Puppy Love

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Awwww! And they aren't even in high school and probably never hit puberty (except their voices getting lower)! Aren't they cute?

We played Nintendo!
This was her very first date
I didn't wanna make it seem too fly.
We ate cereal!
She couldn't stay out at late

Her mother told her to be home at nine!
Another Bad Creation, Iesha

Awww! Don't they make a cute couple? C'mon! You know they were totally made for each other!

What do you mean they're both only eight years old?

Sometimes it happens that two characters display a startling amount of chemistry, even though they're both barely old enough to be interested in the opposite sex—heck, they might even still be in the "Boys/girls have cooties!" stage. (Which may help explain their proness to the Crush Blush; it's embarrassing!) It may be attempted by the authors if the show deals with characters of that age group, but still wants to add in a romantic subplot.

This trope is Older Than Television. It can also be Truth in Television as many people get their first Precocious Crush sometime during Elementary School.

Please note that this does not automatically qualify as Squick since most examples involve innocent childhood crushes between the two. Most writers let these characters age a bit before making moves. Some... don't.

Sometimes this is referenced as happening in the past, when (usually the woman) says she started chasing the man back when they were six (or eight or whatever), and "it took me [X] years to catch him -- but it was worth it." Often a result of a Victorious Childhood Friend. Can be quite sad if she's trying to encourage an Unlucky Childhood Friend. See also Childhood Marriage Promise and Kidanova. Opposite of December–December Romance.

For the Shipping version, see Toy Ship.

Compare/Contrast: Lolicon and Shotacon. May be due to a Relationship Writing Fumble or the fact that Most Writers Are Adults. See also Father, I Want to Marry My Brother.

Examples of Puppy Love include:

Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Chris and Joy, in Superbook of all places. She even mentions that they will get married when they grow up.
  • Similarly, hints of Justin and Angie in Flying House.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Erio and Caro are set up as this, up to and including their Crash Into Hello. This would make it one of the few overt (and straight) relationships in the fandom, and yet the theme of True Companions is so strong in the series they aren't even aware of being set up for a date at one point. Then again, Erio also doesn't seem to notice he's the only boy either... Subsequent stories make it clear that Caro was aiming for him all along, and has been managing a three-year plot to get him. She succeeds.
  • Bu-ling and Taruto in Tokyo Mew Mew. She kisses him at the end of the manga.
  • Mamoru and Hana in GaoGaiGar. One episode even mentions a possible Childhood Marriage Promise... even though they're still in their childhood. At the end of the anime, [[spoiler: all the other little kids get Hana into full wedding regalia and 10-year-old sister because she gets to work alongside Mamoru.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura Sakura, and Syaoran. Then again, this type of pairing is child's play for CLAMP (pun intended).
  • Inuyasha: Kagome's brother Souta and his girlfriend Hiromi (might be Anime only).
    • More definitely, Kohaku and Rin, though the ending is ambiguous.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia: Chibitalia and the Holy Roman Empire. They even kissed in canon. And lots of hints point at them being together again as adults, Laser-Guided Amnesia and HRE apparently mistaking Chibitalia as a girl thanks to the maid outfit notwithstanding.
  • Daa! Daa! Daa! includes Momo, age 3, who has a crush on Ruu (or Luu), a baby. Ruu's inability to speak in sentences makes it hard to say whether he reciprocates. Somehow, Ruu also...involved with his Not Blood Siblings in the Sequel Shin! Daa! Daa! Daa! (set after huge Time Skip).
  • Inverted in Black Lagoon with Hansel and Gretel. While they are two young kids in a pretty loving relationship it is played purely for Squick value.
  • Kisa and Hiro in Fruits Basket. Hiro had even confessed his love for her to Akito. Alas, Akito did not approve of the relationship... and severely injured Kisa. That was the start of Hiro's problems...
  • Either this or Shotacon is implied with Chris' family in Sonic X (or poor planning on the writer's part). His paternal grandfather was only 12 when Chris' dad was born.
  • Al and May in Fullmetal Alchemist. May is understandable since she looks to be about eight and girls usually have crushes by that age. He's 14, but his voice and mind are stuck at 10 due to his soul being trapped in a suit of armour.
  • Fairy Tail's Natsu and Lisanna play family. It won't go much further than that, though. Even after she came back from Edolas, nothing much else has happened between them so far, and lately she seems to have gotten rather close to Juvia.
  • In Candy Boy, Kanade and Yukino have this going on during the flashbacks of their early childhood.
  • Keitaro and Naru started this way in Love Hina when they met and fell in love they were both BELOW grade school age. Naru however later forgot. Also Mutsumi and Keitaro or perhaps even Mutsumi and Naru considering she may well have been in love with both.
  • Sonic X had Tails and Cosmo, and it ended tragically.
  • Hayate and Athena in Hayate the Combat Butler had this when they were six. (Or at least he was. She might be Really Seven Hundred Years Old.) When they met again ten years later, Hayate still loved her.


Comics[edit | hide]

  • Amelia Rules, despite being great in most other respects, abuses this trope and seems to have built later parts around it. Although occasionally averted or lampshaded, this trope is mostly played straight; the eponymous character (who is nine years old) has two love interests (also nine).
  • Calvin and Susie from Calvin and Hobbes have Toy Belligerent Sexual Tension, of all things.
  • Jason Fox and Eileen Jacobson in FoxTrot. They're 10.
  • Dennis the Menace US: Dennis Mitchell and Gina Gillotti.
  • Love Is... is ostensibly cutesy expressions of love illustrated by cherubim. However, it also fits Homer Simpson's description: "It's about two naked eight-year-olds who are married."
  • Little Nemo in Slumberland: Nemo and the Princess.
  • Nancy and Sluggo.
  • Ten-year-olds Viola D'Amore and Petey Otterloop in Cul De Sac.
    • And Dill has already said that he plans to marry Alice when they grow up. They're four!
  • Peanuts has several, although they're all unrequited crushes.
    • Charlie Brown is in love with the Little Red Haired Girl.
    • Lucy is in love with Schroeder, to the point of fantasizing about them being married.
    • Sally is in love with Linus.
    • Both Peppermint Patty and Marcie have shown interest in Charlie Brown.
  • Journey Into Mystery has kid Loki and the mistress of Hel's handmaiden, Leah. Like Calvin and Susie, they also show a degree of sexual tension, though Loki insists that they're "B.F.F."s.


Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • Franklin Richards and Maria Stark in All That Remains, an Avengers fanfic by Kijikun.
  • There exists a fanfic of Cody and Penny from The Rescuers and Down Under titled Adventures in the Outback.
  • Lian Harper and Ceridian (Tempest's little boy) in DC Nation.
  • A combination of reveals around series 4 of Skins has resulted in a clutch of fics exploring Naomi and Emily's Toy Ship potential (the book notes that Emily's been in love with Naomi since middle school (approx. ages 8 to 12), while the S4 finale reveals that Naomi fell in Love At First Sight when she was 12).
  • The KaBlam! story Goodbye June. The fact that Henry and June (also listed under Western Animation) like each other was mostly hinted at on the show, but this story has them separated and heartbroken because they miss each other so much. It ends with them reuniting, at which point they declare their love for each other (Henry's only recently started crushing on her, but June's crushed on him since preschool!) and kiss. They even propose marriage to each other in advance, although Henry does mention that it's a ways off and they're way too young to be having this conversation. Though if the characters aged in real time, they would probably be in their early teens around the time this story is set.
  • Phoenix's SSBB Case Files has a case where Pearl has an obvious crush on Pit.
  • Deserving, by way of an epic Relationship Writing Fumble, introduces one between two toddlers.
  • It's fairly common in Harry Potter fanfics for an original character to start crushing on, if not outright dating one of the main characters (usually Harry or Draco), despite the fact that they've just started school and are therefore only eleven. Admittedly, this is not limited to relationships. In fics that fall into this trap, the eleven year old children tend to act more like eighteen.
  • A number of Heroes fics pair Micah with Molly. They do have a fair amount in common, especially after Micah's parents are both killed.


