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Window Love

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"No more window love. Go sell it."
Kenny, Half Baked

People are separated by glass: a window, a door, the Plexiglass barriers they have in the visiting rooms of a prison, whatever. They can't touch, so they place their hands on opposite sides of the glass in a gesture of wordless comfort.

A little bit trickier, but also possible, with an opaque barrier.

This can also cover kisses or other attempts to touch through a barrier. See also Separated by the Wall.

See also "The Graduate" Homage Shot.

Has nothing to do with falling in love with Microsoft Windows or an actual window.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Happens at the beginning of Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE- with Sakura and Syaoran. Especially heart-breaking because near the end we find out that they chose to be there, trapped and unable to touch one another for years, as way of a price
  • Star Driver: It's a big trend for the boys to go outside of the class to the window and ask a girl to kiss them through the glass to show affection without being too serious. Several characters do this, and one girl, Kanako, loves doing this as way to show affection without cheating on her husband.
  • Happens in the Noragami manga (the anime hasn't got there yet) chapter 48 between Yato and Hiyori, when he rushes to her school thinking she's in danger and finds her crying after Father's bullying. Amusingly, the chapter's title is "You who I love"
  • Inverted in Princess Tutu when Tutu, trying to escape from Drosselmeyer's realm, and Fakir, trying to use his Author Powers to save her, end up forming a Psychic Link of sorts when their desires to protect Mytho align. This is symbolized by Tutu placing her hand on Fakir's through a cog window, showing their togetherness rather than their separation.
  • Happens between Moka and Kurumu in season II of Rosario + Vampire. They are on opposite sides of a force field, and the latter has just been critically injured. They put their hands up against each others' from opposite sides of the force field before the latter collapses.

    Comic Books 
  • From Fantastic Four, we have the Thing and the Human Torch, when Human Torch dies.
  • Star Wars: Doctor Aphra. In "The Catastrophe Con", Aphra and Tolvan use their electronic tattoos to secretly communicate while doing this trope.

    Fan Works 
  • Invoked in chapter 116 of Apartment Gensokyo, when Chen places her hand on a door to an apartment where a mentally unstable Reimu is and imagines the latter to be holding it.
    Chen: I knew I could never get the door open without the key, as it was back with Yukari, so I opted to place my hand on the door, imagining her hand holding mine, as it did all that time ago.
  • This happens thrice (Chapters 20, 22, and 24) in Concerning a Drifter, with Satsuki and Ryuuko, when the latter, after a suicide attempt, goes to live in a mental home, emphasizing the degree of separation between them.
  • Lavender: Chapter 11 has a romantic moment where Ellie puts her palm against the mirror glass and Sandie (who's a ghost who can only appear in mirrors and Ellie's dreams) reciprocates the gesture.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Star Trek:
  • Wolverine and Stryker in X2: X-Men United, with a semitransparent sheet of ice between them.
  • Happens in the 1987 film Project X 1987 (not to be confused with the 2012 found footage film of the same name) with a chimp that's trapped inside a nuclear flight simulator and the trainer. The chimp likes to imitate people smoking, so the trainer places a cigarette against the glass.
  • The ending of Blade Runner 2049, where Rick Deckard approaches his daughter, Ana Stelline, in her enclosure, and tenderly lays a hand on the glass. Roll credits.
  • In Half Baked they put their fists against the glass. Subverted on a later prison visit when Kenny yells, "No more window love. Go sell it." Trope Namer.
  • Happens in Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, where this is almost an open "secret handshake" of the protagonist group. They're mostly (all) cons and do this when they visit when one of them is in prison.
  • In The Cable Guy, Chip tries to make Steven do it, but he refuses; Chip then does a parody of the similar scene from Midnight Express.
  • The Cloverfield Paradox
    • Ava Hamilton plays video of her family projected onto the window of the space station, and the scene ends with her lying with her hand pressed against the window. It's later revealed that while her husband is alive, her children were killed in a house fire.
    • Tim is trapped in an airlock that is flooding with water, and does this to her boyfriend Schmidt moments before a hull breach flash-freezes all the water and kills her.
  • Dark City: It looks like John and Emma are about to do this, but John uses his power to break the glass.
  • Taken to extremes in the obscure 80s film Crystal Heart which features a couple having sex by rubbing against either side of a sheet of glass. Yes, really.
  • Appears in the John Waters film Cry-Baby, in a song and dance number which the director says was inspired by peep shows and gloryholes.
  • In Deep Impact, one of the shuttle astronauts shares Window Love with the infant son he's never seen and still can't see, because he's been flash-blinded and about to make a Heroic Sacrifice by way of a video screen.
  • In the little-known movie Mr. Stitch this is tragically done in the scene where Lazarus dies
  • Parodied in this scene from Penelope (2006).
  • The 1992 French movie L'Amant (The Lover, adapted from the eponymous novel by Marguerite Duras). The protagonist, a fifteen year-old French schoolgirl, is given a lift (with heavy Unresolved Sexual Tension) to her school by a wealthy Chinese man who fell in Love at First Sight with her. The next days she's surprised to see his limousine parked outside the school, so she walks up to the car and sensuously presses her lips to the window where he's sitting in the back seat.
  • In The Great Muppet Caper, Kermit visits Piggy in jail disguised as a mustached lawyer to tell Piggy they're going to catch the real crooks and clear her name. They kiss through the screen, leaving Piggy wearing a mustache and Kermit with mesh marks on his face.
  • Parodied in Return of the Killer Tomatoes! (AKA Attack of the Killer Tomatoes II). When Tara is being gassed, she slaps her hand onto the glass in the door. Chad bereavedly trails his hand down after hers. She then slaps it up again, several times, and he follows it each time.
  • In Bound (1996), Violet and Corky do the opaque-barrier version, putting their hands on the dividing wall between them.
  • In Alien: Resurrection, Dr. Gediman shows a creepy fascination with the Aliens when he gives a window kiss to one of them which is standing behind a transparent containment wall.
  • Lolita (1997). Dolores kisses the glass of the shower Humbert is using after pulling a Flushing Toilet, Screaming Shower trick on him. It's more of a "Take That!" Kiss, as it marks the start of their relationship breaking down.
  • In Cabin by the Lake, this creepily happens between the serial killer Stanley and his victim Mallory with a two-way mirror. Anticipating this, she swiftly punches the mirror to let him know exactly what she thinks of him.
  • In Godzilla (2014), Joe does this with Sandra across the window of the door behind which he had to lock her to keep irradiated steam from leaking into the rest of the Janjira plant.
  • The Villain Protagonist of The American, apparently dying of a mortal wound, drives to a pre-arranged rendezvous with his Love Interest. Seeing her waiting for him, he presses his bloody fingers to the windshield before collapsing.
  • Species II: A rather literal example when human-alien hybrids Eve and Patrick meet face to face for the first time in the lab, putting their hands against the glass wall of her containment unit while visualizing themselves having intercourse in their alien forms.
  • The Martian. Before engaging in the risky rescue mission, Johanssen gives Beck a Headbutt of Love, then kisses his EVA helmet. Earlier astronaut Martinez is talking to his wife back on Earth, and presses his hand against the computer screen image when she raises her own hand.
  • There's a LOT of love (or at least infatuation) subtext on both sides in the Hannibal Lecter films The Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon between the "good" doctor and heroic protagonists Clarice Starling and Will Graham.
  • Morgan. Morgan and Amy do this but not Lee Weathers, who doesn't respond when Morgan presses her palm to the glass wall of her cell. It's later revealed that Lee is a genetically-engineered synthetic human-like Morgan, but without her empathy as she was created as a corporate assassin.
  • Navy SEALs. Lt. Curran is showing Claire Varrens a diving tank where the SEALs are training. On seeing the attractive journalist, Lt. Hawkins (who is in the tank) removes his breather and presses his lips to the glass.
  • In the Disney comedy A Spaceman in King Arthur's Court, the eponymous astronaut (actually his Robot Me) is going to take part in a joust. A maiden who's sweet on our hero wants to give him a last kiss thinking he's going to die, so the Robot Me kisses her through his space helmet. Watching this, the real astronaut isn't happy.
    "Remember, I can turn you off as fast as she can turn you on."
  • Subverted in The Titan (2018). Rick Janssen is shown to his wife and son once he has been genetically-transformed into Homo Titanien. The process has rendered him mute, and he presses a transformed hand against the window of the lab, but they can only stare at Rick in horror and don't return the gesture.

  • In The Heroes of Olympus Piper and her father after he's lost his memory do this through a video chat, with their hands touching on "opposite sides" of the computer screen Given a child of Aphrodite, The Power of Love did it. Not all love is romantic after all.
  • Hollow Places features Austin finding Isabella slow-cooking in a glass box, having been captured by a serial killer. Austin places his palm over Isabella's through the glass and promises to get her out.
  • Lancelot, the Knight of the Cart: Guinevere invites Lancelot to come to her window at night. She explains the window is barred, so they'll be able to talk, hold hands, and kiss, but nothing more.
    Guinevere: Come through the garden to-night and speak with me at yonder window, when every one inside has gone to sleep. You will not be able to get in: I shall be inside and you outside: to gain entrance will be impossible. I shall be able to touch you only with my lips or hand, but, if you please, I will stay there until morning for love of you. Our bodies cannot be joined, for close beside me in my room lies Kay the seneschal, who is still suffering from his wounds.
However, it ends up being a Subverted Trope. Lancelot comes to the window, they talk for a while, then he suggests that he think he's strong enough to drag the bars aside if Guinevere wants him to. She says yes, so he comes in and they have sex. Kay the seneschal is still there, like she mentioned.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003):
  • Multiple times in Pushing Daisies, since Ned and Chuck can't actually touch directly.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Rose and the Doctor do it with a wall, and different universes, in "Doomsday". They go as far as to press their whole bodies against the barrier.
    • Again in "The Girl Who Waited", between Old Amy and Rory.
    • In "Under the Lake", after a breach in an underwater base, sealed doors shut Doctor and Clara on opposite sides of a corridor. They engage in this trope via facing windows as the corridor fills with water.
  • In the Bones episode where the cast is stuck in the lab over Christmas because of a possible infection, most of them end up doing this with their visitors; Hodgins does the kiss variant with his girlfriend, and Zach does a multiple version, hand by hand with his several relatives.
  • Austin & Ally:
    • In "Ferris Wheels & Funky Breath", Team Austin shoots a music video for Starr Records where Austin is forced to kiss Jimmy's daughter Kira who has bad breath. In the end, Dez makes them kiss through giant hamster balls.
    • In "Comebacks & Crystal Balls", Austin is forced to make his grand return onstage while trapped inside a sealed glass cage (courtesy of Dez "accidentally" locking him in). Ally gives him a Motivational Kiss through the box before his performance.
  • Heroes has a subversion. When DL goes to visit Niki in jail, it looks like they're going to do this, but since DL's power is that he can pass through solid objects, they actually get to hold hands.
  • Season 2 of The Wire has a lot of this, because of its secondary focus on the prison lives of D'Angelo and Avon Barksdale. D'Angelo and Brianna do a fairly standard open-palmed not-touch; Avon and Stringer Bell fist-bump through the glass.
  • In the previews for the iCarly special "iPsycho", there's a scene where Sam forces Freddie to make out with a girl on the other side of a glass window. It's quite creepy.
  • In one episode of The Invisible Man, the main character, Darian Fawkes, is incarcerated. When he speaks to his partner, Bobby Hobbes, through the glass, Hobbes puts his hand up for Fawkes to touch it. Fawkes, instead, gives him a dirty look.
  • This happens at the end of the Due South episode "Gift of the Wheelman", in a scene where a teenager is visiting his father, who's in prison for bank robbery.
  • In the Veronica Mars episode "Silence of the Lamb", Mac and her biological mother touch through a car window, letting each other know that they both are aware of her parentage.
  • In an episode of The New Adventures of Old Christine, Christine visits Barb (her best friend and co-worker with whom she has a lesbian Citizenship Marriage) in jail and promises to find her a lawyer to save her from being deported. She then kisses her through the glass window, and then Barb kisses back. It was a cute Les Yay moment.
  • The Mentalist: Shown in the episode "Code Red" with a murder victim and her husband. For context, she's a microbiologist who's been infected with a deadly virus that will kill her within a few hours, and she's speaking to her husband through the glass wall of a quarantine room. At another point, she does the computer screen version with her daughter.
  • In Better Off Ted, Ted and Linda make out through a pair of hazmat suits.
  • Occurs in Psych, when Lassiter visits Marlowe in prison. It doesn't last long before the guard yells at them to remind them that they shouldn't be touching.
