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This is when Bob (this character is usually male, although female examples do exist) is madly in love with Alice. Alice doesn't seem too interested, so Bob keeps trying, hoping that she will change her mind.
This can play out in one of two ways:
- 1: If Bob and Alice are strangers or distant acquaintances when he falls for her, after the first confession that was turned down, he will show his affection in more and more spectacular ways to prove his serious intentions. Sometimes, the people around them will expect that Bob will eventually get together with Alice. Once Bob's displays of affection convince Alice to change her mind about him and give him a chance, the two will be portrayed as a normal couple. This is frequently used by romantic comedies or other shows/movies where they want to keep the audience asking Will They or Won't They?.
- 2: If Bob and Alice are either long time friends, or strangers who just got into a Just Friends relationship, Bob will take a more low-key route. Bob will likely begin by saying that he has his hopes for a more serious relationship, and he hopes Alice will eventually feel the same. He's content to be Platonic Life Partners until that time comes. From here, he may remind her of his unrequited love every time he sees her, or he may never mention it again. Alice might refuse the Relationship Upgrade because she doesn't want to ruin this friendship, or else believe that Bob just has a schoolboy crush he'll get over. If Alice is in a relationship, Bob might try to accept it for Alice's sake. If Bob dates someone else in the interim, this may make Alice have a Green-Eyed Epiphany and create a Unrequited Love Switcheroo.
In traditional straight examples, as long as Bob is an honestly Nice Guy, or at least a decent guy, both of these two attitudes are usually expected to result in success. Due to the Rule of Romantic, Alice will always realize over time, that she really happens to love him back.
In some recent works, a more cynical, deconstructed take on the trope might be used, to point out some ways this type of thinking could backfire. Type 1 might irritate the object of their affection by treating them like a video game sidequest, where more gifts and displays of affection will equal more attraction. It can also have implications of a Stalker with a Crush situation, if Alice truly dislikes or fears Bob. And Type 2 might be portrayed either as a Manipulative Bastard, for whom the whole long-term friendship is just a mean to an end, or tragically mistaken for not recognizing that Alice still only feels like they're Like Brother and Sister and reacts with extreme Squick to romantic gestures. Compare Entitled to Have You.
This recent shift to more harsh portrayals is in part due to the usual cycle of tropes and part to media trying to avert the the implications that Men Act, Women Are, and that a romantic resolution depends solely on the man's determination.
A Gender Inverted variation can also occur. For example in the Harem Genre, girls often recognize each other as "rivals", and treat the whole situation as a race where the most determined girl "wins" the protagonist's heart. Also, more traditional romantic stories, written by either men or women, might give a woman the same behavior, suggesting that these writers (and their audiences) find something inherently romantic about that kind of dogged determination, even without the Unfortunate Implications of a gender's inherent domination.
Contrast Cannot Spit It Out, where the person is incapable of expressing their romantic interest even once, let alone over and over again.
Please keep the Real Life examples limited to those that examine the Dogged Nice Guy as a trope.
Anime and Manga
- Keisaku Satou from Shakugan no Shana is this for Margery Daw. She pretty much commandeers his home, drinks his home dry of alcoholic beverages daily, and generally tends to be really high maintenance. However, he keeps his mouth shut and helps her (as a Mission Control) with her job as a Flame Haze (even after his buddy Eita does an Opt Out) due to having had a crush on her that turns into full blown romantic attraction. She tries to keeps him at arms length with her Dark and Troubled Past, but this epically backfires, and by the end of Season 2 of the anime, she's rather aware he hasn't given up. In the light novels she finally breaks down and reciprocates his feelings.
- The titular Naruto over Sakura, at first, before he becomes more mature.
- The same could be said for Rock Lee as well.
- Likewise, Sakura is also a female version towards Sasuke, before she gets Character Development too.
- Chapter 539 provided us with an unknown ninja who is infatuated with Sakura, going as far as previously writing her a love letter, and attempting an "If I don't make it..." before being (very politely) turned down by her. Mind that they were in the middle of a war and it was bit inappropriate at the time.
- Averted by Hinata, who's in love with Naruto but does not expect him to love her back. The most she does is giving him a Love Confession, but that's when they're both in a desperater situation where they could both die and she almost does. In The Last, Naruto is the one who confesses.
- Shirai Nagisa in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch.
- Winner Sinclair in Karin. Not only does he fail to notice that Karin isn't interested in him, he also doesn't notice that she's a vampire and that her best friend is interested in him.
- Toris/Lithuania of Axis Powers Hetalia is a good example of this... while he is a kind person who wouldn't deliberarely hurt anyone, he refuses to see that his crush Natasha/Belarus hates him because her rather "special" crush is Yandere for Lithuania himself. So she breaks all his fingers in retaliation, but Lithuania refuses to notice it.
- Back when Italy was Chibitalia, the Holy Roman Empire was this to him. Chibitalia was scared of him at first, but eventually returned his feelings.
- Many fans of Ranma One Half regard Mousse to be this to Shampoo. Other fans wonder if the guy will get to the point where Shampoo will not be obliged to kill him out of hand once she gets over Ranma and finds someone willing to return her (distinctly non-ambiguous) affection.
- Two moments question Shampoo's feelings for Mousse in the anime. The 2nd movie she's arguing against her captor that she has no feelings for Mousse then rescues him anyway. And in one OVA she's given the reverse necklace which reverses her feelings; Mousse finally thinks it's his chance since she'll love him now only for her to scream how much she hates him and beat him nearly to death.
- And then there's Ryoga, who is depressed over the fact that Akane sees him only as a friend and nothing more. Or rather, he would be a Dogged Nice Guy if it weren't for his bad case of Cannot Spit It Out. In the manga, he eventually acquires a female admirer (who even likes his curse) in Akari Unryuu, and by the end he drops his romantic pursuit of Akane entirely in favor of her. (Making him the only character in the series to break out of the status quo... although he never actually confessed to Akane, either.)
