Love Dodecahedron

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
A simple example.

Love Triangles are stressful and often heartbreaking. Add five or ten more people to the mix, and instead they become comedy: Characters A, B, C, and D all love character E, who might love any of them, but can't commit for reasons of honor or basic wishywashiness. There's also character F, who might love E, and whom he might love back, but they get on each other's nerves so it's hard to tell. Meanwhile, G is sweet on C while H and I both love A. Except on alternate Tuesdays, when H's third cousin from Osaka expresses her intent to marry Character F's dog, who has an odd thing for D...

You get the idea.

Many series have official diagrams so the fans can keep track of the Loads and Loads of Characters.

The Seven Basic Plots Christopher Booker uses this concept as his definition of the Comedy genre, only the point is that the Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends isn't a shoehorn but the soul of the plot:

  • Start with at least three ideal relationships;
  • Each relationship is stymied because the people involved are:
1. Fixated on the wrong partners and oblivious to the good ones,
2. Failing to communicate, and/or
3. Suppressing their desires due to other factors (e.g., taboos, class distinctions, family pressures, etc.).
  • The Villain (or sometimes the Hero) is the source of the biggest road block, so
  • Make him repent (dramatically), and then
  • Everyone can cheerfully enter into the relationship they were meant to be in all along.

The Villain (or Hero) acts as a Fisher King, casting a darkness and confusion across all the relationships until his Heel Face Turn, which frees up the main couple to get together and that, in turn, frees up everyone else.

The Love Dodecahedron[1] is a superset of the following tropes:

Also, see Gambit Pileup, which is similar to this trope, but with gambits. Though Love Dodecahedra can be the cause of such pileups. The opposite of this is No Loves Intersect. A Tenchi Solution is a stable Love Dodecahedron, with 1) everyone staying friends, 2) everyone marrying the hero, or 3) the hero abandoning his harem. Compare Dating Do-Si-Do, which is similar with the lots-of-tangled-up-relationships part but the relationships do not necessarily have to be in competition with each other.

Examples of Love Dodecahedron include:

Anime and Manga

  • The main Love Dodecahedron in Ouran High School Host Club revolves around the Host Club itself. Tamaki has feelings for Haruhi, who might like him back. Hikaru goes out with Haruhi on one date, but his brother Kauro whom he may or may not be in an incestuous relationship with won't let him go further because he likes Haruhi too. Kyoya also has a crush on Haruhi Haruhi. Renge, meanwhile, has a crush on Kyoya.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima, is full of Love Dodecahedrons involving the main characters alone.
    • It should be noted the relationships are made ridiculously complex by the inclusion of amnesia, being under the influence of magical trees/candy, ambiguous use/interpretation of the word "partner", sexual assault by clones, time travel, magically aged Bishonen, misplaced parental affection, mind reading, a cursed vampire loli, self-depreciating lesbian half-demons, and a robot.
    • Here's a chart and a partial translation made around chapter 250. Not that it makes anything less complex.
    • Another chart as of chapter 297 [dead link].
    • They're even used in-story.
  • UFO Robo Grendizer: In one of the Mazinger Z sequels, the relationships chart got pretty complicated: Hikaru is in love with Duke. Duke may reciprocate her feelings. Rubina is in love with him. Duke certainly reciprocates her feelings. And Minister Zuril was in love with Rubina. It is even more complicated if you think about Kouji and Maria and add Sayaka to the mix.
  • The archetypical Love Dodecahedron comes from Rumiko Takahashi's Ranma ½ with Ranma Saotome to Akane Tendo and the story follows their relationship changing from outright hatred, to a close friendship. Here's a simple chart.
  • Some would put Marmalade Boy above Ranma ½ in this respect. The eyecatches throughout the series helpfully sort out who's actually an Official Couple for the viewer.
  • For Persona 4: The Animation, in episode 5, we have Ai dating Yu to make Ichijou jealous, since he's actually in love with Chie, who Yosuke tries to hook up with Yu because he thinks she likes him, incorrectly. Though Chie's reactions in later episodes when Yu compliments her suggest Yosuke might not have been wrong.
    • And of course, we also get the complications from Yu being a love interest for basically any readily present female social link.
  • Steel Angel Kurumi 2 has a small Love Dodecahedron, involving girls only, and more than half of them are androids. In one scene representing Saki's thoughts, an incomplete Love Chart is actually displayed with Super-Deformed versions of the involved characters and arrows indicating who likes whom.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion plays with this trope. All the major recurring characters and most of the minor ones are caught up in a Love Dodecahedron that series creator Hideaki Anno played for every last drop of Angst and tragedy he could wring out of it, rather than laughs.
    • Here's a diagram, assuming some of the major theories are true.
      • Shouldn't there be an arrow from Shinji to Yui?
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Tomoyo and Syaoran like Sakura, Syaoran and Sakura like Yukito, Meiling and Sakura like Syaoran, Yukito and Nakuru like Touya, and Touya likes Yukito and used to date Kaho. Oh, and Clow said that Yukito and/or Yue, sharing his body, was supposed to end up in love with Sakura.
    • And let's not even bring up Tsubasa Chronicle. Anyone who tried to figure it out would probably end up mentally disabled.
      • Isn't this shown to be averted in the last book? Unless you want to include trans-universal interactions...
  • Fushigi Yuugi: Soi loves Nakago (while Nakago pretended to be in love with Yui.) However, Suboshi was truly in love with Yui but she is in a relationship with Tetsuya, before which she was in love with Tamahome who loved Miaka (and vice versa), and Hotohori was in love with Miaka before moving on to Houki while Nuriko pursued both Hotohori and Tamahome (for a while anyway), and trails off a bit to Miaka. And then there's Tasuki, who is secretly in love with Miaka. All hell breaks loose when Miaka has to choose between Tamahome's reincarnation Taka Sukunami or the "real" but evil Tamahome--and it doesn't even end with that. Mayo Sakaki of Eikoden then falls for Taka.
    • Yuu Watase's other stories don't mess with our heads as much as Fushigi Yuugi does, but Shishunki Miman Okotowari has a mild example. Asuka Higuchi is Manato Sudou and Kazusa Sudou's half-sister. Kazusa has an incestuous admiration towards Manato, who falls in love with Asuka long after she falls in love with him. Youko also likes Manato, whose friend Tooru liked Kazusa (who kinda felt the same way... kinda) before moving on to Asuka, who nearly trailed off to him a bit to kill the incest. And then things are spiced up: Manato isn't really related to Asuka and Kazusa, who turn out to be full siblings. He was adopted by Yashiro-sensei (whom Asuka briefly thought to be a pedophile), whose real name isn't even Yashiro -- it was his best friend's surname, which he took after said best friend died. The real Yashiro, meanwhile, is Manato's real father, while Yashiro-sensei is the real Sudou who is Asuka and Kazusa's father, who was himself involved in a love triangle with the girls' mother and the real Yashiro. So in the end, Manato and Asuka get together anyway. Did I mention that Asuka, Manato, Kazusa, Youko and Tooru resemble Miaka, Tamahome, Yui, Nuriko and Tasuki respectively?
  • Hatsukoi Limited is shaping up to be like that. Intentionally.
  • One of the Genshiken manga volumes actually contains a Love Chart for the dodecahedron in Kujibiki Unbalance, which was designed specifically to contain every permutation of the trope that it could... along with everything else. Just for fun, the volume following that one had the diagram for Genshiken (which isn't a Love Dodecahedron series).
  • Martian Successor Nadesico sports a kind of dodecahedron, with Yurika's childish and possessive long-time love for Akito constituting F and A, and the rest being filled by various, changing constellations of the rest of the cast. As required by the trope, in the last episode Akito thinks Yurika is actually his great love and decides to marry her and live happily ever after.
    • The trope is even invoked during the dub's opening prologue, as delivered by the Little Miss Snarker:

Ruri: And what started out as a love triangle has become a septagon by my count...

