"I must love him for all eternity, despite how painful, aching, excruciating it is..."
— Yasu, Umineko no Naku Koro ni
Forget life-threatening superheroism, acting Too Dumb to Live, and Tempting Fate. The most dangerous thing any hero can do in any media is... falling in love. Dare to love someone else and you set up yourself and your beloved for a plethora of emotional griefs. Love in Real Life is responsible for vast quantities of anguished poetry and tragic literature; factor in all the crazy stuff that happens on TV, and drama and disaster are practically guaranteed.
About to commit permanently? Look for an Anyone Can Die to put a permanent end to the Will They or Won't They? issue. Forget to say goodbye to your beloved that one time? It'll haunt you for the rest of your life. And let's not forget that becoming emotionally attached to one person leaves you open to the stress caused by the villain abducting your beloved or them even being killed off senselessly just to shape you into the Anti-Hero, or at the very least a Heartbroken Badass. Your love is hurt but alive? Don't You Dare Pity Me!—they will shove you away. Or perhaps you'd be their Second Love—if only they didn't think Silly Rabbit, Romance Is for Kids. Love will make your heart go soft and pitter-pattering into the path to be crushed by the cruel forces of fate against Star-Crossed Lovers. Small wonder that so many try to protect their loved ones by dumping them.
If you've got more than one love interest, you've got a headache-inducing Love Triangle or even Love Dodecahedron on your hands. Tread these waters very carefully, lest you be on the receiving end of a Yandere's poisonous affections or a Tsundere's Megaton Punch. Pick one lover and you can look forward to either a Thundering Herd of jilted rivals or the silent shattering of many other hearts. All in the name of comedy, you say? Comedy never became as twisted as it does when dealing with lovers crazy enough to beat down your door, glomp you, and refuse to let go. And remembering the love interest anywhere you go makes it worse.
And heaven forbid if your love turns out to be one-sided. You'll become a crazy Love Hungry psycho stalker if you don't choose to nobly sacrifice your love. Sometimes you'll even go all the way into a full-fledged villain with a grudge against humanity because humanity was not kind enough to let you have that one person. Sometimes it's even your own creator who decides that you can't get them because he couldn't get her in real life!
Anime and Manga
- Anemone and Dominic of Eureka Seven. The dangerous drugs she uses to pilot her mech take her Domestic Abuse Tsundere type behavior way beyond the usual fare. Sure, it can be funny at first to watch her beat the stuffing out of him, but as you gradually realize the depths of his devotion, her cruel indifference or abject violence becomes incredibly painful to watch. On Anemone's side, when she finally realizes how much he means to her, but believes it's all too late, she delivers a gut-wrenching soliloquy, convinced that she doesn't deserve to live. Amazingly, it all manages to end well.
- Dokuro-chan from Bludgeoning Angel Dokurochan is an extremely brutal and literal version of this. The Opening probably puts this best:
"I'll cut you, punch you, toy with you
- Dokuro may not even be in love with Sakura. Read the WMGs for that series.
- Yasu ( A.K.A. Shannon) from Umineko no Naku Koro ni, as quoted above. Beatrice also struggles with this, most notably in EP6.
- Roy/Riza. Even aside from the whole burning her back thing, they have been a massive source of pain for one another. Most of the traumatic events they have gone through would most likely never have taken place if they hadn't met each other (Roy wouldn't even be a State Alchemist, she wouldn't have joined the army and been sent to Ishval and he wouldn't have annihilated so many people; she has made it clear she doesn't like being in the army or killing people, but she won't quit as long as he needs her). They're practically the direct (albeit non-intentional) cause of everything in the other's life that makes them suffer, and still they're the very thing that makes the other want to go on living as stated outright in chapter 95.
- It got worse when Riza has her throat cut to force Roy to open the gate. Riza signals with a glare that not only would she beat him to death if he committed human transmutation, but help was on the way so it was pointless. It was nice of Arakawa to not force Roy to choose between the two options, though when you think about the fact that he was seriously considering damning Amestris (and, possibly-eventually the whole world) for saving Riza, and couldn't even come to the decision to not do human transmutation till it seemed she would be saved you get a little worried at the lengths Roy would go to to keep his Lieutenant by his side.
- Pick practically ANY hero in ANY Gundam series. If you don't believe me...
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Amuro Ray accidentally killed Lalah, his first love, when she took an attack meant for the man she loved, Char Aznable.
- Zeta Gundam: Kamille Bidan had his star crossed soulmate Four Murasame sacrificing herself for him twice. Oh, and of course his sworn rival Jerid Messa losing both of his love interests (Dark Action Girls Lyla Mira Lyla and Muar Pharaoh) to Kamille, so they can call it even.
- Gundam ZZ: Judau Ashta loses Chara Soon, a broken young woman he didn't romantically love but still quite cared about, mere seconds after making her promise that she wouldn't die. He then proceeds to have to kill Haman Karn, one of his principle love interests, in the final battle.
- Victory Gundam : Even though nearly every couple in this series doesn't end well, the main character's crush on Katejina ends up very badly, since she becomes an enemy AND in love with the resident Char Clone too!
- Roybea Roy, the resident Chivalrous Pervert of Gundam X fame is well aware of this, its the reason why he chases away most of his lovers before he aligns with the Freeden crew. This doesn't stop him from falling in with a female member of a La Résistance, who then dies in his arms.
- Gundam Seed: Kira Yamato was manipulated by his first girlfriend Flay and later saw her die in front of him. Also Murrue Ramius, whose heart goes on. Twice. At least one of them returned in the following series.
- Gundam Seed Destiny: Shinn Asuka fell in love with Stellar, who also died in front of him, despite his promise to protect her.
- Not content to ruin just one couple, Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has destroyed several of them.Feldt lost her first crush before she even had the chance of admitting anything to him, and ditto for Tieria who was in love with the same man that Feldt loved; Christina and Lichty were already dying when they conceded that they had feelings for each other; Saji's relationship with Louise is to put it very nicely "on the rocks"; Allelujah and Soma's has also hit some rough ground with the death of Sergei Smirnov; Lyle, the twin brother of the guy loved by Feldt and Tieria, just saw his lover Anew get blown to pieces by Setsuna before his very eyes; Sumeragi's lover Emilio was already dead prior to the series beginning and then what relation she may have had with Billy got torn up when Setsuna opened his mouth about her being part of CB
- Flit Asuno from Gundam AGE fell for Yurin L'Ciel, only to see her get manipulated and later brutally killed by Desil. He becomes so enraged and psychologically broken that he not only refuses to acknowledge the UE as fellow human beings, but also starts to see himself as a savior... for the corrupt and genocidal Earth Federal Forces.
- Among those who got off (relatively) easy are:
- Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team: Shiro Amada only loses a leg, but he keeps Aina and they live in peace.
- Gundam 0080: Christina Mackenzie is completely unaware that she killed Bernie.
- G Gundam: Domon Kasshu almost lost Rain to the same Devil Gundam that caused the deaths of many others, including his beloved older brother. But he managed to save her and get her back... in the most awesome way EVER.
- In Gundam X losing Tiffa Adil causes Garrod a Heroic BSOD, it didn't last long.
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (again) Saji and Louise got back together; Alle and Soma survived their Battle Couple stint and went Walking the Earth; Sumeragi talked Billy outta his funk and they kinda reconciled; Patrick survived too and he and Kati got married.
