Everyone loves a good "friends to lovers" trope — it's got the slow burn, the pining, and even the plausibility to make us swoon both in fiction and real life. As a matter of fact, research suggests that two-thirds of romantic relationships start from platonic friendships. But even if friends don't become lovers IRL, it's not to say that they can't accidentally turn each other on...
So naturally, u/AdAppropriate6975 had to ask, "What did your friend do that accidentally turned you on?" From members of Reddit and the BuzzFeed Community alike, here are 74 adorable responses that could honestly be tense, bite-sized excerpts from "friends to lovers" stories (and, spoiler alert, some of them did end up together!):
1."I was cracking jokes with a coworker. When she laughed at something I said, she pushed at my chest in that 'oh, stop it, you!' kind of way."
"Whoo boy, I damn near melted right then and there."
2."He was driving, and I was riding shotgun. He had to reverse to parallel park, so he turned his torso toward me and put his arm around my seat in order to look back. He did that so confidently and effortlessly that it made me feel a little funny."
3."We were sitting on a sofa, and as I was telling him a story, he slowly rolled up his sleeves while still looking me dead in the eyes and listening carefully."
"Thank god I was sitting."
4."At the school dance, a friend, whom I had a crush on, came over and sat on my lap — despite there being plenty of free chairs next to me — and just casually had a conversation."
5."As a guy, I decided to fall asleep on the lap of a close friend who then proceeded to stroke my hair and lightly pull it."
"It was really hard to fall asleep 'cause I was worried I'd get a boner."
6."When I was in science class, this guy I liked sat behind me. We would talk frequently before and during class. Once, I was waving my hands while telling my friend a story. He came behind me to hear, and I whacked him in the neck! I freaked out and apologized before asking if he was alright. He then stared into my eyes and said, 'That wasn't very nice of you.'"
7."While talking on the phone with his mother, he alternated between languages to ask me to pass him his wallet. I knew people could switch it on and off like that, but I've never seen the flow quite as effortlessly."
8."She ruffled my hair. It wasn't a big deal, but she was one of my close friends, and that just...wow."
9."In high school, I had this guy friend. I legit had no feelings for him, but the day after I was absent, he told me that he missed me because he had no one to tease. He said it while laughing in a wholesome way, and that got me."
10."During work, a colleague — with whom I'm also friends — took care of my wounded knee. We were alone in the canteen, and he was very sweet and caring."
11."He had been bragging about the fact that he could probably pick me up. Within seconds, he had looked me up and down, wrapped his arms around my legs, and picked me up like I was nothing."
"I had body image problems then, but I swear they disappeared for a second when that happened. We're now dating."
12."This girl started tickling me, so I started tickling her back. She then started to moan and said she was 'sensitive there.'"
"Awkward drive home."
13."My roommate and I were drinking in our apartment when he asked me to measure him for a tux for his brother's wedding. I already had a crush on him, so I was very nervous. While I was measuring his collar, he jokingly said, 'Choke me.' I legit dropped the measuring tape."
"I honestly still think of that night."
14."I had a coworker who was younger than me; we would all playfully joke that he was the young one at the office. Once, he and I were sent on a coffee run and were bantering as usual when I jokingly commented about his age. He then not-jokingly said, 'I'm not that young.' Something about the way he responded did it for me."
15."I've always gone by an abbreviation of my name (El), and he was the only person to always use my full name (Eloise). I don't know why, but it always made me weak."
16."We were at home drinking with some friends when she started singing. I looked at her then and didn't just see my friend; I saw a very attractive person."
"I sometimes still see that moment when I look at her and shake the thought away."
17."During high school, I befriended a student who had moved to the area from Tennessee. I'm from Virginia, but that was the first time I heard a Southern accent from someone my age that I found attractive. Geez, him calling me ma'am or miss was the bee's knees."
"More than 10 years later, a real Southern gentleman still does things to me. I even love when guys without the accent call me miss."
18."One time, a group of us went to watch some fireworks. During the usual louder-and-bigger finale fireworks, she jumped, grabbed my arm tight, and didn't let go."