- Morinaga in The Tyrant Falls in Love has stuck by Souichi's side for five years in the hope of having his feelings returned someday, despite Souichi being a homophobe. (Granted, he spent most of those five years concealing his feelings because of the homophobia thing, but he's had enough of hiding them by the fifth year.) Souichi even compares Morinaga's behavior towards him to a dog following its owner, though he's showing signs that he actually doesn't mind Morinaga's dogged pursuit of him.
- Morinaga is an unusual example of this trope because he actually rapes Souichi (at the beginning of the story, setting off the plot). Normally this would disqualify him from DNG-hood, but his behavior afterword still counts as this trope, only new he's become more of The Conquerer as opposed to the Patient Friend.
- In Lovely Complex, the main character Risa becomes a Dogged Nice Girl when she realizes her crush on the lead male Atsushi. It doesn't help that all of her friends are constantly encouraging her on in her pursuit of him. Though to be fair, she's not always lovey-dovey to him...
- Megumi "Nodame" Noda from Nodame Cantabile is another female version, after she falls in love with the ridiculously talented Chiaki. She needs no encouragement though...
- Youta "Dateless" Moteuchi from Video Girl Ai fits this troupe except that he leans a lot towards "I Want My Beloved to Be Happy." He helps the girl get together with her hopeless crush who is also his best friend, despite that he still has a huge crush on her for almost half the series. After they break up, since the friend was originally uninterested anyway, she does fall for Youta but only after he's already moved on.
- Every character in this anime has an unrequited love, in fact. Youta's and Ai's in particular are real Tear Jerkers.
- Gender-flipped and (possibly) non-romantic example: Sasada Jun from Natsume Yuujinchou, a Muggle who repeatedly attempts to make Natsume admit that he has supernatural powers and generally shows a very large amount of interest in him.
- Mikan from Gakuen Alice behaves like this toward Hotaru.
- Miyokichi from True Tears is this towards Aiko. In the end, his persistence indeed makes her change her mind about him.
- Furuichi from Xam'd: Lost Memories. It does not end well.
- Used rather cruelly in most installments of the original UC Gundam saga. A recurring theme throughout is that of the Dogged Nice Guy utterly failing in his pursuit because the woman has already pledged herself to a man with a much more open/stronger personality, or one or more participants in the Love Triangle wind up dead. Worst of all is probably the sad, sad tale of 13-years-old Hathaway Noah of Chars Counterattack, who can't even let go after the girl (Quess) is dead. In the sequel novel, Hathaways Flash, he leads a resistance movement against The Federation to avenge her, fails spectacularly and gets executed (under orders from his own father, no less, who doesn't even know he's a terrorist!). When he meets Quess in the afterlife, he finds out it was all for nothing because she never even liked him anyway. Ouch.
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 has lovable loser Lieutenant Patrick Coulosaur and Colonel Kati Mannequin, with the former being the Dogged Nice Guy for the later, after a case of Love At First Punch (literally!). Patrick repeatedly defies common sense yet somehow keeps surviving, which makes Kati very flustered, but she uses his crush on her to positively motivate him to follow orders. Thankfully, Patrick's Plot Armor doesn't run out, and after going through hell and emerging unscathed (including a genuinely heartbreaking Anguished Declaration of Love that almost went into a dying one), they actually get together.
- Gender-flipped example: Ayumu Nishizawa is this in regards to Hayate in Hayate the Combat Butler.
- From Eureka Seven, Dominic. He's devoted to Anemone despite the fact that she treats him like crap and is, well, completely nuts. Once she gets better, though, she reciprocates his feelings. But he actually has to leave her before she realizes that he's her Living Emotional Crutch.
- This is basically Shi Ryuuki's approach to his relationship with Kou Shuurei in Saiunkoku Monogatari. To Ryuuki's credit, it's less that Shuurei isn't interested in him personally and more that she has goals which preclude the thought of romance entirely; even more to his credit, he really does genuinely want her to be happy, which is why he doesn't, as The Emperor, simply command her to be his consort and remain at the palace. But all things being equal, he'd prefer that she be happy with him, and he's prepared to wait forever, constantly giving her gifts and trying to think up ways to win her over.
- Angel Densetsu: Kuroda is a Dogged Nice Guy to Ryoko (who beats the crap out of him every few chapters), but he's clearly intended to be annoying and the whole thing is Played for Laughs.
- Kagura Sohma from Fruits Basket is actually a messed up combination of Dogged Nice Girl, Tsundere, and Yandere (not to mention his cousin) in her obsessive crush on Kyo.
- Shirley from Code Geass is a Dogged Nice Girl towards Lelouch, and although he does like her as a person, as far as romance is concerned she doesn't have a chance. That is, until they start dating in the second season at the end of the Cupid's Day Festival. Naturally, this was Milly's idea.
- And Rivalz to Milly, though he's every bit as hopeless.
- For some, Uryuu Ishida from Bleach is a Type 2 to Orihime Inoue. While it's clear that he has come to greatly care for her as they become Ichigo's True Companions, whether he feels romantically for her is something else. Canon leans more to either "he kinda liked her that way but realized that she liked Ichigo so he never made a move out of respect for her" or "he simply never liked her that way"
- Orihime Inoue also seems to be a female example of this towards Ichigo, but she subverts it: she's never clingy to him and seems to be content with helping him in his fights, protecting their friends, and improving her own skills so she will be able to stand by his and their other fighting friends's sides. (Though other shippers would rather say she clings and whines to make her look bad) Interestingly, while she and Ichigo are Happily Married in the Grand Finale... the novels state that Ichigo is the one who properly confessed, not her.