- Then, pick any hero in any Gundam-inspired series:
- Space Runaway Ideon: Cosmo suffers a Heroic BSOD discovering that a girl he grew fond of, Kitty Kitten (cheesy name, I know), was killed almost accidentally. Later, Kasha Imhof dies in the movie... and then EVERYONE dies..
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: This is Gendo's Freudian Excuse.
- One of the main messages of Neon Genesis Evangelion (with the addendum "...but you need it.")
- Code Geass: Suzaku witnesses his big love Princess Euphemia fatally shot by his arch-nemesis, after which she effectively dies in his arms (Pietà Plagiarism galore), then some fifteen episodes later Lelouch, the said "arch-nemesis", experiences Shirley, a girl he always cared for (well, perhaps not romantically but it was definitely headed that way) dying on him in a very similar fashion... at the hands of his Gay Option of sorts, a Yandere boy who later pretty much commits suicide to save Lelouch's own life..
- Ayumi from Honey and Clover has a bad case of unrequited love for Takumi, who sees her more like his sister. A lot of the first season of the anime is devoted to Ayumi's suffering because of this. Takumi in turn has a hard time with his feelings for (older) Rika.
- In One Piece, "Pirate Empress" Boa Hancock of the Seven Warlords of the Sea has the power to turn anyone who's so much as attracted to her to stone. And then when she herself falls in love, she might die by it.
- This is actually subverted when Hancock falls in love, given that she has decided to help Luffy rather than bottle her feelings within her, as that was the cause of death for two empresses before her, and almost killed the elder/ex-ex-ex empress herself. Except that even though her feelings are sincere and intense and based on how he once defeated the Tenryuubito aka those who enslaved and tortured Hancock and her sisters as young girls , it's almost depressingly apparent that she doesn't really have a chance with Luffy.
- It's also painfully obvious Camie the mermaid has a pretty serious thing for Hatchan, but...well...same reasons as above.
- Sanji would be the king of this trope if he ever realized none of the women he's encountered (aside from the man-ladies) ever showed any interest in him.
- Depending on how you interpret the relationship, Zoro towards Kuina. When you put the possibility in context with his present lack of interest in sex, it makes his back story even more depressing.
- Lithuania in Axis Powers Hetalia gets all his fingers broken by his crush, the eccentric Yandere Belarus. He doesn't seem to mind. Russia, who is both Lithuania's boss and Bela's older brother (and even more of a Yandere than her), has a very twisted, rather one-sided relationship with Lithuania himself, showing his affections through stalking and abuse.
- It's known that Allied Forces's Team Dad England has a one-sided crush on someone that has brought him at least 100 years of pain, and widely agreed that it's got to be his former colony America. Despite usually being harsh and drunk, he actually gets moments of being The Woobie when his love interest America shoots him down and sometimes looks like he has fun doing it. And then there's *how* they grew apart...
- Also, Prussia might have feelings for either North Italy or Hungary. Either way, he's screwed because of their respective romantic ties to Germany (Prussia's younger brother and Italy's boyfriend) and Austria (Hungary's ex-husband and current boyfriend).
- How about Turkey? He's strongly implied in canon to have a crush on Japan who's just as strongly implied to prefer his long-time rival Greece over him. And if the Hetalia Wikis are to be believed, he might have also been in love with Ancient Greece a long time ago and ended up killing her, according to the beta version of the drama CD. And if certain parts of the fandom are to be believed, he's actually in love with either Hungary or Greece, who he has combative relations with and spends 90% of his time fighting with the otherwise easygoing and kind nations. Either way you look at it, he sure gets the short end of the stick when it comes to romance. (Unless he goes for the much younger Iceland, that is.)
- Good God, Franz from Gankutsuou. His unrequited love for Albert caused him a whole world of pain (and his death). Seriously, he had a lot going for him - being rich, having good looks, and having no shortage of beautiful and kind women after him (including his fiance, who loved him initially). But instead, he ends up constantly angsting and sacrificing everything for Albert (who doesn't appreciate any of it until the very last moment).
- Albert doesn't have it any easier, though. He develops a crush at first sight on the Count, who at first leads him on and then proceeds to break his heart and ruin his life. And while we're at it, there's the Count himself: Mercedes' "betrayal" aside, his unplanned for and unwanted feelings for Albert cause him a lot of angst and heartbreak, although they save him in the end.
- In Chobits, Freya essentially kills herself because of this trope.
- In Gantz, Kei goes through severe depression multiple times due to his loves dying on him. The first time is when Kishimoto dies (although she never did return his feelings), and subsequent times of him becoming really depressed are caused by his girlfriend Tae (who died but got revived). And since the series is still going on, there's still no guarantee that they'll be able to be together. A Downer Ending is quite possible...
- Ako Izumi of Mahou Sensei Negima. She has a ton of self-esteem issues, and is described as something of a doormat. Then she meets Nagi, he reassures her of her importance, and she falls in love with him. Even after getting Trapped in Another World and sold into slavery, she's able to hang on because she knows that he's there for her. Too bad that "Nagi" is her ten-year-old teacher Negi magically aged-up. Naturally, she's utterly crushed when she finds out. And then, she gets better.
- Sort of she still has a thing for 'Nagi'. Which may be transferring to Negi now.
- Sagara Sousuke from Full Metal Panic! towards Kaname. His whole Heroic BSOD in TSR was pretty much caused by being torn away from her after he developed an attachment and feelings for her. As Gauron angrily notices, ever since falling in love, he seems to have a lot more conflicting feelings and doubts.
- And speaking of Gauron, he seems to have lost some of his edge and become even more messed up since falling for Sousuke... after all, if he didn't care about Sousuke, he wouldn't have been so very angry in the first place...
- In regards to Gauron, this is actually brought up and symbolically implied in the novels (though apparently parts of it were lost in the fan translation). Members of Amalgam actually covertly bring up to Sousuke how Gauron was overtaken by "cancer," all while mentioning that he "really really liked Sousuke"... and according to the original wording, a parallel is implied of Kaname being Sousuke's "Gan" (cancer), and Sousuke being Gauron's "Gan". Of course, any possible double meaning was lost to Sousuke. In addition, reading about the overall attitude of Gauron's colleagues when they talk to Sousuke, it seems like it's a well known fact to them that Gauron was way too obsessed with Sousuke.
- And speaking of Gauron, he seems to have lost some of his edge and become even more messed up since falling for Sousuke... after all, if he didn't care about Sousuke, he wouldn't have been so very angry in the first place...
- RahXephon: Hey Megumi. What's that, your crush already has a girlfriend who is your best friend? Ouch. Now what about that other guy? Sorry, your sister Haruka already had the key to his heart long ago. Oh, and the other other guy? Turned evil because of the death of the girl he loves.
- Jigen from Lupin III. His luck with women runs from bad to worse, with them either betraying him, dying, or both.
- Simon from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. His first love, Cool Big Sis Yoko, was in love with Kamina, and he had a rather painful experience seeing her kiss him. Seeing said kiss would lead to Simon suffering a Heroic BSOD, that resulted in Kamina's death. His Second Love, Nia, ends up dying right when they get married. And whether you interpret the relationship between him and Kamina as Ho Yay or as Heterosexual Life Partners, it is undeniable that Kamina's death hit him very hard.
- Yoko had it pretty hard too: the event that changed her from a Tsundere to a Cool Big Sis was Kamina's death. Which happend on the very morning of their first kiss right after he promised to give her something ten times better when the battle is over ...damn Retirony.
- Must have also hurt Kittan badly when he only had the confidence (and partly because of it) to confess to Yoko before performing an EPIC Heroic Sacrifice to spare her from doing the same...
