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Satellite Love Interest

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"Aww, it's love at first script convenience!"

A type of Satellite Character who exists primarily to serve as the Love Interest for a main character. It doesn't matter what their life was like beforehand; their focus in the story revolves around the sole fact that they dig said main character, and the main character digs them. A staple of the Harem Genre. When part of a movie, it's usually because the plot revolves around a second love interest that is used to show how much better the Satellite Love Interest is for the protagonist. If a non-satellite character turns into one because they've become a love interest, they've been Demoted to Satellite Love Interest. And pity choice D or E who just loves the character because that's what everyone does in the series, not that they have any chance against Betty and Veronica or even the Third-Option Love Interest.


The test, of course, is to ask, "What does this person do when they're not being a love interest?" ...if it's hard to answer, you probably have this.

Contrast with Designated Love Interest, in which a character's characterization isn't involved enough with loving another character, thus making the "love interest" moniker seem tacked-on. Not to be confused with the Satellite of Love. If someone's love interest is an actual satellite, see Companion Cube.

Please don't use this trope as an excuse to bash characters whom you dislike for X/Y/Z motives. Being a love interest doesn't immediately equal being a satellite character, and many accusations fit less in this trope and more in Die for Our Ship.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Bakemonogatari takes this to its obvious conclusion. Karen and Tsukihi both have boyfriends, but they're never seen once on camera, and the only thing we are told about them is that they're both very similar to Koyomi in terms of personality and appearance. Most fans like to make like Koyomi and pretend like they don't exist, which, considering the only romantic hints that Karen and Tsukihi have been given in series are with their brother or with other girls, may very well be true.
  • Billy from Bakugan starts off as a Satellite Character for Julie, until they become an Official Couple, although even before that it was clear there was something between them and had some Belligerent Sexual Tension. That being said, he doesn't have much personality on his own and even when he was under Masquerade's control, he never fought against anyone else besides Julie (well, they're both Subterra users after all).
  • Miho Azuki of Bakuman。, whose only goal apart from becoming a voice actress is getting together with Moritaka Mashiro, and even then, those two goals are intertwined because of her promise to only marry Mashiro when they both achieve their dreams.
  • Princess Charlotte from Berserk fits this trope to a T. Her only role in the history is being Griffith's Meal Ticket and she seems to only think about him all the time. And for worse, the Crapsack World punishes her for being such.
  • Blend-S
    • Dino basically can be summed up by his crush on Maika. This is a weird example as he's actually her and the rest of the cast's boss...but he's hardly ever seen doing anything other than being attracted to her, and everyone else seems to treat him as a bumbling, useless idiot, despite being the reason they all met in the first place.
    • Mafuyu's date Itou is even more exaggerated in this regard. The only attribute we know about him is he's a bit of a Manchild. The author doesn't even give him a face.
  • Shizuki from Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro Chan. Justified Trope, sorta: every character in that show is a parody/deconstruction of some character archetype. Sakura: The Chew Toy / Ordinary High-School Student parody, with an embarrassing feminine name to boot. Dokuro: Magical Girlfriend parody, Tsundere deconstruction. Zakuro: Parody of Younger Than They Look and her Eyepatch of Power, which is never even mentioned, let alone explained. Etc., etc.
  • Chii in Chobits is literally this since she's a Robot Girl without an operating system and her entire personality starts from scratch. Later flashbacks to when she wasn't yet a Love Interest show that can be much deeper (and possibly would become like that again).
  • Subverted in Deadman Wonderland. Main character Ganta is trapped in a prison whose inhabitants are, by and large, not very nice people, when he meets a painfully shy and sensitive girl who clings to him from the word "hello." Minatsuki is actually a psychopathic killer who puts on the nice-girl persona and then gets sexual pleasure from the look of betrayal on her victims' faces right before she kills them. She is starting to get a little better, though.
  • Sonosuke Izayoi from Danganronpa 3 has very little character outside of being Ruruka's extremely devoted boyfriend. He even gets expelled from Hope's Peak over his association with her despite doing nothing!
  • Misa Amane from Death Note is an interesting illustration of this trope. She's dedicated to her career as an idol and her "job" punishing the guilty, so she can't quite be called shallow... but where Light is concerned, she's shallower than any five other examples on this page. Her willingness to submit to his slightest whim is so extreme it's scary. It's certainly possible to picture her without Light — we see her before they meet, and she's clever and dangerous. But after they meet, she'd rather die than live any kind of life without him. And she apparently does in the ending of the anime, when you see her standing on the wrong side of a guardrail...
  • The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan, a spin-off manga of Haruhi Suzumiya, turns the protagonist of the main series into this. Kyon's tendency to be passive stays, while the observational narration is gone, so he has little to show other than caring for Yuki.
  • There are two of note in the Dragon Ball franchise, both of them intentional examples. First is Marron, Krillin's first girlfriend in Z (and practically a clone of Bulma) that appeared during the Garlic Jr. Saga, only for her to dump poor Krillin in the only stand-alone episode in the series. Then in GT, Goten was seen on a date with Pares, a girl that got perplexed by ice cream... on a cone.
  • Nyu in Elfen Lied; like Chii, Nyu is a Blank Slate, picked up by Kouta from a beach. Possibly a subversion, in that Nyu's attraction to Kouta is a reflection of her second personality Lucy, a borderline psychopathic mass murderer with real, complex, and disturbingly heartbreaking reasons for loving him.
  • Yuno from Future Diary basically has no personality outside of her devotion to Yukiteru. This is played as straight as possible to make her scary while being a deconstruction of the trope. Her entire world revolves around Yukiteru, and if anyone threatens to take him away from her, she flips her shit and equates it to her entire future being taken away. This is with good reason: before meeting Yukiteru, Yuno had just killed her Abusive Parents, who were sitting dead in her house for three weeks. She had absolutely no hope for her own future, and was deeply moved when Yukiteru's hope for the future was for his family to get along. So when Yukiteru jokingly accepted her offer to become his bride, she was thrilled since she finally had a reason to keep living her life — her life very literally depends on having Yukiteru there for emotional support, he is her future after she lost everything. It gets even more interesting in that Yuno recognizes this fact and basically gives a "The Reason We Suck" Speech about how it was "pretend love" and she would have been fine with anyone as long as she could emotionally depend on him. Fortunately, it turns out that maybe their love isn't that meaningless after all.
  • Poor, poor Tamahome from Fushigi Yuugi. In the early episodes of the series, he had hints of a backstory (his Money Fetish was due to growing up poor and wanting to provide for his siblings and ailing father). However, said backstory (as well as everything else about his character) was seen as secondary compared to his love for Miaka. And then Suboshi kills his entire family in cold blood, and he embraces this trope for all its worth. His Money Fetish is now Played for Laughs and everything about his personality shifts to accommodate to Miaka's needs. When he realizes that he is a character from a book, he tells Miaka that this doesn't matter because he "was created solely to love her." This line was meant to come across as romantic, but it actually wound up highlighting just how much of a pathetic excuse he was for a character.
  • Girls Bravo: It's never said what Miharu's reasons are for liking Yukinari, she just does and there isn't much more to her character beyond that.
  • Midori from Green Green. If she weren't allowed to squeal "Yuusuke" every ten seconds, she would lose her reason for existence.
  • The love interests in Mobile Suit Gundam AGE are like this. Emily (first generation), Romary (second), and Wendy (third) have very little role or development outside of fretting that generation's protagonist. Once the generation shifts and they become mothers, their role in the plot effectively ends. Romary probably has the most development, as she's in a mild Love Triangle and gets some expansion in the Memory of Eden OVA.
  • Subverted in Battle Angel Alita. In an argument with Alita over her choice to become a Hunter-Warrior, Ido lets it slip that he revived her with the expectation that she would be one of these. Alita, like any sane person, would be upon hearing this, is pissed.
  • Koutarou Azumamiya of Hayate the Combat Butler used to be this for Hinagiku originally, and the anime even added a few episodes of this to him, but since the second year started, he's actually gotten some character of his own.
  • In Honey Crush it never becomes very clear why the two other girls are so heavily in love with Madoka (one of them even continues to do so after her death, turning her into a ghostly Stalker with a Crush). Sure, Madoka might be pretty, but her personality remains elusive throughout the series.
  • Shino from Ichiroh! is a comedic example, as it's a gag series and can get away with it. She's never seen away from Nanako and almost all she does is lust over her. It doesn't help that she's also a mix of Clingy Jealous Girl and Stalker with a Crush with a pinch of Psycho Lesbian at her worst.
  • Hojo from Inuyasha is a male example of this. Of course, we don't see him enough for him to have much of a personality. And he exists for the sake of a Running Gag rather than actual romantic tension.
  • Tsubasa from Kaguya-sama: Love Is War. There's a reason he's constantly referred to as "Kashiwagi's Boyfriend", even after his Given Name Reveal. Nearly every appearance he makes centers around her in some fashion. Even when he went to the Student Council, alone, he ends up talking more about Kashiwagi than he does himself.
  • Something similar happens in Kamichu!, where Yurie is much closer to Matsuri than her supposed love interest Kenji.
  • Kämpfer's Natsuru Senou is the rare case of a Satellite Love Interest who is the main character. He is primarily defined by his rather basic crush on Kaede. When someone asks him in episode 8 why he likes Kaede so much, he first refers to her beauty and elegance. When it's brought up that most of the girls he knows are also beautiful and elegant, all he can do is shrug his shoulders and say that you "don't need a reason to love someone". Seriously, the guy has no personality outside of his crush and his frustration with his new Gender Bender status. On the other hand, Kaede herself has some Hidden Depths
  • Zero from Kurohime. Hime herself even realizes it. And arguably it is at that moment when we realize that Zero isn't quite what he seems. Also, Yashahime, who seems to have no thoughts or personality beyond being an Ax-Crazy Evil God Yandere.
  • Yuuno from Lyrical Nanoha is effectively treated this way by the creators, despite actually having a developed personality, loads of plot-potential, and plenty of combat power. Beyond his use as a romantic possibility for Nanoha, the writers simply were not interested in developing anything more about him; they don't even explain where or how he gained Raising Heart. So when they decided, as of Sound Stage X, not to Ship Tease Yuuno with Nanoha anymore, he disappeared entirely from the plot and never receives another mention. Even back when he was on-screen he had vanishingly few interactions with anyone else in the cast, even counting the supplementary material manga and drama CDs.
  • Naruto:
    • In this 2017 Jump Festa interview, Masashi Kishimoto reveals that Sakura's character only exists to be Naruto's Romantic False Lead. He explains that when he created Sakura, he only considered her as just another character, he did not bring her in as a special female character, and she was at the same level as supporting characters like Kiba or Shikamaru. After he decided "pretty early on" and "from an early stage" that Naruto and Hinata would get together and get married, he threw Sakura in the middle to create a "messy Love Triangle."
    • Karin is one for Sasuke. Even though her heritage has been revealed, her character solely exists as a parody of Sasuke's fangirls.
    • Rin Nohara. The only real characterization which she receives is the fact that Obito loves her but she loves Kakashi. This may be justified since she's a Posthumous Character so she isn't exactly around to receive characterization, and the main reason for her existence, this in order to become The Lost Lenore for Obito and with motivating him to become Tobi. Although she still isn't characterized all that much in flashbacks she's featured in - she's a kind girl, a Combat Medic in training, and nothing else.
  • Since the focus is on the girls in O Maidens in Your Savage Season, most of the male characters end up being examples of this trope:
    • Izumi is this to both Kazusa and Niina. All we know about him that doesn't have anything to do with either of the two girls is that he's a Nice Guy and that he likes trains a lot. The extent of his development in-story is having to deal with the awkwardness of seeing his childhood friend in a new light and trying to come to terms with his sexual attraction to Niina, who comes onto him after he and Kazusa start going out. He even has his own Satellite Love Interest in the form of Asada, who promptly disappears as soon as he and Kazusa become an Official Couple.
    • Amagi is this to Sonezaki. This becomes blatantly apparent right from his first appearance, where Sonezaki asks him to write a report explaining why exactly he confessed to her. The only reason he can give is "because she's cute" repeated over and over. His own distinct character traits of being Book Dumb but laid back and down-to-earth are only ever brought up to contrast him with the straightlaced and highstrung honor student Sonezaki.
    • Yamagishi-sensei has one in the form of his fellow teacher Tomita. All that's really ever known about her is that she's kind and caring, and that he's totally smitten with her. The main extent of her in-story role is to give Hitoha someone to angst about being inferior to.
  • Onidere is special because both protagonists could be defined as Satellite Love Interests. Literally no action, thought or monologue in the entire Manga is in no way not connected, even a little, to please and/or become more intimate with their loved one. Hell, the first true show of love in the manga is Saya nearly fainting because Tadashi praised her food while Tadashi fainted because a single spoon of said food can cause pain equally to a full session of torture and he ended the entire meal to make Saya smile.
  • Oreimo plays with this one. Kirino starts dating a boy she knows from one of her doujin circles named Mikagami, whose whole character seemingly exists to show how much better of a match he is for Kirino than Kyousuke. Predictably, this pisses off Kyousuke to no extent...until Kirino finally reveals that it was all an act to make him as jealous as possible, to get back at him for making her feel horribly jealous when he was dating Kuroneko. They drop the charade after this: Kirino goes back to Will They or Won't They? with Kyousuke, and as for Mikagami, it's hinted that he's actually gay and in love with Kyousuke as well.
  • Saya from Peacemaker Kurogane. She pretty much exists only to be Tetsunosuke's love interest. She fits very much with the question, "What would her personality be if she never met the male lead?" Nothing. Come on, we know she's mute and all, but even mute people have personalities and quirks.
  • Pokémon's Serena started her journey to join Ash, mainly acts as support, and cooks him food. The writers seemed to have taken note of this; during the first season of XY, while she had no life goal at the time, she was still searching for her purpose in life. She eventually finds one near the end of that season, deciding to become a Pokémon Performer, and spends the rest of XY acting upon that goal.
  • Miku Nakano of The Quintessential Quintuplets, while generally the most popular character of the series, is occasionally accused of this by her detractors. Most of her scenes in the series revolve entirely around her crush on main character Fuutarou, with the sole exception of her interest in Sengoku warlords, and even that trait sees less and less reference as time goes on. Almost every action she takes usually begins with the question "Will this impress Fuutarou or make him like me more?" up to and including future career paths (in this instance, choosing to try and become a baker, despite being a Lethal Chef, because she wants to show Fuutarou that she can improve and make him happy, with no thoughts at all to her established interests in history).
  • Inverted by Outer Moka from Rosario + Vampire. This is entirely justified, as she is an artificial person created to protect the true Moka and Outer Moka is aware of this, and she even does her best to put aside her own feelings to pair up Tsukune and Inner Moka, albeit this is far more explicitly done in the manga as opposed to the anime. And, to further the inversion (again, in the manga at least), the two of them have worked together to support each other in regards to Tsukune, while Inner Moka's wishes and intents are kept the primary consideration.
  • Tsunetsuki Matoi from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei Crosses the Line Twice with this. Literally, her whole personality is about stalking her love interest (hence her name). What would she be like if she didn't meet the protagonist? Stalking other guys that catch her interest.
  • School Days: In the anime, the two main female love interests get reduced to only being known for their obsession with Makoto. And that is the point, actually: the series shows the psychological strain and the extremes that being completely centered on a single person can bring... especially when said person is a Jerkass who uses both of them and others for his own pleasure. To elaborate, love interests in this series tend to have very thin to no identities because their existences are solely based on Makoto Itou to make him looks like a typical saint-like Harem Genre protagonist. In reality, Makoto is far from being a saint, and the heroines' misjudgment and obsession toward him drive them either into despair or insanity when they realize Makoto only thinks of them as sex toys. Add to this the fact that the two main heroines are Yanderes, and things get ugly in short order.
  • In Shugo Chara!, Amu's crush on Tadase started out based on looks and really nothing more because she'd never spoken to him. Later on in the series, Amu's feelings for Tadase develop into her liking him based on his personality once she gets to know him.
  • For the most part, Alpha Omega Nova of Space Patrol Luluco is just a pretty face over whom Luluco's obsessed. It's later invoked, as his primary goal was to manifest the most worthless thing in existence: the shallow love of an especially foolish girl.
  • Tamagotchi: Inverted. While she does have other character traits, Himespetchi is mostly identified by her crush on Mametchi and some of her other characteristics wind up helping her to drive the message home even further (e.g. she shows an interest in robotics and takes the Robotics class in Dream School... to be with Mametchi, who is also in that class). However, the relationship is one-sided, with Mametchi being completely unaware of her affections.
  • Fatina from The Tower of Druaga. She spends the first 3/4ths of the first season as a character whose sole character traits were being a bitchy Neeba fangirl. This changes later on, where we get an episode where she and the main character are stranded together and bond a little, removing her from Neeba and giving viewers a bit more insight into her character. She never really goes back to being a complete Neeba fangirl after that. To add to things, Neeba offers Fatina and Fatina alone an invitation to join him and Kaaya after they betray their groups. She turns down his offer and stands by Jil's side.
  • Umi Monogatari has Kojima, who never gets much more background than that Kanon likes him.
  • Fumiya from Wandering Son is introduced as having a crush on Saori. Pretty much everything he does is related to this crush of his. Surprisingly when they do begin to date he mostly phases out of the story or appears at the school he shares with Nitori.
  • Himawari of xxxHOLiC comes off like this for a good while. Then we find out that her, Doumeki and Watanuki's bonds are far more complex.
  • Katie from Yo-Kai Watch doesn't have much going for her besides being Nate's crush. She has her own set of friends and worries but most of her screentime is just for Nate to be awkward around her.

