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[[quoteright:215:[[Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/secret_relationship_upgrade.png]]]]

->'''Max:''' ''[as Agent 99 tries to kiss him on the cheek while in the middle of CONTROL headquarters]'' 99, no one at Control knows we're dating.\\
'''Chief:''' ''[walking past with a piece of cake]'' Yes, they do.
-->-- ''Film/GetSmart'' 2008 film

Two characters suddenly wind up in a relationship together and decide to keep it a secret from everyone. The reason can be perfectly solid, e.g. one of them is the other's boss, or one is a SecretKeeper for the other, and making the relationship public would reveal too much, but just as often it can be an ill-defined "I'm not ready for them to know" excuse. They remain awkwardly but successfully concealed for several episodes, speaking in {{Unusual Euphemism}}s, constantly leaving to TalkAboutThatThing and generating many a FawltyTowersPlot--basically put, behaving in such a manner that requires all other characters to juggle the IdiotBall like crazy.

Eventually they will be found out. This is not a variable--the Secret Relationship is made to be discovered. The only variation is when, how, and whether everyone finds out at once or just one or two people find out at first and have to help [[SecretKeeper keep the secret]] until everyone else finds out. A common humorous scenario is that [[EverybodyKnewAlready everyone knows, but doesn't care; or people think it's funny watching them scramble to hide]].

This can also be played for drama. Two people might be good friends, while aware that their parents, or the outside world, wouldn't approve of their friendship. In an attempt to prevent that from being discovered, the friends do everything they can to hide it, but sooner or later, hell will break loose. ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' may be the most well-known variation of this.

Naturally, a necessary precaution when DatingCatwoman.

''Spoilers ahoy, readers, beware!''


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/MarmaladeBoy'':
** Meiko and Shinichi aka Nachan because [[TeacherStudentRomance he's her teacher]]. While Yuu finds out early on, the rest of the cast doesn't until they're caught and it becomes a scandal.
** Miki and Yuu get tangled up in one because [[FlirtyStepsiblings they're stepsiblings]] and Miki's mother Rumi warned her not to fall in love with Yuu in the first place. She was actually joking, and once they tell the parents, they accept it. (It's handled differently in each media, though.) The ''original'' ending planned (as mentioned in the mangaka's afterword in the last tankoubon) was that Miki and Yuu ''were'' half-brother and -sister and stopped dating, moving onto college. But the mangaka decided to change it when told by her editors that it was crazy.
* The premise of ''Anime/PleaseTeacher'', where Mizuho and Kei are married even though [[TeacherStudentRomance she's his teacher]]. She's also [[HumanAliens half alien]], but that's treated as a much less dangerous secret.
* Nanao and Matsumoto from ''Manga/JunsuiAdolescence'' keep their relationship secret due to it being a taboo GirlsLove TeacherStudentRomance. Their friend Hanada-sensei figures it out regardless.
* ''Manga/AiYoriAoshi'''s leads--Kaoru Hanabishi and Aoi Sakuraba--have an ArrangedMarriage [[ChildhoodMarriagePromise from way back when]] and are [[PerfectlyArrangedMarriage very much in love]], but Aoi's family, in order to avoid a scandal (the marriage had been called off when Kaoru left the Hanabishis due to [[AbusiveParents the abuse from his grandfather]]), force them to keep it a secret. Since this is a HaremSeries, and several girls with romantic interest in Kaoru come to live with him, HilarityEnsues.
* In ''Manga/HanjukuJoshi'', Yae and Chitose keep their relationship secret for a while, since Yae is afraid that their peers will judge them for being SchoolgirlLesbians.
* In ''VisualNovel/SchoolDays'', Makoto and Sekai both decide to date (and sleep with) each other, while Makoto is still in a relationship with Kotonoha, which he also never really breaks off and continues to lead her on. It gets worse from there. [[AxeCrazy Much, much worse]].
* Played with left and right in ''Manga/FruitsBasket''. The Head of the Sohma family (and God of the Zodiac), Akito, is dangerously unstable and particularly susceptible to the GreenEyedMonster when it comes to the members of the Zodiac, so this seems to be the only kind of relationship they can have:
** [[StoicWoobie Hatori]] and Kana. While their relationship may not have been intentionally kept a secret to people outside of the Sohma house, Kana and Hatori formally go to Akito to ask for a marriage blessing. Akito treats this knowledge as a secret that was kept from him (or better said her), and flips out accordingly by smashing a vase into Hatori's head, [[EyeScream effectively blinding him in one eye]] in the process. Kana's witnessing of this and Akito's [[TheReasonYousuckSpeech accusation that this happened because of their relationship]] breaks Kana to the point where Hatori had to [[LaserGuidedAmnesia erase all her memories of their relationship]] to save her from her depression.
** [[BrattyHalfPint Hiro]] ends up telling Akito about his love for [[{{Kawaiiko}} Kisa]]... ''before he even confesses his love to Kisa''. Suffice it to say that he ends up regretting it, and although he eventually gets over it, he doesn't actually confess his love to her for a long time.
** [[CloudCuckooLander Haru]] and [[BrokenBird Rin]] play this trope straight, being in a relationship but not telling anyone about it. Naturally, this ends in tragedy when Akito ''does'' find out: Akito blames Rin for it, she takes the blame to protect Haru, and promptly [[DestinationDefenestration throws her out a second-story window]], landing her in the hospital. It's clear that their choice to keep their relationship a secret is indicative of their [[PoorCommunicationKills poor communication]] in general, which causes still more trouble for them as time goes on.
* While most of their friends, and their parents, are well-aware of their relationship, Nitori and Anna from ''Manga/WanderingSon'' have this type of relationship. It mainly has to do with the fact Anna is a model ([[ContractualPurity so her career would suffer]]), and that Nitori is [[{{Transsexual}} transgender]].
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'': Played for laughs when [[BelligerentSexualTension Ranma and Akane]] try to pretend they were secret lovers all along. Most people don't buy it though; in fact, [[UnluckyChildhoodFriend Ukyo]] is convinced Akane is forcing Ranma to lie and the rest of the school knows the two of them aren't really HappilyMarried because they're not arguing.
* Ohgi and Villetta of ''Anime/CodeGeass'' have a relationship that remains hidden throughout most of the series.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', Asuma and Kurenai had been seeing each other, although they tried to keep it quiet and denied that they were. The truth comes out with [[SomeoneToRememberHimBy Asuma's death and Kurenai's pregnancy]], however, and all the other ninja suspected there was something going on between them anyway. It's later shown that they had been married as well.
* Mari and Akko in ''Manga/GirlFriends'' keep their relationship from their friends, probably because [[SchoolgirlLesbians they're both girls]] and aren't sure how they would react. However, while Sugi-san had mostly figured it out even before Akko and Mari had (thanks to a rather transparent attempt at IHaveThisFriend by Akko), even in the epilogue set a year after they got together Tamamin still hasn't figured it out.
* [[ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend Reina]] of ''Manga/YandereKanojo'' would very much like to keep her relationship with [[TheStoic Manabu]] under wraps, to protect her status as a {{delinquent}}. Manabu himself doesn't really mind one way or the other, but it quickly becomes clear that [[EverybodyKnewAlready almost everyone knows about it, anyway]].
* ''Anime/VariableGeo'': Reimi Jahana is the CEO of the Jahana Corporation and is almost always accompanied by [[RighthandHottie her adjutant]], [[HollywoodNerd Washio]]. It isn't revealed that she's romantically involved with him, until [[{{ninja}} Chiho]] makes the mistake of entering Reimi's private rooftop rose garden and [[InterruptedIntimacy finds her straddling him, while they were making out]].
* The plot of ''Manga/LoveLucky'' is that Fuuta has to keep his marriage with [[IdolSinger Kirari]] secret for one year, or her record company will force them to get a divorce.
* Saya and Tadashi of ''Manga/{{Onidere}}'' don't want to reveal they are together to keep being perceived as delinquents. They manage to keep it a secret. Momo actually knows about Saya and Tadashi's relationship, and helps them keep it a secret. Even when they don't know that she knows.
* Ayame and Shouhei from ''Oiran Chirashi'' are ''very'' compatible ([[SexEqualsLove especially in the sexual sense]]) and understand one another very well. Problem is, they live in the RedLightDistrict of Yoshiwara: she's a HighClassCallGirl in training while he works as a hairstylist for the brothel she works/lives in and others; there's no room for any romance in such a CrapsaccharineWorld, and despite their chemistry they must keep their attraction under wraps.

[[folder:Audio Play]]
* The ''AudioPlay/{{Wasurenagusa}}'' series justifies this with the fact that its heroine gets herself romantically involved with one of the leaders of TheShinsengumi. In that organization, there was no room for relationships of any kind, and having such would be met with severe consequences.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Comicbook/{{Empowered}}'' has a secret love relationship between VainSorceress Sistah Spooky and [[DisabilitySuperpower Mindf**k]]. Even after their breakup the former is horrified by the idea of anyone knowing she was in a romantic relationship with a ''blonde'' woman.
* Lightly parodied/inverted in the last volume of ''ComicBook/ScottPilgrim'' with Stephen Stills and Joseph. The parodical nature comes from the fact that Stephen wasn't trying to hide the relationship. Scott was just a bit too thick to notice (though in his defense, he was suffering from a bit of a mental breakdown.)
%% * In ''ComicBook/AstroCity'' story "Pastoral", what causes Cammie to decide to become a SecretKeeper for Roustabout's SecretIdentity is that she learned about this, namely Roustabout and her cousin.
* ''ComicBook/DeathVigil'' provides a meta example with Sam and Bernie, in which the relationship was being hidden from the ''audience''. While Bernie clearly cares a great deal for ''all'' of her Death Knights and personally takes any death among them nearly to the point of HeroicBSOD, throughout the series she's demonstrated a particular concern for Sam's well-being, which gets played for WillTheyOrWontThey {{Ship Teas|e}}ing. And then issue 8 reveals to the audience that Sam and Bernie had been together ''all along'', completely changing the reading of their interactions earlier in the series.
* Kimber's and Stormer's relationship is this for the first few issues of ''ComicBook/JemAndTheHolograms'' - not because they're gay, but because Stormer's bandmates threaten to kick her out if she dates a Hologram member. However, it's an OpenSecret, as in issue 6 Kimber's sisters casually ask if she is secretly dating Stormer, and Pizzazz knows something is going on between Stormer and Kimber but wants to stop it. Eventually Pizzazz decides to ignore the romance as long as it doesn't affect their band.
* Ginger and Nancy fom ''ComicBook/AfterlifeWithArchie'' are secretly dating, despite the fact Nancy has a boyfriend. Nancy wants to come out but Ginger is worried they won't be accepted well.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'':
** [[IdiotHero Shinji]] and Asuka [[RelationshipUpgrade get together]] after their FirstKiss but they keeps it secret because they are frightened that [[ParentalSubstitute their guardian]] would try to stop them or force one of them to move out. They actually do a fairly good job at keeping people from finding out (only Rei figured it out without being directly told).
--->'''Asuka:''' I get impatient, you know that. I want my warm baka-Shinji. It's a good thing you always get up before anyone else, too. We don't want to get caught, do we?\\
'''Shinji:''' I still feel a little bad hiding us from everyone, Asuka. We can't even go out on a weekend on a normal date or anything, and I'd really like to do that.\\
'''Asuka:''' I know. But if [[ParentalSubstitute Misato]] found out, she'd make us stop doing this. "We're too young!" or some other excuse, like we're not soldiers who could die any day.
** Ritsuko and Maya end up in a similar situation, although they're keeping it a secret because [[HeKnowsTooMuch Gendo would have them killed if he found out]].
** Sayaka and Kyoko were secretly dating before they hooked up with Kensuke. In fact, their originally wanted him to act as TheBeard before their relationship developed into {{Polyamory}}.
* ''Fanfic/TheChildOfLove'': After getting together Shinji and Asuka try to keep their relationship secret for a while. However they did not fool Misato for a minute and they stopped pretending after a couple of months.
-->''Shinji and Asuka shared their feelings for each other under the Obon Festival's fireworks. It seems that Misato and Kaji did the same, too. Even though Asuka now admits to herself and Shinji that she's in love with him, she tries not to tell anybody else, much to his surprise. Nevertheless, when they're alone, she's a totally different person...''\\
''Is she afraid of showing everybody how she feels for Shinji? Does she want to prove to Shinji that she loves him by giving him what she keeps from other people?''
* ''Manga/Evangelion303'': Played for laughs. Straight after [[RelationshipUpgrade becoming lovers]] Asuka warned Shinji against telling anyone that they were sleeping together. After several days she stopped caring about people knowing but she forgot to tell him, so Shinji was still denying everything to his friends and trying to keep it secret as the same time that her friends pried everything out of her.
* ''Fanfic/HigherLearning'': After getting together, Shinji and Asuka kept their relationship secret for a while until Shinji left right before the battle against Zeruel. Upon seeing Asuka's sobbing reaction, Misato figured it out.
* ''FanFic/TheSecondTry'': Merely the tip of the iceberg. In a nutshell, [[BattleCouple Shinji and Asuka]] are [[PeggySue time-travelers]] trying to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong, so that they have to hide that they are together, they are actually HappilyMarried and they even got a daughter. TheReveal was really something to behold.
* Several of the ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'' stories that feature BrotherSisterIncest with Justin and Alex as the main couple.
* The ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'' fan fiction [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2974475/1/bBest_b_bKept_b_bSecret_b Best Kept Secret]] uses this trope as its basic premise, exploring how the story might have gone if Roy and Riza were secretly married throughout the entire thing.
* Many ''Manga/SoulEater'' fanfics that pair Soul and Maka together have them trying to keep their relationship a secret. Usually it has more to do with Maka's OverprotectiveDad than with their friends.
* The ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' and ''Literature/HarryPotter'' crossover fanfic ''The Magic of Deduction'' has John and Sherlock fake breaking up to protect John from Moriarty. Slightly different as the two hardly had any contact with each other over the period of time in which they were "broken up"
%% * [[BetaCouple Tsukasa and Miyuki]] in ''FanFic/StarsAbove''.
%% * [[spoiler:Hisao and Misha]] in the ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'' fic ''FanFic/FromShizunesPerspective'' [[spoiler:Shizune]] is upset by the fact that they kept it a secret from her.
* Possibly due to ValuesDissonance [[note]]Although it's unclear what Konoha and the Hyuga clan think of relationships between first cousins[[/note]], one [[KissingCousins Neji/Hinata]] fanfic in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' portrayed their relationship as secret, even when Hinata had Neji's child.
* ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'' fanfic ''FanFic/DirtySympathy'' has Klavier and Apollo keep their relationship under wraps because at first Daryan would have killed Klavier for infidelity, secondly to keep people from looking too closely at their actions and so that officially people don't realize that they know each other.
* Inverted in one story of the ''FanFic/FacingTheFutureSeries'' where Danny and Sam pretend to be ''broken up'' to get a bunch of ghosts trying to separate them to back off. Unfortunately, their friends fall for the ruse too.
* In ''FanFic/{{Shatterheart}}'' [[spoiler: R!]]Syaoran and Kurogane keep their FriendsWithBenefits relationship a secret because [[spoiler: R!]]Syaoran was still in love with Sakura and didn't want her finding out and so they could end it without anyone finding out. When Fai finds out about it due [[InterruptedIntimacy to walking in on them]], things get worse.
* By ''Fanfic/TheWrongReflection'' Eleya and Gaarra have graduated to OfficialCouple status, but they're still keeping the relationship secret because it's against regulations (she being his direct superior officer and all). So far they've only told Eleya's parents and sister, but it's briefly implied in the first chapter that Eleya's NumberTwo, Tess Phohl, knows and isn't saying anything.
* This is a favorite trope of fics about [[MinionShipping pairings of lesser villains]], such as [[Anime/{{Pokemon}} Jessie and James]] or [[Anime/SailorMoon Kunzite and Zoisite]]. The couple will go out of their way to hide their love because their superior will likely kill them for so much as having feelings for one another, complete with lots of angst. This goes double for fics where a villain falls in love with a heroic character and vice versa, [[Franchise/SuperMario Bowser and Peach]] being a favorite example.
* ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' fics often have one of these between Ranma and Akane. The main reason why they keep it a secret is usually because they don't want their fathers to pressure them into marriage even more than they already do.
* The ''Manga/LuckyStar'' fic ''FanFic/TheDayEverythingChanged'' has Konata and Kagami, at the end of the fic, agreeing to keep their relationship under wraps for a bit, which actually seems to fit in with the yuri subtext seen in the actual anime. In the sequel, ''Fanfic/HolidayVacation'', their relationship has been common knowledge for two years now, and is often a conversation starter at school among students.
* Magma Grunt ''tries'' to keep her relationship with Brendan a secret in ''Webcomic/DatingATeamMagmaGrunt'', but this doesn't even last the first chapter because Courtney saw the two of them together.
* ''Say It Again'', the {{prequel}} to ''Fanfic/SayItThrice'', has the platonic variant for [[Film/{{Beetlejuice}} Betelgeuse and Lydia]]. Following the events of the film, they're slowly developing the friendship which forms the emotional heart of the main story. However, since her parents and the Maitlands only know him as the dangerous monster who wreaked havoc on their lives/afterlives, they have to keep it to themselves for a long time.
* ''Fanfic/CodeGeassThePreparedRebellion'':
** Lelouch keeps his polyamorous relationship with C.C. and Sayoko a secret from the rest of the school, but Milly manages to figure it out.
** Milly has some experience with secret relationships, since she has one with Nina. Or rather, she ''had'' one, but they broke up in the aftermath of the Lake Kawaguchi incident.
* In the ''VideoGame/HyruleWarriors'' inspired fanfic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10771590/1/In-Sotto-Voce In Sotto Voce]]'', the previous Zelda and Impa's mother Tikala fell in love and were in a relationship for years. Zelda's guard Kishla however grew jealous of their bond and exposed their romance. Zelda's parents forced the two women apart and arranged for Zelda to be married. Years later, the two decided that Tikala's child would become the guard of Zelda's child as an adult, in order to essentially have their children live out their desires. Zelda was DrivenToSuicide due to being unable to be with her lover, but it was covered up as her dying of illness. The two did fall in love however are mad at their mother's decision. Zelda and Impa also keep their relationship a secret due to their relationship being taboo (Hylians aren't open about same-gender romances, plus Zelda is expected to have a heir, while Sheikah's are against women being with Zelda's due to the possibility of the bloodline of Hylia ending).
* ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/10782973/1/My-Pain-My-Thrill My Pain My Thrill]]'' is a Peach/Bowser ''Franchise/SuperMarioBros'' fanfic. Peach fell for Bowser early on in the series' timeline but the two kept up a charade that Peach was being kidnapped against her will. The koopas knew about their relationship but not the Toads or the Mario brothers. They kept their relationship up until Bowser began distancing himself from her after Peach nearly died giving birth to Bowser Jr. Peach eventually found out that Jr was her son (she didn't know she was pregnant and fell into a coma during the birth) and confronted Bowser about it. They end up mending their relationship and decided to still keep it secret.
* In VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition fanfic ''FanFic/WalkingInCircles'', when Solas and Evelyn got together while they were still in Ostwick, they kept it a secret to prevent it being used against them (as most Circle mages would do). Once canon kicks in, their relationship is more like a semi-open secret, most of the main cast know that they’re together but to everyone else, it’s just a rumor. Solas actually wants to continue to hide it at first since he wants Evelyn to get as much influence and power in the Game as possible but she disagrees.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In the film ''WesternAnimation/ThePainting'', Ramo and Claire are in love, but since he's a Alldunn and she's a Halfie (basically he's part of the elite class while she's part of a poor class), they try to meet in secret. They're apparently really bad at it though, since [[EveryoneKnewAlready everyone knows]], which is soon PlayedForDrama.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* This is the major driving force of ''Film/LawnDogs''. A 10-year-old girl and a widely distrusted 21-year-old lower-class man have a platonic friendship, which is tragically misinterpreted when discovered.
* In ''Franchise/StarWars'', Anakin marries Padmé in secrecy due to the Jedi Code forbidding attachment.
* In the film, ''Film/GoodNightAndGoodLuck'', Joseph and Shirley Wershba have to keep their marriage secret from all their colleagues (though most of whom know anyway), as the rules at the time did not permit a married couple to work together.
* ''Film/AlienCargo'': As it's against company regulation, Chris and Theta have to keep their relationship secret from their colleagues. They’re delighted that by chance they get to spend their shift out of cryosleep together, but later find out that this has exposed them to a dangerous virus that has infected the ship's living quarters.

* In the ''[[Literature/TortallUniverse Song of the Lioness]]'' quartet, Alanna and Jon start a relationship in the second novel. However, seeing as she's [[SweetPollyOliver disguised as a boy in order to become a knight,]] and he's the heir to the throne, they keep this under wraps.
* In Literature/TheBible, Abraham kept his marriage with Sarah a secret from two different local rulers (claiming she was his sister) for fear that those rulers would [[MurderTheHypotenuse murder him so they could take her for themselves]]. [[WhatTheHellHero Both rulers point out how stupid that was]]. This makes this OlderThanFeudalism.
* Used a lot [[RuleOfDrama for some reason]] in ''[[Literature/WarriorCats Warriors]]'', as there are four separate Clans and the cats have a bad habit of falling in love with someone from another Clan. As you can imagine, [[StarCrossedLovers these never end well]]. Not to mention the fact that the medicine cats keep on falling in love even though they're not supposed to.
* Matt and Kate in ''[[Literature/{{Airborn}} Starclimber]]''. Kate's parents want her to marry someone else, and would definitely not approve of her marrying Matt because of his working-class origins.
* Terence and Eileen in ''The Squire's Tales'' series. Terence is the main protagonist of the first two books; Eileen first appears in book 2, and they start a romance but don't make it public because Eileen is a noblewoman and her reputation would be ruined if she were known to be in love with a squire. The next few books focus on other characters, with Terence and Eileen making only cameo appearances. Then in the ninth book, it's revealed that they've been married since shortly after book 2, but have kept it a secret for 15 years--though at least one other character can tell the moment she sees them together, and is confused when she finds out they don't share a room. [[spoiler: Then at the end of the book, they decide "the hell with it" and have a second wedding in public... and Terence gets knighted, making it a non-issue anyway.]]
* Jaime and Cersei Lannister from ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''. This is problematic because they share a last name - [[YourCheatingHeart not due to marriage]], but due to [[{{Twincest}} blood relation]]. The fact that he fathered her children instead of Cersei's actual husband helps kick off a civil war.
* Maya and Lochan are secretly together in a forbidden relationship in ''Literature/{{Forbidden}}'', hence the title. Their relationship is forbidden for... familial reasons of... BrotherSisterIncest.
* Creator/JaneAusten:
** ''Literature/{{Emma}}'', Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax are into a secret ''engagement'' which they hide extremely well, for fear that his rich and snobbish family would not approve. It is presented as very improper behaviour and a rather serious issue because they were being dishonest to their social circle and disrespected their legal guardians.
** ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility'': Edward Ferrars and Lucy Steele get engaged when they're just teenagers, and keep the relationship secret for four years because he would be disinherited had he married her. She's a scheming and calculating girl who really doesn't deserve him or even particularly ''like'' him, but figures that a genteel man without money is still a catch.
** It's revealed at the very end of ''Literature/NorthangerAbbey'' that Elinor Tilney was in love with "the most charming young man in the world". Their attachment was mutual and not of recent origin, and they got married when he became rich and a titled gentleman.
* King Stephen and Queen Anne in ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle''. Theirs was a politically ArrangedMarriage and they hated each other at first; after that changed, they kept up the façade for use in court intrigues. (And [[SlapSlapKiss as a useful excuse for shouting matches]].)
* ''Literature/HonorHarrington'':
** The People's Republic of Haven assign [[PoliticalOfficer political watchdogs]] to scrutinize their naval commanders. In one instance, though, the watchdog and the admiral wind up in bed and in love with each other. "Conflict of interest" doesn't ''begin'' to describe it. As in, if they'd been discovered, the ''kindest'' thing that would have happened to both would have been summary execution. The watchdog and admiral in question are Eloise Pritchart and Javier Giscard, future President and Fleet Admiral of the ''Republic'' of Haven, and theirs is one of the most touching love stories in the whole series. (The relationship kept going. The reason they had to keep it secret... [[BoomHeadshot didn't]].)
** Honor and Hamish Alexander have a secret relationship for a while due to a number of circumstances, namely a) he's already married (though his wife, who's almost completely paralyzed, approves of and even encourages their relationship); b) Hamish is Honor's superior officer and, like virtually all militaries, fraternization between Manticoran officers in the same chain of command is forbidden; and c) Honor's adopted planet, Grayson, is very religious and does not approve of out-of-wedlock sexual relations (they're not on Grayson, but Honor's high status in Grayson society could have been damaged if it were known). The issue is eventually resolved when Honor marries Hamish and his first wife in a polygamous marriage (not that unusual in the Honorverse), taking care of the first and last issues, and by that point Hamish is the civilian head of the military, so the second issue is no longer a problem.
* In ''Literature/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'', sweethearts Christine and Raoul need to keep their relationship secret because Christine (rightly) fears what the Phantom would do if he found out.
* ''Literature/WivesAndDaughters'': There are several Secret Relationships.
** Osborne Hamley, the Squire's eldest son, is secretly in a relationship with a woman his father would never ever approve. He needs to marry a woman from a solid English family who would bring money to their family estate. He actually married a French woman who is a Catholic, penniless, with no family or friends and who used to be a nursery-governess. They even have a child together.
** Roger falls in love with Cynthia and proposes, but he has to leave England for two years, so he doesn't want her to consider it binding. She also insists that nobody knows about it. Her family knows, and Mr. Gibson feels obliged to tell his father because it's an honourable thing to do.
** There are hints that Cynthia is involved in a troubled relationship. She got engaged to a man who lent her money when she was fifteen, but she wants to break it off, and he doesn't want to, claiming he loves her.
** There is gossip in the town that Molly Gibson is involved in an ill-advised relationship that might ruin her or at least her reputation. Subverted because she isn't. It was just a misunderstanding.
* In ''Literature/TheMillOnTheFloss'', Maggie Tulliver and Phillip Wakem keep their friendship (and later, their romance) secret for over a year, due to the Tullivers' [[FeudingFamilies feud]] with John Wakem.
* ''Literature/LeftBehind''
** David Hassid and Annie Christopher have a secret relationship while they're both working for Nicolae Carpathia in New Babylon, with the additional secret being that they're also Christian believers. Unfortunately, Annie is killed during Carpathia's "resurrection" in ''The Indwelling'' when Leon Fortunato calls down lightning to slay the disloyal among the gatherers at the funeral.
** Buck and Chloe kept hiding for ages under similar circumstances. Fred Clark's review of the series contends that the underlying fatalism of the premise (the apocalypse is God's will, and the [[PinballProtagonist "heroes"]] know that they couldn't stop it if they tried) meant there was no meaningful conflict to create tension, and the Secret Relationship plotline [[ConflictBall was put in in order to create the illusion of it]], despite there being no particular reason for them to keep it a secret at all.
* ''Literature/TheRifter'': John and Ravishan naturally have to be very discreet, since homosexuality is penalized by death. They don’t ever have sex for the first time until after leaving Rathal’pesha. Nonetheless, Fikiri, spying on them out of the Grey Space at the monastery, sees them kissing and blackmails them. It also turns out that one of the other supposedly-celibate priests at Rathal’pesha is secretly married (Hann’yu, one of the few truly good people at the monastery--Aesop: forced celibacy is bad).
%% * Jessamine Lovelace [[spoiler:with Nate Gray]] in ''[[Literature/TheInfernalDevices TheClockwork Prince]]''.
* ''Horribly'' played in one of Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer's "Leyendas", named "La Promesa" ("The Promise"). A young Count and a peasant girl named Margarita keep their love secret, but he has to go to war so he leaves her. (The Count has also lied about his origins to her.) When he returns, he learns that Margarita was found out and then subjected to HonorRelatedAbuse, and now all that's left of her is her un-buried hand with a ring that he gave her. He "marries" her, or more accurately her hand, and only then she can rest in peace.
* ''Literature/WolfHall''
** Archbishop Cranmer marries Grete, the niece of reformer Andreas Osiander, while ambassador to the Holy Roman Emperor. He smuggles her back into England when she become pregnant and reveals her only to Thomas Cromwell--Henry VIII, though broken with Rome, still doesn't approve ecclesiastical marriages. Cromwell's reaction is basically OhCrap; then he fetches Helen Barre, a trustworthy woman serving in his household, to help Grete.
** Cromwell fails to realize the InterruptedIntimacy between Helen and Rafe until sixth months after ''she'' becomes pregnant, and Rafe confesses that he's secretly married her. Cromwell is floored. Rafe is equally floored that he was even able to keep it a secret given that it was going on more or less under Cromwell's nose, and Cromwell is not usually the man to miss a trick.
* In ''Literature/TheSorcererOfTheWildeeps'', Demane and Isa have to keep their relationship secret as homosexual relationships are a no-no in the northern lands (and much of the rest of the world). Demane is eternally frustrated about the lack of quality time they manage to have. Eventually, while on the road through the Wildeeps and in the middle of an unnatural winter, Isa snuggles up to Demane for warmth in the dark and Demane realises that Cumalo either knew of their relationship or has just put the puzzle together, for he makes a pointed 'victory'-gesture towards them.
* In the ''Literature/{{Elenium}}'' trilogy, one of these exists between Sephrenia, who tutors the Pandion Knights in magic, and Vanion, the head of the order. (The relationship isn't exactly forbidden, but it's certainly not approved by the church; the Pandions are ChurchMilitant knights and Sephrenia is the high priestess of a completely different religion.) It's initially a very well-kept secret, but hints of it leak out through the trilogy, and by the very end they don't really hide it anymore. In the sequel trilogy, the ''Tamuli'', [[spoiler:they're married]].
* ''Literature/AnnieOnMyMind'':
** Being a same-gender couple in the early 80s, Annie and Eliza try to keep their relationship secret. They both eventually feel stressed over having to pretend to be "just friends". They're outed when [[spoiler:they're caught after having sex.]]
** [[spoiler:Ms. Widner and Ms. Stevenson]] have been together since they were teenagers but keep their relationship a secret. This includes having a fake "for show" bedroom to make it seem as if they sleep in two different rooms.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Abby and Brody are in a secret relationship in ''Series/AgainstTheWall''. Eventually revealed in-universe and Richie, both Abby's brother and Brody's cop partner, is not happy.
* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'':
** Subverted by President Laura Roslin and Admiral Bill Adama. Their close friendship (which has turned into a romantic and sexual relationship) is not really hidden at all, despite the conflict of interest that comes from the fact that they are the heads of the two branches of government in the Fleet (civilian and military). As of the back half of season four, they are living together and fairly affectionate in front of others.
** Tyrol and Boomer, probably the first example in the series. He's a chief and she's an officer. Fraternization is frowned upon, so they have to keep their relationship a secret.
%% ** Billy and Dualla have some kind of a relationship that's not exactly public.
%% ** Dualla and Apollo have a somewhat secret relationship before they're married.
** Apollo and Starbuck have a secret relationship after Apollo is married to Dualla and Starbuck is married to Anders.
** Cally has an affair with [=HotDog=]. We only find out after it is revealed that Tyrol is a Cylon and he's not the father of the baby he thought was his.
%% ** Baltar's relationship with Number Six prior to New Caprica is a secret.
** The secret lesbian relationship involving Admiral Cain and Gina, at least at first. Hardly a secret later on. Cain kisses Gina in front of her officers.
%% ** The relationship between Kat and her former drug dealer.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
%% ** In season two, [[HollywoodNerd Xander]] and [[LovableAlphaBitch Cordelia]]. This is PlayedForLaughs.
** In season three, Xander and Willow briefly had a secret fling when they were dating Cordelia and Oz, respectively, but it was wrapped up after a few episodes.
** In season four, girls Willow and Tara date in secret. It is implied, but never explicitly stated, that Willow is uneasy about telling her friends she is [[SuddenlySexuality dating a girl]].
%% ** In season six, [[TheHero Buffy]] and [[AntiVillain Spike]]. This is a case of DatingCatwoman.
* ''Series/{{Castle}}'':
** In season 3, Esposito and Lanie had a relationship that they tried to keep secret due to working together. This failed on an epic scale, as Esposito's partner, Ryan, Castle, and Beckett easily clued in.
** For a while, writer Rick Castle and detective Kate Beckett dated and tried to hide it from the team. The reason was that if Gates found out, she would use it an excuse to kick Castle out of the precinct, which would be a very valid concern... ''if'' she hadn't figured it out on her own, probably before anyone else did. She decides not to view it as a problem.
* ''Series/{{Community}}'':
** First season Jeff Winger (a thirty-something student) had a relationship with a very hot statistics professor Slater. They kept it a secret because it was hotter with all the sneaking. They were outed by Pierce.
** In season two it turns out Jeff had 'friends with benefits' status with Britta for most of the year. They are in the same study group and others were not happy they were not honest with them. They broke it up the moment it's out, but their possible relationship continues to be {{Ship Tease}}d.
%%* Pacey and Joey in ''Series/DawsonsCreek''.
* ''Series/{{Dexter}}'': Lieutenant Maria [=LaGuerta=], a boss of Homicide, dates and has sex with her direct subordinate Sergeant Angel Battista in season 4. When it gets revealed, their superior Captain Matthews wants them to either break up or have Angel transferred to another department. They take a third option and get married.
* ''Series/{{ER}}'':
** When Doug and Carol reconcile, they initially try to keep it a secret, due in part to Carol's hesitancy to fully commit (given Doug's [[TheCasanova previous track record for playing around]], quite understandable). At the Christmas episode, she is confident enough in their relationship that she and Doug announce that they got back together at the staff Christmas party. Turns out most of the staff knew and had a betting pool going as to when they would admit it!
** Benton and Jeanie have a secret relationship, as revealed at the end of the second-season premiere. It's a well-done BaitAndSwitch, as the previous episode had them deciding ''not'' to act on the sexual tension that had been building for months (she's married) and their sparse, awkward interactions in this episode indicated that there was no relationship but that they were still trying to work through lingering feelings. Only for the final scene of the episode to show them in bed together and the dialogue make it obvious that this had been going on for months and the aforementioned interactions to be the results of them struggling not to reveal to anyone what was going on.
** Benton and Elizabeth attempt to hide their relationship initially, not wanting their personal lives gossiped about but it fails when Benton blurts it out to Romano, suspecting (likely correctly) that he's penalizing Elizabeth for rebuffing his advances.
* In the British sitcom ''Executive Stress'', a husband and wife must hide the fact that they are married from their employer. The employer has a policy that if two employees marry, one of them must quit or be fired.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'':
** In the fourth season, [[OfficialCouple Aeryn and John]] conceal their relationship and fake a break-up to prevent Aeryn [[spoiler: and her unborn child]] being used against John by [[BigBad Scorpius]]. The thing of it was, Aeryn herself was left in the dark for half a season. John had to conceal how he felt to make it look real and could only explain when an opportunity arose.
** A less pleasant example is Chiana and Jothee being together behind D'Argo's back. The two begin an affair because of dissatisfaction with D'Argo's plans for the future (quiet married life on a farm). D'Argo finds out the next episode and is very, very unhappy.
* ''Series/TheFlash2014'': Iris and Eddie at first keep their relation a secret for Iris' father Joe, since Eddie is also Joe's partner in the field. They eventually reveal their relationship in "Things You Can't Outrun".
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'':
** Monica and Chandler milked this for almost an entire season. Justifications included that at the start, neither of them dreamed that their London dalliance ''could'' become anything more than that. Plus, after seeing all of the drama induced by Ross and Rachel's relationship, Monica and Chandler thought it best to tell no one. And the other characters found out [[PunctuatedForEmphasis one... by... one]].
** Double-subverted in a plot where Ross is dating one of his students. They agree to keep it secret, as they initially think it's not something he can get fired over but that it's merely "frowned upon." Later, when Ross reveals the relationship to his fellow professors after [[KeepingSecretsSucks he gets tired of keeping it a secret]], the other professors inform Ross that it's not just "frowned upon" if a professor dates one of their students--Ross ''will'' likely get fired if the administration finds out. Thus, Ross and the student go back to keeping their relationship a secret.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** Lord Renly Baratheon and Ser Loras Tyrell attempt to be discreet about their romance due to the homophobia which exists within Westerosi society.
** Tyrion and Shae conceal their romance after his father Lord Tywin Lannister commands Tyrion not to take her to court and vows to hang the next whore he finds in Tyrion's bed.
** Jaime and Cersei, since {{Twincest}}uous adultery with the queen is frowned upon. Cersei is married to Robert Baratheon, but her children were fathered by her twin brother Jaime. If Robert found out, their heads, including the royal bastards', would end up on the spikes.
** Robert Baratheon insists that his betrothed Lady Lyanna Stark was kidnapped and raped repeatedly by Prince Rhaegar Targaryen while other characters suspect their relationship might have been consensual. It turns out that they really were a couple in love and even got married in a secret ceremony, but almost nobody knew about the wedding of a high born lady and a crown prince.
* ''Series/GilmoreGirls'':
** Luke and Lorelai tried to keep their RelationshipUpgrade (from close freinds to boyfriend-girlfriend) secret when they had sex in Luke's apartment above his diner. They were found out immediately when Lorelai went down to the diner for a cup of coffee early in the morning wearing one of Luke's shirts, forgetting the diner would be open for breakfast and full of customers.
** Teens Lane Kim and Henry Cho kept it secret, especially from Mrs. Kim. Ironically, Henry would probably be the perfect boyfriend for Lane in her mother's eyes, but Lane decides to hide the relationship since she thinks her parents would either never approve or approve of him so much that Lane wouldn't like him anymore. Eventually Henry broke up with her when he got sick of all the effort and not being able to go out on a real date with her.
** Teens Lane and Dave, her bandmate. Dave really went an extra mile on that one, and pretended to be really mean to her in front of their bandmates. In order to hide that specific relationship from her mother, she pretended to date Yung Chu (who was using her to hide his relationship with his secret Japanese girlfriend).
** Lorelai Gilmore dated Max Medina and they kept it hidden because he was her daughter Rory's teacher. They were serious and got engaged, so people found out.
** Lorelai and Jason "Digger" Stiles kept their relationship hidden because he worked with her father Richard and her parents thought they would not be suited to each other romantically. Digger strongly disapproved of Lorelei's decision and always wanted to be honest, saying that it all eventually gets revealed and it is bound to be embarrassing.
** Lorelai and her ex Christopher try to hide their return to each other because she thought no one would approve.
** Rory's roommate and friend Paris dates her much older professor Asher Fleming at Yale. Their relationship lasts quite long. He seems to have a reputation for dating young female students. Rory is very displeased that she has to be a SecretKeeper, and Paris is annoyed when she finds out that Rory's friend Lane knows about them.
* Cal and James on the British miniseries ''Series/{{Glue}}'' date in secret, presumably because the locals would not take kindly to such a relationship (Cal is below the age of consent, for one thing). Unusually for the trope, nobody else knew about them while it lasted.
%% * Blair and Chuck for a few episodes in ''Series/GossipGirl''''s first season.
* In a nod to the ''Franchise/StarWars'' reference above, when Jake and Miley are secretly dating in ''Series/HannahMontana'', they use the code names "Anakin" and Queen "Amidala".
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'':
** Barney and Robin go the entire summer without their friends knowing about their FriendsWithBenefits arrangement (Future Ted admits in a later episode that the other three were really, really passing around the IdiotBall that summer). She says it's because they didn't want Lily forcing them to have [[RelationshipUpgrade The Talk]], but he admits the lie just turned them on.
** This trope is inverted in the second season of the show. Ted and Robin mutually decide to break up because they both want different things out of life, but they pretend to still be a couple for a little while longer because they don't want the news of their breakup putting a damper on Lily and Marshall's imminent wedding.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'':
** In the [[Recap/JAGS01E0102ANewBeginning Pilot Movie]], Lt. Arutti was secretly married to Painter. They kept it a secret because the Navy would not have allowed them to serve in the same unit.
** In "[[Recap/JAGS01E10Boot Boot]]", there is a secret relationship between Sergeant Gonzalez and Major Klein. Harm decides to overlook it on the condition that they will turn themselves in if Sergeant Gonzalez is not accepted into the officer commissioning program, which she was previously mentioned to be a shoe-in for.
* Both of the Benjamin twins on ''Series/{{Kings}}'':
** David and Michelle: Michelle has taken a vow to devote her life to God, and in any case, her father is the King and probably wouldn't approve. (Though he may suspect...)
** Jack and Joseph: Jack is in the TransparentCloset and has been explicitly told by his father that he can't be gay and become King, but Joseph is the one person with whom he has a genuine and reciprocal love. [[spoiler: Then Joseph dies.]]
%% * ''Series/{{Longmire}}'': Cady and Branch. It's a bit awkward since Cady is the daughter of the same man that Branch is opposing in the elections for sheriff.
* ''Series/MadMen'' has lots of secret relationships, often involving an OfficeRomance and/or YourCheatingHeart:
** Don Draper's first mistress is a bohemian artist Midge. Her friends know about them, but people in Don's job don't, and he keeps it secret from his wife.
** Don Draper sleeps with Rachel Menken, a Jewish client of Sterling Cooper advertising company. Rachel starts falling in love with him, but breaks it off when Don offers to run away with her without any consideration for his wife or kids.
** Joan Holloway and Roger Sterling have a long and passionate love affair. He is one of the bosses in their advertising agency and married with a teen daughter while she is a single secretary (who more or less runs the office as an unofficial office manager). Some people know, for example Roger's older business partner Mr. Cooper tells Joan she should not waste her youth, but most are oblivious to the relationship. They break up when Joan gets engaged. Roger continues to have a soft spot for Joan. They later have a baby together after they sleep together once, and Roger tries to tag along.
** Roger starts a romance with Jane, Don's new hot secretary. Roger gets divorced and marries Jane very soon after. It was a great surprise for everyone in the office.
** In season 2, Don Draper has an ugly affair with Bobbie Barrett, a wife and manager to an obnoxious comedian Jimmy. The relationship started as professional but they soon begin sleeping together. Jimmy strongly suspects they slept together, and Don's copy writer Peggy also finds out about the affair. Don ends their relationship after he learns she's been gossiping about him.
** Don Draper, still married to Betty, romantically pursues Susan Ferrell, his daughter's young idealistic teacher. She resists -- at first. Later she is sorry they can't date publicly for fear that they would be seen. Susan's brother visits her when they are together and figures out something is off. Don breaks it off when his marriage starts crumbling.
** Don starts sleeping with Faye Miller. She is a marketing researcher hired by SCDP, and probably the healthiest of Don's post-divorce relationships. They kept it secret from all people in the office, and not many knew about it because Faye left the job when SCDP lost their tobacco account.
** Megan starts at SCDP as Don's new secretary, they sleep together and very soon Don decides to marry her, as he was infatuated with her model looks, magical-nanny abilities and desire to work in advertising as a copy writer. Many people are so surprised when he announces the engagement that they don't even know who Megan is.
** Ted Chaough has an affair with Peggy, his head writer. He wants to leave his wife for her, but breaks it off very soon and leaves Mannhatten. He insists he loves her deeply, but Penny is very hurt by his treatment of her.
** Pete (married to Trudy) has an affair with a young depressed housewife. Her husband eventually finds out and he and Pete have a fight on a train.
** Don Draper sleeps with Sylvia Rosen, an older but beautiful housewife of a doctor who live in the same building as Don and his wife Megan. Don is disgusted with himself when his daughter Sally accidentally sees them in bed.
* ''Series/MagnificentCentury'': Hatice and İbrahim in the beginning. While it initially seems valid to hide (rank differences) it gets ridiculous after a while, and when it finally comes out, Süleyman's reaction is like, "Yeah, okay, you can get married. I love you both and have been spending all season talking about how I want you both to be happy."
* ''Series/{{MASH}}''. Frank Burns and Margaret Houlihan engage in a torrid affair for four seasons, but kid themselves that no one knows about it and react with outrage when anyone refers to it.
* ''Series/TheMentalist'': Co-workers at California Bureau of Investigation Wayne Rigsby and Grace Van Pelt are dating but keep it hidden, since coworkers are not allowed to date.
* Arthur and Gwen in ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' keep their relationship a secret until the end of season 3 when they start making out in front of the castle.
* ''Series/MurdochMysteries'':
** It's implied in "Big Murderer on Campus" that James Gillies and Robert Perry are a couple, but they try to pass off as being best friends because homosexuality was a crime in late 19th-century Canada. Inspector Brackenreid believes that the two young men are unusually close, and he even asks Detective Murdoch if James and Robert are "Just good pals, or something more?"
** Dr. Emily Grace who works at the City Morgue gets herself a lover, Miss Lillian Moss. The ladies must keep it secret as lesbian relationships are illegal. They pass as friends among their suffragist circle of friends and live in neighboring apartments. Inspector Brackenreid finds out about them and warns Emily to be careful but he's surprisingly understanding. Most of the team find out when Miss Moss gets murdered.
%% * Jimmy Palmer and Michelle Lee on ''Series/{{NCIS}}'', though it later turned out to be an OpenSecret amongst Team Gibbs.
* In ''Series/NewGirl'', Winston and Ally attempt to keep their relationship a secret from everyone at the police station since they're partners and it's against the rules. This lasts for all of one episode.
%% * Dave and Lisa (briefly) in ''Series/{{Newsradio}}''.
* ''Series/NorthernExposure'': Joel and Maggie finally go to bed together, and after keeping it secret for about forty-five minutes they can't stand the subterfuge anymore and actually announce it to everyone in Roslyn's Cafe. Nobody cares.
* ''Series/TheOfficeUS'':
** There was Dwight and Angela's secret relationship from the second to fourth seasons and then becoming a full-out secret affair when Angela is engaged to Andy in Season 5. Only Jim and Pam each find out individually, and the entire office learns just before both Dwight and Angela truly break up in Season 5's "The Duel".
** Before Angela is dating Andy, Dwight and Angela keep it secret for no apparent reason; office relationships are not forbidden. They're just weird like that.
** For the first four episodes after the Season 6 hiatus, Andy and Erin keep their newfound relationship a secret. Until they admit their relationship to everyone by the end of the episode. However, they broke up in the next episode after Erin found out about Andy's history with ''Angela''.
* Leslie and Ben in ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'' had one of these in season 3, since his superior Chris did not allow coworkers to date. Only Leslie's best friend Ann was privy to it, but Leslie's boss Ron eventually found out and warned them that they were terrible secret keepers and everyone was going to find out eventually. They finally, reluctantly broke up when Leslie was given a chance to run for city counsel, knowing the scandal could destroy their careers. They later got back together because they loved each other and Ben decided to pursue a different career.
%% * ''Series/PrettyLittleLiars'' is chock full of this trope. This trope applies to practically every couple in the series, [[PortmanteauCoupleName Ezria]] being one of the more dramatic examples. Not to mention Spoby, Haleb, and Emaya at certain points.
%%% * ''Series/RobinHood'': Robin Hood and Marian for obvious reasons.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'':
** Dr. Cox and Kelso have entered into a secret friendship, which has tones of this. Kelso even describes it as "all the thrill of an affair, but without all that exhausting sex." When J.D. finds out, he's furious.
** J.D. and Elliot ''think'' their relationship is secret. It isn't as EverybodyKnewAlready.
--->'''Dr. Cox:''' And, if you listen closely, you'll hear the sound of no one caring.
* ''Series/SonnyWithAChance'': Sonny and Chad attempt this during the two-part episode that has them start dating. It works out about as well as one would think, and the So Random cast finds out (twice... it's hard to explain) before the second part ends. (And there was plenty of [[BadLiar bad lying]] to cover up the first reveal.)
%%* Mike and Nikki in ''Series/SpinCity''.
%% * ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': Sam and Ruby have a secret relationship throughout the end of the show's third season and into its fourth.
%% * In ''Series/TeenWolf'', Scott and Allison tried this, using Stiles as their liaison. It didn't work.
%% * Jackie and Hyde (briefly) on ''Series/That70sShow''.
* In season one of ''Series/VeronicaMars'', Veronica and Logan keep their relationship secret to postpone social backlash. Veronica is a FallenPrincess in a town ruled by the RichBitch and {{Blue Blood}}s, and Logan is ''one'' of those rulers.
%% * ''Series/TheWalkingDead'':
%% ** Lori and Shane
%% ** [[ReallyGetsAround Shane]] and Andrea
%% ** Glenn and Maggie
* On an episode of ''Series/TheWonderYears'', Kevin eventually finds his adorable and dorky dance partner Margaret Farquhar to be genuinely sweet and interesting--but on a completely different rung on the junior high social ladder--so he suggests a secret relationship to her as a way to balance it out. She [[SubvertedTrope takes offense]].
* The entire relationship of Quinn and Logan on ''Series/{{Zoey 101}}'', since both were embarrassed to be dating each other. They were quite successful in keeping it a secret; their big reveal at the Prom, when they came clean about their romance, did come as a shock to everyone present at the moment.

%% * Curly and Laurey in ''Theatre/{{Oklahoma}}''. Inevitably, their duet "People Will Say We're in Love" is reprised as "Let People Say We're in Love."
%% * Jason and Peter in ''bare: a pop opera'' have one of these.
* In ''Street Scene'', Mrs. Maurrant goes to lengths to conceal [[CheatingWithTheMilkman her affair with Sankey]] from others. Unfortunately, most of her neighbors already know about it.
* ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera''. Christine and Raoul's relationship is known about, but not that they're engaged. Despite knowing full well how much Christine fears the Phantom, Raoul grasps the IdiotBall when he demands to know why they need to conceal this.
* ''Theatre/{{Hamilton}}'': the nature of Burr's relationship with his future wife Theodosia states that she can't be seen in public with Burr, such as at the Hamiltons' wedding, because she's married to a British general. On the other hand, John Laurens clearly knows about it, and Burr is perfectly willing to divulge the details to Alexander in private.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', [[TagalongReporter Diana]] [[HotScoop Allers]]' romance is this, as she says her career would be jeopardized if her relationship with a source came to light. Then Liara finds out if you were dating.
* Whenever the PlayerCharacter enters a relationship in the ''[[Franchise/ShinMegamiTenseiPersona Persona]]'' series from ''VideoGame/Persona3'' onward, it's heavily implied that they keep it a secret, likely to not interfere with their missions or cause any unusual rumors to spread. Some of the more justified examples include:
** ''VideoGame/Persona3'':
*** If the Male Protagonist romances Mitsuru, she makes it clear in that she wants it to be secret, at least for a while, because during her Social Link, she [[ChildMarriageVeto ducks]] from an ArrangedMarriage that was set up for the sake of her father's MegaCorp.
*** In ''Portable'', this is naturally what the female main character and Ken do if they get into a relationship because they know what [[{{Squick}} the normal reaction would be]] [[MayDecemberRomance to a 16 and 10 year old couple]]. Any suggestions of coming out get shot down by Ken himself. If the Female Protagonist romances Akihiko, a secret relationship is also implied if she speaks to certain characters - if she talks to Junpei on Christmas while she is Akihiko's LoveInterest, he puts two and two together and is genuinely surprised.
** This trope is used in ''VideoGame/Persona4'' as well. The only way to even partially expose a relationship Yu might have with a party member is by talking with the teammates at the entrances of the dungeons in the Midnight Channel. If Yu [[YourCheatingHeart is played as a serial cheater]], hints toward that get dropped as well, but it doesn't get blown out in the open until the Valentine's Day sequence in the ''Golden'' remake: he can only choose one girl, and then all the other gals that he romanced will [[LoveHurts sadly tell him]] [[BrokenPedestal how disappointed they are on him]].
** It's repeated again in ''VideoGame/Persona5''. There are some more justifications for the secret aspects, not just for Akira's party members, but for his Co-ops as well: Haru is like Mitsuru in that she also ducked out of an ArrangedMarriage, Futaba is his caretaker Soujirou's adopted daughter and he is [[OverprotectiveDad very protective of her]], and half of the romanceable Co-ops are [[LikesOlderWomen older women]] who all suggest him to lay low, especially if he romances ''his homeroom teacher Sadayo''. Like ''4'', the player can make Akira juggle multiple relationships, but this time around he ''will'' face the consequences for doing so... [[AmusingInjuries by being confronted and then beaten up by the (very understandably) angry women]].
* In the execrable FullMotionVideo game ''VideoGame/{{Phantasmagoria 2}}'', the protagonist Curtis insists on this with his co-worker girlfriend. [[spoiler: Which paves the way for freaky BDSM sex with the only other female co-worker.]]
* ''Videogame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'': One early quest playing as a Jedi involves a pair of Padawans in a clandestine affair (in this era, Jedi are ''discouraged'' from attachment, but not outright forbidden). The player can choose to expose them or not. The female Jedi Knight can play this straight with [[LadykillerInLove Doc]], who even offers suggestions on hiding a pregnancy. Averted with the female Jedi Counsular; Iresso may be laid-back, but he refuses to break the law or get the Consular in trouble.
* This takes place in ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' onwards, betweeen Ky Kiske and Dizzy. After Ky fetched Dizzy and took her in (in ''XX Accent Core Plus''), they fell in love and even had a son, Sin Kiske. However, they aren't actually married due to various factors (such as Dizzy [[DeathFakedForYou being officially declared dead by the world government]] since ''X'', her lack of legal status as a Gear, Ky being the [[TheChainsOfCommanding High King of Illyria]] ''on top'' of [[ChurchMilitant leading the Holy Order]], and the time she spent [[BarrierMaiden pretty much frozen]]), and very few know that they're together. Other than that, though, they're very content and comfortable with one another.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* One option for Damien's path in ''VisualNovel/MagicalDiary'', at the end. To avoid alienating your friends, you ''have'' to keep it a secret. [[spoiler: Potsdam knows, no matter what, but she doesn't do anything besides suggest that you cover up your hickey.]] Failure to do so leads to your friends turning on you if they find out--but by this point, they've seen their worst nightmares about your relationship with him come true, so they're justified in believing that you're [[LoveMartyr suicidal and possibly insane]] for trying to continue ''any'' kind of relationship with him.
* Happens in some of Kotonoha's paths in ''VisualNovel/SchoolDays''; Makoto and Sekai may start seeing each other behind Kotonoha's back, and for obvious reasons they try to keep it quiet. The problem with this plan is that they're absolutely terrible at hiding it from anyone other than Kotonoha, who only takes so long to catch on because she is unwilling or unable to accept that Makoto is cheating on her.
* Takes place once in a while in ''VisualNovel/ShallWeDateNinjaShadow'', since the PlayerCharacter Saori is a SweetPollyOliver in an otherwise all-male vigilante group. A good example is [[spoiler: Shintaro's path: Shintaro accidentally and awkwardly finds out about her secret midway through the story, agrees to be her SecretKeeper (and so does Makoto, the leader of the group), and soon he and Saori are more or less falling in love.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The DatingCatwoman variation is used in ''Webcomic/EvilInc'', where [[spoiler:Captain Heroic and Miss Match]] are married despite being a hero and a villain. Only their son, their parents and one of his allies knows. Additionally, each set of parents has never met the other set due to the risk of conflicts.
* In ''Webcomic/YuMeDream'', this happens a couple of times:
** Lia asks Fiona not to date James, but when James asks, Fiona can't seem to say no, even though she wants to and has made a promise.
** Jake and Don's relationship is secretive because Jake's parents are anti-gay and because Jake goes to a Catholic high school.
** When Lia and Fiona do start dating, Lia asks Fiona to keep it a secret [[http://rosalarian.com/yume/?p=475 here]] and [[http://rosalarian.com/yume/?p=483 here]]. It does cause some strain in their relationship, as seen [[http://rosalarian.com/yume/?p=525 here]].
* In ''Webcomic/BetweenFailures'' one of these has begun between [[spoiler:Thomas and Carol]].
* Winsbury and Janet in ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt''. In-comic, it's not clear exactly why its a secret; perhaps the fact that Janet is the Headmaster's daughter has something to do with it, and it's suggested he wouldn't be happy. Out-of-comic, it's a reference to the folk song "Willie O'Winsbury" (Literature/{{Child Ballad|s}} #100). The Willie and Janet from the song keep it a secret because Janet's dad is the King. WordOfGod stated that the couple is hiding the fact that they're also "romantic dorks". In Chapter 34 [[spoiler: they reveal they're in a relationship, but their romantic dorkiness means that everyone else disbelieves their ludicrous tale of horses, fast cars and daring gold thefts, and dismiss the whole idea.]] And then in Chapter 57 [[spoiler: circumstances force them to explicitly reveal their relationship to Antimony, who says maybe she should have realized the truth sooner, what with the 3-hour 2-person play about marriage the couple once staged for all their classmates...]]
* ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'':
** Ellen and Nanase initially concealed their relationship from most people out of a desire to keep Nanase's sexuality a secret from her homophobic mother. While the remaining six main cast members were aware of their relationship, no one beyond them knew. However, after a near-death experience, Nanase finally came out to her mother, at which point they stopped hiding that they were together.
** Catalina and Rhoda also hide their relationship, which is helped by the fact that they go to different schools, and very few people know both of them. While many of Catalina's friends and acquaintances know that she is gay, and that she is dating some mystery person, only a handful of other people seem aware that it's Rhoda. In this case, the secret stems from a desire on Rhoda's part to hide her sexuality from her friend Diane, as she doesn't want Diane to find out that she has been crushing on her for quite a while.
* Bruno and Corrie in ''Webcomic/KevinAndKell'': in the early years, [[http://kevinandkell.com/1996/kk0104.html Corrie rode on Bruno's back disguised as a sheepskin.]]
-->'''Corrie:''' So when you gonna tell 'im 'bout us?\\
'''Bruno:''' Patience, my sweet.
* Fido and Sabrina in ''WebComic/{{Housepets}}'' It was a serious taboo for them to have a relationship, especially with Fido's status as a role model for the dogs of Babylon Gardens and a K-9 Officer. Fido finally [[{{Pun}} let the cat out of the bag]] [[http://www.housepetscomic.com/2013/10/30/le-gasp/ on live television to thwart an]] ArrangedMarriage. The fallout is still ongoing, but it doesn't appear it will have a long-term effect on his career (outside a three-week suspension for the fight with Jata). In fact, [[http://www.housepetscomic.com/2013/11/22/blue-lines-and-red-tape/ his superior, Sergeant Ralph, appeared relieved by the revelation]], [[CouldHaveAvoidedThisPlot and was only disappointed that he wasn't warned beforehand about what Fido was about to do]].
-->'''Sergeant Ralph:''' I've had my eye on you for a while. Your suspicious behavior ''worried'' me. I thought you were participating in something underhanded -- or worse, ''illegal''. Who you decide to snuggle with after hours is none of the department's business nor concern.
* Jennifer "Billie" Billingsworth and Ruth Lessick in ''Webcomic/DumbingOfAge''. It needs to be secret since Ruth is Billie's RA. It's not the only secret they keep.
* Jack Zimmermann and Eric "Bitty" Bittle in ''Webcomic/CheckPlease''. Jack is a professional hockey player in the NHL and there are currently no out queer players, so he doesn't know how public knowledge of his relationship with another man would affect his career.
* In ''Webcomic/SimplySarah'', two teenage girls try to keep their romance a secret from everyone until they can move out together. Sarah decides to tell her mother early on but Janey can't get the nerve to tell her homophobic mother. They both end up coming out one way or another.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', the mage [[ManipulativeBastard Belial]] and Sultana [[LadyOfWar Razia]] have a secret affair. They can't make it public due to the political ramifications of a [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Sarquil]] ruler being intimate with a foreigner, which would be frowned upon in the court. They're eventually discovered, however, which leads to a coup in which Razia's twin sister [[WomanScorned Adela]] kills her and takes over the throne while Belial and his bastard children [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Khalid]] and [[IHaveNoSon Sumrah]] are sent into exile to Belial's homeland.
* In the web series ''Literature/ShadowOfTheTemplar'', both Simon and Jeremy keep their relationship a secret from everybody else. That's probably a good thing, because one is an FBI agent and one is a high profile GentlemanThief. In "High Fidelity", Simon admits to his team and to his boss the nature of his relationship with Jeremy.
* In ''Literature/LovelaceOneTwo'', Andi figures out that Mr. Stone and Ms. Seok are secretly an item.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
%% * Cindy and Jimmy have one of these in the "Stranded" episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfJimmyNeutronBoyGenius''.
%% * Jake and Rose form one within the DatingCatwoman scenario in Disney's ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDragonJakeLong''.
* ''WesternAnimation/KickButtowskiSuburbanDaredevil'' gives us Kendall and Ronaldo, after Kick finds out about them in "Frame Story"... albeit, even the viewers are confused about whether they're together or not, consistently. Since that episode, there have been numerous episodes in the second season where they're still dating, yet Kendall either breaks-up with Ronaldo, prefers Kick and even cheats on him behind his back ('''literally''' behind his back).
* Shaggy and Velma in ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated''. At first it seems like Shaggy's just afraid of commitment and using Scooby as an excuse.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** Principal Skinner and Edna Krabappel: they keep it a secret for half an episode, get found out, get fired, hold the empty school hostage, then pretend to break up. Afterwards, they (literally) put their relationship back in the closet, with varied degrees of secrecy after that. It's one of the few ''Simpsons'' plots not completely affected by NegativeContinuity.
** Edna and Ned Flanders try to keep their relationship a secret too. Or at least, until Edna unintentionally reveals that she and Ned eloped some time ago.
* Continuing off of the [[Franchise/StarWars movies]], ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' even goes so far as to [[DeconstructedTrope deconstruct]] Anakin and Padme's relationship in the "Lost Missions" episode, "Rise of Clovis". When Padme's old flame, Rush Clovis, shows up and she starts getting close to him to get some information, this does not sit well with Anakin, who can't really say she's already married to him since he isn't supposed to be married in the place. After he nearly beats Clovis to death in a fit of [[CrazyJealousGuy jealous]] [[{{Yandere}} rage]], Padme not only calls him out on him going too far with his possessiveness, but on how screwed up their relationship actually is. They aren't able to do the things that legit married couples get to do and there's some distrust between them. As a result, she decides that they should stop seeing each other for a while ([[ForegoneConclusion which only lasts seemingly until the end of the next episode]]).
* ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'':
** Season 2 reveals that Red Arrow and Cheshire developed one during the TimeSkip, including a (probably) secret marriage and a kid.
** In Season 1, Superboy and Miss Martian try to keep their relationship secret... and fail, ''hard''. Only two people actually need the relationship pointed out to them and both times literally pointing in their general direction provide all the proof needed.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLoudHouse'' gave us Lincoln Loud and his former tormentor, Ronnie Anne Santiago. (By 'former Tormentor', it means she's a {{Tsundere}} LovingBully who picked on him because she has a crush on him.) The reason they keep it secret is because Lincoln was teased by him, but it's not clear whether it's still a secret.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', "[[Recap/FuturamaS2E11HowHermesRequisitionedHisGrooveBack How Hermes Requisitioned His Groove Back]]": Hermes takes a stress-relieving vacation, and he is temporarily replaced by bureaucrat Morgan Proctor, who becomes infatuated with Fry because she is kinky for dirty slobs. However, she wants to keep it secret from everyone and will deny their affair if Fry tries to reveal it.
-->'''Morgan:''' Now listen, you filthy pig. No one can know about us. If anyone asks, I'll deny it.
-->'''Fry:''' Just like very other girl I've dated.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Romeo and Juliet could have learned a few valuable lessons from Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille, who determined to unite both themselves in marriage and their kingdoms into the unified Spain. This they accomplished in defiance of both their families and the Church's ban on marriage between [[KissingCousins second cousins (which is what they were)]] besides through numerous secret letters sent to each other, a couple of clever ruses, Ferdinand disguising himself as a traveling merchant at one point, and a Papal Bull of dubious authenticity. In addition to their success in consummating their secret relationship, they also proved to be very cunning political partners. Seriously, their history sounds a lot like what Romeo and Juliet's tale might have been like if Niccolo Machiavelli had written it instead of Shakespeare. Today, ''every'' Royal House in Europe is descended from them--usually many times over.
* Australian astronomer Ruby Payne-Scott was forced to marry in secret because the law did not permit married women to hold a permanent position in the Commonwealth public service. She was eventually discovered and forced to leave her position, despite being a pioneer in the development of radiophysics and radio astronomy.