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At worst, it becomes a monster unto itself and brings the whole story down with it.A telltale sign of a Romantic Plot Tumor is that you could edit out the romance thread completely and have the story still make sense (and be a more bearable length). The sad thing is that the creators usually put some thought and effort into crafting the romance; it isn't a Token Romance, but it turns out to be more of a glaring intrusion than a typical Token Romance.Contrast Designated Love Interest, where a romantic subplot is given so focus that it feels fake; why are these characters who barely know each other convinced that they're soulmates?Obviously, considering the emotional nature of romance and the contentious issue of Shipping that arises out of it, most of these examples will fall into subjective territory. While it often invokes Strangled by the Red String, it is distinct from that trope in that a Romantic Plot Tumor stems from a subplot that completely consumes the non-romantic main storyline, whereas examples of the former trope can happen regardless of whether a faltering romantic storyline is unfairly taking up screentime or not.This trope can often leave viewers with the feeling that They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot.
It can completely change the way a character acts and thinks.
It can be used to create drama, stupidity, comedic relief, or suspense.