  • School Rumble. Any further explanation of the tangle of relationships would turn into a plot summary...
  • Vision of Escaflowne: Let's see... Merle likes Van, Van likes Hitomi, Hitomi likes Van and Allen, Allen likes Hitomi and Millerne, and Millerne likes Allen and Dreidn.
    • Not to mention Hitomi's crush from Earth, Amano. It turns out Hitomi's best friend Yukari was also in love with him but decided to support Hitomi rather than going after him herself. Van's appearance actually interrupted Hitomi's chance at a First Kiss with him. Allen has a very... "complicated" love life. Before the beginning of the series, he was in love with Millerna's older sister Marlene, who died three years ago. Marlene was married off to the duke of Freid... but not before he impregnated her with a child she was barely able to pass off as the duke's son and the prince of Freid. Now he's in love with Millerna and Hitomi.
  • In a rare non-shoujo manga example, Berserk has two particularly complex Love Dodecahedrons—both of which are primarily triangles, but complicated by the presence of additional people. Ready? The first, most central one is the Guts-Griffith-Casca relationship. Both Guts and Casca have deep feelings for Griffith, possibly partly romantic in Guts's case, definitely partly romantic in Casca's case. Griffith cares about both but seems incapable of fully returning their feelings, although he may have some romantic feelings towards Guts (but it is also hinted that he may have some feelings for Casca and would have possibly gone with her if his original plan did not succeed 100%). Eventually, Guts and Casca get together themselves, but only briefly before it all goes to hell thanks to Griffith becoming the Big Bad, which partially happened because Griffith became a Green-Eyed Monster before becoming a Complete Monster. This is turned from a particularly complex triangle into a dodecahedron by the presence of Judeau, who is quietly in love with Casca, and Princess Charlotte, who Griffith has manipulated into falling in love with him for the sake of his plans. Later, things get even more complex; Guts becomes involved in a subtle triangle with Serpico and Farnese, which is then muddled by the introduction of Farnese's fiance, Roderick. Meanwhile, Guts is still in love with Casca... who can't love him back at this point in her life because of her traumatic post-Eclipse condition and an incident involving Guts' Enemy Within. And now, the young witch Schierke has a crush on him, and Sidekick Isidoro may be developing a crush on her. Got that? Good.
  • A serious Love Dodecahedron occurs in Rose of Versailles. Let's see if we can catch everything: Fersen and Marie-Antoinette love each other but can't be together, Louis XVI loves his arranged wife Marie-Antoinette, Oscar and Marie very seriously respect (maybe love?) each other, Oscar loves Fersen, André loves Oscar, Rosalie loves Oscar who would fully love her back if she (Oscar) were male (straight from the manga), Rosalie's lost sister Charlotte loves Oscar, Alain loves Oscar (and whether he says it or not is different in the two continuities) but is also one of André's closest friends, Gerodelle loves Oscar (and almost gets her to become his wife through Arranged Marriage), Bernard loves Rosalie who comes to love him back though she still has lingering feelings for Oscar, and in the end Oscar then loves André and then they both die tragically. Phew!
    • Then we have Riyoko Ikeda's other famous manga, Oniisama e.... Mariko admires Kaoru but has a clingy obsession with Nanako and later is Tsundere for Takeshi; Nanako loves Rei, who pines for her half-sister Fukiko, who acts possessive towards Nanako but it's a cover since she actually loves Takehiko and mistakenly thinks Nanako is her rival; Tomoko isn't as super open as the others in these regards but she has a really cute Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with Nanako; and Kaoru also loves her ex-boyfriend Takehiko, who returns her feelings despite the problems in their relationship, and she also has quite a bit of Les Yay with he best friend, Rei. Whoa.
    • And another manga by Ikeda, Claudine, also has one. Claudine falls in love with Cecilia Lacques, but she doesn't return his affections because she sees him as a girl despite him actually being a Transsexualism. Cecilia's younger brother, Louis, is sleeping with Claudine's father Auguste, as is Cecilia. Claudine's neighbor Rosemarie is in love with him since they were kids, is jealous of Claudine and Cecilia and serves as an Unwitting (or perhaps intentional) Instigator of Doom when she reveals Cecilia and Auguste's affair to Louis, who goes Yandere and kills them both. And that's wihout mentioning Claudine's other loves, Maura and Sirene. . .
  • In Gundam Seed, Kira and Athrun care very much for each other, Kira loves Flay, Ssigh loves Flay, Kira re-meets with Athrun as enemies and then befriends his girlfriend Lacus, Athrun and Lacus care for each other as friends, Flay has sex with Kira to manipulate him but ends up falling in love with him for real, Kira befriends Cagalli and it seems they might fall in love, Athrun meets Cagalli, Athrun almost kills Kira after Nicol dies and ends up killing Tolle instead, Miri hates Dearka and he hates her back, Kira and Athrun make up thanks to Lacus and Cagalli, Lacus and Kira fall in love though he still holds some guilt because by that time Flay is believed to have been killed, Miri and Dearka make peace and sorta fall in love, Athrun and Cagalli fall in love, Flay gets Character Development and wants to apologize to Kira but dies tragically in the middle of the last battle, and that's it!
    • Also, Mu loves Murrue.
    • Its sequel series, Gundam Seed Destiny, has one that revolves almost entirely around Athrun. There's Cagalli, Meer, Meyrin, and for a time Meyrin's older sister Luna... such is expected for the series' resident Char-clone.
  • Strawberry Panic. To the extreme. Between almost everyone, but especially towards Nagisa—who is mostly quite reluctant about it.
  • A minor Love Dodecahedron figures into My-HiME, used for both comedic and dramatic effect: Reito likes Mai (and so does his Enemy Within alter-ego); Yuuichi also likes Mai, but doesn't want to admit it; Mai cares for both of them as friends, but doesn't want to decide between either (at first); Shiho loves Yuuichi, and is extremely jealous because she thinks Mai's trying to steal Yuuichi from him (she isn't...he's the one who takes the initiative); and Mikoto and Mai apparently like each other a lot. Then again, Mikoto "likes" a lot of people, but she's closest to Mai and Reito, her brother.
    • It's also present in the manga. Not only do Mai and Shiho still love Yuuichi (who also loves Mai) and Mikoto still likes Mai, but Natsuki also likes Yuuichi, with Takeda still pursuing her and Shizuru having an implied interest in her.
  • By the time Princess Tutu reaches the finale, it's had enough love triangles and other flings that the relationships get...complicated. Ahiru loves Mytho, Mytho (as his emotions are restored) appears to love Princess Tutu (who is Ahiru in disguise), Rue also loves Mytho, Professor Cat threatens all the girls with marriage but seems particularly sweet on Ahiru, Fakir begins to love Ahiru in the second season, and she may love him back. Pique has a crush on Fakir, but in one episode thinks she loves Mytho. Fakir's childhood friend Raetsel loves his adoptive father Charon, but she also flirts with Fakir, and almost gets married to Mytho, but ends up married to some guy named Hans in the end. Autor confesses love to Rue, but too late, because Mytho chooses Rue in the end. Throw in some Ho Yay with Fakir and Mytho, Rue and Ahiru, and Autor and Fakir and you've got what fans call the "OT5", or "only true fivesome". That is, almost any of the four main characters, plus Autor, could be matched with another with some logic to it. Although the poor side characters still get left out of that.
  • D.N.Angel. Let's see here—Daisuke likes Risa, but Risa only likes him as a friend and would much rather have Dark, which is Daisuke's secret Bishonen alter-ego. Dark, on the other hand, seems to have a thing for Risa's twin sister Riku (though, depending on the medium, he might have a slight thing for Risa, too), who hates Dark but has a crush on Daisuke, who may or may not like Riku back. Meanwhile, Satoshi's getting his Ho Yay on with Daisuke (and probably Dark, too), while his Super-Powered Evil Side Krad wants to rip them limb-from limb (and also seems to be interested in his host in that way). Daisuke's best friend, Saehara, is in love with Menou, but also develops something for Mio Hio, who develops feelings for Daisuke.
    • Satoshi may also be developing feelings for Risa. (The anime left them smiling shyly at each other).
  • Asu no Yoichi has one slowly building. Tsubasa likes Washizu, who accidentally confessed to Ayame when he was really trying to confess to Ibuki (his crush), while Ibuki is slowly building feelings for the title character, who's really too much of an Idiot Hero to even notice that someone is in love with him. This can only get more entangled.
    • Ayame and Tsubasa's bodyguard Angie have a crush on him as well! And a new girl's been just introduced by kissing title character in front of Ibuki.
  • While the Gravitation manga has a definite Official Couple throughout its run in Shuichi and Yuki, that doesn't stop other characters from complicating matters with Ship Tease and Subtext. Shuichi is pretty much the only person Yuki truly likes, but Yuki's fiancee Ayaka likes him almost as much as Shuichi does. She gets over her crush on Yuki in time to fall for Shuichi's best friend Hiro who likes her back, but shows hints that he harbors more-than-friendly feelings for Shuichi. Shuichi's boss Tohma is married to Mika, Yuki's older sister, but is implied to at the very least have scarily protective feelings towards Yuki (which is made even squickier when you realize they're technically brothers), and is fawned over by devoted subordinate Sakano. Tatsuha, Yuki's younger brother, once molested Shuichi because he looks a lot like his adored idol Ryuichi, and gets into an actual relationship with Ryuichi who probably likes him back, but also has the hots for Shuichi (as revealed in the sequel series).
  • Humorously done in Maze Megaburst Space. Basically everyone the titular character travels with ends up sexually interested in either of the two mazes, with the exception of the old man. Wanna know what's worse? The two mazes eventually are revealed to be siblings and in love with each other. Guh?
    • And everything seems to get settled with a rather massive Tenchi Solution on everyone's part. Isn't it wonderful when it cleans up nicely?
  • Rizelmine has more of line than a polygon but it's complicated enough to count here. Rizel and the daughter of one of Rizel's foster parents are after the main character... who has a crush on his teacher, who is about to get married; meanwhile the main's best friend has a crush on a classmate who has a crush on Rizel (or at least her bear-print panties).
  • Hinata likes Naruto, who likes Sakura, who likes Sasuke (complete with endless Ship Teasing about how any of these might become requited, though the last one has pretty much fallen out of tease). On top of this Ino might still like Sasuke and Tenten might like Lee who in turn might still like Sakura, and Shikamaru might like Ino, who might like him; or he might like Temari, who also might like him. Dear God in Heaven! That's not even all of it.
    • Sasuke is definately E, Sakura is A, Naruto is both F & H along with Rock Lee's I, and Hinata is J. See main article above, except for that last one.
  • Hayate the Combat Butler has a huge one just centered around the main character, Hayate. Said dodecahedron contains a few girls who look much too young for him, a handful of classmates, one former classmate, two men, a tiger and many more. The only thing keeping it from turning into a Harem Anime is that Hayate is (for the most part) completely unaware. And don't get me started on the other little love triangles that aren't part of the main Love Dodecahedron Love Escher-scape Geometry.
  • Even Hamtaro has a chart. Hamster relations are Serious Business.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: Haruhi is definitely not Kyon's girlfriend. (Except for that one time they kissed, but nothing romantic seemed to come of that, other than saving the world...) Neither is Sasaki. Kyon has an unspoken crush on Mikuru, but is unable to act upon it, because Haruhi might get jealous and destroy the world without even knowing she's doing so. Mikuru has been groped and molested by Haruhi at least once. Kyon also has a very tender, protective relationship with Yuki, who once tried to alter reality so they could be together; Yuki also has lots of Les Yay with Ryoko, who is sometimes shipped with Kyon, despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that she tried to kill him. And then there's Koizumi, whose hobby seems to be making Kyon feel uncomfortable with his sexuality, but is shown in an alternate continuity to be in love with Haruhi (and claims that Haruhi is a covert Yaoi Fangirl as an excuse for all his Ho Yay... but then again, this is Koizumi, so who knows what truly goes with him). And that's not even getting into the Foe Yay that each character has with his/her evil opposite in Sasaki's group.
    • To be specific, Sasaki is not Kyon's ex-girlfriend with a crush on him. Also, Kyon can't act on his feelings for Mikuru because as Mikuru is a time traveller, cross-temporal romances are forbidden. And then there's the scene in the snow lodge, where the geometric properties of the Love Dodecahedron is actually a plot point.
  • Peach Girl is basically a love dodecahedron that just gets more complicated with each episode. It starts off with Momo in love with one character, but another character is in love with Momo. Then Sae steps in. Pretty much every complication in the series comes from her and just keeps going.
  • In Katekyo Hitman Reborn, there's a rather intriguing Love Dodecahedron (though quite a bit of it goes into the realm of obsession and Ho Yay). Tsuna has a crush on Kyoko, who is incredibly oblivious and only seems to care about her brother Ryohei (though she did express attraction to Gokudera). Depraved Homosexual Lussuria is... interested in a weird, sadistic necrophiliac sort of way with Ryohei. Ryohei is oblivious like his sister and only concerned with living TO THE EXTREME. Gokudera is Tsuna's Stalker with a Crush that has a huge Bodyguard Crush on him and pretty much hates anyone that gets too close to Tsuna. Then there's Yamamoto, who seems annoyed that Gokudera hates him and wants Gokudera to open his heart up to him. Haru had a weird Shotacon crush on Reborn at first, but eventually falls (more seriously) in love with Tsuna, who only seems to see her as a friend. And then there's Mukuro, who... * ahem* wants Tsuna's body, and Mukuro's two followers who admire him to the point of being obsessed fanboys. Chrome might sort of like Tsuna, or she might like Mukuro-sama (though Mukuro seems to see her more like a sister / comrade in pain). And Hibari, who seems awfully obsessed with meeting Mukuro again to pay back for the humiliation Mukuro put him through. And I-Pin has a crush on Hibari. Then Ryohei has a brief infatuation with I-pin's adult form while in the future he and Hana are a canon couple.
    • Bianchi's love for Reborn.
    • Memetic Molester Spanner and his friendship with Irie Shoichi and their boss Big Bad Byakuran who is very friendly and discusses the meaning of flowers with his enemy Mukuro? No wonder the fangirls go crazy...
    • Dino and Hibari...It doesn't help that their weapons are a whip and a pair of handcuffs respectively, and that their training sessions are always very physical. Make of that what you will.
    • The Varia Love Dodecahedron. Well, let's see... Squalo seems to have something like a Bodyguard Crush on his boss Xanxus. Xanxus views everyone as trash but has something for the one who defeated him aka Tsuna. Belphegor and Fran have this interesting relationship including Bel stabbing Fran just for fun. Oh, Squalo and Yamamoto's relationship could be considered something between Foe Yay and Mentor Ship.
    • And now with the Shimon family thrown into the series, let's not forget about Enma and Tsuna's chemistry.
  • Black Cat, although being a shounen action manga / anime, has a rather impressive love dodecahedron. Kyoko, Rinslet, Saya, and Creed all fell in love with Train, though Train is mentally / emotionally immature and apparently asexual, therefore rendering all of their feelings for him unrequited. (Although it's impossible to say whether or not Train would have eventually matured mentally to start developing romantic feelings for Saya, but that's beside the point). And then there's Echidna who loves Creed, but Creed is too gay for Train to care. And then there's Janus' feelings for Rinslet, but Rinslet (at least in the manga) seems to be hesitant about returning his feelings due to her crush on Train. And then there's hints that Charden might like Kyoko, who explicitly states that she would like Charden if not for Train. And then there's Eve's crush on Sven, but Sven is much more concerned with Train (being Train's Heterosexual Life Partner and all)... it's all a mess.
  • Gankutsuou is one huge Love Dodecahedron. There's the Count, who used to be in a Love Triangle with Albert's parents, but his love and friendship with Albert's mom and dad turned to hate. Haydee seems to love the Count too, though it's debatable whether it reaches the realm of romantic or just as a father substitute. And then Albert has a gigantic crush on the Count, who might have eventually felt something for Albert too, considering that it was the power of Albert's kiss that made the Count return to being human. Albert also initially seemed to have a crush on Peppo, until he found out that "she" was actually a "he", and that he was actually a spy for the Count. Peppo does have a crush on Albert, though. And Albert's best friend Franz is secretly and desperately in love with Albert, who is completely oblivious. But Franz has a fiancee, Valentine, who was in love with him (and rather jealous of Albert). Maximilien falls in love with Valentine, and she eventually reciprocates his feelings. And then there's Albert's fiancee, Eugenie, who initially thinks she doesn't love him, but realizes later that she does—Albert, however, is sort of confused about her however in the end he realizes that he really loves her. And then there's Andrea, who, for revenge, tries to rape Eugenie and seduces his own mother... and that's not even getting into all the women the Count managed to seduce. Messy relations indeed.
  • Akikan has one that encompasses almost all of its cast. Goro "Gigolo" Amaji is in love with Yurika, who's lesbian for Najimi. Najimi has been in love with Kakeru since they were kids, but her Akikan Yell is sweet on her. Kakeru has Najimi's crush on him, as well as his Magical Girlfriend and Akikan, Melon. He may have something going for Kizaki, while Kizaki's boss Otoya is in love with him.
  • The Love Dodecahedron in Code Geass mostly centers on its protagonist Lelouch AKA Zero. He's loved by Shirley, Milly, Kaguya (as Zero only, since she never meets Lelouch until everything turns sour), Kallen (initially only as Zero, changes when she learns his identity), and Euphemia (Brother-Sister Incest half-sibling version). He sees Shirley as a friend until he's forced to mindwipe her, realizing his feelings for her only then, but pushing her away until Rolo kills her. Thinks of Milly as a good friend, has little interest in Kaguya due to her rather young age, (she IS 14) but seems to be fond of her and respects her intelligence, (and her suggestion of a harem is approved by C.C., and never shot down) and considers Euphy his first love. Kallen he has feelings for, but the extent those feelings is never fully explored within the show, though are clearly strong. He and C.C. have strong mutual respect that at times seems much deeper than the "strictly Platonic Life Partners" which Word of God has labeled it. Suzaku and Euphemia enter into a relationship late in Season 1, only to end tragically when Lelouch kills Euphy out of necessity; it's also said that he and Lelouch's little sister Nunnally have feelings for one another. Late in the series, when Lelouch pushes everyone away while pretending to be the Complete Monster Emperor of Britannia, the writers attempted to hook Kallen up with Suzaku's Lancer Gino, but the poor execution annoyed most fans and was later shot down by the staff. And of course, this is without dipping into the Ho Yay / Les Yay (Lelouch/Suzaku, Lelouch/Rolo, Kallen/C.C., etc.), the supposed Brother-Sister Incest angle between Lelouch and Nunnally, and other things (Ohgi/Viletta, Jeremiah/Sayoko...).
    • Word of God actually says that Lelouch views C.C as his equal and not as a mother figure, but at the same time made it clear that those feelings are are not romantic in nature. It's more a case of A Boy and His X. Well, A Boy And His waifish, immortal Geass Witch, as the case may be.
    • Overall, Lelouch is a Celibate Hero and highly reactionary about romance Even his short-lived romance with Shirley is started by her alone, without any suggestion that Lelouch was interested in a romantic relationship with her beforehand. On the other hand, he admits that the closest to a first love he had was Euphemia, and propositioned Sex for Solace to Kallen during a Heroic BSOD of his (and got rewarded with a slap).
  • Ichigo 100%. Where to begin. Revolves around a main character and three (arguably seven) heroines. Main character Manaka Junpei wants to film girl A. He confesses to girl B because of the resemblence between A and B. Girl A actually has a crush on him but is loved by main character's friend/rival. Girl C is also interested in the main character. Childhood friend girl D sleeps in the same room as him, usually naked. His teacher is interested in young boys (or so it seems). Too shy girl E, friend of girl A, grows close to main character because of Girl C's actions. Main character is indecisive. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The Negamoon Arc (season 2) of Sailor Moon has one, although it wasn't so much confusing as long. Best summed up by a comment left on Youtube:

"Wait a sec... If Prisma likes Saphire, and Saphire liked Emerald, and Emerald liked Diamond, and Diamond likes Serena, and Serena likes Darian... Then does that mean this whole plot is a love Hexagon?"

