Tropes are re-occurring patterns in storytelling that are so typical they are known tools to creators and reviewers alike. Some tropes are archaic, misogynist, heteronormative patterns of storytelling that we can keep track of to criticise and help eradicate. Other tropes can be part of what makes storytelling so satisfying.

This is a guide to tropes related to relationships, mostly romantic, that can be added to the ship pages. To add a trope to a ship page, enter {{Wikia|allthetropes|<!-- trope title -->}} into the ship infobox section called tropes. Happy browsing!

NOTE! The links mainly send you to the trope central, All The Tropes.
Also there do exist strictly subjective tropes,
which are not featured here nor allowed on this wiki

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"I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight


Almost Kiss
Amicable Exes
Anguished Declaration of Love
Arranged Marriage


Battle Couple
Badasses who fight together, stay together
The Big Damn Kiss
their first kiss
Because Destiny Says So
Choosing to believe something 'fated' is the inevitable truth
Beleaguered Childhood Friend
You help out an old friend who turns out to be guilty/not who they were
Belligerent Sexual Tension
They fight so much a possible romance is kept at bay
Better as Friends
[ something romantic ], didn't work out, end of story forever.
Big Bad Friend
Your good friend turns out to be the Big Bad, but doesn't want to harm you
Birds of a Feather
Similar people in a relationship
Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl
An example


Cannot Spit It Out
Can't tell you how I really feel
Childhood Friend Romance
We grew up together, but then we get older and we fall in love.
Childhood Marriage Promise
We're kids and they ask me to marry them and I promise that I will when we grow up
Citizenship Marriage
Closet Key
Maggie Sawyer was this for Alex Danvers


Dating Catwoman
A character is in a relationship with an antagonist/former antagonist
Declaration of Protection
When the hero's first priority at all times is the protection of 1 person
Derailing Love Interests
When a character suddenly becomes OOC in order for writers to break up their (potential) relationship, so the character's SO can be paired with someone else
Don't You Dare Pity Me!
Dying Declaration of Love


Enemies To Lovers
"Started from the bottom now we here"
Enemy Mine
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend"
Everyone Can See It


Fake-Out Make-Out
"They're coming this way, quick, kiss me so they won't suspect anything!"
Fighting Your Friend
An example
Fire-Forged Friends
We didn't like/know each other, then we went through hell and now we're close
First Girl Wins
The first love interest introduced in the work is the character's endgame
Foe Romance Subtext
In the work enemies have discussions/moments written as romantic ones would be, even though there is nothing romantic about the relationship in question
Fourth Date Marriage
We only just met — let's get married!
Friendly Rivalry
Friends with Benefits


Go Through Me
"If you want them, you have to go through me/us"
Grand Romantic Gesture


Hair Contrast Duo
An example
Headbutting Heroes
An example
Held Gaze
Heroes Want Redheads
Both James and Harry Potter, with Lily Evans and Ginny Weasley, respectively
Heterosexual Life Partners
We're not in love, but we put each other before anyone/anything else. Eg. Stucky
High School Sweethearts


I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship
Either they're not interested or they're scared of losing the person altogether if they should break up
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy
Because I can't be with them, I send them into someone else's arms
Interrupted Declaration of Love
I was just about to tell you how I feel and then a meteor hits earth!
It's Not You, It's My Enemies
We can't be together because they would kill you, but you may not even know my secret identity


Just Friends
"Oh, no we're just friends"


Last Girl Wins
The character's endgame is the last love interest introduced
Last-Minute Hookup
They finally got together! And then the story ended
Leaving You to Find Myself
Light Feminine and Dark Feminine
An example
Like an Old Married Couple
The Bickersons, who aren't in a relationship... yet
Living with the Villain
Or the villain's a colleague, classmate etc. — in close proximity, but you don't know their true identity
Long-Distance Relationship
Love Across Battlelines
We are from opposite sides, but together, and have to deal with the outside world possibly not approving
Love at First Sight
Love Cannot Overcome
Something supernatural in your life is too much for your love
Love Redeems
Villain falls in love and turns good
Love Triangle


Manic Pixie Dream Girl
Someone comes into a character's life and lights it up with sparkly colours the character has never seen before!, but this new person lacks any substantial characterization
Married to the Job
Which leads to friction and sometimes break-ups/divorce
The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life
The hero has to leave their dates/show up later or never, and can never provide a proper explanation because of their secret identity.
The Mistress


New Old Flame
Romance, where a new character shows up and is the hero's long lost love/old flame
Noble Male, Roguish Male
An example
Not a Date
Now or Never Kiss
We might die, so we share our first kiss
Not So Different
"We're not so different after all, you and I"


Odd Friendship
Harold & Maude
Off-Screen Breakup
Office Romance
Official Couple
When a relationship is made canon in the work.
One Head Taller
The One That Got Away
One True Love
Works where it is expressly and continually stated that this is a character/characters' true love who is perfect for them and exactly what they were looking for etc. Think Ted & Tracy (HIMYM).
Opposites Attract
Our Love Is Different
"They may have been a player, but what we have is different"
Outlaw Couple
Criminals in love


Pair the Smart Ones
The academics/genii/scientists/bookworms etc., eg. Science Boyfriends
Pair the Spares
Two characters respectively pursued two people who are now a couple. So, the two characters who didn't win their heart's desire, get together instead
Please Don't Leave Me


Reckless Sidekick
The hero takes on a protégé/mentee, and gets exasperated when the sidekick doesn't exactly follow orders/wrecks missions.
Reformed but Rejected
"How do I know you're not still evil?!"
Rivals Team Up
Romantic False Lead
A relationship which ends up being "just" an obstacle for the "official couple" to happen
Ruling Couple
Rulers in a relationship (royalty etc.)


Screw Destiny
Despite a foretelling, a character makes a free will choice
Second Love
A character gets over a death/break-up with their first love and finds love again
Secret Relationship
♫ Nobody knows it ♫
A Shared Suffering
When nobody can understand what you went/are going through, this person can
She Is Not My Girlfriend
...but everyone thinks so
Sibling Triangle
Star-Crossed Lovers


Third Option Love Interest
Resolution to a love triangle: a character begins a relationship with a third person
True Companions
More than friendship, they are like family
True Love Is Exceptional
People look for and date a certain 'type'/'ideal' and then end up with someone who's very different from that, which they didn't expect


Undercover As Lovers
Understanding Boyfriend
In spite of the gendered name, all significant others who accept and support their love's otherworldly nature/powers and superhero responsibilities
Unholy Matrimony
Villains who are a team and in love
Unresolved Sexual Tension
Uptown Girl


Will They or Won't They?
Working with the Ex


You Are Worth Hell
Can't save you, so am joining your fate
You Can't Fight Fate
Something prophesied comes true
Young Love Versus Old Hate
Their older relatives feud, while they love/find a peaceful solution/advocate for peace


Zip Me Up
Ooh lala