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Aborted Declaration of Love

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"Kid, I love... I've always loved your hair."
(Narrating): I have no idea where that came from. So great... not only am I gonna die, but I'm gonna die a socially inept virgin with a hair fetish.
Sasha "Hammer" Carelli, Angels 2200

Alice is about to be separated from her beloved Bob forever and has one last chance to say how she truly feels.

Except... she decides not to. It could be because Bob loves Cathy and Alice doesn't want to cause problems for the two of them. It could also be because she's dying and she doesn't want to cause Bob any more pain. Whatever the case may be, Alice and many other characters often sacrifice their last chance to tell their loved ones how they feel, leaving them to find out from other characters, if they find out at all.

Typically an aversion of Dying Declaration of Love and Anguished Declaration of Love, with the characters usually acknowledging this being their last opportunity and deciding not to, often explaining their reasons in thought. Unlike Cannot Spit It Out, this is typically final. Often a result of I Want My Beloved to Be Happy. If the declaration of love is cut off by something outside Alice's control, it's an Interrupted Declaration of Love.

Subtrope of Un-Confession. Compare Not-So-Final Confession and I "Uh" You, Too.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Assassination Classroom:
    • Despite being a professional at the art of seduction, Irina fails to fully confess her feelings towards Karasuma. Her students don't take this too well. This ties to Irina's stunted emotional growth due to her Dark and Troubled Past and the fact that Karasuma is painfully Oblivious to Love.
    • Kayano, after working up the courage to tell Nagisa how she feels on Valentine's Day, decides against it because she sees how focused he is on his future and doesn't want to distract him.
  • Subverted in Ayakashi Triangle: Suzu tries to confess to Matsuri, but gets cold feet worrying he'd only love her like family, and pretends she just wanted to ask for a sweet potato. Matsuri then reveals he already bought a sweet potato for her, something Suzu finds so kind and considerate, it gives her the courage to actually confess (while stuffing it into her mouth).
  • In Berserk, the dying Judeau can only tell Casca that she cries a lot, and dies regretting that he couldn't confess how he really felt about her.
  • In the Bleach pilot, Orihime (who died from falling down the stairs) considers confessing to Ichigo just before leaving for the Soul Society, but the spirit of her father advises against it, as it would only make Ichigo suffer.
  • In the Distant Finale of Bokura no Hentai, Mai plans on confessing her feelings for Marika before she graduates, knowing they're unrequited. She instead tearfully congratulates Marika on graduating.
  • The Dangers in My Heart:
    • Ichikawa gives Yamada a doggie-bone bracelet for White Day and actually calls her "so cute I die" to her face. He tries to follow up by finally confessing to her, but relents when he sees her crying Tears of Joy.
    • He tries again at the start of their third year in the library while they're behind the window curtain. Only for the wind to blow the curtain away and reveal Hanzawa eavesdropping on them. He tries a second time, but the curtain yet again makes way to show Hanzawa standing even closer. She clumsily makes her way out of the room, but the moments' ruined anyway.
  • D.Gray-Man: in chapter 205, This is seemingly what Lenalee is trying to do with Allen now that he´s leaving the order. It´s less of an aborted confession and more that she didn´t get to say it before Allen hugged her, dispelled her doubts and declaring his love for everyone in the order, specifically Lenalee, followed by his departure through the ark.
  • Full Metal Panic!: At the end of "The Second Raid" Kaname has travelled all the way to Hong Kong to make a Love Confession to Sousuke (after first beating him up for all the angst he's put her through) but chickens out at the last second.
    • Sousuke follows it up with his own in the subsequent volume. Finally having achieved a proper Love Epiphany in the middle of a Christmas seajacking, Sousuke tells Kaname that he has something to tell her once they have a proper moment to talk before rushing off to save his kidnapped commanding officer. When he finally does get the chance to tell her three days later, he finds himself too Emotionally Tongue-Tied to find the right words. He doesn't bail out entirely and still manages to give her the lapis lazuli he had prepared for the occasion and manages to give Kaname a vague idea of what he feels for her, but the choice of giftnote , the way he places it in her hand, and the few comments he does manage to stammer out imply he had intended the gemstone to be more of engagement present than a belated birthday gift.
