The Power of Friendship

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"I don't need a weapon. My friends are my power!"
"Two are better than one: they get a good wage for their labor. If the one falls, the other will lift up his companion. Woe to the solitary man! For if he should fall, he has no one to lift him up."

A major theme in all media. The villain or Ineffectual Loner mocks the idea of relying on others, insisting that friends make you weak and only fear brings servitude. Then he discovers to his extreme shock and dismay that the hero's friends really do stand up for him, and this really does enable the hero to kick the crap out of the bad guy. The Aesop: Having friends makes you strong, being alone makes you weak. Even What You Are in the Dark can depend on your memory of your friends.

The moment at which The Power Of Friendship becomes clear is A Friend in Need, but beware the Apple of Discord. When the loner has been brought into the group, Remember That You Trust Me may be needed to keep him attached.

A Combined Energy Attack is another perk of believing in said power. (Taken more literally, the Power of Friendship may be used as a required element of some magical effect, such as a Care Bear Stare.) Heroes, especially the Magnetic Hero, usually spend the first few episodes building this group of loyal followers. Sometimes though, it can go too far. Heroes might fall prey to becoming a Martyr Without a Cause, and allies could be Poisonous Friends. However, In the End You Are on Your Own, in which case Friendship becomes a mite less helpful.

See also Team Spirit, True Companions, The Power of Love, The The Power of Trust, Defeat Means Friendship, Fire-Forged Friends, Dying Alone, You Are Not Alone. Often results in a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming if done well. The risk of Tastes Like Diabetes or even Narm is present if done poorly. A key element of buddy pictures.

Examples of The Power of Friendship include:

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  • A set of Commercials ("Belong") for Carling lager show a group of mates in fantastic situations sticking together despite the fact they're losing out on something if they didn't. For example learning the meaning of life.

Anime & Manga[edit | hide]

  • GaoGaiGar. Friendship + Courage + G-Stone = VICTORY.
  • Amazingly, Lelouch of the otherwise rather dark Code Geass salvages a potentially disastrous situation by successfully pulling off a speech about friendship and The Power of Love. He does this quite a few times. The most startling is probably when he tells the Chinese Empress that she can marry for love, instead of being forced into a political marriage with one of his Black Knights. And his motive for rebellion.

Shu: The power to use my friends as weapons. This is the sinful crown I shall accept.

  • Yoh Asakura in Shaman King manages to best the Tao family several times because they don't acknowledge The Power Of Friendship. Towards the end of the series, The Power of Friendship brings Tao Ren back to life and allows him to defeat half of the Quirky Miniboss Squad
  • This is one of the major themes in Saint Seiya.
  • The central theme of the Yu-Gi-Oh!! franchise. Let's count off what friendship can do: magically solve an extremely difficult puzzle, restore HP in a live-action fighting game, repel mystical mind-reading artifacts, magically write a name none of the characters remember, fuse dragons together, keep your soul from getting stolen by a magic circle, and summon an Egyptian God.
  • A spoiler-laden plot twist in Read or Die hinges on this. Maybe.
  • Likewise for the plot of the first Keroro Gunsou movie
  • The climax and resolution of Fruits Basket revolves around this.
  • Each character in Digimon Adventure has a "crest" that ties them to a particular virtue; Most of the characters had some kind of crisis related to their crests, where they started to doubt their own virtues only to pick up an Aesop just in time for a Big Damn Heroes moment. For example, Tai tried to force a digivolution and traded courage for recklessness and hubris, then ended up with the rampaging Skull Greymon, he learned to be somewhat less reckless before Agumon reached the true ultimate stage. 
    • bonus- one of the Crests is the Crest of Friendship. so.. it's the power of friendship saving the day. The digimon CAN'T digivolve really without these kids...in a sense, these kids, the bond the Digimon share with their human partners, lets them grow in power. 
  • In Naruto, one can derive a considerable amount of strength from the mere fact that you're using it to protect someone important to you (chiefly Naruto himself, but there are others). One strength-obsessed character actually gives up being a sociopath when he realizes that having friends is a more direct route to power. Allthough it doesn't sounds that nice, in part 2 he dies to protect his entire village, he does get better though. (There are those in the Naruto fandom who call this phenomenon "Friendship no Jutsu" or an "Epic Battle of Friendship"). 
  • The Pretty Cure franchise has this as its premise. The power of every Precure is formed by their bonds with the others; the first two sets can't even transform separately. The yuri fanboys for that series have popularized the notion of "the power of Romantic Two-Girl Friendship", which is sort of the same thing.
  • Yes! Precure 5 also subverted this somewhat. When Rin and Karen were forced to work together to save the others, they were particularly effective—because they really rubbed each other the wrong way, and neither one of them wanted to get shown up by the other. And speaking of the power of Romantic Two-Girl Friendship, that's how you "turn on" a Simoun
  • Most of the major battles in Sailor Moon are won via the power of forgiveness, and the friendship of the protagonists is a major source of power. (Marketing for the English dub of the anime emphasized this aspect of the series as much as it possibly could.)
    • A VHS tape of the Sailor Moon English dub has the words 'The Power of Friendship' on it.
  • Duel Masters, as mentioned above, used this a lot, with Shobu's friends constantly helping him build and rebuild his deck, and regain his dueling spirit, among other things. Shobu's not the only one to take advantage of this... Hakuoh, the aloof Dragon of the first season, was subjected to Defeat Means Friendship, breaking through his shell, and he manages to defeat Shobu in their next game.
  • The Evil General Durahan in the anime Monster Rancher specifically references this trope in an episode where the bad guys betrayed each other no less than four times in under an hour. Friendship has its benefits it seems.
    • In a more straight use of this trope, the characters' courage, along with friendship, can be used to make themselves stronger. In the last episode Genki summoned the courage of every heroic character on the planet to use in a Combined Energy Attack. In contrast, when Moo goaded the heroes into hating him to make him stronger, the power of their hatred drove him insane
  • In Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, the Power Trio sticks together through sadness via pep talks and cake sharing, making it through everything thrown at them. In the series finale, Lucia and Seira reveal that, no matter what kind of pain Michal and Michel, respectively, have put them through, they still empathize with them and want to become their friends. The Power of Friendship is strong enough to actually make them waver, and Fuku panics and goes to try and take over their combined mind and body. He succeeds... but not for long, as the mermaids' friendship and forgiveness reach even him.
  • Vandread pits giant killer robots from space against The Power of Friendship. You do the math. It did help that the friends included a Sufficiently Advanced Alien.
  • Wonderfully parodied along with many other Shounen tropes in the first episode of The Tower of Druaga, where a Final Form Jil has been beaten by the Dark God Druaga... when the voice of a Goddess speaks in his ear, and every character shown so far, including the villains show up in spirit form to give support, including the Red Shirt who died early on of Retirony. Sadly, our hero cannot remember his name, despite remembering the correct names of all the enemies and bit persons he has encountered on his travels.

Jil: Fatina! Neeba! Kalli! And... I can't remember his name, but he's definitely one of my friends!
Utu: It's Utu!

