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Mindlink Mates
Luke: You know, when we were fighting those sentinels down there, something happened to me. To us. We were so close in the Force that it was like we'd become a single person. It was... it was something very special.
Mara: Really? How special?
Luke: You're not going to make this easy for me, are you?
Star Wars: Vision of the Future

This is a romantic trope where lovers share not just their lives and beds but actually their consciousness. Most often they're from an already telepathic race but this telepathy goes even further; maybe they're always aware of the other, not just when communicating but always, or they actually feel exactly like the other, or something like that. Sometimes successful reproduction is tied to it. Sometimes the sanity of one, usually the male, or both partners depends on the mindlink. Often the link is not unsoliticious. It goes both ways, so if something bad happens to one of them...

It's doubtful whether real humans could take this for a half an hour, but anyway, it's often presented as superior to a normal relationship, more fulfilling or close or "true". It can also be taken as a "metaphor".

This is a subtrope of Fantastic Romance. Also see: Mental Affair

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • One episode of Kino's Journey touched upon this concept, with less than desirable results.
  • Makoto Mizuhara does this with Ifurita at the end of the El-Hazard: The Magnificent World OAV. He's capable of synching with El Hazard technology, and she's a battle-gynoid.
  • The protagonists from Seo Kouji's oneshot, Half And Half get linked this way by the local variant of Kami-sama as part of a life-extension deal in which they had to decide which one would die. This system was partly to keep them from trying to off one another and partly so that the one to die would have more miles under the metaphorical belt. There seems to be a feedback filter implied somewhere.
  • Kouichi and Keito from Cat Street are a little like this.
  • In Sailor Moon, Mamoru and Usagi can feel each other's pain and Mamoru knows when Usagi is in trouble—it's actually a plot point when he doesn't even know that he's rushing to her defense as he blacks out and becomes Tuxedo Mask. In the first anime there's also a one-episode character (Rhett Battler) who knows when Luna is in trouble, but it's mostly used as a humorous homage to Mamoru.
  • Played straight with Lalah Sune and Amuro Ray from Mobile Suit Gundam. Both became attracted to each other because of their mind link connection, and were noted as the first of their kind to become Newtypes. Even after Lalah's death, Amuro was still strongly connected to her. It's also said Lalah was Amuro's first great love.
    • This routinely occurs in the Universal Century between powerful Newtypes, and never ends well. In Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Kamille Bidan and Four Murasame fall into love because of their emergent Newtype abilities, but Four is simply too insane from her Cyber-Newtype conversion to enter into a functional relationship, and she dies in his arms later. From the same series, meanwhile, Paptimus Scirocco intentionally manipulates Newtype women to his side through his mental power, but doesn't reciprocate their affections and only uses the situation to manipulate them.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Judau Ashta is an absolute Chick Magnet, though his strongest relationship (with Elpeo Ple) is more of a brother-sister relationship (though Ple is unusually intense about it). Meanwhile, Haman Khan is attracted to him, but unable to handle her emotions properly, and Judau repeatedly rejects her.
    • Char Aznable gets a section of his own, as his inability to relate to others causes much of the conflict in the various stories. When it came to Lalah Sune, he was almost as infatuated with her as Amuro was, and Lalah reciprocated, but that didn't stop him from subjecting her to horrific Mind Rape. Later in life, he was Haman Khan's first crush, but he completely failed to notice that, and combined with what Haman saw as his abandonment of his duties, broke Haman and turned her into the villainous commander of Neo-Zeon. Then Reccoa Londe attached herself to him, and they kissed at one point, but he never actually felt anything for her, and Reccoa's realization of this led to her Face-Heel Turn. Finally, in Char's Counterattack, he's become no better than Scirocco, callously manipulating a thirteen-year-old girl into thinking he loves her and using her as a weapon.
  • In Psychic Academy, Ai and Mew form a mental link due to their auras being 100% compatible. This causes considerable awkwardness due to the fact that Ai is dating Orina, Mew's roommate and Ai's childhood friend (The most extreme point being an evening at a Love Hotel being ruined because Ai realizes that Mew is in danger). The psychic who is able to measure aura compatibility does make a point of mentioning that aura compatibility is not the same thing as personal compatibility, citing two classmates whose auras are only 30% compatible but are utterly smitten with each other as an example. He eventually does choose Mew over Orina - but only just before she dies.
  • Mostly subverted in Soul Eater, where partners can combine their souls using Soul Resonance. With the exception of Maka's parents and possibly Stein and Marie, at one point in time, none of the teams are actually dating. One of the more blatant examples of Ship Tease from the series, however, happens when Maka visits Soul's soul, has a moment of She Cleans Up Nicely, and the two dance. Soul is also able to read Maka's thoughts.
  • Dragon Ball: After Vegeta's self-destruction to stop Majin Buu, his wife is shown to sense his death before having it confirmed.
  • In Sekirei, the titular aliens have an empathic bond with their destined partners, called Ashikabi. Beyond sensing the emotions of their partner, it's been shown that an Ashikabi can sense when their Sekirei is terminated in battle.
  • Van and Hitomi in The Vision of Escaflowne.
  • Naruto has an implicit variation during the series' climactic battle against the Big Bad Ensemble. Naruto is known to be able to sense people's emotions to some degree. At some point in the battle, he is transported to a relatively safe phased-out dimension while basically all his allies are back in the regular dimension, badly suffering and being defeated. They are shown falling one by one, and the last one shown is Naruto's maybe-possibly-love-interest Hinata, blacking out and mentally calling out to him in despair. Then the next panel is Naruto in the other dimension, suddenly looking very alarmed, eager to jump right out of the safe dimension (which his more level-headed Rival Turned Evil Turned Kind of Sensible Again wisely stops him from doing). To fully appreciate this nugget, you need to understand that 1. It is not known to what degree exactly Naruto's power is supposed to work across dimensions; 2. The audience is, technically, free to interpret that moment such that Naruto reacted to everyone's plight, and not just Hinata; and 3. Point #2 is a recurring theme, and at this point the author is eligible for a lifetime achievement award in pulling the leg of series fans who have any kind of emotional stake in where all of this is going.