    Comic Books 
  • Lady Sif from The Mighty Thor is supposed to be a badass Lady of War and the second greatest female warrior in Asgard. Sadly, despite nearly every other supporting character being well developed over the decades, Sif's stories have focused almost exclusively on Thor with only a few making an attempt to give her any personality beyond that. A notable exception being the 2012-2013 run of Journey into Mystery which had Sif as its main character. The writer, Kathryn Immonen, explored Sif's personality and embarked her on various badass (and mostly Thor-unrelated) adventures. Sadly, the series was then cancelled due to low sales.
  • Robin Series: Not much is known about Zo besides the fact that she gained a crush on Tim while tutoring him and started dating him, does well in school, is considered attractive by some of the other students and is heartbroken when he breaks up with her over the phone. She gets slightly more character in Red Robin just by showing her anger at people who've given up on the now missing Tim while she tries to help find him, her friendship with him and her acceptance that he's moved on from their relationship even if she gets irritated at hearing about him dating and has to visibly decide to just let it go.
  • It took until the New 52 for Steve Trevor to significantly evolve into someone other than Wonder Woman's boyfriend (the fact that they break up helps). He had manages to be a compelling character in his own right while being her boyfriend in the Golden Age but subsequent writers didn't know what to do with him other than use him as the designated victim.
  • A number of examples from Spider-Man:
    • Marla Madison was a scientist who built a Spider-Slayer for J. Jonah Jameson, who subsequently fell in love with her and eventually married her. Since Dr. Madison stopped building Spider-Slayers, she gradually settled down into this position as few writers seemed to be interested in developing her as a character. As she was one of several characters to be fridged in post-One More Day stories, there is now little chance of that being rectified.
    • Cissy Ironwood was a Satellite Love Interest created especially for Marvel Team-Up in the early 1980s so that the writers of that could write stories in which Spider-Man ditched his date in order to fight the villain of the month without having to keep track of the latest romantic developments in the other two Spider-books.
    • Carlie Cooper was supposed to be "perfect" for Peter Parker. The problem was, she was kind of quickly introduced and then forgotten about for a significant amount of time while the rotating writers focused on their pet characters. When she reappeared, a lot of her appearances consisted of everyone talking about how super awesome she was--even those who had never met her before. If this weren't bad enough, she appeared in an issue titled "The Many Loves Of Spider-Man" before they were even dating. When they finally got together Peter declared it was "the rightest thing in the world" (despite the fact she was dressed up as his ex). What few personality traits could be assigned to her were seemingly all sewn together from other love interests that were much better-developed characters. She and Peter had a laughable lack of any actual chemistry, she was named after Joe Quesada's daughter, and no one could decide what she looked like. Not to mention, she was quite obviously meant to replace fan-favorite Mary Jane Watson, whom Joe Quesada infamously dislikes. She quickly became The Scrappy and when she and Peter broke up during Spider-Island the fandom rejoiced. She's still in the books, but now they're focusing more on her job as a crime scene investigator, where more of an assignable personality can surface.
  • Sadie in Starman has no character outside of her relationship with Jack and worrying about her brother.
  • Superman: Earth One: Lisa Lasalle has no characterization outside of her relationship with Clark. Even when she revealed she was working as a prostitute to earn extra money, that plotline only comes at the forefront at the final pages of volume 2 and is solved fairly quickly.
  • Laurie Juspezyk from Watchmen was employed by the US government essentially to be one of these for Dr. Manhattan after she quit her old job in the Superhero business. She actually does have a personality, and it winds up conflicting to some extent with her mission of keeping Manhattan focused/sane/human because of the fact that he's too much the first of those and not enough the third upsets her, which in turn upsets him.
    • The prequel miniseries Minutemen features Norbert Veldon, Nelson Gardner's "friend" who presumably helped him recover after losing his beloved Hooded Justice. Veldon briefly shows up at Hollis Mason's shop to threaten him with a lawsuit unless he stops writing his memoirs, claiming that the advance copy that he sent Gardner has upset him (we later find out that specifically, Gardner's turmoil stems from the part of the memoirs where Mason confesses to killing Hooded Justice and suggests that HJ was behind the circus kidnappings that Nite Owl and Silhouette had investigated. The miniseries also features Gretchen, Ursula Zandt's partner and personal physician, although she's somewhat more developed, as we learn much of her backstory when Nite Owl gets ahold of her and Silhouette's notes.

    Fan Fic 
  • There's a category of Mary Sue that is essentially defined like this: Relationship Sue. Relationship Sues are basically designed to be the perfect significant other of a canon character and are nothing beyond that.
  • Jack Frost in A Bluer Shade of White. Olaf created him specifically to be anything Elsa wants. Jack says outright that he's not his own person; his love for Elsa is what he is and all he is.
  • Maria, a one-off character from Calvin and Hobbes: The Series, provides motivation for a brief Love Triangle and then disappears afterwards with little explanation.
  • Navarone and Kumani in Diaries of a Madman, with Kumani having little purpose in the story other than being Nav's girlfriend. Nor is the relationship itself particularly deep, mostly being based around compatibility in the bedroom, which is acknowledged in-universe.
  • In-Universe, Hermione spends most of Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality worried that she's becoming this to Harry since she'd much prefer to be recognized for her own merits.
  • Regularly pops up in stories by Megamatt09, such as Ascension and Beyond the Veil where most of the women Harry's officially in a relationship with show up long enough to have sex with him then never appear again even when they're allegedly married to him.
  • Starla Shine in My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic. She develops a crush on Lightning Dawn on first sight and we never learn much about her other than her interest in astronomy, which is practically forgotten after her introduction. Starla doesn't even appear in the author's video of character bios for the fic!
    • Another example would be Rhymey and Fluttershy, as well as Celestia to the Grand Ruler, in the latter half of the story. Their romances are never developed, it's just said that the couples are in love with no real meaningful interaction or development.
  • Discussed in The Stalking Zuko Series, the reason Suki's competition with Zuko escalated to the heights they rose because she felt that everyone only saw her as "Sokka's girlfriend." She feels that since her talents are overshadowed by others and needed to distinguish herself somehow for anyone to see her differently.