  • Fist of the North Star plays it straight in the final battle, where Kenshiro draws power from everyone he cares about, but it's used before that when Rei, preparing to attack Raoh, yells "Everyone, lend me your strength!" before hurling himself at Raoh and using his Dangerous Forbidden Technique... and Raoh not only point-blank counters it, but hits him with an attack that kills him over three agonizing days.
  • Early in Inuyasha, it's suggested that the empathic sword Tessaiga's full power can only be unlocked if it's being used to protect a human. This quickly falls by the wayside as the plot progresses, arguably in response to a general shift in the mindset of the title character from being only out for himself toward being more protective of others in general. 
  • The penultimate arc of Kinnikuman dealt with the "theft" of the heroes' Friendship Power with a number of curseddolls. This resulted in everyone abandoning our hero when he needed a partner for the tag-team Tournament Arc. Thankfully, he manages to get some help from his unaffected Obi Wan.
    • The final arc returns to the issue. Kinnikuman, stripped of the Kajiba Kuso no Djikara, his Heroic Resolve in a can, early on, is constantly shown unable to perform his old tried-and-true techniques simply because he's fighting at barely more than 1% power. His first major fight after losing the KKD is one he only starts winning when he taps into a similar, though inferior, force known as "Shin Yujo no Power", "Genuine Friendship Power."
  • In the answer arcs of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, the protagonists believe The Power of Friendship to be the key to Screw Destiny. In that light, the question arcs can be seen as examples of what happens when the friends are broken up by suspicion and distrust.
    • The answer arcs of Higurashi do show that the power of friendship can help overcome anything...especially if one of your friends is the heiress to a family of Yakuza, a couple others are moles for the conspiracy, and a few more are cops who are incredibly skilled at hand-to-hand combat.
    • The tagline is even "Higurashi is a series about "friendship"! Friends help you move...Real friends help you move bodies!" 
  • Magic Knight Rayearth is built entirely on this trope, but Hikaru in particular has it really bad. The OAV is even more explicit.
  • Although the series is more focused on individual empowerment, Saint Seiya often indulges in The Power of Friendship. More often than not, combining everyone's Cosmo through their friendship is the only way to overcome the current arc's Big Bad.
  • Flint the Time Detective has this in most if not all of the episodes with frienship not only being what is needed to void the effects of the Petra Stamp but also spoiler:make the great clock move again and save the world
  • This is a major theme of the Headmasters and Powermasters in Transformers. In the American continuity, the Transformers and his/her organic pilot must cooperate extremely closely in order to be an effective fighting unit. Transformers Headmasters has a technique called Head Formation, which allows the Autobot Headmasters to share energy between themselves and power up. The first time it is used, the Narrator helpfully notes that we're seeing the power of friendship in action. They can use 'the power of friendship' to fire a great big DEATH RAY.
  • Parodied in Soul Eater:

Black* Star: Now you'll get a taste of our Power of Friendship!
Soul Eater: That's right! An unfathomable, endless power!

This also demonstrates the fact that being friends is not enough on its own. If soul wavelengths don't match, you're stuck no matter how much you want to win. An exception to this seems to be the black blood, which allows the power of insanity to over-ride bad soul resonance (Maka and Soul in London), albeit by causing injury and hallucinations into the bargain.
    • However, this trope does get played straight later on: Crona's Heel Face Turn, Chain Resonance, etc.
    • Black Star was for a time a Ineffectual Loner example. While he could beat teams in his class without Tsubaki, that tactic was getting him nowhere when it came to achieving what he actually wanted - to use the Nakatsukasa Purpose/fey blade mode. Typically for him, it took Kid beating him into the ground for the 'assassin' to see sense. In an uncharacteristic moment of reflection, Black Star actually acknowledges this when Spartoi set out to rescue the shinigami. Followed up on when he actually rescues Kid - the importance of the meister/Weapon relationship emphasised by the one who, originally, was least able to recognise it. Unfortunately, the relevance to Kid falls flat given that the majority of the arc has him separated from Liz and Patti, and that the 'climax' of the storyline involves not the trio but Kid and Black Star.
  • Fushigi Yugi. Specifically, Nakago scornfully mentioning it and declaiming that it won't defeat him. And then it does.
  • One Piece. Not only does the entire series practically run on friendship, Luffy sets the stage early on with an epic speech to Arlong (while beating the living daylights out of him), in which he includes all of the things his friends can do that he can't:

Luffy: "Of course I don't know how to use a sword! I don't know anything about navigation, either! I can't cook! I've never even told a lie! I know that I can't survive without people around me to help!"
Arlong: "And you call yourself a Captain !?" "What are you capable of ?"
Luffy: "I can beat you to a pulp !"

    • But the best part is when all the Strawhats declare war against the "World Government" (a.k.a. 170 united nations) just to prove their friendship to a desperate and suicidal Robin and save her from herself.
  • The second favorite trope of the namesake mage guild from Fairy Tail, the first one being friends. Not only the characters must rely on each other to win in this manga, hurting their friends pushes Berserk Button for more than one of them, resulting in Unstoppable Rage, directed at the villain responsible. Asskicking for justice usually ensues.
  • In Tokyo Mew Mew, Ichigo's Power of Friendship with Masha ups her Ribbon Stawberry Check to Ribbon Strawberry Surprise. More kickass sparkles, anyone?
  • Bleach
    • Subverted during Orihime's 'six hearts beat as one' speech.
    • Parodied in the Karakurizer fillers (anime episodes 213-214). Tessai sells the Karakurizer in episode 213 that they will defeat the hollows using the power of friendship, and they they actually do in episode 214.
  • Taken literally in Mahou Sensei Negima, as Negi's artifact allows him to use all of his partner's artifacts, meaning that he gets stronger as he aquires more allies.
  • The central plot of 20th Century Boys is more or less based on this trope. 
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann demonstrates that with friends as determined as you to Screw Destiny, anyone can destroy a force rivaling divinity...with a machine as big as a galaxy.
    • The Power of Friendship is also part of what is necessary for Gattai to work, although it is primarily Fighting Spirit. But then, as the great Kamina says, "a true combination isn't the combination of mecha. It's when the spirits of great men unite and become one! THAT'S A TRUE COMBINATION!"
  • The Law of Ueki does this nearly as often as Yu-Gi-Oh!, which gets pretty Anvilicious at times. At one point, the gang is fighting a team of soldiers, and the soldiers can't comprehend how helping each other out is so important—they even mention that a soldier should "follow orders and look out for himself." Which is what real-life soldiers are taught...plus one more thing: Watch your buddies' backs.
  • Gash Bell emphasizes this extremely strongly. Not only the good guys generally get stronger and find New Powers as the Plot Demands in themselves through desire to protect their friends, not only friendship serves as the main driving force for most of them, in the end of the manga Power of Friendship becomes the Deus Ex Machina that saves both worlds from the nearly unbeatable Big Bad. 
  • Subverted hard in Buso Renkin. Kazuki, while defending his school from a homunculus army released by Doctor Butterfly, says that he's regaining strength by drawing on the spirits of his friends and classmates. What he (and the audience at this point) don't know at the time is exactly how literal that statement is - he's begun to draw on the life force of the people in the school, signaling that the Black Kakugane in him is beginning to awaken.
  • Mentioned in Satou Kashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai (A Lollipop or a Bullet), where the New Transfer Student and apparent Cloudcuckoolander Umino states that she (who claims to be a mermaid), will die in one month's time unless she finds "true friendship", which supposedly will allow her to stay in human form.
  • The titular character of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple believes in this...which is odd, since in the beginning the closest thing he has to a friend is Nijima. He's clearly aware of this too, since he uses Nijima's personality to make a point a few times.

"Be grateful for your friends! This is the only friend I've got!"

