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Star-Crossed Lovers

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One night every year is all that they had...

"From forth the fatal loins of these two foes,
A pair of star cross'd lovers take their life,
Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife."

Two lovers—often but not always teenagers—doomed to be kept apart no matter how hard they struggle to be together. It may be Fate, or fatally-Feuding Families, or it may be something as mundane as a few hundred miles' separation, but something will always be in their way. Often, the two can only be Together in Death. William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is the most famous example (and the Trope Namer), but the archetype dates at least as far back as Mesopotamian Mythology and Egyptian Mythology, making it Older Than Dirt.

In modern times, the term "star-crossed" is often unknowingly misused to mean lovers who are meant to be together. It means just the opposite—the stars (i.e. destiny or the heavens) have ruled against them, or "crossed" their plan. Compare the word "disaster", which has the etymology "away; without" ("dis") + "star; planet" ("aster"). Then again, if the stars rule that much, they probably decreed the love as well as the impossibility, making the stars capricious and cruel at the very least. It also refers to destiny and the inevitability of the two characters' paths crossing each other. It usually, but not always, refers to unlucky outcomes, since Romeo and Juliet's affair ended tragically. Further, it may also connote that the lovers entered into their union without sufficient forethought or preparation, that they did not have adequate knowledge of each other, or that they were not thinking rationally (because they were being controlled by fate).


One common version of this trope, Love Above One's Station (i.e., being in love with someone from a different social class), is at least discredited if not actually dead and buried in contemporary settings, but was very much true in the past, and can still work when applied to historical settings. While it's difficult even today to have a relationship with someone from a very different background, in the old days, it was all but impossible: if you were from the lower class and courted your "better", you'd be treated with the vilest contempt and risk arrest and/or violence (possibly even death); meanwhile, a "better" who reciprocated would be disowned and possibly shut off in a nunnery, a monastery—or even an asylum.

Hence all those tragic "servant/slave/peasant loves the lord/lady/king/queen, and their Love Ruins the Realm" stories. The accepted practice for someone in love with a royal, at least in contemporary fiction, was to express that love through loyalty and duty rather than presume to have a romantic relationship with them.


Forbidden Love and its sub-tropes are often the reason two lovers are star-crossed. May be used as a Pretext for War. One of the top reasons for a Balcony Wooing Scene.

Contrast Love Transcends Spacetime and Nobody Thinks It Will Work, where the power of love overcomes.


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  • The Axe advert “Soulmates”, a 90-second spot tells the story of a man's ill-fated pursuit of a woman throughout human history. It starts in prehistoric days with a bearded cave man trying to reach a woman who has just noticed him until the ice below splits, and there’s a divide between them. The same man and woman are shown in different time periods and places: Ancient Pompeii; an Arabian palace (probably the Ottoman Empire); a cowboy bar in the American West; foggy 19th century London; a sinking ship (the Titanic?); an undisclosed war, probably World War II; a 1960s anti-war protest. There are either natural disasters or human interventions that prevent him from reaching her, even during the times she is shown noticing him. It isn't until the current day, inside a convenience store at a gas station, that the same man we saw in all of these other time periods takes down an Axe product. He uses some body spray on himself and the long-pursued girl immediately is at his side. They leave together and, as they walk away, a truck crashes into the gas pumps and the station explodes: the intervention of the Axe product prevented another act of fate from keeping them apart.

