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Why Can't I Hate You?

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"I couldn't ever bring myself to hate you as I'd like"
The Stone Roses, "I Am the Resurrection"

Alice is in love with Bob. Unfortunately, she finds out that Carol is also in love with Bob, leading her to view Carol as an enemy. The catch? Carol is so damn nice to Alice that Alice feels guilty about disliking her. If Carol happens to be Bob's girlfriend, things can get even worse.

This can also apply to situations where someone simply has a non-romantic reason for hating someone but said someone is too nice/charming to dislike. Can result in a Go-Karting with Bowser-like scenario if the participants in the Love Triangle end up hanging out a lot.

Compare Friendly Enemy and Dog-Kicking Excuse.

Examples of the romantic version:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Anohana The Flower We Saw That Day: Anaru actually feels guilty about being jealous of Menma for being the one who Jintan liked rather than her, since Menma was always very nice to her and a really good friend when she was alive. She later admits she feels horrible about having felt relieved when Jintan called Menma ugly.
  • Casca from Berserk has had conflicting feelings toward Princess Charlotte ever since it became apparent to her that Griffith would have to court and perhaps marry Charlotte in order to get closer to the throne of Midland. Even after she revealed that she was in love with Guts and consummated her feelings for him, Casca still felt jealousy toward Charlotte and even went so far as to admit that to herself when she found out that Griffith had slept with her and got landed in prison for the act... but then Casca also admitted that she felt very bad because Charlotte is one of the sweetest people that she's ever met and treated her with kindness despite being a woman of lower social standing.
  • In Bleach, during the Arrancar arc, Orihime Inoue realized she was in love with Ichigo Kurosaki and felt this way toward her friend Rukia Kuchiki, who was also close to Ichigo.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: In episode 60, Syaoran calls off his Childhood Marriage Promise with Meiling, having fallen in love with Sakura. Meiling tearfully confesses to Tomoyo that, even though she's heartbroken and angry, she still can't bring herself to hate Sakura.
  • In Chainsaw Man, even after learning that Makima engineered all of the tragedy in his life since the day they met, including the deaths of the only people he's considered family, Denji still can't find it in his heart to hate her. Ironically, it is because of Denji's love for Makima that his ludicrous plan of literally eating her succeeds: because Denji considers this an act of love instead of an attack, Denji circumvents Makima's Healing Factor, killing her for good.
  • The Dangers in My Heart: Earlier on, Ichikawa considered Yamada as someone who looked down on him and was thus the target of his so-called “murderous” impulses… in addition to thinking she’s just plain weird and sometimes snarking at her in his head. Whenever they’re in proximity he finds himself helping her out with whatever she needs without any acknowledgment of his apparent intent to end her. This comes to a head during basketball practice, where he’s in confusion about his conflicting impression of Yamada from their interactions and when he’s about to retaliate at someone who threw a ball into his back, only for him to simply return it when he sees that it was Yamada. Once she suffers an injury to her nose by a stray ball, Ichikawa realizes that he has a crush on her and drops his animosity then and there.
  • The Devil is a Part-Timer!:
    • Having spent the majority of her life either preparing or actively attempting to slay him and avenge her father, Emi is very annoyed that Maou isn't acting remotely evil enough to justify slaying. And it turns out that not only did Maou not kill her father, he isn't actually dead at all.
    • Suzuno starts having second doubts about her mission to kill the demon king as well when she starts to notice Maou doesn't act like a bad guy at all on Earth.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War: Maki is very upset and jealous that her friend, Kashiwagi, got together with the boy she was interested in first. However, the girls have been best friends since childhood, so she can't bring herself to actually interfere with the relationship. Later, Maki admits that Kashiwagi is the one person she could never hate, because Kashiwagi views Maki as the person she loves the most.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2016), Shad has very conflicted feelings about the fact that the first person to ever take his research seriously and encourage him is Link—the guy who also completely torpedoed his budding romance with Ilia. After a bout of Angrish and what appear to be the five stages of grief playing out in a single panel, his need for validation wins out over his thwarted love life.
  • In the Alma Torran arc of Magi: Labyrinth of Magic, Sheba falls in love with Solomon who is way closer to her sister-figure and his longtime friend Arba, which greatly upsets Sheba. Once Arba encourages Sheba to marry him, Sheba apologizes for having been jealous of her and treating her in such a harsh way.
  • My Monster Secret: Nagisa and Youko suffer no small amount of angst because of this. Both of them have feelings for the same boy, and both of them have a lot of trouble viewing each other as romantic rivals because their friendship is so strong, meaning that neither one of them will pursue a relationship for fear of hurting the other girl. They eventually get over it, with Youko being the "winner".
  • In One Piece, this happens to Charlotte Pudding. After Sanji gives her Third Eye its first compliment ever, Pudding collapses sobbing on her knees, desperately trying to convince herself to kill her groom-to-be just like she planned with Big Mom, but is left unable to due to her conflicted emotions. She then tries to compose herself and shoot Sanji directly, but her eyes are still tearing and Sanji keeps questioning about her motives. Eventually, this causes her to develop a Split Personality, with her evil side just as madly in love with Sanji as the good side, but insisting aloud that she hates him. The anime takes it further by having Pudding tearfully yelling at Sanji about her "true" self, yet her hands holding the Candy Revolver are shaking.
  • In Princess Mononoke, San has these mixed feelings about Ashitaka because she usually hates all humans. "I hate him! I hate all humans!" But she also starts to harbor feelings for him after receiving Ashitaka's necklace, "From Ashitaka? For me?... Pretty...". They still don't end up together because San couldn't bear living amongst humans.
  • Sgt. Frog:
    • Tamama sees Angol Mois as a rival for Keroro's love and attention, but is frequently overwhelmed by her niceness.
      Tamama: Stop making it so hard for me to hate you!
    • Mois also once turned Kululu into a shambling wreck by simply staring at him for an extended period. "I can't be mean to those eyes!"
  • From Spirit Circle, this is how Kouko feels towards Fuuta. In their past lives, Fuuta's preincarnation Fortuna single-handedly caused a great disaster for his own purposes. Kouko, who remembered that past life, vowed to destroy Fortuna's soul so that he would never even reincarnate again. However, present-day Fuuta is such a Nice Guy that she feels conflicted about it.
  • This is pretty much how Subaru feels about Seishirou in X1999 after the events of Tokyo Babylon.

    Comic Strips 
  • The titular character of Big Nate has both a romantic and non-romantic version of this with the Belarusian exchange student Artur. Nate's disdain for Artur comes from three main sources: Artur is dating Jenny (whom Nate has crushed on for years, though recently has moved on), Artur is a better chessplayer than Nate (beforehand, Nate was pretty much the best in his school, even beating his more intelligent friend Francis) and Artur's good luck compared to Nate's bad luck. Despite all of this, Artur is just so sweet and nice, that Nate can't find it in himself to hate Artur. In fact, Artur has a high opinion of Nate and values his judgment a great deal which makes Nate even more unable to hate Artur. Ultimately, Nate has Artur's back and considers him his friend.
    Nate: I like Artur okay. But it's sort of annoying how nothing ever goes wrong for him.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Ben 10 fanfic Hero High: Sphinx Academy, the biggest problem Gwen Tennyson has throughout the story is she can't bring herself to hate the Big Bad who was her boyfriend in the previous story Hero High: Earth Style. She knows he plans horrible things for humanity, even though it is to ultimately save humanity in the long run, and that they are currently fighting against him to stop it, but due to how he was genuinely nice to her, cared about her, and was pretty much the only person outside of her family that appreciated her for her intelligence instead of shunned her for it, she just can't bring herself to truly hate him. This even causes her to go to his side for a short time and in the Distant Finale accept his marriage proposal.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Misty feels this way towards Iris. On one hand, she wasn't very happy with Ash's decision to include her in their group without asking her first (especially since Iris tried to kill her thinking she'd hurt her Axew), and she doesn't like how Iris and Ash are becoming so close so quickly. On the other hand, after knowing her full story, Misty grows to genuinely like Iris and wants to help her with her problems.
  • In Drakigo Kimberly realizes that she can't bring herself to hate Shego even with the knowledge that Shego is the vampire that killed Monique.
  • In Danny Phantom fanfic Resurrected Memories: Part of the reason Sam is so stressed over her jealousy of Danny and "Amberline's" relationship, aside from some residual feelings for Danny, is because Sam had come to genuinely like Amberline as her friend and feels a combination of betrayal and guilt over her feelings because of it. However, she does find a genuine reason when she learns that Amberline is actually none other than Ember.
  • Danny and Kara: In Chapter 12, Jimmy Olsen wanted Kara's boyfriend Danny to be a jerk so he'd have an excuse to hate him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Ben Stiller's character feels this way about Owen Wilson's character, his fiancée's ex-boyfriend, in Meet the Parents.
  • In Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Peter tells Aldous that while he has many reasons to hate him, the main one being that he's the guy Sarah dumped him to be with, he can't deny that Aldous is a cool guy too. But then it's subverted a minute later when Aldous lets slip that he and Sarah had begun seeing each other a year before she and Peter actually broke up, enraging Peter.
  • This happens in My Best Friend's Wedding when Julianne, who wants to prevent her best friend Michael's wedding to Kimberly so that she can have Michael to herself, finds out that Kimberly is a cheerful, likable woman who just wants to be her friend. It doesn't stop Julianne from going ahead with her plans to wreck their engagement but when her plans backfire and Kimberly calls her out on what a bitch she's been, she admits she was in the wrong and that Kimberly is the one Michael should be with.
  • In Scream 3, Sidney is unable to hate Roman despite all the shit he did to her, from killing her mother, who was also his own, to practically creating every major misfortune in her life by creating the other 6 Ghostfaces. Her tears and grief, even after he tried to kill her again out of spite alone, say it all.
  • In When Harry Met Sally..., this is Sally's response to Harry's Love Confession at the end.
  • Plan B takes this trope to its logical extreme with Bruno's attempts to sabotage Pablo's relationship with his ex Laura going awry when he finds himself liking Pablo as not only a best friend, but a love interest too.
  • In Legally Blonde, protagonist Elle Woods' ex-boyfriend Warner quickly became engaged to someone else. The fiancée, Vivian, feels that she ought to hate cute and bubbly Elle, and acts the part at first until Elle impresses her, and they bond. Meanwhile, Warner's disrespect for Elle ends up disgusting Vivian, and by the end of the film, they've broken up and Vivian and Elle are stated to be best friends.

  • In the book Avalon High, main protagonist Elaine can't bring herself to hate Jennifer, even though she cheated on her boyfriend, who happens to be Elaine's crush and wanted the best for Will. Same with Will himself. He realized his best friend and girlfriend loved each other and couldn't blame either of them. It helps that the characters are actually the reincarnations of King Arthur, Guinevere and Lancelot.
  • Spellman Files has this go on with Maggie. Isabel (and her sister Rae to some extent) don't really want her to settle down with Henry, but both Spellmans can't help but like Maggie. Luckily for them, Maggie breaks up with Henry and becomes their future sister-in-law instead.
  • Discussed in The Stormlight Archive, when Navani tells Dalinar that she really tried to hate his (now deceased) wife, but couldn't because she was too nice.
  • In The Hunger Games trilogy, Gale admits to Katniss that he has a hard time hating Peeta because Peeta's so likeable, despite being a competitor for Katniss's affections.
  • In The Heroes of Olympus, it's revealed Nico di Angelo feels this way about Annabeth due to his own crush on her boyfriend, Percy, as despite being his romantic rival, she's also one of the few people who's consistently nice to him.
  • In Guns of the Dawn, Mr Northway is (by his own admission) corrupt and self-interested, and his rivalry with the Marshwic family led to its current impoverished status and the suicide of Emily's father. Emily starts out hating him and makes this clear to him. However, this openness of disregard actually enables them to converse more freely and honestly than if they were pretending to be polite friends, and Emily finds that she's glad to have someone to correspond with who treats her as an equal adversary, doesn't assume he can trick or patronise her and isn't put off by her barbs and criticisms. They eventually end up together.
  • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, there's a low-key version between Harry and Cedric, who's not only in competition with Harry in the Triwizard Tournament but winds up dating the girl whom Harry has a crush on. The thing is, Cedric is so legitimately nice and helpful that Harry can't think of much but "that dumb pretty boy could have given me a better hint on how to win the next part of the game."

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Friends Rachel sort of felt this about Julie. Monica had to remind her that Julie has done nothing wrong.
    • This trope popped up practically every time Ross or Rachel had a Romantic False Lead (even on the occasion when Ross briefly dated Rachel's sister Jill), except in rare occasions where they really were jerks.
  • The whole set-up of Reba. Barbara Jean is Brock's new wife but treats Reba, the ex, as a close personal friend which is what they eventually become.
  • My Name Is Earl: Earl is and always has been on friendly terms with Darnell (aka "Crab Man"), the man who cuckolded him and stole his wife.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In one episode, Riley returns to Sunnydale after his breakup with Buffy and reveals that he's now married. Willow decides that since it would be petty for Buffy to hate his wife Samantha, she'll do it for her. In the end, neither girl can hate her, because she's so cool and they're so perfect together.
  • In series 2 of Ashes to Ashes (2008) Jackie turns up at CID claiming to be pregnant with Gene's baby and Alex can only look on in horror as he proposes to Jackie. However Alex and Jackie bond over the episode and besides, why on earth would Alex be affected by it? I mean it's not like she's got any feelings whatsoever for this glorified imaginary construct. It all gets better when Jackie reveals she lied to get Gene to help her and was insulted he believed she would sleep with him.
  • On Sister, Sister, Lisa meets the woman who is apparently keeping Ray from getting together with her, and admits that she's conflicted about whether or not she should be angry at the woman or invite her into the house for a snack. It probably helps that the woman pulls an I Want My Beloved to Be Happy. Made weirder because "the other woman" turned out to be Ray's dead wife, whom he felt reluctant to move on from.
  • Downton Abbey: Mary's relationship with her romantic rival Lavinia is a textbook example. It helps that Lavinia is an absolute sweetheart to the point where Mary finds it impossible to plot against her. This causes no end of consternation in Violet and Rosamund, who ARE quite prepared to ruin Lavinia for Mary's sake and miffed at Mary's unwillingness to play along.

    Video Games 
  • While there is no love triangle involved, in Knights of the Old Republic, when it comes to light that you're Revan, a talk with Carth reveals that he "tried to hate you, but couldn't." It's especially good to hear if you're a female PC seeking a romance sub-plot with him. He gives this exact same speech to a male Revan.
  • On Red's route in Nameless, a series of misunderstandings leads to Red believing that the protagonist (who he has a crush on) is in love with Tei (who he idolizes). He tearfully blurts out that he still likes Tei before running out of the room, which leads to the protagonist and her other housemates getting confused and wondering if he was trying to make a love confession to Tei.

    Web Comics 
  • El Goonish Shive has Justin feeling like this toward Sarah. The former had unrequited feelings for Elliot with whom Sarah's in a relationship due to Incompatible Orientation, yet Sarah's personality is one that is eager to help Justin as he adjusts to being temporarily in a female body for Grace's birthday party.
    Justin: [thinking as Sarah helps with Justin's now-long hair] How dare you be someone I can't dislike...
  • Happens once in Queen of Wands, when Kestrel's crush gets back together with his ex-girlfriend, who it appears is actually a really sweet person. Kestrel exclaims in frustration that she can't hate her.
  • In A Moment of Peace, Ito feels this way toward Crux on first meeting. Crux is the unrequited crush of his unrequited crush.

    Western Animation 
  • The Legend of Korra
    • Korra feels this way toward Asami despite her theoretically being a rival for Mako's affection. They bond over driving fast cars and fighting alongside each other.
    • Later when Mako is caring for Korra like he would a girlfriend, despite still being in a relationship with Asami, Asami doesn't hate Korra for anything. Mako, on the other hand, she does blame.
    • Given their amicable relationship, despite Mako being a romantic contention, perhaps it's no surprise Korra and Asami ultimately end up together.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Heloise begins dating Peep to make Jimmy jealous. It works, but to her surprise, Jimmy and Peep hit it off quite well on non-Heloise topics.
  • Even after Marco and Jackie start dating on Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Star still tries to be good friends with Jackie, even trying to make sure Jackie doesn't feel left out when invited to a concert with her and Marco.

Non-romantic examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Monster: "No matter what he did, I think I will forgive him". Yeah, Johan is just that charming.
  • Both Physis and Jomy have this reaction to Keith Anyan in the last two episodes of Toward the Terra, each separately commenting that even though Keith has been doing everything he can to exterminate their race, they can't bring themselves to hate him. In both cases, the most probable answer to Why Can't I Hate You seems to be "Because he already hates himself enough for both."
  • In The Devil is a Part-Timer!, Emilia Justina the Hero trained all her life to slay the evil, demonic overlord whose invasion destroyed her hometown and killed her father. Thus, when she tracks him down in Shibuya after he fled through a portal to escape her assault on his castle, she is very annoyed to discover him acting like a perfectly law-abiding Nice Guy. It turns out that although he was leading a demon army in a war against humanity, he wasn't doing it out of some kind of genocidal hatred, and has nothing against the humans of this world who are completely uninvolved in his centuries-old conflict. It takes a while for Emilia to come to terms with the fact that her side wasn't all good.
  • In Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, quite a few people including Kenichi feel this way about Isshinsai Ogata, one of the members of YAMI. Even though he believes that martial arts should be used to kill like the other members of YAMI, Kenichi and others recognize that Ogata's pure love of martial arts makes him no different from them.
  • Magi: Labyrinth of Magic:
    • Alibaba feels this way towards Princess Kougyoku because he is being manipulated into marrying her by her family and it would be easier to reject them if she were a despicable person instead of the Wide-Eyed Idealist sweet person she is. It doesn't help that Kougyoku doesn't know of her family's plan and Alibaba is her first real friend.
    • Inverted with Aladdin and Sinbad. Aladdin doesn't really understand why, but there is something about Sinbad he believes makes him unworthy of being king.
  • Hanamonogatari brings us the case of Suruga and Kaiki when they meet for the first time. Considering both the person Suruga loves most and the person she admires most in the world hold massive personal grudges against him, it would be reasonable enough for her to hate him too. The problem is, she's the daughter of the only person Kaiki ever loved, and he would never think of conning her or her family. To her enormous surprise, he acts friendly toward her, and even treats her to a meal, which knowing him is something he would never do otherwise. Suruga actually thinks this line verbatim in the books.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2016), Shad has very conflicted feelings about the fact that the first person to ever take his research seriously and encourage him is Link—the guy who also has seemingly torpedoed his budding romance with Ilia. After a bout of Angrish and what appear to be the five stages of grief playing out in a single panel, his need for validation wins out over his jealousy.

    Comic Books 
  • Loki: Agent of Asgard: In the prologue story, the newly teenaged Loki wistfully sighs about not hating Thor anymore.
    Loki: Oh, Thor. Why can't I remember hating you?

    Fan Works 
  • In the Arrow fan fic Blackbird (Arrow), it's Played for Drama. Laurel Lance notes it's so much easier to hate her younger sister Sara for her betrayalnote  when she was far away and a distant memory. Seeing her sister again up close, however, makes it impossible to do, as it becomes obvious how much Sara suffered during her own time away as a castaway. Ultimately, she can't bring herself to wish her sister any ill-will and hopes that Sara can get the help she needs, even if that help can't come from her.
  • When Sydney Bristow gets a unique opportunity to meet Milo Rambaldi in Doctor Who and the Rambaldi Enigma, despite his inventions having defined and ruined her life for years in her present she finds that Rambaldi himself is actually a somewhat shy figure who appears legitimately ignorant of the potential damage his creations could do, although her perspective shifts when she learns about his alien nature.
  • More "Why Don't You Hate Me?"; in the Descendants series "Package Deal", Evie is initially anxious about meeting her half-sister, Snow White, considering everything her mother tried to do to Snow, but when they actually meet, Evie is touched to learn that Snow actually campaigned to have Evie not sent to the Isle of the Lost (Evie was born shortly before Grimhilde and the other villains were sent to the island) and had every intention of raising Evie herself. Later in the series, Snow and Ben draw up the necessary paperwork to make Evie Snow's legitimate heir, with the result that Evie truly becomes a princess of Snow's kingdom.
  • Comes up in the Wicked fanfic The Land of What Might-Have-Been; when Elphaba is briefly stuck with only Dorothy for company after the Ruby Slippers are stolen by the creature known as the Hellion, Elphaba grudgingly acknowledges that it's hard to actually hate Dorothy, considering that her only 'crime' was relative naiveté rather than genuine malice.
  • In Spectator, while watching the Games, Katniss doesn't let herself forget that Cato and Clove are Prim's opponents who have to die if her sister's going to come home, but still finds it hard to ignore their genuine feelings for each other.

  • Played with in interesting (and non-romantic) ways in The Things They Carried. Tim, a soldier in the Vietnam War, is best friends with The Medic, Rat. Rat gets shot and transferred out of The Squad. Soon after, Tim himself is shot and nearly loses his leg because Rat's replacement forgot to treat him for shock. Tim is rather bitter about this. Tim learns that the new medic is actually a nice guy who was simply inexperienced and cracked under the pressure of combat. Tim comments that if he could only bring himself to hate the new medic, he could also forgive him.
  • Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming by Roger Zelazny and Robert Sheckley mixes this with an aversion of Evil Is One Big, Happy Family—sloth, wrath, and pettiness are so rampant in the demonic community that the demon protagonist discovers he likes his angelic counterpart more than he likes most of his fellow demons. Until said angel hooks up with his ex-girlfriend and converts her to the side of light, that is . . .
  • In Atlas Shrugged, Hank Rearden is completely prepared to hate Francisco D'Anconia for his perceived worthlessness. When they actually have a conversation, Rearden realizes that they share a LOT in common.
  • In Airborn, cabin boy Matt loses out on a promotion to newcomer Bruce, who is much less experienced but whose father owns their airship (and plenty of others). After actually meeting him, Matt admits to himself that it would have been easier if Bruce was a spoiled brat - finding out that he's actually a decent guy just makes it worse.
  • In Pact, Blake Thorburn finds himself depressed when he can't bring himself to hate Andy, a witch-hunter whose job it is to kill practitioners like him who step out of line, after they spend a little while humanizing themselves for the other's benefit.
  • In Harry Potter, Harry seems determined to hate Professor Grubbly-Plank, a substitute teacher who is, annoyingly, more competent and beloved than his close friend Hagrid.
  • In Men at Arms, Vimes doesn't think he should hate Carrot, but he does think he should be annoyed that Carrot has been in the city ten minutes and is known and liked by everyone, whereas he's been a Morporkian all his life and in the Watch for most of it, and is just some miserable bugger in armour to most people. He's not, though, because Carrot's "krisma" works on him too.
  • Olga Dies Dreaming: For all of Olga's rebelliousness to her mother's ideals and her own eager embrace of making a profit, the minute Blanca approaches Olga for a request, Olga is just moved that her mother contacted her after all this time that she goes on the mission she is assigned: convince her ex-boyfriend, Dick, to sell a large number of solar panels to Los Pañuelos Negros, her mother's terroristic organization or liberation group, whatever it takes. Never mind that Olga is currently in a relationship with Matteo and broke up with Dick for a reason.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Also from Friends, Monica and the woman who stole her identity. Monica became friends with her.
  • In an episode of Bewitched, Darrin is fretting about meeting up with an old acquaintance who's smarter, richer, more successful and pretty much better at everything. Samantha playfully promises to hate him, but Darrin insists that it's impossible to hate him, he's just too nice.
  • At the end of a Good Times two-parter, the gang member that shot JJ was let free due to lack of proof he pulled the trigger. As the gangster's mother arrives outside the courtroom, he starts to gloat about getting off. She slaps him, telling him that she hates him and basically disowns him on the spot, even as it's clear it hurts her as much as it does him. Devastated, he spots James and Florida and asks if James wants to hit him too. James begs off. As he leaves, James turns to Flordia asks how he can feel so sorry for the man who shot his son.
  • In Kamen Rider Zi-O, Geiz Myoukouin comes from a Bad Future dominated by the worst Evil Overlord in human history, Ohma Zi-O, and has seen countless friends in La Résistance die by his hand. So when he goes back in time 50 years and meets Ohma Zi-O's younger self Sougo Tokiwa, Geiz treats him with open hostility, repeatedly states his intent to murder Sougo, and only refers to him as "Zi-O". However, at this point, Sougo is just a quirky but kind-hearted Ordinary High-School Student who does his best to befriend Geiz, who plants his feet and refuses to let his defenses down. By Episode 15 he's hit this trope, privately admitting that he can't imagine someone as nice as Sougo ever becoming a mass-murdering villain, and has seemingly given up on just killing him as seen when he practically begs Sougo to just give up his Transformation Belt so they can change the future without needless bloodshed. In Episode 16, Geiz seems to have slipped into Defrosting Ice King territory, showing real concern for Sougo (including calling him by name for the first time) and encouraging him to become Zi-O again with the promise to stop him if he starts going evil.

    Video Games 
  • Undertale has Undyne, a high ranking member of the Royal Guard who is tasked to seek and kill any human she comes across to harvest their soul for the king. If you encounter her on the neutral or pacifist path, she has the intent to kill you, but she comes up with excuses that justify her actions in the hopes that her (made up) views on humans are correct so that she won't feel guilty in killing you. Should you spare Undyne and take up Papyrus' offer in befriending Undyne, you find out that she thinks some humans are actually pretty cool according to her materials (anime) and that you remind her a lot of Asgore, who she got the order from in regards to taking human souls. She eventually decides that hating you is no longer possible and you're actually pretty cool. Should you kill anyone after befriending her, Papyrus calls you to tell you that Undyne not only hates your guts, but she would destroy you if you ever showed up again. If you're on a no-mercy run, the encounter with Undyne is more or less the same, but since she sees how much of a cold-blooded murderer you are, she states that she used to think humans were cool until you came along and now she has a legitimate reason to hate and kill you.
  • During the confrontation with Leo in Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright, his brewing anger from brief earlier encounters boils over, with him ranting at Corrin that he always resented him/her for being Xander's favorite sibling and having Camilla spend more time doting on them. After the fight, he cracks and admits it was all a lie; while he was certainly jealous at times, he could never hate Corrin, and was saying those things to try and psyche himself up to kill them - and failed.
  • Galaxy Angel: Towards the end of every route in the third game, Eternal Lovers, Lushati feels this way towards Wein, once she finds out he was never her brother and was just manipulating her for his own ends. It's implied that, despite being a Valfask in disguise, Wein came to genuinely care for her, to the point he brought her back to EDEN at the cost of his own life. Lushati feels genuinely confused as to why she can't stop crying for him even after knowing the truth, and before the final battle she even apologizes to Tact and his chosen Angel because she feels she can't bring herself to hate Wein despite everything he did.

    Web Comics 
  • Cursed Princess Club: Princess Aurelia tries to get Gwendolyn kicked out of the Cursed Princess Club in a way that nearly gets the latter killed, insisting to everyone else in the aftermath that Gwen doesn't belong because "She's not cursed. She's just ugly!!!!" (knowing full well that Gwen is already suffering Appearance Angst due to her own fiancé calling her ugly). As a result of this near-killing and her general misunderstanding of what the club is for, Aurelia is the one who gets kicked out. But Gwen feels that Aurelia actually has a bit of a point and decides to make her own lack of resentment over what happened apparent by repairing and returning a favorite pearl necklace belonging to the other girl that got ripped in the confrontation. Aurelia doesn't quite apologize in response, but she does begrudgingly admit Gwen is hard to hate.
    Aurelia: ...You know, Gwen... I feel sorry for that fiancé of yours. Because you make it really difficult for people once they realize they were wrong about you.
  • In Squid Row, Randi is surprised to find her non-romantic male friend's new girlfriend is really nice and she likes her.
  • In Penny and Aggie, Duane, noticing for the first time the emotional vulnerability of The Fundamentalist Charlotte (who had attempted to frame a fellow student for making a bomb threat, and had slandered a lesbian student as a rapist), thinks to himself, "What is wrong with me, that I can't hate you now?"

    Web Original 
  • In you could make a life, David Chapman really, really wants to hate his hockey rival Jake Lourdes who's more successful, popular, and sociable than him but an inconvenient thing called "attraction to a guy who's honestly super nice and friendly to me" keeps getting in the way of his efforts to hate him.

    Web Videos 
  • Sword Art Online Abridged's take on Kirito is a Misanthrope Supreme who views his fellow SAO players as "a bunch of mouth-breathing neckbeards who think LMAO is how French people laugh." Yet his time with Sachi has left the little Jerkass with a Trauma Button that activates his Chronic Hero Syndrome when someone's in danger, even if they're a bunch of morons who ran into a boss fight they can't win. Or, as Kirito himself puts it during his Big Damn Heroes moment against the Gleam Eyes:
    Kirito: Ya know something? I really. Hate. People. They're selfish, ignorant, loud, obnoxious pricks with basically no redeeming qualities whatsoever! I mean really, look at all they've achieved - genocide, global warming, reality TV, and just a never-ending parade of failures and fuck-ups! They are, without question, a complete write-off of a species, and HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME CARE ABOUT THEM!!
  • The Nostalgia Critic, in his crossover with The Last Angry Geek covering Batman Forever, admits that he can't bring himself to truly hate Joel Schumacher, despite making one of his most hated movies of all time. He's simply too nice and polite.
    Critic: You won't get away with this, Mocker!
    Schumacher: I know you don't like it, but I was just doing what the studio demanded.
    Critic: Yeah, but–-
    Schumacher: I apologize. I was just trying to do something more colorful for the kids.
    Critic: Oh, you don't need to apologize.
    Schumacher: I understand you're frustrated, but why don't we sit down and talk about it over some herbal tea?
    Critic: Okay, that does sound really ni— [gasps] NO!! I won't let the fact that you're a decent human being get in front of the fact that you make horrible crap!
  • In The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, Lizzie resents that her mother is trying to hook up her daughters with rich men and is prepared to hate Bing Lee — the wealthy medical student her mother thinks would be a perfect husband for Jane — on principle. Thing is, Bing really is a great match for Jane and is so nice that Lizzie can't list anything to dislike about him other than her mother liking him.
    Charlotte: Hey everyone, Lizzie is having a bit of a crisis because her sister Jane actually likes the guy her mother wants her to marry. A guy who, it turns out, is actually pleasant, nice, and funny — but who Lizzie had already made up her mind to hate. And Lizzie hates changing her mind.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time's episode "I Remember You". When the Ice King shows up at Marceline's apartment, she seems frustrated and annoyed. Over the course of the episode it becomes clear that, despite herself, she actually cares for him. It's because he used to care for her when she was a little girl, before the crown took away his memory and sanity. It's the realization that he used the crown despite fully knowing its effects in order to protect her from danger that allows her to accept him back into her life.
    • Other characters, mainly Finn, also gain this feeling towards the Ice King when they learn that he's basically an old man with dementia.
  • In the South Park episode "All About Mormons," the new kid at school, Gary, is introduced as a perfect student and a child actor, and Mr. Garrison makes it clear he prefers him to the regular students. The boys, instantly hating him, send Stan over to beat him up. Unfortunately, Gary is totally accepting of this (even saying that he "kind of deserves it"), and after a few minutes of just talking, Stan instead winds up invited to his house for dinner. It turns out the whole family is this way; the same thing happens when Stan's father Randy meets Gary's parents.

    Real Life 
  • American tennis player Andy Roddick on Roger Federer, the man who's denied him multiple slams, most painfully one at Wimbledon 2009: "I've said to him before, 'I'd love to hate you, but you're really nice.'"
    • To put this in perspective: Roddick reached 5 Grand slam finals, won 1, and lost the other 4 to Federer. Roddick was world no. 1 until Federer came along.


Video Example(s):


Gaelio and McGillis

Revenge isn't all it's cut out to be, eh Gaelio?

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / WhyCantIHateYou

Media sources: