Hide Your Lesbians

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Sailor Moon's greatest battle: Moral Guardians vs. Fridge Logic.

The main character and her boyfriend share their First Kiss onscreen and, from then on, we are treated to a pile of onscreen mushy goodness (if we're lucky). The main character's best friend and the boy that was after her get together amidst cheers and blushing. But wait, weren't they hinting at another couple? Oh, the Schoolgirl Lesbians? Forget ever giving them a resolution—at least onscreen. Heck, the plot won't even say that there is a relationship; so that technically, anyone arguing that there isn't one is not wrong. They may live together, they may never get with someone else, they may sleep in the same bed; but they will not say that they are a couple "that way."

It's called "the love that dare not speak its name" for a reason.

Canon homosexuality, except in the genres that call for it, is rare and sometimes restricted to subtext—no outward shows of affection onscreen except for that which could be interpreted as just friends if you squint hard enough.

This trope isn't quite as prevalent in this day and age, as people , though are generally more open minded and tolerant there are still plenty of cases where this trope is in effect.

Happens most often in series aimed at kids or teenagers—and as the name shows, most often to female characters. One of the reasons for that is an arcane Forgotten Trope of The Fifties: the idea that lesbianism was a form of Asexuality. It was believed at the time that the average lesbian wasn't actually attracted to women but was instead irrationally afraid of men (and therefore sex in general, because if there isn't a penis involved it isn't sex), usually because she had been hurt by a "bad guy". She chose women only because she still required emotional fulfillment, which at the time was thought to be the only thing women wanted out of sex. This trope (and its much darker companion, the idea that a lesbian could be turned straight by a "good guy", even if he has to rape her) has been largely forgotten, but echoes still reverberate in many areas.

Minion Shipping is generally immune, as villains can do (almost) whatever they want without being called out on it.

Part of the reason that yaoi fangirls are so well-known for their rabid tendencies to pair up any two guys who interact with each other; most canon couples are reduced to subtext as is, so why not take it to the logical extreme?

Do not confuse with But Not Too Gay; that trope is for when there is a confirmed homosexual relationship in the work, but the physical contact between the partners is much more G-rated than the heterosexual couples. This trope is for when there is a homosexual couple in the work that is never explicitly confirmed as either gay or a couple.

Compare and contrast No Hugging, No Kissing, Will They or Won't They?, Ship Tease, Bait and Switch Lesbians, Have You Tried Not Being a Monster?, Ambiguously Gay, But Not Too Bi and Relationship Reveal. See also Bury Your Gays. Contrast Everyone Is Bi, Token Lesbian (when there's only one lesbian in the cast), Token Lesbian Couple (when there's only two lesbians in an otherwise all-gay cast, and they're paired off), and Cast Full of Gay. Extremely contrast Girl-On-Girl Is Hot (when the characters are old enough to make out).

Examples of Hide Your Lesbians include:

