This trope is parodied in an act of the relationship between Luffy and Hancock. When Luffy hugs Hancock, she believes it is something that married couples do, and that he just proposed to her. Nyon later sets the record straight.
He did, however, refer to Rayleigh and Shakky as a "cute married couple", but whether they're actually married or just close friends hasn't been made explicit.
Usopp does have a potential Love Interest, Kaya, waiting at home for him, but they hadn't yet reached the point of Official Couple when he left. Also, he hasn't seen her in over two years, and definitely won't for the rest of their adventure.
Mr. 9 and Miss Monday were shown to have a kid in a cover page.
Parodied in one letter written to Mr. Oda. "Are any of the characters in love?" "Yes, they're in love...WITH ADVENTURE!"
In an extreme example, Dragon Ball follows the lives of several characters who marry and start families, although we're not shown much of the courting period at all, however there was a pretty noticeable build-up to both Goku/Chi-Chi and Gohan/Videl. This mostly came out of the creator's fears that he was terrible at romance.
Eva had a few minor ones. None of them ended well.
There was a man and a woman in a town Tenma went through that were implied to have developed a relationship after he left. A very old and man and woman.
Johan disguised as Nina seduced intel out of a young detective with pure romance in volume 11.
Gundam Wing was written with no romance in mind at all. In an interview, the director specifically stated that he considered the political and symbolic relationship between the show's two leads more important than any potential romance.
Despite that, there are some rather obvious romantic overtones in the Duo/Hilde relationship, and Heero and Relena even actually do share a kiss in the only canonical manga spin-off, so make of that what you will.
The most seriously built up romantic connection, in the sense that it would be really cruel to take these two apart, and they build an emotional link and seem to fit together and all that, is Trowa and Quatre. It doesn't have to be sexual, but it's sure as hell romantic.
Word Of God: "There is no romance in Lucky Star." They go so far as to have a scene that sets up what looks like a love confession, and then it turns out the guy wanted to talk to Kagami so he could beg her Yatsuhashi doll off of her.
While Fullmetal Alchemist is very romance-heavy, to the point of No Loves Intersect, an arguable example of this trope in action is the 2003 anime version. Both Rose and Winry in this version are implied to be in love with Edward - and it's been implied that Edward likes Winry back just like in the original manga (with Rose it's more ambiguous) - but Ed is too focused on his brother.
Roy and Riza don't have any extremely obvious displays of affection but their bond and dialogue makes their relationship clear. The manga counts in a literal way, as neither Edward-Winry or Roy-Riza kiss or do anything above a hug.
Nelvana's Cardcaptors dub managed to, amazingly, turn a romance-heavy anime into a No Hugging, No Kissing series. This isn't just aboutthecontroversialstuff; even the most acceptable pairs (mainly Syaoran/Sakura) became devoid of romantic interest. This became particularly bad in the Sakura Cards arc, in which Syaoran's feelings towards Sakura sometimes got 50% of an episode. In the dub, all the romantic scenes are cut out and the dialogue is changed to some more generic subjects (fighting the forces of evil, etc). To fill in the minutes of lost footage, many flashbacks were added. For example, while Cardcaptor Sakura last episode is an intense, emotion-filled finale, Cardcaptors last episode is almost a Clip Show.
The author of the Slayers novels stated that there would be no romance (again, like Toriyama, because he felt like he'd be poor at writing it), and whatever comes about resembling romance is either Played for Laughs or unrequited (namely the relationsip between Luke and Millina). When the anime was made, however, Lina and Gourry were cemented as an Official Couple, even sharing a (not remembered) kiss, and there was plenty of Ship Tease for Amelia and Zelgadis, who were strictly friends in the novels. A few more couples were thrown in for good measure. Later on, Kanzaka admitted that he didn't plan it, but realized that the characters all fell in love on their own.
Like Slayers, the original novels for Record of Lodoss War keeps romance off the radar. There's more of it in the anime adaptations, but other than Deedlit's crush on Parn, most of it is kept low-key.
In the Pokémon anime it seems like the only couples allowed consist of minor characters. None of the main characters are in relationships, and the only one who seems to want to be is Brock. Although, since almost none of them have hit puberty yet, this kind of makes sense. This doesn't stop the fandom from having vicious Ship-to-Ship Combat over which girl Ash should end up with, though.
Several manga for the series avert this rule, though the source games fit this trope somewhat. Romance is implied, even with the protagonists, but it's never going to go anywhere.
However, in the original soundtrack, 2 B. A. Master, there is a love song which implies that Misty has very strong feelings for Ash.
Word Of God for the anime has said that Ash won't be involved in any romantic relationships because the focus of the series is the relationship between Pokemon and their trainers and Ash having romantic relationships would distract from this.
Despite the relationship between Rosette and Chrono being a major part of Chrono Crusade, the word 'love' does not appear in the manga, in any context, ever. It's also open to debate whether or not the two ever kiss (the angle on their final scene on the Pandaemonium leaves it ambiguous).
The only display of romantic affection in Claymore has so far been the single kiss Clare gave to Raki just before leaving him for good. Everything else never goes beyond I Owe You My Life sentiment and Vitriolic Best Buds relationship, much to the frustration of the considerable Yuri Fandom of the series.
Despite how deep most of the relationships tend to run in Soul Eater - with Soul and Maka being the most canon example - according to Ohkubo in an interview he doesn't plan on taking any of them to a romantic level. Though he also tends to troll his fans so whether or not he's being honest is unsure, and the Ship Tease isn't helping.
The Lyrical Nanoha series has almost no romance onscreen, although quite a lot is implied. Aside from Nanoha's brother and his girlfriend, the only confirmed relationship is between Amy and Chrono, and these characters mostly vanish after the second season, and even when they were a part of the show nothing actually happens onscreen. There are several character pairs that have romantic overtones, but none of them are ever explicitly shown to be more than friendship.
Probably the reason Hunter × Hunter is a total sausagefest. Any women in the series are minor characters who don't stick around long. The two main characters are also prepubescent.
According to Word Of God, Daily Lives of High School Boys isn't so much about romance than teenage boys (and some girls) doing things. In fact, the closest things to romance the series have are the Literature Girl and Emi's crushes towards Hidenori, and even then they are one-sided (and in the latter's case, it was even grounded by Surprise Incest).
Tintin has this in spades, no major characters have shown any interest in romance whatsoever. The only exception is Professor Calculus, who has an innocent crush on Bianca Castafiore.
According to the book "Tintin: Herge & His Creation", Snowy would have been a female human and love interest for Tintin had the Tintin stories not been originally published for a conservative Christian newspaper. Apparently conservative Christians look down upon romance between unmarried couples.
Snowy's French name, Milou, actually comes from the nickname for Marie-Louise van Cutsem, Hergé's first love, although their relationship fell apart after her father thought Hergé an improper suitor.
Awkwardly done in Weird Science, in that the two teenagers, despite having created a woman of their complete desire, make no explicit attempts to even try to have sex with her. Somewhat justified in that Gary and Wyatt go pretty quickly from being in awe that they actually created Lisa to being absolutely terrified of her, once she displays her Reality Warper powers.
Played for Laughs in The Princess Bride. When Westley has to leave and he and Buttercup start a romantic kiss goodbye, the young boy to whom the story is being read complains "Is this a kissing book?" In response, the narrator switches to the part where Westley is murdered by pirates. The boy comments: "Murdered by pirates is good." However, by the end, the boy allows Westley and Buttercup to have a romantic kiss, without complaint.
In the film adaptations of both The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons, the romantic subplots between Langdon and Sophie and between Langdon and Victoria are scrapped altogether (it was stated that this would make the film less realistic). Langdon does give Sophie a friendly peck on the forehead, but that's about it.
This is a film too bad to be good & too good to be so bad it’s good. DULL is the watchword, unless watching Richard Gere’s Shatnerian reactions to a phone ringing is your idea of edge-of-the-seat horror. That Mothman never makes an appearance would be fine if the film gave us something else, or kept a mystery worth keeping- but nada. & this is perhaps the only ‘action’ film I can recall where a gratuitous love story would have improved the tale. Laura Linney’s Connie is the only character developed to any emotional or deep extent, or which induces any concern. She radiates a down-home sensuality, yet John never makes a move, even after saving her. Not even a peck on the cheek. Loser!
In the made-for-TV film Path of Destruction: Katherine Stern and Nathan McCain apparently go on a date at the end, although they never hug or kiss.
H. P. Lovecraft's stories do not focus on even the slightest bits of romance or affection. Even when the protagonist mentions a wife, it is usually in a rather offhand manner. The story The Thing on the Doorstep involved a marriage as a plot point but it wasn't the marriage of the protagonist, but that of a friend. Even then, no acts of romantic affection between said friend and his love interest are ever described, and, said marriage was actually just a way for an Eldritch Abomination inhabiting the woman to keep the husband close at hand since said Eldritch Abomination wants to eventually take control of said husband's body. Even friendships are subject to this since Lovecraftian protagonists often describe friendships in a detached manner.
