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Not a Date

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[watching Yusei teach Akiza to rollerblade]
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:

  1. Both characters unconvincingly insist to everyone, including each other, it's not really a date.
  2. One or both characters don't realize it feels like a date until well into it.
  3. It really isn't a date, but several other people are convinced enough to meddle.

Regardless of whether or not it actually is a date, this is always a form of Ship Tease. Compare Will They or Won't They?, She Is Not My Girlfriend, Like Brother and Sister.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ayakashi Triangle: Suzu invites Soga, Ponosuke, Matsuri, and Shirogane to her family's cafe, but only the first two come. Suzu's parents can't see Ponosuke, so they assess Soga as a potential boyfriend for their daughter. Shirogane and Matsuri spy from outside; Shirogane warns it could turn into a date even if it didn't start as one, which Matsuri pretends he's not worried about.
  • 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.
  • During the "Hammer Man" sequence in Case Closed, 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...
  • The Dangers in My Heart: A shocked (and a bit outraged) Kana finds her brother Kyōtarō and Yamada taking an order from her at the Takoyaki restaurant she's working in and calls "after-school date". Kyōtarō says they're just grabbing some food before going to see movie, which does jack to convince his sister (or himself) at all.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The iDOLM@STER: The Producer trying to defuse the bomb Makoto throws in the office as soon as they get back from the amusement park.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Naruto:
    • Naruto believes Shikamaru and Temari are going out on a date when he sees them walking together. Shikamaru claims he is just escorting Temari; he doesn't explain why he would need to.note 
    • Something similar happens earlier in the series when Kakashi accuses Asuma and Kurenai of being on a date. After the Time Skip, Kurenai ends up pregnant with Asuma's child, so they have been dating secretly for some time.
    • 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.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Negi tries claiming that his outing with Nodoka isn't 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."
    • During the trip to Kyoto, Setsuna makes worried denials that her outing with Konoka is a date, despite everyone, including Konoka, treating it like one.
    • An aged-up Negi and Asuna go on a fake date to help Asuna with her shyness issues, but it ends up feeling like a real date.
    • Then there was chapters 251-252, again with Konoka and Setsuna, which sort of inverts this. Setsuna treats it as a regular outing, 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, with the cheerleader trio spotting them on what they thought was a date. They were actually shopping for birthday gifts for Asuna.
  • In Pokémon the Series: XY, 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.
  • The Prince of Tennis:
    • In a 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.
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The World God Only Knows:
    • When Elsie is depressed over her big failure on the latest mission, her friends try to cheer her up by making her go on an Amusement Park date with Keima (even though they believe Keima and Elsie are half-siblings). However, Keima ruins it for Elsie when he outright states they're not on a date and he's only hanging out with her to cheer her up.
    • The goddess Diana asks Keima to go to the Amusement Park with her to have a talk about the other missing goddesses. Unbeknownst to Keima, Diana is actually trying to make him go on a date with Tenri, the girl she shares a body with. Since Keima doesn't understand Diana's romantic intentions, he asks the demon girl Haqua to come to the park too, which she initially mistakes as a date until she sees Keima with Tenri/Diana. Frustrated by Keima's denseness, Haqua and Diana decide to force Keima to have a date with them, but he takes it as them torturing him by making him get on the park's rides.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • 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! 5Ds: As the page quote shows, discussed by Rua and Ruka (Leo and Luna in the dub) as Yusei teaches Aki to rollerblade.

