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Strangled by the Red String

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Liu Kang: My heart belongs to another.
The Nostalgia Critic: Your heart belongs to another? Who? Kitana? That chick you've known for less than an hour? How does she own your heart? True, you just met this other woman, but give her a few minutes and you'll have known her just as long.

Deus ex Machina as the flop of a Romance Arc. "Amor ex Machina," if you will.

Not every Romance Arc gets the luxury of being played out fully to the last detail. Sometimes the writers decide that the important part is getting those two characters in a relationship, and the rest will somehow sort itself out. The result is that the two characters go through a leap of characterization all the way to a Relationship Upgrade without any of the usual in-betweens; apparently Cupid forgot to tie the Red String of Fate on the lovers' pinkies at birth, and in a desperate attempt to save face he ended up garroting them with it in a back alley while he thought the audience wasn't paying attention.

Possibly the two characters have had little to no interaction prior to their sudden onset of romantic involvement, or they had, and even plenty, but it was never romantic in nature, and seems to have spontaneously transformed into such without any apparent reason. In more borderline cases, this can happen even when the two characters have shown interest in each other, in some form or another; it's the placement, pacing, and timing that are off. An audience tends to know the kind of emotional process a person goes through when entering a romantic relationship, and will not be happy past a certain line of too little of this process and too much conveniently dramatic payoff.


Remember, Tropes Are Tools: By itself, a relationship that doesn't get painstakingly detailed development is not automatically bad, and like any other plot development, there are cases where it just needs to be done with and make place for more important things. Sadly, the case is often the opposite — the romance is the important thing, and, in spite of that, the author just didn't figure the "how it comes to happen" part was very important. The subsequent lack of "volume" in the Romance Arc, in turn, begs for compensation: having characters fall for each other out of nowhere can make any romance come across as a Token Romance, and hence what often happens is that the writers start firing every possible drama cannon so as to impress upon the viewers that this is important and they should care. The characters don't merely start dating nor just fall in Love at First Sight; they are thrown into a state of immense amorous passion, starry-eyed, Intertwined Fingers, kissing passionately, and promising each other an eternity of happiness simply Because Destiny Says So.


Characters may be derailed, and competing love interests particularly so; Narmy moments and Relationship Sue transformations may become a frequent sighting; chemistry and interaction are prone to be reduced to the Sickeningly Sweethearts sort if there was any to begin with. In more degenerate cases, the relationship may undergo a malignant mutation into a Romantic Plot Tumor, taking the focus off the more important aspects of the story. Cue one part of the audience sighing happily, since those two were obviously made for each other, and it's about time, while the other part of the audience scratches their heads in bewilderment and disdain, since this "development" just asked for too much Willing Suspension of Disbelief and feels suspiciously like the writers just pulled it straight out of their hindquarters. Arguments may break out regarding how well-foreshadowed and well-handled the whole thing was.

A Last Minute Hookup can result in this, or serve as damage control. The potential problems are all still there, but at least they're not going to grow out of control throughout the rest of the plot since there's no rest of the plot left. Still, this can make unexpected sequels rather awkward, even assuming that the audience can stomach the original strangulation. If the work is an adaption, it may be an Adaptation-Induced Plot Hole. The couple may have evolved over time at the original work, and the adaption may rush things into the romance, because it's one of the key aspects of the original work and has to be included, no matter what.

May be caused by The Dulcinea Effect. For when the build-up takes place before the series, see New Old Flame. When this happens to minor characters and is less noticeable, it's a case of Pair the Spares. Can crop up when the writers want to quickly counteract Ho Yay, Incest Subtext, or a Relationship Writing Fumble. Often results in an Audience Reaction version of I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me or What Does She See in Him?. Compare Ships That Pass in the Night for fanon couples like this. Compare and contrast Designated Love Interest.

Note: While some of the examples are universally agreed upon, this Audience Reaction can get very subjective due to Ship-to-Ship Combat, Shipping Goggles, or plain disagreements. Keep a few points in mind when editing;

  1. Refrain from using this to whine about a pairing that you personally don't like.
  2. If you add an example, be sure to explain why you feel the couple fits. Make sure it fulfills both requirements; it fits the description of ways development can be "off" and leads to at least one of the consequences listed above.
  3. If you feel a certain pairing is badly handled, that doesn't mean it's a case of this. If the pairing took a long time to build up and execute, it does not belong here, no matter how badly written the actual romance is. That's more likely a Romantic Plot Tumor.
  4. Most importantly, a couple falling into this does not automatically mean they are a bad couple, so there is no need to go ballistic and start an Edit War if you see your favorite couple on here. A couple can elicit this reaction and still be a very great couple, just like a Deus ex Machina does not automatically make a plot twist a bad one.

Has absolutely nothing to do with The Red Stapler or String-on-Finger Reminder. Also not to supposed to be confused with what Lyer is shown doing to World in the MW animations. If someone literally uses a red string on someone else to make them fall in love with them, it's a Love Potion.

Warning: potential spoilers abound.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • While Natsu and Lucy of Fairy Tail have yet to become an Official Couple, signs of this trope are becoming clear in the sequel, Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest. Any romantic undertones between the two are only truly apparent via two separate pairs of doppelgangers that are stated romantic relationships(Nack and Lucia of Fairy Nail, and Natsu Dragion and Lucy Ashley of Edolas Fairy Tail). This implies that Because Destiny Says So is in effect with their relationship, in spite of their strong platonic bond throughout the original series.
  • Aquarion Evol has Kagura and Zessica. Both spent all the story chasing after their respective love interest, and never had any single interaction in the entire show. Come the final episode, both of them get rejected and suddenly they are interested in each other. It all looked very forced, starting with Kagura suddenly saying he thinks Mikono and Amata make a lovely couple when one episode ago he was fighting Amata over her and screaming about never giving her up to anyone. It was obvious they did this to get them out of the Official Couple's way, but for it to make sense you'd have to forget everything about Kagura and Zessica's whole character and everything that happened before.
  • In all adaptations of Area 88, flashbacks show Ryoko falling in love with Shin after only having known him a few minutes. The two characters have nothing in common, and neither one understands what makes the other tick. The sole purpose of the relationship seems to be that Shin will have someone to pine for during his involuntary servitude at Area 88.
  • At the very end of Boku no Futatsu no Tsubasa the long series of romantic arcs end with Mako and Hiromi ending up together which had never been hinted at all and Hiromi is the very reason Mako comes back to Earth — instead of going down the cousin/sister relationship route that had been developing since the start.
  • Daikichi and Rin in the Bunny Drop manga. They have a very strong bond throughout the manga, yes, however, it's not presented as anything but familial until after the timeskip.
  • Ceres, Celestial Legend:
    • From the first moment Aya and Touya meet it's obvious that they would be the Official Couple, but the whole thing happens too fast and very awkwardly. Basically, they've had at least five minutes of interaction in different scenarios until Touya takes Aya to his apartment where she suddenly declares that she loves him. Slightly justified by him being an evolved life form made out of a divine energy ball and was basically wired to serve and protect his family, hence the instant love for application of this instinct.
    • Aya and Yuuhi come across as this in the final chapter. Yuuhi has been in love with Aya the entire series, with hints of him and Chidori as a potential couple at times, and he seems to have accepted Aya and Touya being together. Then the final chapter has Touya telling Yuuhi that he was likely going to die soon and that Yuuhi should take care of Aya and their child when that happens.
  • Ohgi and Villetta of Code Geass, hoo boy. The former falls in love with the latter even though she is a Britannian spy under amnesia. Even after she tries to kill him after regaining her memories, all it takes for their relationship to continue is Ohgi shielding Villetta from kunais thrown by Sayoko. Not to mention that Villetta was spying on Lelouch, keeping him from going back into the rebellion full-stop for the sake of her being a Baroness, and Ohgi later takes her spotty evidence on him regarding Geass to heart in betraying him. It's not so much about it being an unbelievable romance plot as it is a serious case of Character Derailment for Ohgi, who has let his love for Villetta go to his head, and trust the latter, who isn't the most reliable source of information, over Lelouch, who while questionable himself, has still done more good than bad for the Black Knights, and never even gets the chance to explain himself.
  • The relationship between Johnny Burnett and Eida Rosso in Dancougar Nova comes out of nowhere, feels rushed and never serves much of a purpose.
  • Digimon Adventure 02:
  • DNA2:
    • Played with between Junta and Karin. Karin always planned that, once she found a guy she wanted to settle down with, she'd simply shoot him with a DMC bullet that altered him in a way to love her. And when Junta shows interest in Karin, she thinks she accidentally shot him with said bullet. It turns out to not be the case and their mutual feelings come from themselves.
    • Played straight with Junta and Ami. The two have been friends since they were children, with Ami obviously carrying a torch for him, but not saying anything and Junta simply seeing her as a childhood friend. At the end of the story, Karin decides to return to the future and shoots Junta with one last DMC bullet to remove the playboy DNA and any memory of her and the events that transpired, with Junta last seen meeting Ami.
  • Doctor Slump: A lampshaded and Played for Laughs example. In early chapters, Senbei and Midori have an embarrassing stalker/Lust Object type of relationship and Midori seems mostly oblivious to Senbei's love for her. Then at some point, there was an Accidental Proposal while Midori was in the bathroom: she overhears, immediately accepts, and the next thing you know, the two are hitched. They are Happily Married for the rest of the series. This was intentional since the author explicitly stated he doesn't like writing romances. Downplayed in later chapters since Arale/Obotchaman, Taro/Tsururin, and Akane/Tsukutsun have slightly more developed relationships (Word of God stated that all these relationships were his editor's ideas).
  • Most pairings in Dragon Ball Z and its continuities (though Gohan/Videl actually averts it, since the two take a while to develop their feelings). A few characters marry and have kids during the series's frequent time skips with little on-screen development. To the author's credit, the reason for the lack of development is because he's stated in interviews that he doesn't care for romance, and most of the couples hook up during a Time Skip of several years, allowing the readers' imaginations to run wild.
    • Vegeta and Bulma actually became a fan-favorite relationship partly due to this trope. The romantic competition (poor Yamcha) was dumped so suddenly, and the sudden hook up was so unlikely (they had barely spoken, and he had killed her boyfriend and many of her friends) that it ended up being hilarious, and left a lot of space for people to make stuff up. It helps that they didn't actually get legally married — they just hooked up and had a kid together, and it took a while for their relationship to become an actual loving one.
  • The relationship between Sieg and Jeanne in Fate/Apocrypha is easily the most common critique of it. On one end, a Blank Slate with no discernible personality to start with that is effectively "maturing" as he experiences life and the war. On the other, a sainted virgin sworn away from romance and with massive responsibilities bearing down on her. Time it takes for Jeanne to start crushing on Sieg, a state she'll be in for the rest of the series: the same episode she meets him in. Granted, Jeanne's personality is being influenced by her human host (though Laeticia herself denies influencing Jeanne's romantic feelings directly), and it takes up to Jeanne's sacrifice before Sieg truly begins to understand how he feels about her outside of "friendship" (making it more of a one-sided crush). Jeanne even angsts about her feelings in private and is even pushed into a Heroic BSoD by a Breaking Speech where one of the villains points out as a holy maiden she shouldn't be falling for anyone. It's only by the Distant Finale (where Sieg has spent untold years mulling over the events of the series and his feelings while Jeanne has been trying endlessly to reach him) do both of them finally admit their feelings for each other—but it's still barely elaborated why they have feelings for each other, outside of being the male and female leads.
  • The ending of Hayate the Combat Butler heavily implies that Hayate and Nagi become an Official Couple, which is odd since it was just 7 chapters ago that it was established he doesn't love her, which is what kicked off the finale in the first place.
  • The original Mobile Suit Gundam has Amuro Ray and Lalah Sune, who despite being on opposite sides of a war, instantly fall in love the first time they meet. It's justified in-universe by their Psychic Powers causing them to mindlink and thus know each other better than they know anybody else, but that doesn't make the relationship anymore real to the audience or give us a reason to care about them.
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam:
    • Newtype romance ended up becoming a staple of the franchise, with one of the most blatant examples being Kamille Bidan and Four Murasame. They spend about twenty minutes in each other's company and suddenly can't live without each other, despite being opposite sides, and Four at least was initially characterised as a borderline psychopath and only got Hidden Depths later (whereas Lalah at least was a Nice Girl). Many fans like the relationship despite this, not least for the Character Development it forces onto the previously-unlikable Kamille.
    • Amuro and Beltorchika Irma are making out for the third time an episode after meeting, though this is somewhat justified in that Amuro was trying to unconsciously use Beltorchika as an "excuse" to not go into space and relive the utter trauma he was into. In Amuro's next appearance, he is already with Chan Agi, another girl he barely talks to — apparently, because of Executive Meddling that didn't let the creators use Beltorchika's character as Amuro's CCA girlfriend. Notably, Yoshiyuki Tomino penned a novelization of Char's Counterattack called Beltorchika's Children, which was specifically written to be adapted as a film (Sunrise instead chose to adapt High Streamer, an earlier work of Tomino's); in it, Beltorchika appears in Chan's place and assumes her role, only she is explicitly noted to be pregnant with Amuro's child and survives the events of the novel as opposed to Chan in CCA proper.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, Shinn and Lunamaria who up to then had been Just Friends get together right after he has apparently killed her previous love interest and her little sister. It can be argued that Lunamaria was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and neither she nor Shinn was thinking straight, but even fans of the pairing dislike how they actually hooked up. Making this somewhat more prickly is the Word of God statement from director Mitsuo Fukuda that their relationship was the only pure one in the whole series, which fans of the other couples took as a giant middle finger. Since Kenichi Suzumura and Maaya Sakamoto (Shinn and Lunamaria's VAs, respectively) got married in real life in 2011, this became both Hilarious and Heartwarming in Hindsight.
  • This is especially prevalent with Asemu Asuno and Romary Stone in Mobile Suit Gundam AGE: After joining the military, they very rarely interact on-screen and neither of them seems to get past the point of "I like you but what are words" for the whole series, plus Romary has feelings for both him and Zeheart. To resolve this, there is a flashback to one conversation between them in Episode 28 and then the generation ends with the wedding. It does not help either, though, that Asemu and Romary's relationship was already more of a default given than anything else right from the beginning: Their son in the Third Generation, Kio, had been leaked to have Romary's hair color even before the entire series has started airing in the first place.
  • Naruto: The second-to-last chapter of the original Naruto series seems to imply that Ax-Crazy Rival Turned Evil Sasuke has finally seen the error of his ways, and will try to make amends for the horrible way he has treated his former teammate Sakura, who has gone through hell on account of her irrationally persistent love for him. The Distant Finale reveals that Sasuke and Sakura ended up married and had a daughter together. Theoretically, this might have made logical sense given the time scale, but from the viewers' perspective, one moment Sasuke was trying to kill Sakura, showing utter indifference for her well-being and openly rejecting her (even invoking What Does She See in Him? on himself), and the next moment he was married to her. Back at the beginning of the series, it was pretty clear that Sakura was crushing on him, but it never came across as genuine love; they never shared a real conversation in the manga, and Sakura's feelings seemed to basically amount to "he's really strong and really hot." By the later parts Sasuke had become so hostile to Sakura that this sudden turn to marriage and offspring was completely unpredictable and impossible to understand unless you were wearing Shipping Goggles. This does end up being acknowledged more in Naruto Gaiden and its Boruto anime arc adaptation, where the faults of the relationship are brought under the spotlight and explored, even if they aren't quite resolved.
  • Adette and Gouly from Overman King Gainer are both leaders of their respective squads but do not talk much and never have a romantic moment until the final two episodes. Adette kisses Gouly to awaken him from being Brainwashed and Crazy and the next episode sees her holding him and flirting with him. The only setup is the fact that Adette loves strong men, and Gouly is a badass ninja. Apparently, the Banpresto developers did not like the handling of the Adette/Gouly pairing; in Super Robot Wars K, this ship is unceremoniously sunk when Adette gets back with her previous love interest after the Overdevil's defeat.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Apparently the demand for Ryoga to get a happy ending led to the creation of Akari Unryu, who is so perfect for Ryoga, and shows up few times in her subsequent appearances.
    • Mousse got some major attempts at redeeming his character, which can actually come off as rather jarring due to spending the early series trying to kill Ranma, and once boasted along the lines that he would gladly break any rules and forsake any honor to get Shampoo, though Shampoo never changed her opinion of him — while she did occasionally show him some "soft" moments, she spent most of the series outright abusing him and on one occasion was perfectly willing to go and play video games while abandoning him to what she believed would be certain death at the hands of a life-sapping demon.
    • Ukyo got an (attempted) and very literal Last Minute Hookup in the form of an effeminate transvestite ninja master, Konatsu, who appeared less than Akari did (this relation is still ambiguous).
    • For some fans, even Ranma and Akane, for their tense relationship and constant fights.
  • Junji Ito wrote a short story called Red String in which this trope is played out literally and, and since it's Junji Ito, with a nice dose of Body Horror.
  • Samurai 7 has the village priestess, Kirara, and Katsushiro, act like they're developing feelings for each other for most of the series. And then suddenly at the end of the series, she announces that she wants to marry the man she's fallen in love with... who turns out to be Kanbei, despite there never having been the slightest hint that the two of them were actually attracted to each other.
  • Tails and Cosmo's relationship in season three of Sonic X. There's really no reason why Tails fell for Cosmo so suddenly, or why Cosmo was paired up with Tails instead of any of the other (and older) males on the Blue Typhoon. And this pairing was strangled together even in-universe. In one particular episode, the Chaotix try several methods to pair the two together. They do this because... um... well, uh... BECAUSE!
  • The manga version of Sorcerer Hunters does this with the Carrot/Tira pairing. While it's made clear how Tira feels about Carrot, Carrot's own feelings are rarely brought into question, and even the few moments where he does seem to notice her as more than a sister figure seem to fall short of convincing anyone this hook-up happened for any other reason other than that they were destined all along.
  • Thanks to the Time Skip, pretty much any canon couple in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann save for Simon/Nia and Kamina/Yoko.
  • Urusei Yatsura:
    • A case where this might actually be the happy ending; initially Shinobu, the Tsundere with Super Strength, seems to be the Unlucky Childhood Friend, though she legitimately falls out of love with Ataru Moroboshi due to recognizing that he is an apparently irredeemable Lovable Sex Maniac. Her next choice of crushes? Handsome Lech and Royal Brat Shuutaro Mendo, who's not only just as bad as Ataru in terms of lustfulness but is also chasing after Cute Monster Girl Lum. Meanwhile, she's being pursued by the gonkiest character in the series, a hulking, repulsive moron who repeatedly tries to ambush her. Finally, she earns the attention of Inaba, a shy and clumsy, but sweet, innocent and genuinely romantic character, whom she grows quite fond of. And then he only shows up in about one story.
    • Ryuunosuke likewise has this happen to her. Towards the end of the manga, it is revealed she has an Arranged Marriage with a boy named Nagisa Shiowatari, who only shows up in a pair of two-part storylines, the big manga finale, and a single OAV. The two are seemingly setup as a perfect gender-blurring couple, since they're both surprisingly badass Wholesome Crossdressers with crazy fathers, just from opposite angles. The problem? Ryuunosuke can't stand Nagisa; she wants to be normal, he embraces his faux-womanhood, his massive appetite repels the impoverished Ryuunosuke, and he's an uncontrollable cuddlebug whilst she Hates Being Touched, since her only familiarity with physical contact is either her father beating her senseless or Ataru trying to grope her.
  • Takanashi and Inami of WORKING!!. On a series that works on Status Quo Is God, Takanashi goes from not liking being with Inami but having his nice moments with her, to blindly loving her more than anyone else in the world with zero explanation, despite Inami being the exact opposite of his tastes and, well, punching him in the face when he gets close. And no, him liking her doesn't make her stop punching him.
    • This becomes somewhat averted by the 3rd season of the anime, where Inami's androphobia gets better to the point that she no longer punches Takanashi on sight, and he is even able to make physical contact with her and hold her hand. Takanashi himself also begins to notice how nice and cute an Inami that doesn't hit men is.
  • Kitty and Bobby in X-Men: Misfits. The two barely interacted, he always seemed disinterested in her, Kitty never had any concrete interest or chemistry with him, but there is a hint at a Last Minute Hookup at the end of the story.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Yusei and Aki in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's. There are maybe seven or eight episodes in a 154-episode series where they have any significant interaction, and Aki spends the first four of those episodes trying to murder Yusei. Immediately after the last of those four episodes, at which point they've spent less than an hour of real time together, she immediately falls in love with him and the majority of her dialogue becomes Say My Name. Even after that, Yusei has more interaction with Kiryu over the course of Crashtown's six episodes than with Aki over the entire series. This one could be justified by Yusei not being comfortable with Aki's interest in and devotion to him when she'd previously been fairly unstable, but it's never brought up, thanks to Aki being severely Demoted to Extra.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V has four pairs of dimensional counterparts. In the final episode, there's a scene of each of them looking at each other fondly, in parallel with the other pairs, implying that they're destined for one another. The problem? Most of them have barely interacted over the course of a 146-episode series. Yuya and Yuzu get the most interaction, but they still spend almost the entire series apartnote , and they were at most best friends (Yuzu's obvious crush notwithstanding) before being separated. The pairings of Yugo/Rin and Yuto/Ruri straight-up never interact onscreen while not brainwashed, but they at least had some level of prior history and got flashbacks that showed their relationships. And then there's Yuri and Serena, who not only never canonically interacted as far as we know, but were on opposite sides, with the former being an unrepentant psychotic villain! The overall effect reads less as true love sufficient to break dimensional boundaries and more as Because Destiny Says So elevating one-sided, barely-there, or nonexistent relationships to that level.
  • More or less parodied in Yu Yu Hakusho, where Kuwabara sees Yukina on a videotape once and decides that she is his soul mate and even provides a visual of the Red String of Fate. When he finally meets her and treats her almost like this, she seems more confused than anything and just goes along with it. Toward the end of the series, though, the relationship does seem to be on a more serious note.
  • Sorta alluded to in Zettai Shoujo Seiiki Amnesian, where Himeko feels that Chikane's utterly intense devotion and love for her is too rushed. Granted, this happened twice before (in Destiny of the Shrine Maiden and Shattered Angels), it shouldn't be surprising.

