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Platonic Life-Partners

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"Maybe there won't be marriage. Maybe there won't be sex. But by God, there'll be dancing."
George Downs, My Best Friend's Wedding

No, Not That Kind of Partner.

This is when two characters have been friends for a long time, and share a closeness like that of a married couple. Occasionally, there are individuals who assume the duo are married or dating, or try to set them up as a couple. However, the duo is perfectly happy just being friends and the lack of sexual attraction is mutual. The reasons behind this vary. Sometimes they're truly in love with someone else. Sometimes their sexual orientation makes them incompatible. Sometimes they even tried dating once a long time ago and realized that they just didn't think of each other like that. Whatever the case, the final result is entirely platonic on both sides.

In most cases, this is a Sub-Trope of Like Brother and Sister. The difference is that for Platonic Life Partners, their relationship with each other is the most important relationship, with even romantic relationships coming in second (sometimes it's on the same level). The same-sex equivalent is Heterosexual Life-Partners.

Simply being friends doesn't make a pair an example, nor does just being True Companions—rather, in terms of The Four Loves, this is Philia with overtones of Storge but a complete lack of Eros. Despite their tendency to inspire shipping, there's a good reason they're called Platonic Life Partners. However, there is precedent for Relationship Upgrades to occasionally happen if one or both partners realize their feelings run deeper. Occasionally, Better as Friends and Anchored Ship also will crossover into this trope if a romantic pairing changes their status, voluntarily or otherwise.

Before you add an example to this page, make sure it really fits the trope. Harry Potter and Hermione Granger are a good example of two characters who don't belong here. Although they are close friends, they are both closer to Ron than they are to each other.note  They're Like Brother and Sister.

This is common in shows targeted at young children, even if the characters themselves are significantly older than the viewing audience, based on the assumption that little kids don't want to watch a bunch of "mushy stuff." Often also invoked by fans of science fiction series who similarly don't want the stories watered down with romance.

Sub-Trope of The Not-Love Interest. Compare Better as Friends. Contrast Just Friends for when this does actually blossom into romance. Not to be confused with Childhood Friend Romance, in which one side does have feelings for the other.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • This can easily be said of Shuri's great-grandmother Tara and Sarasa's great-grandfather Genshou in Basara's side stories.
  • Bleach:
    • In the Fade to Black movie guide, the original author describes the relationship between Ichigo and Rukia as a close and unique friendship.
      Tite Kubo: "It’s not friendship but it’s not an amorous feeling either. With these two’s relationship, I think there is no other relationship like them in other works where despite both standing in a very close position with each other it is not romance (laughs). But in this year’s movie there is a scene where Ichigo says Rukia is his “Precious nakama” and I think that explains their relationship well."
    • Tatsuki also has this kind of relationship with Ichigo, at least up until his shinigami activities start interfering with his social life. Their friendship recovers after she, Keigo and Mizuiro learn the full truth about what's been happening. This is played for laughs when Orihime immodestly jumps out of a classroom window to join Tatsuki and Ichigo, who end up bickering about chastising Orhime's behaviour like parents who disagree on the best way to punish an unruly child.
  • Captain Tsubasa:
    • Azumi Hayakawa and Taro Misaki, as their relationship mirrored that of Tsubasa and Sanae but without real romantic undertones.
    • The Ur-Example in the series is the friendship of Manabu Okazaki and Sanae Nakazawa, who are friends from the very start but never have Ship Tease. In fact, he is the first one in the whole cast to spot Sanae's feelings for Tsubasa, and despite snarking a bit at Sanae he never shows anything similar to romantic jealousy.
    • Rika Oosawa and El Sid Pierre seem to be this in the filler anime episodes. Pierre flirts a little with her but she's not really interested and, despite claiming that she hides her snark behind her pretty face, he doesn't put romantic pressure on her either.
    • Tsubasa's Big Brother Mentor Roberto Hongo and Tsubasa's mother Natsuko also have a relationship like this.
  • Code Geass' Lelouch and C.C. have this kind of relationship according to Word of God, which confirmed them as platonic Vitriolic Best Buds as opposed to anything else. Fans have duly ignored this.
  • Shizuo Heiwajima and Celty Sturluson from Durarara!!. They are best friends with a bond enforced by the fact that they're both seen as 'freaks' due to the Super Strength and headless thing. Even Celty's boyfriend, Shizuo's long-time friend Shinra, is surprised that they've never considered each other romantically.
  • The author of Fairy Tail describes the relationship between Natsu and Lucy as "more than friends, but less than lovers." Although their constant Ship Tease leaves things just vague enough to go either way, particularly on Lucy's side, both are content with staying as True Companions.
  • Winry and Edward are this in Fullmetal Alchemist (2003). Originally they had romantic implications (as they do in the manga and in Brotherhood) but as the series diverged from the manga they became more Like Brother and Sister.
  • Gamers! (2015) has the Odd Friendship between the protagonist Keita Amano and his classmate Uehara’s girlfriend Aguri Sakurano. Unlike all of his other interpersonal relationships, he did not bond with Aguri over a shared interest in video games, but due to their mutual Shipper on Deck support of each other’s love life. Outside of school, they often spend time together at a restaurant to discuss their relationship troubles and are deeply invested in one another's happiness. Ironically, their bond is so tight that it’s become a source of insecurity for their actual respective significant others, who fear that Amano and Aguri are too compatible together. By the end of the series, they take this trope to its literal conclusion by vowing to be together forever no matter how their romances turn out.
  • Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics: Snow White and her childhood friend Klaus are best friends, nothing more and nothing less. They love one another but not romantically, plus Klaus is also close friends with Snow's eventual romantic partner alias the Prince of the story (who doesn't get to meet Snow until the very end of the story).
  • Czech Republic and Slovakia in Hetalia: Axis Powers have quite the history together, from being Childhood Friends to partnering up into a single country once they gain their independence from Austria-Hungary. Notably, they get incensed when their eventual separation is referred to as a "divorce."note  Both find that, though they do alright on their own, they miss being together.
  • KonoSuba:
    • Kazuma and Aqua. Aqua is the only girl in Kazuma's Battle Harem who has no romantic feelings towards Kazuma, and the feeling is mutual, but they have the closest bond amongst the party members.
    • Wiz and Vanir. The pair live and work together, and Wiz considers Vanir one of the most important people in her life. That being said, they aren't romantically involved with each other, and Wiz would sometimes look for romance in other people, which Vanir supports.
  • In Kotoura-san, though Yuriko makes several moves on Dai'chi throughout the series (which he ignored), they're close enough to be practically family, especially since Yuriko lost her mother. Dai'chi's mother practically acted as Yuriko's mother figure.
  • Setsuna and Marina from Mobile Suit Gundam 00 based on the movie. Both consider each other their most important person and have almost spiritual connection when apart. Setsuna compares Marina to a flower blooming on a parched ground, and wanting to be someone who will die just to protect that one single flower... Marina compares Setsuna to the sky, and how she vows to be his 'measure of eternity'. Both of them vow to meet again when the time is right, staying single and unmarried for 50 years until Setsuna finally returned to her. All this and not a single romantic feeling involved.
    • Toyed with in the manga adaptation of the movie. While Marina and Setsuna do get married there, the mangaka explicitly stated that their marriage is purely symbolic to their mutual understanding of each other. Also, since 50 years have passed she's an old woman anyway while he fused with the ELS. So probably not the kind of mushy romantic feelings the fans would expect involved either here...
  • Murrue Ramius and Andrew Waltfeld of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny.
  • In Monster Rancher, throughout the 73 episodes, Genki and Holly are just each other's best friends, without any hint of a romantic interest. It is remarkable when you remember that both are the only human characters (and with the same age) in the main cast.
  • In Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, Mikorin and Kashima are each other's best friends despite being opposite genders (but similar flirty Chick Magnets), and it's made clear the two have no attraction to each other whatsoever.
  • Naruto:
    • Homura and Koharu, the two members of the Konoha Council, always make their appearances together. They were teammates and seem to have stayed together through the decades.
    • Shikamaru and Chouji are this way to Ino. Their clans usually go together and the three have become close friends but there's nothing romantic to their relationship, even as adults in the Distant Finale. Ironically their children argue a lot.
  • In NEEDLESS, in spite of their names Adam and Eve are like this with the two being adoptive siblings (and Adam being a Comedic Lolicon).
  • Negi and Asuna in Negima! Magister Negi Magi, although Negi's natural charm makes this hard at times. It later turns out that they're related; Negi's mother Arika is a relative of Asuna's, likely her stepsister or descendant, though the exact nature of the relation is unclear. Definitely settled almost at the end, where Asuna does kiss Negi on the lips... but as a good-bye before she goes into a century-long sleep for plot reasons, and then she tells him to give good thought to which girl he will willingly kiss later. Note that despite Negi admitting he had a girl he liked, he also says that Asuna is the most important person to him. So their platonic bond is stronger than any romantic bond he might develop later.
  • Not Love But Delicious Foods Make Me So Happy: S-hara and Y-naga have been friends since college, and even have a Fallback Marriage Pact, but know each other well enough (especially after becoming roommates) that they have no romantic feelings for one another (and Y-naga at least doesn't want to marry another mangaka).
  • In Ōoku: The Inner Chambers, there's Shogun Yoshimune (a Gender Flip of the real Yoshimune) and the senior chamberlain Sugishita. Yoshimune even acknowledged on Sugishita's deathbed that even though they were never lovers, he was the closest she had to a mate (and it didn't hurt that her daughters regarded him as their father, having all lost theirs at young ages). When he died she had him interred as one of her concubines, rather than just as a chamberlain.
  • In Oreimo, Saori and Kyousuke due to Saori being one of the few female leads that doesn't fall in love with him. Averted in the visual novel if you play the right route, though.
  • Oz and Alice in PandoraHearts. They share a very strong bond and are each other's closest opposite-sex friend. It's eventually revealed Oz developed a personality thanks to Alice interacting with him back when he was a stuffed rabbit. While their relationship is affectionate, the author confirms their mutual love is completely platonic and Oz would have dated another girl if he and said girl haven't died.
  • Patlabor: In the OVA continuity, Noa Izumi and Asuma Shinohara are partners who soon form a close bond with each other. However, the Next Generation live-action series, which continues from the original OVA continuity states that Noa and Asuma eventually did get together in the end and in The Mobile Police/New Files continuity they have such chemistry that their teammates begin to suspect that their relationship goes deeper than that, with the final episodes implying that they may be right.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Minako and Artemis. While Artemis is Minako's closest companion, especially in Codename: Sailor V, he's like a Big Brother Mentor to her, not a love interest, and he ends up with Luna in the future.
    • Makoto and her former schoolmate Ken Shinozaki (the guy who covered her with his umbrella after she had her heart broken under the rain) in the Sailor Moon anime. Usagi even asks her if he's her boyfriend, but Mako immediately denies it and says, "our bond is beyond lovers".
    • Shingo and his anime-only best friend Mika. There's a fair bit of Ship Tease and affection, but it doesn't go beyond that; in fact, it really annoys Shingo when people take their friendship for dating. He later gets a crush on someone else.
  • Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas: Tenma and Sasha are like this, even though they are counterparts of Seiya and Saori who have plenty of Ship Tease with the other. Although Tenma has been very close to Sasha ever since childhood and even more after being assigned to protect her, his feelings for her are portrayed in a familial way, and the same goes for her feelings for him. This is rather funny in that, it's Sasha's older brother Alone who gets all the Ship Tease and Ho Yay moments with Tenma.
  • A majority of the relationships between the Meisters and their respective weapons are this in Soul Eater. Word of God made it clear from early on that he never planned on developing the relationships into anything romantic. Soul and Maka are the main examples. They're definitely each others' primary relationship—the series is based on one character that is a weapon (or a person who turns into a weapon or... it's weird and ambiguous) bonded with one character that is a wielder, and thus are constant companions and the most important people to each other. Despite the good deal of Ship Tease around the two, their relationship ultimately remains platonic.
  • Okabe and Mayuri have this going in Steins;Gate with Okabe spending most of the series scrambling to prevent her death to the detriment of some of his other friends, and eventually having to sacrifice even his actual love interest. She gets better though.
  • Torture Princess: Fremd Torturchen: Atypically for an isekai light novel, Kaito's relationship with Elisabeth develops into one of platonic respect and friendship rather than her being a girl in his harem. She even helps along his romantic relationship with Hina, and he pulls a Zero-Approval Gambit without her input to secure her a Last-Minute Reprieve from her execution.
  • Wandering Son: Takatsuki and Nitori are close to each other due to mutual understanding about both being Transgender, but that's it. Although, this is subverted twice due to both parties ending up crushing on the other at one point (Nitori likes Takatsuki first, but he doesn't reciprocate her feelings, and later on it's him who ends up crushing on her, but it's too late because she's already in a relationship with someone else).

