Everyone Can See It

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"It was kind of obvious to everyone but them that they were made for each other."

Corran Horn, Jedi Academy Trilogy, regarding Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade

...Except for them, of course.

This trope happens when two characters are just perfect for each other, but neither realizes it (or only one realizes it). However, everyone around them—such as their friends, family, and enemies—can see their obvious feelings for each other. This can also happen when people (outsiders) mistake them for a couple when they're not together, resulting in a She Is Not My Girlfriend situation, designed to show the audience (and the characters) just how strong/obvious their feelings for each other are.

One of the popular ways to do this is to bring in the Romantic False Lead for an episode or a few, expressly in order to contrast this short-arc relationship with the long-arc relationship that's been developing. The Romantic False Lead will be the character to comment on how perfect they are for each other. Will likely require Selective Obliviousness on both parts.

A sister trope (sub-trope?) of Oblivious to Love (in which one character is oblivious to the unrequited love of (and potential happiness with) another character), Everyone Can See It primarily has to do with the characters around the pair knowing how perfect they are for each other. It is also a frequent companion trope for Belligerent Sexual Tension. Compare It Meant Something to Me, where one character defiantly denies they feel anything for the other.

It can also be seen as an Idiot Ball or Idiot Plot, because the characters' stupidity about their feelings is what fuels the romantic (sub)plot. On the other hand, sometimes this trope will be subverted by "everyone else" seeing feelings that just aren't there due to their Shipping instincts.

See also The Matchmaker, Shipper on Deck, and Transparent Closet.

Examples of Everyone Can See It include:

Anime and Manga

  • Kyon and Haruhi in Suzumiya Haruhi. This is rather difficult to tell, given Kyon is an Unreliable Narrator and half the time he's lying to himself, the reader, or other people. This has created a large Will They or Won't They? among the fanbase, considering Kyon's being especially vague and there being a larger alter-motive behind everything he does that would normally be counted as romantic feelings. However, given the 95% chance he's probably getting with her, Kyon refuses to acknowledge the relationship and says nothing on the subject. This doesn't stop all of his classmates from assuming that he's Haruhi's first love interest in a while, adding to Kyon's reputation for liking "weird girls"...
  • Detective Conan.
    • Heiji and Kazuha. "It's so obvious it can be painful."
    • And to a lesser extent, Shinichi and Ran. Except for the fact that she blatantly tells 'Conan' of her crush in the first episode. Still Selective Obliviousness on his part though.
  • Otani and Risa in Lovely Complex are shipped mercilessly by their friends well before they get into a relationship.
  • Mazinger Z: Kouji and Sayaka. Everyone can see it... but Kouji.
    • Great Mazinger: Tetsuya and Jun. Unfortunately, Tetsuya was even more oblivious. How oblivious? He thought Jun would replace him with Kouji in spite of: Jun barely knew Kouji; and she had spend the whole series trying Tetsuya noticed her.
    • UFO Robo Grendizer: Duke averted this trope with Hikaru and with Rubina. However, Kouji was absolutely oblivious to the feelings of Maria. Of course, he was the only one.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist Alphonse Elric gets some mileage out of teasing Ed and Winry about their obvious feelings for each other. Riza also makes Ed have a rather spectacular Spit Take on poor Black Hayate (resulting in a Crowning Moment of Funny) when she addresses his love for Winry. As a note to just how obvious Ed and Winry are, not only can Al and Riza see it, but Hughes assumes they are in a relationship already. Heck, Bradley and Kimblee seem to have figured it out, which should tell you pretty much everything you need to know about these two. When the literal personification of Wrath and the genocidal Mad Bomber have picked up on it, it's pretty obvious that yes, Everyone Can See It.
    • On the other hand, the cast also ships Roy/Riza. This is an odd case, however. It isn't quite so much that they're in denial about how they feel for each other as it is that they're not allowing themselves to act on it for other reasons. (He's her direct superior in the military, and there's an indication that an anti-fraternization law is one of the things keeping them apart.) Everyone can still see it, though, and that unfortunately includes Bradley and his cohorts. In this series, No Loves Intersect, but everyone can see all of them. And ships them.
  • Ouran High School Host Club has Wholesome Crossdresser Haruhi and her obvious feelings for the Host Club's King, Tamaki, and vice versa. The entire club, being in on the crossdresser thing, takes note of the impending coupledom before the characters in question even begin to entertain the idea. Of course, it doesn't help that Tamaki used to see himself as Haruhi's second father, and have we mentioned the whole crossdressing thing yet?
  • Mahou Sensei Negima treated Konoka and Setsuna like this during their Not a Date during the Kyoto Arc. Everyone present (except Ayaka, for some reason) immediately assumes the obvious. Including Negi, who's the epitome of Oblivious to Love. Konoka was probably aware of this, but Setsuna takes a lot longer to catch on, finally getting it when they finally make a pactio and the kiss lasts forever...
    • Nagi and Arika. Every single Ala Rubra member can see it.
  • Kyohei and Sunako in The Wallflower. By the manga's second half, the main plot question has gone from "Will Sunako ever become a lady?" to "Will these two dense idiots ever realize they're in love with each other?" Even their housemates are getting tired of it.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler's Hinagiku is clueless as to how everyone around her can see her crush. But then, this is a series where pretty much the entire cast is suffering from an Oblivious to Love epidemic.
    • Hayate's crush on Hinagiku is even worse for being clear to everyone. He even tries to tell others that she couldn't possibly like him.
    • Miki, Maria, Nishizawa and possibly even Athena, make it clear that they know about Hayate and Hinagiku's mutual crush. Even Nagi seems to know about it.
  • Played with in Kimi ni Todoke, when everyone jokes about Sawako and Kazehaya liking each other, only to have unknowingly spoken the truth.
  • Kohaku and Shuichiro Kudou in Wish.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia: Throughout one of the Drama CDs, it's rather explicit that the nation-tans see America and England (both real heavy on the Tsundere traits) in this way. In the last track, everyone else stranded on the island hears an exchange between England and America at night.