    Asian Animation 
  • In the Simple Samosa episode "Spa Wars", Samosa's gang tries to stop a rivalry between two spas. Their efforts lead to Appa, one of the dueling spamasters, trying to grab his spa equipment remote from Jalebi's sticky head when the other spamaster, Amma, sees what's happening. Appa quickly explains that the whole reason he built his spa so close to hers is that he had been searching the whole world for her and wanted to be with her, leading to the two quickly becoming Sickeningly Sweethearts and get married. The official Simple Samosa website's character bios, which were released before the episode did, actually do make mention of them as "long-lost lovers", but there's still nothing in the episode itself that so much as implies a possible romantic relationship between them. In-universe, even Samosa's gang themselves are surprised the moment Amma calls Appa "Jinjilu."
    Samosa: [does a Jaw Drop with an Overly Long Tongue] "Jinjilu?!"
    Dhokla: Oh, I can't believe this!
    Jalebi: Samosa, put your tongue back in your mouth.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman Beyond: Terry and Melanie's relationship in the cartoon was already a borderline case because of the brief timespan over which it occurred, but it fully falls into this in the 2016 run of the comic. Almost a decade after their two short relationships that totalled less than a week, Melanie is still completely in love with Terry and making all of her decisions based on what she thinks will impress him. When they see each other for the first time in years without masks, they start kissing, while Terry is still with his longtime girlfriend. A few issues later and they're dating and talking as if they've known each other for years, and Terry still hasn't had an on-screen breakup with his girlfriend.
  • Fantastic Four: Torch and Crystal barely even speak three sentences to each other before declaring themselves lovers-for-life, and the Torch spends the next several arcs pining over Crystal. Still, Johnny was awfully young in those days, but it's not as if he and Crystal stayed together for very long after they were reunited. Subverted in Ultimate Fantastic Four, where he quotes the 'Lovers-for-life' verbatim... then shrugs and admits "I just thought we might get a good thing going." Sue proceeds to voice what pretty much everyone is thinking with "For God's sake Johnny, you've known her for an hour!"
  • Hellblazer: Epiphany Greaves and John Constantine's romance sees them quickly thrown together with little to no actual development. Furthermore, it results in John acting extremely out of character on multiple occasions. To add insult to injury, John's exes show up for their wedding... and they're all portrayed as being jealous, with any other characterization being thrown under the bus in a failed attempt to make the pairing (and Epiphany) look better.
  • Subverted in the Infinite Crisis storyline "One Year Later". It had Diana suddenly involved in a relationship with Nemesis (Tom Tresser), a new co-worker and long-time minor DC character. Many fans felt this new hookup was rushed at best, especially since Tom was considerably more boorish than in previous appearances. Eventually, in Wonder Woman #32, it's revealed that Diana never loved Tom at all; she kinda liked him but was mostly just exploiting his feelings towards her to get him to father her daughters and replenish the Amazon population. So, instead of her loving a jerk, she's a borderline sexual predator taking advantage of his feelings! What an impro-wait, what?
  • In an oddly well-done example, Mockingbird and Hawkeye, who got married literally a fortnight after meeting. The two realized they had chemistry after knowing each other for about a day (during which they spent most of it bickering, though in an old married couple kind of way), and decided to get married as soon as possible. However, since they do have great chemistry, have similar personalities, and fighting styles which compliment the other, they work well together despite the questionable introduction and, while they're currently broken up and have had several falling outs and breakups, they remain one of Marvel's most popular pairs. Still, Captain America telling Clint that getting married to a girl he just met is the most responsible thing he ever did makes for a narmy moment.
  • Runaways:
    • For most of the original series, Chase showed an obvious attraction to Karolina, completely oblivious to the signs that she was a lesbian, but suddenly fell in love with Gert after the latter saved his life. The 2017 series attempts to hang a lampshade on this, retconning that the actual beginning of their relationship was sometime after they broke out of foster care.
    • Karolina Dean and Xavin. The entire basis for their relationship was that she was a lonely, depressed teenage lesbian, and Xavin was able to become female, and also, they had an Arranged Marriage that had to be consummated or else three different worlds would be destroyed, the result of Karolina's evil parents' machinations. That Karolina had a history of suicidal tendencies gave their relationship some Unfortunate Implications that Brian K. Vaughan apparently had no interest in averting (the little that is shown of Karolina's time among the Skrulls suggests that Xavin kept her completely isolated throughout their courtship). Even Joss Whedon seemed to struggle to make their relationship look good before finally just making Xavin female. Later on, Terry Moore put Xavin on a bus.
    • Victor Mancha completely falling for a girl named Lillie the very same day he met her, even going so far to start having wet dreams about her, and cheating on his current girlfriend Nico the very next day. The fact that Nico herself pushed Victor to cheat on her and later justified it as them having discovered "true love" was way too much to swallow. Especially considering that original creator, Brian K. Vaughan, took a long time to develop Victor and Nico's relationship, from a mistake to a real bond of love, before leaving. What's worse, the girl doesn't even stay with him in the end, so the thing just ended up looking like a messy plan to break up Victor and Nico. Makes you wonder if Joss Whedon hated poor Victor or something.
    • Rainbow Rowell's Runaways has Nico and Karolina. While there has been a lot of Unresolved Sexual Tension between them over the years, the actual romantic relationship comes at an extremely awkward time, when Karolina has only recently been dumped by her girlfriend Julie, which rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way and led to accusations that Rowell was pandering to fans of the show (where Nico and Karolina have been a couple from the beginning) in order to boost sales. Of course, the pairing has always been very popular in the fandom, so most fans have since forgiven the less-than-ideal timing.
  • Marko and Alana of Saga are a great couple of characters in a stable relationship. It's downright bizarre that special agent Gale claims Marko was transferred to Alana's prison facility but within 12 hours she had helped him escape and they were on the run. Flashbacks nail down that there was zero chemistry when he called her to his cell (she hit him with her rifle butt to get him to stop yammering about conscientious objection). Shortly afterward she stole his translation rings out of lockup so she could read Heist's interracial romance novel to him. Sometime in the afternoon, he revealed that he was being transferred to another prison and she broke him out.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics):
    • Antoine and Bunnie Rabbot were thrown together in one story with almost no build-up beyond the same issue they got together revealing that Antoine had once saved Bunnie's life. Thankfully, the relationship was well handled after that point, and it was easier to accept than most examples because neither of them had any romantic chemistry with other characters. The reboot kept them a couple but handled it differently by giving them a relationship built on mutual support and inspiration.
    • Worse off is the Echidna race — according to Word of God, echidnas have what is called "the Soultouch" — a sixth sense that also acts as a literal Red String for them and that once they've found their soul mate, they pretty much stay together, although there are some exceptions. This is why Knuckles and Julie-Su hooked up only after 24 issues and why he hasn't been broken up with her.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Following the much-loathed comic One More Day, (an event which nullified Peter Parker's 20-year marriage to Mary Jane Watson) editor in chief of Marvel Joe Quesada's first order of business was to establish a new love interest for Peter, who just happened to be named after Quesada's own daughter. Despite how much the readers hated Carlie, Quesada was so hellbent on setting her up to be Spidey's true love that even Mary Jane herself was supporting her on Quesada's behalf.
    • It happens again in the prelude to the Spider-Verse event when Spider-Man starts a relationship with newcomer Silk. Thing is, their relationship only happens because of a pheromone that makes them crazy for one another. That means Spider-Man is being strangled, and Silk is the one pulling on the red string.
  • X-Men:
    • Colossus' instant infatuation with Zsaji in Secret Wars (1984) counts — despite his long-established relationship with Kitty Pryde, he falls head over heels for the alien after she heals his injuries. Possibly justified by Be Careful What You Wish For, as some theorize that Zsaji was the Battleworld granting Colossus' wish for "the perfect girlfriend". It was also implied that Zsaji's healing powers also created some degree of an emotional bond between her and the recipient. In Real Life, the reason for the instant romance was Executive MeddlingJim Shooter, who wrote the story, was becoming increasingly concerned and alarmed at Chris Claremont's romantic pairing of Colossus, who was 19-20 at the time, and Kitty Pryde, who was 14, especially after scenes where Kitty had offered herself sexually out of despair to Colossus (he refused) and where the two shared a kiss. He took the opportunity of Secret Wars to completely and (he thought) irrevocably sink the Kitty/Colossus ship. It would not be raised until decades later, and both characters were of legal age.
    • Scott dating Emma Frost. What's really bad is the excuse given for why they're dating so soon after Jean's death is "not" a rebound relationship (Grant Morrison had them have an adulterous psychic affair before Jean's death, but realistically that was Emma — his supposed therapist — unethically taking advantage of him when he was vulnerable). As proof it was contrived, there is this Bad Future that Jean needed to avert. Going back in time, like every other such future, somehow wasn't an option this time. Instead, the only options were 1. Scott and Emma didn't get together, the X-Men would fall apart and things go all to holy hell; or 2. Jean brainwashes her husband into forgetting his feelings for Jean and giving in to his attraction to Emma.
    • Black Panther and Storm's marriage resulted from Reginald Hudlin's hamfisted railroading of the relationship from casual acquaintance to Wedding of Perfect Couple as soon as possible and were made out as some kind of First Couple of Black Superheroes. Subsequent writers were not subtle about their distaste for the pairing and found any possible reason to have Storm go on missions with the X-Men or for T'Challa to have solo adventures. After the events of Avengers vs. X-Men, where the two fought, their marriage has been annulled.note 
    • Sabretooth & Monet is a big example. After Secret Wars (2015), the books have an 8-month time-skip with many off-panel developments, which includes the start of this romance in Bunn's Uncanny X-Men. The Ship Tease is in full effect the first issue as they engage in Snark-to-Snark Combat. Psylocke reveals it's typical behavior by asking if they were still bickering, why they don't just Get a Room!, and thinking they may be flirting. The seeds of romance were planted asap. Bunn confirmed they had a torturous love & their feelings were so apparent, six characters could see it throughout the two books they shared. Yuriko has an exposition moment in Weapon X 22 when her elaboration on Monet was "as in Sabretooth ex-girlfriend." Domino, Deadpool, and Omega Red shipped them. Domino gushes at them twice, Deadpool impatiently asks when they're gonna kiss, and Omega Red grins at them during a heartfelt convo. She & Creed never met prior to all this and we skipped straight to them already being in love with numerous sources pointing it out.note  note 
    • Bobby Drake/Iceman and Kitty Pryde/Shadowcat. As of the seventh issue of the Wolverine and the X-Men comic, Bobby and Kitty have shared two kisses, despite how they've spent years as distant acquaintances at best. They had a decent relationship arc in the Ultimate Marvel universe, and writers have been known to mix the two up before. It comes completely out of nowhere in the main Marvel Universe. However, this, too, was crashed into the ground, this time by the events of Battle of the Atom after Kitty gets fed up with Wolverine's Holier Than Thou attitude and, after chewing out Iceman for not trying to stand up for himself and leaning towards Wolverine's way of thinking, breaks it off and goes to join Cyclops' team.
    • Iceman gets it again in his solo series, which began shortly after he came out as gay. This was already contentious among some fans who felt like it came out of nowhere, and many complained that the series seemed far more interested in being a Coming-Out Story than a superhero book. While in L.A. Bobby goes out with a guy whom he found on a dating app, winds up sleeping with him, and immediately decides to move in with him, which of course means relocating across the country and leaving the X-Men. Must have been some really good sex, huh?
    • X-23 and Angel of the O5 getting together in All-New X-Men. Despite having not interacted on-panel at all through the first two story arcs after Laura joins the team — and in fact, Laura having been Ship Teased with an entirely different character altogether up to that point — Warren suddenly decides he's interested in her in the third. It comes so far out of left field that many fans are convinced that the romantic plot was meant for Laura and Scott (the character with whom she was being teased in the first two arcs), but some combination of Executive Meddling and his leaving the book for the Cyclops series forced Bendis to revise the plan and he just picked a random member of the O5 who wasn't doing anything else important. Such views are only reinforced by accusations that Warren has become a Satellite Love Interest in the second volume, with everything about his character in the first few issues revolving around his relationship with Laura.
    • The relationship between Rachel Summers and Nightcrawler in X-Men: Gold seems to be viewed like this by most fans, as they get together with zero buildup, almost never spend any time around each other and generally don't display much chemistry as a couple. Since the writer of X-Men: Gold, Marc Guggenheim, has flat out said that the main focus of X-Men Gold is the romance and wedding between Kitty Pryde and Colossus it makes one wonder why he even put Rachel and Kurt together in the first place as them being a couple contributes nothing to the overall plot. One issue even made fun of their lack of screentime together.
    • Mystique and Sabretooth is a villainous example. In the '90s, Victor has critically wounds Raven without a problem on two occasions. On her end, Raven has raped, used, and poisoned him. She tries to hurt him by taking the form of his dead mother, seems to find him disgusting in X-Factor while having feelings for Forge. Come Aaron's 2010 X-run, they're a couple, captioned in Wolverine #300 as "Marvel's Hottest and Deadliest New Couple". Since then, Creed has consistently been depicted as loving her, to the point that hurting her is a Berserk Button. Inverted Rogue threatened to kill her in front of him just to hurt him & Lady Mastermind has pointed out that he thinks Mystique the be all and end all. Mystique's feelings for him vary. On good days, she's very affectionate with him, but on bad days, she's got no issue selling him out or being willing to sacrifice him in favor of reviving Destiny.
  • During his run on The Avengers writer Jonathan Hickman paired up his new character, Izzy "Smasher II" Kane and former X-Man and current Avenger, Cannonball. Up to that point, Avengers readers would be hard-pressed to name a time the two had even talked to each other, let alone established a relationship. In the space of a couple of years, Smasher and Cannonball went from "Didn't know they knew each other's real names" during "The Builder Wars" to "they have a son together" by the time of "Time Runs Out."
  • All-New Ultimates: The fight against the Femme Fatales ended, and the focus suddenly moves to Cloak and Dagger breaking up, something that had no previous build up.
  • The Uncanny Avengers run brought us Havok paired with The Wasp. After approximately three issues of flirting, readers were suddenly flung into a time skip where they were married with a five-year-old daughter. And then, after timey-wimey stuff caused said kid to get erased, everyone to get sent back to the present, and Alex to get turned evil, he kidnaps Jan to "make sure they get their daughter back", and nothing has been touched on either character in the current time since.
  • The Avengers #200 did this to such an amazingly offensive level that in a later comic, Chris Claremont had Carol Danvers (the woman involved) deliver a What the Hell, Hero? / "The Reason You Suck" Speech to her fellow Avengers.
  • Downplayed in a two-issue story arc in Aquaman following Aqualad visiting his mother's homeland of Xebel. The very first person he meets is a gay Xebellian soldier called Ha'Wea and the two are instantly attracted to each other and immediately begin flirting, despite the fact that Jackson is on an extremely time-sensitive mission and can't afford to be distracted, and Ha'Wea should probably be arresting him as an unidentified intruder. To be fair, they are shown having a long conversation demonstrating that they have as much in common as a kid from New Mexico and an undersea peasant can have, and at the end neither of them declares the other to be his one true love and drops his entire life to be with him, it's more of a "call me" situation.
  • During the New 52 era, editors were that adamant on pairing Wonder Woman with Superman, that they did not dig much deeper for chemistry than the obvious "they're both famous Flying Brick heroes with primary-color outfits." They had exactly one short and mundane exchange before dating without seduction period, while Wonder Woman dumped her ordinary, yet irreproachable usual boyfriend Steve Trevor with no explanation. Then the path to Superman and Diana’s rupture was full of petty arguments, proving they had not much in common, in fact, something not helped by Diana being heavily written as a violent warrior at the time. To make things even worse for Diana, Superman was as usual actually attracted to Lois Lane but put it on hold as she was dating someone else when they met that time. (Not that their shared book wasn't seemingly aware of it; a few issues had Diana become a writer.) In the subsequent continuity overhaul, Rebirth, the situation came back to normal, as the pre-Flashpoint Superman took over and was married to Lois Lane. Superman Reborn went as far as to remove the entire Clark/Diana relationship from continuity.
  • From Hawkman:
    • Kendra Saunders with Carter Hall. It was seemingly meant to be a deconstruction of Hawkman and Hawkgirl's "eternal love", as Kendra was a reincarnation of Hawkgirl who not only didn't remember her previous lives but also didn't have feelings for Carter, preferring a Screw Destiny view of her fate. Meanwhile, he just... assumed they'd be together because that's how it had always been! Kendra actually was in relationships with other characters, including a well-received one with Roy Harper. People generally preferred Hawkgirl this way, as a strong independent character. Meanwhile, Carter was very publicly projecting his expectations and feelings for Shiera onto Kendra, which she made clear she hated. Then she started showing some attraction to Carter because... reasons? Then taken to ridiculous lengths in Blackest Night, where Carter casually insults and rebuffs his best friend in a Jerkass moment even for Carter, leading to Kendra immediately deciding how hard it is not to love him, just to satisfy the prophecy that they declare their love just before they die in each incarnation, as they die in that very same issue, Kendra's last words being a proclamation of love for Carter.
    • Katar and Shayera Post-Crisis. In Hawkworld, he's a Defector from Decadence who is frustrated with his society's class system and his people's treatment of other races. So obviously he falls for... Shayera, who publicly torments a servant right in front of him and callously murders what she considers lesser life. There is actually zero reason given for his attraction to her, as it's made clear that her behaviour disgusts him. Unless he just thinks she's hot, but after her death, he plays it up as some significant relationship.
    • The Official Couple of the current series is the human Hawkman Carter Hall and the Thanagarian Hawkwoman Shayera Thal. Since they’ve spent most of their lives on different planets, they had no personal interactions before she showed up to stop him (briefly possessed by an evil past life) from killing a bunch of people. From that moment on, they and everyone around them simply took it for granted that they were together because they are Hawkman and Hawkwoman. They both speak as if they have a long history together, which, in a sense they do, but it doesn’t change the fact that as individuals they had never met up until that point. It actually seems fairly plausible from Carter's side of the relationship, since the series had gone to great pains to show how important Hawkwoman has been to him over their lives together and he is characterised as very world-weary and weighed down by his history and memories, so it makes sense that he would be eager for companionship from the only other person who would understand. However, Shayera was previously in a relationship with the deceased Katar Hol (who is explicitly noted to be one of Carter's previous reincarnations) and when she appeared in Justice League only a few months before joining the series, she was still mourning Katar and had definitely not moved on, as she had created a realistic simulation of him to quell her loneliness. This makes her rushing into a relationship with Carter seem forced, and frankly really unhealthy.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Donna Troy and Terry Long. You'll hardly find anyone who likes the pairing. They had non-existent chemistry, and it doesn't help that Terry was a sleazy Wolfman look-alike. Or he was ten years older than her. Or he was her college professor. Or Terry's ex-wife predicted he'd divorce Donna because he feels emasculated by her and gets bored easily (which is exactly what eventually happened). Or he took their son away from Donna because she was a "bad" influence...
    • Tim Drake (Robin III) and Cassie Sandsmark (Wonder Girl II) from Teen Titans. Given the fact that they had a very platonic interaction before the hookup, that Wonder Girl was the girlfriend of Robin's dead best friend Superboy, and the reason they kissed in the first place was due to mutual mourning of said person... yeah, it was definitely a trainwreck. Fans of both Wonder Girl and Robin sighed a collective breath of relief when the pairing didn't go anywhere and was allowed to end.
    • Titans (Rebirth) has quite a few in one issue no less. One issue focuses almost entirely on the romantic troubles of the team, like a love triangle between Wally West, Donna Troy, and Roy Harper. Wally has shown zero feelings for Donna, but they end up making out because Linda Park "breaks up" with him (they weren't a proper couple anymore) and both understand what it's like to have messed up memories. Rushed, to say the least, but at least logical. The worse offender is Lilith and Garth, who get together because... no reason stated. And they've barely interacted before this issue. But because Lilith is a psychic, she says she's known that Garth has been hiding his feelings for her.
  • From the DC Rebirth relaunch:
    • In general, it has quite a few because of its very nature. Because it's a return to DC's roots and a spiritual return to the pre-Flashpoint universe, it has a lot of characters that were Fan-Preferred Couple but weren't couples anymore (as a result of Flashpoint) getting back together. The problem is that it rushes them quite a bit because it assumes a level of familiarity with the reader.
    • An example would be Green Arrow and Black Canary suddenly pining for each other after one meeting (where they didn't even speak) in DC Universe: Rebirth #1. Their relationship was expanded upon in the Green Arrow (Rebirth) series where it made more sense, as the two actually got to know each other, at least.
    • From that same issue, Wally West and Linda Park. It works a little better since Wally explicitly remembers the timeline pre-Flashpoint (though Linda doesn't), but it's still weird for new readers who don't know about the two. He does explain why they fell in love, but it's a case of him telling not showing, as you just can't condense over a hundred issues into a single scene. This version of their relationship was also prevalent in Titans (Rebirth), where it ended with the two never becoming a couple like Wally wanted. To say fans are not amused when it comes to the handling of the Flash couple is an understatement.
    • Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown in Detective Comics (Rebirth) suffered from the same problem as the above. Many don't like that Tim and Steph were depicted in a relationship together with no prior buildup. James Tynion assumes a lot of familiarity and fondness for the characters and their relationships from the pre-Flashpoint era, and as such lots of the relationships, romantic or not, come across as sudden. Tim and Steph are no exception. Tim's Dying Declaration of Love feels hollow for this reason, as does Steph's The Mourning After status.
  • The page picture is from Ms. Marvel (2014) — it's a cover from an arc that promises romance between Kamala and another superhero, Red Dagger, who until this point had all of one, brief appearance in the book. Apparently, somebody knew how it's gonna feel to fans and decided to throw a bit of Lampshade Hanging. In the comic proper, the storyline the cover was from actually ended badly — Kamala is so distraught when news organizations come to flock to Red Dagger that she up and walks away, pulling a 10-Minute Retirement that has Dagger searching high and low for her. A storyline following that did have the two attempt a relationship... only for Kamala to realize she still had lingering feelings for her old friend Bruno.

    Comic Strips 
  • 9 Chickweed Lane: Gran/Edna's flashback arc ends with a subversion: She chooses to stay with Bill (whom she hadn't seen in over a decade and only days earlier thought was dead), rather than Peter Kiesl, whom she was days away from marrying at that point. This is portrayed as a massive mistake by all parties, Edna for choosing to honor a promise made a decade ago rather than stay with her true love, Peter for letting said love go without a fight (then spending half a century pining for her), and Bill for accepting her choice —even after they find out she's pregnant with Peter's child — rather than send her back to the man she truly loved.
  • Elizabeth and Anthony in For Better or for Worse. It was bad enough that Elizabeth dumped two other boyfriends that she had better chemistry with for Anthony. It was worse that Anthony was still married when they got together for good. It was even worse when Anthony's ex-wife was villiainized as a horrible woman for daring to avert Stay in the Kitchen and suspecting that Anthony was cheating on her (Even though he was, and even though he promised he'd be a House Husband when he convinced Therese to get pregnant, then went back on his word.) What probably puts it in this trope the most is how everyone talked up this pairing, from Elizabeth's parents to their mutual friends to the author, with the only person with reservations being The Un-Favourite of Elizabeth's family. And don't even mention the "going after" if you want to avoid a Flame War.

    Fan Works 
  • The Gossip Girl story "An Affair to Remember". It follows Nate and Jenny's storyline from season, but rather than develop it for a season as the show did, Nate is suddenly in love with Jenny to the point where Jenny is confused by it.
  • In Angel of the Bat, protagonist Cassandra Cain is only shown to be with her girlfriend Sadie (who had only had a few scenes beforehand) in the epilogue. Word of God is it's still early in their relationship and it's just puppy love, which works... Until the story's second epilogue that shows them getting engaged two years offscreen later. The writer admitted its canon status was sketchy and he mostly just wanted to celebrate the ban on same-sex marriage being unconstitutional. Despite all that, a later fic in the same universe does depict them happily married without much said about how they got there.
    • Averted after the fact- Cassandra and Sadie's relationship, with all its ups and downs, gets a lot of attention in the story's two sequels. The timeline of events also ends up rendering the marriage proposal chapter non-canon. Though per the author, the later-timeline fic was relegated to an alternate timeline.
  • Happens in the Inheritance Cycle fanfic From the darkest of Shadow, a Light is born between the main protagonist and Elva. They go from just meeting each other for the first time in 11 years in one chapter to attending a party together in the next, before then diving full into a relationship in the same chapter as the party. The relationship equally quickly took a turn for the worse with a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, quickly followed by the male protagonist. The use of a Time Skip means there's 9 years of Innocent Cohabitation between the first reunion and the time when the relationship became romantic, and 12 years between the start of the relationship and the lovers' spat.
  • In Knowledge Is Power Harry and Hermione have a soul bond that comes with dire consequences for anyone who messes with it, but aside from that we're not shown why they're so good for each other.
  • Lightning Dawn and Starla Shine from My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic, who fall in love immediately for no reason besides that the main character needs a love interest. Ditto for Rhymey and Fluttershy, and The Grand Ruler and Princess Celestia.
  • My Immortal is not seen as a bastion of compelling romantic writing, and as a result, ends up very prone to this. The largest is the Triang Relations at the story's center: Ebony gets involved with Draco and Vampire Potter almost immediately after about two conversations with either, and spends the rest of it pining for them, going on dates with them, having sex with them, and struggling to choose between them for no apparent reason other than them being hot goffick boys that she loves having sex with. Not much better is when she time-travels back to meet Tom Riddle, whom she immediately hooks up with for very little reason (and while skating over the above Triang Relations).
  • Link and Jenna's relationship in My Inner Life. Indeed the first words out of Link in the entire story are him calling Jenna beautiful and he asks her out on a date immediately after. Aside from some sex and a few mentions of being sad about Jenna having to leave there is absolutely nothing else between the two between their first date and Link proposing to her. Though the story frequently harps on how perfect the pair are for each other, there's pretty much no actual examples of why they are.
  • Pretty much all the couples in The Prayer Warriors. Perhaps the most notable is Jerry and Mary, who are introduced as a couple like this. ("We are not dating, in case you Satanic scum think there is something Satanic going on. We are dating, but...") Worse, the author apparently forgets who's paired with whom from time to time. For example, late in Battle with the Witches, Draco and Ebonynote  get married and consummate their relationship, but by the end, three chapters later, Draco is abruptly married to Hermione.
  • In this Sherlock Holmes and The Sentinel crossover, Holmes is a Sentinel, a type of human with superior strength and enhanced senses that needs to "bond" with an empathic Guide, such as Watson, to survive for any extended length of time, or else the sensory overload will drive him mad. While most of the time, a bonded pair knows each other for a while before they actually bond, there are instances where spontaneous bonds occur, such as theirs.
  • In The Elements of Friendship, one common complaint is that Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash's romance came out of nowhere. This got an Author's Saving Throw where it's stated they got together quickly when NightMare Moon's reign started, and they decide to cancel their wedding.
  • The Pokémon fic The Longest Road attempts to be a retelling of the original series, albeit tweaked to make Ash and Misty into the Official Couple. The author has Ash and Misty fall in love with each other within the span of about two months of real time, and from then on, they just become Sickeningly Sweethearts, as the story can't stop rubbing in the readers' faces how much they gush about each other.
  • Defied in Son of the Sannin. The reason the author introduced Karui and Tamaki much earlier than in canon, and had them interact with their eventual love interests Choji and Kiba, respectively, was specifically to avoid this trope.
  • Sara and any one of her love interests in Supper Smash Bros: Mishonh From God. As noted by reviewers, she has more chemistry with her female co-leads than any of the below characters (which is odd, since she's a proud homophobe).

