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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."
Prologue, Romeo and Juliet
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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. Furthermore, it may 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).

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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.

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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 note ; an field hospital in World War I; 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 
  • 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 Dear Brother 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.
  • CLAMP:
    • Seishirou Sakurazuka and Subaru Sumeragi from Tokyo Babylon 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 X1999, 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.
  • 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. In the second novel, Words of Love/Across the Stars, Noboru outright goes Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder in the gap of time between messages, rationalising that they never formalised their relationship. 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. Whether it works out is never shown.
    • 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 has Hodaka Morishima and Hina Amano. To elaborate, Hodaka is a runaway from an upper middle class family that physically abuses him and Hina is an atmokinetic pauper. What's more is that they're both living in Tokyo, which is doomed to sink from constant rainfall. The story also follows suit from two different angles: The first is the police trying to send Hodaka back to his island home while social services are trying to take Hina and her brother Nagi in due to their 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.
  • Attack on Titan: Eren, with Mikasa. The final chapter reveals that he does return her feelings and would love nothing more than to start a relationship with her. Unfortunately, circumstances outside of their control separate the two, and Mikasa is ultimately left with no choice but to kill him to save humanity.
  • 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. Even with her sanity recently restored, she cannot even look at Guts or speak his name without the horrible Eclipse memories coming back, and only 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.
  • Case Closed 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...
  • 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.
  • In City Hunter, some of the featured girls in a given story arc are either the results of their parents' doomed romance or at least related to someone in such.
    • The parents of Etsuko, one of the girls who audition for a movie, met once many years prior to the start of the series. They wanted to marry each other, but ended up separating because everyone around them opposed it, never to see each other again. note  Etsuko joined the audition precisely because she hoped to see her father, who would direct the very movie for which she auditions.
    • The story of the parents of Kimiko, a seventeen-year-old girl with Unwanted Harem, is this trope in a nutshell.note  This is why Kimiko has been raised by her maternal grandfather.
    • Kasumi's grandmother turns out to have been in such a situation.note 
  • 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. The movie series have a more complicated case, starting with Lelouch's own death still happening with her now being there to see it.
    • 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:
  • Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai: Baran and Soara's story is very close to a classic Romeo and Juliet plot, except here Romeo goes horribly wrong and they have a kid with Infant Immortality.
  • Lucy and Kouta in Elfen Lied. Not only do 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. And even disregarding that, Jellal is utterly convinced that Erza deserves someone much better than himself (a vigilante on the run from the law) as a lover, even going so far as to lie (badly) about already having a fiance, which Erza sees through but accepts reluctantly since she has no intention of forcing him into a relationship he's not ready for. 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 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 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 a 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...
  • Knight Hunters.
    • 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.
  • 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: 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
    • Rei: She's perhaps the only person (other than Kaworu) to give him unambigous, unconditional affection in his hell of a life, and he's the only person to value her for herself, not her function as Mecha pilot, Apocalypse Maiden or Replacement Goldfish. Too bad she's a Half-Human Hybrid Artificial Human created to destroy the world, not to mention partially cloned from his dead mother and thus Shinji's half-sister, with neither of them knowing that last bit. In the classic series, she pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to save his life, in the Rebuild movies, she gets eaten by an Eldritch Abomination while he's in 10-Minute Retirement, and he ends up inadvertently causing The End of the World as We Know It in a futile attempt to save her. Finding out what happened proves too much for his fragile and delicate mind.
    • Kaworu: In the classic series Shinji met Kaworu in one of the lowest points of his whole life (and that's saying a lot), was drawn immediately to him, Kaworu offered him kindness and told him that he loved him (whether romantically or not, he still said it)... and then it turned out he was an Angel in human form, which completely shattered Shinji's mind. But Kaworu still cared, offered few to none physical resistance when Shinji confronted him, and ultimately allowed Shinji to kill him while saying that thanks to Shinji, his life was meaningful. And in the Rebuild series he also approaches Shinji kindly after the heartbreaking deals with poor Rei, but also ends up sacrificing his life again.
    • In the Girlfriend of Steel Visual Novel, Shinji and Mana. Out of nowhere comes this attractive, kind and energetic girl who openly shows interest in Shinji and the two of them hit off very well... until Mana is revealed to be an ex-test pilot for a JSSDF Humongous Mecha who got severely injured in the course of her job but wasn't allowed to quit. Instead, she got forced into seducing Shinji and using him to spy on NERV in order to find out the Evas' possible weaknesses - and ended up falling in love with him for real. When she tries to defect for Shinji's sake, she almost gets killed first by a JSSDF plainclothes commando unit then an N2 mine, with NERV deciding that whatever she knows is not worth the price of pissing off the entire Japanese military. In the end, Mana is forced to assume a false identity and disappear from Shinji's life, with neither having any illusions of ever seeing each other again. Poor Shinji just can't catch a break, can he?
    • Gendo and his wife Yui, who died before the start of the series. EVERYTHING Gendo has ever done, it's destined to get her back by his side.
    • Misato and Kaji end up being this too, after the latter is shot and killed by an unknown assailant.
  • One Piece:
  • In One Stormy Night, 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.
  • Pokémon:
    • In "Lights, Camera, Quacktion!", a movie called "Pokemon in Love" is filmed with this plot. A Wigglytuff and a Psyduck fall in love despite a war between Normal and Water Pokemon going on. Psyduck eventually sacrifices himself by shielding Wigglytuff from an arrow, which ends the war.
    • 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.
    • In "Fear Factor Phony", 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.
  • Ranma ½:
    • 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 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.
      Akane: [the real one] 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 The Rose of Versailles. Oscar/André 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:
  • The Seven Deadly Sins:
    • 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. Near the end of the series, Ban sacrifices his immortality to resurrect Elaine and they can be together at last.
    • Meliodas and Elizabeth. 3,000 years ago, they were the prince and the princess of two enemy races. Their parents, the Demon King and the Supreme Deity, cursed them for betraying their races by falling in love. Meliodas can never age nor permanently die, Elizabeth repeatedly reincarnates as a human. In every of Elizabeth's reincarnations, she meets Meliodas and he's Forced to Watch Elizabeth die over and over again; the curse kills Elizabeth three days after she remembers her past lives and even if she doesn't remember, she dies from old age. The cycle has repeated more than 100 times by the start of the series. They finally break out of the cycle when Meliodas destroys the curses.
  • In Sonic X, this is the case in the final season with Tails and Cosmo the Seedrian. Upon first meeting, the pair developed a strong bond and eventually mutual romantic feelings for one another. Unfortunately, in the penultimate episode, in order to stop Dark Oak, Cosmo was forced to perform a Heroic Sacrifice by immobilizing him while the Sonic Driver was fired at him. Making this even worse is the fact that it was Tails who pulled the trigger, the pair of them confessing their feelings for each other in Cosmo's final moments, with the only remnant of her that Sonic could recover was a small seed. However, it is hinted that she may come back as the final scene of the series is of a pot in Tails' workshop, with the seed he planted having sprouted.
  • Sorcerer Stabber Orphen:
  • 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 Tenchi Universe Ryo-Ohki is in love with Ken-Ohki, a cabbit who belongs to bounty hunter and Ryoko's worst rival, Nagi. It's their love for each other that's keeping Ryoko and Nagi from killing each other.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Whisper of the Heart, Shizuku is told the story of the grandfather clock by the antique dealer; the Dwarf King and the Elf Princess are deeply in love, but can't be together due to coming from two different worlds. The Elf Princess is turned into a sheep for most of the day, only returning to her true form when the clock strikes twelve, the only time of the day she can see the king. In turn, he waits dutifully for her each day just for the chance to see her for that fleeting moment.
  • 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.
  • The relationship between Willem and Chtholly in WorldEnd: What Do You Do at the End of the World? Are You Busy? Will You Save Us? 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.
  • 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.

