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Love Dodecahedron

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Take notes. The guy in the bottom left is apparently a Narcissist. There are also some duplicate arrows.note 

May's in love with Kay's husband,
He's in love with Sue!
Sue's in love with May's husband,
What are they to do?
Tom's in love with Tim's wife,
She's in love with Sam!
Sam's in love with Tom's wife,
So, they're in a jam!
Allegro, "Allegro"

Love Triangles are stressful and often heartbreaking. Add five or ten more people to the mix, and instead they become comedy: Characters A, B, C, and D all love character E, who might love any of them, but can't commit for reasons of honor or basic wishywashiness. There's also character F, who might love E, and whom he might love back, but they get on each other's nerves so it's hard to tell. Meanwhile, G is sweet on C while H and I both love A. Except on alternate Tuesdays, when H's third cousin from Osaka expresses her intent to marry Character F's dog, who has an odd thing for D…

You get the idea.

Many series have official diagrams so the fans can keep track of the characters. Some series don't, to make it more Mind Screw, or have completely incorrect information for pure schadenfreude.

The Seven Basic Plots Christopher Booker uses this concept as his definition of the Comedy genre, only the point is that the Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends isn't a shoehorn but the soul of the plot:

The Villain (or Hero) acts as a Fisher King, casting a darkness and confusion across all the relationships until his Heel–Face Turn, which frees up the main couple to get together and that, in turn, frees up everyone else.

The Love Dodecahedronnote  is a superset of the following tropes:

Also, see Gambit Pileup, which is similar to this trope, but with gambits. Though Love Dodecahedra can be the cause of such pileups. The opposite of this is No Loves Intersect. There are three kinds of stable Love Dodecahedra:

  1. Everyone staying friends
  2. Everyone marrying the hero
  3. The hero abandoning his harem
Can also sometimes be resolved by Squaring the Love Triangle. Compare Dating Do-Si-Do, which is similar with the lots-of-tangled-up-relationships part but the relationships do not necessarily have to be in competition with each other. Tangled Family Tree can be considered a sister trope, and a Love Dodecahedron can turn into one of those if given enough time. Video games that care about such relationships may track them dynamically with Relationship Values.


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    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics has the famous Betty/Archie/Veronica triangle. However, Veronica also regularly dates Reggie, who keeps trying to date Midge, much to her boyfriend Moose's wrath. Other than Betty, Jughead mostly runs from girls (including Betty sometimes), especially his constant admirer Ethel, who occasionally has to settle for Dilton. Then Cheryl Blossom came along whom had a relationship with Dilton and whose brother Jason has an obsessive crush on Betty. They've all had countless one-time love interests. Chuck and Nancy have enough sense to keep out of this mess.
  • After they turned it into a soap opera, Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) twisted Sonic's love life into a Gordian Knot; originally hooked up with Sally Acorn, she got stuck ruling the country and shoved the relationship to the side to focus on her new duties, prompting Sonic to fall in with Mina Mongoose, starting a rivalry between the two women for Sonic's affection. He then started seeing Fiona Fox on the side, which not only pissed off Mina and Sally, but Tails, as well, who had a crush on her due to falling in love with a robotic duplicate created by Robotnik several years earlier. Eventually, Mina got her own boyfriend, Sally got Sonic once again, and Tails got tossed into a brick wall by Fiona, who gave them all the finger to have a relationship with an evil Sonic from another universe. Sally later started dating Monkey Khan but broke it off due to her history with Sonic. And that's not even counting the mini-tangle between Antoine, Sally, Bunnie Rabbot, and Antoine's evil clone from the same universe Fiona's new beau comes from.
  • Daredevil, Hawkeye, and Iron Man keep dating the same women. Daredevil dated Black Widow, who also dated Hawkeye and Iron Man, and Hawkeye slept with Echo who is another of Daredevil's ex-girlfriends, as was Heather Glenn who was involved with Iron Man for awhile, etc. Yet another DD ex, Typhoid Mary, once tricked Deadpool into sleeping with her. Iron Man, for his part, has had a plethora of ladyfriends including Emma Frost (Cyclops' current flame), She-Hulk, and the Wasp. Remember kids, when you kiss Tony Stark, you taste Galactus.
    • There's some sort of bizare love-lust-hate-obsession dodecahedron going on between Daredevil, Elektra, Punisher, and Bullseye. Bullseye is obsessed with Daredevil (in the AU Daredevil Noir Daredevil actually falls in love with Bullseye's genderswapped counterpart) and Punisher. Punisher and Daredevil have some angry manpain UST going on. Elektra and Daredevil were in love, and she and Punisher are attracted to one another (in yet another AU, the 2099 verse, they had a daughter, Cassandra). Elektra and Bullseye's relationship can best be summed up by his quote to her: "I love to see you bleed."
  • Jaimie and Gilbert Hernandez's Love and Rockets features several of these, particularly Gilbert's Palomar stories which are influenced by Hispanic telenovelas.
  • Due to their decades of continuity, many Marvel Comics series have dodecahedrons so complex you need a 3D model to keep track. For example, Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four romanced Crystal, but she married Quicksilver instead and they had a child. But Crystal also began an ill-fated romance with Dane Whitman, who was not only involved with Sersi but also hopelessly pining after Wasp. Wasp was the ex-wife of Hank Pym, had an ill-fated one-night-stand with Magneto (Quicksilver's father!) and briefly dated Tony Stark, aka Iron Man. To top it off, Crystal is currently betrothed to Ronan the Accuser, ruler of the Kree, who was formerly romantically involved with Una-Rogg, who tried to seduce Genis-Vell, who... you get the idea. Due to various destructions, memory wipes and rebuilds, Marvel's Vision is a one-character love dodecahedron.
  • In Quantum and Woody, one develops between Quantum, Woody, Amy Fishbein, Tempest Sheridan, and Holly Williams. Just don't ask how the goat fits in...
  • Robin: Tim's friend Bernard had a crush on Darla Aquista but when Tim tried to help Bernard get a date Darla decided she liked Tim instead, even though Tim was already dating and in love with Stephanie. Darla then refused to listen to anything Tim said assumed they'd get together eventually despite Tim making it clear he had no interest in her.
  • The Scott Pilgrim graphic novels are known for this. The inside back cover of the third book consists of an absurdly complicated diagram detailing the relationships of all of the characters thus far (including such descriptors as "in a band with", "still likes" and "dating(?)") that is rendered obsolete before the end of the first chapter of the next book.
  • Spiderman 2099: Prior to the events of the comic, Miguel and Xina were dating, while Miguel's brother Gabriel was dating Dana. Then Miguel and Dana fell in Love at First Sight and started cheating on their partners with each other, at which point they broke up. By the time the comic starts, Miguel and Dana are engaged, Gabriel and Dana still have feelings for each other but agree that they're better off as friends, Gabriel is dating a new girl named Kasey (after going through a long chain of girlfriends), and Xina is single but still has feelings for Miguel. Dana and Xina describe their relationship as Betty and Veronica. Then Miguel becomes Spider-Man, which throws all the above relationships for a loop. Dana grows increasingly mistrustful of Miguel and starts seeing Tyler Stone, which unbeknowst to her but not him (or Miguel) is Miguel's biological father. Kasey falls for Spider-Man and temporarily dumps Gabriel, but then takes him back because she starts thinking that he's Spider-Man. Gabriel still feels cheated on because he knows that his brother is Spider-Man, and no matter how many times he tries to explain it Kasey refuses to listen. The Miguel/Dana/Xina part of the dodecahedron is "resolved" in the worst possible way when Dana dies at the hands of Venom, at which point Xina puts herself on a bus and leaves to walk the earth. What happens next depends on what continuity you're reading. In the original Xina comes back and she and Miguel get married. In the 2014-2015 volumes which ignore the original 2099 comics after a certain point, Miguel gets Trapped in the Past end enters a Time-Travel Romance with Tempest, resulting in Last Girl Wins.
  • Strangers in Paradise begins with a Love Triangle and then... hooboy. Katchoo loves best friend Francine unrequitedly, then takes up with David because he has been in love with her for years. Then Francine, who had a crush on David, starts to sort-of reciprocate Katchoo's feelings. Casey, unhappily married to Francine's ex-boyfriend Freddie (who still loves Francine), falls in love with David at first sight. With their marriage on the rocks, Freddie pursues Francine while Casey pursues David and also Katchoo. Katchoo, unable to deal with the issues of her past and family, finally drives David away. Francine becomes engaged to Brad and then breaks off her engagement to be with Katchoo, but still cannot consummate the relationship, so a frustrated Katchoo sleeps with Casey on the side. When Francine discovers this she goes back to Brad. When confronted at gunpoint by Katchoo's sister Tambi (who insists that their two families produce an heir via David and Katchoo), David offers to produce a child with her in exchange for his life and Katchoo's release from the obligation, and after they attempt this Tambi secretly falls for David. David returns to marry Katchoo, but the two part amicably once she learns about Tambi and realizes she prefers women. Casey finally gets to shack up with David… then Katchoo joins them so they can all be happy together. Eventually, Francine leaves Brad for cheating on her; David dies, leaving Casey to take up with Tambi, and Francine and Katchoo end up together for good. Freddie ends up alone..
  • Superboy (1994): Roxy (whom S.B. viewed as a sister), Knockout and Tana were all interested in Superboy at the same time, he was already sort of dating Tana but then Knockout inserted herself in his life and he started spending less and less time with Tana and became interested in Knockout instead. He turned Knockout in to the cops and returned to Tana after Knockout revealed her true colors.
  • In the Teen Titans comics, Speedy Arsenal Red Arrow is into Wondergirl Darkstar Donna Troy, who got married to Terry Long. Meanwhile, Starfire was once involved with, and still has feelings for, Robin Nightwing Dick Grayson, who's engaged to Barbara Gordon. Red Arrow also had a crush on Raven, who had a crush on Kid Flash the Flash (who is now married to Linda, but had a relationship with three other women first), then one on Dick Grayson, and now one on Beast Boy (which she might be over now). Beast Boy had a crush on Terra, then on Starfire, and is now in love with Raven. Still not sure where Aqualad Tempest stands in all this. Cyborg is the only one that was smart enough to stay out of this crap, or he would have, if not for his ambiguous feelings for Sara Simms. Red Arrow has a daughter, whose mother is a psychopathic supervillain.
  • For a comic which is only a decade old, the Ultimate Spider-Man (now Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man) continuity has a pretty impressive one for Peter. Depending on how you count things, Peter's current love interests include Gwen, Mary Jane, Kitty, and Johnny Storm. That's not mentioning the fact that Peter currently lives with Kitty's ex-boyfriend Bobby as well as Johnny, who made out with his Opposite-Sex Clone. Added into this is Felicia Hardy, who was rather blunt in her attempts to woo Peter until she realized he was fifteen years old.
  • X-Men:
    • Almost every member of the X-Men has been in love with another member at some point. One of the more famous dodecahedrons: Wolverine loved Jean Grey, who loved Cyclops, who loved her back but married her clone Madelyne Pryor, who had an affair with Cyclops' brother Havok, who almost married Polaris but left her at the altar for Nurse Annie, who kissed Iceman, who was unaware that Northstar was secretly in love with him... For those less familiar with the complicated relationships under Xavier's roof, made a flowchart.
    • In the early days when Jean was the only female on the team, all of the men were in love with her (yes, including Xavier, but nowadays it never gets mentioned). Warren and Scott were the only serious contenders for her affection. Scott is also well known for attracting telepaths, having serious relationships with Jean, Madelyne Pryor, and Emma Frost most recently. He was also mutually attracted to Psylocke, but nothing serious ever developed.
    • Speaking of Jean Grey, her past counterpart in All-New X-Men has some complicated examples. None of them even worked out, somehow:
      • She and Teen Scott were in love until they got to the future. Now she's not so sure she wants him anymore given what she knows about who/what he grows up to be, while he's still smitten, thinking that their eventual wedding is "proof" they're supposed to be together.
      • She and Teen Hank kiss. She instigated it on top of that. The events of Battle of the Atom cause a little fallout, and they're still not sure what's going on between them.
      • She and Teen Angel have a moment when he catches her when she's falling.
      • She also seems to be attracted to Modern Scott, but he quickly says it can't ever happen. Ever.
  • The basic premise of the DC Comics title Young Heroes In Love.

