Battle Couple

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The couple that slays together, stays together.

"Well, I was hoping that our relationship would be a long and happy one, but I suppose I'm willing to settle for short and exciting."
Odo, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, "Shadows and Symbols"

This is the kind of couple where bullets figure prominently in the story of their romance. Where "war buddy" and "significant other" are synonyms. If you harm either one of them, the survivor will kill you as surely as the sun rises. Their mere presence increases the chance of a Back-to-Back Badasses scene to nearly 100%. They may also bicker in the middle of a fight, much to the confusion or consternation of their opponents. They tend to be extremely resistant to breakup since their bond was forged in combat, so if they're married, they're Happily Married. In fantasy settings, they'll probably manifest as Sword and Sorcerer. If they have gone all the way, expect them to engage in a lot of Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex. It's also possible they may get it on before the fighting. Add a kid or two for a Badass Family with a Mama Bear and a Papa Wolf.

In Real Life, it's also the same as above — and often, they're officers. There are laws in some areas against this sort of thing if one outranks the other to prevent the superior from forcing the under-ranked into it.

See Adventure Duo, Bash Brothers, Sibling Team, and Fire-Forged Friends for other, not necessarily romantic forms of this trope. If they're criminals, they're an Outlaw Couple. If they are royalty who do this as one of their jobs, they are also a Ruling Couple. If they're villains, they live in Unholy Matrimony. Absolutely no relation whatsoever to this classic board game.

Examples

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    Films — Animation 
  • Mulan II: Mulan and Shang are engaged in the sequel and fight off bandits.
  • Quest for Camelot gave us Kayley and Garrett. Their wedding doubles as a dual knighting ceremony.
  • The Parrs from The Incredibles. In the prologue, they almost miss their own wedding because they were fighting crime. However, they don't actually team up on-screen until the climax - the closest they get for most of the movie is Elastagirl punching out the mugger Mr. Incredible was holding (from about twenty feet away).
  • Shrek Forever After makes Shrek and Fiona one because the latter is a Rebel Leader.
  • April and Casey Jones in the 2007 TMNT movie, due to her having taken multiple levels in badass.
  • The Land Before Time: Grandma and Grandpa Longneck. Whenever their grandson is in danger, they come charging in full-force.
  • 101 Dalmatians: Pongo and Perdy lay the hurting on the two thugs who plan to kill not only their puppies but the other 84 parentless puppies as well. Their treatment of the bad guys is SCARY. You do not mess with puppies and let their parents find out. It is clear these dogs will go through hell and back to save their puppies - all of them.
  • The Rescuers: Bernard and Bianca make a living out of beating down bad guys. He's about to propose to her in Down Under before another adventure interrupts him.
  • In Kung Fu Panda 2, Po and Tigress have become this, frequently fighting together and showing off Combination Attacks in the process.
  • Puss in Boots and Kitty Softpaws; a pair of thieves that frequently flirt while on assignment.
  • Manolo and Maria in The Book of Life, when they both fight Chakal together. Heck, they even do a fastball attack, on him after doing the "romantic twirl-around" thing.
  • Marianne and the Bog King from Strange Magic - both of them hold their own in the first fight scene they share, but it's when they team up to defeat Marianne's ex-fiancé that they truly show that together they're a force to be reckoned with. The Bog King is naturally terrifying given what kind of creature he is, but Marianne shows that she can be just as ferocious and threatening.
  • The Lion King has Simba and Nala become this during the final battle when they kill several of Scar's hyenas by shoving several of them off the ledge of Pride Rock

