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The Matchmaker

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"Those two ended up married, you know. They are Kat's parents."

"In fact, I think I'll arrange a marriage. Come over often, Nick, and I'll sort of—oh—fling you together. You know—lock you up accidentally in linen closets and push you out to sea in a boat, and all that sort of thing—"
Daisy to Nick about him and Jordan, The Great Gatsby

You all know Alice and Bob. Alice has a crush on Bob. Bob may or may not have a crush on Alice. Then there's Jane. Jane is a close friend of Alice who has nothing but Alice's best interest in mind. So she encourages Alice to go for it with Bob. Over and over again. Jane is a matchmaker.

More advanced cases will introduce Alice and Bob when they are strangers, because the matchmakers deems them perfect for each other.

This person is notable for several things. One, they can't seem to grasp the concept of personal space. Two, they seem to have a pathological obsession with hooking up their friends. If the subject is a single pair, the revelation that this person has feelings for one or both of them is entirely possible. Otherwise, this is something of a Love Triangle with only one romantic connection.

Take note that in older or period works, it is not uncommon to find an older figure who is rather skilled at this. Keep an eye out for professionals and relatives, and especially expectant parents who plan at Arranged Marriage.

A serial Matchmaker is often Oblivious to Love. Expect several attempts to make a match for the character madly in love with the Matchmaker, and resolution only to come at the very end. They may take cues from Astrology or Personality Blood Types when making their matches. If The Matchmaker is unsuccessful in their goal you get Matchmaker Failure. Wedlock Block is likely to need one of these.

See also Yaoi Fangirl, Yuri Fan, and Perverse Sexual Lust for variants. Compare Shipping for more meta examples, Unknowingly in Love, which may apply in cases where the matchmaker ends up with one of the people they're trying to matchmake, and Romantic Wingman. Shipper on Deck is a supertrope. See also Match Maker Quest, where the player can take on this role. Contrast Shipping Torpedo. If the matchmaker has personal reasons for their actions, that's Shipper with an Agenda.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Judeau fits this role for Guts and Casca in Berserk. While he was secretly in love with Casca, he was also good friends with Guts, and being the only one of the Hawks who actually paid attention to the complicated Love Triangle between Guts, Griffith, and Casca, Judeau decided to at least resolve the non-conflicting triangle between he, Guts and Casca by trying to push Guts and Casca together, since he correctly predicted that things would not work out between Griffith and Casca but that she was more suited to be with Guts. It eventually pays off, after a hunk load of shit happened over a time span of a year, and it then took a tragic turn when the Eclipse happened, and Judeau sacrifices his own life to save Casca's, but one the last things he does is reassure Casca that Guts loved her, even though he never got to tell her how he felt himself. Oh sadness!
  • Blue Flag deconstructs this trope, as well as Matchmaker Crush. Ichinose is playing this to get Naïve Everygirl Kuze with his Childhood Friend Mita. He, however, gets berated when Itachi, Kuze's friend, realizes what he is doing. Playing this can end up with the feelings of the people he is trying to get together hurt and it's something he can't possibly understand because he is in a position where his feelings cannot be directly hurt.
  • In later volumes of Chrono Crusade, it's implied that Azmaria is silently trying to matchmake Chrono and Rosette, including purposefully having her and Satella separated from the two of them so they can be alone.
    • There's a brief scene in the epilogue of the manga that seems to imply that Rosette is trying to set up Joshua and Azmaria, too. If so, it works—they get married not long before she dies.
  • Matsuda from Death Note seems to fit. He always seemed to want Light and Misa together, when really there was nothing there.
  • In Gankutsuou, Albert becomes this for Valentine and Maximilien, after becoming convinced that people should only marry for love.
  • Tsuruya from Haruhi Suzumiya. At times, she talks to Kyon about his relationship with Haruhi and Mikuru. Well, this quote probably says it best: "Well, Mikuru will always follow you! But, don't be mischievous. That's the one thing that's not allowed. If you wish to be mischievous, do it to Haru-nyan. Just my intuition. Mhm, I'm sure she'll always forgive you!" Oh, and she also likes to tease him, but that's just for fun.
  • Kagome from Inuyasha puts considerable effort into bringing Miroku and Sango together, effort that ultimately pays off. Still, things probably would have worked out sooner if she just sat Miroku down and explained to him that groping a woman whenever you feel like isn't the best way to build a relationship.
  • Mikage from Kamisama Kiss is a Shinto God that specializes in matchmaking and marriages. Nanami is an Ordinary High-School Student who ends up becoming his replacement and takes to this divine duty with extreme enthusiasm. She especially seems to like pairing up ordinary humans with demons.
  • Ayuki in Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl has an interest in resolving Hazumu's Love Triangle, and does have a pathological obsession with seeing people other than herself getting into relationships.
  • Mutsumi Otohime from the Love Hina manga and anime tries more than anybody to help Keitaro and Naru be together. Mutsumi wants Keitaro to be happy (with a massive case of "I Want My Beloved to Be Happy"). Even though Mutsumi has loved Keitaro since childhood.
  • Haruna Saotome from Negima! Magister Negi Magi, who has taken a personal interest in seeing her friend Nodoka advancing her relationship with their teacher Negi. The best way to summarize her mentality is that when Nodoka builds up the nerve to ask Negi to go with her group on the trip, Haruna berates her for settling for just that, dares her to confess to him and starts talking about actual romantic dating.
    • Of course, Chamo isn't much better. While he's been shown to have his own reasons for his actions, he has encouraged Negi to kiss girls on multiple occasions and even setting him up with several, most notably with the "Kiss Negi" competition. He's also been shown to encourage the girls themselves on a few occasions.
  • Tachibana Juuta from Otomen goes to great lengths to help Asuka and Ryo hook up. Then again, the plot of his manga depends on it.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kaji is annoyed at Asuka's teenage crush on him and decides to steer her away from him, apparently towards Shinji. This includes coming up with their dance training plan and giving Shinji and giving him advice on women. Kaji's relationship with Misato is also consistently paralleled with Asuka and Shinji's, even if while the former successfully rekindles, the latter fails to develop at almost exactly the same time.
  • In the second season of Princess Tutu, Pique and Lilie decide that Ahiru has a thing for Fakir and attempt to matchmake them, even writing a love letter from Ahiru to Fakir in an attempt for them to get together. Pique even has a crush on Fakir, but sets it aside in hopes that Ahiru could have a relationship with him. What they don't realize is that it's the other way around—Ahiru is still enamored with Mytho and is spending time with Fakir to try to save Mytho. Fakir, on the other hand, is developing feelings for Ahiru...
  • A Running Gag in Pokémon the Series: XY involves Bonnie trying to set her older brother Clemont with "keepers" to take care of him, and each time it usually ends with Clemont pulling Bonnie away in embarrassment. Gets deconstructed in the episode "A Keeper for Keeps?!", where Bonnie does find a proper suiter for Clemont... only to suddenly realize the hard way that she is woefully unprepared for the emotional ramifications that come with her brother getting potentially married. Outside of one last gag at the end of the episode, Bonnie never pulls this trope off for the rest of the series until she and Clemont return in Pokémon Journeys.
  • Koiwai does this in Recovery of an MMO Junkie when the main characters need a kick in the butt.
  • Usagi in Sailor Moon dresses up as an actual matchmaker to get Rei and Yuuichirou together. It doesn't work.
    • Then, in S, she persuades Naru and Umino to enter a love contest.
    • Finally, fandom ratchets up her "love for all" mentality until she's trying to pair up everyone who has ever talked to her. Minako is also put into the matchmaker role because her realm of influence is love.
  • Shakugan no Shana has Ike, who tries to help Kazumi get together with Yuji, but he doesn't really have a pathological obsession with watching other people get into relationships, and the ending heavily implies that he ends up paired with Kazumi.
  • Spy X Family: A Marriage of Convenience version is used as the catalyst of the series. At the seamstress shop, Twilight looks at the women there but decides that they can't be his fake wife because they are either too old or married already. When Yor comes in Twilight recognizes her as an employee at City Hall, but decides not to ask her thinking she may have a boyfriend, and Yor thinks about asking Loid to pretend to be her boyfriend for a party at a coworker's house, but decides not to when Anya comes out and assumes he's married. However, when Anya reads their thoughts on how they need a fake romantic partner, she decides that having a spy for a father and an assassin for a mother was too much excitement to pass up, and sings a song about how lonely she is without a mother, and they ask each other out and move in together soon after.
  • Seto from Tenchi Muyo! GXP takes this to extraordinary heights.
    • She does this for both strategic use and to screw with other people for the hell of it (as pictured expression should explain).
    • One doesn't get called Jurai no Onihime ("Devil Princess of Jurai") for nothing. It's all good-natured, really, but still Seto is a force of nature that tends to completely steamroll everything and everybody in her vicinity. Her Fanon status of amnesiac Naja Akara notwithstanding.
  • Hatsune Arisaka from Tona-Gura! tries early and often to play this for her uptight younger sister Kazuki and her Coyote-like affectionate-but-dense pursuer, Yuuji Kagura. Kazuki's pleas that she stop this, needless to say, fall on broadly smiling deaf ears.
  • Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs: In the Marie Route Alternate Timeline, Marie helps save Leon's fellow poor noble boys from being Cannon Fodder or Made a Slave due to not finding a marriage partner in Lady Land, by befriending The Shut-In nice girls of the academy and introducing them to the boys for a Comically Small Bribe of cafeteria pudding. This being part of Marie's characterization as a Team Mom, with her having to look after said Dysfunction Junction of girls. This also builds the foundation of Leon's political faction.

