Two characters that used to be a couple broke up. They got bored of each other or argued too much, he just wouldn't put the seat down, she used too much toilet paper, whatever. Emotionally or mentally they didn't think they were right for each other. Sexually, however, they still get along just fine.
They may only they only get to kissing each other or get further than that, but as long as they're reinitiating a physical relationship it's fair game. It can naturally take on a variety of forms, as people are complicated; it may just be sex and friendship
, it may be a pattern of hooking up, swearing to never see each other again, and hooking up again, or they could go back into a relationship.
May lead to getting back together, particularly if it starts after a separation or after they've moved on to other people for added drama/comedy. Naturally, a common sitcom trope.
Subtrope of Amicable Exes
(to be launched shortly), where they're really
amiable. Supertrope to New Old Flame
Anime and Manga
- Lupin and Fujiko engage in this, due to the nature of their on-again off-again relationship. The most notable instance occurs in The Secret of Twilight Gemini. They go at it twice, during one of their off periods, despite Lupin's interest in Lara. The first attempt gets averted by Sadachiyo and his men, who crash their hotel room to assassinate Lupin. The second attempt, however, goes off without a hitch. He bangs her in the file room of a Moroccan police station!!
- In The Wedding Singer, Adam Sandler's ex-girlfriend takes advantage of his drunken blackout to have a one-night stand with him. He rejects her once he sobers up the next morning.
- Hou$e Of Lie$ has the Don Cheadle character waking up in bed with his ex-wife as the very first scene. He then attempts to make it look like they weren't having sex.
- Happens between the title character and his ex-wife in The Lincoln Lawyer.
- There is an old joke about a woman who visits a friend she didn't see for years, and sees several children who look just like the husband their mother divorced years ago. When questioned, said mother says "He sometimes visits in order to apologise".
: Booth has had a couple of "one time only" sleepovers with his ex-girlfriend, the mother of his son.
- The one season of Breaking Bad has Walter having sex with his wife again after they split. Also, Raylan Givens in Justified has slept with his ex-wife several times, even though she's now married to another man.
- Bones: Booth has had a couple of "one time only" sleepovers with his ex-girlfriend, the mother of his son.
- Parenthood - Crosby and Jasmine end up in bed together after discussing (over copious amounts of wine) the heartbreak they both felt trying to explain to their son, Jabar, that they wouldn't be getting married.
- In Suzanne Finnamore's 'Split,' she admits to having sex with her ex in the midst of their messy divorce, even though he's theoretically with The Other Woman (the same one he left Suzanne for) and she claims that sex is the Best. Ever.
- In Fahrenheit, Lucas can bed his ex-GF Tiffany when she comes to pick up the last bits of her stuff from his apartment mid-game.