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The Not-Love Interest

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"Watch as these two awkwardly flirt in the classic will-they-won't-they relationship, then, for the first time in movie history... WON'T."

The Not-Love Interest is the phenomenon in which the character fulfills a typical "Love Interest" role, but isn't intended by the writers to have that kind of relationship with The Hero. This trope often represents a Subversion of one or more Love Interest tropes, or tropes that normally lead to a character becoming a Love Interest, such as Rescue Romance.

This trope points out that certain roles and dynamics are frequently shared between the hero(ine) and the Love Interest, or that characters in these dynamics frequently evolve into a Love Interest. With media featuring a male-female duo, a teased or obvious relationship is so common it can be a surprise when expectations of romance are Averted or Subverted.

With other kinds of pairs, such as those of the same gender, this often takes on a different connotation. The relationship between the hero and this character is often written with the same role and dynamic as the Love Interest, but never get the same fulfillment. Unfortunately used to draw audiences, and likely due to that, unfortunately a common occurrence, possibly even more than the former.

This can also happen between an adult and a child, in a Parental Substitute or Older Sidekick/Kid Sidekick situation. The relationship is a mutually supportive one that forms the emotional center of the story, but for obvious reasons never becomes romantic.

The Hero may have an actual love interest, but they will usually be less significant than this character.

It's a common source of Shipping fuel, often spawning Fan Preferred Couples. Frequently happens with Heterosexual Life-Partners and Platonic Life-Partners. It appears prone to being pointed out in interviews, DVD commentaries/special features, and other things in the manual.

Compare Heterosexual Life-Partners, Platonic Life-Partners, Like Brother and Sister, Just Friends and Tragic Bromance. Has nothing to do with She Is Not My Girlfriend, though somebody might say this (with actual sincerity). This trope is to Unresolved Sexual Tension as oil is to water vapor. Pseudo-Romantic Friendship is a subtrope. Platonic Writing, Romantic Reading is what happens when the writers try to do this and it doesn't work.

Media with their own subpages:


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    Comic Books 
  • Green Lantern: Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz are this to each other. Two rookies left behind by Hal Jordan to guard Earth while the rest of the Corps handle cosmic threats. During their time together they become incredibly close, help each other with their problems, provide mutual emotional support and call each other “partner”, all without a hint of romantic or sexual interest on either side.
  • Iron Man and War Machine. Despite canonically having both a wife and daughter, James Rhodes' relationship with his boss/ally brings to mind an old married couple, complete with Tony falling Off the Wagon with alcohol and going "Now you go be Iron Man for me, alright?" and Rhodey going "Why do I even bother with this unappreciative jerk *goes be Iron Man*". Whenever Rhodey finally gets pissed off enough to leave, his dialogue is usually a long speech about how Tony sabotages every relationship he's in that sounds like it could be a very angry "Dear John" Letter.
  • Robin fulfills this role to some extent for Batman. Especially the first Robin (and later Nightwing), Dick Grayson. He often serves as an emotional crutch to help the Dark Knight through his darkest periods and provides constant support when needed. Because of this, many Real Life critics interpreted Batman and Robin as a gay couple, and this was used as propaganda against them and, by extension, comic books as a whole, though the pedophilia aspects that relationship would have are understandably disturbing. In canon Batman is either presented Dick's father figure or an older brother, Depending on the Writer.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Bolt has Mittens, a stray cat who meets Bolt after he gets separated from his owner Penny. Initially, Bolt takes her prisoner because he is deluded into thinking she is an agent of the fictional villain Dr. Calico. Ultimately, though, this leads to them getting to know each other in what strongly resembles a romantic subplot, culminating in a pseudo-Falling-in-Love Montage and them ending up as Platonic Life-Partners. Despite how close they end up being with each other, however, the possibility of it being anything other than platonic is never even hinted at, presumably because the animals in this setting are just "realistic" enough for an interspecies pairing to be weird.
  • The Captain Underpants movie plays this sort of relationship between the two leads, focusing on their immense bond with one another and how separating them would be devastating. Some scenes, like their brief reunion in the bathroom, are even given romantic comedy clichés, so the writers did know what they were doing. But for the most part, it's one of the very few things treated seriously in the story.
  • Finding Nemo has Dory, a blue-tang fish with short-term memory loss who befriends Marlin the clownfish on his quest to find his son. Most of the movie consists of their dialogue with each other, they share body contact often, and even though she's not attentive most of the time, she truly worries for him. Yet they never hook up, probably because interspecies dating is really weird. Word of God (aka Audio Commentary) states that Dory was introduced to serve as a surrogate child so Marlin could re-adapt his parenting approach.
  • Sisters Anna and Elsa in Frozen are each other's Not-Love Interests. The movie centers around their relationship more than any romance and Anna is Elsa's Living Emotional Crutch. The twist at the climax is based on this trope: Anna is told that her heart can only be unfrozen by an Act of True Love. Right as she's about to freeze to death, her love interest is coming in to save her — but she denies him the chance, catching a sword blade meant to kill Elsa. Thissaving Elsa — ends up being the act of true love that breaks her curse.
  • In Megamind, Intrepid Reporter Roxanne Ritchie is always being saved by superhero Metro Man and is quite emotional when he's no longer there to protect the city. However, it turns out they were never actually involved, to the surprise of Megamind (Roxanne's real Love Interest).
  • Maui is this to Moana in Moana. Moana and Maui start off disliking each other but development an Interspecies Friendship over the film as they go on an adventure together. They, however, show absolutely no romantic attraction to each other, even ignoring the fact Moana is a teenager while Maui is a Semi-Divine adult who is Really 700 Years Old.
  • My Little Pony: The Movie (2017) has a few:
    • Rarity and Capper are a downplayed example. A selfless act of kindness from her is enough for him to pull a Heel–Face Turn and help the Mane Six. As they're the only mixed sex example in the movie, their scenes are prone to a bit of Ship Tease.
    • Pinkie Pie and Princess Skystar bond over being similar Genki Girls with weird interests, and Pinkie is the only one who finds the princess's habits adorable rather than creepy. Their duet is quite close to a love song.
    • Twilight Sparkle ends up being this to Tempest Shadow, teaching the pony about friendship and bringing about her Heel–Face Turn.
  • In The Road to El Dorado, Miguel and Tulio are each other's Not Love Interests — not only do they hide their friendship by fighting, confess how much they mean to one another as they think that they're slowly dying, but they even have a painful break-up! According to some, the original script had them more explicitly be lovers — no wonder their Ho Yay factor is so high.
  • Toy Story:
    • Woody has this dynamic with Jessie in Toy Story 2. The two got very close upon their introduction due to coming from the same line of cowboy toys, and Jessie fulfills the typical role of the female lead in the installment. But Woody already has Bo-Peep, so their relationship with each other is mostly platonic, and Jessie has more of a love-interest in Buzz.
    • Woody and Buzz serve as each other's main motivations in the first 2 movies. In Toy Story 2, Woody tells Buzz "I'll have old Buzz Lightyear to keep me company ... for infinity and beyond."
  • In Turning Red, Miriam plays this role for Mei. Of the girls they interact the most and appear to be the closest, but the film depicts their relationship as entirely platonic. Ming finds her influence over Mei to be the most objectionable and the plot reaches its climax when Mei abandons the ritual to reconcile with Miriam.
  • Wreck-It Ralph has Vanellope, a little girl Ralph meets when she steals his golden medal. They make a deal so he helps her win a race and he can get his medal back in exchange. They soon bond and become close friends because they're both outcasts in their own games. Ralph's attachment to her is strong enough for him to decide he doesn't need a medal to prove he is a good guy and he even tries to sacrifice himself for her.
  • Anna and Marnie from When Marnie Was There. Anna is the reserved protagonist who meets a pretty, mysterious girl her age when staying over at relatives. They become quick friends, go row-bowing together, hold hands, and Anna is compared to Marnie's future husband, however their friendship is familial. Marnie is Anna's deceased grandmother as a ghost child.
  • Zootopia puts a lot of focus on the developing relationship between deuteragonists Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde. Of course, as a Buddy Cop Show, this trope is pretty much to be expected and the writers specifically focused on them becoming best friends. However, future romance is possible, given they get something of a Maybe Ever After and the creators are quite aware of the intense Shipping of the two in the fandom.


