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Aw, snap. Just the cigarettes?

I know you didn't wanna kiss me, but when I was taking a hit off that bottle before, I backwashed in it. I mean, like, really big-time.
McKenas Cole, Alias, s1e13, The Box: Part 2

Issues of physical contact taken to a logical extreme. The surprise is when someone is offered food or drink by someone they like, then realizes that swapping spit residue is apparently somewhat similar to a kiss, indirectly.

Bizarrely enough, a form of this notion, the sharing of a drinking glass with a lover as an intimate act, appears in a treatise on romance by the Roman poet Ovid, making this Older Than Feudalism.

See also Sweetheart Sipping, Date Crepe.

Examples of Indirect Kiss include:


  • This very squickful Hong Kong ad for Tempo tissue paper: a dork picks up a piece of used tissue, with a lipstick mark, from the desk of his female colleague, and treasures it like his own dear life.
  • This is the reason, according to the Man Law, that men must toast with the bottom of the beer bottles.

Anime and Manga

  • Rurouni Kenshin has an example that foreshadows Kenshin & Kaoru's future relationship: they both drink from the same sake cup, after which Megumi slyly remarks, "It's as though they're a married couple", eliciting embarrassment from Kaoru & Kenshin's trademark flustered "Oro?".
  • In Ah! My Goddess, while under the influence of a drug that makes her a bit more "aggressive", Belldandy purposefully sets up Keiichi on the verge of having an indirect kiss with her after she asks him to have a taste of his canned drink. Too bad that it spilled over.
  • In episode 6 of Chocotto Sister, Choco shares an ice cream with a boy named Kakeru Ishida. As they share it, he thinks "This is an indirect kiss!".
  • Mysterious Girlfriend X is based on this trope; the Boy is literally addicted to the Girl's sweet saliva, but they've yet to kiss — she sucks on her finger and lets him suck her drool off.
    • Used a little bit closer to form in chapter 59 Tsubaki kisses Urabe's photo and then lets her taste his 'drool' so she can feel how turned on he is. Then she has him do it again, and she kisses the back side of the picture, directly opposite his lips.
  • Parodied (as are all things) in Excel Saga: Watanabe agonizes for some time over whether or not to sip Hyatt's tomato juice, thereby getting his first "indirect kiss". Before drinking it, however, he notes that it's overflowing. It's not all tomato juice; Hyatt presumably vomited blood into it. Later in the episode, it's revealed he was hospitalized after drinking it.
    • Although the hospitalization probably came from all the medicine Hyatt added to it when he wasn't looking. She needs a lot of medicine, given her tendency to cough up blood and die at a moment's notice. Factor in that her medicine, once used to leave a trail behind her when she was kidnapped, was eaten by birds... and left a trail of dead birds instead.
  • Episode 19 of Kimagure Orange Road has Kyosuke and Madoka consciously sharing an indirect kiss on a deserted island. Namely, they share an apple and she chooses to eat from the portion he started from.
  • Another excellent example of the indirect kiss is in Black Lagoon (pictured above) between Revy and Rock — the "cigarette kiss", in which Revy chains her cigarette from Rock's, after a fight between them, hence, (indirect) kiss and (silently) make up.
    • It's also a Slap Slap Kiss, with Revy doing the slapping. And by slapping, we mean "almost blowing Rock's head off."
    • And also punching him in the face soon after that, hence the bruise under his left eye.
  • Happened in Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer, Tamayo sharing out of Koutarou's bag of chips.
