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He's an uptight actuary.
She has a ferret.

Fry: What the hell's going on? I thought you were anti-dirty, not pro-dirty.
Morgan: I'm surrounded by neat freaks everyday. There's nothing kinkier to me than a filthy slop-jock like you.
Futurama, "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back"
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He's stuffy. She's untamed. It's true love.

Mr. Stuffy is in a rut: Life is boring because he plays by the rules. Along comes this wild and crazy woman to show him how to live life to its fullest, and she just might learn a few things along the way, too.

Though the most common form of this trope is from male creators who idealize femininity as a saving force, it could be Gender Flipped. Mr. Stuffy could be Ms. Stuffy and the wild angel could be male and help the little wallflower come out of her shell and blossom gloriously into a beautiful rose! Also, compare Well, Excuse Me, Princess!Loveable Rogue meets Defrosting Ice Queen, the latter trope can also be applied to "Ms. Wild" as well, especially if she doesn't want to waste time with a nerd.

Often seen in 2/3 of a love triangle, especially if the triangle includes two male nerds and their dream girl.

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Because Opposites Attract, they'll live Happily Ever After unless Uptight and/or Wild are dying (Nicholas Sparks, we're looking at you!), in which case they'll live what remains of their lives to the fullest. Or unless there's a sequel, in which case Stuffy will surely develop Aesop Amnesia.

The defining trope of Screwball Comedy. Extremely common in Romantic Comedy.

Compare Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl. Not to be confused with Manic Pixie Dream Girl as the "Wild" part of this trope doesn't need to be Manic, a Pixie, a Dream, or a Girl.


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Examples:

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    Anime And Manga 
  • Ruby and Sapphire from Pokémon Adventures fit this perfectly. One other character even calls Sapphire "Wild Girl".
  • Naruto has the shy Proper Lady Hinata and the hyperactive Idiot Hero Naruto.
  • Most of the weapon and meister pairings in Soul Eater are this way. Maka is very much by-the-rules, studies copiously for tests, and is very modest; her partner, Soul, is very lazy and laid back, often falls asleep during class, and agrees to "piss on [Sid's] grave" with Black*Star. Tsubaki is very kind, a good cook, and doesn't even try to fight without Black*Star; Black*Star, on the other hand, frequently picks fights for no other reason than because he can, and is loud and obnoxious. Kid is the son of the Shinigami, completely OCD to the point of having panic attacks in the middle of battles and is dressed impeccably; Liz is hinted to be a bit of a flirt and Patti blows off an entire test by turning it into an arts-and-crafts giraffe.
  • The Weatherman Is My Lover features an uptight newscaster falling for the program's eccentric cosplaying weatherman.
  • In Kanga Na Spoon, the main character opens by talking about how perfect, glamorous and orderly his life is before introducing to his lover, an obnoxious, flamboyant, freeloading fashion designer with no life skills.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia:
  • Ranma and Akane from Ranma ½. It's referenced multiple times throughout the series... Such as one of the opening themes about Ranma and Akane being titled "Dont Make Me Wild Like You" and Ranma's name essentially meaning "wild horse." While (in the manga, at least) Ranma thrives on manipulation, Akane often gets upset with his antics and reveals his identity when he doesn't want her to. He enjoys playing pranks on people, even when Akane gets mad at him for it. He's also comfortable with being half-naked or nude around other people. Akane, on the other hand, will have none of that. She always tries to keep him covered up and maintains her own modesty at all times. True to the trope, Akane eventually becomes more relaxed about these traits and starts helping him out in his schemes and even starts coming up with some herself. (Strangely enough, although they're opposites in this sense, they're alike in many other ways.)
  • FAKE: Ryo towards Dee which he will deny.
  • Armitage III: Ross and Armitage are somewhere between this and Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl, though Armitage is no dummy.
  • Invoked and averted in Death Note, where the wild and energetic Perky Goth Misa is deeply in love with the uptight Broken Ace Light, and expects him to fall for her goofy Genki Girl demeanor over time; instead, he takes advantage of her scatterbrained personality and Mad Love to enlist her as a weapon against L.
  • Mahiro and Nyarko from Haiyore! Nyarko-san, with Nyarko's wildness annoying Mahiro to the point of slapstick punishment. It's obvious that he has feelings for her, but won't admit to them for a number of reasons, not the least of which is she's Nyarlathotep, and the idea of romancing a Cosmic Horror scares the SAN Points out of him.
  • Gundam 00: Kati Mannequin and Patrick Colasour. Kati is an older, no-nonsense workaholic, Patrick is a carefree, loveable idiot. At the end of the series, they get married.
    Patrick: Still working? Don't you need to take a break?
    Kati: Now of all times? Do you realize what will happen if I don't get through this data?
    Patrick: The eeeeevviiilll space aliens will come and get us?
    Kati: *smiling* ...somehow I can never continue to take things seriously with you around.

