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10 TV Characters With Famously One-Sided Crushes

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Unrequited love in TV shows is typically used for comedic effect or to create sympathy for a beloved character. Some one-sided romances will never become mutual, but others may have a chance given the opportunity.


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These crushes can be completely obvious to the other characters, or they can be kept secret for only the audience to know. While some of these unrequited romances can be overbearing, others get handled in a mature and realistic way that sends a good message about first loves.

10/10 Zack Had A Sweet Crush On Maddie

The Suite Life of Zack & Cody

Zack and Maddie kissing in Suite Life On Deck

Zack Martin was known as the mischievous twin in The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody, but he was also known for his giant crush on Maddie Fitzpatrick. Maddie worked at the Tipton Hotel’s candy counter desk, and there was no shortage of sweet puns that he used when shamelessly flirting with her.

Zack’s affections, however, were largely unreciprocated, given Maddie was three years older. Zack lamented this age difference when he thought Maddie wanted to go to her prom with him, only to find out her sights were set on an older boy. The two shared a brief kiss in the spin-off series, The Suite Life On Deck,but their romance never escalated from there.

9/10 Dipper’s Love For Wendy Was Handled Maturely

Gravity Falls

Dipper and Wendy afraid in Gravity Falls

For a large chunk of Gravity Falls, Dipper Pines was hopelessly in love with part-time Mystery Shack employee Wendy Corduroy. Although the two were close friends, Wendy never saw her relationship with Dipper as romantic, because of their three-year age difference.

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Despite never becoming a couple, Dipper and Wendy’s relationship was handled very maturely. In the episode “Into the Bunker,” Wendy had an honest conversation with Dipper about her feelings. She explained how she wanted to continue being friends, but she couldn’t return his feelings because of their age differences. After that conversation, Wendy and Dipper’s friendship remained strong for the rest of the series.

8/10 Tootie Was Timmy Turner’s Biggest Fan

The Fairly OddParents

Tootie kisses Timmy Turner in The Fairly Oddparents

Timmy Turner may not have been a ladies’ man in The Fairly OddParents, but he certainly had a number one fan. Tootie’s unrequited crush on Timmy remained obvious throughout most of the series. Her obsession was used for comedic effect, especially considering she was the younger sister of Vicky, Timmy’s evil babysitter.

Although Tootie made her love clear, Timmy avoided her advances, and sometimes he was even cruel to her. As the series progressed, Timmy eventually grew to sympathize with Tootie having to live with Vicky, and he became kinder to her.

7/10 Carl Had A Bizarre Fixation With Jimmy’s Mom

The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius

Carl Wheezer and Judy Neutron in Jimmy Neutron

One of the strangest relationships in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius was undoubtedly Carl Wheezer’s undying love for his best friend’s mother. Carl often fantasied about Jimmy’s mother, Judy Neutron, even if it made everyone else uncomfortable.

Carl’s love for Judy blossomed after he was sprayed with a love potion, and the romance continued from there. Carl frequently became jealous of Judy’s husband, Hugh, and he enjoyed messing with him. While Judy was always kind to Carl, his advances blatantly put Judy off, and she made sure to keep an appropriate distance from him.

6/10 Finn’s First Love For Princess Bubblegum Was Never Reciprocated

Adventure Time

Finn and Princess Bubblegum Adventure Time

From the start of Adventure Time, Finn had a clear romantic love for Princess Bubblegum. He became visibly jealous when others showed romantic affections for her. Finn also frequently made his love for her known, which usually made her feel uneasy.

While Princess Bubblegum cherished her friendship with Finn, his advances weren’t reciprocated, as she was five years older than him. Eventually, after she politely rejected him several times, Finn moved on from his first crush. By the series finale, Princess Bubblegum ended up in a more age-appropriate relationship with Marceline the Vampire.

5/10 Marinette’s Secret Crush On Adrien Borders On Obsessive

Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir

Marinette and Adrien smile at one another in Miraculous Ladybug

Marinette Dupain-Cheng’s love for Adrien Agreste in Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir is obvious to everyone but Adrien himself. While Adrien values her friendship, even he can get a little freaked out by some of her more intense affections.

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While it’s not clear if Adrien knows Marinette loves him, he’s been privy to plenty of her borderline obsessive behaviors, such as the many shrines she’s made in his honor. In one episode, Marinette basically confesses her love to Adrien, after she believes she is actually talking to a wax figurine of him. Even though this romance is considered to be one-sided, Adrien is actually in love with Marinette’s hero alter-ego, Ladybug.

4/10 Gunther Practically Stalks Rachel At Central Perk

Friends

Gunther taking Rachel's order in Friends

Perhaps one of the most famous unrequited loves in Friends is Gunther’s undying romance for Rachel Greene. Despite Rachel not realizing he existed most of the time, Gunther lurked behind her at the Central Perk café and lovingly doted on her.

While Gunther realistically had no chance with Rachel, his love for her was used as a running gag on the show. Rachel would frequently talk about her romantic troubles to her friends, only to have Gunther eavesdropping in the background. Although his behaviors could be considered extreme, his love for her was harmless, and it provided plenty of comedic opportunities.

3/10 Millhouse Follows Lisa Around Like A Lost Puppy

The Simpsons

Millhouse making Lisa uncomfortable in The Simpsons

Despite being best friends with Bart Simpson, Millhouse Van Houten is hopelessly in love with Bart’s younger sister, Lisa. In The Simpsons, Millhouse makes his affections for Lisa known through public proclamations, which typically embarrasses her.

The dynamic is humorous to watch, considering Lisa is far smarter than Millhouse, and he can rarely keep up with her conversation. Millhouse is usually shameless in his love for Lisa, despite her rejecting him several times throughout The Simpsons. The series explores a potential relationship between the two in some of its non-canon futuristic episodes, but Lisa and Millhouse’s love never lasts beyond that.

2/10 Pepé Le Pew Wouldn’t Leave Penelope Alone

Looney Tunes

Pepe Le Pew make Penelope Uncomfortable in Looney Tunes

Looney Tunes had several well-known running skits, and one of them was undoubtedly Pepé le Pew’s love for Penelope the cat. The episodes would usually involve Penelope being mistaken for a skunk, and then Pepé would attempt to show her physical affection as she tried to escape.

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Although the skit might have been humorous upon its release, many initial fans of these episodes have commented that the material didn’t age well. Penelope is blatantly uncomfortable and becomes visibly upset by Pepé’s touching. In later Looney Tunes adaptations, creators toyed with the idea of role-reversals, as well as updating their romance to a more consensual one.

1/10 Helga Worshiped Arnold Behind His Back

Hey Arnold!

Arnold and Helga from Hey Arnold standing in the rain

One of the most iconic unrequited romances of all time is Helga G. Pataki’s obsessive love for Arnold. In Hey Arnold!, Helga would constantly bully Arnold, even calling him petty names, like “football head.” After Arnold was out of earshot, however, Helga would lovely dote on a picture of him and wish for them to be together.

This was probably Hey Arnold!‘s most famous running gag. Helga’s obsessive swooning would usually be interrupted by Brainy’s heavy breathing, and she would come to her senses after she punched him. Although Helga and Arnold shared a passionate kiss in Hey Arnold!: The Movie, they quickly went right back to their usual routine.

NEXT: 10 TV Romances That Ruined Their Shows

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