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Belligerent Sexual Tension

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"Wonderful girl! Either I'm gonna kill her, or I'm beginning to like her!"
Han Solo about Princess Leia Organa, A New Hope

There's a couple, usually a sometimes sweet, sometimes grouchy female paired with a secretly-kind jerk, who are not able to admit their feelings. At the top of their lungs.

Despite the conflict, there is an attraction. This is usually obvious to everyone around except the couple. Confront them with the obvious, they'll deny deny deny. Sometimes they will progress to admitting their friendship but insist they are Just Friends. Eventually, they can admit their feelings to practically anyone except their loved one. It ends up where both characters dance around admitting their feelings as if the words "I love you" are some sort of death curse, much to the frustration of the audience and the other characters.

Older Than Steam, since this is used in Much Ado About Nothing, and has varying degrees of popularity at different times.

If there is a Love Epiphany with one of these characters, expect it to change nothing, at least in the short term.

This can even be true in established long-term relationships; see Like an Old Married Couple. If the whole relationship is defined by the belligerence, it can become The Masochism Tango. If a pair of outright enemies has this sort of attraction, it's a case of Foe Romance Subtext and when it ultimately goes from subtext to text, then it's Dating Catwoman. See also Power Dynamics Kink, Slap-Slap-Kiss, No Accounting for Taste, Well, Excuse Me, Princess!, Defrosting Ice Queen, Love at First Punch. If we're lucky, at the end we may get to see a moment of Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other. See Bickering Couple, Peaceful Couple where this couple is a foil to the other couple who doesn't fight and argue.

Expect this couple to be either extremely popular or completely hated by the fandom. For the platonic version, compare Vitriolic Best Buds and With Friends Like These.... Not to be confused with Hate at First Sight, although it may overlap.


Alternative Title(s): Vitriolic Couple, When A Jerk Loves A Tsundere, Love Hate Relationship, Takahashi Couple


Vigorous Swordplay

Zorro and Elena's sword fight is filled with sexual tension.

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Main / SexIsViolence

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