R.L. Stine's Goosebumps books often assign the protagonist a best friend of the opposite sex. No one ever seems to address the topic of romance between the two; in fact, there's virtually no difference between male and female characters at all. Differences between the sexes are only important when the characters are teenagers, just as said differences tend to be in real life. This is most likely because the books are aimed at prepubescent kids, and he wants both genders to be able to relate to it.
Though he did avert it in one book, "How I Learned To Fly," in which the male protagonist actively wants his relationship with his female friend to be romantic.
Daisy Miller: The 19th century European aristocracy strongly adhered to this rule. Americans did not so much, however, and Daisy refuses to change her ways and (literally) do as the Romans do when in Rome. She finally becomes an outcast among her fellow American tourists when she commits the unforgiveable crime of strolling down the street on the arms of two men!
Deliciously inverted in The Ambassadors.
Redwall: The word "love" is almost never used except for family and friendship types of love. (Making the throwaway line in The Sable Quean where a female Mookdeclares "I loved him"and vows to avenge her slain mate even more striking.) Martin and Rose, the most famous couple, are never described with the word "love", and barely even hold paws onscreen, but it's still clear that they're very important to each other, and still heartbreaking when Rose is killed.
Several novels by Isaac Asimov. Asimov himself openly acknowledged his (at least perceived) inability to write interpersonal relationships, let alone romance, and on several occasions lampooned himself for it. There are married couples in his books, but their relationship seldom plays a large role in the narrative. With the ironic exception of The Gods Themselves, written in part as a response to criticism that his books didn't have enough aliens or sex, which featured alien energy beings having the least titillating (to a human audience) threesomes in history. Which are absolutely essential to the plot.
Not to mention those kisses were all done by the same couple. That couple was Kimberly and Tommy. Which means that all three kisses happened between Tommy's debut (middle of season 1) and Kimberly's departure (middle of season 3) That amounts to three kisses in roughly the span of two seasons, out of what is now 19 seasons and nearly 20 years.
Executive Meddling forces may have been at work, too. According to SPD executive producer Greg Aranowitz, higher ups demanded as-low-as-possible levels of romance in the series, since it's targeted at little boys and all (he only said that about SPD, naturally, but who knows what goes through the minds of Disney).
Doctor Who took this one to the point where a noticeable section of fans believed (and still do) that Time Lords are asexual, and have contrived extremely elaborate Fan Wank to make this a biological viability. This despite the glaringly obvious fact that Susan, the Doctor's granddaughter, got together with a human guy (with kissing and everything) one season in. A form of this supposed asexuality was introduced by Marc Platt in one Expanded Universe novel series, based off plans script editor Andrew Cartmel had for the Seventh Doctor — but the Expanded Universe isn't part of the TV show canon.
The new series very quickly made efforts to dispel this aspect of the original series, with the Doctor and Rose having a slow-burning relationship climaxing in a kiss at the end of the first season. By now, the Doctor has snogged or been snogged by Cassandra, Reinette, Astrid, Joan, Martha, Donna, Amy, River, Catherine, the freaking TARDIS, Captain Jack, Rory Williams and Clara, all for various reasons. (Notably, the snog with Rory was just because he felt like it.) Naturally, many of that first section of fans dislike the new series for precisely this reason. However, the writers are quite respectful towards the fans who'd rather see the Doctor be chaste, and always leave room for a bit of denial. (As for the Rose thing: he leaves her behind forever so she can go live happily with his mortal clone. Problem solved!)The New Series also gave a nod to the old series' restrictions. Ten admits that when he was Three and Four, he consciously decided not to pursue the "relationship" (in her words) with Sarah Jane Smith any further, knowing that it would be cruelty to both of them: The Doctor would have to watch as Sarah Jane aged and died while he was still in the prime of his lives.
And fanboys hit the roof when the Eighth Doctor kissed Grace in the TV Movie. Between that and "I'm half human on my mother's side" (which was never spoken of ever again), Fandom Berserk Button went supercritical during broadcast of that program. Eight continued to be rather intimate with companions, including snogging (male companion!) Fitz in the novels. Bernice Summerfield quickly caught on and tackle-snogged Eight to the bed during their last goodbye. The author of that particular story noted that he wasn't allowed to make things more explicit ("no hanky-panky in the TARDIS", as he wrote in the author's notes). Twelve years later (in a Big Finish audio), Bernice says they, erm, shook hands and said goodbye.
At one point (particularly in the Davison era), there was a No Hugging, No Kissing, No Touching (for example, a comforting hand on the shoulder was a no-no) between the Doctor and his female companions, to dispel the notion of "hanky-panky" going on in the TARDIS. (Ironically, it just made fangirls think he fancied Turlough.)
There were a couple occasions where Five was allowed to hug his female companions, such as after he rescued Nyssa from George Cranleigh on the roof of a burning building in "Black Orchid", after Tegan is released from the Mara in "Snakedance", and when Sharaz Jek intimidates Peri in "The Caves of Androzani".
This became a bit of a Chekhov's Gun in Moffat's run of the new series, since the Doctor still firmly believed that "no hanky-panky in the TARDIS" was still effective. He gave his companions bunk beds and everything. Amy and Rory didn't listen at all, and discovered that hanky-panky in the TARDIS while it's in the Time Vortex can result in some very unexpected side effects to conception. The Doctor's face when he realises that they shagged in his TARDIS is absolutely priceless.
The Doctor's first companion Susan wasn't originally his granddaughter, but was redesigned as such to forestall any potential implications about an old man travelling around alone with a young teenager.
If you listen to the subtext of some of Barbara and Ian's discussions in Foreman's Junkyard, they were having those exact fears.
30 Rock is very clear about this: Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy will never get together. Never. Not once. (Although they were married for one episode, due to a technicality, for what it's worth.)
Outright defied by the original Addams Family series. It's not notable in that there was obvious romantic and - indeed - sexual connections between Gomez and Morticia, but rather being one of the few shows of its era to show ANY sort of actual attraction between married couples, let alone the outright passionate exchanges they would share.
Eventually averted in Merlin. Despite Arthur and Guinevere being a Foregone Conclusion, there was absolutely no indication of romantic interest between them at all in the first series, leading some Arthur/Merlin shippers to hope that there would be no romantic inclinations for the show's entire run. This hope was dashed at the beginning of series two, when they shared their first kiss by the second episode.
Big Finish Doctor Who has fun with this. There's no longer any radar to slip things by and they can get away with things the old series never could, but the cast are still aware there's some kind of rule preventing classic Doctors from getting too close to people. Five's awkwardness makes Turlough wonder how he managed to have grandchildren, Six convinces someone he's not the Doctor by passionately kissing a woman, and Seven showing interest in a woman is a warning sign he's been drugged. Eight, the first Doctor to break the trend, is a Chick Magnet with a lot of painful consequences.
Warhammer 40000 and all of its spinoffs, including the role-playing games, tend to gloss over or completely avoid the subject of romance and love, bar that love and desire feed one of the Gods of Chaos. It's understandable, given the settings' all-encompassing emphasis on war and mayhem, but even in the books, offhand references at best are the rule, with exceptions few and far between.
Very mildly averted in the Ciaphas Cain novels, where Cain is a devoted pursuer of women, and there's a few other relationships mentioned when they cross his path. It's mostly offscreen, and mostly implied, but it's there.
An example of Executive Meddling in BIONICLE. There were hints of romance in the early flash animations and online games, but these were decanonized when the Lego Company decided to eliminate romance on the grounds that the core demographic (5-12 year olds) would find it "icky." Greg Farshtey, the lead story writer for Bionicle, also refuses to explain how new beings come into existence. To paraphrase Farshtey:
And then one of the movies went ahead and had an Unholy Matrimony plot. Farshtey had to handwave that one as merely a kind of political alliance, the same way kings would have their children married to strengthen bonds between royal houses (which to be fair is very much Truth in Television).
The rule is now and forever more broken, officially. In the final novel of the entire saga, Kiina confesses her feelings toward Mata Nui by hugging him, and riding away in tears...and she was a feisty Action Girl who barely displayed any deep emotions like this up to that point.
Knights of the Old Republic II (which the lead quote refers to), by itself, isn't a very violent offender, although the romantic element is clearly downplayed compared to the first game and doesn't have as much impact on the main plot.
Possibly, there are two females of inappropriate age for Link in OOT, given how Saria can't grow up (unless you're into Toy Ship). Still, OOT Link does have a surprisingly large number of girls who show interest in him, given how other Zelda games usually only have one or two.
Towards the end of The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, after Zelda gets her body back, she hugs Link (he blushes at this) and after you've beaten Malladus the camera zooms in on Link and Zelda holding hands.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass made Link and Tetra act...very, very sweet towards each other (yeah, even Link, he even had some face-expressions that were only used for cutscenes related to Tetra).
While The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword plays it mostly straight between Link and Zelda with nothing more than the standard mild Ship Tease between the two, there's a surprising aversion involved in one sidequest. The NPC running the Item Check, Peatrice, unambiguously becomes infatuated with Link as his patronises her stall at the bazaar, and dialogue options allow Link to return her feelings if the player so chooses. It culminates in an open declaration of love between the two before she picks up on the fact that Link is kinda busy with something at the moment and decides they should wait until he's finished up this business to tell her father the good news.
There is one moment when it's subverted. The moment when Zelda wakes up from her slumber and falls down, Link catches her just in time. The next shot looks like Link is hugging her dearly. And it doesn't help that nobody knowswhathappens during the Fade to White...
Betrayal At Krondor has no romance, Disregarding Owyn's crush on Gamina or references to James's one-night-stands. This is facilitated by all six of the main characters being male.
Obsidian Entertainment's later Neverwinter Nights 2, in comparison, avoids it almost completely (save for a single scene under the moon), and whatever sexuality-related themes are there are mostly played for laughs.
Similar to the Zelda example, the relationships in the Super Mario Bros. games seem mostly platonic with Mario and Luigi only receiving kisses on the cheek for the reward to each rescue. Surprisingly, Luigi is asked about Mario and Peach's relationship in Super Paper Mario, and he admits that it is confusing but they seem to be just friends. Additionally, Super Mario RPG employed joke kisses (where Bowser and Booster could accidentally wind up kissing Mario on the cheek or each other on the lips while trying to steal a kiss from Peach). Aside from that, the series just teases potential pairings such as Luigi/Daisy and Yoshi/Birdo.
Freelancer makes it very clear that Trent and Juni start out as brothers at arms to end up as close friends, but nothing more.
Touhou has no romance whatsoever. Hell, only a literal handful of characters even have known family members.
Dynasty Warriors was pretty bad with this, despite the canon couples such as Liu Bei and Sun Shang Xiang, then Sima Zhao and Wang Yuanji, most notably on the latter, which has both of them act like close friends instead of being a couple, at least.
The closest to subverting this trope is Wu's ending on DW7, with Sun Quan carrying Lian Shi (both are an example similar to Zhao and Yuanji). Koei, you really need to to make these relationships believable.
As mentioned in the anime, there's little romance in Pokemon other than implications and subtext.
Love and sex are never mentioned in Dark Souls. The only marriage ever mentioned is off screen and neither character involved is personally encountered. It might just be that the world sucks so much no one can really bother thinking about such things, or that the Dark Sign is also Sterility Plague.
Persona 4 Arena is a very odd example. In the original game, the Silent Protagonist could pick from one of several girls from optional Romance Sidequests. Since Arena is a direct sequel, story wise, whether or not the hero (now named Yu Narukami) entered into a relationship with a girl, or who the girl would be is never discussed in order to keep it open and prevent Ship-to-Ship Combat. It's merely hinted at by some characters that he is a Chick Magnet.
In Something Positive, Davan and PeeJee have been friends for years, helping each other through bad times. (Davan had a crush on PeeJee for a while, but told her that he got over it.) The author has specifically stated that they will not get into a relationship (and that the woman PeeJee is based on would hurt him if they did). As of this writing, Davan has just found a long-term girlfriend, and the story is eight years into a planned ten-year run, so it looks like this trope will be upheld.
While there were hints of possible mutual interest between the two leads in Disney's Fillmore!, there was nothing really overt between them. All other positively romantic relationships in the series were limited to couples smiling, holding hands, and giving each other meaningful looks. It should be noted that most of the characters in the series are in middle school.
The closest thing to romance in Invader Zim is Gretchen's implied crush on Dib, Tak's brief and incredibly violent "relationship" with Zim (motivated by revenge and SCIENCE!, respectively), and GIR's very obvious interest in Gaz.
The first two seasons of ReBoot, strangled mercilessly by Executive Meddling, made sure to ruthlessly stifle any impression that Bob and Dot were romantically linked, or were at all interested in each other in that way. Needless to say, once cut free, the creators quite happily rectified that.
Despite the many love songs and possible Incest Subtext in The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan, the lives of Mr. Chan and his children were decidedly romance-free (on camera, anyway). The only romantic subplot ever was between the family dog and a one-episode canine character.
Averted for the marriage episode with Shining Armor and Princess Cadence.
Averted in the romance heavy My Little Pony Tales. Also averted in My Little Pony And Friends - one episode featured a mutual crush between a mare and a Big Brother Pony. The toy line attempted to avert up until G3, where all romance was dropped.