Bash Brothers

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
World's Finest Bash Brothers

"I gotcha back, you watch my front."

Think about your closest friends. If you know them well enough, you also know their strengths and weaknesses. You know how they think, how they react, how they tick. You trust them to know the same about you, too. You might even trust them enough to let them fix your car--but not drive it. Hell would freeze over before you let them drive it.

In action oriented stories, two characters who are friends will work with each other during combat. Often this will present the image of Back-to-Back Badasses. If one person is big and the other short, the big guy will use brute strength and the short guy will use finesse. Maybe the big guy will clasp hands with the short guy and fling him around as though he was a weapon. Or the big guy will use the short guy as a projectile.

But no matter what, they will fight in tandem. They will watch each other's back. There is something genuinely satisfying about watching the heroes take out a room full of bad guys by working together. This isn't always limited to merely two people, as often the Five-Man Band can emulate even more varieties of combat.

Characters who tend to do this are The Hero and The Lancer, while The Big Guy can alternate between any of them. The Smart Guy takes down the Elite Mooks with precision Pressure Points and The Chick provides long-distance support as The Archer. This is one reason why the Badass Army tend to do so well even when outnumbered. Even a mismatched Action Duo can be Bash Brothers with enough bonding/training.

It is not uncommon in certain stories to have two separate badasses who come together, spend some time trying to kill each other only to eventually turn their skills onto the hapless enemy who happens to piss them both off.

If the "brothers" are actually related by blood, it's a Sibling Team. A combative inversion is Fearful Symmetry. In a fantasy setting, they might be a Sword and Sorcerer. Not to be confused with the Smash Brothers who are, well, Super. The romantic version is the Battle Couple. And finally, a female duo may well be Lovely Angels.

Compare Red Oni, Blue Oni and Ryu and Ken.

The name comes from the world of sports, where it refers to a pair of great players who end up on the same team. The first use of the term was in baseball, where Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire formed a dangerous duo for the late-1980s-early-1990s Oakland A's. It has since spread to other players and sports.

Examples of Bash Brothers include:

Anime and Manga

  • Berserk has a few moments like this in later arcs, with Guts smashing headlong into the Monster of the Week while Serpico leaps around taking care of the Mooks.
  • While they're not really close friends, one episode of Bleach had Chad and Uryu facing off against two foes. Originally, they were getting beat up hard. That is, until Uryu opted to switch opponets with Chad, seeing Chad's slow but strong style better on Uryu's opponet, and Uryu weak but fast style on Chad's.
    • Before the advent of Rukia and The Call Knows Where You Live and Ichigo turning into this unstoppable level-grinding machine, Ichigo and Chad also went bully hunting like this. They agreed years ago that if it wasn't okay to get in fights on their own behalves (and being redheaded and half-Mexican, respectively, they're major targets) they would always fight to protect each other. It's very sweet. Chad has spent the last two hundred chapters trying to be strong enough to keep this promise again. No dice.
  • Dragonball Z: Gohan and Krillin are the best of friends and greatest examples of bash brothers (though, ironically, Krillin is close friends with Gohan's father and is more of an extended uncle to Gohan). After the seven year time skip, the next generation of warriors Goten and Trunks are the newest set of bash brothers to the show.
    • Burter and Jeice are implied to be this, being the only members of the Ginyu Force who fight together rather than one-on-one. Unfortunately for them, their only on-screen fight is against Goku, who's way out of their league.
    • Goku and Vegeta play with this, but mostly in the movies and especially the Majin Buu saga.
  • In Gintama, this happens mostly during the serious episodes. Usually, Kagura and Shinpachi team up in the serious story arcs to deal with Mooks and the occasional Elite Mook.
    • The Benizakura Arc has Gintoki and Zura Katsura in a Back-to-Back Badasses moment, fighting against space pirates hired by Takasugi and then declaring war on Takasugi with the exact same words and in the exact same manner.
  • Kira and Athrun from Gundam Seed do this several times, coordinating their attacks and defenses to the point of near-telepathy.
    • From the second season of Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Setsuna F. Seiei (Gundam 00) and Saji Crossroads (0-Raiser). When they dock together, their mechas form the 00 Raiser, dubbed by fans as the Double Bro Raiser.
  • From Harlem Beat, we have Naruse-Sawamura duo both in their streetball and highschool team.
  • In Hunter X Hunter it was said that two members of the Genei Ryodan (Uvogin and Nobunaga Hazama) had this kind of relationship. They were at their strongest when they fought large groups of enemies together, though Uvogin would never admit it.
  • In the second last episode of Kotetsushin Jeeg, both Hiroshi Shiba (the original Jeeg pilot) and Kenji Kusanagi (the sequel's new pilot) are finally given the chance to both transform into their respective Super Robots, and what follows is an epic, epic double-teaming brawl.
  • Nagi and his team the Ala Rubra in Mahou Sensei Negima fought like this. Negi and Kotaro have been developing a style like this since entering the colosseum as a team.
  • Mazinger Z has Kouji and Boss. They begin at odds with each other but quickly they become good friends and fight together; Great Mazinger has Tetsuya and boss, and later in the series, Tetsuya and Kouji; UFO Robo Grendizer gave us Kouji and Duke; And finally Mazinkaiser showed more examples of how devastating Kouji and Tetsuya are when they are fighting together.
  • Subverted in Naruto. It looks like Naruto and Sasuke are building into this, but then Sasuke pulled a Face Heel Turn.
    • Ino-Shikamaru-Chouji is a better fit. They've been best friends for so long (since before they became ninjas), Chouji is able to pick up Shikamaru's strategies and prepare well before anyone else, Shikamaru knows just how to set up Ino's powers, and likewise Ino knows how to cover Chouji's weak points. By the time of the 4th Ninja World War, the trio's practically invincible.
    • The Ino-Shika-Cho trio even extends into their family. It's actually a tradition for three of the current generation to be put into a team together with a Sarutobi as their sensei.
    • And more recently, Kinkaku and Ginkaku. The two dead shinobi who survived being eaten by the Kyuubi for two weeks!
  • In One Piece, Zoro and Sanji are somewhat like this. They may bicker in the midst of battle and occasionally attack each other, but once they work together (as shown in the Davy Jones games), they are near invincible.
    • And as of chapter 572 we've had Luffy and Ace.
    • The entirety of the Straw Hat Pirates are very capable at working together against foes. This aspect was heavily portrayed during the events at Thriller Bark and the Sabaody Archipelago.
  • Ranma ½ has a antagonistic version of this as a Villain of the Week arc. Azusa Shiratori and Mikado Sanzenine are masters of Martial Arts Figure Skating, a team known as the Golden Pair for their combined skill and excellent teamwork. Outside of combat, however, the two don't get on too well, as Mikado finds Azusa's kleptomania and ditzy antics annoying, while Azusa has the personality of a Spoiled Brat and is quite willing to beat on Mikado if he interferes with her antics (giving back something she stole from a pretty girl, or chasing girls when he should be practicing). In fact, she's ultimately the one who beats Mikado, causing them to lose.
    • Perhaps to highlight their Belligerent Sexual Tension, Ranma and Akane keep swinging between playing this straight and averting it. While they played it perfectly straight in the Martial Arts Figure Skating story, most if not all of their subsequent 'team battles' had them getting in each other's way and forgetting to pay attention to their enemies to squabble with each other (often over the fact Akane is Overshadowed by Awesome compared to Ranma and Can't Catch Up, yet refuses to admit this)... though, inevitably, they would pull together (if only after having been beaten once) and manage to pull off a victory, though their opponent would frequently come close to victory by taking advantage of their bickering.
  • Kenshin and Sanosuke from Rurouni Kenshin.
  • Played straight in Soul Eater with the Resonance or Chain Resonance Links, you want evidence? Watch episode 36.
  • Simon and Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and later, Simon and Viral.
    • Don't forget Jogin and Balinbou.
  • Vash and Wolfwood in Trigun.
    • As some wag put it on the Trigun page, they're 'Bashu' Brothers.
    • In their case their fighting styles are relatively similar, although Wolfwood does have such things as a small missile launcher at his disposal, but they have a Wide-Eyed Idealist versus Knight in Sour Armour thing going on for contrast. Wolfwood is The Lancer.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! had two pairs: The Paradox Brothers from the Duelist Kingdom arc and Lumis/Umbra from the Battle City arc. Joey and Yugi are this in their various tag team duels (heck, even their Dark Magician and Flame Swordsman show signs of it); a major problem in the Lumis/Umbra duel is Yugi and Kaiba's inability to pull this trope off.
  • Yusuke and Kuwabara from Yu Yu Hakusho were a more heroic version.
    • This following upon several years of Kuwabara incessantly returning to challenge Yusuke to fights and getting his clock soundly cleaned. Yusuke has been known to do this with other members of his team, as well. Once very briefly with Hiei.
  • Sena and Monta from Eyeshield 21 are the best (respectively) runningback and wide receiver in Japan, best friends, and the keys to Deimon's offensive power. Needless to say, some of the Devilbat's best plays involve the two working together.
    • Of course, there are also the Ha-Ha Brothers who show signs of this, though they're a triple package. The moves they used in their first game, and continue to use, sink the "bash" part rather well. A more conventional example would be Tetsuma and The Kid of the Wild Gunmen, showing how epic their teamwork was in their first appearance.
    • Similar examples would be Taka and Yamato of the Teikoku Alexanders (another runningback/reciever duo), and the lethal three way combo of Takami (quarterback), Shin (linebacker/runningback), and Sakuraba (reciever) of the Ojou White Knights. The last three are especially interesting as Sakuraba and Shin, and Sakuraba and Takami are Bash Brothers by themselves; when their plays begin to intersect it simply becomes more of a problem for the other team. For a literal example, there's the Sibling Team of Agon and Unsui of the Shinryuuji Nagas.
    • Despite being the leaders on the opposite spectrum for talent, Agon and Hiruma are an effective combination. Agon who runs on pure reaction is complemented by Hiruma who runs on pure mental ability. Despite their hatred for each other, they work extremely well together.
  • Ian and Mitchal of Heat Guy J
  • In Fist of the North Star, Kenshiro and Rei, while rescuing Airi and Mamiya from the Fang Clan, have some seriously Badass action sequences together. Raiga and Fuga, the Sibling Team gatekeepers of the Cassandra Prison who pull a glorious Heel Face Turn and subsequent Heroic Sacrifice, also qualify.
  • The title characters of Tiger and Bunny become this once Kotetsu/Wild Tiger successfully wins Barnaby/"Bunny"'s trust in him.
  • In Air Gear, the original members of the Sleeping Forest all seem to fight in duos in ways that support each others' styles. Probably part of why they're one of the greatest Storm Rider teams in existence.
  • In the manga of Fullmetal Alchemist, Alex Luis Armstrong and Sig Curtis (who befriended each other through Pec Flex) work together to curb stomp Sloth in a scene that is Rated "M" for Manly.
    • This is after Alex and his older sister Olivier got through a very long period of wearing him down; Sig only came in at the end, and the Armstrong team was pretty damn impressive in its own right.
    • Ed and Al obviously do this, too. They have a lot of practice fighting together.
    • When Ed and Ling or Ed and Greelin are working together, they generally produce shades of this even when not actively engaged in combat. With lots of bickering.
  • Pretty much every The Hero and The Lancer duo in a given Digimon run eventually becomes this, with the relationship extending to their partner Digimon - Taichi and Yamato (and Agumon and Gabumon), Daisuke and Ken (and V-mon and Wormmon), Takuya and Kouji, and Taiki and Kiriha (and Shoutmon and MetalGreymon). Masaru and Agumon of Digimon Savers are a surprisingly rare instance of a Digimon being this with their human partner, being that Masaru is the only Digimon lead to actively fight Digimon personally.

