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One of the most basic and oldest plots. It simply goes: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl again. Details to be added in later.
To give an example, from one of the most archetypical boy-meets-girl stories, Romeo and Juliet: boy (Romeo) meets girl (Juliet). Boy loses girl (due to both their crazy families). Boy finds girl again (at her death bed, though, so he kills himself, but it turns out she was Not Quite Dead and kills herself when she sees he's dead and...you know what, you already know the ending).
In fact, there are so many examples of this trope (the massive quantities of romantic comedies, for instance) that this page is merely going to list interesting variations, subversions, and inversions.
Despite the trope title, Boy Meets Girl also includes homosexual couples.
Anime and Manga
- There was an episode of Blood Plus actually titled "A Boy Meets a Girl" which had a slight variation of this plot. Well, Riku and Diva's entire relationship, really: Boy meets girl. Girl rapes boy. Boy impregnates girl. Girl kills boy. This also works on a slightly more conventional level with Saya and Haji. Boy meets girl. Girl goes crazy, cuts boy's arm off, and disappears. Boy finds girl and makes her drink his blood. ...Okay, maybe not so conventional.
- Suzumiya Haruhi can be boiled down to: boy meets girl. Girl turns out to be a Reality Warper. It's even lampshaded in the anime. In the first chronological episode as Kyon says "and so we met" in his narration the scene zooms in on the male sign in the boys' bathroom, followed by zooming in on the female sign of the girls' bathroom.
- A rather gruesome variation occurs in Tsukihime: boy meets cute vampire girl. Boy goes nuts and carves girl into seventeen pieces (she gets better).
- Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl
- Played straighter than the title would suggest, as the main character met both potential love interests when s/he was still a boy.
- Within Ghost Hound: Boy meets girl. Boy accuses girl of being his sister. Boy saves girl from an evil cult.
- Rumiko Takahashi became one of the richest women in Japan on the back of this trope (Takahashi Couple). The final arc of Urusei Yatsura (which became movie #5) is titled Boy Meets Girl in the Manga. (Well actually it's titled Boi mitsu gahru but you know..)
- The title of the first episode of Inuyasha is "The Girl Who Overcame Time... and the Boy Who Was Just Overcome," which is kinda a reference to this, I guess.
- Legend of the Overfiend: Boy meets girl. Boy masturbates whenever he sees girl. Girl gets raped by monsters. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy turns into demon king and destroys the universe.
- Ranma ½. Boy meets Girl except Boy turns into Girl.
- School Rumble's Harima is one lucky boy. Boy meets Girl 1 (Tenma) but she thinks he was taking advantage of her. Boy meets Girl 2 (Eri) by confessing his love for Girl 1. Boy meets Girl 3 (Tae) and lets him stay overnight. Boy meets Girl 4 (Yakumo) because he needed her help.
- In Full Metal Panic, the first novel is literally titled "Fighting Boy Meets Girl". Military Nut Sociopathic boy meets girl. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy is pulled away from girl and thinks she died. Boy goes on a Nietzsche Wannabe self-destruct mode and realizes he likes girl. Boy reunites with girl and proceeds to kick ass.
- Mahou Sensei Negima is essentially "Boy meets girls". And between all of them, most forms of this trope get played out.
- Buso Renkin had a chapter called "Boy meets Battle Girl".
- Eureka Seven: Boy meets girl, boy joins mercenary organisation, boy and girl pilot giant transforming robot together.
- 5 Centimeters Per Second: Boy meets girl; boy loses girl for a long time; boy may or may not ever find girl again.
- This is basically how Guts and Casca's relationship grew in Berserk. Guts met Casca, then loses her during the Eclipse, but then find her again at the Tower of Conviction. Now he just has to find a cure for her insanity so they can, you know, actually "be" together.
- The French film Les Jeux Sont Faits had the two main characters meeting and falling in love...after they were both dead. They got better, but died again anyway.
- In Sleepless in Seattle, the protagonists are perfect for each other - but they've never met. The entire movie is about them not finding each other. They don't meet until the very end, when boy finally meets girl, after the girl believes she has lost him.
- Five Hundred Days of Summer. Like it says in the opening credits: It's a story of boy-meets-girl. It is not a love story.
- Disney's Enchanted has this happens twice. First, Giselle is rescued from a troll by a prince, who decides that she wants to marry him and have a happily ever after. However, once the evil queen Narissa steps in and sends the princess to our world, she meets another boy and she decides that the boy is HER type instead of the prince and ends up marrying him instead. Not to worry, the prince got a happy ending of his own when he marries a girl from the real world who LOVES happily ever afters.
Folklore and Mythology
- The myth of Pygmalion and Galatea from Ovid (which makes this Older Than Feudalism) goes as follows: boy meets girl. Girl is statue. Boy falls in love with girl and prays to Aphrodite to bring her to life. Aphrodite does and they live Happily Ever After.
