A standard response in the face of an accusation that two characters are more than Just Friends. Usually said with an exclamation point - or ten - at the end, with emphasis on the "NOT", maybe accompanied by smashing something.
"He is not my boyfriend!" is another version, albeit not as common, probably in a 65/35% ratio. There are also instances when the two accused say it simultaneously.
Is it true? Technically, yes. Hilarity, if not bloodshed, ensues, because:
- Nobody believes them anyway.
- The speaker and subject are long overdue for a Relationship Upgrade.
- The "not my __friend" was under the opposite impression.
A common inversion, especially in the second case, is when the speaker is asked about the not girlfriend/boyfriend in question, and they respond with the line, even though the accusation was never brought up in the first place. Cue satisfied smirk by the asker.
Especially common in shows and on channels ("Teen" Nick goes crazy with this) where kids and/or preteens are the main audience. Quite interesting, as more often than not, most kids probably aren't even ready for that kinda stuff yet, and therefore probably could use whatever interpretation comes their way. For some, the trope can be coupled with the fact that it allows for both a male and female protagonist in starring roles (thus reaching a wider audience) but is pretty much as far as the either the Media Watchdogs or writers will ever go in terms of illustrating romance and relationships in a series.
See also Relative Error, for when the pair involved are relatives of each other.
Compare/contrast with Stupid Sexy Friend, wherein deciding they should just be friends is contrasted with the thoughts of being more than friends one can't get rid of.
No real life examples, please; we'd be here all day.
- Lucy from Fairy Tail has to deal with this trope a number of times. People have mistakenly hooked her up with Natsu, Gray, Loki/Leo, and Ren from Blue Pegasus.
- Happy is the one of the most frequent offenders, declaring that Lucy and Loki are just the perfect couple.
- Mirajane did so in a manga side story, freaking Lucy out that Natsu was going to confess (he only needed her help hunting for buried treasure), and with Gray at the end of the story.
- This occurs with Elfman and Evergreen as well during the S-Class Trial Arc.
- When they were younger, Gray would constantly follow Erza around and challenge her to fights. His peers teased him for this and asked if the real reason was because he was in love with her. He got embarrassed and denied it.
- In the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, Ed calls Winry to get his automail repaired after a run-in with the homunculi and Brosh asks him if he's calling his girlfriend. Ed gets so incensed by this proposition that his yelling reopens his wounds.
- Also, in the anime, after Edward passes the state alchemy exam and writes to Winry to tell her so, Nina says that "Winry is a pretty name" and asks if she is his girlfriend, at which point, he has flips out to a comparable degree of his height Berserk Button.
- And then, in the manga, Ed's spectacular Spit Take at Hawkeye's suggestion that he loves Winry nearly drowns poor Hayate.
- Winry insists to Rose that Ed is her childhood friend, despite the fact that she has already admitted to herself that she is in love with him.
- In the end, they are together and with kids.
- Inuyasha has Inuyasha calling Kagome "shard detector" in early chapters/episodes to deny any relationship with the reincarnation of his old girlfriend. She resents it every time, at first because she's a person, not just a detector, and later because of the Belligerent Sexual Tension between them. The most famous instance of this is probably Miroku's entry episode (episode 16, "Mystical Hand of the Amorous Monk, Miroku!") near the end, where he denies a relationship... with Luminescent Blush and stuttering. And it is hilarious.
- Setsuna from Mahou Sensei Negima is always saying this regarding her relationship with Konoka, especially after their impromptu Not a Date in the manga. Everyone else just smiles.
- The standard response for Naru concerning Keitaro in Love Hina, only she goes further by rattling off his bad qualities defensively.
- Naru even does this once by reflex after they're engaged.
- Most of the romantic comedy in .hack//Legend of the Twilight revolves around Shugo's and Rena's attraction to each other—and their efforts to deny it—in the first half of the series (they stop being embarrassed about in the second half).
- The reason they deny it is because they're brother and sister.
- The simultaneous version appears in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Asuka starts chewing out Shinji for not bringing their lunches, while he tries to get his side in. Toji tosses off a remark that they're arguing Like an Old Married Couple. Cue double Luminescent Blush (they HAD kissed not many days earlier), then simultaneous denial in perfect stereo. Sadly, this being Evangelion, it doesn't go anywhere
- To be possibly remedied in one of the many, MANY offshoots.
- A similar version is executed in RahXephon with Ayato and Meg, the Shinji-Asuka equivalents of the show, down to the simultaneous blushing shout. In this case however, their statement is true: Meg does have a crush on Ayato but he's interested in Haruka.
- The scene is also executed in Rebuild of Evangelion where it does hold some truth: Asuka has a typical tsundere crush on Shinji but he's shown to have feeling for Rei, feelings which Rei returns.
- The title character from Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water obviously has feelings for Jean, but she declares otherwise to both Grandis and Marie when both call her out about it. (Naturally, since she has never known anything about love before, she does not know how to acknowledge it or express herself.)
- Suzumiya Haruhi: A large portion of their fellow students assume that Haruhi and Kyon are dating; Kyon's friend Taniguchi in particular is completely convinced of this, no matter how often Kyon says otherwise. Also, after Kyon and Nagato finally defeat Ryoko the Girl with Psycho Weapon, Taniguchi finds Nagato lying against Kyon while holding onto his arms, and now Taniguchi firmly believes that Kyon had sex with Nagato in the classroom... Kyon's heated (for him) over-explanation doesn't help. His friend points out that for both Kyon and Nagato to show that much emotion over anything is very suspicious. Which is absolutely correct.
- After Haruhi and Yuki, there is an inverted case in the 7th novel with Mikuru and Kyon. Kyon is asked if Mikuru is his girlfriend by some (apparently) random guy. Kyon actually replies that she is his girlfriend, to make the situation not any more awkward.
- Kyon seems to have a knack for this trope. The 9th novel mentions that people apparently thought his strange friendship with Sasaki meant that she was his girlfriend.
- Chiaki from Nodame Cantabile keeps denying vehemently that Nodame is his girlfriend—even though he spends massive amounts of time with her, mostly at his own place. Things don't get any clearer when he decides to bring her to see his father, which does lead to a temporary break-up though.
- Not to mention hugging her a few times, kissing her a couple of times, asking her to come to Paris with him, letting her stay in his room when he's not around, letting her share a bed with him... the man is stubborn.
- Second episode of Digimon Savers, as Masaru and Yoshino are arguing:
Chika: Stop arguing Like an Old Married Couple.
- That being said, they don't end up romantically involved—which is probably a good thing as Masaru is way too young for her.
- But... wait, how many parents would let a 18-years young woman share a room with her 14-years old boy. If it's not an extreme case of Open-Minded Parent, it's a big Getting Crap Past the Radar Ship Tease instead.
- Souichi from The Tyrant Falls in Love reacts violently when, after having sex, Morinaga suggests that they are "lovers" and later on, "sex friends" (his response to the latter is punctuated by dumping hot coffee on Morinaga's head). All this leaves poor Morinaga wondering just what kind of relationship they do have.
- Pokémon did this a few times with Ash being mistaken for being Misty's boyfriend, especially in the second movie.
- Misty was also asked if Tracey was her boyfriend. Naturally, she denied it.
- Also, Drew and May invoked this trope as well, when Harley directly asked them if they were dating.
- And in one episode, a couple accused Ash and May of being a couple.
