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Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match. Find me a find, catch me a catch
You all know Alice and Bob. Alice has a crush on Bob. Bob may or may not have a crush on Alice. Then there's Jane. Jane is a close friend of Alice who has nothing but Alice's best interest in mind. So she encourages Alice to go for it with Bob. Over and over again. Jane is a matchmaker.
This person is notable for several things. One, they can't seem to grasp the concept of personal space. Two, they seem to have a pathological obsession with hooking up their friends. If the subject is a single pair, the revelation that this person has feelings for one or both of them is entirely possible. Otherwise, this is something of a Love Triangle with only one romantic connection.
Take note that in older or period works, it is not uncommon to find an older figure who is rather skilled at this. Keep an eye out for professionals and relatives.
A serial Matchmaker is often Oblivious to Love. Expect several attempts to make a match for the character madly in love with the Matchmaker, and resolution only to come at the very end.
See also Yaoi Fangirl, Yuri Fan and Perverse Sexual Lust, for variants. Compare Shipping for more meta examples. Shipper on Deck is a subtrope. See also Match Maker Quest, where the player can take on this role.
Anime and Manga
- Mutsumi Otohime from the "Love Hina" manga and anime trys more than anybody to help Keitaro and Naru be together. Mutsumi wants Keitaro to be happy (With an massive case of "I Want My Beloved to Be Happy"). Even though Mutsumi has loved Keitaro since childhood.
- Haruna Saotome from Mahou Sensei Negima, who has taken a personal interest in seeing her friend Nodoka advancing her relationship with their teacher Negi. The best way to summarize her mentality is that when Nodoka builds up the nerve to ask Negi to go with her group on the trip, Haruna berates her for settling for just that, dares her to confess to him, and starts talking about actual romantic dating.
- Of course,
Albert Chamomile...uh...Chamo isn't much better. While he's been shown to have his own reasons for his actions, he has encouraged Negi to kiss girls on multiple occasions and even setting him up with several, most notably with the "Kiss Negi" competition. He's also been shown to encourage the girls themselves on a few occasions.
- Of course,
- Shakugan no Shana has Ike, who tries to help Kazumi get together with Yuji, but he doesn't really have a pathological obsession with watching other people get into relationships, and the ending heavily implies that he ends up paired with Kazumi.
- Ayuki in Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl has an interest in resolving Hazumu's Love Triangle, and does have the pathological obsession with seeing people other than herself getting into relationships.
- Tsuruya from Suzumiya Haruhi. At times, she talks to Kyon about his relationship to Haruhi and Mikuru. Well, this quote probably says it best: "Well, Mikuru will always follow you! But, don't be mischievous. That's the one thing that's not allowed. If you wish to be mischievous, do it to Haru-nyan. Just my intuition. Mhm, I'm sure she'll always forgive you!" Oh, and she also likes to tease him, but that's just for fun.
- Akane in the Kimagure Orange Road mangas.
- Matsuda from Death Note seems to fit. He always seemed to want Light and Misa together, when really there was nothing there.
- Ichigo from Please Teacher
- In the second season of Princess Tutu, Pique and Lilie decide that Ahiru has a thing for Fakir and attempt to match make them, even writing a love letter from Ahiru to Fakir in an attempt for them to get together. Pique even has a crush on Fakir, but sets it aside in hopes that Ahiru could have a relationship with him. What they don't realize is that it's the other way around--Ahiru is still enamored with Mytho and is spending time with Fakir to try to save Mytho. Fakir, on the other hand, is developing feelings for Ahiru...
- In later volumes of the manga Chrono Crusade, it's implied that Azmaria is silently trying to matchmake Chrono and Rosette, including purposefully having her and Satella separated from the two of them so they can be alone.
- There's a brief scene in the epilogue of the manga that seems to imply that Rosette is trying to set up Joshua and Azmaria, too. If so, it works--they get married not long before she dies.
- In Gankutsuou, Albert becomes this for Valentine and Maximilien, after becoming convinced that people should only marry for love.
- Seto from Tenchi Muyo! GXP takes this to extraordinary heights.
- She does this for both strategic use and to screw with other people for the hell of it (as pictured expression should explain).
