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Headbutt of Love

When you find a friend in a state of great emotional distress, the appropriate response is a three-step process: Hug her, kiss her forehead, then press your forehead against hers. Murmuring soothing words or wiping away her tears is optional. Both males and females are welcome to take part in this trope, but it's rare for a male character to be a recipient from a female, probably because he's usually taller. This pose is also handy so two can be close to each other without obscuring faces from the camera.

Also known to less trope-savvy folk as "(doing) the forehead thing."

See Headbutt Thermometer for when foreheads touch to check temperature.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

     Anime And Manga  
  • Eureka and Renton of Eureka Seven headbutts with love quite often, since their First Kiss is saved for the final episode.
  • Lovely Complex: Koizumi and Otani share a headbutt of love after Otani passes his entrance exam.
  • Done literally in Mahou Sensei Negima! from Nagi to Arika, when the latter was caught up in Heroic Self-Deprecation and needed to be reminded that Nagi loved her.
  • Medabots has one. When Ikki's about to head out to face Big Bad of Season 1, Erika closes in... Everyone is shocked and wondering if she'll kiss him, but instead she delivers a Headbutt Of Luck. Given that she's a Tsundere (albeit type B) this may or may not express the kiss itself.
  • Naruto: Itachi lovingly headbutts Sasuke at the end of chapter 590.
  • A male-to-male version appears in Ouran High School Host Club, between the twins. Sometimes this is acting to play up their twincest appeal; other times it's genuine.
  • Shown in a more violent way in Soul Eater. Justin gives a headbutt to Giriko, while yelling, "Headbutt of love!"
  • Toradora!:
    • A somewhat violent version of this trope is used here but it is still heart-warming.
    • It also happens to be the very final scene of the anime series. And yes, Ryuuji and Taiga do hook up at the end.
  • Mekakucity Actors: Shintaro and Mary are shown sharing one during Episode 11, when we are shown Queen!Mary and Shintaro promising to never forget the tragedy they've witnessed, and Mary gifts Shintaro with the "Retaining Eyes" snake, so he truly can never forget.

     Comic Books 
  • Daken: Daken twice in the #8 issue of his comic, thought it's not romantic. The power of using his pheromones to control people's emotions works best when he's in close contact, and that's as close as he can get without kissing.
  • Used frequently in ElfQuest, mostly since elves don't kiss.

     Fan Works 

     Film - Animated 
  • Aladdin: "I choose you, Aladdin." It brings both Jasmine and Aladdin's desires together: she gets the freedom to choose, he's loved for being himself, and there's nothing preventing them from being together. And then they bop heads.
  • Hercules: Megara and Hercules share one.
  • Hiccup and Toothless share one towards the end of How to Train Your Dragon 2. It shows that Hiccup really has forgiven Toothless for killing his father while mind-controlled and that their relationship is stronger than ever.
  • The Lion King:
    • Sarabi and Mufasa bump their heads at the beginning of the film when their cub Simba is being presented.
    • Simba and Nala headbutt lovingly during their reunion. Cute and sexy.
    • Simba and his mother Sarabi greet each other with this gesture when they meet after being separated.
  • In Spirited Away, Chihiro and the boy formerly known as Haku perform a Headbutt of Love during freefall. Up to Eleven.
  • The two brothers in Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War do this right before parting for the last time right in the middle of a brutal Korean War battle.
  • In Tangled, the Queen presses her forehead on Rapunzel's.
  • WALL•E: EVE and Wall-E, two robots in love, share one of these. It's almost too cute.