- Pokémon Special toys with this in the Emerald arc. We may never know if Ruby actually forgot, refuses to admit his feelings in public, or secretly likes the reaction, but his feigned amnesia in regards to his confession to Sapphire at the end of the R/S arc drives Sapphire up a wall so goddamn hard.
- Makoto and Sekai in School Days do this constantly, even after they start sleeping together
- Rina Touin from Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch starts out saying this about Masahiro Hamasaki, especially in the manga (his anime incarnation gets off a little lighter, mostly because he's introduced at about the same time as Nagisa and he and Hanon need all the help they can get).
- Ranma ½: Ranma and Akane repeatedly deny that they share romantic interest. In fact, whenever someone mentions them being fiancés, they immediately try to explain that it was their parents' choice, not their own choice.
- Sometimes, however, when some other man is after Akane, Ranma doesn't deny it. He actually brings it up and says that she's his fiancée. It's one of his Crazy Jealous Guy habits.
- Rumiko Takahashi seems to like this trope, as it appears in Maison Ikkoku and Inuyasha as well.
- Used twice in Naruto. First, with Kurenai-sensei and Asuma-sensei (turns out later they were dating and she's pregnant with his baby... too bad he's dead) and later with Shikamaru and Temari (turns out they weren't. Maybe.)
- At a time when Naruto and Sakura are on a date, someone says to Naruto, "Treating your girl?" To which he responds: "No, it's not like that." That's because it isn't like that. Maybe.
- Similarly, in a flashback, Sai asks Naruto if he likes Sakura, and he gives a typical reaction. He then responds to Sai's question of if she knows how he feels that he can't tell her how he feels as long as he hasn't kept his promise to bring Sasuke back.
- Variation in Axis Powers Hetalia; Sweden calls his partner Finland his wife, and so do fans. Finland denies it every time, partly because he's scared of Sweden.
- Another variation: Japan had sex with his close friend Greece (more exactly, Greece learns that Japan's sex life is rather "non active" and gives him a "private lesson" to help him) and is in denial about that too. "It was just a dream! A dream! A DREAAAAAAM!"
- And in another strip, while holding a practice conversation in Japanese with Greece, Greece asks him who "Nekojiro" [aka the pretend name Japan assumes for himself in that conversation] gets along with. Japan replies, "His friend, Nekokichi-san." Greece smiles and asks if he's "Nekokichi-san", which causes Japan to blush and stammer for a bit before replying with "No comment." Take from that what you will.
- And England gets it played straight in a certain drama CD when France calls an Anglo-American argument everyone was eavesdropping on a "lover's spat" which he of course denies.
- Switzerland would also like to remind you that he and Austria had never, ever, ever been Heterosexual Life Partners.
- Another variation: Japan had sex with his close friend Greece (more exactly, Greece learns that Japan's sex life is rather "non active" and gives him a "private lesson" to help him) and is in denial about that too. "It was just a dream! A dream! A DREAAAAAAM!"
- Bakugan Battle Brawlers gets a few of these. Dan and Runo have the majority of these, more commonly in season 1, but Julie recently gave the "He is not my boyfriend!" line regarding Billy. This prompted a response of, "Now she's breaking up with me!" from Billy, who had an obvious crush on Julie from the very beginning. This was all of about a minute before things changed.
- Bleach: Brushed off early in the manga when Rukia dragging Ichigo off to hunt hollows starts rumours flying around school. Ichigo's annoyed by the gossiping rather than shy and Rukia's oblivious until she's asked directly by Orihime's circle of friends whom she's joined for lunch. Although she does a Spit Take from the unexpected timing of the question, her thoughts are mostly centred on how human emotion (in a general sense) is hassle shinigami don't need and she's watching Tatsuki beating up Chizuru at the time. Word of God has stated Ichigo and Rukia have neither a platonic nor amorous as he's not interested in writing a romance story.
- The anime creates Filler Ship Tease whenever it can. It rewrote the Spit Take scene to include rainbows over her and Just Friends reactions. Filler characters such as Ririn question why they're standing as close as lovers and even Nel's first meeting with Renji and Rukia is rewritten to make her jealously question Rukia's relationship with Ichigo. As a result, the anime has more examples of this trope than the canon does.
- In "Memories of Nobody", Ichigo is forced to buy Senna a new ribbon after she accidentally steals one. The shopper keeper asks if it's a present for his girlfriend, triggering this trope.
- Camie the mermaid in One Piece does a variation of this trope when asked if she was Hachi's girlfriend, and her blushing and nervous reply neatly confirms her love for him, which had been strongly implied ever since his cover arc.
- Wanna see a funny face? Ask Eyeshield 21's Mamori if Hiruma is her boyfriend. Go on. You know you want to.
- And the scary thing? By the end of the series, she's practically using the Subordinate Excuse.
- Also Kotaro and Juri, who are childhood friends. In one of the character stats, it was mentioned that Kotaro has asked her out three times and for all three times, she didn't say yes or say no.
- And the scary thing? By the end of the series, she's practically using the Subordinate Excuse.
- Taiga and Ryuji of Toradora! are a shining example of this. Taiga goes on a massive parade of destruction upon finding out that the whole class was gossiping about them. It doesn't help that Taiga hangs out at Ryuji's house and he makes her Bentou every day, and they go to and from school together and they eat dinner together just about every day.
- Note that at that point it's actually true—they eventually do get together, at which point the rumors have pretty much run its course because it's fairly obvious to all onlookers.
- Nagisa and Tomoya from Clannad, before they went on and became the Official Couple.
- Interestingly, the denial was relatively minimal in this case. When directly confronted with the accusation that she and Tomoya might be dating, Nagisa hastily looked away with a nervous blush and replied with what basically boils down to, "May we talk about something else, please?"
- This is really only prevalent in the anime. In the Visual Novel, Nagisa and Tomoya are much more open about their relationship, although Tomoya still tries to hide it from Sunohara out of embarrassment (it doesn't work).
- Fudo Yusei of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's pulls this off after Aki's dad gets Yusei to help Aki after her duel with Misty. Martha jokes Yusei for crushing on Aki -- a fact that Yusei vehemently denies.
- Was used before in Duel Monsters, when Mai saw Yugi and Téa hanging out (before the Battle City is announced) and asks if they are dating (technically they kind of were on a date, but Téa still points vehemently that they're just friends).
- Said by Kousaka from Genshiken, in his usual flippant way. His "not girlfriend" tries to change this any way she can, with little success. This doesn't last very long (all of three chapters, in fact), as the Genre Savvy Genshiken tell him to just admit it. He does, and thereafter goes from denying it to just not making a big deal out of it.
- Gunslinger Girl. Said by Triela to Maria Machiavelli, when the latter hints that Triela is in love with her handler Hillshire. The usual awkwardness is absent as Triela makes it clear that even if she was in love, the fratello relationship doesn't work that way. At least it's not supposed to.
- DearS: In this case, Ren is not Kousaka's slave.
- Skip Beat! opens with Sho stating this about Kyoko, his childhood friend who his parents raised, who he was essentially using as a maid. Of course, after he says it enough times and she successfully enters show business, he realizes that it's not true - by which time she has stopped seeking his affections and is completely oblivious to the fact that he is now actually seeking hers. Sho and Kyoko continue to deny that they are or ever have been dating, even after he states that she BELONGS TO HIM and attempts to drive off his romantic rivals.
- A variation of this is found in Full Metal Panic! with S?suke about Kaname. During a dance party on the Tuatha De Dannan, Kurz mentions to S?suke that Kaname is very pretty, cute, and has a nice sense of style. Any man would fall for her in an instant. S?suke coldly and cuttingly replies that he wouldn't know, since he isn't interested. This is very interesting, considering that this might be one of the few instances where S?suke acts like a Tsundere (breaking from his usual stoic manner).
- Yuko from ×××HOLiC displays this kind of attitude in relation to her not-boyfriend Clow, and she tends to get rather vindictive should someone suggest she had some kind of relationship with the guy.
- Kanna and Motoki from Koe de Oshigoto! have this reaction to the suggestion that they're a couple, with the same Speech Bubble, no less.
- Trigun. When a couple bodyguards assume she's fighting with her "boyfriend", the Broom Boy (a.k.a. Vash the Stampede), Meryl Stryfe is very quick to inform them that not only is he not her boyfriend, but she doesn't even like him! Whatever she has to tell herself to get through the job.
- Often said by Yusuke in Yu Yu Hakusho about Keiko.
- Nana to Kaoru does this with both Nana and Kaoru simultaneously.
- In Bakuman｡, Fukuda volunteers to help Aoki with her manga illustrations, but is keen to make it clear to his editor, who asks why he is helping a rival mangaka, that he has no interest her. It ultimately turns out that he really doesn't have any apparent feelings for her, since she ends up with Hiramaru without him being at all displeased about it, and it proves his commitment to "Team Fukuda" changing Jump.
Fukuda: And just for the record, I don't have feelings for her or anything. I actually kind of hate her.
- Miu of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple complains loudly whenever anyone calls the title character her boyfriend.
Miu: He's not my boyfriend! He's more like a little brother, or even a dog, you know like a stray dog you bring home because you feel sorry for it?
- Spelled out by Kyousuke regarding Manami in episode 6 of Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai!. His friend Akagi calls him out on the seeming hypocrisy of his explanation.
Akagi: So basically she's nothing more than a childhood friend to you, you're not going out with her, you have no feelings for her, but you won't allow other guys to make a move on her?
- The original novel, however, goes on with this Platonic Life Partners-ish excuse he makes to the reader when he feels his phrase sounded like he was in denial:
Well, the answer was my honest. I just don't think there is a sharp-eyed guy that could see the appeal behind Manami's homeliness, but if he does appear, I'm going to defend her with all I have. Got it? It's in her company I can relax the most, even with nothing romantic about that. I won't give in to anyone who'd try and take that away from me.
- In Darker than Black: Shikkoku no Hana Misaki Kirihara was teased by a friend about her little obsession:
- Spice and Wolf has several instances of Lawrence calmly explaining to others that he and Holo aren't in that sort of relationship. At some point along the way, it starts becoming something of a lie.
- In Durarara!! people generally assume that Mikado and Anri are dating. When they explain that they aren't, the typical reaction is usually, "Really?... Sweet, I have a shot at her, then!" Note: They do not.
- Aoba also says this to his Blue Square members regarding Mairu and Kururi. Turns out it's rather tough to explain away that they both kissed him.
- Aria and Kinji of Hidan no Aria say that about each other several times.
- Fujimura from Fujimura-kun Mates insists that he and Eri are just friends. But he never completely rejects her constant advances.
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 features a rather hilarious subversion in it's second season when Mileena asks Setsuna and Marina if they are a couple. Both reply negative in complete deadpan without a hint of embarrassment or sexual tension.
- In the ending of Muhyo and Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation, Busujima tells Imai that her "boyfriend" Roji got back together with Muhyo despite failing the advancement test, prompting her to get angry at the use of the term.
- In Martian Successor Nadesico, Akito repeatedly denies that Yurika is his girlfriend or that he's even interested in her. She refuses to believe that however, much to his chagrin.
- Shouma and Ringo from Mawaru Penguindrum go through several rounds of saying this about the other.
- Gohan towards Videl in Dragon Ball Z. He continually denies that anything is going on between him and Videl, even when Everyone Can See It.
- Y: The Last Man: Yorick frequently has to inform people that his bodyguard Agent 355 is not his girlfriend. Ironically 355 often pretends Yorick is her transsexual girlfriend in order to hide that he's the last man on Earth.
- In the Captain N: The Game Master comics from the Nintendo Comics System, Princess Lana acknowledges to Samus Aran that Kevin is Not Her Boyfriend. The result is your classic Betty and Veronica Love Triangle.
- When Hermione is forcing Draco to take back his insults in A Very Potter Musical, Ron chimes in with this:
Ron: And that stuff about Hermione being my girlfriend, that's not even a little bit true!
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Series brings us a case of He Is Not My Girlfriend:
- Fakir claims this about Ahiru in a Princess Tutu Abridged episode.
- Naruto uses this phrase in response to Jiraiya implying that Hinata is his girlfriend in Team 8.
- In Assumptions: The first sentence out of Rainbow Dash's mouth when Caramel introduces her to his siblings is clarifying that they aren't an item. His family exchanges bemused expressions, but they drop it when they decide to let the two figure it out on their own.
- In Reconciliation, a Katawa Shoujo fanfic that takes place after Hanako's bad ending, Hanako says this about Sho, her publicist and the closest thing she has to a friend as of the start of the fic. They eventually become a couple.
- Treasure Planet: Doppler reacts this way when BEN thinks he and Amelia are a couple because he's carrying her. It's said with less denial and more tenderness than usually found in other examples, but that's because the film is hinting at their growing fondness for each other.
BEN: Awww, isn't that sweet? I find old-fashioned romance so touching, don't you? How about drinks for the happy couple?
- Hercules has an entire song sequence of this trope. The Muses are telling Meg she's in love with Hercules, and she sings "I won't say I'm in love".
- Mirror Mask, when Helena insists to her mother that Valentine is not her boyfriend.
- Joked about in The Silence of the Lambs. "People will say we're in love." Also a reference to...
- The musical Oklahoma! has a song called "People Will Say We're In Love", where the two main characters (who get married in the end) tell each other how to behave so people won't assume they're sweethearts (doing each thing they describe themselves not doing, naturally).
- In the live-action version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, when Cindy Lou is interviewing adults about the Grinch:
Martha May: Did I have a crush on the Grinch? Well, of course not!
- In Entrapment, Sean Connery's character said this word for word to Ving Rhames' character when his relationship with Catherine Zeta Jones' character was questioned.
- Ghostbusters. Peter Venkman denies that a ghost-possessed Dana is his girlfriend:
"She's not my girlfriend. I find her interesting because she's a client and because she sleeps above her covers. Four feet above her covers."
- In The Big Lebowski, The Dude is quite insistent that Maude Lebowski is not his "special lady", but his "fuckin' lady friend, man!". Probably an example of Insistent Terminology too.
- This Is Spinal Tap. In David's case, he insists that Jeanine is not his wife. (Not at the time of the film, anyway.)
- No Strings Attached: The line is used word for word.
- Friends With Benefits: Dylan and Jamie both say this for each other, but Dylan more strongly and harshly when pressed by his sister. Jamie of course overhears.
- Platonic Life Partners example in Harry Potter: Harry says this about Hermione to a worried Viktor Krum in The Goblet of Fire and has to keep on telling that to half of Hogwarts because of Rita Skeeter's meddling. Poor Hermione is even attacked by Harry's rabid fangirls and has Molly giving her the cold shoulder for a while.
- In Deathly Hallows, Harry even has to say this to Ron at one point.
- 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).
- 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."
- Moving Pictures:
Gaspode: Your girlfriend...
