"It was perfectly acceptable at Baker & Inglis to get a crush on a fellow classmate. At a girls school a certain amount of emotional energy, normally expended on boys, gets redirected into friendships."At the beginning of adolescence, there is a time when friendship is emphasized, usually junior high/middle school. These friendships can have very strong emotional bonds, and, when two girls develop a close bond, it will almost appear to be a romance. They hold hands. Getting together to do something is a "date." Fights are treated as a "break-up." They're willing to sleep next to each other in the same bed (and maybe even cuddle). They're also sometimes capable of moving and speaking in perfect unison. They may not actually be in a romantic relationship, but it is emphasized in such a way that if they were, you'd assume it'd look this way. In the Western world, this was far more common up until the late 1800s, and applied to both men and women, even into adulthood. It was referred to as "romantic friendship." This practice waned at the turn of the 20th century as adults, particularly men, did not want to be mistaken as homosexual. Note Generally, it still only occurs between young girls, where it is more socially acceptable and not indicative of sexual orientation. In Japan, this is known as "Class S" and is far more common than in the West. Due to the influence of Western female literature,Note the Japanese developed a belief that young girls are expected to have friendships with each other that emulate boyfriend–girlfriend relationships. This is considered a temporary but wonderful part of adolescence, which they can later "graduate" from to "real" relationships with boys. To remain in a "Class S" relationship past middle school is seen as a sign of immaturity, although it is expected that these friendships will continue into adulthood without the romantic elements. The possibility of one or more of the girls involved in a "Class S" relationship being truly invested in the other romantically is usually ignored. If the romance starts to become too passionate, parents may try to intervene to separate the girls. This should never become physical that way; it would "corrupt" the Incorruptible Pure Pureness, which is then traded in for marriage. If the girls do cross the line into sex (or even passionate kissing), they are no longer this trope, instead becoming Schoolgirl Lesbians, and are treated differently. Compare Heterosexual Life-Partners, where it just doesn't seem as romantic but remains a tremendously important personal bond, above and beyond a genuine romantic relationship. Also compare Experimented in College.
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Anime and Manga
- Mugi and Nono from Hitohira quickly appear to enter such a relationship after Nono drafts Mugi for her drama club. Mugi has an obvious crush on Nono for most of the series and their relationship culminates in a very heartwarming ending when they say their goodbyes.
- Despite being perceived in the West as the "flagship" Schoolgirl Lesbians series, Maria-sama ga Miteru only has one couple that actually crossed the line into a full Schoolgirl Lesbians relationship — at which point, one of them promptly left the school to become a nun, probably in an attempt to show how dangerous it is to "go too far"note . Most of the rest of the cast participate in (much safer) Romantic Two Girl Friendships with other Lillian students.
- In Ultra Maniac one of the two main girls finds out the other has a crush on her. She scoffs it away, saying that it proves the other girl is just a child.
- Sailor Moon:
- Usagi and Rei show a somewhat low key version of this in those quiet, sweet moments they're not acting like Vitriolic Best Buds, particularly the original and R seasons. True to cultural expectations, these moments are less common (but not completely inexistent) as Usagi's relationship with her boyfriend Mamoru matures... and they reappear when Mamoru falls victim to Bus Crash (unbeknownst to them). This is lampshaded by Michiru who comments to Rei that, her relationship with Usagi, is just like Michiru's relationship with Haruka.
- Rei also has this relationship with Minako in the manga, to the extent that their last scene together in Stars has suspiciously similar vibes to Haruka and Michiru...
- In Cheeky Angel, when Megumi insists that she likes Miki "that way", the other girls comment that she really is a kid. Of course it's a bit more complex than that.
- Much of Pretty Cure is based around this precise sort of relationship.
- Futari wa Pretty Cure, Futari Wa Pretty Cure Splash Star, Suite Pretty Cure ♪ and Maho Girls Precure feature Wonder Twin Powers which only work when two heroines are together. Their attacks require holding hands.
- In this franchise, Doki Doki Pretty Cure takes this Up to 11 with Mana who has those kind of relationships with at least six girls. Some of them are minor, but Mana X Rikka, Mana X Makoto, and Mana X Regina are the best known relationships. It's not that Mana has more relationships, she has more Les Yay moments than any other Pretty Cure character.
- Hyatt and Ropponmatsu #1 seem to develop a platonic romance for the short time they are together in Excel Saga. Also, Ropponmatsu #2 has feelings for Excel, as seen in her made-up flashback.
- Although in this case, the Ropponmatsus were programmed to fall for the first person they saw upon activation, which (due to a delivery error) was Excel and Hyatt... but it only lasted one episode.
- In Love Hina, Motoko has three female groupies, classmates of hers; at least one seems to have a genuine crush on the swordswoman. Also, Suu appears to have desires on Motoko; while the anime only hints at this, Suu announces in the manga that she wants to take Motoko as a lover. Suu is also responsible for giving Shinobu her First Kiss.
- Best Student Council has a large chunk of the student body in... admiration of the student council president, Kanade Jinguuji.
- On Sgt. Frog, all the girls at Natsumi's school seem to idolize her obsessively, and Koyuki actually has a crush on Natsumi (though this is far less blatant than in the manga, where it dives headfirst into the realms of Schoolgirl Lesbians).
- Nana O and Nana K's relationship in Nana.
- Lyrical Nanoha:
- Fate's relationship with Nanoha in the first two seasons; the third season toes the line. Post-StrikerS, Fate/Nanoha/Vivio is canonically referred to as the "Takamachi Family", Yuuno's role best described as "Substitute Father" to Vivio when Fate is away from home (All There in the Manual via one of the Sound Stages), except ViVid and Force scrap that last one for a good measure.
- Alisa and Suzuka from the same series are also shown to be very fond of each other.
- And Teana and Subaru from season three.
- Vivio and Einhart from ViVid get this treatment from the Genre Savvy Nakajima sisters. Another indication is that one shuttle scene in the beginning of chapter 9, where we get to see Nanoha/Fate, Subaru/Teana, and Vivio/Einhart sitting neatly all in the row. Can you say, "Generation Xerox"?
- Lucky Star:
- At the beginning of Episode 7, Konata starts abruptly acting out this trope towards Tsukasa and Kagami. Kagami asks what's going on, and her response to this behavior and the explanation that Konata has become hooked on Marimite is "Are you a kid?!" Despite Konata parodying this trope she and Kagami fit better in the Girls Love one.
- Ironically enough, the mangaka stated that either Kagami or Konata herself have a genuine crush on the other. As for whom it is though...
- It's unclear if Minami and Yutaka have this or if it's actual romance.
- Possibly Misao and Ayano. Possibly. Though, Ayano says she has a boyfriend and apparently he's Misao's brother. However that still goes hand in hand with many of the popular Alternate Character Interpretations.
- In ROD the TV Series Hisami Hisaishi's relationship to Anita King was such that she even turned down the boy who was interested in her because of it. She regularly compares the two of them to Anne and Diana from the book Anne of Green Gables (in Japan it's called "Red Haired Anne"). Both sets of girls refer to themselves as "Soulmates." It also leads to a very heart-wrenching scene when the girls say their goodbyes. Even worse when Anita comes back after the Library puts their plan into action, tearily explains her terrible situation to Hisami and all but begs her for help, and Hisami doesn't remember her at all. Wow. Oh, and the manga also has them holding hands intimately and sharing a romantic dance around the school festival bonfire.
- Hime-chan and Erika's relationship in Himechan No Ribon is very much like this even though they spend a huge amount of time apart, saying they love each other, etc.
- Meister and weapon Kim Diehl and Jacqueline have this in Soul Eater. Kim "properly" grows out of it and starts going out with Ox Ford. In Soul Eater Not!, Tsugumi has this with both Anya and Meme. Since the relationship between weapon and meister is very deep, this is to be expected.
