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Disabled Love Interest

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This trope is under discussion in the Trope Repair Shop.
The one on the left.

Your studly, womanizing main man is walking down the school hall, and eyes a gorgeous woman he's never seen before. When he tries to start putting his moves on her, he finds out something.

She's blind.

Or deaf, or has a prosthetic leg, or something like that. But don't worry, she'll still probably fall for him anyways.

The Disabled Love Interest is a (usually temporary) Love Interest, most often Inspirationally Disadvantaged. She'll overcome her challenges in the end, and have a steamy kiss while she's at it. Homework question: Why is she usually only temporary? Unfortunate Implications indeed.

Still, Tropes Are Tools. The love interest doesn't have to be Inspirationally Disadvantaged and can be a normal person with human thoughts and feelings, with Character Development. Moreover, the disability itself may serve as a romantic "turn-on" for the hero.

See Also: Blind and the Beast, Delicate and Sickly, Handicapped Badass, and Florence Nightingale Effect. A downplayed version of the trope is a Speech-Impeded Love Interest.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bikko from Kesson Shojo used to be the premier Disabled Love Interest on 4chan.
  • Cheza in Wolf's Rain is very pretty. She's also blind, and weak-bodied, but that never seems to trouble her. Of course, being not quite human she doesn't have any romantic interests, except for Kiba and he's a wolf.
  • Inuyasha: Kagura was initially only trying to get Sesshomaru to kill Naraku for her and free her, but eventually fell in love with him somewhere along the line. Sesshomaru spends most of the story with a missing left arm but he's so powerful, his disability barely hinders him (in fact, he eventually admits it's made him stronger than he used to be). Part of why Kagura falls for him is precisely because he's so powerful even despite the disability. Sesshomaru is implied to have feelings for Kagura as well.
  • Perfect World is centred around this, with the slight twist that protagonist Tsugumi Kawana actually had a crush on her love interest Itsuki Ayakawa years ago in high school prior to him needing to use a wheelchair. It isn't revealed that in his young adulthood he had spinal injury until after they became reacquainted through their mutual work in interior design & architecture. The manga also uses its building industry elements to investigate accessibility issues in Japan.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Sayaka's crush and childhood friend Kyosuke Kamijou got into an accident (which included the loss of mobility in his hand as well as difficulty to walk) and is bedridden because of it. Of course, due to Sayaka having access to a wish-granting entity, he doesn't stay disabled for long. Unfortunately, he does not end up as her boyfriend after her wish, which, combined with several other factors, leads to her becoming a witch.
  • Edward Elric for Winry in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and Brotherhood anime. Edward is the Disabled Badass protagonist who has an automail arm and leg, after losing them trying to revive his recently deceased mother.
  • Ayase from Guilty Crown is the Third-Option Love Interest for Shu and also his only surviving love interest by the end of the last episode. She's also wheelchair-bound, but that doesn't keep her from being a highly valuable asset for the protagonists.
    • On the other hand, Shu himself loses his right arm in episode 17 and his eyesight in episode 22.
  • Averted in Honoo no Alpen Rose. Marie Mueller is a cute girl in a wheelchair and she clearly likes male lead Lundi, but it's just as clear that she'd never stand a chance against his canon girlfriend Jeudi.
  • In season 3 of Sonic X, there have been some hints six years later between Chris Thorndyke and his childhood friend in a wheelchair, Helen.
  • In Get Backers, there has been some Ship Tease between Shido Fuyuki and his blind companion, Madoka Otowa.
  • Played with in a Case Closed case. It features a blind, beautiful and very rich woman named Kurumi Shudou... but instead of merely waiting around, she hires Kogoro to find the boy she once loved, one that has a scar on his body. Even more inverted when it turns out Kurumi already knew who the man was... her very devoted and humble butler, Taisuke Honya, so this was a Batman Gambit from Kurumi to make him come forward and let their shared feelings being known.
  • Jun Misugi from Captain Tsubasa had a heart disease, and he is very strongly hinted to have a relationship with his Cute Sports Club Manager, Yayoi Aoba. When they were in elementary school, she even asked her their common friend Tsubasa if he could let Misugi win the match - it was the semi-final match in the tournament. (Which got Misugi REALLY angry for a while). Misugi eventually recovered by getting proper treatment, limiting his share of exercise until he was more or less healthy, and ultimately he returned to his soccer career - though he still has to deal with some handicaps (specifically, he has extremely limited stamina and can't play more than one half of a whole game)
  • Sankt Kaiser Olivie Sagebrecht of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid is revealed to have lost both arms at an early age and uses a pair of medieval Artificial Limbs in their place. This didn't stop Hegemon Claus Ingvalt from falling in love with her, even after he first laid eyes on her without her aforementioned Artificial Limbs.
  • Shouko Nishimiya of A Silent Voice, who goes through a lot of misfortune because of her deafness, especially from bullies in her elementary school years. However, later in life, she becomes a potential love interest for one of her former tormentors, Shouya Ishida, who wants to make up for everything he's done to her.
  • Togo from Yuki Yuna is a Hero is wheelchair-bound due to injuries related to having previously been a Hero and having lost the memories. She is the closest thing Yuna has to a love interest, being canonically in love with her and having high levels of romantic subtext between the two. Togo eventually recovers the use of her legs in the finale, along with everyone else's Magical Girl related injuries healing.
  • Miyako's crush Takaaki from Powerpuff Girls Z is a boy she met as a little girl. Due to an illness, he is a wheelchair-bound boy stuck in a hospital.
  • Josee in Josee, The Tiger, and The Fish can't walk since birth and is mostly bound to her wheelchair.