    Film — Animated 
  • Taken to its logical extreme in Don Bluth's Anastasia. Bartok the Bat abandons Rasputin near the end, and is rewarded with a pink bat who flies in and kisses him.
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • The Prince from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He shows up at the start to fall in Love at First Sight with Snow White, disappears for the majority of the film (though she does get an "I Want" Song about him in the middle) and comes in at the end to wake her from the poison. Word of God is that he had a larger role originally, but the animators were having trouble realistically animating a human male.
    • Bambi
      • Faline doesn't really have a personality beyond Genki Girl in the first film, especially when she grows up into a doe and sheds even that, and sparsely interacts with anyone besides Bambi. The midquel fleshes her personality out a little more and gives her more screen time with the other characters, although she remains fixated around Bambi and is still often kept Out of Focus.
      • Likewise, neither Thumper's nor Flower's love interests have any personality, though they only appear very briefly.
    • The Prince in Cinderella only appears at the ball as someone for Cinderella to fall for and escape her stepfamily by marrying. Both the sequels (particularly the third film) and the live-action remake go out of their way to subvert this, the former giving him a Deadpan Snarker and Leaning on the Fourth Wall personality, the latter giving him a subplot of his own.
    • Sleeping Beauty. Ironically, both lovers kind of fit this bill - because the story is really a Perspective Flip on the efforts of the three Good Fairies to save them from Maleficent. The prince does get to do a little more than his two predecessors (he even gets a name!) but most of the plot is driven by the fairies - making Philip and Aurora essentially Living MacGuffins.
    • 101 Dalmatians. The female characters, unfortunately. While we get to know Roger and Pongo enough to build a character, all we see of Anita and Perdita is that they're homely and motherly. Anita has a backstory regarding having a friendship with Cruella, but the movie never delves deep into it.
    • Shanti from The Jungle Book (1967) has no personality outside of seemingly being mysterious and flirty. Considering Mowgli leaves his whole family behind for her, it's a real letdown we don't know much else of her.
    • Maid Marian from Robin Hood. She has an interesting backstory due to being the niece of the villainous Prince John and the good King Richard; and also having an interest in higher education and badminton, but her actual role in the film is little else but "be happy and lovey dovey around Robin". It's frustrating considering other notable Marians in adaptations.
    • Vixey from The Fox and the Hound has barely any personality, due to being introduced around the time Tod was put in the nature reserve. She is implied to have known Big Mama for some time, but that's pretty much all we know about her besides the fact she and Tod love each other.
    • The Little Mermaid. Although, Prince Eric appeared more time in the screen than the other princes, since he is saved by Ariel, his main objective is to be Ariel's love interest, the latter serves as a reference for Ariel to be even more animated to go to the surface.
  • Roxanne in A Goofy Movie has a characterization that amounts to "has some of Max's surface flaws" and "is Max's Love Interest." Oddly enough, PJ's girlfriend in the sequel, who suffers from both No Name Given and limited screentime, is probably the biggest aversion among the movies' love interests.
  • In Ice Age 5: Collision Course, Brooke the sloth is good for one Rousing Speech, and otherwise only exists to get Sid laid. Julian the mammoth is a lesser example, as he actually gets some decent screentime and helps make the final push to save the day, but his character almost entirely revolves around his upcoming marriage with Peaches, which also drives Manny's character arc for the movie.
  • Tony in The Incredibles, who shows up at the beginning and the end of the film and mainly exists as Violet's crush. In fact, he only really exists to demonstrate Violet's character development. At the beginning of the film, she's too shy to even remain visible in his presence. In the end, she's able to talk with him and get a date while he's stammering nervously. He only gets slightly better in Incredibles 2; we learn he plays sports and music and works part-time at his parents' diner, but he still exists solely as Violet's love interest.
  • Celia in Monsters, Inc.. Aside from being Mike's love interest and the company secretary, she doesn't have much characterization. On her date with Mike they don't really talk about anything but their relationship and it is difficult to see why he likes her so much, aside from the obvious.
  • Flash Sentry from My Little Pony: Equestria Girls looks nice, helps Twilight twice, plays guitar, generally seems to be a Nice Guy, was Sunset Shimmer's ex-boyfriend, and his equine counterpart is a guard in Cadance's castle. And that's all we or Twilight ever know about him. That doesn't stop the Love at First Sight. The second movie really puts it in lights: his introduction to the film is to come in and nervously ask the Mane Six's human counterparts if Twilight's come back lately. (You know, Twilight, the princess from another world that won't be accessible for months, and who really has no reason to ever return?) It's the one scene where you'd expect his actions would have to come from his non-Twilight-related traits, so it's pretty glaring when the answer to "What is he when not being the love interest?" is "that guy who randomly shows up to ask if Twilight has inexplicably returned." He just isn't a character in his own right.
    • It's emphasized even further in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games where his only role is to be shot down by Human Twilight twice, showing how unimportant he is without the Ship Tease. Interestingly, Friendship Games and Legend of Everfree having him get shot down moves him into a new role that lampshades him as this sort of character: now that Twilight's human counterpart is part of the gang and Pony Twilight is not in the movies anymore, and after Sunset Shimmer telling him straight that this Twilight isn't that Twilight and he needs to move on (and then going on with the plot and not noticing Flash trying to get back with her), poor Flash's role in the story is now "generic love-interest-y person without someone to be a generic love interest to." He pops up to fulfill his role in life as the guy who occasionally interrupts the plot to smile cutely and be smiled at in return... and there's no one who needs him for that, leaving him to give the same sad look. It's actually earned him a bit of sympathy from those who'd hated him, and Derpy being the one to pat him on the shoulder in those scenes has given him someone to be shipped with as well.
  • Princess Fiona from the Shrek series started off as a parody of this trope; she insisted in the first film that her role was to be the stereotypical Damsel in Distress princess who literally just waited until a handsome prince came to rescue her. Subverted later when she grew to love Shrek for who he is. In fact, in Shrek Forever After, we actually get to see what Fiona would have become if she had never been rescued.
  • Bo Peep from Toy Story. Sure, she's sweet and has a bit of a naughty side, but both those traits are used in order to demonstrate her affection for Woody (grabbing him around the neck with her shepherdess's crook, for example). She never really interacts with any other toy on-screen and she exists mainly as a sympathetic ear to Woody. Bo Peep's lack of development — and the popularity of the other female characters, Jessie the Cowgirl and the tour guide Barbie doll from Toy Story 2, and the logistics of having Bo Peep actually be involved in the action of the third movie (given that she wasn't actually a toy at all, but a china figurine) — were the reason why she didn't appear in the third movie.
    • This, however, is thankfully averted in the fourth film where we find out that she's been out to roam the outside as an independent toy and has strived to live around the nature.
  • Played painfully straight in Vídeo Brinquedo's The Little Panda Fighter, where the female bear is a total Flat Character and is only there to be Pancada's Love Interest.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Irina, the Greek princess in Asterix at the Olympic Games, whose entire personality is pretty much 'I love poetry, I love Lovesix, I don't want to marry Brutus'. The person chasing after her, Lovesix, is pretty static as well.
  • Foxy Cleopatra in Austin Powers in Goldmember. Unlike Vanessa and Felicity, whose roles were more intertwined with Austin's; Foxy's character was limited to being "the token female that Austin kisses before the credits run". This may have been a side-effect of Goldmember focusing more on Austin's relationship with his father as opposed to him falling in love.
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron has Clint Barton's wife and kids. Her only role in the plot is that the gang uses their home as a safehouse (since Nick Fury had erased the existence of Barton's family from SHIELD's records to keep them safe). Even in later movies, their importance centers entirely around how their presence or absence impacts the sole main cast member they are connected to.
  • Jennifer in the Back to the Future trilogy. She appeared very little in the first movie and apparently existed only so that Marty would have someone to spill exposition on in the opening scenes. Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale tried to write her out of the sequels, but the way they ended the first movie made that difficult; she did get some development in the second and third movies.
  • Joanna and Elizabeth, the Royal Princess Babes from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. While this was somewhat justified in the first movie due to their brief screen time, they remain featureless in the second movie, even with their more prominent role in the heroes' lives.
  • Marianne from The Boat That Rocked has no consistent personality in her ten minutes total screen time except to be an object of adoration for the teenage protagonist. She almost immediately breaks his heart by sleeping with another guy on their 'date', but they get back together in the last 15 minutes with practically no apology and no explanation from her.
  • This is Dougie's only role in Bridesmaids. In spite of the plot focusing on the build-up and traditions of his and Lilian's wedding, he has very little characterization beyond being her fiance to the point that his sister, Meg, has much more screentime than he does.
  • In Cherry 2000, the title character is a Robot Girl with a very limited AI (she probably wouldn't pass a Turing Test). The whole plot of the movie is the hero's trek to find a body to replace her lost one. She only appears for a few minutes of the movie and is unceremoniously dumped to save the female tracker who the hero fell in love with during the journey. Since she's a sexbot, she's more or less supposed to be this, as dumping her in favor of a real person is character development; if she had a personality it would be more of a Kick the Dog moment.
  • Casey in Chronicle is notable in that being a Satellite Love Interest was a cover for her actual role in the film; to provide another camera for the film's Found Footage style. Ironically, she clearly has more depth than he does near the start, and they seem to have some offscreen development of their relationship.
  • Justin Timberlake's girlfriend in Edison exists only to remind everyone that he's a hip, sexy twenty-something and get beaten to a bloody pulp by the corrupt cops he's investigating.
  • Link Larkin in the original 1988 film version of Hairspray had no personality whatsoever outside of being a love interest to Tracey. The musical adaptation gave him a lot more character.
  • The Iron Horse is a drama about the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. The hero is an idealistic Pony Express rider and son of a railroad surveyor, who does battle against an evil land speculator and his corrupt engineer sidekick. Eventually, the hero defeats the bad guys and the railroad is built. He also has a girlfriend. Sometimes, this girlfriend is shown onscreen, looking pretty, and occasionally urging the hero not to fight, but mostly looking pretty.
  • Surprisingly, this is zigzagged all around in the James Bond films - Honey Ryder, Melina Havelock, Natalya Simyonova, Anya Amasova, Wai Lin, Vesper Lynd and especially Tracy Vincenzo later Bond are anything but static. On the other hand, there have been others, often the ones who die early on, who are the epitome of this trope, such as Tiffany Case, Mary Goodnight, Holly Goodhead and Stacey Sutton.
  • The Karate Kid movies:
    • Ali Mills in The Karate Kid (1984) fits this trope to a T. She basically exists only to be Daniel's girlfriend and to sit pretty.
    • Averted (but barely) by Kumiko from The Karate Kid Part II, who is shown to have her own dream of becoming a classical Japanese dancer. She's written out of the third movie, and the in-story reason is that she chose said dream over being with Daniel.
    • Meiying in The Karate Kid (2010) remake is very shallow too - and even weaker than Ali.
  • Katie Deauxma in Kick-Ass, who is every bit Dave's dream girl to the core, even to the point of immediately forgiving him for pretending to be gay and having sex with him right afterward, plus having sex just about anywhere — including on a dumpster. She is given an occupation and her interest in comics is touched upon, but her entire character ultimately centers around being Dave's perfect girlfriend. The most important role she plays aside from that is sending Dave after Razul, which leads to him meeting other important characters.
  • Jocelyn in A Knight's Tale. She's beautiful, rich, likes clothes, loves William... and that's it. All the poor girl gets to do is stand on the sidelines and then have either a love scene or a fighting scene with Will. Though she's lucky enough to even get moments of witty lines and displays of spunk. She also kind of lampshades this. Her initial rejection of Will is based on him treating her like this, as every knight who was smitten with her pretty face has done. She asks him to think of her as a person, not a prize, and when he does she falls for him. Not that the audience gets to know her very well, she still fits the trope for us. And the fact that the ones who point it out the most among fandom are Kate and Will/Kate shippers says a lot...
  • Tina Carlyle in The Mask. To the point that they had to reveal that the other half of the Betty and Veronica was The Mole for the Big Bad in order to find a good, non-sexual reason why Stanley should prefer her in the end.
  • Aaron from Mean Girls is a rare male version. He pretty much solely exists to be a pretty (and gullible) face and stuck in the Love Triangle between Cady and Regina. Aaron proves he does have some depth under that handsome facade when he chews out Cady for flunking math so he can tutor her, even though she's good at it.
  • Bonnie in Only Angels Have Wings. The story is about Geoff the studly pilot and his fellow studly pilots, and their dinky little airline that makes highly dangerous flights over the Andes and back. Bonnie arrives in town for...some reason the movie never specifies. She has a job doing...something the movie never specifies. She falls in love with Geoff. The pilots continue to make perilous flights into the interior of South America and back; tragedy strikes and new friendships are formed. At the end Bonnie is—still in love with Geoff, having hung around throughout the movie but hardly affecting the story at all.
  • Jane from Puma Man. A character so lacking in personality that she barely qualifies as a cardboard cutout.
  • Save Your Legs!: The only personality traits Anjali displays are her interest in Teddy, and her love of cricket (although the latter does play a role in the film's resolution). Tellingly, she is a character created for the dramatization and had no equivalent in the real world events that inspired the film.
  • In Stardust, Tristan would do absolutely anything to win Victoria's heart, though she's due to marry another man. And that's pretty much all we know about her. As his relationship with Yvaine the fallen star grows, Yvaine even points out that she's not exactly proving her love to him the way he is to her... and eventually, he figures this out himself and dumps her for Yvaine.
  • Whatsherface, Joan, from The Starfighters. The whole movie is an endless stream nothing of interest happening to incredibly uninteresting people, and she does not disappoint.
  • In TRON: Legacy, Olivia Wilde went out of her way to ensure that her character Quorra didn't get saddled with this. We see the beginnings of an attraction between the Sam and Quorra once they get to know each other a bit better on the Solar Sailer, which is probably a more natural true-to-life progression than this trope: they only recently met.
  • In-universe in The Truman Show. Truman's wife Meryl doesn't really love him and is only acting the part of his love interest. At one point, he even asks her "Why did you marry me? You can't stand me." After she leaves the show, the studio was set to have Truman start a new relationship with a hot new co-worker.
  • Oliver from Whip It acts like the very definition of this trope, since his scenes mainly consist of him digging Bliss, and Bliss digging him right back. The trope is deconstructed a bit, however, as he only acts this way in order to get into Bliss' pants. And she falls for it.

