Holding Hands


Oh yeah, I'll tell you something,
I think you'll understand
When I say that something:
I wanna hold your hand!
The Beatles, "I Want To 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 distinctly Truth in Television, especially the romantic version.

Compare/contrast Take My Hand and I Kiss Your Hand. Intertwined Fingers is a subtrope.


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    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.
  • Happens a lot in Beyond the Boundary with Akihito and Mirai. In fact, their interactions as a couple generally consist of either holding hands... or Mirai crying into Akihito's chest. Surprisingly it still works given their backstories and how their relationship evolves. And by the time the finale movie rolls around, holding hands is more significant and symbolic for these two that they opt to do this rather than kiss during their They Do moment.
  • The very last image in Bitter Virgin has Daisuke and Hinako doing this, immediately after both had silently admitted to themselves that they didn't expect their relationship to last and wanted the other to find someone who'd be a "better fit" for them. The scene enhances the final question of whether their relationship really is doomed as everyone thinks or not.
  • In a Bleach cover page, Rukia and Orihime are shown doing this. NAKED.
  • 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 ½ 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 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.
    • The second movie had several scenes that focused on them holding hands that reflected Fate's confidence as a person. At first, Fate was only able to offer her hand to Nanoha, but in the end she's able to reach out and take Nanoha's hand on her own.
  • In Summer Wars, Kenji holds Natsuki's hand to comfort her after her great-grandmother's death, 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.
  • No. 6: 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 A Hold Of Yourself Man to the former. Its presented in a romantic way given their general reactions.
    • This is actually a large part of Hinata's character arc: the one thing she always wanted was to catch up to Naruto and hold his hand. She does it again in The Last, as one of the final preludes to them finally becoming a couple.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth:
    • The three protagonists frequently hold hands with each other in Cephiro, especially after surviving some danger or expressing worry.
    • Hikaru and Lantis aren't shy about doing this right after he gives her his mother's pendant to protect her
  • 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.
  • The group variation is done towards the end of Simoun where the survivors of Chor Tempest hold hands as they walk together into the Spring for their final gender assignment. This is in particular contrast to the original Chor Tempest members' visit to the Spring at the beginning of the series: they go in separately and alone, and the whole ordeal is a lot more traumatic for each of them.
  • Defied For Laughs in Yu-Gi-Oh! when a magic ritual requires the gang to form a circle and hold hands. Joey and Tristan don't look too comfortable with this and end up just touching fingertips.
  • Haru and Tsurezure from Ojojojo hold hands for the first time in chapter 20. It should be noted that they had already been a couple for several weeks at that point.

    Audio Play 
  • 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 Dean 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.
  • Raven and Starfire / Koriand'r at the end of Teen Titans: Earth One Volume Two.

