True Companions/Live Action TV
True Companions in Live Action TV:
- Most obviously, the senior staff of The West Wing, which goes so far as to mimic a nuclear family with the President and Leo representing the parents, Toby and CJ the older siblings, and Josh and Sam the younger ones.
- Made explicit in "Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics":
Josh: He [the President] thinks of you like a daughter, C.J.
- Also, in "Two Cathedrals", the President says the following (to God, no less):
"What was Josh Lyman, a warning shot? That was my son. What did I ever do to yours but praise his glory and praise his name?"
- Charlie is Bartlet's adoptive son in all but legal terms:
Bartlet: Charlie, my father gave me this knife, and his father gave it to him, and now I'm giving it to you.
- Sorkin likes this trope. The characters on Sports Night also act like this.
- In "Epitaph One", we see Adelle caring for Topher (who has gone insane) like a mother for a child.
- The end of "The Attic" seems to signal the point where all the main characters realize that they're on the same side. Laurence Dominic is probably a member too, though he's still stuck in the Attic.
- Boyd outright states that they're family in "The Hollow Men." Unfortunately, he's been revealed as the Big Bad by this point. Tony and Priya say the same thing, and because of Boyd's previous usage of the term, Echo/Caroline tells them to call them anything but that.
- Heroes Volume Three had this exchange:
Sylar: Peter, you stayed?
- Peter, Matt, Mohinder, Hiro, and Ando forming a Five-Man Band that keep rescuing each other.
- The Carnival, of Season 4, can be seen as this. Even Samuel, their leader and the Big Bad, seems to genuinely care for their safety and well-being. Granted, he isn't above murdering them if they stand in his way, but when he does, he clearly feels bad about having to do so.
- Done cloyingly on Just Shoot Me to the point of Jumping the Shark.
- Leverage: Leverage Inc. is a little more than a team.
- Lost: The plane crash survivors don't always get along, but thanks to their circumstances (and hostility from the Others,) they realize they're in it together. The background characters are wholly apathetic, but the regulars are always going off to rescue each other despite the many dangers. Jack and Sawyer, in particular, hate each other, but still look out for each other against common threats. This is exemplified by their Survival Mantra; "Live together. Die alone." The Grand Finale really makes it explicit how the group had came to relate to each other as true companions, to the extent that none of them would "move on" from the flash-sideways universe until all of them were ready.
Christian: [to Jack] The most important part of your life was the time that you spent with these people. [...] You needed all of them and they needed you.
- This trope was done with the News Radio ensemble quite early in developing the dynamic, with Jimmie James eventually becoming the defacto father figure, to eccentric and near ridiculous extent.
- Despite being barely able to tolerate each other, the main characters of Red Dwarf certainly fit this trope. The canonical example comes in "Terrorform", where Starbug is trapped in Rimmer's subconscious. Since Rimmer loathes himself, he is being tortured by a psychological demon, and the rest of the crew have to get him out. The episode's climax comes when the crew manage to convince Rimmer that they love him, which resurrects the warriors Self-Confidence and Self-Respect to defeat the demons and free the ship. Of course, once it's over...
Rimmer: You really didn't mean any of that, did you?
- Kryten the selfless android gets a Crowning Moment of Funny when the crew stands up for him when a replacement robot shows up and gives a Star Trek like speech on friendship to which Lister gives an equally funny retort.
- The staff of Sacred Heart in Scrubs are constantly said to be "like a family."
- Mulder and Scully in The X-Files, to the point where they're extremely suspicious of anybody else and trust only each other (although towards the end of the series, they do come to trust Agents Doggett and Reyes... as much as they ever trust anyone that isn't them, anyway).
Mulder: You were my friend, and you told me the truth. Even when the world was falling apart you were my constant -- my touchstone.
- The Lone Gunmen are true companions going on in much the same vein, though the circle expands a bit when they take on Jimmy Bond.
- Any Doctor Who companion(s), ever, even if they don't always get along (viz., Captain Jack, etc.), there's a certain bond. In "Journey's End" they are even given a name: The Children of Time.
Sarah Jane: You know... you act like such a lonely man. But look at you! You've got the biggest family on Earth!
