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Sometimes a character really does
want to just be friends
with another; at least as far as conscious decisions go, but the sexual attraction and sexual thoughts persist.
Maybe something about the friend, whether appearance or personality or whatever else, just seems sexy. Perhaps the character is just so dirty-minded by their very nature that they just have sexual thoughts anyway. Whatever the case, the lust conflicts with the friendship, no matter how hard they try to conceal the former.
Compare AND contrast with I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship
. The difference lies in the reaction of the character feeling the romantic/sexual feelings (and, in many cases, the former relationship between the two): if they're creeped out by their sudden attraction to the person they had always considered a brother/sister, it's this trope; if they're worried that admitting their feelings to someone with whom they've been Just Friends will cause drama or change a group dynamic, it's I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship
Compare Stupid Sexy Flanders
, as it reflects on a similar conflict between the sexual thoughts one has and consciously thinking one shouldn't have such sexual thoughts. (And yes, this is snowcloned from it
.) Compare and contrast Friends with Benefits
, one solution to this problem if it's mutual.
Truth in Television
, of course. After all, it's considered normal to lust after someone you don't know, as opposed to a close friend (that you do
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Anime and Manga
- In Yuri series Sasameki Koto, Sumika Murasame is stuck being Just Friends with Lipstick Lesbian Ushio Kazama (not this trope), but as the story goes on, we find out that Ushio has fallen for Sumika at some point but is extremely uncomfortable being attracted to a close friend (this trope).
- From Touch: Tatsuya: "One day, we became aware that one of the three of us was a girl." Thus began the childhood friend romance love triangle. Oh, and a good deal of baseball too.
- In Infinite Stratos, this is VIRTUALLY Ichika's relationship with all the members of his Unwanted Harem, he is indeed interested in them, ranging from cute (Rin, Laura, Char), fascination of beauty (Cecilia) and outright sexual (Houki, probably Char). Point is: He doesn't want to have a girlfriend yet.
- Billy Crystal's character in When Harry Met Sally epitomizes this trope, and it plays a major part in the plot of the film itself.
- A lesbian example of the trope occurs in Killswitch, the third book in the Cassandra Kresnov trilogy by Joel Shepherd. The titular android's bisexual best friend admits to having fallen in love with Cassandra, but the latter is straight and the friend doesn't want to affect their working and non-working relationships.
- This is part of the relationship between Harry Dresden and Molly Carpenter. He doesn't reciprocate her feelings towards him (and feels it would be creepy to do so, given that he's known Molly since she was a child), but still finds her attractive. Awkwardness ensues.
Live Action TV
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- This was pretty much how Xander felt about Buffy after he got past being outright attracted to her and too inept to say so.
- Willow finally gets together with Xander. When they're both with other people.
- On NCIS: Los Angeles: It's a quick moment, but it's there. When Kensi is compelled to do a quick change in clothes in the middle of an undercover op, Callen's eyes widen. And he politely looks away.
- For a brief period Angel's feelings towards Cordelia are this, with him sort of horrified that he does feel something romantic for her when previously they were like family. By the time he gets over it there's other issues preventing them getting together... not that there weren't already.
- In Community, Jeff and Annie often fall into this territory. They're pretty much the Official Couple by this point, but the age difference and nature of the relationship so far has made them both feel somewhat squicky about the idea of hooking up, despite how much they both seem to want to hook up.
- All three of the male roommates on New Girl have had moments like this with their female roommate Jess. This is especially the case for Nick, who has some serious Unresolved Sexual Tension with her.
- In Doctor Who, the Eleventh Doctor and Clara have problems with this towards each other, due to some minor Unresolved Sexual Tension between both of them. (They both insist on only being friends, as much as they like each other.) The trope is more prominent on the Doctor's side and usually Played for Laughs, while Clara off-handedly mentions once (while alone) that she has to keep herself in check and not develop a crush on him. Later, though she's not attracted to the older-looking Twelfth Doctor, she still makes a cheeky compliment about his handsome looks and charismatic voice, much to his annoyance.
- Linda to Francine in American Dad!. What makes this more tragic is Linda is unaware that Francine is bi and doesn't seem to consider lesbian affairs as cheating.