"Maybe there won't be marriage. Maybe there won't be sex. But by God, there'll be dancing."This is when two characters have been friends for a long time, and share a closeness like that of a married couple. Occasionally, there are individuals who assume the duo are married or dating, or try to set them up as a couple. However, the duo is perfectly happy just being friends and the lack of sexual attraction is mutual. The reasons behind this vary. Sometimes they're truly in love with someone else. Sometimes their sexual orientation makes them incompatible. Sometimes they even tried dating once a long time ago and realised that they just didn't think of each other like that. Whatever the case, the final result is entirely platonic on both sides. In most cases, this is a Sub-Trope of Like Brother and Sister. The difference is that for Platonic Life Partners, their relationship with each other is the most important relationship, with even romantic relationships coming in second. The same-sex equivalent is Heterosexual Life-Partners. Simply being friends doesn't make a pair an example, nor does just being True Companions—rather, in terms of The Four Loves, this is Philia with overtones of Storge but a complete lack of Eros. Despite their tendency to inspire shipping, there's a good reason they're called Platonic Life Partners. However, there is precedent for Relationship Upgrades to occasionally happen if one or both partners realize their feelings run deeper. Occasionally, Better as Friends and Anchored Ship also will crossover into this trope if romantic pairing change their status, voluntarily or otherwise. Before you add an example to this page, make sure it really fits the trope. Harry Potter and Hermione Granger are a good example of two characters who don't belong here. Although they are close friends, they are both closer to Ron than they are to each other.note They're Like Brother and Sister. This is common in shows targeted at young children, even if the characters themselves are significantly older than the viewing audience, based on the assumption that little kids don't want to watch a bunch of "mushy stuff." Often also invoked by fans of science fiction series who similarly don't want the stories watered down with romance. Sub-Trope of The Not-Love Interest. Compare Better as Friends. Contrast Just Friends for when this does actually blossom into romance. Not to be confused with Childhood Friend Romance in which one side does have feelings for the other.
— George Downs, My Best Friend's Wedding
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Anime & Manga
- Czech Republic and Slovakia in Axis Powers Hetalia have quite the history together, from being Childhood Friends to parnering up into a single country once they gain their independence from Austria-Hungary. Notably, they get incensed when their eventual separation is referred to as a "divorce." Both find that, though they do alright on their own, they miss being together.
- This can easily be said of Shuri's great-grandmother Tara and Sarasa's great-grandfather Genshou in Basara's side stories.
- Bleach: In the Fade to Black movie guide, Word of God describes the relationship between Ichigo and Rukia as a close and unique friendship.
Tite Kubo: "It’s not friendship but it’s not an amorous feeling either. With these two’s relationship, I think there is no other relationship like them in other works where despite both standing in a very close position with each other it is not romance (laughs). But in this year’s movie there is a scene where Ichigo says Rukia is his “Precious nakama” and I think that explains their relationship well."
- Captain Tsubasa:
- Azumi Hayakawa and Taro Misaki, as their relationship mirrored that of Tsubasa and Sanae but without real romantic undertones.
- The Ur-Example in the series is the friendship of Manabu Okazaki and Sanae Nakazawa, who are friends from the very start but never have Ship Tease. In fact, he is the first one in the whole cast to spot Sanae's feelings for Tsubasa, and despite snarking a bit at Sanae he never shows anything similar to romantic jealousy.
- Rika Oosawa and El Sid Pierre seem to be this in the filler anime episodes. Pierre flirts a little with her but she's not really interested and, despite claiming that she hides her snark behind her pretty face, he doesn't put romantic pressure on her either.
- Tsubasa's Big Brother Mentor Roberto Hongo and Tsubasa's mother Natsuko also have a relationship like this.
- Code Geass' Lelouch and C.C. have this kind of relationship according to Word of God, which confirmed them as platonic Vitriolic Best Buds as opposed to anything else. Fans have duly ignored this.
- Shizuo Heiwajima and Celty Strulson from Durarara!!. They are best friends with a bond enforced by the fact that they're both seen as 'freaks' due to the Super Strength and headless thing. Even Celty's boyfriend, Shizuo's long-time friend Shinra, is surprised that they've never considered each other romantically.
- Fairy Tail more or less confirms this with Natsu and Lucy, though it's just vague enough to go either way. Lucy tearfully tells Natsu she wouldn't be who she is today if he had never brought her to Fairy Tail, though she never gives him any indication of romantic feelings. Natsu replies by saying he doesn't care because they'll always be together... before dragging her on a long-term quest with the rest of their team.
- Winry and Edward are this in the 2003 Fullmetal Alchemist adaptation. Originally they had romantic implications (as they do in the manga and in Brotherhood) but as the series diverged from the manga they became Like Brother and Sister.
- Kazuma and Aqua from Konosuba. Aqua is the only girl in Kazuma's Battle Harem who has no romantic feelings towards Kazuma, and the feeling is mutual, but they have the closest bond amongst the party members.
- In Kotoura-san, though Yuriko makes several moves on Dai'chi throughout the series (which he ignored), they're close enough to be practically family, especially since Yuriko lost her mother. Dai'chi's mother practically acted as Yuriko's mother figure.
- Negi and Asuna in Mahou Sensei Negima!, although Negi's natural charm makes this hard at times. It later turns out that they're related- Negi's mother Arika is a relative of Asuna's, likely her step-sister or descendant, though the exact nature of the relation is unclear. Definitely settled almost at the end, where Asuna does kiss Negi on the lips... but as a good-bye before she goes into a century-long sleep for plot reasons, and then she tells him to give good thought to which girl he will willingly kiss later. Note that despite Negi admitting he had a girl he liked, he also says that Asuna is the most important person to him. So their platonic bond is stronger than any romantic bond he might develop later.
- Setsuna and Marina from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 based on the movie. Both consider each other their most important person? Check. An almost spiritual connection when apart? Check. Setsuna comparing Marina to a flower blooming on a parched ground, and wanting to be someone who will die just to protect that one single flower... Marina comparing Setsuna to the sky, and how she vows to be his 'measure of eternity'. Both of them vowing to meet again when the time is right, staying single and unmarried for 50 years until Setsuna finally returned to her? Check. Not a single romantic feeling involved? CHECK.
- Toyed with in the manga adaptation of the movie. While Marina and Setsuna do get married there, the mangaka explicitly stated that their marriage is purely symbolic to their mutual understanding of each other. Also, since 50 years have passed she's an old woman anyway while he fused with the ELS. So probably not the kind of mushy romantic feelings the fans would expect involved either here...
- Murrue Ramius and Andrew Waltfeld of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny.
- Homura and Koharu, the two members of the Konoha Council, always make their appearances together. They were teammates and seem to have stayed together through the decades.
- Shikamaru and Chouji are this way to Ino. Their clans usually go together and the three have become close friends but there's nothing romantic to their relationship, even as adults in the Distant Finale. Ironically their children argue a lot.
- In Ooku: The Inner Chambers, there's Shogun Yoshimune (a Gender Flip of the real Yoshimune) and the senior chamberlain Sugishita. Yoshimune even acknowledged on Sugishita's deathbed that even though they were never lovers, he was the closest she had to a mate (and it didn't hurt that her daughters regarded him as their father, having all lost theirs at young ages). When he died she had him interred as one of her concubines, rather than just as a chamberlain.
- In Oreimo, Saori and Kyousuke due to Saori being one of the few female leads that doesn't fall in love with him. Averted in the visual novel if you play the right route though.
- Oz and Alice in Pandora Hearts, according to Word of God. They share a very strong bond and it's made very clear they consider each other the most important person in their lives. While there's plenty of Ship Tease between them, Word of God claims their love for each other is completely platonic. Fans hardly see them that way, though.
- Patlabor: In the OVA continuity, Noa Izumi and Asuma Shinohara are partners who soon form a close bond with each other. However, the Next Generation live action series, which continues from the original OVA continuity states that Noa and Asuma eventually did get together in the end and in The Mobile Police/New Files continuity they have such chemistry that their teammates begin to suspect that their relationship goes deeper than that, with the final episodes implying that they may be right.
