The 26 Best Lesbian Knifeplay Scenes in TV History

Update 3/3/22: In honor of Killing Eve returning for its fourth and final season (and also in honor of the fact that Autostraddle is recapping the show weekly for the first time!), I thought it was high time to update this very important work of cultural criticism and investigative journalism. As with the first time around, the definitions of “knife,” “knifeplay,” “gay,” and even “TV” are interpreted broadly. The only rule about this list is that there are no rules.

Whether Killing Eves Eve and Villanelle want to end each other’s lives literally by way of murder or just end each other, like, sexually is a complicated question because the answer is both and yet neither. What Villanelle and Eve have for each other is, in turns but also sometimes all at once, seductive and dangerous. Their knifeplay has birthed many a fanfic, and I should know, because I read them as if they were cute lil bedtime stories.

But while Eve and Villanelle may have recently popularized and perfected the art of seductive-scary knifeplay on television, they certainly did not invent it. Here are the other times gay knifeplay graced our televisions.

Villanelle gifts Eve lipstick with a razor hidden in it (Killing Eve)

So the first thing I knew I was gonna do when updating this list was add several more Killing Eve moments.

Villanelle holds a blade against Eve’s throat and says “will you give me everything I want” (Killing Eve)

Date night!

Villanelle coaches Eve in the art of ax-murder (Killing Eve)

Villanelle (Jodie Comer) has a wide eyed expression and blood on her face

The fact that Villanelle is this thrilled to watch Eve kill someone? The fact that this scene is closely followed by Villanelle saying “you’re mine”? Just murder wives doing murder wife shit!

Ruby and Scarlett’s whole thing (American Horror Stories)

Ruby kisses the Rubber(wo)man while holding a knife

At best, I think the Rubber(wo)man chapters of American Horror Stories are boring and uninspired. And at worst, they encapsulate tired and heteronormative ideas of kink, sexuality, and desire despite being about a young queer girl discovering herself but I digress! Anyway, here’s a pic of a makeout that also features a knife.

RoboSara holds a knife to Dr. Sharpe’s neck (Legends Of Tomorrow)

Sara is holding the knife to Ava's neck on Legends Of Tomorrow

Thank you to Valerie for flagging this one!

Batwoman saves Sophie with a batarang and then Sophie saves Batwoman with a batarang (Batwoman)

What is a batarang if not a bat-shaped knife?

Kirsten and her knife (Station Eleven)

Kirsten flicks open a knife on Station Eleven

I have not seen Station Eleven yet (I know! I’m working on it!) but Drew said the following: “Station Eleven is all about a bisexual who is good at throwing knives but did she ever do so in a sexy way with a woman?” And Riese chimed in to say that indeed Kirsten is in a codependent relationship with her knife, so I’m counting it!

Taissa grabs a letter opener after making out with her wife (Yellowjackets)

Taissa and Simone make out on YellowjacketsTaissa grabs a letter openerTaissa holding a letter opener on Yellowjackets

Honestly, Yellowjackets as a whole has very Gay Knifeplay Vibes. In addition to this Taissa moment, shoutout to Shauna’s close relationship with knives as a teen and adult.

Below, you’ll find the original 18 moments that made the first version of this list in 2019!

Villanelle with a knife in Eve’s kitchen (Killing Eve)

Villanelle (Jodie Comer) holds Eve (Sandra Oh) at knifepoint against a refrigerator

Wow, just wow. This image really is Killing Eve in a nutshell.

Eve stabs Villanelle (Killing Eve)

A close up of Eve's hand holding a knife against a leg in Killing Eve

Remember when we all thought Eve and Villanelle were going to have gay sex? But then instead, Eve STABBED her? In any case, as season two shows, Villanelle thinks Eve stabbed her because she loves her…

Tamsin pulls a circular blade out of nowhere on Bo (Lost Girl)

Tamsin holds a circular blade against the neck of Bo on Lost Girl

“You are more alive than anyone I have ever met.”

Nancy Botwin and Celia Hodes in Nancy’s kitchen (Weeds)

Nancy Botwins holds a knife against the throat of Celia Hodes on Weed

Okay, I’m going to need everyone with a Netflix subscription to go watch this scene right now. It happens in season three, episode 12, about three minutes into the episode. (If you don’t have Netflix, you can watch the scene here, but the quality is not great and trust me this is something you want to experience in HD!!!) Watch the scene three times. The first time, listen to Celia’s breathing. The second time, focus on Nancy’s hands. The third time, focus on Celia’s hands. The HAND ACTING that is happening in this scene is incredible and undeniably sexual. This is a sex scene, and you cannot convince me otherwise.

Faith uses her new knife on Willow (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)

Faith holds a knife against Willow's neck on Buffy

Faith and her knife have almost as much chemistry as Faith and Buffy do.

Faith pushes Buffy against a wall (Buffy The Vampire Slayer)

Faith leans against Buffy on Buffy

“If you’re a screamer, feel free.”

Stahma poisons Kenya (Defiance)

Stahma holds the head of Kenya after poisoning her on Defiance

Yes, technically poison is not a knife. But spiritually, this counts as knifeplay.

Root and Shaw and the iron that sparked a million fics (Person Of Interest)

Root holds an iron close to Shaw's face on Person Of Interest

Oh yes, another entry on this list that does not technically involve a knife. We’re not even halfway through here and we are spiraling out of control, but did you expect anything less?

Clarke holds a knife to Lexa’s throat (The 100)

Clarke holds a knife against the throat of Lexa on The 100

I’M SORRY!!!!!!

Fen hurls a dagger at Margo (The Magicians)

A dagger flies at Margo on The Magicians

Dagger-throwing is a commonly practiced form of lesbian foreplay.

Linda Cardellini just loving knives (A Simple Favor)

Linda Cardellini holds a knife in A Simple Favor

I know this is not a TV show, but clearly this list is playing it fast and loose with its own guidelines. I called Linda Cardellini’s character in A Simple Favor a Knives Lesbian in my review of the film, and I stand behind it. She collects knives; she paints knives; Blake Lively ruined her life. Knives Lesbian.

Helena Cain and her folding knife (Battlestar Galactica)

Helena Cain holds a knife on Battlestar Galactica

This knife passed from Helena to Kendra Shaw to Starbuck, which is both beautiful and gay.

Mona brought pie (PLL: The Perfectionists)

Mona holds a box in one hand and knife in the other hand on Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists

She! Brought! Pie!

Xena confiscates Gabrielle’s “breast knife” (Xena: Warrior Princess)

Xena holds a knife and stands in front of Gabrielle on Xena: Warrior Princess

Gabrielle’s ACTUAL response to this? “It’s not like your breasts aren’t dangerous enough.”

Xena and Callisto’s fight (Xena: Warrior Princess)

Someone holds a knife against Xena's throat on Xena: Warrior Princess

This was a body-swapping arc, and body-swapping is gay.

Emperor Georgiou and Michael Burnham in the Mirror Universe (Star Trek: Discovery)

Emperor Georgiou holds a knife at Michael Burnham's throat on Star Trek: Discovery

Michelle Yeoh’s top energy on Star Trek: Discovery is… too… powerful.

Rory and Paris’ fencing fight (Gilmore Girls)

Paris Geller holds a fencing sword against Rory Gilmore on Gilmore Girls

In all seriousness, this is one of the greatest television scenes of all time.

Dylan pulls out a knife literally during sex with Helena (The L Word)

Dylan holds a knife against Helena's throat on The L Word

Somehow, this is like the most chill thing that happens in the series finale.

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Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya

Kayla Kumari Upadhyaya is the managing editor of Autostraddle and a lesbian writer of essays, short stories, and pop culture criticism living in Orlando. She is the assistant managing editor of TriQuarterly, and her short stories appear or are forthcoming in McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Joyland, Catapult, The Offing, and more. Some of her pop culture writing can be found at The A.V. Club, Vulture, The Cut, and others. You can follow her on Twitter or Instagram and learn more about her work on her website.

