Laconic is "Character kills romantic rival(s)."

So, this trope's Laconic should be "Character (marries / dates) romantic rival(s)."

Aug 3rd 2017 at 7:54:01 AM

Manga:

  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, one of the initial sources of Syaoran's rivalry toward Sakura is that they both have crushes on Yukito. Once Syaoran realizes that he's more attracted to Yukito's moon-based magic than Yukito himself, he starts crushing on Sakura instead, and they end the series as the Official Couple.
  • The Twist Ending of an arc of School Mermaid. Two girls go into the school at the same time to try to use the mermaid flesh to make the same boy fall for them. When dawn falls the only mermaid they killed has the wrong name, forcing both of them to cast the spell on each other instead. They instantly transform from hated enemies into a lovey-dovey couple.

Webcomic:

  • While "romantic" is a bit of a stretch, In Menage A 3 after Yuki and Sonya's disastrous competition for Gary's affection and after they also served as rivals for Zii, the two of them realize that they have more fun with their rivalry and have a long period where they just keep egging each other on for hate sex.

Aug 3rd 2017 at 8:49:04 AM

Aug 4th 2017 at 1:06:06 AM

The plural "hypotenuses" is an oxymoron in the context, by the way. A (love) triangle can only ever have one hypotenuse by definition, since it is the side opposite to a right angle, and triangles cannot have more than one of those in Euclidean space. The other two sides are called "catheti", if it helps.

Aug 9th 2017 at 2:14:49 AM

The title Pair The Hypotenuse is the love child of Pair The Spares and Murder The Hypotenuse. Figuring out what it means requires that the reader be familiar with both of those tropes, which makes Pair The Hypotenuse a Bad Snowclone.

Aug 8th 2017 at 8:32:50 AM

Would Pair the Suitors work as a name?

Aug 20th 2017 at 6:23:47 AM

^ Quite well, in fact.

Sep 11th 2017 at 10:37:30 PM

  • When In Rome: Beth ends up with an Unwanted Harem as a result of a love spell gone wrong. After the spell is broken, two of her suitors are last seen flirting during Beth's wedding.

  • In Korean yuri webcomic It'd Be Great If You Didnt Exist, the protagonist Guk-Hwa finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her, and dumps him, only to end up in a romance with the other woman.

Edit- description could point out that at minimum, at least one person must be bisexual or gay for this to work. Because of this its more common in genres with mord LGBT characters, such as Fanfic, New Media and Yaoi/Yuri genre.

Aug 20th 2017 at 3:27:24 PM

  • In Xxx Holic, Doumeki and Kohane are two of the many people interested in Watanuki. They're shown to be married after a Time Skip, although it's implied that they got together not out of love, but to have children who could continue Doumeki's family legacy and protect the now-immortal Watanuki.

I'd also suggest revising the current Homestuck example, since it's currently suffering from a Self Fulfilling Spoiler problem. It'd be easier and more accurate to just say that they're implied to be dating.

Sep 11th 2017 at 10:37:49 PM

^ agree on homestuck example.

  • Inverted in My Immortal- Vampire and Draco used to be a couple, broke up, and now both are in love with Enoby.

  • Gay love triangle version in Boy Meets Boy: Skids loves Mikhael, Tybalt tries to seduce Mikhael, and eventually Skids and Tybalt end up together.

  • The premise of Plan B: Bruno tries to steal back his exgirlfriend by seducing her bisexual new boyfriend, but instead starts to fall for the new boyfriend- Hilarity Ensues.

  • Dark And Light The Adventures Of Dark Yagami : Desk Lady and the girl from the bus are both interested in Dark, but then have sex with each other. Subverted when the girl from the bus ends up with Dark in the end.

Btw, I got a lot of these examples from the Triang Relationships page, you might find some there too.

Sep 11th 2017 at 10:24:53 PM

this isnt exactly an example but kinda:

  • Attempted in Friendly Hostility: After his much-older girlfriend dumps him, Paolo hits on her ex-husband, Leslie— but Leslie turns him down, saying Paolo is just confused about what he wants.

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