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Usually female, this character's sole purpose in the story is to misunderstand, obstruct and otherwise torment the male hero, thus creating unnecessary complications of plot until the end, where she finally rewards the hero with her hand or other body parts.

This character trope is Older Than Print, dating back to the unreasonable lady-love of medieval romances. An especially irritating version is often seen in war movies or action films, whining about being "neglected" when her significant other is absorbed in vital, world-saving projects.

Examples of The Obstructive Love Interest include:

Anime and Manga

  • Akane Tendo Ranma One Half fits the role, although far more so in her anime incarnation than her manga version. Either way, Ranma doesn't get much more than to hold her hand... not that he could handle much more, given how a surprise hug blew his mind. And given some of the other options, he certainly could have done worse. Or better
    • It's worth noting that when Akane isn't making Ranma's life more difficult, she's actively working to help him without demanding marriage in return. Which is part of the reason he really could do worse than her. Also, Ranma himself also makes her life difficult, just in a different and less appreciated way.
  • How about Lynn Min-Mei of Robotech? or would she be a Romantic False Lead?
    • Considering that both Misa and Hikaru have their share of blame/responsability in their love triangle, I'd say she's either a Romantic False Lead or just the Betty in the Betty and Veronica triangle.
  • Played for comedy in Axis Powers Hetalia, with North Italy being this to his partner and boyfriend Germany.
    • There are also two one-sided examples with Belarus and Russia and Belarus and Lithuania. Belarus stalks and terrifying her brother, certain she can get him to marry her, but her being his love interest is all in her head. Meanwhile, Lithuania sees Belarus as a love interest, while she's not interested but still breaks his fingers while on a date. Subverted with Hungary, who beat up her future husband Austria before she became his love interest.
  • Played straight and depending on if you think it's funny, parodied in the Yaoi title Ill Be Your Slave. The Obstructive Love Interest is a pretty boy, well aware of his looks, who's used to having his admirers doing everything for him. The seme becomes his dedicated slave to keep him co-operative in a modelling job. The boy abuses this to no end.


  • In the film of Stardust, Victoria Forrester is a big one of these. Of course, we're not meant to like her, and even The Hero comes round eventually. In the original book, she's a lot more sympathetic, mainly because she seemed to make her claim sarcastically and didn't actually expect the Hero to try to fulfill it, feeling guilty when he does.
  • Jocelyn is this to William in A Knight's Tale. Among other things, she has him lose battles intentionally, then win all battles left just to prove his love.
  • Mary Jane is the whining variant in Spider-Man 2, with all her screentime devoted to Peter pining over her without much to add for herself.


Live Action TV

  • Male version: Walter on Ugly Betty (actually, it seems that all of Betty's boyfriends will turn into this if they're around long enough).

Newspaper Comics

  • The love interest in Unfit exists entirely to make unreasonable demands for the main character to deal with. She is never in the right, she never shows any positive emotions towards the main character, and it's impossible to tell why he hasn't dumped her yet. In contrast, he's always a perfect saint towards her. (One can't help but suspect that the author had a failed relationship and is using the comic to work through his own issues.)

Video Games

  • Metal Gear Solid 2's Rosemary. OH GOD, Rosemary. Raiden is off trying to save the world (or, at least, save the President of the United States and his entourage from a superpowered black-ops cell gone rogue, and with access to nuclear weapons) and all Rose can talk about is how he refuses to discuss their relationship and how his room in his home contains nothing but a desk and a bed. Poor Raiden can only sigh and try to insist that they'll talk about it after the mission, but she won't let up. And creator Hideo Kojima supposedly based her on his wife.
    • Subverted? Played with? Who knows with MGS2, but the REAL story is: Rose is intentionally screwing with his feelings under orders from the Patriots, in order to make sure the S3 training project can sufficiently compensate for personal emotional stress. This goes so far that Raiden is taunted by an AI copy of Rose during the final sequence of the game just to twist the knife into his psyche further.

Western Animation

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