  • Annie and Daddy Warbucks from Annie. Daddy Warbucks even has a Heartfelt Declaration of Love song, complete with waltz and their final duet is entitled "I Don't Need Anything but You."
  • Pygmalion has Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins. The play is centered around their complex relationship, which often looks like classic Belligerent Sexual Tension. Eliza confesses that the reason for her dedication to becoming a lady was how much she came to care for Higgins, and Higgins in turn learns to care for her too, though he never fully admits it. They never become a couple, however, and George Bernard Shaw was adamant that they never would; in his "prose sequel" to the play, Eliza marries her suitor Freddy while Higgins stays single, and they end up as lifelong Vitriolic Best Buds. The musical adaptation My Fair Lady departs from Shaw, however, and gives them a Maybe Ever After.
  • The musical Baker Street has Irene Adler as Sherlock Holmes's Not-Love Interest. Though a few of Irene's numbers could be called love songs, and Holmes does go Undercover as Lovers with her, he remains a decidedly Celibate Hero.
  • Mark and Roger from RENT. Exemplified by the fact that the big reconciliation after Roger leaves New York for Santa Fe, and then comes back is not between Roger and his girlfriend, Mimi — it's Roger and Mark, who get an entire song ("What You Own") dueting about how similarly-miserable and yet still devoted to each other they are.

  • Several in BIONICLE, in part due to most characters being asexual and aromantic. For example, Gali tends to fill this role for Tahu, as she often argues with him and he is more protective of her than the other Toa. The two address each other as "brother" and "sister", although, this doesn't stop the shippers since they're Not Blood Siblings.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Miles Edgeworth to Phoenix Wright. Old childhood friend, troubled past, Edgeworth's frozen prosecutor heart melted by Phoenix's honest's no surprise they're the most common ship in the fandom.
    • Maya Fey and Phoenix go everywhere together, they clearly care deeply about each other, and they've saved each other's hides on more than one occasion. But when someone suggests they're a couple, they respond with confusion.
    • In Dual Destinies there's Athena Cykes and Simon Blackquill. The last case reveals that they saw each other quite often when she was a child and he studied under her mother, and he ended up Taking the Heat and going to prison for seven years to ensure that she wasn't accused of murder. His incarceration was the main motivation for Athena to become a lawyer, with her striving to prove his innocence.
    • Player character's assistants in general except for Diego Armando, who is explicitly Mia's boyfriend. Maya, Ema, Trucy, Kay, and Athena all share the same characteristic of being plucky, and everlastingly energetic in their happy days. Given their partners are Deadpan Snarkers, people tease them for being Odd Couple, even though it's usually comes off as brother/sister-like relationships. Which is literally true in Apollo and Trucy's case, though neither of them know it.
  • Deconstructed in Doki Doki Literature Club!, as there are four girls in the game, but Monika is the only girl without a route — even though the game presents her as though she would be an option. You just can't choose to do anything to spend time with her or get closer to her. Unfortunately for her and everyone else, Monika also happens to be the only character with Medium Awareness, and her frustration with not being a love interest in a world with other purpose leads her to taking increasingly desperate measures with increasingly dire consequences.
  • Kyousuke for Riki in Little Busters!. It's constantly impressed on the audience how very close they are (often to ambiguously romantic levels), he gets an incredible amount of focus — though he doesn't have his own route, he's absolutely integral to Rin's route and gets even more plot focus in Refrain — and one of the biggest subplots in the game is the way their relationship changes over the events of the game, from friends to fighting to becoming even better friends. It's even more noticeable since this is a bishoujo game, which tend to have only minimal male characters and even more minimal character development for them. He's even alone among male characters in a Key/Visual Arts game in having his own Leitmotif, something usually restricted to only the love interests.
  • In Virtue's Last Reward, Phi is the first girl that Sigma meets. They initially have a belligerent relationship, her ending is the Golden Ending of the game, and she has a lot of plot relevance... but she and Sigma are never even hinted to move in a romantic direction. At best, they go from Teeth-Clenched Teamwork to something resembling friends. Although there are some scenes with them when you fail to defuse the bombs, they're not exceedingly romantic. Word of God has also confirmed that the two will never be a couple at any point. And for good reason, as Zero Time Dilemma reveals: Phi is actually Sigma's daughter. Not only that, but ZTD also introduces Diana, who is Sigma's actual love interest... and Phi's mother.
  • In Your Turn to Die, Jou Tazuna is this to the main character, Sara Chidouin. They’re Childhood Friends who have a very close and endearing relationship, and they are each other’s primary confidants. When Jou is one of the first to be executed Sara is absolutely devastated, to the point where her severe guilt causes her to see and hear hallucinations of Jou. Jou will even give Sara a Platonic Declaration of Love both before he dies and in one of the endings for Chapter 2. However, while Sara’s feelings for Jou are left up to speculation, Jou is already in a relationship with his and Sara’s friend, Ryoko.