Anime and Manga

  • Pictured: Uranus and Neptune are heavily, heavily implied to be lovers in Sailor Moon, without the word lesbian being brought up and nothing gets graphic (Word of God actually confirmed this on occasion, though. Apparently, strong emotional bonds like friendship can become deep enough to evolve into love, regardless of gender. Considering the two are True Companions ...). The English dub reworked the two to be cousins, which probably could have worked, if they did not keep all the subtext. They did more or less imply that Uranus had a crush on Mamoru/Darien.
    • In the French version, Uranus disguises herself as a boy to protect their identity, and Neptune only pretends to be "his" girlfriend to help. This predates the English dub. Though in the French dub of the anime, the voice indicated that she WAS a man in her civilian form. In the love contest episode, it was implied that Uranus posed as a boy. Mercury told that sometimes she wonders whether Uranus was a boy; ridiculous reactions from the others followed (because in the original version, Mercury wondered whether the two girls were lovers).
    • In the Italian and Polish dub, they were simply "close friends".
    • What takes the cake was the Hungarian dub, which explained that Uranus WAS a man in civilian form. The Russian dub did this as well (though only in the fifth season: the third, dubbed by a different company, kept Haruka female with much of the subtext left intact).
    • The anime itself on two separate occasions. In their first formal appearance, Michuru denies being lovers (surprisingly, the line was changed in the dub to being Michelle's "prince"). In the following episode, they drop out of a love contest so that Umino/Melvin and Naru/Molly could win, saying that someone in love deserved to win, implying that they're not in love. It is also stated that Haruka is shy about talking about romance in public, indicating all of her flirts are insincere. On the other hand, given their backstory, it is possible that the two are interpreting their relationship as something more than mere immature "love" (even the dubbed version used the term "bonds of destiny" for one title).
      • There's also lines going in the OTHER direction and imply it very strongly such as Haruka saying "I don't listen to talk like that outside of bed" or helping Michiru with her zipper. Also Haruka blatantly flirts with a Maid during the SuperS special until Michiru returns and interrupts, acting jealous. So sometimes they hide it, sometimes they don't...
      • Then there's the scene from the third Non-Serial Movie, where Neptune remarks that being an adult allows for more "fun", causing Uranus to blush and cough to hide embarrasment.
      • The second case was Usagi/Serena and Seiya. The anime changed Seiya from a crossdressing lesbian to an actual boy, in civilian form, to make their relationship heterosexual. This was done to avoid controversy caused by Uranus and Neptune.
  • In Tokyo Mew Mew, Minto was actually allowed to give a love confession to her Onee-Sama Zakuro, but they were fighting at the time, and Zakuro never gives her answer onscreen. Compare to fellow minor teammate Retasu, who was allowed to carry out a long and involved Ship Tease Love Triangle with two males, one of whom she actually kissed.
    • It should be noted, however, that the wording used by Minto in the anime is more ambiguous than the way Ichigo and Masaya confess their love to each other, which gives Minto's line a possibility to be taken in a more or less neutral "I pledge my loyalty" sense. Although the anime itself is greatly bowdlerised in that aspect—in the manga Minto's crush on Zakuro is increasingly more blatant and hardly allows for interpretations outside of the Schoolgirl Lesbians concept.
  • As Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch shows, Minion Shipping isn't totally immune. Mimi and Sheshe's almost-kiss was cut from broadcast, while the main girls kiss their boyfriends all the time. If you take their group name literally, it could be Hide Your Incest too, but it's also quite plausible that they're not actually sisters and the name comes from either the Onee-Sama tradition or their shared origin—either way, it's pretty badly hidden, all right.
    • A third theory is that they really were sisters, but were putting on an act (t.a.T.u., anyone?). Still, the censorship puts them here anyway.
  • Naruto has a male example of this with Starter Villains Zabuza and Haku. Although it is never truly explained what their relationship was, it was heavily hinted that there was more than just mentor/student feelings between them, especially when you consider Haku's absolute devotion and Zabuza's parting words at the end.
    • Justified in that Zabuza wasn't the type to admit romantic feelings, regardless of gender, and Haku would have kept it secret so as not to cause problems for Zabuza.
  • Azumanga Daioh had, already from its initial run, a fair amount of Les Yay revolving around Kaorin's obsession with the not really Tall, Dark and Bishoujo, Sakaki... Then, in the newly-released 10th anniversary manga, this situation arose... However, since the series, being the kind of series it was, ended when the main characters graduated, and without any (of the few existing) relationships resolved or expanded upon to boot, it's up to the readers to decide what happened after that.
  • An odd example occurs in the manga Mugen Densetsu Takamagahara: Dream Saga. In one world, Nachi is female in mind and body, while in another, she is transgender. Her romantic subplots with Takaomi and Souta, both of whom are male, are almost exclusively given attention in Takamagahara, i.e. when Nachi looks female; in Nakatsukuni, it's reduced to Even the Guys Want Him gags.