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • Batgirl (2009):
    Barbara Gordon: You're awfully curious for someone I'm having a "simple meal" with.
    Nick: I would certainly never confuse this with a date, Ms. Gordon. Despite all the "romantic ambiance."
  • 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.
  • Stormer from Jem and the Holograms (IDW) 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 The 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 as "not-dates."
  • Robin (1993): Back when Tim Drake was still dating Ariana, he would occasionally team-up with Stephanie Brown to fight criminals. Stephanie jokingly referred to their team-ups as "dates," but Tim insisted that they weren't dating, even as he flirted back and wouldn't disclose that he had a girlfriend.
  • In Teen Titans, Beast Boy took Raven out; 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Fan Works 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • The Flower Princess and the Alchemist: Orihime and Edward have theirs when they go to a dance together, thinking they are going as friends (since Orihime was the one who was invited and she had only one +one ticket). After a series of...mishaps and annoyances, they have a really good time together. It eventually leads to their First Kiss by the end of it.
  • 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.
  • 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 achieve a polyamorous relationship, making the attempt to hide it was a date a moot point.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • In Chapter 47 of the main story, while taking a break from the Indigo League matches, Ash and Misty decide to hang out together in a street full of game stands to win prizes. They vehemently deny that it was a date, but their companions seem to think otherwise.
  • 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.
  • The Sword of Justice and the Shield of Time has Homura agree to go on an outing "not date" with Sayaka in Chapter 11, for once not related to the whole Magical Girl business they're in and as a way for Sayaka to get Homura to try to loosen up even just a little bit from trying to avert the horrible fates that await them and their friends in the canonical series. Alas, a Witch attacks anyway, though by the end Homura admits to Sayaka that she does see themselves as friends now, a fairly stark departure from how things normally go between them in most of the "Groundhog Day" Loop she's been through. Which leads Sayaka to realize after they head home for the night that the pang in her heart upon hearing that from Homura means that she actually wants to be more than friends with Homura.
  • 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.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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 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."

  • 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 of reasons, so he asks Luna Lovegood, 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 the Poltergeist spreads the word around school so that everyone thinks it was romantic anyway.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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's 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.
  • 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."
  • Cobra Kai: In "All Valley", Miguel Diaz is infatuated with Samantha LaRusso and wants to ask her out on a date. She's interested in him, ever since he stood up to Kyler for her, but considering the circumstances why she broke up with Kyler,note  she's taking a break from dating. Refusing to accept defeat (as Johnny has advised him), Miguel pushes, and Samantha eventually agrees to a friendly outing at the Golf 'N Stuff. The whole time, Miguel is respectful of the "not a date" thing, to the point that when they get their pictures taken in the photo booth, he doesn't put his arm around Samantha (as was the case when Samantha's dad took Ali here in The Karate Kid); she instead grabs his arm and puts it around herself. So when they kiss at the end of the date, after Samantha shows off that she's actually a skilled martial artist herself by doing a leg throw takedown on him, it's a sign of how deep her feelings for him are.
    Miguel Diaz: Holy shit, Sam, that was amazing! Where do you- [Samantha puts her foot on his chest as he tries to sit up]
    Samantha LaRusso: Sensei Sam. [she straddles him] You know this may be the best date I've ever been on.
    Miguel Diaz: Really? 'Cause technically, this isn't a date.
    Samantha LaRusso: Right. Not a date. [she leans in and kisses him] And that was...not a kiss.
  • 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.
    • At the end of "Smith and Jones", when the Doctor invites Martha along for what he intends as one trip to thank her for saving his life earlier, she teases him about taking her on a date. He's not particularly amused, and Martha decides to set the record straight by claiming that she's not remotely interested.
    • 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!"
    • Invoked in "Extremis" when Bill (the Doctor's companion and an out lesbian) coaxes Penny, a closet lesbian, up to her flat. Penny is nervous about the whole thing, but Bill points out they have no reason to be guilty given that they're just drinking tea together. Though the Pope barging into the room right after this statement proves a Moment Killer.
    • In "Legend of the Sea Devils", the Doctor quips to Yasmin Khan that she's "not a bad date" during their latest adventure. Unfortunately, it's Saying Too Much as Yaz has been hiding her crush on the Doctor, who in turn has been pretending to be in ignorance of her companion's feelings.
  • 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 "Paul 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." Monica ends up sleeping with Paul who has to leave her apartment past the rest of the gang.
    Joey: That wasn't a real date? What the hell do you do on a real date?
  • Glee:
    • 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 Humphrey 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.
  • Iron Fist: In "Under Leaf Pluck Lotus", Danny Rand orders takeout for Colleen Wing; unfortunately being a billionaire with No Social Skills this involves caterers setting up a formal dinner in her dojo. Given the romantic tension between them, Colleen immediately gets flustered and wants to know if this is a date, which Danny denies...unless she wants it to be. Claire Temple is watching this with amusement and insists on joining in to take the pressure off Colleen, though she makes a discreet exit on realising Danny really is just there to talk business.
  • 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. It actually is so Bo can learn to control her powers, but that doesn't mean it isn't a date regardless.
  • 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'.
  • Monk: In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Wedding", Natalie's date to her brother's wedding cancels at the last minute due to appendicitis. Out of desperation, she needs a new date to step in so that she can cope with being around her parents, who she dislikes. Monk declines, but Randy happily steps up, and is perfectly understanding of the fact that he's merely there to act as Natalie's emotional support. When Randy is subsequently injured by a would-be assailant, Monk is forced to step in and take Randy's place.
  • 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.
  • Seinfeld: One-shot character Todd Gack is so sure that Dustin Hoffman was in Star Wars that he bets Elaine on it — if he loses, he has to buy her dinner. And sure enough, he loses. Elaine is curious whether this is a back-door to a date, but Todd insists that it's not a date — and indeed laments the prevailing assumption that any time a man and a woman have dinner together, it is a date. Jerry is not convinced, believing Todd has found a "dating loophole" — rather than ask her out directly and risk being turned down, he makes a bet he knows he will lose and disguises the whole thing as a slightly Humiliating Wager. Elaine gives Todd the benefit of the doubt, until he does it a second time — and this time he brings his parents.
    Elaine: Saturday night, with your parents? Unless I'm your sister, this is a date!
  • Sherlock:
    • 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.
  • In Smallville Chloe tells Clark she is not going on a date with another guy but merely a fact-finding mission to see if he deserves a date.
  • 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:
    • In "Rejoined", Jadzia Dax wants an excuse to have dinner with her ex-partner (in a previous host) Lenara Kahn, but as this is against the norms of Trill society, she ropes in Julian Bashir to maintain the pretext that she was actually having dinner with him and invited Lenara to join them. Cut to Bashir looking bored as the two happily chat away, ignoring him the whole time until he's called away for a medical emergency.
    • In "For the Cause", 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.
  • In The Suite Life of Zack & 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!

    Video Games 
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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…
  • Homestuck:
    • 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
  • 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 [1] and penchant for shipping [2]. It ended, painlessly, when Sherry decided she was interested in someone else. [3]
  • 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.
    • Brun and Millefeuille do this twice, as a Type 2 on both occasions.
  • 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?
    Torg: Yes!
    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.

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • Occurs, unsurprisingly enough, in 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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". Notable in the episode "Working Girl". In the series finale they went on a date.
  • 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.
  • Inverted in the Hamster & Gretel episode "An Arthouse Divided". In which Kevin and Hiromi plan on going to an advanced screening of a movie and he assumes it could be a date when everyone tells him it isn't. note 
  • 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.
  • In Mike Tyson Mysteries, a "mystery" involves two members of the team to go to a frozen yogurt shop, which ends up being Yung and Pigeon. While eating ice cream with her, Pigeon begins to suggest that it might be their "first date" which disgusts Yung, due to not only Pigeon being, well, a pigeon, but a creepy one at that who constantly sexually harasses, and belittles her as well as taking pictures of her naked without her consent. Made even more Squickier when a later episode reveals him to be her biological father.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • Casey and April go on one of these in the 2003 series, to much teasing from the turtles. It rapidly goes in a date-like direction, but mayhem breaks out before anything really happens.
    • In the 2012 series, 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 in this continuity.
  • 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.

    Real Life 
  • 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 a 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.