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): Vivienne Graham and San eventually develop this level of closeness after their fusion into Two Beings, One Body, specifically becoming a Fire-Forged Sibling Team. When Vivienne was human, her relationship with Dr. Serizawa was very much this trope, and Vivienne is distraught when she learns of Serizawa's death.
  • Ernst Stavro Blofeld and Irma Bunt may be this in Ask Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Maybe. They act like it, but technically, Blofeld is Bunt's boss.
  • Better Bones AU: Blackstar and Russetfur rely on each other deeply and are the most important cats in each other's lives, with Russetfur also acting as a Morality Pet / Morality Chain to Blackstar.
  • The Bridge gives us the leaders of the Terran Defender kaiju faction. Though their late parents did not get along well at all, the grown-up Godzilla Junior and Mothra Lea are extremely close. Word of God has explicitly stated no-one knows Mothra more than ''Goji'' and no-one is as close to Godzilla than "Lele".
  • From Code Prime, there's Kallen and Rai - the two are close friends and comrades in arms, but neither has expressed romantic interest in the other. Indeed, they only react with mild annoyance when their Knightmares end up holding hands due to the Polarity Gauntlet in United We Stand, and both afterward agree to be just close friends.
  • Crimson and Noire: Lê Chiến Kim and Alix Kubdel are the Vitriolic Best Buds version of this trope. They often compete and challenge each other, but they still remain friends regardless. While Kim did have feelings for Alix, he recognized that Alix is aromantic once he learned the meaning of the term from Aurore, and tells her that before he confessed he didn't expect their friendship to turn awkward if she turned him down. Their Future Badass selves, Cottontail and Apex, are still this trope after many years together, working together to protect the timeline.
  • Danganronpa: The Immersive Learning Program: It's revealed that back when they were in Hope's Peak Academy, Kazuichi's crush on Sonia had settled down to the point that they saw each other as close friends. The fact that Kazuichi's motive video refers to her as his best friend despite currently still having feelings for her clues him in about the students forgetting their time in Hope's Peak.
  • Shirou and Louise, by the end of The Hill of Swords. They certainly care deeply for one another, but the relationship isn't the least bit romantic.
  • Jackalope has Izuku and Jiro. They've been Childhood Friends since preschool, are on a First-Name Basis when most other characters follow canon's Last-Name Basis, and seem to have little problem getting close together. Furthermore, Jiro's the only girl that Izuku's comfortable talking to without devolving into a mumbling stupor. And yet, despite how everybody thinks that there might be more to their relationship (like Uraraka), they're really just good friends.
  • Naruto and Ino in Kitsune no Ken: Fist of the Fox have this dynamic, as the author has had to point out on more than one occasion; they see each other as being more Like Brother and Sister.
  • The Night Unfurls has The Good Hunter and the Plain Doll. He sees her as his dearest companion and confidante, willing to live out the rest of his life to repay her kindness. She sees him as her dearest Hunter and Only Friend, willing to take care of him and soothe his sickly spirit for as long as he lives. Their intense loyalty to each other aside, the two have a lot of similarities, share several moments of intimacy, are comfortable in each other's presence, and have been living together in the Dream since the Night of the Hunt. The fact that he can set time to flow differently than in the Waking World means it is theoretically possible for him to spend virtually every waking moment with her. Nevertheless, they have no romantic or sexual interest in each other whatsoever, to the point where the concept of UST or Relationship Upgrade is simply absent between the two. The both of them value the well-being and the company of their dearest friend, without feeling any passion or the need for pretension.
  • Hekatia the Necromancer and her husband Edmund Cross in Queens of Mewni, who only even got married because Hekatia's mother jumped to conclusions after seeing them in a compromising way, always regarded each other as friends and not lovers, and only had sex for the sake of producing an heir (and it's implied in this artwork that they need But Liquor Is Quicker to go through with it), and agreed that they could seek pleasure from other people if they so desired. (It's unknown if Edmund ever did, and Hekatia was aroace and cared more about her necromancy research.) Notably, their love rating card shows them giggling at all the people that thought they would 'fall in love eventually'.
  • While Bruno and Sara in The Seer and His Butterfly did marry, it was a Marriage of Convenience and they never really moved beyond being best friends.
  • Much like in canon, Varric Tethras and Marian Hawke are this in the Skyhold Academy Yearbook series. They adore one another (while trolling each other relentlessly at the same time), but there's not even a hint of anything romantic about it; Hawke is married to Fenris.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows: Word of God is that Splinter and Kasumi will never be anything more than this. They've known each other since childhood, openly call one another their best friend, and their closeness is demonstrated by the fact that even after his mutation, Kasumi continues to refer to him by his human name.
  • Lyra and the titular main character of This is the Life: A Tale of a Human in Equestria give each other massages and have even cuddled in bed together, but aren't the least bit romantic with one another. The way the main character jumps to conclusions in the prequel implies that they do have feelings for each other, but neither of them have really considered it since they're a human and a pony respectively.
  • Vigilantes' Dawn:
    • Laurel describes her relationship with Nyssa as this. They're as close as sisters, but share no romantic attraction between them (partly due to Incompatible Orientation). Understandably, Nyssa took it badly when Laurel's Faking the Dead ruse was revealed.
    • Tommy and Sara have shades of this as well. They have a strong friendship that developed due to the shared grief over Oliver and Laurel's supposed deaths, but (despite what Quentin believed) no romantic or sexual interest in one another. Sara knows him so well that Tommy pulling out Scotch to drink is enough for her to realize that whatever he's about to tell her is going to suck.
  • Harry Potter and Veronica Weasley in Weasley Girl. Seems like Ron Weasley being born a girl in this AU didn't stop their friendship from turning out pretty much the same as in canon — even if Veronica being a lot more cuddly than Ronald means that there's more hugging, they remain simply "best friends" and haven't shown much in the ways of romantic attraction to one another. Towards the end of the second story in the series, they briefly touch on this, and — rather awkwardly, because they're both twelve at that point — confess their complete lack of romantic interest in each other. By that time, Ronnie has started to suspect she might be a lesbian anyway.

    Films — Animation 
  • A Bug's Life: Flik and Dot. The two are best friends and always support each other no matter what, with Dot wholeheartedly supporting Flik's inventions and Flik pointing out she can do great things despite her small size.
  • Marlin and Dory from Finding Nemo. They become good friends as Dory helps him in his quest to find his son Nemo, being around Marlin helps Dory remember things, and by Finding Dory, she's moved into his neighborhood.
  • Lightyear : Buzz Lightyear and Alisha Hawthorne are extremely good friends who trust each other with their lives, but there was never any romantic connection between them (especially because Alisha is a lesbian).
  • Lilo & Stitch. These two eccentric and mischievous outcasts went from troubled individuals to loving 'ohana in just a matter of three days, and were Like Brother and Sister through three sequel movies and a television series.
  • Tarzan has Tantor, a male elephant, and Terk, a female gorilla, who are always together to the point where they can be seen as Those Two Guys, and their friendship is explored further in the animated series.
  • Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope. They become each other's first friend and best buddy, even willing to die for the other.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Amazing and his manager Lynn from Amazing Grace and Chuck. She mentions at one point that a lot of people think they are dating, but the truth is that he's never gotten over his dead wife, and they are just best friends. When he's killed, she has to be talked out of sending a hitman after the guy who arranged it, "the kind who kill people slowly and painfully".
  • Crush: Paige refers to her male best friend Dillon this way, and they almost constantly hang out together. They have been close for years, and bonded amusingly over the fact both like girls, thus there was never any chance of romance between them.
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society has main character Juliet and Sidney, her publisher and best and oldest friend. Although Juliet has two love interests throughout the film, Sidney is just as large a presence in her life as either of them (and actually has more screentime than one of them). She's even asked him to give her away at her wedding.
  • Eggsy and Roxy from Kingsman: The Secret Service stand for each other during training and are, in general, very close but there's zero romantic tension between them. Exemplified in Eggsy having Rescue Sex with Princess Tilde after Roxy and Merlin congratulate him for saving the world.
  • Knives Out features the friendship between Harlan and his personal nurse, Marta, despite sixty-odd years between them. She's been faithfully taking care of him and acting as his confidant for years, and is much closer to him than anyone in his family. In fact, he loves her so much, he willingly commits suicide to protect her from going to jail for accidentally giving him a fatal dose of morphine, and after his death, it's revealed he left the entirety of his vast fortune to her. Soon after he dies, Marta is on the receiving end of some malicious speculation that she was sleeping with him to try and get at his money, but it's clear to the audience that they were just very close friends.
  • Kong: Skull Island: Dr. Brooks and San Lin appear to be this, but it's subverted in the sequel graphic novel The Birth of Kong, which reveals they married and had a son.
  • Mario (2018): Mario and Jenny have been best friends since they were ten. They're very close and do things like kiss each other on the lips even before she becomes The Beard. Leon is surprised to learn that they aren't having sex.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Throughout their appearances Black Widow and Hawkeye have been firmly established as having an incredibly close but strictly platonic friendship. Avengers: Age of Ultron reveals that Natasha is the only Avenger that knew about Clint's family and that she's Honorary Aunt to his children with the youngest child being named for her. While they sometimes end up on opposite sides it's clear they still care about each other even while fighting. In Avengers: Endgame they discover that the only way to acquire the Soul Stone is to sacrifice a person you love and both immediately try to sacrifice themselves to spare the other. Natasha ends up being the one who dies and Clint is obviously devastated by the loss of his best friend.
    • Eternals: Gilgamesh and Thena have had platonic partnership for centuries, with the duo being Force and Finesse Bash Brothers in ancient times and Gilgamesh promising to help Thena manage her Mahd Wy'ry in the present.
  • Mary and Bert in Disney's Mary Poppins — at the insistence of P. L. Travers, author of the book on which the movie was based. The song "Jolly Holiday" was rewritten at one point to make it clear that there's no romance between them and that they're just very good friends.
  • Min and Bill are old and dear friends — Min the owner of a dockside inn, Bill the fisherman who often stays there. When Min gets in trouble with the law, Bill begs her to get in his fishing boat so he can take her to Mexico.
  • The Object of My Affection: Nina and George essentially become this, as he's her chosen partner in raising her baby. She'd like it if the relationship was sexual, but George is gay so she's happy with at least this.
  • Pacific Rim: Jaegers require two (or more) pilots who are mentally and emotionally synchronized, so common relationships among said pilots include parent and child, siblings, Battle Couple, and Heterosexual Life-Partners in addition to this trope. Despite some Ship Tease, this is what Mako and Raleigh's relationship ends up as.
  • Prom Wars: Sabina knows Percy from his old school and gets along better with him than any of his Selby classmates, but neither displays any romantic interest in him nor gets any in return, and reveals that she was joking after she offers to be his date for a dance.
  • The original RoboCop trilogy had Alex Murphy and Anne Lewis. They have been partners for a long time and after Alex's "robotification", Anne has been the only member of the police force to still treat/view him as a human being rather than a weapon.
  • In The Shape of Water, Eliza and her neighbor Giles are like this. She's a young woman who also happens to be mute; he's an older gay man. The two are extremely close friends who look out for and protect one another, to the point where when Eliza falls in love with a fish man, Giles adapts surprisingly quickly.

  • Deconstructed by Thalia and Markos from Khaled Hosseini's And the Mountains Echoed. While the two remain best friends and consider each other brother and sister, Markos does at one point regret the fact that he continues to judge Thalia based on her ugliness (half of her face was irreparably chewed off by a dog when she was younger) and that this prevented him from ever getting romantic with her.
  • In Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept series, oaths of friendship "supersede all relationships, conflicting with none, not even the male-female ones." Stile swears an oath of friendship with Neysa, an oath so powerful it draws in an entire pack of werewolves, an entire herd of unicorns (save the Stallion), and the Lady Blue, thereby avoiding a great many unfortunate complications.
  • Call Me Sunflower: Sunny's parents are best friends, but they were never in love. They raised her and her sister together after her legal adopted father died in order to Give the Baby a Father.
  • Several instances in The Chronicles of Magravandias due to a lot of arranged marriages. Khaster and Pharinet (though Khaster starts developing other ideas), the emperor and empress, and Valraven and Varencienne. The last pairing is actually perfectly happy in their loveless marriage, believing they function better as friends and allies. And they're both in love with other people anyway.
  • Chronicles of Narnia:
    • Polly Plummer and Diggory Kirke "were always great friends", but neither got married. Polly is referred to by the Older and Wiser Jill and Eustace in The Last Battle as "Miss Plummer", and as the readers all know Diggory grew into The Professor but never was said to have been married.
    • The Horse and His Boy: Bree and Hwin "both got married but not to one another." They're also related, but since they're horses it may not matter that much.
    • Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole grow close and remain best friends after their adventures, but they don't have much Ship Tease in the book and never date afterwards.
  • Dumbledore and McGonagall are like this in Harry Potter . Dumbledore is gay but, after having a bad run with love in his youth, decided to be a Celibate Hero, while McGonagall got married late and was widowed pretty soon thereafter. Dumbledore was originally her transfiguration teacher and took her under his wing and they stayed friends thereafter. He got her the job at Hogwarts in the first place. She and Dumbledore found out they had similar family and love situations and one night Dumbledore told her everything about his own story. She’s probably the only person who ever got it straight from him. They’re probably the most important person in each other’s life by the time of the books and show an intense loyalty to each other.
  • Matteo and Tzigone grow into this dynamic across the Counselors and Kings trilogy. The two are frequently mistaken for lovers, but while Tzigone does sometimes flirt with Matteo, it's made plain she does it only because he's a dedicated member of a quasi-religious order that's supposed to be celibate and she likes to tease him; their friendship, while both deep and meaningful, is devoid of serious sexual attraction. At one point it's teased that they're actually (half) siblings, but this turns out not to be the case.
  • Charlotte and Zee from Cronus Chronicles are cousins (not the kissing kind) who over the course of the story become the most important people in each other's lives.
  • Maria Huntsman and Victor Medina from Domina. They've been close friends for at least thirty years, and their respective spouses are dead, but they're still just friends. It's to the point that their kids sometimes refer to both of them as their parents (and get embarrassed about it after).
  • Dom and Richard in Redfern Jon Barrett's The Giddy Death of the Gays and the Strange Demise of Straights. Their attempt to build a life together despite each being heterosexual (and the former having a girlfriend) is central to the story.
  • This is seen a few times in the Goosebumps books, just a pre-teen boy and girl who are best friends with no romantic feelings for one another, rather just being friends because they enjoy each other's company and share mutual interests. The main example are Evan and Andy from the Monster Blood books, while others include Duane and Stephanie from The Headless Ghost, and Brooke and Zeke from Phantom of the Auditorium.
  • Jonah and Bea in How To Say Goodbye In Robot. They are so close that Bea is left with the only recognizable photo left of Jonah from their trip to Ocean City.
  • Heralds Talia and Skif in Mercedes Lackey's Heralds of Valdemar series (after circumstances ruined their attempts at a Relationship Upgrade) and Talia and Kris, clearing the way for Talia's relationship with Kris' Heterosexual Life-Partner Dirk.
  • Thomas Theisman and Eloise Pritchart from the Honorverse after Eloise loses her lover and de facto husband, Javier Giscard, to battle. He is her Secretary of War and Chief of Naval Operations, and she is his President, but far more than that, they are two people who helped rebuild the true Republic and became the firmest of friends while doing so. Though close almost from the moment they meet, after Javier is killed, Theisman becomes Pritchart's rock and absolutely the closest relationship she has. It doesn't hurt that he is one of less than a handful of people she can absolutely trust.
  • Little Women and its sequels: Laurie eventually agrees with Jo's assessment that they're ill-suited to be husband and wife, and while they're both happily married to others (she marries her former Big Brother Mentor Fritz and he hooks up with Jo's little sister Amy), they remain best friends and frequent co-conspirators. Jo is the only one allowed to call him by the pet name "Teddy," and moreover, gives her own son that name.
  • Lumbanico The Cubic Planet: Pirela and Ustrum are so close that Pirela is able to talk him into a crazy, risky adventure, but they are strictly childhood friends, and that is how they like it.
  • Emmeline "Lucia" Lucas and Georgie Pillson, in E. F. Benson's Lucia series. Everyone thinks they've been having an obvious affair for years, but they have never been anything but close friends. In Mapp and Lucia, after Lucia becomes a widow, Georgie is terrified that Lucia will expect him to propose to her, and Lucia is terrified that Georgie will propose to her. They're both quite relieved to find that they agree in not wanting anything more.
  • In the aftermath of Kelsier's death in Mistborn: The Original Trilogy, Vin is accused more than once of having had a crush on him, and Elend makes no secret of the fact that he is jealous of the relationship Kelsier had with her. Vin firmly denies any such crush ever existed; Kelsier was a very close friend, partner, and mentor, but that's as far as their relationship went. Kelsier himself admits that he tends to project his own desires onto Vin a bit... but he views her as the daughter he never had, rather than a lover.
  • Conn and Rowan in The Magic Thief series. Rowan is Conn's best friend who also happens to be his own age, and while Rowan does have a Clingy Jealous Guy who is jealous of all the attention she pays to Conn, the two of them have a wholly platonic relationship without even a hint of Ship Tease. (OK, so they do Sleep Cute once, but that's about it.)
  • Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin were just as platonic towards each other in the novel series as they were in the comic strip, perhaps even more. As explained, this is due to Willie owing Modesty so much that the two of them share a bond that transcends romance. The only time Modesty even kisses Willie on the lips is in the final short story, "Cobra Trap", moments before she dies.
    • It becomes a major plot point in Dead Man's Handle when Willie Garvin is brainwashed. His enemy supplants the image of Modesty with that of his current lover, and tells him she has been killed by an assassin—whose face is that of Modesty. The intention is that Willie kills an unsuspecting Modesty. The whole scheme fails because the brainwashers cannot imagine their platonic relationship and the thought of having had sex with Modesty is too jarring for Willie to sustain the wrong scenario—he quickly realizes there must be something wrong with his memories.
  • In Nevermoor, Hawthorne and Morrigan hit it off and become best friends in record time; she very quickly grows to trust him enough to confess that she's in Nevermoor illegally, and he instantly swears to never tell a soul. They're each other's closest confidants and greatest advocates, and are each other's favorite people in the world. There's also absolutely no hint that either of them has any romantic feelings towards the other.
  • Arteloth Beck in The Priory of the Orange Tree has so many of these friendships that he comes off not as Ambiguously Gay but ambiguously aromantic/asexual. He shares such a strong bond with Queen Sabran that her spymaster ships him off on a Suicide Mission to stop scaring away suitors, even though they both agreed that he give her away at her eventual wedding. He is also extremely close to Ead, the first to accept her in court, helping her escape from death, and sharing physically affectionate but still platonic moments. And there is his fallen friend Kitson Glade, whom he mourns throughout the story. Through it all, Loth muses that he still has yet to feel the "glow" of romantic love.
  • Kel and Neal in Protector of the Small. Neal was Kel's sponsor when she first became a page and became her Lancer later when they both reached knighthood. Although Kel did have a crush on him during her page years, it passed during squiredom, while their firm friendship very much didn't. Neal is a welcome and lighthearted counterpoint to Kel's seriousness, as well as her biggest advocate and, occasionally, wielder of a much-needed cluebat.
  • Daniel Leary and Adele Mundy from David Drake's RCN series. Daniel's in love with someone else, and Adele has no interest whatsoever in matters romantic or sexual, but they'd die for each other and go everywhere together.
  • Sense and Sensibility: Elinor and Colonel Brandon. Some of the cast start shipping them, but they happily remain nothing more than good friends and eventually family when he marries her sister.
  • Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain. Fanon aside, while they are clearly the most important person in each other's life, there has never been anything romantic between them. He is a several hundred years old skeleton, and she is a 12-16 years old girl. Skulduggery is extremely Papa Wolf towards her, and she once went To Hell and Back for him.
  • Sundered Lands has Trundle and Esmeralda. Both of them start out as Vitriolic Best Buds, but as the series progresses, they grow closer to each other and become best friends. But neither of them develop feelings beyond being friends, and it's never implied that they secretly love each other.
  • The Thirteenth Tale: The Missus and John-the-dig. Vida believes that they'd have been lovers if they'd lived in a different time, but she was older and social conventions got in the way.
  • The Spirit Thief has Josef and Nico. They're incredibly close, trust each other implicitly, would go to hell and back for one another and provide each other with so many Heroic Second Winds is almost ridiculous. Despite that, there's no trace of any romantic or sexual tension between them whatsoever.
  • The Girl from the Miracles District: Nikita and Robin grow close over the course of the story, but a possibility of romance is never even mentioned—understandably so, given that the former is a lesbian.
  • In Judgment Of Corruption, Feng Li and Hel Jaakko have this kind of relationship. They both marry other people off-screen, but they're always together in the espionage organization they work for and in the afterlife after the world is destroyed.
  • Les Voyageurs Sans Souci: Sébastien and Agathe are fellow adventurers and spend a lot of time travelling together without more company than each other. They are good friends, get along real well and trust each other implicitly, but there are no hints of romantic tension between them.
  • In Warlocks of the Sigil, Asim and Kole are very annoyed when people mistake them for dating. Though they are essentially "broken up" by the time of the story and even with the rekindling are more Like Brother and Sister now.
  • The Wild Ones has the two main characters, Kit and Eeni. At no point in the novel or its two sequels do either of them try to bond with each other to a romantic degree. They just developed a very strong friendship in a short span of time.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 100's leads and foils Clarke and Bellamy go from love interests in the books to this in the show. While they both have multiple love interests, a great part of the early seasons focuses on them building up trust and partnership as eventual co-leaders, and their importance to each other is often reiterated and demonstrated to the point that they are occasionally implied to be each other's Living Emotional Crutch. Although they don't get explicitly romantic, they're not without Ship Tease.
  • Big Pete and Ellen in The Adventures of Pete & Pete, and Little Pete and Nona from same. '90s Nickelodeon seemed to really like this trope.
  • Wesley and Cordelia in the first few seasons of Angel. While initially attracted to each other when they first met in Sunnydale, they quickly discovered that they had no real romantic chemistry, agreed that they were better as friends, and parted on good terms. When they reconnect in LA and both start working for Angel, they develop a very strong but completely platonic bond. They bicker like siblings, but they always have each other backs in a fight, and they clearly adore each other.
  • Arrowverse
    • Arrow
      • Oliver Queen and Tatsu Yamashiro. During his five years away from home, Tatsu was the only female companion Oliver did not develop romantic/sexual feelings for — mainly because Tatsu was already married to his other companion and close friend, his handler Maseo Yamashiro. After Oliver saves her life, they develop a close friendship to the point that Tatsu was willing to trust him with the life of her son, Akio. Even after they parted, their friendship endured — Tatsu was the one who save Oliver's life after his first duel with Ra's al Ghul, and when he called on her to help him end the League of Assassins plot to destroy Star(ling) City, she answered.
      • John Diggle and Felicity Smoak are as close as family. Diggle is very protective of Felicity, and they are each other's sounding boards when it comes to their personal problems.
    • The Flash (2014)
      • Barry Allen and Caitlin Snow. While they have the occasional Ship Tease moment, their relationship is ultimately platonic and they have never shown a romantic interest in one another.
      • Cisco Ramon and Caitlin Snow have been best friends since before the Particle Accelerator, a friendship that only grew when they were the only ones to stick around after the project "failed". Like Barry and Caitlin above, they share some Ship Tease, but no actual desire to get together.
      • Barry Allen and Felicity Smoak are Birds of a Feather, and were genuinely fond of each other at one point, but settle as this in the end.
      • Subverted with Barry Allen and Iris West. Iris thought they were this, only to have that image utterly shattered after Barry finally confessed to her that he'd been in love with her since they were kids. They try to make a go at being this again since Iris was with Eddie Thawne at the time, but it fails — mainly because it was becoming increasingly obvious to Iris that Barry's feelings were not unrequited.
    • Legends of Tomorrow
      • Sara Lance and Ray Palmer, who bond due to being from the same city but have no romantic feelings for one another.
      • Sara Lance and Amaya Jiwe are Bash Sisters, but are not attracted to each other (mainly due to Incompatible Orientation).
    • Supergirl (2015)
      • By Season Two, Kara mutually breaks up with James and Winn's crush on her has petered out, so she becomes this with both men.
  • Mr Steed and Mrs Peel from Brit classic The Avengers (1960s). A marvelous review of this show.
  • Subverted by Lennier and Delenn in Babylon 5. But not until almost the last episode.
    • Played straight with John Sheridan and Susan Ivanova. Good friends for roughly thirty years, very close after being stationed together on B5, and not one hint of tension or romantic jealousy between the two. In fact, Susan is Sheridan's biggest Shipper on Deck for his relationship with Delenn, who by the end of the series she was essentially treating as a sister-in-law.
    • This trope however did not prevent Ivanova from being a more than a little peeved that her clinging nightwear didn't inspire at least a flicker of masculine appreciation when Sheridan burst into her stateroom in the wee hours with a plan for the latest crisis.
  • The Barrier: For most of the series, Julia needs to pretend to be her recently deceased twin sister half to help her brother-in-law Hugo keep a job intended for a married couple, half because she needs to hide from the authorities. As both Julia and Hugo are in great need of emotional support, they spend a lot of time alone together and having heart-to-heart discussions. By the end of ther series, Hugo's brother starts expecting more than just talking to happen during the outings and Julia's mother starts suspecting things aren't quite platonic between them anymore.
  • Bernard and Fran in Black Books, who stay together because nobody else can stand either of them. Apparently, there is some way-back romantic history, but Bernard says he's not allowed to remember that.
  • Danny and Jackie in Blue Bloods are like this. Danny is Happily Married and Jackie dates elsewhere; on one episode Danny actually questioned her suspiciously about her dates as if he was a big brother. Linda, Danny's wife seems to trust Danny and Jackie together.
  • Detectives Jake Peralta and Rosa Diaz from Brooklyn Nine-Nine are this.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Xander and Willow are like this at least for the first three seasons. They've known each other their whole lives (or at least since kindergarten), and are so close that Xander is even able to save the world at the end of Season 6 by telling Willow how much he loves her. They "dated" as children, Willow had a mostly unrequited adolescent crush on Xander, and have a brief fling as teenagers, but are basically friends throughout.
  • Buffy is this with Xander eventually. To get there he had to get over his crush on her and she had to stop thinking of him as a simple 'friend'.
  • Clarissa and Sam from Clarissa Explains It All. They do try to go out in one episode, and even share a kiss, but they're too weirded out and decide they work better as this.
  • Annie and Abed on Community. They are often the only ones not to be put off by the other's quirks, they live together and they have even kissed passionately once. This is mostly due to Abed's indifference to relationships. Admittedly it doesn't get as much attention as Troy and Abed.
  • Criminal Minds has, most prominently, Derek Morgan and Penelope Garcia. The two of them very openly and casually flirted with each other, especially in the earlier seasons, but this never reached anything other than the "playful" stage. However, the two of them do share a genuine platonic love for each other, as evidenced in "Penelope" when Morgan takes up temporary residence in Garcia's house in order to protect Garcia from her would-be killer from the episode before. It's also been implied by the fandom that Prentiss and Reid and Prentiss and Hotch share similar roles, and the show has characterized JJ and Reid (with varying success) as this.
  • Crossing Jordan has Garret Macy and Jordan Cavanaugh, long time friends and co-workers.
  • CSI: NY: Mac and Stella. They've been working together for so long they're best friends, but that's as far as it goes. She'll occasionally kiss him on the cheek, but they've also been known to fight like cats and dogs. Each dates other people, but the one time he asks her "out to dinner" he takes her to a dog show and buys her a hot dog.
  • Doctor Who: Shipping aside, the Doctor's male incarnations have this sort of relationship with most of their female companions. Due to the series (in both incarnations) invoking The "I Love You" Stigma it is often difficult to tell for certain the level of the Doctor's feelings towards certain characters.
    • Notable examples include the Fourth Doctor and Romana, the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble, the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond (once she got over her childish crush), and the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors with Clara Oswald. Twelve and Clara's relationship eventually becomes similar to Ten and Rose's — a deep connection that verges on romantic love, but is never confirmed as such on screen.
    • Many companions of the classic series were like this. Sarah Jane seemed like this to the Fourth Doctor, though the revival implied she had been in love with the Doctor. Jo Grant was like this with Three, and she marries someone whom she says seems like a younger Doctor. The First Doctor is particularly close to Ian and Barbara, who enormously influence his personality, and deliberately tries to hurt their feelings when Ian tells them they want to return to their own time. The Second Doctor and Jamie can barely stop cuddling each other and holding hands.
    • Actively invoked when — after having traveled with Rose and Martha — the Doctor specifically says that he's only looking for a friend when Donna joins him. Donna vehemently echoes the sentiment that there will be no amorous relations between them. (Rose was someone he'd bonded with to the point of it seeming romantic at timesnote , especially with how losing her affected him for a long time, and Martha had been in love with him but he, being the Doctor, either didn't notice or chose to ignore it — in part due to him still pining for Rose — and she eventually left because she realized he wasn't capable of returning her feelings.)
    • Even in cases where the Doctor has been directly told "I love you" (Rose Tyler, River Song, Clara Oswald), there is still wiggle room to argue that the relationship remains platonic.
    • The Doctor and the TARDIS; probably the truest form of Platonic Life Partners in the show. (Even then there's some Ship Tease, but it's usually played for laughs.) Friends may come and go but the TARDIS is forever!
      Amy: Look at you pair. It's always you and her isn't it? Long after the rest of us have gone. A boy and his box off to see the universe.
      Eleventh Doctor: Well, you say that as if it's a bad thing. But honestly, it's the best thing there is.
  • Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes, the butler and housekeeper respectively, of Downton Abbey. This does not, it must be said, prevent them from being the Fan-Preferred Couple of the show. This trope went the way of the dodo for these two in the 2014 Christmas special, to the squeeing of a thousand fangirls; she said yes.
  • Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson in Elementary. They get off to a rough start at first with Joan being Sherlock's sober companion, but soon grow into equal partners in solving crime. This trope was even the foundation of their dynamic as the writers wanted to show that men and women can be close friends and work together without ever forming a sexual or romantic relationship. They did so well that in the final episode of season 6, they were able to have the characters actually say they love each other with no question of it being a romantic love. When she later adopts a son, Sherlock is without hesitation given the role of Honorary Uncle. (Specifically, he is "Uncle Detective.")
  • Andy and Maggie on Extras. Word of God confirmed that there was no subtext, no post series Relationship Upgrade, and that they are simply exceptionally close friends.
  • Zoe and Mal in Firefly. They're old army buddies who happen to be close enough to give Zoe's husband Wash a fit of jealousy in "War Stories"... and then after the group is out of danger, there's a scene at the end of the episode dedicated to ridiculing the idea that Mal and Zoe could ever be a couple. Mal and Zoe tease Wash by acting like they're going to kiss, but in reality they're so awkward and reluctant to actually do anything (they can't even bear to look at each other as they're haltingly leaning in for the kiss), that the whole thing falls flat on its face. Summed up nicely by this bit at the end of it:
    Mal: I know it's a difficult mission, but you and I have to get it on.
    Zoe: [Completely unemotional and with no desire in her voice] I understand. We have no choice. Take me sir, take me hard.
    Jayne: [Having walked into the room just as Zoe was speaking] Somethin' about that is just downright unsettlin'.
  • Phoebe and Joey from Friends. They playfully flirt, they have a softness for each other (often both of them picking the other over the rest of the group), they are really close friends with a lot of Ship Tease, including at least four kisses, yet they never dated (or had sex) in all ten years, and aside from their jokes about being a possible couple in the future, it was clear that they just wanted to be friends, but nothing more. They even keep a pact until Phoebe's wedding to Mike to get married if they are both still single when they're forty.
  • Game of Thrones: How Daenerys sees her relationship with Jorah. He is the father/elder brother figure that Viserys failed to live up to being for her. This makes his duplicity when initially entering her service cut her to the quick when it's revealed, but her gratitude and admiration for him soar when he proves, by hell or high-water, that he will always return to her side.
  • Will and Diane in The Good Wife: the most functional relationship on the show by far, to the point of platonically slow dancing in glee.
  • Dutch and John on Killjoys. As Pree points out, they do everything together but sleep together, and they consider each other to be like family. Threatening Johnny is a guaranteed way to bring Dutch's wrath down on you, and John knows for certain that, if it came down to it, he would choose Dutch over his brother.
  • Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit are partners and very good friends. The closeness of their relationship sometimes causes friction with their colleagues, but never threatens Stabler's relationship with his wife and four (later five) children. Their relationship does occasionally cause some marital friction. Kathy sometimes finds it difficult to deal with the fact that Elliot confides in Liv instead of her. There are also the unfortunate times when Liv has to be the go-between (when Elliot is undercover and unreachable, for example) and Kathy clearly objects to being kept out of the loop of her own husband's life. Still, it doesn't come up nearly as often as you'd expect and Elliott and Liv really are just friends. Kathy does seem to have accepted the relationship after she gets back together with Elliott, at one point referring to Liv jokingly as Elliott's "work wife."
  • Eliot and Margo of The Magicians (2016) are each other's best friends. They're constantly in each other's company, co-rule a country together, and act as the other's main emotional support. While they do stretch the definition of "platonic" quite a bit (in that they have a threesome with Quentin and it's lightly implied that they're occasional Friends with Benefits), they're not each other's love interests, enable each other's romantic liaisons, and remain stalwart loyal companions throughout the show.
  • May I Please Enter?: Amy and John have lived together for ten years, despite not being in a romantic relationship. This is somewhat downplayed by the fact that there are many other people living in the house with them, however, they are only seen briefly and nothing about their role in the house's dynamic is known.
  • Merlin and Guinevere in Merlin, especially as of season three. They are also part of a Power Trio with Prince Arthur (Gwen has Official Couple status with him, and he and Merlin are Heterosexual Life-Partners), but the two of them basically consider themselves Arthur's guardians, insofar that when Gwen is awaiting execution, she actually tells Merlin: "You'll have to look after him when I'm gone." Likewise, Arthur is acutely aware of how close they are, and on more than one occasion, has put Guinevere's well-being into Merlin's care should anything ever happen to him.
  • Jessica Fletcher and Dr. Seth Hazlitt from Murder, She Wrote are best friends and it never goes beyond that. One episode reveals that they and their late spouses were Coupled Couples, so it's no surprise that Jessica and Seth have this type of relationship in widowhood.
  • Peggy and Miranda are both this to Declan in Mysterious Ways. There is ship-teasing for both pairings but Declan's only relationship in the series is with a different woman and neither relationship gets upgraded.
  • Fran Fine and Niles on The Nanny. Niles was the first to accept Fran into Maxwell Sheffield's household, and as the series went on, became Shipper on Deck between Fran and Maxwell, seeing her as a better love interest than C.C. Babcock, Maxwell's business partner, about whom they love to snark.
  • Timothy McGee and Abby Sciuto of NCIS dated once early in the series, and they've had a Will They or Won't They? that ultimately ended on "won't", but they still get along fairly well, to the point where she was his Best Woman when he married Delilah Fielding at the end of Season 14.
  • Luke and Lizzy in One Big Happy, who both figured it'd be a while before they actually found somebody and decide to have a baby together.
  • Lucas Scott and Haley James Scott from One Tree Hill. Their genuinely platonic friendship was the cornerstone of the show, with Haley eventually becoming Lucas' sister-in-law at the end of season one.
  • Boomer and Mikayla from Pair of Kings to the point where he goes against the bro code and tricks Brady just to hang out with her. Boomer even looks like Mikayla's ex-boyfriend. However, they've shown no romantic interest in each other, and Mikayla is instead the object of Brady's affection.
  • Leslie and Ron on Parks and Recreation are very close and have known each other for over a decade, but never once pursued a romantic relationship. They simply aren't compatible in that way.
  • Person of Interest:
    • Fusco and Carter. While not particularly a classic example of this, they get the "why aren't you two together" treatment a couple times.
    • Additionally, Reese and Carter were on their way to this until he kisses her (actually an improvised act by Jim Caviezel).
  • Zack and Jessie from Saved by the Bell have been good friends since preschool.
  • In Shadowhunters, as in the source material, Clary and Simon are each other's closest friends and confidantes.
  • Dutch and Claudette from The Shield have their issues, but will always have each other's backs. Dutch's happy ending in the series finale is Claudette finally admitting Dutch is her best friend.
  • Lisa and Ray from Sister, Sister. They're thrown together when they discover that Lisa's adopted daughter and Ray's adopted daughter are Separated at Birth twins, and the girls naturally want to be together. Lisa and Ray have very clashing personalities, but they're (usually) good at working together to raise their daughters and eventually form a friendship.
  • Clark and Chloe in Smallville. They were initially good friends, but became much closer as the seasons went on and she played a far more active role in his journey to becoming Superman. By the later seasons, they are firmly Like Brother and Sister, view each other as family, and actively serve as Shippers on Deck for each other's relationships (Clark becomes a Shipper on Deck for Chimmy, and later Chlollie, and in both cases his Big Brother Instinct compels him to make sure everything was alright in Chloe's relationships, and Chloe becomes a Shipper on Deck for Clois, repeatedly hinting to Clark and Lois that she thinks they have relationship potential). They also develop a strong working relationship, with Chloe serving as Mission Control for the entire Justice League of America, and Clark working in the field as a superhero.
  • Alice and Jodie from Soap had one of these—both of them were gay but after two of their dates (with nameless people) clashed and they fought, they decided to non-romantically date each other. Until Carol's mother said she wasn't comfortable with her granddaughter (Jodie's daughter) growing up with a lesbian (the show was made in the 70s).
  • Teyla has this dynamic with Sheppard, Rodney, Ford, and Ronon on Stargate Atlantis. In Sheppard and Ronon's case, there were massive amounts of Ship Tease, but after Teyla gets pregnant, their dynamic soon settles into this. She even names her son Torren John after her father and Sheppard, but establishes a very happy relationship with Torren's father and the Ship Tease with Sheppard and Ronon disappears.
  • Benjamin Sisko and Jadzia Dax from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Their friendship is a bit more complicated than this trope, however, since they were also friends back when the Dax symbiote was in a man's body. So while they were this trope during the show, they started out as Heterosexual Life-Partners. In fact, Sisko still calls Jadzia "old man". In an early episode, under the influence of disinhibiting alien telepathic waves it's revealed that Dax has some hidden, subconscious attraction to Sisko. He's clearly uncomfortable with the information and it never comes up again.
  • Star Trek: Voyager: Janeway and Tuvok seem to have this dynamic going on to some extent, especially in the early seasons. At one point, Tuvok has a brain condition for which the recommended treatment is a mind-meld with a family member; upon hearing this, Janeway refers to herself as "the closest thing Tuvok has to a family member on this ship", and the Doctor replies that Tuvok was planning to ask her to fill the role.
  • Stranger Things: By Season 4, Steve and Robin have become this, after any chance at romance between them was sunk near the end of Season 3 by Robin revealing she's gay. They are best friends with a close bond that is often Mistaken for Romance, but they are quick to disavow this misconception each time, specifically using the term "platonic" to do so without giving away the actual reason why.
  • Taken: In "Charlie and Lisa", Lisa Clarke meets Nina Toth on her first day at Morrison Junior High School on February 13, 1986 and the two girls form a lifelong friendship. After Allie is born on June 8, 1993, Nina becomes her godmother.
  • Teachers (2001):
    • Susan and Simon. She's married for part of the series, but even after her divorce, the pair remain best friends and nothing more.
    • It seems that Lindsay and Matt are this too in the third season. Then they have a fling in the last episode, and in the first episode of the fourth season, James Lance has left the show and Matt is, apparently, dead. (The show lost a lot of its appeal in the fourth season. And not just because James Lance left.)
  • Scott and Lydia on Teen Wolf. They become significantly closer in season three and Scott becomes somewhat of a Living Emotional Crutch for Lydia. Also, whenever trouble occurs, Lydia's first instinct is to find Scott.
  • Liz and Jack on 30 Rock. In the episode where they accidentally get married, Mr. Weinerslav describes this trope nearly word for word.
    Weinerslav: Have you spent time with each other's families? Have you attended special events together, such as class reunions, birthday or holiday celebrations, weddings or extended car trips? Are you each other's emergency contacts? Do you even drink together at work, perhaps while summarizing what you've learned over the day or week? Have you shared intimate details of your fears, hopes, and dreams, both personal and professional? Is this the longest and perhaps most meaningful relationship in your life? Do you often find yourselves thinking the same thing and then saying it at the exact same time?
  • Jodie and Sam from Today's Special. They've been best friends since they started working at the store together and are so close that they spend their days off together just the two of them.
  • Ugly Betty:
    • Marc and Amanda. They have a co-dependent relationship; she often pretended to be his girlfriend to help him hide from his mother that he was gay, and he has taken risks to protect her job from Wilhelmina. They even starred together on their own spin-off web series "Mode After Hours".
    • To a lesser extent, Daniel and Betty. She's his Hypercompetent Sidekick who was originally hired because she was so ugly he wouldn't sleep with her. In one episode, after Amanda sabotages his date with a supermodel, Betty arrives to help him save face in front of the paparazzi, and they spend the whole night walking around the city, eating pizza together, singing "I Got You Babe" in a karaoke bar, and basically having a Not a Date. Even when she's not working at Mode, she thinks about how to best help him, and he trusts her as a confidant. Subverted when they have a Last-Minute Hookup.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • Stefan and Lexi, who had been best friends for centuries.
    • Damon and Bonnie, who used to hate each other, become incredibly close in later seasons and Damon even describes Bonnie as his "best friend" more than once.
  • Veronica Mars and Wallace Fennell. They're best friends, confide in each other about (almost) everything, and spend an inordinate amount of time together. However, neither of them ever shows any romantic interest in the other and they both date other people.
  • Warehouse 13:
    • Pete and Myka are like this , even thought they both think that the other is attractive, Pete even tells Myka at one point that he thinks she is beautiful, and they care about each other they aren't interested in being with each other. Myka once describes Pete as her "big brother." This was actually used as a plot point in one episode: after an artifact caused them both to become intoxicated, they stripped off their clothes and got in bed together so that the next day they would know something was up and try to solve the mystery of what they did during their blackout. Since they both agreed they would never have slept together. Despite all this, the writers for some reason decided to give them a Relationship Upgrade in the series finale.
    • Claudia and Steve also have this sort of relationship, and are very much Like Brother and Sister. This is rather poignant considering Claudia's family history, and becomes even more so once we learn that Steve's older sister was killed by a stray bullet when she was Claudia's age. Steve has a lot of Big Brother Instinct for Claudia as a result, and she returns it in kind.
  • CJ and Toby in The West Wing are shown in flashbacks to have been this before the Bartlet campaign. During the main timeline of the show, their True Companionship with the other members of the senior staff dilutes their exclusiveness somewhat, but they remain best friends and special confidants, with CJ being the only person who can call bullcrap on Toby's antisocial facade and Toby being the only person who isn't intimidated by CJ's habitual aggressiveness.
  • The 1980s storyline from Why Women Kill has Simone and Karl, a married couple—he's gay and she was his unwitting beard for a decade. Even when Simone finds out, Karl doesn't want to get divorced, partially because of the social stigma around homosexuality at the time, but mostly because she's his best friend in the world and he loves her. He proposes they remain married and live together, each having their own boyfriends on the side but going to parties, sharing meals, and going on vacations together like they always have, calling it a "perfect arrangement." It takes a lot of work, but they eventually manage it, and become closer than ever. When Karl decides to die painlessly at home before his AIDS diagnosis can worsen, he not only asks Simone to give him the injection, but chooses to be alone with her when he goes, rather than having his boyfriend come over. He says goodbye to his boyfriend in private ahead of time, then goes home, puts on a suit and lights some candles, and shares one final dance with Simone before he dies.
  • Will & Grace is the former Trope Namer, as in some circles this sort of relationship was known as "The Straight Will & Grace."
  • Mulder and Scully exemplify this trope during the first half of The X-Files. The fact that they eventually get together retroactively turns this into a case of Will They or Won't They?, but for the first five seasons, the relationship is portrayed as an intensely close but basically platonic romantic friendship. (Keeping them platonic forever seems to have been the original intention, although Word of God is somewhat contradictory on the subject.)

    Multiple Media 

  • Red and Ted from Red & Ted's Road Show, who will cheerfully go across the country and blow everything up together.

  • Jack Justice and Trixie Dixon, girl detective, of Black Jack Justice combine this trope with Vitriolic Best Buds. The idea of a romantic relationship is nauseating to them, at best, and their every interaction turns Snark-to-Snark Combat into an art form. Yet no matter how much they insult, threaten, or express their mutual hatred of one another, neither ever considers dissolving their partnership and they always have one another's back in a crisis.
  • Brian Phelps and Jill Whelan, hosts of The Brian & Jill Show, dated initially but the relationship did not develop and they have instead become the best of friends. In fact, Jill was originally slated to replace Brian's retiring co-host from The Mark & Brian Radio Program and, when that didn't work out, they took the podcast route.


  • George Bernard Shaw was very adamant that Eliza Doolittle and Professor Higgins, in his play Pygmalion, would never have a romantic relationship with each other. Audiences disagreed.
    Eliza: What I done—what I did was not for the dresses and the taxis: I did it because we were pleasant together and I come—came—to care for you; not to want you to make love to me, and not forgetting the difference between us, but more friendly like.
    • In many of the adaptations (including the musical My Fair Lady), it's suggested that they do get together at the end—although even then, it's rather ambiguous.

    Video Games 
  • Banjo and Kazooie, the title characters of Banjo-Kazooie, are an example of this trope, as one is a male and the other is a female, but they do not pursue a romantic relationship, choosing instead to be close friends. It probably helps that Banjo is a bear and Kazooie is a bird.
  • Ragna the Bloodedge and Noel Vermillion from BlazBlue: At first, Noel harbored a crush on Ragna but eventually gets over it. Justified because she is a Reincarnation of his long-lost sister Saya and incest-based relationships in the BlazBlue are a major no-no outside the Yayoi clan, and Noel does get Saya's memories down the line—both regard each other as blood siblings soon after.
  • In Bug Fables, one sidequest has you reuniting a wasp inn owner with his business partner and best friend, a termite who left to try and learn new management techniques. The wasp is male and the termite is female, they jointly own their inn, and it's named after both of them, but they're not implied to be a romantic couple. They just call each other "partners," in contrast to couples such as the traveling merchants, who are explicitly married.
  • The Caligula Effect Overdose:
    • The female protagonist ends up this way with most of the male members of the Go Home Club. Shogo is a Celibate Hero because of having had a very bad experience, as well as having bigger things to worry about than dating, and Kotaro ends up seeing her as an older sibling. And Eiji makes it clear to begin with that romance is not something he cares about, with a WIRE conversation even mentioning that he prefers work over romance.
    • And when playing as the Ostinato Musician Lucid, the same occurs with most of the Musicians. While there's some Ship Tease going on between Lucid and several of the members, it's clear that nothing will come from it. Most of them have no interest in getting into a relationship, and their personal traumas are too big for them to even consider anything.
  • The player character's relationship with C. Auguste Dupin is either this or Ship Tease in the Dark Tales series. They are definitely each other's closest friend and confidant as well as crime-solving partner, but whether it's more than that is still unclear.
  • Devil May Cry:
    • Dante and Lady. Word of God had to clarify this further by specifically stating that their relationship is not romantic, but whatever bond they shared is more focused on understanding what the other had gone through.
    • Nero and Nico. Nico is Nero's most reliable partner and backup throughout the game and they are practically joined at the hip and Vitriolic Best Buds. However, Nero is in a happy relationship with Kyrie and the three of them live together at their Devil May Cry franchise office.
  • Dragon Age:
    • In Dragon Age II, both Aveline and Varric serve as this to Hawke, depending on the gender, since they're the only non-family party members who cannot be romanced aside from some playful flirting. In Aveline's case, she later develops a relationship with a fellow Guardsman. Varric, it seems, is comfortable with just being Hawke's friend (and of course he has Bianca).
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Varric continues to be this to a female Hawke, being the only person with whom she kept in constant contact while on the run. If Hawke sacrifices herself to save the Inquisitor and a Grey Warden ally, Varric is almost completely broken by the loss of his best friend.
      • Also in Inquisition, Dorian Pavus cannot be romanced by a Female Inquisitor but they can become very close platonic friends. If their Friendship is maxed, he swears his loyalty to her and says he will fight for her against anything, so long as she'll have him. (Plus he'll be quite the Shipper on Deck for a Best Friend!Female Inquisitor and Cullen...)
  • Noel Kreiss and Serah Farron of Final Fantasy XIII-2. The two travel throughout the timestream, saving the world in multiple timelines together, but there is never a single spark of romantic attraction between them. This is because Serah is committed to her fiance Snow from the first game, who ran off to search for Serah's disappeared sister (who is also his ex-sister-in-arms and future sister-in-law), while Noel is obsessed with his archnemesis and Big Bad Caius.
  • Link and Zelda are this in some The Legend of Zelda games, but more often than not they don't meet until the events of the game:
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Awakening:
      • A female Avatar and Chrom have this sort of relationship if they don't get married to each other. Chrom's daughter from the future, Lucina, even suspects the two of them are having an affair in her early supports with the Avatar. They aren't.
      • The Khans of Ferox, Basilio and Flavia, are this too. Much to the disappointment of the fandom.
      • If a guy and a girl who can potentially marry reach "only" an A support level, they can be seen as this fairly easily. The closest to an exception would be Gregor and Cordelia, as their A support makes their relationship a Matchmaker Crush from his side.
    • Fire Emblem Fates:
      • A Male Avatar and Azura develop this kind of relation if they don't get married to each other. Probably helps that they're actually first-degree cousins.
      • In the localization, several of Soleil's supports with guys became non-romantic. So, if she reaches S-level with guys who aren't the Male Avatar or Prince Forrest, their relationship will be this.
      • Again, if a guy and a girl who can potentially marry reach "only" an A support level, they can be seen as this fairly easily.
  • Flora and Carter in the Harvest Moon series. In the Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life games, they're a straightforward case of this, as they're scientific partners who also happen to be close friends. In the Harvest Moon DS games, they do become a possible couple. However, if the player character marries either of them, they noticeably remain one another's closest friends. Possibly the staunchest evidence of this? When your child is born while you're playing as a girl character, your husband is usually accompanied by their closest male friend or relative who acts as their Delivery Guy. If the player marries Carter, however, Flora is the one who sits with him while he panics.
  • In Hunted: The Demon's Forge, female elf archer E'lara and male human warrior Caddoc are close friends who have made a career out of adventuring together. Despite their closeness and the fact that they're both (presumably) single, no romance is ever implied between the two.
  • The King of Fighters:
    • Kyo Kusanagi and Athena Asamiya are hinted to have become this, Athena's former crush on Kyo notwithstanding. In the KOF: KYO manga their interactions become more platonic than anything after Iori Yagami attacks Kyo at school and both Athena and Kyo's girlfriend Yuki attempt to stop them; later in the KOF: KYO game, Athena gives him pep talks about "the female heart" which are direct allusions to Yuki, and isn't happy if the player make Kyo hit on her instead. In the KOF 2000 CD drama, when Athena manages to contact Kyo after lots of effort, Kyo tells her he can't go back home and even asks her to relay a message from him to Yuki before leaving. And finally in KOF XIII, if you have Athena talk to NESTS!Kyo about how he shouldn't take all responsibilities since his friends support him, he will directly ask her if Yuki was the one who told her to tell him this.
    • Kyo also seems to have these dynamics with his fellow Sacred Treasure Team member Chizuru Kagura, considering how she's a sort-of Onee-sama to him in KOF:KYO and how pissed off he is at Ash Crimson for stealing her powers.
  • Male Shepard and Tali, or Female Shepard and Garrus, in Mass Effect; assuming you don't take the Relationship Upgrade in Mass Effect 2.
    • Even though most of the dialogue and cutscenes are the same with a male Shepard, Garrus and Femshep form a much more archetypal example. This is especially true in the Citadel DLC, where Shepard can later set him up on a date, and right before the final battle, Garrus says to Shepard, "If this doesn't go right and we both end up dead and in heaven, meet me at the bar." Shepard can reply, "You go, I go."
    • Shepard and Liara. While Liara is something of an Implied Love Interest, if the player decides to remain platonic with her, she still ends up being the closest and most devoted of all of Shep's party members. In the Citadel DLC, if Shepard is not in any relationship (or is in a relationship with a non-combatant character like Kelly Chambers or Samantha Traynor) Liara will come to rescue him/her from the mercenary attack instead of the Love Interest.
    • Similarly female Shepard can build this kind of relationship with James Vega in Mass Effect 3. Despite constant flirting, their relationship never really gets romantic; but if Shepard is not in a relationship by the end of the game, Vega will be the one in the goodbye scene.
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty: Dead Cell members Vamp and Fortune are described as being "not lovers, but very close" by Snake, in part because Vamp was the lover of Fortune's Disappeared Dad.
  • Sonya and Jax in Mortal Kombat. Jax is pretty much the reason Sonya averts I Work Alone, since Jax is there to talk her out of that stupid idea. And Jax is all too happy to kick her ex-husband's ass on general principle. It's to the point where their daughters Cassie and Jacqui become Heterosexual Life-Partners in Mortal Kombat X, and they become the other's respective godparent.
  • In Persona 3 Portable, a female MC shares this sort of relationship with Junpei. Despite knowing her the longest, he's the only male member of SEES who can't become a love interest. Mostly because he already had a in-game love interest. Dummied Out dialogue implies that at one point he was to be a love interest, though.
    • In addition, there is Mitsuru and Akihiko. While they've been friends well before the start of the game and clearly trust each other more than anyone else, there's nothing in-game implying that the two of them are romantically interested in each other. In Mitsuru's Social Link, she even states that Akihiko is a teammate and a close friend, nothing more nor less.
  • Kogoro and Mii from Project × Zone. Both of them are basically student and mentor, with Kogoro playing the Big Brother Mentor role to Mii throughout the game. The Crosspedia hints that Mii has a bit of a crush on Kogoro, something that doesn't occur in the game.
  • Chris and Jill of the Resident Evil series are depicted as this, especially in Resident Evil 5 with Chris angsting over Jill's apparent death for much of the game. This turns out to be a major plot point in the story, as the possibility of her being alive is what drives him to push forward despite orders to retreat. After the number of games they've been in together, (only one each where they were separate) they are more or less inseparable in fandom eyes. Whether or not there are romantic feelings involved has not been addressed either way, and Revelations only lampshade hangs as to whether or not they are Platonic Life-Partners or Battle Couple. They're one of the cases where it's very hard to tell whether things like Sleep Cute are meant as moments of Like Brother and Sister or as Ship Tease. Sheva tries to coax a straight answer out of Chris during a conversation in part 5 by noting how fondly he seems to remember Jill, but Chris simply replies, "We were partners." Gee, that helps.
  • The Star Fox series has Falco Lombardi and Katt Monroe, who ran in the same gang together. Falco mentored the younger Katt to toughen her up and make her more self-reliant. Which she did. Katt teases and Falco gets frustrated, but they are not an item, nor have they ever been.
  • In the Star Wars game Knights of the Old Republic, the player character can invoke this with the opposite-gender love interest if they choose not to pursue romance with them or choose to romance Juhani, but still grow to be good friends with them all the same. However, if playing as a male PC, the trope is enforced with Bastila, due to the Force Bond between the two of you.
  • Guy and Rose from Street Fighter were most likely intended to be seen as this, considering that in Final Fight continuity he's engaged to Maki's sister Rena (if not Happily Married to her) and that she is a Celibate Heroine fully dedicated to keeping Bison out of world domination... yet one of Guy's biggest motivations in the SF story, aside of finding Cody and setting him back to the path of good, is to save Rose from dying at the hands of her "other half", Bison.
  • Super Paper Mario: No one's quite sure what to make of the relationship between Mario and Peach, but Luigi has theorized that it's this. It serves as an interesting contrast with Bowser's Villainous Crush on her.
  • Most fans consider this the relationship for Katina Tarask and Russel Bergman of Super Robot Wars: Original Generation as they're too close to be merely superior officer and subordinate but at the same time not close enough to have any Unresolved Sexual Tension that more overt couples in the series have.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Lanz and Sena would fall under Heterosexual Life-Partners… if they were the same gender. Unlike the other two pairs of Ouroboros, Lanz and Sena’s relationship isn’t portrayed as romantic in the slightest. Instead, they are just incredibly close friends whose friendship is one of the main catalysts of the game.
  • The titular duo in Yooka-Laylee, much like Banjo and Kazooie, by whom they're inspired. The two are best friends and, at the start of the first game, have recently finished building a home together. However, they're not implied to be a couple. The spinoff graphic novel Yooka Laylee And The Kracklestone even implies that the idea kind of grosses them out, by having Yooka react with disgust at the thought of Laylee in a form-accentuating bikini.

    Visual Novels 
  • Phoenix "Nick" Wright and Maya Fey from Ace Attorney. They go through a lot together, and Phoenix will go to hell and back to help her if she's in trouble. It's implied they still keep in contact after they go their separate ways between the events of Trials and Tribulations and Apollo Justice. This is later confirmed in Dual Destinies, and the duo's bond is strong as ever when Maya returns in Spirit of Justice. Pearl, Maya's very young and innocent cousin, was for a time convinced Phoenix and Maya were a couple, due to a combination of Maya talking about him so much and Pearl being a huge sucker for romance plots due to growing up in a village with such a high divorce rate. She had a tendency to respond quite violently to any suggestion that the two of them were not madly in love with each other or to any perceived infidelity from Phoenix (which included things as innocuous as talking to another woman). By the time of Dual Destinies, she has grown up enough to realize that they aren't actually a couple. It's worth noting that Pearl had acted as much of the in-universe Ship Tease for Phoenix and Maya; the rest of the cast seem to know their relationship enough that they recognize how close they are without ever discussing romance.
    • Athena Cykes and Simon Blackquill are another example. Athena has known Blackquill for her entire life and when it seems like Athena might be falsely accused of murder, Blackquill takes the fall for her, which leads to her becoming a defence attorney to save him.
  • Jacopo and Maria from The House in Fata Morgana are literally platonic soulmates, starting as or destined to be this trope in all three of their incarnations. Things don't go so well in their first two lives, but they get it right eventually. In all three lives, Jacopo in particular is often annoyed by people assuming he and Maria are lovers due to their closeness, and in their first life is stunned when Maria asks him to be hers (although she quickly explains she only wants him to be The Beard to get clingy clients off her back).
  • In Katawa Shoujo, when the player unlocks a path, the best friend of the girl who was chosen as a love interest might become this to Hisao. Specially obvious in Hanako's route (where Lilly and Hisao team up to give her a birthday party with disastrous consequences) and in Rin's (where Emi and Hisao discuss Rin's Cloud Cuckoo Lander mindset) Subverted in Shizune's path: the player can have Hisao give Sex for Solace to Misha, but that leads to Shizune's bad ending, and it turns out Misha was in love with Shizune and not him anyway.
  • Akira and Mika from Lux-Pain. They are extremely close friends to the point that everyone thinks that they'll end up together. However, Akira sees Mika Like as a little sister and Mika considers him someone to beat up and torture. This relationship is questioned however when Mika is targeted by the serial killer and Akira goes to extreme lengths to save her. Near the end of the game though, you can't help but notice that Mika seems more interested in Shinji than Akira himself which is why their relationship romantically is never brought up again. As for Akira, the characters thinks he has it in for the main character Atsuki.
  • In Shall We Date?: Ninja Shadow, if the Player Character Saori romances either Ukyo, Makoto, Toru or Hijikata, then her beau's best friend (Eduard, Asagi, Tsubaki and Okita, respectively) will become non-romantically close to her and support her bid to his bestie's heart in one way or another. The same happens if Eduard, Asagi, Toru (not as much as the others but it's still kinda there) and/or Okita are the chosen lovers.
  • Apparently the case with Ikuko and Tooya Hachijō in Umineko: When They Cry. By the time of the epilogue, they have lived together for decades and are both the most important person in the other's life (at least in we consider "Tooya" to be a completely different person as Battler), but they aren't married and don't seem to be in a romantic relationship. That's actually the first thing Ange asks them when meeting them.

    Web Animation 

  • In Chimneyspeak, Alice and Elgie have known each other since Alice was a teenager and, despite the bad blood that occasionally crops up, are about as intimate as a man and woman can be without actually being... intimate. Subverted at the very end of the comic, when they actually do start having sex.
  • Homestuck:
    • Karkat and Kanaya are very close with each other despite not being moirails. That being said, with Kanaya being a Lipstick Lesbian Vampire, platonic is probably the only way it could be.
    • Nepeta and Equius, who are moirails, are also definitely this, to the point of being Those Two Guys in the story before they're killed off. Notably, while most of the moirallegiances in the series don't work out because of the relationship being one-sided in one way or another, they serve as a textbook example of how it's supposed to work, serving as The Not-Love Interest to each other, as each of them has "flushed" feelings for someone else but spend more time together than either of them does with anyone else.
  • Neve and Martin from Ignition Zero are best friends and have been together since infancy. When Martin comes out as half-faerie and notes this includes immortality, Neve mentions that when they die they want to reincarnate and be friends with Martin again.
  • Bactine from Lin T thinks she and Xylic have this (but he's just really good at hiding that he is in love with her).
  • Living with Insanity has David and Alice. Apparently she was based off an old girlfriend with whom he's still friends.
  • My Deepest Secret: Yohan and Mika, whom he calls Hana, are this. They're best friends, and neither displays any signs of attraction towards the other at all. Even when Yohan has to take off his shirt so she can treat an injury of his, there are no indications of attraction whatsoever.
  • Roy and Haley from The Order of the Stick. After Roy falls to his death during the siege of Azure City, Haley becomes the team's leader. Doesn't help that aside from him, Haley's the only sane person left.
  • Marten and Faye in Questionable Content. They moved in as roommates early in the series and the romantic tension created a case of Will They or Won't They?. Later on though, the two talk it out and decide not to date each other and instead turn their relationship into a very close friendship.
  • Davan and PeeJee in Something*Positive are The Not-Love Interest to each other. At one point, PeeJee describes herself to Davan as his "platonic life mate"; it's indicated in a few strips that he did have a crush on her when they were younger, but later grew out of it, and she's a major Shipper on Deck when he meets his eventual wife Vanessa. Davan and Aubrey are more Like Brother and Sister, with a relationship that goes back to their childhoods.
  • Rachel and Bam from Tower of God. She taught him everything she knew and visited him everyday, whereas he absolutely idolizes her. Then, she disappears into the Tower. Bam follows her into the unknown, repeatedly risking his life on minimal odds. But romance, even though some people like Endorsi and Yuri try to see it that way, was never a part of their relationship. When Bam found her, things got a little sour, though.

    Web Videos 
  • Critical Role: Caleb Widogast and Nott the Brave, from the Wildemount Cammpaign. When the two were little more than homeless vagabonds before meeting the other future members of the Mighty Nein, they joined forces to avoid starving on the road, saving each other's lives once or twice; they're incredibly close friends and devoted to one another, but any chance of something romantic is shot by the facts that he's still dealing with some trauma involving his First Love and she's married with a son. Their players are this in real-life too.
  • Gene and Chet from Idiotsitter, as Gene says Chet is her best nonsexual friend. Chet agrees that they're "friends, but we never touch ends."
  • While shown being very comfortable with each other, to the point of kissing regularly on their show and even reading erotic fanfiction involving themselves, the hosts of UNHhhh are strictly platonic. They have denied any romantic relationship.
  • People have assumed that Gavin Free and Barbara Dunkelman of Rooster Teeth have dated because of their close friendship, but they have both reiterated that they've never dated each other. They've also known each other since they were 15 and have stated that while they're happily in romantic relationships with other people, their own relationship is entirely platonic and sibling-like.

    Western Animation 
  • Rita and Runt on Animaniacs. They're a homeless cat and dog who are always seen together, and despite having a desire to find a nice permanent new home, the two manage to live quite comfortably by offering each other a close unbreakable friendship of mutual support and protection.
  • Joey and Pauline from Atomic Puppet are two very good friends whose only love is over comic books and superheroes.
  • Bojack Horseman:
    • BoJack and Diane are the embodiment of this. After a failed stint of All Love Is Unrequited and Unresolved Sexual Tension, both come to an understanding between each other, especially regarding their mutual depression and deep empathy for the other. Diane might be technically married to Mr. Peanutbutter and BoJack Really Gets Around, but they're practically inseparable and rely on each other for support. Not to say of how much they hurt when the other is not around. Their relationship is complex, to say the least as they mutually deconstruct and build each other, with their paths being intertwined. At least until the final episode, in which the two realise their friendship, as mutually beneficial and toxic as it was, has come to an end.
    • A rare villainous example: the aforementioned rabbit and Vanessa Gekko, PC's rival after they enter business together in their joint agency.
  • A villainous example happens with Klay and Krystella from Chaotic. Though they start off as independent jerks hated by everyone around them, they quickly meet and become friends due to their equally horrid personalities, underhanded behavior and bullying ways, as well as sharing an intense hatred for the main characters. They never display any romantic attraction to one another, being simply two jerks who enjoy hanging out together because they can do twice the damage and cause twice the grief to other people.
  • Morgana and Viper in King Arthur & the Knights of Justice. There is absolute trust between them and they clearly enjoy each other's presence but there's not a hint of romance between them.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: In one episode, you can see Sarah and Jimmy when they are much older: they are still best friends, but there's no romantic relationship between them, even after all this time.
  • Fillmore! has Cornelius Fillmore and Ingrid Third. They have a deep bond with each other but there are no hints of romantic attraction.
  • George and Martha is about two Funny Animal hippos who are extremely close best friends. They seem like a married couple, but it's never implied they're anything but best friends.
  • Henry and June from KaBlam!, according to Word of God. Doesn't stop the shippers, though.
  • In The Legend of Korra, this is how the relationship between Wan and Raava, the spirit of light, progressed, and became solidified when they fused to become the first Avatar.
  • Ultimately subverted in Kim Possible between Kim and Ron. For the first two seasons, there's very little hint of anything romantic between them, and they even encourage each other in their pursuit of other Love Interests, making them seem to just be Childhood Best Friends. However, the third season includes a lot of Ship Tease between them, culminating in a Relationship Upgrade in the Big Damn Movie, So The Drama.
  • Chase and Skye from PAW Patrol, according to Word of God. Doesn't stop the shippers, though.
  • Though they share a Master/Apprentice relationship, Anakin and Ahsoka in Star Wars: The Clone Wars could be easily seen as this, due to Ahsoka being one of the people in Anakin's life he fiercely protects.
  • Star Wars Rebels: Ezra and Sabine. Though Ezra has a crush on her at first, Word of God gently put down the idea of them getting together and by season 2 he's pretty much over it, building up a strong friendship with her instead. They spend their free time together, rib each other like siblings, and emotionally support each other through anything, and it's implied that Ezra is the person Sabine is closest to in the crew (it helps that he's her only consistent friend close to her own age and the only one who hasn't exacerbated her trust issues). By the end, he trusts her with his lightsaber and the task of watching over his home planet, and she ends the series setting off to find him after his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • X-Men: Evolution:
    • Kurt and Kitty actually have this sort of friendship in a few different universes, including the main Marvel 616 universe, where they've been best friends and thicker than thieves since the 80's.
    • Iceman and Jubilee also count, as they spent almost all of their screen time during season 2 together, always went along together on wacky hijinks, and seemed practically inseparable.
    • Scott and Jean, prior to their actual getting together, had shades of this as well.
  • Wander and Sylvia from Wander over Yonder. They're an interspecies nomad team who trot the galaxy in tandem; they do everything together and are viewed more or less as an unit by their enemies. They've told each other "I love you" numerous times without it ever being framed as romantic by the show.
  • Zeta and Ro from The Zeta Project are roadtrip orphan bros looking for their parents. One is a killer robot, but still.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Straight Will And Grace, Platonic Relationship


Ikta comforts Yatori

"Watchdogs of the Spirit Tree". After finishing off the mutinous soldiers who attacked Princess Chamille, Yatorishino Igsem finds she's unable to come down from the adrenaline rush. Ikta Solork, her best friend, approaches her in his customary jokey manner and gently grips her arm to get her to drop her sword and main-gauche, and she tiredly relaxes into his chest.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / CooldownHug

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