Comic Books

  • Batman and Robin do this quite often. It was especially common in the live-action Batman series.
    • Much less frequently, you get really astounding sequences with large chunks of the "Bat Family" (Batman, Batgirl, Robin, Nightwing, and a few more minor ones) fighting side by side.
      • Also, our page image...Bats with Superman.
        • Averted, lampshaded, then played straight by these two, actually, in the World's Finest maxiseries; the first time they meet with the explicit purpose of working together, they're at a function as Bruce and Clark when the guest of honor, a world-famous plastic surgeon is kidnapped. They split up and both go after the kidnapper, which so spooks the hostage that he runs out into the street and gets himself killed. When they compare notes they both observe that this happened because they didn't work together. The rest of the series is about their annual meetings to honor their failure and learn to work together until they're working as a well-oiled machine.
  • Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin specialise in this.
  • In the X-Men, Colossus and Wolverine have the "Fastball Special" (sometimes called for with "Hey bub..two words"), which basically involves Colossus throwing Wolverine at an opponent. Other characters inside and outside of Marvel have occasionally borrowed the move. Basically any combo of a character with Super Strength and one with an Absurdly Sharp Blade or six can do this.
    • Likewise, Wolverine and Nightcrawler. Also, Nightcrawler and Colossus. In addition, Nightcraweler, Wolverine and Colossus. In the extremely rare occasions that they're seeing eye to eye, Cyclops and Wolverine can manage to do this, though they're far more Red Oni, Blue Oni.
  • Mandrake the Magician and Lothar.
  • Watchmen: Rorschach and Nite Owl II, in the old days. The bond they forged still lasts.
  • Marvel also has Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
    • Power Man and Iron Fist are perhaps one of Marvel's best examples of this trope in action: Luke is a Made of Iron Boisterous Bruiser and Danny is Weak but Skilled with some elements of Lightning Bruiser. Ever since they were paired up for roughly two decades worth of comics they were ALWAYS seen together, until Luke got picked as one of Brian Bendis' favorite characters and appeared more often without him. The duo was reunited when Danny joined the New Avengers, of which Cage had become the leader.
  • Spider-Man and Daredevil. The two have teamed up many times and they are best buddies. It helps that they both share a number of villains. (Their first ever collaboration was against an evil hypnotist who couldn't affect the blind Daredevil but made Spidey beat him up for a while.)
    • And their shared enemies the Enforcers featured Ox and Fancy Dan, who would often tag team enemies with their astounding strength and martial arts skills, respectively. Later additions Hammer Harrison and Snake Marston would do much the same.
    • For that matter, Spidey and Johnny Storm.
  • Marvel's original Bash Brothers, Captain America (comics) and Bucky.
  • In Pre Crisis days, Superman could do this with Supergirl. Or with Krypto, for that matter.
  • Green Arrow and Green Lantern.
  • Quantum and Woody
  • Marvel's Zapata Brothers are Mexican wrestlers, so it's only to be expected that they have an array of team-up moves. They also enjoy high-fiving during melees and switching out as if they were in a tag team match.
  • Sam and Max Freelance Police aren't fighters per se, but if there are doors to bust down and bad guys with lead deficiency, they'll deliver the damage together. Moreso in the comics, but they get rare moments in the video games, too.
  • Asterix and Obelix always team up together to beat up a bunch of Roman soldiers. While sometimes they have the village to fight with them, most of the time it's the two of them (and Dogmatix).
  • Booster Gold and Blue Beetle. The amount of Ho Yay fanart of them is staggering.
  • In Star Wars Legacy, Cade Skywalker and Jariah Syn are this throughout his pirate and bounty hunting days, though on Jedi stuff Cade's fellow Padawan Shado Vao sometimes takes the role. Imperial Knights Antares Draco and Ganner Krieg almost always fight as an in-sync duo.

