It Doesn't Mean Anything
Two people who are Just Friends do something that proves otherwise. Be it an Accidental Kiss, Almost Kiss, Fake-Out Make-Out, Kissing Under the Influence, or whatever. Afterwards, they will simply insist that It Doesn't Mean Anything or didn't happen. Their body language usually betrays their true feelings towards the situation, and one of the two will usually come right out and say "It Meant Something to Me". One common version of this is when, for one reason or another, character A asks character B to pose as his/her boy/girl-friend or significant other. Usually ending up with both characters awkwardly abling through being told what a cute couple they make. If this trope involves them insisting that a shared kiss didn't mean anything, the agreement will often be followed by a kiss. Nothing to do with word salads, Faux Symbolism, Death Is Cheap or Speaking Simlish.
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Anime & Manga
- Sagara and Inaba in Full Metal Panic! pretend to be boyfriend/girlfriend to impress Inaba's friends. While they are "practicing", Kaname keeps telling herself that this trope is at work.
- In order to protect themselves from a pissed off attacker, Keima pretends to be Tenri's lover in The World God Only Knows. This is something he's quite used to doing, but when Tenri (and Diana) remember afterward it gets trickier. Fortunately, Tenri knows it was all acting, but Diana is pretty annoyed and tries to make Keima marry Tenri.
- After an accidental kiss between the two, Kyohei convinces Sunako in The Wallflower that a passionless kiss doesn't mean anything and that she should just forget about it.
- They later begin using this same line of thinking when everyone tries to convince them that they're in love with each other, which is all but obvious to everyone but them.
Live Action TV
- In Friends after Monica and Chandler sleep together for the first time, they insist to never do it again, then ask each other when they can do it again. A few episodes later, an unsuspecting Rachel sets herself and Monica up on dates with male nurses, and Chandler finds out from Joey. Pre-empting rejection, he tells Monica that since they're just goofing around, it doesn't matter whether she dates anyone else. She's clearly stung and admits she was going to get out of the date for him, but if they're just goofing around, she'll go on the date after all. They work it out by the end of the episode, whereupon all pretence that they're just Friends with Benefits is over.
- Also notably averted with Monica and JoeyŚChandler and Monica are asked to explain exactly how they got together, and Monica admits that it was actually Joey she had been looking for with the intention of sleeping with him, precisely because she wanted something "stupid and meaningless". (Joey was The Casanova, while Chandler had a track record of getting attached to women he slept with, even casually, and she was much closer to Chandler than Joey thus valuing their friendship more). However she found Chandler first and, well...
- In Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined), Apollo and Starbuck have some major drunken making out and things start getting heated before Apollo tries to slow them down, noticing that she seems to be upset. Starbuck's immediate response is to claim she just wanted an easy lay, and that there is nothing between the two of them - an obvious lie to anyone who's watched them together up until that point.
- In Doctor Who, Martha gets kissed by the Doctor in her introductory episode. It's a genetic transfer, but she does develop a crush on him...
- In the second season of Dead Like Me, Daisy kisses Mason and then adds, "Don't make any more of it than it is."
- After Aeryn and John's first kiss on Farscape they both claim it was because of oxygen deprivation and a stressful moment. They also used the stress excuse for the first time they slept together.
- The infamous Mistletoe/Caroline induced kiss in Bones eventually leads to a conversation between Booth, Bones, and Dr. Sweets, during which Bones proclaims that the kiss "was totally sexless" and "was nothing". Sweets disagrees.
- In Community episode Debate 109 the kiss between Jeff and Annie was strategic and joyless.
- Scrubs had JD and Carla drunkenly kiss after JD spent the night trying to convince her to forgive Turk. They both say this immediately after and maintain it after telling Turk about the incident. In this case it really didn't mean anything, but finally made Carla realize how easy it can be to make a small mistake, giving her the impetus to forgive Turk for his.
- "It's only the drugs, right?"
- In Smallville, Clark and Lois naturally do this more than everyone else put together. Throughout the first few seasons after Lois's arrival, they are Vitriolic Best Buds, but do things that reveal UST at least Once an Episode every time Lois is around. Finally in Seasons 8 and 9 it gets to the point where neither can deny it any longer. And there was much rejoicing, both in-universe and out.
- Chloe would also act this way towards Clark frequently in the earlier seasons, though she eventually grew out of her crush. They ended up as Platonic Life Partners
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy used this defense with Spike after their first kiss, second kiss, and... the rest of their "relationship".
Xander: All right! Let's overreact, shall we? We were kissing. It doesn't mean that much.Willow: No. It just means you'd rather be with someone you hate... then be with me.
- Played for Laughs in "Lover's Walk" when Spike moans that Drusilla has rejected him over his Enemy Mine alliance with Buffy in "Becoming". "I told her it didn't mean anything, I was thinking of her the whole time, but she didn't care." Of course Drusilla is a seer, so she probably knew something that Spike didn't.
- When Faith (in Buffy's body) has sex with Riley Finn, his affection freaks her out so much she pulls away from him and starts babbling, "This is meaningless."
- In "Innocence" Willow flees the room after catching Xander kissing Cordelia.
- In How I Met Your Mother, Barney and Robin cheat on their respective partners with each other and quickly decide that it doesn't mean anything, it can't mean anything. This despite them having had two interrupted almost kisses a short while before. Strangely enough, it's Barney of all people who admits that it meant something to him; Robin denies it and goes back to her boyfriend
- Star Trek: Enterprise. T'Pol does this all the time during her relationship with Trip Tucker. Given that her emotional control is suggested to be less than many Vulcans, she's afraid of getting emotionally involved with Trip. This leads to a lot of Belligerent Sexual Tension.
- In Penny and Aggie, Penny reacts this way after her frenemy, Handsome Lech Stan, gives her a good-bye kiss out of habit (he'd ended up in her bedroom by accident) and they both get unexpectedly turned on. The scene pairs this trope with That Didn't Happen.
- In Bittersweet Candy Bowl, Lucy kisses Mike after a particularly unpleasant encounter with some youth gang members. She immediately denies that it meant anything, but it obviously did for both parties.
- In El Goonish Shive, Susan and Justin share a kiss at one point... while gender-bent and in a moment of emotional vulnerability, so hormones probably had something to do with it. Afterwards the two of them laugh it off and both agree it didn't mean anything, and nothing more is made of it.
- At the end of Greek Ninja, Sasha and Daichi have a moment, specifically he hugs her, in a way that is obvious it's not just casual. Such intimate contact is not common in Japan between friends, so when she questions him on it, he simply replies: 'I meant it the western way then.'
- Danny and Sam from Danny Phantom and their Fake-Out Make-Out to fool The Hunter Valerie. They obviously felt something, but deny it. This continues on throughout the rest of the series.
- When the crew goes on a cruise in Futurama, Leela pretends to be Fry's girlfriend so Zapp Brannigan will leave her alone. After she kisses Fry and Zapp leaves, she tells Fry, "That was for Zapp." Fry asks if she has anything else for him.
- In the same episode, Fry also ends up posing as Amy's boyfriend in front of her parents (for similar reasons). Leela is clearly upset but Fry assures her that his fake-relationship (and kiss) with Amy means nothing compared to his fake-relationship with Leela.