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The Practice Kiss is what happens when two people who are not in a relationship decide to try kissing each other, ostensibly for non-romantic reasons. Commonly, this is shown to happen between characters who are teenagers, with at least one of them being inexperienced in kissing or romance in general.
If neither party has ever experienced a First Kiss and are suffering Angst about the possibility of making fools of themselves while doing so, one may suggest a Practice Kiss so that they can more easily impress their current or future significant others. Alternatively, they may just want to see what kissing feels like. While it may not be the kissers' original intent, doing so may be the spark that causes one or both of the characters to develop feelings for the other. If one of the kissers does have previous experience, the other will usually be shown to be quite flustered after the fact.
The Practice Kiss can also be used as a ploy when one character is secretly in love with the other, but just Cannot Spit It Out. This may be done as a means to make the other character notice them romantically, or simply so that they may experience their True Love's Kiss at least once before letting go of the object of their affection. While this provides an easy source of sexual tension between the pair, the plan can backfire if they are caught in the act... especially if the person being kissed is already in another relationship.
If both participants are of the same sex, it can also be a prime source of Ho Yay. This can be done solely for the benefit of the show's fans, or to serve as the moment one of the characters starts to realize that they are gay.
Note that this is distinct from the Test Kiss, which is when potential lovers try kissing each other to see if there is a romantic spark between them. They can overlap, however, as what may be a Practice Kiss to one of the characters may secretly be a Test Kiss for another.
Compare Kissing Warm Up, where a character practices by kissing an inanimate object.
Anime & Manga
- In the Clannad OVA "Another World: Kyou chapter", Kyou offers a practice kiss to Tomoya, who she is secretly in love with, but who at that time is dating her twin sister, Ryou. She pulls back at the last second before they actually kiss, but not before they are seen by some of their classmates.
- Sekai from School Days uses this as a ruse to make Makoto fall for her, having grown jealous of Makoto's relationship with Kotonoha (who Sekai actually helped get together). It works.
- Ushio and Sumika do this early in Sasameki Koto, with Ushio wearing a mask so that it doesn't count.
- Love Hina devotes an entire chapter to this where Shinobu is wondering about this and Su constructs a kissing robot for practice... which then went crazy and kissed Motoko.
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Asuka attempts this with Shinji. It goes well until she starts pinching his nose.
- In the ecchi manga Hen, Yoshida, who is secretly in love with her female friend Azumi, proposes a "practice kiss" to train for the film they're shooting together.
- Cruel Intentions In a Les Yay example, this is proposed by Manipulative Bitch Kathryn to the innocent Cecile, who is worried about making a fool of herself when kissing her boyfriend for the first time. Afterward the kiss Cecile is left breathless, and unconsciously leans forward for more as Kathryn pulls away.
- In the John Hughes film Some Kind of Wonderful, Keith is convinced by his best friend, the Tomboy Watts (who's secretly in love with him), that he should kiss her for practice before he goes out with the ever-popular Amanda Jones. Following it, Keith looks like he's been hit by a train.
- This is used in John Tucker Must Die. Two of the eponymous character's girlfriends (the main character and a supporting character) practice kissing together after the main character admits the she has never kissed anyone.
- Not only does the main character in Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging get one with a character dubbed "Saliva Boy", but so does one of her friends (who ends up falling in love with him).
- The Wedding Singer - Robbie and Julia (who's engaged to another) practice how Julia should kiss her soon-to-be husband, with the appropriate amount of "church tongue". Needless to say, the kiss is extremely passionate.
- In Privilege of the Sword, Artemisia is briefly mentioned to have practiced kissing with a female friend. (Her sexuality isn't really explored, but in that universe the default setting seems to be bisexual, so make of it what you will.)
Live Action TV
- Kyle and Jessi's Electric Kiss has to be the best kiss on the show, unless you count their other kiss where they blow out a lightbulb. Seriously, all Kyle is trying to do is practice saving his girlfriend's life beforehand so he doesn't fry her brain when he sends high voltage into her skull, but we can hear his heartbeat speed up. Not just an innocent kiss. Awkward when his girlfriend walks in.
- Chuck Bartowski and Sarah Walker share one of these as a demonstration of his seduction skills in the aptly-named "Chuck Versus the Seduction."
- In Boston Legal, Denise gives Brad one of these to try to find out why all his ex-girlfriends have called him the worst kisser in the world.
- In the ICarly episode iKiss Freddy confesses that he's never had his first kiss, and is ridiculed for it. He talks to Sam about it, and (even though they usually can't stand each other) they end up kissing, just to get it over with, and declare not to tell anyone. This ends up being a plot point several episodes later.
- On Friends, Joey had an audition for a role where he had to kiss a guy, so he tried to talk Ross or Chandler into kissing him to help him get used to it. Ross eventually did it but by then Joey had already had the audition.
- In The Borgias Lucrezia who is about to be married asks Giulia Farnese to teach her how to kiss.
Judy: Anyway, I remember practicing kissing with Leslie. She was my best girl friend. Did any of you ever practice kissing with another girl... (Sings) So that when the time came you'd know how to? (Listens, then speaks) No?... Oh, my God.
- The Sims Medieval: In the quest "The Mirthful Love Doctor", the Physician Sim can agree to help a romantically inexperienced Sim learn how to kiss (among other things.)
- El Goonish Shive puckers up with a couple examples of its own:
- This almost happens in Eerie Cuties here and later actually happens.
- Ash and Emily in Misfile, as Emily is trying to work out if she's gay or not.
- Ménage à 3: Gary, who's never kissed a girl, ask his (Camp Gay) roommate Dillon (who's secretly in love with him) to help. Dillon does so by cosplaying as Gary's favorite porn star to help him get over his gender.
- The Recess episode "The Experiment" centers around the kids' curiosity with this new, strange concept they've heard of called kissing, and they decide the only way to truly see what it's like is by having two of them kiss. The two girls and five boys draw straws, and the lot falls to T.J. and Spinelli. Cue the launch of a new Toy Ship!
- In the Family Guy episode "Hannah Banana", Meg asks Chris if he wants to "practice kissing again".