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01 May 2011 @ 05:19 pm
No Heterosexual Explanation Moments  
Recently, I was talking to frostfire_17, and the topic of the No Heterosexual Explanation Moment came up. (It will not surprise you to hear that we were talking about the Fast and Furious franchise at the time. There are few other franchises so thoroughly inundated with such moments, I think.) It is the moment when you try, you genuinely, seriously try to take off your slash goggles and figure out what the writers, producers, directors, and actors thought was happening in a scene, and you can only conclude that, no, they must have thought the same-sex pairing was doing it, too. (It can also be the moment that a non-slasher wanders in, studies the screen for a long moment with narrowed eyes, and then says, "They are so fucking each other.")

As far as I can tell, there are two major categories of No Heterosexual Explanation Moments. The first is where the plot only makes sense if the pairing is, in fact, a pairing; I tend to put the first season of Smallville (what I know of it) into this category. Lex's behavior is just, you know, really really hard to explain unless he is very hot for Clark indeed. And the second kind is where it's just not something people with a strictly platonic, UST-free relationship ever do. Like, for example, when one cop signs "I love you" to the other cop as he's being med-evac'd out on a helicopter. I am pretty sure they don't teach that in police academy courses on Effective Partnerships in the Law Enforcement Profession, is all I'm saying.

But Frost and I realized that, tragically, we just do not have the depth and breadth of experience to make a complete catalogue of No Heterosexual Explanation Moments. This is where I am hoping you all come in. What are the key NHEMs of our time? Of past times? Of all time? Educate me! Bonus points for links to clips, if they come from a visual medium.

F/F as welcome as M/M, of course. And, hey, if you've got any NHEMs for threesomes, lay 'em on me. The only key is that even a person struggling not to see the pairing will still say, "...You know, I just really think they're doing it." (Obviously, if it is an actual canon pairing, it cannot feature in an NHEM, because in that case there shouldn't BE a heterosexual explanation.)

ETA: Spoilers in comments, of course! And the more the merrier, in my opinion.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comments.
misspamela: SUDDENLY THEIR EYES ARE VERY CLOSE - robmisspamela on May 2nd, 2011 12:34 am (UTC)
The Eagle. The entire movie.

The evidence! (Links to a 3-part post.)

From a review of the movie:

Again, if Marcus and Esca started to fall for each other — a fiery hate turns into a passionate love — the motivations of the film would have made total sense and would have been a much braver and more intelligent movie. Instead, it grunts and heaves like a chain of fraternity brothers elephant walking, whispering into the shoulder of the naked man whose penis he’s grasping that it’s totally not gay, it’s about brotherhood and honor and tradition. The Spartans buttfucked each other and weren’t nearly as bromosexual as these two fellas.

ETA: Itf we're looking for a specific MOMENT, I'd say the part where Marcus gasps, "I thought I'd lost you." when Esca comes to rescue him. Not "Yay, you're rescuing me." I THOUGHT I'D LOST YOU.

Edited at 2011-05-02 12:37 am (UTC)
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV bluethefourthvine on May 2nd, 2011 12:56 am (UTC)
FROST SUGGESTED PRECISELY THAT MOMENT. I mean, also the entire movie, but she noted that specific scene as a CLEAR NHEM.

Okay, I'm convinced!
(no subject) - misspamela on May 2nd, 2011 01:40 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - greyminerva on May 2nd, 2011 04:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - greyminerva on May 8th, 2011 12:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
ms_duck on May 2nd, 2011 12:35 am (UTC)
Kamen Rider Kabuto. Hell Bros. in episode 48.I suppose it's possible to construe it some other way, but I can't think of it. Also, episode 37(?).

I noticed it the first time I watched the show without my shipping goggles on.

The Hell Bros. are the two dudes in my icon.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on May 2nd, 2011 01:06 am (UTC)
But what happens? Spoil me! I am all agog!
SPOILER ALERT - ms_duck on May 2nd, 2011 01:15 am (UTC) (Expand)
Mara: Chloe/Brucemarag on May 2nd, 2011 12:37 am (UTC)
::snickers:: I've never seen H5O but...yeah, there's no heterosexual explanation for that scene.

And at least the first two seasons of Smallville are included, I think. I was watching a mid-season episode and Avi (non-slasher) walked in, watched Lex and Clark talking in Lex's library for a few minutes, and started to make kissing noises at the screen :D
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV dogtagsthefourthvine on May 2nd, 2011 01:15 am (UTC)
I can totally see that the first two seasons might be. Just, I only know what happened in the first one, because BB watched some eps of that but not, I think, any others. But, yeah, Lex and Clark in the early days just had to be Clark/Lex, if you see what I mean.
the pirate queen of norwayashkitty on May 2nd, 2011 12:37 am (UTC)
All of Star Trek TOS, ever.
tried to eat the safe banana: ST TOS Kirk/Spockthefourthvine on May 2nd, 2011 01:17 am (UTC)
(no subject) - ms_duck on May 2nd, 2011 01:19 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jacquez on May 2nd, 2011 01:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ashkitty on May 2nd, 2011 01:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - silentstep on May 2nd, 2011 12:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - shadowvalkyrie on May 2nd, 2011 05:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - spookyfbi on May 3rd, 2011 03:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Silvia Kundera: morganasilviakundera on May 2nd, 2011 12:47 am (UTC)
For me it's the Merlin character's behavior on BBC's Merlin -- the extent to which he ignores all the Pendragon genocidal habits and sacrifices himself & others for the sake of Arthur just does not make sense to me if you assume Merlin is totally heterosexual with no unrequited romantic pining. I have to believe Merlin is in love with Arthur to make the characterization hold together.

I've had this conversation with my dad a few times (who watches the show on BBC America) and he generally ends up flailing all, "he's not gay! I don't... I don't know, he just DOES IT FOR ARTHUR."
Me: "okay, but how do you explain it?"
Me: "Why? What has Arthur really done to deserve that depth of fixation and loyalty?"
Father: "I... don't know. IT'S JUST A MYSTERY. MAYBE HE HAS TO, IT'S MAGIC."
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV flowersthefourthvine on May 2nd, 2011 01:21 am (UTC)
Yeah. I have never actually seen Merlin, but what I know of the plots - and also there was this clip, where Arthur redirected guards hunting for Merlin, I think? I remember seeing that and thinking, "Well, now we know it's requited."
Cherrycherryice on May 2nd, 2011 12:51 am (UTC)
It's funny just how often I end up having some variation of the following conversation with friends:

"You know despite the fact that the Fast and the Furious movies make no sense, and are just shiny cars, pretty boys, and explosions, I still enjoy them greatly."

"Pretend that Vin Diesel and Paul Walker's characters are totally doing it. And may be head-over-heels love with each other."



"Huh. You know, all of a sudden, there is character motivation and an almost coherent plot line."

I'll note that the first movie came out when I was in, like, grade 10. I think there's an entire generation of us who imprinted on Paul Walker and his slashy blue eyes in fast, shiny cars.
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV glowythefourthvine on May 2nd, 2011 01:28 am (UTC)
It really is the only logical explanation. And I am too old to have imprinted on TFATF, but I am still VERY MUCH SOLD ON IT. I recently read an article about how the franchise has done a service to Hollywood by actually having a cast that looks basically like, you know the actual US in terms of race (although, spoiler: the actual US population is not that pretty), but I think it has done at least an equal to slashers everywhere.
(no subject) - greyminerva on May 2nd, 2011 04:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - khaleesian on May 2nd, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Buttercup: Guhbbuttercup on May 2nd, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
Lucelucia_tanaka on May 2nd, 2011 01:35 am (UTC)
:watches: Okay, that was kind of hilarious.
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 2nd, 2011 01:36 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - folavril on May 2nd, 2011 02:01 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - perfica on May 2nd, 2011 10:17 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - saveyoursanity on May 2nd, 2011 02:56 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - greyminerva on May 2nd, 2011 04:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - gaypornninja on May 3rd, 2011 01:51 am (UTC) (Expand)
joyce: dannystevejoyce on May 2nd, 2011 12:52 am (UTC)
The entirety of Hawaii Five-0 is one big NHEM. There's this hilarious scene where Steve has ordered something online, and Danny brings the box into the house, and Steve says "What's that?" and Danny says "I brought you a present" and Steve just BEAMS.

There is the constant bickering about driving the car ("I'm not scared, I'm rationally concerned"), and about the music in the car, and Steve being good to Danny's family, and Danny being annoyed at how Steve handles suspects, and Steve talking Danny down about something on his cell phone while Steve is setting a trap for someone in the jungle, and, the scene where Steve does the meet the family thing with Danny's brother, and gah. <3 The show slashes itself, and you can't tell me the writers don't know it.

And I'm having no luck with Youtube and finding video evidence, because it's all vids, and I love vids, don't get me wrong, but the strength of H50 is in the dialogue, which you need to be able to hear to get the NHEMs.

Ahem. Don't mind me. I get a little flaily when it comes to H50.

Edited at 2011-05-02 12:55 am (UTC)
Lu (Not Your Average Retelling)elucreh on May 2nd, 2011 01:14 am (UTC)
Dude, after that promo, you can't tell me the network don't know it.

ETA: Sorry, am a dope.

Edited at 2011-05-02 01:14 am (UTC)
(no subject) - joyce on May 2nd, 2011 01:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - elucreh on May 2nd, 2011 01:57 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lizzy_someone on May 2nd, 2011 05:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 2nd, 2011 03:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - joyce on May 3rd, 2011 01:10 am (UTC) (Expand)
Imaginary Researcher: Jude Law - peachzgraphicshannahrorlove on May 2nd, 2011 12:55 am (UTC)
Do ambiguously gendered characters count? I ask because there's quite a bit of stuff going on in the movie The Prophecy that's a long scene of nothing but characters intimately discussing mutual longing for their shared past, but since they're angels, calling it a NHEM is a minor stretch.

Maybe a So Totally A Couple moment?
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV brownthefourthvine on May 2nd, 2011 03:10 pm (UTC)
Of course they do! Although, seriously, having seen it - I would not call those characters all that ambiguously gendered. And, yeah, NHE AT ALL.
(no subject) - hannahrorlove on May 2nd, 2011 03:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Meret: Sam/Deanmeret on May 2nd, 2011 12:55 am (UTC)
SPN - In The Darkside of the Moon Ash says Sam and Dean are soulmates. I've only ever seen that term used for romantic couples. Plus Dean went to hell for Sam! And people constantly mistake them for a couple.

SGA - There's an episode where Rodney is jealous when John likes a woman who turns out to be an ancient protecting a planet from the wraith.

Edited at 2011-05-02 01:01 am (UTC)
I'm a people personlaurificus on May 2nd, 2011 01:02 am (UTC)
We should also not forget the time Sam and Dean are described as irrationally, erotically, psychotically codependent. I mean. Those are actual words uttered about them in canon.

Edited at 2011-05-02 01:03 am (UTC)
(no subject) - meret on May 2nd, 2011 05:01 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ursabee on May 15th, 2011 06:16 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 2nd, 2011 03:14 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - meret on May 2nd, 2011 05:12 pm (UTC) (Expand)
rubynye on May 2nd, 2011 01:10 am (UTC)
On the recently-ended TV show NUMB3RS, David & Colby are FBI agents and partners. (See my icon. The cheesy looking one is named Colby.) In Season 6 they decided to crank their already slashy vibe up to 11 with moments such as: when they were supposed to arrive at a dinner with dates, they came as each other's; after Colby was rescued from a hostage situation, David handed him keys by pressing his hand flat against Colby's chest and letting the keys fall into his hand.

Also I've recently been contemplating Stargate SG-1, and this promo picture is such a moment all on its own.
can't find my drink or pantsgeeklite on May 2nd, 2011 04:13 am (UTC)
I wish we'd had, like, eleven seasons of David and Colby being partners, and also some minor maths stuff. I would have loved that show.
(no subject) - rubynye on May 2nd, 2011 03:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 2nd, 2011 03:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - rubynye on May 2nd, 2011 03:21 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - rubynye on May 3rd, 2011 11:58 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - tigerbright on October 5th, 2011 04:38 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - stillane on May 3rd, 2011 08:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - lokei on May 5th, 2011 08:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Stillanestillane on May 2nd, 2011 01:15 am (UTC)
I'm not sure if it counts, considering it was very much on purpose, but pretty much all of Guy Richie's Sherlock Holmes movie is one long NHEM, I think. You kinda have to work to make anything that Holmes does in that movie with regard to Watson purely heterosexually motivated, and yet... I saw it in the theater sitting between my extremely conservative dad and my sister's boyfriend, and they did not twig to anything. It boggles me.
the pirate queen of norwayashkitty on May 2nd, 2011 01:20 am (UTC)
That was SO a NHEM movie.
(no subject) - ms_duck on May 2nd, 2011 01:21 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ashkitty on May 2nd, 2011 01:59 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ms_duck on May 2nd, 2011 02:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - mrstotten on September 18th, 2011 10:18 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 2nd, 2011 03:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - stillane on May 3rd, 2011 08:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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(no subject) - stillane on May 3rd, 2011 08:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
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corvis_corvaxcorvis_corvax on May 2nd, 2011 01:26 am (UTC)
The Sentinel, the epp with the elevator, when Jim is worried that Blair's late for their lunch "date."

First time it was on TV we were watching and my friend's husband walks though the room, pauses to listen to the "Where is he? He's late! I'm worried" dialogue and says -WIthout Prompting OR prior knowledge of the show- "Those guys are gay, aren't they?"
laurajacquez on May 2nd, 2011 02:03 am (UTC)
For my husband, it was the moment when Jim is dreaming about naked Blair. He walked into the room, looked at the screen, and said -- I can't remember exactly what, but something about how this show was slashy as hell, I think. It was the first scene of the show he'd ever seen.
(no subject) - sadiane on May 2nd, 2011 02:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - liviapenn on May 2nd, 2011 02:55 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 2nd, 2011 05:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - filkferengi on May 7th, 2011 10:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Alethia: HL Methos Gunalethialia on May 2nd, 2011 01:29 am (UTC)
Highlander. Specifically the scene where Duncan pushes Methos against a car and tells him, "We're through." I mean, I suppose you could say that he's using that sentence in the sense of, "I am very angry with you and don't want to be friends anymore." But given general usage, it come across like OMG, MAC IS BREAKING UP WITH METHOS!
Rhi: Duncan Methos shieldsgryphonrhi on May 2nd, 2011 01:45 am (UTC)
And the scene in Till Death with the tea being offered and Duncan batting his eyelashes at Methos. (And no, I'm *not* being metaphorical, TFV.)
(no subject) - reginagiraffe on May 2nd, 2011 02:30 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thefourthvine on May 2nd, 2011 06:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
ceitean: douwataceitean on May 2nd, 2011 01:34 am (UTC)
There are bucketloads of NHEMs in all sorts of animanga and 98% of them are done on purpose, too. Yay for fanservice.

^see icon
tried to eat the safe banana: TFV dogtagsthefourthvine on May 2nd, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC)
This is true facts, and I say this as only a casual animanga fan!