May or may not be because of a character being arrogant and considering it a blow to their Pride to be turned down.
Sometimes a character may not have any feelings at all towards the person who rejected them but they may still get pissed off and torment the character as a result of the rejection, maybe even becoming The Rival. May or may not result in Attempted Rape, Blackmail, Self-Harm, or even worse. May occur in a Villainous Crush or We Can Rule Together scenario.
Mild cases of this are often a prerequisite to Ladykiller in Love scenario when The Casanova falls in love because the woman rejected all his advances, leaving him baffled and disoriented by the new experience.
Stalkers are usually unsympathetic whereas this can be sympathetic; the one who cannot handle rejection may just commit Seppuku or join the Legion of Lost Souls whereas a Stalker with a Crush will continue pursuing in ways harmful to the supposed beloved. Sometimes the person who doesn't like rejection will not take cheating well either.
Sometimes the rejected character will try to make the object of their affection take back the rejection or love them, by force. Sometimes the character may be so delusional that they misconstrue their loved one's actions as being rejection.
A character could have an attachment to the person who rejected them that is platonic, familial, antagonistic, sexual, or romantic in nature.
A subversion of this can be when the subject doesn't take well to being turned down initially* , but later eases up and becomes a Dogged Nice Girl.
Sometimes if the rejected character has their limits they'll eventually give up on their love for the person who rejected them.
If the rejected character is sympathetic this could result in Love Hurts and makes them a Hopeless Suitor. Could also result in revealing the Hidden Depths of a character. This trope could also enforce a character's Stepford Snarker or Stepford Smiler qualities.
Could be Played for Laughs with the rejected character sitting in a Corner of Woe, releasing Ocular Gushers, or Giving Up the Ghost. Can also be played for Melodrama with the character coming across as excluding Wangst.
The rejected character may also believe that they are Entitled to Have You.
The character may be angry at rejection but not from a person in regards to having their affections, but in regards to claiming something for themselves that the character who rejected them owns.
There's a fundamental difference in character & story, depending on whether the rejected party:
- Becomes Ax-Crazy/Stalker with a Crush/Yandere with murderous tendencies
- Becomes depressed, crosses the Despair Event Horizon, becomes suicidal.
- Becomes the more mild Dogged Nice Guy/Dogged Nice Girl, or goes the I Want My Beloved to Be Happy route.
- Tries to force heroine/hero to marry them or makes advances on them.
- Seeks revenge on the one who rejected/dumped them as a Woman Scorned (this is especially common for ex-girlfriends or ex-wives done wrong).
- Undergoes a Face–Heel Turn or a Heel–Face Turn.
- Displays Attention Whore behavior
- Dates/sleeps with someone else to get their beloved to notice them
- Finds solace in another person's arms to try to get over the rejection
- Gives up on their beloved for rejecting them and either never loves again or falls for someone else
NOTE: There are characters that take multiple routes.
- Anime & Manga
- Comic Books
- Fan Works
- Films — Animation
- Films — Live-Action
- Live-Action TV
- Video Games
- Western Animation
- A now-infamous series of strips in the Mickey Mouse newspaper comic had Mickey attempting to commit suicide after being rejected by Minnie.
- Book of Genesis: Potiphar's wife constantly tried to seduce the young slave Joseph only to have him refuse her daily. When she made a more aggressive advancement on him, he fled and left his cloak behind. Angered by this final rejection, she made a claim that he tried to rape her, leading to him getting arrested.
- Japanese Mythology: There is a Japanese folktale concerning a woman named Kiyohime who, when rejected by the object of her affections, turns into a dragon and kills him. More information here.
- Mesopotamian Mythology: Ishtar/Inanna, Goddess of Love and War. Exemplified in The Epic of Gilgamesh, where her response to Gilgamesh rejecting her advances (he knew that her lovers tended to come to nasty ends) was to unleash the Bull of Heaven to destroy Gilgamesh's entire kingdom.
- The Odyssey has Calypso who, after offering her lover Odysseus a chance to stay with her on her island forever, tries to force him to stay on her island with her after he rejects her and tries to get back to his wife at Ithaca. She eventually lets him leave because Hermes told Calypso that Zeus demands she lets Odysseus go.
- The Muppet Show: Miss Piggy. Which is not a good combination with her obsessive and clingy tendencies making her try and overwhelm any man (or manly muppet) she's got an attraction to. Even when Kermit tries to let her down gently, the default response tends to be "HIIIII-YA!"
- In Warhammer 40,000, Lorgar and the Word Bearers took the Emperor's rejection of their worship of him (to the point of having the Ultramarines burn down the city they built in his honor and forcing them to kneel before him) so badly that they went to the opposite extreme of hating him and everything he stood for. Now the Word Bearers serve Chaos and live only to destroy everything that even reminds them of the Emperor.
- Medea: The original Woman Scorned, she killed her husband Jason's new fiancée after being dumped for her. This wasn't an attempt to win him back, however, but pure and simple revenge, particularly when she also put her children by Jason to the sword just to make him suffer all the more.
- A Piece of My Heart: Postwar Maryjo follows Clint cross-country from Colorado to Vermont after he breaks up with her.
- Salome: After Jochanaan disgustedly rejects Salomé's advances, even going back into his prison rather than facing her, she takes the first chance she can get to take revenge on him. Things get pretty ugly after that, finally ending with Salomé kissing Jochanaan's severed head.
- A Streetcar Named Desire:
- Stanley makes it clear to his wife Stella that he absolutely will not tolerate it she ever rejects or leaves him.
- Blanche, when Mitch rejects her, starts to exhibit even more Sanity Slippage.
- Blanche confesses to Mitch that once she was married to a young man, Allan Grey, whom she later discovered in a sexual encounter with an older man. Grey later committed suicide when Blanche rejected him by telling him she was disgusted with him.
- In Tanz Der Vampire Herbert tries to seduce Alfred, but the latter makes it clear that he doesn't return his affections by trying to run away from him. Anyway, this doesn't stop Herbert, who gets even more clingy, aggressive and tries to bite the vampire-hunting Tenor Boy.
- Double Homework:
- If the protagonist chooses one of his classmates over Johanna and Tamara, the latter girl doesn’t take it very well. She gives him the silent treatment for a couple of weeks before realizing that she doesn’t get any good conversation if she’s not talking to him.
- To Dennis, all the girls who reject him are “fucking... bitches.”
- Fate/stay night has Shinji Matou. Despite his extremely off-putting personality, he is (somehow) noted to be rather popular with the girls at his school. Except for Rin Tohsaka, who repeatedly turns him down whenever he flirts with her, eventually giving up all subtlety and saying "I have zero interest in you whatsoever". In "Unlimited Blade Works", when he eventually gets Rin at his mercy, he decides to punish her for rejecting him by raping her. Fortunately, he is stopped before he's able to do much.
- In Lucky Dog 1, Giulio is revealed to be a necrophiliac in his route which apparently makes his job as a Professional Killer all the more enjoyable once he's finished killing his targets. After spending some time with Gian though, he can eventually decide living human companionship is preferable in the good ending and presumably stops defiling corpses after bloodshed. In one of his bad endings in the spin-off Gian Carlo's Lucky Happy Life however, he crosses the Moral Event Horizon when he decides the only way he can keep Gian with him (who has just refused his love) is by murdering him and then loving his corpse instead.
- The main conflict in Zen's route for Mystic Messenger is Echo Girl, a famous Korean actress, accusing him of sexually harassing her after he politely rejected her advances in favor of the Player Character.
- Lucan from (P)lanets - the life of normalcy has ended! is a Nice Guy, but he has a crippling fear of rejection. If Marin rejects him after he reveals that he unintentionally brainwashed his Unwanted Harem of fangirls into loving him, Lucan responds by intentionally brainwashing Marin into loving him.
