The term Subtext, as far as the Xenaverse is concerned, refers to the many subtextual elements present in episodes of Xena: Warrior Princess that allude to a possible romantic or sexual relationship between Xena and Gabrielle. It is used mostly by fans and occasionally in academic or journalistic discussions. To this day, there has never been any confirmation if the subtext grew organically out of the characters' interaction, or if it was intentionally begun by one of the writers or producers.
Most episodes that contributed to the birth of the subtext can be found in the show's first two seasons. Subsequent episodes were made after the idea of the subtext had already been spread, and, assuming it was originally an accidental concept, exploited the existing situation.
It should be noted that neither Lucy Lawless nor Renee O'Connor gave the subtext much credence during the show's run, even while filming episodes that seem to confirm it. When a director tried to motivate Lucy's performance on the set of "Paradise Found" by declaring that Gabrielle was "in another man's arms", she burst out laughing, as she didn't see their relationship that way. Both Lawless and O'Connor have since stated that when watching the show as casual viewers, they can see why people thought they were lovers, although Lucy maintains that she only came to that conclusion when specifically viewing the kiss in the series finale.
In spite of their denials, Lawless and O'Connor both willingly embraced their characters' status as lesbian icons. Lucy has gladly appeared and even performed at major LGBT pride events since XWP's early days.
- XWP: "The Quest" (Xena seemingly kisses Gabrielle on the lips while in Autolycus's body)
- XWP: "Here She Comes... Miss Amphipolis" (Gabrielle looks jealous when another apparently female character kisses Xena)
- XWP: "A Day in the Life" (Xena and Gabrielle share a somewhat intimate bath, only becoming uncomfortable when Minya overstays her welcome)
- XWP: "Deja Vu All Over Again" (Harry O'Casey and Mattie Merrill, the reincarnations of Xena and Gabrielle respectively, share a kiss after defeating Ares yet again)
- XWP: "Return of the Valkyrie" (Xena must awaken Gabrielle with a kiss)
- XWP: "Many Happy Returns" (Xena gets Gabrielle tickets to Sappho's show)
- XWP: "Soul Possession" (Harry and Mattie are stated to be returning from their honeymoon)
- XWP: "A Friend in Need Part II" (Gabrielle kisses Xena to give her water from the Fountain of Strength; until this final incident, Lawless herself was unconvinced)