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Platonic Kissing

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"Well," said Dorothy, "as far as Betsy and Hank are concerned, I'd like to have them here in Oz. It would be such fun to have a girl playmate of my own age, you see. And Hank is such a dear little mule!"
Ozma laughed at the wistful expression in the girl's eyes, and then she drew Dorothy to her and kissed her.
"Am I not your friend and playmate?" she asked.
Dorothy flushed.
"You know how dearly I love you, Ozma!" she cried. "But you're so busy ruling all this Land of Oz that we can't always be together."
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Those two characters just kissed; they must be in love!

...Turns out not.

It's not necessary for the trope that the two characters be mistaken for romancing. It just has to be an informal kind of kiss between two characters who, because of their age, gender (or gender-mix), or social status, you wouldn't expect to see kissing non-romantically.

May happen between Platonic Life-Partners, PseudoRomantic Friendships or Heterosexual Life-Partners, particularly if one is The Not-Love Interest to the other. Kisses between family can count if they're past a certain (usually young) age than cultures see as "normal". They may also be kissing as a type of consolation, or perhaps just for practice.

In older works, two female characters (especially preadolescent and adolescent ones) in a Pseudo-Romantic Friendship will often kiss. This comes off as seeming homoerotic to modern viewers but at the time was simply meant to be a close platonic gesture.

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The specific body part where it gets kissed also carries different connotations; I Kiss Your Hand, for example, can be a platonic sign of respect, particularly for young people towards their parents/elders, while kisses on face (especially mouth one) is more easily romantic unless the context makes it platonic (like, say, it's part of an act). See also Anywhere but Their Lips.

Truth in Television, and a minor source of Values Dissonance between cultures and time periods, some of which accept a lot more physical contact between non-lovers than others do.

If characters who aren't romantically involved are kissing to make it appear that they are, that's Fake-Out Make-Out. Also contrast Kiss of Distraction and "Shut Up" Kiss, where one of the parties might be more than platonically interested.

Compare to Holding Hands, Fake First Kiss, Magic Kiss, Platonic Valentine, "Take That!" Kiss, and Cuddle Bug. Supertrope to Practice Kiss. Compare and contrast Accidental Kiss, which has no romantic intent but mostly because it wasn't intentional.

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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Code Geass: Between Lelouch and C.C., if Word of God about their relationship is to be believed. She's kissed him on the lips twice, however it's been stated that C.C. has a maternal relationship with Lelouch.
  • In Durarara!! x2, the Orihara twins have a tendency to kiss anyone they're close to on the lips, up to and including each other.
  • Ranma ½: The titular character gives Akane a cat-like peck on the lips while he's been bewitched to think that he's a cat (It Makes Sense in Context.) Akane is pissed because they are betrothed and it was technically their first kiss. Then Ranma manages to piss her off further when he tries to claim that it's not that big a deal because he would have kissed anybody in that state.
  • In Howl's Moving Castle any of the people Sophie kisses that aren't Howl are this, first she gives one to The Witch of the Waste for agreeing to give her Howl's heart to make him whole again, later when Turniphead the scarecrow breaks his pole saving everyone from falling to their deaths, this ends up breaking the spell and turning him back into a human prince, and at the end she gives one to Calcifer the fire demon after he decides to live with her and Howl rather than be free as a star.

    Comic Books 
  • In Gen¹³, Rainmaker gives her new friend Daphne a kiss on the forehead at the end of their adventure together. When the other Gen-Active kids ask about it, Rainmaker insists that they're just friends.
  • Superman story Let My People Grow: Before her spaceship takes off, Van-Zee gives Supergirl a brief but tender -and strictly friendly- parting kiss.
  • In the Wonder Woman Vol 1 story arc Judgment In Infinity, Wonder Girl gives her big sister a kiss on the cheek after Diana saves the world from the Adjudicator.

    Fairy Tales 

    Fan Works 
  • In Beyond Heroes: Of Sunshine and Red Lyrium, Bethany gives Varric a kiss of gratitude on the cheek after he arranges the game of Wicked Grace for her and her inner circle. When she kisses him again several months later, it is not this trope.
  • In Make a Man Out of You, Ping feels so relieved to see his friend Wei alive that he almost wants to kiss him.
  • In Moving, Karen gives an unnamed woman a kiss on the cheek after she offers a shoulder for Karen to vent to.
  • In New Arrivals, Sonic teases Tails after the fox kisses Cream on the lips, saying he has gained a girlfriend. Tails rebuts, claiming that he also kisses Sally, Bunnie and Sonic, out of pure affection. And the two kiss afterwards.
  • Of Monsters and Men: After being reunited with her half-brother Lelouch after he was thought dead for years, Euphemia becomes so overcome with emotion that she kisses him.
  • In The Official Fanfiction University of Middle-earth, Legolas and Gimli try to explain a class of fangirls that kisses and hugs are sometimes displays of friendly affection and not declarations of romantic love.
  • Shadow of Another Hero explains that the Smooch of Victory that Zelda gave Link at the end of Zelda II: Adventure of Link was intended for her close friend. She mistook Link for him.
  • In Surprising Butterflies, this is briefly discussed when Mion is uncertain whether Rena's kiss was a sign of a Pseudo-Romantic Friendship or not.
  • Subverted in Trusting In Faith when Glinda tries to kiss Nessarose platonically, but Nessarose would rather it not be platonic so she kisses her on the lips.
  • Twice Upon an Age: When the Inquisitors are preparing to separate in the second full volume of the series, Victoria gives Mahanon a kiss on the cheek. He's thoroughly amused by the gesture and cheerfully remarks, "Ew."
  • Ultimate Misfits: Kimber often kisses her best friend Stormer on the head.
  • In The Unfantastic Adventures of Bizarro No. 1, Bizarro Supergirl gives her cousin Bizarro a celebratory kiss on the cheek after the Bizarro Justice League has saved their world from the Blue-Kryptonite Man.
  • In Vanilla Punk First Christmas, Vanilla is in a wheelchair after breaking her leg in a serious accident at the end of her Christmas mission. She is helped by her best friend Nicely, who gives her a kiss on the cheek. Vanilla asks her for another kiss, on the temple, and is granted. Vanilla also exchanges innocent kisses on the lips with her daughter Cream.

     Film — Animation 
  • In The Little Mermaid (1989), Ariel does this twice to Sebastian and once to Flounder, for Sebastian first when he reluctantly agrees to help her look for Prince Eric and later when she learns of Eric's engagement which she thinks is to her she picks up Sebastian and kisses him goodbye, and when she marries Prince Eric, Scuttle flies Flounder over to her to say goodbye and she gives him a kiss on the nose.
  • Aladdin: Jasmine does this twice in the sequel movies, first in Aladdin: The Return of Jafar she gives one to Iago believing she can trust him after proving he no longer works for Jafar, and in Aladdin and the King of Thieves she gives one to Genie after he cheers her up when Aladdin went to look for the king of thieves which postponed their marriage.
  • In The Incredible Mr. Limpet after Lady Fish learns from Crusty the crab that Mr. Limpet has been looking for her the whole time and that he loves her, she’s so excited she gives Crusty a kiss, he reacts in disgust and tells her that she’s supposed to do that to Limpet.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Craft: The main girls kiss each other on the lips while performing a Wiccan ritual.
  • In Hanna, the titular girl shares a kiss with her new female friend. She doesn't mean for it to be romantic, but since she has No Social Skills, she hasn't learned other ways of expressing friendship.
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Hermione gives Harry a kiss on top of the head after he nearly drowns during the second Triwizard task.
  • In Hussar Ballad, friendly kissing on the lips or cheek is a norm between people of the same gender. However, the main heroine is a Sweet Polly Oliver, which slightly complicates matters. In each of the following examples, the other character involved believes her to be male.
    • It leads to awkwardness on Shura's part when Rzhevsky, on whom she has a crush, kisses her as a manner of a friendly goodbye.
    • General Balmashov gives Shura a kiss after she rescues him from an ambush.
    • In the original play, Salgari very tenderly kisses Shura several times to convince the French she is his brother. This got removed in the film (he only hugs her), probably because it would have been too hard to sell it as platonic.
  • In Labyrinth, Sarah gives Hoggle a friendly kiss. It still makes Jareth jealous enough to throw them both into the Bog of Eternal Stench.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: Frodo kisses Sam on the head during the Grey Havens scene. Given that Sam is now married with two children and Frodo's about to leave Middle-Earth, it's pretty clear it's intended more as an affectionate platonic gesture than any kind of romantic overture.
  • In Margarita with a Straw, Jared gives Laila a kiss on the cheek after they debate whether or not kissing is a big deal. Laila is hurt by this, as she actually has a crush on Jared and thinks that he's just pitying her because of her cerebral palsy.
  • Nomi Malone from Showgirls visits Cristal in her hospital bed after getting the lead role in a topless stage show via a Klingon Promotion. Cristal seems to bear Nomi no ill will, and states that she's content to do nothing while collecting Workers' Compensation. The two kiss, tongues a-wigglin', suggesting Les Yay, but really they're just toying with each other. Both women are morally bankrupt and fiendishly catty.
  • In Super, Frank's co-worker Hamilton kisses him on the cheek with some regularity, despite otherwise being rather homophobic. Frank is not sure what to make of this.
  • Bugs Bunny in Space Jam plants a dandy smooch on the newly-arrived Michael Jordan to prove that Bugs is "real."
    Jordan: You're a cartoon, you're not real.
    Bunny: Not real, eh? If I weren't real, could I do this? [power smooch]
  • In Rush Hour, a fight leaves Lee hanging on to the ceiling of a multistory casino. Carter manages to break his fall by pulling out a tapestry and making him slide down but also causing him to crash into him on the other end. Lee thanks Carter and kisses him on the cheek. Carter shoves him off and asks what he's doing and Lee says that he was just being polite.
  • In Schindler's List, Oskar (usually known for hitting on any pretty woman he sees) comforts Helen with a kiss on the forehead, taking care to say "It's all right, it's not that kind of kiss", since he wouldn't take advantage of her suffering.

    Literature 
  • In the Aubrey-Maturin series Jack kisses Diana effusively to thank her when he finds out she sold the "Blue Peter" diamond, which was pretty nearly her Companion Cube, to ransom Jack and Stephen from the French prison. Now, Jack did have romantic feelings for Diana once, but it soon dissipated because of her effect on Stephen (among other matters); he grew to like her again—just not romantically—when she later Took a Level in Kindness.
  • Ozma and Dorothy are prone to this in Land of Oz books. One piece of official art even depicts them kissing. It's used to show how innocent and close the two are.
  • In Wicked, Elphaba kisses Glinda multiple times. Their last meeting before they separated even involved one. The musical censored it into a hug instead, however some actresses improvise by kissing. The "platonic" part is muddled by how extremely obvious it is that Glinda loved Elphaba romantically (which is supported by Word of Gay), but it's unclear if they were ever a couple, and their kisses are used platonically, with things being further muddled because Everyone Is Bi.
    "Elphie, get in the cab, don't be a fool," Glinda cried. The driver was adjusting the reins and yelling at Elphaba to sod off.
    "You'll be all right," Elphaba said, "and now you're a seasoned traveler. This is just the return leg of a voyage you already know." She put her face against Glinda's and kissed her. "Hold out, if you can," she murmured, and kissed her again, "Hold out, my sweet."
  • Played with in Annie on My Mind. Annie tells Eliza that she used to kiss her childhood friend "the way little girls sometimes do". It could be platonic as Annie had said but, due to her being gay and her blushing while mentioning it, it could have also been romantic.
  • At the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Hermione kisses Harry on the cheek in farewell.
  • Such a kiss foils the villain of The Day of the Jackal, while he has the head of French President Charles DeGaulle squarely in his crosshairs. The assassin is English, however, and has forgotten that the French give a kiss on the cheek to medal recipients before saluting them. DeGaulle's head moves forward, and the bullet meant for him whizzes behind him, striking the pavement harmlessly.
  • In Trapped, Dreamsinger repeatedly gives Steel Caryatid "sisterly" kisses on the lips, because they are ostensibly "sisters" in that they are both magic-users. It later turns out that their lips never actually touched; Dreamsinger is wearing a glamour that makes her appear to be dressed as a civilian, when in fact she's wearing full armor, including a full helmet, the whole time.
  • Faramir parts ways with Frodo and Sam in Ithilien in The Lord of the Rings "after the manner of his people", in which he places each hand on each shoulder and kisses the forehead.
  • In the third book of the Michael Vey series, Michael allows some members of the Electroclan to go home instead of going on a potential suicide mission against the Elgen. Before she leaves, Abigail, who was already in a relationship with Jack at this point, gives one of these to Michael.
  • The Princess Tales: In For Biddle's Sake, the fairy queen, Anura, is ecstatic that Bombina has "adopted" a human girl, as she thinks that this will increase her patience with humans. She kisses her multiple times on the face, but it's more a sign of Bombina gaining her favor than anything romantic.
  • In The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Josef Kavalier kisses his little brother Thomas on the lips as he prepares to leave his home for the last time, as he fears he will never see Thomas again.
  • In A Game of Thrones, Jon Snow kisses his little brother Bran on the lips just before leaving for the Wall. This is partly a show of genuine affection, but also a display of defiance, as Catelyn is watching and she is responsible for Jon being banished to the Wall.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Big Bang Theory: Penny gave several of these kisses to Leonard (even before they started dating), Sheldon, and Raj over the course of the series.
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show: In "Buddy, Can You Spare a Job?", Sally, who knows Buddy is married and devoted to his wife, gives him a goodbye kiss on the cheek when he announces his plans to leave The Alan Brady Show.
  • Friends:
    • Joey is auditioning for a part that requires him to kiss another man, and Chandler and Ross refuse to help him practice (though Phoebe agrees and kisses him). At the end of the episode, Ross finally caves in and kisses Joey— but he doesn't realize that at this point the audition is already over.
    • At one point, the girls lose a bet and are forced to switch apartments with the guys. After a few episodes, Monica and Rachel persuade them to switch back by offering to kiss each other for sixty seconds straight (it works).
    • On Phoebe's thirtieth birthday, she visits her twin sister Ursula to wish her a happy birthday. When she gets there, Ursula tells her they're actually thirty-one, showing her her birth certificate to prove it. Phoebe is devastated that she hasn't done any of the things she wanted to do by the time she was thirty-one, including having the perfect kiss. To console her, Joey kisses her and tells her she can now cross that off of her list.
    • When Monica and Chandler are hiding their relationship from the rest of the group, only Joey knows. On New Year's Eve, they want an excuse to kiss when the clock strikes midnight, so Joey arranges that Ross will kiss Phoebe and he will kiss Rachel so Chandler and Monica kissing will come off as platonic.
  • In the pilot episode of How I Met Your Mother, Ted is telling the others about his first date with Robin. They all think that Ted chickened out of kissing Robin, but he insists that you shouldn't kiss a girl unless they give you "the signal". Annoyed, Barney grabs Marshall's face and kisses him passionately to show that "the signal" is not necessary.
    Ted: She didn't even give me the signal.
    Barney: What, is she gonna bat her eyes at you in Morse code? (bats eyes) "Ted...kiss me." No, you just kiss her!
    Ted: Not if you don't get the signal!
    Barney: (kisses Marshall) Did Marshall give me the signal?
    Marshall: No! (to Lily) I didn't, I swear.
    Barney: But see, at least tonight I get to sleep knowing Marshall and me? Never gonna happen. You should've kissed her.
  • Just before the climax of the HR arc in Person of Interest, John Reese and Detective Carter share a kiss. Word of God confirms it was one of friendship, not romance. Also turns out to be a Last Kiss: she's murdered by the fugitive Officer Simmons after the rest of HR is arrested at the end of the episode.
  • In Casanova, Camp Gay Villars greets Casanova with a peck on the lips. Casanova is very much not into men, so it's clearly a friendly if rather racy gesture.
  • Quite a few on M*A*S*H
    • In the episode "Aid Station", after Hawkeye, Margaret, and Klinger safely return from the aid station, Hawkeye gives Margaret a kiss on the cheek as a mark of his appreciation for her hard work.
    • In "Abyssinia, Henry", Hawkeye gives Henry a kiss on the cheek as Henry is leaving to go home. He never makes it home.
    • In "Welcome to Korea", Trapper (presumably, though we don't see it), gives one to Radar and tells him to pass it on to Hawkeye to say goodbye. Radar does, though with some reluctance.
    • In "A War For All Seasons", Father Mulcahey is overcome with excitement when the Giants win the pennant and kisses Margaret.
    • In the finale, they're all over the place as people say goodbye. Klinger kisses Kellye on the nose, Hawkeye kisses Klinger's new wife Soon Li on the cheek, and Col. Potter kisses Margaret's forehead.
  • Monk: In "Mr. Monk and the Twelfth Man", Monk figures out an important clue to the current serial killing case (all the victims served on the same jury). As Stottlemeyer rushes out of the room, he pauses to plant one on Monk's cheek. However, given the circumstances, it's clearly a sign of excitement and gratitude rather than attraction.

    Myth and Religion 
  • The New Testament's Book of Corinthians (2 Corinthians 13:12) tells the members of the church, "Greet one another with a holy kiss." This would have been perfectly natural to original recipients in Ancient Greece, but usually isn't taken quite so literally in cultures where this isn't the norm. A few modern Bible translations go so far as to Bowdlerize it, for instance the New Living Translation's rendition, "Greet each other with Christian love." (J.B. Phillip's British paraphrase dodges the issue even more: "A handshake all round, please!")

    Theatre 
  • In Kashchey The Deathless, Tsarevna Beloved Beauty feels sorry for Kashcheyevna, her rival in love, and kisses her. Kashcheyevna is moved to tears (for the first time in her life).

    Video Games 
  • The Sims series differentiates romantic kisses from family kisses.

    Webcomics 
  • Genius Ditz Scarlet from Sequential Art strip #825 tells Art that she has modified his motorized scooter to better cope with an ugly British winter. At first, Art is alarmed, since Scarlet tends to weaponize things, often rendering them unsafe to use. However, once Art sees Scarlet's handiwork, he gives her a kiss beside her furry ear in gratitude. She seems to like it.
  • In Goodbye to Halos, Fenic, who is a lesbian, and her male friend Leo share a platonic kiss on the mouth.

    Western Animation 
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: In "The Conqueror", when Gi shakes off Zarm's influence, Gaia kisses her on the forehead. Given that she almost directly states in other episodes that she sees the Planeteers as her children, it's platonic.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Proper Lady Rarity has done a "kiss on the cheeks" greeting at least once.
    • Kiss on the cheek greetings are apparently a common thing in the Ponyville-Canterlot fashion circuit, as Hoity Toity and Photo Finish both did the kiss-kiss-kiss on the cheek thing too.
  • In Batman Beyond, Inque gives Terry McGinnis one as a "Shut Up" Kiss, only for the Shut Up part.
  • In the The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius episode "Win Lose and Kaboom!", April locks lips with Jimmy, who thinks that she kissed him. However, she clarifies that it was the Gorlockan seal of trust, and has no idea what "kiss" means. This is subverted later in the same episode, when she does it a second time and clarifies that it was a romantic kiss.
  • The Little Rascals has at least four instances. Darla kisses Alfalfa in "Rascals' Revenge", "Rock & Roll Rascals" and "Horse Sense", and he kisses her in the last scene of "Beauty Queen for a Day".
  • In the pilot movie for DC Super Hero Girls, Harleen video-calls her long-distance friend Barbara. She ends with call by "kissing" her phone screen.
  • Farrah Fawcett kisses Johnny Bravo while Farrah is the special guest at little Susie's birthday party. Tragically for Johnny, he'd gotten into the party disguised as Smarmy The Dinosaur, and couldn't detach the headpiece to receive the kiss directly.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Bart and Lisa occasionally kiss each other on the cheek during moments when they are incredibly grateful for something the other did (such as when Bart genuinely apologises to Lisa for destroying her centerpiece (as well as a sweet hug), and when Lisa buys Bart's soul only to return it to him free of charge).
    • In "Bart Gets an F", Bart spontaneously kisses Mrs. Krabappel after he barely passes a test, only to later react in disgust when he realises what he did.
  • In the DuckTales (2017) episode "How Santa Stole Christmas!", Webby gives a goodnight kiss to her best friends Lena and Violet while delivering Christmas presents to their house.

    Real Life 
  • Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation involves a person giving air to another person who is currently not breathing through the mouth. This has been parodied to no end in media.
  • Admiral Horatio Nelson's last words at the Battle of Trafalgar included the request, "Kiss me, Hardy." Sir Thomas Hardy obliged him with a parting kiss on the cheek.
  • The Socialist Fraternal Kiss was a formal greeting between the heads of Communist states, involving "an embrace, combined with a series of three kisses on alternate cheeks." Or if the leaders were especially close, on the lips. It was considered a sign of chilly national relations if diplomats didn't exchange fraternal kisses.
  • A particularly famous example of the above was a photo showing Soviet and East German leaders Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev kissing each other on the mouth. This was turned into Graffiti of the Resistance on the Berlin Wall with the snarky caption, "My God, help me to survive this deadly love!"
  • Truth in Television: In many cultures, especially Latin American, Middle Eastern, and southern European, a kiss on the cheek is a perfectly normal social greeting, more or less equivalent to a warm handshake or hug. In such cultures it can be considered a snub if you turn down a greeting kiss, implying you don't want to get close to the other person. On the other hand, it varies between locale whether cheek kissing between men and women (or men and men) is always seen as platonic. As usual, The Other Wiki has the details.
    • For obvious reasons, this has become a lot less common in said cultures with the advent of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • Because the two band members of Tears for Fears are Heterosexual Life-Partners who have known each other since they were 13 years old, Roland Orzabal considers it to be perfectly normal for him to kiss Curt Smith in public, and this has been part of their friendship since at least their pre-TFF Graduate days in 1980, when they were around 18 or 19 years old (depending on the month the television performance was filmed). note  The Stiff Upper Lip culture that they grew up in discourages men from expressing affection to each other in this manner, but being Sensitive Guys, Orzabal and Smith rebelled against the masculine ideal, and they don't see anything wrong with two heterosexual Englishmen exchanging kisses.
  • At the 2018 San Diego ComiCon, best friends Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who play Ed and Lorraine Warren in The Conjuring Universe, ran into each other while promoting separate projects. A delighted Farmiga called Wilson over, and he very sweetly hugged her and kissed her temple before he had to go back to his own press junket. It was adorable.
  • Legendary British ice dancer Christopher Dean (of "Bolero" fame) has a habit of giving his longtime (and equally legendary) skating partner Jayne Torvill a sweet kiss on the cheek or temple as a sign of affection. Given that the two have been best friends and skating partners for over thirty years, this is not surprising.

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