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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, Romantic Two Girl 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 Romantic Two-Girl 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 and Cuddle Bug. Supertrope to Practice Kiss.

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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. They've kissed on more than one occasion, 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.
  • In Ranma ½, Ranma 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.

    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.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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 to console him over all the crap he went through.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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 visited her twin sister Ursula to wish her a happy birthday. When she got there Ursula told her they were 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.

    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!")

    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.

    Western Animation 
  • Proper Lady Rarity from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has done a "kiss on the cheeks" greeting at least once.
  • 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.

    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 Famous 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.

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