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File:Goku chichi12 4282love 809.jpg

Yes, Goku clearly hates that naggy wife of his.


"Instead, to Jack's mild surprise, he discovered he was worried about Alison. And Taneem, too, of course. But mostly he was worried about Alison. It was a rather annoying discovery, actually."

—A revelation of Jack's in Dragon and Liberator by Timothy Zahn

A couple version of a Pet the Dog moment. Basically, when a couple/potential couple—who spend the entirety of the show yelling at each other, insulting one another, doing things to deliberately upset one another, stabbing each other in the back, etc.—have a moment when they reveal that deep down, they really care for one another. Awwww.

Some couples don't even have these moments as justification for their marriage, however.

Often takes place in a humorous rushing-to-your-spouse's-defense manner, where one of them angrily defends the other against the same kind of insults that they themselves like to dish out.

Common line: "Nobody insults/beats up/threatens my wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend but me!"

A similar phenomenon is often seen in brother-sister relationships.

If this relation is between friends then they are Vitriolic Best Buds (the second type). If it is between siblings, then it combines Big Brother Bully and Big Brother Instinct.

If the romance part comes without warning or justification, the trope may fall flat, since it comes completely out of nowhere when the previous context of the story makes it seem like they have nothing to love about each other at all.

See also Defrosting the Ice Queen, Slap Slap Kiss.

Examples of Aw, Look -- They Really Do Love Each Other include:

Anime and Manga

  • Mazinger Z: Kouji and Sayaka, the prototypical Battle Couple. Although in the original manga they got along well, the anime series took their Belligerent Sexual Tension up to eleven -some of their fights were legendary-. However, you always had moments where they stopped to get mad, bicker and insult each other and showed they cared for each other very much.
    • In episode 29 Kouji saw a Mechanical Beast -Grengus C3- walking from the direction where Aphrodite A -Sayaka's Fembot- had gone at before. Inmediately he panicked, got on a bike and drove towards the place, yelling "Sayaka" all the way (he was so freaked out he did not realize the bike he had got was not his). When he finally found her -wounded and lying down on the floor beside Aphrodite A's remains- he shook her awake and hugged her.
    • And in another episode, Kouji and Sayaka got an actually serious fight, and Sayaka refused to back him up in battle. When he was seriously injured, Sayaka took care of him in the hospital and kissed him in his comatose sleep.
  • Anna and Yoh in Shaman King.
    • To be specific, there were a few instances of this to be shown, in the anime, when it was thought that Hao killed Yoh Anna has a Heroic BSOD moment, clinging onto his headphones and staring into space that goes on for a few episodes until he comes back from the dead. The two share a few words and she gives him back his headphones before he goes back into battle. In the manga and anime, when Yoh let's an evil spirit possess him to save his friend, the Spirit tells everyone he's going to force Yoh to kill himself when he possesses him. This actually causes Anna to drop to her knees in tears, this instance was actually the first instance that you realize that Anna truly does love Yoh. There are several more instances that crop up in the manga proving that both characters really do care about each other, like the first time they met, or when they spend on last night together before Yoh leaves to America.
  • Koizumi and Otani in Lovely Complex.
  • Bossun and Tsubaki from Sket Dance, despite being rivals, actually team up pretty well and have shown mutual respect for each other. Things only get better between the two of them after The Reveal.
  • This sums up Ranma and Akane's relationship in Ranma ½.

Ranma: Please, Akane. I need you... to hear me now... I wanted to tell you... I wanted to tell you that I love you!

    • Also Ranma and Ukyo and Ranma and Shampoo, from a friendly rather than romantic standpoint. Ranma and Ryoga qualify as well.
    • And for that matter, Ranma and Genma. Even though they are always fighting and never really show any platonic affection for each other, they've got each other's back when it really counts. No mercy when it comes to food though. That stuff is serious business.

Ranma: Irresponsible jerk! *slaps Genma around* How dare you make us worry about you!

