Romantic Two-Girl Friendship
aka: Two Girl Romantic Friendship
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.
Before girls start focusing so much on boys, 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 are not actually in a romantic relationship, nor will they ever be, it's just emphasized in such a way that if one were a boy, you'd assume this to be the case.
In the Western world this used to be far more widespread 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 only still occurs between young girls, where it is more socially acceptable, and non-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. They can then graduate from these friendships to "real" relationships with boys. To remain in a "Class S" relationship past middle school is seen as a sign of immaturity. It is expected that these friendships will continue into adulthood, but 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 will often intervene to separate the girls, perhaps entirely. This should never become physical that way
; it would sully 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 very differently.
Compare Heterosexual Life-Partners
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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". 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.
- Also: 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).
- 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 Tenshi Na Konamaiki, 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.
- 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 Keroro Gunsou, 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.
- Shinobu's feelings for Kaede in Ninin Ga Shinobuden.
- Fate's relationship with Nanoha in the first two seasons Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha; 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), 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"?
- At the beginning of Episode 7 of Lucky Star, 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.
- 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. The scene was very powerful.
- 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.
- Kaorin and Chihiro in Azumanga Daioh, though it's obvious that Kaorin's growing out of it... into a genuine Schoolgirl Lesbian with a crush on Sakaki.
- It seems likely from various hints that Yukari and Nyamo were probably like this when they were young. It could easily explain some of the couple-ish mannerisms they still exhibit, and Yukari's taunting of Nyamo over an unexplained love letter (implying that Nyamo may have gotten a bit too caught up in it, leading to the teasing).
- Then again, writing each other love letters is not out of the ordinary for girls in a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship. It will likely forever be a mystery what happened and why those two are still friends. It may just be straight and simple Les Yay, really. Not that the gender of the other side of the love letter is ever specified.
- In one manga strip that didn't make it into the anime, the two teachers are wearing thier old uniforms [for a costume race] 'from when this was an all-girls school'. How this affects things beyond giving a fanfic setting is up for debate.
- If you were Nyamo would you want to admit that you fell in love with Yukari?
- Yukari and Nyamo's relationship is heavily implied to be similar to that of Tomo and Yomi. They seem to repel each other in every way and one seems appalled by the other but, for some reason, they still manage to remain the best of friends.
- 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.
- In ARIA, 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.
- Hiro and Sae in Hidamari Sketch 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...
- 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 Gakuen Alice 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 Tora Dora has genuinely deep feelings for her best friend Taiga Aisaka—so much that at one point she openly questions her own sexuality.
- 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 from Bakugan 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)
- 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 from Mahoraba 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.
- Taishou Yakyuu Musume 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.
- 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 Sayaka and Kyoko are at this at the very least. 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.
- One of the gags in CLANNAD 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 has Kanade and Tsubasa, and Hibiki and Miku, the textbook example. Senki Zesshou Symphogear G extend the latter pair and it introduces Kirika and Shirabe.
- 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.
- 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 or Heterosexual Life-Partners and something more than that for years. That they love each other is unquestionable; it's really just a question of degree at this point. 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.)
- 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.
- X-Men has Kitty Pryde and Illyana Rasputin, sister of her ex-boyfriend Colossus. The two are really close.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
- In spinoffs, there's also a romantic two-girl friendship, even though the story is changed for good.
- 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 recent 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 chosing Lovelace or Solmes (neither of whom she likes) Anna suggests they run away together 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- A comfortably non-sexual (well, it depends on who you ask) version appears in the BBC version of the Merlin legend, where 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. They've now graduated to Schoolgirl Bisexuals
- 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're both heterosexual, but 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 eachother. They kiss once, but they call it off very quickly.
- 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.
- Galinda and Elphaba from Wicked. They have gotten the Word of Gay treatment now, though, so this trope would be averted.
- 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.
- In Harvest Moon Sprite Station: 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 due to the fact they're needed to pass important milestones in the game, if you want to complete it completely.
- 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 Lyn and Florina, who share an ending where they both return to Lyn's home on the plains. At one stage, Florina even says that she loves Lyn.
- Other possibilities include: Florina with either Ninian, Nino, or Serra, and Rebecca and Nino.
- Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones gives us Amelia and Neimi, and Eirika with Tana or L'Arachel.
- Fire Emblem Awakening gives us Princess Lissa and her best friend Maribelle. It's even lampshaded: "Now that is a girl-girl friendship". Sumia and either Cordelia or Sully, Panne and Olivia, and Severa and Noire from the second generation might fit in as well.
- 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 what ultimately causes Shirley to snap.
- Rita and Estelle from Tales of Vesperia suggest in a cutscene in the PS3 version that they wish to remain together (and even raise children together!), be it interpreted as Heterosexual Life-Partners 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.
- This is implied with Ellie and her friend Riley in The Last of Us. The DLC Left Behind confirms it with a flashback sequence showing their last day together, cultimating with Ellie kissing Riley after she decided to give up her dream in order to be with Ellie. Some parts of the fandom then bent over backward trying to explain away it with her "not knowing what she wants", "her being a kid" and that a kiss between two best friends mean nothing. Naughty Dog ended up confirming that as for what they and the actors playing the girls were concerned the two of them are gay and were attracted to each other.
- The relationship between Lara Croft and Samantha Nishimura in the Tomb Raider reboot gives off strong vibes of this, especially in how single-minded Lara is when it comes to rescuing her friend. According to the writer, while this wasn't quite intentional, she could certainly see how one would think of it that way and on hindsight would have made it canon had she been able to get away with it.
- Ling Xiaoyu and Alisa Boskonovitch from Tekken.
- 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. Funny story: in development a lesbian route was in the works, but was scrapped.
- 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..."
- 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.
- Hinted at with Annie and Kat - 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, but that seems to be all the author's willing to say on that subject.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Statistically, 9 out of 10 do. At least as far as the emotional level goes.
- 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".
- 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.
- Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea 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 Adele thanking Lea 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.
- 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.