Follow TV Tropes


Longing Look

Go To
Stare like that for seven years, and she'll eventually turn her head. note 

"Watching through windows,
You're wondering if I'm okay."
Cyndi Lauper, "Time After Time"

Bob has feelings for Alice,note  and reveals those feelings with a soulful look, tender gesture, or verbal cues that Alice rarely ever notices. There are a lot of possibilities, here are some of the more common ones:

  1. Bob's expression changes when he looks at Alice to one of love (though only if she isn't looking).
  2. When Alice talks about dating Charlie, Bob involuntarily clenches his fist.
  3. If Alice comments how "crazy" it would be if they were a couple, his agreement is either less than enthusiastic or sincere, or he goes too far the other way.

Of course, this may also indicate less than noble love when Bob is a Stalker with a Crush. Usually his expression will be envious or darker, or he might look more intensely than he should. In either case, if caught and Alice (or Charlie) asks why and for how long he's been looking, Bob will either deny the accusation or answer with "I wasn't looking at you, idiot! I was just distracted!" or the like.

The reciprocated version, most likely between Star-Crossed Lovers, is the Held Gaze. Similarly, this may be used to symbolise yearning for one another during Symbolic Distance.

Compare Beautiful Dreamer and Long Last Look, which may overlap with this. Contrast Male Gaze, Female Gaze, and Eating the Eye Candy.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Berserk:
    • Griffith ogles Guts a lot in the Golden Age sometimes it's a Held Gaze but mostly it's just him staring fixedly at Gut like when he first saw defeat Bazuso. This upgrades to an outright Green-Eyed Monster when he sees Guts and Casca have formed a relationship.
    • Judeau actually gives a similar look to Guts and Casca despite him being the one who egged Guts in hooking up with Casca in the first place, it's clear by the time of the Eclipse regardless of secret feelings for Casca he just wants her to be happy.
    • Casca when she starts warming up to Guts does this more and more, with Guts's departure from the Hawks being the most blatant. This holds great significance as she had been infatuated with Griffith up to this point but even with the latter defeated in front of her, she can't look away from Guts. She does it again when he returns to the Hawks, it's not until they've consummated their relationship that she can look at him naturally.
    • Squicky version with the King of Midland to his daughter Charlotte, he even has visions of her.
    • Farnese after her Heel–Face Turn stares at Guts like this regularly, but he's too busy looking at Casca to her disappointment and frustration. She gets over it gradually but not without effort and heartache.
      • Ironically Farnese's half-brother Seripco gives her a Longing Look frequently and is jealous of her feelings/admiration for Guts, like her he eventually gets over it and admits his conflict to Guts himself.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura has both Syaoran and Tomoyo give these to Sakura.
  • In one case in Case Closed, Yukiko is visiting Conan and the Detective Boys. She notices Haibara frequently staring at Conan during the case and tells him that, which he dubiously argues that it's probably because she's observing the effects of the apotoxin on him. After the case, Conan asks Haibara if there's something on his face.
  • Chi gives this to Hideki a lot throughout Chobits, and so did Freya towards her creator/father Ichiro. Hideki even immediately recognizes the look when Chitose shows him the video.
  • The Dangers in My Heart:
    • Ichikawa finds himself captivated by Yamada's looks and follows her on Instagram. He starts to appreciate the beauty of Christmas lights more seeing Yamada gaze at them during their hangout in Shibuya.
    • In Yamada's case, it's among the first signs that she's developing an interest in him, staring at him from afar during basketball practice and much more closely later on when they get pushed against each other in an elevator. After her Love Epiphany, she eagerly stares at him with a smile and makes opportunities to keep looking at his face.
    Ichikawa (Thinking to himself, while secretly trying to get her to look at her shirt) Notice it!
    Yamada: (Just keeps staring)
  • In DARLING in the FRANXX, Goro has habitually gazed at Ichigo ever since they were children- it's even noted in the official relationship chart. Of course, due to their cult-esque upbringing, he didn't know his feelings were romantic in nature.
  • Death Parade: Decim gives a handful of these to his assistant throughout the series as part of their Ship Tease. Coupled with Beautiful Dreamer and Meaningful Look.
  • This happens a lot to Sousuke from Full Metal Panic!. Pretty much every person who's had feelings for him (which is almost everyone?) has done this to him at least once (with him remaining completely oblivious). Kaname has done it numerous times (notable instances include the episode where she was fondly watching him run away from security guards in the Bonta-kun costume, and the episode where she was watching him try to pick up girls unsuccessfully, only to see him help an old lady with a birthday present for her grandson). The class idol, Ena Saeki, apparently also did this to him. As she confesses in her love letter to him, "I've always watched you from afar and sighed..." while it shows her watching him planting land mines in the school. Tessa is even worse about it, as she's even shown slithering out of bed to go and happily watch him as he sleeps. And Nami (from the novels) is constantly shyly watching him - especially during celebration parties after a victory in the AS tournament, where he'll be off alone drinking water. And then there's Gauron, who apparently recorded footage of Sousuke and was watching it with ecstasy. Guess there's just something about the boy that inspires people to act like Stalkers With Crushes gaze longingly at him.
  • Fruits Basket:
  • Future Diary brings us a particularly disturbing example. Yuno Gasai's intoxicated expression as she promises to "protect" the main character, Yuuki, became known as the "Yandere Trance".
  • In Gankutsuou Franz talks about loving someone even if you can't marry them, while looking sadly at Albert.
  • In Hayate the Combat Butler most of the characters have actually been caught by their romantic interest with looks of this, in both directions, sometimes they've actually been prompted by said interest. Save for Ayumu, none of them have had the nerve to actually confess though, so their lack of romantic knowledge ends up with it just being played for UST.
    • Ayumu actually is only the first (and she did so twice) of three to have confessed, Athena (though she then 'rejected' him, and then denied it as Alice) and Luca have as well (although Luca confessed to Hayate under the impression that he was female and added the condition that 'if he were a guy'). Hayate is just to clueless to have picked up on any of them.
    • Hinagiku and Hayate have Longing Looks from both directions, unfortunately not at the same time.
  • France from Hetalia: Axis Powers often looks at Austria while spying on him, saying that his "face is beautiful" and that he "wants to lick it".
  • Shin to Yuria in Hokuto no Ken. Very unrequited however. Ditto for Raoh later.
    • Rei gives Mamiya this look, who gives Ken this look.
  • In These Words: Shinohara constantly gives these to Asano so as to confuse him and make his Hannibal Lecture even more effective. It gradually evolves into Held Gaze, as Asano realizes that Shinohara just might have him in the palm of his hand.
  • Kuroh to Shiro in K, particularly in the end of Missing Kings, when they have been separated for almost a year. Shiro's gazes towards Kuroh tend to be more of the Eating the Eye Candy variety, but sometimes it's this, too.
  • Lampshaded in chapter 45 of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War, when Kaguya's internal monologue points out her inability to look away from Shirogane despite the fireworks she so desperately wanted to see being just outside the window of the taxi they were in. Though it would take another 75 chapters before she would admit to herself that she actually had feelings for him.
  • Kaiju Girl Caramelise: Kuroe Akaishi gives these to Arata Minami frequently, usually when he's not looking. It becomes a major plot point when her Involuntary Shapeshifting into Harugon occurs at the Ultra Bakuon Fest; Arata doesn't yet know that Kuroe and Harugon are the same person, but he had noticed that Harugon frequently looked at him in a meaningful way and comes to the conclusion the monster is trying to tell him something — which inspires him to use himself as bait to draw Harugon away from the other people.
  • In Last Order: Final Fantasy VII Cloud gives to this look to Tifa while she's unconscious it's one of the very few times we see Cloud smile in the Compilation. When Tifa wakes up she returns his gaze.
  • Yusaku Godai of Maison Ikkoku does this to Kyoko a lot — especially when she's just doing little things like working.
  • Mazinger:
    • Mazinger Z: Sayaka to Kouji, constantly. Kouji's reaction depended on the version: in the anime, most of the time he did not notice or he teased her about it; in the manga, he was nicer about it (the anime adaptation made him bigger of a jerk).
      • Disturbingly, Big Bad Dr. Hell did this constantly to Yumiko Shiozai -Kouji's grandmother- the whole time (according his Back Story narrated in the Gosaku Ota manga episodes). Of course, he represented the stalkerish verison of the trope. Yumiko either didn't notice or pretended she didn't.
    • Great Mazinger: Jun to Tetsuya. Constantly and blatantly. And spite of it was incredibly obvious to anyone endowed with eyes, Tetsuya never noticed. In fact, once he accused her of wanting to replace him with Kouji (that proves he DID care but he DID not see it). Tetsuya IS an Idiot Hero but the real problem here were his huge psychological issues preventing him from realizing there was life beyond piloting a Humongous Mecha and people could actually love him.
    • UFO Robo Grendizer: Hikaru to Duke, several times. Fortunately for her, he was willing reciprocating. Unfortunately for her, he also was in love with Rubina.
  • Naruto:
  • Naruto gives a rather incredible one to Hinata in The Last: Naruto the Movie — his eyes shine in a way that makes it look as if he's seeing her, really seeing her, for the very first time.
  • Obito looks at Rin like this, while she's looking at Kakashi. This becomes a Tear Jerker when she dies and Obito just stares at her with his remaining eye as if willingly her back to life.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinji and Asuka looks at each other with wistfulness or admiration several times. Too bad neither of them noticed because that is one of the things could have avoided The End of the World as We Know It.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing in One Piece but this trope still happens a lot.
    • Boa Hancock to Luffy frequently, it gets to the point where she puts a distance between herself and Luffy just so she can watch him from afar.
    • Tashigi gives Zoro one in Punk Hazard.
    • As a Handsome Lech this is Sanji's default expression looking at any beautiful women often with literal heart-eyes. Though sometimes he is lucky and it's a Held Gaze like with Pudding or even Nami in the Wano anime.
    • Keimi's expression to Hatchan, especially after Octopako rejected him and she had Luminescent Blush when Shakky asked if she was his girlfriend.
    • Koala does this to Sabo though like Hatchan and Luffy, Sabo is Oblivious to Love
    • Pudding does this to Sanji after her Heel–Face Turn and like Boa she watches her crush from a distance, she even gets a Nose Bleed when she sees Sanji do cool stuff.
  • Ryoga of Ranma ½ does this to Akane a few times.
  • Parodied by Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, in a stalker character's common line "I was here all the time.
  • A Silent Voice has an utterly Heartwarming and heartbreaking example as Shouko who's deaf is deeply in love with Shoya who bullied and rejected her when they were young. Making up for his past actions Shoya devotes his time to her and it’s clear how much Shouko adores him just by the way she looks at him but of course can’t express it vocally. It's more evident in the manga.
    • Ueno also looks at Shoya like this since childhood, but unlike with Shouko her feelings are unrequited inspiring burning jealously and anger. Lampshaded by Kawai when Ueno is preventing everyone (especially Shouko) from seeing Shoya on his hospital bed saying she's pathetic just because Shoya "won’t look her way".
  • Snow White with the Red Hair: Obi occasionally will stare almost dazed at Shirayuki, whom he has admitted to love but since he supports her relationship with Zen he's never told her. He's also been caught looking at Zen with exactly the same expression, though he's refused to clarify his feelings for his boss beyond liking him.
  • Simon to Yoko and Yoko to Kamina in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
  • Given all of the Love Triangles that exist in Yona of the Dawn, this trope pops up often.
    • Romantic runner-ups Kija and Jaeha are often seen gazing at protagonist Yona.
    • Hak is notorious for this, to the point where it's even lampshaded when a woman who is interested in him immediately gives after seeing the way he watches Yona.
    • Yona herself demonstrates the trope with two different characters. Through most of her childhood, she often watched Su-won with a bad case of Crush Blush. Later in the series, she begins unconsciously watching Hak—getting particularly flustered when he smiles, and particularly bothered when other girls swarm him.

