A familiar is a creature that has been magically bound to a person in a master-and-servant type of relationship. The actual type of familiar varies greatly; it is typically a small animal ([[CatsAreMagic such as a witch's cat]]) but can be anything, including demons or even human beings. Similarly, the type of bond can vary: in some cases it is nothing more than the ability to [[SpeaksFluentAnimal understand]] what the familiar says [[TalkingAnimal (if it speaks)]] while in others the familiar ''is'' the source of the character's powers. But there ''must'' be a specific bond; just having a magical creature as a companion doesn't count. The "master" need not be a sorcerer, either -- many stories have a normal person gain a familiar by accident, often resulting in trouble.

This is based on the medieval belief that {{Satan}} granted demon servants (in animal form) to witches [[DealWithTheDevil as part of their pacts]]. The idea has since evolved greatly in Fantasy fiction, and even some Science Fiction settings have similar concepts ({{telepath|y}}ic pets, for example). Compare BondCreature, EmpathyPet, {{Mons}}, RightHandCat. The familiar usually acts as an AnimalEyeSpy to their master.

Not to be confused with the term "familiar" meaning "something known" though sometimes the similarity is used as the source of an IncrediblyLamePun. It's even worse in Spanish, where "familiar" can also mean "blood relative" (this is also the case in English, though it's more uncommon).

See also SapientSteed and MentorMascot. Because AllWitchesHaveCats, cats are the most common variant for female magic users. In Japanese mythology, a similar creature is called a shikigami; see {{Onmyodo}} for details.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The talking cats (Luna, Artemis, and Diana) in ''Franchise/SailorMoon'' count.
** To a lesser extent, Rei Hino's twin crows, Phobos and Deimos. In the [[Manga/SailorMoon manga]], they have the ability to transform into Sailor Senshi themselves.
** Also, Zirconia's familiar, Zircon.
* In ''GashBell'', the "mamodos" needed human partners in order to use their spells.
* [[WeaselMascot Chamo]] in ''MahouSenseiNegima''. It's kind of a subversion, as they really don't seem to have a special bond, but Negi officially makes Chamo his familiar so the latter has a valid excuse for staying at Mahora.
** While animal familiars seem to exist, as Chamo suggested becoming Negi's familiar himself, humans are more often than not the familiars of mages. The pactio system specifically is stated to be exactly this -- a master/servant relationship magically connected by the ritual. And while there are tons of people shown to be involved in a pactio, almost nobody has been shown with an animal familiar.
* In ''[[LyricalNanoha Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha]]'', Arf, the Lieze twins, Linith, and Zafira, serve Fate, Gil Graham, Precia and Hayate, respectively. [[InsistentTerminology Zafira says]] he is a "[[CallARabbitASmeerp guardian beast]]" rather than a familiar, but Arf retorts that it's the same thing. (Yuuno plays a somewhat similar role to a familiar for Nanoha in the first season, and is occasionally taken for one; in reality, he's a shapeshifting mage.)
* The "Shadow Dragons" in ''NaruTaru''.
* The main character (and title character) of ''LightNovel/ZeroNoTsukaima'' ("''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Zero's Familiar]]''") is an ordinary human guy who unexpectedly becomes the familiar of a struggling witch at a WizardingSchool.
* In ''{{Kekkaishi}}'', the eponymous practitioners summon familiars called "landlords" to aid them in perfecting their abilities. These are basically dog spirits that wear collars to limit their powers.
** An actual Landlord formed by a Kekkaishi looks a lot different. Masamori's is a black carp, and [[spoiler:Yoshimori]]'s is... something. Possibly a lot of things.
* Keroberos of ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura''.
** Also, his [[EvilCounterpart semi-evil counterpart]] Spinel Sun.
* ''Anime/YuGiOh'' subverts and plays the trope fairly straight with its monsters depending on what part of the series you're looking at. The bare basics of the card game implies the player is the master and any mon they summon act as a temporary familiar, although some players don't add any attachment to any particular monster to such an extent and the ones that do don't necessarily add any benefits to the monster in question. The first example of a modern duelist who could see and interact with the Spirits of the monsters in his deck and felt a personal relationship with them was Raphael. (Whether they actually talked back to him when he talked to them isn't known.) In the Pharoah's Memory arc where the monsters and their summoners originated from to make the modern day card game, however, it is played much more straight where the summoners can summon any ka (monster) they can access in exchange for the monster tapping into their master's ba (life energy), but every person also has a primary ka that serves as the embodiment of their soul and is not only much stronger than other kas the summoner can use, but whose well-being also affects the health of the summoner directly. ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'' also references this by having some duelists share such a strong bond with a particular monster that they become their spirit partners and thus can communicate with their partner from time to time. (The biggest examples are Winged Kuriboh [to Judai], Ruby Carbuncle [to Jonah], and the three Ojamas [to Manjyome], although all three of them can talk to most Duel Spirits in their decks.) ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'' also shares this with certain duelists, particularly ones with powerful dragons (such as Luna with the Ancient Fairy Dragon or Yusei with the Stardust Dragon).