  • Except that it never seems to be played as anything final, Kaoru of Hayate the Combat Butler does this while he and Yukiji are visiting Italy during Golden Week. He starts confessing and then decides that he just can't do it, so he changes the end of the sentence to be about her little sisters' relationship status. Yukiji seems to realize this but uses her Hard-Drinking Party Girl personality to play with his mind a little and continue the conversation as it was playing out, asking him what he likes about her sister.
  • Jujutsu Kaisen: Yuko wished to let Yuji know her feelings after running into him again, but couldn't go through with it.
  • My Monster Secret: Youko pulls this move during Asahi's first attempt at a confession. she knew Asahi had something to tell her, but when the idea of a Love Confession came to mind, she shot herself down by saying he's nice to everybody, and she causes him too much trouble for him to see her as anything but a friend. Due to her own nervousness and uncertainty about her feelings for Asahi, she interrupts him mid-confession, awkwardly says "I like you! …and all our other friends!" and runs off.
  • Naruto: In Kakashi Gaiden, Obito's dying thoughts are that he never told Rin that he loves her, and his reasons for not confessing are never explained. Kakashi reveals this to Rin just after Obito dies. As found out later, Obito never confessed because Rin loved Kakashi.
  • The Quintessential Quintuplets: Miku was planning on confessing to Fuutarou after the final exams, confident that she'll get the highest grades and thus will be able to graduate from being his student. However, she's shocked to learn that Ichika beat her by two points, and she backs off at the last second. Subverted in a later chapter, as she more or less gets the chance to tell Fuutarou about this (by way of I Have This Friend) and he gets the message across.
  • In Sands of Destruction, Morte very nearly tells Kyrie that she loves him and just remembered that she's loved him for millennia, but stops herself because she still thinks she's unworthy of happiness and it's too late anyway, as she's dying of a sudden case of hole-through-the-chest.
  • In Uta No Prince Sama, both Otoya and Tokiya try to confess to Haruka, but lose their nerve (as well as the whole "Love is Forbidden" thing) and instead...
    "I'm in love...with your music!"
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Alexis planned to confess her feelings for Jaden after their tag-duel in Season 4; however, she found herself unable to spit the words out and just said she was glad to have his friendship. It's probably for the best, as he's (unbeknownst to her) already in an Official Couple, and would have had a tricky time explaining the circumstances behind it.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, on the other hand, subverts this with regards to its male and female lead, as in the last episode, the night before they all go their separate ways to live out their dreams, Akiza visits Yusei in their team garage and very nearly blurts out her feelings, but stops herself at the last minute. However, unlike with Jaden above, Yusei has always been aware of her feelings, as he then wordlessly shows that he reciprocates. What follows is the two looking at each other's eyes while holding hands, before she pulls away and goes back home. While they apparently don't see each other again for many years, at the very least, both parted with their feelings for each other laid bare, and it's implied they may reunite again.
  • In a bonus chapter of the YuYu Hakusho manga, Kurama's classmate Maya confesses to him, and he notes that telling her how he really feels would be too dangerous. When he and Hiei save her from a demon named Eight-Hands, Kurama uses a dream flower on her to erase her memories of the incident and make her forget her feelings for him.

    Comic Books 
  • Toy in The Ballad of Halo Jones. When she tries to perform a Dying Declaration of Love Halo fails to take the hint and thinks they're talking about their friendship. Toy decides not to clarify and dies soon after.
  • In Black Widow 008, Natasha meets up with the Winter Solder, whom she doesn't remember her relationship with. Just before she leaves, he calls her back and is clearly about to tell her that he loves her, but tells her to stay warm and be careful instead. This is presumably right before he leaves earth for good to become 'the Man on the Wall', in part because he's been a bit of a loose cannon without her.
  • In New Mutants (original series), Dani 'Mirage' Moonstar is comforting gal-pal Rahne 'Wolfsbane' Sinclair on a clifftop in Scotland; '—he's an old man, filled up with hate; without you those people would be dead. You're not alone. Moira loves you; and I—' 'I know' says Rahne. '—but that doesn't make me ache any the less.' A follow-up 20 years later is also aborted by a simple interruption.

    Fan Works 
  • Anger, Denial, And Chocolate Cake: It's heavily implied that this is what Teruteru really wanted to tell Fuyuhiko in Chapter 9, but he backed down.
  • Despair's Last Resort: When Kazumi figures out that Shizuka is the third culprit, she wants to tell her how she feels, but can't bring herself to actually say it.
  • All That Dwell Within Your Gates: While trying to make up with Nath after using a Mind Rape spell on her, Miri almost blurts out that she loves her, but cuts herself short, realizing just how poor timing that would be.
  • In chapter 5 Sachiko and Yumi's Alphabet, Yumi gets nervous mid-confession and gets off track after seeing an earthworm. Sachiko is the one who successfully confesses to Yumi.
    Yumi: "Onee-sama, I l-lo...What I want to say is that I...I lo...I mean I'm in l-love! An earthworm!"
  • A Meeting By Moonlight: Princess Luna seems to be working her way up towards confessing her feelings to Twilight when she abruptly realizes that Spike is eavesdropping and cuts herself off. This may be for the best, as Twilight has just realized that she's the reincarnation of Dusk Skyshine, who was her lover in a past life.

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • A variant in Once between the nameless protagonists. The girl tells the guy she loves him, but she says it in Czech. When the guy asks what she said, she refused to translate.

