->''"These guys are just my servants!"''
-->-- '''Mao''', ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}''

So you have two characters who seem to work well together and they seem to have a decent relationship going on. They are loyal to one another and seem to respect each other very well. You can tell that they're friends, right?

Well, in the case of one particular character, not exactly.

This is the trope where a character flat out denies his (or her or [[AmbiguousGender whatever]]) friendship with one or another for some reason. Perhaps the character is either TheLancer who has trouble getting along with TheHero and doesn't like [[TeethClenchedTeamwork working with]] them that much. They may be a [[IWorkAlone natural-born loner]] who isn't concerned about ''intimate'' friendship. Or they're just a prideful {{Jerkass}} who thinks that having friends makes them uncool and [[BadassDecay less of a badass]]. But note that in spite of all of these reasons, that doesn't mean the person wants to wish death on them. When the chips are down, they still do help out their 'friend' because it's the [[GoodSamaritan right thing to do]].

Sometimes, other versions of this trope would be that the character may not be in denial after all. Reasons being that the character doesn't ''fully'' know the hero since in order to be a friend, you must be intimate to know who they are; most examples of this would have a NiceGuy call the other "buddy", "pal", or "friend", but the offended character responds with "I'm not your buddy/pal/friend." A character in the workforce is appointed to work with a group of people, but friendship isn't a part of his job description since [[BeingPersonalIsntProfessional Being Personal Isn't Professional]]. Even to the extremes, the character in question is actually the hero's [[ArchEnemy arch-nemesis]] either by honesty or [[FalseFriend revealance]]. Obvious, isn't it?

On a brighter note, there are high chances for the character to consider that the other character is truly their friend, and from that point on, the bond will become stronger and better than it was before. If they are ''not'' technically friends, [[FireForgedFriends they will soon become closer as the series progresses]].

This is often common in crime scenes where a character denies friendship with the second party as a ruse to escape responsibility for their crimes, especially in a trial. There is also the reverse situation, where a character doesn't want their enemies to find out about the friendship [[ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies to protect the friend from becoming a target]].

This could be the character trait of one or two characters in duo of VitriolicBestBuds. A group of characters can do this to one particular person in their group, which is TheFriendNobodyLikes. Can be the kind of relationship the RagtagBunchOfMisfits would have. Often related to HiddenHeartOfGold. Can be utilized as the tool to permanently end a friendship, which is WeUsedToBeFriends, or at least temporarily in a FeudEpisode.

Compare ShesNotMyGirlfriend and JustFriends for the more romantic versions.



[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', Uryu Ishida will make it very clear that he and Ichigo are not best friends, despite being an frequent ally to him and the other Soul Reapers.
* Subverted in ''Anime/CodeGeass'': when Suzaku first shows up at Ashford Academy, he tells Lelouch that it's better for them to do this, since being associated with an Eleven might raise too many questions; Suzaku is one of the few people who knows Lelouch is an exiled Britannian prince, which is how they met in the first place seven years earlier. Lelouch goes along with it for a while, but after Suzaku saves him from falling out of the school's clocktower he openly declares in front of the student body that they're friends, and asks StudentCouncilPresident Milly to give Suzaku a position on the council. This wasn't just motivated by the life-saving, but because Lelouch knew Suzaku was being bullied and harassed for being Japanese and wanted to put an end to it.
* This happens in ''Anime/DragonballZ'' when Piccolo became infuriated of being defeated by the androids, but the others try to calm him down:
-->'''Krillin''': Wh-what's that look on your face? Do you have a plan?! C'mon, tell us! We're your friends!
-->'''Piccolo''': Friends?! Don't press your luck. When do you think I became your friend? I'm a demon! Don't you ever forget that!! [[BlatantLies I'm merely using you — to take over the world!!]]
* ''Anime/{{Noir}}'': Mirielle needed Kirika to stay alive to help her find the answers to Soldats, but this doesn't change the fact that both are HeterosexualLifePartners with a dose of HoYay.
* Lina Inverse and Naga the White Serpent in ''{{Anime/Slayers}}'' [=OVAs=] and movies are VitriolicBestBuds who will vehemently deny that they are best buds, or any kind of buds. Both claim that the other is their sidekick. Or rival, depending on the mood.
* In the first season of ''Anime/SonicX'', [[TheRival Knuckles]] would occasionally deny being friends with Franchise/{{Sonic|The Hedgehog}}, but this is due to his disapproval of the hedgehog's reckless nature and [[DeadpanSnarker snarky attitude]]. It also doesn't help that Knuckles is quite [[GreeneyedMonster jealous]] of Sonic's freedom and popularity while he is a loner tasked with guarding the Master Emerald.
* [[TheProtagonist Yugami]] from ''Manga/YugamiKunNiWaTomodachiGaInai'' is a [[LeaveMeAlone deliberate loner]] who happily [[{{DefiedTrope}} defies]] ThePowerOfFriendship and is [[LonersAreFreaks ignored by his classmates]] because they find him a pain to deal with. Despite his BrutalHonesty, NewTransferStudent [[IJustWantToHaveFriends Chi]][[{{Narrator}} hiro]] talks to him often. Classmates start wondering if the two are friends because ''no one'' has been able to talk to Yugami for more than five minutes -- except Chihiro. Any suggestion of a friendship between them is shot down by ''both'' parties, however.