    Comic Strips 
  • In For Better or for Worse, Elizabeth is in love with Paul, Anthony is in love with Elizabeth, Elizabeth has Un Resolved Sexual Tension with Warren, Anthony is married to Thèrése, Elizabeth has latent feelings for Anthony, Thèrése hates Elizabeth, Warren is in love with Elizabeth and Paul had a childhood crush on Susan. It ends with Anthony divorcing Thèrése, Elizabeth getting dumped by Paul for Susan and ghosting Warren, Elizabeth marrying Anthony, Paul and Susan dating and Warren and Thèrése end up alone.
  • In Flash Gordon, Flash loves Dale, Dale loves Flash, Ming loves Dale, Aura loves Flash, Barin loves Aura, Ming hates Flash, and everyone hates Ming. Eventually this straightens out when Aura shifts her affections to Barin, and Ming comes to hate Dale almost as much as he hates Flash. Other women such as Freya and Undina also find Flash attractive, which always makes their boyfriends mad at him.
  • Peanuts:
    • Marcie loves either Charlie Brown or Peppermint Patty, who loves Charlie Brown, who loves the Little Red-Haired Girl. Woodstock loves (or at least is jealous of) Snoopy who loves Marcie. Then you have Lucy who loves Schroeder who loves his piano. Sally loves Linus, who loves Ms. Othmar and/or his blanket.