  • In Red String, Ayu has been Makoto's best friend since they were little. She's easily the closest person to him since his beloved grandmother's death. There are absolutely no romantic feelings between them, despite what the fandom who wants him out of the way for Kazuo and Miharu might suggest.
  • Davan and PeeJee of Something*Positive. PeeJee even described herself as his "platonic life-partner". Davan canonically had a crush on her when they first met, and there was lots of Ship Tease when the creator got tired of people asking for them to hook up, but he's since gone on the record as saying they'll only ever be extremely close friends.
    Davan: Am I going to have carve "Davan loves you very much" backwards into your forehead?
    PeeJee: No, I think I got it this time.
  • Wilde Life: Oscar and Clifford are arguably the comic's central relationship, of a surrogate brothers/Parental Substitute sort. Aside from the age difference, both are seemingly straight and have Ship Tease with female characters. Nevertheless, it begins with Oscar doing a You Must Be Cold, and since Clifford never gives that hoodie back, it almost comes off like it's Her Boyfriend's Jacket. Plus he can come off like a Tsundere in general.
    • Some of Oscar's scenes with Eliza can come off like Ship Tease, except that Eliza is in a long-term relationship with a woman. Word of God even says that she did this so that people wouldn't ship her with Oscar.
  • Gertrude DuPont in Sam & Fuzzy. A morally corrupt Fallen Princess who's sworn an oath of vengeance against Sam, she is forced by circumstances to work together with him during the "Noosehead" arc. The two end up slowly relying upon and trusting each other more and more and begin to align more and more morally, there's a betrayal that causes a break in their trust, before Gertrude returns to dramatically rescue him... But neither side are interested in the other romantically. At all. When Mr. Blank refers to Sam as Gertrude's 'boyfriend' her reponse is essentially to tell him to stop thinking in cliches. During the second part of the NMS arc, Gertrude shows up to help Sam again, which causes some of Sam's subordinates to assume they're dating. The rumours only serve to annoy both of them.
  • Fred and Daphne (yes, really) from Penny and Aggie. They’ve been best friends since childhood, are very close and have been mistaken for a couple before. In fact, they’ve both stated that they would be together if they were straight.

    Web Original 
  • Henry of Nan Quest is a dark (and somewhat meta) take on this. He's the first character Nan meets face-to-face, and it's a silly, romcom-like introduction at that. He's also an innocent Pretty Boy who entered the hotel at the same time as Nan, and protects her at numerous points. So obviously they're soulmates, right? Nope! He's a serial killer who was trying to manipulate Nan into lowering her guard.
  • In Noob this is the relationship between Omega Zell and Fantöm. Both are male and more or less confirmed to be straight despite Omega Zell's Ambiguously Gay characterization, but he also shows behaviours virtually identical to Celeb Crush, Cannot Spit It Out and Gibberish of Love in Fantöm's presence. The consequences of the franchise's first Wham Episode eventually makes the in-game social barrier between them start crumbling and they become somewhat friendly. It's little wonder that Gaea is writing fanfiction with the premise of the two are having a secret affair in the comic version of the story.
  • RWBY: In keeping with Jaune and Penny both playing the role to Ruby, there is never any love triangle role between the trio, but there is a non-romantic dynamic between them that becomes plot-significant during the Atlas Arc.
    • Jaune Arc and Ruby Rose quickly form a bond through a shared feeling of social awkwardness when they're both new to Beacon. They then bond as leaders of their respective teams, and the two teams are very good friends. Jaune is also quick to offer back-up to Ruby if he thinks she's in trouble, and whenever the two reunite after their teams have been on missions apart they tend to hold hands and gaze deeply into each other's eyes. However, Ruby shows no romantic interest in any character, while Jaune's romantic interests have been directed elsewhere.
    • Penny interactions with Ruby have all the usual trappings of a robot love interest, but there is no outright attraction shown between the two. Ruby helps her see the world and gets Penny to see herself as more then just being Atlas' secret weapon. While Ruby and Penny are portrayed as being very deeply committed to each other's wellbeing throughout the show, it is never depicted as romantic and is instead rooted in their roles as symbols of purity and innocence. After Penny returns in Volume 7, Ruby becomes Penny's anchor as her life gets ever more complicated. When suffering from a hacking virus and torn between her duties as the Winter Maiden, Protector of Mantle, and her own beliefs and desires, Penny begs Ruby to kill her so that she can pass the Maiden power to Ruby, who will be at the forefront of her final thoughts. Ruby then becomes the driving force behind finding a solution that will save Penny's life.
    • Sun Wukong immediately becomes attracted to Blake Belladonna after his introduction and spends much of his time talking with and helping her. While initially wary of him, Blake gradually opens up to Sun and she ends up dancing with him and at one point blushes at his flirtatious behavior, affectionately calling him a dork. They are both faunus and seemed to be in place to fill the Token Minority Couple among the main cast. Sun even meets with Blake's parents in which her father plays the role of the Boyfriend-Blocking Dad. But despite all this, Blake and Sun never elevate their relationship to a proper romance as Sun is promptly Put on a Bus at the start of Volume 6.

    Western Animation 
  • Sasha from Anne Boonchuy from ''Amphibia, even when Sasha is confirmed as a bisexual character, there is nothing to indicate that her feelings for Anne went beyond friendship.
  • Animaniacs has Rita and Runt, a pair of homeless animals who are in search of a new home together. They are not romantically involved, mainly because a dog-cat romance would be really weird, but they frequently rescue each other and are as close as can be.
  • In The Batman, Batgirl and Robin are neonates/early teens at best and the two display almost zero romantic interest in each other, instead bickering and playing off each other as a brother and sister would, with a healthy dose of competition over who's the better sidekick thrown in. Although in the final season, Batgirl was shown to be in college while Robin was still in middle school.
  • Ben 10:
    • Gwen and Ben Tennyson, who happen to be cousins. Depending on the series/incarnation, their dynamic hovers somewhere between close siblings, best friends, and best frenemies. While Gwen does get a love interest in Kevin during the classic continuity, Ben and Gwen still remain #1 Best Teammates until she moves out of town in Omniverse.
    • Oddly enough, Ben is also this trope for Kevin (whose love interest is actually Gwen) despite how close the two act sometimes.
    • Then, there is Ben and Rook, who tend to act unusually chummy at times, but they're always there for each other.
  • Terry McGinnis and his Girl Friday Max in Batman Beyond, mostly because she's the only person his age who knows his Secret Identity. His actual love interest, Dana, is mostly there to prove that The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life.
  • Cricket and Gloria from Big City Greens, mainly because they're about 10 years apart. Their dynamic hovers somewhere between close siblings, best friends, and best frenemies.
  • Bunsen and Mikey from Bunsen Is a Beast, a beast-human team who are always there for each other no matter what. They share everything and are viewed more or less as a unit by their enemies.
  • Daria:
    • Daria and Jane have this sort of relationship. The final episode (not counting the finale movie) has Daria note this while Jane helps her through an emotional crisis:
      "It would have been good to see Tom, but this way, I got to talk to the person I trust most."
    • Jane is probably this to Trent as well. She's the only member in his Big Dysfunctional Family he seems to really care for.
  • Dan Vs.: Dan has had a handful of love interests over the course of the show, but it's clear that none of them matter to him as his sidekick, Chris, whom he keeps close by his side practically any time he leaves his house. Even Chris's actual wife, Elise, struggles to compete with Dan for his attention much to her irritation; .
  • Naomi's role boils down to this for Elena on Elena of Avalor. They're always there for each other and Elena can especially count on her for support. No matter what, Naomi will always be the person Elena has to keep her company. Unsurprisingly, just have quite a bit of Les Yay.
  • Ingrid and the titular character of Fillmore! are opposite gender best friends and partners in the school's safety patrol; however, there isn't any romance between them.
  • In Futurama, Philip J. Fry to Bender Bending Rodriguez. And frequently Bender to Fry, albeit the latter has a more conventional Love Interest in Leela.
  • Gravity Falls: Brother–Sister Team Dipper Pines and Mabel Pines. No matter what, their loyalties lie with each other and harming one will anger the other. Several episodes ("The Time Travelers Pig," "The Deep End" and "Sock Opera") involve one of them having to choose between their sibling's happiness and a Love Interest and they always choose the former.
  • Stormer plays this up to Kimber in the Jem episode "The Bands Break Up". Stormer is treated similarly to Kimber's rotating roster of male love interests, Kimber's friends fear Stormer is basically a "bad girl" corrupting Kimber, and they develop a bit of Pseudo-Romantic Friendship. Despite this nothing happens and they go back to being enemies come next episode. The Jem and the Holograms (IDW) reboot comic released thirty years later scraps the "not" part period.
  • Kipo And The Age Of Wonder Beasts: Despite there being no clear attraction between Wolf and Kipo, Wolf and Kipo often take the parts other stories would put their love interests. This is most prominent in "Mulholland", where she is the only one whose dream involves another person who they met in the party — her and Kipo as absurdly-muscular hunters capable of taking down Mega Bunnies — and is the one who gets back Kipo from her own dream. In season three, Kipo laments that Wolf isn't present when a band starts playing a song that Kipo considers to be hers and Wolf's song. At an event called the prahm, which Wolf then shows up in her new outfit for.
  • On My Life as a Teenage Robot, Brad. He's protagonist Jenny's best friend and usual foil, but their relationship is platonic. Brad/Jenny is still the Fan-Preferred Couple, however.
  • In The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, the relationship between Jonny and Jesse Bannon becomes this, after it's heavily implied, especially in the second season, that Jessie is attracted to Hadji.
  • This is mostly what Ren & Stimpy's relationship in the original series is about. In the adult spinoff called Adult Party Cartoon, however, they are quite explicitly portrayed as a homosexual couple.