- Tsukihime's Arcueid is a pretty extreme example in the route that leads to Ciel's True Ending.
- Backstory of Umineko: When They Cry in a nutshell, at least as Beatrice tells it - man summons witch, man falls in love with witch, witch doesn't love him, man traps witch on island, witch dies-ish, man can no longer see witch, man decides to kill entire family in order to revive witch (this part is not actually true, because he's been dead for almost two years before the series begins) and spends most of his time screaming at the sky.
- Of course, the reason the "witch" rejected Kinzo in the first place was that she was Kinzo's daughter that he had with his secret mistress, Beatrice Castiglioni, who died in childbirth. She grew to look so much like her mother that Kinzo deluded himself into thinking she was her mother's reincarnation, leading to him raping her and making her pregnant.
- Diego from Gunnerkrigg Court towards Jeanne. It's heavily implied that he sent Jeanne on a mission he knew would result in her death when he realized that she would never love him like she loved her forest-bound boyfriend.
- Eridan from Homestuck does not take Feferi, with whom he's in love, breaking off their moirallegiance, well at all. To the point that later in the story he actually kills her when she tries to stop him from joining forces with Jack. This is also his Despair Event Horizon as, ironically, he's known as the Prince of Hope.
- In Jupiter-Men, Rick can't understand why Jackie isn't interested in him at all and tries to bribe Arrio into getting into her good graces. Arrio tells him that it's her choice and that Rick should respect that. Rick responds by trying to punch Arrio, who retaliates by giving Rick a black eye.
- Ping from Megatokyo becomes violent when rejected, because her programmers forgot to test how she handles it in QA.
- Ménage à 3 plays with the trope in various ways:
- The insanely desirable DiDi both inspires and suffers from the effect. Various guys that she broke up with are shown crying and drowning their sorrows, but it's only when she finally experiences an orgasm, with Kiley, that her own tendency to obsessive attachment kicks in. It takes Kiley insane amounts of effort to get away from her, and then, DiDi all but collapses in tears. She rather subverts the trope, though, by quickly shifting her attention to Gary, although she does claim to be doing so partly to take her mind off Kiley.
- Yuki is an egomaniac with a huge sense of entitlement and violent tendencies. Zii flees in the night because she thinks that's the only way to end their relationship, and Yuki then pursues her with scary determination. Her subsequent fixation on Gary doesn't allow much for rejection either.
- Some of the cast are usually casual about their relationships, but find specific break-ups unexpectedly hard to take: When Erik breaks up with Zii after discovering her in a lesbian orgy, Zii realizes her mistake and ends up crying into her pillow. When Matt's actions result in Kiley breaking up with him, perhaps for the first time in his life, Matt is deeply saddened over losing a girlfriend.
- The Swordmaster from Oglaf tries to use this as a means to make his pupil more badass in combat. It doesn't work the way he intended.
- In Orange Marmalade, when a girl named Yoo Chae Rin is dumped by the vampire she considered to be her boyfriend, she declares the wish to see the entire vampire race wiped out. Of course, there is not much chance of a high school girl pulling genocide off, but she is able to reveal the main character's vampire heritage to the entire school during a huge vampire scare, putting her and her families' lives at risk.
- Perfect Marriage Revenge: Doguk went on a blind date with Yura, only for him to reject her immediately afterwards, stating clearly that he only came as a favor to his mom and he has zero intentions of marrying her. Don’t ask me why, but Yura seems to believe that if she can get Doguk's engagement cancelled, he’ll completely change his mind about her.
- Subverted in Something*Positive. Davan's late friend Scotty committed suicide after Donna broke up with him. But a later flashback reveals that Scotty had been suffering from depression for a while before that, and the breakup, along with Davan not calling him back, was just the last straw.
- The Word Weary: Grace is visibly angry after Poor Trotmann rejects her offer for a date.
- Paul in Chatoyant College followed Corrie to Chatoyant College because he's Not Good With Rejection. Some acquaintances of Corrie try to help by subjecting Paul to a magical restraining order. However, Corrie feels that magic should not be used to subvert someone's will so rescinds the order in Book 9. See If I Can't Have You….
