[watching Yusei teach Akiza to rollerblade]
Leo: Do you feel like a third wheel?
Luna: This isn't a date, Leo.
Leo: Do you feel like a third wheel?
Luna: This isn't a date, Leo.
Two characters who go out together, but, by insistence, aren't "going out". Comes in a few flavors:
- Both characters unconvincingly insist to everyone, including each other, it's not really a date.
- One or both characters don't realize it feels like a date until well into it.
- It really isn't a date, but several other people are convinced enough to meddle.
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Anime & Manga
- King Of Idol
- Sena and Mahoro going out to buy their favorite idol's ( the latter's mother) song in chapter 39. Both of them denied that was a date.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!:
- Negi's outing with Nodoka. Beforehand, he tries claiming it's not a date. Everyone just ignores him. Afterwards Negi again tries to claim it was just a student/teacher outing, but Yue stops him cold with "No. It was a date."
- Setsuna's worried denial that her outing with Konoka is Not a Date, despite everyone, including Konoka, treating it like one.
- Negi and Asuna going on a date (Type 2) to help Asuna with her shyness issues.
- Then there was chapters 251-252, again with Konoka and Setsuna, which sort of inverts this. Setsuna treats it as a a Not a Date, then by the end Konoka turns it into a genuine date by doing a Pactio with Setsuna. One gets the idea that she wasn't really going for the pactio and was simply using as an excuse to make out with Setsuna, who most definitely didn't mind.
- Very early in the series, Negi and Konoka have a Type 3, complete with Date Peepers. They were shopping for birthday gifts for Asuna.
- Ranma ½: Frequently employed as a plot device and used framed as "Do X for me and I'll go on a date with you."
- In the 90s Sailor Moon anime: Rei (Sailor Mars) going out to meet another girl at a restaurant, a situation enough like a date that the other Senshi sneak after to spy on her.
- Later in Sailor Stars, Usagi and Seiya spend a day together on an outing which looks suspiciously like a date; Usagi, whose heart still belongs to Mamoru, gets increasingly uncomfortable...but an attack by the Monster of the Week breaks the tension, and they end the outing on a friendly yet innocent note.
- Naruto believes Shikamaru and Temari are going out on a date when he sees them walking together. Shikamaru claims he is just escorting Temari. ("Squee!!" go the shippers and why Temari would need escorting is not explained.)
- Something similar happens earlier in the series when Kakashi accuses Asuma and Kurenai of being on a date.
- When someone asks Naruto if he's on a date with Sakura. Despite the fact that she admitted it was, he said it wasn't. In the anime, it was pretext to speak with Naruto, and in the manga, the two are just sitting on a bench and talking. Naruto only denied that it was a date in fear of offending Sakura.
- Love Hina: Several times when Naru and Keitaro are involved, including when both independently went to Kyoto, it was assumed or theorized, by their roommates that it was romantic in nature. Later, when they went out to dinner together, they spent significant time arguing about whether or not it was a date; probably because calling it such results in both of them acting awkwardly.
- Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry had Sara and Carris going out to find Emily and getting distracted by typical date scenarios. Which makes it even more emotional when he dies shortly after.
- In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Strikers
- Erio is helpfully and secretly given what is obviously a date-oriented itinerary after mentioning he'd like to show Caro around. While everyone assumes they had a fun date, they discover Erio (being a wholesome kid with possibly no frame of reference) showed it to Caro and both followed it innocently like any other mission statement without ever realizing it was supposed to be for a date.
- Subaru's and Teana's "vacation" at the same time.
- The Wallflower: When Sunako and Kyohei go out Kyohei knows that it's supposed to be a date, having been forced into enacting the guys' latest plan to make Sunako into a lady, but Sunako doesn't and freaks out at any mention of them being on a date. She later talks to Kyohei about the 'date' issue, and the two reach an agreement that it doesn't matter if they call it a date or not; what matters is that they had fun together.
- Digimon Adventure 02: Invoked but averted when Yolei/Miyako teasingly suggests to Davis/Daisuke that Kari/Hikari and TK/Takeru are out on a date when both were not present in a group meeting. It turns out that both weren't even at the same place, with the former hanging out with her Digimon and the latter napping.
- As in everything else, used in the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise:
- In the novels, Mikuru invites Kyon to a date, only so he can find out that it was just because of the orders of her superiors, for reasons she (at that point) didn't know but hey, doesn't mean they haven't had fun!
- When Haruhi divides The Team up to search the city, Kyon gets paired first with Mikuru and later with Yuki. Haruhi declares, "Kyon, this is not a date!"
- Inverted in the 8th novel, when Kyon writes a romantic story about a cute girl he dated for real. Except that it was his little sister's 10 year old friend, who needed him to watch a movie with an age restriction. He wrote about it using misleading technical truths, and selective descriptions to make it sound like a romantic story.