    Film — Animated 
  • Disney Animated Canon:
    • This is the case with earlier movies, particularly ones like Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. It can be chalked up to Disney trying to keep to the source material, which in those cases were mostly fairy tales meant to teach morality and not build a believable love story. Later movies fix this, by giving the couples more interaction and personalities beyond "She's the girl of my dreams!". Even in The Little Mermaid the relationship of Ariel and Eric, occurred between two people who did not know each other for more than three days, and she couldn't even speak at first, yet after those three days, they're already getting married.
    • Simba and Nala from The Lion King (1994), to some. As cubs, they don't express any romantic interest in each other and are disgusted by their Arranged Marriage. When they find each other again as adults they goof around for a little bit and fall in love within a night. Unless you could argue that they simply denied their feelings as cubs and only realized them when they were reunited as adults.
    • A number of fans perceive Anna and Kristoff's relationship in Frozen as such. They do have a fair bit of interaction, but none of them, aside from the "Fixer Upper" song, can be perceived as Ship Tease without some serious Shipping Goggles, especially since Anna was still engaged with Hans throughout those scenes, and didn't even realize that Kristoff has feelings for her until Olaf pointed it out in the finale. On the other hand, it's arguable that's the point. Her attraction to Hans was also classically contrived, and we saw how that ended up. As of the end of the film, Anna and Kristoff are merely dating, and they're actually taking their time to see where it goes. Of course, that doesn't stop "Frozen Fever" and other works from treating their relationship as fait accompli.
    • Fix It Felix and Sgt Calhoun from Wreck-It Ralph. The film presents Felix and Calhoun's relationship as thus: they meet (and Felix comments on Calhoun's high definition), they have a Slapstick routine that ends with them gazing into each others' eyes (and are shipped by the Laffy Taffy), Felix calls Calhoun a dynamite gal (which doesn't end well), they share The Big Damn Kiss, and they get married in the epilogue (presumably after a year or so has passed offscreen). That's it. Apparently, Word of God admits they paired the two together because they found it cute/funny (and because it was hard to work out Felix's odd proportions without a realistic reference), so it could be intentional, in addition to the fact that Ralph and Vanellope's stories were the central focus of the movie. The removal of several Hero's Duty scenes from an earlier scrapped plot meant less screen time for them, which resulted in a few confirmed Felix and Calhoun interactions (and likely Calhoun's formal introduction as well) being omitted.
    • Chicken Little at one point features a scene where the eponymous character suddenly decides to tell Abby Mallard that he always thought she was "extremely attractive" (despite her being a blatant gonk) and gives her a kiss, much to her delight. The film has absolutely no hints prior to this scene that Chicken Little has a crush on Abby or vice versa.
  • In the rather forgettable The Invincible Iron Man the romance between Tony and Li Mei suffers from this. Tony and Li Mei are supposed to be madly in love in spite of the fact they never have an actual conversation or ever really have any time together.
  • Strange Magic:
    • While the romance between Marianne and the Bog King happens in a course of a few hours, they are shown to be well suited for each other: they have Belligerent Sexual Tension right from the start, share a distaste for sugary, romantic displays, and bond over their respective heartbreaks. Of course, YMMV on how it works out.
    • Marianne's sister Dawn is broken out of the effects of a Love Potion when she she realizes she loves Sunny, even though she's showed no interest in him at all the entire film except as a friend.
  • The Swan Princess clearly tried to avoid this, but didn't quite know how. Odette and Derek are being pushed to marry from childhood, but grow up being Friendly Enemies at best. Then they suddenly fall in love as adults upon seeing how good-looking the other is. The movie tries to deconstruct this part—Odette actually calls off the engagement when Derek can't think of anything to compliment but her beauty—but once she gets captured by Rothbart the two act like they're engaged again, their conflict forgotten except for a throwaway line at the very end of the movie.
    • Some viewers have theorised that the pair actually did grow to like each other and were in denial over their feelings until they both grew up. Despite allegedly hating each other, they actually make an effort to spend time together (in particular Odette), some of their passive-aggressive behaviour could be interpreted as Belligerent Sexual Tension, Derek gets annoyed that she's flirting with castle guards (jealousy, perhaps?) and Brom outright tells teenage Derek that he thinks he likes her really. Of course, the film doesn't really explain this clearly so the aforementioned scene of them falling deeply in love upon sight comes across as a bit jarring.
  • Done painfully in both Titanic: The Legend Goes On and The Legend of the Titanic. The former involves the hero and heroine deciding they were made for each other... after sharing about three sentences. It becomes hilarious when we're shown flashbacks to their meetings... one of which was accidentally bumping into each other. The latter plays this even worse, as the heroine's love interest realizes they are meant to be after sniffing her glove.
  • In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, new character Rose Wilson has a crush on Martian Manhunter. The Martian inadvertently discovers they're "attuned" when he accidentally reads her thoughts (something he'd never do by accident with a non-attuned person). He then Mind Melds with her so that they can get to know each other instantly and fall completely in love. Martians apparently have no need to date.
  • Thumbelina has a definite example of this trope with respect to the main character and her love interest Prince Cornelius. They only spent one night together flying around in the starlit sky and singing about how much they loved each other. This is made even more poignant when you take into account that the night they did all that was the night they met for the very first time. To be fair, Thumbelina can be excused because she was literally born as a teenager and complains to her mother about how there's nobody else her size and daydreams about meeting someone like the prince in her fairy tales, so it's not unbelievable that Thumbelina would be instantly attracted to the first ever person she's met who is compatible with her. Given some throwaway dialogue from Cornelius's parents and how hard he tries to find her over the course of the movie, it seems like fast, intense courtship is common for fairies.
  • Hiccup and Astrid's relationship in How to Train Your Dragon can be seen as this. In the beginning, it is established that Hiccup has a crush on her, but Astrid spends the first half of the movie either completely ignoring Hiccup or being extremely rude to him, and right before meeting Toothless, she is about to beat him up. Then they go on a ride on Toothless' back and apparently that was all it took for Astrid to realize she likes him back. Although they are confirmed to be a couple in How to Train Your Dragon 2, they don't properly confess their love until the third film How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, which does spend most of its arc developing their relationship and ends on their marriage.
  • Alva and Jesper's relationship in Klaus (2019) has been cited as one of the film's few flaws. In only their second interaction together, Mogens claims that they're in love despite their argument being nothing but vitriol, as if their being a man and a woman who interact instantly means they're a couple. While they spend more time and build chemistry later, the film's insistence makes it feel rather clumsy.
  • Trolls: Branch and Poppy, who are treated like a couple after "True Colors" despite there only being one indication of any feelings between them beforehand (Branch telling Bridget to compliment Gristle's smile while looking at Poppy). There is some very mild Foreshadowing when it's shown that Branch has kept all of Poppy's party invitations over the years, but this can just as easily be taken as a desire for all the social life he cannot enjoy and not outright for Poppy's love. In general, the opinion that the movie would work better under the interpretation that they remain as platonic partners is interestingly popular. The series and sequel after this movie rectify this trope, with the series still treating Poppy and Branch as close friends and the sequel addressing how they truly feel for each other, rendering the "love confession" in "True Colors" completely first.
  • The relationship between Oscar and Angie in Shark Tale starts out one-sided on the latter's part, with Oscar not noticing Angie's feelings - and indeed, not even caring about her well-being in general for most of the film. Fast forward to the film's climax, he suddenly does care about Angie in a romantic light and the two share a kiss, as if the writers felt it was mandatory for them to become a couple.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Massimo and Laura's romance in 365 Days isn't well developed. Massimo became fixated on Laura after seeing her once, at a distance, five years ago and then decides the best way to win her over is to kidnap her. Despite Massimo's claims he loves her, he doesn't respect her wishes and is very aggressive towards her. Laura spends half the film being antagonistic towards Massimo, understandably seeing as he kidnapped her, then suddenly decides she wants to have sex with him after he saves her from drowning (which was technically his fault). After a few months at most, they decide to get married and the film portrays this as them being truly in love, even though their onscreen relationship is mostly based around sex rather an emotional connection.
  • Peter and Gwen in The Amazing Spider-Man start off not knowing each other personally and yet hook up in their second scene of extended interaction together, and stay a couple for the rest of the movie. This is fixed in the sequel, though, and thank goodness, as otherwise the inevitable result of their relationship wouldn't have been as effective.
  • Adam Sandler movies are very fond of this trope. For example, Billy Madison, where Veronica quite clearly finds Billy to be both obnoxious and a burden on her as a teacher. But then, during a field trip, she has a random Mood Dissonance and is madly in love with him for the rest of the movie. All it took was Billy faking his own pants incident to rescue another student from being shamed by his classmates. Nevermind that, just a few scenes back, Billy himself shamed another classmate by mocking him for struggling with a reading assignment. Played for Laughs during Billy Madison's Pair the Spares sequence, as only one of the pairings had any form of buildup in the movie itself, while the final one is between Chris Farley's bus driver and the hallucinatory penguin.
  • Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) has this between Dracula and Mina. Despite how they don't know each other at all and Mina was engaged with the main character Jonathan, Mina continued to pine over Dracula, continued to calling Dracula "My Prince" even after she got married and seemed to try to foil the heroes' plan to destroy him at times. Hypnotize the Princess is pretty much implied to be involved since Dracula had already started biting her, and thus could easily have her under his spell. On Dracula's end, this is because Mina happened to look like Dracula's old love who committed suicide. Or is it that Mina was a reincarnation of said love? This wouldn't make sense since the reason that Dracula became the Dracula is that he renounced God at the thought that his beloved will go to hell for committing suicide. But then the ending showed that Dracula and his old love went to heaven. ARRRGHHH!!!!
  • Closer does this with its pairings, thanks to multiple times skips that don't fill in the blanks. Dan decides he's in love with Anna after one kiss. Anna gives Dan the brush-off...but the next scene has them confessing to their respective partners that they've been having an affair for over a year. Anna reassures Dan of her love for him despite having slept with Larry...the next scene reveals that she went back to Larry. Alice rebuffs Larry...but Larry is later seen taunting Dan about having slept with her. Dan is depressed over Anna leaving him...the next scene is of him and Alice in bed, having reconciled and all we get to explain this is a brief flashback of him tracking her down at the strip club. It gets jarring.
  • Enchanted: The Pair the Spares is worse than other examples because it's a Broken Aesop. After mocking Love At First Sight for the whole movie, Nancy runs off with Edward to the animated world the same night that she meets him. It seems that true love does come as fast as fairy tales suggest it does, after all — if you live in a Disney movie. It's more understandable if you see a deleted scene that paints Nancy as a jaded romanticist who's given up on meeting Prince Charming but it's still jarring. Notice that the live action Giselle and Robert appear to spend weeks or even months together building their relationship and her career, while animated Nancy and Edward are getting married before her cell phone has completely run out of charge.
  • Four Weddings and a Funeral. Charles and Carrie sleep together after the first wedding. The next time they see each other is at the second wedding, three months later, when they have sex again, despite her now being engaged. Several more months go by before their next encounter, probably the first thing close to a proper date that they've had, even though he's helping her choose a wedding dress—and this is when he declares his love for her. There's zero interaction between them at the third wedding (hers), a brief one at the funeral, and when she shows up at the fourth wedding (his), despite there having been sufficient time for him to get over her (ten months), he ditches his fianceé at the altar. That's a total of FIVE times he's ever laid eyes on this woman, but it's enough for him to decide that he wants to spend the rest of his life with her.
  • The Harry Potter films, mainly due to their being Compressed Adaptations, definitely lean towards the asphyxiatory side of things in regards to Harry and Ginny. The two barely interact, sharing the screen for about seven minutes combined in the last three movies. In the fifth book, Ginny being able to speak to Harry was a big deal; in the fifth movie, Bonnie Wright barely has any lines. Whenever they are on screen together, they barely talk, instead just sharing a kiss and an awkward look before Harry rushes off to do something and Ginny sits down to be irrelevant to the plot.
  • In the film adaptation of I Am Number Four, it's explained that the alien race works like this, with your first love being for life. Number Four falls in love with Sarah within two days and apparently permanently. There's a long scene of overly-flowery declarations of love delivered in a manner that would make Padme and Anakin cringe. It's telling about this trope in general: apparently, the creators considered the way romance works in movies to be so nonsensical that it needed to be handwaved with Bizarre Alien Biology... yet so obligatory that saying "no, they can have the first date at the end of this movie and be the love of each other's lives by movie three" wasn't an option.
  • On top of Immortals', ahem, inaccuracies, we have the "relationship" between Theseus and the oracle. Summary? Oracle predicts Theseus's actions. She fawns over him pointlessly. They do it. End.
  • Indochine: Camille falls in love with a French Navy officer right after he shoots a runaway prisoner right in front of her. No tension or buildup whatsoever.
  • Nearly every James Bond film has Bond and the Bond Girl barely interact before they become a couple, and even in the cases where they do get some interaction (for example Pussy Galore and Wai Lin) none of it is romantic, with the only real exception being On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Casino Royale (2006). It's especially bad in The World Is Not Enough, where Bond and Dr. Christmas Jones have absolutely zero romantic interaction or flirtation before he beds her at the end of the film. In the novels this makes much more sense, as Bond is a philanderer and pretty misogynistic on top of it, rarely feeling much for the women he has sex with; the problem is that the films keep trying to present meaningless flings as genuine romances.
  • In the 2003 Australian film Japanese Story Sandy goes from hating Hiromitsu to sleeping with him in the next scene with absolutely no explanation whatsoever. Soon after, he dies because of a diving accident and the rest of the movie is about Sandy being in deep mourning over a one-night stand.
  • In The Kissing Booth, Rachel shows up out of nowhere after Lee is stood up at the Kissing Booth in front of everyone, tells him that she 'hopes he likes what he sees' after she kisses him and takes off his blindfold - implying that she's had a crush on him for a while - and they immediately begin dating for the rest of the movie. This is the first time Rachel's character appears, without any foreshadowing or build-up to her crush on Lee. He also immediately reciprocates despite the fact they'd apparently never even interacted prior to this and he'd spent a chunk of the movie crushing on Mia.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (the theater release, anyway) has this between Faramir and Éowyn. It's elaborated on in the book, but in the unextended movie version, it's all rather sudden... Thankfully the filmmakers chose to play it subtle, so it's not as bad as other examples here.
    • For some reason, The Hobbit decided to pair up, or at least heavily imply in the direction of, Gandalf and Galadriel. This is despite the latter not even being in the original book — not to mention, already married. There's almost no development to explaining why these two seem to love each other, or even how that's possible, considering the idea of Gandalf being romantically involved with anyone would come as a massive surprise.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Thor, this seems to be a widely held opinion on the romance between Thor and Jane Foster, which really only serves to give Thor a reason to want to get back to Earth. Some have even labeled it a Romantic Plot Tumor, which is kind of funny considering that the same thing was said about the character played by Jane's actress in the Star Wars prequels. Kenneth Branagh must have realized this and says in the DVD Commentary that their relationship wasn't meant to be true love, but more a mutual crush and respect. It gets worse in Thor: The Dark World. They've been pining for each other for the two whole years since. Once reunited, this movie proceeds to pretend they were madly in love throughout the last and their Sickeningly Sweethearts interaction is incredibly jarring when they've never been anything like that before. Part of one of The Stingers at the end even starts with Jane looking all miserable again as if two days without him is hell on earth. However, the writers apparently got the picture in Thor: Ragnarok, when it's revealed in dialogue that Thor and Jane broke up. Their actors, Portman and Hemsworth, also didn’t have very good chemistry. The only kissing scene between them (end of the second movie) that's really believable isn't even them. It was Portman's day off, and they asked Hemsworth's wife Elsa Pataky when she stopped by to be her stand in.
    • Pre-release, this was feared with the teasing of the Black Widow/Bruce Banner romance in Avengers: Age of Ultron. After release, given it's Widow's major story arc in the movie, both critics and fans were divided on how it was handled. A big factor in this is that at least an hour of footage was cut from the movie (which is still 2 1/2 hours long), which makes much of their romance (and the rest of the plot) seem to just lurch from event to event without any proper build-up.
    • In Ant-Man, Hope spends most of the movie resenting Scott over the fact that her father Hank chose some random ex-con as his successor and not his own daughter, and her interactions with Scott are hostile as she begrudgingly trains him. But near the end of the movie, as he grows into his role as Ant-Man, she slowly starts respecting him and they work together. You would think that she only just now started liking him as a person, but at the end of the movie, Hank walks in on them making out and suddenly they're now an item. Though for what it's worth, Ant-Man and the Wasp did do a good job showing them function as a steady couple, which is not the MCU's strong point.
    • In Captain America: Civil War Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter share a kiss before the action of the movie kicks into gear. Most fans found the whole thing baffling, as while they have occasionally hooked up in the comics, Sharon was little more than an extra in the prior film and didn't have too much to do in Civil War, either, on top of the rather weird implications of Steve hooking up with his old girlfriend's descendant (and mere days after learning she died, on top of that). On top of that, it's Sharon's last speaking appearance to date in the films, which makes the whole thing feel rather pointless.
    • Played for Laughs in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Ned unexpectedly hooks up with fellow student Betty Brant, neither of them having been interested in each other before and then suddenly passionately flirting in the span of a single plane ride. They continue to be eerily invested in each other throughout the whole field trip, much to Peter's disbelief. Then when the students all get back home, Ned and Betty broke up offscreen during the return plane ride, and are already Amicable Exes. Peter is still befuddled.
  • The Matrix films do this with Neo and Trinity. They know each other for a few days and barely interact. When they do interact, they talk about kung-fu and machines. Then at the very end of the first movie, she spontaneously declares her love for Neo despite no build-up, other than a Deus ex Machina, earlier in the movie about the Oracle's prediction.
  • Brian and Judith in Monty Python's Life of Brian. Brian finds her attractive, and Judith is upset when he is captured by the Romans, but not in a way that implies that she sees him as something more than a fellow rebel. Then they meet in the desert, and the next shot is them waking up in bed together.
  • The Mortal Kombat movies have Kitana and Liu Kang. While it is established in the first film that Liu is attracted to Kitana when they first make eye contact, there are only three scenes of spoken expository dialogue between the two before the end of the movie shows them returning to Earth, arm in arm like a couple. In the sequel, Liu and Kitana act like they've been a couple for years despite the events of the sequel taking place immediately after the end of the first film. When Jade tries to tempt Liu Kang as part of a test of character, he refuses her advances claiming his heart belongs to Kitana even he only knows Kitana slightly more than he knows Jade.
  • Oscar and Theodora in Oz the Great and Powerful. A major part of the movie's plot revolves around her falling in love with him, and then turning evil after she thinks he's betrayed her. But this falls short when you realize that Oscar and Theodora have only known each other for a day or two before he leaves the Emerald City and they don't see each other again until after her Face–Heel Turn. Despite this, she's already talking about how she'll be his queen and they'll rule Oz together, and completely breaks down when she thinks he's cheating on her. It's also not entirely clear how far their relationship went to begin with and whether they actually slept together or not, which can make Theodora come off as a Clingy Jealous Girl or a Stalker with a Crush.
  • Parodied in the ending of The Pirate Movie, when Mabel arbitrarily grabs Pirates and Daughters and throws them together, with even the last two male pirates getting stuck together with suitably shocked expressions.
  • In Pixels, Violet falls in love with the main character Sam Brenner, despite him acting like a creep (checking her out when he's supposed to do his job, making comments about her masturbating) and being a loser. It's also fairly abrupt how fast she goes from hating him to being willing to talk about personal issues like her recent divorce.
  • In Prince Caspian, Caspian and Susan become a couple for five minutes at the end of the movie because he rescued her once from some soldiers. Suddenly at the end, the two are snogging in front of a crowd, only for their relationship to end five seconds later when Susan and her siblings return through the portal to England, meaning she and Caspian will never see each other again. Thus, there was no reason to include their romance in the first place because it was doomed to end anyway.
  • In Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Dastan and Tamina have the whole movie to slowly bond with each other, get into playful arguments and display plenty of Belligerent Sexual Tension. This seems to be one of the good things as their chemistry and the buildup feels natural... But their First Kiss comes at the worst possible time: right after violently dispatching the Big Bad's dragon.
  • Being a loving sendup of swashbuckler stories, The Princess Bride has this going on with Buttercup and Westley. Almost all of their relationship development happens in the prologue when Buttercup realizes that the local farmboy is in love with her, and then they kiss. In the rest of the movie, they're separated for all but two scenes (and they spend most of those scenes bickering), and the entire plot is driven by their true love and their need to be back together. This is pretty much in-line with how the genre tends to have the audience Take Our Word for It that the Damsel in Distress is the hero's true love and primary motivation, further suggested in that Westley and Buttercup exclusively describe each other's physical appearance when speaking of each other. Weirdly, the actors are so passionate and sincere that they mostly manage to sell the romance anyway. The book even joked that their relationship would probably run into troubles if either of them ever aged out of their good looks.
  • Replicant: The innocent clone eventually fakes his own death and starts a new life with a Hooker with a Heart of Gold he had met for only a few minutes.
  • Deconstructed in Rush: James Hunt's resolve to "marry a good woman and form a stable relationship" results in him marrying a British model Suzy Miller one scene after their initial interaction. Hunt's unsuccessful Formula One career in 1975 and his team's bankruptcy cause him to throw a tantrum, yelling at his wife and ultimately leading her to desert him through sheer frustration. This marks them as an unideal couple compared to the stable and understanding Niki and Marlene Lauda, whose developments and dramas are shown throughout the last third of the film.
  • Slumdog Millionaire: Jamal is in love with Latika and literally risks his life to find her because... they were friends as kids? Granted, they went through some very rough stuff together, but it's entirely possible for two kids to go through a bad time and not fall in love. The presence of the trope is only confirmed by the movie's explanation for their ending up together: "It is written". They're together because they HAVE TO BE, OK?
  • Speed: Jack (Keanu Reeves) and Annie (Sandra Bullock). After knowing each other for all of a few hours, they're making out and about to have sex in a wrecked subway car in the middle of a street with a crowd of people watching. Justified and Truth in Television; people bond over traumatic experiences quickly. Amusingly enough, thanks to Keanu Reeves refusing to do the sequel it turns out they really didn't last long. They both lampshade this.
    Jack: I have to warn you, I've heard relationships based on intense experiences never work.
    Annie: OK. We'll have to base it on sex then.
  • Star Wars:
    • In the prequel trilogy the audience already knows from the original trilogy that Anakin and Padme are supposed to end up together to have Luke and Leia. Apparently, George Lucas thought this was enough and that their relationship didn't actually need to be convincing. Without the original trilogy, they fall headfirst into this trope.
      • In The Phantom Menace, the two do interact on Tatooine, and it's made clear that Anakin is attracted to her when he asks if she's an angel, but given that he's nine years old it comes off as a Precocious Crush. After leaving Tatooine, the only interaction the two are shown having is a brief scene on Coruscant where they exchange a few lines of dialogue, and he doesn't even know it's her.
      • Immediately upon his introduction in Attack of the Clones, despite having not seen or talked to Padme for the past ten years, he's showing near stalker-esque levels of attraction to her, saying how he's dreamed about her every night for the past ten years and how "just being around her again is intoxicating". You can say that's just pure physical attraction speaking (Anakin is canonically a teenager at this point after all), but that wouldn't explain why he seems so singularly obsessed with her when as a Jedi he's surely seen and met many attractive women throughout his interstellar adventures or even just in the temple (human or no). Their romance dominates the movie and distracts from the more important war and political aspects due to the completely unnecessary decision for it to be a Forbidden Love story (despite the original trilogy and Episode I making no mention of it being forbidden for Jedi to be in relationships, and this film not actually giving a reason other than "it's not the Jedi way" and "I'm a senator"). And Padme does a complete 180 from "We can't be together" to "Let's be together", with the only important conversation they had in the interim being Anakin confessing that he murdered children.
      • In Revenge of the Sith their relationship is confined to the two declaring how much they love each other in the most cringe-worthy ways, and Anakin deciding that Padme is worth turning to The Dark Side, killing Jedi Padawans (the guy just likes killing children), and bringing about the collapse of the Republic and replacing it with an oppressive dictatorship. As The Distressed Watcher put it:
        His single-minded objective is to prevent his dream from occurring, no matter what the cost. For this weak motivation, he betrays the Jedi, slaughters children, tries to kill his friend and mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, ends democracy so that Palpatine can begin a galactic empire... all of this because of a couple of nightmares. All of this to save someone for whom his love is not even very convincing.
      • The novelization handles this a lot better, presenting Anakin as obsessive and possessive, his actions less about his feelings towards Padmé and more about his own desires.
    • The Rise of Skywalker has this with Rey and Kylo Ren, who have been, in the words of this film's Visual Dictionary, "sworn enemies" ever since their violent first meeting in The Force Awakens. The Last Jedi gave them Foe Romance Subtext, but not much in the way of genuine affection; Kylo still stalks Rey, painfully invades her mind, kills and attacks people she cares about, rejects her redemption offer and battles her repeatedly, culminating in him almost killing her before Leia intervenes. Despite all of this giving Rey valid reasons to hate and distrust Kylo, in this film she heals a wound she dealt him and kisses him after he revives her. Prior to this, the pair hadn't shared any scenes that weren't antagonistic on some level since The Last Jedi (a year ago in-universe), and they apparently hadn't met since between the end of that movie and the start of The Rise of Skywalker, meaning the interactions the audience sees are apparently the entire basis for their relationship.
  • In The Terminator, Reese claims to have been in love with Sarah ever since seeing her picture. Sarah is suspicious of him at first but comes to trust him. Then, thanks to the fast pacing of the movie, they suddenly have sex, followed by them being too busy fighting the Terminator to develop their relationship for the rest of the movie. In the end, Sarah says in a recording she's making for her son that she and Reese "loved a lifetime's worth".
  • In-Universe example. This is pretty much the point of Timer. Once you meet your soulmate via Timer, you know you're going to end up with them eventually. Even if you love someone else right now, or are fourteen years old.
  • Underworld (2003): There is never any indication that Selene feels any real emotion toward Michael; they don't have any sort of conversation with each other about anything apart from vampires and werewolves, and they have known each other for a total of about two days. Word of God says this was the way it was supposed to be; special features on the DVD reveal that the two characters were not supposed to actually be "in love," but rather attracted to each other based on lust, confused feelings, and being forced together.
  • In The Whole Nine Yards, protagonist Oz meets Cynthia for about five minutes, she later comes to his hotel room, and after spending the evening together sharing stories, Coitus Ensues. The next day Oz flies home, several days later Cynthia arrives, and later that night he's proclaiming he loves her, to her ex-husband no less. The relationship between the ex-husband and Jill is a bit better—those several days between Oz flying home and Cynthia arriving, the two of them also swap stories and he trains her, and she's a fan of his who idolizes him and has followed his work for years. By the end of the film, it's just attraction they share, though years later in the sequel they're married.
  • In the Wing Commander series of games, the relationship between Blair and Angel is built up slowly and believably. In the film... it wasn't.
  • In The Wolverine, Logan constantly dreams about Jean Grey and wishes to be with her again yet he shares a few intimate moments with Mariko, who's already engaged to another man at the time and has only known Logan for a few days. The film noir setting could justify this relationship as a form of comfort for Logan. It's worth noting that Wolverine also only knew Jean Grey for a few days at most note  and, more importantly, they weren't actually in a relationship. And that one's played as a romance for the ages.
  • Wonder Woman 1984: The relationship between Diana and Steve gets turned into this. While they were given a fairly believable relationship in the first movie, in the sequel she has been pining for him for nearly 70 years despite having known him for only a few weeks before he died. That's not devotion, that's just ridiculous.
  • Zardoz has Zed hooking up with Consuella, instead of May, in the end, even having a son with her, despite the fact that she literally spends the entire movie demanding that Zed gets eliminated. Then again, the whole film is such a Mind Screw, and the ending so bizarre that it hardly matters by that point.

