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Oblivious To Love / Live-Action TV

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  • 7 Yüz: In the episode "Prosedür", Ridvan seems completely unaware that his ex-girlfriend (and co-worker) Banu still has feelings toward him. While she might not be the most forthcoming about it, you'd expect him to take a hint after the handwritten poems, visits to his desk, and jealousy toward recent girlfriend İrem — yet her revelation comes as a complete surprise and leaves him momentarily dumbfounded.
  • In the Season 5 Angel episode "Smile Time", Wesley is the one who informs Angel that Nina obviously has feelings for him, all while ignoring the hints that Fred loves him. It takes a direct kiss from Fred for Wesley to notice, but he reciprocates quickly.
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    • ...which makes sense, since a few seasons before he had been crushing on her. Oblivious Love Switcheroo?
  • Best Friends Whenever:
    • Shelby is utterly incapable of even considering the possibility that any boy could possibly like her, no matter how obvious they make it. Boys try to give her flowers, chocolates, and other stock romantic gifts all the time, but she thinks they all must be coming to her just to get a girl's opinion on their gift to make sure it's good before they give it to the girl they actually like.
    • Naldo also never knew that Cyd has a crush on him in the fourth grade.
  • The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon's assistant has a thing for Leonard. He is oblivious, but Penny sees it and is clearly jealous.
  • A psychiatrist on Bones tells Dr. Sweets that only one of the Booth/Brennan pairing is aware of their mutual feelings. Since Booth is normally the best with emotions and has shown more signs of being possessive and jealous, we're left to assume that Brennan is the oblivious one. Entirely in keeping with her nature, though.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
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    • There are two examples of this in Season One. Xander develops a huge crush on Buffy, who is oblivious to his advances until he asks her to the dance in the season finale, while he himself is unaware of Willow's feelings.
      • There are hints that Buffy is aware, just uninterested. Xander, on the other hand, is oblivious to Willow's feelings feelings for him.
    • In Season 5 Buffy is unaware of Spike falling for her despite their past Foe Yay and his recent Stalker with a Crush behaviour — it's her little sister Dawn who points out the obvious. Even then Buffy can't quite believe it until Spike's Anguished Declaration of Love.
    • In Season Eight, when Buffy's loneliness and need for stability compels her to go to Xander. Xander declines, having long since decided he and Buffy are Better as Friends.
  • On Castle, Beckett is guilty of this in the first season finale. Castle himself is guilty of this in the second season finale and again in the third season opener, when he can't understand why Beckett is so upset with him for not calling immediately when he got back into town. By season three's finale, neither one is oblivious anymore. It goes something like this:
    Castle: (concerned) I'm your partner, Kate. I'm your friend.
    Beckett: (angrily) Is that all we are?
    Castle: (angrily) Yes. No. I don't know. We kiss and then we never talk about it, so no, I don't know what the Hell we are.
    • In the last scenes of the third season finale after Kate is shot, Castle outright declares to her that he loves her. Whether she'll remember is another story.
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    • Leave it to a show like Castle to make the drama even cheesier. She remembers all right. She's just faking amnesia.
    • Throughout season four they seem to go back and forth with the Oblivious Ball (most noticeable when Castle finds out that Beckett lied about not remembering what happened when she was shot and subsequently went back to his bimbo a day habit) until the finale. They sure as Hell aren't oblivious anymore.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor to Martha. Eventually, she gives him an Anguished Declaration of Love, which they subsequently agree to ignore in order to preserve their friendship. Later on, he describes to her a device that keeps them hidden from the hypnotised public to her as "It's like when you fancy someone, but they don't even know you exist." He rushes off, and Captain Jack reads her expression: "You too, huh?" (The Doctor either is oblivious or chooses to ignore Martha's interest due to him spending Series 3 pining for his Lost Lenore, Rose Tyler.)
      • This is paralleled with Professor Yana and his enamoured assistant Chantho in "Utopia", also serving as foreshadowing that Yana is actually an amnesiac, turned-human Master.
    • By contrast, Ten and Donna were decidedly not interested in each other, but it became a Running Gag that they were constantly mistaken for a couple.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with the Eleventh Doctor at the end of "Flesh and Stone".
      Amy: I nearly died! I was alone, in the dark, and I nearly died. And it made me think.
      The Doctor: Ah, yes... Natural. I think sometimes. Well... lots of times.
      Amy: About what I want. About who I want. You know what I mean?
      The Doctor: Yeah. ...No.
      Amy: About who... I want.
