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Blind Date

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A basic romantic set-up. Alice and Bob have never met each other, but they do have a common friend, Carol. Carol, being a total Shipping Fangirl, gives off a delighted Squee when she realizes that Alice and Bob would be totally perfect for each other, and she quickly sets them up. Carol's role in all this is, naturally, fungible.

Sometimes they hit it right off. Other times it is pretty much the worst date ever. Ironically, which of these scenarios occurs has little to do with how the characters will fare long term — rather, it depends entirely on what the work in question is trying to accomplish. Comedic works will go with the bad date simply because it makes for better and funnier slapstick. Dramatic ones will go with the good date because it does a better job of stretching Will They or Won't They? tension.

Obviously, this trope was popularized because of its preponderance in Real Life as the result of parental match making and people actually going on blind dates, sometimes assisted by a dating service.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The manga Love Lucky takes this to a whole new level, since not only are Fuuta and Kirari set up on a blind date by a match-making service, but afterwards Kirari hides her appearance from Fuuta by wearing a mask during their first and subsequent dates.

    Comic Books 
  • Angel Love: In Barbara Slate's series, Angel's roommate Wendy has one with a child!
  • Spider-Man: A running sub-plot in the early years of The Amazing Spider-Man (Lee & Ditko) involved Aunt May's occasional attempts to set Peter up with a blind date with the niece of one of her friends, which Peter always dodged because he assumed that any girl his aunt approved of would have something wrong with her. Eventually he gave in and agreed to meet this Mary Jane person, and the rest is history. Except not.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Dilbert, Dilbert has a blind date who turns out to be literally a dog. Awkwardness ensues.
  • In Garfield, a wrong number ends up calling Jon, but he takes this opportunity to ask the lady on the other line for a date. It comes to find out she's a very large woman named Bertha. Jon may have not gotten much out of the date, but due to her love of life and food, she quickly got along with Garfield... that is until they began fighting for Jon's leftovers.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Reading Rainbowverse, Vinyl sets Rainbow Dash up on one... with Lightning Dust. It goes horribly.
    • Amusingly, a drunken Fluttershy has much more success setting up Gilda with Galaxy.
  • In Just a Child, Lucoa is set up on a date with the doctor who treated Kanna by her brother.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton (Danny Phantom Western Animation, TV Series, and Comic Books.): The entire premise of this fic is Danny being set up on a series of blind dates with girls from other fandoms.
  • In OSMU: Fanfiction Friction, Omar, Orla and Opal attempt to make up for humiliating Oswald by setting him up on a blind date, first with Octavia, then with Oksana when Octavia has to duck out at the last minute, in order to appeal to shippers. The date ends up being slow at first, but picks up with Oksana and Oswald find that they have something in common with loving the band Gastrointestinal Disorder and go to see them perform.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The movie Blind Date, featuring Bruce Willis, rather unsurprisingly. The blind date turns out to be a woman who behaves rather unpredictably when she drinks a small bit of alcohol, which turns the lead character's night into a total disaster and sets up the events for the rest of the movie.
  • In the movie Burn After Reading, the female maincharacter Linda is desperately searching for a soulmate through the use of blind dates. With varying results.
  • When Harry Met Sally...: Double blind date turns this on its head; Harry sets Sally up with Jess and Sally sets Harry up with Marie; the four go out and in the end Jess ends up hooking up.... with Marie (and marrying her).
  • Sleepless in Seattle has a montage of blind dates Tom Hanks' character endures.
  • In Something New, this is how the two leads meet. However, it does not go well at their relationship only develops further when they meet again later.
  • The Rebound has Sandy going on a succession of awful ones while in contrast the perfect guy for her is her nanny.
  • All About Steve has its plot kick off as a result of an arranged Blind Date between Mary and Steve.
  • Jacob in Kopps tries to find his love that way but it doesn't work very well.

