Pretend Couple

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search
Trope · Genre
Synonyms: Pretending to be Married, Pretending to be Engaged, Fake Boyfriends/Girlfriends
Related: Undercover in a Gay Bar
See Also: AMTDI
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
Click here for related articles on Fanlore.

Pretend Couple is a trope found in all genres of fanworks. This trope includes all sorts of pretenses; marriages of convenience, undercover identities, investigations, financial schemes, immigration schemes, high school reunion dates, wedding dates, making someone jealous, and many others.

The main purpose of the trope is to throw the couple together in extended proximity and then explore the hidden, or not so hidden, feelings that develop. It has a long, long history in original media, in everything from films, romance novels and sitcoms.[1] Undercover in a Gay Bar is a slash-specific version of this trope that puts the couple in a gay-friendly environment.

Pretending to be married is on the Cliché Bingo list.[2]

The trope is sometimes used as a jumping off point for an AMTDI story, where the "aliens" call the bluff of the pretense.

Example Fanworks

DC Comics:



  • each to each by Jenwryn. Lewis & Hathaway go undercover as a married couple seeking a surrogate mother as part of a case

Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman:



One Direction:

Robin Hood (BBC 2006):

Sherlock (BBC):

Star Trek (2009):

  • The Place Between by Psicygni. Spock and Uhura pretend to be in a relationship in order to obtain dilithium crystals from an alien ambassador.

Star Wars:

  • Marriage of Convenience by Cindy Olsen. While on a mission together, Han and Leia must pretend to be a married couple.

Stargate SG-1:

  • A Pretense of Romance by Maureen Thayer. Daniel volunteers to pretend to be Sam's boyfriend in an attempt to make Jack jealous, but the plan backfires in the most unexpected of ways.

Stargate Atlantis:

Starsky & Hutch:

  • Outcome, by Lamardeuse. While it also employs the trope, Undercover in a Gay Bar, Starsky and Hutch pretend to be gay to keep an eye on Hutch's Little Brother, Kiko and support the young man's coming out.


Supernatural RPF:

Teen Wolf

The Sentinel:

Fannish Resources


  1. The Beard at TV Tropes, accessed April 18, 2010
  2. The Big List of Clichés, Accessed April 18, 2010