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Innocent Cohabitation

The main character lives platonically with someone of the opposite sex.

While this is of course Truth in Television, like Just Friends the situation is fraught with all kinds of potential drama for writers to exploit. Maybe one of them is secretly in love with the other, or maybe they both are. Maybe for some unlikely reason they have to pretend to be in a relationship in front of other people. Or maybe, just maybe, they really are just flatmates.

This is more common with Magical Girlfriends because they tend not to have anywhere else to stay and Unwanted Harems because Pretty Freeloaders make for easier contact.


Examples

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     Anime and Manga  
  • Enforced in Vol. 1 of Mai-HiME, when an Orphan damages the boys' dorm, pushing Yuuichi to shack up with Mai and Mikoto. The girls are less than pleased (especially Mikoto.). Later, damage to Natsuki's apartment forces her to move in as well, causing no small amount of tension.
  • After the events from the first season of Tower of God, Baam and Hwa Ryun travel together.
  • Blatantly used in Ah! My Goddess. Belldandy lives with Keiichi originally because of the properties of the wish, and later, after that gets tossed out, just because why not. Starting with Those Two Guys, nearly everyone comments on it. That her sisters live with her apparently reassures folks that nothing inappropriate is going on — which is ironically true.
  • Used in Bleach, without romantic overtones. Rukia, at first being the only facilitator of Ichigo's Shinigami transformation, stayed in his bedroom closet during the first season, simply for the convenience of being close enough to act should a Hollow appear. Later in the series (Filler Arc in the Anime and Arrancar In Karakura Arc in the Manga) Rukia puts on her Schoolgirl facade for Isshin and is awarded a bed in Yuzu and Karin's room. She reluctantly accepts the bed to allay suspicion even though she would have preferred the closet, simply because she thought it was more cozy and had even brought along several items to help brighten the decor.
  • Hideki and Chii in Chobits live together. Nobody has ever commented on this, probably because Chii is a persocom and so expected to live with the main character. Though only the audience and about three characters in the story ever learn this, anything more... intimate would wipe out Chii's memory and personality. Design flaw, or deliberate maleficence? You decide.
  • Misato and Shinji in Neon Genesis Evangelion, although this doesn't quite fit because the relationship is supposed to be parental rather than romantic; like most relationships in the series, it's a bit more awkward and complicated due to the discrepancies of age and personality and their personal problems. Later played closer to the trope when Asuka moves in. Of course, Those Two Guys and the Class Representative assume the worst when they come calling during the synchronization training she and Shinji must participate in. Didn't help that they said, in unison, that they had to train, eat, play and sleep together. Come to think of it, those activities are not mutually exclusive.
  • Kuno's first reason for fighting Ranma in Ranma ½ is because he is living "under the same roof as Akane", a bit of a reversal.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!:
    • Negi Springfield was supposed to room with two of his students (the female lead and the Headmaster's granddaughter) in the dorm where 90% of the rest of his students live, until they could arrange some proper quarters for him. Six months later, he's still there, and the UST keeps increasing. Keep in mind, he's only ten.
    • Additionally, Negi's friend/rival Kotaro ends up living with three of Negi's other students, having all but been adopted by one of them, and under the assumed identity of another's little brother. The feelings between him and his supposed sister don't remain brotherly/sisterly for too long (at least on her part). Not to mention that she starts acting in a rather Tsundere fashion towards him later...
  • In the original Tenchi Muyo!, Tenchi's Unwanted Harem lives... in his house. Every member of the harem is related and as such, is a family (sometimes distantly related, and oftentimes very distant with very flimsy reasoning). Same logic applies to his (many) Expies throughout the Tenchi Multiverse.
  • In Fruits Basket, Tohru, the female lead, lives with the extremely popular Yuki Sohma. Granted, she didn't want to move in—she wanted to keep living in a tent in the woods. Since it was on Yuki's family property, though, she pretty much had to do it when Yuki and Shigure suggested it. She did adapt to it rather quickly, though.
  • Yuuichi of Kanon ends up living with three (out of five) members of his Unwanted Harem, though not all at once.
  • Tomoya temporarily moves in with Nagisa and her family due to issues with his dad near the end of CLANNAD. His best friend is shocked when he finds out and rather annoyed when Tomoya continues to insist that they aren't a couple.
  • In Bludgeoning Angel Dokurochan, Dokuro lives in the same house as Sakura. The other classmates think that this isn't so innocent (to say the least).
  • Soul Eater:
    • Maka and Soul share an apartment together. It's possible this is standard for Techs and their Weapon Partners; but not outright stated.
    • Black Star and Tsubaki take this a step further by sharing the same bedroom, and one may or may not count them as romantic interest to each other.
    • In Not! we finally see that a lot of the students live in separate boys and girls dorms. A male student says that getting a female partner will get them out of boys' dorm, suggesting that students with same-sexed partners are housed in dorms while opposite-sexed partners are not.
  • In Sekirei, Minato's had a few issues with this. He was kicked out of his old apartment because the landlord saw him and Musubi there and jumped to the conclusion in the trope description. Later, at his new place of living, after gathering four Sekirei of his own, he sleeps in the same room as all of them (same bed, too). So everyone gets shuffled off to different rooms in the Izumo mansion.
  • Saya and Haji spend a year's worth of time cohabitating away from the rest of the Blood+ cast, and no one bothers to bring up the first part of the equation. In all fairness, that's probably because everyone assumes that, if the two of them were going at it, they probably started a while ago.
  • Touma's living condition with Index in To Aru Majutsu no Index. She really has nowhere else to go, and Touma's too much of a Chaste Hero to even consider her something special (though Touma has, on numerous occasions, been quite aware of Index's presence, if you know what I mean). And after his memory loss, he doesn't even know why Index lives with him. That doesn't stop others from reading into things, though. Later the things come more steamy when Itsuwa moves to Touma's room, much to the chagrin of Index.
  • In Shugo Chara!, Ikuto has extended stays in Amu's room on two separate occasions. They even sleep in the same bed. However, it is justified within the fact that Ikuto was within extraordinary physical pain due towards both being supposedly assaulted via easter's minions and the X egg energy corrupting his violin, which he had recently stole from their laboratories, as well as being severely ill. Becomes even more apparent the second time he stays there, before which he apparently had completely nothing to eat, nor the same towards drinking, as well as sleeping without a resting place.
  • In Full Metal Panic!, Sousuke ends up in a living arrangement of being under the same roof as Nami and Lemon. They all sleep in separate places (Nami in the bed, Lemon on the couch, and Sousuke under the bed). Of course, it's completely innocent cohabitation with no ulterior motives for Sousuke. However, it's made clear that Nami had ulterior motives for wanting Sousuke to live together with her and sleep under the bed she's sleeping in.
  • Kotoko Aihara and Naoki Irie live together in Itazura Na Kiss after Kotoko's house burns down, and she and her father are taken in by Naoki's parents. The problem is that Kotoko just made her declaration of love to Naoki, and he rejected it because he doesn't like stupid people. (Naoki is always first in class, while Kotoko has never even got into the top 100). Of course, love finds a way in the end.
  • In Baccano!, Firo and Ennis are implied to have this arrangement after the events in the first Light Novel. When Claire learns about it, celibacy and all, he starts doubting that Firo is even human. To be clear, this went on for fifty years. Innocent indeed... As of 2002, they still haven't done it despite being married.
  • Miki and Yuu in Marmalade Boy, with the ever odder situation that their parents are all living in the same household — with Miki's mother married to Yuu's father, and Miki's father married to Yuu's mother. Miki is highly embarrassed, of course, but eventually falls in love with her double step-brother.
  • In Umisho, Amuro lives in Kaname's house after hers is damaged in a typhoon.
  • Played with in Ayakashi Ayashi. Both the young painter Kyousai and Atoru, the girl he's infatuated with, take up residence in a geisha house. The both of them hang out with each other in the house and around town a lot. Nothing untoward happens, but Kyousai clearly wouldn't mind if the cohabitation was less than innocent. Bonus points in that the geisha house is also home to oiran, high-class courtesans, which means that less than innocent activities do happen in their cohabitation — but not ones performed by them.
  • Joshua and Fiore of Chrono Crusade are staying in what's noted as Aion's house, but since he's often away on business they seem to spend several months living together without anything happening. (But not if Fan Fic has anything to say about it.) Considering that Fiore is an Emotionless Girl who's more concerned with trying to serve Joshua (not that way) than date him, and Joshua is a creepily innocent teenager that usually isn't all there, it's not that far-fetched to think that it never occurred to either of them to do anything.
  • Seto no Hanayome: Sun, Maki, and Lunar all move into Nagasumi's house, just because. Sun makes some sense, as she's Nagasumi's fiancée, Maki is Sun's bodyguard, so that's still logical, Lunar...moved in solely to bother Sun.
  • While not exactly cohabitation, Taiga's constant visits to Ryuuji's house for dinner right from the start of Toradora! were sufficient to stir up rumors about them dating and having sex. Taiga immediately dispels the rumors but continues to go over to Ryuuji's anyway because she's completely terrible at doing chores and incapable of sole habitation. She starts spending more time at his house as the series progresses though.
  • Ikuto and Suzu in Nagasarete Airantou live together and sleep in futons right next to each other. An interesting variation in that the guy is the Pretty Freeloader. Nothing happens between them because Ikuto is a Celibate Hero, although seeing as Suzu is an Innocent Fanservice Girl we get many moments of Please Put Some Clothes On and she really wants to bathe with him, but not for sexual reasons, like most of the girls she probably does not know what sex is, she just wants to bathe with him for company. Another interesting subversion is that everyone knows that they are not doing anything. Some are in fact angry about it.
  • In DearS, when Mitsuka-sensei finds out that Takeya and Ren live together, her perverted mind takes it to the extreme and she starts imagining that they live together as lovers. Takeya insists on denying this since they really do only live together.
  • Two of the five members of Yuuto's Unwanted Harem in Omamori Himari live with him. A third has a magic portal from her apartment to his bedroom, and a fourth lives next door. The only reason this qualifies as innocent cohabitation is because none of the girls can get Yuuto alone long enough to do anything naughty to him.
  • In Ane Doki, Natsuki comes out of nowhere to live with and take care of Kouta while his father is gone. Shes's seventeen and he's thirteen. They never do it, but there were plenty of situations where it could have happened.
  • In Living Game, Izumi has to move in with Raizo when her old apartment is torn down, as no one will rent to a 15 year old. Nothing happens for the first 2 years of story time, at least....
  • In Taiyou No Ie, Mao whose father just wants to get rid of her moves in with her childhood friend Hiro who happens to be living alone.
  • In Kimi No Iru Machi, Yuzuki initially lives with Haruto.
  • Mashiro in Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo said she plans to live with Sorata after graduation. She means that in the most literal sense.
  • When Oga is chosen as the foster father for a baby demon, Beelzebub, the baby and his wetnurse Hilda move into Oga's house. Everyone (including Oga's parents) thinks Beel is their biological child and that Oga and Hilda are engaged, but in reality they hate each other, with Hilda only putting up with it for Beel's sake and Oga constantly trying to get rid of them both. Their relationship improves over time but they're still not a couple.
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, Kaoru lived with three guys, Kenshin, Sano and Yahiko. And later in the series, when she is kidnapped by Enishi, she was forced to live alone with the latter.

     Comic Books  
  • Dan Slott's run on She-Hulk included Pug sharing an apartment with Jennifer, however this is purely one sided, and extremely awkward for him when she invites overnight guests.
  • French comic Le Royaume (The Kingdom) has a maid sleeping in the king's bed innocently. No, really. Like when parents allow their children in their bed because they are afraid of the storm.
  • In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Scott rooms with openly gay Wallace, and even shares a futon, even when Wallace has his current boyfriend/date/one-night stand with him. At no point does anyone comment on this, and the included parties are perfectly comfortable with this.

     Fan Fiction  
  • Harry and Hermione's Innocent Cohabitation in Paradigm of Uncertainty rather quickly became anything but, to nobody's great surprise because it was sold as a Harry/Hermione story from day one.
  • In the Good Omens fanfic A Precise and Accurate History of Monday, Eleven Years Later, Crowley recounts how Aziraphale let him move into his flat to make it easier to keep track of each other's interventions with humans. Aziraphale subsequently became mortified when everyone in the neighborhood assumed them to be homosexual lovers, and Crowley had to explain to him that everyone already thought he was gay, so this misinterpretation was really inevitable. Like the above example, the cohabitation becomes much less innocent later on.
    • The authors have also fallen into this, apparently the two are sharing a cottage now. Cue the Squee.
  • The Naruto fanfiction "Blind" has Sasuke and Sakura staying in the same house, the same room, and eventually the same bed...all perfectly innocently. Until they have a major Not What It Looks Like moment...
  • The entire cast of the LXG fanfic "The Private Diary Of Elizabeth Quatermain" does this, despite there eventually being three married couples out of the seven individuals in question. Since the entire story is told from the point of view of a very proper Victorian English girl's diary entries, it doesn't get described even when the cohabitation stops being innocent.
  • Naruto's The Girl From Whirlpool has Minato and Kushina sharing an apartment together when they were teenagers. More than one person was suspicious and thinking they were dating at this point. Though there were a few (like Kushina's current boyfriend) who was all right with it. Of course, Foregone Conclusion is written everywhere.
  • Speaking of Naruto, him and Cammy share his apartment in The Newest Challenger.
  • Naruto, once again, in Naruto:Asunder with Hinata after she emancipates herself from the Hyuuga. Unlike most examples on this page the villagers just assume they are lovers and treat it as them merely moving in together. Which led to this conversation with Shino's dad.
    Shibi Aburame: "I am glad I was able to help, Uzumaki Hinata."
    Hinata: "W..w..w..w...WHAT!?"
    Shibi: "Is that disagreeable? You have discarded the name Hyuuga and currently live in the domicile owned by Uzumaki Naruto. To call you by your given name would be rude."
    Hinata: (embarrassed blush and exasperated sigh)
  • Time Will Tell is about Jorryn, a modern girl who falls into The Lord of the Rings, and lives with Bilbo and Frodo at Bag End. After Bilbo leaves, only Frodo (male hobbit) and Jorryn (female human) live there. They cohabit for years, until events force both of them to flee the Shire.

    Film 
  • Zack and Miri Make a Porno opens by establishing that the titular pair have been living like this for years, and are completely unattracted to each other. Until...
    • Although "completely unattracted" is debatable; there's plenty of hints that the two have been suppressing their true feelings about each other for years even before, y'know...
  • In Sydney White, the titular character ends up sharing a house with seven boys, with none of them being the Love Interest.
  • In Far And Away, Joseph and Shannon are forced by circumstances to share a room in a whorehouse for months, due to it being the only room they can afford together and not be shunned from (because they're Irish immigrants).

    Literature 
  • In Teresa Edgerton's The Castle of the Silver Wheel, Kissing Cousins Prince Tryffin and Gwenlliant marry to prevent an Arranged Marriage that her father has set up for her with an abusive man (quite possibly to force Tryffin to Altar the Speed). Since Gwenlliant is only twelve years old and was sexually molested some years before, Innocent Cohabitation is the order of the day for a long time. Subverted Trope in that everyone knows it (having servants and staff around constantly tends to eliminate privacy).
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry, Ron, and Hermione share a tent. After an argument causes Ron to (temporarily) leave, Harry and Hermione continue living together in the tent, alone. Nothing romantic happens between them.
  • In Beachwalker, the homeless titular character and her patient spend the aftermath of an earthquake living together in a dead woman’s basement. Her reluctance to get close to anyone and his severe injuries conspire to preclude any serious sexual tension.
  • In The Dresden Files, Thomas, an ally of Harry's, needs a place to stay. Things are complicated by the fact that Thomas is a White Court incubus, and it is well known they literally live off lust and sex and many of them swing either way. Harry keeps it quiet especially because he can't say the real reason it's completely innocent - that they're half-brothers - without bringing unwanted attention from his enemies.

     Live Action TV  
  • Three's Company. Jack lives with two women; the building owner won't allow the arrangement unless it's innocent, and doesn't believe it is until they claim that Jack is gay.
  • In the Dutch series Sam Sam, (which was based on Three's Company) the two girls make it very plain that neither is willing to jeopardise the convenient arrangement for sex.
  • Mork and Mindy.
  • Spaced Tyres refuses to believe that Tim and Daisy are "friends" who live together. Also, they had to pretend to be in a relationship to get their apartment in the first place. After the series end, inevitably, they hook up.
  • At some point on Friends Ross and Rachel move into together to raise their daughter- but they aren't together at the time.
  • Played with in The Sarah Connor Chronicles episode "Some Must Sleep, While Some Must Watch". The episode focuses on Sarah's dreams and nightmares, and includes insights into her own fears and insecurities. One such moment implies that she's afraid John Connor and Cameron are sleeping together.
  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor lives with his traveling companions in his time/space ship, but in David Tennant's words, "there's no shagging in the TARDIS.". This was probably especially confusing for outsiders during the time when he traveled with Rose and Captain Jack due to their vaguely threesome-y behavior.
    • Averted in the episode "A Good Man Goes to War", where it's revealed the Doctor's newlywed companions conceived a child in the TARDIS on their wedding night.
  • In Dollhouse, Paul and Echo lived together for three months, sleeping in the same room, without anything sexual happening between them - though not for lack of trying on Echo's part. When Alpha tries to pull his Murder the Hypotenuse plot, Paul assumes it's because he believes they were sleeping together. However, Alpha points at the fact that they weren't as proof that Paul loves Echo, because otherwise he would have no problem having sex with her.
  • Beckett's apartment is blown up by a serial killer. This exchange occurs.
    Beckett: I don't have a home!
    Castle: (calmly) Yes, you do.
  • Abby and Connor on Primeval.
  • Many a Korean Drama is based in this trope. Usually it's between what eventually becomes the Official Couple:
    • Oh My Lady: Gae Hwa is staying in Min Woo's apartment to take care of his daughter.
    • Full House: Ji Eun's house was illegally sold and she moves in with the new owner to establish her claim.
    • Personal Taste: Jin Ho and Gae In share a house, with Gae In thinking Jin Ho is gay.
  • Ted and Robin in How I Met Your Mother were roommates living together though they did hook up a few times post-breakup. And this was after they broke up.
    • Lily moved in with Barney in one episode because her apartment was tiny and infested with rats. They pretended to be married so the girls he hooked up with wouldn't want to stick around.
  • Man About The House was the original British Sitcom that Three's Company was based on.
  • Sherlock and Joan in Elementary live together since Joan is Sherlock's companion and needs to make sure that he is clean from drugs. Even when Joan's six weeks were up and Sherlock's father ordered her to leave, Joan decided to continue living with Sherlock. Word of God says there will be no romance between them.
  • In New Girl, Jessica Day is living with three guys, mostly through the knowledge that she's friends with a model who's friends with yet more models. When the men realize how well the arrangement works they make a pact that none of them will try to hook up with Jess and mess things up. Jess and Nick kiss and the other guys give him a massive What the Hell, Hero? for it.
  • In Sherlock, Sherlock and John are just flatmates (although fangirls beg to differ). John spends an exorbitant amount of effort telling people they're not gay and no together, but it does no good. Their landlady though they would only need one bedroom.

    Webcomics 
  • Grace and Tedd in El Goonish Shive. Ellen also mentions to Grace in a later strip not to tell anyone she lives with Tedd, because people will get the wrong impression.
    • This was only innocent at the beginning (with Tedd making an effort "not to treat her as eye candy"). It is averted as the series progresses when they're seen cuddling together in bed and physical developments in their relationship are implied more than once. Whether they've gone all the way is unknown, but even Tedd's dad gave up on trying to keep things as stated in the trope.
    • The reason Ellen warns Grace not to talk about is because it would attract attention. The "impression" people would get would be pretty much right.
  • Ping, Megatokyo's Affectionate Parody of Magical Girlfriends, fits this. Characters frequently comment on how it's strange that Piro is living with a (robotic) schoolgirl, to his frequent embarrassment and shame. This is not helped by Ping, possibly by design, seeming hell set on doing all she possibly can to encourage these Not What It Looks Like moments.
    "Oh, I'm not his daughter, we just live together."
    "Many things about L33t Master Junpei not know."
    • Ping has also been known to answer the door in various states of undress (including what looked like a Sexy Shirt Switch). Kimiko was not amused.
    • Additionally, Largo's inability to properly explain his and Piro's relationship with Ping has gotten them in trouble at least once.
    • And then there's the time when Piro's conscience comments on his attempts to explain Ping's behavior.
      "I'm not sleeping with a junior high schooler! I have a life-sized doll that looks like one!"
      "Uh-huh, sounds so much less pathetic. I'd quit while you're ahead, hon.""
  • Martin and Faye from Questionable Content. Faye kinda burnt down her apartment shortly after meeting him, so she moved in. Faye's unresolved issues prevented the inherent UST from resolving, before both moved on to other love interests.
  • Rumisiel from Misfile probably qualifies, despite not being anyone's actual love interest. He lives in Ash's house and everyone not in on the secret that Ash is really a boy-turned-girl, including Ash's father, believes the two are living together, despite Ash's fervent (and understandably squicked) denials. Later Rumisiel's brother Vashiel also moves in, to keep an eye on his brother. This is accepted much more easily, as Vashiel is far too honest to be suspicious, and Rumisiel really does need some looking after.
  • Torg and Zoe live together for a while in Sluggy Freelance, though romantic/sexual interpretations are largely allayed since the rest of their friends are also sharing the apartment.
  • In Under the Lemon Tree, the precursor to Goblin Hollow, Lily moved into Ben's house for security against a serial killer. The cartoonist-narrator pointed out that, in response to many readers' requests, they were now "sleeping together". Clad, on a couch, and in no suggestive positions.
  • Two of the main characters in Adorable Desolation live together platonically; they even innocently share a bed.
  • In The Dreamer, Beatrice and Alexander roomed together two years ago in New York City.
  • Although not lovers per se, Ryan and Randie do this in Squid Row.
  • Ginger and Ryan in Ginger's Bread. They've been roommates since college (and best friends even before that).
  • Whomp! gives us Ronnie and Agrias, a hopelessly awkward Man Child and his attractive, sociable female roommate who would be considered way out of his league by most.

     Western Animation 
  • On Young Justice, Superboy and Miss Martian both live together at the Cave, and wind up being Love Interests. They have Red Tornado and their other various "den mothers" there to keep an eye on them, though.
  • On Teen Titans, the eponymous team of three boys and two girls all live together in the same building. While Robin's relationship with Starfire does not stay platonic for the whole series, the other characters remain just friends (though, occasionally, interactions between Beast Boy and Raven suggested otherwise).


Innocent BystanderTropes Of InnocenceInnocent Fanservice Girl
Harem SeekerHarem GenreLast Girl Wins
Incest Is RelativeLove TropesInterrupted Declaration of Love
New GirlImageSource/Live-Action TVNo Ordinary Family

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