Since "domestic partner" is a politically correct way to refer to the person you live with (carnal benefits optional), police officers, lawyers, and other people who work with colleagues also get to utter the above StockPhrase when introducing their professional partners, NotThatTheresAnythingWrongWithThat optional.

This trope is OlderThanTheyThink because "partner" has always had that double meaning, and it's a handy way to drop in some ShipTease or HoYay, but expect to see this trope pop up more and more in lieu of (or in conjunction with) SheIsNotMyGirlfriend.


[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* Something similar in the English dub of ''Anime/SamuraiSeven''. Kambei calls his war buddy his [[HoYay "old wife"]], and this is translated as having him refer to the guy as his "mate". So, in English as in Japanese, the other characters are surprised when they meet the guy and find out he isn't a (female) love interest.
* There has been some confusion on the term "partner" in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' (between the festival and summer arcs).

[[folder: FanWorks]]
* In the ''Manga/DeathNote'' [[AlternateUniverseFic AU]] ''{{FanFic/Ragnarok}}'' Matsuda is Light's partner at the NPA. [[JerkAss Mello]] asks if he's his partner in every sense of the word.
* In the ''Manga/DeathNote'' [[AlternateUniverseFic AU]] ''[[FanFic/AGunToLovesHead A Gun to Love's Head]]'' L and Light are partners but [[spoiler: until Mello forces the issue]] they were completely [[PlatonicLifePartners platonic.]]

[[folder: Film]]
* Inverted in ''Film/AmericanBeauty'': when welcoming Colonel Fitts to the neighborhood, Jim Olmeyer introduces Jim Berkeley as "my partner". Colonel Fitts asks them to cut to the chase and proceed with the sales pitch, as he presumes they're business partners, and reacts with disgust when he realizes they mean ''romantic'' partner.

[[folder: Literature]]
* Very common in ''Literature/TheHollows'' books between Ivy and Rachel; compounded by the fact that with Rachel under Ivy's protection, other vampires assume Ivy must be getting blood and/or sex in return.
* Though they do become an {{Official Couple}} later, [[Literature/CutAndRun FBI Special Agents Zane Garrett and Ty Grady]] have gotten this. After a car accident, an EMT tending to Ty asks Zane if they're partners. He answers yes, not thinking anything of it. It's only when Zane specifically mentions working on a case that she realizes they meant completely different things.

[[folder: Live Action Television]]
* Often but not always averted on ''Series/{{Bones}}'' - everyone seems to think Booth and Brennan are a couple but they always say "we're not a couple, [he/she]'s my partner," and the corretee almost always knows what they mean.
* Inverted in an episode of ''Series/{{Psych}}'' when a man introduced his "partner." Career policeman Lassiter simply did not comprehend that he meant lover and assumed business partner or partner-in-crime.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': The Doctor is always having to clarify that a "companion" is not sexual (actually, the term is an AscendedMeme, since it wasn't normally used that way in real life until the show did).
* ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'' - Robert Goren's mother was already a little bit out of it, so she started thinking that Alex Eames was his girlfriend.
* Mike and Carl in ''Series/MikeAndMolly''.
* ''Series/{{Reba}}'': Van auctions a day of working out with him in a silent auction and the winner of the auction was an effeminate man who wants to understand football better because his "partner" always talks about it. Turns out [[CampStraight he's straight]] and he was talking about his business partner.
* In ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' JD refers to his {{Heterosexual Life Partner}}s Turk as his "partner" (since they're more or less an internal medicine/surgeon team), then hurriedly clarifies "not that type of partner". Later, it's revealed that his patient had the right idea to start with and [[MistakenForGay got the wrong idea]] from the correction.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'' Mulder and Scully run into this, too. The fact that they're closer than most married couples likely doesn't help the situation.
* In the pilot of ''Series/CommonLaw'', Wes and Travis realize in the middle of their therapy session that the rest of the group thinks that Wes and Travis are domestic partners as opposed to police partners. The fact that it was a couples' therapy group probably had something to do with that assumption.

[[folder: Web Original]]
* In ''Literature/{{CAPOW}}'', the term "partner" gets lobbed about quite a bit to ShipTease eventual OfficialCouple (and professional partners) Talon and Samui.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'' ''Return to Spider-Skull Island'' begins with Dr. Venture admitted to a hospital emergency ward. Brock goes to follow him in but is stopped by a doctor.
-->'''Doctor''': Sorry, sir, medical personnel only beyond this point.
-->'''Brock''': I'm staying with him; I go where he goes.
-->'''Doctor''': Ohh! You must be his ''partner'', then!
-->'''Brock''': Not really, it's more like I work for him ''wait'' a minute, ''NO!''