- In Star Wars Expanded Universe: Vision of the Future, an alien calls Mara Luke's "beloved companion". Clearly misunderstanding the relationship. Though 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.
- There's a quasi-example in Death Star. Uli, a jaded surgeon who still pines after Bariss Offee, a Jedi Knight who was killed twenty years ago, is 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 - they're 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 book two of The Codex Alera features a simultaneous "S/he is not my mate!" from Tavi and Kitai.
- In book four of The Underland Chronicles, 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. Or 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 to far ahead, but then Howard asks Gregor why he thought Howard might believe it in the first place, rendering all his arguments useless.
- 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.
- Pops up several different times in The Dresden Files 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 chivalric 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.
- 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 who they think is a schizophrenic girl. For another thing, Chloe quickly learns that denying a relationship between them only serves to convince people she's hiding something.
- 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 The 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 unconvinced. One gets the distinct impression that neither is Percy.
- 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 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.
- In Ravenscliff, Cecile inverts it saying "He's not my brother", meaning to her cheerleader friend she has an option on her new stepbrother.
- Supernatural: Dean denies any romance from Castiel.
- Daniel Jackson from Stargate SG-1 claimed as much when Vala said they had to reschedule their "date". Of course, no one believes him.
- Joan in Joan of Arcadia insists this regarding Adam about Once an Episode, until they finally kiss for the first time.
- In M*A*S*H, Colonel Potter has just become the unit commander and is getting up to speed on his staff. He calls a name, the person says "Here" (or the like), and then he reviews their record and makes some comments. He goes over Margaret Houlihan's record, compliments her, and then moves on:
Colonel Potter: Major Frank Burns.
- Happened repeatedly to The Doctor and Rose in the first two seasons of the 2005 revival of Doctor Who, apparently just because the writers were running out of ways to broadcast that the new show had romantic subtext.
- Likewise, the Doctor and Donna Noble seem to do this bit about once an episode. In a shocking twist, it's actually true.
- After River Song thoroughly distracts the Doctor in "The Impossible Astronaut":
Canton Delaware: So what's going on here?
- In a flashback scene in "Let's Kill Hitler", it's learned that Rory and Amy had denied any romantic involvement, only while Rory insisted that he and Amy were just friends, Amy at the same time said, "He's gay." She suspected his sexual preference because he had never shown the slightest interest in any girls... only to realize that he was interested in one girl. Her.
- Parodied in Spaced, when Tim reacts indignantly in this fashion to a (sarcastic) suggestion from Daisy that his "boyfriend" Mike is on the phone for him... only to purr "Hi, babe." in a seductive tone as soon as he picks up the phone.
- A similar joke appears in Shaun of the Dead, once again an Actor Allusion between the characters played by Simon Pegg (Tim/Shaun) and Nick Frost (Mike/Ed).
- The DVD commentary puts this down to them forgetting they'd already done the joke in Spaced, Shaun's pained expression after saying it being Simon remembering during filming.
- A similar joke appears in Shaun of the Dead, once again an Actor Allusion between the characters played by Simon Pegg (Tim/Shaun) and Nick Frost (Mike/Ed).
- Monk: Both of Monk's assistants, Sharona and Natalie, have been asked if they're Monk's girlfriend. They tend to find the suggestion extremely funny.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Game Show", Monk is asked on a game show if there's anyone at home that he wants to say hello to. When he mentions Sharona, the host asks him, "And how long have you and Sharona been married?" Monk quickly corrects him.
- Inverted in "Mr. Monk Gets Married", where a case requires Monk and Sharona to infiltrate a marriage counselling camp by (of course) pretending to be a couple with severely exaggerated problems (with Monk playing a cowardly mop salesman and Sharona pretending to have a drinking problem). When at the end they reveal the ruse, the marriage counselor is relieved.
- In "Mr. Monk and the Class Reunion:"
[Dianne Brooks spots Monk and walks over to him]
- Also happens in one scene in "Mr. Monk Gets Lotto Fever," where Natalie is signing autographs, Monk comes up to grab some wipes from her purse and one of Natalie's fans asks her if Monk is her boyfriend.
- Inverted again in "Mr. Monk is Someone Else". Panicked by unwanted romantic advances from another woman, Monk quickly blurts out that he already has a girlfriend, and cites Natalie when pressed on the subject, though to protect her identity, he calls her "Natalie Teegerb" with a B on the end and claims it's a French-Canadian name.
- Big Pete of The Adventures of Pete and Pete spells it out: "Look, you're a girl, and you're a friend -- but you're not a girlfriend!"
- A frequent refrain of the two boys of Psych.
- Phil of the Future, in the episode in which Phil gets tired of being carted around doing "girl stuff" with Keely:
Phil: I don't wanna be your girlfriend, I wanna be your boyfriend!... I mean, your friend, who's a boy. A guy. A guy friend.
- And later in the same episode:
Keely: Phil, you can tell me anything. I'm your girlfriend... I-I-I mean your friend who's a girl. A gal. A gal friend.
- Seems to be a recurring motif with Keely's actress Aly Michalka. See Hellcats and Marti and Dan for details.
- A version appears on Friends after Chandler and Monica first had sex in secret.
Joey: Have you seen Monica?
Lana: You and Lois.
Robin: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Barney and I are not together, no, no.
- Robin and Barney also spend the season five premiere firmly denying that they are boyfriend and girlfriend. They seem to have no problem admitting that they are a couple, so long as the terms "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" aren't used.
- The X-Files: If it happened once, it happened a thousand times to Mulder and Scully, most notably in "The Rain King". Basically guaranteed to happen starting about mid-season four onward.
- It even happens in the 2008 movie, though in reference to being married.
Father Joe: No. I can see you're a woman of faith, but not in the same things as your husband.
- In That '70s Show, when Jackie and Hyde started their relationship, they wouldn't admit that they're together, even though they were making out all the time.
Jackie: He is not my boyfriend.
- Bones and Booth do this many, many times. Until they get married.
- The West Wing: Josh denies a relationship between himself and Donna at least twice, once to Amy Gardner (who becomes his girlfriend after it's cleared up), and once to Lt. Commander Jack Reese (who dates Donna after confirming he's not getting in the way).
- Inverted with some irony on the campaign trail in the last season. Note that she's lying right next to him at the time.
Josh: (into the phone) No, I don't have Donna!
- In the 1990's Australian series Police Rescue the two main characters, Micky and Georgia, are going to interview a witness, who asks Micky: "Is this your girlfriend?" Micky responds truthfully that no, she's his (police) partner. He later gets snarked over this by Georgia, as while it's technically true, there's always been an obvious vibe between them.
- iCarly: In "iGo to Japan", the check-in clerk at a hotel mistakes the 15-year-old pair for a honeymoon couple. Freddie gives Carly an eyebrow raise and gets slap across the face for his stupidity. In "iLike Jake", Carly gives Freddie a kiss on the nose for helping her to fix Jake's terrible singing voice, and Jake mistakes their kiss for them being together.
- In the Royal Pains episode "Am I Blue?", Evan's new just-friend is under the persistent impression that Divya is his girlfriend:
Evan: Uh, we're not really...
- Happened in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Blood Ties".
Glory: (about Spike) He wakes up; tell your boyfriend to watch his mouth.
- In fact, Buffy often denies Spike being her boyfriend, even when it is revealed that she had slept with him.
Buffy: [Anya did] something very stupid.