  • Urusei Yatsura's Ataru Moroboshi sums up his relationship with Lum when Mendo confronts him about how the oni princess would be much better off without him: "I hate being bound to Lum... but I hate people trying to take Lum away from me more!"
    • Also, when he was shown the possible future in which he had the harem he had always wanted and discovered that Lum had abandoned his future self due to some truly horrible treatment (pawning and selling her stuff, tricking her into working and making her sleep on the roof to make room for his other 'wives'), he proceeds to whack future-Ataru on the head and openly admitting that without Lum, a harem means nothing to him. Likewise, when he sees the future where he and Lum are just walking out of a church where their wedding took place and sees that Lum is so happy she's openly crying of joy, he softens up to the idea and proceeds to attempt to save this future (the others are about to be destroyed).
  • Happens a lot in Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan. Dokuro even claims in the opening theme that all of the torment she piles on Sakura is just how she shows her love (while she cuddles and kisses his lifeless body on the ground.)
  • In X 1999 Seishirou and Subaru get some form of this, in their short conversation as Seishirou lays dying in Subaru's arms.
  • Kana and Chiaki from Minami-ke show the sisterly variety. Mostly seen fighting and arguing throughout the series, they also share some more intimate moments from time to time—especially when they face a threat from their big sister, Haruka.
  • In Kyouran Kazoku Nikki this happens more and more between Ouka and Kyouka as the series progresses. Oddly enough, it is Kyouka who actually works the hardest at this, despite her aggressive tendencies.
  • Suzuna and Kouichi in Moonlight Lady—after four episodes filled with lots of Slap Slap Kiss, they really start to grow on one another. It's heavily implied that it's more because of magic than actual love, however...
  • Haruhi Suzumiya and Kyon have many of these moments throughout the series.
  • Zettai Heiwa Daisakusen‍'‍s entire premise focuses on this trope and Arranged Marriage, with a pinch of Hilarity Ensues for good measure.
  • Shugo Chara characters Amu and Ikuto have their moment as Ikuto attempts to board an airplane. (We say 'attempt' because he wasn't doing very well.)
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura and Syaoran have a few of them.
  • Despite hating one another at first, Natsume and Mikan of Gakuen Alice have gradually progressed to the point where they've confessed to one another. It almost seemed one-sided for a long time as Natsume had already declared his feelings twice before (Albeit once was quite indirect and anonymous), but she has finally realized how much she cares for him as well. In fact, taking into account their parents' history together, it seems that they were perhaps destined to be with one another.
  • Pandora Hearts: Gil and Alice have had a few of these moments in both the anime and the manga, they * claim* to hate each other but find themselves inexplicably worried when harm comes across the other.
  • Averted painfully hard in Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt when Panty and Brief finally make love (implied to be more than just sex). Brief is falling from the sky and when Panty has a chance to save him, she flinches away from him in disgust because he's in dork mode.
    • And he falls straight into the keyhole of Hellsgate.
  • In Lucky Star there is a mild variety between fraternal twin sisters Kagami and Tsukasa. Kagami usually treats her sister as an annoying underachiever, which makes the scenes in which she shows her true feelings very sweet.
  • Quarterback Hiruma Youichi and Manager Mamori Anezaki from Eyeshield 21 have a lot of these moments near the end of the series.
  • Sae of Hidamari Sketch usually acts distant toward younger sister Chika, which often gets them into fights with each other. She really does think fondly of her, though, as seen when Chika is sleeping and Sae slips a book with her autograph into her bag and gently strokes her hair, and when she gives her a nice necklace as a present in honor of her passing of an entrance exam.
  • Yusuke and Keiko in Yu Yu Hakusho
  • Rather hilariously in Infinite Stratos, defrosted Laura. Everyone was expecting a Yandere with full-on murderous impulses. She's actually downright sweet.
  • In Dragon Ball, this happens sometimes amongst the main couples, especially Goku and Chi-Chi and Vegeta and Bulma
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia, Russia stalks China, then (sort of) comforts him after Japan's betrayal. General Winter has tormented him since childhood, but protects him during wars and Russia CRIES saying "My friend can't be defeated this easily" after General Winter falls after trying to protect him from them mysterious enemy in the Hetalia Bloodbath 2010
    • The very dynamic of the Frying Pangle (Austria, Hungary, Prussia) works like this. While they do tend to quarrel and fight each other every now and them, they all really care and look out for one another.
  • Naruto and Sasuke, before the latter's Face Heel Turn, were Vitriolic Best Buds who could always rely on each other in a fight.
  • Inner Moka from Rosario + Vampire acts cold to Tsukune and always tells him that she tolerates him to make Outer Moka happy, but God help you if she finds out you hurt him (later extends to the rest of his harem). Tsukune, meanwhile, is scared of her at first, then admits in chapter 27 of season 2 (manga) that he loves her as much as he loves Outer Moka and wants them to become one person. And now Tsukune is putting himself through a potentially deadly surgery so he'll have the power to protect her.
  • Misaki from Junjou Romantica can't say "I love you" toward his boyfriend Usami, only managed to do so once, constantly shouts and scolds him (not that there aren't any reasons for all that), and always denies their relationship when asked, even though it's painfully obvious they're in love, but when his schoolmate made a move on Usami, he was really quick to react and go all "He's mine!"
  • Although not an Official Couple as of yet, Soul from Soul Eater literally throws himself in front of Maka to protect her at least three times during the manga, despite acting like a jerk to her most of the time. (Although Soul says it's his job as a weapon, you don't see Tsubaki doing that for Black*Star or either of the Thompson sisters doing that for Kid.) Maka's also devastated and blames herself when Soul is in the hospital after nearly being killed by Crona and infected with Black Blood, despite her being a jerk to him as well. Later chapters tend to show Soul being more compassionate toward Maka, especially during the fight with the Clown and in the Book of Eibon's Sloth chapter, where he doesn't need or allow Maka to apologize for her behaviour. They also tend to hold hands or have an arm around the other.
    • Liz seems to be this way towards Kid recently; she's always calling him 'prissy' and trying to kick him out of his OCD-mode, but at one point in time refers to him as 'wonderful' and starts to cry at the thought of his hospitality and her inability to thank him for it.
    • Black*Star towards Tsubaki, when he refuses to move from her side as she fights her brother, allowing her to take center stage. Tsubaki also seems to feel this way towards Black*Star, as she is the only one who stands up for him.
  • Ai no Kusabi ends with a tragic version of this. Despite being a Master and a "Pet" relationship which Riki hated being and therefor was hostile to his master Iason, there are no doubts at the end that Iason and Riki were love with one another. Iason was fatally injured and Riki stays by his side to die with him in an exploding fortress.
  • A familial version happens occasionally in Wandering Son. Maho is typically an angry Jerkass toward her little brother however occasionally she'll show affection toward him, or at least show signs that she loves him. Like when she stood up for him when he was being mobbed by girls when they began modeling (though maybe that was out of jealously), when she freaked out over the thought that he was mistaken for a girl and kidnapped, when she felt guilty after making fun of him when was dumped, or (in the anime) when she gave him some extra food at dinner when they had an argument.

Comic Books

  • Cain and Abel from The Sandman. Cain regularly murders his brother (he gets better). Abel never makes much of a fuss, until he gets killed by someone else; both brothers are extremely upset about this.
  • Gambit and Rogue from X-Men.
  • Ball and Chain is about a marriage on the rocks. A couple that can't seem to get along. But Edgar and Mallory show that they really care about each other occasionally. When Edgar thinks he's going to die, he narrates that you're supposed to see your life flash before your eyes... but all he can think of is Mallory. When Mallory thinks Edgar is dead, she weeps bitterly and says that he was everything to her.
  • Thor and Loki from The Mighty Thor. Beneath the centuries of Sibling Rivalry and Cain and Abel behavior, they truly do see each other as brothers.