- Sailor Moon:
- Minako and Artemis. While Artemis is Minako's closest companion, especially in Codename: Sailor V, he's like a Big Brother Mentor to her, not a love interest, and he ends up with Luna in the future.
- Makoto and her former schoolmate Ken Shinozaki (the guy who covered her with his umbrella after she had her heart broken under the rain) in the Sailor Moon anime. Usagi even asks her if he's her boyfriend, but Mako immediately denies it and says, "our bond is beyond lovers".
- Shingo and his anime-only best friend Mika. There's a fair bit of Ship Tease and affection, but it doesn't go beyond that; in fact, it really annoys Shingo when people take their friendship for dating. He later gets a crush on someone else.
- A majority of the relationships between the Meisters and their respective weapons are this in Soul Eater. Word of God made it clear since early on that he never planned on developing the relationships into anything romantic. Soul and Maka are the main example. They're definitely each others' primary relationship—the series is based on one character that is a weapon (or a person who turns into a weapon or... it's weird and ambiguous) bonded with one character that is a wielder, and thus are constant companions and the most important people to each other. Despite the good deal of Ship Tease around the two, their relationship ultimately remains platonic.
- Okabe and Mayuri have this going in Steins;Gate with Okabe spending most of the series scrambling to prevent her death to the detriment of some of his other friends, and eventually having to sacrifice even his actual love interest. She gets better though.
- Wolverine has this kind of relationship with most of the X-Women, Psylocke and Storm standing out among them. He'll go to amazing lengths to help them, and even harbors a bit of Big Brother Instinct towards any would-be suitors, but when it comes to getting in a relationship with them himself, it just doesn't seem to happen. Fans speculate this is due to his awareness of his own Cartwright Curse.
- However Wolverine has pursued relationships with his teammates in alternate time-lines, including marrying Storm in a "What If?" and being involved with her in the war-torn alternate future in Days of Future Past. Not to mention his fixation with Jean Grey.
- Nightcrawler and Shadowcat have a similarly close relationship. They did once consider actually dating but decided it would just be too weird (partly due to the fact that she was also involved with Kurt's Heterosexual Life Partner Colossus.)
- There's a lot of this among the X-Men in general. Domino and Warpath, Wolverine and Shadowcat, Storm and Bishop, etc.
- Fantastic Four: The Thing and The Invisible Woman have this kind of relationship (early on, Ben was actually in love with Sue, but that was just how Stan Lee rolled. And Ben got his own girlfriend not long after, anyway). Besides, things would have been weird for Reed if his best friend and girlfriend started seeing each other.
- Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja were this in the original Marvel Comics run... although it wasn't that platonic on Conan's side...
- This is basically Loki and Verity's relationship in Loki: Agent of Asgard. While they met at a speed-dating event, Verity was only there because her mother talked her into it, and she's generally uninterested in romance.
- Miles Morales and Jessica Drew develop into this in Ultimate Spider-Man after Jessica begins helping and mentoring Miles. Though given that Jessica is a lesbian (and a far bit older than Miles), platonic is really the only way it could be.
- Takes on a more interesting twist when one remembers who Jessica Drew is in the Ultimate universe (Peter Parker's female clone.)
- Deadpool has this kind of relationship with his secretary, Sandi Brandenberg. The two have known each other for years now, are extremely close, and Deadpool is highly protective towards Sandi, but the two have never tried to pursue any sort of relationship with one another. This is notable, because Deadpool is a notorious Casanova Wannabe, so knowing someone for so long and never once trying to get it on with them is pretty unusual for him.
- Modern incarnations of Hawkeye and Black Widow are usually depicted this way. There's a great post explaining their relationship here: x.
[Hawkeye falls out of a window onto a car]
Isiah: ...That looks bad.
Black Widow: He'll be alright.
- Spider-Man: Peter's relationship with Betty Brant, his ex-girlfriend. She consider him her best friend.
- From Teen Titans, Dick Grayson (Robin/Nightwing), the Chick Magnet Magnetic Hero of the entire DC Universe and Donna Troy (Wonder Girl), who looks like a younger Wonder Woman, have never gotten together, due to being like brother and sister.
- Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen from Superman especially before the former married Clark Kent, although Jimmy is more like a baby brother than an equal to Lois.
- Superman and Wonder Woman are often portrayed as this, sometimes varying into Like Brother and Sister. Attempts to get them together outside "what if" stories tend to run into No Sparks.
Clark: You know, there are still people who think that you and I—
Diana: Yes, I am aware. But friendships like ours do not sell magazines.
Clark: Just as well. They wouldn't understand.
- Batman's villains Bane and Scandal Savage. They're incredibly close and very protective of one another, but have never considered being in an actual romantic relationship. Even if Scandal wasn't gay, than they still wouldn't consider it, as they view each other as basically being family (Bane views Scandal as something of a daughter-figure, while Scandal considers Bane the closest thing to a big brother or father that's she'll ever have). This part of their characters was examined quite a bit in Secret Six.
- Cassandra Cain and Tim Drake were this at first, but have since graduated to Brother–Sister Team after being adopted by Batman.
- Jughead and Betty from Archie Comics are sometimes this, Depending on the Writer. Most of the time, their closest relationships are said to be with people besides each other, but you wouldn't think so from reading a lot of the earlier stories. Their relationship rarely quite reaches Platonic Life-Partners in later years, although there are still moments of this. So far, none of the futuristic stories have shown them hooking up, but at one point in Life with Archie: The Married Life, a returning-to-town Betty says that Jughead was the one she missed the most.
- Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin in the long-running Modesty Blaise adventure comic strip. As explained many times in the strip, this is due to them sharing a bond that's stronger than love. See the literature section for additional information.
- Dwight from Sin City is normally Mr. Fanservice for women in-universe, but Miho does not seem to be in love with him. It doesn't stop Shipping Fan Fics, however.
- The Bridge gives us the leaders of the Terran Defender kaiju faction. Though their late parents did not get along well at all, the grown up Godzilla Junior and Mothra Lea are extremely close. Word of God has explicitly stated no-one knows Mothra more than ''Goji'' and no-one is as close to Godzilla than "Lele".
- Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Irma Bunt may be this in Ask Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Maybe. They act like it, but technically, Blofeld is Bunt's boss.
- Shirou and Louise, by the end of The Hill of Swords. They certainly care deeply for one another, but the relationship isn't the least bit romantic.
- Naruto and Ino in Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox have this dynamic, as the author has had to point out on more than one occasion; they see each other as being more Like Brother and Sister.
- Lyra and the titular main character of This is the Life: A Tale of a Human in Equestria give each other massages and have even cuddled in bed together, but aren't the least bit romantic with one another. The way the main character jumps to conclusions in the prequel implies that they do have feelings for each other, but neither of them have really considered it since they're a human and a pony respectively.
- In We Are All Pokémon Trainers, Anom and Jane have this sort of relationship.
- Harry Potter and Veronica Weasley in Weasley Girl. Seems like Ron Weasley being born a girl in this AU didn't stop their friendship from turning out pretty much the same as in canon — even if Veronica being a lot more cuddly than Ronald means that there's more hugging, they remain simply "best friends" and haven't shown much in the ways of romantic attraction to one another.
Film — Animated
- Marlin and Dory from Finding Nemo. They become good friends as Dory helps him in his quest to find his son Nemo, being around Marlin helps Dory remember things, and by the end of the movie she's moved into his neighborhood.
- Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope. They become each other's first friend and best buddy, even willing to die for the other.
- Tarzan has Tantor, a male elephant, and Terk, a female gorilla, who are always together to the point where they can be seen as Those Two Guys, and their friendship is explored further in the animated series.
Film — Live Action
- Amazing and his manager Lynn from Amazing Grace and Chuck. She mentions at one point that a lot of people think they are dating, but the truth is that he's never gotten over his dead wife, and they are just best friends. When he's killed, she has to be talked out of sending a hitman after the guy who arranged it, "the kind who kill people slowly and painfully".