    • An interesting four-way on the Doom Tree arc. Serena and Darien are in love, and so are Alan and Ann. Alan falls in love with Serena, and Ann falls in love with Darien. Yet Alan gets jealous of Darien over Ann, who gets jealous of Serena over Alan. When Alan sees Ann with Darien, he seems to forget that he is in love with Serena, and the same goes for Ann when she sees Alan with Serena. Alan and Ann argue over this in their final episode.
  • Full Metal Panic!! Kaname and Tessa are in a Love Triangle with Sôsuke. Sōsuke is confused about his feelings for Kaname (seeing as how he's never really loved anyone before) and it's not until way later that he finds himself returning her feelings. Tessa's antagonistic brother Leonard is in love with Kaname to Yandere extremes, but she dislikes him. Tsubaki is also in love with Kaname, has a bunch of Foe Yay with Sōsuke, and Mitsuki has an unrequited love for him. And then there's Gauron, who is an Ax Crazy Stalker with a Crush that has a crazy love and obsession for Sosuke. And the two twins he raised, Yu Fan and Yu Lan, are both very much in love with him (and eachother). And then there's Gates, who has an unhealthy paedophile obsession with the twins. This Love Dodecahedron is made even more complicated in the novels, where Nami, who also falls for Sōsuke, is brought into the picture, and Sōsuke has slight romantic feelings for her. And then Lemon likes Nami (but also seems to have quite a bit of Ho Yay with Sōsuke).
  • Pokémon, surprisingly. Because there have so many main characters, this has evolved out of Shipping. And that doesn't even go into loving Pokémon angle.
  • Aoi Hana. Let's see: Kyouko has unrequited feelings for Yasuko, who is in love with her ex-teacher Kagami, who is engaged to Yasuko's sister Kazusa—and her sister Kuri appears to have liked him as well. Fumi is heart-broken when her lover Chizu announces that she's getting married and starts an affair with Yasuko to get over her pain although it doesn't last long. Fumi also struggles with her resurfacing feelings for Akira, who in turn is blissfully out of the loop for most of the series. And yes, aside from Kagami they are all girls.
  • Things start to get pretty messy in Chrono Crusade when it comes to relationships. Chrono has known Rosette since she was a child, and they both start to develop feelings for each other. However, Rosette also has a crush on her legal guardian, Father Remington. Soon, Rosette and Chrono get Azmaria and Satella in their group of True Companions. In the anime, Azmaria has a crush on Chrono, and in the manga Satella is a Shotacon and finds Chrono (who is a demon that's nearly a century old, but appears to be a 12-year-old boy) very attractive. Chrono and Rosette are looking for Joshua, Rosette's brother, who was kidnapped by Aion, a former friend of Chrono's. Joshua is driven insane by demonic power an is obsessed with his sister, but is also very attatched to his maid, Fiore. In the anime, he thinks she's his sister, but in the manga he's very aware she isn't and instead seems to possibly have a one-sided crush on her. Fiore may or may not care for him in return. However, Shader glomps Fiore in one scene and asks her to marry her, and at the end of the manga, they're shown riding off together on a motorcycle. Also, Joshua later kidnaps Azmaria and then blushes when he sees her wearing a pretty dress; he later ends up marrying her. In the past, Chrono and Aion were best frends (with some Ho Yay, particularly in the anime), until Chrono kidnapped a girl named Mary Magdalene and fell in love with her. Father Remington was her guard, and also appears to have been in love with her. In the manga, Aion may or may not have cared for her, as well. It finishes badly, since Magdalene herself ends up dead at Chrono's hands. In the past, Shader seems to have been close to Chrono. Also, Rizel is in love with Aion, but Jenai is in love with her. Aion ignores Rizel and focuses on Joshua and Chrono. In the manga, he seems obsessed with Chrono and Pandaemonium, it's later revealed that it's because Chrono is his twin brother, and Pandaemonium was formerly their human mother, Lilith. His obsession with them, particularly with Pandaemonium -- whom he appears to kiss in one scene! -- ocassionally borders on incest. I might be missing some, but I think that's it.
  • Bleach fandom likes to believe that the show has elements of this, but in truth most of the "evidences" are subject to interpretation and fan wishes.
  • To LOVE-Ru has a pretty impressive one in the anime alone, and the manga gets even crazier. Going into full detail might take up half this page, but in addition to the standard love triangle, it also has shy/emotionless assassins and aliens who change gender when they sneeze. In the latter case, the alien's male side is in love with one of the two female leads, while the female side is in love with the male lead. Naturally.
  • Seto no Hanayome. Where should we start? Okay, * deep breath* .
    • Nagasumi and Sun are engaged/dating, and are definitely in love with each other.
    • Lunar is friends rivals with Sun, but in love with Nagasumi, who she treats like a slave.
    • Mawari is Nagasumi's childhood friend and more or less in love with him.
    • The Class Representative has a crush on Nagasumi, but can't admit it. She's also accidentally confessed her Sun, forcing her to create the Last Amazoness persona.
    • Kai is Sun's childhood friend, and very much in love with her, even though she's not really interested. Hasn't stopped him yet.
    • Akeno is trying to break up Nagasumi and Sun's relationship, but is starting to admit that she thinks Nagasumi is getting pretty manly.
    • And Masa...confuses Nagasumi. And his mother. Mostly just for laughs, though.
  • Shinshi Doumei Cross is a soup opera-esque shoujo manga with a predominantly teenage cast; it's no wonder this trope is very much applicable. Aside from the main Love Triangle involving the protagonist and twins, there are many unrequited feelings to go around, much misconception of the characters' feelings to be had, and even the occasional Romantic False Lead shows up to complicate things even further. The male and female protagonists both have their own (partially) unwanted harems and characters decide to go from passionately pursuing one character for chapters on end to another at the drop of a hat (or when the storyline demands it)...and this isn't even taking into account the tangled love lives of adults in the story: the family of the major characters.
  • Keroro Gunsou, with the added Squick value of having most of the arrows being interspecies. Let's see. Quite a few people have crushes on Fuyuki including Momoka and a reporter from the school newspaper. He is mostly Oblivious to Love, but seems to have developed a crush on a one-shot character he met near the beginning of the story (a mermaid, by the way). Keroro has attracted the attentions of Tamama (another male Keronian) and Angol Moa. Koyuki likes Natsumi and so does Giroro. Natsumi for her part likes Mutsumi, who likes himself I mean shows no strong romantic interest. Giroro himself has also attracted the attentions of another: a cat.
  • Inuyasha, with six or so sets of love triangles all linking in with each other. Okay, so where to start.
    • Inuyasha is in love with both Kagome and Kikyou. Kagome also loves Inuyasha, but is openly jealous of his relationship with Kikyou due to both her own insecurities and the fac that lots of people see her as a poor replacement for her. After being forcibly brought back to life, Kikyou also loves Inuyasha, but is less open of her jealousy of his relationship with Kagome, and for a while she's very poisoned with the hate spilling from their terrible separation and for the Came Back Wrong deal. In the end, Kikyou dies peacefully in Inuyasha's arms, and after mourning her properly he gets together with Kagome.
    • Kouga is in love with Kagome, however Kagome is only in love with Inuyasha. The anime only character, Ayame, is in love with Kouga, and very open of her jealousy of Kagome (at least at first). However, Kouga claims to only love Kagome. He may or may not have any feelings for Ayame, whom he made a Childhood Marriage Promise with when he was a teen youkai and she was a little girl—which is the reason why she loves him in the first place. In the anime, they ultimately get married.
    • In the past, Onigumo lusted for Kikyou. However, she was only ever going to be in a relationship with Inuyasha. Therefore, Onigumo became Naraku, to win Kikyou and get rid of Inuyasha. Naraku is bothered by Onigumo's heart with feelings of Kikyou at the beginning of the series. At the end of the series it's no longer clear if Naraku really does love Kikyou or if it was just Onigumou's heart still so he may be in love with her too, when he isn't despising her for existing. Except she evidently hates him.
    • In the present, we have Houjou, who loves Kagome, yet she only sees him as a friend. Then in anime/movie only, we get Houjou's ancestor, Akitoki who also loves Kagome—except again she only considers him a friend. The actual Hojou fades away, the Hojou from the past marries a girl named Suzuka... and asks her to rename herself Kagome.
    • Also, in the Shichinitai arc, we had the homosexual Jakotsu having a huge fixation on Inuyasha. However, Inuyasha considers Jakotsu only as a nemesis... and a disturbing one, considering how Jaktsu doubles as a Combat Sadomasochist. Jakotsu also has a very close friendship and respect towards Bankotsu, and may even love him romantically as well. Bankotsu's own relationship with Jakotsu can be considered brotherly, though still close enough that he tells Jakotsu that he's his only real friend and that he eagerly kills Renkotsu for, among other things, killing Jakotsu. Phew, that was confusing.
    • Miroku and Sango should be fortunate that aside from the one time characters appearing here and there, they're otherwise strictly in love each other without any interferences. Except from themselves.
  • Pandora Hearts: Between the main character, Oz,'s shippy moments with just about everyone -- Alice, Gil, Sharon, Echo and Elliot are only the tip of the iceburg—and all the Foe Yay that goes around (Vincent especially contributes to it), it's no wonder fandom is divided when it comes to pairings.
  • Nagasarete Airantou pretty much comes with being the only guy on an island full of females that he can't escape from
  • SHUFFLE! plays this trope straight in the anime version. In the visual novel is the same situation, the only difference being that you choose person F.
  • Subverted slightly in the manga Wa!, while there is a compilcated love comedy situation involving many characters, the path of crushes and admiration is written so that it forms a perfect circle. A loves B who loves C who loves D who loves E who loves F who loves A. How this will be eventually resolved is anyone's guess.
  • Kaguyahime: Would be a simple cyclic Love Triangle, except everybody wants Akira. Except Yui, whose feeling towards Akira are ambiguous while he seems to only live for Midori. Midori, like everybody, wants Akira. Akira, of course, wants Yui—and Mayu, but won't let herself touch Mayu. Mayu loves Akira but thinks sex is a horrible, dirty thing, and threatens/blackmails her into promising not to ever sleep with anyone. Oh, and everybody wants Akira. And then there's everybody else.
  • No mention of Toradora! yet, seriously? This show is practically the king of this trope. Taiga really likes Yuusaku. Yuusaku likes Sumire, who may or may not like him back. Also, Yuusaku liked Taiga before, back when she didn't like him. Ryuuji likes Minorin. Minorin likes him back but there might also be Taiga. Ami really likes Ryuuji. By the end, only Taiga and Ryuuji are the official couple. Make of that what you will.
    • As one YouTube commenter puts it- "The SHIPPING standings- Ryuuji likes Minorin, but likes Taiga as well without knowing it. Ami likes Ryuuji. Taiga likes Yuusaku, but probably Ryuuji as well without knowing it. Yuusaku is friends with Taiga, but not really anything else. Minorin likes Ryuuji, but thinks that Taiga likes him more."
  • The relationships in Revolutionary Girl Utena defy two-dimensional love charts. Juri, Ruka, and Shiori are isolated in a relatively simple Type 2 (possibly type 12) Love Triangle, but everyone else? Where to begin... Utena falls for Akio, who is sleeping with Anthy, while Anthy may have feelings for Utena, who may have feelings for her in return. Touga, meanwhile, falls for Utena while still dating half the girls in the school, including Kozue, who had a relationship with her brother Miki, who now has a crush on Anthy because he projects on her his thoughts on Kozue... sorta. Nanami has a crush both on Miki and on Touga, and Mitsuru has a crush on her. Touga also has some serious unresolved issues with Saionji, who claims to adore Anthy (even though she may just be a means to an end), and certainly isn't interested in Wakaba, whose crush on him precipitates the entire story and makes her oblivious to the affection of Tetsuya. And depending on how you want to interpret the car, Akio seduces Utena and Touga, and quite a few others, including Tokiko who was loved by Mikage, though he now fixates on her younger brother Mamiya. And Mamiya was Dead All Along, and is being impersonated by Anthy. And I am very sure I've missed a few, so feel free to add anything in. Also, see the series page for another interpretation of all the relationships; it's... complex.
    • Ikuhara's other series, Mawaru Penguindrum, has a dodecahedron. Ringo is trying to become her dead sister Momoka and thus fixing her broken family by coming on and almost raping Momoka's love Tabuki, who is married to the very shady and mentally/physically scarred Yuri, who also loved Momoka and tries to rape Ringo because they're so much alike. And then Ringo starts to fall in love with Shouma whose parents killed Momoka in the first place. The incestuous Love Triangle between Kanba, Himari and Masako looks like an episode of Leave It to Beaver by comparison.
  • Psyren: Both Kagetora and Ian have proposed to Matsuri several times and been turned down. Sakurako and Marie love Ageha, who confessed to the former and is oblivious to the latter. Shao loves Marie, who is also unaware, while Frederica and Misura have some Les Yay tendencies toward Marie (who even has her own Stalker with a Crush, Vigo). On top of that, Kabuto has a thing for both Frederica and Sakurako, and Oboro is really Ho Yay for Ageha.
  • A Certain Magical Index has Touma's immense harem complicated by: the fake Unabara Eztali, lesbian Stalker with a Crush Kuroko, and who knows how many other Fangirls/fanboys who want Misaka; among other characters (trying to get the list and directions together is a hefty task).
    • And that's just Touma's harem.
  • Durarara!! sets up an interesting one with Celty's story: Shinra has a crush on Body!Celty which may or may not be requited, while Celty really just wants to get her head back, but Head!Celty is in love with Seiji, who is caught in a love triangle between Head!Celty and his sister Namie. as well as his girlfriend Mika (who got plastic surgery to look like Head!Celty), though it turns out to be both simpler and more complex than that as the story progresses.
  • Vampire Game runs on this. Lucy loves Ashley loves Leene is crazy about Yuujel who's got a thing for Ishtar who's in love with Darres who she thinks is in love with Selen who actually loves Galahad. Laphiji loves Seiliez likes Ishtar while everyone thinks he's sleeping with his mom but he's actually banging Sharlen who's also doing Jened who raped the Old Man of the Sea's daughter and has a creepy obsession with Falan only matched by Illsaide's creepy obsession with Falan who herself loves Illsaide but who is also very fond of Vord who loves Ishtar. Also on the Ishtar-loveboat is Duzell, who also has feelings for Illsaide and used to have a thing with Rishas/Lailis while flirting up a storm with Diaage and having some serious Foe Yay with Phelios. Phelios, meanwhile, had an affair with Diaage while telling Duzell "I want you to be mine". Lailis loves Duzell but Lassen loves her. Hume loves Illsaide and Jill loves Maura loves Jill. Nobody loves Krai.
  • Fairy Tail actually doesn't have a Love Dodecahedron, although that doesn't stop Juvia from thinking there is.
  • Reimei no Arcana: Cain has unrequited feelings for his arranged fiancee Louise, who in turn has unrequited feelings for Cain's brother Caesar, who is in love with Nakaba, who returns his feelings. Loki may or may not have unrequited feelings for Nakaba, but it is strongly hinted that he does in Chapter 21.
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time has Chiaki and (possibly) Kousuke having feelings for the main protagonist Makoto who is oblivious and prefers to stay friends with the two of them until she realizes her feelings for Chiaki. Makoto's friend Yuri likes Chiaki who, as stated above, likes Makoto. Same with another student Kaho who likes Kousuke.
  • Amakusa 1637 has one of these as well. Natsuki loves Miyamoto. Miyamoto loves her but later is amnesiac — and then he falls again for her when he recovers his memories. Naozumi loves Natsuki and also Shirou, though he also saw him as a Replacement Goldfish and killed him. Otsu loves Miyamoto. Kinji may have had feelings for Shirou but later redirects them to Eri.
  • Oke no Monshou's own love dodecahedron is like this. Pharaoh Memphis of Egypt and Carol Reed love each other. Memphis's sister Isis and Princess Caphra of Libya love Memphis. Prince Ishmin of the Hitites, Prince Minos of Chrete and Jimmy Brown love Carol. Minueh loves Isis. Kapta lusts after Carol, while Emperor Algol of Assyria wants Carol as his queen to dominate Egypt. Phew!

Comic Books

  • The Scott Pilgrim graphic novels are known for this. The inside back cover of the third book consists of an absurdly complicated diagram detailing the relationships of all of the characters thus far (including such descriptors as "in a band with", "still likes" and "dating(?)") that is rendered obsolete before the end of the first chapter of the next book.
  • Archie Comics has the famous Betty/Archie/Veronica triangle. However, Veronica also regularly dates Reggie, who keeps trying to date Midge, much to her boyfriend Moose's wrath. Other than Betty, Jughead mostly runs from girls, especially his constant admirer Ethel, who occasionally has to settle for Dilton. Then Cheryl Blossom came along. They've all had countless one-time love interests. Chuck and Nancy have enough sense to keep out of this mess.
  • After they turned it into a soap opera, the Archie Comics Sonic the Hedgehog series twisted Sonic's love life into a Gordian Knot: Originally hooked up with Sally Acorn, she got stuck ruling the country and shoved the relationship to the side to focus on her new duties, prompting Sonic to fall in with Mina Mongoose, starting a rivalry between the two women for Sonic's affection. He then started seeing Fiona Fox on the side, which not only pissed off Mina and Sally, but Tails, as well, who had a crush on her due to falling in love with a robotic duplicate created by Robotnik several years earlier (don't ask). Eventually, Mina got her own boyfriend, Sally got Sonic once again, and Tails got tossed into a brick wall by Fiona, who gave them all the finger to have a relationship with Sonic's evil clone from another universe. Sally later started dating Monkey Khan but broke it off due to her history with Sonic. And that's not even counting the mini-tangle between Antoine, Sally, Bunnie Rabbot, and Antoine's evil clone from the same universe Fiona's new beau comes from.
  • Almost every member of the X-Men has been in love with another member at some point. One of the more famous dodecahedrons: Wolverine loved Jean Grey, who loved Cyclops, who loved her back but married her clone Madelyne Pryor, who had an affair with Cyclops' brother Havok, who almost married Polaris but left her at the altar for Nurse Annie, who kissed Iceman, who was unaware that Northstar was secretly in love with him...
    • For those less familiar with the complicated relationships under Xavier's roof, made a flowchart.
  • Also, Daredevil, Hawkeye, and Iron Man keep dating the same women. Daredevil dated Black Widow, who also dated Hawkeye and Iron Man, and Hawkeye slept with Echo who is another of Daredevil's ex-girlfriends, as was Heather Glenn who was involved with Iron Man for awhile, etc. Yet another DD ex, Typhoid Mary, once tricked Deadpool into sleeping with her. Iron Man, for his part, has had a plethora of ladyfriends including Emma Frost (Cyclops' current flame), She-Hulk, and the Wasp. Remember kids, when you kiss Tony Stark, you taste Galactus.
  • Strangers in Paradise begins with a Love Triangle and then... hooboy. Katchoo loves best friend Francine unrequitedly, then takes up with David because he has been in love with her for years. Then Francine, who had a crush on David, starts to sort-of reciprocate Katchoo's feelings. Casey, unhappily married to Francine's ex-boyfriend Freddie (who still loves Francine), falls in love with David at first sight. With their marriage on the rocks, Freddie pursues Francine while Casey pursues David and also Katchoo. Katchoo, unable to deal with the issues of her past and family, finally drives David away. Francine becomes engaged to Brad and then breaks off her engagement to be with Katchoo, but still cannot consummate the relationship, so a frustrated Katchoo sleeps with Casey on the side. When Francine discovers this she goes back to Brad. When confronted at gunpoint by Katchoo's sister Tambi (who insists that their two families produce an heir via David and Katchoo), David offers to produce a child with her in exchange for his life and Katchoo's release from the obligation, and after they attempt this Tambi secretly falls for David. David returns to marry Katchoo, but the two part amicably once she learns about Tambi and realizes she prefers women. Casey finally gets to shack up with David...then Katchoo joins them so they can all be happy together. Eventually, Francine leaves Brad for cheating on her; David dies, leaving Casey to take up with Tambi, and Francine and Katchoo end up together for good. Freddie ends up alone..
  • Jaimie and Gilbert Hernandez's Love and Rockets features several of these, particularly Gilbert's Palomar stories which are influenced by Hispanic telenovelas.
  • Due to their decades of continuity, many Marvel Comics series have dodecahedrons so complex you need a 3D model to keep track. For example, Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four romanced Crystal, but she married Quicksilver instead and they had a child. But Crystal also began an ill-fated romance with Dane Whitman, who was not only involved with Sersi but also hopelessly pining after Wasp. Wasp was the ex-wife of Hank Pym, had an ill-fated one-night-stand with Magneto (Quicksilver's father!) and briefly dated Tony Stark, aka Iron Man (see above). To top it off, Crystal is currently betrothed to Ronan the Accuser, ruler of the Kree, who was formerly romantically involved with Una-Rogg, who tried to seduce Genis-Vell, who... you get the idea.
    • Due to various destructions, memory wipes and rebuilds, Marvel's Vision is a one-character love dodecahedron.
  • There's some sort of bizarre love-lust-hate-obsession dodecahedron going on between Daredevil, Elektra, Punisher, and Bullseye. Bullseye is obsessed with Daredevil (in the AU Daredevil Noir Daredevil actually falls in love with Bullseye's genderswapped counterpart) and Punisher. Punisher and Daredevil have some angry manpain UST going on. Elektra and Daredevil were in love, and she and Punisher are attracted to one another (in yet another AU, the 2099 verse, they had a daughter, Cassandra). Elektra and Bullseye's relationship can best be summed up by his quote to her: "I love to see you bleed."
  • In the Teen Titans comics, Speedy Arsenal Red Arrow is into Wondergirl Darkstar Donna Troy, who got married to Terry Long. Meanwhile, Starfire was once involved with, and still has feelings for, Robin Nightwing the new Batman, who's engaged to Barbara Gordon. Red Arrow also had a crush on Raven, who had a crush on Kid Flash the Flash (who is now married to Linda, but had a relationship with three other women first), then one on Dick Grayson, and now one on Beast Boy (which she might be over now). Beast Boy had a crush on Terra, then on Starfire, and is now in love with Raven. Still not sure where Aqualad Tempest stands in all this. Cyborg is the only one that was smart enough to stay out of this crap, or he would have, if not for his ambiguous feelings for Sara Simms.
  • For a comic which is only a decade old[when?], the Ultimate Spider-Man (now Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man) continuity has a pretty impressive one for Peter. Depending on how you count things, Peter's current love interests include Gwen, Mary Jane, Kitty, and Johnny Storm. That's not mentioning the fact that Peter currently lives with Kitty's ex-boyfriend Bobby as well as Johnny, who made out with his Opposite Gender Clone. Added into this is Felicia Hardy, who was rather blunt in her attempts to woo Peter until she realized he was fifteen years old.
  • In Quantum and Woody, one develops between Quantum, Woody, Amy Fishbein, Tempest Sheridan, and Holly Williams. Just don't ask how the goat fits in...

Fan Works

  • Kyon: Big Damn Hero: As of Chapter 31, Kyon is confirmed to have 7 girls with romantic feelings towards him. And yes, Haruhi is among them, and she's planning on a Marry Them All resolution. Bet you didn't see that one coming, did you?
  • Seduction: Marjani, who is an arranged engagement with Kurumi, is in love with Sarakshi. Who Tora also has a thing for. While Sarakshi doesn't seem to have romantic feelings for either, Linda seems to harbour some for Marjani (As of Chapter 18, his engagement with Kurumi has been dissolved and they are... in a bit of a relationship) and Yuki seems to harbour some for Tora.
  • TDWT Reducks Redux seems to be developing a massive one: Ezekiel likes Bridgette, who's dating Geoff yet has Ship Tease with Harold, who also has Ship Tease with Lindsay even though he really likes Leshawna, who broke up with him because she likes Alejandro. Lindsay was dating Tyler, who looks like he'll eventually hook up with Gwen, who likes Duncan (who's dating Courtney) even though Cody still sort of likes her, and Sierra likes him...
  • In Ragnarok despite being a Celibate Hero Light has practically everyone chasing after him. Mello and Matt are in a relationship but Mello still engages in some uncomfortable flirting with Light and Mello and Matt make it clear they're open to a three-way. Light dated Takada in college, had a brief but happy affair with Stephen Loud a.k.a. Gevanni of the FBI, and he went on a single date with Mikami before realizing how crazy he was and has been trying to avoid him ever since. Misa loves Light but they agree that they're Better as Friends. Also L has been stalking Light for the past year and Light has been stalking L. Also Near gets all flustered around Gevanni and Sayu.
  • Invoked almost by name in chapter 30 of What Do You Want?, a Ranma ½ fic by "polenicus". When hearing from Nabiki of the odds on an event she inadvertently interrupted, Sayuri says:

"I can't believe you're running betting pools on your own relationship dodecahedron," Sayuri said. "Isn't that a conflict of interest?"

  • The Eighth Weasley by "Fyre" -- a Harry Potter/Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossover/Continuation Fic written before the publication of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix -- develops by halfway through its plot a small love dodecahedron that is still fraught with complications: Percy Weasley is interested in Amy Madison, who is interested in Ron Weasley (who broke up with Hermione some years earlier). Ron, however, has a thing for Buffy, who is attracted to Sirius Black (and, although she would deny it, Severus Snape). Snape is also denying his reciprocal interest in her while failing to understand his feelings of jealousy. Meanwhile Willow and Hermione are exploring a relationship, and Xander and Anya are on the verge of breaking up while Anya and Dumbledore establish a very odd May-December relationship, where Dumbledore (against all odds) is the "May" member of the pair...


  • There's Something About Mary features a Type 3 Triang Relation extended into a Love Dodecahedron with Mary at the center. Everybody is in love with/stalks Mary, including the main character and even football star Brett Favre. Naturally, Mary chooses the main character over Brett. (She's a Niners fan.)
  • Tootsie has a great example of this:[2]

Michael: You should have seen the look on her face when she thought I was a lesbian.
George: "Lesbian"? You just said gay.
Michael: No, no, no -- Sandy thinks I'm gay, Julie thinks I'm a lesbian.
George: I thought Dorothy was supposed to be straight?
Michael: Dorothy is straight. Tonight Les, the sweetest, nicest man in the world asked me to marry him.
George: A guy named Les wants you to marry him?
Michael: No, no, no -- he wants to marry Dorothy.
George: Does he know she's a lesbian?
Michael: Dorothy's not a lesbian.
George: I know that, does he know that?
Michael: Know what?
George: That, er, I... I don't know.

  • The 1982 avant-garde movie Querelle has a complicated and bizarre love-lust-hate dodecahedron. The main character, Querelle, is attracted to the madame Lysiane, who is the mistress of his brother Robert. But Querelle first purposefully loses a bet to Lysiane's husband, Nono, and has sex with him as payment before becoming Lysiane's lover. Querelle also sleeps with Nono's friend, the corrupt police captain Mario. Meanwhile, a construction worker named Gil (confusingly played by the same actor who plays Querelle's brother Robert) murders his co-worker Theo, who has been sexually assaulting him. Roger, who is in love with Gil, introduces him to Querelle hoping that Querelle can help Gil escape. Instead, Querelle begins an affair with Gil but betrays him to the police. In the end, Querelle sails off into the sunse with his superior officer, Lt. Seblon, who has been obsessed with him the entire movie. So the Dodecahedron looks something like:
    • Robert loves Lysiane who is married to Nono but who has an affair with Querelle, who also has sex with Nono, Mario, and Gil. Roger is in love with Gil, but loses him to Querelle. Seblon is attracted to Querelle and gets him in the end.
  • Spoofed towards the end of Woody Allen's Love and Death:

Natasha: It’s a very complicated situation, Cousin Sonja. I’m in love with Alexei. He loves Alicia. Alicia is having an affair with Lev. Lev loves Tatiana. Tatiana loves Simkin. Simkin loves me. I love Simkin, but in a different way than Alexei. Alexei loves Tatiana like a sister. Tatiana’s sister loves Trigorin like a brother. Trigorin’s brother is having an affair with my sister, whom he likes physically but not spiritually.
Sonja: Natasha . . . It’s getting a little late.
Natasha: The firm of Mishkin and Mishkin is sleeping with the firm of Taskov and Taskov!

  • Crazy Stupid Love: Robbie has a thing for his babysitter Jessica who has a crush on Robbie's father Cal who is going through a really rocky relationship with Emily, who had a one-night stand with David but is also the mother of Hannah, who's the girlfriend of Jacob, who teaches Cal how to "regain his manlihood," which allows him to pick up multiple women, etc.


  • Edward Cullen from Twilight loves Bella. Bella loves Edward and Jacob, but she loves Edward more. Jacob loved Bella but then falls for her unborn daughter. Mike, Eric, and Tyler all have deep crushes on Bella, but she ignored them. Mike dates Jessica but breaks up with her. Tyler dates Lauren. Rosalie was supposed to be Edward's mate, but she ended with Emmet. Alice is with Jasper, but she kind of gives off lesbian vibes for Bella. In the end, everyone of note loves Bella in some way.
  • The Host also fits this trope. Melanie loves Jared so much that the alien parasite controlling her body also falls in love with him. However, it's implied the love is mostly physical. Ian has a crush on Wanderer, and Wanderer finds herself falling in love with him for his personality. Even when Wanderer is given a seperate body from Melanie's at the end, Melanie has a slight crush on Ian but loves Jared and Wanderer still has a slight crush on Jared but loves Ian. And this isn't even including the romances between the side characters.
  • At the heart of Fyodor Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov is an intricate Love Dodecahedron which isn't really fleshed out until the later chapters. It starts with Fyodor Karamazov and his son Dmitri (the eldest brother) who are both smitten with Grushenka, the local Hello, Nurse!. But in love with Dmitri is Katerina, an aristocrat who is smitten with him for some services he did for her in the past. In love with Katerina is Ivan, the middle Karamazov brother, but he maintains that he doesn't really love her. Grushenka herself plays with Fyodor's and Dmitri's affections, but really she's been pining after Mussyalovich, a Polish gentleman who spurned her five years ago. Grushenka also shows some attraction for Alyosha, the youngest Karamazov brother, but his attentions are turned towards Liza, a young girl crippled by a fever at the outset of the novel. But towards the end Liza shows more attraction to Ivan than anyone else.
  • Also by Dostoevsky, The Idiot. Myshkin loves Aglaya, and is briefly in love with Nastasya but mainly just pities her (which nevertheless makes Aglaya see her as a romantic rival). Gavrila loves Aglaya, but for various reasons won't commit himself to her; he doesn't love Nastasya at all, but he's seeking her hand anyway because of her impressive dowry. Rogozhin only has eyes for Nastasya. Nastasya used to be Tostky's mistress but now she hates the man; she seems to despise Gavrila; she's in a full-on Masochism Tango with Rogozhin, so it's unclear whether she loves or hates him; and she seems to be afraid of Myshkin—his love threatens her self-image as a bad person, and in her more selfless moments she fears that she'll hurt him.
  • Pretty much every Blandings Castle novel, and, in fact, most of the works of PG Wodehouse. He was a master at these, and could successfully create and solve one of these plots in a single book. If one were to create a chart detailing the relationships of all the characters who appear in his connected universe, one would probably go insane just from reading it.
  • The Seven Realms Series has a lot of this, with Han Alistar and Princess Raisa at the center. To elaborate, Raisa and Amon are very much in love with each other, but their love is forbidden. At the same time, Raisa enjoys flirting with Micah Bayar for fun, but their love is also forbidden and it turned out Micah was using magic to get Raisa to like him more, but Micah doesn't seem to care. Han is a supreme Chick Magnet that gets quite a few suitors for himself including Micah's sister, Fiona. Keep in mind that Han is a commoner that's managed to piss off the Bayar family by keeping an incredibly powerful MacGuffin out of their hands. ('Cause, y'know, they're evil and would kill Han even if he gave it back.) When Raisa and Han travel to Oden's Ford, Han gets a few suitors from the female student body (much to Fiona's chagrin.) Amon also finds a girl who is, by political standards, a much better match for him. Raisa is not pleased and is only convinced that they won't be together by the magic spell keeping them apart knocking Amon out after they kiss. Then Raisa and Han finally start spending large amounts of time together in tutoring sessions and they quickly start to feel attracted to one another. Then, when Princess Raisa openly admits that as the heir to the throne, she is looking for a Royal Consort, gifts from suitors come in by the boatload. By book three, Raisa and Han, the couple that fans had been shipping for ages finally admitted that they want to be together. Blue Blood politics won't make that so easy, though...
  • In Maria McCann's As Meat Loves Salt, Jacob loves and marries Caro, but rapes and abandons her over jealousy of her, friendship with his brother, Isaiah. Then he meets and falls in love with Ferris, only for Caro to reappear and start an affair with Ferris. Then its revealed that Jacob may have had a sexual relationship with Isaiah in the past.
  • In Chekhov's The Seagull Medviedenko loves Masha, who loves Treplyov, who loves Nina, who loves Trigorin, who is loved by Irina. Everybody's unhappy.
  • A poem by Brazilian author Carlos Drummond de Andrade: "João loved Teresa who loved Raimundo who loved Maria who loved Joaquim who loved Lili who loved no one".
  • The main characters of John C. Wright's Chronicles of Chaos consist of three boys and two girls. Some interesting permutations work out.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Ned Stark married Catelyn Tully to cement the Stark/Tully alliance against the Targaryens, but he also apparently had a thing for Ashara Dayne (who may or may not be his babymama, and who was also lusted after by Ser Baristan Selmy, and some theorize by Ned's brother, Brandon). Ned also had a healthy amount of Ho Yay with his best friend, Robert Baratheon, who was in love with Ned's sister, Lyanna, but ended up marrying Cersei Lannister. Both Lyanna and Cersei had the hots for Rhaegar Targaryen, though Cersei is also getting it on with her twin brother Jaime, her cousin Lancel, Lady Taena Merryweather, all three of the Kettleback brothers and possibly Moonboy (Yeah, Cersei's kind of a slut). Catelyn's sister Lysa is married to Ned and Robert's adoptive father, Jon Arryn, but is also engaged in a clandestine affair with Littlefinger, whom she eventually marries after her husband's death. Littlefinger, however, was madly in love with Catelyn, who loves him like a brother, but no more. Now, though, he's found a suitable replacement in Catelyn's teenage daughter, Sansa. Robert's brother, Renly, is married to Margaery Tyrell, but is implied stated (by Word of God) to be sleeping with her brother Loras. Additionally, Renly's bodyguard, Brianne has a major crush on him, but latter develops a rather tender relationship with none other than Jaime Lannister, Cersei's brother. Yeah, love in Westeros is complicated, and this doesn't even get into Jon and Dany's generation.
  • The entire point of Pride and Prejudice is resolving one of these. To clarify... (and beware spoilers)
  • Another 19th-century example: in Anthony Trollope's Ayala's Angel, the title character is beloved by Tom Tringle, Johnathan Stubbs, and Captain Batsby, but Batsby also takes a fancy to Tom's sister Gertrude, who wants to marry Frank Houston, who is in love with his cousin Imogen Docimer. Meanwhile Lady Albury has an interesting relationship with Stubbs, but is determined not to cheat on her husband Sir Harry. Also Tom's other sister Augusta accuses Ayala of trying to steal her fiancee, the honourable Septimus Traffik.
  • The Secret History revolves around six college students, five men and one woman, who are all too smart for their own good. A Love Dodecahedron and many Tragic Dreams ensue.
  • Ah, Warrior Cats. Let's start with the main character, shall we? Cinderpelt (who seems to have some chemistry with Littlecloud, who had a bit of Ho Yay with Whitethroat, but Your Mileage May Vary) was in love with Firestar, who never knew. Firestar and Spottedleaf liked each other for the brief period of time that she was alive, and they continue to meet in dreams even after her death, much to the chagrin of Sandstorm, his mate, who's been paired with Scourge and previously was friends with Dustpelt, who thought it was something more. Dustpelt eventually became the mate of Ferncloud. Now skip ahead about six books, and you'll find that Cinderpelt has been reincarnated as Cinderheart after her death. Cinderheart may or may not like Jayfeather, and Jayfeather (who's also been shipped with Poppyfrost, who is said to have kits in the next series, and had a love interest named Half Moon when he traveled back to the time of a previous incarnation of himself) may or may not like her back. Then, of course, one must consider the possibility of Cinderheart falling for Lionblaze, who is somewhat like Firestar. Icepaw may have a crush Lionblaze as well, according to Erin Hunter. Not to mention that Lionblaze used to be 'friends' with Heathertail, who hates him because he broke up with her, and she may or may not be Just Friends with Breezepelt.
    • A fan suggested that Cinderheart have a crush on Firestar, and Vicky liked the idea.
      • And that Tigerstar has been paired with Cinderpelt, and that Leopardstar was recently confirmed in a chat to have been in love with Tigerstar. He's also had children with both Sasha (his true love according to Erin Hunter]] and Goldenflower, and it's questionable if Goldenflower loved him or not. He's also had a lot of Ho Yay with [[Bastard Understudy Darkstripe].]
      • Or that Ravenpaw, who has a lot of Ho Yay with Barley, is occasionally shipped with Sandstorm.
    • Jayfeather and the stick. Not to mention Lionblazexbattle and Hollyleafxthe warrior code. Come to think of it, Holly's got a bit of evidence with Sol, and is popular with Breezepelt, in spite of him being her half-brother.
      • In a twisted way, Hollyleaf x Breezepelt does make sense. Some fans have theories that some of Hollyleaf's insanity contributed to her loving Breezepelt; her half-brother and a warrior from WindClan, and we all know being mates with someone from another Clan is against the warrior code. Plus, them being half-siblings doesn't really stand in the way of anything, seeing as Willowpelt x Patchpelt were canon, and they were siblings, just from different litters, and without them, we wouldn't have Graystripe.
    • The New Prophecy is great with this. Stormfur, Ashfur, and Brambleclaw all liked Squirrelflight. Stormfur eventually ended up with a Tribe cat named Brook. For a while it seemed as if Brambleclaw and Squirrelflight would become and Official Couple, but fell out because of Brambleclaw wanting to be friends with his half-brother (it makes a bit more sense in context, but not much), whom some fans say he had Ho Yay with, and Squirrelflight went to Ashfur. However, she never truly loved him, and later left him for Brambleclaw once more. This drove Ashfur insane, to the point of betraying his Clan, abetting in almost murdering Firestar, and trying to kill Squirrelflight along with her 'kits'. This forced her to admit that they weren't hers, and were in fact the children of Leafpool and Crowfeather. Leafpool and Crowfeather; who had previously been in love with Feathertail (who died), had a brief affair (which produced Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Hollyleaf) before Crowfeather took a mate in WindClan solely to prove his loyalty and had a kit with her. They didn't love each other.
      • Of course, Feathertail, Leafpool, and Squirrelflight have all been paired with Hawkfrost.
    • We also have Whitewing, who's been shipped with just about everyone and everything. Most prominently, we have Ashfur, Birchfall (her official mate), Shrewpaw (who may or may not have also liked Squirrelflight), and Spiderleg. Spiderleg became Daisy's mate, but they broke up after having two kits. Daisy's previous mate was Smoky, and he fathered Mousewhisker (who had a crush on Minnowpaw for a while), Hazeltail, and Berrynose. Berrynose hooked up with Honeyfern, but she died, and he's had a bit of Ho Yay with Birchfall, who's been paired with both Applefur and Toadfoot (more Ho Yay). He later mated with Poppyfrost.
    • While Daisy was pregnant, she had an unrequited crush on Cloudtail, who was already with Brightspirit.
    • Smoky went on to have kits with Daisy's sister, Floss, who lived in the barn with him. This isn't explicitly stated, but Floss was mentioned to be pregnant, and ase Smoky was the only tom around at the do the math.
    • Not to mention Graystripe, who's been paired with Firestar and Russetfur, was Silverstream's mate, and later had kits with Millie.
    • Speaking of Graystripe, his mother, Willowpelt, went through quite a few mates: Tawnyspots, Whitestorm, and Patchpelt, who is her own half-brother.
    • And Bluestar's been shipped with Oakheart, Tigerstar, Redtail, Lionheart, and Whitestorm, who is her nephew.
    • Thrushpelt also had a crush on Bluestar, and pretended to be the father of her kits for a while.
    • In OOTS, Dovewing fell in love with Tigerheart, but broke up with him when he used her to get herbs and she realized he was training in the Dark Forest. Bumblestripe has a Ship Tease with Ivypool, and the two went on to become a Fan-Preferred Couple, only for Bumblestripe to start flirting with Dovewing in SOTM. Briarlight mentioned Blossomfall mooned over Toadstep, and Rosepetal had a crush on Foxleap for a while before the Erins realized he was her uncle, (blame a complicated family tree), so Foxleap started flirting with Dovewing, Ivypool gets a lot of Ho Yay with Blossomfall, and Tigerheart is still in love with Dovewing! Jeez...
    • The lesson here is that Warrior Cats fans like their shipping.
  • A slight invocation of this trope appears in the Three Worlds Cycle, specifically in the second quartet to make up the cycle. Nish loves Tiaan, who doesn't love him back. Then Nish has a short affair with Irisis, who hates Tiaan, simply to get back at her for rejecting him. Then Irisis has a brief affair with Xervish Flydd, who seems to have possibly had a thing with scrutator Halie. Meanwhile, Tiaan falls in love with Minis, who loves her back but betrays her and spends three books beating himself up over it. Tiaan then meets Gilhaelith who seems to lust after her. Back to Nish and Irisis, they end up in a will they/won't they situation right up until the end of the fourth book, where Tiaan swears off men for life, Flydd has been castrated anyway, and Irisis and Nish finally get it on. Well, almost manage to...
  • In Gone (novel) by Michael Grant, there is a huge one. Sam and Astrid like each other, but Taylor likes Sam, who makes out with her when drunk. Diana jokes about wanting Sam, but she really wants Caine (or does she?), and he wants her, but so does Computer Jack, who likes Brianna, who likes him back, but Dekka also loves her. Meanwhile, Drake is obsessed with Diana and possibly Astrid in a way that may or may not be sexual, and it seemed for a second there that Sanjit wanted Diana, but turns out it's really Lana that he's into, who's also liked by Edilio and Quinn. And then Penny's obsessed with Caine, only maybe not so much after he dropped her off a cliff. And it goes on . . .
  • Mortal Instruments. Jace loves Clary who loves him back. Simon likes Clary. Isabelle and Maia like Simon. Isabelle's brother, Alec, likes Jace. Magnus likes Alec and they end up together. Clary also liked 'Sebastian' for a short time and they kissed.
  • In Ranger's Apprentice Halt spends time with Alyss and thinks If I were twenty years younger... He ends up marrying Lady Pauline. Alyss kisses Will. Will spends time with Evanlyn but can't handle that she's really Princess Cassandra and falls for Alyss instead. He and Evanlyn still have feelings for each other and this causes tension between Alyss and Evalyn and between Will and Horace. Horace and Evanlyn end up falling in love and become engaged, as do Will and Alyss.
  • Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake is an infamous example of a Love Dodecahedron, it'd be easier to name a character not in love with or part of Anita's Reverse Harem.
  • Laurell K. Hamilton's Merry Gentry features Merry Gentry in the middle of a Love Dodecahedron with a Reverse Harem.
  • Mansfield Park. To elaborate: Mr. Rushworth is in love with Maria, and Mr. Yates is in love with Julia, but both Bertram sisters are in love with Henry Crawford, who claims to be in love with Fanny, who is in love with Edmund, who is in love with Mary Crawford, who is in love with money.
  • In Prized by Caragh O'Brien, Leon loves Gaia, who is also loved by Chardo Will and Chardo Peter, who once dated Adele, who is now married to someone else.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo is full of this. To beginning, Edmond Dantes is in love with Mercedes who however marries Fernand. Their son is supposed to marry Eugenie, daughter of Danglars who bethrayed Edmond. That's not possible, because Edmond's slave Haydée tells how Fernand bethrayed her father. So, Danglars' wife, who had a scandalous relationship with Villefort, an Edmond's bethrayer too, had son Benedetto with him who is also supposed to marry Eugenie, who although leaves in a supposedly lesbian relationship. Villefort's daugther Valentine loves Maximilien Morrel but she is forced to marry count d'Epinay, which is finally not possible because Valentine's grandfather killed d'Epinays grandfather. Oh, and Edmond suggest Morrel to marry Haydée but in the end he himself gets married with her. See spoiling [1] for full description.