Film (Live Action)

  • The 2009 Star Trek Film, when Kirk and Spock beam onto the Narada and start shooting up everything in sight.
  • In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Logan and his brother do this for the first fifteen minutes of the movie. The opening sequence is a Badass Montage through The American Civil War, WW 1, WW 2 and The Vietnam War!
  • Any cooperative combat in the Star Wars prequels, especially between Masters and their Padawans. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon against Darth Maul in Episode 1 are the best example. It is because of the same thing with Obi-Wan and Anakin in Episode 3 that turned their climactic duel into a sort of Fearful Symmetry.
  • Probably the best moment of Spider-Man 3, with Spider-Man and Harry.
  • Fulton Reed and Dean Portman in D2: The Mighty Ducks were explicitly called "the Bash Brothers." Also affectionately called "Enforcers."
    • An enforcer is actually an unofficial role on an ice hockey team, not a title. Their job is to play dirty and violent.
  • Aragorn and Gimli did a fine example of this in The Two Towers. Needing to give a gate some time to be repaired, Aragorn and Gimli did a flying leap onto the ramp and proceeded to fight off an entire legion of Uruk-hai. One of best sequences of many impressive ones in the trilogy.
  • One of the tag teams in Nacho Libre did a lot of this (also incorporating high-fives and the like), apparently being twin brothers.
  • One of the central motifs of Heroic Bloodshed movies like A Better Tomorrow, The Killer and Hard Boiled is two characters, usually Blood Brothers as well as Bash Brothers, doing this.
  • Any of the Rush Hour movies with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan.
  • Also the movies with Italian actors Bud Spencer and Terence Hill.
  • In The Chronicles of Riddick, Riddick and Kyra are a rare opposite sex version of this, once they stop fighting each other. The Crematoria sequence showcases it nicely.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean had this in various sequences, but the most pure form was when Will was trying to free Jack from the noose and they raced to the castle edge. Subverted in that they taken down plenty of soldiers between the two of them, but sheer numbers and guns outweighed their ability to finish their job.
  • 300 outlines this in particular when discussing their tactics. The individual Spartan is superior to the individual Persian soldier, but their sheer numbers would overwhelm them in any situation except for the bottleneck position they chose to defend. Even then, only because each Spartan defended the one next to them that they created a near impenetrable line.
  • In Iron Man 2, Tony and Rhodey do this after finally settling their differences.
  • The central premise of just about any Buddy Cop movie. Riggs and Murtaugh, Lee and Carter, Tango and Cash et al.
  • And of course the literal brothers in the Boondock Saints Connor and Murphy Mac Mannus.
  • In The Devil's Rejects, a pair of bounty hunters called the Unholy Two are hired to track down and capture the Ax Crazy Firefly clan. They actually succeed and disappear afterwards with no repercussions.


  • JR Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood is literally a group of vampires not related by blood who nevertheless live and fight together against the Omega and the Lessening Society.
  • Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser.
  • Drizzt Do'Urden and Artemis Entreri can operate like this, much to their mutual displeasure.
    • They're both highly skilled dual-wielders who independently developed extremely similar fighting styles...And it took them about five minutes of conversation for each to recognize the other as what he could have been. Both don't like what they see in the other person, especially when compared to what they see as their strong points. However, if they must cooperate, they slaughter entire groups of who they're against. Often fighting back-to-back and continually moving, and with one setting up an opening for the other to exploit a second later, and it's mentioned that they move so much in sync that it's tough to tell who's who or who's doing what.
  • Caramon and Raistlin in the Dragonlance series.
  • Rodrigo Belmonte and Ammar ibn Khairan in Guy Gavriel Kay's The Lions of Al Rassan literally fight back to back at one point, taking out some mooks to prove their awesomeness. Later, they're forced to fight one another as the champions of Expys of the Muslims and Christians in medieval Spain.
  • Older Than Feudalism: Great Ajax and his half-brother Teucer in The Iliad. Teucer hunkers down behind Ajax's shield and lays down a Rain of Arrows, Ajax finishes anyone who manages to close.
  • In Eragon, Eragon and Murtagh shared the field of battle many times early in the series and developed a bond as strong as brotherhood. It wasn't too surprising when they turned out to actually be brothers.
    • A more consistent example is Eragon and Arya. It's even explicitly stated that they're the other's perfect shield mate.
  • Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are a classic case. Just check out the "Awesome" page for the series and note the examples falling under "Holmes & Watson".
  • The sequel of the remake of Clash of the Titans had the brother gods Zeus and Hades against the Legions of Hell at full power.

