A group of siblings is threatened with separation by a [[SolomonDivorce divorce]], death, accident or what not. Depending on the show, one can sometimes expect them to go to [[KnightTemplarBigBrother extreme lengths]] to prevent this.

Compare IWillFindYou. This trope is also commonly associated with PromotionToParent. Not to be confused with NeverSplitTheParty.
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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* In the backstory of ''Manga/ChronoCrusade'', [[TheHero Rosette]] constantly dragged her brother, [[IllGirl Joshua]], out to play in the forest near the orphanage where they lived because she was afraid that Father Remington would split them up by taking Joshua to the Magdalene Order and leave her behind. Joshua himself wasn't quite as bothered by the idea of having to split up with Rosette, because he wanted to learn how to control his healing powers. Additionally, his powers didn't heal himself-- he was often sickly and was afraid of Rosette having to put her life on hold to take care of him.
* In the backstory to ''{{Manga/Monster}}'', the Lieberts only wanted to adopt Johan, but he insisted that they take his twin sister as well. [[spoiler: They picked the wrong one.]]
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh'', Mokuba recounts how everyone wanted to adopt Seto since he was a genius, but he refused to go without his brother. Joey and Serenity also attempt this in their backstory, but are unsuccessful.
* The siblings from ''Anime/MazeMegaburstSpace'' who takes their desire NOT to be split up to quite a... unique solution
* The ''Manga/BlackJack'' story ''The Two Jans'' is all about this. This being ''Manga/BlackJack'', of course, they happen to be conjoined twins who share not only an entire body, but also most of their ''head''.
* Seiya and his sister Seika in ''Manga/SaintSeiya'', they were separated after Seiya was chosen to train to become a Saint. His main motivation after becoming one was to reunite with his sister who had gone missing afterwards.
* The main character of ''[[LightNovel/PapaNoIukotoOKikinasai Papa no Iukoto o Kikinisai!]]'' adopts the three sisters because he doesn't want to see them split up.
* The reason Mii from ''Anime/{{Popotan}}'' doesn't want to [[spoiler: stop time travelling when given the chance is because she wouldn't be able to live with her sisters that way. In the end, they still end up separating, but eventually reunite]].
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[[folder: Comics ]]
* In the "Quantum Quest" story arc of ''Comicbook/CaptainAtom'', it is revealed that Cap's sister didn't want social services to discover that their mother was an abusive, neglectful drunk because she was afraid that if she and Nate were put in foster care, they would be separated. [[PromotionToParent So even though she was only nine years old, she had to take care of both of them]]. [[spoiler:[[FromBadToWorse It Got Worse]]]].
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[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/DespicableMe'' where the junior novelization says that the three girls "aren't technically sisters but they spend all their time together."
* ''Disney/LiloAndStitch'', where Social Services threatens to take Lilo away from older sister and guardian Nani.
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[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In silent film ''Film/{{Sparrows}}'', a baby from a rich household is kidnapped for ransom and stashed in an OrphanageOfFear. When the baby is found, his rich father invites the oldest kid from the orphanage, teenaged Molly (Mary Pickford) to work for him as the boy's nanny. She insists that all ten of the kids from the orphanage live with them, and the father agrees.
* ''Film/OnOurOwn'' is about four children, Mitch, Kate, Travis, and Lori. After being abandoned by their father and with the death of their mother they are forced to move into a children's home. Feared they will have to be separated, they escape and run away.
* In both versions of ''Film/TheParentTrap'' the girls don't want to be separated once they've found each other.
** Of course, this is a subversion, since the girls had already been split up before the movie began, and now they're trying to make sure they don't get separated again.
* ''SavingSarahCain''
* The kids were worried about being split up due to evacuation in ''Film/BedknobsAndBroomsticks''.
* This drives much of the plot of ''OurMothersHouse'', the mother herself has died and her seven children are determined to keep up the fiction otherwise, knowing they will be split up once Children's Services find out the truth. Their ruse works, at least for a time, [[spoiler: until their worthless father returns.]]
* The cenobite from ''Film/HellraiserBloodline'' which turned out to be supernaturally conjoined identical twins; how much of it was their choice is arguable.
* This is used very effectively in HotelForDogs.
* ''Film/NannyMcPhee'' had Christianna nearly taken by their mother's aunt, Lady Adelaide Stitch, so as to better provide for her.
** The threat of this happening to ''all'' the children is what drives Mr Brown to try to marry any woman, even if she's horrible. The only way he can provide for his large family is an allowance sent by Aunt Adelaide, and she sets the condition that she'll only continue to provide if he marries by the end of the month. Mr Brown is well aware of what will happen if the family is split up: [[AdultFear the younger children will go to orphanages or foster homes, while the older ones will be sent to work in factories, with who-knows-what happening to baby Agatha]].
* ''Film/{{Conviction}}'' (based on a true story) had one of these events between the main characters during a flashback.
* ''TheColorPurple'': Nettie and Celie.
-->Nothing but death can keep me from it! - Nettie, promising to write
* In ''Film/{{Armored}}'', this is the primary motivation for Ty to join his colleagues in robbing their own armored transport company. After [[ParentalAbandonment his parents died]] he was [[PromotionToParent left alone to raise his younger brother]], but is struggling to make ends meet. He's in danger of losing their childhood home due to unpaid bills, and a social worker pays a visit to inform him that his brother will be placed in foster care if he can't provide for him, leading to this response.
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[[folder: Literature ]]
* In the ''{{American Girl|sCollection}}'' Samantha books, when Nellie's parents die, Samantha helps her and her siblings run away from the orphanage and smuggles them into her (Samantha's) attic so that they'll be able to stay together.
*** The problem is solved when [[spoiler:Samantha's aunt and uncle adopt them.]]
* In ''Homecoming'', the first book of the ''Literature/TheTillermanFamilySeries'' by Cynthia Voigt, four kids are abandoned by their mentally ill mother in a parking lot. The oldest girl leads them on foot to a cousin's house in the next state, where they're threatened with the prospect of one of them being put into foster care and another into institutional special ed. They go on for several more states to find their grandmother, who takes them all in.
* Henri and Clementa Tod in ''TheStoryOfHenriTod''. They were Jewish children in World War II and the resistance told them that they had to be sheltered separately. In this case they ''were'' split up. This gives Henri Tod a FailureKnight mentality that drives the plot.
* Joan Lowery Nixons ''Orphan Train'' books are about six siblings sent to Missouri by their mother and divided between four families. They all eventually end up in happy families, with only one child going to live with their mother when she moves out west and remarries.
* The sympathetic noble family in Creator/TamoraPierce's ''Literature/DaughterOfTheLioness'' books, which are set in a slave country, promise not to do this to any families when they're forced by the royal family to sell off most of their slaves and other property to prove they're not thinking rebellious thoughts.
* In Creator/CSLewis's ''Literature/TheVoyageOfTheDawnTreader'', [[MadeASlave When Lord Bern buys Caspian]], Lucy begs him not to split up the group, but he tells her he can't afford them all.
* In Passage to Zarahemla, after their mother's death, Kerra and Brock are to be separated, as the foster family that will take Brock doesn't have room for 2. So Kerra packs her stuff, Brock packs his, and they set off to Utah to find their missing dad's family.
* This kicks off one of the subplots in ''Literature/UncleTomsCabin'', when the slaveowner's wife is forced to sell the child of her maid. The maid, upon catching wind of this plan, promptly takes her baby and flees to Canada.
* One of the reasons Prosper and Bo are on the run from their aunt in ''Literature/TheThiefLord'' is that she only wanted Bo and was planning to send Prosper OffToBoardingSchool.
* In ''Lily Alone'' by Jacqueline Wilson, a young girl and her toddler-aged siblings are left alone at home when their mother goes on holiday and the appointed babysitter does not show up. The heroine fears that they will be taken into care and separated, so decides to hide out in the woods with the children so that Social Services can't check up on them.
** In ''Lola Rose'' by the same author, Lola is forced to take care of her younger brother alone while their mother goes into hospital for breast cancer surgery - she is afraid to let anyone find out in case she and her brother are taken into care and separated. [[spoiler:She eventually gets help when she is able to trace their aunt.]]
* One of ''Literature/TheBabySittersClub'' mystery specials was based around the girls undertaking work experience at a local shopping mall. They eventually discover that mysterious thefts from the mall were committed by three children, who have been secretly living there since their mother went into hospital - they are afraid of being separated by the local authorities.
* It's only part of an experiment, but in ''Literature/TheThirteenthTale'' Adeline and Emmeline react very badly to being separated. Adeline even goes into a catatonic state.
* This is a concern for ''Literature/TheBoxcarChildren''. They assume when their parents die that they'll either be split up or adopted by the grandfather their parents hate and they believe is abusive. By the end of the first book, they're all adopted by the grandfather who they find out is actually quite nice.
* ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'' takes place six months after Tash and Zak Arranda lost their families on Alderaan. Tash, being the more responsible sibling, develops separation anxiety and a fear of abandonment. She swore to herself that she would never lose anyone else like that, and whenever she's apart from her brother for too long she starts to worry that something's happened to him - with good reason! [[OrphansOrdeal Horrible things are constantly happening to both of them]]! She reacts very negatively to even suggestions of a more permanent parting.
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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''{{Series/Bonanza}}'': Toward the end of Season 14, the episode "The Sound of Sadness" saw a dirt farmer (Jack Albertson, of ''ChicoAndTheMan'' fame) make an ultimately successful attempt to adopt two orphaned brothers. Before the adoption takes place, the requisite drama sees numerous families want to adopt the older, stronger of the two boys, but not the younger one, a tiny boy who has multiple disabilities, including muteness. Griff King (Tim Matheson in an early TV role) played an influential role in swaying the hard-nosed adoption director's initial decision to split the boys up.
* ''Series/LittleHouseOnThePrairie'': At least two episodes:
** "Remember Me," a two parter from midway through the second season. The Sanderson children are faced with separation when a family wants to adopt the boys as farmhands, while Harriet's wealthy cousin wishes to adopt little Alicia. At the last minute, Mr. Edwards and Grace Snider marry, and adopt all three.
** "A Silent Cry," from early in Season 7, a rewrite of the ''Bonanza'' episode described above. Michael Landon's script was adapted for the show simply by crossing out names and replacing them with newer ones, and slight changes to the dialogue. Houston (Dub Taylor, playing the cantankerous caretaker of the Blind School) and Adam Kendall play the central roles here.
* This is the basic premise of ''Series/PartyOfFive'', with the oldest of the five siblings becoming their guardian to avoid seeing them split up in foster care.
* There was also a television series called ''OnOurOwn'', in which the eldest brother, not yet of legal age, had to crossdress and pose as an older relative so that he and his siblings wouldn't be separated.
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', one subplot was how Buffy was trying to make sure that Dawn didn't get taken away from her. Also, technically they weren't family, but Willow and Tara kept a robot-Buffy to hide the fact that Buffy had died in order to keep Dawn with them.
* In ''Birds of a Feather'' Sharon and Tracey find out that they were both adopted, their parents were only going to adopt one child but decided it would be wrong to split up the sisters.
* When the Fantasia split up in ''Series/MaddigansQuest'' episode "Plague", Timon and Eden insist on staying behind with their infected baby sister, even when Garland reminds them that by doing so, they're threatening the entirety of their home town.
* The real-world versions of Hansel and Gretel in ''Series/OnceUponATime'' are fighting to stay together after their mother's death. Emma has to find their father and convince him to take them before Regina makes her take the kids to Boston to be put in foster care.
* An episode of ''Series/{{Life}}'' has a pair of siblings living in a mall where a murder was committed because they're afraid that if they go into the foster system they'll be split up. [[spoiler: Dani finds their aunt who adopts them.]]
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', partly. It is also about saving River from a PlaceWorseThanDeath.
* An early ''Series/{{Bones}}'' episode involves two brothers in the foster system who worry about getting split up.
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[[folder: Video Games ]]
* ''{{VideoGame/Suikoden IV}}'': This plays a critical role in Akaghi and Mizuki's {{backstory}}: after their clan was conquered, they were going to be sold as slaves. When Mizuki was about to be sold without him, however, Akaghi made a huge scene, attracting Mister Ramada's attention. Ramada went on to buy and employ the pair, earning their gratitude.
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[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* One time {{WesternAnimation/Arthur}} and DW's parents were arguing and Arthur imagined what would happen if they split up and neither parent wanted to take them - they'd have to live in an orphanage.
-->'''Arthur:''' Please, sir, may I have some 'Ore?\\
'''Mr Ratburn (as Mr. Bumble):''' 'ave some 'ore? 'ave some 'ore? (puts a rowboat oar in Arthur's bowl) that's some oar! I'm hysterical! I should get paid more.
** Later quoth Arthur: "We've got to avoid getting sent to an orphanage at all costs. Especially one that's set in the 1800s."
* An ''{{WesternAnimation/Animaniacs}}'' episode spoofs this when Wakko eats too many meatballs and Death comes to drag him away.
--> '''Yakko:''' Oh, ''pleeeeaase'' don't separate us, Mr. Death! We love each other! We're a family! A set! Like Civil War chess pieces from the Franklin Mint!
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/AlvinAndTheChipmunks'' did this with the Chippettes. The girls stayed with the boys and Dave for a few days while a social worker tried to find a foster home for them, and they got along ''horribly'' with the boys. It wasn't until the social worker said that the only option was to split up the girls (since, as she explains, [[ShownTheirWork many people can't afford to take in siblings together and can only adopt one,]]) that they start to get along.
** All three girls are later put under the care of kind Mrs. Miller, who does live quite near Dave and the boys, and is quite willing to take in all three.
* ''WesternAnimation/PoundPuppies2010'': "Quintuplets". A group of pups are determined to stay together and want to be adopted all together. When the Pound Puppies have a tough time trying to find them an owner and discuss splitting up the siblings, the puppies decide to run away from the pound to stay together. In the end Lucky convinces them to return to the pound but works to find an owner for them. [[spoiler:Eventually the puppies end up getting adopted by a family who has a set of quintuplets of their own.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Two Dozen and One Greyhounds" the family decide to get rid of the 25 puppies. When Lisa sees how they don't like to be broken up, Marge points out that she can't see anyone buying all of them. [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Mr. Burns]] is willing and plans to make a tuxedo out of them. He eventually decides not to kill them and raises 25 champions at the dog track.
-->'''Announcer''': 25 dogs, 25 world champions which so far have earned their owner over ten million dollars. I'll bet whoever gave him those dogs is kicking themselves now.
* In the ''{{WesternAnimation/Recess}}'' episode "The Biggest Trouble Ever" the gang accidentally destroys a statue and is almost sent off to seperate schools as punishment. [[EveryoneHasStandards Even Principal Prickly and Miss Finster thought this was going too far]].
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[[folder: Real Life ]]
* In his history of Nile exploration, Alan Moorehead says that some Arab slavers in the region would go out of their way to avoid doing this. If so then EvenEvilHasStandards.
** Averted, of course, in American slavery. Families were split up all the time, often deliberately since uprisings became less common if individual slaves cared more about themselves than their fellow slaves. In fact, "'Til death or distance do you part" was common in marriage vows at the time.
* By comparison the Janisary Tax or Blood Tax, which was sort of an Ottoman version of [[Series/{{Firefly}} The Academy]], on a massive scale was explicitly designed to do this. The point was to prepare youths from conquered countries as bureaucrats and soldiers and it was felt necessary to separate them from connections.
** It's called the ''devshirme'', and it wasn't so much about 'conquered' countries as the fact that it was against shari'a to enslave Muslims, so they gathered their military slaves from the populous Christian provinces, and then converted them. Lots of people who made it up the ranks knew perfectly well who their families were and did things to help them out, but the system didn't really break down until the devshirme stopped being collected and the Janissaries became hereditary and, promptly, corrupt as hell.
*** The Ottoman elites were Turks, which in those days still evoked 'having their origin in the steppes of Eurasia,' and there was an ethos against 'awlad al-Arab' being involved in military ventures. Fighting--especially ''command''--was a ethnically defined employment. Caucasians, Georgians, Circassians, Kipchaks--but not Arabs.
*** Most families really didn't want to give their kids up, though some were eager for their children to have the opportunity to run the empire. But either way, the tax was designed not to tap anyone or anywhere flat, so siblings would not tend to be together.
*** There's one memorable case of an Ottoman governor who'd been trained in the palace school after being taken in ''devshirme'' and his full brother, the Orthodox Christian bishop of a neighboring district. They had pretty good relations.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sullivan_brothers Sullivan brothers]], during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. Unfortunately, there wasn't a happy ending.
** Which is why they now discourage close relatives from serving together.
** There's a similar policy in the British military. In UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne and earlier conflicts, the British Army often mustered "Pals battalions": all the young men in a single town or CloseKnitCommunity would enlist together, and the army would form a platoon or unit consisting entirely of young men from a single community who had known each other their entire lives. This tradition was stopped following the disastrous Battle of the Somme in World War One, because of the devastating effect on the community back home when such a unit sustained heavy casualties. Men who enlist together (whether brothers or merely friends) are now nearly always assigned to different units.
* There is always a risk of this happening when parents are deemed unsuitable and children are sent to foster care.
** Also sometimes happens in full-on adoption, not just foster care. Many social workers and adoption agencies will try to keep siblings together, but many families looking to adopt are only looking for one child, either for financial reasons or simply because it's easier to care for one child than two or more.
** Additionally, sometimes children's other needs can be best met by adopters if they are split up. For example if an older child has been used to stepping into the role of parent for their younger siblings sometimes the only way to ensure they have a childhood is for them to be adopted seperately.
* Creator/KurtVonnegut adopted three of his sister's children after they were orphaned. He states they had only two requests - to not be divided, and to keep the dogs. He acceded to both.
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