- Hatsune Arisaka from Tona Gura tries early and often to play this for her uptight younger sister Kazuki and her Coyote-like affectionate-but-dense pursuer, Yuuji Kagura. Kazuki's pleas that she stop this, needless to say, fall on broadly smiling deaf ears.
- Usagi in Sailor Moon dresses up as an actual matchmaker to get Rei and Yuuichirou together. It doesn't work.
- Then, in S, she persuades Naru and Umino to enter a love contest.
- Finally, fandom ratchets up her "love for all" mentality until she's trying to pair up everyone who has ever talked to her. Minako is also put into the matchmaker role because her of realm of influence is love.
- Then, in S, she persuades Naru and Umino to enter a love contest.
- Tachibana Juuta from Otomen goes to great lengths to help Asuka and Ryo hook up. Then again, the plot of his manga depends on it.
- In Miki Falls, this is part of the job description of the Deliverers, super-natural beings charged with protecting love.
- Judeau fits this role for Guts and Casca in Berserk. While he was secretly in love with Casca, he was also good friends with Guts, and being the only one of the Hawks who actually paid attention to the complicated Love Triangle between Guts, Griffith, and Casca, Judeau decided to at least resolve the non-conflicting triangle between he, Guts and Casca by trying to push Guts and Casca together, since he correctly predicted that things would not work out between Griffith and Casca but that she was more suited to be with Guts. It eventually pays off, after a hunk load of shit happened over a time span of a year, and it then took a tragic turn when the Eclipse happened, and Judeau sacrifices his own life to save Casca's, but one the last things he does is reassure Casca that Guts loved her, even though he never got to tell her how he felt himself. Oh sadness!
- May Parker had to work hard and persistently to set up a date her nephew Peter and her good friend Anna Watson's niece Mary Jane. After the Gwen Stacy clone appeared, Aunt May encouraged MJ to fight for Peter's love. And after Mary Jane returned from a long absence in the 1980s, Aunts May and Anna once again set up a date between her and and Peter.
- In a time-travel story in Spider-Girl, Peter and MJ's daughter Spider-Girl visits Aunt May before Peter and MJ's first date. Aunt May is at that point just about to throw in the towel because Peter keeps avoiding a meeting with the Watson girl, but "May Day" encourages her not to give up.
- Mr Mxyzptlk, of all
peoplebeings, when Clark and Lois had split up in the Superman comics.
- In the sequel to the Twilight Princess fanfic "Til the Sun Grows Cold and the Stars Grow Old," Rusl plays matchmaker in order to Pair the Spares among his old Resistance buddies.
- In Red Dead Virgo, Blue!Karkat was one of these before he got into SGRUB. Kanaya calls him out on deliberately pairing off poorly matched blackroms so that more trolls would kill each other to provide food for his troll eating lusus. Karkat doesn't deny it, but he still boasts that despite that he is the best relationship consultant Alternia has ever known. Appropriately enough, his title in the game is "Thief of Heart".
- In countless Merlin AU fanfics, it is Guinevere who plays The Matchmaker to Arthur and Merlin, retaining her best friend status with the latter. It is quite heartwarming really, considering how easily (and expected) it would be for writers to throw her into a Die for Our Ship role.
- Rafiki plays this role in The Lion King 2.
- The first twenty minutes or so of Mulan focuses on Mulan's appointment with the town matchmaker, which has disastrous results.
- A rather subtle case in the Hellboy film with John Myers. Hellboy thinks he is John is taking Liz out on a date, but the whole time, John is trying to convince Liz to accept Hellboy. Hellboy follows and Hilarity Ensues.
- In Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Mrs. Bennet fills this role for her daughters.
- And in Emma, the titular character tries to match up various members of her circle of friends. It doesn't always go so well.
- Anne from Anne of Green Gables seemed to make a habit of this. She finally gave it up when she threw a party intended to bring a couple together... except the party was a complete disaster and it turns out the couple were already engaged.
- Washington Square has a Genre Savvy variant of this trope in Aunt Penniman; played with in that the man she is trying to match her niece with is an obvious Gold Digger, but she is so enamored with living out a romance novel that she doesn't care.
- In the XV century Spanish novel "La Celestina", the title character is both the Trope Namer and Trope Codifier for the Spanish language. So much that it's even used in real life for naming people who matchmake their friends.
