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A form of Shipping where a shipper supports the idea that Alice is in love with Bob, but that Bob doesn't return Alice's affection. Like with ships where the love is presumed to be requited, this can be support for a "pairing" that is either supported or unsupported by canon. Unlike more mainstream shipping, if the love is ever requited in canon this may cause the "starboarder" to Abandon Shipping precisely because it has become canon.

Whereas a more conventional ship is usually displayed in fanfic summaries and stuff as, say, Bob/Alice or Bob x Alice, a "starboard" seems to displayed with an arrow thus:

Alice → Bob

As this sort of ship can lend itself to many a Love Triangle, it can lead to stacking of characters in this sort of situation, or even a loop. For example:

Alice → Bob → Charlie → Diana → Emma → Alice

A common way of pairing characters when one canonically hates the other, or when it would be Squicky for the character to return their affection (for example, a student with a crush on their teacher).

The term comes from the fact that Starboard is the naval term for the right side of a ship (the left side being the Port, but "Porting" already meant something else), and many shippers just can't resist a good nautical pun. Thus a Starboard is one side of a ship. Not to be confused with the sailing term "Starboard!", which is shouted when a boat has right of way since that boat is on "starboard tack." Though there is a parallel if you think about it hard enough.

For canon examples, see Unrequited Love Tropes.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Naruto:
    • Neji/Hinata shippers enjoy seeing Neji secretly pining over Hinata as though he were an Unlucky Childhood Friend, while Hinata falls for someone else (usually Idiot Hero Naruto or Hot-Blooded teammate Kiba).
    • There are many fans who enjoy the unrequited love triangle between Obito, Rin and Kakashi. Too bad the first two are dead.
    • There are also a number of pseudo-canonical fics portraying Sasuke in unrequited love with Naruto.
  • Reborn! (2004):
    • There's the shipping of Tsuna and any of his male guardians. Due to Tsuna being an innocent and shy Messiah who very canonically has a crush on Kyoko, most of the fans justify the pairing by having whichever guardian he's paired with have an unrequited love for him. Shippers of Gokudera/Tsuna, in particular, support the idea of Gokudera having an unrequited love for him.
    • And then there's the fans of one-sided Yamamoto/Gokudera. Sometimes, this can be used in conjunction with Gokudera/Tsuna, making it a sort of shipped All Love Is Unrequited Love Triangle of: Yamamoto → Gokudera → Tsuna.
  • In Black Cat, most shippers who support Creed/Train tend to have the consensus that it would be unrequited on Creed's part.
  • Genkaku/Nagi in Deadman Wonderland. It's canon that Nagi hates Genkaku for killing his wife, but fans specifically seem to like the idea that it's very unrequited on Genkaku's part.
  • In Delicious in Dungeon, it's very easy to interpret Laios as having a crush on Shuro but not realising it since, well, he's Laios. If he does, then obviously Shuro doesn't return it since he a) is in love with Falin and b) hates Laios's guts.
  • Trigun:
    • Part of the appeal of Legato Bluesummers/Knives is that it's very one-sided for Legato, as Knives sees him as a useless piece of trash.
    • And people who pair Knives with Vash don't seem to be deterred by how it would be unrequited on Knive's part.
    • Also Midvalley/Legato, mixed with Subordinate Excuse.
  • In Gankutsuou, there are the fans of the pairing of Franz/Albert. Many of them specifically think the sweetest part about that pairing is how one-sidedly dedicated Franz is to the clueless Albert.
  • ×××HOLiC's pairing of Doumeki/Watanuki. Many fans think that it's cute that Watanuki has a crush on Himawari and dislikes Doumeki, and ships the idea of Doumeki having an unrequited love for clueless Watanuki. Not so much that fans tend to ship the dynamic of Watanuki/Himawari so much as it makes Doumeki's love for Watanuki unrequited.
  • Full Metal Panic!'s slash pairing of Gauron/Sousuke. It would be pretty hard to try to explain how that pairing wouldn't be unrequited, considering how canonically straightforward Sousuke is shown to hate the man. Most of the shipping and ways that fans pair them up involves rape. Heck, even Shouji Gatou acknowledges that the pairing would be non-con. And would probably involve bondage.
  • Many Hetalia: Axis Powers fanworks featuring Belarus (either Male or Female) bring up her incestuous obsession with her almost-equally Yandere-ish brother Russia (unfortunately for Belarus, it's not her Russia is Yandere towards), as a lot of fans love the idea of the most feared and stalkerish character in the series being reduced to quaking and tears by his personal stalker.
    • Similarly, Switzerland is often portrayed as having feelings for his Forgotten Childhood Friend (sorta) Austria, but keeping them to himself because of his moody and proud personality and the fact that not only is Austria married to Hungary, but they still go into dates after their "divorce".
    • The Hetalia fandom as a whole is very prone to this, not just the mid-European empires. Probably has something to do with the eternal and multiple cases of Will They or Won't They? and history itself being considered secondary canon by some people.
    • Most Russia/Lithuania fics make Russia's affection for Lithuania decidedly one-sided, with Lithuania staying with Russia only out of fear, pity, and/or Stockholm Syndrome. Likewise, most of shipping with Russia can be identified as this (Russia X... Insert Lithuania,Latvia,China and etc.) seeing that most of time he "forced" everyone.
    • While the most common depiction of America/England is as a pairing with mutual love on both sides but also a mutual inability to admit it, there are quite a few angsty fics that depict it as Unrequited Love on either England's part (with America being oblivious of his feelings or unable to think of his former big-brother figure in that way) or America's part (with England not being able to love him as anything other than his little brother).
    • England being a very popular character means he often ends up in such triangles, most commonly involving America and/or France (or, in the Japanese fandom, Japan).
    • In fanon, this happens with America too, who also happens to be a sort of class bicycle despite never really showing any sort of sign that he's even sexually active. This is prominent in some Russia → America ← England fics, or fics in which Japan has the crush, or it's his own twin brother Canada, or in a really rather weird and unrealistic one everyone wants him, or at least his virginity.
    • In fics that deal with the Greece → Japan ← Turkey Love Triangle, Turkey is almost always relegated to the role of Hopeless Suitor based on how Japan has had a lot more interaction and Ship Tease with Greece than him in canon. It's no exaggeration at all to say that the number of fics where Turkey actually ends up with Japan is vastly outnumbered by the number of fics where Turkey has to face the fact that Japan views him as only a friend and is in love with his hated rival Greece.