    Comic Books 
  • Ben Grimm's blind girlfriend, now wife, Alicia Masters.
  • Matt Murdock, who is blind, falls in love with a deaf woman, who in reality is a superheroine named "Echo".
    • Matt Murdock also falls in love with an average blind woman, Milla Donovan.
  • Barbara Gordon (Oracle), from Batman and Birds of Prey, is wheelchair-bound, but she can still kick your ass. She is one of the main love interests to Dick Grayson, the first Robin and currently Nightwing. After the Flashpoint a Cosmic Retcon puts her back on her feet. However, in the new continuity, she was wheelchair-bound for at least three years, and her status as a Disabled Love Interest is hardwired in her character, as almost everything reminding her of her past handicap (getting a gun pointed to her belly, seeing a wheelchair lift...) acts as a Trauma Button for her post-traumatic stress disorder. Babs herself attained one of these of her own now in Ricky, an ex-gang member who lost a leg in a robbery gone bad and chose to get out of the crime business.
  • ElfQuest's Rillfisher went deaf, but that may have been after she and Treestump became an item. (Her deafness contributed to her death because she couldn't hear the breaking branch that fell on her.)
  • One of Jughead Jones's love interests in the early 1990s Archie Comics was Anita Chavita, a paraplegic with genius-level intellect. She looked as good as your average Archie girl but was stuck in a wheelchair.
    • More recently, Archie himself dated Veronica's cousin Harper, who is an incomplete paraplegic. She's actually a No Celebrities Were Harmed of the late disabled author Jewel Kats.
  • From Creature Tech, Katie. She's blind in one eye and has a withered hand. Dr. Ong falls in love with her and feels terrible for having mocked her back when they were in school together. Ong himself gets an alien symbiote attached to him which he considers very disfiguring. At the end of the story, Ong gets access to a Healing Potion, but only enough for a single person, and he pointedly gives it to Katie rather than using it himself.
  • Cassandra Craft, the blind girlfriend of The Phantom Stranger.
  • Subverted in Superman with the wheelchair-bound Lori Lemaris, whom Clark fell for in college. Turned out that she sat in a wheelchair with a blanket over her lap to hide the fact that she was a mermaid.
  • Spider-Man dated Anna-Maria Marconi, a woman with dwarfism. This was when Doctor Octopus's mind was in Peter Parker's body
  • The Transformers: Till All Are One: Disability is explored a bit with Knock Out's Conjux Endura (husband) Breakdown. While by Cybertronian standards he's considered able-bodied, in the speed-focused culture of Velocitron those born with larger slower frames, like Breakdown, are seen as disabled and accessibility is limited for them.

    Comic Strips 
  • Leo in Doonesbury is a wounded Iraq War vet; he was introduced as a serving soldier in B.D's unit, the strip covered his wounding and recovery, and he and Alex later became love interests.
  • Denise Russo in FoxTrot, who is blind. It's not often brought up, but making fun of her blindness is a Berserk Button for Peter. The temporary aspect is averted; they've apparently been at it for years, although Denise has not been seen for a while despite not breaking up with Peter.
  • Luis Fuerte in Safe Havens uses a wheelchair. He unintentionally wins the hearts of two women who had boyfriends, and it's been stated that he's quite the looker. He ends up with Jenny because she alone ignored the disability.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Frozen (2013) fanfic Café Liégeois Anna falls for a blind woman named Elsa that she meets at a cafe.
  • In the How to Train Your Dragon fic Black As Night, Astrid still falls for Hiccup even after she accidentally blinds him during dragon training.
  • The Victorious fic "Twist of fate" has this apply to Tori and Jade; Jade was blinded by a stroke a few months before Tori started at Hollywood Arts, and Tori was left paralyzed from the waist down in the same accident that killed her mother and Trina.
  • In Claro de Luna, Princess Luna falls for Octavia, a mute cellist.
  • Trusting In Faith is a Wicked oneshot where Glinda begins dating Elphaba's sister after Elphaba drops out of Shiz. Elphaba's younger sister Nessarose was born without arms.
  • Both of Winry's love interests in The Planets count: Her unobtainable First Love Edward has an automail arm and leg, while she falls for the partially-blind Roy when he turns up at her house needing an automail arm.
  • In Son of the Sannin, Shisui had his left eye stolen by Danzo shortly before he and Shizune started dating (Itachi mentions the possibility of getting a transplant due to all the spares laying around from the failed Uchiha coup, but he turns down the offer). He does eventually get the original back, but this is long after he and Shizune get married.
  • In Repair the Damage, Skywarp falls in love with Soundwave, who is blind in this fic.
  • In the Law & Order: UK story Surviving, Matt recovers from his shooting, but is left paralyzed from the waist down. This doesn't stop him and Alesha from getting together and the story finds them Happily Married (or cohabiting at the very least) and expecting their first child.

    Films — Animation 
  • Francis from Felidae bonds with a pretty female cat named Felicity, who is blind. She gets beheaded minutes after being introduced. Francis later meets another cat but according to the books, it was a noncommittal sex-filled fling.
  • Another male example is Garrett from Quest for Camelot, who is blind and certainly "pretty" enough to become Kayley's love interest and be with her in the end. This is actually a rare example of this trope done well, as he isn't magically cured of his disability by the end of the movie, as so often happens, and also doesn't define himself by his blindness:
    Kayley: Why won't you look at me when I'm talking to you? …Oh. Oh, I didn't realize you were...
    Garrett: What? Tall? Rugged? Handsome?
    Kayley: …Blind.
    Garrett: Oh yeah, I always forget that one.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Barbarella: One of Barbarella's sex partners is the blind (and initially flightless) angel Pygar, who's also her most enduring ally.
  • Madeleine Stowe in Blink is blind. Before Aidan Quinn is assigned to her case, he sees her on stage playing the violin. Hoping to catch her eye, he strips down to his underwear while dancing to her music; he is put out when she doesn't even notice him. Another character tells Stowe's character about it later, saying that he was a "big showoff." Her response: "How big?"
  • The Invincible Fist is an old martial arts film revolving around a Master Swordsman and his lover, a blind waitress who turns out to be the daughter of the Big Bad.
  • Subverted in Shallow Hal. Hal is Blessed with Suck (or maybe Cursed with Awesome) and sees women as attractive based on their "inner beauty". As a result, the disability part is hidden (particularly in the case of disfigurements) and the "hottie" part an illusion.
  • In Crash (the one by David Cronenberg), a woman with leg braces and pretty bad scars on her legs fascinates a number of men (and one woman) in a sexually fetishistic way.
  • In Mask, Rocky Dennis falls in love with a beautiful blind girl. This is an interesting subversion because he is the Inspirationally Disabled one, not her.
  • The Toxic Avenger from the Troma trash movies has a hot girlfriend who's blind. Very convenient since he's monster-like ugly. See also Blind and the Beast.
  • In Freddy Got Fingered, Gord meets a wheelchair-bound nurse named Betty while at the hospital impersonating a doctor. She turns out to have a somewhat unsettling obsession with fellatio and dreams of building a rocket-powered wheelchair.
  • Charlie Chaplin falls in love with a blind woman in City Lights.
  • Marlee Matlin in Children of a Lesser God; see Theater, below.
  • At First Sight features a rare male example in Val Kilmer's blind character.
  • A Patch of Blue: Selena Darcy is a blind love interest for Gordon.
  • In X-Men: First Class, it's hinted that Charles briefly had a romance with Moira after his spinal cord injury, but he is forced to end their relationship to protect himself and his students from the CIA.
  • He Was a Quiet Man: Venessa becomes one for Maconel after she loses the use of her legs as a result of the office shooting and is confined to a wheelchair, in part because he feels guilty first that he didn't save her from being shot and later that he couldn't finish the job.
  • Inverted in The Light in the Piazza. Clara has a childish mentality due to Childhood Brain Damage. While in Italy with her mother, she falls for a man. Clara's mother has difficulties telling Fabrizio and his family about her daughter's disability, in fear that they will reject her. It works out in the end and the two get married.
  • Lucky Star: Tim and Mary have a Meet Cute before World War I, but their romance doesn't really get underway until Tim comes home from the war—in a wheelchair.
  • To Live: The mute Fengxia is introduced to Erxi who has a club foot. The friends and family think it's a good match specifically because they're both handicapped.
  • In Night Song, Dan is a Blind Musician who Cathy falls for and wants him to start composing again.
  • Stella Maris: Stella is in love with John. She's been bedridden and paralyzed her entire life. Halfway through the film she is able to walk thanks to surgery.
  • Early on in Planet Terror, Rose McGowan loses a leg to zombies—right around the time she starts rekindling her relationship with Freddy Rodriguez.
  • Head in the Clouds: Mia walks with a limp due to a leg injury during her youth. It turns out she'd previously been Gilda's lover and has a mutual attraction with Guy.

  • Ian Stott of Cherie Priest's Bloodshot fulfills this trope. He's a handsome, charming, urbane vampire who was blinded by government experiments.
  • As a teenager, the protagonist of The Shadow of the Wind falls in love with an older woman who is blind.
  • In Things Not Seen by Andrew Clemens, Bobby falls in love with a blind girl.
  • In Hornet's Sting by Derek Robinson, Major Cleve-Cutler falls in love with a beautiful woman who happens to have lost a leg (we never find out how).
  • In the Gaunt's Ghosts novels, deaf sniper Nessa is repeatedly referred to as attractive or downright beautiful.
  • Dea in The Man Who Laughs is a beautiful and virtuous blind girl and the primary love interest of the protagonist.
  • It's not acknowledged at first since Du Ze in The Reader And Protagonist Definitely Have To Be In True Love tried to hide it, but after a traumatic incident, he reveals that he is deaf and his so-called headphones are actually somewhat old school hearing aids.
  • Amy a.k.a. Cucumber from John Dies at the End is missing a hand, which the protagonist Dave interestingly enough doesn't discover until midway through the novel.
  • Theodora "Teddy" Carella, the hot wife of Detective Steve Carella, in the 87th Precinct novels by Ed McBain.
  • Jeffrey Deaver's Lincoln Rhymes series features the titular crime scene investigator who also happens to be a quadriplegic. He ends up dating his Fair Cop partner Sachs.
  • Peeta from The Hunger Games becomes this to Katniss after losing a leg in the arena. Averted in the film adaptation, where he gets to keep his leg for practical reasons.
  • Thorgil, Jack's love interest in The Sea of Trolls, becomes this after she quite literally breaks her hand punching out Satan.
  • In Red Dragon (and both of the movies based on it), Francis Dolarhyde is infatuated with a woman at work who is blind. She happens to mention she always wanted to "see" (by touching) a Bengal tiger. Dolarhyde knows about a nearby zoo where a tiger is having some dental work, requiring it to be sedated. He takes her along, she really touches the tiger quite closely, noticing everything about it, whereupon she is so happy by what he has done, that she goes home with him and screws his brains out. She is clearly blind, but she's got no problem doing vigorous woman-on-top-sex with the essentially clueless Dolarhyde. Sadly, she doesn't realize he's a Serial Killer.
    • She's also lusted after by one of her other coworkers. As much of a jerk as the guy is, we never once get the impression that he's pursuing her to satisfy some kink or fetish of his, nor out of pity. He's just a typical horndog chasing after a pretty girl.
    • Also has aspects of Blind and the Beast, as Dolarhyde's cleft lip and abusive upbringing have convinced him he's a hideous freak. He's had enough reconstructive surgery and is in good enough shape that most women he knows actually find him quite attractive, but he doesn't realize that.
  • Emily Alexander in Honor Harrington. Although the disablement was after her marriage, it fits this trope because her husband never stopped loving her. Not even when they marry someone else.
  • Animorphs: Not a full-blown Love Interest, but there's some mutual flirting between Marco and Collette, one of the disabled teenagers who make up the Auxiliary Animorphs.
  • Warrior Cats: Cloudtail fell for Brightheart before she was maimed but didn't begin courting her until after the incident. Brightheart was mauled by a dog, which left her with serious facial scarring and only one eye.
  • In The Giver Quartet, Kira becomes this to Jonas. She was born with a deformed leg and uses a cane to walk, and he calls her "beautiful" when he first meets her at the end of Messenger. The "temporary" part is pleasantly averted, as they're married and have two children by the time of Son. Even more fascinatingly, when her friend Matty discovered her power of Healing Hands, he offered her to heal her leg, but she refused because her disability is intrinsic to who she is.
    • Son also has Einar for Claire. He's one of the few people in the seaside village who she really bonds with, continuing to treat her well even after finding out about her Teen Pregnancy, and he's missing part of his foot. This one is temporary, due to the fact that Claire has to leave so she can find Gabriel.
  • Jetamio is a downplayed one to Thonolan in Earth's Children. She suffered seizures, one of which caused her to have partial paralysis that gives her a limp. However, she doesn't let it interfere with her life and is quite independent now she's recovered, nor does it have any bearing on how Thonolan feels about her. Sadly, her paralysis results in childbirth complications, and both she and her baby son die, leaving Thonolan devastated.
  • Grace to Jonathan in Let Me Call You Sweetheart. She didn't start out as disabled but suffered early on-set arthritis, which has steadily worsened over the years. She's now in her early sixties and can barely walk at all, relying on a wheelchair to get around and being mostly housebound as she finds it too difficult to go out. Jonathan still stands by his wife and does what he can to support her physically and emotionally; they clearly love each other very much. It ends up being Played for Drama in the ending; it's revealed that eleven years ago Jonathan had difficulty coming to terms with his wife's deteriorating health, compelling him to conduct an affair with Suzanne, whom he later killed. Part of the reason Jonathan is desperate to keep this from coming out is because he feels he must protect Grace, to the point he's willing to kill again.
  • Tariq to Laila in A Thousand Splendid Suns; he lost one of his legs to a landmine as a child and wears a prothesis. It doesn't bother Laila at all, though at one point she gets upset when he talks about the occasional physical discomfort it causes. She also hates it when people refer to Tariq as a "cripple" and fiercely defends him. When Tariq finds out Laila has been bullied by a local boy, he removes his prosthetic leg and uses it to beat up the bully to defend her honor. After they're reunited, he also starts getting migraines (possibly as a side effect of PTSD), and Laila stays up with him at night when they strike, holding him and trying to comfort him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Roswell, New Mexico has Alex Manes, a soldier who lost a leg during deployment and uses a prosthetic leg and sometimes crutches. He's got a complicated relationship with Michael Guerin and is never treated as less desirable due to his disability. In season 2 he has a threesome with Michael and Maria and then starts a relationship with Forrest Long
  • Matt of 7th Heaven dated a deaf girl off and on for several seasons, even learning sign language for her.
  • There was a beautiful blind girl in an episode of 30 Rock, too. Subverted though, as at the end of the episode, the blind girl touches Kenneth's face for the first time and brushes him off immediately.note 
    Tracy: Yeah, well... you're not so good looking yourself!
    Jennifer: No, I'm pretty sure I'm hot.
  • There was an episode of Saved by the Bell where Zach pursued a girl in a wheelchair. Instead of it being an obstacle, though, he goes out of his way to be good about it, and even organizes a wheelchair basketball game. Turns out she hates having all the attention cast on her, and wants to be treated like anyone else.
  • In Arrested Development, Michael dates a blind lawyer for a short while (possibly a Shout-Out to Daredevil). This was subverted as she was fully capable of sight (except when some incident left her temporarily blind); she just acted like that to play with the emotions of the jury.
  • One episode of Happy Days has Fonzie falling for a Girl of the Week and, when he does his usual "finger snap girl-attention-grabbing gesture", finding it doesn't work. He worries that he's lost his mojo for a few seconds until Richie realizes that the girl in question is deaf.
  • Another male version, Artie from Glee is in a wheelchair and dated Dumb Blonde Brittany for a while.
    • Becky is this for her boyfriend in Season 6. Everyone else thinks it's weird or creepy, but he doesn't care about her disability.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Dr. Bashir falls for Girl of the Week Melora Pazlar, who, having been raised on a low gravity planet, cannot walk in normal gravity.
  • Doogie Howser, M.D., Vinnie falls for a girl in the hospital who is blind. By the end of the episode, she gets a cornea transplant and can see; however, he gets cold feet now that she can really see him.
  • An episode of Friends features Chandler dating a girl with a prosthetic leg, and having to come to terms with it. Eventually, he realizes that it's not a relevant flaw... and she dumps him for having a third nipple.
    • Before the series began, Joey also dated the same girl (whose name was Ginger.) He tried to keep Chandler away from her because he was afraid she would recognize him (their relationship ended badly: they went to a cabin, the fire in the hearth died down, Joey went to throw another log on the fire and didn't realize she had a wooden leg...)
  • On The West Wing, Josh has a crush on the deaf pollster Joey Lucas. She seems to reciprocate his feelings to some degree (or at the very least, she enjoys flirting with him just for the fun of it), but she ultimately doesn't pursue a relationship, because she's savvy enough to realize that Josh's assistant, Donna, is in love with him.
  • Daphne Millbrooke on Heroes has a degenerative condition which prevents her from walking, but her powers override it and give her Super-Speed. When an eclipse takes those powers back, she becomes weak again, but this does not dissuade Matt.
    • And had the show received a fifth season, the deaf character of Emma would have become Peter's love interest.
  • Dark Angel had Logan / Eyes Only, a hunky dude in a wheelchair, as Max's love interest.
  • Bennett Halverson on Dollhouse. It's Summer Glau with her arm in a sling, and she's just as smart as Topher.
    Topher: Imagine John Cassavetes in The Fury as a hot chick.
    Topher-Victor: Which you know I often have!
  • Deconstructed in the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode "Denise Handicapped", where Larry continues dating a pretty woman in a wheelchair to gain popularity and sympathy from his friends. When he loses her phone number, he finds a different woman in a wheelchair to date.
  • In an episode of Stupid Stupid Man, Nick dated a hot blind girl and seemed to have genuine feelings for her. However, he ended up dumping her because he couldn't get past the fact that she would never be able to appreciate exactly how gorgeous he was.
  • On an episode of The King of Queens, Carrie is temporarily blind after bad laser eye surgery. Her husband Doug tries to console her by saying her blindness makes her more approachable.
    "Like Marlee Matlin! She's very hot but the deaf thing makes you think 'Hmm, I can get her!'"
  • Auggie on Covert Affairs. Blind and very handsome. Also has better romantic chemistry with Piper Perabo's character than either of the intended male romantic leads.
  • In The A-Team episode "Waste 'Em!", Face starts putting the moves on Lisa, only to realize that she's blind. This makes him a little hesitant to kiss her, but once she points out that blind people kiss too it doesn't stop him.
  • One of the most famous roles by Chilean actor Bastian Bodenhoffer is a rather atypical version of this, the blind bookseller Leo from the Soap Opera Te conte. Leo is remarkably cheerful and Hot-Blooded for the trope, sort of a Handsome Lech as well, very popular with women (especially the female leads, Gianna/Shanna and Sabrina) and he wasn't born blind - he lost his sight in an accident when he was a teenager. By the end of the story he goes through the archetypical operation that may restore his sight... and it actually fails, thus Leo is blinded forever.
  • The Spartacus: Blood and Sand episode "The Thing In The Pit" features a brief but memorable appearancenote  by this (Warning—NSFW)[1] extra with one hand.
  • Switched at Birth has several deaf characters, all of whom are quite attractive - Daphne, Emmett, Emmett's mother-and have relationships with hearing people. However, they're all played as ordinary people, with some of the relationships lasting a very long time.
  • In Days of Our Lives, the "supercouple" Kayla and Steve used to have both of its members like this. Steve was (and, to date, is) still half-blind, wearing an Eyepatch of Power, and Kayla, after a (then) unknown assailant gets her into a gas explosion, loses her voice and hearing due to an odd combination of physical and psychological damage. After Kayla wakes up, Steve starts to woo her more eagerly, until they eventually elope. However, shortly before the marriage, Kayla gets a nigh-impossible recovery, regaining both voice and hearing.
    • Steve himself later gets a prosthetic to fix at least the cosmetic part of his handicap, but he's forced to return to his badass eyepatch.
    • While Kayla's recovery is suspiciously complete, even after a whole story-arc as a Disabled Love Interest, her knowledge of sign language isn't forgotten. Instead, becomes a plot point in every other occasion where the cast is meant to interact with deaf individuals.
  • Seems disabled characters are a normal occurrence in Soap Opera fiction, as Camila in Nano, the protagonist main love interest, is (psychosomatically) deaf and mute. Coupled with the fact Manuel, the titular Nano is already married and spends most of the story unaware than Camila is none other than his long lost Childhood Friend Romance, and she regains her voice and hearing in the end when Manuel divorces his nagging wife to hook up with her, makes of Camila a thinly veiled expy of The Little Mermaid
  • Again, an entire storyline in Guiding Light revolves about Beth being declared legally dead, while she was just mute, amnesiac and out of town, living a romance with her savior. Elsewhere on the show, Amish Everyone's Baby Sister Abby was deaf (as was her actress, Amy Ecklund) but quickly became the love interest of one of the show's legacy characters shortly after she was introduced.
  • Port Charles: Paralyzed Matt successfully courted nurse Grace and fellow doctor Ellen.
  • Raj, in The Big Bang Theory; he's, by himself, a selective mute unable to vocally communicate with the opposite sex, a thing women tend to find cute and endearing (until he gets drunk, at which point his selective mutism disappears but he tends to make an ass of himself). However, his friends try to set him up with a stunningly beautiful deaf-mute girl, on the account that, being deaf, she wouldn't notice or care for Raj's handicap. She ends dumping him the same, as she was just interested in Raj's money.
  • One episode of The Rockford Files had Jim meeting an attractive blind psychologist. While she was technically only a temporary love interest, she does show up again in a later episode. Jim still held a flame for her, but she was engaged to another man.
  • Judy, of Taxi is the love interest of Louie, the despicable manager. She's also blind. One episode featured her having an operation to restore her sight and Louie's fear that she'll leave him once she sees what he really looks like. She doesn't.
  • The Mentalist has Rosalind, who was a lover of the elusive Red John. Turns out she is blind and therefore cannot identify what he looks like and most likely is the main reason he hasn't killed her.
  • Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye: Sue is deaf and there's certainly an attraction between her and Jack (which everyone can see), not to mention all the men she's dated over the course of the series. The show featured many deaf characters prominently, so whenever they paired up with someone they became this as well.
  • Supernatural: In later seasons, Sam dates Eileen, a hunter who was made deaf by a banshee when she was an infant.
  • Played with in a sketch from Mr. Show in which two men argue over their shared love interest, a blind woman. Subverted when she reveals she isn't really blind; double subverted when one of the men reveals that he really IS blind.
  • In Dead Like Me, George has a one-episode flirtation with a schizophrenic boy who can see gravelings.
  • The rather infamous Mexican Soap Opera María la del barrio has Alicia aka "la maldita lisiada" (Spanish for "the fucking cripple"), the cute girl in a wheelchair who captures the attention of Nandito and gets memetically yelled at by Soraya.
  • Nip/Tuck: At one point Christian Troy dated a blind woman. He was initially intrigued by her because she couldn't simply judge him by his appearance, and was wondering at the time if women saw anything more in him than his looks and status.
  • In the Australian show Cop Shop, Constable Tony Benjamin fell in love with his sergeant's paraplegic daughter Claire. This was no temporary love interest, however, as they eventually married and had children, remaining together for the rest of the run.
  • Elementary:
    • Sherlock falls for an autistic woman named Fiona. Sherlock himself is ambiguously on the spectrum, but it hasn't been confirmed.
    • Thomas tries to date a woman, however she pushes him away. He originally thinks it's related to his work, however it turns out she's scared because she has been diagnosed with MS and worries how it will affect him. The episode ends with an open ending that they will continue dating.
  • One Cold Case episode centered around the murder a young man who had caused a car accident that apparently paralyzed a female friend that he had feelings for. The killer turns out to be the woman's now-husband, who had been the first responder on scene at the accident; the victim realized that she was actually paralyzed not in the crash, but as the result of a botched rescue.
  • The Chilean Soap Opera La chica del bastón (The girl with the walking stick) offers an inversion: the one with the disability is the protagonist and female lead, rather than the love interest. The titular "girl with the walking stick", Claudia, is a Lonely Rich Kid who was both severely injured and left with Trauma-Induced Amnesia after a car accident, which also killed her parents; now under the care of her greedy and bitter Old Maid aunt, she locks herself in her room and refuses to see anyone, so her young doctor and Love Interest must first "defeat" her reluctance to get adequate treatment.
  • At the end of season 11 of NCIS, McGee starts a relationship with a hot DoD analyst named Delilah. At the beginning of season 12, she loses the use of her legs in a terrorist attack. As of the end of season 14, they're married and expecting.
  • Peter Dinklage played one of Liz Lemon's guys of the week on 30 Rock.
  • In the Kids Incorporated episode, "I Love You, Suzanne" Ryan develops a crush on Riley's cousin, before learning that she's blind.
  • Agent Carter features Daniel Sousa, a World War II vet who lost a leg during the war and uses a crutch or cane regularly. In contrast to other examples, though, he’s not a temporary love interest but is Peggy’s primary love interest and possible future husband.
  • In Weeds, Silas' girlfriend, Megan Graves, is deaf.
  • Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams: In "Autofac" Emily's boyfriend, Avishai, has a limp and walks with a crutch. He's also a Nice Guy and Non-Action Guy, a nerdy librarian with the mission to recover and preserve mankind's great books in this post-apocalyptic world. Unlike some examples here, he isn't a temporary love interest, nor does his disability disappear by the end (it was only incidental to his character).
  • The Murders: Meg's wife Emily it turns out is deaf, and uses sign language. She only appears in "Toxic", and isn't treated as different from hearing characters.