- Kitagawa Jun in the 2006 version of Kanon. Kaori is very aware of his efforts, but uses it to her advantage, making him her personal bagboy when she goes shopping.
- Keima takes a page out of the Visual Novel book and turns into one of these during The World God Only Knows. Justified because if he isn't dogged enough to get the girl, he loses his head.
- Joshua Lundgren of Gun X Sword is a sweet, smart, polite young man (despite his social awkwardness). Wendy immediately recognizes that he's "nice," but she's already so smitten with Van that she doesn't seem to realize that Joshua has a crush on her.
- The very, very flirty but loyal, kind and patient-when-it-counts Dee towards Ryo from FAKE.
- Yuusuke from Tenshi ni Narumon tries to win Natsumi, his aloof classmate's heart to no avail, and at least throughout the first season, she generally treats him like a crap. Likewise, Noelle is this for Yuusuke.
- Also, Raphael can be considered this (mixed with Chivalrous Pervert) for Mikael. Although it is a little more complicated in their case, because they really do love each other, but let's just say that Mikael has some serious problems.
- Shinra from Durarara has been trying to romance Celty for twenty years. I.E., since he was four.
- Genzo of Cheeky Angel: arguably the king of conquerers. Asking his Megumi to marry him repeatedly, replying to all preference questions with "Megu," dressing in drag, climbing an elevator shaft, tracking down her enemy to break into his house and patiently wait for the guy to come home... to name a few.
- Firo in Baccano is this to Ennis...he declares Love At First Sight and then proceeds to wait patiently for more than fifty years for her to agree to marry him. Good thing both of them are immortal. Eventually she does return his feelings.
- Nika from the second season of Darker Than Black. He starts to date Tanya in the first episode, then she becomes a Contracter out of nowhere, and then breaks up with him. He follows her to try to convince her to come back, only for her to manipulate him and beat the crap out of him with her powers. Then when he catches up to her again, all bloodied and bruised, he says that he still loves her. Then she kills him without a thought.
- Tatsuya Tsugawa is a dogged nice guy type 2 to Action Girl Seine in Hekikai no AiON. He tries to be her Living Emotional Crutch, always remembering her that he'll always be there for her, worries about her dangerous methods of hunting and tries to make her smile at least. She calmly said to him she doesn't correspond his feeling but he said he doesn't care and keeps trying, even after 4 years.
- David Qin in Strangers in Paradise seeks Katchoo out on a more or less daily basis, even though she explains repeatedly (and violently) that she's not interested in men. It's revealed later on that his sister Darcy sent him to spy on Katchoo and Francine. She relents after he helps her and Francine through some rough times, and he moves in with them.
- Often, Archie towards Veronica, and similarly Betty towards Archie.
- Luann: Brad is this most of the time, chasing crushes Diane and Toni- especially true for the latter. Though at times he's been shown as angry and loudmouthed towards his sister, he's largely completely sympathetic the entire time.
- Shade the Changing Man in his first incarnation in Milligan's Vertigo reboot.
- According to some fanfics, James Potter and Lily Evans from the Harry Potter universe fit this trope well. It seems to be pretty solidly there in canon, though. When we see James asking Lily out in their fifth year, not only does she turn him down, they're both acting like this is hardly the first time she's had to reject him. We're later told that they didn't start going out until seventh year, so that's at least two years of James dogging persistently after Lily, since we don't know when he first started asking.
- There's a subversion there as well. James was a Jerk Jock in their fifth year, and a bully on top of that, which is one of the reasons Lily wouldn't have anything to do with him. It was only when he got over himself that Lily reciprocated. (Not to mention that her other suitor was Severus Snape, a mix of Unlucky Childhood Friend and Stalker with a Crush.)
- Greece from Axis Powers Hetalia is often depicted as a Type 2 of this toward Japan in fanworks, sometimes to the point of waiting over a hundred years for Japan to return his feelings, although it's clear in most of these fanworks that Japan does like Greece back and just has a bad case of Cannot Spit It Out or Oblivious to Love. Or that both of them are Twice Shy.
- Spain also has shades of this in some Spain/Romano fanworks.
- Korea is depicted as this in pretty much all China/Korea fanworks. Some of these fanworks actually give a tragic spin to this trope by depicting Korea as being fully aware that China doesn't return his feelings or just finds him annoying and knowing deep down that throwing himself even more at China will not change this, but that he can't bring himself to give up hope that someday, somehow, China will eventually love him back.
- The male lead in Chasing Amy refuses to give up on his love interest, even though she's a lesbian which should make his efforts ultimately worthless... except for the fact that she's actually a bisexual who decided she would be more accepted as a lesbian.
- Cloverfield, of all places: It's made clear early on that Hud has feelings for Marlena, even though Marlena isn't particularly interested and brushes him off more than a few times. As the movie progresses, however, they start to get along better, reaching a head when Marlena attacks one of the parasites that was trying to drag Hud away, getting bitten in the process. She starts to warm up to him when he helps treat her wound, but it all ends badly when the bite makes Marlena die in an incredibly disturbing and sudden way. It's driven home and made all the more wrenching that she asked Hud for help first when she starts rapidly worsening, rather than her best friend.
- To a certain extent Knox Overstreet from Dead Poets Society in his subplot with Chris. At least in the film version, it is unresolved whether they wind up together or not by the end.
- Subverted by Private Zoller in Inglourious Basterds. He acts exactly like a romantic comedy protagonist, as this trope demands, but, of course, there are a few problems. Not least of all is the fact that, well, Shoshanna's (secretly) Jewish, she's already dating a black man Marcel, and he's a freakin' Nazi! To squick us out even more, he hero-worships the man who slaughtered her family; both the audience and Shoshanna know this from the second scene we see him in. When she finally manages to get through to him that there's no way in hell that she'll ever be interested in him, he stops being so nice... Also, he uses his strong-arm Nazi position to force her on dates with him and to position himself at the theater she works in. Very very not nice.
- Patrick Swayze's main character in Ghost sang "King Henry the Eighth I am" to his love interest over and over until she agreed to go out with him. I'm not sure, but in real life that behavior is probably more likely to land you a restraining order...
- Well, it depends on whether she actually felt harrassed and uncomfortable about it...a guy who sings a song to you over and over may very well come across as more hilarious than threatening.
- Subverted in Snow Day; Dogged Nice Guy Hal, after finally getting the girl, realizes how Lane, who had appeared doomed to be an Unlucky Childhood Friend, feels about him, and somehow manages to let the original target girl down without coming across as a massive Jerkass.
- Nick from Youth in Revolt is this in spades; at the beginning of the movie, he has a line of narration where he says that in real life, the nice guy never gets the girl. He actually does get the girl—well, sort of. She likes him, but she'll only be with him if he can find a way to leave his hometown to be near her. His means of getting himself to her are creepy and occasionally manipulative of others, and the worst one has nothing to do with his Bad Boy alter-ego.
- In Caveman, the protagonist Atouk (played by Ringo Starr), is this to the villain's superficial girl Lana. Subverted in the end, since he literally dumps her on dinosaur poo and goes for the dogged nice girl Tala.
- Both Life Is Beautiful and The Tiger And The Snow from Roberto Benigni have this, as an over-energetic male protagonist (played by him) engages in stalkerish behavior to get the woman he is in love with.
- Deconstructed in Good Luck Chuck. Terrified of losing Cam due to the curse, Chuck goes into full Type A mode, which creeps Cam out so much that she breaks up with him for stalkerish behavior.
- Subverted in Megamind. Hal seems like a Type 1 in the making at first, his attempts to win Roxanne's attention are sympathetic or creepy even at the very beginning. Either way, it quickly becomes apparent that he is, at best, highly insensitive to her actual feelings, not to mention mildly delusional. In the end, far from winning her over, his childish attitude toward Roxanne contributes to his proving to be the villain of the piece .
- Fred Astaire played a lot of characters like this, most notably in Top Hat and The Gay Divorcée, both of which feature him chasing after Ginger Rogers' character in a car the second time they meet.
- Jane in 27 Dresses is the Patient Friend variety for her boss, George. Subverted in the end: as when they finally kiss, she "felt nothing", and she realises that she's fallen in love with Kevin, the reporter, instead
- Donald Morton in Mozart and the Whale.
- Dil Se features the male lead Amar chasing a Broken Bird terrorist named Meghna all over the country, trying to win her affections. It does not end well.
- Tora-san from the famous Japanese movie series Otoko wa tsurai yo is very much this.
- Michael towards Katie in Darby O Gill and The Little People, despite her snapping at him and letting Pony take her home.
- Ben Hanscom to Beverly Marsh from Stephen King's IT, the novel is very explicit on the intense crush Ben has with her, later lampshaded when adult Bill and Beverly have sex together and they both wonder why it's his arms she falls into instead of Ben's. The Film of the Book ends with Ben becoming a Victorious Childhood Friend, whereas the novel hints at this but does not show it.
- Jacob Black of Twilight is a very literal interpretation of this principle.
- Although he quickly stopped being nice and switched to abuse and manipulation instead. This was done intentionally by Stephenie Meyer in an attempt to make readers who shipped Bella and Jacob ship Bella and Edward instead.
- Or, rather more worryingly, this was her way of making him a viable love interest, as Edward's behaviour is all but identical, if not worse.
- Both Kenny Showalter (towards Mia) and Boris Pelkowski (toward Lily and Tina) are featured in The Princess Diaries books. Boris succeeds and Kenny does not.
- Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger from Harry Potter are this to each other pretty much throughout the series. Ron becomes jealous of Viktor Krum, Cormac McLaggen, and even Harry himself because of romantic implications he sees between them and Hermione. Hermione outright attacks Ron with magic when he starts dating Lavender Brown for the express purpose of making Hermione jealous. Not only that, but she physically assaulted Ron after he came back weeks after running out on them in Deathly Hallows (mainly because she was worried sick about him). At that point in the series, it's beyond obvious that they love (and will end up with) each other. It gets shown in different ways for Ron: after Ron gets poisoned by accident in Half Blood Prince, the first word he utters is "Hermione", his love for Hermione is what draws him back to Harry and Hermione in Deathly Hallows and he darts forwards to save Hermione when a chandelier falls on top of her in Malfoy Manor.
- Joseph Heller's Catch-22 brings us Nately, who is madly in love with a prostitute who couldn't care less for him (and would much rather get some much needed sleep), but sticks around him anyway because, well, she's a prostitute and he pays her to, hoping all the while that eventually she'll come to her senses and reciprocate his affection. Eventually she does, after finally getting some shuteye, and Nately dies almost immediately thereafter.
- Nicely played with in Terry Pratchett's Going Postal. We are not sure whether Moist will get Adora Belle Dearheart. He will - they are engaged as of Making Money.
- Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey, though not by any stretch of the imagination a loser and rather more self-aware than most, otherwise fits this trope nicely in his wooing of Harriet Vane.
Lord Peter: I shall, with your permission, continue to propose to you at decently regulated intervals -- as a birthday treat, and on Guy Fawkes' Day and on the Anniversary of the King's Ascension. But consider it, if you will, a pure formality. You need not pay the slightest attention to it.
Harriet: Peter, it's foolish to go on like this.
Lord Peter: And, of course, on the Feast of All Fools.
- Note that Harriet Vane is a classic Author Avatar.
- Dave Malkoff from the Troubleshooters series, who pines after Sophia, who in turn pines after Decker, who won't sack up and ask her out. Eventually Dave wins.
- William Dobbin, the borderline Loser Protagonist of Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray. Except that Thackeray never met a trope he didn't mess with.
- Subverted in the second Dark Swan novel, Thorn Queen: Leith is obviously attracted to Eugenie, and spends a lot of his time trying to win her affections, eventually confessing his love for her, believing she feels the same. When she makes it clear that she simply isn't interested, he leaves, brokenhearted. Later, however, she gets captured and drugged for Leith's benefit, and he proceeds to rape her repeatedly - genuinely believing his actions to be out of love and outright denying that what he did was rape. Thankfully, he gets his comeuppance eventually...
- In the Kate Daniels series, Raphael is a Dogged Nice Guy to Andrea, pursuing her for months despite her protests. Justified in that Andrea is a Master of the Mixed Message, giving lame excuses for rejecting him, keeping his obnoxious gifts, and becoming visibly aroused when he flirts with her. Subverted when Raphael finally gets sick of it and tells Andrea to either give him a chance or stop leading him on.
- Homer/Sonny in October Sky / Rocket Boys is a Dogged Nice Guy to Dorothy Plunk. He eventually gives up, though, when he sees her on a date with his brother, although he never quite loses his feelings for her.
- Peeta of The Hunger Games.
- The Beast of Beauty and The Beast asks Beauty to marry him and keeps on doing so even though she keeps on rejecting him every time. Granted, he needed someone to fall in love with and marry him for his curse to be broken, but it's taken for granted that Beauty will eventually realize that he's actually a Nice Guy underneath his monstrous exterior and finally agree to marry him. This, coupled with the possible Abduction Is Love Unfortunate Implications, can make this fairy tale unintentionally creepy if mishandled.
- Gilbert Blythe is the epitome of the second variation. He makes a badly-time comment about Anne's red hair and falls for her the instant she smashes her slate over his head in retribution. However, Anne holds this grudge for five years or so, in which time he tries valiantly to convince her he's not the jerk he originally come off as. Once they're friends, he gently implies at times that he wants to be more than just friends, though since Anne is oblivious to both his feelings for her and her growing feelings for him, it goes over her head. He continues to try and be her friend even after she shoots down his marriage proposal and after she dates another man for nearly two years. It takes a near-death experience for Anne to realize she's in love with him, the poor guy.
- In the Name of the Wind series, Kvothe is very much a type 2 of this trope for Denna.
- Trushpelt in the Warrior Cats novel Bluestar's Prophecy spends most of the book complimenting and helping Bluestar, but to his chagrin, she is not really interested in him like that. He remains her friend to the end.
- Almanzo Wilder's courtship of Laura Ingalls initially takes this form. It takes her a while to figure out why he's seeing her home from church and driving her to and from her teaching job every weekend, and when she does, she panics a little. She tells him she's only riding with him because she wants to go home at the weekends, and that he doesn't need to feel obligated to keep doing so. The next weekend it's forty below zero and getting colder fast, and she's certain he won't come get her, but he does. When her job's over they go sleighing every weekend, and she comes to decide being courted isn't so scary after all.
- Black, one of the protagonists in My Name Is Red probably falls into this category.
Live Action TV
- Family Matters' own Extraverted Nerd Steve Urkel who is treated like a fungus for most of the show's run. But he eventually does end up winning Laura's heart.
- Niles from Frasier, although he genuinely was too shy to tell Daphne, and she remained comically oblivious for most of the show's run.
- Niles is also married a good portion of the time, and feels that his love and loyalty is owed to his wife, despite his feelings for Daphne.
- Chase from House, for a while. That whole 'It's Tuesday and I like you' thing.
- Harris Pemberton in Seriously Weird was trying to play this role to the obligatory Alpha Bitch. The one time he actually manages to convince her to go on a date with him, one of his friends (the female black New Age one) was almost blown to the other side of the planet. This is why you should not date the Weirdness Magnet.
- Skipper in Sex and the City.
- On Sports Night, this is how Dan's relationship with Rebecca begins, with him apparently having asked her out seventeen times offscreen.
- Dr. Julian Bashir in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He finally succeeds, just not with the Dax he started out with.
- Lennier is a rather sad example of this trope in Babylon 5. He tries to subliminate his emotions into faithful service, while trying to think I Want My Beloved to Be Happy. In the end he fails.
- Noah's Arc: Interestingly enough, Ricky is this to Noah. Ricky shows increasing emotional investment and protectiveness of Noah, particularly after the gay bashing, but it's revealed in the movie that Ricky has actually been in love with him for some time.
- Danny Tripp in Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip.
- And Danny Concannon on The West Wing. Sorkin must love these.
- The TV Adaptation of Ten Things I Hate About You badly miscalculates this with the character of Cameron. While in the film he's a genuine Nice Guy, the tv version never actually tells Bianca he's interested in her (he tries once in French, which he knows she doesn't understand, and sends her a note he knows she never received). When she assumes he's gay, he makes only a cursory attempt to deny it. In one episode, she arranges to go to a dance with a Jerk Jock, and he sabotages the guy's car and steals his cell phone to make her think she has been stood up, then offers to go with her in his place. Given that he comes off like a creepy stalker, and she has a really sweet chemistry with Joey (who was a Jerk Jock in the film), the show seems to be writing itself into a corner.
- Harper in Wizards of Waverly Place is a rare female version vis a vis Justin. They seemed to drop this when Harper moved in with the Russos in the third season, though, probably to prevent some questions about what they do together when no one's around...