    Asian Animation 

    Audio Plays 
  • Case 63: This trope might not seem like a natural fit for a purely auditory medium, but episode 1.02 of Case 63 manages it anyways. There's a brief moment where Dr Knight laughs and Peter looks at her in a certain way. She's the Alternate Self of his wife and he knows it, although doesn't yet. The series has several Foreign Remakes, and in the Chilean original and Brazilian version, the moment is left to linger longer. In the American version, Peter appears embarrassed to have been caught staring and tries to change the subject.
    Peter: —It just makes me a time traveling movie buff.
    Dr Knight: [laughs]
    Peter: I made you laugh.
    Dr Knight: Well, what did you expect? [Beat] [softer voice] What?
    Peter: [clears his throat, then speaks in a softer voice] Nothing, I was just looking at you. [moving on, switching back to a rougher voice] Anyway—

    Comic Books 
  • Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom: Every so often the titular villainess threw soulful looks at Darkseid while working in the pits. Fortunately for her, since her master does not like being stalked, Darkseid never noticed his insignificant minion's pining.

    Fan Works 
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Holy Rome gave one to the broomstick Italy gave him before leaving for the Thirty Years' War, leading Prussia to not want to discard it.
  • Played tragically in Peggy Sue fic The Second Try. Shinji and Asuka can't let anyone know they are together, so in public they can't support each other physically- no matter how depressed or glum one of them is- and they have to resort to throwing stealthy, longing glances at each other. For context, these two had finally got their relationship up and running (read: they were "married")... before being sent back in time.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: Old habits die hard. Shinji often finds himself gazing at Asuka longingly, averting his eyes right when she looks back.
    Predictably, perhaps inevitably, Shinji found his gaze wandering away from the moving images on the television and focusing on Asuka's prone form, as if drawn by some invisible force. [...] Suddenly, Asuka called out, making Shinji jump and quickly avert his eyes.
  • In Last Child of Krypton:
    • In chapter 2, Asuka sets eyes on Shinji for the first time, then rapidly looks away before he notices her staring.
    • A chapter later, Shinji is gazing at her longingly from afar.
  • In Nightmares Are Tragic, Luna gives Twilight Sparkle one (because she's realized Twilight is the reincarnation of Dusk Skyshine) at the party after she's been forgiven by her sister, then stops when she realizes that if she keeps this up everybody will know her feelings. Bonus points because her expression is actually in the original episode, though probably not meant to be taken that way!
    • In Fluttershy Is Free, we learn that Rainbow Dash noticed that look, though she didn't figure out the reason for it. If Rainbow Dash noticed something emotional, there's a good chance that other ponies did, too. Poor Luna.
  • Misty is prone to giving these to Ash in Pokémon Reset Bloodlines. It's hinted that her Psyduck picked up that she had a crush on him by noticing them.
  • In Shadow and Rose, Leliana informs Alistair that he doesn't have to tell her he's got feelings for Elissa because "I've seen the way you look at her." It's a big part of why she's a Shipper on Deck.
  • Deliberately invoked and Played for Laughs in Skyhold Academy. Professor Rutherford is immediately and deeply infatuated with the substitute art teacher, but he's such a wallflower that it mostly presents itself in the form of these. The students catch on fast and invoke it during classes by finding excuses to mention her name, delighted to see that he'll make the same face even if she's not actually there. The sequels downplay the phenomenon, but his coworkers enjoy occasionally mentioning it just to embarrass him; he doesn't really mind, since by then he's gotten the girl.
  • Victoria directs a lot of these at Cullen when he's not looking, in the first several chapters of All This Sh*t is Twice as Weird. As she eventually realizes, he does the same thing when she's not looking.
  • Long Time No See: When they got together, Shinji's wife admitted she was watching him in secret whenever she could. Shinji, naturally, never noticed until she bluntly told him.
  • This is how Dorian interprets some of Varric's facial expressions in Beyond Heroes: Of Sunshine and Red Lyrium. Following the final showdown with the Big Bad, he comments that the dwarf has "the most ridiculous dewy-eyed expression" on his face as he looks at the Inquisitor. The thing is, Varric's expressions aren't consciously intended as this - the Love Epiphany doesn't happen until relatively late in the story. Dorian figures it out months before Varric himself does.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Across the Universe (2007): Prudence is introduced when gazing at another girl with longing while she sings "I Want To Hold Your Hand". Later she's doing the same thing with Sadie and singing "I Want You".
  • Right before the phone call that informs them that Kevin Costner has killed himself, Glenn Close does this to Kevin Kline at the beginning of The Big Chill.
  • Carmen y Lola: On first seeing Carmen, Lola gives her an intense, lingering look which shows her instant attraction.
  • DC Extended Universe:
  • Sweet variation in Get Smart, 99 uses the security cameras in HQ to attentively watch Max sleep in his cell before Chief comes back and 99 switches the feed. 99 gives more traditional examples when she starts warming up to Max in the mission.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, Ron directs a lot of these towards Hermione.
    • One notable example: In the scene where the Power Trio are in a café after having to flee from Bill and Fleur's wedding, they're ambushed and attacked by a pair of Death Eaters. When the smoke clears and the bad guys lie unconscious, Harry and Hermione talk Ron out of killing one, at which point he goes over to Hermione and strokes the side of her face, wiping away a spot of blood, in a very protective gesture.
  • Clara Bow has Bethany Marsh's "triple gaze" (first lovestruck, then lusty, then innocent) at her soon-to-be romantic interest in It.
  • The 2017 remake of Stephen King's It (no connection to the Clara Bow film) does a better job with the Love Triangle, Ben stares after Bev who stares at Bill who stares back at her but at other times is more focused on finding/avenging his brother to notice; especially in the climax.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
    • Tony Stark does this twice. The first time is in Iron Man when staring at Pepper on dance floor while at the bar, to the point where he's barely paying attention to Agent Coulson. The second time is when Black Widow makes her debut in Iron Man 2, though this time is hilariously lampshaded.
      Tony: Who is she?
      Pepper: She is from legal, and she is potentially a very expensive sexual harassment lawsuit if you keep ogling her like that.
    • Played for Drama in the The Incredible Hulk when Bruce Banner (who's on the run) spies on his girlfriend Betty Ross, though he is caught the second time leading to Betty chasing after him.
    • Thor: Sif does this for the titular character on a couple of occasions, hinting at her secret feelings for him. She does it more in the sequel but the Love Triangle-angle was dropped during production.
    • Happens a few times in Captain America: The First Avenger, with Steve volleying glances at Peggy and vice versa. He even keeps a picture of her during missions and is embarrassed when he gets filmed looking at it. Bucky also looks at Peggy this way when she comes into the bar in a sexy dress, but is disappointed as she's just staring at Steve and doesn't even spare him a glance. Bucky laments that he has essentially turned into Steve pre-Super Serum.
    • The Avengers:
    • Black Widow gets this again in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this time by Cap himself, especially after they have their Fake-Out Make-Out; the relationship remains platonic despite Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson's natural chemistry.
    • Peter Quill aka Star-Lord constantly gives Gamora these looks in Guardians of the Galaxy, which she starts returning leading to a Held Gaze when he puts his Walkman's headphones and she listens to his music, though knowing his reputation as a Handsome Lech she soon flips and accuses him of hypnotizing her. They work it out in time in the sequel.
    • Done subtly in Avengers: Age of Ultron with Wanda and Clint. During the scene where he motivates her to become an Avenger, she looks at him in a way that could easily be interpreted as this. Even after that, she has a few moments where she gives him similar looks, implying she may have a one-sided crush on him. She also gives a similar look to Vision when he's created, which is mutually expanded in Captain America: Civil War
    • Scott to Hope in Ant-Man which turns into a romance by the end of the movie.
    • Peter Parker aka Spider-Man and Ned Leeds give Liz this look in Spider-Man: Homecoming with their chins resting on their hands, lampshaded as Michelle accuses them of the Male Gaze instantly.
    • Thor to Valkyrie in Thor: Ragnarok which graduates to Held Gaze during a chase scene.
    • T’challa aka Black Panther constantly gives Nakia this look; he even stops dead to stare at her when they meet at start of the movie. Lampshaded later by his sister and Okoye.
      Shuri: Did he freeze when he saw her?
      Okoye: Like an antelope in headlights!
    • In Captain Marvel, once Vers/Carol Danvers reconnects with Maria Rambeau, there are several instances of this. Maria gives Carol a particularly noticeable one when she and Monica show Carol photos of their past life together.
    • Spidey again in Spider-Man: Far From Home has volleying looks with Michelle throughout the movie; in Venice she even smiles after she notices how much attention he is paying her.
  • In The Mummy When Imhotep takes Evy: Rick pulls his gun out and is barely restrained by Ardeth. The true tearjerker is the loving looks Evy gives Rick throughout the whole scene.
  • My Animal: Heather checks out Jonny with obvious interest when she first sees her, and then again when they meet later at the ice rink.
  • In The Patsy, Pat has a habit of staring at Tony—her sister's boyfriend—with her big blue eyes in an obvious look of love. Tony never notices, but Ma does, and berates Pat for "mooning" at Tony.
  • In Plan B, Pablo gazes at Bruno so intensely at the beginning of the film when they're in the gym that it leads Bruno to believe that he's attracted to him. Subverted later on when Pablo explains that his staring at Bruno wasn't done out of desire, but out of confusion at Bruno strongly resembling one of the men in his girlfriend Laura's photos (he didn't know at this time that Bruno was Laura's ex). Although the ending reveal that he was interested in Bruno for far longer than expected makes it quite possible that he really was giving Bruno a Longing Look in the gym and was just trying to hide it by giving a reasonable alternative explanation for his staring.
  • Pride & Prejudice (2005) has Darcy doing this to Elizabeth virtually every time she isn't looking.
  • In The Searchers, a couple of very long exchanged glances are the audience's only clue of Ethan and Martha's feelings for each other.
  • Serenity: Kaylee gives one to Simon, followed by a short look of sadness.
  • Sweet, Sweet Lonely Girl: Adele gives Beth several, starting with when she first sees her in the grocery store while she's in a revealing top and skirt. Her gaze fixes on Beth's naked back later when they try on clothes together too. It's thus not surprising at all when Adele is confirmed as attracted to her. Beth notices, as she confirms when they have a drink in the bar together.
  • Steam: Elizabeth shoots one at Niala immediately on seeing her in class, which lets her know she's attracted. Soon after Niala asks her out.
  • Thelma: Anja in her black swimsuit and later little black dress inspires intense looks from Thelma, displaying her attraction to the other girl.

  • The Change Room: Eliza spends a long time gazing at Shar while both are naked in the shower with an obvious attraction. Though she doesn't seem to react at first, Shar quickly notices this.
  • Dollanganger Series
    • In the second book, Petals on the Wind, Chris and Cathy do this to each other without even realizing it, allowing others to pick up on their relationship. Everyone Can See It.
    • In the fourth book, Seeds of Yesterday, Cathy is worried to notice younger son Bart repeatedly doing this to brother Jory's wife Melodie; her worry is justified. Later, she observes her son Jory doing this to the hired nurse Toni.
  • In Emma, Emma notices Frank Churchill staring at Jane Fairfax. He plays it off as thinking Jane's hair is so poorly done he can't look away, but the truth of it is that they're secretly engaged and he's watching her from afar as her fiance.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:
  • In Heart of Steel, Alistair directs a lot of these towards Julia in the first third of the novel, when she's so terrified of him that she won't even let him touch her.
  • In Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn does this toward Arwen enough for Elrond to call him out on it.
  • Of Fire and Stars: Dennaleia finds herself staring at Mare longingly when she's in a beautiful gown with her hair done. Mare notices it and likes this.
  • In the first book of The Pendragon Adventure, Bobby happens to stumble upon Loor bathing. They didn't have anything romantic going at that point in the series, but in hindsight, could have been foreshadowing.
  • Speaking of smitten stalkers, Erik the The Phantom of the Opera gives Christine multiple of these looks, trying to catch her eye after she accepted his deformity. Christine laments that instead of soothing Erik she was making him mad with love.
    • Raoul looks at Christine this way as well if fact at one point Raoul doesn’t notice the phantom stalking them simply because “when Christine was in front of him, Raoul took no notice of anything that came from behind”.
  • Pride and Prejudice has Darcy constantly doing this to Elizabeth. Since the first opinion she heard him express was that she wasn't pretty enough for him to dance with, she interprets the looks as his finding further fault with her until he finally makes his first (utterly terrible) proposal of marriage.
  • In Ready Player Two, at one point, Wade gives one to Samantha while in the OASIS. Turns out there's an Easter Egg on that particular planet where a romantic song plays when one avatar stares at another for several seconds, so Samantha realizes that's what he was doing and laughs.
  • In Silver Brumby Kingdom, after Baringa finds Dawn alive, he just stops and stares at her for several minutes, incredibly happy that she survived the flood.
  • Sorry, Bro: Nareh shoots Erebuni many of these as she grows closer and more attracted to her, but at first tries hiding it. Erebuni soon catches on though and reciprocates her attraction.
  • In Threads of Time, it's later revealed that Sali Tayi had always been watching Atan Hadas from afar, ever since she was a child. He even thinks to himself while reminiscing that she was his only source of light and happiness (while showing a shot of him watching her while she's playing with her little brother). "I've always been watching you," indeed. The series tries to play it like it's sweet, as he holds such deep love for Atan Hadas. Unfortunately, it only seems to add to his creepiness, and makes him have the added quality of being a Stalker with a Crush.
  • Half of every Twilight book is Bella gazing longingly at Edward and describing every facet of his perfect features.
  • When the poet of the Vita Nuova is having a bit of a panic attack, he notices a young woman looking at him compassionately from a window. The poet is moved to tears by this look and even begins to feel Love in his soul for the first time since his lady's death.