Live-Action TV

  • Gender Flipped version from Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy and Faith, for a short time in season 3 - most obvious in the episode "Bad Girls". "Rise and shine, boys! It's your wake up call!"
  • Life On Mars- Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt have been known to achieve this on occasion.
    • On occasion? Tandem desk-leaping & sychronized punching.
  • The A-Team. Very much so. Hannibal knows the strengths and weaknesses of each of the other three team members, and knows exactly how to best use their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. Different as they may be, when they all fight together, it's a bad day for slimeballs everywhere.
    • Face and Murdock especially seem to be this. They have a very effective tag-team fighting style.
  • The Stargate Atlantis episode "Midway." A horde of Wraith decide to storm Earth, and slaughter most of Midway station staff. Who's gonna stop 'em? Two guys named Teal'c and Ronon Dex. The opening featured the two of them trying to beat each other to death, it was simply amazing to watch them turn their combined badassery on the hapless Wraith.
  • It's always a treat to watch the four team members of SG-1 combine to unleash maximum badassness on their enemies.
  • Hercules and Iolaus from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
    • Xena: Warrior Princess and Gabrielle sometimes, though they usually fight separately against the same enemy, not in tandem.
  • Scrubs featured an Imagine Spot where J.D. visualized Turk and The Todd going up against kung-fu-fighting surgeons. The two made a formidable team... until the betrayal five.
  • Both shown and averted in the Battlestar Galactica episode "The Oath": Bill Adama and Saul Tigh make a last stand at a docking bay. They don't pull off a victory.
  • Riders 1 and 2 of Kamen Rider, Kamen Rider Kabuto and Gatack from Kamen Rider Kabuto, Kamen Rider Double and Kamen Rider Accel, at least eventually and Kamen Rider Decade and that episode's Rider-of-the-week.
    • And now we have Kamen Rider OOO and Kamen Rider Birth.
    • Nearly any Kamen Rider and his associated Secondary Rider would count. And interesting example, also from Kamen Rider OOO is Kamen Rider Birth and Kamen Rider Birth Prototype.
  • Jason and Tommy, c'mon.
  • Angel and Spike have pulled this off a few times, fighting alternately for good and evil.
  • Rome Pullo and Vorenus they start off with an Odd Friendship then turn into this, I guess killing over a hundred people side by side and changing history together will do that to you.
  • On Glee, Puck and Finn may hate each other over what happened with Quinn, but they'll team up to defend New Directions.
  • Supernatural's Sam and Dean Winchester. Raised to fight monsters, we watch them fight monsters. A lot of mutual back-watching.
    • Bonus points for being actual brothers. Starring in a show that could be alt-titled 'Brotherhood: (Break the Cutie with Sealed Evil in a Can)'.
    • Minus points for a very low incidence of acrobatics. It's all grim and 'realistic.'
  • Michael and KITT from Knight Rider manage to pull this off even though they're a man and a car.


  • Norse Mythology: In the many stories where they weren't beating the crap out of each other, Thor and Loki often wandered the countryside together, looking for asses to kick. A relationship thought by some to be evocative of Lightning and Fire. Loki also had a great time tag-teaming with his blood-brother, Odin.


  • The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny video, Haloid.
    • Even more in Haloid's spiritual sequel, Dead Fantasy, most notably with Ayane/Kasumi and Yuna/Rikku, but really all the characters did this constantly.
  • To a degree with a well-trained military unit. Most special forces teams are trained this way, covering what their buddies can't. No tossing each other around though as far as I know.
    • Fighter aircraft usually fight in pairs, the wingman covering the leader.
  • In Leet World, Player and Chet.

Professional Wrestling

  • Every pro wrestling tag team ever, but some tandems exemplify the big guy/little guy dichotomy particularly well: Batista and Rey Mysterio, Jr. (at least until Batista's Face Heel Turn), Rikishi and Scotty 2 Hotty, and Jesse and Festus to name a few.
  • Edge and Christian, they don't exemplify big guy-little guy so well, but they do have the camraderie down to an art, Truth in Televison on that I guess...

Tabletop Games

  • Dungeons & Dragons: in the typical Fighter-Rogue-Wizard-Cleric party, the Fighter and Rogue fight most efficiently together in a manner similar to this - the fighter directing the battle and drawing the attention of his targets while the rogue tumbles into an advantageous position to deal massive Sneak Attack damage.
    • And how! My friend and I use this to our advantage ever since our induction into D&D- he will almost always play some direct damage fighter type, and I always went with a rogue or some sort of specially built fighter. Throw in our other buddy who always played a spellcaster, and our trio was unbeatable.
  • Magic: The Gathering would frequently set up two cards that are designed to compliment each other and other cards controlled by the player in this way. The most pure form is the Brothers Yamazaki from the Kamigawa set, in which the one Legendary per name on the field rule doesn't apply to them and they give each other a major boost when together.
  • Star Wars Miniatures has some pairs of characters who have Synergy (combat bonuses) or Rapport (cost discounts) when used together. There is also a tournament format called "Dynamic Duo", in which players select only two characters for their squad, who must together cost exactly 100 points.
  • Warhammer40000 has a few unit combinations that compliment each others' skills very effectively. Scout Bikers and Terminators in a Space Marine army, for instance; the Scouts have teleport homers that patch up the Terminators' lack of mobility by dropping them on the enemy on a spot that moves very quickly, the Terminators make up for the Scouts' lack of durability and close combat prowess, everyone wins. Except for the poor Tau on the other side of the field that just got a new orifice to defecate through.