- Technically, it was true in both those cases, as they weren't having a relationship in season 5, and in the second example, she had already broken up with him. But Buffy denied it even while they were having an ongoing sexual relationship (granted, in this scene it was partly because she was being evaluated by a social worker and he wasn't the most presentable boyfriend):
Ms. Kroger: Um, Miss Summers, if you and your boyfriend would like to--
- Buffy even denies it to Spike when they're alone together; in fact his referring to her as "love" or "my girl" is a guaranteed Berserk Button as Buffy refuses to admit they are (or should be) having anything more than comfort sex. A notable use of this trope as it's not Played for Laughs but is a sign of their Destructive Romance.
- The first time Buffy used this line on the show, however, it was about Angel - in season 3 episode "Revelations", when Buffy's friends finally learned that Angel was back from hell.
Buffy: What are you guys talking about?
- Then we have the comics where Buffy learns Satsu is in love with her, and they sleep together. Willow finds out and when the topic is brought up Buffy denies that Satsu is her girlfriend, before they sleep together again.
- Andromeda: This happens to Dylan and Rommie at least once in the first season.
- And a very good thing, too, as we see later in the season what happens when an AI avatar gets too close to her captain.
- Castle has a variant; someone questioning whether Castle and Beckett are, you know, will get approximately this response:
- NCIS: Tony and Ziva. Almost a Running Gag.
- Happened on two related episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Bobby Goren's brother Frank assumes that Alex Eames, his police partner, is Bobby's girlfriend; Bobby corrects him, but it doesn't seem to sink in (possibly because Frank is a drug user). In the next episode, Bobby gets a phone call from his hospitalized mother Frances, who says that Frank told her Bobby has a girlfriend and she wants to meet the woman. Bobby tries to explain that she's not his girlfriend but his mother hangs up on him, leaving him embarrassedly telling Alex, "My mother wants to meet you."
- A variation on The Mighty Boosh. Lance Dior accuses Howard of being Vince's wife. Howard bursts out with "I'm not his wife am I! I don't know where he is at all times!" Since Everyone Can See It, Lance is Not convinced.
- Usually averted. Vince is mistaken for Howard's wife/girlfriend in many episodes, and instead of denying it - like you would expect two supposedly straight male friends to do - they just look slightly pained. Seemingly it happens so often they just gave up trying to protest.
- A Running Gag on Sherlock is people mistaking John and Sherlock to be boyfriends. John repeatedly corrects them that it's not like that, but no one listens. By mid-series two, he seems to have given up.
- For someone who is a stickler for the truth, Sherlock never seems bothered by it.
- American Dreams has a couple examples with these mostly with Sam and Meg who can't get together due to Sam being black and it being 1966. JJ also gets this with a couple of his wartime romantic interests where he actually has no real interest in the girl because of Beth his fiancee back home. There was also a variation on this when one of the members of JJ's platoon is involved with a reporter, while he says this its implied they actually are he's just not telling, of course Everyone Can See It anyway.
- In the season 4 premier of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon insists that the girl he met on a dating site who has been texting with him for four months and intends to bear his children is not his girlfriend.
Sheldon: Amy Farrah Fowler has asked me to meet her mother.
- Later episodes indicate he is telling the truth.
- Except for that even more recently, Sheldon has given up correcting people when they accuse Amy of being his girlfriend. He even tells Leonard to "be thankful [he] can't hold onto a girl" and when Leonard comes home from the wedding with Amy and tells Sheldon in a very sexual-innuendo-laced way about the good time they had, Sheldon actually hits Leonard and warns him, "She is not for you!"
- Later in season 5 Sheldon gets jealous of Amy dating other guys and ends up asking her to be his girlfriend
- In season five of Dexter, everyone who meets Lumen assumes that she is Dexter's girlfriend, but he insists that she is merely his "tenant". Though in fairness, she really wasn't his girlfriend at the time.
- Comes up nearly every episode on Burn Notice. Everyone except Michael knows that Fiona is, in fact, his girlfriend. Michael, for his part, is only tempted by ONE other woman over the course of the series, and she turned out to be an assassin deliberately playing on every weakness he had.
- Occurs in season two of Ashes to Ashes The Baby Trap episode, Gene and Alex have been *ahem* pulling all nighters in order to combat the corruption in the force, which the rest of the team tactfully ignore. Enter Jackie:
Jackie: Are you shagging my future husband?
- Bret and Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords are sometimes mistaken for a couple, specifically by Brahbrah, a woman they were both trying to impress. It was a fair assumption to make, given that they're two thirty-something guys who share a bedroom, and they spent quite a bit of the episode wrestling each other.
- Inspector Lynley and his partner Sergeant Havers. His own wife half-seriously suspects him of having an affair with her! And she's not the only one. They're not together... yet.
- In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Inheritance", where Data tells his "mother" Juliana (the wife of his creator Dr. Soong, she claims) that he's going to see Counselor Troi. Juliana misunderstands and assumes the two are close, and comments that she's glad that the accessories her husband designed that made him "compatible" with humans actually work.
- "I'm Not Your Boyfriend" by 3OH3.
- 10cc, "I'm Not In Love".
- "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson is focused on this trope. But, it was implied that while Billie Jean was not his lover, her son was indeed his son.
- Peanuts: Linus is constantly telling Sally, "I'm not your sweet babboo!" In this case, he means it, but she doesn't.
- Odd when you realize that when Sally was born, Linus was asking Charlie Brown if he could date her when she's 17.
- But then, she's not 17 yet.
- Well, technically, any time after 1976...
- Odd when you realize that when Sally was born, Linus was asking Charlie Brown if he could date her when she's 17.
- Mitch Hedberg: "I don't have a girlfriend, I just know a girl who would get really angry if she heard me say that."
- In The Pajama Game, Babe, in denial that she's attracted to Sid, sings "I'm Not At All In Love," a claim which is met with smirking derision from the girls:
It's easy to see that her daffy grin
- Many examples in musical theatre of people singing you are not my boyfriend/girlfriend. Of course, whether they mean it or not, they'll certainly be in love with that person by the end of the show (sometimes the end of the song) :
- "Make Believe" from Show Boat ("might as well make believe I love you... for to tell the truth, I do!").
- "People Will Say We're in Love" from Oklahoma!.
- "If I Loved You" from Carousel.
- In "I'll Know" from Guys and Dolls, Sky and Sarah sing about their perfect loves and how unlike Sarah/Sky said love will be. A few scenes later, they start to realise their attraction to each other.
- "Don't Like You" from The Beautiful Game (a.k.a. The Boys in the Photograph) by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ben Elton.
- In Pokémon Heart Gold/Soul Silver, the grandmother of the opposite gender friend of the player character (can be either gender) suggests that the characters are boyfriend and girlfriend, and one of the characters immediately denies it.
- In Higurashi Daybreak, the Higurashi no Naku Koro ni fighting game, when you're playing Story Mode as a Keiichi-Rena team, most of the adults will ask if you're a couple. Rena is delighted at the notion, but Keiichi protests. This actually becomes the stakes for the last two battles, thanks to a Love Triangle with Mion at her most Tsundere.
- Inverted and then, well, blown up by Squall for otherwise uncharacteristic hilarity in Final Fantasy VIII. Squall is more or less forced into showing Rinoa around Balamb Garden, and stops in at Dr. Kadowaki's office. The following exchange occurs:
Kadowaki: Hi there, Squall! Oh my... it's not every day I see you walk around with a girl! Is she your girlfriend?
Raz: I don't know if she's really my girlfriend. I mean, I think she...
