• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic

She has always looked at him like that. Now he's the one doing so. Hmmmm.

Watching through windows,
You're wondering if I'm okay
Cyndi Lauper, "Time After Time"

Bob has feelings for Alice[1], and reveals those feelings with a soulful look, tender gesture, or verbal cues that Alice rarely ever notices. There are a lot of possibilities, here are some of the more common ones:

  • 1. Bob's expression changes when he looks at Alice to one of love (though only if she isn't looking).
  • 2. When Alice talks about dating Charlie, Bob involuntarily clenches his fist.
  • 3. If Alice comments how "crazy" it would be if they were a couple, his agreement is either less than enthusiastic or sincere, or he goes too far the other way.

Of course, this may also indicate less than noble love when Bob is a Stalker with a Crush. Usually his expression will be envious or darker, or he might look more intensely than he should. In either case, if caught and Alice (or Charlie) asks why and for how long he's been looking, Bob will either deny the accusation or answer with "I wasn't looking at you, idiot! I was just distracted" or the like.

The reciprocated version, most likely between Star-Crossed Lovers, is the Held Gaze.

Compare Beautiful Dreamer, which may overlap with this. Contrast Male Gaze, Female Gaze, and Eating the Eye Candy.

Examples of Longing Look include:

Anime & Manga

  • Cardcaptor Sakura has both Syaoran and Tomoyo give these to Sakura.
  • Hinata to Naruto. Constantly.
    • Also Sakura to Sasuke constantly in Part I. Karin takes her place in Part II for a while. It should be noted that Sasuke actually does notice the attention they give him... and it annoys the hell out of him. He still chooses Sakura over Karin at the end.
    • Pictured above: Naruto "returns the favor" in the The Last movie, giving a thoughtful Hinata a longing glance that has nothing on those she's given him. And by the end, they've reached a Relationship Upgrade.
  • Parodied by Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei, in a stalker character's common line "I was here all the time."
  • Shigure watches Akito while she sleeps in Fruits Basket. Also, Kyo often gazes at Tohru.
  • This happens a lot to Sousuke from Full Metal Panic. Pretty much every person who's had feelings for him (which is almost everyone?) has done this to him at least once (with him remaining completely oblivious). Kaname has done it numerous times (notable instances include the episode where she was fondly watching him run away from security guards in the Bonta-kun costume, and the episode where she was watching him try to pick up girls unsuccessfully, only to see him help an old lady with a birthday present for her grandson). The class idol, Ena Saeki, apparently also did this to him. As she confesses in her love letter to him, "I've always watched you from afar and sighed..." while it shows her watching him planting land mines in the school. Tessa is even worse about it, as she's even shown slithering out of bed to go and happily watch him as he sleeps. And Nami (from the novels) is constantly shyly watching him - especially during celebration parties after a victory in the AS tournament, where he'll be off alone drinking water. And then there's Gauron, who apparently recorded footage of Sousuke and was watching it with ecstasy. Guess there's just something about the boy that inspires people to act like Stalkers With Crushes gaze longingly at him.
  • Simon to Yoko and Yoko to Kamina in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
  • In Gankutsuou Franz talks about loving someone even if you can't marry them, while looking sadly at Albert.
  • Ryoga of Ranma ½ does this to Akane a few times.
  • In Hayate the Combat Butler most of the characters have actually been caught by their romantic interest with looks of this, in both directions, sometimes they've actually been prompted by said interest. Save for Ayumu, none of them have had the nerve to actually confess though, so their lack of romantic knowledge ends up with it just being played for UST.
    • Actually, Ayumu is only the first (and she did so twice) of three to have confessed, Athena (though she then 'rejected' him, and then denied it as Alice) and Luca have as well (although Luca confessed to Hayate under the impression that he was female and added the condition that 'if he were a guy'). Hayate is just to clueless to have picked up on any of them.
    • Hinagiku and Hayate have Longing Looks from both directions, unfortunately not at the same time.
  • In Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0, Shinji does this to Rei a few times. There is even one instance when the situation is reversed: when Asuka is verbally murdering Shinji for forgetting their lunches, Rei is glancing at him above her shoulders. Rei being Rei, this is highly unusual.
  • Yusaku Godai of Maison Ikkoku does this to Kyoko a lot — especially when she's just doing little things like working.
  • Chi gives this to Hideki a lot throughout Chobits, and so did Freya towards her creator/father Ichiro. Hideki even immediately recognizes the look when Chitose shows him the video.


