Sheldon: She's not my girlfriend.
Penny: How long has this been going on?
Leonard: Four months.
Sheldon: She's not my girlfriend.
Penny: Are you telling me, for the past four months I have been asking you what's new and you never thought to go with Sheldon has a girlfriend??
Sheldon: She's not my girlfriend.
Sheldon: All right, everyone pay attention. Yes, I have a friend named Amy Farrah Fowler. Yes, she is female. Yes, we communicate on a daily basis, but no, she is not my girlfriend.
A standard response in the face of an accusation that two characters are more than Just Friends. Usually said with an exclamation point—or ten—at the end, and emphasis on the "NOT", maybe accompanied by breaking something.
"He is not my boyfriend!" is another version, albeit not as common, probably in a 65/35% ratio. There are also instances when the two accused say it simultaneously.
Is it true? Technically, yes. Hilarity—if not bloodshed—ensues, because:
- Nobody believes them anyway.
- The speaker and subject are long overdue for a Relationship Upgrade.
- The subject was under the opposite impression.
A common inversion, especially in the second case, is when the speaker is asked about the not girlfriend/boyfriend in question, and they respond with the line, even though the accusation was never brought up in the first place. Alternately, the accusation is made, but not the name, which the defendant then gives up. In either case, cue satisfied smirk by the asker.
The number of exclamation marks and how much the characters protest and try to convince people that they aren't together is usually proportionate to the amount of Unresolved Sexual Tension between the characters in question. Presumably, characters who really are just friends wouldn't feel threatened by the accusation. For extra fun, try saying it about some characters who have Belligerent Sexual Tension.
Especially common in shows and on channels ("Teen" Nick goes crazy with this) where kids and/or preteens are the main audience. Quite interesting, as more often than not, most kids aren't ready for that kinda stuff yet, and therefore could use whatever interpretation comes their way. For some, the trope can be coupled with the fact that it allows for both a male and female protagonist in starring roles (thus reaching a wider audience) but is as far as either the Media Watch Dogs or writers will ever go in terms of illustrating romance and relationships in a series.
Compare/contrast with Stupid Sexy Friend, wherein deciding they should just be friends is contrasted with the thoughts one can't get rid of of being more than friends.
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- Mitch Hedberg: "I don't have a girlfriend, I just know a girl who would get really angry if she heard me say that."
- Captain America: A running gag involving Steve Rogers and Sharon Carter during the Mark Waid run on Captain America. Played with in that they used to date and have a very strained relationship at present.
- In the Mega Man comics, Vector Woman frequently teases Protoman and Quake Woman about their "relationship".
- Y: The Last Man: Yorick frequently has to inform people that his bodyguard Agent 355 is not his girlfriend. Ironically 355 often pretends Yorick is her transsexual girlfriend in order to hide that he's the last man on Earth.
- In the Captain N: The Game Master comics from the Nintendo Comics System, Princess Lana acknowledges to Samus Aran that Kevin is Not Her Boyfriend. The result is your classic Betty and Veronica Love Triangle.
- Interestingly enough, Terry drops this quote verbatim in the Hush Beyond comic when Bruce calls Max his girlfriend. It appears to be a mix of Ship Tease and Everyone Can See It, but Played for Laughs rather than romantic tension.
- In Pocket God, Sun tells Toola that Ooga's not her boyfriend when she asks about their relationship.
- In Minimonsters, many people (mostly Victor) teases Frank about his not-so secret crush on Henrietta, and that makes Frank blushing and shout desperately that she's not his girlfriend.
- Green Lantern has Kyle Rayner and Bleez. While Kyle's identity is a secret, anyone who meets him and Bleez (and who isn't familiar with the history of the Green Lantern Corps) assumes they're a couple because... well, she's hot and they assume Green Lantern would have a hot alien girlfriend.
- Robin: Poor Tim has to tell people multiple times that he and Steph aren't dating, not helped by the fact that he slowly realizes he likes her but feels like he can't break up with his current girlfriend Ariana because of all the horrible things that had happened to her lately. When Ari breaks up with him he starts dating Steph before the week is up.
- In the Gravity Falls: Lost Legends story "Face It", after the story's plot is concluded, Pacifica sent a text message telling Dipper that the hug she gave him didn't mean anything. Unfortunately for her, she actually sent the text to Mabel, and unconvincingly claims the text is just a joke.
- "I'm Not Your Boyfriend" by 3OH3.
- 10cc, "I'm Not In Love".
- The song by Michael Jackson, "Billie Jean", is focused on this trope. But, it was implied that while Billie Jean was not his lover, her son was indeed his son. What's more, it's Played for Drama here since Billie Jean represents all the groupies who tried to lure Jackson and his brothers into sex so they could have kids and rope the boys into marrying them.
- In Cabin Pressure, Herc is not Carolyn's boyfriend; he is certainly not her partner; he is ... a man she knows.
- In The Pajama Game, Babe, in denial that she's attracted to Sid, sings "I'm Not At All In Love," a claim which is met with smirking derision from the girls:
It's easy to see that her daffy grin
Is the grin she always wears,
And she's breathless because
She ran up a flight of stairs!
Obviously! Naturally! Certainly!
- Many examples in musical theatre of people singing you are not my boyfriend/girlfriend. Of course, whether they mean it or not, they'll certainly be in love with that person by the end of the show (sometimes the end of the song) :
- "Make Believe" from Show Boat ("might as well make believe I love you... for to tell the truth, I do!").
- "People Will Say We're in Love" from Oklahoma!.
- "If I Loved You" from Carousel.
- In "I'll Know" from Guys and Dolls, Sky and Sarah sing about their perfect loves and how unlike Sarah/Sky said love will be. A few scenes later, they start to realise their attraction to each other.
- "Don't Like You" from The Beautiful Game (a.k.a. The Boys in the Photograph) by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton.
- "Not That Kind of Thing" from the Screen-to-Stage Adaptation of The Wedding Singer.
- Roger and Mimi in RENT. In the song "Happy New Year", Benny sings, "Does your boyfriend know who your last boyfriend was?' and Roger responds, "I'm not her boyfriend!".
- Diane and Nick from Come From Away are mistaken for husband and wife by Claude in the song "Screech In", who is bewildered that they could make their marriage work with him living in England and her in Texas. They then clarify that they've actually just met.
- Ace Attorney: Gumshoe outright uses this line for defense, as well, with regards to Maggey Byrde. Phoenix doesn't buy it for a moment.
- Phoenix: (Note to self: Gossip with Maya about this later!)
- Everyone seems to be under the impression that Toko and Reiji have some kind of relationship in Kara no Shoujo. Rather than being defensive about it, Reiji is mostly bemused.
- Yamato in Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!, regarding Miyako, all the time—though he's actually got a reason to do so. Except, of course, in her path, where he comes around rather quickly once he's made his decision. There are also choices in the game where, if you actually say she is your girlfriend, you'll immediately end up in an ending with her, whether you were joking or not.
- Rin Tohsaka in Fate/stay night can get like this. Especially prevalent in one scene in "Unlimited Blade Works", where Shirou can warn Lancer to stay away from Tohsaka, to which she keeps desperately denying that she and Shirou are in love, while Shirou just smirks and doesn't deny anything, and Lancer laughs his ass off at Rin's reaction.
Rin: Why are you not saying anything? This is looking as if we actually are in love!Lancer: (laughing) Please. There's no "as if" about it!
- In Higurashi Daybreak, the Higurashi: When They Cry fighting game, when you're playing Story Mode as a Keiichi-Rena team, most of the adults will ask if you're a couple. Rena is delighted at the notion, but Keiichi protests. This actually becomes the stakes for the last two battles, thanks to a Love Triangle with Mion at her most Tsundere.
- Zero Escape Trilogy:
- Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors: In the cargo room, after Akane's gushing over Junpei's photo starts reaching Sickeningly Sweethearts levels, Santa tells them to knock it off, to which Akane says that they're not a couple.
- Virtue's Last Reward: When Quark refers to the girl from Tenmyouji's photo as "his first love", Tenmyouji replies that she's not. Sigma doesn't buy it for a second and calls Tenmyouji a "hopeless romantic". Tenmyouji is Junpei and the girl is Akane, so Quark and Sigma turn out to be right.
- Zero Time Dilemma: When Carlos asks if they're a couple, it's Junpei's turn to say it about Akane. While holding the ring he intends to use to propose to her that very day.
- In The Guild, Codex insists that "there is no circumstance under which [she and Zaboo] are together in any shape or form". Zaboo feels differently.
- In "Thanks For The Feedback: Date With Doug," The Nostalgia Chick denies having any attraction to The Nostalgia Critic. It was a little too firm to be believed anyway, but lost all credibility when Doug and Lindsay confirmed later that the characters had already had sex at this point.
- She does it again (just with the word "ally" instead of "boyfriend") when Mara Wilson wants to kill her to hurt him, but contradicts herself a few minutes later when they both mope about missing him.