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Anywhere but Their Lips

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I'd like to be, not evil,
But a little worldly wise—
To be the kind of girl designed
To be kissed upon the eyes

Maybe a kiss on the lips is too intimate (or not enough!) for the situation. Maybe the writers just wanted to be unique. Regardless of the reason, there is one thing in common with these kisses — none are on the lips. See also I Kiss Your Hand and I Kiss Your Foot.

Some censors make this trope mandatory (that is unless certain parts are kissed).

Subtrope of Affectionate Gesture to the Head. Compare Headbutt of Love and Non-Standard Kiss.

See also Kissing Discretion Shot.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ayakashi Triangle: After Suzu and Matsuri confess to each other, Suzu holds herself over Matsuri and kisses his ear (possibly more than once). She then goes for a Forceful Kiss on the lips, but is interrupted.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • After their fight at the end of the 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament in Dragon Ball, which ends with Goku proposing, Chi-Chi gives Goku a peck on the cheek. Though they're Happily Married by the time Z rolls around and have two kids by the series' end, this is the only kiss they share on-screen.
    • In the Future Trunks Saga of Dragon Ball Super, Goku states outright that, despite being married for decades and having two children, he and Chi-Chi have never actually kissed, much to Vegeta's surprise.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2016), Link gives a weakened Midna a peck on the cheek before leaving to fight Ganondorf.
  • In Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, Sakura kissed Syaoran on the eye at one point (only natural, once you take CLAMP's eye fetish into account), and that's pretty much all they get as far as kisses go.
    • In CLAMP manga in general, it's actually far more common than not for couples/people with close relationships to express their affection in ways that are anything but kissing on the lips. 20+ manga series to their name and countless characters with pairings and potential pairings, and the number of times CLAMP has drawn a kiss scene totals to about 7. And notably, almost all of them have the scene obscured in some manner.
  • In Petite Princess Yucie, when Yucie first meets Arc, he kisses her on the forehead—not the best move, considering how self-conscious she is about it.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Ranma, Akane, and Konatsu are taking care of Ukyo's food joint while she is ill. Customers are about to leave because, well, Akane is cooking, so Konatsu pulls a special ninja move and kisses all the customers so fast the cute kunoichi cannot be seen. Akane is appalled, since, well, Konatsu is a guy, but he reassures her: "Don't worry, I avoided any vital spots". And none of the customers has been kissed on the lips.
    • Much earlier, a Painting-panda escapes from a scroll that confines her (it's intended to be female, but the painter did a poor job at it) and requests Ranma to be her "boyfriend" for one night before she goes back inside the scroll. At the end of their "date", she asks Ranma for a goodbye kiss (Akane is jealous over it). Ranma reluctantly agrees to it but can't bring himself to initiate it, so Painting-panda does it... by headbutting him on the lips, before returning to her scroll. It turns out she meant for Ranma to kiss her on the forehead.
  • In Revolutionary Girl Utena, Dios kisses a young Utena on the eyes, kissing her tears away. Considering Dios is Akio, Akio's later full-on kiss becomes all the more significant.
  • Junichi Tachibana of Amagami has some… interesting ideas about exactly where to kiss first Haruka, then Kaoru. Though with Haruka it was a condition for getting the kiss at all.
  • Death Note: Misa kissed L on the cheek, to which he responded "I could actually fall for you."
  • Gunslinger Girl. Underage cyborg girl Triela gives her older male handler Hilshire a peck on the cheek before taking part in the assault on the bell tower. Because he'd viewed their relationship as a (sometimes strained) surrogate father/daughter one, Hilshire is visibly surprised, unaware that she'd previously kissed him while he was passed out (on that occasion, the angle makes it unclear if she kissed her unconscious handler on the mouth or cheek).
  • Naruto employs this trope. Tsunade kisses Naruto on the forehead and as shown in the flashbacks, this is due to her doing the same thing to her litte brother and her boyfriend when they mention their dreams.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, this trope being employed causes the magical contracts to (mostly) fail, much to the dismay of characters who didn't want to kiss a 10 year old.
  • Vassalord plays this for major Fanservice, having Charley kiss and bite Johnny in all kinds of interesting places, but never on the lips. All the better to heighten the Ho Yay!
  • Hilariously done in PandoraHearts. Oz is feeling down about recent events, so Alice kisses him on the cheek to cheer him up. Since she's only ever seen pictures of people kissing, she ends up biting him.
  • In Maoyu the Hero kisses the Demon Queen in the forehead before leaving for the Demon Lands. She is dejected.
  • In Koi Kaze, Nanoka agrees to never meet Koshiro again—if he kisses her. He kisses her on the forehead, instead of the lips.
  • In Yona of the Dawn, Hak has pressed a kiss to Yona's forehead a few times even though he was close enough to kiss her. It's implied that he knew that Yona still harbored unresolved feelings for Soo-Won and a kiss to the forehead is a safer way for him to cope with his own feelings.
  • In Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun, Hanako kisses Nene on the cheek earlier on, though it was to place a protective spell on her. Later on, Nene returns the sentiment by kissing Hanako on the cheek to try to cheer him up. And when Nene accidentally travels back in time to meet a young Hanako/Amane, she kisses him on the forehead.
  • In Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE, Hiroto suffers a Heroic BSoD and breaks down after he tells the story of Eve and how he nearly shot down Riku near the end of Gundam Build Divers. As he does, May approaches him and kneels down, kissing him on his cheek. For an extra bonus, the final episode implies that May is Eve reborn in a strange manner.

  • The Kiss: The man is kissing the woman's cheek. Her facial expression makes it clear this is no less intimate than a kiss on the mouth.

    Comic Books 
  • Judge Dredd: When Judge Anderson and Judge Dredd are seeing off the boy Yassa Povey after his recovery, Cass gives him a kiss on the cheek as a "thank you" for helping them save the day during Necropolis.
  • In the first issue of DC Comics Bombshells, Stargirl kisses Supergirl affectionately on the forehead.

    Comic Strips 
  • Made into a joke during one of Paige's Dream Sequences in FoxTrot. As it turns out, the "kisses" are wherever she's being nibbled by Jason's pet iguana.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): San and Vivienne Graham, the two heads of Monster X whom see each-other as siblings, have both kissed the other on the forehead at one point as a sign of affection and a way of comforting their sibling other half.
  • Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race: ProtoMan's first kiss to Nomad is on her forehead.
  • Followed perfectly straight despite two Almost Kiss moments in Relax, or at least initially, because the heroine feels that mouth kisses are too personal and intimate to be given to her clients. The story is a brief piece about a prostitute and a soldier whom regularly visits her. The trope is averted at the end after the protagonist's alloted time expires, meaning that he is no longer a client, and therefore they are spending time together as lovers. It also turns out to be his First Kiss.
  • In Prince Charming, True Love's Kiss can break any curse... which is rather a nuisance for Cat Noir, since his curse is the only thing that mitigates the blessing that is destroying his life and allows him to be with the woman he loves. Fortunately for the both of them, it turns out that True Love's Kiss has to be on the mouth to count, so Cat and his beloved are simply very careful never to kiss on their lips.
  • In Safe Anchorage Theon kisses Jeyne's forehead to comfort her frequently, and Jeyne kisses his cheek for the same reasons. Their relationship is platonic, and Jeyne is much younger than Theon, so lip kisses would come off as innappropriately romantic.
  • Shatterheart: Kurogane kisses R!Syaoran on his face and neck when they become Friends with Benefits. It starts to change when their feelings for each other grow.
  • Son of the Desert:
    • To demonstrate that he forgives Roy for Ishval and is refusing Roy's offer to kill him, Edward kisses Roy's hand.
    • Roy gives Ed a peck on the forehead as thanks when the latter guards him when he passed out drunk and allows him to leave with his dignity.
  • True Potential:
    • In Chapter 29, when Naruto is hesitant to let Hinata fight Kankuro by herself, the Hyuga girl uses her adrenaline to come closer to the Uzumaki boy and kiss him on his cheek. The blond ninja's eyes widen exponentially, which is followed by Hinata smiling and telling him she'll be fine. That kiss serves as the first step in making him realize he has feelings for her later on.
    • At the end of the Kiri Civil War arc, Misora kisses Dosu on the cheek before he leaves alongside the rest of the Konoha shinobi. This happens two days after she decided to think about her feelings for him in more details, with the kiss indicating that she came to her conclusion.
    • During Naruto's fourteenth birthday, Hinata kisses her boyfriend on the cheek after giving him a kimono as a gift, making him blush and stutter out his thanks.
  • An Anthem for Sheltered Bays: After hearing Eren's singing, Levi ends up kissing and biting everywhere else on Eren's body, only for Eren to stop him when he tries to kiss him on the lips.
  • Pops up occasionally in The Legend of Total Drama Island when the kisser wishes to avoid the implications of kissing on the lips:
    • Two girls kiss boys on the cheek to convey gratitude, as opposed to romantic interest:
      • Lindsay kisses Harold on his cheek after he "rescues" her from harmless but dangerous-looking local wildlife.
      • Katie gives Ezekiel a peck on the cheek when he releases her from an unsolicited promise she didn't want to make but felt she had to.
    • At the Awake-a-thon, Lindsay kisses her love interest on the cheek because they haven't actually hooked up yet.
  • Your Alicorn Is in Another Castle: As said in "Coding Of Honor", in this version of Super Mario Bros., Mario has never gotten any kisses, not even on the cheek, from all his Save the Princess Peach-ing.
  • In Three Strikes, after Count has talked Trigger down from her rather heated argument with Rosa, he gives her a kiss on the forehead. That and the conversation beforehand helps her cool off and think a little more clearly.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Snow White kisses the dwarfs on the forehead. Dopey, however, always puckers up hoping she'll kiss him on the lips.
  • In the teaser trailer for The Princess and the Frog, Tiana is reluctant to kiss frog Naveen on the lips, insisting there was nothing in the original story about it. Explained and expanded upon in the actual movie — Tiana finds frogs disgusting and doesn't want to kiss any part of one.
  • In Ferngully The Last Rainforest when Crysta leaves to investigate the humans, Batty is reluctant to go with her because of the lab testing experiments humans subjected him to, she assures him she’ll come back for him and kisses him on the nose.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the movie Pretty Woman, Vivian's one rule is that she never kisses on the mouth because it makes it too personal. She does kiss Edward on the mouth when she starts to fall in love with him.
  • In Bollywood, it was, until recently, the law. Even now, in contemporary Bollywood films, couples will kiss and... move very suggestively, but virtually never touch lips.
  • Subverted in Humpday—they decide not to kiss after kissing each other and then decide not to do anything at all.
  • The French film Amélie uses this, despite there being no censorship or Pretty Woman scenario involved: Amelie kisses her beau on the eye, on the neck, and on the corner of the lip, but not actually on the lips. He does the same for her. The scene's very intimate, even with the lack of lip locking.
    • They do appear to lock lips in the next shot in a silhouette seen from the point of view of a neighbor, which then cuts to a Sexy Discretion Shot.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Thor: The first time Thor leaves Jane, he kisses the back of her hand. The second occasion, there's an Almost Kiss moment before Thor kisses her hand again, so Jane just grabs him for The Big Damn Kiss.
    • In Doctor Strange, when Stephen decides he's leaving his old life for good, he tries to kiss his ex Christine on the mouth. She doesn't let him and kisses him on the cheek instead.
  • The More the Merrier: It has a very steamy scene of this. Very risqué for 1943.
  • The musical "Not on the Lips" is the one of the most most obvious uses of this trope. The whole premise of the movie is that a man will not kiss his wife on the lips because it disgusts him.
  • The Boondock Saints. After giving him a Cool-Down Hug one of the McManus brothers covers Rocco's mouth with his gloved hand, then kisses the back of his own palm.
  • Sherlock Holmes (2009): Holmes gives Irene Adler a peck on the forehead moments after they have an Almost Kiss in their final scene together. This fits with someone who's trying to show his affection without making the mistake of getting too close to a Femme Fatale.
  • John and his future sister-in-law share a New Year's kiss in Holiday. He only kisses her cheek, but they both look like they want something more.
  • Young Frankenstein: Frederick tries to kiss Elizabeth before heading to Transylvania, but she refuses, afraid her lipstick will get smudged. He tries to caress her head, but she worries about her hairdo. He tries to embrace her, but she worries about her taffeta dress being wrinkled. Finally they rub their elbows together, and he blows her a kiss, which she dodges.
  • The Gay Divorcee: The lyrics of "The Continental" call for the dancers to kiss, as demonstrated by the dozens of chorus members. When they reach that point in their dance, Guy kisses Mimi's hand instead.
  • In the Stanley Kubrick adaptation of Lolita, Charlotte insists on getting a goodnight kiss from her daughter before she goes to bed. Lolita gives her a dutiful kiss on the cheek, then gives a more flirtatious kiss on the cheek to Humbert.
  • Royal Flash. Flashman gets a kiss on each cheek from the officer who pins his (unjustly earned) medal on him. The kiss isn't what makes Flashman uncomfortable, but the fact that the officer's tricorn hat keeps butting him in the face.
  • In Mr. Holland's Opus, before putting the starlet-wannabe Rowena on a bus to New York City, Mr. Holland kisses her on the cheek.
  • Done for a Rule of Three in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. After rejecting his advances, Laureline gives Valerian a patronising kiss on the cheek. Valerian gets back at her by responding this way to Laureline saving his life. At the end, she finally gives him The Big Damn Kiss he wants after accepting his marriage proposal.
  • In Raiders of the Lost Ark Indiana Jones complains about his body hurting when Marion tries to treat him. Marion exasperatedly asks him where it doesn't hurt, and he throws up his elbow- and she kisses it. He then points to his forehead. She kisses that, and then he points to a corner of his mouth. As she goes in for a kiss he falls asleep, exhausted.
  • In the film version of The Last Five Years, "Shiksa Goddess" and "I Can Do Better Than That" are staged as makeout sessions, but because one of the characters is always singing, mouth-to-mouth kissing is kept to a minimum. On stage, the characters are alone when they sing each song.
  • Star Trek: First Contact: Picard gives Lily a peck on the cheek.
  • Taken: After Bryan defends pop star Sheerah against a Loony Fan who tried to kill her, she thanks him afterwards by giving him a talent scout's name for his daughter Kim and kisses him on the cheek. While she's slightly older than Bryan's actual daughter, he's still old enough to be her father. In the previous scene, she already cried into his chest the way a distressed daughter might and Kim herself also does later on.

  • Rather famously in Keats' "La Belle Dame sans Merci":
    She took me to her elfin grot,
    And there she wept and sighed full sore,
    And there I shut her wild wild eyes
    With kisses four.
  • In The Catcher in the Rye, Jane lets Holden kiss her all over her face, but never on her lips.
  • In The Dead Tossed Waves after Catcher gets infected he refuses to kiss Gabry on the lips.
  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Hermione kissed Ron on the cheek before his first Quidditch game with the Gryffindor team.
  • In the Hurog duology, Ward kisses Oreg on the forehead before he mercy-kills him.
  • When Lolita gets something in her eye, Humbert tells her of a technique Swiss peasants use to remove it, by licking the eyeball. He then proceeds to do so. On both eyes. The 1997 film adaptation had this as a Deleted Scene.
  • The men Sayuri had been with in Memoirs of a Geisha would rarely (if not never) kiss her on the lips. Which is why the First Kiss she had with the Chairman was so important to her.
  • In Les Misérables, Marius kisses Éponine on the forehead after she dies. Justified because, as the narrator explains, it was not him being disloyal to Cosette but taking pity on Éponine and fulfilling her last request.
  • In The Phantom of the Opera, Christine gives Erik a benevolent kiss on the forehead. And even that is enough to kill the poor guy.
  • Sir Percy's and Marguerite's passionate kissing scenes in The Scarlet Pimpernel sequels are always described as this.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Jaime Lannister remembers his brother telling him that many whores will "fuck you blind" but will refuse to kiss.
  • Star Wars Legends: There's a point in Wedge's Gamble where Leia Organa kisses Wedge Antilles on the cheek. They're Platonic Life-Partners/Like Brother and Sister, apparently. That didn't stop them from holding hands, talking about Wedge having kids, and the line "Things may have changed, Wedge, but not us." …Wedge and all three members of the Big Three are very, subtextily close in those few pages they share, but although Luke hugs him for a long time and Han hangs out and ruffles his hair, only Leia kisses him.
  • Tortall Universe:
    • In Protector of the Small, this happens from time to time to Keladry of Mindelan. Cleon kissed her eyelids after two of her sparrows died. At the end of Lady Knight her former teacher Lord Wyldon, who kept Moving the Goalposts for her earlier on, kissed her forehead as part of the ultimate expression of respect.
    • It's mentioned in the Trickster's Duet that noble girls are encouraged to not have any but their betrothed kiss them, and if then, only on the forehead or fingertips to keep them from thinking their fiancée is unchaste. It's mostly ignored in the modern age.
  • The majority of the kisses Edward gives Bella in the Twilight series are on the jaw and neck.
  • In The Black Spider, the devil seals their deal by kissing Christine on her cheek (so putting a cursed mark on her in case she tries to scam him out of his prize later).

    Live-Action TV 
  • On The 100, Clarke hugs Bellamy and kisses him on the cheek before saying goodbye at the end of Season 2. Makes sense, as they have a Just Friends relationship, but since they're a Fan-Preferred Couple, the shippers went nuts over it.
  • The Addams Family: Gomez frequently does this to Morticia, even kissing her hair at one point.
  • In The Adventures of Superman episode "The Birthday Letter", after Superman gives a little girl stricken with polio a flight around Metropolis, she kisses him on the cheek as a platonic thank-you. She is only a kid.
  • In the finale of the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a distraught Simmons does this to Fitz when he makes a Heroic Sacrifice to save her life and throws in a Dying Declaration of Love to her as well. Although in this case, Simmons is less anywhere than everywhere but the lips.
  • Altered Carbon. Vernon's wife Ava has been returned to him, but "cross-sleeved" into a male body because it was the only one available. Vernon is rather uncomfortable with this, but later he's shown kissing Ava's hand in an intimate moment between them.
  • Angel. Combined with Rule of Threes in "A Hole in the World". Wesley twice kisses Winifred on the forehead; as she's infected with a lethal demonic pathogen, it's only sensible to avoid swapping body fluids. As Fred is dying in his arms however, Wesley kisses her fully on the mouth because he no longer cares what happens to him.
  • Anne Frank: The Whole Story.
  • Typhoid Mary insisted on this in her episode of Brimstone, for good reason.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "The Body" Xander kisses Willow on the forehead. It makes sense, given that Willow and Xander are close friends, the kiss is one of comfort, and their significant others are both present. Ironically, Willow and Tara had just shared their first onscreen (lesbian) kiss a few minutes earlier.
    • Faith kissed Buffy on the forehead during one of their fights in Season Three. Originally, it was going to be a kiss on the lips.
    • In "The Gift", Buffy kisses Dawn on the cheek before making a Heroic Sacrifice. Though the camera angle doesn't make it clear how close to her mouth she gets.
    • Willow is working herself up to ask ex-girlfriend Tara out for coffee and lesbian love when she sees her greet-and-kiss another girl. From her viewpoint it's difficult to see how intimate the kiss was, but she runs off anyway. Willow tries to tell herself she overreacted ("I kiss my friends all the time.") Tara later informs Willow they were in fact Just Friends.
    • Angelus kisses Spike on the forehead in "Innocence". As with all displays of 'affection' between the two rival vampires, it's part Ho Yay, part "Take That!" Kiss.
    • Riley gives Buffy a good luck kiss on her forehead. Buffy says she needs more luck than that, so he smooches her on the lips as well.
    • Notably averted in "Intervention". Buffy gives Spike a kiss out of gratitude for his being willing to be tortured to death rather than surrender Buffy's little sister. Despite not wanting to give any encouragement to Spike's repeated advances, Buffy kisses him on the mouth instead of the cheek. This is Spike's first indication that their attraction might be mutual.
  • "Uncle Pete" kisses his wife on the forehead in Damages.
  • Done very often in Doctor Who, as both Ship Tease or a Just Friends moment.
    • Some notable examples include the Eleventh Doctor often bestowing cheek and forehead kisses on companions such as Amy and Clara, Clara kissing the Twelfth Doctor on the cheek in "Last Christmas" (signifying her decision to reunite with the Doctor permanently), and the Twelfth Doctor kissing Clara's hand in "Face the Raven" as he says goodbye to her prior to her going off to be executed. Particularly with Clara, hugging is also invoked on several occasions as an alternative to kissing.
    • After mindwiping Ada Lovelace so she won't remember the future and alter her part in history, the Thirteenth Doctor kisses her own fingers, then presses them to Ada's cheek.
  • Potentially squicky example — Jayne, from Firefly. "That's why I never kiss 'em on the mouth." "That" being the girl potentially using a knock-out drug in her lipstick, just like Saffron used on Mal.
  • Inverted in one case on Friends where Ross's aunt only kisses him on the lips, much to his horror and disgust.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Before she steps onto her own funeral pyre in an apparent attempt at suicide, Daenerys Targaryen kisses the cheek of Jorah Mormont in one of their more intense Ship Tease moments. Yet while Mormont is in love with her, Daenerys only loves him in a platonic sense as a surrogate big brother/father figure; hence the more platonic gesture.
    • Margaery Tyrell sneaks into the bedroom of Tommen Lannister soon to be made king after King Joffrey is assassinated. Given that Tommen is still in his early teens, an overtly seductive approach might well backfire. So when it's time to leave she leans forward to kiss Tommen on the lips, but decides that a sisterly one on the forehead will work better.
  • Hannah Montana is a bit flip-floppy on whether it's a no hugging/no kissing show or not (Miley kisses usually get shown, Oliver and Lilly's never do) but they had one intriguing use of this trope when a vegetarian girl Oliver was dating kisses him on a meat-stained cheek to show that she forgave him for eating meat, as long as he didn't lie to her about having done it.
    • Lampshaded in the series finale, when, each time Miley & her boyfriend, and Lilly & Oliver lean in to kiss, something obscures each couple from the lean-in to the lean-back.
  • On Haven, Audrey kissing Nathan on the cheek becomes a Wham Shot because of Nathan's reaction: he felt her touch. It's the first thing he's felt in months, if not years. It's soon revealed the only thing he can feel is Audrey's touch, thanks to her Anti-Magic against the Troubles.
  • When Barbara Havers (of The Inspector Lynley Mysteries), the titular Inspector Lynley's partner, is held hostage at gunpoint on her first case back after being shot in the stomach the previous episode, she first tries to use the perp as a punching bag and then falls apart and sobs hysterically into Lynley's chest—and he very, very plainly kisses the top of her head as he holds her close. Obviously, it's one of the first scenes fans point to when they make their case for the fact that Barbara and Lynley are clearly in love with each other, even if they haven't acknowledged it.
  • On Happy Days, Marion was known for giving Fonzie an affectionate kiss on his cheek. His almost goofy smile in response (going from tough guy to the human teen he actually is) was always an awww moment.
  • Heartland (a 1990's Australian series staring Ernie Dingo as an Aboriginal cop). The white female lead character finds that everyone in the hometown of Dingo's character assumes she's his girlfriend and says quietly, "If you wanted me to play a role—like your lover—you just had to ask." Dingo's respond is to gently kiss her wrist.
  • In the season 9 premiere of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, after Goren is fired, he and Eames are saying goodbye as partners for the last time. They full-on embrace for the first time in the series, and Goren presses a rather intense kiss to her cheek for several seconds.
  • In Once Upon a Time, Emma inadvertently breaks her son Henry's sleeping curse (as well as the curse cast on the entire town) by kissing him on the forehead, which works as a True Love's Kiss.
  • This is prevalent with the Official Couple in the Korean Series Pasta.
  • Pushing Daisies: In the pilot, Ned is deciding where to touch Chuck to bring her back from the dead. The narration says, "On the lips? No, too forward." (He decides on her cheek.)
  • Once Brian and Justin get together in Queer as Folk (US), they lay down some ground rules to be able to keep sleeping around without hurting one another—not kissing anyone else on the lips is one of these.
  • In Smallville, "Devoted", after Chloe confesses she still loves him deeply under the effect of a love potion, at the end of the episode Clark kisses her on the cheek and tells her that sadly, he does not return her feelings… at least not now.
    • "Abyss", Clark kisses an unconscious Chloe on her forehead before he wiped her memories of his secret.
  • The Space: Above and Beyond episode "R&R", the virginal Cooper goes to a prostitute, who invokes this trope:
    COOPER: Why?
    SUZY: Gotta save something for the man I fall in love with.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise. T'Pol gives Trip Tucker a kiss on the cheek as she leaves to take part in her Arranged Marriage to another Vulcan.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation. Data, is kissed on the cheek by Ishara Yar -sister to his dead Colleague, Tasha- during a rescue mission she has agreed to help them with. Turns out this was part of her manipulation of him, and the rest of the crew, to aid her allies on the planet by playing on their Replacement Goldfish feelings regarding her dead sister. Nonetheless she later claims it wasn't all an act, and that it was "the closest thing to real friendship she had ever had".
  • Victoria: After several episodes of Ship Tease between them, Queen Victoria finally receives a kiss from Lord Melbourne, but only on the cheek.
  • In The Walking Dead, Carol kisses Daryl on the forehead a couple of times, which is a suitably vague gesture considering the ambiguous nature of their relationship.
  • The X-Files was a repeat offender of this trope: over nine seasons, there were only four on-screen kisses between Mulder and Scully, and one of them wasn't real. They do, however, share many kisses on the forehead, the neck, the cheek, and the hand.

  • When Jeffrey Archer was released from prison for perjury, after claiming under oath that he hadn't had sex with a call-girl, Linda Smith claimed on The News Quiz that his wife swerved to avoid kissing him on the lips, and added that it probably wasn't the first time he'd been told that.

  • In The Fantasticks, Luisa sings about wishing to be the kind of girl designed to be kissed upon the eyes.
  • Shakespeare 4 Kidz' production of Romeo and Juliet had to be heavily Bowdlerised, one of the symptoms of which was this trope. Even more so when you realize that other companies often include a sex scene.
  • In Dead End, Francey implores Martin not to kiss her on the lips for his own good, because she has a sore.

    Video Games 
  • Heavy Rain has one moment where Lauren (a prostitute) says "I don't kiss, and I don't do any weird ". Presumably she's referring to this trope, making it more significant when she kisses Shelby.
  • Princess Peach in Super Mario Bros. has kissed Mario on the cheek, nose, forehead, and ear, but never on the lips. Mario's big, cartoony nose does make kissing like that somewhat difficult.
  • Seen, somewhat oddly, in Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening, if the Warden-Commander is the Human Female Noble and married to Alistair. He comes to wish her well at her new post, and restricts himself to giving her only a kiss on the cheek before leaving, as though worried he might get carried away.
  • Mistel, in Story of Seasons (2014), is fond of giving cheek kisses to a female player character who is romancing him.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, you get a date scene with someone from the party. You end up participating in a play and have the option of kissing the princess to defeat a dragon. Cloud gives the kiss on the hand.
    • Subverted if you get the date with Yuffie, as she actually tries to kiss Cloud on the lips during the gondola ride.
  • Hero & Daughter: When Lara wants a kiss at 1000 affection, Ralph gives her one on the cheek. She thinks they're "graduated" up from that, and Ralph responds "Graduate from high school, first."

    Visual Novels 
  • Queen of Thieves: Vivienne can't kiss the heroine on the lips without knocking her out if she's wearing her poisonous lipstick. She's gotten around this with kisses to the cheek, neck, and hand.
  • In the Christmas DLC of Mystic Messenger, the ending of Jaehee's route is the MC giving Jaehee a gentle kiss on the cheek after she's fallen asleep at her desk and promising to herself that one day she'll tell Jaehee that she's in love with her.

  • Lydia thanks Betelgeuse for her birthday outing with a kiss on the cheek, in Cobweb and Stripes. He's a little flustered by it.
  • Bob from Emergency Exit turns into a demon when kissed by a girl on the lips. His girlfriend encourages him to get creative.
  • In Pixie Trix Comix, the trope is Inverted when the lesbian and nervous Roxie, who is basically trying to work out if she has any sort of chance with Zadie and to make her interest clear, says goodnight to the other woman by giving her a quick kiss on the lips — which leaves Zadie startled and probably fairly clear about things without making the situation too stressful.
  • Sabrina Online: When giving ZigZag a promised kiss, Sabrina refuses to smooch her on the lips.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Hanna-Barbera TV movie "Alice In Wonderland or What's A Nice Kid Like You Doing In A Place Like This", when the White Rabbit finally returns Alice's little dog Fluff to her, she thanks him by kissing him on the ear.
  • Lydia wants to kiss Beetlejuice for giving her a spider brooch (debut episode "Critter Sitters"), until she sees the bugs in his teeth. She settles for a hug.
  • In Codename: Kids Next Door, Numbuh 3 kisses Numbuh 1 in the head before he leaves Earth to join the Galactic Kids Next Door.
  • In the Cow and Chicken episode "Dream Date Chicken", following their date Linda gives Chicken a kiss goodbye on his eyeball.
  • In the Christmas Episode of Kim Possible, Drakken pushes Kim and Ron together under the "mistletoe", which is actually a sprig of parsley. Kim eyes it for a moment while Ron tries to explain, then gives him a "Shut Up" Kiss on the cheek.
  • The Loud House: At the end of "Purrfect Gig", after Luna and her girlfriend Sam have successfully taken care of the McBride cats, Sam gives Luna her half of the catsitting money so Luna can afford her VIP pass for the upcoming Mick Swagger concert they're attending that weekend, as Sam had already managed to get hers. Luna thanks her by giving her a big kiss on the cheek and a hug.
  • On Madeline, Pepito gets a kiss on the cheek from Madeline after he gives her a new parasol in "Madeline's Birthday at the Zoo".
  • The two protagonists of Miraculous Ladybug have kissed each other on the cheek a few times as gestures of friendship in spite of the extreme UST that exists between them. Additionally, since the show is set in France characters have occasionally kissed on the cheeks as greetings.
  • In the Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures episode "The Littlest Tramp" after the female homeless Mouse tells Mighty Mouse that the Jerkass rich man is only bullying her because he was bullied himself, this causes the rich man to cry and she kisses him on his eyeball.
  • In The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo episode “Don Quixote De La Mancha” at the Duke and Duchess’ palace when Magoo as Don Quixote talks of his imaginary lover Dulcinea, their daughter asks him if she looks anything like herself and begins too flirt with him, she then kisses him on the side of his head.
  • Skull Island (2023): In Annie's flashback in Episode 6 "Terms of Endearment", her father kisses her on the forehead before he goes to his death fighting off Dog's father to protect her.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Sapphire kisses Ruby's tear in "Jail Break" (likely in reference to the Utena example above), and Ruby has kissed Sapphire on the cheek and neck in "Keystone Motel", but their lips didn't quite touched on-screen. Mind you, the latter version was more like "everywhere but the lips." They kiss on the lips for the first time on-screen during their wedding in "Reunited".
    • By Steven Universe: The Movie and Steven Universe: Future, Steven and Connie are more or less dating, but they remain so chaste that we mostly see Connie kissing Steven's cheek or forehead. They finally kiss on the lips as a sendoff to Steven moving out of Beach City.
  • Superman: The Animated Series: In "New Kids in Town", three members of the Legion of Superheroes pursue Brainiac into the past, where Brainiac intends to kill a teenage Clark Kent before he can become Superman. Together, they manage to defeat Brainiac. Before they return to their own time, Saturn Girl erases Clark's knowledge of future events and kisses him on the forehead.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!: In the final episode, Nova kisses Sprx on the cheek after she breaks him out of his Brainwashed and Crazy state with The Power of Love.
  • In the Thunder Cats 2011 episode "Into the Astral Plane", Lion-O's Praetorian Guard Cheetara gives him a Motivational Kiss on the cheek when he and his brother Tygra are about to enter the titular locale, which serves to bring the brothers' Sibling Triangle tensions to a boiling point.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) when April O'Neil would show her gratitude to the turtles after rescuing her or saving the city from a huge threat she would sometimes give them a kiss usually on the cheek or forehead.
  • In one episode of Yin Yang Yo! Lina kisses Yang on the cheek, only for him to find it disgusting.
  • Young Justice. On his sixteenth birthday, Wally West is hoping for a birthday kiss from Miss Martian. He gets one...on the forehead, to his visible annoyance and Artemis' approval.

    Real Life 
  • People with severe food intolerances, particularly a life-threatening peanut allergy, put their health (or in some cases, lives) at risk when they kiss people who have been consuming the food they are intolerant/allergic to. Hence, they have to avoid kissing on the lips and aim for a part of the face that did not come into contact with the food.
  • Not uncommon when one partner is prone to outbreaks of cold sores and very much wants to avoid infecting the other partner.
  • Not often explored in fiction, but in Real Life some folks simply don't enjoy lip kisses.
  • Also common with Platonic Kissing (such as between family members), where kissing on the lips would be viewed as inappropriate.
  • Reportedly, some sex workers refuse to let their clients kiss them on the lips, preferring to save at least one form of intimacy for people they have genuine feelings for.


Video Example(s):


The Consequences of Kissing

D.W. has an Imagine Spot where she kisses her classmate James, causing both of them to turn into frogs.

How well does it match the trope?

4.71 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / BewitchedAmphibians

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