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Ho Yay / Persona 4

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"I need you to deck me, bro!"

Ho Yay in Persona 4. Oh, so much Ho Yay.

  • Kanji's shadow, one of the most blatant Camp Gay stereotypes in existence, is shown as a representation of his feelings towards men, though it is actually a representation of his desire for acceptance in general. Doesn't stop there being a scene where he is kissed by human Teddie.
    • His Rank 10 Social Link takes place in your room where he outright admits that him and his shadow are one and the same.
    • Golden really plays up the Ho Yay between Kanji and the protagonist:
      • If you declined all the invitations from the girls on Valentines Day and hung out with the guys, he will give you a Teddie-shaped chocolate, complete with a blushing sprite.
      • This is even a rather solidified action. If you talk to him the night before exam week starts, he'll tell you this story of how this girl came up to him asking him if Naoto likes sweet things, and he responds along the lines of "How the hell should I know? If you wanna know, ask her yourself." and the girl wasn't pleased. He then wonders why she asked in the first place. If you remind him that Valentine's Day is coming up, the first thing out of his mouth in response is to ask if you like sweet things, and say he himself has a sweet tooth. Are we sure that was just friendship chocolate?
      • Some dungeon banters have Kanji also making comments expressing attraction towards the protagonist, like "You're starting to look beautiful..." and "Man, do you work out, Senpai? Can I touch your chiseled abs...?" and instantly back-pedaling.
      • And there's a certain scene where he declares that he wants to become strong in order to protect you, echoing Chie's similar declaration to you in her own social link, (which she did, in fact, say as an expression of her romantic affections).
      • When Yosuke's bike gets wrecked by Hanako, Yosuke asks Kanji to give him a ride back home. Kanji replies with: "Oh I see, up close and personal, huh senpai!" He says this while blushing. Yep.
      • When asked who you want to see in a swimsuit the choices are the girls and Kanji.
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  • In the opening cinematic to Dancing All Night, there's a scene where Yukiko and Chie hip slam each other, rear ends first.
  • Depending on choices during the Culture Festival Breather Episode, the Protagonist can also show an interest in cross-dressing and has the option of willingly taking a seat on the girl's side of the table during the Group Date Cafe so that he can flirt with Yosuke or Kanji.
  • Yosuke tends to say things to the main character that sound at least awkward, if not outright flirtatious. "I'll invite Daisuke; don't want to look like we're dating." "You look like you're good with your hands—uh, never mind." "If I had to choose, I'd choose you! You're so handsome and reliable! Tee-hee!" That and his semi-homophobic behavior at times seems to be an act of Transparent Closet or Armoured Closet Gay.
    • You can give him a piggyback ride. It could have been even more gay considering the king's game other options were a hug, or sitting on the MC's lap, or laying their head in his lap, but those didn't match Yosuke's number.
    • The entire Magician Rank 9 scene. It has the wonderfully ambiguous "I have family and friends... and you," as well as "You're special to me, you know?"
      • The only other person who says you are special is Rise, and it's no secret she loves the MC. The conversation even ends with "You can feel Yosuke's warm trust."
    • While the first-years call you "Senpai" and Teddie calls you "Sensei," Yosuke calls you "partner". This example gets downplayed somewhat by Yosuke's narration in the prologue of Arena describing his view of the entire Investigation Team as being beyond friendship, considering them all "partners" for everything they endured.
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    • The Rank 8 scene has, if you choose "You were just upset" in Rank 7, the option to hug him around the waist after the rank goes up. Yosuke, who you might think would freak out, just starts sobbing into your chest.
      • The hug thing is actually very interesting. Yosuke isn't exaggerating or lying when he says "That's for girls!", since hugging someone is a very intimate act in Japan. For comparison, all the girls have a friendship and a lover's route, in the lover's route you hug some of them. Yosuke is the only guy with a social link that gives different options along the way...
    • The Rank 5 scene, where he awkwardly asks whether you keep the goods under your futon and if you've ever invited a girl into your room. If you answer the latter in the negative, Yosuke says "I guess you're more of a man's man than I thought!" and the narrator informs you that "Yosuke looks happy..."
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    • The Rank 10 event somehow manages to make the whole "and now, we fight like men!" thing just seem waaaaaay too gay. Afterwards you both end up sprawled out on the grass, and Yosuke remarks how "that sure beat words" and says "You really are something" after you spend a long time with him.
    • The rank EX (only P4 Golden) is filled with ho yay. You can't stop thinking "Are they going to kiss or what?" Also, this conversation:
      Yosuke: ...Didn't you think I was surprisingly on top of things?
      MC: You were the only one I could rely on.
      Yosuke: Huh? Well, um... wait, you had other guys there with you too!
    • Some deleted audio files from Yosuke's Social Link reveal quotes such as, "I never knew I had such heat inside" and "I like you." Notably, in the Japanese version of that cut line he uses the word 'suki', which generally connotes "liking" in a romantic sense (indeed, the girls of the party all use the word to confess during their romance paths). This has long fueled speculation that Yosuke was intended to be an official Gay Option only to be scrapped at the last minute.
    • The official alarm clock where the alarm is the two waking each other up with playful banter.
    • A scene in Golden has the two of them sharing an Umbrella of Togetherness. The trope has explicit romantic connotations, but this is the very same scene where Kanji gets very flustered over the idea of doing the same thing with Naoto, his long-time crush, and says that they "would be just like a couple" if they did so...
    • You have way too many chances to hit on him, more than some girls actually. During the school festival, if you sit in the men's table, Yosuke has to sit besides the girls, so Yosuke asks "If you could date one of us, who would it be?" He was probably trying to discover if you like Chie or Yukiko, but you can Take a Third Option and say you want Yosuke. He blushes (Yeah, I know.) and berates you for "getting too in-character".
    • It's possible to have a dream where the MC runs through a field while being chased by Yosuke. They're both laughing cheerily, and the dream will make MC feel close to Yosuke and gain points toward their S-Link.
    • While doing homework, the MC can start thinking about Yosuke and get flustered.
    • In regards to Yu x Yosuke, Persona 4: Dancing All Night is not shy about this trope at all. Various characters make reference to their special and intense relationship. During fever time, Nanako states that their relationship is like a "bromance." The investigation team members are generally jealous of their closeness, and even one of the Kanamin Kitchen members wonders if those 2 are a couple. In the main story, Yu is always concerned about Yosuke (even for trivial things) and is generally considerate towards him.
    • Yosuke had been planned as a romantic option early in the game's development. Obviously, this didn't make it into the finished version, but they left all the subtext in.
    • Now that Golden has received a PC port, a mod to add Yosuke back as a romantic option is already in development!
  • Fellow Athletes, Daisuke and Kou.
    • Daisuke's complete disinterest in women is rather suspicious... Sure, it's explained later he broke up with some girl but still, even then the specific break-up conversation manages to be riddled with implications that Daisuke is gay.
      Daisuke: Whatever, girls are a pain in the ass! Right MC?
      MC: Right on. (+1 friendship)
    • Even disregarding Daisuke's irritation with girls, it's rather easy to get him to blush in many conversations. Tally it up with Kanji's.
    • Kou's not much better. In his Level 1 Social Link, he gets stuck putting away the basketballs the team was using, and will snarkily comment "While they go to their parties, I get to stay here and play with balls. I looove them balls." In level 2 he'll get upset that girls call him Kou-chan and offers to share buy sweets for the MC. Then there's his "What are we to you?" speech to Daisuke in Daisuke's Level 9 Social Link.
  • Taking the Celibate Hero options, such as stating a lack of interest in the Miss Yasogami beauty pageant and telling Yosuke that you have no romantic interest in either Chie or Yukiko, usually leads one of the party members to make a not-so-subtle crack about the Protagonist's sexuality.
  • Speaking of the anime, in episode 12 it's Yosuke who pulls him out of a Heroic BSoD during the fight against Shadow Mitsuo, in a scene that drips with Ho Yay. Not helped by how they start referring to each other in a First-Name Basis.
  • Teddie is totally gay for you. Talk to him before you leave Inaba and you'll get a conversation in which Teddie offers to take off his outfit for you. The suggestion is quickly declined by Yosuke.
  • All the female party members feeling up Naoto in the bathhouse. Again, the anime keeps it.
    • The Golden version of the game adds Marie taking the bath with the girls impressed, watching her with sparkling eyes.
    • Also, Naoto receives love letters from female classmates even after going public about her cross-dressing. And wins a majority of the female votes during the beauty pageant (though that may be due to her refusal to appear in a bikini like the others).
    • Even the Girls Want Her indeed.
  • The cabin scenes added in just before the bonus dungeon if you've maxed Marie's Social Link. Everything is so, so gay. First, the guys consider stuffing themselves inside Teddie's bear suit to keep warm ("I'm like a newborn in here!"), before a TV mysteriously comes on and you, Yosuke, Teddie, and Kanji somehow manage to make investigating it into a fiasco of falling all over each other. Rise's reactions when the girls barge in are just the icing on the homoeroticism cake.
    Rise: "....They're still dressed."
    Rise: "Is this one of those...male bonding things? Do you want us to come back later? Give you some time...?"
    • If you make Yosuke wear a towel, Rise immediately picks up on the fact and says something along the lines of. "Oh senpai, that's your preference? That's a shame."
  • No mention of Naoki? He's the other male in the game aside from Yosuke to break down and cry when you Social Link him, and he definitely views you as the only one he can rely on. His line to you in the climax of the True Final Boss fight is:
    Naoki: "Don't you give up Senpai! I've had enough with losing the people most precious to me... I don't want to lose you too..."
  • Chie and Yukiko at the very least have a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship. The conversation on Saki's appearance on the Midnight Channel ("My soulmate is a girl?"), where Chie seems more shocked at the rumored channel actually being real than her apparent female soulmate. Who was Yukiko's Prince? Chie! Their respective shadows talk about their dependency on one another, with Shadow Chie representing her control over Yukiko and taking the form of a Dominatrix.
    • These two have many common elements on Yuri relationships like Tomboy and Girly Girl and Hair-Contrast Duo, etc.
    • Yukiko outright says that "Chie was the only one who gave my life meaning."
    • It's also worth noting that Yukiko really wants people to drop the "scoring a hot stud" thing that her Shadow said. Yukiko doesn't have a problem with people referring to Chie as her prince, and in fact, she continues to do so herself with a notable affectionate tone. Her situation comes off pretty heavily as being If It's You, It's Okay, though whether that's for Chie and Yu is debatable.
    • Shadow Yukiko declaring Chie to be her prince becomes especially eyebrow-raising in retrospect when one looks at her Midnight Channel debut. "I've got my lacy unmentionables on, stacked from top to bottom!". In the anime, she goes so far as to smack her crotch as a bell goes off in the background.
    • Shadow Chie goes on and about how beautiful and fair-skinned Yukiko is. By comparison, in one optional night event at Junes, Chie notes that Yukiko's long dark hair goes well with her kimono. Both of these seem to suggest that Chie might not only be jealous of Yukiko's looks, but also be attracted to her.
    • During Chie's social link, which has a second encounter with some punks bullying people for money where, again, Chie steps in to intervene like the last time. The leader of the gang says to his co-horts that he knows how to handle her and mentions to Chie how they talked with the student whom she had previously saved from the thugs, and he told them some details about Chie's personal life, including "that precious Yukiko-san of [hers]". The leader then makes some thinly-veiled threats about harming Yukiko to Chie, which only enrages her further.
    • If you max Chie's social link (as a friend, of course) and talk to her in the TV World's Dungeons while she and Yukiko aren't active in the party, she'll be with Yukiko and make a remark suspiciously similar to a romantic Declaration of Protection, with Yukiko thanking Chie and saying word-for-word "You really are my prince..." Seriously, it's stuff like this that can make you legit question both girls' sexuality.
  • In Persona 4: Arena, Chie certainly seems to have a lot of chemistry with both robot girls, Aigis and Labrys. She even calls Labrys really cute, expresses a profound desire to befriend and protect her (on par with Teddie who wants to be her knight), and cries when she leaves. And, of course, her Ship Tease with Yukiko is stronger than ever.
    • Particularly dripping with Les Yay when at the end of Chie's storyline, Labrys turns around and smiles at her and Chie thinks something along the lines of "Man... she really is cute", much like an awkward teenager with a crush.
    • Also worth noting that in Chie's Arena storyline, Shadow Yukiko goes as far as comparing her and Chie to Beauty and the Beast. You know, that one story where the beautiful, kind girl who's not really interested in romance ends up falling in love with the fearsome beast who looks way more violent and scary than he actually is? The story that is clearly and well-known as a romance story through and through? Shadow Yukiko says "they are just like Beauty and the Beast" and calls Chie "her loathsome Beast."
    • Labrys and Unit #024's relationship can also be read as this. They were probably aiming for the "surrogate big sister" impression, but it's still pretty hard to ignore when Labrys even blacks out from the shock of having to kill Unit #024 and cries after it...
    • A bit more of Labrys: in her storyline, the first thing she notices about Elizabeth is how beautiful she looks.
    • Not to mention how interested in the female characters'... "measurements" Shadow Labrys seemed to be... one could argue she was just keeping in character trying to immitate Teddie, but you have to remember Labrys didn't really know him that well at the time, and he didn't really act nearly as pervy with her than he did with, say, Yukiko. How did she know he kept making those kind of comments about girls? And since shadows are actually just mirrors of what a person is truly feeling and locking up inside themselves, well... it makes it sound like Labrys is actually a Covert Pervert... and a pretty gay one at that, seeing as how she didn't care about the male characters (in this regard) at all.
    • Can we talk about that bit in Naoto's storyline in which she encounters Mitsuru and when they talk about what they thought the other was saying, Mitsuru tells Naoto the stuff she said was "mostly about her body"? And then immediately after that Naoto blushes (hard)? Keep in mind, she doesn't bat an eye at Kanji's apparent crush on her, why did she care so much about what Mitsuru THOUGHT she had said to her?
  • In Persona 4: The Golden the Protagonist can try to hit on a middle-aged police officer.
  • During his route in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax, Adachi's dialogue and thoughts are littered with Accidental Innuendo.
  • In Arena during Labrys' back story. During one of their talks, Labrys and her Cool Big Sis #024 turn to the subject of finding love; #024 mentions in passing that she's looking for a special someone, a female. Could be that she's into other women, or it may be a nod to her wish to find the girl who's personality became the basis for the Anti-Shadow weapons, who #024 likens to their mother, and her yearning for familial love. While the two become very close and actively seek out each other's company, and being forced to kill a bodyjacked #024 serves as Labrys' Rage Breaking Point, she never really hits on Labrys. But as discussed above, Labrys is kinda gay herself, so probably wouldn't say no if she ever asked.
  • One female student outside the library in Yasogami is quite smitten with her senpai, and is upset that her senpai is apparently going out with someone else. A few of the conversations reveal that her senpai is also a girl.

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