Follow TV Tropes


Celibate Hero

Go To
Get. Off.
"No dating for the Batman — it might cut into your brooding time."
Wonder Woman, Justice League Unlimited

Someone who has better things to do than romance. Unlike the clueless Chaste Hero, who just doesn't get romance, the Celibate Hero consciously and actively shuns it. They turn away every potential Girl of the Week and shut out the pleas of their official love interest.

While the term "celibacy" refers specifically to sexual activity, the history of celibacy connects the desire to romance someone with the desire to have sex with them, traditionally taking the form of marriage and kids. Ironically, the act of being celibate results in Celibate Heroes running into more opportunities for romantic encounters than if they were actively seeking them out (particularly from The Vamp). This is not to say that the Celibate Hero is unable to be affected by the force of The Dulcinea Effect, only that they either are acting on a higher ideal (chivalry) or resist its power later on.

There are a variety of potential motives for this behavior: belief that it's a distraction, a weakness, something they would like but don't have time for, etc. Sometimes the Celibate Hero is actually asexual and/or aromantic and would prefer to avoid all instances of sex and/or romance. Expect more than one reason to come into play, usually reinforcing one another; rarely do any of these show up alone. See the Analysis page for details.

Often a type of Heroic Vow; many religious or military orders of the type favored by heroes may require a Vow of Celibacy.

Please do not conclude a character is a Celibate Hero just because they lack any romantic arc. Without evidence to suggest a character would shun a sexual/romantic encounter, it's impossible to tell if they have chosen a celibate lifestyle.

Compare Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date, Courtly Love, Did Not Get the Girl, No Hugging, No Kissing, Knight Errant, and Celibate Eccentric Genius (if the Celibate Hero is also a Science Hero). Compare and contrast Confirmed Bachelor, who's specifically opposed to marriage, which could be due to this trope or the opposite.

The Japanese definition for not just this but men in general is called a Herbivore man.

Contrast Loved I Not Honor More, Must Not Die a Virgin, Nature Abhors a Virgin, Virginity Makes You Stupid, Eunuchs Are Evil, Straight Edge Evil, No Love for the Wicked, Unholy Matrimony, The Power of Love, and Sexual Karma.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • 7 Seeds: Forced, but also decided on their own by the various teams themselves. They are awoken after The End of the World as We Know It, so they are supposedly the last humans who survived... and part of the project they are members of does include the repopulation of the human species. Team Autumn has forbidden any kind of sex that can lead to pregnancy in their team, though this has not stopped Ryusei and Kurumi, she is pregnant during her second appearance, and the rest of the teams simply decide that having sex, and hence risking pregnancy, is not a good idea at the moment... things are still up in the air, with no proper, safe shelter for them to live or raise a child in.
  • Ah! My Goddess: Keiichi Morisato has 7 goddesses after him, but hasn't even kissed his supposed love interest in over 2 decades and 270 chapters. Subverted. In a stunning Cerebus Retcon, he was under mind control to never feel anything more than platonic love.
  • The remake incarnation of Birdy the Mighty's title character is very much this, preferring to focus on her duties instead of pursuing romance.
  • Train Hartnett of Black Cat has a severe tendency toward this: he gets grossed out by the idea of posing as the pretty Rinslet's husband, whacks Kyoko when she tries to kiss him, and in the anime, he puts a cat in front of his face so Kyoko kisses the kitty instead of him. Even with Saya, it's made clear that he only thought of her as a very close friend. He's also totally uninterested in men, much to Creed's dismay.
  • Black Clover: Despite being a massive Chick Magnet, Yuno has no interest in women or dating whatsoever, as shown from how he repeatedly rejects his fairy companion's attempts in seeking his affections.
  • Taito Magatsu from Blade of the Immortal, despite being attractive and having several female characters display an interest in him, makes a point to avoid any kind of relationship. The girl he shares a bed with even comes out and asks him why he's never tried anything with her, and others have teased him about his lacking sex life. Most put it down to his dead little sister.
  • Mafuyu in Blend-S. In the manga, one of her past relationships ended abruptly because her boyfriend was arrested for being Mistaken for Pedophile. This somehow caused her to think she should never have any romance. In the anime, she simply thinks she has no time for dating, especially when she would rather watch anime.
  • Code Geass: Lelouch Lamperouge, who has many characters, such as Shirley, Kallen, and Milly vying for his affection, along with every girl in his school. Lelouch, however, is a Celibate Hero who doesn't have the time for romance. Instead, he focuses on winning a war for his little sister. The only reason we know he's not a Chaste Hero is because of that one time he asked Kallen to "comfort" him.
  • Yanagin in Daily Lives of High School Boys hates the idea of dating in general, as she thinks guys are all losers. In fact, acts violently on the idea of any female dating a guy, or trying to make themselves attractive to a guy.
  • Death Note:
    • Light Yagami, the Villain Protagonist doesn't seem to desire sex or romance (though he fits both "Love is a Distraction," given his obsession with the Death Note and "Love is Beneath Me," due to blatant narcissism), and treats his Love Interest Misa quite coldly. He is fully aware of such matters, and uses the very idea of sexuality for his own benefit — pretending to read porn, supposedly unaware, in front of many security cameras designed to determine his likelihood of being Kira to ward off suspicion. Basically, Light only has sex if it benefits him. To him, his sex appeal is a tactic — he's quite possibly incapable of feeling 'love' or 'desire' in a romantic sense. Even when Light plays a truly spectacular Memory Gambit and temporarily turns good, his feelings for Misa are still unclear. He is clearly concerned for her safety and treats her much more warmly, but since this change applies to the way he treats everyone, it need not suggest real "love". Of course, even if he wanted to progress their relationship further, being handcuffed to L 24/7 would make it somewhat difficult.
    • L also deserves mention. Although he reacts more positively to Misa's kiss on the cheek than Light does, he probably views love and even meaningful friendship as something of a distraction. This is complicated further by his awkwardness. Word of God notes that Near and Mello were originally intended to be L's sons — but there's nothing in the plotline or the interviews with the creators that suggest they stuck with the idea. In fact, they decided that it would be unlikely for someone like L to get the "action" necessary to have children (and also that it would have meant that L fathered them at an improbably young age), so they decided to scrap the idea that Mello and Near are his children.
    • Despite not being "heroes" per se, Shinigami are indispensable to the plot; they are neither permitted nor capable of sexual relationships with one another or with humans, so their celibacy is somewhat mandatory. Woe betide the shinigami that develops feelings for a human, no matter how platonic...
  • Allen Walker from D.Gray-Man: He is kissed (on the lips, even!) and hugged by Road Kamelot, who makes it very clear she has a crush on him, but he seems to only regard it as a nuisance, choosing to ignore it (the fact that Road stabbed him in the eye the last time he saw her might have something to do with it). He also chooses to ignore Rohfa's feelings for him, and on numerous occasions, even shows skepticism and signs of being unnerved by it. And in a "character interview" omake, his status as being a Celibate Hero is confirmed by Word of God, as he vehemently denies having a girlfriend or liking anyone, and that he's too focused and busy with his work to do anything like that. Considering his past, it's not hard to find out why he is chaste.
  • Saiki Kusuo from The Disastrous Life of Saiki K. is utterly uninterested in romance and doesn't feel sexual attraction, since his telepathy and X-Ray Vision make him see people's ugliness both on the inside and the outside. A big part of the series is him avoiding people who are in love with him, mainly Teruhashi, because he feels annoyed by dealing with their feelings. He gets even more annoyed by finding that nothing he does can foil Teruhashi's crush on him. Extra points because he always tries to help his friends except when they're trying to do something romantic with him.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Tien Shinhan is a notable example, as he turned down Launch due to being committed to his life of training and martial arts.
    • The men of the Saiyan race took this approach: they only get into romance and courtship simply to have offspring, and even then it's notable that Bardock (in the new backstory) actually cares for his son and wife at all.
    • Piccolo also qualifies, due to being part of a One-Gender Race. Despite his paternal relationship with Gohan, he tends to express confusion towards open displays of affection that sometimes occur between couples such as Krillin and Android 18. Being the reincarnation of the embodiment of evil probably contributes to this outlook.
      Piccolo: If that's what you humans call love, count me out.
  • The Alternative Character Interpretation of Fatal Fury's Terry Bogard during The Movie of The Anime of the Game. Having failed to protect his now-dead girlfriend during the first OVA, he becomes incredibly wary about letting women get close to him. However, he eventually succumbs to Plucky Girl Sulia's crush on him unfortunately, as he's considering reciprocating her feelings, Sulia gets kidnapped by her crazed brother, who uses her to find an Artifact of Doom that transforms him into a godlike being that Terry and his True Companions cannot defeat... Until Sulia performs a Heroic Sacrifice, that is. Poor guy. Averted in the games, where he and Blue Mary are quite... close, to say the least.
  • Edward Elric of Fullmetal Alchemist, for "distraction" reasons, since he has to get his brother's body back first until the very end, that is. He stays like that throughout Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) though. Several potential love interests appear but, Ship Tease aside, his main focus is always his brother.
  • During The Fuma Conspiracy, the normally aloof Goemon, who falls in love with Murasaki, subverts the trope. And played straight at the end of the movie when he tells her he cannot marry her because he isn't good enough.
  • Bleed Kaga from Future GPX Cyber Formula, who in SIN, while he does care for the show's resident Defrosting Ice Queen Kyoko, he seems to be too focused on his rivalry with his one-time friend Hayato.
  • Gai Shishioh/Cyborg Guy from GaoGaiGar arguably qualifies. On the one hand, he has a girlfriend, on the other, he's just a head attached to a walking weapon, so it's not like they could do much.
    • Well, who knows what the cyborg body can do.
    • Note that at the end of the TV series Guy gets a body after purifying Zonuda/Mikoto, something which she seems very, very happy about. Take that as you will.
  • Gintama: Gintoki is far from being a Chaste Hero and is seen acting perverted plenty of times. However, he never shows interest in actually having a relationship with any of the girls around him and only treat them as friends. This is despite having Sacchan literally throwing herself at him on a daily basis, and getting enough Ship Tease with Tsukuyo or Tae to qualify for Unwanted Harem. Even when he meets his crush the weather lady Ketsuno Ana during the onmyoji arc, despite all the jokes made about him wanting to marry her, in the end, he just tells her that he is a fan before leaving.
  • GUN×SWORD: Van and Ray Lundgren are both this, due to being loyal to their dead (would-be) wives.
  • Attempted to be an Enforced Trope in HappinessCharge Pretty Cure! as Blue tells Megumi that Pretty Cure can't be in a romantic relationship. It's hinted, though, that something in the past that Blue did lead to him invoking this trope.
  • While Hayate the Combat Butler Hayate falls more on the Chaste Hero side of the line, when he is approached by Ayumu about her crush, or rather, later when approached by the student trio, he thinks he's unworthy of her love because of Athena's teaching him that he had to be financially able to support a girlfriend.
  • Sir Integral Fairbrooks Wingates Hellsing in Hellsing. At 22-years-old, she explicitly says she's 100% virgin, which given that non-virgins that get bitten by vampires turn into mindless ghouls and virgin ones turn into vampires themselves, with a will of their own, it's probably safe to say she deemed it practical in her line of work (vampire-and-other-dark-creatures hunting) while romance may be ruled out partly because of Married to the Job and/or It's Not You, It's My Enemies (or perhaps "it's not you, it's my vampire servant"). It's worth noting that by the end of the manga after 30 years of waiting for Alucard's return she has remained unmarried and a virgin (after all, Seras says she can turn her into a vampire if she wants), which may further hint at their Lady and Knight romance.
  • Hoshin Engi:
    • Taikobo never shows any romantic interest in any of the female characters. It probably didn't help that the only female character that was chasing him was an incredibly hideous monster. And it probably didn't help that he was actually an ancient alien.
    • It seems like Sennin in general are less prone to romance than humans, as it is said that a child born of two Sennin parents is an extremely rare thing, and aside from Dokuson, Sengyoku and Venus, none of them show interest in romance. But Taikobo's case still stands out as he is notably unimpressed when he first meets Dakki in person, while other characters, even if they're not affected by her temptation spell, seem to at least acknowledge that she is a beauty (for example, her appearance is Yozen's default choice any time he needs a beautiful female form).
  • Hozuki's Coolheadedness: Hozuki is Married to the Job and never shows interest in romance or relationships. He even personally defuses any potentially romantic situation he might find himself in, always maintaining his strictly professional tone. He might even be asexual since he never showed any sign of attraction toward anyone, and no mention of any past relationship is made even though it's hinted on the occasion that he is rather popular.
  • Keisuke Takahashi in Initial D feels love is a distraction from honing on his racing skills (to beat Takumi, no less), though he does have somewhat of a love interest.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
  • Dai'chi from Kotoura-san isn't a single bit interested in his Childhood Friend Yuriko's sexual teasing, and so she was actually jealous about Haruka having Manabe— the latter maybe too perverse, but he does have interest after all.
    Yuriko: Manabe-kun has his issues, but being ignored really hurts a girl...
  • Kurosaki from Kurosagi is completely disinterested in starting a relationship or even showing any sort of affection to women. Even after Tsurara confesses to him, he brushes it off like it never happened.
  • Make the Exorcist Fall in Love: As an ordained priest, Father is explicitly forbidden from entering a relationship due to a Vow of Celibacy. But Dante encourages Father to fall in love with someone so he can love the world God created. This leaves Father deeply curious about love while simultaneously being sworn not to pursue it.
  • Former Chaste Hero Setsuna F. Seiei from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 evolves into this in the second season. He's more aware of what romance is, but he considers that he and Rebellious Princess Marina are Platonic Life-Partners more than anything else, and denies twice that she's his lover. The fact that she looks a lot like his Missing Mom doesn't help either.
  • The Medicine Peddler from Mononoke is an enigmatic, mysterious Chick Magnet, and the only good-looking male character in the series. Many of the ladies he encounters develop a crush on him — specifically Kayo, with whom he gets quite a bit of Ship Tease (though it's more 'tease' and less 'ship'). But then again, the women are human while he almost definitely is not, so it might just be that.
  • Monster:
    • Dr. Kenzo Tenma, after he saves the life of a boy over the city mayor — in defiance of the hospital director's orders. It's a mixture of Love Is A Distraction and I'm A Danger Magnet, as his life takes a very different turn after that fateful decision.
    • Nina Foertner/Anna Liebert is the same way and for the same reasons. She's far too busy hunting down her psychopathic brother to give a damn about romance. That said, she and Tenma do have one or two Ship Tease moments that may avert this.
  • Kimihito Kurusu from Monster Musume starts out this way because he is forbidden by law from engaging in any intimacy with the Cute Monster Girls to whom he is host. Halfway through the Manga it turned out that said law had been lifted some time ago and he just wasn't told about it; by that point, however, he was surrounded by a variety of jealous girls determined to win his affection, and as much as he adores them all and can't choose between them he's also terrified of what would happen if he were to pick one girl and turn down all of the others....
  • Ginko from Mushishi is very much this; though whether it's of his own volition or not is somewhat questionable. Due to possessing an unusual physiology that attracts mushi to him, he cannot stay in any one place or with a 'normal' person for a long period of time and is thus forced to wander the country while acting as a mushi exorcist of sorts. His unusual looks and calm, always-in-command personality make him an instant Chick Magnet in-universe — but while he is kinder to most of the female characters than he is to the male ones, he has never displayed any active interest in romance. This might be indicative of supreme self-control or personal preference; despite having its fair share of romantic subplots involving the supporting cast, the story never brings up a serious prospective Love Interest for Ginko.
  • Female examples: Both Mai and Natsuki from the My-HiME anime fall under the "Love is a Distraction" header (Mai because she's got a part-time job and has to take care of her younger brother Takumi, and Natsuki because she's consumed with thoughts of revenge against The Organization that indirectly killed her mother), so they spend much of their time ignoring or otherwise actively avoiding their love interests. After the audience finds out what happens to the first couple who openly declares their love, you can't really blame 'em.
    • Mai stubbornly denying her feelings leads to some vicious enmity and painful loss for her later on. She gets the guy in the end, while Word of God says that Natsuki and Shizuru also get together eventually.
  • In My-Otome, Otomes are required to abstain from heterosexual romance, as semen will render their bodies unable to use the nanomachines. Arika in particular starts out as ignorant of how love works, but while she develops feelings for Sergay over time, in the end, she fully commits to being an Otome. Most Otome do not fit this, however; they're either lesbian, turn to homosexual relationships to satisfy their needs, or eventually give up their power for a heterosexual romance.
  • Sasuke Uchiha of Naruto is a total Chick Magnet, but shows no interest whatsoever in romance. He most likely falls under "Love is a Distraction" and "Genre Savvy". He might also be a Chaste Hero, as he never addresses the issue (not even after Sakura's Anguished Declaration of Love). A logical explanation could be that he became obsessed with revenge before he was old enough to care about such things, and also fears that Itachi or his own "inner darkness" might destroy anyone he's close to. What makes this particularly odd is that his other stated goal is to rebuild his clan. However in the epilogue, he and Sakura are together and have a daughter, Sarada.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Shinji Ikari shrinks from any and all potential relationships, romantic or not, because it's just too painful and frightening for him. This eventually makes him snap in End of Evangelion when he declares that since "Nobody loves [him], they should all just die." It is subverted in the fact that he was in love with Asuka, just too afraid of her and of attachment to pursue a relationship with her.
  • One Piece:
    • More or less everyone except characters like Sanji due to Eiichiro Oda's No Hugging, No Kissing rule. Word of God is that 'They're in love with adventure' and notably Luffy can be seen ignoring Hancock's affections to the extent that he feels exactly 0 attraction for her, rendering her ability unable to affect him. Characters will occasionally act perverted, though.
    • Fiery Redhead Nami's reason to not want to marry Absalom is (other than he's a creepy pervert) that she is way too young to get married and would rather go on adventures for the time being. While she regularly flirts with others to get what she wants, she is one of the four crew members (along with Robin, Luffy and Zoro) to never show unambiguous attraction to anyone.
    • Trafalgar Law is another notable example because of him being one of the few people in the world to have virtually no reaction to Boa Hancock's beauty, and unlike his crew, he also doesn't comment on the abundance of attractive women in Amazon Lily. He also shows nothing but annoyance towards flirting and is described by Monet as downright "unsociable".
    • Averted with Gol D. Roger, though it's debatable how much of a hero he was. He and his lover, Portgas D. Rouge, are the parents of Portgas D. Ace. Part of the reason that Roger turned himself in at the end of his life was to protect them.
  • In One-Punch Man, despite his trusty Oppai sweater, and saying he isn't into guys when wrongly interpreting the fact Dr. Genus was interested in his body as something else, Saitama is never shown commenting on women or interested in hooking up with someone, his desire for recognition is never linked to wanting to be noticed by fangirls or anything of sorts (although he got a little annoyed he heard Genos has fangirls of his own); later when Fubuki starts trying to pester him to join her group, Saitama is completely indifferent to her, as the Murata manga makes a point to have a few onlookers saying Fubuki is a very beautiful woman, and often thinks of her intruding attempts as very annoying.
  • Ash Ketchum from Pokémon: The Series knows what romance is, and has had a crush in the show, Giselle from the episode "School of Hard Knocks" (mainly as an example of Early-Installment Weirdness), but sees any relationship as a distraction from becoming the greatest Pokemon master. Later on, he gets hit with Characterization Marches On, and now he's Oblivious to Love, however. It's so bad that he can't even tell Serena loves him; whose main existence is to love him.
  • Ranma Saotome of Ranma ½. While most members of his Unwanted Harem practically throw themselves at him, he doesn't reciprocate, unless he needs to manipulate them or he feels unattractive. Not even Akane Tendo is shown affection most of the time. This could be due to his fear of commitment, his discomfort over physical displays of affection, his "love is a distraction" attitude, or all of the above. Take your pick.
    Ranma: I'm in the middle of my training. I can't let some girl distract me.
    • Despite all this, Ranma isn't entirely unaffected by sex. He feels attraction enough to get very flustered when girls get naked or physically affectionate with him, despite normally being quite brash about being nude himself. He was attracted enough to Shampoo to get Love Bubbles when she gave him the Kiss of Death, and even after she hunted him out of China, he did admit to himself that she was cute and found it very hard to remain defiant in the face of her affections when she first declared herself his wife. In the Happo Fire-Burst story, there's a memorable scene where Ranma is in female form trying to reach the scroll containing the titular technique, which is hidden in the middle of a girl's hot spring, and he freezes up as a bunch of girls emerge from the water, blushing like mad and instinctively covering a non-existent erection. In the anime version of the Scribble Panda story, after the scribble panda assumes the form of a beautiful human girl when Ranma explains that they can't be together as a human and a panda, Ranma is visibly appreciative of her new looks and concedes that this way, they could work.
  • In Record of Lodoss War: Chronicles of the Heroic Knight, we have not just one but two Celibate Heroes. Both Spark and Neese care very much for each other and Leaf and Ryna start some serious shipping of them, but it doesn't seem to go anywhere.
  • Romantic Killer: Anzu Hoshino, who is referred to in-universe as an "anti-heroine" for this reason. Her lack of interest in love serves as the focal point of the entire plot, as she tries desperately to fight against the machinations of a magical being who is insistent that she fall in love and eventually procreate with someone.
  • Another female: Rei Hino/Mars from the Sailor Moon manga. This actually comes both from her Defrosting Ice Queen background and her past life in the Silver Millennium, where her past self made an oath of chastity to Princess Serenity.
    • In a way, it could also be said for all of Serenity's guardians, as they all promised total dedication to her, that not even love would separate them. In the manga at least...
  • Sanzo in Saiyuki displays no sexual interest or preferences, despite both the anime and manga going out of the way to show that he breaks every other vow he had to take as a Buddhist priest. Wordof God says that he does, indeed, maintain his vow of celibacy, not out of consideration for his Buddhist beliefs (he has none, despite his job) but because he dislikes being touched in "that way". In the Burial arc of the manga, it's shown that the first people he ever killed intended to rape him, and it's implied this wasn't an uncommon occurrence in his life, with his physical attractiveness inviting a lot of creepy attention. Sanzo rarely allows anyone to touch him at all, with varying levels of exception for his traveling companions, especially Goku.
  • Samurai Gun. Ichimatsu is a regular customer of local Hooker with a Heart of Gold Ohana, but his "business" with her is strictly the non-sexual services provided. He's not unaware of her own romantic attraction to him and isn't exactly unattracted to her himself, but he has ...issues with sex because, as a child, he was Forced to Watch his elder sister be raped and then murdered. He later learns that the one who did the deed was actually a servant of the same council of freedom fighters that he serves as a Samurai Gun; apparently, deliberately traumatising children so as to create recruits for the project was a deliberate tactic of theirs, to both make them "available", give them a way to control them, and to start their Training from Hell.
  • Minato Sahashi from Sekirei has some romantic moments with his Battle Harem, but remains a virgin due to a combination of chivalry, performance anxiety, and his ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING land lady. Illicit relationships are strictly forbidden at Izumo Inn and it would be such a shame for him to end up homeless~
  • Takatoshi Tsuda from Seitokai Yakuindomo lives in a world where All Women Are Lustful and yet he barely shows any signs of romantic or sexual attraction to any of the (many) girls around him. When entering his room at one point, Shino noted that it didn't smell like semen.
  • Kyouko from Skip Beat!, of the "bad past experiences" variety. She not only avoids love, she even convinces herself she's incapable of it. When confronted by romantic hints, she doesn't see the romance at all but usually interprets it as some interestingly twisted scenario completely unrelated to love.
  • Agent "Twilight"/Loid Forger from Spy X Family gave up on pursuing any form of romance when he became a spy, such as immediately dumping the daughter of a buyer of blackmail material against the foreign minister once his job is done, so he's pretty much aghast at his role in "Operation Strix" where he has to start a family to get close to an elusive target, which he also plans to cut ties with once that mission is over. However, his adoptive daughter Anya has other ideas, mainly for personal amusement and happiness as part of a real family, and also becomes the reason why he's now married to Yor Briar. Loid starts to gradually forget his abandonment plan such as standing up for Anya and practically putting Strix in jeopardy by declaring he has second thoughts about putting her in a prestigious school if a Jerkass Straw Misogynist is in charge.
  • As Tanaka from Tanaka-kun is Always Listless puts it best, he has an interest in erotic things like normal boys but is far too lazy to go for it.
  • Barnaby from Tiger & Bunny. A natural when it comes to playing The Charmer, he has no problem with acting cool for the sake of the fangirls in order to stay true to his position as HeroTV's no.1 Mr. Fanservice; but in private he has displayed zero interest in romance. He's said to have had a huge fan club back when he was at school, and apparently ignored all of them. Despite working alongside a cute tomboy (Pao-Lin), an aloof bishoujo (Karina), and a hot career woman (Agnes), he has yet to spare any of them more than a passing glance. Though this might be due to the obsession with revenge which has caused him to reject personal relationships completely, it's never confirmed as such in canon.
  • Tokyo Ghoul:
    • Ken Kaneki evolves into this over the course of the series, tending to keep his precious people at arm's length to protect them. When he departs to carry out his six-month Roaring Rampage of Revenge, he denies Touka's request to go with him and actively shuns her for the next several months to keep her safe. Averted as of :re, in which he and Touka finally becomes an Official Couple.
    • Koutarou Amon is known to be incredibly popular with the ladies. Even so, he remains fairly oblivious to the attentions of various Office Ladies and coworkers.....or so it seems. He's implied to still not be over the death of his Academy classmate, Harima, and is later called out on this by his partner, Akira. When she attempts to kiss him, he rejects her advances by covering her mouth with his hand while wearing a panicked expression. She sadly notes this is just like him.
    • Further explored in the sequel, :Re. Matsuri Washuu notes that about half of all Investigators remain celibate, choosing to not settle down because of the dangers involved in their work. Division Chiefs Itsuki Marude and Kiyoko Aura are prominent examples, both described as "fiercely single" and career-focused.
  • Toward the Terra takes this trope to its extreme conclusion. Even the thought of intimate relationships doesn't seem to exist in the same universe as Soldier Blue or the next Soldier (title for the leader of the Mu), Jomy. Interestingly, Tony has a girlfriend... but she obligatorily dies a few episodes before he becomes Jomy's replacement. Odd considering that they need all the psionic power they can get, Rank Scales with Asskicking, and power is a function of genetics.
  • Vash from Trigun is. Especially in the manga. He fakes being passed out in order to avoid the "favors" of prostitutes, spends an inordinate amount of his free time thinking about his dead mother figure, doesn't want any woman to see his scars, and avoids any kind of romantic or sexual relationship, be it with Luida, Meryl or Jessica.
  • The titular character of Vampire Hunter D, particularly pronounced in the old 1985 OAV. In the novel, it was based on he and the Girl of the Week actually get to first base but are interrupted, and at the end of the book he very pointedly moves on before things go any farther. In subsequent novels, girls throw themselves at him right and left, but he ignores them. This is presumably due to a combination of his need for blood as a dhampir (half vampire) and "Love is A Distraction".
  • Keima from The World God Only Knows, despite being known all over the Internet for being "The Capturing God" for his incredible skills at Dating Sim games. He didn't even raise an eyebrow when he accidentally saw Haqua changing in front of him, and during his "Freaky Friday" Flip with a girl, he doesn't take advantage of the fact, preferring to play his games.
  • Jack Atlas from Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds has become this after the Dark Signer arc, saying in the final episode that women would hinder his path. Carly and he had a mutual love confession as she died, but reviving with amnesia and being Demoted to Extra put an end to that.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics: Jughead Jones actively shuns romance, because he's simply more interested in food than love. He remains good friends with Betty, and he and Veronica can usually tolerate one another. Ironically, there has been more than one female who has persistently hounded him due to some infatuation with his aloof, nonchalant nature towards the fairer sex.
    Hooper: Archie was the bitch and Jughead was the butch. That's why Jughead wears that crown-looking hat all the time. He's the king of queen Archie's world.
  • Batman, in many incarnations, adheres to a combination of most of the above: love as distraction (his work is his life); love as beneath him (he sees himself as something more); the danger magnet issue (amusingly subverted when, in an episode of Justice League Unlimited, he tried to use that as a reason he couldn't date Wonder Woman; she then demonstrates that he'd be in more danger than she); his Secret Identity, although potential love interests have occasionally discovered the secret anyway; and depending on the actual universe, bad relationships in the past (he maintains that one of his few actual lovers, Talia Al-Ghul, drugged and raped him). With the Reboot it seems the whole Talia thing was consensual. He still wasn't proud of it, though.
  • The Darkness' Jackie Estacado. When the bearer of the Darkness impregnates a woman, and his sperm always will, he dies and the Darkness passes on to his son.
  • Empowered throws out a justified example: Ninjette uses a ninja technique that channels her sexual frustration into fighting prowess.
  • Connor Hawke, the second Green Arrow, was depicted as Ambiguously Gay when he was first introduced but was never confirmed as being attracted to men or women and was largely clueless about relationships, having been raised in a monastery. He disappeared in the New 52, and when he came back ten years later in Infinite Frontier, he was confirmed to be asexual.
  • Judge Dredd: Sexual relationships (or "extra-judicial liaisons") are illegal for street Judges, a rule imposed by the first Chief Judge. Dredd, who was cloned from the same person, was raised with the idea that he would never have time for a relationship because he'd be too busy fighting crime. The closest he's ever gotten is when Judge DeMarco gave him a "Shut Up" Kiss in frustration and he initially failed to report it.
  • Lucky Luke, being a lonesome cowboy who keeps moving and rarely stays anywhere more time than it's required to solve a case, has absolutely no interest for women or any relationships, though, unlike Tintin, the subject is aborted; in "La Fiancé de Lucky Luke" especially, Luke mentions his opinion about both marriage and love, making it clear he is not only uninterested but almost repulsed (to the point he almost refuses a mission that consists in escorting a large group of women, fearing they might attempt advances on him... and they do). Notably, he has a female Platonic Life-Partner in Calamity Jane.
  • In Star Wars (Marvel 1977), most of the time Luke Skywalker is one of these. Pre-ROTJ comics have him interested in Leia and shy about going through with a Relationship Upgrade, but also unwilling to look at someone else because of her. Until very late in the series, he actively runs away from Zeltrons, an entire species who think he's the most gorgeous man alive, and he puts up with the attentions of one who becomes an ally only reluctantly. He seems shy and massively taken aback when people express interest in him. (This does not extend to other installments in Star Wars Legends, where he marries Mara Jade.)
  • The Marvel/Dynamite comics creation Red Sonja. (As opposed to Robert E. Howard's original Russian sword-maiden of the same name.) Gang-raped to the point of death, Sonja was gifted with revenge by the god Mitra (or the goddess Scáthach, Depending on the Writer). So long as she "knew no man," Sonja could best almost any man alive in combat. To become her lover — and presumably destroy her gift — a man had to beat her in a fight — a task even Conan the Barbarian found difficult, if not impossible, to do.
    • The nature of her vows vary to writer from writer; in one version of her backstory detailed in Queen Sonja revealed she had a boyfriend in her youth who did beat her in a fair fight and she didn't lose her fighting prowess as a result. After his death, she resolves not to love anyone just to not be hurt once again, which adds another layer to this trope.
  • In both Robin and Red Robin Tim Drake maintains his celibacy despite having about five girlfriends over the course of the comics and being propositioned for sex thrice.
  • Sin City: When we first meet Dwight, he's trying to maintain this trope. He seems to do okay until Ava comes back in his life.
  • The Spirit: While a total Chick Magnet, The Spirit spent most of his time being embarrassed by and fending off women's advances, a not-uncommon trope seen in comics and movies of the '30s and '40s.
  • Catholic-Boy-Scout-type Tintin has it easy when it comes to resisting carnal sins. There are almost no women in the cast of his adventures, and the few that appear are hardly what anyone would consider "appealing". (Well, let's be honest here — Hergé didn't draw noticeably attractive men with any great frequency, either.) He may count as a Chaste Hero too since the whole issue of romance is never mentioned in relation to him.
  • Oddly enough, Carnage is a Celibate Villain. When Shriek tries to cuddle up to him in the Maximum Carnage fiasco:
    Shriek: That's more like it, big guy! Treat me nice and I'll follow you all the way to -
    Carnage: Not there!
    Shriek: Hoboken. Close enough.
  • Rorschach in Watchmen is depicted as having a total fear of anything sexual, which is implied to be the result of traumatic childhood experiences.
  • Despite spending time as a child prostitute on the streets of New York City, X-23 is this throughout most of her history. She develops a mutual attraction with Hellion, but due to her incredibly traumatic childhood, Laura struggles with personal relationships, which leads to her keeping him at a distance. Their one kiss was unwelcome on Laura's end, and she ultimately breaks things off with him for good by the end of her solo series and didn't enter into another relationship until meeting an alternate reality version of Warren Worthington.
    Eastern European Animation 
  • „Kérem a következőt!”: One of Bubó's defining personality traits is his lack of interest in women. He constantly attempts to dodge Ursula's advances, but also rejects Mrs. Magpie when she comes onto him. At one point he refers to himself as a "confirmed bachelor".

    Fan Works 
  • Always Visible: Inspector Galbraith himself says about himself that he is an ideological bachelor and does not understand life in a family circle.
  • Astra Inclinant: One of the dubious powers granted to contractors by the Angel of Chastity. "Cherubim" can't even think of Lukana as pretty without the Angel punishing him, and Rajih shut the door in Irina's face simply because he saw Hakua in the distance.
  • Codex Equus:
    • Princess Daphné Odora Moufette is a justified example, as she's both asexual and aromantic. It's deconstructed as Daphné's orientation, along with her domains of Chemistry, Nature, and Poison, gave her lots of misery and self-loathing issues — because she's a daughter of Princess Tough Love and Moufette, both of them Love/Romance deities, many people (including her own family) assumed and expected Daphné to be a romantic like her parents. Making matters worse is when she's distressed, her ability to generate a horrid smell activates... which people mistook for her being in a romantic mood like with her father. This led to Daphné having to put up with being set up on dates she wasn't interested in and having to hide her domains so she could fit in socially. Luckily, both Tough Love and Moufette were very accepting once they learned what's going on and she revealed her true domains to them, but as Daphné notes to Prince Crystal Clear, it didn't stop others from trying to get her a lover or believing that she's either Playing Hard to Get or friend-zoning her dates.
    • Justified, subverted, and deconstructed with Moon Ray Vaughoof, now Prince Canticum Lunae Cahaya. He's revealed to be asexual, but is a heteroromantic asexual instead of the aro/ace type. According to him, he doesn't see sex as "gross", but as another way to express his love for his wives. His different views on sex (and perceived lack of interest in it) drove his first wife, Crystal Light, to cheat on him with other stallions in frustration, partially contributing to their divorce. He was depressed upon learning of this while recovering in drug rehab and felt ashamed for not being a 'proper' husband. Fortunately, his friends and family were supportive when he came clean about it, and getting together with Velvet Heart allowed him to accept his asexuality. Even after becoming an eldritch god who embodies Life and Creation during one of his cycles, he absolutely refuses to sleep with everyone just because it's something deities with those domains would do.
    • Justified with Glory, now Queen Magus Kawan. Like Prince Shamrock Bloom, she's asexual and aromantic, and thus never married even after Ascending to godhood. Her oldest daughter, Baby Glory, was created using the Foal-Making Mirror, and all the children she had after Baby Glory were adopted. Following her Eldritch Transformation, she proceeded to adopt several Tulpas as her children after she made her kingdom's arcane environment more likely to birth Tulpas by her mere presence. This led to her befriending Shamrock himself, understanding the pain his sexuality caused him.
    • Justified with Atropa Moufette, the Princess of Mephitidae Reapers. She's asexual like her older biological sister, Daphné, but is more similar to Moon Ray Vaughoof, her "Uncle Moony", in being a heteroromantic asexual. While she's fine with having romantic relationships and had many partners over the years, she sees sex purely as a way to express love for said partners and is otherwise disinterested in it.
  • Evangelion 303: After his boyfriend broke off their relationship, Kaworu realized that he felt comfortable without feeling romantically tied to anybody and he did not need a lover right now.
  • Fates Collide: Multiple:
    • Glynda Goodwitch says she doesn't date because her duties as a teacher and Huntress are more important. Eventually, she falls in love with and starts dating Vlad.
    • Atalanta says she took a vow of chastity after breaking up with Achilles.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses: Fifth Path Byleth is capable of feeling sexual attraction, being paralyzed by Yuri's good looks and acknowledging being attracted to people, and on one occasion flirts with Edelgard because she finds it funny but simply isn't interested in love (and in the case of Edelgard, she's a minor so that also adds to her disinterest in that particular case).
  • It's not hard for the heroes of Fractured, a Mass Effect/Star Wars/Borderlands crossover and its sequel Origins to fall into this, even in a downplayed fashion. Virtually everyone is Married to the Job, which is lampshaded by Samantha Shepard during her Heroic BSoD—the last serious relationship she had was before basic training! Relationships (for any of the main cast) are just another thing that has to wait until the war is over.
  • Celestia declares both Luna and herself this in The God Empress of Ponykind, saying that neither sister will take a mate or lover while ruling Equestria. This actually turns up in the sequel, The Warmistress of Equestria, when Luna meets Cadence and jumps to the conclusion that Celestia went back on her vow, and Cadence is her daughter (she's not).
  • Harry Potter in If Them's the Rules, believing himself incapable of romantic love.
  • In The Legend of Total Drama Island, Heather forbids her lackeys to get romantically involved during the competition because she views romance as a distraction and fears its potential to create divided loyalties. Unlike most of the alliance rules she sets, this is one where she doesn't demand preferential treatment for herself.
  • The Night Unfurls: Whenever the topic of romance or sex comes up, Kyril's response is always an adamant refusal. Examples include confirmation from his internal P.O.V. (which says he won't even consider love due to his many burdens), shunning sexual encounters (e.g., the time where he is in a brothel seeking info or when Grace proposes to "warm his bed"), and his nonchalant mien when surrounded by physically attractive women.
    • The story gives this trope a Decon-Recon Switch by challenging his preference, as well as exploring how it relates to Kyril's inner world. Kyril realises that many a woman is interested in him despite him killing on a daily basis, with 4 named suitresses (Celestine, Olga, Grace and Maia) making efforts to seek his affections regardless of his disinterest. While he has his reasons for avoiding romance or sex, he feels somewhat bitter about it. It's not because he secretly desires a romantic or sexual partner yet is unable to get one. Rather, he feels that way because those people are seeking the affections of a man who won't return them. He admits that, if only he was Kyril Sutherland the man, not Kyril Sutherland the Hunter and great one, he would have been very flattered, even happy, to do so. There's also how he feels that neither of those people deserve "being hitched up with a broken man or what's left of him", which reflects the mild bitterness as mentioned before.
    • Despite this, Kyril has no regrets about avoiding romance and sexnote . They are certainly off limits, but he ultimately appreciates their efforts in trying to make him feel comfortable, keeping a healthy and professional distance away with the women he worked with, instead of rebuking them by forcenote . Last but not least, from his platonic relationship with Evetta, to his familial relationship with his four apprentice hunters, The Night Unfurls shows that this behaviour and other close yet non-romantic relationships are by no means mutually exclusive.
  • Orla in OSMU: Fanfiction Friction is more about action and adventure than she is about romance. Her reaction to all the invoked Shipping fanfics she sees on the Internet are of disgust and contempt, and Chapter 7 and Chapter 8 have her sneaking out of the Mobile Unit van in the middle of the night and traveling to the island of Hy-Brasil to prove to shippers that she isn't a Dogged Nice Girl, with disastrous results.
    Orla: All this talk of courtship and kissing...I will show them...I am not a blushing maid, I am a warrior...
  • Hermione in The Parselmouth of Gryffindor. In her own words, she has "more important things to do than play romance with the other kids", and, while she is definitely not asexual, intentionally puts off dating until after she's turned legally adult, finished her studies, and stopped the murderous maniac running amok.
  • Quiververse: Discussed in story #21 (Legends of Magic) when Twilight mentions that in Celestia's experience, her teacher Starswirl the Bearded didn't have any romantic inclinations to the point where "He might well have been asexual."
  • Sunny Breeze of Racer and the Geek is this for a number of reasons, from having issues with being touched to thinking himself unworthy.
  • The Rigel Black Chronicles: Harry knows Leo is interested in her, and she does have a lot of respect for him and appreciates his friendship, but she's just not looking for a relationship.
    She didn't not like him, but she had always felt that her life held no room for romance. It was, at best, a distraction. At worst it would prove dangerous to the deceptions and assumptions that her plans were predicated upon.
  • Jason Shepard could have any woman he wants, but his actions in Sailor Moon: Legends of Lightstorm imply that he is extremely celibate. It is not known why he does this, but he has never shown attraction to any woman and appears to find the concept of romance unappealing.
  • Jalal from the Shadowchasers Series has never married and has tried to avoid relationships in his entire one-thousand-year lifespan. He knows that if he did, it would be a Mayfly–December Romance which would leave him depressed and heartbroken as he watched his wife, children, and grandchildren grow old and die. This hasn't stopped his close ally Adrian, although it's likely that his wife is also immortal.
  • Son of the Sannin: Aside from his early crush on Sakura, Lee never shows any interest in romance and remains the only member of the Konoha 15 who doesn't have a significant other (or implied significant other in Kiba and Tamaki's case) by the time the Fourth Ninja War rolls around. This is finally averted in the epilogue, where he's married to Yakumo.note 
  • The Story of Apollo, Daphne and Luca: An Italian Tragedy: Giulia Marcovaldo is more interested in astronomy, space traveling and destroying evil empires of injustice than dating.
  • Triptych Continuum: Zigzagged with Applejack, part of the world-saving Bearers. She is looking for a lover, but she has very specific tastes — must be male, an earth pony, a hard worker, not too many years difference in age to her, capable of going with comparatively little sleep, strong and durable — and this combined with her aggressive efforts in searching for Mr. Right and her usual tendency to look in winter and then "try them out" by having them work alongside her in the spring (on the Acres, for multiple shifts, at least twelve hours at a stretch) means she's had absolutely no luck in finding somepony just yet, or at least in finding somepony who won't gallop away from her on every subsequent meeting. The locals she's tried dating have formed the opinion that what she's looking for isn't so much a coltfriend or even a husband as it is a source of free live-in farm-labor added to complimentary stud service; this opinion is described as "unfair, and unkind, but not entirely inaccurate." Applejack isn't exactly looking to just find a decently healthy earth pony stallion to stud her and then raise the foals on her own — but romance would pretty much have to fall on her head if it was going to get her attention, and with Apple Bloom seemingly on track for a non-farming mark and Big Mac impossible to herd into dating, her current top priority is to make sure the farm has a next generation.
  • The Vow: During Lord Shen's thirty years of absence from Gongmen City, his former fiancée Lianne remains unmarried because she still loves him. Despite the fact that with her beauty and reputation she still has the attention of many lords even when she's nearing her fifties, she doesn't attempt to forget Shen and look for a husband until she remembers her duty to birth heirs while she still can. Ironically, the announcement of her engagement returns Shen to her life. When she and Shen fully rekindle their love, they spend a night together (gaining a son from it) and soon become married.
  • Callista in The Zero Context Series is noted to steer clear from romance and sex at all costs, for several reasons. The first is that she was traumatized from narrowly avoiding being sexually assaulted during an early mission, which in turn gave her a dim view of romance in general alongside a self-enforced vow of celibacy. The second is that by her own admission, she is too free-spirited and off-kilter to do anything that would be expected of her as a wife, along with being just as insane as her stepfamily. The third is that she is quietly terrified of the idea of any kids she birthed picking up her worst traits.note  All in all, she's perfectly happy remaining single her entire life.

    Film — Animated 
  • Ice Age:
    • Manfred starts off as one. It takes a while for him to perceive Ellie romantically since he is still recovering from the sorrow of his first family's death.
    • Scrat has a temporary love interest in the third film, but he ditches her for an acorn.
    • Sid's situation is inverted; he very much wants a girlfriend, but no one ever shows interest in him.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The 40-Year-Old Virgin is about one man's quest to defy this trope.
  • Inverted in Miloš Forman's Amadeus, where we have a Celibate Antagonist in Salieri, whereas Mozart is portrayed as something of a Casanova.
    • The Director's Cut contains a part where, after Mrs Mozart comes to him for help, he demands that she return to him that night in exchange for his support. However, it's subverted even then; he lets her undress before ringing the bell for the servant to show her out. Whether he planned from the start to humiliate her out of spite, or whether he actually intended to go through with it but found himself unable is unclear; Salieri explicitly states that he was "in love, or at least in lust" with another girl Mozart bedded, so apparently he isn't asexual but for whatever reason, he did not actually blackmail sex from Mozart's wife.
  • Averted in Black Death. Even though Osmund is a monk, he secretly has a lover.
  • The James Bond spoof Casino Royale (1967) has David Niven as the original James Bond, a celibate recluse (See Bad Romantic Experience Part 2) who views his namesake's behavior with disdain, and resists almost certain temptation in a scene that anticipates Monty Python's Castle Anthrax.
    • This is actually played straight in the decidedly non-spoof film No Time to Die, in which Madeleine Swann is the only woman Bond sleeps with, though not for lack of trying otherwise—it's the two other Bond Girls who rebuff him (and granted, he could have been sleeping around during the five year Time Skip that happens).
  • Subverted in the 1987 movie version of Dragnet. Although Joe Friday turns down Sylvia Wyss, who practically throws herself at him, and lectures his police partner about how it was the right thing to do, he does eventually end up with The Virgin Connie Swail. What ultimately attracts Joe to her is that she's every bit as chaste and wholesome as he is — both of them are kind of a rarity in 1980's L.A.
  • In The Golden Child, the Old Man assigns Chandler Jarrell (Eddie Murphy) a task of purification in order to fully realize his role as The Chosen One. This task involves remaining celibate, which is tough for Jarrell because he's got the hots for his Sidekick Kee Nang, and made even more complicated by the facts that (a) he's not allowed to tell her about it, and (b) once he stops being such a Jerkass, she starts falling for him.
  • At the beginning of Heart of Darkness (1958), Marlow is an ascetic who has "practiced physical restraint in quest of spiritual perfection" and spurns the advances of his attractive adoptive sister. His celibacy is undone by character development; he hooks up with her in the end.
  • Highlander: Invoked by Ramirez. Immortals are Always Male (until the TV series introduced female immortals) and so any romance with a mortal woman is doomed to tragedy by default. Ramirez is over three thousand years old by 1542 and had three wives including a Japanese princess, Shakiko; devastated by Shakiko's death, Ramirez swore off any romantic interest with mortal women and seeing the obvious blooming love between Connor and Heather, tried to encourage Connor to leave her and develop the same mindset. Connor opted to find out the hard way.
  • In Impromptu about the romance between George Sands/Aurore Dudevant and Frederic Chopin, Chopin's tuberculosis makes him a little hesitant to take things to the next level with Aurore.
    Frederic Chopin: Certain acts are... uh, unseemly. They are unsuitable.
    George Sand: Chopin... it's an act of love! It's the divine mystery itself!
    Frederic Chopin: You must think I'm inexperienced, but I assure you, I was baptized... in the brothels of Paris, when I first arrived. But, um... I'm so ill... and I have been for such a long time, and my body is such a great disappointment to me, that I've already said goodbye to it, I'm... not really *in it* any more, I'm just... happier floating about in music. And if I should come back... inside this miserable collection of bones, then I... am afraid that it would probably collapse altogether. Forgive me. I'm ashamed.
    George Sand: No, no. Forgive me. I'm a fraud, you know. "Divine mystery"? I never experienced that with anyone!
  • Parodied in The Librarian where, after another relationship fails because of his job and his co-workers encourage him to think of himself as a "celibate monk", Flynn threatens to kill himself (with Excalibur). His next fling is a (hot) 400-year vampire... who chooses to face the sun at the end. Surprisingly, Flynn feels better after this.
  • Natasha Romanov, aka Black Widow, and Bruce Banner, aka The Hulk, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and neither by choice. Natasha was sterilized upon "graduation" from her assassin training, and Bruce can't become excited without turning into "the other guy". Their mutual need for celibacy draws them together and they become a Chastity Couple.
  • A parody of this character type can be seen in the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail with the hero "Galahad the Pure", who finds himself visiting a castle filled with nubile, eager young virgins whose charms he (unsuccessfully) tries to resist, but much to his dismay he is 'rescued' by Lancelot. Many of the Arthurian Legend stories this movie is based on feature similar scenarios with chaste, chivalrous heroes having to face temptation from virginal and Vampish seductresses.
    Zoot: "We are but eight score young blondes and brunettes, all between sixteen and nineteen-and-a-half, cut off in this castle with no one to protect us. Oooh. It is a lonely life: bathing, dressing, undressing, knitting exciting underwear."
    • Again spoofed in "Martyrdom of St. Victor" from Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album: Victor is all too willing to succumb to the temptations of the maidens, but the Lord smites them anyway. Victor calls the Lord a rotten bastard. (But the Lord does send an angel "to comfort Victor for the weekend.")
  • The eponymous Mystery Team, mainly because girls are icky. Jason eventually outgrows this.
  • In Perfect Creature, Silus is a member of an all-male monastic order of Christian vampires that is forbidden from forming romantic relationships with women, something which the Big Bad rubs on his face when he feels infatuated with the heroine. There is also the fact they are practically immortal, are incapable of having children or turning women into vampires and forming families of their own, so any relationship is discouraged to spare a heartbreak.
  • In Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto, Takezo rejects the overt sexual propositions of both Akemi and her mother Oko. They're both selfish schemers, but when Otsu the good girl pledges her love to Takezo, he says no, saying that he has to finish his samurai training.
  • The Jedi order immediately before and during the prequel trilogy from Star Wars. The defiance of the rule by Anakin and the forbidden love that ensued was a crucial plot point. Technically, the code stated that Jedi were not allowed to form romantic attachments. One-night stands were okay but serious relationships and marriage were prohibited unless specifically approved by the Jedi Council, which was very, very rare.
    • The old Expanded Universe showed that Anakin was far from the only Jedi during the pre-Empire era to violate that rule, including a breakaway faction that openly rejected it. Averted by Luke's New Jedi Order in the post-Return of the Jedi Legends Expanded Universe and by the Jedi of the Old Republic era, where marriage between Jedi was allowed and managed to successfully return back to prominence despite violating the previous order's teachings. However, all of this has been rendered non-canon since the acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney and their decision to launch a new Expanded Universe.
    • The Legends continuity also had an acknowledged exception in a Jedi from a race with a tiny population and low birth rates. All members of the race are required to marry and procreate, no matter what the Jedi code might say.
  • In The Twilight Samurai, Widower samurai Seibei rushes home to take care of his mother and daughters after work rather than join his coworkers for drinking and geisha entertainment. He also refuses his uncle and best friend's offers to arrange a second marriage, though in the latter case he's motivated more by shame of his poverty than genuine disinterest.
  • Unforgiven: Though his partners readily accept "advances" from their employers (the town brothel), William Munny considers himself still married to his deceased wife and stays faithful.
    "So, what, you just use your hand?"
  • The protagonist in The Wicker Man (1973) is a virgin due to his strong Christian faith. He's even able to resist the barkeep's daughter stripping naked and doing a magic wall-slapping seduction dance in the next room. Ironically, that's one of the factors that made Lord Summerisle pick him as a prime candidate for sacrifice!

