A character noted for their obsession with another character. They claim that the motivation for their morally outrageous acts is a simple wish to gain attention from the crush-ee. Alternatively, the obsession may be explained as a misguided desire to "protect" note the crush-ee, whether or not the crush-ee wants or needs such "protection". In any case, the more sincere they seem, the creepier they are.
Why does this happen? Because Love Makes You Evil, and "If I Can't Have You… No One Can!"
There'll usually be a Double Standard at play with this trope. Male stalkers are more likely to be portrayed unsympathetically, and as an actual danger to their object of obsession. Female stalkers, by contrast, are likely to be portrayed sympathetically, and typically portrayed as charming or cute (though beware the Woman Scorned!).note Both however will often be portrayed sympathetically if they happen to be pretty. An increasingly common tool for stalking is the internet; the trope may cross over with Internet Stalking if they use the world wide web as a tool for it.
Compare Stalker Without a Crush, whose obsession is unrelated to romantic feelings.
- If the stalker's behavior is meant to be romantic instead of creepy, it's Stalking Is Love.
- If the stalker is chasing a celebrity, especially one who doesn't know them, they're a Loony Fan.
- If the stalker spies on/photographs the target but does not seek further contact, they are The Peeping Tom.
- If the stalker wants their target's DNA as much as (if not more than) their love, that's a Stalker with a Test Tube.
- If the stalker is unattractive (especially if female) and her attention disgusts the target, this is Abhorrent Admirer.
- If the stalker is pursuing the target because he's particularly Wrong Genre Savvy, he's most likely also a Prince Charming Wannabe or convinced he's a Dogged Nice Guy. Can easily double as a Crazy Jealous Guy. A Hollywood Restraining Order may be mentioned.
- If the stalker's crush makes them go Ax-Crazy at anyone who tries to interfere or even the crush-ee, the stalker is a Yandere, especially if she's female.
- If the stalker formerly had a romantic relationship with the target, they're a Psycho Ex.
- If the stalker is an antagonist and the target is a protagonist, it's likely a Villainous Crush.
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