A person who, by intense charisma, magic, science, or mundane methods of seduction, is able to make everyone throw themselves at their feet; absolutely anyone they want. Then they find a true challenge when they meet another character who, for whatever reason, is immune to their charms. In other words, this person has the power to choose the seducer of their own free will, and love them for who they are on the inside. Forbidden Fruit is also a factor since something unattainable is naturally more desirable.
If The Casanova gets a Love Interest, he will often fall for her because of this trope. This is often an explanation behind Ladykiller in Love and implied in The Love Slap of Epiphany. Contrast All Take and No Give. Sub-Trope of Somebody Doesn't Love Raymond, Forbidden Fruit and No Challenge Equals No Satisfaction. When the uncontrollable object is not flattered by the attention, she may be dealing with a Prince Charming Wannabe. Also compare Power Dynamics Kink.
- Berserk: Implied in the Ho Yay between Guts and Griffith. Griffith wants Guts to join his Band Of The Hawks when he sees his ferocity when fighting, and his passion towards following an independent lone wolf lifestyle. He is admiring of Guts' stubborn will and unwillingness to be tied down by anything. This quickly turns horrifyingly possessive on his part and leads up to the atrocity that is the Eclipse.
- A very large amount of Shoujo is based on this trope, where the extremely handsome and cynical male lead falls for the honest, down-to-earth female lead because he can't wrap her around his finger as easily as he can everyone else.
- The Familiar of Zero: Kirche says something that insults Saito so he rejects her advances. She refuses to give up telling him that prey that is hard to win over turns her on the most.
- Kamisama Kiss: Kurama falls for Nanami because unlike the other girls in school she can't stand his pompous playboy attitude.
- Code Geass:
- Mao became a Yandere because of this trope, as C.C. is the only person he could have extended contact with that wouldn't fill up his head with the white noise created by his uncontrollable Geass power.
- Lelouch has a case similar to Mao. C.C. is the only person he can't geass into submission and she once notes that he's becoming obsessed with her. There's also the fact that she's too experienced to be in awe of him (like some of his other admirers in the series). It is less a lack of control, as much as it is an independent streak and dependency on each other that make them partners, and not merely a subordinate. Not that their relationship is romantic, but C.C. is one of the few people Lelouch trusts (and he has massive trust issues). The "obsessed" angle is dropped soon after C.C. points it out as Lelouch is self-aware enough to listen to her advice.
- Shin from Fist of the North Star, who loves Yuria because she is an emotionally strong-willed woman whom he sees as a challenge to make willingly fall in love with him. It keeps failing since she will only love Kenshirou.
- In Interviews with Monster Girls, Sakie, the succubus math teacher falls for biology teacher Tetsuo when he doesn't display any lust at all after direct physical contact with her. Later she learns that he was just trying not to let it show to avoid making her feel awkward, but by then she's already head over heels.
- A mostly mundane version of this seems to be what attracts most of the suitors of Shuurei in Saiunkoku Monogatari. Being a confident, outspoken, and blindingly intelligent woman in an otherwise male-dominated society, she doesn't let ANY level of authority or nobility intimidate her, up to and including the Emperor himself. As a result, several of the most powerful men in the Empire become enamoured with her straightforward and willful personality, whether it be a fatherly concern or outright true love.
- In One Piece, part of the reason why Boa Hancock falls in love with Luffy is due to the fact that he's the only one who can resist her charms, while everyone else she comes in contact falls head over heels for her.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena: Touga falls in love with Utena because she seems to be the one girl who doesn't immediately fall under his charm.
- The protagonist of B Gata H Kei brushes off the flirtations of her rival's ridiculously attractive older brother. Apparently she is the first girl to ever do that. He immediately decides he must have her.
- Akako Koizumi of Magic Kaito. A mix of Hot Witch and Dark Magical Girl with the power to make men fall in love with her just by looking at her, she's put off by the discovery that Kaito Kuroba/Kaitou Kid is somehow the only person immune to her spell. After two failed attempts to force him under her control (and another attempt to just kill him when that doesn't work), she ends up falling in love with him and spends the rest of the series helping him out in her own way, via dropping cryptic warnings and disguising herself as Kid on one occasion to stop Hakuba from proving Kaito and Kid are the same person.
- One of the reasons Iason is so attracted to Riki in Ai no Kusabi is the latter's rebellious nature and defiant pride. The more Riki fights and resists him, Iason becomes more excited and determined to get Riki to submit willingly.
- Sailor Moon:
- Ali, Filler Villain of the "Makaiju/Doom Tree arc" in the anime, specifically states to himself after Usagi runs away after he failed in his attempt at wooing her that "Every time she runs away it only heightens my determination to win her over..."
- Prince Dimando likes Usagi's Older and Wiser self, Neo-Queen Serenity, for this reason as well. When Usagi reacts in the same manner, he also pursues her.
- Count Germont from Honoo no Alpen Rose is repeatedly rejected by the heroine Jeudi, but he keeps trying to make her his mistress no matter what. Lampshaded by the Count's wife Francoise, who tells Jeudi that the Count's impressed by Jeudi's ability to tell him no repeatedly, and confesses that she also envies Jeudi for it.
- Dawn of the Arcana: One of the first few things that attract Caesar to (and annoys him about) Nakaba is her refusal to be controlled by him.
- Ah! My Goddess:
- Aoshima is implied to be like this to Belldandy.
- Also occurs with Sayoko towards Keiichi, particularly in Season 2.
- Kin'iro no Corda: Yunoki to Hino.
- PandoraHearts: In spite of finding out that Lacie initially doesn't remember him, Jack doesn't particularly mind because he admires Lacie all the more for how free-spirited she is and how she can't be tied down by anything. Subverted once it's revealed that Jack's obsession with Lacie comes from extreme resentment rather than admiration...
- Sukisho: Yoru says to Ran at one point when he fights against his advances. "The more stubborn you are, the more you excite a man's domineering nature."
- France of Hetalia: Axis Powers groped Italy once and mentioned that "The more you resist the hotter I burn for you."
- Though love is not the best way to describe it, Iemitsu from Gate 7, like a good Psychopathic Manchild, loves when he takes things he knows he can't have and if they try to run, he likes them more; special mention is Sugihime, a girl he kidnapped for her Seer ability and considers her "so cute" for always insulting him and wishing him dead.
- Kanade Suzutsuki from Mayo Chiki! falls gradually in love with Jiro because of this trope. Where as other guys and girls fawn over her, he's the first guy to overtly stand up to her, although a lot of it is due to her being The Tease towards him till later in the series.
- Apparently discussed by Nikaido/Dokurou in The World God Only Knows FLAG 268. She thinks that Keima apparently fell in love with Chihiro for real, because she's the only girl, among his previous capture targets who had an important influence to his Character Development, who never got along with his expectations.
- In Date A Live, Miku Izayoi falls in love with Shiorinote because she is immune to her Compelling Voice. When Shiori says she hates her, Miku says that only makes her want her more.
- Cross Ange: Embryo seems to desire Ange mostly because she's strong-willed enough to resist his manipulations and even outright Mind Control powers. Paradoxically, he doesn't seem to understand why she doesn't consider herself extremely fortunate to have been judged worthy by himself.
- In Goddess Creation System Xiaxi exploits this to seduce playboy Mingyi. She needs him to fall in love with her but knows that if she shows any interest, has sex with him or even shows appreciation he'll end up losing interest. Instead, she puts on an attitude of quiet suffering while serving under him and acts as though she longs to return to his brother. His ego can't take it and he grows increasingly obsessed with making her his.
- In addition to the In Love with Your Carnage aspect and because of his broken badass ghoul nature Eto also develops feelings for Kaneki in Tokyo Ghoul because of his refusal to fall prey to her advances and determination to maim and kill her.
- When Kaneki issues Tsukiyama a death threat, rather than be deterred, Tsukiyama becomes even more enamored and obsessed with eating Kaneki.
- Roma has something of a crush on Kaneki because he refuses to let anything bring him to his knees. She desires to destroy his life because she thinks he's beautiful in the midst of despair.
- Mutsuki shows no interest in men who try to abuse/control him. It's partially because of Kaneki/Sasaki's complete lack of romantic interest in him and lack of desire to abuse/control him (in addition to his kindness) that Mutsuki fell for him and developed a psychotic attraction towards him.
- Furuta's attraction towards Rize grew more explicit and psychotic the moment he feared she would go off and have a life of her own without him. He also shows attraction to Eto and flirtatiously states how Eto's stubborn pride turns him on and makes him want to make her submit to him.
- Tsukiyama also developed an attraction towards Touka initially because of her cold nature reflected in her eyes and fiery personality.
- Yuureitou: Marube likes how Tetsuo tries to fight back against his seductions and he looks forward to break his will.
- Seraph of the End:
- While Ferid is delighted by Krul's ability to hand him his ass and her repulsion of him he also secretly desires to make her submit to him.
- Shinya mentions in the novel how he only really discovered he liked Mahiru when he learned of her beauty and her complete lack of interest in him.
- Ferid seems even more interested in Yuu and Mika because neither is going to take his crap or flirtations towards them sitting down.
- Sakura Gari: From a different angle, this borders on a strange inversion/distortion of this where everyone wants to control and screw Souma, treating him like a possession, a "doll", but Souma loves Masataka because Masataka doesn't try to control or possess him (i.e. Masataka's affection is pure (read: not bound by sexual possessiveness)).
- Solomon of Blood+ develops an infatuation towards Saya in the anime because she was the only girl who ignored him compared to how girls normally get around him.
- The Case Study of Vanitas: Vanitas states in chapter 12 he likes Joanne for numerous reasons one being her complete lack of interest in him. He even states he could never love someone who would return his feelings.
- The anime movie Howl's Moving Castle gives a gender-flipped variant. The Witch of Waste enjoys pursing "dashing men" and loves that Howl runs from her. It makes it that much more fun to try to get his heart.
- The Apothecary Diaries has a platonic example: Jinshi, a male eunuch in the imperial harem, is incredibly pretty and almost everyone tends to judge him by his looks (he is also frequently propositioned by both men and women of the court, which annoys him since he has no sex drive). Maomao, however, just finds him smug and annoying and tends to respond to his antics with Death Glares and Face Palms. Jinshi, meanwhile, finds her bluntness and contempt for him incredibly amusing and gets a kick out of interacting with her as a result. He later falls hard for Maomao anyway, even considering a candidate for marriage because —surprise, surprise— he's actually royalty.
- Seven Mortal Sins: Asmodeus becomes intrigued by both Maria Totsuka and Lucifer when they display immunity to her lust inducing powers. She kidnaps them and attempts to sexually torment them until they give in to lust and agree to become her slaves, but that doesn't work either. She then starts genuinely respecting them.
- Bi no Kyoujin: Kabu is obsessed with Nirasawa mainly because Nirasawa doesn't submit easily outside of bed. And that excites Kabu more than he cares to admit.
- To Love-Ru: Lala, Momo, and Nana's mother Sephie uncontrollably causes any male who looks at her uncovered face to be engulfed with lust, which forces her to wear a veil at all times lest she be swarmed and presumably gang-raped. She fell in love with her eventual husband Gid when he saw her face and was unaffected (and in fact, didn't see what made her so special). When she finds that Rito is also immune, she shows some attraction before declaring she approves of his relationship with her daughters.
- Part of the reason why Lupin III chases Fujiko so persistently is the fact that she's one of the few women out there he can't seduce at will - if she sleeps with him, it's because she decided to (usually to get something out of him), not because he convinced her to. To a Challenge Seeker like Lupin, that makes her irresistible.
- In the Zekkyou Gakkyuu chapter, "The Red Thread" (extra story), the popular Masaya is astounded that Moriya isn't swayed by his charms and is determined to get close to her and make her fall for him. He fails, and ends up falling in love with her for real, but she rejects him because she likes someone else
- In the Sillage comic The Collector, a corrupt alien diplomat develops an obsession for Nävis in this way. He keeps a whole harem of his past conquests but obsesses over this one girl he cannot get. (He is a powerful telepath but Humans Are Special by not being psykers — her mind is blank for him.) This develops into a genuine love that gives him what might qualify as a HeelFace Turn. Although love is a strong word. He just toned down his obsession. It didn't stop him from putting dozens of video cameras in her ship and robot friend to watch her all day.
- Mega-Control Freak Batman loves Catwoman partially because she's one of the few people who won't take it lying down.
- Jean Grey in the comics doesn't really seem to earn Wolverine's interest until she shouts him down. Every time she'd telekinetically clobber him and shout "I am no one's property!", it seemed to make him hotter for her. Pity every adaptation ever forgets that, having Logan fall for her the instant he first sees her.
- The Ultimate Marvel adaptation has this as well. Wolverine underestimates Jean, she blasts him with Telekinesis and afterwards he starts becoming more attracted to her and even abandons his mission to kill Professor Xavier.
- The DCU: The latest Clock King is obsessed with Rose Wilson a.k.a. Ravager mostly because she has similar precognitive abilities that can counter his own powers.
- ElfQuest: Leetah and Rayek's relationship in the early issues could easily be interpreted this way.
Rayek: I have asked you to be my lifemate. Any maiden here would say yes!
Leetah: Then why pursue me, my arrogant one?
Rayek: Because you are the only one worth having!
- Fables: In Fairest, Prince Charming tells Nalayani he has genuine feelings for her because she's unaffected by his charm. She replies "What charm?"
- Loki: Agent of Asgard: Loki becomes attracted to Verity Willis because she has the power to see through all forms of falsehood, including illusions, so fooling her is quite a challenge.
- Spider-Man: Gwen Stacy's attraction to Peter Parker started because he was the only guy she had ever met that didn't instantly fall at her feet and acted very disinterested and dismissive of her on their first day of college when they first met, which quickly made her very determined to get him to notice her. Little did she know that this wasn't because he wasn't or normally wouldn't be interested but because he had been running himself so ragged as both Spider-Man and Peter Parker the last several days that he could barely stay conscious much less hold a conversation at the time.
- In the Voltron: Legendary Defender fanfic Danza Verde, Lotor, head of the most powerful family in the criminal underworld, falls for Pidge when she (ignorant of who he is) rescues him from some goons and bandages his wounds, all the while insulting his smug attitude every chance she gets.
- In the Bleach fanfic series Heirverse this is Implied to be one of the reasons Aizen falls for Gin.
- In the Avatar: The Last Airbender fic Sun and Earth, Zuko is put in this position by Toph. She stays in a relationship with him but has a strong need to stay free. She goes her own way, sometimes appearing in Zuko's life again. He still waits, even being married to Mai, because it's Toph being unreachable that attracts him.
- Played with in The Silmarillion fic The Game of the Gods. The Gary Stu second-to-last opponent is, by his creator's decree, capable of seducing any woman he really wants to — and it works on a Vala — but it doesn't work on Lúthien, causing him to immediately focus all his attention on her, then vanish from the contradiction when she persists in ignoring him.
- Part of the spark for the Fleur×Harry relationship in the Harry Potter fanfic The Lie I've Lived. Fleur first sees Harry as an actual romantic prospect when, annoyed, he deliberately snubs her in order to ask her close but non-part-Veela friend to the Yule Ball. She is visibly much more satisfied with her relationship with Harry than with her previous ones, which usually involved much older men so strongly affected by her aura that they simply did whatever she told them to.
- Much like above, The Power of Seven notes that Fleur's initial attraction to Harry is based on his ability to shrug off her casual allure and treat her like just another girl rather than an irresistible sex object. By contrast, although "love" isn't exactly the right term, Fleur's mother Apolline becomes overly interested in having at least one sexual encounter with Harry just because he's the first wizard she's ever met who was able to resist her advances, after she's had various short affairs in the past just because she can.
- Very common in Harry Potter fan fiction pairing Draco and an Original Character. Draco is portrayed as The Casanova (often referred to as "the Slytherin Sex-God"), but will quickly fall head-over-heels once it's revealed that the new girl isn't impressed by his pick-up lines.
- It's canon that Naruto is pretty rebellious and defiant. In Slash Fic, this is sometimes one of the reasons that Sasuke ends up pursuing him.
- In the Death Note fanfic ''Feminism'' Fem!Raito gets even more interested in L when her attempts to seduce him (so she can win as Kira) don't work, and in fact he's noticed many for what they were. In chapters 1-2, she notes herself as far out of his league, when by the fourth or so she admits she finds him attractive too—but still wants to win.
- In the Power Rangers fic "Restless Warriors", this is at least a basic description of the reason why Eric (Power Rangers Time Force) falls for Taylor (Power Rangers Wild Force); Eric grew up in an abusive household where his father often beat his mother, and explains to Taylor that one reason he loves her is that she's too strong-willed to let him repeat his parents' relationship.
- In the The Picture of Dorian Gray fanfiction ''If I should ever lose you, that's what makes Basil a real mentor (and more) for Dorian.
- Word of God for the Pony POV Series is that this is the main reason Entropy married Havoc — He's the one being in all of existence who doesn't fear Her.
- A variation in Dark Fic Prison Island Break. While their relationship revolves purely around friendship, Sonic the Hedgehog respects Shadow the Hedgehog because Shadow isn't taken in by charisma or smooth-talking, forcing Sonic to prove his leadership qualities.
- In The Ultimate Evil, part of Shendu's Villainous Crush on Valerie Payne consists of her strong will that makes her able to resist his ability to play on human desires and exchange verbal barbs with him. The interactions with her rewritten, more demure version make him realize he misses her spunk.
- This is why Garon falls for Arete in The Lost King: because she's the only woman in his entire court that isn't pursuing him after his wife dies. Downplayed in that they do genuinely like each other.
- crawlersout: Gellert Grindelwald is...fascinated with Fem!Harry, because she is the only person he didn't have wrapped around his finger after their first meeting. Even people who don't agree with his goals or views were besotted with Grindelwald, Dumbledore included — Harry, while charmed by him, still felt discomfited, and that was before she knew his name and realized who he was, and all the terrible things he will go on to do.
- Prince Charming: Prince Adrien was blessed at birth with the power to brainwash everyone he interacts with into his adoring slave...whether or not he actually wants to. Unsurprisingly, much of the story revolves around his attempts to find some way of stripping himself of this blessing, and, after he manages this feat, he proposes on the spot to the first girl he meets.
- In Please, No More Soulmates!, Jaune Arc has a harem of soulmates that is comprised of most of the main cast, most of whom are obsessed with gaining his affection. Who does Jaune fall for first? Nora Valkyrie, the one person who isn't his soulmate, and thus not really interested in him on a romantic level (yet).
- Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works Abridged: Rin Tohsaka admits she likes Shirou Emiya because she can use her looks to get any other boy to obey her, but he doesn't.
- Realm of Entwined Science and Sorcery - Academy City: Queen Medb becomes obsessed with Touma Kamijou when he refuses her advances, just like Cu Chulainn did.
- Beauty and the Beast:
- While Gaston says that the reason he fell for Belle is that she's the most beautiful girl in town, Belle also happens to be the only girl in town not taken in by him and her constant rejection of him clearly wounds his ego and only makes him even more determined to have her at any cost. It's made more explicit in the 2017 live-action remake where he explains to Lefou that "it's the ones who play hard to get that are always the sweetest prey".
- The Beast also starts to warm up to Belle after she refuses to obey and defer to him. Unlike with Gaston, who views her refusal to submit as a challenge to break her to his will, the Beast is inspired by her behavior to be a better person.
- In the Fantastic Four (2005) movie, Victor Von Doom's assistant wonders, "Why Sue? You could have any other woman in the world." Victor quickly rejoins, "That's why. Because I could have any other woman."
- Inverted in Next, where the main character falls for the love interest because his powers work better on her than anyone else.
- In Casino Royale (2006), James Bond falls for Vesper Lynd because she's the only woman he's ever met who doesn't easily fall for his charms.
- This is the premise of Coming to America. Eddie Murphy's character, an African prince, wants to find a woman who would love him for who he is, not an Arranged Marriage trained to obey him or a Gold Digger after his money.
- Scott from Love Before Breakfast is accustomed to getting everything he wants, but the fact that Kay doesn't fall for his money or charms makes him want her even more.
- Groundhog Day pulls this with the lead character, Phil, who is stuck in a Ground Hog Day Loop and can't get out. At one point he uses this to take advantage and convince a variety of beautiful women he loves them or he knew them by learning stuff about them, coming back the next day, and using this knowledge to seduce them. Since every day at 6 when he wakes up everything is reset, he can profess his love to a woman, sleep with her, and wake up without her ever realizing this had happened since technically it never did. This goes well for Phil with everyone he wants except Rita, his producer, whom he spends multiple weeks learning everything about her, and yet not one time does she sleep with him; actually they all end with him being slapped for his behavior. As would be expected, this is the one he falls for.
- In Super Powereds Angela feels this way towards Chad. Amusingly, it is later revealed that between the strange nature of his power and his own social cluelessness, he more or less fell in love with her without noticing and just needed Roy to explain as much to him.
- This is eventually the motivation by which Courtney Thane is shown to be in love with Alix Crown in Quill's Window: Her aloof, diffident nature is a stark contrast to any other woman he's met.
- Possibly the only reason for Scarlet O'Hara's obsession with Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind is that he is not affected by her "powers of seduction"... at least, not enough to leave his wife.
- Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Ho Yay reading of The Epic of Gilgamesh.
- Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead has a lot of Ho Yay subtext between Howard Roark and Gail Wynand, with Wynand's feeling for Roark being an example of this trope.
- Wuthering Heights: Edgar for Cathy Earnshaw. She walks all over him, ignores his wishes, throws temper tantrums and obviously prefers the company of Heathcliff, and yet he refuses to give her up.
- Jane Austen:
- Pride and Prejudice: Elizabeth Bennet is smart enough to realize this is why Mr. Darcy fell in love with her — she was a welcome change from the likes of his Clingy Jealous Girl Caroline Bingley.
Elizabeth: Now be sincere; did you admire me for my impertinence?
Darcy: For the liveliness of your mind, I did.
Elizabeth: You may as well call it impertinence at once. It was very little less. The fact is, that you were sick of civility, of deference, of officious attention. You were disgusted with the women who were always speaking, and looking, and thinking for your approbation alone. I roused, and interested you, because I was so unlike them. Had you not been really amiable, you would have hated me for it; but in spite of the pains you took to disguise yourself, your feelings were always noble and just; and in your heart, you thoroughly despised the persons who so assiduously courted you.
- Interestingly, Austen takes the opposite approach to the trope in her next novel Mansfield Park, where Henry Crawford and his sister are both fully aware that the only reason he wants to make Fanny Price fall in love with him is that she's the first girl who doesn't fawn over him and crave his attention. The difference from P&P is that It's All About Me in Crawford's case.
- Gender flipped in Austen's Emma, where Emma falls in love with Mr. Knightley, the only person on Earth who doesn't worship her or treat her like she's perfect.
- Pride and Prejudice: Elizabeth Bennet is smart enough to realize this is why Mr. Darcy fell in love with her — she was a welcome change from the likes of his Clingy Jealous Girl Caroline Bingley.
- Captain Luthar first falls for Ardee West in The First Law because she's the first woman he's ever met who's honest about her low opinion of him.
- Twilight has a variation: "I love you because I can't read your mind." He actually can, and regularly does, control her. Also, it's implied that it's supposed to be because Bella is way too good to fall for looks alone... except that's all she talks about when she describes Edward, so the meaning is lost.
- Ciaphas Cain: Probably applies in Ciaphas' relationship with Amberley.
- Averted in The Vampire Diaries. Elena notes that Meredith is the only female who seems immune to Damon's charisma, but this only serves to make Damon rather wary of her.
- In the X-Wing Series, "Face" Loran invokes this trope with Dia Passik, who because of her tough childhood never saw any of his films, and thus is just about the only woman of her age who doesn't gush over him. Although he meant it ironically, in the end the two of them do get together.
- Esteban for Clara in The House of the Spirits.
- Caine for Diana in Gone. He fell for her because she was the only girl who hadn't fallen for his charms.
- In The Wizard Heir by Cinda Williams Chima, protagonist Seph has always been able to get any girl he wants thanks to his magically-aided charisma. Then he meets Madison Moss, whose Anti-Magic makes her immune. You can guess where this is going.
- In The Novels Of The Jaran, Ilya fall in love with Tess because she constantly defies him when nearly everyone else in the Jaran obeys him. The fact that she doesn't fall for his charisma and good looks like most other women probably factored in, too.
- Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle (the book) is clever enough to recognize that Miss Angorian, who is not only capable of resisting Howl's charm and is engaged to another man but also smart, pretty, down-to-earth and confident, will steal Howl's heart after witnessing their first meeting but it was Sophie who actually made Howl fall in love with her in the end.
- The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries
- In the novel (and its TV version, True Blood), this is the reason Sookie was first attracted to Bill: She realized she couldn't hear his thoughts.
- It's implied that Eric and Sookie's relationship has elements of this. She can't read his mind, he can't glamour her or make her quit her job and live safely as an odd type of housewife. This has nothing to do with the challenge and everything to do with the fact that hearing a guy's thoughts tends to really screw things up for Sookie, e.g. unflattering commentary on her body.
- In Trudi Canavan's The Ambassador's Mission Achati laments his control over his slaves — "Only when the person could easily leave you do you appriciate it when he stays" — and seems to have taken an interest in Dannyl at least partly due to a more equal status.
- Cassandra, the Physical God antagonist of Full Tilt, has been preying on people's fears for at least several thousand years, but she's never once felt fear herself. The protagonist initially drew her attention by being the sole survivor when she sent a school bus careening off a cliff, but when she challenges him individually, she's both unnerved and strangely turned on by his lack of any apparent weakness for her to target. At various points, she flirts with him, taunts him, offers him a job, and begs him for mercy. (Only that third one seriously interests him, and not for very long.)
- In Harry Potter, Harry becomes romantically interested in Ginny after she backs off, makes her crush on him less obvious, and interacts with him in a platonic and friendly manner. In this case, it's less that Harry enjoys the challenge of pursuing her and more that he finds it unnerving and smothering when girls try to get him to love them.
- A non-romantic version of this is apparently a big cause of Breeze's friendship with Clubs in Mistborn. As a Smoker, Clubs is immune to Breeze's Allomancy, and he is immune to more mundane methods of emotional manipulation because everything makes him grumpy.
- In The Finishing School Series future duke Felix ignores the girls that throw themselves at him and only has eyes for the protagonist Sophronia who finds him arrogant and is far more focused on excelling at her espionage training than catching a rich, titled husband.
- The titular protagonist of Fire falls in love with Prince Brigan partially because he is one of the very few people who has a strong enough mind to resist the mind-altering effects of her inhuman beauty.
- This is how Bobby and Oran feel about each other in The Man Who Brought the Dodgers Back to Brooklyn. Oran isn't swayed by Bobby's charm and savoir-faire and uses her stature as a TV reporter to try and hold him accountable for his outlandish actions with the Dodgers, which earns his interest. Bobby, on the other hand, doesn't let himself get swayed by her reporting, which she finds fascinating. They eventually get together and are married at the end of the novel.
- In The Poster Children, Charm Person Gloria falls for John Wright because he's immune to her pheromones. Unfortunately, they can't convince others of this, so at the first chance, Gloria gets imprisoned for supposedly tricking him into marriage. She's also kept from seeing her son because of this.
He could say no, so she had to say please.
- Skin Game reveals that the Fallen Angel Lasciel has developed a perverse fascination with Harry Dresden- the only mortal in thousands of years who not only refused her temptations but convinced her psychic imprint to leave his mind.
Lasciel: (during her Motive Rant) No ones ever turned me down before, Harry. Not once.
- This is supposedly why Christian is in love with Ana in Fifty Shades of Grey. He claims this is a draw of Ana's, why he loves her... except her moments of defiance send him into a rage more often than not (sometimes on the same page) and he is still very controlling of her.
- In Watersong, Penn develops an obsessive love/lust for Daniel because he is immune to her siren song, making him the first person in millennia to actually stand up to her. She admits she wouldn't be nearly so interested if he fell under her spell and just mindlessly worshiped her like everyone else.
- In the Rose of the Prophet trilogy, this is what keeps drawing Khardan back to his (divinely mandated) wife Zohra despite everything she does that antagonises him- with every woman in his tribe willing to throw themselves at his feet, Zohra is the one woman who never gives him an inch. The story even mentions as such when Khardan refuses to take another wife after marrying her, noting that Zohra makes other women seem boring by comparison.
There were times, however, when he admitted to himself that the eyes of the sparrow were dull and lackluster after one has looked into the fiery black eyes of the hawk.
- InCryptid: Artie is an incubus, who naturally gives off pheromones that attract humans attracted to men (other than blood relatives, who are immunenote ). This is a problem, since Artie has very little control over his pheromones, to the point that he's a Hikikomori by necessity. Part of the reason he's in love with Sarah is that she's not humannote , and so she's the only non-relative his age who he has no effect on. Sarah, on the other hand, is a member of a telepathic species who are infamous for being Backstory Invaders and forcing other sapients to like them and give them whatever they want. Sarah, being one of the few Token Heroic Orcs of her species, wants to avoid this as much as possible, and it turns out Artie's ancestor passed down some genetic immunity to her telepathy, so she can't make him love her unconsciously, and would never do so deliberately.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation
- There's an episode where Lwaxana Troi is fascinated by someone she cannot read. He turns out to be a hologram, which she is quite embarrassed by.
- Lwaxana has this problem a lot. One of the running gags of the series is that she's perpetually infatuated with Captain Picard, who can't stand to have her around. And in one of her later appearances in Deep Space Nine she becomes similarly attracted to Odo, who (at the time, anyway) can't really comprehend how "solids" fall in love.
- Similarly, the telepath from the episode "Tin Man" spends a lot of time with Data, whose mind he cannot read. The difference here is that, unlike Lwaxana, he can't not read minds, while Lwaxana just has almost no sense of personal space in that regard. He loves having to discover who Data is as a person rather than being thrust with all that information at once.
- Q's attraction to Picard is probably the result of this trope. He seems rather pleased with humanity's unpredictability, after all. Taken Up to Eleven for Q's appearances in Voyager with Janeway, where he explicitly asks her to mate with him (he omits the fact that Q mating is touching two fingers together and a flash of light happens).
- There's an episode where Lwaxana Troi is fascinated by someone she cannot read. He turns out to be a hologram, which she is quite embarrassed by.
- In Dark Angel, there is an episode focused on one of the X series fugitives who has Mind Control powers. She's dating this mob guy called Dougie, despite him being below average in every respect, because her powers don't work on him. She helped him rip off his organisation, manipulating him in more traditional ways.
- Hannah Montana: Jake falls for Miley because she is the only the girl at school who isn't gaga over him.
- True Blood
- Sookie was initially attracted to Bill the vampire mainly because she couldn't read his mind, though this was mostly since she wasn't Squicked out by what he thought about her sexually. The fact that he saved her from the Rattrays and fed her his blood, causing her to have sexy dreams about him didn't hurt any. It turned out he'd orchestrated the whole thing specifically to get this response, which makes it a Invoked Trope.
- There's also Eric, who is mostly into Sookie because he's a bit intimidated by her powers, as shown in a fantasy of his where she tops the hell out of him. Both vampires also feel this way towards Sookie because she can't be glamoured.
- There's a bit of this in Castle; Richard Castle can charm any lady he likes around his little finger except for Detective Kate Beckett, who isn't suckered in by any of his usual methods... which makes Castle, who was getting bored with the fawning ladies themselves trying to snare or drape themselves over him, a lot more interested in her as a result. It's also suggested (including by the actors) that it's not so much about Castle trying to find some way to control Beckett as he is kind of thrilled to find someone who can control him, as Castle has no real authority figure in his life except for her.
- Scrubs: Dr. Cox loves Jordan because she's one of the only people who can stand up to him. Jordan loves Dr. Cox because he's one of the only people who can stand up to her.
- Gossip Girl: Blair loves Chuck because he's the only person who is a Worthy Opponent, Chuck loves Blair because she's the only one who ever seriously challenges him.
- Averted in the Smallville episode, "Heat". When Desiree finds that her seduction powers have no effect on Clark Kent, she gets pissed and immediately starts trying to ruin his life. For example, she frames him for arson.
- Noah's Arc: This is one of the things that draws Ricky towards Junito early on (as Ricky's sexual advances don't seem to take).
- The Secret Life of the American Teenager has this in the pilot, proving that at least one of the writers actually knows how to write. The main love interest, after talking to the main character, talks to his councilor.
"I asked her out, and she turned me down. Of course, I must have her."
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Buffy treats Spike's sexual advances with contempt until he reveals that his chip doesn't read her as human, and so he can hurt or even kill her without consequence. This results in an immediate mutual No-Holds-Barred Beatdown which leads to passionate sex in a collapsing building. There were other factors leading up to this moment, but the timing is interesting.
- In Haven, Chris Brody is attracted to Audrey only because she doesn't fall for him like all the town's people do due to his Trouble.
- Probably part of the reason why Big Bad Klaus harbors a strong attraction for Caroline in The Vampire Diaries. It's part of the reason why he admires her so much at least, which is saying a lot as the guy is very easy to disappoint and can be quick to disown people.
- In Sherlock, Irene's first meeting with the protagonist starts with her trying — and failing — to manipulate him the way she would most men (and a statistically significant portion of women). Given that this version of her is all about control, the trope is in play — though she does eventually find a way to dupe him: don't appeal to his sexual desires; appeal to his intellect.
- The Vampire Diaries: Unlike in the novel, played straight between Damon and Elena literally because her vervain necklace prevents her from being compelled. At least, while she is actually wearing it.
- Lucifer: Chloe is immune to Lucifer's abilities and charms, sexual or otherwise. Lucifer is fascinated by the implications, but Linda the therapist also notes that he's more than a little disturbed. Her immunity means that Lucifer has to rely on being himself to get her attention, which leads to a genuine friendship developing between them and Lucifer falling in love with her.
- In the Northern Exposure episode "Only You", Chris goes through one of his recurring hormone/pheromone surges, which make him almost irresistible to women. When he discovers that the visiting optometrist is completely immune to his pheromones, and doesn't even find him attractive at his baseline level, he becomes fixated on her. As a result, he finds himself impotent while in bed with other women, and his body actually ends the surge earlier than usual.
- Jessica Jones (2015):
- This is the driving plot of the first season. Jessica's Arch-Enemy Kilgrave has a Compelling Voice which he uses to horrifying effect, and Jessica was his love-slave for over a year. But one day, his powers just stopped working on hernote , and he became obsessed with having her at his side again. However while Kilgrave thinks this feeling is love, it's obvious that his powers have made him a sociopathic Control Freak who can't understand what it's like to be denied something for the first time in his adult life.
- In the second season, Dr. Karl Malus admits that his falling in love with Jessica's mentally unstable mom was much this way.
- Victorious: This is outright stated to be the reason why Beck stays with Jade, despite how terribly she treats him at times. In one episode, Beck admits that he's bored of the girls who constantly throw themselves at him and will do anything to make him happy. He'd rather be with someone like Jade, who at least challenges him.
- Doctor Who: In "Fugitive of the Judoon" Captain Jack is excited by...well, let's face it, everything. But especially by the way the Tardis Team doesn't seem overly impressed by him:
Jack: Oh, she likes them mouthy, then, huh?
Ryan: Yeah, one up from cheesy.
Jack: Okay, he's my favourite!
- Don McLean's Everybody Loves Me Baby is a great example of this. "Everybody loves me, baby — what's the matter with you?"
- "Crave You" by Flight Facilities revolves around this idea, too. "Why can't you want me like the other boys do?"
- Kesha's "Steven", a song where the narrator is a Stalker with a Crush (literally, according to the official video) features the following as its second verse:
I've got guys waiting in a line
For me to play my evil girly games
With all their minds
Just watch me
I've got it down to a simple art
Just bat my eyes like this
And there's a broken heart
you turned the tables
what the hell?
I can charm the pants off anyone else
- The Rolling Stones' "Ruby Tuesday" is all about this, a woman who lives only for the present ("yesterday don't matter if it's gone"), never stays in one place for long, and can't really be obtained by anyone.
- HoneyWorks' "Mean Encounter" from Confession Executive Committee ~Love Series~ has this as its central premise. The singer is a typical teen playboy who fools around with girls and takes life in a lax manner, but only one person seriously dislikes him for it— and that very same person is the only one that makes him start reconsidering his actions, leading to an honest romantic pursuit.
- Subverted in The Bright Sessions, where Charm Person Damien isn't remotely attracted to Chloe, who cannot be compelled by him, but is obsessed with Mark, because his Power Copying means they will both be able to compel others and so can relate to each other.
- Metamor City:
- In one story John the incubus finds himself falling for a noblewoman he was assigned to seduce, but who is able to resist his abilities. It turns out she's a daughter of the goddess of love, and John is notably crushed after the assignment ends and he has to leave her.
- In a bit of an inversion, Kate starts dating John when she discovers she's Immune to Mind Control and realizes that her infatuation with him when they first met wasn't just his incubus powers.
- Morgan was reluctant to address her feelings for Kate after becoming a vampire due to her domination gaze, especially as Kate was apparently straight. When she finally tells her just before before a dangerous mission, Kate has Morgan look her directly in the eyes to demonstrate that her gaze doesn't affect her. They start a polyamorous relationship shortly after.
- Wooden Overcoats: Marlene Magdelena is domineering, carries a whip, and isn't afraid to use it to intimidate... everybody. Georgie finds this impossibly sexy and turns into a babbling, smitten mess every time they're in the same room together, but Marlene barely notices her. What she does notice is when Antigone finally gets sick of her behavior and tells her off — prompting Marlene to fall head-over-heels. Neither Georgie nor Antigone can quite believe this.
- It's possible to interpret The Taming of the Shrew like this, with Kate being impressed that she is unable to frighten away Petruchio (YMMV of course). This is the approach taken in 10 Things I Hate About You.
Kat: Why would you care if I never woke up again?
Patrick: Because then I'd have to start taking out girls who actually liked me.
Kat: Like you could find any.
Patrick: Now see, right there, who needs affection when you have blind hatred?
- The inverse is also true for the movie — Patrick grows to love Kat because she's not afraid of or especially impressed by him, unlike most of the student body.
- In My Fair Lady, Prof. Higgins realizes his attraction to Eliza only when she leaves him and declares that she doesn't need him.
- Mrs Lovett to Sweeney Todd. She's consistently portrayed as being very attractive. Preskett Prest, author of the original book, in particular waxes lyrical about how captivating she is to the men that visit her shop and most adaptations go with that and make her very flirty but Sweeney is largely immune to her charms or incapable of having a real relationship with her. Or else he mercilessly uses her as a pawn in his plotting...
- Solveig is this to Peer in Peer Gynt.
- Tales of Symphonia: Zelos Wilder is used to girls throwing themselves at him, so naturally he takes a keen interest in Sheena, who refuses to fall for any of his charms. If you get Zelos's backstory, he reveals that his happy-go-lucky exterior is just a facade, and he's actually quite cynical—and that especially goes for his instant harem, whom he believes is more interested in being with Zelos the Chosen than they are in Zelos the person. Sheena doesn't care if he's the Chosen or no, meaning that whatever she is feeling for Zelos — even though it's currently "he's a disgusting pervert" — is genuine.
- In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, that might explain some of Sion's Stalker with a Crush dialogue towards a female Exile.
- In Dragon Age: Origins, due to her Social Darwinist approach, Morrigan is frequently left exasperated by the actions of a heroic Male Warden. Particularly after she realises that she's actually started to develop genuine feelings for them.
- Implied to be behind Haytham's feelings for Ziio in Assassin's Creed III. As a Templar, Haytham is totally obsessed with control; although their relationship was happy enough, if brief, Ziio's deepest worry about their son is that he might have inherited the obsession.
- Seraphina's relationship with Killia in Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance is a rather literal case. Seraphina prides herself on being The Charmer with her ability to make any man do whatever she wants with a single gaze. However, her ability has absolutely no effect on Killia, and because of that, plus his selflessness, she has fallen for him.
- In AFK Arena, Mehira, nicknamed "the Mind Cager", is a succubus who's so effective at making mortals bow to her charms, preying on their most subconscious desires that they may not even know about themselves, that the only reason she hasn't ensnared the majority of Esperia's population is because she finds it too easy and boring. Then she met the Lightbearer demon hunter Fawkes, who was able to resist her magic and counterattack. Being Faux Affably Evil, it's very highly doubtful that she likes him, but she's at the very least excited and fascinated at finally encountering a Worthy Opponent.
- In Fate/Grand Order, Queen Medb is obsessed with Cu Chulainn because he's the only man who she cannot seduce.
- Gilgamesh towards Saber in Fate/stay night. In one route he even states to her face as he's dying that "Some things are more beautiful because you can't have them." In one of the alternate timelines in a sequel game he's actually disappointed when he sees that Dark Saber has abandoned her ideals and become corrupted.
- Togainu no Chi: Shiki is interested in Akira because he refuses to surrender to him and doesn't beg for his life.
- In Nicole, the best way into Jeff's heart is to challenge him and/or go outside of his expectations. For someone who bases his entire persona on what he expects that people want to see, he's intrigued by Nicole when she does the opposite of what she "should" have done.
- A couple of the possible relationships in Seven Kingdoms: The Princess Problem run along these lines. Prince Zarad of Corval is intrigued by a lady who won't fall for his charm; Prince Jarrod of Revaire isn't accustomed to being stood up to. In both cases, the best way to get the prince's attention is to challenge him and refuse to play his game.
- Ikki from Amnesia: Memories was given the magical (and uncontrollable) ability to make any girl who looks into his eyes fall in love with him. In his route, he becomes interested in the female protagonist when she proves to be the only girl in the school capable of resisting his magical charm to some extent.
- Ikemen Sengoku:
- This is one major reason for Oda Nobunaga becoming fascinated with the heroine (the other major reason being that she saved his life) who rejects his offer for her to rule the world by his side and stands up to him in a way that no other woman does.
- Several other guys take a less-pronounced interest in the heroine specifically because of her assertive, willful personality. Masamune states on several routes that he finds the challenge of winning the heart of a spirited woman like her to be attractive, and Shingen responds to her defiantly telling him on his own route that she'll make his life as miserable as possible by saying that he likes her even better as a "war goddess".
- Gunnerkrigg Court: Not love per se, since he seems incapable of loving anyone besides himself, but Coyote is clearly fascinated with Antimony and Reynardine precisely because they're not afraid to disagree with him or brush him off. In contrast, Ysengrin is a fawning yes-man to Coyote, so Coyote barely gives him the time of day. Except of course when he's eating Ysengrin's memories.
- Skin Horse: Tigerlily Jones is the only (human) female to appear for more than a panel and not find Tip extremely attractive. She barely even noticed him unless forced to. This is probably the main reason she's the only woman Tip's actually thought twice about (without sleeping with her or her trying to kill him).
- Dan from Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures is an incubus who believes he will never find true love. With his mind reading, charm and shape shifting abilities, Dan could seduce anyone he wants, but it would not be love. Matilda is his first real shot at a girlfriend because she is immune to his abilities, and loves him for who he is.
- Supervillain Distracterella of League of Super Redundant Heroes is infatuated with Lazer Pony, as he's the only person able to resist her charms.
- In El Goonish Shive, when Pandora was young, she had a hobby of having mortals do silly stuff in return for valuable information. But one day, as she was growing increasingly bored with how predictable it was becoming, a man named Blaike Raven refused her offer. She proceeded to persist at first for the challenge, and then because she was growing increasingly fond of him and the information she was offering him really was very important. That being that there was no treasure, and was about to be killed. She even saved his life and apologized for not telling him sooner, even though Blaike kept saying it wasn't her fault that he didn't listen.
- In Batman Beyond, Xander falls for Max because she is tough and sassy, unlike his sickeningly submissive servants.
- The Fairly OddParents:
- "You're... rejecting ME? Oh my gosh! I am so into you now! I'm gonna run home and leave a thousand messages on your answering machine, bye!"
- "Stupid Cupid" also confirms what anyone could have guessed — that Juandissimo is so obsessed with Wanda, who hates his guts because she's "so unattainable."
- Nobody probably finds his mental equal as literally "highly erotic" as David Xanatos does. He tells his new wife so in the episode "Upgrade."
- Puck feels this way (probably platonically) towards David Xanatos.
- Wonder Woman's attraction to Batman in Justice League and Justice League Unlimited has shades of this as part of their Opposites Attract routine.
- The Owl House: Warden Wrath from "A Lying Witch and a Warden" is a Knight Templar who's the closest thing the Boiling Isles has to law enforcement, locking up troublemakers and weirdos in his Conformatorium (often for spurious reasons). He's also madly in love with Eda, the one criminal who's always managed to escape his grasp.
- Total Drama World Tour: Alejandro falls in love with Heather after he finds himself unable to manipulate her nor get her eliminated as he did with the other female contestants, due to Heather being aware of his true colors.
- In The Weekenders, Carver tries to set Tino up with a popular, stuck-up girl; the girl isn't interested in Tino until she discovers that Tino isn't interested in her either. Then, she becomes infatuated with him, claiming that "unattainable boys are so fascinating".
- A villainous example from Teen Titans, Brother Blood becomes obsessed with Cyborg because the mechanical parts of his brain prevent Blood from using his mind control powers on him.
- In Neil Strauss' The Game, a memoir about his time as a pickup artist, he describes how he ended up in a serious romantic relationship with the one woman not affected by his seduction techniques.