    Anime & Manga 
  • A recurring theme of Makoto Shinkai's works:
    • Voices of a Distant Star features an almost literal example of this. The two main characters are light-years apart due to her fighting in space, and due to mankind having Faster-Than-Light Travel without a corresponding Subspace Ansible, her messages to him take years to reach; in the final act now-20 something him is receiving messages from still-15 her and as he remarks In-Universe, a message travel time of years might as well be forever. That said, the very last scene contains blink and you miss it allusions, made explicit in the manga adaptation, to his joining the Space Navy gearing up for a rescue mission, meaning there might be a chance they could get together after all.
    • The Place Promised in Our Early Days: Hiroki and Sayuri struggle with their feelings for each other because the latter disappeared from the former's life and, by the time he finds her again years later, she is in a coma. Even after she is awoken, she loses her memories of her romantic feelings for him. He vows to start over from the beginning and try to make it work; whether it does, we don't get to find out.
    • Takaki and Akari in 5 Centimeters per Second are an interesting example; their parents' moving for work means they keep getting separated and their relationship unravels over the years as communication slows and ceases, but they still have marginally more of a chance at a happy ending than most examples. As far as poor Kanae is concerned, this too applies; after struggling with Cannot Spit It Out for much of the second act, her Anguished Declaration of Love is interrupted by the much-foreshadowed rocket launch and she decides to let it be instead, but the manga ending suggests that she eventually meets Takaki again and tries her luck once more.
    • In The Garden of Words, not only is there a sizeable age gap between Takao and Yukari, but also the potential ethical issues of a teacher-student romance; at the end, Yukari moves away to take up a new teaching position, but the possibility still exists that they might reunite in the future.
    • Your Name carries on the tradition; not only are Taki and Mitsuha separated by spatial distance, but by time and death too; in Taki's original timeline, the passing comet Tiamat - an almost literal falling star - 3 years ago split off a meteor that killed Mitsuha. That said, by the end of the film, they finally reunite, with the strong implication that they get together at last.
    • Weathering With You follows suit from two different angles. The first is the police trying to send Hodaka back to his island home while social services tries to take Hina in due to her orphan status. The second is Hina's fate as the sunshine girl to be sacrificed in exchange for stable weather. In the end, this is subverted; Hodaka rescues Hina heedless of the cost, and despite being caught and sent back to finish his high schooling afterwards, they eventually reunite.
  • Two of Adachi Mitsuru's manga series feature romances forbidden by feuding parents. In Rough, the parents run rival confectionery businesses. In Katsu!, the fathers are former boxing rivals. In both cases, the girl's father is more rabid than the boy's father.
  • Hiromi Oka and Coach Jin Munakata from Aim for the Ace!, mainly due to the fact he was dying of leukemia by the time they met and fall in love.
  • In Arashi no Yoru ni, Mei and Gabu seem doomed to part ways because their Interspecies Romance is frowned upon by both their kin. Averted; they find one another again and stay together in the end.
  • Basilisk, which is essentially a Japanese Tokugawa-era send up of "Romeo and Juliet", has its star crossed lovers: Gennosuke from the Kouga and Oboro from the Iga. They even make reference to the old belief that star-crossed lovers will be reborn as twin siblings.
    • Also, the beginning of the show shows another pair of star crossed lovers: Koga Danjou and Iga Ogen, Gennosuke's grandpa and Oboro's grandma respectively.
    • Probably, also Kagero and Gennosuke. She would've been an excellent prospect for him except for her being Blessed with Suck and him truly liking his arranged fiancee Oboro, thus she's stuck as the Unlucky Childhood Friend and that takes a HUGE toll on her emotional well-being.
  • In Berserk, it's almost as if fate has made it its personal mission to ensure that Guts and Casca never find happiness. That moment of love the two of them shared near the waterfall in the Golden Age Arc was the closest they came to it before the Eclipse went down and everything literally went completely to Hell. Ever since Casca lost her sanity from a brutal rape at the hands of her former superior turned archdemon -- Griffith -- she can no longer understand human emotion and has no recollection of her relationship with Guts. With her sanity having been recently restored however, time will tell if she and Guts can still be together.
  • In Beyond the Boundary, we have Akihito and Mirai. Akihito is a half-human, half-youmu hybrid. Mirai is from a spirit hunter clan whose blood is deadly to youmu. Even worse, it's revealed that Mirai was given a mission to assassinate Akihito because the youmu inside him, known as Beyond the Boundary, is a powerful reality warper who could potentially destroy the world.
  • In Black Lagoon, a fairly strong case can be made for the Yakuza Princess Yukio Washimine and the badass Yakuza Ginji Matsuzaki. On one hand Ginji's loyalties lie solely with Yukio and his reasons are all but stated to be romantic, whereas Rock speculates that Yukio's decision to take over the Washimine clan came from her desire to be with Ginji. On the other, they were subjected to an absolutely brutal breaking process that involved: an all-out war against Hotel Moscow, the bloody betrayal of a group of the Washimine yakuzas where Yukio was physically/sexually humiliated by the ringleader and Ginji took an horrible yet well-deserved revenge on him, Ginji's death in a duel with Revy and, right after the last one, Yukio commiting suicide rather than facing Balalaika in dishonor and being without Ginji.
  • Mari and Hagino from Blue Drop are divided by the fact that one is a high school student and the other the commander of an alien battleship, whose people plan to invade earth.
  • Arguably averted in Blue Submarine No. 6. Hayate and Muteo part ways at the end because she has to look after a emotionally-devastated Verg and he has to help in the rebuilding effort of what remains of humanity. However, it's implied by the final episode ending credits, that they will eventually get back together again once things finally settle down.
  • In volume one of Bizenghast, two spirits needing to be released are those of a young pair of lovers. They had wanted to marry, but the man's mother refused to let him marry a girl of slightly-lower status. So one night, during a ball, the man stabbed his lover in the back as they danced before killing himself. As Dina frees their souls, the young woman's ghost whispers to her lover "I forgive you..."
  • In Boarding School Juliet, Dahlia Academy has two factions at constant war with each other. In spite of this, their first year leaders, Romio Inuzuka of the Black Dogs and Juliet Percia of the White Cats fall in love. Their relationship officially begins at the end of the very first chapter, and they spend the rest of the series hiding their Secret Relationship from their peers. If they get discovered, it's social suicide; not just their schoolmates, but their respective countries, would turn on them. It's later revealed that this wasn't the first time it happened. Romio's mother and Percia's father were also previously in a Secret Relationship during their time in Dahlia, and instantly became pariahs after their secret is outed.
  • In the manhwa The Bride of the Water God, the couple Habaek and Nakbin who, according to Su Wang Mo were destined only as passing friends fell deeply in love with each other amidst the deceit and controversy which resulted to Nakbin's death just to protect Habaek. That after her death, both made drastic decisions in order to meet again. With Habaek requiring human girls as sacrifice, and Nakbin escaping the world of the dead by deceiving the god governing it. In the end, their efforts are futile as circumstances always lead to Nakbin choosing death instead of forsaking Habaek along with the fact that he is already connected by the red string to Soah. And even though Habaek admitted that he can never let go of his longing for his first bride, just like the leaves and the flowers of the Spider Lily, the two of them can only long for each other but will never be reunited. Though currently, Nakbin is reincarnated as a human without a memory as conditioned by Hoo-ye to Su Wang Mo.
  • Chrono of Chrono Crusade has the worst luck when it comes to relationships. First, he meets Mary Magdalene, who informs him after he's known her for months that she has had prophetic dreams since she was a child that he would be the one to take her life. He does, although not in the way either one expects. He's so guilt-ridden over her death that he sleeps for 50 years in her tomb, waiting for his energy to deplete to join her in death. But Rosette Christopher comes and wakes him up from his years of slumber, and things start to be going good for him...until her brother Joshua is kidnapped by Aion and he's forced to make a contract with her, slowly draining away at her life. In the anime they die together, Rosette as a result of the contract and Chrono from his wounds in the final battle, but in the manga they spend six years apart, and Chrono arrives back to her side just in time for her to die in his arms. It's implied that he lives on for decades afterwards.
  • Code Geass has two couples like this: Ougi and Viletta, then Lelouch and Shirley. The first ones subvert the trope and get their happy ending, even if YMMV on that... the second couple plays it straight, with Shirley dying in Lelouch's arms.
    • Euphemia and Suzaku are another pair. Although they were on the same sides, Suzaku was still considered inferior. And Euphemia still died. At the same time, Lelouch is implied to have some affection for Euphemia while being on the opposite side to the point of saying she was "the first woman I loved" when he was forced to Mercy Kill her and Euphie brings up how she once wanted to marry him when they were kids.
    • There's also Lelouch and Kallen, in a more traditional example. They did share goals, and she even served as his bodyguard, but eventually he became an Evil Overlord, and she was driven by those very same ideals to fight him. That being said, Lelouch was intentionally invoking this trope — he knew that Kallen would abandon those ideals if he told her that he loved her, even if it was a lie. Knowing that Zero Requiem would end in his death, he pushed her away, not wanting to drag her down with him. On top of that, it's ambiguous whether Lelouch saw Kallen as a Love Interest (at the least, he could have) though Kallen's affections for Lelouch as Zero are very clear.
  • Remy Matsuda and Merril Benten Tamagawa from Cyber City Oedo 808, since she's a sort-of vampire/human hybrid and he's a human Anti-Hero who must take her down. It ends with them sharing a Last Kiss before Benten puts Remy in a capsule and shoots it into outer space.
  • D.Gray-Man:
    • Any person who tried to make a deal with the Earl to bring back their loved one, which would only end badly for both parties.
    • Krory, an Exorcist and Eliade, an Akuma. It was his nature to destroy Akuma and it was her nature to kill Exorcists. He ends up killing her before he joins the Black Order.
    • Taken further with Kanda and Alma, who were lovers in a previous life, only to be brought back to life by the Black Order as part of the failed super Exorcist program. Then Alma was driven mad into a massive killing spree and Kanda was forced to kill him. Only for Alma to not be dead and fought Kanda to the death again when he was revived. But this time, thanks to Allen, Kanda is able to send Alma to the afterlife in more or less peace, and later come back.
  • Kazuya and Erika in Daimos. Kazuya is the pilot of Daimos, defender of Earth from the Balm invaders. While Erika is the little sister of Richter, Prince of Balm and leader of the invasion. They get their happy ending, but not before much heartbreak.
  • Both the protagonists and the rival in Danganronpa 3 are unfortunate enough to be in this type of relationship:
    • Makoto and Kyoko: Her Forbidden Action is "surviving past the fourth round with Makoto Naegi alive", meaning that if she doesn't kill him herself, the poison in her bracelet will kill her. She chooses to give up her life for his, and after the fourth round he wakes up to find her dead, much to his and their friends Aoi and Ryouta's deep despair. The opening even lampshades this by showing her falling away from him as they reach desperately for each other's hands. In Side: Hope, however, they're revealed to be a subversion: thanks to Seiko "Ultimate Phrarmacist" Kimura's medicines and a little help from Mikan "Ultimate Nurse" Tsumiki, Kyoko ultimately survived her near-Heroic Sacrifice note  so she and Makoto are ultimately reunited, which gives them a good chance to get and stay together.
    • Hajime/Izuru and Chiaki: Hajime's own insecurities caused him to view himself as unworthy of her, leading to him volunteering for the Kamukura Project. His new self, Izuru, lost all memories of Chiaki and fell in cahoots with the Big Bad, Junko; it wasn't until Junko had successfully murdered Chiaki, by first subjecting her to Break the Cutie and then turning her into a Human Pincushion, that Izuru remembered her and began plotting against her killer. To make things even worse, poor Chiaki bleeds to death in front of the amnesiac Izuru, sobbing about how she wanted to stay with him and their friends. Izuru then carries her hairclip around for the next three years.
    • Kyosuke and Chisa: At first, they seemed like a happy Official Couple, but are quickly torn apart by her death in the first episode of Side: Future. Side: Despair later reveals that Chisa was tortured and brainwashed by Junko, becoming evil and acting as her mole, meaning she was working for the very side her boyfriend had vowed to destroy all along. It's even worse when one considers that Kyosuke's other friend, Juzo, also was in love with him, kept it a secret both out of fear and to not ruin Kyosuke and Chisa's bond, and died in a mix of Heroic Sacrifice and Redemption Equals Death while mistakenly believing that Kyosuke hated him, when in reality Kyosuke desperately wanted Juzo's forgiveness.
  • Detective Conan has several cases:
    • Shinichi Kudo and Ran Mouri. While their feelings have been kinda wavering for quite the while, as time passes they have grown stronger - but Shinichi is trapped in the body of a little boy (the titular Conan) and cannot openly tell Ran who he is, lest she and his friends will be targeted by the same evil organization that shrunk him. In the meantime poor Ran waits for Shinichi's return...
    • Hideomi Nagato and Miyuki Hyuuga. First, he and his friend Mitsuaki caused the fire that killed Miyuki's parents. Second, Hideomi had a Heel Realization, then returned and saved little Miyuki but was badly burned. Third, while he helped Miyuki out as much as he could, Hideomi thoroughly hated himself due to guilt. Fourth, and the most important reason: when Miyuki fell for him despite knowing what he had done and asked him to marry her... Hideomi crossed the Despair Event Horizon and committed suicide. It went From Bad to Worse later.
    • Shuichi Akai and Akemi Miyano were this as well in the past. He started dating her only to strengthen his position as The Mole for the Black Organization, but seeing that she was an Anti-Villain and that she liked him despite suspecting that he was using her made him change his mind. When he was found out he tried to get her to come with him, but she refused because her little sister was an Org. member and she didn't want to abandon her. And few afterwards, after a last and failed attempt to free herself and her sister, she was murdered.
    • Additionally, Natalie Kuruma and Wataru Date. Things were going relatively well, they were about to get engaged... but right before that, Date was run over by a car in front of his best friend and died. Natalie found out by chance, identified his corpse, and hung herself in grief. And then her Parental Substitute mistakenly believed that she had gone the Spurned into Suicide way...
  • Lucy and Kouta in Elfen Lied. Not only both of them have massive issues (Kouta is an amnesiac, Lucy is a Diclonius and has been rejected by almost everyone in her life until he and Yuka took her in), but there's how Lucy killed Kouta's dad and sister in the middle of a killing spree coming from her cracking under the pressure.
  • Evyione Ocean Fantasy: Yashin and Evyione. Not only is Yashin a merman and Evyione a human, but Evyione is also a princess and very few of Evyione's life choices are actually made by her. If Evyione chooses Yashin, there will be severe political and personal consequences for her.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Erza Scarlett and Jellal Fernandez. Both have confessed (or been interupted while confessing) to have loved one another, spend more time thinking about one another than any other potential couple in the series (except maybe the two background characters whose whole schtick is not being able to confess their love), have displayed a telepathic ability to tell when one is in trouble or rooting for them, and every time they're about to get a chance to be together something will happen to take Jellal away, like corruption, or death, or arrest, in that order. The epilogue reveals that Jellal was pardoned by the newly crowned Queen Hisui, meaning that he and Erza can finally be together. While Erza claims that "it's complicated", it's suggested that she and Jellal will get together one day.
    • A more straight example would be Zeref Dragneel and Mavis Vermilion, the Big Bad and Big Good, respectively. Ankhseram's Curse denied them any chance at happiness together — as a curse of contradictions, Zeref's love for Mavis allowed her curse to be broken and be killed by their first and only kiss. It was her death that caused Zeref's true Start of Darkness. It becomes Fridge Horror when one realizes that Mavis didn't die. Her body was killed but her spirit became an Astral Projection that can only be seen by members of Fairy Tail, and it's implied she spent much of this existence by Zeref's side. Zeref himself admitted to being able to feel her presence, but as he wasn't a member of the guild, he was unable to interact with her. It makes what Ankhseram did all the more crueler: they were both among the living still, but couldn't be a part of each other's lives. Eventually, they finally die together through the use of the One Magic.
  • The Familiar of Zero has Louise's best friend, Princess Henrietta of Tristam, and her boyfriend and first cousin Prince Wales of Albion. At first politics prevent them from being together officially, so they have covert meetings. Then Wales is murdered by Louise's treacherous ex-boyfriend Jeean-Jacques, and later a heartbroken Henrietta ends up giving an Anguished Declaration of Love... to the copy of poor Wales's body, animated with a little of his soul.
  • If you're a Member of the Zodiac in Fruits Basket, you and your beloved will be Star-Crossed Lovers. The only question is whether you get scarred by Akito (physically, mentally, or both), or just never confess your love and languish in your misery. When Akito is defeated and has a Heel–Face Turn thanks to Tohru, the curse is slowly broken and the major part of the separated/unconfessed couples get together..
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • In the 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist, Edward Elric and Winry Rockbell somewhat fit into this category. They are hinted to either have mutual feelings, or one of them has Unrequited Love for the other. But whatever the case, Ed's fate and decisions have kept them apart time after time. And in the movie Conqueror of Shamballa, this trope especially fits— Edward has to go back for the sake of his world's safety, leaving Winry solo. She even says with a melancholy gaze, "That's Ed. I know it. I guess this is goodbye for good..."
    • The same could be said for Ed and Rose. Rose is in love with Edward, however Ed's feelings are more ambiguous (though, he does blush when Rose confesses to him and he never technically rejected it). The two end up split up when Edward goes back across the Gate in Conqueror of Shamballa, stopping any potential romance before it began.
  • Fushigi Yuugi and its prequels have plenty of these, especially among the Mikos and some of their potential Senshi:
  • Chigusa Tsukikage and Ichiren Osaki in Glass Mask. The world also seems to be hell-bent on keeping Maya and Masumi away.
  • In Future Diary, Yukiteru eventually develops feelings for Yuno, despite her being an Ax-Crazy Yandere, but unfortunately they are both Diary Holders in the competition to replace Deus Ex Machina, requiring one of them to kill the other (along with the rest of the Diary Holders) to prevent The End of the World as We Know It.
  • The main pairing of Gosick, Kazuya Kujou and Victorique de Blois, lived under a prophecy stating that this would be the case for them, hearts entwined but separated by war. Ultimately, the trope was averted: the war ended and finally the two found each other again.
  • Newtype romances, in any Gundam series that includes Newtypes, generally do not end well. This goes double if Yoshiyuki Tomino, Mister Kill 'Em All himself, is actively involved in the series. Note that newtype analogs, like the Coordinators from SEED, don't really count (they tend to survive, and have stable relationships).
    • Unless you see Stellar and Shinn's bond as romantic. Then, they get the raw-est part of the deal. Not helped by how Stellar's Famous Last Words are "Shinn... I love you". If they don't count, is there a sort-of trope that is an equal of "Star Crossed Lovers", but with friends and family?
    • Also, while Kira and Lacus do get their happy ending, Kira and his first girlfriend Fllay count as this. She started out as a Yandere who pretended to love him to get revenge since he didn't save her father from a really messy death, then truly fell for him when he showed her genuine kindness... but she could only sort-of tell him her true feelings after she was murdered by the Big Bad, as her soul managed to have a last talk with the grief-stricken Kira before he fought and killed said Big Bad.
    • Saji Crossroad and Louise Halevy fit this trope after the Wham Episode of Mobile Suit Gundam 00, where she became her family's Sole Survivor and lost her hand as well. The second season has them fighting on opposite sides, as he's forced to join Celestial Being as their Tagalong Kid to save his life and she's become a Dark Action Girl for the A-Laws. It takes them LOTS of effort to get back together.
      • Lyle Dylandy and Anew Returner. It starts well but ends up terribly, since she turns out to be an Innovator Manchurian Agent and betrays Celestial Being when her "trigger" (her Innovator twin Revive Revival) appears and "resets" her. When Lyle offers her a Last-Second Chance she almost takes it, only to be mind controlled by Ribbons Almark into fighting him anyway and she eventually has to be killed by Setsuna to keep her from killing Lyle.
    • The Mobile Suit Gundam Wing novel Frozen Teardrop give us Treize's parents, Ein Yuy and Angelina Khushrenada. They tried to run away to escape the Parental Marriage Veto coming from her family, but her Smug Snake father Cinquante kidnapped Angelina back into the clan and got Ein killed. She was so broken that she went insane with grief. Also, Trowa Phobos and Kathy Winner may end up as this too.
    • And now we have Flit Asuno and Yurin L'Ciel from Mobile Suit Gundam AGE. Yurin dies in the Wham Episode, and while Flit marries his childhood friend Emily and they're still together after the Time Skip, Yurin's death was also his Start of Darkness and Emily simply can't fill the void she left.
      • From the Third Generation Kio Asuno and Lu Anon. It's bad enough that Kio's from Earth and Lu's from Vagan, but Lu also suffers from an incurable disease due to Mars Ray exposure. While Kio eventually got her medicine (which only relieves the symptoms and doesn't actually cure the illness), she dies in Episode 38, leaving Kio heartbroken as he escapes Vagan with his father.
  • Haikara-san ga Tooru has three of these:
    • First is the main characters, Nice Guy Shinobu and The Lad-ette Benio, after Shinobu goes MIA and later has Trauma-Induced Amnesia.. They get better, but not before MUCH heartbreak.
    • In the backstory, Shinobu's grandmother and Benio's grandfather, who were in a Perfectly Arranged Marriage but were torn apart by political/social standings (One family was pro-Shogunate, another supported the Meiji Restoration.) The reason why the leads were betrothed was a sort-of promise made to them: if their kids or grandkids have a chance to marry, they'd be engaged to do so as a sort-of solace.
    • And there's more! Shinobu's own parents were an example, too. His father was a member of the Iijyuin clan, but his mother/Colonel Iijyuin's mistress was a German woman. They couldn't marry due to social standing and her heritage, so after Shinobu's birth she was forced to leave her child in the care of his paternal family and leave Japan.
  • Jeudi's parents Friederich and Helene in Honoo no Alpen Rose. Specially because they did get married and had Alicia/Jeudi, but then they had to run away from Austria to Switzerland, Helene and Jeudi went missing, and it went From Bad to Worse.
    • As things get worse and worse, it seems the Universe itself is conspiring to give Lundi and Jeudi trouble. Specially when Lundi disappears when the train he and Jeudi have boarded to reach Austria is caught in a bomb attack, and Jeudi has to go to Austria alone.
  • In Hungry Marie, Anna's father (a Catholic priest) and Taiga's grandmother (a Taoist priest) do not approve of the two having contacts with the "enemy". It's mostly played for laughs though.
  • In Hyouketsu Kyoukai No Eden, Sheltis and Ymy can talk normally with each other and interact. There's just one problem: both of them can't touch each other because if they try, sparks form between the two of them thanks to Sheltis harboring so much dark energy called mateki while Ymy has an overwhelming amount of light energy called shinryoku. While both do try to find one day to have Sheltis be purified completely, what they can only do is basically talk with each other while everyone else can touch Sheltis completely fine.
  • In The Ideal Sponger Life, each nation's royal family jealously guards their Royalty Super Power, such as the Capuan Space-Time magic. About a hundred fifty years before the start of the story, a Capuan prince fell in love with a princess from a neighboring kingdom. Both families opposed their marriage and he used Space-Time magic to elope to another world, disappearing from history. Their descendent Zenjiro is summoned to marry into the Capuan royal family devastated by war. Negotiations with the other kingdom over the status of a child who may inherit powers from both bloodlines, or the possibility of Zenjiro taking concubines, are very tense.
  • Inuyasha: Inuyasha and Kikyo thanks to Naraku's making them think they betrayed each other, fatally injuring Kikyou AND making her seal him. Later she's forcibly revived by a witch, and things aren't much easier as he's starting to fall for her reincarnation Kagome and she's filled with rage and pain. In the end, she dies again but much more peacefully, in Inuyasha's arms.
  • Jewelpet Sunshine: Ruby and Mikage love each other but can't be together because Jewelpet/human love is taboo. They manage to get together at the end, but only because Mikage compromises by becoming a Jewelpet himself.
  • Tomoe from Kamisama Kiss has this as his default view on human/youkai relationships. Naturally, he ends up in one such relationship with Nanami.
  • Akiko Hashou and Takao "Taka" Itou from the old jousei manga Kasei Yakyoku. Sara Uchida's own love on Taka doesn't have much more hope, either, and it's even worse when she does get something close to a love declaration as well as passionate sex from him... and then The Great Kanto Earthquake destroys Tokyo.
  • Aslan and Paiva in Kaze to Ki no Uta in the backstory of the manga. Their son Serge's relationship with Gilbert dosen't fare well either, but considering that it took place in 1880's Europe, it was bound to happen.
  • Kishin Douji Zenki has two cases like this:
    • The Warrior Monk Souma Miki and the Action Girl Anju trained together and were heading towards Childhood Friend Romance, but she was caught by the Big Bad Karuma and then Brainwashed and Crazy into becoming her follower, then into killing her former companions. Only Souma survived and he believed Anju to be a traitor for years, not knowing that her memories were erased; when he calls her out on it, she begins to recover them...
    • Later, there's Inugami and Sayaka. Inugami is the Prince of the Demon World, a half-demon young man who opposes Zenki in the second part of the series; on the other hand Sayaka is one of the heroine Chiaki's muggle best friends. Inugami is at first cold and uncaring, but slowly begins to defrost as Sayaka starts getting to him...
  • The Leijiverse has the beautiful Space Pirate Girl Emeraldas and the genius engineer and Captain Harlock's bro-for-life Tochiro Oyama. The two of them are very much in love, but across The 'Verse's many continuities, circumstances always conspire to keep them apart until (usually) Tochiro dies heroically and/or tragically, leaving Emeraldas to roam the universe alone in her unmanned battleship. In only one continuity, the two of them spend enough time together to have a daughter, but even then the three of them are forced to go their separate ways.
  • Lupin III: The Secret of Twilight Gemini: Part of the film's backstory reveals Dalune was formerly a member of the French foreign legion, while Lorre was both a dancer at the Geltic royal palace and a member of the royal family. They fell in love soon after they met and consumated their relationship not long afterward. Unfortunately, it was during a time when there was firece conflict between the Gelts and the Igo Tribes. The last time they saw each other was the day the Geltic Tribe was forced to flee their ancestral home. Neither one knew Lorre was with child, which Dalune didn't become aware of until many years later, after Lorre had long since given birth and passed away.
  • Solomon and Sheba from Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic. After knowing each other for five years and Sheba gaining a long unreciprocated crush on him, Solomon finally fell for her, they became a couple, and he got her pregnant. Their happiness was short lived since Solomon fused his soul with Ill Ilah's Rukh in order to Screw Destiny and had to leave Sheba behind. She only had his Empty Shell of a body left. Sheba was left alone and heartbroken, but decided to endure her grief in order to accomplish her beloved's dream, only to be betrayed and killed by her former friends and die without getting the chance to meet her son Aladdin.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth: Princess Esmeraude and Zagato are in love, but since Esmeraude is the local Barrier Maiden and she's required to dedicate herself only to Zephiro, as soon as her thoughts turn to him, Zephiro begins to crumble. Esmeraude intends to summon the Magic Knights to kill her so a new Pillar can be chosen, but the desperate Zagato kidnaps her. Their situation is so bad, it's said that they can only be Together in Death. And that's what happens: as the Magic Knights kill Zagato believing him to be the Big Bad, Esmeraude cracks and her Superpowered Evil Side awakens. What's left of her conscience projects her image to the Knights and explains everything, begging them to kill her. As the girls slay her, they see Zagato and Esmeraude's souls together, and hear Esmeraude first thanking them for releasing her, then telling Zagato that she's finally all his'.
  • Sankt Kaiser Olivie Sägebrecht and Hegemon Claus Ingvalt from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Vivid. Long before they were crowned rulers of their respective countries, the two had grown up together to become very close. Alas, the Ancient Belka War happened, and they found themselves leading opposing sides, and in the end, Hegemon Ingvalt failed to stop Sankt Kaiser Olivie from performing the Heroic Sacrifice that she would eventually be famed for. He would carry this regret all the way to his grave and beyond, with Einhard Stratos, his descendant and sort-of Reincarnation, still carrying the sadness of his failure as she meets the clone of Olivie, the Magical Girl Vivio Takamachi...
  • Meiko Akizuki and Shinichi "Nat-chan" Namura from Marmalade Boy, due to the Hot for Teacher angle as well as the social class difference (Namura is middle-class, Meiko is The Ojou). Subverted later: they do get their happy ending.
  • Mazinger saga:
    • Mazinger Z: Shiro Kabuto and Lorelei. He was the little brother of Kouji Kabuto, The Hero and pilot of Mazinger-Z. She was the daughter of a foreign Mad Scientist, or better said — a Robot Girl built by that Madscientist, who wanted to prove he was better than Dr. Kabuto, builder of Mazinger-Z and Shiro's grandfather. What happened? He built a Humongous Mecha, Rhine X1, and a Robot Girl, Lorelei, that was meant to fuse with it to make it work. When the scientist got a fatal wound, he confessed the truth to her and pleaded her to defeat Mazinger; determined to fulfill her father's last will, Lorelei merged with Rhine and challenged Mazinger to a death match, so a very unhappy Kouji was forced to fight and kill her. Poor Shiro was devastated after that.
    • UFO Robo Grendizer: Duke Fleed and Hikaru Makiba. Hikaru's father refused accepting their relationship, since Danbei was an Overprotective Dad was perfectly willing to killing any male came near from his daughter), but that was not the real obstacle (or an obstacle for that matter). The real obstacle was that Duke wanted to return his Doomed Hometown of a planet to rebuild it if he managed surviving the war, whereas Hikaru did not want to leave Earth. Not matter what their feelings are, a separation is inevitable.
      • Also, Duke and his fiancèe Rubina. Duke is Crown Prince of planet Fleed, a world was invaded and scorched by the troops of King Vega, and he now is fighting the Vegans to prevent them from conquering Earth. Rubina is King Vega's daughter, and the closest to a loved one that Vega had. They got engaged before the Fleed's invasion, but King Vega -who never agreed the engagement in first place-, refuses seeing his daughter getting married with Duke. Of course,it ended up in tears.
    • Shin Mazinger Zero has Kouji Kabuto and Sayaka Yumi themselves. A Robot Girl named Minerva-X has witnessed almost 3000 timelines in which the world is destroyed. The trigger for this is ALWAYS the same one: Sayaka is horribly murdered (and in one continuity, raped before dying), Kouji crosses the Despair Event Horizon, becomes a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, and in no time Earth is destroyed by the out of control Mazinger. Poor Minerva has reset the timeline to try averting these tragedies and help the star-crossed lovers stay together and alive, but it never works... until the present one, which may be the 'line in which both Sayaka and Kouji will survive and keep the world safe.
  • In the Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch manga, Rina and Hanon both fall in love with humans, knowing full well that they will eventually have to leave them to rule over their kingdoms. (Hamasaki actually has a mermaid ancestor, but this seems inconsequential.) They tell Lucia this too, but her guy Kaitou turns out to be the prince of an ancient powerful race that can breathe underwater, so she's safe.
    • Hippo and Yuuri. Just... Hippo and Yuuri. To clarify: Hippo is a penguin who can turn into a little bishonen and is a guardian, fighting alongside the mermaid princesses. Yuuri is part of Gakupo's henchwomen, so they do end up falling love and fighting each other. At the end of the first season, Yuuri gets turned back into her original non-human form and she and Hippo are separated. An episode in the second season revolved around the two getting to meet for one night only in their human forms and she will disappear again when the sun rises. Half the episode is about how they are afraid to meet each other because it will be just for one night. It's a heartbreaking episode.
  • In Millennium Actress, the romance between Chiyoko and her on-the-run love interest never comes to fruition, though she is chasing him for most of her life.
  • Shinji Ikari can be seen as having relationships like this with either the second Rei Ayanami or Kaworu Nagisa in both Neon Genesis Evangelion and the Rebuild-Tetralogy. In one way or another — God it sucks to be Shinji
  • One Piece:
  • Pokémon:
    • The male and female Nidoran from the Orange Islands episode "Wherefore Art Thou, Pokémon?", an obvious Shout-Out to Romeo and Juliet. As a bonus, they are named Tony and Maria after the protagonists of West Side Story, a modern take on the original play.
    • After a run-in with some ghost-type Pokemon, Wobbuffet runs away, leaving behind the rest of Team Rocket. The ghosts are actually trying to live in peace and quiet, but the Psychic-type Pokemon in the nearby abandoned town are making too much noise. Team Rocket decides to help them in their plight. Around the same time, Wobbuffet runs into the aforementioned Psychic-types, and falls in Love at First Sight with the Kirlia dancer (and she reciprocates!). When his teammates show up to kidnap the Psychic-types, Wobbuffet (usually a Yes-Man to the rest of Team Rocket) actively goes against them to protect her. Unfortunately, the romance was short-lived, since Status Quo Is God dictates that Wobbuffet stays with Team Rocket, and he winds up getting sent flying without even saying goodbye.
  • Princess Tutu.
    • Played straight with Tutu and the Prince in the fairytale inside the story, since the former is cursed to turn into a speck of light and vanish when she confesses her love.
    • Subverted by Ahiru and Fakir; Ahiru is forced to give up the pendant she uses to transform into a girl to save Mytho, but Fakir still promises to stay by her side, even though she's now just a duck.
    • Almost played straight with Rue and Mytho, due to her being Princess Kraehe and him being cursed into a Raven... but Rue's Anguished Declaration of Love and Heroic Sacrifice unlock Mythos's feelings, revert him to a human, let him rescue her from her Archnemesis Dad, and earns them their happy ending.
  • Hikoboshi and Orihime, the two lovers in Japanese Mythology who could only see each other once a year, are referenced when Ranma and Akane go to the Weaver festival in one chapter of the Ranma ½ manga. The star crossed lovers are mentioned again later on by a somewhat-delusional-from-being-fried-by-fireworks Ranma.
    Ranma: (to the Akane in his dream) I feel as if we are... we are like Hikoboshi and Orihime when they finally met each other.
    The real Akane: Huh?
    • In the anime, two one-shot characters, Princess Ori and Kengyu, are a play on Hikoboshi and Orihime, as well.
  • Romeo X Juliet, given the source material.
  • Marie Antoinette and Count Fersen from Rose of Versailles. Oscar/Andre are another pair from the series (they do manage to get together, but die immediately afterwards).
  • Saint Seiya:
    • In the Hades saga, the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice is used here as well: Orpheus' expy Lyre Orphee is one of the Silver Saints and his girlfriend Eurydice is half-turned into stone in the middle of Hell, lamenting that Orphee is always sad and won't leave her side after death.
    • Saint Seiya: Soul of Gold has two pairs of doomed lovers: the reformed Cancer Deathmask and the Innocent Flower Girl Elena (she's murdered by his rival and, as an Ill Girl, was doomed already) and Leo Aiolia and Lyfia (they get lots of Ship Tease, but in the end he must die again alongside his fellow Golden Saints while she stays in Asgard to be Odin's new priestess/representative).
  • In Sailor Moon, there are instances of this:
    • In a one-shot from the Sailor Moon manga, there is a variant of the legend of the Weaver and the Cowherd, where the couple shirked their duties because of their love, and thus were barred from seeing one another. The Weaver was the villain of the story, because the Cowherd saw her without make-up on during one of the days, and feared that he no longer loved her now that he saw she was really very plain (and getting fat from overeating due to boredom). At the end of the story, he shows up and assures her he still loves her.
    • In the Silver Millenium days, Serenity is the Princess of the Moon and Endymion is the Prince of Earth, so they're not allowed to even meet and thus they have to do it behind their people's backs. Then the war comes in, Endymion is killed, and Serenity either kills herself due to grief (manga and Crystal) or dies alongside him as she's hit by the same blast that takes his life (first anime). Then they're reincarnated into Usagi/Sailormoon and Mamoru/Tuxedo Kamen, who do manage to get AND stay together.
    • Codename: Sailor V gets Minako in one such situation: she believed to have finally found her true love in her latest infatuation, Ace... who was then quickly revealed to be Danburite, the series' Big Bad and Kunzite's Dragon and the reincarnation of Adonis, one of her soldiers from the Silver Millennium who had been in love with her, but went unnoticed by her, and quickly dies by her hand soon afterwards. As he dies, Ace claims that Minako/Sailor Venus is fated to never find true love, implying it would be by her own choice and she'd always choose duty over love-and as announced, every relationship with a ghost of a chance ends by her own choice, with the only exception of the hinted one with Rei that doesn't get in the way of her duty.
  • In The Secret Agreement, as if being gay lovers from very different class strata ca. 1920s-30s wasn't star-crossed enough, it turns out that if Yuuichi doesn't steal Iori's life energy he will die instead. There is really no way for them to win.
  • Seraph of the End:
  • In The Seven Deadly Sins, there is Ban and Elaine. Ban became an immortal thanks to a Heroic Sacrifice made by Elaine, thus the barrier between life and death separates them. Ban however decided to make it his personal mission to find a way for them to be reunited.
  • Sorcerer Stabber Orphen:
  • The relationship between Willem and Chtholly in Sukasuka was tinged with tragedy right from the start. A man who had lost everything falls in love with a girl who believes that her own death is just around the corner. Despite everything he does to prevent it, Chtholly dies saving his life in one of the most gut wrenching moments in light novel history. This sad inevitability is perfectly reflected in the anime’s rendition of Scarborough Fair, an English folk tune about the futility of love, which plays during their first meeting and during Chtholly’s death.
  • This crops up quite often in The Tarot Cafe, seeing as most of Pamela's clients are involved in some sort of Interspecies Romance. How well they work out varies. Some end happily, like the man who pursues a lake spirit, even after he unknowingly hits her three times and thus banishes her from his home. Some end not-so-happily, like the Reincarnation Romance between a vampire and a human, in which the vampire killed the human in the past and then, to keep himself from killing her reincarnated self (who he still loved) committed suicide. Besides the clients, there's also Aaron and Nebiros (separated because of a moment of distrust between the two, though they eventually reconcile) and Pamela and Belus (unable to have a happy ending, because Belus is really the Devil, though they are implied to remain friends. The beginning of the series also has Pamela and Ashes.
  • In Ten Yori Mo, Hoshi Yori Mo, Mio Mizumori and Shou Narumiya were this. In at least two lifetimes.
  • Simon and Nia from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann in the ending, as she dissolves into nothingness right after they get married, and she should've died after the destruction of the Anti-Spiral but held on for days solely out of determination. Lampshaded in-series by the Big Bad.
  • Tokyo Babylon and X1999:
    • Seishirou Sakurazuka and Subaru Sumeragi are trapped in a cycle of love and hatred since Seishirou is the current assassin known as the Sakurazukamori, an enemy that the Sumeragi family has been fighting for generations. Seishirou should've killed Subaru when he witnessed him murder someone, but decided to make an odd sort-of bet between them, erasing their first meeting from Subaru's mind. After meeting and living together years after, Seishirou betrays Subaru, leaving his life completely shattered. Nine years later, they find themselves on opposite sides of the war for the world in X1999, but it's obvious their concentration is more on each other than the planet's fate. The two's names are even taken from stars: Seishirou after "Orion", the constellation that appears to be pursuing "Pleiades", which gives Subaru his.
    • And as revealed by X/1999, Subaru's sister Hokuto and Kakyou Kuzuki. The breaking point for Subaru and Seishirou was the latter's murder of Hokuto when she tried to save Subaru at the cost of her life; Kakyou was Hokuto's soulmate and as shown in the X OAV, he tried to save her to no avail. Years later, Kakyou's biggest wish is to die so he and Hokuto can be Together in Death.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, relationships between Ghouls and Humans are rare but do occur. A provision of the Anti-Ghoul laws addresses this concern, with the human facing serious time in prison and their Ghoul lover facing either imprisonment in Kokuria or execution on the spot.
    • Yoshimura and his Lost Lenore, Ukina. Their romance ended in tragedy, but changed him from a ruthless loner into the kind Friendly Neighborhood Vampire of the current story. It also resulted in the Big Bad of the series, their Half-Human Hybrid child Eto/Sen, being hunted by various organizations.
    • Nishiki and his human girlfriend, Kimi. She explicitly points out that if he's exposed as a Ghoul, he'll be killed and she'll be sent to prison. When Anteiku is raided, he makes the decision to leave her in hopes of protecting her from suspicion.
  • Sakura and Syaoran in Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-. At first, even though they are physically together, Sakura is never allowed to remember she is in love with him (that is, from the looks of it, until all her feathers are found). Then it gets much, much more complicated, with all the complications putting more distance between them, metaphorically. That clones of both are involved is only the the beginning.
    • Yuuko and Clow may count too.
  • In Uzumaki, a girl from Kirie's class is in love with a neighbor boy, while their families absolutely hate each other. The two sneak out together a few times (and of course, get caught and separated again), until they see two snakes making love. This inspires them to...well, this being Uzumaki, the two lovers spiral their bodies tightly around each other to form a human rope, telling their families that they will now be together forever, before throwing themselves into the sea to drown.
  • Subverted in the Vampire Princess Miyu OAVs. Kei Yuzuki is a very handsome human who is horribly bored with his life but does his best to hide it, so at first he only wants eternal youth and beauty and consults the Uncanny Valley Girl from his school, Ranka. Turns out she's a Shinma and she promises to give him what he wants yet planning to make him her prey... but later, the guy ends up falling in love with her despite knowing who she is, and much to her own shock Ranka finds herself returning these feelings. They reach an agreement and Ranka transforms Kei into a Shinma, so Miyu (who had her eyes set on him too, thus she was horribly humiliated when she found out) had to send them both to the Dark. The last time we see them, they happily and peacefully walk together towards the Darkness.
  • Ai and Yota from Video Girl Ai, since he's a human and she's a Robot Girl who shouldn't have human feelings and was tasked with simply helping Youta, but fell in love with him which is a death sentence for Video Girls. They earn their happy ending, though.
  • Weiß Kreuz.
    • Kikuno and Shuichi Takatori were very in love, but she was forced to marry his evil older brother Reiji. Then it got worse... Specially for their off-marriage child, Mamoru Takatori... aka Omi Tsukiyono.
    • And later, Omi himself, when he falls for his cousin Ouka Sakaki... Reiji's illegitimate daughter and the only person he loves. And she's shot to death in his arms.
    • Also, Youji Kudou and Asuka Murase. So much that he ends up killing her when she's the amnesiac Dark Action Girl Neu.
  • Makie and Taki Renzaburou by the end of the Wicked City movie. While them hooking up and becoming a Battle Couple is one of the biggest plot points of the movie as a whole, in the end the pregnant Makie must return to the Demon World and Renzaburou musty stay on Earth.
  • In Wild Rock, Yuni and Selim decide there's no way to overcome the fact that they're from Feuding Families and are both future chieftans, so they part and each have families of their own. It isn't until their sons fall in love and decide to unite the two tribes that they meet again, agreeing it was long overdue.
  • Windaria: Roland and Veronica, the heirs of the countries at the brink of war. It looked to be subverted as the Queen of Lunaria hoped a marriage between them would neutralize the possiblity of war but they ended up fighting.
  • In Winter Cicada, Akizuki and Kusaka are lovers on opposite sides of the Boshin civil war. It ends pretty much how you'd suspect.
  • Wolf's Rain has not one but four sets of lovers, all of whom could be considered "star-crossed" in various ways.
    • Much of Lord Darcia's motivation for becoming the series' villain involves his lover Hamona falling into a coma and subsequently dying, which he blames on the wolves.
    • Hubb Leboski spends most of the series trying to get back together with his ex-wife Cher Degré, which indirectly leads to his getting involved with the wolves.
    • Kiba's main love interest is Cheza, the girl made of Lunar Flowers. Unfortunately, her status as a Living MacGuffin keeps her trapped by many Nobles, forcing Kiba to fight his way back to her.
    • The wolf Hige, who's always dreamed of finding a hot babe, eventually gets together with the wolf-dog Blue. Of course, with everything else that's going on nobody gets much time for romance, and they all die in the OVA episodes. At the very end Hige is apparently reincarnated as a human, along with the other wolves, but we don't see Blue.
  • Regarding almost all the Girls' Love couples from The '70s, this is pretty much a given. The list includes the following cases:
    • Resine and Simone from Shiroi Heya no Futari, the first Yuri manga. Simone? She's stabbed to death by an ex-boyfriend. Resine? She refuses to fall for anyone in the rest of her life.
    • Maya and Reina from Maya's Funeral Procession, both of them expies of Resine and Simone. Not only are they half-sisters, but Maya later commits suicide.
    • In the Oniisama e... anime, Mariko tells Tomoko and Nanako about the legend of two lovers who died in Seiran School. They were separated by their different social class and killed themselves to not be torn apart, under the biggest elm tree in the garden. It's the same tree that Rei waited for hours underneath, under Fukiko's orders, causing her to catch a huge fever.
      • Nanako and Rei might qualify as well. Especially in the anime where Rei dies in an accident right when she was going to meet up with Nanako, in what's all but stated to have been this close to become their first date.
  • The Chinese daughter of a crime lord, Li-En, and her Mamodo partner, Wonrei, from Zatch Bell!. No matter what the outcome of the battle between the Mamodo is, Wonrei will have to eventually return to the Mamodo world.
  • Your Lie in April: Despite their obvious chemistry, Kousei hesitates to make a move on Kaori because he believes that she's in love with Watari. She also has an illness that gets worse over the course of the story. By the end of the story, the illness claims her life, and it's only in a posthumous letter that she admits she never had any feelings for Watari and had always loved Kousei, far too late for him to act on it.
  • Goddess Creation System
    • The brothers Mingluan and Mingyi fall in love with the servant girl Xiaxi, but their father is having none of it and is furious that two noblemen are fighting over a mere maid. She eventually moves on without looking back because even if they loved her, she was just manipulating them the whole time.
    • Subverted with crown prince Jun'er. As he grows increasingly attached to Xiaxi, his mother and uncle are suspicious and not terribly happy in his mother's case. However, she's a fantastic influence on him so everyone seems to basically accept that she's his woman... minus the small part of her clearly having no interest in him.

