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Stalking Is Funny if It Is Female After Male

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Oh, uh oh
She's following me
Oh, uh oh
She's out of her tree
Oh, uh oh
She's off of her rocker
I wanna marry my stalker!

A man who creeps after a woman, spies on her, and builds a Stalker Shrine in her honor is creepy. The woman, however, not so much, especially if she is conventionally attractive, but even if she isn't, she is far more likely to be treated sympathetically and the whole thing far more likely to be Played for Laughs than if the gender dynamic were reversed.

In Real Life, it shouldn't need to be said, stalking is a Bad Idea and, depending on the extent to which the stalker goes, almost certainly illegal no matter which genders are involved. Unfortunately, this trope can be found in real life insofar as men are often less likely to be taken seriously by the authorities than women in a similar situation. That said, as with similar tropes, No Real Life Examples, Please!

Compare Stalking is Love and Stalker with a Crush. This trope is related to and often overlaps with Abhorrent Admirer. This trope tends to serve as the Lighter and Softer Sister Trope of Double Standard Rape: Female on Male, note  though the stereotypes regarding stalking aren't quite identical to the stereotypes regarding rape.

As with all Sexual Harassment and Rape Tropes, No Real Life Examples, Please!


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  • A series of commercials for the Android smartphone featured a girl who couldn't stop talking about her new Love Interest Brad and all the different ways the Android's apps let her keep tabs on him. She could go through his Facebook and compare herself to photos of his ex-girlfriends, watch his Twitter to see if he mentioned her, and so on. Taken to the disturbing extreme when she talked about checking in on Foursquare... which had just declared her the 'mayor' of Brad's closet. The wide-eyed, vacant, faintly unhinged expression on the actress' face only made it that much creepier, but the whole thing was Played for Laughs. Hard to imagine them being as funny if the stalker was male.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Death Note, Misa Amane stalking Light (a Cute and Psycho Yandere Serial-Killer Killer stalking another Serial-Killer Killer) is mostly Played for Laughs.
  • Digimon Adventure 02: Motomiya Jun/June is this to good-looking Ishida Yamato/Matt. She's a fan of his music, but he doesn't return an iota of her interest and is exceedingly unhappy with the attention. (Also worth noting that she's in high school, and he's in eighth grade.) The other kids' response to him being stuck on a bus with her for several hours? Laugh. It's hard to imagine this being remotely funny if you reverse the genders.
  • Fairy Tail: Zig-zagged, mostly on the subject of Juvia's obsession with Gray. Especially before she joins the titular guild, since before then she doesn't have a chance to hang out with him every day and just stalks him because of that. She has even kept track of the number of days they've known each other, the fact that her room is full of Gray dolls is portrayed as cute, and most members of the guild think Gray should just date her already. Gray meanwhile treats her actions with anything from indifference to annoyance since he knows who she is even before she joins Fairy Tail, and his lack of real care seems to be some combination of having beaten her and saved her life during the guild war with Phantom Lord and (at first) not really having any interest back. Yet they go on many missions together, sometimes alone, and even have effective teamwork. Meanwhile, when Lucy is followed by a suspicious-looking man (who is soon revealed to just be her father gone from Riches to Rags), she is genuinely afraid and freaks out over what his intentions might be since she doesn't know who he is at first, plus she's much less brave about these sorts of things than Gray.
  • Subverted with Gintama, but not for the reason you'd expect. The series has numerous stalkers in it, ranging from the masochistic Ninja Ayame Sarutobi, to the driven Shinsengumi captain Isao Kondo, to the dutiful but fanatic Ayumu Tojo. With only one or two exceptions, all of it is Played for Laughs, the aforementioned three in particular, largely because of the absurd lengths they'll go to, and slapstick brought about by their targets, Gintoki, Otae, and Kyubei respectively, getting retribution on them.
  • Naruto:
    • In the manga itself, Hinata's a Downplayed version of a Stalker with a Crush who's too shy to approach Naruto, but anime fillers and the SD spinoff tend to exaggerate Hinata's character into an obsessive stalker.
    • Karin is the same for Sasuke, only less sympathetically because while Naruto actually likes Hinata, Sasuke finds Karin creepy (which might have something to do with the fact that she once planned to drug their teammates so she could rape him while he was injured).
  • Kotone in Nyan Koi! is a Nightmare Fetishist who crushes hard on the hero because of his curse. She has an entire fantasy journal about him on her cell phone and has no qualms about bugging his house. Her twin sister Akari does not approve of this, reminding Kotone that she shouldn't stalk people before turning 20.
  • Mizore Shirayuki from Rosario + Vampire initially averts this due to her yandere tendencies, but when she moves past those, her stalking habits become far more comical. She has hidden in trash cans, outside the second-story window, and many, many other strange places. All because she finds it "fun".
    • At least in the manga version this is also downplayed a bit because, with the exception of points where everybody's stalking the protagonist, she's usually stalking the group. Of her friends, who often know she's there, and panel shots portray her as relaxing in their vicinity as much as actually watching them. This makes it come off as just a more extreme case of not being comfortable too close to too many new people at once, which isn't that odd for the shut-in she was at the start.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei has a girl stalking her teacher...persistently, and much to his chagrin. But that's just one thing in that anime that Crosses the Line Twice. And in a twist, it isn't funny just because of the student stalking her teacher, but because now the student is being stalked by her ex-boyfriend, the ex-boyfriend by his current girlfriend, etc. leading to a chain of stalkers.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • The female squirrel from The Sword in the Stone is in lust with Wart. She stalks and repeatedly touches him after he explicitly tells her, "No." She chases after him when he tries to run away, and he becomes so desperate to be left alone he resorts to begging Merlin to be turned back into a human in order to escape her. Merlin only complies when he gets his own female squirrel stalker after him because he thought Wart's situation was amusing.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • All About Steve has Mary, who is stalking Steve across the country as she's decided he's her one true love. She's oblivious. Steve's crew thinks it's hilarious. Steve is terrified.
  • Fatal Attraction is probably one of the most memorable depictions of stalking on film, and it subverts this trope in terrifying fashion.
  • Subverted in He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not, a French movie starring Audrey Tautou. Initially, the film presents the relationship between the male and female leads from the perspective of Tautou's character as if it were a typical romantic drama. Halfway through the movie, it's flipped and the same events are depicted the eyes of her unwitting crush, revealing that Tautou's character is actually a deranged, violent stalker.
  • High School Musical: In the second film, Sharpay anonymously hires Troy to work for her, spies on him almost 24/7, has his manager track his movements, and blackmails him into singing romantic duets with her. All while he has a girlfriend he is very much in love with and repeatedly indicates he's uncomfortable with Sharpay's attention. While Sharpay's clearly in the wrong, her actions are played as a frivolous teenage crush instead of anything more serious, and most of the blame falls on Troy for not getting rid of her.note 
  • In Office Romance, Olga stalks Yuri (they used to date at college), flirting with him at every opportunity, sending him love letters, and keeping watch at the door of his office. He gently tells her he isn’t interested, but she immediately says she isn’t going to be deterred. She is portrayed sympathetically, especially since he is a Smug Snake. He ends up revealing her love letters to the entire department, which is admittedly a horribly nasty thing to do, but he does it when he snaps after months of her stalking.

  • In the Harry Potter universe:
  • In Hush, Hush, Nora tries to steal Patch's student records and convince a co-worker to give her his work application. This is treated as comedy. The sequel has her stalking Patch after their breakup (which she initiated) which, while not portrayed as funny, is still treated as a sign of her broken heart and meant to show her as sympathetic. Her friend, Vee, also comes up with several boyfriend-hunting schemes that would be played for creepiness if it was a man pursuing a woman but are used as a sign of how zany she is (for instance, her proposing that she and Nora peep in on her latest love interest's bedroom to see if he's awake).
  • Downplayed in the Agatha Christie novel N Or M: Tuppence and Tommy are undercover at a seaside town, with Tuppence going as a widow. She explains that her character obviously trying to get her hooks into the handsome and well-off man will both give them an excuse to be together, and lower suspicion since a woman with matrimonial intentions chasing after a man is always funny.
  • Shimoneta: Anna's relentless pursuit of Tanukichi is one of the series' main sources of comedy. She's done everything from staking out his apartment, to quite literally chasing him around the halls at school, because she fails to realize he's terrified of her.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played with on Beverly Hills, 90210. After Brandon Walsh breaks up with his girlfriend Emily Valentine, she refuses to accept it, calling him repeatedly, showing up wherever he is uninvited and unannounced, kissing/touching him, etc. The other members of the gang make a few wisecracks, but even so, it's clear that they actually don't find this cute or funny, with his twin sister Brenda warning him that the situation has the potential to become violent. On the other hand, their own mother is consistently sympathetic to her, chalking her behavior up to teenage hormones, even as it gets more deranged. By the end of the storyline, when the girl is actually taken away for psychiatric care, even Brandon feels sorry for her, citing how lonely she must have been.
  • In an episode of The Big Bang Theory, much of Amy's behaviour towards Sheldon Cooper could be easily interpreted as stalking, and a lot of it is met with uproarious laughter by the audience. One episode has her flat-out admit she snuck multiple sets of nightclothes&toothbrushes into Sheldon's apartment in hopes she would be invited to sleep over. This is Played for Laughs.
  • Cheers: In season 5, Diane follows Sam everywhere he goes, insisting they will get married even when Sam flat-out tells her he's no longer interested, even when he's on dates, and when Sam finally caves and proposes, she refuses yet again... then tries to blackmail Sam into proposing to her once more by claiming he assaulted her when she trips, playing up her injuries in court so that Sam is nearly sent to jail. This is all played entirely for laughs.
  • Kat from the sitcom The Class (2006) stalks Benjamin, taking disturbingly specific pictures of him and developing them herself, then stacking them in large piles and knowing exactly where to find a particular picture. Initially funny, until she starts dating Benjamin and he finds the pictures. But then he forgives her.
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend seems to play this trope straight throughout much of the first season, with both main character Rebecca and her best friend Paula going to incredible lengths to keep tabs on Rebecca's ex-boyfriend Josh, but by the end of the season, it winds up subverted and deconstructed when both women realize that their behavior has been creepy and disrespectful to Josh and his girlfriend, as well as massively unhealthy for their own friendship.
  • Family Matters: Inverted. Steve Urkel stalking Laura Winslow is presented as funny and sympathetic... although that's only because Steve is a little coward who wouldn't - or couldn't - hurt a fly. Myra's stalking of Steve, on the other hand, is always considered creepy, especially in the final season where she's portrayed as an Ax-Crazy villain.
  • Played for Cringe Comedy with Mel in the music comedy show Flight of the Conchords. She stalks Jemanie and Bret, the two members of the band, despite being married. They grudgingly put up with some amount of it because she's the band's only fan.
  • In one episode of Friends, when Joey, acting as the character Drake Ramoray on Days of Our Lives, attracts the attention of an obsessive fan who believes that Joey actually is Remoray and doesn't understand that he is only playing a character - and who happens to be played by Brooke Shields. Joey is initially pleased by her adoration of him, but gradually begins to realize just how deranged she is and quickly gets out of the situation. The whole thing is nevertheless Played for Laughs.
  • Subverted in the eighth season of How I Met Your Mother. The rest of the gang are clearly horrified by Jeanette's actions while stalking Ted. Unfortunately, Ted is not.
  • Liv and Maddie indulges in this with Willow, who's endlessly chasing after, stealing from, and harassing Joey are treated as nothing but comedic, and the two even get together briefly.
  • Inverted in Mr. Young. Adam is quite literally madly in love with Echo, and even admits while under the influence of Truth Serum that his feelings for her are "kinda creepy". It reaches Love Makes You Evil levels at times, such as in one episode where Echo gets cast as Juliet in a production of Romeo and Juliet and Adam tries to murder the guy playing Romeo to stop them from kissing. This is always Played for Laughs.
  • Happens in the pilot episode of My Three Sons. Doreen Peters calls Chip at his house late one night and stands outside his home the next day, waiting for him to come out. When Chip expresses his chagrin his father just tells him to be a gentleman. It's more justified than most examples though, as Doreen is only eight years old.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Odo is sufficiently unnerved by Lwaxana Troi's unwanted romantic attention and refusal to take "go away and leave me alone" for an answer that he goes to Commander Sisko asking for help dealing with the situation. Sisko brushes him off and tells him to "handle it," and the whole thing is Played for Laughs. Significantly, Odo had an extremely difficult upbringing, "growing up" surrounded by beings that had no biological similarities to him and who didn't even realize he was sentient for quite a while, and consequently has always found socialization rather difficult. This is coupled with the fact that Lwaxana is a very aggressive flirt with the rank of ambassador, who tends to say whatever she wants to people knowing that if anyone gets on her nerves it could start an international incident (essentially turning this into a case of textbook sexual harassment). To highlight the double standard further, the same episode had Sisko boasting that on an occasion when a male ambassador was making inappropriate advances to a female officer, he broke protocol and punched him in the face, but laughs off Odo's formal complaint.
  • Supernatural has the character Becky obsessed with Sam, even going so far as Slipping a Mickey with a love potion and having him marry her in Season 7. This is played for laughs, with the episode being presented as a comedic one, even when Becky knocks Sam out and ties him up when the potion wears off.
  • Three's Company had the character Lana Shields, an older woman who was a customer of Jack's during his brief stint as a paid escort. He clearly was not interested in her, but she refused to leave him alone and even moved into the roommates' apartment building to be near him. Originally intended to become a series regular, she only appeared in a few episodes (where she would continually chase after Jack, with all of it being Played for Laughs) before vanishing completely.
  • Two and a Half Men: Rose being Charlie's stalker is a Running Gag. Even the fact that she murders him is Played for Laughs. Though the series finale reveals that she actually didn't kill him, she just held him hostage in her basement for several years, which isn't any better.


