- Archvillain: Maira protests several times that she is not Mighty Mike's girlfriend, despite him rescuing her on a regular basis and flying her to school every morning.
- The Berenstain Bears: In the Big Chapter Books, Brother Bear is repeatedly teased over his relationship with recurring character Bonnie Brown, the niece of Squire Grizzly. He just as repeatedly insists that despite the Ship Tease, she isn't his girlfriend — "She's my best friend, which is so much better than a girlfriend." Sister and his other friends don't buy it.
- Played with and lampshaded in Ryk E. Spoor and Eric Flint's novel, Boundary. A.J. and Jackie are two scientists who work together and are friends; they also bicker a lot. As such, Jackie always gets ribbed by the other people in their team about her "boyfriend" A.J. She vehemently denies these accusations to the knowing reaction of the others. Of course, when A.J. ends up with his real love interest—another scientist named Helen, which was teased earlier in the novel—Jackie smugly declares to everyone within hearing distance, "I told you he wasn't my boyfriend."
- In A Brother's Price, in a rather serious situation, Cira insists that Jerin is not her boyfriend, and she is not interested in him at all. This is important, because the villains want to make a show of raping Jerin, with her Forced to Watch. She takes the fun out of it by claiming she's lesbian. She's actually rather attracted to Jerin, who, unbeknownst to him, is engaged to marry her.
- In Cerberus High, Blanc views Kazuki as a rival to his love for Xiomara due to the amount of interest she shows in the human. In Chapter 10 Blanc finally snaps and challenges Kazuki to a duel to the death despite the latter denying having any romantic feelings for Xiomara.
- In the Clémentine books, Clementine insistently states in her narration that even though he's trying, Margaret's big brother Mitchell is N-O-T not her boyfriend; though she also admits that if she ever had one, it would be him.
- In book two of Codex Alera features a simultaneous "S/he is not my mate!" from Tavi and Kitai.
- Averted in the Darkest Powers series. Multiple times, people talking to Derek will refer to Chloe as "your girlfriend", and while talking to Chloe will refer to Derek as "your boyfriend". They never deny it. For one thing, it's not worth it; the people taunting them about it are either bad guys looking to kill and rape them, or Jerkass humans mocking what they think is a schizophrenic girl. For another, Chloe quickly learns that denying a relationship between them only serves to convince people she's hiding something.
- In the Deptford Mice trilogy book The Final Reckoning, the rat Barker (so called because he's "barking mad") asks Piccadilly if Audrey is his girlfriend. They are mortified, as each is in love with the other but will not admit it. Piccadilly informs Barker that he is "mistaken" and apologises to Audrey. As Barker later turns out to be the rat god Bauchan in disguise, it becomes clear that his question was not so innocent as he knew full well what their situation was.
- In Dora Wilk Series, Joshua keeps telling Miron that Cute and Psycho Laoise is not his girlfriend, despite Miron's mocking (if good-natured) claims to the contrary. Seeing how Joshua is the resident Nice Guy, it's hard to say what his feelings for Laoise really are.
- In Sarah A. Hoyt's Draw One in the Dark, Kyrie denies that she is Tom's girlfriend to his father.
- The Dresden Files:
- Pops up several times between Harry and different characters. (Harry isn't good with relationships.) His mysterious ex Elaine and police officer friend Murphy have each mistaken the other for his current girlfriend. Also, people mistook Harry for being in a relationship with Susan Rodriguez before he actually would go so far as to call it that, since he's the chivalrous type.
- Later in the series, used between Harry and Thomas Raith. Thomas is intentionally acting flamboyantly gay. Harry is very open with and trusting of Thomas even though Thomas is a vampire, but he can't tell anyone the real reason: they're half-brothers. Not knowing the real reason, most people jump to the conclusion that Thomas is Harry's lover. At one point Harry deliberately plays that role, and some minor characters continue to give him a hard time about it.
- Even later, after Molly becomes a main character, Harry also gets this with her. She's his apprentice in magic, after all, and it's something of a social norm for wizards to sleep with their apprentices.
- In Firestar, Ned DuBois is so deeply estranged from his wife, Betsy, that neither of them gives a damn anymore. Which is why he spends every third page thinking about exactly how little she must give a shit that he's disappeared to Brazil, is sleeping with every woman who will let him, and hasn't yet finished his letter to her.
- In The Great Gatsby, Nick apparently had a situation like this back at home, since he spent a lot of time hanging out with his female friend. Unlike most examples, she really wasn't his girlfriend — part of the reason he moved was because people were starting to gossip and expecting him to propose, which Nick didn't want to do. He claims it's all just gossip, but he makes a point to clearly break whatever it might've been off before getting together with Jordan.Of course I knew what they were referring to, but I wasn't even vaguely engaged. The fact that gossip had published the banns was one of the reasons I had come East. You can't stop going with an old friend on account of rumors, and on the other hand I had no intentions of being rumored into marriage.
- In The Great Opposition by Lev Kassil, Sima meets Amed, who is several years older than her, when she is in her mid-teens, and at first they share a completely platonic friendship, so much that she doesnt even notice the hints from Amed's mother (who considers Sima's age quite marriageable) and Amed's denial thereof. When they meet a couple of years later, Amed's friends also immediately assume they are engaged, and Amed furiously denies any such thing again, while Sima is more amused than angry. There are hints a Relationship Upgrade might be possible, however, Amed gets killed in the war soon afterwards before it could happen.
- Harrow the Ninth: Harrowhark nearly goes into fits when she realizes the Emperor assumed that she and Ianthe are dating, given that her attitude towards Ianthe ranges from Teeth-Clenched Teamwork to murderous loathing.
- Played straight, then subverted than double subverted twice in the Hunger Games trilogy. Over the course of the three books, Katniss honestly denies having feelings for both Gale and Peeta, but develops feelings for both of them at different points, but usually in situations where she has to pretend otherwise (yes, it's as though the universe is constantly conspiring to keep Katniss from being happy). Katniss and Gale's relationship was platonic, though he had obviously developed feelings for her. She openly says that they've never had that type of relationship and he could have just about any other girl he wanted, but expressed no interest in him other than as a friend. Upon her return from the games after having survived by pretending to fall in love with Peeta, she was forced to play the part of Peeta's girlfriend, and though she and Gale grew closer, they couldn't acknowledge any feelings toward each other. Their relationship grew close enough that the people of District 13, who knew the love affair with Peeta was an act began referring to Katniss and Gale as cousins to appease the media from the capital who would naturally be suspicious of her being so close with someone as good looking as Gale. She and Gale then continued to pretend they were cousins. Later, when the district is destroyed, the war had begun and there's no longer a reason to pretend, she continues to grow closer to Gale, but can never commit to him fully due to her newfound feelings toward Peeta. Likewise with Peeta, she immediately rejects the storyline that they're star-crossed lovers, but is then forced to pretend to fall in love with him to survive and then has to pretend he's her boyfriend while she's harboring feelings for Gale. Later, she begins to legitimately fall in love with Peeta but he's brainwashed into trying to kill her which would normally end their relationship, except that the rebellion now tries to keep a semblance of the storyline alive for propaganda purposes.
- Journey to Chaos
- Tiza is firm in telling others that she is not in love with Nolien. He's just a Squishy Wizard that she has to take of; it's her job as The Team's tank. The occasional Smooch of Victory is irrelevant and so is their weekly Not a Date.
- Eric and Annala endure this sort of teasing from Revas, Oito and many others (including villians). With their "nerd mating dance," it's hard not to.
- In Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light, Rudra declares that he never was romantically involved with Kali. The reason why he started hunting jackbirds after one of her lovers was incarnated as one was that he disliked their songs.
- Simon towards Maureen in The Mortal Instruments, in whom he is genuinely not interested despite her liking him to an absurd degree. It comes back to bite him in the ass later on.
- In On the Jellicoe Road, Taylor denies being Jonah Griggs' girlfriend, even though she is secretly in love with him (and they get together at the end anyway).
- Moving Pictures:Gaspode: Your girlfriend
Victor: She's not my girlfriend!
Gaspode: Would-be girlfriend
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians': In Battle of the Labyrinth, Percy makes it clear to his mother that his planned afternoon at the movies with Annabeth is not a date. Sally Jackson is not convinced. One gets the distinct impression that neither is Percy. And yes, he and Annabeth do become a couple, though not until a book later.
- Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain
- In Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain, Gabriel says this about Lucyfar, although neither he nor the rest of the book offers any explanation for why he lets her Glomp him or why he shows up for what appears to be a purely social meeting.
- In Please Don't Tell My Parents I Blew Up the Moon, after The Big Damn Kiss of the last book, Ray and Penny's relationship remains poorly defined. They spent too much time avoiding awkward conversations.
- Rachel Griffin: In The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, Rachel says this about Gaius. She has more than the usual excuse, since they only met the day previous and she feels the gap in their ages is too wide. Later, knowing him to be in danger, Rachel is upset because she hasn't really had a chance to consider whether she wants him as her boyfriend.
- In Ravenscliff, Cecile inverts it saying "He's not my brother," meaning to her cheerleader friend that she has an option on her new stepbrother.
- Simon from Shadow of the Templar takes this to new heights when he tells Jeremy that he's not even his friend despite them being familiar with each other in the horizontal position. He does answer "maybe" instead of denying the possibility outright when the criminal who kidnapped Jeremy asks him if he's his boyfriend, but goes right back to denying it soon after. Then, when he finally overcomes enough (but not all) of his Selective Obliviousness and Tsundere issues to call Jeremy a friend, Sandra scoffs and says that they're "special friends" at the very least, to his chagrin.
- Soon I Will Be Invincible: Cyborg Action Girl Fatale and Dark Action Girl Lily are looking over the scene of a battle between their Super Team and Supervillain Dr Impossible. Fatale comments, "I think your boyfriend beat up my boyfriend." Lily points out that due to her HeelFace Turn, Impossible is no longer her boyfriend, and the fact that Blackwolf exchanged a few words with Fatale in the elevator does not make him Fatale's boyfriend either.
- Star Wars Legends:
- In Vision of the Future, an alien calls Mara Luke's "beloved companion," clearly misunderstanding their relationship. Then again, maybe not, since they get engaged at the end of the book. Also, in the same book, Mara reveals to Luke that she wasn't "involved" with Lando.
- Death Star has Uli, a jaded surgeon who still pines after Bariss Offee, a Jedi Knight who was killed twenty years ago. He's summoned to tend to Leia after she is tortured. While talking to her, as she plants the idea that he should risk imprisonment and leave Imperial service, he's struck by her eyes, which are brown. Bariss's were blue. Talking to her even for that little space of time shakes him up, and he tells his companions about her. Later this leads to them referring to her as his girlfriend, and he delivers the Stock Phrase.
- In Statless and Tactless Joe is convinced that Soo and Ian are dating because they occasionally allude to meeting offline. Any incident involving such an event getting mentioned invariably leads to the group getting sidetracked to refute it.
- In the first book of Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, Zedd is introduced to Kahlan by Richard... but not before Zedd calls out Richard for being rude by not introducing him to his "girlfriend." Richard calmly denies this, only for Zedd to joke about Richard, therefore, denying that Kahlan is a girl.
- Twilight: Throughout most of Eclipse, Bella tries to convince everyone that Jacob is Not Her Boyfriend. Then she realizes that she does love him, but she loves Edward more, thus casting Jacob in the role of Unlucky Childhood Friend.
- The Underland Chronicles: In Gregor and the Marks of Secret, Gregor and Luxa are going to investigate the Nibbler's situation, but since no one can know about it, they pretend that they are going on a picnic. Of course, Howard shows up and offers to join them, so Gregor, looking for an excuse, tells him that they're going on a date. Even when Howard finds out that Gregor was lying, he still chews him out because, seeing as Luxa's a princess and Gregor's not even an Underlander, they couldn't possibly be married. Gregor states several times that he and Luxa aren't like that and marriage is thinking way too far ahead, but then Howard asks Gregor why he thought Howard might believe it in the first place, rendering all his arguments useless.
- In VALKYRIE: Into The Heavens, Danny says this regarding Michiko.Danny: She's my best friend, Max. She's been inside my head... that doesn't mean she's my girlfriend or something!
- The War Against the Chtorr: In "A Matter for Men," McCarthy's Jerkass co-worker Ted deliberately lets an annoying officer think they're gay lovers to piss him off. McCarthy spends the rest of the novel denying that he and Ted are boyfriends, "or any other kind of friends."
- In War and Snowflakes, both the "she is not my girlfriend" and "he is not my boyfriend" variants are uttered many times, forming a Running Gag.
- Warrior Cats: Yellowfang and Raggedstar act like this in Yellowfang's Secret. At first.
- Whateley Universe: Ayla says it about his childhood friend, Jadis, in Hank 5: To the New Year!:"Which means you've already outed her to your other girlfriend in the Bad Seeds," Toni accused him.
"If I can find this information, Jadis would already have it," Ayla replied primly. "And Jadis is not my girlfriend!"
"Well, now we know what information you traded Knockoff for with your girlfriend," Toni smirked.
"I did not 'trade' information about a fellow Possie with Jadis, and for the last time, Jadis is not my girlfriend!" Ayla growled.
"Does Addy know you're two-timing her?" Nikki interjected, waggling her eyebrows suggestively.
"Jadis is a friend, who happens to be a girl. She is not my girlfriend!" Ayla repeated, the forced calmness in his voice as plain as the cute nose on his face.
"No, she's just someone you like to exchange continental 'hellos' with," Toni smirked.
"One might even say, Parisian style hellos," Nikki murmured wickedly.
Ayla glared at Nikki and Toni. "I only kissed Jadis once, and that was on her cheek!" Ayla defended himself.
"And we all know how that turned out," Billie murmured,
- In World Of Wishes, there's a ziggzagged example in Mermaid Wishes. Maddie calls Sebastian her boyfriend to shut up Jessica Coatsworth and her cronies when they tease her for not having one. She later admits to her best friend Lucy that Sebastian isn't really her boyfriend, but more of a "special kind of close friend."
- In Wuthering Heights Mr. Lockwood mistakes Catherine (II) for his wife instead of his daughter-in-law, which Heathcliff finds amusing. Mr. Lockwood then states she must be Hareton's wife, which causes Hareton to blush and be far less amused.
- Zero Sight: Dieter, when asked by Jules (Betty) if he and Rei (Veronica) had sex in front of the fireplace in Rei's cabin, denies it vehemently - much to the dismay of the rest of the students in the cafeteria, who had been eavesdropping.
She Is Not My Girlfriend / Literature