->'''Frank:''' I never like it when people tell me, "Sorry about your mom."\\
'''Leo:''' It never feels genuine.\\
'''Frank:''' But I'm sorry about your mom.\\
'''Leo:''' Thanks.
-->-- ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'', "The Mark of Athena"

Alice has just met Bob, and although the two of them come from very different backgrounds, they have one very important character trait in [[CommonalityConnection common]]: Both of them have missing parents. It doesn't matter what the circumstances (although the circumstances might be very similar if only for plot convenience); one might have a MissingMom and the other a DisappearedDad, or maybe both of them have parents who were killed due to war violence, or maybe one or both of them never even knew their parents. Whatever the circumstances, this link between them is key to their relationship together.

Often, the "bonding" part of this trope is done in a scene designed to stir up some emotion, with the two characters alone together, maybe sitting on a hillside or something, and something in the conversation leads them to talk about their parents.

Variations of this can cover any missing relative, or anyone who is sufficiently close enough to a character that they consider each other family. A relatively common twist on this trope is a [[TheReveal revelation]] that the two characters are missing the same exact person. (e.g., [[Franchise/StarWars Luke and Leia]] [[Film/ReturnOfTheJedi learning that they are brother and sister]].)

A SubTrope of CommonalityConnection.

!!'''As a DeathTrope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.'''


[[folder: {{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* In ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', Negi and Asuna smooth out some initial conflict by bonding over their mutual parentlessness.
* In the ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'' supplementary manga, Teana starts showing much more understanding and care (in [[{{Tsundere}} her own way]]) for Subaru after learning about the death of Subaru's mother in the line of duty, since she herself lost [[PromotionToParent her surrogate-parent brother]] in a similar fashion, in addition to her parents, who died earlier.
* A one-sided version in ''Manga/OnePiece''. In Usopp's introductory arc, Usopp, whose father had left his family to become a pirate and whose mother died of illness sometime afterward, befriends [[IllGirl Kaya]] to help her get over the recent death of both of her parents, having first-hand experience of what she was going through. However, the usage of this trope isn't brought up until the arc is over and Usopp has left the island both of them were living on, and not by Usopp himself, but by Kaya's butler, who had learned Usopp's back story from the other villagers and figured it out.
* In ''Anime/DragonballZ'', this is how Gohan and Videl get to know each other personally, as opposed to just being crime-fighting martial artists.
* In the ''Manga/{{Bokurano}}'' manga, [[VitriolicBestBuds Kanji and Ushiro]] got to know each other after encountering each other while visiting their mothers' graves. [[spoiler:Ushiro's biological mother, however, wasn't actually dead at the time]].

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Franchise/{{Batman}} and the first two Comicbook/{{Robin}}s bonded over their parents being violently killed in front of them.
** He also bonded with Franchise/GreenLantern Hal Jordan the same way; for all the different ways they're at odds with each other, they're still boys who lost their fathers early on.
*** There's even some symmetry in how their fathers died and what they did about it: Bruce's father was killed by a criminal, so Bruce fights crime. Hal's father died in a plane crash, so Hal became a test pilot (who also fights crime, but the test pilot thing is more integral to his personality).
* Implied in one ''Franchise/StarWars'' comic starring Boba Fett. Boba's latest target tries to throw him off by pointing him in the direction of a possible Jedi in hiding. Boba tracks the man down and blows up his house, but discovers that the man is no Jedi. He is merely the son of a Jedi who died in the battle of Geneosis (the same battle in which Boba's father Jango lost his life) and was left with nothing but his father's lightsaber as a keepsake. The man starts to cry as he states that he had to grow up without a father, remarking that he doubts Boba would be able to understand. As Boba recalls the moment he held Jango's severed head as a child, the man's own son arrives on the scene. He asks Boba if he's going to kill them both. In the next scene Boba tracks down and finishes off his original target.