Fan Works

  • In the Tamers Forever Series, despite constantly mocking Takato, Rika frequently shows genuine concern for him, something that nobody else fails to notice

Rika: You HAVE to let us go help him!
Ms Asagi: If I didn't know you, Miss Nonaka, I'd think you're worried about young Takato.
Kenta: You know, I was THIS close to saying that.



  • In Kung Fu Hustle, the ferocious landlady and her cowardly husband, who have been squabbling for the entire first part of the movie (she even throws him out the window and hits him in the head with a flower pot), band together to defend the neighborhood from the Axe Gang, fight the Beast, and nurse the movie's hero back to health.
    • They also had a brief dance together... before resuming their usual henpecking roles.
  • Ball and Chain — Sunil Malhotra's and Lisa Ray's characters are forced into an engagement by their parents. They do all they can to sabotage the relationship, which is cool until they actually do it and realize they may have feelings for each other. By this time, Lisa Ray's character is engaged to someone else.
  • In Blindness, the Japanese couple seem to be incredibly strained after they become blind, to the point of her rejecting him completely. But after a while they reconcile. The same goes for the Doctor and his wife, who is sickened and humiliated with how she cares for him now like he was a baby rather than her husband, but ultimately they prove to still care for each other.
  • Han Solo and Princess Leia might have moments like these only under threat of carbonite freezing, death by stormtrooper, or in post-I-can't-believe-we-survived-that-elation, but they do have them.
  • Bud and Lindsay Brigman from The Abyss. At the start of the movie they're in the middle of a very bitter divorce, but a few near-death experiences remind them that they still do, in fact, love each other, to the point of being willing to die for one another.


  • In the 2nd book of the Prydain Chronicles, Taran is yelling at Eilonwy for following them into danger, but when Ellidyr echoes the sentiments Taran defends her.
    • That kind of thing happens a lot where those two are concerned.
    • It doesn't hurt that Ellidyr is the The Rival and an all-around Jerkass.
  • Played with in Dolores Claiborne. When her husband is trying to drag her into the well along with her, Dolores has a sudden image of her neighbours finding their bodies together and thinking that they committed suicide like this to show how much they loved each other. The fact that people would think this give Dolores the strength to struggle free from her husband's grasp.
  • Happened to Jack and Alison a bit near the end of the Dragonback series. Don't worry, this one was actually pretty subtle.
  • Tristran and Yvaine in Stardust.
  • Katniss and Haymitch have one of these moments in Mockingjay, the 3rd Hunger Games book. Katniss breaks down crying because she is upset over Peeta's capture and torture at the hands of the Capitol. Though she could have asked for just about anyone, she only wants to be comforted by Haymitch. Haymitch, who is usually a Jerkass, actually sits down and consoles her.
  • Buttercup's parents in The Princess Bride. They bicker so much that they actually keep score, and seem to almost genuinely dislike each other. But when Buttercup's father feels that his life is so sufficiently complete that "Now I can die," his wife looks at him fondly and replies, "Don't." The narration further states that when he really does die a few years later, she dies almost immediately afterward, with the majority of their acquaintances being of the opinion that it was the 'sudden lack of opposition that did her in.' (This does not apply to The Film of the Book, where her parents don't exist.)
  • Derk and Mara in Dark Lord of Derkholm. They seem to be drifting apart over most of the book, but eventually are brought back together, and decide to have another baby (with wings, even).
    • And of course, Howl and Sophie in Howl's Moving Castle. The sequel outright says that they're happiest when they're bickering.
    • Also, Michael had commented to Sophie that the day Howl forgets to take two hours every morning to perfect himself would be the day that he has truly fallen in love. So when Sophie gets kidnapped by the Witch of the Waste, Howl arrives to rescue her looking like absolute, bedraggled hell.
  • The Sisters Grimm is the definition of this trope. Sabrina and Puck spend most of the time together arguing. When they're not arguing, they are giving each other silent treatments. Puck frequently tells Sabrina that she's ugly, but then, when he finds out she's experimenting with makeup, he tells her that she doesn't need to wear it.
  • The whole point of Mil Millington's Things My Girlfriend And I Have Argued About. Though the protagonist and his girlfriend live in a state of open war and have raging argument down to a science, it's really just surface noise; their relationship is the most solid one in the book. This is based on the author and his girlfriend's real life together, which he describes as "The secret to happiness is to become irretrievably embroiled in a bitter fight to the death."
  • In Warrior Cats, Squirrelflight and Brambleclaw are almost the poster couple for this pairing. There's at least four fights between them a book.
    • Also, Firestar and Sandstorm in the first arc suit this trope, too. Sandstorm hates Firestar until he saves her life in Fire and Ice, when she starts to like him.
  • A father-daughter version in American Pastoral when Swede and Merry reunite for the first time in five years. Despite all the terrible things that happened between them, they cry and hold onto each other and express their love... and then It Gets Worse again.
  • Alanna and George in the Tortall Universe. George has made his feelings known to her, though Alanna has been avoiding talking about it, thinking it might ruin their friendship. But when they were on a trip and George was badly wounded, she was panicking, begging him not to die and not moving from his bedside the whole night until he woke up.

George: (teasing her) " I didn't know that you cared."
Alanna: (wiping her tears) " Of course I care, you unprincipled pickpocket! Of course I care!"

