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Not pictured: her overprotective older brother, ready to Geass him into oblivion if he's not "good enough"

Your studly, womanizing main man is walking down the school hall, and eyes a gorgeous woman he's never seen before. When he tries to start putting his moves on her, he finds out something.

She's blind. Or deaf, or has a prosthetic leg, or something like that.

But don't worry, she'll still probably fall for you anyways.

The Disabled Love Interest is a (usually temporary) Love Interest, most often Inspirationally Disabled. She'll overcome her challenges in the end, and have a steamy kiss while she's at it. Homework question: Why is she usually only temporary? If she actually is... Unfortunate Implications indeed.

See Also: Blind and the Beast, Ill Girl, Handicapped Badass and The Florence Nightingale Effect / Bandage Babe.

Examples of Disabled Love Interest include:


Anime and Manga

  • Bikko from Romantic Fool used to be the premier Disabled Love Interest on Fourchan.
  • Cheza in Wolf's Rain is very pretty. She's also blind and weak-bodied, but that never seems to trouble her. Of course, being not quite human she doesn't have any romantic interests, except for Kiba and he's a wolf.
  • Sesshomaru from Inuyasha for Kagura.
  • In Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Sayaka's crush and childhood friend Kyosuke Kamijou got into an accident (which included the loss of mobility in his hand, doubling as a Career-Ending Injury since he's a violinist, as well as difficulty to walk) and is bedridden because of it. Of course, due to Sayaka having access to a wish-granting entity, he doesn't stay disabled for long. Unfortunately, he does not end up as her boyfriend after her wish, which, combined with several other factors, leads to her becoming a witch.
  • Edward Elric for Winry in the Fullmetal Alchemist manga and Brotherhood anime (not so in the first series).
  • Ayase from Guilty Crown is the Third Option Love Interest for Shu and also his only surviving love interest by the end of the last episode. She's also wheelchair-bound, but that doesn't keep her from being a highly valuable asset for the protagonists.
    • On the other hand, Shu himself loses his right arm in episode 17 and his eyesight in episode 22.
  • In Koe no Katachi, the protagonist Shouya Ishida is trying to atone for having bullied a deaf girl, Shouko Nishimiya, years ago. Shouko not only accepts Shouya's genuine apologies and offers of friendship, but falls for him.
  • The Otoko Ippiki Gaki Daishou manga has Tomoko Okano, a wheelchair-using Ojou, for the protagonist Mankichi Togawa. She's Put on a Bus pretty early, after she's in danger "thanks" to some gangsters, but does leave him a letter with a Love Confession. She comes back VERY soon, tho. In the anime, however, she can walk more or less normally.
  • The blind violinist Madoka Otowa from GetBackers is this for Shido.

Comics

  • Ben Grimm's blind girlfriend, Alicia Masters.
  • Matt Murdock, who is blind, falls in love with a deaf woman, who in reality is a superheroine named "Echo". He also falls in love with an average blind woman, Milla Donovan.
  • Barbara Gordon (formerly Batgirl and Oracle), from Batman and Birds of Prey, is wheelchair-bound, but she can still kick your ass.
    • After the Flashpoint a Cosmic Retcon makes sure she's back on her feet. However, in the new continuity she was wheelchair bound for at least three years, and her status as a Disabled Love Interest is hardwired in her character, as almost everything reminding her of her past handicap (getting a gun pointed to her belly, seeing a wheelchair lift...) acts as a Trigger for her post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Elf Quest's Rillfisher went deaf, but that may have been after she and Treestump became an item. (Her deafness contributed to her death, because she couldn't hear the breaking branch that fell on her.)
  • One of Jughead Jones's love interests in the early 1990s was Anita Chavita, a paraplegic with genius-level intellect. She looked as good as your average Archie girl, but was stuck in a wheelchair.
  • Josie Beller, a.k.a. Circuit-Breaker, from Marvel's Generation One Transformers comic, was definitely good-looking, and, given how Stripperiffic her cybernetic Power Armor was, she knew it. Bear in mind that she was also a vengeful, obsessed Badass.
  • From Creature Tech, Katie. She's blind in one eye and has a withered hand. Dr. Ong falls in love with her, and feels terrible for having mocked her back when they were in school together. Ong himself gets an alien symbiote attached to him which he considers very disfiguring. At the end of the story, Ong gets access to a Healing Potion, but only enough for a single person, and he pointedly gives it to Katie rather than using it himself.
  • Cassandra Craft, the blind girlfriend of The Phantom Stranger.
  • Subverted in Superman with the wheelchair-bound Lori Lemaris, whom Clark fell for in college. Turned out that she sat in a wheelchair with a blanket over her lap to hide the fact that she was a mermaid.

Film

  • Ivy from The Village is blind, and the love interest of Lucius.
  • Madeleine Stowe in Blink is blind. Before Aidan Quinn is assigned to her case, he sees her on stage playing the violin. Hoping to catch her eye, he strips down to his underwear while dancing to her music; he is put out when she doesn't even notice him. Another character tells Stowe's character about it later, saying that he was a "big showoff." Her response: "How big?"
  • Subverted in Shallow Hal. Hal is Blessed with Suck (or maybe Cursed with Awesome) and sees women as attractive based on their "inner beauty". As a result the disability part is hidden (particularly in the case of disfigurements) and the "hottie" part an illusion.
  • In Crash (the one by David Cronenberg), a woman with leg braces and pretty bad scars on her legs fascinates a number of men (and one woman) in a sexually fetishistic way.
  • In Mask, Rocky Dennis falls in love with a beautiful blind girl. This is an interesting subversion because he is an Inspirationally Disabled one, not her.
  • The Toxic Avenger from the Troma trash movies has a hot girlfriend who's blind. Very convenient since he's monster-like ugly. See also Blind and the Beast.
  • Charlie Chaplin falls in love with a blind woman in City Lights.
  • Marler Matlin in Children of a Lesser God; see Theater, below.
  • At First Sight features a rare male example in Val Kilmer's character Virgil, a blind masseuse who falls in love with one of his clients.

Literature

  • Ian Stott of Cherie Priest's Bloodshot fulfills this trope. He's a handsome, charming, urbane White-Haired Pretty Boy vampire who was blinded by government experiments.
  • As a teenager, the protagonist of The Shadow of the Wind falls in love with an older woman who is blind.
  • In Things Not Seen by Andrew Clemens, Bobby falls in love with a blind girl.
  • In Hornet's Sting by Derek Robinson, Major Cleve-Cutler falls in love with a beautiful woman who happens to have lost a leg (we never find out how).
  • In the Gaunt's Ghosts novels, deaf sniper Nessa is repeatedly referred to as attractive or downright beautiful.
  • Dea in The Man Who Laughs is a beautiful and virtuous blind girl, and the primary love interest of the protagonist.
  • Amy a.k.a. Cucumber from John Dies at the End is missing a hand, which the protagonist Dave interestingly enough doesn't discover until midway through the novel.
  • Theodora "Teddy" Carella, the hot wife of Detective Steve Carella, in the Eighty Seventh Precinct novels by Ed McBain.
  • Jeffrey Deaver's Lincoln Rhymes series features the titular crime scene investigator who also happens to be a quadriplegic. He ends up dating his Fair Cop partner Sachs.


Live Action TV

  • Matt of 7th Heaven dated a deaf girl off and on for several seasons, even learning sign language for her.
  • There was a beautiful blind girl in an episode of Thirty Rock, too. Subverted though, as at the end of the episode, the blind girl touches Kenneth's face for the first time and brushes him off immediately.

 Tracy: Yeah, well... you're not so good looking yourself!

Jennifer: No, I'm pretty sure I'm hot.

  • There was an episode of Saved by the Bell where Zach pursued a girl in a wheelchair. Instead of it being an obstacle, though, he goes out of his way to be good about it, and even organized a wheelchair basketball game. Turns out she hated having all the attention cast on her, and wanted to be treated like anyone else.
  • In Arrested Development, Michael dates a blind lawyer for a short while (possibly a Shout-Out to Daredevil). This was subverted as she was fully capable of sight (except when some incident left her temporarily blind); she just acted like that to play with the emotions of the jury.
  • One episode of Happy Days has Fonzie falling for a Girl of the Week and, when he does his usual "finger snap girl-attention-grabbing gesture", finding it doesn't work. He worries that he's lost his mojo for a few seconds until Richie realizes that the girl in question is deaf.
  • Another male version, Artie from Glee is in a wheelchair and dated Dumb Blonde Brittany for a while.
  • In Star Trek Deep Space Nine, Dr. Bashir falls for Girl of the Week Melora Pazlar, who, having been raised on a low gravity planet, cannot walk in normal gravity.
  • An episode of Friends features Chandler dating a girl with a prosthetic leg, and having to come to terms with it. Eventually, he realises that it's not a relevant flaw... and she dumps him for having a third nipple.
  • On The West Wing, Josh has a thing for Joey Lucas, who is deaf and speaks with the help of her interpreter.
  • Daphne Millbrooke on Heroes has a degenerative condition which prevents her from walking, but her powers override it and give her Super Speed. When an eclipse takes those powers back, she becomes weak again, but this does not dissuade Matt.
  • Dark Angel had Logan / Eyes Only, a hunky dude in a wheelchair, as Max's love interest.
  • Bennet on Dollhouse. It's River Tam with her arm in a sling. Or as Tophers put it:

 Topher: Imagine John Cassavetes in The Fury as a hot chick.

Topher!Victor: Which you know I often have!

  • In the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode "Denise Handicapped", Larry dates a pretty woman in a wheelchair, and uses the fact that people are more considerate with the disabled to his adavantage.
  • In an episode of Stupid Stupid Man, Nick dated a hot blind girl and seemed to have genuine feelings for her. However, he ended up dumping her because he couldn't get past the fact that she would never be able to appreciate exactly how gorgeous he was.
  • On an episode of The King of Queens, Carrie is temporarily blind after bad laser eye surgery. Her husband Doug tries to console her by saying her blindness makes her more approachable.

  "Like Marlee Matlin! She's very hot but the deaf thing makes you think 'Hmm, I can get her!'"

  • Auggie on Covert Affairs. Blind and very handsome. Also has better romantic chemistry with Piper Perabo's character than either of the intended male romantic leads.
  • In an episode of The A-Team Face starts putting the moves on a girl who is blind. Of course that doesn't stop him.
  • One of the most famous roles by Chilean actor Bastian Bodenhoffer is a rather atypical version of this, the blind book seller Leo from the Soap Opera Te conte. Leo is remarkably cheerful and Hot-Blooded for the trope, sort of a Handsome Lech as well, very popular with women (specially the female leads, Gianna/Shanna and Sabrina) and he wasn't born blind - he lost his sight in an accident when he was a teenager. By the end of the story he goes through the archetypical operation that may restore his sight... and it actually fails, thus Leo is blinded forever.
  • The Spartacus: Blood and Sand episode "The Thing In The Pit" features a brief but memorable appearance [1] by this(Warning--NSFW)[1] extra with one hand.
  • Switched at Birth has several deaf characters, all of whom are quite attractive- Daphne, Emmett, Emmett's mother.
  • In Days of Our Lives the "supercouple" Kayla and Steve used to have both of its members like that. Steve was (and, to date, is) still half-blind, wearing an Eyepatch of Power, and Kayla, after a (then) unknown assailant gets her into a gas explosion, loses her voice and hearing due to an odd combination of physical and psychological damage. After Kayla wakes up, Steve starts to woo her more eagerly, until they eventually elope. However, shortly before the marriage, Kayla gets a nigh-impossible recovery, regaining both voice and hearing.
    • Steve himself later gets a prosthetic to fix at least the cosmetic part of his handicap, but he's forced to return to his badass eyepatch.
    • While Kayla's recovery is suspiciously complete, even after a whole story-arc as a Disabled Love Interest, her knowledge of sign language isn't forgotten. Instead, becomes a plot point in every other occasion where the cast is meant to interact with deaf individuals.
  • Seems disabled characters are a normal occurrence in Soap Opera fiction, as Camila in Nano, the protagonist main love interest, is (psychosmatically) deaf and mute. Coupled than acually Manuel, the titular Nano is already married, and spends most of the story unaware than Camila is non other than his long lost Childhood Friend Romance, and she regains her voice and hearing in the end, when Manuel divorces his nagging wife to hook up with her, makes of Camila a thinly veiled expy of The Little Mermaid
  • Again, an entire storyline in Guiding Light revolves about Beth being declared legally dead, while she was just mute, amnesiac and out of town, living a romance with her saviour.
  • Raj, in The Big Bang Theory he's, by himself, a selective mute unable to vocally communicate with the opposite sex, a thing women tend to find cute and endearing. However, his friends try to set him up with a stunningly beautiful deaf-mute girl, on the account that, being deaf, she wouldn't notice, or care for, Raj's handicap. She ends dumping him the same, as she was just interested in Raj's money.
  • One episode of The Rockford Files had Jim meeting an attractive blind psychologist. While she was technically only a temporary love interest, she does show up again in a later episode. Jim still held a flame for her, but she was engaged to another man.
  • Judy, of Taxi is the love interest of Louie, the despicable manager. She's also blind. One episode featured her having an operation to restore her sight and Louie's fear that she'll leave him once she sees what he really looks like. She doesn't.


Music

  • The blind main female from Lionel Richie's video "Hello". Also overlaps with Hot for Teacher, since Richie plays the role of her music teacher.
  • At the beginning of Bush's video for "Letting the Cables Sleep", we see Gavin having some sort of melancholy-tinged meeting with a woman in a vacant apartment. They wind up having (implied) sex, then going their separate ways. At the end of the video, they meet on the street and it turns out the woman is deaf, communicating in sign-language. The whole song is about a need for communication.

Mythology

  • The protagonist of the "Yue Lao, the God of Love and Marriage" myth, Wen Gu, marries a noblewoman who's very kind and pretty, but has a scar on her back and walks with a limp. When he asks her what happened to her, she tells him that as a little girl she was attacked by a madman with a knife - one that turns out to have been hired by a then-teenaged Wen Gu, who had been told by the titular God of Love that the girl would be his future wife. Wen Gu breaks down crying and explains everything, and seeing that he's sincerely reformed, his lady forgives him.

Newspaper Comics

  • Leo in Doonesbury is a wounded Iraq War vet; he was introduced as a serving soldier in B.D's unit, the strip covered his wounding and recovery, and he and Alex later became love interests.
  • Denise Russo in FoxTrot, who is blind. It's not often brought up, but making fun of her blindness is a Berserk Button for Peter. The temporary aspect is averted; they've apparently been at it for years, although Denise has not been seen for a while despite not breaking up with Peter.


Theater

  • See the Toxic Avenger example above? They made a musical out of it. The blind girlfriend is still in it. And is still smokin' hot.
  • Mark Medoff's Children of a Lesser God involves a romance between a teacher at a school for the deaf and a female former student (now custodian) at the facility. Deaf actress Marlee Matlin played the latter in the 1986 film adaptation, becoming the first deaf actress to win an Oscar for Best Actress.


Video Games

  • Mass Effect gives us another male example: Joker, the Deadpan Snarker ace pilot with brittle bone disease, who is EDI's love interest.
  • At some point in Tales of Xillia Milla Maxwell becomes unable to walk after an enemy detonated explosive anklets that were placed on her feet, and has to be carried by Jude , ride a horse, go into a wheelchair, or just outright crawl.
  • In Wild Arms 2, Billy Pilder is in a wheelchair and has severe head trauma, but Brad Evans still loves him. At the end of the game, Brad settles down in T'Bok with Billy, taking care of him. This is an interesting case in that we don't know if they're actually gay, but we do know they love each other.
  • Noire from Fire Emblem Awakening is a Lady of War in training, who also suffers of anemia and generally weak health. She can be romanced by either her male childhood friends or a Male Avatar who isn't her father


Visual Novels


Webcomics

  • Homestuck has a few examples.
    • Vriska is missing an eye and has a robotic arm (though she later regains her eye and arm when she attains god-tier power). Tavros, who she has a crush on, is paraplegic (though he later regains the ability to walk, after receiving robotic legs).
    • Terezi's a borderline case. She's blind, but she has super-developed senses of smell and taste which, as far as she's concerned, more than make up for her lost sight. Her boyfriend just wishes she'd stop trying to lick his face.
    • Spades Slick is missing an eye and an arm, and Snowman still has the hots for him. Granted, she's the one who poked out Spade's eye and ripped off his arm in the first place.
  • Mia from Unintentionally Pretentious is blind, and is usually played straight.
  • Mike, of Sexy Losers has a blind girlfriend. It's generally played for laughs, as he met her while helping the blind because they wouldn't realize that he had no pants on and was constantly masturbating around them.


Western Animation

  • Another male example is blind Garrett from Quest for Camelot, he's certainly "pretty" enough to become Kayley's love interest and marry her in the end.
  • Family Guy's Joe Swanson is a man's man, from the waist up anyway. Greased-up Deaf Guy? Not so much.
    • One episode has Chris wanting to date Ellen, a girl with Down Syndrome and succeeding in this endeavor, but losing interest after it turns out that she's not so nice as he expected all people with Down Syndrome to be.
  • Male example in The Venture Brothers: Dean's erstwhile Love Interest Triana gets together with Raven, a Goth who walks with crutches and looks like Edward Cullen.
  • In Voltron: Legendary Defender, Takashi "Shiro" Shirogane has a metallic arm and therefore can potentially be this. At the end of the series, he marries the Communications Officer Curtis and therefore plays the deal straight with him.

Notes

  1. ironically, many didn't notice her missing hand because they were distracted by the realistic-looking prosthetic penis she's wearing
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