[[folder: Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/FlyFree'', Robin helps a lot of the [[Manga/{{Naruto}} messed up kids in Konoha]] by sharing parts of her past or things she's encountered. In Sasuke's case, it was this paired with their over-arching standing of being the [[SoleSurvivor Sole Survivors]] of their respective homes (the Uchiha for Sasuke and Ohara for Robin).
* In ''Fanfic/PerfectionIsOverrated'', [[Anime/MaiHime Mai and Nao]] chance upon each other in the hospital, where Mai visited Takumi and Nao visited her comatose mother; Mai learns about Nao's comatose mother at this point. However, one thing that helps them come to an understanding with each other over time is the contrasts between them--Mai has taken care of Takumi since her parents' deaths while Nao has no one of the sort, and Nao's mother could one day awaken from her coma--realizing the difference in their circumstances helps them understand the other and see their own past decisions in a new light.
* In ''Fanfic/TheArianaBlackSeries,'' [[MarySue Ariana]] and [[SatelliteLoveInterest Neville]] first get together when she's depressed about her [[MissingMom dead mother]]/[[DisappearedDad absentee father]] and he tells her about his parents' [[DrivenToMadness mental health issues]].
* In ''Fanfic/EmpathTheLuckiestSmurf'', it's explained as the reason that Papa Smurf is the sole parent figure of a hundred Smurfs.
* In the [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic MLP:FiM]] fan fiction ''Fanfic/OurTrueColors'', this is what cements the bond between Applejack and [[spoiler: Pinkie Pie]].
* Shinji and Asuka in ''FanFic/AdviceAndTrust'', which helps solidify their RelationshipUpgrade. They started bonding when Shinji mentioned that his father abandoned him right after his mother's death... and Asuka muttered that the same thing happened to her.
* In ''Fanfic/GhostsOfEvangelion'', Shinji and Asuka often talk about their mothers and their motivations. Their talks help them to get closer.
* In ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'', after challenging Asuka to a duel and winning, Shinji demanded that she told him why she was always so hurt and angry. Asuka told him about her mother's death -which reminded Shinji of his own mother's death-, and he told her that he was an orphan, too. Their relationship got better since that point on, and they eventually got together.
* In the seventh chapter of ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfAnElderGod'', Shinji and Asuka do this. Shinji told her that his father abandoned him after his mother’s death and then he asked her what her parents were like. She replied that they were dead, and they talked about how they lost their respective parents.
* During the AfterTheEnd episodes of ''Fanfic/TheSecondTry'', Shinji and Asuka's relationship strengthened -among other things- because they opened up to each other and talked about their respective mothers' loss.
* In chapter 4 of ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'', Shinji talks Asuka about his parent issues: he tells her how his mother died when he was a little child, his father foisted him on a caretaker alleging that he was protecting him, and he doesn't get along well with his father's girlfriend. After hearing his history, Asuka reflects that they're NotSoDifferent after all.
* In ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide'':
** In chapter 8, Shinji and Asuka talk about their respective mothers' demises and how they feel about their loss, and as a result of it, their relationship improves.
** Asuka didn't like [[spoiler:Keiko]] and she thought that that girl shouldn't be a pilot. In chapter 9, [[spoiler:Keiko]] reveals that she lost her mother and explains how she was affected by it, leading Asuka to, in spite of herself, feel pity for her.
* ''Fanfic/LastChildOfKrypton'': Asuka and Shinji do this when they start living together, and they talk each other about their missing mothers.
* ''Fanfic/OnceMoreWithFeeling'': After defeating Gaghiel, Asuka asks Shinji about his mother. He answers that she’s dead, and Asuka feels guilty and asks how she died. When Shinji tells her the story, she realizes that she empathizes with him.
-->Asuka took a long, deep breath as he leapt up, dashing away the flood of emotions that Shinji's effortless penetration of the barriers she had erected had brought up. His story of how he had lost his mother was so similar, the skeptical, College educated part of her mind immediacy denied the possibility of a pure coincidence, but she simply didn't know what to think… except that perhaps Shinji Ikari might not be the stuck up, show off jerk she had thought he was…
* ''Fanfic/TheChildOfLove'': When Misato told Shinji how Asuka’s mother died, he felt he could understand Asuka better now because he was also an orphan. Later on, Shinji opens up to her and talks about his mother’s death, and Asuka says he’s the only one she can trust because he’s the only one can understand her.
-->'''Shinji:''' I saw her crying in her sleep once. Poor Asuka... I understand now how she feels.
* In the ''Fanfic/AftermathOfTheGames'' universe, this was how Sci-Twi and Dog Spike bonded during their backstories; Spike was the SoleSurvivor of a horrible case of rabies that wiped out his family. He went into such a deep depression that none of the humans would consider him as a pet because he wasn't as energetic as the other dogs. Around the same time, the 13-year-old Sci-Twi's parents were killed by a DrunkDriver, so [[PromotionToParent Shining Armor and Cadance]] decided to get her a pet in order to help ease her grief. When Sci-Twi heard what happened to Spike's family, she chose to adopt him, and in the present day both of them are completely inseparable.
* In ''The Form of Survival'' Yiereth bonds with both Kanan (her lineage-nephew) and Barriss over their lost Masters.

[[folder: {{Film}}]]
* ''Film/{{Footloose}}'' has a minor variation; Ren has a DisappearedDad, and Ariel has a dead brother. They bond over this while [[ItMakesSenseInContext screaming at a train]]. Ren and Reverend Moore (Ariel's father) also later have this scene together for a moment to establish that they are NotSoDifferent.
* ''Film/{{Jumanji}}'' had Alan Parrish talking with Judy and Peter about their dead parents after learning his own parents have died.
* One of these leads to TheReveal in ''Film/TheParentTrap''.
* In ''Film/TheMightyDucks'', Coach Bombay and Charlie have a scene in which they talk about growing up without their fathers. (Charlie's mom divorced, while Bombay's father died.)
* While it's never explicitly spelled out, the {{Adaptation Expansion}} in ''Film/BeautyAndTheBeast2017'' creates a sense of this between Belle and the Beast. The major turning point in Belle's feelings for the Beast comes not only because he saves her life, but because she learns from Mrs. Potts that he [[UsedToBeASweetKid was a sweet, innocent child]] until he lost his mother at a young age, like she did (and that his cruel father then raised him to be a {{Royal Brat}}, in sharp contrast to [[GoodParents Maurice]]). Later, the Beast uses a magic book left by the Enchantress to fulfill Belle's lifelong wish of seeing her parents' old home and helps her finally learn how her mother died, which serves as another invaluable step forward in their budding romance.
* An InvokedTrope in ''Film/PointBreak''. Johnny Utah pretends his family died tragically to get close to Tyler Endicott, who is an orphan. She's understandably pissed-off when she later discovers he's an undercover FBI agent and realises he made the story up.

[[folder: Literature]]
* In one story of ''Literature/{{TKKG}}'', two side characters do this.
* In ''Literature/ALittlePrincess'', Sarah calms the tantrum-throwing Lottie by bonding with her over their dead mothers.
* The lead characters of ''Literature/LeftBehind: The Kids'' bond together when their parents are either raptured or killed.
* In ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' both Faramir and Éowyn lost their mothers as small children and their fathers (or father figures) in the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. They bond over it among over things in the Houses of Healing.
* Jerin and Ren in ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'' both have dead fathers and living mothers, and talk a little about it.
* ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear: Army of Terror'' has the Arranda kids and Luke Skywalker bonding over all of them being recent orphans.
* Leo and Frank in ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus,'' spend most of the third book disliking each other, but eventually bond over the deaths of their mothers.
* In ''Literature/{{Leviathan}}'', Prince Alex and Deryn/[[SweetPollyOliver Dylan]] became close when they shared the pain of losing their parent(s).
* A variant in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix:'' after the death of [[TheHero Harry]]'s ParentalSubstitute [[spoiler:[[MentorOccupationalHazard Sirius]]]], the only person who is really able to console him is [[CloudCuckooLander Luna]], who tells him about how her mother died. It marks the first time Harry feels sorry for Luna, since before she had come off as kooky at best and annoying at worst.
* In ''Literature/{{Seraphina}}'', the title character and her love interest Lucian Kiggs bond over the fact that they both lost their mothers as children: Seraphina's mother [[DeathByChildbirth died in childbirth]], while Kiggs' died in a shipwreck.

[[folder: LiveActionTV]]
* One of the (many, many) bonds Mulder and Scully share in ''Series/TheXFiles'' is that both lose their respective fathers early in the series.
* On ''Series/{{Bones}}'' one of the first times Brennan was shown sympathising with another human being was when she revealed to a Foster Kid (whose foster brother had been killed) that she had been in the foster system too.
* ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}''
** Merlin and Gwaine do this over their deceased fathers.
** Merlin who has a DisappearedDad and Arthur who has a MissingMom.
* On ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' Parker and Hardison have this during "The Stork Job".
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''
** Both Castiel and Dean have fathers who abandoned them at some point in their lives. However Castiel's dad is ''{{God}}''.
** In season four, Dean and Anna have a FriendshipMoment when Anna complains about the difficulty in trying to please [[{{God}} an unknowable father]]. Dean says [[WellDoneSonGuy he gets that.]]
* In the first season of ''Series/{{Glee}}'', Kurt and Finn bond over Kurt's dead mom and Finn's dead dad, Kurt telling Finn that he sometimes lies down on the floor next to the dresser that still smells of his mom's perfume, and Finn showing Kurt some of his dad's things. Later, Kurt's dad and Finn's mom marry each other.
* ''Series/TheGeorgeLopezShow'', George is about to send Max's troublemaking friend Ricky home to his mother, only to find that like him, the mother is an alcoholic and the father abandoned them. Rather than leave Ricky with his mother (who is obviously very drunk), he offers to let him stay over for a few days and winds up arranging Ernie to be his foster parent.
* In ''Series/HouseOfAnubis'' it's surprising how long it took for two people to bond over their parental issues, as everyone seems to have them. In this case, it was Jerome and Joy.
* Subverted in ''Series/TheVampireDiaries''. Anna tells Elena about her plan to open the tomb containing Katherine so she can free her mother, who was imprisoned there a long time ago. Elena sympathizes with her, but Anna says "Yeah, I think we'll skip the dead mom bonding so you can start serving a purpose."
* Elliot and Angela in ''Series/MrRobot'' first met when his father and her mother died from a toxic leak at the company they worked for.