  • In The Adventures of Caterpillar Jones, Cat doesn't get much characterization other than liking C.J., and Sammy's wife Sandy gets even less characterization.
  • Bart and Robert in The Baby-Sitters Club series, whose only purpose is as love interests for Kristy and Stacey respectively. By contrast, Mary Anne's boyfriend Logan was a much more rounded character and was part of the club himself.
    • Will Yamakawa from the book Babysitters Summer Vacation was a Satellite Love Interest for Claudia. This also counts as a Token Minority Couple.
  • Ada from Dickens' Bleak House falls under this trope. She is sweet and so beautiful that Even the Girls Want Her and completely in love with her cousin, Richard. And that's it. Ditto for Lucie in A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens was at such a loss to develop her that her most memorable attribute is her ability to arrange furniture nicely.
  • Samson's infatuation with an unnamed Philistine woman in The Bible.
  • Kathein, in Courtship Rite, the woman the maran-Kaiel were originally planning to marry. She's a brilliant scientist, whose research becomes important to the plot more than once, but since they were ordered to marry someone else, the maran-Kaiel have been forbidden to see her, so she gets only a minimal amount of screen time and character development.
  • Lin Carter's Cthulhu Mythos tales have a variant of this in the form of the Great Old One Idh-Yaa, whose only purpose is to be Cthulhu's mate and the mother of his three sons. This may be one of the reasons why some fans disregard Lin Carter's Mythos.
  • Male examples in Dracula. Lucy's suitors function in the story as little more than that. Arthur (who is the one that gets the girl) only hopes for Lucy's affections and then mourns her death. Quincey doesn't get the girl and only contributes owning a hunting knife to the fight with Dracula and getting killed off so Dracula could kill someone. Lucy's third suitor Jack avoids this. He is more developed, as he works in a mental hospital where the patients sense Dracula's presence and it's he who first notices something wrong with Lucy.
  • Cimorene's fiancé Therandil in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. They're only in a relationship because their parents decided to betroth them, and she can't stand him because he's utterly shallow. Most of their interactions consist of her trying to get out of the marriage or trying to convince him to go away after she moves in with a dragon to get out of the marriage and he tries to rescue her. Once she finally gets rid of him (by convincing him to rescue an equally shallow princess being held by a different dragon instead) he only ever gets mentioned when she's explaining to other people how she got him to leave.
  • Played with in the Eternal Champion story by Michael Moorcock. The hero, Ekrose, wins a battle and becomes betrothed to the beautiful princess Iolinda, even though he just met her. Over the course of the story, he starts developing a much deeper connection to Ermihazd which develops into more genuine love. This has far-reaching consequences by the end of the story.
  • Bryce Loski of Flipped is a subversion. Juli is only interested in him for superficial reasons, and her family sees him as a pretty shallow person. In reality, he's got lots of Hidden Depths, he's just also a raging Stepford Smiler who deliberately projects his shallow image to cover up how bad things are at home. A major theme of the book is Juli learning to looks past appearances and Bryce learning to act like a decent human being.
  • In Aaron Allston's Galatea in 2-D, Kevin had divorced because Donna was not this, and painted Julia this way. In the end, after he killed Kevin, Roger paints Julia a new Kevin, who will treat her better — it wasn't after all her fault.
  • Daisy from The Great Gatsby is actually pretty well developed, she's just actually genuinely static. Jordan Baker acts this trope, but hints at Hidden Depths frequently (not to mention some believe her to be a lesbian).
  • Deconstructed in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix where Cho latches on Harry due to serious psychological problems, rather than merely being smitten; also, Harry only knew her on a shallow basis before dating her, and neither could handle the stress.
  • In A Harvest of War Queen Thyll's lover, Penda Mortimer, is this. His life and career literally revolve around her. Still, he ends up doing a lot more than usual for this trope due to said career being "high-ranking knight".
  • A Princess of Mars has John Carter do things beyond the impossible all for his relatively basic love for Dejah Thoris. In the entire ten-book canon, Dejah Thoris' characterization never really gets much beyond "beautiful princess who loves John Carter." The only books in which she actually gets to do anything are the first (Princess) and the eighth (Swords). In books two and three (Gods and Warlord) she's essentially a MacGuffin, she spends almost the entirety of book nine (Synthetic Men) in a coma, and in the other five she makes only a cameo appearance at the end (and sometimes in the beginning as well), with the bulk of the story being about a different couple (Carter himself is a significant character in only one of the five, Llana of Gathol).
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Jeyne Westerling is Robb Stark's Satellite Love Interest. Her entire role in the plot is for Robb Stark to first sleep with her when mourning the supposed deaths of his brothers and marry her to preserve her honor and in the process break his vow to Walder Frey, and all she talks about is how to be a good wife to Robb. (The fact that there are no point-of-view chapters for Robb explains this somewhat; we never see the two of them interact one-on-one, so we don't know what their relationship is really like.)
    • Jeyne's simplicity is most likely one of the reasons why the Game of Thrones writers cut her out and replaced her with a new Love Interest for Robb who, admittedly, is a better developed character: a field nurse who maintains a strong opinion against the war and is quite intelligent in her own right. It's easier to buy that Robb would break his engagement to a girl he's never met for her.
  • Many of these in Sweet Valley High and its spin-offs. It was almost guaranteed that once a book Elizabeth, Jessica or both would meet a new love interest who led her into some sort of scheme or caused her to become torn between him and her loyal regular boyfriend. Steven and other supporting characters got Satellite Love Interests too.
  • The White Queen in The Unexplored Summon://Blood-Sign plays with this. While she is indeed Kyousuke's love interest, and all of her thoughts are related to him in some way, she's also the Big Bad of the series. Due to her actions in the past, Kyousuke absolutely refuses to be with her again, and is devoted to trying to kill her. The story is essentially all about her attempts to make him fall in love with her again, no matter the cost.
  • Twilight:
    • One of the most bizarre examples of this trope can be found in the concept of "imprinting", in which males "recognize" the females that they are destined to fall in love with — which can occur as early as childbirth (in fact, Jacob imprinted on Bella's child before she was even conceived). Many of these female imprintees are "basic" by default considering they're infants or toddlers and thus have no fixed personalities at all. Their lives revolve entirely around their future husbands, considering the teenage boys appear to become their caregivers until they're of marriageable age, and whether the girls ''want'' to be in these relationships is treated as somewhat irrelevant in the text. They are future wives, nothing more. In-universe, it's explained that the boys become anything and everything that the girls want. They literally live and breathe to make their imprints happy. So they're satellites as well.
    • One example of this was when Jacob came across his friend Quil (a teenage boy) on a date with Claire (a two-year-old) at the beach, which involved Quil just watching as Claire played in the sand.
    • Also, Bella Swan, our romantic heroine and POV character herself. We never learn much about her life in Phoenix, and although she easily makes friends at the beginning of the first novel, she immediately dumps them to be with Edward. Her whole life revolves around Edward, to the point where she actually goes catatonic when he leaves her, and in the last book she turns into a vampire, and completely leaves her human life behind her for a life with her Edward. She also has no character development at all throughout the books. At one point her mother literally compares Bella to a satellite around Edward—always orientating herself to always be near him—and Bella can't give even one excuse as she even admits that Renee is totally correct.
  • Ramandu's daughter in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader only appears in one of the last chapters and exists largely to be beautiful, be the group's host, and provide exposition on the curses that affect both her father Ramandu and the three lords that still remain alive. She isn't even named in the text, though Word of God says she's called Lilliandil. She marries Caspian when it's all over, and we're informed that they live Happily Ever After until poor Lilliandil gets nommed by a snake and provides the inciting incident for The Silver Chair.
  • Silverstream from Warrior Cats. She never appeared in Into the Wild (not even as an apprentice or at least in the allegiances), and her first appearance in the second book was only to rescue Graystripe from drowning. She never had an appearance where it didn't involve another more important character, and the only notable thing she did outside of bearing Graystripe's kits was getting Firestar in touch with cats who knew something about Redtail's death.
  • Jorge Luis Borges wrote that Teodelina Villar, one of the characters of his short tale, The Zahir, was this trope for him. Then he states that in Real Life, this trope is a deconstruction of the Artifact of Attraction: After all, a Shallow Love Interest is someone who nobody (not even the guy who is in love with her) can define why is he in love, Borges cannot justify why he is in love (fascinated by) Teodelina: Teodelina was described by Borges as a Rich in Dollars, Poor in Sense Rich Bitch when she was younger, and then she was a Fallen Princess. Even when Borges describes her as pretty stupid, he claims to love her, even when he cannot justify why except because Borges admits he is a snob.
  • Sandokan: Baronet William Rosenthal, a character in The Tigers of Mompracem, exists only to be Sandokan's rival for Marianna's love, and his only chance to marry her was to have lord Guillonk force his niece.

    Live Action TV 
  • Arrow: In the early seasons of the show, there were relationships that didn't solely revolve around Oliver, for example, the Laurel/Quentin father-daughter relationship, or the Laurel/Sara sister relationship. In these cases, the writers didn't shy away from complexities or situations that sometimes made the characters look bad. However, concurrent with the rise of Olicity, female characters in more recent seasons are mostly defined by their relationship with Oliver, and Felicity is a prime example of that.
  • Borgen's final series introduces Jeremy Welsh, a character who unfortunately has no role or personality beyond "supportive boyfriend" to main character Birgitte.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Kennedy from season 7 appears to be interested in Willow for two reasons: she's cute, and she's willing to have sex with girls. At one point Willow asks her flat out what Kennedy knows about her, and Kennedy is barely able to come up with anything. But by the next episode, they're in a relationship.
    • Scott Hope, Buffy's incredibly forgettable high school boyfriend. They flirt and exchange a few gazes in Season 3...until he breaks up with her for being too disinterested. Season 7 has another character reveal he later turned out to be gay.
    • Oz began like this - entirely as a love interest for Willow. But when he became a werewolf, it allowed him to have plotlines that didn't involve being Willow's boyfriend.
    • Buffy's season 4 boyfriend Riley Finn existed on the show to only be Buffy's love interest after Angel, and while he did play an important role in the Initiative Plot, that role was just to give their relationship more "drama". It's really not that surprising that, come season 5 when the writers realized he had nothing interesting to do, they promptly got rid of him.
  • Charmed:
    • Dan initially began as an aversion - as he was taking care of his teenage sister while living next door to the Halliwells. But when Jenny was Put on a Bus to live with her parents again, Dan's only role was to be part of a Love Triangle between Piper and Leo. Even when he and Piper split up halfway through the season, he spends the rest of his time getting jealous and suspicious of Leo. He moves away at the end of the season.
    • Some of Phoebe's boyfriends exist only to give her someone to go on dates with. Leslie was probably the most notable long-term example. Season 8 both lampshades and deconstructs this. Her boyfriend Dex - when he finds out she's a witch - questions whether she actually fell in love with him or just pursued him because she had a premonition of them getting married. It's later revealed that the endless series of failed relationships has left her broken and terrified of love. But she marries a cupid called Coop, who was actually sent by the Elders to be her perfect match.
  • Cooper Barrett's Guide to Surviving Life: Josh's wife Leslie and Cooper's neighbor Kelly are both this in the first episode. They only interact with their love interests and don't mention anything that isn't directly related to those love interests. Averted from the second episode on; Leslie and Kelly end up becoming fast friends and we find out more about their lives that don't have anything to do with men.
  • Crash & Bernstein: Wyatt's best friend Pesto has only one defining trait: he has a massive crush on Wyatt's older sister Amanda.
  • CSI: NY:
    • Dr. Peyton Driscoll has hints of this. She had the potential to be a great character, as a medical examiner she was obviously smart, but the writers ruined this by making her very first scene one of her in bed with Mac. Later on, it seemed virtually every scene with her had to be connected to Mac in some way.
    • Christine. Some feel she hasn't been fleshed out enough or given enough personality to allow people to relate well to her, and she's a bit too perfect to seem real or that she's a written a bit too much like Mac's perfect woman. She's quick to forgive Mac for initially shutting her out somewhat from his aphasia problem and that in several scenes, she's been sitting in her restaurant with the door open after hours, even in dangerous New York, as though just waiting for Mac, even the time when she hadn't been answering her phone and wouldn't have known he would be coming over.
  • Daredevil (2015): A lot of the women in the show outside of Karen tend to fall into this trope. This is pretty prevalent in season 3 where the only women who are more than just love interests to anyone end up being Karen, and Nadeem's boss Tammy Hattley.
    • Foggy's girlfriend Marci Stahl has shades of this for the first two seasons since she only ever interacts with Foggy, and the only time she has interactions with someone who isn't Foggy is in her intro scene, where in addition to Foggy, she also gets to interact with Karen; as well as a few lines with Foggy's family in episode 9 of season 3.
    • Elektra gets shades of this in season 2, since a lot of her characterization is built around her relationships with the male figures in her life, namely her ex-boyfriend (Matt) and her surrogate father/sensei (Stick), and those are the two people she primarily interacts with. Many believe this negatively affected her, as it meant other character traits, like the whole matter of her being the Black Sky, never got the focus they needed.
  • The Defenders (2017):
    • Understandably, due to time constraints and the large cast of leads and supporting characters from the solo shows being juggled around, there were going to be out of focus and sidelined. But this is most apparent with Karen Page, as outside of a single interaction with Trish Walker, her interactions are primarily with Matt or with Foggy. The same goes for Malcolm and Trish, who only interact with each other and with Jessica.
    • Claire Temple gets hit a bit with this. After having been integral to linking the standalone shows together, The Defenders treats her primarily as Luke's love interest, and never allows her to do her medical work onscreen. The show barely even acknowledges until a conversation between Claire and Foggy that she had past romantic history with Matt for a bit back in Daredevil season 1, and no acknowledgment of the role Jessica played in the season 1 finale of her show in bringing Luke and Claire together.
  • Doctor Who, thanks to its unfortunate habit of writing out female companions by marrying them off, ended up resorting to this on occasion - great examples are David from "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", who is just there for a romance with Susan, and Troilus from "The Myth Makers", who does not have a single line of dialogue which is not about how much he loves Vicki, how happy he is loving Vicki or about how angry he is when people try to hurt Vicki.
    • Danny Pink in the 2014 series qualifies. Although he has a rather well-developed backstory (an Afghanistan war veteran with PTSD and one episode features the Doctor and Clara meeting him as a child when he lived in an orphanage), in terms of his relationship with Clara we don't see very much of what he does outside said relationship other than giving Clara a shoulder to cry on when things get a bit rough with the Doctor and occasionally letting his PTSD get the better of him in front of his students. Primarily, he refuses to go on any adventures with her, which enforces his satellite status as this prevents him from becoming directly involved in the mandate of the series - except for two key exceptions, one of which doesn't end well for Danny.
  • Dollhouse: Mellie starts out like this as she is just Paul's neighbor/girlfriend. Later it is revealed that she is a doll and the whole Mellie personality was made just to be Paul's Love Interest. Her real persona, Madeline, actually has much more going on in the story.
  • In Downton Abbey, most suitors for the Crawley girls (with the exception of Matthew Crawley and Tom Branson) turn out to be this. Matthew had his own in the form of Lavinia Swire.
  • Freaks and Geeks: Cindy Sanders was sort of an unrequited one of these for Sam Weir. Then they actually started dating, and she turned out to be something of a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
  • Glee:
    • Blaine Anderson; his primary role being Kurt's boyfriend. He rarely gets any real plots or scenes for himself; even the few that don't directly involve Kurt nevertheless end up being more about Kurt than Blaine. In the third season, he had a few Kurt-free plotlines such as friction with Finn and Sam, and his relationship with his brother.
    • Season four sees him become almost completely independent from Kurt. He has plenty of his own storylines and scenes.
  • Juliette in Grimm. Girlfriend of the protagonist, she seemingly only exists in Nick's presence. Despite being a licensed veterinarian, we only see her go to work when it furthers the plot of a case Nick is investigating. We know nothing about her family or where she's from. Her friends on the show consist of Monroe and Rosalie who she met through Nick. The one friend who appears from her pre-Nick past only appeared because she needed Nick's help and disappeared never to be heard from again after the situation was resolved. Juliette is bilingual but this is only revealed when Nick needs a Spanish-speaker to help him with a case based in Mexican lore. When Juliette finally got an independent plot involving amnesia that made her forget Nick she decided she was in love with Captain Renard, Nick's boss! When fan's had had enough she was put on a bus until the writers could retool the character and bring her back as "Eve" who is a reprogrammed with Juliette's memories and powers, but stripped of her feelings for Nick.
  • In Graceland, Mike's girlfriend Abby is never seen without Mike around.
  • Heroes: West, Caitlin, Yaeko, Simone. Most of these examples are so egregious as to be almost Bond girls (boys?) with how little we see of them (if anything) after the season they're introduced in. One of these lucky ladies is even retconned out of existence.
  • Horatio Hornblower: Mariette from "The Frogs and the Lobsters" is given very little personality. She is there just so Hornblower can fall in love with her and she reciprocates. Nearly everything she does in the episode is related in one way or another to Horatio. For example, when she's insulted by the chauvinistic Marquis, it's just a set-up to show that Horatio acts like a gentleman even to a French peasant girl.
  • Inspector Lynley: Helen Clyde, who exists almost entirely to serve as Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley's love interest. When compared to the other woman in his life — his partner Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, who is about as three-dimensional as it gets and has her own storylines, quirks, and foibles — Helen appears practically cardboard by comparison. Throw in a very healthy dose of UST and a reciprocal case of The Not-Love Interest between Lynley and Havers, and there's a reason Lynley/Havers is the show's Fan-Preferred Couple by an overwhelming margin. This isn't the case in the novel series from which the show was adapted, where Helen is much more three-dimensional — the show, although quite beloved in its own way, is treated as an Alternate Continuity by fans with good reason — but Lynley/Havers is still the favourite by a considerable distance.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Kamen Rider Fourze: Nadeshiko Misaki. Although she fights as a Rider herself, her primary purpose is to fall in love with Gentaro and to give him the Rocket States upgrade.
    • Kamen Rider Blade: Mutsuki's girlfriend Nozomi Yamanaka. We're told that she has other interests and is a tennis player, yet she is only ever seen in the context of her relationship with Mutsuki.
    • In Kamen Rider Agito, Ashihara had two Satellite Love Interests who only appeared briefly before being Stuffed into the Fridge. A third left town for her own safety.
  • All of Janelle's appearances on Lab Rats to date have revolved around Leo's crush on her.
  • Luke Cage: In the second season, a lot of Claire Temple's presence revolves around her role as Luke's love interest. She eventually breaks up with him in the third episode after a heated argument. This is arguably because Rosario Dawson had to leave the show so she could fly out to California to film Jane the Virgin.
  • Subverted in one episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Malcolm accuses his then-girlfriend of only dating him for the thrill of sneaking around. She retaliates by explaining why she genuinely likes him, citing reasons that actually make sense (e.g. he's funny, even when he's complaining.) Malcolm then figures out that he actually likes her as well, again citing reasons that she actually demonstrates. Double Subversion two episodes later, when she dumps him for being self-centered.
  • Merlin:
    • Deliberately an Invoked Trope between Arthur and Vivian, the latter being a Royal Brat who only exists to flounce around in pretty clothes. The two of them are put under a Love Spell that makes them act like Sickeningly Sweethearts, much to the bafflement of everyone else.
    • But notably subverted with two more of Arthur's Romantic False Leads: Princess Elena and Princess Mithian. Both are brought to Camelot (at different times) to join in an Arranged Marriage to Arthur; but instead of treating them as mere impediments to his happiness with Guinevere, both are likable and developed characters. Elena's importance to the narrative has less to do with her relationship to Arthur as it does her role as an Unwitting Pawn in The Fair Folks' attempt to take over Camelot, and though Mithian's function was simply as a Love Interest for Arthur, she was also a three-dimensional character who ended up being popular enough to return to the show in the next season.
    • Played straight with Freya, Merlin's Lost Lenore. She gets one scene in which she's permitted to share details of her past (and even that is more of a Mythology Gag that establishes her affinity for lakes), the rest of the time she only exists so that Merlin can be her Caretaker, enjoy openly using his magic in front of her, and experience manpain when she dies. It's especially glaring when he takes her to a lakeside in order to Let Her Die Happy and she mutters, "You remembered..." Well, of course, he remembered - her love of lakes is the only personal detail she ever shares with him!
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Robin Hood is introduced solely as a potential Second Love for Regina. For all his interesting backstory, all his plots and storylines revolve around his relationship with Regina.
    • Hook is a similar offender. Around midway through Season 4, he becomes defined almost entirely through his relationship with Emma.
    • Belle goes through the opposite. She began as this for Rumple, and only existed to be a Morality Pet preventing him from being completely evil. But around Season 4, she started having more storylines of her own and far more agency in them.
  • The love interests of Finch and Reese from before the start of Person of Interest, Grace Hendricks and Jessica Arndt, fall into this. With Jessica, this is because she actually died before the start of the series, so her only relevance is how her failed relationship with John and eventual death impacted him. Grace is still around, but even then, most of her appearances are flashbacks to when she and Harold were dating, and the majority of her present-day scenes center around people using her to get to Harold.
    • Grace is a relatively developed example of this, however. While she still primarily exists to further Harold's story, she does have her own established personality and interests (sweet, intelligent, awkward and quiet, loves art and works as an illustrator), and she even has a bit of backstory (she had an emotionally abusive father and as a result has trust issues).
  • Revolution: From the pilot episode, Nate Walker to Charlie. He has saved her life more than once and you can tell that the show is trying to portray them as Star-Crossed Lovers, even though we don't get to see that much. However, episode 5 reveals that he is Jason, Captain Tom Neville's son. He has contributed to the plot in a number of ways. Episode 7 has Jason revealing that Aaron Pittman has the pendant, prompting Monroe to sic Will Strausser on Team Matheson. Episode 11 has Jason refuse to obey his father's orders, causing him to get thrown out with bruises and he warns Charlie about the air strike occurring in 12 hours. Episode 16 has Jason helping Charlie and Nora stage a mutiny to free Dr. Ethan Camp and his family, as well as finally getting some bonding time with Charlie. Episode 18 has Jason shoot down Jim Hudson and proving that he hasn't been working against them. Episode 19 and the first season finale show Jason trying to be a Morality Pet or at least a Morality Chain for his father, but it doesn't seem to be working so far. All in all, he's a subversion of the trope.
  • The BBC's Robin Hood: Kate. There was an early attempt to characterize her as someone who would question Robin's authority and tactics, but three episodes in and she wasn't doing anything but wandering into trouble so that Robin could rescue her, and serving no other purpose but to be his rebound girl. Or more accurately, the rebound of his rebound girl. Her presence also turned Allan and Much into Satellite Love Interests to her, since they were given no significant screen-time in the third season that went beyond their Love Triangle with her.
  • Clara from Sanctuary is the last descendant of the original Invisible Man, so the Sanctuary team has to recruit her to complete a mission. She and Will hook up pretty quickly despite the fact that they have absolutely nothing in common and she really has no purpose in the show other than Fanservice (she has to be naked to turn invisible). Despite the fact that their relationship lasts all of four episodes, Will later describes it as one of only two "serious" relationships he's ever had.
  • Scrubs: Elliot's boyfriend, Jake, who existed only for Elliot to pine over him and be her perfect match for a few episodes. In the transition from Season 4 to 5, he abruptly disappears.
  • The Secret World of Alex Mack: Scott, Alex's first crush. He doesn't really have any personality beyond sending mixed signals to Alex, dating the Alpha Bitch, and being a Big Man on Campus. In fact, when Alex gets closer to him, she realizes that his actual personality isn't a very nice one, and she gets over her crush.
  • Once per Episode in Seinfeld, though sometimes subverted as many of the dates are complete and utter weirdos.
  • Silent Witness: Nikki and Harry both had a number of these, ostensibly to ramp up the Ship Tease between them when all of these relationships prove to be short-lived. Nikki continues to have them every so often after Harry leaves and Jack Hodgson arrives.
  • Supernatural:
    • The beautiful, doomed Jessica Moore from the series pilot was this for Sam. All her scenes are devoted to showing her supporting Sam or feeling concerned for him. After Dean showed up to recruit Sam for finding their dad, she was left behind at her and Sam's apartment and only showed up again to be found murdered when Sam returned, sending him back to hunt her killer for revenge. After that, all mentions of her revolve around Sam, how much they loved each other, and how much he misses her. The only things we know for sure about Jessica herself is that she can bake cookies, thought roses were lame, and her gravestone indicates her parents were still alive when she died; it isn't even stated if she was a Stanford student like Sam or what she was studying. The boys' Missing Mom Mary Winchester was also killed in the pilot to kick off the series, but at least she got to be a Posthumous Character revealed to have deeper ties to the plot than imagined and as late as Season 10 even came Back from the Dead!; poor Jess hasn't gotten any development at all, outside of a Retcon in Season 5 about her killer's identity, a possessed friend of hers and Sam's who manipulated the two of them together purely to kill Jessica off to make Sam start hunting again.
    • An interesting subversion with Jo. She made her first appearance in the second season as an obvious love interest for Dean, complete with an "adorably" feisty demeanor, a tragic backstory that mirrored the Winchesters', and almost breaking Dean's nose with a punch in a Meet Cute introduction. However, she became a little more fleshed out with her own motivations from A Day in the Limelight in "No Exit", with her relationship with Sam and Dean in shambles by the end of the episode after she learned from her mother that their father got her Disappeared Dad killed. She pretty much disappeared after that and she and Dean made no onscreen attempts to patch things up, with Jo making only one more appearance in the season where her feelings for Dean were mocked by the villain of the episode, she was told point-blank that Dean only saw her as a little sister and not a love interest, and the villain even suggested Dean would let her die rather than risk hurting Sam. After Dean saves her, she helps Dean out and offers to come with him as backup, but he refuses and when he walks out telling her he'll call her, Jo's last line for the next two seasons is a quiet "No you won't." Her inclusion in the episode is basically the writers admitting defeat and sinking the ship. Word of God states that Jo was originally conceived as a love interest for Dean and that she was phased out of the series due to negative fan reaction, which explains the rapid scrapping of her original characterization. She returned in the fifth season to much warmer reception, as she Took a Level in Badass between seasons and more importantly, shocked the audience by shooting down her one-time crush Dean when he tried to hop into bed with her the night before a dangerous mission, saying she had more self-respect than that.
    • Deconstructed Trope in "Wishful Thinking". In this example a guy uses a magic coin he inherited to create a wishing well, so he can make the girl who he's been in love with since high school, but is oblivious to him, love him more than anything else. At first he's happy with the new situation, but eventually gets disheartened from the fact that she literally has no personality other than pleasing and loving him, even killing others for him to maintain their "love".
  • Super Sentai: Has had many instances of this trope in the course of its 38 series history, most of them being one-shot interests to the resident playboy on the team.
  • The Thundermans: Link has absolutely no function in the show other than being Phoebe's boyfriend. He has only appeared in episodes that are about him and his relationship with Phoebe. Otherwise, his name is never even mentioned.
  • Ugly Betty: Austin has no last name and is more of a plot device to get Justin to realize his sexuality than an actual character.
  • Victorious: Beck, though a slight aversion as he gets more characterization in season one than most do of this trope, but whenever he figures prominently in a plot, it's always either relationship drama with Jade or ship tease with Tori and other cast members, and he's almost always seen through Tori's, Jade's or even Robbie's(!) point of view