  • Non-romantic examples are all over in 24.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place: In one episode, Justin and Juliet end up trapped in a museum exhibit during a hunt for a mind-control mummy. Knowing that Juliet will die the next morning when the sun rises, Justin forces her to let herself be enslaved by the mummy to save her life. Before being brainwashed, Juliet tries to "nose kiss" Justin through the plastic window of the exhibit.
  • A non-romantic version occurs between Grissom and Nick in CSI when they need to calm Nick down before they can open the box he was buried in.
  • Kate and Jack in Lost season 3, across a glass barrier.
  • Alisha and Curtis in Misfits hold hands through a glass table (Alisha's powers strike you with uncontrollable lust whenever you touch her, which can ruin the mood a little).
  • At the end of the Charmed (1998) episode "Chick Flick", Phoebe and her fictional horror-movie crush do this through the fourth wall to say goodbye.
  • When Kate goes to visit Neal in prison in White Collar, he tries to do this, but she'll have none of it. Later, when he watches the security footage, he realizes that she's tapping her leg in Morse code to send him a secret message instead.
  • At the end of the Farscape episode "Revenging Angel", Crichton and D'Argo touch hands apologetically through one of Moya's windows (and Crichton's spacesuit).
  • In How I Met Your Mother, Barney does this while visiting a prison inmate in a flashback.
  • Parodied on the sitcom Titus, where Titus finds out that his younger brother, Dave, got arrested and finds him in a cell with a Plexiglass barrier. Titus and Dave touch their hands on the glass and Titus's dad says, "Isn't that cute? Two brothers joined at the wussy!"
  • Teen Wolf:
    • Jackson the Kanima does this with its first master, Matt Daehler. Since its second master, Gerard Argent, became its master with the same gesture sans glass between their palms, it appears that the glass is only a physical barrier and has no effect on the metaphysical aspect of the moment.
    • Another example between Scott and Stiles in Season 4 when Scott is trapped in a vault, succumbing to a deadly virus and Stiles can't get in to give him the cure. The scene has Stiles pounding against the door screaming Scott's name, while Scott desperately tries to let him in. Eventually they both collapse to the ground and lie pressed against the door on either side, apparently just waiting to die together if they can do nothing else.
  • Fargo and Holly do this at the end of the Eureka episode "Ex Machina", through SARAH's monitor-esque wall. Since Holly's the victim of an accidental Brain Uploading, she's (sort of) inside the wall.
  • In Alias, Sydney and Anna Espinoza repeatedly leave kisses on glass separating them. They're mortal enemies.
  • The X-Files: At the end of the episode "Jump the Shark", the Gunmen trap themselves in a room with a biotoxin and say farewell to Jimmy and Yves through the glass... Then again, the Gunmen will be the first guys to say that It Never Happened.
  • Rome: After a sexual scandal, Octavian has his mother Atia confined to her house and forces Marc Antony to leave Rome. Before setting sail, Antony goes to see Atia one last time, and they're forced to exchange final words with a row of soldiers between them.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
  • The Supergirl (2015) episode "Exodus" has a non-romantic version between the title character and her sister Alex, as seen here.
  • In the fourth season of The Flash (2014), when Barry is in prison after being framed for murder, he does this with Iris. When he's sure the cameras aren't looking, he uses his super-speed to phase his hand through the glass to touch hers.
  • One episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit features this trope. The team tracks what is initially believed to be a grown man who murders children in a small town. It is eventually discovered that the murderer is a child himself, and that his father (who had long been aware of that fact) was hiding him so that the police wouldn't apprehend him. Upon being caught before he can harm another one of his peers, Stabler ask him why he did it. He flatly states "Because I wanted to!". Before the cop car drives away, the boy's father touches the window. The boy follows suit. It's the only shred of empathy we see from him.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • In the pilot episode, "Caretaker", Captain Janeway is talking via Subspace Ansible to her fiance Mark, ending the conversation by blowing him a kiss and touching her fingers to the viewscreen. Before the episode is over, they'll be 70,000 light years apart.
    • In "Day of Honor", Tom and B'Elanna are stranded in outer space, so they can hardly embrace each other as they're stuck inside their EV suits, though they make the best of it.
  • Arrow: The episode "Dark Waters" has a dark version when Felicity Smoak is trapped in a Gas Chamber and can be seen silently mouthing a Dying Declaration of Love to Oliver Queen as he desperately tries to free her. Fortunately, Laurel breaks the glass with her Canary Cry.

  • In the Blink 182 video for "Feeling This", two teens make out through a glass window.
  • The Foo Fighters in "Walking After You".
  • Snow Patrol and Martha Wainwright's "Set the Fire to the Third Bar." The male singer appears to be a criminal of some sort and can sense the female singer behind the two-way glass. They put their hands up towards the end of the video. He's still there pressing his hand and forehead against the glass after she finally walks out.
  • The music video for "Poor Leno" by Röyksopp shows a strange bear-like creature doing this to another similar creature in a zoo pen.
  • Played for laughs in the Otis Lee Crenshaw song "Glass" where, after several window love encounters, a convict develops a sexual fetish for glass windows.
  • The video for Travis Tritt's Best of Intentions, when the man's wife visits him in prison. The gesture is repeated later, once he's been pardoned... this time with no glass between them.
  • The Bad Wolves' cover of "Zombie" by The Cranberries was going to have Dolores O'Riordan sing with the band, but she died before the recording. The music video pays homage to Dolores by having an actress covered in gold paint (resembling Dolores in the Cranberries' original video) interact with Tommy Vext through a glass window. They start by placing their hands together, leaving a gold hand print.

  • A Midsummer Night's Dream: During the play within a play, the lovers Pyramus and Thisbe are separated for most of their lives by a wall between their houses. In the wall there's a chink, through which they talk and attempt to kiss.

    Video Games 
  • In Ever17, Takeshi and Sora share a touch through a glass. Bonus points for Sora being a hologram, and therefore incorporeal. In fact, her incorporeality is why they do this — it's the closest thing he can get to touching her.
  • Used oddly in 6 Days a Sacrifice. Dacabe does this through an opaque wall, trying to reach Janine. She's actually inside the wall, dead.
  • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle has this right at the end of the game, where Sylvia and Travis each press a hand against a window.
    Sylvia: Travis... my No More Hero.
  • The intro to Civilization: Beyond Earth shows a Russian Orthodox priest blessing a Slavic Federation colony ship. As he approaches the vessel, he presses his hand to the small window on the closed hatch with one of the crewmembers replying in kind, as if receiving the blessing.
  • Used in The Stinger of Spider-Man (PS4), when Norman Osborn does this involving a Healing Vat that his son Harry is inside of after his methods of creating a cure for Harry's genetic and deadly sickness have gone up in smoke. Except Harry's in there with a Symbiote, and it touches the glass back to Norman seconds before the game ends with him unaware. Whether this was Harry channeling the Symbiote or the Symbiote reacting to Norman in its own way is unknown.

  • Buster Wilde Weerwolf: In an unrequited fashion, Buster tries to get Marshall's attention by tapping and rubbing his face on the window much to Marshall's annoyance.
  • Freaking Romance: How Zylith sees Zelan for the first time: she notices the bathroom mirror has fogged up, and when she goes to wipe it, she sees. Although they don't touch, the mirror makes it appear as if their hands have.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Smurfs episode "No Smurf Is An Island", Handy and Marina kissed each other underwater through the window glass of Handy's smurfmarine.
  • The Simpsons episode "Black Widower" shows a flashback of Sideshow Bob and Selma's relationship. During one of Selma's visits to Bob in prison, the two witness another prisoner kissing his visiting girlfriend through the glass window. Sideshow Bob offers to kiss Selma through the window in the same manner as the other couple, but Selma only agrees to a kiss on the cheek.
  • The Midnight Express example got spoofed in Family Guy, when Brian was in the pound and another dog's visitor (also a dog) is cajoled into putting her teats on the glass.
  • In G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Scarlett and Snake Eyes end up separated by a glass wall like this when radioactive gas is released and a containment device kicks in—with Snake Eyes on the wrong side. He can't say goodbye, of course, but they touch hands "through" the glass in this style.
  • The Windshield Wiper: A window washer on a scaffold on the outside of a skyscraper touches the window. Then he leans forward and kisses it. Cut to the other side of the window, where a man in a business suit is also kissing the glass.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Touching Through Glass


Sandra's death

To contain radiation spillage before it can contaminate an entire populated city, Joe is forced to seal his own wife inside with the radiation once she's been contaminated.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

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