    Fan Works 
  • The titular boys of The Ballad Of Stoot And Argyle, Terrance Stoot and Phillip Argyle, are unknowingly enmeshed in one of these. Karen McCormick likes Terrance, who's in a trial relationship with and might be falling for Eric Cartman. Meanwhile, Phillip is in love with both Terrance and Bebe Stevens, and unknowingly has half the female student body fangirling over him. Add in the boys who might like those girls, and you've got a tangled web.
  • In Death Note: The Abridged Series (kpts4tv) Ryuk is screwing Light, Light is in love with L, Misa stalks Light, Rem loves Misa and so did Gelus. Then during Light's Memory Gambit he went back into the closet and only worried about being a good boyfriend to Misa (who he is dating for other reasons that he can no longer remember) Misa then goes on to cheat on him with Higuchi and Rem. Namikawa flirts with Light. L makes a passing mention of Beyond Birthday, Light suspected incorrectly that L was screwing Matsuda, and meanwhile L shows no interest in anyone except for maybe his snacks. Also, everyone but Light wants Misa (including Ryuk) and when Mello kidnaps Sayu, Mr. Yagami tries to get Mello to take Light as well. Ryuk was doing... something with an apple and Mr. Yagami flirts with Ryuk. Also Demegawa declares his love for Kira, Ryuk takes to calling Matsuda "daddy", Aizawa and Mogi go off to to "violate Misa" and Matsuda and Ide wish they could join in, and Aizawa may or may not have gotten someone who may or may not be his daughter pregnant. Osoreda molested Near. There's also Gevanni (or rather Raye Penber)/Death Note.
  • The Demesne Of The Reluctant Twilight Sparkle slowly forms one around Twilight. The first chapter implies she has a crush on Big Mac (though that has not been mentioned since) and that Celestia in turn is attracted to Twilight. Then Twilight develops a crush on her assistant Golden Retriever and has to deal with Rainbow Dash who is then implied to genuinely have a crush on Twilight herself. And then Golden expresses interest in Dash....
  • Dogs and Bitches has this between the members of the Rookie 9 and Team Guy. Tenten likes her teammate Rock Lee but Can't Spit It Out. Lee likes Sakura even though she hasn't shown any interests in him. Sakura likes Kiba, but Kiba likes Ino, who takes advantage of his crush to make him do her bidding and mess with Sakura. Ino likes Neji, but he is devoted to his cousin Hinata, who has a crush on Naruto, who loves Sasuke, who only loves his pet dog.
  • Evangelion 303: Let's begin: Asuka loves Shinji. Shinji and Jessika love Asuka. Mandy loves Jessika and Jessika loves her, too. Hikari and Toji love each other. Rei and Saburo love Kaworu. Kaworu may have feelings for rei and he no longer loves Saburo. Misato is dating Shinji's ex-wingmate, and her ex-boyfriend Kaji is about to show up in the doujin. Gendo and Ritsuko are lovers and it is unknown like Gendo's marriage to his deceased wife Yui disrupts their relationship...
  • Subverted in Flash Fog: Deuteragonist Pencil Pusher has a big crush on Fluttershy, who is implied to at least like him back. This excites Rarity and Rainbow Dash to the point that they start meddling to try and get the two together—Rarity more than Rainbow Dash. Unfortunately, this backfires, resulting in Fluttershy and Twilight Sparkle thinking that it's Rarity & Rainbow Dash who have crushes on Pencil Pusher, which leads to Spike fearing Pencil Pusher could be a rival for Rarity. The subversion comes because, after a couple of chapters of setup, Spike openly talks to Pencil Pusher about Rarity and is corrected, whilst Applejack, upon hearing about the situation from Rarity and Rainbow Dash, drags all four of the mares into a private room and tells Fluttershy about Pencil Pusher's crush and Rarity & Rainbow Jack's efforts to get Fluttershy to notice him.
  • Harry Potter and the Mother Who Lived: It's...messy to say the least. Harry is attractive enough that he gets romantic interest not just from the canonical Cho and Ginny, but Parvati Patil and Susan Bones too. There's also a joke parvati and lavender have that either Hannah Abbot or Hermione will end up with harry on their "wall of romance". Hermione has her canonical love triangle between krum and Ron. Susan also has unwanted attention from Justin Filtch Finley. But overall, seeing so much more of the school, the romantic web is perhaps even more tangled than the books.
  • How To Be A Pokémon Master is a bit of a doozy. Ash is in love with mainly Professor Oak and Misty, as well as having feelings for Brock. Misty starts a relationship with another woman named Dianne, but she has lingering feelings for Ash and Brock. Professor Oak gets into a situation involving Ash, Delia, and Drayden. Gary admits to having feelings for Ash when he almost rapes him. May likes Ash, nearly has sex with Dianne, and eventually ends up with Gary.
  • Ignited Spark originally started as a love triangle before evolving into this. Let's see: There's Izuku, Ochako and Itsuka, who all clearly have feelings for each other. And then there's Nejire, who has feelings for Izuku, and Yuuyu, who likewise has feelings for Nejire and is jealous of Izuku. There's also Himiko, clearly having a thing for Ochako and kissing her, and later saying that she likewise fancies Izuku, and finally Melissa who is clearly developing a crush on Izuku.
  • Kyon: Big Damn Hero: As of Chapter 31, Kyon is confirmed to have 7 girls with romantic feelings towards him. And yes, Haruhi is among them, and she's planning on a Marry Them All resolution. Bet you didn't see that one coming, did you?
  • Miraculous Ladybug vs. the Forces of Evil: Oh boy. Star Butterfly is crushing on Marco who used to be with Jackie but broke up before the fic. Marco considers Star his best friend, but then Marco got attracted to Ladybug, who's actually Marinette. Marinette's primarily enamored of Adrian, but isn't against hearing Marco out later since she doesn't feel worthy of him. Adrian is Cat Noir who's into Ladybug (not knowing about her being Marinette), but he's also somewhat attracted to Star. Add into that Chloe being possessive of Adrien as her guy, and Marco thinking Star's still into Oskar Greason, and you've got a bit of a tangle of feelings to work through.
  • The Legendary Spider Man: It carries over some of the romantic dynamics of The Spectacular Spider-Man, but with some of its own more comic book twists.
    • Peter Parker had Mary Jane, Gwen Stacy and Liz Allen all have an interest in attracting his attention. And others like Betty Brant, the Spider Queen, Rogue, Black Cat and Iceman all have some level of interest in him as well.
    • Liz also started out dating Flash Thompson, but eventually broke up due to disliking his attitude.
    • Mary Jane is Peter's closest confidant and truly cares about Peter, but she's also the Best Friend of Gwen and suspects that she'll be Always Second Best compared to the brainy Spider Hero in Peter's heart. So, she dated both Harry Osborn and Flash Thompson for periods of time.
    • Meanwhile, Miles was attracted to Anya Corezon on first meeting her at school, but got busy being a spider hero. So wanted to settle on being Just Friends. And started going after Tiana Toomes. Of course, Anya hasn't gotten over her own frustrating attraction to Miles.
    • There's also the awkward situation Superior Spider-Man put peter in due to dating Anna Marie briefly to get away from Gwen in the process. But given the Grand Theft Me going on, despite her appreciation for him, saw that it wasn't right for them to be together under those circumstances.
  • Moon Daughter has Nico, Alabaster, and Hades all hitting on Flavia; meanwhile, Flavia starts out claiming she was in love with Luke and won't date ever again, but then crushes on Chiron, flirts with Nico, moves on to Alabaster, dumps him, then goes back to Nico, claiming he's her one true love. And then she moves on to Percy...
  • My Little Pony: Nakama Is Magic: Spike has a crush on Rarity. Rarity and Applejack both have a crush on Sanji, who has a crush on everyone including Nami, who has her eyes set on Luffy.
  • In Of White Trees and Blue Roses, between Ashara Dayne, Barristan Selmy, Brandon and Eddard Stark. Like in canon, Barristan had his crush on Ashara. Ashara had a crush on Brandon, and Eddard had a crush on her. Ashara rejected Eddard's feelings for her, while Brandon dropped Ashara faster than a hot potato after a one-night stand. However, he fathered a bastard.
  • In The Other One, Eridan ponders the canon entanglements between himself, Feferi, Sollux, and Aradia, respectively. (Terezi/Karkat are the Beta Couple.)
    It took every ounce of self control not to roll his head across the keyboard and let that serve as his response, a mess of mashed buttons and still-unresolved flushed feelings. Aradia was Sollux’s other one, he knew that. Or maybe a better way to put it was that she might be Sollux’s one, which made Fef the other one, which made him hate that guy even more.
  • In Ragnarok (Skeptikitten) despite being a Celibate Hero Light has practically everyone chasing after him. Mello and Matt are in a relationship but Mello still engages in some uncomfortable flirting with Light and Mello and Matt make it clear they're open to a three-way. Light dated Takada in college, had a brief but happy affair with Stephen Loud a.k.a. Gevanni of the FBI, and he went on a single date with Mikami before realizing how crazy he was and has been trying to avoid him ever since. Misa loves Light but they agree that they're Better as Friends. Also L has been stalking Light for the past year and Light has been stalking L. Also Near gets all flustered around Gevanni and Sayu.
  • The Ponies of Olympus series has Spike ending up in the middle of one in Atlas Strongest Tournament—he still has feelings for Rarity, but is also attracted to Ran Biao, who is using him to hurt Rarity, who she has twisted feelings for, feelings Rarity is reluctantly starting to return, even while realizing she's in love with Spike, and on top of that, Scootaloo likes Spike too, and it's hinted he might feel the same way. And then Scales and Wavedancer get involved...
  • Seduction: Marjani, who is an arranged engagement with Kurumi, is in love with Sarakshi. Who Tora also has a thing for. While Sarakshi doesn't seem to have romantic feelings for either, Linda seems to harbour some for Marjani (As of Chapter 18, his engagement with Kurumi has been dissolved and they are... in a bit of a relationship) and Yuki seems to harbour some for Tora.
  • TDWT Reducks Redux seems to be developing a massive one: Ezekiel likes Bridgette, who's dating Geoff yet has Ship Tease with Harold, who also has Ship Tease with Lindsay even though he really likes Leshawna, who broke up with him because she likes Alejandro. Lindsay was dating Tyler, who looks like he'll eventually hook up with Gwen, who likes Duncan (who's dating Courtney) even though Cody still sort of likes her, and Sierra likes him...
  • A Very Potter Musical:
    • Pansy → Malfoy → Hermione ↔ Ron
    • Ginny ↔ Harry → Cho → Cedric
    • Umbrige → Dumbledore → Snape → Lily → James
    • Bellatrix → Voldemort → Quirrel
  • In The Raven's Plan, the Time Travel has really done a number on a lot of love lives, especially Jon and Daenerys's. While the two love each other and most of the kingdoms have accepted that the two are (unofficially) betrothed, they have several suitors still vying for them. Jon's First Love Ygritte is alive again, as is Daenerys's first husband Khal Drogo and her former lover Daario Naharis. Then there's Jorah, but it seems he's accepted that Daenerys doesn't love him the way he loves her and is fully supportive of their relationship.
  • In Just a Random Tuesday…, Minerva McGonnagal discovers a very complicated web of romance that many of her fifth year students are involved in while chatting with Theodore Nott. Apparently, both Nott and Malfoy are interested in Daphne Greengrass, who only sees the former as a friend and dislikes the latter. Daphne Greengrass tries to set-up Nott with Susan Bones, but Nott refuses because Blaise Zabini has a crush on her, while Susan bones wouldn't go out with Blaise because Mandy Brocklehurst is interested in him. Mandy herself used to date Anthony Goldstein, but both have since broken up and Anthony is now seeing Hannah Abbott, despite the fact that Terry Boot is after her. After failing to get Hannah, Terry now has his attention on Pansy Parkinson, who only has eyes for Draco Malfoy. Minerva gets a headache trying to compute all this.
  • Voyages of the Wild Sea Horse has a slightly simpler version of the Ranma ½ Dodecahedron, with Ranma being avidly pursued by Kodachi, Shampoo and Ukyo, whilst Nabiki is implied to slowly be developing an attraction to him herself, despite insisting otherwise.

    Films — Animation 
  • Barbie movies:
    • Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper: As a princess, Anneliese is expected to make a political marriage to King Dominick, even though she is in love with her tutor Julian. Fortunately, her pauper doppelgänger Erika and Dominick get along swimmingly. Unfortunately, Preminger also has eyes on Anneliese so he can become part of the royal family.
    • Barbie in the Pink Shoes: Kristyn is magically transplanted into the stories of various ballets. As the title character of Giselle, she is pursued by Albrecht and Hilarion, and as Odette of Swan Lake, she is pursued by Prince Siegfried and must compete for his love against Odile the Black Swan in order to break the spell she's under. Interestingly, Kristyn herself is not interested in any of them.
      Kristyn/Odette: Look, Siegfried, you chose me and broke the curse, and for that, I'll always be grateful. And maybe one day if we apply to the same colleges...
      Prince Siegfried: Oh! What is colleges?
  • In Golden Films' take on The Little Mermaid, Stefan falls in love with the mermaid-turned-human Lena, but his father has arranged for him to marry Anna, the girl who found him on the shore and brought him to medical care, except she is in love with a guy named Maxwell, which results in Anna marrying him and Lena marrying Stefan, saving her from the fate of her literary counterpart.
  • Strange Magic: Sunny likes Dawn who likes a string of different boys but is eventually accidentally love potioned to like The Bog King. Roland cheated on Marianne with an unnamed girl but tries getting her back. The Bog King and Marianne fall in love, meshing the two love triangles into a proper Love Dodecahedron.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 8 Women: Gaby and Marcel are married. Marcel's sister Pierrette and Gaby are both having affairs with the same man, who is Marcel's business partner, and later Pierrette shows interest in Gaby and they kiss. Marcel is having an affair with the maid Louise, who is also interested in Gaby. Gaby's sister Augustine is interested in Marcel. Gaby's daughter Suzon turns out to have been another man's daughter, and also she is pregnant with Marcel's child. The housekeeper Chanel is in love with Pierrette.
  • In Are You Being Served?, Mrs. Slocombe wants Captain Peacock, who wants Miss Brahms, who is also being chased by Mr. Lucas, while Carlos wants Conchita, who wants Mr. Humphries, who ends up catching the eye of Cesar after he is mistaken for Mrs. Slocombe.
  • Crazy, Stupid, Love: Robbie has a thing for his babysitter Jessica who has a crush on Robbie's father Cal who is going through a really rocky relationship with Emily, who had a one-night stand with David but is also the mother of Hannah, who's the girlfriend of Jacob, who teaches Cal how to "regain his manlihood," which allows him to pick up multiple women, including Robbie's teacher...
  • Spoofed towards the end of Woody Allen's Love and Death:
    Natasha: It's a very complicated situation, Cousin Sonja. I'm in love with Alexei. He loves Alicia. Alicia is having an affair with Lev. Lev loves Tatiana. Tatiana loves Simkin. Simkin loves me. I love Simkin, but in a different way than Alexei. Alexei loves Tatiana like a sister. Tatiana’s sister loves Trigorin like a brother. Trigorin’s brother is having an affair with my sister, whom he likes physically but not spiritually.
    Sonja: Natasha... It's getting a little late.
    Natasha: The firm of Mishkin and Mishkin is sleeping with the firm of Taskov and Taskov!
  • The Love of Siam: Ying is in love with Mew, but Mew is in love with Tong. Tong is in love with Mew, but he's also in a relationship with Donut. Donut is in love with Tong, but Tong does not love her.
  • Oscar (the original French movie): Colette Barnier is courted by Baron Honoré de la Boutiniere, whom she rejects, and the Baron eventually marries her maid Bernadette. Meanwhile, Colette is ready to marry just anyone who's handsome enough. She takes her chauffeur Oscar as her lover, but when he's sacked by her father, she's almost as willing to marry her father's employee Christian Martin or the masseur Phillippe Dubois. While Phillippe does fancy her, Christian is in love with Jacqueline Noiret, a typist. On top of it all, Jacqueline turns out to be the illegitimate daughter of Monsieur Barnier from his affair with his former servant Charlotte.
  • The 1982 avant-garde movie Querelle has a complicated and bizarre love-lust-hate dodecahedron. The main character, Querelle, is attracted to the madame Lysiane, who is the mistress of his brother Robert. But Querelle first purposefully loses a bet to Lysiane's husband, Nono, and has sex with him as payment before becoming Lysiane's lover. Querelle also sleeps with Nono's friend, the corrupt police captain Mario. Meanwhile, a construction worker named Gil (confusingly played by the same actor who plays Querelle's brother Robert) murders his co-worker Theo, who has been sexually assaulting him. Roger, who is in love with Gil, introduces him to Querelle hoping that Querelle can help Gil escape. Instead, Querelle begins an affair with Gil but betrays him to the police. In the end, Querelle sails off into the sunse with his superior officer, Lt. Seblon, who has been obsessed with him the entire movie. So the Dodecahedron looks something like: Robert loves Lysiane who is married to Nono but who has an affair with Querelle, who also has sex with Nono, Mario, and Gil. Roger is in love with Gil, but loses him to Querelle. Seblon is attracted to Querelle and gets him in the end.
  • A Simple Favor: Emily is married to Sean. After she is (apparently) dead, Sean begins seeing her friend Stephanie. Then Emily turns up alive, with it implied that she's attracted to Stephanie, who also seems into the idea.
  • Ingmar Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night revolves around one of these in Sweden around the turn of the century. It involves two men and two women at first, and four of each by the end.
  • There's Something About Mary features a Love Triangle extended into a Love Dodecahedron with Mary at the center. Everybody is in love with/stalks Mary, including the main character and football star Brett Favre. Naturally, Mary chooses the main character over Brett. (She's a Niners fan.)
  • In To All the Boys I've Loved Before, Lara Jean finds that her feelings for Josh, her older sister's boyfriend, are resurfacing after he and Margot break up. To avoid those feelings, she decides to fake-date previous crush/classmate Peter, who agrees so he can make his ex-girlfriend Gen jealous. But during all of this, Peter develops feelings for Lara Jean and she is confused about her own feelings for Peter. To make matters complicated, Josh reveals that he too likes Lara Jean.
  • Tootsie has a great example of this with "Dorothy", Michael's drag alter ego:
    Michael: You should have seen the look on her face when she thought I was a lesbian.
    George: "Lesbian"? You just said gay.
    Michael: No, no, no—Sandy thinks I'm gay, Julie thinks I'm a lesbian.
    George: I thought Dorothy was supposed to be straight?
    Michael: Dorothy is straight. Tonight Les, the sweetest, nicest man in the world asked me to marry him.
    George: A guy named Les wants you to marry him?
    Michael: No, no, no — he wants to marry Dorothy.
    George: Does he know she's a lesbian?
    Michael: Dorothy's not a lesbian.
    George: I know that, does he know that?
    Michael: Know what?
    George: That, er, I... I don't know.
  • Unconscious: Salvador loves Alma and is married to Olivia, who eventually runs off to Paris with Frances. Alma finds both León and Salvador attractive. León has affairs with several of his patients, but claims that Salvador is the love of his life.
  • In Written on the Wind, Kyle and Lucy love each other, Mitch (Kyle's best friend) loves Lucy, and Marylee (Kyle's sister) loves Mitch. Lucy may or may not love Mitch.
  • In the biopic Yves Saint Laurent: Karl Lagerfeld has a crush on Yves who has a pararomantic friendship with Victoire Doutreleau. Yves meets Pierre Bergé who is living with the painter Bernard Buffet. Pierre leaves Bernard for Yves but soon becomes jealous of Victoire. Pierre seduces Victoire, which infuriates Yves. Years later, Karl resurfaces in their lives with his nonsexual paramour Jacques de Bascher in tow. Jacques seduces Yves, infuriating Pierre.

