|Trope · Genre|
|Synonyms:||yearning, longing, (maybe) unrequited love|
|See Also:||Eye Sex, UST|
|Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
In fanfic, "pining" is when one character spends a significant portion of the story loving another character in their secret heart, but not saying anything, usually because they assume the other party isn't interested. Meanwhile, the other party is sometimes written as oblivious (sometimes to a ridiculous extent) to the pining character's feelings. (Often until they get hit by the clue bus.) Variations include both characters pining for each other while being oblivious and one character knowing all along.
In some pairings, one character is more likely to be cast as the one pining for the other.
Many, though not all, fanworks that use the pining trope end up with the pined-for party getting clued in, returning the piner's affection, and finding their way to a happy ending.A fan in 2016 wrote:
listen, there is absolutely nothing that gets me going like mutual seemingly unrequited pining like? i live for both people losing their minds over the other person in bitter silence. savoring every single accidental brush of their fingers, elbows, thighs, every stray glance, memorizing every gesture or expression they catch while the other isn’t looking, all while being absolutely convinced that it’s one-sided only to finally!! finally find out it wasn’t in a triumphant moment of bliss after years and years of delicious, soul-rending, torturous, heart-wrenching pining. i literally don’t care about the fact that this trope is predictable af and always plays out the same way i will still go wild over it every single time like they’ll be doing the same reveal scene i have seen a million times and i’m still on the edge of my seat gasping “are they gonna kiss???” 
- Angel: A Fight So Old by anythingbutgrey. (Lilah/Wesley)
- Archie - Friends Don't Let Friends Suffer Alone by tuesday (Betty/Veronica for Yuletide)
- Avengers - When Steve Ran by vassalady (James "Bucky" Barnes/Steve Rogers, Steve Rogers/Tony Stark) - In which Steve does not make the the same mistake twice (on staying silent while in love).
- Hawaii 5-0 - Home Improvement by JiM and Kalena. (Steve/Danny)
- Kimi ni Todoke - Meeting Halfway by highboys for Kaleidoscope.
- Merlin - Fools of Us All by adalegia. (Merlin/Arthur)
- Merlin - Ascension by myashke. (Merlin/Arthur)
- Naruto - Quiet Proposal by otherworldviolet (Naruto/Hinata, a pairing where the pining is canon).
- Sherlock - The Progress of Sherlock Holmes by ivyblossom. (eventual John/Sherlock)
- Stargate Atlantis - Five People Who Know by hestia_lacey (John/Rodney unrequited)
- Stargate Atlantis - It's Okay by hestia_lacey. (John/Rodney unrequited))
- Stargate Atlantis - pour myself like wine by busaikko. (John/Rodney unrequited)
- Stargate Atlantis - Every Day in Every Way by velocitygrass. (McShep)
- Stargate Atlantis - Loves Me Not by astolat. (McShep)
- Stargate Atlantis - The Mute Shepherd by Auburn. (McShep)
- Stargate Atlantis - Sheppard's Law of Martyrdom by pir8fancier. (McShep)
- SGA: Flinch by maisierita. ((John/Rodney, unrequited)
- The Sentinel - Lie Perdu by Sihaya Black. (Jim/Blair, mutual pining, contains mild BDSM)
- Starsky & Hutch - A Bargain at Any Price and Balance Due: mutual pining and misunderstandings
- Teen Wolf: We Should Catch Up (But Outside of Jail) by jettiebettie. (Derek/Stiles, unrequited)
- Merlin - Alone by sisabet. Arthur pines for Merlin.
- Merlin - Only In My Mind by Leanna. Merlin pines for Arthur.
- Stargate Atlantis - Four Years by Fabella
- Supernatural - My Freeze Ray by stephsuxx (on YouTube). Castiel kinda pines for Sam.
- Fanworks tagged Unrequited Love at AO3.
- Fanworks tagged Pining at AO3.
- Pining bookmarks at delicious
- Pining bookmarks at Pinboard.