  • A recurring theme in Fullmetal Alchemist (manga and Brotherhood anime), though most beautifully portrayed at the very end when Edward has his final confrontation with the Truth. He offers to exchange his ability to use alchemy in order to get his brother Alphonse's body back. When the Truth asks if he's sure he can manage without the ability, Ed replies that he knows he'll be okay because he has his friends to back him up. The Truth smiles, tells him that he's just given the right answer, and shows him how to get out with Al's body.
  • In a sense, Berserk does this as well, as a lot of the story revolves around the importance of camaraderie, with Guts, who had been solitary for most of his life, having to rely on his comrades and other people even if he doesn't want to, but forming bonds so strong that he'll go off on a rampage when that bond is broken, specifically when his former charismatic leader/friend Griffith betrays the Band of the Hawk by making them sacrifices to the Godhand so that he could continue his selfish life dream, resulting in a nightmare-fueled bloodbath of unforgivable proportions. 
  • Subverted hard in the third episode of Puella Magi Madoka Magica. When Mami Tomoe gets hyped up on the Power of Friendship during the battle with Charlotte, it causes her to fight recklessly against the witch, as opposed to the cool, careful and methodical style of witch killing that she used from the second episode. This results in Mami freezing up when Charlotte goes One-Winged Angel, immediately followed by one of the most nightmarish and horrific deaths of the entire series as Mami is Eaten Alive.
    • Well, only partially. Her head is Eaten Alive, but I'm pretty sure the rest of her was dead by the time Charlotte got to it.
    • Played straight (as much as it can be in this particular series) in Episode 10, where it is revealed that Homura's reason for going through many timelines' worth of utter hell is because of her undying devotion to Madoka.
  • Unico is an almost literal example; it seems he can only use his magical powers to help out those he considers his friends. When Unico turns Katy back to a cat, he can't turn her into a human again because he's mad at her for ditching the old lady she was helping out and generally being selfish.
  • Though subtle, the Power of Friendship looks very much like the reason all the main characters survive the last few episodes of Samurai Champloo despite all odds. And it is beautiful.
  • In My-HiME, in the 25th special, Natsuki reflects on how she had once been a bitter loner, but meeting Shizuru, Mai and Mikoto enabled her to open up to others and realize that no one can live alone.
  • In .hack//Sign Tsukasa is finally able to log out thanks only to the pushing, pulling, and eventual bonding of his/her in-game friends.
  • THE iDOLM@STER - A good portion of the anime is about this.
  • Subverted brutally (and quickly) by a pair of tertiary characters in Highschool of the Dead. Toshimi and Misuzu's bid for BFF survivors of the apocalypse—complete with pinky promise—lasts about as long as it takes one of them to kick the other down a flight of stairs.
  • Lyrical Nanoha pretty much straight weaponizes The Power of Friendship into giant energy beams, particularly in the first season.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • W.I.T.C.H. also relies on this: its tagline is "The Magic of Friendship". The heroines occasionally split up to tackle a problem, and don't always suffer for it, but are explicitly weakened when one of them actually quits.
  • This is the closest thing Nightwing has to an actual power, and when your friends include Superman and damn near every single person who is or ever has been in the Justice League and Teen Titans it's the only one you'll ever need.
    • The Titans and Young Justice are all over this trope. They aren't the equals to the JLA or JSA in sheer power. It's their ability to work as a team and the fact that you mess with one, and expect any and all past and present members to show up looking to kick your butt that makes them frightening. 
  • In JLA/Titans: The Technis Imperative, Cyborg/Victor Stone (who has become confused and crazy and turned into a giant machine who tries to eat the moon) gets talked down by Garfield Logan, his best friend, who tells him repeatedly that they're still friends and he isn't buying the idea that Vic doesn't care about that. Incidentally, it's a shock of familiar friendship behavior that actually grabs Vic's attention: after several other Titans try reasoned pleas, Gar erupts with an irritated "Hey Rustbucket! Let go of the frickin' moon already!!" before launching into his long list of explanations of why Vic's actions mean he is a colossal dumbass.
  • A recurring theme of the Fantastic Four. This trope is the reason why, despite the fact that individually none of them are anywhere near the most powerful end of the spectrum of superheroes, they are the ones who everyone calls when faced with huge, world-destroying cosmic threats.
  • Cruelly subverted in World War Hulk, where several of Banner/Hulk's friends try to appeal to their history, their friendship, or his better nature. It never works. Oh, and Hulk's own True Companions contain the traitor who caused the problem for which he blames the Earth heroes.
  • Invoked a few times in New Avengers, overriding a number of It's Not You, It's My Enemies objections.


Fan Works[edit | hide]

  • In With Strings Attached, the obvious love the four have for one another, despite their frequent quarrels and cranky moods, impresses the Hunter far more than any of their magic. After all, he's no stranger to power, but he doesn't have a single friend in the world. Ultimately, he is won over by this quality.
  • Without this, Kyon: Big Damn Hero would likely be far less upbeat. For a start, Tsuruya would likely be dead. Or illegally shipped to another country as a slave.
  • Done in a purely symbolic way in Power Rangers GPX. By the penultimate chapter in Part 1, four of the Rangers have become a tight friends even after one Ranger split from the team. Acutally, make that two, since he dragged his younger sister with him. Anyway, with said symbolic power, they were able to defeat the enemy general.
  • This, along with The Power of Love, is what drives the good guys in the Elemental Chess Trilogy, and is the reason that several characters survive what happens to them.
  • The Warblers in Hunting the Unicorn are the main source of heartwarming, comedy, and heartwarming comedy in an otherwise soul-crushing Deconstruction about Klaine.

Film[edit | hide]

Luke Skywalker: Your overconfidence is your weakness.
Emperor Palpatine: Your faith in your friends is yours.
(And we all know how that turned out...)

    • These lines are echoed by Shobu and Hakuoh, repsectively, in the dub of Duel Masters, as a Homage.
  • Advent Children : Cloud is chastised by Tifa for being an angsty loner. When he finally lightens up, his friends show up en mass to save the day with a spectacular and very symbolic action set piece.
  • In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the group is ready to give up after one of the members betrays the group and they're almost killed. Tom Sawyer makes a dandy little speech about team unity and how they can win this fight because they have each other. Suddenly, and from that point on, everyone is BFFs and ready to fight.
    • Thankfully, most of that scene was cut, indicating that the production team decided that giving any more screen time to an already insufferable token American character was a bad idea.
  • Practically lampshaded in Deep Blue Sea when Samuel L. Jackson gives a big speech about the Power of Teamwork, just before being unceremoniously eaten by a shark. It's further subverted after this point when almost everyone else gets killed anyway.
  • At the end of It's a Wonderful Life, George Bailey ends up being saved by one of the more mundane versions of this trope: after he was falsely accused of stealing some money placed in his care that is now missing, all the people he's helped over the years come together and give him enough cash to replace the money that was stolen.
  • Smokey and the Bandit is all about this trope. Not only do Bandit and Snowman succeed by working with one another, but also by relying on assistance from all their CB radio friends.
  • The King's Speech focuses on the friendship between King George VI and his speech therapist and how it helped the former grow into a strong leader.
  • Sam and Frodo's friendship in Lord Of The Rings is this trope incarnate. It can be summarised in eleven simple words: "I can't carry it for You but I can carry You".


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In Alexandre Dumas's classic The Three Musketeers: "One for All, All for One!"
  • Animorphs plays with this a lot but ultimately plays it straight. While some books seem to imply that the group's close interpersonal relationships cause conflict and makes them less effective as guerrillas, the overall message that the groups loyalty gives them the advantage over the uncaring Yeerks. 
  • In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 novel Brothers of the Snake, the Space Marines in Damocles squad confess to Priad, their leader, that they have all pulled off a forbidden stunt: diving into a sea trench. Although they knew he would feel disgraced by it, they hoped he would not risk his life at it. (It doesn't work.)
    • In the Gaunt's Ghosts novel Sabbat Martyr, this is what saves Rawne from being subverted by Chaos.
  • In Edgar Rice Burroughs's A Princess of Mars, what Tars Tarkas learns from John Carter.

"I would scarcely recognize you, John Carter, but there is no other mortal upon Barsoom who would have done what you have for me. I think I have learned that there is such a thing as friendship, my friend."

as my honor brother I ask you to trust me like you have never trusted me before. On my life I swear that I do not lie to you, Nathaniel.