- Played with in Phoenix Wright between assistant Maya and the titular hero himself. Pearl assumes the two are a couple, and it seems no amount of red-faced protests will disuade her. With due cause really. Other characters such as the judge refer to the two as a couple.
- In the Phoenix Wright manga collection, Pearl asks Phoenix about his relationship with Maya, and is met with five Psyche-locks, which within the game, signify a secret that is as well-guarded as possible.
- Gumshoe pretty much outright uses this line for defense, as well, with regards to Maggey Byrd. Phoenix doesn't buy it for a moment.
Phoenix: (Note to self: Gossip with Maya about this later!)
- In Ace Attorney Investigations 2, Tateyuki asks if Kay is Edgeworth's girlfriend after he gives up his badge to continue defending her from murder charges. Edgeworth responds that she is his assistant and that he is responsible for her.
- In Beyond Good and Evil, when Jade first brings her new sidekick Double H home with her to the lighthouse, several of the orphans naturally assume he's her new boyfriend. Jade quickly tries to correct them.
Jade: I swear, he's not like the others!
- In Tales of the Abyss, there is one point where the party returns to the first real dungeon the game had. Luke and Tear, having been the only party members at that point, remark upon how it was night when they were last here, which leads to the rest of the party wondering why on earth they didn't know that Luke and Tear were "in a place like this, alone, at night." Luke quickly exclaims "It wasn't like that!" and starts hastily trying to explain himself when Tear suddenly states simply, "The very idea is absurd." Luke is visibly stung, indicating that perhaps he falls under the third example at the top. Of course, any sympathy the player may feel for Luke is immediately replaced by laughter over Jade's brilliant reaction to the whole thing.
Tear: The very idea is absurd. (walks away a bit, everyone else remains in place) What are you doing? Come on.
- It happens a lot between the two. The second OVA is built of this trope.
- In Tales of Rebirth, Tytree at one point refers to Claire as "Veigue's girlfriend", to which he calmly responds "She's just a childhood friend". It would be an inversion to the usual reaction a character is supposed to have, but then again, he's Veigue...
- In Castlevania, in both Sorrow games, Soma frequently feels the need to point out that Mina is not his girlfriend, despite the fact that its obvious to everyone else that she's his designated Love Interest. He will actually become Dracula if he sees his beau hurt, but she's n-n-not his girlfriend.
- This is actually said completely seriously in Portrait of Ruin. Whether or not Jonathan and Charlotte are still in the denial stage and/or just have really good poker faces is up to you:
- Odd example: Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks. Kung Lao takes a jab at Liu Kang whenever Kitana is seen or mentioned with the former denying any relationship. In canon, it's heavily implied they are supposed to be just that.
- Given a nod in the latest game, during Kung Lao's story mode chapter wherein he and Liu Kang search for Kitana:
Kung Lao: I hope your girlfriend is worth Lord Raiden's anger, Liu Kang.
- There are examples of this trope in Baldur's Gate 2. Jaheira does it at least twice (once in an incident involving a magical locket, another when you are awakened by bandits).
- Implied usage in Half-Life 2: Episode 2. A random resistance member asks Alyx "So, is he your boyfriend or something?" in regards to Gordon. Gordon himself is out of earshot before her answer is heard.
- However, she doesn't really object when her own father hints at it being quite obvious. And she seems much more embarrassed about her father talking about such things, then about what he said.
- "Adell and I are enemies!" almost start becoming Rozalin's Catch Phrase in Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories (and Adell is just as quick to deny it too). By this point, they fail to fool anyone.
Adell: We're not married! Just because we live under the same roof...
- In The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police Episode 201, Sybil and Abe Lincoln were not dating... up until Max begins insisting that the meeting is something absolutely crazy.
- Played with in Devil Survivor. When first speaking to Gin, he asks who the player is. The player can either say their name or "Yuzu's boyfriend". If the player chooses the "other" option, Yuzu gets very shocked.
- She has a similar reaction later, when Atsuro jokes that Haru might be her competition for the protagonist's affections.
- Makes an appearance in Persona 3 Portable when playing as a female main character. If attending the Summer Festival with Akihiko, a takoyaki vendor will ask if she is his girlfriend, prompting him to stutter an angry denial. It's as if the idea had crossed his mind before...
- This is invoked in Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn when Ike asks Haar why Jill isn't with him. Haar denies anything beyond friendship towards Jill. Two chapters after this base conversation, Haar can recruit Jill into the Greil Mercenaries. Of course, if Haar and Jill get an A-Rank support formed, the ending will imply a marriage between the two without actually saying anything specific.
Haar: She is simply the daughter of my dead teacher. Nothing more.
- Everyone seems to be under the impression that Toko and Reiji have some kind of relationship in Kara no Shoujo. Rather than being defensive about it, Reiji is mostly bemused.
- In Dead or Alive Dimensions, some characters ask this question about Ryu Hayabusa and Irene, prompting him to deny it.
- Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica. Cloche would like you to know that Croix is her dog and bodyguard, NOTHING ELSE! The fact that she goes on dates with him is completely irrelevant.
- Makes an appearance in Dragon Age Origins Witch Hunt when Ariane enquires about the exact relationship between a Male Warden and Morrigan. Apparently when they think no-one is looking, the Warden often absent-mindedly plays with the ring Morrigan gave them, causing Ariane to wonder if her knowledge of the significance of humans sharing rings is accurate.
Warden: We are not married... If that's what you are asking.
- In Mass Effect 2, EDI and Joker strenuously deny they've been flirting. The entire crew of the Normandy aren't convinced.
- Yamato in Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!, regarding Miyako, all the time - though he's actually got a reason to do so. Except, of course, in her path, where he comes around rather quickly once he's made his decision. There are also choices in the game where, if you actually say she is your girlfriend, you'll immediately end up in an ending with her, whether you were joking or not.
- Mike and Lucy in Bittersweet Candy Bowl, during the old series.
- Dragon Tails.No matter how upset he gets when he learns that she's taken quite a liking to a French gargoyle named Jacques, Lemuel stubbornly insists that his penpal Firewing is not his girlfriend.
- Agatha Heterodyne in Girl Genius gets steamed if anyone suggests she and Gilgamesh Wulfenbach are lovers... at first. Later she just stammers out flustered denials (usually to someone who would respond to screaming with a Boot To The Head). Her fangirling over his Death Ray working is entirely beside the point. Really.
- Inverted earlier on, when she's pretending to be someone's girlfriend, and has to stop herself from giving it away. "I NEVER! He's nnn-" "...'nnn'? As in NNNOT your boyfriend?" ".... as in 'nice.' He's really nice."
- Abner starts to say this, but is corrected by Pix with a smooch.
- The most recent[when?] session has her ranting as she casually takes care of Castle Heterodyne's various defenses, which actually leads to it asking her to turn her death ray down.
- Violetta learns the dangers of it here.
- Airman Axel Higgs steadfastly denies that he cares about Zeetha.
Higgs: Uh- she- she ain't my Miss Zeetha, sir.
- Used by Ash in Misfile here, not even she believes that though.
- Inverted later on, with an example of "you are not my girlfriend".
- Konstantin with Anya in Experimental Comic Kotone. See here.
- Played with in Friendly Hostility: Fox normally has no problem in referring to Collin as his boyfriend, but when Collin shows up while his coworker Derringer is pestering him about becoming buddies, he quickly rushes to loudly introduce him to Derringer as his "BEST FRIEND". Collin just as quickly walks off before he gets mad enough to do something he'll regret.
- Issac and Joy in Namir Deiter, though it's only by mutual agreement (and a boatload of issues) that they're not.
- Except they've recently been upgraded to Beta/Tertiary couple, after an argument while on a double-date (with different people).
- Shadehawk and Crossroad in Antihero for Hire, though with all the UST between them, some feel it's only a matter of time. The most notable example is here:
Hector: Looks like your girlfriend's coming to the party.
- In The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob, Bob frequently has to reiterate to his girlfriend Jean that there is nothing between him and the alien Princess Voluptua. Despite the fact that they have kissed. And that Voluptua is now stationed in Earth's solar system. And that she is a Stripperifically-clad Hello, Nurse! of the first order. Because Bob knows that she is in fact, under her disguise, a giant alien bug.
- Boris, the robotic spider in Bugs, has shouted more than once that a real spider with a keen interest in him is not his girlfriend.
- Zoe from Sluggy Freelance invokes this trope after several of her friends hold an intervention for her because they think she's dating Torg.
- Kitti and Sky in Divided Sky are both in denial of their feelings for each other, despite everyone else picking it up.
- A customer in Welcome to Convenience Store, when asked about his female friend, said she was a "friendly woman person".
- Lance says this about Silvia in Shape Quest.
- xkcd demonstrates that this retort can be defeated by statistics.
- Sequential Art give us Art and Kat's reaction to the suggestion they are a couple. The next strip shows more.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court Zimmy offhandedly refers to Jack as Antimony's boyfriend after she restores his sanity and explains what happened leading up to it. Antimony thanks her, but adds "Also; not my boyfriend." This sets up the latter Ship Tease in this strip. Maybe because after this adventure Two Strange Girls already knew his attitude.
- However, in the short term at least, this turns out to be true. Jack has a crush on Zimmy of all people, and Annie, at the time of making the aforementioned statement, held a hidden grudge against Jack. They're likely in for more teasing of that sort now, though, considering that as far as their classmates are concerned Jack publicly gave Annie a note and some of them saw them amiably chatting then going off on their own for a night. Of course, there's a nonromantic explnation for those, but others don't know that.
- Liu Wong and Fang Lin in How I Killed Your Master.
- Far Out There had Trigger and Layla both respond in this manner when Ichabod suggested they were a couple. They actually mean it.
- Then it happened again. Unfortunately, it was Trigger's crush who though he and Layla were an item.
- When Lemon and Lime first meet Alice in Evil Plan they immediately that she's Kinesis' girlfriend. Alice's words say no, but her expressions says differently.
- General Protection Fault has Patty laying it on a bit too thick about her not-boyfriend:
Dwayne: That was quite an adventure you guys had. How's Dexter?
- Several people in Questionable Content refer to Angus as Faye's boyfriend or something similar before they are officially an item, but have admitted their mutual attraction. Faye denies this.
- Justin of El Goonish Shive insists vehemently that Elliot is not his boyfriend. He's telling the truth—Elliot is already taken and it wouldn't work out anyway.
- The eponymous Sarab say this about Karin. In front of her. She does not take it well.
- In Blue Yonder, Lena's saying this produces a rather different effect, as she faces him down for claiming it.
- In Ears for Elves, Donny sees Tanna walking arm-in-arm with Rolan. Donny infers that Rolan must be her boyfriend, and finds this disgusting; Tanna protests madly. A while later, Donny tells Tanna that her new boyfriend isn't so bad after all; her reaction is to say that Rolan is not her boyfriend.
- In The Guild, Codex insists that "there is no circumstance under which [she and Zaboo] are together in any shape or form". Zaboo feels differently.
- 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.
- Danny Phantom: Sam and Danny frequently insist "We're not lovebirds", even though they end up becoming just that in the Grand Finale.
- Also counts as ironic Book Ends- In the beginning of the first episode, they're protesting vehemently that they do not have a relationship. At the end of the last, they finally kiss.
- Teen Titans: Robin really ticks Starfire off when he says this in the episode "Stranded". Can't really hold it against him though, as thanks to her established role as The Ditz, Cloudcuckoolander, being raised by aliens, etc., he naturally assumed she didn't even know what a girlfriend was. He is sadly mistaken, as she is quick to inform him.
- That and the episode "Date With Destiny". Robin invokes the trope name, but this time, against Kitten.
- "Stranded" also gives us one of the best responses from someone who speaks broken English. Watch it here, starting at 1:20:
Starfire: I am not your friend?
- Arthur: Francine and Arthur simultaneously fulfill this trope in an early episode.
- Codename: Kids Next Door: Nigel tells his friends this about Lizzie, who actually is his girlfriend, because he's embarrassed.
- Don't forget Wallabee and Kuki (Numbah Four and Numbah Three).
Numbah Two and Numbah Five: Wally and Kuki, sitting in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G!
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Obi-Wan's response to Anakin concerning Satine.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- Zuko snaps "She is not my girlfriend!" at a waiter who calls a girl he was on a date with his "girlfriend", though it's not exactly an unreasonable assumption. Oddly enough, when Jun once called an archenemy his "girlfriend" a season earlier, he barely even reacted.
- Although they reacted far more strongly to Jun's accusation in the finale. (Sorry, wrong show.)
Jun: I see you worked things out with your girlfriend.
- Also in the second episode:
Sokka: (referring to Aang) We're going to save your boyfriend.
- French version of the above:
Katara: He's not my boyfriend.
- Also happens when Toph meets Jet for the first time (not having joined the group until after his first appearance):
- Sequel Series The Legend of Korra continues the tradition in the episode "A Leaf in the Wind," when pro-bender and The Charmer Bolin decides to lie to his gym-owner to let his new acquaintance Korra backstage:
Bolin: So, you see, we're together...
- Played with in a late third season episode of Kim Possible, close to The Movie and its Relationship Upgrade angst bomb.
- The Kim Possible Files, a scrapbook published between the show's first two seasons, also has Kim denying the idea of her and Ron as a couple.
- Also surfaces between Drakken and Shego in the Grand Finale.
- The page quote from the third season's "Overdue" is particularly funny, because Ron says it out of nowhere.
- Really like with Danny Phantom, this show seems to have set a record for invoking this in the first episode. Only Ron said it into a megaphone...while trying to get a date.
Ron: Contrary to popular belief, I am not dating Kim Possible.
- The sentence on its own isn't even enough for Jenny in Sheldon's first appearance on My Life as a Teenage Robot:
Jenny: Okay... listen up, because I'm only gonna say this once: Sheldon is not my boyfriend! I don't even know him! He's just some crazy, loser, stalker geek! He's not my boyfriend, he's not my friend, he's not my anything!
- And Sheldon heard the whole thing. Ouch. It was bad enough that even the villains of the episode felt sorry for the guy.
- Said by Mac in the first episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends featuring Goo. This was done not only due to Mac being eight years old and embarrassed, but also because it was true, and Goo was being a real pest to everyone. Naturally, no one believes him.
- Goo, who was living in her own little world at the time, probably never even suspected that anyone (let alone everyone) thought she was Mac's girlfriend.
- The episode "Chowder's Girlfriend" was devoted to Chowder trying to convince Panini that he's not her boyfriend! Since that episode, he yells that at her if she so much as says "Hi!" to him.
- Oddly, most likely due to serialized series and a tendency to be aired "out of order", it's his response to her in the first aired episode as well.
- Even more strangely, at the end of the series Chowder is married to her. Or so Panini would lead the audience to believe.
- Tommy from Robotboy doesn't like it when people call Lola his girlfriend.