  • When he's saying goodbye to the Princess Ren in A Brother's Price, Jerin is at a loss for what to say. His sisters are close enough to possibly overhear and he doesn't want them knowing what he and she almost did lest he be considered ruined, plus she's so far above his station that they couldn't possibly marry, but he has to say something.
    Certainly not "Don't go" or "I think I love you" or even "Don't leave me here to marry the Brindles." With his sisters near at hand, even "I'll miss you" was dangerous. "Come back and visit" was impossible; he'd be married and gone within a few months.
    Finally, he found something acceptable. "Keep yourself safe."
  • The Scum Villain's Self-Saving System: Ren Zha Fanpai Zijiu Xitong: Implied. As Luo Binghe holds Shen Qingqiu's dead body, he seems close to confessing his feelings but is too broken over what had happened to truly say it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a strange variant (an inversion, perhaps) as Spike, who's loved Buffy for years, makes his Heroic Sacrifice in the Series Finale:
    Buffy: I love you.
    Spike: ...No you don't. But thanks for saying it.
  • Coulson and May on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., multiple times. Most notably in Season 1 Episode 17 and Season 5 Episode 19.
  • Doctor Who. There is massive disagreement among fans over the nature of the Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald's relationship, but just before she is Killed Off for Real in "Face the Raven", Clara spends her last few minutes trying to comfort the Doctor and at one point he begins to say something to her which she interrupts with a hug and "Everything you're about to say, I already know. Don't do it now; we've already had enough bad timing." Rather than saying anything herself along these lines (having made a promise to her now-deceased boyfriend in the previous season never to say "I love you" to anyone else again), she strokes the Doctor's face instead.
    • The Tenth Doctor experiences a related trope, the Interrupted Declaration of Love, In "Doomsday" when he appears to be about to say "I love you" to Rose Tyler before communication breaks down between the separate universes they find themselves in. As with the Twelfth Doctor and Clara, there is disagreement as to whether he was actually going to say it, though Word of God is that he was.
  • This happens in Frasier with Niles and Daphne.
  • Friends:
    • Chandler got out that he loved Monica but immediately took it back. (Luckily Monica knew he loved her and gave him time to tell it once again.)
      Chandler: You're so great I love you!
      Monica: What?
      Chandler: Nothing! I said you're so great and then I just stopped talking!
    • Rachel tried to tell her assistant Tag that she likes him. She didn't but Joey thought she had and saw them hugging, so he excitedly said: "He likes you back!" Rachel tried to bend the meaning that it was about "her back", but it was all too clear.
  • Happened three times with Blair and Chuck on Gossip Girl. The first time Blair was going to end their "you should say it first" game by telling Chuck she loves him, but Dan made her chicken out. The second time happened long after she had already told him how she felt, only to be rejected, and she had moved on to date his best friend (her ex). She told Chuck that if he loved her back he needed to tell her, and they could be together, and if he didn't he should stop getting in her way. Chuck told her he had just been playing games with her since he didn't think he could make her happy. The third time around Blair was single again; she confessed her love for Chuck once more and knowing that he felt the same way about her begged him to tell her. He didn't.
  • An Exploited Trope by Lee Thompkins in the Gotham episode "Mandatory Brunch Meeting", when in a riddle contest with (of course) the Riddler. The riddle she sets has the answer "I love you", and Riddler solves it instantly, but owing to Ed Nygma's suppressed feelings for her, he can't bring himself to actually say it.
  • How I Met Your Mother: In "Drumroll, Please", Robin was going to tell Ted she had feelings for him when he had a call, which helped him find Victoria. Thinking Ted should be with Victoria, Robin told him to go find her.
    • Later on, when Robin and Ted were dating, Robin wanted to tell him she loved him but ended up saying "falafel" instead.
    • Much later in the series, Barney bursts into Ted's apartment, about to tell him that he loves Robin.
    Barney: Ted, it's true, I'm in love with [turns around and sees Robin] tacos!
  • Leverage has Parker trying to admit that she has feelings for Hardison partway through season 3. She gets most of the way through it, too, before blurting she's having these feelings for pretzels. Thankfully, Hardison knows how to speak Parker by now, and uses the analogy to explain his stance on waiting for her.
    Hardison: Well they're right here. When you want them.
  • Merlin:
    • A variation of this happens between Arthur and Guinevere. In a second season episode, Guinevere is kidnapped by a warlord and held for ransom, mistakenly believed to be King Uther's ward. Arthur goes through hell to get to her, only to find that Lancelot got there first. He'd already admitted his feelings for Guinevere to Merlin on the trip there, and it was fairly obvious that he was planning to share them with Guinevere on rescuing her, only to be silenced at the sight of Gwen and Lancelot being rather chummy with each other.
    • In the final episode of season three, he tries again and tells Guinevere: "I just want you to know... if I never see you again..." but she cuts him off with her assurances that they will meet again.
  • Noah's Arc: In the movie, Brandon challenges Ricky to confess his love for Noah. Ricky goes up to him, but can't get out the words.
  • In Radio Free Roscoe, Lily missed her opportunity to date her best friend Ray, who liked her but moved on to be with a different girl when he didn't think Lily would want to be with him. Unfortunately, Lily does want to be with him now and decides to try to win him back. She writes a song about convincing a guy to leave his girlfriend, called "You Belong to Me", but before she goes onstage to play it, she sees that Ray is actually happy with the new girl, and the song actually played is called "You Belong to Someone Else," and is about a girl that likes a guy with a girlfriend, but isn't going to interfere. It doesn't take, and Lily/Ray ends the series as an Official Couple.
  • In the Seinfeld Grand Finale, as the plane they're in is crashing, Elaine gets as far as "I've always loved" to Jerry before it miraculously stabilizes, awkwardly ignoring him afterward. Then again at the end of the episode, only in something of an exaggerated inversion, instead of separating, they're about to spend a year together in the same tiny cell (yeah, don't ask):
    Jerry: So Elaine, what was it you were about to say to me when the plane was going down?
    Elaine: I've always loved yooooUnited Airlines.
    Jerry: ...uh-huh.
  • Happens in Sherlock, when Sherlock and John are on the tarmac and Sherlock has something he wanted to tell him always, but cuts off with a joke in order to preserve John's happiness with Mary.
    Sherlock: John, there’s something ... I should say; I-I've meant to say always and then never have. Since it's unlikely we'll ever meet again, I might as well say it now. (deep breath to steady himself) ... Sherlock is actually a girl's name.
  • Soap: Jessica's lawyer E. Robert Mallu falls in love with her during her trial for the murder of Peter Campbell. He says "I love you" just as Benson comes in, so he has to add a word in order to cover up, but he doesn't do it very well.
    Mallu: Jessica, I love you (Benson enters) eyes.
    Benson: "I love you eyes?" I love you suit.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: Alex came close to telling Dean she loves him twice. First was when they were working on her father's car ("How do you think of flip-flops? Think about going casual this summer?"). Second when he gave her a wooden card ("I love it! And I love...this card").