  • Tangled: The Series: Rapunzel and Eugene are the Official Couple, but the relationship between her and Cassandra is the one the show focuses on the most. Word of Saint Paul says Cass is gay, but Rapunzel is weirdly smitten with her also. This is at its most overt in the tie-in novel for the show. Later on in Season 3, Raps acts as a Love Martyr for Cassandra and refuses to let her go. Cass dies in the series finale after a Heroic Sacrifice and Rapunzel brings her back with her Magical Tears, just like she did with Eugene, which only makes Cass's status as this even more blatant.
  • Teen Titans:
    • While Terra is Beast Boy's official Love Interest in Season 2, he and his teammate Raven are a Fan-Preferred Couple and became canon in the DCU right around the time the show ended. Beast Boy's and Raven's relationship comes off like a stereotypical goofball guy trying to romance a stoic, reserved girl; however, Word of God confirms in the cartoon they're meant to be platonic best friends.
    • Some fans see this with Raven and Robin, who also share a few unusually close moments. They know each other well and have an extensive friendship however it's platonic.
    • Cyborg and Bumblebee are both black, both opposite genders, and are both fight a lot with the other. Most cartoons would pair them up but Word of God is that any subtext was unintentional.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), Karai is a major supporting female character who shares a lot of screen time with Leonardo. They fight. They talk things out. Karai helps Leonardo and the Turtles out on several occasions and is reluctant to kill him when she has the chance. Leo gushes over how Karai is such a noble and honorable person. They go back-and-forth, with Leo trying to convince her to stop following the Shredder. Everything about their relationship plays out almost exactly like a Dating Catwoman romance story, except it doesn't get romantic and Karai eventually becomes an Official Couple with Dr. Chaplin. This is lampshaded in an episode where Karai betrays Leo's trust and Raph taunts Leo by referring to her as "it's your buddy" instead of the standard "it's your girlfriend", indicating that even In-Universe, everybody knows that their relationship is strictly platonic.
  • On Total Drama, Max and Scarlett rarely have significant interaction with anyone but each other, and a few characters seem to think that they're dating; Max even suspects that Scarlett may be attracted to him. But no, Scarlett actually despises him, and he ends up reciprocating.
  • Despite having a history together (As well as being the primary Transformers: Animated turn-on) Blackarachnia always came second to Optimus in terms of importance when compared to Sentinel. He leaves the fembot behind behind to save Sentinel and himself which results in her transformation to technorganic, gets more episodes devoted to their rivalry, and in BA's last appearance he seemed more concerned about Sentinel than her. The ironic thing about this? The she-spider was the reason for their antagonist rivalry in the first place!
  • In Ultimate Spider-Man (2012), Harry comes off as this to Peter. Peter's constant ditching of Harry and inabililty to tell the truth puts considerable strain on their friendship. In "Venom" the spat between Peter and Harry comes off as a girlfriend temporarily leaving her boyfriend only to make up with him later and gets back together with him. Complete with a female friend giving the hapless "boyfriend" relationship advice and the "girlfriend" venting about the "boyfriend" to family.
  • In Voltron: Legendary Defender, Shiro is the most important person to Keith, to the point that Keith becomes unhinged when he thinks Shiro might be dead. A lot of Keith's motivation throughout the series is protecting Shiro and keeping him safe, to the point of jeopardizing crucial missions against galactic threats on the off chance that Shiro could be harmed or leave him. At one point Keith makes an explicit Declaration of Protection towards Shiro under intimate circumstances, which Shiro acknowledges and accepts. Keith even prefers dying along with Shiro to the prospect of living on without him, and gives him a (platonic) Anguished Declaration of Love. The show also compares and contrasts Shiro's relationship with Keith to his former lover. However, although neither have a proper love interest to speak of until Shiro's Last-Minute Hookup with a minor character in the ending, the result of a last-minute Author's Saving Throw, the series depicts it as a mentor/mentee relationship turned found family rather than a romantic bond.
  • Wander and Sylvia from Wander over Yonder, an inter-species nomad team who trot the galaxy in tandem. They are very close and share everything (including drinks). In one episode, a sentient planet named Janet falls in love with Wander and tries to eventually kill Sylvia so she'll be out of the way. When Wander and Sylvia think Janet is going to kill them, they give each other a Platonic Declaration of Love. From there, Janet has a Heel Realization and says she only wanted someone to love her as much as Wander and Sylvia love each other.
  • Wolverine and the X-Men (2009) has a fascinating example of this between Wolverine and Emma Frost. Although the show features an ensemble cast there's always an emphasis on the prickly and distrustful (and completely platonic) relationship between Wolverine and new recruit Emma Frost. By the season's end, it becomes clear why: the entire future of the planet hinges on a simple choice Wolverine must make: whether or not he can trust her.
  • This was probably what was intended for teenage runaway Ro and robot assassin with a heart of gold Zeta on The Zeta Project.The fans had a different interpretation.

Alternative Title(s): Most Important Person, Not Love Interest