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But Not Too Bi

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When a character's bisexuality is an Informed Attribute rather than something we ever see portrayed.

Alice is stated or implied to be bisexual, gets flirty with both genders, and/or it's confirmed by the writers, but within the story itself, all of her romantic and sexual partners are men. As one can guess, it is often the character's same-sex attraction that gets shafted, limited to only Noodle Incidents, subtext, and innuendos. This could be an attempt at appeasing Moral Guardians, especially in older works or those aimed at young viewers, but many will note the Double Standard. Sometimes, it might even go the other way if the work is aimed at queer audiences; the character may talk about still finding the opposite gender attractive, and they might have a former spouse or biological child to "prove" it, but nowadays we only ever see them with the same gender.

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Before adding examples, it is not this trope if a character has onscreen relations with multiple genders, but seems to be more attracted to one than the other. It's not uncommon for a bisexual to have a gender preferencenote  and only be with the other one under the right circumstances, which can range from casual sex to If It's You, It's Okay.

If the character has relationships with the same gender but they're portrayed as more tame than with the opposite, that would fall under But Not Too Gay, as the relationship itself is being portrayed poorly rather than the character(s). See also: But Not Too Black, No Bisexuals, Hide Your Lesbians. Related to Have I Mentioned I Am Gay?, and many of the tropes on Acceptable Feminine Goals and Traits.

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Examples

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    Anime and Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • The titular character in The Incredible Hercules has no qualms discussing various paramours of any gender; he doesn't shy away from talking about his homosexual encounters during the time of Greek myth, and it's strongly hinted at his funeral that he had a fling with Northstar, Marvel's first gay hero. However, the only confirmed lovers he has in the present time frame are all women.
  • Deadpool is pansexual by Word of Gay (and in more recent years, actually seen flirting with men in the comics) but has only been seen actually sleeping with women. In addition, his relationships with women are treated as "real" while any interest in men is only ever Played for Laughs.
  • Wonder Woman: Despite confirmed/assumed by several writers to be bisexual, her supposed queerness is never explicitly shown or elaborated upon besides some (implied) dialogue and all of her onscreen romantic relationships are with men (like Steve Trevor, Batman, and Superman). DC Comics themself have been largely silent on the subject and if questioned about it is all talk and no action; it's primarily used as positive PR.

    Fan Works 
  • In My Immortal, most of the guy characters are said to be bi (perhaps for Yaoi Fangirls), yet the only evidence actually supporting this is that Harry (er, "Vampire") once dated Draco in the offscreen backstory. The same thing can be said for Ebony herself.
  • Klavier Gavin in Dirty Sympathy. In the offscreen backstory, he had slept with groupies often enough that he can use them as an excuse but both of his romantic relationships have been with men. It's noted In-Universe when Daryan figures out that Klavier is cheating on him when he hasn't slept with a woman in months.
  • Kurogane says that he slept only with women in Suwa offscreen, but in the story Shatterheart he has subtext with Fai and a romantic/sexual relationship with R!Syaoran. According to Souma, his longest romantic entanglement lasted twelve hours.
  • Word of God is Cassandra in Angel of the Bat does not see gender in her romantic interests, just personality, so in theory, she can be attracted to someone of either gender. We only see her romantically interested in other women.
    • Played with in the sequel. In the midst of a crisis of her faith and sexuality, she figures if she can have a relationship with a man it will effectively Cure The Gay. Her attempt to have a relationship with a man ends poorly... but because she hasn't gotten over her break up, not because of his gender.
  • Everyone Loves Mob Mob (female) is bisexual but ends up in serious relationships with guys only.
  • Jon Whitewolf from A Dovahkiin Spreads His Wings mentions he made friends from both genders. However, his romances with Sapphire and Serana are given depths and treated as a means for him to grow as a person, while his one-night-stand with Sanguine is Played for Laughs and viewed as embarrassing for him.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • Deadpool (2016) and its sequel are the first superhero movies with a pansexual main character but, just like the comics, any allusions to his attraction for men is played for comedy while his relationship with his love interest Vanessa is explicit and played seriously. Ryan Reynolds mentioned the possibility of giving Deadpool a boyfriend in the second film, but ultimately this didn't happen.
  • Bud and Doyle in Bio-Dome are supposedly bisexual, even though they are only shown to be attracted to women and never hit on any male character save for a brief moment with each other. Which would be assuming that they weren't going for cheap laughs.
  • Climax: In spite of the fact that nearly Everyone Is Bi, the men never engage in homosexual encounters. This might not have been planned, however, since almost the entire film was improvised by the actors themselves.
  • In Skyfall, Silva makes a flirty comment towards Bond while holding him prisoner, saying "There's a first time for everything, yes?" Bond replies, "What makes you think this is my first time?" This is the first time in the entire franchise, books included, that James Bond has ever hinted at having slept with men.
  • Valyrie from Thor: Ragnarok is written as a bisexual mourning her lost girlfriend, but the flashback making it clear that they were lovers was cut from the final film, making her bisexuality limited to Word of Gay.
  • Diana from the DC Extended Universe is implied to have experimented with her fellow Amazons back on Themyscira, but in her debut film and its sequel, the only romantic relationship she has is with the male Steve Trevor.

    Literature 
  • Vorkosigan Saga:
    • Aral Vorkosigan has lovers of multiple genders in his backstory, but the only relationship depicted in-story is with Cordelia, whom he meets and falls in love with in the first novel. "Do you know your husband is bisexual? - He WAS bisexual. Now he's monogamous." Admittedly, given that his home is a very sexually conservative planet and that he is courting or married to Cordelia throughout the saga, there is little scope for him to believably display attraction to men. (Especially as most of the books are from the POV of his (straight) son.) An implied psycho-analytical explanation is that Aral was so oriented around the military that he was more attracted to soldiers than to women. Cordelia, as a woman soldier, was the solution to his dilemma. (It helped that he actually liked and respected her, too.)
    • Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen focuses on Cordelia and Oliver Jole falling for one another; Jole had been Aral's boyfriend for 10 years, with Cordelia's full consent. It still counts somewhat for both Aral and Oliver, as the relationship is only revealed to the reader after Aral dies.
    • Byerly Vorrutyer, despite his suggestive name, mannerisms and confirmed promiscuity with both sexes for professional purposes, has only shown interest in women on the page.
  • The author of The Vampire Chronicles had established that all of her vampires are bisexual, but none of the female vampires seems to have any interest in other women.
  • In as much as Dorian Gray's sexuality can be established, it falls under this, with his relationships with men being largely ambiguous or sexual while his relationship with Sybil is of a more traditional romantic sort. Enforced in that there wasn't much room for any other depiction at the time.
  • Oberyn Martell of A Song of Ice and Fire, to some extent; he only has one lover throughout the course of the series, and it's entirely possible that it would be unsafe for him to bring a male lover to court. The only evidence we have of his other relationships is rumors and his bastard children, the latter of which couldn't come from his relationships with men. The TV show averts this, however, as Oberyn is shown getting it on with male prostitute Olyvar. Plus, he and his paramour Ellaria Sand specifically prefer sex workers that go both ways.
  • Rolas for about ten years prior to the start of the The Red Vixen Adventures, due to his m/m relationship going down in the flames over an Anguished Declaration of Love.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Gossip Girl has Chuck Bass who not only is seen almost exclusively with women, but the TV series seems to reduce his connections with men to flirting and kissing.
  • Anna from Chuck is bisexual, but hasn't seen any on-screen action with women.
  • Doctor Who universe:
    • River Song is confirmed bisexual by Word of God but she flirts with only two women (Liz 10 and a colleague in the library) in throwaway lines. She's more like Doctor-sexual.
    • Clara Oswald has also been confirmed as bisexual but, again, her bisexuality is only implied with throwaway lines, though more than the Doctor and River, while the show spent much time with her UST with the Doctor in series 7 and her relationship with Danny in series 8.
  • In Skins, Franky Fitzgerald says she's "into people" when asked which gender she prefers, but only shows any kind of interest in guys on the show (Mini's one-sided crush on her in S5 notwithstanding).
  • Donna Freedman from Neighbours unfortunately turned out like this. Having taken the brave step of having a bisexual character and acknowledging this in a subtle coming-out scene, the producers never explored her sexuality apart from a token peck on the lips with a female character
  • Jane from Coupling claims to be bisexual, though some claim it's just a bid for attention. Oliver calls her out on it in season 4, showing her pictures from one of his magazines, which she immediately cringes away from.
  • In Da Vinci's Demons, the creators have stated that their Leonardo is bisexual. Unfortunately, this doesn't come across well on the show. He has a relationship with Lucretia that is a large part of the plot, has multiple graphic sex scenes, and it is suggested several times that he is in love with her despite her being an enemy spy, while his attraction to men is shown only by a couple of verbal references and one kiss with a man he only slept with once because he was "curious".
  • Constantine: John Constantine. Despite being bi by Word of God, he's just seen vaguely flirting with Papa Midnite and is only ever shown hooking up with women. Averted once transplanted in Legends of Tomorrow where he kisses male agent Gary and a tragic relationship with a man is a critical plot point.
  • Lucifer (2016) has the title character as being bisexual, with a preference for women. However, his attraction to men never gets more than an occasional nod, with Lucifer's attraction to men rarely, if ever, being shown as anything other than lip service.
  • Sarah Manning from Orphan Black has been confirmed to be bisexual via Word of God, but aside from having a drunken threesome with a woman and her boyfriend, she's only shown interest in men.
  • In Halt and Catch Fire, Joe MacMillan is bisexual, but the only two serious relationships we see him in are with women, his relationships with men happening in his backstory, or during Time Skips.
  • Jane from Happy Endings has had past relationships with both men and women but she is married to a man and the one time she engages in any same-sex behavior, it's fanservice for her husband.
  • The Good Place: Eleanor is pretty flirty with women as well as men, explicitly states possible attraction to Tahani (though it was always Played for Laughs), and was even confirmed bisexual by the creators, but in the actual series she only ever had male love interests and male exes.
  • True Blood: When Talbot comes onto Eric, Eric says this is new. Talbot naturally assumes he's talking about being with another man, but Eric clarifies that he meant being with another vampire. But later seasons contradict this claim by revealing that Eric had been Friends with Benefits with his progeny Pam and his "sister" Nora for over a century, while it has never been revealed or even suggested that he has ever been with another man. But then again, Eric was seducing Talbot to kill him, meaning he was possibly just telling him what he wanted to hear and might have never been attracted to men in the first place. This would not be out of character for him.
  • High Fidelity: The series has Rob be shown as dating a woman previously, although most of her exes are men in the flashbacks. She is never seen involved with nor even attracted to women in the present.
  • Nos4a 2: Vic is bisexual, though she prefers men and she's only seen with guys.
  • Killing Eve: All over the place.
    • Villanelle is a curious inverse, where she is only shown having sex with men in a threesome (admittedly with two men) in Season 1 and only becomes obsessed or develops romantic relationships with women. This may be because it's easier for her to fulfill the Psycho Lesbian archetype like that.
    • Eve is called bisexual by Bill, and she's definitely attracted to Villanelle, but she never mentions ever having romantic feelings for another woman, she's married to a man, and so far, the only sexual content between she and Villanelle has been a Forceful Kiss on Villanelle's side. She even slept with Hugo in Season 2.
    • Nadia is described as having had a sexual relationship with Villanelle in the past, but she's currently romantically involved with Diego, and even after he dies, she's not shown entering in any other romantic relationship before Villanelle kills her.
  • Carnival Row: Vignette and Tourmaline were once lovers, but are only seen with men or interested by them in the present (they kiss once and Tourmaline would like a relationship again, but Vignette turns her down).
  • The Umbrella Academy: Klaus is said to be pansexual by actor Robert Sheehan, but throughout the first season the only sex partners he mentions are men, and he fell in love with a man after accidentally time-travelling to the Vietnam War. In the second season when the whole family gets stuck in the early 60's, Klaus founds a cult (long story) and it's implied that he regularly had sex with his followers, including the women. However, he spends most of his onscreen time trying to reach out to the younger version of his Army boyfriend to talk him out of joining the army in the first place since he died in the war.
  • Hope Mikaelson from Legacies. Her only canon love interest in the present has been male, and other than mentioning having a crush on Josie when she was fourteen (for a week) her attraction to women hasn't really been showed, despite promises of the contrary by Word of God and Word of Saint Paul.
  • Pandora: Jax is revealed to have dated Cordelia, and Atria's been in a threesome with another woman. Both however show only attraction toward men otherwise, and the relationships presently each has are with them.

    Music 
  • "I Kissed a Boy," Cobra Starship's parody of "I Kissed a Girl" by Katy Perry, is rife with this trope. Whereas Katy's version is about harmless experimentation, Cobra Starship's is about making out with guys only to impress women, making it even more exploitative than the original was accused of being.
  • Parodied in "The College Try" by Garfunkel and Oates. The song is about a girl who wants to be bisexual, but when the time comes to actually have sex with another woman, she's completely turned off and realizes she's 100% straight after all.

    Other 

    Theatre 
  • The Mrs. Hawking play series: Zigzagged with Justin Hawking. He is canonically bisexual, but in his first appearance in part III: Base Instruments he barely interacts with any man who isn't related to him. Apart from a brief flirtatious remark to Lord Seacourse ("Unless you'd like to join us, my lord?") he only has opportunities to demonstrate attraction to women.
    • In Gentlemen Never Tell, however, the spinoff in which he stars, Justin demonstrates attraction to both a new woman, Rosaline, and an old boyfriend, Cassius, and his relationships with the two characters are central to the story.
  • Hamilton: Lin-Manuel Miranda has said via Word of God on twitter that he believes there probably was something romantic between Alexander Hamilton and John Laurens (as has been speculated by many historians) and deliberately inserted some lines into the musical to reference that, but they're so subtle you wouldn't realise it unless you were already familiar with the theory; by contrast, the equally ambiguous relationship between Hamilton and his wife's sister Angelica Schuyler is centered so much she gets an entire song dedicated to their Unresolved Sexual Tension, and it's mentioned in several others. In addition, Miranda bolstered the interpretation with his acting in the original cast, being far more touchy with Anthony Ramos and looking into his eyes soulfully, but later actors have not followed his lead, sticking more to the script and treating Laurens more like just a close friend.

    Video Games 
  • Bully is known as a progressive Rockstar game for implementing a bisexual main character and having him addressed as such through the game. An issue here still stood, however; while the player could flirt and make out with both boys and girls, he could only hold hands with girls, and a few more of the perks only applied to girls. The player also exclusively has romantic involvements with girls in the story, though this could be because the boys that Jimmy is interested in take part as antagonists through their respective sections of the story.
  • Seven from Mystic Messenger mentions in one of the art books that he's attracted to men and women, and some of his banter with Yoosung or Jumin can definitely be seen as flirtatious, but it's never addressed in-game beyond that, and you would only know he's bisexual from reading the aforementioned bonus material.
  • Played with in Dragon Age II. Merrill and Fenris do not discuss their orientations with the PC at any point, save to express an interest in them—this allows some fans to insist that they're "player-sexual," being either straight or gay depending on what gender Hawke is. Anders plays with this trope: he was a flirt towards many women in Awakening and can obviously romance a female PC, in which he never actually states that he's bi, causing some players to feel that he's "really" straight. But romancing him as a male PC has him admit that he's bisexual, describe how important his romance with Karl was, and flirt with the male PC in a much more respectful manner, implying that he takes romances with men more seriously. The other two love interests, Isabella and Sebastian, are aversions. Isabella openly swings both ways, while Sebastian can only be romanced by a female PC.
  • Some of the Homoerotic Subtext regarding Cloud's feelings towards Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII was cut to tone it down (like a line where he ruminates on how, as a teenager, he thought about Sephiroth so much that his mother 'gave up on him' - putting a later flashback where his mother pleads with him to get a 'nice girlfriend' in a different light entirely). He does get a gay Did They or Didn't They? with a male prostitute, but it's played completely for laughs and he doesn't seem particularly into it (compare to the romantic and sincere Did They or Didn't They? scene he gets with Tifa). He flirts with Barret and can even go on a date with him if the player has him do it enough while offending the girls, but it's usually Gay Bravado and, on the date, Barret mostly acts confused that Cloud isn't more interested in the girls than in him.
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • You can change the protagonist's gender as many times as you want without any consequence, which leads to this trope in regards to the Servant interactions. While there are plenty of female Servants who openly lust for the protagonist regardless of their gender, most of the male Servants don't do the same, even the confirmed bisexuals like Iskander or Gilgamesh. The few overt examples of male Servants being even implicitly interested in the male version of the protagonist are Astolfo, who looks identical to a girl right down to the clothing, and Fergus, who makes it clear he is not interested in pursuing a relationship (but for Valentine's, he offers you the key to his bedroom).
    • Queen Medb will supposedly sleep with anyone regardless of gender, and she mentions in her interlude that she has no problem charming women if she wants, but in-story she shows an overwhelming preference for men with no interest in other women with maybe the sole exception of Scáthach-Skaði.
  • Kanji from Persona 4 is a very confusing and hotly-debated case, in that he technically displays attraction to both men and women, but every possible example is rendered ambiguous by the story. Firstly, his main love interest is a Sweet Polly Oliver with an Ambiguous Gender Identity. Then there's the fact that his shadow - meant to represent repressed, socially-inappropriate desires - is a Camp Gay Depraved Homosexual who repeatedly hits on the men of the party. But unlike other characters who actually admitted their shadows did reflect them, Kanji ends up saying that he was just worried that he wouldn't be accepted for his more feminine hobbies, suggesting that his shadow hit on guys because women were more judgmental of him, which apart from being unlikely also straight-up contradicts the rest of the game where Yukiko is by far the most accepting and Yosuke by far the least. After his shadow, his social link totally side-steps the sexuality issue altogether, and even his interest in Naoto after the gender reveal is explicitly stated to be at least in part an attempt to assert his heterosexuality (he insists on her presenting as female at one point while yelling "make me a man!" so it's not exactly subtle). And of course, nobody in the game ever suggests he could actually be bi. In all, this is a weird case where either his attraction to men or women could be discounted as fake or purely comedic — and rest assured that for every single possible interpretation of his sexuality, someone, somewhere, believes it passionately.
  • In The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, main player character Javier is bisexual (as confirmed by Word of God). However, his relationship with female romantic option Kate spans the whole season and is a major part of the plot, although optional, while the nominal Gay Option with Jesus is just a few lines of dialogue.
  • In Cyberpunk 2077, male romance option Kerry is canonically bisexual, but can only be romanced by V if the player has their voice and body type set to male.

    Visual Novels 
  • Monika from Doki Doki Literature Club!. During Act 3, she states that while she doesn't know the player character's gender, she doesn't really mind it at all. However, she refers to the player with the name that they chose at the beginning of the game, implying she is still projecting her affections onto the male avatar. She also refers to the player as her boyfriend in some lines of dialogue during Act 3 as well as singing "write the way into his heart" during the credits.

    Webcomics 
  • Zoe, protagonist of Heroine Chic, mentions that she dated girls in college, and there is an offhand reference to a female ex of hers at one point. But she never shows attraction to women in the comic, and all her relationship drama happens with male characters (including her flirting with/ dating/ breaking up with Daniel, booty-calling the superhero Valiant, and her crush on her roommate Laren's boyfriend Tom).
  • T-Bob in Something*Positive. He self-identifies as a bisexual but is only seen dating or displaying an attraction to men, the only indication of him being interested in women was a throwaway reference to him coming onto a woman offscreen. And she turned him down.
  • Dimiti in Spacetrawler is ostensibly an Extreme Omnisexual who has made it his mission to sleep with any alien with more than 50% sexual compatibility. However, all of his companions so far are either explicitly female or have no mentioned sex, and he has only made passes at female human teammates. His sexual compatibility percentage with another male human has not been brought up.

    Western Animation 
  • In the DC Animated Movie Universe, the only time Constantine hints at being bi is a single line in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War about King Shark being his ex. They never discuss their relationship during the movie, and the details are never expanded upon (though fans on social media had no problem filling in the gaps themselves), and it's treated as a joke whereas his romance with Zatanna is taken much more seriously.
  • Ready Jet Go!: Jet is never stated to be bi on the show, despite it being indirectly confirmed via Word of Gay. Justified, as this is a PBS show. Due to not being a human, however, it can be hard to say if his sexuality can be categorized at all, although he's definitely shown attraction to multiple genders.


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