- This trope appears to be the main element in Venus Versus Virus. There are numerous intimate and tender moments between Lucia and Sumire, causing Sumire to turn bright red every so often. The series has even been called a shounen yuri manga/anime by the official manga translators, even though it doesn't go beyond subtext. The romantic element is certainly there though, and gets a lot of focus, especially in the earlier volumes. However, once Sumire leaves Lucia and her friends, Lucia's affections for her reach above the most extreme RTGF meter. It's unrequited.
- Alicia and her apprentice Akari appear to be very enamored with each other. Alicia postpones Akari's promotion to Prima since she doesn't want to leave her alone before retiring... to get married, of course.
- Aika also has a totally obvious crush on Alicia for most of the series.
- Pacifica and Winia from Scrapped Princess like each other a lot when they first meet. Alas, their relationship gets cut short since Pacifica has to keep on running.
- Hidamari Sketch:
- Hiro and Sae are very close and are frequently subjected to Ship Tease. Hiro talks about giving Sae chocolate for Valentine's Day and how Sae watched over her all night when she was sick; the first season OP even has a Not What It Looks Like moment with Yuno walking in on them (with the context not even being given until the second season). Sae spends an entire episode (the 2nd special) freaking out when Hiro gets a love letter in her shoe locker, complete with an excited Yuno and Miyako misunderstanding the letter as coming from Hiro. And then there's the second season's opening... and they've even shared a mental conversation together!
- Yuno and Miyako also seem to be a bit closer than average sometimes, which usually gets excused by Miyako's bubbly and innocent demeanor. Miyako also appears to be very open-minded about relationships (see Schoolgirl Lesbians) and hops in the bathtub with Yuno the day they meet, since her own water supply doesn't work. Uh-huh. One time Miyako even tells Yuno that she thinks she is very pretty. Yuno in turn voices her wish to Miyako that they might one day have the same relationship as Sae and Hiro.
- The most innocent interpretations of the relationship between Alpha and Kokone in Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou falls into this. As for the other interpretations... yeah...
- The relationship between Ichika and Manatsu from Uta Kata borders on this trope.
- Akira and Machina in Dragonaut The Resonance have this kind of relationship, and also fit nicely into Tomboy and Girly Girl.
- Kanade and Yukino from Candy Boy have a relationship that seems to follow the rules of this trope just fine, until you realize that they are fraternal twin sisters.
- Saya from Bamboo Blade is definitely a bit more than just friends with kendo-captain Kirino. It doesn't appear to be mutual, though the two get along extremely well regardless.
- Sakura Mikan in Alice Academy is absolutely infatuated with Hotaru in this manner. Hotaru goes back and forth between trying to get rid of her and actually returning her affections. In the middle of a battle scene in a later chapter of the manga Hotaru appears to confess to Mikan that her feelings are romantic and kisses her, while Mikan remains oblivious.
- Ran and Midori from Telepathy Shoujo Ran become like this as the series progresses — which is rather peculiar, since Ran actually has a boyfriend and Midori is openly smitten with Ran's brother. Perhaps the makers simply didn't want to drop the dynamic that works so well in similar series.
- Minori Kushieda from Toradora! has genuinely deep feelings for her best friend Taiga Aisaka—so much, that at one point she openly questions her own sexuality.
- The Les Yay between Illya and Miyu in Fate/kaleid liner PRISMA☆ILLYA stretches this to breaking point, stopping just shy of actual romance. Several of the heartfelt speeches they give to and about each other sound especially romantic, if not for the use of the word "friend".
- Seen several times in Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl: first when an upperclassman dismisses Yasuna's obvious romantic interest in Hazumu as "immature", later when Ayuki reveals that Tomari once got a love letter from another girl, and still later when two unnamed classmates (literally "Girl A" and "Girl B" in the credits) get so carried away by Hazumu's exaggerated tales of Tomari's heroics while defending her from reporters that they openly declare their love for her "manliness", which mortifies Tomari to no end.
- The relationship between Hanna and Suomi from Diamond Daydreams clearly has some elements of this. They witness the "diamond dust" together, just like lovers would do—and their falling out has all the symptoms of an extended lover's quarrel.
- Runo and Alice are quite close, even closer then they are with their love interests (Dan (official) and Shun (prominently hinted), whose relationship are borders on Heterosexual Life-Partners respectively)
- Runo and Julie also gradually develop this kind of relationship, particularly in the second season.
- Hikari and Futaba from Amanchu! rush into this headfirst. Hikari's behavior toward Futaba could be construed as flirting—and Futaba is very responsive. This is no surprise, since romantic two girl friendships are not unheard-of in works by Kozue Amano (who also made ARIA).
- One of the possible interpretations for Licorice Nielsen and Cleao Everlasting's relationship in Sorcerer Stabber Orphen. Their start is kinda skittish due to how different in personality they ae (Licorice is by the book and girlish, Cleao is a fiery Tsun Dere), but after a bout of Teeth-Clenched Teamwork, they started getting along really well, Cleao became very protective of Licorice, and when Licorice was horribly hit by a huge wave of Break the Cutie (including the discovery of her origins, a massive gambit that had her as the vortex, and how her family story was revealed with terrible results), the one who supported her the most was Cleao.
- K-On! has romantic tension between the girls in various alignments and levels of intensity. Mio and Ritsu have their moments, especially when Ritsu shows definite signs of jealousy when Mio "dates" another girl. But the most romantically inclined appears to be Yui, who is clearly very enthralled by Mio, only to shift her focus to Azusa once she appears—and she at times even seems to be suspiciously close to her own sister Ui. It's all kept rather light though, in line with the fluffy character of the show.
- Sakura and Tomoyo in Cardcaptor Sakura are this trope all over, despite Tomoyo's feelings being far less chaste.
- Parodied in The Day of Revolution when former boy Megumi tries to latch onto Cool Big Sis Makoto primarily because the idea of being courted by her former True Companions bothers her. Makoto's receptiveness varies based on Rule of Funny but her role as Megumi's peer counselor/therapist means her reaction is mostly clinical.
- Although the friendship / Accidental Engagement between Utena and Anthy in the Revolutionary Girl Utena series and manga can be interpreted this way (and certainly references the trope a few times over), it more obviously applies to Utena and Wakaba. Wakaba ends up meeting a very nice young man who draws her attention away from Utena as a natural process, and Utena - well, she... grows up a bit too.
- Even though Marin and Kanon's friendship in Umi Monogatari has some definite elements of this, it's rather Marin's relationship with Urin which seems to go further than mere sisterly affection—fueled, of course, by the fact that they are not actual sisters. In the DVD special, it becomes clear that Kanon experiences her goodbye with Marin much like a romantic breakup—which is curious, since she still goes out with Kojima.
- Michiyo is shown to have feelings for Asami, but it's mostly one-sided.
- There are numerous hints about a such a relationship between Kozue and Tamami, which likely got blown up by Shiratori's arrival at the apartment complex. It does shed a bit more light on why Tamami dislikes Shiratori so much at first.
- Alice and Nunnally's relationship in Code Geass: Nightmare of Nunnally is quite similar to this.
- Taisho Baseball Girls has the mild infatuation between girls so typical for the setting of an all-girl high school. Most notable are Tomoe's attraction to Koume and Kyokou's crush on Tomoe, which at times comes close to being somewhat more intense.
- Haibane Renmei is very much a love story between Reki and Rakka. Chaste, but a love story nonetheless.
- Miyako Inoue and Hikari Yagami of Digimon Adventure 02 have more than a few shades of the trope, especially in the 31st episode, where they (and Ken) find themselves trapped in the Sea of Darkness. The scene in which Miyako slaps Hikari to calm her down and swears that she won't leave her alone wouldn't be out of place in a yuri anime. The fact that the very same episode is also when they learn how to Fusion Dance their partner Digimon doesn't help, especially given the part where they're thinking they can hear each others' heartbeats synchronize.
- A possible and very dark interpretation for Rosine and Jill in Berserk.
- Meiko Akizuki and Miki Koishikawa had veeeery slight whiffs of it in the beginning of Marmalade Boy, before the melodrama that their love lives are settles in.
- The plot of The Rows of Cherry Trees centers around a Class S Love Triangle between an Onee-sama and two of her kohai.
- Yomi and Mato from Black★Rock Shooter have this going on big time. The moment they meet is basically a "Love at First Sight" affair, especially from Mato's perspective. It's not too blatant in the OVA, but the anime series makes no attempt to disguise it. By the third episode, other characters have started teasing them about their romanticky relationship, and they even make reference to the awkward stereotype of girl-girl couples being immature "practice" for "real" boy-girl relationships.
- Moe and Marin in Brigadoon: Marin and Melan. It seems to be played for comedy at first, and it's a lot stronger on Moe's side than on Marin's. As the series progresses further they both start to show interest in the opposite sex.
- The tropes gets discussed a lot in Hanjuku Joshi, but is ultimately subverted by the two main couples.
- Hayate the Combat Butler: This could be an explination for Hinagiku's initial encounter with Athena since she's pushed anything resembling romance aside because of her past.
- Her relationship with Miki may have started as this, but when Miki started to push for it to go further, Hinagiku made it clear she wasn't interested. The two are still close.
- There's a definite hinting towards this style relationship between Hinagiku and Luca since their meeting and Luca telling them about her past, which is similar to Hinagiku's, with Luca's issues about lying being equated to Hina's romance issues. Hinagiku steals Luca's hand-made manga before he's able to read it and provide feedback about it.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
- Madoka Kaname and Sayaka Miki give such strong vibes that their friend Hitomi Shizuki believed that they could be a good match-up. However, the example of this trope is given by Madoka and Homura Akemi after we learn that Homura has gone through a progressively more traumatic "Groundhog Day" Loop to save Madoka's life.
- Sayaka and Kyoko. A bit of Foe Yay initially, but when Episode 9 rolled around... ...she sacrifices herself to put witch!Sayaka out of her misery. Furthered by the movie, when you see Kyoko's smile when she sacrifices herself.
- In Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion Kyoko is even staying at Sayaka's house, and near the end of the movie Sayaka admits she regretted leaving Kyoko behind at the end of the anime. Meanwhile, Homura explicitly states that everything she does is out of love for Madoka. Since this involves rewriting the entire universe again and her becoming the devil to Madoka's Goddess, maybe Homura really suffers from Love Makes You Crazy and evil after all.
- In the OVA of Battle Athletes, the relationship between Kris and Akari gradually develops into this. In the Victory TV adaptation, Akari has some of this dynamic going on with Ichino at first, whereas Kris' feelings for Akari get ramped up considerably. Eventually, Ichino and Kris start competing for Akari's affections.
- Sarah's relationship with Yakumo in School Rumble. Though they honestly seem to just be very good friends, some might confuse it for Yuri at times.
- Tomoko Arikura and Nanako Misonoo are the straightest example in the yuri manga Oniisama e.... Mariko Shinobu also wants this with Nanako, very badly.
- Saya Otonashi from Blood+, despite her... special relationship with her bodyguard Hagi, has this with two girls. First there's Kaori in Okinawa, then we have Minh in Vietnam.
- Yuri Tokikago and Momoka Oginome from Mawaru-Penguindrum were too young to play the trope straight, but still gave off huge vibes. Sadly, Momoka died in her pre-teen years, and Yuri never got over it.
- Haruko and Ayako had this in the early chapters of Slam Dunk, with Ayako teasingly kissing her on the cheek.
- Eri Kasugano and Natsuki Hayami in Amakusa 1637. Eri straight-up says that had Natsuki been a guy, she would've fallen in love with "him".
- In Kamichu!, there is quite a bit of chemistry between Yurie and Matsuri—even more so than between Yurie and her love interest Kenji. It makes one wonder at times whether it's really Matsuri's business sense that fuels her interest in Yurie.
- Momoko's and Chizuru's friendship in Wandering Son. Momo in particular is very clingy to Chi and seems to think of little other than her friend.
- Finé and Izetta in Izetta: The Last Witch, with enough Homoerotic Subtext to almost push it beyond friendship.
- One of the gags appeared to lead up to this, but was averted at the last minute. When Nagisa was searching for help in establishing the Theater club, Tomoya recommends they consult Ryou and sends Sunohara to get her. However to make sure Kyou doesn't come along, Sunohara says that it's for a love confession. Cue Nagisa seriously asking for a favor from Ryou (With romantic backdrop, no less).
- Side characters Rie Nishina and Sugisaka have some vibes of a more serious RTGF. Sugisaka is very protective of Nishina, and they work at the same restaurant and apparently live together after graduating from high school.
- Senki Zesshou Symphogear :
- Kanade and Tsubasa (or at least had, before Kanade's death), and Hibiki and Miku, the textbook example. Senki Zesshou Symphogear G extend the latter pair and it introduces Kirika and Shirabe.
- It's very heavily implied that Miku feels a bit more strongly than RTGF for Hibiki, and almost outright stated in G when her song while wielding the Shenshou Jing is all about how her possessive love for Hibiki
- The relationship between witches and their familiars in Ciel The Last Autumn Story has heavy shades of this. As witches need another witch to pull them out of their field(and thus perform magic), and once such a partnership is set up, it's set for life, their relationships tend to be very close...and then end along with their witch career when they marry. Though not all witch pairs end, and Yvienne focusing on her relationship with Krohiten over her relationship with Lariatte ends up being a very big mistake.
- Ryuko Matoi and Mako Makanshoku from Kill la Kill. To the point that in episode 12 Mako puts herself at great risk to give a mutated Ryuko a Cool Down Hug, managing to bring her back to her senses at the expense of suffering severe burns. Though it's implied that Mako's thoughts might go beyond platonic.
- In Murder Princess, Alita and Milano, while older than usual for this trope, develop such a close bond so quickly that they're generally considered a prime example. (Switching bodies'll do that.)
- Simoun is a full-on Yuri show, but it also has a perfect example of this trope in Rodoreamon and Mamiina. Rodore even looks and acts like the kiddie-lit heroines who inspired Class S in the first place.
- Even though Shiho Kobayakawa from Private Actress already has a boyfriend when Mariko Soriarno appears and both are older than the standard for the trope, she immediately bonds with her in a way that simply oozes RTGL. Too bad poor Mariko is seriously injured by a jealous rival, and it's implied later that she has to return to her native Philippines.
- Yamoto Koki and her classmate from Ninja Slayer, right down to having to separate due to Yamoto being a ninja to protect her and the bittersweet goodbye.
- From Yuki Yuna Is a Hero, we have the titular Yuna Yuki and her wheelchair-bound best friend Mimori Togo, who are almost never seen apart. The writers have actually confirmed that Togo wants to be more than just friends with Yuna, and even though Yuna is Oblivious to Love, they have a big chance to get together because of how close they are.
- Kumiko and Reina from Sound! Euphonium develop one over the course of the anime. They often spend time together, two scenes involve Reina intimately touching Kumiko's face, and they both make "love confessions" however, in the manga and books at least, nothing romantic comes of it. Nothing happens in the anime either. Reina likes her (male) teacher Taki but it's unrequited, while Kumiko never explicitly likes anyone.
