What is queerbaiting?

Implying but never actualizing a non-hetero relationship

Most often, the term queerbaiting refers to when a TV show, book series, or movie series hints at a non-hetero romantic relationship between two characters but never explicitly shows that relationship. In these instances, LGBTQ-positive audience members may feel the story "baited" them into expecting something it never delivered.

The term can also be used to refer to:

  • Other hyped-up-yet-unsatisfying LGBTQ representation in media (e.g. Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series)
  • Celebrities who "bait" LGBTQ fans with the possibility they are queer, but never explicitly say so

Some examples of queerbaiting

While many commonly-cited examples of queerbaiting are arguable, some notable instances include:

  • Quinn and Rachel (Faberry) on Glee
  • Betty and Veronica (Beronica) on Riverdale
  • John and Sherlock (Johnlock) on Sherlock

Some shows, such as Adventure Time and The Legend of Korra, were accused of queerbaiting right up until their finales, in which non-hetero characters finally directly expressed their love for each other on-screen.


I'm so glad Our Flag Means Death wasn't just queerbaiting ... how refreshing!
An Adventure Time fan fed up with the show's perceived queerbaiting
An Adventure Time fan fed up with the show's perceived queerbaiting

Related Slang


Updated April 28, 2022

Queerbaiting definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "Queerbaiting" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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