    Professional Wrestling 
  • AAA had Xóchitl Hamada and Pentagón Black, typically against members of the Moreno family. AAA also sort of encourages this kind of thing with its "mixed" tag team division.
  • Ring of Honor(and JAPW for that matter) has a possible case Buff E and Mace Mendoza of the Christopher Street Connection. Confirmed cases? Steve Corino and Simply Luscious, Raven and Trinity, CM Punk and Lucy, Jimmy Jacobs and The Lovely Lacey, Mike Bennet and Maria Kanellis, Michael Elgin and MsChif...
  • It's not just a connection to Beyond Wrestling that makes CZW a frequent contributor to WSU's Queen and King Of The Ring, as the promotion seems to produce quite a few battle couples. Confirmed cases include Christina Von Eerie and Masada, Cherry Bomb and Pepper Parks, Nevaeh and Jake Christ...
  • The Marquee Bruce Santee and Super Model Amy Love on ACW - American Combat, though it was sort of forced by their enemies, The Empire.
  • Pro wrestling's hottest couple...ever, Santana Garrett and Chasyn Rance of FOW(and many more Southern Championship, Believe, Belleview, etc).
  • Mad Man Pondo and Crazy Mary Dobson were engaged while they were Juggalo Championship Wrestling's Tag Team Title holders.
  • The South Pacific Power Couple (TK Cooper and Dahlia Black) who have appeared in companies such as Progress Wrestling.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In any tabletop game, there can be this with characters who are a couple.
  • Ah, the sweet romance and Unholy Matrimony that is Vlad and Isabella von Carstein in Warhammer Vlad is one of the deadliest melee characters and a decent Wizard to boot, being a Vampire Lord. Isabella's no slouch as a Vampire Hero, though her role is to be a Combat Medic. They get a significant buff if they share a unit. Either goes into a frenzy if the other is killed.
    • In universe, when Vlad was killed, Isabella threw herself to her death, and in the End Times, a resurrected Vlad's love for Isabella let Vlad be coerced by the big players that ended up causing the Class X destruction of the setting.
  • Weapons Of The Gods, the wuxia RPG based on the comic of the same name, has several sections on this trope as exemplified in Shen Zhou, both on setting lore and mechanical impacts of the relationship. The example couple given for the section "Husband and Wife" is Sun and Yin, who keep arguing about Sun's oath of compassion and Yin's reluctance to honor that oath as Sun's wife while surrounded by and fighting an enemy army all by themselves.
  • Exalted has this as part of the mechanics; specifically, all Solars and Lunars are matched up in three hundred pairs called Bonds. The Bond is not necessarily romantic, it can just as easily be platonic; in fact, most examples of it are. None the less, the possibility is there - for one, the Exalted setting has very little prejudice against homosexual pairings, and for the other, Lunars are consummate shapeshifters.
  • Couples in Magic: The Gathering occasionally share a creature card, with one recent example being Pia and Kiran Nalaar. They may not have shared their daughter's pyromancy, but they were still pretty good at making things go boom pre- Death by Origin Story.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 
  • Anti Bunny has Mors and Knell who are also Superhero Nailbat, and former supervillain Furi, who become a married pair of badasses.
  • Ellen and Nanase from El Goonish Shive, were both involved in the fight with the Omega Goo and both fought against Vlad during the battle at The Nest. Although they haven't been seen to fight any battles together since their Relationship Upgrade, they have been featured fighting together in at least one sketchbook strip and they like to play multiplayer video games where they fight side by side. Also, they might have had to fight some of the perpetrators of the Scooby Doo Hoaxes that they have foiled.
    • As of the Family Tree story arc, they are fighting together.
  • Fans! gives us Will and Shanna, and (in the Badass Threesome category), Rikk, Rumy and Ally.
    Rikk: I've spent the last five years with two remarkable women. One of them is one of the toughest, cleverest fighters I've ever seen anywhere. The other is Rumiko Tanaka Oberf!
  • Girl Genius has several:
    • Early on in the comic, even though we're not sure if they're an 'official' official couple Gil and Agatha definitely make this work during the slaver wasps' invasion of Castle Wulfenbach.
    • Later on, given events in Castle Heterodyne, we have a battle threesome. Agatha cares deeply for both Gil and Tarvek, and when they're not trying to kill each other they do actually get along fairly well with each other too.
    • Zeetha and Badass Normal (or maybe not so normal) Airman Higgs have been this ever since hooking up in the middle of a war over mutual admiration of each other's fighting skills.
  • The Order of the Stick
    • Elan and Hailey from the Order are a general teamwork couple during their adventurer raids. After Elan literally Took a Level in Badass by becoming a Dashing Swordsman they form a classic Guys Smash, Girls Shoot dynamic.
    • Elan's Evil Twin Nale also forms one with Sabine, a combat Succubus. They once had a lover's quarrel during an Evil Plan because Nale feared that Sabine had a crush on Elan. She reassures him and they go back to committing evil together.
    • Daigo and Kazumi are both soldiers in the Azure City army. They hooked up while defending the city from a hobogoblin invasion. Then Kazumi pulled way ahead of Daigo on the awesome scale when she turned into a Pregnant Badass.
  • Leo/Jason and Tigris/Kira from Panthera. They met by being the first two students to become elemental-powered panthers designed to fight a secret government project. They've had spats since Jason brought his little sister into the club, though.
  • Torg and Zoe from Sluggy Freelance have a Battle Couple moment in this strip. True, they're not actually a couple, but Torg's crush on Zoe does develop not long after this storyline.
  • Homestuck has several, mostly among the Trolls.

    Web Original 
  • Protectors of the Plot Continuum Any agent pair that gets in a relationship will become this by default.
  • DC Nation is fond of this trope, and sometimes dovetails it with Badass Family. Sand and Merlynne (and, previously, Merlynne and Caleb); Green Shield and Green Lantern Travis Grey; Changeling/Beastboy and Fauna...
  • The Global Guardians PBEM Universe featured
    • On the hero side, Yin and Yang, a husband-and-wife team of crimefighting martial artists operating out of San Francisco.
    • On the villain side, there was Simon Bar Sinister and Penny Dreadful, a brother-and-sister team of psychopaths who were notorious for being romantic with each other in the middle of their crimes.
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: Linkara and Iron Liz have beaten up Mooks together.
  • Red vs. Blue
    • Church and Tex; it's clear they both still feelings for each other no matter how many insults they toss back and forth. Probably more feelings from Church than Tex as her emotions seems to have taken a beating during her time as a Freelancer paired with a psychotic Ax-Crazy AI. Later seasons reveal it's more a case of her emotions taking a beating during her time as an AI paired with a psychotic Ax-Crazy AI. Just to be pedantic.
    • Season 10 gives us a straighter example in the Insurrectionist Leader and CT, who give Tex and Carolina a good fight (even though CT was mortally wounded by Tex).
  • Whateley Universe examples: the superheroes the Mystic Six were three Battle Couples, until Cirque died. The other two couples are still together, although nominally retired. Then there's Pendragon and Gloriana, the leaders of the Future Superheroes of America at the school.
    • It is also mentioned in passing that the Winter Session special topics course "Powers Integrationnote " is often considered the 'cheap date class', because couples who are looking to be heroes (or villains) together when they graduate often take it as a way to practice (and stay close) together. It is also mentioned that a breakup in the middle of the course can make things rather sticky, though Pendragon and Gloriana seem to have done fine in it...
  • The Cartoon Hangover short Story War has Goblin and Fairy, who track down and fight Medusa and Gremlin side by side. When Goblin gets turned to stone by Medusa, Fairy brings him back with a kiss, prompting a declaration of The Power of Love from Goblin.
  • Worm:
    • Skitter and Grue, whose powers (he generates darkness, she can use her insect control to tell where objects and people are in his darkness) work together to make them a terrifying combination.
    • Later, there's Dragon and Defiant, the Artificial Intelligence that is the world's premier Tinker and her cyborg Tinker boyfriend.
  • STO Forum: Versus thread (rp): Defied after Eleya and Kang travel their first hundred klicks.
    grandnaguszek1: The next day the two of you continue your journey through the rainforest. You then stop for a break when Kang realizes that Kanril is looking at him with a wild look in her eyes....just kidding, just kidding. Please don't repeat the story of Kahless and lady Lukara.
  • Lord Sylas Briarwood and Lady Delilah Briarwood from Critical Role. They're both quite powerful, and fittingly so considering they the big bads of the Whitestone Arc.
    • Also Vax'ildan and Keyleth of Vox Machina, even though they're not "together". Becomes official starting in Episode 65, though.
  • A More Personal Union has Winifred Shakespeare and Geoffrey de Bourbon. Their son ends up being raised at his paternal grand-uncle's estate, while mom and dad go globetrotting on their mercenary business.