- Brought up again in "The Wedding of River Song". After an entire series deconstructing the idea of the Doctor - that he hurts people, that he makes them scared, that he ruins lives, River shows him how all the universe has responded to her call to help him. Not just past companions, but anyone he's ever touched for the good.
- The regular cast members of Jon Pertwee's run as the Doctor in the early 1970s ended up becoming known as "the UNIT family" (after the organisation many of the characters worked for) precisely because they became incredibly close to one another off-camera. The death of Roger Delgado, who played the Master, in 1974 was one of the key motivating factors behind Pertwee's decision to leave the role.
- The Torchwood team formed a particularly dysfunctional, incestuous (every member of the team romanced at least one other member at least once) crew.
- The original CSI team has been entering this trope over time. The season nine premiere only made it explicit, with even The Spock, Gil Grissom, calling the team his family. In return, more than one teammember has stated they think of Grissom as a father figure. Catherine also acknowledges it when she walks into Grissom's office and sees Sara -- as Nick and Greg walk in behind her, she hugs Sara tightly, looks around, and says, "At least we can all be together."
- CSI: NY as well. There's been no explicit 'family' scene, like the original, but it's still there.
- Team Gibbs in NCIS, made abundantly clear any time any one of them ends up in some kind of trouble. The Season 4 premiere episode "Shalom", in which Ziva is suspected of being a Double Agent and goes on the run from the FBI, provides a particularly clear example, as do the first two episodes of Season 6. Which makes the ending of Season 6 all the more poignant.
- Friends was described by one critic as a show about a bunch of young adults finding a replacement family for their own, dysfunctional ones. Lampshaded by a Guy of the Week of Phoebe's whose minor flaw was his incessant psychoanalysis of the group. The cast of Friends could be considered as a Real Life version, too.
- Priority Homicide from The Closer has become this over time. In the first episode, the entire squad requested transfer out of Brenda's division. In that season's finale, the entire squad threatened resignation when the misogynistic Captain Taylor lodged an IA complaint against her. They still take issue with her sometimes, but God forbid anyone tries to get rid of her. From the Season 3 finale:
Sgt. Gabriel: For keeping the team together, despite some pretty hefty pressure, and, um, for trusting her instincts -- about us too, by the way -- and, um, for how she always works so hard to get her man. I say hail to the Chief.
- The main characters of Being Human (UK).
- The main crew of Pushing Daisies: Olive and Chuck are like sisters, and when Chuck comments on Ned needing to reconnect with his family, he says that Chuck and Olive are his family. Emerson is a lot more reluctant to express affection for the others, but it's there.
- The Merry Men in Robin of Sherwood or the outlaws in BBC's Robin Hood (or indeed, any retelling of the Robin Hood legend that includes all the Merry Men). In the case of the BBC version, this is more true in the first season. In the second season Allan turns traitor and begins working for the enemy, but in the same episode he has his Heel Face Turn and returns to his true companions, outlaws Will and Djaq opt to stay in the Holy Land together as the others return to England. The third season has less emphasis on the outlaws, and newcomers Tuck and Kate never achieve the closeness of true companions that the previous incarnation of the gang did.
- Subverted on The Shield: At the start of the series, the Strike Team are true companions, with the team members considering each other brothers and Vic Mackey the ultra-loyal father of the group. Once Vic shoots Terry Crowley in the face and tells Shane Vendrell to pretend it never happened, to the point that Vic refuses to let his guilt-striken conspirator in the crime ever mention it in his presence, it all falls apart. By the end of the series, everyone is dead or has been betrayed by Vic.
- The team on Criminal Minds is practically the definition of this trope.
- Hotch is Mom, Gideon or Rossi is Dad, Morgan is Older Brother, Emily is Older Sister, JJ and Garcia are the Younger Sisters, and Reid is Little Brother (or the Baby, since he is the youngest and everybody always wants to protect him). Never, ever mess with a member of the BAU, because the rest will hunt you down and kill you dead.
- The team interacting with Rossi in his first few episodes always seemed to me like a group of suspicious teenagers getting to know their stepdad when they're not quite over Dad leaving yet.
- Done particularly well in "100", when the entire team refuses to go along with the witch hunt against Hotch for how the Foyet case ended up, and gather around Hotch and Jack at the end in a show of support.
- Because they are a working family, it makes JJ's departure even more heartbreaking. It's like the BAU's hearts have been ripped out. If you didn't cry at the end of "JJ," you're no fan of the show.
- Morgan actually refers to Hotch and Rossi as Mom and Dad a few times.
- "We really ARE a family. Only a family could be this messed up!"
- Entourage. It's there in the freaking title. And it extends to Jerk with a Heart of Gold Ari Gold as well, hilarious douchebag that he is.
- The New Directions kids spend a season getting to this. The group as constituted by episode 4 consists of 5 people from the social margins (Rachel, Kurt, Mercedes, Tina, Artie) and 7 popular kids from either the football team or the Cheerios (Finn, Puck, Mike, Matt, Quinn, Santana, and Brittany), with the latter three being there explicitly to sabotage the group. Finn, Mike, Matt, and Brittany mix in with the marginals pretty easily, and Quinn does after getting bounced from the Cheerios. For a lot of the time, the biggest divide in the group is actually that for several stretches Finn is the only one who really likes Rachel at all. The biggest holdout is the replacement Alpha Bitch Santana, who, despite liking performing, takes a long time before she'll admit to it in public, and still treats a lot of the team with contempt. But by the finale, when it looks like things might be over, she's crying like everybody else.
- This really starts to be cemented during the episode with the slushies. Finn is expected to throw a slushy in Kurt's face by the football team, and if he doesn't he'll probably get beat up. He can't quite bring himself to go through with it, though. Kurt grabs the slushie from his hands and throws it in his own face to save Finn from that fate.
Kurt: Now get out of here. And take some time to think whether or not any of your friends on the football team would have done that for you.
- Their bond is most clearly seen when Jesse humiliates Rachel, the most abrasive of the group. All of the boys prepare to take him and his team out. Including wheelchair-bound Artie.
Kurt: Mr. Schue, Rachel's one of us. We're the only ones who get to humiliate her.
- And in "Furt". When they find out Kurt is being bullied, the rest of the guys in the club confront the bully, complete with several punches to said bully's face. Everyone in the club has been openly hostile to Karofsky (the bully) ever since.
- And again in the season two episode "Rumours," where, after serious gossip threatens to tear the club apart, they ultimately buy Sam's guitar back from the pawn shop and support him via song.
- Brittany beautifully lampshades it in the season two finale:
Brittany: I know that all the kids in Glee club... they fight, and they steal each other's boyfriends and girlfriends, and they threaten to quit, like, every other week. But weird stuff like that happens in families.
- The cast themselves seem to be very close in Real Life.
- Gossip Girl: The Non-Judging Breakfast Club.
- Community: The study group. Without question or doubt.
- In the Christmas special episode, one of the members of the study group isn't respecting the other members' diverse religions. One of the other characters calls the group a family while pointing out why this is wrong. At the end of the episode, the gang fight a bunch of homoerotic school bullies together. Afterwards, they return to their holiday party. All of the characters are battle damaged and sit around smiling at each other while singing nondenominational carols. Awwwww.
- The second half of the first season plays with the concept. One episode has someone attempting to join the group, examining their resemblance to a clique. Another episode deals with whether or not it's incest if "family" members are dating each other.
- The above point is raised in a first-season episode which revolves around the romantic entanglements the group get involved in. Jeff points out that while they might be as close as a family, unlike a real family there's also nothing to really prevent them from forming romantic relationships with each other. Cue lots of nervous back-and-forth glances between every single member of the group with every other member of the group.
- The second season actively plays with it; Senor Chang wants in on the happy-fun-grouptimes so much that it seems to be actively turning him into a movie villain.
- The second season's Christmas episode reenforces this when the group bands together to save Abed, and the last scene (before the tag) is of them watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer together, which Abed used to do with his mom.
- Supernatural: As brothers who would literally sell their souls for one another, Dean and Sam started out this way and have added Team Free Will to the roster. They so much consider Bobby family that in season seven, when Dean had to think of a name for a baby he and Sam were taking care of, he chose Bobby instead of John (his actual father.) Factor in Sam calling Bobby 'sir' (what he called John) and Bobby's probably more of a father than their real father. Dean tells Castiel he's like a brother to him in later seasons.
- When Dean meets a version of himself from five years in the future in 5x04, one of the clearest signs that Future!Dean has changed for the worse is that he sends a group of his comrades and friends, including the emotionally-broken Future!Castiel, into a situation to act as an unknowing distraction and ultimately get killed. Made worse by the fact that it's implied that Castiel, at least, knew exactly what Dean was doing but went along with it anyway. Present!Dean is understandably horrified by this.
- Castiel rebelled against Heaven to help Dean and Sam. Bobby considers them like sons to him, and in season seven episode "Death's Door" says to his abusive father in a memory while he's dying:
Bobby:I adopted two boys, and they grew up great. They grew up heroes.
- The Pretender skews this one six ways from Sunday. Jarod, Miss Parker, Sydney, and Broots are true companions despite the fact that Jarod broke free from the Centre, Parker is actively hunting Jarod (while still being kind of in love with him), Sydney is everyone's father figure (while still being morally suspect as to which side he's on - the Centre or Jarod's), and Broots is the resident Butt Monkey. But professional loyalties aside, they all agree that they're kind of family. Demonstrated explicitly in "Donoterase" when Jarod allows himself to be captured by Lyle and Bridgette rather than leave a wounded Parker behind.
- Silent Witness: Leo, Nikki and Harry in the later series. Leo calmly tells Nikki and Harry that they are as important to him as his wife and child.
- Joss Whedon loves this trope. In an interview on a Firefly DVD extra, Joss said that one of his favorite themes is "found family".
- Angel neatly summarized the concept in the episode "Awakening":
Angel: We've been pushed to the edge so many times; done things we were sure could never be forgiven. But we're always there for each other when it counts. We've never let the darkness win. And it's not because of the Powers That Be or the super strength or the magical weapons. It's because we believe in each other, not just as friends or lovers, but as champions. All of us, together.
- Also in the season 3 episode where after Connor is kidnapped, Wesley is outcast. Angel and the remaining Team Angel go on a mission to win back Gunn's soul because "We're not losing another member of this family."
- The Scoobies have formed bonds that seem stronger than those of kinship, as pointed out in the episode "Family", when Tara's family comes to take her home against her will.
- Firefly: The crew of Serenity in particular will do just about anything for each other. In fact, they form a sort of surrogate family, with Mal as a definite father figure, Inara as mother (insert meaningful joke about her profession here), Zoe as the eldest daughter (taking responsibility for running things), and Jayne as the rebellious teenager. Not to mention this exchange after Mal and crew save River from being burned at the stake in the Big Damn Heroes moment that named the trope:
Mal: Cut her down!
- Serenity's crew is a family, right down to sibling rivalry, petty squabbling over chores, complaining about being sent to find parts in a junkyard instead of going shopping... River even assures Simon that "Daddy will come get us." Who eventually does come? Mal.
Simon: Why did you come back for us?
- Xena: Warrior Princess: Xena and Gabrielle, often including Eve and Joxer.
- Any Super Sentai or Power Rangers team. (And Power Rangers Reunion Shows make it seem that all teams are like an extended family... again, if you remember that it doesn't necessarily mean you like each other.) Not always the case with Kamen Riders, though. There are exceptions when the team is made of siblings, such as Fiveman, GoGoV, and Magiranger, because you know, they're a real family.
- Though, with the Kamen Riders, there are many good examples. The entire Showa-era Riders, for example. Or, for something more recent, Kick Hopper and Punch Hopper from Kamen Rider Kabuto, the good Imagin from Kamen Rider Den-O, the Hikari Studio team from Kamen Rider Decade and the Futo detective agency from Kamen Rider Double.
- The latest series, Kamen Rider Fourze, is a perfect example with everyone forming a club together and defending one another.
- Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, is an excellent example. In fact, Act 20 and 38, which highlight it even more than usual, number among its best loved episodes. This is often true of ensemble Jidai Geki, the genre Shinkenger brings into the modern day.