19."I had this really good friend throughout high school. I never thought she was particularly attractive, but — as a part of a joke — she once did this satirical lip bite and wink, and... Let's just say I still remember it vividly."
20."During my first year of high school, a friend licked my face as a joke. She was one of those girls who thought she was quirky or different for acting like a weirdo. It was strange as hell, but Jesus Christ, she awakened something in me. I wasn't even particularly attracted to her; I was just licked and felt the arousal creeping in."
21."In high school, someone told me a friend had a crush on me. I didn't see him as more than a friend, so friends we stayed. While we were hanging out one night, he went inside to help another friend's mom on the computer. I looked at him through the window, and time stopped."
"I could feel the butterflies in my stomach, and I fell in love with him right then and there. We are still together almost 19 years later."
22."We were rock climbing together. My rope was too tight, so he helped me untie it. He was close enough to me that I could smell him, and he actually smelled really good. It was an instant turn-on."
23."I was dictating math problems to him. We were coworkers and working on an education project for elementary students. Every time he finished writing them down, he would look me dead in the eyes and say 'yes' or 'more' — over and over again."
"I can't stop giggling."
24."A surprise, backward hug turned into a full-on embrace. My heart fluttered like crazy."
25."My friend was responding to another friend's question when our eyes met. He gave me a quick wink — which was never a thing he did — and it caught me so off guard. I later caught myself giggling and swooning at the move, and I'm a straight guy."
26."I was sitting shotgun, and he was sitting behind me. He kept messing with me by grabbing my shoulders, pinning me to the seat by shortening the seatbelt, and stroking my hair. I was beet red but didn't tell him to stop."
27."We were outside at a party, and I asked her if my eyeliner had smudged. She took my jaw in her hands and gently but firmly turned my face back and forth, examining my makeup. She then lightly patted my cheek and said it looked fine. I couldn't even thank her; I just nodded."
"We moved on while I gathered myself."
28."During my robotics class, I was sitting on the ground to look through a supplies drawer. I sensed someone leaning over my shoulder to look through another drawer and suddenly noticed how damn good they smelled. When I looked up, I saw it was my best friend. He smiled at me and flicked my ponytail behind my shoulder before walking off again."
29."A few years ago, my friend and I were goofing off and making flower crowns on a grassy knoll. She decided to roll down said knoll, and as she did, her shirt rode up. I could see the sun reflecting off that little line of hair that goes down from the belly button. I swear time stopped, and all my blood vessels woke up. The sun was shining brighter; the flowers smelled sweeter. That's when I knew I definitely was not straight."
30."Whispered in my ear! Instant boner."
31."This guy in my art class couldn't button his sleeves, so he asked me to do it for him."
"Damn, it was hot as hell."
32."We were on the bus home, and I was drawing on his hands. He had let me do this many times. But this time, he chuckled after I made a joke, so I looked at him as he smiled and watched me draw. I stopped because it was too much for me. He then asked me why I stopped and said it was soothing, but I lied and said I wanted to nap. I was just overwhelmed."
33."I'm a dude and have always worn my hair long. Normally, I just leave it down, but sometimes I pull it up in a ponytail. Once, a female friend pulled the ponytail out at the end of the day and ruffled up my hair after. Something about the relief from the hairpiece coming out and the unexpected hair-playing... I would genuinely become celibate if I could replicate that sensation on command."
34."There was this big, beefy jock with a full-on Viking beard and mohawk in my history class. He was definitely not my type, but it did something to me when he got up and started talking about ancient Roman military history — complete with primary source citations and maps."
"I’m not sure what that says about me, but it was interesting."
35."This was a guy whom I'd never seen as more than a friend. We met at work and were never romantic in any way. But one day, while we were walking to my car after work, he suddenly got close to me and said, 'You have a—' before taking a leaf out of my hair and tucking it behind my ear. I swear my body lit up."
36."While we were drinking at a party, I was handed a shot and said, 'This one is going to fuck me up.' He looked right at me and softly said, 'Don't worry, I'll take care of you.'"
"I threw that shot straight back."
37."We were discussing racial justice in a philosophy class — something I'm really passionate about. When we broke into groups, my now-friend pulled his chair from across the room, sat right in front of me, and said, 'You seem passionate. I want to know what you have to say about this.'"
38."After a night of drinking, I was walking home with one of my roommates and one of our best guy friends. It was dark, and I slit my heel open on a broken piece of glass. It was bleeding pretty badly. Without hesitation, my guy friend scooped me up and hailed a passing taxi to get me home faster."
39."A classmate of mine liked the smell of my deodorant, so she grabbed my arm and walked beside me."
40."She ran her nails along the inside of my forearm."
41."We were sitting on her couch watching Thor: Ragnarok when she went to get a pint of Ben & Jerry's from her freezer. When she came back, she sat sideways on my lap and alternated between taking a bite and feeding me a bite. It was oddly intimate."
42."A friend was rolling a cig, and when he stuck out his tongue to roll the paper... Oh, boy."
"A few days later, he stood behind me so closely that I could feel him breathing down the back of my neck."
43."My friend and I were lying on the floor and watching Vine compilations on one of our phones. He eventually turned his attention away from the videos and toward me, watching my reactions and smiling when I laughed. Whenever I turned to look at him, he would look away quickly, but feeling his eyes on me would make my heart race."
"I could barely focus on the videos."
44."I was making us coffee in my AeroPress and pressing the top down slowly — like you're supposed to — when she shouldered me over and leaned on my hand to press it down faster."
45."A close friend from uni pulled my ponytail firmly enough to get my attention because I didn't hear him call me. I had to catch my breath after that."
"We're married now."
46."Our entire group had gone clubbing. I couldn't hear what he was saying at one point, so he bent down and spoke against my ear. In that second, I questioned our two decades of platonic friendship."
"I didn't even hear what he said."
47."He jumped up, grabbed a fire escape ladder, pulled himself up, and then climbed all the way to the top."
48."I fumbled a move one night dancing with a friend. I thought he would dip me, but he spun me instead. He noticed, so he then dipped me and said, 'There, I've got you this time.'"
"That had no right to be as hot as it was."
49."We were joking when she turned back, grabbed my neck, and lightly strangled me."
"I haven't been the same ever since."
50."One day, I was hanging out with some guy friends. They eventually started kicking a ball around, so I went to sit near some cool flowers I wanted to draw. I wasn't paying attention when the ball came toward me, but one friend ran in front of me — I'm talking inches from me — to stop it. He then spent five minutes checking if I was okay before giving me head pats."
51."We were in high school and studying together at the library. I happened to notice she was wearing a different perfume, so I asked about it. She responded by getting close to me and making me sniff her neck. I never knew I could get a boner so fast."
52."I went on an overnight choir trip in high school, and we watched Moulin Rouge! while on the bus. I was singing along to one of the Satine/Christian duets with the girl sitting next to me when I looked over at her. The sun was setting, and we made eye contact. I swear all of the breath left my body. I had never wanted to kiss anyone that badly."
"Looking back, I really should have had suspicions about my sexuality then. At the time, I thought it was just a fluke."
53."He was walking and folding his sleeves at the same time. I couldn't help but watch — it was such a simple thing, but damn, I couldn't work the rest of the day."
"I had to call a friend to calm down."
54."At work, I used to get lunch with one of my colleagues. He was easy to talk to about a variety of things. One day, I was waiting in line for food alone when I felt a strong, warm hand pushing my lower back. I turned around, and it was him. He was trying to greet me as usual with a little cheek-to-cheek kiss, which is very common here in Mexico. I felt like there was a fire under my feet that went up to my head. After that, I never saw him the same way."
"We were from different departments, so we only saw each other for lunch. I thought he was nice but never found him attractive. Besides, he was married and had a little son."
55."I was lifeguarding at one of my best friend's swim team practices. He took his shirt off to get in the pool, and damn, that was it."
56."One of my closest guy friends winked at me and raised his eyebrow when I got up, and honestly...dang."
"I couldn't pay attention the rest of the day."
57."I was with friends and playing a drinking game. One friend — whom I also happened to think was extremely attractive — landed on the dare square and was dared to run through the halls in his underwear."
"I remember texting my friend that I was going to kiss him that night. We've been dating since."
58."One time, my friend came over to my apartment, and we went to sit in the living room. My ceiling light had gone out, so I turned on the lamp only to find that it had also gone out. I started fiddling with all of the lights in the room to see if a fuse had blown while he sat on the couch. Eventually, he said, 'Hey, it's okay. Just relax.' I have no idea why, but that cast-away comment just did something to me."
"We've been friends since we were 12, and him calming my faffing was such a weird turn-on."
59."While trying on clothes at the mall, my friends and I were being silly and doing fashion shows in the fitting rooms. I came out wearing a collared button-down. One friend told me to 'hold on' and walked up to me before looking me dead in the eyes and tucking in my shirt with a wink and a smile."
60."When I was in high school, my friend would usually hug me and tell me I looked nice on different occasions. One day, he said I had something on the top of my nose and then brushed it off very gently."
"I had a crush on him, and let me tell you, I was so weirdly turned on."
61."I became friends with a girl while on a high school trip. She fell asleep on my shoulder on the ride back."
"I'm still coasting on that memory."
62."We were pretty good (if not best) friends, and I never thought I'd be attracted to him. One night, we were at the bar, and I was cold. He took his favorite jacket, put it over my shoulders, and hugged me. I got a feeling for him I'll never forget."
63."She tackled me and not in a playful way. She was trying her best to take me down and succeeded. We were always just friends, but in that moment — right after we hit the ground — I felt a little differently."
64."One day, a guy friend of mine hugged me from behind in the tightest bear hug ever. We've been friends since we were 12, and he knew I was mad at him for something. Then, he sort of put his face on the back of my neck."
"Oh, good Lord, I was done."
65."We were both a little drunk, and I was planning on walking home. But since it was late, he took me home on his electric scooter. It was a tight squeeze but not particularly sexual until we hit a bump. I was in front of him, and he ended up pressed right against me."
66."She was listening to me and smiling as I talked about MRSA for a test review (we're nursing students). Then, she ever-so-slightly tilted her head while keeping her very pretty eyes directly on mine. My stomach was in knots, and I just started stuttering like a fool."
"It only happened, like, a week ago."
67."I was annoying him, so he picked me up, put me over his shoulder, and dropped me on the couch. No biggie."
"I was kind of hoping he'd spank me after propping me over his shoulder, but..."
68."This girl kicked me in the nuts in gym class, and I got a boner."
69."I went to a friend's house to play Dungeons & Dragons, and she made everyone nachos and chicken. I wanted to clean up before I left to avoid leaving her with our mess. But as I turned around, she put her hand on my chest, stared me straight in the eyes, and told me I didn't have to help. It was nothing overtly sexy, but she held my gaze and left her hand on my chest just slightly longer than would be expected."
"Anyway, we're married now, and I have since learned it was more than innocent to her. Apparently, I'd been completely oblivious to all her prior attempts at flirting. We'd been friends for nine years at that point, and there had already been many hugs, instances of sitting on each other's laps, and general friendly physical contact between us. In the end, this was what gave me the electric tingles."
70."I am very tactile; he isn't. However, he always pulled me next to him if it was chilly out, sat in my space at work meetings, and put his hand on my lower back when I was with him. It was nothing overtly sexual, but the fact he didn't do that with anyone else..."
71."I'm gay and went on a camping trip with my friend. While we were looking at the stars through a telescope, he had me lie down on the grass next to him. Something inside of me melted."
72."One night, I went out for a drink with my friend. This guy I knew was there and kept hitting on me — asking me to go home with him and being aggressive. After I turned him down, he immediately turned on my friend. He got in his face and called him a cockblock, saying it was his fault I wouldn't go home with him. My friend just stood his ground, crossed his arms, and told him to leave in a very calm and firm voice."
"The guy eventually left, but it was such a turn-on to see my friend remain so level-headed and calm in a tense situation when I'm used to guys being so reactive. It was super hot."