The ability of the pharmaceutically acceptable cocrystallising agents, succinic acid and 4-aminobenzoic acid, to form cocrystals with ten small organic molecules with hydrogen bonding acceptors but no donors, was investigated by grinding, hot-stage microscopy and solution based crystallisation experiments. The reproducible results obtained by different methods showed that only six cocrystals formed. The crystal structures of the four novel cocrystals, succinic acid·2,2′-bipyridine (1 : 1, P21/c, I), succinic acid·diphenylcyclopropenone (1 : 2, P21/c, II), 4-aminobenzoic acid·antipyrine (1 : 1, P21, III) and 4-aminobenzoic acid·phenazine (1 : 2, P, IV), are reported. The computed crystal energy landscapes of the cocrystals and their components show why succinic acid·1,4-dicyanobenzene did not form a cocrystal as well as predicting the observed structure of succinic acid·2,2′-bipyridine as the most stable. The most stable hypothetical structures of a 1 : 1 succinic acid·1,4-dicyanobenzene cocrystal are closely related to those of the components. The results demonstrate that cocrystal formation requires both hydrogen bonding and close packing, and so markedly non-planar pharmaceuticals will be quite specific in the steric and hydrogen bonding disposition requirement of coformers.