Those moments of plot, dialogue, acting, etc., that fans delight in interpreting as homoerotic.
It probably originates from the old days, when the homosexuality taboo was serious enough that every gay pairing was considered a Crack Pairing
, so when authors wrote characters as very intimate with each other, everyone just accepted that they are just very good friends, and moved on, or when they wrote outright references to homosexuality, everyone just laughed at the sheer absurdity of the thought, and moved on.
With the emergence of Yaoi Fans
and Yuri Fans
, and the more open-minded writers, this changed forever. Nowadays, fans willingly interpret any interaction as potentially gay, even for characters without canon orientations and even for those specifically stated by their creators
to be straight.
Cultural differences also have their say here. The level of accepted physical intimacy between close friends and adult relatives is hardly constant across various eras and nationalities, so, for example, the hugs and kisses which seemed mundane for an antiquated reader may appear blatantly erotic in the eyes of a contemporary one. In particular, the concept of Romantic Two-Girl Friendship
— and Romantic Two-Guy Friendship — highly intimate yet platonic, only began falling out of use in the latter half of the 19th century.
When this is done intentionally, it's Homoerotic Subtext
. For heterosexual versions, see Implied Love Interest
and Ship Tease
In the related trope called Foe Yay
, even rivals
or mortal enemies
can get this treatment by fans and writers alike, especially if they have a more friendly past together
, or one is inordinately obsessed with the other
. In Fan Fic
, this is the direct cause of many a Slash Fic