Probably the most intriguing aspect of Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir is the love 'square' between the two main characters, Marinette Dupain-Cheng and Adrien Agreste, and their superhero personas, Ladybug and Cat Noir. While Marinette is head over heels in love with Adrien, Cat Noir is completely infatuated with Ladybug, and neither are aware of each other's alternate identities.
Throughout the series, scenes of a love-struck Marinette interacting with an oblivious Adrien are frequently accompanied by a flirtatious Cat Noir and hesitant Ladybug. However, the other two sides of the equation may not be completely impassive to the other's affections. Let's take a look at how Miraculous has developed Adrien and Ladybug's feelings for Marinette and Cat Noir so far.
How Adrien & Marinette Feel About Each Other
Marinette fell in love with her classmate Adrien because of the kindness and honesty he showed her when they first met. Since then, she's become a consistently clumsy, stammering mess in his presence. She's also obsessed with everything Adrien does, including his work as a model. While Marinette's feelings are incredibly obvious to the other characters and audience alike, Adrien's feelings are a bit more ambiguous. During their first meeting, Adrien was thrilled to make Marinette's acquaintance as his years of homeschooling had previously left him with few friends, a problem exacerbated by his strict father, Gabriel.
While the two are friends, Marinette's inability to act naturally in Adrien's company has made it difficult for their friendship to truly blossom. However, a series of events in Miraculous starts to allow Marinette to truly be herself around him. For instance, Marinette is the only character brave enough to stand up to Gabriel on Adrien's behalf, which Adrien has expressed his admiration for -- noting her generosity and selflessness, especially. In addition, he is also envious of her freedom and ability to be herself by making mistakes, something he's never been allowed to do. It's also revealed that Adrien has kept the handmade lucky charm Marinette gifted to him in Season 1, explaining that it has helped him through difficult times, proving that he holds Marinette in high regard.
As the seasons go on, the two have become closer and Adrien has become more in tune with Marinette's clumsiness, often catching her mid-fall or matching her pace in a conversation. Their interactions have become more comfortable and relaxed as a result as Marinette learns to be more authentic around her crush. Neither mind getting closer to one another physically, either. Adrien never protests when their classmates try to set them up, for example, like getting them to dance together. Instead, he welcomes these gestures. And yet, during the Season 3 finale, the two grow a little further apart as Adrien chooses Kagami and Marinette chooses Luka as their romantic interests.
Overall, Adrien has grown to deeply trust Marinette and doesn't hesitate to show a more vulnerable side to her in Miraculous, believing that she will understand his complicated emotions. He cherishes their friendship and cares about her wellbeing, never failing to encourage her when she is upset. While it is implied that Adrien may have developed feelings for Marinette, it is his love for Ladybug that holds him back. Regardless, Adrien will need to learn to love Marinette, the other half of Ladybug, to truly be with the one he loves.
How Ladybug & Cat Noir Feel About Each Other
Cat Noir's feelings for Ladybug are established after he witnesses her in action for the first time in Miraculous. Her creativity and courage in the face of adversity are traits that not only make her an amazing hero but are also ones that he greatly admires personally. Afterward, he begins openly flirting with Ladybug, but since he is typically flirtatious with most women, she fails to register that his love for her is real. Instead, Ladybug finds Cat Noir's jokes to be annoying. Nevertheless, they've remained partners, and she always trusts him in the heat of battle.
Even the playfulness they share is just that to Ladybug -- witty banter and nothing more. As such, Ladybug is able to dismiss Cat Noir's advances easily and without hesitation. It doesn't help that Cat Noir doesn't always have the best timing and his jokes in the middle of a high stakes situation often irritate Ladybug to the point of throwing them both off balance. However, though his behavior often leads them to make mistakes that they have to recover from to save the day, they always do without fail, making them stronger in the end.
Things take a more serious turn in Season 2, Episode 10, "Glaciator," when Ladybug learns that Cat Noir's love for her is real. However, she tells him that she doesn't want to indulge in his romantic gestures to avoid playing with his emotions. Due to her love for someone else (Adrien), she cannot return his feelings, and she leaves it at that. Despite the rejection, this indicates that Cat Noir is still very important to Ladybug as she values their partnership and friendship immensely. Eventually, in the episode, she comes to understand the extent of his admiration and loyalty, which means a lot to her, so she stops being so harsh with him from then on. Still, she firmly believes for now that their relationship cannot go further than friendship.
In the end, Cat Noir has become an irreplaceable part of what allows Ladybug to be so great in Miraculous. While she only sees him as an incredible ally and friend for now, that's only because she's blinded by her feelings for Adrien. Just like Adrien, Ladybug will need to learn to love both sides of her crush, Adrien and Cat Noir, for this dynamic duo to finally become canon.