Follow TV Tropes


Playing With / The Not-Love Interest

Go To

Basic Trope: A pair of characters who, despite going through a dynamic that is typically seen in romantic couples, is not romantically involved with one another.

  • Straight: Sir Charles rescues Princess Alice from bandits. But even though Lady Alice is impressed by Charles's gallant act, the incident doesn't lead to Rescue Romance, and their relationship remains professional.
  • Exaggerated: Sir Charles rescues Princess Alice and is offered her hand in marriage as his Standard Hero Reward. Even though Charles did not seem to object to this arrangement, he is inexplicably not married to the Princess in the next episode, and their dynamic remains as formal as it was before—as if the rescue arc never happened.
  • Advertisement:
  • Downplayed: Princess Alice becomes Charles's Temporary Love Interest, but they eventually break up.
  • Justified: Both Charles and Alice have their own Love Interests; despite some intimate moments between the two, they are not enough to break the ties they already have with their significant others.
  • Inverted: Sir Charles and Alice are betrothed, according to the bonus character bio, but due to their differing responsibilities, they almost never spend any time together.
  • Subverted: Sir Charles's act of rescuing Princess Alice did not lead to Rescue Romance... at first. But then Charles falls ill, and he falls in love with Alice when she deigns herself to take care of him whilst he recovers.
  • Double Subverted: Princess Alice tells Charles that his medication's effect may induce passions akin to romantic attraction. When Charles recovers, he realizes that he's not really in love with Alice.
  • Advertisement:
  • Parodied: Both Charles and Alice are Oblivious to Love Chaste Heroes, and despite the universe (plus Cupid) trying to make them fall in love with each other, they never do.
  • Zig Zagged: Charles and Alice forms an Adventure Duo who go through many intimate moments during their travels, after which one or both of them would briefly consider romance. But they always decide that they're Better as Friends.
  • Averted:
  • Enforced: "We need to have a Romance Arc. The audience love that. But we can't have the hero actually hook up with the girl afterwards. That'll end his adventure."
  • Lampshaded: "You're not going to court the Princess? After you rescued her from those bandits? That's... rare."
  • Advertisement:
  • Invoked: ???
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: ???
  • Discussed: "I may have rescued the Princess, but that doesn't mean she has to fall in love with me, nor I her."
  • Conversed: "They say that Charles and Alice aren't in love each other. But the way they interact, they might as well be married."
  • Deconstructed: Charles and Alice's respective love interest sees how good Charles and Alice look together, and becomes increasingly worried, insecure and/or jealous about this, putting a lot of strain into all of their relationships.
  • Reconstructed: Charles and Alice gathers the four together to clear things up, and everyone makes peace with each other.
  • Played For Laughs: Sir Charles's friends, wrongly assuming that he's going to marry the Princess, throws a bachelor party for him after his return. Sir Charles is clueless about this and goes along because he thought the party was for someone else. Hilarity Ensues when the truth is cleared up.
  • Played For Drama: Evil Chancellor Dogan spreads a rumour that because Sir Charles have rescued the Princess, they would inevitably fall in love and elope. Princess Alice's betrothed, Prince Bob, wages a war against Alice's kingdom over this perceived betrayal.

Back to The Not-Love Interest

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: