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Platonic Declaration of Love

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"Leonard, I platonically love you, man..."
Dr. Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory

True Companions are very important to most heroes. After overcoming many obstacles and growing closer, one character might tell another (usually same-sex but doesn't need to be, and can also be directed towards a small group of characters) they love them (sometimes dramatically, sometimes nonchalantly). They usually don't need to elaborate because the meaning is clear. Their friendship is strong to the point that it can be described as a type of love. The most important thing is that there is no romantic suggestion between the two characters (at least at this point in the series). This can also happen between family, who are expected by nature to have platonic love for each other.

Sub-Trope of Love Confession. May overlap with Heterosexual Life-Partners or Anguished/Dying Declaration of Love. Related to Platonic Life-Partners but doesn't necessarily have to overlap. For some examples, this might cross over with Friendship Song, Platonic Valentine, or Parental Love Song.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan when Eren uses the pathways to bring him and his brother Zeke to their father Grisha's memories, Grisha sees Zeke as an adult for the first time and he hugs him telling him that he loves him and apologizes for his treatment of Zeke when he was a child.
  • One chapter of Ayakashi Triangle has Matsuri making an emotional spectacle in stating how important his senpai Soga is to him. It's played for equals parts humor and pathos, mostly playing on the romantic overtones between the two Matsuri remains completely oblivious to.
    Even if you get a girlfriend, I want us to stay friends, so we can talk about anything with each other!
  • In the last episode Digimon Adventure, The Digidestined get to spend some time alone with their partners before they have to head home. In the dub, Izzy uses some of his time to tell Tentomon that he loves him, causing Tentomon to fall over in surprise. Once he recovers from Izzy's uncharacteristic "sudden display of emotion," they share a hug.
  • In Digimon Frontier, one of the first things Junpei does after fighting a particularly harrowing battle with an Enemy Within is to tell his friends how much he loves them. Funnily enough, this is a straight instance that also involves a romantic love interest: Izumi, the girl that Junpei has a crush on.
  • At the end of the first two seasons of Dog Days, Cinque declares to Millhiore and Rebecca respectively that he loves them. Although both girls are romantically interested in him, he wishes to develop himself further as an athlete (and Champion) before trying to pursue any romantic relationship. But they're both very important to him, so he still wants them to know that.
  • Fairy Tail: when Lucy is about to sacrifice the Aquarius' key in order to bring up the Celestial King (and she is very reluctant), she declares that she loves her.
  • Sister/clone Hikaru confesses her love to Tsubasa during one very dramatic scene in Figure 17 Tsubasa & Hikaru.
  • In Gungrave, Mika tells a dying Grave, her guardian/father figure, that she loves him, which is why she doesn't want him to go and is even willing to live in poverty, if that's what it takes to live together with Grave.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • The dream Alicia's last words in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's were how she wished she could have been Fate's sister in real life. The movie version has both her and Fate explicitly use the words "I love you."
    • Rinne also tells Fuka that she loves her after they reignite their friendship at the end of ViVid Strike!.
  • In Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Kanna gives Kobayashi a hug and tells her that she loves her after finding out that she'll be attending the sports festival (Parents' Day in the manga).
  • Naruto:
    • Inverted in that the choice of words are interpreted as "romantic" when it's actually not. When Naruto finally manages to find a way to combine elemental chakra with the chakra-forming technique, his mentor Kakashi is so impressed that he tells Naruto "I like you". Cue Naruto's comical disgusted reaction and Kakashi trying to explain that he doesn't mean it that way.
    • Subverted in the Invasion of Pain arc, when Hinata confesses her love to Naruto. Due to his emotionally stunted and lonely childhood and not having anyone to teach him the differences between The Four Loves, the concept of romantic love is so foreign to Naruto that he thinks Hinata's confession was this. Two years later, in the Canon movie The Last: Naruto the Movie, Naruto finally has this misconception corrected and he realizes his own latent romantic feelings for Hinata.
  • Asuna tells Ayaka that she loves her and admits that meeting her was the best luck she ever had near the end of Negima! Magister Negi Magi.
  • One Piece: In a flashback, the last thing Corazon said to the young Trafalgar Law before he goes on to sacrifice himself to protect Law from Doflamingo is, "Law... I love you."
  • Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew: Ash gives one of these to Pikachu as he is being devoured by the Tree's defenses.
  • In the final episode of Princess Tutu, Duck and Rue exchange these when they're saying their goodbyes. Duck can't say the words aloud since she's been returned to her true duck form, but she still gives Rue a hug and thinks the words anyway.
  • Sound! Euphonium:
    • The anime ends with Kumiko delivering one to her older sister Mamiko.
    • Kumiko has an even more anguished confession to her friend and upperclassman Asuka at the end of the final episode.
  • In the English dub of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Zane says this to his little brother Syrus before he sacrifices himself to Camula to save him.
  • In her Secret Diary Yuki Yuna is a Hero, Yuna excitedly writes about how she loves Karin after the two get into a fight.

    Comic Books 
  • Captain America: When Steve Rogers announces the new Captain America to the Avengers, he refers to Sam Wilson as "a man whom I love with all my heart."
  • Superman:
    • A downplayed version appears in the story Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?. After she and Jimmy Olsen give themselves superpowers in an attempt to help the beleaguered Man of Tomorrow, Lana makes a short but impassioned speech about their mutual affection for Supes. She is still in love with him, despite knowing that he's fallen in love with Lois, but she knows Jimmy is Superman's friend. It doesn't keep her from lumping him in with the declaration:
      Lana: Let's get out there, wreck that force screen, and get him out of this mess. We're only second stringers, Jimmy, but we'll show 'em... Nobody loved him better than us. NOBODY!
    • In one issue, Superman and Wonder Woman are transported to Valhalla to fight in a war against demons and are prevented from leaving until the war is concluded. The war ends up lasting over a thousand years, but in all that time and despite a growing attraction to Diana, Clark remains faithful to Lois. On the eve of their last battle, the two acknowledge that it'll be their last night together. Clark admits that despite all the time that's passed, Lois is still the only person for him, of which Diana approves. The two embrace and share the following conversation.
      Clark: Thank you, Diana... For always being my best friend. I love you.
      Diana: I love you, too... Clark.
  • Teen Titans: The page image hails from Tales of the Teen Titans #50, between Nightwing and Donna Troy, during the latter's wedding where Dick (who grew up with Donna on the Titans to the point view each other like siblings) walked her down the aisle.

    Fan Works 
  • MonsterVerse fanfiction Abraxas: Empty Fullness: Monster X and their mother Susan (biological mother of Monster X's Vivienne Graham half, adoptive mother of their San half) each tell the other that they love them before Susan passes away in Monster X's arm.
  • RWBY fanfiction RWBY: Scars: After Yang's Anguished Declaration of Love, Weiss tells her that she loves her, but like a sister.
  • Dragon Age: Origins fanfiction Shadow and Rose: Before the final battle with the Archdemon, Elissa tells her companions that in the year they have spent together, they've come to be her surrogate family and "I love all of you."
  • In the Punch-Out!! fanfic Shining and Sweet chapter "Hypothermia", Piston Hondo explains to Great Tiger that his feelings for him are deep, but not romantic, establishing the two as having a queer platonic relationship.
  • Little Nuns fanfiction Sister Floriana: The title character gets this from her best friend, Sister Eulalia in The Pinata.
  • Dragon Age fandfiction Skyhold Academy Yearbook: Seen frequently throughout, particularly between Evvy and her honorary brothers, Dorian and Mahanon.
  • Kim Possible fanfiction So the Trauma: After having her heart broken by her first girlfriend Erica (who turned out to be a Mole and a robot), Kim goes to the prom with her best friend Ron. The story ends with Kim platonically confessing to him:
    Kim: Hey I misspoke earlier, and I don't mean to lead you on but... I love you so much.
    Ron: I love you too, KP. You going to be okay?
    Kim: Yeah. Long as I'm with you.
  • In the biggest Friendship Moment of All This Sh*t is Twice as Weird, the co-Inquisitors reunite after their extended quarrel with a hug, and Mahanon tells his younger counterpart, "Ar lath, ma da'vhenan." This is Dalish for "I love you, my little heart," the latter phrase being his Affectionate Nickname for his honorary sister.
  • In Loki: Agent of Doomgard: At end of a conversation with Paradise!Loki, Loki tells them that he loves them and considers them to be family.
  • A Moon and World Apart: In chapter 22, when Twilight finally takes some time to visit with Moondancer again, she confesses that she sees and loves Moondancer like a big sister. Moondancer, whose feelings had been slightly less platonic and was showing signs of jealousy towards Twilight's new bond with Sunset, is a bit taken aback, but ultimately accepts it and reassures Twilight that they're still friends.
  • Personality Conflicts: Between Tommy and Jason in Split Decision.
    Tommy: I'm only going to say this once, Jase, because I know how dumb it sounds. But— I am going to say it, just in case we don't make it back. You've been my friend for five years, through thick and thin and things I can't even talk about. You never once let me down or backed away when I needed help. It's an honor to have known you, man, and- aw heck….. I love you, you know that?
    Jason: Yeah, I think I did. And I love you too, Tommy. You've always been like a brother to me, and you always will.
    • Later, in the Morphin Warriors chapter of Aftermath, Billy thinks to himself of how much it bothered him to see these two simply drifting apart and going their separate ways due to life, and how glad he is that these two have reestablished their bond.
  • Burning Secret:
    • When trying to reassure Lincoln, Luna tells him she loves him.
    • Lincoln, at one point, says, “Love you too, sis” to Luna.
    • When Lucy is worried about Lincoln, they both say, “I love you” to each other.

    Film — Animated 
  • In The Bad Guys (2022), Wolf and Snake's reconciliation at the end of the film is this. Considering they're falling to their presumed deaths in the crater, this doubles as a Dying Declaration of Love.
    Mr. Snake: You came back...
    Mr. Wolf: Snake, I should have been honest with you! I was afraid that if you knew I wanted to be good, that you'd-
    Mr. Snake: Act like a jerk and never talk to you again?
    Mr. Wolf: Yeah. Point is, I... I... You know I...
    Mr. Snake: Yeah. I love you too, buddy.
    [they hug]
  • In Bolt, soon after the titular dog has finally managed to get back to his beloved owner, Penny, a fire breaks out on a set while she's filming. Bolt goes after her, but he can't find a way to get her out. Penny, suffering from smoke inhalation, tells Bolt she loves him just before she loses consciousness.
  • Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget: Ginger calls her long-time friend Bunty "love" as they prepare to infiltrate the farm.
  • In FernGully: The Last Rainforest, the fairies have what amounts to a ceremony in which Magi passes the torch to Crysta as their spiritual/magical leader. Crysta begs Magi not to go, to which Magi replies warmly, "I love you! I'll always be with you."
  • In Frozen, near the end, Elsa asks her sister, Anna, "You sacrificed yourself for me?" Anna replies, "I love you." Of course, the point of Frozen is that True Love can be platonic too.
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: The opossum twins do this when the pterosaur they and Buck are riding on gets knocked out and starts falling from the sky.
    Eddie: I love you, bro!
    Crash: I know!
  • Hogarth tells The Iron Giant he loves it at the climax of the film right before the Iron Giant sacrifices itself to save everyone in town from the nuke.
  • At the end of The Little Mermaid, Ariel is getting married to Eric and has to say goodbye to her family. She hugs her father Triton and tells him, "I love you, Daddy."
  • There's a moment near the end of Mr. Peabody & Sherman where Mr. Peabody finally gets the courage to tell his adoptive son, Sherman, that he loves him. Sherman replies with a Meaningful Echo that indicates he knew it all the time.
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,
  • Toy Story: Two examples occur in Woody's songs. First he declares in "You've Got a Friend in Me" that no one will ever love his owner Andy like he does; then in "Strange Things," he laments that he still loves Andy but the boy has replaced him with Buzz.
  • In Turning Red, Miriam asserts that she, Priya and Abby still love Mei as a friend when the latter is upset over her newfound panda form.
    Miriam: We love you, Mei.
    Priya: You're our girl.
    Miriam: Yeah, no matter what. Panda or no panda.
  • The tag of Zootopia features Judy and Nick in an ambiguous case of this, which could easily come across either as this or as something else, to set up a Maybe Ever After.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Alice Through the Looking Glass: After Iracebeth realizes that the Chronosphere is back in place and she's lost her chance to change the past, she despairingly asks why this always happens to her and why no one loves her. Her sister Mirana replies that she loves her. Iracebeth snaps back that she doesn't, which leads to Mirana tearfully confessing about the incident with the tarts and asking her forgiveness.
  • Aquamarine pulls off the true love twist a few years before Frozen. The plot is about a mermaid who has three days to convince her father that love exists, planning to get a human lifeguard to fall in love with her. He doesn't and when her father conjures up a storm to take Aqua home, her two human friends swim out into the middle of the ocean to save her (one of them overcoming her fear of water to do so). When they tell Aqua they love her, the storm goes away, as they effectively did prove that love exists.
  • Beverly Hills Cop: When Axel Foley asks his old friend Michael Tandino why he once took the fall in a car theft and didn't tell the police about Axel's involvement, Tandino tells him, "Because I love you, man."
  • In Clerks II, Becky tells Dante she loves him just like she loves her parents and her car. This turns out to be a subversion, as it's later established she is pregnant with his child and does love him in a romantic way. In a more straight example, Randal later tells Dante he loves him, quite significant for such a character to admit.
  • In The Hidden Fortress, Tahei and Matashichi, despite their bickering, frequently declare their platonic love to each other, usually whenever they feel their lives are in danger.
    Tahei: Matashichi? Let's stay friends in Heaven, too.
  • In Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, Chance tells Shadow he loves him (when Chance is trying to get Shadow to keep going after he gets injured) and Shadow tells his owner, Peter, that he loves him when the two reunite.
  • In the climax of I Love You, Man, Peter and Sydney ping-pong this in an Overly Long Gag at the altar while Peter is marrying his wife, showing their growth from recent acquaintances to Heterosexual Life-Partners, with the dead-seriousness of a traditional rom-com confession:
    Peter: I love you, man.
    Sydney: I love you too, bud.
    Peter: I love you, dude.
    Sydney: I love you, Bro Montana.note 
    Peter: I love you, homes.
    Sydney: I love you, Bro-seph Goebbels.note 
    Peter: I love you, muchacho.
    Sydney: I love you, Tycho Bro-he—note 
    Priest: OK! OK, let's continue here.
  • In Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Short Round, trying to break Indy out of the black sleep of Kali Ma, shouts, "Indy! I love you!" before burning him with a torch to break the brainwashing.
  • The Interview: The two main characters (heterosexual friends) look each other in the eye and say, "I love you," before the film's climax.
  • In Kill Bill Vol. 2, the protagonist finds a sword with an inscription saying "To My Brother Budd, The Only Man I Ever Loved. —Bill"
  • In Muppets from Space, Gonzo reunites with his birth family, who (unsurprisingly) turn out to be from another planet. As he's preparing to go back to his homeworld with them, he bids farewell to the other Muppets. Kermit merely says, very sincerely and emotionally, "We love you, Gonzo."
  • In The New Daughter, John tells his son Sam he loves him very much before he goes to rescue Louisa and burn the mound. He follows it up with several equally platonic kisses to the face.
  • A roundabout example occurs in the Frame Story of The Princess Bride with the grandfather and grandson. Early in the story, Buttercup realizes that Westley's habitual answer of "As you wish" is his shy way of saying "I love you." As we return to the grandfather and grandson at the end, the grandson asks the grandfather to come back and reread the book to him tomorrow. The grandfather answers, "As you wish."
  • In Precious after Precious has a breakdown in class shortly after learning that she has AIDS, Ms. Reign tells her that the "love" she received from her parents wasn't real and that others do love her, including her newborn son and herself.
  • In Spartacus, crossing over with Dying Declaration of Love...
    Antoninus: I love you, Spartacus, as I love my own father.
    Spartacus: I love you, like the son I will never see.
  • In Spider-Man: No Way Home, Peter-3 (AKA the Webb-verse Peter) tells the other two Peters "I love you guys." The movie deliberately portrays the three as being like brothers.
    • In the climax When Peter-1 aka the MCU Peter decides to pull a Heroic Sacrifice and Unperson himself once and for all, Doctor Strange warns him, "Everyone who knows and loves you, we'd… we'd have no memory of you."
  • Star Wars:
    • Obi-Wan Kenobi confesses that he "did" love Anakin right after their climactic fight at the end of Revenge of the Sith. From the tone of his voice, one could easily believe it's still true, as apparently he doesn't have the heart to watch his friend die.
    Obi-Wan: You were my brother, Anakin. I loved you!
    • Han Solo in The Force Awakens tells to his son Ben, that he loves him and misses him, in an attempt to bring him back to the light.
    • In The Rise of Skywalker, Ben Solo, gets a vision of his late father, Han, and implicitly tells him that he loves him:
    Ben: Dad, I...
    Han: I know.
  • Thor: In a deleted scene, on the eve of Thor's coronation, Loki makes one to his adoptive brother. And then it all goes downhill from here...
    Loki: You are my brother and my friend. Sometimes I am envious, but never doubt that I love you.
  • Together Together: Anna is working as Matt's surrogate and tells him that she loves him not-romantically near the end of the film. He responds similarly.
  • The several times in Wayne's World that Terry tells Russell that he loves him. At first, Russell is clearly disturbed, but by the end (the actual end), he has learned that there can be such a thing as platonic love between adult men.
  • Robbie and his sister Kate exchange affectionate cheek kisses and "Love you"s in The Wedding Singer. The two are indicated to be close, not least because their parents died when they were children.

  • In Anne of Green Gables, as Anne and Diana are saying a forced goodbye after the currant wine incident, Diana says that she'll "never have another bosom friend… I couldn't love anybody as I love you." Anne is buoyed up by the statement, as no one had ever said that to her before. She tells Diana that she loves her as well.
  • Ascendance of a Bookworm: Mid-way through Part 5, Rozemyne prepares to move and would really like to bring one of her noble attendants with her, except that said attendant is already engaged to someone who must stay in the place she's moving away from. The situation's "under the surface" reality is such that Rozemyne may potentially get the attendant to come with her by asking clearly and sincerely enough, while her family considers the prospect a significant positive. The moment where Rozemyne spells out her wish to her attendant while the latter is ostensibly visiting her family home for other reasons hence becomes a big deal, complete with her "biological" family watching with a lot of anticipation, Rozemyne promising her good living conditions and being pleasantly surprised when she gets a positive response. Rozemyne's own internal narration notices the similarities between the situation and a public love confession.
  • In Dragon Blood, Ward attempts one with his brother but finds that his father's manly male upbringing makes it impossible to tell his brother that he loves him. His brother has already left when Ward finally can bring himself to say the words.
  • Godspeaker Trilogy gives us an example which is also a Dying Declaration of Love and Love Confessor. Raklion has a Friend Versus Lover conflict with his best friend Hanochek, and his consort Hekat. It's been a simmering background problem for a long time. When it comes to a head, Raklion — very, very reluctantly — sides with Hekat, and banishes Hanochek. But at the end of his life, with his Last Words, Raklion wishes he hadn't. This is also an example of Love Confessor, as he tells this to Hekat, not Hanochek.
    Raklion: The god is calling, I do not wish to go. Hekat— [gasps] My beautiful knife-dancer... [sighs] I wish I had not banished Hano.
  • Between Razz and Ishmael towards the end of Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel. Out of their group of True Companions, they are the closest to each other.
    Razz: Love ya, man! You know, in a totally non-Hoop Boy sort of a way.
    Ishmael: Love you too, Razz. Same way.
  • Junie B. Jones:
    • In Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl, Junie B. comes into the classroom to find that the other students have colored spots on their graduation gowns so that her grape-juice-and-marker-spotted gown won't stand out. Junie B. declares that she loves her classmates, which causes at least two of the boys to groan about how gross it is.
    • Subverted in the First Grader series. In Turkeys We Have Loved and Eaten and Other Thankful Stuff, Sheldon tells the class that he and his family squeeze hands and say three particular words as part of their Thanksgiving tradition. Mr. Scary thinks the words are "I love you"; they're actually "Happy Turkey Day."
  • Loveless:
    • Georgia organizes a concert on the river with her friends so she can make a "college proposal"note  to Pip in order to win her back at Shakespeare Soc, and also to apologize to her as a friend for driving her away when Pip caught Georgia and Rooney kissing while drunk.
    • Rooney delivers a grand one to Georgia after the latter tells her about her nightmare where her all her friends die and she's left all alone without a romantic partner. Rooney assures her that she loves her as a best friend, and she'll stick with her until they grow old together.
  • An anguished version appears in Book 8 of The Pendragon Adventure. Courtney has a gun pointed at Mark (for reasons unrelated to love), and she makes one of these. He starts to cry and admits he loves her back.
  • In the young adult novel The Snowbird, protagonist Willanna makes one of these to her horse, the eponymous Snowbird. The horse, who is quite young, will have to be ridden to a neighboring farm to get help for Willie's aunt, who has gone into premature labor. Willie knows that it's a risk to the horse; she'll have to go farther and faster than she's ever run in her life.
    Willie: I love you. Whatever happens, remember that I love you.
  • The Squire's Tales: In the fifth book, Dinadan (who hates women) and Brangienne (who hates men) develop a relationship that feels a lot like Belligerent Sexual Tension and a developing friendship. Near the end, Bedivere comments that he always assumed that they would get together. This leads to Dinadan proposing, and being very relieved that she also thinks they're Better as Friends.
    Dinadan: He said he always thought there was something between us.
    Brangienne: Well, there is, isn't there?
    Dinadan: Of course there is, but dashed if I know what to call it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Grand Finale of 30 Rock, Jack attempts to give one of these to Liz.
    Jack: Lemon, there is a word, a once special word that's been tragically co-opted by the romance industrial complex, and I would hate to use it here and have you think that I am suggesting any type of romantic sentiment, let alone an invitation to scale bone mountain. It's a word that comes to us by way of the old high German "luba" from the Latin "lubera" meaning "to be pleasing." So I'm going to use this word to describe how I feel about you in the way that our Anglo-Saxon forefathers would have used it in reference to say "hot bowl of bear meat" or "your enemy's skull split."
    Liz: I love you too, Jack.
  • In The Addams Family episode "Lurch and His Harpsichord", Lurch packs a suitcase over the incident with the harpsichord, saying no one cares about him. Morticia tells Lurch the whole family loves him when she's trying to convince him to stay. Of course, Uncle Fester has to butt in and say he more likes Lurch than loves him.
  • The A-Team:
    • The episode "Black Day at Bad Rock" contains a platonic love declaration by proxy. When Face is fretting that B.A. will follow through on his threat to make him pay for getting him injured once he gets better, Hannibal tries to reassure him, saying, "Face, B.A. loves you... He told me so himself."
    • In the episode "Bad Time on the Border", when he's calling Maria to reassure her that they'll get her mother back soon, B.A. tells her, "I love you." Given that he's been treating her like a daughter/little sister, it's clear it's meant to be platonic.
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003). Lee casually tells Starbuck he loves her during a conversation, and Starbuck gleefully teases him over it. It's Ship Tease from the audience's perspective of course, but he actually meant it as this trope.
  • Blue Bloods' Danny exchanges this with his partner Baez while they're trapped in a Serial Killer's basement and as he's trying to keep her conscious (she's suffered a concussion).
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Grave", Xander delivers one of these to Willow while trying to convince her not to destroy the world, saying, "But the thing is, yeah, I love you. I love crayon-breaky Willow and I love scary veiny Willow." It works.
  • In the last episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Rosa tells Amy to stop worrying so much about whether or not Rosa will end up in a long-term romantic relationship with somebody. Rosa then tells Amy that she loves her, and Amy tells Rosa she loves her too.
  • Charmed (1998): One episode has a subplot focusing on Prue's inability to tell her sisters she loves them, while Piper and Phoebe are able to easily use the words with her and each other. She eventually admits that the last time told anyone she loved them was the day their mother died, which has left her fearful of losing her other loved ones. By the end of the episode, she's worked through this issue and manages to tell her sisters she loves them.
  • Criminal Minds: After being shot in "The Fisher King," Elle finds herself in an Afterlife Antechamber (or maybe just a Dying Dream) where she gets to speak to her father, who had died when she was a little girl. She reveals she's spent her life feeling guilty that her last words to him were to say "I hate you, Daddy" because he couldn't skip work to teach her to ride a bike. Now that she has a chance, she corrects herself to say "I love you, Daddy," to which he responds "I love you too, peanut."
  • CSI: NY:
    • After a lab tech is murdered in "Flash Pop," Jo goes to Mac's office and declares, "Mac Taylor, I adore you... And don't feel like you have to join in any mushiness; your smile is enough." She then sits down and tears up while talking about how people should let others know they love and appreciate them before it's too late. He holds out a box of tissues, which she accepts.
    • During Mac's limbo period in "Near Death," he subconsciously encounters his colleagues; this includes the Messers, who are also his goddaughter Lucy's parents. Lucy toddles away and Lindsay follows her off-screen, leaving Danny & Mac side by side, both staring out the window. Danny states simply, "I love you, Mac," and Mac replies, "I love you, too, Danny."
  • The title character of Dexter platonically declares his love to his stepdaughter Astor in the episode "Teenage Wasteland". This is the first time Dexter breaks The "I Love You" Stigma.
  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor in "A Good Man Goes to War" claims that Amy and Rory are the people he loves (with the time in which he would say it the ship between him and Amy would be thoroughly and long since sunk and it had not yet been revealed that Amy and Rory were destined to become his in-laws).
  • Elementary:
    • Kitty tells Sherlock, "Do you know what I haven't said to anyone in a really long time? I love you. Isn't that the saddest thing?" on the phone before hanging up in the airport, escaping before she can be arrested for kidnapping and disfiguring her rapist.
    • In the sixth season finale, Sherlock takes the fall for a murder Joan was falsely accused of committing and, as a result, has to return to England for good. Before he leaves he tells her they're more than just partners — they're "two people who love each other".
  • Frasier:
    • Roz's latest boyfriend dumps her after she tells him she loves him (a pattern he's repeated many times). While consoling her, Frasier assures her that most men won't do this and would say it back. Roz tests the theory by telling Frasier she loves him, in what's clearly a platonic way, and Frasier immediately reciprocates.
    • This is a plot point in the episode "Breaking the Ice", where Martin can platonically say "I love you" to his dog Eddie or his friend Duke, but can't actually say it to his sons Frasier and Niles. Martin tries claiming that he says "I love ya" to Eddie and Duke, but the boys don't buy it.
    • In the episode "Back Talk". Daphne is getting married soon, and Frasier laments that she will be moving out soon and he'll miss her. He means it perfectly platonically, but Daphne overhears and thinks he is in love with her. After the confusion is sorted out, they have this conversation.
      Daphne: [hopefully] Then you don't love me?
      Frasier: Oh, no, of course I love you, Daphne, but… as a friend, that's all.
  • Friends: Joey and Rachel give each other one after deciding that they're Better as Friends.
  • On The Goldbergs, Adam delivers several of these to his Platonic Life-Partners: Emmy. Most notably in "Muscles Mirsky", Barry tries to convince him that they just can't be friends. When it goes horribly wrong, he rushes to her house to say that he does love her, but it's like a sibling.
  • Haven: Played for Tearjerker. After being turned into a walking Trouble-bomb, Duke decides to make a Heroic Sacrifice. He asks Nathan to kill him, afraid to do it himself for fear of releasing all of the Troubles inside him. As he's being suffocated, the last thing he hears is Audrey telling him "we love you."
  • How I Met Your Mother: In "Little Minnesota", Robin is feeling down as she can't go home for the holidays, and Marshall gets her thrown out of a bar that reminds her of Canada because he was jealous of the attention she was getting. He later finds her eating ice cream on her doorstep and they reconcile, with him giving her one of these.
    Marshall: I'm so sorry for what happened back there. I—I acted like a total jerk. I... I shouldn't have said anything.
    Robin: No, look, I'm sorry. That was your place. I shouldn't have tried to make it mine. It's just every year at the holidays, I get homesick. And so far, every year I've had a reason to stay—a boyfriend, a job… or something. But this year for this first time, I don't.
    Marshall: Yes you do.
    Robin: What?
    Marshall: We all love you, okay? If you ever moved back to Canada, we would hop on a plane, we would track you down and, after Barney dragged us to a few of those strip clubs you talked about, we would bring you back here. Right where you're supposed to be. It's not New York without Robin Scherbatsky.
    Robin: Thanks.
  • Jessica Jones (2015) uses this as a key word to prove she's not under mind control when speaking to her friend/adoptive sister Trish, as it's something she'd never normally say. Doesn't make it seem any less sincere or true.
  • On Last Man Standing, Ed doesn't say such things directly to Kyle, the lovable goofball employee who eventually becomes protagonist Mike's son-in-law. However, he does say them to Mike about Kyle; in one episode, he mentions that he's putting Kyle in his will because he's "the closest thing I'll ever have to a son," and in another, he outright states that "I love that boy like he's my own son."
    • Kyle, meanwhile, idolizes his father-in-law, "Mr. B," and cheerfully misinterprets a comment in one episode to think Mike is saying-without-saying that he loves him. "I love you too, Mr. B!"
  • Legion: In the series finale, Charles Xavier reassures his son David that he does love him even though David in this timeline was given up for adoption. Now that an Alternate Timeline is being created, Charles vows that he'll raise David and be the father that he should've been.
    Charles: David. I wasn't there for you. You needed me, your mother, and we gave you away. I can't imagine doing it, but I adore you, David, and that will never change. I could only have done it to protect you.
    David: I was a baby.
    Charles: I'll never know what that's like, the pain of it, to be abandoned. But I am here now, and I want to make it right. So, please, my darling boy, let me be your father.
  • Played for Laughs, in The Mighty Boosh when Howard tells Vince he loves him, assuming they're both going to die. Vince proceeds to laugh at how out of the blue it seems and admits he loves Howard too. Though Howard claims Vince's confession doesn't count because he said it first.
  • Monk:
    • "Mr. Monk Goes to Mexico": when Captain Stottlemeyer, Monk's Friend on the Force, gets the (erroneous) report that he's been killed, he tells Randy that he will resign if Monk doesn't get a police funeral with full honors (despite having been discharged from the force) and declares, "I'm going to tell you something, Randy, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I loved that man." A few minutes later, he gets the news that it was a lookalike and not Monk who was killed, and his mood flip-flops:
      Stottlemeyer: I hate that man!
    • "Mr. Monk and the Three Pies": Monk is trying to walk out of his estranged brother's life again when Ambrose says that he loves him. Monk, having been controlling his irritation the entire episode, snaps, saying that people who love each other don't wait seven years between phone calls, especially when one of them is having a tough time.
    • "Mr. Monk Makes a Friend": When Stottlemeyer, Disher, and Natalie confront Hal, he asks why they're concerning themselves in his relationship with Monk. Natalie answers that it's because they love him.
  • Serves as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming in one episode of NUMB3RS for David Sinclair and his childhood friend Ben Ellis, who had been at odds for several decades following the death of another friend (David blamed Ben for getting their friend killed, and Ben resented David for abandoning him and never giving him a chance to tell his side of the story). At the end of the episode, after they've sorted out their problems, David hugs Ben and tells him, "Love you, brother."
  • Played for Laughs in the Seinfeld episode "The Serenity Now," when Jerry starts demonstrating real emotions and suddenly starts telling George that he loves him. Given the nature of the show, George is severely creeped out. (By contrast, Kramer responds to the same declaration from Jerry with a casual "I love you too, buddy.")
  • Sherlock: In "The Sign of Three" during a flashback when John asks Sherlock to be the best man, he also says that he wants to spend his day with the two people he loves most — which, are, obviously, Mary and Sherlock — and Sherlock's not getting it. Sherlock is so surprised when John actually tells him that he's rendered speechless for the next few minutes.
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Kimmy admits she loves her friend Cindy during one of her first crying fits. Probably hard not to love someone you were locked up in a bunker with for 15 years; although in this case the two characters probably have slept together, it's still definitely a platonic confession.
  • USA High: As Lazz prepares to leave the school for good, Big Man on Campus Jackson is reluctant to say something but eventually...
    Jackson: I'm not used to saying this to another guy... but I really love you.
  • In the Voyagers! episode "The Trial of Phineas Bogg", Drake accuses Bogg of endangering Jeffrey during their time-travel experiences. Bogg responds that he loves Jeffrey and wouldn't let anything hurt him. As Bogg said in an earlier episode that he would like to be able to say Jeffrey was his son, it's pretty clear it isn't sexual.
  • In the first season of Who Wants to Be a Superhero?, when it gets down to the final three contestants, they have an emotional moment in which they share a group hug. Feedback warmly tells Fat Momma and Major Victory that "I love you so much."
  • In the second season of The Witcher (2019), Ciri has a conversation with Yennefer in which she describes Geralt as being "the father I never had," and says that she loves him. Geralt, for his part, never actually says the words, but by the end of the season he acknowledges that Ciri is effectively his daughter; when asked by a friend if she is his, he nods and says, "Mine." He also tells Ciri directly that they are family.

  • "You Light Up My Life" is a fairly chaste love song, with no sex even implied, which is why many religious groups, including Debby Boone, had it as a paean to Jesus. The song could apply to a spouse, sibling, son, daughter, favorite great-aunt, whoever.
  • In some versions of the song, the singer of "Danny Boy" is Danny's father, bidding goodbye to his youngest son as he goes off to war. In these variations, the lines about love are platonic.
    Oh Danny Boy,
    Oh, Danny Boy
    I love you so.
  • In Relient K's song "You'll Always Be My Best Friend," the singer promises to love the person he's singing to (which the title would indicate is a friend, not a love interest.)
  • Queen's "You're My Best Friend".
    Oh, you're the best friend that I ever had
    I've been with you such a long time
    You're my sunshine and I want you to know
    That my feelings are true
    I really love you
    Oh, you're my best friend
  • Olivia Rodrigo's "hope ur ok" ends with one to her old friends she hasn't seen in a long time, but still worries about.
    I love you, and I hope that you're okay.
  • Taylor Swift's "seven" says, "Love you to the moon and to Saturn" to a childhood friend.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Fraggle Rock: "Wembley's Egg" has Wembley taking it on himself to sit on an egg that has fallen into the pond and take care of the "tree creature" (bird) that hatches from it. The creature is devoted to Wembley and calls him "Mama", but Wembley peeks into the Gorgs' garden and sees the tree creature's parents crying for their baby. When Wembley makes the very difficult decision of returning the baby to its parents, he tearfully declares his love for the creature as the two of them share a hug.
    Wembley: I'm taking good care of you, aren't I? And we love each other. And... and you give my life meaning... like in Boober's book.

  • In The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Tom's Aunt Polly promises her sleeping nephew that:
    One thing is certain
    No matter what you do
    This time tomorrow
    I will still be loving you.

    Video Games 
  • Bungo to Alchemist: Hagiwara Sakutarō and Murō Saisei are best friends described as "two souls in one body", with the former emotionally relying on the latter and the latter fiercely protective of the former. Of course, that's basically asking for this gem from the former in their recollection after the latter comforts him and reminds him of his worth:
    Saku: Sai…! Aah, I love you so much! I'm so glad you were born!
  • Dragon Age:
    • Dragon Age: Origins:
      • Both Alistair and Leliana may, at different points, tell the Warden that they love him/her even if they haven't been romanced. Sten, in his own odd way, may also say it, not least by calling the Warden kadan (a Qunari word meaning someone "close to the heart").
      • During the Human Noble Origin, there are multiple points at which the Warden's mother and father tell their younger child that they love him/her, and the player has the option to say it back to them.
    • Dragon Age II:
      • At the conclusion of the quest "All That Remains," Hawke's mother dies after she says, "I love you. You've always made me so proud." Hawke may also, before or after this quest, find a note in their bedroom that amounts to the same wording.
      • If Hawke's sister Bethany is sent to the Circle of Magi and is fighting alongside her elder sibling in the final battle, Hawke can speak to her (as they can speak to all of their companions) just before the last fight. Bethany, generally regarded as the sweetest character in the game, has a moment of this during the conversation.
        "If we don't survive this, brother/sister, I just want you to know that I love you."
      • Alternately, if Carver is the surviving twin and is present for the battle, he says it — in his own way.
        "I'm proud to call you brother/sister. That's gone unsaid for too long."
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, if the Dragonborn joins the Companions, Farkas may tell him/her about how he and his fraternal twin brother Vilkas came to be part of the group. Should the Dragonborn then speak to Vilkas about what Farkas said, Vilkas makes some corrections to the story — but he prefaces his remarks with the stern assertion that "I love my brother." Vilkas is the more abrasive of the twins, but his devotion to Farkas is uncontested.
  • In Final Fantasy XV, Noctis stammers one out to his True Companions as they gather around a campfire for the last time before heading off to defeat the Big Bad so he can perform the Heroic Sacrifice necessary to save the world. It's more overt in the Japanese version, where he specifically uses the words "I love you" to express his gratitude.
    Noctis: You guys... are the best.
  • Grandia has a comically awkward variation. When Justin and Feena are sailing across the sea at night, alone together for the first time in a long time, Feena asks Justin if he loves her. Justin responds (if the player picks this particular dialogue choice) with "Of course I love you!"... before making it clear with his follow-up comment that he means it platonically. It's not that he doesn't return her feelings, just that he had no idea what she meant at the time. Even after she clarifies that she "wasn't talking about that kind of love", he's still clueless.
  • Life Is Strange 2 has several between protagonist Sean and his little brother Daniel — most notably in the fourth episode, where Sean tells Daniel he loves him while attempting to free Daniel from the influence of the religious extremists who took him in while Sean was hospitalised.
  • In Rune Factory 4, you can tell any named character "I love you!" at any time. For characters who aren't possible Love Interests, it's taken to be one of these and elicits an appropriate response. Porcoline gets the wrong idea, but the player character clarifies that it's one of these.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Upon finally realizing her desires to be part of a team that cares for her, Nia tells Rex she loves him. Rex responds by saying he loves her, shocking her, and all his friends, which sends her into a laughing fit. Rex may have missed her intentions.

    Visual Novels 
  • Higurashi: When They Cry: When Shion is about to perform what she assumes will be a Heroic Sacrifice in Matsuribayashi-hen, she asks Keiichi to pass on a message to her sister Mion that she loves her and hopes they can be twins again in their next life.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Lilly tells her best friend Hanako she loves her towards the end of her route before she leaves for Scotland.
    • In Hanako's route to the good ending, Hanako will also admit to Hisao that she loves Lilly on their date together after he comments on how close she and Lilly are.
    Hisao: Lilly's a very special person to you, isn't she?
    Hanako: She is. I... love her... very much.

  • In El Goonish Shive, Elliot nonchalantly declares his love for Tedd while trying to figure out his feelings for Sarah. He even compares their relationship to Frodo and Sam. Tedd decides he needs a hug too much to make the obligatory gay hobbits joke.
  • In Pixie and Brutus, Pixie declares that she loves Brutus almost immediately after meeting him, directly after calling him her big brother and squealing that they're going to be the best of friends. Brutus finds this amusing, but willingly adopts Pixie as his protectorate, and subsequent comics make it clear that he adores her.

    Web Original 
  • Ruby's last words to Yang in the Volume 3 finale of RWBY are to tell her that she loves her, but Yang is too emotionally drained from all the trauma she's undergone in the past several episodes to respond to or even acknowledge her sister's words. This becomes a Meaningful Echo when the two reunite in "Known by its Song" after several months apart, and the first thing Yang does is pull Ruby into a hug and tell her that she loves her.
  • Sy finally admits his love for Mary to her in Twig after killing the Baron Richmond, explaining that he considers her his family, shortly before kneecapping her so she can't stop him from running away from the Academy of Evil, having figured out that while she loves him too, they both love the rest of the Lambs too much and Mary would be miserable even if he could convince her to leave with him.

    Western Animation 
  • Back to the Future: The Animated Series: Downplayed. In "Forward to the Past", Doc tells his sons that they accidentally messed up the time stream such that none of the people they love (he specifically cites Clara, Marty, and Einstein) exist. While Doc obviously has romantic feelings for Clara, he's clearly referring to different types of love in the sentence as two out of three of the examples are platonic.
  • Bojack Horseman:
    • Invoked in "Love And/Or Marriage," after Princess Carolyn returns from three blind dates to sign congratulations cards to everyone in VIM Agency with the stock words made by her assistant, Judah. She signs them mechanically until she sees the one meant for Judah himself. She's genuinely touched that he so desperately wants her approval.
      "Dear Judah, you are a wonderful employee. I am very proud of you. Sincerely, _________________."
    • And then in "It's You":
      Princess Carolyn: It's been a pleasure working with you, Judah.
      Judah: I've found it to be an above-average experience. Please forgive me for getting emotional.
    • In "That Went Well", Diane visits BoJack after Sarah Lynn's death, finding him at a really low point and after talking about it, Diane raises his spirits by telling him that, contrary to what he now believes, Horsin' Around was an important show in people's lives, especially for troubled people growing her. After processing what she has just said, BoJack retorts that she's wasting her time writing tweets for celebrities when she could do much better and then:
      BoJack: And I wish you didn't get so distant after you moved out.
      Diane: I'm sorry.
      BoJack: You know me better than anybody, and you can't not be a part of my life.
  • A tragic version in the Captain Planet and the Planeteers episode "Mind Pollution": Verminous Skumm concocts and starts selling a narcotic called Bliss. Linka's cousin Boris, unable to afford the higher prices, offers to steal Linka's power ring in exchange for more of it. Skumm asks him to bring in Linka instead, in exchange for all the Bliss he wants. Boris replies with the trope, which might ordinarily signal his freeing himself with The Power of Family... and Skumm replies that, in that case, Boris can just live with the agonizing Bliss withdrawal. Boris gives in and gets Linka addicted to Bliss.
  • In the Darkwing Duck episode "Dead Duck", Darkwing tells his daughter, Gosalyn, that he loves her as part of a final goodbye (in a dream... Or Was It a Dream?).
  • In the DuckTales (1987) episode "A DuckTales Valentine", during the kids' final meeting with Scrooge before he plans to go off with Aphroducky, Louie tells Scrooge that they love him, but they can't follow him to Mt. Olympus. This begins to rattle the enchantment.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Life of Brian", Brian gets run over by a car. As he lies dying on the operating table, his final words to his family are "You... You've given me a wonderful life. I love you all."
  • In Futurama, Bender has given Fry several, perhaps most eloquently in "Jurassic Bark".
    Bender: I should have understood how someone can love an inferior creature because I love you. Not in the way of the Ancient Greeks, but the way a robot loves a human, a human loves a dog and, occasionally, a gorilla loves a kitty.
    • He gives one to both Fry and Leela at the end of The Beast With a Billion Backs.
      Bender: That wasn't love.
      Fry: What? How can you say that?
      Bender: Because Bender knows love. And love doesn't share itself with the world. Love is suspicious, love is needy, love is fearful, love is greedy. My friends, there is no great love without great jealousy! [he hugs Fry and Leela, choking them] I love you, meatbags!
  • Kaeloo: Stumpy gives one to the rest of the main four in the climax of Episode 105.
  • In The Magic School Bus episode "Going Batty", some of the children are convinced by Ralphie's assertion that Ms. Frizzle is a vampire and go to rescue their parents before she can turn them. However, when they get there, their parents are already hanging from the ceiling with bats' wings wrapped around them. Phoebe's response?
    Phoebe: I love you anyway, Daddy. I'll love you forever.
  • Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero:
    • The resolution of the Love Triangle plot in "That Purple Girl".
      Boone: It turned you into a raging jerkface, but that's okay. I forgive you... because I love you.
      Penn: [smiles] I love you too.
    • Boone utilizes a more poetic version in "3 Big Problems".
      Boone: Tell my best friend I love him.
      Penn: I thought I was your best friend.
      Boone: You are.
  • Pinky and the Brain: Played with via Last-Second Word Swap. In one episode, Brain accidentally knocks Pinky off the table. Upon finding out that he's all right, Brain laments that it's his fault: "This obsession with taking over the world is causing me to hurt the ones I... tolerate."
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998): The titular girls and their father/creator Professor Utonium say "I love you" to one another several times throughout the series, but the most poignant and dramatic instance of it by far happens in the episode "Knock it Off." The professor's old college roommate Dick sees dollar signs when he first meets the girls, and it isn't long before he's mass-producing clones (most of them very slipshod) to sell all over the world. When the girls try to stop him, they're captured and drained of the Chemical X within them so Dick can continue to use the secret ingredient to make more clones. The professor begs to trade places with them, but Dick simply captures him as well. As he's being taken away, he yells out to the girls that he loves them and they respond weakly with "we love you too" before seemingly passing out/dying. This show of affection makes the clones realize that they never received any love themselves, and they turn on their creator. The professor's love ends up revitalizing the girls in the end.
  • Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!:
    • In the episode "Decoy for a Dognapper", the perp, Buck Masters, tells the kids that "I wish you'd have minded your own business". Fred replies, "Catching dognappers is our business, Mr. Masters. After all, Scooby-Doo is a dog, and we love him very much."
    • In an extra (viewable on Scooby-Doo's Greatest Mysteries), the gang are finishing a series of interviews about various aspects of their lives and have just finished having a good laugh at Scooby scaring Shaggy with a monster mask. Fred says that he loves his teammates. Velma responds by telling him to knock it off.
  • Skull Island (2023): The familial kind. As shown by the flashbacks in Episode 6, these were the last words that Annie's Disappeared Dad said to her before he died defending her.
  • In the Steven Universe episode "Jail Break", after Ruby and Sapphire re-fuse into Garnet, Steven sheepishly asks if he made a good first impression on her separate halves, to which Garnet replies, "Steven, we already love you."
    • Later, when Steven and Peridot drill into the Earth to stop the Cluster and it looks as though they're about to die...
      Steven: I love you, Peridot.
      Peridot: Wow, thanks.
  • From Voltron: Legendary Defender: In an epic "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight, Keith tells this to Shiro to bring him back to his senses.
    Keith: Shiro, please! You're my brother! I love you!
    [ Shiro momentarily freezes]
    • Later in Season 7:
      Krolia: I love you, Keith.
      Keith: I love you too, Mom.note 
  • Wander and Sylvia at the end of the Wander over Yonder episode "The Lonely Planet." It's what finally causes the Yandere planet Janet to stop attacking them, realizing that all she wanted was a friendship like the one they had.
    Sylvia: If getting lava-balled by a jealous planet is how we go out, buddy, well, I'm just glad we're doing it together.
    Wander: I couldn't agree more. I love you, Sylvia!
    Sylvia: You too, Wander. You too!


Video Example(s):


Rapunzel and Cassandra

Before Cassandra leaves Corona to find her own destiny, both she and her best friend (and adoptive sister) Rapunzel declare their love for one another.

How well does it match the trope?

4.83 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / PlatonicDeclarationOfLove

Media sources: