Faux Interracial Relationship

Darryl: So, what are you?
Elaine: I'm white.
Darryl: So, we're just a couple of white people?
Elaine: I guess.
Darryl: Oh.
Elaine: Yeah. So, do you want to go to the Gap?
Darryl: Sure.

Mostly a Dead Horse Trope.

A pair of characters (or one of a pair of characters) is in love, but because they are of different ethnicities, they don't actually pair up, out of fear of a Maligned Mixed Marriage. Then it's revealed or discovered that they aren't of different ethnicities after all, and everything is fine and they happily get together.


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  • The short story "La Gitanilla" by Miguel De Cervantes (known for Don Quixote): Preciosa, the heroine, is described several times as being more refined than the other Roma girls she is raised alongside. When a young Spanish nobleman falls in love with her, he soon discovers that she is actually Spanish and was kidnapped and raised by a Roma woman as her granddaughter.
  • The novel The Sheik by E.M. Hull. Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan isn't Arab after all.
  • Also appears in the sequel, The Sons Of The Sheik: Yasmin, the Love Interest, is actually French.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo: The Phoebus/Esmeralda relationship is this as Esmeralda is revealed near the end to be a French girl by birth swapped for Quasimodo. This is subverted with the Quasimodo/Esmeralda relationship though, as while Esmeralda is French by birth, Quasimodo is Romani by birth.
  • Fantastic Racism example in Five Hundred Years After. Khaavren, the main protagonist, has a Meet Cute with his future wife, and toward the end of book mentions that while he loves her, he regrets that their relationship won't work because she is of a different House (basically a race) than he is. She then reveals that while she dresses like a member of one House, she actually belongs to the same House as him. The fictional narrator then comments how great it was that this impediment was cleared up.
  • In The Mark Of The Tala by Jeffe Kennedy, Rayfe is one of the Tala, magical shapeshifters who are called "demons" by King Uorsin's people. The princess Andromeda's deceased mother, however, passed her Tala lineage and magic on to her daughter (that coupled with the blood of her father's ancient Tala ancesters) making Andromeda qualify as one of the same.

    Live-Action Television 
  • Seinfeld:
    • In one episode, Elaine thinks the guy she's going out with is black, but she's not quite sure, and spends the episode trying to find out without directly asking. It turns out he's white and had also been thinking they were in an interracial relationship-due to mistaking Elaine for Hispanic.
    • In another episode, Jerry falls for a woman named Chang over the phone, believing that she's Chinese - but it turns out she's Jewish. The family name was originally "Changstein."
  • Cold Case had at least one example of the Pass Fail variation.