Lithuania: R-Russia! Everyone was pretending not to hear anything!
England: W-what? Everyone's awake, after all?
France: That's because you were having a lover's quarrel here.
England: Don't say it was a lover's quarrel!
Japan: Well, it's not like we were peeping and such...

    • Even the dubbers can see it: one episode of the dub has France asking America and England if they're done "releasing sexual tensions".
  • In Fruits Basket, (manga only) everyone discusses how obviously in love Tohru and Kyo are, but they just Cannot Spit It Out.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • In spite of the ending, Shinji and Asuka's relationship played into this. Touji even comments they bicker like an old married couple. It's deconstructed over the course of the series. Despite the fact that they kiss, she sleeps beside him when no one's around and he jacks off over her comatose body, they never see it. That's what leads to that ending: the world effectively ends, at least for humanity as we know it, and it could very possibly have been averted if these two had realised what they could have done for each other.
    • Some fans would argue Rebuild of Evangelion plays the trope straight with Shinji and Rei, with Misato commenting how the reason for Rei's late Character Development is probably The Power of Love, Kensuke gushing about how envious he is, and Asuka stating that Rei loves Shinji. The original series had Touji in a similar role, making Rei aware of the fact that she's quite obviously worried about Shinji. However they are hindered by Shinji's crippling shyness and Rei's lack of experience with human emotions, thus fitting the trope to a T.
  • Elie and Haru in Rave Master to such an extent that the Big Bad who spends, at best, a total of one hour in contact with them over the course of the series feels the need to tease them about how slowly they've been taking their relationship.
  • The Yamamoto sisters in Hanamaru Kindergarten have Guiness World Record levels of obliviousness to love. This despite the fact that, in the older Nanako's case, even kindergartenders realize Tsuchida is in love with her. Making it even funnier, Nanako is blatantly aware that Hanamaru-sensei has feelings for Mayumi, while Mayumi is likewise aware of Tsuchida's feelings for Nanako, and one episode ends with both of them expressing pity for the guys having to deal with such a clueless girl.
  • Ookami-san has Ryoko and Ryoshi. It doesn't exactly help that the former is a Tsundere.
  • In Kaze Hikaru, most people are under the impression that Okita and Sei are a couple. Since Sei is disguised as a boy, this also means they're Mistaken for Gay.
  • Mikado and Anri from Durarara!!. It's noted in the Light Novels that one of the only reasons people don't ask Anri out is that they just kind of assume she and Mikado are already dating.
  • Deconstructed and later reconstructed in Berserk. Before Guts leaves the Band of the Hawk, Judeau pushes the would-be relationship between Guts and Casca as a way to persuade him to stay (or rather, to get him to take her with him), saying that they would be good together. However, Guts pulls the "Just Friends" routine, because he believes that Casca only has eyes for Griffith and that he was no competition for him. He couldn't have been more wrong, and only realizes this after he returns to the Hawks a year later when everything turned to shit but luckily he and Casca get to share some joys in their new found relationship upon his return... before shit turns into deeper shit.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, everyone can see that Mikoto is completely and utterly smitten with Touma. Even Kuroko can see it, much to her chagrin. Even her clones can see it, especially #10032 (aka Misaka Imouto) who happens to feel the same way and openly declares that she'll "take a different route than the original" before glomping onto his arm. Touma (probably) hasn't noticed, but that's justified because he has amnesia but refuses to tell anyone.
  • In Gundam Wing, about half the cast (primarily Duo, Trowa, Quatre, and Dorothy) recognizes the really close bond that Heero and Relena share, which has a really good chance to become mutual love, and do their best to help things along. Unlike most instances of the trope, the two do get along quite well normally, but Relena (whose Image Songs outright say she's in love) won't press the issue because she doesn't want to force his hand and/or destroy the closeness they already have, and is just happy knowing that he's looking out for her. (Not to mention, the girl is already very devoted to her cause for peace as specially after being the Queen of the World and becoming Vice-Minister. Heero's own feelings are left more in the dark, but the common assumption is that he doesn't feel worthy of her, or possibly that his unusual upbringing means he doesn't quite understand his feelings for her. In any way, he does care for her and will help her when she needs it.
  • Jinie from The Breaker, though she will always reply "He Is Not My Boyfriend!".
  • Pretty much everyone in Tiger and Bunny has caught on to the fact that Karina has a giant, poorly disguised crush on Kotetsu—except for Kotetsu himself.
  • A good part of the Mawaru Penguindrum cast has at least commented once on Ringo Oginome and Shouma Takakura's odd relationship. Shoma's siblings, Ringo's mother, Ringo's crush as well as said crush's own girlfriend, Kanba's Clingy Jealous Girl...
  • Ranma ½: When it comes to Ranma and Akane, everybody but the rivals and Ranma's harem can see it. The entire school thinks the two of them will get together, because they argue so much, and they enjoy teasing them both about it.