- And there's Viral, who is immortal and can't reproduce... and whose greatest dream is to have a wife and child. *sniff*
- Kenshin Himura and Tomoe Yukishiro. When he was in his Extreme Doormat phase, she was the one that made him start feeling anything at all again. Apparently it was first caring, then love, and finally awful grief. He has his fair share of Love Hurts moments with his second girlfriend Kaoru too, but his story with Tomoe steals the show.
- It's also a whole Love Hurts deal for Tomoe herself. She lost her Victorious Childhood Friend Akira to Kenshin's sword, went to Kyoto to find him and have revenge, but once she knew Kenshin better she fell for him. And she died. Horribly and tragically.
- Poor Oboro and Gennosuke. They were engaged to bring peace between their two rival ninja clans but genuinely fell in love, only for the truce to be broken and forcing them to choose between their love or the honor of their clans. In the end they are the only two left alive, and Oboro commits suicide rather than kill Gennosuke. Gennosuke declares Oboro's clan as victorious and commits suicide with her body in his arms.
- (Almost) everybody in Itoshiki-sensei's class loves their Zetsubou-sensei. Too bad every single one of them is in some way severely unhinged.
- Tails and Cosmo from Sonic X were the cutest and sweetest couple ever, but just at the series end, Cosmo must fuse herself with Big Bad Dark Oak planet to weaken it, so Tails (from all people, to boot) could fire his ship's supercharged cannon to destroy it and save the universe, killing Cosmo and crushing his heart in the process. To make it even worse, Sonic and Shadow's attempts to revive Cosmo ends up in a total failure, leaving a completely broken Tails lying in the floor, crying his soul out.
- Not a total failure. They managed to get a seed that they imply will grow back into Cosmo with all her memories intact.
- Naruto. Most prominently, the titular character. Being in love with Sakura has caused him so much frustration and pain, it's amazing he's held on to those feelings for all these years. And on the other hand, his love for Sasuke (whether romantic or not) has pretty much torn his heart apart ever since he defected.
- And Sakura herself hasn't had it easy either because of Sasuke ( whom she has decided to kill with her own hands to spare him from more grief and betrayal.)
- Naruto is RIFE with this, whether romantic or not. There's Hinata, who takes a suicidal attack to protect Naruto, whom she loves because he gave her the will *to not give up ever again* ; Gaara, who only wanted to be loved, but was hated by everyone until he befriended Naruto, and later cries when facing Sasuke; Konan, whose love interest is none other than Pain; Jiraiya, who was Tsunade's Unlucky Childhood Friend; Kakashi, who learned what friendship and love were when he lost his best friend Obito and then rejected Rin's love for him.; etc.
- Cowboy Bebop: The tragic love between Spike and Julia.
- Many all the clients or people they know in Nightmare Inspector are in love with someone, and if they aren't evil, mad, or downright psychopathic from it, they're suffering a good deal.
- Love, be it platonic, familiar, or romantic, in the When They Cry franchise tends to end in tragedy.
- Akuyuki and Haru (especially Haru) suffer through so much of this Xam'd: Lost Memories.
- This is pretty much the lesson learned in Apollo's Song, where a young sociopath with a pathological hatred of love is condemned by the goddess Athena to live through a series of tragic love stories.
- In Hyakujitsu no Bara, the main characters' relationship is the reason their lives are so miserable and screwed up. Their relationship is also exactly why they're both willing to put up with all the misery as they couldn't stand living without each other.
- One of Hinagiku's fears in Hayate the Combat Butler is based on this, and it's implied that her fear of heights extends from this. She's afraid of loving someone because her parents left and her older sister has turned to drinking after making sure that Hina doesn't have to deal with the debt and has foster parents, thus she's afraid of loving anyone again, in an effort to keep from getting hurt by them. She may have even turned to her Tsundere personality because of it. Her admitting (to Ayumu) that she does love Hayate has been shown as an effort because of these fears.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Sayaka Miki, who becomes a magical girl so that her crush's permanent injuries heal (despite being warned that it won't work the way she wants to), loses said crush to her friend because she is essentially a zombie as result of being a magical girl leading her to feel that she's unlovable (and thus when said friend does give her the chance to confess first to the boy, she cannot take it.) She becomes increasingly self-destructive ending with her turning into a witch, the creatures that magical girls are tasked to fight. In the end when the universe is reset to give all magical girls a happier life Sayaka still ends up dying. Word of God says that, in any continuity where she becomes a Magical Girl, she'll be damned to this and can't be saved.
- Ranma ½: While many of the romantic hi-jinks are played for comedy, it is obvious that all the girls in Ranma's harem are in love with him. Shampoo is probably the most blatant and forward with her feelings for Ranma, concocting multiple schemes to win his heart while brushing off the similarly strong if not stronger affections that Mousse has for her. Ukyo strives to actually be seen as a "woman" by Ranma, while Konatsu probably wishes for Ukyo to see him as an actual man. Kodachi is difficult to place as she is crazy but she does seem to generally have honest feelings for Ranma. She claims that she knows that he doesn't feel the same way but is determined to keep trying. And that brings us to the Akane. Akane is in love with Ranma. There are just a couple of things that stand in the way of their romance actually going anywhere.
Akane: You can stop your feeble attempts to cheer me up now. I've got a broken heart, remember?
- The entire plot, point, story and character motivation of Minami Ozaki's Zetsuai 1989. Period. Heck, even the bystanders get traumatized by the events.
- In chapter 40 of Rosario + Vampire, it is revealed that succubi can literally die from heartbreak, which seems to be happening to poor Kurumu.
- GE - Good Ending has this all over the place with all the girls, but specially Utsumi, the protagonist.
- Akise Aru of Mirai Nikki has an unreturned crush on Yukiteru and all his actions of love towards Yukiteru get him is a beheading by Yuno.
- Rune from Karakuridouji Ultimo has an unreturned crush on Yamato and he doesn't take rejection well. His love for Yamato causes him a lot of heartache.
- Kagetora and Naoe's relationship in Mirage of Blaze.
- There's loads of this in D.N.Angel. For example, there's Daisuke's unreturned feelings for Risa who has a crush on Dark who he sees kissing Risa at one point breaking his heart.
- Harry MacDoogal from Outlaw Star. You've got to feel for him because he has feelings for Melfina and she doesn't share the same feelings for him and he does everything he can to make her love him only to fail and get curb stomped by a massive douchebag with the ability to break his body parts like a bendy straw.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena is rife with this.
- The Guts, Griffith, Casca Love Triangle in Berserk.
- One of the many reasons Charlie Brown is The Woobie in the Peanuts strip is his inability to get the Little Red Haired Girl to notice him. A minor case of Creator Breakdown, Schulz admitted that he had his own "Little Red Haired Girl," whom he lost.
- If this wasn't so funny, it would be depressing: Charlie Brown is to Peppermint Patty as the Little Red Haired Girl is to Charlie Brown, making it an unrequited Love Triangle. Good Grief!
- Love Rectangle. Marcie also loves Charlie Brown, and would logically be the perfect choice. Too bad her loyalty to Peppermint Patty requires her to aid and abet her "Sir"'s plans.
- Indeed, unrequited love is a running theme throughout the comic's run: Linus towards Miss Othmar, Sally towards Linus ("I'm not your sweet baboo!"), Lucy towards Schroeder... the list goes on.
- Dr Allison Mann in Y: The Last Man angrily denies that love is anything other than a label stuck on a biological process. We later find this apparently cynical attitude comes from Allison being dumped by her first girlfriend (not to mention her parents miserable marriage). Despite this it is clear she still craves love herself.