  • Nanoha and Fate from the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha franchise likely have something more going on than just a romantically tinged friendship. At least, they share a bed and even adopt a child together. If that is indeed the case, they keep very quiet about it, since they don't do more in public than exchange glances. Of course, in the real world there are also people who don't like to spill the beans about their (homosexual) relationships either, so then it would be a case of Truth in Television.
    • This is particularly odd in that, in contrast, we get to see Subaru wake Tea up by groping her breasts and go on what look like dates. If any of the characters in the series have any romantic connection at all, they tend to be pretty jaded and/or secretive about it.
    • By ViVid this has gotten strange. Yuuno is no longer in the picture, and, for the last 4 years, Vivio has considered Fate as her other mother. Nanoha and Fate still live with each other when Fate isn't on a mission that takes her to other worlds; they still refer to each other as "best friends", but are referred to collectively as "The Takamachi Family." (They own a minivan.) The writers are taking it to the molecule-length of the line.Before Vivid, Yuuno was explicitly mentioned as an important part of said Takamachi Family (latest official Love Chart no less).
    • With the Seiyuus and Tsuzuki joked about this no less...
    • Although it's not just Nanoha and Fate- aside from Chrono and Amy, who never actually appear together after the scene that reveals they got married, none of the relationships are confirmed to be more than friendship, regardless of the genders involved, so this could be attributed to No Hugging, No Kissing.
  • Mariasama ga Miteru excels at setting up beautiful, romantic relationships between female characters that never quite make the leap into text.
  • Alicia and Akari from Aria get ever closer and closer during the course of the series, culminating in the highly romantic Arietta OVA, only to have things blow up when Alicia announces to get married--and not to Akari, of course. This leads to exactly one short scene in which a seemingly heartbroken Akari gets comforted by Alicia—and that's that. Then again, she might still be marrying another woman... like her former mentor, "Grandma" Akino, the only one seen constantly with Alicia in the end of the series.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura. "Ummm... this show you wanted us to dub? There might be a problem..."
    • Not really a case of Hide Your Lesbians...the gay relationships/romances were blatant and out in the open in the manga and the original anime. More a case of "Dubbers are gutless morons"...is there a Trope for that?
  • Noir, which did in fact contain an explicit lesbian attraction, which ended badly for one party, but the relationship between the leads is just ambiguous enough at the end that it could go either way.
  • Kurogane and Fai from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle are probably an official couple. But of course, the Sadistic Lady Mangaka being who they are, and the fact that Tsubasa is a shonen manga, we never found out for sure.
  • Averted in My-HiME where Shizuru is bluntly confronted with and then openly confesses her poorly hid attraction for Natsuki. After this she happily butchers her way through a long list of people she considers to be standing in the way of their love.
    • Played straight in Mai-Otome, where about 90% of the titular otomes are strongly insinuated to be in lesbian relationships, but we never so much as see any handholding (except for one lesbian rape scene). But then, the series is pretty fanservice-heavy, so maybe the creators were trying to tone that down a little.
      • In the sound dramas, Yukino tells Nao that while she is quite good at finding out information as president of Aries (including that Nao is leader of the Stripes gang), and has been friends with Natsuki and Shizuru for a long time, she still doesn't quite know the true nature of their relationship, although the scene in the spa seems to indicate that Natsuki and Shizuru are in a romantic relationship. Perhaps some hiding goes on in-universe.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh GX: Averted in the third season, where two separate people (three, if you count Sho ranting about Johan in the previews) assume Juudai may have an interest in guys, to the point where Yubel possesses Johan in an attempt to make Juudai surrender to her. The actual 'ship that's most hinted never happens, but Juudai ends up with someone who's half-male anyway. There really isn't any smoke without fire in this case.
    • Special mention goes to an absolutely trope-smashing line from O'Brien in Episode 139: "Jim, was there . . . anything between you and Juudai?"
    • And another from Yubel, talking to Juudai about Johan, in Episode 154: "You truly prefer that boy over me? Even the love you gave me is his now?"
  • Sandra and Greta from Drama Con are never said to be a couple, but they certainly act like it: holding hands, sharing a bed, dancing together, etc. Greta even calls Sandra "love" at one point.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima, Setsuna and Konoka are heavily, heavily implied to be lesbians, but it is never stated outright. In the Where Are They Now? Epilogue, it's mentioned that Setsuna got married in 2017, though it doesn't mention to who. Konoka also got married in 2017.
    • and they're wearing very obvious wedding outfits. And Setsuna is carrying Konoka. Bridal style. A very, VERY happy looking Konoka...
  • In Magical Pokémon Journey a Squirtle has a crush on a male human, Almond. The English translators tried to censor it but the Ho Yay was still there. There's also Charmander who is implied to have a crush on Eevee, but it's never very explicit.