- Actually, he prays to Aphrodite to turn him into stone so he can be with her forever. In a rare act of compassion, she turns her to flesh instead.
- The Recognition of Shakuntala, an episode from the Ancient Sanskrit epic Mahabharata that was later Expanded into a theatrical drama by the Indian playwright Kalidasa around the 1st century BCE, is probably the Ur Example of this trope, though it's actually more of a Subversion, since it's a Girl Meets Boy story. It revolves around a woman named Shakuntala who meets Dushyanta and they get married him, only for him to get cursed with Amnesia and completely forget her. The only way to lift the curse is to show him the ring that he gave her, but she loses the ring in a river. She eventually finds the ring by the end of the story, makes him remember, and then they live Happily Ever After.
- This is what The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has to say about the rock band Disaster Area: "Their songs are on the whole very simple and mostly follow the familiar theme of boy-being meets girl-being under a silvery moon which then explodes for no adequately explored reason."
- The Time Traveler's Wife: Girl meets boy for the first time when she's a small child and he's middle-aged. Boy meets girl for the first time when they're both in their twenties.
- The Shortest Science Fiction Love Story Ever Written: "Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy makes girl."
- The Star Wars Expanded Universe has Luke and Mara, though a lot of other things were happening at the time.
- Timothy Zahn, in a panel summarized here, is aware of this trope but believes that there are three basic treatments of that plot: The American novel, wherein boy meets girl and then loses girl; the French novel wherein boy meets girl, gets girl, and then boy and girl decide that they don't want each other after all; and the Russian novel wherein boy meets girl, never gets girl, and broods about it for 800 pages.
- The Foreword to Neil T. Stacey's Trespassers will be Prostituted describes the book as "a simple story following the age-old pattern of Boy meets Girl, Girl praises Satan, Boy drowns in Filth". There is no romantic plot-line in the book.
- Krapivin's story Boy seeked girl: Boy meets girl. Girl must return to her home on another continent. Boy moves his continent closer to the girl's to find her again.
- Gender-flipped in Memoirs of a Geisha. Sayuri meets the Chairman when she was just twelve years old, falling in love with him when he showed kindness to her. After that, she trains hard to become a geisha so she could meet him again. And she does eventually.
- 1632: the story of Jeff Higgins and Gretchen Richter. Boy meets girl, boy protects girl from army (with only a shotgun and his three best friends to back him up), boy helps girl murder her rapist, boy proposes to girl using a bilingual dictionary.
- Kryten in the Red Dwarf episode "Camille":
"It's the old, old story - droid meets droid, droid becomes chameleon, droid loses chameleon, chameleon turns into blob, droid gets blob back again. Blob meets blob, blob goes off with blob and droid loses blob, chameleon and droid. How many times have we seen that story?"
- Eureka: A variation comes from Tess as she watches Henry and an AI/organic computer/clone of his dead wife talking and looking sweet together. "It's the oldest one in the book. Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy meets computer."
- The Russell T. Davies series Bob and Rose: Boy meets girl. Boy is gay and girl has a boyfriend, but they fall in love anyway. Everyone else thinks they're crazy.
- Every single time there is a TV series with nerds and guns, the following happens: Boy meets girl on team (spies, alien hunters, whatever). one or other is a nerd, and quite likes the other one. About the last episode of the series, they finally get round to doing something about it. By the end of the episode, one or both of them is (or are) bleeding to death on the floor.
- Pushing Daisies: Boy meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy brings girl back from the dead. If boy touches girl ever again, she immediately dies. They try to work around this.
- Hilariously lampshaded by Wilson in an episode of House:
Wilson: It's the story of life. Boy meets girl. Boy gets stupid. Boy and girl live stupidly ever after.
- The song "Miracle" by Cascada essentially begins this way. In fact, the first sentence in the lyrics is "Boy meets girl."
- Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. Lin comments on Will and Isabella's relationship, saying "Boy meets girl. Boy gives girl flower. Boy names girl. What's this world coming to?"
- The Metal Gear Solid series has an interesting one between Johnny/Meryl. Boy meets girl falls in love with her then she promptly kicks his ass and takes his clothing. Boy meets girl 10 years later and cheats the army's system to get into the same unit as her. Boy sucks at being a soldier and gets ass kicked by girl often. Boy saves girl using CPR, but Girl still doesn't care much for him. Girl gets mind controlled, different guy saves her while Boy gets knocked out and becomes useless. Girl gets into fight to help different guy, and runs out of ammo. Boy suddenly becomes a badass and saves girl. Epic fight ensues. Boy and Girl fall in love and get married.
- Earthbound has Ness and Paula. Oh, by the way... The song that plays in Twoson is also called Boy Meets Girl, and it kinda foreshadows Paula's disappearance.
- Ico was designed completely around this concept.
- The romance story in the Neverwinter Nights mod The Bastard of Kosigan: boy meets girl, boy looses girl, girl finds another boy and has a nasty time of it, boy finds girl again, girl goes on rampant killing spree against boy's evil family, boy stabs girl.