    Comic Books 
  • Young Avengers: Cassie Lang (Stature) and Nate Richards (Iron Lad) seem destined to be star-crossed lovers, separated by centuries and because Nate's destined to grow up to be the evil supervillain Kang the Conqueror.
  • X-Men: Scott Summers (Cyclops) and Jean Grey (Phoenix). Often described as destined soul mates who were meant to be yet have been through so much tragedy, including death and destruction.
  • Invoked by Superman in Krypton No More story, in which he believes any romance between him and an Earth woman is doomed to failure.
  • Gambit and Rogue have long been one of the cruelest examples. They've been deeply in love for years, but Rogue's inability to touch a person without him falling victim to her powers keeps him forever at arms length. She recently managed to figure out how to avoid this problem, but that initially made it worse; it started a fight with Gambit, who wondered if their relationship would have been anything more than a "one night stand" if they had been able to touch from the start. She seems to have gained full control of them and reconciled with Gambit following the events of X-Men Legacy, but how long it will last is anyone's guess.
    • Given that Rogue and Remy officially got married in X-Men: Gold #30, things are definitely looking up for these two.
  • Peanuts: While it's unclear how strongly his feelings are returned, Charlie Brown's hopeless infatuation with the Little Red-Haired Girl is tragically doomed to remain star-crossed, as he lacks the nerve to speak to her.
  • Nikolai Dante: the title character and Jena Makarov end up in this situation because Nikolai is an illegitimate scion of the Romanov family, who eventually go to war with the Makarovs.
  • Hawkman and Hawkgirl. If they acknowledge their love for each other they will be killed by their reincarnating archenemy. Because Destiny Says So.
    • In Blackest Night #1, finally Hawkgirl admits that she's fallen in love with Hawkman. Immediately, they are killed and turned into Black Lanterns. Toldja.
      • In Brightest Day instead, while Hawkman and Hawkgirl get briefly resurrected by the Life Entity and freed by their curse, the same Entity, responsible for empowering and protecting every life in the universe, turns Hawkgirl into the latest air elemental, barring her from living her last life with Hawkman. He's not that happy.
  • Again in Brightest Day, Deadman gets the same treatment: while he's resurrected too, and starts to appreciate his new stab at life by romancing the overtly cute and lovely superheroine Dove, he gets returned to his undead state, the Entity using his life force to resurrect and empower the new iteration of the Swamp Thing. All the while with Dove still able to hear his disembodied voice, but tearfully aware of their separation.
  • The ice goddess Kelda and the mortal fry-cook Bill in the recent Thor series.
  • Also Thor-connected: Asgardian wolf prince Hrimhari and Rahne Sinclaire of X-Factor. The first time they got together, they had to part when the X-Men left Asgard. When Asgard reappeared on Earth, Hrimhari and Rahne were reunited, only for Hrimhari to give up his own life to save Rahne and their unborn children.
  • Spider-Man: Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson were forced into this by One More Day. Stan Lee even labels them this in his afterword in the OMD Trade Paperback. Fortunately, they're still very much together in the MC2, Ultimate, and Newspaper Strip continuities, the latter of which continues to this day. Nick Spencer brought them back together in the very first issue of his run on Amazing Spider-Man, following Dan Slott's departure. Fingers crossed...
  • Another Marvel example is Thena of The Eternals and Kro of the Deviants. Kro is far more powerful than most Deviants, and unlike most of them, seems immortal, like the Eternals are. He and Thena fell in love more than twenty millennia ago, but as their respected races are mortal enemies and would never approve of their relationship, they've been forced to keep it secret. They've actually been more successful than most examples of this Trope, having two children as a result, Donald and Debora Ritter (Thena concealed this from her fellow Eternals by using her own powers to secretly transfer them, as embryos, into an infertile human woman; the twins didn't learn who their true parents were until adulthood.)
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: Peter and Mary Jane end up as this, what with the former being Killed Off for Real. It's subverted later on, when it turns out he's not actually dead and they elope together.
  • In DC vs. Marvel, Robin and Jubilee were instantly smitten with each other when they met; angst ensued since they were supposed to fight. Knowing the stakes, they agreed to go with through with it and that there'd be no hard feelings, and Robin managed to defeat Jubilee without actually hitting her. From there, they enjoyed their remaining time together before being separated for good.
  • Ms. Tree found herself in that situation when her stepson fell for the daughter of the boss of the Meurita crime family. Subverted, regardless of her opinion of this situation, she considers the matter purely the kids' affair and enjoys seeing the girl's mother's attempt to keep them apart backfire into strengthening their relationship.
  • Thanks to Executive Meddling, this seems to be the case for Sonic the Hedgehog and Princess Sally Acorn - whenever these two get together, something bad happens to one of them - Sonic gets launched to the other side of the galaxy, Sally falls for Monkey Khan, then she later gets turned into a robot.
  • Bruce Banner and Betty Ross. His uncontrollable transformations into the Hulk have made him a fugitive wanted by the United States military. Not to mention Betty's father, General "Thunderbolt" Ross, harbors an intense hatred of him.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW): Princess Celestia and a good version of King Sombra. Separated by different universes due to Celestia's friend Star Swirl realizing that both their kingdoms need their ruler more than they need each other.
  • A Love Like Blood: A male vampire and a female werewolf fall in love when both their races are at war with each other. The woman is killed by vampire and werewolf soldiers while pregnant with their child.
  • Requiem and Rebecca in Requiem Vampire Knight. In life, Heinrich was a Nazi and Rebecca was Jewish, and their romance turned destructive when he found this out. After reincarnating in Résurrection, he became a vampire (obviously) and she became a lemure (a tortured spirit bound to Hell until her tormentor is killed). They do resume their relationship again in a healthier fashion, though its not helped that they belong to different factions fighting each other, or that Requiem's mentor, Otto Von Todt, was the guy responsible for her suffering and her murder. Requiem could very well bite her and make her his blood slave, but he wants to release his love interest from this wretched existence.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Among Donald Duck's various love interests, his relationship with Reginella is this: Reginella loves him, Donald has shown every time he'd marry her in an heartbeat, but she is the queen of an alien planet and her duties toward her people takes precedence on everything, and every time said duty forces her to send him back to Earth.
  • Raptors: During his travels, Drago fell in love with an Indian woman who was enthralled by an immortal sorcerer. He tried to kill the sorcerer (which didn't work) to free her, but was ultimately forced to leave her for good. However, this did result in him fathering a son he didn't know about.
  • Star Trek: Debt of Honor: T'Cel and Jim Kirk share a kiss (and possibly more) after escaping the destruction of USS Farragut, but she leaves the Space Station where they took refuge in order to draw off Romulan ships investigating the incident on their border... and turns out to be half-Romulan herself (her mother was a Romulan shipwreck survivor rescued and mistaken for Vulcan) and reappears many years later as a subcommander in the Romulan Imperial Fleet. They're still shown to have feelings for each other. At the climax, T'Cel plans to take her Bird of Prey through the dimensional portal to explore it and invites Kirk along. He declines out of a sense of responsibility to keep the Enterprise-A from suffering a similarly ignominious fate to her predecessor.
  • X-23 and the time-displaced Angel. No matter how strong or not their relationship is, it will ultimately end because at some point he must return to his own time. Their final breakup doesn't even occur on panel, and when he does return home they don't even say goodbye.

    Films — Animation 
  • Gnomeo and Juliet, of course.
  • Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers has Minnie forbidden to date Mickey due to him being a commoner. This only attracts her to him more.
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm has Bruce Wayne and his one-time fiancee, Andrea Beaumont. After he decides that she's worth giving up his plan of being Batman for, she has to leave Gotham and disappear thanks to the mob. When she resurfaces years later, they're still in love, but she has become the murderer Phantasm, hunting down her father's killers, and is Batman's enemy.
  • Pocahontas has the titular heroine and John Smith. She is The Chief's Daughter, while he is part of the settlers invading her land (while she's also been promised in marriage to a warrior in her tribe). The film was explicitly created to be Romeo & Juliet in 17th century Virginia.
  • Toy Story That Time Forgot: Parodied with Trixie the triceratops and newcomer Reptilus Maximus. Reptilus belongs to Bonnie's friend Mason, so the two can only see each other during their owners' playdates. In the film's Stinger, Reptilus makes his way up to Mason's window and stares longingly out into the snow.
    Reptilus: Farewell, Trixie of the Bonn-Yee tribe. My heart will burn bright, until the moment of your return...Tuesday, around 3:30.
  • Kubo's parents in Kubo and the Two Strings. Sariatu first met Hanzo as enemies, with her being sent by her father, the Moon King, to kill him. They fell in Love at First Sight and later had a son but due to Sariatu's family disapproving of their relationship, Hanzo was killed and Sariatu fled with the baby Kubo. Made even more tragic in that Hanzo is actually an amensic Beetle and Monkey is Sariatu in another form and both died not too long after realizing Hanzo's true identity.
  • Boo Boo and his alien girlfriend Snulu from "Yogi and the Invasion of the Space Bears", they are forced to separate when Snulu decides to fight in the space war to prevent further invasion.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Metropolis, Freder is the son of the evil Capitalist overlord, and Maria is a young Socialist reformer. It turns out okay, though.
  • A still-controversial example is The Night Porter, which depicts a rekindled sadomasochistic relationship between Max, a former SS officer (Dirk Bogarde) and Lucia, a concentration camp survivor.
  • In One Way Passage, Dan is an escaped prisoner being taken back to San Francisco from Shanghai, to be executed. While onboard the ship he falls in love with beautiful Joan—who has a terminal illness and will die in a matter of weeks. Cue tragic romance.
  • The Adjustment Bureau's whole premise is this. David and Elise meet in a bathroom one night, in what was meant to be a chance encounter. But the titular bureau tries to keep them from reuniting, out of fear of what effect it will have on the plan. David and Elise ended up together in the original plan, and remnants of this keep bringing them together.
  • Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar from Brokeback Mountain due to society's homophobia. The film poster is in fact modelled after that of Titanic (1997).
  • Noah Calhoun and Allie Hamilton from The Notebook. Their love is forbidden due to the fact that Noah is a poor boy with no money and Allie is a spoiled rich girl that comes from wealth and this causes much chaos and tension in their relationship. Despite this, the two young lovers do everything they can to be together and in the end, they end up getting married and having a family.
  • Rose DeWitt Bukater and Jack Dawson from 1997's Titanic (1997) are probably the second most infamous use of this trope, after the trope namer. To elaborate, Rose is from a high class American family and Jack is a homeless pauper. What's more is that they're both passengers on the Titanic, which is doomed to sink and result in Jack's death. Of course, uniquely for this trope, despite Jack's death, Rose found a Second Love and by all accounts had a happy life with him.
  • In the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy and Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala are in a secret marriage that ends tragically. He's a Jedi and the Jedi Order forbids its members from falling in love and having families, while she has to protect her reputation as a senator. Due to their respective roles requiring them to be on different planets during the Clone Wars, they are often literally star-crossed. Even their romance theme was entitled: ''Across the Stars''. By Revenge of the Sith, they are on opposite sides of the political conflict regarding Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, and Anakin ultimately betrays Padmé and everything she has fought for by turning to the dark side and strangling her which results in her death.
  • In Seventh Son, a witch-hunter falls in love with a half-witch. It turns out he's actually one, too, but they still decide they can't be together.
  • Jamal and Latika in the movie Slumdog Millionaire - who were childhood friends drawn together by bad circumstances, and then forced apart by similar ways. At least until the very end of the movie.
  • Stefan and Lisa from the heartrending film Letter from an Unknown Woman.
  • The eponymous tribesman Uncas and Alice, proper English girl, in Last of the Mohicans. Barely a word is spoken between them, but we know they are destined for this. Sure enough, Alice commits suicide after Uncas dies trying to save her.
  • Invoked in Heathers. Everyone in town thinks the two dead high school football players killed themselves because they were gay lovers who believed that the community would never accept them. Everyone, that is, except for the two people who murdered them and forged the suicide note that lead the town to believe that two heterosexual football players were secretly gay lovers.
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Rebellious Princess Jen and Lovable Rogue Lo, Lady of War Shu Lien and Warrior Therapist Li Mubai. The first couple gets together in the end (for a very brief period of time.) The second ends as Her Heart Will Go On after Mubai dies in Shu Lien's arms, as they both aknowledge their feelings.
  • The lovers in My Beautiful Laundrette are maximally star-crossed. One is from a tradition-minded Pakistani family, the other runs with National Front skinheads, and both are boys... But it's subverted in that there's no angst, there's minimal bitching about their star-crossed status, and at the end they end up together, realistically happy, without ever telling anyone about their relationship.
  • Ladyhawke - the title character Isabeau and her lover Captain Navarre travel together but only ever set eyes upon each other for the briefest moment because due to a curse, Isabeau turns into a hawk at dawn and Navarre turns into a wolf at sunset. The movie is all about them and Navarre's companion, Philippe, trying to go Screw Destiny and break the curse itself. It works in the end.
  • Max and Elise in Suicide Kings, kept apart by the fact that Max's stepfather slept with Elise's mother and her father found out.
  • In Memoirs of a Geisha, this is shown in the form of three women: Hatsumomo, Mameha and Sayuri. Hatsumomo was in love with a baker but was forbidden by Mother to never see him again, because as a geisha, she mustn't give her body up to men who can't earn enough money. Mameha was hinted to have loved the Baron at one point but had long given up that emotion. And the last one is Sayuri who had loved the Chairman at first sight and from that moment on, did everything she could to meet him again. Like the others, she was doomed not to have a future with him. However, Sayuri earned her happy ending as the Chairman reciprocated her love and they remained together.
  • In Partition, 38-year-old Hindu Gayan Singh falls in love with 17-year-old Muslim girl Naseem Khan, set against the dramatic backdrop of the Partition of India.
  • The Bubble: The lovers, besides both being men, are an Israeli and a Palestinian; the Palestinian is from a conservative Muslim family and is being pressured into an arranged heterosexual marriage.
  • You Never Dreamed has Roma and Katya, whose families have bad blood between them and try to keep them apart.
  • The backstory of Underworld has Lycan slave Lucian and Sonja, the daughter of Vampire Elder Viktor. To say it didn't go well would be an understatement, as its resolution (she was executed because of her miscegenation) sparked off the war between the Lycans and the Vampires that form the basis of the series.
  • Nate and Dana from Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam is this because they are from opposing musical camps led by two former bandmates turned rivals. Added points that Dana is the daughter of Camp Star's leader, and Nate is the nephew of Camp Rock's leader.
  • Tristan and Susannah in Legends of the Fall. Susannah arrives as his brother Samuel's fiancée, but he's killed in WW1. Tristan and Susannah begin a passionate affair - but he breaks it off and runs away. By the time he returns, she has married his other brother Alfred (but is miserable). Tristan ends up Happily Married to another woman, but she too is killed. After Susannah makes one more attempt to reconcile with Tristan, she ends up Spurned into Suicide.
  • Upside Down (2012), in which a man falls in love with a woman from an inverted universe.
  • Peeta and Katniss from The Hunger Games. When Peeta reveals in his pre-game interview that he is in love with Katniss she thinks he is deliberately invoking this trope (and it is indeed mentioned by name by the show host). She later plays it up for all it's worth to help save her own life, never realizing that Peeta was telling the truth and honestly loves her.
  • Landon and Jamie in A Walk to Remember. She's got terminal illness so guess what happens.
  • The protagonists of Love Me If You Dare.
  • German corporal Walter and Jewish prisoner Ruth in Sterne. The title of the film means Stars, and is a reference both to this trope and to the infamous yellow stars.
  • R and Julie from Warm Bodies. Also a Mayfly–December Romance.
  • Essentially the plot of Lovers Of The Arctic Circle.
  • Wu Luan, originally with Wan, and then with Qing in Legend of the Black Scorpion. The crossing of their stars in both cases is highlighted by the fact that in the scenes where the couples are closest to realizing their mutual affection, Wu Luan and Wan/Qing are both wearing all white and moving together in a synchronized fashion. Wu Luan spars with Wan and performs a dance with Qing. And then everything falls apart.
  • Matias and Maria from The Elite Squad. He was a cop. She had drug connections. Their relationship could never have worked.
  • The two teen protagonists of the Mexican film Amar Te Duele (which appropriately translates as Love Hurts).
  • Kaji and Michiko of The Human Condition. Kaji's only motivation to go on is to get back to his love, but his humanity is continually tested.
  • Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter in the Captain America films. Minutes after their first kiss during World War II, Rogers sacrifices himself to save the Eastern United States and is presumed dead. When he returns from his coma in the modern day, Carter is bedridden from old age and has Alzheimer's (after having lived a heroic and fruitful life otherwise) thus preventing her from permanently retaining the knowledge that he's alive. She then dies in Civil War, leaving Steve heartbroken. Her own TV series depicts her moving on from this and finding a Second Love, but only after a very long grieving period.
  • An old Soviet film Forty-first, set during the Russian Civil War. A Red Army sniper girl and a 'White' lieutenant are stranded together on an island in the Aral Sea and fall in love. It does not end well.
  • Benjamin and Daisy in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. They first meet as children and love each other their whole lives but their eventual romantic relationship is ultimately doomed to failure because of Benjamin's condition.
  • Eirick and Freyja in Vikingdom. He is a mortal warrior king, she is the Norse goddesss of love and they were lovers prior to the movie's start. After Eirick fell in combat, Freyja restored him to back to life and made him immortal on the condition they can never be together again.
  • Jack and Elizabeth are a tame version in A Royal Night Out. They become friends during VE Night and it's implied they fall in love. But is Elizabeth is the future Queen of England and Jack is a Lower-Class Lout. They part in the morning on bittersweet terms.
  • Moulin Rouge! tells the story of penniless writer Christian falling for high class prostitute and dancer Satine. She is promised to the Duke who will fund the titular club, and what's more is that Satine has tuberculosis. Christian also opens the story stating "the woman I love is dead."
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula - Dracula and his wife Elisabeta. Upon hearing false news of his death, she killed herself, and he became a vampire in retaliation. He falls in love with her reincarnation - Mina Harker. But as he's a vampire, and she is married to another, it doesn't end well.
  • The Irish film The Nephew is about an African-American boy going to live with his Irish uncle after his mother's death. It's later revealed that his mother was in a forbidden relationship with another man called Joe Bradynote  and moved to America to escape her family's persecution. It's later discovered that she sent several letters to Joe, but her brother kept them.
  • Jasminum features two pairs, some 400 years apart: the first Czeremcha with the poor nobleman's daughter and his present-day namesake with Natasza. The XVI century couple is finally reunited, but the XXI century one finally decides to part ways and get on with their lives.
  • Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors: Ivan and Marichka have been inseparable since childhood, but after her father kills his father, they are forced apart. Ivan must leave the village to earn enough money for them to elope. While he is away, she dies in an accident, causing him to pine for her for the rest of his life.
  • In Aquaman (2018), Arthur's parents are Atlanna, an Atlantean Queen, and Thomas, a human lighthouse keeper. Their happy relationship was sadly only able to last for a few years before Atlanna was forced to return home. After marrying King Orvak and giving birth to Orm, she was executed by being thrown into the Trench. Despite this, Thomas continues to wait at the docks every sunrise, hoping to see her again. Fortunately, they do.
  • Buck and Nancy, the romantic leads of The Terror of Tiny Town, belong to families of feuding ranchers.
  • Where Hands Touch: Leyna and Lutz are pretty much doomed from the start, as an interracial couple in Nazi Germany. They keep things completely secret as a result. Lutz dies in the end.
  • Subverted in The World of Suzie Wong. Robert is a middle class American architect-turned-artist, while Suzie is a poor Hong Kong prostitute. Despite the movie illustrating their different backgrounds they both overcome them and learn to make their relationship work.

