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No Bisexuals

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Not just inaccurate, it doesn't work, either.

"Nobody's bi, that's just a gay guy who sometimes bangs a lady."

The aspect of works of fiction where there is a lack of bisexual characters despite the definite existence of bisexual people in Real Life (at least 1.8% of US population), and often don't even acknowledge their existence. Although some series don't address any sexuality specifically, even gay characters tend to be more numerous.

Almost any character in a same-gender relationship or professing a same-gender attraction is assumed by the others to be either gay or joking. If the existence of bisexuals is acknowledged, they're usually depicted as very promiscuous and totally defined by sex, and sometimes even as predatory (mirroring prejudices leveled against real life bisexuals). A few characters do manage to use a version of Ambiguously Gay to avoid scrutiny (see Hide Your Lesbians). A function of this is when a character who has been seemingly heterosexual until this point falls for a member of their own gender, they jump the fence and become only interested in their own gender from that moment on; the possibility that they might be bisexual is never even brought up.


The trope especially purports that there are no bisexual men, particularly in Western productions. Some female characters, due to the Girl-on-Girl Is Hot and Sweeps Week Lesbian Kiss rules, can explore all sides of their sexuality as much as they want, especially if they're identified as promiscuous or plain evil. However, such characters will rarely call themselves bisexual; they may insist they're straight, or just leave it up in the air. Meanwhile, since male characters often act as the Audience Surrogate, their sexuality has to be strictly heterosexual, lest the show be forced into the Minority Show Ghetto.

This trope is, of course, not Truth in Television in the sense that bisexuals exist. It is Truth in Television in the sense that bisexuals have often been faced with disbelief from straight and gay people alike on the grounds they "have to be" one or the other. In Real Life, this phenomenon is known as bisexual erasure.


Compare If It's You, It's OK, where an otherwise gay/straight character expresses interest in someone outside their usual target zone with nary a mention of the B word. Contrast Depraved Bisexual. Compare Bi-Wildered.

Yet another polarity of this trope is assuming that a bisexual person has to be omnisexual, i.e. bang Anything That Moves, and sometimes not being even that picky: there is no in-between, anyone willing to sleep with multiple genders is assumed to literally not caring about the difference.

Also contrast But Not Too Bi, which is essentially this trope in reverse — a character who is established as bisexual yet only shows interest in one gender. This can be one particularly unfortunate outcome of Bisexual Love Triangle. The polar opposite of Everyone Is Bi, where either an unusually high number of characters seem to be at least mildly bisexual or sexuality is never presented as an issue. See Kinsey Scale of Tropes for more generalities about these tropes.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Boku Girl, Mizuki is shown to struggle with his feelings for Yumeko and his growing feelings for Takeru among the things going on with his genderbending problem. Come series' end, Mizuki chooses to be a girl because he realizes he loved Takeru, but never Yumeko, and only merely admired her femininity. Why Mizuki couldn't have just fallen out of love with Yumeko without having to make it so he never loved them in the first place is anyone's guess.
  • In the yuri manga Indigo Blue the main character, Rutsu, is pretty clearly bisexual—though she prefers women, she admits to having had genuine feelings for her ex-boyfriend and to sometimes enjoying sex with men. However, her decision to accept her attraction to women and begin a same-gender relationship is consistently referred to as "becoming a lesbian" or "sinking into lesbianism", which not only avoids use of the term "bisexual," but implies it to be some kind of irreversible process (i.e. she can never go back to dating/sleeping with men now).
  • Sailor Moon:
    • The fifth Sailor Moon manga, called simply Stars, featured cross-dressing Sailor Senshi named the Sailor Starlights, and one of them, Sailor Star Fighter, has feelings of affection towards Sailor Moon. They are not a major part of the storyline, and Star Fighter only makes it clear in passing. But when this became a major part of the anime adaptation, Sailor Stars, Star Fighter and the other Starlights used magical disguises to appear as physical males in their civilian forms to keep Usagi from being seen as a maybe bisexual. Naoko Takeuchi was not amused by this in the slightest, although she stopped short of disowning the anime. The anime itself only acknowledges this awkwardly in one scene where the Starlights' Princess asks Fighter "You take these forms on earth?" and Fighter nervously responds "To attract only women, this form was easiest".
    • In the anime adaptation of S, Makoto has several Ship Tease moments with Haruka and seems to have an attraction to her, only for Usagi to tell her not to "abandon" men, as if Makoto being bisexual was never a possibility.
  • Minto from Tokyo Mew Mew is Ambiguously Bi—she expresses a rather excessive admiration for her Oneesama Zakuro (including a love confession that could go either way), but also seems interested in boys, most notably when Ichigo asks the Mews what they find attractive to and Minto thinks of a male dancer. For some reason, the 4Kids dub changed this, switching the image of a dancer into a picture of Zakuro, tremendously increasing the Les Yay. Given that 4Kids obviously isn't all that keen on queer characters in childrens' TV shows, the only sensible reason anyone's been able to come up with to explain this is that they were less willing to have a subtextually bi character than a subtextually gay character.
  • Anna from Wandering Son loved Nitori when she saw her as a boy and she still loves Nitori even after coming to terms with her being transgender. It's all-but stated that Anna is bisexual, though she admits that she doesn't mind being seen as lesbian if she's Nitori's girlfriend.

    Comic Books 
  • Blue Is the Warmest Color: Even though Clémentine cheats on Emma with a man, she's still never identified as a bisexual. However it seems odd that she'd sleep with him otherwise, long after she accepted that she's attracted to women.
  • John Constantine of Hellblazer. In issue 51 he mentions that he's had a few boyfriends, though it remains lip-service bisexuality until the "Ashes and Dust in the City of Angels" story arc, where he seduces and is shown (in very tasteful silhouettes) having sex with the guy he is conning at the time.
  • In Sunstonenote , when Ally realizes that she is in love with Lisa and not just Friends with Benefits, she declares to her friend Alan that she is gay, even though she had had relationships with men, including Alan, in the past, as had Lisa. Given, however, just how quickly and deeply Ally and Lisa fall for each other, it is quite possible that they really were both gay and in denial about it.
  • Though averted in X-Factor, in which Rictor and Shatterstar (both men) have a relationship even though Rictor was previously interested in a female teammate and Shatterstar is taking a leaf from Captain Jack Harkness, it is played painfully straight by many of the book's readers, who responded with confusion and dismay, not because of the relationship (well, some because of that, but they're not relevant here) but because it was clearly blatant disregard for continuity (in their eyes) to show someone being interested in women in one issue and men in another. It's also played (somewhat) straight in the comic itself: while Shatterstar is happily and enthusiastically bisexual, Rictor is gay, and always has been, deep down.
  • Skirted in the pages of X-Men: the time-displaced, younger version of Iceman learns he is gay from his teammate, the young version of Jean Grey. Since his older version has been known to have girlfriends in the past, he questions if he's actually bisexual. Jean acknowledges, "they say everybody is," but concludes "I think you're more...full gay." To which Iceman reluctantly responds, "I know." Young Iceman also speculates that his older self may have "put away" his homosexuality since being a mutant was already hard enough.note 
  • Discussed in Marvel's Voices: Pride. While sorting out his sexuality, Prodigy (who knew he was into women) read about the research claiming bi men didn't exist, but confirmed he was into men when he tapped into Kitty Pryde's feelings as she was mooning after Colossus and realized their respective attractions to him were the same stuff.
  • Green Lantern: Alan Scott, who had two known successful relationships with women, marrying and siring children with the first and going so far as to to face the powers of Hell itself to save his second wife and assure her he loves her in spite of being de-aged to 1/3 her age, comes out in DC Infinite Frontier. No, not as bisexual, which would make both of these relationships valid and meaningful while opening up the possibility of having him be interested in men, but simply as gay.

    Comic Strips 
  • In 9 Chickweed Lane, Seth spends a large chunk of time trying to coax Edda's uncle, Roger out of the closet, never once considering that Roger might be attracted to men AND love his wife—nope, he's just an extreme closet case who managed to conceive eleven children (after the second set of twins he was basically stuck). This is made even more egregious later on when Seth continued to assert his gayness after sleeping with diva ballerina, Fernanda. The latter is Handwaveed by an earlier revelation that Seth was attracted to "true artistry" and thus was seduced by Fernanda's dancing skills. And after Edda revealed that, aside from her childhood friend Amos, Seth was the only man she ever loved, he seemed to be really fighting the urge to sleep with her.