- Eggsy and Roxy from Kingsman: The Secret Service stand for each other during training and are, in general, very close but there's zero romantic tension between them. Exemplified in Eggsy having Rescue Sex with Princess Tilde after Roxy and Merlin congratulate him for saving the world.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- In The Avengers, Black Widow and Hawkeye. They refer to each other as "Nat" and "Clint", engage in Casual Danger Dialogue and Back-to-Back Badassery. Not to mention her main priority in the first half of the film is to get him back from being Brain Washed And Crazy, because he once chose to spare her when ordered to kill her. When asked by Loki if it's love, she replies vaguely that "love is for children". In Avengers: Age of Ultron, it's revealed that Clint is actually married with kids and Natasha ends up developing a relationship with Bruce Banner.
- In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America and Black Widow share an onscreen kiss, pose as lovers when running from S.H.I.E.L.D., and open up emotionally to each other, but decide to remain as close friends. She also spends most of the movie trying to get him a date.
- Mary and Bert in Disney's Mary Poppins—at the insistence of P. L. Travers, author of the book on which the movie was based. The song "Jolly Holiday" was rewritten at one point to make it clear that there's no romance between them and that they're just very good friends.
- Min and Bill are old and dear friends—Min the owner of a dockside inn, Bill the fisherman who often stays there. When Min gets in trouble with the law, Bill begs her to get in his fishing boat so he can take her to Mexico.
- Pacific Rim: Jaegers require two (or more) pilots who are mentally and emotionally synchronized, so common relationships among said pilots include parent and child, siblings, Battle Couple, and Heterosexual Life-Partners in addition to this trope. Despite some Ship Tease, this is what Mako and Raleigh's relationship ends up as.
- The original RoboCop trilogy had Alex Murphy and Anne Lewis. They have been partners for a long time and after Alex's "robotification", Anne has been the only member of the police force to still treat/view him as a human being rather than a weapon.
- Deconstructed by Thalia and Markos from Khaled Hosseini's And the Mountains Echoed. While the two remain best friends and consider each other brother and sister, Markos does at one point regret the fact that he continues to judge Thalia based on her ugliness (half of her face was irreparably chewed off by a dog when she was younger) and that this prevented him from ever getting romantic with her.
- In Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series, oaths of friendship "supersede all relationships, conflicting with none, not even the male-female ones." Stile swears an oath of friendship with Neysa, an oath so powerful it draws in an entire pack of werewolves, an entire herd of unicorns (save the Stallion), and the Lady Blue, thereby avoiding a great many unfortunate complications.
- Several instances in The Chronicles of Magravandias due to a lot of arranged marriages. Khaster and Pharinet (though Khaster starts developing other ideas), the emperor and empress, and Valraven and Varencienne. The last pairing is actually perfectly happy in their loveless marriage, believing they function better as friends and allies. And they're both in love with other people anyway.
- Chronicles of Narnia:
- Polly Plummer and Diggory Kirke "were always great friends", but neither got married. Polly is referred to by the Older and Wiser Jill and Eustace in The Last Battle as "Miss Plummer", and as the readers all know Diggory grew into The Professor but never was said to have been married.
- Bree and Hwin from The Horse and His Boy "both got married but not to one another." They're also related, but since they're horses it may not matter that much.
- Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole grow close and remain best friends after their adventures, but they don't have lotsa Ship Tease in the book and never date afterwards.
- Matteo and Tzigone grow into this dynamic across the Counselors and Kings trilogy. The two are frequently mistaken for lovers, but while Tzigone does sometimes flirt with Matteo, it's made plain she does it only because he's a dedicated member of a quasi-religious order that's supposed to be celibate and she likes to tease him; their friendship, while both deep and meaningful, is devoid of serious sexual attraction. At one point it's teased that they're actually (half) siblings, but this turns out not to be the case.
- Maria Huntsman and Victor Medina from Domina. They've been close friends for at least thirty years, and their respective spouses are dead, but they're still just friends. It's to the point that their kids sometimes refer to both of them as their parents (and get embarrassed about it after).
- Dom and Richard in Redfern Jon Barrett's The Giddy Death of the Gays and the Strange Demise of Straights. Their attempt to build a life together despite each being heterosexual (and the former having a girlfriend) is central to the story.
- Jonah and Bea in How To Say Goodbye In Robot. They are so close that Bea is left with the only recognizable photo left of Jonah from their trip to Ocean City.
- Rachel and Notak in Attrition: The First Act of Penance by SG Night. Nelle and Oron are another example, albeit to a lesser extent.
- Heralds Talia and Skif in Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series (after circumstances ruined their attempts at a Relationship Upgrade) and Talia and Kris, clearing the way for Talia's relationship with Kris' Heterosexual Life-Partner Dirk.
- Thomas Theisman and Eloise Pritchart from the Honorverse after Eloise loses her lover and de facto husband, Javier Giscard, to battle. He is her Secretary of War and Chief of Naval Operations, and she is his President, but far more than that, they are two people who helped rebuild the true Republic and became the firmest of friends while doing so. Though close almost from the moment they meet, after Javier is killed, Theisman becomes Pritchart's rock and absolutely the closest relationship she has. It doesn't hurt that he is one of less than a handful of people she can absolutely trust.
- Eventually, Jo and Laurie in Little Women and its sequels. Laurie eventually agrees with Jo's assessment that they're ill-suited to be husband and wife, and while they're both happily married to others (she marries her former Big Brother Mentor Fritz and he hooks up with Jo's little sister Amy), they remain best friends and frequent co-conspirators. Jo is the only one allowed to call him by the pet name "Teddy," and moreover, gave her own son that name.
- Emmeline "Lucia" Lucas and Georgie Pillson, in E. F. Benson's Lucia series. Everyone thinks they've been having an obvious affair for years, but they have never been anything but close friends. In Mapp and Lucia, after Lucia becomes a widow, Georgie is terrified that Lucia will expect him to propose to her, and Lucia is terrified that Georgie will propose to her. They're both quite relieved to find that they agree in not wanting anything more.
- Conn and Rowan in The Magic Thief series. Rowan is Conn's best friend who also happens to be his own age, and while Rowan does have a Clingy Jealous Guy who is jealous of all the attention she pays to Conn, the two of them have a wholly platonic relationship without even a hint of Ship Tease. (OK, so they do Sleep Cute once, but that's about it.)
- Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin were just as platonic towards each other in the novel series as they were in the comic strip, perhaps even moreso. As explained, this is due to Willie owing Modesty so much that the two of them share a bond that transcends romance. The only time Modesty even kisses Willie on the lips is in the final short story, "Cobra Trap", moments before she dies.
- It becomes a major plot point in Dead Man's Handle when Willie Garvin is brainwashed. His enemy supplants the image of Modesty with that of his current lover, and tells him she has been killed by an assassin—whose face is that of Modesty. The intention is that Willie kills an unsuspecting Modesty. The whole scheme fails because the brainwashers cannot imagine their platonic rtelationship and the thought of having had sex with Modesty is too jarring for Willie to sustain the wrong scenario—he quickly realizes there must be something wrong with his memories.
- Perry Mason and his confidential secretary, Della Street.
- Lizzie Bennet and Colonel Fitzwilliam from Pride and Prejudice have great friendly chemistry during their time in Kent (which most likely continues after Elizabeth's marriage to Darcy).
- Kel and Neal in Protector of the Small. Neal was Kel's sponsor when she first became a page and became her Lancer later when they both reached knighthood. Although Kel did have a crush on him during her page years, it passed during squiredom, while their firm friendship very much didn't. Neal is a welcome and lighthearted counterpoint to Kel's seriousness, as well as her biggest advocate and, occasionally, wielder of a much-needed cluebat.
- Daniel Leary and Adele Mundy from David Drake's RCN series. Daniel's in love with someone else, and Adele has no interest whatsoever in matters romantic or sexual, but they'd die for each other and go everywhere together.