Live Action TV

  • This trope is why daytime soap operas exist. 'Nuff said.
  • Chow Yun-fat, before the Heroic Bloodshed roles that put him on the map of Hong Kong movie stardom, rose to fame as a man caught in several love dodecahedrons in the (appropriately named) Hong Kong drama series "The Man in the Net."
  • Grey's Anatomy features a love dodecahedron in which George loves Meredith who loves Derek who can't decide if he loves Meredith or Addison, who also is still in love with Derek, but at one point was in love with Mark, who slept with Callie, who is married to George, who slept with Izzie, who used to date Alex, who's lusted after by Addison (and that's before you get into the Subtext). Coincidentally, the best-remembered episode of the first season featured a hospital-wide outbreak of syphilis.
  • The first season of Smallville, after setting up a Love Triangle with Clark and Whitney both wanting Lana, regularly increased its geometrical complexity by throwing others into the mix; the (Kryptonite meteor-rock influenced) Villain of the Week was sometimes romantically interested in Lana as well (and might even start to get somewhere until revealed to be hideously transformed when not masquerading as still human), while Lex Luthor would intervene to try to break up some of these pairings... but was this being done as friendly help for Clark's benefit, or because he too had secret designs on Lana Clark? It didn't help that seemingly every man, woman and child in Kansas developed an unhealthy obsession with Lana Lang at some point, and Lex's relationship with Clark was staggeringly homoerotic until about season four when they had a messy off-camera break-up.
    • Like it ends there. Chloe is in love with Clark. Jimmy and Pete are in love with Chloe. Chloe dated Jimmy, but he dated Kara briefly when they were broken up. Jason and Lex later had relationships with Lana, while Lois is destined to be with Clark, but has so far been with Aquaman and Oliver. Lionel had romantic designs on Martha after Jonathon died, while Lex's obsession with Clark moved briefly onto Kara. Lana and Lex get married, but that ends when Lana fakes her own death using a clone, frames Lex for the murder, then returns and gets a divorce. Only in Smallville, folks.
      • And moving into season eight adds Davis, who is in love with Chloe, and Tess, who manages Ho Yay and Foe Yay with just about every single member of the cast (Clark, Lois, Oliver, Chloe, potted plants, office furniture, etc).
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Where to start? Willow likes Xander, but Xander likes Buffy. He also dates Cordelia (who later gets involved with Angel). Willow winds up dating Oz. The one time Xander reciprocates Willow's feelings ends up breaking up Willow/Oz (temporarily), and Xander/Cordelia (permanently). Because of that break-up, Cordy invokes the wrath of the vengeance demon, Anya, who later almost marries Xander. The combined Love Dodecahedron for Buffy and its spinoff Angel ends up being so complex that it's mathematically impossible to draw with non-crossing arrows.
    • Then you add the vampires: Angel and Buffy wuv eachother. But when Angel goes evil, he starts being naughty towards Drusilla. Spike and Drusilla have been together for around a century, but he starts crushing on Buffy basically from the moment he sees her. Oh, and Darla. She turned Angel, then he got cursed, so she left. Her relationship with the Master was creepy, and her relationship with Drusilla was subtexty.
      • Not to mention "that one time" between Angel and Spike. Details about what actually happened "that one time" (sexual or not, consensual or not, ladies involved or not...) may vary depending on who you ask.
    • Let's not forget Faith. Definite Foe Yay between her and Buffy, and she takes Xander's v-card.
      • Faith is also seemingly obsessed with Buffy's sloppy seconds: in addition to Xander's long-standing crush, she tried to come on to Angel at least once, slept with Riley while she was in Buffy's body, and in season seven she slept with Robin Wood and seemed like she was going to take up with Spike.
    • Add in Dawn having a crush on Xander, but switching to Spike, and things just get weird (especially since she didn't actually exist at the time she supposedly liked Xander—it was all implanted memories).
    • It's even lampshaded in "Beneath You":

ANYANKA: Hey! Hands off the merchandise, Spike. You don’t get to go there again.
SPIKE: Please… I've already forgotten about our little time together.
NANCY: I thought you were Xander’s ex-girlfriend?
NANCY: But you and Spike?
ANYANKA: Had a thing.
SPIKE: Didn't last.
NANCY: But weren’t you Buffy's…
SPIKE: Briefly.
BUFFY: Never serious.
NANCY: Is there anyone here who hasn't slept together?

    • And then Season 8 came. Dawn and Xander end up together (for now). And Buffy has a one (ok, two) night stand with another Slayer... but the other Slayer broke it off because she felt her love for Buffy would cloud her judgment...
  • The Secret Life of the American Teenager had this in the first season: Ricky impregnated Amy, who fell in love with Ben. Even though Ben proposed to Amy, we also got a hint that he wanted Grace at first. Grace was dating Jack, but when she wouldn't have sex with him, he cheated on her with Adrian. She dumped him and started going out with Ricky, but he too was having sex with Adrian behind her back. Jack began a relationship with another girl, but it didn't last. Ricky dumped Grace when his dangerous father returned to town, hinting that he might've cared for her after all. Adrian started sleeping with her stepbrother, Max, but it too didn't last. The season ended with Grace and Jack getting back together and a hint that Adrian and Ricky really did love each other. The second and third seasons are too complicated and scatterbrained to even describe.
  • The 2004 Battlestar Galactica reboot perhaps takes the cake for this. Adama loved Carolanne before they fell out and now he loves Roslin, who was previously having an affair with President Adar. Apollo loves Starbuck and Starbuck loves Apollo, but he married Anastasia Dualla and she married Samuel Anders. Starbuck also once disastrously bedded Baltar, who loves Number Six, who is now pregnant with Colonel Tigh's child, even though the Colonel mourned the death of his promiscuous wife Ellen. Boomer and Tyrol were having an affair until Adama broke them up. Boomer died at the hands of Cally, who married Tyrol, who still loved Boomer. Athena married Helo, who used to have a crush on Boomer, who is the same person as Athena, except not really. Racetrack has a crush on Helo. Helena Cain had an affair with Gina, whom Baltar tried to seduce. Also, Baltar was the object of some affection early on from Felix Gaeta. Not to mention Starbuck's tricky relationship with Leoben Conoy. Practically every major and secondary character has tricky relationship issues.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210 has David longing for Kelly (resolved when they become step-siblings), who started the show as Steve's ex. During the first two seasons it seemed that they were to become a couple again, which never happened (except for once she got drunk and slept with him). As the show progressed, relationships and hook-ups multiplied: Kelly slept with her best friend's boyfriend, then with her boyfriend's best friend; Clare began virtually stalking Brandon and then having a relationship with David and then with Steve; Valerie slept with Dylan, Steve and David and almost with Brandon once; Gina was with Dylan and then David, who finally married her cousin who was also her half-sister.
  • 90210, in its short-lived run so far, has had a lot of that: Ethan left Naomi for Annie, then kissed Rhonda and finally, before leaving the show, fell in love with Silver, who was Dixon's girlfriend and in season two would become official with Teddy, who had been the reason why Adrianna broke up with Navid. Teddy also flirted with Naomi (but nothing ever happened once they discovered who he was).
  • Friends plays the trope a bit subtly, with most main characters having made out with each other (including same-gender pairs) although only Ross/Rachel and Chandler/Monica actually slept together. Rachel dated Joey but they broke up before having sex. It's also worth mentioning that several minor characters were with at least two of the main cast (Chip with Monica and Rachel, Janice with Chandler and Ross, Kathy with Chandler and Joey), resulting in short-lived triangles that sometimes could fade away quickly, sometimes added some weight to the storyline.
  • Gossip Girl: Let's see...there's the short-lived Serena/Nate/Blair, which then turns into Serena/Dan/Vanessa and Nate/Blair/Chuck, which coincides with Bart/Lily/Rufus/Allison. (This is just the first season, btw.) In season two, it's briefly Marcus/Blair/Chuck and Vanessa/Nate/Catherine, and then finally Dan/Serena/Aaron, and Jenny/Nate/Vanessa. Bart/Lily/Rufus is still happening minus Allison and until Bart dies.It makes you wonder if these people even know anyone else in Manhattan. Then in season three we have Olivia/Dan/Vanessa they actually have a threesome together Nate/Serena/Tripp/Maureen, soon turns into Jenny/Nate/Serena and finally by the end of the season Nate/Serena/Dan/Vanessa. And let's not forget Dan and Serena are kind of step-siblings at this point. And you know who else is kind of step-siblings? Chuck and Jenny. But that doesn't stop Jenny from losing her virginity to a guy that nearly raped her once
    • As of the current season, all the love triangles and hook-ups linked together just involving the core characters is basically: Chuck/Vanessa/Dan/Blair/Chuck/Blair/Nate/Serena/Dan/Vanessa/Nate/Jenny/Chuck. Note that at least two of these pairings are step-siblings, one by marriage, and another by that same marriage + adoption. This doesn't include any of the minor characters or the adult characters.
      • By the middle of season 4 Chuck, Louis and Dan are involved in various stages of love with Blair.
  • Lost's irritating love dodecahedron was originally a simple triangle involving Jack and Sawyer, who both loved Kate, who couldn't decide between them. Then the introduction of Juliet in Season 3 threw a wrench in the triangle, as Jack cannot decide between either (though Juliet thinks he's just using her to make Kate jealous). Thanks to the show's time-travelling, Sawyer and Juliet ended up spending three happy years together, but as of early 2009, it appears that the dodecahedron is about to kick back into play.
    • And let's not forget the obvious Fan Service moment when Kate and Juliet fall in the mud after being handcuffed together...
    • Ana-Lucia filled the same role in a love square during season 2.
    • And Ben is in love with Juliet, who hates him but was in love with Goodwin (until Ben got him killed). Juliet tells Jack she's worried what Ben would do to him if he found out she had feelings for Jack.
  • In an episode of My Name Is Earl, this trope was used. Earl was in love with Billie, but so were Stuart, Frank, and Catalina. Paco, Catalina's childhood lover, was in love with her—but she didn't believe him. Frank was also interested in Billie's cousin. And Kenny was in love with Stuart, too. In the end, it was turned into four neat couples, two of which were continued at least until the end of the season.
  • The Taiwanese Buddy Cop Show Black and White has a Love Dodecahedron that transcends the borders between police and outlaws. The mismatched buddies dandy Chen Zai Tian and straight-laced Wu Ying Xiong are at the center. They both like Mafia Princess Chen Lin who can't decide between the two. Chen Zai Tian also loves a girl from his past and Wu Ying Xiong rekindles an old flame which ends badly. Chen Lin has another admirer in runaway mercenary Ma Xiao Ming. Then there is Lan Xi Ying from the forensics who has a deep crush on Wu Ying Xiong but developes a nice connection with Chen Zai Tian also and she awakens long buried feelings in the hitman Cheng Nuo.
  • Glee has an extensive one. Will was married to Terri but has a crush on Emma. Emma returns the feelings but settles for marrying Ken. Once each of the couples break up, they kiss. They eventually decide to go out, but break up due to the divorce. In that time, Will also has feelings for rival glee club coach Shelby and Lady Drunk April Rhodes. Then in episode 21, he tried hooking up with Sue and it's indicated she has some feelings for him. Meanwhile with the students, Jacob is into Rachel who is in love with Finn, but she tried dating Jesse for a while until he broke her heart. Kurt also liked Finn until he dropped the f-bomb, and Finn was actually dating Quinn until he realized that she had slept with (and got pregnant by) Puck. Puck's somewhat interested in Quinn (and seems to be dating her) but has a sex-only relationship with Santana, who may or not be hooked up with Brittany (who might still have feelings for Kurt after they dated). Beta-ing are Tina and Artie, with some Ship Tease for Tina and Mike and Artie and Quinn. And all this is not including one-off crushes and relationships that were contained in the episode, such as Rachel and Puck trying to go out twice, Sue and Bryan Ryan sleeping together, Puck and Mercedes briefly dating, Rachel going Hot for Teacher on Will, Mercedes liking Kurt, Santana and Brittany dating Finn at the same time, Finn later having a one-night stand with Santana, and so on. And this is all only one season.
    • And now for season two. Emma is dating Carl and marries him in Vegas, though Will keeps chasing her and has post-divorce sex with Terri, once. Finn and Rachel become the closest the cast has to a Beta Couple (until they break up when Rachel finds out about his fling with Santana and promptly cheats on him with Puck...again), when Tina dumps Artie for Mike. Artie wants her back, but dates Brittany to make Tina jealous (though he seems to be over her now). Kurt tries to seduce the new kid, Sam, but Finn and Burt convince him to back off, leaving Sam open to date (sorta) Quinn, until she cheats on him with Finn after which he starts dating Santana, who is actually in love with Brittany but initially too scared and make it a real relationship, until she does and Brittany lets her down easy because she's still dating Artie. The one time Kurt stands up to Karofsky he kisses Kurt, though the latter denies it. Kurt is currently crushing on Blaine (the only other openly gay character on the show, not counting Rachel's dads), who is heavily implied to be Kurt's future boyfriend. And Puck has a one-night stand with Lauren in return for her joining Glee club, and still seems to have a crush on Quinn.
    • Blaine and Rachel also made out, then went out on a date as well.
    • And that was up to mid-season. Kurt and Blaine are officially dating, but there was a (false) rumor that Kurt cheated on Blaine with Sam, who was also (wrongly) accused of hooking up with Quinn while she was still dating Finn, who broke up with her afterwards to try to get back with Rachel, and Rachel seems on her way to getting back with Jesse. After being turned down by Brittany, Santana "convinces" (read forces) Karofsky to date her to act as each others beards, but now that Brittany dumped Artie (who wants her back), Santana is on the move again. By now, Lauren and Puck as well as Mike and Tina are pretty stable couples with not much relationship drama for a change. Oh, and Sam and Mercedes get together in the last episode of the season.
    • It gets some Lampshade Hanging at the start of the third Season. Kurt and Rachel show up in Emma's office and she suggests they might be going out, as it's possibly the only Glee club relationship pairing that hasn't happened yet.
    • Also in season 3: Will and Emma seem to be going steady, but Lauren broke up with Puck who is now Hot for Teacher with Shelby (who also happens to be the adoptive mother of Puck and Quinn's daughter), and Mercedes and Sam broke up over the summer and she's together with some huge football player who doesn't really have any purpose besides being Mercedes' boyfriend, but Sam is trying to get her back. Mercedes ends up cheating on her boyfriend with Sam. They break up, and Mercedes decides to just stay single.
    • Kurt and Blaine are also going strong, except that there is this new Warbler,Sebastian, who has his sights set on Blaine. As of the sectionals episode, it's unclear whether Blaine is aware of Sebastian's agenda, but Kurt definitely is. In addition, Dave Karofsky is in love with Kurt, who rejects him.
    • The new kid, Rory, had a crush on Brittany, much to her girlfriend Santana's displeasure. Later, both Rory and Artie developed feelings for Sugar, who chose Rory over Artie as her date for Valentine's Day.
    • Becky had a crush on Artie at one point, but he rejected her because he wanted to be Just Friends.
    • Coach Bieste and a guy named Cooter develop feelings for each other. Cooter dates Sue for a brief period of time, but he and Bieste soon get back together and elope.
  • Ugly Betty had always had a few of these, but by season four things just got ridiculous.
  • In an episode of Frasier, Frasier and his family (including Daphne and her friend Annie) go to a ski lodge. Frasier lusts after Annie, who in turn desires Niles, who wants Daphne. Daphne wants Guy, the ski instructor, who (unbeknownst to her) is gay, and also wants Niles. When everything is finally revealed, Frasier is frustrated that no one wanted him.
  • Let's talk about some of the Alias relationships between seasons 1 and 3. We have Sydney, who loves Vaughn, who's married to Lauren, who's boning Sark, who loves Allison as Francie, who loves Will, who loves Sydney.
  • Skins loves this trope.
    • Generation 1: Tony and Michelle were dating when the series started. But Tony's best friend Sid was in love with Michelle. And Tony cheated on Michelle with Abigail. Then Cassie fell for Sid, and by the end of the series Sid returned her feelings and they became a couple, while Tony and Michelle broke up. Michelle hooked up with Abigail's brother, Josh, leading Tony to frame Josh as having slept with Abigail - Josh retaliates by drugging Tony's sister Effy and demand that Tony has sex with her if he wants Josh to call an ambulance (he doesn't, but Effy survives). Then in S2, Cassie moved away and Sid and Michelle hooked up, with Abigail claiming Tony as her own. Cassie returned and rejected Sid for his infidelity, suggesting to Tony that the two of them should hook up. A few episodes later, Sid and Michelle break up and they get back together with Cassie and Tony respectively.
      • Meanwhile, Chris is in love with his professor, Angie, but she's torn between him and her ex. She eventually leaves him brokenhearted, and he eventually falls in love with Jal. Then Angie returns and he briefly reunites to her, before realizing that it's Jal who he really wants.
    • Generation 2: In the first episode, best friends Freddie, Cook and JJ all meet Effy and all immediately fall for her. Cook and Effy sleep together and continue to for much of the series, while Freddie continues to pine for Effy. Effy's best friend Pandora gets together with Thomas, but after he leaves the country, she starts an affair with Cook, which she continues after her boyfriend returns. While all this is going on, Naomi and Emily start up a heartfelt but unofficial romance behind closed doors. Naomi tells Cook that she'll sleep with him if he wins the student election, which she almost goes through with when he does. Emily gives JJ a sympathy shag for him to lose his virginity. Effy falls for Freddie, but he has started a relationship with Emily's twin, Katie. While high on shrooms, Effy gets into a fight with Katie and hits her with a rock, and then sleeps with Freddie. After Katie is taken into hospital, Effy shamefully skips town with Cook. The next episode, despite Katie's interference, Emily and Naomi resolve their issues and become an offical couple. Meanwile, Pandora apologizes for her affair and makes up with Thomas. In the series finale, JJ and Freddie track down Cook and Effy. JJ demands that Effy choose between the three of them right there and then; she picks Freddie. In series 4, Freddie and Effy are a couple but Cook still holds feelings for Effy. Naomi cheats on Emily with Sophia (who kills herself when Naomi begins ignoring her) and the two all but break up. Emily falls to pieces and starts punishing Naomi by having affairs with other girls. Thomas, still angry at Pandora for sleeping with Cook, cheats on her with Andrea. Naomi kisses Cook but rejects him because she's in love with Emily. JJ finds a girlfriend in Lara. Katie kisses and develops feelings for Thomas. Effy goes crazy and almost kills herself, and gets a psychologist, John Foster. Foster falls in love with Effy and so beats Freddie to death with a baseball bat. The series ends with both Naomi and Emily and Thomas and Pandora reuniting, while Cook ambigulously fights Foster to avenge Freddie.
    • Generation Three: Nick and Mini started the series as a couple. Franky met and apparently developed feelings for Matty. Rich and Grace became a couple. After Mini was reluctant to sleep with Nick, he cheated on her with her best friend, Liv. The next episode, Liv hooked up with Nick's brother Matty in a drug-fuelled night of passion, and then they became a couple, but Nick seemingly held a torch for Liv. Matty eventually admitted he was in love with Franky. But Mini too was falling in love with an oblivious Franky. In the finale, Liv, desperate to keep Matty, made romantic advances on Franky, but they stopped before it went too far. She finally just broke up with him and he proceeded to go after Franky. They nearly had sex, but she stopped it, likely due to Rape as Backstory. Mini comforted her and the episode ended with no real answer as to whether Franky was still pursuing Matty or if she was moving on.
    • US: Following the pattern of UK's Gen 1, Tony and Michelle are a couple, while Stanley loves Michelle and Cadie loves Stanley. But Tony loves Tea, as does Abbud, while Tea, a lesbian, strikes up a relationship with Betty, but sleeps with Tony. Abbud then sleeps with Daisy.
  • Community descends into this group rapidly.
    • The bare-bone relationships in the first season: Jeff wants to sleep with Britta so he starts a study group to get close to her. Britta thinks he is manipulative and wants to be just friends with Jeff so instead dates Vaughn for a short while. Annie has had a crush on Troy since highschool. Troy not knowing this starts to date Randy (Randy can be a girl's name!). Realizing Troy won't recipricate her feelings, Annie dates Vaughn. Jeff and Britta unsuccessfully try to sabotage Annie's relationship with Vaughn by getting Troy interested in Annie. Jeff starts a comitted relationship with Prof. Slater, his statistic professor. Jeff and Annie share a kiss while participating in debate. Britta drunk dials Jeff. Jeff drunk dials both Britta and Slater. During the last dance of the year Annie breaks up with Vaughn when he moves to a new college. At the same dance Britta and Slater make public professions of love towards Jeff. Jeff runs away from both and moments later makesout with Annie.
  • iCarly: Carly once dated Freddie, who is in love with her, only for them to break up because Sam told Freddie that Carly's feelings for Freddie were hero worship (he saved her life). Sam has a crush on Spencer, and then later has full blown feelings for Freddie, who gives up on Carly and enters a relationship with Sam. Gibby has shown interest in Carly and Sam, and had a girlfriend named Tasha, who had an episode where it looked like she cheated on Gibby with Freddie. Melanie, who is Sam's twin sister, had an obvious crush on Freddie, and has kissed him as well.
  • Degrassi the Next Generation has so many examples of this, that listing them here would take up the whole page. There was even a commercial on The N (now known as Teen Nick) which parodied this. Spinner walked into a South of Nowhere love triangles therapy session, only to be told to go next door. He then walked into a room for love hexagons therapy and sees the entire cast of Degrassi fighting about who's supposed to be involved with who that week.
  • The Too Good to Last ABC show Pushing Daisies has Olive who's in love with Ned, to the point where she's completely oblivious to the affections of Alfredo, It's only after he gets Put on a Bus and leaves (at least partially due to said obliviousness from Olive) that she realizes she might have actually had feelings for him. Olive later begins dating Randy Mann, although her feelings for Ned are still somewhat prevalant. This is shown to make Ned at least a little jealous even though he's deeply in love with Chuck, who, in turn, loves him back. That would all be fine and good except, due to Ned being Blessed with Suck (Or Cursed with Awesome, depending on your interpretation of his abilities) they can't touch. Ever. Then there's Chuck's Aunts, One of whom, Lily, is actually Chuck's mother because she slept with her sister, Vivian's, fiance and Chuck's dad Charles Charles. It should also be noted that she tries to kill Vivian's new beau Dwight Dixon. Although that's mostly becuase he turns out to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who's only using Vivian to get to Her supposed-to-be dead neice, Chuck's, pocket watch, which he later tries to get anyway by robbing her grave.
  • Torchwood: Jack is in a relationship with Ianto but also has feelings for Gwen at times. Gwen loves Jack (at least in the earlier seasons) and is married to Rhys, and had an affair with Owen which ended after Owen had a thing with Diane, whose thing for planes overrode her thing for Owen. Andy is in love with Gwen. Tosh was in love with Owen unrequitedly.
    • Around the same time Ianto was clearly involved with Jack, Jack was involved with his namesake in the episode "Captain Jack Harkness".
  • Doctor Who:
    • In series 1, Rose is dating Mickey, but then runs off with and falls in love with the Doctor, who loves her back, though nothing really happens. While they're on their travels, Jack turns up, having a crush on both Rose and the Doctor. The Doctor falls in love with Madame du Pompadour while his and Rose's relationship remained unresolved.
    • In series 3, Jack (who at the time had recently kissed Ianto in Torchwood) and Martha both have unrequited crushes on the Doctor, while the Doctor (in the guise of John Smith) romances Joan Redfern. Martha eventually gets over this and marries Mickey Smith, who also seems to be over his hangups with Rose.
  • Fringe has steadily been progressing into a rather convoluted dodecahedron: Peter loves Olivia who liked John at first but he died and she liked Peter back but she doesn't remember him as of season 4 and now has a thing for Lincoln who is quite smitten back but is friends with Peter who seems to ship them as well for some reason but Olivia remembered Peter again and now Lincoln is brokenhearted but back in the alternate time line Peter thought that Fauxlivia was Olivia and spent seven episodes enamoured with her even though she was dating Frank but Alternate Lincoln liked her too and seemed to be fond of our Olivia as well when Walternate mind raped her into thinking she was Fauxlivia but in the amber timeline Fauxlivia has broken up with Frank and Lincoln was her "shoulder to cry on" but then he died but the other Lincoln said he'd stay and help and Seth Gabel (who plays Lincoln) ships them so perhaps that will go somewhere. Whew.


  • The main character in R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet slowly discovers that he has stumbled into one of these. Flowchart can be found here.
  • Here Comes My Baby by Cat Stevens. Especially apparent in when covered by Sons of Admirals in a music video.
  • The song "Alter Mann" (old man) by the German fun-whatever band Knorkator features one of these in the first verse.

Daniela likes Jonas, but he has a thing for Vanessa
Vanessa would rather be with Lars, but he likes Melanie better
She on the other hand loves Tim, Tim is on love with Jennifer
Jennifer on the other hand likes Kevin, but Kevin is... gay
Tobies has the hots for Annika, and she actually likes him too,
but the thing is that her best friend also has a crush on him.

  • Moosebutter's song "Doug", which used to be the page quote. To explain how it works, I love you, but you love Doug. I don't really like Doug. Doug loves Martha, but Martha don't really like Doug. Martha loves Brad, but Brad don't really like Doug. Brad loves Sue, but Sue loves truth. Truth don't really like Doug.
  • Tom Lehrer's "I Got It From Agnes". 'Nuff said.

Newspaper Comics

  • Peanuts: Marcie loves either Charlie Brown or Peppermint Patty, who loves Charlie Brown, who loves the Little Red-Haired Girl. Woodstock loves (or at least is jealous of) Snoopy who loves Lucy who loves Schroeder who loves his piano. Sally loves Linus, who loves Ms. Othmar and/or his blanket.
    • In the the earlier days, Frieda loved Schroeder, and Eudora loved Linus. Linus did eventually get over Miss Othmar and did have crushes on girls his own age (but not Sally). And in the '90s, Charlie Brown had a girlfriend/crush named Peggy Jean... this is so confusing... and nobody is over the age of 10.
  • In Flash Gordon, Flash loves Dale, Dale loves Flash, Ming loves Dale, Aura loves Flash, Barin loves Aura, Ming hates Flash, and everyone hates Ming. Eventually this straightens out when Aura shifts her affections to Barin, and Ming comes to hate Dale almost as much as he hates Flash. Other women such as Freya and Undina also find Flash attractive, which always makes their boyfriends mad at him.

Tabletop Games


  • A Little Night Music has a series of interlocking Love Triangles that take in most of the cast.
  • Older Than Steam: Shakespeare loved Love Dodecahedrons; one found its way into most of his comedies, including Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
  • This also extends to all of the plays, books, and movies based off of said Shakespeare works. One such example is All Shook Up: Chad loves Sandra who hates him and loves Ed who doesn't exist because he's actually Natalie because she wants to be with Chad who's first sidekick is Dennis who loves Natalie whose dad is Jim who loves Sandra and later loves Sylvia who is so jaded that she doesn't love anyone at first but later falls for Jim who gives Dennis advice on how to approach Natalie, who is friends with Lorraine who is in love with Dean who is Matilda's son who hates interracial marriage despite giving birth to a mixed child but later marries her sidekick Earl who is supposed to arrest Chad who later loves Ed/Natalie until he finds out that Ed is actually a woman and runs away. By the end of the musical, Jim is married to Sylvia, Matilda is married to Earl, Dean and Lorraine are dating, Sandra and Dennis (inexplicably) get married despite the age difference, and Chad gets over Natalie being a girl and they marry by compromising "maybe once in a while you can put on that hat and the beard... we'll work something out".
  • In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney loves Lucy. So does the Judge. Mrs. Lovett loves Sweeney, who is indifferent to her. The Judge loves Johanna. Anthony loves Johanna, who loves him back. After that, things get a little confusing.
    • There's also one of the "Parlor Songs":

Sweet Polly Pluncket saw her life pass
Flew down the city road crying:
"I am a lass who, alas, loves a lad who, alas, has a lass loves another lad, who once I had in Canterbury.

    • "Love" is a rather strange word to use about Judge/Lucy and Judge/Johanna. "Lust" is more like it. Also, Your Mileage May Vary whether Johanna really loves Anthony or not. It depends on the production, of course, but at least in the movie adaptation she doesn't appear very loving.
  • In Wicked, (at least the musical adaptation) Nessa loves Boq, Boq loves Glinda, Glinda loves Fiyero, and Fiyero loves Elphaba. Glinda actually sets up Boq/Nessa to get Boq off her trail, but Fiyero and Elphaba eventually fall for each other.
  • The whole point of Aspects of Love. Alex loves Rose who loves his uncle George who loves her back because she looks like his dead wife despite having a mistress, Giulietta. Giulietta and Rose have major Les Yay while Rose and George get married and have a daughter, Jenny. Rose takes on a lover named Hugo while Jenny falls in love with Alex. Alex loves her back but is disgusted since they're cousins. Alex and Giulietta fall for each other while both Rose and Jenny beg Alex not to leave them...and now I've gone crossed eyed.
  • Hair (theatre)

Jeannie: This is the way it is. Sheila's hung up on Berger. I'm hung up on Claude. Claude is hung up on a cross between Sheila and Berger. And Berger's hung up everywhere. As a prospective mother I must say something very weird is going on here. And to make it worse, Woof's hung up on Berger.
Woof: No I'm not. I'm hung up on Mick Jagger.

  • Thoroughly Modern Millie. Millie decides she'll marry her boss...once she gets one, of course. She finally decides on Trevor Graydon. Meanwhile she had Slap Slap Kiss with Jimmy and upon realizing her feelings she catches him hanging around her friend Miss Dorothy. Millie tries to go back to Trevor but he has Love At First Sight with Miss Dorothy. Jimmy tries to win Millie back while one of Those Two Guys hanging about falls for Miss Dorothy as well.

Video Games

  • In Breath of Fire IV, Ryu is in love with Nina, who is in love with Clay, who is in love with Elena, who is trapped in a marriage with the evil prince. It was a love daisy chain, only made more disturbing by having Nina and Elena as siblings, and everyone else being different species. Significantly simpler in the orignal, as the Nina's love for Clay was added in the translation.
    • Made all the more complicated in the official manga adaptation, Utsurowazarumono, where Scias' reason for doing a Heel Face Turn and returning to the party is explained by him developing a big crush on Nina. (In the video game, it's just simply assumed that, due to spending so much time fighting in the party, he developed a bond with everyone.)
  • In The Sims, it's far too easy to set one of these up. It can even happen by accident.
    • Actually, there's a premade one in Pleasantview. Darren is love with Cassandra who is engaged to Don who is in love with Nina and has a crush on Nina's sister, Dina. Dina is dating Cassandra's father, Mortimer. Dina was also married to Cassandra's uncle, Michael, before he died. Don also has memories of putting the moves on Cassandra's mother, Bella, just before her alien abduction. Don is also currently having an affair with Kaylynn, the maid. Kaylynn is in turn having an affair with Daniel, who is unhappily married to Mary Sue. Here's a picture for those who couldn't follow that.
  • Fire Emblem 10 has a relationship Dodecahedron in game, updated as the player progresses. A full version can be found here (Major spoilers).
    • Actually letting the player decide how to resolve the love dodecahedron has been a major gameplay/story element since, oh, sometime before they started releasing the games outside of Japan.
  • Most of the routes in Brass Restoration focus on Ryo and his love interest, but Yoshine's route has a Love Dodecahedron as part of the plot.
  • Luminous Arc 2 have one mostly revolves around Roland. He can end up with either Althea or Fatima, while gaining affections, via Intermissions, from Dia (who also have a few Ship Tease with his brother, Rasche), Sadie and Karen, who's oblivious to Ace's interest in her, as well as getting distracted by some of the girls in their Hot Spring Intemissions (Dia, Luna, Ayano, I'm looking at you). Rina, despite being Roland's childhood friend, just Fan Girl over Richter.
  • Just look at this chart. At least eight people in love with Shiki plus Arihiko on the side crushing on Ciel and Akiha and possibly the maids. Even the girls at school seem to be somewhat attracted despite not being insane like his other love interests. Shirou is only the center of four-six girls' affections (Mitsuzuri being subtext and Ilya being up to your interpretation, but probably only familial), but there's other entanglements besides his making it even more complicated when you figure in Gilgamesh -> Saber and Bazett -> Lancer and Avenger. Curse you Nasuverse!
  • Lampshaded in the Nancy Drew game The Final Scene, where a tabloid newspaper headline refers to Light Of Our Love soap opera heartthrob Rory's "Love Octagon".
  • One village in Dragon Quest VII features one of these: To pay off her family's debt to the richest family in town, Linda is engaged to their son Iwan. However, Linda really loves Pepe, one of their gardeners. Meanwhile, Maid Kaya loves Iwan, but Iwan is too busy lusting after Linda and fuming with jealousy over her obvious love for Pepe. Notably, things don't work out in the long run.
  • Legend of Mana—Matilda loves Irwin (who sort of loves her back, but since he's a demon he expresses it weirdly), but is also more or less married to her job; Escad loves Matilda; Daena is torn between Matilda and Escad. It ends with everybody except one person dead, Matilda as the Seventh Wisdom, and Irwin wanting to reincarnate himself without any memories of the woman he loves because it was so messy.
  • In Baten Kaitos Origins: "Quadrangle"
  • Thanks to the massive shippers and Memetic Mutation Touhou Fanon often displays all of the characters stuck in this situation. And there's a lot of characters. Here's a fanmade chart to help out. Warning: Ads are NSFW.
  • Ace Combat 04 has the Storyteller Boy crushing on the Barkeep's Daughter, who crushes on Yellow 13, who very much obvlivious to his wingwoman Yellow 4's feelings for him, because he is busy generating Foe Yay towards Mobius 1.
  • In Blaze Union, Siskier has rather obvious feelings for her childhood friend Garlot, who is completely oblivious—partially because he's aware that their other childhood friend Jenon, despite his incurable tendency to flirt with anything that has breasts, has had a crush on Siskier for a long time. Siskier, of course, has no idea that Jenon likes her. Garlot himself develops a crush on Nessiah when the latter joins the party, and while Nessiah flirts with him quite a bit, it's ambiguous as to whether or not he's serious about it. So: Nessiah/Garlot/Siskier/Jenon, with crushes going from right to left; also factor in that most of the party is implied at some time or other to have a thing for Garlot and that this flies miles over Garlot's head. The resolution to this situation (when there is one) varies by Road Cone.

Web Comics

  • Bittersweet Candy Bowl‍'‍s central story is about a love dodecahedron. Mike, a dogged good guy, and Lucy, a tsundre, seem to be destined for each other at the start of the comic, but over time the pair drift apart as Mike finally acknowledges that he is in a Long-Distance Relationship with his love from third grade. Mike is a handsome cat, and Daisy, his best female friend other than Lucy, pursues HIM doggedly, while she herself is being pursued by the aloof Augustus and the dogged stalker/white knight Abbey, with Paulo, her best male friend, possibly being interested in her as well, though this is less than clear and if it is so, she is quite oblivious to it. Meanwhile Lucy for her part shares a crush with Paulo, a confident jerk with a heart of gold, but he feels that he would just mess her up further. Several other friends fancy Lucy, including David, a dog who she is completely uninterested in, and Jessica, who is bisexual. Paulo himself is at the center of several female's attention, including his almost girlfriend Tess, an older girl who does not want to commit to a relationship with him despite the two being in love with each other, Rachel, who, being a dog, cannot stay with him if she wants kids, and Jasmine, a younger girl who looks up to him. Further complicating matters, Paulo slept with both Jessica and Rachel, who are Tess's archenemies, and little did he realize at the time, but the pair did it to get back at Tess for wronging them two years ago. The comic creator, Taeshi, actually sells a relationship chart poster in her store.
  • As an Animesque production, Megatokyo also features its own Love Dodecahedron: Piro is in love with Kimiko; Kimiko is Erika's best friend; Erika is in love with Largo (Piro's roommate); Largo was nearly seduced by Miho, whom he hates and thinks is an undead wench; Miho has a rather ambivalent relationship with Piro, whom she claims is her former lover; Miho is also best friends with Ping, who is Piro's robotic girlfriend.
  • In El Goonish Shive, a rather surreal love dodecahedron is played for both laughs and drama, but has been resolved so that four of the six involved are now in relationships: Eliot with Sarah, and Nanase with Ellen, though whether or not one of those characters (Ellen) qualifies as being in the Dodecahedron is complicated, due to Cloning Blues being involved. Clever way to have Nanase's Loving a Shadow with Elliot end in her finding someone perfect for her, though. The last one, gay Justin, has given up on straight Elliot, and wound up stuck in I Want My Beloved to Be Happy land. Melissa, attached to the Dodecahedron via Justin, doesn't get that he's gay, while Susan, whose Kindred Spirit relationship with Justin is revealed essentially the moment they meet, apparently has some feelings for him but knows she can't pursue them. And, of course, for a brief period after her splitting off from Elliot, Ellen displayed feelings towards Sarah, though it's implied that she's over it.
  • Experimental Comic Kotone was basically designed to incorporate every anime trope in the book—and as such, the unnamed main character is caught in the center of a severe Love Dodecahedron, which is constantly in danger of growing even bigger due to him suffering from the rare Love Sim Syndrome...
  • Avalon: Ceilidh and Joe are the Official Couple, but Joe is primarily interested in Helène, the girlfriend of Alan (who would much rather be with Ceilidh), and secondarily interested in Phoebe, who, if she likes anyone, likes Ceilidh; Ryan and Iain are also interested in Phoebe. Ceilidh herself isn't sure whether she likes Joe, Iain, or Phoebe...but definitely not Alan.
  • Implied in this Xkcd comic (though strictly speaking it could just be a cycle or even a collection of disconnected relationships).
    • Perhaps this is a better example?
  • Arthur, King of Time and Space, or at least the Space Arc where everyone is crammed into the same spaceship, is heading in that direction, mostly using canonical relationships. Arthur loves Guinevere but has a child with Morgan. Guinevere loves Arthur and Lancelot. Lancelot loves Guinevere but has a child with Elaine of Carbonek. Galehaut loves Lancelot. It's still relatively easy to follow, but the comic is meant to last twenty-five years...
  • Questionable Content: Marten lives with Faye and is in love with Dora, who's Faye's boss. Faye has a "antagonists-with-benefits" relationship with Sven, who's Dora's brother. And that's just scratching the surface...

Therapist: Hang on, hang on. I'm gonna get some thumbtacks and colored strings so we can diagram this.