  • Lucia in Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch keeps freaking out about this sort of thing, especially in the chapter when her emotions go out of control while visiting Kaito (anime: influenced by magical item; manga: drunk), until they finally do kiss.
  • Tsuwabuki in Revolutionary Girl Utena ends up throwing away a chocolate bar that a girl had bitten after contemplating that eating it would count as an indirect kiss. This apparently harmless item later appears in his duel as a symbolic manisfestation of Tsuwabuki's desire to grow up.
  • In FLCL, Kitsurubami unintentionally does this with a drink she was holding for Amarao. She's horrified after she realizes what she's done.
  • In Dragon Half, Mink has an Accidental Kiss with Dick Saucer; later, her friend Lufa tries to get an indirect kiss with Dick Saucer by kissing Mink.
  • Parodied in Gakuen Heaven: keeping up the Boys Love spirit that pervades the whole series, the whole cast that consists of varying degrees of Bishonen discuss who was it that used a character's toothbrush, something that would constitute an indirect kiss of the creepy kind. Did I mention that everyone is naked in one of those Hot Springs Episode type of situations? As it turns out a cat was the culprit. Of course.
  • In Onegai Twins, a flustered Miina accepts a can of soda from her love interest Maiku, literally referring to it as an indirect kiss later on.
  • In Negima!? Setsuna starts fantasizing when it's pointed out that making a pactio with Negi would count as an Indirect Kiss with Konoka.
  • Gunbuster: The female protagonist Noriko realizes she's been "indirect kissed" after drinking a soda shared with her short-lived love interest, Smith Torren.
  • Done in "The Melancholy of Asahina Mikuru" story of the 6th Suzumiya Haruhi light novel. Mikuru silences Kyon's flustered, mumbled attempts to comfort her by placing her index finger on his lips. She then slowly lifted her index finger and placed it on her own lips. While neither of them outright acknowledge it as an indirect kiss, Kyon's elated reaction and his following thoughts are very much in line with the trope.
    • While shooting their film in "The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya", Mikuru offers Kyon water from the bottle she's been drinking from. Haruhi immediately grabs it from him.
      • Later at the end of the arc, Haruhi drinks from the same cup as Kyon in a cafe.
  • To Aru Kagaku no Railgun: Kuroko becomes elated at the prospect of getting a bite of something after Mikoto and later freaks out when Mikoto and Saten innocently spoonfeed each other samples of their ice-cream. Kuroko desperately asks for equal treatment, but Mikoto refuses since Kuroko got the same kind as her.
    • Implied but not really dwelled upon in the related To Aru Majutsu no Index, when Mikoto drags Touma into pretending to be her boyfriend. They both get hot dogs, and are distracted after each has taken a bite. When they turn back to their lunch, they don't know which belongs to whom. Touma doesn't care, since they both got the exact same thing, but Mikoto quietly obsesses over the idea. Attentive viewers note that each did in fact end up with the other person's hot dog.
  • In the second episode of the To Heart 2 OVA, the Genre Savvy sister of Manaka Komaki lampshades this when Konomi swipes Takaaki's cola drink and finishes it.
  • Lampshaded in Saiyuki by Gojyo after a Bohidsatva takes blood from him via a kiss and delivers said blood to Sanzo with the same technique.
  • Tamaki from Ouran High School Host Club freaks out when he thinks Haruhi and Hikaru might have one of these by sharing an ice cream cone.
  • Happened in Toradora!, when Minorin enjoyed an indirect kiss with Takasu off her fist, after sending him out after Taiga.
  • During an episode of Kaze no Stigma, Kazuma asks Ayano to hold his canned coffee for him while he takes care of some mutant. Cue Ayano staring at the can and blushing slightly. After the fight, Kazuma asks for his coffee back - she replies that she drank it.
  • Though no one calls it an Indirect Kiss outright, chapter 150 of Hayate the Combat Butler shows Aika being all blushy and hesitant at taking a drink from a bottle Wataru just offered her — a bottle he just drank from. Naturally, oblivious Wataru does not understand why she'd be so fussy.
    • Hinagiku gets flustered over one from a coffee cup in chapter 283.
  • The Last Kiss between Riki and Iason Mink in Ai no Kusabi was like this, with them pressing the tips of their cigarettes together as they share both a Last Kiss and One Last Smoke right before Iason bleeds to death after having his legs cut off and the place they're in blows up. Together in Death, indeed..
  • Shizuku of Kämpfer intentionally invokes this. Asking Natsuru to pass her first the soda, then two cups. She pours into both, picks one up, but only kisses it. Then she offers it to Natsuru. The entire crew is there for this, and they all act suprised, except Natsuru himself, who tries to back away. Eventually Shizuku just does away with the indirectness.
    • Not to mention shortly after, when Akane considers kissing Shizuku because it would be an indirect kiss with Natsuru.
  • In the Love Hina manga, Keitaro contemplates an indirect kiss when Narusegawa offers him her drink to wash down some pre-exam antacids.
    • In a later chapter, they share an indirect kiss through a human intermediary, Mutsumi, who explains that she kissed them both for this express purpose.
  • In Witchblade, Shiori is deeply in love with her mentor and employer, Dr. Reina Sohou, and kisses the lip print left on her teacup after the good doctor has left her office.
  • In Eiken, when the club goes to the gym, Teacher offers Densuke her drink and he realizes it is an indirect kiss and gives it back. When Teacher drinks it she also realizes it is an indirect kiss.
  • They Are My Noble Masters has one when Shinra gives Ren a canned beverage she'd been drinking and tells him he can finish it. After he does, she forces him to admit that he enjoyed it because it was an Indirect Kiss.
  • In an episode of Urusei Yatsura, Moroboshi sells the face mask worn by a sick Lum, and every boy in the class queues up to enjoy an indirect kiss. They are promptly infected with Lum's cosmic germs.
  • Usui in Kaichou wa Maid-sama teases Misaki by telling her they've had an indirect kiss after sharing an apple slice with her. In another instance, although the trope isn't specifically mentioned, it is clearly in mind when Usui puts his lollipop into Misaki's mouth before hugging her.
  • Asu no Yoichi: Mashiro notices that Kagome has run out of juice before she gets her share. He offers her his glass, clearly stating that he's not invoking this trope in that he hasn't taken a drink yet.
  • When Usagi-san calls Misaki out on his inability to express his affections for Usagi, Misaki tries this- by kissing his own hand, then slapping it over Usagi's mouth, exclaiming "How's that for erotic?!"
  • In Shugo Chara the Catboy Ikuto starts eating the other side of Amu's ice cream cone (Much to her dismay).
  • When Chiharu offers Kyo a drink from his water bottle in Girl Got Game, she realizes it's an Indirect Kiss and nervously prepares to drink . . . then Hamaya grabs it from her hands and takes a drink himself.
  • Star Driver: Do you mind the glass?
  • Koharu no Hibi: Creepily invoked in the first chapter. Akira first spots that something is wrong with Koharu when she drinks the saliva out of his recorder. After the incident, she also starts keeping the bottles he's used, and insisted that he do the same with hers.

Comic Books

  • A possible variation usually occurs with Rogue of the X-Men. Since she can't touch someone without draining the life out of them, she will usually do something like put her (gloved) hand over their mouth and kiss that instead.

Fan Fiction

  • In the Haruhi Suzumiya fanfic Kyon: Big Damn Hero, Kyon's aunt observes no real hesitation on Kyon's part when he has to share a teacup with Yuki.
  • In a Princess Tutu fic, Fakir after taking a bite from an apple tosses it up to Ahiru who was sitting in a tree. She unwittingly takes the bite from the same place as he did, causing him to observe that they just did this. And coincedently, making Ahiru to fall off the tree.


  • During the Hays Code era, a couple smoking cigarettes together, particularly if they share one cigarette or light one with another, would suggest they were up to something more than kissing.
  • Black Widow. The federal agent and the female serial killer she's investigating first meet during a scuba-diving course where they practice mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in a blatant Les Yay moment.
  • In Rashomon, Tajomaru and Masako have a rather disturbing one — according to him, at least. They're struggling; she bites his arm, and he then lasciviously licks the bite.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In a scene showing that the Horcrux is starting to mess with Ron's mind by making him think that Hermione prefers Harry over him, Ron glares suspiciously at the two as they share a bottle of water.
  • In The Spy In Black, Conrad Veidt lights Valerie Hobson's cigarette with his own amidst much Unresolved Sexual Tension

Live Action Television

  • As shown in the quote above. One episode of Alias has a one-shot villain who has a little crush on Sydney backwash into some bubbly and then force-feed her some.
  • The second episode of the Due South two-parter Mountie on the Bounty: Fraser gives Ray Kowalski air via mouth-to-mouth "Buddy Breathing" while underwater in a sinking ship. Although there is direct contact, this is still an Indirect Kiss, as the intent was the exchange of air rather than romance. Fraser calls it "standard procedure", and when Ray asks if anything has changed between them, Fraser assures him that no, it hasn't. This scene is also a good example of Ho Yay.
  • In Friends, Chandler buys Monica an engagement ring. Phoebe happens to be holding it when Monica walks in. To keep it out of sight, she quickly puts it in her mouth. When Monica leaves, she gives it back to Chandler who then has to hide it in his mouth too when Monica enters the room again. Once she leaves, Phoebe teases Chandler: "We're practically kissing."
  • Another variation is in Pushing Daisies. Ned and Chuck can't ever kiss directly because if any part of their bodies touch, Chuck dies permanently.
  • A body-swapped variation occurs in Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town on the show within a game 'Aaron Changes', when the main character Aaron and his girlfriend Erin change bodies. During band class, he thinks that her using his Recorder might be a form of indirect kissing.
  • In the UK TV series Cracker, highly observant (and highly annoying) psychiatrist Fitz is briefing the detectives, one of whom makes an ignorant comment in his area of expertise. Fitz immediately jumps down the man's throat for this...but a few seconds before that same detective had passed a drink to Fitz's love interest DS Penhaligon, who drank from the bottle without wiping the mouth first — just the kind of minor detail Fitz would notice.
  • In Being Human, Annie, a ghost, drinks from (or at least, puts her mouth on) a bottle her still-living ex-fiancé had just been drinking from, the implication being that this is as close as she can get to kissing him anymore.
  • In Kamen Rider Double, when Akiko is about to reach Official Couple status with Ryuu, the Indirect Kiss makes her very excited at drinking from a coffee cup that she believes he has just used.
  • In Episode 6 of Whites, Skoose plays Kiki's trumpet and they both point out that their spit is mixed together.
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles has a subtle one in the pilot, where John is eating out of a bag of potato chips. Cameron approaches him, they have a conversation, and when John remarks that she acts disturbingly like a real person, he response is to take a chip out of the same bag and eat it. Considering the direction that the series took regarding their relationship as it progressed, this is remarkably subtle.


  • A rather strange example of indirect sex occurs in John Donne's poem "The Flea". A man tries to get his girlfriend in the mood but she's having none of it. He pulls a tick/louse/some bloodsucking insect from his pubic hair and puts to her skin so that it feeds. He then argues that since their bodily fluids have now mixed in the tick it's like they've already had sex, so they might as well do it for real anyway, because it makes no difference. Needless to say, she squashes the tick.

    Of course, this is also a prime example of Get Thee to a Nunnery, as the poem repeatedly mentions "sucking". Back in the day, the long "s" would have resembled an "f".
  • In Shards of Honour of the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold:
    • The Hero and Heroine give CPR to another character, and at one point they have to change because her arms are tired. She has a silent ironic laugh at the "parody of a kiss"
    • Done again and heartbreakingly in the same novel when the heroine decides to send the hero a physical letter rather than an electronic one because "it was as close to a touch as they could come."
  • This trope is explored at some length in Longus' Daphnis and Chloe, owing to the woeful sexual inexperience of the two titular characters. Being written in the 2nd century AD makes this, well, rather old.
  • In Kelley Armstrong's Exit Strategy, Jack smokes constantly while Nadia has quit smoking. Jack lets Nadia take puffs off his cigarette, since she won't smoke a full cig but she can rationalize sharing as not really smoking. Neither of them ever discuss it, but the third point in the love triangle notices and gets nasty towards Jack about it. After it's pointed out to her, Nadia is uncomfortable with the intimacy of sharing a cig.
  • Not a straight example of this trope, but possibly an early proto-form of it: in Rainbow Valley, Rosemary West can't help but notice that Rev. Meredith put his lips on the same spot of a tree-bark-cup that she did when she drank from it earlier, and thinks about how she was told that when that happened, the destinies of the two involved will be linked together...
  • In The Name of the Wind Kvothe and his love interest share an apple, which he explains is, "as close to kissing, if you've never done it before," or something to that effect.
  • In Midnight's Children, the narrator describes seeing a Bollywood movie that got around the conservative social conventions of the day by having the hero kiss an apple, then pass it to the heroine so that she can kiss the same spot. For the pre-teen narrator it ends up being more erotic than if they had simply kissed in the first place.
  • A version of the legend of the city of Ys mentions that Dahut, the scandalous princess, makes her new-lover-of-the-evening drink from the cup she drunk from and bite from the fruit she bit from.


  • The stage directions of Bugsy Malone more than once call for Bugsy to kiss his own fingertips and then press them to his Love Interest's nose.

Video Games

  • Cloud's immaturity in Final Fantasy VII is showcased in his reluctance to perform the Kiss of Life on a little girl.
  • In a cutscene in Disgaea II, the party is surrounded by monsters and attempt to use a magic flute to distract them. Adell tries playing it first, but is proven to have no musical talent whatsoever, so Rozalin takes the flute from him and puts it to her lips — at which point she realizes the significance of this act. She then forcefully discards the flute into her servant's forehead. Axel later finds the flute and plays it, but this trope isn't mentioned.
  • In Tokimeki Memorial, if the protagonist meets ace swimmer Nozomi Kiyokawa for the first time as she does her daily 50 kilometers run, she'll offer him some of her juice. As she'll leave him, the protagonist will realize and gleefully mention to himself he had an indirect kiss this way.

Visual Novels

  • In the Clannad visual novel, the hopelessly shy Ryou takes a grain of rice off Tomoya's lips and eats it. When she realizes the implications, she gets so flustered that she runs away. If the player tries to go for her more confident twin sister Kyou, Ryou does the same thing a few days later, but doesn't mind at all, a hint that she is trying to act like Kyou.
  • Referenced by name during two separate instances in (P)lanets. In the first instance, the main character shares her half-eaten sandwich with a Love Interest; the second instance happens when a different love interest steals one of her half bitten rice balls.
  • Katawa Shoujo: in Rin's route, she and Hisao share a cigarette and Hisao thinks about how they're sharing indirect kisses.

Web Comics

  • Played with in this strip of the webcomic Bonobo Conspiracy.
  • Reika of Red String wonders if sharing a juice box can be considered an indirect kiss.

Western Animation

  • In Snow White, when the Prince visits her at the start of the movie, Snow White shyly runs up to a balcony, then kisses a dove and sends it to deliver the kiss to the prince.
  • Beavis and Butthead once got kicked out of a lingerie shop because they went around touching all the crotches of the panties and insides of the bras, figuring all of them will eventually be bought and worn by hot chicks.
  • Averted in the Futurama episode "Roswell That Ends Well", in which a stereotypical 1950's diner has a sign on the door telling patrons, "One teen to a malt please."
  • In the Generator Rex/Ben 10 Crossover special, Holiday gives one to a comatose Agent Six by kissing the glass covering of his bed, close to his cheek.

Real Life

  • Played straight in Real Life, where an 'indirect kiss' is one of the main causes of Infectious Mononucleosis, the Kissing Disease.