What is it about those schoolgirls? They have such a strong emotional bond with each other that you'd almost think they're dating. Oh... they are?
Perhaps it's driven by Wish Fulfillment since Most Writers Are Male and Girl on Girl Is Hot, but there seems to be a lot of attention paid to the idea of two schoolgirls developing feelings of "forbidden love" for each other. Or maybe it's just because girls do often form romantic friendships that authors are interested in exploring the logical extreme. Either way, there are a lot of lesbian schoolgirls running around in fiction land. Especially if an All Girl School setting is involved.
According to some sources, this trope may be based in reality, as many girls at old-fashioned all-girls' schools would enter adolescence without any male outlets for their budding sexuality.
Occasionally, stories focus a bit more on the sexuality and how hot it is that these two young girls are into each other rather than society's reactions. More often, parental and societal disapproval are touched on, but they're generally disregarded in favor of Girl on Girl Is Hot. Unless the work agrees that these relationships are improper, in which case expect Psycho Lesbian to appear.
In Japan this trope is a bit more complicated because girls having crushes on other girls is nothing that raises eyebrows in the Japanese school system. The Japanese refer to this as a Class S Relationship, which teaches the young ladies about "real" relationships. Class S is not supposed to become physical, and is meant to be outgrown eventually. Retaining a Class S Relationship as one grows older is a sign of immaturity (e.g. immature Clingy Jealous Girls whose lesbian crush has suddenly noticed Boys). Thus, it is not uncommon to find teenage girl-girl relationships in Japanese Media, and they should not be included in this trope unless they explicitly describe themselves as lesbians, or engage in physical intimacy (at least kissing).
Some works just pretend the girls are together and get out of it later by revealing they're not. Other times writers like to hide behind subtext in a form of Getting Crap Past the Radar.
For some reason there's a Double Standard and Schoolboy Gays do not tend to get the same sort of "it's ok if it's hot" treatment outside of Fan Fiction and Boys Love Genre. Also see Yuri Genre, for Japanese works that focus on female-female romances, whether schoolgirls or not. See also Experimented in College.
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Anime and Manga
Kirika and Mireille from Noir are not shown being physically intimate, but they share a bed and by the end of the series are emotionally dependent on each other. Also, Chloe exhibits a rather warped (and mostly frustrated) desire for Kirika.
Steel Angel Kurumi features Saki, a female android who because of the circumstances of her activation has a romantic fixation on the titular character, another female android. The sequel series Steel Angel Kurumi 2, tops that with what is either an oversized Love Triangle or a small Love Dodecahedron: Kurumi Mk. II is fixated upon young cellist Nako, who activated her. Nako's friend Uruka also has a crush on her, and out of jealousy activates Saki Mk. II in order to battle Kurumi; Saki, however, ends up pining for both Kurumi and Uruka. Eventually, Nako comes to return Kurumi's feelings.
Chanohata Tamami in Mahoraba admits to Shiratori Ryuushi that she is in love with Aoba Kozue (who is completely oblivious), explaining her mean-spirited attitude.
Simouncheatsa little by setting the story on a world where everyone under 17 is female, making all of the main characters Schoolgirl Lesbians by default. And they use the power of Girls Love to make their fighter planes fly.
In Azumanga Daioh, Kaorin has an immediately obvious crush on Sakaki that seems one-sided; however, considering Sakaki's addiction to cute things, it's possible that it would be reciprocated (or at least not minded) if she wasn't entirely oblivious.
According to the newest manga, Kaorin is either in denial or in denial and in the closet.
Mai-HiME features Shizuru and her obsessive love for one of the main characters, Natsuki. Fandom has rewarded this with a series of doujinshi, the tamest of which explore Shizuru's more publishable fantasies. The more extreme, well... let's just say that Shizuru is a very imaginative individual. One of the artbooks states that they "find happiness" at Natsuki's graduation.
Speaking of Mai-Otome, there appear to be quite a few of them there, too, since most of the story takes place in the all-girls' Garderobe Academy. Chie, in particular, appears to have out-Chizuru'd Bleach's Chizuru in the "openly flirty" department.
All girls academy, nothing. The Schizo Tech of that gives the girls their super powers is destroyed by sperm, and neither condoms nor vasectomies exist.
Revolutionary Girl Utena: Juri's secret obsession with Shiori consumes her entire life. Possibly Anthy and Utena in the series, though it's canon in the movie. Tons of girls also fawn over Utena and in one episode (and only one episode), Anthy.
Blue Drop, it also contains older lesbians as well. Most of the plot of the anime revolves around the relationship between Mari and Hagino, the latter being the female commander of an alien battleship who hides at Mari's all-girl high-school.
Played for horror in the manga, Tenshi No Bokura. The alien lesbians, the Arume, have all-girls schools filled with girls who are raised to be lesbian nymphos (with males as a wholly foreign concept) so they'll have hot human women to screw when the little girls grow up. Naturally, they pass through a "schoolgirl lesbian" stage at some point between puberty and graduation, although not all of the teachers are willing to wait that long...
Kitagawa from Doki Doki School Hours has a thing for petite women, which just happens to apply to her teacher - and she is not at all shy about showing her affections.
Hazumu and Tomari from Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl, along with the third girl in the triangle, Yasuna. The other characters dismissHazumu's sexuality since she used to be a guy; still, Hazumu remains a girl permanently. Tomari, on the other hand, plays the trope completely straight, and Yasuna is physically (possibly from a genetic mutation, according to "alien-san") incapable of seeing faces of men.
Sakura from Penguin Musume Heart often shows extreme interest in intimate interactions with some of her female classmates. Sure, she is absolutely bonkers, but it happens a bit too often to be coincidental.
Not to mention that she tries to force Kujira into marrying her in an alternate time line.
Nina Einstein from Code Geass fits this trope pretty well. After Princess Euphemia stands up for her in a hostage situation, Nina has a huge obsession with her, and even goes as far as to masturbate against a table with a picture of Euphemia. Later, when Euphemia dies, Nina goes insane and threatens to set off a bomb killing herself, Zero, and many innocent bystanders. This is promptly used by Schneizel, Euphemia's half-brother, who takes the still insane Nina in so she builds an even bigger bomb for him...
Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito is about one of these searching time and space for her best friend/adoptive older sister Hatsumi who turns out to be Eve...yes, that Eve. Who returns her feelings, but can only exist in a given world for 16 years at a time. Hatsumi herself is at least bisexual, as a series of very direct love letters shows.
In a similar vein to the above, there is Sasameki Koto. The focus is on the tall and awkward Sumika's crush on her lesbian but oblivious friend, Kazama, who herself is constantly on the lookout for cute girls to crush on. There are also their classmates Miyako and Tomoe, who are in a relationship. Lastly, Yuri Fan Aoi Azusa appears to have a crush on Sumika.
Hanjuku Joshi is an erotic manga about the relationship between Chitose and Yae, two students at an all-girls school.
Bodacious Space Pirates gives us Jenny Dolittle and Lynn Lambretta, who keep it on the down-low while Jenny is President of the school's Yacht Club, but are hardly shy about expressing it after Jenny blasts her way out of an Arranged Marriage and rendezvous with the Bentenmaru.
Haruka Tenoh & Michiru Kaioh / Sailor Uranus & Sailor Neptune in Sailor Moon are both pupils of the prestigious Infinity Acadamy though Haruka prefers the male uniform. The fall for each other about a year before their introduction to the show which is shown in a flashback episode. They are an early example from the '90s so were never shown kissing or doing anything beyond holding hands, but they many several comments that implied they did indeed do the deed offscreen.
Mari and later, Akko from Girl Friends. The series is particularly loved and praised outside of Japan for how realistically it portrays a schoolgirl who slowly comes to the realization that she's a lesbian and is in love with her seemingly straight best friend, with all the self-denial, fear, mental anguish, and general Gayngst that comes with it. It also delves into how the Romantic Two-Girl Friendship culture of Japan affects actual lesbians, contributing to the initial confusion of Mari on what her feelings are and later obscuring Akko's attempts to communicate her reciprocal feelings. However, it also allows the two to hide their relationship in plain sight, since it leads to no one batting an eyelash at two girls being all cuddly in public.
It's implied that Midori from Tamako Market has a crush on Tamako, considering the "Everybody loves somebody/anybody can love anybody" were said while cutting from Midori to Tamako.
In Yuru-Yuri almost the entire cast are Schoolgirl Lesbians, or fantasize about Schoolgirl Lesbians.
The end of Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion features Homura admitting her feelings for Madoka are romantic in nature, and strong enough to rewrite the entire universe in order to make her beloved happy forever - which unfortunately involves sealing away her divine powers. Kyoko and Sayaka are also shown being quite fond of each other but still maintain plausible deniability.
High School Of The Dead has fun with deconstructing this trope along with defying Together in Death. In the first episode, when the zombies attack the school, two schoolgirl lesbians are holding each other's hands, saying to each other that everything will work out just fine for both of them as long as they have each other. One of them gets caught by the zombies at the top of the stairs, and grabs the other's ankle, pleading for her to help her. The other girl venomously yells at the bitch to let go of her. She's already zombie chow, so let go already! Her betrayal is quickly met with other zombies grabbing her and chomping into her head.
Sakura Trick is build around this trope. The main characters Yuu and Haruka make out with each other Once an Episode and didn't even mind same-sex marriages, and all other schoolgirls from that show also seem to have more or less lesbian tendencies, with the probably exception of Yuzu.
V for Vendetta: Valerie's first girlfriend. Valerie turns out to be the real deal.
I passed my eleven plus, and went to a girl’s grammar. It was at school that I met my first girlfriend. Her name was Sarah. It was her wrists – they were beautiful. I thought we would love each other forever. I remember our teacher telling us that it was an adolescent phase that people outgrew. Sarah did. I didn’t.
Without getting too icky or explicit, some fanfic in the Discworld deals with the question of growing-up friendships among pupils at the Assassins' Guild school. Jocasta Wiggs, a minor character in the canon, is depicted as having a very close friendship with her roomie Emilia Mountjoy-Standish in The Graduation Class. The same fic also deals sympathetically with gay relationships among the boys. These things happen at boarding schools...
In Colette classic Claudine at School, various girls are interested in one another. Claudine first falls in love with the pretty teaching assistant Aimee, then switches her affections to Aimee's sister when she goes off with the Headmistress. Considering this is set in France in the 1890s, no one seems to bat an eyelid at these goings on between girls. The affair between Aimee and the Headmistress is another story.
In The Wheel of Time, teenage novices in the White Tower often become "Pillow Friends," which can range from being close friends, to being in full-blown lesbian relationships. These relationships usually end when the novices become Aes Sedai, though some interactions later on indicate that they do sometimes continue; it seems to be a matter of personal taste. One woman haughtily dismisses the relationship as one for novices and not to be upheld by someone of higher achievement, whereas another thinks nothing of what she perceives as a sign that two women have been together for many years.
Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden is about two schoolgirl lesbians, Annie and Liza, and is one of the first Western books to present lesbianism in a positive light. Needless to say, the Moral Guardians are on the phone.
Brie and Lara from Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan are a slightly older version of the trope, occurring during their time at Smith College. The former claims that the relationship is just a college experiment and she'll go back to guys when she graduates. She doesn't, although she does question her relationship multiple times in the years after she leaves Smith.
Lolita. Lo tells Humbert of her first sexual experience with a female tentmate at summer camp; she tries her first boy the following year. Humbert uses this evidence of precocious sexuality to justify his own predatory actions.
Live Action TV
Sophie Webster and Sian Powers from Coronation Street also paired up near the end of their standard schooling. Sian may be bisexual, or Sophie-sexual as they are, thus far, too focused on each other to even acknowledge other people exist. The last few months of 2010 saw the couple, now at college but still both under 18, making their relationship public before sleeping together in the New Year's Eve episode.
Paige and Alex from Degrassi, starting off as enemies, becoming acquaintances, friends, then finally lovers. And with such a touching storyline, they end up having a very rocky relationship that ends with a terrible and humiliating breakup.
Santana and Brittany in Glee. Particularly the following lines from "Sectionals":
Santana: Sex isn't dating.
Brittany: If it were, Santana and I would be dating.
It's worth noting that the above line was originally supposed to be a throw-away joke, but Santana/Brittany was so popular in certain parts of the fanbase that the show's writers decided to make them canon, having Santana realize she's a lesbian and in love with Brittany at the end of the second season and getting the two together for real in the third.
Emma and Jenny from the German show Hand Aufs Herz have been headed towards this for a while. A slap slap almost-kiss relationship led to an actual first kiss, then more kisses, then catastrophic misunderstandings and broken hearts. Recently, they both managed to get over it and as of episode 147 are a couple, albeit secretly.
The Russian band Tatu was a rather crass attempt by producer Ivan Shapovalov to cash in on this trope. It takes a turn for the sordid when you consider that both girls were 13 years old when the band was formed. Outright nightmare fuel is achieved when you learn that before forming the band Shapovalov was a child psychologist.
In their documentary, Anatomy of t.A.T.u., Lena and Yulia revealed that they aren't actually lesbians, and that it was just a stage act. In the same month, they also broke off from Shapovalov. Apparently, they weren't too happy about being used.
It's heavily implied in the music video for Aerosmith's "Crazy" that the video's two main characters (played by Liv Tyler and Alicia Silverstone, her 3rd appearance in an Aerosmith vid) are this.
This, oddly enough, was left in the English version of the game. However, it had some... unusual changes.
Misha from Katawa Shoujo is a lesbian and in love with her straight best friend, who can be wooed by Hisao. In the alpha version of the game it was revealed homophobic bullying was a good reason in why she transferred to the school when she has no major disabilities. The "I wanna be a sign language" deal only appeared after meeting Shizune.
Jessica from Loserz, forming a pair with bisexual Jodie, beginning in this strip.
Fuuko's from Red String unrequited crush on an upperclassman sports star Maaya causes a big scandal at their school. Fortunately for her she later moves to Tokyo where she meets someone Hanae Niijima who does return her feelings.
Missi Fuller from Misfile dived headlong into dating Ash after being aproached by Rumi. The problem is, Ash isn't exactly a girl and is stuck in a perpetual identity crisis, so Missi got dumped almost immediately. Missi has refused to give up though, is currently somewhere in Stalker with a Crush territory, and getting more public with her affections lately.
YU+ME: dream is, at first, a Schoolgirl Lesbians-themed story, with the slight twist that they're at a Catholic school (and it's also hinted that one of the girls' parents is homophobic). But, after the Drama Bomb of issue 9, it turns out to be more than that…
Rachel Einhorn in Kevin & Kell. It's a bit of a surprise to her when her target turns out to actually be a guy. The fact she's lesbian is only highlighted here; no-one really cares otherwise (although the male target of her misdirected affections starts going for more masculine attire).
A running subplot in the first half of Avalon is whether Phoebe was one, and whether Ceilidh was interested. In the synopsis ending they both turn out to be.