  • In A Brother's Price, Jerin's romance with Lylia ensues quite suddenly. Justified in that they're both Hormone Addled Teenagers, and as he falls in love with all the five eldest brides there would be no time to develop all those relationships in detail. And the narration doesn't claim it's true love, it is just portrayed as a mutual attraction.
  • At the end of The Accursed, Annabel is rather abruptly said to have fallen in love with the minor character Yaeger Ruggles, and they celebrate a double wedding with Josiah and Wilhelmina. Especially awkward given that Annabel never shows any inclination towards romantic love throughout the novel (except when she is mind-controlled by the Count), and in fact seems pretty opposed to the idea of being in a romantic relationship. Of course, given that the entire novel is a bit of a Mind Screw, the forced nature of this ending may well be intentional.
  • One of the major point of contention among Agatha Christie's readers is that the romantic development between the two characters she pairs up is rarely believable.
    • In Appointment with Death, Raymond and Sarah are certain they want to get married after having had a couple of brief chance meetings and barely having talked to each other.
    • In The Man in Brown Suit, Anne Bedingsfield saved a strange young man from a murderer, then got into a heated fight with him he proved most ungrateful. When Anne retells this story to a friend a day later, she expressed how passionately in love she is with him, and how she's willing to do anything for him.
    • Towards Zero has Audrey Strange and Andrew MacWhrter planning to get married after knowing each other for less than a week, with only one on-screen interaction.
  • Dagny and John from Atlas Shrugged. Ms. Rand spends literally hundreds of pages carefully and painstakingly building up the relationship between Dagny and Hank, only to have her casually toss him aside when she meets John, who is her One True Love.
  • At the end of Discworld: Thief of Time, Susan Sto Helit and Lobsang Ludd begin to talk as though they have mutual feelings for each other, and (it's implied) begin a romantic relationship. However, there has been nothing vaguely romantic in their interactions up to that point — which is odd, because there was a blossoming awkward romance between Jeremy and Myria/Unity, and Susan was quite taken with the idea of "someone like her" throughout the book.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In the short story "Love Hurts", Harry Dresden and Karrin Murphy (who are good friends) investigate a double murder where the victim and perpetrators had this trope happen due to mind control magic. Later in the story, they also find this happening to themselves.
    • More subtly, the main novels have a brief story arc where Anastasia Luccio falls in love with and starts dating Harry. At the end of "Turn Coat", we find this trope applies to poor Harry's love with that woman, because of a conspiracy to weaken the White Council through mind control so it makes perfect sense. So the Red String had a good an in-universe reason. They break off the relationship simply because fate/magic was part of it, and trying to figure out how much was giving them both headaches and kind of freaking them out.
  • The general pattern of romance in the Ender's Game series is: "one character suddenly thinks it's fate to marry another character they barely know, the other character thinks they're rude, and suddenly they're married."
    • Ender and Novinia in Speaker for the Dead. Ender feels a kinship with a teenage Novinia he has never met, but when they meet in person, she is a bitter woman in her late 30s and everything Ender does enrages her. In the concluding chapter, they get married. Made worse in Xenocide, where the couple is seen 30 years later after they have drifted apart. She then leaves him to move into a monastery. We never see them interact in any way that suggests that they actually like each other.
    • Bean and Petra's relationship in the Ender's Shadow side series relies more on exposition than on action. In the previous book, their interactions are akin to brother and sister, with Petra being rather bossy toward him and Bean trying to prove he can take care of himself. In the second book, Petra comes to realize (via internal monologue) that she likes Bean, but at that point in the book, she hasn't seen him for about a year and merely has a vague hope he might be coming to rescue her. In the third book, she suddenly gets really desperate to have his kids because he's got a condition that will spell his death by his late teens and we don't see much reason why Bean is any interested in her. Then when the two are separated forever, she suddenly finds out Peter is in love with her and the story flashes-forward to them married for no reason other than keeping her married at the end. Worse is that both marriages came at the expense of sinking the fairly popular ship of Petra and Dink Meeker from the first book, which ends up just getting a paragraph of exposition about how the two drifted apart.
    • In Xenocide, Wang-Mu idolizes the long-dead-by-millennia Hegemon Peter and at the end of the book gets the unexpected offer to embark on an adventure with a clone of him. Over the course of three days, she grows jealous of the AI he communicates with, even though said AI's life is on the line. She also doesn't pay much attention to the Peter clone admitting at the start that he's not actually like the long-deceased Peter and more akin to a Flanderized version with exaggerated ambition and sociopathy.
  • In Fifty Shades of Grey, Anastasia and Christian barely like each other and can hardly have a civil conversation, yet we're supposed to buy that they can't live without each other.
  • Something of an in-universe example in the Firebird Trilogy. Near the start of the story, Brenden Caldwell needs to perform a deep-access mental interrogation on Firebird Angelo. Since Firebird and Brenden are heavily connatural, such a deep mental connection causes them to both fall in love almost instantly, and they get married after only a handful more meetings. This looks very bizarre to outsiders, and even the telepathic Sentinels find it a bit odd (Sentinels marry quickly, but usually there's some build-up before they attempt a connaturality probe to see if they're suited for each other).
  • Nearly every romance in Gaunt's Ghosts has no buildup or development whatsoever; the only exception is Caffran/Criid, and their buildup largely consisted of the two almost killing each other. Probably intentional, as it's implied that the characters don't have particularly strong feelings for each other and are just finding comfort where they can because they know they could die soon.
  • In Good Omens, Newt and Anathema's relationship is predicted by Anathema's long-dead Seer ancestor to be a one-time hook-up just before the apocalypse. Since Anathema's known about the prophecy all her life, she's somewhat disappointed by the reality of Newt when they do meet, but They Do anyway. Although there's nothing keeping them together after the apocalypse is averted that same day, they immediately settle into a vague, undefined relationship, and a purposely delayed prophecy delivered to Newt implies that they'll eventually get married.
  • The romantic storyline between Karigan and Zachary in Green Rider can come off a bit like this. Most of the first book is made up of Karigan just trying to reach the capital city. They interact a fair bit in the rest of the book and sporadically over the course of the series, but with the exception of maybe one conversation, all their talk is business rather than conversational or personal. Though an attraction between them is understandable (they're both rather impressive), it's easy not to see a 'chemistry' (let alone a relationship) when they only ever talk to each other like business colleagues, and spend far more time thinking about how much they love each other than they do in each others' actual company.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Whether or not the books did this with the Harry/Ginny pairing is a major point of debate for fans of the series. Ginny starts off as a Shrinking Violet fangirl but evolves into a hotheaded Action Girl while Out of Focus, with a lot of Character Shilling done to make her look better. Harry becomes closer to and gains a romantic interest in her over the course of two summers which are never properly fleshed out so the development can look rather forced or random to readers.
    • Lupin and Tonks. In The Half-Blood Prince, Harry sees Tonks upset several times and thinks it's over Sirius dying, and that maybe she was even in love with him. Then the climax reveals that Tonks is deeply in love with and wants to marry Lupin. They proceed to do so despite having no interaction on camera before this. As the books are primarily written from Harry's perspective, it's somewhat understandable that plenty of major events can happen off-camera simply because Harry can't be present for every single storyline. At the same time, the reader can still feel left out as the key parts of the Romance Arc never actually happen in front of them either.
    • Happens In-Universe in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when Ron consumes a love potion from Romilda Vane, who he has never met, that was intended for Harry.
  • In the second Hell's Gate book, two secondary characters are thrown together by their psionic powers the first time they meet. Literally, the first words either says to the other are "Oh dear. This is an unexpected complication."
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar series, there's an In-Universe mechanism for this in the form of lifebonds, magical or divinely-caused compulsions that cause the lifebonded individuals to fall in love and also to share an emotional link. As the series goes on, the concept is increasingly deconstructed: Winds of Fury contains an entire scene in which the spirit of Bard Stefennote  explains to the trilogy's Beta Couple his well-supported theory that lifebonding primarily occurs between someone very powerful but emotionally unstable and someone more steady who can provide their lifebonded partner with the emotional grounding and stability they desperately need to keep them sane. As Stef advises from personal experience, the fact that one half of a lifebond is likely to be incredibly broken, this generally leads to an intense and angsty relationship far from the ultimate ideal of romantic love that many people in the setting mistakenly make lifebonds out to be. In the next trilogy, another character's obsession with forming a lifebond is rightfully presented as unhealthy and makes other characters uncomfortable; the general impression created by the narrative is that lifebonds are less about the depth of a couple's feelings for each other and more a case of Because Destiny Says So which the vast majority of people are quite fine without, thank you.
  • Invoked In-Universe by Hera in The Heroes of Olympus, as she implants false memories of a romance between Jason and Piper before the two ever meet. This spawns a meta example as well, as this means the pair pine after each other from the beginning of the series before the readers get to learn anything about their individual personalities or potential dynamic, leading to them jumping headfirst into a real relationship when they do meet.
  • Honor Harrington: The romance between Lara and Saburo in Crown of the Slaves started more or less like this:
    Lara:: Hi, I'm Lara, do you have a girlfriend?
    Saburo: No, why?
    Lara: Because now you have.
  • Hush, Hush:
    • Patch and Nora. Nora is warned by people who care about her to stay away from him because he's clearly not a good person in any way, shape, or form. Patch stalks Nora, intentionally scares her, sexually harasses her, mind rapes her, and possesses her body. On top of that, his original plan was to murder her in cold blood, which he flat out tells her — and, when she asks if he's going to do it, he admits that it's "tempting". Nora says, more than once, that she sees absolutely nothing good about Patch. Wait, why does she fall in love with him again?
    • Vee gets this when she hooks up with Rixon in Crescendo. The two are hardly shown together and for all Vee fawns over him as the "perfect" boyfriend, there's precious little on them actually having anything in common. Vee repeatedly states that she thinks that Patch is a jerk and a potential murderer but isn't the least bit concerned about the fact that he introduced her to Rixon (and that Rixon is Patch's best and possibly only friend). Vee seems quite certain that he's a "boyscout", despite that he more or less lives in a very nasty bar and is not exactly shy about dropping crude innuendos towards Nora. That could be chalked up to Vee being a Horrible Judge of Character, except that Nora also thinks that Rixon is "cool" and sees no problem with them dating, even though she knows that Rixon is a fallen angel who possesses a Nephilim for two weeks out of every year for sex (with said Nephilim being conscious for it all). The fact that Patch hooked Rixon up with Vee as a response to suspecting that Rixon was murderous just raises even more eyebrows.
  • The The Inheritance Cycle:
    • Some people felt this way about Arya and Eragon's relationship, especially in Inheritance. Eragon is immediately attracted to her and isn't subtle about his feelings in Eldest, only for Arya to completely dismiss them. She makes some good points; she and Eragon barely know each other, she is decades older than him and Eragon's feelings for her come across as a childish crush more than genuine love, considering he's only sixteen when they meet, she's the first woman he's ever noticed romantically, his tendencies to over-idealize her and stubborn refusal to accept her rejection. However, starting in Brisingr, Arya suddenly decides she finds Eragon attractive after all, despite everything she said in Eldest and it seeming rather Out of Character. By the end of the series, they're portrayed as Starcrossed Lovers – to the point of exchanging their true names spoiler  – with little explanation for how and why Arya's feelings changed so rapidly. Arya even says she'd consider waiting for Eragon until he's older, which some readers found kind of Squicky more than anything. Others felt it just didn't live up to Angela's prophecy that Eragon would have an "epic romance", seeing as the entire relationship amounts to a teenage boy having a one-sided infatuation with an older woman, who decides at the last minute 'Well, we could maybe hook up once you're old enough to buy alcohol and vote'. Paolini has stated that if he writes a fifth book, he will explore their relationship further, but within the published books, the romance falls a bit flat for several readers.
    • Saphira and Firnen have it even worse. Though admittedly, it's unclear how exactly dragon relationships work in comparison to humans and elves, it still comes across as rather weird and out-of-left-field when Saphira hooks up with Firnen in the last few chapters of Inheritance. At this point, Firnen is only a few months old and they've known each other for about as long.
  • Deconstructed in Barbara Hambly's novel The Ladies of Mandrigyn. Fawn, after taking off with Starhawk to try to find Sun Wolf, cuts out to marry Orris Farstep. She makes it clear that it's still Sun Wolf, not Orris, she loves; it's just that she knows that it wouldn't work out with Sun Wolf, while it could with Orris.
  • This is noted in-universe in the Kitty Norville series. Kitty and Ben were platonic friends for a while, but once he got forcibly turned into a werewolf, her own wolf side formed an intensely close bond with him and they got married shortly thereafter. Kitty quickly ends up realizing that despite the intensity of their feelings for each other, they don't actually know each other that well and the two of them work to build a more meaningful relationship with each other.
  • The relationship between Eowyn and Faramir in The Lord of the Rings can seem like this, or at the very least, wedged-in. The truth is that Tolkien initially intended Eowyn and Aragorn to be together — then believed they wouldn't be a good match as Aragorn was "too old and lordly and grim", so he backtracked and created Arwen, later joining Eowyn to Faramir. Tolkien's notes show this was plainly an afterthought. That said, romances in wartime are hardly unheard of, so the relationship isn’t totally unbelievable.
  • The Magicians and Mrs. Quent — Ivy's marriage to Mr. Quent is a textbook example. The first half of the book is taken up by a Romantic Plot Tumor between Ivy and Mr. Rafferdy, which took time to develop their characters; then, Ivy meets Mr. Quent, hates him, argues with him, and all of a sudden they decide they love each other and get married. Apparently, he's "right for her" in a way that Rafferdy never was, for reasons completely lost on the reader.
  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen is quite bad at this. Characters will be madly in love after having only known each other for a few days, or after only a few brief meetings. Unfortunately, this more often than not leaves the reader somewhat confused. A few examples among the main cast include:
    • In Gardens of the Moon, Ganoes Paran and Tattersail go from having known each other for a few days, the majority of which Paran was unconscious, to having passionate sex. Then Tattersail goes off and dies, and Paran spends the next two books pining after her.
    • The same book has Crokus Younghand and Apsalar, aka Sorry. They meet, have a few awkward conversations, and then Crokus is ready to leave his whole life behind to help Apsalar go back home. It develops into a case of Romantic Plot Tumor, where until the end of the series it is not clear why or how they are in love — they just are.
    • The third volume, Memories of Ice, has Sergeant Whiskeyjack (a human man) and Korlat (a millennia-old Tiste Andii), who fall in love and hook up without any explanation after meeting for the first time.
    • Midnight Tides, the fifth volume, gives us Trull Sengar and Seren Pedac. They meet about twice, for a few minutes each time, and then Trull does the Tiste Edur equivalent of proposing to her. She accepts, despite the fact that they know almost nothing about each other and have barely had a conversation between them. An explanation can be found if one accepts that Seren is a latent mage and manipulates people's minds without being aware of it — and she admits to herself upon seeing Trull for the first time that she is attracted to him. However, even that is barely implied.
    • Reaper's Gale has Tehol Beddict and Janath Anar, who used to be Tehol's university professor. The fact that they know each other is not even mentioned until Bugg brings Janath home, and even then, all they do is bicker. By the next time they appear, in Dust of Dreams, they are married.
    • Speaking of Dust of Dreams, the ninth volume, there's Brys Beddict and Aranict, who at least admits to only have joined the army because she lusted after Brys. However, they share maybe two conversations during the entire book, in one of which Aranict flat-out faints. By the next book, they are a couple and deeply in love.
    • The same book has Henar Vygulf and Lostara Yil, the latter barely recovering from her previous strangled by the red string encounter with the assassin Pearl, who are instantly in love after their first meeting. So in love, in fact, that Lostara does a Shadow Dance to protect Vygulf when he's in danger, something she's never done before in the series. A damn god even comments about how much in love they are. It's especially jarring since, by their own admissions, they know almost nothing about each other.
  • Maximum Ride started out with just the gentlest of implied romance between Max and Fang, focusing mainly on an intricate plot revolving around the mad scientists who created them. Then The Final Warning hit, the plot disappeared, and suddenly they were all over each other, all the time. The fandom was thrilled for the most part... except for those who realized that these two characters were, for all intents and purposes, brother and sister...
  • The early Night Watch (Series) novels have this with Anton and Svetlana. It seems the only reason they're together is that Gesar says so. In fact, Svetlana is frustrated that Anton seems to be taking the fact that they're going to end up together for granted, culminating in her having a threesome with two of his colleagues during a weekend getaway with Anton in the next room. When he finds out that truth, his calm acceptance and brushing off of this infuriates her, further pointing out how he doesn't care about it because their future together is set. It's pointed out, however, that Anton's big problem is Svetlana's power level, which is far above his. Historically, such relationships haven't lasted among Others. Their relationship is temporarily salvaged, when Svetlana is drained by the Mirror, making them more or less even. In later novels, they're Happily Married and raising a daughter, especially after Anton is boosted to Svetlana's power level. It's not clear what will happen after Sixth Watch when Anton is Brought Down to Normal permanently, meaning Svetlana will outlive him by centuries.
  • Done quite intentionally in the Night World series. Everyone has a soulmate, and you are meant for each other, no debate. The first book actually gives us two characters who have been friends for a while and been mutually building a relationship, but later books give us characters who deconstruct and reconstruct the idea of soulmates: Ash and Mary-Lynette, for example, act completely out of character around each other... because the feelings are entirely new and spontaneous towards a stranger. They get over it, mostly. And Ash becomes The Atoner so he can deserve her.
  • Beka and Farmer from Beka Cooper. About 400 pages of no romantic hints... and then suddenly she notices what broad shoulders he has. And then they're declaring their love for each other and promising marriage while they're in a jail cell, after being tortured, and at a time when Beka still doesn't know for sure who the group traitor is.
  • Played with in-universe for The Raven Cycle heroine Blue. Growing up in a family full of psychics, she's been told the same prophecy about her true love for years. She gets pretty sick of it to the point that when she does meet the person who's supposedly her true love, she basically says Screw Destiny and decides to pursue the boy she actually likes instead. Not that this works out entirely, but she gets points for trying.
  • Zayn second relationship in Katharine Kerr's Snare. The other, presumably main, relationship Zayn had got pages and pages of mutual attraction and affection before they hooked up, spread over several weeks. This one had a bare paragraph explaining (not showing, explaining) that they were now friends. Next thing you know someone suggests that they're in love. Zayn is initially horrified and is rather surprised at the whole concept of homosexuality. A few days later, yep, confirmed, they're in love.
  • Moon and BZ Guindhalinu in The Snow Queen Series. In The Snow Queen, Moon goes through a lot of travails to find and rescue her childhood sweetheart Sparks. During her journey, she is captured and imprisoned with another man, BZ, who comes to fall in love with her. After they escape, Moon and BZ sleep with each other once, which cements BZ's love for her, but her heart still belongs to Sparks. At book's end, Sparks is rescued and BZ leaves the planet, believing he can never return to his true love ever again. Then come the sequel The Summer Queen, Moon is shown pining after BZ based on their single moment of sleeping together. The vast majority of the 950-page book is spent showing BZ and Moon pining, reuniting, and forming a romantic relationship that, as far as readers can tell, exists solely because they are good in bed. Other characters over the course of the series fall in love at the drop of a hat because of good looks and/or good sex, but to watch the main characters fall in love without any good rationalization outside of "We once had hot passionate sex 18+ years ago" is infuriating.
  • Jon-Tom and Talea's relationship is handled this way in the Spellsinger novels. They meet in the first novel and go on an adventure together. Then they spend two novels without seeing each other while Jon-Tom moons over her. They finally meet up again in the fifth novel, approximately two or three years later. Talea admits that she's got feelings for Jon-Tom. In the time-skip between the fifth and sixth novels, they get married.
  • The Stardoc series has Cherijo and Duncan, Dhreen and Ilona, and Squilyp and Garphawayn; Blade Dancer has Jory and Kol.
  • Sweet Valley High:
    • In spin-off Sweet Valley Confidential, Elizabeth is estranged from her family after discovering that Jessica and Todd were having an affair behind her back. In the original books, what was considered canon varied due to changes between different ghostwriters, but generally Jessica found Todd boring and he thought of her as irresponsible and childish. Confidential retconned past events so that Jessica and Todd had been seeing each other secretly ever since college, where they became madly attracted to each other after Jessica agreed to pose as Elizabeth and go as Todd's date to a party. They spend the book trying to reconcile with Elizabeth and regretful at what they've done to her, yet agreeing that their love is so strong it can't be denied. There's no real explanation as to what they see in each other (beyond Jessica thinking while drunk that Todd is better than her many failed past relationships), nor why their bond is supposed to be so strong. By the follow-up series The Sweet Life they are having problems in their marriage and their two-year-old son is torn between them, yet we're again told their love is strong enough to make it through the odds.
    • Also in Sweet Valley Confidential, Steven Wakefield comes out as gay and leaves his wife for Aaron Dallas. Like Jessica and Todd, they fight against the odds for their love and we're told they are soul mates, yet there's no explanation of the relationship, with the book suggesting that they're attracted to each other just because they are the two designated queer characters (going so far as to claim Aaron "became" gay by moving to San Francisco).
  • Ted Dekker does this in all of his later books, and some of his earlier ones. Immanuel's Veins was a vampire romance novel, which was depressing when you compare it to some of his original works like the Circle series and Thr3e. Obsessed was from the very start a man ferociously in love with some girl he had never met or seen. Even in some of his books that give relationships more time to build up, it's less talking about why his main character loves a woman and more about how intense his love is.
  • Twilight has this both In-Universe with the concept of "imprinting", which means this can be done to werewolves as soon as the plot demands (arguably, all the examples in book 3 were only to prepare the reader for the last one), and out-of-universe with Bella and Edward's relationship. Edward acts surly and moody toward Bella for the first half of the book, and yet Bella decides that she's "unconditionally and irrevocably in love with [Edward]" right after she realizes that he's a vampire who thirsts after her blood, and is completely devoted to him from that point on, even in the face of Edward's own warnings about how he could kill her. Just how devoted is she? She's willing to give up her human life without any second thoughts to be with him forever after what can't be any more than a month of knowing him and instantly leaps back into his arms after he renders her practically comatose by leaving her without explanation. And her interactions with Edward after the vampire "reveal" consist almost entirely of them repeatedly professing their love to one another and her even more repeatedly being "dazzled" by Edward's glorious beauty. To put it a little more into focus Bella's other love interest was made to be more of a boorish jerk in the third book when fans read the second book and a lot of them hoped Bella ended up with him instead, because the two of them had much better chemistry than Bella and Edward, the guy the author wanted her to be in a pairing with.
  • Likewise, in the The Short Second Life Of Bree Tanner, with Bree and Diego and, later, Freddie. Bree and Diego interact for one night, she spends most of it afraid that he's going to kill her, and by morning they seemingly are madly in love with each other. The same goes for Freddie. Since it's from Bree's point of view and the "relationships" between her and the guys are so muted, it's possible that we're supposed to see it as her mistaking simple friendship for love (which would fit with her background of being abused and neglected), except that nothing ever indicates this and she acts almost exactly the same way Bella does, including being perfectly alright to die when she finds out he's gone, because life without him isn't worth living.
  • The Thursday Next series does this intentionally: Thursday and Landen get a small subplot of how they get together in the first book but were already basically in love before the series starts without much ado. Jasper Fforde admitted to doing this to get all the romantic stuff out of the way and be able to concentrate on the real story.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • Half Moon or Stoneteller and Jayfeather/Jay's Wing. They've only met twice, once in Long Shadows and again in Sign of the Moon, and bam, Jayfeather has feelings for her. It's a bit of a jarring change, especially since it implies a bit of hypocrisy because he was angry at his mother Leafpool, for falling in love as a medicine cat. Watch the Broken Base fandom get up in arms over whether they're a super cute pairing that brought tears to their eyes or whether their love is too cheesy and Half Moon is a Satellite Love Interest, and cue the Jayfeather/Cinderheart, Jayfeather/Willowshine, Jayfeather/Briarlight, Jayfeather/Stick, Jayfeather/Anyone but Half Moon shippers bashing Half-Moon six ways to Sunday.
    • Bluestar and Oakheart have similar problems. They hardly meet at all up until he is suddenly begging Bluestar (then Bluefur) to meet at Fourtrees. Up until this point, Bluestar hated Oakheart for months (though this was clearly intended to be Belligerent Sexual Tension) and had only recently developed a crush on him. They then spend one night together, which ends with Bluestar getting pregnant. And all this is later painted as a great tragic love story.
    • It's a running problem with cross-Clan relationships in Warriors. In addition to the above example, Crowfeather and Leafpool really get this as well. They jump from acquaintances to in love before you could say 'mouse'. Next thing you know, they're running away together, and just like Bluestar and Oakheart they get pregnant from a one-night stand.
    • Spottedleaf as Firestar's Lost Lenore is spotty, going by their interactions in life. Barely older than a kit and new to being a Clan cat, Fireheart is smitten by Spottedleaf and enjoys visiting her often. The two become friends but not much is shown about their relationship because Spottedleaf is murdered in the first book of series. Spottedleaf spends the rest of the series either being a guide spirit or being alive in prequels from before she met Firepaw. Despite barely knowing each other for a few months, Firestar continues to be in love with Spottedleaf, even after becoming Sandstorm's mate, and it's implied he loves Spottedleaf the most.
  • The Wheel of Time took this trope and beat it to death, with a canonical expression of "weird stuff happens because the plot says so". Probably the most notable example of this trope is Rand's relationship with Elayne. The characters themselves feel pretty manipulated, but hey, prophecy can do that to you! Lan and Nynaeve are also pretty bad. The period during which they fall in love in book one is completely off-page, yet we're supposed to buy that it's strong enough that in the very next book, Nynaeve is shoving thorns through her palms at the thought of not being with him. Other examples include Faile & Perrin, who vaguely argue a few times while Perrin panics about a prophecy that says she's important to him, then suddenly they're in a committed relationship. See also: Gareth & Siuan, who argue until she hears a prophecy that they should stick together, or Thom & Moiraine, who only have one significant on-page conversation, involving one of them essentially extorting the other one to go away. Multiple books later, it turns out Moiraine is actually in love with him, mostly because she heard a prophecy that they'd get married.
  • The vast majority of characters in Xanth, particularly in the latter books, are paired up within days — if not hours — of meeting each other. This manifests in-universe as the land itself being a Genius Loci Shipper on Deck: There's natural love springs that can send any zoological Crack Pairing off to start making some rather interesting hybrids.
  • The 39 Clues—most of the canon pairings introduced from the second series onward involve Love at First Sight (which wouldn't be so problematic if it didn't occur with every single pairing), and readers are supposed to immediately accept that these two characters who just met are madly in love. For example: Ian Kabra and Cara Pierce. Even the Anguished Declaration of Love between Amy and Jake in Day of Doom, after the two have had several books' worth of Unresolved Sexual Tension, seems awkward and forced because the scene is executed poorly, with both characters coming across as overly sappy and out of character, especially since Amy was still in a relationship with Evan Tolliver at the time and is not the type of person who would cheat.
  • Hannibal and Clarice hook up at the end of the book, despite their being zero hint of an attraction between them in the previous novel. And even after being drugged and brainwashed, it seems highly unlikely that Clarice would seduce him and willingly abandon her life to go on the run with him.
  • Realm of the Elderlings has Fitz and Molly in the Farseer Trilogy, where Fitz is apparently madly in love with Molly because they played together when he was ten. It's not so noticeable in the first book, but by Royal Assassin, she's outright referred to as his "beloved Molly" in the book's summary and Molly herself receives some Character Shilling from Patience, Berric and Nighteyes, the latter two keep commenting on what a good mate she'd be for Fitz and Patience calling her "smart and diligent, full of wit and spirit," traits that she never really shows on the rare occasions she actually does share pagetime with Fitz, but apparently she's still the love of his life. King Shrewd calls Fitz out on this when Fitz rejects a potential Arranged Marriage with Celerity, a Lord's daughter whom he does like, if not romantically, by claiming he's already promised to marry Molly. Shrewd tells Fitz that he can't just go around marrying whoever he likes (especially not some random servant girl when he has Farseer blood) when refusing Celerity might offend an important political ally and that he's acting just like Chivalry.
  • Vin and Elend's relationship comes off like this in Mistborn: The Original Trilogy, as in the first book the supposedly very guarded and private Vin falls for Elend after having a few conversations with him in the and while posing as someone else, to the point where Kelsier even goes out of his way to spare Elend's life despite his hatred of nobles because Vin is in love with him. They spend the entirety of The Well of Ascension whining about how they aren't good enough for each other, Vin because she's a former street urchin who doesn't fit in with the high society Elend grew up in and Elend because Vin is a Mistborn and has mysterious powers he doesn't understand, making them both come off as extremely insecure and their relationship very shallow, since they rarely sit down and properly talk to each other about what's bothering them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Season 3 of 13 Reasons Why, Winston and Monty randomly meet at a party, are attracted to each other and hook up. Then when Winston tries to chat with him afterwards, he gets the everloving crap beaten out of him, with Monty's excuse being he thought people would realize he was gay and he doesn't want to be outed...which is still not a good reason to beat someone up. In spite of this and the fact he barely knows him and that he becomes aware he's been arrested for sexual assault, Winston still falls head-over-heels for Monty, to the point he's willing to transfer schools to investigate Bryce's murder and prove Monty was set up for it. Season 4 even eventually acknowledges this to some extent, indicating that Winston loved the idea of Monty more than anything (especially seeing as the real Monty is a horrible person).
  • All My Children's: Edmund and Maria. They begin dating in the wake of Edmund and Brooke's breakup and her subsequent marriage to Tad. While not unhappy with Maria, he still spends the entirety of their relationship pining away for Brooke, proposing to Maria only after Brooke has rejected him once and for all, trying to reunite with Brooke twice during his engagement to Maria, even telling Brooke at one point, "What I feel for her doesn't come within a country mile of what I feel for you", and even ditching his rehearsal dinner to be at Brooke's side during an operation. Literally out of nowhere, Edmund one day declares Maria to be the love of his life. While it might actually be one of the better examples of this trope—-they go on to have a genuinely blissful marriage until she's "killed" in a plane crash—it's still a glaring Retcon.
  • Arrowverse:
    • Hawkman and Hawkgirl in the two-part The Flash (2014) and Arrow special (which serves as a lead-in for Legends of Tomorrow) have absolutely no onscreen chemistry together. Hawkgirl even acknowledges this to Cisco, whom she'd been dating prior to her remembering who she was (and who was still very much in love with her) but says that she should be with Hawkman Because Destiny Says So. Eventually, even the writers seemed to realize they weren't right for each other; after the Hawks departed in the Season One finale, having vowed to start their relationship over, the rest of the Legends commented that it probably wasn't going to last. What makes it most unsatisfying is that it was presented as purely You Can't Fight Fate at work; she was with Cisco in The Flash and Ray in Legends and struggling to resist these past life memories drawing her to a total stranger. She spent her whole time in two shows fighting to live her life on her own terms, making it feel more like a Downer Ending than True Love winning.
    • The romance between Nate Heywood and Amaya Jiwe in Season Two of Legends came completely out of the left field; prior to that, it seemed that Amaya was going to get together with Mick Rory instead. Unlike the example with the Hawks, however, fans did eventually come to appreciate their relationship, to the point that their separation in the Season Three finale was a major Tear Jerker.
    • The romance between Nate and Zari in season 4 is even worse. Out of nowhere, Zari becomes irresistibly attracted to Nate despite having little interaction with him and she was supportive of his relationship with Amaya in the previous season. It also doesn't help that Nate spends the bulk of the season out of the team.
  • Battlestar Galactica:
    • Apollo was in a forced and loveless marriage with Dualla. TWoP even coined a term for it: "The Love That All of a Sudden". There were scenes in several previous episodes that showed them growing closer to each other, all of which ended up being cut. Eventually the writers just said "screw it" and threw them together without any buildup. It also didn't help that they hooked up in the very next episode after Dualla's boyfriend Billy was tragically killed, with the writing not being as clear as it could have been that at least a couple of months had passed, making it look like they practically started making out over Billy's corpse.
    • Chief and Cally. After a Time Skip of one year they go from being friends and co-workers to married. The last time they were seen interacting was when Chief smashed Cally's face in after she woke him from a suicidal dream. This one at least had some hints prior to the time skip, as Cally was clearly seen crushing on the Chief on several occasions prior to the beatdown.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210: Emily and Brandon have a brief, unconsummated relationship that ends after she slips him Ectasy, resulting in her stalking and harassing him for several weeks after. Several years later, he tells Brenda she was the love of his life, despite the fact that he explicitly told her that he didn't love her when rebuffing her attempts at reconciliation.
    • Because TPTB decided to write in Gabrielle Cateris' Real Life pregnancy, but didn't want her to get pregnant by the first guy she slept with, her character Andrea abruptly dumped her boyfriend, and was rushed into a relationship with a new guy. She got pregnant about two minutes after that and married him about two minutes after that. We're supposed to believe that they're madly in love and ready to spend the rest of their lives together when they've only been dating a few weeks—the very reason she was initially considering an abortion—and would have likely never discussed marriage had she not been pregnant.
  • Blue Bloods: A rare positive example with Jamie and Edie, who get engaged after a Near-Death Experience finally makes them acknowledge their feelings for each other, opting to skip over all that pesky dating. Which actually makes sense, as they've been friends and partners for years and don't really need to date, as they already know everything about each other.
  • Bramwell does this twice.
    • At the end of the second-to-last season, the title character accepts a proposal from her colleague Dr. Marsham, even though he himself states that he knows she doesn't love him the way he loves her and is only agreeing to marriage to save herself from spinsterhood. Problem is, he made this declaration of love once, several years ago, but immediately took it back and apologized, given that he was married, and never brought it up again, indicating that he'd gotten over his feelings.
    • Then in the final season, she meets an army major and within a few weeks is cheating on Dr. Marsham with him, engaging in Wall Bang Her sex while at a party. She conceives from this, and the series concludes with them getting married. We're led to believe that this man is the love of Eleanor's life, despite the fact that she barely knows him and probably wouldn't have considered marriage if she weren't pregnant.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine:
    • Rosa's relationship with Holt's nephew Marcus in the second season often comes off like this. The relationship is supposedly one of the most significant that Rosa's ever had and she is apparently deeply attached to him. However, the fact that Marcus was hardly ever around, when he was he didn't really seem that interesting or appear to have many distinguishing characteristics, and the fact that Rosa, by nature The Stoic, didn't really show a lot of emotion in general, made it easy for viewers to wonder exactly what the big deal was supposed to be.
    • This gets even weirder in Season 3, when Rosa very suddenly falls in love with Adrian Pimento a mere few episodes after the character is introduced. He's a weird and creepy enough character to make it believable that Rosa would have a thing for him, but their sudden leap from "just met" to "we're getting married in a week" is jarring, to say the least. It's possibly lampshaded by the writers in the scene where they get engaged, right in the middle of making an arrest, with no buildup, fanfare, or anything the audience would consider even remotely romantic. Their whirlwind romance ends up being the catalyst for the season-ending cliffhanger, as the Nine-Nine ends up banding together to protect Adrian from a mob hit. One can easily get the impression that the relationship was introduced to keep the audience from wondering why the rest of the precinct would come together so easily in support of an officer they barely know, who is a bit of a loose cannon that most of the rest of them feel incredibly uncomfortable around.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Buffy and Riley had no hope right from the start. Granted, the writers tried, but they tried so badly to make Riley "not Angel" that they forgot to give him any interesting character traits of his own — or any that would make him even the slightest bit compatible with Buffy. Beyond that, there wasn't much build-up and the actors really lacked chemistry, leaving the impression that they liked each other because the script said so. The timing of this relationship didn't help much — shortly after Buffy's dramatic and defining relationship with Angel ends and Angel leaves Sunnydale, the writers tried introducing Buffy into a brand new romantic relationship with a brand new character (Riley) without giving much recovery time for the end of the Buffy/Angel relationship, which had been a primary storyline of Seasons 1-3.
    • For Willow/Kennedy in season 7, the writers didn't even try at all. Literally the only reason they start a relationship was because Kennedy was also a lesbian, and Kennedy seemed determined to not have any likable traits whatsoever. It was a huge letdown after Willow and Tara's relationship, which out of the whole show had the most build-up and most development. It may have even been worse in the "too soon" department than Riley had been, as Willow had abruptly lost Tara to a freak accident at the end of the previous season and was still mourning. Intentionally or not, the circumstances really made the relationship ring closer to a rebound than anything else.
  • Charmed (1998): Phoebe with Coop. The character was introduced 8 episodes before the finale and only seemed too exist to be the handsome hunk that would become her husband. It became incredibly blatant when the audience, and Phoebe herself, had to be outright told that he was the love of her life.
  • Kevin and Molly's affair from Coronation Street really seemed like just an excuse to have an affair storyline because they hadn't had one in a while. The attraction suddenly developed when the two of them started going running and after about three weeks they were ready to hop in the sack. Bear in mind Kevin was Happily Married with two kids and Molly was also Happily Married, and a key part of her character was how much she valued trust in a relationship. Also there was about a 15-year age gap between them and it apparently developed into true love so much that when Kevin called off the affair because his wife had cancer, Molly couldn't understand why...
  • Cursed: Arthur and Nimue's romance has been criticized for coming across as contrived and bland. Although they flirt a lot in the first episode, Nimue subsequently spends half the season distrusting Arthur for stealing (then losing) the Sword of Power entrusted to her by her dying mother - which she seems to forget rather quickly - and Arthur was willing to steal from Nimue when she was at her most vulnerable for selfish reasons (then victim-blamed her over it), despite supposedly having a crush on her. They barely spend any quality time together before getting a Relationship Upgrade in the fifth episode. On top of this, some viewers felt they lacked romantic chemistry and have little in common; the only reason they seem to get together is because 'the script says so'.
  • Degrassi abuses this to an infuriating degree. Probably the worst example is in the movie Degrassi Takes Manhattan. Fan-favorite couple, Jane and Spinner, end up splitting up. And who does Spinner turn to? Not any of his many exes (all of whom he's turned to comfort before) or even some random one-shot hook up character. The morning after drunken festivities with his pals, he awakes to find himself married to Emma, who spoke to him a grand total of one time before the movie, and that one time was her telling him off at the very, very beginning of the show when [[spoiler: Spinner bullied Innocent!Manny. Instead of getting the marriage annulled, they say 'what the hell?' and see if the romance roulette will actually work.
  • Dexter:
    • The fourth season's opening episode features a brand-new relationship between Lt. LaGuerta and Sgt. Batista, which apparently developed entirely in the gap between seasons, despite no previous chemistry other than a standard-for-the-precinct friendship. Batista was even involved in an entirely different (and more developed) relationship as of the last episode of the previous season which vanished without a trace sometime in the meanwhile. Overstated drama immediately ensues over everything from policies against office romances necessitating secrecy to overblown arguments over shared bank accounts and Batista fighting in bars to defend LaGuerta's honor. Meanwhile, neither the show's primary nor secondary storyline is even remotely affected by any of this, and the rest of the cast largely ignores it. It just takes a lot of screen time in Seasons 4 and 5. Then in Season 6 they are suddenly divorced.
    • Season 7 had Dexter and Hannah McKay. They have little chemistry and hook up very suddenly, and pretty much the only thing they have in common is they're both serial killers. It's obviously meant to set up an emotional moment when Deb is forced to arrest Hannah; after all, she was "the only person who'd ever accepted Dexter"...except that the writers apparently forgot about Lila West and Lumen Pierce, both of whom had been perfectly willing to accept Dexter's killing, the latter even helping him out in the exact same way that Hannah did. The whole thing just felt rather forced. It happened again in Season 8, with Hannah showing up again out of nowhere, and she and Dexter bacl together within two episodes. Even Dr. Vogel, an expert on psychology and human behavior, couldn't stop gushing about how utterly perfect they were for each other.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Invasion of Time": Companion Leela decides to stay on Gallifrey and marry the guard Andred, even though there's been nothing romantic between them. While the actors tried to suggest some attraction within the story, the script didn't give them much to work with. It's basically, Doctor: "Come on, Leela, let's go." Leela: "No, I'm going to stay here and marry Andred." Doctor: "Okay, bye." This happened because the actress told the producer she was leaving at the end of the season, and he kept trying to change her mind. The Big Finish audio drama series Gallifrey ends up subverting this relationship in a fairly satisfying way.
    • The posthumous pairing of Peri with King Yrcanos at the end of "The Trial of a Time Lord". Apparently, Colin Baker was distressed by Peri's death at the end of the "Mindwarp" portion of the Story Arc and mentioned this to producer John Nathan-Turner, who, in his usual subtle way, fixed the problem by giving the Inquisitor a quick line stating that Peri is living happily with Yrcanos as a warrior queen, despite how nothing in the story, apart from the brief clip of his putting his hand on her shoulder that is shown after that line, supports that romance, and doing a Retcon of it makes a hash of the entire end of the story.
    • Susan, Vicki, and Jo are three other female companions who were written out of the show by perfunctorily marrying them off, though while the relationships had very rapid development (one serial apiece) they weren't as completely out-of-nowhere as the two above. Still, with regards to Vicki in "The Myth Makers", as soon as she's gratuitously renamed "Cressida" by Agamemnon simply because he doesn't like her real name, it should be quite clear to the viewers where this is going.
    • Martha Jones and Mickey Smith, two characters who before "Journey's End" had never even met, and had only been onscreen together in the scene where everybody from the new series ever flies the TARDIS, are shown in their "happy ending" vignette in "The End of Time"note  as a married couple, freelancers, and fighting a Sontaran. This is despite the fact that Martha had been shown to be engaged in a previous appearance (though her fiancé never showed up). It ends up looking like a bad case of Pair the Spares, and an even worse case of the Token Minority Couple-or, in the best case scenario, the writer just flat-out forgetting about things.
    • Clara Oswald and Danny Pink's romance in Series 8 was criticized for being poorly written and too rapidly developed — in his second appearance, "Listen", they go on a disastrous first date, yet they're firmly a couple by the end anyway. Then a Love Triangle situation with Twelve is brought into the picture two episodes after that, with only half a season to go! Then again, it all ends when Danny is killed in the Season Finale, with a coda in the Christmas Episode afterward. A fan theory is that this storyline was written to maintain an overt romantic plot in the show out of fear that just carrying Clara's relationship with the Eleventh Doctor over to the Twelfth with little change would have alienated viewers due to Twelve being played by a much older actor.
    • In their early days, River and the Doctor fell into this trope for some fans due to the main gimmick of their relationship being that they meet in the wrong order and therefore one tends to gain affection as the other loses it. Post-"The Wedding of River Song" they were on the same wavelength, alleviating this aspect of their relationship. However, in the 2015 Christmas Episode "The Husbands of River Song", it's revealed that River Song still had doubts that the Doctor truly loved her, not thinking it was in his nature; the story also did a Retcon of the Eleven-era short "Last Night" ( Eleven didn't take her to the Singing Towers after all). Twelve doesn't hide his attraction to her, and the ending of this story reveals Twelve was with River at the Singing Towers, and the "night" they spent there lasted twenty-four years, effectively making him her "true" husband.
    • The problem with this is that "Husbands" aired just three weeks after the tragic three-part Series 9 finale that saw his long and well-established relationship with Clara Oswald come to a sad end, and many fans felt it was too soon for him to be so attracted to another even with his previous selves' established history with River. In Twelve's defense, however, 1) his relationship with Clara was codependently toxic by the end and they were forced to realize it was doing everyone more harm than good (after all, he risked the space-time continuum to undo her death), and 2) he was effectively mind-wiped of his love for her, so he wasn't brooding (much) over its dissolution by the time he met River again. Also, the Expanded Universe went on to establish he traveled on his own or with Canon Foreigner companions for quite a while between "Hell Bent" and "Husbands", again giving him time to move beyond Clara.
  • In Ellen, Paige and Spence, who at first hated each other, become passionate lovers after the course of season three.
  • The Expanse has a one-sided example, though due to the strange context it’s arguably subverted. At the start of the series, private detective Joe Miller is assigned a case to track down Julie Mao, a wealthy heiress and political activist who’s gone missing. Since Miller is a cynical Corrupt Cop and resents privilege, he initially sees it as little more than a monetary gig and cares nothing for the subject. However, over the course of the investigation, he grows to admire her character and heroism and becomes infatuated with her. Tragically, she’s killed by the Protomolecule shortly before he finds her. Then things get weird. Due to how the Protomolecule works, Julie’s unconscious mind is absorbed into it and becomes the core of its rapidly growing Hive Mind. Miller manages to reach her at the core, waking her up and calming her by showing her compassion and companionship. The two then kiss right before Julie uses her moment of lucidity to smash the Protomocule hive into Venus. The entire latter interaction between the two lasts five minutes. Needless to say, while developed on Miller’s side, it’s a bit sudden on Julie’s.
  • Family Matters had Steve being in love with Laura from the beginning, despite how she had never given him any hopes that he would win her heart and was even mean to him during the first couple of seasons. And it was clear that she preferred the Jerk Jock type, which was the polar opposite of Steve's nerdy personality. And for a couple of seasons, when Steve had a serious relationship with Myra and he had become friends with Laura, Steve's crush on Laura was almost forgotten about. But then came the 9th and last season, when it seems like the writers suddenly decided that Steve and Laura just had to end up together, despite how they both were in serious relationships with other people...
  • Friends: Chandler and Monica are a perfect example of this and Tropes Are Not Bad. In the first four seasons, there were no evident romantic feelings between the characters, they were close friends but just as close as anyone else in the group. They have a few sweet moments ("The One With The Birth", "The One With The Flashback", "The One With The Jellyfish") just like pretty much every girl/guy pairing on the show, but it was always platonic. Also, for most of season 4 they rarely have a one-to-one interaction... until the last episode when they spend a night together in London: this was the start of the Chandler/Monica era. Luckily, it was very well written and it becomes immediately popular with fans. Their relationship evolved from sexual to romantic and Chandler gradually overcoming his fear of commitment and become Happily Married.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Robb Stark and Talisa Maegyr in the second and third season. The show's Four Lines, All Waiting structure meant there wasn't nearly enough time to develop a proper romance between them, but after just a few conversations, Robb is so in love with Talisa that he's willing to risk his entire war campaign falling apart to marry her. It doesn't help that, in the source material, Robb marrying Jeyne Westerling (whom Talisa replaced in the show) had less to do with love and more to do with preserving her honor after they slept together and she lost her virginity to him.
    • Though their meeting was long-awaited, Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow's romantic relationship ended up being rushed due to the compressed Season 7 episode count. The showrunners, writers, actors, and other characters state from the moment these two meet, Dany and Jon are attracted to one another. Their chemistry is a point of divide among the fandom — some feel Jon and Dany have chemistry, while others feel they lack it. Both have already been involved in serious relationships (Dany for love and politics more than once) and being royalty in a time of crisis, the two of them falling in love with one another can come across as immature to some viewers. Now that it's been confirmed that, as many book readers surmised, Daenerys, Jon, and their eventual relationship are one of the things that the Song of Ice and Fire title refers to, their coming together is a major point of the series and critical to the culminating points of the story. As a result, their relationship is one thing which absolutely should not have been rushed and should have been handled by the showrunners more carefully, a problem that continues into season 8 as most of the series' plotlines race toward the end.
      • In Season 8, some feel their relationship still lacks proper development and the fall-out after The Reveal of Jon's true parentage wasn't sufficiently explored beyond it contributing to Dany's Sanity Slippage. Because of this, the tragic nature when it comes to the culmination of their relationship in which Jon must kill Dany to save everyone else after she torches a surrendered King's Landing doesn't work for these viewers because it wasn't properly built up enough.
  • Glee:
    • Tina and Mike Chang, who never interacted in S1 (Mike only spoke one line), and were basically put together for Asian jokes. Since then they have at least gotten some relationship development, although much of it was offscreen.
    • Mercedes and Sam. Enforced as Sam's actor temporarily left the series due to contract disputes right after Mercedes and Sam got together. When he returned, the writers treated their relationship like some tragic love story. Because it had next to no development, it was hard for most viewers to buy into that and get invested in the relationship.
    • Brittany and Artie started off this way, and earned the show lots of backlash from angry Brittany/Santana fans. It became clearer over time that Artie was intended as a Romantic False Lead, and the whole relationship was designed to force Santana to realize her feelings for Brittany.
    • One that carries some Unfortunate Implications: Sam was originally created to be a love interest for Kurt, but was changed to be straight when Ryan Murphy apparently noticed chemistry between him and Quinn so strong that it just couldn't be denied (and which many fans have been quick to point out doesn't seem to come across onscreen). To his credit, he did also create another character as a love interest for Kurt afterwards.
    • While the show had teased Kurt and Blaine for a while after Blaine's introduction "Never Been Kissed," after the mid-season break the show seemed to be heading in the exact opposite direction, trying to convince the viewers that the two were Better as Friends by having Blaine fall for other people and turn down Kurt's advances while excelling in a mentor-like role. However, in "Original Song," Kurt's rendition of "Blackbird" causes Blaine to suddenly reverse his feelings and he and Kurt are sucking face just a few minutes later.
    • More broadly, the show has been criticized for turning to these repeatedly to create tension between its primary couples of Finn/Rachel, Kurt/Blaine and, to a lesser extent, Brittany/Santana. They'd split up, often by cheating on or to hook up with a Romantic False Lead out of the blue, and spend half a season needing to re-realize their true feelings for each other.
  • Hannah Montana: Lilly and Oliver have been friends since kindergarten. They've seen the best and worst of each other, the best and worst of times, and have been there for each other through all of it. Let's not forget that they have numerous common interests. Do the writers use any of these perfectly legitimate story elements as a basis for their Relationship Upgrade? Please, this is the Disney Channel! Instead, we get some contrived story about how her head fit into his neck and how she smelled like apples. And they go from being good friends to all PDA all the time. Even Miley gets sick of the Romantic Plot Tumor, and its especially odd since the writers seemed to be slowly setting Oliver up with Miley in prior episodes, including one in the same season.
  • Heroes had Matt Parkman and Daphne in Volume 3, because Matt saw a future vision of himself married to her, and started going after her Because Destiny Says So. She even asked what they had in common. Despite this, people prefer Daphne to Janice, Matt's wife/ex-wife/wife. Them getting back together is kind of an example because she reveals her baby is his and despite her cheating on him with his best friend, he immediately forgives her.
  • Popular Home and Away pairing Aden and Belle was considered random by a number of fans. Having never interacted prior to the 2008 season, they started working together and established a relationship based purely on insults, which half the audience interpreted as "secretly wanting to rip each other's clothes off" and the other half interpreted as "genuinely not liking each other" until one episode when she insults him, he looks like he's going to cry and her best friend declares that he likes her. A few weeks later, when the closest they've come to a meaningful conversation is her sitting silent while he chats to his surrogate father, he drunkenly climbs through her bedroom window and gets into bed with her, which apparently means they're now a couple.
  • Foreman and Thirteen on House, who went from "awkward conversations in the locker room" to "awkward kiss in a conference room" to "willing to commit career suicide for this person" in the span of about two weeks. Which is lampshaded by Thirteen herself at one point.
  • House of Anubis:
    • Fabian and Mara. For most of the show, they had only about four lines of dialogue together, and then suddenly started showing signs of romance in the last minute of the season 3 finale. In The Touchstone of Ra, they suddenly ended up kissing. While it's very true that they are very much alike, it's still very jarring, and has only helped fuel Mara's Scrappy status.
    • Alfie and Willow fit this to a lesser extent. On one episode, out of nowhere, Alfie decided he had feelings for Willow. However, this does not make the pairing bad, as many fans have become attached to this pairing for their relatively drama-free attitude (which is rare for this show), their similarities, and their funny scenes together.
    • Alfie has this with Piper, which makes sense because Piper was only on the show for three episodes. It's downplayed, in that he had originally believed she was Patricia, her twin, who he knew for years, and they had a few scenes together that showed them growing closer, which makes their short-lived relationship more believable.
  • How I Met Your Mother had this with Ted and Robin getting together in the final episode. While they were the Official Couple for most of the show, the previous season had made a whole plotline out of Ted letting go of Robin and accepting that they just weren't meant to be together, opening up room for him to meet The Mother. Who was then killed off, and Robin and Barney got divorced, then Ted and Robin got together, despite it being established that Robin at that point mostly drifted away from the group for years due to just not fitting in anymore, presumably including Ted.
  • iCarly does this with Sam and Freddie for their brief hook up in season 4. Regardless of whether you are a Seddie or Creddie shipper, and while Sam and Freddie's fighting could be (and definitely was by their shippers) interpreted as Belligerent Sexual Tension, the actual hook up comes off like this. Rather than a convincing Slap-Slap-Kiss, as most BST couples get, all the audience gets is Freddie using his very strange mood app (which receives no explanation) to read Sam's mood, which reveals it as "in love", which Freddie thinks applies to Brad, and when he confronts Sam about it, she suddenly kisses him.
  • Lost:
    • Sayid with Shannon, who made him forget the love of his life (which almost borders this trope, since they were childhood friends, but reconnected during the month she was a prisoner of the army he was serving). Doesn't last long, but in the series finale, he hooks up with Shannon again in the afterlife, establishing her instead of Nadia as the love of his life and his soulmate. What.
    • Sawyer and Juliet hooked up in season five although they barely even spoke to each other for the previous two seasons. However, it worked: the show skips ahead in time and uses their relationship as a surprisingly effective reveal.
  • Merlin:
    • Arthur/Guinevere, one that has led to something of a Broken Base among the fandom. Neither Arthur nor Guinevere interacted very much in season one, although the scenes that they did share had a strong emotional punch to them (Arthur comforts Gwen after her father's death, Gwen tends Arthur on his sick-bed, etc), but come the second episode of season two, Arthur stays at Gwen's house for a short period of time and impulsively kisses her when the time comes to leave. From this point, there are several rather overwrought declarations ("I care about her more than anyone!" and "Anyone who spends five minutes with you can see how you feel about each other!") that don't feel particularly earned, as well as violins, slow-motion, and dramatic back-lighting whenever they're together (and at least one True Love's Kiss). Things improved a bit in the third season when Arthur/Gwen were given more of a chance to flirt and have actual conversations.
    • Merlin/Freya, a Rescue Romance that begins with Merlin saving Freya from a Bounty Hunter, suddenly having the young warlock willing to give up his entire life in Camelot to run away with a girl he’s had exactly three short conversations with. The only reason he doesn’t go through with it is because Freya didn’t survive the episode.
  • The Nanny: Despite a few moments of Belligerent Sexual Tension (like the kiss in the first season 3 episode), Niles and C.C. hate each other and Niles loves to insult and torment C.C. for most of the show... until the last season when Niles suddenly reveals that he's actually in love with her and decides he wants to marry her. Then we only know that C.C. turns him down several times and after an argument Niles gives her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech...however, at the end of the episode, they are discovered in bed together without any explanation. After that, they almost never interact on-screen but it's implied they are having a secret relationship. In the last episode they get married in Fran's DELIVERY ROOM and in the same scene C.C. even learns that she is pregnant with Niles' baby. Even Niles's actor never quite bought it.
  • NCIS. Following her divorce after her heretofore loving husband was turned into a cheating SOB, within the course of THREE episodes scattered over a few months, Ellie Bishop was revealed to be in a new relationship, to have her new boyfriend killed off, and to have their love story depicted via flashbacks, capped off with the reveal that she would have accepted his proposal had he not died. Aside from the time frame making it unlikely that they could have been involved long enough to be considering marriage, their relationship is glaringly different from nearly all others the show has depicted, where considerable time was spent developing the character and the romance, and as such, his death fails to have any emotional impact.
    • TPTB are going this same route with her apparent relationship with Torres, inexplicably opting to only hint at it with a few throwaway lines rather than actually show the viewers.
    • Gibbs has gotten one added to his backstory, with the recent revelation that he lost an ex-fiancée in the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. The problem is, we know he was in the process of divorcing his third wife at some point in 2001, which leaves a very short period of time for him to have met this other woman, decide to marry her, and break up with her by September.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • In season three, Robin Hood has been dating Regina for a few days at the most, then when his formerly deceased wife Marian arrives from the past, he and Regina are suddenly madly in love and he cannot seem to choose between a woman he barely knows and his wife whom he previously stated he would do anything to have back. It is resolved after Marian is revealed to be Zelena and Regina and Robin's relationship resumes until his death by Hades.
    • Season four saw Belle hooking up with someone else not long after she forced Mr. Gold to leave Storybrooke. This someone was Will Scarlet, someone who she scarcely interacted with before-hand.
    • Even more strangely, the entire storyline for Will Scarlet was dropped without much explanation, and the character was Brother Chucked, leaving Belle and Gold free to snap back to Official Couple status, and the mystery of what happened to The Red Queen, who was last shown as Will's wife in the finale of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland completely unresolved, despite a scene earlier in Season 4 hinting that he was still looking for her.
  • In The Originals Hayley and Elijah interacted once before he's daggered and she's reading his journals and missing him badly, and Elijah has barely been back for one scene before he's chasing after her like a lost puppy.
  • In Peaky Blinders, Tommy hooks up with Grace towards the end of Season One despite the fact he knows very little about her except that she's lied to him several times about herself since they met. When Grace is revealed to be The Mole, he is stunned and angered by the betrayal but continues to moon over her for a long time afterwards despite knowing their relationship was built on lies and she sold him out to his worst enemy.
  • Some seasons of Power Rangers have this in effect.
    • In Zeo, a future seen in a Christmas Episode had Tommy eventually married to Catherine, when they'd never really shown a romantic attraction before and Tommy's only love interest in the show up until that point had been Kimberly during Mighty Morphin', who'd moved out of Angel Grove by the time that episode had come around.
    • Samurai/Super Samurai had a forced last-minute hook-up with Mike and Emily in the last episode, despite the fact that they'd never shown a romantic interest in each other prior. The only hint at this eventual hook-up was Scott in Clash of the Red Rangers suggesting Emily looked at him like she had a crush on him, despite no direction, camera shots, or dialogue having suggested it not only the entire season prior, but even in that special itself.
      • There's also a secondary relationship that Daiyu and Decker had, since it was revealed that they'd loved each other hundreds of years prior to the series. The problem? Decker doesn't remember his life before becoming half Nighlok due to amnesia and Daiyu doesn't even remotely try to remind him about their past together. It's not helped that this development wasn't even remotely in Shinkenger, the series' source material, so it didn't have that kind of relationship between their counterparts. The seasons relied so heavily on retelling the Shinkenger storyline that even the changes they did make either didn't add up to much, or were to the series' detriment.
    • Megaforce/Super Megaforce has it arguably worse. Though it's shown Jake has a crush on Gia in the first season, it's an unrequited crush (also trying to be helped by the fact that their counterparts in Goseiger were brother and sister and, thus, they belonged to the same clan, which derived their ground motifs and had their mechs work in tandem a lot). After that, Gia apparently shows reciprocation of his feelings, but doesn't even bother to tell him. By the time Super comes around, the show was way too focused on cannibalizing the Gokaiger footage and plots it was adapting to try to make on seamless continuity between it and the previous season to focus on anything in that direction, not helped by the fact that none of Gokaiger's characters had romantic feelings for each other. By the time the finale came around, there was nothing suggesting that they were going to get together, so when Gia kisses Jake on the cheek, it comes right the hell out of nowhere, which is arguably worse than Samurai's situation, since it was given a bit of development, dropped, then picked back up at the ending of the season, whereas Samurai just had it barely established, then had it dropped into the last episode.
    • Tellingly, when Judd Lynn took over as showrunner from Jonathan Tzachor for Dino Charge, he instilled a good amount of establishment of Tyler and Shelby's eventual hook-up, not only righting the wrongs of the previous four seasons before it, but also its Sentai source material, Kyoryuger, as described below in the Super Sentai section.
  • Robin Hood:
    • Much falls instantly in love with Kate, because...well, the writers never got that far. She treats him like crap, but he never stops mooning over her and eventually goes so far as to (temporarily) abandon the outlaws when he realizes that she has a crush on Robin.
    • And what about Robin going from “my-true-love-died-in-my-arms-and-I-will-never-love-again” to “Wow, okay, Isabella’s hot, I’ll just go…romp in the bushes with her” thing in season 3? Maybe there was some Evil Is Sexy sexual tension, but romance? This makes Robin look like an unfaithful jerk after the huge balloon of suicidal angst that was the season opener. There was no explanation as to why Robin suddenly abandoned his angst over his true love for this woman who, incidentally, is the sister of his archnemesis and possibly trying to kill him.
  • A straight example in the final season of Sabrina the Teenage Witch that ultimately evolves into a Deconstruction. Sabrina falls for Aaron in his debut episode so much that she uses magic to find out what his flaws are. They hook up at the end of the episode and for the rest of the season simply act as a couple that's been together for years, rather than developing slowly. It's never explained why Sabrina literally makes room for him in her heart. However cracks start to appear as Sabrina initially thinks his proposal is a trick caused by the Monster of the Week and accepts reluctantly. The rest of her actions during their engagement come across as straight-up denial more than anything else. Finally when her wedding day comes, she gets cold feet and dithers between that and denial. She and Aaron ultimately agree to call off the wedding. It's worth noting that this plot wasn't supposed to be an example of this trope. The showrunners originally wanted Sabrina to develop a serious relationship with Josh, a character who'd been on the show since Season Four; the two really had known each other for years, and their back-and-forth feelings for each other were a recurring subplot. The problem—Josh's actor didn't want to come back for the last season, forcing the producers to come up with a last-minute replacement.
  • The Secret Life of the American Teenager:
    • Ben and Amy. They had an ok relationship for the first few episodes (if you ignore that a. Ben only originally asked her out because he was hoping to get some sexual experience before going after the real object of his affections, Grace and b. Amy wasn't upfront either, since she didn't tell him she was pregnant). For the most part, they were believable as two earnest, awkward teens in their first relationship. Then Ben proposed to Amy after they'd been dating a few weeks, upon discovering she was pregnant with Ricky's baby. Now the audience was supposed to accept that Amy and Ben had a deep and true love to last their whole lives and they and the other characters wouldn't shut up about how right they were for each other.
    • In season four, Ben got a new love interest named Dylan and this happened again. They were inseparable almost instantly, which included Dylan showing up unexpectedly at Ben's house and school within the first week or so of their relationship.
  • Smallville's one example that's almost universally agreed upon is the Clana (Clark and Lana) ship, which was arguably kept on way past the point of its usefulness to the plot, interfered with other plotlines that fans wanted to see, and seemed to slow down Clark's growth.
  • Stargate Atlantis does throw in a few moments that make it clear Keller and McKay are interested in each other, but they go from eating lunch together once (while he was in the infirmary) to him professing his love when he thinks he's going to die. A couple of episodes later, with no intermediate interaction, she says she loves him, too.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Parallels", Worf is sent multiverse-hopping, and he briefly winds up in a world where he and Troi are very Happily Married. While he had never considered this before, he decided to give it a try when he got back. This was the starting point of the writers developing a bizarre obsession with hooking them up despite the two never having any kind of romantic chemistry before, as well as Troi having a longstanding Will They or Won't They? with Riker. Jonathan Frakes (Riker) and Marina Sirtis (Troi) apparently disliked the idea as well, and were quite happy to have their characters get married in their last film. Michael Dorn (Worf), on the other hand, refused to forget it, and, when given a line about how Riker and Troi's feelings for each other had never gone away, subtexted it like mad. Then Worf went aboard DS9, fell for Jadzia Dax, and acted as if he never even liked Deanna.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Nerys and Shakaar. Nerys even lampshades how sudden the beginning of the relationship was while talking to Odo, solely to make the audience feel sorry for Odo because he just realized he's in love with Nerys.
    • Considering the above, it's funny how Worf and Jadzia have no romantic chemistry and no common interests besides the Dax symbiont's experiences with the Klingons.
    • Jadzia and a one-off alien she meets in the season three episode, Meridian. The Defiant encounters a planet that shifts in and out of phase with this dimension, which has about 30 people living on it. Jadzia gets involved with the scientist living on the planet and ends up trying to take a leave of absence for 60 years to stay on the planet with him while it's shifted out of this dimension. Sisko looks like he's about to call her on this but then simply says he's happy for her instead. And then they find out that she can't actually survive the shift, she gets beamed back to the Defiant, and she never mentions or appears to think of him again.
  • Star Trek: Voyager has Seven of Nine/Chakotay. After three and a half seasons of them having only a professional relationship and almost no interaction outside of business, Seven suddenly develops an unrequited attraction to Chakotay in the second half of the final season. In the finale the two have become romantically involved, with Chakotay having fallen completely head over heels for her in the span of... well, the theme song. Particularly sloppy in that between the episode in which Seven explores romantic interactions with a holodeck-Chakotay and the finale was an episode in which the two of them were trapped together on an alien world. The actors specifically asked if there would be any follow-up to the holodeck romance that they should incorporate into their performances and were given a firm "No" in response.
  • Step by Step had Dana Foster and Rich, who was her stepbrother's dimwitted friend. After spending two seasons barely able to stand being in the same room as each other, they suddenly started dating in season six... and still acted like they could barely stand to be in the same room as each other. In some episodes it really bordered on Informed Relationship.
  • In Supergirl (2015), several relationships in Series 2 occur almost instantaneously or with very little buildup, such as Winn/Lyra, J'onn/M'gann, and Kara/Mon-El. This can be justified in Winn's case due to how much of a Socially Awkward Hero he is, but Kara, despite being angry at Mon-El, suddenly decides to forgive him and fall in love, even though his Character Development has been spotty at best. The writers even acknowledged that they put them together to give Kara someone to fix. There was quite a bit of They Changed It, Now It Sucks! response, especially since Kara had spent all of Season 1 building up to a relationship with James Olsen, which had been overall better received, but is dumped quickly so that she can fall for Mon-El, and seemingly for no good reason. James himself goes Out of Focus for much of the rest of the season, making it even worse.
  • Super Sentai:
    • At the end of Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger after he returns from what was assumed by the rest of the cast to be a suicide mission, Daigo (Kyoryu Red) gets together with Amy (Kyoryu Pink). The problem with this is that both characters were depicted as Chaste Heroes who had no real relationship chemistry and no romantic interactions prior to their pairing up. The aftereffects of this little twist was foreseeable, not only because it came out of left field, but also because there were two other characters who actually did have romantic character development with Daigo. Of course, considering many fans' opinion on him, this doesn't seem so surprising.
    • In the same series, it's a running gag that Souji Rippukan never notices that Rin, his kendo team manager, has a huge crush on him (despite his friends' efforts to set him up with her.) The sequel movie 100 Years After retcons events so that Souji had begun dating Rin by the end of the TV series; but he still shows little interest in her and even completely forgets a date they had planned. However, it's revealed that they married shortly afterwards and were deeply in love until Rin died some time before Souji (who lives to be 116 years old.) There is no explanation for the sudden change in Souji's feelings.
    • A third example from Kyoryuger: in episode 41, Nossan is thrown with Candelira during an arranged marriage interview (where she was posing as a human to harvest emotion from lovelorn men) and they almost instantly fall in love, which is used to spur her into a Heel–Face Turn and leaving Deboss. This is made out to be very important to the plot and their characters, yet the only foreshadowing was a single line of dialogue in an early episode when Candelira said that she could fall for him if they weren't enemies.
    • In Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger, Emiri and Yukito are suddenly in a relationship at the end of the last episode, with no prior romantic interaction between them. When they return for a team-up with the following year's series Emiri is completely devoted to Yukito and has begun to dress and talk differently to fit in with his upper-class background, becoming very unlike the carefree schoolgirl she was during the show. They reappear for a guest appearance in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger where they are now married and Emiri is working as Yukito's secretary, but still completely in love with him and with no explanation as to how they got together in the first place or the change in Emiri's character.
    • A similar example to the above is Sen and Umeko in Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger. They have a close friendship, but no romantic interaction until Episode 41 when Sen suddenly becomes jealous at Umeko getting engaged to another man. He proves that her boyfriend is an evil Alienizer, and Umeko suddenly realizes Sen has been the guy for her all along. Because it was close to the end of the show, there was no further time to focus on their relationship, so it doesn't really come up again until the crossover with Mahou Sentai Magiranger where other characters can't stop gushing about how perfect Sen and Umeko are for each other and how they are obviously in love. However, almost none of their relationship is ever shown to the audience to make this believable.
      • Sort-of amended by Dekaranger's "10 Years After" movie in which Sen and Umeko have been dating for a long time and have a few scenes together that make their relationship convincing. In the crossover with Uchu Sentai Kyuranger, they are shown to be engaged. The wedding happens in Space Squad: Gavan vs Dekaranger, but is interrupted twice (first by Gavan announcing that the world is in danger and second by Sen suffering nervousness-induced constipation).
  • This happens In-Universe in Supernatural: The Angels (with the help of Cupid) arranged for Mary and John to meet and fall in love, even though they didn't get along at first, because they needed Sam and Dean to be born.
  • That '70s Show:
    • The show played this for laughs with Jackie and Hyde's hookup in Season 5. The two initially don't like each other at all, and it was only through their common friends that they're even in the same vicinity. They become better friends in Season 2 after he shows her how to deal with Laurie stealing Kelso from her. In Season 3, she becomes attracted to him and develops a clingy infatuation with him, which he's annoyed by, but he eventually caves and takes her out on a date. The two share a kiss, but Jackie says it didn't do anything for her and finally realizes Hyde isn't the guy for her. At this point they seem to have effectively been sunk, and it's not brought up again until the Season 5 premier, when the others leave the room, and the two suddenly start making out and continue to do so. In the next episode, a flashback reveals they were watching TV and complaining about how bored they were, when they look at each other for a few seconds and spontaneously started making out. Yet, their relationship comes off as much more believable due because they give off a ton of chemistry together and by the fact that they initially spend a lot of time lampshading how strange it is.
    • Sadly, the show also plays very straight in Season 8, with not one, not two, but three pairings.
      • The first is Hyde and Sam. In the last episodes of the previous season, Jackie and Hyde had encountered issues with their relationship resulting in Hyde taking a trip to Las Vegas to clear his head. In the first episode of Season 8, he returns, and his and Jackie's great relationship is completely tossed out the window when Sam shows up completely out of the blue and reveals that Hyde got drunk and married her. Jackie spends a total of one episode afterward angsting over this before moving on, and while Sam isn't a bad character, she and Hyde have absolutely no chemistry together.
      • The second is caused by the first; Jackie and Fez. While Fez had a crush on Jackie since the start of the show, Jackie had never returned his feelings, not to mention Fez is a total horndog who was willing to nail Anything That Moves. She had even continuously ruled him out. She did kiss him once and go out on a date with him, but after each of those events she had straight up said it was impossible for anything to happen between them. Then after losing Hyde and getting over him, she makes up a list of qualities she needs in a man, and Fez miraculously turns out to fit it perfectly, and they end up a couple.
      • The third is Donna and Randy. Eric and Kelso are Put on a Bus for the final season, and both are given a Suspiciously Similar Substitute in the form of Randy. While Eric is in Africa for the final season, there's never any major indication that Eric and Donna's relationship is having issues. (The best the writers could come up with is Eric not talking to her on the phone.) Then, out of the blue again, Donna reveals that off-screen Eric broke up with her. After a Will They or Won't They? tease, she ends up dating Randy. Making this worse is that Donna was clearly attracted to Randy before Eric's break-up. This one gets an Author's Saving Throw twice over, however — most likely once it was known the show wouldn't be coming back for a ninth season. The two ultimately break-up rather quickly. Later, Eric returns in the finale, where he admits he's not sure why they broke up in the first place. It's left up to viewers to decide if Eric and Donna get back together officially, which unsurprisingly, many prefer.
  • Torchwood:
    • Ianto accuses Captain Jack of being a monster for killing Ianto's Cyberman-girlfriend (long story) but starts shagging him a few episodes later with no significant on-screen development. Mellows somewhat in Season 3 when the two have more frequent conversations and develop a more emotional relationship.
    • Owen going bananas over Diane after knowing her for all of a week.
    • The overly romantic light that Jack and his relationship with the real Jack Harkness was painted in, given they only know each other for a couple of hours.
    • A curious case with Tosh and Tommy: Tommy has been in suspended animation since the First World War, but is let out for a day once a year to ensure that all is well. This means that he and Tosh have known each other for years, in a way, but in another way, they've known each other for about a week.
  • True Blood:
    • Eric and Sookie. When she and Bill split, it's been set up for the viewer to expect this, but doing it by completely changing Eric's personality due to memory loss?
    • Sookie and Bill. The two of them never talk about anything except about how much they are in love with one another or what's currently going on in the plot. In the books Sookie flat-out ADMITS that their love is shallow and that she got into a relationship with him because A.) she couldn't read his thoughts and B.) she's never actually been in a relationship before. She even breaks up with him far earlier than TV Sookie and barely angsts about it at all; the love is SUPPOSED to be shallow but the people making the TV show didn't know that. Later episodes also point out that, for most, drinking a vampire's blood makes you addicted, and if drunk "from the tap" you're also addicted to the vampire. Given that Sookie only starts properly falling for Eric after drinking his blood (since vampire blood speeds human healing), it's speculated in-universe and out that that's the REAL reason he's on her mind.
  • Twin Peaks had two of these for the price of one; the concurrent romances between Dale Cooper and Annie Blackburn and Audrey Horne and John Justice Wheeler both involved main characters who were suddenly swept off their feet instantly by strangers visiting from out of town. The suddenness of both subplots is explained by Kyle MacLachlan's refusal to allow his character to date a teenager. Especially irking to fans who wanted to see the Fan-Preferred Couple of Cooper and Audrey together.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • Stefan and Elena in the first two episodes. Elena meets Stefan, a mysterious new student, they have two awkward conversations, and the next day they both already knew they were meant to be. They agree that "We met. We talked. It was epic" before sharing their first kiss and becoming a couple. However, despite the rushed beginning, the rest of the relationship was well written.
    • Enzo and Bonnie. In season 5 and 6, they are frenemies at best and The Friends Who Never Hang at worst. Most episodes in Season 6 focus on Bonnie's close platonic relationship with Damon, and her few interactions with Enzo are not very friendly if not outright antagonistic. However in season 7 they fall in love during the three year Time Skip (we only see a flashback of their first date in one episode) and remain madly in love for the rest of the show to the point they can't live without each other.
  • Veronica and Piz on Veronica Mars, which was a particularly egregious offense because the cancellation of the show left them together after. God bless Word of God; "It was always Logan and Veronica."
  • Happens a few times on The Walking Dead, but the most prominent example is Carol and Tobin, who share a kiss for some inexplicable reason, despite only speaking once in the previous series.
  • Warehouse 13's six-episode final season, after several seasons avoiding the cliche, lazily shoehorned in a romantic subplot for Platonic Life-Partners Myka and Pete.
  • The White Queen: In the Starz telecast, King Richard III and Elizabeth of York are meant to be head-over-heels in love, but they hardly interact onscreen (we see them dancing more than speaking to each other), so their romance is poorly developed.
  • Without a Trace's Samantha Spade conceives after a one-night-stand after which she can't even remember the guy's name (Brian) and needs to use her job skills to track him down and tell him in five minutes that (a) he's going to be a father and (b) that she wants him to sign over his parental rights, meaning that she clearly wants nothing to do with him. While she eventually lets him spend time with his son, there are no real signs of them building a relationship—until the series finale, when Samantha abruptly decides to dump Jack for a literal Last Minute Hookup with Brian. note . Quite glaring given the notable amount of time that was spent developing her other two relationships (Martin, Jack).
  • Zoey 101:
    • Logan and Quinn are an example that proves this trope does not make a couple bad. The two have little interaction for the first 3 and a half seasons, and the interaction they do have isn't friendly, and that does not mean Belligerent Sexual Tension. It just means unfriendly. Then midway through the final season, her boyfriend, Mark, leaves her for another girl. While she's sulking, Logan happens to be riding by and sees her looking sad and comes to talk to her. While she initially resists his attempts to cheer her up and even asks why he's doing so, he showers her with compliments and then puts her glasses back on her and says, "There's Quinn." before they share their First Kiss. Then in the episodes after this they are all over each other; making out very frequently, being intimate, slow dancing. However, these two are actually very good together, give off a great Opposites Attract vibe, and have a lot of chemistry to the point where a viewer might wonder why the writers didn't start building them up earlier. Quinn and Logan both lampshade how weird it is that they are together, and admit that they are embarrassed to be dating and hide it from the other characters and when they tell Michael about their relationship, he thinks they're joking.
    • Zoey and James. In the episode that introduces him everyone instantly loves him, except Michael and Logan, who still miss Chase. So after everyone thought they were dating because they interacted, the episode ends with them getting together despite having no chemistry. Sort of deconstructed as she later realizes she doesn't actually love him. It was still terribly executed and led to the series' Seasonal Rot.

  • "Sk8er Boi" by Avril Lavigne is a zig-zagged example. The opening lines of the song sound like a textbook description of this trope: "He was a boy. She was a girl. Can I make it any more obvious?" However, the relationship actually didn't work out... because the girl in question couldn't see the "obvious" red string, and for that, she is treated like an idiot by the narrator.
  • The American Celtic-Rock band Tempest has a number of songs that go this way, either because they're folk songs that have been set to a rock beat or because they're written in the style of such songs. For example, "The Journeyman" is about a journeyman tinker who stops in a town and within three days the mayor's daughter has declared her love for him. They promptly get married and set off for life together against the protestations of her parents.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Invoked in Changeling: The Lost; one of the more powerful breeds of Hobgoblins is a race known as the Crimson Weavers, faeries of the Moirae breed who appear as diminutive ancient Asian women and men with strands of red string dangling from their fingers. As their name implies, they are born from the aspect of Fate that gives rise to the Red String of Fate, and they have both the power to connect others with that self-same Red String and the drive to do so. The thing is, this being the World of Darkness, they are not infallible and, indeed, often tend to completely screw things up by forcing people to be together, just because they "looked so right" through their permanent Shipping Goggles. Thus leading to the trope in question... sometimes literally; couples arranged by Crimson Weavers have been known to end in suicide and/or murder, or complete insanity. Crimson Weavers never take responsibility, see themselves as responsible or consider it their fault; they merely gave each person a guaranteed soul mate, it's the people involved who refused to accept that.

  • In Les Misérables, Marius and Cosette fall in love having only seen each other once, for a few seconds, in the street. The next time they meet they're declaring undying love for each other (A Heart Full Of Love), much to the despair of poor Eponine who's fancied Marius for ages. This is made worse by the Adaptation Distillation: in the book, they know each other for much longer before either show any romantic inclination.
  • Measure for Measure is (or could be, depending on how it's read) a particularly bad example of this: Duke Vincentio proposes to Isabella at the end even though they've known each other for about two days and the entire plot revolved around Isabella not wanting to give up her chastity and monastic life. Of course, she never explicitly says yes, so a director can play this any way he wants. This is one of the many clues that make people think this play is problematic on purpose — that Shakespeare was trying to make his viewers uncomfortable. It's technically a comedy (it has a wedding at the end), but it's a damn squicky and creepy comedy.
  • Gilbert and Sullivan are quite fond of these, mostly involving the chorus at the finale, but not always:
    • Played for laughs in The Pirates of Penzance, with Frederick and Mabel's ridiculously quick romance. Not quite Love at First Sight, but still. Also, the daughters and pirates pair up.
    • Ruddigore frequently ends with the newly-revived ghosts marrying the chorus of bridesmaids. Never mind that they never interacted, and most of the ghosts have been dead for centuries, it's more important to give everyone a wedding!
    • The Sorcerer takes the cake, though, as it's due to the Love Potion that everything happens.
    • Averted in Iolanthe. Although everyone gets married at the end, the Fairies have had the hots for the Peers all the way through Act II, the Queen is dotty about Private Willis and finally doesn't have to deny it anymore, the Chancellor gets his long-lost wife back and Strephon and Phyllis are able to be together after all. So for once absolutely every pairing is justified.
  • Romeo and Juliet is the Trope Codifier and possibly the Trope Maker. While it's considered one of Shakespeare's best plays as well as one of the greatest written works ever, let's face it; the title characters are the textbook definition of this. They fall in Love at First Sight and are immediately making out at the Capulet's party. Okay, not so bad. However, Romeo goes from wangsting over breaking up with Rosaline earlier that afternoon to being engaged to marry Juliet later that night, and Juliet is so in love with him that she's willing to fake her own death to keep from marrying Paris. Lampshaded by Friar Lawrence when he says "Young men's love lies not in their hearts but in their eyes." A popular interpretation is that part of the tragedy is these two kids mistaking their shallow youthful lust for true love and that the adults who should be helping them realize that are too preoccupied with their own petty, immature squabbling, ultimately leading to the two's deaths. The poem on which Romeo and Juliet is based, Arthur Brooke's "The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet," had its action occurring over the course of nine months—Shakespeare cut it down to five days. Brooke's poem isn't very good, but at least it has a believable timeline for falling in love.
  • The Tempest might be even worse about this, with Ferdinand and Miranda. They declare their undying love for one another a full act before they even know each other's names, and never give any real justification besides Beauty Equals Goodness. It's even more obvious when Prospero is suspicious of Ferdinand and tests his love, but a few more proclamations of love and devotion later (none of which go much deeper than "but I really really love her"), and he pronounces them a perfect couple.

    Video Games 
  • Alone in the Dark (2008): The rather forced relationship that develops between Carnby and female companion/sidekick Sarah Flores. Flores is surly, useless, and basically does nothing but complain, and Carnby really isn't much better. They have basically no chemistry whatsoever and know each other for just a few days. Before long, though, it's kissing time.
  • The relationship between Apollo and Rhea in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Case 5: Turnabout Substitution seems to progress unnaturally quickly. However, it eventually turns out that it was simply a ploy on Rhea's part to get inside information on the case. Lampshaded when Apollo, after learning that Rhea is the serial killer, curses himself for trusting her so easily when they only met days ago.
  • David Cage has gained a fair amount of notoriety for this trope:
    • Beyond: Two Souls generally tries to push Jodie with her CIA handler Ryan Clayton no matter the decisions you have her make. Most notable is how the game goes from the first time they meet, in which he's incredibly insensitive towards her and basically forces her into the CIA to a scene taking place roughly more than a year later, where Jodie states that she's in love with him. This becomes PARTICULARLY annoying if you've shut down Ryan at every opportunity and chose to die. Jodie will STILL act like she has feelings for him. Similarly, it's possible for Jodie to end up in a romance with Jay in the ending despite only knowing him for about two days.
    • In Fahrenheit, Carla is an NYPD police officer pursuing Lucas Kane, who she believes to be a psychotic murderer. Some developments in the case eventually led her to doubt his guilt, but she remains suitably skeptical and logical. She finally meets Lucas at the grave of his long-time girlfriend Tiffany, who had died two days before. Within about a month, Carla has risked her job and her life to help Lucas, begun to trust him implicitly without her previous intelligent questioning, declared her love for him, and gotten herself knocked up with his zombie child, all entirely offscreen. And this happens on all three endings, including the good one. Not to mention you can actually get back together with Tiffany without averting any of this.
    • And in Heavy Rain, we have Ethan and Madison. This one has the benefit of being sort of optional in that you can turn her down, but Madison spends most of the game nursing Ethan back to health after the Trials and believing, for very good reasons, that he may be the Origami Killer with a very deep-seated mental illness. The clock is ticking on Shaun Mars's life, Ethan is emotionally and physically wounded, Madison hasn't slept in days due to insomnia caused by PTSD, but as part of Quantic Dream's celebrated history of completely inappropriate and nonsensical sex scenes, Madison decides this is the perfect time to get horizontal. With an injured man who openly admits he might be a serial killer who drowns little boys.
      • It's made even worse in the endings of the game where Ethan hooks up with Madison but Shaun dies. They go to the cemetery to visit Shaun's grave, where Madison tells him, while they're still at the grave, that she wants Ethan to bear her child and wants life to go back to the way it was before the game. This insensitivity ends up being extremely cathartic when Ethan takes this extremely badly and shoots himself, and many players who got this ending were flabbergasted with how insensitive Madison was in suggesting that after Shaun had died shortly before.
    • In Detroit: Become Human, while slightly less blatant than the other examples it is still shockingly easy for Markus to romance North (as in, have her Relationship Values jump from "Neutral" to "Lovers") even if he repeatedly goes against her tendencies towards violent revolution provided that you do not deliberately go out of your way to fail.
  • Catherine actually punishes players who attempt to put this trope into practice. Throughout the game, your interactions with Catherine and Katherine will affect a meter—acting like you're in love with Katherine tips it to the Order end of the meter and the same goes for Catherine with Chaos. However, through a series of questions near the end of the game, it's possible for Vincent to choose either girl (or even neither) no matter what your position on the meter is. But, the game checks the results of your questions against the meter, and if it doesn't match up—for example your answers suggest that Vincent wants to stay with Katherine, even though the meter reflects that he's acted more in love with Catherine—you will get a bad ending. (On the opposite end of the scale, if your answers perfectly match up with Vincent's meter, you get a "true" or better-than-good ending.)
  • Similar to the Beyond: Two Souls example, Kid and Serge in Chrono Cross. Kid is a unique example in that the player isn't initially forced to take her into the party. It's entirely possible to refuse her at several points and opt not to come to her rescue, but she shows up at all the major plot points anyway. The story justifies it by saying that she just follows you around because you're tough and can clear the way for her, but it mostly means she shows up at exactly the right time to make a dramatic speech and run ahead of you, only to end up imperiled and need to be rescued— at the player's discretion.
  • This is done on a meta-level in Doki Doki Literature Club!.
    • In the first act, no matter who you spend time with, the game will always allow Sayori to have a love confession to you, even if you ignored her the entire time. Conversely, if you dedicated every scene to Sayori, you are forced to spend the weekend with either Yuri or Natsuki and share a very intimate scene with them in spite of barely sharing any emotional connection with them previously.
    • In the second act, Yuri forces her way to the center of the story (even if you select words that cater to Natsuki). Though at that point, the game is so glitched and Yuri's reaction is the same whether you select yes or no.
  • Out of all the Official Couples that get together in Criminal Case, Carrie x Enzo is probably the least popular among fans, largely due to the series being Cut Short forcing Pretty Simple to rush through their relationship without having time to develop any proper romantic build-up between the two. Their relationship goes like this: Enzo asks Carrie out on a date, but he offends her by his egoistic remarks, and she leaves before the date even starts. After a few cases of them tiptoeing around each other, Enzo takes care of Carrie when she gets sick, and this is enough for her to look past his chauvinistic personality and reciprocate his advances. Two cases later, they get engaged.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Squall and Rinoa's romance in Final Fantasy VIII can come off this way, as Squall's extensive emotional issues keep him in heavy denial about his feelings for the first two discs of the game until Rinoa's coma forces him to start confronting them. Player choices may exacerbate this further: by not taking Rinoa along as a party member and/or missing certain plot events which provide Character Development for the pair, and by refusing the occasional dialogue options indicating that Rinoa's efforts to coax Squall out of his shell are making headway, the player can bypass much of the buildup of the relationship, causing Squall's sudden fixation on Rinoa in Disc 3 to seem as though it comes out of nowhere.
    • A similar example can happen in Final Fantasy X, which clearly intends to ship Tidus/Yuna, but inexplicably includes a relationship system that includes Yuna, Lulu, and Rikku. Thus a number of scenes can take place implying Tidus' attraction with one of the other two girls before the game takes over and pushes him back to Yuna instead. While not nearly as extreme as the Rinoa example, as Yuna and Tidus have plenty of mandatory scenes throughout the story that build them as a couple and Yuna is always in the party when the game needs her to be, it can feel a bit ham-fisted if the player chased one of the other two women and yet Tidus always ends up with Yuna, Lulu always ends up with Wakka (which comes out of nowhere in its own right), and Rikku always ends up in the sequel single and refusing to talk about her relationship with Gippel.
    • Final Fantasy XV: Noctis and Lunafreya have a relationship that is seen by fans as poorly drawn out and unfocused. This couple first met when they were kids after Noctis had a near death experience and they had not met again until the events of the actual game when they get betrothed as a result of a treaty between Lucis and Niflheim that turned out to be a sham. Even then, Noctis only interacted with Lunafreya before the eighth chapter through a notebook that they kept delivering notes to each other with Luna's dog, Umbra being the carrier. Noctis doesn't even meet up with Luna again until Ardyn murders her. The game's epilogue even shows them after they died, dressed in their wedding clothes and sharing a kiss. All of this is really not helped by the fact that Luna in general gets very little screentime, and Noctis spends almost the entire story hanging out with the actual main adventuring party, all of whom get their relationships with him fleshed out extremely well—meaning the love story that's meant to be seen as the core of the narrative to the point of being the game's logo is also the least interesting relationship in it.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, Finn and Lachesis are nearly an Official Couple; Finn gets a conversation with Lachesis's daughter in the second generation if he's her fathernote , and they're one of the pairings in the Oosawa manga adaptation. In Fire Emblem: Thracia 776, it's strongly implied that Finn and Lachesis were in love and that Finn continued to search for her. The only hitch is that during the time both characters are playable in Genealogy of the Holy War, they have no conversations together, not even if they're married in Chapter 5 (admittedly, Finn isn't there for plot reasons). It's like the devs somehow forgot to put it in there. Then again, it's also heavily implied in Thracia that Beowulf was Lachesis's "canon" lover, which makes things even more messy—given the timeframe, it's not impossible that Finn and Lachesis could have hooked up between the timeskip for a brief period, but it's not very likely, either.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening mostly averts it — you can only get your characters married after they spend a lot of time on the battlefield together (which can never be less than four battles, and will usually be more), watch multiple conversations that give reasons at least somewhat believable for the two falling in love (with more conversations implied), and even then you have to make the final push for the characters to get married yourself. Except Chrom. For storyline and mechanics reasons, he gets married to whichever one of his prospects he has the most support points with after Chapter 11. One of the characters Chrom can marry, Olivia, is made playable right at the beginning of that chapter. So if Chrom has no support points with any of his other prospects or they are unavailable due to permadeath or marrying someone else, he can marry Olivia very shortly after meeting her with all of one support point — not even enough for a C-Rank conversation! There's also a chance the player could get to the point of Chrom's marriage in the game and not have any of his potential brides still available, in which case he'll marry a random villager the player never hears from again. This even gets lampshaded:
      Lissa: "Turn my back one minute and you're married. The next minute? A baby!"
    • The game also makes an effort to Hand Wave why Chrom is suddenly forced into marriage (besides the plot reason of Lucina needing to be born to set up "Marth's" reveal as future her). He'd recently ascended to ruler of Ylisse and was the last with a rightful claimnote , so there was popular pressure for him to take a wife and produce a child to visibly secure the nation's future.
    • While Fire Emblem Fates mostly averts this as well — you have to pair the prospective couple in battle together lots of times, watch conversations that make the pairing somewhat plausible, and have to physically confirm that you want this couple to get married — some of the supports are so oddly written that this trope can only really be in play. Especially egregious are the Avatar's supports with his/her own siblings. Yes, granted, it turns out on both sides they're Not Blood Siblings, but still, given that half of them grew up with the Avatar as a sibling and the other half (aside from Ryoma, who knew the truth the whole time) thought the Avatar was their blood relative, it's a bit hard to believe that they've 'always been in love' with the Avatar.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses is a clear aversion. The game shows that months pass between support milestones, more intimate bonds can only be finalized after a lengthy Time Skip (and casual friends who continue to fight together after that time don't necessarily have another support tier), and Byleth can only propose to someone they've built an appropriate bond with after the final battle.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has this as a plot element. Meet the right circumstances and the gal will fall head over heels with you. At least with the first one, it's rescuing her from a house fire (that you started). With others, it's simply that you have six pack abs or she has a chubby fetish.
  • Grim Fandango: Manny escorts Meche to the Underworld, briefly talks about her life and is suddenly so in love with her that he spends the next three years searching for her, ignoring any other woman that has an interest in him. Though it's possible he's doing it because he feels guilty about dragging her into a massive conspiracy and ruining her afterlife.
  • Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life has this happen if you don't marry anyone by the end of the first year. If such a thing happens, you end up proposed to by whichever marriage candidate has the highest affection, regardless of how little it is. Celia is usually the character because she gains affection from just buying from Vesta's, with Rock being the default in Another Wonderful Life. However, this is averted if it's Nami, who agrees to marry you so she can stay in Forget-Me-Not Valley since she's otherwise forced to leave because of a lack of money.
  • Hero of the Kingdom: The romance in the second game falls into this. It's given very little focus, and it seems to come rather from out of nowhere when the hero suddenly announces narratively that "I have to tell her how I feel." Prior to this, it's shown that he thinks she's beautiful, but she doesn't even seem to like him, yet he confesses feelings the player didn't know he had and she responds by kissing him.
  • Hyrule Warriors: A common criticism of the story is how the heavily inconsistent Reincarnation Romance angle of Link and Zelda's dynamic is suddenly blown up to a guaranteed thing between them, despite the fact that there are multiple titles in the series where Link and Zelda meet and barely form a relationship (never mind a romantic one), and even here, they have maybe two or three interactions tops that push the Implied Love Interest label on them. A possible explanation for this is that the only people who comment on their "fated union" are Cia and Lana, both of whom have story reasons to invest in that idea; Cia uses it as an excuse to lash out in jealousy and seduce Link over to her side, while Lana plays it up as a reason to cajole herself to stop pining for Link and start focusing on her duties again before she too has her affections turn toxic and used against her. However, that line of reasoning does bring up the question of why Lana would even need to maintain the mantra in the first place if she still had a chance with Link.
  • The ending of Kingdom Hearts II and the credits of the 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue HD collection indicates that Roxas and Naminé, Nobodies of Sora and Kairi, are intended to be a romantic pairing. The problem is that whereas Sora and Kairi share a history and close friendship, Roxas and Naminé have only a few interactions that are largely based around plot exposition — Roxas himself shows much more closeness with Hayner, Pence, Olette, Axel and Xion than he ever does with Naminé, so pairing them together comes out of left field and only seems to be on the basis that if Sora and Kairi are in love then their Nobodies have to be. Then the ending of Kingdom Hearts III seems to be attempting to Ship Tease Naminé with Riku, who at least had a scene that aided in Riku's Character Development.
  • The Last Story suffers from this. The player is supposed to believe that Zael and Calista fall in Love at First Sight and that that's a good enough reason for them to be together. While this could very well be the case, the problem is that there simply aren't enough scenes that show them interacting together. Meanwhile, the Beta Couple (Lowell and Syrenne) inverts this. They similarly don't get many scenes together but they do have a lot of in-game banter and a long history together which helps to affirm that there is indeed a romantic attraction there.
  • In Left 4 Dead, Francis has seen Rochelle for a grand total of three seconds, they want each other (although in a snarky way). Ellis and Zoey could be an example, but Zoey won't always return the sentiment.
  • Dart and Shana in The Legend of Dragoon hook up at the end of Disk 2 with very little build up. While Shana clearly has feelings for Dart from the beginning, Dart states several times that he doesn't see Shana as a romantic interest at allnote  and considers her his baby sister. Then in the last ten minutes of the second disk, Dart declares that he loves Shana as well and they share a kiss under the stars. That Shana gets Put on a Bus early in the next disk for the rest of the game doesn't help.
  • The hero of Mad Paradox ends up married and raising a family with a completely nondescript girl he's rescued from the Big Bad. She only appears once in the beginning (in the background of a vision) and once at the end (after you've defeated the Big Bad). And they treat this as some sort of grand romantic ending. Meanwhile, the hot green-haired True Companion girl who's accompanied you for most of the game through good and bad, battling evil and putting it on the line for you...just sorta wanders off with a pithy "It was fun, bye-bye". Most unsatisfying ending ever.
  • Mass Effect:
    • One complaint about the first game is that, because the dialogue menu doesn't list the player's full lines before they're selected, the player could start a romantic relationship with a crewmate on accident by just being nice. Later games rectified this somewhat by making it clearer when that selecting a choice would start a romantic relationship.
    • In Mass Effect 2, the Normandy's pilot, Joker, and the ship's self-aware AI, EDI, start out hostile to one another. They butt heads frequently (and comedically), but eventually develop respect for one another as comrades and equals. Come Mass Effect 3, after EDI gains a humanoid robot body, the two rather quickly start a romantic relationship if the player tells them to go for it. Some fans found the jump from "comedic pilot/computer duo" to "soulmates" rather bizarre and quick.
  • Metal Gear:
    • In Metal Gear Solid Snake and Meryl have a scene where they meet, they separate, then have another scene later on that expands a bit on Meryl's character. Almost immediately after is the Psycho Mantis fight, at the end of which Mantis claims out of nowhere that Snake has a large place in Meryl's heart (ironically coming ten minutes after she herself claims to have had psychotherapy to destroy her interest in men while in training — so much for that). They have another conversation, then Meryl is shot and she's not seen again until the finale, where they're suddenly having a romantic moment and riding off into the sunset. However, Meryl is a complete no-show in the next game (the only hint of her even still existing is a purely optional Codec conversation between Otacon and Snake, where the latter comments that he has "had enough of tomboys" in regards to Olga Gurlukovich vaguely reminding Otacon of Meryl), and in MGS4 it turns out the two broke up rather quickly afterwards.
    • Metal Gear Solid 2 has a rather infamous example with Raiden and Rose. Rose is introduced as Raiden's girlfriend, and most of their conversations are about their relationship, ranging from how Sickeningly Sweethearts they are to her being a nagging girlfriend asking him to remember an important date. By the end, this is actually justified, as it turns out she's a spy for the Patriots who has changed her looks and personality in order for him to fall in love with her, with much of their relationship being scripted on her part. The ending has them both swear to help each other discover their true selves and form a more genuine connection, but that doesn't stop most players from being irritated to hell and back by the forced nature of their relationship.
    • Metal Gear Solid 3 has similar issues with Snake and EVA, though it's less prominent as EVA is a radio contact for most of the game so at least they have more than a few conversations. Completely justified as EVA is a spy and deliberately throwing herself at Snake to manipulate him.
    • In Metal Gear Solid 4 the relationship between Otacon and Naomi came out of nowhere and was poorly handled whenever it cropped up. Somewhat justifiable, as it's later revealed that Naomi was throwing herself at him in order to advance her and Ocelot's goals. But then it's implied she did legitimately have feelings for him... post-mortem. Go figure. Also, Otacon has a habit of reacting to any overtures of friendship and kindness by immediately dedicating his body and heart to the giver (see also his completely one-sided attraction to Sniper Wolf in the first Metal Gear Solid)... a not uncommon trait among victims of child sexual abuse, as he's revealed to be late in MGS2.
  • Monster Rancher 4 has a relationship system with the various female shopkeepers which also lets you get discounts, but at the end, you end with your aide no matter what.
  • Jumin's route in Mystic Messenger. While every romance route in this game suffers to some extent from taking place over only 11 days and having to be sidelined at times for non-romance plot developments, Jumin's gets the worst of it. Basically, he goes from being so disinterested in women that he was rumored to be gay to being so obsessed with the female player character that he's displaying wedding rings as his profile picture after less than two weeks of knowing her before they've even gone on a proper date! Not only that, but while Zen and Yoosung act flirty with you from Day 1, Jumin doesn't even begin to show clear romantic attraction to the player character until they meet in person on Day 5 which means that he's seriously contemplating marriage with her after only six days of actual romantic interaction with her. To be fair, in order to avoid getting a Bad Ending with Jumin, the player is required to call him out on how possessive he acts towards her and Jumin's Character Development focuses on not only learning to love someone, but also how to manage said feelings without going overboard - in his route it's also called attention to how doting he is to his cat, Elizabeth the 3rd, but at one point Jumin mentions that he was using her as a Living Emotional Crutch and she can't reciprocate because she's a cat - he even tries to return her to V before V and MC convince him not to, but just to treat her as a pet from now on.
  • Neverwinter Nights:
    • In the last act of Hordes of Underdark, there is a sleeping angel who awaits his true love. When you later find the Knower of Names, you can pay an extravagant sum to find out who his true love is — if you're female, there's a chance it's you. If you go along with it, the epilogue will talk a bit about your subsequent passionate romance, none of which will ever happen during play. Turns out quite silly if the Sleeping Man's true love is Evil!Aribeth.
    • In the original campaign there's Aarin Gend, the spymaster. If you're female, you can talk to him on multiple occasions in act 2, and he'll talk about his troubled and criminal past, how Nasher took him in, and the woman he fell in love with but lost. You get a tacky heirloom amulet after one conversation and it gets upgraded a bit in a later one (nothing you'll have much use for, though). Then your journal outright states that you're Aarin's lover. Sorry, did I miss something?
  • Neverwinter Nights 2:
    • The romance between the male Spirit Eater and Safiya in Mask of the Betrayer is slightly better-done than most examples, but the whole Reincarnation Romance element pushes it into this territory. Very little build-up, minor and completely optional flirtatious remarks, and just like that... instant romance.
    • It happened in the original campaign, too, with the Designated Love Interest for a female Knight-Commander, Casavir. Even if you rarely spoke to him, and expressed the exact opposite of his opinion when you did, he would always want to jump your bones, regardless of your species, class, or alignment. You could be a Chaotic Evil half-orc blackguard with 6 Charisma and Intelligence who bludgeons orphans to death, and he'd still give it a shot if you were female. That last one is particularly jarring, seeing he's a paladin... is it any wonder the female fans prefer Bishop? For all her problems, Elanee will at least give up if it's clear you don't like her. This is possibly caused by cut content.note 
  • ObsCure has a few couples in the game, and most of them are standard high school and college romances, or one-sided but believable crushes. However, Stan gets one with Shannon. The two of them have no interaction with each other until Stan helps her kill a mutated Kenny. All of a sudden, they're making out.
  • The Prince and Kaileena hook up at the end of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within despite having only a few interactions over the course of the game and none of them are really romantic with the possible exception of the scene where the Prince offers her to leave the island with him once he defeats her mistress the Empress of Time. Worse, Kaileena actually is the Empress who spent the entire game plotting his death and only changes her mind when the Prince saves her from the Dahaka. The ending where this happens is considered the "good" ending because apparently The Prince saving this woman he barely knows supercedes everything. This is seemingly deconstructed in Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones when after being captured by the Vizier, Kaileena narrates that the Prince who currently tries to rescue her isn't driven by love but by loyalty. He made a promise to protect her and is only motivated to ease his own pain. Kaileena is eventually murdered by the vizier and the Prince is implied to end with Farah, his love interest from the first game
  • Radiant Historia has a couple that goes through one via Romance Sidequest. This one has some justification on one side since the echo effect between timelines means the time-traveling male half has unknowingly been charming the female half twice over the entire time without realizing it. His reciprocation is genuinely out of the blue, however.
  • Resident Evil – Code: Veronica has Claire and Steve, both which were prisoners on Rockfort Island. Their first encounter has Claire pointing a gun at Steve due to him mistaking her for a zombie and shooting at her, causing her to angrily scoff at his apology. As the story progresses, it's clear that Steve starts developing a crush on Claire and even makes a few passes towards her, but she brushes it off and, even as she warms up to him, seems to view him as nothing more than a new friend with no noticeable romantic intent. Near the end of the game, Steve gets captured, transforms into a monster, and nearly kills Claire until his humanity wins through, though Alexia fatally wounds him. Steve apologizes for the trouble he put Claire through and then dies, causing Claire to bawl her eyes out over a young man that she didn't seem to care too much about for most of the game.
  • The Secret of Monkey Island has this happen to the Official Couple of Guybrush and Elaine. They meet once (after he's just broken into and trashed her mansion no less!) have a brief conversation then, when they meet again, they're suddenly acting like Sickeningly Sweethearts and declaring their undying love! The whole thing is very tongue-in-cheek like the rest of the game so most players don't mind much.
  • In Shining Force II, at the very end of the game, it's revealed that the Princess can only be awakened from her magical sleep by a kiss from her true love. An NPC then informs the main character that they're talking about him. Which is good because, until that moment, there's been no indication that the Princess would have been able to pick him out of a line-up, let alone been in love with him. The princess gets one line appreciating the hero's bravery, then literally right afterward is pulled into the Demon World and stays there for the next 4/5 of the game, only appearing again after the Big Bad is defeated and the kissing matter comes up as mentioned.
  • One of the endings of Silent Hill 2 shows James suddenly deciding that he had strong feelings for Maria and wants to be with her. This comes out of nowhere because, even though Maria flirts with James constantly throughout the game, James always responds to this behavior with confusion and irritation. It makes more sense when you realise that she is just a version of his wife that Silent Hill created.
  • SoulBlazer suddenly springs one between Lisa, a minorly important NPC in the game's first location, and Blazer, the protagonist. After leaving Grass Valley, where Lisa lives and was awoken by Blazer to progress the plot, she is no longer focused on for a good chunk of the game. In the penultimate area, Lisa is brought back on screen again for a scene and after watching her father die in front of her, she makes it clear to Blazer and the player that she has fallen in love with him. The Stinger of the game then implies that, despite a year having passed since the final battle, Blazer still has feelings for Lisa. Blazer being a Silent Protagonist and no dialogue option appearing that would imply romance, the fact that the two characters are implied to end up together, now both as regular humans can come across as very hastily written.
  • Spyro the Dragon:
    • In The Legend of Spyro, Spyro and Cynder go through the trilogy not showing any romantic interest in each other and then suddenly in the climax of the last game, Cynder says she loves him. The explanation for this is that Spyro and Cynder weren't supposed to hook up but a part of the fanbase wanted them to, so they decided to Throw It In!.
    • In Spyro: A Hero's Tail, Ember had a clear crush on Spyro, which carried over to Shadow Legacy. Then an armadillo named Bandit saw her, immediately fell in love with her and had Spyro deliver a love letter to her. When Ember got the letter, she immediately dropped her crush on Spyro and fell for Bandit, even though the two barely interacted and would not again for the rest of the game.
  • Possibly in Star Fox Krystal inexplicably becomes the love interest for Fox, despite randomly finding her on a planet in a rushed re-theme of a game that originally didn't even have Star Fox in it.
  • The Tales series:
    • Tales of Eternia: Throughout most of the game, Keele is cold, rude, and flat out racist to Meredy. She is initially kind to him, but faced with constant rudeness from him begins to withdraw from him — Until 9/10ths of the way into the game, where Keele suddenly begins to warm to Meredy and decides to remain in the world of Celestia to be with her. While in the Japanese version there are some skits that show Keele's defrosting attitude earlier on, these were removed in the English version, making the pairing come off as Pairing The Spares.
    • Tales of Symphonia: The player can invoke this if they bungle Colette's Relationship Values and then chooses to kill Zelos off to get Kratos back in the party, since Colette is the default love interest and the scene where you choose which ending makes you reject everyone you actually have had Lloyd show chemistry with in order to pick him.
    • Tales of Graces, from a series that's normally really good at averting this trope and playing romances subtly. A lot of people were unhappy with the Asbel/Cheria romance for this reason, especially after Graces f. In the main game, Asbel seems to be ignorant of Cheria's crush on him. But in the Future arc, he's suddenly blushing and stammering around her like an idiot. The extremely vague development in the original game coupled with the awkward, unprecedented and shoehorned romantic scenes in the Future arc turned a lot of people off. It doesn't help that Asbel/Sophie and Asbel/Richard have a lot of fan support and at least a bit of subtext each.
    • Deconstructed in Tales of the Abyss. Legretta loves Van Grants... a love mandated by Because Destiny Says So, and she hates it because she wants to fall in love by her free will. Thus, she wants to destroy the world's concept of destiny. Fortunately for her, Van wants the same thing, so she has an actual reason to follow him.
    • Tales of Xillia took the little Graces fiasco above and turned it up higher when it comes to Jude and Milla. Their supposedly romantic scenes come off as rather awkward fan-pandering. Neither of them admits anything out loud, making their status as Official Couple rather questionable. This is not helped by their voice actors having very little chemistry and certain scenes making use of originally subtext-laden dialogue Lost in Translation, making the English dub's version even less believable. The sequel decided to start its pandering, again, in the later Character Chapters for Jude and Milla, suddenly adding a lot of too-obvious nudges at the two. This included scenes that are supposed to be romantic, but once again fail due to the previous problems or feel out-of-place with what's currently going on in the main plot.
    • Tales of Xillia 2 has an implied case with Ludger and Lara Mel Marta in the Good Ending. It is unclear how they got together in the other dimension, but were implied to be Happily Married and had Elle. Over the course of the game, there's the revelation that Elle comes from a fractured dimension that is a few years ahead of the prime one, meaning she hasn't been born yet. In the Neutral Ending, when Ludger hears Lara Mel Marta is here to see him, he rushes towards her and it's implied that they will fall in love. To the player, it makes their relationship seem to serve no purpose other than to have Elle be born into the prime dimension.
  • Torin's Passage: Torin and Leenah meet for all of five minutes and are hopelessly in love. Then, when Torin goes down to Asthenia, she heads back to Escarpa and we never see her again. Presumably, this would have gotten fleshed out more in the sequels that never came.
  • Wild ARMs 2 has a ridiculous example of this. If you pick up optional character Marivel, she suddenly effectively shacks up with Tony when everyone else is having romantic scenes that make sense. Tony is a minor NPC, and they didn't even share a single line of dialogue before suddenly being set up as a couple.
  • It can be argued that the Matchmaking mechanic in Yandere Simulator is this trope in action, due to Yandere-chan manipulating events so the rival of the week falls in love with another character in one week so she would leave Senpai alone for Yandere-chan herself. The alpha builds have Kokona fall for her fellow drama club member Riku but there will likely be pairings where the rival barely knew her love interest until Yandere-chan started pushing them together (and indeed, in earlier builds with the matchmaking mechanic Kokona and Riku weren't in the same club and didn't interact with each other unless Yandere-chan manipulated them to).
  • Yesterday has this with John and Pauline. Much of their romance happens off-screen, with the player sort of joining In Medias Res to their relationship. This may be mitigated a little bit with the fact that prior to John's amnesia, they were in love with each other.

    Web Comics 
  • El Goonish Shive has a pretty clear example in Ashley and Elliot. It takes 11 strips (here to here) to go from introducing each other to asking each other out. The next time we see them together, they're on a date that has an entire storyline dedicated to it, and after the third date, Elliot claims to love her. In the commentary of this strip, Dan explains that Tedd and Grace also fall into this category and that he wishes he had made the start of their romance more gradual. He explains that he had always hated "Will they or won't they?" plots and that he was going to be different, but that he may have ended up going too far in the other direction.
  • The first half of Aoi House seems to build up to a will-they-or-won't-they tension between Alex and Elle, only to throw it out in favor of pairing him with fan-favorite Morgan in the second half, despite Morgan's crush being infantile at best and Alex ignoring her for most of the series.
  • Played with in Homestuck: John and Vriska have known each other for all of six hours before she starts developing a crush on him. However, after a year's Time Skip, someone brings up the subject to John again... and he proceeds to go over all the problems that commonly accompany this trope, and concludes that ultimately, they'd have to know each other far longer before it could really mean anything. Indeed, during the Time Skip, Vriska dated an alternate version of John for a while, but since they were both dead, they had infinite time to get to know each other. And then their relationship fizzled out anyway.
  • Rhonda and Quinn in Kevin & Kell. Quinn literally showed up for a single storyline, as a threat to Lindesfarne because she was in an arranged marriage with him that she couldn't get out of. So, even though a storyline had passed very recently that revealed that Rhonda and Edgar had completely patched up their relationship problems and Edgar was now a good, attentive boyfriend willing to humiliate himself for Rhonda, for the convenience of the Lindesfarne plot, he suddenly underwent Aesop Amnesia and snapped back to nothing ever changing. This gave Rhonda an excuse to dump him and marry Quinn, as the story told us they'd been having an online relationship for years (this was the first time it ever came up). Also, the comic conveniently ignores that for all of Edgar's flaws, Rhonda was basically cheating on him the entire time they dated. The storyline was also used to put Rhonda on a bus with a massive whimper. While Rhonda made a cameo or two at Lindesfarne's wedding, Quinn the plot device didn't show up until the next Rhonda-centric storyline about whether to take a job at Herd Thinners or Kell's startup company.
  • Las Lindas:
  • Almost immediately after Gabby from Namir Deiter realizes she's over her longtime crush on the main character (a straight girl), she's seduced by her never-before-seen academic partner, Jacinda, and they're joined at the hip from then on. The relationship later falls apart and Gabby hooks up with Joan, a New Old Flame.
    • In the Spin-Offspring sequel, Nicole and Derek, in her first storyline focus, we find out Cerise (cousin to title character, Derek) is deeply in love with someone. She runs out to meet them clandestinely, and we find out it's Daisy, another now-grown-up character from ND. We also find out that Twix, Cerise's father, Does Not Approve of the relationship, though we're not told why at the time.
  • In Red String, Makoto never really gives any reason why he is so obsessed with dating Miharu. The only time we are given insight to this is that he fell in love with her photograph before ever meeting her and the rest of the comic is him basically refusing to leave her alone. Miharu basically falls for him because the story implies she's supposed to, then never really spends any time on developing them as a couple. It's just Makoto doing things like freaking out about losing her and making all her decisions for her and Miharu apologizing to him when he instigates conflicts. Yet even Miharu, after a whole four months of dating him, feels they're in a "serious" relationship in spite of them doing nothing more significant as a couple than sexting and feeling each other up. The comic ends literally with Makoto quitting his job to date Miharu full time and then after she declares she truly loves him the most, he immediately proposes marriage, which she accepts. The marriage proposal? Originally, it was just the words "Well?" The author got so much flack for how awful this dialog was that she stealth rewrote it, but it still doesn't consist of an actual proposal...and at no point in the entire comic, not even during his marriage proposal, does he ever tell Miharu "I love you."
  • In Sailor Moon Cosmos Arc, despite Chibiusa and Helios never even meeting in this timeline (thanks to a Temporal Paradox), Usagi, Mamoru, and the other senshi are convinced that they will eventually get together. It seems even fate is determined that they'll get together, as Helios still has his connection to Chibiusa and Chibiusa eventually gets her memories of her past time-traveling incarnation. Ultimately, after Usagi ascends to godhood as Sailor Cosmos, Mamoru abdicates his claim to the throne to take Helios's place as priest of Elysian so Helios could go to Chibiusa's side, though Helios notes that he's not sure if that's what either of them wants. It's left open-ended whether they get together or not.
  • Pretty much every couple in Sonichu. It's made worse by the fact that Chris-Chan considers the romance to be the best part of the comic. This is perhaps enforced to ensure that none of them get into a Ho Yay ship.
    • Punchy is hinted to have a crush on Angelica. Then he ends up with Layla Flaaffy.
    • Meanwhile Reginald Sneasel (another Self-insert of Chris thanks to Him being trapped in the time void) tries to get hooked up with Layla, only to end up with Angelica.
      • Both of the above examples are quickly snuffed out in Issue #11, when Reginald evolves thanks to a razor claw, making him more violent, and Punchy brings home a "Bananasaurus" that mooches off of him and Layla, causing the latter to become enraged at Punchy and break up with him. Afterwards, Layla finds Reginald on the street and immediately shacks up with him, despite no chemistry between them whatsoever having been seen before.
    • Bubbles is with Blake. They hide their relationship for no clear reason.
    • When Reldnahc is about to be cured of his homosexuality, there is talk of him getting back together with Kel. There is no mention of this in earlier chapters.
    • This is especially true of any of comic!Chris's girlfriends. The most drastic example is Ivy, who is introduced mere pages before God Himself contacts her and tells her Chris is her true love, which she immediately accepts despite having never met Chris at that point. Then the next mention of her is her death, rendering the strangling pointless.
    • Magi-Chan simply announces in Issue #10 that he will fall in love with Silvana. It seemed to serve no purpose other than shutting down the common interpretation of him as Ambiguously Gay — if so, it didn't work, considering that Silvana is intersex.
  • Kyle and the Annihilator of The Young Protectors. Before the comic even progressed past the prologue the two are all but professing their undying love for each other with Kyle insisting that he wants to have his first-ever sexual experience with the world's most notorious supervillain and has absolutely no doubts about it (in spite of being terrified for years of even having A Date with Rosie Palms due to his fire-based powers being fueled by emotion, which includes orgasm), and said notorious supervillain declaring that he wants to reform himself for Kyle even though he's never had any second thoughts about his supervillain career before. Before this, they had a single kiss in a back alley and a single dinner date. Add to that Kyle being only seventeen years old and the Annihilator being fifty-eight years old, something that doesn't give either of them more than the slightest hesitation... which was entirely the point. The comic, up through half of the second chapter, was busy invoking, subverting and exploiting all things Love at First Sight, particularly of the standard Boys' Love variety. Kyle, being a lonely, closeted seventeen-year-old with self-enforced celibacy, lacks much experience with adult life and any with romance, leaving him extremely susceptible to seduction from the resident Manipulative Bastard, who abandons him the moment he gets what he wants.

    Web Original 
  • There's a subgenre of Porn with Plot called "Naked In School." It combines sexual shenanigans with a side order of Character Development by positing a world where characters have to attend high school nude for a week because reasonsnote . The Extremely Short Time Span makes this trope tempting, and some stories have fallen for it; one of the worst examples involves two people meeting each other for the first time on Monday and declaring True Love by day's end.
  • Survival of the Fittest v4 pre-game has the "relationship" with Jonathan Jarocki and Anna Chase, which seemingly came out of nowhere when they took each other to prom and started dating afterwards. Most of their scenes were kind of awkward, despite the fact that both of them had rather dark interests. This wasn't helped by the fact that one of them (Jonathan) has actually been confirmed to be a self-insert, bringing No Yay into the picture. A lot of handlers expressed disgust at the pairing, which led to this being fixed once v4 actually started by the two of them having an Offscreen Break Up.
  • The Neopets Lost Desert plot was about a cursed prince named Jazan whose only hope of breaking the spell on him was to marry a princess of Sakhmet. When Princess Amira refused, he planned to force her into marriage. Meanwhile, two thieves named Tomos and Nabile learned Jazan's backstory. The latter was especially moved and wanted to help save him from his curse. Nabile voiced her disapproval at the wedding, and as it turned out, at that moment it was discovered that she was, in fact, a descendant of an exiled princess. Having just met, Nabile and Jazan instantly fell in love and were married minutes later.

    Western Animation 
  • Barry and Katya in Archer get together in season 3 because they're both cyborgs, overlooking Katya's love for Archer and the fact that Barry murdered her (It Makes Sense in Context), and stay together in a relationship that is dysfunctional from the start.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Though it was nowhere near as controversial as the later Makorra, some fans felt the romance between Aang and Katara to be underbaked (though it helped a little that the series wasn't nearly as focused on shipping in general). There are a lot of moments where Aang demonstrates romantic interest in Katara, but comparatively very few where Katara seems to reciprocate that interest—and in most of those moments, she seems mostly just confused and uncomfortable at the idea of being with Aang. Add in their great difference in maturity, and it came across for most of the series as a Precocious Crush on the Team Mom. There were even some implications that Aang's interest in Katara wasn't entirely healthy; he acts possessive in a handful of episodes, and one involved the idea that he was so unable to let go of her that it locked him out of the Avatar State. They share a Now or Never Kiss about halfway through the third season, but even then, Katara was still pretty apprehensive about it, and there wasn't much further development (most of that part focused on Zuko) until they were Sealed with a Kiss at the very end of the series. The jump in the comics to Sickeningly Sweethearts came across as incredibly off as a result.
    • Sokka and Yue meet, and two days later, she's giving him a kiss on the lips as an expression of how she feels (while dumping him because of her Arranged Marriage).
    • There’s very little build-up for the relationship between Zuko and Mai. The two share almost no screen time in Book 2, and Mai is only briefly mentioned to have a crush on Zuko. Then, at the very start of Book 3, they’re in an established romantic relationship. To say this is sudden would be an understatement.
  • Gwen and Kevin in Ben 10: Alien Force: Despite the characters having zero interactions in the previous series, the ship is dropped on the viewer with absolutely no set-up in this installment's first episode. Kevin almost wrecking his precious car to tell Ben not to be rude to Gwen could be attributed to his Badass Decay, but "I'll follow you anywhere"? Fans struggled to accept this relationship throughout the show's first season, but since then, plenty of episodes throughout the rest of the show, as well as further sequel series Ultimate Alien and Omniverse, managed to develop and add more depth to the relationship. Omniverse even went as far as to include some retcons on earlier periods in order to make that reunion on the first episode of Alien Force more acceptable.
    • Taken to even more extremes with Ben 10: Omniverse for Ben and Kai. Their relationship treated as this fantastic thing that's destined to happen despite the fact that A.) they have barely ever interacted. B.) Kai is not a particularly good person and C.) characters that Ben has actual chemistry with are swatted aside to push her. Much like the below example with Danny Phantom, they spent more time making the pairing inevitable than showing why they should be together, such as making one recurring character their son from the future.
  • Danny and Sam from Danny Phantom were obviously planned to be the Official Couple from the beginning, with almost everyone remarking on it, if not being an outright Shipper on Deck, and innumerable S/he Is Not My Girlfriend/Boyfriend moments. The problem is that the writers were so busy making the couple inevitable they never bothered to actually show why they should be together. There was nothing more romantic to their relationship other than them being friends of opposite gender, and the whole thing came off more a combination of awkward teenage hormones and defensiveness in the face of relentless teasing. Worse, Danny and Valerie got real tension and some rather sweet development before that ship was sunk, so it wasn't that the writers didn't know how to write a relationship, they apparently just didn't want to.
  • Dragons: Riders of Berk: Mala, Queen of the Defenders of the Wing, and Dagur, Chief of the Berserkers (who had been blatantly, unambiguously obsessed with Hiccup for 7 straight seasons), meet for the first time in the show's eighth season. In the B-plot of one episode, they meet, argue, and make peace. The very next time they're seen together, they're engaged. Even in-universe, Hiccup and Astrid are stunned and confused by how... extremely close the two got so quickly.
  • In the 1990s Fantastic Four animated series, Johnny Storm meets the Inhuman Medusa, drools over her for two and a half episodes, finds out she's married and winds up drooling over her cousin, Crystal, for half of one. In the end, the Inhumans' city is sealed off from the rest of the world. Suddenly, Crystal, whom he's known all of a few hours, was the love of his life, and he spends every episode after this — literally every episodepining for her. (He does get her back in the end, though.) Maybe heroes really do just love redheads that much. The writing team seemingly realized how bad the whole deal was and spoofed it hilariously in a later episode where Crystal sends out her Big Friendly Dog Lockjaw to try bringing Johnny to a place where they can be reunited. They spend the whole episode going through several dimensions... and never find that spot.
  • Futurama: The second direct-to-DVD film "The Beast With A Billion Backs'' has Fry and Colleen, a woman he met on the street one day and had casual sex with, followed by a relationship. Within the space of a few months, this relationship is apparently strong enough that Fry is conflicted about whether to move in with her and so devastated after walking away he feels the need to leave the universe entirely. As opposed to his long-standing attempts to romance Leela, something that gets pointed out at the very end of the film. Making this all the more egregious is that the previous film had the Fry-Leela romance as one of the main plot points, yet it doesn't even get a mention in the supposed follow-up until the last two minutes.
  • Justice League Unlimited:
    • John Stewart and Vixen. Vixen had previously only made a handful of silent cameo appearances, but without any buildup or reference to it, she and John are already in a serious relationship by her first speaking role. The writers initially paired them up post-time skip just to provide an obstacle for John and Shayera getting back together, but it got pretty difficult for them once Vixen developed as a character and they began to like her (Word of God says being voiced by Gina Torres also helped).
    • Poor Supergirlshe meets a guy in the future, has a few lines with him, and is suddenly so in love that she abandons all she knows and cares about by staying in the far future. Brainiac-5 is hit pretty hard by this too: he's barely spoken to her, has only known her for a few minutes and suddenly he's agreeing with Green Arrow's suggestion that he's fallen for Supergirl?
  • Kaijudo:
    • Nadia and Chavez have only two episodes depicting any sort of romance together, but they share a kiss come the first season finale. Bizarrely still, they have no romantic moments after that.
    • Tiera and The Choten's relationship seems to exist solely to twist the knife in Alakshmi's back. She hadn't even been mentioned by him before this moment, though he could have blocked out her death from his mind.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Season 1 was only twelve episodes, with no others originally planned, and had to introduce and conclude a complicated plot about Fantastic Racism and a war against Well Intentioned Extremists. A romance plot would inevitably have been bereft of necessary screentime to begin with, but then the writers decided to tack on a love quadrangle seemingly just for the hell of it. The end result is that all the attractions and romances were rushed, forced, glossed over, told instead of shown, or quickly buried. The ambiguity of whether Mako and Asami broke up during the season or whether or not Bolin was over Korra didn't help matters. Subverted in Season 2, where Korra and Mako's personalities clash resulting in Mako breaking up with Korra. And by the end of the season, both accept that a romantic relationship between them won't work and end it for good. A Season 4 Breather Episode is partially devoted to mocking how poorly it went, with Mako's friends and relatives pointing out to him how badly he screwed things up as he tells the sordid story.
    • Korra ending the series in a relationship with Asami is this to some. They spent the first two seasons being mere acquaintances at best and romantic rivals at worst. The third season would have them develop an actual friendship with another, but come the last few minutes of the series finale, the two of them head off to the spirit realm while holding hands, their status as Official Couple sealed with Word of God later on. However, a number of fans were caught off guard by this as there was a three year Time Skip between seasons three and four where the only contact they had was the occasional letter, only meeting again in the second half of the final season. The Turf Wars comics expand upon their relationship however.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls: This is one of the reasons why Flash Sentry is so hated. Twilight, who's had no romantic interest in anyone before, bumps into him several times and starts crushing on him, despite knowing nothing about him, having no meaningful interactions and him being of a completely different species. On top of that, Twilight never mentions or even seems to think about Flash or his pony counterpart again.
    • Legend of Everfree: Has this in Timber Spruce, with human Twilight falling for him the moment she sees him. This angered fans just as much as what happened with Flash, including all of Flash's supporters because they are ignoring Flash for a new guy instead of working with what they have already established.
    • Invoked in the episode "Hearts and Hooves Day" where the Crusaders force a relationship between Big Macintosh and Cheerilee, which ends up going horribly wrong to the point the Crusaders fear the destruction of Ponyville. That said, many fans would come to feel Big Mac's eventual relationship with Sugar Belle several seasons later is this trope.
  • Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero: At the end of the series finale, Penn and Sashi end up sharing a kiss. While the two had a couple of Ship Tease moments throughout the show, they were few and far between, and both showed far more interest in other characters (Matilda and Pirate Maria for the former, Blaze for the latter) than each other. Given that the show was Screwed by the Network, it's possible that there were plans to develop the pairing at a more natural pace that never came to fruition.
  • Samurai Jack: Jack and Ashi know each other for about a day or two (after Ashi was initially raised from birth to think Jack was the The Antichrist) and have exactly *two* quick moments of awkward romantic tension before, after a battle, they passionately kiss out of nowhere. The relationship literally goes from "allies with a lot of respect and gratitude for each other" to "passionately in love" with the flip of a switch. It doesn't help that he's decades older than her (though unaging), which helped many fans to see them as more father/daughter than anything.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Bow and Glimmer got this both ways. Writers and cast were describing them as Like Brother and Sister right up until the final season was about to be released, but a couple of episodes made it seem like Glimmer had an unrequited crush. Then, when they actually did hook up in the series finale, so little had changed about their relationship from the times it was described as Like Brother and Sister over the course of the season that many people felt like it came out of nowhere with less than half an hour of show left, making it a fumble from the other end.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: At the end of the episode "The Great Snail Race", after Squidward's new snail Snelly chooses to go after Gary (who was in terrible condition and had just recovered from an accident early on) over finishing a snail race, Gary and Snelly fall in love straight out of the blue.
  • In season two of Stōked, the first episode involved Reef and Lo pretending to be in a relationship as a subplot in an episode, including pretending to make out. At the end of the episode, the two decided that they enjoyed making out and made out for real, leading to the two of them sucking face uncontrollably in every episode their romance is involved in, derailing the previously sweet Lo into a Spoiled Brat Tsundere and the previously chauvinistic Reef into someone who spends hours thinking up lyrics to love songs and poems. The vast majority of fans, unsurprisingly, hated the coupling, especially since the writers had spent most of season one teasing and building up to Reef/Fin, only to strangle Reef and Lo with the red string in the very first episode of Season Two.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil has an odd example. While Star and Marco start off with a good relationship that many people are fond of shipping, their dance under the soul-binding Blood Moon is later revealed to be an In-Universe example of this trope, forcing them to be together whether they wanted to or not. While the curse is lifted in the final season, the fact it existed for most of the show's run casts an awkward light over every romantic relationship both characters have had, as they were all doomed to failure because of the Blood Moon's influence and could have prospered without the curse. It also put into question how many moments of bonding were actual examples of such, or manufactured by Blood Moon. Because of this, the duo getting together so quickly in the final episodes feels rushed. On top of that, Marco's confession that he always had romantic feelings for Star feels confusing when none of his behavior even hinted that he viewed Star in such a manner before she revealed her crush on him at the end of the season two.
  • Super Noobs: The romance between Tyler Bowman and Amy Anderson is considered by fans to be underdeveloped and half baked. The aforementioned couple only got a couple of dates with one of them being forced and their relationship was only seldom mentioned in a few episodes. To make matters worse, Amy is regulated to being a Damsel in Distress, making her look like a cheap parody of superhero girlfriends like Lois Lane and Mary Jane Watson. Some fans thought that her relationship with Tyler would get more development if she became of the Noobs. What makes this even more baffling is that neither Amy nor her relationship with Tyler is seen or mentioned by the time the season finale episode comes.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: Fifi and Hamton's entire reason for being together in the show relies purely on Pair the Spares, being the third 'odd-one-out' of their respective Power Trios. Their relationship started by Hamton nervously asking Fifi to the prom despite never showing interest in her before the episode, and "revealing" he secretly had a crush on her, which again came completely out of the blue. Also, after the prom episode, the pairing was only very seldom referenced again in the form of the occasional brief gag or vague reference. This, among other reasons, is why many people prefer pairing her up with Furrball or Calamity.
  • Total Drama:
    • On World Tour, Duncan and Gwen. Yes, this is half of the fanbase's OTP, but let's face it—Duncan had never shown any romantic interest in Gwen before (though she obviously had a thing for him that he didn't know about), and while his relationship with Courtney was certainly rocky, he was always depicted as head-over-heels for her, even taking her back after season two. In season three, he had no particular reason to want to break up with her, and when he came back to the show, hadn't seen her or Gwen in months. And less than five minutes after coming back, he's making out with Gwen behind Courtney's back, after literally the first conversation they've had in ten episodes.
    • All three become contestants again in the fifth season Total Drama All-Stars. The problems between them resurface, with Gwen being defined solely as a boyfriend stealer, Gwen trying to make things right with Courtney only to accidentally hurt her numerous times, and Duncan still harboring feelings for Courtney. This all culminates in Gwen dumping Duncan because she feels he's still too interested in Courtney.
    • Subverted with Courtney and Scott. When Courtney is shuffled over to the Villains team, she starts impressing Scott by being her normal, bossy self, saying out of nowhere that, because his dad's in the army and his mom's a waitress, he's basically built to love taking orders and that he loves a bossy lady. This is completely different from his Revenge portrayal, in which he was a cheating Jerkass. Then in the episode "Zeke and Ye Shall Find" Scott and Courtney share an Accidental Kiss, to which they start acting as if they'll be together forever. They break up due to a misunderstanding with Cameron only hours into their relationship, then get back together the episode after, only for the relationship to be possibly sunk permanently when Courtney's need to win once again proves to be more important to her than her relationships with others and their own feelings.
  • X-Men: Evolution: The Lance-Kitty Relationship. The two definitely had the potential to be a good pairing, mostly due to Lance's Character Development during the course of the series, but Kitty forgave him so quickly for trying to kill her and her parents in his first appearance — and did so before his Character Development. Said development also appeared to be motivated so he could get together with her and started from him saving her from a mess he caused.
  • Young Justice:
    • Robin and Wonder Girl hooking up in the season two finale, two characters had never been seen interacting with one another beforehand. Of course, the two of them were secondary characters throughout the season who were barely ever seen at all.
    • Miss Martian and Lagoon Boy are at least justified by a Time Skip, but from the audience's perspective we go from "Miss Martian and Superboy in a successful relationship" (which admittedly had some real groanworthy moments as well) to "Miss Martian locking lips with someone we've never seen before". It's eventually established that Miss Martian really didn't have romantic feelings for Lagoon Boy, he was just the rebound relationship after she broke up with Superboy.
    • Kid Flash and Artemis were supposed to be in a love-hate relationship. The show did establish the hate. The two of them were petty and mean-spirited with each other literally from the moment they met. It's on the "love" part of "love-hate" that the show dropped the ball. It appears that they were trying to portray both characters as being Tsundere for each other: Artemis was most prone to sniping at Wally when he flirted with other female characters, for example. They're never shown interacting with each other in a way that portrays romantic interest, and when the latter half of season one tries to convey some romantic interest between them it falls flat.

Alternative Title(s): Informed Soulmates, Suddenly Soulmates, The Love That All Of A Sudden, Degenerate Romance Arc, Ass Pull Romance, Romance Ex Machina


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