- Death Note: The Abridged Series (kpts4tv): Light towards L. He gleefully resumes his plan to kill L after coming to the erroneous conclusion that L is screwing Matsuda.
- Anne Airy from Dina Marino does NOT take well rejection.
- When Gideon left her and moved on with Dina, she does everything in her power to break them up and come back with him.
- When Dina refuses to have sex with her, she beated the shit out of Dina.
- Shannon from Echo Chamber in regards to Tom.
- Every Faggot Ever: In episode 5, the titular faggot makes a very vulgar come on to a woman whose purse he returned. Naturally, she rejects him, at which point he calls her a "friend-zoning slut" and starts protesting her.
- HANDS UP (Joel G): "Rhythm N' Ambush" has Margo attempting to seduce a murderous monster after her initial attempt at luring him into a trap fails, even going as far as to flash him. Said monster is so repulsed by her, he vomits immediately after sniffing her. Furious and insulted, Margo actually gets in the monster's face and socks him right in the throat in retaliation. This causes the monster to stumble and trigger the trap, which also ensnares Margo because she was too close to the monster.
- If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device: A dubiously canon short reveals that Kitten's genocidal hatred of the Tau originates from his ex-girlfriend Commander Shadowsun breaking up with him.
- The Joker of The Joker Blogs is this towards Harley. When Harley reveals she's getting married the Joker goes even crazier than usual, murders her fiance when they're at the altar, and attempts to force her to love him.
- Mrs. Ridgway isn't open to the possibility of rekindling her marriage with Jeffrrey, so what does he do? Throw his ex-wife's things out the door and crushes her computer with a log splitter. Also counts as Disproportionate Retribution. This part of his personality is again shown when he tries to win Mrs. Ridgway back by giving her flowers, but she rejects his approach, telling him, "IT'S OVER!", so he destroys her store.
- Uncle Larry once dated Melissa during high school. While Larry broke up with Melissa, the latter did not take it so well and still holds the grudge to this day.
- It only takes about five episodes of firm (but reasonably kind) rejection from Todd in the Shadows for The Nostalgia Chick to lose her marbles and start kidnapping him, trying to get him to love her.
- The Overly Attached Girlfriend Meme, played by the YouTuber Laina. She was merely menacing in her videos... But when she makes a cameo in other YouTubers' videos, she becomes outright crazy, such as when Jimmy tries to break up with her. And then, she misunderstood Shane Dawson and believed that he was having an orgy without her... That didn't end well.
- RWBY: During episode 11 of Volume 3 Blake's former partner (and implied lover) Adam, who has gone full yandere over her perceived betrayal of him, promises that he'll destroy everything she loves in retaliation. Not a second after saying this he decides to start with her and when Blake stands in Adam's way after he slices off Yang's arm he asks why she has to hurt him in a tone dripping with resentment.
- Sekai No Fushigi: Haruto rejected Dadako, the CEO's daughter who has a crush on him. She didn't take it well and got her dad to bully Haruto. He couldn't take the abuse and quit with another employee who was Dadako's cousin who also disliked her.
- Vincent van Gogh: Among the numerous things Vincent did when he was rejected or to try to prevent rejection, he cut off part of his ear and held his hand over an open flame.
- There are some stories in the news where someone violently lashes out at someone for turning them down. For example, there was a high school student who killed a girl because she turned down his invitation to go to the prom with him.
- People with Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can be the subject to this. Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria can be a part of the condition. This means that rejection of any sort can psychically hurt, and is much more painful for people that are not subject to it. This usually means that people with it Become determined to please everyone so they won't feel the pain. Or they don't even bother attempting anything that could lead to rejection.
- The 2014 Isla Vista killings in Santa Barbara, California, perpetuated by incel misogynistic terrorist Elliot Rodger were caused by his perceived notions of rejection concerning women and finding a relationship.