Oh yeah, I'll tell you something,
I think you'll understand
When I say that something:
I wanna hold your hand!
Holding hands is one of the most basic, platonic, and visible ways to express affection, friendship, or love.
Because holding hands can be platonic, it can be shown in any work, between any people. If someone offers a hand to hold, and the person it was offered to rejects it, odds are something is wrong with at least one of them.
When holding hands is shown between people who can reasonably be eventually romantically linked, it is often either symbolic of the link or a prelude to it, depending on the rating of the work. Even if it isn't, it likely will be in the Fan Fic
due to shipping
Holding hands can be a gesture of solidarity. When a group of people join hands in a circle, that can mean friendship, dancing, or (in some works) a magic ritual.
It's also distinct Truth in Television
, especially the romantic version.
Compare/contrast Take My Hand
and I Kiss Your Hand
. Intertwined Fingers
is a subtrope.
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Aoki and Rin from Kodomo no Jikan occasionally do this. Most likely a romantic version.
- Toki and Tsuyukusa in Amatsuki. Very often.
- Axis Powers Hetalia has a moment where a young America and England hold hands, which is a heartwarming flashback within a rather sad flashback.
- In a Bleach cover page, Rukia and Orihime are shown doing this.
- Renton and Eureka do this in Eureka Seven. Literally. A LOT.
- You can say that it starts when Renton saves Eureka from falling while they were in the sea of rainbow clouds after he leaves Ray and Charles and Eureka startes looking for him, though that may count as a Take My Hand moment as well.
- In Junjou Romantica the couples are shown holding hands along with Intertwined Fingers in the opening sequence. It's more rare in the manga or anime, highlighting the seeming reluctance of some of the characters to pair up.
- Kare Kano. When the girl didn't know how to show her love for the boy, she held his hand during the student council meeting.
- In the RS arc of Pokémon Special, Winona allows herself and Wallace to briefly hold hands before they go off for battle, hinting that she might be interested in rekindling their past (failed) relationship.
- In a memorable Ranma ˝ story epilogue, Ranma and Akane are walking home together after a dangerous (and relationship-defining) adventure in the forest of Ryugenzawa. Desperately trying to convey his affection for her, but completely at a loss as to how, he reaches back awkwardly and hesitantly. Akane notices, and takes his hand — in the animated version, this disarms him completely, whereas in the manga this makes him even more nervous than ever before.
- In the OVA ending "The Ballad of Ranma and Akane," Ranma and Akane sing about how they developed feelings for each other and the difficulties of being unable to express love. As the song comes to its end, they both smile and reach out to hold the other's hand.
Ranma: Today, I can't seem to meet your gaze.
Akane: In my whole life, I've not felt this way before.
Ranma and Akane: Can't say it aloud. Let's just keep it quiet for now.
Ranma: Without words, your hand in mine's enough.
- In one episode, Genma goes home to the Tendo household, after being lost for several days, and sees Ranma and Akane argueing. He cuts out the middleman (Who needs romantic buildup, anyway?) and puts their hands together himself. It actually shuts them up for once and they look at him with surprise while he quietly sips his tea.
- After Ranma and Akane eat love mushrooms, Ryoga, Mousse, and Kuno chase after them. When they find the two of them walking up the mountain, holding hands, they know things have gotten serious.
- In episode 7 of Spice and Wolf, Holo offers Lawrence her hand to hold, but he gets distracted by his trading endeavors and fails to notice. He catches on the third time.
- Even lampshaded, that it takes him that long to catch on that she wanted to hold his hand. Usually she is quite content to walk about on her own, and so the romantic effect is brought into focus.
- About a third of the way through Fruits Basket, on the way back from an errand, Kagura wants Kyo to hold hands with her. After causing a scene when refusing, he agrees just to get her to be quiet.
- In the climax of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha's first season, this was one of the first steps taken by Nanoha and Fate to show their then budding relationship, with Nanoha holding Fate by her hand and Fate responding by grasping Nanoha's between both of hers.
- In Summer Wars, Kenji holds Natsuki's hand to comfort her, complete with Intertwined Fingers.
- Used twice as a plot point in Legal Drug. In the first instance, Rikuo has to hold Kazahaya's hand while they watch a movie together, because Kazahaya is too sick to get the information they need from it unless he channels Rikuo's vision. Kazahaya isn't exactly thrilled about all the Ho Yay implications.
