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Alice is an Ordinary High School Student. Bob is the School Idol that has started to show interest in Alice. Aerithus is a Magical Boy from another world that has somehow ended up in Alice's life and is turning her world and her emotions upside-down. Which will she choose?
This trope is for any situation where a character (usually but not always the protagonist) is placed in a Love Triangle situation where he or she must choose between rival suitors where one of the suitors has Magic and Powers, is non-human, or has some other property that places them firmly in the category of Speculative Fiction, and the other suitor is an ordinary person. Of course, the "magic" option need not use something called magic. In a Science Fiction setting, aliens, time travelers, visitors from another dimension or planet, or similar such characters qualify. In a Superhero setting, anyone with superpowers would qualify.
When the character making the choices is a Muggle, such cases generally represent more than just a choice between persons, but often a Red Pill, Blue Pill kind of choice between living a normal life and living one that is exciting and exotic, but unfamiliar and often dangerous. Generally speaking, you can expect the character to go with the exotic love interest, because that is what allows for a more interesting story line. However, sometimes it will be treated much the same way as a Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor plot, with the Muggle picking an ordinary life of simple love over all the exotic things the non-muggle can offer them.
Sometimes the Magical option will have distinct disadvantages. We all know power comes at a price, and certain limitations may make it difficult for the protaganist to honestly desire a life with them. Maybe they can't be away from water. Maybe they have no physical presence, or have debilitating effects on those around them. Maybe the protaganist just finds the fact that they're not quite human unsettling. Whatever the issue, it makes the expression of love and lasting commitment a problem. The Muggle, on the other hand, is presumably a lovely person but with no such paranormal limitations. Suddenly they look a lot more enticing.
If the character making the choice is a non-Muggle, one can almost invariably expect them to marry the Muggle, often in the face of resistance, prejudice and even taboos and prohibitions from their community of fellow fantastic beings.
- Inuyasha - Kagome has the most desired boy in school fall in love with her, but even when she goes on dates with him she finds herself thinking about Inu Yasha, a half-dog demon from the mythic past.
- Meru Puri
- Airi Hoshina finds herself with conflicting feelings for Aram, a magical prince from another world, and Nakaoji, and boy that loves her and that she thinks could fit her idea of a perfect husband
- Likewise, Aram must choose between the muggle Airi and the noble magical girl from his own magical world that his father wants him to marry.
- D.N.Angel - Risa rejects Daisuke's advances, regarding him as too ordinary. Instead she falls for Dark, and exotic magical Phantom Thief. Little does she realize that Dark is Daisuke's Super-Powered Alter Ego.
- Meanwhile, Dark is attracted to Risa's sister, Riku, who is repulsed by him and prefers . . . Daisuke. Yeah, it's that kind of series.
- Shakugan no Shana has Yuuji in this scenario with Shana (magical) and Kazumi (normal).
- Allen, Hitomi, and Van in Vision of Escaflowne. While Allen may be a Master Swordsman, he is a muggle to the bone, while Van is a Half-Human Hybrid, descendant of the cursed and now-extinct Atlantean race. Also, Allen appears to be the Gaean counterpart of Amano, Hitomi's high school running coach and first crush, making him a muggle times two.
- Jenny's having to choose between Zot and Woody in Zot.
- The love triangle in The Mortal Instruments is exceedingly complicated and begins to resemble much more complex geometric patterns than mere triangles. The main section of the triangle is actually very straightforward: Clary's childhood friend Simon, a normal boy, is in love with her and she has a crush on a shadowhunter. He's only normal for the first book and a half. Like I said. Complicated geometric patterns.
- The Dreamer has Bea caught between Alan, the dashing revolutionary war soldier she meets in her dreams, and Ben, the football captain at her high school and her long time crush.
- The protagonist of Blood and Chocolate, a werewolf named Vivian, has this when she is forced to choose between the werewolf Gabriel and the human Aiden. It doesn't really seem like a choice at first; she loves Aiden and despises Gabriel. In the film adaptation, she manages to break free of her pack and run away with Aiden! ...But in the original novel, we get the considerably less clichéd ending, wherein she realizes that a human could never understand her and goes back to Gabriel.
- Twilight set up Bella/Jacob as this in New Moon before revealing Jacob as a werewolf and shifting into a Vampire-Werewolf Love Triangle.
- Of course, in the first book Bella had three Muggle guys after her not even counting Edward and Jacob, both of whom were also already interested.
- Supernatural Dark Action Girl assassin Yuki and Ojou Kaede play this to Takeo in Tales of the Otori.
- In Parties and Potions by Sarah Mlynowski, Rachel (a witch) has to choose between her muggle boyfriend Raf and a witch boy who likes her and who she feels she can relate to better. She chooses Raf.
- Sort of happens in Rebel Angels. Gemma, who has magical abilities, has to choose between Simon Middleton, a rich heir, or Kartik. While Kartik isn't magical, he does know about her magic and is involved in The Masquerade. She chooses Kartik, though he dies near the end of the last book in the trilogy.
- In the original The Little Mermaid (ie, not the Disney version) the mermaid was a heroic young maiden with an intoxicating voice, but forever bound to the sea. The land-princess is a little more housewifey and dutiful, but has legs.
- The final season of Charmed had the sisters quickly finding and securing love and marriage. The secondary plot of one episode had half-whitelighter Paige meeting a British half-whitelighter who basically demands she marries and produce superpowerful offspring with him because it was destined to be. This doesn't sit well with her Muggle fiance Henry who spends the rest of the episode explaining why he and Paige were meant to be while the British half-whitelighter tries to show Paige that her life is too dangerous to have a human husband plus he doesn't think Henry is worthy a mate for her. The episode ends with the two men actually sparring in an alleyway.
- The new series of Doctor Who had Rose caught between the Doctor (magical) and Mickey (muggle). She chooses the former.
- The Season 4 finale has Rose forced to choose between the Doctor (magical) and the Doctor (muggle). It Makes Sense in Context.
- Moving on to the Eleventh Doctor, Amy has to choose between the Doctor and Rory. She's pretty definitively chosen Rory at this point, though the writers still like to tease.
- Continuing the theme in the Whoniverse, Gwen Cooper of Torchwood has an Understanding Boyfriend Rhys, but shares UST with her boss Jack Harkness, an immortal human from the future. Resolved when she marries Rhys and has a child with him, although there are still some hints of feelings between her and Jack .
- Blood Ties has Vicki's love triangle with her police officer ex, Mike, and a 500-year-old sexy vampire, Henry.
- And Moonlight has a very similar set-up of Beth being torn between her Cop Boyfriend Josh and The Hero Mick, a Vampire Detective.
- The second season of The Vampire Diaries has Caroline choosing between her muggle on-and-off boyfriend Matt and werewolf Tyler. However, Caroline herself is a vampire, making it a sort-of Vampire-Werewolf Love Triangle (until Tyler becomes a vampire as well. It Makes Sense in Context. She eventually hooks up with Tyler, after Matt tells her he can't handle her being a vampire.
- Bonnie was briefly interested in both Jeremy, her best friend's younger brother, and newcomer Luka, a warlock. Luka soon proves to be untrustworthy and she gets together with Jeremy.
- Sookie thinks she is in one, with her boss Sam seemingly a normal guy smitten with her, while she lusts/pines for vampire Bill. However, Sam isn't really human as well, and neither is Sookie herself.
- The Nine Lives of Chloe King had Chloe, a Mai, in love with her enemy's son Brian (a muggle), while being the focus of her friend Alec's (also a Mai) affections.
- This was the case in the first few episodes of I Dream of Jeannie; however, Tony's relationship with his Muggle fiancee didn't last long.
- In Dragon Age, it's entirely possible for a male warden to end up in a love triangle with Leliana (Muggle) and Morrigan (Mage). Subverted in that no matter what you do, Morrigan leaves the party at the end of the game.
- Also in Dragon Age 2, though it's more of a love pentagon, with Isabela being the 'muggle' choice when contrasted with Merrill (blood mage), Fenris (lyrium-infused-ex-slave), and Anders (Justice/Revenge abomination).
- Megatokyo: Piro's current girlfriend is Kimiko, who works as a waitress and is attempting to launch a career as a voice actress; his previous girlfriend (for whom he has a lot of unresolved feelings -- not all of them positive) is Miho, a Dark Magical Girl.
- Corpse Bride: Victor's Love Triangle consists of him, the Muggle Victoria, and the Manic Pixie Dream Girl zombie Emily.