Heteroerotic Subtext YKTTW Discussion

Heteroerotic Subtext
Heterosexual subtext between two homosexual characters.
(permanent link) added: 2011-08-20 17:54:04 sponsor: Tetraploid edited by: DunDun (last reply: 2013-04-29 00:20:41)

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Note: I reworded Homoerotic Subtext for this because they're inversions or at least very closely related, in case you're wondering where you've heard all this before.

Also note: The description needs more help than the examples right now, so after the description gets ironed out enough I'll add the applicable examples (feel free to suggest them anyways, though).

Needs a Better Description; Needs More Examples

Though romance is important in many works, bonds of platonic friendship between those of the opposite sex form some of fiction's most awkward relationships. That is, for heterosexual characters. Between the homosexual characters of opposite sexes, this bond of friendship can form some of fiction's most fabulous relationships. One common method of playing with the latter type of relationship is to portray both the man and woman as overtly camp queens, but for the Straight Gay and Lipstick Lesbian, there's only one way to portray their relationship.

There must be some romantic connection between them. This can be especially confusing when one of them is still in the closet to everyone but their "significant other," which would lead the closeted character to trust the Secret Keeper more than others in the story.

Unlike this trope's inverse, Homoerotic Subtext, this trope is rarely played for laughs. LGBT viewers may see the relationship as wholly platonic or Truth in Television--as the Straight Gay and Lipstick Lesbian pages discuss--while straight viewers may see the relationship as "normalizing" the gay characters.

This trope can also apply to a relationship between one gay character and a straight character, or between two Camp Gay characters, etc.

Contrast Homoerotic Subtext, which is between two straight characters.

That said, this page covers only intentional examples, chiefly those lampshaded by characters, Word of God, laughter, or awkward pauses. It does not cover fans' delight at or tendency to view any interactions as straight. It also does not cover any Ship Teases or actual eroticism between people of the opposite sex, where the characters may indeed be straight or bisexual for each other.

Note that "heteroerotic" is not really a word.


  • Glee plays this pretty straight with Kurt and most of his female bandmates, but also averts this in early episodes when Mercedes tries to romance Kurt.
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