    Fan Works 
  • Used as a part of the Deliberate Values Dissonance of Bad Influence, which is based off the 1980s series Jem. Upon noticing Kimber and Stormer's strong bond, her sisters Jerrica and Aja come to the conclusion that Kimber's gay. They even joke that Kimber changes boyfriends every other week is because she's been closeted this entire time. The concept that Kimber could be bisexual never comes to their mind.
  • This is discussed in Girlfrenemies. After claiming that they're dating, Apple and Raven are labeled as lesbians by several of their classmates. When Apple exclaims that she isn't lesbian, her friends say that just because she's dating Raven doesn't mean she's gay. Raven is pansexual and Apple is lesbian, but she was in denial for most of the story.
  • In the Plan B fanfic Interpretive Steps for a New Tango, Bruno and Pablo's friends think of them as "now gay" after they become a couple even though both of them have dated and enjoyed sex with women in the past and know that "gay" isn't the right term for either of them. (This is also a reflection of the characters in the original film never using the word "bisexual"; even the character who tells Bruno about Pablo's claim of having once slept with another man only calls him "open-minded".) Later on, Bruno averts this trope and calls himself bisexual after having had enough time to come to terms with it.
  • In the Psych fanfic Lassiter Learns How to Bend and its sequels, Lassiter has a gay acquaintance from his academy days, Russell Santos, who claims that there is no such thing as bisexuals, even though his own partner of fifteen years lived with a woman before they got together. The partner himself is quite adamant about the fact that she was not his beard, but that he was in love with her for real. Lassiter is understandably miffed when Russell tells him that his relationship with Shawn is doomed because they both identify as bisexual.
  • Willow tries to claim this in Links Broken, Bonds Forged when Faith mentions she's bi, because Willow's mother wrote a paper about how bisexuality doesn't exist.
    Faith: "All I know is that I like a big slab of sausage most days, but occasionally I get bored with that and feel like having a taco.”
  • The main characters of the infamous Supper Smash Bros: Mishonh From God seem to be under this belief. Either you're straight and thus a good guy "consercativ" or you're gay and you're an evil "librul"; bisexuality either doesn't exist or is outright ignored in favor of Black-and-White Morality.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Absolutely Anything: Catherine believes Neil's gay even after they had sex (he eagerly accepted her proposition). At best you would think he's bisexual given this (though he isn't that either-it was all just a misunderstanding).
  • Below Her Mouth: After he finds her with Dallas, Rile thinks Jasmine is a lesbian. She logically points out they have been together for years, though her sexuality is left ambiguous, and possible bisexuality isn't discussed.
  • Blue Is the Warmest Color: There's criticism of the movie being painted as a "lesbian love story" when Adèle is shown to be capable of having romantic tension and intimate encounters with men. The fact that the film doesn't choose to explore Adèle's possible bisexuality doesn't help.
  • It's done as a form of Deliberate Values Dissonance in Bohemian Rhapsody when Freddie Mercury outright tells his live-in girlfriend that he thinks he might be bisexual, to which she replies, anguished, that he's just gay. Ironically, the film was criticized for downplaying Freddie's bisexuality. Apparently, having him outright say "I think I'm bisexual" and depicting him having both a long-term girlfriend and several relationships (sexual and romantic) with men was just too vague.
  • In the 2002 sex comedy Buying The Cow, womanizer Mike gets drunk one night and awakens the following morning believing he had slept with a man and makes many hilarious attempts to come out of the closet. Even though he isn't actually gay. After shouting that he is a "blazing homosexual" at his friend's wedding, he's later caught making out with a stripper named Amy inside a limo. His friends chide him for this, reminding him that he said he is gay. Mike cluelessly replies "Yeah, and your point is?". Nobody In-Universe considers the possibility that Mike could be bisexual.
  • In Call Me by Your Name, despite both lead male characters Elio and Oliver being bisexuals, the media paints it as a "gay love story".
  • The Celluloid Closet: The film never once mentions bisexuality, even while discussing Crassus from Spartacus who (through a metaphor) indicates he's bisexual (as part of a deleted scene the commentators discuss). Brian and Max (Cabaret) are also bisexual, given their relationship with Sally plus each other, but were just described as homosexual. Susie Bright, whose commentary is a part of the film and who's bisexual herself, never brings this up oddly enough.
  • Chasing Amy deals with this trope in-universe, when the bisexual Alyssa identifies as a lesbian for the first half of the film; it's implied that she considered it easier to deny her attraction to men than to deal with the social stigma against bisexuality. Given her lesbian friends ostracize her after she comes out, it makes sense.
  • The Craft: Legacy: Timmy briefly mentions this idea while coming out to the girls as bisexual, saying if people know a guy has slept with another guy they just say he's gay, but this isn't the case for everyone.
  • Zigzagged, averted and Played for Laughs in DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story with lawyer Kate Veatch who Peter LaFleur has a crush on. It's debated throughout the film by Peter and his buddies whether or not Kate is a lesbian even though she genuinely returns his crush (and nobody considers the possibility she could be bi). At the end of the film, Kate kisses her girlfriend Joyce in front of everyone at the winning game and Peter looks on disappointed. Then it turns out she's not a lesbian, she's a bisexual and kisses Peter on the lips too, surprising him and his buddies.
  • Dr. Jekyll & Ms. Hyde: Yves, who's gay, is completely confused when he's attracted to Helen Hyde (and they have sex). At the end when she turns back into Richard, he's relieved, because it means he isn't turning into a heterosexual. The idea he might be just bisexual apparently never occurs to him.
  • Easy A: Brandon, who is known to be gay, is suddenly assumed to be straight after sleeping with a girl. Averted with Olive's mother, who recounts her wild past, which included sleeping with both boys and girls. Though she'd gotten happily married to Olive's dad, there's no indication that it was "just a phase".
  • In Eating Out, when Troy claims to be a bisexual, he is met with every character around him shouting, "THERE'S NO SUCH THING!!!"
  • For Colored Girls: Jo believes Carl is gay after learning he's slept with men, which he denies. Neither of them brings the idea he might be bisexual up, and she seems convinced that he's just in denial. It's never made clear what his sexual orientation is, since Carl says he likes to have sex with men but only casually and doesn't consider it gay since they don't get involved further.
  • Freaky: Josh has the Butcher in Millie's body bounded and gagged on a chair in his house to keep him from escaping to kill more. Josh's mom comes home earlier then he expected-she's obviously not too keen on the situation. Josh ties to say they are doing BDSM, only for his mom to point out that he is gay and Millie a "girl". You'd think he'd come out as bisexual, but the thought never even occurs to him so he tries to come out as straight. Naturally his mom doesn't believe him.
  • GBF: In full force.
    • Despite being 'Shley's boyfriend and (initially) reluctantly accepting a future and children with her, Topher is presented as Armored Closet Gay. Plus, 'Shley only assumes that Glenn is gay, despite him returning and enjoying her advances (he's completely straight).
    • When Tanner comes out to his parents, they accept that he is apparently "100% allergic to the lady parts." Semi-offended, Tanner responds that he could be bi, but his parents laugh it off.
  • Gia:
    • Lisa's past hookup with a model named Joe who is openly gay. He doesn't sleep with women. Not that it stopped her.
    • In-Universe example, when Gia tells Linda (while quietly dying from AIDS) that she plans to settle down and have some kids. Linda thinks that Gia is going to be straight.
    Linda: Since when are you straight? You're pretty straight, right?
  • Happy Death Day: When Tree spies on a guy she dated briefly, he is seen watching gay porn. Tree assumes he must be gay, not even considering that he might be bisexual, and the movie never calls her on this assumption. She seems to be right though judging by his reaction when Tree talks with him about it.
  • Imagine Me & You: It is implied that Rachel was never truly attracted to Heck.
    You are my best friend. That was enough before, and it will be enough again.
  • The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love: One of Evie's friends accusingly asks if she's a lesbian once she tells them about dating Randy. She denies it. Neither mentions bisexuality, though before this Evie had been with a guy.
  • I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry is about a pair of straight men who enter into a fake gay marriage, and must pretend not to be attracted to women so that they won't be found out. While the movie pays lip-service to bisexuality with Captain Tucker's closing speech, there was no indication that it's possible for a man to be attracted to more than one gender, and Adam's character's affairs with women in the past becomes a major plot point. The entire "conflict" could have been ended if Chuck just said he was bisexual and in an open relationship with Larry.
  • In The Kids Are All Right, which was directed and co-written by a lesbian, Jules has (and quite clearly enjoys) sex with a man, but has crappy sex with her wife. Nevertheless, she continues to call herself gay, not straight or bisexual. Needless to say, this has caused a lot of controversy and is often seen as perpetuating a message along the lines of "lesbians secretly want men". Her wife also thinks it means she's straight.
  • Kissing Jessica Stein: This seems to be the attitude of the characters. The word "bisexual" is never used. Two characters even argue about how you can't just "switch" back and forth.
    Helen: It's just like kissing a guy.
    Joan: No, it's not!
    Helen: No, it's not.
  • In Legally Blonde, when a witness is tricked into revealing that he has a boyfriend, this is considered proof he couldn't have had an affair with a woman; in addition, Elle says "gay men know designers, straight men don't". Apparently there are, you guessed it, no bisexuals. The musical version addresses the issue (at least in part) by having the aforementioned boyfriend testify that the witness in question "never, ever, ever, ever swings the other way." Surprisingly justified in this case; the point of this interrogation wasn't so much to prove that he liked guys as it was to prove that he didn't like women (and thus couldn't have had an affair with the suspect). The witness himself, meanwhile, was trying his hardest to not make it apparent that he's attracted to men, hence why he didn't claim to be bi. The musical adds a scene where Elle does the "bend and snap" in front of him and he's completely unaffected, which only cements to her that he's not interested in women.
  • Clay from Less Than Zero, who was bi in the book is only seen sleeping with a woman in the movie.
  • An early example is the 1968 crime drama The Detective, where a gay character states that bisexuals are just "homosexuals without conviction." Of course, the character in question's a murderer and the movie's attitude towards gays isn't much better.
  • In the dystopian setting of The Lobster, adults are forcibly paired up through a dating service. When David tries to sign up as a bisexual, he is informed that the option "no longer exists". After a long pause, he decides to sign up as straight.
  • Lost and Delirious: Hard to tell. It is never explicitly stated whether or not Tori enjoys her relationship with Jake, rather than simply trying to pretend she's straight.
  • Love Is All You Need? (2016): Bisexuality does not get addressed. At all. Jude for instance has a girlfriend (Kelly) whom she seems to be genuinely into, but the film treats it like her becoming attracted by Ryan makes her straight, full stop, and the possibility she is bi isn't brought up.
  • Love, Simon:
    • Leah (the main character's best friend) is bisexual in the original book; however, in the film, she's not only presumed straight, but she's in love with him. It's actually justified, as Leah's bisexuality was not known to Simon in the original book- he doesn't find out until the sequel. It's possible (even probable, given her reaction to Abby's Wonder Woman costume) that she is still bisexual and just hasn't come out, the same as her literary counterpart.
    • Less justifiable is the exclusion of Cal Price's bisexuality. Not only does he tell Simon-and ask him out-in the book, but there is a perfect opportunity for him to mention it in the movie, when Simon asks if he's Blue and he says no, but he's there if Simon needs to talk to someone.
  • Maggie & Annie: While Annie's explicitly called bisexual in the film, which she doesn't deny, many descriptions of its plot describe her as a lesbian although she's married to a man whom she genuinely loves (it's even a plot point that she feels torn about her relationship with another woman as a result).
  • The Object of My Affection: George admits to having sex with his girlfriend at the high school prom, is somewhat turned on by Nina (while in bed with her), and almost has sex with her. Somehow the possibility of George being at least somewhat into women is never discussed. Nor the word "bisexual" ever mentioned.
  • The Opposite of Sex has one character chewing out a gay man for having an affair with a woman. He responds that he's bisexual, and she says "I went to a Bar Mitzvah once. That doesn't make me Jewish!" - and said character ends the movie in a relationship with another man.
  • Pariah: Bina appears to be a Lipstick Lesbian, but insists she's not "gay gay" and sees her encounter with Alike as harmless indulgence. This might mean she's bisexual, but the idea isn't expressed.
  • Zigzagged in Plan B. Bruno hears that Pablo, who's currently dating his ex-girlfriend, slept with a guy in the past but Pablo admits later on that he lied about having been with a guy to appear more modern-minded. However, he also admits immediately afterwards that he did find the idea of sleeping with another man to be appealing and by the end of the film, while the word "bisexual" is never used to describe him or Bruno (apart from one deleted scene), it's made clear beyond a shadow of doubt that they've fallen in love with each other and that their mutual attraction is every bit as real as their previous relationships with women.
  • In the film version of Queen of the Damned, Lestat's canonical male love interests from the novels are nowhere to be found in the film. Nicki's absence was especially jarring to book fans, considering his crucial importance to Lestat's backstory (in The Vampire Lestat, it was Nicki's Stradivarius that he played to wake Akasha). One of the novel's female characters (who had no romantic or sexual interest in Lestat) was Promoted to Love Interest in the film to compensate for the removal of the other male characters.
  • Ricki and the Flash one of Ricki's children comes out as gay. She says she thought he was bisexual and he claims "that was just my cover story in college."
  • Room in Rome: Natasha refers to Alba and then herself "becoming a lesbian" at various points. The possibility of either being bisexual isn't brought up, despite having relationships with men (though in Alba's case that turns out to be false, and she later calls herself a "lesbian from birth").
  • Sappho: Sappho describes herself as a lesbian upon realizing her attraction toward Helene, though she's also very clearly attracted to men. Here it's pretty justified as the term "bisexual" wasn't used much when the film is set (well, in a reference to sexuality anyway), and "lesbian" gets said to simply mean any woman into other women.
  • She Hate Me: The film infamously refers to Fatima and Alex as "lesbians" even though they end up in a polyamorous relationship with Jack.
  • Shiva Baby: Discussed as Danielle's mom says she thought she'd finished "experimenting" by dating women along with men, to which Danielle makes it clear that she's bisexual.
  • In Skyfall, James Bond makes a (possibly joking/bluffing) comment to a villain, who is threatening him with rape, about having slept with a man before. This led to talk about whether James Bond—who's had, and clearly enjoyed, more sex with women than just about any non-pornographic movie character—was gay. No bisexuals indeed!
  • In the teen comedy Status Update Brian is jealous of Kyle at the start of the film, telling him to back off of "his girl". Cue Dani telling him that she isn't his girl... because he's gay. He insists he's actually "37%" (gay or straight, not really clear), and is immediately ignored.
  • The documentary of the life of Mr. Rogers, "Won't You Be my Neighbor," asserts that he was not gay, and, while that is true, the film seems to be using "not gay" as a synonym for straight. Mr. Rogers was once quoted as saying that he felt equal attraction to both men and women.

