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Holding Hands

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"Oh yeah, I'll tell you something,
I think you'll understand
When I say that something:
I wanna hold your hand!"
The Beatles, "I Want To Hold Your Hand"

Holding hands is one of the most basic, platonic, and visible ways to express affection, friendship, or love.

Because holding hands can be platonic, it can be shown in any work, between any people. If someone offers a hand to hold, and the person it was offered to rejects it, odds are something is wrong with at least one of them. Sometimes one tries to hold the other's hand, and the other whips their hand away with The Look.

When holding hands is shown between people who can reasonably be eventually romantically linked, it is often either symbolic of the link or a prelude to it, depending on the rating of the work. Even if it isn't, it likely will be in the Fan Fic due to shipping. Romantic hand-holding may be accompanied by giggling from one or both of the people.

Holding hands can be a gesture of solidarity. When a group of people join hands in a circle, that can mean friendship, dancing, or (in some works) a magic ritual.

It's also distinctly Truth in Television, especially the romantic version.

Because holding hands is very platonic, it is often as far as romantic partners are allowed to go in works aimed at children and young teenagers, especially in Anime. Fans have noted this and taken handholding as a substitute for more "adult" actions, jokingly calling it "Lewd Hand Holding".

Compare/contrast Take My Hand! and I Kiss Your Hand. Intertwined Fingers and Accidental Hand-Hold are a subtropes.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • The Arnolfini Portrait: The couple's joined hands are at the center of the portrait, which is why art critics generally agree that they are a married couple.
  • The Kiss (Klimt): Another sign of the tenderness and intimacy of the lovers besides the titular smooch is that the woman is grasping the man's hand while he touches her face.

    Audio Plays 
  • In the Big Finish Doctor Who episode "Scherzo", the Eighth Doctor and his companion Charlotte are made to walk through a weird glass tunnel filled with thick fog. All of their senses are dulled or cut off entirely, so they grab each other's hands as they walk and cling to each other. They spend so much time in that horror of a world that their skins melt into each other and their hands become fused together.
  • In The Princess Thieves, Gwen holds Robin's hand to get him to stay when she is lying down in Scarlet's room, leading to their first kiss.

    Comic Books 
  • In one arc of Justice Society of America, Rex Tyler, the original Hourman, holds his son Rick's hand as the latter is being operated upon.
  • In an issue of The Sandman (1989), British schoolboy Charles Rowland dies after suffering terrible abuse at the hands of ghostly bullies. As he dies, he is accompanied by the ghost of one of their previous victims, Edwin Paine. Early on, Rowland asks Paine to hold his hand. Later, when he finally dies and becomes a ghost, he convinces Paine to leave the boarding school with him, and they are seen walking off, once again hand in hand. It's kept purposefully vague whether or not they are just good friends or something more.
  • The first issue of Brad Meltzer's run on Justice League of America features Red Tornado's wife Kathy holding his hand as she waits for him to reactivate.
  • Nico Minoru and Karolina Dean of the Runaways have been known to hold hands from time to time. Also, in the last arc, Molly can be seen holding Klara's hand after the latter is wounded in an accident, and later, Victor leads her around by the hand as the team flees their no-longer-secure home, presumably because at that point, she's seriously groggy after being subjected to both a head injury and a sleeping spell, all in the same night.
  • Raven and Starfire / Koriand'r at the end of Teen Titans: Earth One Volume Two.
  • Robin (1993): When Tim and Steph go on their first date they hold hands while sitting on the edge of a rooftop talking at the end of the night.
  • Superman:
  • In Spider-Girl, Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson link hands when a doctor says MJ might not survive her second pregnancy.
  • At the end of Archie Comics (2015) book Betty versus Veronica, both girls hold hands after their plan to save Pops' business has come together.
  • Bone: Happens quite a lot in the series, but probably most famously when Thorn and Fone Bone meet for the first time, leaving the hot springs.
  • In Mouse Guard, Kenzie and Sadie link hands often.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Anaya and Iphthime are shown holding hands to introduce their relationship long before it is actually discussed.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts: In all of Snoopy's stories, his characters hold hands because he gets too embarrassed to write about people kissing.

    Films — Animated 
  • This trope is prominent in WALL•E. One of the more iconic bits is WALL•E holding his own hand out of loneliness. Notably, while WALL•E's First Kiss with EVE comes about halfway through the film, hand holding (indicating their completed Relationship Upgrade) doesn't happen until the finale.
  • The scene in Tarzan where Tarzan and Jane press their palms up towards each other. The significance behind it is that earlier, when Tarzan was a child, his hands didn't match up with his gorilla mother's, meaning that they were different. However, when his hand and Jane's hand match up perfectly, he knew that he was one of her kind.
  • Toy Story 3: In the climactic scene, the toys are trapped in the incinerator and facing certain death. Instead of panicking, they join hands and choose to meet their fate together.
  • In Shane Acker's feature film version of 9, this happens frequently— often in subtle ways, such as 2 closing his hand around or over 5's or 5 laying his hand over 6's during 2's funeral, but it's most notable for being the main way that 9 and 7 display their affection for each other. Before he goes to try and sacrifice himself to the machine, 7 catches his arm and pleads with him not to do it; he takes her hand in both of his and explains to her that he has to, and then briefly catches her hand and holds it proper for a moment. She actually looks at their hands and then at him, and then he dashes off. 6 can also be seen leading 8 by the hand in the final scene of the movie.
  • This is the exclusive way in which minifigures in The LEGO Movie express love. Batman even says "Let's hold hands" to Wyldstyle in his first scene, and Emmet and Wyldstyle do it at the end.
  • In Moon Castle: The Space Adventure, Wolffy and his wife Wolnie hold hands as they and the others prepare to jump across a cliff to escape from some of the Bitter Gourd King's minions.
  • Barbie Fairytopia: In Mermaidia, Nalu reveals his feelings for Nori by grabbing for her hand, which catches her by surprise since she thought he liked Elina.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World: Astrid and Hiccup do this during their wedding. It is a hand-fasting, after all.
  • In Kim Possible Movie: So the Drama, Kim and Ron arrive at the prom like this, which clues Bonnie in to the fact that they're dating.
  • Kida and Milo do this near the end of Atlantis: The Lost Empire, indicating their Relationship Upgrade to the audience.
  • In Turning Red, Mei and her friends hold each other's hands when Mei declares they have to attend the 4*Town concert together indicating solidarity in achieving that goal.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Blind Side: The Tuohy children offer their hands to Michael when saying Grace at Thanksgiving dinner.
  • Carmen y Lola: The title characters do a lot of this when they're growing closer, which seems to be fairly common among Roma girls so it doesn't by itself tell people the pair are falling in love.
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Mu Bai briefly holds Shu Lien's hand while they are alone.
  • Dead Poets Society: After Knox convinces Chris to attend a play with him, they are briefly seen holding hands during said play.
  • Dr. No: When Dr. No invites them to dinner, Bond Girl Honey Rider holds Bond's hand for reassurance, only to notice his palm is sweating as much as hers (it's the first Bond film, so the No, Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Dine trope is freaking them both out).
  • Emma: When Emma and Mr. Knightley sit discussing the paths that led them to each other. Later, they even share Intertwined Fingers when they break the news to her father.
  • Eternals:
    • A recurring motif for Sersi and Ikaris. There is a shot focusing on Ikaris taking Sersi's hands in ancient times as they declare their mutual love, and a similar one in modern times when she tries to reach out to him.
    • Gilgamesh touching Thena's palm with his helps bring her back from her episodes of Mahd Wy'ry.
  • Fight Club: In the final scene, the Narrator takes Marla's hand as they watch several skyscrapers explode around them. He then looks at her and says "You met me at a very strange time in my life."
  • Harry Potter:
  • Higher Learning: Kristen starts holding hands with Taryn as they grow closer. It's a sign too of Kristen's attraction for her.