- Freddie in ICarly towards Carly. He flits between a mild case of a Played for Laughs puppy dog crush in season 1, this in season 2, and I Want My Beloved to Be Happy in season 3. Although he doesn't especially qualify for either major type of this trope: he doesn't sabotage her relationships, but he was also pretty clear about liking her, whilst not being over the top in trying to woo her. As they grew up, Freddie and Carly went from being next door buddies, to true best friends, and are very likely to be playing out a Just Friends Will They or Won't They? story arc in Season 4.
- And now Freddie has a Spiritual Successor in ANT Farm's Fletcher Quimby who serves just the same functions as Freddie did but minus the nerd tendency. And thankfully, no version of Sam to annoy him.
- Both incarnations of the reality show Average Joe featured entire casts of Dogged Nice Guys -- ugly and/or morbidly obese men vying for the affections of a stunning supermodel. At one point, the producers send a boatload of chiseled hunks to compete with the Joes, who instantly feel slighted by the new competition. This highlights the Double Standard and enormous sense of entitlement inherent in this trope, as the Joes begin lashing out at the supermodel for turning her attention to the hunks, calling her shallow...never mind that the Joes themselves only went on the show for the chance to get with a supermodel and that, at the end of the day, they are no kinder or more intelligent than the attractive men.
- Cody of The Suite Life On Deck acted this way toward Bailey for most of the first season. This is a mild subversion, as it was pretty clear that she liked him, too. When they got together, the writers shifted this trait onto Marcus Little, toward London Tipton, who is too much in her own world to notice.
- Ed played this straight. The titular character's behavior would have gotten him a restraining order within the first episode in real life.
- In the first season of How I Met Your Mother, this kind of quest is the main story arc for Ted Mosby.
- Subverted in season 3 with Stella, where Stella has just as big a crush on Ted as he does on her, but she's a single mother and a doctor with practically no free time and doesn't think she has any time for dating. His solution is priceless.
- Xander in Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a crush on Buffy that's usually in the background but seen best in "The Pack." It eventually died on the show, though in the comics Buffy realizes she may have fallen for him. However, by then he's dating Buffy's sister Dawn.
- Theresa was a Dogged Nice Girl toward Ethan when Passions began its run. However, he eventually reciprocated her affections.
- Detective Batista from Dexter eventually convinces Gianna that he is, actually, a nice guy, despite their... less than auspicious meeting. When she says she just wants to be friends, he says he'd be OK with that... and this is what finally wins her over.
- The writers of The Big Bang Theory seem to be using this trope as an operating manual for Leonard in his relationship with Penny.
- On Downton Abbey, Branson tries both versions of this trope with Lady Sybil, eventually to great success. William also plays this straight with Daisy and is also successful in marrying her, though Daisy never actually falls in love with William.
- Seamus Harper is this toward Rommie in Andromeda. That's right, he's in love with a warship. Kind of goes with being a Gadgeteer Genius I guess.
- "Just The Girl" by the Click Five.
- Oh sure, keep thinking Cake's "The Distance" is just about a CAR race:
"The arena is empty, except for one man
Still driving and striving as fast as he can
The sun has gone down and the moon has come up
And long ago somebody left with the cup
But he's driving and striving, and hugging the turns
And thinking of someone for whom he still burns."
- "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift. Except it's a Dogged Nice Girl this time.
- "Teardrops On My Guitar" as well.
- "Soft Rocked By Me" by Jonathan Coulton, who admitted it ended up seeming way creepier than he meant it to be.
- "Surrender" by Billy Talent. A nice type 2 example.
- Gakupo in "Go Google It" by Luka Megurine and Gakupo Kamui.
- Duncan Sheik's "Little Hands" is a type 2 that ends with the protagonist accepting his fate... for now:
"Little hands, open smile
I'm glad we got to talk for a while
I feel OK, yeah, I'm feeling better
I'll let her go, but I'll never say never..."
- Parodied in an Onion article. "Area man arrested for engaging in romantic comedy behavior."
- Also here: "But If We Started Dating It Would Ruin Our Friendship Where I Ask You To Do Things And You Do Them". (Interestingly, it approaches the situation from the other side.)
- "Nice Guys" methodically torn to shreds - Film At Eleven.
- Also dissected thoroughly here.
- For Better or For Worse had Anthony, who combined the Patient Type with a passive-aggressive Entitled to Have You. After dating Elizabeth off-and-on and agreeing to be Just Friends, he spent the later years of the strip pining after her and broadcasting the fact he was still interested and willing to wait for her... despite getting married in the meantime. Readers were meant to accept that he was purely a Nice Guy and Liz's destined love, and that Therese was a horrible woman who had no right to be jealous of their relationship.
- Alfred in Tanz der Vampire is like this toward Sarah. Herbert is a less loser-ish version toward Alfred.
- Chuck Baxter in Promises Promises.
- Baldur's Gate II features the Violent Glaswegian dwarf fighter Korgan Bloodaxe, who will make advances towards a fellow tiny fighter, halfling Mazzy Fentan, should the player pick both for his party. The main reason Mazzy isn't very interested in him is that he, contrary to the trope name, is not a very nice guy at all.
"Hey, Mazzy! Just so's you know, I've somethin' long, hard, and low t'the ground you're free to touch and fondle if ye wish. No need to glare, girlie: I was talking aboot me axe!"
- Bang Shishigami in Blaz Blue. A Large Ham Hot-Blooded Ninja who fights for justice and is seriously infatuated with Litchi Faye Ling.
- Female example: Mai Shiranui from Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters series, who fell madly in love with Andy Bogard. Though she doesn't exactly act nice.