- Ben 10: Alien Force
- In the episode "Plumber's Helpers", when Helen calls Kevin Gwen's boyfriend, she angrily denies that is so... despite the fact that a few episodes earlier, she was complaining that Kevin wasn't asking her out.
- Happens earlier in the series, too, in "What Are Little Girls Made Of?", though not as drawn-out. Gwen lets Ben and Kevin climb into her room through the window, and her father asks if he's her boyfriend. They both quickly reply "No!" and Gwen blushes.
- In another episode, Ben simply asks her where Kevin is, and Gwen launches into a full-blown rant about how he isn't her boyfriend.
- In Code Lyoko, Yumi and Ulrich frequently state these kinds of denial, mostly spurred by Odd's innuendos or, in Yumi's case, her brother Hiroki's hounding. Yumi also says "He's not my boyfriend" about William, but in this case it is genuine, especially once he becomes an enemy.
- Yumi manages to invert, then play the trope straight, in just one line :
Yumi: Yeah? Well, it's not the same thing. I'm Ulrich's girlfriend! I mean, I'm--I'm his good friend.
- The Simpsons:
- Inverted in the episode "I Love Lisa". Lisa Simpson to Ralph Wiggum. On a date. On live television. Preceded by a Big No.
Bart: You can actually pinpoint the second when his heart rips in half!
- In the Treehouse of Horror segment "The Fright to Creep and Scare Arms", Lisa reads the tombstone of Billy the Kid.
Lisa: I dream of a world without guns. Don't we all, William?
- Hilariously played with in the episode "He Loves to Fly and He D'ohs", when Bart teases Homer about his appointment with Mr. Burns.
Bart: Hey dad! Have fun with your boyfriend!
Billy: (talking to Grim) She's not my girlfriend! I mean, she just happens to be a girl, who just happens to be my friend, just like I happen to be a boy, and you happen to be a skeleton.
- For the record, he was referring to Mandy. (They're in denial about their relationship. We all know that.) Aside from that denial, he is already incredibly whipped for an elementary school kid. And she made the Grim Reaper her bitch. Not challenging Mandy's dominance is probably the wisest thing Billy's ever done.
- Batman, in one of his very rare moments of flusteredness in Justice League Unlimited, insists that his relationship with Wonder Woman is purely professional. It is then that he realizes that she's right behind him.
- In The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Sheen desperately tries to make Libby hook up with him, but she tells him to "slow down" a bit.
- An episode of The Fairly OddParents had a group of aliens mistaking Vicky for Timmy's girlfriend. Naturally, Timmy is repulsed by the idea.
- Done in the first episode of season 3 in Atomic Betty. When Betty finds out her best friend Noah has been kidnapped, Sparky makes a quip about going to save her "boyfriend," which prompts her to respond with this trope. Also comes with the obligatory Ship Tease during the rescue of someone they think is Noah (but is actually a disguised infiltrator).
Sparky: "He's not her boyfriend." Yeah right! (turns to X-5) Would you kick that much booty if that were me dangling up there?
- A twist in WITCH: Irma initially can't stand geeky Martin, but an unintentional romantic moment between them leads him to spread the word around that they're dating. Eventually Irma does develop feelings for Martin, but by then has publically humiliated him and won't actually make a move. When Big Bad Nerissa comes to school disguised as the hot new girl and casts a love spell on all the boys, Irma has to adamantly remind herself that Martin isn't her boyfriend and she has no right to get mad at him for fawning over Nerissa.
- In Total Drama Island there's one between Heather and Alejandro shockingly. By the later episodes Chris and Duncan tease them about it.
- Hilariously played in a Ho Yay situation by Ren in The Ren and Stimpy Show Adult Party Cartoon episode "Ren Seeks Help". Ren decides to go to a psychologist and speak about his problems with controlling anger and thus his psychical and physical abuse of Stimpy. He starts with his childhood, naturally, and when he gets to the point of meeting Stimpy, he says a few words and then promptly stops.
- Oddly averted in Futurama: Leela wakes up from a dream about Fry (after the latter died), to find his jacket draped over her shoulders. She triumphantly yells "He's alive! HE'S ALIVE!", prompting her neighbor to yell through the wall "Shut up! My boyfriend's alive too!" Although Leela has been rejecting Fry's advances (and in obvious denial) for over two seasons by now, at the moment she's too ecstatic to remember that he's not supposed to be her boyfriend.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Patrick had to go undercover (because he thinks someone is going to kick him out of town), so he dressed up as "Patricia". SpongeBob had to tell a few folks "she" wasn't his girlfriend.
- The Western Animation series of Earthworm Jim is an odd aversion of this, where the titular mutated annelid insists that the Action Girl Princess Whats-Her-Name (a Cute Monster Girl who is basically an alien bug) is his girlfriend, even though nobody else around seems to think they're together. This includes the Princess herself.
- Jim laughs at this.
- On Daria, the title character kept saying this about her Guy of the Week, Ted.
- A truly bizarre version appears in the Miraculous Ladybug episode "Weredad", where Marinette's dad thinks his daughter and Cat Noir are an item. Simply put, Marinette is hopelessly in love with his civilian alter-ego Adrian, but has no idea the two are the same person. Of course, Adrian has the same problem, being in love only with Ladybug.
- The Owl House defies this with Amity. After several false starts, once she is finally able to admit her feelings for Luz (coming to terms with the fact that she's bi in the process), she is happy to admit she's her girlfriend. The Aesop, of course is, "admitting the truth will set you free".
- LGBT example in Harley Quinn, where both Harley and Ivy continually deny they have true feelings for each other, although it's obvious to everyone that they are in denial.
- Another LGBT example with an odd twist occurs in the Star Trek: Lower Decks episode "Mining the Mind's Mines". The Lower Deckers are part of an away team sent to dispose of the psychic mines a planet's surface; the orbs o tempt her with an illusion of Jennifer Sh'reyan (an Andorian crewmate whom Mariner has had a love-hate relationship with in previous episdes) wearing a bikini, implying that Mariner has romantic feelings towards her and they are possibly dating. When Boimler and Stevens tease her about this fantasy, she vehemently denies that she and Sh'reyan are dating, claiming it is an "inaccurate fantasy" and that the mines are malfunctioning. (She is visibly blushing when she says this.) Later, however, when the orbs clearly do malfunction and start manifesting illusions in the form of nightmares, a second, monstrous version of Sh'reyan appears, "kills" the first one, and then chases Mariner with the implication it wants to rape her, its words unconvincingly claiming it wants marriage and a family. This seems to imply that Mariner is indeed does indeed have feelings for Jennifer, but fears upgrading the relationship to a point where commitment would be an issue.
- Gender swapped in Mortal Kombat: Battle of the Realms; after soundly defeating Johnny Cage in the first round of the tournament, D'Vorah mocks the Earthrealm warriors by telling Sonya, "Your boyfriend is weak! Like all those from Earthrealm!" Cut to round two, D'Vorah is trounced even worse by Sonya herself (who rips off one of D'Vorah's pincers and then impales her with it) who then tells D'Vorah, "He is not my boyfriend..."
- In the Sonic Boom episode "Bro-Down Showdown", Dr Eggman pulls out his Obliterator Bot to destroy the village during the showdown, knowing that if his "bro" Sonic fights it it's against the rules and he won't win the couch for Amy.
Eggman: I knew my plan would work! If you fight my robot we'll be disqualified, and you'll never win that couch for that whiny little girlfriend of yours.