  • The entire premise of HoneyWorks "Confession Rehearsal", in which the protagonist Natsuki confessed to her crush Yuu, then gets cold feet and immediately told him that that the "confession" was simply a rehearsal for someone else. Every adaptation afterwards exaggerates this, having her put off the confession for what amounts to a few days to (in the present canon) up to a full year.
  • IU's song "Voice Mail" is in the form of a voice mail message declaring her love, but she ends up cancelling the message at the end.
  • In "Peach Scone", Hobo Johnson describes being out for coffee with someone he likes who's in a relationship and tries to stop himself from confessing to her:
    "I don't know what to tell you if I try to confess my love for... SCONES!"
    (very earnestly) "I love... these scones."
    (mumbling rant about all the types of scones at this coffee shop)

  • The unnamed protagonist in Lewis Carroll's The Willow Tree leaves her love to discover her feelings in a rather unconventional way.
    It shall not dim Life’s joy for him: My tears he shall not see:
    While he is by, I’ll come not nigh My weeping Willow-Tree.
    But when I die, oh, let me lie Beneath thy loving shade,
    That he may loiter careless by, Where I am lowly laid.
    And let the white white marble tell, If he should stoop to see,
    "Here lies a maid that loved thee well, Beneath the Willow-Tree."

  • Our Miss Brooks:
    • In "Stretch the Basketball Star", Mr. Boynton nearly declares his love for Miss Brooks when visiting her classroom. However, he's interrupted by Walter Denton, Mr. Conklin and Stretch Snodgrass.
    • "Tears for Mr. Boynton" sees Miss Brooks follow Mrs. Davis' advice and try to use crying to induce Mr. Boynton to propose. It almost works, but Mrs. Davis returns home with her cat Minerva at just the wrong moment. Miss Brooks finally marries Mr. Boynton at the end of The Movie Grand Finale

    Video Games 
  • A lot of Dating Sim games love this trope - especially if the love interest is a Shrinking Violet, Unlucky Childhood Friend, or Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • In one route of Blaze Union, Jenon attempts to confess his feelings for Siskier but stops himself at the last minute when he finally realizes that she's in love with Garlot.
  • If you fully heal the Solar Tree in Boktai, Lita will be deeply moved, to the point where she starts to confess her love for Django... and then chickens out several times.
  • In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, during the fifth and final free time event with Nagito, he ends his conversation with Hinata saying "From the bottom of my heart... I am truly in love with the hope that sleeps within you". The original Japanese text makes it even more obvious as his sentence begins with the same phrasing love confessions usually do, and uses the word aishiteru, which is a strong form of expressing love only married couples use.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Scott of Final Fantasy II considers having the heroes relay a message to Hilda about how he feels, but orders them not to, saying that she would be pained to hear him confess his love while dying.
    • In Final Fantasy VII, Tifa tries this whilst riding the gondola with Cloud, but chickens out before she can finish. Cloud, being Cloud, doesn't get the hint.
  • In the Conquest path of Fire Emblem Fates, when Oboro is fought for the second and last time, she'll start to confess her feelings for Takumi. However, she dies before she can finish speaking.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, when Midna goes back to the Twilight Realm, she says, "Link, I...See you later." Granted, she may not have been about to do a love declaration, but it's implied. Apparently it is not implied at all in the Japanese version. According to Zelda Wiki, her last words in Japanese translates to "Link...s...see you." Which, as you can see, only includes the Ironic Echo.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild:
      • When Princess Zelda leaves the Master Sword with The Great Deku Tree before going to face Ganon alone, it's implied that she was going to ask The Great Deku Tree to pass on her Love Confession to Link once he returned for the sword. It's also possible that she wasn't, given that The Great Deku Tree cuts her off by insisting she should deliver the message herself, but the lead of up of "Tell him I—" sure seems to point in that direction.
      • Breath of the Wild also has the Zora Princess Mipha. After Zelda suffers several failures to summon her power, Mipha steps up to try and offer the Hylian Princess some pointers. Given the lead-up, it's heavily implied that Mipha was going to admit that she used her feelings for Link as an emotional anchor to help summon her healing powers and that Zelda should try the same. However, she was cut off before she could finish speaking.
  • In the ending of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Vivian, while seeing Mario off, almost confesses her love to him, but backs out last minute and says instead that she thinks he and Peach are a good couple. It's strongly implied that Goombella was going to confess at the end of her "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue email to Mario. She decides instead that it's better off as a secret.
  • Persona 5: Even if Joker doesn't romantically pursue her, Haru falls for him anyway. If he rejects her romantic advances late in her Confidant, she goes briefly cold before scaling it back.
  • In the English version of Puyo Puyo Tetris, after beating her friend Sig in a Puyo battle, Amitie wants to tell him something, and her wording makes it sound an awful lot like it's going to be a love confession. The only thing stopping her is that Sig reminds her he's just her memory of him, and she should be saying this to the real Sig. Amitie thanks her illusion of Sig for reminding her and leaves the room.
  • In the Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side games, getting far enough along in a romance with any of the guys inevitably leads to a scene in which the guy in question almost confesses his love for the heroine, only to lose his nerve before he can quite manage to spit it out.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • In American Dragon: Jake Long, Spud attempted to confess to Trixie during "Homecoming". Earlier in the episode, he and Trixie accidentally kissed, thinking they were kissing their crushes. Afterwards, they engage in some awkward dialogue related to their kiss. In the third act of the episode, when Spud thinks they're going to die, he tries to confess to her. However, he steps back when Trixie asked if they were Just Friends and nothing more.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door, Numbuh 4 tries to tell Numbuh 3 that he loves her several times, but he gets interrupted or distracted before he can spit it out ("Operation: U.N.D.E.R.C.O.V.E.R.", "Operation: H.O.S.P.I.T.A.L." and "Operation: L.O.V.E.").
  • Dinosaur Train: In "Gilbert Visits the Nest", before Gilbert goes back home, Shiny is about to tell him that she likes him, but she says "I like you....visiting! I like you visiting!" and gives an awkward laugh.
  • The Dragon Prince: Implied While Rayla tries to get Callum to stay with her during his dark magic-induced fever, she comes close to telling him something. However, when he finally opens his eyes they both scream and she aborts with whatever she was about to confess.
  • Dipper of Gravity Falls nearly confesses his feelings to Wendy at the beginning of "Into The Bunker", but he aborts it and asks her if she wants to hang out with him and Mabel to do some exploring. He eventually pulls a Mistaken Declaration of Love within her earshot, she later lets him down easily and they part as friends.
  • Kaeloo: in the episode "Let's Play Babysitting", Mr. Cat tells Kaeloo how he feels about her. It Makes Sense in Context, but she beats him up rather than accepting it although the feeling is mutual. He later tells her he was just kidding.
  • The Loud House: Luan repeatedly tries to come up with excuses as a means of avoiding the scene in the play where she has to kiss Benny in "Stage Plight", because she's insecure of her crush.
  • The Owl House episode "Enchanting Grom Fright" features a written example where Amity writes a note to ask her crush Luz to be her date to the school dance, hinting that she was at the very least planning on revealing her feelings. Given the fact that the episode specifically shows that the idea of being rejected is her worst fear, she's never able to work up the nerve to give it to them, and when they finally see it and ask who it was addressed to (as a third party had torn off the top half that had their name on it) she deflects by saying that it's not important.
  • During the Phineas and Ferb special "Summer Belongs to You!", Isabella nearly reveals her crush on Phineas but stops herself just in time.
    Isabella: Well that's not the Phineas Flynn that I fell in... to this situation with.
  • The Simpsons referenced it with Smithers. Turns out, "The Boat House was the time!".
  • In Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race, Devin tries to tell Carrie he loves her, but accidentally says he likes unibrows instead. Their taxi driver takes it very well.


Video Example(s):


Aborted love confession

Rayla seems like she's about to confess her love to Callum before he wakes up from his dark magic-induced dream. She immediately changes subjects once he regains consciousness.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / AbortedDeclarationOfLove

Media sources: