As long as people have been falling in love, social norms have prevented some lovers from being together. Forbidden Love applies whenever taboo tries to prevent two individuals from (openly) being in a relationship. This can result in a Secret Relationship, a Suicide Pact, Courtly Love or even Happily Ever After. Compare to Star-Crossed Lovers, which is about specific circumstances separating lovers rather than social norms, although there may be overlap.
This is a Super Trope, although because it depends on the cultural values presented in the work. However, incest is often considered a universal taboo, and pedophilia is likewise frowned upon in many cultures (to put it lightly). As such the following almost always qualify:
The following tropes are specific sub-tropes of Forbidden Love:
The following may also qualify, although they're not as universal as the above in their application:
- Bodyguard Crush
- Dating Catwoman
- Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?
- Interspecies Romance
- Kissing Cousins
- MayDecember Romance
- MayflyDecember Romance
- Romancing the Widow
- Teacher/Student Romance
- Unequal Pairing
- Uptown Girl
- Wife Husbandry
- Your Cheating Heart
Please add examples to the subtrope pages unless they don't fit anywhere but here.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: "Forbidden Love" is an official parody of the fandom's infamously intense shipping wars, made up of fanart of assorted non-couples such as Katara and Zuko and Azula and Aang, before everyone breaks up due to incompatibility and goes back to the canon couples, begging forgiveness from the show's writers.
Films — Live-Action
- Suits on the Loose follows two juvenile delinquents named Justin and Tyler who disguise themselves as missionaries. Justin starts to fall in love with a woman in the ward named Sarah, but since he's disguised as a missionary they can't really get together at first.
- Comic artist Jack Deebs gets drawn into Cool World, which is a Toontown that's Darker and Edgier. There he encounters The Vamp Holli Would. However, detective Frank Harris bluntly dissuades Deebs from getting it on with Holli, because the #1 rule in Cool World is "Noids don't have sex with Doodles." Nevertheless, Holli seduces Deebs to become human, breaching the barrier between Cool World and the Real World. Further; although Harris is very friendly with the doodle Lonette, their relationship remains chaste, adhering to the rule. Fortunately, there's no taboo on two doodles getting wiggly.
- Star Crossed: The Two-Player Game of Forbidden Love is a Tabletop RPG about forbidden romantic relationships (as well as relationships that are not forbidden, but physically impossible).
- Natsumi's affection for Kenichi in Sharin no Kuni, since the setting has existing laws which can impose a literal prohibition of falling in love, to which she is subject.
- Star vs. the Forces of Evil: Queen Eclipsa abandons her throne and her people to marry a monster. They are imprisoned for their treasonous romance, while their illegitimate daughter (who would grow up to become Miss Heinous) is swapped with a peasant girl to be raised as heir to the throne.