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Dogged Nice Guy

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"I repeatedly told him I wasn't interested, but he just kept resorting to crazier and crazier schemes to make me fall in love with him."

This is when Bob is in love with Alice. Alice doesn't seem too interested, so Bob keeps trying, hoping that she will change her mind.

This can play out in several ways:

  • Spectacular Displays: After the first confession was turned down, Bob will utilize more and more spectacular ways to prove his serious intentions. Alice and everyone three blocks away know of the most recent attempt and the topic may turn up in every interaction so it is hardly a secret to anyone. Sometimes, people come to expect they'll eventually get together when Alice agrees. Once Bob's displays of affection convince Alice to change her mind about him and give him a chance, the two will be portrayed as a normal couple. This is frequently used by romantic comedies or other shows/movies where they want to keep the audience asking Will They or Won't They?, but of course this really toes the line with Stalker with a Crush.
  • Persistent Support: Most likely a result of being childhood friends, they have been Platonic Life-Partners for a long time and Alice is oblivious to the romantic interest Bob is radiating as a really dedicated best friend. It may be that they tried dating before and it didn't work out, but their current success as Just Friends put a different type of stress at trying it again. The longevity of their relationship usually means there is no rush to figure things out because they are pretty comfortable with things as they are, which often means outside forces may tamper with the status quo to make them reconsider things. If they do get together then it would be a Childhood Friend Romance.
  • Low-Key Yearning: Bob may just be a guy who crosses paths with Alice every so often, they are on friendly terms but not integrated too deeply in each others personal lives. Bob may be honest that he has hopes for a more serious relationship while Alice may believe Bob just has a schoolboy crush he'll get over. If Alice is in a relationship, Bob might try to accept it for her sake and try to move on himself. If Bob starts dating someone else as Alice goes through a breakup, she may have a Green-Eyed Epiphany and create an Unrequited Love Switcheroo.

In traditional straight examples, as long as Bob is honestly a Nice Guy, or at least a decent guy, any of these attitudes are usually expected to result in success. Due to the Rule of Romantic, Alice will always realize over time that she really happens to love him back.

In works made after the Turn of the Millennium, a more cynical take on the trope might be used to point out some ways this type of thinking could backfire, resulting in a Deconstructed Character Archetype. Spectacular displays might irritate the object of their affection by treating them like a video game sidequest, where more gifts and displays of affection will equal more attraction. It can also have implications of a Stalker with a Crush situation if Alice truly dislikes or even fears Bob. The low-key yearning sort might be portrayed either as a Manipulative Bastard, for whom the whole long-term friendship is just a means to an end, or tragically mistaken for not recognizing that Alice still only feels like they're Like Brother and Sister and reacts with extreme Squick to romantic gestures. Both types might be examined to show that Bob actually feels that he's Entitled to Have You and thinks that, since he's a "nice guy" who is interested in Alice, then Alice is morally obligated to date him; he Wants a Prize for Basic Decency. Both versions can also be depicted as Loving a Shadow, as in Bob is more in love with the idea of Alice as his perfect soulmate rather than the real deal.

This 21st-century shift to harsher portrayals is due to the usual cycle of tropes and media trying to avert the implications that Men Act, Women Are, and that a romantic resolution depends solely on the man's determination.

Gender-Inverted variations occur relatively often, typically with a natural-looking, down-to-earth Girl Next Door type who is determined to win over the male friend she secretly loves, hoping he will eventually learn to appreciate her wholesome charms (often contrasted to the flashier appeal of a high-maintenance, unworthy gold-digger). There's a gargantuan Double Standard in play here: a Dogged Nice Girl will often be portrayed more sympathetically than the Dogged Nice Guy, even if she's pushy or an extreme doormat, probably because Dogged Nice Girls will be seen as needing a man to feel fully whole in life and therefore not getting the guy they want will be more "tragic". Alternatively, Dogged Nice Guys are more frequently portrayed less favorably than their female counterparts because of the traditional implications of a man pushing a relationship versus a woman persistently pursuing a relationship.

This can also have a same-sex variation, usually with a Darker and Edgier feel to the plot, but it's just as often to be Played for Laughs, especially if Incompatible Orientation is in play.

See also Disposable Fiancé, Just Friends, I Want My Beloved to Be Happy, Hopeless Suitor, Unrequited Tragic Maiden, Nice Guy, and Romantic Runner-Up. This heavily relies on the Hard Work Fallacy. Compare with the less sympathetic Stalker with a Crush, Mad Love, and Abhorrent Admirer. Contrast Cannot Spit It Out, where the person is incapable of expressing their romantic interest even once, let alone over and over again.

Please keep the Real Life examples limited to those that examine the Dogged Nice Guy (or Girl) as a trope.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Haida in Aggretsuko spent five years pining for the titular character, who never saw him as anything more than a friend and rejected him twice. Deconstructed in Season 3, as everyone in Haida's life tells him he's an idiot for still going after Retsuko when he now has another girl in his life that actually cares about him, but his indecisiveness causes him to lose her. Several characters call him out for liking Retsuko without even knowing anything about her, including Retsuko herself who gives him a "Reason You Suck" Speech in the season finale for expecting her to get over her trauma and return to the real world just to accommodate his feelings.
  • Angel Densetsu: Kuroda is a Dogged Nice Guy to Ryoko (who beats the crap out of him every few chapters), but he's clearly intended to be annoying and the whole thing is Played for Laughs.
  • Akihito is initially this to Mirai in Beyond the Boundary, with Mirai (who is treated as an outcast because of her cursed blood) spending the first three episodes or so trying to push him away and saying he couldn't possibly understand what her life is like. She realizes they're not that different when Akihito's dormant demon side is revealed and goes berserk. Mirai gives him a Cooldown Hug while apologizing.
  • In Bokura no Kiseki, Moto has been in love with Hiroki since middle school, and for a long time he Cannot Spit It Out. However, he becomes this when he confesses in Chapter 6. Since they're in the middle of a crisis situation, he doesn't get a reply for a good while, but she ultimately rejects him, with the implication that she's probably in love with the protagonist, Harusumi. However, he later says he's glad he told her how he felt, and he doesn't seem ready to give up.
  • Genzo of Cheeky Angel: arguably the king of conquerers. Asking his Megumi to marry him repeatedly, replying to all preference questions with "Megu," dressing in drag, climbing an elevator shaft, tracking down her enemy to break into his house and patiently wait for the guy to come home... to name a few.
  • Code Geass:
    • Shirley is a Dogged Nice Girl towards Lelouch, and although he does like her as a person, as far as romance is concerned she doesn't have a chance. That is, until they start dating in the second season at the end of the Cupid's Day Festival. Naturally, this was Milly's idea.
    • And Rivalz to Milly, though he's every bit as hopeless.
  • Darker than Black:
    • Nika from the second season starts to date Tanya in the first episode, then she becomes a Contracter out of nowhere, and then breaks up with him. He follows her to try to convince her to come back, only for her to manipulate him and beat the crap out of him with her powers. Then when he catches up to her again, all bloodied and bruised, he says that he still loves her. Then she kills him without a thought.
    • Norio is portrayed like this, and though he does have the traits, him being a paedophile and incredibly annoying don't really garner much sympathy. He is at least 18, while Suou (who he obsessively chases after he falls in Love at First Sight) is 13. Not only does no one find this weird, but his pursuit of Suou becomes rather creepy. The show tries to drum up sympathy for him with his mother being a Contractor, and his dad being depressed after she left him. His presence doesn't really add much to the story, but Suou herself even commented that he was just like Nika. Except he wasn't. At all.
  • In Dreamin' Sun, Zen falls in love with protagonist Shimana and extremely supports her in all her choices... but she is very much in love with Taiga and rejects him. The author leaves open the possibility of him hooking up with Saeko, who has a crush on him.
  • Shinra from Durarara!! has been trying to romance Celty for twenty years. I.E., since he was four.
  • From Eureka Seven, Dominic. He's devoted to Anemone despite the fact that she treats him like crap and is, well, unstable. Once she gets better, though, she reciprocates his feelings. But he actually has to leave her before she realizes that he's her Living Emotional Crutch.
  • Fairy Tail has Happy of all characters being this. When he meets a female of his species named Carla, he falls head-over-heels for her and makes every attempt to appease or even impress her. At first, Carla spurns him and treats him with disdain, but she eventually grows to accept him as a friend in the aftermath of the Edolas Arc. She doesn't yet reciprocate Happy's romantic feelings, however, which has not deterred Happy in the slightest.
  • The very, very flirty but loyal, kind and patient-when-it-counts Dee towards Ryo from FAKE.
  • Kagura Sohma from Fruits Basket is actually a messed up combination of Dogged Nice Girl, Tsundere, and Yandere (not to mention his cousin) in her obsessive crush on Kyo.
  • Takuto to Mitsuki in Full Moon. At first, he was I Want My Beloved to Be Happy but after finding out this was impossible unless Mitsuki dies TOO, he decides to confess to her. She rejects him at first but he continues to protect her til the end. Fortunately, it finally pays off.
  • Gals!: Aya is this to Rei Otohata. She spends a lot of time pining after him and trying to get him open up to her. Otohata, being the insensitive type, usually regards her affections with indifference or annoyance. He gets especially impatient with her when she cries, which she does often.
  • Girlfriend, Girlfriend: Rika "Mirika" Hoshizaki is of the spectacular displays variety. She consistently flirts with Naoya at every chance and consistently acts nicely toward him to get him to like her. Also overlaps with Rejection Affection. Naoya is not amused by this and actually finds her pushy nature and refusal to leave him alone annoying.
  • Used in most installments of the original UC Gundam saga. A recurring theme throughout is that of the Dogged Nice Guy utterly failing in his pursuit because the woman has already pledged herself to a man with a much more open/stronger personality, or one or more participants in the Love Triangle wind up dead.
    • Worst of all is probably the sad, sad tale of 13-years-old Hathaway Noah of Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack, who can't even let go after the girl (Quess) is dead. In the sequel novel, Hathaways Flash, he leads a resistance movement against The Federation to avenge her, fails spectacularly and gets executed (under orders from his own father, no less, who doesn't even know he's a terrorist!). When he meets Quess in the afterlife, he finds out it was all for nothing because she never even liked him anyway. Ouch.
    • Garrod Ran from After War Gundam X is a mild version of this towards Tiffa Addil. He does have a crush on her, goes Tongue-Tied when she speaks to him and sorta chases after the girl — but he never demands anything from her in return and gradually moves on genuinely wanting to help and protect her, something that she BADLY needs.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 gives us lovable loser Lieutenant Patrick Coulosaur and Colonel Kati Mannequin, with the former being the Dogged Nice Guy for the latter, after a case of Love at First Punch (literally!). Patrick repeatedly defies common sense yet somehow keeps surviving, which makes Kati very flustered, but she uses his apparent crush on her to positively motivate him to follow orders. Thankfully, Patrick's Plot Armor doesn't run out, and after going through hell and emerging unscathed, he finally wins her heart.
      • From the same series, Allelujah Haptism towards Soma Peries/Marie Parfacy. The pair were Raised in a Lab and Marie was Allelujah’s childhood friend. The pair eventually had to separate, but found each other. On opposing sides and Marie going by Soma Peries. After Marie resurfaces, the pair become an Official Couple.
      • Billy Katagiri towards his Kouhai Sumeragi Lee Noriega. Billy and Sumeragi went to the same college together and he wants to see how she is doing years later. Sumeragi doesn’t have any romantic feelings, so she figures that she can use him to figure out what’s going on for his end. After Season 1, she starts living with Billy until Setsuna comes in and brings her back while revealing the truth to Billy. It takes a long time before they reach being Amicable Exes.
      • Lichtendahl “Lichty” Tsery towards Christina “Chris” Sierra. Lichty is doing everything he can to make Chris love him back, but she’s unaware. She ends up taking a photo with Johann Trinity, leader and eldest of Team Trinity, to his dismay. It takes being moments away from death for Chris to finally reciprocate.
  • Joshua Lundgren of GUN×SWORD is a sweet, smart, polite young man (despite his social awkwardness). Wendy immediately recognizes that he's "nice," but she's already so smitten with Van that she doesn't seem to realize that Joshua has a crush on her.
  • Gender Inverted example: Ayumu Nishizawa is this in regards to Hayate in Hayate the Combat Butler.
  • Tatsuya Tsugawa displays a low-key yearning for Action Girl Seine in Hekikai No AION. He tries to be her Living Emotional Crutch, always remembering her that he'll always be there for her, worries about her dangerous methods of hunting, and tries to make her smile at least. She calmly said to him she doesn't correspond his feeling but he said he doesn't care and keeps trying, even after 4 years. Finally, in Chapter 39, he spits it out giving her a Big Damn Forceful Kiss.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • Toris/Lithuania is a good example of this... while he is a kind person who wouldn't deliberately hurt anyone, he refuses to see that his crush Natasha/Belarus hates him because her rather "special" crush is Yandere for Lithuania himself. So she breaks all his fingers in retaliation, but Lithuania refuses to notice it.
    • Back when Italy was Chibitalia, the Holy Roman Empire was this to him. Chibitalia was scared of him at first but eventually returned his feelings.
  • Jagaaaaaan: Robahata at first just seems like this towards Karen, but it’s soon horribly subverted with Robahata being a much more vile variation of this as he rapes her out of jealousy when she loses her virginity to another boy awakening his Fractured form in the process which allows him assault other women through intoxication endorphins. Thankfully he gets Laser-Guided Karma courtesy of Imashika castrating him with her claws.
  • If I See You In My Dreams: Masuo Fuguno is this towards Nagisa Shiozaki. It's downplayed given that she does have feelings for him, but her Tsundere personality coupled with her general mistrust of men due to suffering too many heartbreaks get in the way. Miho Hamaoka also counts as a female example towards Masuo, who is very aware of her feelings and appreciates them, but unfortunately she met him by the time he'd already fallen in love with Nagisa.
  • I'm Gonna Be an Angel!:
    • Yuusuke tries to win Natsumi, his aloof classmate's heart to no avail, and at least throughout the first season, she generally treats him like crap. Likewise, Noelle is this for Yuusuke.
    • Also, Raphael can be considered this (mixed with Chivalrous Pervert) for Mikael. Although it is a little more complicated in their case, because they really do love each other, but let's just say that Mikael has some serious problems.
  • Flashbacks in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War show that Shirogane acted this way towards Kaguya soon after they first met, but she just gave him the cold shoulder given that she was in the middle of her Ice Queen phase. He only begins to catch her attention when -at Momo's suggestion- he starts presenting himself as a confident academic rival for her (though him being a good person is ultimately what causes her to fall in love with him).
  • Kitagawa Jun in the 2006 version of Kanon. Kaori is very aware of his efforts, but uses it to her advantage, making him her personal bagboy when she goes shopping.
  • Winner Sinclair in Karin. Not only does he fail to notice that Karin isn't interested in him, he also doesn't notice that she's a vampire and that her best friend is interested in him.
  • In Lovely★Complex, the main character Risa becomes a Dogged Nice Girl when she realizes her crush on the lead male Atsushi. It doesn't help that all of her friends are constantly encouraging her on in her pursuit of him. Though to be fair, she's not always lovey-dovey to him... and he's as dense as a brick when she flat out tells him her feelings.
  • Martian Successor Nadesico: Yurika Misumaru towards Akito Tenkawa. No matter how many times he rejects her, she still continues to tell him how much she loves him, which eventually wears him down and they hook up by the end of the series.
  • Naruto: The title character towards Sakura, until this was finally Defied in the Five Kage Summit arc. In Chapter 469, Sakura gave him her infamous fake love confession, which she tried to pull off in the hopes that he would stop trying to save Sasuke for her. Naruto easily saw right through her, called her out for lying, rejected her outright by telling her that he hates people who lie to themselves, and told her that The Promise he made to her in Part I was no longer the reason why he's still trying to save Sasuke; he has his own reasons now. He later revealed to Sai in Chapter 474 that he knew she always loved Sasuke. As it turns out, Naruto had been lying to himself about his own feelings for Sakura, because he never actually cared for her as anything more than a close friend or older sister. Once he finally moved on from his one-sided shallow crush on her, he eventually fell in love with and got Happily Married to Hinata.
    • Likewise, Sakura was also a female version towards Sasuke in Part I before she got Character Development too.
    • Chapter 539 provided us with an unknown ninja who is infatuated with Sakura, going as far as previously writing her a Love Letter, and attempting an "If I don't make it..." before being (very politely, at least in the anime) turned down by her (because she still loves Sasuke). Mind that they were in the middle of a war and it was a bit inappropriate at the time.
  • Gender Inverted and (possibly) non-romantic example: Sasada Jun from Natsume's Book of Friends, a Muggle who repeatedly attempts to make Natsume admit that he has supernatural powers and generally shows a very large amount of interest in him.
  • Megumi "Nodame" Noda from Nodame Cantabile is another female version, after she falls in love with the ridiculously talented Chiaki. She needs no encouragement though...
  • One Piece:
    • Sanji from has shades of this mixed in with Casanova Wannabe, funnily enough. Though he thinks of himself as a charming and capable ladies' man, he also happily does anything and everything to please Nami and Robin in the hopes they'll fall in love with him.
    Sanji: ...Man, all these couples around here are making me jealous. Maybe today Nami and Robin will suddenly fall in love with me...(starts daydreaming)
    • Female example with Boa Hancock, who similar to how Sanji with Nami and Robin is this for Luffy: a Chaste Hero who for the record only gets annoyed at the beautiful women of Amazon Lily pawing at him when he’s trying to eat. Hancock has multiple daydreams of Luffy reciprocating her love and often states she’ll marry Luffy or outright proposes to him which he bluntly turns down only seeing her as a dear friend at most.
  • Phantom Quest Corp.: Detective Karino is love with Ayaka and tries to prove himself to her in subtle ways. Since she knows he's a good man, she doesn't mind the attention and even flirts with him on occasion. It's more that she's Playing Hard to Get, by feigning disinterest. Though she nearly confesses her feelings for him in the final episode.
  • Sayaka Miki from Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a tragic deconstruction of this trope. She loves Kyousuke, makes lots of things to earn his favor, and deeply wishes to be his girlfriend, but at the same time, she has serious self-esteem issues that leave her with a bad case of Cannot Spit It Out and in denial of her Dogged Nice Girl-dom. It even gets lampshaded by Mami: when Sayaka asks if a Magical Girl can make her wish for someone else's sake, she makes her an Armor-Piercing Question that basically amounts to "do you want to get him to be indebted to you and fall in love with you?" Even more tragically, when Kyousuke does not fall into Sayaka's arms after being healed through her Wish and she is left completely unable to confess her love due to the horrifying consequences of becoming a Magical Girl, she gradually loses her faith in herself and the world, and ends up becoming a Witch. So yeah, being a Dogged Nice Person in this Crapsaccharine World is a very bad idea.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Many fans regard Mousse to be this to Shampoo. Other fans wonder if the guy will get to the point where Shampoo will not be obliged to kill him out of hand once she gets over Ranma and finds someone willing to return her (distinctly non-ambiguous) affection. The anime also has two moments that question Shampoo's feelings for Mousse — the second movie she's arguing against her captor that she has no feelings for Mousse then rescues him anyway. And in one OVA she's given the reverse necklace which reverses her feelings; Mousse finally thinks it's his chance since she'll love him now only for her to scream how much she hates him and beat him nearly to death.
    • And then there's Ryoga, who is depressed over the fact that Akane sees him only as a friend and nothing more. Or rather, he would be a Dogged Nice Guy if it weren't for his bad case of Cannot Spit It Out. In the manga, he eventually acquires a female admirer (who even likes his curse) in Akari Unryuu, and by the end, he drops his romantic pursuit of Akane entirely in favor of her. (Making him the only character in the series to break out of the status quo... although he never actually confessed to Akane, either.)
  • Rebuild World: Played With, both genders are explored.
    • In the case of Sheryl for Akira, her motivation in pursuing Akira’s affections is mainly fear for her own survival as well as low key yearning, where she focuses on honing Guile Hero talents because that’s what brings out the extremely sweet side of Akira's Sugar-and-Ice Personality with her.
    • With Carol regarding Akira, she’s a Femme Fatale who sets out with the goal of specifically seducing him, which is later revealed to be part of a Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places pattern of testing strong hunters who could protect her from her insecurities. Carol basically acts as Akira’s advisor and propositions him for sex instead of a relationship. It’s only later developments where she starts seeing Akira as The Confidant with the Commonality Connection of each being Old World Connectors and the dangers surrounding that, that her persuit takes more romantic undertones.
    • Generally speaking, Sheryl's slum gang is characterized as having several of these hoping that if they work hard, Sheryl will notice them, with the named example being Tiol. Tiol's feelings get twisted as he becomes a Tragic Monster at the hands of a Mad Scientist, and he turns into The Resenter of Akira out of vague Amnesiac Resonance as Cybernetics Eat Your Soul effects him. Tiol originally was just going to wait and hope Akira lost interest in Sheryl or died hunting while supporting her as best he could in the meantime.
  • Gurio Umino in Sailor Moon is this first for Usagi, then Naru. With the latter he's way more theatrical in his feelings, waxing poetic and even trying to become Tuxedo Mask for her sake. Naru acts embarrassed, but as time goes on it's clear she has feelings for him and appreciates his efforts.
  • Keisaku Satou from Shakugan no Shana is this for Margery Daw. She commandeers his home, drinks his home dry of alcoholic beverages daily, and generally tends to be really high maintenance. However, he keeps his mouth shut and helps her (as a Mission Control) with her job as a Flame Haze (even after his buddy Eita does an Opt Out) due to having had a crush on her that turns into full-blown romantic attraction. She tries to keep him at arm's length with her Dark and Troubled Past, but this epically backfires, and by the end of Season 2 of the anime, she's rather aware he hasn't given up. In the final season, she finally breaks down and reciprocates his feelings.
  • Shōko Nishimiya the main female protagonist of A Silent Voice has got this bad for the male protagonist Shoya Ishida having had a crush on him since elementary school (despite his bullying of her) and even more so after after he Took a Level in Kindness and becomes The Atoner. Tragically she is unable to properly reveal her feelings to him due to being deaf with her Speech Impediment leading to a particularly heartbreaking Anguished Declaration of Love that Shoya being Oblivious to Love mistakes for her saying “I love moon”. It’s worth noting Shoya does eventually develop feelings for Shōko in return, it’s just that his self-hatred is so severe that the idea that Shōko could love him in the first place after what he put her through simply doesn’t compute with him at all and initially treated her more like a close friend that he had to make up to. Making matters worse is that Shōko almost commits suicide at seeing the anguish and pain she’s inadvertently brought to the boy she adores and is only just saved in time by Ishida himself.
  • Almost everyone in Sing "Yesterday" for Me. Early on, Rikuo tells Haru he's not interested in her, but she decides to pursue him anyway, and spends a lot of time bringing him leftovers, showing up at his work, and arranging "accidental" run-ins with him in the hopes that he will change his mind. Meanwhile Rikuo loves Shinako despite her rejecting him both in college and at the beginning of the story, and hangs around her maintaining an uneasy friendship while he hopes for more, periodically taking tentative steps to advance the relationship. And Rou, even though Shinako has made it clear she sees him like a brother, eagerly spends as much time with her as possible and periodically makes grand, angry displays where he demands that she return his feelings.
  • This is basically Shi Ryuuki's approach to his relationship with Kou Shuurei in The Story of Saiunkoku. To Ryuuki's credit, it's less that Shuurei isn't interested in him personally and more that she has goals which preclude the thought of romance entirely; even more to his credit, he really does genuinely want her to be happy, which is why he doesn't, as The Emperor, simply command her to be his consort and remain at the palace. But all things being equal, he'd prefer that she be happy with him, and he's prepared to wait forever, constantly giving her gifts and trying to think up ways to win her over.
  • Touch (1981): Sasaki to Yuka Nitta. He even changes schools and joins the baseball team in spite of a lack of talent just to be around her. By the end of the manga, she's willing to give him the time of day, but not much else.
  • Miyokichi from True Tears is this towards Aiko. In the end, his persistence indeed makes her change her mind about him.
  • Prince Auler from Twin Princess of Wonder Planet is this in that he loves and wants to win over Princess Altezza. She eventually starts to reciprocate his feelings. Played with in that he also has dog-like Unusual Ears.
  • Morinaga in The Tyrant Falls in Love has stuck by Souichi's side for five years in the hope of having his feelings returned someday, despite Souichi being a homophobe. (Granted, he spent most of those five years concealing his feelings because of the homophobia thing, but he's had enough of hiding them by the fifth year.) Souichi even compares Morinaga's behavior towards him to a dog following its owner, though he's showing signs that he actually doesn't mind Morinaga's dogged pursuit of him.
    • Morinaga is an unusual example of this trope because he actually rapes Souichi (at the beginning of the story, setting off the plot). Normally this would disqualify him from DNG-hood, but his behavior afterward still counts as this trope, only now he's become more of The Conquerer as opposed to the Patient Friend.
  • In Urusei Yatsura, Inaba starts out as a decidedly non-threatening version of this towards Shinobu. She eventually reciprocates. Rupa in the final story arc/5th movie is a much more aggressive version towards Lum.
  • Video Girl Ai has every character being involved with some form of unrequited love. However, Youta "Dateless" Moteuchi subverted this troupe except via actually leaning a lot more towards "I Want My Beloved to Be Happy." He helps the girl get together with her hopeless crush who is also his best friend, despite that he still has a huge crush on her for almost half the series. After they break up, since the friend was originally uninterested anyway, she does fall for Youta but only after he's already moved on.
  • The World God Only Knows: Keima turns into one of these. Justified because if he isn't dogged enough to get the girl, he loses his head.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics: Often, Archie towards Veronica, and similarly Betty towards Archie.
  • My Little Pony Micro Series: In issue #3, Hayseed Turnip Truck towards Rarity.
  • Pocket God: Nooby has a crush on Sun and was the first of the tribe to be nice to her. However, she ended up with Ooga, Nooby's best friend. This made Nooby feel unloved by both, but he got over it once Ooga apologized for neglecting him.
  • Shade, the Changing Man: Shade is this in his first incarnation in Milligan's Vertigo reboot.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Peter prior to being bitten by the radioactive spider was this for Liz Allen who was quite rude earlier on and as such would turn him down with disgust. After becoming Spider-Man and gaining new confidence, Liz became attracted to Peter much to Flash’s jealously, but eventually they all just became friends with Peter a Honorary Uncle to her son Normie. Liz to her credit very much regrets how she treated Peter in high school and wished things could've turned out differently.
    • Black Cat is often this for Spidey, especially when he’s back with Mary Jane (with some writers making her a Yandere). As Felicia explained to MJ more recently, Peter as Spider-Man was the first man she ever truly trusted and truly adores him with all her heart so knowing Spidey loves MJ more than her and can’t ever fully reciprocate the feelings Felicia has for him, is extremely painful for her. It was much worse during the era where Peter and Mary Jane were married as Felicia having been out of New York was unaware and was informed in the cruelest manner possible by Venom after he just given her a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
    • Jessica Jones was retconned as being a suitor for Peter when she was young and unlike Peter with Liz was too shy to even talk to him (despite Peter being no less unpopular) and only capable of watching him adoringly from afar. Sadly when Peter did talk to her it was after the car accident which killed her family and Jess thinks he’s only taking pity on her and spites him for it. By the time they meet properly again unmasked Jessica is already married with a child to Luke Cage so they're Just Friends.
  • Strangers in Paradise: David Qin seeks Katchoo out on a more or less daily basis, even though she explains repeatedly (and violently) that she's not interested in men. It's revealed later on that his sister Darcy sent him to spy on Katchoo and Francine. She relents after he helps her and Francine through some rough times, and he moves in with them.
  • Superman: Clark Kent was often this for Lois Lane, though he had the obvious silver lining of Lois loving his alter ego. From the '90s onward, comics generally ditch this all together with Lois loving Clark whether he's super or not.
  • Thanos: Thanos is this in his original depiction. He's madly in love with Death (the incarnation and the concept) and does everything to earn her favor. Among other things, he creates a massive monument, resurrects his granddaughter as an Undead Abomination and wipes out half of all life in the universe, solely to impress her. When she continues to turn her back on him, he gets angry that she's not giving him what he "deserves".
  • W.I.T.C.H.: Martin is a stereotypical nerd (glasses, geeky interests, and a Geek Physique) that, while persistent, is actually a Nice Guy that Irma eventually gives a talking to so he understands they're Just Friends and he later has some shiptease with his cute French pen pal that comes to visit him; naturally, Irma is annoyed that his attention is no longer on her and her friends love pointing this out. Interestingly, issue fifty shows a possible future where Martin has become a real good-looking geek and Irma shows real concern when he accidentally hurts himself; cue very interested looks from the other girls before an annoyed Irma tells them to knock it off.
  • Wonder Woman: The New 52 would turn Wonder Woman's long standing Love Interest Steve Trevor into this due to her romance with Superman. She gently turned Steve down when he asked her out and he took it well, but when affected by Pandora's Box he becomes a Yandere who wants to kill Clark. DC Rebirth though retconned his actions out and brought Diana and Steve back together again.
  • X-Men: Beast was this for Jean though in some Early Instalment Weirdness his affection in the original run was well out of Nice Guy territory being someone that just sexually harassed Jean several times. It was only later comics where Hank shifted into this trope, before dropping his crush altogether valuing his friendship with Jean more.

    Comic Strips 
  • For Better or for Worse had Anthony, who combined the Patient Type with a passive-aggressive Entitled to Have You. After dating Elizabeth off-and-on and agreeing to be Just Friends, he spent the later years of the strip pining after her and broadcasting the fact he was still interested and willing to wait for her... despite getting married in the meantime. Readers were meant to accept that he was purely a Nice Guy and Liz's destined love and that Therese was a horrible woman who had no right to be jealous of their relationship.
  • Deconstructed in FoxTrot when Paige spends some time worrying about Morton asking her to the dance like he always does, where she will have to turn him down like she always does. Then she finds out that he asked someone else, and instantly gets upset that he didn't even try. When she finally brings herself to confront him, she says she's offended that he forgot about her, and he says he didn't ask because he remembered.
    Paige: Morton, you're killing my ego.
    Morton: Egos heal.
  • Luann: Brad is this most of the time, chasing crushes on Diane and Toni — especially true for the latter. Though at times he's been shown as angry and loudmouthed towards his sister, he's largely completely sympathetic the entire time.

    Fan Works 
  • A gender-inverted example with Lya towards Armani in the Broken Bow series. She's tried everything from Through His Stomach to kidnapping Christopher Walken.
  • Equestria Girls: A Fairly Odd Friendship Deconstruction. Sunset is annoyed with Timmy at how he's pining for someone like Trixie, a popular girl who rejects him and clarifies she is not interested in him. Sunset bluntly told Timmy he is wasting his time on someone who will never like him; Sunset becomes sympathetic once Timmy tells her why he likes Trixie. Later, when Timmy asked Rarity for advice on how to talk with girls, Rarity spells out how his attempts at romance (saying that the girl the love of his life) are obsessive and creepy. She cites Zephyr Breeze, pointing out his lame come ons just make him look pathetic. Timmy takes that to heart and listens to Rarity's advice so he would not end up like Zephyr Breeze.
  • Deconstructed in The Flash Sentry Chronicles. Spike believed that he had a chance with Rarity whenever she would flirt and tease with him. However, because Spike is still a young dragon, he never caught on that she didn’t recuperate his feelings and was taking advantage of him, which lead to Spike finding out the hard way, that Rarity was in a relationship with Lightning Blitz. When Spike tries to prove himself to be better for Rarity than Lightning Blitz, it takes the latter to calling him out on it, and asking him some uncomfortable questions to make him realize that he was deluding himself, and that he never had a chance with Rarity.
  • The Forever Captain series: Daniel Sousa gives off the vibe of having been this to Peggy— at least until he realizes that Grant (Steve) is the man she’s chosen.
  • According to some fanfics, James Potter and Lily Evans from the Harry Potter universe fit this trope well. It seems to be pretty solidly there in canon, though. When we see James asking Lily out in their fifth year, not only does she turn him down, they're both acting like this is hardly the first time she's had to reject him. We're later told that they didn't start going out until seventh year, so that's at least two years of James dogging persistently after Lily since we don't know when he first started asking.
    • There's a subversion there as well. James was a Jerk Jock in their fifth year, and a bully on top of that, which is one of the reasons Lily wouldn't have anything to do with him. It was only when he got over himself that Lily reciprocated. (Not to mention that her other suitor was Severus Snape, a case of Unlucky Childhood Friend who lost his chance via greatly wronging Lily in the worst way possible.)
  • Greece from Hetalia: Axis Powers often has a low-key yearning for Japan in fanworks, sometimes to the point of waiting over a hundred years for Japan to return his feelings, although it's clear in most of these fanworks that Japan does like Greece back and just has a bad case of Cannot Spit It Out or Oblivious to Love. Or that both of them are Twice Shy.
    • Sometimes Japan's adoptive sister Taiwan is depicted the same way, acting cheery and sweet to him but deep down also expecting him to like her back.
    • Spain also has shades of this in some Spain/Romano fanworks. While Romano is shown as a Tsundere in Spain/Romano fanworks, he might switch to this trope in Romano/Belgium ones.
    • Korea is depicted as this in most, if not all, China/Korea fanworks. Some of these fanworks actually give a tragic spin to this trope by depicting Korea as being fully aware that China doesn't return his feelings or just finds him annoying and knowing deep down that throwing himself even more at China will not change this, but that he can't bring himself to give up hope that someday, somehow, China will eventually love him back.
  • Deconstructed in In Your Wildest Dreams. When he find himself in one of Weiss's nightmare, Jaune attempts comfort her, only to make the nightmare worse, because she's horrified to be near him. She frantically gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech about how all her attempts to woo her have been nothing but stressful, since he's been harassing her for months and refuses to take no for an answer. On top of that, every time he asks her out in public, he also makes her look bad in front of others, making both their friends and strangers view her as the bad guy for constantly crushing his heart, which only exacerbates her existing struggles to make social connections. Jaune is mortified, and upon awakening, apologizes to her publicly.
  • Lightly touched upon and deconstructed in the later chapters of Jerk in Sheep's Clothing. When asked why he cannot accept romantic feelings for Marinette, Adrien explains that he is waiting for another girl (Ladybug), and does not wish to be "unfaithful" to her, even though she has already refused his feelings. Nino and Kagami pick apart his logic, stating that waiting for a girl who has already rejected him to one day magically change her mind makes him look sad and pathetic.
  • Oreo Uziel from Mending The Knots is a very harsh deconstruction of this type of character. He acts as if he and Pyrrha are together just because they are partners on the same team, but in reality, he is an obsessive creep with zero respect for Pyrrha's boundaries — to point of regularly trying to sneak into her bed — and who drives Pyrrha to get as far away from him as possible.
  • Michelle from The Night Unfurls is not a Nice Guy, but him throwing a party to show his affection to Maia in Chapter 5 counts as the "spectacular displays" type. She finds his advances irritating. Later Played for Drama when he ditches the persistent part and joins the Black Dogs to make her love him.
  • Midnight from A Pleasant Surprise, is definitely this. It pays off for him in the end when he gets with Fluttershy.
  • In Danny Phantom fanfic Resurrected Memories: The OC Christopher Morgan is a Downplayed example. He likes Sam and flirts with her, but he is never aggressive and makes it clear that he respects her feelings and that he would back off if she genuinely didn’t feel the same way. If anything, he is a Deconstruction of one, as while he does like Sam, he was genuinely hurt when Sam told him to get lost and lost his patience when she said she still likes him accusing her of being a Master of the Mixed Message and demanding to know if she truly doesn’t like him or not, explaining that he can accept rejection, but he refuses to be strung along.
  • Lou from Take This Waltz is a nice guy and a loving husband but his wife's dissatisfaction with her comfortable daily life causes her to pursue someone else.
  • Takato acts like this towards Rika in the Tamers Forever Series. Even if it's downplayed due to the fact that Takato never tells Rika about his crush, His selfless devotion to her is truly a thing of awe. Even after she cruelly mocks him, he will still be there to help her, without ever once coming across as an Extreme Doormat.
  • In The Weaver Option Wei Cao initially proposed marriage to Taylor in hopes of escaping the Decadent Court of her homeworld. While Taylor instead forced her to enlist in the Guard and work her way up through the ranks, Wei still made the occasional overture or gesture, like a public kiss after her first battle. Over time the two developed a mutual and genuine love which Taylor made official by making Wei her consort.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan novel Without a Hive: Spark Wheel, to Meadow Song. And it works. He gets the mare. Too bad for him he didn't realize she is actually a male Changeling Infiltrator, making this a Subversion. Then, in a Double Subversion, Meadow really loves him!

    Films — Animation 
  • A Bug's Life: Flik's crush on Atta is quite clear from the very beginning, but to start off with, she rebuffs any of his attempts to be sweet towards her. As the movie progresses, however, she starts warming up to him after getting to understand him better and eventually professes her newfound admiration for him.
  • Prince Lir from The Last Unicorn initially is pushy towards the Lady Amalthea, doing many different actions to call her attention, but she's disinterested in engaging with him. After she loses her memory is when she starts giving him a chance and falling for him.
  • Hal of Megamind. Hal seems likely to go the "spectacular romantic displays" route at first, his attempts to win Roxanne's attention are sympathetic at the very beginning but quickly turn creepy. Either way, it quickly becomes apparent that he is, at best, highly insensitive to her actual feelings, not to mention mildly delusional. In the end, far from winning her over, his childish attitude toward Roxanne contributes to his proving to be the villain of the piece.
  • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Legend of Everfree, Flash Sentry repeatedly helps the human Twilight Sparkle out, but she ignores his advances and gets together with Timber Spruce instead. Sunset Shimmer points out he is projecting his feelings for Princess Twilight Sparkle onto the human one and tells him to move on and stop waiting for Princess Twilight to come back.
  • Sunny from Strange Magic helps Dawn in her attempts to find romance even though he obviously likes her. In his case, there's also a racial barrier since he's a short, dark-skinned elf and she's a fair-skinned fairy princess.
  • The eponymous character of WALL•E is this for the sleek scout droid EVE. EVE falls for him too, eventually, but in an interesting twist on this trope, he didn't "earn" her by his persistent attempts to woo her. What made EVE fall for WALL•E was realizing that even when he wasn't trying to make her fall for him, or when he couldn't, he was a wonderful person anyway, and he deeply cared for her regardless of whether she loved him back or not.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Jane in 27 Dresses is the Patient Friend variety for her boss, George. Subverted in the end: as when they finally kiss, she "felt nothing", and she realises that she's fallen in love with Kevin, the reporter, instead
  • Anna and the Apocalypse: John is established to hold a candle for Anna but the film Holwood Ending demonstrates how he's aware that she probably doesn't return it. He takes it maturely and doesn't push her.
  • Lou, the bodega owner from Annie (2014). He has the dig on for Ms. Hannigan and is persistent about it. He eventually wins her over.
  • In Barbie (2023), the main Barbie and Ken have this dynamic as Ken Desperately Craves Affection as a result of wanting to be respected as a man living in a matriarchy. Ken near constantly tries to win Barbie over with absolutely no success, mainly due to Barbie not loving him the same way. After being continually rejected, Ken is inspired by the real world to forcibly take the power in their society he was denied. In the end, after the dust has settled on the Ken Rebellion, the two actually don't get together, though Barbie does at least acknowledge her own faults in his courtship of her and the hand it had in his mental breakdown while advising Ken to find his own individual identity and that he didn't need her to be happy.
  • In Caveman, the protagonist Atouk (played by Ringo Starr), is this to the villain's superficial girl Lana. Subverted in the end, since he literally dumps her on dinosaur poo and goes for the dogged nice girl Tala.
  • The male lead in Chasing Amy refuses to give up on his love interest, even though she's a lesbian which should make his efforts ultimately worthless... until she reveals that she's actually a bisexual who decided she would be more accepted as a lesbian. The second half of the movie becomes a deconstruction of this concept, eventually shifting from a story of unrequited love to a cautionary tale about forcing someone to love you on your own terms.
  • Cloverfield, of all places: It's made clear early on that Hud has feelings for Marlena, even though Marlena isn't particularly interested and brushes him off more than a few times. As the movie progresses, however, they start to get along better, reaching a head when Marlena attacks one of the parasites that was trying to drag Hud away, getting bitten in the process. She starts to warm up to him when he helps treat her wound, but it all ends badly when the bite makes Marlena die in an incredibly disturbing and sudden way. It's driven home and made all the more wrenching that she asked Hud for help first when she starts rapidly worsening, rather than her best friend.
  • John Belushi's character, Ernie Souchak, is this in Continental Divide. To be fair, Souchak is no Bluto, but after the third or fourth time Dr. Porter the eagle biologist tells him she's not interested, you'd think he'd get the memo.
  • Michael towards Katie in Darby O'Gill and the Little People, despite her snapping at him and letting Pony take her home.
  • Bruce Wayne thinks his eventually getting together with Rachel Dawes in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Trilogy is a Foregone Conclusion. They've been friends for years and once she learns the truth about his double life as Batman, he seriously thinks that she'll wait for him to finish being Batman as long as he remains true to her in his heart and all that jazz (she does give him that impression at the end of the first film after all). In The Dark Knight, however, Rachel moves on to Harvey Dent but Bruce seriously thinks Dent is just a placeholder while Rachel waits for Bruce to finish up his work as Batman, but Rachel is clearly more into Dent than Bruce and in the end, she does realize that and tells Bruce as much in a letter... only to then be horribly killed by the Joker and for Alfred to burn the letter believing it's for the best and hoping Bruce will eventually move on. Unfortunately, Bruce spends eight years moping over Rachel even after the truth finally comes out in The Dark Knight Rises before he settles down with Selina "Catwoman" Kyle in Italy.
  • To a certain extent Knox Overstreet from Dead Poets Society in his subplot with Chris. It is unresolved whether they wind up together or not by the end, but it's implied that his willingness to act on his feelings is what really counts.
  • Deadly Advice: Ted, the village doctor, continues his pursuit of Jodie despite all of the obstacles that her mother Iris throws in his path. The final scene indicates that perhaps he is not quite such a nice guy after all.
  • D.E.B.S.:
    • Lucy is a female example, even though she's a villain. She is looking for a stable relationship, but is too socially awkward and afraid of making connections, despite being a competent criminal. She falls in love with Amy, and immediately plans to woo her. Their "first date" starts with Lucy kidnapping Amy and Janet, and later Lucy sets up supervillainous schemes to get Amy alone to talk to her.
    • Amy's ex-boyfriend Bobby, is an antagonistic example. He spends a lot of his screen time trying to win Amy over after she dumped him, though he quickly shows how pushy he is about it. He apparently buys her gifts to woo her, and when she’s forced back into a relationship with him, love bombs her when he "forgives" her for her fling with Diamond. Throughout, Bobby displays an entitled and controlling attitude towards Amy.
  • Max from Design for Living "didn't get to first base" with Gilda, but has been hanging around her for five years as her "friend", carping with disapproval about any other man she happens to date. She finally caves and marries him after leaving Tom and George.
  • Dil Se.. features the male lead Amar chasing a Broken Bird terrorist named Meghna all over the country, trying to win her affections. It does not end well.
  • In Frankenstein 1970, Mike is in love with Judy and continues to determinedly press his suit despite knowing that she is carrying a torch for her ex-husband.
  • Deconstructed in Good Luck Chuck. Terrified of losing Cam due to the curse, Chuck goes into full Type A mode, which creeps Cam out so much that she breaks up with him for stalkerish behavior.
  • In Good Neighbors, Victor pines after Louise throughout the film, while she pays little notice to him and uses him several times when it suits her needs.
  • Heaven Knows What plays this to the skeevy hilt in the street denizens in New York City. While Harley, an attractive teenage junkie, is avoiding her cruel boyfriend Ilya, the comparatively wholesome thief Skully doggedly follows her around trying to get into her good graces, but Harley spurns him for Mike, a drug dealer. Mike, in turn, also tries to pull Harley away from Ilya's cruel behavior, but she ultimately spurns him as well.
  • Horns has Lee, who eventually murders Merrin when she rejects him, framing her boyfriend (and his best friend) for the deed.
  • Private Zoller in Inglourious Basterds. He acts exactly like a romantic comedy protagonist, as this trope demands, but, of course, there are a few problems. Not least of all is the fact that, well, Shoshanna's (secretly) Jewish, she's already dating a black man Marcel, and he's a freakin' Nazi! To squick us out even more, he hero-worships the man who slaughtered her family; both the audience and Shoshanna know this from the second scene we see him in. When she finally manages to get through to him that there's no way in hell that she'll ever be interested in him, he stops being so nice... Also, he uses his strong-arm Nazi position to force her on dates with him and to position himself at the theater she works in. Very very not nice.
  • Lady of the Night: "Chunky", who knows that Molly isn't as into him as he is into her—she's in love with handsome Dave—but doesn't care. (She smacks him when he tries to dance cheek to cheek.) It's one of the more positive examples of this trope, as he is willing to put her first and step aside if David got serious about Molly. And he's rewarded in the end, as Molly, who recognizes that Chunky cares about her even if she isn't in love with him, agrees to marry him and go away.
  • Life Is Beautiful has Roberto Benigni as an over-energetic male protagonist engaging in stalkerish behavior to get the woman he is in love with.
  • Love, Simon doesn't just Deconstruct this trope, it villainizes it. Martin is convinced that he's the main character in some quirky romantic comedy, whereas everyone else sees him as an irritating loser, and the uglier sides of this trope show when he publicly humiliates the girl of his affections by making a spectacle out of asking her out, then outs a closeted gay kid at school to take the fall for his own embarrassment. Even when he's shown to be remorseful, it's in the form of an equally failed self-imposed redemption arc.
  • Happy Hogan in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was this towards Aunt May, taking the low-key yearning route. They get together in Spider-Man: Far From Home, but he quickly gets dumped for being too clingy according to May by the next film. Despite this, he still gives up his entire bedroom for her when she and Peter move in with him and is willing to bunk with Peter indefinitely.
  • Jordan from My Awkward Sexual Adventure is a Deconstructed Character Archetype - on all the pictures with Rachel after whom he's been pining for 24 years, he is present as this. When he finally got a shot with her, he continued to be meek and obedient which ruined any chance of a decent relationship. The film is about him being strung along by Rachel even after they break up.
  • Parodied (like most other Teen Movie tropes) in Not Another Teen Movie with Ricky. His major issue is that Janey is completely Oblivious to Love, as she doesn't seem to get that he has a crush on her even after he reads multiple poems detailing the things he loves about her in class. And when he pulls an I Want My Beloved to Be Happy at the end, he gets beat up by the movie's Running Gag.
  • Gladys in Please Turn Over works with Dr. Manners and is just mad about him and is deeply hurt when she believes he is having an affair with Mrs. Moore. Her Naked Revolt counterpart, Aunt Una, takes it a step further and turns to gin to hide her pain over how she longs for him.
  • Roderick in Sex and Death 101 takes the low-key yearning route after Miranda told him that she wasn't interested. When he makes a move and she turns him down, he complains that he has done so many things for her since she said that. She immediately points out the problems with this trope.
    Miranda: Why is it that men think that women, women, are like these giant thermometers at those telethons? Where every time you do something nice for them, they get a little redder, and a little redder, and a little redder, and we hit the top and we have to fuck you?!
  • Shaun of the Dead: David deconstructs this. He pursued a relationship with Liz in school but she found Shaun instead. His response was to date her best friend Dianne for years and set himself up as the Nice Guy ideal boyfriend, and then belittle Shaun even though she's happy with him (even if she wishes he'd be a bit more active). It all comes to a head in the Zombie Apocalypse when he and Shaun are at each other's throats. Making things worse for him, Liz never noticed he had a crush on her until Dianne spelled it out for him - that's right, even she knew. When David defends himself, he's told to shut up and that it really isn't important in the face of survival. When he reveals a vindictive and horrible side, it dashes any hope of being with Liz and he is shortly after torn apart by the horde when they grab him through the window.
  • The Single Standard: Tommy, who is perfectly aware that he is in the friend zone—he even calls himself "boring"—but is content to hang around Arden, occasionally asking plaintively if she'll marry him. Eventually, after Packy dumps Arden, it works, and apparently she marries Tommy out of boredom. Until Packy shows up again, that is, and Tommy pulls out his gun.
  • Subverted in Snow Day; Dogged Nice Guy Hal, after finally getting the girl, realizes how Lane, who had appeared doomed to be an Unlucky Childhood Friend, feels about him, and somehow manages to let the original target girl down without coming across as a massive Jerkass.
  • Subverted in Stoker. Whip seems to have a small crush on India and doesn't participate when his friends bully her. India, for her part, doesn't seem to notice or care about his feelings at first, but later kisses him. But when she tries to excuse herself from their date/makeout session, he refuses to let her leave, and attempts to rape her, claiming she "opened this door."
  • Vicious Fun: The plot kicks off when Joel follows his roommate's new boyfriend to a bar, motivated by pure jealousy. He learns that his behavior towards his roommate has creeped her out so much that she's planning on moving out as soon as possible. Then, when he finds out that her new beau is a serial killer and plans to make her his next victim, his previous behavior prevents her from believing his warnings: she thinks he's just being a jealous creep.
  • Blissworth from Watch Your Stern is keen on Miss Foster but keeps it to himself as he believes that she has something going on with Commander Fanshawe, unaware that it is actually he that she desires.
  • Nick from Youth in Revolt is this in spades; at the beginning of the movie, he has a line of narration where he says that in real life, the nice guy never gets the girl. He actually does get the girl—well, sort of. She likes him, but she'll only be with him if he can find a way to leave his hometown to be near her. His means of getting himself to her are creepy and occasionally manipulative of others, and the worst one has nothing to do with his Bad Boy alter-ego.

  • Anne of Green Gables: Gilbert Blythe is the epitome of the second variation. He makes a badly-timed comment about Anne's red hair and falls for her the instant she smashes her slate over his head in retribution. However, Anne holds this grudge for five years or so, in which time he tries valiantly to convince her he's not the jerk he originally came off as. Once they're friends, he gently implies at times that he wants to be more than just friends, though since Anne is oblivious to both his feelings for her and her growing feelings for him, it goes over her head. He continues to try and be her friend even after she shoots down his marriage proposal and after she dates another man for nearly two years. It takes a near-death experience for Anne to realize she's in love with him, the poor guy.
  • Baccano!: Firo falls in love with Ennis in their first meeting and then proceeds to wait patiently for more than fifty years for her to agree to marry him. It's a good thing that both of them are immortal. Eventually, she does return his feelings.
  • The Beast of Beauty and the Beast asks Beauty to marry him and keeps on doing so even though she keeps on rejecting him every time. Granted, he needed someone to fall in love with and marry him for his curse to be broken, but it's taken for granted that Beauty will eventually realize that he's actually a Nice Guy underneath his monstrous exterior and finally agree to marry him.
  • Ryan in Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains) has been obsessed with Blaze for some time and tries to find new ways to get her to hang out with him for at least a few minutes. She humors him but knows it will never go anywhere. When Blaze undergoes Slut-Shaming, he joins in with the people making fun of her, implying that his affection was shallow.
  • Joseph Heller's Catch-22 brings us Nately, who is madly in love with a prostitute who couldn't care less for him (and would much rather get some much needed sleep), but sticks around him anyway because, well, she's a prostitute and he pays her to, hoping all the while that eventually she'll come to her senses and reciprocate his affection. Eventually she does, after finally getting some shuteye, and Nately dies almost immediately thereafter.
  • Sam Haine the pumpkinhead from City of Devils and Wolfman Confidential, really thinks Nick would be a good pumpkinhead. He's mostly nice, but some of his behavior is a little questionable, and he seems not to be clear on "no."
  • Subverted in the second Dark Swan novel, Thorn Queen: Leith is obviously attracted to Eugenie and spends a lot of his time trying to win her affections, eventually confessing his love for her, believing she feels the same. When she makes it clear that she simply isn't interested, he leaves, brokenhearted. Later, however, she gets captured and drugged for Leith's benefit, and he proceeds to rape her repeatedly — genuinely believing his actions to be out of love and outright denying that what he did was rape. Thankfully, he gets his comeuppance eventually...
  • Don't Call Me Ishmael!: Ishmael has yearned for Kelly since the first time he saw her, even when she was in a relationship with someone else or out of the country.
  • Dracula: Dr. John Seward and Quincy Morris are Dogged Nice Guys for Lucy Westerna who shows great affection for them but ultimately turns them down and chooses the third suitor Arthur Holmwood. John is particularly sympathetic given he’s the one who stayed with Lucy all throughout her illness and is even upset that Dr. Van Helsing only lets gives a portion of his blood to her while he let Arthur give practically a litre away. Subverted as Arthur doesn’t get the girl either with poor Lucy succumbing to her blood loss, dying, and coming back as a vampire before being staked and beheaded. Played With in Hotter and Sexier adaptations, like Bram Stoker's Dracula where Lucy urges John into making out with her even while she’s engaged to Arthur.
  • In the short story Bombshells from The Dresden Files' Brief Cases, Molly Carpenter reveals herself to be this. When Harry rejected her in Proven Guilty (for several reasons, including her young age) her response was essentially 'Okay, I can wait.' Unlike most examples of the trope, she is shown to date other people.
  • Enoch Arden: Philip Ray is very much an example of low-key yearning. He is in love with Annie for most of his life but thinks he has lost his chance when she marries Enoch. When Enoch disappears on a sea voyage, Philip helps out the family but does not make a Love Confession until Enoch has been missing for ten years. Even then, Philip is very sensitive toward Annie's feelings while he is Romancing the Widow, and he never tries to rush her decision.
  • Nicely played with in Terry Pratchett's Going Postal. We are not sure whether Moist will get Adora Belle Dearheart. He will — they are engaged as of Making Money. It's a particularly odd example of this trope because Moist is a consummate con artist, and so he's very, very used to putting on crazy shows. His feelings for her are genuine, but he's put just as much effort into performances aimed at swindling people. Not only that, she was an accidental victim of his in the backstory, so she has a very, very good reason to not trust him.
  • Pip towards Estella in Great Expectations. In the first version of the ending, they don't end up together and he accepts this. In the second version, they have a Relationship Upgrade.
  • Quasimodo the titular The Hunchback of Notre Dame is this for the fair Esméralda who while showing him great compassion won't let Quasi so much as kiss her hand due to his hideousness and only has eyes for the handsome Jerkass Phoebus. Making matters more tragic Quasimodo is really the only man whom Esméralda can trust and rely upon as he genuinely loves her unlike Phoebus or to much a greater extent Frollo who both only want her for sex. There's also Gringoire who while not as capable as Quasimodo also loves Esméralda and genuinely wants to protect her, but like with Quasimodo she doesn't return his feelings, as she holds out hope that Phoebus will rescue her... which he doesn't.
  • Peeta of The Hunger Games. Gale is the same to a somewhat lesser extent, creating a weird sort of unrequited Love Triangle.
  • Ben Hanscom to Beverly Marsh from Stephen King's IT, the novel is very explicit on the intense crush Ben has on her, later lampshaded when adult Bill and Beverly have sex together and they both wonder why it's his arms she falls into instead of Ben's. The Film of the Book ends with Ben becoming a Victorious Childhood Friend, with the two of them on their way, later getting married and having children (breaking another "Losers" curse). In the book, they're together when they visit Mike one last time, and decide to drive back to Nebraska instead of flying, so they can get to know each other as adults. It's a fair assumption they end up together. Richie's hinted crush on Beverly in both the book and the film are more suggestive of this trope. He knows that Bill will always be the one who "gets the girl," not him. Of course, they all get her in a way...
    • The IT remake duology averts this compared to the book with Beverly reciprocating Ben’s feelings much sooner and to a greater extent despite her mutual feelings with Bill, it helps that Bill having sex with Beverly when they’re adults is Adapted Out same as the Miniseries.
  • A rare all-female example of the low-key yearning kind can be found in the Jacob's Ladder Trilogy. Rien loves Perceval, and she wants to go all-out with her, but Perceval is basically asexual and unwilling to, even though she comes to reciprocate Rien's feelings to some degree. Rien keeps trying, anyway, and it's not making either of them very happy.
  • In the Kate Daniels series, Raphael is a Dogged Nice Guy to Andrea, pursuing her for months despite her protests. Justified in that Andrea is a Master of the Mixed Message, giving lame excuses for rejecting him, keeping his obnoxious gifts, and becoming visibly aroused when he flirts with her. Subverted when Raphael finally gets sick of it and tells Andrea to either give him a chance or stop leading him on.
  • In The Kingkiller Chronicle series, Kvothe displays a low-key yearning for Denna.
  • Éponine of Les Misérables fame is a Older Than Radio Dogged Nice Girl for Marius whom only sees her as a pitiable wretch of a girl (in the musical he treats her more like a dear surrogate sister from the streets). In cruel irony for Éponine the girl who did win Marius's heart is Cosette who was abused and neglected by Éponine's family the Thénardiers. In the book, Éponine takes this trope a step further, making sure Marius missed the letter Cosette left him and getting Marius to join her at the barricades disguised so they can be as far she knew Together in Death. It's entirely possible had Éponine been from a wealthier and well-groomed status Marius might've returned her feelings which goes along with Victor Hugo's social commentary of the class system of the 1800s.
  • Light And Dark The Awakening Of The Mageknight: Justified. Danny has good reason to believe Sabrina likes him back (because of her comment on how dragons often hide or evade such things) but refuses to acknowledge it due to their respective roles. He fully intends to change her mind in the sequel.
  • Little House on the Prairie: Almanzo Wilder's courtship of Laura Ingalls initially takes this form. It takes her a while to figure out why he's seeing her home from church and driving her to and from her teaching job every weekend, and when she does, she panics a little. She tells him she's only riding with him because she wants to go home at the weekends and that he doesn't need to feel obligated to keep doing so. The next weekend it's forty below zero and getting colder fast, and she's certain he won't come get her, but he does. When her job's over, she sees that all of her friends are having fun sleighing in pairs, and resigns herself to reading poetry and trying not to feel left out— until Almanzo knocks at the door and invites her to go sleighing with him. She immediately says yes and has to laugh at herself, admitting that she didn't intend to keep spending time with him now. Almanzo says he thought she might change her mind after seeing the crowd go by, and they go sleighing or driving every Sunday after. Almanzo manages to not come off as pushy because he's such a quiet, lowkey man, and he does respect Laura's autonomy and boundaries— he did not protest at all when she said that she was only riding with him to get home, and genuinely felt bad for her living in a difficult situation away from home for the first time. He noticed that she was impressed by his horses, so he invites her to ride behind them. After they've spent some time together, he noticed that she (and her father) are always singing, so he invites her to singing school with him.
  • Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey, though not by any stretch of the imagination a loser and rather more self-aware than most, otherwise fits this trope nicely in his wooing of Harriet Vane.
    Lord Peter: I shall, with your permission, continue to propose to you at decently regulated intervals — as a birthday treat, and on Guy Fawkes' Day and on the Anniversary of the King's Ascension. But consider it, if you will, a pure formality. You need not pay the slightest attention to it.
    Harriet: Peter, it's foolish to go on like this.
    Lord Peter: And, of course, on the Feast of All Fools.
  • In The Phantom of the Opera both Raoul (who is the protagonist for much of the book) and titular antagonist are this for Christine to varying extents, the latter falling to the extreme end almost destroying a portion of Paris if his feelings aren’t fully returned.
    • For Raoul he was extremely close to Christine when they were young and is heartbroken to see Christine seemingly laughing off his affections when they’re older and becomes increasingly more upset and aggravated at Christine seemingly messing him around — this is due to Raoul only having One Side of the Story with Christine being unable to return his feeling at first due to the promise she made to her Angel of Music (actually the Phantom) and afterwards upon learning the truth out of the justified fear that Erik would kill Raoul. When Erik lets Christine go in the ending, she elopes with Raoul to Scandinavia.
    • In the Phantom aka Erik’s case it’s even more tragic as he was already working with a disadvantage being The Grotesque (as well as a Psychopathic Manchild) but he was content merely gaslighting Christine as her beloved Angel of Music it's only when Raoul came into the picture again that he is stricken with jealousy and becomes desperate eventually abducting Christine. Interestingly, Erik actually becomes a greater example of this after Christine sees his Nightmare Face and accepts it as now he refuses to let her go having got such encouragement. It takes a prolonged Scarpia Ultimatum in the finale before he pulls a I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy.
  • Both Kenny Showalter (towards Mia) and Boris Pelkowski (toward Lily and Tina) are featured in The Princess Diaries books. Boris succeeds and Kenny does not.
  • Quite a few P. G. Wodehouse characters. Psmith is a good example, at one point flat-out admitting to his target that he's not expecting her to accept the proposal. He's just hoping she'll add his name to her list of options. It works.
  • In Redeeming Love, this is Michael Hosea’s main tactic for trying to get Angel to marry him, and later to stay with him. Especially interesting because he was not (at first) in love with Angel—he was trying to rescue her from her life as a Sex Slave, and often went to lengths of Honor Before Reason while invoking this trope.
  • Homer/Sonny in Rocket Boys is this to Dorothy Plunk. He eventually gives up, though, when he sees her on a date with his brother, although he never quite loses his feelings for her.
  • Small Game: Mara clocks Tom as one of these. As such she strings him along by giving him attention in exchange for extra food and intel.
  • The Starchild Trilogy: In Rogue Star, Andy Quamodian has always been in love with Molly Zaldiver, but she fell for the roguish Cliff Hawk instead. When she sends him a message asking for help, though, he's still willing to drop everything and rush to her aid, dreaming the whole time that maybe this time she'll reciprocate his feelings.
  • Most of the protagonists' love interests in the Tortall Universe by Tamora Pierce are either dogged or outright pushy. The writing supports this attitude as okay except in a few cases where it becomes Entitled to Have You (as with Jon and Alanna).
  • In the Troubleshooters series, Dave Malkoff pines after Sophia, who in turn pines after Decker, who won't sack up and ask her out. Eventually Dave wins.
  • Jacob Black of The Twilight Saga is a very literal interpretation of this principle.
    • Although he quickly stopped being nice and switched to abuse and manipulation instead. This was done intentionally by Stephenie Meyer in an attempt to make readers who shipped Bella and Jacob ship Bella and Edward instead.
    • Or, rather more worryingly, this was her way of making him a viable love interest, as Edward's behaviour is all but identical, if not worse.
  • William Dobbin, the borderline Loser Protagonist of Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray. Except that Thackeray never met a trope he didn't mess with.
  • Thrushpelt in the Warrior Cats novel Bluestar's Prophecy spends most of the book complimenting and helping Bluestar, but to his chagrin, she is not really interested in him like that. He remains her friend to the end.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The TV Adaptation of 10 Things I Hate About You badly miscalculates this with the character of Cameron. While in the film he's a genuine Nice Guy, the tv version never actually tells Bianca he's interested in her (he tries once in French, which he knows she doesn't understand and sends her a note he knows she never received). When she assumes he's gay, he makes only a cursory attempt to deny it. In one episode, she arranges to go to a dance with a Jerk Jock, and he sabotages the guy's car and steals his cell phone to make her think she has been stood up, then offers to go with her in his place. Given that he comes off like a creepy stalker, and she has a really sweet chemistry with Joey (who was a Jerk Jock in the film), the show seems to be writing itself into a corner.
  • Amigas y rivales: Luis meets Tamara and Irene, and falls in love with Tamara. Irene insists on remaining close friends with the couple and flirting with Luis in the hope that he will notice her. It fails miserably... for a while. In the second half of the telenovela, Tamara and Luis end the relationship, but he continues to be living at her house (it's a long story...) and tries to convince her to date again. When he is finally forced to admit that Tamara does not want to date him again (in the most humiliating way possible, when she brings a boyfriend to her house and throws Luis out of her house), he comes to known Irene better and falls in love with her. In the end, Irene got what she wanted.
  • Seamus Harper is this toward Rommie in Andromeda. That's right, he's in love with a warship. Kind of goes with being a Gadgeteer Genius I guess.
  • Both incarnations of the reality show Average Joe featured entire casts of Dogged Nice Guys — ugly and/or morbidly obese men vying for the affections of a stunning supermodel. At one point, the producers send a boatload of chiseled hunks to compete with the Joes, who instantly feel slighted by the new competition. This highlights the Double Standard and enormous sense of entitlement inherent in this trope, as the Joes begin lashing out at the supermodel for turning her attention to the hunks, calling her shallow...never mind that the Joes themselves only went on the show for the chance to get with a supermodel and that, at the end of the day, they are no kinder or more intelligent than the attractive men.
  • Babylon 5:
    • Lennier is a rather sad example of this trope. He tries to sublimate his emotions into faithful service while trying to think I Want My Beloved to Be Happy. In the end, he fails.
    • Marcus is also this to Ivanova. However, his story arc ends in an Heroic Sacrifice, not a Face–Heel Turn. She's left devastated, regretting she never returned his advances and told him how she felt, and apparently spends the rest of her life recovering.
    • Also Zack Allan to Lyta Alexander. Tragicomically, he finally poured out his feelings to her when she was possessed by an alien, took her complete lack of reaction to mean that she was indifferent to him, and gave up. Of course, the fact that he completely failed to notice that she was possessed by an alien and acting very oddly more or less sums up why she'd have rejected him anyway. Although given that Lyta is an extremely powerful telepath, she probably picked up on his interest long before that point and chose not to reciprocate, not out of any personal distaste towards Zack but with the knowledge that non-telepath Zack would be completely defenseless against her enemies.
  • The writers of The Big Bang Theory seem to be using this trope as an operating manual for Leonard in his relationship with Penny. Its spin-off Young Sheldon has another example with Georgie Cooper and his crush Veronica Duncan.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine initially plays this fairly straight, but eventually deconstructs and subverts it. Detective Charles Boyle is initially hopelessly infatuated with Detective Rosa Diaz, which she makes clear on several occasions is a one-way relationship. This leads him to act in this fashion around her, but it eventually becomes clear that this is actually a bit creepy and weird of him and prompts those around him to view him with a certain degree of disdain. To his credit, however, he eventually realises that Diaz doesn't return his feelings, meets someone who does, and enters into a relationship with her instead. This in turn leads him to start acting more appropriately around Diaz, and he eventually apologises to her for his behaviour and acknowledges that he "wasn't much fun to be around". While the later relationship also ended, there's been no indication that Boyle has renewed his earlier interest in or pursuit of Diaz. There are also some hints that Boyle's behaviour might have had something to do with a recent divorce.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Xander has a crush on Buffy that's usually in the background but seen best in "The Pack". It eventually died on the show, though in the season 8 comics Buffy realizes she may have fallen for him. However, by then he's dating Buffy's sister Dawn.
  • Hubble on Bunheads is given to spectacular romantic displays. He succeeds, then dies at the end of the pilot.
  • Brutally deconstructed in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. The main character, despite the show's title, is more of a Dogged Nice Girl determined to win back over the boy she'd dated once at summer camp when they were both 16, but as the show goes on it becomes pretty clear that she isn't the lovable, plucky heroine, but a self-centered borderline stalker. She's contrasted with some male examples as well - Trent is slightly less stable than her but as a man, his own obsession with Rebecca feels substantially less cutesy (though a side character does encourage him once, telling him that while forcing friendship never works, forcing romance is the stuff of fairy tales, citing Cinderella). Then there's Greg, the most straightforward example, who falls for Rebecca from the beginning despite her total lack of interest in him. Though he's initially treated by the story as the Nice Guy who Rebecca will realize was there with her all along, by the end of the first season it becomes clear that he has enough issues of his own, and falling in love with a girl who was actively kind of a jerk to him is one of them. Their relationship was just never balanced and was bad for them both, so in Season 2, he leaves the show entirely. In the end, forcing love really doesn't ever work, either - the relationships that do work (like Darryl and White Josh) were basically mutual from the beginning.
  • Detective Batista from Dexter eventually convinces Gianna that he is, actually, a nice guy, despite their... less than auspicious meeting. When she says she just wants to be friends, he says he'd be OK with that... and this is what finally wins her over.
  • On Downton Abbey, Branson tries both versions of this trope with Lady Sybil, eventually to great success. William also plays this straight with Daisy and is also successful in marrying her, though Daisy never actually falls in love with William.
  • Ed played this straight. The titular character's behavior would have gotten him a restraining order within the first episode in real life.
  • Family Matters' own Stereotypical Nerd Steve Urkel, who is treated like a fungus for most of the show's run but he eventually does end up winning Laura's heart out of sheer persistence.
  • Farscape has both positive and negative examples. John displays a low-key yearning for Aeryn for a long time before they finally start seriously dating (they have heavy UST and are even implied to have casual sex a couple of times during this period), and they're presented as the Official Couple. By contrast, Stark, after his lover Zhaan dies, acts this way toward Aeryn as well in a quite creepy way, hanging around her shyly and occasionally making ham-fisted attempts to hit on her. After John dies, Aeryn finally blows up at Stark in a memorably vicious "The Reason You Suck" Speech, telling him that Crais (another unwelcome suitor who Stark hates) is better than he is because Crais admits to himself that he wants to have sex with her and doesn't kid himself that he's "saving" her or deeply and unselfishly in love.
  • Niles from Frasier, although he genuinely was too shy to tell Daphne, and she remained comically oblivious for most of the show's run.
    • Niles is also married a good portion of the time and feels that his love and loyalty is owed to his wife, despite his feelings for Daphne. Plus it helps him sympathy-wise that when Maris accuses him of being in love with someone else thanks to the Moon Dance tango, he's willing to take the blame for the marriage failing no matter how victimised he was.
    • The shyness went away after a while, and once it was clear that his marriage was over, he resolved to tell Daphne how he felt. But every time he was about to, something happened that forced him to stay silent.
  • Kingsley from Fresh Meat is this to Josie, but this gets complicated when a) she already has a boyfriend; b) she sleeps with him as an apology; and c) he sleeps with someone else not long before that, leading to massive UST by the end of the first series. He returns wearing a trilby, sporting a soul patch and yo-yo, and puts on a dismissive attitude towards sex and women, making him look like a pick-up artist in training (it doesn't help he's later seen reading The Game (2005)). He and Josie do hook up eventually, but by then he's stopped being a complete tool.
  • Good Girls Revolt: Sam to Jane, a low-key yearning version who often tells her outright he wants to get together. She's not very interested, and he eventually sleeps with Naomi.
  • Good Omens (2019):
  • Deeply deconstructed with Lucas Goodwin in House of Cards (US). Lucas is a bright reporter with lots of promise and a good reputation. Then he meets Zoe Barnes and falls in love. He asked her out twice, but she blows him off both times. Meanwhile, she is having a sexual relationship with Frank Underwood, an ambitious political figure scheming to become President. Because she is also ambitious, she believes she can use him to expand her career. Once Frank is done using her, she gives Lucas a chance, but only because by then, she suspects Underwood might have committed murder and is using Lucas to help investigate. This leads to Frank Underwood killing her, leaving lovesick Goodwin devastated. He goes on a personal quest to try and expose Underwood, but because he has Villain with Good Publicity status, no one believes him. Eventually, he is set up by Underwood and thrown in prison. When he gets out, Frank Underwood is already President and more powerful than ever. He desperately tries again to expose him, but is once again rejected, leading him to an assassination attempt which fails and ends his life. All this over a woman who really didn't love him.
  • How I Met Your Mother, This kind of quest is the main story arc for Ted Mosby. The series starts with him being convinced he'll marry a girl he's just met, before even talking to her. After all, he tells his kids they have to learn "how to turn a no into a yes". When Robin gets engaged to his best friend, Ted is bitter. What follows is a disastrous series finale that shows him getting the initial target girl 25 years later and had been written prior to the second season.
    • Encapsulated in Return of the Shirt. Ted decides that he wants to get back together with an old flame, Natalie, conveniently forgetting how he hurt her in their breakup. He finds her address and shows up uninvited, refusing to leave even when she slams the door in his face and eventually browbeats her into giving him another chance. Within a week, he's decided he doesn't like her anymore and breaks up with her...on her birthday...again. While he gets (comically) beaten up for dumping her, the show displays no concern about how he harassed her into accepting.
    • Subverted in season 3 with Stella, where Stella has just as big a crush on Ted as he does on her, but she's a single mother and a doctor with practically no free time and doesn't think she has any time for dating. His solution is priceless.
    • One episode proposes the "Dobler/Dahmer Theory," after Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything... and Jeffrey Dahmer the Serial Killer. It is that the Grand Romantic Gesture only works when the recipient is already smitten with the person, otherwise it comes across as a Stalker with a Crush. In this scenario Ted is trying to convince his friends that a pretty girl tracking him down is not crazy for the lengths she went to find him... but she proves to be exactly that.
  • Freddie in iCarly towards Carly. He flits between a mild case of a Played for Laughs puppy dog crush in season 1, this in season 2, and I Want My Beloved to Be Happy in season 3. Although he doesn't especially qualify for either major type of this trope: he doesn't sabotage her relationships, but he was also pretty clear about liking her, whilst not being over the top in trying to woo her. As they grew up, Freddie and Carly went from being next-door buddies to true best friends. The final episode of the show has Carly giving him a romantic kiss.
    • And now Freddie has a Spiritual Successor in A.N.T. Farm's Fletcher Quimby who serves just the same functions as Freddie did but minus the nerd tendency. And thankfully, no version of Sam to annoy him.
  • A central part of Simon's character on The Inbetweeners. He has a deep crush on Carli, his neighbor and childhood best friend, and will do anything to win her over. He frequently makes dramatic romantic gestures to win her over, and she is clearly aware of his feelings but maintains just enough plausible deniability to ingnore him. Over the course of the series it becomes clear that she's just stringing him along to manipulate him when it's convenient for her, and his pursuit makes him pathetic rather than successful.
  • Parodied on Inside Amy Schumer in a sketch called "Hello M'Lady" a commercial for an "app for your smartphone that lets you manage those clingy, fragile guys who think they're dating you".
  • Emil on Intimate is the modern, cynical take on the trope, as he really can't fathom why his ex-girlfriend doesn't want him anymore and resorts to several Zany Schemes and seemingly Grand Romantic Gestures such as faking his own death to win her back.
  • Law & Order: SVU:
    • Naturally, the show has featured a dark deconstruction of this trope in which a dogged nice guy committed a series of rapes in order to cause a neighborhood panic. The local panic gave him a pretext to bond with the object of his affections over their shared need to protect the neighborhood, when she otherwise barely noticed him and gave no hint of returning his feelings. Eventually, he escalated to attacking her (and then pretending to save her!) when he found out she was seeing someone else.
    • In a much sweeter (and much straighter) example, Dominick "Sonny" Carisi is obviously head-over-heels in love with Amanda Rollins for years while she finds herself in and out of one bad relationship after another, steadfastly supporting her as her closest friend and the only father figure her daughters have ever known. It takes her seven years, but she finally wises up to the fact that she's fallen in love with him at the end of season 22, and they start what is quite frankly the only healthy romantic relationship she's ever had.
  • Neil from The Librarians (2007), who is besotted with Christine, but such a useless ne'er do well that even she can do better.
  • Craig Feldspar of Malcolm in the Middle is the coworker of the eponymous character's mother Lois, and is shown on multiple occasions to have a crush on her. For the most part, Lois was oblivious to it, until the second season episode "Robbery", when Craig confesses his feelings to her while they are being held hostage at gunpoint during a robbery of the drugstore they work in. After he confesses his feelings, Lois brutally explains to him that there's nothing between them and there never will be. It's so harsh, even one of the robbers expresses some pity for Craig. He's a crying wreck by the end of the episode, but this does spur him to get over his unrequited crush, and in later episodes, even begins dating other women with varying degrees of success.
    Craig: Lois, I love you.
    Lois: ...what?
    Craig: Lois, I love you with all my heart. You are my reason to get up in the morning, you are my everything.
    Lois: Craig-
    Craig: Lois, I don't wanna feel this way, I know you're married, I know you have four beautiful boys, it's my heart. I wish I didn't have a heart, but I do. And I can't help loving you. I can't help loving you with my stupid, stupid heart!
    Lois: Oh Craig, why'd you have to say that? Dear sweet Craig... I am truly sorry. I'm sorry for the way you feel. I'm sorry for any indication that I gave you that I consider you anything more than a friend. And I am so sorry for what I have to do now because now I have to crush whatever it is in you that made you do what you just did. I am going to have to hurt you very, very badly, but believe me, Craig, it's for your own good. Number one... No to everything you just said! No to what you're thinking, no to everything you dream, no to your what-ifs, no to every single fantasy, wish, dream, and elaborate scenario that involves the two of us! No, no, nooooooo! Number two. [Lois pinches him]
    Craig: OW!
    Lois: Remember that pain. Whenever a thought creeps into your head wondering if there's anything more to the "Hello" I gave you in the morning, you remember that pain. You have no future with me. You have nothing with me. [whispers] I'm sorry.
  • My Dead Ex: Ben is a sweet boy who absolutely commits himself to winning Charley over. However, when he crosses lines (like sniffing her clothes, posting a drawing Charley made without asking, or lying to her) it's made clear that is definitely not okay.
  • New Girl: In season 4, Winston decides to play the long game with the new neighbors by being unfailingly helpful in all things, from helping them move in to renovating their apartment (with their permission) by himself. Coach eventually snaps at the girls for taking advantage of Winston and tells him to stop helping them. While the girls initially deny leading him on, when they realize Winston is going to leave in the middle of the renovation, they reconsider. End result: One of the girls has sex with Winston, Winston finishes the renovation, and then no one talks about it ever again because they all agree it was embarrassing for everyone.
  • Noah's Arc: Interestingly enough, Ricky is this to Noah. Ricky shows increasing emotional investment and protectiveness of Noah, particularly after the gay-bashing, but it's revealed in the movie that Ricky has actually been in love with him for some time.
  • A gay example is Justin in Queer as Folk (US). He stalks Brian quite perseverantly until he tolerates his company and eventually they achieve a normal relationship.
  • Scrubs: When J.D. and Elliot are interrupted in the act of leaning in for their first kiss, J.D. tells himself he has 48 hours to get the kiss or be relegated to the Friend Zone. When he fails, the Friend Zone is parodied as an actual room of the hospital filled with all the guys (and one girl) who wound up in Elliot's Friend Zone over the years — some of whom are still hoping she'll come around.
  • In Seriously Weird, Harris Pemberton was trying to play this role to the obligatory Alpha Bitch. The one time he actually manages to convince her to go on a date with him, one of his friends (the female black New Age one) was almost blown to the other side of the planet. This is why you should not date the Weirdness Magnet.
  • Skipper in Sex and the City. Steve (his Suspiciously Similar Substitute, incidentally), to an even greater extent, given that he ends up married to Miranda after overcoming all of her attempts at pushing him away.
  • On Sports Night, this is how Dan's relationship with Rebecca begins, with him apparently having asked her out seventeen times offscreen.
  • Dr. Julian Bashir in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He finally succeeds, just not with the Dax he started out with.
  • Cody of The Suite Life on Deck acted this way toward Bailey for most of the first season. This is a mild subversion, as it was pretty clear that she liked him, too. When they got together, the writers shifted this trait onto Marcus Little, toward London Tipton, who is too much in her own world to notice.
  • Supergirl (2015): Winn is initially this to Kara, bordering on Stalker with a Crush, as he is obsessively helpful and even plays Mission Control when she first starts being a superhero. Kara thinks they're Better as Friends. Winn eventually comes to agree with her, growing out of the archetype a bit and giving up any attempts to initiate a romance with her. His later relationships with other women are all founded on him being a Nice Guy, but not a Dogged Nice Guy.
  • Tales of the Unexpected adapted a John Collier short story "Youth from Vienna" - a geeky scientist persistently courts a tv newscaster until she relents - but she dumps him for a tennis player, figuring him as a better fit. The scientist acquiesces, and gives them a wedding present - a prototype youth-retaining serum, warning them that it's a single dose, and splitting it would be fatal. It turns out to be merely flavored water, allowing the scientist to prove the couple really didn't care for each other, as they had each drank and refilled the vial behind the other's back. She gets back together with the scientist to a hinted-at happy ending.
  • Teen Wolf:
    • Stiles crushes on Lydia, who really doesn't care.
    • Lydia flirts with Stiles in the fifth episode when he came by to see if she was okay - much to his delight, at least until he finds out that she's only doing so because she was really drugged up and thought he was Jackson.
    • By the end of the second season, Lydia is at the very least aware of Stiles' feelings for her and does actually seem to care about him, but its unknown whether the attraction is even remotely reciprocated, considering her and Jackson's relationship.
    • By the middle of the third season, they have become close friends. Lydia even kisses him, to stop a panic attack he is having. And when Stiles has to undergo a sacrifice ritual, he is paired with Lydia because she is someone he has a strong bond with - "a sort of emotional tether." Wordof God is that Stiles and Lydia getting together is "the long game."
  • Nickelodeon's The Thundermans has Sarah as a gender-flipped, female version of this trope with her crush on Max.
    • Sarah is a very smart, nerdy, kind, but also attractive and cute girl who goes to high school with The Thundermans' main twin characters, Max and Phoebe. She develops a huge, almost obsessive crush on Max, and goes out of her way to try and impress him and flirt with him, but no matter how much she tries to flirt with him and go out of her way with grand gestures of her love for him, Max being that he wants to be a supervillain unlike his family of superheroes, sometimes tends to be rather rude and harsh towards her when he rejects her romantic advances. However, because of her obsessive crush on him, she never quite gets the hint and it isn't until Max and Phoebe convince her to date Gideon, their other friend who has a small crush on her, that she finally relaxes her crush on Max and tries to move on from him so she can devote her full romantic attention to Gideon instead.
    • The above-mentioned Gideon himself can be considered an example of this trope as well because he is a cool, nice and very affably friendly guy, (and just like Sarah, he's also rather nerdy and geeky too) who starts off the series having an unrequited, and somewhat passionate crush on Phoebe as well (although his is not nearly as bad and obsessive as Sarah's crush was on Max). However, what makes Gideon different from Sarah is that he flirts with nearly every attractive woman who crosses his path, like somewhat of a Casanova Wannabe that finds anything that moves attractive.note  Sarah kept her unrequited obsessive crush focused solely on Max until they hooked her up with Gideon towards the end of the series. And even when Gideon started dating Sarah, he still sometimes flirted with other women, but Sarah didn't seem to care or mind, as long as if he stayed loyal to her and didn't try to actively pursue any of the other women he'd sometimes try to flirt with.
  • Danny Concannon on The West Wing. Sorkin must love these. Danny is an interesting case because his Love Interest, CJ, knows from the very beginning that she returns his feelings, but due to the pressure of their respective jobs and her own emotional issues, she's unwilling to actually get involved in a relationship with him. Danny's doggedness isn't about getting her to like him back — it's about convincing her that being together is a risk worth taking. They wind up married in the end.
  • In Wizards of Waverly Place, Harper is a rare female version vis a vis Justin. They seemed to drop this when Harper moved in with the Russos in the third season, though, probably to prevent some questions about what they do together when no one's around...
  • Joe of You (2018) is an especially harsh deconstruction of this character type. He thinks he's a nice guy who respects women (unlike all those other sexist douches), but his "niceness" is really superficial and used for self-centered ends. Moreover, he stalks and emotionally manipulates the girl he likes while projecting all sorts of Manic Pixie Dream Girl qualities onto her, and when she winds up discovering all that and tries to get out, he doesn't take it well at all.

  • Goddess Creation System: Unlike the kind of dickish and melodramatic Wang Pu brothers, crown prince Jun'er is basically a nice guy and easily comes to recognize his feelings for Xiaxi, but part of her persona is behaving with near-complete indifference towards him and brushing aside all his attempts to tell her how he feels. She is, in fact, attempting to stall until he becomes king so she can complete her mission that much more quickly. At that point, she intends to "accept" his confession, collect her reward and then leave.

  • "Just The Girl" by The Click Five is about a man who's in love with a woman who keeps on ignoring him. It borders on Mad Love.
  • Oh sure, keep thinking Cake's "The Distance" is just about a CAR race:
    The arena is empty, except for one man
    Still driving and striving as fast as he can
    The sun has gone down and the moon has come up
    And long ago somebody left with the cup
    But he's driving and striving, and hugging the turns
    And thinking of someone for whom he still burns.
  • "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift. Except it's a Dogged Nice Girl this time.
    • "Teardrops On My Guitar" as well.
  • "Soft Rocked By Me" by Jonathan Coulton, who admitted it ended up seeming way creepier than he meant it to be.
  • Duncan Sheik's "Little Hands" ends with the protagonist accepting his fate... for now:
    Little hands, open smile
    I'm glad we got to talk for a while
    I feel OK, yeah, I'm feeling better
    I'll let her go, but I'll never say never...
  • Cyndi Lauper's Change of Heart is from the POV of a girl who mixes this with Unlucky Childhood Friend, constantly waiting for her beloved to look at her romantically.
  • This appears to be a common theme for much of Jimmy Reed's musical output. In some cases, it's about winning back a girl who walked out on him. "I'll Change My Style" is a good example of such.
  • Carly Rae Jepsen's "Your Type" has a Gender Inverted version, with the Dogged Nice Girl fully aware of the situation she's in but nevertheless, still doing anything she can for the guy.
    I'm not the type of girl for you
    And I'm not going to pretend
    That I'm the type of girl you call more than a friend
    And I break all the rules for you
    Break my heart and start again
    I'm not the type of girl you call more than a friend
  • "Everything You Want" by Vertical Horizon, by way of …And That Little Girl Was Me in the last chorus.
    "He's/I'm everything you want
    He's/I'm everything you need
    He's/I'm everything inside of you
    That you wish you could be
    He/I say(s) all the right things
    At exactly the right time
    But he/I mean(s) nothing to you
    And you don't know why"

  • "Justified" by Kacey Musgraves is a woman complaining about how a guy didn't "treat her right", and is followed by lyrics that indicate that meant actually responding to her advances:
    More time to deal with the fact
    That you should have treated me right
    Then I'm more than just a little justified
    Mm-mm, mm-mm
    I'm more than just a little justified
    To touch somebody
    You know I tried to make that you
    And when you lied and said, you didn't want me
    Tell me what was I supposed to do?
  • Both Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC did their respective takes on the theme of "I would be a much better boyfriend to you than your current boyfriend." For BSB, it was "All I Have To Give"; for NSYNC, it was "Girlfriend.
  • Roxy Music. "All I Want Is You" is a classic example of the "I'll ignore you cheating on me because we belong together" type
    "Don't want to know
    About one night stands
    Cut price souvenirs
    All I want is the real thing
    And a night that lasts for years"
  • Los Campesinos!' "There Are Listed Buildings" off of the album Romance is Boring is somewhat a context-dependent deconstruction of the trope. On its own, the song is about a guy who generally hangs around a girl as she seeks a lover, and after a lengthy, stressful period of failed conquests (and annoyance that perhaps it's because of said guy-friend scaring bigger fish away), the two end up deciding to pursue a relationship in a "well, it's worth a try" type of way. However, while song itself is upbeat and optimistic, later songs in the album are snarky, bitter, or disappointed "love" songs full of dissonant passions and genuine resentment towards just how unsatisfied they make each other feel by being together. Given how the relationship of "There Are Listed Buildings" seems born out of wishful projection and desperation more than actual mutual affection, it's probably no wonder that their relationship turns into an unpleasant mess.
  • "Amen" by Eden's Edge has a Dogged Nice Girl who sees her chance with the guy she's been pining for from afar when his girlfriend leaves him. It's combined with Everyone Can See It and Shipper on Deck, since she finds out through the town grapevine, who are rooting for the two of them to get together.

  • An American in Paris: Jerry is drawn to Lise the moment he meets her, and pursues her without giving up, including at her place of work and convincing her to meet him daily by the Seine.
  • Pierrot is this toward Columbina in Commedia Dell Arte plays, though Columbina inevitably ends up with Harlequin.
  • Alfred in Tanz Der Vampire is like this toward Sarah. Herbert is a less loser-ish version toward Alfred.
  • In Thrill Me, Nathan behaves in roughly this way toward Richard, including in a song called "Everybody Wants Richard" where Nathan points out that though other people may follow Richard, Nathan's the only person who's there for him—to some extent because he's the only one who can keep up. Richard invokes the trope because it works to keep Nathan as his accomplice.

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate II features the Violent Glaswegian dwarf fighter Korgan Bloodaxe, who will make advances towards a fellow tiny fighter, halfling Mazzy Fentan, should the player pick both for his party. The main reason Mazzy isn't very interested in him is that he, contrary to the trope name, is not a very nice guy at all.
    "Hey, Mazzy! Just so's you know, I've somethin' long, hard, and low t'the ground you're free to touch and fondle if ye wish. No need to glare, girlie: I was talking aboot me axe!"
  • Bang Shishigami in BlazBlue. A Large Ham Hot-Blooded Ninja who fights for justice and is seriously infatuated with Litchi Faye Ling.
  • Cooking Diary: Johnny has consistently done nice things for Vivien in the hopes of winning her over. Unfortunately, for him, she still sees him as a friend.
  • Female example: Mai Shiranui from Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters series, who fell madly in love with Andy Bogard. Though she doesn't exactly act nice: she is a kindhearted and friendly woman and a skilled Action Girl, but can be... pretty clingy to him.
    • Similarly, when Athena Asamiya and Sie Kensou made the jump from Psycho Soldier to KOF, Kensou went from an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy to Athena's Dogged Nice Guy who's hopelessly in love with Athena (who, on the other hand, is aware of his feelings but while she does care, she simply likes him just as a friend). Like in Mai's case, though, Kensou is a pretty decent person and friend outside this particular liaison; also, in the counted times when the usually self-reliant Athena has needed help from him, he has given it to her without expecting retribution. (He's dogged and all, but he does have his limits.)
  • Surprisingly, Henry (of all people) from Fire Emblem: Awakening can potentially become this if the player makes him develop feelings for Cordelia, who has been in love with Chrom for a long time. He even openly admits it in their S support:
    Cordelia: Is this another of your schemes to make me feel better?
    Henry: Nya ha! No, it's a scheme to make you fall in love with me. (...) I'm just gonna work hard so you end up liking me instead!
  • A dark take on this trope occurs in the unintended emails in Five Nights at Freddy's AR: Special Delivery. One plotline deals with an IT guy, Luis Cabrera, reaching out to his colleague Ness about her increasingly bizarre activity online, while not-so-subtly dropping hints he's interested in her romantically. Problem is, Ness is under the influence of Glitchtrap, and not, as Luis initially thinks, working on a screenplay or some other hobby. Needless to say, he ends up an Unwitting Pawn.
  • Zig-Zagged by Franklin in Grand Theft Auto V. His Love Interest Tanisha dumped him because she didn't want to be with a career criminal and ended up with a rich doctor to get out of the hood. Franklin has an entire subplot revolving around his efforts to win her back regardless, although it doesn't stop him from sleeping around. By the time of Online's The Contract DLC, it shows that he managed to make enough to go straight and win her back from her jerkass fiance.
  • Reconstructed in Guild Wars. Gwen spends all of her time angsting alone, and Keiran spends all of his trying to cheer her up. He succeeds in making Gwen fall for him, but she refuses to give in to her feelings because angsting about her past is more important to her. Eventually, Keiran's efforts go too far and Gwen openly rejects him. Heartbroken by her harsh words, he decides she's a lost cause, runs off to war, and goes missing for several weeks. During this separation, they both realise that they've been acting like childish fools, and when Keiran comes home (or rather, when Gwen figures out where he is and rushes out into the wilderness to save him), he simply asks her to marry him. She says yes.
  • Knights of the Old Republic. The male character's romance with Bastila consists mainly of immature teasing, but once you actually suggest a real relationship to her, she says no. If you want to achieve the romance, you have to keep pushing her and pushing her, regardless of how many times she turns you down. Though to be fair, she does make it quite obvious that she likes you too, and that it's only the Jedi code stopping her from saying yes.
  • Galford D. Weiler in Samurai Shodown. He's really in love with Nakoruru but the girl is too Married to the Job, although she did recognize his feelings to her and he came to understand it. Coincidentally, it turns out Galford is also married to HIS own job (being a defender of justice).
  • Life Is Strange:
    • The original game waffles back and forth between Max being selectively unaware of Warren's blatant crush on her one moment, yet plainly stating she already knows whenever any of her friends raises the issue. If Max friend zones him, he'll take it gracefully and remain a supportive friend to her. It isn't until their final scene together that Warren tries to express how he feels about her, but Max reveals that she's known all along. If Max chooses to kiss him at that moment, examining him immediately afterward prompts the following inner monologue:
      Max: (thinking) At least I kissed Warren once... to let him know how I feel.
    • Life Is Strange: Before the Storm: Chloe is pursued by Eliot, with whom she hooked up with once but doesn't have any further interest in as a romantic partner even though she thinks he's a cool enough guy. He still delicately campaigns for her affections, suggesting activities and offering his support whenever he can. Chloe feels a bit awkward by how much he clearly pines for her. However, when he's finally had enough waiting, he reveals that he's actually been a Stalker with a Crush who feels he "deserves" her and so aggressively insists that she yield to his advances that Chloe has to call 911.
  • Lollipop Chainsaw deconstructs it with the Big Bad Swan who was one of Juliet's classmates before the zombie apocalypse. Swan fell in love with Juliet because she once defended him from cruel Jerk Jock bullies. Since Swan didn't know how to talk to her, he just pined from afar. Upon discovering that Juliet was dating Nick (one of the jocks, presumably the group that tormented him the most), he took it as the final straw. In summary, Swan decided to cause a zombie apocalypse because he was too shy to talk to the girl he liked and didn't understand why she was too busy to notice him.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Kaidan Alenko does NOT take romantic rejection from a female Shepard well in Mass Effect 3. He'll be gracious to a Male Shepard's rejection, but a female Shepard who has never romanced him before and might even already be in a relationship with someone else? He'll "jokingly" stick her with the bill for a lunch date HE invited her to. And that's not counting his bitter reaction to being turned down for sex in Mass Effect 1 just before the mission to Ilos.
    • Poor Dr. Michel. She has a massive crush on Garrus (since he helped rescue her near the beginning of the first game). And he has no idea. In the second game, she sends an email to Shepard asking whether (s)he's seen him and if he's alright, and bringing Garrus to the geth dreadnought mission in the third game leads to this conversation:
    Garrus: Dr. Michel did get me some dextro-amino chocolate. You're welcome to it, once we're back.
    Tali: She got you turian chocolate?
    Garrus: She said she saw it and thought of me... why?
    Tali: [innocently] Oh, nothing. / [if Shepard romanced Garrus] Watch yourself, Shepard.
  • The Monkey Island series has Guybrush and Elaine's turbulent relationship. The Secret of Monkey Island has the main character Guybrush in love with Elaine even though she thinks he's pathetic. She initially showed him contempt, before later finally realising she does like him, only for LeChuck to kidnap her later on, after which she isn't interested in Guybrush anymore. By Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, she has moved to get away from him and has named her dog after Guybrush as a sign of what she thinks of him. Guybrush initially succeeds at winning her back, until she realises that the only thing he wants is her map piece. By The Curse of Monkey Island, they have gotten engaged, but he accidentally gives her a cursed diamond ring which turns her into a statue — the game is about turning her back to normal. By Escape from Monkey Island they have gotten married and have moved back to her mansion on Melee Island to live together. By this point, she exerts control over him and because he likes her so much he is scared not to go along with it.
  • Persona:
    • In Persona 3 Portable as the Female Protagonist, there’s a particularly obsessive NPC you can encounter at the Club Escapade who periodically gives you rare items in the hopes that one day you will reciprocate his feelings. Nothing comes out of it, though.
    • Persona 4: A rare female example with Rise Kujikawa. She is going to flirt with Yu Narukami. A lot. Far, far above and beyond every other girl. Even if he turns down her romance.note  Even in the Golden epilogue, months after the conclusion of the game.
  • Sakura Kasugano from the Street Fighter series may be one for main character Ryu. She not only still really wants Ryu to train her personally, despite him telling her he could not train her as he still had much to learn himself, it is heavily implied that her admiration towards Ryu has developed into full-on romantic feelings by the time of The Ties that Bind and SFIV — especially when she Cool down hugs him back to sanity when he almost loses himself to the Satsui no Hado in the first. Yet since fighting is—literally—everything for Ryu, it's obvious that while he cares for Sakura greatly, he's not really the type to consider things like romance in the first place. (Which he even admits to Crimson Viper in IV). The age difference, which is pretty notorious in IV as Ryu has visibly aged while Sakura still looks like a teenager despite being 19, doesn't help.
    (When winning against Sagat) "I totally understand your obsession with Ryu. Isn't he just dreamy?"
  • In Super Robot Wars 64, this is Reese Gresewell's curse. He originally worked for OZ, but fell hard for heroine Selain Meneth, who just so happened to be his enemy and the one he was ordered to hunt down because she ganked the twin to his Ace Custom mech. Unfortunately, by the time he does a Heel–Face Turn, she has no desire to be with him romantically.
  • Tekken:
    • There's the sumo wrestler Ganryu, who at first fell madly in love with Michelle Chang, and later for her adopted daughter Julia. This one is actually a subversion because towards Michelle, Ganryu can be seen as a Stalker with a Crush, since he was a corrupt sumo wrestler during the course of the early Tekken series (this disgusted Michelle)... but after he reappears in Tekken 5, he seems to have converted into a decent man and fits this trope towards Julia better. This is played heavily for laughs, as Julia barely even seems to realize he exists.
    • There is also Kuma, Heihachi's pet bear, who is this to Panda, Xiaoyu's companion. He's generally nice when the mood suits him and tries his hardest to get Panda to like him. Sadly, Panda hates him with a passion and claims to be too old for him (which is odd since the age difference is by a year, even in bear standards).
    • Female example with Xiyaou who (similar to Sakura with Ryu) has a massive crush on Jin, something she isn’t fully aware herself (but Panda and her friend Miharu are). Xiyaou spends most of her appearances following Jin around as his Morality Pet and even getting jealous of Asuka whom she sees as a rival for Jin’s love being unaware that Asuka is Jin’s cousin as well as getting jealous of any attractive woman whom in her mind could steal him away as seen with Chun-Li and Cammy. Unfortunately for Xiayou, Jin only seems to see her as a little sister figure and according to Word of God has decided he Can't Have Sex, Ever out of fear of expanding his cursed bloodline even further.
      • At least until Tekken 8 where due to a combination of factors (Xiaoyu and Jin coincidentally never being canonically in the same space whilst Jin was in the middle of his Face–Heel Turn so that awkwardness was avoided, Jin getting in a better headspace after multiple protagonists drill it into his skull that he does not have to fight alone even after all he's done, coming to terms with the Devil Gene and then ironically losing the Devil Gene after he learns it's actually been a benevolent protector for him and not the Superpowered Evil Side he thought it was) he's able to actually reciprocate her feelings. Or at least be willing to take a trip with her that doesn't involve trying to go kill a Mishima.
  • Subverted in Telepath Tactics. Oliver gives Emma free passage on his ship in the hopes of buying her affections, but she rejects him when he finally confesses, as they have no actual chemistry. He takes it reasonably well, however, agreeing to stay Just Friends.
  • Turtle Head: Unmasked: Simon Dale befriended art teacher Marina Lily and helped her with her issues in the hopes of her returning his affection. She liked him as a friend, but he wasn't her type. When this failed, he resorted to torturing and killing a disruptive student of hers, deluded this would make her fall for him. When she predictably rejected him for being nuts, he took it badly.
  • Eruru from Utawarerumono toward Hakuoro, not because he's trying to avoid anything, but because he can't get a clue. He's a Chaste Hero, but in the oblivious sense, not the nonsexual sense, obviously. He has a vague idea that his relationships with other girls might make Eruru jealous - but doesn't really think about why she would be - at one or two points.

    Visual Novels 
  • Oddly enough for someone so normally popular, Tomoya in CLANNAD becomes one of these in regards to Misae. However, it's not so much that she's actually uninterested as that she decided she wouldn't get involved with anyone except her first love and is currently still waiting for him. Except that he turned into a cat and never left her. Long story. She more or less gets worn down into admitting she does like him.
  • Kazuichi Soda in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair acts this way towards the Foreign Exchange Student, Sonia Nevermind. Due to her status as a princess in her home country, he views her as a Princess Classic and constantly puts her on a pedestal which frustrates her as she wants to experience life as a normal high schooler.
  • In The Fruit of Grisaia Amane confesses early on in the common route and keeps pursuing him, but Yuuji is suspicious because it just seems too convenient for a tall, beautiful, friendly and domestic woman to "fall for him at first sight" and turns her down. His suspicions were spot on, too, because she asks to be his girlfriend as a coping mechanism and not because she loves him. At first. In The Labyrinth of Grisaia we get two more with Millie and Chiara, though Yuuji just finds the former annoying and tunes out the latter.
  • In the third game from the Yuri series Sono Hanabira Ni Kuchizuke Wo, we have a dogged nice girl in Mai. To make things interesting, Mai was actually confessed to first by the Type A Tsundere Reo, but Mai didn't accept because she was oblivious to her own love for Reo. Mai quickly realized she loved Reo back but for a while, Reo was too heartbroken to give Mai the time of day.

    Web Animation 
  • The Most Epic Story Ever Told in All of Human History: Epic Fail is this to Epically Avoids You in “The Most Epic Romance”. It turns out to be a lesson about why his Entitled to Have You behavior was wrong and how he needs to get over it. His Evil Mentor Ridiculously Epic claims to be this, although he’s obviously not nice, meaning that he’s either lying or delusional, or some combination of the two.
  • RWBY: Discussed Trope. Jaune is initially head-over-heels with Weiss, and constantly makes it known with grandiose gestures, such as asking her to the ball by serenading her with a guitar. Weiss dismisses his efforts as a sign of a Gold Digger, leaving him turning to his team-mates for advice. Pyrrha tells him that the best way to win her over is to stop using crazy schemes and just have an honest discussion about how he feels. Taking her advice, he goes to find her, only to overhear her asking Neptune to the dance. When he learns that Neptune didn't accept her offer, he passes on Pyrrha's advice to Neptune, telling him to stop trying to be too cool to admit he can't dance and just be honest; he then moves on from Weiss, but Neptune telling Weiss the truth makes her realise that Jaune is a genuinely nice person, after all. They become good friends after that.

  • Mike in Bittersweet Candy Bowl spends a lot of time being this to Lucy, although he tries to be subtle about it. Subverted; he finally gives up, and falls (back) in love with a different childhood sweetheart.
  • College Roomies from Hell!!!:
    • Dave is a deconstruction. His obsession with Margaret varies between mildly creepy to just plain sad, with him ignoring all other chances at happiness to focus exclusively on her. It doesn't help that Margaret is a tsundere who is genuinely in love with him, but only platonically. And she slept with him to save his life but failed to explain that detail to him until after. Eventually, they have a long talk where he acknowledges his obsession, they share a tender kiss goodbye, and he leaves for Blue.
    • Blue, on the other hand, is played surprisingly straight. When she comes to visit her brother Mike, she immediately falls for his roommate Dave. Although she has some fun playfully stalking him for a few days, she mostly just remains quietly supportive, even when Dave yells at her for things like being nice to his parents (in his mind, Margaret was the one his parents were supposed to adore). She even sleeps with him after he suffers some serious mental trauma, but is still willing to step back and let him work things out at his own pace rather than forcing the issue. Eventually, they officially get together for good. Though the fact that Dave gave her father a heart attack that killed him does put a damper on their relationship for a while.
  • Girls with Slingshots has minor characters Tucker, who learned everything he knows about talking to girls from rom-coms, and Jim, who was meant by the author to be a creepy Stalker with a Crush who thinks he's Entitled to Have You but came off as more sympathetic to the audience.
    • Tucker got better when first Clarice took him to meet more girls who happened to appreciate his sensitive nature (and to be fair the previous targets of his wooing were the bitchy ice queen, Beatrice, and Clarice, the dominatrix, herself), and ends up hooking with Jamie's younger and super-hot sister Fiona.
    • There's also Vincent towards Hazel, who's a more mature and level-headed version of this trope, at one point he even had an epiphany saying that it was time to move on from his high school-old crush on her. However, during the webcomic's final strips both him and Hazel were on the process of moving in together as roommates, Jamie, with good reason, believes that this is a terrible idea and even calls out Hazel when she reveals that she is only using Vincent for her own benefit, the webcomic ended without giving any resolution or more insight on this.
  • Homestuck: Cronus, as a parody of the way the fandom tends to see Eridan, is a Jerkass exaggeration of this trope. While he claims to be a kind, sensitive soul, the fact that he only ever does anything nice in the hopes that the other person will sleep with him (and when that offer's off the table becomes downright abusive) and absolutely refuses to take no for an answer makes him so much of an asshole that he's the only one in his group that absolutely no-one else can stand.
  • Yet another variant/interpretation of the idea is mocked here on Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.
    • And another presents amplexus, where the male simply holds on long enough for the female to agree to mate.
  • Piro in MegaTokyo is a subversion. He appears to be this by most traditional traits, but in truth, his inability to get a girlfriend is mostly self-inflicted by a total lack of confidence. In a more traditional sense, Kimiko was something of a Dogged Nice Girl to Piro.
  • Lampshaded and Discussed with Jako and his crush Jordie in Our Little Adventure. Though Jako is good-aligned, he's not subtle and given to spectacular romantic displays. Since Jordie's also good-aligned, he really doesn't want to hurt Jako's feelings by rejecting him. It doesn't help that all the human members of the adventuring group except Rocky seem to be a Shipper on Deck with the two boys.
  • Angus after Faye in Questionable Content. He follows her to the point of being asked to leave and THROWN across a bar by Faye. Against all odds, they seem to be flirting despite the creepy beginning. Given Faye's personality and her issues, this is probably the only approach that may have had a chance of working and getting her to actually date him, although earlier on she calls him "an idiot who's watched too many John Cusack movies where persistence gets the girl no matter how big an ass you make of yourself."
  • Deconstructed in Shadowgirls, where Jackson decides to stand up for himself instead of just being Charon's best friend, on the advice of the "jerk" Charon is seeing, named Gage, who keeps trying to manipulate her into sex. Note that when he does tell her, she reveals that she knew already, and uses the same manipulative techniques Gage used earliernote . The jerk wanted sex from Charon, and Charon wanted emotional intimacy from Jack. The Dramatic Irony is, we know that Jackson ends up falling in love with, getting married to, and having a child with Alpha Bitch Chrissy, even though he still loves Charon to some extent, and Charon becomes the town bicycle.
  • This Something*Positive contains a wonderful deconstruction of self-professed nice guys, and a big part of Mike's overall Character Development is learning to get rid of "nice guy syndrome".
  • Ken in Shortpacked! is introduced head-over-heels in love with his roommate Malaya, but seems to think just standing around being supportive will win her over. Malaya doesn't notice, or more likely, doesn't care.
    Arnold: Don't worry, Ken. She'll come around.
    Ken: Really?
    Arnold: No, you're an idiot. Stop barking up the bitch tree.
    • Fortunately (for both of them), he seems to have eventually figured it out and gotten over her. They get along better as not-that-close friends ever since.
  • White Dark Life uses this with B.I.L.L.. He and his product line are touted as being the "ultimate boyfriend" effectively being incredibly nice guys who support and comfort the woman they imprint on. They aren't really bad, what with being robots and all that entails, but they are pretty annoying and universally hated by the target audience. Unlike most other examples of this trope though, they are purely submissive to their owner's wishes and shut down should they get a real boyfriend.
  • This xkcd comic is an extremely harsh deconstruction of this type of mentality, showing exactly how creepy this can be. Though it may seem like the guy in the strip Cannot Spit It Out, he actually deliberately doesn't talk to the girl about how he wants to date her because he's too scared by the possibility that she could reject him, so he decides not to "force the issue". He instead integrates himself into her life, until she feels dependent on him and succumbs before her feelings.

    Web Original 
  • This blog-post response by Mighty God King picks apart a letter from a self-proclaimed "former nice guy" left on Craigslist. According to Mighty God King, the original Craigslist writer is not as nice or reformed as he thinks he is, because he keeps blaming women for his own insecurities and accuses women of only wanting bad boys. Instead, Mighty God King argues that the letter writer is "chickenshit" for not just saying how he feels, is incredibly possessive of women, and calls him a hypocrite for saying that he's over women when he is very clearly not.
  • "Nice guys" are a common target of relationship advice blogger Dr. Nerdlove. In addition to saying that the "Nice Guy" usually isn't as nice as he thinks he is, he also deconstructs the trope in an article called "Being a Nice Guy Isn't Good Enough". According to the good doctor, being "nice" is something you're supposed to do. A person needs a strong personality in addition to being nice to be attractive.
  • The Art of Manliness frequently criticizes this notion and personality type in a number of podcasts and articles. The main problem with these sorts of guys, in the website's opinion, is that they're really not anywhere near as nice as they think they are, in addition to being passive-aggressive and too insecure with themselves to be honest with how they feel.
  • In Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, the title character has a crush on a neighborhood girl named Penny, but can't muster the courage to talk to her. Instead, Dr. Horrible/Billy finds himself shunted aside by his arch-nemesis Captain Hammer in the bid for her affections, and engages in increasingly stalker-like behavior as a result, culminating in a Murder the Hypotenuse plot that Goes Horribly Wrong. It's Played for Drama because the show makes it clear that Penny thought Billy was attractive, and probably would have willingly gone out with him. But she never did because Billy wouldn't just stop admiring her from afar and actually talk to her.
  • In Echo Chamber, some fans seem to see Zack as a Dogged Nice Guy with respect to Dana. Zack is also shown clearly stalking Dana, and given the outlook of the show regarding romance, Zack seems doomed to failure.
  • "Nice Guys" get methodically torn to shreds by Heartless Bitches International in this blog post. There's more than thirty pages of comment responses, some supportive and agreeing with the original post, some from people calling the website misandrist, all of it done with a thick coating of snark.
    "[Nice Guys] are so desperate to please that they put aside their own needs, and place the object of their desire on a pedestal. Instead of appreciating her, they worship her. We are only human, and pedestals are narrow, confining places to be — not to mention the fact that we tend to fall off of them."
  • The Onion:
    • Parodied in the article, ""Romantic Comedy Behavior Gets Real-Life Man Arrested", which provides the Page Quote. The dogged pursuer, Denny, stalks a woman named Kellie, who does not return his affections, driving him to resorting to more over-the-top ways to try getting her to fall in love with him (and Kellie wasn't the first woman he'd done this to either). However, a sane person would not find that kind of thing endearing, and he winds up getting arrested.
      Denny: She was supposed to hate me at first but gradually be won over by my incredible persistence, telling me that no one has ever gone to such wild lengths to win her love. But for some reason, her irritation never turned to affection.
    • Also here: "But If We Started Dating It Would Ruin Our Friendship Where I Ask You to Do Things and You Do Them". (Interestingly, it approaches the situation from the other side.)
  • This Super Mario Bros. fan-song portrays Mario himself as one of these, while Bowser is a more open Stalker with a Crush.
  • Stalwart from Whateley Academy. He's first seen declaring his true love for protagonist Fey, who then uses her powers to magically throw him across the campus quad. But Stalwart is a nice guy and keeps trying, almost to the point of becoming a Stalker with a Crush. His persistence is rewarded when he becomes the only thing that stops a superpowered ninja from raping and killing Fey... and he almost dies from doing so. Fey heals him and ends up going on a date with him.
  • This Cracked article details with being this is a bad idea (along with the Grand Romantic Gesture, Cannot Spit It Out and other trying-too-hard antics).

    Western Animation 
  • Bashful from The 7D. He's a mild-mannered Shrinking Violet with an unrequited crush on Queen Delightful, but he's too scared to admit his affections for her. He's also clingy around the Queen. In "Buckets", he offers to stay with Queen Delightful while passive-aggressively sending Lord Starchbottom off with the other dwarfs (although while they were gone, they didn't do anything except talk about who "Buckets" is). In "The Jollywood Games", he enters and wins a tournament in the hope that he can get a kiss from her (and he does, eventually, after she rejects his request). In "Free Teensy", he appears from behind her and she reacts with a stunned "Oh. Hello." He then declares, "She can't get enough of me."
  • Adventure Time: Braco from "The Suitor" is a deconstruction of this trope; he constantly gushes over Princess Bubblegum and tries to win her over, despite her complete lack of interest. He also repeatedly injures himself with his attempts to impress her, eventually making a Deal with the Devil and "paying the price for love" by becoming a freaky-looking three-legged monster. PB ends up creating a robot lookalike of herself for Braco to stop him from getting himself killed; he's uncomfortable with it at first, but the moment "P-Bot" shows physical attraction toward him he has a change of heart.
  • Jervis Tetch (aka the Mad Hatter) from Batman: The Animated Series starts out as this. Things go quickly downhill when he takes advantage of a temporary breakup to try courting Alice himself, only for her boyfriend to come back into the picture with an engagement.
  • Silverbolt in Beast Wars. It helps that he's part dog (well, wolf, but Rattrap calls him "bird-dog").
  • Philip J. Fry from Futurama chased comically after Leela. As time went on Leela returned more and more of his affection.
    "I've been a fool! A fully-justified, prudent fool!"
  • Gideon from Gravity Falls is a deconstruction of this trope. He is devoted to Mabel but she just wants to be friends, and in-universe everyone seems to think that his attempts to win her over are charming...but the truth is, Gideon is an Ax-Crazy, Entitled Bastard who uses emotional manipulation to trap Mabel into a relationship. He performs over-the-top acts of kindness, manipulates her into going into more dates with him by asking her very publicly in front of large crowds of Gravity Falls citizens who think it's just so adorable that Gideon might finally get a girlfriend and completely ignores her wish to not be in a relationship with him. Eventually, Dipper tries to break the news that Mabel is not interested in Gideon to him, and Gideon responds to this by attempting to murder Dipper because he believes that Dipper got in between him and Mabel. Thankfully, Mabel sees this and intervenes, and she rejects him, not only romantically, but as a friend now, too.
    Mabel: (after rejecting Gideon again) But we can still be makeover buddies, right? Wouldn't you like that?
    Gideon: Really?
    Mabel: (rips amulet away from Gideon) No, not really! You are, like, attacking my brother! What the heck?!
  • The titular character of Hey Arnold! becomes a mild version of this after he realizes that he likes likes Lila.
  • Bolin in The Legend of Korra. He's supportive of and nice to Korra from the moment he meets her, but she's interested in his standoffish brother Mako, who becomes more cordial with her as he gets to know her. What raises Bolin to actual Nice Guy status is that he accepts Korra's choice and respects her feelings and goes on to be friends with her. By the end of the show Bolin has gone on to have serious relationships with three other women... while Mako gets bounced from Korra to Asami and then spends the remainder of the show single.
  • Miraculous Ladybug:
    • Cat Noir continues to pine after the titular heroine even after being rejected twice, much to her annoyance.
    • Ladybug AKA Marinette herself is a gender-flipped version of this, since she’s still trying to win Adrien’s love even after he told her in The Puppeteer 2 that he loves another girl who may actually be her own alter-ego.
  • Sheldon functions as this towards Jenny in My Life as a Teenage Robot. In-series, Jenny never returns his affections, though she gets very close several times.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Spike is this to Rarity. Whether she feels the same, just considers it a cute crush, or is even aware seems to change with each episode. Ultimately, nothing came of it, as by the time of the Grand Finale, Spike appears to have let his crush go and dedicated himself to being Twilight's adviser and official Friendship Ambassador to the dragon lands, while Rarity is managing a fashion franchise all around Equestria.
    • Zephyr Breeze, Fluttershy's brother, is this to Rainbow Dash, constantly flirting with her and seemingly oblivious to the fact that she can't stand him. While he returns for a quick cameo where Dash has to distract him by pretending to return his feelings, ultimately nothing comes of this either. Zephyr isn't seen again outside of background appearances, and it is all but explicitly stated that Rainbow (maybe?) ends up together with Applejack.
  • The most famous and deliberately over-the-top example is probably cartoon character Pepé Le Pew, whose main problem is not understanding that, as a skunk, he smells bad (when he did in 1959's "Really Scent", he corrected the problem, only to have the cat go to a Limburger factory to make herself smell bad). Chuck Jones (the director who created Pepe) based Pepe Le Pew on fellow Termite Terrace writer, Ted Pierce, who was notorious for hitting on women and often forgetting to shower after a night of partying.
  • Mordecai of Regular Show was this to Margaret, who seemed to have new boyfriends every time she met him. They finally get together in season 4, only for her to dump him to become a High-Powered Career Woman. In spite of this, Mordecai continues pining after her to the point of becoming His Own Worst Enemy and sabotaging his own happy relationships with other women.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Milhouse Van Houten definitely counts. He's flirted with Lisa too many times to count and even openly declared his love for her a few times, only for her to shut him down almost every time. Doesn't stop him from trying again...and again...and yet again. Although the characterization of him as a "nice guy" is a bit flimsy here, as he is less of a "nice guy", and more of a pretentious, socially-awkward dork with the makings of a future Evil Genius.
    • Smithers is a more benevolent example of this trope. He's head-over-heels in love with his boss, Mr. Burns, who sees him more as a friend, confidant, and assistant. This doesn't stop Smithers from flirting with him anyway; Mr. Burns usually either doesn't notice or quickly changes the subject when this happens. And Smithers is usually pretty passive-aggressive whenever Mr. Burns starts dating anybody else.
  • Subverted in The Spectacular Spider-Man. Peter Parker plays this role when trying to get Daily Bugle secretary Betty Brant to be his date to the High-School Dance. He is thwarted in his efforts by his Aunt May, who frankly tells Betty that, at twenty to his sixteen, she's too old to be dating Peter. Much to Peter's chagrin, Betty takes this to heart and turns Peter down.
  • In Total Drama, Cody is this to Gwen, although he eventually decides I Want My Beloved to Be Happy when she hooks up with his friend Trent. In the third season, he returns to the game and continues chasing Gwen (who has since broken up with Trent)... but when she hooks up with Duncan, Cody punches Duncan in the face instead, and becomes more creepily obsessed with Gwen.
  • In W.I.T.C.H. (2004), Martin is constantly shot down in his pursuit of Irma.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Dogged Nice Girl


Ready Freddy Fiddlesticks

Ready Freddy Fiddlesticks, a street performer for the Citizens of Hollywood act at Disney's Hollywood Studios, ended up getting Rebecca involved in his performance, having a hunch that she's a theatre kid. Throughout the performance, Freddy is shown constantly flirting with Rebecca, which she encourages by acting flustered.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / DoggedNiceGuy

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