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Literally Loving Thy Neighbor

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Often in fiction the person who you have the crush on lives right next door. Comes in three types.

  • The protagonist and the neighbor fall in love with each other.
  • The protagonist loves the neighbor but they don't love the protagonist back. (Possibly because they're unaware of the crush.)
  • The neighbor loves the protagonist and they most likely know, but just doesn't feel the same way.

This neighborhood love interest can overlap with the Girl Next Door who is average and wholesome femininity personified. He might not be able to resist the urge to take advantage on the situation and spy on her or he might visit her by Enter Stage Window.

Obviously, not really that rare in Real Life. It's been said that one of the more unusual side effects of the steam engine was that for the first time people weren't limited to marrying their neighbors.

Compare Childhood Friend Romance.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Matsuri and Suzu's develop a Childhood Friend Romance, which is helped by them living on the same street (this also makes it easier for Matsuri to act as Suzu's bodyguard).
  • To make his mission easier at the start of Full Metal Panic!, Mithril set up Sousuke's apartment in the building just adjacent to Kaname's. Both of them make good use of their proximity once an actual UST-soaked friendship is established, particularly since it gives them an excuse to walk home together without provoking too much school gossip.
  • Ichaicha Suru to Okane ga Waichau Futari no Hanashi: Hojo and Haru's apartments are next door to each other, and she often sleeps over at his place to make money appear.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Amuro Ray's neighbor, Frau Bow has a substantial crush on him, and acts as his social crutch during their time at Side 7. Unfortunately, the war sees her sidelined and causes Amuro to distance himself from her, ending any hope of a relationship.
  • My Divorced Crybaby Neighbour: The premise of the story happens to be a divorcee who takes an interest in the office worker living next door to her after he saves her from being harassed by a drunken guy. They end up moving in together by Chapter 26.
  • One-sided example in Saber Marionette J. Hanagata clearly had a thing for his neighbor Otaru, who despised him, from the get-go, but it's not until he gets a fortune-telling that spells the trope almost verbatim that he gets more blatant about it. While they do develop a friendship (of sorts) over the course of the story, Otaru isn't interested one bit in him.
  • The Story Between a Dumb Prefect and a High School Girl with an Inappropriate Skirt Length: Kohinata and Sakuradaimon live 50 meters apart from each other, only discovering this when he walks her home.
  • The World God Only Knows: Partially subverted then later played straight via the third instance with Tenri Ayukawa. When she was 7, her family once lived diagonally near Keima's house until an earthquake destroyed the latter's house, thus forcing Keima and his family to live elsewhere. Ten years later, she reappears before him, but now as his new neighbor.
  • Your Lie in April: Because they're also Childhood Friends, Tsubaki's feelings to Kousei eventually becomes this, but she always assumed it was just a Like Brother and Sister-type relationship until he met Kaori and she started to get jealous of her.

    Comic Books 
  • Mary Jane was the girl next door to Peter Parker's Aunt May in Spider-Man. Also unusually for this trope they didn't meet through being neighbors but through Peter's Aunt May's and Mary Jane's Aunt Anna's attempt to set them up. Played much straighter in the movies where MJ was Peter's neighbor since childhood.

    Fan Works 

     Films — Animation 
  • Entergalactic: Jabari's love interest Meadow is his new next-door neighbor. Their respective friends are supportive of this flirtation, though Ky does tell an anecdote about becoming fuckbuddies with a girl at his laundromat who turned out to be wanted by ICE to try and discourage him. Jabari has to point out that she technically wasn't his neighbor.

     Films — Live Action 
  • Drive Me Crazy where the protagonists are neighbors who use, then fall in love with each other.
  • Bryce moves in right across the street from Julie in Flipped. She sees him and decides that he's walking around with her first kiss. He takes the length of the movie to decide that she's kissable.
  • The Girl Next Door: Matthew Kidman looks through his bedroom window into the bedroom of the house next door. He sees the girl next door who's as sexy as can be. She sees him looking at her and comes over to talk with him about it.
  • In Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Harold has a crush on his neighbor but is too shy to tell her.
  • The Film Noir In a Lonely Place about a romance between two neighbors after their involvement in a criminal investigation.
  • In North Sea Texas, Pim lives next door to Gino and Sabrina. Sabrina has a crush on Pim, and Pim has romantic feelings for Gino, with whom he has a sexual relationship.
  • In Sky High (2005) Layla walks over to Will's house so they can walk to the bus stop together.
  • Whatever It Takes (2000): Shane West is Jodi Lyn Okeefe's neighbor, who, after chasing the wrong girl., finally realities he had more in common with his friend, and the girl next door. Various scenes are heavily based on their balconies facing each others'.

    Literature 
  • Older Than Feudalism: In The Bible, David and Bathsheba live nearby each other (given that he could see into her bath).
  • In A Brother's Price, the protagonist's sister Corelle has a crush on the neighbour boy.
  • Part of the Amendments to the U.S. Constitution (at least, according to Dave Barry Slept Here):
    The Ninth Amendment states that you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.
    The Tenth Amendment states that, OK, if your neighbor’s wife is dropping a lot of hints, really coming on to you, that is a different matter.
  • Emma eventually ends up with Mr. Knightley, a longtime friend and neighbor of her family's.
  • Pyramus and Thisbe from Ovid's The Metamorphoses live in connected houses, but they're forbidden to see each other because of their parent's rivalry. They communicate through a crack on the wall.
  • Pride and Prejudice opens with Mr. Bingley, a wealthy young bachelor, moving into Netherfield house in the neighbourhood of the Bennet family. His friend Mr Darcy quickly notices that Elizabeth Bennet is agreeable but not handsome enough to tempt him.
  • Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai with its main couple Sakuta and Mai. It turns out Mai lives in the apartment building that is right next door to the complex Sakuta lives in. Ironically, despite their close proximity, one of Sakuta's complaints about their relationship is that they don't get to spend much time with each other thanks to Mai's career as an actress constantly having her traveling across Japan. Though, things change later on and they manage to spend more time together and enjoy their days.

    Live-Action TV 
  • All About Me: "Where There's Blame" has Leo fall in love with his neighbor Miranda and adopt some of her mannerisms. The others promptly tease him about it, especially as it's a case of the Age-Gap Romance.
  • The Beauty Queen Of Jerusalem: Luna and David grew up next door to each other and fall in love as teens/young adults. Also an example of Childhood Friend Romance.
  • The Big Bang Theory opens with Leonard seeing a new neighbor Penny from across the hall and developing a profound crush on her almost immediately. The majority of the early seasons has Leonard pining for her. They eventually start dating and it's made rather clear that he never would have had a chance with her if they weren't neighbors.
  • In Charmed (1998), Piper had a brief relationship with her neighbor Dan (he was the "muggle" half of the Muggle and Magical Love Triangle).
  • In Cougar Town, Jules and Grayson had Unresolved Sexual Tension in season 1; since it was resolved, in season 2, they have a full relationship.
  • On Dollhouse, Paul's neighbor Mellie has a crush on him, and they eventually get together. It turns out she's a Doll who was planted there for that specific reason.
  • In Family Matters, next door neighbour Steve Urkel has had a crush on Laura for years, much to her dismay. Famously, it's his geeky demeanour that she finds annoying rather than his actual physical appearance, because when he makes use of his "Boss Sauce" to become the suave, sophisticated Stephan Urkel (pronounced Ur-kell), she finds him incredibly attractive.
  • Family Ties: neighbor boy Skippy has an unrequited crush on Mallory.
  • Friends: Monica and Chandler live across the hall from each other for years and eventually fall in love and get married. Though it's hard to tell the difference between before and after they move in together, given that they practically lived in each other's apartments all along.
    • It's a rather ironic example if you consider the fact that they had to go to London, of all places, to very unexpectedly hook up.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • The episode "The Platinum Rule" is about this as the gang is trying to explain to Ted why he shouldn't go on a date with his dermatologist; the title refers to Barney's corolary to The Golden Rule (misinterpreted, obviously): "You can love thy neighbor, but never, ever love thy neighbor." The plot follows how not heeding this rule comes out badly for the others.
    • The episode "The Window" is about Ted chasing after the ultimate Girl Next Door, though he loses to the ultimate boy next door.
  • Freddy lives across the hall from Carly in iCarly and he's loved her since the day they've met.
  • In French sitcom Les Filles d'à côté, a lot of the humour is driven by Marc's unsubtle attempts to get off with one of his new neighbours. Magalie for preference, although he considers her flatmates Fanny and Claire to be acceptable second-preferences. Meanwhile Magalie is fixated on Marc's rather more desirable flatmate Daniel. As are Fanny and Claire. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Briefly invoked in Modern Family when Phil interacts with a beautiful neighbor and there is obvious sexual tension between them. He says in the confessional, "I would never do anything with her. [Beat] ...While my wife is alive."
  • Queen Sugar: Nova's love interest in season 6, Dominic, is her new neighbor. They officially date in season 7, but breakup after he decides to take a new job abroad.
  • On Sister, Sister, Roger has a crush on Tia and Tamara. They each briefly reciprocate eventually.
  • Lana Lang lives so close to Clark in Smallville that he can spy on her through his telescope.
  • That '70s Show had Eric living next to Donna. They eventually hook up and even get engaged.

    Music 
  • Taylor Swift, in the music video of her song "You Belong With Me", is able to write messages and hold them up to her bedroom window to show her crush. He writes back because she's his friend.
  • In "Living Next Door to Alice", most successfully covered by Smokie, the narrator has been in love with his neighbor for 24 years, but couldn't tell her. And now she's moving away.

    Theatre 
  • Invoked Trope in The Fantasticks, when the neighboring fathers of the main characters build a wall between their homes to "prevent" their children from falling in love.
  • Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is the courtesan, who only just moved to her pimp's house a little before the show starts. She's wholesome, Hollywood Homely and actually does live next door.
  • In the play Our Town, George and Emily live next door to each other.
  • Many interpretations and reiterations of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet have the dueling families of the Capulets and the Montagues come from neighboring houses making the romance between Romeo and Juliet an example.

    Video Games 
  • Mega Man Battle Network Lan and Mayl are next door neighbors. They get married in the epilogue of the sixth game.

    Visual Novels 
  • The protagonist of Melody does exactly this on Becca’s romantic path (the two of them live next door to each other).
  • The deuteragonist (and central character) in Our Life: Beginnings & Always lives across the street. While routes can be played in which the player never gets romantically involved with him, most routes involve doing so and art for the game shows that the protagonist canonically does.
  • This trope is the basic premise of Serendipity Next Door, a Romance Game in which all of the prospective love interests live in the same apartment building as the protagonist. One of them, Masaomi, occupies the apartment immediately next door to hers.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • Dad: Cheryl has obvious hidden feelings for, well, Neighbor, and he not-so-subtly likes her back. They are heavily implied to be together behind-the-scenes.

    Western Animation 
  • Pfff Crumpet and Cassandra McBrisk from The Crumpets are neighboring teenagers. While her mother hates him, Cassie is obsessively in love towards Pfff and tries hard to have him fall for her, especially during the early episodes. Pfff is either too lazy or ignorant to requite her love, or is more interested with the TV weather girl, although in the Teen Crumpets episodes he socializes Cassie more often and they're in love in some episodes.
  • Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm from The Flintstones grew up as next door neighbors. Even as babies, their parents all but shipped them together due to things like falling asleep cuddling each other in the love seat. Various spin-offs have them dating in high school, and one spin-off movie revolved around them getting married while another was about them expecting their first child.
  • From Johnny Test, the Test Twins are attracted to the neighbor boy Gil.
  • Quack Quack and Eugly from Kaeloo, who are neighbors, fall in love with each other the moment they meet and become an Official Couple.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Isabella is attracted to Phineas, but he doesn't reciprocate, mainly because he is too young. He does reciprocate years later, just when she gave up on him.
  • Rocko's Modern Life had Rocko crushing hard on his neighbor, Melba, in early episodes.
  • From Schoolhouse Rock!, the story of Mr. Morton and Pearl.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man: The Parkers and the Staceys have been neighbours for years, and Peter and Gwen are best friends. However, things change when Venom, as part of his revenge on Spider-Man, threatens to go after "the one you love the most". Peter assumes he's referring to Mary Jane Watson, who he'd been crushing on, only to be surprised when Gwen is the target. It's only after Venom's defeat and Gwen unexpectedly kisses him that he has a Love Epiphany. He'd genuinely not realised how he felt for Gwen, while the Venom symbiote, thanks to absorbing his memories, was well aware of just how much she meant to him.

Alternative Title(s): Literally Loving Thy Neighbour

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