Comic Books

  • Harley and Ivy, from the comic of same name. Harley especially is very enthusiastically cuddly, and Ivy seems to basically be her fallback from the (more) abusive relationship Harley had with the Joker. When Batgirl discreetly asks if they're...you know, Harley responds "What, like what people say about you and Supergirl?". The matter is quickly dropped. They're about as "subtextual" as Buffy's Willow and Tara and confirmed by the writer, but within the comics and show you'll never see anything concrete between them.
    • In one scene it did look like Ivy was going to kiss Harley, only to be interrupted by angry Ambiguously Gay characters.
    • Made (sorta) canon in the final Gotham City Sirens storyline. Harley taunts Ivy by telling her that she's always known that she only hates the Joker because she's secretly in love with Harley herself, and the following issue has Ivy admitting that she does indeed have feelings for her.
  • Often fanfic'ed, rarely mentioned today: Danielle Moonstar and Rahne Sinclair of the original New Mutants (198x to present). No resolution after more than twenty years of dancing around the subject. It could be dismissed as a school crush, or shipping, but these two were in each other's heads, by empathic link. Two bodies, one mind. At least when a halfway competent writer was writing them.
  • Mystique and Destiny in the X-Men comics. Word of God said theirs was a lesbian relationship, but there was no definitive confirmation in the comics until after Destiny had died, and even then the confirmation was very subtle (a character refers to Destiny as Mystique's "leman"—an archaic term for "lover").
  • This is the whole reason why so many people like to deny the Word of Gay about Rotor in the Archie Sonic the Hedgehog comics; according to the writer, the relationship between Rotor and Cobar (his significant other in the story that featured it) was made subtle for a reason (alternately to avoid any Fan Backlash and to get people used to the idea of a gay Sonic character), but proved to be too subtle for most readers to catch on. The fact that it was introduced in a Twenty Minutes Into the Future storyline that has since been discredited doesn't help matters, any.
  • The first run of Alien vs. Predator comics had Jame Roth and her wife Cathie. In the novel Alien vs. Predator: Prey, Jame is one of the eye level characters: the story is frequently from her point of view to the point where she could be called an outright main character. The fact that she's married to a women is stated outright but never brought up as an issue and the pair are often overtly affectionate (and are among the few characters to survive to the end). In the comic version, both of them are shunted off into being side characters and most of their affectionate moments are cut out, to the point where you could be forgiven for thinking they're simply good friends.


  • The film Bend It Like Beckham. The het romance seems very tacked-on compared to the chemistry between the leads; it was originally written as a lesbian story (look at the title!), but was changed based on the assumption that (1) it would narrow the appeal, and (2) it would perpetuate the stereotype that sporty girls are all lesbians.
  • In the movie adaptation of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, the lesbian relationship between the two main characters (the ladies in the story, not Kathy Bates and Jessica Tandy) was toned down to being only heavily implied rather so the film could be marketed to a more mainstream audience, a decision which led to lively criticism upon its release.
  • The original movie adaptation of The Children's Hour wrote out the lesbian plot, and replaced it with a Heterosexual one.
  • When the Italian Horror Anthology Film I Tre volti della paura was dubbed into English as Black Sabbath,[1] the segment "The Telephone" got this treatment: in the original version it was a plot point that Rosy and Mary were lovers, whereas in the English-dubbed version, they were apparently just close friends. To save it from any Dub-Induced Plot Holes (and possibly also to make it fit in more with the other segments), the ending was also significantly changed to involve the supernatural.


