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Anguished Declaration of Love

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"In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."
Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

Love is a funny thing. Sometimes, we feel the strong need to keep our love secret from the object of our affection, for various reasons. They could still be attached, they may consider us a "best friend" and we don't want to endanger it, or maybe we just haven't come to terms with our feelings. The attempts that we have already made were all suddenly interrupted. The fear of rejection is also a powerful deterrent to spilling your heart out.

Thank God there are extraneous factors that force us to shout our love to the heavens after we've been pushed around. Otherwise, how would romance work?

Anguished Declarations of Love are gender-neutral in terms of occurrence but have a different flavour depending on whether the declarer is male or female: a male declarer will often be aggressive and reproachful in his confession, especially if his target of affection doesn't react the way he expects them to, in which case he may demand to be loved back. If the answer is positive, Manly Tears of Joy are never far. He's also more likely to deliver the declaration in a Balcony Wooing Scene. A female declarer is often much more subdued in her confession and will admit her feelings sheepishly but a lash out isn't unheard of. Expect said lashing out to be rather teary, even heart-wrenching if done well.

These kinds of confessions and proposals have a low success rate. When they come halfway through a work, they must usually be repeated again at the climax so that they can be accepted.

Be warned: deathbed confessions of undying love all too often turn out not to be actual deathbeds. There is a very real possibility you will live to face the consequences of your confession. This may be a Good Thing or a Bad Thing.

In real life, it's probably a much better move to just, y'know, ask someone on a date and see where it goes from there.

Sub-Trope of Love Confession. Compare Dying Declaration of Love, Now or Never Kiss, and Aborted Declaration of Love.

Beware! MANY spoilers, either marked or unmarked.


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    Films — Animation 
  • In Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, as their plane is falling out of the sky, Melman blurts out, "I love you, Gloria! I always have!" Unfortunately, when he looks at her, she's asleep. And the looks he gets from Alex and Marty are priceless.
  • Shark Tale: After spending the whole film trapped in the friend zone, Angie finally snaps at Oscar for allowing himself to be used by gold digger Lola, eventually culminating in her angrily screaming out her feelings. note 
    Angie: Would she love you if you were a nobody?
    Angie: I DID!
  • In the climax of Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, Sinbad and Marina ultimately fail their quest to reclaim the Book of Peace, meaning that Sinbad will have to return to Syracuse to be executed, otherwise Proteus — Marina's fiancée, who took Sinbad's place as leverage to ensure Sinbad completes his mission — will get the axe instead. A horribly distraught Marina — unable to see either man die — begs for Sinbad to escape as far as possible, punctuated by her confessing that she loves him. Sinbad's response?

  • Todd Rundgren's "Couldn't I Just Tell You"
    "I want to talk with you and make it loud and clear, though you don't care to hear...
    But couldn't I just tell you the way I feel? I can't keep it bottled up inside!"
  • In "Chanson d'Ami" (Friend Song) sung by Zazie, the singer talks about how her relationship with one of her friends is purely platonic. Throughout most of the song, Zazie keeps telling her friend that this song isn't about her love for him, only about their friendship, with the chorus being (translated from French): "It's only a friend song; Friend, not love; It's only a friend song; I promise, not love; I don't love you; I like you." …until her friend meets another girl. The singer is obviously heartbroken but keeps denying her feelings for him. However, her real feelings become apparent in the last repeat of the chorus, when the following altered lines are sung: "It's only a song, I promise, my love". The song ends with them cutting off all ties with each other.
  • The opening verse of Poets of the Fall's Obsession Song "Carnival of Rust," implies that the speaker has been unhealthily fixating on the object of their affection for so long they've been losing sleep, while the lyrics pivot from a passive, Wishful Projection-fueled Trial Balloon Question to a line that Deconstructs the declaration itself as predatory in nature.
    Of implication, insinuation and ill will, till' you cannot lie still
    In all this turmoil, before red cape and foil come closing in for a kill?
  • Taylor Swift's "Cruel Summer" is about the narrator experiencing uncertainty and exhilaration in a new Secret Relationship, before the bridge, where she's drunk and crying, and we get this lyric:
    And I screamed, "For whatever it's worth,
    I love you. Ain't that the worst thing you ever heard?"

  • In Abe Lincoln in Illinois, Lincoln finally blurts out his love for Ann Rutledge after a lot of stammering hesitation.
    Lincoln: It's—it's nothing but vanity that's kept me from declaring my inclinations toward you.
  • In Tom Stoppard's The Invention of Love, Jackson mentions to Housman that his girlfriend thinks Housman is in love with him, and he asks him about that outright. He seems to deny it at first, protesting against the expression, but starts expounding male-friendships in a way that made Jackson understand that yes, he actually is.
  • A line of Richard's in Thrill Me doesn't use the word love, but the flavor is very much there, especially given how attached Richard is to his own intellectual superiority. Nathan says he doesn't want to commit crimes with Richard anymore, but that Richard wouldn't need help breaking the law anyway.
    Richard: [reluctantly] …I… I screw up without you.
    Nathan: What?
    Richard: I screw up without you, okay!
    Nathan: …you never said you needed me before.
  • A very quiet example in The Phantom of the Opera: "Christine, I love you." He's already quite torn up before saying this, but the tears kick in full force when she responds to his declaration by leaving him.
  • Mrs. Lovett from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street makes towards the end to her beloved Sweeney Todd after he realizes that the beggar woman he killed earlier was his supposedly dead wife. Unfortunately for her, he's both furious at her and horrified with his actions to acknowledge her confession.
  • The Mrs. Hawking play series: Reginald Hawking, in part four, Gilded Cages. "My God, Victoria. Don't you know?" Poor bastard.

