It was like an earthquake; everything in me was overturned, the graves of my heart were opened and my own nature was strange to me.
I am forty, and I believed I had reached the autumn of life.
I had wandered far, known much and lived many lives. The Lord had spoken to me, manifesting Himself in many ways; to me angels had revealed themselves and I had not believed them. But when I saw you I was compelled to believe, because of the miracle that happened to me."
Love at First Sight. It's a staple of Fairy Tales, love songs, and the Disney Animated Canon. Two characters meet, and fall deeply, madly, passionately in love with each other immediately. This is one of the most common and oldest story archetypes.
Depending on where a story falls in the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism, Love at First Sight is either a recipe for Happily Ever After or eventual disillusionment and heartbreak. Of course, even if the characters really are perfect for each other, they can still be Star-Crossed Lovers who are destined to be apart, or simply can start a relationship based on this trope and develop it into a deeper and more sincere one.
Note that this trope is compatible with Oblivious to Love. In a Love Epiphany, it can suddenly dawn on the character that they are in love and have been for some time, from their first meeting.
Sometimes, only one character falls in love at first sight. That character usually spends the rest of the story trying to win the heart of the other one. If the character is heroic, you usually get a pleasant courtship. If the character is unattractive or otherwise repellent to the other, they're an Abhorrent Admirer. If the character is a villain, they become a dangerous Stalker with a Crush, because Love Makes You Evil.
Compare Chic and Awe, Fourth-Date Marriage, The Dulcinea Effect, and the vocal equivalent Love at First Note. The Serial Romeo is a character who falls into this over and over again. Engaging Conversation happens when two acquaintances hit it off and one jokingly proposes marriage. The opposite is Hate at First Sight.
Not to be confused with the manhwa, the Harry Potter fanfic, the Once Upon a Time fanfic, or the kinetic novel with the same name, or the Chinese drama Love At First Fight.
- Anime & Manga
- Fairy Tales
- Fan Works
- Films — Animation
- Films — Live-Action
- Live-Action TV
- Video Games
- Western Animation
- Real Life
- Chew: Tony becomes enamored with Amelia Mintz (though not knowing her name at this point) upon seeing her eat a burger. When they actually meet face-to-face, Tony can only awkwardly mumble to her, leaving Amelia more confused than anything. It's not until the next volume, in a situation too serious for Tony to be really awkward in that Amelia returns his feelings (helped by him saving her from getting shot via Suggestive Collision) and agrees to go out with him.
- Colossus and Zsaji in Secret Wars (1984), despite the facts that a) they couldn't speak each other's languages and b) she died days after they met. A popular Fanon theory states that Zsaji was an empath who either intentionally or inadvertently manipulated Peter's emotions, especially since he went from pining over Kitty to doting over the alien healer so fast that the boy probably got whiplash. And apart from his subsequently breaking things off with Kitty (which was the sole purpose for Zsaji's existence), she was almost entirely forgotten within a year and is almost never mentioned.
- In Supergirl (1972) #7, Supergirl remembers how she fell for a guy called Tony Martin as soon as she saw him.
Supergirl: Ohh... What a dreamboat! I thought love at first sight was just for fairy tales — until now!
- In Superman's Return to Krypton, Superman goes back in time to Krypton and meets famous actress Lyla Lerrol, who falls for him hard as soon as she sees him.
- In Supergirl's Three Super Girl-Friends, Querl Dox, a.k.a. Brainiac 5, falls for Kara Zor-El, a.k.a. Supergirl, as soon as he lays his eyes on her. And he falls hard. She was his first, only and great love.
- In the 1990's version of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Tinya Wazzo (Apparation) and Jo Nah (Ultra Boy) had this bad, with Jo instantly being attracted to Tinya when he's spying on the Legion. When the two locked eyes later on, this was the obvious reaction from both. Sometime later, they're the Sickeningly Sweet Hearts of the team.
- In Supergirl (1972) #7, Supergirl remembers how she fell for a guy called Tony Martin as soon as she saw him.
- ElfQuest has the concept of Recognition. "Soul meets soul when eyes meet eyes, stands your lover recognized." At times a male elf and a female elf see each other, immediately recognize each others' soul, and are compelled by a biological imperative to have sex. A life-long romance is not guaranteed (Dewshine and Tyldak), but does tend to follow more often than not (Cutter and Leetah).
- Fantastic Four: When Susan "Sue" Storm was 12 years old, her aunt rented a room to a Teen Genius university student named Reed Richards. She fell for him at first sight, but would only date and marry him when they were older.
- In Brazilian comic Monica's Gang, the Unrequited Love between Franklin and Marina (though it starts with some Postmodernism: Marina, author Mauricio de Sousa's daughter, entered the comic book world, where Franklin promptly fell in love with her; when she returned, Mauricio reveals he created a character based on Marina).
- The Sandman (1989): This seems to happen quite often to mortals who spend time around the Endless. In Endless Nights, the mortal protagonists of Death and Destruction's stories both end up falling in love with them after spending a short time in their company. Death gets it the most in general, too.
- Empowered: Thugboy fell for the titular character hard when he first laid eyes on her — it even broke him out of his terminal "Whatever." mood.
- Victor and Lillie from Runaways. It doesn't work out, though.
- Tarot and Jon from Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose.
- Occurs temporarily in Swordquest: Waterworld, when the two heroes each end up falling for the leader of two warring factions; partially justified due to some Identity Amnesia from the Big Bad's evil sorcerer.
- Archie from Archie Comics (2015) fell for Veronica at first glance. He even states that in his fourth-wall breaking monologue.
- Ultimate Daredevil & Elektra: Elektra fell in love with Matt when she first saw him.
- Blue Is the Warmest Color: Clémantine and Emma in the street a year before they met again.
- Wonder Woman:
- Traditionally Steve Trevor fell in love with Diana the first time he saw his "Angel", though of course he was concussed at the time and she also had the fact that she'd just saved his life and was getting him back home when he'd otherwise be stranded in her favor.
- Wonder Woman (1942): Mint Candy falls in love with Pepita when rescuing her from the mine shaft she'd been tossed in before she even wakes up.
- The title character of Goldie Vance develops a crush on Diane the moment she sees her at a local record store. At first, she is disappointed when she thinks Diane is already seeing someone, but it doesn't take long for the two girls to hit it off when Diane helps Goldie solve her first major case.
- Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld: Topaz falls for Amethyst the instant he sees her. He ends up with a different princess, though.
- The Adventures of Prudence Prim: Exaggerated — Protagonist Prudence falls in love with Dicky Dare when they lock eyes across a party, but she's far too nervous to strike up a conversation with her strict aunts around to chaperone her. Dicky feels similarly, but he convinces the hostess to intervene so he can introduce himself to Prudence and have a word with her on a private balcony. The two wind up engaged within the hour and married before the night is over. From the verses that caption the comic panels:
When Prudy first saw Dicky Dare hear heart just skipped a beat.
She shyly though, "Now there's a man I'd really like to meet."
...Thought Dicky, "I must meet that girl—and I mean to do it, too!"
He sought the hostess, and he said "Oh, introduce us, do!"
- AJ & Magnus: AJ meets a boy named Logan who helps him pick up his project after it gets whacked by a bully. AJ instantly has a crush on him.
- Pops up in a few Beatles songs, naturally: "I've Just Seen a Face" used to be the page quote. In "With a Little Help From My Friends", it's discussed via Call and Response.
"Would you believe in a love at first sight?"
"Yes, I'm certain that it happens all the time. . . "
- The song "Loving You" by, not so wide known artist, Pauline:
I've been dreaming about you
Every night and day
From the first time I saw you
I got swept away
- Bonnie Tyler: In "Lost In France", she tells how, during a rainy day in France, she attended a band performance (not hers) and fell in love with a man present there. The song doesn't specify if the man she fell in love with was the band's vocalist or part of the audience, but Tyler was so pumped that she chose to stay in France for a little longer.
- The Brobecks have a song called "Love at First Sight".
"Could this be love at first sight, or should I walk by again?"
- "Hello, I love you, why don't you tell me your name?"
- Defied in Carly Rae Jepsen's "I Really Like You", in contrast to her Signature Song "Call Me Maybe".
I know this isn't love, but I need to tell you something.
I really, really, really, really like you.
- Brian McNeill's "Bring the Lassie Hame" portrays the meeting of his father and mother in post-WWII Austria as this.
When it was over, still nae bed o' clover
A continent lay bleedin', and tears like ne'er before
And then ye found her, hard times around her
And ye knew that yer life had changed forevermore
- A song by Styx is called "Love at First Sight"
You and I
Strangers lost in a moment
Eye to eye
We were caught unaware of this passion inside us
- In Brad Paisley's "Then", the narrator remarks self-deprecatingly that he thought he was in love with his wife when he first met her, but that it was nothing compared to how much he loves her after years of marriage.
We've come so far since that day
And I thought I loved you then!
What I can't see
Is how I'm ever gonna love you more
But I've said that before.
- Elton John's "The One" embodies the idea of a true love immediately found that is beyond the capacity of regular human feelings and that's a mythical, godly power onto itself and unlike any other.
Running fast along the sand
A spirit born of Earth and water
Fire flying from your hands
- The chorus of Gary Wright's "Dream Weaver" (at least the first two lines of it) was used for this type of scene five times: in Wayne's World, a Call-Back to it in Wayne's World 2, Daddy Day Care, Toy Story 3 and the Season 5 Fuller House episode "Hale's Kitchen".
Oh dream weaver,
I believe you can get me through the night.
Oh dream weaver.
I believe we can reach the morning light.
- "You Got It All" by The Jets is pretty much spelling this out.
Just one look and I knew
You would make everything clear
Make all the clouds disappear
You're better than all the rest
Who do I love the best
- Classical Mythology:
- Eros, after a quarrel with Apollo, got back at him by shooting him with an arrow that made him fall in love with Daphne at first sight, after he shot Daphne with an arrow that made her (in simplest terms) hate at first sight.
- Cupid And Psyche: Aphrodite, Eros' mother, because she was jealous of the beautiful Psyche, asked Eros to shoot her with an arrow so that she would fall in love with someone repulsive at first sight, but Eros ended up falling in love at first sight with Psyche.
- Narcissus was so beautiful that every man and woman who looked upon his face fell instantly in love with him, but he would always spurn such people and break their hearts. He was cursed to fall in love with his own reflection after spurning several nymphs this way.
- Hades and Persephone. A bit one-sided, but he (also) gets shot with Eros' arrow of love. Instant attraction and abduction (with her father's permission and advice) ensues. On Persephone's side, it was more she fell in love with him after the marriage. Nevertheless, they end up as a stable (and presumably happy) couple. It probably helped that Hades lavished gifts and non-sexual attention on her to genuinely win her over — and unlike his brothers, he never cheats on her.
- Welcome to Night Vale:
- The first episode introduces our narrator, Cecil, to the scientist Carlos, who had come to investigate the titular paranormal town.
He grinned, and everything about him was perfect, and I fell in love instantly.
- Considering that it took an entire year for Carlos to show any sign of reciprocating, one has to imagine he was freaked out by this local-celebrity radio host (who might not even be human) immediately announcing that he's in love with him to the entire town.
- The entire town feels the same way to some degree, everyone agreeing about his perfect, perfect hair (driving out Tellie the barber for daring to cut it) and not giving him the standard Night Vale welcome of pointing fingers and screaming INTERLOPER!!!
- The first episode introduces our narrator, Cecil, to the scientist Carlos, who had come to investigate the titular paranormal town.
- Barbie and Ken of Barbie fame fell in love together. As depicted in a song from the 1960s album Barbie Sings!:
Ken: Then one day I looked at you
Barbie: And one look was all we needed
Both: Though nobody taught us, we knew what to do
I fell in love like— *snap* —- with you
- Arcueid admits that she fell in love with Shiki at first being horribly butchered, something he reciprocated and spent 90% of the story denying to himself. Arcueid acts rather annoyed if Shiki goes for the other girls in their routes. Shiki counts much more than Arcuied does. She was more fascinated with him at first, rather than in love, and she was an Emotionless Girl before Shiki "broke" her. Shiki, on the hand, lusted for her, to the point of insanity, even if it was largely due to his bloodline. He even admits that she was easily the most beautiful girl he's ever seen or will probably ever see.
- Roa, for Arcueid hundreds of years ago. Didn't end well.
- Fate/stay night:
- Shirou falls in love with Saber upon first seeing and doesn't actually realize it for two weeks. The other two routes get around this by not letting Saber get enough contact with Shirou for them to really hit it off. Each route is... rather... different as to how it goes about it.
- In Rin's route, Saber gets captured early on and then has an important argument with Archer, who uses his future Shirou credentials to make her reconsider her own motivations, a process which took past Shirou a route and many arguments to complete. She does not spend enough time with Shirou for the remainder of the route for them to hit it off.
- It's rather more tragic in Sakura's route, where the love at first sight is completely destroyed. The method? Kill Saber early in the route. Then have her come back. Evil. Then have Shirou mercy kill her, and get so torn up doing it that he deliberately kills every memory he has of her, promising himself that he will forget her and move on to save Sakura and stay with her. Much like everything in the last route, a bit... sad, especially since Shirou never understood what he felt towards Saber, but continued anyway.
- Sakura herself claims to have fallen for Shirou from when she first saw him trying to overcome a jump that was completely impossible for him for hours on end. Supposedly, the same could be said for Rin.
- Esperia in Aselia the Eternal - The Spirit of Eternity Sword fell in love with Yuuto at first sight, however, she wasn't sure what kind initially. She also has a lot of difficult actually opening up to people. In Kyouko's route, Yuuto becomes an Eternal without her, so she forgets him. When he comes back, she falls in love at first sight and is extremely confused and upset. When she becomes an Eternal as well to follow him, her newly ex-boyfriend does the same. Minus following her, because he probably can't.
- Kouri, in Brass Restoration, fell in love with the protagonist Ryo at first sight during a drum performance he put on in middle school. She even went to the same high school so she could be near him.
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Trials and Tribulations:
- Desirée fell in love with Ron Delite when he rescued her from a couple of bandits. They're nothing alike, but they truly love each other. When he is accused of grand larceny, she goes to the extent of entering Detective Atmey's office to take his bag (which contains a Smoking Gun) and bring it to court just to prove Ron innocent.
- Maya thinks this trope is in play when Phoenix and Iris meet in Hazakura. In reality they knew each other already, but they both were shocked because neither expected to run into the other.
- Zero Escape Trilogy:
- Subverted in Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors. Early in the game Junpei sees a pretty girl around his age and is immediately stunned, but not because he immediately fell for her, but because the girl looked familiar. It took him a few moments to realise that it was his childhood friend Akane.
- Eric fell for Mira this way in Zero Time Dilemma. He was selling ice-cream and she was one of his clients and he immediately fell for her the moment he saw her.
- The Fruit of Grisaia: Amane claims to have fallen for Yuuji at first sight because she thinks he looks hopeless. Not really true. Mild attraction at first sight at best that eventually developed into something more genuine.
- In Ikemen Sengoku, Sasuke fell in love with the female main character during their brief first encounter when she saved him from getting struck by a lightning bolt and he was awestruck by how beautiful and radiant she looked as she saved him — though he doesn't realize that he fell in love at that moment until he meets her again four years later and gets to know her better.
- In Helluva Boss, Stolas developed an instant crush on Blitzo when they first met as children. When they reunite twenty-five years later, he wastes no time falling for Blitzo all over again.
- The Little Painter: Pierre is immediately head-over-heels for Princess Creme Brule when he meets her for the first time.
- In Recess Reindeer, Richie is smitten by Svetlana almost immediately after he meets her.
- Doki of There she is!! falls head over heels, crazy in love with Nabi the first time she sees him. Nabi...well he comes around eventually.
- In Lucky Day Forever, Prole 514 falls in love with Sasiadka upon seeing her argue with her abusive boyfriend.
- RWBY: The Remnant fairy tale of The Girl in the Tower tells the story of a damsel who has been locked away by her cruel father until she is rescued by a virtuous hero. The length of time it took them to escape the fortress together is all that was required for them to fall deeply in love. As it's a fairy tale, they lived happily ever after. Jinn reveals in Volume 6 that this is Salem and Ozpin's story; it ended tragically, locking them into a Secret War for thousands of years over the fate of humanity. As Big Bad, she seeks the world's destruction; as Big Good, he seeks its salvation.
- A short comic by A-gnosis has Dionysos fall for Ariadne's dress when they first meet. (For anyone who is not familiar with the myth; it is said that after Ariadne was left on a desert island by Theseus, the god Dionysos fell in love with her.) He's a Wholesome Cross Dresser, and wearing a pink robe at the time, so his interest is obviously sincere - it is implied that they bonded over this compliment. This comes off as much less creepy than if he had talked about her, as people familiar with Greek Myth tend to have certain prejudices when it comes to gods and their respect for consent or the lack thereof.
- The Law of Purple: Red falls for Rose on first sight. Much of the attraction is that she's thrashing a purse-snatcher at the time, as seen here.
- In Girl Genius, Zola plans to manage her meeting with the heir to the Storm King — and make it look like Love At First Sight.
- Zeetha's first meeting with Higgs is like this. For her. For him, it's one of the few things that terrifies him.
- minus.: what happens when Cupid gets really out of hand.
- Pupster: When Kevin sees Jakata for the first time he immediately falls in love with her in the eighteenth page of Pup, Pup, And Away.
- xkcd: This comic
- They also deconstruct the trope (and the accompanying idea of "soul mates") here.
- Homestuck: Trolls, due to Bizarre Alien Reproduction, have a form of romance which is essentially hateful archnemesishood. The first time Karkat sees John (in person), he is instantly struck by total, all-consuming, overwhelming hate, complete with spade-shaped Wingding Eyes. Not the purest example, though, as they have interacted before through an instant messenger client, and there's a certain amount of time shenanigans involved as well.
- And then there's Vriska and her Celebrity Crush on... Nicolas Cage.
- Of all the people, this happens to Jack freaking Noir after encountering Peregrine Mendicant wearing the White Queen's ring.
- Another extreme example is Jake, who develops a crush on Aranea...after seeing her in a dream bubble for just three seconds. To be fair Jake Has a Type which Aranea fits into (blue ladies) and later revelations on Aranea's character shows she was likely trying to invoke this for her plans.
- Subverted in Dresden Codak. Kimiko sees a handsome guy with an FM-2030 book and instantly turns into a tongue-tied twit, fantasising about either an idyllic relationship (on an airship!) or a UST-laden scholarly rivalry. See here. Unfortunately for her, he turns out to be kind of a moron.
- In Endstone, Jon disowns believing in this when he first met Kyri.
- L's Empire has a species (Kayoss) that falls in love this way, mainly due to their Magic Genetics. This does have a side effect (referred to as Love Struck) which involves lightheadedness, drooling from the eyes, and passing out.
- In Erstwhile, in the comic about the fairy tale "Sister and Brother" the king and the eponymous sister. Within moments of meeting, Crush Blush followed by his proposing and her accepting, with the only condition that her brother come with her to the castle.
- In El Goonish Shive, this appears to be what happens between Tedd and Grace. However, much later, Tedd admits that it started out as simple attraction, since he was the first male her age she wasn't related to, and she was a hot girl in his house. It definitely evolved into love relatively quickly, though.
- Erfworld: In the prequel book 0, we see that Jillian actually fell in love with Wanda before first sight. Merely hearing Wanda's name with no further context was enough to send Jillian's heart racing. Then Wanda captured her and tortured her for a few dozen turns, and then Wanda joined Jillian and helped her croak Wanda's Ruler, and then Wanda betrayed Jillian's father while Jillian was out in the field, and then Wanda captured Jillian and tortured her a few more times. Their relationship is... complicated, even without bringing in the large amount of Fate connecting them.
- Knights of Buena Vista is a Campaign Comic about Frozen (2013), and Hans's player includes an ability to induce this as a charisma bonus. So that's how Anna falls for him almost instantly.
- It's what connects Nick and Ki in General Protection Fault right from the start, even though it takes them ages to act upon it, with lots of Will They or Won't They? in between.
Ki: Nice butt!
Nick: [that evening, in his diary] I wonder if I should reconsider my self-imposed restriction on dating co-workers.
- Theo Ainsworth of My Impossible Soulmate seems to have this with every girl he meets.
- It takes Sun Jing all of about five seconds to fall heads over heels for Qiu Tong the first time they run into each other at a convenience store in Their Story. The attraction deepens all the more when they become friends.
- In The Back o' Beyond Nate seems to have experienced this for Sebastian, as the first time they have a proper conversation is when they're at sea. However, it's not mutual and Nate soon realises they don't know each other at all.
- Nastily invoked in Tower of God, as narrated in "Name Hunt Station". Lo Po Bia Elaine was to become selected as a Princess of Jahad, but just before it, she fell in love with a boy at first sight. Unfortunately, he had been sent to test her to see whether she had it in her to become a celibate princess.
- Mr. Boop: Sonic towards Spongebob.
- Subverted with Peter Griffin and Lois.
- The Nostalgia Critic:
- Parodied in his review of Les Miserables, where Paw Dugan mocks how unrealistic this trope is... right before sharing it with Elisa from Vampire Reviews. They then proceed to sing a song about how stupid love in first sight is (which evolves into a song about how great it is). This is also an example of Real Life Writes the Plot, as the two really were romantically involved; they were engaged at the time of recording.
- Subverted with Hyper, as she finds Critic sexy on first appearance but only convinces herself later that it must be love. Doug's talked at length about how much this trope doesn't work in real life, and that it's more like "Attraction At First Sight".
- Spoofed in episode 27 of Vaguely Recalling JoJo with Rohan Kishibe and Adeleine. During its prediction of said event, Thoth thought it was stupid.
- In the SuperMarioLogan episode "Cody's Sister!", Bowser Junior and Joseph instantly fall in love with Cody's sister Katy upon seeing her.
Junior: You're so weird and ugly, and she's so...amazing and gorgeous...H-How did that happen?