  • Right before the phone call that informs them that Kevin Costner has killed himself, Glenn Close does this to Kevin Kline at the beginning of The Big Chill.
  • The 2005 Pride and Prejudice has Darcy doing this to Elizabeth virtually every time she isn't looking.
    • Ditto for the BBC 1995 miniseries, where at least half of all of Darcy's scenes feature him gazing soulfully at Elizabeth when she's not looking.
  • In The Searchers, a couple of very long exchanged glances are the audience's only clue of Ethan and Martha's feelings for each other.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One, Ron directs a lot of these towards Hermione.
    • One notable example: In the scene where the Power Trio are in a cafe after having to flee from Bill and Fleur's wedding, they're ambushed and attacked by a pair of Death Eaters. When the smoke clears and the bad guys lie unconscious, Harry and Hermione talk Ron out of killing one, at which point he goes over to Hermione and strokes the side of her face in a very protective gesture.


  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:
  • Clara Bow's "triple gaze" (first lovestruck, then lusty, then innocent) at her soon-to-be romantic interest in It.
  • In the first book of The Pendragon Adventure, Bobby happens to stumble upon Loor bathing. They didn't have anything romantic going at that point in the series, but in hindsight, could have been foreshadowing.
  • In Threads of Time, it's later revealed that Sali Tayi had always been watching Atan Hadas from afar, ever since she was a child. He evens thinks to himself while reminiscing that she was his only source of light and happiness (while showing a shot of him watching her while she's playing with her little brother). "I've always been watching you" indeed. The series tries to play it like it's sweet, and seems to try to use it as if to show that he isn't all a Complete Monster, as he holds such deep love for Atan Hadas. Unfortunately, it only seems to add to his creepiness, and makes him have the added quality of being a Stalker with a Crush.
  • In Appendix A of The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn does this toward Arwen.
  • How is Twilight not on here? Half of every book is Bella gazing longingly at Edward and describing every facet of his perfect features.

Live Action TV

  • In Angel, Angel observes Cordelia at her desk this way in one episode.
    • And in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel is always smoldering at Buffy, especially after they consumate their relationship and realize that they can't...consumate, anymore. Later, Spike takes over the lovelorn vampire role and possibly mopes about even more than Angel, alternating between smoldering lust and sappy adoration.
    • In "Who Are You?", Faith realises instantly from the look Tara gives Willow that the two are gay lovers.
  • There's at least three of these in the pilot episode of Firefly between Mal and the courtesan Inara. In fact, any time the two of them are together in a scene, either they just miss seeing a Longing Look, or they share one simultaneously. But, for various reasons they never quite seem to figure each other out. Joss likes this trope.
  • The 2000s Battlestar Galactica Reimagined has Lee Adama giving Kara Thrace quite a few of these and Kara giving him a few right back, though the Held Gaze is far more common between the two of them - to the point where it's better known as "the eyefrak".
  • Booth is always giving Bones these long soulful looks, especially later in the series when the UST becomes the world's worst kept secret.
  • Ross did this to Rachel a few times in the first season of Friends. Chandler and Joey always teased him about it. "Could you want her more?"
  • On Ugly Betty, Daniel gives Betty one of these while Hilda is giving a speech about being in love with your best friend.
  • Parodied in an episode of Seinfeld in which George is enjoying the view down a woman's loose shirt and her dad steps up behind him: "Get a good look, Costanza???"
  • The X-Files. Oh, sweet Jesus.

 Holman Hardt: And you two've never...? (Mulder shakes his head) I confess I find that shocking. I've seen the way

you two gaze at one another.

Mulder (speechless for a moment):This is about you. I'm here to help you. I'm perfectly happy with my friendship with

Agent Scully.

Holman Hardt: So according to your theory I walk in there, tell her I love her and the drought will end?

Mulder: Just tell her how you feel. And Holman? I do not *gaze* at Scully.

  • On The Mighty Boosh, Vince does this to Howard, who never notices, all the time.
  • Odo. Dear, sweet, adorable Odo, who kept casting these at a completely oblivious Kira until she finally wised up and got with the program.
    • Also inverted when he's just interviewing a suspect and she immediately accuses him of giving her the bedroom eyes.
  • Chakotay did this many times to Captain Janeway, particularly in the episode "Resolutions". When she only has a towel on and she's just stepped out of a bath? Totally checking her out.
  • Very, very prominent in the early seasons of The Office. Jim and Pam were so into giving each other longing looks that they would subconsciously still do it when the other wasn't around.
  • Barney when he fell in love with Robin on How I Met Your Mother.
  • Happens with Chuck and Blair on Gossip Girl. Nate also throws a few Serena's way in season three.
  • In The War At Home Larry's best friend Kenny is constantly giving him these looks, because he is secretly gay and in love with Larry.
  • Arthur and Guinevere on Merlin. And then Lancelot joins in...
  • Niles often did this to an oblivious Daphne in Frasier. After their Unrequited Love Switcheroo, Daphne starts doing it to an equally-oblivious Niles, which finally caused Frasier to decide "enough of this shit" and forcibly set the two of them up.
  • Fran and Mr Sheffield in The Nanny do this a lot. And Niles and CC in later seasons.


  • This is pretty much the premise of Eric Carmen's song "Hungry Eyes."


  • Cyrano De Bergerac: Montfleury gives one of these to Roxane, this is the true cause of Cyrano’s grudge against him.

 CYRANO (rising): This Silenus,

Big-bellied, coarse, still deems himself a peril—

A danger to the love of lovely ladies,

And, while he sputters out his actor's part,

Makes sheep's eyes at their boxes—goggling frog!

I hate him since the evening he presumed

To raise his eyes to hers. . .Meseemed I saw

A slug crawl slavering o'er a flower's petals!


Video Games

  • Though the engine isn't designed to show it, Visas (whose blindness put her in a position to know) comments that the Handmaiden's tone of voice changes drastically and her heartbeat accelerates noticeably when she is talking to the male player in Knights of the Old Republic 2.
  • In Red Dead Redemption, Bonnie does this near the end of the game, looking at John with his wife with what described as a deep and longing look as they leave her family's ranch.
  • If the player romanced Fenris in Dragon Age II Merrill will tease him about giving Hawke 'puppy eyes' when s/he looks away

Web Comics

  • Happens in Dominic Deegan in a rare same-sex example. Dominic's childhood friend gives Dominic the longing gaze. Luna sees him doing so and demonstrates it for Dominic. This is particularly cute because Luna used to do it for Dominic herself before they got involved.
  • Penny to Aggie, in a same-sex example from a Dream Sequence.
  • Played for Laughs in a Lackadaisy bonus strip featuring Viktor explaining to the socially clueless Mordecai why a woman is "making eyes" at him and trying, unsuccessfully, to show him how to reciprocate.

Western Animation

  • Rodolfo does this for his ex-wife Maria in El Tigre the Adventures of Manny Rivera. Though he also does it when she is aware of it. He's got it bad.
  • Helga does this constantly to the titular Hey Arnold.
  • Aang of Avatar: The Last Airbender has all three varieties for Katara.
  • The Simpsons: Homer and Marge show this in a few episodes.
  • Exo Squad: Maggie Weston and Alec De Leon share a few, as do J. T. Marsh and Colleen O'Reilly; but neither of them hold a candle to the looks that Nara Burns gives Marsala. The Longing Look seems to be permanently affixed to her face in his presence.
  1. (Though gender reversals are commonplace)