Kayla has written 815 articles for us.


  1. as the owner of several Fun Knives, several more Practical Knives, and a couple swords just for giggles, I feel very seen

    also fen’s love affair with knives and her sojourn to benihana are the honorary #19 on this list

  2. BRB sending this article’s link to my mother so she knows exactly who to blame for the extensive stash of decorative and practical weapons collecting dust in her attic.

  3. Wait.
    Do we have more knife play than dance scenes on TV?
    And just how many people in the comments do own swords?
    I mean..we all knew about lesbians and cats, but..
    I’m saying this as someone who took down her decorative weapons collection because it was scaring people.

    • yes i am absolutely gonna need a roll call for who all owns/owned swords in these comments!!!! i did not own a sword, but i did own a foil because i briefly took fencing lessons in high school

      • I do not own a sword, but I have a Jedi light-saber hilt made of silver and black duct tape on a paper towel tube. With black foam rubber and thin strips of more silver duct tape making patterns for decoration. Very fancy. Whenever our library has Star Wars nights I get out my Unnamed Peasant Renaissance-Festival gear and my long black cloak and go as Random Jedi.

        Kiddo’s light-saber is glow-in-the-dark duct tape around a dowel rod, with black and silver duct tape for the hilt. I am jealous.

      • i have a katana (?) that i got from a friend’s junk pile, it’s sharp and pretty, then a wooden stage combat practice sword that i got for my birthday a few years ago.

        fun fact my stage sword has drawn blood, from me, rendering me stabbed in the purest of technical senses! so like technically i’ve been stabbed nbd

    • I had friends in high school who would refuse to sleep in my room when we had movie night sleepovers because my walls and shelves were literally covered/decorated with weapons. I suppose that should have been a glaring indicator that maybe I had a problem….

    • I think I recall conversing with you about my demonic looking sword gifted to me with a scabbard and belts. Since then I got 2 foam swords as wedding favors from the funniest wedding I’ve ever been too.
      One is the classic She-Ra Sword the other is in the style of a Viking sword.

      Still have my trusty box cutter and faux chinese letter opener, but I lost my multi tool :(

      I feel my Bacchus swag (light up mardi gras throws) doesn’t count because they wouldn’t even survive a fight choreography session and the big one its pommel is so impractical. Way too big for such a short handle.

  4. Since nobody else mentioned it I just want to add remind everyone that Buffy and Faith later had a body-swapping episode, because “body-swapping is gay.”
    Thank you AS and Kayla, like @hmello I’m 5 times gayer now.

  5. Wait but how is the BtVS season 3 finale not on here, where Buffy “gives back” Faith’s knife? Thinking about it now, they actually have like the exact same pair of scenes as Killing Eve! Meeker one pinned against a wall by the unhinged one, later ends up stabbing her in the gut.

    • Not enough hand action, but honorable mention is acceptable as she was avenging her lesbian lover and the gonadal fortitude of taking on a Hellgod is stuff legends are made of…and someone stop me before I wax poetic about how Aphrodite is a powerful merciless goddess who makes love to the god of war.

  6. Mmmmmmm yesssss this is my happy place.
    I was that kid who checked out one of those glorious full color DK Books on weaponry enough times from the middle school library some people got concerned.

  7. I love this article and this is absolutely the content I want to see, HOWEVER I am shocked and appalled that the “Death by a Thousand Cuts” scene from Jessica Jones, season 1 episode 10 didn’t make this list.

  8. Kayla, just for the record, I do laugh at loud at least once during every damn one of your articles. Today’s winner: “Somehow, this is like the most chill thing that happens in the series finale.”

  9. Wait, what about when Buffy stabbed Faith? It was just such a romantic and fulfilling moment. Buffy realizes how much Faith means to her then. So much so that she is still dreaming about months later.

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