  • The music video to "Hello" by Lionel Richie has a Teacher/Student Romance between a blind woman and a music teacher. The teacher spends the video stalking and lurking around but the ending implies a mutual attraction.
  • At the beginning of Bush's video for "Letting the Cables Sleep", we see Gavin having some sort of melancholy-tinged meeting with a woman in a vacant apartment. They wind up having (implied) sex, then going their separate ways. At the end of the video, they meet on the street and it turns out the woman is deaf, communicating in sign language. The whole song is about a need for communication.

  • The live musical version of The Toxic Avenger also includes the blind girlfriend.
  • Mark Medoff's Children of a Lesser God involves a romance between a teacher at a school for the deaf and a female former student (now custodian) at the facility. Deaf actress Marlee Matlin played the latter in the 1986 film adaptation, becoming the first deaf actress to win an Oscar for Best Actress.
  • In Len Jenkin's Margo Veil: AN Entertainment, Mortmain the Magician falls in love with Ruta, a blind girl.

    Video Games 
  • Mass Effect:
    • The series gives us a male example: Joker, the Deadpan Snarker ace pilot with Vrolik syndrome (brittle bone disease) who is EDI's love interest.
    • Another male example, one of the potential love interests for a female player character is Thane, who has a lung disease somewhat similar to Cystic Fibrosis which is slowly killing him.
    • Downplayed compared to the previous two, Kaidan is Shepard's main male human love interest and lives with a migraine disorder and chronic pain from electric shocks thanks to his outdated biotic implants.
  • At some point in Tales of Xillia Milla becomes unable to walk for a period of time, and has to be carried by Jude, ride a horse, go into a wheelchair, or just outright crawl.
  • The Walking Dead: Season Four: Clementine can possibly start as one to Louis or Violet, if the player chose the "Alone" ending in season two, where Clem loses a part of he left pinky finger. In episode three, Louis can potentially have his tongue cut out and Violet can become blinded, and whoever of the two you didn't let the raiders take in episode two can lose their finger. Finally, in episode four, Clementine will become bitten, with AJ amputating her leg below the knee, forcing her to use crutches. Clem will always lose her leg no matter what the player does.
    • The comic continuation has Clementine gain a love interest in Ricca, a nearly blind girl. While she can still see with glasses to some extent by appearances her sight is getting worse.
  • In Wild ARMs 2, Billy Pilder is in a wheelchair and has severe head trauma, but Brad Evans still loves him. At the end of the game, Brad settles down in T'Bok with Billy, taking care of him.
  • Calvina, the female protagonist of Super Robot Wars Judgment lost the use of her arms in battle prior to the events of the game and gets a tortured romantic subplot with the Human Alien knight who was responsible for crippling her.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem: Awakening, the archer Noire suffers from anemia and tends to get tired much faster than the others. She can be this either to the second generation guys or to a Male Avatar.
    • In Fire Emblem Fates, both Saizo (in the Hoshido side) and Niles (in the Nohr one) were subjected to Eye Scream for different and very messy reasons. Each can be this to a Female Avatar (and a male one, regarding Niles) and to most of the first generation women in their respective armies.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition:
    • The Iron Bull, who is a romance option for Inquisitors of every race and gender, is missing one eye and parts of a few fingers and wears a leg brace.
    • Cullen, who can be romanced by female Inquisitors who are human or elven, is struggling with PTSD from his years as a Templar and withdrawal as he weans himself off of lyrium. The former condition leaves him exhausted from nightmares and poor sleep, while the latter is indicated in the game to cause him chronic pain.
    • As of the end of the Trespasser DLC, the Inquisitor themselves is this for their love interest, having lost most of their left arm.
  • Subverted with Bentley and Penelope in the Sly Cooper games. Bentley was crushed by Clock-La the end of Sly 2: Band of Thieves, and was wheelchair-bounded since. Penelope falls for him anyway, owing to his genuine concern for her when she's captured by LeFwee, and through their shared love of technology. But in reality, she's only pretending to love him to get his skills for profit, even insulting him in private.
  • In Guilty Gear, Baiken is a female Samurai warrior with a missing arm and a missing eye, but it doesn't stop her from being an attractive woman. Doesn't stop her from kicking ass either - in a universe full of magic users and Half Human Hybrids, she is just an ordinary woman with a katana, and yet in the first game she was the unlockable Optional Boss. Go figure.

    Visual Novels 
  • C14 Dating: Hendrik via prosthetic arm, Kyler via cochlear implant. Depending on how one defines a disability, Melissa's diabetes can also count.
  • ef - a fairy tale of the two.: Renji's love interest, Shindou Chihiro, is missing her left eye in addition to her inability to form new long-term memories. She lost both her eye and her memories when she was hit by a car years ago.
  • Katawa Shoujo: Being a romance-based Visual Novel set in a school for students who require regular medical care or educational accommodations as a result of disabilities, all five of Hisao's potential love interests fall under this trope. Shizune Hakamichi is deaf-mute, Lilly Satou is blind since birth, Hanako Ikezawa has burn scars over much of her body, Emi Ibarazaki's legs were amputated just below the knees, and Rin Tezuka has stumps for arms. From the girls' perspective, Hisao counts as this as well; he has cardiac arrhythmia. The girls from the April's Fools joke, Rika (heart illness) and Saki (ataxia), would've counted as well.
  • In the Code Geass Dating Sim Lost Colors, the Featureless Protagonist Rai can romance several of the girls in the cast. One of them is Disabled Cutie Nunnally Lamperouge, who is wheelchair-bound and blind. And has a super overprotective older brother, too.
  • Kotori of If My Heart Had Wings is in a wheelchair.
  • An in-development Spiritual Successor to Katawa Shoujo, Missing Stars, is set in a school for teenagers with psychiatric disorders. The protagonist himself counts as disabled as well, as he goes to the school.
  • Riki, the narcoleptic protagonist of Little Busters!, inverts this since he's an example from the perspective of the heroines in his harem, as no one else from the main cast besides Riki has a disability.

    Web Comics 
  • Girls with Slingshots has Melody, a young deaf woman, in a relationship with Chris, another supporting character.
  • Homestuck has a few examples.
    • Vriska is missing an eye and has a robotic arm (though she later regains her eye and arm when she attains god-tier power). Tavros, on whom she has a crush, is paraplegic (though he later regains the ability to walk, after receiving robotic legs).
    • Terezi's a borderline case. She's blind, but she has super-developed senses of smell and taste which, as far as she's concerned, more than make up for her lost sight. Her boyfriend just wishes she'd stop trying to lick his face.
    • Spades Slick is missing an eye and an arm, and Snowman still has the hots for him. Granted, she's the one who poked out Spade's eye and ripped off his arm in the first place.
    • Mituna has a brain injury of unknown nature and is frequently incoherent, confused, flipping between personalities, etc. Despite all this, he and Latula, who incidentally lost the ability to smell have been together for "eons".
    • Amicable Exes example: Kurloz Makara accidentally deafened his then-girlfriend Meulin Leijon and was so horrified he chewed off his tongue and sewed his mouth shut (at least that's the reason his friends assume). They eventually broke up but remain close friends.
  • Mia from Unintentionally Pretentious is blind, and is usually played straight.
  • Mike, of Sexy Losers has a blind girlfriend. It's generally played for laughs, as he met her while helping the blind because they wouldn't realize that he had no pants on and was constantly masturbating around them.
  • Korean Web Toon Can't See Can't Hear But Love has two disabled love interests, a manhwa artist who went blind and his deaf-mute wife; they are in turn the objects of desire for his tsundere assistant and her group home's Royal Brat president, respectively.
  • Always Human: Sunati builds a relationship with Austen, who has "Egan's Syndrome", a Fictional Disability that makes her ineligible for the setting's ubiquitous Bio-Augmentation mods. She makes several missteps since Austen loathes being seen as "brave" or Inspirationally Disadvantaged and makes clear that she would use mods if she could, but the two have a happy ending together.
  • Averted by Marcie from Dumbing of Age who has a crush on Malaya, which is unrequited at best - Malaya just isn’t interested in girls, on the evidence.
  • Subverted by Mecha Maid from Spinnerette; she has ALS and becomes the love interest of Spinnerette herself, but compensates for her handicap with her exo-skeleton suit and has been a mainstay of the series since the earliest storylines.
  • Forestdale gives us a budding romance between Jordan Noel and Susan Summers, the latter of which is a wheelchair bound rabbit girl.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy:
    • Joe Swanson is a man's man, from the waist up anyway. Greased-up Deaf Guy? Not so much.
    • One episode has Chris wanting to date Ellen, a girl with Down Syndrome and succeeding in this endeavor but losing interest after it turns out that she's not so nice as he expected all people with Down Syndrome to be.
    • Brian once dated a blind girl, who hated dogs. She didn't know he was a talking dog.
  • Male example in The Venture Bros.: Dean's erstwhile Love Interest Triana gets together with Raven, a Goth who walks with crutches and looks like Edward Cullen.
  • Shannon in Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? has a prosthetic leg and Braces of Orthodontic Overkill. It doesn't seem to bother her aside from the fact it made the title robot her Abhorrent Admirer.
  • Adventure Time:
  • When Danse from Jem breaks her leg she befriends a blind man while in rehabilitation. He was blinded at age three after an accident. She falls for him, though he doesn't appear afterwards.
  • An episode of The Proud Family had Penny briefly date a secret admirer who used a wheelchair. She ditched him soon after realizing he was actually a mean-spirited jerk who used his disability to take advantage of people's emotions.
  • The Owl House:
    • Luz is a neurological variant as she's described as neurodivergent, later specified via Ascended Fanon as her having ADHD and is implied to have some form of Social Anxiety Disorder, but it doesn't really interfere in her relationship with Amity who's fully aware that Luz struggles with her mental health and happily serves as a much needed Living Emotional Crutch for her.
    • Deconstructed with Eda. She suffers from a curse that is treated as a Fictional Disability, and her refusal to open up to others about it put so much strain on her relationship with Raine that they couldn't handle it and broke up with her. The two eventually have a Maybe Ever After that comes after Eda has learned to trust her friends and loved ones with her curse, which is actually also after she has to start using a prosthetic hand.

Alternative Title(s): Disabled Hottie, Tragically Disabled Love Interest, Tragically Disabled Lover