- Just about any romance in any Marvel, DC, or other company you care to name wherein the relationship lasted more than 3 years real-time/10 months in-universe and the characters, to this day, are not together. And let's not even go into the ones that -are- together... Examples are just too numerous to list.
- Notably averted with Ralph (Elongated Man) & Sue Dibny, who were happily married in his second appearance back in the 1960s and even in death were still together.
- Explored (somewhat) in Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, where the main character is very much under the impression that this trope is in full effect (and that is only the tip of the iceberg where his intimacy issues are concerned). He attempts to murder the only person he cares for in an attempt at 'immortalizing the moment' and prevent the relationship going bad (because...somehow murder doesn't count as going bad) and later attempts to apologize for the faux pas with a rather bizarre pre-recorded phone message in which he states his intention to forget about her, lest he attempt to hurt her again.
Johnny: I like you immensely, Devi. And to prove it, I shall obliterate all of my affection and interest for you. Just like before, but different. I cannot hurt what I do not acknowledge. I don't know of anyone that I love, or of anyone that loves me, but I give you what I can. I give my nothing.
- How we could we forget Rose Walker's great "love hurts" speech to Desire in The Sandman? And of course, this exchange, which sums up Desire's approach to most things but especially love:
Rose: Are you going to hurt me? Kill me? Mess me up?
- Scott Pilgrim. No one is safe from that in that comic. Gets to its extremes with Ramona and Knives though. A chapter is even named 'Love Hurts'.
- The original version of The Little Mermaid: The mermaid loves the prince and gives up her voice and family to be with him, but he ends up marrying someone else and she turns into sea foam. But a tacked-on Aesop-fuelled ending gives her an immortal (ie. human) soul anyway. Reputedly fueled by Creator Breakdown.
- Technically, in the Hans Christian Andersen version, she doesn't get a soul - yet. She get's turned into an air spirit that, after a preset amount of time, will get an immortal soul. As an extra twist, whenever she passes through a house with a well behaved child, she gets a few years knocked off her sentence. Ill behaved children add years. That's right, kids. If you don't eat your vegetables... you're preventing mermaids from going to heaven.
- The Tamers Forever Series uses love as a surgical scalpel to subject the characters to unimaginable suffering.
- Hunting the Unicorn: Blaine is a Love Martyr who's head over heels for his boyfriend Kurt. Why does love hurt so much? Because Kurt is Blaine's Second Love.
- Also because Kurt leaves Dalton, but this time we get to see it break Blaine's heart into tiny little pieces because "No-one ever comes back to [him]."
- It's not just limited to romantic love, since he's vehemently loyal to his estranged, neglectful father.
- Minako and Shinjiro in Death and Ker get to face just how much love can hurt. Bad enough that Minako died without warning two years prior as a result of a Heroic Sacrifice - worse that she's come back, but only temporarily, and must return to death when her mission is complete, the knowledge of which keeps both of them from feeling able to act on their feelings the way they'd like to. Aigis in the same work has it just as bad; she also loves Minako and blames herself for not being able to protect her two years previously, and since she's a Ridiculously Human Robot she's struggling with the concept of being able to feel human emotions at all.
- Stars Above: Hoo boy. Quoth one of the villains: "Your love destroyed your world, over and over again until even magic couldn't fix it..." It gets worse. Said villain is technically right.
- Davey Jones and Calypso's relationship in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Yeah, that ended well.
- From the Hellboy movie art book: "When, in 1988, Liz Sherman joined the B.P.R.D., Hellboy fell in love. From then on, he knew the meaning of pain."
- The only woman James Bond ever married (Action Girl Teresa "Tracy" Di Vincezo) was killed moments afterwards in a botched attempt to assassinate him. In later movies, it shows that even with all his flirting and skirt-chasing that he still mourns her.
- Men in Black:
J: You know what they say, it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
- Love Actually. Daniel knows something has been bothering his stepson for a long time now, and he finally gets it out of him: he's in love with a classmate.
Daniel: [laughing] Aren't you a bit young to be in love?
- Any of Wong Kar-wai 's films, especially In the Mood for Love and 2046.
- Just use "Love Hurts" as a sub-title for Toy Story 2 and 3.
- See: Five Hundred Days of Summer .
- The Sword in the Stone. Three words: heartbroken girl squirrel.
- The whole point of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World ... in this case love multiplies itself by seven and storms into town on a homicidal rampage.
- Beauty and the Beast: Goodness, the Beast's heartbreak after the uplifting ballroom scene is palpable. As he lets Belle go to her father at the risk of breaking the curse and spending his life with Belle he starts sobbing and finally breaks into a primal scream of despair as Belle gallops away.
- Medieval Chivalric Romance, anyone?
- This is far and away one of the oldest, most universally recognized tropes in existence. A perfect example of it is found in the 12th century Persian epic, Layla and Majnun. Boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy loses mind. It's not a cheerful tale.
- Edgar Allan Poe was a very firm believer in this. He thought the best theme to write about was the death of a beautiful young woman, often leading to the protagonist's descent into madness.
- Given the things that happened to women in his life, this isn't really surprising.
- For those who don't know, tuberculosis pretty much killed every woman he loved. If I remember correctly, it killed his mother when he was young, two women that he was courting, and his wife. It's often speculated that the disease, which involves a great deal of blood loss, was the titular "Red Death" in his short story, "Masque of the Red Death".
- Yuan, Lord of City Europe in David Wingrove's Chung Kuo series, falls for the wrong woman. Although the stage is set for serious tragedy, he manages to pull out of it.
- The House of Night has this in spades: vampyre protagonist Zoey ends up falling for three guys simultaneously (ish). It ends badly when she thinks her own-age vampyre boyfriend Erik is dead, flees to the hot-but-older Loren for comfort, and ends up losing her virginity to him. Proving that Joss Whedon is not the only one who can be incredibly cruel to his characters, the following things happen in quick succession: It breaks her bond with her human boyfriend Heath, Erik walks in on her and Loren Kissing, and it turns out Loren was in cahoots with the villainess and only using Zoey. And then Loren is brutally murdered. Ouch. Poor Zoey.
- And it gets worse for her: The guy she displays a brief romantic interest in in the fourth book promptly dies, only to be resurrected as a bizarre zomibe-vamp hybird controlled by her archnemisis. Zoey has a bit of a Cartwright Curse, it seems...
- And Then There Were None features two victims who committed their crimes to keep their loved ones when it was those exact deeds that drove them away. General McArthur manipulated his wife's lover/his right hand into going in a suicide mission; Vera Claythorne caused the death of her pupil Cyril so his uncle/her lover could inherit the family fortune and drove said lover into alcoholism
- In the Warrior Cats series, falling in love is likely to get you broken-hearted, insane, and/or killed. Bluestar wound up with all three because of her relationship with Oakheart.
- Not entirely. Some lucky couples just end up getting their kits killed off. Yes, you heard me, they are the lucky ones.
- Though The Engineer Trilogy as a whole plays this trope catastrophically straight, there is a scene lampshading it in the second. Miel Ducas, a powerful noble wounded in battle, hallucinates that he is having a conversation with Death. When Death points out that Ducas is not very grateful for having everything a man could ever want, Ducas replies that he is the poorest man in the world because no woman he ever loved returned his affection. Death explains that love is nothing more than a trick meant to override humans' free will in order to reproduce, and that Ducas might as well be upset that he never contracted diphtheria.
- In Edgar Rice Burroughs's A Princess of Mars, John Carter realizes he fell in Love At First Sight with Dejah Thoris, but then manages to offend her.
Yes, I was a fool, but I was in love, and though I was suffering the greatest misery I had ever known I would not have had it otherwise for all the riches of Barsoom. Such is love, and such are lovers wherever love is known.
- "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has this to say on the subject of love: 'avoid, if at all possible.'"
- Love doesn't hurt every character unlucky enough to experience it in the Indigo series...just most of them.
- The Duel of Sorcery series...and how. Let's see: Serroi and Tayyan are a couple at the beginning; then Serroi freaks out and effectively gets Tayyan killed. Rane and Merralis were a couple; Merralis contracted a terminal disease, and Rane is still mourning years later. Michael's boyfriend is beaten to death in front of him. There's more than a Ship Tease between Serroi and Hern (at least on Hern's end)...but then, Serroi gets turned into a tree in order to defeat Ser Noris. (She does get better in the follow-up trilogy, but Hern's long dead by then.)
- Richard and Alec in Swordspoint and The Privilege of the Sword, to the point where their relationship is such a mess that neither they nor the reader can figure it out.
- A recurring theme in sonnets, especially those from the Renaissance.
- Anna Karenina is 864 long, long pages of Love Hurts.
- The Great Gatsby could be argued to have love kills, and causes killing. It's arguable because actually being "in love" strongly tends to make the lovers happier - it's the fallout on everyone and everything else around them that actually brings the pain.
- In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero Lost, Ferdinard speaks eloquently of having suffered torments for the pure love of a chaste maiden.
- Poor Gilbert Blythe lives this trope for over ten years; he falls in love with classmate Anne Shirley the day she smashed his slate over his head, but the reason for the smashing—him calling her "Carrots" and teasing her for her red hair makes her resent him for many years. When they finally become friends, Gilbert bides his time. He proposes, she turns him down. He proposes again (a couple years later), and she shoots him down again. It takes a near-death experience with typhoid fever for Gil to get his girl.
- Harry Dresden's romance life is an exercise in pain. Of the women he's bee involved with or who he has strong feelings for/who have strong feelings for him, one gets turned into a vampire, has his child, and gets sacrificed, another is the copy of a Fallen Angel living in his head that kills herself to save him, and another is only in love with him because The Mole was mind-controlling her. Murphy still cares for him, but her reward for her affections is learning Harry is now dead. And then there's Molly, who goes from teenage crush on Harry to honestly being in love with him, but carrying all the baggage of his death as well and going almost completely nuts thanks to Black Magic and mental trauma.
- The Picture of Dorian Gray features Basil who has to watch Dorian Gray, the love of his life and his greatest inspiration, descend deeper and deeper into corruption against his wishes and ultimately gets murdered by him. And then there's Sybill Vane who takes a fatal does of poison right after Dorian cruelly dumps her.
Live Action TV
- The new Battlestar Galactica series loves this:
- Lee/Kara - AND HOW. They meet and fall in Love At First Sight - and nearly hook up - when she's already dating his baby brother, whose death she accidentally has a hand in. They become good friends and later survive the end of their homeworlds together, but the memory of the dead baby brother, and their guilt, keeps them apart and in Just Friends mode until they get together with other people, rather than face their feelings for each other. When Lee finally admits his love to Kara and gets her to do the same, she freaks out and marries someone else the next day, breaking his heart and leading to his own marriage to a woman he doesn't really love. After Kara survives a Cylon prison and some serious mindgames, they later reconcile and have an affair, but Kara won't get a divorce because of her religious beliefs, and when she finally unbends and considers the possibility, Lee is reluctant to leave his wife. And then Kara goes unhinged and dies, then returns and leads the Fleet to Earth. And just when it looks like it's all ok since they've found Earth, Lee doesn't care that Kara was really Dead All Along, and it looks like they'll finally get to be together, she tells him the fact that she was Dead All Along means she now has to disappear. As in, into thin air. Suffice it to say, Ron Moore is one of the few people who knows how to inflict more pain on a couple than Joss Whedon.
- Adama/Roslin—Oh, jesus. And how. Let's see, they start out strongly disliking each other, move into a tenuous kind of peace with attraction, which gets shattered by the mutiny. Just as they fix that and get back to the tenuous attraction, she almost dies. Then, just as they fix that, SURPRISE CYLONS. Then once they kick the Cylons out, Adama gets hit with an attack of conscience, and then she's dying again, and then Earth, and then she dies. RDM, we the shippers hate you a lot.
- John/Aeryn in Farscape. They make out. They fight alongside each other. They're tortured. They try to kill each other. They have sex. They die. (They get better.) They murder people to get back to each other. They fight. They make out. They blow up a bunch of bad guys. They have a kid. I just saved you four seasons of awesome TV.
- D'Argo and Chiana are just as much fun!
- Falling in love with the bad guy/girl, of course, is always a bad idea. Just ask Ace Lightning, who had to go and fall in love with the bad guy?s main hench-lady, who ended up sacrificing herself for him at the end of the series.
- Pretty much every relationship in Supernatural. The Winchesters are crazy and clingy, Bobby had to kill his wife, Ellen lost her husband because John was an idiot, Sam's girlfriends tend to die horribly and Dean blurted out everything to his one-time girlfriend only to have her think that he was a lunatic and that she should break up with him.
- Quite literally in House, when House's hopeless love for his ex Stacy causes the pain in his leg to increase. Of course, when Wilson points out that this is the reason House is having more pain, House wacks him with his cane and replies: "Awww, you miss Stacy too?" when Wilson keels over.
- There is also a Season One episode titled "Love Hurts," in which Cameron blackmails House into going on a date with her and House responds by shooting her feelings for him down. Hard.
- Kamen Rider, at least in the new generation, is as fond of this trope as it's fond of Anyone Can Die. On the rare occasions where a love interest to a major character is still alive by season's end, the relationship between them will likely have ended instead.
- Highlander the Series: According to Word of God, Duncan MacLeod has had "four great loves" in his life. All four are dead, and not of natural causes. In one flashback, a gypsy curses him, saying that he will "bury many women but marry none" - but his bad luck seemed to have started even before that..
- Oz's Tobias Beecher loses his wife (she commits suicide), and later falls for Chris Keller, who it turns out was working for Schillinger, and they both subsequently break both his arms and legs. Busmalis even lampshades this after the incident. Though Keller arguably feels guilty afterwards, he spends the rest of the series trying to make it up to Beecher, both failing and succeeding at various points.
- Torchwood: The only conceivable reason Ianto would've been in that room with the 4-5-6 is his absolute faith in and love for Jack, and then everyone Jack loves causes him terrible terrible pain in the end.
- Doctor Who. All of the Doctor's companions "break his hearts".
- And he broke Martha's. That was exactly why she decided to stop traveling with him
- Sadly, this was the course that Robin Hood decided to take. Only two couples get a happy ending: Will Scarlett/Djaq and John/Beatrice (who were only guest stars). All the other couples: Robin/Marian, Guy/Marian, Robin/Isabella, Robin/Kate, Much/Kate, Allan/Djaq, John/Alice, and any slash pairing you can think of, ended badly. VERY badly. Though Robin/Marian did get a Together in Death scene.