  • Tal and Mila from the Seventh Tower book series, when they first met they alternate between wanting to kill each other and fighting about their cultural differences, but when it comes to what matters they work together very well and by the end they had a strong bond of trust and friendship.

Live-Action TV

  • Jade and Beck in Nickelodeon TV show Victorious.
  • Frank and Marie on Everybody Loves Raymond
    • Near the end of "Frank's Tribute," after an unresolved dispute in bed, Frank takes a tissue, wipes off Marie's facial beauty cream, and says "I like you better without the crap on your face."
    • In the episode "Marie's Vision," Frank strongly objects to the accusation that he's in a "loveless marriage."
  • This trope probably appears in any Disney Channel sitcom where a character has a sibling. Taken Up to Eleven in Wizards of Waverly Place, to the point of a Relationship Writing Fumble with siblings Justin and Alex. Consequently, they are show's Fan-Preferred Couple.
  • Al and Peg on Married... with Children
    • Ironic, because one of the show's creators, Ron Leavitt, relates a story in which, during a pitch session for selling the show, someone suggested they write this trope in for the Bundys, whereupon Leavitt replied, "You are everything that is wrong with American television today." Of course, they might've decided to give Al a reason to actually stick around. And maybe because it's funny for him to be trapped with his wife because he cares — Al once says about getting a new car that it would be like "trading you [Peggy] in for a young blonde with new, smooth, factory-warranted hooters. Sure the first few rides would be nice but in the long run, and this Peg, is what depresses me everyday, I realize that... You're the one I want."
    • One might say that this also involves his family. When in hell during a near-death experience, Al is given the choice of staying there with a trio of gorgeous women, or returning to his family. He chooses his family, and even as their bickering resumes, observes it with a smile on his face.
  • Dr Cox and Jordan on Scrubs
    • Might be a subversion as it is stated early on that they both actually like being mean (to both each other and others).
      • Actually, though, it becomes clear as time goes on that Dr. Cox is, at heart, a terrific guy. He uses the surface nastiness as a protective shell. Jordan, on the other hand, definitely does delight in cruelty, though she's not all bad.
    • Dr Cox and JD, kinda. Though it does become apparent a few times that they (both) do care, the final episode, in which Cox defends JD from (set-up) false bad claims shows this.
  • George and Lucille from Arrested Development, especially evidenced in the episode "Visiting Ours" where his wife agrees to a conjugal visit in jail and they begin arguing angrily and end up ravishing each other.
    • With GOB pressed up against a window and forced to watch.
    • Also, most people forget that, over the course of the entire series, there were one or two of these for Tobias and Lindsay (notably at the end of season one, when he overcame his never nude status).
  • Edward and Kitty on Dharma & Greg
  • Chuck and Blair on Gossip Girl.
  • Niles and Maris on Frasier (this was later undermined somewhat by their vitriolic divorce)
    • Although since Maris was She Who Must Not Be Seen, (and the longer the show ran, the more horrible her offscreen actions became), the couple might easily have been a one-sided version of the trope, making it depressing rather than heartwarming.
  • Ralph and Alice on The Honeymooners: "Baby, you're the greatest."
  • Apollo and Sheba on Battlestar Galactica. Saul and Ellen Tigh from the reboot.
  • Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
    • Squat nearly evokes the trope by name in one episode.
    • Also Ziggy and Dr. K on Power Rangers RPM.
  • This was the entire premise of Home Improvement.
  • Fred and Ethel Mertz of I Love Lucy had many such moments. In fact, in an early episode, when Lucy assumes that Fred and Ethel can't stand each other based on their bickering, Ethel laughingly corrects her: "We're not fighting — this is how we make love!"
    • Ironically, in Real Life, Vivian Vance and William Frawley absolutely and unconditionally detested each other and never, ever had this kind of moment. They hated each other so much that by the end of the series, they would not speak except when the script required it.
  • C.C. Babcock and Niles in The Nanny profess their love for each other towards the end of the series
  • Xander and Cordelia had their fair share of this during early seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer; "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" comes especially to mind.

Cordelia: And you know what? I'll date whoever the hell I want to date! ...No matter how lame he is!

  • In Babylon 5, Londo Mollari openly badmouths all of his wives, which, considering that they openly badmouth him back or are gold-diggers, this isn't unexpected. When he is given a reward from the emperor as thanks for his years of service, he asks for a divorce. He is required to keep at least one for official purposes, so two openly try to seduce him while the third treats him like crap. However, the first two conspire to murder him for the inheritance. The third anonymously gives him a blood transfusion to help him survive. Guess which one he keeps. In the Expanded Universe novels, they actually come close to rekindling the relationship they used to have back when they first were married, but Londo, fearing that the Drakh might use her against him, had to send her away.
  • Mal and Inara in Firefly. Piece of advice: don't call Inara a whore when Mal's around. Or pick a fight with Mal around the not-incense.
    • Of course, Mal has no problems calling her a whore himself, although he explains that when he says it, he means her job, while everyone else means her.
  • Sun and Jin on Lost spend most of season 1 emotionally estranged, but they get a fabulous moment in "Exodus Part 1" as they declare their love before Jin sets off on the raft.
  • House and Cuddy.
    • House and Wilson just about every episode.
    • When Wilson decides to donate a part of his liver to a patient, House refuses to come to the operation because, as he tells Wilson, "If you die, I'm alone." House ends up going anyways, creating another example.
    • Wilson thinks House is trying to push the limits of their friendship until it breaks. Later that episode, House protects Wilson by making him leave the room while House helps a patient kill themselves and tells him, "I don't want to push this until it breaks."
      • House and Wilson are generally very protective of each other. When Cuddy responds coldly to a very rare attempt by House to be nice, Wilson buys the apartment she and Lucas wanted to use to move in together and says "She hurt my friend. She should be punished."
  • Despite not being an official couple yet, Sonny Munroe and Chad Dylan Cooper from Sonny With a Chance have at least one Aw Look moment an episode.
    • They are now an Official Couple. And they've "broken up" three times in the past three episodes. Yet it's been made very clear that they care about each other, and for every second that they snark at each other, there's another second or two where they are completely adorable.
  • While not technically a romantic couple, Sam and Dean of Supernatural have had their moments. For example, the season two episode Tall Tales has Sam and Dean sniping at each other Like an Old Married Couple. But at the end of the episode, we get this:

Sam: Look, Dean, um, I just wanna say that I'm, uh... um...
Dean: Hey. Me too.