    Comics 
  • Death: The High Cost Of Living: A Perky Goth called Didinote  guides a teen guy named Sexton on a journey of self discovery and teaches him to respect life and live it to the fullest, and etcetera. A good example of the difference between Wild and Manic Pixie Dream Girl, as Didi, while unconventional, spontaneous, and extremely outgoing, is at the same time calm, collected, and thoughful.
  • X-Men: Scott Summers is probably the most uptight man in the history of everything, ever. Jean Grey is Fire and Life incarnate, and acts like it.
  • From Batman's side, his relationship with Catwoman. He's stoic and disciplined to an inhuman degree, and she's a Lovable Rogue whose morals are far looser.
  • In the Pathfinder comics, you have spontaneous, hyperactive thief Merisiel and her pious, law-abiding, teetotaler girlfriend Kyra.
  • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Etta Candy is a boisterous, rule breaking, quick tempered, impulsive college dropout while her love intrest Lawrence Stone is an uptight, rule abiding, slow tempered and premeditative USAAF pilot.

    Comic Strips 
  • Blondie: Dagwood was the heir to a vast fortune and Blondie was a flighty flapper... They have been married since 1933.
  • Garfield: Between stolid veterinarian Liz and goofy Cloud Cuckoo Lander Jon.
  • This generally tends to be the male / female dynamic of Strangers in Paradise, usually with a bossy woman giving it a dominatrix twist.

    Fan Fic 
  • The popular, not-quite-canon-but-hinted-at pairing of Sasha Nein and Milla Vodello in Psychonauts. They're long-time partners, and are without a doubt close friends, if not in love (though Milla definitely has feeling for Sasha). Sasha's the uptight one (of course; he's German) and Milla's the wild party girl.
  • DC Nation : The Titans seem to really like this one. Tempest and Halcyon (the resurrected Aquagirl I) are the best case. Tula all but tackled Garth at the age of 14 and drug him off to have her way with him, and the pair have had a torch for each other since (interrupted by an annoying decade where she was a ghost).
  • What founded the Odd Friendship between Cloud Kicker (wild) and Blossomforth (uptight) in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic The Life and Times of a Winning Pony.
  • Two other MLP fanfics feature the relationship between Elegant Classical Musician Octavia and uninhibited DJ-P0n3, aka Vinyl Scratch.
    • The Reading Rainbowverse has Octavia and Vinyl getting married, and everypony is very okay with this.
    • In The Vinyl Scratch Tapes, Vinyl and Octavia host a radio talk show together, and their relationship is central to the story.
  • Secondary characters Damon and Lavinia in the The Hunger Games fanfiction Some Semblance of Meaning. He is a soft-spoken, calm stylist; she's the heroes' makeshift mentor and a total Genki Girl. They end up Happily Married.
  • Light (uptight) and Ryuk (wild) in A Charmed Life. Ryuk teaches Light that there's more to life than just homework and death whereas Light teaches Ryuk that anything is possible with hard work and determination no matter how insane.
  • This happens in the backstory of the Marvel Cinematic Universe fanfic Canid with Coulson and his ex-wife. Unusually for this trope, it didn't work out very well.
  • Sabriel, a fanon Supernatural ship between straight man Sam Winchester and smart-ass archangel Gabriel (who is also the trickster god Loki).
  • On the slashy side of Series/Hornblower fanficion, there is this distinctive pattern in {{fanon} when it comes to Horatio Hornblower and Archie Kennedy's pairing. They are both officers of the British Royal Navy, but Archie is a laid-back, emotional, Shakespeare-quoting and theatre-loving geek while Horatio is an uptight, analytical, reserved guy who mostly only thinks of the Navy, his responsibilities, playing Whist for fun and profit and Archie's charms.

