An inhuman monster , especially one who'll literally eat your heart out. The Grim Reaper , who's actually kind of shy and nervous about this whole "online dating" thing. He hopes you don't mind if he takes his scythe and his cell phone along; he kind of needs them for his job. Someone whose profile picture shows them as very attractive, but when you meet them in person, they are anything but.
In some cases it's not even them in the photo, but a prettier relative, friend, or even a model gleaned off the internet. In addition to a misleading photo, they may also use Weasel Words to play themselves up. For example, a woman who uses "Curvy" or "More to Love" as a euphemism for "morbidly obese". This isn't to say that people who aren't conventionally attractive don't deserve love, but there's a high level of skullduggery involved. A doughy and unattractive loser whom you'll discover to be either very, very nice or very, very rich, thus teaching you a valuable Aesop probably a Family Unfriendly one in the latter case about how not to judge people by their initial appearance.
Someone who is actually married, engaged, or in a long-term relationship with someone else. Variants include the person who says they have an an open arrangement when they don't, or the person who says they're separated and beginning divorce proceedings but the divorce isn't final yet Most other cheaters will hide it, but some will blatantly say they're cheating because they're unhappy or bored with their partner.
There are many other permutations and possibilities available, but no matter whom your suitor might turn out to be, the odds are very high that your first date will be anything but typical. If you're using an international dating or marriage agency , then expect an even bigger minefield, sometimes with an aesop about how we should stick to our own kind. If you meet a love interest over the internet by chance rather than through a dating agency, the results will be similar, esspecially if the producers want to drop the New Media Are Evil anvil.
This trope was particularly prevalent in The '90s when the Internet first started creeping into everyday life, but few people online had pictures of themselves because digital cameras were an expensive luxury item and not yet standard feature on cell phones, and not everyone had access to a scanner for paper photos.
Half the scenarios listed above depend on the person not having a clear photo of their face; nowadays, that's a blatant sign that the person is hiding something, but back then it was the norm. But as shown earlier, even a picture can be misleading or Blatant Lies , and doesn't reveal the person's true intentions or personality.
Older Than They Think , with pre-Internet "computer dating" and "video dating" services, as well as newspaper "lonely hearts" sections, premium rate dating phone lines and old brick-and-mortar "dating services" providing examples for this trope. The assumption delivered by these tropes—that normal people can find dates just fine; only weirdos, creeps, lunatics, and other folks with insurmountable character derangements would need to resort to "artificial" ways of meeting people—also fed neatly with the perception that everyone on the Internet is a weirdo creep lunatic to begin with, allowing an even wider range of absurdity.
Today, the stigma surrounding online dating isn't quite as strong as before, especially among gays and lesbians whose options can be limited depending on the area. Current stories invoking this trope are less "Beware the anonymous" and more "If it looks and sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
See also Mailer Daemon if the love interest turns out to be the matchmaking computer itself. For a similar service but with face-to-face interaction, try Speed Dating. For a more general discussion of dating disasters, see Bad Date. Whenever one of these fictional dating services matches a person with someone they already know in Real Life it is invoking the trope It's a Small Net After All. Not this one, I've been in the last 12 issues.
Perhaps people aware of this trope like knowing that they already know the worst about you? Inverted in pretty much every online dating commercial such as eHarmony or Match. Comic Books In Marvel Adventures: Avengers Hawkeye signs on to a dating service online, but finds filling out all the personal info too much work, so he decides to upload his personal info from the Avengers' database instead. However, he succeeds in uploading everyone's personal info, and the Avengers are swamped with people who claim to have dates with them.
The owner is an ex-supervillain Batroc who delightfully refuses to take down the info unless they comply, since it is good PR for his site to have celebrities using it. The guy used to be a serial killer, cannibal, and possibly rapist, during his evil days. He's been inverted into a good guy, but he's still very feral and still seems to like eating live prey.
Old Man Logan mentions being able to smell lies. He asks if Creed has a dating profile. Creed claims he knows nothing about dating profiles and tells Logan to shut up. Logan once again mentions smelling his lies.
During the lates advent of computer dating services, MAD showed an example of how two customers with everything in common end up driving each other crazy - like dating yourself. He can even tell when she is about to sneeze before she can. A Batgirl story featured a serial killer who used a computer dating service to find his targets. Needless to say, he is not successful. In Ultimate X-Men Beast breaks up with Storm, fearing that Xavier is messing with her mind so that she loves him, and so he stays at the school.
He seeks some new girlfriend in internet, and starts chatting with "Mutantchick", a mutant model wannabe. Actually, it's the Blob, from the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, who loves playing those pranks in his free time.
But when Beast shares the secret that Xavier did not kill Magneto, that he's alive and brainwashed Comic Strips Happens in early Dilbert before it went to solely office-comedy. Adrian Cory after meeting her online. Just as he's ready to disappear, he's arrested by a Santa Royale detective who later asks Adrian out - and who turns out to be the son of Adrian's father's old college roommate whom he seems to have cared about a great deal The moral of the story? Finding partners in new ways bad, going out with someone approved of by Dad good.