[[folder: Film]]
* Jack of ''[[Film/FortyEightHours 48 Hours]]'' has this quote that comes in mind as he forms a grudging partnership with Reggie, a convict, to hunt down Ganz:
-->'''Jack''': Now, get this! We ain't partners. We ain't brothers. And we ain't friends. I'm puttin' you down and keepin' you down until Ganz is locked up or dead. And if Ganz gets away, you're gonna be sorry YOU ever MET me!
* Ray Jackson of ''Film/BloodSport'' has this memorable phrase:
-->"I ain't your pal, dickface."
* From ''Film/JerryMaguire'':
-->'''Bob Sugar''': It's not 'show friends'. It's 'show business'.
* ''Film/OceansEleven'' has the two Malloy twins having this exchange:
-->'''Turk Malloy''': Watch it, bud.
-->'''Virgil Malloy''': Who you calling bud, pal?
-->'''Turk Malloy''': Who you calling pal, friend?
-->'''Virgil Malloy''': Who you calling friend, jackass?
-->'''Turk Malloy''': Don't call me a jackass.
-->'''Virgil Malloy''': I just did call you a jackass.
* In ''Film/PineappleExpress'', Dale and Saul fall into this trope after Dale got himself arrested for smoking a joint and selling weed to middle school kids, also escaping from the police. The two got into an argument, in which Dale tells Saul that they were never friends and never will be. The two did reconcile at the end of the movie, however.
* Vincent and Butch have a short conversation of this in ''Film/PulpFiction'':
-->'''Butch''': You lookin at something, friend?
-->'''Vincent''': You ain't my friend, Palooka.
-->'''Butch''': What's that?
-->'''Vincent''': I think you heard me just fine, Punchy.
* In ''Film/RoleModels'', Wheeler begins a rather rocky bond with [[MouthyKid Ronnie Shields]]:
-->'''Wheeler''': You ready, pal?
-->'''Ronnie''': I ain't your pal, vanilla.

[[folder: Light Novels]]
* In ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'', Chi tells Christopher that he doesn't consider him as a friend, but he considers him as somebody he wants to kill despite that he never gone through it due to circumstances.

[[folder: Literature]]
* In ''Literature/TheKiteRunner'', Hassan considers Amir a friend, but Amir considers him anything but. This is only because Hassan is Amir's servant as he points out to [[DepravedBisexual Assef]]. He's also a bit jealous of how his father treats Hassan.

[[folder: Live-Action TV]]
* In the ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' episode "The Excelsior Acquisition", we have Sheldon and Penny introducing themselves to Creator/StanLee.
-->'''Penny''': Hi. I'm Penny. This is my friend Sheldon.
-->'''Sheldon''': We're not friends at the moment. Depends on how this goes.
* The ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "Lover's Walk" has Buffy telling Angel that they aren't friends and never will be just after telling him that she's not coming back.
* ''Series/TheCosbyShow'': A parental example has Cliff trying to tell Rudy that he's her friend, but Rudy responds that he's her dad.
* The episode "It's A Book" from ''Series/JonAndKatePlusEight'' has the young Leah Gosselin saying this:
-->"Don't call me buddy. Call me Leah."
* At the end of the second episode of ''Series/{{Luther}}'', [[GoodIsNotNice the titular character]] and [[AffablyEvil Alice Morgan]] have this conversation:
-->'''Alice Morgan''': ''(3-hand salute)'' Brownies honor.
-->'''John Luther''': One coffee doesn't make us friends.
* From the episode "[[Recap/MysteryScienceTheater3000S09E10TheFinalSacrifice The Final Sacrifice]]" in ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'':
-->'''Satoris''': Why don't you ask your friend when he arrives?
-->'''Crow T. Robot''': Ha. The joke's on you. I don't have any friends.
* ''Series/{{Merlin}}'': Frequently between the titular character and Arthur.
* Shortly after the escape from Fox River in ''Series/PrisonBreak'', Michael makes Tweener travel solo away from the other members of the escape team since he was known to be a snitch. When Tweener pleads with him and calls him a bro, Michael had something to say about it.
-->'''Michael Scofield''': You and me? We're not bros.
* ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'':
** In ''The Hounds of Baskerville'', the interaction between [[OddFriendship Sherlock Holmes and John Waston]] skirts around this. Sherlock outright states to John that he has no friends, though he later amends that by saying "I don't have ''friends'', [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming I just have one]].
** From ''The Blind Banker'', when Sherlock introduces John to an acquaintance of his from university, Sebastian Wilkes:
---> '''Sherlock:''' This is my friend, Dr John Watson.\\
'''John:''' Colleague.
* ''Series/That70sShow'' examples:
** In "Jackie's Cheese Squeeze" in where Eric tells Jackie not to tell anyone they're friends after their talk about setting things straight with Eric whom Jackie had kissed.
** In "Bring It Home", when Jackie needs a place to stay:
--->'''Eric''': Donna, you have to let her stay with you. Come on, she's your best friend.
--->'''Donna''': She's not my best friend.
--->'''Eric''': Well, then who's your best friend?
--->'''Donna''': Oh crap. How the hell did that happen?
* From the ''Series/TwoAndAHalfMen'' episode "An Old Flame With A New Wick":
-->'''Alan''': Nice guy. Poker buddy?
-->'''Charlie''': Yeah, I used to-- And don't call me 'buddy'.
* The pilot episode of ''The West Wing'':
-->'''Laurie''': Tell your friend P.O.T.U.S. he's got a funny name, and he should learn how to ride a bicycle.
-->'''Sam Seaborn''': I would, but he's not my friend; he's my boss.

[[folder: Music]]
* Lead singer of Music/AliceInChains Layne Staley states in his final interview before his tragic death that he never bothered to call the rest of his AIC members to help him with his drug addiction and states that said members are not his friends.
* The opening statements of "Birdhouse In Your Soul" by They Might Be Giants implies that they are not a friend in a traditional sense, but their job as the protector of its owner is the closest thing to one:
-->"I'm your only friend; I'm not your only friend, but I'm a little glowing friend, but really I'm not actually your friend, but I am."
* This verse of "Automatic Stop" by The Strokes deal with the a guy and a girl who have ended their romantic relationship and realize that they aren't friends to begin with after knowing each other for a short period of time:
-->Wait, I'm gonna give it a break.
-->I'm not you friend,
-->I never was.
* Rapper [[Music/FiftyCent 50 Cent]] has a quote similar to the one from ''[[Film/FortyEightHours 48 Hours]]'' in both of his songs "Life's On The Line" and "Get In My Car".
-->"We ain't buddies, we ain't partners, and we damn sure ain't friends."

