(notices that "Sam Carter" is suddenly dressed provocatively)
Ah, love, the chance for two minds to seek each other out bask in each their beloved's presence... unless one of you doesn't really have a mind.
- Characters in a lifelike simulation;
- Character in a dreamworld or hallucination;
- Holograms of real or artificial people in the real world (expect being unable to touch each other to be especially maddening, unless Hard Light is involved);
- "Personality downloads" or duplicates of an often still-living person;
- Lifelike robots;
- Mind-controlled people;
- Shapeshifters capable of masquerading as humans.
The actual human being in the equation may or may not be aware of the situation, but it makes things that much ickier if they are — especially if the simulation in question is, arguably, not truly sentient in any meaningful sense (for an extreme example, remember that Pygmalion fell in love with a statue before Aphrodite brought it to life). If the inhuman entity is based on a real person, expect them to discover what's been going on at some point.
- In the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, the virtual world Kaiba designed includes a princess character that looks exactly like his younger brother Mokuba. Even Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series dared not dwell too long on what Kaiba planned to do with Princess Mokuba. In the original Japanese version, Kaiba had nothing to do with developing the game at all. If true, that would make the princess's Mokuba-ness entirely the fault of the Big Five. Still creepy, but on a different level. note
- Tenchi in Tokyo has Sakuya Kumashiro, who is a "shadow" created by the Big Bad Yugi to fall in love with Tenchi and split apart his Unwanted Harem. She doesn't know it until the end.
- The whole point of Chobits is whether or not the love interest is an example of this trope or something more. There are several human/robot, human/human, and robot/robot relationships, some romantic and some not, and different characters have different ideas on whether you're anthropomorphising a sophisticated talking doll and that's bad, or whether you love who you love and it's okay.
- The main theme of Ken Akamatsu's early work A.I. Love You.
- Mahou Sensei Negima! Robot Girl Chachamaru has a bit of a crisis regarding the veracity of her soul, (pacts require a soul to work, and kissing is the easiest way to establish one,) until Negi decides to — essentially — kiss her hard enough to cause a localized explosion. This could have screwed the rules of the pacio system, ''create'' her soul or something else, but hey, it worked, right?
- Video Girl Ai
- Ruon Kamiyama from Mnemosyne is a virtual reality sex doll. Things get difficult when she goes all Yandere over Teruki and downloads herself into an android body to meet him in Real Life.
- In Cat Planet Cuties the Catian's flat out state that this is the main purpose to their VR room so as to work out their sexual urges during their time in heat.
- Also, their first generation of Assistdroids were built to look like Catians. They changed to making them smaller, cuter doll-like robots in part because of issues stemming from this trope.
- According to rumor, Electro once tried to convince a shape-shifting prostitute to take Spider-Man's form. Significant Foe Yay there. (Also, he wanted Invisible Woman or Scarlet Witch).
- The android Vision and the Scarlet Witch. They were happily married in the 80's, with the Vision finally getting his act together and becoming very human. It didn't stick.
- Bruce Banner once built an A.I. called the Recordasphere that looked like a little flying silver ball. It faithfully followed him around on his adventures for a short time, but then fell in love with him and became insanely jealous of his then-girlfriend. It tried unsuccessfully to kill her, and got destroyed in the process.
- An issue of Paperinik New Adventures has Leonard Vertighel, a robot designer from the future, totally obessed with Lyla, a Robot Girl and his creation, and thinks she's the perfect woman.
- There's a short Judge Dredd story where a withdrawn teenager's wealthy mother buys him a girlfriend in the form of a Sex Bot. He falls in love with the robot, but then his sleazy stepfather reprograms her to cater to his own whims. His stepson murders him before attempting to run away with his female companion. The Judges are somewhat confused by the whole affair, but Judge Dredd decides to go lenient on the kid by deeming it a "crime of passion" and reducing his sentence.
- Captain Lewis is in reality a disembodied head connected to the ship's systems, but he maintains a psychic link to Druuna. At one point he projects an image of his handsome young self to her on a beach he used to visit, where they proceed to make love.
- Played with in a later album where Druuna is trapped inside the remnants of Captain Lewis' half-lucid post-mortem mind, and a middle-aged version of Lewis observes Druuna having sex with another man on the same beach.
- In the Domoverse, Glitch was a VR sex program.
- The 6th Day: Adam's associate has an... interesting virtual companion.
- At the end of Die Another Day, Moneypenny is caught experimenting with a pair of VR goggles...
- Jobe and Marnie's virtual sex scene in The Lawnmower Man, which unfortunately turns into Mind Rape.
- The Matrix: Mouse offers to set Neo up with the "Woman in the Red Dress", an AI character he created to distract recruits during the Agent training. He warns that she doesn't talk much.
Switch: The digital pimp, hard at work.
- In Serenity, Mr Universe is "married" to a Sexbot who provides the relevant info so the heroes can save the day after Mr Universe is killed.
- TRON, where Flynn says goodbye to Yori, a program within the System (created by, and a doppelganger of, his ex-girlfriend), with a kiss.
- Like Father, Like Son in the sequel TRON: Legacy, though Quorra turns out to be a little different from most. The discredited sequel also had shades of this between Jet and Mercury.
- Virtuosity: Sheila 3.2, Virtual reality sex doll, Sole function is to deduce your psychosexual needs, and fulfill them. Clyde asks the programmer who created her: "Hey, man, let me use your (virtual reality) gear for a little while."
- Defied in Inception. Dream!Mal offers to forgive Cobb so they can spend the rest of their lives together, but Cobb replies that she doesn't have the perfections, imperfections, or complexity of his dead wife — she's just a shade. She becomes rather livid in response.
- In Spike Jonze's film, her, the main character falls in love with his intelligent, talking operating system.
- Timecop: The tech guy at the time agency is caught by his boss as he's using the resident VR machine for a porn scenario. The end of the previous scene immediately cuts right to a nude, buxom woman waiting with anticipation as the POV camera closes in on her in a rather jarring fashion before establishing that it's a fantasy, giving the impression that someone just spliced in a random porno Tyler Durden-style in the middle of the movie.
- Cyberjack, which features Mikhael Dudikoff as a janitor going up against a group of terrorists who have taken over the building he works at (but 20 Minutes into the Future), includes a scene where he's watching a stripper hologram in the lab room during his break.
- Virtual Combat (aka Grid Runners) takes place in a near future where virtual reality sex programs (and combat games) are commonplace. A Corrupt Corporate Executive starts downloading the girls into artificial bodies for more profit. The hero falls in love with one of the girls, but she later dies. The last scene shows that he keeps visiting her program at a virtual reality arcade.
- Subverted in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Bubble shapeshifts into various Sexy Whatever Outfit personas much to the approval of Valerian, but when she taps into his memories and changes into his Ice Queen partner Laureline, he's not amused and puts a gun to her head.
- Blade Runner 2049 has Joi, a commercially available AI meant to give companionship for lonely individuals such as the protagonist K. She later hires a flesh and blood hooker, then "synchs up" their body movements so that K can make love to Joi for real. What makes that scene especially interesting is that all three participants are artificial. K and the prostitute are both Replicants, and Joi is a hologram.
- Day Million, published in 1971, is perhaps the first written instance of Cyber Sex.
- The Dresden Files have Lasciel, who takes up residence in Harry's head and once pretended to be a real human. She had him fooled, too. It gets worse when he convinces her that she needn't remain the unchanging, unrelenting corrupting influence she's "supposed" to be, because she finally agrees and sacrifices herself to save him from brain damage.
- "Max" in the Dirk Pitt Adventures, being a representation of Hiram Yeager's wife. His wife's aware of it.
- ''The Dreamland Chronicles''(not that one) combines this and What Measure Is a Non-Human? as its major plot points. The biocomputer that runs the Dreamlands develops a female personality and falls in love with her original programmer.
- In the new Foundation trilogy novel "Foundation's Fear", we have two simulations — Joan of Arc and Voltaire. These are recreated by computer programmers for a public debate. The simulations have a great deal of UST. When the debate starts, the simulations start having sex, causing an uproar. However, the two simulations deeper layers are based on the programmers' minds themselves (the simulations were damaged). This reveals the UST between the programmers and they start a romantic relationship.
- The short story "The Sandman" (Der Sandmann, 1816) by German author E. T. A. Hoffmann is a darkly fantastical tale about a university student, Nathanael, who ogles and then falls deeply in love with a professor's beautiful 'daughter', Olimpia (even forgetting his hometown fiancée in the process) — then going mad when he finds out that Olimpia is merely an automaton constructed by her supposed "father", and finally jumping to his death from a steeple. Though "gothic", the story is also full of sly satirical humour, as Olimpia actually is quite mind- and lifeless and can only perform mechanical actions, and the "deep understanding" Nathanael detects is entirely his own imagination. Presumably Hoffmann mocked the idealized description of 'romantic love' that was widespread in the popular literature of his days (the "romanticist" age). Or Did He? — See the Theater folder for some adaptations of this story.
- In Peter David's Star Trek: New Frontier novel series Mackenzie Calhoun's son Xyon has his ship's (female) AI run a holographic simulation of different women, mostly his long-lost love, which he has sex with (he's otherwise alone on the ship). In the same series, Kat Mueller admits she uses her ship's holodeck to scratch her own itch as she doesn't believe in entering a relationship that could interfere with the chain of command. And even holo-Morgan offers her... services... to Calhoun on an occasion (though he always declines).
- Troblum in the Void Trilogy by Peter Hamilton maintains several female "i-sentient solido projections" - essentially avatars of finely tuned AIs that exist, fully lifelike, in real space. They're even based on real people from events in the previous novels. In the end, one of them gets married to him, but only after being made into a biologically real person (long story).
- In Dave Barry in Cyberspace, this scenario to illustrates the "tremendous potential of virtual reality":
Man: Hi there! My head is not attached to my body!
Woman: Neither is mine! Let's have virtual sex!
(They remove their virtual clothes.)
Woman: Wow! That's a big virtual penis!
Man: Yes! I can make it any size you want! Fifty feet long, for example!
Woman: No thanks!
Man: Hey! Who's that running toward us?
Woman: UH-oh! It's my virtual husband! With a virtual gun!
Man: I thought you said he was at work!
Husband: I am at work!
- In Dan Wells's "The Hollow City", this trope is used. Kind of. Briefly, his love interest turns out to be a hallucination, but she's rather strongly opposed to the idea that this means she isn't also real, and given that the villains are sentient body-stealing hallucinations, she may have a point.
- In Babel-17, the customs officer who is helping Wong put together a crew for her ship is uncomfortable visiting the building where dead-and-uploaded personalities are housed, so he stays outside. While waiting, he is approached by a "succubus"—an uploaded personality who has learned to charm and seduce the living. When Wong returns, the officer is in a happy daze, until Wong points out that his wallet has been emptied.
- Stargate Atlantis:
- In "Grace Under Pressure", Rodney is trapped in a puddle jumper on the bottom of the ocean with an increasingly amorous hallucination of Samantha Carter. Rodney refuses her advances, though, because he knows she's only doing it to keep him from enacting a plan he himself knows is potentially a bad idea.
- In season 5's "Remnants", an alien AI appears to three of the Atlantis crew to convince to send a seed carrier that will help recreate their race on to its destination. It appears to McKay as Zelenka, Sheppard as Kolya (a dead recurring villain) and to Woolsey... as a manifestation of his "romantic and sexual desires". From this we get the impression that Woolsey, who probably hasn't had sex since John Major was British Prime Minister, likes tall, dark-haired Australian ladies who dress in Atlantis uniform with nothing underneath.
- On Stargate Universe, after Ginn and Amanda die their consciousnesses get uploaded to the Destiny computer. Within an episode, Rush has found a way to have sex in a virtual simulation of the ship. Eli wanted to do the same thing for the same reason, and while his girlfriend was certainly pleased with the idea, she opposed it because of the risk to him. Indeed, Rush doing it actually makes things a lot worse.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation:
- In the episode "Booby Trap", Geordi has the holodeck summon up a virtual assistant in the form of the modern warp drive's inventor to help him out with an especially dastardly Negative Space Wedgie. They're both so excited when they succeed that they kiss. Subverted years later in the episode "Galaxy's Child", which had the real woman show up, discover this little incident and chew him out over it. She calms down eventually when he explains the situation. And reverted in the Distant Finale, where they were portrayed as married.
- When the character of Reg Barclay was introduced in "Hollow Pursuits", his problem of "holodeck addiction" included using replicas of the ship's crew as characters, which angered several of them. Troi lectured them on how it was a harmless way of blowing off steam... until her duplicate showed up, a (just barely) gauze-clad "Goddess of Empathy", much to the other characters' amusement.
- Minuet (in "11001001") was a simulated woman created by the Bynars to "hold" Picard and Riker there with her... amazing realism. She made such an impression on Riker that she was chosen to be his deceased wife in a simulated future, which tipped him off to that simulation not being real.
- In "Manhunt", Troi's mom Lwaxana becomes smitten with a virtual bartender in the Holodeck. She doesn't find out he's virtual until much later, and is rather mad that others didn't tell her. What she's really attracted to is the fact that she can't read his mind. She assumes it's because he has a very strong mental fortitude. Of course, it's really because he's just a simulation.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
- In "Meridian", Quark got into trouble not for having sex programs in his holosuites, but for using women on the station (including Kira) as character models (some EU works have implied that this is illegal, a form of identity theft). When Kira finds out she reprograms her image with Quark's head on it. The rather unpleasant character who paid for the experience is not happy.
- Most of the female characters in the Julian Bashir, Secret Agent holonovels. The squick is indirectly referenced when a malfunction causes the characters' appearances to be replaced with those of station crewmembers, and Bashir is much more reluctant to accept advances from a character who looks like someone he knows.
- Star Trek: Voyager:
- In "Blood Fever" and "Body and Soul", attempts are made to treat the Vulcan pon farr with a holographic female Vulcan (even though it was explicitly stated in TOS that a Mind Meld is a necessary part of the process, though it could have just been "blowing off the steam," so to speak, that meditation couldn't cure.)
- Seven of Nine gets distracted from her duties by a holographic Chakotay in "Human Error". Towards the end of the series, another hologram of the Commander was used by Seven and the Doctor so she could practice dating, foreshadowing their later budding romance in the final episode.
- The "Fair Haven" program where Janeway gets interested in handsome Michael Sullivan who she then reprograms to make even more appealing.
- The male and female holo-eyecandy massagers hanging around B'Elanna and Tom in the early seasons
- The Doctor uses the holodeck to have safe nookie with Phage-infected Denara Pel, or to daydream that all female crewmembers find him irresistible. He also practices his confession of love to a holo-simulation of Seven in "Someone to Watch Over Me".
- Subverted in "Alter Ego", where a holo-babe fancied by both Harry Kim and Tuvok turns out to be not so virtual after all, but a lonely alien hacking into the system.
- Voyager also features the return of Barclay. In the Voyager simulation within his lab, the crew totally adores him, the female members finding him attractive of course, though it doesnt go quite to the level of Trois goddess of empathy. The creep factor is still there for those who learn about it: Turns out his boss is a certain Admiral Paris, who is NOT amused by the fact that a hologram of his son Tom is one of Barclays virtual buddies.
- The Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Man Trap" has McCoy seduced by his old flame "Nancy Crater", who is actually a hideous salt monster impersonating her.
- The Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Similitude", Sim is a Walking Transplant clone of the ship's engineer, 'Trip' Tucker. T'Pol is attracted to Trip, but as a Vulcan does not want to admit it. Shortly before his limited lifespan runs out, Sim admits that he (and by implication Trip) is in love with T'Pol, who kisses him in response.
- Red Dwarf:
- In "Gunmen of the Apocalypse", it's implied that all Lister ever does with the VR games is have sex with the female NPCs. It's also stated that he has worn out the groin attachment this way.
- Lister had another moment in "Blue", combining 'dreamworld' and 'hologram' in a dream about Rimmer.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Warren Mears makes a number of robots for this specific purpose (including Spike's Buffybot, which totally creeps Buffy out) and his own girlfriend April.
- And another time Faith switches bodies with Buffy and sleeps with Buffy's boyfriend.
- Don't forget the demon that turned the Internet and any computer connected to it into his plaything, trying to romance Willow.
- Battlestar Galactica (2003):
- Baltar is visited by vivid sexual hallucinations of Number Six, and later in the series another Six experiences hallucinations of Baltar. The finale reveals that these entities were basically angels.
- Averted when one time he experiences a hallucination of himself, but even the narcissistic Baltar never tried to frak himself.
- House: As part of a sensory-deprivation induced hallucination, Cuddy does a differential diagnosis while stripping out of a schoolgirl outfit. Then she stops, as it's distracting House. He's not happy about it. Hilariously, she points out that since this is all in his head, he actually stopped himself because he's more interested in the mystery.
- Doctor Who Donna's "husband" in the episode "Forest of the Dead". At the end, she wondered what coming up with someone like him meant: "Absolutely gorgeous, and can't say a word. I wonder what that says about me." It was revealed in the end that he was a real person... and couldn't get her attention because he still had his stutter.
- Andromeda episode "The Mathematics of Tears" revolves around a sentient warship that fell in love with her captain, refused to obey him when he ordered her to self-destruct, blew up the planet he was on, and went insane. In that order.
- In the Babylon 5 Made-for-TV Movie "River of Souls", Captain Lockley is very unamused when she discovers a popular hologram (especially amongst women) in a virtual reality brothel is modeled on herself.
- In the first episode of NCIS's third season, the recently deceased Caitlin "Kate" Todd appears in the form of hallucinations to the others — in Tony and McGee's case in fetishistic outfits. In the first case, it's a schoolgirl outfit. Just as Tony is about to mentally remove her clothes, he's interrupted by Ziva David's first entrance to the NCIS headquarters.
- In the CSI episode "A Space Oddity", Hodges bumps into Wendy Simms at a sci-fi convention. He has a number of Star Trek-style (yes, Sixties Star Trek) fantasies involving him as a "Kirk" style figure and Wendy... er... not wearing very much. One time the fantasy led to him starting a small fire and Wendy guesses on the entire structure of his hallucination.
- Sliders, "Virtual Slide": On a world where VR headsets are ubiquitous, the guys become addicted and Maggie has to enter their fantasies to pull them out. She's mortified to find a simulation of herself in bed with Quinn, but it forces them to confront their longtime UST. Just as they're about to kiss, Maggie wakes up and learns that she was the only one who entered VR, the episode to date was a simulation of how she perceives her friends, and Quinn saw everything. The UST resumes, more awkwardly than ever.
- If Ridiculously Human Robots count, then the, ahem, relationship between John Connor and Cameron in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles definitely does. It doesn't help that Cameron can adopt the personality of Allison Young, who is implied to have been in a relationship with Future John Connor.
- The X-Files. When Mulder travels back in time on a luxury liner trapped in the Bermuda Triangle, he encounters his colleagues and enemies in the guise of various World War II protagonists, one of whom happens to be OSS agent Scully in a red cocktail dress. Just before he makes his High-Dive Escape, Mulder grabs her for a passionate kiss "just in case I never see you again." Scully of course responds somewhat differently.
- The Outer Limits (1995):
- The season 2 episode "Mind Over Matter" has a man who, through an advanced AI, can enter people's unconsciousness when they are in a coma. He uses this to bring several people out. When the woman he loves (but who he has never told) enters a coma, he uses the computer to enter her unconscious. They start having a relationship in the simulation, but a weird monster appears in the simulation. At the climax, we find the AI created a simulation of her and, in trying to kill the fake, he has killed the real woman, who appeared as the 'monster' because of her comatose state; she was flickering in and out and looked 'wrong' because she was a representation of a mind only partially active. The 'clean' version was the AI.
- The season 3 episode "Bits of Love" involved a man who'd survived a nuclear holocaust with only holographic AIs for company, including a particular character that his habitat AI used as her avatar. He can occasionally have physical contact via a body-encasing VR chamber, and uses this for sex. Then he makes the mistake of doing this with the habitat AI, and though it's just a fling to him, she falls in love with him. Oops. The ending even plays with the trope a little as the AI creates a virtual copy of the man then is implied to play out their entire (possible, virtual) future lives as a couple whilst the real man is trapped in his bunker, watching this happen turning it into Kiss, Me I'm Virtual squared.
- Angel. Illyria offers this opportunity to Wesley, but even though it's clear he's tempted Wes repeatedly refuses until he's at the point of death, whereupon he lets Illyria 'lie' to him — she shapeshifts into his dead Love Interest Fred and kisses him, saying they'll be together in the afterlife.
- In Earth: Final Conflict, Augur bases his home AI's appearance on Lili Marquette (who he has a crush on), but dresses it up in Ms. Fanservice outfits. Lili is understandably annoyed when she finds out.
- Zoe-A goes on a date with Philomon by claiming she's a real person outside of V-World who's just using the image of the dead Zoe Graystone for her virtual avatar, instead of revealing that she's a virtual copy of Zoe.
- Odin Sinclair is shown making out with Lacy Rand at the STO training camp, until it's revealed that he is using a holoband and it was a virtual projection of Lacy when the real Lacy wakes him up.
- Deconstructed when Daniel Graystone creates a virtual copy of his wife Amanda after she leaves him because of his morally ambiguous actions. He makes a heartfelt confession to the virtual Amanda, who quickly forgives him, only for Daniel to admit that he was lying and she should have known better. He wants his real wife with every part of her independent spirit, not some mindless substitute who will just fall into his arms.
- In the Supernatural episode "Dark Side of the Moon", the deeply corrupt angel Zachariah reveals that he uses a simulation of Sam and Dean's mother as a sex toy, much to their disgust. He even calls her a MILF.
- A recurring theme of Dollhouse, where rich people can order a personality they find attractive, have it uploaded into the body they want, then removed and stored for later when the "engagement" is done.
- A scientist in Eureka made a genetically identical copy of his wife (she didn't want to live in Eureka or have children) and he even had a child with her. This was all discovered when she died, and the original wife eventually took in the child, as the father had also died.
- In the Coma Arc of My Name Is Earl, Earl dreams he's a 50's sitcom protagonist, Happily Married to Billie Cunningham. (His friend Frank's ex-girlfriend, and the woman who found him on the road when he got hit by a car... again.) Everything in their life is perfect (reflecting Earl's desire for the happy, perfect life he saw on TV but never had himself), and Earl takes this to mean he's to marry Billie when he wakes up Because Destiny Says So. He does, but he soon finds out the hard way that sometimes Wanting Is Better Than Having, and they ultimately end up divorced.
- The main antagonist in Season 4 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was an android named Aida who ultimately trapped the agents in a virtual world called the Framework, where Fitz was a sadistic Hydra agent and Aida was his lover. When the returned to the real world Aida professed her love for Fitz who, traumatized by his actions in the Framework, rejected her love, saying he only had room in his heart for Simmons. To say that Aida didn't take it well would be putting it charitably.
- Person of Interest. After Root dies, the Machine claims to have loved her, and takes comfort in the fact that it can simulate her life with 99.6% accuracy.
- The Vocaloid song "Rainbow Girl", which is (presumably) about a girl from a Dating Sim who falls in love with the player of the game.
- "I Love You (Miss Robot)" by The Buggles, which is about a man about falling in love with a robot. The incredibly haunting backing track makes it clear that we are not supposed to be sympathising with the singer (while never actually stated out loud, the robot's apparent lack of free will make the comparisons to rape quite easy).
- Older Than Radio: The first act of Jacque Offenbach's opera Tales of Hoffmann (which as you see is based on short stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann) tells of Hoffmann the author falling in love with the wind-up automaton Olympia.
- Also inspired by Hoffmann's tales is the ballet Coppélia, where a boy mistakes an elaborate mechanical doll for a young woman.
- In Mass Effect 2:
- EDI starts out as the ship's artificial intelligence system and is only present as a voice and a holographic ball. She is super helpful and everyone takes a liking to her. However, in the sequel she transfers her conscious to a fembot and Joker, the ship's pilot, is very vocal about his attraction to her. In Mass Effect 3 prior to EDI transferring, Trainor expresses her desire to have sex with Edi's voice.
- Part of Kasumi's loyalty mission is getting a graybox containing holographic memories of Kasumi's dead lover, Koji. One she gets them, she walks through the memories and the hologram hugs her before she and Shepard have to decide whether or not to erase the program.
- One of the routes in Ever17 has a romance between the male lead and a holographic projection, so no actual touching is possible (though one end does stretch this a tiny bit...).
- She may be a hologram except in two of the endings but Sora clearly has a mind, will and personality. She even goes a bit yandere over Takeshi at one point.
- Part of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty's infamous Gainax Ending. Is Rose real or an AI? Was she ever real? She's real, but an AI started impersonating her when Raiden boarded Arsenal Gear.
- In Halo, Cortana and Master Chief John-117 are implied to have something going on between them. The expanded universe shows Cortana to clearly have an attraction towards John; in Halo: The Fall of Reach, she even tells her creator that she finds him cute. For his part, John is utterly heartbroken when she sacrifices herself at the end of Halo 4, and hangs her data crystal on his dogtags.
- However, this is zigzagged in the sense that it fluctuates between a mutual "brother-and-sister-in-arms" relationship and a one-sided attraction on Cortana's part; due to Chief having had his sex drive "deprogrammed" as a teen, he doesn't feel "love" in the way most people would know of it, and likely has no idea what to make of his own feelings.
- Halo 5: Guardians puts some more focus on it; even after Cortana Comes Back Wrong and is now a Totalitarian Utilitarian, she still clearly wants John at her side. So much so that when he fails to agree with her new view, she kidnaps him instead of simply killing him.
- In the freeware game Digital: A Love Story, the entire plot is a romance that takes place almost entirely online with an AI.
- Semi-sequel Analogue: A Hate Story, prominently features AI romance.
- In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the AI T.E.C. falls in love with Peach. They get around the problem of not being able to touch each other (in the context of dancing) by T.E.C. assuming a Hard Light form copied from another character - Peach.
- Like his Honorary Uncle (see Film section), Jet Bradley in TRON 2.0 develops a crush and flirtation with the security program Mercury, even asking his dad at the end if he can have a copy to use as a screensaver. A case can also be made for Alan and Ma3a since Ma3a is a Virtual Ghost of his wife, who was killed in this timeline.
- Theran Cedrax (the Consular's companion character) in Star Wars: The Old Republic has a gorgeous virtual assistant named Holliday. Holliday doesn't mind Theran's incessant flirting with anything humanoid, female, and reasonably attractive, or his dalliances when his flirting pays off. However, she does mind if it looks like it's going to be anything more serious than a dalliance.
- Averted by Dragon Age: Inquisition. At one point in development, the Inquisitor would've been able to sleep with a fictional version of Leliana in a demon-powered nightmare. However, the writers found it came across as creepy and so wrote it out.
- Played with in Vee Is Calling. Vee poses as a human girl dating you over video chat, but is actually a sapient virus using the "date" to distract you while she takes over your computer. Depending on how the "date" goes, she may start caring for you too much to go through with it, but, if so, she disappears after restoring your files.
- Pulseman is the son of a scientist who fell in love with an artificial intelligence that he created. As a result, Pulseman is half AI and can freely enter cyberspace.
- In Spellcasting 101, the university simulator has the player character rescuing a Damsel in Distress. If Ernie Eaglebeak uses the simulator without the professors watching, however, he can rape the girl instead.
- In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, it turns out that Jenny, a woman Pedro had fallen for, was never anything but a non-sapient chatbot created by the Big Bad, King Radical, to manipulate him.
- In Narbonic, computer techie Dave gets an online girlfriend nicknamed "Lovelace". Trying to track her down, he discovers that the IP address points to Professor Madblood, the antagonist of the main cast. He begins to suspect his "girlfriend" is actually Madblood, trying to hack into the Narbonic Labs computers. She's actually a sentient AI built by Madblood. Eventually, they meet ... after Lovelace has acquired a holographic body. Since it's been previously shown that almost all machines have an instinctive love for Dave, Hilarity Ensues.
- While not exactly romantical, in El Goonish Shive Dex gets rather attached to his semi-autonomous fairy companion, despite knowing exactly what she is.
- An inversion in here Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. The virtual women make it very explicit that they have no interest in romance, despite that being their ostensible purpose.
- In Questionable Content, after Tilly moves to Hannerlore's dad's space station, they start a relationship with the station AI.
- Starwalker: Starry and Elliott when he's downloaded himself into her virtual world.
- Common and quite socially acceptable in Fenspace, and made much less awkward by the ready availability of extremely lifelike android bodies. It helps that all true AIs in Fenspace are definitely sapient and capable of meaningful consent.
- In the Google Translate Sings series of videos, its what KSR shippers think and there is a ton of Les Yay
- In Archer, Dr. Krieger very nearly managed to get married to an A.I. with a hologram. Of course, the original gag was that the State of New York found her so lifelike, that she was capable of having a marriage (as opposed to gay marriage). Naturally, Society Marched On.
- Code Lyoko:
- Aelita is first believed to be an A.I. stuck in the virtual world. This doesn't stop Jérémie from falling for her and doing everything he could to materialize her on Earth. Subverted when it is discovered she's in fact human.
- Using seduction to divide the heroes is also the M.O. of some of XANA's specters, notably the fake Yumi in "Image Problem" and the Polymorphic Clone in "XANA's Kiss".
- Jérémie also creates a polymorphic clone of William in Season 4. Yumi takes him as a fake boyfriend to keep people from realizing that something is going on.
- Futurama does this in one episode, with a robot duplicate of Lucy Liu. Hilarity Ensues when the preserved head of the real Lucy Liu shows up.
- Averted in Kim Possible with Eric the synthodrone. But Kim wanted to kiss him...
- In Legion of Super-Heroes, Brainiac 5 uses a "training simulation" to create a fantasy where he's mortally wounded saving Superman from a horde of enemies and the fake Superman cradles him in his arms as he gasps his dramatic last words. To romantic music, no less.
- This is inverted in the episode "Love Is A Download" of Spicy City where a man enlists the help of a cyber detective to delete his girlfriend's avatar, which will fry her brain and leave her mindless living body for him to do with as he pleases.
- In Gravity Falls, the Pines twins buy Soos a dating sim so he can practice without scaring real girls away (he's very bad at flirting). This being Gravity Falls, of course, it's cursed and sentient. Giffany falls hard for Soos, invading every screen to stay with him and eventually even hijacking an animatronic band to pull off If I Can't Have You.... For his part, Soos is more than happy dating Giffany on his computer until he realizes he's managed to charm a real girl, Melody. When Melody mentions that she's leaving in a few weeks and that they can video chat, Soos considers it a best of both worlds scenario.
- Guy marrying a Video Game girl. And you thought you've seen everything.
- Topio 3.0◊, seems designed to invoke this around him, despite being designed solely to play ping-pong.
- As of the 2010s, several Pornography production companies have started focusing on content meant for viewing on virtual reality devices such as the Oculus Rift.