    Video Games 
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition downplays this. After the ball at the Winter Palace, Cullen receives multiple letters asking about him, his family history, and his titles, all for a shot at trying to marry him. A couple of nobles even travel to Skyhold to see the Commander. Cullen is clearly uncomfortable with the mountain of requests and asks that they be burned while the female advisors keep them all and tell Cullen to "Hush. Just look pretty." This becomes worse if the Inquisitor is in a relationship with Cullen, as his "admirers" actively ignore the relationship and still pursue him.
  • Amy Rose from Sonic the Hedgehog. It's supposed to be adorable because she's a little girl and he's a famous hero, but thinking about it can make Amy come across as rather creepy, especially when she's throwing herself onto random hedgehogs, thinking they're Sonic.
    • In the Archie Comics, Amy Rose wished herself older - twice - to get Sonic's attention more effectively. It took her a bit of a while to catch up mentally (though being a Freedom Fighter helped with that.)
  • Yandere Simulator zigzags this trope. Word of God says that it's unlikely you'll be able to play as a male Yandere, though he might consider making it a crowdfunding goal. The official videos posted on its Youtube channel also has some Black Comedy relating to its premise. However, in-game Ayano's treatment of Senpai and Ryoba's treatment of her husband are played dead seriously. One Game Over type has Senpai get creeped out and tell Ayano to leave him alone.

    Visual Novels 

  • Hetalia: Axis Powers: Russia's younger sister Belarus stalks him and tries to force him to marry her, totally Played for Laughs.
  • I Love Yoo: Meg's stalking and harassment of Kousuke was played for laugh, and although Meg has matured and expressed embarrassment about her actions, this has still to be properly addressed.

    Web Original 
  • Noticed and defied by The Nostalgia Chick's obsession with Todd in the Shadows. Because people were rooting for her more than they were for Todd to get Lupa, the Chick went through some Sanity Slippage very quickly and started kidnapping him, tying him up, stealing his stuff in order to manipulate him to go out with her, tried to kill Lupa because she rejected him, expressed a wish to make love to his corpse, looked forward to a "date" where he would be a vulnerable drunk, and sexually assaulting him when he was asleep. Still Played for Laughs (as is Todd for Lupa), just pitch-black ones.
  • The "Overly Attached Girlfriend" meme. Most responses are to the effect of "I wouldn't mind being kept locked up in a dark room with my legs broken so I can't run away by her". In the videos by Laina herself, however, the tone is definitely meant to be horrifying. Misaimed Fandom indeed.

    Western Animation 
  • The animated version of Billy the Cat: A Star Is Born features the cat character Mr. Hubert, (sort of a mentor to Billy) becoming famous among cats for his role in cat food ads. The episode ends with several female cats chasing him off-screen and Billy's reaction being "go get him, girls!"
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy has this in the form of the Kanker Sisters who sexually harass and stalk the Eds at every turn no matter how much the Eds try and get away from them. While it's not portrayed in a positive light even in the show, if the genders were reversed, this would be horrifying to many people, especially in the episode "Home Cooked Eds", which is when the Kankers decide to go on "holiday" by squatting in Eddy's house and parking their trailer on his lawn. Edd even warns Eddy that the girls may be becoming amorous, forcing the Eds to flee the house.
  • Played straight and inverted on The Fairly OddParents!. Timmy is constantly trying to shake off Tootie and Veronica, who are so madly in love with him and do incredibly creepy things to get his affection. Of course, Timmy has also done plenty of creepy things to get Trixie's attention, but it's just as funny.
  • On Family Guy, Meg usually stalks guys who are nice to her, at one point or another stalking Brian, Joe, and Kent. However, it comes to a point that her stalking isn't played for laughs and the police had to stop Meg from raping Brian. Kent once calls her a psycho after she attempts to trick him into raping a sleeping Chris.
  • Yo for Chum Chum in Fanboy and Chum Chum. Let's see, now - she has a shrine dedicated to him and has repeatedly attempted to kidnap him. She fails mostly because of Fanboy, who's always protecting Chum Chum from her. So far, there were two episodes in which her uses of Fanboy's distraction/handicap to take Chum Chum away became a major plot point.
  • Subverted by Giffany in Gravity Falls. The few points where her stalking of Soos is Played for Laughs, it has more to do with her being a computer program and him a human rather than her being a girl and him a guy. Even then, it's pretty clear that something's wrong with her. Soos even notes that it's a red flag, but ignores it because he's happy for the attention. He does eventually recognize that she's a threat and deals with her by destroying her game.
  • Helga from Hey Arnold! has a shrine to Arnold in her closet, made out of his used bubble gum that she collected, for Gord's sake! It's not always Played for Laughs, though, especially in the later episode "Helga on the Couch" where Helga seeks therapy for her anger issues and tsundere tendencies toward Arnold.
  • Heloise from Jimmy Two-Shoes is obsessed with the eponymous character. Given that the show runs entirely on Black Comedy, it fits very well. Downplayed, as she's still portrayed as creepy and evil.
    • Also subverted with Heloise's stalker, Peep. He's male, but it's still played entirely for laughs.
  • In Johnny Test, both Susan and Mary's obsession with Gil and Eugene's obsession with Susan are Played for Laughs. However, Eugene is a flat-out Abhorrent Admirer, with Susan fully aware and utterly disgusted by his advances on account of his repulsive appearance and clingy personality. Gil, meanwhile, seems completely unaware that the girls are interested in him. He did call them out on their behavior once when they locked him in the lab to keep him from encountering any of the rampaging Gil-bots, yet remained clueless as to why, and continued to treat them normally in later eps. Both Susan/Mary and Eugene have attempted to use mind control or otherwise force their obsession to be with them. Eugene is seen as a villain for this and gets punished, while Susan and Mary tend to get no worse than failing to get Gil. That's not even going into the fact they have him under constant surveillance with a wide variety of technology.
    • Towards the end of the series, it is revealed that Gil always refers to Susan and Mary as "Girls I've Never Seen Before" because after he inevitably gets caught up in their failed experiments, they always wipe his mind to cover it up, and this has apparently caused him a lot of brain damage, explaining why he Took a Level in Dumbass as the series progressed.
  • Kaeloo: Mr. Cat is constantly stalked by the main four's annoying neighbor, Pretty, who doesn't seem to realize that he utterly despises her and actually wants her to die.
  • Kim Possible:
    • "Emotion Sickness" deals with Kim and Shego, under the influence of the Moodulators, very pushily coming on to Ron and Drakken, respectively. A male character using superior physical skills to chase a terrified girl who is running away from his affections and then flying into a murderous rage when he's rejected would be considered dark, but the opposite just results in the characters laughing it off.
    • "Gorilla Fist" concludes with the reveal that the plot was driven by DNAmy manipulating Team Possible into finding Monkey Fist, who had fled from her unwanted attentions. Ron pronounces it "wrongsick", but it's clearly Played for Laughs from the audience's viewpoint.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Marinette Dupain-Cheng has stalking her crush down to a science — literally, since she has a detailed schedule based on her analyses of his life, having as well an actual shrine of him by filling one of her walls with his photos, stealing his phone and so on. The episode "Pixelator" offers a visual contrast with another stalker. "Volpina" also deals with Marinette's Stalker tendencies, with her apparently learning her lesson, even if by the nature of the watch-in-any-order season, any lesson she learns by the end of one episode is rendered meaningless.
  • In Phineas and Ferb, Candace Flynn is like this to Jeremy before their relationship started. Her mother Linda even mentions her shrine. Candace continuing to act like this after they were together was played as her being an insane Clingy Jealous Girl, although Jeremy seems to be into it.
  • In The Proud Family, Dijonay constantly stalks Sticky like this. She also seems to lack boundaries and even physically forces herself on him as well. There's no way this would be Played for Laughs should the genders be reversed.
  • Homer is stalked by Julia, a gorgeous black-haired woman in an episode of The Simpsons, and it's all Played for Laughs - even when she tries to kill him with a poison-tipped dart at the climax. This episode also subverts Beauty Is Never Tarnished (the woman is a wild-haired harridan by the time the police take her away) and utilizes a Falling Chandelier of Doom leading to her capture.
  • In Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Janna stalks, spies on, steals from, blackmails, and invades the privacy of Marco in nearly every episode she appears. His horror and discomfort is always Played for Laughs.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • As the Distaff Counterpart of Pepe Le Pew, this is Fifi Le Fume's entire gimmick. The female skunk chases after boys who might even find her attractive if not for her odor.
    • In the episode "Prom-ise Her Anything", Elmyra's stalking of Montana Max in an effort to get him to go to the prom with her is portrayed as sympathetic, and Max is portrayed as being in the wrong for rejecting her. Part of this may be that Max is the Designated Villain. The fact that later in the episode he is forced to take her to the prom by Buster and Babs despite not being interested in Elmyra nor even going to the dance makes him Unintentionally Sympathetic to many viewers.
  • Sierra to Cody in Total Drama. And in the fandom, Sierra fans often argue that it's alright that Sierra stalks Cody because it's just a Gender Flipped version of Cody "stalking" Gwen. The thing is, Cody never stalked Gwen—he obviously has a crush on her and has occasionally edged into creepy territory (sniffing her hair, for example), but never did anything weird enough for Gwen to stop considering him a friend. Sierra, however, ignores all of Cody's obvious objections while she steals all his underwear, messes with him while he sleeps, paralyzes him and at one point even "Marries him" while he's unable to object. It's all Played for Laughs, (and very funny) but even fans admit that a guy could never have gotten away with anything similar without the show going very dark. As it is, Sierra gets a sympathetic send-off and is even brought back for Total Drama All Stars where she begins stalking Cameron with similar results.

Alternative Title(s): Stalking Is Funny If Its Female After Male, Double Standard Stalking Female After Male