- Knights of the Old Republic. The male character's romance with Bastila consists mainly of immature teasing, but once you actually suggest a real relationship to her, she says no. If you want to achieve the romance, you pretty much have to keep pushing her and pushing her, regardless of how many times she turns you down. Though to be fair, she does make it quite obvious that she likes you too, and that it's only the Jedi code stopping her from saying yes. In the Star Forge, (provided you've completed her Romance Sidequest) you can tell her you love her and (after she returns the line), you can ask her if she's still afraid to love. Her response? "After this? No. Nothing could make me feel safer than to be loved by you."
- Galford D. Weiler in Samurai Shodown. He's really in love with Nakoruru, but the girl is too Married to the Job, although she did recognize his feelings to her. Coincidentally, it turns out Galford is also Married to the Job (being a defender of justice).
- Tekken had the sumo wrestler Ganryu, who at first fell madly in love with Michelle Chang, and later for her adopted daughter Julia. This one is actually a subversion, because towards Michelle, Ganryu can be seen as a Stalker with a Crush, since he was a corrupt sumo wrestler during the course of the early Tekken series (this disgusted Michelle). After he reappears in Tekken 5, he seems to have converted into a decent man and fits this trope towards Julia better.
- There is also Kuma, Heihachi's pet bear, who is this to Panda, Xiaoyu's companion. He's general nice when the mood suits him, and tries his hardest to get Panda to like him. Sadly, Panda hates him with a passion and clams to be too old for him (which is odd since the age difference is by a year, even in bear standards).
- Marky Dubois of Backyard Sports is like this to Billy Jean Blackwood.
- Eruru from Utawarerumono is a type 2, but it's not because Hakuoro is trying to avoid anything, but because he can't get a clue. He's a Chaste Hero, but in the oblivious sense, not the nonsexual sense, obviously. He has a vague idea that his relationships with other girls might make Eruru jealous - but doesn't really think about why she would be - at one or two points.
- In Super Robot Wars 64, this is Reese Gresewell's curse. He originally worked for OZ, but fell hard for heroine Selain Meneth, who just so happened to be his enemy and the one he was ordered to hunt down because she ganked the twin to his Ace Custom mech. Unfortunately, by the time he does a Heel Face Turn, she has no desire to be with him romantically.
- Reconstructed in Guild Wars. Gwen spends all of her time angsting alone, and Keiran spends all of his trying to cheer her up. He succeeds in making Gwen fall for him, but she refuses to give in to her feelings because angsting about her past is more important to her. Eventually, Keiran's efforts go too far and Gwen openly rejects him. Heartbroken by her harsh words, he decides she's a lost cause, runs off to war, and goes missing for several weeks. During this separation, they both realise that they've been acting like childish fools, and when Keiran comes home (or rather, when Gwen figures out where he is and rushes out into the wilderness to save him), he simply asks her to marry him. She says yes.
- Mass Effect: Poor Dr. Michel. She has a massive crush on Garrus (since he helped rescue her near the beginning of the first game). And he has no idea. In the second game, she sends an email to Shepard asking whether (s)he's seen him and if he's alright, and bringing Garrus to the geth dreadnought mission in the third game leads to this conversation:
Garrus: Dr. Michel did get me some dextro-amino chocolate. You're welcome to it, once we're back.
Tali: She got you turian chocolate?
Garrus: She said she saw it and thought of me...why?
Tali: (innocently) Oh, nothing. / (if Shepard romanced Garrus) Watch yourself, Shepard.
- Sakura Kasugano from the Street Fighter series is one for main character Ryu. She not only still really wants Ryu to train her personally, despite him telling her he could not train her as he still had much to learn himself, it is heavily implied that her admiration towards Ryu has developed into full on romantic feelings by the time of SFIV. Yet since fighting is—literally--everything for Ryu, it's obvious that while he does care a lot for her, he's not really the type to consider things like romance in the first place.
(When winning against Sagat) "I totally understand your obsession with Ryu. Isn't he just dreamy?"
- In the third game from the Girls Love series Sono Hanabira ni Kuchizuke wo, we have a dogged nice girl in Mai. To make things interesting, Mai is chasing a Type A Tsundere.
- Oddly enough for someone so normally popular, Tomoya in Clannad becomes one of these in regards to Misae. However, it's not so much that she's actually uninterested as that she decided she wouldn't get involved with anyone except her first love, and is currently still waiting for him. Except that he turned into a cat and never left her. Long story. She more or less gets worn down into admitting she does like him.
- Out of all the potential boyfriends in Shall We Date?: Ninja Shadow, the one who fits the most in this trope is Yoshiyuki Shingu. He also doubles as a male Patient Childhood Love Interest.
- The whole point of the Nice Guy webcomic.
- Dave and Margaret in College Roomies from Hell form a textbook example. (At least, they did. These days, it's complicated.
- This Something Positive contains a wonderful deconstruction of self-professed nice guys, and a big part of Mike's overall Character Development is learning to get rid of "nice guy syndrome".
- This Xkcd comic is a ruthless Deconstruction showing exactly how creepy this can be. Though it may seem like Cannot Spit It Out, the guy in the strip deliberately doesn't talk to the girl about how he wants to date her, because it would be "forcing the issue". It caused quite the Internet Backdraft on the xkcd forums. A certain contingent saw nothing wrong with the guy's actions.
- Yet another variant/interpretation of the idea is mocked here on SMBC.
- Piro in Megatokyo is a subversion. He appears to be this by most traditional traits, but in truth, his inability to get a girlfriend is mostly self-inflicted by a total lack of confidence. In a more traditional sense, Kimiko was something of a Dogged Nice Girl to Piro.
- Angus after Faye in Questionable Content. He follows her to the point of being asked to leave and THROWN across a bar by Faye. Against all odds, they seem to be flirting despite the creepy beginning.
- Mike in Bittersweet Candy Bowl spends a lot of time being this to Lucy, although he tries to be subtle about it. Subverted; he finally gives up, and falls (back) in love with a different childhood sweetheart.