  • Arguably, Monstrous Regiment; it's very heavily implied that Lofty and Tonker are romantically linked, and someone who's seen through the Sweet Polly Oliver disguise of one and not the other calls them a couple, but after they're both established as female it's talked around quite a bit. In this case it might be cultural, since it's just not something that occurs to them in their society. They advise the others not to think too hard about it.
  • The Wheel of Time has what are euphemistically known as "pillow friends", lesbian relationships that usually arise out of Situational Sexuality, like with the isolated trainees of the White Tower. For most of the Tower's instances, the relationship dissolves about the time they become full Aes Sedai. Moiraine and Siuan, for instance, had such a relationship in the prequel, only to distance themselves and in later books become involved with men.
    • The issue of "pillow friends" is complicated by the fact that the same term can denote either the aforementioned relationships, or just mean "close friends". The ambiguity is probably deliberate in-setting and apparent from context, but fans get ideas...
    • Though there are obvious lesbians in the book series. In particular Elaida, Galina, and Thereva are clearly into women, and two of the Forsaken are also bisexual.
    • Also, the books are not that detailed about anything sexual, even when it is totally appropriate for the circumstance (Nynaeve and Lan after they are married). All things sexual do exist in the universe, the writer just doesn't focus on them, which is a good thing, otherwise the series becomes a sexual fest of whatever is on the writer's mind (see: Terry Goodkind).
  • Speaking of Terry Goodkind, the Mord-sith have significant numbers of lesbian relationships, but the only one between two named characters had one of them die in the next book after she was introduced. The surviving member of that pair is implied to have started up a new relationship with another named Mord-Sith in the last book.
  • While romance is a large focus for almost all of the characters in The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot, a romance between two girls is only hinted at and could be easily ignored. That is, until Volume X: Forever Princess, when it's stated outright that the girls' dates are only to hide the truth from their parents.
  • Tavore Parran and T'amber in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. Even Lampshaded by one character who wonders why they bother hiding it, as the Malazan culture has no taboo against same-sex love. Turns out that they weren't hiding their relationship, but the fact that T'amber was giving Tavore (the commander of the Malazan army) swordsmanship lessons.
  • Averted pretty hard in The Sirantha Jax Series: Dina, local ship mechanic is openly practicing lesbian, makes no bones about it, and other characters take it as normative. Even the main character, Sirantha herself, playfully flirts with Dina, but without any intent behind it (maaaybe).
  • In Stephen King's Under the Dome, the lesbian relationship between Dodie Sanders and Sammy Bushey is referred to in conversation and in Dodie's thoughts as "you-know" and as "kid stuff" that they should have grown out of by now. Sammy has been married and has a baby, but it's also implied that many people in town know she has inclinations towards the other team; Dodie mentally equates her lesbian experiences with other immature and possibly immoral things she has a weakness for, such as smoking weed. The whole relationship is quickly obscured when Dodie is killed very early on. Sammy later kills herself, which could make this a case of Bury Your Gays if almost everyone in the town didn't also eventually die.
  • Tamora Pierce plays this trope straight and subverts it in two of her linked series, as well as nodding to it in some of her Tortall universe books. In The Circle of Magic series, the relationship between Rosethorn and Lark is apparently present the entire time, though completely invisible apart from a hint in the fourth book unless you know what you're looking for. (They even sleep in separate rooms.) However, in The Will of the Empress, it is stated as fact, after Daja realises that she is in fact a lesbian herself. For the Tortall Universe, it is mentioned in the Kel books that homosexuality is frowned on in Tortall, though it is mentioned as being tolerated perfectly well elsewhere.
  • Definitively and deliberately averted in much of Ursula K. Le Guin's sci-fi, with such lesbian couples as Sutty and Pao from The Telling, Shahes and Enno from Mountain Ways and Azak and Zer from The Matter of Seggri.
  • Played straight in Ovid's The Metamorphoses with Ifis and Ianthe: despite loving each other deeply, Ifis has to be turned into a boy via Deus Ex Machina in order to happily marry her.
    • Also note that the "Hide Your Lesbians" attitude was very common back then.
  • Surprisingly averted in Iamblichus' Babyloniaca. One of the many characters is the Egyptian Princess Berenice, who's described (in a slightly negative light) as a promiscuous lesbian who manage to sleep with the beautiful Mesopotamia. In the end, however, it's revealed that not only Berenice was crowned queen of Egypt, but that she probably took Mesopotamia as her bride.
  • Played with in a Judge Knott book (murder mystery series). One lesbian couple in the small southern town the series takes place in remain very deeply closeted and it's a significant plot point in the book.
  • The Agatha Christie novel A Murder Is Announced, features two unmarried, middle-aged women, Miss Hinchliffe and Miss Murgatroyd. They live together, Miss Hinchliffe looks and acts like a man and dislikes men, and she's devastated when Murgatroyd is killed. The exact nature of their relationship, however, is not specified, and since Christie held rather old-fashioned views, it's possible that the subtext isn't even intentional. Since there were certainly Real Life arrangements like this in a Genteel Interbellum Setting, it's even possible she based them on a genuine lesbian couple without realising that was the relationship.
  • Renly Baratheon and Loras Tyrell in A Song of Ice and Fire have a homosexual relationship that is only hinted at in the books. Word of Gay says they had a sexual relationship.
  • Used to interesting effect in Hannu Rajaniemi's The Quantum Thief. The very first chapter establishes that Mieli is lesbian, and that her entire motivation for serving the Sobornost is to reunite with her lover and soulmate Sydän. However, it never comes up for the rest of the novel, since she isn't the book's main focus character and isn't prone to revealing her motives easily. Considering how important Sydän is made to be in the first chapter it can be assumed that she will play a greater part in a later part of the trilogy.
  • (Jill) Banford and (Ellen) March in D.H. Lawrence's novella "The Fox", though any Literature teacher would tell you otherwise.

Live-Action TV

  • In Babylon 5, there were definite, though plausibly deniable, indications that Susan Ivanova and Talia Winters were bisexual and involved with each other. The clearest one was a scene in "Divided Loyalties", where Talia, staying in Ivanova's quarters, reaches across the bed and is surprised to find the other side empty. The Word of God on the subject is that this relationship would have been more thoroughly developed if there had been more time before Andrea Thompson left the series.
    • Ivanova more or less confirms this herself in "Ceremonies of Light and Dark"

Ivanova (confessing as part of Delenn's Rebirth Ceremony): "I think I -- loved -- Talia"

  • In the new Battlestar Galactica, Admiral Cain and Gina at one point share a quick kiss. Compare this to practically any heterosexual relationship in the series, which at times seems determined to blur the line between space opera and soft porn.
    • Cries of this also went up when Gaeta and Hoshi shared a kiss... in a series of webisodes that never aired on TV. After that, their sexuality and their relationship are never mentioned again, even after Gaeta flips out, stages a mutiny, and is executed when it fails. In fairness, the webisodes were made after those mutiny episodes despite being set and aired before them, and it was originally going to be Narcho (also a man), not Hoshi, that was Gaeta's lover. Actor availability struck again.
  • Regarding Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which admittedly did break ground with its inclusion of the lesbian couple Willow and Tara, there is an unconfirmed rumor that Faith was originally going to kiss Buffy on the lips in "Enemies", but the network changed it to a more ambiguous forehead-kiss.
    • The trope is pretty much played straight anyway. Buffy and Angel/Riley have plenty of loud make-outs and (in Riley's case) simulated sex on screen, but Tara and Willow had their first kiss after one and a half seasons.
    • This was due to the network wanting them to Get Back in the Closet. They didn't want Willow and Tara to kiss on screen, and after much begging and badgering they let Whedon show a kiss only if the scene complied with a ridiculous amount of restrictions (if memory serves right, it had to be short and not in a public place but not even remotely near a bed either, among several other things). When the show switched networks the couple became a lot more touchy-feely.
  • Stargate Atlantis writer Joe Mallozzi has announced that Alicia Vega, a minor recurring character in season five, was gay. However, in true hiding fashion, the scene meant to imply this fact (Her asking Dr. Jennifer Keller on a date) was cut from her introductory episode, along with all her other scenes meant to set her up as a character of importance. So, not only did they remove the oblique reference to her sexuality, but all the other scenes she was in, and then killed her off in her next appearance to make sure they never managed to squeeze it in later. He also stated that he thinks of one of the male recurring characters as gay, but he will not say who. Still, we don't want whoever that is ending up dead too.
    • But notably averted with Stargate Universe in which the strain of Wray's isolation from her lover is a significant recurring element.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess features one of the best known and longest running examples of this trope in the implied relationship between Xena and Gabrielle. Though the subtext becomes more and more explicit throughout the series, particularly during the final season, they're never officially confirmed to be anything more than Heterosexual Life Partners, and both characters are seen engaged in serious relationships (in one case, even a short-lived marriage) with male characters at various points throughout the series.
    • One episode set in the modern day, with the Xena tv show existing had Xena reincarnated in one of Joxer's identical descendants, marrying Xena reincarnated in one of Gabrielle's identical descendants. Their friend was Joxer reincarnated in one of Xena's identical descendants. Then a later episode showed Ares appearing to switch them back into the bodies that look like they used to look, with the result being that Gabrielle and Xena were alive in the modern era and were about to get married as wife and wife. And they were cloned, with heavy implications that their modern day clones were a couple. And they met up as a completely separate reincarnation in the 1940's which ended up with the pretty explicit implication that Xena, reincarnated in her identical ancestor, and Gabrielle, reincarnated in her identical ancestor, would become life partners, though at the time same sex marriage was illegal.
    • In You Are There, a camera crew spends the entire time harassing Xena and Gabrielle about whether or not they're sleeping together. The trope is practically lamp-shaded in the final scene, when they force Xena to sit down and actually answer the question and then their camera's battery dies just as she starts to spit it out...
  • Heroes season 4 provided the merest teasing of a lesbian relationship between Claire and her room mate, when she reveals that she isn't stalking her but actually has a crush on her. Beyond a brief kiss and some gooey eyes, there's no follow up and promptly she's Put on a Bus scant episodes later. She's now been brought back, with, er, some holding hands.
    • Claire and Gretchen are pretty much a couple as of the end of the season.
  • Law and Order Special Victims Unit is notorious for the relationship between Hello, Attorney! Alex Cabot and Action Girl Olivia Benson - while they both acted as if they were in love with each other ("Loss" being a particularly obvious example), there was never any confirmation that they were together. The producers figured this out and decided to roll with it, and have been including Ship Tease scenes on purpose since about Season Three. Even Stephanie March has said that it is as likely that they have been quietly in love all these years as not. Not bad for a Law and Order.
    • Of course, there's more sexual tension between Benson and Stabler (and her teammates have little problem acknowledging it). Still, by Season 12, Olivia Benson is either being called gay slurs, hit on by lesbians, or asking people if they think she's gay once an episode. She's most likely bisexual.
  • On The West Wing, none of the main characters is gay, but it's hinted in a sixth season episode that Margaret, Leo's assistant, might be into ladies. In the episode a string of men find laughable excuses to stop by an office to stare at a beauty pageant winner, and so does Margaret.
  • Betty and Kate in Series/Bomb Girls until the final episode of Season 1. Justified in that being an out lesbian in the 1940's was nigh-unheard-of and the creators wanted to take the relationship slowly.