    Fan Works 
  • A Crown of Stars: When older Shinji and Asuka came along, they were holding hands. That was one of the first clues that Shinji and Asuka got that their relationship would get better.
    They both seemed to draw strength from the constant grip.
    • After getting together they are nearly always holding hands. The gesture reassures them and makes them feeling safer and stronger.
  • Advice and Trust: After their First Kiss Shinji and Asuka like holding hands constantly. Unfortunately, since they are forced to hide their relationship they can not make it publicly.
    So she restricted herself to merely holding his hand on a couple of the narrower side streets during their walk to school. She told herself it was because he'd asked for it. It totally wasn't because his hand felt warm and made her feel the same, or because the handclasp made her skin tingle at the point of contact. Totally not. It must have been his feet that slowed their walk as they approached the point where more public streets would require them to let go again.
  • The Child of Love: In chapter 9, after Asuka has delivered Teri, she and Shinji hold hands.
    Asuka:"Pfff, don't cry, baka. Hold my hand..."
    Shinji does as he is told and takes Asuka's left hand in his, squeezing it gently.
    Asuka:"You make me feel a lot better, Shinji."
  • Children of an Elder God: Shinji and Asuka held hands several times, including the night they left human civilization. Shinji grabbed Asuka's hand and they walked onto a boat before sailing out.
  • Unusually Played for Drama inA Complete Turnabout. Phoenix and Iris do this in chapter 31, as emotional support for Iris, but since Phoenix is from Alternate Universe (which Iris doesn't know), he's not the one she fell in love with so he feels like he's lying to her.
  • Doing It Right This Time:
    • Shinji and Asuka linked their hands when they walked into the sea together before returning to the past.
  • Evangelion 303:
  • HERZ: After Rei reminds them that her plan to destroy SEELE forever is risky and both could die, Shinji and Asuka held hands as they reiterated they were together in this.
  • Last Child of Krypton:
    • Subverted in chapter 2 with Asuka and Kaji. She has a crush on him and constantly tries to hold his hand. He sees her like his surrogate daughter and constantly looks for excuses to snatch his hand away.
  • 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.
  • The Second Try: Asuka and Shinji often link hands to try to lend strength and reassure each other in private.
  • The Saga of Avatar Korra: Korra and Asami hold hands on a number of occasions during Book One of the story. It showcases the Romantic Two-Girl Friendship they have been developing.
  • In Hope For The Heartless, after months of living as the Horned King's prisoner, playing the piano for him daily and getting rescued by him from the Mad Pack among other things, Avalina asks how he came to look like he does. He explains that his sins killed his heart and started reflecting his appearance. The girl senses under the lich's cold shell loneliness, despair and the beginnings of guilt. For the first time in their time together, she approaches him willingly and takes his hand, telling him that she sees hope in him. After the initial shock, the Horned King responds in kind. It's shortly after this that his heart comes back to life.
  • In Tangled Up In You, Marinette manipulates Adrien into this while walking from Alya's house to the Agreste mansion by pretending to have lost one of her mittens, though he goes a step further than she expected and puts both their hands in his coat pocket. Later, Adrien gets her to agree to let him carry one of her bags from the fabric store by saying that, for their own safety, they should hold hands so they don't fall over in the snow.
  • The Sanctuary Telepath: John and Janine do this a lot. One of the signs of their close relationship is that they hold hands while teleporting, as opposed to the other forms of touching John's "passengers" usually display (linking arms, John touching their forearms, etc).

    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.
  • The 'hero and love interest hold hands while fleeing' trope is spoofed in Jurassic World. Owen holds out his hand when running away from one of the dinosaurs, as a gesture for Claire to grab it so they can both run away. She instead just runs past him, making him look like an idiot.
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Rey gets annoyed when Finn tries to do the same when they're fleeing the stormtrooper attack on Jakku.
  • Dr. No. When Dr No invites them to dinner, Bond Girl Honey Rider holds Bond's hand for reassurance, only to notice his palm is sweating as much as hers (it's the first Bond film, so the No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine trope is freaking them both out).
  • In a plantonic example, in Man of Steel, Perry holds Jenny's hand while she's trapped under rubble when the Kryptonian World Engine is destroying Metropolis. Perry could attempt to run to safety, but he chooses to stay with her as the shockwaves from the World Engine get closer so she won't have to die alone. Superman manages to stop the World Engine Just in Time, saving them.
    • While Clark and Lois hold hands a number of times in the film, this is subverted when the two of them are taken aboard Zod's ship. Superman appears to hold Lois' hand to comfort her, but he's really slipping her the Kryptonian drive containing Jor-El's digital avatar so it won't be discovered by Zod.