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man:
    • May Parker had to work hard and persistently to set up a date for her nephew Peter and her good friend Anna Watson's niece Mary Jane. After the Gwen Stacy clone appeared, Aunt May encouraged MJ to fight for Peter's love. And after Mary Jane returned from a long absence in the 1980s, Aunts May and Anna once again set up a date between her and Peter.
    • In a time-travel story in Spider-Girl, Peter and MJ's daughter Spider-Girl visits Aunt May before Peter and MJ's first date. Aunt May is at that point just about to throw in the towel because Peter keeps avoiding a meeting with the Watson girl, but "May Day" encourages her not to give up.
    • Where would Miles be if he hadn't Ganke to give him love advice?
  • Superman:
    • Mr Mxyzptlk, of all beings, when Clark and Lois had split up in the '90s.
    • In Action Comics #289, Supergirl vows to find a wife for her cousin. She tries to hook Superman up with Helen of Troy, Saturn Girl's adult self, an alien superwoman... However all of her attempts end up in failure, and she vows never to play matchmaker again.
    • In Superman's Return to Krypton, Lara Lor-Van thinks Kal-El -unbeknownst to her, her time-displaced future son- and Lyla Lerrol are a good match, so she invites Lyla to spend the day together.
      Lyra Lerrol: Lara, when you invited me to drop in, you said nothing about another guest!
      Lara Lor-Van: I forgot mention it!
      Kal-El: [thinking] Mother must be trying to play cupid! Apparently, she's determined to bring Lyla and me together!
  • In Miki Falls, this is part of the job description of the Deliverers, supernatural beings charged with protecting love.
  • Brigitta McBridge from the Disney Ducks Comic Universe is a professional one. Her most frequent enterprise is a dating agency, and a rather successful one.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): While Etta Candy is usually content to sit on the sidelines since her favored paring of Wonder Woman and Steve are already dating she will intrude and mess with them to try to get Steve to succeed in using one of the loopholes in the rule that states Diana can't get married as the Amazon Champion until her (never-ending) mission is complete. A villain usually interrupts right as Diana is about to be in a situation where she could say yes.
    • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Steve Trevor approves of the mutual crush between Etta and Lawrence Stone, and he keeps bringing Lawrence to functions where he knows Etta is going to be which Lawrence would not otherwise attend.

    Fan Works 
  • In this The Most Popular Girls in School fanfiction, Trisha is this to Brittnay and Mackenzie.
  • Better Bones AU: Rosetail is a bit obsessed with romance (despite realizing she is aromantic herself) and tries to get her son Redtail together with Runningwind.
  • The Child of Love: Misato is very driven to see Shinji and Asuka getting together and she devises many plans to make them get closer to each other.
  • Child of the Storm has Harry develop a habit of this in the sequel, specifically regarding Ginny Weasley and Diana with Betsy Braddock drily quoting Fiddler on the Roof ("Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match.") once she notices. That said, he is a bit more hands-off than most, mainly just giving them the means to keep in contact with each other, though he's also hinted to have plans regarding their attendance at the Yule Ball. Betsy also points out some of the potential problems with this, no matter how well-intentioned it is, such as the Wizarding World's homophobia, and the fact that, unlike Harry or Diana, Ginny can't just walk away from it.
  • In the sequel to the The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess fanfic Til the Sun Grows Cold, Rusl plays matchmaker in order to Pair the Spares among his old Resistance buddies.
  • In No Charm Equal, Harry is a Cupid who finds the perfect match for his targets by using his powers of manipulation to cause a Meet Cute and encourage them to fall in love.
  • In Red Dead Virgo, Blue!Karkat was one of these before he got into SGRUB. Kanaya calls him out on deliberately pairing off poorly matched blackroms so that more trolls would kill each other to provide food for his troll-eating lusus. Karkat doesn't deny it, but he still boasts that despite that he is the best relationship consultant Alternia has ever known. Appropriately enough, his title in the game is "Thief of Heart".
  • Deconstructed in the Homestuck fanadventure Be the Sea Dweller Lowblood with Nepeta, whose obsession with shipping her friends causes her to ignore their true feelings. For example, Eridan has outright stated that he and Feferi are moirails and happy that way. However, she continues to see them as flushed and unwilling to admit it, and goes to incredible lengths to try and get them together. This includes her breaking his heart, and at the same time trying (and failing) to replace Feferi as his moirail, enraging her. She gets called out on it, and accused of trying to manipulate others' quadrants after being explicitly told not to.
    Oh, God, how do you explain?
    How do you make her understand that you weren't trying to take her red lover away from her? You just wanted to help them become the other kind of red lovers. You never wanted to break them up, never meant for any of this to happen—you had a plan and it was going to work out so perfectly, you were going to help Eridan realize that Feferi was a perfect flushed match for him and then you were going to help him win her, and then you would have proved what a perfect moirail match you could be for him, but—
    But, tonight messed all of that up. Tonight he said something you never expected him to say, and tonight you had to say something you had never planned to say this early, and tonight you watched Eridan break and break and break again, and tonight you learned that when Eridan breaks you have no idea how to put the pieces back together, and—
    And the one thing you know for sure is that you never wanted to hurt anybody. You never wanted to steal Eridan away from Feferi. You wanted them to be in the perfect quadrant, you wanted them to be happy, YOU wanted to be happy. You have to make her understand that, but, God, talking about all your plans and your ideas and your matches and your ships, you have no idea how to explain this without sounding like a lunatic, like a, like a control freak, like a...
    A highblood playing around with a couple of sea dwellers. Like a cat batting at two fish in a bowl.
    Oh, God. Eridan was right about you.
    • There is also Double Subverted with Equius and Gamzee. The former tells her time and time again that he hates the other platonically, but she doesn't listen. She keeps trying to get him to admit his "true" feelings, and even (temporarily) breaks up their moirailleigance over it. After the previously mentioned mess-up with Eridan, she starts beating herself up over that and convincing herself she was wrong and shouldn't have done that. Turns out she was right about Equius and the two do end up getting together.
  • In The Translation in Blood, Commander Shepard eventually does this to her mother and Councilor Sparatus.
  • Web from Super Saiyan Kirby Adventures is an Appledash and Twinkie shipper. Keep in mind that Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkle are people he works with.
    • Super Saiyan Kirby, the main character, seems to be a Wendon shipper. But even Web jokingly brings it up, so it's not all too surprising.
  • In the The Hobbit Fanfic A Not Quite Smooth Wooing, Dís subtly sets up her son Fíli with a woman from Laketown, whom she likes, by telling him to go and buy something for her which this woman sells on the market. After that plan works flawlessly and the two want to meet again, she provides an opportunity for a second meeting.
  • Naruto and Sakura took a hobby of hooking up their friends in I Am NOT Going Through Puberty Again!, being responsible for Choji/Karui and Kiba/Tamaki. It's mentioned that they don't have a very good success rate (one happy couple for every twelve disasters), Shino/Hana being one such failure that resulted in millions of ryo in property damage on the first date.
  • In Advice and Trust, Shinji and Asuka try to help Rei find someone good enough for her.
  • Shinji in Thousand Shinji played matchmaker for Touji and Hikari and managed to hook them up with each other.
  • The doujin Sanjō-ha to Aoe-ha no Kumiawase wa Ii zo's first half involves Ishikirimaru and Nikkari trying to get Mikazuki and Juzumaru to have sex with each other. Their plan hilariously fails.
  • The Second Try gives the next examples:
    • Shinji and Asuka act as this for Hikari and Toji.
    • Hikari thinks she's acting as this for Asuka and Shinji, which they (and the audience) find hilariously ironic because they got together several years ago from their perspective.
      Asuka: ...with the way she's acting I'm not even sure if she really understands that it's not just some teenage crush.
      Shinji: Well, she still is a rather normal teenager after all.
  • Once More With Feeling (Crazy-88):
    • Shinji — helped by Toji's little sister — plays matchmaker for Touji and Hikari, and tries to set Rei up with Kensuke.
      Hikari's campaign against Toji had continued; the two slowly but steadily becoming increasingly at ease in each others company though surprisingly, it had been Toji's younger sister Kana who was doing most of the work.
      Clearly she was able to see where things were going, approved of it and had decided to step in and carefully nudge the two along with a skill and ease that stunned Shinji. Well either that or she was sick to death of nearly starving every day at lunchtime.
      And she was good. He had seen Kana manipulate Hikari into walking 'her' home, before stealthily moving off ahead and leaving Hikari to walk Toji home together instead. She had once had both of them mysteriously take her to the shops to buy things she never actually brought under the justification of taking Hikari for fashion advice and her brother to 'escort' her, then again just vanished to leave them both standing around together with only each other for company, the two slowly opening up...
    • Kaji gives Shinji tips to interact with Asuka and win her over. Thanks to his help, Shinji manages to take her to the school dance.
  • At the start of Hellsister Trilogy, Supergirl goes on about all the times she tried to get her cousin and Lois together:
    Fred Danvers: Irregardless, I'm glad your cousin, uh, Clark finally came to his senses. Edna's wanted to sit him down and talk sense into him for a long time. Now there's just barely time for Lois to have a baby.
    Linda: Yeah. But I think ol' Clark will do all right in that department. And if me trying to play matchmaker all those times with him didn't work, I don't think Mom's would, either. But I finally told Lois about how I'd tried to get her and him together once, without showing my hand, and she cracked up. She said, 'That's just like what he'd do! You're a real member of the family, all right.'
  • The Reactsverse:
  • Willow attempts to be this in Xendra but has notable problems. First, she gets people to reveal they like each other with a Truth-Revelation Spell aka the blabbing spell, which causes people to say much more than they intend to. Second, the pair she's currently trying to set up are Wesley, who's deeply uncomfortable when he's a woman, and Tara, who's a lesbian. Both parties involved, along with Xander, point this out. Just because they're both intelligent, magic-loving introverts does not mean they'll make a good couple.
  • Varric decides to do his best to nudge Victoria and Cullen together in All This Sh*t is Twice as Weird. He knows Victoria has a crush on Cullen and thinks (correctly) that it might be mutual, but his major motivation is simply that "these stories are no good for heroes" and maybe they can actually be something good for each other. Dorian later joins him.
  • Rules of the Kadic Dormitory features assorted characters filling this role but the most entertaining one is Ulrich Stern, who is so happy in his relationship with Yumi (the result of Odd locking them in a closet) that he just wants everyone else to be that happy. Yumi is amused at first but quickly gets annoyed and screams at him to stop; the parties he was attempting to pair up have reactions varying from "Wait, really? You think we go together?" to "Dear god, why?!".
  • The More Things Change:
    • Mousse drugs Ranma and Akane's food in order to get them to confess their feelings.
    • Ranma and Akane engineer several schemes to get Ukyou and Ryouga together.
  • EQuestria Girls Marvel Universe has Sunset Shimmer act as one for a few couples at CHS, including helping Lyra get with Bon-Bon, and Octavia with Vinyl Scratch. She also eventually gives Flash Sentry and Sci-Twi the push they need to go out on a date together, resulting in them becoming an Official Couple.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: In "The Coffee Shop," Bolt introduces Penny to her future husband. The dog drinks a sufficient amount of the title beverage to make himself sick in an attempt to have his coffee shop human friend Joe rush him to Penny's veterinary office and have the two of them meet. It works, and the pair are married a year later. Lampshaded by Bolt when he hums the song "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" from Fiddler on the Roof at the end of the story.
  • Cykes Anyone Agency: Athena Cykes' initial goal is to get her best friend Juniper Wood and her co-worker Apollo Justice together. After she is successful, she extends her quest to other couples such as Maya Fey and Simon Blackquill.
  • The premise of Full Circle is built on this trope. To get Olive and Oscar back into Official Couple status following their breakup in the predecessor story Ships Ahoy!, Otto, Oprah, Olympia, Oona, Oscar's assistant Oswald, and her boyfriend O'Daniel share the role of matchmaker and concoct a plan to get them to fall in love with each other during '50s Night at Club 24. It doesn't work and the pair realize they're being set up eventually, but they decide to have a minor Relationship Upgrade anyway and move into just being reserved for each other, a limbo between being Just Friends and being an Official Couple.

    Films — Animation 
  • Rafiki plays this role in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride for Kiara and Kovu.
  • The first twenty minutes or so of Mulan focuses on Mulan's appointment with the town matchmaker, which has disastrous results.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Our Miss Brooks: In the radio program and on television, teenagers Walter Denton and Harriet Conklin do their best to help Miss Brooks snare Mr. Boynton. Mrs. Davis only puts in her talents occasionally. However, in The Movie Grand Finale, Mrs. Davis decides the time for half-measures is over. Mrs. Davis plays a decisive role in getting Miss Brooks her man, and Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton living Happily Ever After.
  • A rather subtle case in the Hellboy film with John Myers. Hellboy thinks John is taking Liz out on a date, but the whole time, John is trying to convince Liz to accept Hellboy. Hellboy follows and Hilarity Ensues.
  • In The Dark Knight Rises, everyone from Lucius Fox to Alfred seems to be trying to set Bruce up with someone, first with Ms. Tate, then with Ms. Kyle. Alfred especially would like to see Bruce hang up the cowl and settle down.
  • In A Far Off Place, Xhabbo, a native Bushman, acts as this between Harry and Nonnie, advising Harry to make a vest out of an animal skin for Nonnie as a gift.
  • The plot of the first Back to the Future revolves around Marty trying to get his parents to date so he can exist in the future.
  • In Men in Black II, J neuralizes his partner in a diner after the latter's Heroic Wannabe tendencies nearly screwed up a mission. After wiping the guy's memory, J tells him to get married and have a bunch of kids. Before leaving the diner, J tells their waitress that his friend thinks she's hot. She grins at his ex-partner, and his ex-partner grins back.
  • The Captain America movies have made a Running Gag out of Cap's friends deciding he needs to get laid. The beginning of Captain America: The First Avenger has Bucky using his Chick Magnet skills to set up a double date, and it's clear this is far from the first time he's done so. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier Black Widow picks up the ball, talking with Steve about which S.H.I.E.L.D. women he might want to date. Even during their missions. Overlaps with Shipper on Deck as she repeatedly tries to convince him to ask out Agent 13/Sharon, aka Kate the nurse. In Captain America: Civil War, when Steve and Sharon do get together, Sam gives him the grin of approval and Bucky looks like a proud parent.
  • Clueless's Cher Horowitz, which is hardly a surprise since it's essentially a High School AU of Jane Austen's Emma.
  • In Disraeli, Benjamin Disraeli might be busy with stuff like being the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and running both that nation and the vast British Empire, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't have time to fix things after a young lady admirer of his rejects her boyfriends clumsy, hamhanded marriage proposal. His wife even calls him a matchmaker.
  • In About Elly, Sepideh does her best to pair Elly and Ahmad. It seems to be working at first, but doesn't end well.
  • The Old Dark House (1963): Casper invites Tom to the family mansion partially because he wants to introduce him to one of his unmarried female cousins. Whether he meant to introduce Tom to Morgana or Cecily is never revealed before Casper's murder, but both women have chemistry with Tom.
  • Soul Mates (2023): The man who calls himself the "Matchmaker" is an Evil Is Hammy rich psycho version of this. Two people wake up inside a labyrinthine Death Course and are instructed by the Matchmaker through pre-recorded video messages to take part in various romantically-based challenges with both their own lives and those of other people hanging in the balance.

  • In Jane Austen:
    • Pride and Prejudice: Mrs. Bennet fills this role for her daughters. Or tries to, anyway; her attempts are usually a bit inept and unsubtle, she doesn't always have the best match for her daughters in mind, and her unfortunate tendency to gloat to others as if the match is a done deal long before it actually is can give her the unfortunate impression of being a Gold Digger-by-proxy.
    • And in Emma, the titular character tries to match up various members of her circle of friends. It doesn't always go so well, and the trope is rather deconstructed.
  • Anne from Anne of Green Gables seemed to make a habit of this. She finally gave it up when she threw a party intended to bring a couple together... except the party was a complete disaster and it turns out the couple were already engaged.
  • Washington Square has a Wrong Genre Savvy variant of this trope in the main character's ditzy aunt Lavinia Penniman; played with in that the man she is trying to match her niece with is an obvious Gold Digger, but she is so enamored with living out a romance novel that she doesn't care.
  • In the XV century Spanish novel La Celestina, the titular character is both the Trope Namer and Trope Codifier for the Spanish language. So much that it's even used in real life for naming people who matchmake their friends.
  • Plenty of P. G. Wodehouse's characters indulge in this. Jeeves, in particular, spends a good deal of time and scheming in not only setting up couples but breaking up the ones he doesn't approve of. (Bertie does a lot of this, too, but usually because he gets talked into it. On one of the few occasions when he did instigate matchmaking—between Bingo Little and Honoria Glossop—his scheme failed so disastrously that he ended up unwillingly engaged to Honoria.)
  • In an L. M. Montgomery story "The Education of Betty" (set in the same world as Anne of Green Gables), a man, having been the best man while his best friend marries his true love, then did his best for the widow and orphan. When the girl is grown up, he tries to pair her with a man his own age and demands to know why she refused — whereupon she declares her love. Prior to that, his awareness had been limited to realizing that her mother was not so perfect after all, lacking her daughter's spirit.
  • In the Aunt Dimity novels, Dimity is a highly skilled one. She introduced Lori's parents, she presciently told a then-twelve-year-old Bill Willis that he and Lori would wed, and has a hand in pairing Emma and Derek (then a widower with two children).
  • A few professional matchmakers show up in Judge Dee. The judge himself accidentally becomes this when he hears several confessions of love (from a girl who thinks she has a case of Les Yay and a crossdresser) and brings them into contact. All well and good, but he still has a murderer to catch.
    • A particularly hilarious example is Cheng Pa, who has a massive crush (hinted to be reciprocated) on a Miss Violet Liang, a Mongolian wrestling champion. He gets Sergeant Hong to put in a good word to her for him, which he does (but until he makes a proposal through the proper channels, won't make up her mind).
  • In Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus, when Mr. A. H— speaks of how Marco and Celia are clearly besotted, Hector Bowen tells him he should have been a matchmaker.
  • Queen Tatiana from Vampire Academy, attempts to set up a match between Lissa Dragomir and her great-nephew Adrian. It doesn't work.
  • In addition to solving various murders, thefts, and assorted misdoings, Hercule Poirot also has a surprising number of happy marriages and romances arranged to the satisfaction of all to his credit as well.
  • In The Initiate Brother, two cousins each teasingly threaten to play this role for the other while indignantly denying any need for it themselves. One of Nishima's attendants argues for striking first as a means of self-defense since Nishima's cousin "will be searching for a consort for you even as we speak".
  • Razz in Don't Call Me Ishmael!. He often tries to help Ishmael get together with Kelly or go on dates with other girls.
  • Jessica Darling's mother is forever dropping unsubtle hints about how Jessica should really take more interest in one guy or another, he's really quite a catch and I think he likes you, and anyway you can't be too choosy or else you'll be alone forever. Jess, needless to say, is not appreciative of her efforts.
  • In The Mayor of Casterbridge, Susan Henchard sees the sparks of attraction beginning to fly between her daughter, Elizabeth-Jane, and her husband's business manager, Donald Farfrae. She proceeds to forge notes in which each asks the other to meet, hoping they will hit it off. Although the spark is fanned into a flame by the carefully orchestrated meeting, they do not get together properly until much later.
  • In Beautiful Losers, Katherine Tekakwitha's aunts are determined to set her up with someone, to the point of attempting to trick her into marrying a young man.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Fantasy Island: Matchmaking is often one of Mr. Roarke's goals in setting up a fantasy. Take one female guest, take one male guest, and you'll have true love by the end of the week. Often enough, by the end of the episode, you'll have bride and bridegroom go off into "da plane" together at the end.
    • A recurring bit will be a guest finding themselves in an elaborate fantasy (sometimes involving time travel) and falling for what they assume is some actor or part of the past. Just as they're about to leave the island, that new love will show up as they're also a guest and this was their fantasy. Cue the laughing hug and kiss.
  • Friends has this for one episode where Phoebe, Chandler, and Monica go to great lengths to get Rachel a date for a business dinner and start shilling their respective dates right in front of them. She at one point finds a date on her own, and they end up scaring him off in an almost Die for Our Ship manner. Naturally, the whole thing eventually blows up and Rachel ditches both guys.
  • Charlie simply loves to do this on The West Wing. "She's a fine-looking woman." "Stop saying that!!"
    • Abbey Bartlet's Establishing Character Moment in "The State Dinner" is her unsubtly trying to set CJ up with the son of some of her friends while pointedly mentioning that he's a successful cardiologist and that CJ is single.
  • The Eleventh Doctor. Particularly for his companions Amy and Rory, but he also helps his landlord-for-a-week with his unspoken crush on a friend. Lampshaded by Amy.
  • A variation is shown by Dr. Phlox in Star Trek: Enterprise. "I do believe that they are about to mate. Do you think that they would let me watch?"
  • Boy Meets World:
    • Shawn takes up this role for a while when Corey and Topanga broke up, with a lot of people commenting he took the breakup harder than they did, and being the number one champion of the get-back-together cause.
    • Reversed later in the show, where Corey becomes obsessed with getting Shawn and Angela back together. Doubly so at the end of the show when Corey completely IGNORES Topanga's interview with New York until the very end of the episode, where he is caught off guard that she wants to move to New York.
  • iCarly: Carly does this for Sam on multiple occasions. Once during iMake Sam Girlier, another time during iSpeed Date, and again in 'iOMG' although in that case, she might not be correct as to who Sam likes.
    • The iCarly crew also try this for Lewbert in iFind Lewbert's Lost Love, except this attempt goes disastrously wrong due to his ex turning out to be a total psycho.
  • The title character in Frasier is always doing this, mostly as a way to vicariously live through the other couples while he himself is consistently lonely or having relationship troubles. These attempts almost always either fail hilariously or leave him bitter and miserable if they're successful, but his machinations regarding Niles and Daphne (which began with painkiller-stoned ramblings) ended with Happily Ever After.
    • In one episode, Martin's girlfriend Sherry tries to help Daphne out by setting her up with guys she knows from McGinty's. Daphne doesn't appreciate the effort as she's now getting random phone calls from complete strangers with whom she has nothing in common with.
  • In Gilligan's Island, Mrs. Howell is a matchmaker in one episode, trying to pair up both Gilligan and Mary Ann and The Professor and Ginger.
  • Our Miss Brooks: In the radio program and on television, teenagers Walter Denton and Harriet Conklin do their best to help Miss Brooks snare Mr. Boynton. Mrs. Davis only puts in her talents occasionally. However, in The Movie Grand Finale, Mrs. Davis decides the time for half-measures is over. Mrs. Davis plays a decisive role in getting Miss Brooks her man, and Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton living Happily Ever After.
  • In Person of Interest, Finch and his fiance, Grace, are matched up by the Machine. Yes, that's right: the sapient government surveillance supercomputer took time out of its busy schedule of fighting terror and spying on everyone in New York to find daddy a girlfriend.
  • Shake it Up: In one episode CeCe tries to match her friend Deuce to Savannah and after that pair fell apart, Dina.
  • Smash: In one of his moments of genuine friendliness, Jimmy plays matchmaker when he sees his best friend Kyle gazing at lighting designer Blake, then proceeds to ship them for the next several episodes.
  • In Community, Annie at one point notices the hints of a blooming romance between Troy and Britta and schemes to get them to hook up by manipulating them into a lunch date — much to the displeasure of Abed, Troy's Heterosexual Life Partner, who started to worry that a relationship between Troy and Britta would gradually see him excluded. Over the episode, Abed also points out that Annie's motives aren't entirely selfless or based on the belief that Troy and Britta go well together since Britta also had romantic tension with Jeff, whom Annie had a crush on, and if Britta was otherwise attached this would leave Jeff free for Annie to approach.
  • 7 Yüz: Aylin, Metin's pharmacist and sister in "Biyolojik Saat", takes a keen interest in her brother's love life and often sets him up with potential dates.
    Metin: Do you have any other hobbies besides matchmaking me?
  • Daredevil (2015): Mitchell Ellison and his wife were set up by their college newspaper editor. He tries to do the same for Karen by setting her up with his nephew Jason over dinner at their house. Karen doesn't reciprocate, since she's still hung up on Matt's presumed "death", and then the 'date' gets interrupted by Ellison and Karen both receiving phone calls about Wilson Fisk being released from prison.
  • The Strange Calls: Gregor very actively tries to encourage Banks' relationship with Kath, and often invades Banks' privacy to do so by sending her flowers and text messages under Banks' name.
  • The Partridge Family: In "They Shoot Managers, Don't They?" Shirley tries to set Reuben up with her former coworker, Cathleen Darcy, by inviting them both to a barbecue. They hit it off and almost get married before they realize that Reuben wants kids and Cathleen doesn't.
  • Will & Grace: In one early episode, Grace gets sick of her mother constantly trying to set her up with guys she knew as a kid. She puts her foot down and refuses to date the next one, only for Bobbi to reveal that this time she was trying to set Will up.
  • Hi Honey, I'm Home!: Honey tries to pair Elaine up with Lloyd’s coworker, but he turns out to be gay.


    Myths & Religion 
  • In the apocryphal Book of Tobit, the Archangel Raphael plays this role in the story, hooking up Tobit's son Tobias with Sarah while defeating the demon that has been plaguing her.

  • Our Miss Brooks:
    • In "Weekend At Crystal Lake", Mrs. Conklin tries to play matchmaker for Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton. It backfires horribly.
    • Many times throughout the series, teenager Walter Denton lends his "skills", usually with little positive effect. "Trying to Pick A Fight" and "Life Can Be Bones" are just two of his more flat-footed attempts.
    • It is, however, Mrs. Davis who eventually emerges as the champ. Mrs. Davis' advice in "Tears for Mr. Boynton", nearly gets Miss Brooks a proposal of marriage. However, in the The Movie Grand Finale, it is Mrs. Davis' matchmaking that finally gets Miss Brooks married to Mr. Boynton and achieving her Happily Ever After.

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Mirielle is a girl with a romantic outlook and the power to manipulate people's relationships, which primes her for pushing certain couples together. Even before receiving her superpower, she was trying to help her friend Zia with the latter's crush on her childhood friend Ciro.
    • A platonic example with Ivy's mother. She's pleased when it seems like her daughter is hanging out with her old friend Luna again, and urges them to spend more time together.

    Tabletop Games 

  • Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker and its musical sister Hello, Dolly! focus on Dolly Levi, who is helping the widower Horace Vandergelder find a new wife but secretly plans to snag him for herself. In the musical, she advertises her professional services as a matchmaker, but in the straight play, it's just a favor she's doing because she was a friend of the late Mrs. Vandergelder. Both works are farcical in nature.
  • In Fiddler on the Roof there is Yente, the (professional) matchmaker, who fails to make any successful matches in the story.
  • In How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Smitty's raison d'étre, particularly evident in the songs "Been a Long Day" and "Cinderella Darling".
  • The Miser has Frosine, a professional matchmaker who's determined to get the old, greedy Harpagon and young fair Marianne together. However, she later sides with Marianne and her lover Cléante (Harpagon's son) and supports their romantic plans, not having "a heart of flint" to get in the way of "young people loving each other in all earnestness and honesty".
  • Avksenty Tsagareli's Khanuma is a comedy play about two competing matchmakers, the titular Khanuma and Kabato, trying to marry off an old, stupid and destitute prince on their respective terms.

    Video Games 
  • Dragon Age has examples in each installment:
    • In Dragon Age: Origins, the Warden can meet a pair of young elves in the Dalish camp who are being kept apart by circumstances. If the player is so inclined, the Warden can meddle in those circumstances and enable them to make plans to marry. (Alternately, the Warden can sleep with one of the elves him/herself, and totally drive them apart.)
    • In Dragon Age II, there is a quest to help Aveline get together with one of her colleagues. Though it goes disastrously due to misunderstandings and Aveline being unable to spit it out, she will hook up with him at the end, even if Hawke has been trying to pursue Aveline him/herself by using the romance dialogue options. It is entirely possible to confess your feelings to her during the quest, though there is no further romance possible and she will let you down gently.
    • Cole will do this for Maryden the bard in the Trespasser DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, although exactly who he matches with her depends on circumstances. If he's been made more human, he matches her with himself. If he's been made more spirit, he matches her with Krem or, if the Chargers didn't survive the main game, with ZITHER! from the multiplayer.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, there's an undocumented quest in Chorrol that allows YOU to be the matchmaker between the Captain of the Guard, Bittneld and the owner of the Grey Mare, Emfrid. There's no failure condition, just some running back and forth between the two, but eventually it's implied that they start dating. This fact is even lampshaded by Casta Scribonia, who was the gossip who originally told you that they looked good together.
  • In the epilogue, of I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, this becomes Basorexia's secondary job besides being a bartender. Giving him a "kiss of luck" has become a tradition for people who visit his bar to look for love.
  • The Sims 2 offers several ways of playing matchmaker:
    • The influence system introduced in University and included in every expansion afterwards allows Sims to influence other Sims into doing stuff, including talking or even flirting with other Sims, effectively allowing you to play matchmaker.
    • The Gypsy Matchmaker NPC in Nightlife offers a matchmaking service. By paying a fee of your choice, the matchmaker will summon a random date; the more money you pay (up to $5,000), the likelier the date will have good chemistry with your Sim. Hilarity can ensue if you pay $5,000 only to get an ugly or otherwise inappropriate date which just so happens to have perfect chemistry with your Sim — doing so in Pleasantview can even summon Bella Goth sometimes!
    • One of the possible "secret networking" benefits you can randomly get from meeting new Townies in Apartment Life, if you also have Nightlife installed, is to be offered a blind date. Accepting the offer will summon a date of the preferred gender with maximum chemistry.
  • Tales of Legendia has Norma, who spends the first half of the game trying to get uptight and shy Chloe to interact with main lead Senel. When Shirley, the female lead, joins the party though, Norma also seems to be helping her with her relationship with Senel. Really, it seems like Norma doesn't actually care that deeply about relationships and is just messing with everyone for fun.

    Visual Novels 
  • Sachi and Megumi from Kindred Spirits on the Roof are an interesting example: they do work to set up couples together, but Sachi makes it clear that her main goal is simply to give girls the opportunity to express their love for one another. If it doesn't work out, that's disappointing, but they won't force anything. And in fact, when Miyu and Matsuri start fighting and competing over Hina, they muse about whether it would be better to let them break up and set one of them up with Hina instead.
  • Witches X Warlocks: The protagonist’s official job is helping people to fall in love and spreading joy around. It’s too bad they get so into this they forget to study for their finals until it’s a week away.

  • In El Goonish Shive, Sarah talks Grace out of "playing Cupid" for Nananse and Ellen, then does so herself.
  • Jones of Gunnerkrigg Court, of all people, nudges (literally) Smitty and Parley into admitting their feelings to each other, apparently in an effort to make Parley's latent powers manifest.
    • Surma also did a little of this for Anja and Donald, as seen in the page image.
  • Fans!: Meighan secretly hired Julia to the staff of Station 13, a company she co-founded with Tim and Guthrie, largely to get Tim and Julia together.
    Guthrie: I am not very sexual, Meighan, but I am not blind. I know that Julia has been unfortunate in love. I know Tim makes a terrible first impression, so simply "fixing him up on a date" would be counter-productive. And you know better than I how his compassion shines under conditions of shared stress."
  • In The Shufflers, Saphy Dutchkiss fulfils this role unintentionally. She’s a Shipper on Deck who enjoys writing romantic fanfictions of the people she meets in real life who she thinks would have good chemistry. Thanks to her logomancy powers that she’s unaware exist, she ends up actually pairing said people together.
    • However, this power only works without drawbacks on individuals who are willing. Her pairing of Märchen and Hiddenite resulted in deep cuts down her hand and arm which would have eventually killed her.
  • Roxy Lalonde in Homestuck constantly goads both Jake and Jane to try to make them go to "SEX LAND". Meanwhile, Dirk's own AI double tries to play matchmaker between him and Jake.
    • Nepeta's ancestor, Meulin, is obsessed with shipping to the point of hooking up her friends together. After all, she's a Flanderized version of Nepeta in general.
  • In Sunstone, this is Cassie's other hobby. There's not been a scene between her and Alan or Anne where she's not trying to get the two of them to meet. She's not very good at it either. Neither of them was ready for a relationship at that moment, and when, after some time, they do meet Cassie has got nothing to do with it. (Though she must have felt pretty smug when they got married)
  • In Rhapsodies, Tara, the older Fitzpatrick sister, enjoys hooking her three younger siblings up with... anybody to deal with the boredom of maternity leave.

    Web Original 
  • In The Adventures of the League of S.T.E.A.M. episode "Hairy Hijinks", Mrs. Potts tries to play this with Jay Are and The Russian.
  • In Keit-Ai, the boy and the girl from another universe work together as each other's matchmakers so that they end up with their other selves. However, they fall in love with each other instead.

    Western Animation 
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: Gwen does a lot of prodding to make Ben get over himself to date Julie. This has good results with those two becoming a healthy Official Couple, until Executive Meddling intervened.
  • Close Enough: One episode sees Bridgette realize she is a natural at pairing people together.
  • The Cookie Carnival: In order to select a king, the cookie carnival judges attempt to match the candy dates with the sugar cookie girl, who became queen after winning the pageant. Once this fails, they try to suggest to her to marry the judges themselves, only to be interrupted by the hobo cookie being chased by the guards.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Of a non-romantic type. One of the few things that will elicit an enthusiastic and energetic response from Fluttershy is suggesting you might be interested in getting a pet. When Rainbow Dash suggested she might eventually want a pet, Fluttershy proceeded to drag Dash off to her cottage so she could introduce her to the various and sundry animals she's caring for at the moment.
  • In The Owl House, when Luz and Amity's blatant feelings for one another reaches the point where they can't talk straight around each other but neither is able to spit it out, Hooty decides to help out in his own way by sending them off on a "date" throughout his basement. Despite how humiliating and embarrassiing the experience is, it has the desired effect and Luz and Amity become a couple, though they make Hooty promse not to do anything like that again.
  • Pound Puppies: In the same vein as above, what the Pound Puppies basically do is match each person to their "perfect pup" and vice versa.
  • The Powerpuff Girls set up a date between the Professor and their kindergarten teacher in "Keen On Keane."
  • Cupid the cherub plays this role in The Smurfs.

Matchmaker, matchmaker, plan me no plans!
I'm in no rush! Maybe I've learned...
Playing with matches, a girl can get burned!
—"Matchmaker, Matchmaker," Fiddler on the Roof


Video Example(s):



Hooty is very much on board with Luz dating Amity, and tries to make the special moment where she pops the question as magical as he can (which Amity does find cute, despite Luz's embarrassment). Even when he learns he hasn't failed Eda and King, he's still most distraught over thinking he's sabotaged their budding romance.

How well does it match the trope?

4.08 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / TheMatchmaker

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