  • Elphaba and Glinda in The Musical version of Wicked. The original book by Maguire shows the two of them sharing a bittersweet goodbye kiss and oodles of sexual tension. The musical has... a hug.
    • Word of Gay in both the musical and book continuities though. Also some of the actresses have improvised and added a kiss.
      • On the other hand, the book included several people having sex with a tiger, so it's not just lesbian subtext that was edited out.
  • Rent had Maureen and Joanne, who subverted this trope during "La Vie Boheme" to the bankers.

Banker: *cough* Sisters?
Mauren/Joanne: (making out on a table) We're close!

    • Considering their drastically different appearances (especially in the original cast), it was Blatant Lies even before the making out!
  • Pygmalion / My Fair Lady: Higgins and Pickering.

Video Games

  • In Harvest Moon DS (girl version), instead of marrying a male character you can do the dating events with the girls to increase your "best friend meter" with them. When it gets high enough the proposal item becomes available, at which point you can have a "best friend ceremony" with them. After this it's no longer possible to have a relationship or marry a male character, and you can even adopt a child together, but you are still only "best friends".
    • The American version seems to have the Blue Feather event disabled, so you can do everything up to the ceremony.[2]
  • Belaya and Juhani in Knights of the Old Republic. If you play a male Light Side character, the closest thing to a hint that they're even friends is Belaya's relieved reaction when you convince Juhani to return to the order. If you kill Juhani, on the other hand, Belaya talks about how close they were, before leaving the Jedi, joining the Sith, and attacking you when you go to Korriban. Add to that the fact that Juhani's a Love Interest for female characters only...
    • In the unpatched version of the game male characters could also get in a relationship with Juhani, creating a bit of confusion when the patch made it impossible. Some people began complaining about the "bug."
    • And the fact that her romance consists of five or six lines of dialogue, and that it is completely ignored in all possible 1st-game outcomes setting up the second game.
    • According to developer interviews, they had intended Juhani to be a more prominent party member and fully fledged romance for a female PC, but LucasArts blew a gasket at the idea of a lesbian Jedi, and only allowed Juhani in with almost all of her content cut.
    • The relationship is incredibly blatant in the Dummied Out dialog. Juhani actually says that she loved Belaya. Note that Juhani is the one party member from the first game to never be mentioned or referenced in the second game
  • Lillet and Amoretta in Grim Grimoire, Lillet turns down the closest thing to a male love interest, announces her love of Amoretta and lives with her in the end. But they don't technically "do" anything. (Mind you, Lillet is about ten and Amoretta is technically an infant.)
  • Fire Emblem has Heather. In the Japanese version she explicitly says that she joined the army to "meet pretty girls". Oddly, in the localizations, where that line is taken out, she is still flirty.
    • It is still fairly explicit in the English localization at least, where she has to be recruited by the Shrinking Violet Nephenee, and seems to join your side specifically based on how attractive she finds Nephenee. She stays with your army under her fangirlish obsession with Queen Elincia, reviled at the fact that a man might take her crown from her.
    • Lyn and Florina can get really REALLY close, but it's never said straight out that they're a couple. Le sigh.
    • The Ho Yay between Ike and Soren is so thick, it could survive a nuclear Holocaust. What? Of course they're "just friends". Just friends our ass'.
  • Regarding the relationship between Fang and Vanille in Final Fantasy XIII, the term "hiding" doesn't really apply. Even people who are not convinced that they are a couple agree that Square Enix definitely tried very hard to make it appear that way. (The creators did say they were a couple - just not in-game.) And there remains an unusually large number of people who are vehemently opposed to interpreting them as a couple and continue to shout "They're like sisters!"
  • The relationship between Shion and KOS-MOS in Xenosaga isn't ever made explicit but the game basically beats you over the head with subtext to the point that they might as well have.
  • The relationship between Nel and Claire in Star Ocean Till The End of Time comes off quite like this, in addition to the care and concern they have for each other one of Nel's level up quotes is "I did it Claire". In addition in one of the endings the suggestion is made by Claire's father to one of the male characters that they should marry Claire. Claire promptly drops the tray of tea she had been carrying and goes off on her father for even suggesting it.
  • Averted in the first MassEffect game—Female Shepard and Liara get the same amount of screentime as male Shepard and Liara. While you can argue that Liara doesn't get as much coverage as the human love interests, you do recruit her several hours into the game, whereas Ashley and Kaidan join you within a half hour.
  • Played straight in Mass Effect 2. The sole same-sex romance option, Kelly Chambers, gets almost no development, no romance scene, and you do not gain the Paramour achievement for going through with it.
    • Also if you romanced Liara in Mass Effect 1, you can reromance her in Lair of the Shadow Broker and get a fairly explicit scene, at least by Mass Effect 2 standards—which is to say, there's actually kissing in it.
  • In Jade Empire, both Silk Fox and Sky can be romanced by a character of either gender. A heterosexual coupling will be sealed with a kiss, while the camera will cut away before the kiss with a homosexual pairing.
    • There is a fan-made patch that restores the same-sex kiss. Apparently the scripting is still there, it just has to be re-enabled.
  • Word of God has always had interesting things to say about the antagonists Gulcasa and Nessiah in Yggdra Union, claiming that Gulcasa trusts Nessiah more than anyone else and that the two are closer than anyone else in the Imperial Army. The issue is resolved in this particular game by never having them both onscreen at the same time, although Nessiah (a strict user of Keigo) is shown to be on first-name, no-suffix basis with Gulcasa regardless. Three years after Yggdra Union was released, Yggdra Unison came out, which allows everyone to interact with everyone—and even in Nessiah's route, where he's portrayed as a Villain Ball Magnet hated by almost the entire cast, nary a conversation between Gulcasa and Nessiah goes by without some form of playful flirting being exchanged. Blaze Union, in which Gulcasa is the protagonist, has their relationship finally graduate into But Not Too Gay and spents its quota of subtext on the metaphorical equivalent of Their First Time under extenuating and symbolic circumstances.
    • The same games have Zilva and Elena, whose relationship reads rather a lot like Star-Crossed Lovers. Blaze Union adds credence to the theory that there's something going on between them, implying that Zilva has come to view Elena as a Replacement Goldfish for another girl she once had a crush on, a character who dies in the canon route of that game.
  • Dragon Age averts this hard. In Origins, with a female Warden and Leliana (and Isabela in the Pearl, though that's more casual sex and less relationship). In Dragon Age II, a female Hawke can choose to enter a lesbian relationship with either Merrill or Isabela.
    • The male side of things averts it just as hard, with a male Warden being able to romance Zevran and Hawke being able to romance Anders or Fenris, with all the same emotianal depth as the straight variations of those romances.
  • Similar to Harvest Moon, Magicians Quest Mysterious Times Gay Option is referred to as "Becoming Best Friends" with someone. This is despite the fact that the game has an openly gay character, and its exactly the same as dating (Ho Yay and all).

Western Animation

  • Captain Maggie Sawyer was a recurring and supporting character in Superman: The Animated Series, and was originally part of Superman's extended supporting cast in the comics. She has been an open lesbian in the comic books since 1988, but in Superman: The Animated Series there was nary a mention of her sexuality. In Apokolips...Now!, where Maggie is hospitalized after an attack by Intergang, she is visited in the hospital by a woman who comforts her and holds her hand. However, this woman is never identified, nor is their relationship explained. The credits and DVD commentary reveal her as Toby Raines, Maggie's long-time partner in the comics, and the producers explain that her inclusion in the hospital scene was their way of acknowledging the relationship in the comics, which could never be spoken aloud in the series.
  • There is a retroactive hiding to be found in Batman: The Animated Series, parent-series to the above Superman series and starting point of the DCAU. Officer (Later Detective) Renee Montoya was a character created for the show and then added to the comic continuity; since her role in the series was a police officer who occasionally assists the Bat-characters in their crime-fighting, without delving into her history or personal life, there was nothing that dealt with her sexuality in any way. However, after B:TAS had ended she became a starring character in Gotham Central, where an award-winning story-arc involved her being outed to her friends, family and coworkers, with the revelation that she had been in the closet since she was fifteen; according to the writers this was not a Retcon, they were not "making her gay," but rather she had been gay the entire time and was just only now revealing it to the other characters (and the readers). This revelation means that she had been a self-aware gay woman for the entirety of her appearances in both the animated series and the comics, but had been keeping the secret from even her close friends and family for fear of their reaction.
    • In the show's bible, Montoya is described as becoming a cop after the death of her husband. Of course, this clearly didn't affect the show, as it was never mentioned. In that the bible was an early draft of the show's style and several other small aspects didn't make it to air, it may've been put in for the sake of characterization; giving her motivations and what kind of cop she would be.
    • Also, Harley and Ivy as stated above. Being that they would cause controversy and possibly have to cancel the show if they outright stated their romance, they put it in as much as they could.
  • Kitty and Bunny, from Courage the Cowardly Dog.
  1. Yes, that is where the band got their name
  2. It's removed entirely, curse them.