  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
  • 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.
  • D. K. 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 Lofty 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. Franklin's 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 
  • In Pushing Daisies Ned had a plastic wall with a rubber glove extending from the passengers side built into his car, allowing Chuck to hold hands with him while driving without her dying.
    • Although it's sort of hard to imagine them holding hands while Ned was driving, given his hyper-cautious personality.
  • Sex and the City. Smith was holding Samantha's hand when she lost her balance and she fell down a flight of stairs.
  • The ending of the episode "A Feasibility Study" from The Outer Limits (1963) (and remade for the revival) has a group of human test-subjects holding hands as they commit suicide to prove to their alien captors that humanity is "unsuitable" to use as a slave-species. (Actually, the hand-holding spread the contagion that killed them, but the subtext is open and blatant..)
  • Frequently done by Victor and Sierra in Dollhouse, emphasizing their innocence.
  • An episode of Gossip Girl has Blair saying to Serena (re: her non-relationship with Chuck), "Did you know it's not a real relationship if you can't hold hands?" Naturally this is brought back later in the episode, when they've fallen asleep in his limo, holding hands in their sleep.
    • Blair's comment is actually a callback to something Chuck said earlier in the season, about why they couldn't be together.
    Chuck: Think about it. Chuck and Blair going to the movies? Chuck and Blair holding hands?
    • Chuck seems to have gotten over his aversion of hand holding by the time they start dating, as they are often holding hands in season three.
  • In How I Met Your Mother, Ted wrote Marshall and Lily's wedding toast, but because Marshall didn't want his younger relatives hearing any naughty stuff, Ted bowdlerises a story taking place at the bar so that Lily and Marshall sneak off to the bathroom to hold hands.
  • An interesting case in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Turnabout Intruder", where Kirk is unwillingly body-swapped with his jealous, insane ex-lover. Spock holds "her" hand when the two are confronted with said ex-lover, who is in Kirk's body.
    • This was how Spock's parents showed affection for each other.
    • Hand stroking and holding seems to be a very important part of Vulcan mating—akin to foreplay. It should be noted that this is distinct from the examples above, and is a very recognizable, possibly ritualized prelude to sex.
  • On The X-Files, Mulder and Scully do this as a gesture of solidarity and support, notably in "Little Green Men", "One Breath", "Pusher", and the 1998 movie "Fight the Future".
  • It'd be more surprising if there was an episode of Doctor Who series 1 and 2 where the Doctor and Rose don't hold hands. It seems to be their preferred form of displaying affection and support.
    • The Doctor and Jamie did this a lot. It generally had something to do with them facing a "scary" situation. Like jumping off a very low ledge. Played for laughs in one episode where the Doctor reaches to take Victoria's hand without looking and ends up taking Jamie's by mistake.
    • The Third Doctor and his companion Jo always held hands while running... because actress Katy Manning was so short-sighted that during the filming of their first adventure together, she ran straight into a tree. Called back to humorously in "The Five Doctors" where he and the Second Doctor are about to run away, so Three (apparently instinctively) grabs Two's hand. Two is not impressed, but gets pulled along anyway.
    • In "The Snowmen" Clara ends up pulling along the Doctor while fleeing danger, with the Doctor complaining that's always been his job. Twelve does this with Clara as part of their general Ship Tease, platonic or otherwise, despite claiming that he Hates Being Touched; they spend several scenes in "Hell Bent" holding hands.
    • Played for Drama in "Hide". While searching a dark Haunted House for the Monster of the Week, Clara assures the Doctor that however scared she might be, there's no need to hold her hand. The Doctor informs her it's not him holding her hand.
    • Amy asks Rory to hold her hand when they're trapped in a crazy alien controlled TARDIS in the dark. Since they're already married though, it's hardly a unique occurrence.
  • In The Mentalist, Bosco and Lisbon, their only physical contact, just before he dies. They were in love. It was heartbreaking.
    • Although some viewers question whether they were mutually in love.
    • In "The Crimson Hat", we get Jane and Lisbon tenderly holding hands after another attempt to catch Red John goes horribly wrong.
  • Jin and Sun from Lost do this quite a few times to show affection. They even die while holding hands, and it shows as their bodies float away from one another.
    • During Season Six, Claire and Sayid are shown to be doing this in a few blink-or-you'll-miss-it-moments, which could be due to the actors being friends in real life, or their common experience of being on the Man in Black's side and not quite "sane," to say the least.
    • Claire also holds hands with Kate during three separate occasions in Season Six, including during their final present timeline scene, when they fly off the Island together in the newly fixed plane.
    • Happens between Sawyer and Juliet as well, as he reaches out to hold her hand and she happily accepts, both of them believing they're finally getting off the island together.
      Juliet: I love you.
      Sawyer: I love you back.
  • In the Fringe episode "Bad Dreams," Peter holds Olivia's hand in order to calm her during while she's in the dream state.
  • In Alias, Sydney and Vaughn participate in this trope multiple times, including during season one's "A Broken Heart" while standing at the pier, and during season two's "The Counteragent" when Vaughn is dying from the virus.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • Willow and Tara's memorable scene in the episode "Hush", ends up with the girls holding hands and looking each other in the eyes, surprised by the strength of their combined magic. They end up doing this a lot; at first when "casting spells", then openly after they come out as lesbians. Earlier in the episode, Buffy and Willow do this for mutual comfort after losing their voices along with everyone else in Sunnydale, which leads to an increase in non-verbal communication, sexual or otherwise.
    • The trope is used for foreshadowing in the Season 6 episode "After Life". Willow and Tara hold hands to cast a spell, but Willow breaks free to finish the spell because she's much more powerful than Tara now. Spike holds Buffy's hands while waiting for Dawn to fetch antiseptic to patch them up. As the season continues, Willow and Tara will break up over Willow's abuse of magic, while Spike and Buffy start a Secret Relationship.
    • In the season 6 musical episode entitled ''Once More With Feeling' season 6, the episode ends with a group song in which the Scoobies and Spike all join hands, then let go of each other, foreshadowing them drifting apart as the season continues.
    • Buffy and Angel do this a lot in Season 3 because they Can't Have Sex, Ever, and kissing gets them too worked up.
  • Used for laughs in Phil of the Future, in which Phil and Keely try to hold hands after deciding to be a couple, but find it hard to get the logistics right.
  • Played, if you'll pardon the expression, absolutely straight in this Irish PSA against homophobic bullying.
  • Friends:
    • Monica and Chandler did this a lot, even before they get together. Many scenes have them simply sitting together with their hands entwined. They end up Happily Married so its not a big deal though.
    • A cyber-instance of the trope happens to Chandler when he's texting with a girl who texts "HH" to him. His friends ask what it means, and he tells them it's cyberspeak for "Holding Hands".
  • In Glee, Brittany and Santana seem almost incapable of not doing this.
  • A frequent motif between Guinevere and Lancelot in Merlin. Lancelot turns Gwen's handshake into a chance to kiss her hand, they touch each other's hands through the bars of a grating whilst Gwen is being held captive, and when they are facing death together, they link their fingers together. Arthur notices that there's something between them when he sees that Lancelot has offered Gwen his hand to help her to his feet, and is rubbing the back of her hand with his thumb.
    • Crops up again in season five when Morgana is trying to induce Stockholm Syndrome in Gwen. Morgana spends a lot of time trying to hold Gwen's hands to comfort her (after tormenting her mercilessly) and the camera tends to linger on those shots.
  • Babylon 5: Sheridan and Delenn do this a lot.
  • The IT Crowd
    "Hold my hand. No, that's not my hand."
  • In Teen Wolf, the coach starts scolding Scott pretty harshly in front of the entire class. Stiles sees that Scott's heart rate is starting to speed up which means he'll wolf out if he doesn't calm down. Luckily Scott's heart rate does start slowing down. In a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, Stiles notices it's because Allison, who was sitting behind Scott, reached out to hold his hand.
  • This is a recurring motif between Don and Peggy on Mad Men, illustrating the different stages of their relationship over the years. At the end of the first episode, when she's his new secretary and still The Ingenue, she puts her hand on top of his (having been told basically that part of her job is flirting, and not knowing that Don keeps all of his affairs outside the office), and he removes it and tells her he's her boss, not her boyfriend. "The Suitcase" in season four is a whole episode about their relationship, and in it, Don also finds out that Anna has died and describes her to Peggy as "the only person in the world who really knew me," to which she replies, "That's not true." At the end of that episode, they're standing at his desk in a pose echoing the first one, and he puts his hand on hers. Lastly, when she finally responds to his Sink Or Swim Mentoring and quits in "The Other Woman" for a job at a rival agency, she goes to shake his hand, and he takes hers and kisses it instead, both of them visibly trying not to cry.
  • At the funeral scene in the Firefly episode "The Message", Kaylee holds Simon's hand. It was an ad-libbed move on the actress' part, and Whedon loved it.
  • Emotionally done in NCIS with Tony and Ziva in the season ten episode "Berlin". They are back in the United States, Tony is driving, and Ziva talks about her father's lover, Orli. She mentions how things would have been different had her mother not found out about the affair, and that she [Ziva] would be a different person, and probably would have never joined NCIS. Tony tells her he should catch Orli before she leaves, and thank her, resulting in a heartwarming moment, and a squee moment for the Tony/Ziva shippers. Ziva smiles at him and they hold hands. She is about to tell him something, when they get hit by another car. To make it even more heartbreaking, he reaches for her hand after the accident. She doesn't move.
    Tony: Then I should catch her before she leaves, and you know, thank her.
    (Ziva smiles, he reaches for her hand. They entwine their fingers.)
    Ziva: Tony, I...
    Tony: Yeah?
    they get interrupted by the car crash
  • On Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod ends up holding the Golem's hand as it lies dying from the wound he inflicted upon it.
  • "Reaching out with your hand" borders on Arc Words in Kamen Rider OOO, since a lot of the show revolves around the concept of desiring things, in both positive and negative ways. It also has literal meaning, since Ankh is literally a disembodied monster hand. Hina gets Eiji and Ankh to hold hands with her several times, showing their bond, and in the finale Eiji ends up holding hands with Ankh in his disembodied monster hand form, symbolising their genuine friendship despite everything that's happened.
  • Tales of the Gold Monkey. Jake Cutter sees his Love Interest holding hands with a New Old Flame in the back of his Grumman Goose, so he sends his co-pilot to get something from the cargo area to keep making them let go of each other.
  • The Munsters; While spying on Lily, Grandpa mistakes her giving a palm-reading to her boss as a more romantic type of hand holding, causing Herman to jump to conclusions and go to confront the guy.
  • The first time Ray tries this with Jim in When I'm Sixty-Four, it goes down like a lead balloon. On the second attempt, Ray's much more receptive.
  • In season one of New Girl, Schmidt and Winston have a bet on who can "close" on Cece, and when the episode ends with Schmidt and Cece holding hands in bed, Schmidt insists it "feels a lot like closing."
  • Sherlock: As a HoYay heavy show, the one instance when John and Sherlock hold hands does not go without lampshading.
    Sherlock: Take my hand.
    (They join their handcuffed hands while running from the police.)
    John: Now people will definitely talk.
  • In Game of Thrones season six; Sansa Stark, who has been reunited with her brother Jon Snow at Castle Black, grabs Jon's hand to incite him to fight again so they take back their family home and rescue their brother — which, along with Ramsay's letter and the pull of family — convinces Jon to jump back into the fray and fight. Though this hand-holding is familial and platonic, the camera close-up suggests this to be something of significance as well.

  • 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".
  • "Hand In Hand" by Opus III
  • The adorable Jamster/JAMBA bunny characters Schnuffel and Schnuffelienchen (Snuggle and Snuggelina in english) are commonly seen holding each others hands since they are both in love with each other. In the end of the music video starring Snuggleina "Ohne Dich". Said couple are seen holding hands while sitting and watching the night sky.

    Video Games 
  • 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."
  • The Prince and Elika often grab each other's hands for practical purposes in Prince of Persia, since they're acrobatically traversing dangerous obstacles together. However, if you want them to swap positions on a thin ledge, they grab both of each other's hands and swing around, which looks adorably close to dancing.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven proves that even villains are not immune to this. If DIO initiates a Dual Heat Attack with Father Pucci, DIO refers to him as "friend", and they clasp each others' hand.

    Visual Novels 
  • 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.
  • In Danganronpa's school mode ending with her, Naegi does this with Kirigiri, narrating that he hopes she can someday trust him enough to reveal what hides beneath her Conspicuous Gloves. Since school mode is only unlocked after beating the game, the player should already know.

  • Here between Bea and Alan in The Dreamer.
  • Lydia grabs Betelgeuse's hand for comfort during an unsettling incident in Cobweb And Stripes. The fact that he doesn't pull away is an indicator of their growing bond.

    Web Original 
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Western Animation 
  • 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 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 conveniently 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 immediately 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. Word of Gay confirms that this means just what you think it does.
  • The titular character of Steven Universe does this sometimes, most frequently with best friend/love interest Connie (sometimes of the Intertwined Fingers variety, sometimes not) and notably with Peridot in "When it Rains", ostensibly to keep her from running off but also to symbolize their budding friendship.
  • In Gravity Falls, Dipper takes the hands of both Wendy and Soos as the three walk into the supernatural prisoner where Bill has trapped Mabel.
  • Kaeloo: Near the end of Episode 105, when Stumpy is about to erase them from existence, this happens between Mr. Cat and Kaeloo.

     Real Life 
  • 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.