    • Japan also gets some of the "popular target for one-sided crushing" attention that the aforementioned England and America get, especially in Japanese fandom where he gets put into triangles with England and America and/or has his adoptive brother China or sister Taiwan crushing on him ever since their childhood/teenage years.
  • In Peacemaker Kurogane, lots of fans support the pairing of Suzu/Tetsunosuke as being unrequited on Suzu's side. Unrequited Love in an Ax-Crazy, Stalker with a Crush, Rip-You-To-Shreds-Because-I-Love-And-Hate-You kind of way, that is.
  • When Ryoga from Ranma ½ was given his own love interest to fall in love with, Akari, many fans hated it. Some wanted him to end up with Akane, others thought he should end up with Ukyou, but many felt that he should continue pining after Akane while she pined after Ranma, just as a demonstration of dogged determination as his primary quality. The cast of Ranma is full of other examples mostly because in canon it's a critical plot point that Ranma and Akane have a ton of suitors, and some of them have suitors as well.
  • As far as Mobile Suit Gundam 00 goes, although Lockon/Tieria is an extremely popular pairing in the fandom, a fairly large percentage of fans specifically prefer it as a case where not only are Tieria's feelings very much onesided (which, to be fair, is how they come off in canon if you see them as romantic) but there would be no hope whatsoever of Lockon ever reciprocating them even if he hadn't died near the end of the first season.
    • This is also the most common approach for Feldt/Lockon, where she seems to have a huge crush on her much-older Big Brother Mentor figure (she's 14, he's 24) but like in Tieria's case, he cares for her yet not liking her romantically due to his own issues and his death.
  • It's canon that Autor has a pretty big crush on Rue in Princess Tutu, and a lot of fans will admit to shipping one-sided Autor → Rue. There are a lot less fans that ship requited Autor/Rue, however, since Rue is very attached to Mytho and later ends up going back to his story with him, presumably to marry him.
  • Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei: Everyone → Nozomu. And Nozomu ← Matoi ← Her Ex ← His Girlfriend ← The Guy Who Eats At Her Resturaunt ← His Ex-Wife ← The Guy Who Washes Her Underwear. Like everything else in the series, Played for Laughs.
  • Death Note: Rem and Gelus → Misa → Light.
    • And if you see Light's sister as bi and having a crush on Misa, then it's Sayu → Misa → Light.
      • Since Matsuda crushes on Sayu when She Is All Grown Up, it can also be Matsuda → Sayu → Misa → Light
    • Also popular: Near → Mello.
  • Bleach:
    • Orihime has confessed her feelings for Ichigo in the manga. Ichigo himself has shown no interest in anyone. This has been used as a basis for the IchiHime ship where her feelings are explored.
    • A popular view of the UlquiHime ship is that Ulquiorra has an unrequited fascination with Orihime akin to lust, using Volume 40's poem as a basis for the interpretation. Orihime's situation regarding Uquiorra is very complex in the manga, causing a wide range of interpretations regarding her feelings for him.
  • Get Backers: One-sided Takuma Fudou → Ban Midou. Definitely a messed up, Ax-Crazy ship... but then again, the manga itself makes Fudou's homoerotic obsession with Ban pretty much canon (along with Ban's nonchalant, annoyed attitude towards Fudou). It probably doesn't help that Fudou actually even comes out and says that he's pissed off that Ban only has eyes for Ginji, and that he wants Ban to notice and pay attention to him instead.
  • While pretty much the entire female cast of Darker than Black has some sort of crush on Hei, he often doesn't seem to notice and (with a few exceptions) certainly doesn't care. Hand this state of affairs to fanfic writers already prone to shipping him with everyone, and Hilarity Ensues.
  • Many Black Butler yaoi fangirls support the idea of Sebastian → Ciel and Alois → Claude (canon on Alois's side).
  • Certain yaoi fans in the Code Geass fandom seem to favor the idea that Lelouch has an unrequited love for Suzaku (who is oblivious and loves Euphie), mainly because of the beautiful angst. The first season works better for this, given a large part of the plot is Lelouch either trying to protect Suzaku or win him over to his side, though even as bitter enemies, Lelouch demonstrates a surprising amount of trust and unwillingness to hurt Suzaku.
    • Almost anyone in Lelouch's Unwanted Harem → Lelouch seem to apply, too, depending on other shipping preferences. Gino → Suzaku is popular too.
    • Nina → Euphie is canon and Rolo → Lelouch pretty heavily implied. On a more squicky note, V.V. → Charles is a popular interpretation.
  • In Pokémon: The Series, Ash is both a Chaste Hero and the Launcher of a Thousand Ships of the series, with evidence for (in order): Misty → Ash, May → Ash, Dawn → Ash, and Serena → Ash, among others. In Serena's case, it's completely canon.
  • D.N.Angel has hinted at Satoshi → Daisuke. Satoshi seems to care more about Daisuke than any other person, and his transformation (which is triggered by feelings of love) happens when Daisuke gets too close. On the other hand, Daisuke's trigger has always been either Risa or Riku. Unfortunately for Satoshi and the Yaoi Fangirls, Daisuke is probably straight.
  • A crack example from Puella Magi Madoka Magica is Clip Girl. Fans noticed that she was constantly looking at Homura, even when the class was doing other work, and then later she and a friend unsuccessfully asked her to go to get coffee together after school. So, a theory developed that she had a one-sided crush on her.
    • Less crack is Kyouko → Sayaka. There's some pretty strong subtext on Kyouko's part, but Sayaka is hung up on Kamijou (who doesn't see her that way).
  • In Karakuridouji Ultimo the Depraved Homosexual Rune has a crush on Yamato who does not return his feelings. Rune's Not Good with Rejection as it turns out.
  • Zoro → Sanji is a rather common interpretation among One Piece fans who think about that sort of thing, since Zoro gets royally cheesed off every time Sanji flirts with/at ladies and fretted when Sanji's Arranged Marriage was announced to the point where even Luffy noticed it. The anime lends a bit more weight to this, since in both of their accidental near-kisses (it's a long story), they both look aghast—but Zoro blushes.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood has Speedwagon → Jonathan. Speedwagon's extraordinary devotion to Jonathan is obviously very commonly interpreted as Ho Yay, but Jonathan ends up in an Official Couple with Erina, and gets killed by Dio on the first night of their honeymoon, so there's no way that a relationship between the two can fit in canon. Because of this, fans commonly interpret Speedwagon as having a one-sided crush on Jonathan, supporting his relationship with Erina despite the heartbreak. This is further supported by Battle Tendency's epilogue, which states that Speedwagon died of a heart attack at an old age, while having never married ("he never married" was used in England as an euphemism for homosexuality), implying that Speedwagon was never able to move on from his feelings for Jonathan.

    Comic Books 
  • Some Captain America/Iron Man shippers speculate that Tony is in love with Cap, but not vice versa, due to the somewhat lopsided nature of the pair's Ho Yay in canon. (Although in longer fics, it rarely stays one-sided.)

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In the film The Watcher (starring Keanu Reeves), most of the fans of the movie ship Serial Killer David Allen Griffin (Keanu) with Joel Campbell (James Spader). The thing is, a lot of the charm of the pairing appears to be how completely one-sided and screwed up it is.
  • Watchmen: Some people feel Adrian Veidt is carrying a little torch for Dan Dreiberg. Especially in the final fight, and in particular the part where Adrian doesn't fight back.
    • From both versions, Rorschach seems to hold his friendship with Daniel as his most important human relationship (and one of his very few) and also seems very possessive of Dan's time and attention, whereas Dan sees Rorschach just as a friend with unique and disturbing personal perspectives. This has given some shippers cause to cry Rorschach → Dan.
  • While requited Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes is one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Fan Preferred Couples, there's been a solid contingent of fans who ship it as a one-sided affair since the very first film due to heavy Homoerotic Subtext of that nature, portraying Bucky as an Unlucky Patient Childhood Love Interest in love with Steve, but Steve favoring his canonical love interests Peggy and Sharon Carter (or Tony Stark, or Sam Wilson, or whomever else).
    • Captain America: The First Avenger has a scene where Bucky attempts to flirt with Peggy only for her to ignore him for Steve, but despite that, seems more unhappy over the fact that Steve is the one ignoring him for Peggy than the other way around. In the background the Commandos are also singing various verses from "There is a Tavern in the Town", a song about a singer's beloved leaving her for a different dark-haired woman and her subsequent Death by Despair. The loudest-sung verses are cued specifically to Bucky, Steve, and Peggy's actions throughout the scene in ways that are clearly deliberate, explicitly establishing the singer as representing Bucky, Steve as the man she loves, and Peggy as the woman he left her for (along with a couple of verses foreshadowing Bucky's later Heroic Sacrifice protecting Steve). The implications did not escape fans' notice.
    • Fast forward to Avengers: Endgame, which ends with Steve going back in time to live his life out with Peggy and leaving Bucky behind in the present. While Bucky gave Steve his approval beforehand and holds no grudge over it, he's exceptionally torn-up about the situation, and aware enough of it that he tries to hide it as best he can in front of Steve, seemingly only letting him go because I Want My Beloved to Be Happy. Fans interpreting their relationship as a Bucky → Steve unrequited love situation surged afterwards.
    • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier fans the one-sided shipping flames further despite Steve's complete absence from the show, since a lot of Bucky's moody and oddly territorial behavior on the subject of Steve and his shield, which Bucky later admits is grief over his departure, plays out like that of a depressed widower struggling to let go of a departed lover.
      • Later on Sharon Carter refers to Bucky "Mr. America" and "Cap's Best Friend" in a very suggestive way that sounds like she's half-taunting him for acting like Captain America's husband. While he's upset at her overall mischaracterization of him as a Sycophantic Servant towards anyone who holds the title, he doesn't deny it, either. It's easy to read his lack of rebuttal as an admission that, even if Sharon was completely wrong about the reason why, her acknowledgement of his devotion to Steve actually wasn't wrong either.

  • The Marauders in Harry Potter are subject to a lot of this. It started with Remus/Sirius as a popular ship; however, as the series went on it became harder to ignore the evidence that it was Sirius and James who had the Heterosexual Life-Partners relationship that's so easily mined for Ho Yay, and James, of course, wound up with Lily. This led to a variety of scenarios: Sirius is in love with James, who is straight; Remus is in love with Sirius, who is straight; Remus is in love with Sirius, who is in love with James, who is straight; and occasionally, Sirius is in love with Remus, who is straight (because Remus eventually married Tonks; there was a time when he was the one most likely to be portrayed as gay, but as it turned out, it was Sirius who finished out the series as the only good Marauder who was never seen to have a female partner).
  • A number of Honor Harrington fans are of the opinion that Thomas Theisman is, and has been for quite some time, quietly in love with Eloise Pritchart. While it's generally agreed that Eloise could, at some point in the future, return his feelings, as of A Rising Thunder she is still grieving the death of her lover Javier Giscard and is in no position to fall in love with anyone. Word of God has said that it's a possibility, but would never happen while Eloise is still President.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Doctor Who, fans tend to support the idea of any pairing with the Doctor as being unrequited. It's a very popular idea that the Doctor is asexual, but seeing as his very first appearance ever also included his granddaughter, maybe not. One novel in the Expanded Universe (not part of the TV show main canon) states that Time Lords never have sex, but instead weave their children on looms. A later novel has human companion Bernice Summerfield simply tackling the Doctor to a bed and merrily having her way with him, but the author was forced into a Fade to Black (which got lampshaded again in a Big Finish audio, twelve years later). Big Finish Doctor Who also has a serious Anguished Declaration of Love between the Doctor and human companion Charlotte, which becomes a major plot point — but the Doctor makes it very clear that he did not mean it that way, and the two spend a lot of time arguing about her "yearning" for him. The issue is often explicitly addressed in the new series: the Doctor realises that a relationship with a human just won't work, and tells his companions so, time and time again. However, writers Russell T Davies, Steven Moffat and Paul Cornell all enjoy writing the Doctor as flirty and quite sexual, and enjoy coming up with in-story reasons for him to kiss people and for implying quite a bit more on occasion. And as of 2010 canon, there was that... thing with Queen Bess. Now with bingo card!
  • In the same way, many people ship one-sided Maria or, to a lesser extent, Rani → Sarah Jane in The Sarah Jane Adventures since conventional shipping would be... icky due to the large age difference.
  • Jaqueline Pearce, who played Servalan in Blake's 7, is on record as starboarding her character with Avon. Evidence for this in canon is... inconsistent, to put it mildly.
  • In Oz, the pairing of Ryan O'Reily/Dr. Nathan actually had quite a few "starboarders" Abandon Shipping when she actually returned his feelings. Apparently, most of them liked it precisely because it was a screwed up, one-sided Mind Game Ship.
  • iCarly has starboarding based on the canon "non pairing" of Freddie → Carly. There is also some Sam → Spencer starboarding, usually when they keep Sam the same age as she is in the show (about 15), Spencer not returning affection due to Sam being under age and/or because she's Carly's best friend. During a storyarc that appeared to be leading to an eventual canon Sam/Freddie pairing, there was some Carly → Freddie starboarding, which is basically an Unrequited Love Switcheroo. Now that the show finished with a Carly/Freddie pairing, there is now Sam → Freddie starboarding with many of the fandom declaring Sam 'too good' for Freddie after his 'betrayal'.
  • M*A*S*H: This is what usually happens with Radar, due to his age and innocence, with the main fan pairings being either Radar/Hawkeye or Radar/Henry.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • There's actually a surprising amount of evidence that Tom Paris had feelings for Captain Janeway, at least in the early seasons, although whether or not she returned them is certainly up for debate.
    • And Word Of Ethan Phillips declares that Neelix had a hopeless crush on Janeway, as well.
    • Harry Kim might be in love with Tom Paris. There's a lot less evidence, however, that Tom sees Harry as anything more than a good friend.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Word of God also confirms Garak → Bashir on
    • Ziyal → Garak can be seen as this, depending on whether you think he returns her feelings.
  • Firefly:
    • One could easily see implications of River → Mal if one wanted to, especially during/after the Big Damn Movie.
    • JayneKaylee is just this side of canon (due to his reaction after she was shot).
  • An in-universe example appears in Dollhouse, where Bennett has an intense but unspoken lesbian attraction toward Caroline, but it isn't reciprocated. Later on, when Caroline (apparently) leaves Bennett to die, this has some serious repercussions, as Bennett goes from love to hate very quickly.
