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"I may be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it."
Spike, Lover's Walk

"The things I do for love."
Jaime Lannister, A Game of Thrones, before throwing a little boy off of the top of a tower

You've got yourself a Badass snarker who couldn't care less about anyone. Or could they? Maybe this supreme example of all things awesome is hiding something, some hidden feelings. Maybe they are just a big softy inside.

Then we have ourselves the Fool for Love. He may act all macho, but his bravado is really just hiding the fact that his one motivation is to honor his one true love. Given enough time and enough drama, this one true love may even turn out to not be so one and true. Even in this case, the Fool For Love will almost immediately move on to a different love interest and serve them as loyally. All while being the most obnoxious character in the ensemble.

Often, but not always, the Fool for Love has a secret artsy side. He may seem like a gun (or sword or fist) slinging showboat, but when no one is looking he is reading and writing poetry. Or painting landscapes. Or just looking forlornly at the horizon, but real artfully.

The quintessential example would be Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and later Angel. He may be the biggest Badass on the show (at least in the show's first few seasons) but he is always doing it for a very special lady, whether she be a psychotic vampire, a troubled slayer, a cute physicist or an elder goddess. He snarks and acts all tough but at the end of the day, all he wants is to watch out for his one true love.

Examples of Fool for Love include:

Anime & Manga

  • Sanji from One Piece is a self-confessed Slave to Love. Any moderately attractive woman can manipulate his chivalry, and any woman period is subject to his protection. Even if they're enemies. It's playerd more dramatically in the Whole Cake Island arc, where he actually has a chance to settle down with a lovely girl that he's been engaged to by their horrible families and she seems to ACTUALLY like him back... but she turned out to be a Honey Trap who hates him and is part of a complot from her family to kill hers... and then she ACTUALLY fall for him after shows her kindness DESPITE that...
  • Harima Kenji from School Rumble fits the badass-in-love description to a T in his feelings toward Tsukamoto Tenma.
  • A (maybe) platonic version of this is Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann initially appears to be a big, boastful, fearless meathead, but his bluster is both a cover for his inner doubts and a way to inspire courage in others, especially his Blood Brothers Simon. He admits to Yoko in episode 8 that he'd have given into despair long ago if it were not for his absolute faith in Simon, and shortly thereafter goes on his first mission where he and Simon fight separately...and only Simon comes back alive.
  • The typically caustic Chazz/Jun from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX always goes crazy in the presence of Alexis/Asuka and always tries to impress her, but always fails.
  • Played dramatically in Owari no Seraph, where the Golden Girl Mahiru Hiragi is absolutely ready to do anything to be reunited with her love, Guren Ichinose, even after she turns into the demon Mahiru-No-Yo.

Comic Books

  • Wolverine sure seems like an uncaring loner until you look at the gaggle of one true loves he has loved and lost throughout the years.


  • Riley Biers from Eclipse, who did everything in the name of his lover, Victoria. He was only a pawn to her.
  • Jamie Lannister in A Game of Thrones. He may be the deadliest and most sarcastic knight in the Seven Kingdoms, but everything he's done he did for his special someone.

Live-Action TV