Doug: I need your help. I can't tell you what it is, you can never ask me about it later, and we're gonna hurt some people.The best friend (also commonly referred as "the bro", "the bestie", etc.) is The Protagonist's closest non-romantic associate and confidante in the story. Very often, the two of them will be Foils to each other, and the best friend's importance to the plot ranges from a Satellite Character always in the background to the Deuteragonist. A group of best friends becomes True Companions. Supertrope to:
Jem: [thinks about it for a bit] ...whose car are we gonna take?
Jem: [thinks about it for a bit] ...whose car are we gonna take?
— The Town
- Best Friends-in-Law: Sometimes, they marry into the family. Or you do.
- Black Best Friend: When your best friend is black to make your white ass look cool.
- Childhood Friends: They've known each other since they were kids and have a nigh unshakable bond because of it.
- Fat Best Friend: Differences in body weight have no meaning for two best buds.
- Gay Best Friend: 'cuz you know you're close when differences in sexual orientation is a moot point.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: When you go beyond friendship into bromance.
- Muggle Best Friend: The hero's best friend has no supernatural abilities, to give an every man POV to the work for viewers.
- Platonic Life Partners: Proof that men and women can be close, without being romantically involved.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Who else can talk shit about each other (and get away with it)? It's a sure sign that they're close.
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Anime and Manga
- Maken-ki!: Kimi Satou used to spend her time reading manga alone, until she met Akaza Chacha who noticed what she was reading. They soon bonded over their mutual interests in manga and cosplay and have been virtually inseparable ever since.
- Variable Geo: Yuka and Satomi have known each other since they were kids, having grown up together as sparring partners at Yuka's grandfather's dojo. Despite drifting apart years later, their bond has remained as strong as ever, to where Yuka can sense what Satomi is feeling through her aura — regardless of distance.
- Athrun Zala and Kira Yamato in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED have been best friends in their childhood, but end up as members of opposing armies in the present. Towards the end of the series, after much trauma, they recommit to their old friendship and team up to essentially change the world.
- In Code Geass, Suzaku Kururugi has been Lelouch's best friend since childhood, but life had tossed them apart when Japan was conquered by Britannia. When they meet again, they have unwittingly placed themselves on the opposing sides of the barricades, but even after they discover each other's true allegiances, they still help each other from time to time, before joining forces for good in the finale.
- In Cross Ange, Salamandinay quickly becomes the title heroine's best friend by the virtue of being one of the few people able to hand her ass back to her, as well as by having a calming and humanizing effect on her wild nature. Reincarnation flashbacks imply that Ange and Salamandinay have been lovers in their past lives, but they don't share a romantic attraction in this one.
- Dragon Ball:
- Goku and Krillin are best friends, despite the fact that Goku completely outclasses him as a fighter early on. Krillin's second death was what pushed Goku over the edge to become a Super Saiyan. After this he spends more time with Piccolo or Vegeta who trade off on being The Lancer in battle, but Krillin remains the best friend in downtime.
- Gohan becomes best friends with Dende during the Namek arc since he's the only other character around his age. They have the most heartfelt goodbye when Dende has to leave earth. They don't interact that often afterwards but there are shades of being Old Friends after Dende returns as earth's guardian.
- Future!Trunks considered Future!Gohan both his mentor and best friend as the last two saiyans. Present Trunks' best friend is Goten since they're much closer in age. They are rarely seen apart as kids to the point that their signature technique is to Fusion Dance into Gotenks.
- Captain Harlock's best friend is Tochiro Oyama—the brains to his brawn, who has constructed Harlock's signature Cool Starship, Arcadia, for him.
- Though they rarely act like it, Naruto and Sasuke are become best friends somewhere during the first story arc. This becomes a plot point after Sasuke's Face–Heel Turn. He fights Naruto as killing your best friend is one of the ways to unlock more of his hidden powers, but he ultimately spares him. The friendship is one-sided on Naruto's part for the next several years but deep down, Sasuke still considers Naruto his bestie throughout.
- Every finished part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has a Best Friend as part of its cast.
- REO Speedwagon to Jonathan in part 1, as a Noble Male, Roguish Male combo
- Caesar to Joseph in part 2, as Vitriolic Best Buds and Bash Brothers
- Kakyoin to Jotaro in part 3, as the only person who Jotaro can have normal conversations with.
- Okuyasu and Koichi to Josuke in part 4. Rohan believes he's this to Koichi, but Koichi isn't entirely convinced.
- Bruno and Mista to Giorno in part 5, even while among the True Companions of the rest of Bruno's gang
- Ermes to Jolyne in part 6, as the Tomboy to Jolyne's (still fairly tomboyish) girl
- And Gyro to Johnny in part 7, doubling as Student and Master Team.
- Uchi No Musume Ni Te O Dasu Na:
- Clara and Mei have been close friends since middleschool. Mei is even aware of Clara's secret identity as the Eighth Wonder, which she's kept hidden to protect her.
- Also applies to Risa, Kisara, and Jun, who're always seen in each other's company. The events of chapter 5 proved the depths of their loyalty, when they were gunned down while trying to save each other. Thankfully, the girls survive the shooting and are seen in the infirmary afterward. All three eventually make a full recovery.
- Kaneda from AKIRA sees Tetsuo as his best friend, which is why he goes to ridiculous lengths in an attempt to redeem him or, at least, to save his life.
Film — Live-Action
- Doug and James/Jem in The Town. When Doug asks Jem for a potentially dangerous favor that they'd never talk about again, the only thing Jem asks is whose car they'll be taking for it.
- Ron Weasley quickly becomes Harry Potter's best friend in book one, and sticks with him for the rest of the series, through the good and the bad.
- In The Neverending Story, Atreyu and Bastian become best friends after Bastian finally enters Fantasia. Subverted later on when Bastian's power goes to his head and Atreyu leaves in disgust, even battling him atop the Ivory Tower. Double-subverted in the end, when Bastian shows repentance and Atreyu forgives him, helping him return home and taking all of Bastian's unfulfilled obligations in Fantasia upon him.
- In the backstory of the Arcia Chronicles, the future emperor Ankhel and the future saint Erasti Cerna had been bros for life since their rebellious youth and have toppled a corrupt empire together. Too bad Ankhel betrayed their common ideals and, eventually, Erasti himself after their victory. In modern times, Erasti's descendant Raphael Kerna becomes the best friend of Alexander Tagere.
- Played With in Reflections of Eterna: Aldo Rakan and Robert Epine are best friends, but they understand their relationship very differently. For Robert, it means Undying Loyalty towards Aldo, to the point of Cruel to Be Kind. For Aldo, however, their friendship means merely giving Robert the second pick of trophies (after his own, of course) on his quest for power.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire, there are several examples:
- Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark had the friendship that took down the Targaryen dynasty.
- Ilyrio Mopatis and Varys are a rather villainous example, as they're trying to destabilize the Seven Kingdoms for their own benefit.
- Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly cement a quick bond when the latter arrives to the Wall.
- Jaime Lannister and his cousin Daven are shown to be this, as the former is the "Kingslayer" to everyone except Daven, who knows him intimately and can attest to Jaime's true character.
- For some inexplicable reason, Dandelion the Spoony Bard is Geralt's only associate who sticks with him through the good and the bad throughout The Witcher novels and games.
- Seizhi/Suzy in Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, despite being known as The Best Friend, is a deconstruction. A lot of Seizhi's issues relate to having been literally created to be Chuubo/Shokyou's best friend, leading to a desperate pursuit of something, anything, outside that role to give him definition and make him more real.
- In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, Malcador the Sigilite is upgraded from Emperor's most trusted servant to his best (and likely only) friend, although he didn't see himself as Emperor's equal.
- The Most Popular Girls in School: Trisha see her own two best friends, Brittnay and Mackenzie, as this even if the latter two are Vitriolic Best Buds.
- Johnny Gat in the Saints Row series is established as the Playa/Boss' best friend, to the point where the two of them would risk their and other Saints' lives to help each other at the drop of a hat.
- Garrus Vakarian, Tali'Zorah, and Liara T'soni in the original Mass Effect trilogy gradually become Commander Shepard's closest confidantes (although Tali and Garrus are Promoted to Love Interest in part two and Liara is pretty much Shepardsexual from the get-go). Depending on whether the player romances one of them, either the other one or all three of them qualify for this trope. Overall, Garrus is best able to identify with Shepard as a fellow soldier and the needs that come with that, Tali places absolute faith in Shepards abilities as a leader and always supports his/her decisions, while Liara is best at being consistently able to get Shepard to drop their stoic mask and share their worries and stresses with a sympathetic ear.
- Varric Tethras is Hawke's best friend in Dragon Age II, as evident in him being the one person who knew where the Champion was all along in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Having served as a sidekick to both the Champion of Kirkwall and the Herald of Andraste, it is pretty obvious with whom he shares a deep personal bond and whom he accompanies out of respect and a sense of common cause.
- The Legend of Zelda
- In Ocarina of Time, Link is Saria's closest friend; much to Mido's chagrin. The narrative emphasises it by first having her give Link the Fairy Ocarina as a parting gift, when he first leaves Kokiri Forest. And later, she teach him her song while they're in the Sacred Grove, so he'll be able to communicate wth her no matter how far they're apart. Though they're eventually forced to part ways for good, after Saria awakens as a Sage.
- Twilight Princess: Link grew up with Mayor Bo's daughter, Ilia, who's shown to be his best friend in Ordon Village by tending to Epona for him. She also made the Horse Call for him, to wish him well on his journey to deliver the Ordon Sword and Shield to Hyrule Castle, but was abducted by King Bulblin before she had the chance.
- Prince Sidon in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild isn't Link's friend at first since he doesn't know who he is. Once he realizes that Link was very close to Mipha, who was Sidon's sister, Sidon treats Link as his best buddy and tries to make him feel welcome among the other Zoras in Zora's Domain. After Link manages to stop the rampaging divine beast that is Vah Ruta, Sidon tells Link that he'll always be his most treasured friend and is welcome to visit him anytime he wants.
- Sonic the Hedgehog: SEGA introduced Tails as Sonic's best bud, in part 2. Since then, no matter the game, Tails is almost always on hand to lend Sonic his support: whether it's giving him a lift in The Tornado, or whipping up gadgets to help him out (i.e. Sonic Colors).
- In Undertale, the monster prince Asriel Dreemurr and Chara, the first human to fall into the Underground after the Barrier was erected, have been best friends in the backstory, but their friendship ended very, very badly due to circumstances they had no control over: Chara fell ill and died, but not before asking Asriel to take them to see the surface one last time. Asriel complied, but the terrified villagers assumed that he killed Chara and lynched him for it. Asriel crawled back into the underground before dying and turning to dust in the royal garden. Much later, a flower from said garden was injected with human determination by Alphys, creating Flowey, the Big Bad of the game, while Chara somehow continued their existence as a malicious spirit who lends its power to Frisk in the Genocide route and then becomes the Bigger Bad.
- The Flintstones: The Flintstones and the Rubbles are an entire family of best friends. Fred and Barney were best friends who met best friends Wilma and Betty, paired off and got married, and moved next door to each other. As neighbors their pets Dino and Hoppy were de facto best friends. Their kids Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm grew up together as best friends until getting married, finally making all of the above Best Friends-in-Law.
- Hey Arnold!: Most of the kids of P.S. 118 had a best friend to pair off with. Arnold and his Black Best Friend Gerald, Helga and her assistant/best friend Phoebe were the most prominent. An opposites attract duo in best friends Alpha Bitch Rhonda and insect nerd Nadine. Even antagonists like the fifth grade bully Wolfgang had a best friend he was rarely seen without in Edmund.