When someone bullies someone else because they have a crush on them. This is usually because they aren't sure how to convey their feelings properly. Often the bully is a Type A Tsundere. The target of the bullying is generally under the impression that the bully is simply mean and has no clue the bully has a crush on them.
This is generally Played for Laughs and won't normally get into serious violence unless the target is Made of Iron. This sometimes overlaps with Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male. Romanticized Abuse and Domestic Abuse are the significantly less innocent Sister Tropes, and Bastard Boyfriend is the Darker and Edgier one. Contrast Mad Love, a generally comedic trope wherein the one in love fails to realize that abuse is not the sign that their beloved returns their affections.
Truth in Television for some small children who lack the concept of relationships and usually grow out of it. However, it may slowly be on its way to becoming a Discredited Trope as in more recent times, critics, parents, and child development specialists have been increasingly voicing distaste for it, due to what they see as the role that "he (or she) does it because he likes you" has played in causing some people to take real life bullying less seriously.
- In one FAQ of Bleach Rukia says that someone was a schmuck towards her in the Shinigami school because he couldn't tell her his feelings. Unsurprisingly, chapter -17 (a bonus chapter) seems to indicate that that someone was Renji. They end up married in the epilogue.
- The unnamed couple in Natsuneko's one-shot manga Her Desire, with a twist that the bullied girl actually likes it that way.
- Semimaru from 7 Seeds starts off as a regular bully, teasing everyone but Natsu especially. He later mellows out and his teasing is definitely more good-natured when Natsu begins to improve herself and Semimaru falls for her.
- Boys over Flowers: As Tsukasa develops feelings for Tsukushi, he thinks of more ways to bully her. Obviously, she doesn't get the hint.
- Yuki Katsura in Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo, the leader of the two bullies at school, is really just acting on an immature crush, but he learns to show it a little better later on. Ultimately, he pretty much saves Wonderland by confessing to Cruje.
- Deconstructed in Daily Lives of High School Boys: Habara was a feared bully known as "Archdemon" who terrorized every boy in her neighborhood, but especially Toshiyuki Karasawa, her next door neighbor, eventually giving him several large scars that would never go away. Fast forward eight years, and it becomes clear that she harbors a small crush on Karasawa, who, unfortunately for her, is traumatized by her bullying to the point where he can barely interact with her normally.
- In Onihime VS, Arima and her girl posse relentlessly bully and molest poor Setsuna...because Arima is in love with him. It's exactly as messed up as it sounds.
- Great Teacher Onizuka: Subverted with Anko, who bullied Noboru before falling in love with him, and stopped her abuse after Onizuka helped her uncover her true feelings.
- Nurse Joy from Pokémon suggests this about Ash and Misty.
"What's the saying? You only hurt the ones you love."
- This is how Seo acts towards Wakamatsu in Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun. He noticed she specifically targets him by throwing the ball at his face, stalking him on lunchtime, making him buy her things and carry her stuff...to then taking him to a diner and buying him some food and even buying him some souvenirs. Nozaki immediately can tell that she likes him.
- Taken Up to Eleven in Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan. As pointed out in the opening; all of the violence, torture, and death that Dokuro inflicts on poor Sakura is her way of showing affection.
- The main concept of Don't Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro, with the main character being the target of the titular underclassman's affections, with their initial interactions ending with him breaking down in tears. There's more emphasis on the bullying in the original webcomic, where Nagatoro is a straight-up sadist, while the later serialization tones it down to make to closer to teasing, with her toning it down when he's noticeably enraged.
- Wandering Son:
- Played with. Doi doesn't bully Nitori because he likes her, he bullies her because she's feminine. This doesn't stop him from being attracted to her once she grow her hair out though. By high school the attraction disappeared over time as Nitori became increasingly masculine looking.
- Early on, Anna would tease and make fun of Nitori. This is implied to be due to her Sugar-and-Ice Personality. Later they become the Official Couple and Anna's negative aspects disappear.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Asuka's mistreatment of Shinji is an example of this that's very definitely not Played for Laughs. Keeping with the Deconstruction theme that the series is famous for, an inability to express attraction in any other way is treated very seriously, with all the sadness and horror such a mental state implies.
- Kimi to Boku:
- Masaki is older than the norm but still counts. After Shun gives her a bandage for her scrapped knee, Masaki spends the rest of the second episode bullying him. They eventually become friends.
- When the boys work at a kindergarten, they meet a brash boy with a crush on his classmate. She's Oblivious to Love while he is something of a bully towards her.