  • In Chronicles of the Cursed Sword Jaryoon loves Shyao, who Ray also loves unconsciously. Hyacia seems to love Ray and he feels at least similarly towards her, but the Sorcerer of the Dark and Mingchen both want Hyacia to themselves. Then Shyao who is also the sage Rana, gets her memory back and decides she wants Ray to herself too.

  • The main character in R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet slowly discovers that he has stumbled into one of these. Flowchart can be found here.
  • The song "Alter Mann" (old man) by the German fun-whatever band Knorkator features one of these in the first verse.
    Daniela likes Jonas, but he has a thing for Vanessa
    Vanessa would rather be with Lars, but he likes Melanie better
    She on the other hand loves Tim, Tim is on love with Jennifer
    Jennifer on the other hand likes Kevin, but Kevin is... gay
    Tobies has the hots for Annika, and she actually likes him too,
    but the thing is that her best friend also has a crush on him.
  • Tom Lehrer: "I Got It from Agnes". Tom, Agnes, Jim, Louise, Harry, and Marie appear in the first verse alone.
  • Moosebutter's song "Doug", which used to be the page quote. To explain how it works, I love you, but you love Doug. I don't really like Doug. Doug loves Martha, but Martha don't really like Doug. Martha loves Brad, but Brad don't really like Doug. Brad loves Sue, but Sue loves truth. Truth don't really like Doug.
  • Here Comes My Baby by Cat Stevens. Especially apparent in when covered by Sons of Admirals in a music video.
  • "Asi es la vida" from Gulp!
  • The J. Geils Band:
    He loves her
    but she loves him
    and he loves somebody else
    you just can't win.

In case you were wondering, the song is called..."Love Stinks!"

    Myths & Religion 
  • Despite being one of the more famous ancient cases of a Minimalist Cast, the Garden of Eden turns into this once you look at all the extracanonical folklore. Adam had, by some accounts, as many as three wives, of which the only named two—Lilith and Eve—are both said by some stories to have been seduced by the Devil—and/or by each other in at least one account. Add in that the Devil has occasionally been portrayed as the ex-lover of God, and in other versions has a whole harem of succubi consorts, one of whom—Namaah—may have seduced or raped Adam and subsequently given birth to Asmodeus, the Demon of Lust, who—among many other consorts and would-be consorts because, again, Demon of Lust—is sometimes said to have taken Lilith as his mate and fathered a brood of demonic spawn by her. Lilith herself, meanwhile, Really Gets Around by almost all accounts, being simultaneously a consort of a whole slew of high-ranking demons depending on who you ask and also a succubus-like entity in her own right seducing or raping mortal men throughout the centuries—with her first mortal victim being recorded in some stories as Cain, Adam and Eve's son, who also had an incestuous Sibling Triangle story told about him where his sister—named Awan or Aclima depending on version - was betrothed to his brother Abel but then stolen by Cain as part of their infamous rivalry, while Cain's original betrothed—his other sister Jumella—ended up marrying Seth, Adam and Eve's third son. In all honesty, the tangled romances of Eden are such a mess that it's surprising we didn't end up with an Adam and Steve at some point.

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues features a teenage cast of roughly forty characters; as a result, there are many complicated, unrequited, and/or unsaid feelings interweaving between the various cast members. Hyeon, Zia, and Ciro have each managed to gain four or more potential love interests each, and one character can often connect to another through a string of romantic entanglements between them (just for one example: Amy and Rose both like Sebastian, who used to like Jae, who used to date Devin but now likes Ivy, who likes Simon, who is interested in Mirielle, who's also inspired crushes in Benjy and Emmanuel).