    Live Action TV 
  • A reoccurring trope and established plot device (dubbed “The Lookback” by fans) in Andi Mack:
    Amber: If she turns to look back at you, it means she likes you. And not just as a friend.
    • Used multiple times in the season 1 finale, first to confirm Andi and Jonah’s feelings for one another, then to reveal Cyrus’ feelings for Jonah as well.
    • Used in the season 2 finale to reveal TJ’s feelings for Cyrus.
  • The 2000s Battlestar Galactica has Lee Adama giving Kara Thrace quite a few of these and Kara giving him a few right back, though the Held Gaze is far more common between the two of them.
  • Bones: Booth is always giving the title character these long soulful looks, especially later in the series when the UST becomes the world's worst kept secret.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Angel is always smoldering at Buffy, especially after they consummate their relationship and realize that they can't... consummate, anymore.
    • In "Who Are You?", Faith realises instantly from the look Tara gives Willow that the two are lovers.
    • Later, Spike takes over the lovelorn vampire role and possibly mopes about it even more than Angel, alternating between smoldering lust and sappy adoration.
    • In spinoff series Angel, Angel observes Cordelia at her desk this way in one episode.
      • Darla’s default expression whenever she’s feeling warm about her “boy”, the most touching example is Angelus is getting a beatdown from The Master while giving a speech about how he’ll free her from him. Darla despite being a soulless demon has a look of pure adoration in her eyes throughout.
      • Wesley to Fred frequently.
  • Call the Midwife's Dr Turner casts too many of these to count at Sister Bernadette, and she's just as bad — when they're not already gazing into each other's eyes like there's nobody else in the room, that is. As her title gives away, however, Sister Bernadette is a nun. This... complicates things. A lot.
  • The Confessions of Frannie Langton: The first sign in the flashbacks showing Frannie's attraction to Marguerite is her intent, interested looks at her when doing her work in the house.
  • Daredevil (2015): Karen is regularly shown sneaking longing looks at Matt around the office during season 1 and the first part of season 2. After their first kiss in the rain, Matt can't help but stand there and listen to the raindrops falling on Karen's skin as she walks away to hail a cab, only heading inside once the cab drives off.
  • ER: In an interview, George Clooney and Julianna Marguiles jokingly referred to the first season as "The Year Of The Longing Looks", referring to the fact that their characters, who were dealing with unresolved issues from their broken relationship, frequently exchanged these.
  • Friends
    • Ross did this to Rachel a few times in the first season. Chandler and Joey always teased him about it. "Could you want her more?"
    • Monica and Chandler do this to each other during their Secret Relationship. (They couldn't act like a couple in public.) There's even a point when Rachel wonders why Monica won't go on a double date and doesn't realize that Monica is busy staring right at Chandler as she speaks.
    • Chandler towards Monica in the Season 5 finale when he thinks she still loves Richard. A brief scene has him watching her, almost saying something and then quietly walking away.
  • Doctor Who, particularly the modern-day revival, has featured numerous examples of this, either by the Doctor towards a companion or other individuals he has developed feelings for, or by companions who have felt likewise towards the Doctor or another character. Examples include Rose Tyler, Martha Jones, Rory Williams, Amy Pond, Jack Harkness, River Song and Clara Oswald. Even lampshaded in "The Sound of Drums" when the Doctor is giving Martha and Jack keys that have been outfitted with perception filters to hide them from the Master:
    The Doctor: Oh, I know what it's like. It's like, it's like when you fancy someone and they don't even know you exist. That's what it's like.
    (He rushes off to do something, leaving Martha looking visibly frustrated.)
    Jack: [to Martha] You too, huh?
  • Niles often did this to an oblivious Daphne in Frasier. After their Unrequited Love Switcheroo, Daphne starts doing it to an equally-oblivious Niles, which finally caused Frasier to decide "enough of this shit" and forcibly set the two of them up.
  • There's at least three of these in the pilot episode of Firefly between Mal and the courtesan Inara. In fact, any time the two of them are together in a scene, either they just miss seeing a Longing Look, or they share one simultaneously. But for various reasons, they never quite seem to figure each other out. Joss likes this trope.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Jorah for Daenerys on many, many occasions. Except the time of his banishment, he has been following her around like a lovesick puppy from pretty much her wedding day onward.
    • Daenerys to Jon.
  • General Hospital's Jason Quartermaine warns his brother AJ that he's noticed him giving these to his girlfriend Keesha. A few days later, his cousin Ned warns him that he's noticed it also.
  • In the Gilmore Girls revival, Jess gives a Longing Look to Rory after reassuring Luke he's "over that."
  • Happens with Chuck and Blair on Gossip Girl. Nate also throws a few Serena's way in season three.
  • In Halt and Catch Fire, after a chummy moment with a waitress at the local burger joint, Haley watches as she walks away. Joe doesn't miss the implications at all.
  • Barney when he fell in love with Robin on How I Met Your Mother.
  • Arthur and Guinevere on Merlin. And then Lancelot joins in...
  • On The Nanny, Fran and Mr. Sheffield do this a lot, as do Niles and CC in later seasons.
  • Never Have I Ever: Fabiola gazes raptly at Eve after seeing her. This clues in both the audience and Eve that she likes girls, but it takes Fab a bit longer to realize this herself.
  • Very, very prominent in the early seasons of The Office. Jim and Pam were so into giving each other longing looks that they would subconsciously still do it when the other wasn't around.
  • Blackbeard from Our Flag Means Death directs soft, longing gazes at Stede Bonnet like it’s his day job. He does it SO much it actually clues other crew members in as to why he stayed aboard the ship after their initial meeting.
  • Ethan and Vanessa during Season 2 of Penny Dreadful were constantly sharing many long, meaningful looks, particularly at the end of the episodes "Fresh Hell" and "Above the Vaulted Sky."
  • The 1995 serial of Pride and Prejudice naturally has Darcy doing this a lot. It's almost a Funny Background Event; Colin Firth's laser-like gaze is fixed on Jennifer Ehle in every scene they share. Elizabeth eventually asks his cousin (as she does in the novel) why the hell Darcy keeps doing it.
  • In Smallville, we've lost count how many times Chloe looks at Clark like this. Lana does it too occasionally.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
  • Chakotay from Star Trek: Voyager did this many times to Captain Janeway, particularly in the episode "Resolutions". When she only has a towel on and she's just stepped out of a bath? Totally checking her out. Creepy.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise Subverted. Malcolm Reed does this to T'pol, and she has noticed.
  • In Stranger Things Hopper gives this look to Joyce more than once.
    • Frequently invoked in the Nancy, Steve, and Jonathan Love Triangle. Jonathan gives these looks to Nancy in Season 1. In the Season 2 premiere, Nancy and Jonathan’s conversation as she invites him to a Halloween party is interrupted by Steve, who makes out with her. Nancy breaks away and can't help but look at Jonathan as he walks off. Jonathan later is doing this when he first shows up at the Halloween party, before he has to intercede and take Nancy home after she gets blackout drunk and spills punch on her shirt when Steve attempts to cut her off. At the Snow Ball, Steve gives Nancy this look from afar while dropping Dustin off, though they’re broken up and she’s moved on to Jonathan it’s clear Steve still has feelings for her.
    • Mike to Eleven, to the extent where his friends (namely Lucas) lampshade it. Eleven gives this look to Mike while watching him from afar in Season 2.
  • On Ugly Betty, Daniel gives Betty one of these while Hilda is giving a speech about being in love with your best friend.
  • Vagrant Queen: Amae gives Elida many significant looks, comments and gestures which shows that she's attracted to her before consciously realizing it or ever acting on her feelings.
  • In The War At Home Larry's best friend Kenny is constantly giving him these looks, because he is secretly gay and in love with Larry.
  • The X-Files: There were sometimes looks between Mulder and Scully with this meaning, but most of the time they were the star-crossed-lover reciprocated Held Gaze variant.
    Holman: I mean... You spend every day with Agent Scully, a beautiful, enchanting woman. And you two never, uh...? (Mulder shakes his head) I... confess I find that shocking. I... I've seen how you two gaze at one another.
    Mulder: (long pause) This is about you, Holman. I'm here to help you. I'm perfectly happy with my friendship with Agent Scully.
    Holman: So according to your theory I walk in there, tell her I love her and the drought will end?
    Mulder: Just tell her how you feel. And Holman? I do not gaze at Scully.

  • Described in Dolly Parton's "Baby, I'm Burning".
    You look at me that way
    I know what your eyes say
    Your eyes reflect love and desire
    I see that you need me...
  • Reba McEntire and Vince Gill's "Heart Won't Lie" is basically this trope in song form.
    You try to live your life from day to day
    But seeing you across the room tonight
    Just gives me away...

  • Cyrano de Bergerac: Montfleury gives one of these to Roxane, this is the true cause of Cyrano’s grudge against him.
    CYRANO (rising): This Silenus,
    Big-bellied, coarse, still deems himself a peril—
    A danger to the love of lovely ladies,
    And, while he sputters out his actor's part,
    Makes sheep's eyes at their boxes—goggling frog!
    I hate him since the evening he presumed
    To raise his eyes to hers. . .Meseemed I saw
    A slug crawl slavering o'er a flower's petals!
  • In Jasper in Deadland, the third verse of "Living Dead" is about Gretchen watching Jasper's determination to save his friend Agnes and wishing he felt the same way about her.
    He's got nothing left
    But a soul and a map
    Walking with the dead.
    He's so cool he's so tough,
    He bets his life on tomorrow.
    But doesn't he know
    Life is nothing but sorrow?

    Video Games 

  • Happens in Dominic Deegan in a rare same-sex example. Dominic's childhood friend gives Dominic a longing gaze. Luna sees him doing so and demonstrates it for Dominic. This is particularly cute because Luna used to do it for Dominic herself before they got involved.
  • Penny to Aggie, in a same-sex example from a Dream Sequence.
  • Played for Laughs in a Lackadaisy bonus strip featuring Viktor explaining to the socially clueless Mordecai why a woman is "making eyes" at him and trying, unsuccessfully, to show him how to reciprocate.
  • How we are introduced to both Alfdis and Gunnora from Alfdis & Gunnora, because neither thinks the other even notices them.
  • Lydia, in Cobweb and Stripes, is starting to receive these when her back is turned.
  • Regularly done between the titular duo in Milk And Mocha, who are happily in love.

    Web Original 
  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog So very, very many longing looks and involuntary fist-clenching on Billy's part. And with the girl of his dreams dating his arch-nemesis, who's surprised?
    Penny: Billy?
    Billy: Hmm?
    Penny: You're driving the spork into your leg.
    Billy: ... So I am. Hilarious.
  • At the end of The Nostalgia Critic's The Wicker Man (2006) review, Malcolm stares after Tamara this way. Luckily for him she comes back because Critic thinks she's Abusively Sexy.

    Western Animation 
  • Aang of Avatar: The Last Airbender has all three varieties for Katara.
  • Beetlejuice is prone to doing the first kind, subtly, to Lydia at times when she's not looking. He also does the second kind, complete with steam coming out of his ears, when another character asks her to marry him.
  • In Castlevania this becomes Sypha’s default expression towards her Love Interest Trevor aka “Treffy”.
  • Daria gives Trent one from an upstairs window at one point while he's still mostly oblivious and has just walked off with another girl. Jane and, surprisingly, Daria's sister Quinn are sympathetic about it.
  • Rodolfo does this for his ex-wife Maria in El Tigre, though he also does it when she is aware of it. He's got it bad.
  • Exo Squad: Maggie Weston and Alec De Leon share a few, as do J. T. Marsh and Colleen O'Reilly; but neither of them hold a candle to the looks that Nara Burns gives Marsala. The longing look seems to be permanently affixed to her face in his presence.
  • Family Guy: In "He's Too Sexy for His Fat", Lois constantly did this to Peter when he got surgery to become muscular and good-looking.
  • Helga does this constantly to the title character in Hey Arnold!.
  • The Simpsons: Homer and Marge show this in a few episodes.


Video Example(s):


The Carpet

Ryan fills in as office secretary while Pam is on vacation.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / LongingLook

Media sources: