[[quoteright:246:[[Webcomic/StickyDillyBuns http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/boyfriendbluff_sdb_2094.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:246:Actually, it's amazing how much the guy on the left [[DisguisedInDrag doesn't]] [[SweetPollyOliver know]]. He can count himself lucky.]]

When a guy (and it's almost [[AlwaysMale always a guy]]) saves a girl on the street from being harrassed by some undesirables by coming over and pretending to be her boyfriend or brother, or something similar. The girl is usually not aware that the guy is about to do this, and often doesn't even know the guy in question. This doesn't stop them from [[RomanticFakeRealTurn turning into real lovers]] at some point.

Another scenario is the girl invoking this trope with a guy friend she might be with, by [[HoldingHands grabbing his hand]] or using a petname. Expect him to be surprised but play along. This also doesn't stop them from [[RomanticFakeRealTurn turning into real lovers]] at some point.

The idea behind this trope is that a man can only be dissuaded from going after a woman if he knows she's already taken, regardless of her level of interest in him.

Subtrope of FakeRelationship. Compare TheBeard, FakeOutMakeOut, RomanticFakeRealTurn. Not to be confused with GirlfriendInCanada, which is someone bluffing that they have a lover elsewhere.



* In a commercial for Dentyne Ice gum, a man at a laundromat is throwing increasingly moronic pickup lines at a woman who is showing increasing irritation. Finally, another guy walks up, says, "Hi, honey," and kisses her, then gives her a pack of said gum she'd "wanted". The guy trying to pick her up quickly excuses himself...and when he's gone, the guy who kissed her introduces himself, shaking her hand.

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun'', where Touma attempts to do this with [[{{Tsundere}} Mikoto]]. The jig is up before it even begins.
** Chronologically later, in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'', Mikoto uses Touma to fend off the attention of someone she can't afford to offend or electrocute.
* Used in an odd sense in ''Manga/AiYoriAoshi''. Kaoru dissuades a pair of guys from making a move on Aoi with this claim...kicker being he really ''is'' [[ChildhoodMarriagePromise her fiance]], and he'd just kicked her out of his home suspecting her of being a ploy by his estranged family to get him to return (only to immediately realize his mistake). The incident kicks off the two's relationship.
* Inverted in the hentai anime ''Sex Friend''. Mina brushes off a persistent ex-lover by grabbing protagonist Takabe and claiming him as her boyfriend.
* ''Manga/FruitsBasket'': Kyo pulls a non-verbal version of this to protect Tohru from some guys that want to take advantage of her. It involves leaning on the wall next to her and glaring at them.
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Clannad}}'', in a rare reversal of roles, Nagisa pretends to be Tomoya's girlfriend at one point to get Sunohara to stop bugging Tomoya. She thought that Sunohara was gay and in love with Tomoya... just another one of [[TheGadfly Tomoya's pranks]] (in reality, Sunohara just wanted to get Tomoya to play basketball with him for totally unrelated reasons). Note that this only applies to the anime adaptation... in the Visual Novel's equivalent scene, Nagisa ''is'' Tomoya's girlfriend at that point.
* Attempted by one character in ''Manga/BlueDrop'', but it just makes the Arume he's bluffing threaten to impregnate the woman in question.
* In ''Manga/RecoveryOfAnMMOJunkie'', Lily used to get a lot of unwanted attention from male players, to the point that it almost ruined her enjoyment of the game. Eventually her guild master Kanbe suggested that she tell people they were partners, which caused the harassment to die down. In Episode 3, she asks Hayashi to become her new partner and he accepts, with Kanbe's approval (though it's also subverted, since Hayashi and Lily are slowly developing into an actual couple -- or at least their players are).
* In ''Manga/SeitokaiYakuindomo'', Aria escapes from two persistent pickup-artists at the beach by claiming that Takatoshi was her husband. [[TheNapoleon Suzu]] is less than pleased at being treated as their child.
* In ''Manga/SayILoveYou'', Mei calls Yamato in episode 1 after she's unable to reach her mother when she notices there'a a creepy guy following her. He arrives to escort her home, then gives her a kiss, which is enough to scare the guy away, while unintentionally taking her FirstKiss.
* Inverted in ''LightNovel/{{Oreshura}}''. Masuzu, the most popular girl at the school, gives a very public LoveConfession to Eita, partly because she finds his lack of interest in love fascinating, and partly to stop having so many boys ask her out everyday. She [[BlackMail forces him]] to continue pretending that they're dating by managing to get a copy of a journal he wrote fantasy stories in, and telling him that if he doesn't pretend to be her boyfriend, or he [[SecretKeeper tells anyone]] about the fake relationship, she would release the contents of the journal on the internet. Since he considers the journal to be an embarrassing OldShame, he's forced to comply with her demands. Naturally, this doesn't sit well with his ChildhoodFriend, [[ClingyJealousGirl Chiwa]], who then keeps close tabs on them.
* The ''Manga/LovePlus: Rinko Days'' manga adaptation has the protagonist invoking this to save Rinko from an angry gamer who got beaten by her in a fighting game at the local arcade. The game itself has it inverted, with Rinko being the one who pretends the player is her boyfriend.
* In ''Anime/HowlsMovingCastle'', this was how Sophie first met Howl, with him pretending to be her boyfriend to rescue her from a couple of harassing soldiers. While it managed to get the soldiers off Sophie's back, it also had the unintended effect of making the Witch of the Waste jealous of Sophie.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Bobby and Cecilia do this to throw off the Sentinels in the ''Comicbook/XMen'' comics in the 90s.

* ''FanFic/{{Rules}}'': A gender-inverted example with Light and Charlie, in order to get rid of Misa. It seems to have worked ''at first'' -- Charlie tells her, over the phone, to stay the hell away from "her man", which relieves Light of the constant emails, calls, and voicemails. However, it was just the calm before the storm, as Misa goes as far as ''showing up on campus'' to win him back. Even a FakeOutMakeOut doesn't completely deter her -- she is convinced that she can't save Light from the "American whore," and will instead ''wait for Light'', who she believes will come crawling back to her once Charlie breaks his heart. Obviously, that will never happen, as Light and Charlie aren't actually dating [[spoiler:yet]].
* In the prequel to book 1 of ''Fanfic/SevenDaysInSunnyJune'', a bunch of guys try to pick up Fluttershy, with or without her consent. Sunset Shimmer appears and poses as her hyper-aggressive girlfriend. It works, though it takes Sunset pulling out an (illusionary) gun to get them to back off.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderUK''. Matt and Alesha's relationship sparks when the team is hanging out at a pub and she's hassled by some drunken footballers. When one of them asks if she's with anyone, Matt answers for her, declaring, "She's with ''me''."

[[folder:Film - Animated]]
* Done in Disney's ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'', though in this case Al pretends Jasmine is his {{Cloudcuckoolander}} sister. Points to Jasmine for immediately getting it and playing along.
--> '''Aladdin:''' Come on sis, time to go see the doctor.
--> '''Jasmine:''' *to camel* Oh hello doctor, how are you?
--> '''Aladdin:''' Uh uh, not that one...
* In the film version of ''Anime/HowlsMovingCastle'', Howl gets Sophie away from some soldiers who are trying to pick her up by coming over and pretending to be her boyfriend, before using his magic to send them literally marching off.

[[folder:Film - Live Action]]
%%* Memorably done by John Cusack in ''Film/SayAnything''.
* ''Film/NickAndNorahsInfinitePlaylist'', in which the girl actually request it: "Be my boyfriend for five minutes."
* ''Film/TankGirl''. While Tank Girl and Jet Girl are in Water and Power's prison, Sergeant Small hits on Jet Girl. Tank Girl happens to be nearby and...
-->'''Tank Girl''': Quit pickin' on my girlfriend! [makes out with Jet Girl]
-->'''Sergeant Small''': God, that is... [disgusted look, leaves]
-->'''Jet Girl''': Thanks. It worked.
-->'''Tank Girl''': [mischievous look] What worked?
-->'''Jet Girl''': [disgusted look, leaves]
* Played with in ''Film/{{Predator 2}}''. Jerry Lambert (Bill Paxton) is at a bar. He goes over to a man talking to a woman.
-->'''Jerry''': Hey, do you mind? It's [[MySisterIsOffLimits my sister]]. [man leaves] Oh, you're not my sister.
* ''Film/MrAndMrsSmith2005'': it's how they met. They managed to avoid the ''military'' this way: they were looking for an American traveling alone.
* ''Film/BlackWidow'' (1987). Alexandra Barnes and Catharine Petersen are taking a scuba diving class. An unattractive woman with a cold asks to be Catherine's partner, but Alexandra intervenes and says that she and Catharine had already agreed to be partners, much to Catharine's relief. This example fits the trope because there was considerable subsequent romantic subtext between Alexandra and Catharine, including two kisses.
* GenderFlipped in ''Film/LegallyBlonde'', where [[HelloAttorney Elle]] pretends [[{{Geek}} a boy at her college]] broke her heart, in order to make him seem cooler and get the GirlPosse to stop haranguing him.
* In ''Film/LittleChildren'' , Brad and Sarah [[YourCheatingHeart (who are married, but not to each other)]] hug and kiss once to freak out the yuppies at the playground. [[UnresolvedSexualTension It works.]]
* In ''How To Be Single'', Lucy meets her old friend at a bar who announces her engagement and bluffs at Lucy for being single. Tom, the bartender, sees this and kisses Lucy claiming to be her boyfriend.
* ''Film/{{Hitch}}'' pretended to be the boyfriend of a woman at a bar to get rid of a guy she obviously was not interested in.
* In ''Film/UnderTheTuscanSun'', Frances grabs Marcello and pretends to be his girlfriend to escape from the men following her. This is an interesting case in that unlike many other such stories, [[spoiler: this one doesn't work out in the end.]]
* In ''Film/FilmGeek'', Niko simultaneously wards off and puts down Brandon by telling him Scotty, whom Brandon called "a spaz," is her boyfriend, and pulls him in for a kiss for good measure. Brandon is not fooled, but leaves her alone.
* Mentioned in ''Film/{{Turistas}}'': "I'm here with my little sister. I get to pretend to be the boyfriend when creepy guys try to bother her."
* ''Film/ThisMeansWar'': Lauren [[{{FakeoutMakeout}} makes out with FDR]] in which to convince her ex, Steve, that she is perfectly happy without him. FDR builds on her [[{{BlatantLies}} story of her surgeon boyfriend]] by adding that he is a [[{{UptoEleven}} neurosurgeon, head of department at a children's hospital.]] He puts the crowning touch on by calling Steve the wrong name--repeatedly. [[spoiler: The payoff comes when Steve's new fiancée clasps Lauren's hand and tells her she's "so lucky", while Steve looks ''verrry'' uncomfortable.]]
* In ''Film/BlueIsTheWarmestColor'', Adèle "accidentally" ends up in a lesbian bar, and being young, pretty, confused, and vulnerable, is of course easy pickings to be hit on. [[LoveInterest Emma]] wards them off by claiming to be Adèle's cousin, and keeps her company for the rest of the evening.
* In ''Film/WhosThatGirl'', Nikki Finn had to pose as Louden Trott's fiancee Wendy Worthington during an interview to obtain an apartment while the real Wendy was captured by Raoul and Benny.
* In ''Film/BadTeacher'', the title character runs after her chubby, nerdy student, who has just been cruelly rejected after publicly declaring his love for the most popular girl in class. After consoling him, she gives him her bra, then drags him back to where the group is waiting "angrily" claiming that she caught him making out with a high school girl. In two seconds, he goes from outcast to legend.

* Literature/AnitaBlake takes hitman Bernardo with her to a [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot werewolf biker-gang]] bar, because she believes they are unlikely to listen seriously to a woman who shows up at their hangout alone.
* Considering the above example, Granny needing to take Greebo with her to the opera in ''Discworld/{{Maskerade}}'' may count.
* In ''Literature/PaperTowns'', Q goes out pranking with Margo at the beginning of the book. Someone hits on her and makes a comment about her "little brother," ie, Q. She tells the clerk, "Actually, he's my cousin." * grabs ass* "And my lover."
* Inverted in [[Literature/TheBible the book of Genesis]], where Abraham pretends that his beautiful wife Sarah is his sister whenever he travels to a foreign country so that other men [[MurderTheHypotenuse won't try to kill him to have her]]. He actually did this ''twice''. Then [[GenerationXerox his son Isaac tried to do the same thing about his wife Rebecca]].
* Hoyt does this for Charlotte in ''I am Charlotte Simmons'', pretending to be her brother to protect from a drunk hockey player. He does this largely because he wants to be romantically involved with her. Since his interest in her is very nearly as predatory....
* In the book, ''Son of the Mob'', this is how the titular mob boss's son meets and eventually starts dating the daughter of an FBI agent.
* Occurs a couple of times in Robert Asprin's ''Literature/MythAdventures'' series as a con gambit: a sexy young woman comes onto a guy, and as they're getting cozy, her companion/s burst in, claiming to be brothers, boyfriends or general protectors, protecting the girl's honour. The first time it's used, Skeeve is the mark, and the intent is to rob him. Later it comes back, with the same woman using a variant on the scheme to make the soldiers look like cads.
* GenderFlipped in ''{{Literature/Everworld}}''--the group encounters the Amazons, who seem prepared to take any unclaimed man for themselves. [[TokenEvilTeammate Senna]] claims that [[HeroicWannabe David]] is hers, which is [[MoreThanMindControl kind of true]], while [[TheSmartGuy Jalil]] is claimed by [[TheChick April]], to his surprise. [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Christopher]] is claimed by no one and willingly taken away by the Amazon queen. He claims they just cuddled.
* In the third book, {{Literature/A Storm Of Swords}} in the {{Literature/A Song Of Ice And Fire}} series, Gendry pretends to be Arya's older brother to repel the advances toward Arya from older creepy men at a brothel. Arya is surprised and upset by Gendry saying this and asserts that he's not her brother probably because she has a huge crush on him.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''Series/{{Cheers}}'':
** Inverted in the first season episode "Any Friend of Diane's," where Sam has rejected Diane's college friend Rebecca for being boring. To spare Rebecca's feelings, Diane says Sam turned her down because he and Diane are a couple (much to both Rebecca and Sam's surprise). Of course, once Diane says that, Sam and Diane use the opportunity to back-handedly insult and torture one another in front of Rebecca.
** The last episode had Rebecca pretending to be Sam's girlfriend, while Diane's gay friend pretended to be her boyfriend.
* Ross tried to do this for Rachel on ''Series/{{Friends}}'', but it was unwanted because Rachel was actually interested in the guy.
* Orson does this for Susan in ''Series/DesperateHousewives''.
* ''Series/{{Fringe}}'', Olivia and Peter are at a bar looking to get information from a contact. They make their contact, and Olivia begins pumping him for information. She introduces Peter not as her boyfriend but as her brother. Later, Peter asks about the "brother" comment, to which Olivia replies something like "Trust me, it works better that way."
* Alex pretends to be Elaine's boyfriend "Bill Board" on ''Series/{{Taxi}}''.
* ''Series/RizzoliAndIsles'' has a LesYay laden version in a scene where the titular characters dissuade a mechanic from romantically pursuing one of them by pretending to be a couple.
* In ''Series/GilmoreGirls'', Emily and Richard invite Rory to a "Yale Party," during which she quickly realizes that she is the only young woman amidst dozens of [[UpperClassTwit eligible young men.]] When a particularly sleazy one starts to hit on her, [[ThirdOptionLoveInterest Logan]] walks in.
* Gabrielle gets a man to do this in the ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'' pilot.
* Inverted in the 1990's Australian PoliceProcedural mini-series ''Phoenix 2''. A detective is confronted by a suspect he's following, so he pretends to be meeting his wife, a female bystander whom he surreptitiously shows his badge. The suspect goes on to meet his contact. At the end of the episode the detective mentions that she's rung him up to ask him out.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': In "The Time of the Doctor," Clara asks the Doctor if he'd like to pretend to be her boyfriend for when her parents come over for Christmas dinner. He dutifully arrives, but he makes the worst possible impression upon the family--''[[ItMakesSenseInContext he's stark naked!]]''
* Invoked in an episode of Series/GraceLand, where a female FBI agent going undercover in a BadGuyBar instructs a male fellow agent to pose as her cocky, possessive boyfriend so she won't be mobbed by unsavory guys while trying to focus on her target.
* Captain Janeway and Lt. Cmdr. Tuvok pretend to be romantically involved in the ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' episode "Critical Care" when talking to one of the people who was involved with a thief that stole the Doctor and his mobile emitter from ''Voyager.''
* Major Kira and Odo also pretend to be romantically involved when they were dealing with someone who was pursuing Kira in an episode of ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine.''
* Suberted in the ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' episode "Designated Target." Ziva asks Tony how to tell someone you no longer want to speak with them while speaking with someone else on the phone. Tony helpfully takes the phone, pretends to be her husband, and threatens bodily harm to the person on the other end. A shocked Ziva informs him he's just yelled at her aunt, who had called asking her for advice on how to stop seeing her elderly mah-jong partner.
* In ''Series/{{Sonny With A Chance}}'', Sonny pretends to be Grady's girlfriend while his brother Grant is visiting.
* In ''Series/ThePretender'' episode "Prison Story", Jarod uses it to rescue a woman being harassed about her jailbird father.
* In ''Series/EnemyAtTheDoor'' episode "The Jerrybag", Peter intervenes when he comes across a young woman being harassed by a couple of German soldiers, apologizing for being late to an invented rendezvous. It doesn't entirely work, since the Germans are confident they have him outmatched physically and in authority, and he has to do some more fast talking to get them both away unscathed.
* ''Series/StrongMedicine''. Kayla asks Peter to pose as her fiance when her ex comes to town for a visit. Sure enough, they start dating soon afterwards.

* In ''On A Clear Day You Can See Forever'', Edward sends off some ne'er-do-wells by pretending to be Melinda's brother, and singing "Don't Tamper With My Sister," an entire song about not going about that kind of thing (in public).

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the game ''VideoGame/StarOceanTillTheEndOfTime'', in order to get a pushy woman away from him, [[BrilliantButLazy Fayt]] pretends that his friend [[LikeBrotherAndSister Sophia]] is his girlfriend. At first she's [[InaneBlabbering left very shocked]], but quickly catches on and goes along with it. After this all, she states that she didn't really mind being considered his girlfriend, which bumps up their RelationshipValues.
** Similarly, in VideoGame/StarOceanTheLastHope, if you head back to the base on Aeos, Commander Graft will think Edge and Reimi are a couple. Like the above example, pretending this is true is the more favorable response. Amusingly enough, [[spoiler:it's very heavily implied the two hook up in the ending.]]
* In the Videogame/{{Yakuza}} games it's quite common for the player character to do this with hostesses they romance. Tanimura in Yakuza 4 can take a mission where he pretends to be a woman's boyfriend in order to drive away her ex for an extended period.
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyCrystalChroniclesEchoesOfTime'' you can find a girl being hit on much to her annoyance. You can step in and pretend to be her boyfriend, or [[LesYay girlfriend]], and the guy will back off.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/MyCandyLove'' one of the endings for the episode where Amber tries to slap you is Castiel throwing an arm around your Candy and saying "Are you trying to bother my girlfriend, Amber?" Which is a rare example of this trope being used to defend a female from another female.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Inverted (unsuccessfully) by [[TheCasanova Sven]] attempting to escape an old girlfriend by claiming he's in a relationship with [[{{Tsundere}} Faye]] in ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent''. Unfortunately for him, Faye is fed up with his antics and simply bluntly explains the situation to the other woman.
* This trope has appeared twice in ''Webcomic/StickyDillyBuns'':
** "Rudy" saves "Dilla" from an attempted chat-up with a "Get lost. I saw her first." The twist there is that both are DisguisedInDrag -- "Dilla" is actually Dillon, and "Rudy" is Ruby. Given that Ruby is usually rather nervous and easily embarrassed, and she bluffs down a guy who's larger than herself to help someone she doesn't even like very much, this is a bit of a personal CrowningMomentOfAwesome for her.
** Later, Dillon is saved ''again'' by his OldFriend Ray, who pretends to be his boyfriend to get rid of a girl who's making moves on Dillon despite Dillon's visible lack of interest. The twist this time is that Ray actually identifies as straight, and doesn't know that Dillon is actually gay -- with a massive unrequited crush on Ray.
* Breadbun attempts this in ''Webcomic/TriggerStar'' to get away from Quiche. At first, [[http://www.triggerstar.com/index.php?strip_id=478 it doesn't work,]] but then [[http://www.triggerstar.com/index.php?strip_id=482 it works all too well.]] Despite this, Quiche is not entirely put off.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''WebVideo/{{No Boys Dorm}}'': After Lara's apartment burns down, her brother Leon invites her to stay with him at the boys' dorm at the Academy. However, the rules state that no girl can stay in the boys' dorm longer than an hour- unless she's dating an Elite student. To save her from being thrown out, Takashi Tesumi- who is, in fact, Elite- covers for her and claims to be her boyfriend.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' parodying ''Film/{{Titanic 1997}}'', Fry is simultaneously pretending to be Amy's boyfriend so her parents will stop harassing her about [[IWantGrandkids giving them grandchildren]] and pretending to be Leela's boyfriend to keep her from being harassed by [[AbhorrentAdmirer Zap Brannigan]].
* PlayedWith in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra.'' In "A Leaf in the Wind", Korra tries to sneak into the Pro-Bending Arena in order to watch a match, but is caught by the gym supervisor. Bolin, who is a member of the Fire Ferrets team playing that night, witnesses everything and walks up to explain to the supervisor that she is with him. Korra, confirms the story, [[PlayingWithATrope but also says that she is just "with him", not]] "''[[PlayingWithATrope with]]'' [[PlayingWithATrope him"]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad,'' Hayley is in Saudia Arabia without a male escort when the Police of Vice and Virtue find her, only for a random guy named Kazi to come up and pretend to be her brother. [[GuyOfTheWeek Short-term romance ensues]].
* In the ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'' episode "Helga's Boyfriend" Helga enlists Stinky to be her boyfriend in order to make Arnold jealous.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* There was some talk of a UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity mugger who would approach people (usually women) and say "walk with me." His cover story was that ''he'' was being stalked/robbed, and if his stalker saw he had a companion they would back off. Of course he got his victim into an alley or other secluded location and then robbed them.
* 18th/early 19th century con men in France. The bait was an [[{{Bishonen}} attractive teenage boy]], and as soon as bait and mark were in a compromising position another accomplice would come by to barge in on the two. He would declare himself to be the unlucky younger party's older brother, or father (or simply a policeman) and threaten the mark into paying up to keep him from going to the police about this horrible affront to the young boy's decency.
* This [[https://notalwaysright.com/busted-on-the-bus-video-2/31780/#more-31780 Not Always Friendly]] anecdote.
* Many women point out that this is TruthInTelevision as guys making unwanted advances discount their opinions in refusing said advances; only being "taken", or "owned" by another man does, whether he is there or not.
* Creator/PattiSmith did this once as a girl in New York, to ward off said unwanted advance. She saw a man she knew slightly and ran to him saying "Pretend you're my boyfriend!" He did. He was Creator/RobertMapplethorpe. They moved in together, did art together, and remained devoted friends for the rest of their lives.