  • Lois McMaster Bujold's Barrayar plays with the culture clash of sexuality mores: the Big Bad tries to mess up the Vorkosigans' marriage by revealing Lord Vorkosigan's bisexuality. On Barrayar, that's a taboo (just like gayness). Lady Vorkosigan, being from a planet where the only rules about sex are "it has to be consensual" and "having kids requires governmental approval", absently responds, "Was bisexual. Now monogamous," and has to see the other's reaction to realize this was an attempt to blow up the marriage. In a later book, Lady Vorkosigan explains that her husband is bisexual, leaning toward soldiers; her own military background lets him have his cake and eat it too. (Brings more meaning to all the times he calls her "my Captain.")
  • Briefly referenced in Brimstone. Early in the book, an officer points out that a murder victim had "perverse sexual tendencies". When Agent Pendergast asks what these are, the cop replies that he "liked men and women". Pendergast then matter-of-factly points out that thirty percent of all men have such tendencies, to which the cop replies: "Not in Southampton [the town where this is taking place] they don't!".
  • In Dante's Purgatorio, Dante sees heterosexuals and homosexuals running in opposite directions in the Purgatory of Lust, with no indication that people exist who lust after both sexes. Not that Dante's audience in 14th-century Italy would really be desperate to see that.
  • Sexual orientation in Gone is pretty much always discussed in terms of gay/straight, with no indication that someone could be in between, although there is a lot of controversy involving a certain Zil Sperry.
  • Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating: Aisling thinks Hani is just confused about her sexual orientation or a lesbian, as she hasn't dated any girls, and continually makes comments like this for most of the book. It prompts the plot as Hani attempts to "prove" she's bisexual through faking a relationship with another girl. She grows increasingly aware that "proving" this isn't necessary though, and later tells Aisling so.
  • The Heather Wells Mysteries plays with this in the second book. Heather talks with Coach Andrews to figure out if he really had an affair with the murdered Lindsay Combs, only for Andrews to then make it clear that he wants to date her homosexual boss. The text calls Andrews gay, without bringing up the possibility of him being bisexual — until the next chapter, where the term is used to talk about how he never came across as homosexual or bisexual. Andrews is homosexual. And never had an affair with Lindsay.
  • Just Juliet: Everyone asks Lena whether she's gay at first when they see her being attracted to Juliet. Even after saying she's bisexual, they mostly still use “gay”, while it often seems to be just slang for any queer person, though she does get annoyed by Lacey not saying “bisexual”. Lena even used it herself sometimes. When she tells her parents, the concept of bisexuality itself seems to confuse them.
  • In Greg Egan's short story Reasons To Be Cheerful, the narrator, due to repaired brain damage, is given the ability to design his own likes and dislikes, starting from a blank slate of general approval. With regards to his sexuality, he starts off bisexual, but decides that he must choose to be either gay or straight, justifying the decision using nearly every stereotype about bisexuality there is.
    "I didn't want to be bisexual. I was too old to experiment like a teenager; I wanted certainty, I wanted solid foundations. I wanted to be monogamous, and even if monogamy was rarely an effortless state for anyone, that was no reason to lumber myself with unnecessary obstacles."
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: Referenced and subverted. Bisexuals do, in fact, exist, and the titular Evelyn Hugo is one of them. A major plot point of the story is that her long-time partner, Celia St. James, was unable to accept that Evelyn was attracted to both men and women. Instead, she tried to convince herself and Evelyn as well that the latter was a lesbian like Celia, and was using her relationships with men to deny her true sexual inclinations.
  • In Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult, one of the main characters, Zoe, becomes involved with a woman after her divorce. However, she calls herself a lesbian despite the fact that she admits being attracted to and in love with men. Her partner, Vanessa, is a school counselor and frequently counsels LGBT teens, but never mentions any bisexuals.
  • Appears in-story in Stephen King's The Stand. When Stu Redman (who comes from a small town in Texas) hears that Dayna Jurgens is bi, he doesn't even understand the term first. Later, when Dayna flirts with him and kisses him "for good luck" before she goes on a mission, he wonders how she could be a lesbian.
  • There are several main characters in the Village Tales series who are bisexual. This trope appears only In-Universe when Edmond, early on (he is swiftly educated out of his view), who is himself gay and in a lasting relationship with the pansexual Teddy, dismisses one of his friends' assertion of bisexuality as mere pretense: "HP. The never-never. 'Bi now, gay later' – really, there's no such thing [as bisexuality]." It doesn't go over well, and he apologizes and reforms his views.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Liz Lemon of 30 Rock decrees on a talk show in "Kidney Now!" that "There's no such thing as bisexual. That's just something invented in the nineties so they could sell more hair products." However, it should be noted that it's made obvious Liz is not qualified to give relationship advice.
    • It also helps that this is averted in-universe, with a few implicitly Bi characters, and (after years of speculation) a very EXPLICIT case during the final episode with Lutz.
  • Two of the men (Justin and Max) who have slept with Edina of Absolutely Fabulous became gay, apparently as a direct result ("You sure know how to turn them"). There is no evidence that they were ever attracted to men before, or were at all attracted to women afterward. However, in an episode featuring Whoopi Goldberg she claims that everyone is at least a little bit gay.
  • Almost Family: Despite having a husband and never finding women attractive before, the possibility that Edie is bisexual rather than a lesbian isn't brought up (it appears she's been in deep denial about this). The closest is a discussion of the "lesbian spectrum," where Amanda claims that all women fall on a spectrum of 0 to 100% gay, referring to herself (a lesbian) as 80% attracted to women and 20% attracted to men, and when Edie claims that she's "50/50," Amanda wants to "raise that number." So technically they're both bisexual, though neither identifies as such. Amanda's reference echoes the Kinsey scale, on which she'd be a 5 and Edie a 3.
  • In the soap opera All My Children, after her lover Cliff tried to let her down gently, recovering alcoholic Devon took the break up hard. She was about to take a drink when she met psychologist Lynn Carson. Lynn became Devon’s pillar. When Devon found out that Lynn was gay, Devon was sure the affection she was feeling for her was love. Devon was especially jealous of Lynn’s ex-girlfriend. Devon confessed her feelings to Lynn, but Lynn did not reciprocate. In the end, the storyline concluded with Devon still in love with Cliff, having just displaced those feelings on Lynn.
  • This trope was really nicely averted and even sort of lampshaded in the Hotel season of American Horror Story: Tristan keeps insisting that he's "not gay", when he's clearly practiced at seducing men, was introduced kissing a woman and then trying to kiss a guy while high, and eventually falls deeply in love with Liz, despite the fact that she's not even on hormone treatment, let alone having gender affirmation surgery. It becomes especially clear that this is supposed to come across as a tragic psychological problem when the show starts contrasting him with Will, who starts by identifying as gay, but then falls in love with the Countess and isn't conflicted about it at all. Will gets a scene in which he says that his romantic attraction to her (and his having tried having sex with women a few times before, because he does find them very aesthetically attractive) is not invalidated by the fact that his dick unfortunately won't react to her touch like he wants it to.note  And then later, he outright explains to his confused young sonnote  that he really is bisexual and only outwardly identified as "gay" before because society has a lot of negative stereotypes about bisexual people (he's a fashion designer, so him being out as gay wasn't a problem).
  • GOB of Arrested Development is portrayed as straight (Ho Yay gags aside) for the first three seasons, but the fourth has him question his sexuality after accidentally stumbling into a relationship with his rival Tony Wonder. While the narrator explains it as GOB and Tony experiencing friendship for the first time in their lives, the series starts to toy with the idea that they caught romantic feelings for each other, especially after a Zany Scheme results in them sleeping with each other. In interviews, creator Mitch Hurwitz began to describe GOB as gay, not bisexual, and implied that his previous behaviour was just posturing. However, by the fifth season they appeared to have changed their minds, and GOB and Tony conclude that they are straight after all. Throughout all of this, the show never tries to reconcile GOB's gay and straight behaviour, treating it as if he must be one or the other.note 
  • Zigzagged with Sara Lance in the Arrowverse. On Arrow, Sara and Oliver were lovers, and was on the Queen's Gambit when the ship went down. Sara went on to join the League of Assassins, she became the lover of Nyssa, daughter of Ras Al' Ghul. When Sara returned to Star (then Starling) City, she and Oliver became physical for a time before breaking up for good. On Legends of Tomorrow, except for a Ship Tease moment with Captain Cold, she's only been with women. Season 3 has her hook up once with John Constantine, in an episode that explicitly labels both of them as bi. Sara also outright tells the Earth-X Nazis in Crisis on Earth-X that "I like men and I like women."
  • The Boys (2019): Discussed In-Universe, since Vought has done market research that demonstrates the public finds it much easier to understand a simple straight-or-gay identity, leading them to publicly label Maeve (who's bi) a lesbian and move on.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Rosa's parents thought that there is no such thing as bisexual, giving Rosa a hard time when she comes out as bi.
  • An episode from the first season of Brothers & Sisters invoked this trope when Kevin was trying to figure out if a guy he was interested in, Chad, was gay or straight. When one of his siblings suggested that the guy might be bi, his answer was that no one is really bi, and that everyone has to "make a choice" eventually. A few episodes later, after they had been seeing each other for a while, Kevin decided that he was mistaken and that Chad was living proof that someone could really be bisexual.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In the first few seasons, Willow is portrayed as straight: she had a crush on Xander since childhood, a teeny-tiny one on Giles relegated to background hints, and had a serious relationship with Oz. However, once Tara enters the pictures, she's just "gay now". The idea that she might be attracted to both men and women is never brought up, which is especially jarring considering the episode where she realizes her feelings for Tara makes it abundantly clear that she has lingering feelings for Oz at the same time. In a 2020 interview Whedon says he was pressured to not make Willow bisexual over fears her same-sex attraction would be seen as a phase, "Because that's what people do to deny their existence." If the show had been made in present day (i.e. the 2020s), Willow could have been bisexual.
      "So if I did it now, I'd be like, yes, she can be bi. Because some people are! But back then it was like, no... we're not ready for that."
    • Likewise when vampire Willow shows up again in "Doppelgangland", Willow refers to her as "kind of gay" after she attempts to seduce her. This is ignoring that vampire Willow was clearly in a relationship with vampire Xander in "The Wish" — but of course, Willow didn't know this.
    • In their first domestic squabble, Willow accuses Tara of assuming she's just using her for a college lesbian experimentation.
      Tara: "I trust you. I just ... (looks down) I don't know where I'm gonna fit in ... in your life when..."
      Willow: "When ... I change back? Yeah, this is a college thing, just a, a little experimentation before I get over the thrill and head back to boys' town. (pause) You think that?"
      Tara: "Should I?"
      Willow: "I'm really sorry that I didn't establish my lesbo street cred before I got into this relationship. You're the only woman I've ever fallen in love with, so ... how on Earth could you ever take me seriously?"
    • After Buffy and Satsu hook up in the season 8 comics, several good reasons are given why they can't stay together, but apparently the main reason is that the former is "not a dyke". But could she be bi? The possibility isn't so much as alluded to. Later, we get Kennedy saying "You're not the only fool to ever wrinkle the sheets with a straight girl", which is arguably fair, but the possibility that she's bisexual still isn't mentioned. Her straightness is treated as just obvious. Even Xander gets in on it: when Buffy admits her attraction to him, he says that he is on the list as a potential romantic interest "right after gay. I rate almost as good as trying to change your sexual orientation. You went through gay to me."
  • Apparently Mary Beth Lacey was married off to avert initial audience reactions that Cagney & Lacey were a "couple of dykes".
  • Castle, more than once. In "Kill the Messenger" a male suspect is revealed to have been having sex with a man at one point, and this is treated as unassailable proof that he could not have had sex with a woman.
  • In an episode of Cheers, one of Rebecca's ex-boyfriends comes to the bar, and she's thinking of taking him back. When, with Rebecca absent, an off-hand mention of an ex-boyfriend of his own makes Sam realize that winning him back is impossible (which, of course, it turns out to be), and starting off a plot of wondering whether to tell her. Note that he doesn't say he's gay until near the end of the episode (when Rebecca's trying to seduce him). It should also be noted that said ex-boyfriend admits that Rebecca was the only woman he ever found attractive and it was a "confusing" time in his life.
  • Subverted in the Cold Case episode "Triple Threat". Chelsea comments that the murder victim, Elena, was a dating a man in high school, and she later saw him in a gay bar. She seems to think that he's gay, but if Elena found out, he would be willing to kill her to keep it hidden. When the detectives question him he openly states that he's bisexual. The detectives take him seriously, and he's quickly (and accurately) dismissed as a suspect.
  • Played for Laughs on the Comedy Central roast of William Shatner, where the other comedians repeatedly and pointedly refer to Andy Dick as "gay", while the camera cuts to him getting steadily more indignant in the background.
  • John Constantine is at least nominally bisexual in the source comics. Constantine gave no indication of the source bisexuality, with executive producer Daniel Cerone suggesting that the series might deal with Constantine's bisexuality in season 20 of the series. Executive producer David S. Goyer, when asked if Constantine would be bisexual, laughed and wondered why he was always asked that question about his series. Goyer was the creator of Da Vinci's Demons, which also straightwashed its protagonist. Averted when John Constantine was moved to Legends of Tomorrow, where his bisexuality isn't hidden.
  • Control Z: Lots of people call Gerry gay once it's revealed he's viewed gay porn, despite him otherwise being aggressively heterosexual and having a girlfriend. The idea he might be bisexual isn't raised. However, from what Gerry later says of himself (that he likes girls, but men having sex also interests him) it seems likely he's bisexual.
  • Coronation Street:
    • Todd realized he was gay after being in a loving and committed relationship with Sarah for nearly three years. Even after coming out he admitted he still loved Sarah and enjoyed being in a relationship with her but he never entertains the possibility he has an attraction to multiple genders (he previously also dated Candice) and he's only had relationships with men since.
    • Occurs again with Marcus and Maria's relationship. Marcus identifies as a gay man who fell in love with a woman. Maria insists that he calls himself straight. Maybe bisexual is the word they are both looking for?
    • The trope was finally averted when Amber suddenly made a pass at Sophie, after having an attraction to men for years. She was referred to by the media as 'bisexual'.
  • Thankfully, this is completely and utterly averted in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, where Darryl, Rebecca's boss, becomes attracted to a guy (White Josh) and temporarily panics (Darryl has an ex-wife and daughter). After an enlightening yoga session however (where he looks at both male and female butts), he realizes that he is a "both-sexual." Then, because Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is a musical, he sings a song called "Getting Bi" which actually addresses bisexual erasure.
  • Crossing Lines: In one episode a man whose death they're investigating is revealed to have had affairs with men on the side. His wife and everyone else never bring up the possibility that he was bisexual, not gay, despite the long and apparently strong relationship they had otherwise.
  • Dance Academy has Sammy, who has a girlfriend for a while. Due to the fact that his friends dislike Abigail, he tries not to like her either, but fails. He's not talking himself into liking her, he really does. Then he gets a crush on his roommate Christian, which causes him to question his sexuality. Then he gets a boyfriend, then kisses Abigail again, then dies. And nowhere is the word "bi" so much as mentioned.
  • Dark Desire:
    • Zoe initially has sex with her friend Karina, and concludes she's straight. Then she's briefly with Darío, but often appears conflicted or reluctant when they have sex (although that could be for other reasons). Later on, she kisses Karina again.
    • In Season 2 she's dating Karina, but sleeps with Mauricio. When explaining/apologizing to Karina, the latter claims it's just a phase for her, while Zoe denies this, saying she likes both. Neither uses the word bisexual.
  • Leonardo da Vinci is generally believed to have been, if not flat-out gay, at least bisexual. Da Vinci's Demons portrays him as aggressively heterosexual. His one (off-screen) dalliance with a man is dismissed as "experimentation" and in contrast with his explicit sexual acts with many women, his one kiss with another man is a chaste kiss good-bye.
  • In Dawson's Creek, Jack was presumably straight and interested in Joey in the first half of Season 2 before coming out as gay. While such a thing is not impossible in real life, it's believed that his Coming-Out Story was due to creator Kevin Williamson wanting one of the main characters to be gay like himself. When Jack struggles with his feelings towards Doug and coming to terms with being gay, nobody In-Universe considers the possibility of Jack being bi.
  • Dear White People: Neika Hobbs is in a long-term relationship with a woman. She's always called a lesbian, though she also has an affair with Troy. The closest anyone gets to acknowledging that she's actually bisexual is Troy saying that she isn't a lesbian with him.
  • Degrassi:
    • The series almost escaped this, but then fell right back into it once The Lad-ette lesbian Alex was written off the show. When they started the plot, Paige's feelings for Alex had her confused, eventually coming to terms with not having labels attached, having Paige openly date guys and Alex at the same time. Alex also said she was bi at the start of the arc, then revealed herself to be a lesbian by the middle of it. Paige stuck with bisexual up until Alex left the show, then it was a 'phase' and Alex was 'the only girl for her.' While Degrassi usually has at least one gay or lesbian character (plus satellite romantic interest cast), the line is clearly defined each time.