    Film 
  • In Ball of Fire a burlesque dancer (Barbara Stanwyck) who needs to hide out from the law winds up staying with a bunch of professors (it's a long story). When the younger, handsome professor (Gary Cooper) decides that it's time for her to leave, she pretends to be in love with him. Naturally, it happens for real.
  • Ben Stiller is usually typecast as "Mr. Stuffy" whenever he is in a Romantic Comedy:
  • A tragic example comes up in The Blue Angel: A man (Emil Jannings) who has dedicated life and limb to education suddenly falls for a cabaret singer (Marlene Dietrich).
  • Bright Star: John Keats is man back in the 1800s who is hidebound by convention, emotionally closed-off, undaring, and believes himself to be a failed poet. But along comes his muse, Fanny Brawne. She's a young, vibrant, fashionable, fiery, flirty, independent-minded, outspoken, strong-willed party girl who inspires him to write a sonnet that shares a name with the film's title. Will she challenge him and motivate him to new heights and help him achieve success that lasts until the 21st century? Well, it is based on a true story, so take a wild guess.
  • Bringing Up Baby — although in something of a variation, it's Wild who falls for Uptight first, Uptight for many reasons wanting nothing to do with her for a large part of the movie. Wild doesn't so much teach Uptight to loosen up as she does drag him kicking and screaming into it.
  • Desert Hearts is about the lesbian relationship between a repressed, middle-aged English professor and a free-spirited young casino employee-cum-sculptress.
  • Enchanted: Stuffy, cynical divorce lawyer Robert meets literal fairytale princess Giselle.
  • Erin Brockovich - Though it's a platonic love, this is exactly the relationship between Erin Brockovich and Ed Masry.
  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind quite thoroughly deconstructs this. A relationship like this doesn't always work and after the falling-in-love part, it causes more pain than joy; so much so that both parties opt to have their memories removed of each other. The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is also far more complicated: "I'm not a concept, I'm just a fucked-up girl looking for a peace of mind".
  • A Fish Called Wanda, at least for Archie and Wanda.
  • Forces of Nature is about a straight-laced writer who sees himself forced to travel to his wedding with a free-spirited drifter and is impressed by her fun-loving personality, forming a close bond with her and starting to wonder if he's making the right choice in getting married. This is a rare subversion in that they do not end up together: He and his fiancée still agree to get married since they realize they still love each other, though his experiences with the drifter are still portrayed as having helped him become a better person.
  • Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives: Everyone thinks that Tommy is crazy, but he's very sane and stuffy and goal-oriented. His love interest, Megan, is very wild. Megan cracks wise, disobeys her father, breaks Tommy out of prison at gun point, crams his face into her lap for a police chase... um, balances her chair on two legs, and is very lucky to have hooked up with the Final Guy for a 50/50 chance of survival.
  • Enid and Seymore from Ghost World.
  • The Golden Child: Sassy jokester Chandler Jarrell breaks all the rules while trying to save children, and teaches stoic, bookish, disciplined Kee Nang how to literally let down her hair.
  • Parodied in Grease with Proper Lady Sandy and Greaser Delinquent Danny.
  • Grumpy Old Men: John Gustafson and Max Goldman are fairly uptight and stuck in a rut, finding pleasure only in ice fishing, bickering, and tolerating their children. That is until wild and crazy Californian, Ariel Truax, rolls into town, racing a snowmobile up and down the street, turning their lives upside down, and causing a love triangle between the two.
    • This trope is showcased chiefly in a scene between John and Ariel, where she gleefully admits to stealing John's mail, claims to be able to tell his fortune by spending 30 seconds in his bathroom, and asks him if he's homosexual or heterosexual, all to his chagrin (but ultimately for his own good). Almost lampshaded with...
    Ariel: "Well, it's a perfectly legitimate question."
    John: "Well, maybe in California, but here in Minnesota... Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo!"
    They get married
  • An unremarkable short film called Headlong. As the reviewer at Something Awful puts it:
    This is just a retelling of one of the most classic stories known to man. Unfortunately, it is a story which man has always found irritating, cliched, and thoroughly useless. It's the tale of an uptight man who meets free-spirited female who teaches him how to cut loose, despite being an intolerable bitch. Simon Raby reinvents this timeless story by giving it a fresh, exciting new angle - he puts it inside a car! How does he come up with this stuff?
  • In Hellraiser, Uncle Frank definitely helps Julia come out of her shell.
  • The relationship between Juno and Bleeker from Juno.
  • In Lady Jane (1986), this is the way the romance of the bookish, quiet Jane and the mischievous Guilford is depicted.
  • Latter Days is a gay example: promiscuous party boy Christian falls in love with Mormon missionary Aaron. They actually get a happy ending.
  • Laws of Attraction She's a stuffy uptight cynical genius divorce lawyer! He's a free-spirited genius divorce lawyer who believes in true love! They Fight Crime!! - uh, they're opposing counsel on a bunch of different cases! It's actually a pretty well-done, if forgettable, example of this trope, and it definitely doesn't hurt that Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore are damned good actors.
  • In Life As We Know It, Holly is an uptight bakery owner, and Messer is a free-wheeling player.
  • Love Letters is a made-for-TV film directed by Stanley Donen, starring Laura Linney as Melissa Gardner Cobb and Steven Weber as Andrew Ladd. She is a freewheeling artist with plenty of sexual partners and a love of booze and has had a bad reputation since high school. He's a stalwart, stuffy Republican politician. Their letters to each other are his sail and her anchor, but she threatens to moon his respectable peers if his letters get too uniform.
  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day is an odd case: while they are not romantically entangled, the relationship between wild American Delysia Lafosse and stiff British governess Miss Pettigrew follows this trope pretty closely, with each learning something from the other.
  • A (mostly) platonic example appears in Mr. Peabody & Sherman between the bookish, dorky Sherman and the fun-loving, girly Penny, although their relationship begins with the left foot (the plot essentially begins after Sherman bites Penny after she literally treated him like a dog). It is only because of Character Development for both parties (especially hers) that they begin to understand each other. However, Mr. Peabody thinks at first she may be a Toxic Friend Influence.
  • My Girl: Thomas falls for Vada despite her being everything opposite to his usual sedate existence.
  • In Ninotchka (and its musical remake, Silk Stockings). A cheerful, carefree Frenchman falls in love with an Ice Queen commissar from the Soviet Union.
  • Notting Hill: William Thacker (Hugh Grant) is an unsuccessful Notting Hill bookstore owner who is depressed that his wife has dumped him. But all that will change when Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), the world's most beautiful woman and best-liked actress, enters his shop and changes his life with her glamorous Hollywood ways.
  • Ondine: Syracuse is a cynical, reclusive, recovering-alcoholic fisherman who one day brings up a selky named Ondine Romanian drug mule in his fishing net. She brings luck and can grant wishes. Can Ondine help Syracuse learn to live, love, and trust? Yes. They get married..
  • Pretty Woman: An snarky businessman? Check. A wild escort girl? Check. Love? Double check!
  • Thor has shades of this. The serious science student Jane falls for the Fish out of Water demigod who likes to smash things (He gets better, of course).
  • Up starts out with a version of this between 10-year-olds. It's very cute — and leaves a lifelong impact on them as well.
  • Lisa, Wyatt, and Gary from Weird Science
  • What's Up, Doc?: Once Judy Maxwell sets her eye on Howard Bannister (Ryan O'Neal), not even his impending marriage to the controlling Eunice Burns (Madeline Kahn) is going to stand in her way. And as much as he protests, this crazy adventure is just the thing he needs to make him start thinking over the things he really wants (Eunice is not among them).
  • Who's That Girl (1987): A stuffy suit is about to enter into a bad marriage when he meets an ex-con who loves red lipstick and leather jackets... with a pet cougar named Murray. Or, as the trailer puts it, "She's beautiful, she's impulsive, she's... Madonna! And in 24 hours, she'll turn a mild-mannered, corporate attorney into a wild-eyed fugitive from justice."
  • Yes-Man is a very obvious example of this. The stuffy Jim Carrey gets the wild Zooey Deschanel when he finally decides to start saying yes to things.
  • The Proposal: This movie tries to trick you into thinking that Bullock's character, Margaret, is the stuffy, uptight one, and Reynolds' character, Andrew, is the comic relief. However...
    Margaret: Outsider (from Canada) who breaks the rules, which, as the plot suggests, gets her threatened with deportation, and she then breaks more rules to avoid deportation. She's not the usual perky hippie new age type, though, but she's definitely Wild in the corporate drag of a smart business suit and pony tail, and acts fairly abrupt and harsh, as she delights in acting wild and crazy and keeping Ryan Reynolds on his toes and basically doing as she pleases. She will use her idealized femininity as a saving force with her zany schemes, helping Andrew with his various issues. But will they fall in love by the end? Take a guess!
    Andrew: He's in a rut. Life is boring because he plays by the rules.
    • Best summarized in the Family Guy episode Farmer Guy, when a man comes in to a video store and asks for a copy of the film, Peter, the cashier, says nobody has returned their copies, so he simply shows the man a poster of the movie on the wall...
    Peter: "I have a poster from The Proposal you can look at. You'll get most of the story."
    Customer: "Huh. They seem pretty mismatched."
    Peter: "There ya go."
  • Flakes features this as a B Plot with the uptight Bruce coming to admire the wilder Katz. However, it never goes anywhere because she's devoted to the similarly wild, if unambitious, Neal.
  • Casino deconstructs this to hell and back with the relationship between "Ace" Rothstein and Ginger. "Ace" is a full-blown humorless Control Freak and Ginger is a horribly impulsive Gold Digger, an irredeemably Broken Bird call-girl that depends on drugs and her relationship with her Svengali pimp. Rothstein just felt Love at First Sight and overlooked all the signs that it was going to end badly (even Ginger telling him point-blank that it was a bad idea), thinking that he could control her like he did everything else in his life... boy, was he wrong.

    Literature 
  • Loretta Chase loves this trope: Mr. Impossible (Rupert is the wild one, Daphne is the nerd), Lord Perfect and Last Night's Scandal (Olivia is the wild one, Peregrine/Lisle is less so). Benedict and Bathsheba from Lord Perfect seem to be set up to be this trope, except that Bathsheba isn't nearly as wild as her daughter/the rest of her relatives are.
  • At the end of the Khaavren Romances, it is revealed that Tazendra has been in love with Aerich all along, and it seems to be mutual.
  • Subverted in Effi Briest where the relationship between the Prussian official Geert von Instetten and the titular "Daughter of the Air" just plain doesn't work out because of their conflicting personalities. In the end, she ends up cheating on him with a more exciting, womanizing officer, and despite the fact that he still loves her, he sees no choice but to divorce her because his honor code says so. To be fair, him being twice her age and their marriage being arranged didn't help in the slightest.
  • Star Trek: New Frontier:
    • Shelby and Calhoun. He's Military Maverick, and she's by the book.
    • Selar and Burgoyne: She's an aloof Vulcan, s/he's from a hedonistic race of hermaphrodites.
  • Rebel pilots Braylen Stramm and Gina Moonsong in Star Wars: Blade Squadron. He is a former Imperial military officer who does things by-the-book, while she is an ex-smuggler who is Mildly Military and a Fiery Redhead.
  • Proper British gentleman Lord Oswald Nelvil, and the titular free-spirited Renaissance woman in Madame de Staël's romance novel, Corinne.
  • The Light Novel Reaper has Life and Death as a married couple and a prime example. Death is much more formal and straight lanced while Life has a tendency to be more wild and generally do whatever he likes despite his wife's occasional objections.
  • The Rosie Project: Don Tillman, who is deeply immersed in his work, lives by a schedule, and has a long test for a potential wife, and the easy-going Rosie (though she’s an academic as well) who is always late, has messy hair and fails every question of Don’s test spectacularly.
  • Mo Dao Zu Shi sees Lan Wangji, the stoic, quiet, rule-abiding model son, fall deeply in love with resident troublemaker, prankster and rebel Wei Wuxian.

    Live Action Television 
  • Austin & Ally: He's wild and fun, while she's serious and responsible.
  • In Glue, the Secret Relationship between James and Eli is this: the former is a dutiful son and an all-around goody-two-shoes, while the latter is basically a rentboy and a drug dealer and often in trouble with the law.
  • Both major couples in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
    • Worf and Jadzia: he's a stuffy Proud Warrior Race Guy, she's a Trill with several hundred years' worth of memories who does whatever she can to avoid boredom.
    "Worf. My love. Let me make this very clear: I do not want to spend my honeymoon climbing, hiking, sweating, bleeding or suffering in any way."
    "Alright. What do you want?"
    "Room service. I wanna be pampered. I want a staff to cater to our every whim - I wanna be embarrassed by the size of our room."
    • Odo and Kira: he's a policeman so uptight he can't stand people moving the things in his room an inch out of place, she's a Fiery Redhead ex-guerrilla fighter with little respect for any rules but her own.
  • Queer as Folk: Drew Boyd is a star quarterback who, although engaged to a woman, is a closeted homosexual. Emmett's flamboyant feminine saving force propels Drew out of the closet with a controversial on-air kiss.
  • The L Word: This show verts this trope pretty well, as most people tend to be varying degrees of wild no matter their gender or sexual preference, with the most notable exception being Tasha, uptight and in her rut, being rescued by Alice's feminine saving force, which sends quakes throughout the military and "frees" Tasha from her "oppressors."
  • Dharma & Greg as parodied on Family Guy, which shows Dharma standing on a coffee table, and Greg telling her, "Dharma, come down from there. Wow, I can't get over what a free spirit you are."
  • Firefly:
    • Simon and Kaylee are attracted to each other from the first moment they meet, something that's immediately noticed by everyone. He's a properly raised, upper class gentleman who lives by the mantra of behaving courteously at all times (even when insulting people) while she's a country girl who's in love with life, freedom and fun. Their different social classes causes difficulties; he fumbles his attempts to compliment her and she has a habit of misinterpreting his respect for her honour as evidence he thinks she'd never be good enough for him under normal circumstances.
    • Inara and Mal are almost constantly shipteased. Despite her profession of High-Class Call Girl, Inara is the more cultured and reserved one. Mal is the wild ex-soldier, flying by the seat of his pants and doesn't think any further into the future than a day. This can change if Mal decides it's time to Let's Get Dangerous! (gone is the playful Lovable Rogue, replaced by a battle-hardened warrior).
  • An episode of Cupid revolved around this. The title character had to hook the stuffy guy up with an untamed woman, despite their differences.
  • Life with Derek: Flirty Step Siblings Casey (stuffy) and Derek (untamed), as a result of a Relationship Writing Fumble.
  • Flying Blind, a short-lived series from 1992, explored the difficulties faced by self-conscious and repressed Neil in dealing with the erotic antics of liberated Alicia.
  • Kissing Cousins George Michael and Maeby in Arrested Development. George Michael was mostly a timid, dutiful son while Maeby was something of an independent delinquent.
  • Ashes to Ashes (2008) messes around slightly with Alex and Gene; at first it seems that Alex is a Brainy Brunette who is sophisticated, intelligent career woman) is obviously the uptight one to Gene's fist-happy, racist, sexist, armed bastard of a guy. But then Alex goes and throws herself at every guy she meets whilst getting frequently smashed, and it's Gene who pulls her up on it.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Penny moves into an apartment next door to two brilliant but socially awkward physicists and shows them how little they know about life outside of the laboratory. Leonard falls for her immediately and eventually they get together (and then split up, and then get together again, on-and-off it goes). Penny is the untamed one, Leonard the uptight one.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Angel is moody, broody, and cursed by the Roma. Can Buffy help raise his spirits and break the curse? Yes.
    • Faith and later Spike try to get Buffy the Uptight Slayer to loosen up. It doesn't end well either.
    • Stuffy Brit Giles with the lovely Romani granola girl techno-pagan Wicca hippie Ms. Calender.
  • Gossip Girl has Blair as an uptight, proper, virginal lady, and Chuck a hedonist who likes his hookers to come in twos. She makes him less wild and more responsible, and he makes her far more sexual and liberated.
  • Skins with Chris and Jal. Jal inspires Chris to work hard to get and keep a job, and Chris inspires Jal to let her hair down a little.
  • Free Spirit is a standard sitcom from The '80s in which T.J. is a wise and reserved lawyer and wears sweater vests. Winnie is goofy and wacky and an immortal, magic-using witch with awesome hair. He has some kids but he and his wife got divorced. She's the live-in Magical Nanny/housekeeper. Together, they spend 14 episodes making the audience wonder Will They or Won't They?... before it was canceled.
  • Friends:
    • Extremely nerdy Ross (works in a museum, loves dinosaurs) and the laid-back Rachel (gorgeous and fun-loving). She was his crush since ever and she starts dating him. There was lots of on-again-off-again going on...
    • Phoebe and Mike, her Love Interest in later seasons. She's very free spirited and quirky, he (while not particularly uptight per se) is much more tamed and reserved in comparison.
  • ER:
    • Peter Benton and Elizabeth Corday. Deconstructed. Aside from his persistent discomfort over their racial difference (he's black, she's white), his aloof, dour demeanor eventually proves too much of a contrast to her vivacious, fun-loving personality and the relationship fizzles. Though this trope does play very well in regards to their friendship, as even years later, she's one of the few people he's genuinely able to relax around. They even seem to share a quiet moment of understanding in the series finale, which aired roughly 11 years after they broke up.
    • Kerry Weaver and several of her girlfriends after she comes out of the closet. Her reacting like a scared jackrabbit when encountering her coworkers while on a date, her reluctance to engage in any PDA, etc., quickly irritates and upsets them enough to end the relationship.
  • Gilmore Girls when hard working straight A student and aspiring journalist Rory falls for Troubled, but Cute bad boy Jess.
  • Sesame Street: Whether you think of them as Heterosexual Life-Partners or Ambiguously Gay, straight-laced and uptight Bert clearly loves Ernie because of his free-spirited nature.
  • Deconstructed with Steve and Miranda on Sex and the City, where they have a rather tense on-again, off-again relationship throughout most of the series precisely because their personalities clash too much. Even after they eventually marry, by the time of the movie (4 years after the end of the series), they have an equally strained marriage where every effort he makes to get her to relax is met with irritation.
  • In the Hallmark Channel movie Christmas In The Air, a no-nonsense professional organizer is hired by a harried toy inventor to make his personal and professional life more orderly and efficient. Unusually, not only is it the man who is the "wild" one, it's the "uptight" one teaching the "wild" one to get his act together and show him that having a schedule and whatnot is a good thing. Furthermore, he actually wants her to do this, rather than the resistance typically seen in such scenarios. (Though it still makes the woman the "saving force" as in the trope description. And true to form, the wild one still gets the uptight one to relax and ease up.)
  • Schitt's Creek:
    • Uptight, Neat Freak Ted falls for wild child Alexis Rose. Initially, he is the Romantic Runner-Up, but when Mutt and Alexis's romance fizzles and he leaves town, Alexis realizes she made a mistake with Ted and spends several seasons chasing him.
    • Button-downed business major and Straight Gay Patrick becomes smitten with the flamboyant David Rose from the moment they meet. They are portrayed as an excellent match, complimenting each other both professionally and personally.
  • Six Feet Under: Fun-loving, free-spirited , liberal photographer Claire Fisher falls in love with Ted Fairwell who is a conservative lawyer.

    Music 
  • "Opposites Attract" by Paula Abdul, about an uptight human who has a whirlwind love affair with a wildcat.
    "I like it quiet..."
    "And I love to shout!"
    "But when we get together..."
    "It just all works out!"

    Video Games 
  • This is how the player character's relationship with Bastila appears in Knights of the Old Republic. Females can also play this card with Carth (who's a bit wound up due to his trust issues), but it takes a gentle approach to win over Juhani
  • Mass Effect has several pairings that end up looking like this, especially Renegade Shepard and Miranda, and to a lesser extent Shepard and Liara.
    • There's also Consummate Professional Kaidan Alenko stating that he prefers "adventurous women," and potentially falling in love with Shepard, who makes a habit of defying authority and regularly breaks the rules when she needs to get something done.
  • Dragon Age also tends to have pairings that look like this. In general, each game provides at least one uptight or rule-abiding love interest that makes a more snarky or off-kilter protagonist look wild by comparison, or a more wild protagonist that makes a more duty-bound or rule-abiding protagonist look uptight by comparison.
    • Dragon Age: Origins: Duty-bound Knight In Sour Armor Alistair has shades of this with a Warden who tends to pick more snarky Warden (particularly during romantic conversations), and the wildly uninhibited (in more ways than one) Zevran for a Warden who tends to pick more serious or rule-abiding responses.
    • Dragon Age 2: A non-humorous Hawke has shades of this with both Isabela or Merrill, as the former is a thrill-seeking pirate queen and the latter is a Moe Cloudcuckoolander Elf who does things like swing on chandeliers, pick flowers from other nobles' gardens, and coo over their vicious attack dogs. By contrast, a Humorous Hawke has shades of this with Fenris.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition calmed down on the formula some, though a female Inquisitor always has shades of this with Sera. Even if a little snarky, the Inquisitor always comes across as polite and self-contained (if not stoic), while Sera is as wild, spirited, and care-free as they come.
  • Final Fantasy VI has the subdued, professional military commander Celes Chere falling in love with the charismatic thi... er, treasure hunter, Locke Cole. Through him, Celes taps into her own morality, and Locke is able to move on from his previous traumas because of her.
  • Squall and Rinoa from Final Fantasy VIII could be a trope image. Squall is a businesslike mercenary who tries as hard as he can to play The Stoic and is constantly Facepalming his teammates' antics. Rinoa is a free-spirited member of a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits who frequently questions the mercenary way of life Squall has and constantly encourages him to be expressive.
  • Final Fantasy X has Tidus and Yuna. Yuna was raised as the honored daughter of a martyr who fully intends to follow in his footsteps, and is constantly aware that she's a public figure who must put on a brave face for the populace. Tidus, meanwhile, is a tactless athlete who has no hesitation in barging into sacred ceremonies, trash-talking the hometown team of a tournament, and loudly questioning religious tenets. (In more than one instance where Tidus makes a big embarrassing scene, Lulu and Wakka look like they want to strangle him, while Yuna appears to be laughing and egging him on.)
  • Kyle and Lute from Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones. Lute is a Black Magician Girl with No Social Skills who can barely interact with people around her, whereas Kyle is a Cultured Badass Genius Bruiser who's simply fascinated with her odd personality. If they reach an A support, they can get married — and his friends are said to simply not be able to understand what he saw in such a strange girl like her.

    Web Comics 
  • Sandra and Woo has Landon and Larisa. The former is a shy, bookish, nerd. The latter is an insane pyromaniac who is set to become a succubus when she dies. Though in something of a twist, Larisa fell in love first.

    Western Animation 
  • The page quote comes from the Futurama episode "How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back", which features an inversion between substitute bureaucrat Morgan Proctor and Fry. Here is the entire dialogue:
    Morgan Proctor: (seductively pins Fry against a wall) DIRTY BOY! Dirtydirtydirty!
    Fry: I thought you were anti-dirty, not pro-dirty!?
    Morgan Proctor: I'm surrounded by neat freaks all day. There's nothing kinkier to me than a filthy slop jockey like you!
    Fry: Oh, stop...
  • Courtney and Duncan in Total Drama. She's an uptight priss with high hopes for her future; he's a wild teenage delinquent.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Marge and Homer. It gets more prominent in later seasons, such as in the episode "Jaws Wired Shut". Homer is the brash, wacky one and Marge is the classy one.
    • Eternally uptight Principal Skinner and the free-minded Edna Krabappel. However she ends up leaving him at the altar because of his "mommy issues".
    • Free-spirited Edna ended up marrying stuffy religious nut Ned Flanders.
    • On a later episode ("Flaming Moe" note ) Skinner falls for Juniper, a younger, freewheeling music teacher who replaces Mr. Largo. He then follows her out of town, and returns three months later.
  • Kendall on Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil is the residential "Fun Police", a lover of school, rules, books and opera who seems to be holding a torch for the daredevil Kick... even going so far as to flat out tell her actual boyfriend that she wishes he could be more awesome like him (ouch!). Not that Kick hasn't complimented Kendall on her "elegance"...
  • Phineas and Ferb's parents: The somewhat stuffy and decidedly dorky Lawrence is married to Linda, whose hit song was titled "I'm Lindana And I Wanna Have Fun".
  • Marco Diaz who is bit of a Neat Freak in Star vs. the Forces of Evil has a crush in skater girl Jackie Lynn-Thomas, and has some Ship Tease with the very wild Star Butterfly.
  • The titular character in Milo Murphy's Law, a Walking Disaster Area, has a potentially requited crush on Amanda, a girl with Super OCD and an obsession with scheduling her life down to the last detail.
  • Kaeloo has uptight, stuffy Kaeloo and resident bad boy Mr. Cat who couldn't care less about the rules.


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