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Basic Trope: Characters that may have (or definitely) had a history...or at least the fans would like to think so.

  • Played Straight: Alice and Bob are canonically just friends, but rumor has it they were together in the past.
  • Exaggerated: Some hints are dropped that they may even have had a child together at some point.
  • Justified: All the Subtext is there, that suggests that they were more than just friends at some point.
  • Inverted: Fans believe Alice and Bob should get together in the future - but not yet.
  • Subverted: Alice is Bob's ex-girlfriend, and they are now seeing (or married to) other people. They behave as though they never even met, let alone dated one another.
  • Double Subverted: But Alice and Bob still have feelings for one another, and secretly get involved or have sex. (They may or may not actually end up together.)
  • Parodied: Chuck outright asks Bob if he ever dated his friend Alice. Bob vehemently denies it.
  • Deconstructed: This New Old Flame may cause trouble in the character's current relationship, and they have to make a difficult choice.
  • Reconstructed: Bob decides to stay with his new partner, but is on friendly (not too friendly, though) terms with Alice.
  • Averted:
    • Word of God specifically states that Alice and Bob have no romantic history together.
    • Fanon does not assume they do have a history together, and there is no evidence to support one anyway.
  • Lampshaded:
  • Enforced: The Fandom with its Epileptic Trees and Wild Mass Guessing, as well as Shipping Goggles.
  • Invoked: Bob keeps a little black book with the names of all his ex-girlfriends and past hookups. He's feeling lonely (or at least horny) one night, and dials up Alice, whom he has not said two words to since high school.
  • Defied: Alice and Bob break up. It must have been the Breakup From Hell, because Alice leaves the country in the dead of night and starts a new life under an assumed name just so she'll never see him again.
  • Discussed: "You think Alice and Bob were ever together?"
  • Conversed: "I dunno. There's nothing that says either way."
  • Played For Laughs: Years after Alice and Bob called it quits, Alice has taken up residence in Tuscany, and is now calling herself Angelica, and living quite happily there with another guy. She thinks she will never see Bob again, and she is satisfied. (In all fairness, it was a horrible breakup.) Bob just happens to take a trip up there, and finds Alice, er, Angelica, and immediately recognizes her. Alice, I mean, uh, Angelica is horrified.
  • Played For Drama: Oh, yeah...Angelica's new guy is Not Amused. Not to mention Alice and Bob trying to reconcile their feelings.

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