    • Another instance is that of Imogen. Imogen started out as the stalker of Eli, though later developed a crush on him — which bloomed into a romance. After they broke up, Imogen began a relationship with Fiona, which continued until the latter graduated at the end of season 12. Imogen also kissed Adam, and had another relationship with Jack (who is a girl). Imogen never uses the term "bisexual" to describe herself, but rather states that she "likes people".
    • Initially played straight with Miles, then gradually subverted. In season 13, he had relationships with both Zoe and Maya, and had a reputation of being a player at his former school. However, at the end of that season, Miles began a relationship with Tristan, which caused a great deal of confusion, given the fact that he only had previous relationships with girls. After Miles broke up with Tristan, he had a fling with Esme, though he still had feelings for Tristan. Eventually, he got back together with Tristan, though he didn't classify himself as bisexual. His bisexuality actually becomes a plot point in season 16 of the show, where he gains a writing scholarship on the basis of being LGBT; at the end of the episode, he finally identified as bisexual.
  • In one episode of Designing Women, Suzanne mentions that she told some guy's parents that he was bisexual because, "I don't believe in bisexuals. I figure the rest of us have to choose, so why shouldn't they?"
  • Desperate Housewives:
    • Katherine found herself attracted to, and eventually slept with, the attractive, female stripper Robin. This would mean she was most likely bisexual than anything, but everyone, including her, describes her as a lesbian, with the token gay couple flat out stating she can't have gay feelings for a woman because she is straight and there "isn't an on off switch". At no point is bisexuality ever considered, even as a concept.
    • Bree's son Andrew, who had been openly gay for many years, returned to Bree's house having gotten engaged to a young woman. Bree is flabbergasted and quickly suspects (correctly) he is marrying the woman for her money. Again at no point is the idea that Andrew might be bi even raised as a possibility — Andrew himself even tries to insist being gay was a phase. Which is strange, because he alludes at being bisexual right after coming out ("I love vanilla ice cream, but once in a while I will be in mood for chocolate"). Everyone, including himself, continues using the term gay for the next few seasons, though.
  • Dix pour cent: Andrea denies being bisexual when asked, despite having sex with men, and says she's a lesbian. She also mentions she's had sex with men in the past, but her preference is for women. Andrea later claims not to find men desirable at all or have sex with them.
  • A Story Arc on The Drew Carey Show focused on Carey's citizenship domestic partnership to Mr. Wick, and a running gag was the two of them being forced to explain away Playboys, or similar "no, we don't like girls" antics. Admittedly, another attempt to prove they were gay was "owning a bread machine", so it may just be down to the characters being dumb. Ironically, Drew himself could be seen, among other things, having sex dreams about George Clooney.
  • Steven on Dynasty (1981). Depending on what season and how it was written, Steven (who openly admitted he was gay in the show's first season) may or may not have had some genuine attraction to Claudia and Sammy Jo. Not that it ever lasted. By the reunion mini-series he had settled down permanently with Bart Fallmont, a love interest from a previous season. Never was the word "bisexual" ever brought up.
  • In the 90's sitcom Ellen, Ellen Morgan showed exclusive interest in men for the first three seasons, then began "Switching Teams" in season 4, to coincide with actress Ellen DeGeneres coming out publicly. Although Ellen's coming out had a big build-up, the character didn't truly begin to re-examine her life until the 4th season.
  • Kerry Weaver on ER. This was briefly addressed in one episode — Weaver was re-united with her birth mother, but the mother was appalled when she learned of Weaver's sexuality, asking her how she could "choose" to be that way. Weaver said in blunt terms that she was "alone in her soul" before she realized she was gay, despite a couple of obviously passionate relationships she had had with men before that.
  • Faking It: After skirting around the issue with Amy, it's finally averted in the character of Wade, who lampshaded the trope when Karma and Shane had asked him if he's gay or straight, noting "bisexual" didn't occur to them. He would eventually take both Karma and Shane out on a "thruple date" to prom... and then agree to a threesome with them. In the end he backs out of the threesome, realizing he didn't really want to do it and still had feelings for his ex. Shane outright states that no male bisexuals exist, though he admits some female ones do. Then in Amy's case, although she shows attraction to boys along with girls, it takes a long time for people to even raise the idea that she's actually bisexual, not lesbian, which seems like the consensus by the end of the show.
  • Frasier:
    • In one episode, Frasier briefly considers the idea he might be gay, based solely on the fact that his mannerisms fit many stereotypes. Martin, reasonably, objects that he would know by now. The fact he never thought he might be bi, despite only having been in relationships with or attracted to women before, makes it an example of this trope.
    • Recurring character Gil Chesterton acts and speaks like a stereotypical gay man, but he claims to be married to a woman (whom we never see and is described as a Butch Lesbian) which nobody buys. Late in the series, he's seen at a gay bar, suggesting that he was indeed gay the entire time. Never once is Gil ever suggested to be bisexual.
  • Friends:
    • Prior to the start of the series, Ross's wife Carol comes out as a lesbian after seven years of marriage to a man — which is perhaps not in itself unusual, particularly in a less than gay-friendly early '90s context (especially since it's later made clear that her parents are at least vaguely homophobic since they refused to come to her and Susan's wedding). However, it's clear that she and Ross still enjoyed a sexual relationship together for a while after she got involved with Susan — not only does he explicitly bring up on one occasion how they had "some good times before she became a lesbian... and a few afterwards, as well," but a flashback to exactly one year before the pilot episode reveals that their son Ben must have been conceived at least three months after she admitted to seeing Susan. However, bisexuality is never brought up, and everyone accepts that she's exclusively gay.
      • In one episode Joey refers to Ross as a guy who "married a woman who was nearly a lesbian, and then pushed her over the edge." Granted, it's intended as an insult and it's said by Joey, but Carol being bisexual would make a lot more sense.
      • It might be that Carol is portrayed as gay to make her more sympathetic. An openly bisexual woman cheating on her husband, whether with a woman or man, and eventually leaving him for her new lover just wouldn't be as likable (and may have a few Unfortunate Implications) as a repressed lesbian who's dealing with her sexual awakening and the breakdown of her marriage in the best way she can.
    • Also, Phoebe is shown to be attracted to women on occasion, and seems to be seriously considering asking out Ross and Monica's ridiculously beautiful cousin Cassie (although it could be argued that this is more a case of Even the Girls Want Her or If It's You, It's Okay). She is, however, openly admiring of attractive women on a number of occasions. Despite this, she's only ever shown dating men.
    • When Phoebe's Canadian husband, who was considered gay, suddenly divorced her for another woman there was no mention that he could be a bisexual — presumably because a Coming Straight Story was funnier. He also admitted he had experimented with women while in college.
    • Discussed In-Universe — in one of Phoebe's songs there's a verse: "Sometimes men love women, sometimes men love men, and then there are bisexuals, though some just say they're kidding themselves".
  • In The George Lopez Show, they never seemed to acknowledge that bisexuality existed or could exist.
    • A particularly egregious example is the Season 3 episode "What George Doesn't Noah..." where Carmen is pretending to date a classmate of hers named Noah as a cover for the fact that she was actually dating Zach Powers. In the episode's first act, George catches a message on Noah's phone that seems to insinuate that he's cheating on Carmen with another girl, so he and Benny follow Noah to the movie theater, where they catch him with a boyfriend. After that, George and Benny both insist that Noah is gay (which turns out to be true, but there's still the fact that, up until the reveal, he and Carmen had seemed pretty happy together), without ever considering for even a second that Noah could have been bisexual. As well, when George tells Carmen what he discovered about Noah and she pretends to be upset over the revelation, he tries to comfort her by telling her that some guys just don't know how to accept their sexuality, and says that a neighbor down the street "still doesn't know about her husband". Though the neighbor could just be a straight man that George thinks is gay due to sterotypes...
    • There's another episode where Ernie uses George's son Max as a prop in his attempts to pick up women, which comes back to bite him when the first woman he used this trick on hears Max call George "dad" instead of Ernie. When Ernie frantically tries to explain to the woman that it's not what it looks like, George pretends to be Ernie's husband and says:
    [paraphrased] "It better not be what it looks like. I'm gone for two weeks and you do this! You better pick a team, mister."
  • Gimme, Gimme, Gimme has a TV presenter named Vic Cheesecloth, who spends his entire episode acting camp and "flirting" with openly gay Tom, who has come to appear in one of his sofa commercials. When Tom eventually develops feelings for him, he asks him whether he could move in to his mansion, to which Vic roars with laughter and states that his wife would be annoyed, making Tom freak out because they had shared a bed in the hotel. Vic excuses this by saying that he's a "straight man that sleeps with men." Considering the sitcom has mentioned bisexuality before, this trope might be parodied, but there hasn't been an openly bisexual character (unless you count Linda having a one night stand with a female taxi driver), so this is debatable.
  • In Girls, Hannah's ex Elijah Krantz is generally portrayed as "having always been gay" despite his attraction to women in the past. He tries to "prove" he is bisexual, and him not enjoying the sex is seen as objective evidence for him being gay, ignoring what he identifies as.
  • Glee:
    • The show had two female high school students that appeared to be bisexual, cheerleaders Brittany and Santana. Santana was subsequently revealed to be a lesbian, and ditzy Brittany identified herself as "fluid" and "bi-curious".
    • Blaine, a gay exchange student, becomes confused over his orientation in one episode and is convinced that he is bisexual. His friend Kurt dismisses this and claims that gay teenagers call themselves that "when they want to hold hands with [the opposite sex] and feel normal for a change", to which Blaine calls that a double-standard. Despite that, Blaine turns out to be "100% gay" at the end of the episode, which slightly backfires on the entire anvil drop.
    • Quinn gets drunk at a wedding and has drunken sex with Santana in a nearby hotel. The two of them never speak of it again afterwards and it spreads around their circle of friends. Possibly because of Quinn appearing less and less in the series, there's not one point whether she questions her sexuality (considering she's dated two boys in her grade, one in the grade below and a 30-something university teacher).
    • While most media tend to refer to people as either "gay" or "straight", depending on who they're involved with (romantically and/or sexually), Glee goes out of its way to avoid using the B word (so much so that there's an entry on the show's drinking game page about it). Whenever the word is used, it's to poke fun at people who think the concept even exists and/or to explicitly state that it isn't. Brittany is the closest there is to a bisexual character on the show (and even then, there's the implication that her sexuality is due to her ditziness, more than anything else).
  • Gossip Girl (2021): Everyone's initial assumption is that Aki's gay, not bisexual (even though he has a girlfriend).
  • The Netflix series Grace and Frankie opens with two couples getting together for brunch and a big announcement, only it's not the retirement announcement the wives are expecting, it's the announcement that the two men are gay and want to get married to each other. For the rest of the series, they and everyone else refer to them as gay. Bisexuality is never brought up despite 40 years of marriage and 20 years of adultery in each case, plus multiple children in each marriage (albeit with two adopted). One could argue that they've been gay all along and merely closeted... except one of the major plot points of season 2 is Frankie and Sol have sex again on the day that they move all their stuff out of their old house. The series does, however, go some ways toward showing that love and sexual orientation can be complicated; Sol clearly loved Frankie and still does, and Robert admits to missing the way that being with Grace made him feel — "There was nothing in the world like walking into a room with that woman."
  • The character of Callie Torres on Grey's Anatomy broadened her sexual horizons when she started a relationship with fellow surgeon Erica Hahn. After a spell of sexual confusion Callie affirmed that she enjoyed sleeping with both her girlfriend and her male friend Mark. She was written as a classic, equal-opportunity bisexual. Subsequently people started to refer to her as exclusively a lesbian, with Erica going so far as to say that "You can't 'kind of' be a lesbian". They later acknowledged that she was bisexual, but other characters still have a problem getting it — when threatened by Callie's constant presence in Mark's life, Lexie asked her "How gay are you? On a scale from one to... gay."
  • Subverted in Happy Endings. It's stated outright that Jane dated girls in college, but it's portrayed as though she was going through a phase. When an ex-girlfriend comes to visit, husband Brad is over the moon because Girl-on-Girl Is Hot. When its revealed that Jane was actually in love and in a serious relationship with her, it becomes clear that it was more than a phase and Brad becomes insanely jealous.
  • Hollyoaks:
    • While this trope was averted with several characters, most notably Kris, during John-Paul and Craig's romance the idea that Craig — who had been involved with several female characters before, seemed to enjoy said relationships, and wanted to stay with his girlfriend Sarah — might be bisexual was mentioned all of once, several weeks after the storyline ended. All that was said on the matter while it was ongoing was:
      John Paul: You have sex with men, in my books that makes you gay.
    • Ste had been on the show for a number of years, only expressing an interest in women, when he suddenly began an affair with another man. No attempt was made to suggest he was bisexual — instead, the explanation given was a retcon that he had loved a boy while in young offenders, so had been gay all along. Ste remained identified as gay even after he later fathered a child and began a relationship with the child's mother.
    • Doug only expressed interest in women for a number of years until he suddenly fell in love with Ste. As with Ste, a retcon that he had had a crush on a male friend in childhood was enough to now claim he was gay and had been gay all along.
  • House, despite having a bisexual on the character list in the form of Thirteen, invoked this in the episode "The Choice" — the choice for the patient being straight or gay. That there is a third option is brought up in passing a couple times, but not much is made of it; mainly because the character was entirely attracted to men until he decided to get "fixed" at one of those infamous camps, and claims to have become entirely "straight" as a result, although the other characters mostly don't believe him when he says this.
  • In one episode of How I Met Your Mother, Ted states that he hates a man named Gary Blauman because they were in competition for a girl. Later, Barney's gay brother James reveals he also hates Gary because he cheated on his husband with him and blames him for his divorce. Ted immediately (and correctly) deduces that Gary is gay and that the latter was actually fighting with the girl for him. Nobody suggests that having an affair with a man and flirting with a girl are not incompatible.
  • How to Get Away with Murder:
    • When Michaela finds out that her fiancé Aiden used to be in a relationship with Connor despite never bringing him up alongside his list of (female) exes, she accuses him of being gay and he denies being so, claiming it was a case of Situational Sexuality. Bisexuality is not considered an option by either party. Oliver later raises the idea of Aiden being bisexual, but Michaela quickly shoots this down and Aiden is basically never mentioned again.
    • Zigzagged with Annalise, who was dating and sleeping with Eve before leaving her for Sam; she reconnects with Eve as well in Season 2. In the past, she was not as comfortable with her sexuality as she seems to be in the present. Annalise and Eve's previous relationship was derailed when Annalise became concerned with the idea that she was a lesbian; she went to Sam shortly afterward, implying that it had something to do with this concern. Further, Eve seems convinced (at least in the flashbacks to ten years in the past) that Annalise is actually a lesbian in denial. In Season 3, two men hit on Eve and Annalise at a bar; Eve says that she's a lesbian, whereas Annalise says "It's complicated."
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Early seasons have Mac as unambiguously heterosexual, but his Manchild obsession with action heroes and staunch Catholicism increasingly become the subject of jokes that he's Armored Closet Gay. He still occasionally demonstrates attraction to women as late as season 7. The gang increasingly assert to each other that he's obviously gay without ever considering that he's bisexual. When Mac finally comes out of the closet in season 12, it's as a gay man who is now completely turned off from women.
  • Just Shoot Me!:
    • Dennis expresses surprise when his friend Brandi's attracted to a woman whom they both liked in high school, thinking that her being transgender means Brandi is exclusively into guys. She indicates this is an exception, but they don't appear to realize that bisexuality's even a possibility.
    • The recurring joke that Maya's gay also don't make much sense unless you assume she's really closeted, given all her relationships have been men. She's straight, but they don't ever joke that she might be bi and also into women.
    • Subverted in "Finch and the Fighter", where Finch dates the female boxer Kelly. It turns out she'd dated a Butch Lesbian boxer named Maria, and he at first thinks it's part of her "experimental" phase. She then corrects him that they dated for four years though, and Nina later does call her bisexual, although Kelly never describes her own orientation.
  • Law & Order: In the episode "For the Defense", Bernard and Lupo are protecting a female witness who had a relationship with the victim. Rough quote:
    [Lupo leaves the room]
    Witness: Does he have a girlfriend?
    Bernard: Didn't you have a girlfriend?
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit:
    • The episode "Lowdown", where "down-low" (ebonic slang for "man on the side") is described by Tutuola as "closeted black men who have sex 'on the down-low' then go back and pretend to be attracted to their wives." In the entire episode, no variant of the word "bisexual" is used once. Three egregious lines:
      Dr. Huang: You're not the first woman who's slept with a closeted man. Sexuality is very complicated. Just because he was gay didn't mean he wasn't attracted to you.
      Tutuola: Guess what? That [sex with men] MEANS YOU'RE GAY!
      Andy: I love you. That's why I couldn't admit who I was... couldn't leave my family... couldn't admit I was gay.
    • In "Weak", the prime suspect in the serial rape of a number of disabled and mentally ill women is discounted because he appears to be gay. And not as in, "Oh, he has a boyfriend, never mind," but the SVU detectives repeatedly saying, "How can he be the prime suspect? He's gay!"
    • "P.C." had a militant lesbian activist clear her boyfriend's name by coming out and admitting that she's bisexual. Of course, all the people at the meeting act like it's a personal betrayal.
  • Lip Service: Frankie doesn't mind sleeping with guys but she doesn't consider herself bi, as she says "men are only when women are not around".
  • The L Word:
    • At the end of season 1 Jenny (who earlier in the season was torn between her long-time male partner and the first woman she was attracted to) is involved at the same time with both a man and a woman. Both of them are aware of the other and it seems to be shaping up into an interesting poly relationship. However the writers seem to have decided not to pursue the the possibilities of this storyline and Season 2 begins with the guy breaking up with her because she's clearly more interested in women (later on, Jenny's sexuality gets complex again when she is dating a transgender man in the process of transitioning).
    • Alice identified as bisexual and dated both men and women up through season 2. After that the writers quietly dropped this and by the end of the series she was identifying as a lesbian.
    • Tina gets attracted to men in Season 3 and begins a relationship with one, which is mostly treated as her "changing sides" or "going straight" rather than bisexual.
    • In regards to them and other characters, lesbians show skepticism that bisexuality exists on more than one occasion.
    • Alice's bisexuality comes back into focus during Generation Q, when she's attracted to Tom and starts a relationship with him. This is after years of identifying as a lesbian with only same-sex-relationships. She's unhappy at knowing she'll have to essentially come out again, complaining about lesbians disbelieving that bisexuals even exist and afraid of the reaction her many fans will have (Alice heads up a lesbian-oriented talk show). It's implied that she's largely attracted to women and just found it easier identifying as a lesbian.
  • Subverted in an unusual way in Madam Secretary: Elizabeth McCord's assistant Blake Moran is initially written as a downplayed Camp Gay character (slightly flighty, and impeccably dressed and well-groomed), but in season four he comes out as bisexual after a tense encounter with an ex-boyfriend now working on Wall Street.
  • Misfits:
    • When Nathan suddenly starts showing attraction to Simon (because of a guy using his power, who he pissed off), Kelly asks incredulously whether he's gay. He'd only showed interest in women before, but no one thinks he might be bi.
      Rudy: All I'm saying is that maybe your boyfriend is a proud, beautiful gay man who likes to-
      Alisha: He's not gay! He's the best shag I ever had!
    • Averted in Season 3 with Emma, who appears to find both Curtis and 'Melissa' attractive, and one of the girls Rudy thought he slept with in episode 6.
    • It was already averted in the Season 1 finale where a girl in Rachel's circle confessed her sinful life dating lots of guys and other girls.
    • When Abby becomes attracted to (and then has sex with) a woman, she (and everyone else) assumes this means she's a lesbian, even though previously she only had sex with men (due to Laser-Guided Amnesia making her forget everything prior to the storm). No one appears to think that she could just be a bisexual, or is even aware of the idea. This could be explained though, in that Abby had been searching for a connection in all of her sexual encounters and had found zero sense of fulfillment by being with any of these men.
  • In Modern Family, despite the show being centered around open-mindedness towards LGBT+ families and actress Sarah Hyland's Word of Gay on her character's bisexuality, interestingly Haley’s bisexuality has never been explicitly stated on the show, and she hasn’t had any storylines on the show that would indicate she is bisexual.
  • Michael in My Family came out as gay after nine seasons of being straight. Bisexuality is never even mentioned.
  • NCIS: New Orleans: In "Rock-a-Bye Baby", the husband of a (male) Navy Commander, Marlin, had an affair with a Chinese spy, whom he describes as "helping him come out" after having previously been living "on the DL" (slang for closeted gay black men). He describes his subsequent life as a "gay father". The idea that he might be bi is not considered.
  • Nip/Tuck seems rather biased against bisexuals at times. Lesbian characters demand for bi-curious women to "pick a side", seeming to think that you can only be one or the other. Many of the people who do show sexual attraction to multiple genders seem to be psychotic and slightly dangerous. On the other hand, Female-Female-Male Threesomes aren't an uncommon feature of the show.
  • Men in Noah's Arc are apparently only gay, straight, or closeted (e.g. gay). Even characters who have at least been implied to have had different gender relationships, such as Wade and Guy, are depicted as doing so solely to hide feelings for men or out of a poor understanding of their own sexuality.
  • The Office (US)
    • A big scandal involves Angela marrying a state senator who Oscar thinks is actually gay, based on looks he gives other men. The possibility that the senator is actually bisexual never comes up, despite him being introduced in the series as having been married to a woman already and having a son (who is promptly forgotten in later episodes). The bisexuality issue aside, the writers of The Office also seemed to think that being gay meant a man couldn't possibly have sex with a woman - when Angela becomes pregnant, one of Oscar's reasons to suspect she actually had an affair is that her husband is gay.
    • In another episode, Andy starts to question his sexuality after Michael starts a (deliberately false) rumor that he's gay. Despite Andy's clearly-depicted interest in women throughout the previous seasons (and the fact that the only "evidence" he provides for his possible homosexuality is a pretty mild fantasy about kissing Brad Pitt), the possibility that he might be bi rather than gay apparently never occurs to him. At one point he even asks the Token Gay Oscar for advice, only for Oscar to dismiss the matter with a remark about "insecure straight guys."
  • Downplayed by Orange Is the New Black. Piper clearly is bisexual, having an ongoing interest in both her fiancé Larry and her old flame Alex. But not a single character on the entire show seems to consider describing her as bisexual — not even herself, until Larry asks his father if she's technically bi. Perhaps tellingly, most of the characters who call her "straight" are gay, while most of the characters who call her "gay" or "lesbian" are straight. The few people who consider the possibility seem to prefer avoiding labels entirely, except again, Larry who uses the word once. This falls into Truth in Television, unfortunately — bisexuals are often seen as an outsider by both gay and straight folks.
  • Orphan Black is an odd example: neither Cosima nor Delphine have ever expressed any interest in men, so it would have been perfectly easy to portray them both as lesbians when they became a couple. However, when Delphine first kissed Cosima she said that she had 'never considered bisexuality', and Word of God stated that Cosima just happened to be bi, making it a cool, rare example of a relationship between two bisexuals. But then in season three, Cosima referred to herself as a lesbian, and Word of God stated that Delphine actually wasn't bi as they had implied but straight with a case of If It's You, It's Okay.
  • In Party of Five, following a breakup with an abusive boyfriend, Julia Salinger (Neve Campbell) falls for her lesbian creative writing teacher, Perry Marks (Olivia d'Abo). In a moment of excitement and passion, Julia goes in for a kiss. Later, Perry tells Julia that she doesn't want to be Julia's chemistry experiment and believes that Julia is straight, basically — that if Julia truly thinks she’s gay and isn't just caught up in a crush on a teacher after getting out of a rough situation with a dude, she should figure that out before playing with Perry's heart.
  • In Pose, Angel outright asks her lover Stan if he's gay and he says he's not and he sees her as a woman. Later when Stan's wife finds out she also asks him if he's "a homosexual".
  • In the Quantum Leap episode "Running for Honor", Sam and Al wonder if the kid he leaps into is gay. Sam argues that he might not be because he has a girlfriend. Al counters that many gay men at that time dated women. Neither of them ever considers bisexuality an option.
  • For whatever reason (or none at all), Queer as Folk never explored or even mentioned bisexuality. But everybody's gay — except for a few token straight characters. A brief intrigue concluded that if you aren't either completely gay or totally straight, something's wrong with you.
  • MTV's The Real World: DC features Mike Manning, who is exploring his attraction to men. Despite dating and making out with other men, he still feels an attraction to women. This is hard for his housemates to understand (they think he's gay, but denying it) and even the guy he dates think he's in denial about being gay. MTV themselves invoked this as well, by editing the episodes to almost exclusively include his interactions with men. In this article with After Elton, he comes out as fully bisexual and says he prefers men.
  • On Rescue Me:
    "I thought you were gay?!
    "I dunno, man, I miss pussy."
  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Duct Soup", Kochansky tries to get Lister's mind off his claustrophobia by talking to him. The conversation eventually steers to her claiming that Lister's friend Todhunter was gay in her dimension. Lister is incredulous, since Todhunter in his dimension was a married man with kids and mistresses. Kochansky says that didn't matter. The fact that Todhunter could have been bisexual wasn't brought up, though the whole thing was almost certainly a fabrication to distract Lister.
  • Roseanne had an interesting case with Nancy. She would frequently say things like, "Ugh, I'm sick of women, I'm going back to men this week," and be very blasé about dating both men and women. All arrows point to her being bisexual, but when she came to Roseanne's house with a male date after coming out, Roseanne and her other friends were confused, asking things such as "Well, won't they kick you out of the club for that?" apparently thinking if she'd dated women she's lesbian.
  • Schitt's Creek: Discussed with David, who makes out with a very confused Stevie in an early episode. When she expresses her confusion seeing as she thought David was Camp Gay, he explains he is actually pansexual, attracted to people based on personality and not gender.
  • The Secret Life of Us has Richie Blake. He starts the series in a relationship with Miranda, but after discovering he's attracted to men, sleeping with Simon and later Brad, he's only ever identified as gay. Subverted with Chloe in season 3, while Miranda seemed to be a case of If It's You, It's Okay with her.
  • Seinfeld:
    • Susan briefly becomes a lesbian, seeing at least two women. One of these women leaves Susan for Kramer until being turned off from men by a coat, and the other was an ex of George's who remained infatuated right up until meeting Susan. Susan herself eventually returns to George. Despite the fact that the orientations of these three change at the drop of a hat (or coat), each of them is identified by her immediate status at all times, never as bisexual.
      Jerry: [on Susan] I thought she became a lesbian.
      George: Nah, it didn't take.
    • After he gets a massage from a male masseuse which makes George think he might be attracted to men, everyone takes this as him possibly being gay, even though he only showed attraction for women before. The concept of bisexuality is never raised.
  • Despite several seasons of being seen exclusively with men, Sex and the City's Samantha briefly became a lesbian during the show's fourth season... then returned to heterosexuality immediately after (and lampshaded thereafter, "When I was a lesbian" becoming something of a catchphrase), although sometimes straight women do experiment (especially during sweeps week). On the other hand, Carrie did date a bisexual guy in one episode, but the way it was presented it kinda came off like "oh those young people, what with their wacky bisexuality!".
  • Sherlock:
    • Irene Adler, a professional dominatrix who has both female and male clients but, upon acknowledging her feelings for Sherlock, was quick to clarify that she is, in fact, a lesbian. Where Sherlock is concerned, she merely suffers from a case of If It's You, It's Okay.
    • It's Played for Laughs, and we're never given any real cause to believe that he's anything other than heterosexual, but John's response every time someone implies that he and his best friend Sherlock are a couple is: "I'm not gay!" Considering that creator Mark Gatiss once said, "I think a lot of people who say they are bisexual aren't", this is likely intentional.
  • A Shot at Love, a reality series based around the concept of having Tila Tequila dating (completely) straight men and (total) lesbians, to, as promos put it, "choose" whether to be straight or gay. There have been several hints that Amanda is bisexual, though it's been entirely for comedy.
  • In Soap, nominally "gay" Jodie seems to have more girlfriends and have sex with more women than most of the straight male cast put together!
  • The Society: Played with. While none of the characters are stated to be bisexual, the possibility isn't dismissed either. Sam pretends that he's interested enough in Becca to sleep with her in order to appear to be the father of her baby. When Gwen comes on to Grizz and he rejects her because he's gay, she asks if he's "all-the-way gay" or "just mostly gay" (it's the former). The words "bisexual" and "bisexuality" still never come up though.
  • In The Sopranos, despite Vito Spatafore having a wife, children and mistress he is viewed by everyone as exclusively gay when it becomes apparent that he secretly sleeps with men on the side. The word "bisexual" is never even mentioned throughout the entire story arc. Although, a least partially Justified by the fact that mobsters wouldn't have the most nuanced view of sexuality, and anything less that 100% stereotypical macho heteronormativity would be viewed as "gay" by them; in an earlier episode it's revealed that even performing oral sex on a woman is considered potential evidence of homosexuality.
  • The Steve Wilkos Show, while generally making a point of showcasing the scum of the earth regardless of sexual orientation, sometimes uses this as a way to further demonize some already-skeevy people. A man accused of orally sodomizing his four-year-old niece supposedly admitted to a Lie Detector test administrator that he'd had sexual relationships with men in the past, and that he preferred men to women. Despite being in a long-term sexual relationship with a woman at the time, everyone on the show condemned it as being a further element of his monstrosity. Even Steve chewed him out for not just admitting that he was gay and living an ordinary gay life, because "if you have sex with men, you're gay".
  • Switched at Birth: When Kathryn is discussing with John whether her mother Bonnie and Bonnie's friend Lucille are lovers, she expresses skepticism at the idea of her "turning gay" now after all the years of being married to Kathryn's father. The idea she might be just bi never comes up.
  • One of the two jokes used on Three's Company was Jack posing as a gay man so the conservative Mr. Roper (and, later, the moronic Mr. Furley) would allow him to share an apartment with two unmarried women. The possibility of him being bisexual was brought up once... with Jack taking the entire episode to figure out that that would get him kicked out just as quickly as being straight.
  • In Tiger King, much is made of the fact that Joe Exotic's husbands also had relationships with women. Strangely, though, the documentary seems to try to draw the conclusion that they were straight guys who only went along with a gay relationship for the benefits Joe could provide, rather than considering what should be the more obvious possibility that they might be bisexual.
  • Invoked in True Blood when Jessica catches her then-boyfriend James having an affair with Lafayette. She tells Jason about it who instantly assumes he's gay, even though James was clearly in love with Jess and enjoyed having sex with her. She thinks he's "confused" even though he's at least 70 years old (having been turned into a vampire as a young man in the 1960s) and would most likely have a grip on his sexuality by now. She was conveniently blind to the fact that she was a shitty girlfriend, and that is why he cheated on her; his bisexuality simply made Lafayette a viable option.
  • Twenties: Discussed, as Hattie's friend Nia expresses skepticism that people can really be bisexual. The show however does not take this view, with Lorraine and Ida both being viewed as possibly bisexual (the former rejects labels though), given they have dated or had sex with Hattie though also men. Marie's fiancé Chuck also tells her that he's bisexual, which she'd already known, averting this since she fully accepts that it's real, along with Nia and Hattie.
  • In Two and a Half Men season 11, Jenny Harper picks up a girl in a bar that isn't a lesbian without revealing that she herself is a lesbian. And already has managed to sleep with non-lesbians, such as Walden's mom Robin, Lyndsey (as part of a threesome with Lyndsey's boyfriend) and Lynda Carter. Walden even calls it the "lesbian zombie" virus.
  • Unforgotten: In Season 2, Colin is married to a man, and therefore Cassie and Sunny assume there's no way he raped a woman. Although they do ultimately prove that he was falsely accused.
  • Vida:
    • Emma and Lyn assume their mother was a closeted lesbian for years while being married to their father, after they learn she had married a woman before her death. Neither considers that she might have been bisexual.
    • The second season has Emma revealed to be bisexual, and she's faced with lesbians who are skeptical about it. All of this is said right to her face, and Emma's very upset by it.
  • Whitechapel: In regards to the dead Ronnie Kray, he is always described as homosexual. However, the real man mostly called himself bisexual, which is born out by his documented relationships with women (he was also even married twice).
  • Will & Grace: Though there are a number of bisexual characters that make appearances throughout the show, this trope is brought in dialogue a few times. Will at one point says "Pansexual? Isn't that just a rest stop on the highway to homo?". In the first season, Will and Grace are both attracted to a new tenant in their apartment building, who seems to be potentially interested in them both. They argue over whether he's straight or gay; the possibility of his being bi is never raised. In the second season, the produce guy gives Grace his number, and everyone assumes that this means he never sleeps with guys.
    • Karen from Will and Grace, though played by the openly bisexual Megan Mullally, was never explicitly described as bi, but she certainly expressed interest in men and women alike.
    • Another episode featured Matt Damon as a straight guy trying to pretend he's gay to join the gay men's chorus. When he checks out a woman, another character says "Holy Anne Heche Laffoon, he's straight!", thus invoking this trope for a character and a real person.
    • The Revival is a bit better about this, in an episode featuring Grace's niece and her bisexual boyfriend both Will and Grace are convinced that he is a gay guy who is just lying to himself, and take it upon themselves to break the couple up for their own good, since they assume the guy will either be miserable pretending to be straight or will inevitably leave her for a man and break her heart, just like what happened with the two of them. Will and Grace are both depicted as out of touch for their view of sexuality as: gay, straight, nothing in between, with Grace's niece explicitly calling Will out for bisexual erasure and her boyfriend stating that he doesn't see staying with her as giving up on sex with men but just being in a monogamous relationship. Will's still obviously very skeptical at the idea of bisexuality, but he acknowledges that by telling the young man that he's just "confused", he sounds like the homophobes who told him that he wasn't really gay when he was young and they both give the couple their blessing.
  • The title character of Xena: Warrior Princess is often thought to be lesbian because of her love for Gabrielle, despite seeming to enjoy sex and relationships with many men (Ares, Marcus, etc.). One might argue the same with Gabrielle.

  • In and Out of the Kitchen features an episode where engaged couple Damien and Anthony run into an ex-boyfriend of the latter, and are very surprised to discover that he's now married to a woman. It's treated as incredibly awkward, with the characters making the immediate assumption that (1) the wife must be unaware that her husband has dated men in the past, and (2) that the husband must be using the marriage as a cover for his repressed sexuality. Unlike most episodes - which show Damien in particular getting into increasingly cringe-inducing situations, often due to his tendency to make snap judgments - it's played entirely straight: the episode ends with the wife discovering her husband's sexual history and immediately breaking down in tears because "she knew he never really loved her".

    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering's Chandra Nalaar pivoted from being an out-and-proud bisexual woman to suddenly describing her love of another woman as a "phase," complete with description of how much she loved manly muscles.

  • In Dog Sees God, after CB kisses Beethoven, everyone immediately starts talking about him as being gay, even though he'd had at least one girlfriend in the past. Not one person even suggests that he might be bi.
  • Subverted in How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse. One of the protagonists Mark is in a relationship with a woman and begins an affair with a man. When they first kiss after a drunken night out, he says he's not gay. The relationship continues for a while and ends on a Maybe Ever After with him and the girlfriend. Word of God is that Mark is "Bi-curious".
  • Implied in Heathers when Martha believes Ram couldn't possibly have been in love with Kurt if he kissed her in kindergarten.
  • In If/Then, Liz says "I don't believe in independents. It's like bisexuals. Pick a side." Subverted in that Lucas is unambiguously bisexual, ending up with a woman in one timeline and a man in another.

    Video Games 
  • BioWare usually averts this trope in most of their original settings, since at least one of the potential Love Interests in each game is usually bisexual. With Dragon Age II, however, it's the fans that seem to be invoking the trope in the case of one particular character. A vocal group believes that Anders' sexual orientation is determined by the player character's gender, due to one early conversation. If Hawke is male, Anders reveals that Karl, the mage he was desperately trying to save from becoming Tranquil in his initial quest, was not only his lover, but his first. If Hawke is female, that part of the conversation never happens, and Karl's just assumed to be a good friend. Said fans have pointed to this as proof that Anders is gay if Hawke's male, and straight if Hawke's female, with bisexuality completely off the table as a possibility. This, despite despite Word of God that Everyone Is Bi, and Anders' own statements to the contrary to male!Hawke:
    Anders: I've always believed people fall in love with a whole person, not just a body. Why would you shy away from loving someone just because they're like you?
  • Fire Emblem: Tellius — A strange meta example happens in the continuity and its male protagonist, Ike. Throughout Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, he gets a lot of Ship Tease with Princess Elincia and some with his strategist, Soren. In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, the Ike x Elincia subtext is really watered down to both pair her up with her bodyguard Geoffrey and to make room for more Ike x Soren subtext. Then Fire Emblem Awakening revealed a character named Priam, who refers to himself as Ike's descendant. Cue a Broken Base and a shitload of people on the straight and gay sides of the fence trying to "prove" Ike's sexuality one way or the other. Somehow, the prospect of him being bisexual never figured into anybody's head.
  • The moment Joey Claire expressed an interest in both her own gender and a male character, the Hive Swap fandom plunged into heated debate over whether she was really bisexual or a lesbian trying to convince herself that she was straight.
  • In Persona 4, part of Kanji's character involves his fairly-extreme feelings of sexual confusion, wrestling with the question of whether or not he's homosexual, including feeling attraction to the young male detective Naoto who turns out to be a girl in disguise, but to whom he still feels attraction, just to add to the poor guy's woes. Through it all, including his character arc of coming to understand that his sexuality is something he should accept about himself rather than being ashamed of or letting define his entire personality, no one even suggests the possibility that he might just be into guys and girls.
  • Stardew Valley:
    • Downplayed with most characters. The player is free to romance any of the bachelor/ettes regardless of gender, but all of them only display interest in the opposite sex, and every Ship Tease pairing is Male/Female.
    • Played with by Leah, whose ex is always the same gender as the player character, however you want to interpret that.

    Web Animation 
  • Parodied in Mister Sharp's cartoon "The Bizarre World of the Bisexual", one of a series of fake PSAs done in old-timey style:
    "But fear not! Because despite all this evidence, bisexuality does not exist! And any suggestion that it does is met with outrage by gay and lesbian groups, who are naturally repulsed by the idea of free expression of sexuality, and attack suspected bisexuals with erasers."

  • Parodied in this ASCII Art Fart.
  • In Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures, once Jyrras realizes he's attracted to Abel... that's it, he's gay, no in-betweens allowed, despite previously having had subtext with Lorenda. Granted, Jyrras has shown a tendency towards a binary "Right Answer/Wrong Answer" view of the world and a shaky grasp of relationships in general, so he may think there's only the two options.
  • In Dominic Deegan, the bisexual Szark, formerly married (non-exclusively) to a woman, suddenly decides he's gay after his Heel–Face Turn, which somehow frees him to be in love with Dominic.
  • El Goonish Shive triggered a massive TV Tropes Edit War over this trope that rages on to this day when two characters appeared to be renouncing their canon bisexuality... by getting into monogamous relationships. Ellen is bisexual, and Grace is effectively so. Some people feel, however, with Ellen choosing to sidestep her attraction to men and Grace's affection generally being limited solely to Tedd, the two characters are bisexual only in the most literal sense. Others, though, feel that the comic is not an example due to the TF Gun inducing bisexuality in most of its victims, as well as the fact that Ellen and Grace have been known to express their attraction to men and women respectively, just not often. Ellen currently identifies as a bisexual homoromantic, and The Rant under that strip talks a bit about the situation, with the point that different people have different ideas of what bisexual actually means. Ultimately, the conclusion one can reach is that Dan Shive is trying to avoid this trope, but just isn't very good at getting his point across.
  • Addressed in Friendly Hostility after Bootsie realizes that neither Fox nor Collin wants to "ravish" her because they're dating each other. Fox says that he doesn't do labels, and that calling Collin gay would overload everyone's irony sensors. It's a bit of a plot point when Collin, after dating Fox for years, realizes he is, in fact, gay.
  • Homestuck: Inverted in Homestuck. The trolls are by default bisexual and are capable of reproducing with both sexes. Even Kanaya, who seems to be only attracted to women, is described as having a "preference" for women.
  • Ménage à 3:
    • DiDi was originally portrayed as coming to realize her bisexuality, and was quick to object when someone refers to a bisexual as "gay". However, after a failed attempt at sex with similarly curious Sandra, Sandra declares herself and DiDi "two naked straight girls with poor boundary issues". Later on, DiDi simply becomes desperate for an orgasm and isn't really particular about who gets her there.
    • Appears in-universe, when Dillon is surprised to learn that his then-boyfriend Matt is bi, not gay. The comic also includes Gary, a nominally-straight man who is implied to have bisexual tendencies, and Yuki, a nominal lesbian who may have bisexual tendencies which she represses as a result of, um, "tentacle-related childhood trauma". The comic does a fairly decent job of acknowledging the fluidity of human sexuality without resorting to a polarized form of Everyone Is Bi.
    • The spinoff Sticky Dilly Buns plays it straight with the character Jerzy, who outright states "Bi today, gay tomorrow". With that and the fact the only bisexual characters in the strip play up adultery for all it's worth, it gives off a strong sense of Unfortunate Implications.
  • Discussed in Something*Positive. Monette came out as a "lesbian" early on but kept having (a lot) of sex with men, confusing her. It wasn't until after starting her long-term relationship with Lisa that she admitted to being bisexual. It's mentioned that many of Lisa's lesbian friends don't really believe in bisexuality, and the bisexual Vanessa once told Peejee about a female ex she'd dumped for saying she'd "get over it".
  • Averted in Niels, in which numerous characters are bisexual. In-universe, however, Duncan believed this as a youth, assumed that his attraction to men meant that he was gay and that his attraction to women was invalid.
  • Parodied in the webcomic Loserz, with the openly bisexual Jodie. One strip showed her switching between men and women depending on which gender she was mad at at the moment, meaning she was either straight or gay depending on her mood.
  • Spinnerette: Nobody seems to even know there is such a word as bisexual. When Heather admits she may be in love with Mecha Maid, her roommate objects: "But you're not gay! You never were! You can't wake up one morning and find you have turned gay!" The possibility that Heather may be a bisexual never occurs to them. After much debating, they reach the conclusion that Heather was always gay but hadn't realized it until then. However, eventually she does identify as bi and so apparently she's decided otherwise.

    Web Original 
  • CollegeHumor used this as the punchline for a Coming-Out Story, as Grant's admission that he's attracted to men is met with indifference, and he's infuriated because he expected a stronger reaction. This persists until he mentions that he's bisexual, not homosexual, and everyone in the office invokes this trope.
  • Needs More Gay: Rantasmo talks about it with his Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, calling the trope by its real life name Bisexual Erasure. It's also discussed in the video about Gigli and Chasing Amy since the female characters in both movies identify as lesbian, but end up in a relationship with heterosexual men played by Ben Affleck. But the word "bisexual" isn't even mentioned, which makes it come across more like a straight male fantasy.
  • Out With Dad: One of the homeless kids Vanessa meets believes this. Averted in the actual show, as Vanessa and another one of the homeless girls are explicitly bisexuals.
  • An episode of The Ricky Gervais Show has Karl telling Ricky and Stephen his idea for a movie plot, which involves a widow starting a sexual relationship with her dead husband's former mistress. Both Ricky and Stephen object to the fact that the mistress who used to be attracted to the husband is now attracted to the widow. No one mentions that she could just be bisexual.
  • Riley Rewind: Quinn is seen to kiss Jay, a gay guy, and also go to prom with Kara a girl, but he never says he's bisexual. He just says he's straight when confronted about being gay, even though the people he's talking to know he's at least gay. In the end, he hooks up with Jay.
  • Seanbaby states his belief in this while mocking Tila Tequila and her bisexuality-based reality dating show in his Cracked article "6 Ways to Improve Reality Dating Shows"
    She's bisexual, which is what guys call themselves for a few months before they say gay, and what girls call themselves when they can't interact with people without fingering them.
  • Mocked and defied in one of Thomas Sanders' vines, which basically summed up the mentality of this trope.
    Guy: (to Thomas and his girlfriend) So you like her, huh?
    Thomas: Yes.
    Guy: (to Thomas and his boyfriend) So you like him now?
    Thomas: (irritated) Yes.
    Guy: (to Thomas while he's alone) I don't get it. Who do you like: Girls? Boys?
    Thomas: (grabs him by the arms, understandably frustrated) YES.

    Western Animation 
  • Stan from American Dad! has a literal Gaydar with a needle from "gay" to "straight," with a tiny wedge in the center that says "curious". It should be noted, however, that this device doesn't actually work.
  • Played with in an episode of Archer where Cyril's ludicrously attractive ex-girlfriend Lana is threatening to have sex with the entire office to get back at him. Cyril is shocked to find Ray, his openly gay colleague, lining up with the rest of the men (and more than a few of the women), to which Ray replies "Girl, please. Nobody's that gay." Overall, Archer subverts this to near the point of Everyone Is Bi. Pam is blatantly open about her equal attraction to both genders, Cheryl/Carol cares more about her choking kink than the gender of the person choking her, Archer has admitted to gay fantasies about Joe Frasier (not to mention kissing Ramon), Lana and Malory have both slept with Pam, and Krieger is...Krieger. Cyril may be the only heterosexual member of the main cast.
  • In Big Mouth, after being inspired by Ali's confidence, Jay comes out to the whole school as bisexual, but his friends (especially Matthew, who should know better) all tell him that he's either a straight boy who's experimenting or a gay boy in denial, largely thanks to Ali's misinformation. There's also the double standard that Ali being pansexual is considered cool and hot, but Jay coming out as bi is considered weird and makes his male friends uncomfortable. Even Andrew acknowledges that this is an unfair double standard, but can't help it. Furthermore, nobody questions Ali's sexuality, but Matthew says that bi men are just in a stage of transition to gay, while Nick and Andrew think this is just a plea for attention.
  • In The Cleveland Show, one episode revealed that Terry has a boyfriend. When asked if he's gay, Terry responds by claiming that he's been with a lot of women and a few men as well. The rest of the cast, including Terry's boyfriend, consider him to be gay.
  • Stewie in Family Guy seems to flip/flop in terms of preference as the joke demands. True to the trope, the b-word is never used. Word of God had him listed as gay, despite his obvious attraction to girls (more so than boys even). The writers had dropped more jokes than hints about Stewie's Ambiguously Gay nature, while simultaneously writing relationship arcs with female characters. Eventually, when Seth MacFarlane was asked about Stewie's sexuality, he outright said that the character preferred "a little of both."
  • In Futurama, Fry's grandfather (whose apparent no-exceptions gayness temporally threatens Fry's existence) turns a calendar page away from this month's sexy woman so he can peek at next month's sexy man. Not really an example, his dialogue makes him come across as just a closeted gay man. It's in the DVD commentary, where Matt Groening asks "Exactly who is this calendar for?", a reference to Fridge Logic that's more fridgy if No Bisexuals are assumed note .
  • King of the Hill plays with this a few times. When Dale finds out his dad is gay, he gives a speech to the gay rodeo (intending to "out" him as a police officer, due to a misunderstanding) referring to "Homosexuals and so-called 'bisexuals'." But then, Dale is an oblivious idiot and this clearly isn't meant to be the show's perspective. On the other hand, there are a few Ambiguously Bi characters like Donna (who sleeps with a female coworker in one episode) and Peggy's coworker Bob Jenkins (who's implied to have a relationship with Camp Gay PJ Finster, while also being married).
  • While The Legend of Korra itself averts this with Korra and Asami becoming an Official Couple at the end of the Grand Finale after both were previously in a relationship with a man, the somewhat ambiguous framing of the reveal had segments of the fandom play this trope straight. Some declared that the scene couldn't possibly be meant as romantic because both characters are straight, while others insisted that it was romantic and that this means both characters have always been lesbians. Eventually, this was shut down in a blog post by one of the show's co-creators, confirming their relationship and referencing this trope.
    Bryan Konietzko: Despite what you might have heard, bisexual people are real!
  • In South Park, Mr./Ms. Garrison becomes a lesbian for one episode. S/he never considers the possibility of being bisexual. But then, Garrison just has generally twisted ideas about sexuality. Matt and Trey state on their FAQ, when asked what happened after Garrison's lesbianism and second sex change, Garrison "likes everybody".