** Occasionally, some cards are seen making independent choices. In the first series, the very first duel between Yugi and Kaiba, has the later attempt to cheat by putting the Blue Eyes he stole from Yugi's grandpa on the top of his deck, then drawing and summoning it instantly. The dragon immediately self destructs, allowing Yugi to call it back to his own side with Raise Dead (Monster Reborn).
* Watanuki's familiar is the fox, Mugetsu, in ''XxxHolic''.
* Tamer-Type Exorcists in Manga/BlueExorcist are able to summon them, Rin has Blackie (A Giant Black Cat), Izumo has two Byakko (Spirit Foxes), Mephisto has Ukobach (The Torchfire Demon) and his Phoenix/Umbrella hybrid, Igor has many, MANY NauseaFuel inducing-ones, and Shiemi has Nii (A Plant Demon).
* While the "mon" or humanoid creatures used for fighting in ''Anime/CControl'' are called Assets as part of the series' interest in the financial world, it's pretty easy to see them as Familiars, given that the people using them have made a DealWithTheDevil, and some of the Assets even look like demons.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', Suigetsu, upon seeing Manda the giant demon snake, says "So this is Orochimaru's Familiar..."
* In ''SaintBeast'', Pearl is a squirrel/mouse-like creature created out of Pandora's bones who [[TheConfidant keeps him company]] and acts as a guarantor of Pandora's loyalty. If Pandora goes away from the shrine Zeus keeps Pearl and can harm it if Pandora tries defying him, rebounding on Pandora.
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', all Zanpakuto spirits are this on a spiritual level to their Shinigami/Soul Reaper.
* Shows up quite a bit in ''Manga/KamisamaKiss.'' The main one is Nanami's familiar, Tomoe, a LittleBitBeastly {{Kitsune}} who doesn't like his situation one damn bit.
* In ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'', familiars are the minions of witches, the evil beings in this anime. Familiars are not that strong and don't have Grief Seeds, but they are still a threat for humans and they could become witches as well.
* In ''LightNovel/StrikeTheBlood'', Kojou Akatsuki being the Fourth Progenitor he has twelve familiars who are very powerful each giving him specific abilities.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Card Games]]
* The Charmers in ''TabletopGame/YuGiOh'' may count. In their artwork, small monsters can be seen alongside human spellcasters.
** They definitely count, if the closely-related Familiar-Possessed archetype is anything to go by.
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering''
** Players can summon creatures to act as familiars.
** Ambassador Laquatus has [[http://magiccards.info/tr/en/67.html a rather terrifying one]] in the ''Literature/OdysseyCycle'', controlled via PsychicLink.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* The [[IncrediblyLamePun minor]] DCComics villain Klarion the Witch Boy has a cat familiar called Teekl. He can transform it into a humanoid form to use [[SeriesContinuityError him/her]] as extra muscle.
* In one issue of ''ComicBook/BeastsOfBurden'' a coven of witches each with a cat familiar moved into town. While most of them were killed along with the witches, Dympha survived and sought revenge on the others, then joined them. She retains some magical capabilities without the witch.
* In ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}}'' the relationship between Kitty Pryde and her pet dragon, Lockheed, fits the trope fairly nicely, despite not being of a supernatural nature.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the ''BaldursGate'' fanfic ''A Tale of Two Mages'', an additional rule is established: when a mage casts the Find Familiar spell, the familiar is chosen as the creature maximally "compatible" to the mage in a certain radius. (There's a mention of some poor girl who got her own tapeworm as a familiar, and one character muses that it could be much worse: she could get ''somebody else's'' tapeworm as a familiar.) It just so happens that two wizards -- NeutralGood Nalia and LawfulEvil Edwin -- cast the spell simultaneously while being in a fairly close proximity... and both become familiars ''to each other''. HilarityEnsues.
* In ''Sauramud Advice Column for Young Wizardlings'', some poor wizard asks for advice about [[BlessedWithSuck the giant slug]] which he got as a familiar. Sauramud decisively states:
-->"In answer to your question, a giant slug is NO GOOD AT ALL as a familiar -- in fact MOST familiars are no good as a familiar."
* In Hogwarts Retold, most characters can use their patronus as Familiars, Nathan has Leafy-Sea Dragons, Eddie has Squirrels, Elizabeth has Robins, Fang Lei has Tigers, Marc has Chameleons and Rean has Wolverines.
* In ''Fanfic/GameTheory'', [[spoiler:Nanoha]] gets a familiar. The story also explores the consequences of familiars being {{Uplifted Animal}}s in greater depth.
* In ''Fanfic/QueenofAllOni'', the EvilSorceror Lung [[spoiler: the apprentice of the by-then deceased Daolon Wong, tries to force Jade into becoming his, so he can command all her forces. Not only does she not submit, but this attempt gets him killed.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Calcifer from ''Anime/HowlsMovingCastle''.
* Jiji from ''KikisDeliveryService''.
* Merlin in ''Disney/TheSwordInTheStone'' has an owl named Archimedes.
* In ''ThePrincessAndTheFrog'', Mama Odie has a snake, Juju.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* {{Disney}}'s ''BedknobsAndBroomsticks''. Miss Price has a black cat as her familiar.
* In ''Film/TheCrow'' the titular animal is effectively a familiar for the main character although, unknown to the main character, the crow also [[spoiler:serves as the main character's SoulJar]]
* In the ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000''-viewed movie ''MerlinsShopOfMysticalWonders'', the {{jerkass}} critic tries to turn his cat into a familiar. [[GoneHorriblyWrong It doesn't]] work.
* ''Film/TeenWitch'' subverts this by making Louise's familiar an object: a blue charm which she is told both symbolizes her powers and always find a way back to her from lifetime to lifetime.
* Pyewacket, feline companion and familiar to Kim Novak's HotWitch character in ''Bell, Book and Candle''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In Steven Brust's ''{{Dragaera}}'' stories, familiars are one of the few things that witches can receive through magic that sorcerers cannot. Vlad Taltos used witchcraft to obtain Loiosh a jhereg with human level intelligence. He later gains another jhereg familiar. Lazlo, another human witch, also gains two familiars, a dog and a cat that can change into a wolf and a [[PantheraAwesome Dzur]].
* In ''[[Literature/EarthseaTrilogy A Wizard of Earthsea]]'', Ged has an otak familiar.
* Greymalkin, Paddock and Harpier, the familiars of the witches in ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}''.
* The daemons in ''HisDarkMaterials''.
* Played with in the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' series. Nanny Ogg has a cat, but he's just a pet; Magrat has tried various animals, but none of them lasted for long; Granny Weatherwax has avoided getting a familiar, for fear it would be ''too'' familiar. Mrs Gogol's black cockerel Legba, in ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'', would be the straightest example, except that she privately admits that he's just for show. In ''Discworld/TheWeeFreeMen'', the talking toad hanging around with Miss Tick says he's not a familiar, he's just a bit presumptious.
** Although Granny Weatherwax is temporarily adopted by a phoenix in ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum''
* In ''TheHollows'' novels, people using [[LeyLine ley-line]] magic can use animal familiars to help them in handling the energy of the line safely. This is somewhat hard on the familiar as an accident in handling the energy will hurt the familiar instead of its master.
** Demons use sentient beings such as humans, elves, witches or even other demons for their familiars. This is considered to be a FateWorseThanDeath and is often a result of making a DealWithTheDevil. Demonic familiars are slaves to their masters and suffer physical, emotional and sexual abuse. Even worse, the BlackMagic used by the demons creates harmful "smut" that can pollute their aura, but the demons transfer this to their familiar instead.
* Discussed briefly in ''[[Literature/FateZero Fate/Zero]]''. Most Magi use familiars, which leave a magical trail so they can be detected. However, Kiritsugu also uses normal cameras attached to bats as they do not leave a presence nor can a camera be tricked with magic like the brain of a familiar.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'',
** [[strike:Mouse]] Harry is [[strike:Harry's]] Mouse's [[strike:canine]] human Familiar.
** Also, Harry refutes the idea Bob, the spirit of intelligence he has, is his familiar. The reason is, he pays Bob with raunchy romance smut.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': The only pets allowed at Hogwarts are animals traditionally thought of as familiars (owl, cat, rat or toad). They don't appear to have any special magical connection to their owners, though. Owls, like Harry's, can be very useful however; wizards tend to use them to deliver messages to other wizards.
** Dumbledore's phoenix, Fawkes, is a familiar in the more traditional sense.
** Voldemort's snake, Nagini, though [[spoiler:she is also a [[SoulJar horcrux]].]]
** Strangely, the animal that most closely matches the traditional role of a familiar is Filch's cat, Mrs. Norris. This loathsome creature prowls the school grounds for troublemakers, and apparently has the ability to summon Filch to her location when she finds them. This is odd, as Filch is a [[MuggleBornOfMages squib]], and apparently lacks the magical talent to create such a bond.
