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Will They or Won't They?

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"Pam is very attractive, no question. If I didn't have an award show to host, I could easily see having two or three seasons of will-they-won't-they sexual tension that ultimately goes nowhere."
Conan O'Brien, Emmy 2006 opening skit, after crashing The Office (US)

Two characters, often combative but with obvious Unresolved Sexual Tension, resist going into a full blown relationship for a rather long time. Usually the two characters will be presented so that "they will" is the conclusion to root for; only rarely is the question of whether the writers think they should in any real doubt.


Actually ending the dance is a tricky business. It is difficult for shows to recover from the loss of a major source of dramatic tension represented by an unrequited relationship. Many shows Jump the Shark or suffer Shipping Bed Death when the two characters finally get together. A common problem is that the show suddenly becomes about the relationship rather than remaining true to its original premise. Sometimes an attempt is made to introduce a new source of dramatic tension, but it is frequently cheesy and lame. To avoid this, many shows choose to answer the question and end the show nearly simultaneously via a Last Minute Hookup.

Of course, the opposite can also occur. Shows can go out of their way to avoid resolving the relationship, making ever-more-desperate narrative leaps. In longer-running shows, they may even have the characters hook up for a little while, only to split up over and over again, until by the time they finally let the characters get actually, technically married, the show has lost its viewership anyway. Belligerent Sexual Tension is often a victim of this.


Sometimes a Love Epiphany can be used to have a character realize their feelings, but still not resolve the question, just add a new dynamic to it.

A fundamental Shipping-inducement strategy.

See also Almost Kiss, Held Gaze, Relationship Upgrade, Like Brother and Sister, Moment Killer, Everyone Can See It. When a series ends without even a hint of resolution to will-they-or-won't-they, it's No Romantic Resolution. If it's more ambiguous, it's Maybe Ever After. Contrast Friends with Benefits, where they definitely do it, but without the emotional baggage.

Compare Just Friends and They Do. Contrast Platonic Life-Partners and Ship Sinking — they won't. See Just Eat Gilligan if it's a major plot point. See also Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario when they separate for some dramatic reason, spend a time apart, then reconcile (usually with a kiss, which breaks the Will They Or Won't They)



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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Assassination Classroom, It is never officially revealed if Nagisa and Kayano got together even after the epilogue.
  • Hellsing: Integra and Alucard had this going on. Whether They Do or They Don't is left relatively ambiguous, though Word of God said they were an Official Couple in the anime.
  • The star of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, for the love of God. He and Miu have been at it for almost 400 manga episodes now, and it doesn't look like it will be solved anytime soon...
    • In chapter 423, Miu and Kenichi have a fairly straight-forward conversation about their feelings for one another. While Kenichi doesn't say "I love you" out loud, he does promise Miu that he'll only say that phrase/ask her out when he becomes strong enough to protect her, to which Miu agrees by kissing him on the cheek. How much more strength Kenichi needs though is YMMV.
  • Welcome to the N.H.K. has the complex relationship between Satou and the girl acting as his "saving angel", Misaki.
  • In Elemental Gelade, Coud and Ren have yet to enter into a real couple relationship. Coud wants it badly but is too shy to confess his feelings to her during their journey to Edel Garden, and Ren did not show any strong romantic feelings towards Coud (at least in the manga).
  • Maison Ikkoku is all about the question whether the Unlucky Everydude and the Landlady will get together — which takes 96 episodes in total. Phew.
  • In the same vein, Kimagure Orange Road, which took 48 episodes, 8 OVAs, and a movie before ever resolving it. The second movie tried to revive it.
  • Serge and Gilbert from Kaze to Ki no Uta have some major UST very early on in their relationship as roommates, and a good deal of the manga is leading up to whether or not they'll get together. There are many bumps along the way; homophobia, the social norms of the academy, their own conflicting personalities (what with Serge being a good-natured Nice Guy with Hair-Trigger Temper and Gilbert being a promiscuous and severely messed-up Broken Bird), and Gilbert's uncle and real father, Auguste. Despite it all, they do eventually get together, although not for very long.
  • Ranma ½ has this between Ranma and Akane; in fact, it's what the entire manga is about aside from wacky martial arts.
  • InuYasha: Rumiko Takahashi just loves this trope. Nothing is really resolved until the very end when Kagome marries Inuyasha and Sango marries Miroku. To be fair, Miroku and Sango officially declare their commitment to each other before the end, although this is still done very late in the series.
  • Most of the plot in Lovely Complex revolves around the question whether the Huge Schoolgirl female lead can get a hold of the shorter guy she's in love with.
  • Hagino and Mari in Blue Drop get into a complex love/hate-relationship which leads to a lot of drama for most of the series. When they finally do declare their love for each other, their happiness doesn't last long though.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima! has several:
    • Setsuna and Konoka though it got kind of resolved by chapter 252, what with the pactio and all that. The "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue states they both married in the same year, it just doesn't say to each other (though it is implied).
    • Nagi and Eva was regarded as one for some time but it as it turns out it didn't have a chance from the start.
    • Negi and Asuna was regarded as one for a while, but for the most part, since Negima started as a harem series, many of Negi's potential love interests could fall under this trope.
    • Negi's friend/rival Kotaro seems to have something like that with his roommate Natsumi; since chapter 262 came around, it seems that Kotaro does indeed have feelings for her (though they still appear to be mostly brotherly). The epilogue confirms they got married.
  • This applies to Hana Yori Dango in every adaption, mainly between Tsukushi and Tsukasa and Tsukushi and Rui. This is thanks largely to the huge difference in social class between Tsukushi and almost every possible love interest that shows his face — though Tsukasa's personality certainly doesn't help matters.
  • El Cazador de la Bruja appears to be the only series in Bee Train's "girls with guns"-trilogy where the two female leads wind up with each other in the end.
    • Noir also seems to end this way, but Koichi Mashimo tacked on an ending suggesting that wasn't real.
  • Naruto:
  • In Shakugan no Shana Yuji and Shana should have probably been making out by the fifth episode. Two seasons later they're still making gooey eyes at each other and wondering how the other one feels.
  • Louise and Saito from The Familiar of Zero. They're almost exactly like Yuji and Shana, just with way more belligerence and Kick the Dog parts.
  • Code Geass is full of this. The protagonist Lelouch is really popular with the ladies, even without anyone knowing that he's royalty, but he's too busy secretly leading a revolution to actively pursue romance. Nevertheless, he gets plenty of Will They Or Won't They with Shirley (a friend with a borderline-obsessive crush on him), Kallen (a Tsundere terrorist who would do anything for Lelouch's charismatic Zero persona), and C.C. (the Sugar-and-Ice Personality witch he made a deal with in exchange for power).
  • The closest to this in Axis Powers Hetalia is the relationship between Germany and Italy. Oh god, the Ship Tease.
  • Maria-sama ga Miteru:
    • The series is littered with hints that Yumi and Sachiko might get a Relationship Upgrade, which kept many yuri fans hooked. Nothing of the kind ever happens though, despite many opportunities.
    • The basic premise of a girl wooing another girl into becoming her soeur also has something of this.
  • Ah! My Goddess can be seen as one long Will They Or Won't They between Keiichi and Belldandy, even though it's a foregone conclusion that they will be together in the end. The number of times they've kissed can be counted on one or two hands and the manga is currently on volume 37 (more than a hundred chapters)! If you count in all the animated series, you'd only need to use fingers and toes to count. They get married in the final chapter of the manga.
  • The sneaky bastards behind Lyrical Nanoha took a different approach to this regarding the Nanoha-related ships by jumping ten years forward then cranking the Ship Tease all the way to the max without saying anything definite. Suddenly, the question mutated from "Will They Or Won't They?" to "Did They or Didn't They?"
  • Aoi Hana revolves around the growing relationship between childhood friends Fumi and Akira, although the issue is often obscured by Fumi's romantic entanglements with other girls.
  • Ai Yori Aoshi starts as if it will follow this trope and then takes a hard right turn into Perfectly Arranged Marriage. At the very end, finally, they do.
  • Digimon Adventure had Taichi and Sora, who were "very close friends", and were always looking out for each other. The biggest moment of "Taiora" was when Taichi actually cried because he might have killed Sora because he's an ass. Then there's "Our War Game." Then there's the second season ending where she marries his best friend.
  • Sunako and Kyohei from The Wallflower, to ridiculous heights. So far, they've risked their lives for/saved each other countless times, kissed twice, confirmed they don't hate each other, gone out on a date and lived together for a period of time. And, yet, what is there for them to say at the end of the day? "We aren't in a relationship." Ugh.
  • Shiki and Mikiya in Kara no Kyoukai. He confesses to her early on, and is welcome to regularly drop in on Shiki, and its clear that Shiki feels something towards him, and yet in four years nothing happens; rather frustrating considering the lack of UST. Especially strange considering the games Nasu later came to be known for.
  • Pointed out in School Rumble Z when Yakumo visited Tenma in the US. When Yakumo still cannot define her relationship with Harima, a very frustrated Tenma threatens to crash the car she's driving.
  • The central question in Shoujo Sect is whether Shinobu will get a hold of her childhood friend Momoko. She does, but not before going through a harem of other girls.
  • There was a minor case of this with Ed and Winry in Fullmetal Alchemist, since there hardly were any other potential Love Interests for either (though they do marry in the final chapter). Now, Roy and Riza or Al and Mei, on the other hand...
  • Scrapped Princess: About the only real couple is Chris Armelite and Winia Chester, with Chris ignoring her (or trying to) for most of the series. In the end, he finally tells her it was because he was conflicted with his work, and because he thought it best that she didn't get involved with him. But he did care for her and the final episode reveals they eventually wed.
  • Patlabor has two such potential pairings:
  • Phantom Quest Corp. makes the UST between Ayaka and Detective Karino fairly obvious, to where she even flirts with him on occasion. But the series was cut short at only four episodes, so it ended before the issue could be resolved either way. So at most, theirs is a "Maybe".
  • Highschool of the Dead has Kohta Hirano and Saya Takagi. Hirano's had the the hots for her ever since he found out about her glasses, whereas she was initially dismissive of him. So it takes awhile for them to get there, but it's clear Takashi and the others can see that they're made for each other and they're rooting for it to happen - with their scene in chapter 29 hanging a massive lampshade on it.
  • Spice and Wolf: There are only two main characters. One of them is both a tease and a woobie. The other is a Nice Guy with a hint of snark. They spar with words all the time, but it's pretty clear that they deeply care about each other. It still counts, though, because of an important obstacle.
  • In Black Lagoon, Revy and Rock. They even share an Indirect Kiss (lighting a cigarette) in Chapter 9 of the manga and the equivalent anime episode.
  • Ghost in the Shell features this to a painful extent. While the tension is obvious in the movie adaptations, Stand Alone Complex takes it even father. Even the voice actors have been known to make jokes regarding the tension between them. And yet, no real resolution is ever reached, aside from a very faint Maybe Ever After in the end of Solid State Society. Batou puts him arm around her and she doesn't throw him into the pool
  • In Yamanko!, Neneko and Makoto show definite signs of being attracted to each other (especially from Neneko's side), but both of them have trouble showing their feelings. The fact that they are both girls might be a big factor in this.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya plays with this, like it does with most romance tropes. Kyon gets some fairly significant Ship Tease with all the SOS girls, but there are fairly legit reasons for "won't" beyond the standard Cannot Spit It Out and Oblivious to Love (although the second one also seems to apply to both of them).
  • In Nisekoi, Raku and Chitoge are both unable to admit any positive feelings they have for each other. Nearly every chapter either involves one of them (usually Chitoge) trying to get closer to the other or one of the side characters learning something significant about someone else. Of course, so far, there has been little progress—any attempt between Raku and Chitoge to do anything romantic that even makes it past the first step seems to involve the universe conspiring to keep their thoughts secret to each other, and side characters seem to like keeping information to themselves and thus have no bearing on anything.
  • Kagerou Project is full of these, some more obvious than others. Takane and Haruka both have confirmed feelings for each other but have a number of hurtles in the way, with Shintarou and Ayano their feelings have been heavily hinted at but they also have some major road blocks, Seto and Mary are also heavily hinted at having deeper feelings, and Kido and Kano seem stuck in a never ending cycle of Slap-Slap-Kiss.
  • Fairy Tail
    • Alzack and Bisca are this trope personified. It's their main character trait, even. The ultimate answer? They Do.
    • Not as prominent, but there's plenty of this between Erza and Jellal as well.
  • In My Love Story!!, Takeo falls in love with a girl named Yamato however he believes she likes his best friend. Yamato is in love with Takeo but he doesn't notice it. Awkwardness ensues. Noticeably this plot only lasts three episodes, subverting the usual series-long misunderstanding. Suna himself outright tells Yamato that Takeo likes her.
  • In The Hating Girl, this starts setting in fairly soon, and kicks into high gear about 3/4 of the way through the manga, with the sticking points being the constant misunderstandings between Asumi and Ryouji and Asumi's emotional turmoil about her self-worth. They finally become a couple after defeating the Mad Bomber and consummate the relationship in the last chapter.
  • Pokémon:
  • Yuri!!! on Ice was full of constant Ship Tease between Yuri and his longtime idol and now coach, Victor, for the first seven episodes, with each one seeming to push the sexual tension ever further toward its breaking point. It finally broke at the end of episode 7, when Victor kisses Yuri and they become the Official Couple. As of episode 10, they're engaged.
  • My Wife is the Student Council President: In Izumi and Ui's case, it has nothing to do with whether they'll hook up. That's practically a given. It's more a question of when will he finally screw her and just get it over with, since Ui has already given him the green light and she's just as horny as he is. The only reason they haven't done it yet is because their friends and neighbors won't let them.

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics:
    • Dick Grayson with Barbara and Kori. Dear God, Barbara and Kori. Interestingly, Convergence solves this problem: the Dick Grayson of New Teen Titans wins Kori's heart while the Dick Grayson pre-Flashpoint wins Barbara's. Everyone wins!
    • Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown. They Do - just then she dies, comes back and then... this trope Up to Eleven. Almost every meeting has a flashback to them meeting/hooking up, or a reference to that, or nearly hooking up. Combined with Tim's oft-jerkiness or dark and broodiness after Steph's return note , and Stephanie trying to impress Batman, or otherwise prove herself as a hero, this trope is pretty extreme for 16-18 year olds. Notable that they have this after already being in a relationship together.
    • And in the New 52 it looks like the whole thing may start all over again.
    • Beast Boy and Raven have been going through this a lot lately.
    • Cyborg and Sara Simms were originally intended to be a couple, but Marv Wolfman changed his mind. Instead, we were met with one of the longest "will they, won't they" segments in comic book history.
    • Basically, if they are a popular teenage or young adult pairing in the DC universe, they will almost never get a happy ending together and will be subjected to a never-ending 'Will They or Won't They' loop for years and years on end. Case to point: Every teen pairing in the New Teen Titans and Young Justice.
    • Green Lantern Hal Jordan and Carol Ferris have had this dynamic since they were both introduced, spending long periods of time together and just as long periods of time separated (and sometimes, one of them is technically a supervillain and/or dead). While they do both love each other, Hal's job as a Green Lantern means that he often has to choose between her and his duty, and since said duty usually involves the fate of the universe... While he inevitably gets back together with her, circumstances just as inevitably break them up again.
  • Legion of Super-Heroes
    • Supergirl and Brainiac 5 first met in 1961. Querl fell for Kara at first sight and she liked him back, but she couldn't stay in the 31st century permanently. Both teenagers spent twenty-three years, real time, dancing around each other and wondering whether they should or could get together until they hooked up. Unfortunately, Kara died in the Crisis on Infinite Earths one year later.
    • Saturn Girl and Lightning Lad also spent many years pursuing and dodging each other before getting married.
  • This was a very persistent question for the fans of Cable & Deadpool who were wondering if one of the writers would hook them up after they spent a series chatting each other up.
  • Justice Society of America featured Like Brother and Sister grouping Atom Smasher and Stargirl, implying they got married in the future. Subsequently, he quit the team and she started dating Fan-Preferred Couple-style with Billy "Captain Marvel" Batson. When they broke up, she openly moped about Atom Smasher's later Face–Heel Turn and near-death experience to the point where that seemed like a reasonable coupling once more, but after another near-kiss with Billy, it's been fully revealed that Courtney and Al love each other. Then the team elders put the kibosh on the whole thing because of Al's age.
  • In the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comic, this went on between Sonic and Sally for a long time. Then they started an official relationship, but had a fight, and broke up. Now they're doing it again. Knuckles and Julie-Su had hints of this in the early stages of their relationship, and Shadow and Rouge had this at points as well.
    • Fortunately Archie opted to appease fans during this period by adding the AU Mobius: Twenty Five Years Later storyline as a back-up strip just to keep anyone from ditching the lead title as it went to hell creatively. This gave Sonic and Sally a more positive and progressive piece of character growth regardless of its canonicity. Two follow-up storylines set in this universe have since followed, though it could ease off a little on the constant time-travel plots...
    • UNfortunately, though, writer Ian Flynn ultimately got tired of the Shipping Wars caused by the two and, when the series went through a Continuity Reboot made them Just Friends.
  • Spider-Man: Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy do this straight starting from her first appearance. They broke up once, but would've, if not for the fact that she had an affair with Norman Osborn, had his children, pissed the Goblin right off and died for her trouble, though she was brought back through cloning and dumped Peter when it was strongly implied that he had always been in love with Mary Jane even when he'd been dating Gwen (MJ made her debut BEFORE Gwen in the comics as the "blind date" foil for Betty Brant and Liz Allen), but because of Gwen's emotional problems, coupled with a promise to look after her to the dying George Stacy, he stuck with her out of principle, which seems like an attempt to settle the decades-long feud over whether Peter loves Mary Jane or not.
  • X-Men:
    • Since 1963, Scott Summers "Cyclops" and Jean Grey "Marvel Girl/Phoenix" live in a constant cycle where they're unsure whether a relationship is a good idea or they should stay just friends, then they get together and are happy for a while, then one of them dies temporarily or something makes them break up, and the cycle begins anew. In All-New X-Men, their time-displaced teenager counterparts (nicknamed Tyke and Jeen by fans) are stuck in the "unresolved sexual tension" phase due to this.
    • Rogue and Gambit have been in a constant state of ‘on-and-off’ ever since Gambit first joined the X-Men, to the extent that it's practically a permanent sub-plot. While they both have declared love and devotion for one another on multiple occasions, the relationship never lasts too long before something happens and they end up separating again, only to reconcile at a later stage. This is partially due to the strain on the relationship caused by Rogue’s mutation, meaning the pair can never make physical contact, but also both partners carry some serious emotional baggage which surfaces every so often, sometimes leading to a break-up, whilst other times bringing the pair together.
    • Though not as iconic & prevalent as the above, Sabretooth & Monet St. Croix have stepped into this territory. They had a Ship Tease in Uncanny X-Men (2015), with Word of God recently confirming their relationship was romantic in intent. Six characters have pointed out how they seem to have feelings for each other. Monet has had moments of ogling Creed, and he tends to be very protective of her. He also recently had a possible Interrupted Declaration of Love moment with her. But they haven't gotten together yet, and it's unknown if they will.

    Fan Works 
  • Lampshaded in Ranma ½: The Abridged Chronicles:
    Ryōga: Quit wasting our valuable screentime with your will they/won't they antics!
  • The Child of Love: Shinji and Asuka loved each other but due to their multiple psychological issues did not dare to display openly their feelings. Then they slept together and Asuka got pregnant, which made their relationship harder for a while. In chapter 5, after several months of arguments and keeping an uneasy relationship, they got together.
  • In Child of the Storm and its sequel, Harry and Carol spend an increasing amount of their shared screen-time dancing around each other, developing UST and increasingly Flirting Under Fire, all while insisting throughout the first book that they're Just Friends and Platonic Life-Partners, then grudgingly admitting in the sequel that they do have feelings for each other that go beyond friendship. However, both of them have absolute stacks of issues - Carol's got a long running problem with 'nice guys' who try and befriend her with a view to getting in her pants, plus generalised trust issues, and prizes her and Harry's friendship above anything else. Harry, meanwhile, has been through such an epic Trauma Conga Line that it's a genuine miracle that he's still sane, with Carol sometimes serving as his Morality Chain. Carol doesn't want to lose their friendship, and Harry doesn't want to date her simply as part of trying to stay sane. By this point, though, Word of God has hinted it'll be more of a matter of 'when', not 'if'. The 'when' turns out to chapter 46 of the sequel, when they seal a Relationship Upgrade with a Big Damn Kiss.
  • Evangelion 303: After thirteen chapters and hundreds of pages of fights, dog fights, arguments, paranoid behaviour, separations, reconciliations, suicide attempts, Shinji and Asuka get together definitely.
  • Ghosts of Evangelion: After three years of fights, arguments and reconciliations, Shinji confessed Asuka and -after arguing once again- they get together and stay together.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Supergirl and Dev-Em spend a long while bickering, arguing and fighting until Kara admits out loud she likes him.
  • Higher Learning: Shinji and Asuka danced around each other for several months, not daring to confess or acknowledge their feelings. Boldened by their new teacher's advice -and a bottle of sake- they finally opened up to each other.
  • The promised (eventual) Official Couple of WIP The Fledgling Year, Cor and Aravis, have been in love for some fifty chapters and counting, without outright admitting their feelings on the subject (they’re usually too busy arguing). In the background, the Beta Couple (Corin and Hana) are giving them a run for their angst, with Corin being too impulsive and irresponsible to allow the steady, sensible Hana to accept her own feelings for him. The Ship Tease is flying thick and furious, and it’s fluffy as all-get-out, but no They Do yet.
  • The ongoing Sonic the Hedgehog fanfic Prison Island Break is simply packed with this, thanks to the large number of relationships developed. There's definitely romance in the air; the author "Breech Loader" seems to be perpetually torn between who's going to get Doctor Amy Rose Blossom, and who's going to get Shadow.
    Breech: As ever I continue to work hard on this story, occasionally flipping a three-sided coin on which pairings to end with.
    • It doesn't improve a whole lot as the story goes on, either...
      Breech: Now I know how to do it. I can quit flipping a three sided coin; instead, I’ve bought a four-sided dice! What you do to decide on your random pairing is… uh… Oh, Crap!. Got any ideas?
  • A Crown of Stars: At the beginning of the story, Shinji and Asuka are so emotionally burnt-out that they believe they can't possibly have a relationship. After over twenty chapters of therapy, talking and being gently coached by their friends, they open up to each other and Shinji says he loves her. Fifty chapter later, Asuka manages at last to say she loves him back.
  • Advice and Trust:
    • Subverted with Shinji and Asuka. At the beginning, they seem to be stuck in the "oblivious to each other's feelings" phase. Then it was revealed that they got together in secret a while ago.
    • Touji and Hikari danced around each other for a while until their friends played matchmaker and helped them to get together.
    • Misato and Kaji spent several months pretending that they weren't together again until Misato got tired of their self-denial and they got back together.
    • Maya had a raging crush on Ritsuko that the older woman spent months trying to ignore.
  • In Thousand Shinji, Shinji and Asuka spent several weeks arguing and fighting before start getting along. They got together shortly after.
  • Children of an Elder God: Shinji and Asuka spent months dancing around each other until they got together in episode 16.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: Shinji and Asuka spent a good number of chapters arguing, fighting and hurting each other until they finally got together.
  • Subverted in The Second Try due to time-travel craziness. Shinji and Asuka had this in chapters 2 and 4 when they were trying to learn to live and work together, and after a while they fell in love. However, they were together in chapter 1.
  • In Last Child of Krypton, Shinji and Asuka spend several chapters dancing around each other until they opened up to each other and kissed.
  • Once More with Feeling: Per Word of God, if the story reaches that point, Shinji and Asuka will get together after going past the “bickering and caring phase”.
  • In A wand for Steven, Steven and Hermione are implied to have something, but it is only ever implied. Steven invites Hermione to the Yule Ball were they accidentally fuse. They fuse later during the climactic battle.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton (Danny Phantom, Western Animation, TV Series, and Comic Books.): Most girls Danny shows the mutual interest in make it ambiguous which one he chooses.
  • The Flower Princess and the Alchemist: Edward and Orihime. The only obstacle getting in their, besides their inability to admit their feelings, is Orihime’s feelings for Ichigo.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Plan B, the initial "Will they or won't they?" dynamic seems to be between Bruno and Laura who broke up in the past but are still sleeping together despite the latter having a new boyfriend. However, it gradually becomes clear that the true "Will they or won't they?" tension is between Bruno and Laura's new boyfriend Pablo with their friendship that Bruno initially started as only part of a scheme to win Laura back becoming increasingly homoerotic. They do, with the ending shot being them dragging each other into the bedroom.
  • Iceman and Rogue in X-Men: The Last Stand. Iceman seems disappointed that Rogue "cured" herself, even though she did it for both of them. It's unknown what their relationship is now, especially since the cure is temporary.
    • Iceman and Kitty is hinted at, especially during the ice skating scene.

  • Older Than Radio:" Jane and Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre. first.
  • In War and Peace, this tends to happen a lot. The Love Triangles don't really help in sorting it out. This trope applies most to Pierre and Natasha, as that one's foreshadowed relatively early in the book, and Nikolai and Marya.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Ron and Hermione, starting in Goblet of Fire and ending in a Last Minute Hookup in Deathly Hallows. (In the movie adaptations, hints are dropped about Ron and Hermione's mutual interest as early as Chamber of Secrets.)
    • Harry and Ginny. They Do: as of the "fast forward several years" in the epilogue of Deathly Hallows, Harry and Ginny are married with children.
  • Harry and Murphy in The Dresden Files.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe does this with Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade a bit.
    • And it absolutely uses it to death with Jacen and Tenel Ka.
    • And Jaina and Jagged.
  • In most Jane Austen novels.
  • Percy and Annabeth in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. It's pretty bad when even the daughter of the god of war thinks that it's about time when you finally get together.
  • The Ship Tease has been amped up in Artemis Fowl's sixth book, The Time Paradox, especially when after saving Artemis from a gorilla attack, Holly kisses him in her relief.
  • Gaunt and Curth from Gaunt's Ghosts are strongly implied to have feelings for each other in The Traitor General. As of The Warmaster, they continue to dance around the issue, with Gaunt dating two other women in the interim while Curth seeks brief (platonic) solace from his old friend.
  • The Wheel of Time series brings us the relationship between Rand Al'Thor and Aviendha the Action Girl, which lasts for an astonishing length of time.
    • This is primarily motivated by Aviendha's own stubbornness, combined with the Honor Before Reason stance of her culture and the cultural differences between her and Rand and the fact that Rand is in love with two other women and is very queasy about it. Until later anyway. The three women get together and basically force Rand to accept a relationship with all of them.
  • Early on in the Honor Harrington book, In Enemy Hands, Hamish Alexander (the Earl of Whitehaven) suddenly gets interested in Honor, and Honor feels his interest through her empathic treecat. This is complicated by the fact that Hamish is also still very much in love with his wife, to whom he has been married longer than Honor has been alive. Two books later we're still getting this:
    "No other 'cat-human bonding had ever been so close, ever spilled across to the actual communication of emotions, and the depth of her fusion with her beloved companion was worth any price. Even this one, she told herself. Even the knowledge that Hamish Alexander loved her and of what might have been had the universe been a different place. Yet just as he would never tell her, she would never tell him ... and was she blessed or cursed by the fact that, unlike him, she would always know what he had never said?"
    • They Do. Late in the series, they even marry as both Grayson and Manticore allow polygamous marriages.
  • In the Aunt Dimity series, Lori's repeated flirtations with men other than her husband Bill are often handled this way. To date, nothing more than the occasional kiss has happened, but there have been a number of close calls, often when one or both characters has gotten wet from rain and needs to dry off and/or warm up.
  • Dorn and Kara in The Year of Rogue Dragons
  • Jace and Clary, to ridiculous levels in The Mortal Instruments. Nothing much ever seems to happen until they figure out they aren't related.
  • Brienne and Jaime in A Song of Ice and Fire - they've got plenty of Belligerent Sexual Tension, with an interesting twist on Beast and Beauty thrown in, but it's as yet unresolved. Were the series less infamously grim, the odds might be more in their favour.
  • Jenny Ng and Calvin McGuirk in Lovely Assistant: pretty obvious UST from the first night they meet (Calvin insists she could stay at his place and nothing would happen, but they don't take the chance), and as Heckler points out when Jenny is kidnapped by the Big Bads, Everyone Can See It. Unsurprisingly, They Do...but only for a moment, in The Climax, because fate has other plans (which also neatly sidesteps any Shipping Bed Death).
  • Left ambiguous throughout The Hunger Games series if Katniss will end up with anyone at all. For one thing she doesn't want to fall in love, get married and have babies that might end up in the Hunger Games. For that reason she resists her budding feelings for Peeta. Gale professing his romantic feelings confuses her and a minor triangle plays out for a few chapters of the second book. Ultimately she chooses to be with Peeta but doesn't start a family with him until fifteen years after the end of the war. The movies play it up like a big triangle by adding scenes that allude to Katniss having feelings for Gale and remove the majority of the scenes that shows she's falling for Peeta, presumably to cash in on the shipper war hype of Twilight but it's mostly lead to a negative response and was toned down for the third film.
  • In Loyal Enemies, this is the question Shelena's and Veres' storyline ultimately points towards, what with their constant fighting but also obvious enjoyment of each other's company, even though they're nominally mortal enemies and remind each other of that regularly. Everyone Can See It, though (that is, everyone except Rest), and reactions vary from Delirna's "So, how's he in bed?" to the villain's "Get your monster girlfriend away from me!". It doesn't get any better after Shelena has a Love Epiphany right before the final battle and is only resolved via Last Minute Hookup in the epilogue.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Sesame Street: Bob and Linda have been on dates, but they never married.
  • Friends: The trope could very well be called "The Ross And Rachel", except for the whole thing about not naming tropes after characters. For reference, the Ross/Rachel UST was introduced in the first five minutes of the Pilot Episode, and not fully resolvednote  until the last five minutes of the Series Finale. That's right, it was dragged out over literally the entire series.
  • Californication: Each season alternates between Hank and Karen hooking up, and Hank and Karen splitting up.
  • Cheers: Sam Malone and Diane Chambers, and later Sam and Rebecca Howe. Sam and Diane start their romance at the end of Season 1—then break up at the end of Season 2, with the tease of whether they will make up being a focal point of Seasons 3 and 4, and the first half of Season 5. The second half of Season 5 is a major They Do—but with a last-minute twist in the season finale. The show underwent a reboot where Diane went off and a new Unresolved Sexual Tension with Rebecca was added.
  • The X-Files: Mulder and Scully. Resolved sometime in season 7, but it was still only implied and some fans thought they were strictly platonic. Mulder was then Put On The Bus and the tension and drama was found in other situations. In the second movie, they are in a relationship for real.
  • Moonlighting, a popular '80s action/comedy starring Bruce Willis and Cybil Shepherd, tanked immediately after Bruce and Cybil "did it". The lesson was probably not lost on The Powers That Be, with the result that fewer Will They or Won't They? questions will be answered with "They Will". The last major Writers Guild of America strike torpedoed TV production right in the middle of this arc; a lot of Moonlighting's decline in quality came from the disruption this caused, and it's arguable that the change in relationship might have been handled considerably more successfully if the strike hadn't happened. Also, they couldn't get Bruce and Cybill together at the same time to make the show for ages. Also, Cybill's real-life pregnancy with twins.
  • Niles and Daphne on Frasier, which rose, fell, switched back and forth, found new ways to express itself every few episodes, and progressed through Daphne's obliviousness; both of them being unwilling to even communicate their feelings, much less act on them, because Niles was married to Maris; the slow, lingering death of Niles and Maris's marriage, complete with much backsliding, temporary reconciliations, and emotional and psychological abuse; heartwrenching silent years of Unrequited Love on Niles' part; and Daphne coming within an inch of marrying her Romantic False Lead; all before they so much as expressed their attraction to each other. It took another couple seasons for them to finally stabilize and marry.
  • Caroline and Richard on Caroline in the City. By the time they finally got around to it, no one cared.
  • Robert and Amy on Everybody Loves Raymond. They Do.
  • Lois & Clark (a.k.a. The New Adventures of Superman). They did, in a marriage storyline that crossed over with the comics.
  • Smallville:
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Lieutenant Colonel (eventually) Samantha Carter and General (eventually) Jack O'Neill. They did, but only in Alternate Universes. In the normal continuity, the fact that military officers are forbidden to be romantically involved with their subordinates always prevented anything from happening. Word of God says that Jack and Sam are romantically involved after the Season 8 episode "Threads".
    • Daniel Jackson and Vala Mal Doran. Vala flirted with most of the main male characters, but more with Daniel than anyone else. Towards the end of the series we even learn that this has apparently grown from light-hearted teasing to actual affection, but what held the relationship back was that Daniel thought she was just doing it all for a laugh. They did, but again only in a reset timeline.
    • In the sequel series Stargate Atlantis, John Sheppard and Elizabeth Weir take over from Sam and Jack. Complete with issues of fraternization (although no military, Elizabeth is John's superior on Atlantis) and disapproval from the powers that be.
  • Mrs. Hughes and Carson on Downton Abbey. After several season of UST, they do.
  • Fran and Max on The Nanny, but surprisingly, the show stayed funny even after they got together.
  • Subverted in NewsRadio, wherein Dave and Lisa DO immediately before the second episode. (Creator and head writer Paul Simms states in DVD audio commentary that he hates this trope.)
  • JAG, in which Captain Harmon "Harm" Rabb, Jr., JAGC, USN and Lieutenant Colonel Sarah "Mac" Mackenzie, USMC finally hooked up at the end. JAG can be considered to be the example of the second kind of this trope. Most all of the fandom of the show was incredulous at the pathetic "rationale" why they couldn't be together until the last five minutes of the series finale.
  • Battlestar Galactica has two of these: one between Lee "Apollo" Adama and Kara "Starbuck" Thrace, and one between Admiral Adama and President Roslin.
  • Firefly prominently placed two of these: one between Mal and Inara, another between Kaylee and Simon. As of the end of the Wrap It Up, Kaylee and Simon have, while Mal and Inara... actually, nobody's quite sure about them.
  • NUMB3RS: Charlie and Amita. They had to stay Just Friends as long as Charlie was Amita's thesis advisor, but after she graduated and became a fellow professor They Did.
  • The Office (US):
    • Jim and Pam did get together at the start of season 4, and married early in season 6.
    • Andy and Erin picked up the slack for awhile before getting (back) together near the end of season 8. They break up in Season 9 and Erin begins dating Pete.
    • Dwight/Angela is finally resolved via Last Minute Hookup when they get married in the series finale.
    • However, the other couples (Michael/Holly, Michael/Jan) have faded into the background, save for a few instances where they're suddenly brought back and teased, only to fall by the wayside again; Michael eventually broke out of this by proposing to Holly (which, by extension, wraps up the Michael/Jan pairing).
  • The Office (UK): Tim and Dawn got together too in the Christmas special that wrapped up the series.
  • Glee:
  • The West Wing had Josh and Donna from episode one. The two finally got together in the final season (seven seasons after the show began, and three after Aaron Sorkin left).
  • Sorkin didn't do a good job with the same trope on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Or Sports Night, for that matter (notably the infamous "dating plan").
  • CSI:
    • Grissom and Sara, until they finally did.
    • Their tension was replaced to a point by Catherine and Vartaan, but they didn't.
    • Morgan and Hodges are the ones who might or might not get together.
  • Danny and Lindsay on CSI: NY for two seasons until they eventually did.
  • In Picket Fences, Max and Kenny dance around their feelings for each other for nearly three seasons, both scared that becoming romantically involved will inevitably ruin their close friendship and undermine their working relationship. They never bother hiding their mutual sexual attraction, instead openly talking about it numerous times and nearly sleeping together in the second season. Their UST comes to a head in mid season three when they spend a passionate night together and, despite a setback the next day when they try one last ditch attempt to bury their feelings, they finally admit their love for each other and decide to try the whole couple thing. They are together for the remainder of the third season but annoyingly then break up for stupid non-reasons in the first episode of the vastly inferior fourth season. After much sniping, tension and longing side-glances they finally get back together towards the end of the season and eventually marry in the series finale.
  • Fred and Wes on Angel. They finally get together, and in the next episode Fred dies.
  • In Who's the Boss?, Tony and Angela danced around the subject for so long (and in such increasingly ridiculous ways) that the supporting characters more or less hung a permanent Lampshade Hanging over it. It seemed they finally hooked up out of the desperation of the producers (they were an official couple only for half of the show's final season) than out of any real dramatic intent.
  • Farscape:
    • John and Aeryn. Notable as perhaps the only time where officially getting the couple together actually improved the show, as the writers found numerous ways to keep the tension going that wouldn't have worked if they weren't sleeping together. (Also unusual in that they had sex well before they officially got together.) However, Ben Browder had suggested that Aeryn and John have sex immediately, only to spend the rest of the series denying it.
    • To a lesser extent (as the relationship is dragged out over much a much shorter period than John/Aeryn), we have D'Argo and Chiana - there are several Will They or Won't They? moments throughout the early episodes of Season 2, before they finally kiss and eventually start sleeping together several episodes later (then it happens all over again when they break up in Season 3, before getting back together in Season 4).
  • Grey's Anatomy: tons of it. In fact, most (if not all) of the relationships in the show invoke this trope, along with Relationship Revolving Door:
    • Meredith and Derek, obviously. Apparently resolved in the season 4 finale - they will and They Do. Though things appear to have taken yet another nasty twist at the end of Season 10.
    • Cristina and Owen: right after the big question between Meredith and Derek got answered, the show turns our attention, rather seamlessly, to wondering about the romantic fate of the other "twisted sisters". Ultimately things did not work out for them, though they remain on very good terms all the way till Cristina's departure.
    • Alex and Izzie. In seasons 5 things started to look promising for this pair, despite the cancer. Until Izzie got fired in the next season and left Alex.
    • Mark and Lexie. The resolution to this is quite tragic: Lexie died in a plane crash, and Mark did not survive much longer afterwards. One may find solace in that they finally confess their true feelings toward one another in the end...or not.
  • House:
    • Greg House and his direct subordinate Alison Cameron in Season 1. She is very pretty and actually more interested in him, because she is weirdly attracted to damaged people and guys who need help. They have a date. But ultimately, They Don't even sleep together and don'r pursue a relationship.
    • Season 2 gets Dr. House his ex-girlfriend Stacy. She is married now, but enjoys a healthy dose of UST with House and considers leaving her husband. They Don't, bacause House doesn't want to.
    • House has a "Did They Or Didn't They" with Cuddy. They seem to sleep together in the season 5 finale (actually a hallucination) and then again in the season 6 finale (for real this time, They Do for a time, though it doesn't last and they separate.
    • There is yes-or-no between Dr. Eric Foreman and Thirteen (Dr. Remy Hadley who is bisexual). Foreman and Thirteen do, then they break up, get together and break up for good. She then settles with a woman.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • Captain Jean Luc Picard and Dr. Beverly Crusher. It is there from Season 1 but doesn't really become much of an issue until the last few seasons. They never do (except in an crazy alternate future) and that never seems strange or convoluted. In the post-Nemesis continuity in the books, Picard and Crusher marry and Crusher falls pregnant with their child. Though this is probably only because the Trek universe has rebooted and thus the books have been given more-or-less carte blanche when it comes to carrying on the TNG version of the universe, since it's highly unlikely we'll ever see it on screen again.
    • Commander William Riker and Counselor Deanna Troi; they did in the backstory, they almost do a couple of times and it never is too serious or steady. After settling into the "just very good friends with history" mold for most of the last couple of seasons of TNG and the movies, Riker and Troi get married immediately before Star Trek: Nemesis, with Picard as the best man.
  • Well before any of its spin-offs played with the idea, Star Trek: The Original Series experimented with the idea with the relationship between Captain Kirk and Yeoman Janice Rand: both had a mutual attraction to one another, but Kirk's position as Captain, and his feelings of responsibility as her commanding officer, were explicitly stated as the reasons why they didn't.
    • This was an idea which Gene Roddenberry had carried with him ever since writing the initial outline for the series in 1964. "The Cage" features a primordial version of Kirk/Rand in Captain Pike and his new (female!) Yeoman, Colt (with hints of a Love Triangle with Number One to boot), and in the second pilot, the Yeoman was Smith, played by an actress (Andrea Dromm) who declined to return for the series. Rand's departure from the series roughly coincided with Roddenberry stepping down as showrunner.
  • Subverted in The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr.: it looks like Brisco and Dixie are being set up for it, then they immediately jump in the sack. However, it's still more than halfway through the season before Brisco actually confesses that he loves her.
  • Gene and Alex in Ashes to Ashes (2008); they're conscious of the mutual attraction, but have both backed out at least once when acting on it seems like a possibility.
  • How I Met Your Mother:
    • Ted and Robin in the first, even though we know from the first episode that they won't, ultimately, end up together. They go back and forth, especially Ted pines for Robin and she is tempted to get together as well. At least until the last minute of the series finale... When Ted comes to ask her time once again and she seems to agree.
    • Will They, or Won't They? torch is passed to Barney and Robin, after they had dated, broken up and passed it on to Robin and Don for a while, and then it is cleverly framed with a flashforward: Barney will get married. We don't know to whom at first. The seventh season finale revealed the bride to be Robin. So we find out that They Will. Then it's revealed in the Grand Finale they get divorced.
  • Scrubs:
    • The show wrung every last drop of acceptable Will They or Won't They? juice out of Elliot and J.D. They did after two seasons of it, then broke up in excruciating fashion, cooled off for a few years, then picked back up very briefly again then dropped it again. They finally made up their minds and stayed together for good.
    • Dr. Cox once specifically called out this trope when he was doing an interview with a psychologist at the hospital. It turned out to be an unusually heartfelt and sincerely uplifting bit of musing for the usually brusque and cynical Cox, who seldom lets his "jerkass mask" slip.
      Dr. Cox: Relationships don't work the way they do on television and in the movies. Will they, won't they? Then they do and they're happy forever... give me a break. Nine out of ten of them end because they weren't right for each other to begin with, and half the ones that get married get divorced anyway and I'm telling you right now despite all this stuff I have not become a cynic. I haven't. ... You can call me a sucker, I don't care. 'Cause I do believe in it. Bottom line is the couples that are truly right for each other wade through the same crap as everybody else, but the big difference is they don't let it take them down. One of those people will stand up and fight for that relationship every time if it's right and they're real lucky.
  • Spinelli and Maxie on General Hospital now have a year and a half of sexual tension that has only been broken twice for all the wrong reasons. The question here isn't really "Will they or won't they?", it's "Will they or won't they as an official couple?" A good portion of the fan base at this time would rather they stayed friends.
  • Bones:
    • Booth and Brennan are ship-teased constantly. They Do at the second to last episode of season six, but it wasn't made very clear until the next episode when she announced she was pregnant with his baby. In season nine, episode eight, They Do.
    • There's Angela and Jack. They started off as friends, moved to UST, went on one date, decided it was too perfect and would end terribly, changed their minds, got engaged, found out she was already married, stayed together for awhile, broke up, dated other people (in Angela's case mainly) and almost got engaged again because she thought she was pregnant with another man's child. Turns out she wasn't, but this prompted a Love Epiphany that lead to a spur-of-the-moment jail cell wedding]]. Finally resolved now and they seem to be Happily Married. Will They or Won't They? indeed...
  • Psych's Juliet and Shawn, before finally getting together at the start of season 5.
  • Dawson's Creek had two of these: Dawson and Joey, and Pacey and Joey. They dragged out that triangle until the last few minutes of the last episode.
  • The Avengers, between Steed and Mrs. Peel. In the end her presumed-dead husband reappeared, and she left the series with him.
  • Mike and Catlin on Spin City. They did it in less than a year, then Michael J Fox had to leave the show.
  • Jeeves and Wooster, although it's really more like They Should But Why Aren't They? What usually happens is that a couple will go in and out of engagements, seemingly to be made for each other in the end, only to eventually wind up with someone completely different. If a pairing only appears in one episode or a two-parter, they are much more likely to stay together, such as with Biffy and Mabel in "Pearls Mean Tears".
    • The Gussie/Madeline relationship is probably the most on-again off-again engagement in the whole series. In the last 2 episodes, despite all the hoops that Bertie spends four seasons jumping through to keep them together ( bike ride in the rain, anyone?), Gussie winds up with Pauline Stoker's sister Emerald, who elopes with him the same episode she shows up, and Madeline marries Spode, of all people, in the last episode. Although, in his defense, he was actually in love with her. She just married him for his title.
  • Torchwood initially tried to set this up between Jack and Gwen. Jack and Ianto are an aversion of this trope, as they went from threatening to kill each other to sleeping together in four episodes with very little lead up.
  • Particularly irritating in Century City, which started as more Did They Or Didn't They, and proceeded to take the Unresolved Sexual Tension in no particular direction.
  • The Mentalist:
    • Agent Rigsby and a new agent on the team, Grace Van Pelt. They suffer through being together, breaking up, being with other people, a baby thrown in the mix, until They Do in season six, episode three and when seen two years later are still together.
    • Consultant Patrick Jane and the team's boss Teresa Lisbon. Although they had a lot of ship tease, there seemed to be little hope of them ever getting together. That is until the season four finale Jane tells Lisbon he loves her. Which could well be platonic. When she asks him what he meant when he said "that thing" he pretends to forget. During season five different characters tell both Jane and Lisbon (mostly the latter) that they are a little bit in love with each other. They Do get together and do get married in the finale.
  • Gossip Girl:
    • Blair Waldorf and Chuck Bass spend the majority of the show's run in various states of a "will they/won't they" plot, where even being broken up was just to setup the next part of their plot. They marry at the series finale and are happy with a kid.
    • Dan & Serena. In the end, the entire plot was put into motion by Dan, as he used Gossip Girl to become the 'ultimate insider', ending up married to Serena despite them being related to each other by the marriage of their parents.
    • Rufus (Dan's father) & Lily (Serena's mother) had their own go at this yes-or-no dynamic, which impacted on the Dan & Serena storyline.
    • Blair and Dan had a short run with back-and-forth as part of the Love Dodecahedron.
  • Gilmore Girls:
    • Luke and Lorelai. This is introduced in the first episode, they get together officially around season 4, are happy, have problems, argue, get engaged, break up. It is not resolved until the very last scenes of series finale with just a kiss. Unfortunately, because of this, it feels like a Last Minute Hookup.
    • Luke's nephew, Jess and Lorelai's daughter, Rory. Jess is introduced at the beginning of Season 2, and the pair get together after almost a season and a half of dancing around each other. Although they later break up, the dynamic continues for the remainder of the show, and Rory is single at the end of the final season. Word Of God reveals that had the series continued, they would have ended up together. However, in the revival they don't end up together, though there are some feelings on each side, Jess possibly still pining after her.
  • There is a couple seasons' worth of Unresolved Sexual Tension between Cal Lightman and Gillian Foster of Lie to Me, especially now that Gillian's single. She's the only one he trusts, he's afraid to hurt her like his ex-wife, and his daughter even sees them as an odd sort of family. In the end, the cancellation put an end to the UST.
  • Tony and Ziva in NCIS, with the ramped-up Unresolved Sexual Tension since Tony helped rescue Ziva from Somali terrorists suggesting they will, while the fact that Tony shot and killed Ziva's Mossad-agent boyfriend, precipitating her return to Israel that lead to her imprisonment in Somalia, suggests they won't. And then there was Paris. Is there a Did They or Didn't They trope? But there was only one bed, and both of them lied about taking the couch. The nineth season has clearly progressed beyond Unresolved Sexual Tension and Will They or Won't They? into "taking the piss out of the shippers" territory. They've brought up Tony's ex-fiancee, Ziva's Romantic False Lead "C.I. Ray", Tony's fear of children, and every other guest character either assuming Tony and Ziva are a couple or explaining why they'd make a great one. Revealed that They Do. They finally do.
  • Kevin and Winnie in The Wonder Years, though in the final episode Adult Kevin, the series narrator, reveals they didn't end up together. They remained close friends, but he married somebody else.
  • Castle and Kate Beckett. It's assumed that they eventually will, being the Official Couple and all. Castle even responds "not yet" when someone asks if they're together. In season 4's finale, "Always", they finally get a Relationship Upgrade.
  • The Carly/Freddie and Freddie/Sam pairings on iCarly averted this. Carly and Freddie got together in "iSaved Your Life" then broke up at the end, and then Sam and Freddie got together in "iLose My Mind", which was 1 episode and 3 days in-universe after Sam revealed her feelings for Freddie in "iOMG". Whilst both sides had some obvious Ship Tease, it was never Unresolved Sexual Tension as neither couple could really qualify since Freddie liked Carly but she didn't like him back until "iSaved Your Life", and Freddie didn't like Sam until "iLose My Mind", and Sam had shown no indications she liked Freddie until "iOMG". Though it does end up resolved in the finale, where we find out Carly and Freddie DID!
  • Sonny and Chad in Sonny with a Chance danced around their obvious attraction to each other, and the Season 1 finale seemed to indicate that movement was happening. Season 2 has brought on this, and a lot more Ship Tease. They Do. Of course the broke up in the Season 2 penultimate episode and don't get back in the finale. With Demi Lovato leaving the show due to personal issues it looks like they didn't.
  • When Goren and Eames left Law & Order: Criminal Intent at the end of season 9, this was left deliberately ambiguous, since they are very much life partners, and for some fans, a Last Minute Hookup would have been upsetting, while others are free to imagine a Happily Married type scenario. They did have a very intimate, very touching Anywhere but Their Lips kiss before they left, and no one was unhappy about that.
    • They returned for the final season, and again, the finale left the whole issue very open-ended. Given the nature of the final episode, however, with its emphasis on 'everyone wants to believe in true love' and Goren calling Eames by her first name while she smiles at him, the implication seems to be that eventually, they will.
  • In the middle seasons of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, there did seem to be a bit of this between Elliot and Olivia, particularly after Kathy left Elliot; even before she did, there were some moments where Olivia seemed hopelessly in love with him. The later seasons, however, stomp all over this, particularly as on Alex Cabot's return, the Les Yay is stronger than ever. Having avoided a potentially disastrous plot twist, Olivia and Elliot are back to doing what they do best - being Platonic Life-Partners and kicking ass.
  • Emma Tutweiller and Marion Moseby in The Suite Life on Deck, they're the only major adults on the show! And they did in the finale.
  • Community:
    • Jeff and Britta were the first example of this. He shamelessly started the study group to get in her pants, and most of season 1 consisted of a back and forth between them. In "Modern Warfare" they have sex (undercut by Britta pulling a paintball gun on Jeff), and in the finale she publicly confesses her love for him, and tries to make him choose between her and Professor Slater. He goes to Annie instead. In season 2, they spend the first episode trying to sabotage each other, which almost results in them getting married before they realize they're being crazy. Near the end of the season, we find out they were actually having secret sex the entire season, only to give it up once the others found out because it wasn't fun anymore. The ship remained sunk for most of the rest of the series, until the finale of season 5 when they randomly decided to get married when it looks like Greendale will be shut down and they'll have nowhere to go. Everyone treats this as the stupidest suggestion ever, and they break it off again when the school is saved and Jeff realizes that he loves Annie.
      Annie: You two are ridiculous together.
    • Jeff and Annie have a bit of it in season one which continues throughout the rest of the series. They kiss at the end of season one but it goes nowhere and Jeff tries to pretend it never happened. From seasons three through six it continues. Season five points out that they are using various campuswide games as a means to be together without any weirdness. Season 5 ended with the conclusion that Jeff's "burst of human passion" was caused by Annie. Season 6 largely keeps things muted again, though it ends with them realizing that they are in love and kissing again. Annie leaves to get an FBI internship, but they imply they'll try again once they both have some more experience.
      Annie: I think if you don't kiss me right now you'll regret it for the rest of your life.
    • Britta is paired up with Troy in season 3, causing Jeff and Britta to seem like they are finished. Though their relationship also resolves itself with them deciding to be Better as Friends. Though in one Alternate Timeline they did get married, so if Troy ever comes back from his boat trip, there's still a chance for them.
    • The finale of season 2 gives a hint of this with Abed and Annie, though Abed admits he only went for it because he was playing Han Solo. It is resolved with the two of them become Platonic Life-Partners, especially after Troy leaves in season 5 and they become solid roommates.
  • Played with in Series 5 of Doctor Who with Amy and Rory; they're already engaged, but the question is Will They or Won't They? get married as planned, what with Amy leaving with the Doctor the night before the wedding, Amy saying that she's running from the wedding, Amy kissing the Doctor once they return to the night they left, Amy expressing surprise at seeing them still together in future timelines, Rory dying, Amy dying, and the universe being erased. By the end of the season, They Do, and it seems their honeymoon will be traveling with the Doctor.
  • Rizzoli & Isles - you imagine that they won't, because the producers are terrified of alienating a huge pack of their viewers by following through on it, but a girl can hope that all that Les Yay will go somewhere.
  • Chuck Bartowski and Sarah Walker in Chuck throughout the first two seasons.
    Chuck: Excuse me, sir? Look, I don't mean to bug you, but the cute little number that came in with me... the two of us have kind of had this will-they-won't-they burgeoning office romance going; I'm really trying to impress her so could you help me out a little bit?
    Older Gangster: [addressing Chuck] I hate those will-they-or-won't-they things. Just do it already!
  • Jaye and Eric in Wonderfalls: a woman who is terribly afraid of intimacy and a man who was so badly traumatized by his wife cheating on him on his honeymoon that wedding paraphernalia makes him faint. Naturally, this combination does not make for the smoothest sailing. The last episode seems to indicate that they will.
  • Alex and Dave in Happy Endings despite the fact that they already did, lived together for years, got engaged and Alex left Dave at the altar. There are still plenty of sparks between them but they rightfully fear that they will just repeat the same mistakes that led to the humiliating and public breakup of the original relationship.
    • They get back together in season 3 (after Dave was Shipteased with Penny in season 2) and move back in together very quickly. All their friends it's a bad idea, but they spend the season actually working at their relationship and providing several sweet moments, especially in the episode 'Boys II Menorah" where Dave attempts a hilariously Deconstructed Racefor Your Love.
  • Jerry and Bobbi from Raising the Bar. Every time they look to get going, they get thwarted by her divorce, her ex's suicide etc. Finally, they do.
  • Lampshaded in an episode of That '70s Show when, after Eric tells his friends hat he and Donna had sex for the first time, Hyde happily declares that he'd "Just about had it with all the 'will-they-or-won't-they?' crap!"
  • Andy and April on Parks and Recreation, as well as Leslie and Ben. They Do.
  • Duncan and Nicole on The Class.
  • Damon and Elena on The Vampire Diaries. The entirety of season three capitalized on their Unresolved Sexual Tension, culminating in a near-explosive kiss a few episodes before the finale. Then, of course, she choose Stefan.
    • Season four has Elena sired to Damon, which is why he doesn't want to be with her despite loving her, since her feelings are presumably produced by the sire bond. In the season finale, Elena (now freed of the sire bond) confesses to be in love with Damon and they are together in season five with agonizing from Damon that becomes a Will They or Won't They stay together.
    • Also, Klaus and Caroline. It seemed one-sided until Caroline seemed to be attracted to him too, and hating herself for it. In the end, he leaves to his own spin-off, with a Goodbye Kiss (on the cheek) proclaiming that Tyler might be her first love, but he'll be her last. Though that doesn't stop him from popping back and them giving into their urges.
  • Sean and Alex on Nikita. It is somewhat resolved when he finally asks her seconds before going after Roan to stop him from from blowing up Washington DC.
  • Holly and Marcel from Café Americain, although the series ended before anything could be resolved.
  • In early seasons of Merlin, Arthur and Morgana had a number of such moments and much UST. This plotline was randomly abandoned, and later she was revealed to be his sister.
  • Joel and Maggie in Northern Exposure. They eventually do start having sex, but then Joel's actor left the series.
  • My Name Is Earl gives us Earl and Catalina. Earl gave up the chance to be with her, so that Randy could marry her and get her back to Camden. But later Catalina used the Please Dump Me gambit on Randy, who lost all interest in her. It's not known whether or not their Citizenship Marriage still stands, but the UST between her and Earl is definitely there.
  • Martin and Louisa on Doc Martin, and to some extent, Pauline and Al.
  • Both sisters in The House Of Eliott, Bea with her friend Jack they did but their marriage went Relationship Revolving Door for a while and Evie with several different men in turn, she finally married Daniel about three episodes before the show was axed.
  • The Miley Stewart/Jake Ryan pairing in Hannah Montana was an example of this trope, along with (to some extent) Miley and Jesse.
  • The relationship between Gabi and Josh in Young & Hungry is this in spades; Emily Osment mentioned how she hoped the couple would be a new Ross and Rachel frequently in interviews.
  • Awkward. is basically entirely based on the relationship between Jenna and Matty.
  • Faking It has Amy and Karma. The Season 1 finale has Karma reject Amy, but it's still unresolved.
  • On Modern Family Haley Dunphy and Andy, the male nanny to her grandfather and step-grandmother's son Joe introduced in Season 5. Haley and Andy have Belligerent Sexual Tension but Andy has a girlfriend named Beth in the coast guard.
  • Revenge: Jack Porter and Emily Thorne/the real Amanda Clarke. They were Childhood Friends, and decades later are shown to still have feelings for one another — hell, without even knowing she was the real Amanda, Jack still managed to fall in love with Emily. In spite of this, they never have an explicit romantic relationship for the entire run of the show. Emily continually refused to get involved with him because she wanted him out of harm's way while she waged a secret war with the Graysons, including forwarding a relationship with Honey Trap victim Daniel Grayson. Jack, meanwhile, was sidetracked with other problems involving his bar, his boat, and his brother. Both also had numerous Romantic False Leads, including Amanda Clarke/the real Emily Thorne, who, at one point, even ended up marrying Jack and bearing his child. It's only after every other love interest is either dead or otherwise unable and/or unwilling to continue relationships with either of them do they even entertain the idea of becoming something more. They Do in the series finale, marrying six months later and sailing off into the sunset.
  • In Kamen Rider Stronger, both Jou Shigeru (AKA Kamen Rider Stronger) and Misaki Yuriko (AKA Electric Human Tackle) share an attraction. It doesn't go anywhere due to them primarily focusing on their battle with the evil organisation Black Satan, which turned them both into cyborgs.
    • They do eventually open up to each other and Yuriko mentions hoping to travel the world with Shigeru once Black Satan is beaten. Unfortunately, by that point she's been fatally poisoned and dies soon after destroying a particularly powerful monster using a suicide attack.
  • Daredevil (2015): Matt Murdock and Karen Page seem to be a lengthy case of "will they or won't they". Karen spends all of the first season fawning over two different versions of Matt, the lawyer and the Devil of Hell's Kitchen, not knowing they're one and the same, while Matt in turn flirts with Karen constantly. The first episode is pretty heavy handed on the romantic tropes with Matt and Karen. Then Claire Temple is introduced the second episode, and Karen takes a backseat romantically. In season 2, they finally enter into a relationship and seal it with a kiss in the rain. They do go on one date, but then Elektra shows up and again Karen takes a backseat as he spends all his time dealing with Elektra's problems, resulting in Matt faltering in contributing to Frank Castle's trial, coupled with Karen stumbling upon a wounded Elektra resting in Matt's bed. After Elektra dies, Matt and Karen do get closer again after he reveals his secret to her in the closing minutes of season 2. By the start of The Defenders (2017), Matt and Karen are back on good-enough speaking terms that Karen can't help but invite Matt out to lunch to get a comment on his latest case. The UST is still apparent later on when Matt grabs Karen from the Bulletin so he can place her in protective custody until the Hand are defeated. It seems that things have sailed when Matt is seemingly killed in the destruction of the Hand's base at Midland Circle, but Karen fervently insists to Foggy that her gut says maybe Matt made it out, and it's then revealed that Matt indeed did survive, with The Defenders ultimately having set Matt and Karen up to get back together and much more strongly for season 3 of Daredevil.
  • Mr. Robot has the trope name dropped during a conversation between themselves & Elliot, about Angela.
  • The Golden Girls introduced Miles, a professor, as Rose's boyfriend starting in season five. In an interesting take on this trope, they have a clear sexual and romantic relationship; it's more a question of if they'll ever marry or not. In addition to the usual sitcom issues with their compatibility that last a single episode (Rose fears she's not smart enough for him, old partners show up, Miles's daughter doesn't like Rose, etc.), the show added a surprising twist: "Miles" was actually Nicholas Carbone, who had testified against gangster Moran "The Cheeseman" and gone into witness protection in Miami, where he met Rose. Miles was thus forced to leave Rose for a time—largely because the revelation of his real identity and a necessary relocation happened within days of each other—but eventually came back to her...just in time to reveal that her new boyfriend was none other than the Cheeseman himself, hunting for Miles. Thankfully, Barbara Weston was able to arrest Moran and put him behind bars, leaving Rose and Miles free to finally be together. Sadly, the sequel series The Golden Palace revealed that Miles eventually married another woman.
    • The show played with this trope throughout the series with Dorothy and Stan, who had divorced after 38 years of marriage but stayed relatively close and clearly still had feelings for each other; in fact, Stan's second appearance on the show saw them sleeping with each other and considering getting back together (they didn't). In Season Six, Stan struck it rich with a mechanical baked potato opener that made him millions, and later impressed Dorothy by demonstrating that he'd grown somewhat as a person since their split. Their secret relationship lasted a few episodes and nearly culminated in a wedding, but Stan tried to get Dorothy to sign a prenup, and she realized she was making a mistake. Even so, they remained Amicable Exes and occasionally helped each other out; In the show's finale, Stan hijacks the limo Dorothy's taking to her wedding to Blanche's Uncle Lucas and admits that while he's married two other women, Dorothy will always be the one person he truly loves most of all.

  • The Doubleclicks have a song called "Will They or Won't They", comparing the narrator and some guy to multiple fictional couples.

  • Dino Attack RPG had quite a bit of UST between Hertz and Naomi Carver, as well as Frozeen and Gromtin, with the question of whether or not they will get together in the end.

    Video Games 
  • Metal Gear Solid 3 had this almost all the way through with Naked Snake and EVA. They end up having sex after the mission. EVA is later artificially impregnated with his clones. However, they never actually develop a relationship.
  • In Broken Sword, George and Nico seems to have a thing for each other, but never confess to each other and they never even contact each other in between the games timeline. George said in the beginning of the 3rd game that "things between them don't work out".
  • Tenchu fans have been at war since the beginning on whether Ayame and Rikimaru are just partners, clan brother and sister, or secret lovers. The extra futon in what certainly LOOKS like Rikimaru's house in Tenchu Z suggests the latter.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: Shadow and Rouge.
  • Usually with Tales Of games, the canon pairing is right there as the lead male and female. Tales of Vesperia however, goes to great lengths of implying a will they/won't they relationship between ill tempered sorceress Rita and sheltered Princess Estelle as well as an Are They/Aren't They one with childhood best friends Yuri and Flynn. The PS3 version only intensifies it.
  • Dungeon Maker II: The Hidden War has one between the female main character and Greg the apothecary. She thinks he's too much of a genius to approach. He's too bumbling and shy to tell her how he really feels. Despite this, they're clearly crazy about each other.

    Visual Novels 
  • From Ace Attorney we have Detective Gumshoe and Maggey Byrde. It's all but said explicitly the Gumshoe has a huge crush on Maggey, going so far as to have Phoenix smuggle weenies into the Detention Centre when she's accused of murder (again) and 'confessing' to have committed a murder when he can see the evidence piling up to frame Maggey (again).

    Web Comics 
  • Check, Please! has this situation between the main leads Bitty and Jack. The first year has their relationship going from Jack screaming at Bitty to an eventual mutual respect, trust and friendship with lots of Ship Tease sprinkled once they get closer. Year 2 tunes it way up by Bitty falling for Jack and possibly vice versa, but both being very Oblivious to Love, nobody does anything with it. In the finale of Year 2, Jack runs across campus to find Bitty and kiss him, as off Year 3, they are the Official Couple of the comic.
    • The situation is downplayed, but still very much present between their best friends Lardo and Shitty, who overflow with Unresolved Sexual Tension and dance around each other even more than Jack and Bitty.
  • Any and Professor T.X. from M9 Girls! The tension comes from the obvious age difference, but mainly because the Professor's allegiance is still doubtful. Any does not seem to mind, though.
  • Lampshaded in this strip of Girly, while playing the trope straight (no pun intended).
    • They do. BOY do they ever.
    • It's also good to know that the majority of the comic is the main couple together with very little romantic problems, most of the stress comes from other weird things happening and other characters getting together.
  • Sluggy Freelance. Torg's been pining after Zoe for years. He even hooked up with the Zoe from an alternate dimension. However he never tells her how he feels, and if he did Oasis might kill Zoe for stealing Torg's affection. To be fair, alternate dimension Zoe did die, and Torg still blames himself for failing to keep her safe. So he's developed his fear of Oasis killing Zoe into more then just an excuse and well into realistic territory.
    • And it is realistic. Oasis's jealousy lead her to kill ice-cream after Torg said he loved chocolate ice-cream.
    • In a recent arc, the question was answered. When Zoe was confronted by an old enemy, she was forced to come to terms with her relationship with Torg, and Zoe realized not only that Torg loves her, but she loves him back.
  • In Something*Positive, Pee-Jee and Davan were like this for quite some time — but as it turns out, it's just the author messing with his reader's heads. (The Ship Tease has dialed back considerably since Davan found a new girlfriend, of whom Pee-Jee is quite fond.)
  • Punch an' Pie plays with this by starting the two leads as a couple, breaking them up, and then leaving it deliberately unclear whether or not they will get back together.
  • Questionable Content was entirely built on the Unresolved Sexual Tension between Faye and Marten for the first 500 comics until the talk, which killed whatever might have happened between them. However, the strip managed successfully to continue from that point and become arguably something different entirely, and nowadays Marten, Faye and a lot of the old gang have gone Out of Focus in favor of Hannelore and Marigold. Will They or Won't They? also occurs in various other "relationships" that Faye lands into.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Elan and Haley. It goes between them for a very long time, until their lives depend on it.
  • This Is Not Fiction has the main characters Julian and Landon. They have so much Ship Tease that a lot of people, including their mutual friend Isaiah and Julian's mother think they are dating. It's eventually revealed that Landon is indeed in love with Julian, and it's reciprocal. They dance around the subject a lot and the situation eventually made the whole "Quest for Sidney Morgan" a background plot, something recognized in-universe. Eventually, during a party, they finally kiss, though whether they are boyfriends now is still discussed.
  • Red String: If recent events say anything, Eiji and Reika will be dancing around the issue until eternity.
    • Update: They Do. And there was much rejoicing.
  • Magick Chicks: Faith and Tiffany have had UST since the beginning of the comic. Tiffany's been fighting it because she thinks of Faith as her nemesis and because she's straight, though she's finally reached the point where she can no longer deny the attraction. Faith has repeatedly made her feelings clear on the matter and awaits Tiffany's decision.
  • Ellen and Nanase from El Goonish Shive. They get together after Grace's birthday party.
    • This trope is referenced in the commentary of this page regarding Agents Cranium and Wolf, with Dan Shive's answer to the question being: "there is no 'will they, won't they' issue with Wolf and Cranium. They have, they will again, and they utterly fail at hiding it."
    • The current will-they-won't-they paring is Elliot/Susan. The latter's issues with intimacy and physical contact are probably the biggest obstacle to this ship setting sail.
  • MegaTokyo: Piro and Kimiko for the longest time. With their relationship now on pause, Piro/Miho are also on the list. Yuki and Kobayashi.
  • Although it's far from a central plot element, the title characters of Penny and Aggie are an example, with speculation and shipping occurring both in-universe (Sara, from the early arc "The Ticket" to the present) and within the fandom (which also has many Penny/Aggie anti-shippers). Complicated by the attraction being entirely one-sided at first; Penny has erotic dreams and occasional daytime "twinges" for Aggie, but not vice versa, although Aggie's dream in "The Lady and the Tiger" suggests she's subconsciously aware of the other's feelings. Also complicating matters is that, despite Word of God confirming that both title characters have "bisexual leanings", their principal romantic plotlines for the vast majority of the comic so far have all involved boys. That Aggie did eventually decide she was homosexual doesn't appear to have cleared up the issue. More recently, Penny made increasingly clear overtures to Aggie, and the interest was now seen to be mutual, and they've now shared their tentative First Kiss. Then, judging from their action, and their friends' discussion of it in this strip, They Do.
  • In Keychain of Creation, this is a major background element to Misho and Marena's relationship. Misho is of the "won't" mindset, while Marena... let's just say she's not entirely in agreement.
  • Dr. Kinesis and Alice in Evil Plan. It's not for lack of trying, though. Alice is clearly attempting to make moves, but seducing a sexually-repressed mad scientist is about as tough as it sounds.
  • No Pink Ponies Jess and... unnamed guy (Fanon states his name is Cute Comic Guy or CCG for short)) in No Pink Ponies. They do
  • In an early Leftover Soup strip, Ellen makes it absolutely clear that she and Jamie won't. Naturally, this doesn't even stop her best friend from betting it will.
  • Faux Pas has this with Randy and Cindy. Miscommunication and Randy's innocence keep getting in the way. They eventually do get together and start a family.
  • Yun-lee and Dong-whi in Nineteen, Twenty-One. Dong-whi does openly like her but after that and some slight jealousy it doesn't come up until it's resolved at the end.
  • Viana Doesulen and Thomas Millwood are in this situation throughout Deer Me. It's pretty clear the attraction is mutual, but each initially thinks the other isn't interested (or in the case of Thomas, fears that Viana would beat him up if he tried anything). While the webcomic has really presented several chances for a Relationship Upgrade, it never reaches that point.
  • Kat and Art in Sequential Art have been shown here and there throughout the series to have mutual interest in each other, but both seem unaware of this and too hesitant to do anything about it. Every time it gets brought up it feels like it's about to go somewhere, then doesn't.
  • A.J. and Miranda from User Friendly were like this for a very long time. They finally got together several years after they met.
    • It would've happened sooner, but Miranda deleted a "love e-letter" A.J. had sent. Very forgivable, as the real "ILOVEYOU" e-mail worm was propagating at the time of that comic.
  • In Homestuck, this is what Karkat and Terezi's relationship adds up to. It's been going on since before we knew those characters by name. They were never officially in a relationship, but they have had plenty of romantic tension. For example, Dave has stated once that he believes Karkat is jealous that his "girlfriend" (Terezi) has a thing for him, though neither Karkat nor Terezi (especially the former) like to talk about their relationship.
    • Ultimately however, the ship appears to have sunk.
  • After years of Belligerent Sexual Tension, Keith and Natani from TwoKinds seem to be slowly inching towards a Relationship Upgrade. Justified in that both of them have boatloads of mental issues to work through.
  • Ménage à 3: Gary interactions with pretty much anyone, especially Zii, DiDi, Sonya, and Yuki, tend to involve this trope. Sometimes, this is eventually answered, and sometimes it isn't. At some points, the trope manifests in the relationships between DiDi and Sandra and DiDi and Matt, too.

    Notably, Gary and Zii were clearly developing an increasing mutual attraction during the last few volumes of the comic’s run, complicated by the facts that (a) Gary thought that Zii was out of his league, (b) Zii thought of Gary as a hopeless geek and a little brother figure, and (c) they were both usually involved with other people (not that this tends to stop anyone in this comic). But then the comic ended. The creators have acknowledged that they set the pairing up as a serious possibility, but then decided not to do anything with it — but the fact that the option was never even discussed and rejected in the comic left it looking like an annoying dangling plot thread.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Starfire and Robin of the Teen Titans, from the day they first met (and beat each other up), for the entire series.
  • Beast Boy and Raven in the comedy-focused series Teen Titans Go!. The show routinely teases their relationship, even devoting a whole episode to them almost getting married.
  • Babs and Buster Bunny (No relation) in Tiny Toon Adventures.
  • In ReBoot, Bob and Dot. It took them until the end of the last season to get together and engaged — but it wasn't even the real Bob anyway. In the comic continuation, they keep trying to get married but something always comes up.
  • Futurama: Fry and Leela, ARE THEY EVER! They have (technically) married twice, but both marriages were very brief, albeit for non-personal reasons. One involves time going at accelerated speeds, due to one of Farnsworth's "brilliant" ideas the other an aged version of Fry under an alternate persona who dumps Leela at the altar after realizing it will cause a time travel paradox. Fry claims to have been fallen in love with Leela at first sight but that doesn't stop him from dating or having sex with other women. Leela very often snubs his advances, sometimes rather harshly. After a decade, she finally admits she loves him and they have an on again off again relationship for a season before becoming an official couple in the last (as of now) season.
  • Justice League:
    • Green Lantern and Hawkgirl. After they finally admit their feelings for each other (at the end of "Wild Cards"), the very next episode ("Starcrossed") involves a big reveal that causes them to break up and Hawkgirl to leave. By the time she returns from her 10-Minute Retirement, GL is dating another superhero. In spite of this, the two still have feelings for each other. They still aren't a couple by the end of the series, but the existence of their Kid from the Future, Warhawk, implies that they do eventually end up together. Word of God says they'll get together eventually.
    • We also have Batman and Wonder Woman dancing to this, from Batman's insistence that they are Just Friends and frantically digging the rubble that had apparently buried Diana (even hiding his dirt-covered hands from her afterwards) and Wonder Woman herself flirting often with Batman and getting a bit shy after their Fake-Out Make-Out in "Starcrossed".
  • Ulrich and Yumi of Code Lyoko. Their 4-season long on-again-off-again-green-eyed-monster-just-friends-not-just-friends-vague-implications dance makes even their shippers cringe. At the beginning of season four, we had the "I dump you but we're still friends and it's not dumping because we were just friends all along" scene (yes, this sums up how exaggerated this trope was) just after the only really dangerous rival was turned into a Big Bad's minion. It's even more ridiculous when you consider that everyone but them considers the two a couple despite their constant denials.
  • Batman and Catwoman in Batman: The Animated Series, despite Selina's countless attempts to seduce Bruce with her catty double entendres.
  • Sam Manson and Danny Fenton/Phantom from Danny Phantom have this throughout the entire series starting in the first few episodes. Continuous hints and leads point to this, to even a scenario where they both have the exact same dream of them dating, but nothing comes from it until the last episode, where they have a Last Minute Hookup.
  • Katara and Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Many shippers were waiting from the first episode to see them get together (or rooting for Zuko to take Aang's place) and finally discovered that they did get together in the last episode.
  • In the sequel The Legend of Korra, Korra and Mako take this role for the first season. They feel attracted to each other since the moment they meet, but then constant bickering, Mako getting a girlfriend despite still having much UST with Korra, having to fight the Equalists and Korra getting kidnapped keeps them from getting together until the last episode of the season, which was originally intended to be the last of the series. Then comes the second season, and their conflicting personalities and life goals prove to be too much for their relationship and they break up.
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Fred and Daphne. As of episode 26, Fred broke off their engagement because of drama. As of the ending, they admitted that they love each other and are apparently engaged in the new timeline.
  • Ant-Man and Wasp in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!. Three attempts he made during the first season to confess his love for her didn't go as planned, and his quitting the Avengers further harmed their chances of starting a relationship.
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures gives us Pepper and Tony. Though YMMV with the last episode of Season 2 where Tony kisses her on the cheek.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door has Numbah 3 and Numbah 4 filling this spot.
  • Sterling and Lana Kane of Archer. Lampshaded in part three of "Heart of Archness":
    Noah: Oh my God! Just screw already!
    Buckey: Seriously.
    Rip Riley: Then kill each other. Then shut up. Then kill each other again. Then call me, so I can watch.
  • Total Drama has Alejandro and Heather. The two are perfect for each other and Everyone Can See It, but their competitive natures prevented them from having an actual relationship which they both realized in All Stars. Once they were both eliminated, they could finally be together, and are confirmed to to be a couple in the finale.
    • Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race has Carrie and Devin, a.k.a the Best Friends. She's been in love with him since they were kids but he's completely oblivious to it. Eventually she decides to try and give up on him...just in time for him to realise he's in love with her. In the end he confesses his feelings and they end up together.
  • Sprx and Nova in Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!. They spend 4 seasons with the routine of him teasing her and flirting to then get punched by her, saving each other in battle, getting jealous when the other shows interest in someone else and occasional near confessions on Sprx's part. They don't get some sort of resolution until the final episode where Nova confesses her love for him to break him out of his Brainwashed and Crazy state.
  • Kaeloo: The relationship between Kaeloo and Mr. Cat. Even the other characters have figured out that they're in love with each other, but they're both oblivious to the fact that the other likes them.


Example of: