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Headbutt of Love

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"Pearl couldn’t stop thinking about how oh so tender Marina was when she pressed her forehead to hers, silently conveying a message that spoke volumes."

When you find a friend in a state of great emotional distress, the appropriate response is a three-step process:

  1. Hug them
  2. Kiss their forehead
  3. Press your forehead against theirs
  4. (Murmuring soothing words or wiping away their tears is optional)

Any gender can be on either side of this trope, but it's rare for a male character to be a recipient from a female, probably because he's usually taller. This pose is also handy so two can be close to each other without obscuring faces from the camera.

Also known to less trope-savvy folk as "(doing) the forehead thing."

Subtrope of Affectionate Gesture to the Head. See Headbutt Thermometer for when foreheads touch to check the temperature. Compare Anywhere but Their Lips and Non-Standard Kiss.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Little Suzu relays her memories to Matsuri by gently tapping their foreheads together. Because the former is much smaller, she has to stand up on the rock Matsuri was sitting on.
  • Berserk: Guts does a few of these to Casca once he makes his feelings known to her. He kisses her forehead, wipes and kisses her tears away, and presses his forehead against hers. Post-Eclipse and before the Beast ruined their relationship, Guts still embraces Casca whenever she is frantic.
  • Done by Zero Two to Hiro in DARLING in the FRANXX when it looks like they're about to be separated. Zero Two has small horns and (deliberately) gives him a poke with them instead of holding the pose. The gesture is the final straw in Hiro realizing he doesn't give a crap how non-human Zero Two might be.
    • They do it again much later, though this time Zero Two angles her head to hold the pose traditionally and rub her horns against Hiro's stubby new ones.
    • And comes to a plot-relevant head when Hiro does it again in the final few episodes: those horns are psychic sensory organs. Touching them again let Hiro realize Zero Two's mind isn't even in her catatonic body anymore.
  • Eureka and Renton of Eureka Seven headbutts with love quite often, since their First Kiss is saved for the final episode.
  • Kaiju Girl Caramelise: When Kuroe finds out that the red mark Arata has on his forehead came from getting smacked there by an actress's hat, she initially assumes the actress did a Headbutt of Love while wearing the hat. In reality, the actress, Seina, angrily hit Arata there out of anger for losing her spot on a talk show; there wasn't any affection involved at all.
  • Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!: In the movie Take on Me when Rikka tries to kiss a sleeping Yuuta on the train, a sudden train movement causes a headbutt of love to happen.
  • Lovely★Complex: Koizumi and Otani share a headbutt of love after Otani passes his entrance exam.
  • Made in Abyss: Riko does this to Reg (female-to-male, but they're almost the same height) after reassuring him that her scarred and weakened arm from his attempted amputation after a monster poisoned her hand isn't his fault, because she asked him to do it. She explains that even though, ultimately, he didn't know how to save her and Nanachi had to step in, she appreciates everything he did and how worried he was about her—she says the scar shows how much he wants to protect her.
  • Medabots: In the anime. Despite her misgivings, Erika decides to show her support for Ikki challenging Space Medafighter X by leaning in close... and then smashing her forehead against his.
    Erika: For luck.
  • Mekakucity Actors: Shintaro and Mary are shown sharing one during Episode 11, when we are shown the Queen version of Mary and Shintaro promising to never forget the tragedy they've witnessed, and Mary gifts Shintaro with the "Retaining Eyes" snake, so he truly can never forget.
  • Naruto: Itachi lovingly headbutts Sasuke at the end of chapter 590.
  • Done comically in Negima! Magister Negi Magi: Nagi is pulling an epic heroic rescue to save his beloved Arika, but she's caught up in Heroic Self-Deprecation and demands Nagi to leave her to die. Nagi headbutts her to make her shut up for a minute and loudly professes his love for her.
  • A male-to-male version appears in Ouran High School Host Club, between the twins. Sometimes this is acting to play up their twincest appeal; other times it's genuine.
  • A headbutt occurs at the end of episode 21 of Re:Zero between Subaru and Rem, after they defeat the White Whale and Subaru promises he will let Rem stay by his side forever.
  • Seraph of the End: Yuu and Mika headbutt while holding each other's faces in both hands in the anime opening.
  • Shown in a more violent way in Soul Eater. Justin gives a headbutt to Giriko, while yelling, "Headbutt of love!"
  • Toradora!: Taiga interrupts Ryuuji during the final scene of the series with a tactical application of the skull. He was confessing.
  • Yuri!!! on Ice: Yuuri headbutts his coach, Victor, before his short program at the China Cup, telling him "Don't ever take your eyes off me." Bonus points for also clutching his hand while doing so.

    Comic Books 
  • Daken: Daken twice in the #8 issue of his comic, thought it's not romantic. The power of using his pheromones to control people's emotions works best when he's in close contact, and that's as close as he can get without kissing.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Monster X's two heads, San and Vivienne Graham, share such a headbutt when San is attempting to comfort Vivienne over her grief at Serizawa's death. Viv and San also more than once brush the other's horns and jawline as an affectionate gesture. They also receive such a headbutt from the baby Manda later on.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: In "The Paris Trip," "The Rings," and "The Cameo," Mittens and Berlioz show affection by bumping heads as an alternative to kissing.
  • In The Bridge, Xilians do this instead of kissing to show affection between loved ones. After a long series of being made to work together leading to multiple instances of Relationship Upgrade, Monster X gives Aria Blaze one.
  • By the Sea: Similarly to the Maori hongi (the culture that Cody's canon actor originates from), the merfolk kiss is a press of foreheads, ostensibly because merfolk have a mouthful of sharp teeth that would make kissing uncomfortable or hazardous, and is called a keldabe in Mando'a, as in established Star Wars Legends canon. In a true showing of obliviousness, Obi-Wan had no idea (and also didn't dare let himself hope) that the weird forehead-press thing was supposed to be anything special, let alone a romantic gesture.
  • Kedabory's Muppet Mania: In the interlude between Episodes 10 and 11, Zoot presses his forehead against that of an ailing Lips, assuring him that he'll find a way to break out of the AI music studio they've gotten trapped in.
  • Megami no Hanabira: As Kaede is badly injured after a crash, a relieved Sara settles for this when the two reunite. They hug properly after Nanami has one of her demons heal Kaede.
  • A Moth to a Flame, The Core, of all people, does a platonic version of this to Marcy at the end of chapter 13 in their human avatar form after wiping out an entire army by herself for her final test, telling their apprentice before she wakes up from her coma that she's ready to carry out their vision.
  • Pokémon: Equestrian Adventures: Hopper and Princess gently touch their foreheads together after they become mates.
  • In Read The Fine Print, it's a female-to-male example, along with being a mother to her son. Lara gives Nero a headbutt when they reunite after being separated and he nearly pulled a Taking the Bullet for her.
  • In Safe Anchorage, Theon Greyjoy and Jeyne Poole frequently touch foreheads to comfort and reassure each other.
  • The Miraculous Ladybug story Spots Off has one from Chat Noir to Marinette, when he tries to assure her that she doesn't have to deal with the consequences of her unmasking alone.
  • White Sheep (RWBY): When Jaune shows up to collect Yang from Atlas imprisonment, they do this because cameras are recording everything, and Jaune needs to whisper some instructions to her. Yang is annoyed because she feels like it makes her look like a weak little damsel, but still takes comfort in it.
  • In the Star Wars Rebels fanfic A Sword to Pass, before they part ways when Ezra has to leave to take on a Jedi mission, Sabine hides her affection behind her customs and language by placing her head against his and saying goodbye to him while calling him “cyare”. It’s very touching as both have just endured some trauma, Sabine especially, and they don’t really know when they will see each other again.

    Films — Animated 
  • Aladdin: "I choose you, Aladdin." It brings both Jasmine and Aladdin's desires together: she gets the freedom to choose, he's loved for being himself, and there's nothing preventing them from being together. And then they bop heads.
  • Frozen II:
    • Iduna touches her forehead with young Elsa's, before laying her down to sleep.
    • The two sisters briefly press their foreheads together when reuniting after Elsa has been revived.
    • Elsa does one with the Nokk before turning it to ice so she can ride it in the very end.
  • Hercules:
    • Megara and Hercules share a headbutt of love.
    • There is the full-contact variety of loving headbutt between Hercules and Pegasus: when they first meet and when they're reunited in adulthood.
  • Hiccup and Toothless bump their foreheads towards the end of How to Train Your Dragon 2. It shows that Hiccup really has forgiven Toothless for killing his father while mind-controlled and that their relationship is stronger than ever.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World: Hiccup and Astrid.
  • Kim and Ron share a headbutt in Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama before The Big Damn Kiss.
  • The Lion King:
    • Sarabi and Mufasa (lion king and queen) bump their heads at the beginning of the film when their cub Simba is being presented.
    • Simba and Nala headbutt lovingly during their reunion.
    • Simba and his mother Sarabi greet each other with this gesture when they meet after being separated.
    • Also between Kiara, Simba’s daughter and her love interest Kovu in The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride
  • Moana features prominently Hongi, the traditional Māori greeting of pressing one's nose and forehead to that of another person. Most notably, when Moana sings "Know Who You Are," she shares a hongi with Te Kaa, and this gesture of love calms the ferocious goddess.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion: Sayaka to Madoka, before Madoka goes to pick up Homura. Madoka also does a similar bump to Homura in the OP.
  • Spirited Away: Chihiro and the boy formerly known as Haku perform a Headbutt of Love during freefall.
  • In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, after spending most of the movie looking for him and barely saving him from a fiery death, Mario takes a moment to hold Luigi's head against his between two enormous hugs.
  • In Tangled, the Queen presses her forehead on Rapunzel's.
  • Appears a couple of times in Turning Red:
    • In the temple, after telling the transformed Mei the story of Sun Yee and the red panda blessing, Ming tries to comfort her extremely distressed daughter by touching foreheads with her. It's a beautiful moment that demonstrates Ming's love for her daughter better than any other single moment in the whole film.
    • On the astral plane, after Mei has decided to keep her panda, Sun Yee lifts Mei above the treetops while both are in panda form, and touches noses with Mei as a gesture of love and approval.
  • WALL•E: EVE and Wall-E, two robots in love, share one of these. It's almost too cute.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • All Too Well: The Short Film's poster depicts a bittersweet moment in the film where the central couple touches foreheads.
  • Two army rangers headbutt after they have safely gotten back to base at the end of Black Hawk Down, presumably because they're too manly and too freaking tired to hug. If done while wearing helmets, this is known as "Turtle Fucking".
  • Bumblebee: Charlie and Bee do this a few times. Carefully since he's a giant robot, but with real emotion.
  • Clueless: Cher gently bumps her head into Josh's forehead at the wedding party at the end of the movie.
  • Seen frequently between Ed and Lorraine Warren in The Conjuring Universe. Somehow, it's even more intimate than their kisses.
  • Daughters of the Dust: Yellow Mary and Nana share one when they have their meeting and Mary talks about why she had to leave.
  • A platonic version between Brandon and Olive in Easy A, after their fake sex scene. (For context, Brandon's gay, and Olive has agreed to pretend to — loudly — sleep with him at a party so he can pass for straight and not get bullied.) It's a surprisingly tender and sweet moment, considering it comes at the tail-end of one of the funniest, most over-the-top scenes in the movie.
  • In G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra Ripcord bumps his suit helmet on Scarlett's motorcycle helmet after his Diving Save.
  • Near the end of Gladiator, once Maximus and Juba have become close friends, they bump foreheads before Maximus enters the ring.
  • Done in Godzilla (2014) between the male and female MUTOs when they meet up. It's surprisingly adorable.
  • The Hobbit:
    • In The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, this was how Dwalin and Balin greet each other, although with dwarves, it's more of a full contact headbutting. A weary version occurs between them in Balin's flashback when they both discovered they survived the Battle of Azanulbizar, surrounded by a field of dead dwarves.
    • In The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Thorin, after snapping out of his Gold Fever, shares a loving headbutt with Kili before going to battle. He also shares one with Dáin when they meet on the battlefield.
  • In the film version of The Hunger Games, a platonic version occurs when Cinna headbutts Katniss as a way to comfort her seconds before she entered the stadium.
  • In 2011 version of Jane Eyre, Jane and Mr Rochester headbutt in a loving gesture in front of blooming trees.
  • Trope image is from Mad Max: Fury Road. This happens between Furiosa and Valkyrie as they reunite after 20-something years.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • A villain version occurs in Thor: The Dark World between Malekith and Algrim, when the latter shows his Undying Loyalty by becoming Kursed.
    • In Captain Marvel, Talos presses his forehead against his wife and daughter's when he is reunited with them on Mar-Vell's ship.
    • In Avengers: Endgame, Hawkeye and Black Widow share a platonic one before their fight on Vormir over which one of them will sacrifice themselves. Thor and Frigga also share one when they're reunited via Time Travel, after Frigga gives Thor some kind, soft, wise advice to help our God of Thunder get his fighting spirit back.
    • In Black Widow, Natasha does this to Antonia after activating the gas to free her from her conditioning. Once she's sure Antonia is free, Natasha does it again as they lie on the ground. She also does it to Yelena after they escape Dreykov's ship and Natasha admits that their time as a family was real to her too.
    • Eternals: Ikaris and Sersi do this several times over the course of their millennia-spanning romance. Makkari and Druig also share one after the final battle ends adding to the Ship Tease between them.
    • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings: This is a common gesture among Shang-Chi and his family. Pressing their foreheads together in affection is the last thing his mother does before she's killed defending their home from the Iron Gang. It's also the first thing his father does to him after they come face to face for the first time in ten years.
    • Spider-Man: No Way Home: During the scene in the high school lab, Peter and MJ have a moment like this when they assure each other things will be fine and press their foreheads together.
  • Jamukha and Temudgin headbutt in a friendly way in Mongol, partly because they're drunk.
  • In The Mummy Trilogy Jonathan occasionally uses a platonic version to comfort his sister and nephew.
  • Joe and Nicky are shown doing this in some of the promotional material for The Old Guard as well as in the film proper when they're both being restrained by Merrick's security and can't reach out to comfort each other.
  • Happens at the end of Pacific Rim between Raleigh and Mako when you'd normally expect The Big Damn Kiss. Despite some Ship Tease earlier in the film, this throws some ambiguity into whether their relationship is romantic or platonic after they link their minds.
  • Will and Elizabeth, a couple falling in love, share one in the end of Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End.
  • Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth in the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice touch their foreheads together when they reach an understanding between them near the end of the movie. It serves as an alternative to a kiss.
  • In Rain Man, autistic Raymond Hates Being Touched, and he screams when his brother tries to give him a hug. In the end, though, Raymond's trust in Charlie grows so much he leans his head on Charlie's.
  • Santa Claus Conquers the Martians: This is apparently how Martians greet each other. Poked fun at in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 presentation:
    Crow: [as Kimar, to Momar] Hey, what, no headbutt this morning? Honeymoon over?
  • Saw: Adam and Lawrence do this in the ending, after Lawrence has just sawed off his own foot and Adam has beaten Zep to death with the toilet tank lid to save Lawrence from being shot. Lawrence uses it to calm down the justifiably hysterical Adam before crawling out of bathroom to get help for the two of them.
  • Shaun and Ed from Shaun of the Dead when Ed stays behind to let his friends escape.
  • In Star Trek (2009), after sharing a kiss in front of Kirk (and Scotty) on that transport pad, Spock tenderly leans his forehead to Uhura's and it's adorable because it speaks volumes about his affection and the closeness and intimacy between them.
  • In Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Poe gives one to BB-8 when they are reunited on Crait. Poe has to drop to his knees to do it because BB-8 is so much shorter, not that this makes it any less cute.
  • The two brothers in Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War do this right before parting for the last time right in the middle of a brutal Korean War battle.

  • The M/M crime/romance series Cut & Run by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban has Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett headbutt with love a lot, once they achieve their Relationship Upgrade.
  • Doctor Who New Adventures: The Doctor and Benny instigate a headbutt of love mutually in "SLEEPY" during a point where they're both busy worrying about each other, and it's almost too adorable for words.
  • In The Blood of Olympus from The Heroes of Olympus, Piper bumps Annabeth's forehead to comfort her when Annabeth thinks they're going to die.

    Live-Action TV  
  • Ally McBeal: Ally and her big love Larry clutch their heads together while they dance at the end of the episode where Larry's ex-girlfriend and mother of his son tried to get get back together with him. He chose Ally.
  • Altered Carbon: Takeshi Kovacs does this with his sister Reileen all the time. Including one last time just before he shoots her through the stack.
  • Being Human:
    • Annie and Mitchell headbutt when Annie is about to leave through her door in S1 and they're saying a tearful goodbye. Used as a bit of Ship Tease.
    • Mitchell did a desperate, passionate variation with Lauren.
  • Subverted in The Boys (2019) when Homelander does this to Madelyn Stillwell right before looking her in the eyes and burning out her brain with his Eye Beams.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • When Willow tearfully asks, "Don't you love me?" Oz vows, "My whole life, I've never loved anything else," and gives her a textbook Headbutt of Love, complete with hug and kiss.
    • Willow and Tara made use of this comforting technique often, mostly because of the WB's policy of no kissing between the same sex.
    • Spike and Drusilla when they're first introduced, establishing Spike's protectiveness and Dru's fragility.
  • Seen in Code Black when Neal Hudson, an attending ER doctor, finds extremely depressed resident Christa Lorenson hidden in a supply closet after losing a patient who she'd wanted to keep at the hospital, but who the ER director had ordered her to discharge. Christa blames herself for not standing up to the director, and Neal — who quite plainly has mutual feelings for her — takes hold of her waist and touches his forehead to hers in order to help calm her down. This leads to their first kiss and subsequent relationship upgrade.
  • In Commander in Chief, this is a hallmark of the marriage between President Mackenzie Allen and her husband Rod Calloway. Being President of the United States puts a lot of strain on a marriage, and reconciliations between the pair usually ended with (or happened during) one of these. More generally, any time the two turned to each other for comfort or support, this gesture usually occurred.
  • Daisy Jones & The Six: In the ninth episode, Daisy professes her feelings for Billy. He admits that he loves her too, but he can't leave his wife Camila. He presses their foreheads together and tells her that they can continue to have an amazing work relationship. Unfortunately, Camila sees them doing this and is convinced Billy is in love with Daisy.
  • At the end of the pilot episode of Defiance, Christie and Alec bump their foreheads when Alec proposes.
  • In Degrassi: The Next Generation, the Torres brothers headbutt after Adam is shot.
  • Dexter:
    • Dexter affectionately headbutts Rudy AKA his biological brother Brian before he kills him in Season One finale. It's a very poignant scene and emotions simply gush. It's very telling because Dexter claims he doesn't feel anything and has to pretend in every human interaction, but he definitely feels this moment deeply.
    • Dexter's girlfriend Rita is an almost broken, extremely vulnerable woman because she was in an abusive relationship (her ex repeatedly raped her and beat her nearly to death). Once she gets more comfortable with touching and being touched again, she sometimes clutches her forehead on Dexter's to show her emotional support.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Tenth Doctor has one with his archnemesis, the Master, in "The End of Time". Then the Master goes back to trying to kill him. It's very deliberately done to show that they could love each other if the Master wasn't stark raving mad.
    • In "Flesh and Stone", the Eleventh Doctor and Amy have a sweet moment in the woods, as he asks her to trust him one more time and tells her to remember what he told her when she was seven. Which becomes an important plot point when the universe is rebooted in "The Big Bang".
    • Rather endearingly, the Seventh Doctor headbutts Mel as they say farewell in "Dragonfire."
    • At the end of "Revolution of the Daleks", Ryan and Graham choose to end their adventures and stay on Earth, while Yaz keeps travelling with the Doctor. The Fam then share a group HBOT before going their seperate ways.
  • In Emmerdale, Robert Sugden and Aaron Dingle have a Headbutt of Love on the morning after their wedding before Aaron goes off to his sentencing for his GBH charge. They also take the opportunity to tell each other mutual "I love you's" while pressing their heads for extra emotional impact.
  • The Empress: After Sisi confides in Helene that she wishes she were more like Helene (as their mother also wished), Helene touches their foreheads and cups her younger sister's face.
  • Farscape:
    • John and Aeryn engage in this, not just when either of them was in distress but when they showed affection in general. It was described by one reviewer as "more intimate than when they kiss".
    • Subverted when Scorpius-possessed John does this gesture — then slams Aeryn's head into the wall, fracturing her skull.
    • John and Chiana also get a few of these. Two notable examples are the season one finale when when propositions him (and he lets her down easy) and later in the following season when Chiana finds out her brother is alive but she isn't allowed to see him.
  • Happens a couple of times between Wash and Zoe (husband and wife) in Firefly and Serenity.
  • In the second season finale of Game of Thrones, the warlocks of Qarth attempt to lure Daenerys with a vision of her dead husband and stillborn son in the House of the Undying. Daenerys walks out of the vision, but not before exchanging a HBOL with her dream husband, presumably because kissing him would tempt her into entering the fantasy permanently.
  • Holby City features one of these between Serena Campbell and Bernie Wolfe when the two finally break from their second kiss. They press their foreheads together while they tremble and gasp as Serena smiles giddily. It's an almost unbearably intimate sight. Half a decade later, in the show's final season, they do the exact same thing when Bernie asks Serena to marry her. Serena says yes.
  • Impractical Jokers During the Nitro Spectacular, Sal is voted into a punishment by the fans, that of being hoisted up 150 feet and swung around when he's afraid of heights. They let him down, but when he's informed he must ascend again, Q comforts him by touching foreheads and telling him to breathe.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022):
    • "In Throes of Increasing Wonder...": Immediately after their First Kiss, Louis de Pointe du Lac and Lestat de Lioncourt press their foreheads together to maintain physical contact since their mouths are no longer touching. Although they're engaging in foreplay, this affectionate gesture stems from emotional intimacy, so it's understood that they're in love in addition to lusting after each other.
    • "...After the Phantoms of Your Former Self": In the wide shot of Louis and Lestat exsanguinating the tenor together, Lestat leans towards his lover so that their foreheads are touching, and he reinforces their physical closeness by cradling the back of Louis' head. They're doing the vampire equivalent of Sweetheart Sipping, so Lestat is reassuring Louis that he adores him in spite of their bickering earlier.
  • The Law According to Lidia Poët: Lidia and Enrico do this after bonding in 1x3 after he learns how their father had tried to essentially sell her in an Arranged Marriage that would cancel his debts. Enrico was horrified to learn this and gave Lidia more support than he'd ever expressed before.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power:
    • Nori and Poppy share a brief one while saying goodbye before Nori leaves with The Stranger.
    • Galadriel and Elrond also share one after he pulls her out of the river and the vision Sauron had her trapped in.
  • Lucifer (2016): After Chloe captures a doctor who had been poisoning people as part of a sick experiment, she rushes back in search of Lucifer, whom she had left to break into a lab full of poisoned air to save the victims. When she realises he's unharmed and he realises just how frightened for him she was, they end up in an embrace and gently butt heads as Lucifer asks if their feelings for each other are real.
  • Merlin (2008): Between Kara and Mordred in "The Drawing of the Dark". What, did they make a mandate to have no kisses in this season?
  • NYPD Blue: In "For Whom the Skell Rolls", Janice and John Kelly share one during her final scene of the series as she prepares for her time in jail and John promises to visit her during her time there.
  • After their Relationship Upgrade, Emma and Hook from Once Upon a Time become quite fond of this, usually pressing their foreheads together after an emotional moment. Of particular note is at the end of "Fall", when they perform a HOL as they part ways so that the Spell of Shattered Sight doesn't force him to attack her.
  • In Penny Dreadful, Vanessa and Ethan share one of these after their Last Kiss, knowing that she must die in order to stop the apocalypse.
  • The Punisher (2017). In "Virtue of the Vicious", after an intense moment Frank Castle and Karen Page share one of these in the elevator, before Frank departs through the roof hatch. It's notable since in any other series the building tensions between a male and female lead would have resulted in The Big Damn Kiss but since Frank's character is driven by the memories of his dead wife and children, a kiss would be awkward to say the least.
  • On Stargate Atlantis, this was the standard gesture of affection or business dealings, somewhere between a handshake and a kiss, for natives of the Pegasus galaxy, particularly the Athosians. Sheppard picked it up, usually doing it with Teyla.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Platonic example happens in episode "The Visitor" between Kira Nerys and Jake Sisko, with the former comforting the latter in an Alternate Timeline created by Benjamin Sisko getting stuck in subspace and being presumed dead.
    • Odo tends to bump heads with his love interests, possibly because as a changeling he doesn't have an instinct towards kissing but does have an instinct towards physical closeness.
  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Suddenly Human," a human teenage boy is found to be the long-lost grandson of a Starfleet admiral, whose parents were killed in an ambush by Talarians, who were at war with the Federation. The boy, Jono, was adopted by one of the Talarian leaders and raised to be his son. When Jono’s adopted father boarded the Enterprise to reunite with him, the two touched foreheads in greeting. Later, when Jono prepares to beam off the Enterprise to rejoin his Talarian family, he bids Captain Picard, who he had developed a bond with during his time onboard, goodbye by removing his gloves and bringing Picard’s forehead to his own.
  • Teen Wolf: Derek bumps Braeden's forehead after kissing her, when she expresses fear over the possibility of him dying.
    Braeden: Do you really think you won't be coming back?
    Derek: Not alive.
    Braeden: You know I'm not okay with that.
  • The Vampire Diaries: Stefan and Elena are experts at this. Often followed by a sweet forehead kiss. It. Is. Adorable.
  • The Vikings in Vikings often do this as an alternative to hugging. Ragnar and his family seem to be especially fond of it. A telling moment showing that Ivar, his psychopathic youngest son, has grown close to his father is the amount of times they touch heads while in England, including a final one as an alternative to a last hug when Ragnar tells Ivar he's going to be killed.
  • The Walking Dead (2010) Negan seems to be fond of this as a platonic gesture, doing it with Dwight, and later with Judith after rescuing her in a blizzard.
  • Wentworth: When Will is having a breakdown after killing Joan”, Kaz does this and tells him he is the bravest man she’s ever known. She then kisses his forehead until they are interrupted.
  • The X-Files was a repeat offender, usually between Mulder and Scully. When one of them got out of the hospital (which was often), when one of them had to deal with Skinner/Krycek/CSM/any government representative, when they affirmed their trust in only each other, when one of them almost died (which was practically every episode)... they clutched their heads together. And it was awesome. UST at its best.

  • Lady Gaga and her sidekick/Makeup artist, Tara Savelo. Why yes, they do have a shipper following. Why do you ask?

    Professional Wrestling 
  • American Alpha do this before every fight, a given considering how close they are as friends and teammates.

  • The platonic and routine headbutting between victorious hockey teams and their goaltenders.
  • American football players often celebrate with their teammates like this. The helmets make it less painful, and with thousands of people roaring in the stands above, and the stadium speaker blaring, it's sometimes the only way to actually be heard and hear each other.


    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • Possible in the Gamecube game Beach Spikers: If the relationship with your partner is high, they might share this gesture after scoring a point.
  • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, this is how the female Inquisitor and Cullen confess their love for each other after their first night together.
  • Karoosh the warrior in Far Cry Primal is fond of giving one of these to Takkar whenever he meets him. That said, being a Boisterous Bruiser, Karoosh's headbutts are surprisingly violent: the first time, he literally staggers Takkar, the second time, he knocks him over (though Takkar gets even with him by Karoosh by grabbing his ankles and pulling them out from under him).
  • In Life Is Strange 2 Sean and Daniel share one at the end of Episode 1: Roads to comfort Daniel after the truth comes out about their father's death, and can do it again in the final episode if the player chooses surrender to the authorities and Daniel agrees to it, with the brothers taking a moment to say their goodbyes knowing they will be separated thereafter.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 2, because turian biology is so different from humans' and could be potentially harmful to humans who come into too much contact, this is how a Female Shepard and Garrus show their affection for one another.
      Mordin Solus: So don't... *ahem* ingest.
    • Headbutting is a common practice amongst the thick-skulled, reptilian Krogan who frequently use it to bloodlessly establish dominance over each other.
  • Given their complex relationship, it's unclear if it's "love", but during their final fight in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Solid Snake and Liquid Ocelot end up so exhausted they wind up leaning on each others' foreheads, slowly sinking till they're both kneeling on the ground.
  • Happens between Amicia and Hugo in A Plague Tale: Innocence when they get reunited after Hugo is taken away and almost brainwashed by Grand Inquisitor Vitalis.
  • In Red Dead Redemption II, John Marston and Abigail share one as life for them and their son Jack at Pronghorn Ranch starts going well.
  • Rule of Rose: The opening FMV shows Wendy and another girl doing this in amongst the roses. The girl is Jennifer, who made a knightly vow to Wendy to love her eternally. Unfortunately for Jennifer, who later promised the same thing to her Canine Companion Brown, Wendy's interpretation of the vow was mutually exclusive...
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles 1, when Shulk and Fiora reunite, they share a loving headbutt.

    Visual Novels 
  • Non-romantic example in Little Busters!: at the end of Haruka's route, she does this with Kanata when they make up and pledge to be friends again, where it serves the added bonus of showing clearly how similar they look.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • In Volume 8, Episode 10, Ruby and Yang's teams reunite at Schnee Manor; while Blake is unsure how to greet Yang, Yang cradles her face for a moment before they sink into an embrace that includes tenderly touching their foreheads together.
    • In Volume 8, Episode 11, Ren and Nora have a heart-to-heart about everything that's been happening and finally establish exactly where they stand with each other. They conclude their talk with a hug that ends with them pressing their foreheads together.

  • Cursed Princess Club: Variation in Episode 26, when the Plaid Princes take the Pastel Princesses (and Pastel Prince Jamie) on a trip to an amusement park. As twin siblings Jamie and Gwendolyn start having a heart-to-heart about the latter's misgivings over her engagement to Frederick, Jamie affectionately nudges the side of his head (rather than his forehead) onto Gwen's. This is mainly because they and the others are walking, so they couldn't easily do the more typical forehead-to-forehead version.
  • Goblins: Minmax touches his forehead to Kin's before jumping down to retrieve the keys in the Maze of Many.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, Annie and Kat bump their heads together complete with "clonk" sound effect as they hug and make up. In a later scene, as they're dealing with a highly stressful situation, they touch foreheads for a moment.
  • Princess Princess: At the end, Amira and Sadie display their affection to each other by sweetly touching foreheads.
  • Variation in Questionable Content: After Marten and Dora hook up, Faye decides to go home for a bit. Instead of hugging him goodbye, she gives him a "Wesley Willis style headbutt".
  • Norway and Denmark do this in Scandinavia and the World as a substitute for hugging, because hugs look awkward with their giant heads and tiny bodies.
  • Parodied in Undying Happiness. In chapter 2, Keisuke gives his son Yusuke an affectionate headbutt while sending him off to swimming lessons. Since they both have a powerful Healing Factor and immunity to pain, they end up butting heads hard enough to draw blood, much to the annoyance of Keisuke's wife Naomi.

    Western Animation 
  • DuckTales (2017): While falling together during the final credits, Fenton & Gandra share this before the former dons his Gizmoduck armor and carries his smiling girlfriend away!
  • Futurama: In the episode "Leela and the Genestalk", when Leela undergoes horrific Body Horror know as squidification, Fry does this when he promises her he'll always love her no matter what. They then share a Big Damn Kiss to confirm his sincerity.
  • The Lion Guard
    • Kion and Rani do it a few times as they realize they're in love.
    • Also Kion and/or Kiara with their parents several times during the series
    • A non-romantic one between Kion and Jasiri after they settle down and realize the pride lands aren't under attack. Kion thanks Jasiri and they share a friendly headbutt before parting ways.
  • Milo Murphy's Law has one between Milo and his mom, Brigette, at the end of "Worked Day."
  • In the second episode of The Pirates of Dark Water, the Lugg Brothers excitedly headbutt each other.
  • In the Grand Finale of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Adora does this with Catra after foiling Horde Prime's plan to destroy the universe and restoring Etheria.
  • Steven Universe: "Three Gems and a Baby" shows that Ruby and Sapphire have their connection so perfected that this is all they need to do to return to Garnet form after briefly unfusing.

    Real Life 
  • Cats might rub their heads together with each other or their owners, partially because they have scent glands in various places on their heads. Thus, the cat is marking their territory (because they like you, bear in mind, which is why they do this many times in a row, usually while purring).note 
  • Emperor penguins. They are cute birds.
  • The real Wesley Willis was fond of this, with both male and female fans, to the point where towards the end of his life he had a noticeable scar on his forehead from doing it so many times. Rock over London; rock on, Chicago.
  • Try dating somebody with glandular fever, or another disease spread by saliva. This becomes a hell of a tool.
  • When you want to show affection to a relative (or someone you're not romantically interested in), this is very useful.
  • Also useful when dating someone with a greater oral sensitivity than the average person who finds kissing to be Sensory Overload. Even those whose senses are not overloaded may appreciate their date "dialing it down" while still making their affection known.
  • Done as a farewell in lieu of a hug between Viggo Mortensen and the stuntmen he fought alongside or against at the end of filming the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It started as a head bump with just one of them, but everybody decided to take a turn, with Viggo's head becoming bruised and bloody by the time he made it through the entire stunt team.
  • This post on Reddit depicts a just married couple doing this as part of a photoshoot on their wedding day. Naturally, the comments made sure to joke about the two headbutting one another within hours of marriage, at which point the poster commented, "I'm just establishing dominance".
  • The hongi, the traditional Maori greeting, usually just involves the two people touching noses, but in practice they often touch foreheads as well.


Video Example(s):


Ten More Albums

Billy rebuffs Daisy, but touches their foreheads together so she knows that their connection is important to him.

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Main / HeadbuttOfLove

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