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Romantic, isn't it? Don't ask how they can breathe.

"And it was pretty much the best underwater kiss of all time."

There's something about a kiss underwater that's more romantic or emotional than a regular kiss. Regardless of how it occurs, the added dramatic effect is often used to give an extra push to the scene. Even if the kiss is only for practical reasons, it's still a Ship Tease moment. There are two types, which may overlap or lead into each other:

Actual Kiss, where the kiss is simply a kiss. Additionally, it can be related to Super Not-Drowning Skills, if it happens to be a very long kiss. This can be done in Real Life of course, but your mileage may vary on how romantic it is in practice.

Breath of Air, where the kiss is used to transfer oxygen. It can overlap with Kiss of Life.

Depending on the situation, it may or may not be involved in a Two-Person Pool Party. See also Symbolic Serene Submersion.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Actual Kiss 
Anime and Manga
  • Hagino and Mari do one in the Blue Drop anime. Not that we see it...
  • An episode of the anime that Lt. Clouseaux was watching in the Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid OVA featured this... until Kurz got a hold of them and replaced them with footage of two pigs kissing. Clouseaux was NOT amused.
  • Macross:
    • Macross Zero has a mixed example when Shin starts choking underwater, and Mao kisses him to give him some air. Yes, it was practical, but it was clear she was using the situation as a pretext for kissing him, considering she was in love with him.
    • Macross Frontier has the characters performing Zero example as a scene in a movie shoot, which is played up to be more romantic than the actual events. Alto (playing the part of Shin as a stunt double for the scene) and Ranka (playing the part of Mao) are very flustered by having to perform it and Ozma outright called the movie "tasteless". Having the movie version be romantic makes sense as it is apparently based on Mao's diary, who, since she had a crush on said guy she gave the breath version to, would colour it in that regard.
  • In Persona 5: The Animation, during the special OVA-2 episode titled 'A Magical Valentine's Day,' Hifumi Togo does this to Ren, although the scene takes place from a first-person perspective.
  • Haruka and Yuu do this in Sakura Trick at the bottom of a swimming pool, but they only last a few seconds before they have to come up for air.
  • The World's Finest Assassin features this scene in the 10th episode of the anime. As both Lugh and Dia made love in the secret spring, both hair turns into their original silver color from the dark hair they use as a cover.

Comics

  • Superman: Clark Kent and Lori Lemaris have kissed a few times underwater. Clark can't drown and Lori's a mermaid, so it makes sense.
  • In W.I.T.C.H., Cornelia and Peter share an underwater kiss after he saved her from being pulled under.
  • The front cover of World Of Archie Double Digest issue 18 has one of Archie and Betty doing this with Veronica seeing with shock.

Commercials

  • There was a 90s European commercial for Levis, where mermaids capture a guy and kiss him underwater. The punchline being they can't get his Levis off because of the double-stitching, so they let him go.

Fan Works

  • In Pok√©mon Reset Bloodlines, Misty thinks about doing the trope with Ash while she's doing some underwater diving at the start of the Mewtwo arc. Since she has Super Not-Drowning Skills, she also wonders if she can also use it to give air to Ash so he could stay underwater longer, but her thoughts are mostly for romantic purposes.

Film — Live-Action

  • There's one in Across the Universe (2007), though it's during a Disney Acid Sequence with literal acid.
  • Aquaman (2018): Arthur and Mera kiss during the final underwater battle.
  • The young lovers share several consecutive ones in a private pool in Blood Lake: Attack of the Killer Lampreys, at least until they notice the body in the pool.
  • Happens in Delicatessen between Julie and Louison when they flood themselves in the bathroom.
  • Great White: They don't actually kiss, but Charlie and Kaz lean into each other and touch foreheads underwater just before they part to attempt to deal with the second shark. Later Michelle kisses Kaz to transfer air to when she is trapped in the shipwreck.
  • In that vein, there is the underwater nude ballet scene in Piranha 3D, where Page Three Stunna Kelly Brook and porn star Riley Steele dance naked underwater to an Italian aria.
  • Ki-su and Chun-shim share one after they jump from the exploding train into the river in Quick. It is cut short when a wheel from the train hits Ki-su on the head.
  • Adam sneaks one on Vicky in the Disney Channel adaptation of A Ring of Endless Light.
  • Niki Lauda and his wife get one during their honeymoon in Rush.
  • In the James Bond movie Thunderball, Bond and Domino have sex entirely underwater at one point. Mind you, they had SCUBA gear on.
  • There's one in Whip It set to a rather awesome song.
  • This happens in the Baz Luhrman version of William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet. The balcony scene is instead (partly) a pool scene.

Literature

  • In the final Percy Jackson and the Olympians book, Percy kisses Annabeth underwater.
  • Ava and Luck's first kiss in the YA book Salvage. Deconstructed, as they do not have Super Not-Drowning Skills and so immediately break apart for air.
  • The Mermaid's Daughter: After Kathleen is turned into a mermaid, she pulls Harry underwater for a series of passionate goodbye kisses. The two are about to start having sex when Kathleen remembers that Harry still needs to breathe air.

Live-Action TV

  • The one most of us have seen most often is surely the one from the opening titles of Hart to Hart, right? "When they met, it was MOYDER!"
  • Taboo: After James is informed of his sister's suicide by jumping into the Thames river, he imagines kissing her corpse one last time in an underwater embrace.

Music

  • There's one at the end of the music video for the Katy Perry song "Teenage Dream".
  • In the music video for "For You I Will (Confidence)", Teddy Geiger shares this with Kristen Cavallari at a pool party he is playing at...while she is in her undergarments, no less.
  • The music video for AFI's "Love Like Winter" ends with something extremely similar, albeit in a "Let's drown together" sort of way.
  • There is also an underwater kiss at the end of the music video of "This Kiss" by Carly Rae Jepsen.
  • Two kids share one in the music video of "Always Be My Baby" by Mariah Carey.

Newspaper Comics

  • Lampshaded in For Better or for Worse. One of the teenagers tried making out with their significant other in a swimming pool but ended up choking as they inevitably took in mouthfuls of water. They came up for air and noted that it's not nearly as romantic in Real Life.

Video Games

  • The Beatles are in an undersea diving bell in "I Want to Hold Your Hand," where a lovesick octopus takes a shining to them. It kisses Paul on the cheek of his diving helmet.
    Paul: Hey, have you ever been kissed by an octopus?
    John: Once, when I was very young.
  • The kiss between the girl and the blue boy in But That Was Yesterday.
  • Final Fantasy X has a major one. Yuna and Tidus' first kiss begins with them standing up to their chests in a lake, and then they tip over and go swimming...while making out.
  • God of War has Kratos doing this with some sea nymphs during an underwater segment.

Visual Novels

    Breath of Air 
Anime and Manga
  • In Akuma no Riddle, Haru gives a drowning Tokaku air so she doesn't drown after being locked in a cage underwater.
  • In Blade of the Immortal, when Shira ties a rock to Rin's feet and tries to drown her in a freezing river, Manji first gives her a breath of air, and then receives one himself from Tanpopo when he passes out underwater.
  • In the Case Closed Non-Serial Movie Detective Conan Film 02: The Fourteeth Target, Ran shares a "breath of air"-type kiss with Conan to keep him from drowning when they're trapped underwater. She herself almost drowns, but the breath of air gives Conan the strength and the time to free them both and then reach for help. To add to the Ship Tease, just before the kiss, oxygen deprivation causes Ran to hallucinate and see Conan as her beloved Shin'ichi... who he is, but she doesn't know that. note 
  • The Excel♡Saga manga inverts it. Excel and Elgala are drowning in the sewers, and Excel looks like she is about to invoke this trope with Elgala... but instead sucks out her air and leaves her to die.
  • From Fairy Tail, Levy gives Gajeel one as he suffocates under Torafuzar's water spell, and was the only one who wasn't completely unconscious. Then Gajeel reminds her she can just use her Solid Script magic to make air for everyone.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden, Takiko gets thrown off the rowboat she and Limdo were on and he jumps in after her. Since she's close to drowning, he gives her a breathe of air and uses his wind powers to get themselves out of the water. She later calls it a kiss, with Limdo blushing because he didn't see it as that.
  • Love Hina almost had Naru and Keitaro doing it, but because Keitaro is the Butt-Monkey it ended up failing.
  • Utena's last scene with Touga in the movie-manga version of Revolutionary Girl Utena involves this. As a bonus, Touga is Dead All Along.

Comic Books

  • There was this infamous Ho Yay case with Iron Man and Captain America when Captain America is unconscious from poison gas and needs oxygen. Iron Man helps him get it, even at the risk of breathing in the gas himself.
  • Star Wars: Kit Fisto breathes for Aayla Secura this way.
  • In the World War III arc of Justice League of America, a breach in the watchtower sent Huntress flying into space. Superman rescued her and locked lips with her to keep her from suffocating.
  • During the aftermath of World War Hulk, Hercules had to hold up a part of Manhattan while underwater. Namora breathes for him this way, although Herc later admitted that he could hold his breath for the entire duration.

Fan Fiction

  • Drowning Dry And Slow (link) ends with the Mage kissing Arthur underwater. It starts as a way to share air, but transitions into an actual kiss.
    His lips are opening to grab at the air in front of her own lips, but she brings him further. Presses her lips against his. Opens her lips, pressing his open.
    And oh, she was hoarding air, somehow, and here it is. It fills him. He's shot through with catharsis and relief.
  • Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Duo: When Nagisa is knocked into an aquarium tank in chapter 8 and nearly drowns, Hanon kisses him to give him air.
  • The Ultimate Evil: When Shendu (who's possessing Valmont's body at the time) is close to drowning, Valerie dives in for him and reinvigorates him this way. When he comes back to consciousness, she almost kisses him back in relief before she remembers that they have to get to the surface.

Film — Animation

  • In the Hellboy Animated movie Sword of Storms, Abe Sapien saves Liz this way after their plane crashes in the ocean. Abe later admits he didn't know if it would work.

Film — Live-Action

  • Jason Bourne attempts to revive Marie this way after their car crashes off a bridge in The Bourne Supremacy. It doesn't work.
  • In Cutthroat Island Morgan gives William a kiss whilst he's pinned behind some crates in the flooded hold.
  • Great White: They don't actually kiss, but Charlie and Kaz lean into each other and touch foreheads underwater just before they part to attempt to deal with the second shark. Later Michelle kisses Kaz to transfer air to when she is trapped in the shipwreck.
  • In Hook, Peter is rescued from drowning by a trio of sparkly mermaids and they breathe air into his mouth underwater.
  • In the CGI movie Resident Evil: Degeneration with Leon and the other lead girl (not Claire). Leading her last line to Leon along the lines of "lets go scuba diving again".
  • Lara Croft does this on her rival Alex West in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider after he got shot.
  • In The Shape of Water this doubles as a Magic Kiss, when in the finale the humanoid aquatic creature kisses Elisa who is about to drown and she suddenly develops gills so she should breathe herself underwater.
  • Paul Newman did this to Richard Jaekel in the film Sometimes a Great Notion when Jaekel's character is trapped in rising water by a log. Jaekel's character eventually panics and drowns. Unpleasant.
  • In Splash, while trying to start a boat's engine Tom Hanks' character is knocked overboard and falls unconscious underwater. Daryl Hannah's mermaid character swims up and kisses him.
  • Used in Tomorrow Never Dies between James Bond and Wai Lin.
  • The Transporter steals the last breath of the Mook who fell into the water with him. Jason Statham got no end of ribbing from the production crew for it.
  • In Waterworld, the Mariner does this for Helen, since he can breathe underwater.
  • Waves: Emily first kisses her boyfriend Luke while both dive under a pond.

Literature

  • In Flora's Dare, Lord Axacaya pulls this on Flora. The age difference makes it distinctly squicky, especially with some of the other subtext.
  • Goddess of the Sea by P.C. Cast has the mermaid Undine save and kiss the heroine Christine...for Christine to open her eyes to see that they've Body Swapped.
  • It's quickly glossed over and Daphne does not seem to remember it, but there's a part in Nation where Mau saves Daphne from drowning using this trope in the process.

Live-Action TV

  • The "Breath of Air" variant occurs in the preultimum episode of second season of Babylon Berlin when Gereon administers oxygen mouth-to-mouth to Charlotte who is stuck underwater in the car.
  • Due South: Fraser "buddy breathing" with Ray K in a sinking ship. Given his dumbfounded expression, I'm sure Ray thought the same way.
  • In Heroes, Alex (whose power is breathing underwater) kisses Claire to give her oxygen.
  • Xena and Lao Ma, when the former is hiding in the latter's pool.

Video Games

Visual Novels

  • Lovestruck Shorts: In My Siren Crush, Arianna breathes air into the heroine's mouth while they're underwater to save her a trip to the surface. It's an Almost Kiss, with their lips not quite touching.

Webcomics

Web Original

  • Catacombs of New York Chapter 10
  • In Critical Role Campaign 2, Fjord saves a drowning Jester's life in this fashion. Jester reveals later that this was technically her First Kiss, but wonders if it counts given the circumstances. Later in the campaign they agree it counted when they share their second kiss.

Western Animation


 
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Swimming

Elizabeth is too anxious to be comfortable underwater. Calvin kisses her so her mouth is occupied.

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