Boy: Ooo, a lovers' quarrel!
Girl: Practically married already.

Comic Books

Huntress: Fine. So you and Oracle have a "thing" going on. I'm not jealous, but I'd like to think you feel that you could trust me with--
Nightwing: What? A what? A "thing"? We--we're friends but... but...
Huntress: Oh, I get it. You guys don't even know yet. How cute.
Nightwing: I... don't know what you're talking about.

  • In Spider-Girl, we have May Parker and Wes Collins. He's crazy over her, and only one person in school can't see it. Unfortunately for him, this person is May herself.
  • Lemont of Candorville writes a long-running newspaper serial that's implied to have very similar content to the comic itself. His Author Avatar and the stand-in for his female best friend are the Fan-Preferred Couple. Lemont calls Shipping Goggles on this, but accidentally undermines himself by talking about how the two characters make each other feel complete.
  • X Wing Series (comics): Ibtisam and Nrin Vakil. She was a Mon Calamari, he was a Quarren, their species traditionally didn't get along and they argued often when they first joined the squadron... but one of their wingmates predicted that if they didn't kill each other, they'd take union vows. Their wingmates even basically played matchmaker with them. And what do you know, they did hook up. Pity that Ibtisam died a few pages after that...
  • In the newspaper comic Safe Havens, Samantha and Dave would tell anyone and everyone that they were Just Friends. Absoultely no one bought it, especially their circle of friends. They eventually progress to dating and Official Couple-dom, but balk at any and all attempts to go beyond "just dating" - (physically or legally.

Fan Works

  • An astonishing number of South Park fanfics apply this trope to Stan and Kyle.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog Fanfic Iron Hands and Fragile Roses applies this to Iltinis and Amy.
  • The Second Try: Humorously inverted in this Evangelion Peggy Sue fic. The rest of the cast assume this is the case with Asuka and Shinji. However, no one has any idea that, not only are they a couple, but thanks to time travel they are also lovers, have been married for over five years, and raised a child together.
  • As Ship-to-Ship Combat is heavily averted in Galaxy Rangers fandom, Fanon will have Doc and Zach taking this route when it comes to Shane and Niko.
  • Tales of the Frog Princess, Confessions of a Vampire Prince: Ben and Andy. Oh GOD, Ben and Andy. (No, Andy is not a guy!) Garrid begins to have his suspicions, and it's revealed towards the end that Ginny and Gwen, the twins, saw it too.
  • The canon Everyone Can See It scenes for America and England are Taken Up to Eleven in Fan Fiction; just try and find an UST-heavy America/England fanfic that doesn't portray them as practically the only ones in the world who don't realize that they're in love with each other with every single other character either commenting on this or trying to push them into resolving their BST for once and for all. One example is You Can't Take the Sky Away from Me, in which even children and people who've chatted with just one of them for all of two minutes pick up on America and England's feelings for each other.
    • Additionally, while America/England is easily the pairing that gets this treatment the most in fanfic, it's hardly the only one; there are a lot of fanfics where either Romano fervently denies that he has feelings for Spain and everyone else whispers "Tsundere" behind his back, Germany says that he's Just Friends with Italy and everyone else wishes they would just get together already, or Japan insists that he never had sex with Greece and everyone else goes "Riiiight." That's not even all the pairing examples; to list every one of them would essentially be listing every single APH pairing that has at least one member being Tsundere or Oblivious to Love.
  • All over the place in the Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle and ×××HOLiC fanfic Freefall, for at least three different pairings.
  • In the Buzz Lightyear of Star Command fic One Hundred Days, it seems that even the bad guys can tell that Buzz Lightyear and Mira Nova are made for each other.
  • Ranma ½ fanfiction usually acknowledges and even lampshades the canon relationship between Ranma and Akane. For instance, this passage from chapter 3 of Vince Seifert's Continuation Fic Centaur:

Ranma half-smiled... "[Kasumi]'s kind and nice and gentle."
"Yeah, not like that little firecracker who's sweet on you."
Ranma stared. "'Sweet on'-- jeez, did everyone know except me?!"
"Well, you're an idiot," Taro pointed out, smirking.

  • In the Undocumented Features story The Federation Lives Forever, this is the case when Yui and Azusa finally admit their feelings for each other -- the rest of Hokago Tea Time had known all along and weren't at all surprised at the announcement.


  • When Harry and Sally finally hook up in When Harry Met Sally..., their respective best friends remark to each other "Finally." It's not that easy, sadly.
  • Mu Bai and Shu Lien from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, who decided to remain Just Friends despite what they really wanted. Everyone, from their old friend Sir Te and the main character Jen, either urged or wished for the two of them to just get together.
  • In Toy Story 2, we already knew that Buzz held a torch for Jessie and that she probably returned his affections. In the third movie, it's obvious to the characters as well - especially when Buzz is reset into Spanish mode.
  • Sarah and Karl in Love Actually, to the point where her boss called her into his office to specifically talk to her about what she was going to do about it.
  • In Star Wars, everyone (including Luke, who really doesn't have any feelings for her, and it's mostly a misconception caused by popular culture) knows that Leia and Han are perfect for each other, even if Leia tries denying it.
    • In the first Star Wars movie, it is absolutely obvious from Luke's behavior and dialogue throughout the film that he has feelings for Leia and that he's jealous of Han, whom he views as a potential rival for her affections. This is not even remotely ambiguous, and anyone who seriously believes his attraction to her is a "misconception caused by popular culture" needs to watch the movie again. The sequels downplay this element, probably because of the Squick factor caused by the revelations about their family origins.
  • In Far and Away, the entire whorehouse knows that Joseph and Shannon aren't "brother and sister."

Molly: *after watching the two argue* Oh, why don't you shag her and get it over with?
Joseph: She's... my sister!
Molly: *sarcastically* And I'm your mother.


  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Corran Horn commented that Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade were the only ones who didn't realize they were meant for each other.
  • Tony and Lee in Smoke and Shadows.
  • Everyone opposed to Elinor's and Edward's budding romance in Sense and Sensibility is convinced that the two will marry, no matter how much the two try to hide it (particularly from each other).
    • In Pride and Prejudice, meanwhile, it's played around with more. Everyone who sees Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy spend any time around one another over the course of most of the novel is convinced that they're practically a confirmed item (whether they like it or not). On the other hand, Elizabeth's immediate family are uniformly taken completely by surprise when Darcy proposes, and she has to do a lot of convincing before her older sister and her father will believe her when she says she really does want to marry the man.
  • In the novelisation of Star Trek the Motion Picture -- written by Gene Roddenberry—a footnote reveals that rumours about Kirk's relationship with Spock have been floating around even in-universe. In response, Spock merely raises an eyebrow and gives the inquirer the equivalent of a Vulcan glare, and Kirk infamously dances around the topic in a quote that doesn't really answer much at all. Yes, Kirk, everyone noticed.
  • In the Honor Harrington stories, the relationship between Honor and Hamish Alexander. The first six chapters of War of Honor are full of secondary characters who are restraining themselves from telling the two principals that they're only fooling themselves.
    • And in the Jane Lindskold short story Ruthless, this trope is Subverted: The long list of people other than Crown Prince Michael and Judith who can see it include a pair of plotters who intend to use their feelings for each other against Queen Elizabeth.
  • By the time you get to the last book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, it's pretty obvious that everyone around them can see that Percy and Annabeth are in love with each other. It's made especially apparent towards the end of the book when they finally kiss and Clarisse growls, "Well, it's about time!"
  • Animorphs: Despite initially trying to keep their relationship low-key, it was very apparent to everyone that Jake and Cassie were smitten with each other. Marco also sarcastically makes the same observation in an early novel when Rachel pulled a He Is Not My Boyfriend regarding Tobias.

Rachel (threateningly): What did you say?
Marco's thoughts: Like it was some big secret.

  • Ron and Hermione from Harry Potter Harry starts seeing it around book four, and even basically shouts "Finally!!!" in his head when Hermione kisses Ron in the final book.
  • The titular character and Lord Sheftu in Eloise McGraw's Mara Daughter of the Nile. Sheftu is extremely put out when he realizes this is the case.
  • Tom Levin and Rose Casson from the Casson Family Series. Rose takes a lot of guff for it due to her stubbornness and the fact that she can't see that she has a Precocious Crush on him, especially in Permanent Rose.
  • Taken to almost a comical level in L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables series. While Anne is completely oblivious to the fact that her former enemy and childhood friend Gilbert Blythe is madly in love with her, everyone in the town of Avonlea are perfectly well aware. After Gilbert proposes and she refuses, everyone reacts with dissapointment. This happens so often for awhile, it leads to this conversation:

Anne: I wonder why everybody seems to think I ought to marry Gilbert Blythe.
Miss Lavendar: Because you were made and meant for each other, Anne -- that is why. You needn't toss that young head of yours. It's a fact.

  • In the Little House On the Prairie series, everyone but Laura herself seems to figure out rather early on just why Almanzo's willing to make the long, cold drive every weekend to bring her home from her teaching job. She's quite shocked when one of her friends clues her in, and initially panics. Fortunately, Almanzo sticks it out as a Dogged Nice Guy until she falls for him, too.
  • Fairly tragically in The Dresden Files, where everyone knows that Molly is head-over-heels in love with Harry. For a variety of reasons, this just won't happen.

Live-Action TV

  • On The West Wing, Josh's love interest Joey Lucas, one of Donna's boyfriends, and just about everyone else can notice Josh and Donna's UST.
  • in The Mighty Boosh Howard and Vince are constantly mistaken for husband and wife, at least once an episode, sometimes multiple times. Naboo, Dixon Bainbridge, Bollo, and Lance Dior all imply they have feelings for each other. Even the pencil case girl, the only 'Girl' ever interested in Howard, suggests she should 'give them some time alone'. Naboo has pointed out that Howard is sexually attracted to Vince. The list goes on.
  • Psych: several characters, particularly Case of the Week characters, have commented on the potential romance/romantic feelings between Shawn and Juliet (some fans consider these to be Anvilicious).
  • Smallville: Lana saw immediately that Lois and Clark were in love with each other from first sight, even though Lois and Clark didn't see it.
    • To be fair, it was a foregone conclusion. "Clark Kent love Lois Lane" is known by practically everyone on earth, even if they've never had direct contact with Superman before.
    • ...mainly because they weren't. This trope applies more to Season 8 and beyond, Season 8 especially.
  • On Farscape, everyone could tell John and Aeryn were into each other—the crew of Moya, random one-offs, villains, and the entire planet Earth. Which makes John's attempts to keep his feelings hidden for Aeryn's protection even stupider.
  • On Bones, characters have commented, primarily in the first season, about Booth and Brennan's possible feelings for each other and/or UST. Word of God has it that they will sleep with each other by the end of the season. Whether this is a step forward in a romantic situation, or whether Brennan just wants a baby, is not yet clear. It gets a little insane when their co-workers, Brennan's father, random one-shot characters, and even the families of the murder victims are shipping them.
    • In the fifth season, Doctor Lance Sweets reveals to doctor Gordon Gordon that he did not publish his book on Booth and Brennan because his book was finished with the conclusion that Booth and Brennan are in love with one another and that he can't say that to the entire world if they themselves can't admit it. Also Booth finally acknowledges that he is in love with Brennan. He can't bring himself to admit it to her though.
    • As of the 100th episode, "The Parts in the Sum of the Whole" (5x16), Booth has admitted his feelings, and Bones reciprocates but fears a relationship. So now Everyone Can See It. Everyone.
    • As of the "The Hole in the Heart" (6x22), Booth and Bones have slept together--for comfort--after Vincent's death. In the season finale, "The Change in the Game" (6x23), the ending is the reveal that Brennan is pregnant.
  • The X-Files: Mulder and Scully. Oh, sweet Jesus.

Mulder: "Holman? I do not gaze at Agent Scully."