    • Castiel and Dean also have these moments, and it's obvious that it breaks Dean's heart when Castiel lets Crowley manipulate him like a puppet down the road to hell. Also, there's the entire reason why Castiel went to Crowley for help in the first place: that Dean wasn't there for him.
  • Paul and Estelle on Fortysomething. Every episode ends with one of these moments.
  • Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis had a couple of these.
    • Daniel Jackson and Vala Mal Doran in the SG-1 finale, though this was subverted through a Reset Button.
    • John Sheppard and Elizabeth Weir in the Atlantis episode Misbegotten.

Sheppard: How much diplomatic trouble is it going to cause if I knock this Woolsey guy upside his head?!
Weir: What makes you feel like that?
Sheppard: Beside from judging every damn decision you ever made???
Weir: John Sheppard, are you defending my honor?
Sheppard: ...and judging me for agreeing with you?

      • Don't forget a much earlier instance. Specifically, The Siege, Part 3. Sheppard had gone out on a kamikaze mission and came back due to the Daedalus' Big Damn Heroes moment.

Sheppard: I'm home!
Weir: (calmly walks up then hugs him) Yes... yes, you are...

    • (Meredith) Rodney McKay and Jeannie Miller, two estranged siblings, reconcile after four years in the Atlantis episode "McKay and Mrs. Miller".
  • Clark Kent and Lois Lane on Smallville.
  • Merlin and Arthur bicker and insult each other most of their time. But when it comes down to it, they do really care for each other and will sacrifice themselves to protect or save the other.
    • Arthur and Morgana have a similar dynamic, as well. (Well, Not so much now that Morgana wants to kill everyone and take over the throne. But before that.)
  • Malcolm in the Middle has the familial version of this trope. Sure, 99% of the time Malcolm's family is a dysfunctional mess, but when Hal's relatives drive Lois to tears at a family reunion, Hal gets the courage to Call The Old Man Out while the brothers singlehandedly demolish the entire party with a golf cart.
    • Also the scene in Lois' Birthday where Hal and the boys take on a posse of clowns.
  • The short-lived cooking show parody Posh Nosh the annoying Stepford Smiler wife and her obviously gay husband can't help but get on each other's nerves. However when Simon's in deep mourning over the death of his lover tennis coach, Minty happily introduces him to a new tennis coach who has a striking similarity...
  • Puck and Quinn, from Glee. Usually, they're too busy snarking and insulting each other, but every once in a while when they're alone we get to see just how much they actually care for each other. Of course Finn interrupts most of the time, but still.
  • In All in The Family, once or twice every season or so there would be a special episode made just to prove that Archie may be a Jerkass, but he still is just as much in love with Edith as she is with him.
  • A twisted example on Law and Order: The perp is on trial for killing her husband. Said husband was her therapist when she was young, and they had a sexual relationship while she was still his patient. Part of the evidence was a set of tapes labeled "Meredith", with the victim talking about a young patient in a very romantic/pedophilic way. The prosecution's theory was that she killed him out of jealousy. The wife's defense was A) the "trauma" of her childhood sex, and B) Finding those tapes and realizing that he was doing the same thing to another girl. The reveal? "Meredith" was the name of the town the victim took his wife for getaways. The tapes were about her, not some other girl. The tapes were notes, for a memoir he was writing of their affair. When the wife realized the truth, she broke down crying, on the witness stand, and started apologizing.
  • At least one of the three main couples in Modern Family experiences this nearly every episode.
  • Because on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Liv and Elliot are Platonic Life Partners, their arguments invariably end like this.

Olivia: You're the longest relationship I've ever had with a man. Who else would put up with me?
Elliot: Sorry about that.
Olivia: Don't be. (pause) Do you want to get something to eat?
Elliot: Sure. Who's paying?
Olivia: Well, you do have four kids and you are going through a I guess you are.
Elliot: That's what I figured.

    • Also Fin and Munch. When Munch gets shot in the ass, Fin brings him his favorite milkshake and says he's glad Munch pulled through. Doesn't stop Fin from joking about the situation in a later episode, though.
  • Basil throwing a surprise anniversary party for Sybil in Fawlty Towers. The trope name was even mentioned by the actress of Sybil in the DVD extras.
  • In Doctor Who, River Song and the Doctor can get this vibe, since especially in some of the Doctor's earlier meetings with her, he spent a lot of it directing insults at her and feeling out-of-sorts.
    • "Let's Kill Hitler" is loaded with these moments for the Doctor and River, despite the fact that she's technically not even there. Early in the episode, the Doctor keeps making reference to River and from this, a new character immediately picks up on how much he really cares about her. And then, when dying, he gives Melody a message to give River and her response is "I think she knows." Made all the more poignant by the fact that Melody discovers a few moments later that she is, or will become, River.
    • Done in Tear Jerker fashion between Pete and Jackie Tyler in Father's Day. Despite all the bickering, jealousy, and hostility expressed by Jackie in this episode, she has one Last Kiss with Pete...just before his Heroic Sacfice.
  • Blake's 7 has at least one scene of this kind a season between Avon and Vila, although some are quite subtle. A good example would be when Avon defends Vila from Tarrant.
  • Primeval, season 2: Connor and Abby spend the first half of an episode arguing, but when Abby is taken by one of the creatures of the week, Connor cries.
  • (Probably) non-romantic version of this occurs on NCIS. Wherein both Kate and Ziva seem to find Tony intolerable, until (about Once a Season) he gets kidnapped, blown up, catches the plague, etc.
  • Pete and Catherine in Twin Peaks.
  • Lister and Rimmer in Red Dwarf. Notably the part where Lister tells Rimmer there was nothing wrong with the way he lived in Holoship, or Lister wanting to give Rimmer a good send-off when he leaves to become the next Ace.
  • While Castle isn't exactly secretive about his feelings toward Detective Beckett, as he constantly jokes about it, Beckett belittles Castle — sometimes jokingly, sometimes not — at least once an episode, if not more. Throughout the first season she can't wait for him to leave and in the finale of season 3, ends her partnership with Castle for good though. But she also, at least once an episode, shows that she really does enjoy having him around, whether by stating that she'd break him out of jail, defending him to someone else, or simply by the look on her face. Castle himself also gets a rather serious one in the season 3 finale when Kate is shot and he tells her 'I love you' right before she loses consciousness. According to Word of God, she heard him.
    • At least twice, Beckett has attempted to start something with Castle, even breaking up with her then-boyfriend for that. Unfortunately, he had just gotten back together with his second ex-wife. The second time, she goes to her bedroom in their luxury suite, only to come back a minute later, but Castle has already gone to his room. Timing is not one of Beckett's strong suits.
  • These moments are pretty much the only reason Ben and Susan Harper of My Family have yet to murder each other.


  • Voltaire's song "Stuck With You".
  • The Parlotones (a South African rock band) portrays this in their music video for Push Me to the Floor, in which the married couple spend the entire video getting back and sabotaging at each other in every possible way...and at the end start getting frisky and about to have sex on a billiards table .
  • In the final song of The Simpsons Sing the Blues, "Sibling Rivalry," after it ends with a quiet a capella refrain about their fractious relationship, you hear softly afterward Bart say "Let go of my hand, Lisa."

Newspaper Comics

  • Beetle Bailey: Happens sometimes between Sarge and Beetle, or Sarge and the privates in his company in general, typically involving a situation where someone is about to leave the company but starts remembering all the good times they've had together. Sometimes subverted instead: One party's happy memories about their times together are ones that make the other angry.


  • In Fiddler on the Roof, Golde and Tevye get their moment after seeing their first two daughters marry for love. Up until now all we've seen is Golde harassing Tevye and Tevye evading her. In a charming duet they consider the fact that their's was an Arranged Marriage and they'd never met until they were reciting their wedding vows. After evading for awhile Golde finally admits that yes, she does love him and he responds in kind. If done well, these two can outshine all the young couples as the cutest in the show.
  • In the musical of Les Misérables, the song "Beggars at the Feast" at the end sung by the Thénardiers, in which they join together to sing a comic relief song about how they will continue robbing and being corrupt until they go to hell proves that they are perfect for each other, despite the musical partner of the song, "Master of the House", having a whole verse in which Madame Thénardier insults her husband's intelligence, demeanor and manhood (though he probably deserved most of it). Heartwarming indeed.
    • Only not so much when you consider that their daughter's just been murdered, and they don't seem to care in the least.
  • Walter and Marion spend almost all of Don't Drink the Water bickering like the old married couple they are...until Marion starts to cry with worry over their escape plan. Walter finally calms his brash demeanor to comfort her and the two remember their first few dates together.
  • In Fools, a curse not only makes most of the characters stupid but also prevents them from falling in love. Once the curse is broken, the parents of The Ingenue, Sophia, Lenya and Nikolai realize they've always loved each other
  • John and Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible realize this just a bit too late.

Video Games

  • In Fantasia — Requiem of the Abyss, Cain and Valen spend most of the time insulting each other. Cue "awwww" when he says that he loves her. On a less romantic side, Oswald and Valen as well. Stern daddy admits he cares about daughter's safety.
  • Erk and Serra in Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken if you pair them up.
  • Luke and Tear in Tales of the Abyss is an example though they're only rude to each other in the first part of the game. Everyone but the two seem to know about it.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, Carth Onasi and a female player spend a lot of time arguing.
    • As do Bastila Shan and a male player. The relationships in the sequel are much less combative, unless you want to be literal about the training sessions with the Handmaiden.
  • After rather a lot of sarcastic bickering between the Smuggler and Risha in Star Wars: The Old Republic, she drops the caustic mood long enough to express concern when he's heading out the airlock to answer a distress call.
  • Happens when Hawke is romancing Merrill as a rival in Dragon Age 2.
    • Really any rival romance is like this. Extra points go to the Anders rivalmance.

Anders: I swear I don't know whether to kiss you or kill you.
Followed by him saying that he aches for Hawke and later in the romance scene he says that losing him/her would kill him.

  • Karl and Lynn from Valkyria Chronicles. So much that their (in-game) death quotes are entirely of one of them calling out to another... in a really sad way.
  • Radiata Stories has Jack and Ridley who initially can't hold a conversation that doesn't involve insulting each other. After a mssion goes wrong, Jack devotes himself to protecting her and she becomes affectionate in return.
  • Possibly subverted in the end of Ratchet and Clank Deadlocked/Gladiator, where the commentators Dallas and Juanita, having verbally attacked each other all through the game, end up getting married, though this was a result of deception on Dallas' part. They then go on to star in their own TV show, where Juanita attempts to kill him in every episode.
  • If you end up taking Banjo or Kazooie far apart from each other in Banjo-Tooie, they will end up whining about missing each other. And considering how much they argue, their differing personalities, and the fact Banjo often uses Kazooie as a weapon, this means a lot.
  • Kaltos and Charlotte from The Spirit Engine 2 if you have them in the same party. Despite constant bickering and insults, they suddenly turn out to love each other near the end, even though there's no indication of it whatsoever.
  • Nick will spend practically all of Left 4 Dead 2 insulting his comrades, but if any of them die, he may actually say something about how he'll miss them, except for Ellis on some occasions.
  • In the end of Chibi-Robo!, after Chibi and Mr. Sanderson have saved the house from the Spydorz, Mrs. Sanderson rushes to his side, tackles him to the ground and, and gives him a big smooooch! She considers the argument they've been having over the entire game to be over.
  • Radiant Historia has one and only one moment where Stocke and Raynie share affection, during a Nonstandard Game Over, and it's a doozie. In which they give up fighting to live in peace together for an entire year before the world ends together. Stocke uses the White Chronicle to go back int time to tell Raynie he can't give up fighting, and instead makes The Promise.

Web Comics

  • Platonic example (which, by Homestuck shipping rules, is still technically romantic): Rose Lalonde unfolds her plan to destroy Jack Noir to her paradox brother Dave Strider — which entails a suicide mission to destroy a sun with twice the mass of the universe. His violent reaction to this plan serves as an indicator that, yes, he really does care about her despite all of the mutual snark. (Rose even points out that his outburst was, in fact, pretty sweet.
    • He goes along with it immediately when it becomes clear that she intends to use her Dream Self for the suicide mission, rather than her "real" self.
    • This happens with Karkat and Terezi in a more typical fashion via Trollian, when despite their constant bickering, they have a conversation ending with mutual <3's (although Karkat's is actually after Terezi logs off).
    • Also, this conversation between Karkat and John.

EB: oh, man.
EB: our "first" conversation ever? i can't wait.

  • In Girl Genius, Gil responds to his father sending a small army, led by a Jager, to capture him (and maim him, if he resists) with "He DOES care!"
    • And by "capture" we mean "remove from a place that may very well get wiped off the map soon if any little thing goes wrong." Vole is cuddly compared to what he's planning to hit the place with.
  • Velma and Marge from I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space: For the first time, when Male Man threatens to kill Velma.
  • In Blip, when Bang first enters the scene, he and K start fighting almost non-stop. Name calling starts, ClusterFBombs are thrown, and catfights are held. But when the turmoil stops, it's clear that K is actually really happy to see him. Later, there's a few photographs of how their friendship has changed since 2nd grade. It hasn't.
  • In Pictures of You, Christo and Michelle spend all there time either fighting or screwing — no in-betweens. It isn't until Michelle thinks she's pregnant that they themselves admit that they are in love with each other. Of course, they proceed to fight afterwards...
  • VG CatsDawwwwwww
  • Tedd and Susan in El Goonish Shive... Awwww... sort of.
  • From Looking for Group, Benny and her adoptive father Krunch. Constant snarking, but he always looks out for her, and she really does adore him. Still, when she hugs him with tears in her eyes, she cries out in joy "Old cow!" (He's a minotaur.)
  • Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures' Widly shows she really is Dan's friend. With a hug of course.
  • In Platinum Grit Nils torments Jeremy without mercy and angrily denies any suggestion that she has feelings for him. But she loses her shit whenever he almost dies and becomes insanely (and transparently) jealous when Kate takes him out on a date.
  • Penny Arcade's Gabe and Tycho. When they're not insulting or threatening one another with bodily harm.
  • Death and The Maiden—After a run-in with Pestilence causes Mercedes to become deathly ill, Death first takes her to a place where she can't get any worse (but not better either), and actually admits that he cares about her. The next few strips are one long Aw Look moment.
  • In Order of the Stick, Roy and Julia are shown to have a fairly strong sibling rivalry, considering that Julia is the favored child of Eugene for pursuing magic. However, a bit of a shouting match, Roy asks how she's doing and the two proceed to hug it out, saying that they love each other. This utterly confuses Nale, who believes that siblings should have an unreasonable hatred of each other and be each others' sworn enemies.

Web Animation


Church: From now on, if anybody makes my girlfriend cranky and psychotic, it's gonna be me!
Tex: Aw, that's sweet.
Church: Shut up, bitch.
Tex: Asshole.


Web Original

  • Captain Falcon and Pit's relationship in There Will Be Brawl can be borderline abusive sometimes. But when someone else threatens to hurt Pit...

Captain Falcon: I may have held mercy for you before. But there is only one fist that can bruise the face of my angel. FALCONNNNNNNN PUNCH!

    • There's also Mario and Luigi (in a more platonic, brotherly sense). They start out violently arguing quite a bit especially when Peach is involved, but start working together again when things get really serious.

Mario: "Alone? Luigi...there are two Mario Brothers."


Nostalgia Chick (To the Critic in a fond, affectionate voice): You stupid sack of shit.


Western Animation

  • John Stewart and Shayera Hol in "Comfort and Joy" and "Wild Cards" from Justice League.
    • Flash and Hawkgirl share a similar heartwarming scene in the finale. He was very vocal in his defense over why Hawkgirl shouldn't be kicked out of the group and before she left on her own, he stopped her so he could hug her.
      • Reciprocated in the Season Fauxnale of Justice League Unlimited, 'Divided we Fall'. When Flash, in his Crowning Moment of Awesome proceeds to trash the combined Luthor/Brainiac entities by punching repeatedly him at superluminal speed, and literally skinning Brainiac from Luthor's body at superspeed is called into the very source of his powers, with no way to return back Shayera seems unable to accept his apparent fate. She then instigates an human chain inside the Speed Force, literally begging Wally to "take her hand" and return to the real world. When she finally gets her friend back, she tenderly caresses and hugs him, with her on-and-off boyfriend John Stewart joining in as a cheesy, happy family glad to have gotten their wayward kid back.
  • In the season finale of Batman the Animated Series the Joker, in quite a grumpy mood, pushes his "girlfriend" Harley Quinn off a building, injuring her deeply. She finally comes to see that he never cared for her....untill she sees roses and a get well card from him. Awwwww(ful).

"Awww, you do think about me!"

  • There's a non-romantic example in the season two finale of Metalocalypse.

Toki Wartooth: Nathans, the real reason you tells me this is that you cares abouts me.

    • Once in a blue moon someone will say something about how they actually do consider the other band members (or the Manager) their friends. To name a few:
      • Nathan calling the band is "stupid, dumb, fucked up dysfunctional family" in Fatherklok. He also insists in "Dethzazz" that the rest of the band has to help Toki recover from his punishment coma despite the fact that the band wouldn't suffer at all musically from his absence.
      • Pickles' line about calling the band his family in Rehabklok.
      • Charles telling the band that they're all important to him in Doublebookedklok.
  • An example of familial love, In an episode of Ben 10 where Ben is stuck as an alien and kidnapped by an "alien hunter", Gwen sees him trapped in a glass jar and says:

Gwen: [the alien hunter] can't torture Ben like that, only I can torture Ben like that!

    • Another one takes place in the movie, Secret of The Omnitrix when Ben thinks that Gwen is dead. He actually breaks down crying (something he never did in the entire series), and runs to hug her when it turns out she wasn't.
  • In an episode of Chowder, Mung and Truffles get into an argument that escalates in vitrol and volume; it ends in a prompt make-out session. They part with "GET AWAY FROM ME."
  • In an episode of The Simpsons, when Marge and Homer go to couples counciling, another couple is shown bickering, and throwing mean, petty insults at eachother. Then the reverend asks them to look into each others' eyes...
    • Lisa and Bart sometimes have these moments, though it's also obvious that the only thing fragmenting their relationship is just Sibling Rivalry. Still, you find moments where something a significant fallout happens between them then they make up and realize they're still family.
  • Slightly twisted South Park example. Cartman, whenever Kyle is truly in mortal danger. And Kyle when he thinks Cartman is sincerely upset about something. He usually isn't.
  • Averted hard in Moral Orel. After all the crap they've put each other through, Clay and Bloberta genuinely hate one another, and their own children. The only Aw, Look—They Really Do Love Each Other moment even vaguely suggested in the show is the fact that Clay tears up for a split-second when talking about the mistakes he's made during a drunken rant. The other residents of Moralton fare little better, though there are enough Pet the Dog moments to keep it from being an irredeemable Crapsack World.
  • In the first Halloween Episode of The Real Ghostbusters, Samhain is hurting Slimer, and Peter shouts, "Nobody picks on the spud but me!"
  • In Wakfu, minor characters Kabrok and Miranda have one of these moments.
  • Percy and Anastasia in Kevin Spencer. They routinely fight with and cheat on each other, but are still in love (or at least lust). They also get extremely jealous when the other cheats — Anastasia gets pissed off when Percy hires prostitutes, while Percy will cheerfully attempt to kill anyone who dates Anastasia.
    • Percy and Anastasia supposedly keep Kevin around for the money they would get for having a dependant. A flashback reveals that they really do love him, and Anastasia breaks down in tears when they had to give up Kevin's twin brother for adoption.
  • Candace has moments like this towards her brothers on Phineas and Ferb. In this case, though, the rivalry is only ever one-sided; Phineas and Ferb always have an upbeat and helpful attitude toward her.
  • Cree and Abigail Lincoln from Codename: Kids Next Door have several of these moments. They might be arch-enemies, but they're also sisters.
  • In Hey Arnold!, Helga usually ends up showing that she really does care about her Parody Sue older sister, Olga.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Zuko and Mai's kiss at the end of "The Beach," an episode where they didn't seem to be having very much fun together, got into a big fight, and broke up briefly. At the end, Mai puts it best when she says "I know one thing I care about. I care about you."'
  • In one episode of Family Guy, Brian is replaced by "New Brian," and Stewie tries to convince him to come back.

Brian: You always said I was a douche.
Stewie: Yeah, but you're my douche.

  • Word of God says that deep down, Dexter of Dexter's Laboratory really does love his sister even though he'll never admit it. He has, on a couple of occasions successfully gotten Dee Dee out of his lab. Only to find that while the peace and quite may be nice at first, in the long run, he's absolutely miserable with out her. One point, when she was taken away by aliens, he was reduced to tears begging for her return.
    • In another episode where Dexter thought he was going to die, his parting gift to Dee Dee was to let her happily run wild in his lab.
    • Also when the two were auditioning to be Major Glory's sidekick, Deedee insulted Dexter and laughed at him for thinking he could ever win the title. When Deedee gets hurt by a gang of Glory's villains ambushing the audition Dexter went into a berserker rage and took out the whole gang single-handedly.

Real Life

  • Even the meanest, grumpiest male crocodile would soften up if you pair him with a female.
    • Unless one of them ate the other for dinner instead. In nature, male and female often only show interest in each other in that way at mating time, the rest of the time, it's just another rival/potential meal.
  • Dogs; if you own two or more, you'll often see them badgering each other, swiping their toys, chasing one another around and generally harassing one another back and forth. But if one is sick or injured, the others will stick by him or her and comfort them until they get better.
    • Cats as well, to a lesser extent. God help you if a door stands between a sick cat and her mother. Momma doesn't care that her baby is full grown now- she will make damn sure you let her in that room to look after her baby.