- Plenty of PG Wodehouse's characters indulge in this. Jeeves, in particular, spends a good deal of time and scheming in not only setting up couples, but breaking up the ones he doesn't approve of. (Bertie does a lot of this, too, but usually because he gets talked into it. On one of the few occasions when he did instigate matchmaking--between Bingo Little and Honoria Glossop--his scheme failed so disastrously that he ended up unwillingly engaged to Honoria.)
- In an L. M. Montgomery story "The Education of Betty", a man, having been the best man while his best friend marries his true love, then did his best for the widow and orphan. When the girl is grown up, he tries to pair her with a man his own age, and demands to know why she refused -- whereupon she declares her love. Prior to that, his awareness had been limited to realizing that her mother was not so perfect after all, lacking her daughter's spirit.
- Friends has this for one episode where Phoebe, Chandler and Monica go to great lengths to get Rachel a date for a business dinner, and start shilling their respective dates right in front of them. She at one point finds a date on her own, and they end up scaring him off in an almost Die for Our Ship manner. Naturally, the whole thing eventually blows up and Rachel ditches both guys.
- Charlie simply loves to do this on The West Wing. "She's a fine-looking woman." / "Stop saying that!!"
- The Eleventh Doctor. Particularly for his companions Amy and Rory, but he also helps his landlord-for-a-week with his unspoken crush on a friend. Lampshaded by Amy.
- A variation is shown by Dr. Phlox in Star Trek: Enterprise. "I do believe that they are about to mate. Do you think that they would let me watch?"
- Boy Meets World had Shawn take up this role for a while when Corey and Topanga broke up, with a lot of people commenting he took the breakup harder than they did, and being the number one champion of the get-back-together cause.
- Also reversed later in the show, where Corey becomes obsessed with getting Shawn and Angela back together. Doubly so at the end of the show when Corey completely IGNORES Topenga's interview with Yale until the very end of the episode, where he is caught off guard that she wants to move to Yale.
- ICarly: Carly does this for Sam on multiple occasions. Once during iMake Sam Girlier, another time during iSpeed Date, and again in 'iOMG' although in that case she might not be correct as to who Sam likes.
- The title character in Frasier is always doing this, mostly as a way to vicariously live through the other couples while he himself is consistently lonely or having relationship troubles. These attempts almost always either fail hilariously or leave him bitter and miserable if they're successful, but his machinations regarding Niles and Daphne (which began with painkiller-stoned ramblings), ended with Happily Ever After.
- In Gilligan's Island, Mrs. Howell was a matchmaker in one episode.
- Thornton Wilder's The Matchmaker and its musical sister Hello, Dolly! focus around a professional matchmaker at the turn of the twentieth century. Both works are farcical in nature.
- In the musical Fiddler On the Roof there is Yente, the (professional) matchmaker, who fails to make any successful matches in the story.
- In The Sims 2, you can summon a gypsy woman who will provide a matchmaking service for your active Sim. The more Simoleons you're willing to shell out, the more compatible a match she will provide. Your Mileage May Vary as to whether or not the setup is actually good for your Sim.
- Tales of Legendia has Norma, who spends the first half of the game trying to get uptight and shy Chloe to interact with main lead Senel. When Shirley, the female lead, joins the party though, Norma also seems to be helping her with her relationship with Senel. Really, it seems like Norma doesn't actually care that deeply about relationships and is just messing with everyone for fun.
- In El Goonish Shive, Sarah talks Grace out of "playing Cupid" for Nananse and Ellen, then does so herself.
- Jones of Gunnerkrigg Court, of all people, nudges (literally) Smitty and Parley into admitting their feelings to each other, apparently in an effort to make Parley's latent powers manifest.
- Surma also did a little of this for Anja and Donald, as seen in the page image.
- Fans: Meighan secretly hired Julia to the staff of Station 13, a company she co-founded with Tim and Guthrie, largely to get Tim and Julia together.
Guthrie: I am not very sexual, Meighan, but I am not blind. I know that Julia has been unfortunate in love. I know Tim makes a terrible first impression, so simply "fixing him up on a date" would be counter-productive. And you know better than I how his compassion shines under conditions of shared stress."
- In The Adventures of The League of STEAM episode "Hairy Hijinks", Mrs. Potts tries to play this with Jay Are and The Russian.