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Holding Hands / Live-Action TV

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  • In Pushing Daisies Ned had a plastic wall with a rubber glove extending from the passengers side built into his car, allowing Chuck to hold hands with him while driving without her dying.
    • Although it's sort of hard to imagine them holding hands while Ned was driving, given his hyper-cautious personality.
  • Sex and the City. Smith was holding Samantha's hand when she lost her balance and she fell down a flight of stairs.
  • The ending of the episode "A Feasibility Study" from The Outer Limits (1963) (and remade for the revival) has a group of human test-subjects holding hands as they commit suicide to prove to their alien captors that humanity is "unsuitable" to use as a slave-species. (Actually, the hand-holding spread the contagion that killed them, but the subtext is open and blatant..)
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  • Frequently done by Victor and Sierra in Dollhouse, emphasizing their innocence.
  • An episode of Gossip Girl has Blair saying to Serena (re: her non-relationship with Chuck), "Did you know it's not a real relationship if you can't hold hands?" Naturally this is brought back later in the episode, when they've fallen asleep in his limo, holding hands in their sleep.
    • Blair's comment is actually a callback to something Chuck said earlier in the season, about why they couldn't be together.
    Chuck: Think about it. Chuck and Blair going to the movies? Chuck and Blair holding hands?
    • Chuck seems to have gotten over his aversion of hand holding by the time they start dating, as they are often holding hands in season three.
  • In How I Met Your Mother, Ted wrote Marshall and Lily's wedding toast, but because Marshall didn't want his younger relatives hearing any naughty stuff, Ted bowdlerises a story taking place at the bar so that Lily and Marshall sneak off to the bathroom to hold hands.
  • An interesting case in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Turnabout Intruder", where Kirk is unwillingly body-swapped with his jealous, insane ex-lover. Spock holds "her" hand when the two are confronted with said ex-lover, who is in Kirk's body.
    • This was how Spock's parents showed affection for each other.
    • Hand stroking and holding seems to be a very important part of Vulcan mating—akin to foreplay. It should be noted that this is distinct from the examples above, and is a very recognizable, possibly ritualized prelude to sex.
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  • In "The Offspring" from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Lal learns about the practice of humans holding hands and holds Data's hand.
    Lal: I learned today humans like to hold hands. It is a symbolic gesture of affection.
  • On The X-Files, Mulder and Scully do this as a gesture of solidarity and support, notably in "Little Green Men", "One Breath", "Pusher", and the 1998 movie "Fight the Future".
  • Austin and Ally: Austin and Ally held hands many times even before they became a couple.
  • Best Friends Whenever: Cyd and Naldo hold hands while hiding in the corner.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor frequently grabs their companion's hand while running, either to lead them or just because they're having fun. The Tenth Doctor considers having "a hand to hold" to be an essential part of travelling the universe.
    • The Second Doctor and Jamie did this a lot. It generally had something to do with them facing a "scary" situation. Like jumping off a very low ledge. Played for laughs in one episode where the Doctor reaches to take Victoria's hand without looking and ends up taking Jamie's by mistake.
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    • The Third Doctor and his companion Jo always held hands while running... because actress Katy Manning was so short-sighted that during the filming of their first adventure together, she ran straight into a tree. Called back to humorously in "The Five Doctors" where he and the Second Doctor are about to run away, so Three (apparently instinctively) grabs Two's hand. Two is not impressed, but gets pulled along anyway.
    • It'd be more surprising if there was an episode of revival series 1 and 2 where the Doctor and Rose don't hold hands. It seems to be their preferred form of displaying affection and support.
    • Amy asks Rory to hold her hand when they're trapped in a crazy alien-controlled TARDIS in the dark. Since they're already married though, it's hardly a unique occurrence.
    • In "The Snowmen" Clara ends up pulling along the Doctor while fleeing danger, with the Doctor complaining that's always been his job.
    • Twelve does this with Clara as part of their general Ship Tease, platonic or otherwise, despite claiming that he Hates Being Touched; they spend several scenes in "Hell Bent" holding hands. An image of the two holding hands while running from danger was one of the main publicity images used for Series 9.
    • Played for Drama in "Hide". While searching a dark Haunted House for the Monster of the Week, Clara assures the Doctor that however scared she might be, there's no need to hold her hand. The Eleventh Doctor informs her it's not him holding her hand.
      • An Ironic Echo occurs two seasons later in "Sleep No More" when the Twelfth Doctor asks Clara to hold his hand. She once again says she doesn't need to, but the fact is this time he does.
    • Much like in "The Snowmen", River drags Twelve along by the hand in "The Husbands of River Song", not knowing who he is. Twelve once again protests that he's the one who does that.
  • In The Mentalist, Bosco and Lisbon, their only physical contact, just before he dies. They were in love. It was heartbreaking.
    • Although some viewers question whether they were mutually in love.
    • In "The Crimson Hat", we get Jane and Lisbon tenderly holding hands after another attempt to catch Red John goes horribly wrong.
  • Jin and Sun from Lost do this quite a few times to show affection. They even die while holding hands, and it shows as their bodies float away from one another.
    • During Season Six, Claire and Sayid are shown to be doing this in a few blink-or-you'll-miss-it-moments, which could be due to the actors being friends in real life, or their common experience of being on the Man in Black's side and not quite "sane," to say the least.
    • Claire also holds hands with Kate during three separate occasions in Season Six, including during their final present timeline scene, when they fly off the Island together in the newly fixed plane.
    • Happens between Sawyer and Juliet as well, as he reaches out to hold her hand and she happily accepts, both of them believing they're finally getting off the island together.
      Juliet: I love you.
      Sawyer: I love you back.
  • In the Fringe episode "Bad Dreams," Peter holds Olivia's hand in order to calm her during while she's in the dream state.
  • In Alias, Sydney and Vaughn participate in this trope multiple times, including during season one's "A Broken Heart" while standing at the pier, and during season two's "The Counteragent" when Vaughn is dying from the virus.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • Willow and Tara's memorable scene in "Hush", ends up with the girls holding hands and looking each other in the eyes, surprised by the strength of their combined magic. They end up doing this a lot; at first when "casting spells", then openly after they come out as lesbians. Earlier in the episode, Buffy and Willow do this for mutual comfort after losing their voices along with everyone else in Sunnydale, which leads to an increase in non-verbal communication, sexual or otherwise.
    • The trope is used for foreshadowing in the Season 6 episode "After Life". Willow and Tara hold hands to cast a spell, but Willow breaks free to finish the spell because she's much more powerful than Tara now. Spike holds Buffy's hands while waiting for Dawn to fetch antiseptic to patch them up. As the season continues, Willow and Tara will break up over Willow's abuse of magic, while Spike and Buffy start a Secret Relationship.
    • In the season 6 musical episode entitled "Once More, With Feeling" season 6, the episode ends with a group song in which the Scoobies and Spike all join hands, then let go of each other, foreshadowing them drifting apart as the season continues.
    • Buffy and Angel do this a lot in Season 3 because they Can't Have Sex, Ever, and kissing gets them too worked up.
  • One of the many Hilarious/Heartwarming/Homoerotic moments in Angel. A bunch of angry demons are running towards Spike and Angel, intent on killing them.
    Spike: Strategy?
    Angel: Just hold my hand.
    Spike: St. Petersburg.
    Angel: Thought you'd forgotten.
    • For context, Angel was hiding a length of wire in his hand, which he and Spike use to decapitate the majority of oncoming demons.
  • Used for laughs in Phil of the Future, in which Phil and Keely try to hold hands after deciding to be a couple, but find it hard to get the logistics right.
  • Played, if you'll pardon the expression, absolutely straight in this Irish PSA against homophobic bullying.
  • Friends:
    • Monica and Chandler did this a lot, even before they get together. Many scenes have them simply sitting together with their hands entwined. They end up Happily Married so its not a big deal though.
    • A cyber-instance of the trope happens to Chandler when he's texting with a girl who texts "HH" to him. His friends ask what it means, and he tells them it's cyberspeak for "Holding Hands".
  • In Glee, Brittany and Santana seem almost incapable of not doing this.
  • Merlin:
    • A frequent motif between Guinevere and Lancelot. Lancelot turns Gwen's handshake into a chance to kiss her hand, they touch each other's hands through the bars of a grating whilst Gwen is being held captive, and when they are facing death together, they link their fingers together. Arthur notices that there's something between them when he sees that Lancelot has offered Gwen his hand to help her to his feet, and is rubbing the back of her hand with his thumb.
    • Crops up in season five when Morgana is trying to induce Stockholm Syndrome in Gwen. Morgana spends a lot of time trying to hold Gwen's hands to comfort her (after tormenting her mercilessly) and the camera tends to linger on those shots.
  • Babylon 5: Sheridan and Delenn do this a lot.
  • The IT Crowd
    "Hold my hand. No, that's not my hand."
  • In Teen Wolf, the coach starts scolding Scott pretty harshly in front of the entire class. Stiles sees that Scott's heart rate is starting to speed up which means he'll wolf out if he doesn't calm down. Luckily Scott's heart rate does start slowing down. Stiles notices it's because Allison, who was sitting behind Scott, reached out to hold his hand.
  • This is a recurring motif between Don and Peggy on Mad Men, illustrating the different stages of their relationship over the years. At the end of the first episode, when she's his new secretary and still The Ingenue, she puts her hand on top of his (having been told basically that part of her job is flirting, and not knowing that Don keeps all of his affairs outside the office), and he removes it and tells her he's her boss, not her boyfriend. "The Suitcase" in season four is a whole episode about their relationship, and in it, Don also finds out that Anna has died and describes her to Peggy as "the only person in the world who really knew me," to which she replies, "That's not true." At the end of that episode, they're standing at his desk in a pose echoing the first one, and he puts his hand on hers. Lastly, when she finally responds to his Sink Or Swim Mentoring and quits in "The Other Woman" for a job at a rival agency, she goes to shake his hand, and he takes hers and kisses it instead, both of them visibly trying not to cry.
  • At the funeral scene in the Firefly episode "The Message", Kaylee holds Simon's hand. It was an ad-libbed move on the actress' part, and Whedon loved it.
  • Emotionally done in NCIS with Tony and Ziva in the season ten episode "Berlin". They are back in the United States, Tony is driving, and Ziva talks about her father's lover, Orli. She mentions how things would have been different had her mother not found out about the affair, and that she [Ziva] would be a different person, and probably would have never joined NCIS. Tony tells her he should catch Orli before she leaves, and thank her, resulting in a heartwarming moment, and a squee moment for the Tony/Ziva shippers. Ziva smiles at him and they hold hands. She is about to tell him something, when they get hit by another car. To make it even more heartbreaking, he reaches for her hand after the accident. She doesn't move.
    Tony: Then I should catch her before she leaves, and you know, thank her.
    (Ziva smiles, he reaches for her hand. They entwine their fingers.)
    Ziva: Tony, I...
    Tony: Yeah?
    they get interrupted by the car crash
  • On Sleepy Hollow, Ichabod ends up holding the Golem's hand as it lies dying from the wound he inflicted upon it.
  • "Reaching out with your hand" borders on Arc Words in Kamen Rider OOO, since a lot of the show revolves around the concept of desiring things, in both positive and negative ways. It also has literal meaning, since Ankh is literally a disembodied monster hand. Hina gets Eiji and Ankh to hold hands with her several times, showing their bond, and in the finale Eiji ends up holding hands with Ankh in his disembodied monster hand form, symbolising their genuine friendship despite everything that's happened.
  • Tales of the Gold Monkey. Jake Cutter sees his Love Interest holding hands with a New Old Flame in the back of his Grumman Goose, so he sends his co-pilot to get something from the cargo area to keep making them let go of each other.
  • The Munsters; While spying on Lily, Grandpa mistakes her giving a palm-reading to her boss as a more romantic type of hand holding, causing Herman to jump to conclusions and go to confront the guy.
  • The first time Ray tries this with Jim in When I'm Sixty-Four, it goes down like a lead balloon. On the second attempt, Ray's much more receptive.
  • In season one of New Girl, Schmidt and Winston have a bet on who can "close" on Cece, and when the episode ends with Schmidt and Cece holding hands in bed, Schmidt insists it "feels a lot like closing."
  • Sherlock: As a HoYay heavy show, the one instance when John and Sherlock hold hands does not go without lampshading.
    Sherlock: Take my hand.
    (They join their handcuffed hands while running from the police.)
    John: Now people will definitely talk.
  • In Game of Thrones Season 6, Sansa Stark, who has been reunited with her brother Jon Snow at Castle Black, grabs Jon's hand to incite him to fight again so they take back their family home and rescue their brother — which, along with Ramsay's letter and the pull of family — convinces Jon to jump back into the fray and fight. Though this hand-holding is familial and platonic, the camera close-up suggests this to be something of significance as well.
    • In Season 7, there is some seriously non-platonic (though secretly familial) hand-holding between Jon and Daenerys as he comforts her over the loss of her dragon and as she swears to be worthy of his allegiance as his queen.
  • American Gods makes heavy use of this trope to illustrate the connection between Salim and the Jinn (which culminates in an extremely explicit and romantic sex scene). The camera lingers on their hands when Salim touches the Jinn's shoulder and the Jinn covers Salim's hand with his own, and again when Salim very tentatively reaches for the Jinn's hand as they ride the elevator to Salim's hotel room.
  • Rome. The final shot of Season One is Eirene taking Pullo's hand as they walk through the countryside, showing she's forgiven him for killing her fiance.


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