Video Games

  • Any co-op game gives players the option for this, from Resident Evil to Kirby.
    • Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is built on doing this in a racing game. Each kart has two racers: a driver and a support. They function as one when one person is playing, but if two players decide to go co-op on one kart, racing ability is expanded with one player driving, both players mashing the control stick to acheive miniturbos, the first player passing items he gets back to the second player who focuses on using them and can also punch left and right to move the kart a little in those directions to dodge things, attack other players and steal items.
  • The multiplayer campaign options of the Gears of War series features a storyline that kept the main character Marcus with his buddy Dom. A big part of the gameplay involves you yelling at your co-op buddy to cover you while you move forward.
    • Likewise Halo 3 has the Arbiter fighting next to Master Chief for much of the game in single player, and all of the game in co-op. You can even include a pair of unique, though undeveloped Elite characters online and play four person co-op. This is an improvement over Halo 2 when the game has no in-universe reason why a second Spartan accompanies you on the campaign.
      • Also from Halo, the Hunters always come in pairs. In most of the games, they are identically equipped and colored. ODST changes this, one Hunter has the standard blue armor and fuel rod cannon that they had in Halo 3, while the other has gold armor and has an explosive fuel rod gun like all Hunters had in Combat Evolved.
  • Dante and Vergil against Arkham. They even say "Jackpot" at the same time.
  • As Subject Delta, you are probably the biggest, meanest, and most well armed and armored thing that ever walked through the halls of Rapture. In the last level you get the Eleventh-Hour Superpower plasmid that is rightfully described as "It's Bring Your Daughter To Work Day". Together with Eleanor even hordes of Brutes, Alphas, and Houdinis don't last against you for more than a few seconds.
  • Mario and Luigi do this for pretty much every Bros. move in the Mario & Luigi RPGs.
    • And when you start doing the Advanced moves...
    • AND in Super Mario RPG, Bowser and Mario can do this with some of the Koopa King's weapons being various gloves used to throw Mario himself.
  • Sacrifice has the Hachimen, even though it's not a fighting game, they're exactly the same thing.
  • Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones in the Ring of Fire battle against The Bash Brothers incarnate. To beat them, you have to anticipate that they'll help each other when one is in trouble.
  • Popo and Nana, the Ice Climbers.
  • Double and especially Triple Techs from the Chrono games.
  • Army of Two plays this to the letter.
  • World of Warcraft has a few of these as bosses, forcing the players to defeat two enemies working together, effectively turning them into one meta-boss encounter. The Eredar Twins in Sunwell Plateau and more memorably the Twin Emperors of Ahn'Qiraj are boss encounters with two powerful enemies, the battle commonly known as the Bug Trio of Ahn'Qiraj, as the name implies, pits three enemies against the players, the final battle of the Death Knight wing of Naxxramas is against the Four Horsemen-Sir Zeliek, Thane Korthazz, Lady Blameux, and Baron Rivendare (who replaced Highlord Mograine), and from the Crimson Halls of Icecrown Citadel, the Blood Prince Council (super upgraded and revived versions of Blood-Princes Valanar, Taldaram, and Keleseth).
    • Cataclysm's Blackwing Descent raid instance has you fighting the reanimated Nefarian after he also brings his sister Onyxia back to life. Just to drive the point home, they attack twice as fast by just being in close proximity to eachother.
  • One of the attract cinemas for Tekken 5 shows Kazuya and Heihachi battling an army of Jack cyborgs, until Kazuya throws an exhausted Heihachi their way to secure his escape.
  • Billy and Jimmy Lee from Double Dragon.
  • Sonic and Tails have been doing this since Sonic 2, and Sonic and Knuckles often invoke this when they get over their differences and work together, likewise for Sonic and Shadow on occasion. Meanwhile, Amy and Cream often act as Bash Smash Sisters.
    • During Sonic Generations, Timey-Wimey Ball allowed for Sonic to do this with himself from the original Genesis games.
    • Sonic & Tails are back to their Bash Brother antics in Sonic 4: Episode 2, and aside from the classic Tails-carrying-Sonic tactic, they can create a dual spin dash.
  • Some sections of Half-Life 2 and Episode 2 and nearly all of HL2: Episode 1 have Gordon and Alyx working in tandem.
  • In Banjo-Kazooie, the titular pair invoke this trope despite one-half of the duo being female; they perform almost all their moves by working together, and are actually literally inseparable all throughout the first game.
  • Any Combination Attack in a Super Robot Wars game that's not featuring a Battle Couple is usually between Bash Brothers. A standout example is Elzam Von Branstein(TROMBE!!) and Sanger Zonvolt(The Sword that Smites/Cleaves Evil!!!).
  • By the end of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Captain "Soap" MacTavish and Captain Price are this.
    • Yuri takes Soap's place in the later missions of Modern Warfare 3 after Soap dies. Though, to a lesser extent.
  • In Vile's story mode in Mega Man X Maverick Hunter X the final boss is X and Zero fighting together. Sometimes they'll strategically swap places, but they'll also release attacks together or release them from opposite sides of the screen to trap you. When the boss health bar gets low enough, one of them will fall, but that's really not a good thing ...
  • Where to start with Final Fantasy IX?
    • You get four neatly-labelled ones, with the four-way split of your team of eight, being Zidane and Quina, Garnet and Eiko, Freya and Amarant and Steiner and Vivi. Special mention goes to Steiner and Vivi because of their in-game sword magic command combination.
    • Double Bash Brothers moment for the win, when Zorn and Thorn decide to mess with Eiko and Mog.
    • There's an implied Bash Brothers relationship between Blank and Zidane, but because Blank isn't one of your main characters, it never really appears.
  • Alex and Ryan in River City Ransom. In Japan, they're known as Kunio-Kun and Riki and they continued to team up in later games (such as in Nekketsu Kakuto Densetsu and Nekketsu! Street Basket) whenever they were not competing as rivals.
  • Sora and Riku in Kingdom Hearts II.
    • Also most of the main Final Fantasy gang, both during the Coliseum tournaments and the battle of Hollow Bastion. Cloud and SquallLeon get special mention in a Back-to-Back Badasses moment.