- Deconstructed in Shadowgirls, where Jackson decides to stand up for himself instead of just being Charon's best friend, on the advice of the "jerk" Charon is seeing, named Gage, who keeps trying to manipulate her into sex. Note that when he does tell her, she reveals that she knew already, and uses the same manipulative techniques Gage used earlier. The jerk wanted sex from Charon, and Charon wanted emotional intimacy from Jack. The Dramatic Irony is, we know that Jackson ends up falling in love with, getting married to and having a child with Alpha Bitch Chrissy, even though he still loves Charon to some extent, and Charon becomes the town bicycle.
- Homestuck has Eridan, who was evidently a Type 2 with Feferi, who confesses his feelings for her shortly after entering the Medium. Feferi turns him down because he's a genuinely unpleasant person, and later on Eridan takes revenge by killing her and blinding her boyfriend. Eridan is not a very nice person.
- In Echo Chamber, some fans seem to see Zack as a Dogged Nice Guy with respect to Dana. Zack is also shown clearly stalking Dana, and given the outlook of the show regarding romance, Zack seems doomed to failure.
- Stalwart from Whateley Academy. He's first seen declaring his true love for protagonist Fey, who then uses her powers to magically throw him across the campus quad. But Stalwart is a nice guy and keeps trying, almost to the point of becoming a Stalker with a Crush. His persistence is rewarded when he becomes the only thing that stops a superpowered ninja from raping and killing Fey... and he almost dies from doing so. Fey heals him and ends up going on a date with him.
- This Super Mario Bros. fan-song portrays Mario himself as one of these, while Bowser is a more open Stalker with a Crush.
- Doctor Horribles Sing Along Blog is about an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain who has a crush on a girl he sees at a coin laundry but can't muster the courage to talk to. Instead, he finds himself shunted aside by his archrival Captain Hammer in the bid for her affections, and engages in increasingly stalker-like behavior as a result, culminating in a Murder the Hypotenuse plot that Goes Horribly Wrong. Though it's arguably subverted in that it's heavily implied Penny thought Billy was attractive and likable and probably would have willingly gone out with him instead had he ever stopped admiring her from afar and actually talked to her; he just took so long that Hammer beat him to it.
- This video. 'Nuff said.
- This recording is basically someone MST-ing someone taking this to 11.
- The Art Of Manliness is a website that critisizes the Dogged Nice Guy in a number of podcasts and articles, not because he's nice, but because he's often not nearly as nice as he thinks. He's often passive agressive and too insecure with himself to be honest with how he feels.
- The most famous and deliberately over-the-top example is probably cartoon character Pepe LePew, whose main problem is not understanding that, as a skunk, he smells bad (when he did in 1959's "Really Scent," he corrected the problem, only to have the cat go to a Limburger factory to make herself smell bad). Chuck Jones (the director who created Pepe) based Pepe Le Pew on fellow Termite Terrace writer, Ted Pierce, who was notorious for hitting on women and often forgetting to shower after a night of partying (though the fact that Pepe is a skunk from France carries Unfortunate Implications about how Europeans [particularly the French] aren't as hung up on hygiene as Americans are). Add the fact that Pepe is just so friggin' relentless when it comes to wooing female cats (or any animal with a skunk stripe) and you can see why the Pepe cartoons get a lot of sexual harassment/rape accusations from Media Watchdogs. This is likely the main reason his Tiny Toon Adventures counterpart is female.
- Fry from Futurama chased comically after Leela. As time went on Leela returned more and more of his affection.
"I've been a fool! A fully-justified, prudent fool!"
- Silverbolt in Beast Wars. It helps that he's part dog (well, wolf, but Rattrap calls him "bird-dog").
- Martin in WITCH, constantly shot down in his pursuit of Irma.
- Sheldon functions as this towards Jenny in My Life as a Teenage Robot. In-series, Jenny never returns his affections, but according to Word of God, Sheldon would have eventually ended up with Jenny if the series hadn't been cancelled.
- Subverted in The Spectacular Spider-Man. Peter Parker plays this role when trying to get Daily Bugle secretary Betty Brant to be his date to the High School Dance. He is thwarted in his efforts by his Aunt May, who frankly tells Betty that, at twenty to his sixteen, she's too old to be dating Peter. Much to Peter's chagrin, Betty takes this to heart, and turns Peter down.
- The titular character of Hey Arnold becomes a mild version of this after he realizes that he like likes Lila.
- Cody on Total Drama Island to Gwen, although he eventually decides I Want My Beloved to Be Happy when she hooks up with his friend Trent. In the third season, Total Drama World Tour, he returns to the game and continues chasing Gwen (who has since broken up with Trent)...but when she hooks up with Duncan, he punches him in the face instead, and becomes more creeply obsessed with Gwen. Gwen uses him to help vote Courtney off and stays with Duncan.
- The Fairly Odd Parents has Timmy to Trixie and Mark to Vicky. So far, no luck for either of them.
- Jarvis Tetch (aka the Mad Hatter) from Batman: The Animated Series starts out as this. Things go quickly downhill when he learns that his love interest, his secretary Alice, is engaged and only sees Jarvis as a friend...
- Lance from Voltron: Legendary Defender begins as this to Princess Allura. Two pretty important parts of his Character Development involve him stopping to act that way when she gets another Love Interest, Prince Lotor (who's more of an Anti-Hero than an Overlord, Jr. in this continuity), and learning to actually helping and supporting her without expecting her to love him. It's only after Lotor turns out to have crossed the Moral Event Horizon and that he helped her to deal with such heartbreak and other problems that she begins to actually see Lance as a prospect lover.
- ↑ Attempting to put the blame on the target for not wanting to do what the manipulator wants, and using "if you really loved me" ultimatums