—"The Rain King"
    • It gets to the point when even the cold, murderous, manipulative Big Bad Cigarette Smoking Man berates Scully for not just admitting she's in love with Mulder.
    • The fact that they're so obviously one another's Living Emotional Crutch means any Big Bad who wants to piss off/hurt one of them does something nasty to the other. This never ends well for whoever gets between the two, but every now and again someone will be dumb enough to try.
  • Subverted on Scrubs somewhat. When Elliot and J.D. eventually hook up, the hospital staff are pretty apathetic about it since they've seen it coming for as long as they have. Likewise for their subsequent relapses into coupledom.
  • Doctor Who
    • Harry and Sarah. They argue/flirt in like, EVERY SINGLE EPISODE of Season 12. And then there's Terror of the Zygons. Lots of good Harry/Sarah moments in that one.
    • Ian and Barbara. Where to begin?
      • When Vicki notices Barbara's bracelet in The Web Planet, she asks where it came from. Barbara tells her "It was a gift." Vicki's immediate assumption is that it was a gift from Ian.
      • Even King Richard points it out. KING. FRICKEN'. RICHARD. Upon noting Ian's eagerness to go out and rescue Barbara, Richard asks the Doctor, "Is it love of peace or love of your companion that prompts his enthusiasm?"
    • Romana and the Doctor. Even when considering that, as the actors were married at the time, this effect was likely somewhat emphasized.
    • The Ninth Doctor and Rose (in spite of insistent denials from both parties). Even the Daleks call them on it.
    • The Tenth Doctor and Donna are all over this trope. A Running Gag throughout Series 4 was numerous people mistaking them for a couple.
    • Amy and Rory used to be this. Luckily, their best friend and future daughter informed them that everyone could see it and gave them the push they needed to start dating before their first proper appearance.
  • House and Cuddy. Several characters through the series comment on Cuddy's lenience with House and often question whether or not she loves/is attracted to him, which she obviously is but always seems surprised by the fact that others can see it, too. Strangely, people don't seem to suggest that House loves Cuddy, though this might be because of his deliberately open appreciation of her physical features, notably his sexual harassment of her (and all other female staff members), which causes people to take his advances less seriously, and in some cases see them as completely fabricated and done for the shock factor (as one of the women he interviewed for his new team did, knowing he liked to 'play games').
  • The Jim and Pam Will They or Won't They? romance on The Office became so blatant that nearly every other character commented on it.
  • Parodied on Seinfeld when Kramer makes a totally out-of-left-field attempt to enforce this trope. Jerry and Elaine are having a typical argument, which he interrupts, roaring, "Don't you two see that you're in love with each other?" They give him a look, shake it off and resume yelling at each other.
  • Done a lot in The Nanny, as virtually all characters (and of course the audience) knew about Maxwell and Fran except for them. When they're finally together for good, they enter the house by announcing Max said "I love you" to Fran, which surprises nobody. When Maxwell adds "and I'm not taking it back" they're all shocked (and happy about it, except for CC).
  • The UST between Detective Kate Beckett and Richard Castle in Castle is getting to the point where everyone in the world seems to be able to see it except Beckett. Complete strangers casually ask whether they're a couple, people who've never met one of them can tell that something's going on just from how one of them talks about the other, and it is awesomely line-dropped by ME and Kate's Black Best Friend Lanie Parrish:

Beckett: Anything else?
Lanie: You tell me.
Beckett: What?
Lanie: Don't "what" me! Castle's lost love?
Beckett: Yeah, what about it?
Lanie: Girl, I'm gonna smack you! You work side-by-side every day, he writes a sex scene in his book about you that had me reaching for ice water -- and now little miss bride shows up, don't tell me you're not the least bit jealous!
Beckett: Oh please, you've been inhaling too many... autopsy fluids.
Lanie: Honey, just because you don't see what's going on doesn't mean everyone else doesn't see what's going on!
Beckett: Shut up!!!

    • Castle finally admits his feelings when Beckett is shot at the captain's funeral in the finale of season 3 episode 24. In fact Beckett can see it too, and Castle calls her out on it earlier in the episode.
  • NCIS: Tony and Ziva have had co-workers, witnesses and other people comment on their relationship. Even Gibbs has sort of commented; he has given meaningful looks and vague references.
    • And one of the latest episodes has them "apparently" hooking up on a mission in Paris. The episode heavily hints at it the entire way through, with even the witness they had met a few days before commenting on it.
    • In the episode "False Witness," even one-shot character Jerry, unfamiliar with the show's characters and their history, can see that there's something between Tony and Ziva, though they both deny it.
    • In the episode "Housekeeping," former Tony flame EJ Barrett comments to Tony that he and Ziva have a special connection.
  • Life: Reese and Crews are often mistaken for a couple, and an FBI agent helping comments how he met met his wife in the bureau and that she was his partner. Only the word "too" is missing.
  • True Jackson, VP: True and Jimmy.
  • Chuck: By roughly the mid-way point of Season 3, Casey, Ellie, Captain Awesome, Morgan, Jeff, Lester, General Beckman and Big Mike (i.e. the entire cast) all ship Chuck/Sarah, and help try to make it happen. Most of their love interests see it too. Of course, for most of the show they were deliberately pretending to be in a relationship...
  • Good God, Phil of the Future. Once an Episode at the LEAST. They were voted "Cutest Couple" by the whole school, for crying out loud. And the student body cheered when they kissed for the first time.
  • Zoey 101 has Chase and Zoey. Chase's love for Zoey is the school's worst kept secret, and Zoey's obliviousness is almost painful.
    • In the third season premiere, Lola and Quinn try to tell Zoey of Chase's feelings for her. When Zoey doesn't believe them, Lola pulls a random student from the hallway to illustrate her point.

Lola: Ginny, could you come in here a moment?
Ginny: Sure, what's up?
Lola: Blank is in love with Zoey. Fill in the blank.
Ginny (in a matter of fact tone): Chase.
Lola: Thanks for playing.

    • In "The Play", the school's drama teacher wonders aloud whether Chase's casting of Zoey for the lead role in his play was due to her acting ability, or because there was a kiss written between their characters in the final scene.
    • Even people who don't know them think they're together. In "PCA Confidential", Zoey and Chase (and Stacy Dillsen) act as a panel to answer questions about the school to potential students. The last question was asked by a girl who said she had a question for "Zoey and Chase" (this is actually the original quote; the episode was supposed to air at the end of the third season, but ended up airing after the fourth, after Chase and Zoey were already together).

Girl: Are you guys boyfriend and girlfriend?
Chase: No.
Girl: Have you ever been?
Zoey: No.
Chase: Why do you ask that?
Girl: Just a vibe I was picking up. (cue Chase/Zoey montage)

    • Michael tries to tell Chase that he's extremely obvious in his love for Zoey:

Chase: Would you stop saying that [that Chase is in love with Zoey] so loud?
Michael: Why?
Chase: I don't want people to know, okay?
Michael: Everyone on planet Earth knows you love her! The people on Neptune even know. Yeah, they're up there right
now on Neptune saying... (mimics alien voice) "Did you know Chase loves Zoey?" "Why yes I do, the whole galaxy knows."

  • Ross and Rachel on Friends. At one point Rachel realizes she's still subconciously attracted to Ross and Phoebe tells her everyone just assumed she knew. "It's like telling Monica 'You like things to be clean.'"
  • Rigsby and Van Pelt in The Mentalist.
  • Rookie Blue has Sam and Andy, whose chemistry is noticed by everyone including Luke, Andy's ex-boyfriend.
  • One-sided version: everyone knows that Niles is hopelessly in love with Daphne in Frasier, including him, but Daphne remains blissfully unaware for several years, and everyone keeps quiet because Niles Cannot Spit It Out, and they don't want to meddle in his business. When Daphne finds out about his feelings (without Niles knowing), it leads to a Crowning Moment of Funny when she tells this to Roz with the air of disclosing a earth-shattering classified state secret, only for Roz's response to be "Well, duh."
  • Fabian and Nina from House of Anubis embody this trope so much, it's almost painful to watch. It gets to the point where other students in the house (not to mention the entire fandom) are asking Fabian to please just ask her out already.
  • On Burn Notice, She's Not My Girlfriend is a Running Gag, cropping up once every few episodes with Mike and/or Fiona saying it. And everyone else knows that they are.


  • Everybody Knows (Except You) by 'The Divine Comedy' is a variant, in that everyone can see that the singer is in love with the girl, except the girl herself. Of course, this IS because he just went around telling everybody and everything about it (to the point of driving his friends away and making a small boy cry).

Video Games

  • Early in Utawarerumono, the villagers around Hakuoro drop some rather pointed hints concerning Eruruw that he apparently never catches on to. Such teasing more or less stops after he becomes emperor and she becomes royalty as well, but he still seems more or less oblivious.
  • In Mass Effect 2, Kelly Chambers says "You two would make such a cute couple!" in response to Tali (if Shepard is male) or Garrus (if Shepard is female) joining the crew. Those two are both possible love interests for Shepard of the indicated gender. Master thief Kasumi Goto also gets in on the action, thanks to the new DLC.
    • In the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC, Liara will tell a Shepard who is romancing Tali that Tali has been awestruck since she first joined the Normandy crew.
  • The male player character and Elanee in Neverwinter Nights 2, at least from Neeshka's general reaction to her.
    • Though it works just as well in reverse if the player's relationship with Neeshka is higher than it is with Elanee.
  • Star Ocean the Second Story in regards to its two leads, Claude and Rena. They have a small problem of Cannot Spit It Out, but it doesn't stop the rest of their friends from trying to spell it out for them. In fact, it was so obvious that even Dias (The Stoic, a childhood friend of Rena and a sort-of-Rival for Claude) can see it.
  • Fox and Krystal from the Star FOX series are obviously attracted to one another, but rarely will they ever mention it. Pretty much everyone on the Star Fox team (and even some people who aren't) know that the two are in love with each other and will occasionally comment on it. At one point in Star Fox Assault, Prince Tricky tells Fox and Krystal to come back to his planet for their honeymoon which causes Fox to get all embarrassed and yell at Tricky.
  • Tear and Luke from Tales of the Abyss.
  • Brooklyn "Bullet" Luckfield and Kusuha Mizuha in Super Robot Wars Original Generation.
  • Kingdom Hearts has Sora and Kairi. When Sora witnesses a Disney couple getting their happy ending (most prominently Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann), Donald and Goofy can tell who he's thinking about (Kairi) and call him out on it. Sora's feelings for Kairi are also the entire reason Saïx found kidnapping her to be useful. And a good third of the plot of Chain of Memories is caused by the villains knowing that Kairi is the most important person to Sora.
  • By halfway through Final Fantasy VIII, even Squall himself can see that everyone he knows thinks he and Rinoa are perfect for each other (and is mostly annoyed at how obvious they're all being).
  • Adell and Rozalin in Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories eventually end up like this. Eventually lampshaded by Etna, who sees they've got "one of those relationships going".
  • A Ho Yay example would be Ryo and Hibiki from Lux-Pain. It seems obvious to a lot of people that Hibiki has an obvious crush on Ryo but the latter is either oblivious or purposely leading him on.
  • Done adorably in Galaxy Angel Moonlight Lovers with Vanilla who doesn't really understand what love is and thinks she's sick and dying. Finally Dr Creta gets Ranpha involved and Ranpha does a poor job of explaining that she's lovesick for Tact. As Tact himself doesn't even realize what's wrong with Vanilla the entire ship starts trying to get them together before Tact realizes what's happening and sits down with Vanilla to explain to her what love is.

Web Comics

  • In the furry webcomic Divided Sky, Kittifox and Stryde are a good example of this trope, where the mute friend picks up on this and a blind angel says bluntly, "You love her."
  • Tonya mentions this to Lance in Shape Quest.
  • Parley and Andrew Smith from Gunnerkrigg Court. She's all over him (literally); he puts up with it because he thinks she's "hotter than hell", but he's oblivious to (or in denial over) the fact that she likes him. It takes a homicidal ghost chastising Parley for precisely this for them to see it.
    • Goes to the hilarious degree when her friends see these two merely in the same room, pretending too hard they have absolutely nothing to do with each other... and then simultaneously jump to the correct conclusion.
  • Reika and Eiji were so obvious in Red String, their friends actually say "finally" when they—finally!--hook up.
  • Agatha Heterodyne and Gilgamesh Wulfenbach from Girl Genius. Partially subverted in that they themselves know, but just Cannot Spit It Out.
    • Also subverted in that Gill proposes to Agatha as the first end to a story arch and then goes on campaign when she "dies" clutching his engagement "ring" close to his heart.
  • Haley and Elan in Order of the Stick. Exhibit A.
  • Mike and Lucy in Bittersweet Candy Bowl. Very far gone. Until suddenly, it is gone. When Lucy finally realises this, she is not a happy kitty.
  • Questionable Content
    • Faye and Marten for the first 400+ strips. Then they have "The Talk".
    • Later, Faye and Angus, though it's more Faye saying that "nothing had been decided yet" when she likes him, he likes her, and everyone knows they're going to get together. As of Number 1736, they're official.
  • Penny and Aggie: Aggie and Penny. It builds slowly, but by the evening when they finally get together, everyone present seems to have realized there's something there.
  • Sequential Art Valentines sequence: pleasant surprise, blush, awkwardness, Face Palm.
  • Karkat and Terezi in Homestuck, to the point where even the humans, who have just met them, comment on it.

Web Original

  • Linkara and Marzgurl on That Guy With The Glasses. Whenever they appear together about 90% of the comments will point this out. Apparently it's just good chemistry (and Ship Tease), because Linkara has been recently confirmed to have a real-life girlfriend known as "Iron Liz".
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender fanfic Guide Me Home: Pretty much the whole Southern Water Tribe team can see how Hakoda and Ursa feel for each other a mile away in Qwi-Xux's fanfic.
  • Very much the case in Greek Ninja, where everyone seems to notice the tension between Sasha and Daichi, whereas they are oblivious to it (or denying, like Sasha).
  • Thalia and Apollo in Thalia's Musings. Let's see, Apollo and Thalia have feelings for each other. Hephaestus sympathises with her during the Daphne debacle, Eros and Aphrodite keep offering to set them up together. Even Artemis knows that her brother becomes aflicted with a case of Love Makes You Stupid when he is showing of for Thalia. Also everyone in Olympus speculates about them.

Western Animation

Number 2 and Number 5: Wally and Kuki, sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G!
Number 4: Shut up! It is *not* like that!

  • Danny and Sam on Danny Phantom, to the point where their best friend, nameless classmates, Danny's usually thick-headed dad, and villains who are usually in another dimension and wouldn't see anything all pointed it out. A Running Gag line, repeated by several characters throughout the series during moments when it appears as if Danny and Sam are doing something intamate is "I always knew you two losers would wind up together." Which immediately gets coupled with Danny and Sam retorting "S/He is not my girlfriend/boyfriend!"
  • Robin and Starfire on Teen Titans. It got so bad that people were shipping them on the Internet in their own universe.
  • Jimmy Neutron: Jimmy and Cindy. Extraordinarily so.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Phineas and Isabella. It's somewhat subverted in that only one of the two is oblivious (Isabella makes her crush very vocal).
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes: Dorkus reveals that everyone in Miseryville knows that she's crazy for Jimmy, while Jimmy is so Oblivious to Love it boggles the mind.
  • Earthworm Jim: Played with very oddly in the cartoon version; Jim himself insists that the relationship between himself and Princess Whats-Her-Name is obvious enough to be just like this. The Princess herself, however, has no idea what the heck he's talking about whenever he refers to them as a couple.