Squall Leonhart: [standing back-to-back with Cloud, surrounded by heartless] Think you can handle this many?
Cloud: Well... Might be tough if one more shows up.
Squall Leonhart: Hm. Then that'll have to be the one *I* take care of.
Cloud: What, you're fighting too?

    • Donald Duck and Goofy. They had been partners years before they even met Sora, and they still have use of their bond, now that creatures of pure evil, led by a bunch of maniacs, are attacking.
  • Bill Rizer and Lance Bean from the Contra series.
    • Can be taken Up to Eleven in The Hard Corps, as each character is different and nicely compliments each other if done right.
    • Sunset Riders has this.
  • Paul and Vince, Ralf Jones and Clark Still from Ikari Warriors and King of Fighters
  • In Dynasty Warriors, Gan Ning and Ling Tong evolve from mortal enemies into a grudging version of this. Perhaps most notably at the battle of Shi Ting in DW6, where if you kill one half of the pair the other will become enraged and go into hyper mode. Even before that, they were featured in the opening to Xtreme Legends.
  • The fight's a bit more metaphorical in Ace Attorney, but Detective Badd refers to his partner Prosecutor Faraday as his "battle-buddy" due to the many legal battles they've fought together.
  • Donkey and Diddy Kong in Donkey Kong Country, Diddy and Dixie Kong in Diddy's Kong Quest, and Dixie and Kiddy Kong in Dixie Kong's Double Trouble.
  • CJ and Sweet in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Tommy Vercetti and Lance Vance in Grand Theft Auto Vice City. The latter didn't work out so well in the end.
  • Team Fortress 2: There's a reason why the Heavy and Medic pairing is one of the most iconic.
    • The Scout grew up with Seven older brothers who would roam Boston and get in fights. His speed training was for getting to the fights before they ended.
  • In regards to Dragon Ball, the game Budokai 2 featured this as a mechanic; on the story mode world map, letting two characters with a pre-existing relationship occupy the same space would give one or both of them a stat boost in combat, implying they were looking out for each other.
  • Schwarz and Jude in Agarest Senki 2 to the point they even have a Finish Strike together.
  • Commander Shepard and Garrus Vakarian in Mass Effect, acknowledged in-universe in the third game.

Shepard: There's no Shepard without Vakarian.


  • Ciro and Kareem from Project 0, bust into an enemy stronghold and divy up how they complete the mission. apparently they've been doing this for a long time.
  • Torg and Riff from Sluggy Freelance do this during the "Dangerous Days" arc, though only after they get done shooting and yelling at each other first.
  • It's hinted that Piro and Largo do this in some online games, such as the Endgames MMORPG.
  • Invoked in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, where to counter Frans Rayner's Dangerously Genre Savvy use of the Conservation of Ninjutsu against the McNinja clones, Dr. McNinja switches sides and fights alongside a shocked and confused Rayner, who has no choice but to accept this or else give up and let the clones kill him.
  • Steve of Coga Suro is delighted both times he gets to invoke this trope- once in the future with his older self [citing the need for a double-Steve combo move] and again in the sequel with his son.
  • The titular heroes of Nip and Tuck are implied to be this, especially here.
  • Girl Genius: Bill and Barry Heterodyne, oh so much.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Justice League would seclude a handful of characters together so they could take on bigger threats. The most common was Green Lantern and The Flash, though Superman and Wonder Woman would occasionally get in.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In the 2007 TMNT movie, Splinter even said that when they work together and are in the right rhythm, they are unbeatable.
    • Raphael from the 2003 cartoon is very dedicated to this trope. While all the Turtles cooperate in battle, he stands out as an especially reliable back-watcher. In nearly every fight, Raph will prevent an enemy from nailing one of his brothers from behind.
    • Turtles Forever takes this to the apex with the '03 Turtles eventually fighting in tandem with the '87 Turtles, and the '03 style of straight ninja fighting is contrasted with the '87 slapstick style.
  • Transformers Animated with Prowl and Captain Fanzone when they go to Dinobot Island and have to fight off a slew of mutated creatures. It was that episode that gave some viewers a lot of respect for Fanzone, because even though he didn't like them he was still willing to work with them.
    • In-universe, this was probably part of why Fanzone started actually liking the Autobots, or at least tolerating them. In a later episode he even sided with them against Powell.
    • Another example is the big guy-little guy team of Bulkhead and Bumblebee. They've been close friends ever since attending Autobot Boot Camp together, and are usually seen watching each others' backs on and off the battlefield. The two have even developed their own variation on the Fastball Special utilizing Bulkhead's wrecking ball hands and Bumblebee's smaller stature.
  • From Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang, Toph, Katara and a little bit of Sokka and Appa versus the entire Earth Kingdom army at Ba Sing Se.
    • The series pretty much makes Aang and Sokka to be this, as well as Unrelated Brothers.
    • "The Blue Spirit" had Aang and Zuko.
    • "The Boiling Rock" had Sokka and Zuko.
    • The Order of the White Lotus versus the entire Fire Nation army at Ba Sing Se.
    • Katara and Zuko in "The Southern Raiders. They are seen training back to back in the finale as well, but don't actually fight together as Azula challenges them to one-on-one duels instead.
  • Dr. Girlfriend's Moppets in The Venture Brothers are dwarfs who fling one another around...
  • Samurai Jack featured a fight with Jack and the Spartan King against an octopus-like machine in Jack and the 300.
    • Likewise Jack and the Scotsman.
  • Memorably happened in one episode of Batman Beyond where Bruce, rejuvenated by a few dips in a Lazarus Pit, fought some mooks alongside Terry, with an electric guitar version of the Batman the Animated Series Theme blaring in the background.
  • In Teen Titans: Robin and Slade.
  • A similar example in Xiaolin Showdown: Omi and Chase Young.
  • Luminara and Bariss Ofee in Star Wars: Clone Wars. Their lightsaber fight against the battle droids showed them to be perfectly synchronized.
    • Other expanded universe material unveils that the two of them specifically learned to fight like this.
  • The Swat Kats live this trope, though only rarely are they actually fighting in the same room at the same time. When they do, T-Bone acts as The Big Guy and goes at baddies with fist swinging, while the slighter Razor relies on a quicker, more acrobatic fighting style. The rest of the time, their approach to a problem will still always depend on their teamwork (whether it's air/ground, or piloting/weapons). If one kat is in serious trouble (or worse, unresponsive), the other will get very distressed and might channel that into a "this is for my buddy!" attack.
  • Though female, The Powerpuff Girls often fight in this manner and are closer to each other than anyone else.

Real Life

  • Many hockey lines embody a three-brother party. One of many examples would be the "Crash Line" of the New Jersey Devils teams of the 90s and early 2000s. The Crash Line was comprised of Bobby Holik, Randy McKay, and Mike Peluso; the average weight of a Crash Line player was 215 pounds. Needless to say, the Crash Line was a dominating, physical and ultimately instrumental part to the Devils' championship success. They were extremely successful and provided the "grind line" defensive template that is used to this day.
  • When they both played for the Oakland A's, Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco were nicknamed "The Bash Brothers" for their one-two punch when put together in the line-up.
  • Military units in real life, particularly when performing CQB (Close Quarter Battle) maneuvers, such as rescuing hostages.
    • Despite the common depiction of a Cold Sniper acting alone, dedicated snipers are always deployed with a spotter, someone who can confirm the kill because the actual sniper is too preoccupied with making the shot itself. They are also one to advise on which bullet to use and what modifications to make depending on the situation, as well as double-check the distance to the target.
    • In fact, in many situations the spotter is the more experienced soldier, as the spotter's work is more complicated, which is saying something since doing the actual shooting isn't simple point-and-shoot to begin with.
  • In social situations there is a strategy involving using the Wingman, a friend that can give even the most skilled of Casanovas an added edge. Generally, they give a mutual benefit to each other by highlighting each others strengths, as well as ensuring that neither are completely alone. While The Hero will acquire a Love Interest to become an Official Couple, because the Wingman was hanging with the hero they look good in comparison and often able to establish a relationship with a friend as a Beta Couple.