  • The teen science-fiction series, Animorphs has Rachel and Tobias. She's a beautiful, smart, independent, funny and spirited suburban teenage hottie. He's a boy trapped in the body of a bird. And then The Beginning happens.
    • Like Father, Like Son. Elfangor and Loren, who were not only from different species but separated by time travel, a meddling Ellimist and memory erasure. The end result: he's dead and she can't remember his existence. Elfangor's human morph Allan "Al" Fangor did leave Loren Someone to Remember Him By: Tobias. Yeah, someone up there really hates that family.
  • The ancient Sanskrit play, The Little Clay Cart, written by the Indian playwright Sudraka around the 2nd century BC. It was about a forbidden love between an impoverished young man and a wealthy courtesian.
  • The medieval Arabic/Persian epic, Layla and Majnun, a tragic love story written by Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi in the 12th century, based on an Arabic tale from around the late 7th or 8th century. The story is basically: boy meets girl, boy goes the Love Makes You Crazy way, boy loses girl since she gets an arranged marriage to another guy, boy loses what's left of his mind, girl soon dies of either illness or a Death by Despair, boy is found dead near girl's grave after carving his last words of love for her on a stone. Its popularity in the Middle East and Asia is comparable to (and predates) that of Romeo & Juliet in the Western world.
  • Hilariously lampshaded and (eventually) averted in David Eddings' The Belgariad and The Malloreon: A knight and a lady are in love, but she is married to another man. Various other protagonists grumble about the fact all three characters are genre-aware of their plight, play up to it, and even actively avoid possible solutions because they love the melodrama so much. Eventually, after the husband dies, the main character gets sick of the ongoing Wangst and forces the couple to get married at the point of a seven-foot-long sword.
  • Discworld
    • Parodied in Mort with the characters of Mellius and Gretelina "whose pure, passionate and soul-searing affair would have scorched the pages of History if they had not, by some unexplained quirk of fate, been born two hundred years apart on different continents."
    • Juliet (yes...) and Trev in Unseen Academicals, who are closely connected to the most vicious rivals in Ankh-Morpork's football league ("two teams, alike in villainy"), with her being the daughter of the Dolly Sisters captain, and him being the son of Dimwell's most famous player, and a known Face in the gangs of supporters.
  • Two examples from The Dresden Files:
    • Harry and Susan are the more obvious. Susan ignores Harry's warnings and Harry not telling her enough of his life led her to make a dangerous choice and ended up a half-vampire. Because she deeply loved him and wanted him it made her inner demon want him all the more, so they separated, only later did they have one night of passionate sex (with Susan bound and gagged so she didn't hurt him) and then she was gone from his life for many years. Then she came back telling him their child, conceived on that night of bondage, was kidnapped. Harry told her that keeping the knowledge he had a child from him ended any chance of them getting back together. She accepted that and, by gambits of others in play, would sacrifice her life to permanently destroy the Red Court vampires with Harry being her killer.
    • Thomas and Justine. Thomas is an incubus, while Justine is a rather disturbed hottie. Initially their relationship is mutually beneficial, with Thomas feeding on Justine's Life Energy and stabilizing her mental state in the process. Then Thomas was badly injured, on the verge of death if he did not feed. Justine willingly gave herself to Thomas knowing she could die and Thomas stopped himself moments before he was about to kill her, even if it could cost him his life. The result was both acts of genuine love now was contained in each other. Since Thomas is literally Allergic to Love, Justine's genuine love makes it so that they can't touch each other without seriously injuring him as he wants her so much he instinctively feeds on her. Finally averted when Justine starts having sex with a girlfriend so she can then have sex with Thomas, and then regain the protection. He heartily approves.
  • Though romance is not a major theme in the books, Eisenhorn and Bequin from the Warhammer 40,000: Eisenhorn series. Eisenhorn is a Psyker and Bequin is a Blank (anti-psyker), thus meaning it was painful for Eisenhorn just to be near Bequin. The only time he is able to be close to her and open his heart is when Bequin is in a coma (thus canceling her 'Blankness'), after trying and failing to stop a possessed Imperial Titan. Unfortunately she doesn't wake up.
  • Lyra and Will from the His Dark Materials series, specifically the last book, The Amber Spyglass.
  • Callum and Sephy in Noughts & Crosses. Set in a speculative fiction universe where black people are the oppressive class over white people, Sephy is black and Callum is white and the fates are constantly conspiring against them. They do not get a happy ending.
  • More than one couple, or sad non-couple in the Spaceforce books, mainly because of the Taysan Empire's insanely restrictive rules on who can marry whom, and how. Sexual relationships outside marriage, and marriage between people of different 'degree', are serious criminal offences. Jay defies the law to elope with and marry Ashlenn in an Earther wedding ceremony, but both pay heavily for it. Prince Ragoth and his bodyguard Maydith, we assume, never even discuss their mutual attraction - and Jay's commander Salthar had reciprocated, but nonetheless hopeless feelings for fellow agent Mizal.
  • About half of all romantic relationships in A Song of Ice and Fire. The best you can hope for is a Perfectly Arranged Marriage or a spouse who's accepting of you keeping a lover on the side (though even that can be problematic if you have any children with the latter).
  • In the first book of The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark use this trope for all it's worth to gain sympathy. In the third book of the series the trope ends up subverted as Katniss reciprocates Peeta's feelings and marries him.
    • The real star-crossed lovers of the trilogy turn out to be Finnick Odair and Annie Cresta, with her even ending up with Someone to Remember Him By.
  • Devdas: The book (and subsequent movie versions) is definitely of the second variation, having been written in 1917 when such rules still existed. The eponymous hero (son of a wealthy upper-class family) and Childhood Sweetheart Paro (daughter of a middle class trader family) fall in love upon adulthood, but because Devdas is too weak-willed to stand up to his father's disapproval of their getting married, the two of them spend the remainder of the book apart. He spends his days drinking and mourning her, while Paro is in an Arranged Marriage to an older aristocratic gentleman. Sensing that he's close to death because of his drinking and despair, Devdas crawls to Paro's house and dies in front of her gate, fulfilling a promise he made to her on the day of her wedding, and Paro can't even see his face because of the rules of Purdah.
  • Renata Remedios "Meme" Buendía del Carpio and Mauricio Babilonia play the role in One Hundred Years of Solitude. Not only theirs is an Uptown Girl deal (Meme is from the powerful Buendia clan, Mauricio is a mere mechanic and hinted to be of Romani heritage), but there's a HUGE veto coming from her family — specially her mother Fernanda. They try to overcome said veto... and it goes From Bad to Worse.
  • Catherine and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights.
  • Maigrey and Sagan in Margaret Weis's The Star of the Guardians. Complete with The Masochism Tango and Together in Death.
  • John Grady Cole and Alejandra from All the Pretty Horses. He's a poor American ranch hand, she's the daughter of the wealthy Mexican ranch owner that employs him.
  • Winston and Julia in Nineteen Eighty-Four, who are forbidden to love each other by the dictates of the Party, and are ultimately forced to betray their love for each other by the sadistic O'Brien in Room 101.
  • Shades of Grey, Eddie and Jane. Jane, who is the epitome of Tsundere, would rather kill Eddie than marry him, and he's supposed to marry upwards anyway. And then when they do fall mutually in love, it turns out Jane is a Green and shouldn't even talk to eighty-six-percent-Red Eddie, much less marry him.
  • In Holes, we have the tragic case of Miss Katherine and Sam, though in love with each other, cannot be together because she's white and he's black. When the rest of the town found out that they had kissed (a huge crime back in their day), they burned down Miss Katherine's schoolhouse and killed Sam in front of her.
  • In The Iron Dragon's Daughter, Jane and Tetigistus. When she and one of his incarnations (Rooster, Peter, Puck or Rocket) got together, it ended in tragedy. More for him than for her.
  • M. Paul and Lucy in Villette.
  • Scrooge and Belle in A Christmas Carol, who were driven apart by Scrooge's greed and obsession with money.
  • Pip and Estella in the original ending of Great Expectations. Subverted in the Revised Ending.
  • King Finwë and his first wife, Míriel, in The Silmarillion. She dies in childbirth and refuses to become reembodied, and Finwë eventually remarries, which means Míriel can never return since Elves are strictly monogamist. Finwë is himself killed many years later, however, and chooses to remain dead so Míriel can become reembodied.
    • Another example in Tolkien's writing: Aegnor and Andreth, an immortal elf lord and a mortal woman. She will eventually grow old and die, while he will continue on, and even if he dies he will only be sent to the Halls of Mandos and eventually reembodied while her spirit will leave the world completely. They never marry, and ironically Aegnor dies long before Andreth does. He refuses to be reembodied because he can't live in a world without Andreth.
      • And, of course, The Lord of the Rings sees Aragorn and Arwen in a similar situation: the two do eventually marry (though only after a 39-year wait, and this after 27 years of unrequited love on Aragorn's end), but, of course, Aragorn is mortal; when he dies, Arwen returns to her mother's lands in Lothlórien, where she dies of grief and loneliness. Fortunately, since Arwen renounced her immortality (and with it, her place on the last ship to Valinor and presumably her place in the Halls of Mandos), her spirit will leave the world as Aragorn's did; it may even be implied that he waited at Cerin Amroth for her.
    And taking Frodo's hand in his, he left the hill of Cerin Amroth and came there never again as a living man.
  • The Children of Húrin tells a particularly painful version of this. In this case, Túrin and Niniel get married and are, for a while, wonderfully happy. It's only when they are expecting a child that they discover they are actually brother and sister, making their romance of the most star crossed variety possible. They both (rather expectedly) commit suicide.
    Niniel: Farewell, O twice beloved! A Túrin Turambar turun ambartanen: master of doom by doom mastered! O happy to be dead!
  • In the Warrior Cats series, medicine cats cannot fall in love, and neither can cats from rival clans. This results in cases of missing parents and fake parents.
    • Evident with Bluestar, who ends up pregnant with her lover Oakheart's kits, but due to them being in different clans, she has to leave her kits with him and not acknowledge her relationship with him or her kits for the rest of her life, up until she reveals to her kits that she is their mother just before she dies.
    • Ditto in the case of Leafpool and Crowfeather, except that Leafpool is also a medicine cat. Leafpool has to give her kits to her sister to raise, and has to pretend to be just an aunt when she is actually their mother. Furthermore, when the truth comes out, one of her kits turns insane and nearly murders Leafpool. Because of that, she even gives up her place as medicine cat, but still cannot be reunited with Crowfeather, as he is stuck with a mate he does not love, as well as another son, who is also a Jerkass.
    • Crowfeather and Feathertail as well. Both of them are also from separate clans, but become close in their journey for a new home. When they finally confess their love for each other, Feathertail is killed shortly afterwards in a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Ryewhisker and Cloudberry in "Code of the Clans". Just as Cloudberry is pregnant with Ryewhisker's kits, he is killed defending her from his own clanmates as she is from a rival clan. This causes an even bigger wedge to be driven between the two clans.
    • Warrior Cats is chock-full of such examples.
  • In C. S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces, Orual, queen of Glome, falls in love with Bardia, her captain of the guard, who is already married. At the end, it's revealed that the stress her devotion caused him led him to an early grave.
  • Walter Huff and Phyllis Nirdlinger in Double Indemnity. They murder Phyllis's husband and attempt to make it look like an accident to get double indemnity on his insurance policy, but it falls through, they get found out, and subsequently commit mutual suicide by jumping from the stern of a cruise ship.
  • Lenina and John in Brave New World; alternately, Lenina and Bernard. She likes him, he likes her, but everyone is cruel to Bernard due to his differences.
  • A couple of instances in the Deryni novels:
    • Duncan McLain and Maryse MacArdry. Expecting to be parted over a feud between their clans, they marry in secret and Maryse conceives a son, Dhugal. Duncan later learns Maryse died of a fever the following winter, but he doesn't know the rest of the story until much later.
    • Rothana Nur Hallaj and Kelson Haldane. After much thought, she decides to put aside her temporary novice's vows and marry him, then he disappears down a waterfall and is thought to be dead. She is persuaded to marry someone else traitorous Conall Haldane, and feels she cannot marry Kelson once they are both free to do so. She even arranges for him to marry someone else!
  • Vlad Tepes and Elizabeth Bathory in Count and Countess. Or so they insist.
  • The original fate of Gwidion and Emily in Symphony of Ages. While soul mates, they were born millenia and continents apart. By the time the two met in the original timeline, Emily was ancient and giving birth to their son, who could Set Right What Once Went Wrong, killed her. The changes to history averted this trope, eventually.
  • In Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet series, Captain Bradomant and Colonel Rogero, on opposite sides of the war. Both intensely honorable and adamant against doing anything against their own sides.
  • Enchantress from the Stars has Elana, a girl from The Federation, an extremely advanced society, fall in love with Georyn, a young man from a planet stuck in Middle Ages. Neither of them could be happy in another world, so they part once the Federation's expedition departs.
  • The books by Strugatsky Brothers feature several:
  • The lead couple of Hans Christian Andersen's short story "The Shepherdess and the Chimney-sweep" are two porcelain figurines who fall in love, but a mahogany satyr figure is in talks to an also porcelained Chinese Old Man figure (who is a sort-of Parental Substitute for the Shepherdess) to get her in an Arranged Marriage to him. (It Makes Sense in Context, we swear) So the two attempt to run away so they won't be separated. Unusually for the very angsty Andersen tales, they manage to stay together.
  • Edward Cullen and Bella Swan from Twilight. Not.
  • The Vampire Diaries.
  • Adam Conant and Cassie Blake from The Secret Circle.
  • The eponymous Ethan Frome and his wife Zeena's cousin Mattie Silver.
  • The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. Tatiana (a seventeen year old girl who's never been in a relationship) and Alexander, a 23 year-old Soviet army officer, fall in Love at First Sight. Alexander walks her home and finds to his horror that his current Girl of the Week is Tatiana's older sister. And Tatiana refuses to let him break up with her because of this (and even if they did, Tatiana sleeps in the same bed as her sister; given the Soviet housing shortage, she can't just move). If that's not bad enough, Alexander is actually Alexander Barrington, the son of American communists executed by the Secret Police, and has a False Friend who hopes to use Alexander to escape to the United States, and views Tatiana as a threat to this plan.
  • Augustus and Hazel in The Fault in Our Stars are an Ill Boy and an Ill Girl with cancer, so they start a relationship being aware that it won't last. It doesn't: Augustus, the most healthy at first sight, ends up having a relapse in his illness and dies.
  • From Honor Harrington: Eloise Pritchart and Javier Giscard. Just when it seems like they might have a chance at a happy ever after that doesn't include hiding from State Sec and/or fighting a war they don't want to fight, he is killed in battle. She never quite recovers. Interestingly, the couple in question know from the beginning that they are star-crossed lovers and that every minute they have is borrowed time; they just happen to love each other so much that the inevitable heartbreak is still worth it.
  • By the end of The Underland Chronicles, it's strongly implied that Gregor will never see Luxa again.
  • An Alaskan version of Romeo and Juliet, with a boy and a girl from feuding villages, forms a major part of the plot of the Kate Shugak mystery Bad Blood. Author Dana Stabenow says in her introduction that she always thought the play was more about the families than the lovers, and that Shakespeare could have handled the elopement far better.
  • Ava and Jacob in The Kingdom of Little Wounds. Jacob fled the country (presumably to Denmark) because it wasn't safe for him to be a Protestant in Skyggehavn.
  • Rose's relationship with Dimitri in Vampire Academy, due to their age difference and student-teacher relationship. Eventually subverted, as at the end of the series their relationship is accepted.
  • In Revelation Space, Ana Khouri and her husband are critically wounded in combat, leading them to be put in cryostorage and shipped to orbital hospitals to heal. A shipping error causes Ana to be loaded into the coldsleep chambers of a slower-than-light starship and sent to a system 20+ light years away. By the time she is awoken, an entire generation has gone past and she resigns herself to never seeing her husband again. However, a transhuman kidnaps her and reveals they have her husband in cryostorage and will reunite them if she kills a man on the world of Resurgram. They are never reunited as the Precursor Killers show up and slag the system, and Ana admits the cryostorage may have been a fake.
  • In the Black Blade series, there have been multiple relationships across the Sinclair/Draconi feud. In the back story, there was Lila's parents, Serena Sterling and Luke Silver, and in the story's present day, Felix Morales and Deah Draconi.
  • Matthew from Allegiant was once in love with a GD girl who died before they could fully realize their relationship. Even if she didn't die, they couldn't be together anyway, due to the society's unbelievable discrimination against the GD.
  • Maeve and Odran from the Deception duology in the Princesses of Myth series are a deconstruction. They spent so long being star crossed lovers that they hardly spent any time learning how to live with each other. When they actually get the chance, they realize that while they still love each other they are too different to be compatible as a couple.
  • The Girl from the Miracles District has two such couples.
    • Nikita and Zelda are unwilling to make a Relationship Upgrade because they're afraid this would happen - Nikita can't live in the Miracles District without getting trapped there, while Zelda and her daughter can't leave it or they'll die.
    • Iben and his wife. The latter's a huldra, who by the divine law can only bind herself to a human. He, in turn, is an immortal, so the two can only spend together one, maybe two days before she has to leave him for months.
  • In All Our Yesterdays, Marina is this with James since her future self, Em, has to kill him to save the world.
  • Miranda And Caliban, a retelling of The Tempest, shows the two title characters develop a strong relationship over the course of growing up together, only to be Doomed by Canon.
  • Bravelands:
    • There is a famous legend amongst baboons about Sunrise Crownleaf and Moonlight Deeproot. They were as far apart on the Fantastic Caste System as can be, with Sunrise being The Leader of the troop and Moonlight being of the lowest rank. They fell in love but the rest of their troop didn't agree. During the war that broke out as a result, Sunrise was killed and Moonlight later died of a broken heart. Since then inter-rank pairings have been banned amongst baboons.
    • Thorn is a Deeproot that is mutually in love with Berry Highleaf. They have a Secret Relationship. Thorn intended on becoming a Highleaf in order to become official mates with Berry. However, at the last minute he gave up his chance of being a Highleaf in order to let his weakling best friend Mud become a Lowleaf. This means that Thorn is forever stuck a Middleleaf. Berry and Thorn keep their relationship secret until Thorn breaks it off in order to protect Berry after realizing that her father is a murderer.
    • Scarlett's mother, Ellen, in Gone With The Wind was this with her bad boy cousin Philippe, until her father and sisters drove him out of town. He later died in a barroom brawl and Ellen married Scarlett's father Gerald. The family thinks she's the Southern version of Yamato Nadeshiko; what she actually is a Stepford Smiler.
  • Discussed in Ravelling Wrath.
    Rinn: Haha, yeah, how likely is it that we'd both be chosen? Everyone will think we're the star-crossed lovers for sure.
    Yali: Actually, I think we might literally be star-crossed lovers.
    Rinn: What?
    Yali: 'Star-crossed' means the fates are against us. That definitely fits. Ironically, because –
    Rinn: But, don't you have to, uh, have sex, to count as 'lovers'?
    Yali: What? The word is 'lovers', we love each other, that should be enough! Besides, we're probably going to eventually, I, I, I –
    Rinn: But by then, we might not be star-crossed anymore! This is very important!
  • Mirasol and Haik in The Crocodile God didn't start this way as a Filipino/Tagalog sea-god and his mortal wife, but the conquest of Spain has thrown a long-lasting wrench into their Reincarnation Romance. When a Spaniard shot the pregnant Mirasol and caused their first daughter's stillbirth, Haik promptly went over the Despair Event Horizon and has since lost contact with his increasingly Catholicized followers, of which the present-day Mirasol is the last one left in 2017 California. And before they lost their first daughter, Haik had already lost contact with the other Tagalog gods and assumed they were all dead--many of whom were his family members.
  • Eurico and Hermengarda in Eurico the Presbyter. First off, he is a knight of low birth (albeit an extremely talented and badass one in combat) and she is a noblewoman whose father vetoes their marriage proposal. He is left so heartbroken that he becomes a priest to alleviate the pain of not being with her beloved, only to be pulled into action when her life is threatened by invaders. At the end, Eurico manages to rescue Hermengarda from a harem, but because of the vows he took as a priest and that most of their land is still occupied, they cannot be together as he is forced to leave her under her brother Pelagius' protection to continuing fighting against the invaders while she goes mad with grief.
  • The Little Coffee Shop Of Kabul: Halajan and Rashif are in love, but were promised to different people. They still pine for each other, but they can't be open about their relationship because of how traditional Ashmat is.
  • Schooled in Magic: Love's Labor's Won involves two lovers who come from rival feuding families. The pair are disowned when found out, but still stay together.
  • Captive Prince: Damen and Laurent are the crown princes of two kingdoms who loathe each other. Damen killed Laurent’s beloved brother, while Laurent knew of, and took glee in, the arranged murder of Damen's father and household. In Kings Rising, the Akielons find the very notion of the two being lovers outrageous. Zig-zagged at the climax when Damen publicly defends their relationship.
  • In Scavenger Alliance, when Blaze and Tad admit their feelings for each other, Blaze points out that they are both literally and figuratively from different worlds. They do start a relationship, but among many other problems it has to be kept secret. The Alliance would not be thrilled about an offworlder coming along and stealing their women...
  • In Star Wars: Lost Stars, a pair of youths from an Outer Rim planet join the Empire together. Ciena Ree remains true to her oath as am Imperial officer, even as she becomes disillusioned by the Empire. Thane Kyrell defects and joins the Rebellion after Alderaan. They still remain in love, even as they fly against each other in combat. Ultimately, he rescues her after she crashes her star destroyer into Jakku, but it is only so that she can be arrested by the New Republic.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Robb falls in love with an independent woman from Volantis, but he's bound by a political marriage pact to a Frey daughter he's never even met. He breaks the marriage promise to marry Talisa and is then lured into a trap where Walder Frey has he, his wife, mother and bannermen slaughtered at the Red Wedding.
    • Renly and Loras' illicit romance comes to a tragic end in "The Ghost of Harrenhal" when Renly is assassinated. Beforehand they were already in difficulty when Renly made a bid for the throne and therefore had to marry Loras's sister to gain the alliance of their house.
    • Tyrion has twice fallen in love with a prostitute, a scandal for a member of the nobility. After he married the first one, Tyrion's enraged father Tywin had the poor girl gang raped by his soldiers and forced Tyrion to watch. The second time, Tyrion tries to send the whore in question (Shae) away for her own safety, but she betrays him after his rejection and jumps into Tywin's bed instead. Tyrion ends up killing her in fit of rage.
    • Sam is in love with Gilly, even though he has sworn to take no wife and she is "wed" to her father. Subverted when he flees with her after the mutiny at Craster's Keep and takes her back to Castle Black with him. They eventually consummate their unofficial relationship and head off for Oldtown.
    • Oberyn and Ellaria genuinely love each other, but they cannot marry due to the latter's social status as a bastard; as such, the best they can go for is concubinage. And Oberyn's death at the hands of the Mountain has left Ellaria devastated.
    • Jon with Ygritte. Jon is a man of the Night's Watch and Ygritte a Wildling, meaning that they can't be together no matter how much they love one another.
    • Myrcella with Trystane. He's a Martell, she's a Lannister (even if she does have a Baratheon name). Those two families tend to be at each other's throats; their entire arranged marriage was an attempt to heal the rivalry between the two houses, but that was before Oberyn died by the hands of the Mountain.
    • The most tragic couple of the series is Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen. After falling in love over the course of Season Seven and finally getting together in the season finale, Season Eight sees what seems to be everything in the world working against them. Not only does Jon's family hate Daenerys, but it turns out they're aunt and nephew. Jon, having been raised with the North's taboo against incest, becomes estranged from her as a result, and while he still loves her, the intimacy of their relationship is no longer there. On top of this, Jon's superior claim to the Iron Throne causes numerous individuals, most notably Varys, to start scheming against her with the aim of him supplanting her. Combined with the deaths of her 'child' Rhaegal and her two closest friends, Jorah Mormont and Missandei, in quick succession, Daenerys completely snaps in the penultimate episode, going mad like her father and burning down King's Landing with Drogon while her army sacks the city. Afterwards, she starts planning to Take Over the World. Jon, seeing how Drunk with Power she's becoming, begs her to stop, but when she gives him a We Can Rule Together offer instead, he realizes she can't be reasoned with. In the end, his duty to the people wins out, and he assassinates her after one Last Kiss, crying as she dies in his arms.
  • Orange Is the New Black has Alex Vause and Piper Chapman. There is also the Daya and Bennett relationship which is doomed for several reasons. One is that Daya is an inmate and Bennett is a correctional officer meaning that a romantic relationship between them is against the law. The other reason is that Daya is pregnant with their child and Bennett WILL go to prison if word of this ever got out.
  • Takeru and Mio/Iyal from Hikari Sentai Maskman. Unfortunately, they never got together in the end and had to break up due to Iyal's duties to Tube.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Angel and Buffy Summers. The former is a 400-year-old vampire, the latter is destined to kill vampires. To boot, he'll lose his soul if he experiences 'perfect happiness' - and intimacy with Buffy falls under that umbrella.
    • Averted with the season 3 episode "The Wish." In an alternate timeline, Buffy doesn't recognize Angel (saying crudely "Is this a 'get into my pants' thing?" when he starts talking about destiny), is fully prepared to leave him chained up when she discovers he's a vampire, and has absolutely no reaction when Angel dies saving her life.
    • "I Only Have Eyes For You" shows the ghosts of two Star Crossed Lovers - a teacher from the 1950s and one of her students. When they realised they couldn't be together, the student shot her and then killed himself. Naturally Angel and Buffy end up possessed by their ghosts and forced to live out their final moments.
  • Charmed:
    • Cole Turner and Phoebe Halliwell. Cole is a half-human demon sent to kill the Charmed Ones. He pretends to court Phoebe but then falls in love for real. Although she fakes his death to save him from her sisters and he ends up human for a brief period, things don't end well.
    • The show did a Whole Plot Reference to the film Ladyhawke mentioned above. This time the girl's boss was a demon and cursed the couple in jealousy. A Convenient Eclipse nullifies the curse and allows them to break the spell with True Love's Kiss.
    • Piper fell in love with an innocent in the episode "Dead Man Dating". The problem? He's a ghost. There's one point where all she wants to do is hold him, but she just passes right through him. Of course she has to help him move on.
    • Piper later experienced this when she fell in love with her whitelighter Leo. It turns out her mother had done the same and even conceived another daughter. Although the Elders grant their blessing eventually, things get complicated when Leo becomes an Elder too - and is required to leave his family.
  • Paige Mccullers and Emily Fields from Pretty Little Liars. It's like the universe is plotting to keep them apart but at the same time they keep finding their way back to eachother, untill Alison traps Emily with her rape babies.
  • Bill Compton and Sookie Stackhouse from True Blood.
  • Angel:
    • Angel and Cordelia. When Angel realizes his feelings for her, she's in a relationship with another. When she realizes her own feelings, she must Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence so an Eldritch Abomination can possess her. She ends up in a coma that she never wakes up from. Outlined in a conversation they have in "You're Welcome"
      Cordelia: Do you ever you ever think about if we'd met up that night and had a chance to —
      Angel: All the time.
      Cordelia: Guess we missed our moment, huh?
      Angel: Maybe we were meant to. Maybe people like us just don't get to...have that.
      Cordelia: Angel, there are no people like us.
    • Fred and Wesley. She's oblivious to his feelings and dates Gunn for a while. When they finally hook up she's possessed by an ancient demon that essentially destroys her soul.
    • "Waiting In The Wings" has the prima ballerina and her lover Stefan. They were both part of the same ballet company and had planned to elope together, but a jealous wizard pulled the ballerina out of space and time. She now dances forever for him in a "Groundhog Day" Loop. Poor Angel once again gets possessed by the lovers' ghosts.
  • Farscape's Aeryn and John screw up enough to count as this. He lampshades this when he says that destiny is keeping its promise to always draw them together "but screwing us over in the fine print". Seriously - first there were her emotional issues, then he just wanted to go home, then she died, then she came back to life and realised a relationship would complicate things too much, then he split into two, then one of them died, then she had more emotional issues and ran away, then she nearly died again, then she was pregnant and didn't know who the father was, and now my hand is about to drop off.
  • Played for laughs in Degrassi Junior High. Snake and Melanie are hopelessly crushing on each other, but every attempt they make to date ends in a comic disaster. In one episode, they plan to meet at a Wild Teen Party. Snake and his friends are put in charge of bringing the beer, but get arrested by the cops on the way—so Melanie doesn't get to see him, and the Wild Teen Party doesn't get to be wild.
    • Played much straighter with Joey and Caitlin.
    • In Degrassi: The Next Generation, this happens with just about every couple. Special mention to JT and Liberty though; JT was stabbed and killed before he could tell Liberty that he still loved her.
      • And then taken further as of Season 12 with Maya and Cam, the latter of whom committed suicide.
  • Sayid and Nadia, Lost: he searches for her for eight years, finds her, and marries her. She's killed only months later.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): Lee Adama and Kara Thrace.
  • Played with in Battlestar Galactica. Helo and Athena are in love. The problem? He's one of the few surviving humans left and she's an agent of the Cylon race that just nuked his species to near extinction. The result is that she spends the majority of the second season locked up in a holding cell and the two of them have to deal with people who want to abort their unborn child Hera and rape her for information. Ultimately, this trope is subverted as Athena has won acceptance, been freed from prison and married to the man she loves after the timeskip in between seasons.
    • Played straight with Starbuck and Apollo. It's love at first sight for them...only she happens to be dating, and eventually gets engaged to, his younger brother—who dies partly as a result of a mistake she makes. They become best friends, teammates and quasi-family to each other, but the guilt keeps them apart for years afterwards, to the point where they find it easier to hook up with—and eventually marry—other people rather than face their feelings for each other. They rekindle their romance, but being married makes it impossible. And then she dies, comes back for just long enough to lead the Fleet to Earth, and just when there seem to be no more obstacles left to them being together, she tells him she isn't coming back and vanishes into thin air.
      • Any Cylon/Human couple where the Cylon actually develops genuine feeling for the human could be considered this, as the humans don't react well when they inevitably find out their lovers aren't human.
  • The Doctor and Rose in Doctor Who. The episode "School Reunion" has him explicitly tell her that, because of his long lifespan, it's impossible for them to stay together.
    The Doctor: You can spend the rest of your life with me, but I can't spend the rest of my life with you. It's the curse of the Time Lords.
    • At the end of Series 2, Rose becomes trapped in a parallel universe, and over the course of Series 4, as the Big Bad of the story arc causes the barriers between them to begin to crumble, she finds her way back to him. The matter is sort-of resolved in the finale "Journey's End" — a part-human clone of the Tenth Doctor ends up as a Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest with her in the alternate world.
    • The Doctor and River are also this, considering that the audience and the Doctor know not only that River will die but also the last time he will see her before her death. In their most recent encounter with each other, "The Husbands of River Song", that time comes to pass...and subverts the trope at last with the reveal that their last night together on Darillium will last twenty-four years.
    • The Doctor and Clara Oswald were brought together by an enemy looking to cause trouble, and their relationship faces many trials as it gradually deepens into love. In Series 7, she has to become "The Impossible Girl" to save him from the Great Intelligence; later his centuries-long sojourn on Trenzalore almost ends with his final death. In Series 8, he becomes an older-looking, broodier man who feels uncomfortable trying to romance a mere mortal; her subsequent romance with fellow teacher Danny Pink and her attempt to live a double life as a result ends with his death three times over, followed by the Doctor and Clara separating over a terrible misunderstanding and mutual lies. They are reunited in the follow-up Christmas Special and their relationship e is renewed, but over the course of Series 9 each struggles to keep the other safe and the question of what will happen when they must be parted for good looms, with the Doctor outright brooding about this and in "The Girl Who Died" he nearly breaks the show's self-imposed The "I Love You" Stigma in trying to express this to Clara. In "Face the Raven", Clara is Killed Off For Real in a Senseless Sacrifice. The Doctor then spends "Heaven Sent" trapped and tortured by enemies and letting his anguish and rage over this event grow and grow over the course of billions of years, and in the finale "Hell Bent" he has become a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds willing to risk destroying the universe to save Clara from said death, defying a fixed point in time. In the end, they are parted for what looks to be forever, given that while she is still travelling the universe as a functional immortal, he has taken a mind wipe and can only remember the adventures he had with her. He cannot recognize her on sight or recall why he loved her so, so deeply. Both know this is all for the best, given how destructive their love was becoming for them and others.
  • Oddly enough the Ultra Series has this with Ultraman Ace's hosts Seiji and Yuuko (yes two people become him at least at first). At first it seems like a standard blooming romance between hero and heroine but then a Wham Episode hits. Yuuko is a kind of energy being from the moon, and having accomplished her task on Earth must leave. Seiji is heart broken but swears to keep her in his heart as he becomes the sole host of Ace. However in the Grand Finale Seiji must merge with Ace permanently and he too has to leave Earth, as Ace has duties on the Ultraman homeworld. Decades later (both in series and in real life) Seiji and Yuuko would finally meet again during the Anniversary series Ultraman Mebius, and sort of confess their feelings to each other. Since both are energy beings now it is implied that they could potentially get together.
  • The Office's Michael Scott and Holly Flax. The dorkiest, most adorable pair of soulmates you ever did see, cruelly separated by Dunder-Mifflin corporate for business reasons (he's the Scranton office manager, she's in HR.) Michael fully intends on waiting for her as long as it takes. Awwwww. After reuniting, and some strain because she was seeing someone else initially, they decide to get together anyway, get engaged, and when Holly moves back to Colorado to take care of her family, Michael decides to go with her. The finale reveals they are now married with children, and supplementary material reveals they have three children with one on the way.
  • Hugh Laurie sings a song to his love in A Bit of Fry and Laurie, about how strange his devotion is given that they've never met and she has in fact been dead for almost 16 years.
  • The underlying premise of Beauty and the Beast; she can't live in his world without giving up her job and her life, and he can't live in hers at all.
  • Two examples from Babylon 5: Susan Ivanova and Marcus Cole and Susan Ivanova and Talia Winters.
  • Pushing Daisies: Chuck and Ned—this is essentially the whole point of the show. Kind of, anyway. They're together, but they can never be together.
  • Downton Abbey:
    • Lady Sybil and Branson. She is an Earl's daughter and he is the family chauffeur. Mrs. Hughes warns him that he stands to lose his job and gain a broken heart when she finds them holding hands. As of the end of series 2, they are married with a baby on the way, although Lord Grantham isn't pleased. But to really show that they're star-crossed lovers, Sybil dies in childbirth. Her family has finally accepted Branson though, even letting him co-run the estate.
    • Mary and Matthew, up to a point. They seem to have their acts together by the end of series 2, specially after Matthew's fiancée Lavinia dies of the Spanish Flu. Until Matthew gets killed after the birth of his son.
    • Lady Edith and her cousin Patrick before the show begins. Patrick was betrothed to her sister Mary, who did not love him, and Edith was the one who did. Patrick dies in the sinking of the Titanic in the first episode. In season 2, a disfigured soldier from World War I claims to be Patrick, having been recovering in Canada. The family do not believe him and he leaves without telling Edith, the only one who did.
  • In Chinese Paladin 3, the mortal Chanqing and demigoddess Zixuan have two separate Reincarnation Romances which end tragically. By the third time around, Zixuan and Chanqing have both learned from their mistakes and are willing to do anything to make it work. And then they still can't be together.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Regina and her first love Daniel. He was a stable boy, and Regina's cruel mother Cora wished for her to marry the king so she could move up in status. When she discovers the couple planning to elope, Cora murders Daniel.
    • Cora herself was this with Rumpelstiltskin back in the day. When given the choice to run away with him or marry a prince, she chose the prince to become royalty. She would eventually admit to Rumple that he was the only one she ever truly loved.
    • Merlin and Nimue funnily enough. Nimue was Merlin's lover, but he was immortal and did not want to watch the woman he loved die. Although he was prepared to give up his immortality, she later became immortal herself - but used the powers to become the first Dark One. Thus the myth about Nimue imprisoning Merlin in a tree comes to pass.
    • Zelena and Hades. She's the Wicked Witch and he's the Lord of the Underworld. While True Love's Kiss would animate his heart, he instead uses this to take control of an Artifact of Doom known as the Olympus Crystal. Zelena has undergone a Heel–Face Turn and is forced to kill him.
    • Likewise Regina and Robin a few seconds earlier, Robin shields Regina when Hades attempts to use the Olympus Crystal on them, and according to Hades, not only does the crystal kill Robin, it also ends him, meaning no afterlife in either the Underworld or Olympus for him and no reuniting with Regina, he simply ceases to exist, and his soul evaporates into nothingness, giving one last look to a tearstained Regina.
  • John Fitzgerald Byers and Susanne Modeski in The X-Files.
    • Lyda and Maurice from the episode "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas" were a pair of lovers who formed a Suicide Pact at Christmas in 1917 so that they could stay together for eternity. It worked, as they haunt their house and try to get other couples to re-enact their fate.
  • Merlin (2008):
    • Lancelot and Guinevere. It's Love at First Sight for Lancelot, and Gwen seems to reciprocate, only for Lancelot to be exiled from Camelot. They meet again during a Rescue Romance, but when Arthur turns up, Lancelot realizes that he's in love with Guinevere and decides not to interfere. Lancelot returns for the third time at the end of the third season and is reinstated as a Knight of Camelot, but by this point, Guinevere has fallen in love with Arthur and in a committed relationship with him... Only for him to return once more after dying in series 4, and shaking things up again, although this is all Morgana's fault.
    • Merlin and Freya also classify as this trope. It's a Rescue Romance and Freya is someone that Merlin can reveal his magic to - as he has to hide it from everyone else. But it turns out she is cursed to transform into a monster at the stroke of midnight, and everyone in Camelot starts hunting her. She ends up fatally wounded just as Merlin is planning to run away with her.
  • Dawson Leery and Joey Potter from Dawson's Creek. The two are soul mates and even admit it as much, although Joey ends up with Pacey in the end.
    • Joey referred to herself and Dawson as "ill-fated, star-crossed soulmates".
    • Pacey even compares Dawson/Joey to Romeo/Juliet in 5.05.
    • Jen asks Dawson how he and Joey "the star-crossed lovers" are doing in season two.
  • Michael and Nikita from La Femme Nikita.
  • Teen Wolf: Scott McCall and Allison Argent. Scott is a werewolf and Allison is a werewolf hunter who comes from a family of werewolf hunters who have a legacy of hunting Scott's kind. Taken Up to Eleven when Allison tragically and unexpectedly dies in Scott's arms at the end of season three.
  • One Tree Hill: Lucas Scott and Peyton Sawyer. They were described as being soul mates who were meant to be together by the series creator Mark Schwahn. They had to overcome many obstacles and issues over the course of the series.
  • The Vampire Diaries: Stefan Salvatore and Elena Gilbert, much like their novel counterpart. Often, they are comparable to a "modern-day Romeo and Juliet".
    • Also Silas and Amara, the very ancient ancestors of Stefan and Elena.
  • In the show Grey's Anatomy, Cristina and Owen appear to be star-crossed lovers as they have faced countless obstacles in their relationship and break up every season. In season 9, they get back together after their divorce; however in the season 9 finale and over the course of season 10, it becomes clear to Cristina (and to Owen) that their differences are too large to overcome despite the mutual attraction. One episode's name sums it up quite well: "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together". Though they remain Amicable Exes (and occasionally Sex with the Ex) all the way till Cristina's departure.
  • In Smallville, Clark and Lana were often referred to as star-crossed lovers.
  • In Lost Girl, Bo and Lauren are considered this; the main reason for this is that Bo is a Fae and Lauren a human. One of the number one rules of being Fae is not to fall in love with humans. And even if they get past this and all other personal problems, Bo is going to outlive Lauren hundreds of years. Plus there's the fact that Lauren was initially being used by the Ash to spy on Bo, and Lauren's girlfriend Nadia who ends up getting killed by the Garuda.
    • We also have Bo and Dyson, especially in Season 2, where he gave up his ability to love her in order to save her life. Kenzi gets it back for him thanks to threatening the tree-based Fae who holds it with a chainsaw.
  • Castle and Beckett are beginning to seem this way.
  • While it took place during one of The Movies, Kamen Rider Fourze/Gentarou Kisaragi ends up falling in love with an alien lifeform...before a rogue member of Kamen Rider Double's Foundation X captures her, effectively kills her and turns her into an Astro Switch.
  • Gilmore Girls: Rory and Jess. Word of God states they were meant to end up together, but they suffer continual obstacles. From the start, they're treated as polar opposites, (the bad-boy rebel and town princess respectively) and their entire town disapproves of their feelings for each other. (Or even being friends.) Despite parting and reuniting numerous times throughout the series, they're prevented from getting together happily. (First, Rory is stuck dating Dean, then Jess needs to face his past and goes to see his Disappeared Dad, then she's dating Dean again, then he needs to sort out his life, then she needs to sort out her life, and finally he's in a different city and she's dating a new guy Logan). They part heartbroken-ly in the penultimate season, accepting that their time is never going to come. Then in the revival, it's clear there are feelings on both sides, implied to be stronger on his, but they don't get back together.
    Rory: I'm so sorry I came.
    Jess: Don't be. It is what it is... you... me.
  • Veronica Mars:
    • Logan and Veronica. They try it out several times, but each time circumstances contrive to keep them apart, usually through their clashing personalities and Logan's self-destructive behavior. This is subverted by the 2014 movie, however.
    • Duncan and Veronica are the best example since not only can they never be together, they can't even so much as contact each other without the risk of spending the rest of their lives in prison. Veronica herself lampshades this:
      Veronica:True love stories never have endings.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series:
      • Kirk may have been a womanizer, but he did have two tragic loves during the series: Edith Keeler and Miramanee. Miramanee was carrying his child when she died to save his life and he had to stand back and watch Edith die to repair an altered timeline.
      • Kirk's relationship with Carol Marcus, the mother of his son David, can also be viewed as this since it canonically ends with their going separate ways. In fact the 1990s Expanded Universe comic even calls the three-part arc expanding on their romance "Star-Crossed."
      • And Kirk again from the EU with his long-running affair (spanning all the way from his Farragut days to the time period between Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country) with Romulan captain T'Cel in the Debt of Honor graphic novel. The last time they see each other Kirk quotes a song to sum up their relationship: "Star blessed for having met you, star crossed because it's only to see you go."
      • Bones and Nancy were never meant to be.
      • Nurse Chapel's fiancé, brilliant scientist Dr Korby, went missing on a mission. She spent the next five years searching for him. The outcome was not a happy one.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • Poor Picard and Kamala, the look on his face during Kamala's wedding sure didn't make things easier. He kinda looked like someone who's just been kicked in the gut.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • Kira and Bareil ended in tragedy.
      • Kira and Odo. Odo spends the entire show resisting his people's request for him to rejoin them, partially because of his love for Kira (although not entirely for this reason). In the end, he comes to realize that the best chance for the future of both the Alpha Quadrant and the changeling race is for him to return to his people and teach them to tolerate humanoids. He has to sacrifice Kira to do it, but she understands.
      • Garak and Ziyal. From the outset, Dukat and Kira were convinced Garak would be bad for Ziyal but in the end she actually came a cropper by helping Kira's La Résistance against Dukat's oppressive regime. Word of God states the writers created the romance because they wanted a tragic, doomed love between the woman that never lies and the man that never tells the truth.
      • Worf and Dax. Jadzia was killed by Dukat and Ezri would never have been able to have a formal romance with Worf because Trill law has a taboo against getting involved with the partners of previous hosts.
      • Sisko and Kassidy. The Prophets tried to prevent them getting married but the reason they gave was cryptic. In the end, Sisko was forced to leave the world he was used to and join the Prophets in theirs. He left behind his son Jake, his wife Kassidy, and their unborn child.
  • Roswell: Max and Liz get a really spectacular version of this in season two: a future version of Max showed up and announced that the fate of humanity depended on Max hooking up with Tess rather than Liz. This plot point was ignored entirely once Tess was revealed to have killed Alex, and Max and Liz did eventually get together, but still, points for effort.
  • Despite (so they say) just being friends, Big Pete and Ellen get this in The Adventures of Pete & Pete special, "Apocalypse Pete," where their fathers declare a prank war on each other and forbid the two from interacting. The two immediately start pining for each other (in a totally platonic way, they swear!)
  • Passions: Luis/Sheridan, Ethan/Theresa, Chad/Whitney and Miguel/Charity. They are all destined soul mates who did not end up together (with the exception of Ethan/Theresa, who did end up together).
    • Luis/Sheridan have been said to have shared many past lives together, confirming that they are canon soul mates. They have shared past lives on the Titanic and in Ancient Egypt. However, despite Luis and Sheridan constantly finding each other and falling in love in past lives, something always manage to tear the two apart and they can never stay together as a result. This is evident when in the current lifetime, Luis/Sheridan did not end up together and instead, Luis ended up with Fancy (Sheridan's niece) and Sheridan ended up with Antonio (Luis' older brother), despite the fact that the two will always be soul mates.
    • Ethan/Theresa's relationship is built upon the concept of fate and destiny, just like Luis/Sheridan. Ethan and Theresa have gone through endless struggles just so that they could be together. And when they do manage to get together, there is always some kind of obstacles thrown between them to destroy their happiness. eLuckily for the both of them, Ethan and Theresa do overcome the obstacles and end up together at the end of the show when they get married.
    • Chad/Whitney don't end up together due to the fact that Chad is shot and killed by his own father, Alastair.
  • All My Children: J.R./Babe and Cliff/Nina.
  • The O.C.: Ryan/Marissa. Ryan was a bad boy who suffered from Parental Abandonment and originally came from the wrong side of the tracks in Chino and Marissa is a nice rich girl who is originally from Orange Country. The two loved each other even though numerous things tried to prevent the two from being together. Sadly, their love ended in tragedy when Marissa tragically died in a car accident at the end of season 3.
  • Hiro and Charlie from Heroes. It's Love at First Sight for Hiro (time traveling shenanigans put Charlie's "first" meeting with Hiro at the end of a six-month relationship), but Sylar kills her just hours after they first meet. He attempted to jump back five minutes in time to save her, but ended up six months in the past, detailed in the Tie-In Novel Saving Charlie. Eventually, Hiro gains better control of his powers and manages to return to that day and actually convinces Sylar to not only spare Charlie, but also to save her from the aneurism in her brain. Of course they're Too Happy to Live, and so the evil carny Samuel has his own time traveler trap Charlie at an unknown point in the past to force Hiro to work for him. Hiro does eventually find her again, but she's now old and has built a long and happy life without him. Rather than erasing all her children and grandchildren from the timeline by traveling back to rescue her, she convinces Hiro to leave her life alone.
    • He also has a brief romance with Yaeko in Feudal Japan, but can't stay with her due to the many ways it could break the timeline, such as him ending up his own great-grandfather and the fact that Kensei was supposed to be the one who ended up with Yaeko, not his little sidekick.
  • Simon and Alisha from Misfits: They're trapped in a time loop where Alisha has to die at Rachel's hands in order for Simon to decide to go back in time and save her life, in order for him to meet an earlier version of her who falls in love with him and so encourages his earlier self to become a hero, so that he can go back in time to save her life when she dies at Rachel's hands...
  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Holoship", Rimmer falls in love with Nirvana Crane, a crew member of the titular holographic ship Enlightenment. He tries to join Enlightenment's crew in the only possible way: by challenging an existing crew member for their place. Unknown to him, Enlightenment's computer selects Nirvana to be his opponent, and she withdraws from the contest so that Rimmer can fulfill his dreams. Once he knows this, Rimmer resigns from Enlightenment and returns to Red Dwarf so that Nirvana can be resurrected, even though there is no possibility that he will ever see her again.
  • Frontier Circus: Two pairs of star-crossed lovers feature in the Feuding Families plot of "The Clan MacDuff". Ben and Tony have to work out how to get the couples together (and avoid getting hitched themselves).
  • Tyrant: When Jamal was younger he fell in love with a woman from the rival Rashid clan. His father knocked several of his teeth out and forbade them from ever seeing each other again. Jamal later discovers that their relationship did produce a son he didn't know about.
  • Oshin has the titular Oshin's eldest son Yuu and his girlfriend Hatsuko, who was raised by Oshin's family. He enrolls in the Japanese Army and dies in World War II, and Hatsuko near crosses the Despair Event Horizon afterwards. She recovers, but decides to stay single for the rest of her life.
  • Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman and Andros II in "Mind Stealers from Outer Space". Despite the obvious chemistry between him and Diana, their conflicting responsibilities in different solar systems prevent them from taking their relationship to the next level.
    Wonder Woman: The last time we said goodbye was when? 1943?
    Andros: Perhaps we should keep track of our hellos instead. Even better...
    Wonder Woman: Don't ask me that.
    Andros: I know a planet with eight moons. They fill the night sky like jewels in a crown. You'd look beautiful under that sky.
    Wonder Woman: Andros...I can't. I'm needed here.
    Andros: are. So, Princess: until whenever.
    Wonder Woman: Until whenever.
  • Drop Dead Diva: Fred and Stacey, the lovable nerd head over heels for the Vapid yet sweet Model, but also unknown to Stacy, he's her best-friend's guardian angel who came back to earth when Deb tricked him into allowing her to return as Jane. After the many times the two got together only to let something trivial break them apart, he finally confesses his secret to her. Stacy is overjoyed, seeing this as the changing point, he admits to her that because he revealed his secret, Heaven will call him back, and he will be erased from everyones, beside Jane's, memory. The two share one last tear stained kiss, then he exits, and as Fred told her, Stacy immediately forgets he was ever in her life. In later seasons, when Grayson dies and meets Fred in Heaven, it's revealed he's been watching over Stacey from above.
  • Arrow: Oliver Queen and Laurel Lance. The two are arguably the loves of each other's lives, but were never able to have a lasting relationship together in the show due to the baggage of their first relationship. Oliver loved Laurel, but he honestly believed he wasn't good enough for her thanks to his serial cheater antics prior to the Gambit, while Laurel loved Oliver but was never able to convince him to let her be a full part of his life because of his protectiveness and insecurities, which caused her to resent him for a time. Even when it seemed Oliver had moved on with Felicity Smoak, they still loved each other, but had convinced themselves it wouldn't work out. After Oliver and Felicity broke up, they were finally in a position to restart their relationship — but before they could even entertain that thought, Laurel died, believing that Oliver had moved on for good. Oliver hadn't, and her death brings him closer to the breaking point more than anyone else's; he's only able to move on when he meets "Laurel" again in a Lotus-Eater Machine and tells her all the things that he couldn't say to his Laurel: that while he loved her, he wasn't the good man she loved, and that she always deserved better than him.
  • The White Queen: Anne Neville and Richard of Gloucester start their journey as Puppy Love sweethearts who must overcome numerous obstacles before they can achieve a Childhood Friend Romance. Although Lord Warwick has suggested to Edward IV that Anne and Richard be united in matrimony, the king refuses. Their families are then embroiled in a civil war, and Anne is forced to marry Edward of Lancaster to cement her father's new alliance with Margaret of Anjou (the wife of Henry VI), whereas Richard is a commander in his brother Edward IV's army. After the Yorks vanquish the Lancasters, Anne and Richard are reunited when he beats up Yorkist soldiers intent on raping her, but he's obligated to take her into custody because she's the widow of a traitor (he does so in the most gentlemanly way possible, of course). The king decrees that Anne becomes the ward of George of Clarence, who restricts her movements to his own home and denies her any visitors, including Richard, despite the latter's persistence over a period of six months. Frustrated, the two lovebirds then sneakily meet in a garden to determine what they should do next. At the second rendezvous, Richard concludes that a marriage between himself and Anne is the best solution to their problem, and she agrees. Their engagement not only liberates her from George's grasp, but Anne and Richard can finally be together as a couple.
  • iZombie: Liv and Major appear to be this, the two were engaged and close to being happily married, until Liv became a zombie, and broke off the engagement to protect him. After everything that happens, including Major eventually becoming a zombie as well, this is ultimately subverted in the finale, where after it appears that the two had died, him from after being cured and murdered on live tv, to prove that Zombism can be cured, and her from a suicide bombing, the two eventually reunite and disappear off the grid together, forming their own happy family, raising a group of orphans Liv had taken in, on a secret haven called Zombie Island.
  • Z: The Beginning of Everything depicts F Scott Fitzgerald's marriage to Zelda like this. She is from a proper antebellum family, and he is a new money writer with delusions of grandeur. Even when they elope together, Zelda's inability to fit in with New York's high society leads to her indulging in excessive partying that Scott can't afford. Likewise he resorts to lifting passages from her journals and letters to use in his own work when inspiration fails him. While the series ended prematurely, in real life Zelda ended up in an asylum and Scott lost all critical respect that wouldn't be regained until after his death.
  • The Flash: Caitlin Snow and Ronnie Raymond, the two were happily engaged the night of the Particle Accelerator, that is until the event that caused the core to go into meltdown, in which Ronnie sacrificed himself to try and contain the explosion in the pipeline, sealing himself inside and sending it upwards into the stratosphere, to save Central City, but most of all, to save Caitlin. Though Caitlin thought him dead and entered a near year long mourning period, in truth Ronnie had merged with another man, Professor Martin Stein, and gained the meta power over fire, though Stein remained the primary personality in Ronnie's body. After Caitlin and her friends at STAR Lab separate the two, their reunion was short lived, as neither Ronnie nor Stein could survive without the other, and were now hunted by the Military. Going on the run, Firestorm, as the two would refer to each other when united, returned in time to help Barry Allen take down his Nemesis, the Reverse Flash, and Caitlin and Ronnie finally wed each other. Unfortunately, their married life together only amounted to a couple hours, as to help Barry close a singularity that could destroy not just Central City, but the world, Ronnie and Stein fused together as Firestorm, so they could separate within the Singularity, disrupting the Event Horizon. While Barry was able to save Stein, Ronnie died during the incident being sucked inside, leaving Caitlin a widow, having had to witness the love of her life die not once, but twice.
    • In a twisted way, Iris and Savitar count. Savitar being Barry's Time Remnant from the future, has all the memories of Iris that Barry has, and though he does still love her, and just might have let her live, even though it would mean his death, Savitar's hatred for Barry and the others out trumps his love for her, though he does express a sense of regret at having to kill her. Even after his failed attempt at killing her, Iris, and Barry, attempt to save him from Erasure, realizing under all the hatred a part of Savitar is still a part of the man she loves. However when he betrays them, it is Iris that kills Savitar to save Barry, as he dies with a look of betrayal on his face.

  • Bracey Everett's The Lover's Curse is about this trope.
  • The Decemberists' song "We Both Go Down Together" is about a common girl and a young man of rich means whose parents don't approve of his love to said common girl. They solve their problem in the classical manner, if you get my drift.
    • There's also an alternate lyrical interpretation that takes the unlucky rich kid's somewhat patronising tone and extrapolates that rather than preparing to die with her, he's leading her on so he can murder her, possibly for being pregnant with his child.
      • There's also also the interpretation that the rich male is actually a deluded rapist who believes that they are in love. The rape angle seems to make sense, but the leaving her for being pregnant fits in well with the theory that "We Both Go Down Together" and "Lesley Anne Levine" are interlinked. Possibly it's a bit of both.
    • "O Valencia", on the other hand, is spot-on for this trope; in fact, the first bit almost seems lifted from Romeo and Juliet: A young mobster (probably son of the Don/Boss/whathaveyou) falls in love with Valencia, the daughter of a rival Don; her sister rats on them; her brother confronts them; Valencia runs to her lover's side just as her brother is shooting, and gets hit instead; she dies in her lover's arms; the lover decides to go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Referenced in the Blue Öyster Cult song "Don't Fear The Reaper" as well.
  • The song "Barricade" by Stars is occasionally, and erroneously, taken to be about a pair of revolutionary lovers who are torn away from each other by The Man. It's actually about a pair of violent football hooligans who are only being kept apart by the fact that one of them grows up and gets a job while the other stays a shiftless thug. Members of the band are somewhat... annoyed by the first interpretation...
    • On the other hand it's implied fairly strongly that the narrator has feelings for the other football thug, and that both of them grew up eventually, but in different directions.
  • The song "Jueves" by the Spanish group La Oreja de Van Gogh, is about a man and a woman who confess their love for each other in a train... just seconds before dying in the terrorist attacks of March 11th.
  • "Futari wa" ("The Two of Us") by Miyuki Nakajima. The song tells a modern variation on Love Above One's Station: the love between a prostitute and a client who cannot have an actual relationship with her without being rejected by his friends.
  • "Havana Moon" by Chuck Berry sings a tale about a man waiting at a dock for the eponymous boat, carrying a tourist he fell in love with. He dreams of them moving to the Big Applesauce, but the boat carrying her never arrives. Swigging rum, he decides her promise to come back for him was a lie, and sleeps off the alcohol... and the boat comes. The woman looks everywhere for him until dawn, where she decides to leave port, heartbroken. He wakes up as the boat sounds its last call, and reaches - just in time to see Havana Moon sail into the horizon.
  • "Running Bear", famously sung by Johnny Preston, is essentially a Romeo and Juliet story between two Indians from warring tribes, culminating in the pair diving into a river they had no hope of swimming through so they could meet in the middle to drown.
  • Exaggerated in Tom Waits' song "Fish and Bird". Doesn't stop it from being a tear-jerker.
  • Parodied (but nevertheless sad) in "Misalliance" by Flanders and Swann, about a honeysuckle and a bindweed who fall in love. Their families object because the honeysuckles twine in one direction and the bindweeds twine in the other.
  • Nightwish's song "Astral Romance" is all about this. Arguably also several other of their songs.
  • The song "Starcrossed" by Ash.
  • "For Love" by Blood Angel and Kate Warwick (Gothic-/Symphonic- Metal, also released as a single)
  • David Bowie's song "Heroes" is about two lovers who are separated by the Berlin Wall.
  • Secret Lovers by Atlantic Starr is about a pair of these—they aren't allowed to be together because they're both engaged/married to someone else.
  • "She Was The World To Me" by Daniel Romano is about an unrequited love between two people kept apart by socioeconomic class.
  • "The Leader of the Pack" by the Shangri-Las, im which the guy dies in a motorcycle accident immediately after their breakup.
  • The animated character and his real-world girlfriend in the video for A-ha's "Take on Me". The story is concluded at the beginning of the "The Sun Always Shines on TV" video: the man suddenly turns back into a cartoon after having died and being revived into a human, then he has to leave the girl behind.
    • Also the narrator and his ex-girlfriend in Manhattan Skyline. They refuse to get in a Long-Distance Relationship, the girl leaves on a boat, the guy angsts about how he won't be able to fall in love again ever... and then decides to leave to New York.
  • The song "Que no destrocen tu vida" ("Don't let them tear your life apart") by Los Prisioneros (also covered by La Ley) is about a person whose close friend and said friend's girlfriend are in this situation, and is telling them to not give up on their relationship.
  • One of the main themes of the song Fatal by The Amazing BrandO. The trope is even mentioned by name.
  • The German folk song Es fiel ein Reif in der Frühlingsnacht ("A rime (or hoar-frost) fell in the night of spring") frames it succintly in four verses of three lines each: A boy loves a girl, they run away from home and Sie liefen weit ins fremde Land, / Sie hatten weder Glück noch Stern, / Sie sind verdorben, gestorben. ("They ran far into the strange land, / They had neither fortune nor star, / They perished, they died.")
  • The Finnish Päivänsäde ja Menninäinen ("The Ray of Light and the Goblin") features a feminine mote of light that lingers behind for a little while as the sun sets below the horizon, long enough to have a chance meeting with a troll that rises from his burrow to wander the night. Though even looking at her burns his eyes, he is instantly dazzled by her beauty, to the point of immediately proposing to her and offering to live with her down in his cave. She kindly declines, pointing out that the darkness would kill her - and on that note, that she has to quickly leave and follow the sun and her sisters before succumbing to the night. She is left pondering this encounter as the song ends, suggesting that the attraction was mutual to an extent.
  • "Fresh Static Snow" by Porter Robinson is a somewhat more modern take on this, being about two people who could be perfect lovers who are implied to be able to connect with technology, but are ultimately doomed because they still may never meet each other.
    The frozen white noise static snow, that is your memory...
    Although I know we'll never meet you're ever part of me...
    You'd fit perfectly to me, we'd end our loneliness, melt this curse away
    Though I'll never know your name I'll cry for you the same.
  • Romeo & Cinderella by Hatsune Miku is about a schoolgirl who meets her boyfriend in secret because her parents don't approve of their relationship.
  • Prisoner by Len Kagamine features a young prisoner who falls in love with a girl who communicates with him by paper planes. The girl eventually goes away on a long trip, during which time the boy is put to death by gas chamber after fighting with the guards; his last words wondering what her name was, as she never told him.
    • The sequel, Paper Planes by Rin Kagamine then reveals she is an Ill Girl, who snuck away from the hospital each day to see him, despite the risk to her health. Her father was a guard at the prison who forbade her to see him and then instigated the fight with him as an excuse to put him to death. The girl succumbs to her illness months later.

    Mythology & Folklore 
  • Tristan and Iseult (also known as Tristan and Isolde). The legend of Tristan and Iseult is an influential romance and tragedy, retold in numerous sources with as many variations. The tragic story is of the adulterous love between the lovers. The narrative predates and most likely influenced the Arthurian romance of Lancelot and Guinevere, and has had a substantial impact on Western art and literature since it first appeared in the 12th century. While the details of the story differ from one author to another, the overall plot structure remains much the same.
  • Guinevere and Lancelot from the Arthurian Legends, which is also a form of Bodyguard Crush. Some stories have Guinevere not only cheating on Arthur (and Lancelot with Elaine), but have her plotting Arthur's downfall with Mordred. Ouch.
    • Merlin and Nimueh may or may not count; it certainly does for him, since she winds up locking him in crystal in most incarnations of the legends.
  • Deirdre and Naoise in the tragedy Deirdre of the Sorrows. Deirdre, betrothed against her will to King Conchobhar of Ulster, has just reached marriageable age in Iron-Age Ireland (15 for women, 18 for men) when she falls in love with Naoise and they flee Ulster to Scotland with Naoise's brothers to escape the wrath of King Conchobhar. While their romance ends tragically, in some versions they are buried together and in many versions a yew tree grows from each of their graves and twine around each other, so that the lovers are together in death.
  • Pelleas and Melisande (French: Pelléas et Mélisande) is a Symbolist play by Maurice Maeterlinck about the forbidden, doomed love of the title characters. A classical myth, was a common subject for art during the Renaissance and Baroque eras.
  • Hero and Leander. It's a Greek myth, relating the story of Hero (Greek: Ἡρώ), a priestess of Aphrodite who dwelt in a tower in Sestos, at the edge of the Hellespont, and Leander (Greek: Λέανδρος, Leandros), a young man from Abydos on the other side of the strait. Leander fell in love with Hero and would swim every night across the Hellespont to be with her. Hero would light a lamp at the top of her tower to guide his way. When Leander drowned during a storm, Hero threw herself off the tower.
    • The same basic plot is told in the German folk ballad Es waren zwei Königskinder ("There were two royal children"). Here the three candles in the window are extinguished by a "false nun" (who in some versions is a Norn).
  • Prince Paris of Troy and Helen of Sparta of The Iliad seem to be this, but it's subverted in that Helen really regrets what happened and clearly doesn't like Paris. In some interpretations, she's seen as an outright kidnapping victim, especially since Aphrodite promised her to Paris WITHOUT caring that she was already married.
  • Orpheus and Eurydice from Greek Mythology. When Orpheus’ wife dies from a snake bite on their wedding night, he does what any doting husband would do: he dives down to the depths of the Underworld to rescue her. After hashing things out with Hades, Eurydice is freed on the condition that Orpheus will not look at her until they return to Greece. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Orpheus fails. His beloved is sent back to the Underworld, leaving Orpheus to wander the countryside. In some versions, such as Gluck's opera Orfeo ed Euridice, Orpheus attempts suicide so he can return to Eurydice forever, only to be talked out of it and for his undying love to be rewarded by Eurydice returning to life anyway.
  • Classical Mythology has several: Hero and Leander, Troilus and Cressida, and Aphrodite and Adonis.
    • Adonis is based directly on Innana/Ishtar and Dumuzi, the Older Than Dirt Mesopotamian story of the vegetation god whose annual death and resurrection cause the seasons because of the misery of his bereaved love.
    • Aeneas and Dido, Orpheus and Eurydice, and Pyramus and Thisbe show up in Ancient Roman writings.
  • Geb and Nut, Egyptian god of the earth and goddess of the sky, respectively, are forever kept separated by their father Shu, god of air and light. As in, he physically holds them apart so they can't touch more than their toes and fingertips. One version has him trying to prevent the birth of the god Set.
  • Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl. It refers to a number of mythical and folkloric explanations of the origins of the volcanoes Popocatépetl ("the Smoking Mountain") and Iztaccíhuatl ("white woman" in Nahuatl, sometimes called the Mujer Dormida aka "sleeping woman" in Spanish) which overlook the Valley of Mexico.
    • The most popular version of the myth says that the warrior and nobleman Popocatépetl went to war in Oaxaca to overcome the Parental Marriage Veto coming from his beloved Princess Iztaccíhuatl's father; however, this was an Uriah Gambit from her dad, and when it failed he told his daughter that her beloved boyfriend had died in battle and she succumbed to Death by Despair. When poor Popocatépetl returned and found himself in the path of his girlfriend's funeral, he fell in despair and commited suicide on the spot; the Gods then covered them in snow and transformed their corpses in mountains, with Popocatépetl's angry and pained spirit transforming his new rock body into a volcano rather than a simple hill.
  • Layla and Majnun (by the Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi). It is a classical Arabian love story. It is based on the real story of a young man called Qays ibn al-Mulawwah from the northern Arabian Peninsula, in the Umayyad era during the 7th century. There were two Arabic versions of the story at the time. In one version, he spent his youth together with Layla, tending their flocks. In the other version, upon seeing Layla he fell passionately in love with her. In both versions, however, he went mad when her father prevented him from marrying her; for that reason he came to be called Majnun Layla, which means "Driven mad by Layla". To him were attributed a variety of incredibly passionate romantic Arabic poems, considered among the foremost examples of the Udhari school.
  • Oepidus and Jocasta from Oedipus the King.
  • Pictured above: Chinese Mythology speaks of the Weaver and the Cowherd, a legend of the stars Vega and Altair. Star-crossed lovers Zhi Nu and Niu Lang are separated forever across the Milky Way. They may only reunite once a year when magpies form a bridge between them. This is the basis of the Chinese cultural equivalent to Valentine's Day.
    • Tanabata no Matsuri is the Japanese version, with Orihime and Hikoboshi as the star-crossed lovers.
    • And Chilseok as the Korean version with Jik-nyeo and Gyeonwu.
  • The Butterfly Lovers of Chinese folklore, Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai. The Butterfly Lovers is a Chinese legend of a tragic love story of a pair of lovers, Liang Shanbo (梁山伯) and Zhu Yingtai (祝英台), whose names form the title of the story. The title is often abbreviated to Liang Zhu (梁祝) and often regarded as the Chinese equivalent of Romeo and Juliet. The girl, Yingtai, convinces her father to let her disguise herself as a young man in order to attend school. She meets and becomes roommates and best friends with Shanbo, a nerd who doesn't pick up that his roommate is actually a girl. Eventually he figures it out and they fall in love. Unfortunately, Yingtai is betrothed to someone else; Shanbo becomes heartbroken and eventually dies. On her wedding day to the Romantic False Lead, Yingtai visits Shanbo's grave. The ground swallows her up and both of their spirits become beautiful butterflies.
  • There's a Japanese belief that twins are star-crossed lovers reincarnated.
  • The Spanish version is Los Amantes de Teruel, "The Lovers of Teruel": they were childhood friends but he was poor, she was rich, and he left to fight the Moors and find enough money to be allowed to marry her. When he returned, though, he found that her father had made her marry another man. He tried to get her to kiss him, but when she said she couldn't cheat on her husband no matter how much she loved him, he died of grief. During the funeral, she appeared dressed in her wedding dress to say her goodbyes, kissed his corpse and collapsed dead as well. They were buried together. And, since then, there is a refrain about them:
    Los Amantes de Teruel, tonta ella, tonto él. (The Lovers of Teruel, stupid him, stupid her.)
  • There are some legends through Latin America that refer to native badass princesses that fight the cruel Spanish settlers, fall in love with kindly Spanish soldiers, and end up dying tragically with him as they're stuck between both sides. The most popular one is included among the many versions of the La Tirana myths, featuring the Qulla leader Nusta Huillac and her alleged Spanish lover Vasco de Almeida. Other legends and myths including Guanina and Don Cristobal de Sotomayor, and Juan de Salcedo and Kandarapa.
  • The legend about the Llanquihue Lake in Southern Chile features the Huilliche princess Licarayén and her boyfriend, the World's Strongest Man Quiltrapi. The evil spirit Peripillán wanted Licarayén for himself and activated two loval volcanos, Osorno and Calbuco, to threaten their surroundings and destroy them: the only solution was to invoke the help of other spirits, but offering the girl as a Virgin Sacrifice to them. The All-Loving Heroine Licarayén decided to go through it and save her people, only asking in exchange that her beloved Quiltrapi would sacrifice her on a bed of flowers; when all was said and done and Licarayén was dead, he killed himself to be Together in Death with her. All of this moved the local spirits enough to have them send out copious quantities of snow to cover the volcanoes and defeat Peripillán, ultimately creating the Llanquihue Lake when said snow melted; they also buried the doomed lovers in a palace made of flowers and plants as thanks for Licarayén's love for her people.

  • Roméo et Juliette by Gounod is based on Shakespeare's famous play, so of course it deals with this.
    • Bellini's earlier opera I Capuleti e i Montecchi also tells the same story. However, in this version, Giulietta (Juliet) is engaged to a man named Tebaldo (Tybalt), who completely replaces Paris, but Giulietta is in love with Romeo, who is the leader of the Montecchi (Montagues). Just like Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Giulietta commit suicide at the end.
  • Again, Tristan and Isolde, but now inTristan und Isolde, the opera by Richard Wagner.
  • Bellini also composed I puritani, which tells the story of Elvira, a Puritan and the daughter of the commander of the fortress at Plymouth, and Arturo Talbot, a Cavalier who supports the Stuart dynasty that was briefly overthrown by the anti-royalist insurgency. However, this story ends happily.
  • Aida and Radames in both Verdi's opera and the musical Aida. Their lover's duet in the musical is even called "Written in the Stars". In the opera, their tragic lover's duet is known as "O terra addio", which they sing after being buried alive.
  • Violetta and Alfredo from Verdi's La Traviata. Violetta, a Parisian courtesan with tuberculosis, falls in love with a Alfredo, a poet, and abandons the world of glamour to live a simple life with him. However, Violetta leaves Alfredo at the request of his father Giorgio, resulting in Alfredo (who knows nothing about this) humiliating her at a party and then being shouted down by Giorgio. Eventually, Violetta's TB worsens, but she and Alfredo manage to reunite before she dies.
  • Floria Tosca and Mario Cavaradossi in Puccini's Tosca. After Cavaradossi is arrested for hiding a political prisoner, the corrupt Scarpia forces Tosca to reveal the prisoner's hiding place by torturing Cavaradossi, which results in her lover's anger and political gloating before he is led to execution. Scarpia then gives Tosca the ultimatum that if she sleeps with him, he'd let her lover go. However, despite Tosca killing Scarpia, it turned out that he lied and Cavaradossi ends up killed, so Tosca also commits suicide to avoid arrest.
  • Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor has Lucia, the sister of Enrico Ashton, in love with Edgardo di Ravenswood, the rival of her brother. Enrico tries to force Lucia into marrying his ally Arturo after Edgardo leaves for France, but it ultimately culminates in Lucia going mad, murdering Arturo, babbling and singing madly in front of Enrico and others, and then dying of said madness. When Edgardo finds out, he commits suicide out of grief.
  • Debussy's opera Pelléas et Mélisande tells the story of Mélisande, a young woman married to Prince Golaud, who falls in love with her husband's half-brother Pelléas. Naturally, this results in Golaud using their child to spy on the two lovers, and ends with Pelléas being killed by Golaud and Mélisande dying after giving birth to their daughter.
  • Rusalka and the Prince in Dvorak's Rusalka. Because Rusalka is a water spirit and the Prince is a human, they can never really be together, and Rusalka trying to turn into a human doesn't help at all, as the Prince ends up seduced by a Foreign Princess on his wedding day. In the end, Rusalka is condemned to be a demon of death at the bottom of the lake, while the Prince dies after accepting Rusalka's kiss.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Spike Dudley and Molly Holly's romance in 2001, as their families (the Dudley Boyz and the Holly Cousins) hated each other. The storyline took on new meaning when the WWF vs. the WCW/ECW Alliance feud began, as Paul Heyman kept trying to get Spike to "come home" to the Alliance.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Rocket Age: In The Downey Creek War adventure Janine Wendt and Maggie Mc Taggert have an on-off relationship despite their families' active and potentially disastrous feud.

  • Subverted in The Fantasticks: two neighboring fathers maintain the appearance of a virulent feud and forbid their children (a son and a daughter) to even look at each other as part of a scheme to get them to fall in love and marry.
  • William Shakespeare did this a lot, either because he liked it or his audiences did.
    • Romeo and Juliet, the Trope Namer, from the opening narration, although according to some interpretations, it's more of a Deconstruction of this trope, with Romeo and Juliet both being shown to be foolishly emotional and needlessly dramatic. That being said, it's made clear the ongoing feud and Juliet's father's insistence on her marrying Paris when she's only thirteen are huge factors in their deaths.
    • Antony and Cleopatra - Antony is forced to marry his comrade's sister, and his betrayal of that in favor of the Egyptian queen leads to a misunderstanding where he thinks she's died and then kills himself. She likewise suicides in the climax of the play.
    • Lorenzo and Jessica in a side-plot of The Merchant of Venice. Jessica is Jewish and her Overprotective Dad is the play's antagonist, forcing her to flee in the dead of night. They earn their happy ending.
    • Pyramus and Thisbe, a Show Within a Show in A Midsummer Night's Dream, which has its own forbidden lovers in Hermia and Lysander - she is promised to another by her father's insistence (and refusing him is punishable by death under Athenian law). But since this is a comedy, they end up together.
    • Hamlet and his lover Ophelia start out in love, but the latter's family already disapprove of the match. As Hamlet loses it during his quest for revenge and kills Ophelia's father, Ophelia herself goes mad and eventually drowns herself. A popular theory is that she was pregnant with his illegitimate child and the above-mentioned events mean she is Defiled Forever.
    • Othello and Desdemona. The latter disobeys her father's wishes to marry Othello - who is both older than her and a different race. Thanks to some manipulations by Iago, Othello believes Desdemona is cheating on him and strangles her to death.
  • Haemon and Antigone in Antigone by Sophocles.
  • In the musical adaptation of The Secret Garden, it is revealed at one point that Lilias Craven's family, especially her sister, were dead set against her marrying Archibald because he was a hunchback. Her sister threatened to disown her, but she married him anyway because she loved him so much. Then she died. Archibald is still in a mess over her death when Mary arrives ten years later.
  • In Les Misérables, Eponine and Marius (or at least Eponine thinks they could be). Eponine sings about this in "On My Own", and unfortunately, she is the hypotenuse in a love triangle involving herself, Marius and Cosette. She becomes a victim of Death of the Hypotenuse and lies dying in Marius' arms. In some stagings, they Almost Kiss, but she dies before they do. Bummer.
  • Ti Moune and Daniel in "Theatre/Once on this Island" which Ti Moune sold her soul to Papa Ge to let Daniel live so she can fall in love with him but Daniel was arranged to marry Andrea which led Ti Moune to die of a broken heart.
  • Elphaba and Glinda from Wicked. It's far more blatant in the musical then in the books, and fits this trope far more than said source. That greatly depends on the staging. It's more like a star-crossed friendship. In the book, Elphie and Fiyero are the star-crossed lovers.
  • Tuptim and Lun Tha in The King and I.
  • In the original Vanities play, the three childhood friends are driven apart by their differences in the third scene, although The Musical fixes that. Played straight with Joanne and Ted, who are divorced by the musical's finale.
  • Maria and Tony in West Side Story, a musical based on Romeo and Juliet
  • In Knickerbocker Holiday, though Brom and Tina finally get a happy ending by way of narrator ex machina, they spend most of the play separated by the latter's Arranged Marriage and the former's threatened hanging. They also discuss it:
    Tina: We'd be figures in story, the legendary lovers of the early Dutch occupation, Brom and Tina, drinking passion and death together in one dark draught!
    Brom: I'd love to read about it, but that pleasure, unfortunately, would never be mine!
  • Charlie and Sammy in Joshua Rollins' 25 Saints.
  • Brack Weaver and Jennie Parsons in Down in the Valley, with the former already about to be hanged when the action begins In Medias Res.
  • Dido, Queen of Carthage is a retelling of the star-crossed lovers Dido and Aeneas, from classical mythology.
  • Kim and Chris in Miss Saigon have a tragic, doomed romance.
  • Peter and Jason in bare: a pop opera. It is made especially clear these two are a parallel of Romeo and Juliet when Jason ends his life by downing a lethal dose of GHB.
  • Radames and Aida, to the point that one of their signature duets is "Written In The Stars", asking if it was pre-ordained that they go through all this misery and not end up together.
  • Hadestown which is a musical based on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth.

    Video Games 
  • Sly Cooper and Carmelita Fox in Sly Cooper. It's played with in the first game with Carmelita's Mercy Lead, and he is rescued by his friends just as Carmelita was about to break out a glass of wine for the occasion of his arrest with him in the second. In the third game, he fakes amnesia after being injured by Dr. M. and ends up with Carmelita in Paris. In the fourth game, he vanishes without a trace to ancient Egypt as Carmelita and the Cooper Gang try to bring him back home.
  • Mellthas and Sira in Albion. Not only Interspecies Romance, but Mellthas can't even talk! (one female gamer called it "The Little Mermaid in reverse!")
  • Fei and Elly in Xenogears, multiple times. They are trapped in an endless cycle of reincarnation, and every single time it ends quite badly for both of them. Until they break the cycle, of course. At least one of their doomed romances has shades of Love Above One's Station.
    • Arc and Elle of Terranigma find themselves in an almost identical situation, as they reincarnate endlessly to save the world... and be killed off just as their love blooms and the world is safe, each time.
  • In the Final Fantasy VII series, Aerith Gainsborough and Zack Fair are fairly happy at first, as shown in Crisis Core, but then Zack goes on the infamous Nibelheim mission and disappears for years, ultimately dying just outside Midgar before he can reunite with Aerith. She never learns what happened to him and, in the meantime, briefly sees Cloud (who happens to have been Zack's best friend) as a Replacement Goldfish... but ultimately faces her own death at the blade of Sephiroth. They end up Together in Death, as shown in Advent Children.
  • The Warrior of Light and Cosmos from Dissidia Final Fantasy, as well as Cid and his wife, whose likeness they were created in.
  • Shuyin and Lenne from Final Fantasy X-2. It’s an odd variant on the trope, as they’re both Unsent but can’t pass on - Shuyin because he’s lost it from the 1000 years of Mind Rape and Lenne wants to calm him down. You end up ensuring they end up Together in Death.
  • Tequila and Billie, the daughter of Big Bad Mr. Wong in John Woo Presents Stranglehold.
  • Timpani and Blumiere of Super Paper Mario. Or, as you know them for most of the game, Tippi and Count Bleck.
  • The Didact and Librarian from Halo. First, the Didact gets sealed in a chamber in hibernation for a thousand years. Then, after the Librarian puts her plan in action to reunite them, he is sentenced to death. Luckily, he is reincarnated in Bornstellar as the IsoDidact, and then it turns out that the original Didact is Not Quite Dead after all. Unfortunately, the Librarian is forced to seal away the original after he goes insane, while the IsoDidact is forced to fire the titular Halo rings in order to defeat the Flood, presumably killing the Librarian in the process. The last time they speak to one another, the IsoDidact is pleading with her to return to him, even as she accepts her own fate. To top it all off, the Librarian is told right before the Halos activate that the firing of the rings will destroy the Domain, condemning the original Didact to Go Mad from the Isolation.
  • Fire Emblem has many, MANY of these:
    • Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light:
      • In the backstory, Anri the Hero and Princess Artemis of Archanea weren't allowed to marry since Anri was a commoner and Artemis was the last survivor of her noble house. Artemis married Duke Cartas and fell victim to Death by Childbirth, Anri remained celibate for the rest of his life, and it's said that Artemis cursed the Fire Emblem before dying, calling it 'the end of war, but also the end of love'.
      • Even more so: Princess Nyna and Camus. Holy shit, Nyna and Camus. Camus is a somewhat reluctant part of the invading force that defeats Nyna's kingdom but spares her, despite orders from the Big Bad to kill her. He successfully manages to keep her alive for some time but is eventually discovered. Camus successfully delivers Nyna to Marth and to safety, but remains loyal to his country and is apparently killed in the resulting boss fight. Nyna accepts an Arranged Marriage to Prince Hardin, who has a huge Bodyguard Crush on her, after the war is over, only for him to fall into depression when he realizes that Nyna cares for him but simply cannot love him back, which led him to end up Brainwashed and Crazy thanks to the work of Gharnef. Meanwhile, Camus reappears in Valentia, amnesiac and with a new name given to him (Ezekiel aka Zeke) by Tatiana, the White Magician Girl who found him. He falls for Tatiana and marries her between the second and third games, but regains his memory and goes back to Archanea to aid Marth in defeating Hardin, the revived Gharnef and Medeus while under the guise of Sirius. Camus/Sirius is the key to freeing Nyna from the Brainwashed and Crazy state Medeus put her in, but pretends he isn't himself to spare her feelings and not bring her more misfortune. It fails, but he still refuses to stay with Nyna, so he returns to Valentia and Tatiana afterward. The emotionally-shattered Nyna gets sick of all the fighting and how much her life has sucked, blaming herself for the hardship the continent faced, including the death of Hardin after being defeated and debrainwashed, so she gives up her kingdom to Marth and leaves, presumably to follow and confront Camus. Their subplot is never resolved.
    • In Fire Emblem Gaiden and its remake, Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, Alm and Celica have a budding Childhood Friend Romance but must be separated since each one is The Chosen One for their lands. They swear to defy the trope, however, and decide to reunite no matter what. It almost gets played straight since their countries go to war and the Sinister Minister Jedah pits them against one another later, but with a bit of help from Mila, they turn the trope on its head and not only they marry, but unite their realms into one.
      • This can, however, be played completely straight if one member of a couple set in the endings dies: the survivor's end will go from a happy ending with his/her beloved to a bittersweet one tops. This includes: Mae and Boey note , Gray and Clair note , the aforementioned Tatiana and Zeke note , Clive and Mathilda note . Strong cases can also be made for Leon's Unrequited Love for Valbar note  and maybe Python and Forsyth note .
    • Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem has Abel and Est. Abel is forced to fight against Marth because Est has been taken hostage. The player can save both of them. Est's ending states that she leaves Abel, probably due to the guilt of being captured and her husband having to fight his lord because of her; Abel looks for her but nothing else is said.
    • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War:
      • Sigurd and Deirdre. They do marry and have a child, but then Deirdre is kidnapped and brainwashed into marrying her half-brother, and said half-brother kills Sigurd. Yikes.
      • And then there's almost any couple coming from the first part. All the playable males die in the Battle of Belhalla alongside Sigurd, and the girls either are missing (Ayra, Brigid, Lachesis, Silvia), retired (Edain), or dead (Tailtiu, Erinys) as well.
      • The second part has Travant's adopted daughter Altena (or better said, his spoil of war after he kills her parents and takes her hostage) and his full-blooded son Arion. In a subversion, one can give them a happy ending - but it heavily depends on the strategies used.
    • Fire Emblem: Thracia 776 adds more details to the Lachesis and Finn situation, as it's all but stated that Finn is the father of Lachesis' daughter Nanna, but it's also mentioned that Lachesis has been MIA for years already and in the end Finn spends years seeking for Lachesis, but never finds her. It also adds Deen and Linoan: they really like and care for each other, but Deen is is bound to his duty as a Thracian Dragon Rider and disappears after the war, and Linoan never marries afterwards.
    • Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade has Melady and Galle, especially when you let Melady talk to Galle before you kill him. Subverted possibly since Galle doesn't have to die to complete the chapter but neither the main story nor Melady's ending ever addresses whether he survived. They're not the only ones either: there's also Astolfo and Igrene. Their supports are just as moving and sad, because it's hinted that they are already married, but lost each other several years ago... and since he's a spy of Ostia, he can't return to her no matter what.
    • Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade:
      • This happens to Priscilla, if she is paired with either the myrmidon Guy or the Dragon Rider Heath. Basically, she's a noble girl whereas Guy is a tribesman from Sacae, and Heath is a deserter from Bern. So in the end, they back down. This is especially true on the Heath-Priscilla pairing, or her A Support with Sain, who truly loves her, but they both realize he can't abandon his duty to Caelin to return to Etruria with her. He ends up in tears while she tries to comfort him despite her own sorrow. (Erk, on the other hand, is not so unlucky thanks to his connections to Pent.)
      • Legault/Isadora (they find each other as enemies in the battlefield, years after the game events), Renault/Isadora (he disappears, she leaves the military and becomes a cleric to find him but we never find out if she does or not) and Harken/Vaida (reach an understanding, long for each other... then they never meet again). Also, if the player doesn't pair up Eliwood and Ninian via supports, she has to leave with Nils to her own world behind the Dragon's Gate, and she canonically is in love with Eliwood.
    • Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones:
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance has Ena and her fiancé, Prince Rajaion of Goldoa. At some point he went to look for his missing sister Almedha and her son, and then his evil brother-in-law King Ashnard captured him, got him infused with a Psycho Serum that locked him in his dragon mode and made him go insane, and transformed him in his mount - in fact, he fights the heroes in the last battle riding him. Ena joins Ike's group in an attempt to reach for Rajaion, and after Ashnard is defeated she manages to do so... but Rajaion is so weakened and wounded that, despite recovering his human form and a bit of his sanity and memories thanks to the Herons's songs, he dies soon afterwards next to the saddened Ena. The only more or less bright spot is that some time later Ena gives birth to her and Rajaion's child, the first full-blooded dragon born in centuries.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening:
      • This can happen and then defied if Chrom marries a female Avatar — because in the future, after the Avatar and Chrom defeat Validar at the Dragon's Table, the Avatar becomes possessed by the Evil God Grima and kills Chrom. The catch is that the player can avert this- especially since Chrom's daughter Lucina and the children of the other characters will join the group to change the future.
      • By extension, this involves all the pairings including The Avatar, whether male or female, since Chrom's murder at the hands of the possessed Avatar will always be what kicks off the Bad Future where all the parent charas die and all the kid characters go through Break the Cutie. And strong cases can be made for all the parent pairings, for obvious reasons.
      • Any couple involving Nowi or Tiki (and maybe Nah) will cross between this and Mayfly–December Romance. Being Manaketes (or half manaketes, in Nah's case) means that all of them will outlive any possible boyfriend/husband.
    • Fire Emblem Fates:
      • Princess Azura and any guy she marries in the Birthright and Conquest routes will fall into this, a Male Avatar included. This is because she will die at the end of each of these routes, as her water powers that are Cast from Lifespan cause her to dissolve into water. It can only be averted if the player chooses the Revelation path.
      • The Male Avatar can have this with Scarlet in Revelation, since she only stays around for few chapters before being murdered. In such a reduced time span the player can have their Male Avatar romance her via using additional challenge maps (DLC or not) to their advantage... only for her to be killed in a Heroic Sacrifice and then forcibly revived, forcing the group to kill her again. In the Birthright path, however, she can marry the Male Avatar and live to the very end, averting the trope.
      • Kaze and any of his girlfriends can potentially be this in the Birthright path, if THE requisite to avert his Heroic Sacrifice (having Kaze reach at least A support with an Avatar of either gender at some point) isn't fulfilled. Obviously, a Female Avatar who has successfully romanced him will end up saving his life.
      • Queen Mikoto went through this twice, with two different beloveds. First, it was with Anankos's good side: she rescued him when he was wounded, they were more or less happy and they had the Avatar together, but Anankos as a whole grew increasingly mad and she had to run away with their child to Hoshido. Later, she met King Sumeragi of Hoshido who fell in Love at First Sight with her and they were Happily Married, but Sumeragi was killed in the last war with Nohr and the Avatar was taken away almost at the same time; Mikoto pressed on, raised Sumeragi's children as if they were hers and ruled wisely over Hoshido... only to die few after being reunited with the Avatar, and at the hands of a Sumeragi who Came Back Wrong, thanks to the now fully maddened and evil Anankos.
  • Final Fantasy VIII:
    • Played with when it comes to Laguna and Julia. They have an attraction to each other during Laguna's military days, but it's not known if it ever progressed beyond that. Julia later wrote a song invoking this trope, as she believed Laguna to be killed in action. It is however a slightly straighter example for Laguna and Raine, who were together briefly, but Laguna left to rescue Ellone from Esthar soldiers. While he was gone, Raine died in childbirth.
    • Fanon liked to assign this to Squall and Rinoa (who are the children of Laguna and Julia respectively). A fan theory for years was that Ultimecia the Big Bad of the game was actually a future version of Rinoa, driven mad by Squall's death, due to sorceresses living longer (itself just Fanon). Square ultimately debunked this theory.
  • EVERY single pair of lovers in Odin Sphere:
    • Gwendolyn was promised to King Onyx; Oswald had his soul pledged to Queen Odette. ( Plus they cared for one another and he never used a spell to make her love him, like she believed.) Both Onyx and Odette try to collect multiple times throughout the game and Gwendolyn and/or Oswald must fight to remain together.
    • Cornelius' father actively tries to discourage his relationship with Princess Velvet in favor of a political marriage between Cornelius and one of Odin's legitimate daughters. Velvet's own brother Prince Ingway significantly disapproves of their relationship, as well, although he warms up to Cornelius much later in the game.
    • Regarding Mercedes and Ingway, he has to leave as soon as the spell that changed him into a frog is broken. In the true ending, Ingway is dead for their next meeting. And even worse: if the player chooses the bad ending by fighting the first Darkova with Mercedes, they end up essentially killing one another.
    • The backstory has King Odin (Gwendolyn and Griselda's dad) and Princess Ariel of Valentine, who gave birth to Odin's other children aka the aforementioned Velvet and Ingway. He had to leave before they were born and she ultimately died at the hands of her own father for having birthed his children. Odin has been heartbroken ever since.
  • This could apply to Final Fantasy X's Tidus and Yuna with Tidus being actually a dream of the Fayth. But at the good ending of Final Fantasy X-2, they are happily reunited.
  • Final Fantasy X-2 has Lenne and Shuyin, whose romance was interrupted by the war between Zanarkand and Bevelle. As a summoner, Lenne was put onto the front lines to fight. Shuyin sought to use the machina Vegnagun to essentially commit genocide and stop the war. Although Lenne stopped him, both were killed. They couldn't be Together in Death because of Shuyin's soul being trapped in the Den of Woe.
  • In Persona 3 Portable, it's possible for this to occur between the female protagonist and Ryoji Mochizuki. He's an amnesiac Anthropomorphic Personification of Death itself. She's doomed to sacrifice herself to seal a Cosmic Horror, like the male protagonist before her. Yeah, it's not gonna end prettily for either party. They are on different sides due to Ryoji's alignment with Nyx however since both end up dying you can interpret their bond as being Togetherin Death especially since he was with her throughout the game as Pharos and later Ryoji.
    • Also, Junpei Iori and Chidori Yoshino. He's The Lancer of the True Companions, she is a Dark Magical Girl who works with Strega, a faction that opposes SEES. Even more so, she actually dies protecting him.
    • This last couple is fortunate in that this fate can be Averted in Persona 3 Portable; it is possible to avert Chidori's death; she'll lose her memories of the Dark Hour, but she'll live and be happy with Junpei. All the other couples that involve the main character, however, are still doomed to tragedy.
  • From both installments of Knights of the Old Republic: Male Player and Bastila, Female Player and Carth, Female Exile and Atton, Male Exile and Handmaiden, and other PC/NPC romances; canon states that both the PCs eventually left their loved ones behind and departed to the Unknown Region for good. There is also a side quest in the first game that features an example from two feuding families.
  • In the Shadow of Revan expansion of Star Wars: The Old Republic, player characters of both factions and genders have the opportunity to romance Republic SIS agent Theron Shan and Sith Lord Lana Beniko. By the end of the storyline, it's made clear that the truce between the Republic and Empire is over and the romance must end, either because you're forced to go back to being enemies or that everyone will be busy with other things.
  • This can happen all over the place in Dragon Age: Origins, unavoidably if a male PC romances Morrigan, and possible if any PC takes the Heroic Sacrifice at the end after pursuing any romance - or if Alistair takes it after being romanced. There are also the origins - the City Elf will have to leave their Arranged Marriage candidate (and regardless of what they may have thought of them, said potential spouse seems to have a definite attraction to them), this comes into obvious play on at least one end (the other, of course, depending on whatever the player thinks their Warden feels) for the female Dalish Elf, and mage-hating Cullen has a crush on the female mage that, needless to say, doesn't go too well for him. Not to mention Jowan and Lily, also appearing in the Mage origin. To prove how prevalent this is, the dwarf noble origin can have it too, with a female PC and her second, Gorim. This is portrayed as an established but probably ultimately doomed relationship, due to the nature of the dwarven caste system.
    • Yeah, all of the Origin Story "romances" are doomed to fail. Let's see...
      • In the Human Noble origin, you can choose to have a sexual encounter with one of two certain characters. Regardless of which one of them you choose, they will be brutally slaughtered when the castle is ambushed that same night.
      • In the Dwarf Noble origin, there appears to be something intimate going on between the female player and Gorim, seeing as the player has several suggestive dialogue options with him. But it is made fairly clear that they cannot marry because he is of a lesser caste. Later in the game the player can find him in Denerim, only to discover that he has already married another woman and is expecting a child with her, and he breaks off the relationship for good. A male player, on the hand, has the option of having a sexual encounter with two "noble hunting" women during the origin story; but it's quite clear that these ladies only want to sleep with him because of his status, for their own personal gain, because they want to have his child so that they can live in the palace. Gets even more star-crossed by the fact that if the player does choose to sleep with them, one of them does end up having his baby, but because he got himself exiled the day after he slept with her, and because a child inherits their status from their same-sex parent, the child is casteless and when the player encounters her again later in the game, she bitches at him and blames him for her misery and accuses him of ruining her life and all that. Go figure.
      • In the City Elf origin, you're being forced to get married, but then a drunken human noble lord comes and ruins your wedding and kidnaps the women. If your character is female, then your fiance ends up being murdered by the lord's men. If your character is male, your fiancee ends up rejecting you after you rescue her from being raped and likely killed, claiming that "Grey Wardens can't have wives or families."
      • In the Mage origin, it is quite obvious that the templar Cullen is infatuated with the female player, although if the player tries to proposition him for sex he'll get incredibly nervous and run away. Later in the game, when the templars are overthrown and the tower is taken over by rebellious blood mages, the player will find that Cullen is the only templar on the upper floors who has not been slaughtered - when the female mage player finds him again, he will outright reveal his infatuation for her, but because of the psychological torture he has endured, he has developed a burning, immense hatred for all mages and pretty much rejects the player because he doesn't care for her anymore, though in Dragon Age II he gets better will speak wistfully of the Human Mage Warden.
      • The Dalish Elf origin has, perhaps, the most heartbreaking conclusion. It ends with Tamlen missing and the player joining the Wardens. Later, during the Shriek attack on the camp, you find out that Tamlen has become a ghoul, someone corrupted by the darkspawn. He confesses his love to the female Dalish elf before she is forced to kill him.
  • Max Payne and Mona Sax.
  • Leon and Ada in the Resident Evil series.
  • Adol and Lilia in the Ys series, as well as pretty much every other girl he meets. This is the only girl he gets close to getting serious with.
  • Rufus and Alicia from Valkyrie Profile 2 Silmeria.
    • Lucian and Lenneth is about as star-crossed as it gets. He's a mortal, she's a goddess.
  • Kei Odagiri and Ukyou Tachibana from Samurai Shodown straddle the line between this and Courtly Love. They're in love and she's his inspiration, but Ukyou has to keep his distance because she's a high-ranked noblewoman while he's a swordsman, and an Ill Boy who will die sooner or later. She gets married to someone else, but they still hold feelings for each other in their hearts, and when Kei needs Ukyou's help he will immediately go to her aid.
  • In the Mass Effect series, this is the current fate of the possible romance between Shepard and Ashley/Kaidan. In the second game, Shepard is in an uneasy alliance with Cerberus while Ashley/Kaidan remain loyal to The Alliance.
    • It can also happen in Mass Effect 2 if your love interest dies during the suicide mission.
      • Or if you're romancing Thane as female Shepard, thanks to his illness and Kai Leng from 3.
    • Pretty much happens to all love interests who were part of your crew in the 3rd game, what with them being stranded on Gilligan's Planet, the relay system in ruins and Shepard being dead in the Sol system in most cases. One of the many reasons the ending is hated by the fans.
    • In the "Extended Cut" DLC, the Normandy is no longer stranded and the Mass Relays are only damaged and eventually repaired (unless the player's Effective Military Strength is too low, in which case they are still destroyed), but Shepard is still dead in all of the endings except for "Destroy" with high enough EMS.
  • Xianghua's parents, Chai Xiangfei and Kong Xiuqiang in the Soul Series. She was training in a temple, he was one of the warrior monks in it, and they held a Secret Relationship where they even managed to have a daughter, Xianglian. When they were found out Xiangfei was forced to return to her house, Kong was expelled, and baby Xianglian was forcibly taken away from them, but he gave her a sword as a proof of love before they were separated. Little did they know that said sword was the treasure Krita Yuga, and that Xiangfei was pregnant with Xianghua...
    • Xianghua herself and Kilik are this by the time Soul Calibur V hits. They were in love, and even had a child named Xiba, but not only Xiba is also infected with his father's curse but Kilik believes that he is only hurting Xianghua due to how much she has suffered for his sake. So Xiba has been raised away from both parents, Kilik has gone Walking the Earth, and Xianghua has married someone else (a well-respected and high-ranked general of the Ming Empire, who's the father of Xianghua's daughter/Xiba's half-sister Leixia.)
  • Cole and Elsa in L.A. Noire.
  • Liu Kang and Princess Kitana of the Mortal Kombat universe, which is bound and determined in both the original series and the reboot to ensure they never find happiness. Until Mortal Kombat X — they're the Ruling Couple of the Netherrealm, following the Evil Power Vacuum left behind by the death of Quan Chi and the permanent incapacitation of Shinnok.
  • The prince and princess in the original Prince of Persia games.
    Narrator: And so the young lovers were wed and lived happily... well, for eleven days.
  • In Shira Oka: Second Chances, one of the routes results in the inevitable death of its focus character, Yui
  • Chaos and Varuna, the god of darkness and a goddess of light, will never be together in the Agarest Senki series. Heck, half of the reason why the war of the gods started was because Chaos never got Varuna.
  • The Joy/The Boss and The Sorrow of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. They were together for a while, and they even had a child (Ocelot), but in the end, their devotion to their countries (the United States and the USSR, respectively) put them on opposite sides of the Cold War, and the Joy ended up being forced to kill the Sorrow. They're Together in Death by the end of the game.
    • Venom Snake and Quiet; they're in a love-hate relationship, mostly because while Venom has been a true companion to Quiet, Big Boss set her on fire. TWICE. Not to mention the rest of Diamond Dogs (Snake's personal PMC) hate her guts for being a rampaging supervillain with freaky parasites growing over her skin, who also worked under the same shadowy organization that hunted down hundreds of Russian soldiers, Diamond Dogs, and other PMCs. She's kept in the brig unless she's on a mission, and some of the crew, Snake's second-in-command included, would like Venom Snake to stop playing teenagers in love and just kill her. In the end, one of Quiet's parasites goes epidemic and she has to commit suicide to prevent it from spreading.
  • Chibi-Usa and Anshar from Sailor Moon: Another Story, if you have his older sister and local Big Bad Sin defeated by Chibimoon's team.
  • Serah and Snow in Final Fantasy XIII-2. The first game's ending was pretty good for them, then the sequel kicked in and Snow went on a quest to find Lightning. It all goes downhill from there. Except in one of the Paradox Endings, i.e. an alternate, non official ending, where they go on adventures together.
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • In the series' backstory, according to the in-game book series The Real Barenziah, Tiber Septim and the young Dunmeri noble Barenziah fit this trope, as they were like-minded souls who genuinely fell in love with each other. Though, of course, their relationship ended badly because as much as Tiber Septim loved Barenziah, he loved power more.
    • In Skyrim, Jon Battle-Born and Olfina Gray-Mane, members of two feuding families split over the civil war, are secretly courting each other.
  • This is practically how the war of the gods started in the three games of Record of Agarest War with 2 being the one that concentrates on it the most. Chaos, the god of destruction and rebirth and a dark god, and Varna, the goddess of light, were in love with each other but cannot be together because both light and darkness cannot co-exist with each other. In the end of Agarest 2 however, they finally reunite with each other.
  • Gabriel and Malia in Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers. Tetelo, Malia's ancestor, was killed by Gunter, Gabriel's ancestor. She's the head of the Voodoo cult he's after the entire game; Tetelo possesses Malia's body during ceremonies. Reclaiming the Ritter talisman causes the entire place to erupt into flames, allowing you to try to kill or save Malia though the canon ending is saving her, as the other one kills you. But even if you try to save her, she is swallowed by the flames.
  • The Last of Us DLC Left Behind reveals that Ellie Williams and Riley Abel were this.
  • Amnesia: Memories pulls all the stops in Joker World to portray the heroine's relationship with Ukyo as this. Uyko wished for the heroine's fate of death to be changed, so that the two of them could be together again, and Lord Nhil allowed him to time travel and go to parallel universes, where the heroine was alive. But things always kept them apart, and her simultaneous existence next to Ukyo is seen as a universal anomaly, leading to the universe to throw everything at the heroine to kill her and fix this mistake. And if she manages to live past her original death date, the universe focuses on Ukyo. Naturally, the Good Ending for Joker World involves the two of them to overcome this fate, both surviving to the end of August and being happy.
  • As if this trope wasn't enough in the original Fushigi Yuugi media, the dating sims Kagami no Miko and Suzaku Ibun also have it:
    • In Garasu no Miko, the Player Character Mariko Kobayashi can only stay with one of her potential beaus, her Childhood Friend Takumi. All the others (Uruki, Tomite, Hikitsu, Shigi and Canon Foreigner Shura) are doomed because Mariko's goals are to rescue Takumi and go back home. Specially Shura, since he dies in his route.
    • In Suzaku Ibun, the Player Character and Miaka's expy Madoka can fall in love with one of the Suzaku Seishi, but at the end she cannot bring her beau with her. Unless the player unlocks two Special Endings: the Reincarnation End where the boyfriend is reincarnated and reunited with her (like it happened in canon with Miaka and Taka/Tamahome) or the Staying Behind End (where Madoka stays in the Book with him).
  • From Fatal Frame:
    • The first game has Kirie and her unnamed lover. Said lover was a visitor and couldn't stay, while Kirie herself was a shrine maiden who was supposed to have no emotional attachment to anyone for the sake of the ritual, for which she would be sacrificed. The priests, at the Himuro family master's order, killed him and lied to her afterwards to try to keep her from forming emotional attachment, but she found out anyway, causing her conflicted emotions that weakened her resolve as a Human Sacrifice, which ended up with a failed ritual that doomed the Himuro clan and anyone in the mansion, both during and after the ritual.
      Kirie: Let me see him one more time!
    • Fatal Frame III:
      • Reika and Kaname. Since Reika was a Tattooed Priestess that was fated to be sacrificed and males who weren't Master Builder for the shrines were permitted only as temporary guests, they were kept apart. Kaname's desperate attempts to return to the Kuze manor and reunite with Reika eventually led to his Plot-Triggering Death that Reika was Forced to Watch, causing the Unleashing that plunged the Kuze household into ruin and lured anyone with Survivor's Guilt into the Kuze manor to become cursed.
        Reika: I don't want to see anymore...
      • Kyouka (a.k.a. Brushing Woman), who fell in love with Akito, a visitor to the Kuze manor. Akito eventually wished (and tried) to take Kyouka away from the Kuze household, only to be murdered without Kyouka's knowledge, leading Kyouka to pine for Akito for the rest of her life (and afterlife). Seeing Kei did nothing to sate her anger toward Akito for thinking she had been abandoned all this time.
        Kyouka: You said you'd come back!
  • Fallen London: In a fit of sheer irony, the game takes place in an alternate reality where the stars represent cosmic forces preventing two fundamentally different and near-godlike aliens from consummating their love, yet it's weak and ignorant HUMANITY who is crossed, their greatest obstacle, and in some timelines, their ultimate doom. These aliens are literally the Sun and a giant space crab, who have a tragic goal of being together and enslaved, oppressed, and abused all of humanity in an attempt to overcome boundaries.note . Naturally, the humans who learn of this tragic tale are usually PISSED at what everyone involved in this 'tragedy' has done to humanity on a whimnote . In response, a disturbingly large number of these informed angry men and women and si-uh-ma'-uhs have worked on a master plan to kill all the suns in the universe and replace them with artificial, human-raised ones, and they're planning to have the Bazaar unwittingly carry the disease/army/warhead when it travels to the stars to recite its epiphany of love across boundaries, killing the very rulers of creation it intends to make peace with. One character calls out the star-crossed close to home because despite their miserable state, they did horrible things for fundamentally insane reasons, and pissed half the Neath off.
    Noman: "You're sitting pretty. The Bazaar broke a law or two in making me, yes it did, but I wouldn't have lasted this long unless you had a foot snared in the Great Chain... I'll be free, very soon." (Its words are becoming harder to understand.) "You'll be tempted. Don't trust the Bazaar. Don't feel sorry for it. Love is a demand, not a solution. The Chain may go up to the stars, but it prisons us all. The Liberation of Night..."
  • Bayonetta has this between the title character's parents. Their clans were forbidden from falling in love due to a prophecy and the two were separated soon after the birth of their daughter, Rosa being imprisoned by hers and Balder being cast out from his. The two wouldn't see each other again for another twenty years, and Rosa was killed soon afterwords (something that poor Balder would end up witnessing twice due to time travel). As for Balder himself, he ended up getting possessed by an evil god and would later be murdered by their amnesiac daughter. What makes this especially tragic is their very nature as an Umbra Witch and Lumen Sage meant that even death wouldn't reunite them due to their souls being automatically bound towards Inferno and Paradiso respectively.
  • Sora and Kairi become this by Kingdom Hearts III. After Kairi is sacrificed by Master Xehanort, Sora bitterly acknowledges that something always keeps them apart ever since the first game. The ending implies a Heroic Sacrifice on Sora’s part keeps them separated again.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night has Shirou and Saber become this at the end of the Fate route. After they win the Holy Grail War and destroy the Grail, Saber is forced to return to the moment she died back in the aftermath of the Battle of Camlann, but not before they tell the other that they love them. As Shirou's life returns to normal and Saber dies peacefully, Shirou continues to move forward with his life. The Updated Re Release, Realta Nua, adds in an epilogue, where Shirou and Saber are given the chance by Merlin to reunite in Avalon as long as Shirou endlessly pursues a way to reach Saber and Saber endlessly waits for Shirou to come back to her. It takes an eternity of struggle and hardship, but Shirou eventually succeeds.
  • Zero Escape has Akane and Junpei. The classical Childhood Friend Romance, except Akane is The Chessmaster Zero I for much of the series, and she has plans for world salvation that specifically must not include Junpei accompanying her. In the final game, Zero-Time Dilemma, this is eventually subverted by creating a timeline where they can marry. Ironically, they have Delta to thank for this, as his plan was to create a world where the characters could live happy lives.
  • Arcueid/Shiki from Shingetsutan Tsukihime. One’s an immortal vampire princess and the other is a vampire-hunting human who kills her in their first meeting (she got better).
  • Katawa Shoujo:
    • Hisao Nakai and Lilly Satou, if the player get their Bad Ending and Lilly goes back to Scotland with her family, never to return. The Good Ending is all about Hisao deciding to Screw Destiny and taking a Race for Your Love to stop this at the last moment.
    • Also Hisao and Rin Tezuka, especially in the Neutral Ending where she leaves Yamaku to go to Tokyo, fully knowing that she'll become a great artist but at the cost of destroying herself mentally. Her last scene has her begging Hisao to forget about her, and they share a last hug under the rain before she abandons him and her former life forever.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend
    • Anghel claims that he and Hiyoko were star-crossed lovers in a previous life. If his route is to be trusted, he's almost surely telling the truth.
    • Nageki and Hiyoko become this if his path is completed. Nageki fades away, due to him realising that he loves Hiyoko, and tells her that as he loves her as he disappears.
  • Haruki and Kazusa in White Album 2, particularly during the Introductory Chapter (the part which got adapted into an anime). Haruki is a normal, if friendly and helpful guy, while Kazusa is a budding pianist with potentially world-class talent. The climax of the anime hammers home the fact that, in any other circumstance, it would still be impossible for them to be together. Which is exactly what happens in the end: Kazusa leaves to further develop her craft in Europe, and leaves Haruki behind in Japan.
  • Saint-Germain and Cardia from Code:Realize. One is a homunculus created to harbor a Philosopher's Stone until it has matured. The other is an immortal member of The Apostles of Idea, a group dedicated to steering humanity down the path towards salvation. In Idea's eyes, Cardia is a deviation from this path and Saint-Germain is given the order to kill her. Unfortunately, he didn't count on falling in love with her before he could do the deed. He has multiple chances to kill her in the common route, but doesn't, and hesitates to kill her in his main route, which leads to Cardia escaping to safety. In the end, he decides that the only way to guarantee her safety is to destroy every member of the Apostles of Idea, an act that will result in his immortality being taken from him and him dying. Cardia rejects this plan, and bargains with the leader of Idea, Omnibus, for Saint-Germain's life at the cost of her destroying her Horologium and dying afterwards. It's only thanks to some serious pleading, a little help from one of the surviving Apostles, and just a hint of proving Omnibus' predictions can be wrong by defeating Guinevere that they're allowed a hard earned happy ending together.
  • The Super Danganronpa 2 Fuyuhiko Kuzuryu and Peko Pekoyama may be this trope. (Komaeda believes they are, but it's deliberately left ambiguous.) He will never, ever know if she really loves him or is just conditioned to, since she was raised to be his bodyguard, and just as they're in the middle of figuring it out, she tries a Thanatos Gambit for him and it fails, getting herself killed and him mutilated. Worsening the trope is that they're both willing to die to protect the other, and in the sort of situation where they might well have to. It does get better, since Peko (and any other killed person other than Nanami, an Artificial Human modeled after the already dead Nanami who was mentioned above) died in a virtual world created by the Neo World Program, and by the time of Super Danganronpa 2.5 and Danganronpa 3, she wakes up and she and Kuzuryu are closer than ever.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry has Shion Sonozaki and Satoshi Houjou. The latter's family became outcasts after they accepted money from the government to leave the village where a dam was to be built (while the rest of the village fought against it). When Shion fell in love with him, her family was a bit... angry about it. "Rip off three of your fingernails in repentance in a torture chamber" angry. To the point Shion thinks for a long time that her family had the boy killed, although she was wrong about that.
  • Shall We Date?: Ninja Shadow dabbles into it twice:
    • The Player Character Saori can enter a relationship with Toru Nakagawa. She's a member of a Vigilante Man group devoted to protect the city of Nagasaki, whereas he's an Anti-Villain determined to violently overthrow the corrupt and old-fashioned Tokugawa Shogunate and is the rebellious brother of Saori's boss, Makoto; as such she prioritizes her loyalties to the group and to Nagasaki over their love, no matter how much it hurts the two of them, and Toru is well-aware of her determination - if not even a little proud, since it tells him how strong Saori is... It's ultimately subverted: while Toru is captured, judged and exiled, both of his endings have him and Saori ultimately reunited in one way or another.
    • The other prospect SCL deal will take place in the path of Toru's best friend and companion, Tsubaki Kusunoki. Tsubaki is a Badass Bookworm who grew deeply bitter due to being half-Japanese/half-Dutch and the son of a High-Class Call Girl, and as such he also views the Shogunate as ineffectual and corrupt; he plans to personally assassinate the Tokugawa Shogun and launch Japan in a new era from then onwards. Saori, logically, loves him deeply but disagrees with that, since she wants the Shogunate to change but not through violence and magnicide; they discuss their positions several times, but in the end they can't reach an agreement. Subverted, too: Saori and the Vigilantes manage to barely stop Tsubaki from killing the Shogun, said Shogun turns out to be a Reasonable Authority Figure that pardons Tsubaki in exchange of having him work with the Vigilantes, and Tsubaki gains his faith on people back AND stays with Saori.
  • Tomoya and Tomoyo come very close to this in CLANNAD if the player goes down Tomoyo's route. The latter is a former delinquent who's cleaned up her image and eventually becomes student council president, the former is still a delinquent and is seen as a problem child by everyone who isn't close to him. The other members of the student council eventually badger Tomoya into breaking up with Tomoyo by convincing him that he's only holding her back, though eventually they get back together after graduation.
  • Koshotengaino Hashihime Tamamori and Minakami are this, they have loved each other in countless past lives but never managed to be together, while in their current incarnations only Minakami is aware of their common past, and he resigned himself to an one-side love because of the shame he feels for his own homosexuality and the price he had to pay as a child to save Tamamori using his time traveling powers. It takes Tamamori many loops and the help of his future self to realize what he actually has been feeling for Minakami since he was a child was romantic love.

