Fair-Weather Friend

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Someone who's your buddy when things are going well, but isn't when things go poorly.

Friends are good, especially when they are True Companions who will stick with you through thick and thin. But not all of your "friends" are reliable people. Some of them are fickle sorts who will abandon you the moment you get into trouble and actually need a friend to help. That's a Fair Weather Friend.

Sometimes a Fair Weather Friend will bookend a story, palling around with the protagonist at the beginning, disappearing when difficulties arise, then coming back as though nothing had happened when the trouble is over, attempting to regain their place.

Often a part of an Ineffectual Loner's backstory. Inverse of Power of Friendship. Contrast A Friend in Need.

Examples of Fair-Weather Friend include:

Anime and Manga


  • Kaa accuses Mowgli's friends of this in the Disney version of The Jungle Book.
  • Taken to the nth degree in Brazil, where Michael Palin's character is willing to perform Cold-Blooded Torture on longtime friend Sam when circumstances turn against Sam.


  • In the book The Man in the Ceiling, the main character abandons his friends who need his help when the most popular boy in school takes an interest in him. He claims that all of them, being outcasts, would have done the same thing in his place.
  • The Bartimaeus Trilogy: Nick Drew abandons his friends when the going gets tough.
  • In Harriet the Spy, the titular character's inner thoughts are shared with her classmates when her diary is taken from her. Her close friends, offended by her unflattering (yet not intentionally harmful) thoughts, join a club devoted to ruining her life. (Unlike some other examples here, they learn better by the end.)
  • Alluded to in the novel Joust. After a new Jouster screws up big time, Ari comments that the Jouster's noble friends won't be hanging around to console him.


Newspaper Comics


Linus: It's fair weather today, Charlie Brown.
Charlie Brown: So where are all my friends?

    • In this one Snoopy bemoans the loss of his snowman to a bright, sunny (if cold) day. "There's one thing for sure...he was no 'fair weather friend.'"
    • In the book I Need All the Friends I can Get Charlie Brown says "I need all the friends I can get. I'd even settle for a fair-weather friend."

Visual Novels

  • In Katawa Shoujo, Hisao has this opinion of his old friends and would-be girlfriend Iwanako. After he suffers his heart attack in the opening scene and is diagnosed with arrhythmia, his class initially visits him, but after a while, only his friends come, then only Iwanako, and finally, even she stops visiting him. However, in Shizune's route, he realizes that his gloomy demeanor pushed his friends away, and concludes that he is at least partially at fault.


Western Animation

  • The Mighty B!: Penelope is Bessie's closest human friend, but will abandon her whenever that seems advantageous. Good thing Bessie's very tolerant.
  • In The Simpsons Rear Window episode Bart asks Milhouse to sign his leg cast but he just writes Mil..Pool and leaves for the swimming pool.
    • If fact, through the series, Milhouse has been shown to been occasionally fickle towards Bart, as he often abandons him, sells him out to avoid trouble, or attacks whenever a dispute breaks out him.
    • And this cuts both ways; when not friends with Milhouse, Bart is usually ignoring or outright bullying him. He once somehow got him set up as America's Most Wanted and turned him into a fugitive, seemingly all just for a cruel prank.
      • However, Bart has done so much for Milhouse than he can ever hope to replay him, from sacrificing a rare comic book just to save his life from falling out of the treehouse to allowing him to humiliate him in from of his Capital City friends just so he can look cool. Keep in mind that Milhouse is also the one responsible for leading Bart to be the underachieving class clown he is today, second only to his Kindergarten teacher.
    • Bart of course isn't the only one with fickle friends: There is also Lisa's occasional one-off friend, Janey Powell, who is noted as "Lisa's fair-weather friend", and often laughs at her dilemmas.
      • Allison Taylor, who was Lisa's one-time friend, has also been reduced to this. Although she has no lines, she virtually does what Janey and other background children do.
    • In fact, the entire town of Springfield (consisting of all the major secondary and recurring characters) are like this to the Simpsons five, from Marge's gossiping acquaintances to Homer's beer buddies.
  • On The Proud Family, Dijonay was frequently this towards Penny, though she did get called out on it at least once in the series' run.