- Later, the two of them have to search for a vase in a pitch-dark shrine. When they discover that it's Bigger on the Inside, they decide to hold hands to keep from getting separated. It isn't until they realize that not only does the other apparently smell like flowers, but that the hand they're holding is too small to belong to a teenage boy, that they discover that the spirit of the vase has been leading them around in the darkness all this time, just for giggles.
- Miharu and Yoite from Nabari No Ou do this when running away from Kairoushuu. Yoite later thanks Miharu for "never letting go" of his hand right before he dies.
- A Tear Jerker example happens in D.Gray-Man where For arranges Bak's deceased parents after they were killed by Alma so that they were leaning against each other and holding hands.
- No6: Shion and Nezumi. While sitting on the same bed, no less.
- Katekyo Hitman Reborn!: Gokudera and Tsuna in one filler episode.
- Guts and Casca from Berserk joke about holding hands and actually do hold hands once their relationship is affirmed.
- In One Piece, Robin meets her mother for the first time and was just so happy to hold her mother's hand despite the entire island of Ohara going up in flames.
- In a flashback on Fisher Tiger, a human girl Koala went up to him and held his hand, despite his attempts to swat her hand away. What makes it particularly outstanding is that Fisher Tiger was enslaved by humans and here, he allows a human to hold his hand. Not to mention how humans have cruelly discriminated fishmen and how fishmen bitterly hated humans in return, this little act spoke volumes.
- Holding Hands is part of the Ship Tease between Hana and Chikahito in Gate 7. Every character (aside Tachibana) that look at them holding hands comment how cute and close they are and Chikahito responds with High-Pressure Emotion.
- In Haruhi Suzumiya, at the end of The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyon holds Nagato's hand when promising to defend her against the Data Integration Thought Entity.
- This happens between Naruto and Hinata in Naruto, after the latter delivers a Get Ahold Of Yourself Man to the former. Its presented in a romantic way given their general reactions.
- Magic Knight Rayearth:
- Sailor Moon Crystal:
- In Act 1, Usagi's second recurring dream of a romance between a prince and princess, her view of the dream princess changes to a first-person perspective, in which she sees herself running while holding tight to the sword-wielding prince.
- The Closing Credits, which detail a romantic rendezvous, open with a close-up on Serenity and Endymion's clasped hands as they walk to the ocean shoreline, while the Ending Theme's first lyric is "Let's hold hands"
- In Katanagatari, Togame and Shichika finally do this in episode 11 against the sunset to the Squee of many. It makes what happens right afterwards more heartwrenching.
- In the Big Finish Doctor Who episode "Scherzo", the Eighth Doctor and his companion Charlotte are made to walk through a hellish landscape together. All of their senses are dulled or cut off entirely, so they grab each other's hands as they walk and cling to each other. They spend so much time in that horror of a world that their skins melt into each other and their hands become fused together.
- In one arc of Justice Society of America, Rex Tyler, the original Hourman, holds his son Rick's hand as the latter is being operated upon.
- In an issue of The Sandman, British schoolboy Charles Rowland dies after suffering terrible abuse at the hands of ghostly bullies. As he dies, he is accompanied by the ghost of one of their previous victims, Edwin Paine. Early on, Rowland asks Paine to hold his hand. Later, when he finally dies and becomes a ghost, he convinces Paine to leave the boarding school with him, and they are seen walking off, once again hand in hand. It's kept purposefully vague whether or not they are just good friends or something more.
- In all of Snoopy's stories, his characters hold hands because he gets too embarrassed to write about people kissing.
- The first issue of Brad Meltzer's run on Justice League of America features Red Tornado's wife Kathy holding his hand as she waits for him to reactivate.
- Nico Minoru and Karolina Deen of the Runaways have been known to hold hands from time to time. Also, in the last arc, Molly can be seen holding Klara's hand after the latter is wounded in an accident, and later, Victor leads her around by the hand as the team flees their no-longer-secure home, presumably because at that point, she's seriously groggy after being subjected to both a head injury and a sleeping spell, all in the same night.
- Scar Tissue: After beginning to open up to each other, Shinji and Asuka often sleep together, holding hands as they are sharing a bed.
- In chapter 13 they link hands after feeding each other.
Films - Animated
- This trope is prominent in WALL•E. One of the more iconic bits is WALL-E holding his own hand out of loneliness. Notably, while WALL-E's First Kiss with EVE comes about halfway through the film, hand holding (indicating their completed Relationship Upgrade) doesn't happen until the finale.
