True Companions

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All for one, and one for all!
"As long as you have friends, you have family."

True Companions are just like a real family—they may not necessarily like each other, but they know they can depend upon each other in a crisis. It is a relationship considered to be deeper than mere friendship but more innocent than romance.

This sort of group dynamic appeals to younger audiences who are unfamiliar with romance, and appeals to older audiences who live in a world of complex relationships and convenience masqueraded as false friendship, who are feeling nostalgic about the times when friendship meant a lifelong bond.

A writer may use this to avoid writing romantic relationships, though this usually doesn't stop fans from making up their own.

This trope was originally known as Nakama, a Japanese word that many Westerners mistakenly think means a deep friendship with a dedication akin to family.

Subtropes:

  • Band of Brothers The group is formed by a shared dangerous circumstance, normally military.
  • Blood Brothers The group is formed by some pact, oath or ritual, occasionally as a tradition in response to someone saving your life.
  • Fire-Forged Friends People who specifically didn't care for each other but form a bond after a conflict forces them to work together.

Compare The Power of Friendship, A Friend in Need, Close-Knit Community. Contrast Enemy Mine, A House Divided, We ARE Struggling Together!, and occasionally Teeth-Clenched Teamwork.

Heterosexual Life Partners and Platonic Life Partners are this trope distilled down to a two-person group (same sex and opposite sex, respectively). Often, a group of characters become true companions after a Misfit Mobilization Moment. If the characters happen to be particularly Badass, you get a Badass Crew.

See also Apple of Discord. Related to I Just Want to Have Friends, where this is just a desire. See also: Like Brother and Sister, Honorary Uncle, Band of Brothers, The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry.

Examples of True Companions include:


Music[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Dead Prez - "D.O.W.N."

To me bein down mean more than bein' friends, or kin/We comrades we struggle, through any trouble

  • The Japanese band Arashi have described their relationship as this as is shown here and here
  • Queen—Friends will be Friends
  • The Rembrandts's "I'll Be There For You". Fittingly, it's the opening song for Friends
  • The band members of Rammstein declared numerous times that the band would rather break up than replace one member of their band. Their music video for "Haifisch" subverts this trope: not only are they considering who to replace singer Till Linderman with at his funeral, it's shown that if they hadn't tried to flat out kill him, they've at least thought about it (save one), and they end up fighting over who caused their true-companion group to fall, resulting in keyboardist Flake Lorenz crashing into the singer's coffin which is when they found out he's still alive. The lyrics of the song, however, play this straight, as a form of principle declaration.
  • In the same vein, Led Zeppelin did split up after the death of drummer John Bonham, and up to that death they had been more or less a united front. Even though the remaining members have had problems afterwards (how's that parking spot, Jones?) they are still united in protecting their music.
  • The song We'll Be There from the Yu-Gi-Oh! soundtrack Music to Duel By.
  • The Beatles were often called "The Four-headed Monster". Before thing started falling apart, they were essentially codependent. They made decisions as a unit (if even one Beatle didn't agree to an idea, they would consider it vetoed), and didn't like being apart for long periods of time. Ringo Starr said something along the lines of "I was a single child, and I got three brothers". There was talk of buying an island for the four of them and their families to live on together. At least one of the Beatle wives had said that the Beatles were practically married to each other, and that the women in their lives were superfluous. Even after the breakup of the band, the general consensus among the former members, and particularly John Lennon, was that while the Beatles could openly and horribly insult each other, they didn't want anyone else doing it.
    • Their manager, Brian Epstein, was something of a dad to them as well. He looked out for their wellbeing, he always took care of their affairs to the best of his ability, and was probably the biggest factor in their early success. On their part, they appreciated his hard work and were devastated when he died of a drug overdose. In fact, Paul McCartney has said that if anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Epstein.
  • Slipknot have often referred to themselves as this. Now that one of their own has died, their future is extremely uncertain. This also applies to Avenged Sevenfold, although they have continued to honour The Rev's memory.
  • Two Little Boys by Rolf Harris is about two best friends.
  • Good Charlotte's singer Joel & guitarist Benji are twins, and the entire band were solely credited by their first names on their first album in a show of unity as the brothers' father had walked out on their family & they didn't want to be credited with his name.
  • The Iron Maiden song "Blood Brothers", which despite the name isn't quite about the trope.
  • Disturbed has become known for being a band that still hangs out and talks after a show when other bands would've been sick of seeing each other. They've gotten to the point that each member knows exactly what kind of song they want to write or album they want to make without having to talk about it. Also of note, some of them have had each other's back during fights.
  • The basic foundation of friendship within the band was said to be one of the reasons Split Enz were able to stick around for as long as they did (about thirteen years), as opposed to Crowded House which was more a straight-up commercial venture that soon fell apart (in its initial run) once the band members realised that they didn't really have that much in common.
  • "Until the Day I Die" by Story of the Year was not written about a rocky romantic relationship, but how the band will always be there for one another, even though they sometimes feel like killing each other. Truly the anthem of bromance.
  • Green Day hands down. Especially between Mike and Billie Joe, who have known each other since middle school and lived together as teens. Tre quickly assimilated into the group after their first drummer left, and they've been like brothers ever since for over 20 years.
  • Rush, the progressive rock band from Canada, is very obviously a band of three best friends. Bassist/vocalist/keyboardist Geddy and guitarist Alex have known each other and been Heterosexual Life Partners since they were in middle school, and like with Green Day, the drummer and lyricist Neil was pretty quick to mesh with his bandmates after the first drummer, John Rutsey, was fired for health reasons. The three of them have been brothers to each other since 1975.


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • Flash Gordon, Dale Arden, Hans Zarkov, Barin, Thun, and Vultan. Any of them would die for any of the others. Aura eventually joins, too.
  • Alley Oop is part of two groups. In prehistoric Moo, he's got Foozy, Ooola, Dinny, Guz, Umpa and th' Grand Wizer. In modern times, he's got Doc Wonmug, Oscar Boom, and Ava (although Oscar has been stuck on the Heel Face Revolving Door for a few years now). Both groups have met and are friends, but they don't interact very much.
  • Even though they get on each other's nerves a lot, the core cast of Peanuts counts.


Pro Wrestling[edit | hide]

  • The Four Horsemen: Specifically, the original iteration with Ric Flair, Arn and Ole Anderson, and Tully Blanchard. Arn Anderson said in Flair's autobiography that the Horsemen became a "full-blown shoot".
  • The Kliq: Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman/the 1-2-3 Kid, and Triple H. Probably the best-known True Companionship in wrestling after the Horsemen.
  • The OMEGA Clique: Matt and Jeff Hardy, Gregory Helms, Shannon Moore, and prior to her break-up with Matt, Lita. This also applies to Matt & Jeff's onscreen relationship in the WWE run. Obviously, because they're really brothers, but even when the two have had feuds (at one point, Matt was slated to reveal he started the Real Life fire that destroyed Jeff's home & killed his beloved dog, Jack), their issues have been resolved the moment someone tried to injure the other.
  • The WWE locker room as a whole - When one of them falls, such as Owen Hart or Eddie Guerrero, they can all be seen to be hurting and will put the storylines on hold to pay tribute to their fallen comrade.
  • The entire wrestling business has been described numerous times as "one of the largest fraternities in the world". There's a reason why "brother" is such a common epithet (and no, not just because of Hulk Hogan) and why wrestlers band together so tightly against outsiders.


Puppet Shows[edit | hide]

  • In The Movie of Sesame Street (you heard me), Big Bird is pulled away from the neighborhood to be adopted by "his own kind" (other birds). The Aesop at the end is that his family isn't those related to him but those close to him, on Sesame Street... in other words, his true companions.
  • The Muppets, especially in the movies, as shown by the quote from Kermit in The Muppet Movie.
  • Jim, Rizzo, and Gonzo have one of these in Muppet Treasure Island, despite not even being the same species.


Sports[edit | hide]

  • There was a reason the 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates called themselves "The Fam-a-lee, with first baseman Willie Stargell as Team Dad.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • The werewolves of both Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Werewolf: The Forsaken follow the combined social instincts of humans and wolves to form small "packs" with each other, ideally a Five-Man Band. These packs follow the entire true companions trope: packmates are practically family, you might love or hate them, and intra-pack romantic relationships are considered incestuous. (But then, in The World of Darkness games, any werewolf/werewolf relationship effectively is incestuous, as werewolves must mate with humans—or, in the Old World of Darkness, wolves—or breed twisted, sterile mutants.)
  • New World of Darkness-specific:
    • The same goes, to a lesser extent, for most of the other supernatural groupings (Mage cabals, Promethean throngs, Changeling motleys, Hunter cells). Which, given the often cathartic nature of the supernatural societies, makes a lot of sense. Vampire coteries, on the other hand, tend to be brief marriages-of-convenience, formed by the recently Embraced until they get to grips with Vampire existence. The line about coteries is Jossed, sort of, in Clanbook Ventrue. As part of a section on how The M spreads, the author talks about how young coteries drink each other's blood to form bonds deeper than family. Young Ventrue, on the other hand, are discouraged from such things.
    • Kindred Cyclical Dynasties are another good example. Closer than family, often to the point where the lines between them begin to blur, cyclical dynasties are made up of two or more kindred, with the eldest acting as mentor to the next eldest, who acts as a mentor to the next eldest, etc. When the eldest falls into torpor the next eldest takes over, secure in the knowledge that his dynasty-mates will take him under their wing when he wakes up confused and isolated in decades or centuries.
  • Shadowrun tends towards extremes. Groups of runners who are largely indifferent towards each other tend to drift apart. Most established teams are held together by tight bonds. It's also not uncommon for every member of the team to have a plan to kill any or all of his teammates, just in case.
  • In Exalted, this is the idea of Solar, Lunar, Sidereal, and even Abyssal circles, plus Terrestrial sworn brotherhoods. As for when it doesn't turn out like that... well, just ask the Deathlord Eye and Seven Despairs about that one.
  • Despite the setting, Warhammer 40,000 even manages to demonstrate this trope with the Space Marines. Nothing is more important to them than loyalty to their Battle Brothers and fealty to the Chapter, and aside from the God-Emperor himself and the founding Primarch they recognise no authority other than their Chapter Master. This is why the Horus Heresy is considering so tragic, as conquering solar systems and crushing civilisations was perfectly fine, but turning against and fighting your brothers was inconceivable.
  • Adventuring parties in Dungeons & Dragons are usually this, for the practical reason that, for the game to work, the PC's have to stick together. "Splitting the party" is a phrase that makes most players and DM's cringe.
    • It's not really an exaggeration (it might even be an understatement) to say that Thri-Kreen society revolves around this concept, as well.
  • 7th Sea has the concept of "Rucken," two fighters who trust each other completely. Players can purchase an Advantage of the same name to gain an unusually powerful (100 Hero Points instead of the usual 75) NPC companion, with the catch that if the player ever abandons or betrays his Rucken, the Rucken becomes his sworn enemy (denoted by gaining the Nemesis background at its most dangerous level).


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Mother 3 has DCMC, who are all true band bros. When their bassist, Lucky/Duster has to leave do to reasons of heroism and amnesia, they sing a heartfelt little song begging the "Big Guy in the Sky" to look out for their pal. Awwww.
  • Final Fantasy V. The four Light Warriors hold together through failure, poisonings, and the death of one of their own without fail. Galuf even calls a retreat when he's attacking Castle Exdeath to go and rescue the other three, alone. And in the ending, a lonely Krile is told by the other three that there's no way she's going to be alone when they're around.
  • Final Fantasy VI has the quintessential Ragtag Bunch of Misfits that become True Companions.
  • Final Fantasy VII and Crisis Core both stress the importance of having True Companions. Cloud needs his friends and comrades to be a complete and effectual person.
    • In the FFVII: Advent Children movie, Cloud actually calls the other characters his 'true companions' in the dialogue, which is translated in the English version to "family."
    • Zack for Cloud after their escape from Nibelheim, although Cloud was in no condition to reciprocate.
    • It is revealed in Crisis Core that even Sephiroth had True Companions through Angeal and Genesis. Though that was not enough to stop Genesis and Angeal from leaving Sephiroth behind when they discovered their true origins and went rogue.
  • Final Fantasy VIII's main SeeD team, which the memebers rely on each other as they do tag-team missions, and that most of them are related.
  • Final Fantasy IX has this (it's even said by Zidane that they're "more than friends - we're a team"), even though most of the characters (namely Zidane & Steiner) don't get along with each other at first. When Zidane discovers his disturbing origin, he tries to leave the gang. Garnet/Dagger, however, convinces him that they'll stay with him no matter what.
  • Final Fantasy X. Although Tidus functions as the narrator, the story as a whole is centered around the exploits of Yuna's guardians, as mismatched and misfit as they were, in their efforts to protect her and defeat Sin. It's carried on to a lesser extent in FFX-2, with Yuna as the main protagonist, though much of the original cast has disbanded and moved on. Tidus' sword is even named "Brotherhood," and powers up as he grows closer to the party.
    • Somewhat played with in that most of the party were already True Companions to Yuna before her pilgrimage: Rikku is her cousin, Kimahri and Auron knew her father, and Wakka and Lulu grew up with her on Besaid.
  • The six main characters of Final Fantasy XIII form a powerful bond thanks to the fact that the entire world wants to kill them. Especially poignant with Fang and Vanille, who come from an egalitarian where everybody literally shared everything and took the same last name. At one point when Vanille's hit rock bottom, Fang encourages her by reminding her that they have a new family now.
  • Anyone who plays the Japanese version of Dissidia Final Fantasy will have this word and this Trope drilled into their head by the time they are done with the story portion of the game. The ten main heroes in this Crossover are not only true companions but several smaller, fluctuating ones as well and the concept serves as a major overarching theme across their stories.
  • Watch the Tomato in the Mirror revelation scene on the Ebon Hawk in the first Knights of the Old Republic sometime.
  • Digital Devil Saga is all about this, since the main characters are a group of warriors fighting to protect the MacGuffin Girl, adapting to becoming demons together and ascend to Nirvana. While they have arguments and fall out quite a lot, there are a lot of speeches about what it means to be comrades and instances of Fighting Your Friend.
  • Fire Emblem support conversations often develop into this. A more blatant example is the Greil Mercenaries from Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn. A notable part is a speech Griel gives before chapter 6 "In times like these, it matters not what our blood ties are. We are family." Right before the final chapter, Ike states in a Rousing Speech that he finally understands what it means.
  • Even among all of the memorable examples in that game, Leonardo and Edward stand out. Unlike most all of the other supports, their relationship is canon and non-optional.
  • Sakura Taisen takes camaraderie very, very seriously, with the main force, the Teikokukagekidan, having reinforced it to its most extreme in multiple games, blurring the line between friendship and family.
  • The level of friendship you form with your team in Persona 4 is truly heartwarming; not surprising in a game where building social links increases your potential and efficiency in battle. Most of the storyline, apart from being a supernatural/murder mystery, is about the bonds you share with others. At the last battle of the game, your teammates sacrifice themselves one by one to protect you; don't worry, they all live.
    • That goes for its predecessor, Persona 3, as well, which was the game that first introduced the social link aspect. In regards to the actual storyline, the bond between the members of your team—SEES—grows stronger and stronger as you progress through the game. By the end, all the members of SEES have become True Companions.
  • Dingo from Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner says that BAHRAM killed his comrades so many times, it starts to sound completely ridiculous.
  • One character gives a passionate speech about what it means to be true companions to another character in Ever 17.
  • The chosen ones of the Red Night in 11eyes refer to themselves as true companions several times, though sometimes it feels like it's being used to hold team spirit together as the challenges get tougher. Their group even has a motto. "For our friends and tomorrow!"
  • Star FOX has this for both teams: the main team Star Fox are like family to each other, but on recent plot themes, they have then become disbanded or at least one of them would leave to fly solo. Ironically, Star Wolf experiences this in reverse - Star Wolf originally has Wolf, Leon, Pigma, and Andrew. The last two were kicked out because of the lack of loyalty and code of honor, and were replaced by Panther. Panther is then a permanent member, and the trio have become so closer than ever.
  • Chapter 8 of Valkyria Chronicles has Welkin refer to the main players in Squad 7 as a family, with himself and Alicia as the father and mother, Rosie and his sister Isara as the daughters, and Largo as the grandfather. This scene is referenced again, as well as the reactions they all have to certain events in the game.
  • Sly, Bentley and Murray from the Sly Cooper series of games. The team does expand by the third game, though in the cases of Dimitri and the Panda King it's mostly a case of Enemy Mine.
  • Most likely Neku and the other protagonists from The World Ends With You, given everything they went through, and the final fusion attack from the last boss fight. Summed up nicely by Neku in the epilogue.

Neku: Trust your partner. And I do. I can't forgive you, but I trust you.

  • The protagonists from the Sonic the Hedgehog series exhibit this, especially with Sonic and Tails. Their team in Sonic Advance 3 is even called "Unbreakable Bond".
  • Guild Wars uses this Trope as a game mechanic: if you can't gather enough human players for your party, you can hire NPC henchmen to fill the empty spaces. The same group of henchmen can be found in every town in the game and it's implied that all of them, including the ones the player never literally uses, are progressing through the story with the player. The latest two releases, Nightfall and Eye of the North, take this even further with heroes, a type of customisable henchmen that permanently join the player's party.
  • If a character is recruited into the main character's workshop in Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis, expect them to stick by him even during the last part of the game (be it a Cute Ghost Girl, an alien and even The Rival).
  • Sora of Kingdom Hearts has a very large true companionship group, though the most obvious central examples are the Sora-Riku-Kairi and Sora-Donald-Goofy trios. Also Mickey-Donald-Goofy, and Axel-Roxas-Xion (at least it looks that way). The most close-knit trio, though, is Terra-Aqua-Ven, who are like siblings or two parents and a child, depending on the situation.
  • In Tales of Symphonia, towards the end of the game, the main party is split into multiple groups as a result of a trap. Lloyd and his Soul Mate go and rescue their friends, and Lloyd goes to each event, where the characters are being tormented by their own fears and demons. He accepts them for who they are and they manage to break the trap. This is most prevelant in Genis & Raine's torture, where they are singled out for being half elves. Lloyd disperses their fears and returns them to the group.
  • Star Ocean: The Last Hope. Edge has this strange way of insisting people he has literally met five minutes ago are his 'friends' and basically coercing them into joining him, then devoting as much of his time as possible to driving them away, then doing ludicrously stupid things that typically have horrific consequences in the name of comradeship.
  • The party in Star Ocean the Second Story
  • Planescape: Torment, if one plays it with a team.
    • Very significant is a moment when Sarhava Vhjull, a young, arrogant, drunken noblewoman, insults Annah, who is at first more flustered than angry. Not only the Nameless One (player's character) stands up for her, but even Morte (always rude towards the tiefling), if the player let's him, does the job of insulting back said NPC.
    • If Fall-From-Grace is with you, she will give Sarhava (who, it turns out, was raised at her brothel) such a talking-to for being a disgrace and an embarrassment she basically shrivels up. That's fun to see, but it's notable that Grace is defending Annah, who is cold at best towards her.
      • A noteworthy subversion: the relationships may be genuine, but it's the Nameless One's Mark of Torment that's magically compelling the team to stay together.
  • Fatal Fury has a few, which led into the King of Fighters series. First and foremost, the Bogard brothers, Terry and Andy Bogard, Joe Higashi, and Mai Shiranui. We also have the Hero Team with Kyo Kusanagi, Benimaru Nikaido, and Goro Daimon. From the Ikari Team, Colonel Heidern, Ralf Jones, Clark Still, Leona Heidern and Whip. And one evil example, The Howard Connection, Consisting of Geese Howard, Billy Kane, Raiden, well sometimes, and much later, Kain Heinlein.
  • Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story revealed Bowser and his various minions to be this. Although one wouldn't think this because of Bowser's nature as an Evil Overlord, the game makes it very clear that a large part of the troops have more respect for him than fear. In fact, during Bowser's fight with Fawful, the Goombas offer themselves to be punched so that Bowser can counter-attack Fawful. In the epilogue, Bowser even forgives three minions who trapped him in a safe after being presumably brainwashed by Fawful as long as they help fix up his castle while Kamek was telling them to scram.
  • Cave Story shows this forming, but it only comes to fruition if you get One Hundred Percent Completion. Quote and Curly Brace go from fighting each other, to fighting side-by-side, and they even convince Recurring Boss Balrog to help them at one point. In the Standard Ending, this is as far as it goes. But if Quote saves Curly after the Core battle, and then restores her memories, she gives him the Iron Bond: "Your tie to Curly Brace, the only warrior you would trust your back to." The endgame then involves them fighting the True Final Boss together as Back-to-Back Badasses, with Balrog swooping in to rescue them at the end. And then the three of them decide to move someplace with a nice view and live together.
  • In the Jak and Daxter series, we start with Jak, Daxter, Keira and Samos. After the second game, Torn, Ashelin and Sig join and the seven of them form the "official" party, as seen in Jak X. Tess is usually included in the roster by fans because of her status as Daxter's Love Interest. Sometimes Pecker and Onin are thrown in the mix as well.
  • In the Japanese version of Castlevania 3, Akumajou Densetsu, the uber-genki pirate/freedom fighter Grant Danesti immediately declares himself and Trevor Belmont to be true companions. The sequel game, Curse of Darkness, proves him right. As soon as Hector stats flailing about Trevor having beaten Dracula, Trevor immediately says he couldn't have done it without his friends. (Judgment's continuity twists this, for better or worse, by suggesting that Grant grew distant from Trevor due to a Love Triangle with Sypha and continued on his own path even after reconciliation. On the brighter side, Alucard remembers his teammates well even after centuries have passed.)
    • Aria of Sorrow has a great scene. Soma, about to challenge Chaos, worries about that thing, only for everyone he's befriended throughout the game banding together to telepathically contact him and say, "Okay, you're Dracula... so what? You're our friend, and we think you can do this, and we're here for you." Once he wins, they all congratulate him, and they all return in Dawn of Sorrow to cheer him on and help him out again.
  • Mass Effect 2':
    • Shepard views turian squadmate Garrus Vakarian and quarian squadmate Tali'Zorah as such in terms of them watching his/her back when walking through hell. Dr. Chakwas, the Normandy's medical officer, considers Shepard, "the center of her galaxy," a true companion. Chakwas also considers Joker a true companion, in terms of helping Joker with his brittle bone disease when he needs her. Joker views Shepard as his true companion in terms of being on Shepard's side 100% despite the occasional sass-laden conversations. In-universe example: Krogans use the term "Krantt" for true companions that serve as battle-brothers. By the end (provided you've gained their loyalties), all of the crew members and squadmates feel like this.
    • Although it isn't as focused on in the first game, it's still there for many players, particularly those who are strongly paragon. This feeling of camaraderie—and absolute loyalty to one another—only serves to make Virmire that much more difficult to go through, even if you never liked Kaidan or Ashley in the first place.
    • Mass Effect 3 takes it further, especially considering that of your possible 7 squadmates, 4 of them are your original crew, plus Joker, Chakwas and EDI. The final conversations you have with them before the final assault on Earth are especially memorable

Shepard: Shepard and Vakarian, storming Heaven. I can think of worse things.
Garrus: Heh, I'll meet you at the bar.

  • Dragon Age: Origins also has this to a lesser extent, many of the recruitable party members loathe each other (Morrigan & Alistair being the most prominent example) but at the same time can all form friendships/romances with the player character and trust eachother enough to fight alongside one another. Even Sten, who remains The Stoic and a Proud Warrior Race Guy for the journey states that one of the reasons he's so harsh on you is because he trusts his life to you.
    • After spending the entirety of Origins griping about Dog Morrigan is actually happy to see him at the end of Witch Hunt.
  • Hawke's group in Dragon Age II, fit this trope well, with their conversations showing that each are willing to support each other. Varric looks out for Merrill, protecting her at night when she walks alone, drinks often with Carver, even as they rail on each other. Aveline and Isabela become Vitriolic Best Buds by Act III, and many of the characters display an uncommon tenderness towards Bethany. Like the first game however, several of the team simply do not get along, especially in the case of Anders.
  • Metal Gear series: Solid Snake has one of these with Otacon, primarily, and later Sunny. Even more so, his father Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3 and especially the PSP spin-offs. It's the fracturing of this crew that has retroactively become the basis for the conflict of Solid Snake's story.
  • The Adventurer's Guild ("the Group") from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is indicated to be something like this, an idea frequently expanded on in Fanon.
    • In The Wind Waker, Tetra and her pirate crew are true companions, with Link added during the course of the game.
  • In the Pokémon games, much emphasis is placed on the bond between Pokémon and their Trainers. Everyone feels this way for at least one specific Pokémon.
    • The Nuzlocke Challenge puts severe limitations on what Pokémon you can catch, and forces you to release or permanently box any Pokémon that gets KO'd for real. Several players, including the creator who initially challenged himself for the lulz, have admitted that the challenge actually makes them feel much more passionately about the few, fragile Pokémon they have, especially breeds that they would normally pass over without a second thought.
    • Also the rescue team and the Guild of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon.
  • Knights of the Old Republic is all about this. In the original game and the Sequel you have a team of misfits (some of whom have very good reason to resent each other), and yet the team sticks together by the player character's leadership. Then the sequel turns right around and Deconstructs it by giving a slightly discomforting reason as to why your party forms around you.
  • Nie R: Neir forms one with the maladjusted but sympathetic freaks he meets along his journey, extending his Papa Wolf nature onto them. Even the arrogant Grimoire Weisse sees the group as friends.
  • Exit Fate: To varying degrees, the Elysium Army—particularily Daniel, Ljusalf and Ayara, who join together early on. At one point, when you've amassed many followers and generals, Ayara runs off, believing that you don't need her anymore, and you have to track her down and convince her that she's important too. And then there are Daniel's friends since childhood, Angel and Jovian - much of Daniel's grief stems from his fear that Jovian betrayed him due to their conflicting ideals. He didn't. Jovian would never betray him. Ever.
  • Professor Layton: The Professor's true-companion group consists of a pair of children—his apprentice, Luke, and his ward, Flora.
  • Leonhardt and his true companions (Borgnine, Ellis, Vira-Lorr, Zerva, and Winfield) in Agarest Senki have a bond that is so strong, that they actually stick together with the descendants of Leo for four more generations. And this group is one of the few Combination Attacks that are EX Combos.
  • Numerous Touhou characters have formed what are probably the most bizarre crews of true companions in existence, a combination of a regular dysfunctional family, disgruntled employees, and a Badass Crew that will brutalise anyone that dares harm any of their fellows. Let's analyze them one by one.
    • The House Scarlet folks are united against all threats, especially because they are the obviously-Western supernaturals in a Japanese settings.
    • The Yakumo household blur the line between true companions and actual family. Chen is often depicted as having two mommies, Ran and Yukari, in fan works. Official source states that Chen is not just Ran's student, she's like a daughter to her.
    • The Eientei household will defend their members viciously from any external threats, especially due to their circumstance: they house at least three wanted Lunarian fugitives, two of which are eternal enemies of the state.
    • Say what you want about the atrocious beginning of Kanako-Suwako relationship, but in this modern time, they are Sanae's two mommies.
    • Subterranean Animism plays with this. The Komeiji household is an example of true companions, but the justification for this is because the Komeiji sisters can read into any sentient beings' mind, which is how they won the loyalty of their pets: they are the only ones who can understand their pets' feelings.
    • This is one half of the Player Punch of fighting Byakuren's followers, the other half being Fantastic Racism. They aren't some kind of crazy cultists seeking to release a nasty sorceress sealed in the demon realm, they are Fire-Forged Friends who aim to liberate their saintly leader.
  • Super Robot Wars usually play this one straight. Super Robot Wars Z however deconstructs the idea of true companions. It's perfectly justified too seeing as you really can't mix military fashioned men with loose cannons.
  • The Survivors in Left 4 Dead (even though certain characters won't admit it). It can be summed up in Bill's final message to the group "Take care of each other, you guys are the only family I've got left!"
  • In the first Baldur's Gate game, the canonical party of Charname, Imoen, Jaheira, Khalid, Minsc, and Dynaheir were true companions. Charname and Imoen were foster and blood siblings raised together their entire lives, Jaheir and Khalid are Happily Married and were friends and comrades of Charname's foster father Gorion, and Minsc and Dynaheir also have a close though nonromantic relationship as per the customs of their people. This is what makes the first part of the sequel Shadows of Amn especially painful. Irenicus kills Khalid and Dynaheir and ruins their bodies beyond any hope of resurrection and nearly drives Imoen insane by ripping out her soul.
  • Golden Sun games have a very strong focus on family and on friends that are like family. It gets lampshaded in Dark Dawn when an NPC comments on the wide variety of friends you have with you from so many different backgrounds, and how close-knit you've become anyway, and draws a comparison to family.
  • The sum up of Inazuma Eleven's theme and moral lesson.
  • While Suikoden often consists of many combinations of the Five-Man Band, each army of 108 stars ends up being a macro version of this trope. They fight, go on adventures, drink, party, and even judge cooking contests together as a sprawling enclave.
  • In The Reconstruction, though your guild doesn't start off like this, it eventually ends up this way by the end.
  • Team Fortress 2 has a rather... odd band of brothers, but they nonetheless remain surprisingly civil towards each other and always work for the benefit of the team.
  • Resident Evil series: Despite the tease found in some of the games, Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield are like this. Jill is willing to sacrifice herself to save Chris from Wesker. While Chris is on his next mission, the moment he gets wind she might still be alive he drops everything else to find her.
  • The general theme of the Mega Man Star Force series is The Power of Friendship, so it's not surprising that Geo, Sonia, Luna, Bud and Zack form one of these.
  • Guy from Final Fight has this relationship with Cody Travers, Mike Haggar (and arguably his daughter Jessica too), and likely with his sister-in-law Maki.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • The main cast of Questionable Content, if not just the workers at Coffee of Doom. Despite the relationship that developed between Marten and Dora, the group has held together quite well.
  • The main cast in Sluggy Freelance will fight vampires and demonic kittens, travel through alternate dimensions, and take down evil corporations to rescue one another. At one point, several of them are seeing a psychiatrist, partly by coincidence though it really benefits them too, and it comes up that even Gwynn, who thinks she doesn't like the others and that they don't like her, considers the others as family, since "family is supposed to be there when you really need them, right?"
  • Drowtales: The Highland Raiders!
  • The eight main characters from El Goonish Shive are true companions. See the "Painted Black" and "Grace's Birthday Party" arcs for particularly telling examples. Like any number of examples, they don't always get along, but once Tedd and Susan, of all people, became friends, becoming true companions was probably inevitable given what goes on in Moperville. Like Code Lyoko further down, they didn't start as true companions. The transition was a bit smoother, though, with the friend of friends having your back when the deadly stuff starts even if you were bickering only hours before.
  • In Dominic Deegan, the Deegan family and their various hangers-on could be considered true companions, as could the faculty and students of the School of Arcane Arts, especially the students that fended off the Infernomancer's attack (although they were merely a random group of students in the wrong place) -- Nimmel almost committed suicide because he felt he had failed the comrades who died. The clearest example of true companions, however, is Lord Milov's "pack" of himself, Jayden, and Siegfried. amusingly enough this most purest example of the trope is also the one to go the most sour.
    • This is pretty much the core of the werewolve's "pack" cocept.
  • The protagonists of Looking for Group are also forming one. This is even more blatant with Richard and Cale (to the point that the Omnicidal Maniac warlock is turning into The Atoner as he stays in prolonged contact with the once-naive elf) and with Ben'Joon and Krunch (with the latter being the former's adoptive father).
  • In Girl Genius, the traveling circus could be seen as this. Even the relationship between Zeetha and Agatha could count, even if it is bordering on Les Yay. A love triangle between Agatha, Tarvek, and Gil, Agatha has (in classic Mad Scientist fashion), chosen them both.
  • Most of the relationships in Something*Positive have something of this, especially the original core of friends Davan, Aubrey, PeeJee and Jason. Davan was described by the author as being often difficult to get on with and you might wonder why you bother, but he will be there if needed.
  • The adolescent cast of Ruby's World functions like this, and the characters' relationships to each other are among the only things of value in a universe of Black and Grey Morality.
  • Dejoru of Juathuur tried to inspire a sense of family in his original team, but it didn't work out. He tries in his second team too and fails. By the time we meet him again, he has lost his faith on group cohesion.
  • Order of the Stick is all about this.
  • In Eight Bit Theater, The Other Warriors are seemingly the closest thing the series has to this, though the Dark Warriors seem to become close later on. All other groups range from Teeth-Clenched Teamwork or flat-out Enemy Mine in the case of the Light Warriors.
  • Friendly Hostility is all about how some people just seem to tumble into your life unexpectedly and stick with you for life.
  • Bob, his girlfriend Jean, their "synthetic pink daughter-thing" Molly, and Auntie Princess Voluptua in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob. Oh, and Molly's pet tentacle-bunny, Snookums.
  • The City of Reality portrays a world where everyone everyone else's true companion, essentially creating a true utopia. Unfortunately, as a Deconstruction of utopias, it has since seen cracks in the structure; but, like genuine examples, the people seem determined to push forward together.
  • In Schlock Mercenary the Toughs are bonded, and each wants to do the right thing for the whole, often sacrificing their own boni. Captain Tagon is very similar to Captain Reynolds, going so far as to suggest that officers go without pay, so that the grunts don't lose their paychecks.
  • The Dreamland Chronicles: offering support
  • In Achewood, most of the main characters certainly count. If something happens to one of them, the rest will rally. Spongebath and Emeril, despite not being central characters, definitely count as part of this too.
  • Doodle Diaries is a journal comic by three close friends who seemed to hate eachother at first when they met, but soon became like family.
  • In Voodoo Walrus Grymm and Creepknight certainly count. Its even a surprise to other character when one of the duo is seen without the company of other like in this page
  • In Homestuck, the troll concept of "Moirallegiance", one of their four kinds of romance, is most similar to this.
  • The GM and roleplayers in Darths and Droids are like this. For all the squabling that goes on, it's clear that they all love the campaigns they've done together, and really do like each other's company.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • If you have an account on GameFAQs, you have a chance to join the Yusketeers. Its members have become this.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • The teenagers of the group Team Kimba, at the Super-Hero School Whateley Academy. Not only are they brought together by a common characteristic, but many of them have the classic family issues: Phase (disowned), Generator (mother dead, abusive father in prison), Bladedancer (orphaned), Lancer (his brother sicked an anti-mutant military force on him), Tennyo (forced to leave her family because of assassins and worse), Carmilla (mother dead, father a demon), Heyoka (orphaned)... Only a couple of them have a supportive family. This true-companion group ends up shifting quite a bit. Carmilla forms her own, loosely allied team. (Sara's Pack). Also, it is stated in Jade's stories that Poe is designed to specifically create this, and Whateley itself has some elements of it.
    • There is a second team of true companions, who band together almost specifically because they are all ridiculously outcast from rest of the school due to bad fashion sense (on purpose) and severe GSD (they look like monsters).
    • There is a villainous (sorta) version with the bad seeds, who all watch each others backs, as they are all the children of supervillains, more, they are KNOWN to be the children of supervillains, although some have not had their parents identities outed to the public.
  • The Saga of Tuck and the group of boys around its main character. At one point, one of them is attacked, and the rest—geeks all—immediately charge.
  • The four main protagonists of Broken Saints have a bond akin to this. Of course, they all immediately feel a connection because they "recognize" each other from their shared visions/dreams/nightmares. With Raimi and Oran, who spend half the series together (and who are the only heroes to survive the Grand Finale), this enters Heterosexual Life Partner territory. Kamimura does not have as much time to bond as the two of them, but after he joins the team, the three men become a Power Trio. Shandala only really interacts with the guys for about two chapters of time, but The Dulcinea Effect—plus her being The Empath—connects them all very quickly very fast.
  • ScrewAttack.com are this, to the point that they have been referred to as the ScrewAttack Family. Not just the people behind the website, but the community as well (to the point of a Broken Fanbase). Insult so much as one member of the SA crew, and the community will respond in kind, as will the other members of the SA crew; and this goes even further if you badmouth the team's only female member.
  • The team at That Guy With The Glasses/Channel Awesome - They've had three anniversary crossovers where they all met up to provide something for the fans, numerous members of the team frequently have appearances in other's videos, and behind the scenes footage would ascertain that they've become friends away from the cameras. They also tend to move with lightning speed to defend each other should anyone be so foolish as to submit nasty/trollish remarks in comments on the site, on Twitter, or anywhere else on the internet.
  • The eponymous Red and Blue teams from Red vs. Blue reach this point in their relationship with each other by the end of Revelation, when they realize that although their units suck, they fit in better with each other than anywhere else.
    • This isn't just among each team, either—they're true companions with each other, too, even though they're all technically enemies. They even have welcomed Wash into their ranks, even after all he did to them.
  • In Atop the Fourth Wall, with the exception of 90's Kid, the core cast (Linkara, Pollo, Harvey Finevoice and Iron Liz) definitely show signs of this, especially when they all work together to rescue Linkara when he's kidnapped by Lord Vyce.
    • And as of the revelations of the Silent Hill: Dead/Alive review, we can now add the Magic Gun to the team as well.
  • Generation X and, for some of them, the Crusaders of Marvels RPG.
  • It could easily be argued that the Titans South have become this as much as the other teams in their universe.
  • Us. I can tell you from experience, if you ever meet another troper in real life, you'll both know you two share something special. You could say we're Fire-Forged Friends from our livings having been ruined by this site, but there's definitely a bond.
  • Going from their forums, the guys of Turnabout Musical are pretty much this, sticking together since 2007 in their efforts to make the musical.
  • Xionic Madness; Omega and Askad had been true companions since before they became cyborgs, it was only ruined when Askad's cyborg-daughter based on his dead daughter starts going evil, so Askad can't decide whether to warn Omega and Xero, or protect his daughter. He decides to limit her abilities in case he dies before warning them. Omega and Xero then form an unbreakable bond escaping from Kari (Askad's daughter), the government, red and green spies, and their own clones.
    • Also in Xionic Madness, in episode four, part two, Omega and Xero are helped by Omicron Squad, Omega's old crew from the military. They go up against a horde of zombies that have to be frozen and smashed to be defeated, simply because they would rather die alongside their former comrade than anything else. These soldiers even blow up a building being held back by Omega, so he'll be covered and protected when Kari removes Askad's limiters to increase her power output and makes a big badaboom destroying just about everything organic within range, except Xero, cuz he's just that badass.
  • Greek Ninja has "Sasha's group".
  • Simon and Lewis of the Yogscast Minecraft Series. Even more evident with Old/Knight_Peculiar.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • While not all individuals are lucky enough to have True Companions, the concept of having a best friend or friends, with whom you are closer to than your regular friends, is well nigh universal. Obviously, the strength of such friendship varies from person to person, but True Companionship is within that scope.
  • The White House staff during the Kennedy administration has been described as a band of brothers by multiple historians and former members. Turned into a kind of private support system after JFK's assassination.
  • In Australia there is this thing called mateship. It's not the same thing as friendship, you might not even be friends with your mates, but a friend might never become a mate, because friends come and go, but mates stick together. Doesn't matter if you fight, doesn't matter if you argue, you stick by your mates. That's the principle at least. It's been said that an Australian man sorts his surroundings as such: His mates, his dog, his car, his beer, his wife, his friends, strangers.

Just to give it a little historical context. The people you fought alongside in war, or who were in your volunteer firefighting brigade with you—the ones you watch the back of and have your back watched by, to pass on last messages to your wife, the ones you have bled and sweating and cried in mostly unmanly ways next to and had offered a tissue when they've cried next to you? The ones you trust with your life but not necessarily to not drink your beer if you leave it alone? They're your mates.

  • Depending on how difficult (by which we mean emotionally intense/draining/scarring) any given play is, this can happen to some degree with theatre casts. You see each other go through incredibly intense emotions, and everyone involved is very vulnerable during rehearsal... and that sort of thing does tend to create a bond. Whether or not you actually like each other is beside the point... you just have to trust each other.

"Friends and lovers come and go, fight partners are forever."

    • Add that to the fact that almost everyone you know has the potential to either make your career or stop it dead, and it's no surprise that actors intentionally try to make it happen.
    • It's not as glamorous, but in film/tv/theater it's happening to the crew too. Because you are all sweating blood towards the same goal, you're small parts working together to become one smooth machine, one that produces a TV show, a short or movie, and it's pretty powerful. You see this over a lifetime as well, especially in the smaller East Coast part of the industry because you keep running into the same damned people over and over again. (After his first job, this troper has literally never worked on a set where he didn't know at least one person already.) Eventually you've been working with the same people for so long you can communicate "Get me a swivel cheseboro and three sandbags" with a glance. It helps a lot that the American film industry is brutal (you work 16 or 17 hour days on average - not a typo) and if you want to work in the industry it doesn't give you a lot of time to have things like wives and kids.
  • Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Revolutionary France's Motto is basically the idea that the French Republic is supposed to be a nation of True Companions. This being Real Life, and French people being very diverse in every senses of the term, it is subverted more often that not, but it is nonetheless a great motto. This is emphasized by the law which says that there is no French ethnicity, being French is being a French citizen and wanting to be a part of the Nation. I.e, you're French if you want to be true companions. Sadly so much subverted, including by those who are supposed to implement this. Everyone always forgets the second, most important bit of the famous quote:

We are born alone, we live alone, and we die alone
Only by our friends and relationships can we create for a moment the illusion that we are not alone.

  • The Irish leaders during the Irish War of Independence were very close (many of them having fought together during the Easter Rising, and all of them sharing the hardships of the war). This makes the Irish Civil War, in which they split into two opposing factions and many killed each other, especially tragic.
  • Many of America's founders counted as one and some of them kept in touch for years after all the conflicts, both internal and external, had ended. Most of them seemed to generally like each other, some of them were also related by blood (Sam and John Adams, George and Bushward Washington, etc.)
  • In the time of the Roman Republic, the tribes of the plebes (working class) would gather in the Forum once per year to swear a collective oath to lynch any Patrician or Senator who harmed their elected representatives in Roman government, the Tribunes.
  • The Howard family behind The Three Stooges considered Larry Fine one of the family.
  • One cast member of SCTV commented that she and her fellow castmates got along fine and have never let their egos get in the way.

Speaking of SCTV cast members, Rick Moranis got along very well with fellow castmate Dave Thomas back when they were Bob and Doug McKenzie, as well as another fellow castmate, John Candy, where they both appeared in a few movies. And Steve Martin, too, who, despite not being from SCTV, is still a good friend of his, especially since the party Steve held one day turned out to be a wedding held for Rick and his bride Anne. The friendship is justified by the fact that they did a few movies together such as Little Shop of Horrors and L.A. Story.

  • Studies in World War II found that soldiers interviewed tended to claim this as their main motive. Compilers of the study called it by exasperatingly prosaic terms like "primary group cohesion." It's also been theorized that one reason American veterans of the Vietnam War exhibit higher rates of psychological fallout like PTSD is that some of the army's new policies tended to prevent True Companionship-formation.
  • Much to the delight of fans, the actors who played the seven children in The Sound of Music are this and remain so to this day.

Nicholas "Friedrich" Hammond: I heard that what [Director Bob Wise] wanted to do was construct a family - and he did.

  • The idea of True Companionship gains a lot of currency in the field of queer theory as an example of an alternative to the traditional "nuclear" or "sanguinuptial" family - and yet one that, like the "traditional" family, is not of one's choosing. Some see it as the best argument against the fact that "family" needs to be defined by blood and/or marital relations. Johns Hopkins professor Sam Chambers uses examples of it from media in his book The Queer Politics of Television, with Buffy the Vampire Slayer as his main example.
  • The casts of a couple of different sitcoms eventually came to be this after a while. When former Full House star Jodie Sweetin became addicted to meth, her fellow former cast members all helped intervene to get her into rehab. Meanwhile, the cast of Married... with Children became very close to each other as well, with Ed O'Neill almost becoming a surrogate father to Christina Applegate, whose own parents were divorced.
  • The Inklings, an Oxford-based group of writers and scholars that included CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien (among many others) in their membership, functioned very much as a true companionship group for its members. The other wiki has details.
  • The Z-Boys, a group of skateboarders in the 1970's from South Santa Monica and Venice California who are credited with inventing modern skateboarding and essentially creating the punk/skater subculture that now exists. Their name is derived from the name of the team they competed with together, the Zephyr Competition Team. AKA The Lords of Dog Town
  • When you go to the Canadian Improv Games, spot any high-energy team. Any. These teens are usually closer than blood, and it shows in how powerful they are.
  • The cast of Friends - They all insisted on equal pay, and if they were nominated for awards, you could not nominate one of the cast for Best Lead and another for Best Supporting Cast Member. The cast are so close that frequent guest star Tom Selleck has said he felt left out when he filmed his appearances, and Paul Rudd has said that he didn't want his character to appear in the penultimate episode where the group is bidding farewell to Rachel or the show's final scenes, as it didn't feel right.

The same could be said of many tv shows and quite a few movies too. While not all casts get along as well as the Friends cast did, there are many (too many to list here!) who fall into this category.

  • The Rat Pack of The Fifties and The Sixties, the Brat Pack of The Eighties, and the Frat Pack of the present.
  • Sir Terry Wogan used to josh around that "there's no 'I' in 'team'" and that the people working around him during his breakfast radio days were merely his "minions", but there's no doubt that that group of people were true companions, from his late producer Paul "Wally" Walters to Walters's replacement Alan "Barrel 'ands" Boyd, newsreaders Alan "Deadly" Dedicoat and John "Boggy" Marsh, and the "Traffic Totty" Lynn Bowles, all of whom formed a close union. (One might argue that Mick Sturbs, the person who wrote all the "Janet and John" stories, and the various religious figures who appeared on the "Pause for Thought" segment could be considered true companions as well.) On Wogan's last morning broadcast, not a dry eye was spotted amongst the group.
  • For many children/teenagers, leaving a school is like disbanding a family, due to the close bond that has been made between these people who have grown up together.
  • Software projects are, at least in the current theory of 'how to make a good team', encouraged to bond as true companions for the duration of the project. So much so that the final stage of a team project life-cycle is "mourning", ie once the project is over and the team is broken up.
  • The "film brats" of the 70s: Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas and Martin Scorsese. Epitomized when the first three presented the latter with his first Academy Award for Best Director for The Departed in 2007.
  • The cast and crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation grew extremely close during their years working together, and were pretty much completely united forever by the ideas the series was trying to put out—and no doubt their inability to actually get away from each other, even if they wanted to. They've been best men at each other's marriages and are still close, though they don't see each other as much as they used to. It's true when they say that, on board the starship Enterprise, no one is alone.