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


(permanent link) added: 2009-10-14 16:26:08 sponsor: 0dd1 edited by: SKJAM (last reply: 2012-03-03 04:52:29)

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

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

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

Often a part of an Ineffectual Loner's backstory. Inverse of Power of Friendship.

Needs an Index.

Examples:

Anime and Manga

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

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

Newspaper Comics
  • Peanuts:
    • Referenced in this strip.
      Linus: It's fair weather today, Charlie Brown.
      Charlie Brown: So where are all my friends?
    • In this one Snoopy bemoans the loss of his snowman to a bright, sunny (if cold) day. "There's one thing for sure...he was no 'fair weather friend.'"
    • In the book I Need All the Friends I can Get Charlie Brown says "I need all the friends I can get. I'd even settle for a fair-weather friend."

Webcomics
  • In Misfile "Good" Angel Vashiel advises his semi-fallen brother to turn in one of his (Vashiel's) friends on suspicion of murder to win brownie points in heaven even though he (Vashiel) doesn't really think he is guilty. Fortunately his brother has some morals and points out that this makes Vashiel the ultimate in fair weather friends (and kinda a dick as well).

Western Animation

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