*** We later meet Mrs. Figg, another Squib, whose [[CrazyCatLady many felines]] [[SpeaksFluentAnimal serve as her scouts]].
* Haplo's dog in ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle'' is somewhere between a familiar and a SoulJar, being Haplo's soul given independent form. There's probably some deep philosophical meaning behind the fact that Haplo's soul will run off and pilfer sausages if Haplo neglects it, but the books don't go into that.
* In ''Literature/{{Kraken}}'', the wizards of London regularly use familiars to accomplish magical tasks. At least, they do as long as the familiars don't go on strike. The [[WeirdTradeUnion Union of Magicked Assistants]] is a force to be reckoned with.
* Naturally, the titular witch in the Creator/HPLovecraft novel ''Dreams in the Witch House'' has a disturbing one, the human-faced, mean-spirited rat Brown Jenkins.
* In ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'' the [[ElementalEmbodiment windspren]] [[spoiler: actually an honorspren]] Syl is a familiar of sorts to Kaladin, she gains sentience from their bond [[spoiler: and he gets [[GravityMaster surgebinding powers.]].]]
** [[spoiler: ''Literature/WordsOfRadiance'' reveals that Shallan has bonded a Cryptic (what humans call liespren) named Pattern and Jasnah is bonded with a spren of unknown nature named Ivory.]]
* In FactionParadox, the prototype sapient timeships adopt the forms of animals rather than humanoids, bond with their pilots in the standard timeship manner, and are referred to as familiars.
* In Mercedes Lackey's ''{{Valdemar}}'' series, [[HeterosexualLifePartners Tarma and Kethry]] end up with a unique version of this. [[SquishyWizard Kethry]] cast a spell to summon a familiar, but when Warrl responded to the call, he chose to become [[LadyOfWar Tarma's]] familiar instead, much to Kethry's chagrined amusement.
* In ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'', dragons are familars to their Imprintors (i.e hatchers), as is the case with Septimus and Spit Fyre.
* In Teresa Frohock's ''Literature/MiserereAnAutumnTale'', Catarina was given Cerebus -- though he has only one head.
* In ''EnchantedForestChronicles'' Morwen has a large number of cats, all her familiars. This is frowned upon by more traditional witches because not only is one cat more traditional, but none of her cats are black. The cats can communicate with her and she can channel their energy for spells.
* ''Zoo City'' refers to these as [[CapitalLettersAreMagic Animals]]. They appear to someone who's suffering from trauma-induced guilt, usually but not always relating to someone's death. It seems that their owners always feel affection for them--at the very least, the "animaled" will suffer severe panic attacks if they're ever separated from their Animals. Animals can live indefinitely while their animaled lives, and will survive for several months if their animaled dies, but if an Animal dies, a mysterious darkness will appear and swallow up the corresponding animaled. (The animaled also gain a supernatural power, but this power may or may not have any relation to the Animal.)
* In Creator/VernorVinge's proto-{{cyberpunk}} novella, "Literature/TrueNames", the "wizards" (hackers) of [[{{Cyberspace}} The Other Plane]] often have small, specialized programs appear as animals that they call their familiars. When Virginia, the federal officer in charge of Mr. Slippery's case, comes online, she takes a frog form and pretends to be Slip's familiar.
* The short story ''The Innkeeper's Solution'' by Steven Piziks is set in a world where everyone gains a familiar at adolescence. It's generally held that the bond is stronger if it happens naturally, which doesn't stop some people forcing a connection with impressive animals rather than risk getting a weak one. The main character's best friend disappears while trying to bond with a dragon. [[spoiler: It turns out any sapient race can claim a lesser creature as a familiar, and for dragons that includes humans.]]
* In the ''Literature/{{Temps}}'' short story "Someone To Watch Over Me", "familiar" is the traditional term for what the DPR now calls a semi-autonomous psychokinetic energy field. According to GentlemanWizard Loric, they can be cats, but the one that appears (or rather, doesn't) is just an invisible emotional force.
* The witches in ''Literature/CityOfDevils'' have familiars, from Hexene's toad, to the songbirds of the Salem Sisters.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action Television]]
* In the 2000 ''Series/ArabianNights'' mini-series, the sorcerer who recruits Aladdin to retrieve the lamp for him has a raven as a familiar.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. Averted when Tara suggests she and fellow witch Willow get a cat. Willow thinks she means a familiar but no, she just means a pet. And so [[FormallyNamedPet Miss Kitty Fantastico]] guest-stars for a few episodes before its [[BusCrash unfortunate demise]] in an off-screen accidental crossbow discharge.
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'', of course. Familiars guide new witches until they can fend for themselves. The sisters had a [[CatsAreMagic feline familiar]], who was turned human because she guided good witches. Inversely, an evil familiar got turned into a warlock when he killed his witch.