  • In a short story, Jean Shepherd tells of his experience on a blind date in which he gradually figures out that HE is the blind date, not his date.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Seinfeld uses this trope, having Jerry and Elaine set up George and one of Elaine's friends (who, naturally is never heard from again).
  • In one episode of Sex and the City, Carrie is set up for one of these by her married friends (of course, we haven't heard from that friend before or since said episode). Carrie and the young man hit it off, but break up amicably once it becomes clear that Carrie isn't looking for the same kind of relationship he is. She then sets him up for a blind date with Charlotte, who is — but the date quickly goes downhill when he expresses a preference for garish pottery.
  • The reality TV series The Dating Game (and its Transatlantic Equivalent Blind Date) fits this trope well; it seems, indeed, that the series deliberately mismatches people for laughs—typically at the man's expense—as in a cartoon (the "cartoon-overs" are a dead giveaway; almost like the Road Runner holding up a sign saying "What an idiot!" when Wile E. Coyote falls off a cliff, they often critique whatever the man does).
    • It really depended on the couples themselves. Some hit it off, others were disasters that had to be seen to be believed.
    • One contestant refused to go on the date with the winner of her episode. Not that you could blame her as the winner was Rodney Alcala, who was later discovered to be a serial killer.
  • Used a few times in Frasier; the one has Roz setting Frasier up with a girl, and they agree on a codeword he'll use if he wants to get out of it once he meets her. Less than a minute in, he's saying the codeword repeatedly, and she keeps looking at Roz and repeating a word as well.
    • Another time, Frasier's dad set him up with his buddy's dateless daughter: Teri freakin' Hatcher.
  • The reality show Dating In The Dark takes the "blind date" concept to its logical conclusion.
  • The second episode of Taxi revolved around Alex going on a blind date with a witty phone operator named Angela, only to discover she was considerably overweight and very sensitive about it after getting burned by various men in the past. Alex spent the episode trying to prove he wasn't that shallow and help her learn to love herself. The episode also introduced the song, "Angela", which ended up becoming the show's theme song.
  • It rarely ever dawned on Laverne & Shirley that trusting Lenny and Squiggy to do anything for them was a good idea, and setting them up on blind dates was no exception. (It happened more than once.)
  • The Big Bang Theory has "The Girlfriend Pact". Basically, if Howard or Leonard has a girlfriend while the other doesn't then they must ask their girlfriend if they can set the other up on one of their girlfriend's friends. When Leonard was dating Penny the pact was invoked and thus the two of them accompanied Howard on a blind date with Bernadette, a waitress/microbiology student. Things were awkward at first, but they eventually bounded over their overbearing mothers. And as of the end of season five they married each other. Things went a lot less well in season four while Leonard and Penny were "off again" and Bernadette set Leonard up with a body builder that kept talking about how strong she was and that she could rip a guy's nuts off. For a little perspective Leonard's an asthmatic geek that's constantly teased about his short stature.
    • There was also the Arranged Marriage candidates Raj's parents have set him up with. He was drunk out of his mind with the first one in the first season and the second one in the fifth season was a nice girl that was interested in his cooking and the date went well...except she was gay and only agreed to meeting/considering Raj because she wanted a beard. There was also the time Penny set him up with a Cute Mute. Come to think of it the Big Bang Theory does this particular plot a lot...
  • In one episode of How I Met Your Mother, Ted recounts how he and a girl named Jen went on a blind date ... twice without realizing it! The first time was in 2002 and the second time was in 2009. They realized they were repeating their disastrous first blind date when they exchanged the same dialogue as before. Frightened by the prospect of running out of people to date in New York, they decided to retrace their steps to find out the mistakes of their first blind date.
  • An episode of El Chapulín Colorado has this with a man waiting for his date at a restaurant, worried that she might be an unnatractive woman, so Chapulin tells him the story of Cyrano de Bergerac to "not to judge people by their appearance". At the end, said date turns out to be a woman with thick glasses and a long nose, and the man flees in terror.
  • Similar to the Taxi episode above, in an episode of Step by Step, Al goes on a date with a pizza guy named Drew because she likes the sound of his voice, only to find he's very overweight, and very bitter. He later comes back and apologizes, admitting that Al was much nicer than he gave her credit for, but had been burned by so many people, he couldn't get over that. They agree to give it a second try and head out to the movies.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "Miniature", Charley Parkes' sister Myra Russell sets him up on a blind date with her co-worker Harriet Gunderson as she believes that he needs a girl to bring him out of his shell and make him less introverted. It does not go according to plan as Charley thinks that Harriet is being too forward, accidentally knocking her to the ground when she kisses him.
  • Used for a Brick Joke in Forever Knight when Natalie, frustrated over her lack of relationship with Nick Knight, ends up going out with the dating service serial killer they're trying to catch. Schanke has spent the episode trying to set up a blind date for her arranged by his wife, but Natalie point-blank refuses given her luck as a Fatal Attractor and storms out. The date shows up right after she leaves, and turns out to the proverbial Tall, Dark, and Handsome.

    Video Games 
  • In The Sims 2, some NPCs will randomly offer to set your sims up on a blind date. Of course, how it goes varies. If you ask the Gypsy Matchmaker to give you a blind date, how it goes depends on how much you pay her. For example the maximum amount $5000 guarantees someone who fits all the Sim's turn-ons and vice versa, meanwhile giving her $1 will get someone that probably fits the sim's turn-off.
  • In Spiritfarer, Beverly reveals in the archive room that she met her late husband David on a blind date arranged by Pauline, the school secretary.
  • If you play as the female character in the game Sprung, then you get set up on a blind date with a short, overly-aggressive nerd and have to find a way to ditch him.

  • An early Sluggy Freelance story has Sam setting Torg up on one of these. Unfortunately, Sam's intentions are highly devious and evil. How do we know this? He found her on the Internet.
  • Freefall's Florence Ambrose had, apparently, been set up on one or more of these when she was in college, judging from a mental comment she made in strip 1285.
  • Solstoria: Magistrate Von Dewald sets Oksana up on a very impromptu blind date with his nephew.
  • Yumi's Cells:
    • Yumi is set up with Woong by her crush Wook, who thinks she's a good and attractive person but isn't interested in women. Yumi's first impression of Woong is lukewarm, but they hit it off and date for over a year before relationship troubles lead to a mutual breakup.
    • Daeyong sets up Soonrok and Soohyun, a pair of introverts. Soohyun gets the impression that Soonrok is a prickly Sharp-Dressed Man and is disappointed to see him slightly dressed down and friendly. Soonrok isn't attracted to her either because he finds that they're Too Much Alike and he has nothing to ask her.

    Web Original 
  • I Love Bees (a Halo 2 ARG): Kamal's mother sets him up with Sophia because she's the daughter of a friend of the mother.
  • Ilariously parodied by Tess Masazza in this episode of the Italian webseries Insopportabilmente donna.
  • Jubilee Media is fond of these:
    • Each episode of the series Tea for Two involves a blind date, in which two strangers meet, share tea and ask each other the New York Times' series of "36 Questions That Lead to Love".
    • Some of the dating episodes from the series Versus 1 involve one person speed-dating (and selecting from) numerous potential love interests with a curtain in-between.
    • The series First Sight has two blindfolded people simulating the stages of a romantic relationship in reverse (a wedding, then cuddling/intimacy, a first kiss, a restaurant date, and finally seeing each other for the first time.)

    Western Animation 
  • The Fairly Oddparents episode "Chindred Spirits" has the Crimson Chin do this in order to meet someone. Both times, his blind date ends up being one of his archenemies, and he forces Timmy to take his place.
  • In the Rocko's Modern Life episode "Love Spanked," after Rocko finds out that Melba has a boyfriend, Heffer puts an ad in the personals for him, and helps him choose a series of (terrible) dates. When that fails, he signs Rocko up for an appearance on The Love Seat, a parody of the above mentioned The Dating Game. He is given a set of three potential dates: a rocket scientist, a Pulitzer-prize-winning poet, and a bikini model. He's matched up with Heffer, who was made to stand in for the bikini model as she had an emergency photoshoot.
  • The Powerpuff Girls set up their dad (Professor Utonium) on a blind date with their teacher (Ms. Keane) in the 1998 series episode "Keen on Keane".
  • A Heckle and Jeckle cartoon bears the title "Blind Date." When a millionaire offers a cash reward for the retrieval of his long-lost girlfriend, Heckle dresses Jeckle in drag as the girlfriend and tries to pass him off as the girl.