    • Not to mention the apparently complicated lesbian dodecahedron at the university.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court has slowly revealed that the prior generation is a surprising tangle of former couples and unrequited love. By contrast, all the pairings among Annie's generation are pretty straightforward (even if the exact nature of their relationship isn't).
  • Star Guys has a wonderful one: Jupiter likes Venus, who likes Jupiter back (but neither know), Centauri also likes Venus and wants her back, but Venus is oblivious to him. Meanwhile, Saturn likes Mercury, who likes Neptune, while Earth and Orceus like Ana, who's asexual, and hates Earth. Finally, Pluto likes Mars (who may or may not like him back), whilst Jeeves likes Pluto, despite him stating that he's gay.
  • The Love Scorecard explains things in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob.
  • Homestuck: On Alternia, trolls are biologically hardwired to form love dodecahedrons (they pool genetic material and another species incubates it). As Karkat puts it, "FOUR IS PRETTY MUCH THE MINIMUM VALUE FOR LOVE-HATE N-DRANGLES." They have four types of romance, divided into quadrants depending on whether they are red (compassionate) or black (hateful), and concupiscent or conciliatory (pseudo-platonic). Matespritship () is the closest to the human concept of romantic love; kismesissitude (♠) is passionate, carnal hatred; moirallegiance () is close-knit friendship functioning as someone's better half; and auspisticism (♣) is a three-way relationship in which a mediator prevents two trolls from escalating into kismeses. Trolls are urged to secure mates in every quadrant, which means things can quickly get chaotic and confusing for everyone involved. A volatile love dodecahedron is illustrated in the story itself.[3]
    • Oh, but there's more.[4]
    • And again...[5]
    • This gets even more confusing now, and when you put into account the Earth Kids, as detailed in this image.
      • Basically, Karkat had a hatecrush on John, and recent pesterlogs indicate that he may be developing flushed feelings for Jade. Meanwhile, Karkat also believes that Vriska is crushing on John, though John is unsure about this when Karkat tells him, and Terezi has been acting rather flirtatiously towards Dave, though when questioned on the subject by Rose, Dave responded that his and Terezi's relationship was nothing more than an "interspecies partnership in incredibly shitty cartooning."
      • and now there's more:[6]
      • But Wait! There's More! [7]
      • And that's not all! [8]
  • All of the major characters in Out There, with the notable exception of John, have at one time or another been infatuated with at least one of the other major characters. Miriam, as the main character, has dated, had flings with, or been otherwise at least temporarily fascinated with no less than 8 major characters: John (unrequited love/lust), Wally (fling, as part of the back story), Chuck ("officially" dated), Clayton (aborted fling), Sherry (unconfirmed, but strongly implied, past fling and/or relationship), Rod (fling), Steven ("officially" dated), and Araceli (infatuation); this doesn't even cover the list of characters (most of them minor or non-recurring characters) who have been at least temporarily captivated by her. While Miriam holds the record in all love/lust categories, Sherry's list is almost as impressive (embarrassing?): Steven (dated, as part of the back story), John (brief, and relatively mild, infatuation during a short period of essentially platonic dating), Chuck (big-time crush, finally culminating in an "official" relationship that is ongoing), Rod (brief interest until he "blew it"), Clayton (one-sided—he wants her, she's repulsed), Araceli (one-sided—Sherry is clueless about Ari's infatuation), and of course, Miriam (unconfirmed). Out There is unabashedly a soap opera.
  • Shortpacked. Lampshaded, with reference to an earlier invoking and an actual relationship diagram here.
  • Ménage à 3: You'll need a flowchart. The Crib Notes: Everyone except Yuki is attracted to DiDi. She was attracted to Sandra, but that seems to have ended, to a lesser but non-trivial extent, Gary, and is dating Matt. Zii is attracted to DiDi, had a relationship with Yuki, had sex with Amber, possibly attracted to Gary, had sex with Sonya (who still has a boyfriend) and started an affair with Erik, one of DiDi's (many) ex-lovers. Yuki is attracted to Zii and Gary. Gary is attracted to DiDi, Yuki, Sonya, Amber, Senna and Zii, and perhaps Dillon. Dillon is attracted to Gary and Matt. Matt had a relationship with Dillon, Sandra ( and is dating DiDi). Jung is (possibly) asexual. Eulice and Rob are never in play.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Code Lyoko. Let's see now... Ulrich loves Yumi, Yumi loves Ulrich, and despite their best efforts, they Cannot Spit It Out. In the meanwhile, Sissi loves Ulrich, and William loves Yumi. Ulrich flat-out hates Sissi, while Yumi is friends with William, but not quite that friendly. Johnny loves Yumi, but he's barely a threat. Hervé loves Sissi, but he's ugly. Théo loves Sissi, but he's a one-episode character. It's mentioned several times that "guys flip over" Sissi (though we never actually see many doing so) and it's implied that Ulrich is popular with the ladies in general. Meanwhile, Odd's dated nearly every girl in the school (and several outside, such as Sam and Brynja), and has a few ship-fueling UST moments with Sissi. Jérémie and Aelita emerge surprisingly unscathed, unless you count Odd's platonic flirtation with the latter. Did I miss anything?
    • Oh, right, the teachers! Jim liked Yolande after her XANA-created clone kissed him, but it turns out she's engaged. Then Jim and Ms. Hertz have some tense moments, but Hertz is dating some guy named Pedro. And I don't even want to know where Jean-Pierre factors in.
    • And let's not forget about Milly, who has a big crush on Ulrich in Season 1, and gains herself a suitor in Season 4 with Hiroki, Yumi's younger brother.
    • Also, Aelita is posing as Odd's cousin, or that one time they pulled a Fake-Out Make-Out.
  • Danny Phantom himself has been in a love rectangle, or even pentagon, if you consider secret identity separation. Sam and Valerie both love Danny, who has his eye on Paulina for the first couple seasons, who in turn idolizes the ghost boy, who is actually Danny. (Valerie, for added confusion, hates the ghost boy.) And that's not taking into account Kitty's jealousy ploy with him.
    • Danny himself at one point even uses the phrase "love rectangle."
  • The Fairly Oddparents: Timmy is also in one of these. He is love with Cindy Vortex and Trixie Tang. Also Tootie, Veronica Star and Vicky (when he wished that he was older) are/were in love with him. There are also hints of him having a relationship with Molly. And let's not forget (like Timmy did) that on one of the days of FLARG he started up a relationship with a girl named Carly that resulted in tattoos (which his was a washable one.)
  • On The Spectacular Spider-Man, the dynamics of the Midtown High group are enormously complicated, but succinctly: Gwen Stacy and Liz Allan both like Peter Parker, Peter likes Gwen and Liz and also Mary Jane Watson, Mary Jane flirts with Flash Thompson but comes to really like Mark Allen (Liz's brother), Liz has lingering feelings for ex-boyfriend Flash, who finds MJ attractive but then focusses on Sha Shan, Gwen dates Harry Osborn, who previously dated Glory Grant, who left him (somewhat inexplicably) for Kenny Kong, and I'm sure there are others in there.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series also had one—For a while, Mary-Jane and Felicia were both chasing Peter, Felicia doing so despite the fact that she was dating Flash at the time and also dated Jason Macandale (AKA Hobgoblin) for a while. Also, Harry had an unrequited crush on MJ, which later drove him to become the Green Goblin. Eventually, however, it worked itself out—Felicia ended up with Morbius, Flash somehow ended up with Debra, and Peter got MJ.
  • Gargoyles example: Goliath and Elisa are the main couple. However, Goliath had a previous relationship with Demona, a coupling which produced a daughter, Angela. Demona later had a relationship with Thailog, Goliath's clone, but she was dumped by him after he created a replacement in Delilah, a "clone" made using genetic material from both Elisa and Demona. Delilah, who has spurned Thailog, has at different times been pursued by both Goliath (as a rebound deal) and Brooklyn, but has apparently chosen Brooklyn's clone Malibu. Brooklyn, on the other hand, has also unsuccessfully pursued Maggie the Cat, who is in a relationship with fellow mutate Talon (Elisa's brother); and Angela, who was also pursued by Lexington and Broadway before beginning a relationship with the latter. Elisa has also showed interest in Jason Canmore and (as a rebound deal) Morgan Morgan.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has this in spades. Where to start...
    • Aang. He's both The Hero, and alphabetically the first character. Aang early on develops affections for one of the other core three characters, Katara. Katara later develops feelings for Aang as well and eventually chooses him. Aang is also the target of a strong crush by Meng, the assistant to the fortune teller Aunt Wu. Also, nearly all of the young girls on Kyoshi island are Aang fangirls, attempting to win his affections.
    • Katara has strong feelings for Aang, but it takes her time to sort out exactly how she feels about him. She also develops an off again on again, sometimes hostile feelings with the freedom fighter Jet. She also, at one point, opens up her heart to angsty Zuko, and considers using the Plot Coupon magic water on him. Some interpretations of the show also hold that her feelings towards Haru the earthbender are romantic.
    • Sokka first becomes romantically attached to Suki, one of the warriors of Kyoshi island, who opens his eyes to the fact that a person can be both a girl, and a warrior. Later on, after they have separated for a time, Sokka develops a strong attachment to Princess Yue, the princess of the Northern Water Tribe. They go on several dates before, as Sokka puts it "My first girlfriend turned into the moon."[9] After leaving the north pole, they pick up the fourth member of their four kid band, the earth bending master Toph Bei Fong. She eventually develops a one-sided affection for Sokka. Acrobatics and pressure points master Ty Lee definitely thinks that Sokka is cute, and is quite flirtatious with him, even in the middle of combat. At several points in the series Sokka returns at least some measure of the flirting. Suki later joins the group on a more permanent basis, and the two get together. Then there's the way he treats his boomerang...
    • Prince Zuko is in love with with Mai, the daughter of a beaurocratic noble family, and member of Azula's three girl band. In one episode Zuko also becomes involved with Jin, a girl from the earth kingdom city of Ba Sing Se.
    • Princess Azula is, by Word of God, attracted to Zuko, but for several reasons nothing came of it. She also attempts to hook up with a boyfriend, but can't pull it off. Ty Lee also feels a one-sided Romantic Two-Girl Friendship for Azula, but Azula cannot comprehend such strange things as "friendship" and "love."
    • Allow me to put this in the simplest terms possible - the Avatar fandom has literally paired everyone with everyone else at some point or another. So, naturally, all the above mentioned dodecahedrons and then some tend to show up.
    • Sequel Series The Legend of Korra has one between Big Fun Bolin who likes The Hero Korra at first sight, Korra, who likes Bolin's Tall, Dark and Snarky older brother Mako, and Mako, who fell hard for and is dating, Uptown Girl Asami but also discovers he himself has some feelings for Korra. The first three comprise a pro-bending team, which Asami, as a pro-bending Fan Girl and Mako's girlfriend, has talked her wealthy father into sponsoring in the local Tournament Arc. Not surprisingly, the quadrangle causes both personal and professional trouble when one party decides to make a move on another, and is witnessed by a third, who is devastated.
  • Jimmy from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron has his original love interest, Betty Quinlin, who seemed to have a "aw he's cute, but it'll never happen" attitude towards him. Of course there's Cindy. He falls for a pretty girl at the rodeo (along with Sheen and Carl, who battle with him for her affections). In "Win Lose Kaboom", he gets in a brief relationship with a Green-Skinned Space Babe named April, much to his main love interest's dismay.
  • How have we gone this far without mention of Hey Arnold!? Let's see, Brainy likes Helga, who likes Arnold, who likes Ruth. Later, Arnold likes Lila, who doesn't like like him back but does like like his cousin Arnie, who has a girlfriend Lulu who likes Arnold who likes Hilda who likes Arnie and... ugh, my head!
    • Lulu and Hilda were All Just a Dream. Which makes this both more and less confusing.
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures is a complicated case of this. Pepper has a crush on Gene and Tony with hints that she may feel something for Rhodey. Whitney has feelings for both Tony and Rhodey. Tony has an almost romantic life long friendship with Rhodey, clearly cares about both Whitney and Pepper very much, fanboys Gene Khan almost constantly until the end of season one, and yet Tony will also flirt with anything that moves. Gene is obsessed with Tony and may or may not have feelings for Pepper. Rhodey is Tony's most trusted and reliable friend (who he lives with) and has a crush on Whitney, though his feelings towards Pepper are mostly platonic. Mostly.
  • Total Drama World Tour develops a lot of this by the end. Originally, Gwen was with Trent. Trent's friend Cody also liked her, but decided to help them hook up instead. Eventually Gwen and Trent broke up, though, partially because Trent thought that Gwen had an attraction to Duncan, who was dating Courtney. Then in season three Cody wants another shot with Gwen, but instead she does hook up with Duncan, leaving a heartbroken Courtney to begin crushing on Alejandro, who has a Slap Slap Kiss / Will They or Won't They? romance with Heather even as he manipulates Bridgette (who's with Geoff), Leshawna (who's off-and-on with Harold) and to a smaller extent Lindsay (who's off-and-on with Tyler). Cody also picks up a Stalker with a Crush in Sierra, and for added fun we get some random Ship Tease of Noah/Bridgette and an Operation: Jealousy where Courtney pretends to be crushing on Tyler.
    • Shockingly, this makes Izzy/Owen the most stable couple on the show. (Incidentally, they broke up that season with significantly less drama, due to one of Izzy's Split Personalities. They might be back together now, though.)
  • Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers with its many one-shot characters: Both Chip and Dale have the hots for Gadget who in turn seems to be interested in Sparky ("Does Pavlov Ring a Bell?"). Then there is Foxglove ("Good Times, Bat Times") who is in love with Dale, Tammy ("Adventures in Squirrelsitting") who has a mad teenage crush on Chip, and Rat Capone ("The S.S. Drainpipe") who wanted Gadget to be his moll. Not that Monty and Zipper don't have their own respective Love Triangles.
  • In Young Justice, Kid Flash likes Miss Martian and "hates" Artemis. Miss Martian likes Superboy and recommends to Artemis that she should ask Kid Flash out. Artemis also likes Superboy. Superboy likes...pouting.
    • It's pretty obvious that Superboy is into Miss Martian. This is a sort of odd example where it's pretty obvious who the two Official Couples are going to be; it's just that one of those couples wants to trade in.
  • The "Mayhem of the Music Meister!" episode of Batman: The Brave And The Bold features one of these. Green Arrow and The Music Meister both have their eyes on Black Canary. Black Canary is all about Batman. Batman loves fighting crime. (Well, and Catwoman, but she wasn't in that episode.) Thankfully, Green Arrow and Black Canary, the most sane of these people, get together in the end.

Real Life

  • These aren't as uncommon as one might think. This sort of thing can happen in any social circle or group of friends.
  • In Carrie Fisher's memoir, Wishful Drinking, she has a chart indicating all of her parents' marriages, and her siblings, step-siblings, etc.
  • The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was eaten up with this trope. Dante Gabriel Rossetti married his model Elizabeth Siddal, but also had an affair with another model, Jane Burden, who married another artist, William Morris. Rossetti also had an affair with Annie Miller, a barmaid and the fiancee of artist William Holman Hunt. Hunt took her back, but finally broke off the engagement when Annie became involved with the 7th Viscount Ranelagh. Annie Miller ended up married to Ranlagh's cousin while Hunt married Fanny Waugh, and after her death, remarried to Fanny's sister Edith. His colleague, the sculptor and poet Thomas Woolner, had also been in love with Fanny Waugh; he married Alice Waugh, the third sister of Fanny and Edith. Meanwhile, John Everett Millais fell in love with Effie Gray, who was still a virgin despite being married to critic John Ruskin. They wed after she left Ruskin.
  1. A dodecahedron being a geometric object with twelve faces (or for the Tabletop Games enthusiast, a d12).
  2. "Dorothy" is Michael's drag alter ego
  3. Basically: Eridan wants to be matesprits with Feferi, but he's been moirail-zoned. Likewise, Kanaya is Vriska's moirail, but she wants a matespritship. Vriska is attracted to Tavros and ready and willing to be his kismesis or his matesprit, but he can't return her hatred and he's too scared of her for the latter. Kanaya is their auspistice, and mediates between Vriska and Eridan as well, who have a potential kismesissitude. (And on top of all that, quite a few shippers are sure that Feferi and Tavros would be perfect together.) Phew!
  4. Feferi now seems to be matesprits with Sollux, who used to be with Aradia. Aradia is now in an alternating love/hate relationship with Equius, who is Nepeta's moirail, who might have a crush on Karkat, who has a thing with Terezi and once believed John to be his kismesis. This means that out of all the trolls, Gamzee is the only one not romantically involved. Canonically, anyway.
  5. As of the September hiatus, Gamzee is flushed for Tavros and in an official moirallegiance with Karkat.
  6. Eridan kills Feferi and Kanaya, Ruining Sollux's relationship. Gamzee goes nuts and kills Equius and Nepeta, and Vriska offs Tavros for maturing far too late for Vriska's liking. Kanaya comes back as a vampire and beats up Gamzee and Vriska, then kills Eridan. Vriska now has crush on Kanaya and Feferi, Equius, Nepeta and Tavros are dead. Now Tavros is hangng with a dead dave and an Aradia who is messing up all the deam bubbles letting all the dead trolls and kids visit each other's bubbles, upturning pretty much every canon ship ever.
  7. Gamzee is implied to have went nuts due to seeing the dead body of Tavros, whom he was flushed for. John and Vriska both have crushes on eachother but Vriska is killed by Terezi before John could make anything out of it, but Karkat never informs John that she's dead. Jade kisses Dave and John kisses Rose in order to revive them. Karkat and Terezi appear to still have flushed feeling for each other. Now there is also the Alpha time line were all of the kids have a crush on Jake -including the male one. Though later Jane attempts to admit her feelings to Jake (who also had feelings for Jane) and fails and leads Jake into thinking they are Just Friends and decides that he might take action on his feelings for Dirk. To add on that Roxy also has feelings for Dirk but he doesn't feel the same.
  8. Karkat, admits he's flushed for Terezi, while future!Karkat pooints out that he's been hateflirting with her too. He's also worried Terezi and Dave may have a thing going on. Dave called Roxy a "choice babe" without knowledge that that was his mom. Fans are also debating whether Kanaya's hatred for Gamzee is platonic or not.
  9. That's rough, buddy.