    Web Original 
  • In the penultimate & final episodes of Classic Alice, during the Christmas Carol arc, Alice struggles to admit her feelings for Andrew. She finally kisses him, but he does not return it until the final episode.
  • Critical Role:
    • In Episode 63, the archfey Saundor offers Vex'ahlia power in exchange for her heart, prompting this response:
    Vex'ahlia: My heart is someone else's.
    • Six episodes later she delivers a heart-wrenching speech to Percy during his resurrection ritualand then rolls a Natural 20 on her part of the skill challenge.
    Vex'ahlia: Percy, I don't know if you can hear me, but... that day in Syngorn was one of the best moments of my life. And not because of what you think — it wasn't because of my father, or the title — it was because of Whitestone. It was because of you. You allowed me to be a part of the thing that you hold dearest, and I was so proud... But I don't want to be here if you're not. Whitestone still needs you, darling. I still need you here.
    Laura: I lean down and kiss him and say:
    Vex'ahlia: I should have told you. It's yours.
    • Four episodes prior, Keyleth ends up doing the same thing to Vax'ildan after 30+ episodes of uncertainty, torment, and fear keeping them apart. It is not until after they discover Tiberius Stormwind's body in Draconia that she finally finds the courage to admit her feelings.
    Keyleth: For the longest time, I was... terrified... that I was going to use lose. First to death, and then to the Raven Queen — which is still kinda like death — and then ultimately to yourself. And then, I had an interesting talk with Pike here recently. And she said something that really stood out to me, and that was that some people just have more of themselves to give. And I realized this whole time that I was afraid of losing you to a future that ultimately has not yet been written, which is... stupid. [...] But you're ultimately right; we have nothing to lose. I love you, Vax. I have for a long time. And I'm sorry for being me and that it took me this long to say it.
    • A variation happens in campaign 2 in Episode 92 while Caleb and Yasha have watch together, with Yasha pointing out his feeling for one of their party members (later revealed to be Jester), only for Caleb to insist he's too late to do anything about it. The scene ends with Caleb seemingly shedding tears with his back turned to Yasha.
    Yasha: Do you love her?
    Caleb: ...Who?
    Yasha: I don't need to tell you who.
  • There is one of these in Fragile. When Severin (who is already in a relationship with Page) temporarily regains a stable mental state after having gone insane, he tells Page he loves him. At first, Page thinks that Severin is merely telling him something he already knows, but then it turns out that Severin's lack of control over his mind has caused him to forget about their relationship.
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, Refan and Khalid end up confessing their feelings to Ax. In Khalid's case he does it while also releasing Ax from their fake marriage, which will have grave repercussions for himself and the Sarquil tribes.
  • The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, a Vlog Series adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, naturally follows in the footsteps of the original.
  • Goes a little sideways in Me and My Dick:
    Sally: Um, Joey... I love you.
    Joey: Thanks, friend, I love you too.
    Sally: No, no, no... Joey, when I say "I love you", I wanna say something more. What I'm trying to say is... I like you!
  • In the Neopets plot, the "Faeries Ruin", Brynn tries to tell Hanso that she loves him, when it seems like Hanso is joining Xandra, but she doesn't get to finish. However, it turns out that Hanso was pulling a bit of a Batman Gambit anyway.
  • Parodied in A Trailer for Every Academy Award Winning Movie Ever:
    Passionate plea! Whispered repetition…
  • In Twig, Jamie, after encouraging Lillian to be straightforward with her feelings towards Sylvester, decides that he should do the same, knowing full well that Sy is only attracted to girls. Unfortunately, Sylvester's immediate reaction is to suggest that Jamie could get that fixed by the Academy of Evil, an idea that Jamie politely rejects.

    Web Video 
  • ''Carmilla: Season 3, episode 22, after Laura and Carmilla try to maintain a "light and casual" Friends with Benefits relationship, Carmilla's heartfelt admission of her feelings prompts Laura to proclaim, "To Hell with 'light and casual'!"

    Real Life 
  • One afternoon, the Reverend Arthur Nicholls declared out of the blue his passionate attachment to Charlotte Brontë, who wasn't interested at all — until her father drove Nicholls out of the parish. The canny Reverend began to write Charlotte desperate and touching love letters and persuaded her to meet him secretly, ultimately resulting in their marriage. Tragically, she died soon after their wedding, while pregnant with her first child. But she died after knowing a year of great happiness, in contrast with the rest of her rather miserable life.


Video Example(s):


Tails and Cosmo (spoilers)

In order to stop Dark Oak, Tails is reluctantly forced to fire on him while he's being suppressed by Cosmo, even though the blast would destroy her as well. Just before pulling the trigger, Tails yells out how he feels about Cosmo, and in her final moments, her spirit reaches out to his as they say farewell and remember everything they'd been through together, with Cosmo's final words to Tails being that she loves him as well.

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Example of:

Main / StarCrossedLovers

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