- Marcus over Ivanova in Babylon 5, going so far as to sacrifice himself to save her life, transferring his life energy to her as she lay fatally injured. She is devastated that he would do such a thing, regretting she never returned his affection
- Naomi from Skins lives in blind terror of this trope, constantly running away from her love of Emily until she can't handle it any more; and even when they eventually get together, she's still so scared of getting her heart broken that she tries to break Emily's first. It all ends with a Happily Ever After, though, after an Anguished Declaration of Love in the finale in which Naomi admits - and seemingly gets over - all her fears.
- Joss Whedon must HATE happiness. Pick anything written by Joss Whedon. The only exception is Simon and Kaylee, and that's just because they didn't get together until the end of the movie
- Buffy sleeps with Angel? He loses his soul and starts killing her friends, and then she has to send him to literal hell.
- Willow and Oz are actually happy together? Oh no! We better make Oz go away to try and get rid of his wolf problem.
- Giles has a nice grown-up relationship that's started to go somewhere? Guess who Angelus's next victim is?
- Xander and Anya about to tie the knot? Xander gets a false vision of the future that destroys their relationship and sets Anya on the road to becoming a vengeance demon again.
- Willow and Tara get back together? Oops, stray bullet. Sorry, Tara.
- Xander and Anya rekindle their love in the final season? Anya dies in the last episode.
- Then there's Joyce. In five years she dates a Stepford Smiler psycho robot and becomes a hormonal sullen teen along with Giles, to their mutual embarrassment - then she starts dating and enjoying it and BOOM, anyeurism.
- Hooray! Angel and Cordy are going to have DINNER! Oh, ok Angel, we need to have your son lock you up underwater for the summer, and yeah, Cordelia, you're going up to watch over them for a while, and come back totally different.
- Wesley and Fred couple up? "Hey, Fred, you want to die and come back as an ancient pure demon living in your body?" "Sure." "Sorry, Wes..."
- The only happy marriage in the Firefly 'verse? "I am a leaf on the wind..."
- Poor, poor Spike...
- Dollhouse. Topher and Bennett. So freaking adorab BOOM, HEADSHOT!
- This could be the theme for Gossip Girl. If he's a nice guy, he'll sleep with someone else. If he's a redeemed jerk, turns out he's just a jerk. If he's your true love, he'll whore you out. If he seems perfect, he's sleeping with his stepmother or conning you out of your money or about to blackmail you into being his mistress. Love is pain, rich kids.
- The titular character in Merlin (played by Sam Neill) goes through this several times in his relationship with Nimue. After he meets her for the first time, she is taken as a hostage by King Vortigern. When he gets around that, she is severely scarred by a dragon and withdraws to Avalon. When there is finally a good king on the throne and he thinks he can spend time with her, he learns of Mab's plot and has to rush back to Camelot to see Arthur. Then, years later, he thinks that they can finally, finally be together away from the rest of the world, but he leaves the place where they are staying, and it seals behind him, trapping her away forever. Unsuprisingly, the aged Merlin in the present says almost these exact words when telling his story. However, things turn out better at the very end.
- Art Kanji-Daemon is probably the Trope Codifier at how much love hurts him through all his life.
- Bo and Lauren Any one who watches Lost Girl will know this couple is a good definition of this trope. Bo and Lauren want each other from the first time they meet, but they can't even kiss because if they do Bo will lose control and drain Lauren of her life force, Bo gains control and gets together with Lauren... but only for one night because Bo learns that Lauren was with her to distract long enough to stop Bo from killing someone (even though they would have gotten together on their own as Lauren explains) and Bo refuses to talk to Lauren for the next few episodes unless it is work related. Then in the season finale just before Bo goes to fight her mother Lauren gives her a kiss which Bo responds to.
- Season 2 Bo and Lauren get closer again eventually shacking up in the 6th episode only for Lauren to return to the Ashes compound and Bo finds out that Lauren has a girlfriend in a Coma, they move past this a few eps later and even kiss its all going well then Laurens girlfriend wakes up. this season is not even finished yet and there will be at least a 3rd season.
- The probable Trope Namer is an old country standard the Everly Brothers played. Famously, Nazareth gave it an epic metal treatment. From the sound of the singer's voice, love really hurts.
- Incubus' aptly titled song "Love Hurts", although it could be considered a subversion; the chorus is, "Love hurts, but sometimes it's a good hurt and it feels like I'm alive".
- Sing with me...Love, love will tear us apart again...
- "Please Don't Leave Me" by P!nk. WAY more so in the video of the song, where - when the guy tries to leave - she goes totally Stephen King on him.
- "... that's the pain that cuts a straight line down through the heart, we call it love ..." - Hedwig and The Angry Inch
- Aerosmith, "Falling in Love (Is Hard On The Knees)".
- "Love Stinks" by J. Geils Band.
- Baby, don't hurt me... no more... (Haddaway.)
- Leonard Cohen's famous "Hallelujah" is mostly about this, although the overall idea seems to be that it's worth it anyway as long as you know what to expect.
- "Running Water" by DJ Shog featuring Irma Derby: "Love's like hot running water, once it runs through your fingers, painful in every way..."
- "Love Bites" by Def Leppard. Describes love as an addiction.
- Half the Rumours album by Fleetwood Mac are songs about how bitter falling out of love can be. "Never Going Back Again," "Go Your Own Way," and "Gold Dust Woman" in particular. The crowner is "The Chain," an anger-filled tune ("Damn your love, damn your lies") and is the only song on the album credited to all five members.
- XTC's "I'm the Man Who Murdered Love" depicts the title character as a highly Sympathetic Murderer.
- "To Love Somebody", originally by The Bee Gees.
- "It's a Heartache", originally by Bonnie Tyler (and Juice Newton).
- "Too Much Love Will Kill You" by Brian May.
- "Fool for Your Loving" by Whitesnake.
- Pick an Opera, any opera.
- Aida by Giuseppe Verdi is a good example. Aida, an Ethiopian princess in hiding, falls in love with and is loved by Radames, the general of the Egyptian army. Her mistress, the Pharaoh's daughter is her canny rival. After Radames saves her father, the king of Ethiopia, from certain death after being captured in battle, he brow beats her into fullfiling her "duty" as an Ethiopian to get Radames to reveal the Egyptian's troops' positions, sentencing him to death and dooming them to live apart. It's a "Happily Ever After" ending though; Aida sneaks into the tomb where Radames has been buried alive so they can slowly die together. So yes, the Deus Angst Machina is as integral a part of Opera as humor is to Comedy.
- Romeo and Juliet and every imitator. Entire dissertations could be written on how both would have lived longer, happier lives if Romeo had decided to stay in and mope, Juliet had told him she wanted at least three dates before considering marriage, or the friar's advice to Juliet had been to take up her father's offer of being kicked out of the house so she could run away with Romeo easily, rather than telling her to fake her death.
- Phantom of the Opera is based around this trope with a Stalker with a Crush and Mad Artist with a Compelling Voice and a Torture Cellar (who often becomes the Draco in Leather Pants) proving that Love Makes You Evil and Stalking Is Love in a Love Triangle with a Damsel in Distress and her childhood sweetheart. He chooses in the end to let his beloved be happy, giving us a Bittersweet Ending.
- Cyrano De Bergerac centers around a Love Triangle between three perfectly honorable, admirable people who all like and respect each other, two rivals who try as hard as they can to make the girl happy instead of fighting over her, and the original Playing Cyrano plot that isn't revealed until death has taken too many members out of the picture for anyone to be happy.
- A fact of life for Fiyero, Elphaba AND Glinda in Wicked (and Boq and Nessarose for that matter). Elphaba even comments on it during Defying Gravity 'Well if that's love/it comes at much to high a cost'
- City of Angels:
Stone: Whoever said 'Time heals all wounds' never knew anyone like Bobbi.
The price of love is loss
This is love. When someone drags you from the wreckage when you have given in, ready to just lie there and die. This is love. When someone, no matter what the cost, shows you there is hope, a choice, that you can put down your gun. This is love. Love hurts. - Max's narration in a cutscene in Max Payne 2, just before his love interest is gunned down by the Big Bad because she refused to kill him. Depending on the difficulty you play on she gets better.
- Hell, Max's first line in the game says it all: "They were all dead: Love Kills"
- Odin Sphere: The entire plot is full of this. Only a few characters actually get happy endings, assuming you didn't muck it up and get the bad ending, in which case it turns into a Kill'Em All.
- The plot isn't just full of it. The plot exists because of it. The only things that don't seem to be linked to love is a war over control of a MacGuffin, and even that was originally caused by this.
- The unjustified execution of her fiancee led Aribeth de Tylmarande to insanity and an eventual Face Heel Turn. The picture in the slideshow between chapters 1 and 2 with her crouched under the tree crying her eyes out sums this trope up very effectively.
- Persona 3's Yukari and Aigis. After the Protagonist dies, Yukari tries to move on, but is inevitably brought back to the dormitory where fond memories of our hero visit her. She's also jealous of Aigis, who inherited the Protagonist's power. Aigis is so saddened by the Protagonist's death, she wished she could return to being a mere machine, which gave birth to Metis, causing the events of The Answer.
- Persona 4 could also be considered as having an example of this. Even if you have a love interest (or several) you will still leave any and all of your love interests behind as you go back to your actual home via train.
- Persona 2: Eternal Punishment plot is started because Tatsuya, who was supposed to forget his memories of Maya from Innocent Sin, couldn't let her go and creates a Temporal Paradox because of it, allowing the Big Bad from the previous game to repeat the events. In the end, he gives up those memories and Maya can't be with him for fear of Tatsuya regaining his memories and dooming the world.
- Metal Gear Solid. There is maybe one successful romance in this series that does not put the characters and gamer through hell first. Meryl and Snake don't make it. Meryl winds up in a successful romance with Johnny, the series Butt Monkey. Raiden and Rose have so many issues that they deserve their own trope. They make it, which is more than most can claim, but they go through hell first. The Boss and The Sorrow were damned before the series started, with The Boss being forced to shoot her own lover. And he let her. Naked Snake and EVA failed. Fanon aside, EVA doesn't get Snake, even though she loves him and bore his sons (against his will, I might add).. And Otacon? He might as well put a bullet in the head of every woman he shows affection for and save time. Yes, this game is very cynical, whatever gave you that idea?
- Planescape: Torment: It's not the only thing that hurts. But boy does it hurt. See also: Deionarra.
- Good God, Utawarerumono with Hakuoro and... well, everyone pretty much. Eruruw is apparently physically unable to confess until her contract with him is dissolved. He doesn't pick up on Karura's rather blatant overtures. Touka just weirds him out. Which is understandable. Urtoriy can't be in a relationship with anyone apparently and most certainly not the divinity of her religion. Oh, and the ill girl kind of gets what she wanted except it was mostly out of pity/platonic love, and she died after giving birth anyway. For the hurting part on his side, losing Mutsumi hurt so much that his identity split into two godlike beings that cause chaos, wars and destruction every couple years. On a possibly positive note, there's an implication at the end that Hakuoro comes back, and he did essentially admit he loves Eruruw. Oh, and Kamua probably didn't love him so she's okay.
- Fate/stay night: The ending of the Fate route exhibits this to a certain extent. Saber dies, and although Shirou manages to get over the loss remarkably well, he says that he will always remember that he loved her.
- Final Fantasy VI has this with Locke and Rachel, where Rachel accidentaly loses her memory and her parents blame Locke for the whole mess, he blames himself becauses Rachel in her memory stricken form tells Locke to leave because her parents are yelling at Locke, afterwards, he learned that at the time of the villages demise, she regained her memory, and called for him... Than, he asked a doctor to preserve her body, while he searches for a way to save her, while still blaming himself for everything... Damn....
- "Final Fantasy VII": Cloud's grief over Aerith's death propels him forward through the plot.
- In Final Fantasy IX, Sir Fratley, the love of Freya's life leaves on a journey of epic training. When she doesn't hear of him for some time, she embarks on the world to find him. During the events of the game, she eventually runs into him but he is suffering from amnesia and doesn't remember her. Ouch.
- In Super Robot Wars Alpha Gaiden, resident Badass Samurai Sanger Zonvolt gets this. The woman he deeply cared for (not to the point of open romance, but deep, deep loyalty and affection) was turned into a monster he and the Preventers had to kill, and the poor bastard not only gets to watch her die, but his only comfort in the end of the game is cry over her grave. Alpha 2 gives him a Roaring Rampage of Revenge when Kukuru tries to off Sophia Nate (woman he cares for).
- He's a little better off in the OG Timeline, only now it's Wodan Ymir who gets screwed, which (long story) is pretty much the same thing.
- Mega Man X 4 has finally included the option of playing as Ascended Extra and major fan-favorite Zero, along with his own story. The bad part? In Zero's story, he has to fight and kill Iris, his own girlfriend, who wants to seek revenge on Zero for killing her brother. The Narm that came with the game's horrible voice acting ruined one of the truly heartwrenching moments in the series.
- The original Japanese voice acting did a much better job in powering the said Tear Jerker moment.
- Note that she doesn't even want to kill him, instead attacking him because she can't forgive him for killing her brother, but can't bring herself to move on from his death. Essentially, she's choosing Suicide by Cop, and it breaks Zero.
- Oichi in Sengoku Basara is this in spades. Thanks to her love with Nagamasa and her care about her brother, who happens to be an Obviously Evil Complete Monster, she's in for tons and tons of tragedy, starting from seeing her lover die in front of her, then delusionally thinking that Nagamasa wants everyone dead, then she kills off all her family and then gets herself killed.
- In Breath of Fire IV, this was essentially what fuels the Hex Cannon/Carronade. The closer the sacrifice was to the intended target, the stronger the hex will be. This was what pretty much broke Fou-lu and cause him to go Kill'Em All near the end.
- Cray spent much of the game searching for Princess Elina, Nina's sister and his love interest. When they found her, Elina was turned into an artificial Endless, in order to exploits her love as an limitless fuel for the Carronade. Cray ends her suffering with the Dragon Slayer.
- In Brutal Legend, a female voice cites a sad poem about a girl whose heart is broken and is compelled to drown in the Sea of Black Tears. It's actually talking about The Ophelia of the cast.
- Got played straight and exaggerated in King's Quest IV. Edgar, Lolotte's homely adopted-by-kidnapping "son" Edgar has developed a fondness for Rosella, and pulls a Heel Face Turn to free her from a prison. Rosella escapes, takes Cupid's love arrows and shoots Lolotte. The evil fairy is so overcome with sheer pain she shrieks "It HURTS!" before falling over dead. Edgar is rewarded for his heroism by Genesta returning him to what's later revealed to be his true form, and he asks Rosella to stay with him. Rosella has to refuse his offer and get back to Daventry, presumably leaving him alone and somewhat heartbroken. At least, until the seventh game...
- MAG-ISA - The message is, "Love hurts...but you need it."
- In Sluggy Freelance, Torg's crush on Zoe earns him quite a bit of this as the series goes on, best summed up in the Mind Screw arc "Wayang Kulit".