      The Doctor: Oh right, yeah. ...No. Still not getting it. note 
    • It goes the other way in "The Lodger", when the Doctor is able to immediately recognise the UST between two other characters who are both afraid to admit it out loud. This and other cues in the series suggest that he is aware of his companions' feelings, but ignores them to avoid relationship issues (or possibly just because he has issues). Or perhaps he is only oblivious when it directly involves him. (In the tie-in novel Death and Diplomacy he responds to a blatant come-on by saying "I'm well-known for failing to notice such things, or getting them slightly but distinctly wrong. It saves so much trouble.")
    • He also deliberately suppresses romantic attraction, since any human he gets involved with will age and eventually die, in what would appear to him to be no time at all. Avoiding being reminded of this might even be why most of his companions are young. (Which the Dream Lord enjoyed pointing out to him.)
    • Amy was oblivious to Rory for years, assuming he was gay when he never showed interest in any (other) girls. And Rory was oblivious to the fact that Amy really loved him; originally, he assumed she was in love with the Doctor.
    • River Song's belief that the Doctor was oblivious to her love for him is a plot point in several episodes, most memorably "The Husbands of River Song".
    • There are several moments in Series 8 where it is hinted at that the Twelfth Doctor is still interested in Clara, despite her finding a human boyfriend. Examples include his Badass Boast "Beat that for a date!" when Clara is out of earshot in "Time Heist", his undisguised jealousy towards Danny (said boyfriend) in "The Caretaker", and pretty much every scene he shares with Clara in "Mummy on the Orient Express".
    • By Series 9 it is no longer disguised that the Doctor is in love with Clara, with him spending a good portion of the season in a state of anticipatory grief at the prospect of losing her. Although Word of God (actress Jenna Coleman in multiple interviews) has confirmed that Clara was also in love with the Doctor, it is made clear in the Series 9 finale episode "Hell Bent" that she is not aware of the depth of the Doctor's feelings for her until she learns that he spent 4.5 billion years executing a Batman Gambit to prevent her death.
    • "Resolution": Archaeologists Lin and Mitch only realize that their New Year's kiss meant something more to both of them while talking about it at work later. Apparently, Mitch left the party and misunderstood Lin's text asking him to follow her.
  • Isobel Crawley of Downton Abbey manages to give the "I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship" speech to Dr Clarkson without realising she's giving it. And literally has no idea that he's not only in love with her but openly courting her. Wow, Isobel. Wow. She is generally a clever woman, but that takes a special kind of obliviousness. Whether she wises up or not remains to be seen, but if she's not desperately in love with him (and oblivious to that, as well), somebody needs to tell Penelope Wilton, because she's sure as hell playing it like she is.
  • It is implied that this may partially be the cause of Mal and Inara's UST in Firefly, at least on Mal's side. The episode "Heart of Gold" very strongly indicates that while Mal is attracted to Inara, he is unaware she is attracted to him.
    • It's very possible Mal is a rare male version of the Broken Bird variant of this trope, and despite his insults and Hypocritical Heartwarming doesn't think he's worthy of her. It's why her calling him a petty thief hurts his feelings so much.
    • Simon is oblivious to Kaylee's feelings for him because of his preoccupation with his sister's recovery. In Serenity he makes his Anguished Declaration of Love right before a fight with the reavers, and he apologizes to Kaylee for not recognizing her advances, and confesses that his biggest regret is never being with her - which causes the quivering Kaylee to Take A Level In Badass so as to live to take him up on it.
  • The Flash (2014): For the first nine episodes of Season One, Iris West remains completely unaware that her best friend Barry Allen is in love with her (and has been for most of their lives), until he finally confessed to her at Christmas, knowing full well that she had a boyfriend that she was in a steady relationship with. The ill-timing was due to being in a coma and the fact that he couldn't keep lying to her about this. She's also oblivious to her own feelings for Barry, which is something everyone, including Eddie Thawne, said boyfriend, and eventually Barry himself (due to time travel) could see. Joe even explicitly pointed this out when explaining to Barry why he pulled the Parental Marriage Veto card on Eddie when he asked Joe for his blessing to marry Iris — he knew Iris would eventually realize that she loved Barry more, and realize her marriage to Eddie would be a mistake.
  • Frasier: For over seven years, Niles was obviously smitten by Daphne, and everyone except Daphne could see it. She only found out when Frasier accidentally spilled the beans while high on pain pills.
  • Friends: Rachel to Ross in season 1, Ross to Rachel in the first half of season 2 and Rachel to Gunther except for the final episode.
    • Rachel to Joey in season 8. This happens to Rachel a lot.
    • It's hinted that Chandler has a mild crush on Monica in 'TOW the Beach' episode: He offers to be her boyfriend but she thinks he's joking and laughs. Ouch.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Daenerys Targaryen takes until mid-Season 2 (and half-a-dozen people pointing it out first), to start wondering if Jorah Mormont is in love with her, though in the books, she figures it out herself early in A Clash of Kings, and even then, she doesn't appear to really realize it until Jorah outright tells her he's in love with her midway through Season 6.
    • Robert Baratheon. Not to anyone in love with him, mind you, but to who very pointedly wasn't in love with him. While he was madly in love with Lyanna Stark, Lyanna had no interest in him and was instead smitten with Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. Rhaegar was equally in love with her, and as the pair carried on a very unsubtle love affair over the years, Robert refused to believe Lyanna shared Rhaegar's feelings for her. When the pair departed for Dorne together in secret, Robert flew into a rage, accusing Rhaegar of abducting Lyanna (and raping her to boot), and used it to ignite his rebellion against the Targaryen crownnote . Lyanna, meanwhile, died begging Ned to protect her and Rhaegar's son, in utter fear of what Robert would do to the boy if he knew his true parentage, while Robert, without any knowledge of this, spent the past 20 years mourning her death to the point of poisoning his marriage to Cersei, who at one point did legitimately love him herself.
  • Get Smart: Depending on the episode, Max was either oblivious to 99's feelings for him, or aware (and felt the same) but was too socially awkward to show it. This actually continued right up until the point that he proposed to her.
  • On Glee, Blaine had no clue that Kurt saw him as anything more than a friend. And Kurt's not exactly subtle when it comes to his crushes. It got to the point where (after helping Blaine serenade another guy on Valentine's Day), Kurt flat out told Blaine that he thought he was the one about to be swept off his feet. Blaine seemed plenty sympathetic... until the next episode, when he expected Kurt to be perfectly fine with him dating Rachel, and the one after that, where he tried to give Kurt sex advice and told him that his seductive faces looked like he had gas. Face Palm.
  • Good Omens (2019): A platonic (maybe) version between Aziraphale and Crowley. Even when it's blatantly obvious that Crowley genuinely cares for Aziraphale as a result of an emotional connection, not simply the terms of "the arrangement" or as part of some demonic game, Aziraphale either doesn't realise or won't let himself admit that Crowley is being sincere.
  • Horatio Hornblower can never pick this up, an outward expression of the book version's more internal disbelief that anyone could feel such a thing about him. It's most prominent in the third series. First he doesn't see Maria Mason's obvious crush on him (even though Bush notices immediately and points it out). He doesn't quite realize or understand Bush's admiration and affection. And when Pellew says that "it's very hard for a father to see his children grow up," Hornblower utterly fails to comprehend that Pellew is telling him "you are Like a Son to Me."
  • In the majority of the first two seasons of House of Anubis Mara is painfully oblivious to Jerome's crush. (She is also somehow oblivious to the entire mystery, but that's a different story.) It gets to where she fake dates him to make her long distance ex jealous, and this exchange occurs:
    Mara: Look at these pictures, it looks like you're really in love.
    Jerome: [staring at her longingly and not listening] What?
    Mara: I said, you're a really great actor.
  • Seems to be the set up for Barney and Robin in How I Met Your Mother Barney actually tells Robin that he loves her in "Benefits", but she thinks that he's commenting on Ted's neediness. In season seven, it's Barney's turn to be the oblivious one.
  • On iCarly, one of Zoey 101's Spiritual Successors, it's inverted, with Carly completely aware of Freddie's love for her. It's mentioned in their first scene together with Carly asking Freddie to get over the crush he has, but it fails to fade away, and as they grow up, his crush blooms into a serious case of Just Friends love for Carly.
    • This plays until the ending of "iOMG", when Freddie is unaware of Sam's love for him, thinking that she has a crush on someone else.
  • An episode of In Plain Sight has Mary helping a witness who's in love with a suspect in the case he's involved with, something Mary figures out fast. They eventually bring the woman in to get her help with Mary snapping about how this guy is going to all these lengths to help the woman he loves... and is stunned when the woman is actually surprised to realize this.
  • Moss from The IT Crowd is completely oblivious to a woman flirting with him and had a crowning moment of obliviousness when she complimented his glasses.
    Moss: I'm afraid they're not for sale.
    Woman: Ha ha.
    Moss: Laugh all you want, they're not for sale.
  • Lizzie McGuire is completely oblivious to Gordo's feelings for her, despite him dropping quite a few hints throughout the show's run. Lizzie didn't get it until the final season when Kate got fed up with this trope and flat out told Lizzie that everyone else in the school knew Gordo liked her.
  • In The Muppets, Sam the Eagle develops a crush on Janice, who seems completely unaware of his attempts to flirt with her. He gets a Throw the Dog a Bone moment in the Christmas episode when she kisses him for being nice to Chip, the IT guy.
  • My So-Called Life: Angela is less oblivious to Brian as Brian never really tells her.
    • Unless you count the time he took her to the dance, and suggested they might go off together. In a subversion of the Anguished Declaration of Love, she is completely disgusted by the idea.
      • On the other hand, when she asked him to ride with her, he dumped Delia, then lied about it to Angela. When Angela saw Delia at the dance, the jig was up. In other words, he was just as oblivious to Delia's crush as she was to his. Maybe even more so.
  • Maxwell is completely oblivious to CC's crush on The Nanny. Made even more hilarious by all the snide comments Niles makes, because literally Everyone Can See It, just not Max. (Even Gracie, although considering how precocious she was as a kid, that's not very surprising.)
  • In the NCIS episode "In the Dark" a blind photographer was unaware that his assistant was in love with him and was tailing him when he went out to take pictures.
    • Tony tries to keep McGee from playing this with regard to an Israeli woman who conspicuously flirts with him:
      Tony: So help me, McBlivious, if you don't pounce on that hot Israeli action, I will never forgive you.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Mr. Boynton is oblivious to the fact that Miss Brooks is in love with him. He only really catches on in the movie. A typical exchange:
    Phillip Boynton: Fate seems to be pitching us together.
    Connie Brooks: Compared to me, fate is a sandlot pitcher.
  • Parks and Recreation:
    • Andy is oblivious to April's crush on him. As of Season 3, April and Andy are in a relationship, but now it's Leslie who doesn't seem to notice Ben's growing crush on her.
    • In Season 3's "Soulmates", Leslie is the one who asks him out first, though to her dismay Ben turns her down due to Chris's anti-fraternization rules. He does initiate their first kiss, though.
  • In Pushing Daisies, it was a while before Ned twigged that Olive had romantic feelings for him, despite some really blatant flirting on her part in the first episode.
  • Sergeant Bruce Hornsby is completely oblivious to Corporal Angie Ogden's interest in Red Cap.
  • In Robin Hood, Robin was more or less oblivious to Kate up until the time they got together - and then for most of the time after that as well.
  • Salem: John Alden is unaware of Anne Hale's feelings for him, and he doesn't trust that Mary Sibley still cares for him no matter how many times she risks herself to protect him from the witches.
  • Schitt's Creek:
    • David thinks he has a Friends with Benefits relationship with his Best Friend Stevie. He invites her to come live with him in New York, but he doesn't realize that she is in love with him and thinks the invitation is as a girlfriend. When it turns out David must stay in town, they decided they are Better as Friends.
    • Alexis becomes friends with her ex-Ted in Season 2, and she is shocked when he tells her just how much he had loved her and just how badly she had hurt him. She eventually wins him back and becomes a devoted, if at times inept, girlfriend.
    • David's business partner Patrick has a crush on him, but David misses the obvious signs. Eventually, they enter into a relationship and become engaged.
  • In Scrubs Ted is so oblivious to Gooch's subtle (and not so subtle) hints she's attracted to him that she assumes he isn't interested and is just too nice to say. Though Ted musters up the courage to tell her it's because he thinks she so great he couldn't have imagined her actually feeling the same.
    Gooch: I'm an idiot. I've been dropping all these subtle hints that I like you. Sideways glances. The secret smiles. Telling you I wanna screw you. You're clearly not interested.
  • In Selfie, Henry is completely ignorant to a friendly barista's attempts to casually flirt with him, as set up by Charmonique and Eliza.
    Henry: I didn't order this cookie.
    Barista: [giggles] I know, I just thought maybe you'd like to try it.
    Henry: It has nuts.
    Barista: You can eat around the nuts.
    Henry: No thanks. Too much work. I don't want it.
    Barista: Look, Henry, the cookie was my way of saying...
    Henry: You're gonna screw up your inventory. Where's Romy?
  • In the first episode of Sherlock, "A Study in Pink", Molly Hooper is clearly interested in Sherlock and finally works up the courage to ask him if maybe he'd like to have some coffee. His response?
    Sherlock: Black, two sugars, please. I'll be upstairs. (walks off)
    • Subverted in the next episode when he uses Molly's feelings for him to manipulate her, revealing that he is well aware of her interest but just chooses not to respond to it unless it's useful for him to do so.
    • Played straight again at the Christmas party where Sherlock deduces that Molly must be off to see a new boyfriend because she's dressed up and has very carefully wrapped one of her presents - completely failing to realise it's intended for him. He even apologizes for this afterwards.
  • Clark regarding Chloe's feelings for him in Smallville. But under the influence of Red Kryptonite or other forms of Phlebotinum, Kal repeatedly taunts her with the truth that Clark just doesn't feel that way for her. Not always though; Chloe got a nice long make out session with him in Rush, the second time he is affected by red kryptonite.
  • Stargate Universe: Chloe at least acts like this vis-à-vis Eli for most of the first season, until the finale episode, where it's made clear she isn't quite oblivious as she appears.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. Commander Chakotay has subtly hinted a number of times to Captain Janeway that he's attracted to her; she's either oblivious, prefers loneliness to the problems of becoming involved with a subordinate, or may just be remaining faithful to her fiance.
    • This came to a head in a season two episode where Chakotay and Janeway both contracted a terribly infectious virus, and were left on a planet with an atmosphere that could keep the virus at bay while Voyager went on. Their UST was off the charts, but it culminated in Chakotay telling a 'story' that described how he cared for her and would be happy just staying by her side, whether her feelings were reciprocated or not. They never even got to kiss.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Kira is oblivious to Odo. Of course, Kira's obliviousness is quite justified as Odo deliberately refuses to let his feelings show. Amusingly, in a DVD extra Nana Visitor remembered that at the time she thought it was ridiculous that Kira could work that close to someone and not realize he had feelings for her - until her co-star Alexander Siddig revealed his feelings for her (the two went on to marry).
    • It takes a while for Worf to realize Jadzia is into him.
    • Word of God says that Garak fell for Bashir, but Executive Meddling means that Bashir never even had a chance to notice.
  • It's obvious from their first scene on Supergirl (2015) that Winn is crazy about Kara, even before she tells him about her powers. He seems drawn to her as both Kara and Supergirl and jealous of James' relationship with Kara. Kara remains oblivious to it all until Winn (anguished after his murderous father came after him) finally confesses his feelings. He kisses her with a surprised Kara gently letting Winn down that she only thinks of him as a friend. While disappointed, Winn does accept this and they remain just good friends from there on.
  • Josh on The West Wing. Donna is in love with him for years and he doesn't notice. Then when they kiss he apologizes and seems to worry that he's wronged her. She responds by trying to hand him her room key but the whole thing is inadvertently thwarted by a member of the Santos campaign and he seems to just forget about it. When they finally do sleep together (on her initiative) he still worries that she needs space and that she regrets it.
    • He also seems completely oblivious to the fact that Amy is still in love with him at the start of season four.
  • In The Worst Year of My Life, Again, Alex has absolutely no idea that Maddy has a crush on him. It's suggested that it's because they've known each other since they were very young, so he just doesn't think of her like that.
  • The X-Files:
    • At the end of "Triangle", Mulder flat-out says "I love you" to Scully. Her only response is to mutter an exasperated "Oh brother" and walk off. Admittedly Mulder had just been raving about how he and Scully had just saved the world from the Nazis back in 1939, so Scully clearly felt Mulder had hit his head too hard, not realising it was actually a matter of her hitting Mulder too hard. And it's not like he was really keeping it a secret before that. Several characters had mentioned it or assumed they were together.
    • Mulder and Scully routinely ignore obvious signs that the other has feelings for them. In the first movie, they have an Almost Kiss but both ignore it. Then a writer who is known to get in people's heads literally says to them, "Agent Scully is already in love." Of course, they both ignore it.
    • Even the actors found it ridiculous.
      David Duchovny: (on what he would say to Mulder) For Christ’s sake, fuck that girl. Look at the way she’s looking at you. Are you blind? Why do you think her mouth is always open?
    • Conversely, Doggett tends to be oblivious to Agent Reye's feelings for him.
    • The entire sixth season episode "The Rain King" more or less revolves around this trope.
  • On Zoey 101, Zoey is oblivious to Chase's feelings for her. This gets painful when it drags on for three years, despite multiple attempts by Chase to tell her his feelings. She's oblivious even after she is told flat-out by her friends that Chase is in love with her, and had been since he met her. Lola even goes so far as to pull a random student from the hallway. And Zoey still doesn't believe it!
    Lola: Ginny, could you come here a minute?
    Ginny: What's up?
    Lola: "Blank" is in love with Zoey. Fill in the blank.
    Ginny: [matter-of-factly] Chase.
    Lola: Thanks for playing.


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