- The scene in Tarzan where Tarzan and Jane press their palms up towards each other. The significance behind it is that earlier, when Tarzan was a child, his hands didn't match up with his gorilla mother's, meaning that they were different. However, when his hand and Jane's hand match up perfectly, he knew that he was one of her kind.
- Toy Story 3: In the climactic scene, the toys are trapped in the incinerator and facing certain death. Instead of panicking, they join hands and choose to meet their fate together.
- In Shane Acker's feature film version of 9, this happens frequently— often in subtle ways, such as 2 closing his hand around or over 5's or 5 laying his hand over 6's during 2's funeral, but it's most notable for being the main way that 9 and 7 display their affection for each other. Before he goes to try and sacrifice himself to the machine, 7 catches his arm and pleads with him not to do it; he takes her hand in both of his and explains to her that he has to, and then briefly catches her hand and holds it proper for a moment. She actually looks at their hands and then at him, and then he dashes off. 6 can also be seen leading 8 by the hand in the final scene of the movie.
- Pazu and Sheeta in Castle in the Sky hold hands frequently.
- Haku and Chihiro from Spirited Away first held hands in one of the film's heartwarming moments after Chihiro helped Haku remember his name. Also justified since they were free falling from the sky and Haku was able to fly. After this they continue to hold hands whenever they're in touching distance of each other.
- This is the exclusive way in which minifigures in The LEGO Movie express love. Batman even says "Let's hold hands" to Wyldstyle in his first scene, and Emmet and Wyldstyle do it at the end.
Films - Live-Action
- The Blind Side: The Tuohy children offer their hands to Michael when saying Grace at Thanksgiving dinner.
- In Transformers, Mikaela slowly reached for Sam's hand, as they watched the Autobots descend from the night sky. And later on, Sam did this to Mikaela, as they were lying on the ground, just after Starscream had fired at them.
- A very heartwarming example in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, when Mu Bai briefly held Shu Lien's hand while they were alone.
- In the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban film, Hermione instinctively grabbed Ron's hand when Harry went to meet with Buckbeak. Then, they both looked at each other and awkwardly looked away.
- In the final scene of Fight Club, Tyler takes Marla's hand as they watch several skyscrapers explode around them. He then looks at her and says "You met me at a very strange time in my life."
- In Star Trek The Motion Picture, there's a scene where Spock, still recovering from his mindmeld with V'Ger, takes Kirk's hand and tells him, "This simple feeling is beyond V'Ger's comprehension." (This scene is the current page image for Ho Yay.)
- After Knox convinces Chris to attend a play with him in Dead Poets Society, they are briefly seen holding hands during said play.
- Sleepless In Seattle ends with Sam and Annie meeting for the first time, atop the Empire State Building. They hold hands as they head for the elevator.
- In The Hobbit, Galadriel takes Gandalf's hands as she assures him that he has her silent support when the rest of the White Council would not support him or the dwarves on their quest.
- Miao Miao has Ai saying Miao Miao has "sunshine hands" and clasping hands with her at any possible moment.
- Emma: When Emma and Mr. Knightley sit discussing the paths that led them to each other. Later, they even share Intertwined Fingers when they break the news to her father.
- In Outbound Flight, Thrass and Lorana do this as they commit to their Heroic Sacrifice. Both of them are people from emotionally reserved cultures, who had met only a few hours before and were not only still on a Full-Name Basis, but used each other's titles while talking to each other. Depending on who you ask, it's this, Last Kiss, Security Cling, It Has Been an Honor, or all four.
- The Catcher in the Rye.
I held hands with her all the time, for instance. That doesn't sound like much, I realize, but she was terrific to hold hands with. Most girls, if you hold hands with them, their goddam hand dies on you, or else they think they have to keep moving their hands all the time, as if they were afraid they'd bore you or something. Jane was different. We'd get into a goddam movie or something, and right away we'd start holding hands, and we wouldn't quit till the movie was over. And without changing the position or making a deal out of it. You never even worried, with Jane, whether your hand was sweaty or not. All you knew was, you were happy. You really were.
- DK Broster's The Wounded Name contains a lot of hand holding between the two main heroes, usually for emotional comfort. It's used to show the development of their deep friendship and eventually becomes a normal thing for them.
- P. G. Wodehouse's Psmith uses the phrase "hand in hand" a lot when referring to his friendship with Mike.
- Monstrous Regiment - Tonker and Wazzer do this so intensely that anyone around them feels like an intruder.
They always held hands, when they thought they were alone. But it seemed to Polly that they didn’t hold hands like people who were, well, friends. They held hands tightly, as someone who has slipped over a cliff would hold hands with a rescuer, fearing that to let go would be to fall away.
- The Heroes of Olympus series:
- Percy and Reyna after they defeat the invasion and he gets promoted to praetor.
- Everyone who's paired off by book three. And by "Everyone" we mean "Everyone except Leo". Mostly.
- A very sweet yet very tragic version with Percy and Annabeth. They're holding hands as they fall into Tartarus together.
- The entire group in House of Hades during an emergency shadow-travel trip.
- In the first two books of The Hunger Games trilogy Katniss and Peeta are very fond of this trope.
- A lot of the Ho Yay between Frodo and Sam in The Lord of the Rings comes from the fact that they're constantly holding hands during the last stages of their journey to Mount Doom.
- In Les Misérables, Enjolras and Grantaire die grasping hands.
- In The Thin Red Line Bead asks Fife to hold his hand as he lays dying. Fife feels slightly awkward because he and Bead had a sexual relationship on the island.
- In Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Speckled Band", there was a moment when Sherlock was frightened and latched onto Watson.
Watson: Holmes was for the moment as startled as I. His hand closed like a vice upon my wrist in his agitation.
- The titular Artemis Fowl and Holly needed to hold hands when they were preparing to time travel. Bonus points for only wearing their underwear, much to their chagrin. Their warlock friend N°1 teases them with pronouncing them "man and elf".
- In A Brother's Price, the first indication of Trini warming to Jerin is when she takes his hand.
- Semi and Miranda in Dr Franklins Island wind up clasping or holding hands frequently as their situation worsens. Then, "On Day Sixty-Three I couldn't hold her hand anymore, because she didn't have any hands."
- Bertram and his father start off Dinoverse friendly, but Bertram's dad is absent-minded and often working. The end of the book has the dad swear he'll try and do better, and the two walk off hand-in-hand like when Bertram was a lot younger.
- In At All Costs, Thomas Theisman holds Eloise Pritchart's hand when she's faced with the awful decision to launch Operation Beatrice, which resulted in the First Battle of Manticore. In this case — particularly since neither of them are shown to touch others casually — it's used to underscore just how close the two characters have become.note
- In Outlander Leander, Leander and Valli hold hands when Leander stays the night with him. Before that, Leander offers to let Valli rest his head on his shoulder, and they're shown having more physical contact as they get closer.
Live Action TV
- The Beatles, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "If I Fell".
- David Archuleta's "Touch My Hand".
- "Hand in Hand" by Dire Straits.
- Gruesomely subverted in Tom Lehrer's "I Hold Your Hand in Mine."
- "Together" by Avril Lavigne contains the line "Holding hands we'll fall".
- The Sims 2 and The Sims 3 has "Hold Hands" as a low level romantic interaction.
- Commander Shepard takes and holds Tali's hands during a Romance Sidequest in Mass Effect 2. Notably, they keep holding hands throughout the rest of the conversation.
- Likewise in a few of the later romance conversations between Thane and a female Shepard.
- And in one of the Miranda romance conversations. It's fair to say it happens in all of them.
- If you romanced Liara, Shepard and her will do this in the Lair of the Shadow Broker DLC when Liara asks Shepard to promise that they will always come back to her.
- The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks: After beating the final boss, Link and Zelda hold hands as they watch the Lokomos depart. Particularly notable because for the majority of the game, Zelda was a ghost and thus, likely wouldn't have been able to touch like a living person would.
- Ico is built around this as a central game mechanic.
- Persona 3 Portable has this in Ken Amada's (lovers) Social Link. When he "trips" on the way back to the dorm, the female protagonist takes ahold of his hand. He holds on for awhile before pushing her away and running off. When you bring it up the next date, he states he thought of "the kids being used" when holding her hand. On the male side of things, the MC does this with Aigis a few times in the original and FES version.
- The "skinship" function in the Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side games can be used for this purpose. The guys generally won't go along with hand-holding until their affection for the heroine has developed enough.
- In Tokimeki Memorial 2, it's the base of two Events in Hikari Hinomoto's storyline. During her childhood days, she and the protagonist do this so they don't lose each other while running; as a call-back to this event, they do the same in their High School time, during a date at the crowded Shopping Mall. Also, the protagonist and Kaedeko Sakura do this in the last shot of her Happy Ending.
- This is a gameplay element in Tokimeki Memorial 4 where you are required (?) to hold a girl's hand after a date to confirm your romantic status with her.
- In Solatorobo, Red and Elh are told to do this during Merveille's "special" training simulation, which was just her way of getting Red to finally admit his feelings. It eventually leads to a "You two can let go of each other now."
- In the CLANNAD visual novel, the perpetually insecure Nagisa at one point is worried that Tomoya doesn't like her as much as he says he does. He proposes a game: holding hands, where the first person to let go loses. In the end, her father pulls them apart because they're about to start a baseball game.
Tomoya: It's a draw.
- Little Busters!: Holding hands - or specifically, holding your hand out to someone to help them or taking someone's hand to lead them somewhere - is a major theme of Little Busters, to the point that it's featured on the title screen. It happens most often between Riki and Kyousuke (and yes, the Ho Yay is just as strong as you'd think) because arguably the main plot of the game is the way Riki learns to stand on his own and not just let Kyousuke lead him around everywhere, but because of this Riki ends up holding hands with most of the heroines in their routes. In particular, one of the most dramatic moments at the end of the game occurs when Riki takes Rin's hand to lead her to safety.
- Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse begins its first short with Barbie preparing for a date with Ken honoring the 43rd anniversary of when they first held hands.
- This is usually the most romantic thing that happens between Egg and Kube in AJCO, partially because they're both too shy to take it any further and partially because Kube's hands are one of the few parts of them that aren't covered in spines.
- Code Lyoko features several instances of romantic hand holding between Aelita and Jérémie, and the Season Two finale has a particularly strong example of hands linked in a Circle of Friendship.
- On Chowder, Panini agreed to do a favor for Mung in exchange for getting to hold hands with Chowder.
- In Happy Tree Friends, the episode "I Nub You" involved a romantic relationship between the handless beaver Handy and Petunia, who lost her hands earlier in the episode. One scene shows the Official Couple, Cuddles and Giggles, holding hands...then switches to Handy and Petunia, who have tied together the bandages on their stumps.
- In Galaxy Rangers, the episode "Queen's Gun" has the Rangers escaping from certain death only to find their shuttle has maybe ten minutes of oxygen left. Niko's reaction is to reach over and take Shane's hand.
- Another example from the series is that the four have to join hands to use the Mental Fusion tactic.
- In the Ben 10: Ultimate Alien episode "Where The Magic Happens", Gwen and Charmcaster do this to combine their power. This also sparked a lot of Les Yay subtext.
- Played with in the conviniently named Kick Buttowski episode "Hand in Hand" where Kick and Kendall accidentally get their hands stuck together due to a very sticky cave sap when Kick offers his hand to help her stand up... of course they spend the rest of the episode fearing people will assume they're boyfriend and girlfriend because of this since Gunther immidiately does and runs away screaming several times.
- At the end of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' season 5 finale, Karai takes Dr. Chaplin's hand on her own—a hint that she's now ready to reciprocate his feelings for her. When we next see them in the series finale, they're a couple.
- In the episode "Scrapheap" of Transformers Prime, a platonic version occurs between Optimus and Arcee who try to reassure each other as they were about to freeze to death in the Arctic.
- Arthur had "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" in which Binky is embarrassed after he incorrectly believes that George spotted him holding his mother's hand. When the Tough Customers realize that he has a secret, they try to figure out what it is, and eventually incorrectly decide that it must have something to do with his upcoming clarinet solo. "Maybe he's playing something really romantic, like Debussy." When they find out what the secret actually is, they chew him out for the secret not being something juicy, and one of them even admits that he sometimes holds his mother's hand.
- In The Legend of Korra, the Grand Finale ends with Korra and Asami holding hands and longingly looking at each other as they go through the spirit portal.
- A British soldier was critically wounded during the Battle of El Alamein and while lying in the hospital, he found himself next to an also critically injured German prisoner. He reached over and squeezed the German soldier's hand who also squeezed back. Sometime later, the British soldier lost consciousness and when he woke up the next morning, the German soldier was gone. When he asked what happened to the man beside him, the doctor simply replied "He died during the night. You were still holding hands."
- In countries where public displays of affection are frowned upon, this is usually a sure-fire way to identify a couple.
- Adults often hold the hands of children in public so they won't wander off or get into trouble.