  • A major theme in many of the works of Stephen King, particularly IT.
  • In William King's Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novel Wolfblade, Sven stays with Ragnar while his case is being considered by the Wolf Lords, and fumes about the injustice of its even being considered something to be tried, until Ranek shows up to send him away. Ranek admits the support does him credit, but the Wolf Lords will be angry with him if they discover it.
  • A major theme in many of the works of Dean Koontz.
  • In Lee Lightner's Warhammer 40,000 novels:
    • Sons of Fenris: Ragnar arrives at the mess hall feeling demoralized and isolated; his old company is eating, and his fellow Wolfblade, Haegr, is sitting alone. When they realize that he is there, one raises a toast, and they all pounce to talk and commiserate so eager that Haegr comes to reclaim him. Ragnar proclaims that his old company are still his battle brothers.
    • Wolf's Honour: Ragnar goes to a cold and isolated spot on the Fang to think. Torin and Haegr track him down; Haegr deduces his location because whenever Ragnar is in a black mood, you can find him in the most unpleasant place where he could put himself. Ragnar admits to not telling where he was because they would have dragged him out of it as soon as they learned.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel "The Killing Ground", Leodegarius tells Uriel that Pasnius has been fiercely loyal to him. Uriel tells him that Pasanius is his friend, and that's what friends do.
  • In Rick Riordan's The Last Olympian, why the Ares's cabin campers followed Sirena; they didn't guess it wasn't Clarisse because they wanted to go fight next to their friends.
  • JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings emphasizes this trope, particularly with the friendship between Sam and Frodo. Frodo would not have been able to make it through Mordor without Sam's help.
    • The Fellowship itself is really all about this trope. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli running for days with very little food and rest to try and save Pippin and Merry from death and torture is one of the strongest examples.
    • A non-fellowship example is Merry attacking the effin Witch King to help Éowyn.
  • A significant theme throughout the entire Harry Potter series; Word of God has even stated that Harry, Ron, and Hermione's bond is the chief reason for Harry's success and continued survival, and that they are a case of the whole being more than the sum of its parts.
    • This is exemplified in every book: 1st book, Hermione's intellect and Ron's prowess with chess allow Harry to reach the last chamber of the gauntlet; 2nd book, Ron goes into the Forbidden Forest - which he knows has spiders, which he has a phobia to - out of his loyalty to Harry and Hermione; 3rd book, Ron and Hermione put themselves between Harry and Sirius, telling him that they'll have to pass through them if he wants to reach Harry; 5th book, when Harry believes Sirius is on the Ministry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville and Luna go with their friend despite Harry repeteadly telling them to stay at Hogwarts; 6th book, Ron and Hermione state that they are going to go with Harry on his Horcrux-searching quest, no matter what; and 7th book, Ron and Hermione stay with Harry for a lot of time - even Ron's leaving is useful as it allows him to gain information about what's going on everywhere else - and each of them manages to destroy one Horcrux.
  • Battle Royale where Shuya and Noriko feel that the power of friendship will get them through the program. Shogo disagrees and is proved right when the rest of their classmates betray each other and play to win. In fact in the end Shogo pretends to betray them (I'm sure more than one person thought he really did) in order to get the three of them out.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe gives us a slightly lame scene wherein Jaina tries to save Zekk from The Dark Side with The Power of Friendship. It manages not to be completely lame, but only just.
  • The backbone of Avalon: Web of Magic, and stated outright by the author many times. No main character ever accomplishes anything without her friends backing her up.
  • Mildly justified in the climactic fight of Of Two Minds. The two main characters are fighting an older, more experienced, eviller version of one of them, and their only advantage is that it's two against one. 
  • In the first Kingdom Keepers book, the DHIs invoke this on the "its a small world" ride. They smile at the Audio-Animatronics, which stop attacking them and return to their posts.
  • In the Fate/stay night prequel novels, Fate/Zero, the servant Rider, who actually happens to be Alexander the Great, has actually weaponized the power of friendship with his Noble Phantasm, Ionian Hetairoi. Because of the tremendous bond of loyalty and friendship between him and his soldiers, they are actually able to answer his call, breaking the laws of time and space to recreate the land they once marched over and fight alongside him once again.
  • A recurring theme in the Elenium trilogy by David Eddings is that Sparhawk wouldn't manage to survive the epic quest he must undertake without the help of his best friend from childhood, his squire, his tutor, and the other knights who join them on the adventure. Sparhawk is The Chosen One, but his friends are what enable him to achieve his destiny.
  • Seen throughout Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles. "The companions," as Taran's friends are known, help him and each other repeatedly. It's particularly a theme in the third book of the series, The Castle of Llyr, in which they discover that Princess Eilonwy's magic trinket becomes more powerful when the holder thinks more of others than of themselves.
  • At the end of Iron Dawn, Barra points out to the captive Big Bad that he lost out because he only had slaves on his side, whereas she had friends to back her up.
  • A very deep quote from Don Vito

Vito Corleone: "Friendship is everything. Friendship is more than talent. It is more than government. It is almost the equal of family. Never forget that." 


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • It is specifically stated in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, both within the show and in interviews with writers, that the reason Buffy has lasted so long as a Slayer compared to her predecessors is that she has friends—the so-called "Scooby Gang"—who look out for her. This is why Faith fails; she's unable to trust people and form lasting friendships.
    • Oh ye of little faith... Sorry.
    • Played for darker twists when it's revealed that many Slayers end up dead, not because they make physical mistakes which lose battles, but because constantly fighting demons cuts away a Slayer's ties to the world until everything she fights to protect has either died or abandoned her. With nothing they appreciate in the normal world, these Slayers become Death Seekers, and Buffy is forced to fight against her own suicidal feelings through seasons 5 and 6.
    • In the Season Four climax, the Scoobies use a spell that combines all their powers into Buffy's body - becoming, in other words, The Power of Friendship given corporeal form. They proceed to demonstrate this power by curbstomping the previously unstoppable Adam.
    • Angel, like Buffy, tends to play it pretty straight (although it's generally more subdued), but lightly parodied it at least once:

Angel: You may have the attitude, and you may have the power. But there's one thing you don't have and never will: friends. Four of 'em, standin' behind you with big, heavy things.

  • This also works in Firefly. It's what Mal tries to beat into Jayne's head throughout the show, especially in "Ariel," and it's how the crew gets the better of Saffron twice.

Saffron: Everybody plays each other. That's all anybody ever does. We play parts.
Mal: You got all kinds a' learnin' and you made me look the fool without trying, yet here I am with a gun to your head. That's 'cause I got people with me, people who trust each other, who do for each other and ain't always looking for the advantage.

  • The "Power of Three" in Charmed relied on The Power of Friendship to work. At one point the sisters intentionally used their powers on each other in a heated argument, which immediately caused the loss of their powers.
  • The theme in season 5 of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. In the episode "Descent", Hercules defeats D'muzi simply by screaming out Iolaus' name.
  • The basic premise of Black Hole High seems to be that, at least within the Applied Phlebotinum field of the school, character flaws trump physics. In the second episode, it makes perfect logical sense that realizing that your friends care for you can cure invisibility.
  • Parodied in the comedy show Stella, in which the three main characters use the power of friendship to create an invisible forcefield to trap a rival group of evil paperboys that have been bullying them throughout the episode. They then threaten to use the power of friendship to crush the bullies to death if they don't cut it out.
    • Stella's Aesop is ALWAYS the power of friendship. ALWAYS.
  • Star Trek features a lot of this; especially in The Original Series and in The Next Generation. Many episodes revolve around one of the crew being kidnapped, threatened, or otherwise in danger, and having the rest of the crew band together to save them. Has resulted in plenty of Crowning Moment of Heartwarming and Big Damn Heroes.
  • Heroes also features a lot of this, but taken to almost Anvilicious (but still enjoyable) levels concerning Hiro and Ando.
  • The A-Team. So much so that in the beginning of Season 5, when Hannibal, Face, and B.A. are finally captured and put on trial all three of them choose to plead guilty for the infamous crime they didn't commit because the only way their lawyer can prove them innocent is by pinning the crime on Murdock. The team realizes that if that happens Murdock will be sentenced to death. All three of them stand up and plead guilty, knowing that they will face the firing squad. They were willing to die to protect Murdock.
  • In the Doctor Who series 3 finale, Martha escapes the Master's takeover of Earth and spends one year traveling the world telling everyone about the doctor and how they're supposed to say (and believe!) "doctor" over and over during an onconming countdown. When said time arrives, everyone in the world doing this (even the Master's human followers and his own freaking wife) gives the Doctor the strength he needs to overpower the Master and undo all his evil.
    • All of the Doctor's previous companions have shown that they're quite willing to die (in some cases, repeatedly) to protect him. Journey's End puts a subversive twist on this with the claim by Davros that the Doctor basically turns everyone who loves him into living weapons for his cause. 
      • Rory makes a point of it too, in a somewhat different fashion, in series five, by pointing out that part of the reason the Doctor's so dangerous is because his overconfident behaviour and impulsive nature encourages others to risk their lives just to impress him. When Rory himself ends up doing the exact same thing later in the episode, in light of the previous guilt-tripping the Doctor is less-than-impressed.
    • In The Warmachines, the mind-controlled Polly clearly sees Ben escaping, and says nothing. When someone asks after him, she explains, but when he asks her why, she does not know, and after a moment, starts to remember that he had been her friend.
  • Even though they're often at each other's throats for one reason or another, the "non-judging Breakfast Club" of Gossip Girl always band together when one of them is in trouble. As Gossip Girl herself puts it, "With friends like these, who needs armies?"
  • One of the themes in Burn Notice. Michael's a bad-ass spy who can handle anything...but even he needs the help of his friends and family to save the day.
    • Moreover, Michael has acknowledged that he is Not So Different from many of the villains his team have dealt with over the course of the series—particularly Larry (yes, Dead Larry), and in the episode "Enemies Closer" he admits that what keeps him from crossing the Moral Event Horizon is his connection to his friends. Or maybe he was only talking to Fi
  • Leverage' features this heavily as the team is made up of individualistic thieves who had always worked alone. One they begin working together, they realize how much more effective they were than before. 
  • Chuck Bartowski has lost his powers and nothing seems to work to restore them. And to make matters worse the bad guys capture him and his best friend (who has no idea of what he really does) and are about to execute them, with no help in sight. In one of the series greatest moments, Chuck's regains his powers.....with a simple buddy talk with Morgan.
  • Parodied in an episode of The Good Life: "You know, Tom and Barbara are the only real friends we've got. Pity they don't have any money or power."
  • Community had a space simulator which could only be beaten with teamwork.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze is perhaps more focused on this trope than any of the other Kamen Rider shows put together, as it stars a hero who wishes to make friends with nearly everyone, and lives up to the promise by creating the Kamen Rider Club, with contains him and six other True Companions.
    • The bond between them also powers his Super Mode.
  • Why The Amazing Race uses teams of two, and what differentiates the show from most other competitive Reality Shows.
  • On the subject of Reality game shows, this trope does have its place in some reality game shows like Survivor or Big Brother. In both games, there're one or two people who make friends and manage to make it further. Especially given these two games have people who proudly declare I'm Not Here to Make Friends. There's almost always one person who's evicted simply because they're at the bottom of the totem pole.
    • In Big Brother, if the other houseguests don't like you for whatever reason, you can expect to face the public vote. This often leads to an Unpopular Popular Character, adored by the audience but disliked by their fellow players.
    • Several seasons of the American Survivor show that this really can be an underestimated boon. In this game, you have to convince 7-9 players you most likely evicted to vote for you to win. If you wantonly bullied your way through the game and left a trail of angry and insulting jurors, you'll probably finish third or second, while someone who got in friendly with them will be seen as the lesser evil. This is even lampshaded by Jaison in Samoa, which is perhaps the most clear-cut example of showing this trope in action. In Samoa, one player called Russell Hantz carried his alliance through the game but was an Arrogant Kung Fu Guy. He clearly knew the game, yet apparently didn't know that the players he sent to the jury had to like him, or at least respect him. He sociopathically pushed his way through the game, and ended by bragging to the jury about how awesome he was, and was surprised when their response was, "NO!", and their votes almost all went for the girl who went around making friends with people.
  • In How I Met Your Mother, Future!Ted is pretty clear to his kids that life will occasionally (or even frequently) suck really badly, but if you have friends to accompany you on your journey through it, it'll never be completely terrible.
    • He also notes that the pull of friendship is more powerful than any number of problems, complications, and conflicts that might get in its way: "Friendship is an involuntary reflex; it just happens."
  • Horrible subverted in Sherlock when the title character is forced to jump off a building in order to save his best (and arguably only) friend John.
    • Made all the worse by their previous conversation:

Sherlock: Alone is what I have. Alone protects me.
John: No. Friends protect people.


Mythology[edit | hide]

  • The tyrant of Syracuse was so impressed by the friendship between Damon, who volunteered to be a hostage for Pythias's return and be executed if he did not, and Pythias, who not only returned to his execution to spare Damon but did so in spite of being captured by bandits and Breaking the Bonds to escape, that he pardoned Pythias for conspiring against him. Thus this is Older Than Feudalism.
  • The Arabian god Wadd was the deity of friendship, besides being also a moon and snake god. Maybe a subversion, as his worship is all but extinct.


Professional Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • Interestingly, having a large group of friends means something entirely different in professional wrestling. Factions comprised of more than 2-3 wrestlers are typically called "stables", and their primary function in story telling is usually to have members of the stable assist other members in their matches and post-match beatdowns... which is dirty play and against the rules. As a result, the aesops associated with this trope are usually averted: the heroes are loners who fight alone against the odds, the villains are cowards who come down to the ring with all of their friends in tow.


Tabletop Roleplaying Games[edit | hide]

  • The indie RPG Misspent Youth by Robert Bohl is all about this. Characters are required to be one another's friends by design, you ask questions about your friendship at the start of every session, all conflicts are between The Authority and the friends, the stakes of all conflicts are agreed-upon by all of the players at the table, and usually when a conflict is won it's with a friend's character's abilities.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • In Improbable Island, there are some situations, especially when there is threat level 1 in every outpost, it simply is not feasible to continue normally, as the cost of healing will outweigh the payouts of hunting. However, in you are part of a large guild, especially one with maxed out buffs, a competent player can become nearly invincible to all level-appropriate encounters, as the enemies will barely be able to overcome your damage resistance, let alone your regen.
  • In Bubble Bobble, it's this that breaks whatever curse Bub & Bob are under. So much that if you beat the game without your friend i.e. 1P, you won't get the True Ending.
  • In the final battle of Jade Empire, your allies weaken the enemies that the Big Bad sends at you before you face him. The game's Karma Meter system results in a mild and possibly unintentional subversion: the only difference between being a messiah who believes in the power of friendship (Open Palm), and a tyrant who just killed all the followers who disagreed with him (Closed Fist), is you have to fight a few more enemies...it seems the power of friendship and the power of a ruthless, brutally evil martial artist are about the same.
  • Mega Man Star Force harps on the importance of relationships almost constantly. In fairness, the "Brother Band" system that underpins this emphasis on relationships also confers very practical benefits. Brother Banding with NPCs (or actual humans over Wi Fi) gives the player (or both players) bonus HP and the option to share their "favorite cards" for use in battle. This doesn't stop the game from also using it somewhat Anviliciously in other contexts, including when the main character is Lost in Space and his friends direct him back to earth using the awesome power of friendship. And not all of them are even really Brothers with him.
    • Wait, it gets better! The Power of Friendship can also apparently bring the dead back to life!
    • Also, a possible subversion: in the second game, The Stoic Solo is revealed to get his own powers from being alone, and you can duplicate his powers by having no brothers and doing a special sidequest. The mode has its own set of advantages and disadvantages compared to the normal friendship bonuses.
      • It's played straight; Solo praises the civilization of Mu... which went down solely because its inhabitants didn't trust each other. Meanwhile, ingame the Rogue powers that can be gained are far inferior to what Geo can get from the standard Brother features, and the Super Mode (which, amusingly enough, is a symbol of what Mu could have been if the people worked together) is only accessible if you have a Brother from an opposite game (Or a Wave Command Card). In fact, by the next game Solo ditches the whole "alone" aspect by teaming up with an ancient Mu relic. This doesn't stop him from constantly talking down to Geo, no matter how many times Geo beats his face in or how many "battle of ideals" Solo loses. There's a reason most people don't take Solo seriously.
  • In Mega Man Battle Network, Mega Man gains power by fusing with the "souls" of his friends, and some powerful items are only available by playing link games with other players (ostensibly, friends). The game focuses more on the bond between family members though.
    • The main character of Battle Network would go on to create the foundation of the world of Star Force, making him the most successful protagonist ever.
  • In the later Fire Emblem games, units that spend significant time battling near each other can have what are called "Support Conversations" wherein they develop their relationships, causing them to have a boost to their offensive or defensive ability when within a short distance of each other. You heard that right: Shipping provides a strategic advantage.
    • This is justified in Fire Emblem, as all of your characters are soldiers or fighters of some degree. The support levels are gained by having the units fight near each other, so the game is recognizing that people who fight as a team tend to get better at it over time.
    • Ike from Fire Emblem's famous line in Super Smash Bros. Brawl: "I fight for my friends."
  • In Mario Baseball, some characters have good chemistry with other players. Moves involving two players (e.g. one throws the ball to the other) are improved if those players have good chemistry with each other. This kind of friendship is represented visually by music notes.
  • The Paper Mario series has this, and not just because switching between your immediate partners is what allows you to overcome the obstacles along the way. In each game, the climactic battle with the Big Bad begins with you getting in a few hits before he makes himself invincible somehow. Then the wishes or prayers or feelings of the friends you've made in all the places you've been enable the breaking of the barrier, so the fight can begin in earnest. The whole "power of friendship" scene is extremely long in the second game against The Shadow Queen compared to the ones against Bowser and Super Dimentio.
    • Well, this makes sense. Your partners in TTYD are much more emotive than the ones in PM and SPM. 
  • In Breath of Fire II you're told that the only way to get the final dragon form to beat the Big Bad is for one of your friends to give their life. They're varying degrees of willing. It turns out that the real way to unlock it is to ignore the requirement and refuse to choose a friend, choosing to sacrifice yourself rather than others
  • Subverted in the "bad" ending of Breath of Fire IV, in which the main character was absorbed by the villain who then proceeded to summon an enormous dragon to fight the remainder of the party. Said party spouted something about friendship, but it was quickly snuffed out by the fact that the dragon had infinite HP, which regenerated every turn, counterattacks that did thousands of damage, an attack that reduced everybody to 1 HP, and was controlled by the player. The game then proceeded to end with all of humanity being destroyed.
  • In Sonic Adventure, the power of friendship unlocks the Chaos Emeralds' real power: the power to turn Sonic into a Super Saiyan as long as he maintains a supply of rings. If he runs out, though, it fails and he demonstrates instant Super Drowning Skills.
    • Also Sonic Heroes. The whole game is built around this trope.
    • Also Sonic Rush, where the power of friendship allows Blaze to access the power of the Sol Emeralds and...well, see the Sonic Adventure entry.
  • Part of the point behind The World Ends With You is getting Ineffectual Loner Neku to open up and cooperate with his teammates in order to survive "The Game" being played around Shibuya. Keeping close ties (or, in game terms, a high "Sync" ratio) with them increases their fighting effectiveness, since the Noise also fight in tandem.
  • In Persona 3, the strength of your fused Personae is dictated by how strong your relationships with other people are. These relationships are usually platonic, but five of them are romantic, and several are of the surrogate family variety. During the ultimate confrontation with the Big Bad, the combined strength of all of the protagonist's relationships creates the Universe Arcana and sustains the PC during the final battle, providing the power to create the Great Seal, which prevents The End of the World as We Know It
  • The Social Link system returns in Persona 4. Many of your social links are with party members, and having a stronger social bond with them will improve their combat abilities to the point where their Personae are upgraded to an improved form. During the game's True Final Boss fight Izanami-no-Okami attempts to use One Thousand Curses on the protagonist, only to be blocked by each active party member in turn. When the Protagonist is finally hit with the attack, every completed social link appears before him, telling him about the impact he's had on their lives and offering their support. The final social link (should you have completed it) is Nanako promising she'll be good if you wake up. (If that doesn't bring a tear to your eye, you have no soul.) The power of all these social links transforms your starter Persona into Izanagi-no-Okami, allowing you to break free from the attack and lift the fog of deceit once and for all. 
  • Crucial to the Kingdom Hearts series. Sora's Keyblade, and indeed all keyblades, seem drawn to individuals with strong hearts and emotions, including—and especially—friendship. But magic and normal combat also seems to operate under this trope; Donald Duck and Goofy and all of Sora's various friends triumph repeatedly through their bonds with each other.
    • Sora's Drive Forms could be seen as a physical manifestation of this.
    • Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep states that The Power of Friendship is Sora's superpower. Birth By Sleep makes friendship essentially Kingdom Hearts version of Spiral Power. It also allows Aqua to smash the Keyblade equivalent of Excalibur by turning her own into a lightsaber of friendship. It gives Ven the power to leech Vanitas's abilities off of him and use them to defeat Vanitas, and it gives Terra the ability to control his own armor even after his heart and body have been taken by the big bad. Finally it allows Ven (who's currently comatose) and Terra (who's currently trapped in his own body while another controls it) to magically transport their keyblades to the realm of darkness to one shot freaking Darksides (the strongest of the pureblood heartless) and save a currently HBSOD ing Aqua while also giving her the will to live again. If you have a keyblade and at least one close friend in KH verse, you will be unstoppable. Gameplay-wise, D-Links are basically the invoking of The Power Of Friendship, in which characters tap into the powers of characters they've interacted with. Most of these actually involve friendship (Experiment 626, Zack and Mickey) while others a bit less so (the Disney Princesses and in Terra's case, Maleficent).
    • coded keeps up the trend; the connections and friendship that data Sora has built with Mickey, Donald, and Goofy allow data Sora to summon a keyblade, and may have actually created a heart for him.
    • The Power of Friendship is the central theme of 358/2 Days too, centering around the friendship of Roxas, Axel and Xion
  • In Final Fantasy IV (II in its first western release), the player's party is about to be wiped out right before the final battle, when the camera switches back to Earth, to show people sending "their prayers" to the characters. After that, several of the protagonist's friends (some dead ones too!) materialize briefly by his side with words of encouragement. Each such speech heals the members a bit, until they're at full strength again.
    • The same game also turns it against you with the Four Fiends. After taking down the final Fiend, Rubicant, he realizes that you beat him because your party fought him as a team. The next time you encounter him, he's brought his fellow Fiends together and you have to fight all four of them at once.
      • Actually he didn't quite understand the moral, because each one of the Four Fiends comes at you one at a time, waiting for their buddy to be killed off before taking his place as they next boss. Its still a tough battle, but one can only imagine the damage that the Four Fiends might have caused if they used true teamwork. 
  • In Final Fantasy VI, upon reaching the Final Boss, the party responds to his nihilistic revelations by talking about all of the individual bonds they've made with one another, what they've learned throughout their individual experience, and why real love is worth risking their lives and fighting to preserve. The villain's response? "This is sickening. You sound like chapters from a self help booklet!"
    • Despite that, though, it's not a subversion. Kefka is wrong. He is stopped. It's also worth noting that in a game where one of the central themes is "human connection makes you a person," Kefka, the villain, is alone in absolutely every way.
  • In Final Fantasy IX, after a particularly distressing revelation, Zidane turns into a zombie-like Jerkass and tries to go it alone. His friends gather around him and convince him that they need each other, helping him turn back into a nice guy.
    • Zidane's jerkass phase was caused by Garland apparently ripping out his soul. Before that, while he was a bit freaked out, he instantly proclaimed his allegiance to Gaia and his friends and tried to turn on his creator.
  • Final Fantasy XII pulled this one twice: once when the main cast is getting ready to fly off to destroy the source of the game's Applied Phlebotinum, and again when they're just getting ready to fight the Big Bad.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy does it almost as bad as Kingdom Hearts. Many fans got pissed since the biggest theme of the story was, rather than conflict, centered around friendship.
    • The initial idea for the game was to make it a Kingdom Hearts game, which is telling.
  • In Inuyasha: Secret of the Cursed Mask, depending on which character you spend your rest days with, you gain more powerful combination attacks with said character as your in-game friendship grows (and character-specific endings, but they just follow simmilar formats).
  • An argument could be made for this trope's inclusion in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Link and the imp Midna increasingly learn to trust and rely upon one another; there's even a screencap after one battle they fight together where they look like they're posing for some kind of friendship poster. Additionally, the first item Link receives in the game is a fishing pole handcrafted by his young friend Colin; if Link pulls the fishing pole out during his final fight with the Big Bad, his enemy actually stops moving and stares at it, giving Link the opportunity to get in some hits without retaliation.
    • Since this trope is part of the premise of the gameplay of Spirit Tracks, Zelda develops a habit of randomly turning into Tea from Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series and delivering Friendship-speeches. Aside from these speeches, however, the concept works incredibly well for a game series where The Hero usually fights all alone and leads to many heartwarming scenes. The cheesiness of this is rather hilariously lampshaded: after they fight together to beat Byrne they have a huge celebration for their teamwork...then notice the boss took the opportunity to hobble away in the meantime.
  • Done at the end of EarthBound in possibly the most heartwrenching, most powerful, most incredibly meta way ever.
  • Rival Schools thrives on this. The students (and teachers) in this game usually gain their strength from their bonds with their friends, and are able to triumph over loner villains in each game. It's so powerful that in each game, a mole sent by the villain (Kyosuke in United By Fate and Yurika in Project Justice) ends up switching over to the good guys because of the friendships they've developed.
  • Not only do characters in Super Robot Wars get bonuses when they're next to a friend (Or rival or romantic interest), but two of the abilities a pilot can have, Trust and Faith, replenish an ally's HP - That's right, you're repairing physical damage to a Humongous Mecha through The Power of Friendship.
    • A similar system applies to Jump Ultimate Stars. If you place friends next to your playable characters in your deck, the friend will give the playable character a boost to their maximum HP.
  • Done in Left 4 Dead as game mechanic. Going Rambo and your chance to die is 100% 99.999% (solo runs are being attempted, but no one yet seems to have bagged 'em all) from Smoker and Hunter. Only your friends can help you out of that.
  • In the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series, this trope is, thankfully, subtly, invoked, and called 'trust' by Detective Gumshoe. In the first game (especially the DS-exclusive 5th case) Phoenix unintentionally shows this to Edgeworth. When Edgeworth returns in the 4th case of the second, he either reminds Phoenix of this or shows it to him directly. Through the combined efforts of Wright, Edgeworth and Von Karma, Engarde is found guilty, which is called a 'miracle' in the end. 
    • Mia also mentions in the 2nd game that friendship is "the strongest weapon in the world and you have it in abundance". Mostly to cheer Wright up though.
  • Friendship equals literal psychic power in Psychonauts—while absolutely no one will help you save the world, when you save someone's brain, they thank you by adding their psychic energies to yours, making you stronger. (Which in this case means more health.) If you reach a certain level, all of your friends start focusing their positive energies on you to cheer you to victory, and you slowly heal as you go.
  • Tales of Hearts uses this constantly in its themes. Then it starts measuring it about a third into the game. Then, your characters start sharing abilities when their Soma Link gets high enough. And then you find out that one of the Limit Breaks has an extension which is unlocked when the character's total bond is high enough. All while never forgetting to bring it up in every other line of dialogue.
  • In Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, during the final battle. Subverted, in that while idealistic hero Almaz calls it this, Mao categorically denies that it has anything to do with friendship, claiming it's some sort of cosmic energy he was hiding in his body.
    • Playing the trope straight, Valvatorez of Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten strongly believes in the power of friendship, and utters the following line in the last battle:

