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"I've never understood this infatuation with Patrick Swayze."
"That's unfair. I appreciate the man's work. The wild, animal Swayze of Road House. The sensitive, vulnerable Swayze of Ghost. Or that Dirty Dancing bad-apple my father forbids me to see."
"That went to kind of a weird place."
—Tycho and Gabe, Penny Arcade - "Purge 2: The Purgeoning."

So, you have two very close male (or, in rare cases, female) friends who do everything together and are generally pretty chummy.

Too chummy.

Ho Yay is short for Homoeroticism, Yay!, a concept that argues that there must be a subtext behind any platonic male or female friendship—or, in some cases, just in one character. These characters aren't gay, but the script, the acting, and the music, among other things, help make it seem that way.

This is not always intentional. Sometimes the time period of a work's publication can showcase outdated social norms that may look... suspicious to a modern audience. Also, sometimes the pair in question are actually enemies, but fans interpret their hostile interactions as "tension," which of course means they're secretly hot for each other.

ExamplesEdit

More prominent Ho Yays include:

and, disturbingly,
  • Dean and Sam Winchester (Supernatural).
  • Buford Van Stomm and Baljeet Raj (Phineas and Ferb)

Enemy Ho Yays, also known as Foe Yays, include:

Yeah, it's a common cliché. A very common cliché exploited by slashfic writers.

Ho Nay! Edit

A less-common reversal of the Ho Yay phenomenon, Ho Nay supporters use it to argue against slash pairings, under the theory that any canon character without a demonstrated same-sex love interest must be heterosexual. Unfortunately, this is also used to argue against the sexuality of characters who are demonstrably homosexual or bisexual in canon, under the guise of "Oh, that's just good buddy stuff."

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