- Teams whose members are explicitly shown to not having or not knowing their family other than their teammates highlight this very much. Example include, Choushinsei Flashman and Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger.
- Though, with the Kamen Riders, there are many good examples. The entire Showa-era Riders, for example. Or, for something more recent, Kick Hopper and Punch Hopper from Kamen Rider Kabuto, the good Imagin from Kamen Rider Den-O, the Hikari Studio team from Kamen Rider Decade and the Futo detective agency from Kamen Rider Double.
- The Easy Company from Band of Brothers are very definitely true companions. Private Kurt Gabel, 513th Parachute Infantry Regiment, quoted in the book Band of Brothers...
The three of us became an entity. There were many such entities in our close-knit organization. Groups of threes and fours, usually from the same squads or sections, core elements within the families that were the small units, were readily recognised as entities. Often three such entities would make up a squad, with incredible results in combat. They would literally insist on going hungry for one another, freezing for one another, dying for one another.
- The 2000s Battlestar Galactica: Galactica's pilots and deck crew, especially the more experienced ones, develop this relationship over the course of the series though it takes a beating after the mutiny. And Bill Adama tends to take any attack on members of his crew very personally.
- Farscape: The Moya crew sure qualifies. Certainly it's a very screwed-up example, but they're still true companions. In the first season, they were mostly thrown together (three prisoners who happened to be on the same ship, the pilot of that ship, the ship itself, an enemy fighter pilot who was accidentally captured, and a scientist who randomly fell through a wormhole and ended up in the middle of the escape attempt), and John several times had to stop some of the others (particularly D'Argo and Rygel) from abandoning the rest when they got themselves into scrapes. As the series goes on, they get closer and closer until eventually their one rule is "look out for the family, at all costs." As new characters (Chiana, Stark, Jool, Noranti, and Sikozu) join the crew, this bonding process takes a while to set in, but eventually they are integrated into the family as well. However, the initial coldness might have contributed to Sikozu's eventual Heel Face Turn, as Scorpius welcomed her with open arms, while the others (particularly Chiana) took a while to warm to her
- The relationship between Pilot and Aeryn is strange and distinct enough to warrant further elaboration. They, more than the others, change the most in the early episodes: Aeryn from a soldier in a galaxy-spanning military dictatorship, Pilot as essentially a slave to that dictatorship. This is demonstrated in an episode where the science-y members of the crew (John and Zhaan) are unavailable, so Aeryn has to do testing on Rygel on her own, complaining that she is unsuited for this kind of work--only for Pilot to admit he knows very little about science either. Later on they literally share DNA, causing their bond to be made physical. Aeryn is often times the only one who sees Pilot as a distinct being rather than an offshoot of Moya. This makes the episode "The Way We Weren't" all the more painful, as it reveals the dark past of both of them, and puts serious doubts that their relationship will survive the revelation that Aeryn was part of a firing squad that killed Moya's former Pilot. However, the two manage to re-bond and forgive each other and themselves for their past sins.
- The Stargate Atlantis crew captures the true-companion spirit perfectly with their "We don't leave our people behind" refrain.
- Stargate SG-1 epitomizes true companions. Major Carter even says to one of the other characters, "We were a team. No one can even begin to understand what that really means."
- Stargate Universe starts out far from this, with expedition members distrusting, framing, marooning and betraying each other (okay, so that's mostly two of them), and gradually develops into this. Young finally states this explicitly in the last episode, referring to the crew as a family.
- Every version of Star Trek has this, from the original to the latest incarnations. This is apparently also Truth in Television as the writers are inspired by real life crews and teams who became close through mutual experience. Even more, the cast and crews of the various TV series have been working together for roughly 10-20 years and have come to regard each other as an extended family in Real Life. The greatest example of this is how Avery Brooks has become like a second father to Cirroc Lofton, mirroring their roles as father and son on TV. Although it took a decade or two, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy eventually developed the same friendship Kirk and Spock share, if not to quite the same intensity.
- This was never better exemplified than in the original series episode "The Empath", where each member of the Power Trio was bound and determined to sacrifice himself to save the other two. McCoy eventually wins that particular argument - with a hypospray. The more things change, the more they stay the same...
- Star Trek: The Next Generation had a bit of this going on, particularly during the first season, before the characters had worked each other out. Riker was uneasy about their second officer, Picard had to tell people not to let him "make an ass of himself" around children (and shouted Wesley out in the very first episode, thus enraging Wesley's mother with whom Picard already had an uneasy relationship), Worf disliked everyone (but especially Data), and Troi and Riker had Uncomfortable Ex's syndrome. But within a matter of episodes (and fairly ridiculous episodes at that) it became obvious that they'd all pretty much die for each other.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager both feature crews of people who don't even want to be on the same ship/station with each other, but over the courses of each series have wound up going as far as disobeying orders to save one another.
- The HBO adaptation of Generation Kill has an interesting subversion. The Marines are every bit the true companions you'd expect them to be, but they also quickly adopt their embedded reporter, Evan Wright, as one of their own instead of turning him into a Butt Monkey. In the novel (discussed below), Wright is self-conscious of this process in a way that might pass for Casual Danger Dialog, noting that he realized the Marines were starting to like him when they began poking him with their combat knives, among other forms of hazing.
- Burn Notice:
- Michael Westen is closer to Fiona and Sam than he is his actual family, having placed his life in their hands more than once in their long history as spies. Over the course of the show, he has to learn to to re-relate to and even trust his mother and brother Nate as well as he does his friends. And, as many episodes including season finales have shown, you do not mess with Michael's family or his friends.
Michael: Fiona is not my past!
- Madeline certainly sees things that way. After firmly rebuffing Nate's attempts to move her from Miami to Las Vegas, she invokes Sam and Fiona as well as Michael to justify why.
- Chuck: The Operation Bartowski team will save America; and each other; no matter what.
- The non-spy employees of the Buy More could qualify as well. They may hate their jobs, but they stick by each other and the store, especially when it's threatened by the employees of the rival Large Mart or even other Buy Mores.
- Boston Legal: Crane, Poole & Schmidt, especially the litigations department. They're a family, guys. A very dysfunctional family, but a family nonetheless.
- Human Target: Chance, Winston, Guerrero and Carmine
- Season Two added Ames (who eventually ends up in a sort-of father/daughter relationship with Token Evil Teammate Gurerro) and Ilsa Pucchi (although she's a bit more distant from the others, being in essence their employer)
- On Castle, he, Beckett, Ryan, and Esposito have formed one of these, to the point where Castle offers to let Beckett stay at his house after a psychotic serial killer blows up her apartment.
- In The Vicar of Dibley, Geraldine motivates her friends to work towards stopping the destruction of the village for a new reservoir by saying that after being rejected by four parishes, the "mildly bizarre and dangerously odd" parishioners of Dibley became her family.
- In My So-Called Life, Angela, Brian, Sharon, Rickie and Rayanne become one by the end of the season.
- Ted, Marshall, Barney, Lily and Robin- despite being very different people- form one of these in How I Met Your Mother.
- They're also somewhat unique in that their group's immortality is ensured not because of the Plot Immunity and Like You Would Really Do It that accompanies most of these examples, but because the story is actually set in the future, where the comments of Future!Ted and his kids makes it clear they are all still best friends (e.g., referring to them as "Aunt" and "Uncle", as well as through Flash Forwards and other clear spoilers). He admits that yes, by the year 2030 they had all drifted apart a little bit in the sense that they weren't always sitting together in the booth at McLaren's] every single night, but as he puts it, "Our booth was wherever the five of us were together."
- MythBusters: The Power Trio of Kari, Grant and Tory feels very much like this. They tease each other, and when they're blowing stuff up, there's the excited celebrations even when it doesn't quite work out but still explodes. They do seem to care about each other as well, though, and that extends to Adam and Jamie as well -- both of whom behave like a pair of brothers, anyway -- notable when Tory expresses his concerns about the Ark of the Covenant prank. Adam has acknowledged that, owing to how long they've worked together, the Mythbusters are like a family.
- On Sex and the City, the Four-Girl Ensemble of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda, and Charlotte explicitly consider themselves as family. The various men that they date and marry in the series never really enter the group in a meaningful way, although Carrie's Flamboyant Gay friend Stanford Blatch seems to have part-time membership.
- Big said it best when he was telling Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda how much they mean to Carrie: "A guy would be lucky to come in fourth."
- Noah's Arc: Noah, Ricky, Alex and Chance, who see themselves as family and explicitly state that nothing they go through can break their bond.
- The geeks (Leonard, Sheldon, Rajesh, and Howard) on The Big Bang Theory, and Sheldon and Leonard's neighbor Penny, are true companions.
- Inspector Lynley and his partner DS Barbara Havers are this to each other - oh boy, are they this to each other! The Lynley family eventually adopts Barbara as well:
Judith Lynley: Oh, Barbara, you're one of the family now.
- Eric, Hyde, Donna, Kelso, Jackie and Fez of That '70s Show.
- Lost: The survivors of the crash are ultimately an example. Their bonds are so strong, They created an alternate reality to find each other in the afterlife. To paraphrase Christian Shepard, "The most important time of your life was the time you spent with them".
- Both subverted and played straight on Prison Break. Subverted with the original group that broke out of prison in season one, as seen during season one and two a number of times, including but not limited to T-Bag's hand being cut off, Tweener and Haywire being left behind, and Michael trying to steal the money out from everyone except Sucre. Played straight in that Michael, Linc and Sucre are true companions in season one; LJ and Sara are added to in season two. Subverted again in season three, as Mahone and Michael (much less the rest of the group) have no problem backstabbing each other while trying to break out of Sona. Played straight in early season four (as they're on their way to becoming one) and then subverted when the group splinters in the later part of the season. The direct-to-DVD gives us the basic group, seen in the season four finale at Michael's funeral, of Linc, Michael, Sara, Sucre, and Mahone.
- The little bar in Boston where Everybody Knows Your Name
- Spaced; "They say the family of the 21st century is made up of friends, not relatives." Said to try to convince Marsha that she's the favourite auntie to brothers Tim and Mike, sister Daisy, and... weird cousin Brian.
- The Misfits become true companions, albeit through shared culpability for multiple murders.
- The newsroom staff on The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
- The staff of M*A*S*H Unit 4077.
- Richie, Ralph, Potsie, and Fonzie on Happy Days. Regardless of when Fonzie literally jumped over a shark, the show really jumped the shark when Richie and Ralph left the cast, and Potsie was phased out and forgotten.
- Julian, Ricky, and Bubbles from Trailer Park Boys. Their familial devotion to each other is one of the reasons it is possible to sympathize with these criminals. The next closest member to their group would be Ricky's father Ray, but it is also made explicit that all of the residents of the Sunnyvale Trailer Park have a close bond to each other and that is one of the reasons it is not such a hellhole as it appears. Even the antagonists Mr. Lahey and Randy can be counted on to work together with the boys sometimes. Unfortunately this trope doesn't apply to Cory and Trevor no matter how much they want to be accepted.
- The relationship between the members of S Club 7 was portrayed this way on their show. They all thought of each other like family, were always there for one another, and became deeply depressed in the episode where Paul left the band. The relationship between the band members in real life, however, was a completely different story.
- In Merlin, the foursome of Merlin, Arthur, Gwen, and Morgana used to be this before Morgana turned evil. In the Season Finale of Season 3, it appears to be setting up the Knights of the Round Table to become this in Season 4.
- The Golden Girls had a lot of this.
- The "seven stranded castaways" on Gilligan's Island. If one of them is in danger, the other 6 will rush forward to rescue them. If one of them is (always wrongly, of course) believed to be dead, the other 6 will be beside themselves with grief. And while they may not be able to get off the island, they are adept at working together to survive whatever life-threatening obstacles are thrown their way. In the end, the answer to the often-repeated question, "Why don't they Just Eat Gilligan?" is obvious. Because they love him.
- Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World: Although they seem to be off to a bad start all of the Heroes start to trust each other and slowly grow into a family by Season 2.
- Community--The study group. Without question or doubt.
- The original Battlestar Galactica has the trio of Apollo, Starbuck and Boomer who share the closest friendship amongst the rest of the pilots. Sheba was included about half-way through the show.