Films -- Animation[edit | hide]


Films -- Live Action[edit | hide]

Wednesday: Joel, I may never see you again. There are forces tearing us apart - Gary, Debbie, 7th grade.

  • Peter Pan The 2003 movie. A lot of critics were creeped out. To be fair, this one is in the book. Peter never grew up so he doesn't understand this, but Wendy and Tinkerbell are not competing to be his best friend... hence the whole thing with the "kiss".
  • The Phantom Menace gives us 9 year old Anakin and 14 year old Padme. This, of course, gets reciprocated; but not until he's much older.
  • Little Manhattan is Puppy Love: The Movie, as it's about a 10-year-old boy who falls in love with his 11-year-old friend.
  • A Little Romance is also Puppy Love: The Movie. Lauren and Daniel are about twelve and attempt to conduct their affair as mature partners would, even going to Venice with an adult friend. One of Diane Lane's first pictures, and some still think her best.
  • Francois Truffaut loved this and used it in Small Change and Peppermint Soda.
  • The Blue Lagoon (film, more than book) starts out this way.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Are You There God Its Me Margaret is loaded with this, seeing as it's a book about puberty.
  • The Baby Sitters Club In a Valentine's Day-themed book, the girls discuss how cute the crushes that a couple of kids they regularly sit for have on each other are.
  • The Encyclopedia Brown series has several cases that Encyclopedia solves involve friends of his or other kids around the same age as him and their love interests.
  • His Dark Materials Will and Lyra—At the close of The Amber Spyglass, they are (implicitly) thirteen, and their daemons have just "settled", indicating they are on the verge of puberty. Some fans are a little put off by this, especially because, to fulfill The Power of Love, after a slow, tense, sensuous buildup to their First Kiss, the two touch each other's daemons, a powerfully forbidden and intimate act on par with having sex.
  • How to Get Married... by Me, the Bride, a picture book, by Sally Lloyd Jones and Sue Heap.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Bran and Meera. She's sixteen, and he's nine. Although this might count more as a Precocious Crush on Bran's part, since Meera doesn't seem to treat him as anything more than a friend.
    • Jaime and Cersei. Well, technically.
  • The Things They Carried Tim O'Brien's semi-autobiographical novel features the story of Timmy and Linda, quite possibly the saddest story in a novel centered around The Vietnam War.
  • Percy Jackson and The Olympians starts off this way between Percy and Annabeth in the beginning, but their relationship doesn't actually begin until they're both sixteen.
  • Matteo and Ruth in Someone Elses War, though it's by no means the main focus of the book.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • El Club de los Tigritos was big at this. Venezuelans old enough to have been a kid in The Nineties would remember all the tween soaps this show spawned, especially the ones done as kid salsa orchestra Salserín vehicles. It seemed that once you surpassed the eleven years old mark you could engage in your first Love Triangle.
  • Carrusel and other Mexican kid soapies since it, while more subdued than other examples, tend to have a sub plot of this kind.
  • Everybody Hates Chris Chris and his big love, Tasha (although the other Wiki describes their relationship to be deliberately platonic). To strengthen their newly-forged friendship (which he had been looking forward to for more than a season), he invites his notary public with a stack of documents. Ironically, it is Chris, who ultimately breaks up with Tasha. In the same episode.
  • House The episode "Two Stories" subverted its usual formula of opening with a scene of someone doing something and then someone (sometimes the same person, sometimes someone else) falling extremely sick, instead focusing on a pair of kids about to make out behind the school at recess when a teacher catches them...and then when they get taken to the principal's office, Dr. House is there as well and is in trouble for some shenanigans at Career Day. Most of the episode is then told in flashbacks, and upon seeing the class that House was talking to, it becomes quite obvious that this is an elementary school. (It eventually comes to light that these characters-of-the-day are fifth graders, which is actually about the right time for kids to begin putting aside their "girls/boys are yucky" feelings from when they're younger.) The kids then manage to show that they're much more mature than House when it comes to handling relationships.
  • Malcolm in the Middle Although he doesn't star high school until the 4th season, Malcolm has quite a few girlfriends and love interests before then.
  • The Nanny occasionally has moments of this with Grace and boys her age, as well as with Brighton while a pre-teen and girls his age.
  • Dårfinkar & dönickar (Loonies & Phonies), a Swedish TV series from 1989 about a 12-year-old girl, Simone, who goes to school as a boy. Simone and her classmate Isak fall in love, while another classmate, Kattis, crushes on the boy she thinks Simone is, and Isak and Kattis have a brief flirtation. Two other kids in their class, Anna and Pepsi (yes, Pepsi is a nickname, not an actual Swedish name) also seem to have a thing.
  • Livet enligt Rosa (Life According to Rosa), another Swedish kids' TV show, portrays its 12-year-old protagonist having crushes on five guys and relationships with three of them before she realises her best friend Ville was the one for her all along.
  • In Ebba och Didrik, also a Swedish kids' TV show, 9-year-old Ebba and her best friend and sweetheart Philip love one another devotedly. They are building a house together in the woods and plan on living there, till Ebba meets Martin, a poor little rich boy with lots of flashy toys.
  • Eva & Adam, yet another Swedish kids' TV show, follows the romantic fortunes of its title characters, about 11–13 years old, who become a couple early on. Their classmates have various romantic entanglements too; indeed, Eva and Adam ship their respective best friends as a couple and try to get them together. It...almost works. Yes, Swedish kids' TV loves this trope.
  • The Mexican Soap Opera Carrusel has several, seeing that around 80% of the cast was formed by kids no older than 10-12. The most notorious ones are Cirilo's onesided crush on Maria Joaquina as well as David and Valeria (and the brief love triangle with Margarita).


