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Testing the Love Interest

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So, you're suffering from Unrequited Love, or you don't know you're in love with your best friend, and you're on a date with someone else. Suddenly, a thought jumps to your mind "let's do that thing I love to do with my best friend/Unrequited Love." You know the thing, that quirky game or activity that you participate in with that special someone. Related to, and sometimes involves, the Test Kiss.

This is a character's way of testing the relationship to see if it can work, even if they don't know it yet. If the date fails this test (which they usually do) they are never seen again.


Commonly used in romantic comedies or teen dramas, this trope is usually a quick and easy way to show that a person cares very deeply for their best friend/Unrequited Love. It can also be used as a Love Epiphany for one or both characters.

A common variation of this trope is for the date involve playing a game in a way that is different than the normal way. Such as playing poker with Oreos instead of clay chips. Normally this will end with the date saying "this is stupid", or, "why can't we just do something normal?".



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     Anime and Manga  

  • Mysterious Girlfriend X has Tsubaki almost try this with his "ritual" he and his girlfriend Urabe do with his previous crush, Hayakawa. He only really blurted it out out of unresolved feelings and it does somewhat lead to a small arc.

     Fan Works  

  • In Breaking Character, Hori attempts this several times with Kashima, and is repeatedly thwarted by her aloof and carefree nature. He is finally confirmed of her feelings not by her, but Mikoshiba of all people.

     Film — Live-Action  

  • Shows up in the film Made of Honor, it is used as one of the clues that the male lead is in love with his best friend:
    Tom: OK, guess what I'm going to order.
    Random Date: ...Why?
    Tom: Just do it, it's a game, it's fun.
    R.D.: OK... a cookie?
    Tom: No, be more specific, what kind of cookie?
    R.D.: A really big cookie?
  • Spider-Man 2 has this when Mary Jane tries an upside-down kiss with her fiancé.
  • A variation of this occurs in The Wedding Singer. Drew Barrymore's character, Julia, tests out the name she will have if she marries her fiancé, and she hates it. However, when she tries the name of Adam Sandler's character, she loves it. This is pretty much her Love Epiphany scene:
    Julia: (into the mirror in her wedding dress) Hi. Nice to meet you. I'm Julia Guglia. Julia Guglia. Hi, it's nice to meet you I'm Julia Guglia.
    Julia: (after a pause) Hello, it's nice to meet you. I'm Mrs. Robbie Hart. Robbie and I are so pleased you could come to our wedding.
  • Wedding Crashers: Claire does this with her fiancé. He reacts typically:
  • In Friends with Kids Julie does this to Kurt by asking him the kind of morbid hypothetical that she discusses with Jason (whether he'd rather die from an aneurysm or cancer). He doesn't enjoy or understand it.
  • A Bronx Tale: Two versions are brought up, one by C's loser friends and one by his Neighborhood Friendly Gangster mentor. Both require a car, but the first involves the guy taking the girl's head when someone walks past them and shoving it in his lap. If the girl doesn't object, so C's friends reason, then she's clearly a slut and should be dumped. The gangster has his own test that's actually sane; open one of the car doors for the girl, then walk around the back and see if she'll automatically open the door on the other side for her boyfriend. If she doesn't, so the gangster reasons, then the girl is a selfish broad and should be dumped. C uses that particular test with his new girlfriend, and she passes.


     Live-Action TV 

  • Appears in Zoey 101, while Chase is on a date with Lola.
  • Done satirically on The Big Bang Theory. Leonard and Leslie Winkle decide to experiment with the possibility of going out, so they jump right to the "goodnight kiss" and draw conclusions on their "data". Leslie concludes that Leonard has a good technique, there's no unnecessary exchange of saliva, but there were no fireworks. Later in season four, a very drunk Amy Farrah Fowler convinces Sheldon to partake in an experiment where she kisses him. While they ultimately decide that for the time being it was better that they reset their relationship to the point before the kiss, Sheldon's response to it was that it was "fascinating" (which, coming from the king of Hates Being Touched himself, is like saying "oh baby, more"). There was also Leonard and Penny's test kiss after he finally gets up the courage to ask her out the first time. Unlike most examples, Penny responded with a very positive Schrödingers Cat reference - "The cat's alive". A few seasons later, Leonard and Penny do a "beta test" to decide whether or not to get back together.
  • Back during the season of The Drew Carey Show where Oswald and Kate were dating, he and Drew decided to subtly do this by casually asking their respective girlfriends questions during a double-date from a dating quiz questionnaire, complete with an on-screen score. In the end, Oswald and Kate scored a 3 while Drew and his girlfriend had -10.

     Video Games 

  • In the primeval world of Six Ages, several cultures dictate that the guy has to prove himself to his prospective wife's clan...even if she loves him back. You see, marriages are as much a business transaction as they are relationships between individuals, and nobody wants to tie themselves to a son-in-law who's poor/cowardly/disloyal. Worthiness is usually shown by a generous bride price, a display of battle prowess, or positive omens from the gods. In the case of Redalda, a heroine of supreme importance to the world, her clan requires all three before they will give her up.

     Western Animation  

  • A purely platonic version happens on Arthur when best friends Francine and Muffy have a fight and break up. Muffy auditions a long list of her other friends and acquaintances for the role of "best friend", but when she finally settles on a candidate, she keeps suggesting things she would do with Francine, only for Binky to be completely uninterested.
  • In South Park when Kenny got Killed Off for Real (well, for a season), the boys get Butters as their new fourth friend. However, they continually force him to do painful or embarrassing things that he doesn't want to do, all while claiming that "Kenny would have done it." (Kenny was often willing to do dumb things for money, but not nearly as often as they expected Butters to.) Eventually he got fired, and they actually had auditions where people had to try out to be Kenny's replacement. (Tweek won, but eventually got fired too.)