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Playing With / Everyone Can See It

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Basic Trope: Two characters whose sexual/romantic attraction is obvious to everyone except them.

  • Straight: Alice and Bob very clearly seem to have romantic feelings for each other, but for whatever reason, neither will act on it. Everyone seems to notice this, and some of them try to encourage them.
  • Exaggerated: Alice and Bob make out with each other at regular intervals and routinely go on what could be considered dates, but neither seems to think anything of it. Everyone speaks of them as if they were a couple for years.
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  • Downplayed: Alice and Bob clearly have something of a spark. They don't act out on it, and it's left ambiguous as to whether or not they know about it. Other people might give them an occasional nod or smirk.
  • Justified:
    • One or both is Oblivious to Love.
    • They've been friends for so long that this is just normal behavior for them.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • They really are just friends...Bob is like that around all women.
    • Everyone around Alice and Bob have Shipping Goggles on.
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...but he really cranks it Up to Eleven around Alice...
    • Alice and Bob have admitted their feelings to each other, but are attempting to hide their relationship. No one is remotely fooled.
  • Parodied:
    • Carl is talking to Bob about Alice, telling him to "go for it". Bob has no idea what he means.
    • Alice and Bob are literally made for each other. They were made in a factory specifically to become a couple. Yet they still fail to realize this.
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  • Zig Zagged: They really are just friends, but Bob seems to value Alice's company more. But we later find out that that's just because he values her friendship that much more.
  • Averted: Bob or Alice is upfront with their feelings.
  • Enforced: "We've got a loyal community of Bob/Alice shippers in our fandom, but we've got to drag this out as long as possible to keep 'em watching! Let's have them be unaware of their feelings!"
  • Lampshaded:
    Bob: "Everyone gets the wrong impression on what's going on between me and Alice."
    Carl: "The only ones with the wrong impression are you and her."
    • Alice wonders why she can't find a good guy - then lists off a number of qualities that Bob clearly fulfills.
  • Invoked: Bob's previous relationship ended because they jumped into it too quickly - he therefore decides that he's going to take as long as he has to to find the next one.
  • Exploited: Charlie, Bob's nemesis, attacks Alice. Because he refused to admit that he loved her, he doesn't act as decisively to save her as he might have. This causes him to go unhinged and become an easy target.
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  • Defied: Once Bob starts feeling attracted to Alice, he sits her down and asks her if she feels the same way.
  • Discussed: "Here comes Bob and Alice. They're such a cute couple." "They're not a couple." "They should be." "That's what everyone says."
  • Conversed: "Think the writers can do a Bob and Alice scene without piling on the UST?" "...nope."
  • Deconstructed: The failure to recognize what's in front of them costs Bob and Alice down the line. Both of them miss out on what would have been a fulfilling relationship.
  • Reconstructed: The two are eventually able to realize their feelings: cue Relationship Upgrade.

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