Valvatorez: Do you see now, God!? This is the power of demons, angels, and humans! A power that's much stronger than yours, the ties of our camaraderie!

  • The main character, Edge, of Star Ocean: The Last Hope will repeat the same sappy, sugary lines about the power of friendship until the player gets diabetes.
  • Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume deconstructs this trope. The main character carries a cursed artifact, the Destiny Plume, which makes the target super-strong for one battle but kills them at the end of the fight. It only works on people who trust him and consider him a friend, and none of them realize he's the one who's cutting them down. Frequent use of it makes you more powerful, but as you can imagine, it's not exactly healthy for your Karma Meter. As it's mentioned, "The closer the better".
    • This also turns it into a form of Gameplay and Story Integration, since you can't sacrifice "guest" characters (partly because they're important to the plot of that story arc) as they haven't actually considered Wyl their friend yet.
  • Death's true ending in Castlevania Judgment implicated that even beings of ultimate evil like Death and Dracula are not exempt from this trope. In fact, it's what primarily keeps them together.
  • In World of Warcraft defeating both raid bosses and the opposing faction requires effective communication, teamwork, and persistence. This is why guilds are more successful than pick-up groups.
  • Republic Commando. "We'll beat them, Delta Squad!"
  • Played with interestingly in Thief II: The Metal Age. One of the epigraphs that preceed the cinematic sequences before each level is from the Keepers' Book of Secrets: "Reliance on others is strength for the weak, but weakness for the strong. Wisdom lies in knowing one's own nature over time." Garrett has always been a (effectual) loner, but winds up needing to make allies to solve the problems he faces in the game. It's a subversion since, if the epigraph is correct, this means Garrett used to be strong but now has become weak.
  • Used against the player in EXceed 3rd: the third boss, Giee, uses Summon Magic, and claims that the love and trust between herself and her summons grants her incredible power (since she's just the Stage 3 boss, she goes down hard).
  • Given a very bittersweet nod in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future. It's revealed during the course of the gameplay that Luke, the Prof's devoted apprentice, is going to be moving overseas with his parents (and his father is also one of Layton's closest friends). Layton points out a statue depicting the friendship between a different adult and child, and promises Luke that no matter where they are in the world, they will always be friends.
  • One of the major themes in the Pokémon franchise is the relationship between trainers and their Pokémon. Regardless of the forms they take or abilities they have, all can be befriended and made into potential allies. Another theme is the relationship between trainers themselves, both in-game and the players since it's almost impossible to collect all Pokémon within a single game and trading between players is vital.
    • The move Return, which grows stronger the higher the user's happiness value is. Inverted with the move Frustration, which is stronger the less happy the user is.
    • This trope is what drives the plot of Poke Park Wii, because friendship powers a crystal that keeps a floating island from falling and crushing the park.
    • Some Pokémon can only evolve when their happiness level is at maximum.
  • Samurai Warriors - The personal philosophy of Kanetsugu Naoe (well, that and Justice). Everyone else is annoyed by his constant speechifying and tells him to shut up.
  • Parodied in the season finale of Sam and Max season 2 when Sam tells Satan that he managed to escape his own eternal punishment through the power of friendship and cooperation. Max then adds that he mauled the demon guard and ripped out his kidneys.
  • This is what Red of Solatorobo says keeps him going even when things get rough. Also the reason he claims the Caninu and Felineko will not dissolve into war like the humans did, since humans only began to war on a global scale when they stopped helping each other get better.
  • Cross Channel revolves around this. It's friendship that helps the Broadcasting Club live through their problems, even if they can't exactly get over them.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • In RPG World, the main character Hero's power is derived from his bond with his friends. Or at least, the two main female characters.
  • This is probably the chief reason that Davan from Something*Positive is still hanging in there. Granted, in this case it's the power of dysfunctional friendship, but they're nevertheless the strongest force in his life.
  • Terror Island, of all comics, had this: the entire plot revolved around roommates Sid and Stephen trying to make the other buy the groceries. At the end, they report having found a grocery store. When asked which of them bought the groceries first, they say that they both did. They're asked how that's possible, and they respond "friendship". Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
  • In Flipside, this is Blithe Spirit Maytag's entire modus operandi. She can defeat otherwise implacable villains by refusing to treat them as villains. To truly understand this, she manages to befriend a Nigh Invulnerable, cursed monster girl while that girl is eating her.
  • This is arguably the main theme of Homestuck (just look at at least half the CMoHs listed on that page!), and it doesn't just apply to the friendship of the four main characters. Does anyone have the relevant Andrew Hussie quote?

"I think I'm having a friendship aneurysm!"

    • Karkat, the grouchy hate-spigot who once claimed that friendship counts as a disease for his species, seems to be friends of some closeness or another with all but one or two of the other trolls, and ends up being the glue that holds them together as a team (which one of the other trolls theorizes actually screwed them over because normally trolls are so combative that hatred is a form of romance which plays a key part in breeding, and they have a whole extra form of romance just to prevent regular hate from mutating into an adulterous breeding-hate). On top of that, he's the direct descendant of what amounts to troll Jesus, who actively preached that trolls could become a great species if they would only adopt a philosophy of friendship and love (it didn't work).
  • The power of friendship apparently cures light wounds.
  • The Dreamland Chronicles: can bring you back from death's door
  • Bob and George: Why Chadling can't kill them.
  • Schlock Mercenary runs on it, in a twisted way. The mercenaries are amoral and violent, have to be wary of every government body, and have to treat the concept of "allies" with dubious detachment at best. But they can damn sure rely on their friends and no mistake.
  • seems to be a reoccurring theme in Samurai Princess.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Survival of the Fittest brutally subverts this every time it gets the chance. In a story where the goal is to the the last one left standing and the main moral appears to be "don't trust anybody", friendship has no place and SOTF has no qualms with showing the reader exactly why. Version 0 ends with Sydney Morvran and his friends hiding in the school building. An accidentally dropped flashbang causes them all to go insane with paranoia and butcher each other, Syd using one of them as a human shield. Groups and friendships both tend to collapse in a dramatic fashion, especially once suspicion of killers starts to go around, and people often end up being slaughtered by others who were their closest colleagues before the game. Battle Royale, which SOTF is based on, used this trope.
  • Subverted in The Black Void
  • Wyn from the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes refuses to team up with the other Dimensional Guardians until he falls under the control of a monster and is subsequently freed by them, realizing that the only way he'll be able to defeat the forces of darkness is to team up with them.
  • Played darkly straight in Sailor Nothing. The usual tone of this trope's use in Sailor Nothing: Himei wakes up everyday and stops herself from slitting her wrists open by reminding herself that she has friends to live for.
    • When Himei is ready to lie down and die at the hands of her own Yamiko, Aki gets her up by saying, "Himei! If you die, you can't go on your date tomorrow!"
  • Subverted by Linkara at the end of his Mechakara saga.

"You're not just a tool, you're my friend! And you're also well paid!"

Yugi: Losing a children's card game has caused me to have an existential crisis!
Tea: I have prepared a friendship speech for such an occasion!
Yugi: NevermindI'mallbetternow.
Tea {to a doctor}: Go back to your leeches and your potions! Friendship is the only cure!

  • This happened precisely once in the entire history of the Global Guardians PBEM Universe: When Doctor XX had captured several members of the Hyperion Academy student body, she gloated over her prisoners, proclaiming that as "mere children", they never had a hope of defeating her.

Doctor XX: "Did you really think you'd win? I'm more powerful than any of you!"
Battlecry: "Yeah? Maybe so... (cue the wall coming down as the rest of the students arrive) but you're not more powerful than all of us!"


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Used several times in Avatar: The Last Airbender. It's the only thing that can cool down Aang's Unstoppable Rage. Azula's Villainous Breakdown is largely due to her inability to inspire loyalty through trust and friendship instead of fear. It was also implied that friendship can withstand generations—as in, they last lifetimes through Reincarnation.
    • On the other hand, Avatar Roku tried to use the Power of Friendship to restrain Fire Lord Sozin. That didn't work so well.
  • The whole point of Barbie and the Diamond Castle.
  • The Boondocks makes a Spoof Aesop out of this, with Flonominal and Thugnificent stating that the only reason to ever have friends is so that you never have to deal with your own problems like a man, instead relying on other people to take care of your problems for you.
  • In the fourth season of Teen Titans, Raven, after becoming her father's portal to Earth and being transformed into a powerless, younger version of herself, is able to regain all of her powers by drawing on The Power of Friendship and cause a complete Snap Back of the global destruction Trigon caused.
    • With the Robin/Slade dynamic, Robin's friendship with the rest of the team, by Robin's own words, serves the same purpose that Batman's code against killing does: it's the brake preventing him from crossing the line and becoming what he fights.
    • Usually the aesop of Teen Titans involves this trope.
  • Rocket Power: Part of Reggie Rocket's pep talk in the later part of "Race Across New Zealand": "We're not just another team out here. We're friends. And that's what makes us better."
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, this is lampshaded in the Show Within a Show Dinobonoids where one character boldly exclaims how useful their friendship was to destroying their enemies.
  • Disney seems to like this trope a lot:
    • The theme of friendship and teamwork as key to the heroes' success underlies many of the plots in Kim Possible. In fact, in the first movie "A Sitch in Time," Shego mentions not understanding this phenomenon between Kim and Ron, but acknowledges it, and specifically made efforts to separate the two of them in order to counter it!
    • The whole message of the trope is brutally subverted in Recess; When playing kickball against a team of weirdly similar kids from a neighboring school, T.J. tells his friends they can beat their doppelgangers because they have The Power of Friendship... and the camera cuts to his counterpart telling her team the same thing.
    • Rhino the Hamster from Disney's Bolt completely believes in this trope.
  • The Care Bears do this a lot, often by using the Care Bear Stare, or actually telling people about true friendship.
  • Wonder Pets: What's gonna work? TEAMWORK!! 
  • The major theme in Once Upon a Forest.
  • In My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, the power of friendship, backed by an Amplifier Artifact, can fire a rainbow-colored Wave Motion Gun. Even without an amplifier it's capable of incinerating Windigos.
    • What else could you possibly expect from something with a title like that? The show is practically an encyclopedia of this trope.
    • On the other hoof, every major threat to Equestria has so far been either a being that feeds of hatred and disharmony or the result of those things corrupting a force of good (Luna becoming Nightmare Moon).
  • Zig Zagged Trope in The Penguins of Madagascar when Private builds a robot suit to hug a deadly poisonous frog who has taken over the zoo with threats.

"I'd be a grumpy gus too if no-one ever hugged me."
"Hey, you know what? I never have been hugged. Maybe this is what I needed. Or maybe I'm just a jerk who enjoys bullying other animals."
"Oh. Well, in that case I can just squeeze you until you pop like a grape."
"No, no, hugging's good! ... Actually I'm liking the hug."

  • In Trollz, the Magic of the Five runs off of this. If the girls used spells by themselves, or if one of them were missing, they usually weren't able to defeat Simon.
  • Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders is built on this trope. The Riders and their jewels are even bound in a ceremony called the Circle of Friendship.
  • Mandell was a little more subtle about it with the Galaxy Rangers, but their "pool the badges" tactic is built on this. It also featured prominently in "Mindnet," where the other three go out of their way to clear Shane's name, and Shane overtly chooses his friends over his Supertrooper "family." It also was played wonderfully in "Psychocrypt" when Doc, Niko, and Shane decide to help Zach. 
  • Cubix runs on this. If Connor refuses to give up on him, then he's coming back, even if everyone else in the show agrees he shouldn't be able to. This is how Connor fixes him in the first episode, before the two of them have even technically 'met'.
  • My Little Pony and Friends features this in the episode "The Magic Coins". Niblick, creator of the coins, refuses to help Megan and company undo the damage the ponies' poorly though-out wishes on the coins have caused unless they bring him a treasure of greater or equal value than the coins. After three failed attempts, Megan finally gets the idea to use the last of the coins to wish for a friend for Niblick, which even the crotchety troll comes to agree is a better treasure than anything he could think up.


Truth in Television[edit | hide]

  • The relationship between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill helped save Britain and the world from Nazi Germany. Indeed, one could easily imagine a dialogue between Churchill and Hitler much like the one between Luke Skywalker and Emperor Palpatine.
  • Hoplites in battle, whose main strength was in trusting that they could depend on each other. Not least when They Were Spartans.
  • Truth in music? Queen wrote an awesome song about the Power of Friendship, the aptly titled Friends will be Friends 
  • The reason why the Human species has become the dominant species of Earth, along with great creativity, the ability of think out strategies and unlimited ruthlessness.
    • Some anthropologists also suggest that the Toba Event forced the early humans of Eastern Africa to learn to work together or face extinction. To this day, they are some of the friendliest people on Earth, where starving children will gladly offer half their lunch to a stranger off the street. Even if said stranger is an overfed white guy.
  • Invoked by the US military after a massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on the 11th of March 2011. The aid mission that they launched on the 12th was called "Operation Tomodachi" (Japanese for "friend").