    Comic Books 
  • Nightwing and Starfire are often portrayed this way. Even when they were the Official Couple of the 80s New Teen Titans book, one of the most prominent aspects of their relationship (and one of the things that made it so iconic) is that they came from vastly different cultures and upbringings, yet they loved each other enough to make their relationship work.
  • From Catwoman to Rachel Caspian, even Batman can't seem to hold a stable relationship with any of his love interests and whenever he attempts to get married (as seen in Batman #85), it often ends with negative results. The most obvious answer is that crime-fighting comes first. Catwoman herself even lampshades this in Batman vs. Two-Face in which she admits that Batman's first love will always be fighting crime.
  • 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.
  • 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. All their encounters end with them forced apart by their responsibilities, culminating in them erasing their memories of each other and breaking the link due the combination of their separation and her psychic powers was making her create potentially apocalyptic floods with her Gray Rain of Depression.
  • 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.)
  • Hawkman
    • 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.
    • In Brightest Day instead, while Hawkman and Hawkgirl get briefly resurrected by the Life Entity and freed by their curse, the same Entity turns Hawkgirl into the latest air elemental, barring her from living her last life with Hawkman.
  • The Incredible Hulk: 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.
  • Superman:
    • Krypton No More: Invoked. Superman believes any romance between him and an Earth woman is doomed to failure.
    • In Superman's Return to Krypton, Superman goes back in time and gets stranded in Krypton. There, he falls in love with Lyla Lerrol, and since he cannot get himself or anybody out of Krypton before its demise, he decides to get married to her. Nonetheless, he gets blasted into space, gets his powers back, and realizes he cannot return to Lyla again because he needs to go back to his own time because Earth needs him.
  • 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.
  • In Marvel Versus DC, 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: The titular character 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Scott Pilgrim: In order to date Ramona, Scott must battle her seven evil exes. At the climax, they defeat Gideon with "Power Of Love".
  • Thanks to Executive Meddling, this seems to be the case for Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) 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.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Superman's Pal: Jimmy Olsen (2019): One of Jimmy's ancestors, Jimberly, and one of Lex Luthor's, Hannah, fell in love, despite the decades-old animosity between the family. For a while, the relationship flourished in secret, driven partially by the disdain of their relatives. The relationship ended tragically with Hannah's father shooting her beau in the leg while other relatives held her back. While they married other people, their illegitimate son ended up tying the Olsen and Luthor bloodlines together.
  • The ice goddess Kelda and the mortal fry-cook Bill in the recent Thor series.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • X-Men:
    • Scott Summers and Jean Grey. Often described as destined soulmates who were meant to be yet have been through so much tragedy, including death and destruction.
    • 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 eventually 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.
  • 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.
  • The Flash: Wally West and Linda Park. Linda faces the perils of supervillains moreso than any other superhero Love Interest due to Wally discarding the use of a Secret Identity for most of his career. Meanwhile, Wally himself, due to being a Cosmic Plaything and Creator's Pest for someone obsessed with making DC True Art Is Angsty, gets to suffer the most due to the constant reboots. It's revealed that he was Ret-Gone for nearly half a decade because of being trapped in the Speed Force. In DC Rebirth, one of the first people Wally tries to reach out to in order to escape was Linda, but she has no memory of him, completely negating The Power of Love that used to tether him to the physical plane. After many more hardships Wally manages to rescue his and Linda's kids (who were also victims of Ret-Gone) and return them to Linda, allowing her to remember everything, but apparently at the cost of Wally losing his humanity.
  • Wonder Woman: Diana's relationship with Steve Trevor is a non-fatal example, as she cannot commit herself to him until the world is rid of evil.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts: 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.

    Films — Animation 
  • 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.
  • Gnomeo & Juliet.
  • 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.
  • Kovu and Kiara in The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride start out this way. They’re the kids of the leaders of the feuding halves of the pride, and Zira tries to use Kovu to kill Simba. He falls in love with Kiara and refuses, but Zira ambushes Simba and Simba exiles Kovu, thinking he was in on it. Kovu and Kiara have to stop the brewing war and reunite the pride so they can be together.
  • Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers has Minnie, the princess, forbidden to date Mickey due to him being a commoner. This only attracts her to him more.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • The two teen protagonists of the Mexican film Amar Te Duele (which appropriately translates as Love Hurts).
  • 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.
  • Bonnie & Bonnie: Yara and Kiki can't openly be together, since Yara's family doesn't approve of her being with a woman. They run away together, but sadly Kiki is killed.
  • 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 Bride With White Hair has Yi-Hang, a swordsman in the Wudang Sect, falling in love with Ni-Chang, an orphaned warrior who's working for the evil cult his sect are fighting. He betrays her at the end of the film because of the mistaken belief she killed everyone in his sect.
  • The Bridges of Madison County: Francesca and Robert have a passionate four-day love affair, but they cannot be together since Francesca is married and does not want to leave her husband and children. They never see each other again, but still love each other deeply their whole lives.
  • Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar from Brokeback Mountain due to society's homophobia.
  • The Bubble (2006): The lovers, besides both being men, are an Israeli and a Palestinian; the latter of which is being pressured into an arranged heterosexual marriage.
  • Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam: Nate and Dana 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 acknowledge their feelings.
  • 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.
  • Indian movie, Ek Duje Ke Liye (transl: Made For Each Other). Vasu and Sapna are neighbours who fall in love by chance. However, since they belong to different backgrounds, their love is vehemently opposed by their respective families. Eventually, the young couple are forced with the contract that they must not contact each other for one year. If they still want to marry each other after this period, they may do so. However, the parents have no intention of keeping their side of the bargain and exploit the contract to create misunderstandings. Towards the end, after surmounting many ordeals, Vasu and Sapna are finally reunited... during their dying moments. Sapna laments over their fate, stating that the whole world is opposed towards their love. The dying couple commit suicide by jumping off a cliff, into the sea.
  • Matias and Maria from The Elite Squad. He was a cop. She had drug connections. Their relationship could never have worked.
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore: Dumbledore and Grindlewald can't be together ever again, because of the latter's campaign for war against the Muggles. Now, they are destined to fight each other.
  • 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.
  • The Generation Gap has the two protagonists, respectively a high-school dropout-slash-biker punk, and a young teenage girl from a rich, overly-controlling family, being in love with each other. After their respective families prevents them from even meeting each other, they decide an Elopement is the best solution.
  • Terry Turner and Eve Wilson from Go West (1940) are in love with one another, but they are members of a pair of Feuding Families. Terry plans on selling Dead Man's Gulch for a fortune to prove to her grandfather that he can provide for her, unaware that he had already had given it to the Panello Brothers as collateral.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Infinity War: Wanda Maximoff and Vision just cannot be happy together. In Civil War, they're separated on opposite sides of the "war" despite their obvious feelings for each other, and the enforcement of the Accords drives Wanda into hiding. Infinity War reveals that they've had two years of sweet stolen moments together, but their happiness soon comes to an end when Vision finds out he’s #1 on Thanos’ hitlist due to possessing the Mind Stone, and has to talk Wanda into killing him. His friends try their hardest to spare him that fate, but she is eventually forced to concede and kill him by her own hand. And then watch Thanos resurrect him and brutally murder him again right in front of her. Come WandaVision, she discovers he bought property for them to live in together and obviously intended to marry her, and she breaks down in explosive grief at the crushing realization of the life they never got to have. Her powers magically create a perfect replica of him that later also dies when she has to dissolve her magic hold over the town of Westview. The two simply cannot catch a break, in the mainline movies or even seemingly in any alternate universes.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Listen to Your Heart: Victoria, Ariana's mother, tries everything she can to keep her from being with Danny, who's not good enough in Victoria's view. They split up, but then get back together after discovering just how she'd sabotaged things. However, then Danny dies of cancer.
  • The protagonists of Love Me If You Dare.
  • Essentially the plot of Lovers Of The Arctic Circle.
  • In Metropolis, Freder is the son of the evil Capitalist overlord, and Maria is a young Socialist reformer. It turns out okay, though.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Stefan and Lisa from the heartrending film Letter from an Unknown Woman.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire: Marianne and Héloïse, both due to Héloïse's impending marriage and there's being a same-sex relationship. They are parted in the end.
  • Caroline and Struensee in A Royal Affair, which was Truth in Television. She's a princess, trapped in her marriage to Christian, whilst he's the royal physician and her husband's advisor. It doesn't end well for either of them: when their affair is discovered Struensee is executed and Caroline is sent away into exile, never getting to see her children 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Buck and Nancy, the romantic leads of The Terror of Tiny Town, belong to families of feuding ranchers.
  • Rose DeWitt Bukater and Jack Dawson from 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. Also, depending how one interprets the ending, Rose passes away in her old age and is reunited with Jack and young again in the hereafter, which looks like the Titanic, as all the other souls give a standing ovation..
  • 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.
  • Upside Down (2012), in which a man falls in love with a woman from an inverted universe.
  • 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.
  • Landon and Jamie in A Walk to Remember. She's got terminal illness so guess what happens.
  • R and Julie from Warm Bodies. Also a Mayfly–December Romance.
  • 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.
  • You Never Dreamed has Roma and Katya, whose families have bad blood between them and try to keep them apart.

    Jokes 
  • A fairy godmother is walking through a park when she sees a work of art called "the Star-Crossed Lovers" consisting of two statues of a young man and a young woman, gazing longingly at each other across a park alley. She waves her magic wand, bringing them to life, and tells them they have until sundown to achieve their hearts' desire. They promptly run off into the bushes and the fairy godmother leaves. As sundown approaches, the godmother returns to the park, goes to the bushes that are still rustling, and sees the lovers, she holding down a pigeon, he squatting above it with his pants down yelling "PAYBACK!".

    Literature 
  • The books by Strugatsky Brothers feature several:
  • In All Our Yesterdays, Marina is this with James since her future self, Em, has to kill him to save the world.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A frequent theme in Always Coming Home:
    • Terter Abhao and Willow, with him being a military commander from a Putting on the Reich and Stay in the Kitchen society, and her from a pastoral and egalitarian culture which cannot see war as anything but meaningless or childish.
    • The woman and the Wild Man from "At the Springs of Orlu".
    • The Wedding Night at Chukulmas has the ghosts of two people who died before their wedding.
  • From the teen science-fiction series, Animorphs:
    • 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.
  • Marcus and the elfess Caitlys in The Arts of Dark and Light, since both the elf-kingdom Elebrion and the human Republic of Amorr usually look very unkindly upon human-elf relationships. Amorr's Ban on Magic doesn't make people there more accepting of the sorceress Caitlys, either.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Scrooge and Belle in A Christmas Carol, who were driven apart by Scrooge's greed and obsession with money.
  • Vlad Tepes and Elizabeth Bathory in Count and Countess. Or so they insist.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 eponymous Ethan Frome and his wife Zeena's cousin Mattie Silver.
  • 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.
  • Marinell and Florimell from The Faerie Queene would make a lovely couple, but since a prophesy said Marinell would die due to a virgin, Marinell's mother forbid them to be together.
  • Augustus and Hazel in The Fault in Our Stars both have 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pip and Estella in the original ending of Great Expectations. Subverted in the Revised Ending.
  • Lyra and Will from the His Dark Materials series, specifically the last book, The Amber Spyglass.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • The Lord Of Bembibre: Don Álvaro and Doña beatriz loved each other, and they were unofficially engaged until Beatriz's father decides Don Álvaro has become a politically undesireable son-in-law and breaks off their compromise to get his daughter in an arranged marriage to a powerful and unscrupulous aristocrat whom Beatriz openly hates.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Winston and Julia in 1984, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Oroonoko: Oroonoko and Imoinda's love go through enslavement, white society's unwillingness to acknowledge them, and a (failed) slave revolt. Their love is not enough to overcome these events.
  • 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 Pillars of Reality: Master Mechanic Mari and Mage Alain come from guilds which ban members from even speaking to each other, but quickly fall in love.
  • 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!
  • 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 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...
  • The Scholomance: The protagonist El's parents, Arjun Sharma and Gwen Higgins. In the backstory, the two fell in love while attending the Scholomance together, leading to El being conceived while they were still students. During the Graduation Run later that year, Arjun heroically gave his life to save the four-months pregnant Gwen from the maw-mouth Patience, his last words to them being a Dying Declaration of Love. Arjun's great-grandmother Deepthi, the greatest Seer in the world, later confirms that there was no future where they didn't fall in love, and no future where both of them survived — one was always going to die in the place of the other. In fact, every future where Arjun survived instead of Gwen and El, he would eventually be Driven to Suicide because he couldn't handle his grief over their deaths. Ultimately, Deepthi came to the conclusion that Arjun could not be saved and opted to give him no warning when he left to go to the Scholomance, so that way Gwen and El could live in his stead.
  • 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.
  • Adam Conant and Cassie Blake from The Secret Circle.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
    • A notable example, since they're the basis of In-Universe folktales and love songs, are the Prince of Dragonflies and Jenny of Oldstones. Prince Duncan Targaryen abdicates the throne for the common girl he falls in love with, leaving his less worthy younger brother and far less worthy nephew to run the dynasty into the ground within two generations.
    • Ser Barristan Selmy, hoping to put Daenerys Targaryen off the idea of carrying on with the sellsword Daario Naharis and commit to her political marriage, tells her the story of her mother Rhaella and a knight she was in love with. They had broken up in order for her to marry the king, and the knight turned to religion. Though Barristan is careful not to reveal his name, other sources say it was Ser Bonifer Hasty, now the leader of a hundred-strong company of devout knights who are holding the great fortress of Harrenhal.
    • During the Age of the Heroes, Elenei, the daughter of the sea god and the goddess of the wind. She gave her maidenhead to Durran Godsgrief, committing herself to a mortal life. Her divine parents forbade their love, but Durran and Elenei wed despite them. The gods' wrath destroyed Durran's keep on his wedding night, killing all his family and guests. Durran declared war on the gods, who replied by hammering his kingdom with massive storms.
    • The legend of Bael the Bard has Bael kidnapping Lord Stark's daughter, spent a year hidden with her and fathered her son, but then she comes back to Winterfell without him. When Lord Stark dies the boy - despite being a bastard - is his only male heir and becomes the next Lord Stark. Unfortunately, this Lord declares war to Bael and kills him not knowing he was his father, and as a result his mother commits suicide.
    • According to Second Hand Story Telling, Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark may have been this trope. It's safe to say that it bring an insane amount of grief to an entire kingdom.
    • Tyrion Lannister and his first wife, Tysha, whose relationship was cruelly ended by a lie. It's stated that Tyrion was baited into falling in love and marrying with a whore who was hired by his brother, Jaime, then forced to see her being gang raped. Except, as he finds out belatedly from Jaime, Tysha wasn't a whore and did genuinely love him, but was sent away because their father, Tywin, wanted to teach Tyrion a lesson. Her current whereabouts are unknown, but Tyrion is determined to find her.
    • For a present-day example, there is Jon Snow and Ygritte, whose love is separated by them being on the opposing sides. The revelation of Jon's true allegiance utterly crushes Ygritte, who spends the rest of her life wanting to murder him. Jon is there for her last moments after she is mortally wounded during the wildling attack on Castle Black, seeing her smile as she reminisces about their romantic time together.
  • 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.
  • Maigrey and Sagan in Margaret Weis's The Star of the Guardians. Complete with The Masochism Tango and Together in Death.
  • 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.
  • Stinger: Rick Juroda and Cody Lochett are gang leaders who hate each other. Then Cody runs into Rick's sister at a bus station when she comes to town and develops a fast crush.
  • 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 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.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • 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.
    • Beren and Luthien are a subversion: Beren is a lord among mortal man, Luthien is the half-elven, half-maia (angelic being), princess of Doriath, daughter of Thingol and Melian. Upon first meeting Thingol, Beren swore that "Neither rock, nor steel, nor the fires of Morgoth, nor all the powers of the Elf-kingdoms" can keep him away from Luthien, which Thingol immediately turned into an Engagement Challenge, and tasked Beren with bringing him one silmaril from the crown of Morgoth (the Tolkienverse's Satanic Archetype), that the sons of Feanor, the creator of the silmarils, swore a terrible oath to not let anyoneelse, but them possess. Beren and Luthien in the end succeeded, but soon after Beren was killed by Carcharoth, the largest werewolf to ever live. Stricken by grief, Luthien died after him, and her soul went to Mandos, the vala of souls and fates, and she sang him such a beatiful song, it moved his heart, offering her two choices: be reincarnated by herself, and live-on as an elf forever in Valinor, the land of the gods, or be reborn, along with Beren as mortals, and live a short life together in Middle-Earth, and upon dying her soul would leave the world, and go where the souls of men do. She chose the latter. The subversion comes from the implication, that not only was their love destined, it was destined to succeed, since nothing in the world, not even the different afterlives meant for humans and elves, could keep them apart. Furthermore, they should't have been able to meet in the first place: the Girdle of Melian, a protective enchanment, was supposed to keep everyone out of Thingol's kigdom, that he did not allow to enter, and Melian even prophesied that someone sent by a higher power than herself would get around it.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Edward Cullen and Bella Swan from Twilight. Not.
  • By the end of The Underland Chronicles, it's strongly implied that Gregor will never see Luxa again.
  • 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.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
  • M. Paul and Lucy in Villette.
  • 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.
  • Catherine and Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights.
    Music 
  • 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.
  • DAT's animated clip "Showtime" tells the story of a devil that falls in love with a young woman, but he slowly starts becoming human - and feeling a lot of pain - because of their relationship, so he erases her memories of him with a tear in his eye before leaving her. Strange enough, the song talks about "hope for our future".
  • 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.
  • The Italian folk song 'O surdato 'nnammurato (The Soldier in Love), is a very good example of this trope and is probably the most famous example of "canzone napoletana" - to the point Naples's local football club, SSC Napoli, has adopted it as its unofficial anthem. The song talks about the grief of a soldier in the frontlines of World War I who pines for his lover at home. Despite its cheery tone, its lyrical content is heart-wrenching to the utmost 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.
  • Possibly the second most known Teenage Death Song (after "Leader of the Pack") is "Run Joey Run" by David Geddes. Boy (implied) knocks girl up, father gets mad and fetches gun, but not for Shotgun Wedding all could have lived with, but to kill boy. Girl takes bullet for boy and dies, the end.
  • The song "Catch the Rainbow" from Rainbow's debut album tells the story of a romance that's like catching a rainbow: a beautiful thought, but nothing but a dream which will be dispelled by the light of dawn. According to lyricist Ronnie James Dio, it's the story of a princess and a stablehand who meet at night in the stables to make love, despite knowing it can not last between them.
  • "English Channel" by singer/songwriter Mark Spiro is written from the perspective of a man pining away for his loved one, who was forced to leave him behind in Continental Europe in order to live and work in London; he notes that he's desperate enough to swim the English Channel just to see her again.
  • "Life Waster" by Corpse Husband seems to be a pragmatic and realistic take on this. In the song the speaker seems to fall in love with a woman from a very different background or with different life experiences (I went to substances/You went to college), but they nonetheless bond over their different traumas and/or being outsiders. However, this has a Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: as much as they might have bonded together at one point (let the mask off/mixed our tears on the asphalt), and the song contains some common love themes (lyrics talking about stars in your eyes, and If I get to know her then I might save her), their differences and the emotional and physical traumas they have cause them to drift apart. What's worse is that after the drifting apart starts, there are numerous lyrics with references to her lying, hinting at something along the lines of cheating or emotional manipulation, and the situation seems to turn from simply drifting apart due to differences while still caring/being fond of each other (fuck your fucking sickness/lost you in the process/Ima get it for us like I always promised) to becoming outright angry and hostile, especially as it seems like the speaker embraces his own dark side in the last verse.
  • Humorous version: "Tu mundo y el mío" ("Your world and mine"), by singer/writer/humorist Leo Maslíah, tells the story of two lovers that have serious problems to be together. Initially it seems like the classic story of two people from different social circles, but as the song advances the difficulties become more and more evident: she doesn't speak in Spanish... because she's from Mars; her planet doesn't have water or oxygen for him; she'll be treated as a specimen if she comes to Earth; and he can't go there anyway because he'll never be an astronaut; their bodies are so different that they can't even touch (and she appears to be similar to an Alien xenomorph). The differences pile up and finally the earthling encourages his beloved to forget him.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Mahabharata narrates the story of Kacha and Devayani. The gods were at war with the Asuras and were frustrated that Sage Shukracharya would always resurrect the Asuras. So Indra approached his mentor's son, Kacha and pleaded him to learn the art of resurrection from Shukracharya. So Kacha went to Shukracharya and became his disciple for a period of 1000 years. Although Shukracharya was aware of Kacha's intentions, he liked his dutiful nature and let him spend time with his daughter, Devayani. Devayani fell in love with Kacha. Meanwhile, the Asuras suspected Kacha's intentions and killed him. However, on Devayani's pleadings, Shukracharya resurrected his disciple whenever he was killed. One day, the Asuras killed Kacha and this time, they cremated him and mixed his ashes in wine, which they offered it to Shukracharya. Later, the sage was shocked to learn that Kacha was in his stomach. Left with no choice, Shukracharya taught Kacha the art of resurrection. Kacha emerged from Shukracharya and revived his teacher. After 1000 years were over, Kacha took leave of his teacher and returned to his abode. He took leave of Devayani, who confessed her feelings for him. Kacha replied that since he was reborn from Shukracharya, he is technically her brother and cannot marry her. Devayani curses Kacha that he will never be able to use the art of resurrection. Kacha replies that he can still teach the art to the gods and curses Devayani that she will never find marital happiness.
  • Arthurian Legend:
    • 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, 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.
  • The Exile Of The Sons Of Uishnech: 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.
  • Classical Mythology:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Orpheus and Eurydice. 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.
    • Troilus and Cressida, and Aphrodite and Adonis.
    • Aeneas and Dido, and Pyramus and Thisbe show up in Ancient Roman writings.
    • Oepidus and Jocasta from Oedipus the King in a particularly tragic case of Surprise Incest. The pair don't find out that they are mother and son until years later after raising a family together.
  • Mesopotamian Mythology: Innana/Ishtar and Dumuzi, the story of the vegetation god whose annual death and resurrection cause the seasons because of the misery of his bereaved love.
  • German folk ballad Es waren zwei Königskinder ("There were two royal children") tells a similar story to the Hero and Leander's myth. Here the three candles in the window are extinguished by a "false nun" (who in some versions is a Norn).
  • Egyptian Mythology: Geb and Nut, 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.
  • Aztec Mythology: 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.
  • Persian Mythology: 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.
  • Chinese Mythology:
    • 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 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 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.

    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.

    Theatre 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Again, Tristan and Isolde, but now in Tristan und Isolde, the opera by Richard Wagner.
  • 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.
  • Charlie and Sammy in Joshua Rollins' 25 Saints.
  • Haemon and Antigone in Antigone by Sophocles.
  • 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.
  • Dido, Queen of Carthage is a retelling of the star-crossed lovers Dido and Aeneas, from classical mythology.
  • 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.
  • Invoked 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.
  • Hadestown which is a musical based on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth.
  • Tuptim and Lun Tha in The King and I.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • Kim and Chris in Miss Saigon have a tragic, doomed romance.
  • Ti Moune and Daniel in 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.
  • 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 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. Tony is a member of the Polish-American street gang The Jets (though he's been trying to leave), Maria is the younger sister of Benardo the leader of the rival Purto Rican immigrant gang The Sharks. In a slight departure from Romeo and Juliet only Tony dies, in a revenge shooting for him killing Bernado (the Tybalt stand in, who killed Tony's best friend Rifff who was the equivalent to Benvolio). Maria cradles Tony in her arms as he dies and then delivers a "Reason You Suck" Speech to the rest of the cast.
  • Elphaba and Glinda from Wicked. It's far more blatant in the musical than 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.

    Visual Novels 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hashihime of the Old Book Town 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 a one-sided 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Discussed in Melody. At one point, the protagonist has the option of taking the title character to see a music-themed movie. When they speculate afterwards on whether the main couple will stay together after the story ends, Melody is convinced that they won’t.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • The Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair 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.
    • Danganronpa loves this trope. Another example from the same game are Sonia Nevermind and Gundham Tanaka. Just like Peko above, when Gundham is revealed as Case 4's blackened, Sonia cannot believe it, and demands Monokuma spare him. She vows to carry on his will by taking care of his hamsters, and takes his last words of "Live no matter what!" to heart. Just like Peko and Fuyuhiko above, this does get better as Tanaka wakes up in Danganronpa 3 Sonia and Gundham are close as can be.
    • To round out Goodbye Despair, we have Akane Owari and Nekomaru Nidai. Though Nekomaru dies one case prior to his actual death, Monokuma brings him back as a robot which Gundham fights to the death, and ends up killing, thus both Sonia and Akane lose their significant other in the exact same case. As if that wasn't bad enough, Akane is relentless in trying to figure out who killed her "Coach". Yes, three of the five survivors of Goodbye Despair (at least until the 3 anime where everyone wakes up, have all lost someone special to them, four if you count Hajime and Chiaki as a couple.
    • Then we get to Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony and it has no less than three examples, one of which is at first one sided.
      • First goes to Kaede Akamatsu and Shuichi Saihara. A rare instance in the person who dies is a Decoy Protagonist The two are practically inseperable throughout Chapter 1, and even when Shuichi accuses Kaede of murdering Rantaro Amami, he can barely keep himself together.
      • Second is Maki Harukawa and Kaito Momota who are pushed as creator Kazuichi Kodaka's favourite ship in the whole game. Just like most of the above, Kaito is revealed to be a blackened, which Maki desperately tries to deny, and goes out in a blaze of glory, being the first and so far only, blackened to not die by the execution, but rather the terminal illness he was given by the real mastermind Tsumugi Shirogane. Despite this taking longer than previous ships to get going, within the third chapter, [[spoiler:Kaito invites Maki, who he affectionately calls "Maki Roll" to join him and Shuichi in training every night. When the mastermind reveals that Maki and Kaito were intentionally written as a tragic couple. Maki Goes Mad from the Revelation.
      • To round out V3, we have the originally one sided Tenko Chabashira and Himiko Yumeno. While exactly how much of a couple they are is debatable, it's clear from Tenko's death that Himiko misses her like a lover would miss her deceased boyfriend. When asked, Kodaka gave a Shrug of God, showing he does feel they were intended to be a couple, but it's mostly subtext. At first, Himiko hated being gushed over by Tenko, but when she is murdered by Korekiyo Shinguji, Himiko breaks down, and ignores the fact her other best friend died too, and says she'll cast a death spell on anyone who calls Tenko's death meaningless, making it clear she thought of her as more than a friend, she just Cannot Spit It Out. Unlike the previous Goodbye Despair examples, none of those who are killed come back to life, making them more straight examples.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • RWBY: Jaune Arc and Pyrrha Nikos start as partners and unseparable 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, coupled with Pyrrha's own Cannot Spit It Out tendencies. 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.
  • There she is!!: Doki and Nabi, a rabbit and cat kept apart by an interspecies taboo.

    Webcomics 
  • BLU Sniper and RED Spy in Cuanta Vida. Though it didn't last long...
  • Aaron and Lily from Demonology 101. It did not end well for them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Question Duck, he and the mermaid had to part.
  • Lance and Silvia from Shape Quest (Silvia is a princess!)
  • In Tower of God, any Princess of Jahad who ever loved a man. To stop the spread of Jahad's 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 Anaak Jahad, who got assassinated, kicking off her journey to get revenge.

    Web Original 
  • The story Myo discovers in the course of Bell's Heart.
  • Mixed Metaphors describes two people who will never be together, because one's a symbol and the other's a metaphor.

    Web Videos 

    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 (1983) series has three couples like this. The first one is Presto and Varla, and the other two have Diana and either Kosar or Josef.
  • Final Space: Nightfall, an Alternate Self of Quinn, thinks she and Gary are this after she's spent twenty years traveling through hundreds of Alternate Timelines where Gary universally dies, only to find that in the one timeline where Gary lives he doesn't want her because she's not the Quinn he knows in his timeline. As she puts it:
    "Always meant to be together, but never meant to be."
  • 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.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: Ladybug and Cat Noir cannot be together or know each other's true identities until after Hawk Moth is defeated, due to the risk of one of them being Akumatized.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In the 2018 reboot of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Hordak and Entrapta collaborate on the interdimensional portal. During their months together, they become close friends with significant romantic tension. However, Catra secretly exiles Entrapta to Beast Island and lies to Hordak about it, telling him that Entrapta returned to the Princess Alliance. Hordak spends season 4 angry and hurt over Entrapta's "betrayal", but he still pines for her. The protagonists eventually rescue Entrapta from Beast Island, shortly before Hordak is taken captive on board Horde Prime's ship, making Hordak and Entrapta literally star-crossed at the end of season 4. Fortunately, they happily reunite at the end of the series.
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • Queen Eclipsa and Globgor from Star vs. the Forces of Evil, as Mewmans aren't allowed to associate with monsters.
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi and Satine Kryze in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. He’s a Jedi, she’s the Duchess of Mandalore, it was never going to work out. It takes a dark turn in the episode “The Lawless”, when Satine is killed by Maul. Obi-Wan even admits that he would have left the Jedi order to be with her if she’d have asked him to.

    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. Marrying Cleopatra was basically political suicide for Antony as it was seen as him forsaking his Roman roots, not to mention that he was already married. With greater support, Augustus was able to defeat Antony during their civil war and drove the couple to commit suicide.
  • 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.

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

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Tails and Cosmo (spoilers)

In order to stop Dark Oak, Tails is reluctantly forced to fire on him while he's being suppressed by Cosmo, even though the blast would destroy her as well. Just before pulling the trigger, Tails yells out how he feels about Cosmo, and in her final moments, her spirit reaches out to his as they say farewell and remember everything they'd been through together, with Cosmo's final words to Tails being that she loves him as well.

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