- In Kaze no Stigma Kazuma and Ayano aren't going on dates. They're missions. Ayano's father is trying to set them up by paying Kazuma to spend time with her, so it feels all awkward and embarrassing and date-like to Ayano. Kazuma is exploiting the situation like a mad bastard though, and therefore it really isn't a date.
- Hayate the Combat Butler
- Hayate has gone on several not-a-dates with several of the characters. Most of the time both characters realize they've been set up on a date by the end of it.
- One humorous occasion was when Nagi set up Hayate and Maria on a fake date to lure out a Yandere stalker. She even wrote scripts for them.
- There was Hayate and Hinagiku's date to the movies. Once they finally made it into the theater and their hands touched on the arm rests, to two of them finally realized that what they were on could be considered a date. When things fall to pieces (since they were set-up for failure in the first place), Hayate takes her to totally-not-Disneyland-Tokyo where the matter of it being a date is brought up again. This time neither denies it and instead Hinagiku changes the subject to continue the technically-acknowledged date.
- Nagi has gone on a date with one of her admirers, all the time denying it was a date. However, she still wound up feeling guilty about it because she really did have a good time. In her own personal reality she kept seeing Hayate's normal behavior as him being hurt and/or jealous.
- Wataru also sparked conflicted feelings in his older maid Saki when he took her out to a diner. Turns out he just wanted to talk since, due to a series of misunderstandings, he assumed that she was having an affair with a married man.
- Kämpfer has Natsuru going out with Shizuku. He thought that it was a ploy to draw out the White Kampfers despite her insistence throughout that it really was just a date. Up until the end of it where Mikoto goes apeshit when she finds them, he's still in denial.
- During the "Hammer Man" sequence in Detective Conan, it looks like Takagi and Satou are on a date, and Satou even asks Takagi to kiss her. Conan sees that they're actually on stakeout, and, with typically lousy timing, interrupts before the kiss can go through. (And gets him caught in a noogie by a very angry Sonoko). Takagi and Satou are sort-of dating, but in that moment were adopting the guise of a young couple to avoid drawing the Hammer Man's suspicions, and Satou even realizes that this interruption will lessen the culprit's apprehension of them even further; would police bother chattering with schoolchildren? Interestingly, taking the disguise of a couple is a common stratagem of Satou's when she's partnered with a male, but she never takes it beyond hand-holding. The kiss offer was her idea of mixing business with pleasure, since she was partnered with Takagi this time. Takagi is very eager to take the next stake-out with Satou. He forgets how common a family name "Satou" is...
- In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Anzu and the Pharaoh go on one of these. Yugi, who set them up on it, sees it as a date, but the Pharaoh doesn't. Anzu might, but she denies it being a date to Mai, when she teases them about it.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: As the page quote shows, discussed by Rua and Ruka (Leo and Luna in the dub) as Yusei teaches Aki to rollerblade.
- Satou Kashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai: When Nagisa's friend Kanajima gets the nerve to ask Umino if she would like to go to the movies with them, she accepts but only because she thinks of it as another opportunity to spend time with Nagisa.
- The World God Only Knows provides us with several type 2s. One of them is notable because it involves 3 (or 4) people.
- Seitokai Yakuindomo:
- Chapter 80 has Shino and Takatoshi buying supplies, while Aria and Hagimura are "conveniently" busy with something else. It later becomes an excuse for them to go out and eat, and it ends with Shino looping her arm around Takatoshi's while the latter doesn't at all seem to mind.
- Inverted in chapter 126, Uomi is trying to weasel out the awkward situation with Tsuda (They're buying White Day present) and she told the Student Council members they're on a date.
- The Idolmaster: The Producer trying to defuse the bomb Makoto throws in the office as soon as they get back from the amusement park.
- In Ratman, Shuto and Mirea go see a movie together, and when they meet up with friends afterwards, Shuto tells them it's not a date. It's not so much denial as obliviousness in this case, as Shuto thinks he and Mirea are just friends.
- In episode 8 of the Kotoura-san anime, Yuriko forces Manabe to have a date with Haruka as a punishment for his perverted thoughts towards Haruka earlier that episode. Haruka insisted that's not a date, just Manabe's "assigned punishment." The people on the streets disagrees. It's even the title of that episode.
- In Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun:
- Seo has been mentioned to frequently go to family restaurants with Waka, and has invited him to the movies and an amusement park. Many of their classmates have also begun to suspect that there's something between them. Due to the ... strange dynamic of their relationship, though, neither of them consider these dates.
- Nozaki and Miyako sometimes help each other brainstorm manga ideas in cafes, leading to Miyako's classmates assuming that they're dating each other.
- In a The Prince of Tennis filler episode, Momoshiro and the first year kids assume that Sakuno and Ryoma are on a date. (And so does Ryoma's father). They aren't, he's just taking her to a shop handled by a Cool Old Guy he knows so he can fix her racket. (Though the owner does tease Ryoma about her a little.)
- Another filler episode has An claiming she's on a date with Momoshiro. Momo insists that it's not a date and even forces Ryoma to tag along. And several of Momo and Ryoma's teammates and three guys from another team follow them to see if it is a date or not. It's... not: An tells Fuji that she noticed Momo was depressed for losing his regular spot, so she decided to help him calm his mind in a friendly outing. She only said it was a date so Momo wouldn't refuse her.
- In Pokémon, during preparations for a festival, Bonnie and Clemont have to stay in the Pokémon Center with the group's entire combined teams, so Serena and Ash have to go shopping for gifts by themselves. The possibility of this being mistaken as a date actually did cross Serena's mind, and she gets mildly annoyed that Ash would later go off on his own.
- In the Blue Exorcist anime (though not the manga), Shima wants to pick out a birthday gift for Izumo, and asks her friend Paku to help. Izumo thinks that it's a date, and since she thinks dating Shima is a terrible idea, she follows along to spy on them. She freaks out when they bump heads, which from her viewpoint, looks like they were about to kiss.
- In the Japanese version of the Samurai Pizza Cats episode, "Speedy's Double Time Trick", Pururun (Polly Esther) insists that her shopping trip with Yattaro (Speedy Cerviche) is not a date.
- In Young Avengers, Eli and Kate go on a not-date in the park, where they are assaulted by a mugger (kind of). Kate continues to deny that they are on an actual date, much to Eli's annoyance.
- In Teen Titans, Beast Boy took Raven out; but when she asked if it was a date, he denied it. If that was the case, why was the issue advertised as "date night", BB? And yes, they're madly in love with each other, but going through too much Angst to admit it.
- Back when Robin, Tim Drake, was still dating Arianna, he would occasionally team-up with would-be girlfriend Stephanie Brown to fight criminals on the street. He keeps on insisting that "it's not a date," but that does not stop Stephanie from shamelessly flirting with him. It also doesn't help that he was giving out mixed messages anyways.
- In X-Men Legacy #233, after a grueling battle against Proteus, the first time the two had been fighting on the same team in a long, long time:
Magneto: As I predicted Rogue, it was a great pleasure to fight beside you again.
Rogue: It's not like it was a date, Magnus.
Magneto: No? As close as our kind come, perhaps.
- At the end of G.I. Joe (IDW) #5, Doc and Quick Kick use their leave time to see a Broadway show. They quickly and forcefully tell Duke and Cover Girl that it's "Not a date!", despite neither Duke or Cover Girl suggesting that it was.
- Amelia from Amelia Rules! and her friends spent a lot of time wondering whether Kyle asking her to escort him to the banquet at St. Johns Elementary School was a date or not.
Hannigan: There's boys and dancing, right?
Joan: Yeah, but there's also, like, a jillion nuns.
Amelia: That's just what he said!
Rhonda: So what? It can't be a date if nuns are there?
Joan: Well, it can ... but you need special permission from the bishop.
- Stormer from Jem and the Holograms insists that her being with Kimber at a bookstore wasn't a date. Her bandmates disagree and are mad she's dating a member of Jem And The Holograms. Kimber and Stormer meet again however Stormer says she loves her music too much to risk being kicked out of the band. Kimber gives her a Big Damn Kiss and they begin secretly dating.
- In Ms. Marvel (2014), Kamala's religious brother, Aamir, is seeing a girl named Tyesha according to traditional Islamic standards—i.e., no touching and no being alone without a chaperone (occasionally Kamala herself). Kamala cheerfully refers to these are their "not-dates."
- In Undocumented Features, Corwin Ravenhair and Utena Tenjou spend several years Not Dating; when they are told to go have a date, they can't figure out how to start.
- In Kyon: Big Damn Hero Mikuru tried to deny to Haruhi that going to see a movie with Kyon and Yuki was a date, despite asking Haruhi for permission about this appointment as a date. In truth Haruhi and the rest of the girls explained to Mikuru their plan to acheive a polyamorous relationship, making the attempt to hide it was a date a moot point.
- In The Arrangements, Harry and Severus are pretending to be a couple and spend an entire date doing things that they would do "if this was a real date", like sharing a soda at the movie theater and kissing at the top of a Ferris wheel. At the end of the date, they decide that to throw off suspicion, they should continue to see each other on a long term basis, though it's obvious that both of them are only pretending to be pretending.
- Nanoha As Divergence, long short story, Vita drags Yuuno out of scene but Hayate said that it was a Date. Talking about Irony, that riddance really turn into a full blown date (Making it Type 2 for both of them), with Vita going straight to Type-A Tsundere mode.
- During chapter 06 of A New ROAD of Misfortune, Aiho Yomikawa, Touma's busty teacher, asked him out on a date, though she didn't necessarily said it straight, her intentions where crystal clear. In the end, Touma didn't realize it was an actual date despite that Aiho dressed herself with a stunning dress, not even wearing a ponytail as she unusually did in order to look more feminine. While one would assume Touma's denseness as definitive by the end of the chapter, it also could be a self-defense measure on his part to avoid misfortune screwing with his life.
- Fluttershy and Twilight in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic "Once Bitten, Twice Shy", acting on mutual awkwardness, both insist that their first "date" should be a "not-date" so they can scope out whether the other party is interested. Things go hilariously awry when their support teams don't speak to each other.
- Assumptions: Sure Rainbow. Spending some time with Caramel in Canterlot, having him show you around, admiring views, and introducing yourself to his family with "He's not my boyfriend!", are totally unromantic happenings.
- Friendship Is Magic: The Adventures of Spike: Spike shows Fluttershy around Canterlot when they're in town for the royal wedding, and insists to everyone he knows who they run into that it is not a date. They nearly kiss at the end, before Shining Armor shows up and kills the mood.
- Chapter 26 of A Growing Affection; Hinata wonders if it is a date, and Word of God says Naruto didn't even realize it could be considered a date until they run into the Sand siblings, and Temari and Kankuro make it obvious they think Naruto and Hinata are on a date.
- Chapter 2 of Slice of Souls! has Solaire and Lady Maria go on a "friendly hangout", which Maria initially doesn't want to go to because she has troubling socializing. As the day progresses, though, Maria starts to warm up to Solaire (especially after some Duet Bonding at the music store) and the rest of their activities are very date-like. When Solaire drops Maria off at her apartment and says goodnight, Maria suddenly kisses him. From that point on the two grow extremely close and frequently go on "friendly hangouts" together, all while insisting they're Just Friends.
- In Death Note: The Abridged Series (kpts4tv), L agrees to go out on a "date" with Light in order to get close to his liitle sister Sayu (his REAL Kira suspect).
- In Neon Metathesis Evangelion, Misato at first didn't think Asuka and Rei going to the cinema together was a date; she was just cracking a date after a question by Rei. But Asuka's vehement insistence that it wasn't a date gives Misato the idea there is more going on. Likewise, Rei and Shinji, and Shinji and Asuka, have also been on "not-dates" already.
- The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: In the sequel Picking Up the Pieces, Gentle Step and Memorizing Gaze go on what Memorizing calls a "get-to-know-your-new-employee meeting" in chapter 8. Needless to say, nobody else is buying it when they insist that they're not a couple.
- In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, the sidestory Yancy Interlude has her waiting at the Nimbasa amusement park for someone to give her back her lost Xtransceiver, trying to convince herself that it's not a date. However, since it's Valentine's Day, the romantic atmosphere and being self-conscious of her loneliness among so many dating couples prompts her to ask Nate to have a date with her.
Films — Live-Action
- In Pulp Fiction, Vincent Vega has been asked by his boss Marsellus Wallace to take his wife, Mia, out for dinner one night when he is out of town to make sure she does not get bored or lonely. To everybody who knows of this plan, this is obviously a date and they mock Vincent about it mercilessly, particularly since there are rumors that Marsellus has had people beaten in the past for inappropriate activities with his wife. The evening itself is absolutely filled with romantic and sexual overtones, to the point where Vincent needs to speak to himself in the mirror to talk himself out of trying anything with Mia. Ultimately, their ability to resist temptation is taken out of both of their hands, as Mia overdoses on Vincent's heroin at the end of the night.
- In He's Just Not That Into You, Gigi misses the signs that Alex isn't into her while acting as a co-host at his party.
- Referenced jokingly in Miss Congeniality.
Eric: Listen, I was thinkin', um, when we get back to the city, after we write up our reports, and you get all ugly again... I dunno. Maybe we could have dinner, you know?
Gracie: What, you like askin' me on a date?
Eric: No. Just a casual dinner. If we happen to have sex afterwards, so be it.
- In Silver Linings Playbook, Pat invites Tiffany to a diner, but he orders Raisin Bran. When Tiffany asks why, he responds: "Because I didn't want there to be any mistaking it for a date."
- In Gregory's Girl, Carol shows up in her school clothes to tell Gregory that Dorothy had been delayed. He offers to buy her some chips, but is less than thrilled when she changes into a sexy outfit. Passers-by think they're on a date.
- In Addams Family Values, between Wednesday and her Love Interest Joel.
Wednesday: But I have to go to the wedding. I have a pass. ...Do you want to come?Joel: You mean, like...on a date?Wednesday: No.Joel: I'd love to.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince includes a type 3: Harry needs to bring someone to Slughorn's party, if only to stop his fangirls from trying to slip him Love Potions. He hasn't worked up the nerve to ask Ginny, for a couple reasons, so he asks Luna, but makes it clear that it's just "as friends." Luna is ecstatic ("I'd love to go with you as friends! Nobody's ever asked me to a party before, as a friend!"), but Peeves spreads the word around school so that everyone thinks it was romantic anyway.
- Trapped on Draconica: Ben goes to a romantic play with Erowin and no one else. He is the only one not aware that this is a date. This gets him in trouble with Erowin later on, who was unaware that he was unaware.
- Journey to Chaos:
- In A Mage's Power, circumstances arrange for Eric and Kallen to eat together at a restaurant. After it's over and Kallen has left, Eric realizes that it was the closest he's ever come to a date.
- Starting in the second book, Looming Shadow, Tiza and Nolien go out to dinner once a week and take turns paying for it, but both of them laugh (unconvincingly) about these being dates.
- Altered Carbon. Takeshi Kovacs mentions this trope when Detective Ortega takes him for a drink in order to grill Kovacs for information. This doesn't foreshadow them becoming lovers although they do. It actually hints at The Reveal that Kovacs has been resleeved in the body of Ortega's former lover, which is why she's subconsciously acting in a familiar manner with him.
- The Big Bang Theory had one in the first season. Leonard asked out Leslie to get over Penny, but she turned him down. So he asked Penny out, but she misinterpreted it as a going for drinks with the guys. At the end of the night, she asked if it was a date, and he tells her "No! When I go out with a girl, she knows she's been dated."
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer,
- ("Crush"). Buffy and Spike are on a stakeout in a secluded location with Spike bringing Buffy various treats. Earlier, Dawn had told Buffy Spike is in love with her, and so she suddenly asks Spike "Is this a date?"
Spike: A d—? Please! A date? You are completely off your bird! I mean... do you want it to be?
- In Season 7 "First Date", Buffy is asked out to dinner by Principal Wood, who may or may not be evil. If he is evil then this is an information gathering mission, but Wood is also hot, so if he's not evil then this is a date. Unless Buffy is attracted to him because he's evil?
Willow: Well, you'll have to dress for the ambiguity.
- In Season 2's "Reptile Boy", Buffy is reluctant to ask Angel out for a date, so Willow suggests they go for coffee instead. "It's the non-relationship drink of choice. It's not a date, it's a caffeinated beverage." The problem is that being a vampire, Angel hasn't been on a date for hundreds of years, so misses the romantic implications until it's explained to him by a rather annoyed Willow.
- In "Some Assembly Required" the Scoobies amuse themselves Playing Cyrano over Giles' attempt to ask out Jenny Calender. Buffy advises him to ask if she likes Mexican food. Giles rejects their suggestions with irritation, only to revert to Gibberish of Love when talking to Jenny, who says he can finish telling her what's so important after the game she's taking him to. Oh, and they can have Mexican afterwards.
- In "Surprise", Xander suggests to Cordelia that as they're still together despite all logic, and they're both going to Buffy's birthday party, they drop their Secret Relationship and go as an actual couple on a date. Cordelia says it's not a date unless you start spending money.
- ("Crush"). Buffy and Spike are on a stakeout in a secluded location with Spike bringing Buffy various treats. Earlier, Dawn had told Buffy Spike is in love with her, and so she suddenly asks Spike "Is this a date?"
- In an episode of Café Americain, Holly keeps insisting that her night out with Marcel is not a date until her friend says:
"Is he paying? Did you shave your legs? Then it's a date."
- Doctor Who:
- Invoked in "Boom Town", where Blon tells the Doctor that they are on a date and he hasn't even asked her name. The Doctor points out it's not a date. It's supposed to be her last meal, as he plans on hauling her off to her home planet for trial and execution.
- The Twelfth Doctor keeps taking Clara on Time Travel adventures in-between her dates with fellow schoolteacher Danny Pink, seriously exhausting her in the process. At the end of "Time Heist", after Clara leaves the TARDIS he boasts to himself, "Beat that for a date!"
- Family Matters: The Season 1 episode "The Big Fix", where Laura agrees to go on a "non-date" with Urkel. Despite being told several times that the two really weren't on a date, the nerd gleefully insists otherwise! The non-date was the result of Urkel asking Eddie to do him a favor in return for helping him study for a tough math test. He also holds Eddie's Prince concert tickets as collateral to ensure his date wish comes true.
- In the very first episode of Friends, Monica insists that her going out with the "wine guy" is not a date, just two people having dinner and not having sex, to which Chandler responds: "Sounds like a date to me."
- Kurt and Blaine have several on- and off- screen not-dates — going for coffee together, dinners at Breadstix, trips to the theatre to see RENT, singing flirty duets together late at night at school - between their meeting in Episode 2x06 and Blaine's Love Epiphany and their subsequent Relationship Upgrade in 2x16. After that point, the not-dates become actual dates, to everyone's great satisfaction. Kurt's best friend assumes his outings with Blaine are dates, and Kurt would like them to be, they're genuinely not.
- "Duets". Quinn tells Sam that the dinner at Breadstix they won is not a date. However, she changes her mind during the dinner when Sam tells her she's brave for coming back after everything she dealt with the previous year.
- In an episode of Good Luck Charlie, Beau asks Teddy to come with him and another girl to karaoke night to prove to the girl that they are not on a date. For some reason, the girl doesn't show up leaving Teddy and Beau alone and they end up having a good time. This is revealed to be a Subversion as Beau made the girl up to trick Teddy into going on a date with him.
- In Gossip Girl, Dan is accused of having a sexual relationship with his new teacher Rachel Carr. For some reason, they decide the only solution to this problem is to go on Not a Date at a quiet romantic restaurant. Even though it isn't a date, Dan's girlfriend accidentally sees them and gets the wrong idea, and when she decides to take a picture and send it to everybody, hilarity/drama ensues.
- In a first-season episode of House, the title doctor gets a pair of tickets to go see a Monster Truck rally. Naturally, his first choice is Wilson, who declines for various reasons. His next choice is Cameron.
Cameron: Like a date?
House: Sure. Except for the date part.
- How I Met Your Mother: When Barney starts falling for Robin, he takes her out for a fancy dinner at which he is the perfect gentleman, which she finds more freaky than charming. Her blissful unawareness to the romantic overtones sets up the general mood for the rest of the season.
- In the pilot of Lois & Clark, Lois needs an escort to avoid going to Luthor's party alone. After trying every other man she knows, she picks Clark.
Clark: So, this would be like a date?
Lois: A date? Oh, you mean like in Smallville, where you meet my parents and try to give me a hickey in the back of your dad's pickup. No, this is not a date.
- In the Lost Girl episode "Food For Thought", Bo insists that she and Lauren are meeting so that Lauren can help her control her powers, and that it's not a date. Despite their clear mutual attraction, Bo fretting about what to wear for it, and that they are meeting in a bar. Kenzi doesn't buy it.
- Major Crimes: When Flynn asks Raydor to accompany him to his daughter's wedding, both of them are quite insistent that it is 'nothing like a date'.
- Schitt's Creek: Patrick invites David for a birthday dinner date, but David doesn't realize it's a date and invites Stevie. Stevie arrives and notices how surprised Patrick is at her presence and that Patrick has brought a wrapped gift for David. When Patrick is in the restroom, Stevie points all this out to David, who is skeptical.
Stevie: So, I think I'm crashing a date.
David: Oh, no-no.
Stevie: He thinks you guys were here, one on one. He bought you a present. I didn't even get you a present.
- This pops up when the owner of a restaurant is intent on setting a nice, romantic mood at John and Sherlock's table, despite the former's protests. It doesn't help that Sherlock doesn't bother denying it, since he doesn't care what other people think about... well, anything.
- A variation in the second episode when Sherlock thinks he's proposing that he and John go on a date, owing to the fact that he has no idea what the term means. John's description of it as an occasion "where two people who like each other go out and have fun" wasn't all that explanatory.
- Done in Sonny with a Chance where Sonny and Chad go out on a not-date, so she can make a friend of his who dumped her jealous, he's going on it because he doesn't want her dating his friend, and Nico and Grady who missed the entire subplot think that they've admitted the UST and are on an actual date. Later, in season two, when they actually are on a date, they insist that they aren't. For some reason, her friends believe them.
- Daniel and Vala have one of these the Stargate SG-1 season 10 episode "Memento Mori". The quote is too funny to leave out:
Vala: Well I don't mind telling you, I've been looking forward to this little date all week.
Daniel: Uhh, I wouldn't exactly call it a date. It's...
Vala: Oh, I've watched enough of your television to know what a date is. It's a romantic event, typified by dinner, movie and/or karaoke, and usually culminating in a night of...
Daniel: Uhh, okay, this is definitely not a date.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Garak, who has visions of Ziyal presenting his head to her father (Dukat, Garak's archenemy) as a birthday gift, insists that his appointment to visit a Cardassian sauna with Ziyal in the holosuite isn't a date. Quark isn't buying it. Their sauna appointment starts out with him bringing a phaser along for self-defence and her giving him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech but, in the end, Quark is right and Garak is wrong.
Quark: So, are you cancelling your date with Ziyal?
Garak: It's not a date! And how do you know about that anyway?
Quark: You're a man. She's a woman. It's a date. And they are my holosuites, after all.
- This happens to Zack twice on The Suite Life.
- On The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Zack asks Bob to help him sabotage Cody's date with a French girl and keeps trying to convince him that they are not a date.
- In The Suite Life on Deck, Zack wins a coupon to a dinner for two for his girlfriend Maya (who is out of town at the moment) only to find out that it expires tonight and ends up taking Woody instead.
Zack: You know this isn't a date, right?
Woody: Call it what you want.
- In the Season Three opener of Teen Wolf Lydia arranges for her and Allison to go on a double date - and then insists to Allison that it's a group thing and not a double date, when Allison says she's not ready to date. She finally admits that it is a double date, but at least, "It's not an orgy."
- In the Cabin Pressure episode "Xinzhou", sixteen months into her relationship with Herc, Carolyn insists "We haven't been 'going out', we've just often been in the same place."
- In the musical version of The Wedding Singer, the two not-in-lovebirds get an entire song, titled "Not That Kind of Thing."
Tell the night to save its moonlight
Tell the birds not to sing
Tell the stars in the heavens they've been misaligned
'Cause it's not that kind of thing!
- In Grand Theft Auto IV, you (i.e. Niko) can take out Packie McCreary's sister Kate in the same manner as other girlfriends in the game; however Kate consistently protests that these are not dates, and that her and Niko are just friends, no more, as she doesn't want to be any more involved with her brother's life of crime than she already is. If you choose the "Revenge" ending, she relents... only to be gunned down immediately afterwards.
- In one scene in Sonic Rivals 2, Sonic teasingly asks Knuckles if he and Rouge are going on a date, which displeases the red echidna. In actuality, Knuckles and Rouge, despite being rivals, are teaming up to search for the Master Emerald.
- In a Canon side-story of El Goonish Shive, called "Not A Date At The Mall," a man, in return for a favor, buys dinner for his closeted lesbian best friend, with the bisexual female duplicate (don't ask) of her favorite ex-boyfriend mooching. Once the money's changed hands, guess who decides to make himself scarce
- In Sluggy Freelance Torg has one of these with Zoe. After a night out at a club, he walks her back to her place, she gives him a goodbye kiss on the cheek and only then does he exclaim, "Holy Cannoli, I think I just went on a date with Zoë!"
Bun-bun: I just want to clarify. You were there the whole time with Zoë, you weren't drunk or overly medicated or anything, but have no idea whether or not you were on a date?
Bun-bun: Now do you understand, Kiki?
Kiki: Yes, Bun-bun, I now understand why he's a nerdboy.
- There's a reason why he's not sure: they didn't mean to do it, they just happened to find a night club in an extremely unlikely place and end up there together.
- In Misfile, Ash (the gender-bent main character) is asked to go to the movies with Arthur, one of the other Old Road racers helping her make repairs to the Road. She's insisting that "it's not a date", and is doing it to try to prove that guys and girls can be Just Friends. Arthur thinks it is anyway, and gets upset when Ash shoots down his attempts at making it a date.
- Sherry and John "didn't date" for awhile in Out There, awakening Miriam's curiosity  and penchant for shipping . It ended, painlessly, when Sherry decided she was interested in someone else. 
- Questionable Content:
- Hannelore goes out with Sven just to see what dates are like. Nothing romantic or sexual is expected to happen, and it doesn't.
- Marigold doesn't realise Tai's flirting with her and asks her back to her place for an innocent reason which Tai takes as a euphemism.
- Vriska and John have one of these in the afterlife.
- Rose insists to Dave that her appointment with Kanaya isn't a date...right up until she realises she was so plastered she lost track of time, prompting a scream of "I FORGOD ABOUT OUR DATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
- This is played with in Think Before You Think. Jason asks Julia out, and she refuses because she's dating Brian. Then Jason suggests going out anyway as Just Friends, and Julia asks if Brian and Becky can come (who Jason doesn't know yet). During the outing, Julia keeps insisting that it's not a date. Later that night, Julia walks in on Jason and Becky in bed together.
- In Sticky Dilly Buns, Ruby gets bounced into buying a thank-you dinner for Andy by Dillon, who thinks she needs a romantic life. She tries to insist that it's not a date, although she admits soon afterwards that she isn't really sure how she feels about the whole idea, and a relationship of sorts does develop. However, on their second meeting, which the largely friendless Ruby accepts when she needs someone with whom to celebrate, she's still insistent that "this isn't quite a 'date' date".
- Avialae: Gannet starts out insistent that he doesn't do relationships which means no dating. So naturally, he agrees to Bailey's offer to take him out somewhere special on his birthday. Where Bailey gives him one of his sweatshirts that he modified to fit him as a present. And where Gannet "accidentally" asks him if he wants to make out in his car after having a panic attack about it being a date after all.
- Doug has an episode with the title character fiercely denying that going to the movies alone with Patty Mayonnaise was a date. (It totally was.)
- Kim Possible: Kim and Ron's lifelong friendship causes confusion in others as to the nature of their relationship. It finally starts to confuse them in season 3, and at the end they hook up for real.
- Casey and April go on one of these in the 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon, to much teasing from the turtles. It rapidly goes in a date-like direction, but mayhem breaks out before anything really happens.
- In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), the first time that April, Casey and Irma are shown hanging out together he tells Irma that she shouldn't be chaperoning his and April's date. April replies that they're not on a date. This probably counts as the first time he's explicitly shown romantic interest in her.
- Shows up in an episode of the 90s version of Casper the Friendly Ghost, in which Kat goes on what "is so not" a date, and becomes paranoid that Casper is constantly telling her it is (he wasn't there).
- Futurama sets this up with a double date, with Kif and Amy alongside Zap Brannigan and a very begrudging Leela. She refers to the encounter as a "half-date" and only agrees to the thing to shut Zap up.
- In the WordGirl episode "Have You Seen the Remote?", Tobey and WordGirl had to work together to find Tobey's Master remote. They searched for it the most efficient way possible: by reading together in the library, going to the museum, and eating ice-cream in the park. However, this all mainly happened because Tobey hid the actual tracking device to easily find said remote in his pocket so he could spend time with her. He got her to admit to enjoying herself, though.
- This was a running gag in The Emperor's New School, whenever Kuzco and Malina would end up doing something together, Kuzco would call it a date, and Malina would tell him "it's not a date". In the series finale they went on a date.
- Adventure Time:
- Finn tries to get Bubblegum to go with him to the couples' movie night — while he does have a crush on her, in this case he really just wants to get into the movie. He and Marceline end up going as friends (and, once they find out it's a romantic movie, promptly leaving in disgust to go ride wolves instead).
- Fionna and Prince Gumball are just meeting in the park; it's not a date. Except then it totally is. Except then it's actually the Ice Queen's trap.
- In Codename: Kids Next Door, when Numbuh One investigates a suspicious party the Delightful Children are holding, he invites Lizzie with him so he wouldn't look suspicious. Numbuh One tells her repeatedly that it isn't a date, until he finally shouts it at the top of his lungs.
- Sym-Bionic Titan: Lance and Ilana hang out in the downtown area of Sherman on a school night. They run into a classmate of theirs, who think it is a date. Ilana reminds them that they're (masquerading as) siblings.
- The Real Ghostbusters: One can only imagine what logic Egon uses to justify saying this about his night out with Janine in "Rollerghoster".
Peter: [after he gets back] Have a good time on your daaaate?
Egon: It wasn't a daaaate, and, no, I had a terrible time... we got thrown out of a carnival.
- A variant: in Dan Vs., Dan objects to Chris calling it a "date" when he and Elise go out since they're already married.
- In the Daria episode "The New Kid," Daria keeps denying that she has any romantic interest in Ted. That said, when she takes him out for pizza near the end, they both slip out that they "like" the other, blush and then begin rapidly talking about anything else that they can think of.
- Occurs, unsurprisingly enough, in the The Adventures of Puss in Boots episode "Not a Date". Puss and Dulcinea want to spend some time at the lake, but are very clear it isn't a date, just two friends going to relax together. Unfortunately, first Toby, and then the entire town decide that in that case, it can just as easily be more than two friends going to relax together.
- On the Corner Gas Animated episode "Spy Me to the Moon", Brent and Lacey agree to watch a blue moon together. They constantly insist to others (unconvincingly) that it's not a date, and repeatedly question each other's intentions throughout the night. This being a show that strongly runs on Status Quo Is God, nothing happens and they apologize for the awkwardness the next day.
- In Kevin Smith's Evening With 2: Evening Harder: His friend, Drawing Flies director Malcolm Ingram came out of the closet to him by telling him about how he had dinner with a guy, then found out halfway through it was date. This led to the following question:
Kevin: Well, did you then accept that it was a date?
Malcolm: Well, he was paying.
Leo: Still thinking it's not a date?
Luna: Okay, yeah, it's totally a date.
Luna: Okay, yeah, it's totally a date.