  • The Hobbit: Galadriel takes Gandalf's hands as she assures him that he has her silent support when the rest of the White Council would not support him or the dwarves on their quest.
  • Jurassic World: The "hero and love interest hold hands while fleeing" trope is spoofed. Owen holds out his hand when running away from one of the dinosaurs, as a gesture for Claire to grab it so they can both run away. She instead just runs past him, making him look like an idiot.
  • Like Normal People: As a young child, Roger can't sleep without holding Bobby's hand. Bobby once tries to trick him by wearing a glove and taking his hand out of it once he thinks Roger is asleep, but Roger isn't fooled for a moment.
  • Little Women (1994): Jo and Professor Bhaer share a number of romantic scenes which are not in the book. At the end of the movie, after he has awkwardly proposed and she has joyfully accepted, he protests that he has nothing to offer her and "My hands are empty!" She responds by placing her own hand in his and saying, "Not empty now."note 
  • Man of Steel:
    • In a platonic example, Perry holds Jenny's hand while she's trapped under rubble when the Kryptonian World Engine is destroying Metropolis. Perry could attempt to run to safety, but he chooses to stay with her as the shockwaves from the World Engine get closer so she won't have to die alone. Superman manages to stop the World Engine Just in Time, saving them.
    • While Clark and Lois hold hands a number of times in the film, this is subverted when the two of them are taken aboard Zod's ship. Superman appears to hold Lois's hand to comfort her, but he's really slipping her the Kryptonian drive containing Jor-El's digital avatar so it won't be discovered by Zod.
  • Miao Miao has Ai saying Miao Miao has "sunshine hands" and clasping hands with her at any possible moment.
  • Sleepless in Seattle ends with Sam and Annie meeting for the first time, atop the Empire State Building. They hold hands as they head for the elevator.
  • Son-Rise: A Miracle of Love: Barry and Suzie hold hands while a doctor tells them about their infant son's illness, and later while trying to find a babysitter for the kids while they're checking out special needs schools for Raun.
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture: Spock, still recovering from his mindmeld with V'Ger, takes Kirk's hand and tells him "This simple feeling is beyond V'Ger's comprehension."
  • Star Wars:
    • Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens: Rey gets annoyed when Finn tries to do the same when they're fleeing the stormtrooper attack on Jakku. This happens twice. On the third instance, Rey is the one who offers Finn a hand. This could show independence but also compassion on Rey's part, as well as No Sense of Personal Space for Finn.
    • Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi: During Rey and Kylo Ren's fourth Force Bond session, Rey reaches out her hand. Kylo reciprocates. They touch hands despite being light years away from each other, and it is probably the most intimate moment of both their lives so far. Rey, at least, even has a vision of the future and Kylo seems to see the truth of her parents. This might be among the most epic hand holding scenes in all fiction.
  • Super 8: Alice and Joe, who have been drawn to each other ever since the beginning of the film, hold hands as they watch the alien leave.
  • Tragedy Girls: Sadie and McKayla do this a lot, to show how close and affectionate their friendship is. Used to downright creepy effect when they massacre their entire senior class, and watch the chaos hand-in-hand.
  • Transformers (2007): Mikaela slowly reaches for Sam's hand, as they watch the Autobots descend from the night sky. Later, Sam does this to Mikaela as they lie on the ground, just after Starscream fires at them.
  • When Time Got Louder: Abbie holds Kayden's hand to guide him through the crowded hallway at his high school. Later, she and Karly hold hands on their first date.
  • Wonder Woman (2017): When Diana asks why two people are holding hands, Steve Trevor explains that it's probably because they're together. She takes this as a reason to hold his hand, and he has to stammeringly explain what he meant by "together".

  • Almost Perfect: Sage is forbidden by her parents from dating. Before she comes out to Logan as trans, she lets him hold her hand, but she won't let him kiss her.
  • Artemis Fowl: Artemis and Holly need to hold hands when they were preparing to time travel. Bonus points for only wearing their underwear, much to their chagrin. Their warlock friend N°1 teases them with pronouncing them "man and elf".
  • A Brother's Price: The first indication of Trini warming to Jerin is when she takes his hand.
  • Dinoverse: Bertram and his father start off friendly, but Bertram's dad is absent-minded and often working. The end of the book has the dad swear he'll try and do better, and the two walk off hand-in-hand like when Bertram was a lot younger.
  • Dr. Franklin's Island: Semi and Miranda wind up clasping or holding hands frequently as their situation worsens, but as they're being transformed into a fish and a bird respectively, there comes a point where they lose that ability.
    "On Day Sixty-Three I couldn't hold her hand anymore, because she didn't have any hands."
  • Hands Held in the Snow: Holding hands is so central that it's in the title, it's on the cover, it's a central symbol to Beatrice and Emi's relationship... there's a lot of holding hands in this story.
  • The Heroes of Olympus:
    • Percy and Reyna after they defeat the invasion and he gets promoted to praetor.
    • Everyone who's paired off by book three. And by "Everyone" we mean "Everyone except Leo". Mostly.
    • A very sweet yet very tragic version with Percy and Annabeth. They're holding hands as they fall into Tartarus together.
    • The entire group in House of Hades during an emergency shadow-travel trip.
  • Honor Harrington: In At All Costs, Thomas Theisman holds Eloise Pritchart's hand when she's faced with the awful decision to launch Operation Beatrice, which resulted in the First Battle of Manticore. In this case — particularly since neither of them are shown to touch others casually — it's used to underscore just how close the two characters have become.note 
  • Just Juliet: Lena and Juliet start doing this right after meeting. It's an early indication of their mutual attraction.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Frodo and Sam constantly hold hands during the last stages of their journey to Mount Doom.
  • The Mermaid Chronicles: In Quest for Atlantis, Wade's ex, Stephanie, flirts with him in front of Cordelia. Cordelia pointedly holds hands with Wade so Stephanie will know to back off.
  • Les Misérables: Enjolras and Grantaire die grasping hands.
  • Monstrous Regiment: Tonker and Lofty hold hands so intensely that anyone around them feels like an intruder.
    They always held hands, when they thought they were alone. But it seemed to Polly that they didn’t hold hands like people who were, well, friends. They held hands tightly, as someone who has slipped over a cliff would hold hands with a rescuer, fearing that to let go would be to fall away.
  • The Murderbot Diaries. After Murderbot rescues Dr. Ayda Mensah from corporate goons, they try to make their escape through a crowded space dock. Murderbot takes Mensah's hand so they won't look like fleeing fugitives; as Murderbot Hates Being Touched it's telling that Murderbot is willing to do this.
  • Of Fire and Stars: Dennaleia and Mare start doing this when both are beginning to move from friendship into romantic/sexual attraction for each other.
  • Outlander Leander: Leander and Valli hold hands when Leander stays the night with him. Before that, Leander offers to let Valli rest his head on his shoulder, and they're shown having more physical contact as they get closer.
  • The Place Inside the Storm: Tara holds Loki's hand while he's in a coma induced to protect him from further seizure-induced brain damage.
  • Princesses of the Pizza Parlor: In Princesses Are Never Lost, Gwen and Selvi's heartfelt conversation to settle their issues ends with a handshake where they hold hands longer than necessary for just the shake, and when they let go is never said, happening off-screen, during a scene transition:
    [Selvi] took [Gwen's] hand in her own and shook it.
    "Well then," Gwen said, not yet letting go,
  • The Proudest Blue: Asiyah and her little sister Faizah are holding hands at the end of the book as they cross the street on their way home.
  • Psmith: Psmith uses the phrase "hand in hand" a lot when referring to his friendship with Mike.
  • Saving Max: Sevillas and Georgia both hold Max's hand at different times during the hearing where he's accused of murder.
  • Sherlock Holmes:
    • Un "The Adventure of the Speckled Band", there's a moment when Sherlock is frightened and latches onto Watson.
      Watson: Holmes was for the moment as startled as I. His hand closed like a vice upon my wrist in his agitation.
    • They also hold hands while hiding behind some window curtains in "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton".
      Watson: I felt Holmes’s hand steal into mine and give me a reassuring shake, as if to say that the situation was within his powers and that he was easy in his mind.
  • Spice and Wolf: Holo offers Lawrence her hand to hold, but he gets distracted by his trading endeavors and fails to notice. He catches on the third time. (Him taking that long to catch on is Lampshaded.) Usually, Holo's quite content to walk about on her own, so the romantic effect is brought into focus.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
  • The Thin Red Line: Bead asks Fife to hold his hand as he lays dying. Fife feels slightly awkward because he and Bead had a sexual relationship on the island.
  • Wish: Charlie's aunt Bertha and uncle Gus hold hands on the back deck, to Charlie's surprise. She's never seen her dysfunctional parents hold hands.
  • The Wounded Name contains a lot of hand holding between the two main heroes, usually for emotional comfort. It's used to show the development of their deep friendship and eventually becomes a normal thing for them.

  • The Beatles, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "If I Fell".
  • David Archuleta's "Touch My Hand".
  • "Hand in Hand" by Dire Straits.
  • Hootie & the Blowfish and "Hold My Hand".
  • Gruesomely subverted in Tom Lehrer's "I Hold Your Hand in Mine", from Songs by Tom Lehrer, in which it turns out that although he's holding his beloved's hand, the rest of her is no longer attached to it.
  • "Together" by Avril Lavigne contains the line "Holding hands we'll fall".
  • "Hand In Hand" by Opus III
  • The adorable Jamster/JAMBA bunny characters Schnuffel and Schnuffelienchen (Snuggle and Snuggelina in English) are commonly seen holding each others hands since they are both in love with each other. In the end of the music video starring Snuggleina "Ohne Dich". Said couple are seen holding hands while sitting and watching the night sky.
  • "Hold My Hand" by Michael Jackson.
  • "Hold My Hand" by Lady Gaga, the Love Theme to Top Gun: Maverick.
    So cry tonight
    But don't you let go of my hand
    You can cry every last tear
    I won't leave 'til I understand
    Promise you'll just hold my hand...


    Video Games 
  • In Cyberpunk 2077, there's the scene of V giving up their body after "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" (assumedly if you have a high enough relationship with Johnny). Johnny tries to stop them from crossing the bridge multiple times, before he eventually admits that he's scared for V while displaying some very anxious body language. V then offers a handshake goodbye, which Johnny reluctantly accepts. But when V tries to pull away, Johnny refuses to let go at first, holding their hand closer to him as he looks them in the eyes, before finally releasing it with an absolutely heartbreaking expression on his face. See it here for yourself.
  • Dark Tales: C. Auguste Dupin and the player character do this at the end of Morella, the twelfth installment of the games. Dupin's beaming smile as he extends his hand to her makes it the biggest moment of Ship Tease in the entire series.
  • Detectives United has an unusual variant, done to transfer player control from one of the detectives to another; the character who is about to be controlled extends their hand, the currently controlled character takes it as if shaking hands, and the scene spins to switch the point of view. (Humorously, there is no in-universe explanation offered for the gesture, making it appear like a random decision to shake hands in the middle of a crisis.)
  • Dragon Quest XI: Booga in S is revealed to be comically chaste; despite his lecherous nature, he considers the act of holding hands to be the equivalent of becoming intimate. He didn't start holding hands with his girlfriend until their tenth anniversary of being together, and when he captures Jade, he starts giggling with the thought that, one day, he'll finally be able to hold hands with her.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses: This is a recurring theme in Dimitri's relationship with Byleth (whether platonic or romantic) as there is a lot of focus on them Holding Hands. Post time skip, he initially rejects Byleth's hand. During his Redemption in the Rain, Byleth offers their hand again and this time, Dimitri accepts it, commenting how warm their hand is. After killing Edelgard, Dimitri almost looks back but is stopped when Byleth takes his hand. And in their S-Support, the CG shows them holding hands while Dimitri professes his love. This is taken further if Dimitri is chosen to meet with Byleth in the Goddess Tower. He'll admit that if the Goddess does exist either she wouldn't offer a hand to the people, or the people lack the ability to take it. This carries a bit of weight for the above examples since Byleth essentially becomes the Goddess.
  • ICO is built around this as a central game mechanic. Ico has to hold Yorda's hand in order for her to follow him around and thankfully the designers made her smart and endearing enough to not grate too heavily on the player's nerves.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Eyes of Heaven proves that even villains are not immune to this. If DIO initiates a Dual Heat Attack with Father Pucci, DIO refers to him as "friend", and they clasp each others' hand.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kingdom Hearts II:
      • The opening has a brief shot of Sora holding hands with both Kairi and Riku as they lay on the beach together.
      • Another scene features Sora holding onto Riku's hand with both of his own for a full minute once they finally reunite.
    • Kingdom Hearts III: After exchanging paopu fruits, the camera tends to linger on Sora and Kairi holding hands.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess: After Zelda receives the Light Arrows from the Guardian Spirits, she begs Link to help her fight Ganondorf, and bows to him as the chosen hero. Link responds by simply extending his hand to her, and she straightens and takes it.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks: After beating the final boss, Link and Zelda hold hands as they watch the Lokomos depart. Particularly notable because for the majority of the game, Zelda was a ghost and thus, likely wouldn't have been able to touch like a living person would.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword: Link and Zelda hold hands after Zelda emerges from her crystal prison following Demise's destruction.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Link holds Zelda's hand as they run from Calamity Ganon's destructive attack on Hyrule Castle.
  • The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince has this as a major game mechanic due to it being an Escort Game. Since the prince is blind, the princess has to hold his hand to guide him past most obstacles.note  As a nice little touch, both characters smile whenever their hands are held.
  • Mass Effect:
  • Persona 3 Portable has this in Ken Amada's (lovers) Social Link. When he "trips" on the way back to the dorm, the female protagonist takes ahold of his hand. He holds on for awhile before pushing her away and running off. When you bring it up the next date, he states he felt as though he used the fact that he was a kid to "trick" her into holding his hand. On the male side of things, the MC does this with Aigis a few times in the original and FES version.
  • Pokémon: There is a move called Hold Hands. It normally doesn't do anything in battle except look cute, although in Contests it boots the appeal of moves such as Circle Throw, Seismic Toss, Sky Drop, Smack Down, Storm Throw and Vital Throw. Z-Hold Hands also gives a broad boost to the users' stats.
  • Prince of Persia (2008): The Prince and Elika often grab each other's hands for practical purposes, since they're acrobatically traversing dangerous obstacles together. However, if you want them to swap positions on a thin ledge, they grab both of each other's hands and swing around, which looks adorably close to dancing.
  • The Sims 2 and The Sims 3 have "Hold Hands" as a low-level romantic interaction.
  • Sky: Children of the Light: When befriending another Skykid, you can choose to hold hands with them. Tapping the "Hold Hands" icon above their head will allow them to lead you, giving them the "Hold Hands" prompt from the friendship menu allows you to lead them. When you haven't found all Spirits in an area yet, you can also request a guide from the expressions menu, allowing any nearby Skykids to take your hand and lead you to any undiscovered Spirits. You can hold hands with two people at a time, and if they in turn hold hands with their friends, you can form a chain of up to eight Skykids (eight being the maximum amount of players per server).
  • Solatorobo: Red and Elh are told to do this during Merveille's "special" training simulation, which was just her way of getting Red to finally admit his feelings. It eventually leads to a "You two can let go of each other now."
  • Tokimeki Memorial:
    • Tokimeki Memorial 2: This is the base of two Events in Hikari Hinomoto's storyline. During her childhood days, she and the protagonist do this so they don't lose each other while running; as a call-back to this event, they do the same in their High School time, during a date at the crowded Shopping Mall. Also, the protagonist and Kaedeko Sakura do this in the last shot of her Happy Ending.
    • Tokimeki Memorial 4: This is a gameplay element. You are required to hold a girl's hand after a date to confirm your romantic status with her.
    • Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side: The "skinship" function can be used for this purpose. The guys generally won't go along with hand-holding until their affection for the heroine has developed enough.
  • World of Warcraft uses this a lot, both between platonic friends and between identified lovers: much to the consternation of shippers. Child NPCs also frequently reach for the player's hand, and some adult NPCs will do this as well. Unfortunately, the gesture can't actually be animated in game due to tech limitations. Some cutscenes do have characters joining hands though. It is never used during a magical ritual however, since there are a completely different set of casting animations.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the CLANNAD visual novel, the perpetually insecure Nagisa at one point is worried that Tomoya doesn't like her as much as he says he does. He proposes a game: holding hands, where the first person to let go loses. In the end, her father pulls them apart because they're about to start a baseball game.
    Tomoya: It's a draw.
  • Little Busters!: Holding hands - or specifically, holding your hand out to someone to help them or taking someone's hand to lead them somewhere - is a major theme of Little Busters, to the point that it's featured on the title screen. It happens most often between Riki and Kyousuke (and yes, the Ho Yay is just as strong as you'd think) because arguably the main plot of the game is the way Riki learns to stand on his own and not just let Kyousuke lead him around everywhere, but because of this Riki ends up holding hands with most of the heroines in their routes. In particular, one of the most dramatic moments at the end of the game occurs when Riki takes Rin's hand to lead her to safety.
  • In Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc's school mode ending with her, Naegi does this with Kirigiri, narrating that he hopes she can someday trust him enough to reveal what hides beneath her Conspicuous Gloves. Since school mode is only unlocked after beating the game, the player should already know.
  • Minotaur Hotel: If you treat Asterion well, you engage in a bunch of moments where you hold Asterion's hand, each of them varying in affection and intimacy.

    Web Animation 
  • Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse begins its first short with Barbie preparing for a date with Ken honoring the 43rd anniversary of when they first held hands.
  • Happy Tree Friends: In "I Nub You", Petunia loses her hands and falls in love with the handless beaver, Handy. One scene shows the Official Couple, Cuddles and Giggles, holding hands...then switches to Handy and Petunia, who have tied together the bandages on their stumps.
  • In the ending of Kaizo Trap, the heroine has to lead her boyfriend through game world by hand, because of his injuries.
  • RWBY: After Ruby's group learns what Ozpin's been hiding and why he's been lying, even Qrow turns on him, resulting in him retreating so far from them that even Oscar can't reach him. As Ruby returns Ozpin's cane to a dejected Oscar, he rhetorically asks if he's going to be just another one of Oz's lives. She folds her hands over his and the hilt of the cane, and tries to reassure him that he's his own person. The trope is subverted by Qrow interrupting to bitterly instruct Ruby not to lie to Oscar because they're better than that; Oscar therefore walks away completely unreassured.
    • Blake holds Weiss's hand in solidarity when Jacques confronts her in "Pomp and Circumstance". As noted in the behind the scenes commentary, this is because Blake knows what it's like to be an abusive relationship, unlike Ruby or Yang.


    Web Original 
  • This is usually the most romantic thing that happens between Egg and Kube in AJCO, partially because they're both too shy to take it any further and partially because Kube's hands are one of the few parts of them that aren't covered in spines.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: "Queen's Gun" has the Rangers escaping from certain death only to find their shuttle has maybe ten minutes of oxygen left. Niko's reaction is to reach over and take Shane's hand.
  • Arthur: In "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", Binky is embarrassed after he incorrectly believes that George spotted him holding his mother's hand. When the Tough Customers realize that he has a secret, they try to figure out what it is, and eventually incorrectly decide that it must have something to do with his upcoming clarinet solo. "Maybe he's playing something really romantic, like Debussy." When they find out what the secret actually is, they chew him out for the secret not being something juicy, and one of them even admits that he sometimes holds his mother's hand.
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: In "Where the Magic Happens", Gwen and Charmcaster do this to combine their power. This also sparked a lot of Les Yay subtext.
  • Chowder: Panini agrees to do a favor for Mung in exchange for getting to hold hands with Chowder.
  • Code Lyoko features several instances of romantic hand holding between Aelita and Jérémie, and the Season Two finale has a particularly strong example of hands linked in a Circle of Friendship. Another example is that the four have to join hands to use the Mental Fusion tactic.
  • The Dragon Prince: Callum and Rayla hold hands in "Sol Regem" to stand firm and deny one leaving without the other, despite the human-hating dragon's refusal to let Callum cross the Xadian border (or even turn back) without paying with his life. Callum and Rayla tend to hold hands more frequently in the latter half of the season, although that's becuase they're more than just friends by then.
  • Gravity Falls: Dipper takes the hands of both Wendy and Soos as the three walk into the supernatural prisoner where Bill has trapped Mabel.
  • Kaeloo:
    • Near the end of "Let's Play the Very Special Episode", when Stumpy is about to erase them from existence, this happens between Mr. Cat and Kaeloo.
    • In Episode 231, Kaeloo and Mr. Cat witness a bunch of happy couples together, and Kaeloo says "love is beautiful" before holding Mr. Cat's hand, showing that their relationship is leaning more towards romance than plain friendship at this point in the series.
  • Kick Buttowski: Played with in the conveniently named episode "Hand in Hand" where Kick and Kendall accidentally get their hands stuck together due to a very sticky cave sap when Kick offers his hand to help her stand up... of course they spend the rest of the episode fearing people will assume they're boyfriend and girlfriend because of this since Gunther immediately does and runs away screaming several times.
  • The Legend of Korra: The Grand Finale, "The Last Stand", ends with Korra and Asami holding hands and longingly looking at each other as they go through the spirit portal. Word of Gay confirms that this means just what you think it does.
  • The Owl House:
    • Important moments in Luz and Amity's Romance Arc were often marked by one of them Offering a Hand. Once they actually start dating, this naturally becomes a common sight (so much so that the show completely stops drawing attention to it), both when they're just being affectionate or when one is trying to comfort the other.
    • While there has been plenty of Ship Teasing going on between Hunter and Willow, in "For the Future" they finally start acknowledging their mutual romantic attraction, punctuated by them locking their pinkie fingers together.
  • Ready Jet Go!:
  • Steven Universe: The titular character does this sometimes, most frequently with best friend/love interest Connie (sometimes of the Intertwined Fingers variety, sometimes not) and notably with Peridot in "When It Rains", ostensibly to keep her from running off but also to symbolize their budding friendship.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): At the end of "Enter the Dragons, Part 2", Karai takes Dr. Chaplin's hand on her own — a hint that she's now ready to reciprocate his feelings for her. When we next see them in the series finale, they're a couple.
  • Teen Titans (2003): Some episodes, as well as the ending part of the movie Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo, show Robin and Starfire holding hands.
  • Transformers: Prime: In "Scrapheap", a platonic version occurs between Optimus and Arcee who try to reassure each other as they were about to freeze to death in the Arctic.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: Quite a few.
    • In season one, Keith grabs an injured Lance's hand to support him in season one after an intensive fight, and they hold hands throughout the scene that comes afterwards, with Lance telling him "We make a good team" as they tiredly smile at each other. Throughout the season, there's a few other hand holds between them, with most of them involving Keith saving Lance from a precarious situation.
    • Hunk and Pidge grab each other's hands near the end of season 1 so as not to get separated when the anti-gravity fails, with Hunk shocked about Pidge being asked to get kicked across the room after, stating, "No, we're friends."
    • Keith and Allura hold hands when stuck in a similar yet way more precarious situation out in space in season 2.
    • The entire team wind up having to hold hands to survive for an unspecified amount of time — possibly days — during an episode at the beginning of season 7, spiraling into unspoken grudges and feelings finally being laid out.

    Real Life 
  • A British soldier was critically wounded during the Battle of El Alamein and while lying in the hospital, he found himself next to an also critically injured German prisoner. He reached over and squeezed the German soldier's hand who also squeezed back. Sometime later, the British soldier lost consciousness and when he woke up the next morning, the German soldier was gone. When he asked what happened to the man beside him, the doctor simply replied "He died during the night. You were still holding hands."
  • In countries where public displays of affection are frowned upon, this is usually a surefire way to identify a couple.
    • It is also a surefire means of identifying if someone is romantically interested in someone else, for obvious reasons.
    • It also causes some Values Dissonance, such as when President George W. Bush held the hand of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. Where in Western cultures holding hands and kissing on the lips means romantic interest, this was not the case in the meeting with the Saudi Prince.
  • In Mexico, couples that are not too intimate will often be jokingly referred to as "de manitas mojadas," which "means of wet hands." The joke being that they are so shy with one another, that the couple won't go beyond holding their moist (sweaty) hands.
  • Adults often hold the hands of children in public so they won't wander off or get into trouble. Sometimes they train their children to hold his finger.
  • Young schoolgirls in some countries routinely hold their best friends' hands.
  • This trope is Played for Laughs on adult websites and forums like 4chan's /d/ or /trash/ boards, where pictures like hand-holding are jokingly referred to as being "sick" and "disgusting" fetishes (the humor comes from the fact that these boards host pornography of... "different"... tastes).
  • Sea otters often hold hands when they're sleeping, to avoid drifting apart due to the ocean current.
  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been noted to frequently do this, particularly throughout their wedding.

Alternative Title(s): Hand Holding



Jughead and Veronica make their status known as an official couple in Riverdale High.

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Main / HoldingHands

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