True to form, the main heroine arranges a date with a suitor who turns out to be her own father. The movie Napoleon Dynamite provides a gleeful subversion. Dorky, nebbishy Kip hits the jackpot when the girl he's been chatting with online turns out to be Lafawnduh, a gorgeous African-American woman with a fun personality.
Amazingly, Lafawnduh thinks she struck gold, too. Exploited by the movie Sneakers. To infiltrate a secure facility, the team finds an employee who's been looking for love online and sends the protagonist's ex-girlfriend to go on a date with him so she can steal his ID card and record a voice sample to access the guy's room. He gets suspicious, takes her to his office and alerts the villain. She tries to talk her way out of it and seems to have succeeded.
As the villain walks away, she humphs that this is the last computer date she's ever going on. At which point he stops, turns round and says, "A computer matched her with him? I don't think so The situation is exacerbated when he finds out You've Got Mail is based on the much older film The Shop Around the Corner , which was released in , in which two anonymous pen pals fall in love with each other without realizing that they hate each other in real life.
Another Older Than They Think example: Multiple variants of the trope in Carry On Loving — although the "computer" in this case is a very impressive wall of tape reels and blinking lights The main plot is that she intentionally sets up the first hapless customer with her husband's girlfriend.
Other Halves is about the creation of a dating app the unleashes the user's id, for good or for ill. The Honeymoon Killers offers an example that is both pre-Internet and terrifying. Raymond Fernandez is a Con Man that writes to women through "Lonely Hearts" clubs, gains their trust, promises marriage, then rips them off.
After becoming partners-in-crime with one of his victims, Martha Beck, the two of them graduate to murdering their targets. Jokes A joke about a young woman putting in an ad for a boyfriend, listing all her qualities. She asks her mother whether anyone answered, and she replies "Just one, your father! Literature In A Dirty Job , one character is prone to online-dating girls from Southeast Asia , who invariably turn out to be sixty years old or actually men or otherwise not what they claimed to be.
This is basically the plot of Date Night On Union Station, a sci-fi novel about people living on an AI-managed space station with an absolutely terrible dating service. One of the characters is first set up with a dominatrix who thinks he's there for her services, then with an alien black widow who's looking for a sacrificial husband for religious purposes, and finally with a teenage runaway who'd been sold into indentured servitude.
In a episode which aired circa , Oscar signs up with a computer dating service and embellishes his bio. He winds up matched with Felix's ex-wife. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Brother and sister Hilary and Carlton get matched up. Drew meets a woman online and engages with cybersex with her, only to discover later it's his archnemesis, Mimi. In a very odd Crowning Moment of Heartwarming , Drew comforts Mimi in real life after her mysterious beau ditches her and disappears.
On Parks and Recreation , Leslie Knope is horrified when a matchmaker site pairs her with her horndog coworker Tom. Turns out, Tom had set up 26 different profiles to match himself with every possible female personality type.
In the series Down the Shore, overweight, nerdy Eddie meets a girl online, but chickens out at the last moment and has handsome-but-dumb housemate Aldo pretend to be him for their first in-person meeting. She turns out to be a knockout played by Kathy Ireland who was tired of shallow guys hitting on her for her looks and who was looking for an intelligent man attracted to her mind; she quickly sees through the switch and happily meets the real Eddie.
Raven and Eddie are matched up on That's So Raven. A variation happens on Friends to Chandler on at least two occasions once it was a blind date, the other time they met online , both times with his ex-girlfriend Janice.
On Eli Stone a first season divorce case of Taylor's was initiated after both spouses found out they'd been flirting online after meeting in person.
Taylor, having personal reasons to look for proof of real love, pointed out that maybe they shouldn't ignore the fact that out of all the people in the world and all the people on the internet they'd managed to find each other and fall in love twice; she refused to do any more work on the case for 72 hours until they had tried to have an honest and civil conversation.
The second time the same agency gets back to him with a perfect match, but he passes up the date for another shot at the Will They or Won't They? The third time Ted meets a woman online who turns out so far into the crazy end of the Hot-Crazy Scale; in a twist at the end it's revealed that she and Ted "met online" while playing World of Warcraft. Howard and Raj sign Sheldon up for one as a joke, but the site gives them a match.
Sheldon, thinking the entire thing was stupid when they finally tell him, only goes on the date to prove that dating sites don't work.
Ironically, Sheldon's match happens to be perfect—a female version of himself. Apparently, she only used the site because she promised her mother she'd date at least once a year. Sheldon also creates a fake dating profile for Penny in hopes that she'll find a boyfriend and stop pestering him for video gaming advice.
In the Three's Company episode "Mate For Each Other," roommates Jack and Janet each secretly try out a "computer dating" service, only to end up matched with each other.