    Comic Books 
  • The elves of ElfQuest are telepathic, but they can form an even closer bond where they undergo "Recognition" of each others soul and body's capability to mate and a need to mate. This leads to the affected pair mating like bunnies, so possibly the body is involved as well as the soul. This can also happen even if the couple don't like each other, or one is already in a relationship, which can lead to awkwardness. Or more often, threesomes. The Elfquest Gatherums have specifically stated that Recoginition is strictly for reproduction; the series indicates those who Recognize and lifemate are far more likely to have more then one child -or any child- than a non-Recognized couple. (Except for Go-Backs.)
    • Also, Skywise and Cutter recognized, even though they are both male, because they already shared a soul, or so it is said.
    • Nightfall and Redlance aren't technically Recognized, but when Nightfall had to heal Redlance's mind by bonding with him she managed to merge their souls permanently.
  • While their marriage was still blissful, Jean Grey and Scott Summers of the X-Men had a form of this.
  • Coagula and Robotman in the Rachel Pollack run of Doom Patrol.
  • In Empowered, Sistah Spooky and Mindf** k were these once. It's really the only way that Mindf** k can have good sex.

    Fan Works 
  • The concept of sparkbonding (the merging of "sparks", the Transformer equivalent of a soul) is used in a lot of Transformers fanfiction. However, the concept has never been used in canon.
  • In a lot of Dragon Ball Z fanfics, this trope has become so common that it is fanon, despite the fact that the series is possibly the LEAST romantic series of all time and that fanon applies this trope to either Vegeta or Goku, who are definitely NOT the best candidates for this, to say the least.
    • In Vegeta's case, this idea came from a scene set during the Buu arc where Bulma seems to sense that something bad has happened to him... he blew himself up.
    • A non-romantic version has also been done with Piccolo and Gohan [1], based on the fact that they've been seen communicating telepathically at several points during the series.
  • Frequently used in Fan Fiction, especially in the Harry Potter fandom.
    • Very prominent in the "Dangerverse" between Remus and Danger.
    • Harry/Ginny is also a popular target - someone made a list, and it's long.
    • To list the number of Drarry creature fics that declare this is true of Veela and their mates would take the better part of a month.
  • There are several Neon Genesis Evangelion fanfics involving this, usually between Shinji and Rei. One of them has the couple sharing not only thoughts but sensory information as well, up to and including sexual stimulation. Power Perversion Potential, anyone?
  • Also turns up a lot in the Star Trek fandom, mostly the original series and Enterprise, because of the Vulcan cast.
    • Kirk/Spock and Spock/McCoy fic, in particular, make a Very Big Deal out of the "mindlink" aspect - in K/S, Kirk is generally portrayed as very enthusiastic about the bond. In contrast, S/Mc often makes an issue of McCoy's distaste of the mind-meld and his eventual acceptance.
  • Occurs fairly frequently in The Lord of the Rings fanfiction as well, especially with elves - but then there is some vague canon evidence for telepathy.
  • This is quite common with Doctor Who fanfiction too, particularly with Doctor/Master. Their mind meld hasn't hurt matters. Most people just assume that any Time Lord marriage-relationship-thing of more than a passing nature must needs also involve a mind-meld-y telepathic Bond which tends to be Capitalized. There are legions of Rose/9 or /10 fics in which this is the case.
    • Also a fair amount in Torchwood fics, mostly for Jack/Ianto and usually including Ianto having some sort of super-empathic powers.
  • Turns up in a couple of Tin Man fics, where it's handwaved as a means for an Ozian sorcerer/sorceress to focus and replenish their magic. The Lavender-eyed Queen and Ahamo (or, rarely Glitch) are usually depicted as having this kind of bond, but it also turns up in DG/Cain fics.
  • Fanworks from The Sentinel often have some sort of empathic/telepathic link between Jim & Blair; there is a whole subgenre of 'bonding fics' that are almost-but-not-quite Slash.
  • The Horseshoe Nail series for Firefly had River accidentally pulling one of these with Jayne. Neither were amused when they found what had happened.
  • My Inner Life gives "Psychic Link" a whole new, disturbing meaning.
  • In the Twilight Princess fanfic "Til the Sun Grows Cold and the Stars Grow Old," Link and Princess Zelda have met in dreams since they were very small children, which is part and parcel of their targeted reincarnation love affair of many lifetimes. Its true significance comes at a point when Link thinks Zelda might be dead, and the fact that he can't find her in his dreams only seems to prove it.
  • In the Snapped offshoot of Team 8, this is implied—Naruto is killed, but manages to hook his consciousness onto that of the Kyuubi as it leaves his body for Itachi's, and then when this kills Itachi both enter and inhabit Hinata (who is still young enough, unlike Itachi, for her chakra coils to stretch enough to survive the Kyuubi's chakra). Later it is stated that Hinata "always has very interesting dreams".
  • As stated below, Danny Phantom and Sam were supposed to have such a link in the original premise of the series, only for it to be jettisoned. Apparently, some fan writers have decided to plug it into their stories.
  • In Total Drama Comeback, Ezekiel and Heather have complimentary dreams about each other. In this case, is not explicitly supernatural, it just sort of marks their growing feelings and Character Development.
  • The Vampire Knight fanfiction Take Me explores this trope thoroughly.
  • In The Service provides a rare example of a negative portrayal of the trope. Wolkenritter in skin-to-skin contact are no longer individuals in a meaningful sense. They find this both frightening and unpleasant, and consequently inter-Wolkenritter romances don't work.
  • The Teen Titans fanfiction As the Dust Settles begins an entire series where this plays a huge plot point for Starfire and Robin. Be warned, the stories are rated for a reason.
  • In this Invader Zim story, I think I'm in love with Zim, has its own interesting explanation for how this works between Zim and Dib. It's later Played for Drama/Deconstructed when Zim is killed.
  • Supernatural fandom took Cas' canonical telepathy, the "profound bond" comment, and the fact that Cas literally left a brand on Dean's body, and ran with it. Often, it's one-way (Cas can sense Dean, not the other way around), and for whatever reason Cas doesn't bring it up—at least until the events of the given story.
  • In the Digimon fanfiction series, A Sticky Situation, the Renamon line apparently form these types of bonds.