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Luann:
    • Aaron Hill, Luann's longtime crush object. Very pretty... and that's it. Even attempts at giving him depth (the revelation of his relationship with legally-adult Dianne) only served to underline what little personality he had.
    • There was an arc where Luann was spending a lot of time with Gunther, only for the end of the arc to reveal that it had been Aaron in disguise the whole time, trying to teach her a lesson about judging on appearances vs. actual merits. It's telling that, aside from disguise time, the most interaction the two had was Aaron berating Luann for missing the point when she asked to try on the Gunther mask.
    • Aaron ended up getting more depth with later stories, though that ended up being negated when he was Put on a Bus. But he has nothing on the blandness of Quill, who is handsome and... Australian. And that's about it.
    • Both of Bernice’s major love interests, Zane and Piro. Made evident by the fact that each of them vanished from the strip altogether the second Bernice was done with them, as they had no personality or function other than serving as her object of obsession.
  • A prime example is The Little Red-Haired Girl from the Peanuts comics. We hardly know a thing about her, she didn't appear onstage in the strip (her first on-screen appearance was in an animated TV special in 1977) or even her name (the specials called her "Heather"). Of course, the whole point of this romance is about Charlie Brown's one-sided affections and inner emotional turmoil for her, rather than actual interaction. Which actually makes her essentially the opposite of this trope: her life emphatically does not revolve around Charlie, and she presumably has her own interests, we just don't know anything about them.

  • Papagena in The Magic Flute is one of the most blatant examples ever - having literally the same personality as Papageno but as a woman.
  • Lia in Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana. The whole show is about her sweetheart, Zark, going on The Quest to find her after, sometime prior to the beginning of the show, they were separated for reasons unknown to the audience. With this in mind, she only appears in the final scene.
  • Justified in Hamilton where the three main female characters—Hamilton's wife Eliza, his sister-in-law Angelica, and his mistress Maria—are all defined by their relationship with him and/or other men, due to women being unable to take an active role in American politics in the 1700's. Subverted at the end though, where Eliza recounts her career as founder and headmistress of an orphanage, an endeavor she undertook on her own accord (though still inspired by Hamilton's past as an orphan).