  • In 1356, we have the Sire Roland de Verrec, who as a boy had a vision of the Virgin Mary, and is determined to remain chaste until he marries. Other men mock him for his virginity, though not to his face — he is an undefeated tournament champion and utterly lethal in battle.
  • The Apprentice Rogue: One of a Black Knight's vows is celibacy.
  • John Galt in Atlas Shrugged. The book spends so much time on his perfection and how Dagny Taggart is his only perfect woman, it's impossible to imagine him just having sex for the hell of it. This also applies to Dagny's other lovers. She had sex with both Francisco and Hank Reardon. Reardon hated his sexual urges which drove him to his frigid wife and Dagny was Francisco's first. It's difficult to imagine them moving on and settling for someone else.
  • In the Baccano! light novels, it is implied that Firo Prochainezo is one temporarily, although it is because the woman he is in love with is asexual. They do eventually get married... fifty years later.
  • The protagonist Rein Shroud in Beast Tamer has a harem of lovely ladies coming from "the strongest races." He's noticed they're all alluring. They've noticed he's noticed. They still trust him enough to sleep in the same bedroom because he knows how to keep his hands to himself.
  • Rao Raghunth in the Belisarius Series was not a virgin when he married Shakuntala, but he had abstained for ages waiting for her. Shakuntala, however, was indeed a virgin. After marrying, she makes up for lost time quite well.
  • P. G. Wodehouse's Bertie Wooster eventually comes to realize that he is far happier with his quiet bachelorhood and its accompanying Heterosexual Life-Partner relationship with Jeeves.
  • Biggles hardly ever had time for women, except that one time when he fell in love with German spy Marie Janis in the short story "Affaire de Coeur". This is an interesting example considering pilots are usually portrayed as babe-magnets.
  • Phury of the Black Dagger Brotherhood takes a "Love is a Distraction" vow of chastity when he comes of age and decides to search for his kidnapped twin.
  • Pinkie Brown of Brighton Rock is a celibate villain, being thoroughly squicked by sexuality and femininity as a result of his childhood. He mentions having considered becoming a priest instead of a crook, and this is entirely plausible given his characterization.
  • In the Confessions, Alypius is one of the most moral of Augustine's young friends and eventually becomes a celibate bishop. The call of celibacy comes easily to Alypius since he had a repulsive sexual experience when he was quite young and has maintained chastity since then.
  • Every wizard on Discworld is expected to remain celibate; the official reason is that sex drains magic power. The actual reason is that being the eighth son of an eighth son guarantees you will be a wizard, and if such a wizard then has eight sons, his eighth son will be a sourcerer. And you really do not want to meet a sourcerer.
    • Unseen Academicals does admit that celibacy for wizards is less stringent in Genua, where Bengo Macarona was involved in at least one divorce petition. He wasn't married, and it was the wife who filed the complaint against his philandering, so in this case, there wasn't any risk of sourcery.
    • This seems to be getting glossed over in more recent books: apparently it was okay for Professor Earwig to marry, as long as he retired (see "The Sea And Little Fishes", A Hat Full of Sky and Unseen Academicals), and in Making Money, we're told the students in the Post-Mortem Communication Department view the black robes and skull ring as a "babe magnet". Currently, it seems that wizards are forbidden to marry for the much same reasons as Oxbridge dons were until the 19th century; they're supposed to be Married to the Job.
    • Rincewind, despite being a scruffy abject coward, is propositioned by ladies surprisingly more than one would expect. Or, he at least seems to spend a lot of time around them, including the scantily clad variety. However, as his mind is usually occupied with running away, nothing ever comes of it. Also, he's aware of his status as a Cosmic Plaything and Fate's Butt-Monkey, so any time someone is nice to him, he assumes it's to set him up for a bigger fall.
      • Once, while abandoned on a desert island, he is approached by several amazon-types looking for a man to help them procreate and rebuild their civilization. Unfortunately for him, he was completely obsessed with potatoes at the time and thought that they were offering him some. It was only some time after he was whisked away by magic that he belatedly realized what they had been offering. Talk about missing the ball.
      • However, in The Light Fantastic the narration does mention that Rincewind had had some orgasms in his life, occasionally even with a partner. The comparison comes up because his first success at casting a spell was much more intense and enjoyable.
    • In Mort the wizard Cutwell finds his ability to do magic greatly diminished by just being attracted to a woman. In the end, when it's implied they've become a couple, Mort notes that he never seems to do magic anymore...
    • Also from Discworld, Granny Weatherwax. After all, she tamed that unicorn... which really shocked her friend Nanny Ogg and the revelation made Ridcully, her one-time love interest, get rather soppy. Note that Granny's celibacy has nothing to do with magic, as witches aren't subject to the same prohibitions as wizards. Granny comes under the "Love is a distraction" heading, though; it's a distraction from the pursuit of magic, so in a way, her celibacy does have something to do with magic.
  • Doc Savage is determinedly uninterested in romance. It is remarked in the first book that "He had long ago made up his mind that women were to play no part in his career" and spends every interaction with Monaja (the most beautiful woman he ever met) trying to get her to lose interest. He's smart enough to foist interaction with women on his companions for the most part but seems profoundly uncomfortable when this is not possible.
  • Joshua, an angel from Dora Wilk Series has never seen to be interested in women or men (apart from Dora, but he Can't Have Sex, Ever with her) and is still a virgin. He explains that with angels being absurdly fertile, it's quite possible that after first or second intercourse he'd have a child and have to settle down, which he doesn't want to do.
  • Dragonlance:
    • Raistlin Majere, Anti-Hero of the books, is a Celibate Hero. Actively manipulating the lovesick, annoying Crysania to his advantage, he resists the temptation to actually do anything with her because A) it's beneath a mage of his stature, B) he can't afford to be distracted from his "Overthrow the Gods for No Good Reason" project, and C) he had sex once before and was crap at it. And, though it's not explicitly stated, suspicions are that, were he to actually try anything as physically vigorous as sex with Crysania, he'd probably just wind up coughing blood all over her and collapsing into a heap, which, whatever way you look at it, isn't very romantic. There is possibly some inconsistency over whether Raistlin actually ever had sex or not. The Legends trilogy very strongly implies that he did, with one of Caramon's ex-girlfriends but The Soulforge, which covers the time period it would have happened equally strongly implies he remained a virgin (there is a girl, again a lover of Caramon and there appears to be budding mutual affection but... well read it yourselves).
    • There was a short story called "Raistlin's Daughter", which implied he may have had a daughter, in the more or less conventional way and was magically made to forget the experience. Interestingly the entire story is treated as an in-universe rumour and when Raistlin encounters a girl claiming to be his daughter in Dragons of Summer Flame he drolly comments on his bad luck at sleeping with a beautiful woman and not remembering it. For the record, the girl in question is not his daughter, much to the relief of his nephew Palin.
  • In the Dreamblood Duology, everyone living and serving in the Hetawa is supposed to swear off sex, which includes both protagonists of The Killing Moon, Ehiru and Nijiri.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Harry Dresden spends a heck of a lot of the novels not getting any, and being quite bitter about it. Though he's given a few chances, he never takes them because they generally come with a lot of baggage (e.g. she's a lust demon or his underage apprentice), and he refuses to enter into a relationship that isn't pure and based on love, and he also doesn't want to bring anyone else into his dangerous world if he can help it. The fact that his first girlfriend was brainwashed into trying to kill him, and whom he thought for years he had killed and his second girlfriend got turned into a vampire because of his involvement with her may have something to do with it. Although even with that track record, succubi making fun of how pathetic your sex life is has got to hurt. It gets to the point where it turns out Harry's latest love interest was psychically mind-controlled into being attracted to him.
    • Having Carlos, who until that point certainly talked a good game, outed as a virgin by said succubus must have taken some of the sting out of it (or at least given him an ample means of redirecting the mockery). It also makes him another example, though his reason (for that matter, whether it's a conscious choice or just lack of opportunity) isn't explored.
  • Durarara!!'s Shizuo Heiwajima has pushed the possibility of a relationship entirely off the table. He doesn't see it as a weakness or liability — he craves human contact more than anything else, romantic or otherwise — but experience has taught him that he's dangerously prone to hospitalizing people he wants to be close to.
  • Ged, the protagonist for most of the Earthsea series, is celibate because he is a mage. This accounts for a complete lack of romance in the first three books, even when a pairing up, first with his friend's sister and then with Tenar, looked to be inevitable. All the mages in Earthsea are celibate by rule, in theory because they will lose their power unless they are chaste, though the truth of this belief is not exactly confirmed. It's implied in Tehanu (by a village witch, who may not be the most reliable source) that wizards use some sort of spell to render themselves asexual, or possibly just make it easier to be completely celibate. She doesn't go into details. Later on, Ged mentions he just didn't think of it or feel any urge until he lost his powers.
  • In Earth's Children, Creb never had a mate due to being regarded as unattractive by many people due to either his deformities or his status as the Clan's spiritual leader. He's no longer really interested, content living with his (happily) widowed sister and his nieces, the latter of whom he regards as daughters, especially Ayla. When it's brought up that he could marry Ayla (who was adopted), Creb is repulsed by the idea, stating that he sees her as his child.
  • Sir Bevier from The Elenium is aware that his good looks make him irresistible to women. Because he's the one most likely to abandon the steel for the cloth, he elects not to do anything about it.
  • Sir Guyon from The Faerie Queene has no lover and refuses every untoward advance made to him in order to maintain his duty as a knight to be chaste. His dedication to chastity is to the point where he feels nervous just dancing with a woman at Alma's castle.
  • Fate/Requiem: Erice Utsumi outright rejects the concept of romance, saying it would distract her from her mission to defend the city of Akihabara from rogue Servants.
  • Fengshen Yanyi: Pretty much all those taoists who try to pursue enlightenment, men or women, abstain from romantic and sexual pursuits. When he first descends from Kunlun and seeks for a normal life in Zhaoge, Jiang Ziya is persuaded by his sworn brother Song Yiren to marry and start a family, but because he's uninterested in mundane affairs, Ziya neglects his wife and has to go through an Awful Wedded Life (though he still cares enough for her to offer her to follow him westward to Xiqi to eventually share the fame he'll obtain with her, but she divorces him instead). The only three taoists characters who are married (and thus barred from higher spiritual pursuits) are Li Jing, father of Li Nezha, Muzha and Jinzha, Tuxingsun (who also brings an enemy general to Xiqi's side by marrying his daughter) and Princess Longji.
  • Maggie from Firstborn mates with another magpie but leaves him not soon after their children leave the nest. She falls for a bluebird not soon afterwards but her affections are unrequited. Maggie spends the rest of the book single.
  • Forest Kingdom: In book 1 (Blue Moon Rising), Prince Rupert is very much one, so much so that he even rides a Unicorn and is rather defensive about it. The reason for this is that as a second son he isn't allowed to be sexually active in case of Dynastic complications. This is a minor Truth In Literature, as many younger sons of nobility were packed off to the priesthood for much the same reason in the middle ages, and it had about the same level of effectiveness then as it does in the book.
  • The eponymous Goblin Slayer is too obsessed with his mission to wipe out goblins to think about dating. He later admits that he turns down his lovely companions' advances because he is too emotionally damaged for intimacy. He is aware of concepts like marriage and workplace dating and was quick to figure out that Female Knight was carrying a torch for Heavy Warrior.
  • Kagemori Mamoru of Guardian Ninja Mamoru, he believes that "Love Is a Distraction" mainly because the girl that he is assigned to is so dimwitted at times that she would not survive without his constant protection and that going out with a girl would detract from his duty. His parents, on the other hand, would argue that Mamoru also has a special duty to find a girlfriend so he can get married and give them some grandchildren so the family tradition can be carried on.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya
    • Mikuru is this; it's not just about Haruhi unconsciously using her powers out of jealousy if Mikuru gets close to Kyon, but Mikuru is actually a Time Traveler who is not allowed to have a relationship with someone outside of her own time frame, per obvious work reasons.
    • In the first novel, Haruhi says that while she is a "healthy young woman, after all," she doesn't have time for sex, what with trying to find aliens, time travelers and espers.
  • Also from Lackey Tarma in the Vows and Honor books is a Swordsworn, sworn to serve her people's Goddess as a warrior. In this case, rather than force her servants to torture themselves, the Goddess simply removes their ability to feel sexual desire entirely. This is particularly good for Tarma, who became Swordsworn in the aftermath of being gang raped by the people who killed her clan.
  • Johannes Cabal: The title character is a dour Workaholic Necromancer who shows no interest in physical diversions and has a platonic Odd Friendship with a succubus, to her ongoing amusement. His decade-long quest to resurrect his Lost Lenore is likely the cause, but he deflects the subject when his friends mention his celibacy.
  • The Lady Grace Mysteries: Grace is a Downplayed example. She says she never wants to get married just like the queen and is happy to remain in Elizabeth's service for the rest of her life, though she does have a few Temporary Love Interests (nothing serious comes of them); seeing as marriage is a prerequisite for any kind of intimate relationship in the time period unless you wanted to risk a scandal, Grace's options are limited. That she's in her early teens is another factor.
  • In Ruth Plumly Thompson's 1922 Land of Oz book Kabumpo in Oz, Ozma is horrified when Prince Pompadore proposes to her. She's both upset at Pompadore trying to marry her despite not knowing her and marriage itself. Ozma's "dismayed at even the thought of marriage". This, however, is an aspect of Ozma that varies Depending on the Writer. Many writers, especially modern Oz writers, write Ozma as falling in love.
    • However, the narration in this book does point out that despite being an immortal and the ruler of a kingdom, Ozma is just a girl and wouldn't think of marrying on account of her age. The question of what she'd want if she were older isn't brought up, since she's never going to get older (though later we do see Pompadore's daughter getting older, go figure).
  • Drizzt in Bob Salvatore's Forgotten Realms novel series followed this trope for some time. He wasn't interested in casual sex. His first contact with sex was witnessing a graduation ritual for female priests, that involves the summoning of a 5-meter-tall demon. His first and so far only girlfriend was once involved with his presumed-dead best friend; and things got complicated when he was rescued from hell. Eventually, Drizzt allowed himself to love and started getting some regularly. Then she died.
  • In Mercedes Lackey's Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Bishop Ardis is celibate by virtue of her religious vows. She is strongly attracted to the book's other protagonist, investigator Tal Rufen, and briefly contemplates the idea of giving up her vows. Eventually, she decides that she may be attracted but she is not in love and that she is content with her life as it is.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Word of God maintains that Charlie Weasley, is "more interested in dragons than women".
    • Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape are both celibate for reasons not made clear until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:
    • Right after graduating from Hogwarts, Dumbledore started dating future dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald who was staying with his great aunt, Bathilda Bagshot, after having been expelled from school. They'd planned to travel together but when Aberforth confronted them about taking Ariana with them and their plan to subjugate muggles, their argument turned into a fight that she got killed in the middle of. He never dated anyone ever again, both to stop himself from falling into craziness like that and because he knew he'd never find an equal like Grindelwald was, which Grindelwald even taunts him about at one point in Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore. He more or less screams at him, "Who will love you now, Dumbledore? You're all alone!"
    • Snape's story is broadly similar. He was in love with his best friend Lily Evans, whom he eventually pushed away for good when he called her a "mudblood". His actions lead to her death and he never forgave himself for it. It's quite likely Snape died a virgin.
  • According to Harry Turtledove's Honeymouth short story, you can be a cussing, hard-drinking mercenary who rides a unicorn into battle and still be able to satisfy a full whorehouse each night, not to mention being satisfied yourself. Apparently the unicorn's radar can't distinguish between those who are still technically virgins and those who are truly chaste.
  • In The Hunger Games Katniss Everdeen is this, not wanting to bring another child into the Crapsack World. However, as the world gets better thanks to her actions, she eventually gives up her virginity in the final chapter of the book.
  • In the Jacob's Ladder Trilogy, Perceval took a vow of celibacy due to viewing romance as a distraction from her duty.
  • Journey to Chaos: Brother Neuro was raised to be celibate all his life and claims to be above such "dust mind" concerns as getting laid. His teenage body disagrees so he has to resist the temptation daily.
  • In the Kate Daniels novels by Ilona Andrews, Kate remains celibate for much of her adult life. Partly because she thinks friends and lovers will distract her from her mission in life, partly because everyone close to her dies violently (her mother, her father, her mentor, and her friend), partly because sex would expose her secrets, partly because any guy powerful enough to protect himself from the skeletons in her closet probably didn't get that kind of power by being ethical, but mostly just because she's afraid of being hurt or rejected.
  • The heroine of Kino's Journey is casually but determinedly celibate — at least in the anime. The novel series, which is ongoing, still has a chance of bringing up an Official Love Interest for her — though so far no signs can be seen to that effect.
  • Taken way, way to the extreme in the Leo Tolstoy novella The Kreutzer Sonata. Not only does the protagonist kill his wife in a jealous rage, but he makes the argument that one should renounce sex in any circumstance, including marriage, and that the subsequent death of the species would mark humanity's highest moral achievement. The fact that this story is more or less an Author Tract brings it perilously close to Squick. People are already working on this.
  • Joscelin Verreuil in the Kushiel's Legacy series is sworn to celibacy as part of his vows as a Cassiline monk. Played up for much angst in the second book, but he and Phedre are finally together for the third book.
  • In Lamb, Joshua was told by an angel that he could never "know" a woman, but never explained exactly what was meant by that. Josh and Biff take it in the Biblical sense, and so Joshua remains celibate his whole life (though Biff gets around enough for the both of them).
  • Enjolras from Les Misérables also has "Love is a Distraction" taken to extremes, as evidenced by his introduction and by his reply, when one of the others is commenting on how the others all have mistresses, of Patria.
  • In Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet, there is exactly one woman in the fleet that it would not be improper for Geary to have a relationship with. Then she learns her husband might be alive. There is plenty of UST between him and a subordinate, but they aren't even allowed by regulations to talk about it. Until the Lost Fleet ceases to be lost, at which point Geary applies his Rule-Fu to the problem and They Do.
  • Every single main character of H. P. Lovecraft's stories is too busy being chased by tentacled monsters and/or slowly losing his sanity to get involved in any kind of romantic and/or sexual relationship.
  • Merkabah Rider: The Rider's vows to uphold Jewish religious law mean that he is shomer negiah: prohibited from touching a member of the opposite sex apart from his spouse. As he is not married, and he takes his vows very seriously (his mystical abilities depend upon his adherence to them), the Rider by necessity refrains from sex.
  • The Obsidian Trilogy, written by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory, features a hero who remains chaste and celibate — virginal and unmarried, respectively — for a year and a day in return for his life being saved by a unicorn. The penalty for breaking his vow, since his life was saved, will be death by goring. While the first woman he meets is his sister, and the next woman he finds himself intrigued by is the queen of the elves and happily married, the third woman he is attracted to is neither attached nor unattractive nor uninterested in him. This case also gets an interesting treatment in that the unicorn apparently becomes fertile (or non-celibate) because of the hero's year of celibacy. The hero and unicorn's parting at the end of the series states that the hero no longer needs to be celibate, but that the unicorn won't have to be either!
  • Michael in Redeeming Love fits this trope for the first half of the novel: he’s still a virgin at the age of 26, and remains so for several months into his marriage to the heroine (because he feels that the emotional connection formed during sex is crucial, and as a former prostitute she is unable to make that connection). He does eventually break out of this role and they very eventually end up Happily Married, with a healthy helping of Idealized Sex and Babies Ever After.
  • The Reluctant King: Karadur is abstinent as part of the spiritual purity needed for higher magic (he also doesn't drink to achieve the same end). He also advocates celibacy to Jorian, but it doesn't take.
  • An antiheroic example can be found in Riesel Tales: Two Hunters. Ramy Dusotes, one of the two eponymous hunters, actively avoids romance due to the disturbingly high number of perverts and sexual predators on Riesel (which includes her business partner Runge Margavo). Discounting her tomboyishness, she deliberately avoids wearing makeup or feminine clothes and retains a fairly pudgy figure in order to strengthen her barrier against Riesel's shallow lechers.
  • Lord Meren, from Lynda Robinson's ancient Egyptian mysteries, has avoided serious romantic relationships since his wife passed away, having been so deeply in love with her that other women don't measure up. He has casual sex on occasion because it's normal social practice for noblemen, but the only woman he's emotionally attracted to is loaded down with political baggage that would compromise his objectivity as the Eyes of Pharaoh.
  • Sergeant Jean in Seven Men of Gascony doesn't seem to have any interest in such things although it is not said why. One character speculates that he is asexual though it is more fun to think that he had a lover in the past and never got over her.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, Daylen avoids any sexual encounters after his youth returns, despite ample opportunities, largely because of the memories that it brings up for him. He comments at one point that the memory of his past self is like a bulwark against any misbehavior.
  • Sherlock Holmes, the eponymous character from the original novel and short story collections, considers "Love is a Distraction" to be his watchwords — so much so that he can quite easily be read as both aromantic and asexual. This aspect of his character is often removed in adaptations with Irene Alder being Promoted to Love Interest, whom Holmes showed grudging respect for after her one appearance in canon.
  • Shimoneta: Despite Ayame's fascination with porn and lewd jokes, it's heavily implied that she's still a virgin, given her tendency to panic whenever she's faced with the real thing. In the original novels and manga adaptation, it's also shown that she only regards Tanukichi as a friend and ally of SOX. Whereas the anime adaptation gives them a brief moment of ship tease near the end of episode 11, but the series concludes with them still being friends.
  • John from Manly Wade Wellman's 'Silver John' stories, until he meets and weds his true love Evadare. Given John's strong Christian coloring, this is probably a rare modern example of a hero celibate by belief system.
  • Played with in Slayers in regards to Zelgadis Graywords; in the anime, due to some Flanderization, he possibly falls under the "love is a distraction" excuse (as ship teasing with Princess Amelia demonstrates, he feels awkward around her at times). In the original novels, however, it's a completely different matter, as Zel mentions at one point that if he ever were to become intimate with a woman, he would hurt her severely because of his rock skin (which also implies that he may not be a virgin). He opposes raping Lina Inverse in the first novel because of this, as opposed to a more awkward reaction that his anime counterpart would probably have. Word of God mentions his intimacy issues in an interview.
  • Solomon Kane is a devout Puritan and remains celibate because of his religious convictions.
    • Which is not accurate, since Puritans believed God wanted everyone to have (marital) sex.
    • Solomon Kane knew the "kisses" of a "deathless queen in a city old as Death," and compares her with Lilith (this refers to the attempted seduction by Nakari, a vampiric — or at least very bloodthirsty — queen of a lost African city). The same poem (Solomon Kane's Homecoming) implies that he had an old lover at home whom he was hoping to return to.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The ideal of both the Night's Watch and the Kingsguard is this. (Technically the vow only states "father no children" with regard to that, but the implications are clear and Martin himself has said that both are supposed to be celibate.) The practice, on the other hand...
    • Jon Snow gave a shot at this, refusing to go to the whorehouses when the other boys on the Wall did, refusing advances (all to obey the rules of the Night Watch). Didn't work out so well for him. Samwell Tarly was likewise forcibly thrown into his Love Interest's bed.
    • Knowing of the faultiness of such a pledge, the slave traders who own The Unsullied castrate the slaves for just this purpose. The slave trader proudly points out that while the Night's Watch and Kingsguard claim celibacy, The Unsullied are the only ones who are truly, well, unsullied.
    • Tywin would like to be seen this way, as part of his general desire to be viewed as above all base desires. He was married and has children; but was a widower for almost thirty years and never showed the slightest inclination of ever wanting to remarry or even have a lover. This turned out to be far from true, but he was so discreet about it that his reputation as a Celibate "Hero" withstood a dead prostitute being found in his bed.
  • Orual, the narrator and main character of Till We Have Faces, rather obliquely mentions near the end of the novel that she never lost her virginity. This is partly because as queen regnant she would have to give up her power to her husband if she ever married, partly because she has a rather negative view of romantic love thanks to one sister's shallowness and the other's being Married to a God, and partly because she's convinced that she's so ugly no man would ever be attracted to her, queen or not.
  • Cale in Trash of the Count's Family never expresses any kind of attraction to any other character, coming off as Asexual. Any ideas related to romance are rarely brought up in general in this series, but Cale's the only person shown to turn people down explicitly because of disinterest.
  • Medicine Cats in Warriors have to take a vow to never have kittens. Not that it stops them. Subverted with Mudfur. He's already a father while he was a medicine cat, but he already had kits with Brightsky when he was a warrior. But after her death and the deaths of three of their kits, THEN he became a medicine cat.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Marcus Cole, Ranger extraordinaire, from Babylon 5 tries to save himself for the right woman, only she never gets around to 'boffing' him before his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Buffyverse:
    • Angel: Angel, while definitely not one of those for most of his existence, became one after being cursed with a soul, initially because he was a complete loner. Later it turned out that a "moment of pure happiness" would break the curse, unleashing Angelus, so he had a good reason to avoid sex (especially with someone he loved). Subverted in the second season, when it turns out that this doesn't just mean sex, he actually does have to be happy as well, and abandoned in the fifth when he realized this doesn't mean he can't have what a colleague describes as "acceptable happiness".
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Mayor is a villainous example. It's probably related to his Mayfly–December Romance.
  • Michael Westen on Burn Notice has rebuffed Fiona multiple times, citing his personal history, their problematic past history, her enjoyment of violence, the danger to everyone around him (which doesn't stop him from calling them to help with cases), the distraction, his higher purpose of finding out who burned him, and his patriotism. Not to mention that when they are together, his apartment tends to get destroyed.
  • In Carnivàle, it's strongly implied that Ben is a virgin, and he actively shuns sexual advances. This is related to the fact that he grew up with strict religious values pounded into him by an uncaring mother. When he does have sex with Ruthie he tells her that it was "a sin" and that it won't happen again. He also tends to freak out when others try to touch him. He does seem to change his mind later in the series regarding Sophie. It doesn't work out too well, though.
  • Secret Agent AKA Danger Man: John Drake was meant to be seen in contrast to the oversexed Bond and Bond clones, per request of Patrick McGoohan, who found Bond morally reprehensible because of his promiscuity. It was not that John Drake might not have a sex life when outside of his job, but when he was working his attitude towards women was strictly professional.
  • Despite popular suspicion, subverted in Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor has had at least four wives and multiple children and travelled with his granddaughter when the show started. While it aims to be a family-friendly show and the main character is generally oblivious, he has NOT spent his whole life celibate.
    • The Doctor came off as this especially during the 1970s and 1980s when due to Executive Meddling and the general attitude that Doctor Who was a children's show, leading to an enforcement of a strict No Hugging, No Kissing policy. The Doctor was never allowed to overtly romance or even express "that sort" of interest in his often young and female companions (it came to a head when 30-year-old Peter Davison became the Doctor and travelled with two sexy female companions played by actresses only a couple years younger than he). This, combined with interpretations of often-contradictory dialogue, led to the opinion by some (still held by some today) that the Doctor was asexual and uninterested in any sexual matters.
    • To which degree it happened also varied upon incarnation.
      • The trait was especially pronounced with the Seventh Doctor, something which the Expanded Universe acknowledged by making it a sure-fire sign that Seven was really Not Himself if he suddenly started fancying someone. Upon encountering River Song in a Big Finish Doctor Who story, Seven says that he can clearly sense that she will somehow hold great meaning to him in his future, but the only reasons as to why he can think of is that she is either going to be his "dearest friend" or "darkest enemy"; he simply cannot think of any other possibility. The truth, of course, is that he is going to marry her as the Eleventh Doctor.
      • The Eighth Doctor famously shattered the No Hugging, No Kissing rule in the TV Movie, by gleefully planting a Big Damn Kiss on his temporary companion, Grace. The Expanded Universe took this and ran with it, resulting in one of Eight being portrayed as somewhat of a Cuddle Bug. Big Finish Doctor Who, however, balances this character trait a bit, by having Eight also still be quite clueless and even a bit scared when it comes to the concept of romantic love and the more "physical" parts of what that concept entails. This also is very much Played for Drama, as it resulted in Eight coming across as a Master of the Mixed Message at times, especially in his relationship with his companion, Charley Pollard, who is very much physically attracted to him, but is also left rather frustraded by his cluelessness, while Eight gets increasingly uncomfortable with Charley's yearning for him, but is also too afraid (at least intially) to address the issue head on. Some stories, like "Zagreus" and "Scherzo" even examine this character dynamic in-depth.
    • The 2005 revival began to avert the trope by establishing that the Doctor is perfectly capable of falling in love with his companions, and even having sexual interests, though this is never addressed explicitly. It's finally averted fully with the arrival of River Song, who becomes the Doctor's wife. Subtle references to their love life crop up, but even then, that romance is almost wholly off-screen. The Doctor has paradoxically more screentime with the more kid-friendly, platonic romance he shares with later companion Clara. The Doctor becoming too obsessed with his companion and too afraid of losing her even becomes a major part of the plot at the end of their tenure together. He eventually proves his maturity by being willing to let go and let the two of them go their different ways, rather than staying in a loving-but-tense friendship that's in danger of becoming dysfunctional (and hurting both of them and others in the process). Before that, the Doctor had a platonic romance and a good friendship with two other female companions, but the outcome of their stories was often criticized as the Doctor whining about losing them, all the while taking them for granted. His less peeved and remorseful farewell to his more recent companion was seen by many as something of an apology for those past mistakes and him growing in emotional confidence as a character.
  • FBI agent Paul Ballard in Dollhouse, shortly after he found out his girlfriend's a doll. He even refused to sleep with Echo, whom he's crazy in love with, for a long time, because she was messed up from being a doll and he felt it would be wrong.
  • Los Espookys: Renaldo turns down his neighbor Carmencita's offers for sex because horror is his only love. He says that he's locked away his interest in sex and doesn't plan on unlocking it for a very long time.
  • Firefly: Shepherd Book, who takes his vows seriously.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The ideal of the Night's Watch and the Kingsguard, but also a frequently broken vow.
      • Jon Snow gives this a good shot, refusing to bed whores and striving to refuse the advances of women. That is until Ygritte finally talks him into it in "Kissed By Fire".
      • Samwell Tarly keeps his vow of celibacy despite his attraction to Gilly up until Season 5 when he rescues her and they have Rescue Sex while he is still gravely injured.
    • Once infamous for whoring, Tyrion seems to lose his sex drive after killing Shae. He finds himself unable to sleep with a prostitute in Volantis, and he makes no attempt to seek a sex partner after that.
  • The Kamen Rider Double portion of Kamen Rider OOO & W Featuring Skull: Movie War Core revealed that Soukichi Narumi/Kamen Rider Skull became this after his encounter with the Spider Dopant: infected with a bomb that would kill a person he fell in love with should he touch him, he decided to bury himself in his work, keeping away from even his daughter Akiko. This had a negative effect on her years later.
  • Patrick Jane on The Mentalist has apparently made a Heroic Vow to avenge his wife before indulging in pleasures of the flesh. He turned down two attractive ladies at a bar who made a pass at him, flashing his wedding ring and telling them he was married. Jane sometimes flirts with women, but it usually ends with the outing of a suspect. (He does briefly make an exception for Lorelei Martins, but that turns out to be all part of a larger plot.) He stops being this in Season 7, after Red John's death, when he and Lisbon get together.
  • Monk: Adrian Monk remains faithful to his late wife, despite having two comely female assistants and a Stalker with a Crush, and seems uneasy even discussing matters of sex.
  • In the BBC TV series Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes expressly states in the very first episode that he considers himself married to his work and that girlfriends and boyfriends are "not really his area." Creator Steven Moffat maintains, however, that Sherlock is not asexual — he is heterosexual but "monk-like in his devotion to celibacy" — and that this devotion may not hold out in the future.
  • The Spy: Israeli spy Eli Cohen's cover identity is a Syrian playboy, but in his real life, he's in a deeply loving marriage, so he does not date. This actually starts causing problems with his cover, as people start to take notice of his odd aversion to women. His Israeli handler ultimately mandates that he get a girlfriend so Syrians don't think he's "funny in that way." This is all something of a Historical Hero Upgrade, as the real Eli Cohen had as many as 17 mistresses while undercover, in spite of being married.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. Kathryn Janeway avoids relationships because she's The Captain and is the superior officer to everyone on the ship. This leaves either a fling with an alien that could never last as Voyager is on The Homeward Journey, or a holodeck character—the option she eventually takes in the later seasons.
  • Although Cole in Tracker did have a wife and daughter who were murdered, he becomes this on Earth because although he was developing feelings for Mel, he feared they would distract him and get one or both of them injured. Hard telling if it would've continued if the show had gone on though.
  • Cmdr. Ed Straker of UFO (1970) is manifestly celibate after an acrimonious divorce, after the loss of his son to his successor, and the death of his son, even though a variety of attractive and eligible women have a go at him (e.g. Lt. Barry). His reaction to the rampant libido shown by the rest of his staff ranges from cold disregard to amusement.
  • Daryl from The Walking Dead (2010) is this. He Hates Being Touched due to his abusive childhood.
  • Warehouse 13: Artie has been this in his long years as a Warehouse agent until he started dating Dr. Vanessa Calder. However, since his current circumstances put him in more danger than usual, he's broken up with her and returned to this.

  • Lady Gaga came out as celibate.
  • Morrissey was very publicly celibate during the 1980s
  • Emilie Autumn has shunned romantic and sexual relationships after the situations which caused her to write the Woman Scorned part of her Opheliac album (Bad situations in the past). Just her crumpets and her plague rats/muffins now....also falls into "Love is A distraction" excuse. She makes all her music on her own and sets up her own tours. Does not have the time, does not want the time.
  • J-Pop Idol Singers have to be this as a rule, in order to preserve the illusion that fans could potentially have a relationship with them, and there are dire consequences for those who fall out of line. For example, when AKB48 member Minami Minegishi was caught leaving a boy's house, she shaved her head and made a teary apology video begging the staff not to let her go. She was instead demoted. The whole ordeal was pretty controversial.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • God commanded Jeremiah not to marry nor have children because things in Jerusalem would be so bad during the days of his ministry that people will mourn over the loss of families and children because of the Babylonian invasion and the famine and poverty that would result from it.
    • Jesus Christ is universally considered as such in Christianity. Except revisionist conspiracy theory literature and fiction like The Da Vinci Code where he's shipped with disciple Mary Magdalene.
      • By most Christian standards, he doesn't qualify for Chaste Hero as defined here, since he is said to have been tempted "in all things" yet remained sinless, so that logically includes sexual sin and he wasn't just clueless about it.
      • The Christian parts of the Bible don't mention if he was or was not married to a woman. But there are repeated metaphors about the Christian Church itself being the "Bride of Christ". Jesus also talks about eunuchs who become so for God's sake (with the disclaimer that it's not for everyone, but for those who can take it). Most interpret this as advocating celibacy. However. some early Christians took it literally and castrated themselves.
      • When answering the question the Sadducees posed to Him about whose wife a woman would be of the seven brothers that married her and left her childless when the resurrection takes place, Jesus implies that all who will be resurrected will be celibate, for "they will neither marry nor be given in marriage, but will be like the angels in Heaven."
    • While the Apostle Paul was celibate, many other early disciples-turned-leaders (thus the proto-clergy) were married, like the Apostle Peter whose wife and mother-in-law are mentioned. Discussed in the Book of Corinthians — Paul suggests that while being celibate helps one to focus their life to glorify God, it is completely optional. If one cannot resist the temptation of sex, he recommends the believers to marry each other to get rid of the temptation instead.
    • In the Book of Revelation, the 144,000 of the twelve tribes of Israel will be celibate virginal men who have not "defiled themselves with women".
    • For its first few centuries, Christianity universally allowed married priests due to the above, even after a schism that divided it into Eastern and Western halves. But since 1139, Roman Catholic priests have been required to be celibate in imitation of Christ. This continues today for modern Roman Catholic priests (well, at least the majority who are faithful, and who were not originally Anglicans that converted after becoming priests and being married).
    • Roman Catholic nuns as well (and nuns in general), along with monks. They're considered heroic by believers for giving this up as part of a higher calling.
    • Eastern Catholic priests (the one in communion with Rome) are a double subversion—they can be married men, as long as marriage is done prior to ordination. In both Eastern and Western (read: Roman) Rites, once you are ordained, you can no longer marry.
    • Same rules apply to Eastern Orthodox Priests, as well as deacons in all rites. A man under Holy Orders is not permitted to take a wife unless given express permission to do so (which in the case of deacons is usually only given if his first wife dies and leaves him to raise minor children as a single father, and in the case of priests is extremely rare. It is unheard of in the case of bishops).
  • Classical Mythology:
    • There are three goddesses who vowed eternal celibacy in most versions: Athena/Minerva, Artemis/Diana, and Hestia/Vesta. Remarkably, they're named in the Homeric Hymns as the only entities in the universe over whom Aphrodite has no power. (For reference, Aphrodite can even control Zeus in this department.) A few other goddesses sometimes get added, although not consistently: Hecate/Trivia, for example, is sometimes a virgin goddess but sometimes described as having kids.
    • Artemis in particular was often shown with a company of huntresses who swore off men. Or at least tried, since the male gods didn't always care. Daphne wound up turning into a tree to escape from an amorous Apollo, while Callisto got raped by Zeus disguised as Artemis.
    • Theseus' son Hippolytus was one of these, and it got him killed. If you're going to swear off love forever, at least don't mock the easily insulted and very powerful goddess of love while you're doing it.
  • Hindu Mythology:
    • Hanuman is known to be a celibate god depending on the version, though there are many versions that depict Hanuman having lovers depending on the country.
    • Devavrata from Mahabharata swore to remain celibate and gave up his birthright as the crown prince of the Hastinapura so his father could marry the woman he loved, who had made that her sons would inherit the throne as the condition to marry her. Because he basically gave up his only boon for being a prince, Devavrata from hence is known with the name Bhishma (He who Swore a Terrible Oath).
  • Arthurian Legend:
    • This is a common test of knights on their quests, especially for the Holy Grail, in the Arthurian legend. Galahad and Percival alone are worthy of finding it because they kept celibatenote , while Lancelot did not, thus he failed... well, according to some versions of the story anyway.
    • Bors, the other mostly-successful Grail knight, was commited to chastity but broke his vow once while under a spell, hence why he got to see the Grail but didn't Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence like the others.
    • Sir Dinadan, in most tellings, is too practical-minded for either romance or fighting-for-fighting's sake. This means that he spends most of his time making fun of the other knights for being obsessed with these pursuits.

  • Despite being associated with misanthropy, hopelessness, or nihilism, the philosophy of Antinatalism encourages the principles of this trope to avoid procreation, especially through celibacy and/or a refusal to seek romantic love while advocating methods of reducing sentient suffering as a whole, such as veganism or effective altruism. In the end, it's possible to be an Antinatalist All-Loving Hero to defy the negative stereotypes/connotations of the philosophy. However, it would also be in keeping with the philosophy to only engage in procreative sex with contraception, after being sterilized, or have an abortion if the former fails.
  • As surprising as it may seem, Epicurus and his philosophy Epicureanism are reported as advising to be this. Indeed while judging pleasure to be the highest good, Epicurus made a classification of pleasure: 1) the natural and necessary ones (eating and sleeping), 2) the natural but unnecessary (sex), and 3) the unnecessary and unnatural (power and politics). Giving that according to Epicurus sex fits the second type and that he himself never married and had no children, it's pretty clear that he encouraged people to be single. However, there's no indication that he forbade it either, as there's mention of married Epicureans in the Garden, and one letter has him advise a young man who loves sex on how to do this responsibly (since he clearly wasn't just going to stop). The later Epicureans appears to have been more positive on this, and most probably married. Moreover, translation of the quote that Epicurus is reported to have laid this out in has been questioned by later scholars, who feel the real meaning was that a wise person should refrain from marriage and sex only depending on the circumstances. Epicurus' will, for instance, provides for one student's child marrying another Epicurean in the future. What's indisputable, however, is that he and later Epicureans cautioned people to take care with romantic love, knowing it could cause harm. Epicurus extolled friendship- we can surmise that he'd think marriage should be based on that.


  • The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet. Averted to various degrees in later adaptations of The Green Hornet; in the TV series, Britt Reid was cast more as a rich playboy/publisher, and given the occasional Love Interest while Kato remained a celibate sidekick. This was probably an artifact of the series format; as a half-hour series, it would be difficult to shoehorn a romantic subplot into a show which could barely fit the action/adventure main plot within its runtime. Totally averted in the NOW Comics adaptation, which pretty well paired off almost all of the various Green Hornets and Katos with more-or-less permanent Love Interests.

    Tabletop Games 
  • One Feat offering in the Dungeons & Dragons supplement Book of Exalted Deeds is Vow of Chastity, which gives a Player Character benefits, so long as he or she remains chaste. This Feat is a prerequisite for two Prestige Classes (one of which is female-only and involves gaining a unicorn as your companion, naturally).
  • GURPS gives us the Chastity disadvantage, giving your Celibate Hero functional rules for what that entails. Humorous footnote: The Eunuch disadvantage was also available (to males) in earlier editions, but its value was dropped from 5 points to a 1-point 'quirk' because too many Min-Maxing players were taking it.
  • Paranoia doesn't have heroes, but does have universal celibacy due to hormone suppressants in the food supply. Some citizens do get off the suppressants, mostly either (a) High Programmers or (b) Troubleshooters stuck Outdoors during a mission and forced to eat natural food long enough for them to wear off. Some of these citizens end up going back on them voluntarily so they can concentrate on not getting killed. It's that kind of game.
  • Space Marines in Warhammer 40,000 generally live monklike lifestyles, but even the more Boisterous Bruiser types like the Space Wolves, who spend their off time feasting, drinking and carousing rather than praying, don't appear to have any interest in sex. There are occasional mentions of some aspirants or neophytes having sex, for example one Space Wolf supposedly deflowered a dozen virgins the night before his initiation, but full Battle Brothers are completely celibate. According to some versions of the lore, this is either due to psychological conditioning, the process of converting a human into an Astartes making them asexual, or them being literal eunuchs.


    Video Games 
  • Absinthia: Sera is the only party member who isn't interested in romance, something she finds in common with Pirate Queen Contesse.
  • Japanese fighting games are riddled with this archetype, exemplified by Ryu ("The Fight Is All") of Street Fighter. SNK follows with Terry Bogard who's implied to be attracted to Blue Mary but keeps his distance, despite Mary's implied attempts to get closer (though she herself seems unsure because of her work). Inverted by Kim Kaphwan, who's married with two sons, and there are a number of others. Although Andy Bogard tries to project this in an effort to train and surpass his stronger brother, much to Mai's dismay.
  • Before Character Development kicks in, Duran from Agarest Senki, mostly because he is destined to be a living seal. He's generally a Jerkass and acts detached to his harem to make them distance themselves from him.
  • ANNO: Mutationem: Ann doesn't show any particular romance towards someone, even turning down her sister's request to be introduced to a suitable lover. Aside from that, despite Ann repeatedly rebuffing Ayane's advances, she also interacts with her affectionately during moments where Ayane isn't acting overly-excitable.
  • Assassin's Creed III: Ratohnhaké:ton/Connor during the events of the game has a very, very full plate and no time or headspace for romance.
  • Surprisingly because of how much of a tease and flirt she is, the titular Bayonetta never engages in any sort of romance with anyone. Word of God has stated that while she likes teasing Luka, the negative effects of a Mayfly–December Romance keep her from doing anything further. Bayonetta 3 reveals that they'll hook up eventually and conceive a daughter, Viola.
  • Borderlands 2:
  • Rantaro Amami from Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony does not have a lot of romantic or sexual interest in any character, if any, and he has the sole platonic Love Hotel scene. Considering the Love Key turns Shuichi into the ideal partner of whoever goes to the hotel with him, and for Rantaro's the two just talk as if the former is his little brother, it's possible that Rantaro doesn't really have any interest in anyone that way as opposed to Tsumugi's theory he was gay.
  • Dante of Devil May Cry. Despite meeting attractive new women in nearly every single installment, Dante has shown zero outward interest of actually getting with any of them. Trish looking exactly like his mother aside, he has never had anything more than a professional relationship with Lady and Lucia either with the former regarding him as Wasted Beauty due to his irresponsibility. Casual flirting isn't off the table however, as is the repeated amounts of trash-talking he, Lady and Trish give each other. Lucia, in fact, has directly propositioned him for sex, which Dante declined on the grounds that it would simply get in the way of his work. It is also highly likely that due to the death of his parents, Dante simply believes that entering a romantic relationship with someone will only end with more loss.
  • Disgaea:
    • Adell from Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories spends most of the game loudly proclaiming that he can't stand women. This turns out to be due to a traumatic run-in with a succubus years before.
    • Laharl from Disgaea: Hour of Darkness is already 1313 years old, but can't stand sexy women, and doesn't appear to be attracted to non-sexy women either. This might also have something to do with the fact that he is Allergic to Love. He is a perfect example of the "Love is Beneath Me" type. We should point out that, centuries-old or no, Laharl has yet to complete puberty and is still considered Just a Kid by demon standards — he acts confused/horrified when an older character tries to give him The Talk. In the novels, he's an Unwanted Harem, attracting both young girls (such as Etna, Flonne, her younger sister Ozonne, Gordon's 13-year-old daughter Jane) and Sakura, an adult woman.
  • The Doom Slayer is both celibate, according to Word of God, and a devout Catholic.
  • Prince Sebastian Vael of Dragon Age II actively avoids sex, due to his vows of chastity upon becoming a brother of the Chantry. Players can enter a romance him, but don't expect him to have sex with you. Though it's implied he may eventually break his vows entirely if you are in a rivalry romance with him.
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake:
    • Cloud's misgivings about getting close to Aerith are linked to his awareness of his shortened lifespan as the result of his Mako exposure; this is up to the point where he readily agrees with Aerith's mother that he should ditch her without telling her, and he would have done so had Aerith not figured out he was going to do this and ambushed him. It can be inferred that, in the earlier scene where Tifa contrived a way to invite Cloud to his room and then tried to get him to "talk" with her, his confused and awkward outburst was also rooted in an unwillingness to hurt everyone involved with a Mayfly–December Romance. That said, as his character develops, he becomes a little more relaxed about his libido — he's pleased to prove himself a "real man" on a tour through Wall Market's nightlife (even though all he does on his night out is get into innocuous situations handled with heavy innuendo), and he's willing to flirt back with Rufus during their fight. In the Aerith resolution scene, he suggestively tells her that she needs to live in the moment and do what it is she wants while it's in front of her... only to find out that Aerith is also a Celibate Hero when she shuts him down.
    • Aerith is an unusual variation, in that she's delighted to get close to people, but in her Resolution Scene she orders Cloud not to fall in love with her — "it's not real". It's up for individual interpretation whether it is due to her own awareness of the Final Fantasy VII story — and her role in the most notorious spoiler in the JRPG genre — or due to Cloud borrowing his role in life from her first love, Zack.
  • The Master Chief in Halo, like all SPARTAN-II members, underwent extensive surgeries and procedures to maximize performance. One side effect of his condition is a decrease He's directly asked in Halo Infinite if he has anyone to go home to; he replies flatly, "No."
    • Though this side effect is described as a common and likely result of their hormonal adjustment, it is not universal or absolute when it does occur, leading to a few exceptions:
      • Zig-zagged with Black Team. Pre-augmentation, two members of Black Team were into each other, going so far as to make out in the showers (they were clothed, but it was pretty intense and it's possible they might have gone farther). As luck would have it, another member of their team happened to be an exception as well, apparent from his ratting them out in jealousy. They seem to have become fully celibate after getting their augmentations, but some tensions still remain.
      • Another Spartan, Maria-062, is officially retired from combat duty and intends to start a family; it's possible she was one of those too badly injured to maintain active service. Another Spartan, Randall-037, also did something similar and even had a daughter.
      • According to supplemental materials, Spartan-IIIs Kat and Carter of Halo: Reach's Noble Team were previously in a relationship, which is hinted at in the game itself.
      • In the Expanded Universe, Fred-104 develops quite a bit of Ship Tease with Detective Veta Lopis, as they both admit privately to themselves the other is quite attractive and they seem to develop a fondness for teasing each other. Saving each other's lives seems to have only strengthened that bond.
  • Horizon Zero Dawn: Despite Aloy being a Dude Magnet and a Chick Magnet, she never reciprocates any romantic feelings. She mostly ignores their propositions, except for one or two especially obvious ones, which she turns down without player input. It is implied that she might have feelings for one or two people, such as Varl, but by the end of the game Varl views her as the Anointed child of the All-Mother, which makes her very uncomfortable and completely ruins any chance at romance.
  • As much as the Shippers want to deny it, Link from The Legend of Zelda typically just rescues the princess and leaves it at that. In a series with humungous amounts of Ship Tease, one can't help but think it's because the developers couldn't decide on which girl to pair him up with.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: Despite being 9 years old, Link is a Chick Magnet. Let's count them: Kokiri Sage Saria, Farmer Girl Malon, Zora Princess Ruto, probably Princess Zelda, and even Gerudo sage Nabooru makes a comment in that direction! Still, he manages to avoid all of them, even the one who tried to get him engaged with her.
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker mostly tried to avoid giving Link such an Unwanted Harem, with Medli instead being slightly attracted to Prince Komali, the two girls on Windfall island either having different problems or already being in love, and Aryll being, well, his sister. Only the creepy fairy-queen is seen flirting with him and she's never seen again after that.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks: Link and Zelda broke their years-long No Hugging, No Kissing agenda in but it doesn't go beyond the hugging part. (and Link had a rather uncomfortable look on his face when Zelda hugged him; then again, his hat's tip rose.) Also, the game features absolutely no other female characters that could be paired up with Link, except if you are a fan of Granny-Paedophilia.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: The character of the Hero's Shade is heavily implied to have been a previous Link, most likely the one from Ocarina of Time, and even tells the titular Link of that game that the techniques he is teaching him are not to leave their bloodline confirming that they are of the same family line. So it seems that at least one Link got busy at one point. The Hero's Shade = OoT!Link theory has been confirmed by Word of God, adding further credence to the above.
    • Subverted in Skyward Sword. At the opening of the game, it is clear Link and Zelda are at least extremely close childhood friends, but no romantic interactions go through between them. There is almost one before a tornado sent by Ghirahim drags Zelda to the surface and Link goes on a quest to save her. By the end of the game, however, Zelda and Link decide to stay on the surface, and the Royal Family in future games has to be built somehow...
    • Depending on which version of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild you're looking at, the trope is either subverted or outright defied. While Zelda's feelings for Link are made pretty explicit, the Western version of the game leaves Link's side of things deliberately more ambiguous. The Japanese version, on the other hand, has the Adventure Log entries written from Link's perspective in first person, and he expresses a strong desire to save her and see her smile again, which strongly implies he reciprocates.
  • Like a Dragon: Kazuma Kiryu is a major celibate hero. He had two relationships in the first two games that both ended badly (one died and the other left), and despite being a gang member and being surrounded by an abundance of beautiful women in Kamurocho, he hasn't displayed interest in anyone else after that. The localization of Yakuza attempted to avert this by having Kiryu say "I'll fuck anything with two legs" as part of Sega's attempt to make the game more like Grand Theft Auto. Thankfully, the remake, Yakuza Kiwami, fixed that with a new (better) localization. As much as the fandom likes to joke Kiryu doesn't know what sex is, just about every Yakuza game features mini-games and substories of Kiryu going on dates with all kinds of ladies, but they don't go anywhere beyond casual dating and a lot of them end on bizarre and unexpected circumstances.
  • Mass Effect:
    • It's possible to play Shepard this way in all the games, usually of the "love is a distraction" variety.
    • Samara is a Double Subversion. While her Code does not restrict romance, she merely chooses not to engage in it. It turns out this is because her three daughters all suffer a rare asari condition that basically makes them sexual vampires, and have to live in isolation — except for the one who went on the run and became a serial killer.
  • Mega Man Zero: Zero, after his tragic first girlfriend, Iris, who he killed, accidentally, by his own hands, likes to keep things merely professional with future female co-workers from now on, as seen with X8's Layer (although he's also oblivious to her feelings).
  • Arthur cannot sleep with anyone in the main story of Red Dead Redemption II. If a prostitute propositions you, your choices are "decline" where he'll say something nice like "No thanks" or "reject" where he'll say something meaner like "I like women." The most you can do with his actual Love Interest, his recently widowed ex, is hold hands (though they do want to actually be together once he ties up some loose ends and saves some money) and the only time he kisses anyone it's a a man dressed in drag that's trying to cause a distraction. It's likely a combination of still being in love with his aforementioned ex and having a kid from what seems like a one-night stand dying along with his baby mama. He probably doesn't want to make that "mistake" again and ruin two innocent people's lives.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog is completely uninterested in the advances of Amy Rose, or the flirtations of Rouge the Bat. He has shown a softer side around Blaze the Cat, though that's more because he's trying to get her to open up to friendship rather than romance. Even his interactions with the fandom's worst nightmare, Princess Elise, don't go any further than starboarding. This is mandated by Sega: one of the series' rules is that Sonic can't date, with Archie Comics only getting away with it for so long due to a Grandfather Clause.
  • Soul Series:
  • Flik from Suikoden has refused a lot of suitors who flirt with him, especially Nina, because he has made a vow to be loyal to his first lover Odessa... even though she's already dead.
  • The Thief series' protagonist, Garrett the master thief, is implied to be one of these. In his own opinion, romantic relationships would take his focus away from his true love: Heists and pilfered loot. That said, Garrett does show feelings of affection or concern for a few women, but it's ambiguous whether there's anything romantic behind it.
  • Trails Series:
    • While Rean didn't use to be this trope, by the time of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel IV, he has embraced this trope, as he starts realizing that his female classmates, his female students, the princess, and his adopted younger sister, among others, have fallen in love with him, some of them even confessing to him before their final bonding event. However, the reason why Rean keeps some distance is because of what happened at the climax of Cold Steel III. Because he is the one who kills the corrupted Nameless One, he is chosen to become a sacrifice for the rivalries to reform the Great One and does indeed die at the end of the normal ending of IV. He's only able to finally move on and romance the woman he chooses at the fireworks scene (sans his students where he'll wait until they have graduated from school) in the Golden Ending of the game.
    • Despite being a Chick Magnet himself, one of Rean's students, Kurt, questions the appeal of romance. If he's aware of someone's attraction towards him, he's shown to be uncomfortable.
    • The Legend of Heroes: Trails into Reverie: The third protagonist, C/Rufus Albarea, has never shown any interest in romance or had any Ship Tease with any characters whatsoever in all his screentime or backstory. This is in stark contrast to the previous protagonistsnote .

  • Lancelot du Lac in the early years of Arthur, King of Time and Space (in the Contemporary Arc he was studying to be a minister). Then the plot happened. Lancelot ceasing to be an example directly led to another one, Galahad. At one point, Morgan asks Galahad why the Christian God requires celibacy from his most devout followers, and he disproves her inclusion of "humorlessness" among the virtues he embodies by joking that maybe God doesn't want "self-righteous prigs" to reproduce.
  • Howlett, The Hero in Daily Grind, is madly in love with Jolene, the Big Gal in the comic's Five-Man Band, and she's madly in love with him. But they seem unlikely to ever consummate their relationship since: a) he's a snake and she's a squirrel and neither's quite sure how to make that work physically; b) he was her legal guardian till she turned 18, and even though he's only 5 years older than her, the suggestion of Wife Husbandry gives him the Squick; and c) Jo is violently asexual due to her various blood chemistry imbalances and her Abusive Parents.
  • Kit in The Dreadful is an Anti-Hero example. As a Devikin having to deal with Fantastic Racism that causes many women of her race to resort to prostitution, she's sworn off of sex. She also tries to hold her sister, Poe, to the same standard, much to Poe's frustration.
  • Nathan Hale is the Celibate Smart Guy in The Dreamer.
  • Gary from Dubious Company, as explained by Team Exposition on the whereabouts of the rest of the team:
    Sal: Marty is getting all sorts of girls to fawn over him.
    Leeroy: Gary is avoiding getting fawned over by various women.
  • Parson from Erfworld would rather not be, but nobody he's interested in can consent in a way he considers meaningful thanks to power discrepancy. This raises some eyebrows in-universe since hooking up with attractive underlings whenever you want is generally considered one of the perks of command.
  • Theo from Gold Coin Comics, who is a Monk.
  • Muted: Silvia was confused and disgusted by marriage and romance even as a child. Justified, as she is confirmed to be aromantic asexual.
  • Nightvee: Nightvee is oblivious to romance.
  • Sonichu: Magi-Chan appeared to be one of these at first, and then he was paired off with Silvana.
  • Homestuck:
    • The main character, John Egbert, has decided to remain one as long as the SBURB session continues. (Perhaps not so surprising since the last time we saw him he was all of 14.) After he and Jade talk over their respective potential romantic interests (several of them each), John basically throws his hands up in the air.
      John: anyway, my point is, who even cares about all that? romance and dating are dumb and boring. we are legendary heroes, and we have bigger fish to fry. like that smug fatass over there on the horizon.
    • Kankri has also decided to abstain from sex or romance to better focus on his social justice goals...though he seems to have a crush on Latula. He doesn't seem aware, but everyone else sure is.
  • Marlene of Jet Dream, apparently indifferent to sex of any sort, thinks of her sex change as a minor inconvenience that occasionally gets in the way of Doing Science. The occasional urge can be dealt with easily enough by using her Jet Dream Vibrostick. This attitude doesn't last forever, though.
  • The Reverend Theo of Schlock Mercenary is a literal version, since he took a vow of chastity. He eventually gets married, averted the trope but keeping true to his vow.
    • Captain Tagon has been shown to be firmly in the "bad relationship experience in the past". That is to say, the last girlfriend he brought home turned out to be an assassin, rigged with flesh-eating nanobots. The nanobots' first victim was his mother...and then it got worse until his father had to step in and Kill It with Fire.
  • Jue Viole Grace from Tower of God, who obviously knows what sex is, yet has no intention of having it. This tends to piss a few women off.

    Web Original 
  • Daichi in Greek Ninja, who is not only annoyed by girls' attention but also appears unaware of their gaze.
  • In Season 4 of Noob, Omega Zell reveals that he's deliberately avoiding any friendship or love relationship with women until he becomes the game's top player. However, since he's not that fond of them in the first place nor hiding it, he's not exactly spending his time turning down an Unwanted Harem.
  • Garo from Puffin Forest's Curse of Strahd game mentions having taken a vow of chastity as part of being a monk and priest. True to the trope, he never shows any interest in male or female characters, and even refuses the advances of his nature spirit benefactors.

    Western Animation 
  • Blue Eye Samurai. Mizu's mission of revenge is all that matters to her; she neither seeks romance, nor does she want sex. That said, she doesn't seem totally void of desire, as she has some Ship Tease with Taigen and can't help but show some interest in the goings on at Madame Kaji's brothel.
  • In The Brothers Grunt, the Grunts are celibate (Sammy's infatuation with lamps notwithstanding). In a flashback, the Poobah urges the Grunts to shun romance.
    Poobah: Ah, love! The joining of hearts! The exchanging of gifts and fluids! It is not for our kind, brothers. Love is a temptress, a succubus intent on shopping for furniture. Deny love, my boys, or suffer the ultimate fate: Sunday with the in-laws!
  • Chowder: Chowder is always insistent on rejecting Panini's love for him, and whenever he catches her flirting with him, he always stops what he's doing to yell four words.
  • Daria: The titular character displays no interest in sex, unlike virtually every other character. While she had a crush on Trent for years and later gets in a serious relationship with Tom, she never seems to want to do anything physical besides kiss them. She does decide to have sex with Tom eventually, but treats it more like something to do just because she feels like she ought to, not something she really wants. The two end up not having sex in the end.
  • Rolf from Ed, Edd n Eddy. He is the only character in the entire cast who hasn't shown any romantic interest in Dude Magnet Nazz (besides Jimmy), or any other person, female or male. He was also the only one not affected by the cupids in the Valentine's Day special, and being the one who saved the day to boot.
  • Lilith Clawthorne from The Owl House admits in a Voiceover Letter to Hooty that was featured in a charity livestream that while she feels joy for other people experiencing romance, she's never personally had any interest in it for herself. It's implied at the time (and later confirmed by her voice actress) that she's aromantic asexual but doesn't realize it.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: Enforced with Andy Billups, who is heir to the throne of his homeworld once he's no longer a virgin. As he has zero interest in leaving Starfleet he has to shun sex, much to the chagrin of his overbearing mother.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Garnet has zero interest in romance because she is a Romantic Fusion of Ruby and Sapphire, who are in a dedicated monogamous relationship which Garnet personifies.
    • Greg Universe was in a relationship with Rose for years, and has mentioned dating plenty of people before, but since she died, he's shown no interest in moving onto anyone else romantically.
  • Parodied and deconstructed in The Venture Brothers with Colonel Bud Manstrong, who is your typical celibate 50s-style Science Hero taken to his Logical Extreme; a sexually repressed Momma's Boy/chronic masturbator who is so socially inept, scientifically obsessed, and mentally unstable that he drives his neglected girlfriend into the arms of another man, faints in terror from receiving a handjob, and ultimately collapses into a nervous breakdown.

Alternative Title(s): Celibate Heroine