    Tabletop Games 

  • The whole point of Aspects of Love. Alex loves Rose who loves his uncle George who loves her back because she looks like his dead wife despite having a mistress, Giulietta. Giulietta and Rose have major Les Yay while Rose and George get married and have a daughter, Jenny. Rose takes on a lover named Hugo while Jenny falls in love with Alex. Alex loves her back but is disgusted since they're cousins. Alex and Giulietta fall for each other while both Rose and Jenny beg Alex not to leave them...and now I've gone crossed eyed.
  • Considering Bare: A Pop Opera is based off of one of Shakespeare's tragedies, it's no surprise that the love situation is complicated. Here goes: Peter and Jason are dating, Ivy likes Jason and the two hook up at one point, Matt likes Ivy and they're dating in some versions, Jason's sister Nadia either likes Matt or Ivy (it's unclear), and Lucas and Tanya are probably the only people spared from the relationship drama.
  • Be More Chill: Everyone thinks Jeremy and Michael are dating (and in some productions, Michael has a crush on him). Jeremy has a crush on Christine. Christine is dating Jake, who Chloe is in love with. Jeremy ends up dating Chloe's friend Brooke and then almost has sex with Chloe. Eventually, the school bully Rich develops a crush on Michael, Jeremy and Christine get together, Chloe and Jake get back together, and Brooke ends up dating the school gossip Jenna.
  • Boeing Boeing: Bernard is engaged to Gloria, Gabriella, and Gretchen. Gretchen later gets engaged to Robert. Gabriella and Bernard end up together, and it turns out Gloria also had three fiancées.
  • Hair
    Jeannie: This is the way it is. Sheila's hung up on Berger. I'm hung up on Claude. Claude is hung up on a cross between Sheila and Berger. And Berger's hung up everywhere. As a prospective mother I must say something very weird is going on here. And to make it worse, Woof's hung up on Berger.
    Woof: No I'm not. I'm hung up on Mick Jagger.
  • The History Boys: Dakin and Irwin are attracted to each other, but Dakin is in a purely sexual relationship with Fiona. Posner loves Dakin, who does not feel the same way. Depending on who plays him, Scripps may have feelings for Posner.
  • A Little Night Music has a series of interlocking Love Triangles that take in most of the cast.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera The Marriage of Figaro has… (deep breath) okay, here we go: Figaro and Susanna are happy together and about to be married. The Count and the Countess are already married, but aren't happy. The Countess still loves the Count, but he'd rather be off reinstating the Droit du Seigneur with Susanna (and it's implied he's taken full advantage of this same right in the past with other women). Marcellina has a weird crush on Figaro up until she learns he's her son, and she used to have a thing going on with Bartolo, which is then reignited when they find out they still have a child. Cherubino is a heterosexual male in the middle of puberty and so by definition wants to sleep with every female he sees, but especially Susanna, Barbarina and the Countess. Barbarina reciprocates, and the Countess reciprocates in the sequel. Bartolo still doesn't seem to have quite got over his crush on the Countess from the first play. Oh, and Barbarina also seems to have once had a thing going on with the Count, but now she only loves him "like a kitten", as opposed to her more erotic love for Cherubino. And... the Count seems to have rediscovered his feelings for his wife by the end. Got all that?
  • In The Merchant of Venice, Bassanio has something going on with Antonio, marries Portia, who is loved by the Prince of Morocco and others. Then there's Jessica and Lorenzo and Nerissa and Gratiano.
  • Many of Gioacchino Rossini's operas, especially Il viaggio a Reims (as it has basically no other thing for a plot). Melibea flirts with Don Alvaro though she loves Count Libenskof who gets jealous, Countess de Folleville loves the cavalier Belfiore who flirts with every girl in the neighborhood but mostly Corinna who rejects him because she loves Lord Sidney (who thinks his love is hopeless), and Corinna is also Just Friends with Don Profondo and platonically adored by all other men—got it all? Good.
  • The Normal Heart: Tommy has a crush on Ned, who has a crush on Bruce. Ned is dating and in love with Felix, and Bruce is with Albert. Bruce's previous boyfriend Craig (who died at the play's start) used to have unrequited feelings for Ned. It's also implied that Emma has feelings for Ned.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: More of a sex dodecahedron, but applies nonetheless. Brad and Janet are dating, and both of them have sex with Frank separately. Frank created Rocky as a sort of living sex doll, and Janet has sex with him as well. Rocky was created with part of Eddie's brain, who was dating Columbia in life, and also had a thing with Frank. Columbia is also in love with Frank. Riff Raff and Magenta are in a relationship, Magenta and Columbia have some kind of Friends with Benefits thing going on, and Riff has some attraction to Frank, though different performances vary on whether this is obvious unrequited love, attraction that he tries to hide, or attraction that he hasn't even admitted to himself.
  • Older Than Steam: William Shakespeare loved Love Dodecahedrons; one found its way into most of his comedies, including Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
    • This also extends to all of the plays, books, and movies based off of said Shakespeare works. One such example is All Shook Up: Chad loves Sandra who hates him and loves Ed who doesn't exist because he's actually Natalie because she wants to be with Chad who's first sidekick is Dennis who loves Natalie whose dad is Jim who loves Sandra and later loves Sylvia who is so jaded that she doesn't love anyone at first but later falls for Jim who gives Dennis advice on how to approach Natalie, who is friends with Lorraine who is in love with Dean who is Matilda's son who hates interracial marriage despite giving birth to a mixed child but later marries her sidekick Earl who is supposed to arrest Chad who later loves Ed/Natalie until he finds out that Ed is actually a woman and runs away. By the end of the musical, Jim is married to Sylvia, Matilda is married to Earl, Dean and Lorraine are dating, Sandra and Dennis (inexplicably) get married despite the age difference, and Chad gets over Natalie being a girl and they marry by compromising "maybe once in a while you can put on that hat and the beard... we'll work something out".
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street:
    • Sweeney loves Lucy. So does the Judge. Mrs. Lovett loves Sweeney, who is indifferent to her. The Judge loves Johanna. Anthony loves Johanna, who loves him back. After that, things get a little confusing.
    • There's also one of the "Parlor Songs":
      Sweet Polly Pluncket saw her life pass
      Flew down the city road crying:
      "I am a lass who, alas, loves a lad who, alas, has a lass loves another lad, who once I had in Canterbury.
    • "Love" is a rather strange word to use about Judge/Lucy and Judge/Johanna. "Lust" is more like it. It depends on the production, but at least in the movie adaptation she doesn't appear very loving.
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie. Millie decides she'll marry her boss...once she gets one. She finally decides on Trevor Graydon. Meanwhile she had Slap-Slap-Kiss with Jimmy and upon realizing her feelings she catches him hanging around her friend Miss Dorothy. Millie tries to go back to Trevor but he has Love at First Sight with Miss Dorothy. Jimmy tries to win Millie back while one of Those Two Guys hanging about falls for Miss Dorothy as well.
  • Rimsky-Korsakov's opera The Tsars Bride. Gryaznoy is in love with Marfa who is promised to Victorious Childhood Friend Lykov, while Gryaznoy has Clingy Jealous Girl Lyubasha as a mistress already, and the court physician Bomelius is extremely attracted to Lyubasha who concedes to his advances in exchange for him preparing a poison for Marfa, and Tsar Ivan the Terrible, looking for a new wife, chooses Marfa as his bride.
  • In Wicked, (at least the musical adaptation) Nessa loves Boq, Boq loves Glinda, Glinda loves Fiyero who becomes her boyfriend, and Elphaba and Glinda are best friends, but Elphaba starts to develop feelings for Fiyero. Then Fiyero starts reciprocating those feelings and ultimately breaks things of with Glinda to be with Elphaba. And to make things more complicated, being together doesn't diminish that Elphaba and Fiyero still do care about Glinda. And that's not even getting into any subtext issues. Yikes.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies has the Storyteller Boy crushing on the Barkeep's Daughter, who crushes on Yellow 13, who very much obvlivious to his wingwoman Yellow 4's feelings for him, because he is busy generating Foe Romance Subtext towards Mobius 1.
  • Assassin's Creed: Odyssey's The Fate Of Atlantis DLC has a massive tangle of Love Triangles during the Elyisum chapter. Starting with Hades, who keeps Persephone captive as his wife despite that she loathes him and wholly rejects his attempts to bond with her to the point where they preside in completely different realms from each other. Persephone is additionally the object of affection for her Ignored Enamoured Underling Hermes, and if she's even noticed his feelings, she certainly doesn't reciprocate. Persephone herself is infatuated with Adonis, who she keeps captive in Elyisum but he remains steadfastly loyal to Aphrodite... until he meets The Eagle Bearer and grows increasingly torn between the two. Aphrodite herself is also mentioned to have been married to Hephaestus at some point, but given that both are The Ghost and never appear in-game, it's anyone's guess if there's any reciprocation (though if it's anything like the original myth, likely not).
  • In Azure Striker Gunvolt, Gunvolt is in the center of a Love Triangle with surrogate sister Joule, and Quinn, the girl who gave him and Joule a new home. Gunvolt's friend Zeno is also good friends with Joule and her Older Alter Ego Lumen, although it's quite obvious he has a crush on the latter, and Viper, a Boss in the first game, meanwhile, has a crush on Joule (Viper is explicitly called a Lolicon even) instead, and is mad at Gunvolt for kidnapping her. Joule is very much a Clingy Jealous Girl not just towards Quinn, but towards Mission Control Moniqa (first game) and Xiao (second game) as well, even though Moniqa has feelings for Gunvolt's mentor and parental figure Asimov, while Xiao's a guy. One of the bosses of the second game, Gibril, then tells Gunvolt she fell for him after she was bested in battle, to Joule's disgust. What really complicates the relationships is The Reveal in the ending, where Joule is in reality a Septima given human form derived from a girl named Mytyl, who happens to be the twin sister of Gunvolt's rival and nemesis Copen.
  • In Blaze Union, Siskier has rather obvious feelings for her childhood friend Garlot, who is completely oblivious—partially because he's aware that their other childhood friend Jenon, despite his incurable tendency to flirt with anything that has breasts, has had a crush on Siskier for a long time. Siskier has no idea that Jenon likes her. Garlot himself develops a crush on Nessiah when the latter joins the party, and while Nessiah flirts with him quite a bit, it's ambiguous as to whether or not he's serious about it. So: Nessiah/Garlot/Siskier/Jenon, with crushes going from right to left; also factor in that most of the party is implied at some time or other to have a thing for Garlot and that this flies miles over Garlot's head. The resolution to this situation (when there is one) varies by Road Cone.
  • In Breath of Fire IV, Ryu is in love with Nina, who is in love with Clay, who is in love with Elena, who is trapped in a marriage with the evil prince. It was a love daisy chain, only made more disturbing by having Nina and Elena as siblings, and everyone else being different species. Significantly simpler in the orignal, as the Nina's love for Clay was added in the translation. Made all the more complicated in the official manga adaptation, Utsurowazarumono, where Scias' reason for doing a Heel–Face Turn and returning to the party is explained by him developing a big crush on Nina. (In the video game, it's just simply assumed that, due to spending so much time fighting in the party, he developed a bond with everyone.)
  • From Corpse Party: Satoshi loves Naomi, who loves him back, but neither of them can spit it out. Seiko also loves Naomi, but can't confess because they're both girls. Yuka also loves Satoshi, but can't confess because they're siblings. Yoshiki likes Ayumi, who is oblivious because she likes Satoshi, who is also oblivious. Mayu loves Morishige, who sees Mayu as a little sister, and Ms. Yui has Ship Tease with Satoshi but ultimately he just reminds her of her childhood boyfriend who she hasn't seen in years. This is just the core cast, as there are a dozen other characters who make up their own dodecahedrons or add on to the main one.
  • Dead In Vinland has over a dozen potential romance sidequests if you have the DLC, including multiple love triangles. It isn't the sort of game where a single player character has numerous potential partners; it's the sort of game where numerous members of the Player Party can get romantically involved in various configurations with each other. You might have Moira two-timing Cisse with Yaghoub, who's also involved with Tomoe, while Cisse (who's also Gudrun's very unrequited Lust Object) is also in love with Solveig, who used to be married to Knut... while at the same time Eirik is cheating on his wife Blodeuwedd with Parvaneh and Blodeuwedd is also cheating with Eustache, or while their daughter Kari is caught in a Bisexual Love Triangle with Angelico and Shanaw while being lusted after by Eustache... for starters. The sky's the limit (well, that and the Arbitrary Headcount Limit).
  • Dragon Age: Origins lets you get matters of the heart in a very tangled skein, especially in the endgame. For example, Alistair could be engaged in a political marriage to Anora and end up becoming Morrigan's baby daddy, while still being in love with the Warden, who may have had a previous relationship with two other members of the party.
  • One village in Dragon Quest VII features one of these: To pay off her family's debt to the richest family in town, Linda is engaged to their son Iwan. However, Linda really loves Pepe, one of their gardeners. Meanwhile, Maid Kaya loves Iwan, but Iwan is too busy lusting after Linda and fuming with jealousy over her obvious love for Pepe. Notably, things don't work out in the long run.
  • Ensemble Stars! is an unusual example in that all but one of the major characters are men, but nobody is explicitly confirmed to be queer, so it seems like it should be a Balanced Harem at best. But considering how developed each of the characters are and how every single one has at least an idol group, a club, and a class which they share with other students, plus the complex events of the 'war' which occurred before the main plot begins and which created some allies, fractured other relationships, and turned some characters into out-and-out enemies, any relationship chart would have to be hideously complicated and probably impossible to read. It doesn't help that while some relationships seem romantically charged no matter what (such as Izumi's over-the-top obsession with Makoto), the writers seem pretty happy to throw in Ho Yay all over the place, meaning that there is a very large number of relationships which seem romantic but aren't explicitly so.
  • Final Fantasy VII is well known for its Love Triangle, but things are a little more complicated than that. Tifa likes Cloud, who had a crush on her as a child; back then she liked him just a little, but enough to make him promise he'd protect her someday. Cloud is oblivious to her current feelings, and also to those of Aerith, who is attracted to him. Aerith still mourns the loss of her First Love Zack, who unbeknownst to her was Cloud's Big Brother Mentor, whilst being unaware of the crush Tseng has on her. Meanwhile Rude laments the fact that Elena likes Tseng, whilst also admitting that he fancies Tifa. Yuffie has an unrequieted crush on Cloud, whilst Vincent broods over his lost love, Lucrecia, who didn't reciprocate his feelings despite sharing them, and instead ran off to marry her partner aka Mad Scientist Hojo. There's also Unlucky Childhood Friend Johnny, who's liked Tifa for a long time, but Cannot Spit It Out.
  • In Fire Emblem, letting the player decide how to resolve the love dodecahedron has been a major gameplay/story element since, oh, sometime before they started releasing the games outside of Japan:
    • A major, plot-relevant dodecahedron encompasses Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon & the Blade of Light, Fire Emblem Gaiden, Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem, and their remakes. Nyna is in love with Camus, who reciprocates her feelings but puts his duty to Grust above all else. Hardin is in love with Nyna, who respects him as a friend but doesn't like him that way. However, Archanea needs a king after Shadow Dragon concludes, so they enter a political marriage. It ends badly; after Hardin finds out Nyna never loved him, he falls into a Heroic BSoD, succumbs to Gharnef's brainwashing, goes completely batshit insane, and hands Nyna over to be sacrificed to Medeus. Meanwhile, Camus survives the beatdown Marth gave him, ends up in Valentia as an amnesiac, takes the name Zeke, and falls in love with a priestess named Tatiana. After regaining his memories, he briefly returns to Archanea under the pseudonym Sirius to deal with Medeus and save Nyna, who still has feelings for him; however, he is already bound to Tatiana and returns to Valentia afterwards. In summary, Camus and Tatiana live Happily Ever After, Nyna Did Not Get The Guy, and Hardin ends up Yandere and then dead.
    • There's quite the LD in Fire Emblem Gaiden and its remake, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia. Tobin and Gray pursue Clair, who has a crush on Alm. Celica and Faye (from Echoes) also have feelings for Alm, while he only has eyes for Celica. Last but not least, it's implied that Boey has a crush on Celica while, in Echoes, he also has Belligerent Sexual Tension with Mae. In the end... Alm and Celica marry; Clair either marries Gray or stays single if he dies, Faye never fully gets over Alm, Boey and Mae either marry or, if one dies, the other also stays single.
    • Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn has a relationship Dodecahedron in-game, updated as the player progresses. A full version can be found here (major spoilers).
  • The King of Fighters: Smaller version involving one of the leads: Kyo Kusanagi and Yuki are in a relationship already, which goes by Belligerent Sexual Tension in some versions. However, Athena Asamiya is all but stated to be or have been in Unrequited Love with Kyo in the Spin-Off manga and games The King of Fighters: KYO (and maybe in the Alternate Universe manga KOF G), whereas Athena's partner Sie Kensou is her VERY clingy Dogged Nice Guy despite how Athena herself sees their bond as Just Friends and either ignores or rejects his love declarations. And in the KOF:KYO manga we also have Takaya Maeta who has a massive crush on Yuki and wins a date with her, as well as Yuki's friend Sanae who encourages Maeta's crush while saying she finds Kyo hot but never directly hitting on him.
  • Legend of Mana: Matilda loves Irwin (who sort of loves her back, but since he's a demon he expresses it weirdly), but is also more or less married to her job; Escad loves Matilda; Daena is torn between Matilda and Escad. It ends with everybody except one person dead, Matilda as the Seventh Wisdom, and Irwin wanting to reincarnate himself without any memories of the woman he loves because it was so messy.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mipha is a childhood friend of Link's who harbors feelings for him, even wanting to marry him, yet it is unknown if Link felt the same. Zelda also appears to have developed a Bodyguard Crush on Link and again, it's left up to the air if Link reciprocated those feelings. Kass's teacher was the court poet for the Hyrule royal family and fell for Zelda but she only had eyes on Link. There was also Kodah, another childhood friend of Link's, who also chased after him.
  • Luminous Arc 2 have one mostly revolves around Roland. He can end up with either Althea or Fatima, while gaining affections, via Intermissions, from Dia (who also have a few Ship Tease with his brother, Rasche), Sadie and Karen, who's oblivious to Ace's interest in her, as well as getting distracted by some of the girls in their Hot Spring Intemissions (Dia, Luna, Ayano, I'm looking at you). Rina, despite being Roland's childhood friend, just Fangirl over Richter.
  • Lampshaded in the Nancy Drew game Stay Tuned for Danger, where a tabloid newspaper headline refers to Light Of Our Love character Rory's "Love Octagon".
  • It's possible to construct one in Pathfinder: Kingmaker. At the start of the game, Octavia and Regongar are already a polyamorous couple; the PC can join in. With the Wild Cards DLC they can simultaneously romance twin tieflings Kanerah and Kalikke, creating a concurrent Sibling Triangle.
  • The first three games in the Pretentious Game series are all about this trope. The blue square loves the bright pink square, but she loves the gray square, who is married to the light pink square. Then the gray and light pink squares get divorced, the bright pink and gray squares end up married with two kids, and the blue and light pink squares get into a relationship. Then the gray square drunkenly kills the blue square in a car accident, which results in the blue square's relationship with the light pink square abruptly ending, the gray square going to jail, and the bright pink square presumably divorcing the gray square. Yeah, it's one of those stories.
  • In The Sims, it's far too easy to set one of these up. It can even happen by accident. There's a pre-made one in Pleasantview in The Sims 2. Darren is love with Cassandra, who is engaged to Don, who is in love with Nina and has a crush on Nina's sister, Dina. Dina is dating Cassandra's father, Mortimer, who is married to the missing Bella, and who also has a default want to flirt with Nina. Dina was also married to Cassandra's uncle, Michael, before he died. Don also has memories of putting the moves on Cassandra's mother, Bella, just before her alien abduction. Don is also currently having an affair with Kaylynn, the maid. Kaylynn is in turn having an affair with Daniel, who is unhappily married to Mary Sue. Here's a picture for those who couldn't follow that.
  • Super Mario Bros.: Mario and Luigi are both attracted to Princesses Peach and Daisy, and the feelings are mutual. Mario also at one point had a girlfriend named Pauline, with later appearances painting them as Amicable Exes. Bowser is in love with Peach even though she rarely ever returns his feelings except for some Ship Tease in Super Paper Mario. There also are also at least a few other minor character who have been shown to be attracted to the Brothers or Princesses.
  • Thanks to the massive shippers and Memetic Mutation Touhou Project Fanon often displays all of the characters stuck in this situation. And there's a lot of characters. Here's a fan-made chart to help out. Warning: Ads are NSFW.
  • In Until Dawn, Hannah has a huge crush on Mike and openly pined on him, while he was dating Emily at the time. After the prologue, Mike is now dating Jessica while Emily is with Matt. However, Mike and Emily are implied to still have strong feelings for each other and may or may not be cheating on their respective partners. Sam was close with Josh and some of their conversations are quite flirty, but potentially by the end of the game, Sam could have the highest relationship stat with Mike. Likewise, Mike can also end the game with the highest relationship stat with Sam.

    Visual Novels 
  • Most of the routes in Brass Restoration focus on Ryo and his love interest, but Yoshine's route has one of these as part of the plot.
  • In CLANNAD, Tomoya has quite a few admirers, but is really only interested in Nagisa.
  • The first Fragment's Note has this. Mischa, Haya, and Yukitsuki love Yukiha, who might love them all back, or he might love Eri, who eventually might develop feelings for him. Keep in mind that Eri is abnormally cordial towards Mikiya despite hating most guys, and Mikiya "holds Haya in high regard" and might love Mischa, while Kazuhide blatantly loves Mischa and Haya.
  • Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair: has a combination of Love Triangles. Runa and Momoko love Hiro, who doesn't return their feelings, as well as both Kotoba and Kamen love Momoko. Kamen loves Momoko, Momoko loves Hiro, and Hiro (supposedly) loves Kamen. The last one is separate, and involves Rie loving Taiko, and Taiko seemingly being interested in Raiko, who may also be the object of Kamen's affections. Nobara and Mika are the only two characters who aren't involved in any triangle.
  • The Royal Masquerade: Hunter Fierro and Kayden Vescovi are both attracted to Julia, and whichever of them she chooses is up to the player. Cyrus is Kayden's half-brother and makes unwanted come-ons to Julia, who finds him repulsive. Theodosia Nevrakis is in a secret relationship with Cyrus while he publicly courts Emery Beaumont, who wishes to marry him, and Theodosia's sibling, Hector/Olive, briefly pursues an engagement with Julia. Emery's brother Percival is a couple with Julia's adoptive sister, Annalisa, who is almost betrothed to Hector/Olive to secure the Nevrakises' alliance after the engagement with Julia fell through. And finally, Hunter's twin sister Renza is married (though her husband is a complete non-entity), but is secretly sleeping with Cyrus.

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 

    Web Video 
  • Critical Role: Campaign Two: Revolving mostly (but not entirely) around Jester, who has romantic moments with Fjord, Caleb and Mollymauk before eventually settling down with Fjord. Beau is temporarily unsure about whether she is attracted to Jester or Yasha, though Jester doesn't seem to be attracted to her in the same way. Caleb expressed attraction to both Fjord and Jester, though he ends up with neither. Mollymauk flirts with all of the above at certain points, as befitting a bisexual god.

    Real Life 
  • These aren't as uncommon as one might think. This sort of thing can happen in any social circle or group of friends. Especially with teenagers.
  • In Carrie Fisher's memoir, Wishful Drinking, she has a chart indicating all of her parents' marriages, and her siblings, step-siblings, etc.
  • The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was eaten up with this trope. Dante Gabriel Rossetti married his model Elizabeth Siddal, but also had an affair with another model, Jane Burden, who married another artist, William Morris. Siddal also had a close and deeply loving friendship with one of Rossetti's best friends, the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne; though there is no firm evidence, several historians have speculated that it might have been romantic especially due to Rossetti's constant cheating. Swinburne himself was in love with a childhood friend, the novelist Mary Gordon, who married an older man at her parents' request but spent her life pining for him. Meanwhile Rossetti also had an affair with Annie Miller, a barmaid and the fiancee of artist William Holman Hunt. Hunt took her back, but finally broke off the engagement when Annie became involved with the 7th Viscount Ranelagh. Annie Miller ended up married to Ranlagh's cousin while Hunt married Fanny Waugh, and after her death, remarried to Fanny's sister Edith. His colleague, the sculptor and poet Thomas Woolner, had also been in love with Fanny Waugh; he married Alice Waugh, the third sister of Fanny and Edith. Meanwhile, John Everett Millais fell in love with Effie Gray, who was still a virgin despite being married to critic John Ruskin. They wed after she left Ruskin.
  • Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, who had been in a lifelong relationship, are known to have been involved in one as de Beauvoir made it the basis for her novel She came to stay. It involved one of de Beauvoir's teenage students in whom Sartre had been interested, but being ignored he turned to her sister, who eventually ended up marrying one of de Beauvoir's former lovers. It's unknown what part he played in it, but the whole thing was the reason that ended Sartre's friendship with Albert Camus.
  • Two days after Barack Obama was reelected, CIA Director and Four-Star Badass David Petraeus became the focus of one of these, which is still-expanding. It cost him his job, may put his biographer in jail (for removing classified materials), could sink or derail a number of military careers, deal a blow to American intelligence efforts and effectiveness around the world at a crucial time, and provided plenty of fodder for late-night comedians who thought that they had lost a mother lode at Mitt Romney's election loss.
  • Fleetwood Mac: The Rumours album and tour. Before the start of the album, there was a married couple (the McVies), a committed unmarried couple (Buckingham and Nicks), and Fleetwood had a wife outside the band. As the album and tour was being made, Fleetwood divorced, the McVies divorce followed, Buckingham and Nicks were breaking up (the song "Go Your Own Way" is pretty much them playing their nasty breakup for Top 40 radio), Nicks started an affair with Fleetwood...add groupies, alcohol, and a small mountain of cocaine to make matters even worse, and all of them were stuck together on tour.
  • The original framing of the Stable Marriage problem that the Gale-Shapely algorithm solves is untangling one of these.

So if the love is altruistic, does that make it a Platonic Solid?


Video Example(s):


Ferengi Programming

Boimler ends up sidetracked watching Ferengi programming such as "Pog & Dar: Cop Landlords", a buddy cop show about two Ferengi cops who are also landlords, and "Will They, Won't They", a work com where everyone is secretly in love with each other.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / ShowWithinAShow

Media sources: