Grand Romantic Gesture

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They're her favourite flower... and that used to be a park.


Beast: I want to do something for her... but what?

Cogsworth: Well, there's the usual things: Flowers... chocolates... promises you don't intend to keep...

You've got a lover. You love them so bad it hurts. You want to do something to prove your love. But what?

Well, whatever it is, it should be big. Jewelry doesn't cut it, flowers are for losers, and chocolates? Are you kidding?

Grand Romantic Gestures occur when someone gives elaborate gifts or stages outlandish events in an attempt to be romantic. Sometimes it works, sometimes it backfires. The path to true love never did run smooth, after all.

Runs heavy on Rule of Romantic.

Sub-tropes include Serenade Your Lover, Flower From the Mountaintop, Race For Your Love, and Wacky Marriage Proposal.

Examples of Grand Romantic Gesture include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Fairy Tail: It's debatable, but in one omake, Natsu uproots one whole Sakura tree and sends it over to Lucy by floating it on a boat in the small river just outside Lucy's apartment so she could see it too because she was sick for the Guild's Sakura picnic that day.

Comics[edit | hide]

  • Archie Comics often shows Archie pulling these off for Veronica, who is notably difficult to please. Some examples: Making a giant Valentine card for her, building a heart out of snow and spelling "Archie Loves Veronica" in coal, buying her jewelry he can't afford...
  • An issue of Superman Confidential had Superman taking Lois for a picnic date on top of the Eiffel Tower.
  • In All-Star Superman, Jimmy Olsen makes a "short-term, cosmetic alteration" to the moon to get back in his girl's good graces.
  • In Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness, Todd Ingram proclaimed his love for Ramona by blowing a hole in the moon with his vegan powers. This is eventually revealed to be trivial for him since he later declares his love for Scott's ex, Envy, the same way. This ends up biting him in the ass when someone realizes he's responsible for both holes, and suddenly his Grand Romantic Gesture for Envy doesn't seem so grand or romantic.

Film[edit | hide]

  • In Disney's Beauty and the Beast, Beast gives Belle an entire library as a sign of affection.
    • Although how grand this is is debatable as the library was already in the house, all the Beast did was open a door and point
      • He knew that she would like it and was okay with her liking it. For someone wondering if she's odd that meant everything.
  • Love Actually solidly runs on this trope, but the best ones are pulled off by Mark. In the opening, he hires a full band to hide in the chapel where his best friend is getting married. Later, he stands outside a girl's house in the snow, plays Christmas carols on a CD player, and silently delivers an elaborate love letter/goodbye to her on cue cards. Interestingly, in the creator commentary, the writer/director says he wrote several different grand romantic gestures for the scene (ex. flying in on a helicopter, covering the street with roses), but the female assistants in his office told him they were too elaborate to be really romantic.
  • In A Knight's Tale, Will says he'll win a jousting tournament for his paramour. She says he'd win anyway for his own pride, and if he really loved he'd lose for her. He grudgingly goes on to do just that, sitting still and getting slammed repeatedly by his opponents' lances until she relents and informs him that, if he loves her, he won't lose another match and will win the tournament after all.
  • In Big Fish, the main character finds out the girl he's in love with is engaged to another man. Rather than give up, he organizes a series of grand romantic gestures, like switching out a slide in her prof's lecture to read "I love Sandra!", hiring a sky-writer to do the same, and culminating in planting thousands and thousands of her favourite flower outside her dorm room window.

Sandra: How did you get so many?
Edward: I phoned everywhere in five states. I told them it was the only way to get my wife to marry me.

  • At the end of Pretty Woman Richard Gere's character arrives at Vivian's apartment in a white limousine and climbs up the fire escape to try to convince her to marry him. Earlier in the movie she had told him about her fantasy of a prince on a white horse coming to carry her off, and it was previously established that he had a fear of heights.
  • In The Great Race, the main character loses a car race around the world on purpose (stopping right before the finish line) just to prove a girl that she's important to him.
  • In Bed Of Roses, Lewis sends Lisa bouquet after bouquet of all the thornless "sterling roses" he can get from every florist and supplier he can call, after she mentions a fondness for him. Lisa is touched, but also kind of disturbed by the excessive scale of the gesture.
  • Towards the end of Bride and Prejudice Darcy makes a real effort for Lalita that includes drums.
  • Good Luck Chuck features this after Chuck sleeps with Cam, where he lavishes attention on her in the hopes that she won't move on after they've had sex. However, Reality Ensues when Cam gets unnerved by the change in his personality and newfound clinginess.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

Lucille: Buster, hi. It's me again. I've still got those Producers tickets, and I'd love to share them with you. I don't want you to think I'm taking this more seriously than you are. Unless you're planning some grand romantic gesture, my feelings are just the teensiest bit hurt.

  • Ted in How I Met Your Mother is a fan of pulling these off. The two-minute date is a standout.
    • To clarify: Ted was in love with Stella, but she didn't have time for a romantic relationship in her busy life--all she had was her two-minute lunch break. So Ted put together an entire date scheduled to fit into this time constraint. It worked.
    • Marshall once manages to get an entire marching band to sneak into a lonely airport where Lilly is waiting alone, and play "Auld Lang Syne" at midnight while disguised as fellow travelers, so he can kiss her for New Years. Try topping that.
    • Even Barney got into it later. He refused to leave a diner until Nora agreed to go out with him again.
  • Gilmore Girls: Lorelai said that a proposal should be big and epic and have "a thousand yellow daisies." Cue her boyfriend proposing to her by sending one thousand yellow daisies to her workplace.
  • Played with in The X-Files episode "The Rain King", where the "villain" is unconsciously causing tornadoes and thunderstorms because of his pent-up romantic desire for the woman he is unable to confess his feelings to. When she learns about it, she realizes that causing a thunderstorm out of love for her is the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for her.
    • Mulder's after-dark baseball lesson could count, too. For most couples, this would simply be a cute date. But given that his and Scully's relationship moves slower than a snail's pace and usually takes two steps forward and one step back, this is a pretty gutsy and grand gesture on his part.
  • In Coupling Patrick tries to tell Sally that he loves her (and buggers it up, but it's not like he's got much practice at that sort of thing), then, having bought out the entire pub for the evening, plays the Spiderman theme with his two best friends dancing to it. In costume. Sounds odd, except that he and Sally had their first kiss to the Spiderman theme.
  • Subverted in the episode "Sweet Dreams" of Merlin in which Prince Arthur is put under a spell to fall in love with the spoilt princess Vivian. He wakes up with the desire to woo her with increasingly elaborate measures, ranging from taking her a roast chicken to scaling the castle wall at night to reach her bedroom and finally fighting a duel to the death with her father. When the spell wears off due to a True Love's Kiss from Guinevere, he takes her a single red rose.
    • Played straight when Arthur proposes to Guinevere by candlelight. He's filled her wooden house with lit candles in what is quite frankly a terrifying fire hazard.
  • In Doctor Who, River Song threatens to unravel all of time and reality by stalling The Doctor's death... to build a distress beacon that calls out to every point in time and space. She couldn't allow the Doctor to die without knowing how much he is loved, by a million million people throughout all of creation... and by none moreso than her.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Spike, to prove his love to Buffy... had her chained to a wall and offered to kill his ex for her. In hindsight, this probably wasn't the best idea.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze: How does Shun try to ask Miu to the prom? By sending a truck to school with a giant screen that says "I Love You!", appearing in a white tuxedo with a large bouquet of flowers, and having the football team as his backup.

Music[edit | hide]

  • The Russian song Million roses is about an artist who fell in a love with an actress who loved flowers. So he sold his house and his paintings and bought millions of red roses, enough to turn the square in front of her window into a sea of flowers.

Video Games[edit | hide]

Mary Sue: I bet he'd kill people for me, if I asked him to! ...oh dear. He probably would, too.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • In Penny and Aggie, on Valentine's Day, Duane, who's been platonically seeing Penny, fills his student council presidential office with elaborate romantic decorations, and presents her with lingerie, chocolates and a "Valentine's villanelle." Unfortunately for him, Penny has been contemplating breaking up with him for some time because she feels no physical attraction to him, and his over-the-top gesture is what finally leads her to tell him it's over.
  • Girl Genius have its share of courtship gone overboard, especially seeing how it's set in a world mostly run by Mad Scientists, who tend to go over the top with anything at all. Which all too often leads to things like "an army of giant singing rosebushes", or a little army of warrior homunculi (that was merely "to pique the interest", mind you) as a "Slap Slap Kiss" equivalent.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • In the Homestar Runner cartoon "In Search of the Yellow Dellow", Homestar doesn't know what to get Marzipan as a present, and Coach Z has some advice:

Coach Z: Don't just get her a flower. Get her some rare flower from the tallest mountain! That way she knows how much she means to ya!

2230. Even if we were told to use all of it, can't use the extra explosives for public displays of affection to my girlfriend.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In the Justice League Unlimited episode "Question Authority," Superman takes Lois on a picnic date... on top of a suspension bridge.
  • A Valentines Day Episode of The Simpsons had Apu doing a series of these for Manjula. Homer and the other husbands tried to sabotage them becauses they couldn't compete with him.
  • In the Futurama episode "Time Keeps on Slippin'," Fry and Leela get married after Fry does something incredibly romantic for her. The problem: Because of the random time slips plaguing the episode, neither of them remember what it is he did for her, and she demands a divorce. In the end, he rediscovers what he did: Rearrange a bunch of stars to say "I love you, Leela". Unfortunately, the romantic gesture is blown up before she sees it again.
  • Batman: The Animated Series brought us the actions Jervis Tetch used to woo his Alice. Including, but not limited to - brainwashing a pair of thugs to go jump off a bridge (literally) to impress her with his bravery when they're about to get mugged; brainwashing the Maitre'd of a restaurant (as well as the rest of the staff) into getting them a seat and the romantic usuals (violin/flowers/etc.). After she reconciled with her boyfriend the same night, though, he uses brainwashing to break them up again, then does the "extravagant Flower surprise" in her house... which he didn't have a key for. Alice is, understandably, creeped the hell out - but mostly because Jervis had no way of knowing that the two had broken up.