    • Actually, it was never confirmed whether it was reciprocated. Or in fact whether Bennett was actually in love with her, or just clinging to the only close friend she ever had. Many of the fandom choose to believe that they actually did have a relationship.
  • Some people in the L&O:SVU fandom are of the opinion that Olivia → Alex, particularly since everyone thinks she's a lesbian. Of course, straight Olivia/Alex is way more fun, and it's Law & Order - it's all conjecture anyway.
  • There's a good case to be made for Troy → Abed in Community. Though they're canonically best friends to the exclusion of pretty much every other relationship, their more intense/romantic moments all tend to come from Troy, while Abed either rebuffs him with a pop culture reference or appears unaware of Troy's emotions. At a dangerous moment, Troy tells Abed flat-out that he loves him; Abed's response is to complete the moment with a quote Star Wars. Their relationship functions just fine, but there are some big hints that Troy might harbor slightly deeper feelings, while Abed verges on asexual and doesn't tend to respond to romantic or social cues in the normal manner.
    Abed: (about his video game wife) She can make babies for me.
    Troy: (defensively) Oh, and I can't? (defeated) I can't.
  • Also from the L&O universe, Law & Order: Criminal Intent provides a lot of suggestion that Bobby Goren is deeply, if quietly, in love with Alexandra Eames, who is his partner, co-conspirator, best friend, and Berserk Button. It's less clear whether she returns the feelings, partly because she's still grieving for her murdered husband, although the finale drops some possible hints that she does.
  • There's a number of Supernatural fans that see Castiel having serious feelings for Dean, but not the other way around. Eventually confirmed, or at least Castiel believes this to be the case, when he confesses his romantic feelings for Dean.
    • In S6, the angel Balthazar apparently shared this opinion about Castiel's feelings, although there are also those who believe Balthazar had one-sided feelings for Cas himself, which further complicates matters.
    • There's another faction that believes the opposite, with Dean—the series' troubled, self-loathing family doormat—pining after the emotionless angel Castiel. It was made murky later on when Castiel slowly turns human and actually gains emotions, but once Castiel is re-"angelfied" and his faith in God restored, he sees no problem in leaving Dean to fly off to Heaven. In Season 6, he only appears when he needs something from Dean (or vice versa), and Dean does not seem to have forgiven him.
    • However, the reveal at the end of S6 that Castiel made a Deal with the Devil rather than ask Dean for help and drag him away from his ideal life with his girlfriend and adopted son only further fueled the idea that Castiel has serious feelings for Dean, with many comparing the situation to the I Want My Beloved to Be Happy trope. In hindsight, the entitled and insulting way Dean treated Castiel when he did show up is almost painful to watch, knowing it all led up to Cas not telling Dean about the deal with Crowley until it was too late for Dean to convince him to stop, leading to Cas succumbing to With Great Power Comes Great Insanity, proclaiming himself as the new God, and ordering Dean and the others to declare their love for him. The entire affair is incredibly tragic.
    • As of season 10 it's also become quite common for people to see Crowley as having an unrequited love for Dean, who may have a mutual love with Castiel. Despite initially seeming like a Crack Ship, the show definitely portrays Crowley's reaction to Dean becoming human again after he was a demon, and then outright choosing to partner with Castiel over him later on as being comparable to a dumped lover, and the triangle is paralleled to the Abbadon->Cain/Colette Love Triangle with Crowley associated with Abbadon.
  • Cat from Victorious seems to have a crush on Jade, who is currently dating Beck. Many a fanfic has explored this more in-depth.
    • Also, Tori for Beck, who is dating Jade.
      • Also, Tori for Jade, who is dating Beck.
  • Many fans of The X-Files assume that in the first seasons, one of the main characters is in love with the other, who does not reciprocate it.
  • There's much more evidence that Pete has romantic feelings for Myka than the other way around, especially since Myka is obviously in love with HG. He's told her how beautiful she is and even admitted that he loves her, but they're probably just Platonic Life-Partners since he's very supportive when she likes someone.
  • Stargate Atlantis: It's very easy to read Radek Zelenka as being quietly and hopelessly in love with Elizabeth Weir. Whether or not a fan believes she returns his feelings tends to depend on whether or not that fan ships McKay/Sheppard.
  • Some Good Omens (2019) fans interpret Gabriel as having one-sided feelings for Aziraphale and a large portion of his extreme hostility towards Aziraphale after learning about his secret meetings with Crowley as stemming from jealousy/bitterness that Aziraphale loves Crowley and not him.

