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"I'd like to be, not evil,

But a little worldly wise--

To be the kind of girl designed

To be kissed upon the eyes"

Perhaps a kiss on the lips is too intimate (or not enough!) for the situation or maybe the writers just wanted to be unique. Regardless of the reason, there's one thing in common with these kisses—none are on the lips. See also I Kiss Your Hand and I Kiss Your Foot.

Some censors make this trope mandatory.

Examples of Anywhere but Their Lips include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, Sakura kissed Syaoran on the eye at one point (only natural, once you take CLAMP's eye fetish into account).
  • In Petite Princess Yucie, when Yucie first meets Arc, he kisses her on the forehead—not the best move, considering how self-conscious she is about it.
  • In one Ranma ½ story in the manga, Ranma, Akane and Konatsu are taking care of Ukyo's food joint while she is ill. Customers are about to leave because, well, Akane is cooking, so Konatsu pulls a special ninja move and kisses all the customers so fast the cute kunoichi cannot be seen. Akane is appalled, since, well, Konatsu is a guy, but he reassures her: "Don't worry, I avoided any vital spots". And none of the customers has been kissed on the lips.
  • In Shoujo Kakumei Utena, Dios kisses a young Utena on the eyes, kissing her tears away. Considering Dios is Akio, Akio's later full-on kiss becomes all the more significant.
  • Junichi Tachibana of Amagami has some... interesting ideas about exactly where to kiss first Haruka, then Kaoru. Though with Haruka it was a condition for getting the kiss at all.
  • Death Note: Misa kissed L on the cheek.
  • Gunslinger Girl. Underage cyborg girl Triela gives her older male handler Hilshire a peck on the cheek before taking part in the assault on the bell tower. Because he'd viewed their relationship as a (sometimes strained) surrogate father/daughter one, Hilshire is visibly surprised, unaware that she'd previously kissed him while he was asleep.
  • Naruto employs this trope. Tsunade kisses Naruto on the forehead and as shown in the flashbacks, this is due to her doing the same thing to her litte brother and her boyfriend when they mention their dreams.
  • In Mahou Sensei Negima, this trope being employed causes the magical contracts to (mostly) fail, much to the dismay of characters who didn't want to kiss a 10 year old.
  • Vassalord plays this for major Fetish Fuel, having Charley kiss and bite Johnny in all kinds of interesting places, but never on the lips. All the better to heighten the Ho Yay!


  • In the movie Pretty Woman, Vivian's one rule is that she never kisses on the mouth because it makes it too personal. She does kiss Richard Gere on the mouth when she starts to fall in love with him.
  • In Bollywood, it was, until recently, the law. Even now, in contemporary Bollywood films, couples will kiss and... move very suggestively, but virtually never touch lips.
  • Footloose — Ariel wants to kiss Ren, and Ren burns her with, "I get the feeling you've been kissed a lot. I'm afraid I'd suffer by comparison." But after dating for awhile, and after she gets smacked around by her dad and ex-boyfriend, Ren finally kisses her when she asks him, "Think you might ever kiss me?"
  • Subverted in Humpday — they decide not to kiss after kissing each other and then decide not to do anything at all.
  • The French film Amelie uses this, despite there being no censorship or Pretty Woman scenario involved: Amelie kisses her beau on the eye, on the side of the head, and on the corner of the lip, but not actually on the lips. He does the same for her. The scene's very intimate, even with the lack of lip locking.
    • They do appear to lip lock in the next shot in a silhouette that is seen from the point of view of a neighbor.
  • In Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, Snow White kisses the dwarfs on the forehead. Dopey, however, always puckers up hoping she'll kiss him on the lips.
  • The musical "Not on the Lips" is the one of the most most obvious uses of this trope. The whole premise of the movie is that a man will not kiss his wife on the lips because it disgusts him.
  • On the teaser trailer for The Princess and the Frog, Tiana is reluctant to kiss frog Naveen on the lips, insisting there was nothing on the original story about it.
    • Explained and expanded upon in the actual movie — Tiana finds frogs disgusting and doesn't want to kiss any part of one.
  • The Boondock Saints. After giving him a Cooldown Hug one of the McManus brothers covers Rocco's mouth with his gloved hand, then kisses the back of his own palm.
  • Thor. The first time Thor leaves Jane he kisses the back of Jane's hand. The second occasion there's an Almost Kiss moment before Thor kisses her hand again, so Jane just grabs him for The Big Damn Kiss.


  • The majority of the kisses Edward gives Bella in the Twilight series are on the jaw and neck.
  • In The Catcher in The Rye, Jane lets Holden kiss her all over her face, but never on her lips.
  • There's a point in Wedge's Gamble where Leia Organa kisses Wedge Antilles on the cheek. They're Platonic Life Partners / Like Brother and Sister, apparently. That didn't stop them from holding hands, talking about Wedge having kids, and the line "Things may have changed, Wedge, but not us". ...Wedge and all three members of the Big Three are very, subtextily close in those few pages they share, but although Luke hugs him for a long time and Han hangs out and ruffles his hair, only Leia kisses him.
  • In Protector of the Small, this happens from time to time to Keladry of Mindelan. Cleon kissed her eyelids after two of her sparrows died. At the end of Lady Knight her former teacher Lord Wyldon, who kept Moving the Goalposts for her earlier on, kissed her forehead as part of the ultimate expression of respect.
  • The men Sayuri had been with in Memoirs of a Geisha would rarely (if not never) kiss her on the lips. Which is why the First Kiss she had with the Chairman was so important to her.
  • In The Dead Tossed Waves after Catcher gets infected he refuses to kiss Gabry on the lips.
  • In Phantom of the Opera, Christine gives Erik a benevolent kiss on the forehead. And even that is enough to kill the poor guy.
  • Sir Percy's and Marguerite's passionate kissing scenes in The Scarlet Pimpernel sequels are always described as this.
  • In Les Misérables, Marius kisses Eponine on the forehead after she dies. Justified because, as the narrator explains, it was not him being disloyal to Cosette but taking pity on Eponine and fulfilling her last request.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Jaime Lannister remembers Tyrion telling him that many whores will "fuck you blind" but will refuse to kiss.