    Film 
  • Avatar provides a non-psychic example: Na'vi intimacy includes the physical connection of nervous systems via the partners' queues.
  • The first incident of dreamfasting between Jen and Kira in The Dark Crystal was unintentional, certainly helped along their fast friendship. Since The Dark Crystal was directed at kids, actual romance was only implied.
  • Jaguar Paw and Seven from Apocalypto. When Jaguar Paw has a minor Heroic BSOD, Seven (Who is trapped in a cave of sorts) physically shows the distress he is experiencing and reminds him to "come back" to her. When Blunted wishes Jaguar Paw to "journey well", Jaguar Paw responds with "I can't go now".
  • A central theme in Upstream Color: the two main characters become a romantic couple after being hypnotized with a substance that opens up empathic links with other people. They become so attuned to each other that they start confusing each other's memories for their own. They are also linked to a mated pair of pigs, which have been implanted with the same substance used on them. The human couple occasionally get feelings they don't understand as a result of things happening to the pigs.

    Literature 
  • The Wheel of Time series has the "Warder bond" between the Sword and Sorcerer Warder and Aes Sedai. Many of the bonded are not lovers, but Green Aes Sedai who only take one Warder are usually married to them. Of the major characters: Rand and his harem, Nynaeve and Lan as soon as there's a second to spare, and, as of The Gathering Storm, Gareth Byrne and Siuan.Towers Of Midnight adds Egwene and Gawyn. Note that this also includes one-way compulsory magic, so the romantic aspects are often downplayed.
    • Rand's harem finds out the hard way that their jury-rigged version of the bond isn't one-way, especially during moments of strong emotion; to make it worse, one of the harem has a female Warder separately, of her own, who finds out that she can feel much more than she wants to. She ends up getting severely drunk to block out the effect. (Which may also have been a measure of giving her own back, as they'd earlier learned that drunkenness can also travel up the Warder bond.)
    • Married Asha'man do something quite similar to the "Warder bond" with their wives, specifically because of this trope, but completely without the compulsion. As one put it, it's just really reassuring to know that your wife is okay.
    • And the Asha'man Androl ends up bonding a Red Ajah Aes Sedai who had just bonded him more or less against his will. They end up becoming rather close by more than just necessity after that.
  • In Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar universe, this is called a lifebond. Overused in her earlier books given its supposed rarity, but less frequent later in the series, and characters in several different books discuss or illustrate the potential negative aspects of such a bond. In Winds of Fury, Stefen speculates that in many cases lifebonds occur between someone who is extraordinarily powerful but emotionally unstable and someone who is much more mentally grounded; he proves his point by being able to describe with great accuracy the lifebonded partner of Herald Talia without ever having met the man, purely based on his encounter with Talia's out-of-control Empathy back in Arrow's Flight.
    • One particularly dramatic case goes a long way towards showing that a lifebond is not necessarily all that desirable, and also supports Stefen's theory: In Brightly Burning, Lavan Firestarter's lifebonded is his Companion. It's noted within the book how screwed up the relationship is and that it means that Lavan (had he lived) would have been one giant mess of emotional issues, even for a Herald. It's only the extremely extenuating circumstances (Lavan is unable to control the full extent of his Gift, on his own, and his Companion has to be 'bonded with him to provide the extra control) that prevent anyone from trying to undo things. When his Companion dies at the end, he mentally collapses and unleashes fiery doom on the entire battle field, effectively ending the war and killing himself in the process. Lifebonding is far from an unambiguously good thing.
      • A less dramatic example (which also illustrates how much of an Oddly Common Rarity lifebonds are in the early books in the series), Keren in Arrows of the Queen breaks down when her lifebonded partner Ylsa is killed, and is only saved from willing herself into death by the intervention of Sherrill, who is also lifebonded to Keren and would have, other characters speculate, formed a three-way lifebond with Keren and Ylsa if the situation had been recognized prior to Ylsa's death.
    • In The Black Gryphon, after two people hook up quite melodramatically one of them expresses annoyance at the rumors that they turned out to be lifebonded. He remembers hearing friends who are talk about it as something extremely difficult, but rewarding if it works.
      "Lifebonding is hardly as romantic as the ballads make it out to be. Both of you have got to be strong in order to keep one from devouring the other alive. And you'd better hope that both of you are ready for the kind of closeness that lifebonding brings, especially between two people who are Empaths. You can't fight or argue - you feel your partner's pain as much as your own. You become, not two people precisely, but a kind of two-headed, two-personalitied entity, Tamsin-and-Cinnabar, and you'd better hope that one of you doesn't suddenly come to like something that the other detests because you wind up sharing just about everything!"
      "But when it finally works, it is a good thing, a partnership where the strengths are shared and the weaknesses minimized. I think that the good points all outweigh the bad, but I have reason to."
  • As the quote above indicates, it happened to Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade - though this connection only happens when they both choose to reach out for it, which they don't until a good ten years after they meet and become friends, and they spend most of their time less thoroughly entangled. In Survivor's Quest Mara explicitly points out that they can't use this connection to talk in words, but they use it in fighting to be a kind of single two-bodied entity that strikes with total precision.
    • Also between a male Player Character and Bastila Shan in Knights of the Old Republic.
    • It's not the same in Jedi Apprentice, but it is noted that a good early sign that the Master-Padawan bond is working as it should is for both parties to sometimes think the same thing in unison. Notably, this doesn't mean either can read the other's mind, though they may become close enough to know what the other is thinking.
  • Andy and Vicky, the parents in the Stephen King novel Firestarter survive the drug trial that kills most everyone else by forming a psychic connection.
  • Jane Eyre plays with this idea but doesn't quite commit to it. Not only are Jane and Mr. Rochester incredibly attuned to each other's thoughts and feelings, but it is his voice "calling" on her for help from miles away that finally persuades her to return to him at the end of the novel. Even Jane thinks it might just be a coincidence; they do spend quite a bit of time thinking about each other.
  • Hell's Gate by David Weber features a world of psychics and a world of mages in a war. On the psychic side called Sharona, about 1/4 of the population has a form of psychic talent, ranging from telepathy to being able to teleport small objects. There are two types of psychic bonds shown. Married couples get a bond allowing a form of telepathy between them, even when only one is a Voice able to do true telepathy. (It's also shown to be extremely useful when one is a Voice, a telepath specializing in distance communication and perfect recall of memories, and the other has a power such as mapping where they can terrain map anything with in 5 miles.)
    • The second type of bonding is a form of recognition. Much like a bond such as in ElfQuest, but the bond is implied to be one and only soulmates. This is stated to be the source of most of the great romantic and tragic literature of Sharona, due to recognition ignoring if one of the soul mates is already married.
      • This type shows up prominently in the sequel, Hell Hath No Fury. Characters who have never met before encounter one another and instantly begin behaving as if they've been together (happily) for years. There's little comment made about it. It's like love at first sight turned Up to Eleven.
  • Lisanne Norman's Sholan Alliance Series has a large number of Leska pairs that fill this. It doesn't work very well for some pairs, though.
  • Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy has two subversions: Kettle (Kestrel) describes having this type of bond with her lover, before discovering him to be sharing the same kind of bond with her twin sister, Gull. Similarly, the Fool seems to experience an unrequited version through his feelings for Fitz.
  • George R. R. Martin's short story "A Song for Lya", dealt heavily with this idea. It didn't end well.
  • In Beyond The Glass by Antonia White, the main character has this with the man she falls in love with after the failure of her first marriage. And then the intensity of their relationship is a contributing factor to her going insane...
  • The Patryn can invoke this in The Death Gate Cycle as part of their marriage ritual.
  • Abramm and Maddie in the series Legends of the Guardian-King have this. (That's how Maddie knows Abramm is Not Quite Dead, even though he's been missing for a year.
  • Katherine Kurtz's Deryni novels use this trope in nearly every book.
  • Happens to quite a few couples in the Saga of Recluce.
  • Wizards in the Young Wizards 'verse experience this if they end up romantically intimate with each other — a fact learned and demonstrated during A Wizard Abroad when Nita's crush on the Irish wizard Ronan turns into her first kiss. It's broken off when she sees more in his mind than she expected: Ronan is the new host for the One's Champion.
  • The Liaden Universe calls this "lifemating". It's stated to be extremely rare in Liaden society, yet somehow it seems to happen to just about every main character in the series (though some of them have to wait decades to find their lifemate); it's vaguely suggested that it has something to do with the telepathic tree they take care of.
  • Duncton Wood has this occurring between Rebbecca and Bracken. Despite this they don't actually mate until very late in the book because something horrible keeps getting in the way.
  • In the Griffin and Sabine trilogy, the titular characters have a version of this, seeing each other's paintings and eventually building a very long distance relationship.
  • The Fey in the Tairen Soul series bond this way. As the breeding of girl children depends on the mindlink and the probability of one forming between any two given individuals is low, there always is a serious skew in the sex distribution. This is "compensated" by the men killing themselves after so many centuries without mindlink.
  • A young adult science fiction novel, A Place of Silver Silence by Ardath Mayhar, has this going on via technological means — arranged marriages between ten year olds based on scientific psychological testing. The main character got to enjoy her husband's death vicariously as a result. We get shown, not told how he died—by having his internal organs rearranged in an artistic manner. In a book listed on Amazon as 7th Grade and Up!
  • In The Inheritance Cycle, every dragon is mentally linked to their rider to the point of being able to become one consciousness in the midst of battle. Although this isn't romantic, when a rider's dragon is killed or vice versa, it is described as having half of yourself ripped away, which usually resulted in death or madness. The relationship shown between Eragon and Saphira is shown to be an extremely close one, although not romantic, as they feel as if they are one person.
  • Ramses and Nefret Emerson, of the Amelia Peabody detective series, have a one-way link, whereby Nefret knows when Ramses is in imminent danger.
  • In the Anita Blake series, this meets either Love Dodecahedron or Polyamory, but either way, it is complex. To take the relationship tree the story revolves around: Jean-Claude took Anita as his human servant and Richard as his animal to call, making a connection between all three of them. Anita, being a necromancer and animator, picked up some of the vampire power, and so now has Damian, her vampire to call, and a number of animals to call, because she keeps picking up various wereanimals that she might be able to turn into—but really doesn't want to. And until the first change, a person can keep picking up new wereanimals, so this probably isn't going to stop any time soon. And breaking the link between vampire and servant is severely damaging to both parties, but if the human dies that means the vampire is hurt and maybe goes insane, and if the vampire dies an unshielded human will die or go insane.
  • The Marat in the Codex Alera form telepathic bonds with totem animals. In the first book, Furies of Calderon, a Marat girl named Kitai accidentally forms such a bond with the main character, Tavi. The two become a couple as the series progresses and display some aspects of this trope, such as being able to sense one another's presence and moods. It also means that when Tavi begins to develop furycrafting, Kitai develops it as well.
  • In Gene Roddenberry's novelisation of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Kirk's mind calls to Spock from light-years away - this is what causes him to fail to achieve Kolinahr. Even with Spock's fluctuating-as-the-plot-demands telepathic abilities, that is really indicative of a mind-link. Slashers forevermore have had a field day with this, since the only mention we hear of person-to-person mindlinks without physical contact is in the context of the marriage bond.
  • In The Sharing Knife series, Lakewalker marriage essentially involves becoming a limited form of this- no mind reading, but they can tell if the spouse is alive, and one character can tell the general direction her husband is in.
  • In The Redemption of Althalus, all of the main characters eventually develop a non-romantic version of this, but the couples end up with special, private links.
  • Maigrey Morianna and Derek Sagan from the space opera The Star of the Guardians define this trope.
  • In the Firebird Trilogy, telepathic Pair Bonding creates a link between the couple, allowing them to always sense each others' emotions when in proximity, and leaving a feeling of emptiness when separated. When the bond is broken, the surviving spouse goes into bereavement shock and can take years to regain a semblance of normalcy.
  • Subverted in Twilight, as Edward can read anybody's thoughts except for Bella.
  • Alex and Jo are this way by the end of The Parasite War by Tim Sullivan.
  • Joanne Bertin's Dragonlords have it sort of built in. A Dragonlord is a being with half a human's soul, half a dragon's; before they are born these souls are split in twain and reassigned. Dragonlords pine after their soultwins, and there's mention of the horrifically tragic case when one's soultwin turned out to be a normal human. It's also said that most soultwins are just a little closer than really close human couples, but the title character of The Last Dragonlord envies those who are much closer, so close that it's physically painful for the two to be apart for more than a few hours. It seems there are also some who can't stand each other - not because of differences in personality or interest, which is unheard of, but because they are individuals who hate themselves.
  • Trapped on Draconica: "We're twins; united in body and soul." Presumably Erowin being Ben's twin serves as an 'anchor' which allows her to stick around and help after Mordak kills her.
  • In Andre Norton's Ordeal in Otherwhere, Charis and Shann develop a Psychic Link, though they have to take care to keep it from overwhelming them. That it led to marriage becomes clear in Forerunner Foray, when their son recounts how the Wyverns trained him because of it.
  • Treecat mates, in the Honor Harrington series, since the species as a whole is telempathic.
    • Later in the books, it's revealed that Honor herself has one of these with Hamish Alexander, whom she later marries, though the link is empathic in nature, not telepathic. She comes by it honestly: her mother Allison and father Alfred also have an empathic bond.
  • Rye and Sonia develop one of these fairly early on in the Three Doors trilogy. Late in the second book, they are able to reach out to Rye's brother Sholto using this method when they cannot risk calling to him.

    Live Action TV 
  • Trip Tucker and T'Pol on Enterprise had a psychic bond and were in love (largely due to T'Pol's damaged emotional control from drug abuse). Their first hint is when they find themselves sharing the same daydream, despite being on different starships.
  • Troi and Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation were like this early on, talking to each other telepathically a lot. This was dropped, or forgotten later, though it was picked up again in the novels, especially Peter David's Imzadi.
    • Much later, in the seventh season episode "Attached", Captain Picard and Doctor Crusher are mind-linked for an episode due to neural implants. During this time, they come to terms with their feelings for each other and (in a mild subversion) decide to keep things professional (because of personal history and because Status Quo Is God).note  The Series Finale does show that they did get together in the future, but later divorced.
  • Subverted in Star Trek: The Original Series "Amok Time". Spock had a mindlink placed in him as part of an Arranged Marriage when he was a child. This mindlink was suspiciously easily overcome.
  • Another example was in the live action Beauty and the Beast. Vincent and Catherine could usually tell when the other was in trouble. When the mind-link broke, it almost drove Vincent crazy.
  • On Fringe, Oliva and John Scott have this even after he's dead via the sensory deprivation tank.
    • Later in the series, Peter and Olivia develop an odd (and especially impressive) variation of this which, par for course with the series, defies the very laws of time and space with unclear moral consequences: After he writes himself out of the time-line and then reappears in the present, his presence and her unique abilities and brain chemistry bring forth her memories from the original time-line (including them falling in love). Unfortunately, this eventually completely replaces her memories of the new time-line, effectively killing that version of Olivia in favor of the One True Pairing favored/required by The Multiverse.
  • In an early episode of Babylon 5, a telepath says that having sex with another telepath invokes this trope, comparing it to mirrors endlessly reflecting one another.
  • In Doctor Who, for a long time it has been hinted that the Doctor and TARDIS were mentally linked, to the extent that the TARDIS's translation circuits depend on the Doctor's health. Similarly, there was a Running Gag that there seemed to be some kind of Cargo Ship going on; the Doctor would call his time machine 'dear' and 'sexy', and even companions would joke about how he would stroke her console. It was all but confirmed in a Season 6 episode where the TARDIS was forced into a human body, and the two characters spend nearly the entire episode flirting, having sexual tension, or tearful Crowning Moments Of Heart Warming. The name of the episode? "The Doctor's Wife".
  • Played with on The X-Files between Mulder and Scully, though oddly (given the paranormal premise of the show) never truly explored. The most overt of this implied "link" is the fact that they dream of each other while the other is abducted; Mulder dreams of Scully being tortured in season two, while Scully does the same in season 8. In fact, this becomes so regular that Scully panics when she stops having the dreams, for fear that Mulder's death might be the reason.
  • In How I Met Your Mother, Marshall and Lily have been shown to have done this on occasion.

    Music 
  • Believe it or not, this is what the Golden Earring song "Radar Love" is about. But it doesn't change that it's an awesome driving song.

    Video Games 
  • For the Asari in Mass Effect, the only way for them to mate and reproduce is to link their neural network with another creature's. This has the added benefit of enabling them to mate with any species, regardless of gender.
  • The epilogue text in Dragon Age: Origins suggests that the male Warden and Morrigan may be able to sense each others' emotions/thoughts to some limited degree, due the pair of enchanted rings that they both wear.
  • A variation on this is created between Gordon Freeman and Alyx Vance in Half-Life 2: Episode Two. In the process of healing Alyx from a mortal wound, the vortigaunts weave Gordon's "life essence" with Alyx's. This is similar to the "preservation of sanity" variant — here, it is implied that the link is critical to reviving Alyx physically. And nothing suggests that the link couldn't work in reverse.
  • Galerians has elements of this for Rion and Lilia, due to each one having one half of the virus program in their heads. Rion and Lilia can telepathically communicate, and Lilia feels pain when Rion is hurt. Whether or not it's romantic is somewhat debatable, but they are, at the least, very close best friends.
  • The male protagonist of Knights of the Old Republic has this with Bastila, if you decide to pursue the romance. The PC in the second has a non-romantic version with Kreia, and a straight example with Visas.
  • If you pursue Mint's route in Galaxy Angel, something like this happens. Mint is the only natural-born telepath in the Angel-tai, but as she falls for Tact, she feels like he can read her thoughts as well as she can read his. There is no explanation for this.
  • Meryl and Johnny show signs of this near the end of Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, as they shot enemies only the other one could have seen and shove new magazines into guns held in their direction without looking at it. Which is even more interesting as the SOP-system was supposed to do exactly that, but Johnny never managed to work with the rest of the team, as he lacked SOP. Once the system is shut down and Meryl has to act on her "real" instincts, they work together amazingly.
  • Sion and Riesbyfe have this in Sion's good ending in Melty Blood: Actress Again. Explained in that Riesbyfe's entire existence is now a physical projection from the data inside Sion's head.

    Web Comic 

    Web Original 
  • Iriana and Mille have this in Ilivais X. It's due to both of them having similar Drive Cores, which contain an empathic maintenance and observation function, but in their case it's VERY strong. However, it only works in full when either one is in the Ilivais or they're both in close proximity, though it is shown they can detect a general emotional state from afar. They also have an internal compass that lets them find one another, though that's from a makeshift blood transfusion that uses both Mille and Iriana's regenerative abilities to have those blood cells be drawn to the other.
  • Limyaael has a few suggestions...
  • In Metamor City telepaths temporarily fuse consciousnesses when they have sex, then afterwards they try to sort out whose memories are whose and piece themselves together. People without telepathy can't do the last part so all but the weakest teeps are rather limited in their choice of partners.

    Western Animation 
  • Early promotional material for Danny Phantom hinted at a "psychic connection" that Danny was supposed to share with Sam "She Is Not My Girlfriend" Manson. This was dropped in the series proper.
  • Aelita and Jérémie from Code Lyoko shared a mind link in the episode "Frontier".
  • Gargoyles had an unusual case, with three souls inhabiting one body (Coldstone), two of which were in love. They lamented being unable to feel physical things, but one can only imagine what it's like to not just be in each other's minds but BE each other's minds.. together.
  • Source of a major Ship Tease in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, when Jimmy and Cindy's brains are mixed together for a short time
    Cindy: Did you um, notice, when our brains were floating inside that thing together, which was disgusting, by the way! One of us was imagining us walking down a country lane, holding hands, and um, kissing?
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers had a hint of this between Shane and Niko. Niko was already a Psychic Action Girl, and could usually read the gents with ease. However, in the episode "Changeling," Shane was gravely wounded and had no way to communicate a "do not shoot" order to his team. In desperation, he used his implant and sent a telepathic message to her. The fact he was able to actively use telepathy during that one instance has led to a great deal of speculation on the part of fan writers.
  • Spoofed in the rather infamous Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Handbanana". Handbanana mindlinks with Carl and immediately makes creepy threats about coming for him in the night. Then he rapes him. Repeatedly.
  • American Dragon Jake Long: Jake and Rose were dating in magic dreams for a time.

    Real Life 
  • C. S. Lewis in A Grief Observed said that once or twice during his bereavement he felt as if Joy was trying to comfort him from beyond the grave. That is of course the sort of thing a grieving person might do, but it is also about as close to a Real Life example as you might find.
  • On the other hand, cybernetics researcher Kevin Warwick (of putting a chip into his arm that remote-controls electric circuits fame) conducted an experiment in which he and his wife got wireless transceivers patched into the nerves of their arms. It's not clear how much they were able to communicate with each other, and it may have been empathic at best. Pretty good going for real life, though.

Secret KeeperRomance Novel PlotsDecember-December Romance
Mind HiveOne with the IndexMind Probe
Meta FicFanfic TropesMr. Seahorse
Bond CreaturesMagic and PowersTwin Telepathy
Mighty Whitey and Mellow YellowLove TropesMistaken Declaration of Love
Mind ManipulationAdded Alliterative AppealMinecart Madness

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