  • The Anti-Love Song Sickened by Disturbed
    I can't believe that my sanity lies / In abandoning you! / I can't recall the helpless times / Perpetrated by you! / Sickened from wanting you / Frightened of finding the truth / Don't say anymore / Now my mind isn't changing / This reckoning's long overdue...

    Video Games 
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, the pairing of Ocelot/Big Boss. Everyone is cool with the idea that Ocelot has a giant, unrequited crush on Big Boss. Fewer seem to feel the need for Big Boss to ever return it. Admittedly, if he spent time returning the feelings for every person who had a crush on him, he wouldn't get anything done.
  • Kingdom Hearts II: A lot of Axel/Roxas fans ship the idea of it being unrequited on Axel's part. Particularly helped by how cold Roxas is (complete with him saying "You're not my friend" in the novels).
  • A lot of fics and doujinshi in the Fate/stay night fandom involve a character (or multiple characters) having an unrequited crush on Shirou. Justified, as it's based on a game with Multiple Endings, and he can return the affections of all of his love interests, but usually only one at a time...Unless it's Issei, in which case not even fandom can get Shirou to return it.
  • In Psychonauts, Milla Vodello is hinted to have feelings for her secret agent partner Sasha Nein, and a cutscene involves Milla either fantasizing or remembering a makeout session with him, but within the game there is no evidence that he sees her as more than a friend and colleague.
  • It's highly recognized in the Mega Man fandom that Ciel of Mega Man Zero has very blatant feelings for the eponymous hero, regardless of her being human and his being a Reploid highly-advanced robot. It's also generally accepted that most of it is probably unrequited due to Zero's very broken past (although there're shades of chastity there, too). However, there's still the fact that Zero's very willing to die fighting for her ideals, and he does. You can't help but feel sorry for the poor girl...
  • F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin. Alma wants Beckett, and she's not going to let anything stop her from getting him. Not even whether or not he returns her affections.
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Gumshoe regularly gets this kind of shipping with Edgeworth, whether or not Edgeworth is being paired with anyone else. It's not much of a stretch from canon, given his apparent hero-worship and tendency to follow Edgeworth around like a dog seeking praise.
    • Some writers put Iris and Maya in a love triangle with Phoenix. Losing party ends in this trope.
  • Canon example: In Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, it's revealed that Layton's sweetheart Claire, ten years deceased, was the Love Interest of two men other than her actual boyfriend. One was her boss, Dimitri Allen, whose affections she acknowledged but was unable to return because she was already in love with Hershel. The other was Don Paolo, who attended the same university as Layton and Claire and was in love with her from a distance; not only does she not appear to have been aware of his feelings for her, it's debatable whether she even knew he existed.
  • In the Inazuma Eleven fandom, several pairs of the form "<character> → Endou" seem to be quite popular, probably because 1) multiple characters in-series have been on record constantly musing about the positive influences he's had on their lives and 2) Endou is a completely oblivious Chaste Hero who gets along great with everyone.
  • In Rift, Word of God has hinted that Uriel Chuluun's crush on Kira Thanos is canon. Whether or not Kira reciprocates, on the other hand, is a matter of debate.
  • The Tales of the Abyss fandom pretty much universally agrees that Dist the Reaper/Rose/Runny is Jadesexual. Only slightly less widespread is the belief that Jade doesn't give a damn.
  • A weird meta inversion from the Sonic the Hedgehog fandom. For all the crap Sega gets about Princess Elise in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), it's hard to argue that she had anything more than a starboarding relationship with Sonic. Sonic considered her a friend no doubt, but he's always been a Celibate Hero and Sonic 06 does nothing to change that.
  • Overwatch: Mei/Junkrat is sometimes depicted like this—though in this case, Junkrat is often portrayed as an Abhorrent Admirer whose advances utterly repulse Mei.
  • Cytus II has Neko → PAFF. Fans did not fail to notice the heavy Les Yay between the two, but later on, PAFF (also known as Aroma) started getting much stronger Ship Tease with Hayato, who is the childhood friend of Kaori, PAFF's true identity who was brainwashed into becoming a Clone by Conversion of Aroma. Because of this, many PAFF x Neko shippers instead started to treat it as Neko having a one-sided crush on PAFF, while still supporting PAFF and Hayato's relationship.
  • F-Zero GX has a parodic example with the 16-year-old Princia Ramode who has eyes for... the 44-year-old Samurai Goroh!

  • Canonically, Karkat from Homestuck has a Caliginous crush on John. However, John can't return these feelings, partly because he's straight and partly because he just doesn't have it in him to hate someone like that. Although the first issue is pretty easy to work around in fiction (after all, he's 13 - what 13-year-old can so decisively say what their orientation is?), the latter...isn't. However, Karkat's hatecrush is, in the eyes of many, either a great opportunity for angst or goddamn adorable. (Or both!) Thus, while fic involving matespritships or moirallegiances are common between these two, fic where Karkat has a one-sided wish for John to be his kismesis are also quite popular.
    • Similarly, most Feferi/Eridan fics (a painful relationship which ended very badly in canon) focus on the couple struggling, or the tragedy of Eridan's unrequited feelings for her- even if the fic itself isn't set in canon.
    • Another canonical one-sided pairing is Dirk/Jake, which is just as often angsty and unrequited as it does actually involve them getting together. Though later updates which gave the ship a lot more subtext and genuine possibility have changed this a bit.
    • One anachronistic pesterlog revealed that Gamzee apparently had a crush on Tavros, and enough that he later mourned Tavros and romantically kissed his dead body despite having, by that point, undergone a massive Freak Out that left him an Omnicidal Maniac. Tavros's feelings for Gamzee are deliberately unexplored, but the panel showing his reaction to Gamzee's soliciations is an Homage Shot to a Problem Sleuth panel which was captioned "You cannot do it. You cannot tap that ass." This suggests to a lot of fans that even if Tavros had felt anything towards Gamzee, he was emotionally unable to pursue his affections either because of his lack of self-esteem or because of fear of Vriska, his Stalker with a Crush.
  • El Goonish Shive: Justin, who is gay, has had a crush on Elliot since they met. However, Elliot is with Sarah. Fans love this ship, and Dan even did a sketchbook entry because of this.

    Web Animation 
  • Inanimate Insanity Invitational: Many Nickel x Clover shippers who don't outright see Nickel as being a Tsundere prefer to think that Clover loves him, but Nickel is incapable of reciprocating, mainly as a way of keeping in line with how Nickel has a hard time getting into meaningful relationships.
  • RWBY:
    • In works that don't depict them as exes, this is how Qrow and Summer's relationship is usually depicted. Qrow had feelings for Summer but Summer only had feelings for Taiyang.
    • Though not as common as Qrow/Summer, a fair amount of fan-works have Qrow having unrequited feelings for Taiyang.
    • Due to her gushing about Pyrrha in two scenes, it's often interpreted that Weiss has a crush on Pyrrha.
    • Numerous characters have received this treatment towards Ruby, including Oscar, Blake, and Weiss. This is in addition to the fans who have Ruby reciprocate.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Shippers find it easy to believe Ty Lee has an unrequited crush on Zuko, given how quickly she hits on him when the Mr. Fanservice and his girlfriend are fighting.
      Zuko: Are you cold?
      Mai: [slaps his reaching arm away]
      Ty Lee: [smiling] I'm freezing...
    • Some people also write Tokka like this, it's fairly well supported in canon. Sokka seems relatively oblivious to Toph's crush when it pops up now and then.
    • Shippers of Toko (Zuko+Toph) like to characterize this pairing as a one-sided crush rather than a crack. This is largely due to Toph's affectionate actions towards Zuko, to most of which he appears to be oblivious. Many Tokko shippers admit that Zuko probably doesn't return Toph's possible feelings for him.
    • Kataang as well sometimes, especially in the earlier episodes. Aang definitely had a crush on Katara, but aside from some jealousy on Katara's part and a few moments that tease the idea of them together as a couple or kissing, the romance seemed unrequited. Of course, they eventually got together in the finale, and obviously had enough chemistry to have three children together.
    • Many people ship Roku and Sozin this way as well, with Sozin as the one with a crush, as there's just enough Ho Yay canonically on Sozin's side that it's a perfectly reasonable interpretation of canon that the reason why they were such great friends, why Sozin was so keen to have Roku on his side, and why Sozin took it so badly when Roku rejected him, is because Sozin was in love with Roku but he didn't return it. Plus, it just makes the whole story between them even more heartbreaking.
  • Some Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends fans like Mac's Precocious Crush on Frankie without shipping it.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • There are fans who find Dipper's Precocious Crush on Wendy adorable without shipping them. At the end of "Into The Bunker", Wendy admits at the end of that she finds it super flattering, but she naturally lets him down due to the age difference.
    • Following "Northwest Mansion Mystery", the fandom theory skyrocketed that Pacifica has a crush on an unwitting Dipper. Canon-wise, there are only a handful of vague hints from her side, and complete obviousness from him (aside from an instance of possible flirting during the aforementioned episode).
  • It is popular in the Hazbin Hotel fandom to portray Vox as being one-sidedly in love with Alastor due Vox's obsession with him, Alastor's idenity as aroace, and the implication that they were once friends. This is sometimes called 'One Way Broadcast' or 'one sided Radiostatic'.
  • Fanfiction often does this with Keef → Invader Zim.
  • Some Miraculous Ladybug fans like the idea of Chloe having a crush on Ladybug, without necessarily having those feelings requited.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • While there are fans would like to see them actually get together, many others feel this way about Spike's crush on Rarity - finding it endearing while believing they wouldn't work as an actual couple. The relatively minimalistic (and thus ambiguous) Ship Tease throughout the second season has served to stoke the flames of speculation on both sides of the argument even further.
    • Bronies also sometimes like to depict Twilight as having one-sided feelings for her teacher, Princess Celestia.
    • Another common one is Fluttershy confessing to Big Mac but then discovering he was already with someone else, usually another member of the Mane 6.
    • A Foe Yay Shipping version of this can also be an interpretation of the Discord/Princess Celestia ship, with Discord having the crush. Can also come with a side of Dry Docked Ship.
  • In Sidekick, Kitty has a stalkerish crush on Eric, who is more into Vana.
  • Some Storm Hawks fans like the idea of Piper having a Precocious Crush on Starling, an interpretation which is not unfounded in the show itself.
  • Tangled: The Series: Rapunzel and Cassandra have been the subject of some Les Yay in general, but this is irreconcilable with the fact that Rapunzel is canonically much in love with, and in a monogamous relationship with her boyfriend (later, husband) Eugene. So another popular theory is that while Rapunzel never feels anything more than friendship towards Cassandra, the latter on her part is in love with Rapunzel (without Rapunzel having a clue about this). This would add even more depth to Cassandra's character, because then her continual contempt for Eugene wouldn't just be because he used to be a thief, but because of Cassandra's jealousy of his love relationship with Rapunzel; and Cassandra's Face–Heel Turn in Season 3 would be because her realizing Rapunzel will never love her back the same way.
  • Lockdown → Prowl tends to be a given in the Transformers: Animated shipping community. Some fans go all the way and actually make them a pairing, but even those that don't tend to portray Lockdown's interest in Prowl as Stalker with a Crush.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender has established that Lance's feelings for Allura are more than just him hitting on every cute girl in the series. Then Allura found out because he confessed to the mice, and she has a psychic link with them, but she seems rather guilty about finding out. So many fans ship the unrequited love.
  • X-Men: Evolution: The Rogue/Scott pairing is sometimes written this way. This one's got canon support, though: Rogue's one-sided crush on Scott as seen in the show was seen as being much more interesting than Scott and Jean's relationship.
  • Young Justice:
    • After the episode "Coldhearted" aired, many squeed at the idea of 12-year-old Queen Perdita having a Precocious Crush on Kid Flash. It's deemed harmless and cute enough that many of the Perdita → Wally fans are also fans of him paired more seriously with another character.
    • Many shippers' view on Spitfire Vs. Traught is that Dick had(?) a crush on Artemis and simply never said anything because he knew that his best friend Wally liked her. Not helped by Season 2 (when Dick gave Artemis CPR during her faked death, stared at a five-year-old picture he took of himself and Artemis, and the brief fight scene with Tigress). As the second scene took place in private, the ambiguity is somewhat suspicious.

Alternative Title(s): One Sided Shipping, Listing Ship