- Infinite Stratos: Downplayed and Deconstructed with Houki. While she doesn't go out of her way to terrorize Ichika, he admits sometimes she can be really scary. Over time, Houki admits her time apart from him didn't do her personality any favors; as she believed she used kendo as way to remember him, but upon beating her opponent so hard to the point of making them cry, she admitted she was only indulging in senseless violence.
- Urusei Yatsura: Subverted with Ryoko and Tobimaro. Ryoko has been pranking and tormenting Tobimaro with cruel and dangerous pranks since childhood, yet also claims to be in love with him, usually causing her brother, Mendo, to beat up Tobimaro. It's not clear if she's serious about her "love" for him, since she's a notably sadistic Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, has said the same thing about other people her brother dislikes such as Ataru, and once said how she loves Tobimaro..in pain. This is further parodied in that despite Tobimaro being consistently and openly terrified of Ryoko, most of the characters in the story thinks it's romantic.
- K-On!: Ritsu is a platonic (or not) version of this trope towards Mio; Ritsu is often teasing, scaring and pushing Mio past what she can tolerate, but it's made clear time and time again that she cares for Mio and wants her to stop being so afraid of everything.
- In Bokura no Hentai, a bully mocks pre-transition Marika and calls her "gay" in a derogatory way. After she comes back to school as girl, he begins crushing on her.
- Tamayo and Kotaro's relationship in the anime version of Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer falls into this, as well as Childhood Friend Romance. They know each other since they were four, and Tamayo had been using Kotaro as her go-to target to practice her martial moves on, to his utmost annoyance. However, during the Beach Episode, Tamayo confesses that she is in love with Kotaro and that he's her first love. In the manga, though, Tamayo and Kotaro's relationship is completely platonic, and Kotaro ends up with Misaki.
- In The Umbrella Academy, Diego is sharp with everyone, but especially Vanya, who broke up with him a few years ago. Since Vanya is no gentle flower herself, any conversation between them inevitably degrades into a deadlock of insults and hurt feelings like the one that pushed Vanya off the edge into evil. (To be fair, this is not entirely Diego's fault.)
- Calvin and Hobbes: Calvin does this to Susie from time to time. Hobbes calls him on it but Calvin claims he really does hate her. This is coupled with Author Appeal due to how well the characters bounce off each other due to the "weirdness repels" dynamic. Calvin acts weird to get Susie's attention, Susie's repulsed by it, and Calvin takes this as a cue to act even stranger.
- Linus in Peanuts once told Charlie Brown about meeting a cute girl once. He claimed that he was so nervous around her that he couldn't think of anything to say...so he opted to hit her instead.
- In Candy For Your Thoughts?, Cody, desperate to get Sierra off his back, claims that Noah has a crush on her, and that his snarky comments amount to this trope. He mentally adds that no one over the age of ten actually acts that way, but Sierra is willing to believe it. The fic ends with a Maybe Ever After for Noah and Sierra.
- The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Diamond Back, as Wind Breaker finds out late in the story.
- Mentioned in Zelda and the Manacle of Cahla; Zelda's adoptive cousin Amir has made her miserable since they were kids because he's jealous that his grandmother appears to favour her and he hates Hylians, but Zelda's friend Iona considers Amir has a crush on her. Zelda's response? "Or he's just a bully."
- Back To Zero: As kids, Butch would tease Jessie and try to get her attention because he had a crush on her. Jessie didn't like this and thought it was a silly way of showing that you liked someone.
- In A Sky Of A Million Stars: It's implied Katsuki's bullying of Izuku was veering into this. This is deconstructed, as Izuku reciprocated his feelings but didn't know those feelings existed; therefore, having the object of his affections treat him so badly only helped further his depression.
- In The Wound's Still Bleeding, 10-year old Kakashi begins picking on her teammate Obito so that Obito will notice her more. Even if it's negative attention, it's still attention to her.
- In episode 55 of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Kaiba claims that he is this to his little brother.
- In Friendship is Witchcraft, Diamond Tiara hides her crush for Apple Bloom by bullying her.
- By the end of Hot Fuzz, the Andys have graduated from standard Jerkasses to this trope, where Angel's concerned.
- In Welcome to the Dollhouse, Brandon likes Dawn and he treats her terribly.
- In Le Placard, Felix Santini always picked on the protagonist Francois Pignon. When Pignon is about to get fired, his new neighbour advises him to let the firm "accidentally" think he's gay, so he could use discrimination charges to secure his position. Santini grudgingly starts befriending him not to appear homophobic, but goes overboard quickly, practically starts courting him, and becomes so obsessed it costs his marriage. Pignon's lack of interest visibly upsets him. After his divorce, he asks Pignon to be his housemate for practical reasons, but when Pignon refuses, he starts such an Unstoppable Rage he has to be restrained and sent to a hospital.