- Clover and Mallow the main bunny characters from Happy Happy Clover start developing a close bond with each other after they became friends in the first story. As the manga progresses, there are times where Clover thinks Mallow is no longer her friend when a female visitors is at her home when sick and runs away crying and both are constantly seen holding hands. One story even had Mallow defending Clover's mother and her teacher that it was her fault that she injured her foot since the adults scolded Clover for disobeying about climbing down a dangerous hill and riding down on a leaf. Mallow starts defending Clover when she see's her starting to cry of shame and says the whole situations was her fault and starts crying into her mother's chest in sorrow and is later seen crying quietly in her bed. Moments later, Clover visits her room and learns that Twirl just gave her a genuine present which Clover believes is a trick until she see's the real gift. The scene then shows an extreme close up on Clover telling Mallow that Twirl actually has a good heart despite being naughty and causing trouble around the two. In the anime adaptation of that story, it looks like they are falling in love.
- In Sword Art Online, Asuna strikes one with Yuuki during the Mother's Rosario arc. The "romantic" undertones are milder than in other examples, but Yuuki still lampshades it, suggesting that they should "get married" as a joke; Asuna even gets a bit flustered, and Yuuki has to calm her down reminding her that she has a boyfriend already anyway. And then it turns out Yuuki is terminally ill in the real world...
- FullMaPla has Kyou and Makoto, who are so close that several people (like Kyou's mother and Makoto's older sister) are convinced that they're Schoolgirl Lesbians.
- Reki and Rakka from Haibane Renmei. They are the two closest Haibane and Rakka is actually Reki's Living Emotional Crutch. At first, Reki is treated like an older sister to Rakka; however, it turns into this in the last few episodes of the anime.
- In My Hero Academia, Asui Tsuyu has has this sort of relationship with middle-school friend Habuko Mongoose in the 2nd OVA. They reunite during a joint training exercise between their two high schools, and just about every time they're on screen together they are holding hands and staring into each other's eyes.
- Even though the eponymous character from Yoko Tsuno readily bonds with other girls, those relationships never become quite as intense as the one she has with the musician Ingrid in the earlier albums.
- Practically a staple of anything Chris Claremont wrote during his long run on X-Men. Storm and Yukio, Danielle Moonstar and Wolfsbane, and Kitty Pryde and Karma are some of the more notable examples.
- Runaways has two. The better-known one is Nico Minoru and Karolina Dean, which has gone back and forth between either Romantic Two-Girl Friendship and Heterosexual Life-Partners for years. The more recent and innocent one is Molly Hayes and Klara Prast, who are almost inseparable and can be fiercely protective of one another, to the point where Klara once jumped in front of an advancing Sentinel after hearing that they kill mutants (thankfully for everyone involved, the Sentinel in question belonged to Juston Seyfert, so the potential for carnage was limited.)
- Supergirl has this kind of relationship with several heroines of The DCU, mainly Batgirl—whether she's Barbara Gordon or Stephanie Brown—and Wonder Girl (Cassandra Sandsmark). Kara and Babs have hugged◊ and carried each other bridal style◊ more times than you can count, Kara and Cassie kissed at one point, and Kara and Steph... well...
Supergirl: (after ripping off her top to reveal her costume underneath it) Aren't you gonna...you know...
Batgirl: Not unless you wanna see my bra.
Supergirl: Does it have a bat on it?
- In Lucifer the two schoolgirls Elaine and Mona had this sort of relationship when they were both alive, and continued it even after Mona gets murdered in her first appearance. The phrase "romantic friendship" is explicitly used by Mona's headmaster and murderer to describe them.
- In Alexandra Quick there's the relationship between Alexandra and her roommate Anna Chu.
- The relationship between Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash is portrayed this way in Fluttershy Is Free. Rainbow Dash is the only one Fluttershy trusts enough to confess her illegitimate and probably Changeling paternity to, while Rainbow Dash is in the denouement awed into speechlessness by Fluttershy's beauty as she rises to meet the butterflies.
- Evangelion 303: Asuka and Jessika were best friends. They shared the same tastes and were constantly together. When Jessika died Asuka got absolutely devastated, blamed herself and almost got herself killed as trying to see her again.
- Angel of the Bat takes the emotional bond between Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown and turns it up several notches, though there is still a fair amount of ambiguity there. At least until Cassie completely admits she has romantic feelings for Stephanie, thinking she is asleep. Cassie doesn't want to own them to her completely because she doesn't want to get in the way of Steph and her boyfriend Tim's love life, which Cassandra thinks benefits both of them, even if she appears a little jealous of it.
- Much of the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic Fanon.
- In The Saga of Avatar Korra, Korra and Asami develop this bond during the first book of the story. Mako awkwardly lampshades that the two of them are best friends.
- The film Heavenly Creatures (based on a true story) has what appears to be this that becomes a lesbian relationship between the two mid-teen girls. The actresses say that they were told to play it as devoted friends who were sexually naive and roleplayed heterosexual fantasies. Anne Perry claims that they weren't even all that close and it was all played up for the film. Hilary Nathan won't speak to the press, but appears to feel differently about the relationship.
- Nicky and Pamela in Times Square. (Although the original script apparently contained more Les Yay.) Also a Tomboy and Girly Girl Odd Friendship.
- Jennifer's Body is a Deconstruction.
- Kamikaze Girls could be seen as an example of this, though not immediately.
- Charlotte and Tiana's relationship in Disney's The Princess and the Frog really feels like this.
- Hanna and Sophie. Though there's also quite a bit of Les Yay going on as well.
- Picnic at Hanging Rock opens with the schoolgirls exchanging passionate valentines.
- Ju Ran and Yeon Deok from the 2015 Korean movie The Silenced definitely count.
- Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me portrays Laura and Donna's relationship this way: after six years of BOB's abuse, Laura's only remaining Berserk Button is the prospect of harm coming to Donna, and the two spend a lot of time hugging and kissing during Laura's final few days. (Of course, Laura being Bi the Way, there's a good chance that there are some actual romantic feelings on her side; but since she very much takes the view that Sex Is Evil and I Am Horny and hates the idea of corrupting Donna more than anything, it's easy to see why she never acted on them.)
- When Marnie Was There is a film made of up this. Marnie and Anna become very close over the course of the film. Later subverted with The Reveal that their friendship is familial love, as Marnie is really Anna's deceased grandmother.
- Mina Murray and Lucy Westenra in Dracula by Bram Stoker. In the early chapters of the novel, the private correspondence between Mina and Lucy are very passionate, they almost read like love letters, as both girls express their love and adoration for one another. In one letter Lucy writes: "Mina, we have told all our secrets to each other since we were children. We have slept together and eaten together, and laughed and cried together..." and "I wish I were with you, dear, sitting by the fire undressing, as we used to sit, and I would try to tell you what I feel." Later in the novel, when Mina and Lucy are together, they sit on a bench by the seaside and are so moved by the beautiful view that they hold hands.
- In a similar vein, Lissa and Rose from Vampire Academy. They're teenagers, older than some targets of this trope, but definitely fulfill the "suspiciously close and tender female friendship" qualification. Their fight in Shadow Kiss when Rose leaves St. Vladimir's intending to kill Dimitri has been compared to a messy breakup, complete with Lissa crying and asking Rose not to leave her. Unsurprisingly, the femslashy segment of the fandom loves them.
- Ozma and Dorothy have this in L. Frank Baum's Oz books. Completely innocent, it included good morning kisses. Betsy later gets included. Baum implied this relationship would last indefinitely because nobody in Oz ages if they don't want to. This is especially amusing when you realize that Ozma spent the first 10 years of her life as a boy. This passage from Tik-Tok of Oz, Betsy's introductory adventure, says it all. Context is the discussion of whether or not the orphaned Betsy should be invited to live in Oz. Dorothy's opinion was very positive.
Ozma laughed at the wistful expression in the girl's eyes, and then she drew Dorothy to her and kissed her.
"Am I not your friend and playmate?" she asked.
"You know how dearly I love you, Ozma!" she cried. "But you're so busy ruling all this Land of Oz that we can't always be together."
- Very prevalent in the works of Nobuko Yoshiya, an openly lesbian Japanese writer and feminist who wrote young adult novels between the 1910s and 1970s.
- Anne of Green Gables has a very close, affectionate relationship with her friend Diana. Unsurprisingly, these Canadian novels are also extremely popular in Japan, spawning two anime to this day (a classic from the 70's and a 2009 prequel) and are heavily referenced in other Japanese media.
- Enid Blyton's six-part Malory Towers series has a strong tendency towards its girls pair-bonding and there's hand-holding and arm-linking too, though this is a reflection of girls' behaviour in British boarding schools at and prior to the time the books were written. One of the friendships, between a daughter of the aristocracy and a very tomboyish girl who goes by the male form of her given name has suggestions of butch-femme dynamics, and their future paths after school are described as going into business together to run a horse-riding school.
- Angela Brazil, writing in an earlier and more conservative age, openly described her schoolgirl characters kissing.
- The more conservative the age, the more romantically you can describe the friendship, since it wouldn't occur to anyone to read it differently.
- Main character Alysha Gale and her cousin Charlie in Tanya Huff's The Enchantment Emporium.
- Mrs. Dalloway. The relationship referenced in that story between the title character and her childhood friend is a pretty good example of this trope.
- Clarissa and Anna from Clarissa. When Clarissa is stuck in a position between choosing Lovelace or Solmes (neither of whom she likes) Anna suggests they run away together to London.
- Esther and Ada in Dickens' Bleak House.
- Beau Nash and Mary Innes in Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey. As one character says, "Would you call their relationship normal? Nice, of course, quite irreproachable. But normal, no."
- Many Aes Sedai in The Wheel of Time, at least while novices and restricted to areas of the Tower men are not permitted to enter. The arrangement is known as "pillow friends", is considered normal, and sometimes develops into more serious relationships, but these seldom last after the educational phase is over.
- Chloe and Liz from The Darkest Powers series share one.
- Piknim and Craklyn in the Redwall book Pearls of Lutra, in their intro scene, sing alternate verses of a cute little love song from the point of view of a male character about his girlfriend. The two are never seen apart, and speak in tandem. When Piknim is killed, Craklyn sings a lament over her grave, in which she actually addresses her as "my beloved".
- Believe it or not, this trope was recognised by Agatha Christie in her novel Nemesis:
"Verity had lost her real guardians, her parents, she had entered on her new life after their death, at an age when a schoolgirl arrives at having a "crush" on someone. An attractive mistress. Anything from the games mistress to the mathematics mistress, or a prefect or an older girl. A state that does not last for very long, is merely a natural part of life. Then from that you go on to the next stage when you realize that what you want in your life is what complements yourself. A relationship between a man and a woman...I think Verity adored Clotilde in an almost romantic way."
- Sheera and Drypettis had one in their schoolgirl days in Barbara Hambly's novel The Ladies of Mandrigyn. Sheera got over it, although she still considered Drypettis a friend. Until Drypettis went all yandere, anyhow.
- Sara and Becky in A Little Princess. It's also apparent in the 1995 movie adaption. Ermengarde and Sara have some of this as well in the book. In the visual novel adaptation these relationships are pushed in a more openly romantic direction.
- Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is all about a very close friendship that started in childhood, grew to include an element of sexual attraction, and changed (but lasted, somehow) once the two girls married.
- Shows up in the American Girl books.
- Felicity Merriman and Elizabeth Cole, and even more so in the movie.
- Samantha Parkington and Nellie O'Malley, ditto.
- Molly McIntire and Emily Bennett, ditto ditto.
- Kit Kittredge and Ruthie Smithens, ditto again.
- And then in the 2009 Girl of the Year story; Chrissa Maxwell, Gwen Thompson and Sonali Matthews take this up to eleven by forming a solid triad.
- This trope is examined from a few different angles in the two currently-released Wells and Wong novels by Robin Stevens, particularly the first, Murder Most Unladylike.
- Platonic "pashes" are a common feature in the boarding school the story takes place in (co-protagonist Daisy is something of a magnet for them due to being rich and beautiful) but two girls are also mentioned "canoodling" in a way that obviously transcends this into straight-up romance.
- Hazel grew up on a diet of English boarding school stories and firmly expects this trope to take effect as soon as she arrives; it does, but mixed with a hefty dose of Vitriolic Best Buds due to Daisy's personality. There are also a few hints scattered about that Hazel's feelings for Daisy might run deeper than just friendship (according to the author their relationship was modeled after the famously ambiguous dynamic between Sherlock Holmes and Watson, who the two girls compare themselves to frequently) which would ultimately subvert this trope if proven true.
- In Ellen Foster, there is the friendship between the titular Ellen and her Black Best Friend Starletta; during the last chapter, Ellen takes great pains to have her new home look nice for Starletta's visit, muses about how nice it feels to have Starletta sleeping next to her, and wonders if they could take a bath together.
- In Annie on My Mind, Liza's mother tries desperately to insist that her daughter's relationship with Annie is "only" this trope and not the genuine lesbian romance it is. Word of God says that she'll eventually come around and accept them as a couple, though.
- War and Peace uses almost loverlike language to describe the eventual relationship between Natasha Rostova and Marya Bolkonskaya, particularly in the depths of their grief over Natasha's former fiance and Marya's brother, Andrei Bolkonsky. For quite some time they simply can't bear to be apart. Later graduates to Best Friends-in-Law when Marya marries Natasha's brother, Nikolai.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, Daenerys and her handmaids, particularly Irri and Missandei. Missandei spends a lot of time with Dany, attends her baths, and sleeps in her bed, but there's no actual romantic implications between them since Missandei is 10-11 when Dany is 15-16. Irri, on the other hand, used to sleep in Dany's bed & attend her baths and still helps her get dressed in the mornings, and at one point actually pleased Dany sexually (although Dany was just lonely without Drogo and most likely didn't feel desire for Irri herself, it's possible that Irri had some feelings for Dany).
- There's also Cersei and Taena Merryweather. They were very close friends, and at some point began a sexual relationship with each other. While Lady Merryweather is implied to be genuinely attracted to Cersei, Cersei loves her more like a sister and just rolls with the sexual aspect of their relationship as a means of having more emotional control over Lady Merryweather.
- An essay on 1920s feminism by Maureen Honey outlines this trope:
One substantial shift that occurs in the decade that weakens this tie to other women is the undermining of what Lillian Faderman calls "passionate friendships" between unmarried women.26 There are instances in magazine fiction when women form companiate relationships with each other that withstand a marriage offer to one of the couple. Most often, though, the heroine's companion will introduce her to a relative, who has all the qualities of her friend but whose maleness opens her mind to marriage.
- Jessica Darling and her best friend Hope were extremely close, to the point where Hope moving away throws Jess into a year-long depression. Despite that, Jess is surprised and annoyed that anyone would think that she's a "vagitarian."
Live Action TV
- Act 30 of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (broadcast in Japan on 5/8/2004) includes a moment where one of Usagi's female classmates declares in front of a witness that she is in love with Usagi. There is no hint in the reactions of either Usagi or the witness that this is in any way strange or perverted.
- The relationship between Sam and Carly in iCarly can be interpreted this way. In the episode "iMake Sam Girlier", Sam's Unstoppable Rage is triggered after a bully pushes Carly down.
- In the BBC version of the Merlin legend, the peasant Gwen acts as maid, best friend and general flower-bringer to her mistress Morgana.
- Serena and Blair on Gossip Girl are really close and oftentimes put each other above their respective male love interests in importance without a second thought. They call each other "sisters", but the vaguely lesbian nature of their relationship is even lampshaded in the series by Chuck. Of course, he's one to talk... It's also acknowledged by the actresses, who in the Season 3 gag reel jokingly pretend to make out in their Trapped In An Elevator scene - which actually fits the tone of the episode quite well.
- Bennett and Caroline in Dollhouse. Even after Bennett finds out Caroline was only using her to get access into a laboratory, she agrees to help her.
- Claire and Gretchen in Heroes. Subverted now that they've actually started a relationship.
- Willow and Tara's relationship on Buffy the Vampire Slayer looked like it might take this form at first. However, by the end of the season, it was pretty clear the trope in question was being subverted. Played straight between Willow and Buffy, it's obvious from the way the two are with each other throughout the series that they love each other, just not in that way.
- Rizzoli and Isles in (obviously) Rizzoli & Isles. They sleep in the same bed occasionally, are always touching each others hands or hair or body, seemingly flirt with each other, put each other before all potential love interests, know everything about each other, and have been mistaken for a couple several times.
- Rocky and Ce Ce in Shake It Up! show elements of this, especially in the episodes "Model It Up" and "Break It Up".
- Shake It Up! was pretty much a Spiritual Successor to Hannah Montana which featured Miley and Lilly. The finale was loaded with it, so much if one watched that episode alone, and missed the scene where their boyfriends show up, they might think were in a relationship
- Max and Caroline have something like this in 2 Broke Girls.
- In season 9 of Big Brother Australia Angie has been rather prone to this, falling asleep holding hands with Estelle, and openly exchanging "I love you"s with Layla after they had to take a challenge together in the middle of the night.
- Played with in Faking It. This is what Amy and Karma actually have but they are passing as actual lesbians. Furthered subverted by the fact that Amy actually does have a lesbian crush on Karma, though it is unclear if she is a case of Single-Target Sexuality or just your good old Incompatible Orientation.
- Maritza and Flaca in Orange Is the New Black. They are very close and very loyal to each other. They kiss once, but they call it off very quickly.
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. played Skye and Simmons this way for much of Season 1. Even though they both had male love interests in the main cast they were seemingly more likely to be physically affectionate with one another, and were shown to develop an almost immediate friendship compared to the difficulty Skye had in gaining the trust of the rest of the team. To say nothing of Simmons spending most of Ep. 1x14 stroking Skye's face and hair as her friend lies comatose.
- Boy Meets World:
- On the male side, Cory Matthews and Shawn Hunter were the example of this for children in the nineties. Even when Cory and Topanga, two main characters, got married in a later season, Topanga regularly concedes that Cory's loves his best friend Shawn more than her, and that Shawn reciprocates. In fact, some people credit this show for the resurgence of "bro-mance" in millennials.
- A much lesser, but still strong, example would be Eric and Jack, Cory and Shawn's older brothers. Jack in particular complains that, even years after the last time he saw Eric, he still hears Eric's voice in his head constantly no matter what he does.
- The tradition continues in Girl Meets World. Riley and Maya are, arguably, as close a pair of friends as Cory and Shawn.
- The Handmaid's Tale: Moira and June are an adult version. They're so close, a couple people mistake them for lovers (though Moira being gay probably adds to the confusion). They even tell each other "I love you" more than once too. However, they're just very close friends.
- One Day at a Time (2017): Lydia suspects her granddaughter Elena is "queer" because of her close friendship with her classmate Carmen, who eats dinner at their house every day and sleeps over often. Subverted because this is because Carmen is homeless because of her parents' deportation, not because she and Elena have any romantic relationship. Then it turns out to be Double Subverted when Elena comes out as gay.
- Lisa and Chelsea in Belle & Sebastian's song "She's Losing It" seem to be like this.
- Two of the women auditioning in A Chorus Line admit that they used to practice kissing with their best friends so they'd be ready for when they started dating boys.
- Subverted with Galinda and Elphaba from Wicked. In the context of the show they clearly count, as they're only explicitly described as friends and they're extremely close, however it's also been confirmed that their relationship was written with a lot of romantic implications and several members of the original cast believe them to be in love. The original book also confirmed Glinda loved Elphaba, but leave Elphaba's feelings more ambiguous.
- Christine Daaé and Meg Giry in The Phantom of the Opera. Some claim for a Les Yay in the movie and in the sequel Love Never Dies... until all hell breaks loose in the latter.
- The Children's Hour revolves around two women whose close friendship leads to them being Mistaken for Gay by an Enfant Terrible spreading rumors. This causes them to be ostracized. Subverted when it turns out Martha was secretly in love with Karen.
- In Harvest Moon DS: For Girl this is shown to great lengths. You can marry one of the 4 Special Girls from the boy version (Leia, Witch Princess, Harvest Goddess, Keria) except you don't marry them, and they aren't your wife. You Best Friend them, and they're your Best Friend. It doesn't help that their dialogue is exactly the same in both versions. However, Natsume, when translating it to create Harvest Moon Cute, took this feature out, but left the best friend events in. Most likely the "Best Friend" system was created due to the fact they're needed to pass important milestones in the game, if you want to 100% complete it.
- Project Justice, the sequel to Rival Schools, drops hints of this in the Seijyun High ending, showing Akira and Yurika to be very happy to finally see each other again.
- Fire Emblem:
- FireEmblem has Florina with either Ninian, Nino, or Serra, but especially Lyn, despite her being slightly older than usual subjects of this trope (in the English version, anyway), and Rebecca and Nino.
- Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones has Amelia and Neimi, and Eirika with Tana or L'Arachel.
- Fire Emblem Awakening has Princess Lissa and her best friend Maribelle, plus Noire and Severa from the second generation. The first one is even lampshaded by Old Hubba: "Now that is a girl-girl friendship".
- Fire Emblem Fates has Princess Elise of Nohr and her retainer Effie, and Princess Sakura of Hoshido and her retainer Hana. Sakura and Elise themselves can form this in Revelation. However, the biggest examples are the Female Avatar and Princess Azura in all paths, even when Azura is a bit older than the standard note : they develop Undying Loyalty towards one another pretty much on first sight, their supports and interactions are almost exactly like those between the Male Avatar and Azura (lacking only the possibility of them getting married), etc.
- Tales of Legendia has the female lead, Shirley Fennes, become extremely friendly with another girl of her own race, Fenimore Xelnes. Their relationship is Les Yay to the most sincere letter, and Fenimore's Heroic Sacrifice to save her, along with being tricked into believing that her beloved Senel hates her, is one of the reasons that ultimately cause Shirley to snap.
- Tales of Vesperia repeatedly hints at an attraction between Rita and Estellise/Estelle, but leaves the exact nature of their relationship ambiguous.
- During the game, different party members lampshade how close the two of them are - from Judith calling Rita out on making an excuse just to visit her, to Yuri coining them as, "Ristelle".
- In the PS3 version, they have a character sidequest wherein, they care for a lost infant overnight. It culminates in a cutscene where they say they wish to remain together, be it interpreted as BFFs, or otherwise.
- Latooni and Princess Shine's relationship has strong hints of this in Super Robot Wars Original Generation, though they have clear romantic affections for SRX Team members Ryusei and Rai, respectively. It's probably worth noting that the series also has an example of the stereotypical connotations of immaturity lesbianism has in Japan. The somewhat childish and flighty 20-something Excellen Browning, though in a comitted relationship with fellow mecha pilot Kyosuke Nanbu, often flirts with other female characters (male ones, too) and has an especially strong girl-crush on SRW Alpha's Viletta.
- Jennifer and Wendy in the backstory of Rule of Rose. The only thing that keeps it from entering into Schoolgirl Lesbians territory is the fact that they're maybe ten years old at this point, and despite of the game's reputation it keeps things tasteful in this respect.
- Chie Satonaka and Yukiko Amagi from Persona 4, to the point that their Shadows over-exaggerate their friendship, Yukiko's calling Chie her "prince" and Chie's taking the form of a dominatrix banana head.
- BlazBlue has a three-way example with Noel Vermillion, Tusbaki Yayoi and Makoto Nanaya. They met in the military academy and watched out for each other, becoming fast friends and helping each other with quite severe issues. The all ended up joining different branches of the NOL and don't get the chance to see each other much anymore, but enjoy spending time with each other. Noel and Makoto's main motivation in Chronophantasma is trying to get Tsubaki back after she was manipulated by Terumi. Notably, Noel and Tsubaki were originally planned to be a lesbian couple and Makoto has been confirmed to be bi (and felt up Tsubaki's chest in a gag reel). However, Tsubaki only has eyes for Jin.
- Hanako and Lilly in Katawa Shoujo. Hisao even thinks at one point in Lilly's route that their relationship seems to go beyond normal friendship, and the two use "love" to describe their feelings for one another, although it seems to be more of a mother-daughter type situation than romantic.
- Solfège: Sweet Harmony is an odd Visual Novel/Rhythm Game hybrid which pretty much exemplifies this trope.
- Miyuki Tanaka and Mikae Morikawa from True Love Junai Monogatari seem to have a lighter version of this going on. In fact, Miyuki once tells the MC that she and Mikae are about to meet up... using the word "date" for their reunion. And not to mention, when Mikae formally introduces Miyuki to them MC, she pretty much tells him "If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her..."
- Jaehee has a full route in Mystic Messenger, but the game never confirms her and the protagonist as a couple. She does have some suggestive comments about her feelings that suggest she might confess down the line, though.
- Rika and Satoko from Higurashi: When They Cry are two 9-13 year old best friends who live together after being orphaned. They display the typical girlish examples of this trope such as holding hands and being quite close. Satoko happens to be Rika's Living Emotional Crutch, and vice versa. Centuries of being stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop has left Rika jaded and almost apathetic towards the tragedies around her, but seeing Satoko in pain always hurts her badly. It goes to the point where in one arc she'd rather die now than see Satoko suffer through abuse. Whether they count as this trope or something more is hard to say though. Umineko: When They Cry's Bernkastel is an incarnation of Rika and is in a twisted relationship with Lambdadelta (who looks like Miyo did as a child but sounds and acts like Satoko).
- The Most Popular Girls in School:
- Batgirl and Supergirl have this going on in DC Super Hero Girls , much more so than other media. It's probably due to not having Batman and Superman around, so they're much freer and more emotional around each other. For example, while all the girls except Cheetah were welcoming towards her in "Super Hero High", Barbara Gordon was the only one shown going out of her way to help her adjust. Supergirl takes note of this, and gives her a special suit, which prompts her to become Batgirl to help her save the other students. There are plenty of episodes where their dialogue and/or interactions can be seen as flirty, like "Batgirl V Supergirl", "Batnapped", and the Lego Brain Drain movie.
- Monsterful has Topaz Gem and Samantha Thing, two 19 years old Monsters that show shades and signs of it, like this page, this one and this other one as examples., but it's stated that they're just very good and close friends.
- Gunnerkrigg Court has Zimmy and Gamma. Zimmy's reality-warping powers are uncontrollable except when she's around Gamma. Even though Zimmy's normally rude and dislikes everyone, she's outright stated that she loves Gamma, and indeed seems to be happy only in her presence. Annie even states that she thinks the two girls are "an item" when Jack tells her that he is in love with Zimmy. Their relationship is not all it seems, though. Gamma speaks only Polish, and communicates with Zimmy telepathically, with Zimmy providing translations for her - to make sure Gamma never leaves her, Zimmy intentionally mistranslates what other people say, to make Gamma think all the other students think she's stupid and ugly. Gamma seems to at least be aware of the mistranslations, to a point.
- Annie and Kat shift between this and Heterosexual Life-Partners - they're very close, and certain strips like this make it seem like they might be more than just friends. It took Word of God to state that they aren't kissing in the fifth panel.
- Chapter 42 Confirms that Kat is bisexual, but she starts dating Paz instead of Annie. Nevertheless, her friendship with Annie is still just as important to her.
- There are also strong implications that Annie is asexual, but not aromantic - a combination that typically results in a person disassociating love and sexual attraction, and leads them to seek exactly this sort of relationship.
- In Red String, Fuuko finds love after she moves to Toyko, Hanae. When Hanae's mother discovers their relationship she chastises them telling that they need to grow out of it because it "Won't get them anywhere" (i.e. won't get them married) clearly disregarding their love as a "Class S" relationship.
- Kiel'ndia and Naal'suul. Enough said.
- Ariel and Faen also have this when younger, though after the timeskip Faen at least would like to put more emphasis on the "romance" part, and Ariel's feelings on the matter aren't yet known.
- Bubbles and Jenny seem to have established one of these in Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi almost at first sight.
- Monique and Absinthe have gradually gone into this territory in Sinfest.
- With a slight stretch, Tabitha/"Boom Boom" and Amara/"Magma" can be seen as enacting this trope in X-Men: Evolution.
- Courage the Cowardly Dog has Kitty and Bunny from "The Mask". Their 'best friendship' became so strong that Bunny's abusive boyfriend forced them to separate because he was intimidated by it.
- South Park has a Rare Male Example: Stan and Kyle. Especially in "Super Best Friends." Lampshaded by Cartman.
- Lisa and Juliet in The Simpsons episode, Lisa The Drama Queen as a parody of Heavenly Creatures.
- Katie and Sadie from Total Drama are "romantic" this way to Sickeningly Sweethearts levels.
- My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic:
- We have the backstory with Rainbow Dash and her old classmate Gilda. While their relationship was most likely more platonic than "romantic" (this being both a western show and a kids show), they can easily be slotted into every other point, since neither had any other friends to hang out with and they started growing apart after they both dropped out of school.
- There's also Rainbow Dash's friendship with Applejack, Fluttershy, and Pinkie which could be interpreted as this. They all have massive amounts of subtle Les Yay between them (Rainbow Dash managing to stay amazingly patient for Fluttershy in Hurricane Fluttershy, the butterfly migration which she even has a picture of for a keepsake in Dragon Quest, helping her get her bird whistle in "Trade Ya", and even letting her in on her plan to hoard cider.) While Applejack and Rainbow share a few moments (their rivalry for one) as do Pinkie Pie and Dashie, but most prevalent next to Fluttershy and Dash is probably Applejack and Rarity who have some slight Ship Tease in Look Before You Sleep (what with the very tomboyish Applejack actually willing to try a makeover), Trade Ya (both are willing to trade everything they have just to make the other happy, fighting like a married couple), and Rarity seems jealous of Applejack receiving Trenderhoof's affection, because she's madly in a crush with him, going as far as to act like Applejack) Tellingly, Rarity and AJ make up by agreeing that their friendship is much stronger than Rarity's crush, and it's not long before the struggle turned into something personal between them, and Trenderhoof was quickly put to the side as they worked out their rivalry.
- Fluttershy and Rarity count too as they attend the spa together on a weekly basis in Green Isn't Your Color, have been referred specifically as best friends in addition to Rarity telling Fluttershy that there is no pony that can match her beauty and poise, and in Putting Your Hoof Down Rarity repeatedly calls Fluttershy "sweetie". The aforementioned episode and Filli Vanilli also show that Rarity is the one who is most aware of how timid Fluttershy really is, and instead tries to gently coax her out of her shell in a major contrast to the rest of the Mane Six's more blunt attempts for that very reason.
- The 100th episode, as a sendup to the most prominent fan pairing, has Lyra and Bon Bon acting like an old married couple with the constant qualifier of "best friends". After revealing her secret identity as a spy to Lyra, Bonbon and her have a falling out, Lyra questioning if their friendship meant anything, or if it was just another part of her cover. Thankfully, they do reconcile by the end, again putting particular stress on the words "best friend" as if to draw attention to the phrase as much as they can.
- In Season 6, Starlight Glimmer and The Great and Powerful Trixie bond over both of them having a Dark and Troubled Past in the episode "No Second Prances". In "Every Little Thing She Does", Starlight has two portraits of Trixie in her bedroom, one of which hangs beside her bed, and in "To Where and Back Again", Trixie is almost romantically affectionate toward Starlight.
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks has Princess Twilight Sparkle and Sunset Shimmer. Their growing trust in one another, finding and relating to their shared backgrounds as Celestia's students has them do a lot of bonding. Indeed, Sunset's trust in her new friends forms the crux of the plot, as she struggles to shake off her bad past.
- My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games takes this further with the native human Twilight. Her shy personality and inquisitive nature contrasts with Sunset's brashness. Being younger than her, Twilight has something of a Sempai dynamic, Sunset seeing many of her own qualities in the younger girl she admires and dislikes. After giving a harsh "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Twi, calling out her dangerous use of Equestrian magic without any understanding of the consequences, it eats Sunset inside seeing her cry. In the climax, Sunset helps a corrupted Midnight Sparkle to see that she doesn't have to be alone, and takes her hand, forgiving her mistakes just as Twilight's pony counterpart had done for her.
- Marcie "Hotdog Water" Fleach from Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated seems to have developed one with Velma come Season 2. It's even invoked in the altered opening credits (for the US episodes) wherein she temporarily replaces Daphne and hugs a picture of Velma in the same way Daphne hugged a picture of Fred.
- The New Batman Adventures.
- Interesting enough, Batgirl and Supergirl are into this◊:
Harley: Oh, Ivy can't hurt me. She gave me a special shot once so we can play and I won't get sick at all.
Batgirl: You mean you two...?
Batgirl: You and Ivy are... well... *crosses her index and middle fingers in that "I'm implying you're in a relationship" gesture* friends...
Batgirl: Y'know... friends... like...
Harley: Like what everybody says about you and Supergirl?
Batgirl: What?! Who says...? Forget it! Forget it!
- Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy are a Friends with Benefits form of this, while sex is confirmed.
- Interesting enough, Batgirl and Supergirl are into this◊:
- The Legend of Korra: Korra and Asami developed this kind of relationship in season 3, after spending two seasons as rivals for the affection of the same man. In the Grand Finale the ending is so filled with Homoerotic Subtext that it's a Relationship Upgrade. Confirmed by the writers that Asami and Korra are now in a legit romantic relationship which carries over into the sequel comics.
- Kimber and Stormer from Jem develop this type of relationship in the episode "The Bands Break Up", though it's inexplicably missing in future episodes. The only thing stopping them from seeming like a couple is them both saying it's "friendship" several times. They seem to live together for a while, hold hands on the beach, and act very buddy-buddy. The IDW comic made thirty years later outright makes Stormer and Kimber an Official Couple.
- There used to be a picture of 6teen up there on the page (with Nikki and Caitlin hugging and smiling), exemplifying this trope.
- Franklin: On the male side, Bear and Franklin; on the former's side, he's very close and attached to Franklin, more than best friends usually are, and exclusively hangs out with Franklin for most of his time.
- In Barbie & The Diamond Castle, Alexa and Liana live together, sing together, and do everything together. They have more chemistry between each other than with their love interests, Ian and Jeremy.
- The titular characters of Barbie in the Princess and the Pauper, Princess Anneliese and Erika. The girls form an instant and deep friendship, with Anneliese being particularly drawn to Erika's beautiful singing voice, even promising to have Erika come perform at the castle. They then sing a duet together — and it's the happiest either of them have been in the entire movie. When Anneliese is kidnapped, Erika immediately agrees to pose as the princess to help Julian find her, keep Anneliese's upcoming marriage on-track, and trick the kidnapper into giving something away, effectively putting her life on the line by impersonating royalty. This is for a girl she met once. The ending shows the two girls in a double-wedding with their respective love interests, and all but states they remain best friends for the rest of their lives.
- Elena and Naomi can get rather emotional around each other in Elena of Avalor. In Naomi centered episodes, or ones where they have major interactions, some of their dialogue with each other can sound rather flirty, like the beginning of "Captain Turner Returns". Also, while they're both still best friends with each other, Elena tends to act more like a lover who wants to help her out, like in the aforementioned focus episodes. The fact she's usually the only one in those episodes either going out of her way to help her adds to this. Naomi's behavior in these episodes is like of that of the lover who wants to prove she can be a good partner to her girlfriend.
- This is somewhat similar to the "LUG," or "Lesbian Until Graduation" phenomenon common to American universities, particularly all-female liberal-arts schools. As the name suggests, the graduate moves on to more permanent, heterosexual relationships afterwards. The reaction to LUGs in the "real" lesbian community varies; some see the phenomenon as stated and treat it with anything from amused tolerance to outright hostility, while others view it as being a natural expression of bi- or other fluid sexualites.
- There have been instances of males doing the same thing. So the whole "GUG" Gay (male) Until Graduation is a thing that has happened as well, that also causes hostility in the the gay community among gay males of course.
- Much closer to the Japanese model, this sort of thing does go on in at least some single-sex schools in the US. Girls develop very close — even obsessive — friendships, hug and kiss each other, and so on — without anyone assuming that it means they're actually lesbians, but instead "just a phase" that they're likely to "grow out of".
- This isn't unheard of in mixed sex schools, either. Friendships between little girls can be very intense.
- This Book By Lillian Faderman shows that 17th - 19th Century Britain had the same attitude to Romantic Friendship as modern Japan. Aristo wants his sons to inherit the Estate. He wants the Countess to take female lovers. If the Countess takes male lovers who knows who the child's father is? Britain only believed that Romantic Friendship is Always Chaotic Evil after the preachings of Freud.
- Oprah Winfrey's long-time friendship with best friend Gayle King prompting her to humorously declare to Barbara Walters "I am not lesbian, I am not even kinda lesbian."
- Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez. They were really affectionate with each other, then broke it up for a while, and later they rekindled their friendship.
- Bella Thorne and Zendaya Coleman's friendship can be interpreted as this. One could think that if they kept going like this, one of them might have to reveal someday (or not) that one of them (or both) would be a lesbian.
- It doesn't help that they call each other "boo".
- Curiously missing from the 2009 film Whip It is the concept of "derby wives." The common definition of "derby wife" is, "the woman in the league you call to bail you out of jail, even if it was her that got you sent there in the first place."
- Marie Antoinette with both the Princesse de Lamballe and Gabrielle, Duchesse de Polignac.
- Over the 2008-2009 period especially, Miley Cyrus and her best friend, backup dancer (at the time) Mandy Jiroux could be considered one. Miley's friendship with Demi Lovato, to a lesser extent, as well.
- This practice was quite popular among young women and men until the mid 19th century. Two people of the same sex would hold hands, kiss or even sleep in the same bed without any sexual context. The whole thing was seen as normal and both parties were expected to move on and distance themselves after marriage.
- Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux of Blue Is the Warmest Color developed a very strong friendship that continued long after filming ended and are very affectionate with each other in film festivals, interviews, photo shoots, and with Adèle thanking L&a in her speech and calling her ''my boo'' after winning best actress at the LAFCA awards. This causes massive Squee! among the fans of the film which makes them ship the actresses hard even if they have boyfriends at present and both have said they're straight.
- An online column addresses this trope.
At what point does making something ‘subtext’ become an attempt to bury it, fending off potential accusers and planting those that do notice and speculate safely in the ‘fans reading too much into things’ box? Anybody who isn’t looking for it probably won’t pick up on the girlfriend element, leaving you with a deep friendship if you see it that way and a cute girl-girl relationship if you notice it’s there. Does everybody win, or lose?
- Abraham Lincoln and Joshua Speed.
- There is much speculation among historians whether the relationship between James Buchanan and William Rufus King's entailed this, or they were lovers. Even while they were alive some indications others had suspicions: Andrew Jackson referred to them as "Miss Nancy and Miss Fancy" (a term for effeminate men). If they were anything more than simply romantic friends, it would have been kept a secret, given that at the time homosexuality was completely taboo, and having sex illegal.