[[folder: VideoGames]]
* ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigationsMilesEdgeworth'': Miles Edgeworth and Kay Faraday. Both their fathers were lawyers who were killed in the courthouse when they were about ten years old. This parallel does not go unnoticed by Edgeworth.
* The first ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce'' game has its fair share of this. Geo and Sonia bond over his missing dad and her dead mother. Geo and Pat have an almost-romance over Geo's missing dad and Pat being an orphan.
* A DummiedOut conversation in ''VideoGame/{{Mother 3}}'' has Kumatora and Duster muse about how none of the three human protagonists have mothers. Kumatora is genuinely an orphan, and Duster's mother seemingly died before the White Ship departed. Likewise Hinawa isn't even confirmed to be Lucas's genetic mother.

[[folder: WebComics]]
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' this way [[ChivalrousPervert Tedd]] and [[StrawFeminist Susan]] found [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2003-04-25 a common ground]]. This [[VitriolicBestBuds relationship]] somewhat improved later.

[[folder: WebVideos]]
* In ''WebVideo/ImAMarvelAndImADC'' an early installment had Superman introduce Spider-Man to Batman because Film/SpiderMan3 had a darker theme to it. Spider-Man and Batman get into an argument when Batman doesn't see the dark aspect of Spidey's origins and character, but quickly settle their differences over their mutual dead relatives.
-->'''Batman''': Your parents, ''and'' your uncle?
-->'''Spider-Man''': Yeah...
-->'''Batman''': [[ItNeverGetsAnyEasier Never gets any easier, does it?]]
-->'''Spider-Man''': No, it doesn't.
* ''WebVideo/CriticalRole'' episode 18 has Vex and Zahra become friends this way after their initial animosity.

[[folder: WesternAnimation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' loves this trope, usually with regard to Katara and Sokka's mother (who was killed in a [[TheEmpire Fire Nation]] raid of their colony):
** Katara and Haru, as Haru's father was taken away from his family by the Fire Nation due to laws against earthbending in his town. This leads Katara to help him and his dad, who is on the same prison rig as Haru is taken to, when he gets arrested for the same reason.
** [[ManipulativeBastard Jet]] [[SubvertedTrope attempts to use this]] to manipulate Katara and Sokka into destroying a town occupied by the Fire Nation.
** Katara and Zuko, during their LockedInARoom scene in the season 2 finale; when Katara mentions that the Fire Nation took her mother away, Zuko says, "That's something we have in common," and tensions cool for a while, [[SubvertedTrope until]] Zuko's FriendOrIdolDecision between siding with [[TheDragon Azula]] or making a HeelFaceTurn leads him to completely ignore all that bonding and side with Azula.
*** As a result, when Zuko sides with the Gaang for good, Katara's the last person to trust him until he helped her find her mother's killer.
** Mako and Asami continue the tradition in the SequelSeries ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', Zatanna's mother isn't in the picture, and she suddenly loses her father when he sacrifices himself to become the vessel of Doctor Fate, and prevent him from keeping hold of Zatanna. While Robin has been forbidden by Batman to reveal his secret identity (and, with it, the fact that his parents were murdered when he was nine), he's usually the one shown grieving with or comforting her. He had a crush on her already, but the show seems to imply that his empathy was what pushed them towards their kiss in the finale.
* An odd example from the 2012 ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|2012}}'': [[DarkActionGirl Karai]] is giving [[WeirdnessMagnet April]] a CurbStompBattle as April, near the breaking point, begins recounting all the weirdness and trouble she's had, ending with her (previously unmentioned) MissingMom. Something about this causes Karai (who also has no visible mother in her life) to hesitate for just a second, allowing April to knock her down a staircase and escape. But in a later episode, she still tries to kill her.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaijudo}}'': Ray and Allie bond over Ray's DisappearedDad and Allie's MissingMom. That's how their friendship started.