- John Bender in The Breakfast Club acts like a dick towards everyone but to Claire he's especially rude. It's shown as the film goes on that's he's harboring a crush on her.
- In the opening scene of He's Just Not That into You the child version of Gigi, one of the characters, is abruptly pushed off a jungle gym by a boy. When she tearfully asks why he did that, he yells, "Because you smell like dog poo!" In trying to comfort her, her mother claims, "Do you know why he did that? Because he likes you!" As an adult, Gigi angrily points out that telling girls this sets them up for years of ill-treatment at the hands of men because of being conditioned to believe that it's actually a form of affection.
- In Dragon Bones, Beckram bullies his cousin Ciarra by telling her that he finds her hair pretty - his brother explains it is not what he says but how he says it that scares Ciarra, who is mute and a bit childlike. They end up married in the sequel, when Ciarra has recovered from her psychological problems and can speak.
- Referenced in The Catcher in the Rye. Phoebe says that a boy pushed her down the stairs, to which her brother proclaims that the kid probably likes her.
- The Dick Van Dyke Show: There's a girl in Richie's class who bullies him because she likes him.
- In Glee, Dave Karofsky bullies Kurt for being gay, and it turns out Karofsky has a crush on him and is heavily in denial about it. He even gives him a Forceful Kiss in the episode "Never Been Kissed".
- On Malcolm in the Middle Reese tries this with a girl in school that he has a crush on, and then doesn't understand why she hates him as a result and cries in his room after things go badly. Malcolm then tries to help by telling him to do things to her that wouldn't make her cry, so he joins her cheerleading squad. It's far from the only time Reese has ever done this, since bullying is his go-to approach for everything.
- In Good Luck Charlie, Jo Keener bullied Gabe because she liked him.
- iCarly: Sam to Freddie. They do become a couple at one point, but it doesn't work out and they ultimately decide that they're Better as Friends.
- Also happened in iCarly's older sibling show, Drake & Josh, with Mindy Crenshaw, who gave Drake and Josh hell in her first few appearances. While she does legitimately hate Drake, she teases Josh because she likes him. The two become a couple after that, and a pretty stable one at that.
- Sex Education: With Eric and Adam.
- In a rare case of this being the case of both parties, Vince and Howard are hinted to be this to each other in The Mighty Boosh.
- In an episode of Living Single, Regine found out that her childhood tormentor Vinnie (of the rap group Naughty by Nature) only acted that way because he had a crush on her.
- Spike to Buffy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though he goes quite a bit further than most. When he first starts to sense that he might be attracted to her in Season 4, he sets out to kill her immediately, but comes to accept it after he gets the opportunity and finds he doesn't have it in him.
- The Nanny: A rare adult version. Niles spends most of the show insulting and tormenting C.C. Babcock. In season 6 it's revealed that he loved C.C. all along and all the insults and pranks were flirting. They get married in the last episode.
- Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
- Barbra has a jerkish personality and repeatedly needles Jacob for being selfish and ignorant. However, it has been said that she thinks he's cute.
- Tamasin has a crush on Ciro, as she wants to have a relationship with a nice, kind boy. However, she's also a part of Nadine's gang, and goes along with them when they bully Ciro.
- A quest in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim involves scaring off a girl who's picking on a boy. When you go talk to her, you discover that "If he'd just kiss me, I wouldn't have to beat him up."
- Not a romantic example, but in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Sebastian states that Lili's bizarre obsession with tormenting Asuka is a "show of affection" on her part.
- In El Goonish Shive, Grace suspects Tony is trying to hide "his obvious attraction to [Tedd]".
- Ruth behaves this way to Billie in Dumbing of Age. It's also deconstructed as both of them realize the relationship is not healthy.
- Jeremy the Scout in Cuanta Vida continually slings homophobic slurs at Jordi the spy — until he works himself up to confessing his attraction to him, sparking a Relationship Upgrade and markedly improved manners.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, Parley acts like a very tactile tease towards Andrew while she Cannot Spit It Out; even Antimony, The Spock, lampshades the fact that she always finds excuses to touch him. After their Relationship Upgrade, she tones it down a bit. For Andrew's part...
Antimony: Why do you let Parley talk to you like she does?
Andrew: Hmm... I guess mainly because I think she is hotter than hell.
- This is one of the main plot points in Long Exposure. Ever since middle school, Mitch has bullied the crap out of his crush Jonas instead of actually letting him know he feels. It's a major source of conflict when Jonas, who's now scared shitless of Mitch, is paired together with him on a science project.
- 774's Nagatoro is this and then some. Described as a "sadodere" (sadist+dere) by her creator, she berates, taunts, mocks and hurts the sempai she's in love with, even as they start dating. She's still plenty cruel in the eventual serialization Don't Toy With Me, Miss Nagatoro, but the tone is lightened up after the initial chapters.
- Discussed and deconstructed near the end of this strip of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.
- BlastphamousHD discusses a real-life incident of this in his BHD Storytime series, and it almost cost him his life when the girl's gang-banger fiancé found out about it.
- Hey Arnold!:
- Helga towards Arnold. It's so infamous that it's become the Trope Codifier in all but name — hence the picture on this page.
- A flashback reveals that Arnold's paternal grandparents were like this when they were his and Helga's age.
- Chuckie once had a suitor like this. After trying to be nice to her and it failing, he becomes a Loving Bully for her as well. Then he sees her picking on another boy...
- Betty, Phil and Lil's mother, explains that she had picked on Howard when they were kids until much later when he realized she was this.
- An episode of Recess had a boy who was harassing Gretchen admit he was this trope after being confronted (the other half of the episode had him acting as a Dogged Nice Guy/Stalker with a Crush).
- Phineas and Ferb:
- In a Precocious Crush example, Buford does this to Candace when he can get away with it.
Buford: I saved your life. That means you're my servant now. It's the Bully Code.
- He's also this to Baljeet in the eyes of some fans.
Buford: There comes a time when you realize you don't want to bully everyone. You just want to bully someone you love.
- In a Precocious Crush example, Buford does this to Candace when he can get away with it.
- The Simpsons: When Bart develops a crush on a girl, Nelson gives him advice which amounts to "bully her to win her love." Nelson gives Bart a piece of gum to stick in her hair, then adds an additional piece of gum. "Who knows, you may get lucky."
- Ed, Edd n Eddy:
- The Kanker Sisters are utterly head over heels for the Eds, as well as their worst tormentors. Somewhat unique in that their amorous feelings are completely known to their victims, and the bullying usually involves the girls forcing themselves on the Eds.
- Sarah falls in love with Edd in a season 1 episode and apparently gets over it. However it's sometimes implied she still has a crush on him in later episodes and confirmed by her diary in "For Your Ed Only". This doesn't stop her from beating him up and treating him like crap. She writes in the diary that if she shows any mercy, people will be walking over her. So you could say she's sort of a Tsundere type A towards him.
- Invoked in "High Heeled Ed" after Sarah brutally attacks Eddy in her usual way:
Ed: I think Sarah likes you, Eddy.
- The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: It becomes blatantly obvious early on that Cindy's rivalry with Jimmy is just her attempt to mask and deny her massive crush on him — something Jimmy himself goes through in regards to her. As the series goes, this gradually fades out as Jimmy and Cindy become closer friends, and by the time of the last episode, they were openly flirting, footsie and all, which served as great gossip fodder for Libby's talk show segment on the news (the main plot of the episode).
- There was an episode of Totally Spies! where a boy that used to pick on Clover when they were in grade school asked her out on a movie date, because he liked her and wanted to make up for all the crap he put her through. She spends a good chunk of the episode trying to figure out how to get her revenge during the date, until coming to the conclusion that, maybe, he actually means it. Right after the movie starts, he pulls another prank on her, revealing that he never really changed. She dumps her drink on his head and storms out.
- In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episode "One Crazy Summoner", the gang's helping a Harry Potter parody named Nigel Planter win the love of a girl he has a crush on, and at one point in the episode, Billy suggests that Nigel give the girl a noogie or throw a kickball at her—explaining that's what the boys at his and Mandy's school do when they have a crush on a girl.
- When Lincoln from The Loud House tells his sisters that he's being bullied by a girl, they start to squee and assume she's doing it because she has a crush on him, so they convince Lincoln to ask her out. Subverted when this only results in Lincoln coming home with a black eye. Turns out the girl really is just a bully. Double subverted when she then throws a raw steak through his bedroom window with a piece of paper attached with an apology and her phone number on it. His sisters were right after all! By the end of the episode, he and Ronnie Anne, the bully, are dating.
- An episode of Aaahh!!! Real Monsters had Oblina put on a human girl disguise and go undercover as an elementary school student to study humans Jane Goodall-style. One of the first "discoveries" the monsters make about human culture comes when a boy starts teasing Oblina on the school bus, and a girl tells her, "He must really like you." The monster scientist conducting the study (observing it all on a hidden camera) tells the class, "Take note how humans show love by administering pain."