     Film - Live Action 
  • Two Army Rangers headbutts after they have safely gotten back to base at the end of Black Hawk Down, presumably being both too manly and too freaking tired to hug. If done while wearing helmets, this is known as "Turtle Fucking".
  • How Sidd and Hasini meet in Bommarillu.
  • Clueless: Cher gently bumps her head into Josh's forehead at the wedding party at the end of the movie.
  • In G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Ripcord bumps his suit helmet on Scarlett's motorcycle helmet after his Diving Save.
  • Near the end of Gladiator, once Maximus and Juba have become close friends, they bump foreheads before Maximus enters the ring.
  • Done in Godzilla (2014) between the male and female MUTOs when they meet up. It's surprisingly adorable.
  • In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, this was how Dwalin and Balin greet each other, although with dwarves, it's more of a full contact headbutting. A weary version occurs between them in Balin's flashback when they both discovered they survived the Battle of Azanulbizar, surrounded by a field of dead dwarves.
  • In the film version of The Hunger Games, a platonic version occurs when Cinna headbutts Katniss as a way to comfort her seconds before she entered the stadium.
  • In 2011 version of Jane Eyre, Jane and Mr Rochester headbutt in a loving gesture in front of blooming trees.
  • Lord of the Rings:
    • Aragorn and Arwen did this in a sweet flashback.
    • Théoden and Éowyn in The Return of the King.
    • According to the Making Of, at least a few of the cast and crew. There's often a real emphasis placed on the 'headbutt' part.
      Elijah Wood: I don't know where that comes from. It's... I think it's like... it's spontaneous, violent love.
  • Jamukha and Temudgin headbutt in a friendly way in Mongol, partly because they're drunk.
  • Happens at the end of Pacific Rim between Raleigh and Mako when you'd normally expect a Big Damn Kiss. Despite some Ship Tease earlier in the film, this throws some ambiguity into whether their relationship is romantic or platonic after they link their minds.
  • Will and Elizabeth share one in the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
  • Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice as an alternative to a kiss.
  • Santa Claus Conquers the Martians: This is apparently how Martians greet each other. Poked fun at in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation:
    Crow: [as Kimar, to Momar] Hey, what, no headbutt this morning? Honeymoon over?
  • Shaun and Ed from Shaun of the Dead when Ed stays behind to let his friends escape.
  • Suberted at the end of A Dirty Shame, the crowd engages in headbutts of ... well not love, exactly.
  • In Star Trek : after sharing a kiss in front of Kirk (and Scotty) on that transport pad, Spock tenderly leans his forehead to Uhura's and it's adorable because it speaks volumes about his affection and the closeness and intimacy between them.

    Literature 
  • The Dresden Files: Used in Jim Butcher's Turn Coat.
  • The M/M crime/romance series Cut & Run by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban has Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett headbutt with love a lot, once they achieve their Relationship Upgrade.
  • Piper bumps Annabeth's forehead in The Blood of Olympus to comfort her when Annabeth thinks they're going to die.

     Live Action TV  
  • Ally McBeal: Ally and her big love Larry clutch their heads together while they dance at the end of the episode where Larry's ex-girlfriend and mother of his son tried to get get back together with him. He chose Ally.
  • Annie and Mitchell on Being Human when Annie is about to leave through her Door in S1 and they're saying a tearful goodbyeas a bit of Ship Tease. He also did a desperate, passionate variation with Lauren at some point.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • When Willow tearfully asks, "Don't you love me?" Oz vows "My whole life, I've never loved anything else," and gives her a textbook Headbutt of Love, complete with hug and kiss.
    • Willow and Tara made use of this comforting technique often, mostly because of the WB's policy of no kissing between the same sex.
    • Spike and Drusilla when they're first introduced, establishing Spike's protectiveness and Dru's fragility.
  • At the end of the pilot episode of Defiance, Christie and Alec bump their foreheads when Alec proposes.
  • Degrassi, the Torres brothers do this after Adam is shot.
  • Dexter: Dexter affectionately headbutts Rudy AKA his biological brother Brian before he kills him in Season One finale. It's a very poignant scene and emotions simply gush. It's very telling because Dexter claims he doesn't feel anything and has to pretend in every human interaction, but he definitely feels this moment deeply.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Rather endearingly, the Seventh Doctor to Mel.
    • The Tenth Doctor has one with his archnemesis, the Master, in "The End Of Time". Then the Master goes back to trying to kill him. It's very deliberately done to show that they could love each other if the Master wasn't stark raving mad.
    • In "Flesh and Stone", the Eleventh Doctor and Amy have a sweet moment in the woods, as he asks her to trust him one more time and tells her to remember what he told her when she was seven. Which becomes an important plot point when the universe is rebooted in "The Big Bang".
  • Farscape:
    • John and Aeryn engage in this, not just when either of them was in distress but when they showed affection in general. It was described by one reviewer as "more intimate than when they kiss".
    • Subverted when Scorpius-possessed John does this gesture — then slams Aeryn's head into the wall, fracturing her skull.
    • John and Chiana also get a few of these. Two notable examples are the season one finale when when propositions him (and he lets her down easy) and later in the following season when Chiana finds out her brother is alive but she isn't allowed to see him.
  • Happens a couple of times between Wash and Zoe in Firefly and Serenity.
  • In the second season finale of Game of Thrones, the warlocks of Qarth attempt to lure Daenerys with a vision of her dead husband and stillborn son in the House of the Undying. Daenerys walks out of the vision, but not before exchanging a HBOL with her dream husband, presumably because kissing him would tempt her into entering the fantasy permanently
  • The titular characters of Mork and Mindy at the end of the episode "Mork's Mixed Emotions."
  • Silent Witness had one recently between Harry and Nikki when he starts to leave soon after he reveals himself as Not Quite Dead
  • On Stargate Atlantis, this was the standard gesture of affection or business dealings, somewhere between a handshake and a kiss, for natives of the Pegasus galaxy, particularly the Athosians. Sheppard picked it up, usually doing it with Teyla.
  • A platonic example is shown in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "The Visitor" between Kira Nerys and Jake Sisko, with the former comforting the latter in an Alternate Timeline created by Benjamin Sisko getting stuck in subspace and being presumed dead.
  • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, one episode was about a human teenager who was adopted as a baby orphan by alien race who was at war with the Federation. The boy's culture was using headbutt as a form of greeting and sign of affection. He greeted his adoptive father with long pressing of foreheads.
  • Teen Wolf: Derek bumps Braeden's forehead after kissing her, when she expresses fear over the possibility of him dying.
    Braeden: Do you really think you won't be coming back?
    Derek: Not alive.
    Braeden: You know I'm not okay with that.
  • Logan from Veronica Mars loves this one.
  • The X-Files was a repeat offender, usually between Mulder and Scully. When one of them got out of the hospital (which was often), when one of them had to deal with Skinner/Krycek/CSM/any government representative, when they affirmed their trust in only each other, when one of them almost died (which was practically every episode)... they clutched their heads together. And it was awesome. UST at its best.

     Music 
  • Lady Gaga and her sidekick/Makeup artist, Tara Savelo. Why yes, they do have a shipper following. Why do you ask?

     Professional Wrestling  

     Sports 
  • The platonic and routine headbutting between victorious hockey teams and their goaltenders.

     Theater 

     Video Games  
  • Possible in Gamecube game Beach Spikers: If the relationship with your partner is high, they might share this gesture after scoring a point.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 2, because Turian biology is so different from human's and could be potentially harmful to humans who come into too much contact, this is how a Female Shepard and Garrus show their affection for one another.
      Mordin Solus: So don't... *ahem* ingest.
    • Mass Effect 3, where they have at least two big damn kisses, as well as three shorter kisses if you so desire.
    • If you didn't romance Garrus, then you can eventually walk in on him and Tali doing this as well (as necessitated by Tali's helmet).
  • In Xenoblade, when Shulk and Fiora reunite, they share a loving headbutt.
  • Given their complex relationship, it's unclear if it's "love", but during their final fight in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Solid Snake and Liquid Ocelot end up so exhausted they wind up leaning on each others' foreheads, slowly sinking till they're both kneeling on the ground.
  • Rule of Rose: The opening FMV shows Wendy and another girl doing this in amongst the roses. The girl is Jennifer, who made a knightly vow to Wendy to love her eternally. Unfortunately for Jennifer, who later promised the same thing to her Canine Companion Brown, Wendy's interpretation of the vow was mutually exclusive...

     Visual Novels 
  • Non-romantic example in Little Busters!: at the end of Haruka's route, she does this with Kanata when they make up and pledge to be friends again, where it serves the added bonus of showing clearly how similar they look.

    Web Comics 

     Western Animation 

     Real Life 
  • Cats might rub their heads together with each other or their owners, partially because they have scent glands in various places on their heads. Thus, the cat is marking its territory (because he likes you, bear in mind).
  • Emperor penguins. They are cute birds.
  • The real Wesley Willis was fond of this, with both male and female fans. Rock over London; rock on, Chicago.
  • Try dating somebody with glandular fever, or another disease spread by saliva. This becomes a hell of a tool.
  • When you want to show affection to a relative (or someone you're not romantically interested in), this is very useful.

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