aka: Amicably Divorced
It's things like using force together,So, people who break up must indefinitely hate each other, right? Wrong. Increasingly common in media are situations where a divorced couple still get along for the most part, and in many cases still care about each other even though they're no longer together. In many cases the divorce happened because of distance, circumstance or the simple fact that people change rather than infidelity, betrayal or other serious problems, and the fact that they got divorced is treated as a fact of life rather than due to a flaw in the people. Both parties also generally agree that it was for the best for both of them. If there are children from the marriage they are shared without much complaint, and the amicability of the parents can often be interpreted as being partly for their sake. As such, this tends to show up in children's cartoons, perhaps as an attempt to counter the stereotype of the children of divorced parents being largely unhappy. May involve a Visit by Divorced Dad that will usually go well, and for the most part any Divorce Assets Conflicts are avoided or settled reasonably. The increase in this trope can be attributed in the dramatic shift in divorce rates and public perception of those who have gone through with divorces in the last 50 years. While divorce used to be scandalous, it's now a fairly common occurrence, and this trope reflects the view that it's just a fact of life that doesn't have to permanently poison a relationship. Sometimes it even results in Divorce Is Temporary, though this is less common in more realistic works. Can apply to non divorced former couples as well, thus the name. Compare Working with the Ex and Sex with the Ex. No, this is not about friendly .exe files.
Shouting till you're hoarse together,
Getting a divorce together,
That make perfect relationships.
Shouting till you're hoarse together,
Getting a divorce together,
That make perfect relationships.
— Company, "The Little Things You Do Together"
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Anime & Manga
- Marmalade Boy starts when Miki's parents Rumi and Jin tell her all smiling "we're having a divorce ♥!" They get divorced and stay friends, then they swap spouses with Yuu's parents Chiyako and Youji, and both families move into a Big Fancy House so the two teens won't lose their parental figures and things will be easier in the financial and emotional senses.
- Ami's mother in Sailor Moon seems to bear no ill feelings toward her ex-husband, but this has never stopped Ami herself from angsting about it.
- Haruka's parents in Noein have come to terms with their divorce and are able to get along when together. This is something that took time, as their initial feelings were far more bitter, but they eventually realized that despite their attraction to one another they were simply too different to function as a stable couple, and rather than raise a child in that environment they decided to split up to give her a life where her parents weren't constantly fighting. This makes it a case where the split was mainly for the child's benefit.
- Cher Degre and Hubb Lebowski of Wolfs Rain get along professionally, though there is definite tension in their relationship, and they split mainly because Cher was so caught up in her work that their relationship suffered. By the end of the series, they have mostly reconciled, but Cher dies suddenly, causing Hubb to cross the Despair Event Horizon, and he spends his last moments cradling her scarf and inhaling her scent.
- Brick and Cathy are this in Bondage Queen Kate, mainly by the misfortune of both of them being strong dominants.
- Ureshiko and Tamotsu in Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo aren't officially divorced, but they don't live together anymore. Ureshiko comes over to help him clean once in a while. In the end, they presumably do get divorced amicably, since Tamotsu told Kagura to treat her well.
- Austria and Hungary in Axis Powers Hetalia are still very much going out together, despite having been divorced after World War I.
- Dragon Ball Z: Bulma and Yamcha seem to have remained fairly good friends after their breakup, in spite of the fact that Bulma's new love interest is a former villain.
- Or is it because her new love interest is a former villain who could (and would) destroy Yamcha without a thought if he wanted to?
- Miyuki and Yonamine from Bambino maintain an amicable relationship as co-workers even after their divorce.
- Parodied in Silver Spoon. Yoshino and Hachiken get along rather well, though they aren't particularly close, and their romantic involvement only ever existed in Tokiwa's overactive imagination. That doesn't stop anyone, including Hachiken and Yoshino, from acting like they were dating and broke up, but are still on good terms.
- Hank Pym and his wife Janet of The Avengers after their rough divorce got along very well and even had romantic relations before Janet's death.
- Longshot and Dazzler of the X-Men divorced off-panel, but seem to still get along well enough and still enjoy the occasional roll in the sack for old time's sake.
- Jefferson Pierce, aka Black Lightning and his wife Lynn Stewart split up because of the stress Jeff's superhero life put on their family, but the two remain in friendly contact and Lynn makes sure that their daughters, Anissa and Jennifer remain in contact with their dad, and both even become superheroes later (though Jefferson was very adamant that Anissa finish college first).
- Omaha the Cat Dancer had the title character being forced to confess that she was married to a long separated man, but never formally divorced. As it turns out, the man found out about her new notoriety and got in contact with her not to cause trouble, but to arrange a proper divorce which is done on good terms with everyone involved.
- Clark Kent and Lana Lang have been great friends after their time as high school sweethearts.
- A same sex example in the first volume of Secret Six is Scandal Savage and Jeannette, who were a couple when they were imprisoned in a gulag together but didn't work out in the long run. Even though they're no longer an item they clearly care for each other a great deal and have no apparent resentment or hard feelings over their breakup, and encourage each other to pursue new relationships. It's safe to say they consider each other their best friend.
- In Gender Confusion, Deidara and his ex-girlfriend are actually friendly enough that she invites him to her wedding.
- This is one of the major elements in the Hetalia fic Tizenot, showing how Austria and Hungary got to their current predicament.
- The Harvest Moon fic A Longing For Home features such a scenario in the final chapter. Jack and Leia tried to make their relationship work, but ultimately realized it couldn't and thus split up. Despite this and their eventually moving on to other loves and starting a family, the two remain close friends, with Leia visiting Jack as often as she can.
- In Kill la Kill AU, we have Ragyo and Soichiro, who actually still love each other and do have plans to get back together when the girls are older, making that also a case of Divorce Is Temporary.
- Chef: Despite being divorced, it is clear that Carl and Inez care for each other greatly. Inez is also friendly with her other ex-husband, Marvin. They end up remarrying.
- L.A. Story. Sara and her ex-husband Roland get along well together. Roland thinks it's because of their nationality:
Roland: England and America are different. The English keep civil relations with their exes. The Americans sue them.
- In Night at the Museum, Ben Stiller's character and his ex-wife are quite friendly with each other (almost with a sibling-like relationship) and have no trouble with both of them taking care of their son.
- The conclusion of Mrs. Doubtfire shows Miranda and Daniel coming to terms with their divorce and ending their custody dispute. This trope is discussed in the closing monologue.
- In one of the short stories in Paris, je t'aime, a separated couple have one final date before the divorce papers are settled.
- In The Santa Clause, Scott Calvin and his ex-wife came to terms with their divorce, custody with their son Charlie, as well as Scott being the new Santa Claus.
- At the beginning of Taken, Liam Neeson's character and his ex-wife are definitely not this trope, having divorced mainly because of his career with the CIA convincing her that he didn't care about them, but by the end of the film after he single-handedly rescues their daughter he most certainly earns back a measure of her love, as well the friendship and respect of her new husband.
- Taken even further in the sequel. The events in the film rekindle old feelings they had for each other and it implies that they'll end up back together.
- In Bon Cop, Bad Cop, David Bouchard still lives in the same house as his ex-wife (in a basement apartment) and both seem committed to raising their daughter together, sharing meals and attending school recitals together. Somewhat subverted in that David still has regrets.
- In Everyone Says I Love You, the characters played by Woody Allen and Goldie Hawn were once married, but they still get along great with each other. Allen is even good friends with his ex-wife's current husband (played by Alan Alda).
- In Definitely, Maybe, Ryan Reynolds' character and his ex-wife were amicably friendly when together at a trip with their daughter Maya at the end of the movie. Maya realizes from her father's stories and through this trip that her parents aren't meant to be together.
- Celeste and Jesse began their separation a couple months before the movie began, and get officially divorced partway through. Despite that, they remain friends throughout the movie. They never get back together, although they both consider it at various times. Apparently they were longtime friends, got married relatively young, and realized they were better as friends.
- Jurassic Park III: Paul and Amanda Kirby are very caring and friendly with each other. Granted, they initially pose as a couple and they do have an important common purpose, but given the stressful circumstances one would expect them to get on each other's nerves at some point and show some signs of resentment. Instead, there are strong hints that they will get back together.
- Hester and William in The Deep Blue Sea. They're not yet divorced but live separately since William found out Hester had been cheating on him with Freddie. While initially very mad at her and refusing to give her a divorce, the film shows he's mellowed out completely in a few months and visits Hester to make sure she's happy. On her part Hester never blames him for their unhappy marriage, though she refuses to continue it, and is grateful for his concern.
- Variations in Animorphs: Rachel's parents, Dan and Naomi, are uncomfortable spending time together, but they'll do it. On the other hand, she's friendly enough with Jake's parents (her ex-husband's brother and his wife) that she'll dog-sit for them when Jake's mom's grandfather passes away, while she and Jake still refer to each other as "aunt" and "nephew." And on the other hand, she and Saddler's parents don't really get along, but her family still "helps out" once he's in the local hospital.
- Watson Brewer (Kristy's step-father) and his first wife in The Baby-Sitters Club, where Watson steps in with insurance help and making sure Lisa can manage with crutches when she sprains her ankle. Less so in the Little Sister spin-off.
- Robert B. Parker's Sunny Randall and her ex-husband Richie still spend quite a bit of time together, to the detriment of their other relationships. Their divorce was due to a variety of factors, but is mostly Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them and the fact that Sunny realized that Richie was very similar to her father. They don't have any children, but their miniature bull terrier Rosie is shared between them, with much Lampshading about how they want the best for their "kid."
- By the same author, Jesse Stone has an interesting relationship with his ex-wife Jenn that varies between this and less amicable, since while she did cheat on him to further her career they are on relatively good terms, and cooperate on a few cases (the TV movies based on the books play their relationships as much more antagonistic). Parker himself was Happily Married for over 50 years to his wife Joan.
- It's no surprise, then, when Sunny and Jesse end up hooking up in a Cross Over between their series.
- In The Pale King, Chris Fogle's parents try to give this impression, but both of them are deeply affected by it.
- One Day has Dex and Sylvie amicably sharing custody of their daughter and still caring about each other.
- TheWake Of The Lorelei Lee has Jacky and Higgins getting married as a cover. As soon as possible, they get divorced, and their relationship goes back to the way it always was.
- Charlie and Renee in Twilight.
- An Ed McBain novel began with the protagonist in bed with his ex-wife.
- In the Song of the Lioness series Alanna ends up breaking up with Prince Jonathan after the third book, and after spending some time apart they evolve into this, with Alanna even being chosen as King's Championnote once Jonathan is crowned.
- In a subversion Ivan and Tej in Captain Vorpatril's Alliance have an amicable attempted divorce. The get married to avoid immigration on the promise to divorce as soon as possible, only to find out that this is only allowed with cause(which means in Barryaran law, roughly the same as would be fammiliar on Earth plus "concealed mutation"). And "unfortunately" they had both got along too well together for that to be plausible.
- David Lurie and his second ex-wife Rosalind from Disgrace, who are still friends and meet up with each other regularly.
- Rupert and Zinka in Deep Secret were once a couple. Exactly how serious their relationship was isn't clear, but Rupert still finds her very attractive. They broke up largely due to the sheer strain of being Magids, and remain very good friends.
- Nathan and Cynthia, in The Memory Wars, dated briefly in college. They're still close enough to go investigating murder scenes together.
- In The Godfather Johnny Fontaine starts to reconcile with his first wife, at the Don's suggestion, after he gets sick of his second wife screwing around. Though they agree to just remain friends and be involved in raising their kids.
- In Vampire Academy, Janine Hathaway and Ibrahim "Abe" Mazur had a relationship eighteen years before the main events of the series. They interact closely late in the series and seem to her a very friendly relationship. Rose suspects that they are getting back together.
- In Robert Heinlein's Time Enough for Love Lazarus Long states that he ended up parting on good terms with most of the wives he's had over his two thousand year lifespan. Though one or two tried to kill him. The discussions other long-lived Howards have about their marriages suggest that it's a common phenomenon with them.
- Calliope and Josh in Hidden Things are extreme examples of this trope. Despite having a pretty messy break-up, and an even messier break-up of their band, they remained close enough that Calliope joined Josh's new detective agency even though it's implied she dislikes it. She even refers to Josh as her best friend. Their relationship is so amicable that virtually every other character at one point or another suggests that they never broke up at all.
Live Action TV
- While they still trade plenty of barbs, Frasier Crane and Lilith Sternin of Cheers and Frasier were on amicable enough terms to have Thanksgiving together without killing each other or anyone else, and when Lilith wanted another baby and needed a sperm donor, she came to Frasier first.
- In one episode of Frasier both Frasier and Lilith are unknowingly set up on a blind date together. They both end up telling each other that they both have a date. They both end up canceling them to spend the evening with each other watching a movie both unaware that they were set up together. Their friends who set them up were unaware of their past relationship.
- This relationship was also subjected to a bit of Early Installment Weirdness when Martin comments that Lilith was worse than Niles' then-wife Maris. It would later become evident that Maris was two inches away from a Domestic Abuser, who didn't deserve, much less attain, this trope when she and Niles split up. In early episodes, Lilith's presence was interpreted as being downright demonic (as a play on her name). Also, Frasier and Lilith had just freshly divorced when the show started (on account of her cheating on him after a really subtle relationship decay), while Maris' foibles didn't lead to her and Niles separating until 3 or 4 seasons later—the divorce didn't even come until he discovered she was sleeping with their marriage counselor. After that, she was considered just as screwy as Lilith, if not more so.
- Even after some point, Niles and Maris begin to fit this trope, when after the divorce and his marriage to Daphne, Maris comes to him for assistance regarding an abusive boyfriend.
- Alex and his ex-wife Phyllis Bornstein-Consuelos from Taxi had a pretty good relationship as shown whenever the latter appeared. It helped that they both hadn't seen each other for eighteen years. They even kissed when Phyllis came over to visit Alex for Christmas.
- Lampshaded by Louie's ex-girlfriend Zena, who wanted to invite Lou to her wedding. Though Louie was too depressed to go, he decided to set things right by crashing into Zena's honeymoon cruise.
- Jules and Bobby on Cougar Town get on extremely well, hang out together all the time. It seems that they both think they work better divorced.
- In one episode George dates a woman who still lives with her ex.
- Jerry and Elaine were, before the series starts, in a long-term relationship.
- The New Adventures of Old Christine. Old Christine and her ex-husband, Richard, are the epitome of the Amicably Divorced, tossing deprecatory puns back and forth between them while helping each other sort through their problems. In fact, they both count as being among each other's best friends. This caused New Christine to call off her and Richard's wedding, as she was upset that the two were spending so much time together, even at the wedding. Interestingly, Julia Louis-Dreyfus who plays Old Christine, also played Elaine on Seinfeld.
- How I Met Your Mother:
- Ted and Robin break up very amicably with no heartbreak or fighting whatsoever (after realizing that they wanted completely different lives and didn't want to force each other to compromise), and not only remain very close friends throughout the series, but it is revealed that they will always remain close friends, as Robin is known as "Aunt Robin" to Ted's future children and apparently interacts with them a great deal. They are even platonic roommates in seasons 4-7, and Ted has promised to be Robin's best man should she ever get married.
- This is eventually subverted when they realize that they are too amicable with each other and thus cannot maintain new romantic relationships. In the back of their minds they have the faint (false) hope that they will get back together and thus they cannot fully commit to new relationships. By official series end, it's revealed that Ted's been carrying a torch for Robin for years and he's been telling the story in hopes that the kids would support him remarrying with her as the spouse now that The Mother has passed away.
- Ted's parents. At one point, Ted's father introduces a suitor to Ted's mother nine months after their divorce.
- The main character on the TV series Dream On got along very well with his ex-wife.
- Desperate Housewives: After their divorce at the beginning of seventh season, Bree and Orson Hodge are in better terms with each other.
- Lynette's mother and her favorite stepfather are this trope. They only divorced when the husband came out as gay and he even agrees to be her caretaker when they're both elderly.
- Dr Cox and Jordan in Scrubs coped far better divorced than they ever did together. They still constantly snipe at each other, but it's just the way they are. In fact, when they find out that their divorce was never made official due to a clerical error, they actually get divorced again to save their relationship. The divorce is even performed in front of their friends and family as a big romantic ceremony. Of course, this is a slightly different example than normal because despite being divorced they have returned to a romantic relationship. They live together, have sex with each other, fight and interact as a normal married couple would.
- JD and Elliot try to be this, since their attempts at a relationship always failed horribly. Season 4 establishes that they no longer have romantic or sexual feelings for one another. In season 5's "My Day at the Races", they realized that their friendship was superficial and they weren't as close as they had been before their last breakup, but this is fixed by the end of the season and they stay that way until season 8, when they start having romantic feelings again.
- Elena and Matt on The Vampire Diaries. They are still friends who look out for each other after they broke up.
- Toby Ziegler and Andrea Wyatt on The West Wing, who were so, uh, "amicable" he wound up impregnating her while they were divorced, of course, this may have been a left over of part of the couple's previous fertility treatments while they were married. It's possible that Andy was impregnated by previously fertilized and stored ova, the actual means of how Andy got pregnant are not discussed or revealed, so it's unknown exactly what happened, but either way they'd have to be pretty amicable to even agree to it in the first place.
- Flash-sideways Jack and Juliet in Lost.
- Brock and Reba in the eponymous sitcom.
- The Jacksons on The Sarah Jane Adventures: Remarkably so considering Chrissie left Alan for her Judo instructor.
- Lowell of Wings divorced his wife Bunny after a long separation, only to have the split end up completely reinvigorating their sex life. They would end up having to work at staying apart.
- Except for a flashback to when their marriage was on the rocks, Buffy's divorced parents seem to get along fine, and afterwards Joyce recalls their relationship with fondness. The two are extremely cordial in Hank's few appearances in the show. It's only really after Joyce's death that his status as a deadbeat is fully implemented.
- Richard Castle gets along with both of his ex-wives. He likes Alexis' mother, but it was just that being married didn't work for either of them. And his second wife continues being his publisher and publicity agent even after their divorce.
- Earl and Joy from My Name Is Earl. Their relationship was a complicated one from the beginning, where Joy got him drunk enough to get a Vegas marriage when she was 6 months pregnant. Then she cheated on him with Darnell and Earl ended up raising two kids that weren't his. She divorced him when he was laid up in traction from getting hit by a car and eventually married Darnell. Despite all of this, and a very rocky start of their post-marriage life due to Earl's lotto money, they became pretty close friends and have a small celebration on their anniversary. Earl often spends time with the family and Joy's kids even refer to him as "Old Daddy." This became even more complicated in the last episode when they discover that Earl actually was the father of Joy's first son (due to mistaken identity and Earl being drunk), and Darnell wasn't the father of the second.
- On Babylon 5 John Sheridan and ex-wife Elizabeth Lochley not only get along but have an implicit trust in each other than makes them an ideal command team. According to Elizabeth they both realize that the marriage was a horrible mistake due to their aggressive command personalities. The divorce saved their friendship.
- Cal Lightman from Lie to Me gets along very (very very) well with his ex-wife.
- In The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Zack and Cody's divorced parents are on good terms.
- On Happy Endings Dave and Alex try to play out this trope even though they were never actually married (Alex left Dave at the altar). They have many friends in common and value those friendships too much to make those friends choose sides. They do fight sometimes, especially at first, but eventually play this straight, even after they get back together and break up again.
- Penny was Max's Last Het Romance, though now they're very good friends.
- George and Anne from The Secret Life of the American Teenager. They broke up when George cheated on her, got back together, then broke up again. Yet they're still friends, frequently chat, and have no issue with the shared custody of their three children.
- George and his first wife Kathleen are also on good terms, both agreeing that they were simply too young and immature when they got married.
- Eureka has two cases: Carter's Ex actually shows up and establishes that the breakup was because Carter would always rush off to work, and when she realizes how much a part of the town both he and daughter Zoey are, she's even willing to step aside and let Zoey remain, even though the agreement was for her to return with Abby at the end of the school year.
- Allison and Nathan Stark divorce over the course of the initial season, but still work together and eventually commit to remarry , until Nathan 'dies' while ending a time loop.
- Sae Hee and Young Joo in the Korean Drama The City Hunter. They broke up because of his job, but still see each other frequently as friends.
- In Men of a Certain Age, Joe and his ex-wife divorced before the events of the first season. As of the second season, they appear to be getting romantically involved with each other again, or at least exploring the possibility. At the very least, they are friendly and have shown up to their kids' school events together.
- Ross and Carol in Friends still get on very well; if Carol wasn't a lesbian, they'd probably still be together. This may explain why Carol's partner Susan doesn't seem to like Ross much (though her opinion of him jumps up considerably after he shows just how amicable he is by convincing Carol to go ahead with the marriage despite family issues)..
- And of course, Ross and Rachel. They were hostile towards each other for a few episodes after their breakup, but then went back to being friends.
- Nate and Maggie of Leverage, so much so that she's the only person he talks to outside team.
- Viva Variety is hosted by Mr. Laupin and the Former Mrs. Laupin. They even do a romantic musical number together called "My Divorce."
- Pilot neighbor Howard Borden on The Bob Newhart Show is friendly with his ex-wife, although his insecurity makes him competitive over impressing their son.
- Criminal Minds: David Rossi gets along with at least one of his ex-wives, and it's implied their relationship fell apart over the trauma of losing a baby. They still trust each other enough so that when she's diagnosed with ALS, she asks him to assist in her suicide.
- From the same series: Hayley and Hotch go through a painful period after their divorce, but after some time has passed, it becomes clear that they still care very much for one another. Unfortunately, before things can get as far as "amicable," Hayley is murdered.
- Stargate Atlantis: Colonel Sheppard and his ex-wife Nancy seem to get along well enough to understand how much strain their respective jobs had put on their relationship and she's able to use her position at Homeland Security to pass along some information to him when he's back on Earth to track down a Replicator.
- In Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, the Pink Ranger Kimberly's parents are divorced but start off kneedeep in this trope - their one appearance involved the mother showing up with her new flame in a meet-the-parents affair at Angel Grove High. The real Aesop though is that the divorce hasn't affected their relationship with their child rather than each other.
- This is the entire basis for the show Happily Divorced on TV Land. Fran and Peter still live together, share advice, and are involved in one another's lives. If not for his coming out, they would most likely still be married. This is based on star/creator Fran Drescher's relationship with her ex-husband, whom she still works with.
- Fringe: Broyles' obsession with a certain case ended his marriage with his wife Diane. That said, the two are still on very good terms, and he appears to be on friendly terms with her new husband as well. After he finally closed and solved the case, Diane was genuinely proud of him for it.
- Common Law features this between Wes and Elizabeth. The two are still clearly close and it's implied quite often that Wes would like nothing better than to go back to the way things were.
- An early season of Degrassi had Ashley wonder why her parents divorced, since they were still very close friends. She finds out that it was because her father realized he was gay and he ended up remarrying.
- In season 7 of House, House and Cuddy get along nearly as well after they break up as they did before they got together in the first place (i.e. not all that well, but about as well as House gets along with anyone). Until House drives his car into her living room at the end of the season.
- Leonard and Penny from The Big Bang Theory are like this during their "off again" stages. They occasionally bicker, but it's clear to anyone that they're close friends. This trope is Lampshaded after there first "real" break up when they treat Sheldon as if he were a child they had shared custody over, watching him sleep peacefully after a trip to Disneyland together.
- Jo and Russ on CSI NY. The main problem was that Russ wanted a stay at home wife, while Jo is a dedicated career woman. However, the one episode he showed up in depicted them as fairly friendly and even still having some UST.
- Downplayed overall in Blue Bloods between Erin Reagan and her ex-husband Jack Boyle. They're reasonable but rather curt with each other, and the first time we meet him, Jack wonders why Erin still has her married name "Reagan-Boyle" on her door. She says it's the same reason people who have lost weight keep a "before" picture. Ouch. However, they still trust each other enough that Erin calls Jack to represent her brother Danny after he gets framed.
- John & Laurie Cooper of Southland. His coming out as gay was a major factor in their divorce, but they clearly still love/care for each other. Laurie risked her job and career as a nurse for a long time to provide John under the table pain killers for his bad back.
- In Jim Henson's unsold pilot Puppetman, Gary gets along well with his unseen ex-wife.
- Will and Grace, who are extremely close Platonic Life Partners, briefly dated in college. She was his Last Het Romance.
- In Hill Street Blues, Captain Frank Furillo's ex-wife Fay shows up at the police station every few episodes, usually asking Frank to help her with something. Even though this sometimes irritates Frank, they still seem quite fond of each other. Part of the equation is that Fay has custody of their son, Frank Jr. Frank's new girlfriend, Joyce Davenport, is also usually on quite friendly terms with Fay, even though she's a rival for Frank's attention.
- Rose Tyler and Mickey Smith in Doctor Who though the latter is at first upset when she left him to go with the doctor but they maintain a friendly relationship afterward.
- Emma and Leo from Red Band Society. Leo broke it off because he was afraid he was about to die of cancer; meanwhile, Emma believes he was afraid he'd be stuck with her if he survived. To get around their issues, they resort to a lot of snark.
- In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the TV Star," it appears that crime show star Brad Terry and his murdered ex-wife Susan Malloy were this. But, as it turns out, Brad's show Crime Lab SF is about to go into syndication and since he was still married to Susan when the show first began airing, she's entitled to half of the syndication money. Since Brad doesn't like that part of the agreement, he stabs her while she's doing her yoga workout and makes it seem like she was stabbed by a deranged fan while he was outside talking to paparazzi.
- In Transparent Maura and Shelly are on quite good terms with each other. Later in the season, this trope also applies to Sarah and Len.
- In New Tricks, Gerry Standing is on very good terms with three ex-wives, to the point that he occasionally hooks up with them every so often. At very least, they all seem very sociable and friendly in general, since the pilot has a scene where he has dinner with them and the four daughters they produced between them.
- On ER, Susan Lewis gets along well with nurse Chuck Martin after both their annulled marriage and their later breakup.
- In the backstory of SeaquestDSV it's revealed that Katie Hitchcock and Ben Krieg married right out of the Academy, then divorced a year later due to incompatible personalities. They wind up assigned to the same ship, but Katie's now Ben's superior officer. Their relationship is best described as friendly/wary (within the bounds of military protocol), but various episodes have shown that either will go out of their way to help/protect the other.
- Gwen Stefani's song "Cool", which was inspired by her ex from No Doubt. Notably this was written several years after No Doubt's groundbreaking album Tragic Kingdom, which was about the polar opposite of this trope.
- In New Dynamic English, Kathy received a phone call from her ex-husband to remarry again. Her response? She refused his offer, and said that he cares about him but not necessarily love him, and maybe even become friends.
- This trope is the basis for a scene in Company:
Robert: You mean you two are not married now?
Susan: Well, not since the divorce.
Robert: Then where are you living now, Peter?
Peter: Why, here at home. I mean, I've got responsibilities. I've got Susan and the kids to take care of. I certainly would never leave them.
Robert: So, are you two considering getting married again?
Susan: Married? Oh, no, we tried that, thank you very much.
- Henry and Charlotte in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing. Though they divorce after Henry's affair with Annie is exposed, by the second act (two years later), Henry and Charlotte are on friendly terms. They trade witticisms and discuss both their daughter's impending departure as well as their respective relationships. By the end of the scene, Charlotte slyly offers sex (which Henry declines):
Charlotte: You don't fancy one for the road?
Henry: No, really.
Charlotte: Or a drink?
Henry: (Smiles) No offence.
- It's possible for the Player Characters and their romance options in the Dragon Age games to avert this or play it straight due to how the companion approval systems work. Ending a romance can lose approval, but gaining it back is often a trivial matter.
- In another Bioware game, Mass Effect ending a romance from one game in another usually results in this, since if the ex is a squadmate they're still in the party with you. Played with in the case of Ashley or Kaidan, whose reunion with you on Horizon in the second game does not go well regardless of if you were in a relationship, though in the third game you get the opportunity to patch things up. Similarly things reach this point with Liara after Lair of the Shadow Broker where she'll confront you if you entered into a relationship with someone else, but after that you talk it out and she's on good terms with you again throughout the third game.
- The "best" ending of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories involves Harry and Dahlia leaving on equal terms, and only divorce because their relationship has grown irreconcilably stale. The other endings, though...
- Between the events of Borderlands and Borderlands 2, Roland and Lilith were in a relationship but the former broke it off so that they could focus on their war against Handsome Jack. Despite this, they get along pretty well (though Roland is still somewhat awkward with her) and Lilith seems interested in trying to rekindle things with him.
- Mario and Pauline were once love interests in the original Donkey Kong arcade game, but when Pauline returned in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, it was stated that they were still good friends.
- In Tomodachi Life, it's possible for two Miis who were sweethearts to end their relationship on good terms and go back to being friends.
- Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade wed some time after the ending of Mortal Kombat 9's Story Mode as the only two Earthrealm warriors that survived the events of the game but prior to the sequel, Mortal Kombat X, their relationship fell apart (but not before they had a daughter named Cassie, which is why they try to stay agreeable after their falling out).
- Questionable Content:
- Marten Reed's mother is a famous fetish model, and his father is the owner of a very successful gay nightclub who realizes as an adult that he is himself gay. Their marriage falls apart, but they remain in friendly contact. Despite being an unsuccessful couple, they are excellent parents to Marten; Veronica's approval for Henry's remarriage is contingent with Marten's. She says that they just make better friends and parents than they do husband and wife. She rehearses a speech at Henry's remarriage about how he ruined her life, but it's revealed to be just a joke — Henry's right there and playing along, while Marten is busy choreographing a Wedding Smashers brawl with the groom. The speech she does give (in 2402) revolves around loving your ex.
- Additionally, Marten and Dora eventually fall into this after some initial awkwardness after their breakup, and both are supportive of the other's new relationships.
- In Midnight Macabre, Gaspar and Natalie are friendly after their divorce. This is probably because they were friends even before they dated; Gaspar's friend Art, however, thinks it's because Texas didn't have alimony laws at the time the comic takes place.
- In I Don't Get It, this is the case with the main character's stepmother, who is still close to the father despite being divorced.
- Commander Badass of Manly Guys Doing Manly Things is still on good terms with his ex-wife to the point of having a barbecue together and casually exchanging custody of the kids after work. As a result, it's a huge kick in the tear ducts when Nomura Syndrome renders the Commander unrecognizable to them. He's also cool with his former team keeping a pin-up of her as their ship's Nose Art, stating that just cause they divorced doesn't mean she's not hot anymore.
- In Niels, Agent 250 and his ex, Irene, are practically best friends, and Irene gives pointers to his current paramour, Agent 300.
- Meulin and Kurloz were originally in a long term romantic relationship until Kurloz had a nightmare, after which he screamed enough to deafen Meulin. This incident prompted him to chew off his own tongue and sew his mouth shut, and even though the two of them are no longer together they're still very close. Slightly complicated by the fact that Kurloz is seen to use at least some level of Mind Manipulation on her to make her loyal to his religion, which in fact worships the comic's Big Bad, so it's uncertain how much of this is genuine.
- Dave broke up with Terezi partly because he was weirded out by troll polyamory and partly because the other guy she was being polyamorous with was less than savory, but they stayed friends.
- Ally and Alan in Sunstone had a really volatile break up back in college, but you wouldn't guess as much considering how indestructible their friendship is now. They broke up due to two dominant partners being a poor match, and part of the reason they are such great friends now is that they share common interests.
- In Something*Positive, Davan and Branwen are a huge example of this. Their breakup was over Branwen moving rather than any issue between them, and they've remained close friends ever since, with Branwen even meeting Davan's new girlfriend, Vanessa, and getting along perfectly well with her, too. It's really showcased during Davan and Vanessa's wedding reception, when Branwen shows up in a t-shirt with "I used to screw the groom" on the front and "now I've come for the bride" on the back.
- Elliot of El Goonish Shive has two exes who're still his friends. Nanase broke up with him because she was gay (although she didn't realise it at the time, and eventually hooked up with his Opposite-Sex Clone). He and Sarah both came to the conclusion, independently of each other, that they were better off as good friends, and the only potential drama involving their breakup was that they didn't think anyone else would believe it went so smoothly.
- Josh and Mare are this in A Girl and Her Fed... twice over. And they've been talking about getting married a third time. They don't really do traditional relationships.
- In Polandball, Czechoslovakia's "Velvet Divorce" is sometimes portrayed as this.
- In Ménage à 3 Yuki and Gary, of all people, eventually reach this point after Yuki realizes that her issues have made their relationship incredibly one sided and unhealthy for him, so she breaks up with him. When they run into each other later they're seen chatting with each other in a friendly way and when she finds out he has a new relationship is genuinely happy for him.
- In Dumbing of Age Danny was dumped by his highschool girlfriend Dorothy soon after they both started college, and while it takes him a while to get over the shock he trust her enough to confide in her about his new relationship and newly discovered bisexuality.
- Commander Badass and his ex-wife Maddy of Manly Guys Doing Manly Things get along pretty well with each other, have a fairly relaxed custody settlement (with the only time Maddy denying it because the Commander had been so altered by Nomura Syndrome that the kids were freaking out), and the Commander always speaks highly of her to others, to the point that he lets his former team keep her as their ship's Nose Art, saying that just because they divorced doesn't mean she isn't beautiful.
- Buster's parents from Arthur seem to get along when they interact, and Bitzi certainly doesn't seem to mind it when Bo takes Buster traveling for a long period of time (this is the focus of the Spin-Off Postcards From Buster).
- Pepper Ann's mother and father, who split up because he was away as a blimp pilot so often.
- Tino's mother and father in The Weekenders. The main factor of their divorce seems to be that Tino's dad needed to stay on the East Coast for his job.
- Mary and Warren McGinnis from Batman Beyond seemed reasonably amicable until Warren's death. Terry however had some issues with the divorce and living with Warren, and joined a street gang before the start of the series and was caught shoplifting, prompting Warren to spend more time with both of his sons.
- Rodolfo and Maria on El Tigre, even though Rodolfo still pines to reconcile with her.
- Lois and Jonas Foutley on As Told by Ginger were divorced, though it was never made clear why, but implied due to changes in their lifestyles. Lois and Ginger still can accept Jonas despite him not always being there, but the divorce has made Carl distant with his father, and this conflict appeared in a few episodes, since wasn't even around for the first season or two of the show and completely failed to keep up on events with his kids. When he suddenly came into the picture it was as a hesitant, awkward but trying man, and fits with the theory of someone who ran away from a problem but now trying to fix it, but is aware they don't really deserve a second chance.
- On Phineas and Ferb, Charlene seems to have this sort of relationship with her ex-husband Doctor Doofenshmirtz, even defending him when their daughter calls him evil. (Even though he is by his own admission). Doofenshmirtz himself is civil around her and Vanessa, but one can tell that he doesn't appreciate her Deadpan Snarker attitude and remains a tad bitter:
- In her first appearance in "Ice Cream, You Scream" Charlene tells Vanessa that "no one's evil" and that their marriage didn't work because they both wanted "different things" ("was one of those things, being evil? 'Cause he's evil").
- In the episode "Run Candace, Run", Doof's building is being foreclosed on since he spent his mortgage money on some gargoyles. Despite Charlene being able to lend him the money to cover the cost, he refuses to call and ask her, since she told him gargoyles were a stupid idea. In the end, he does ask her, and she does lend him the money after the obligatory "I told you so."
- Subverted with their Alternate Universe counterparts in "Tales from The Resistance: Return to the 2nd Dimension"—they are in fact Happily Married and pretending to be divorced, for a number of reasons ranging from protecting Charlene from the law to tax benefits to just preferring to have their space.
- The Legend of Korra:
- Tenzin and Lin Beifong had a failed Childhood Friend Romance before the start of the series. They appear to get along well enough, and Tenzin claims that while Lin was angry about the breakup at first and attempted to have her love rival arrested, she's moved past it. It's pretty obvious that she hasn't, particularly in how she treats Korra. Realizing this helps Tenzin extend the hand of friendship, after which the two manage to get along better. She also seems to get along pretty well with Tenzin's children with said former love rival, especially after they help her fight off the Equalists.
- Mako and Asami eventually gain this type of relationship as well, which is interesting considering that their relationship falls apart over Mako kissing Korra while still being in a relationship with Asami. Asami's main issue with it seems to be that he lied and tried to hide it rather than the fact that it happened, and she notably refuses to blame Korra for what happened, knowing that she has not been very well socialized. The last time they see each other in season one (and Word of God says this was intended to be their breakup scene), their parting is solemn but friendly and she kisses him on the cheek.
Mako: I'm sorry things got so messed up between us. But whatever happens today, I want you to know how much I care about you.Asami: I care about you too.
- Similarly, the end of season 2 sees both Bolin and Eska and Mako and Korra turn into this. In both cases the two characters still have feelings for each other, but given the events of the season realize that they simply don't work as a couple.
- Part of Mako's character arc in Book 3 was to develop into an amicable ex around Korra and come to terms with the awkwardness of being around her, even if they are happy with their friendship.
- The Young Justice tie-in comic notes that Nightwing has managed to stay friends with all of his exes (who include Zatanna and Rocket). "That's my superpower."
- Jane and Tom in Daria's final season, after she gets over him cheating with Daria. Daria and Tom at the end of the series.