- The webcomic Boy Meets Boy.
- Steve in the Kate Modern episode "Free Will":
"So! Boy meets girl, girl meets new boy, old boy punches new boy, new boy goes to the police, old boy goes to prison..."
- WALL-E could be considered a variation on this: Boy meets girl. Boy follows girl onto a space cruise liner. Boy and girl save humanity. Oh, and they're both robots.
- Disney has a tendency to do this in general. For example, the Little Mermaid has a girl meeting the boy, saving him from drowning, then making a deal with a sea witch so that she can have legs and be with him forever, and then ends up being saved by the boy when the deal backfires on her and she ends up getting her father's trident.
- Aladdin follows a similar formula as well. The boy meets girl...but believing that the girl is too high-class for him (even though she likes him for who he is), he decides to become a prince...but unfortunately, Jafar ends up exposing him as the street rat he is and takes the lamp for himself. Luckily, Aladdin manages to fix everything in the end and the sultan makes it so that the girl can marry whoever she pleases.
Anime and Manga
- The final episode of Busou Renkin was titled "Boy Meets Battle Girl". Subverted in that they met on the first episode and the eponymous Action Girl actually retires from her life of combat at this point, as does the rest of the cast.
- The 1950 film Sunset Boulevard is interesting in how it subverts it: it's ostensibly a Film Noir, but a boy does meet a girl in the beginning. Except the girl is a fading film star. Then he meets another girl in the middle of the film, which might actually do the trope straight, except we know that he dies in the end. Interesting in that the first girl does love him, but he hates her.
- The end? It's the opening shot!
- Billy Wilder, the director of Sunset Boulevard, loved to play with and subvert this trope. Double Indemnity was a "boy meets girl and plans to kill girl's husband for money" story. The Seven Year Itch is a "boy meets girl, even though he's married, and has fantasies about her" story. A Song Is Born is a "whole group of boys meet a girl and together they sing jazz" story. Some Like It Hot is "boy meets girl while on the run from the mob and dressed up as a girl".
- Let the Right One In: Boy meets girl. Boy learns girl is vampire. Boy decides he's okay with that. Girl is a castrated boy.
- A reviewer's summary of ET the Extraterrestrial: "Boy meets alien, boy loves alien, boy loses alien". As Elliot's parting from E.T. is permanent, it's a subversion.
- How I Met Your Mother, as the title suggests, is the story of how Ted meets the eponymous mother... only it's been
foursix seasons and he's still building up to the point where he meets her.
- In George Bernard Shaw's original Pygmalion (the basis for the film My Fair Lady), Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins didn't end up together. Instead, she married Freddy Eynsford-Hill. Of course, fans kept interpreting Eliza's and Henry's relationship as romantic (even up to the point where the entire ending was changed for My Fair Lady), even when Shaw wrote an essay about why it was impossible for Eliza and Henry to end up together.
- Silent Hill 2 does something to the trope with James and Maria. Boy mourns over dead wife. Boy meets girl who reminds him of wife. Boy protects girl from town full of monsters. Girl wants to get into boy's pants. Girl is actually a hallucination created from the guilt James has for Mercy Killing his wife who wants to trap him forever in his delusion. Girl then goes One-Winged Angel and boy repeatedly shoots girl.
- That's in one ending. Depending on how you play the game, James had different reasons for killing Mary, from euthanasia to being exhausted from dealing with her illness so long to a little of both. There's even an ending where boy and girl leave Silent Hill together but the game hints that it won't end any better this time.
- In Sinfest, Slick starts a story with Boy Meets Girl and goes downhill from there. (His own unhappy love life -- eminently deserved on his part -- is probably a factor.)
- This Discworld quote:
"The Disc's greatest lovers were undoubtedly Mellius and Gretelina, whose pure, passionate and soul searing affair would have scorched the pages of History if they had not, because of some unexplained quirk of fate, been born two hundred years apart on different continents."
- In Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of the Dog, Boy meets girl, but it's the wrong boy and girl, thanks to a mis-aimed time traveler.
- There is, of course, the old story: boy doesn't meet girl. The British dramedy Love Soup is all about this. It has two protagonists, Alice Chenery and Gil Raymond, who the audience knows would perfect for each other were it not for the small issue that they've never met. The situation is mined for all the near-misses and coincidences it can.
- The music video for Fountains of Wayne's "Someone To Love" is another boy doesn't meet girl situation.
- The They Might Be Giants song "Ana Ng" is as well. The reason given is that the eponymous girl is on the other side of the world.
- One could interpret The Beatles classic "Eleanor Rigby" in this light as well--although in this particular case, both parties are probably up in years. Still tragic, though...
- Matt and Gilly from Dork Tower are achingly perfect for each other. Both gamers, both comic book fans, both cosplayers, both from the same town in Wisconsin. Too bad Matt keeps salvaging his relationship with his gamer-hating girlfriend and Gilly doesn't know he exists.