- He gets off easy compared to Oasis, who has literally died multiple times because of her unrequited love for Torg.
- While Lia and Fiona, from YU+ME: dream, don't have any easy time at first, this is nothing compared to when the major Drama Bomb hits. This seems to be intentional, as the author/artist explains here.
- "What can hurt more than a concrete enema?"
- Digger. Ed's backstory. Dear God, Ed's backstory. And through it all he never, ever stopped loving. Oh, Ed.
- No Rest for The Wicked
- The Beast is crazily obsessed with Beauty and rages, insane with jealousy, when she's late returning.
- Prince Ricardo, being Minor Flaw Major Overreaction embodied, goes around breaking hearts as quickly as he can rescue princesses—and is none too happy himself.
- Claire and King Gareth appear to have been Happily Married, but he went to war. Now they are separated; Claire won't explain what happened to her child, and refuses to meet him because she feels too guilty; and Gareth signed a peace treaty because he was too heartbroken over the news of his wife.
- In Sinfest, Slick gives a graphic demonstration of the priciple.
- In The Antithesis, love is a perpetual curse on most characters, whose personalities and ideas of affection become tainted through life experiences pertaining to love. Alezair's love for Leid repeatedly condemns him to fits of rage, insanity and substance abuse, and at one point his devotion for her nearly ends his existence entirely.
- Comes up a lot in Survival of the Fittest because Anyone Can Die (and usually will), the most prominent examples include:
- Bryan Calvert goes through the death of Tori Johnson, whom he'd been protecting for almost the entire game.
- Adam Dodd's girlfriend Amanda Jones is killed in his absence, setting him off on a path of revenge going after her murderer.
- Ricky Callahan similarly safeguards his girlfriend Whitney Acosta for most of v2. When Calvert accidentally kills her, Ricky commits suicide.
- Sean O'Cann, after recently coming out of the closet and engaging in a thoroughly romantic relationship, gets this treatment, with his boyfriend Andy Walker biting the dust not long after the game began. Cruelly, they'd met each other prior to this and become separated, leading to Andy's death.
- Billy (Doctor Horrible) spends the entirety of Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog painfully infatuated with Penny, only for his Arch nemesis Captain Hammer to accidentally kill her while trying to kill Doctor Horrible with his own Death Ray. This was after Captain Hammer dated Penny just to screw with Billy.
- Teen Titans: Just when things were looking up for Beast Boy in the last season, culminating in him successfully leading a team of C-list teen heroes against the arc's Big Bad, the series gave him a Downer Ending/No Ending with the return of either a look-alike or an amnesiac Terra, his morally conflicted season 2 flame.
- According to the spin-off comic, Terra is faking amnesia.
- Also lets not forget that whole thing with Malchior betraying Raven in "Spellbound" after she fell in love with him.
- True for both The Hero and Worthy Opponent on Avatar: The Last Airbender: Aang is told he will have to let go of his love for Katara to ever master the Avatar State, and after becoming disillusioned with his life in the Fire Nation, the one thing Zuko has to leave behind that he still cares about is his New Old Flame Mai. See, they're Not So Different. They get them in the end, though.
- And then there's Sokka who had his first love perform a Heroic Sacrifice and become the new moon spirit.
- At Chowder episode At Your Service, Panini threw some tacks to the running Tall Legged Chowder, and when he is trapped in the middle of the tacks, he stated that Love Hurts.
- Taken to its logical extreme in an episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. When Pud'n wishes on a Jackass Genie skull for a pet bunny that will love him, he gets a literal interpretation of this trope.
"Sometimes love hurts, Pud'n, and I love you a lot."
- The KaBlam! episode "A Nut in Every Bite" had Henry falling for Mr. Stockdale's visiting granddaughter, Dawn, but he only seemed to be able to charm her by hurting himself. (It's probably also worth noting that June wasn't exactly happy with this.) After Dawn leaves:
June: I'm sorry she had to leave, Henbud.
- In Happy Tree Friends, every single episode featuring a romantic relationship ends in tears (and often, blood as well). The only characters who have survived an episode unharmed and together are Cuddles and Giggles in I Nub You, and they weren't the stars of that episode.
- Played for Laughs in "Another Simpsons Clip Show", from season 6. In a family meeting, Marge wants to talk about romance, but they can only remember failed relationships.
Marge: Does anyone else have a love story?
- Three words: Total. Drama. Island.
- Trent develops a relationship with Gwen, only for Heather to screw it over through a Xanatos Roulette and send him packing after he and Gwen manage to patch things up. Come Total Drama Action, he gets jealous over her getting closer to Duncan, which leads to his obsession with the number nine and throwing challenges so that Gwen's team would win, which leads to her dumping him so the competition would be fairer. Ouch.
- Tyler and Lindsay fall in love, only for Lindsay to forget who Tyler is until Season 3. And two episodes after that, she's eliminated.
- Alejandro confesses his love for Heather in the final episode of Season 3, only for her to knee him in the kiwis, throw him down the volcano, and grab the million-dollar briefcase instead.
- Courtney becomes an Official Couple with Duncan in Season 1. They dance a very painful Masochism Tango throughout all of Season 2, Duncan is the cause of her downfall close to the end, and the relationship dissolves for good in Season 3 after Duncan cheats on her with Gwen and remains in a relationship with her. She then falls for Alejandro, who is just using her.
- Cody really likes Gwen, but she doesn't like him back. And meanwhile, Sierra really, really likes him, but he doesn't like her back. Ow.
- Harold harbors yet more one-sided love for LeShawna.
- Owen broke up with Izzy, but later regrets it deeply. "Oh, my Izzy, why'd I ever let you go?"
- And finally, Gwen. Poor, poor Gwen. In Season 1, she sees Heather kissing Trent as part of the aforementioned Xanatos Roulette, with expected results. After she dumps Trent in Season 2, she loses all of her popularity in-universe due to some behind-the-scenes manipulation by Justin. It doesn't get any better in Season 3: Duncan finally kisses her...while he's still with Courtney. Cue everyone being mad at them, but Gwen getting the worse load of blame and finally being eliminated just two episodes after the incident. Jesus Christ.
- Linguistic examples:
- In Swedish, Norwegian and Danish the word "gift" (pronounced "yift") means both "married" and "poison", one wonders if this was made so on purpose...
- In Japanese, "Ai" means love but it can also mean "grief/sorrow" when written differently.
- The Japanese got it from Chinese, where the exact same thing happens: save for the tones, the words for the two concepts are homophones.
- In Russian, "брак" ("brak") means, among other things, both "marriage" and "spoilage/defect."
- In English, apparently, "to wed" (Or some form of marriage word) comes from the same roots as "gamble".
- In Spanish, "Cazar" is "to hunt" and "Casar" is "to wed." In Latin America and some parts of Spain, the pronunciation is identical.
- In Portuguese, "Caçar" is "to hunt" and "Casar" is "to wed.", so it's pretty much as above.
- In Danish the words for heart (hjerte) and for pain (smerte) rhymes, which is sometimes used as a proverb.
- In German the word "Leidenschaft" which means "passion" belongs to the root word "leid" which means "suffering".
- For that matter, "passion" itself ultimately descends from the Latin passio, "suffering."
- As if we need to say it: Truth in Television.
- Except for his first girlfriend; She died of brain cancer.
- Note that 'ç' and 's' are usually pronounced the same in Portuguese, although in this case the 's' is pronounced with a 'z' sound and the 'ç' with a 's' sound