    Web Animation 
  • The Most Popular Girls in School: Platonic(?) example between Trisha Cappelletti and Trisha 2; they developed a friendship despite being in feuding cheer squads.
  • There she is!!: Doki and Nabi, a rabbit and cat kept apart by an interspecies taboo.
  • RWBY: Jaune Arc and Pyrrha Nikos start as partners and inseparable friends. Pyrrha is quite obviously in love for him, but Jaune's self esteem problems, obliviousness to her feelings, brash decisions and the fact he aimed for another girl for a while are obstacles in the way of them gaining a step forward in their relationship. Pyrrha is finally able to reveal her feelings to Jaune, before going to fight Cinder Fall and be killed in her hands. Jaune takes two whole years to come to terms with the fact that he'll never have a chance to see Pyrrha again and reciprocrate her feelings.

  • BLU Sniper and RED Spy in Cuanta Vida. Though it didn't last long...
  • Kat and Alistair from Gunnerkrigg Court. It was a Foregone Conclusion that Ali would leave at the end of the week, but it's made worse when the details of his departure (and the word of the narrator) ensure that Kat will never see him again.
    • Jeanne, one of the Founders of the Court, and an unnamed male elf from Gillite Wood.
  • Aaron and Lily from Demonology 101. It did not end well for them.
  • It's unclear just how much attraction there may be between Bob and Voluptua in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!. Unfortunately, Voluptua is a disguised giant bug, so nothing can come of it. Bob is going steady with Jean anyway, but the hint of a Love Triangle involving Voluptua still pops up now and again.
  • Lance and Silvia from Shape Quest (Silvia is a princess!)
  • In Question Duck, he and the mermaid had to part.
  • In Tower of God, any Zahardian princess who ever loved a man. To stop the spread of Zahards blood, they are forbidden to have relationships or children, a rule that is enforced with the death penalty. This applies especially to the parents of Anak Zahard, who got assassinated, kicking off her journey to get revenge.
  • It Hurts!!: Aurora and Pasqualo. Aurora is literally fated to start the apocalypse if she gets too close to Pasqualo, and no amount of universe resetting can change that. Pasqualo eventually gives up his life to ensure Aurora reincarnates in the universe he creates.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Finn and Flame Princess from Adventure Time are getting closer and closer to the trope.
    • Tree Trunks and Pig are a downplayed version. Everyone just finds them kissing in public gross, and spend a part of the episode keeping them apart.
  • American Dragon: Jake Long features a romance between a dragon and a girl raised by a family of dragon-slayers. Think of it as Romeo and Juliet, except they don't kill themselves, they try to kill each other. She gets better, though.
  • Angel's Friends features at least two romances between two sets of angel's and a devil's. Played straight with Raf And Sulfus.
  • Charmer and Ranger in The Animals of Farthing Wood.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has this in the story of Oma and Shu, who became some of the first Earthbenders, learning from the badgermoles. When he was killed by her tribe, she unleashed rage and vengeance on both until they agreed to work together. Actual in-series example would be Sokka and Princess Yue.
  • Bump in the Night parodied this in the episode "Adventures in Microbia", where Neat Freak Squishington gets unwanted affections from a Germ Girl. Squishy eventually loves Germ Girl back, but ends up having to part ways with her before he and Mr. Bumpy return to normal size.
  • Danny Phantom had Half-Human Hybrid ghost hero Danny and Valerie, the Ghost Hunter. They dated briefly with Valerie breaking up because of her job, unaware of Danny's ghostly alter ego, but love-lost feelings were mutual during the aftermath...until Season Three.
  • Parodied in Drawn Together episode "The Other Cousin", when Captain Hero sees Bleh for the last time before she goes away:
    Captain Hero: Maybe it wouldn't work out... I mean, we come from two different worlds. I come from the planet Zebulan and you came from a mom who drank when she was pregnant.
  • The Dungeons & Dragons series has three couples like this. The first one is Presto and Varla, and the other two have Diana and either Kosar or Josef.
  • The original series finale of Justice League was called "Starcrossed" and had to do with the fate of the relationship of the Green Lantern and Hawkgirl. Though really, it could have been called "Planetcrossed" just as easily.
  • Moral Orel has Orel and Christina. They like each other, but their families end up hating each other over different interpretations of the lord's prayernote . Christina's family ends up moving away, but Orel later goes out of his way to invite her to his school's dance and later ends up marrying her.
  • Played with in the Friendship between Gus and Corn Chip Girl in Recess. His father is in the Army. Her father is in the Navy. Do the math.
  • Scooby-Doo and the Alien Invaders has Shaggy and Scooby seemingly meet their soul mates in a hippie photographer and her dog, only to find out that they're actually aliens. And while they do have feelings for Shaggy and Scooby, they feel a long distance relationship of several light-years wouldn't work.
  • South Park:
    • Parodied in "Miss Teacher Bangs a Boy" with Ms. Stevenson and Ike.
    • Played straight with Kyle and Rebecca in "Hooked on Monkey Fonics".
  • In the Silly Symphonies cartoon "Music Land", there are two music-themed islands, the uppity Land of Symphony and the carefree Isle of Jazz. The rulers of these two islands, the cello queen of symphony and the saxophone king of jazz, are each disdainful of the other; the king views classical music as highbrow and the queen sees jazz as lowbrow. However, their respective children, the saxophone prince and the violin princess have fallen in love with each other, which leads to the prince being imprisoned by the queen and eventually an all-out war breaking out between the two rival countries. But when their children are both in danger, the feud ends with them all saved and not only their children marrying, but also their respective parents, and a new bridge, the Bridge of Harmony, built to link the two islands together.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, it turns out that Applejack's parents, Bright Macintosh and Buttercup, were this due to Buttercup's real name being Pear Butter. As the two clans were business rivals turned feuding families, Pear Butter and Bright Mac had planned to have a secret wedding a la Romeo and Juliet, but it was broken up by Grand Pear and Granny Smith. Unlike most instances Pear Butter disowned herself from the Pear family staying with Bright Mac eventually giving birth to Big Mac, Applejack and Apple Bloom. It would take years before the families buried the hatchet and by then Bright Mac and Buttercup were dead.
  • Vanessa Doofenshmirtz and Monty Monogram in Phineas and Ferb were this trope, as her father was a Mad Scientist (and the closest thing the show had to a Big Bad) and his dad lead the organization that regularily opposed him. Sadly, we never got to see whether or not either of their fathers found out, and Monty turned out to be a Romantic False Lead, with Vanessa eventually ending up with Ferb.
  • Queen Eclipsa and Globgor from Star vs. the Forces of Evil, as Mewmans aren't allowed to associate with monsters.
  • Parodied by Cartoon Network short Salt 'n Slug (one of their "Cartoons That Never Made It" parody shorts,) about a romance between a slug and a living salt shaker. The salt shaker accidentally kills the slug partway through the intro sequence.

    Real Life 
  • This example, between a Hindu boy and a Muslim girl.
  • Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga in Malawi. Their marriage was annulled because Tiwonge is a trans woman, they were jailed, then pardoned, then forced to move back to their respective home towns. Steven eventually married another woman.
  • Peter Townsend (no, not that one) and Princess Margaret of Great Britain. Townsend was an Ace Pilot and war hero, having flown Hurricane in the Battle Of Britain, and clearly had deserved the hand of princess and half the domain. Queen Elizabeth said "no" for their marriage; Townsend was a divorcee, and the Abdication still hung over the Royal Family. That broke the hearts of both. Townsend later revealed Margaret was his only true love.
  • Jose Rizal and Leonor Rivera who are first cousins. When Rizal traveled overseas to pursue studies, the two kept on sending letters to each other, hiding coded messages since both their parents do not approve of their relationship (partly because Rizal is wanted by the Spanish authorities.) Leonor continued to be faithful to Rizal for six years despite not seeing him (and probably not knowing that Rizal had affair with numerous foreign women.) Rizal tried to marry her many times but their meeting is always prevented by their parents. In the end, Leonor was forced to marry an Englishman. The leading characters who are lovers in Rizal's Noli Me Tangere, Crisostomo Ibarra and Maria Clara, are inspired by the situation between him and Leonor Rivera.
  • The aptly nicknamed "Romeo and Juliet of Sarajevo," Bosko Brkic (Serbian, Orthodox Christian) and Admira Ismic (Bosniak, Muslim), who were shot while trying to flee the city together during the infamous Siege of Sarajevo. As they attempted to cross the bridge over the Miljacka River, they were both fatally injured by snipers; Bosko died instantly, Admira crawled to his corpse and died next to him.
  • Dorothy Osborne and Sir William Temple faithfully obeyed the Parental Marriage Veto as long as it was in effect, but when their fathers died, and Dorothy suffered smallpox to the ruin of her looks, they were permitted to marry.
  • The romance between a Soviet soldier and a German girl. They met at the end of the war when he was sent to interrogate her father, they fell in love and lived together for a while until he was sent back to Russia. (Additionally, party officials told him he could be sent to a gulag if he did not end the relationship.) They managed to meet again 60 years later, now 80 and married to other people, and they decided to move in together, leaving their respective spouses.
  • Mark Antony and Cleopatra.
  • Either this or Tragic Bromance took place between Frederick the Great and his best friend/possible lover, Lieutenant Hans Hermann von Katte. They were inseparable despite their eight-year age-gap, to the point that they were rumored to actually be lovers by other Prussian nobles. Then-Rebel Prince Frederick intended to run away from Prussia to Great Britain to get away from his abusive father, King Frederick William I, and Katte decided to help him. After the two were caught and imprisoned, the King was about to execute them both, but ultimately decided to have Katte beheaded while forcing Frederick to watch from a nearby window. Frederick was about to fall into despair and tried to apologize, but Katte calmly smiled and told him "For the sake of such a gentle prince, death is sweet!" before being executed. Frederick was so broken after this that he was unconcious for at least three days and, after waking up, never spoke about Katte again. It's speculated that this ordeal was at least one of the reasons why Frederick never married and sired heirs.
  • Hans Christian Andersen and opera singer Jenny Lind are said to have lived after this trope. Andersen developed feelings for her, but was nervous, clumsy and shy, and Jenny Lind was equally shy in private. Andersen wrote a number of letters to her, and their entire correspondence was later published, showing a sweet, caring friendship that never led to anything, because they were apart on journeys. Andersen saw to it that his travels matched hers to the best of his ability, and they had at least one new years eve together, but she married another man and died early. Andersen never forgot her. She always addressed him as her "dear brother", by the way, and Andersen left at least two stories devoted to her: The Nightingale is the most known. It refers to Jenny´s nickname The Swedish Nightingale. Under The Pine Tree tells the story of a Childhood Friend Romance that ends badly for the male protagonist. The girl in the story is named Johanne (which was Jenny´s original name).
  • Aisin-Gioro Huisheng was a Chinese noblewoman, daughter of Pujie (the younger brother of Puyi, the Last Emperor of China) and a Japanese woman, Aisin-Gioro Hiro (maiden name, Saga Hiro). In 1943, she was sent to Japan to live with her maternal grandparents and study there. She eventually met fellow student Ōkubo Takemichi, son of a railway executive... but her mother Hiro strongly opposed, as Huisheng was considered as a potential bride for future Emperor Akihito. Ōkubo and Huisheng disappeared on 4 December 1957 and were found dead on Mount Amagi; Huisheng was found wearing a gold ring on her finger, laid with her head cradled in Ōkubo's left arm, while Ōkubo held a pistol in his right hand. Above their heads was a twisted piece of tissue paper containing snips of their hair and fingernails – an element in the ritual of a Japanese love suicide. Huisheng and Ōkubo's ashes were interred together at Ōkubo's father's request; years later, Huisheng's ashes were taken to her family plot in Shimonoseki.
  • In the German Empire, the ruling House of Hohenzollern had a rivalry with the House of Hannover ever since Prussia annexed Hannover in 1866. The engagement of Victoria Louise, daughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Ernest Augustus, heir to Hannover, was reported in the press to be a real life Romeo and Juliet, and their courtship was able to smooth things over between the two families. Their wedding was one of the last great social occasions in Europe before the outbreak of World War I.

Alternative Title(s): Forbidden Romance, Star Crossed Lover, Romeo And Juliet Plot


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