    Real Life 
  • The US Army tries to keep soldiers who are married to one another in the same unit (or at least the same post) and lets them share a room if they are deployed together.
  • Italian strategist Giuseppe Garibaldi and his wife Anita Garibaldi: fought in three wars and had four kids together.
  • Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon (the two kingdoms that formed what is now Spain). Married at 17 despite the opposition of Isabella's brother and king, then went on to win a civil war, finish the Reconquista, fund Columbus's voyages to the Americas, and secure Spanish dominance over Italy and the western Mediterranean.
  • In his book The Greatest Battle (on the Battle for Moscow in World War II) Andrew Nagorski interviewed two former members of an NKVD special forces unit who were ordered to go Undercover as Lovers (in the belief that a married couple would draw less attention) who, despite their initial awkwardness, ended up getting married for real.
  • Ivan and Aleksandra Boiko, driver and commander respectively of the IS-2 heavy tank Kolyma of the 48th independent Guards heavy armour regiment, were married before they got to drive the tank they had paid for.
  • King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in World War II. When someone suggested that the princesses should be evacuated to Canada, the Queen said: "The children won't go without me. I won't leave the King. And the King will never leave."
  • William Hays and his wife Mary Ludwig, also known as "Molly Pitcher", who took her husband's place at a gun when he fell.
  • While the eighteenth century military was male-dominated this was an unofficial institution of eighteenth century armed forces. Camp followers, while they did include prostitutes, also included the wives of servicemen (in the Royal Navy prostitutes were more likely in port; after all their profession didn't pay enough to go to sea to practice it). Officially they were disliked by officers but they would often look the other way and service wives could provide useful services. In the British Army it was customary to cast lots for which of the soldier's wives would go with their husbands on campaign. In the Royal Navy when the chief came through to wake up sailors he would shout, "show a leg". If it was hairy the chief would roust the leg's possessor out of bed, and if it wasn't the leg's owner was assumed to be female.
  • Robert Guiscard, Norman king of Sicily and his wife, Sichelgaita, the Lombard queen of Apulia. They won against the Byzantine army of Alexios Komnenos in Durrazzo 1081, commanding the Norman army together. At one time the Normans were repulsed and about to rout. Sichelgaita rode ahead the army, undressing herself and yelling naked: "Are you men or maidens? Follow me!" Anna Komnena, the Byzantine historian, compared Sichelgaita "like the Amazons of the old".
  • Common enough among Scythians to the point of being a possible origin of the Amazons; the women rode, fought alongside and even dressed like their husbands and were buried together in the same graves.
  • Same sex relations weren't accepted in Japan of old unless they were this trope and they still had to be discreet about it.
  • A common downplayed version was when the women were expected to Minor In Asskicking while the men were on campaign. This was known in Japan where women from samurai families trained to protect their homes, families, honor and exclusivity with the Naginata (sort of like a halberd). In Europe, noblewomen were sometimes in charge of castles and acted as chief of staff during a campaign; though that is closer to Ruling Couple it had military aspects. Viking women regularly owned saxes, which were both a peaceful and warlike tool. As American folklore remembers, frontierswomen could, in a pinch, handle a rifle if their cabin was attacked.
  • When a city was under attack, historically, it was common for everyone to fight. Yes that means absolutely everybody. Married couples fighting together in some capacity was a common sight. One reason sieges were so disliked was for that reason.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main.BattleCouple