Music[edit | hide]

  • A Lambada by Kaoma. The little blonde waitress and the dark-skinned percusionist boy featured in the video.
  • Iesha by Another Bad Creation, the song quoted above. One of the stranger examples. ABC were a preteen quartet discovered by Michael Bivins, and the song recounts the lead singer meeting Iesha at the playground and falling in love with her "on the monkey bars". It's a little... odd.
  • 'Tighten Up by The Black Keys.
  • "Europa and the Pirate Twins" Thomas Dolby, a song about very young lovers separated by war. Possibly allegorical.
  • "Rebecca Lynn" by Bryan White. It's about two children, including the title character, who fall in love "long about the start of second grade", and grow up to become each other's Victorious Childhood Friend.
  • Concrete Angel by Martine McBride. The little neighbor boy falls for the little girl protagonist. It doesn't end well. Or it might.


Theater[edit | hide]

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Castlevania 64 One of the imperfect endings suggests a likely relationship between Carrie and Malus. It would be cuter if Malus wasn't, you know...
  • EarthBound has Ness/Paula. MOTHER 1 has Pippi strongly hinting a crush on Ninten.
  • Harvest Moon/Rune Factory In some of the games, you essentially take part in this yourself if you decide to ship your first character's child with another child.
    • There are more conventional examples throughout the series: Stu and May in Back to Nature and Friends of Mineral Town, Hugh and Katie in A Wonderful Life and HM DS, Charlie and Eliza in Island Of Happiness, Rahi and Ying in The Tale of Two Towns, Cecilia and Nicholas in Rune Factory and Candy and Marco in Rune Factory: Frontier.
    • In Rune Factory 2, you can invoke this for your own character - the game's second half has the progatonist's child as the player character. He or she can "get married"[1] to one of their friends. One of your options is a pair of Cloudcuckoolander twin sisters who don't really get the whole thing and think "marriage" has something to do with toast.
  • The Legend of Zelda series: This is partly what has earned Link (at least the Ocarina of Time version) his reputation as a Kirk-level ladies' man. Saria and Princess Ruto both had crushes on him (though how much he reciprocated those crushes varied, he seems more afraid of Ruto than anything). There is also the fact that one of the Gossip Stones talks about how Malon is waiting for a "Knight in Shining Armor" to come sweep her off her feet. Link carries a shield and sword and is possibly either the founder or related to the Knights of Hyrule.
  • Psychonauts Lili and Raz end up kissing, even though both are 10 years old. Lili and Raz far from the only pairing. It almost makes one suspect that psychic powers accelerate development. After all, understanding other people would be much easier and you'll probably pick up details from nearby adults.
  • Sengoku Basara -- Ranmaru Mori and Itsuki often hang around together and Itsuki sometimes does scenes on him. She acts bit of Tsundere, fighting him and in the end making him dinner (in Sengoku Basara: Battle Heroes).
  • Secret of Mana an SNES game, one of the towns has a house with a pair of married children.
  • Super Robot Wars manages to take this up a level by mixing it with Les Yay. Latooni Subota and Shine-hime have some very interesting dialogue, not to mention their combination attack in the Faerlions.
  • The Tales (series). Tales of Symphonia Genis and Presea. Although, Presea is actually 28 (30 in the sequel). However, she's still got the body of a 12/14 year old. This really didn't stop Genis too much after he found out.