[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* Before teaming up with [[Wrestling/DwayneJohnson The Rock]] in a match, Wrestling/StoneColdSteveAustin states in an interview that both arch-rivals are partners for the main event and do have respect for one another, but as for the friends part, "[[CatchPhrase Hell No!]]". The Rock was thinking the same way, too.

[[folder: Religion and Mythology]]
* OlderThanFeudalism: This trope was prophesied in the Literature/TheFourGospels. UsefulNotes/{{Jesus}} tells Peter that he will deny Him [[RuleOfThree three times]] before the rooster crows, but Peter assures Him that he will never do that to Him. However, as Jesus was arrested that night, somebody in the crowd asks Peter was he with Jesus. Trying to avoid getting himself into further trouble, Peter responds with "No! I do not know Him!". As the rooster crows and with Jesus looking at him, Peter [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone realizes that he was wrong]].

[[folder: Theatre]]
* At the beginning of ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'', Glinda has to deny her friendship with the recently deceased Elphaba for political reasons.
* The plot of ''Theatre/DearEvanHansen'' revolves around an inversion of this trope. After Connor's suicide, the Murphys believe that he and Evan were friends, and Evan [[CannotSpitItOut is unable to tell them that they're wrong.]] (Blame the anxiety) The rest of the show is caused by this event.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* Mao seems to have this kind of attitude in ''VideoGame/Disgaea3AbsenceOfJustice''. He would throw a temper-tantrum whenever someone offers kindness or friendship. He also denies having an arraigned FriendlyRivalry with Raspberyl.
* Falco has something to say to the lava birds in ''VideoGame/StarFox64'':
-->'''Falco''': I ain't your buddy! Go away!
* [[SociopathicHero Jade Curtiss]] of ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' seem to have this sort of opinion about the other protagonists despite actually learning about ThePowerOfFriendship:
-->'''Jade''': I don't know about "friends", but we do have an awkward bond of sorts.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'': An arrogant business man sitting next to the Warners on a plane declares that "I'd rather be eaten by cannibals than be your 'special friend'!" [[TemptingFate He soon comes to regret his words]]. Doubles as a BrickJoke when he escapes the plane to land on a desert island.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'': Arthur and Molly (one of the Tough Customers bullies) spend time and get along together when Molly's mom makes her let Arthur & DW use their backyard pool. They agree to act like they hate each other when there are other people around.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'' has Huey being interviewed about about him [[EnemyMine teaming with]] [[BoomerangBigot Uncle Ruckus]] after they decide to leave town and go to Canada due to the election of UsefulNotes/BarackObama:
-->'''Huey''': First of all, we're not a team. Second of all, we're not a team. [[IWasJustPassingThrough I've got gas money, he's got the license]]. We're just gonna drive to Canada and to go on separate ways.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': In one episode Peter and Meg are forced to spend time together and realize that they actually like each other; but they agree that Peter will still act like a jerk to her when they're not alone.
* Happens at least twice in ''WesternAnimation/IceAge'', though it isn't a ''real'' denial since Manny knows neither Sid nor Diego at this time.
-->'''Manny''': (''to Sid'') There is no "we". There never ''was'' a "we"! In fact, without me, there wouldn't even be a ''you''!
** When Manny and Sid meet Diego for the first time
-->'''Diego''': Name's Diego, friend.
-->'''Manny''': Manfred. And I'm not your friend.
* From the episode "Unjustly Neglected Drama" of ''WesternAnimation/TheLifeAndTimesOfTim'', an actor is interrogated by a detective whether or not is he friends with Tim. He denies it. In fact, the denial was a line that was used from a play:
-->'''Chipper''': He's not my frieeeend. [[LargeHam He's not anything to meeeee]].
* ''WesternAnimation/MonstersInc'': When Sully and Mike get banished to the North Pole, Mike sulks and the Yeti points out that Mike is lucky to be banished with his best friend, Mike, due to being angry with Sully, says, "he is ''not'' my friend!".
* Fluttershy does this to Discord in ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode "Keep Calm and Flutter On" after he starts causing havoc in Ponyville. This actually pivots his HeelFaceTurn as he realizes he actually wants her friendship (being the first he's ever had due to his callous pranks), after which she is perfectly happy to take him in.
* From ''WesternAnimation/ThePebbleAndThePenguin'':
-->'''Hubie''': Hey buddy, looks like we're two birds of a feather.
-->'''Rocko''': Don't call me buddy!
-->'''Hubie''': And, gee, it looks like I got me a friend!
* Rippen of ''WesternAnimation/PennZeroPartTimeHero'' is somewhat fond of his henchman Larry (who is both [[UndyingLoyalty absurdly loyal]] and [[CuddleBug very affectionate]]) but refuses to admit this to anyone, even himself.
* ''WesternAnimation/PussInBoots'': When Humpty Dumpty asks Puss if he wants to be friends with him again (they stopped being friends as teens after going too far with their [[StickyFingers thieving]] tendencies and Puss blaming Humpty), but Puss states that he and Humpty are not friends.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'':
** From the episode "Canada On Strike":
--->'''Stephen Abootman''': Look, guy. We have to stay strong. If you don't stand with your fellow Canadians, then you are a rat!
--->'''Terrance''': Don't call me a rat, buddy.
--->'''Stephen Abootman''': I'm not your buddy, friend.
--->'''Phillip''': He's not your friend, guy.
--->'''Stephen Abootman''': I'm not your guy, buddy.
--->'''Terrance''': He's not your buddy, friend.
--->'''Stephen Abootman''': I'm not your friend, guy.
** In "The Death Of Eric Cartman" the other boys deny [[{{Jerkass}} Eric]] as their friend and state that they will start ignoring him from this point on.
--->'''Token''': Ignoring him? How come?
--->'''Kyle''': Because he's a [[FatBastard fat]], [[PoliticallyIncorrectVillain racist]], [[ItsAllAboutMe self-centered]], [[FeelingOppressedByTheirExistence intolerant]], [[ManipulativeBastard manipulating]] [[TheSociopath sociopath]].
--->'''Token''': Oh. Yeah.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** In an episode set on the first day of school, class nerd Martin greets class bully Nelson as an old friend, since they had spent their summer together at space camp; but Nelson tries to downplay their relationship.
** In another episode, the kids of Springfield go to Shelbyville to find their missing lemon tree, and Nelson & Martin are paired up. When Martin gets in trouble, he calls upon Nelson for help:
--->'''Martin''': No one manhandles the bosom chum of Nelson Muntz. Spring forth, burly protector, and save me!
--->''(long pause; the kids look around)''
--->'''Nelson''': Aw, jeez. I never hang out with him, normally.
** Subverted in "Treehouse Of Horror XX", when Dracula, the Mummy, Frankenstein's monster and the Wolfman arrive at the Simpsons' house.
--->'''Marge''': Friends of Homer's?
--->'''Homer''': They're not my friends.
--->'''Count Dracula''': We brought a bottle of booze. Booooze!
--->'''Homer''': Come in, come in.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'': On occasions, [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Spongebob]] just can't take a hint of the fact that Squidward is everything but his friend.
* [[WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder Lord Hater]] is the king of this trope--justifiably at first, as he's ''not'' Wander's friend, but [[CharacterizationMarchesOn far less plausibly as Season 2 progresses]] and he begins doing things like ask for Wander's help to get him a date with his crush. He similarly denies his friendship with Peepers in Season 1 ("Got it, pal? Psych! We're not pals! Hater out!"), despite the fact that they both consider each other friends. {{Lampshaded}} by Wander in the MusicalEpisode.
--> '''Wander:''' ''I know you try to deny it…''
--> '''Hater:''' I ''do'' deny it 'cause we're ''not!''
--> '''Wander:''' ''Chase me 'round the galaxy and try to hide it''

[[folder: Real Life]]
* It is used to hide some aspects of an individual that aren't mainstream of the social group like hiding that the individual likes X series or that hobby that isn't that well viewed in society. Reasons vary.
* Real Madrid football player Xabi Alonso admitted that he has no friendship with fellow Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, but in the football field, there is, as he quotes, "appreciation" and "professional respect" for each other.