This trope revolves around a couple, usually a sweet but quickly angered female paired with a secretly-kind jerkwho are not able to admit their feelings. At the top of their lungs. Despite the conflictthere is an attraction. This is obvious to everyone around Belligerent sexual tension definition the couple. Confront them with the obvious, they'll deny deny deny. Sometimes they will progress to admitting their friendship but insist they are Just Friends.
Older Than Steamsince this is used in Much Ado About Nothingand has varying degrees of popularity at different times.
Is often a component of Screwball Comedy. If there is a Love Epiphany with one of these characters, expect it Belligerent sexual tension definition change almost nothing, at least in the short term.
Note that "belligerent" need not necessarily mean " Hot-Blooded " -- the trope is just as valid if one or both of the pair is a Deadpan Snarker who enjoys taking potshots at the other with their rapier wit specifically to get a rise out of him or her. Sometimes an effort to avoid a Shipping Bed Deathbut might end up in the same place anyway.
If the two character don't stop fighting even after they become an actual couple then they've joined The Masochism Tango. See also Takahashi Couplean anime fandom term for this trope.
Flowers and a valentine!
It must be love. Honestly, I'm tryin' to be a gentleman about this. Now just, get down on your knees, stick your ass up in the air, and don't move 'til I tell ya.