- Elinor and Colonel Brandon from Sense and Sensibility. Some of the cast start shipping them, but they happily remain nothing more than good friends and eventually family when he marries her sister.
- Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain. Fanon aside, while they are clearly the most important person in each other's life, there has never been anything romantic between them. He is a several hundred years old skeleton, and she is a 12-16 years old girl. Skulduggery is extremely Papa Wolf towards her, and she once went To Hell and Back for him.
- The Missus and John-the-dig in The Thirteenth Tale. Vida believes that they'd have been lovers if they'd lived in a different time, but she was older and social conventions got in the way.
- The Wild Ones has the two main characters, Kit and Eeni. At no point in the novel or its sequel do either of them try to bond with each other to a romantic degree. They just developed a very strong friendship in a short span of time.
- The Spirit Thief has Josef and Nico. They're incredibly close, trust each other implicitly, would go to hell and back for one another and provide each other with so many Heroic Second Winds is almost ridiculous. Despite that, there's no trace of any romantic or sexual tension between them whatsoever.
- The Girl from the Miracles District: Nikita and Robin grow close over the course of the story, but a possibility of romance is never even mentioned—understandably so, given that the former is a lesbian.
Live Action TV
- Big Pete and Ellen in The Adventures of Pete & Pete, and Little Pete and Nona from same. '90s Nickelodeon seemed to really like this trope.
- Agent Carter portrays the relationship between Peggy Carter and Howard Stark as this. They're clearly Vitriolic Best Buds, despite the fact that Stark is usually an unabashed womanizer. This is perhaps best exemplified in the first episode, when he calls Carter "pal" and gives her what amounts to a bro-hug.
- Wesley and Cordelia in the first few seasons of Angel. While initially attracted to each other when they first met in Sunnydale, they quickly discovered that they had no real romantic chemistry, agreed that they were better as friends, and parted on good terms. When they reconnect in LA and both start working for Angel, they develop a very strong but completely platonic bond. They bicker like siblings, but they always have each other backs in a fight, and they clearly adore each other.
- Mr Steed and Mrs Peel from Brit classic The Avengers. A marvelous review of this show.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Xander and Willow are like this at least for the first three seasons. They've known each other their whole lives (or at least since kindergarten), and are so close that Xander is even able to save the world at the end of Season 6 by telling Willow how much he loves her. They "dated" as children, Willow had a mostly unrequited adolescent crush on Xander, and have a brief fling as teenagers, but are basically friends throughout.
- What Angel and Faith have become by Season 9.
- Buffy is this with Xander eventually. To get there he had to get over his crush on her and she had to stop thinking of him as a simple 'friend'.
- Crossing Jordan has Garret Macy and Jordan Cavanaugh, long time friends and co-workers.
- Subverted by Lennier and Delenn in Babylon 5. But not until almost the last episode.
- Played straight with John Sheridan and Susan Ivanova. Good friends for roughly thirty years, very close after being stationed together on B5, and not one hint of tension or romantic jealousy between the two. In fact, Susan is Sheridan's biggest Shipper on Deck for his relationship with Delenn, who by the end of the series she was essentially treating as a sister-in-law.
- This trope however did not prevent Ivanova from being a more than a little peeved that her clinging nightwear didn't inspire at least a flicker of masculine appreciation when Sheridan burst into her stateroom in the wee hours with a plan for the latest crisis.
- Bernard and Fran in Black Books, who stay together because nobody else can stand either of them. Apparently, there is some way-back romantic history, but Bernard says he's not allowed to remember that.
- Danny and Jackie in Blue Bloods are like this. Danny is Happily Married and Jackie dates elsewhere; on one episode Danny actually questioned her suspiciously about her dates as if he was a big brother. Linda, Danny's wife seems to trust Danny and Jackie together.
- Clarissa and Sam from Clarissa Explains It All. They do try to go out in one episode, and even share a kiss, but they're too weirded out and decide they work better as this.
- Annie and Abed on Community are heading towards this. They are often the only ones not to be put off by the other's quirks, they live together and they have even kissed passionately once. This is mostly due to Abed's indifference to relationships. Admittedly it doesn't get as much attention as Troy and Abed.
- Criminal Minds has, most prominently, Derek Morgan and Penelope Garcia. The two of them very openly and casually flirted with each other, especially in the earlier seasons, but this never reached anything other than the "playful" stage. However, the two of them do share a genuine platonic love for each other, as evidenced in "Penelope" when Morgan takes up temporary residence in Garcia's house in order to protect Garcia from her would-be killer from the episode before. It's also been implied by the fandom that Prentiss and Reid and Prentiss and Hotch share similar roles, and the show has characterized JJ and Reid (with varying success) as this.
- Doctor Who: Shipping aside, the Doctor has this sort of relationship with most of his female companions. Due to the series (in both incarnations) invoking The "I Love You" Stigma it is often difficult to tell for certain the level of the Doctor's feelings towards certain characters.
- Notable examples include the Fourth Doctor and Romana, the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble (as mentioned above) the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond (once she got over her childish crush), and the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors with Clara Oswald. Twelve and Clara's relationship eventually becomes similar to Ten and Rose's — a deep connection that verges on romantic love, but is never confirmed as such on screen.
- Many companions of the classic series were like this. Sarah Jane seemed like this to the 4th Doctor, though the revival implied she had been in love with the Doctor. Jo Grant was like this with 3, she marries someone who she says seems like a younger Doctor. The First Doctor is particularly close to Ian and Barbara, who enormously influence his personality, and deliberately tries to hurt their feelings when Ian tells them they want to return to their own time. The Second Doctor and Jamie can barely stop cuddling each other and holding hands.
- Actively invoked in when—after having travelled with Rose and Martha—the Doctor specifically says that he's only looking for a friend when Donna joins him. Donna vehemently echoes the sentiment that there will be no amorous relations between them. (Rose was someone he'd bonded with to the point of it seeming romantic at timesnote , especially with how losing her affected him for a long time, and Martha had been in love with him but he, being the Doctor, either didn't notice or chose to ignore it—in part due to him still pining for Rose—and she eventually left because she realized he wasn't capable of returning her feelings.)
- Even in cases where the Doctor has been directly told "I love you" (Rose Tyler, River Song, Clara Oswald), there is still wiggle room to argue that the relationship remains platonic.
- And then there is the Doctor and the TARDIS; probably the truest form of Platonic life Partners in the show. (Even then there's some Ship Tease, but it's usually played for laughs.) Friends may come and go but the TARDIS is forever!
Amy: Look at you pair. It's always you and her isn't it? Long after the rest of us have gone. A boy and his box off to see the universe.
Eleventh Doctor: Well you say that as if it's a bad thing. But honestly, it's the best thing there is.
- Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes, the butler and housekeeper respectively, of Downton Abbey. Which does not, it must be said, prevent them from being the Fan-Preferred Couple of the show. This trope went the way of the dodo for these two in the 2014 Christmas special, to the squeeing of a thousand fangirls; she said yes.
- Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson in Elementary. They get off to a rough start at first with Joan being Sherlock's sober companion, but soon grow into equal partners in solving crime. This trope was even the foundation of their dynamic as the writers wanted to show that men and women can be close friends and work together without ever forming a sexual or romantic relationship.
- Andy and Maggie on Extras. Word of God confirmed that there was no subtext, no post series Relationship Upgrade, and that they are simply exceptionally close friends.
- Zoe and Mal in Firefly. They're old army buddies who happen to be close enough to give Zoe's husband Wash a fit of jealousy in "War Stories"... and then the whole episode is decided to deconstructing the idea of them as a couple. It gets played for laughs at the end of the episode, when Mal and Zoe tease Wash by acting like they're going to kiss, but are actually so reluctant and awkward (they can't even bear to look at each other as they're haltingly leaning in for the kiss) that the whole thing falls flat on its face. Summed up nicely by this bit at the end of it:
Mal: I know it's a difficult mission, but you and I have to get it on.
Zoe: [Completely unemotional and with no desire in her voice] I understand. We have no choice. Take me sir, take me hard.
Jayne: [Having walked into the room just as Zoe was speaking] Somethin' about that is just downright unsettlin'.
- Phoebe and Joey from Friends. They playfully flirt, they have a softness for each other (often both of them picking the other over the rest of the group), they are really close friends with a lot of Ship Tease, including at least four kisses, yet they never dated (or had sex) in all ten years, and aside from their jokes about being a possible couple in the future, it was clear that they just wanted to be friends, but nothing more.
- Will and Diane in The Good Wife: the most functional relationship on the show by far- to the point of platonically slow dancing in glee.
- Marshall and Mary from In Plain Sight.
- Dutch and John on Killjoys. As Pree points out, they do everything together but sleep together, and they consider each other to be like family. Threatening Johnny is a guaranteed way to bring Dutch's wrath down on you, and John knows for certain that, if it came down to it, he would choose Dutch over his brother.
- Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit are partners and very good friends. The closeness of their relationship sometimes causes friction with their colleagues, but never threatens Stabler's relationship with his wife and four (later five) children. Their relationship does occasionally cause some marital friction. Kathy sometimes finds it difficult to deal with the fact that Elliot confides in Liv instead of her. There are also the unfortunate times when Liv has to be the go-between (when Elliot is undercover and unreachable, for example) and Kathy clearly objects to being kept out of the loop of her own husband's life. Still, it doesn't come up nearly as often as you'd expect and Elliott and Liv really are just friends. Kathy does seem to have accepted the relationship after she gets back together with Elliott, at one point referring to Liv jokingly as Elliott's "work wife."
- Merlin and Guinevere in Merlin, especially as of season three. They are also part of a Power Trio with Prince Arthur (Gwen has Official Couple status with him, and he and Merlin are Heterosexual Life-Partners), but the two of them basically consider themselves Arthur's guardians, insofar that when Gwen is awaiting execution, she actually tells Merlin: "You'll have to look after him when I'm gone." Likewise, Arthur is acutely aware of how close they are, and on more than one occasion, has put Guinevere's well-being into Merlin's care should anything ever happen to him.
- Peggy and Miranda are both this to Declan in Mysterious Ways. There is ship-teasing for both pairings but Declan's only relationship in the series is with a different woman and neither relationship gets upgraded.
- Fran Fine and Niles on The Nanny. Niles was the first to accept Fran into Maxwell Sheffield's household, and as the series went on, became Shipper on Deck between Fran and Maxwell, seeing her as a better love interest than C.C. Babcock, Maxwell's business partner, about whom they love to snark.
- Timothy McGee and Abby Sciuto of NCIS dated once early in the series, and they've had a Will They or Won't They? that ultimately ended on "won't", but they still get along fairly well, to the point where she was his Best Woman when he married Delilah Fielding at the end of Season 14.
- Luke and Lizzy in One Big Happy, who both figured it'd be a while before they actually found somebody and decide to have a baby together.
- Lucas Scott and Haley James Scott from One Tree Hill. Their genuinely platonic friendship was the cornerstone of the show, with Haley eventually becoming Lucas' sister-in-law at the end of season one.
- Boomer and Mikayla from Pair of Kings to the point where he goes against the bro code and tricks Brady just to hang out with her. Boomer even looks like Mikayla's ex-boyfriend. However, they've shown no romantic interest in each other.
- Leslie and Ron on Parks and Recreation are very close and have known each other for over a decade, but never once pursued a romantic relationship. They simply aren't compatible in that way.
- Person of Interest:
- Fusco and Carter. While not particularly a classic example of this, they get the "why aren't you two together" treatment a couple times.
- Additionally, Reese and Carter were on their way to this until he kisses her (actually an improvised act by Jim Caviezel).
- Zack and Jessie from Saved by the Bell have been good friends since preschool.
- In Shadowhunters, as in the source material, Clary and Simon are each other's closest friends and confidantes.
- Dutch and Claudette from The Shield have their issues, but will always have each other's backs. Dutch's happy ending in the series finale is Claudette finally admitting Dutch is her best friend.
- Lisa and Ray from Sister, Sister. They're thrown together when they discover that Lisa's adopted daughter and Ray's adopted daughter are twins, and the girls naturally want to be together. Lisa and Ray have very clashing personalities, but they're (usually) good at working together to raise their daughters and eventually form a friendship.
- Clark and Chloe in Smallville. They were initially good friends, but became much closer as the seasons went on and she played a far more active role in his journey to becoming Superman. By the later seasons, they are firmly Like Brother and Sister, view each other as family, and actively serve as Shippers on Deck for each other's relationships (Clark becomes a Shipper on Deck for Chimmy, and later Chlollie, and in both cases his Big Brother Instinct compels him to make sure everything was alright in Chloe's relationships, and Chloe becomes a Shipper on Deck for Clois, repeatedly hinting to Clark and Lois that she thinks they have relationship potential). They also develop a strong working relationship, with Chloe serving as Mission Control for the entire Justice League of America, and Clark working in the field as a superhero.
- Tom and Julia, musical writing partners from Smash.
- Alice and Jodie from Soap had one of these—both of them were gay but after two of their dates (with nameless people) clashed and they fought, they decided to non-romantically date each other. Until Carol's mother said she wasn't comfortable with her granddaughter (Jodie's daughter) growing up with a lesbian (the show was made in the 70s).
- Teyla has this dynamic with Sheppard, Rodney, Ford, and Ronon on Stargate Atlantis. In Sheppard and Ronon's case, there were massive amounts of Ship Tease, but after Teyla gets pregnant, their dynamic soon settles into this. She even names her son Torren John after her father and Sheppard, but establishes a very happy relationship with Torren's father and the Ship Tease with Sheppard and Ronon disappears.
- Benjamin Sisko and Jadzia Dax from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Their friendship is a bit more complicated than this trope, however, since they were also friends back when the Dax symbiote was in a man's body. So while they were this trope during the show, they started out as Heterosexual Life-Partners. In fact, Sisko still calls Jadzia "old man". In an early episode, under the influence of disinhibiting alien telepathic waves it's revealed that Dax has some hidden, subconscious attraction to Sisko. He's clearly uncomfortable with the information and it never comes up again.
- Susan and Simon. She's married for part of the series, but even after her divorce, the pair remain best friends and nothing more.
- It seems that Lindsay and Matt are this too in the third season. Then they have a fling in the last episode, and in the first episode of the fourth season, James Lance has left the show and Matt is, apparently, dead. (The show lost a lot of its appeal in the fourth season. And not just because James Lance left.)
- Scott and Lydia on Teen Wolf. They become significantly closer in season three and Scott becomes somewhat of a Living Emotional Crutch for Lydia. Also, whenever trouble occurs, Lydia's first instinct is to find Scott.
- Liz and Jack on 30 Rock. In the episode where they accidentally get married, Mr. Weinerslav describes this trope nearly word for word.
Weinerslav: Have you spent time with each other's families? Have you attended special events together, such as class reunions, birthday or holiday celebrations, weddings or extended car trips? Are you each other's emergency contacts? Do you even drink together at work, perhaps while summarizing what you've learned over the day or week? Have you shared intimate details of your fears, hopes, and dreams, both personal and professional? Is this the longest and perhaps most meaningful relationship in your life? Do you often find yourselves thinking the same thing and then saying it at the exact same time?
- Jodie and Sam from Today's Special. They've been best friends since they started working at the store together and are so close that they spend their days off together just the two of them.
- The Vampire Diaries: Stefan and Lexi, who had been best friends for centuries.
- Veronica Mars and Wallace Fennell. They're best friends, confide in each other about (almost) everything, and spend an inordinate amount of time together. However, neither of them ever shows any romantic interest in the other and they both date other people.
- Warehouse 13:
- Pete and Myka are like this , even thought they both think that the other is attractive, Pete even tells Myka at one point that he thinks she is beautiful, and they care about each other they aren't interested in being with each other. Myka once describes Pete as her "big brother." This was actually used as a plot point in one episode: after an artifact caused them both to become intoxicated, they stripped off their clothes and got in bed together so that the next day they would know something was up and try to solve the mystery of what they did during their blackout. Since they both agreed they would never have slept together. Despite all this, the writers for some reason decided to give them a Relationship Upgrade in the series finale.
- Claudia and Steve also have this sort of relationship, and are very much Like Brother and Sister. This is rather poignant considering Claudia's family history, and becomes even more so once we learn that Steve's older sister was killed by a stray bullet when she was Claudia's age. Steve has a lot of Big Brother Instinct for Claudia as a result, and she returns it in kind.
- CJ and Toby in The West Wing are shown in flashbacks to have been this before the Bartlet campaign. During the main timeline of the show, their True Companionship with the other members of the senior staff dilutes their exclusiveness somewhat, but they remain best friends and special confidants, with CJ being the only person who can call bullcrap on Toby's antisocial facade and Toby being the only person who isn't intimidated by CJ's habitual aggressiveness.
- Gary and Holly from What I Like About You.
- Will & Grace is the former Trope Namer, as in some circles this sort of relationship was known as "The Straight Will & Grace."
- Mulder and Scully exemplify this trope during the first half of The X-Files. The fact that they eventually get together retroactively turns this into a case of Will They or Won't They?, but for the first five seasons, the relationship is portrayed as an intensely close but basically platonic romantic friendship. (Keeping them platonic forever seems to have been the original intention, although Word of God is somewhat contradictory on the subject.)
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. initially establishes this with Fitz and Simmons, with several Season 1 episodes all but referencing this trope by name. By late Season 3, however, their relationship is no longer platonic.
- Oliver Queen and Tatsu Yamashiro. During his five years away from home, Tatsu was the only female companion Oliver did not develop romantic/sexual feelings for — mainly because Tatsu was already married to his other companion and close friend, his handler Maseo Yamashiro. After Oliver saves her life, they develop a close friendship to the point that Tatsu was willing to trust him with the life of her son, Akio. Even after they parted, their friendship endured — Tatsu was the one who save Oliver's life after his first duel with Ra's al Ghul, and when he called on her to help him end the League of Assassins plot to destroy Star(ling) City, she answered.
- John Diggle and Felicity Smoak are as close as family. Diggle is very protective of Felicity, and they are each other's sounding boards when it comes to their personal problems.
- The Flash (2014)
- Barry Allen and Caitlin Snow. While they have the occasional Ship Tease moment, their relationship is ultimately platonic and they have never shown a romantic interest in one another.
- Cisco Ramon and Caitlin Snow have been best friends since before the Particle Accelerator, a friendship that only grew when they were the only ones to stick around after the project "failed". Like Barry and Caitlin above, they share some Ship Tease, but no actual desire to get together.
- Barry Allen and Felicity Smoak are Birds of a Feather, and were genuinely fond of each other at one point, but settle as this in the end.
- Subverted with Barry Allen and Iris West. Iris thought they were this, only to have that image utterly shattered after Barry finally confessed to her that he'd been in love with her since they were kids. They try to make a go at being this again since Iris was with Eddie Thawne at the time, but it fails — mainly because it was becoming increasingly obvious to Iris that Barry's feelings were not unrequited.
- Legends of Tomorrow
- By Season Two, Kara mutually breaks up with James and Winn's crush on her has petered out, so she becomes this with both men.
- Red and Ted from Red & Ted's Road Show, who will cheerfully go across the country and blow everything up together.
- George Bernard Shaw was very adamant that Eliza Doolittle and Professor Higgins, in his play Pygmalion, would never have a romantic relationship with each other. Audiences disagreed.
Eliza: What I done—what I did was not for the dresses and the taxis: I did it because we were pleasant together and I come—came—to care for you; not to want you to make love to me, and not forgetting the difference between us, but more friendly like.
- In many of the adaptations (including the musical My Fair Lady), it's suggested that they do get together at the end—although even then, it's rather ambiguous.
- Banjo and Kazooie, the two main characters from the video game aptly titled Banjo-Kazooie, are an example of this trope, as one is a male and the other is a female, but they do not pursue a romantic relationship, choosing instead to be close friends. It probably helps that Banjo is a bear and Kazooie is a bird.
- In Dragon Age II, both Aveline and Varric serve as this to Hawke, depending on the gender, since they're the only non-family party members who cannot be romanced aside from some playful flirting. In Aveline's case, she later develops a relationship with a fellow Guardsman. Varric it seems is comfortable with just being Hawke's friend, and of course he has Bianca.
- In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Varric is still unromanceable by the player since he still has his eyes for Bianca. The weapon's creator, not the weapon itself. He also continues to be this to a female Hawke, being the only person who she kept in constant contact with for the four years she was on the run. If Hawke sacrifices herself to save the Inquisitor and a Grey Warden ally, Varric is almost completely broken by the loss of his best friend.
- In Inquisition, Dorian Pavus cannot be romanced by a Female Inquisitor but they can become very close platonic friends. If their Friendship is maxed, he swears his loyalty to her and says he will fight for her against anything, so long as she'll have him. (Plus he'll be quite the Shipper on Deck for a Best Friend!Female Inquisitor and Cullen...)
- In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Varric is still unromanceable by the player since he still has his eyes for Bianca. The weapon's creator, not the weapon itself. He also continues to be this to a female Hawke, being the only person who she kept in constant contact with for the four years she was on the run. If Hawke sacrifices herself to save the Inquisitor and a Grey Warden ally, Varric is almost completely broken by the loss of his best friend.
- Fallout 3: Has the male player and Amata. The two are closest as friends can be but there is no mention of love interest (probably because forcing that that would destroy the "Make whatever personality you want" feature).
- Noel Kreiss and Serah Farron of Final Fantasy XIII-2. The two travel throughout the timestream, saving the world in multiple timelines together, but there is never a single spark of romantic attraction between them. This is because Serah is committed to her fiance Snow from the first game, who ran off to search for Serah's disappeared sister (who is also his ex-sister-in-arms and future sister-in-law), while Noel is suspiciously obsessed with his archnemesis and Big Bad Caius.
- In Super Paper Mario: No one's quite sure what to make of the relationship between Mario and Peach, but Luigi has theorized that it's this. It serves as an interesting contrast with Bowser's Villainous Crush on her.
- Link and Zelda are this in some The Legend of Zelda games, but more often than not they don't meet until the events of the game:
- In The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, the two are good Childhood Friends.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, they have been friends for years, but it may actually be more than that for once.
- The original Link, from the first two games, has two Zeldas on his hands. Considering one gave him a big "thank you" kiss after saving her from an ancient curse and the other only said "Thanks" after he'd saved her from Ganon, we can say he's the only Link to be at once platonic friends and more than friends with Princess Zelda.
- Fire Emblem Awakening:
- A female Avatar and Chrom have this sort of relationship if they don't get married to each other. Chrom's daughter from the future, Lucina, even suspects the two of them are having an affair in her early supports with the Avatar. They aren't.
- The Khans of Ferox, Basilio and Flavia, are this too. Much to the disappointment of the fandom.
- If a guy and a girl who can potentially marry reach "only" an A support level, they can be seen as this fairly easily. The closest to an exception would be Gregor and Cordelia, as their A support makes their relationship a Matchmaker Crush from his side.
- Fire Emblem Fates:
- A Male Avatar and Azura develop this kind of relation if they don't get married to each other.
- In the localization, several of Soleil's supports with guys became non-romantic. So, if she reaches S-level with guys who aren't the Male Avatar or Prince Forrest, their relationship will be this.
- Again, if a guy and a girl who can potentially marry reach "only" an A support level, they can be seen as this fairly easily.
- Flora and Carter in the Harvest Moon series. In the Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life games, they're a straightforward case of this, as they're scientific partners who also happen to be close friends. In the Harvest Moon DS games, they do become a possible couple. However, if the player character marries either of them, they noticeably remain one another's closest friends. Possibly the staunchest evidence of this? When your child is born while you're playing as a girl character, your husband is usually accompanied by their closest male friend or relative who acts as their Delivery Guy. If the player marries Carter, however, Flora is the one who sits with him while he panics.
- In Hunted: The Demon's Forge, female elf archer E'lara and male human warrior Caddoc are close friends who have made a career out of adventuring together. Despite their closeness and the fact that they're both (presumably) single, no romance is ever implied between the two.
- The King of Fighters:
- Kyo Kusanagi and Athena Asamiya are hinted to have become this, Athena's former crush on Kyo notwithstanding. In the KOF: KYO manga their interactions become more platonic than anything after Iori Yagami attacks Kyo at school and both Athena and Kyo's girlfriend Yuki attempt to stop them; later in the KOF: KYO game, Athena gives him pep talks about "the female heart" which are direct allusions to Yuki, and isn't happy if the player make Kyo hit on her instead. In the KOF 2000 CD drama, when Athena manages to contact Kyo after lots of effort, Kyo tells her he can't go back home and even asks her to relay a message from him to Yuki before leaving. And finally in KOF XIII, if you have Athena talk to NESTS!Kyo about how he shouldn't take all responsabilities since his friends support him, he will directly ask her if Yuki was the one who told her to tell him this.
- Kyo also seems to have these dynamics with his fellow Sacred Treasure Team member Chizuru Kagura, considering how she's a sort-of Onee-sama to him in KOF:KYO and how pissed off he is at Ash Crimson for stealing her powers.
- Male Shepard and Tali, or Female Shepard and Garrus, in Mass Effect; assuming you don't take the Relationship Upgrade in Mass Effect 2.
- Even though most of the dialogue and cutscenes are the same with a male Shepard, Garrus and Femshep form a much more achetypical example, especially with the Citadel DLC, where Shepard can later set him up on a date, and right before the final battle Garrus says to Shepard, "If this doesn't go right and we both end up dead and in heaven, meet me at the bar." to which Shepard can reply, "You go, I go."
- Shepard and Liara. While Liara is something of an Implied Love Interest, if the player decides to remain platonic with her, she still ends up being the closest and most devoted of all of Shep's party members. In the Citadel DLC, if Shepard is not in any relationship (or is in a relationship with a non-combatant character like Kelly Chambers or Samantha Traynor) Liara will come to rescue him/her from the mercenary attack instead of the Love Interest.
- Similarly female Shepard can build this kind of relationship with James Vega in Mass Effect 3. Despite constant flirting their relationship never really gets romantic, but if Shepard is not in a relationship by the end of the game, Vega will be the one in the goodbye scene.
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty: Dead Cell members Vamp and Fortune are described as being "not lovers, but very close" by Snake, in part because Vamp was the lover of Fortune's Disappeared Dad.
- In Persona 3 Portable, a female MC shares this sort of relationship with Junpei. Despite knowing her the longest, he's the only male member of SEES who can't become a love interest. Mostly because he already had a in-game love interest. Dummied Out dialogue implies that at one point he was to be a love interest though.
- In addition, there is Mitsuru and Akihiko. While they've been friends well before the start of the game and clearly trust each other more than anyone else, there's nothing in-game implying that the two of them are romantically interested in each other. In Mitsuru's Social Link, she even states that Akihiko is a teammate and a close friend, nothing more nor less.
- Chris and Jill of the Resident Evil series are depicted as this, especially in Resident Evil 5 with Chris angsting over Jill's apparent death for much of the game. This turns out to be a major plot point in the story, as the possibility of her being alive is what drives him to push forward despite orders to retreat. After the number of games they've been in together, (only one each where they were separate) they are more or less inseparable in fandom eyes. Whether or not there are romantic feelings involved has not been addressed either way, and Revelations only lampshade hangs as to whether or not they are Platonic Life-Partners or Battle Couple. They're one of the cases where it's very hard to tell whether things like Sleep Cute are meant as moments of Like Brother and Sister or as Ship Tease. Sheva tries to coax a straight answer out of Chris during a conversation in part 5 by noting how fondly he seems to remember Jill, but Chris simply replies "We were partners." Gee, that helps.
- The Star Fox series has Falco Lombardi and Katt Monroe, who ran in the same gang together. Falco mentored the younger Katt to toughen her up and make her more self-reliant. Which she did. Katt teases and Falco gets frustrated, but they are not an item, nor have they ever been.
- Guy and Rose from Street Fighter were most likely intended to be seen as this, considering that in Final Fight continuity he's engaged to Maki's sister Rena (if not Happily Married to her) and that she is a Celibate Heroine fully dedicated to keeping Bison out of world domination... yet one of Guy's biggest motivations in the SF story, aside of finding Cody and setting him back to the path of good, is to save Rose from dying at the hands of her "other half", Bison. Considering how their encounters are seen by fans, however... Whoops, Capcom?
- Kogoro and Mii from Project X Zone. Both of them are basically student and mentor, with Kogoro playing the Big Brother Mentor role to Mii throughout the game. The Crosspedia hints that Mii has a bit of a crush on Kogoro, something that doesn't occur in the game.
- Ragna the Bloodedge and Noel Vermillion from BlazBlue: At first, Noel harbored a crush on Ragna but eventually gets over it. Justified because she is a Reincarnation of his long-lost sister Saya and incest-based relationships in the BlazBlue are a major no-no outside the Yayoi clan, and Noel does get Saya's memories down the line—both regard each other as blood siblings soon after.
- Phoenix "Nick" Wright and Maya Fey from Ace Attorney. They go through a lot together, and Phoenix will go to hell and back to help her if she's in trouble. It's implied they still keep in contact after they go their separate ways between the events of Trials and Tribulations and Apollo Justice. This is later confirmed in Dual Destinies, and the duo's bond is strong as ever when Maya returns in Spirit of Justice. Pearl, Maya's very young and innocent cousin, was for a time convinced Phoenix and Maya were a couple, due to a combination of Maya talking about him so much and Pearl being a huge sucker for romance plots due to growing up in a village where most if not all husbands work far away from home. She had a tendency to respond quite violently to any suggestion that the two of them were not madly in love with each other or to any perceived infidelity from Phoenix (which included things as innocuous as talking to another woman). By the time of Dual Destinies she has grown up enough to realize that they aren't actually a couple.
- In Katawa Shoujo, when the player unlocks a path, the best friend of the girl who was chosen as a love interest might become this to Hisao. Specially obvious in Hanako's route (where Lilly and Hisao team up to give her a birthday party with disastrous consequences) and in Rin's (where Emi and Hisao discuss Rin's Cloud Cuckoo Lander mindset) Subverted in Shizune's path: the player can have Hisao give Sex for Solace to Misha, but that leads to Shizune's bad ending, and it turns out Misha was in love with Shizune and not him anyway.
- Akira and Mika from Lux-Pain. They are extremely close friends to the point that everyone thinks that they'll end up together. However, Akira sees Mika Like as a little sister and Mika considers him someone to beat up and torture. This relationship is questioned however when Mika is targeted by the serial killer and Akira goes to extreme lengths to save her. Near the end of the game though, you can't help but notice that Mika seems more interested in Shinji than Akira himself which is why their relationship romantically is never brought up again. As for Akira, the characters thinks he has it in for the main character Atsuki.
- Apparently the case with Ikuko and Tooya Hachijō in Umineko: When They Cry. By the time of the epilogue, they have lived together for decades and are both the most important person in the other's life (at least in we consider "Tooya" to be a completely different person as Battler), but they aren't married and don't seem to be in a romantic relationship. That's actually the first thing Ange asks them when meeting them.
- In Shall We Date?: Ninja Shadow, if the Player Character Saori romances either Ukyo, Makoto, Toru or Hijikata, then her beau's best friend (Eduard, Asagi, Tsubaki and Okita, respectively) will become non-romantically close to her and support her bid to his bestie's heart in one way or another. The same happens if Eduard, Asagi, Toru (not as much as the others but it's still kinda there) and/or Okita are the chosen lovers.
- In Chimneyspeak, Alice and Elgie have known each other since Alice was a teenager and, despite the bad blood that occasionally crops up, are about as intimate as a man and woman can be without actually being...intimate. Subverted at the very end of the comic when they actually do start having sex.
- Living with Insanity has David and Alice. Apparently she was based off an old girlfriend he's still friends with.
- Roy and Haley from The Order of the Stick. After Roy falls to his death during the siege of Azure City, Haley becomes the team's leader. Doesn't help that aside from him, Haley's the only sane person left.
- Marten and Faye in Questionable Content. They moved in as roommates early in the series and the romantic tension created a case of Will They or Won't They?. Later on though, the two talk it out and decide not to date each other and instead turn their relationship into a very close friendship.
- Bactine from Lin T thinks she and Xylic have this (but he's just really good at hiding that he is in love with her).
- Davan and PeeJee in Something*Positive, who are The Not-Love Interest to each other. At one point, PeeJee describes herself to Davan as his "platonic life mate". Davan and Aubrey are more Like Brother and Sister, with a relationship that goes back to their childhoods.
- In Homestuck, troll culture has a relationship quadrant especially for this (moirallegiance).
- Equius and Nepeta are used as an example of a perfect moirallegiance in action because they are two ends of a spectrum and balance each other out very well, and Equius clearly thinks of Nepeta in the same way a human would a little sister.
- Moirallegiance is actually fairly darker than the usual PLPs, because as far as troll society is concerned, a perfect moirallegiance is when one troll keeps another troll from going on a killing spree. As stated above, Equius is meant to show a moirallegiance done right.
- Another example of complete moirallegiance is Karkat and Gamzee, especially showcased when Karkat stops Gamzee's killing spree.
- While they aren't moirails, Karkat and Kanaya are very close with each other. That being said, with Kanaya being a Lipstick Lesbian Vampire, platonic is probably the only way it could be.
- Rachel and Baam from Tower of God. She taught him everything she knew and visited him everyday, whereas he absolutely idolizes her. Then, she disappears into the Tower. Baam follows her into the unknown, repeatedly risking his life on minimal odds. But romance, even though some people like Androssi and Yuri try to see it that way, was never a part of their relationship. When Baam found her, things got a little sour, though.
- Neve and Martin from Ignition Zero are best friends and have been together since infancy. When Martin comes out as half-faerie and notes this includes immortality, Neve mentions that when they die they want to reincarnate and be friends with Martin again.
- Arbiter and Claire from Arby 'n' the Chief, primarily because Arbiter is a toy and Claire is a human.
- Brian Phelps and Jill Whelan, hosts of The Brian And Jill Show, dated initially but the relationship did not develop and they have instead become the best of friends. In fact, Jill was originally slated to replace Brian's retiring co-host from The Mark & Brian Radio Program and, when that didn't work out, they took the podcast route.
- Gene and Chet from Idiotsitter, as Gene says Chet is her best nonsexual friend. Chet agrees that they're "friends, but we never touch ends."
- Jack and Lori from The Insane Quest of Unfathomable Randomness has been friends since teenagers and, apart from once comment made by Jack early on, there has been no implications of romance between the two.
- Karen and Ralph from The War Comms, so much that the idea of them as a couple grosses both out. (It helps that Ralph has a steady girlfriend in Molly, and Karen has some chemistry with Mark.) Ralph's actual girlfriend Molly sees her relationship to Syrius as this, too.
- While shown being very comfortable with each other, to the point of kissing regularly on their show and even reading erotic fanfiction involving themselves, the hosts of UNHhhh are strictly platonic. They have denied any romantic relationship.
- Jack Justice and Trixie Dixon, girl detective, of Black Jack Justice combine this trope with Vitriolic Best Buds. The idea of a romantic relationship is nauseating to them, at best, and their every interaction turns Snark-to-Snark Combat into an art form. Yet no matter how much they insult, threaten, or express their mutual hatred of one another, neither ever considers dissolving their partnership and they always have one another's back in a crisis.
- Rita and Runt on Animaniacs. They're a pair of homeless cat and dog who are always seen together and despite having a desire to find a nice permanent new home, the two manage to live quite comfortably by offering each other a close unbreakable friendship in defending one another for protection and giving moral support.
- Joey and Pauline from Atomic Puppet are two very good friends whose only love is over comic books and superheroes.
- Terry and Max in Batman Beyond, who are close friends thanks to Max knowing Terry's secret identity. Terry has a girlfriend named Dana to whom he later proposes but it doesn't stop shippers.
- Bojack Horseman:
- While it's still up in the air whether it might progress to something else, BoJack and Diane are the embodiment of this. After a failed stint of All Love Is Unrequited and Unresolved Sexual Tension, both come to an understanding between each other, especially regarding their mutual depression and deep empathy for the other. Diane might be technically married to Mr. Peanutbutter and BoJack Really Gets Around, but they're practically inseparable and rely on each other for support. Not to say of how much they hurt when the other is not around. Their relationship is complex, to say the least as they mutually deconstruct and build each other, with their paths being intertwined.
- Princess Carolyn has had two examples this: one with Rutabaga Rabbitowitz, which ended when they had a Relationship Upgrade and the subsequent Woman Scorned, and a more genuine with Judah Mannowdog, her assistant at VIM and trusted sidekick at least until they have a falling out and she fires him.
- A rare villainous example: the aforementioned rabbit and Vanessa Gekko, PC's rival after they enter business together in their joint agency.
- Morgana and Viper in King Arthur & the Knights of Justice. There is absolute trust between them and they clearly enjoy each other's presence but there's not a hint of romance between them.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy: In one episode, you can see Sarah and Jimmy when they are much older: they are still best friends, but there's no romantic relationship between them, even after all this time.
- Fillmore! has Cornelius Fillmore and Ingrid Third. They have a deep bond with each other and there are no hints of romantic attraction.
- George and Martha is about two Funny Animal hippos who are extremely close best friends. They seem like a married couple, but it's never implied they're anything but best friends.
- Henry and June from KaBlam!, according to Word of God. Doesn't stop the shippers, though.
- In The Legend of Korra, this is how the relationship between Wan and Raava, the spirit of light, progressed, and became solidified when they fused to become the first Avatar.
- Lilo & Stitch. These two eccentric and mischievous outcasts went from troubled individuals to loving 'ohana in just a matter of three days, and were Like Brother and Sister through three sequel movies and a television series. They did separate thanks to a huge misunderstanding, but even then they still had feelings for each other.
- Jenny and Brad on My Life as a Teenage Robot, occasionally with some Relationship Writing Fumble. Supposedly, the writers planned for Sheldon to win over Jenny before it was cancelled.
- Twilight Sparkle and Spike in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic count as such. It's understandable since Twilight hatched him, technically making her his surrogate mother (technically, since it's not known who actually raised Spike). They tend to behave Like Brother and Sister, though, bickering and ribbing included.
- Though they share a Master/Apprentice relationship, Anakin and Ahsoka in Star Wars: The Clone Wars could be easily seen as this, due to Ahsoka being one of the people in Anakin's life he fiercely protects.
- Raven and Beast Boy from Teen Titans are supposed to come off as this, though it wound up looking a lot like more. Mainly due to the romantic on-and-off thing they had back in the DC Comics and that it was admitted that BB and Raven were written 'like an old married couple,' in the show.
- X-Men: Evolution:
- Kurt and Kitty actually have this sort of friendship in a few different universes, including the main Marvel 616 universe, where they've been best friends and thicker than thieves since the 80's.
- Iceman and Jubilee also count, as they spent almost all of their screen time during season 2 together, always went along together on wacky hijinks, and seemed practically inseparable.
- Scott and Jean, prior to their actual getting together, had shades of this as well.
- Wander and Sylvia from Wander over Yonder. They're an interspecies nomad team who trot the galaxy in tandem, they do everything together and are viewed more or less as an unit by their enemies. Each appears to be the only family the other has.
- Zeta and Ro from The Zeta Project are roadtrip orphan bros looking for their parents. One is a killer robot, but still.