    Video Games 
  • Isabella/Catleia in Advance Wars: Days of Ruin/Dark Conflict derives her entire character around being an amnesiac Mysterious Waif who is (going to be) the girlfriend of main character Will/Ed. Consequently, despite being one of the best commanders in the game, she is never used in any Campaign mission.
  • Li in Aquaria due to the fact that we only ever hear Naija talk, and in the past tense. Naija to Li, as well. When she was on her own, her desire just to figure out what the hell happened to everyone made for a pretty compelling motivation; when she meets Li, the story utterly derails as she loses all interest in solving the mystery or exploring; she's so happy that she's not completely alone anymore that as long as she doesn't have to be alone ever again, the game could end right there for all she cares. She literally only continues along to find the answers and beat the final boss because there's a mouse cursor telling her where to go and what to shoot.
  • In Devil May Cry, Kyrie has no presence other than being a Damsel in Distress for Nero to rescue or providing the odd bit of emotional support. The only thing really established about her personality beyond being Nero's girlfriend is that she runs an orphanage on Fortuna after the events of Devil May Cry 4.
  • Rosa Joanna Farrell from Final Fantasy IV is often criticized for her only noticeable character trait being her dedication to Cecil. Ultimately subverted in that she does have reasons to oppose Baron that are unrelated to Cecil. The DS version, in particular, allows the player to view her thoughts on the game's events; they have remarkably little to do with Cecil.
  • Final Fantasy IX has Sir Fratley for Freya. He's her motivation for leaving Burmecia and travelling the world, and he shows up with amnesia to add even more trauma for her. While Freya helps save the world, Fratley is there entirely as her love interest. He disappears after the second disk, only to reappear in the end. Perhaps in acknowledgment of the trope, Freya's inner monologue expresses doubts over whether they can pick up where they left off (as he still does not remember her).
  • Final Fantasy XV had one of the main criticisms concerning Lunafreya Nox Fleuret outside of the controversy concerning certain production decisions is that Luna's character literally revolves around Noctis and that she has little agency or character outside of helping him achieve his destiny. While this isn't so bad in itself, the problem most have is that she and Noctis have little chemistry and share almost no scenes together when they are both adults when both are alive, so the audience doesn't get a good read on what the two would actually be like as a couple.
  • Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water: Rui has little personality to her character, with her main aspects being Ren's assistant and having a crush on him. Even her journal revolves mostly around talking about Ren, complaining about his lax attitude when it comes to keeping things tidy, and further hinting that she's falling more and more in love with him. And her main purpose as a character accompanying Ren is to keep falling under the influence of spirits and needing to be rescued.
  • In the Fire Emblem series:
    • Ultimately averted by Ninian from Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade. She can be one of Eliwood's brides and is the only one who develops feelings for him whether her love's requited or not, but she also has Hidden Depths regarding her her loneliness, her relationship with her little brother Nils, the isolation she feels due to her heritage as a half-Dragon woman and her Survivor's Guilt regarding the death of Eliwood's dad while trying to protect her and Nils. But since she's a Shrinking Violet and White Magician Girl, the fans of Eliwood's other brides Fiora and Lyndis often accuse her of fitting in here to make the other girls look better.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening:
      • All of the playable characters can marry each other at any time in the game, while The Hero Chrom must marry at the end of Chapter 11. He can get good development with any of his five love interests (including a Female Avatar), and though pairing with Olivia is more or less forced if you chose to do it (she joins the same chapter Chrom has to marry), he can support with her after the fact, and many fans consider said supports to be pretty cute on their own. And there's a rather popular Alternative Character Interpretation about Olivia and Chrom's deal being a Love at First Sight that later developed into true affection. However, if all of Chrom's choices are married off, killed off or have no affection points with him before then, he marries a generic village girl who only appears in one scene and isn't heard of after that.
      • Out of Chrom's love interests, Sumia is the one who's more frequently accused of being this to him, since she has no prevalence in the story beyond being his love interest, yet she is the only one who receives extra scenes that serve no purpose other than hinting at her to be the Implied Love Interest. Even though choosing Chrom's wife is optional, the game's mechanics and her extra scenes (one even titled "lovebirds") does push you to choose Sumia, and she's the only one who receives a cutscene for the proposal, not to mention she has an extremely shallow pool of potential suitors to choose from (Chrom, Frederick, Gaius, Henry, and the Male Avatar). However, she vanishes from the narrative after Lucina joins, instead just becoming just like any of the other units.
    • In Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, Faye is this to the point of Deconstructed Character Archetype. Her entire personality and characterization revolve completely around her one-sided crush on Alm; her support with Silque actually sheds light on this by showing she has trouble relating to other non-Alm people and that her obsession with him is considered strange even by her parents. In an interesting subversion, she also cannot end up with Alm under any circumstances since he and Celica are the game's primary Official Couple.
    • You also have Rinea, who has absolutely no impact on the story's plot except to be Berkut's Morality Pet - she notably has no dialogue with other characters and is ultimately sacrificed by a completely broken Berkut in order for him to gain power.
  • In Grand Theft Auto V, the film-within-a-game Meltdown parodies these sorts of characters with Miranda, who only shows up in two scenes (one of which is the ending) and has about as many lines of dialogue. The film even refers to her as "a hot, brainless woman to act as a plot device." All of this is part of the film's (and the game's) vicious parody of summer blockbusters and modern Hollywood filmmaking.
  • Last Scenario has Valentin, Matilda's husband, who's only relevant in two scenes in the entire game, has very little chemistry with his wife, and in fact very little personality at all beyond just being the wimpy Non-Action Guy to Matilda's tough, intimidating Action Girl. He seems to exist solely to prematurely sink any ships revolving around Matilda or Thorve/Drakovic (she even warns Drakovic that she's a married woman at one point.)
  • Zael and Calista from The Last Story have absolutely no reason to be in love other than "because shut up they're in love". It's a complete Mind Screw as to why when you consider that the Beta Couple gets a full development arc from Volleying Insults to Friendly War to Belligerent Sexual Tension and finally to Everyone Can See It before they make the Relationship Upgrade. Zael and Calista, on the other hand, are an extremely basic Love at First Sight affair that consumes 60% of the plot without ever really going anywhere.
  • Diana Allers from Mass Effect 3 is the most shallow love interest in the series by far, a title formerly held by Kelly Chambers. She initially joins the Normandy crew to help drum up support for the war effort, but as she interviews Shepard, she makes increasingly flirty gestures at him/her; if the player has Shep reciprocate, it's treated as an incredibly brief fling and never referenced again. You're not even admonished or locked out of pursuing a legitimate romance for giving Diana an exclusive. Particularly telling is that she is the only love interest who will even attempt to hit on Shepard if a true romance has already been locked in.
  • Akane Kurashiki of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is Junpei's childhood friend all grown up, flirts with him while they're in a dangerous situation, and her personality is largely built around that. Sure, she has some Cloudcuckoolander Agent Mulder tendencies, but by and large Akane is a textbook flat Love Interest...right up until the True Ending, where we learn that she is neither of those things.
  • Sunny Funny from Parappa The Rapper. Her role in both games revolves around her being Parappa's crush.
  • Persona 2: Innocent Sin initially presents the Lisa as one to Tatsuya. Her main features are that her parents are American Japanophiles (making her a Phenotype Stereotype), she's interested in Chinese, and she really really wants Tatsuya to date her. Even when showing off her knowledge of Chinese, it's to hit on Tatsuya. Then the backstory comes in and the trope becomes massively deconstructed. By the time you have the option of choosing her as a genuine love interest, she has gained a lot of depth and thoroughly subverted the trope.
  • Persona 3 has Aigis, whose development leads her to become a Satellite Love Interest as part of her Become a Real Boy plot. Her role in FES expands on this, but her relationship with the protagonist is still the core of her character. Justified: She is a Shadow destroying robot. The protagonist fights shadows and has the worst one sealed inside him so naturally, she joins him.
  • Mist, Mana, and Shara are considered the Canon love interest in their respectable Rune Factory games. Unsurprisingly, they also tend to be the ones least likely picked by players for marriage due to the much more interesting choices the game gives for other bachelorettes. Rune Factory 4 manages to subvert this by throwing away the idea of a canon love interest altogether. And before that, Rune Factory Frontier, due to the expanded characterization for the returning characters, also rescued Mist from this trope as she became known more for being a Cloudcuckoolander.
  • Beth in Shin Megami Tensei II was intended as such for the hero, but she also proves useful in battle, thus giving her a useful purpose. Is totally subverted because she also does a Heroic Sacrifice and gives you her power in death, as, even though you find out she was created to serve you, her love for you was quite real.
  • Decus in Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World is pretty much motivated only by his love for Alice. Of course, she did save his life, but it does come off as rather extreme nonetheless.
  • Aggra from World of Warcraft, who seems to have been invented solely for the purpose of getting Thrall laid and ensuring that he procreates. Or, perhaps more maliciously, sinking the Thrall x Jaina ship.

  • Molly in Achewood semi-averts this at first, with her introduction giving her plenty of reasons to find interest in Roast Beef. However, this development (such as her interest in computer programming) was more or less dropped when she moved in with him. She then pretty much played this trope to a tee, getting defined only by her relationship with Roast Beef (to the point where she almost never even interacted with the other characters). As of recently, though, she's been getting more development.
  • Alex in Candi. He seems to be getting more static and more dense with every appearance. Not that he was ever much more than "Candi's boyfriend" before.
  • Dorothy from Dumbing of Age dumps Danny due to fears that his life is increasingly revolving around her, turning him into one of these.
  • Paz from Gunnerkrigg Court. While her relationship with Kat is cute, we don't learn anything much about her other than that she used to have a crush on a boy before developing feelings for Kat, she's generally cheerful, and she can talk to animals. After her hook-up with Kat, she's only had one big, plot-relevant scene of talking down a monster that wasn't some variation of "she's happy to be with Kat". Whenever the main characters have to go on some adventure or quest, Paz is conspicuously absent from it and we never even get to see her reactions to Kat and her other schoolmates doing potentially dangerous things or Kat telling her about them. Her main role in the plot so far has been to just occasionally appear to remind us that Kat has a cute girlfriend.
  • Layla the butterfly from The Legend of Spyro: Zonoya's Revenge does not affect the plot at all except to be Sparx's girlfriend.
  • Ping of MegaTokyo was programmed to start like this, and then slowly become an amalgamation of the favored love interests of her end user. But since no one has been "playing" with her (except maybe Miho), she's forced to grow naturally. It's actually a little beautiful when you think about it.
  • Regardless of whether or not it was intentional, Yosue Makoto from Red String ended up like this by the end of the comic's run. From his first appearance and throughout the comic, all he has ever wanted was Miharu, even while she was engaged to Kazuo (and while he was engaged to Miharu's cousin Karen.) He never gives Miharu (or the audience) a reason why he's in love with her, he just is. The most insight we've gotten into his single-minded desire to completely possess Miharu is that he fell in love with her image in a photograph. Aside from his obsession with her, we don't know much else about him aside from a few throwaway traits. All of which completely vanish as in the final ten pages of the comic, he literally makes a phone call to his parents to arrange things so he can safely quit his job, explicitly so he can date Miharu full-time, and then travel the world with her doing...apparently, nothing but eating, given his description of their future activities as "I want to taste food...together."
  • Pretty much every female character in Sonichu, but the most obvious is Rosechu, who mostly cooks, cleans, and has sex with her titular boyfriend (later husband)... despite issue 8 showing off The Incredible Lioness, who would definitely aid in some later issues, but is never brought up again, and pretty much only exists to show that Sonichu is STRAIGHT. Ivy O'Neil in the comics can be considered this too. She's told by God and Jesus that her true love is to be Chris himself once he escapes from the mirror, and she accepts this without question or protest. She's pretty much not characterized at all beyond that.
  • Rosey in Weenie Licked, to Paul. Justified as she is created by Paul specifically to be his girlfriend and he doesn't think of any other traits for her until after the fact. She seems to be developing away from this.
  • In the Star vs. the Forces of Evil fancomic, Ship War AU, Jackie Lynn Thomas continues her role as this in the series proper. However, it's actually explored and ultimately deconstructed. It's shown that despite having been friends since kindergarten, neither Jackie or Marco actually know a lot about each other personally. In contrast to Star and Marco, who became instant friends after only a few hours. Jackie decides to break up with Marco for this reason, feeling that it's not fair that he became her boyfriend despite Star knowing him better.

    Web Original 
  • Darwin's Soldiers has Aydin Marcos. His only defining personality trait is the fact that he loves Aimee.
  • The Gumdrops has two male examples: Pete and Robbie are both there as boyfriends of Lindsay and Laura respectively. While they have defined characteristics, they don't appear in episodes that don't feature their respective girlfriends.
  • The YouTube series LPS: Popular (and yes, the LPS stands for exactly what you think it means) has Sage and Tom. The former only exists to be in a Love Triangle between Brooke and Savvy, and the latter is merely a boyfriend for Savvy to shake up the status quo. This is particularly blatant because Sage and Tom are the only males in the main cast.
  • In Noob, Arthéon and Kary bonded over both being The Roleplayer, but Kary's role in the story seems to limit itself to dating Arthéon long enough for him to get deeply attached to her, then choosing the discovery of new game content over their in-game wedding that Arthéon viewed as the first step towards a real-life one. This causes the Rage Breaking Point that ends up pushing Arthéon's storyline in a new direction and Kary is out of the picture after this.

    Western Animation 
  • In Adventure Time, Betty Grof's entire role in the plot is to be Simon Petrikov's former love interest. The only reason she even appears in the present time of Ooo is to find a cure for her insane fiancé. This gets deconstructed in one episode, where she is shown all of her own ambitions that she simply gave up the day she met Simon, in an effort to try and get her to move on with her life. She ignores this in favor of doubling her efforts instead.
  • In All Grown Up!, Rachel (Tommy's girlfriend) is this to a T. Not only doesn't she receive any character development, but she has no close connections with any of the Rats, nor is she seen with anyone else aside from Tommy. Compared to more popular fan pairings such as Tommy/Kimi and Tommy/Lil, Rachel generally contributes nothing to the series. In addition, their romance has had its share of complications. In the end, because of her family moving away, she generally breaks up with Tommy. But to make matters worse, when Rachel sees Tommy with another girl, she tells him that she never wants to see him again.
  • Amphibia has Ivy Sundew. She had no focus in Season One aside from Sprig struggling with his feelings for her and all we know about her is that she's a tomboy and Sprig's only friend before Anne came along.
  • Batman Beyond has Dana Tan. The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life, and for Terry, that means Dana Tan is the girl he's always missing dates with. She ends up being little more, which ends up making her none too likable as The Obstructive Love Interest, which is sad - her first season appearances give her plenty of qualities that could have been expanded upon. But, aside from one focus episode where she got to be a fairly proactive Damsel in Distress, she was never given enough attention to develop and almost disappeared in the third season.
  • Julie from Ben 10: Alien Force. Initially appeared out of the blue (not helped by the fact many fans felt she was introduced just to get rid of the Incest Subtext between Ben and Gwen.). Unlike other examples, she gets better over time.
  • Queen Rapsheeba, Snap's love interest on ChalkZone. Besides her only shown personality traits being that she's nice, she's ChalkZone's local celebrity, and that Snap has a crush on her, she also rarely ever appears without Snap in the same scene.
  • Daria.
    • One reason that Tom's The Scrappy (aside from the Love Triangle drama) is that he has little characterization outside of being Daria and Jane's Spear Counterpart; throughout the series, the number of scenes where he's not with them (or talking with them on the phone) could probably be counted on one hand. Aspects of his character that make him unique—his Old Money background or private prep school—don't really get explored outside of some providing light class drama with Daria. We meet his family and he apparently has other friends, but these relationships are only hinted at.
    • Mack is another example, though he at least gets characterization as Kevin's Satellite Best Friend (semi-willingly) as well as being Jodie's often put-upon boyfriend.
  • In DuckTales (1987), Gandra Dee would never get much characterization other than being Fenton Crackshell's love interest and girlfriend (except for how she could be really rude and ungrateful to Fenton). She only appeared in six episodes though, but she would seldom be the main focus of the plot even within that limited screen time.
  • On The Fairly OddParents, Trixie Tang and in the opposite way, Tootie. Neither have much personality outside of either being liked by or having a crush on Timmy, barring some depressing backstory for Tootie, and some Hidden Depths revealed in one episode for Trixie.
  • Angela from Fish Hooks really has no character outside of being Oscar's girlfriend and having a lot in common with him.
  • Panini from Chowder, her only real character trait is that she has a crush on Chowder. Her whole character involves around Chowder to the point that not much is known about her personality (besides having a crush on the main character).
  • Grojband: Nick Mallory has little role in the series beyond being the object of Trina's unrequited affections, and is characterized as being an idealized-to-exaggerated-levels version of a stereotypical hunky high school Chick Magnet. While he does interact with the eponymous band and other characters several times, it still usually has something to do with Trina's crush on him.
  • Deconstructed in Hey Arnold!. Throughout the first season Arnold had a crush on an old girl named Ruth MacDougal, but she was rarely developed outside of him pining for her and Helga being jealous of her. The Valentine's Day episode is the first time that Arnold really talks to her, realizes that she's kind of a Brainless Beauty and subsequently loses interest.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Jez and Saffi exist mainly to be girlfriends of Lucius and Beezy, respectively, and are ignored when these connections aren't important. This is notable in one episode involving Beezy being put in an Arranged Marriage, when he points out he has Saffi, she's wheeled out to say "I don't mind," then proceeds to disappear other than a cameo near the end.
  • KaBlam!:
    • One-shot girly girl Dawn who showed up in the episode "A Nut in Every Bite!". As soon as he saw her Henry fell in love with her. However, she was rather boring personality-wise, especially compared to the snarky tomboyish June, and other than finding him hilarious, she didn't return his affections. He forgets about his crush on her at the end once he realizes that she wasn't worth it.
    • As cute as a couple they were, Larry's girlfriend, Stacey from the Life With Loopy short "Larry's Girl" was one of these, with her only shown traits being that she fell in love with Larry and sharing interests with him. This was inevitable, though; she only appeared in the last minute of the short (which normally runs for four minutes), had only one line of dialogue, and never appeared again for the rest of the series.
  • Kaeloo: Eugly the rabbit is Quack Quack's girlfriend... and that's pretty much all we know about her.
  • Parodied in Kim Possible, where Senor Senor Junior kidnapped a computer expert so he can find the perfect girl that matched his shallow requirements. Turns out it's Bonnie.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series:
  • Littlest Pet Shop (2012) has Josh Sharpe, whose only known traits are limited to, he's nice and is in a band. The show had several crushes for the pets who only appeared in one single episode (Delilah was in a two-parter) and they were all developed much deeper. Except for the polecat Captain Cuddles who also didn't have very much characterization aside from being charming. And Philippe Boudreaux who was a Dog Mime, nothing more.
  • Moral Orel: As adorable as their relationship is, Christina is pretty hard to characterize outside of being Orel's crush and eventually, his wife.
  • Don Prima of My Life as a Teenage Robot for Jenny. He mainly just appears whenever Jenny's crush on him is relevant for the plot of an episode, and is otherwise a typical stock teenage hunk.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (2016) gives Blossom a crush on a boy named Jared Shapiro. He's around her age, goes to her school, is nerdy, and likes her but can't tell her... That's about all there is to Jared Shapiro.
  • Phineas and Ferb
    • Jeremy Johnson initially had no purpose other than being a bright spot in Candace's life, but later episodes develop him a bit more. He's shown to have his own life and friends, is savvy to Candace's freakouts, and got some interaction with other characters like Dr. Doofenshmirtz. In terms of personality, he's pretty much a chill, relaxed, mature, responsible Workaholic. The answer to what he's doing when not being a love interest is "Probably working, usually at Mr. Slushy Burger, or maybe teaching guitar lessons, or being a lifeguard."
    • Isabella has a huge crush on Phineas and is usually involved in the boys' projects because of this. She's not truly a flat character and has received a decent amount of characterization, but her role and actions in the show largely revolve around her feelings for Phineas.
  • In The Proud Family: Suga Mamma is attracted to Lasienaga's Grandpa, although the latter not only has no interest in her, but also seems to insult her every time, and in at least one episode also wished for her to disappear. Literally, the only reason why she continues with her crush is that she doesn't understand Spanish (the grandpa always speaks in Spanish). Then again, in this case, it's just a Running Gag so that the grandfather can insult her and laugh maniacally afterwards.
  • AndrAIa from ReBoot has this problem, especially after she grows up & loses the naive Fish out of Water characteristics that made her so endearing at the beginning. She was originally created to do nothing more than try to kill a guy in a submarine, so it's not like she would have needed much of a personality. Also, she's a bit of an Action Girl, so it's not like she's totally useless.
  • Johnny V. from Recess only existed to give Spinelli a Temporary Love Interest, to the point where he appears only in the episode where she likes him.
  • Several minor characters from The Simpsons can come off like this, defined entirely by being the wife of a more prominent character. Sarah Wiggum, Bernice Hibbert, and Brandine Spuckler all come across as this at times, although to some degree they have all developed to a limited extent. Averted with Helen Lovejoy, whose personality of being a gossipy Moral Guardian is more than enough to stand on its own.
  • Sonic Boom has Zooey the Fox, Tails' girlfriend. She's a nice girl, and the two do make an adorable couple...but outside of being Tails' girlfriend very little can be said about her.
  • South Park
    • Wendy Testaburger is mostly defined as Stan’s on and off girlfriend. While there’s a few episodes where she gets more screen-time ("Stupid Spoiled Whore Video Playset", "Breast Cancer Show Ever" and "The Hobbit") that shows her being more than just Stan’s girlfriend, her primary role in the show is to be Stan’s cute Love Interest who can be a Clingy Jealous Girl.
    • Heidi Turner has also become this after she was turned into a Ascended Extra in Season 20 and Season 21. In most episodes of Season 20, her main role was being Cartman’s girlfriend. While Season 21 gave her slightly more Character Development, she is still defined as Cartman’s girlfriend and after she breaks up with him, she returns to her old role as a background character
  • Lola serves as this role in Space Jam to Bugs Bunny and otherwise had very little characterization to herself. The Looney Tunes Show revamps her into a character that does date Bugs, but has a defined personality, family life, and interests that make her a unique character as well. To a smaller extent, she also has a defined personality on Baby Looney Tunes outside of Bugs, though largely because everyone are infants, there is no romance going on.
  • Squilvia, a one-shot character from SpongeBob SquarePants, doesn't have much to her outside of being attracted to those who are Enraged by Idiocy.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: There are two characters whose defining trait in the show is to be the person that the two main characters, Star and Marco, have their respective crushes on.
    • Jackie-Lynn Thomas to Marco. In the first season, Jackie doesn't have much of a role besides being the girl Marco's crushing on. This is even lampshaded by Marco in the season two episode "Sleepover" when he admits he never truly to got know Jackie beyond the image of her he built up, but he would like to try. Jackie is slowly given a more fleshed out personality in her following appearances, as she graduates to becoming Marco's girlfriend, but even with the expanded characterization, her primary role in the show is as Marco's love interest. She promptly disappears from the series as soon as she dumps him but returns in Season 4 where it's revealed that she now has a French girlfriend.
    • Oskar Greason only ever gets focus relevant to Star's crush on him. Like Jackie, he does have some Hidden Depths, but is ultimately defined as Star's crush. In fact, Oskar actually goes Out of Focus at the same time that Star's crush on him fades away and she starts to fall in love with Marco. When he does reappear one last time in the Season 2 finale, his role is as the guy Star used to have a crush on.
    • Averted with Tom, Star's half-demon on-again-off-again boyfriend. Even after winning back his girlfriend, he received a large amount of characterization and become one of the main characters in the show. Notably, he initially dislikes Marco due to being jealous of his friendship with Star, but over time the two bond, and by the season three finale, Tom confesses to Marco that he now thinks of him as his best friend.
  • Total Drama:
    • Trent does have characterization but never gets a plotline that doesn't involve Gwen. The writers don't seem to have much else to do with him, at least in the context of the Show Within a Show - he's voted off as soon as they break up in season two and he's not a contestant on season three, though there is a minor subplot about him forming a boy band with Cody, Harold and Justin.
    • Bridgette has the same problem as Trent. She has characterization, but she never really gets any focus from the writers except for her role as Geoff's girlfriend. The one season she participated in without Geoff (season three) still revolved around their relationship when it enters troubled waters due to her falling for Alejandro's charms and trying to get Geoff to accept her apologies for it.
    • Tyler had no role in season one except being part of the show's first couple with Lindsay, and his only character trait was that he was terrible at sports. Once he was eliminated, both Lindsay and the writers completely forgot about him, with Lindsay's inability to remember who Tyler is becoming a Running Gag. Season three rectified this by giving him more focus and characterization.
    • Zoey's label and biography describe her as an "indie chick", but this never comes up in the show itself. Instead, her defining trait is her mutual crush on Mike, who has multiple personalities and is trying to hide this from her.
    • On Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race, Devin serves as Carrie's oblivious target of affection, and the majority of his dialogue is dedicated to either fueling or denting her feelings for him. His satellite status is made all the more apparent by his lack of interaction with anyone other than Carrie, as nearly all the other characters (including Carrie herself) had managed to gain at least one friend or rival by the midpoint of the competition.
  • Another male example: David of Totally Spies!, who is good-looking, a book smart genius, an artist, and an athlete — something that appeals to each of the three spies (and sometimes the Alpha Bitch too!), making him a universal love interest who exists solely to provide romantic B-plots.
  • X-Men: Evolution has two examples: Scott's SLI is Taryn Fujioka, whose only connection to the cast besides Scott is the fact she's apparently one of Jean's friends, one that appears once or twice for a few seconds standing next to Jean, then doing nothing until suddenly being interested in Scott. Jean, meanwhile, got Duncan; however, the writers brought him in as a Jerk Jock to give him something besides dating Jean (IE, making him pick on Toad and, to a lesser extent, Blob, and giving him a rivalry with Scott), before he developed during seasons 3 and 4 into a mutant hater with a penchant for grudges who's smart enough to avoid antagonizing the mutants that will fight back with their powers.


Alternative Title(s): Shallow Female Love Interest, Shallow Male Love Interest, Shallow Love Interest, Merely A Love Interest, Flat Love Interest, Undeveloped Love Interest, Forced Romantic Interest


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