Live Action TV

  • "Uncle Pete" kisses his wife on the forehead in Damages.
  • Potentially squicky example — Jayne, from Firefly. "That's why I never kiss 'em on the mouth."
    • "That" being the girl potentially using a knock-out drug in her lipstick, just like Saffron used on Mal.
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "The Body" Xander kisses Willow on the forehead. It makes sense, given that Willow and Xander are close friends, the kiss is one of comfort, and their significant others are both present.
    • Ironically, Willow and Tara had just shared their first onscreen (lesbian) kiss a few minutes earlier.
    • Faith kissed Buffy on the forehead during one of their fights in Season Three. Originally, it was going to be a kiss on the lips.
    • Willow is working herself up to ask ex-girlfriend Tara out for coffee and lesbian love when she sees her greet-and-kiss another girl. From her viewpoint it's difficult to see how intimate the kiss was, but she runs off anyway. Willow tries to tell herself she overreacted ("I kiss my friends all the time.") Tara later informs Willow they were in fact Just Friends.
  • Battlestar Galactica. One of the Viper pilots (not Lee) drinks booze from Starbuck's belly button during a drunken revelry.
  • Hannah Montana is a bit schizophrenic on whether it's a no hugging/no kissing show or not (Miley kisses usually get shown, Oliver and Lilly's never do) but they had one intriguing use of this trope when a vegetarian girl Oliver was dating kisses him on a meat-stained cheek to show that she forgave him for eating meat, as long as he didn't lie to her about having done it.
  • In the season 9 premiere of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, after Goren is fired, he and Eames are saying goodbye as partners for the last time. They full-on embrace for the first time in the series, and Goren presses a rather intense kiss to her cheek for several seconds.
  • The X-Files was a repeat offender of this trope: over nine seasons, there were only four on-screen kisses between Mulder and Scully, and one of them wasn't real. They do, however, share many kisses on the forehead, the neck, the cheek, and the hand.
  • Once Brian and Justin get together in Queer as Folk, they lay down some groundrules to be able to keep sleeping around without hurting one another — not kissing anyone else on the lips is one of these.
  • The Space: Above and Beyond episode "R&R", the virginal Cooper goes to a prostitute, who invokes this trope:


SUZY: Gotta save something for the man I fall in love with.

  • "Heartland" (a 1990's Australian series staring Ernie Dingo as an Aboriginal cop). The white female lead character finds that everyone in the hometown of Dingo's character assumes she's his girlfriend and says quietly, "If you wanted me to play a role — like your lover — you just had to ask." Dingo's respond is to gently kiss her wrist.
  • Pushing Daisies may count in a way. In the pilot, Ned is deciding where to touch Chuck to bring her back from the dead. The narration says, "On the lips? No, too forward." (He decides on her cheek.)
  • Star Trek: Enterprise. T'Pol gives Trip Tucker a kiss on the cheek as she leaves to take part in her Arranged Marriage to another Vulcan.
  • This is prevalent with the Official Couple in the Korean Series Pasta.
  • Typhoid Mary insisted on this in her episode of Brimstone, for good reason.
  • When Barbara Havers (of The Inspector Lynley Mysteries), the titular Inspector Lynley's partner, is held hostage at gunpoint on her first case back after being shot in the stomach the previous episode, she first tries to use the perp as a punching bag and then falls apart and sobs hysterically into Lynley's chest — and he very, very plainly kisses the top of her head as he holds her close. Obviously, it's one of the first scenes fans point to when they make their case for the fact that Barbara and Lynley are clearly in love with each other, even if they haven't acknowledged it.
  • The Addams Family: Gomez frequently does this to Morticia, even kissing her hair at one point.

Newspaper Comics

  • Made into a joke during one of Paige's Dream Sequences in FoxTrot. As it turns out, the "kisses" are wherever she's being nibbled by Jason's pet iguana.

Real Life

  • People with severe food intolerances, particularly a life-threatening peanut allergy, put their health (or in some cases, lives) at risk when they kiss people who have been consuming the food they are intolerant/allergic to. Hence, they have to avoid kissing on the lips and aim for a part of the face that did not come into contact with the food.


  • In The Fantasticks, Luisa sings about wishing to be the kind of girl designed to be kissed upon the eyes.
  • Shakespeare 4 Kidz' production of Romeo and Juliet had to be heavily Bowdlerised, one of the symptoms of which was this trope. Even more so when you realize that other companies often include a sex scene.

Video Games

  • Heavy Rain has one moment where Lauren (a prostitute) says "I don't kiss, and I don't do any weird shit". Presumably she's referring to this trope, making it more significant when she kisses Shelby.

Web Comics

  • Bob from Emergency Exit turns into a demon when kissed by a girl on the lips. His girlfriend encourages him to get creative.
  • Sabrina Online: When giving ZigZag a promised kiss, Sabrina refuses to smooch her on the lips.

Western Animation