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Fantastic Romance

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For romances that not only involve the use of fantastic plot elements, but are literally impossible to pull off unless one or both parties are chronically defying the laws of physics, traveling through time, reality warping, dimension hopping, or defying culturally accepted norms and standards regarding the mingling of fantastic, non-fantastic, or other fantastic races.

If a character is Trapped in Another World and then gets embroiled in such a romance, they often end up saying I Choose to Stay. If they are forced apart, or decide to return to their own worlds, then they are Star-Crossed Lovers. They may still get a Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest back at home. Such relationships often result in the creation of a Half-Human Hybrid.

Compare Paranormal Romance, Magical Girlfriend, Magic Contract Romance, Boy Meets Ghoul, Interspecies Romance, Time-Travel Romance and Muggle–Mage Romance.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Inuyasha: The main story is set 500 years in the past, which is the time period Inuyasha belongs to. Kagome, however, is a girl of the modern age who accidentally finds a way to travel back in time to Inuyasha's period. Without that time travelling, they'd never have met. This is made even more complicated by the fact that the reason Kagome can time travel is due to the desires of the woman she is a reincarnation of: Kikyou, who died 50 years before the main story's setting, was Inuyasha's first love and guardian to the Shikon Jewel. Without her duty to the jewel and her desire to see Inuyasha one last time as she died, Kagome would never have been able to travel through time nor would she have inherited guardianship of the jewel that brings her and Inuyasha together.
  • All of the romances in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid are this by default since they involve dragons from Another Dimension who came to Earth and fell in love with humans.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Congratulations, your girlfriend has broken the Vicious Cycle that killed her repeatedly, but now she no longer exists in the space-time continuum! You can still hear her voice, though.
    • And even so, that still doesn't mean you are going to give up on getting together with your beloved no matter the cost, right?
  • In RahXephon, one of these drives the entire plot.
    • To explain further (massive spoilers ahead): Ayato and Haruka were middle-school sweethearts, but the impenetrable Tokyo Jupiter field went up while she was on vacation, trapping him inside and her out when they're fourteen. Thanks to the field's time-dilation effects, three years pass for him and fifteen for her. Thus, Haruka is twelve years older than him when she manages to rescue him from Tokyo. Furthermore, he has lost all memory of her (and technically isn't even human anymore). She, however, has spent the whole time pining for him. Eventually, he once again falls in love with her, and that love drives him to use his Humongous Mecha's full potential and become a god. In the end, he recreates the world so that the two of them can be together.
    • The fact that it is heavily influenced by the short story The Dandelion Girl helps explain a lot.
  • Steins;Gate requires a very elaborate Stable Time Loop for Okabe to meet Kurisu, fall in love and save her from the murder that sparked the whole thing while avoiding a major time paradox.

    Comic Books 

  • Fairly common within the 'Human-in-Equestra' genre with My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan fiction.
    • Xenophilia involves one between Lero, a human, and Rainbow Dash after he magically ends up in Equestria.
    • Sophistication and Betrayal involves one between the human protagonist and Rarity after an accident sends him to Equestria.
  • In Ghost, Ghost, I Know You Live Within Me, Shepard and Garrus fell in love and got together after she died on Alchera and came back as a ghost.
  • Lavender: It's an Ellie/Sandie Slash Fic, and Sandie is a ghost who's stuck behind mirrors and can only physically be with Ellie in dreams. These fantastic circumstances and their limitations cause both of them a lot of angst.
  • In Uplifted the romance between Hanala'Jarva vas Devoas and SS Officer Joachim Hoch. As well as Tali'Zorah and Commander Shepard.

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • City of Angels features an angel who falls in love with a mortal woman, and can only be with her if he chooses to Fall.
  • Kate & Leopold is about a 19th Century gentleman sent forward into modern times, where he falls in love with a modern woman.
  • The Japanese movie My Tomorrow, Your Yesterday, where two people meet and fall in love while on two different timelines moving in opposite directions.
  • A lot in Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • Davy Jones and the goddess Calypso in the second and the third movie.
    • Will after removing his heart and becoming the captain of the Flying Dutchman and Elizabeth at the end of the third movie.
    • Philip and and the mermaid Syrena in the fourth.
  • The Shape of Water, in which a mute woman and an amphibious creature kept in a government lab develop feelings for one another.
  • Stardust is a fantasy movie that is also a romcom, where the hero is a half-elf (or something more or less equivalent to that) and the heroine is a fallen star in human form.
  • The Terminator: Kyle Reese is sent back in time to protect the mother of future human resistance leader John Connor and ends up fathering him as well.
  • Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann. A man is accidentally sent back in time and falls in love with a woman: he ends up becoming his own great-grandfather.
  • Groundhog Day has the hero stuck in a time loop of the same day that only the heroine's love can liberate him from.
  • 13 Going on 30 is a Romantic Comedy about a girl who, on her thirteenth birthday, wishes to be thirty. She then magically jumps ahead to that age, with no memory of the events she missed and retaining a teenager's mindset. She reconnects with her childhood best friend and they fall in love.
  • The Night at the Museum movies have a romance between a museum security guard and a magically-animated waxwork of Amelia Earhardt.
  • About Time is about a young man who is able to rewind his life to past moments, reliving them and making different choices to change the course of his life (and the lives of the people around him). He decides early on that he's going to use this power to find love, rather than financial success.
  • The Back to the Future movies all have a bit of this:
    • In the first one, Marty is accidentally sent back in time from 1985 to 1955, and - with the help of a younger version of Doc Brown, the inventor who built the time machine - make sure that his parents fall in love after he unintentionally prevents their original meeting, as well as return home to his own girlfriend, Jennifer, back in The '80s.
    • Back to the Future Part II puts the romance into the background a little bit, but the emotional stakes are still there with Marty trying to return to Jennifer. Jennifer herself gets a grim view of their future together.
    • Finally, Back to the Future Part III has Doc and Marty stuck in The Wild West, where Doc falls in love with a local woman after saving her from a runaway carriage (she had died in their original timeline). At the end, he takes her with him to explore time together in a new time machine. Marty's happy ending is that he and Jennifer are reunited and their future is whatever they make it.

  • His Dark Materials, where Lyra and Will come from different universes. They don't get the option of staying with each other however, and have to return to their respective worlds at the end of the story.
  • In Psyche the heroine is a human while the hero is the God of Sex and Romance, fall in love. Eventually, after she suffers a series of trials and he has to get his head off out his a**, she is elevated to goddess hood and they marry as equals.
  • In Slaughterhouse-Five, Billy Pilgrim engages in such a relationship with Montana Wildhack in a Tralfamadoran zoo. His marriage back on planet Earth is similar, but one-sided. His proper wife just thinks he's gone nuts. And maybe he did.
  • The Time Traveler's Wife. The time travel is involuntary, and resulted in the couple first meeting when said wife was a child.
  • In Warrior Cats, Jayfeather ends up going back in time - to the ancestors of the forest Clans before they even lived in the forest - and falls in love with Half Moon. He is able to go back to her time again later and wants to stay, but their destinies don't allow it.
  • Gene Wolfe's There Are Doors featuring the love between an ordinary man and a dimension-hopping goddess.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Aztecs", and any of the common Classic episodes where the companion stays in the time period because they met someone.
    • "The Girl in the Fireplace": The Doctor encounters Madame de Pompadour and has a relationship with her via Time Portals, including the titular fireplace.
    • The aptly named "Love & Monsters": a perfectly normal man has a relationship with a woman's face set in a slab of cement. ...or does he? It Makes Sense in Context.
    • The Doctor and River Song, who are both time travellers and experience the relationship in different orders.
    • Clara and the Doctor, whose relationship had actually moved well beyond romance by the time Clara is Killed Off for Real. The Doctor, however, refuses to accept this and spends the next 4.5 billion years on a Batman Gambit to change history and bring Clara back to life, an action that threatens to destroy all of creation. Ultimately, he is partially successful as Clara is extracted from time one heartbeat before her death, rendering her immortal. Unfortunately, despite her willingness to stay with the Doctor forever, their relationship is too dangerous — and she must someday return to the point of her death — and the Doctor accepts a memory wipe in order to keep her safe and regain his sanity.
  • Forever (2014) features a forty-year-long romance between Henry, an immortal who will look 34 years old forever, and Abigail, who meets him at the end of World War II at age 25 and stays with him until she's 65 and grows tired of people staring or assuming she's his mother. After spending a little time apart she realizes she doesn't want to live without him, but she dies before she gets the chance to mail her letter telling him so.
  • Primeval has Matt and Emily, both of whom are from different time periods than the show's main one. Matt is from the future, Emily is from the past. They turn into Star-Crossed Lovers when Emily goes back into her own time. But she's back as of 5x03.
  • Pushing Daisies: Chuck should be dead, but Ned brought her back to life. And he can't touch her because that might undo her resurrection.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has the UST-laden quasi-romance between John and Cameron.
  • Torchwood: Captain Jack Harkness and Captain Jack Harkness, who the first Jack stole the identity from in 1940s Britain when he died in the episode "Captain Jack Harkness".


    Theme Parks 
  • CineMagique at Walt Disney Studios Paris features a man that gets sent into the world of film and forms a relationship with a princess from one of the movies, and together they embark on an adventure that takes them through many different movies.

    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • In Hatoful Boyfriend, even disregarding the whole pigeon thing, the heroine's relationship with Fujishiro Nageki ends with the revelation that he committed suicide five years ago, and his time as a ghost has come to an end.
  • Nameless: The protagonist's dolls gain human bodies in addition to doll onesand they all fall for her, not to mention the time travel, memory zapping, and ghosts.
  • Saya no Uta: The main heroine, Saya is not a human, not mammal, probably not even vertebrate. She seems to procreate by spores. She is an weaponized artificial life form that does not even belong in our universe. The sight of her is sanity-shakingly horrifying. And you'll realize how impossible it is for the protagonist to love her under normal circumstances.

  • Freefall: Florence, a Bowman's Wolf, is technically an AI, while Winston is a genetically-modified human. They aren't supposed to feel attraction for each other.
  • In Sluggy Freelance Torg and Alt-Zoe, as well as Torg and Valerie fit this role, the former being from different dimensions, and the latter from different eras in history.
  • Homestuck has a few, but probably the most fantastic and romantic of them all is John/Vriska. They are different species and from different universes, she can communicate with him at any point in his timeline, and they first interact when she tries to mentor him to become stronger so they can defeat the game on whom the fate of the world depends which they are all playing. When they finally meet, it is after Vriska has died and they're only communicating through a dream bubble... or, rather, Vriska is talking to an alternate timeline version of John who never met her.
  • Slightly Damned hits this one straight on, with the main pairing being the child-like Fire Demon Buwaro and the shy and introverted Water Angel Kieri.
  • YU+ME: dream ends up being this, with the revelation that Part I was all part of Fiona's coma dream, meaning that Lia, not to mention her other friends, don't exist in reality, and Sadako locking her out of the dreamworld. Part II sees her find a way back into the dream world to find Lia.

    Western Animation 
  • Since the beginning of The Owl House, the fact that Luz will eventually return home to her mother in the Human Realm is constantly looming in the background. This naturally becomes an issue once she and Amity start dating, though they're both determined to find a way to make it work.