* One episode of ''Series/MastersOfHorror'', based off of Creator/HPLovecraft's "Dreams in the Witch House", dealt with the protagonist vainly trying to protect a baby from a witch and her familiar, a giant rat with the face of a man.
* On ''Series/TheMightyBoosh'' Bollo is Naboo's familiar, although most of the time they're just pals. Also, in one episode, Noel Fielding briefly plays the character "Barry", whose familiar is a bat named Chrissie.
* ''{{Series/Salem}}'': {{Discussed}} by John and Cotton Mather-later shown to be the case with Mary, who stores her toad familiar [[{{Squick}} down her husband's throat]], preventing him from speaking. Mercy Lewis's is a snake put in her stomach.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* OlderThanSteam: Accounts of witches with familiars go back to the 1500s.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other Sites]]
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'', [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1530 SCP-1530 ("A Bender's Friends")]]. A woman named Sharon used an SCP object to summon two familiars, a calico cat named Salix and a female beagle named Willow. They were her only companions, and after an escaped D-Class killed her they avenged themselves upon him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* In Creator/{{Gottlieb}}'s ''Pinball/{{Genie}}'', a small monkey-like creature can be seen near the wizard.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''[[DungeonsAndDragons Dungeons & Dragons]]'' allowed wizards to acquire a familiar by using a spell. Most were animals, but there was a small chance you could get a weak monster.
** Third edition made this a class feature of wizards and sorcerers. Any member of either class with 100 gold and 24 hours could summon a familiar.
** Fourth edition changed it to a feat that any arcane class can take. The list includes small animals, weak monsters, and... [[Series/TheAddamsFamily Things]]. By fourth edition familiars are not real animals, but solid "spirits" that can die and be brought back as many times as you like.
** A wizard character in the game who is advanced enough in the Alchemy Skill (or who can pay someone who is) can also create a magical servant called a homonculus. This is not technically a familiar (and a wizard can have both a familiar and a homonculus if he wants), but it serves much the same purpose.
* ''TableTopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'', being based on the 3rd edition of D&D, also has rules for familiars, though they are now optional for wizards and sorcerers in the core rules (wizards get an "arcane bond" that can either be a familiar or an object, such as a magic amulet, weapon, or wand, and only one type of sorcerer gets this same ability). However, witches (a Pathfinder-specific class) MUST have a familiar, which acts as a link to the mysterious patrons that grant witches their power.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''. [[http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/File:Cherubim2.jpg Cherubim]] are vat-grown infants who have mechanical wings and propulsion devices installed, as well as bio-programming to make them intelligent enough to take orders. Controlled through their master's Mind Impulse Unit, Cherubim are used to help carry equipment, ferry messages, [[ChurchMilitant sing devotional hymns]], spy on their master's enemies, or just flutter around and be decorative symbols of purity. Unless they go feral, that is -- their bio-programming is partially derived from pigs and other animals, so there's a small chance a Cherub will flip out and start lunging at throats. Yes, it's not enough that they're lobotomized clone-babies, they may also kill you.
** Other types of Familiars in ''40K'' include Servo Skulls (skulls of particularly loyal seravnts of the Imperium fitted with an antigravity generator and a machine spirit so that they can continue to serve even in death) and Psyber Eagles or Ravens (cybernetically modified birds that share a psychic link with the owner). Chaos gets daemonic Familiars, mutated creatures and the likes. Eldar psykers are sometimes accomanied by Gryxes, which are catlike creatures that are sensitive to psychic energy, but it's not quite clear whether they're Familiars or just pets.
** Given that the Eldar Farseers are in many ways likened to witches (In fact, that's what the Imperium calls them) the "witches cat" ought to be a familiar.
* ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' features Familiars for the title mages, creatures that are actually manifested spirits capable of using Numina (spirit powers) at will. Those with a good knowledge of the Spirit Arcanum even have the ability to summon temporary familiars at will.
** ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheLost'' likewise has Hedge Beasts, animals touched by the strange magic of [[TheLostWoods the Hedge]]. They're capable of human speech, smarter than the average animal and have the ability to use [[FunctionalMagic Contracts]].
* In {{Rifts}}, when a magician tries to summon a demon, they fail to maintain control over it, and control actually ''reverses'' the relationship, making the summoner the familiar of the demon.
* ''TabletopGame/SummonerWars'' has the Owl Familiar, a non-unique unit that can go in any deck. Familiars help wizards focus their magics, represented in-game by [[LuckManipulationMechanic the ability to rearrange the top few cards of our deck.]]
* In ''TabletopGame/ArsMagica'' Hermetic magi often have familiars because they are amazingly useful. They can help you not botch your spellcasting rolls, resist mind control, resist physical damage (and heal it when it happens), not drown, starve or die of thirst and resist aging. And that's just from the magus-familiar bond. You can add special powers later in the lab.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The "Manas" in the AtelierSeries and ''ManaKhemiaAlchemistsOfAlRevis'', where [[spoiler:the ''main character'' is one]].
* Erasmus, the EccentricMentor of the ''VideoGame/QuestForGlory'' series of games, has a talking rat as his familiar.
** Considering that Fenrus is himself a wizard of comparable power and skill, it's worth noting that he claims Erasmus is in fact his Familiar.
*** Zara from the first game has a winged demon-like creature as a familiar called Damiano.
* ''BaldursGate'' (mostly) follows the second edition ''AD&D'' rules, but makes the familiar summoning a lot more forgiving, albeit still rather harsh. Which familiar gets summoned is determined by the mage's alignment: for example, a fairy dragon for ChaoticGood, an imp for LawfulEvil, etc. Familiar gives the mage a hit points bonus plus some other small benefits; but if it is killed, the mage loses one point of constitution ''permanently''.
* While its engine and gameplay are based on ''D&D'' 3.0, ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' diverts from the source in a number of ways, familiars being one of them. Perhaps to make gameplay easier, a wizard or sorcerer PC's familiars are largely combat-oriented (save for one which works as a replacement rogue). They're still animals or weak monsters... but this game lets a wizard have a frickin' ''panther''. [[RuleOfCool Or a]] ''[[RuleOfCool hellhound]]''.
** For the record, [[VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2 the sequel]] doesn't do this. You do get a familiar but it can't do much; it is, however, hilarious to see the grumpy, snarky wizard Sand summon his adorable cat familiar.
* [[TheBeastmaster Beastmasters]] in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXI'' can summon familiars as a replacement pet. Unlike charmable pets, they will never turn against their master. (They may spontaniously vanish after 30 minutes or so, but what can you do?) Summoners can call forth elemental spirits(Elementals), and Avatars (Classic FF summons).
* Yukari from the ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' games has a familiar (the term they use in Japanese is ''shikigami'', which is related to {{Onmyoudo}}) called [[{{Kitsune}} Ran]], who in turn has a familiar called [[CatGirl Chen]]. Apparently, Yukari is [[RealityWarper so]] [[AGodAmI powerful]] that her familiar can have a familiar of its own. The benefit of being a familiar is that, in return for being a servant, the creature in question shares its master's powers.
* Len from ''{{Tsukihime}}'' and ''MeltyBlood'' is a familiar, apparently of Arcueid. In the pseudo-sequel ''Kagetsu Tohya'', it's revealed that Arcueid isn't actually her master: as a vampire, she can't form a contract with Len, so she's just looking after her. [[spoiler:At the end of the game, Shiki agrees to become her master to prevent her death from lack of mana.]]
* Familiars play a fairly important role in ''KingdomOfLoathing'', and certain familiars are vital to complete some of the higher-level quests. This being KOL, they are somewhat stranger than in other fictions (Sabre-Toothed Lime, Blood-Faced Volleyball, NinjaPirateZombieRobot, etc.). They have several possible functions, such as restoring your HP and/or MP, damaging your opponent with physical and/or elemental attacks, weakening and/or disrupting your opponent during a fight, increasing the amount of items and/or meat and/or stats you get when you win a fight, or [[http://kol.coldfront.net/thekolwiki/index.php/Familiar_abilities any combination of these]]. Black Cats deserve special mention, because they create bad luck for the player: they reduce the amount of items and stats you're awarded after winning a fight, they regularly strip you of beneficial status effects and drain your MP, and they usually prevent you from using skills, spells, or items in combat. Basically, they do everything short of attacking you directly. However, using them exclusively can let you permanently unlock Bad Moon, a special harder-than-hardcore difficulty level.
** Additionally, pastamancers have a variety of [[http://kol.coldfront.net/thekolwiki/index.php/Summonable_Pastamancer_Combat_Entities pasta-based entities]] that they can establish contracts with and summon in combat up to ten times a day, which are probably closer to traditional familiars.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' there's a minipet called Kirin Tor Familiar. It looks like a small mana elemental. Some NPC mages have familiars, such as cats, dragonhawks or servants. Warlock's demons could be considered Familiars, especially if you spec demonology when they provide various beneficial effects for the master.
** Frost mages' water elemental might also fit this, as well as the Death Knight's ghoul.
* Galenth Dysley of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' has an owl familiar named Mernva, who is often seen with him when he appears. [[spoiler: She is actually an extension of his power and he uses her to transform into his true form, Barthandelus. Not only that, she is capable of turning into an airship, as well.]]
* ''VideoGame/AzureDreams'' allows you to have a variety of familiars.
* Several games in the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series allow you to have familiars, including ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaCircleOfTheMoon Circle of the Moon]]'', ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight Symphony of the Night]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaCurseOfDarkness Curse of Darkness]]'' (in which they played an important role).
* Djinn in the ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' games act mostly like familiars, [[ClassAndLevelSystem enhancing or changing the abilities of their Adept master]] and granting SummonMagic. There's also a {{Mons}} aspect to the Djinn; [[GottaCatchEmAll catching them all]] enables the most customization, the best summons, and access to the last BonusDungeon in ''The Lost Age''.
* ''VideoGame/RivieraThePromisedLand'' has Rose the cat, who is referred to be this for the protagonist, Ein.
* Familiars are the back-bone of the ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei'' series, being a {{Mon}} series. Generally Demons are obtained by contracting and negotiating with the demon itself instead of being summoned (thought this does tends to happen often enough in the games), and one can [[FusionDance combine]] 2 or more demons with each other to produce a third one. Another difference with the more traditional familiars is that they tend to be stored on computers, and what binds demons to the summoner will is not a spell, but rather a computer program.
* In ''VideoGame/MasterOfMagic'' familiars are defined by the Wizard's book picks and [[ColourCodedForYourConvenience colored accordingly]]: Life gives Dove, Death - Cat, Nature - Snake, Chaos - Imp, Sorcery - Beetle. These serve as announcers of events and appear in the magic research cutscene -- that blue beetle is bigger than the man's head, by the way.
* Mages in ''VideoGame/ValkyrieProfile'' have to wait a turn or two in order to attack with magic, so they have a familiar attack for them. Most of the mages have either a parrot or a dove as a familiar. [[AlwaysSecondBest Mystina]], a powerful and high-strung researcher, has a bat as a familiar, while male mages like Gandar and Lezard (who serves as a [[GuestStarPartyMember guest]] for one battle) have dragons.
* In ''Pop'n Magic'', Anise and Lester can summon their NiceMice familiars Tornado and Feel into battle.
* In ''VideoGame/AuraKingdom'', all Envoys are partnered with an Eidolon when their powers awaken. Gameplay-wise they act as partners in battle, able to perform combo attacks or soak up damage for you. In story Eidolons also share a PsychicLink with their Envoy, letting them sense their emotions (Whether the Envoy wants them to or not).
* Parodied in [[http://www.teamfortress.com/wizardcon/ this]] newspaper for ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', where [[EvilIsHammy Merasmus]] attempts to sell his [[MonsterRoommate former roommate]], [[TheDitz the Soldier]], as a familiar.
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[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* Familiars are fairly common in the {{Nasuverse}} and not much notice is really taken of them unless they are exceptional.
** In ''VisualNovel/Tsukihime'' and Kagetsu Tohya, we get the first introduction to familiars in the Nasuverse: A mage takes a dead body, places a soul inside it and reanimates it by forming a contract. The new being is neither of the two things that went into making it and usually acts as a servant or assistant to the magus, such as being used for surveillance, combat or use of special abilities. A magus generally needs to supply mana to the familiar, which limits how many a normal mage can possess, but Len has adopted some succubus traits and is thus capable of feeding on her own by manipulating dreams.
** The Servants in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' and ''[[VisualNovel/FateHollowAtaraxia Fate/Hollow Ataraxia]]'' are technically familiars due to possessing the same type of contract, but the scale is vastly different. A Servant is a legendary hero or villain with even the weakest having powers far beyond all but the most powerful mages or vampire lords. Due to their immense power, they are placed into classes which reduce their burden and are further supported during the Grail War by the Grail itself.
** Tohsaka also creates bird familiars out of crystal while Caster uses dragon tooth bone golems. They're both pretty weak.
** In ''FateZero,'' familiars are briefly mentioned as well as bringing up a certain disadvantage: Magecraft can easily be used to trick or fool one with illusions, so Kiritsugu attaches cameras instead as they are not so easily fooled. Caster also fights entirely through the use of summoned familiars, though they're actually bound to his Noble Phantasm instead of him.
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Yamara'' the elven mage Fea has "Poopsie"... er... [[FrogsAndToads Ralph the toad]]. [[http://yamara.com/yamaraclassic/index.php?date=2005-06-16 "Poopsie" has nightmare]].
* ''ErrantStory'': Meji has Ellis, a winged talking cat. While he's referred to as a familiar, he was apparently bought from a pet store and has little to no magical significance. He's also [[SnarkyNonHumanSidekick sarcastic and abrasive]] to everybody and especially Meji.
* Technomages in ''TheCyantianChronicles'' have familiars that were formerly animals but had their consciousness transferred into cybernetic bodies after their deaths and are used as power sources by their masters.
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', Vaarsuvius has Blackwing. In the beginning Blackwing only appeared when V remembered that he could be useful. In fact, Blackwing didn't even have a name until Haley gave him one. Later on, Blackwing pretty much tells off V for treating him this way. Lately, though, Blackwing has been hanging out in plain view, and V is treating him like an equal. Unfortunately, the moment this happens, the rest of the group pretend to think he is an illusion and V has a screw loose.
** Recently, Blackwing got his own EvilCounterpart in the [[ThePsychoRangers Linear Guild]] in the form of [[spoiler:Qarr the Imp]], who's [[spoiler:been assigned to be]] the familiar of the Guild's new wizard, [[spoiler:or should that be ''old'' wizard?--Zz'dtri]].
* In ''{{Homestuck}}'', familiars are a recurring theme, with John recruiting a salamander NPC and calling it Casey, then accidentally trading pets with Rose when he takes her cat. Rose then proceeds to get a small team of familiars, which she mainly uses for inventory space. [[spoiler: The bunnyKind [[WeaponOfChoice Strife Specibi]] causes the Uber Bunny to instantly align itself with John in the same vein as a familiar.]]
* In ''OurLittleAdventure'', Angelika has a rat familiar named Norveg.
* In ''Webcomic/WizardSchool'', Graham's familiar is a talking goat, Goatsie.
* The Hag thinks that the Shadowchild is ''Webcomic/{{Digger}}'''s familiar, but Digger is emphatic that this is not the case.
* ''WebComic/MyRoommateIsAnElf'' Griswold has Glen the monkey as a familiar, who is quick to point out he is not a pet.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', many but not all mages have familiars. [[TheChessmaster Antigonus]] has Bifrons the rat, [[ManipulativeBastard Belial]] has Valefor the raven, and [[CoolOldGuy Josiah]] has Artagel the cat.
* In ''Literature/{{Pact}}'', familiars are gained by enacting a ritual in the book ''Famulus'' to contract with a willing Other. Any Other who partakes in the ritual will then take on an animal form. Familiars are important for practitioners because they give them a power source outside themselves that isn't (necessarily) a [[Main/DealWithTheDevil Faustian bargain]] and the Familiar gives them a range of additional abilities. The familiars consent to this for varying reasons but mainly to have a foothold in the mortal world and share in the practitioner's power. The personality and traits of the familiar and practitioner are often complimentary.
** For example, Blake Thorburn's familiar is Evan, the spirit of an [[KidSidekick eight year old boy]] who died of exposure while trying to escape a demon that Blake later defeated and bound with Evan's help. Evan gains the ability to shapeshift into a sparrow and is kept from having to "cross over" into death, and Blake gains a major power boost and a familiar who excels at finding escape routes and using terrain and opportunity to his advantage.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* An episode of ''TheRealGhostbusters'' had the team finding a witch's cat and making the pun mentioned above.
* Napoleon, Lilian's cat familiar in ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}''.
* ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' in the episode "Denial", Dr. Fate and Klarion the Witch Boy are battling:
-->Klarion: To think Dr.Fate would hurt a poor, defendless pussy cat!\\
Dr.Fate: You and I both knows that creature is not a cat.
* Appa in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' would appear just to be a LoyalAnimalCompanion to Aang, although that it has been hinted that he's more than this, and that all Avatars have an 'animal spirit guide' to help them in their life. Roku, Aang's predecessor had Fang the dragon, and his successor [[WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra Korra]] has Naga the [[MixAndMatchCritters Polar-Bear-Dog]]. They have the ability for their spirits to communicate with the next Avatar after death, and they appear to be able to share dreams.
* ''SabrinaTheAnimatedSeries''. Like the live action series, the younger Sabrina and her family own a wise-talking black cat who was once a powerful wizard. A few episodes had her dealing with an witch-hating enemy whose familiar was a magic sniffing anteater. In the spin-off, "Sabrina's Secret Life", Sabrina's Alpha Bitch witch rival, Cassandra, owns a white rabbit who may also have once been human.
* The villain, Mozenrath, from ''Disney/{{Aladdin}} TheAnimatedSeries'' is almost always accompanied by his loyal (if constantly bullied) flying eel familar, Xerxes, who happens to speak in a faint Peter Lorre impression.
* In WesternAnimation/AdventureTime, [[WickedWitch Maja]] has a crabbit ([[CreepyCrows crow]]-[[HairRaisingHare rabbit]] [[HybridMonster hybrid creature]]) familiar. However, Maja's a BadBoss, so said familiar eventually quits.
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