  • Pac-Man Junior fell for a ghost named Yum-Yum in one game. It's also a case of Star-Crossed Lovers, since the two species hate each other (and ghosts apparently eat Pac-people).
  • Herve and Cecilia in Folklore are a particularly sad and sweet case. Even though both of them were only children, she risked her life and soul to save him, and in the end he gave his life willingly to save hers.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Kevin and Kell: Nigel and Coney, seemed to have this (until Nigel was written out of the comic).
  • Max Overacts: Max and Janet. And Max towards Auryn.
  • From The Whiteboard, Jinx and Kasi, though at present the feeling is somewhat one-sided on Jinx's part.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The Simpsons has Lisa and her ongoing Belligerent Sexual Tension with Milhouse, yet both of them have been through plenty of other relationships, one well known one being Samantha Stanky in the episode "Bart's Friend Falls in Love"
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has the Official Couple, Aang (12) and Katara (14), though technically Aang is 112 due to being trapped in an iceberg.
  • Ben 10 Kai, the girl Ben had a crush on for one episode despite being of the opinion that Girls Have Cooties most of the rest of the time.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door loves this trope (it has to, with all its heroes under the age of 13). As the show usually parodies action and sci-fi movies and shows, it would not be complete without romantic subplots.
    • "Operation: I.T" is a Battle Couple-heavy story featuring Nigel and the KND supreme commander Numbah 362.
    • KND even has a rare villain example of this trope: Numbah Three's mean baby sister Mushi and the self-proclaimed King Sandy. They get bonus points for being even younger than the other couples.
    • They even have a cross-faction couple, with Numbuh 2 and Cree—actually shown when Numbah 2 finds a way to assume a teenage form and goes on several dates with her.
  • Doug had Doug and Patti, who were both in sixth grade when the series began and just finishing up seventh grade when it ended. There was also Skeeter and Beebe.
  • The Fairly OddParents Timmy Turner, despite being ten-years-old (and mentally even lower), repeatedly sought a relationship with the resident Rich Bitch Trixie and was sought after by two other girls, Tootie and Veronica. Trixie and Tootie are the two most likely to get Timmy, and they've both had their moments with him. According to Word of God, both are likely candidates.
  • KaBlam!: Henry and June, it's rather obvious that they have crushes on each other.
  • South Park: A canonical example would be Stan and Wendy, who actually are "boyfriend and girlfriend".
  • Casper the Friendly Ghost Casper and Wendy anyone? In the old comic books, they're ambiguously canon.
  • Recess: in one episode, Gus/Cornchip Girl.
  • A recent Google logo made for Valentine's Day featured a short animation about a young boy who was trying to impress a girl jumproping outside by looking up Valentine's Day-related items and gifts like flowers and chocolate, but the girl refuses them and continues to jumprope. The boy continues to give the girl more items, but she still refuses and continues her jumproping, until finally the boy gives up and brings his own rope to jumprope with when the girl immediately drops her jump rope, hugs him, and start jumproping together with the boy's jump rope.
  • Jonny Quest: The 80's animated series had two tv movies Jonny's Golden Quest and Jonny Quest vs. The Cyber Insects both of which featured Race's daughter Jesse. She and Jonny appear to be about 10 to 12 years old. She kisses him in both movies.
  1. explicitly referred to as "playing married", however