Once in a hotel dining-room, I said, rather too loudly, "I loathe prunes."Two characters, strangers or hostile to each other, accidentally discover a common thing. It can be an interest, or a past experience, or a background, but it foments friendship between them. For dramatic purposes, this is often between extremely different characters. It can also mark the deepening of an existing relationship. Lies can sometimes backfire when another character thinks it's this trope; see I Am One of Those, Too. Compare Fire-Forged Friends; note that merely finding they were both soldiers or the like is this, though if they fought in some of the same battles, it may shade into that. For much more extensive commonalities, see Birds of a Feather. Also compare Lonely Together. Contrast Not So Different and Opposites Attract. Supertrope of Bonding Over Missing Parents. The lack of this drives Joins to Fit In.
"So do I," came an unexpected six-year-old voice from another table.
Sympathy was instantaneous. Neither of us thought it funny. We both knew that prunes are far too nasty to be funny. That is the proper meeting between man and child as independent personalities.
"So do I," came an unexpected six-year-old voice from another table.
Sympathy was instantaneous. Neither of us thought it funny. We both knew that prunes are far too nasty to be funny. That is the proper meeting between man and child as independent personalities.
— C. S. Lewis, "On Three Ways of Writing For Children"
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Anime and Manga
- Jeremy and Cass of A Cruel God Reigns. At the beginning of the series Jeremy actively dislikes Cass because the latter is rumored to do drugs and prostitute himself. However, when Jeremy returns to Boston after the deaths of his mother and stepfather, is kicked out of his aunt's house, and begins taking drugs and selling himself, Jeremy at some point meets up with Cass and the two live and work together. They bond over their Dark and Troubled Past, Cass having admitted to Jeremy early on that he left home because his parents were abusive alcoholics and Cass being the only person aware of what Jeremy's stepfather did to him, as well as their shared statuses as Functional Addicts and teenaged prostitutes wishing for a better life.
- In Mai-HiME, Natsuki stops Shizuru from killing Nao (and this is after she kills Nao's CHILD) by first standing between the two, then pointing out how she woud've ended up just as bitter and broken as Nao, had it not been for Shizuru herself and the other HiMe.
- Arslan in The Heroic Legend of Arslan feels a connection to Jaswant despite being from different countries because both of them respect and want to please their adoptive parents and are uncertain with their place in the world.
- The titular Nozaki of Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun was quite wary of Ken when they first met, but warms up to him after their shared exasperation towards Maeno. When Ken proves to be a much better editor than Maeno, Nozaki all but worships him.
- In Astro City, Samaritan, who severely feels the pressure to keep on saving the world, twice spontaneously offers assistance to supepowered characters who don't want to fight or commit crime but whom supervillains try to capture to exploit.
- Turnabout Storm: Princess Celestia acknowledges that Twilight and Phoenix will get along very well the moment Twilight starts talking about "contradictions" much in the same way Phoenix does. Indeed, after some bumps in the road, they end up considering each other a friend.
- Dirty Sympathy Klavier and Apollo become drawn to each other when they reveal that they're both abuse victims in situations they can't escape from.
- Build Your Wings on the Way Down: Edward and Gabby bond when they talk about being disturbed by the quiet of their rooms after growing up with a family.
- The Bridge has this happen all the time, often between the two casts.
- Princess Luna and Godzilla Junior are both dutiful protectors of their respective realms and had a sad ending to their relationship with their father figures. note
- Both Aria Blaze and Monster X are homesick in a way. Aria is physically barred from her home in the sea due to being in the Equestria Girls world and in a human body. X meanwhile is missing his metaphorical home because he lost all his memories of it.
- The Sting. While the con men are planning to pull a scam on Doyle Lonnegan, J.J. Singleton mentions that Lonnegan came from a place called Five Points. Later on, when Lonnegan asks Hooker where he's from, he says that he came from Five Points in the hope that it will cause Lonnegan to trust him.
- In Tangled, Rapunzel appeals to the thugs of the Snuggly Duckling:haven't they ever had a dream? They reveal a lot of dreams—mostly Real Men Wear Pink—and even help her and Flynn escape.
I've got a dream
She's got a dream
He's got a dream
They've got a dream
We've got a dream
So our differences ain't really that extreme
- In Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph eventually decides to help Vanellope because her situation is almost identical to (if not worse than) his - from living in the dump ostracized by others to seeing the medal as their means of finally getting their due - and they bond over their shared dreams.
- In Strange Magic, Marianne and The Bog King bond over how much they hate love, since both of them have had bad experiences with love.
- X2: X-Men United: Bobby Drake and Logan have a little chat about their inability to be close to the woman they have strong feelings for.
- Zootopia: Judy and Nick become friends when they bond over the fact that both have had experiences with their dreams clashing against the unfair stereotypes society holds against them and how both of them were bullying victims during their childhoods.
- Storks: Tulip seeing her own reflection in the baby's pod convinces her to help the baby, as she knows what it's like not to be delivered.
- P. G. Wodehouse:
- In Uneasy Money, Elizabeth is reconciled to Bill as a house guest when he turns out to know how to handle bees, and is positively interested when he explains how he, like she, wants to live the Arcadian life.
- In Hot Water, Packy sets out to help Jane and Blair Eggleston out of fellow feeling another pair of lovers.
- This is how Mike and Psmith fall in with each other (both violently dislike the Boarding School to which they have been transferred).
- In Something Fresh, Ashe and Joan bond over the fact that they're both reluctant magazine hack writers, and—in the American edition, Something New—both displaced Americans living in London.
- In John C. Wright's The Phoenix Ascendent, Phaethon is arguing with Atkins when he realizes that Atkins calls his ship "she." (Earlier, Phaethon had rejected an offer to avoid exile when he told a man calling it "it" that ships are called "she.")
- In C. S. Lewis's The Four Loves, this is how friendship arises.
Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one."
- In Anne McCaffrey's Dragonsinger, when Menolly is caught in a fight during a fair, another girl, jumping to join her side, calls for a boy to join in because Menolly comes from a sea hold. It works. Robinton rebukes him because his father had sent him to be fostered where he was to broaden his mind.
- The short stories in Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution are full of this. It’s blatantly obvious that several characters would never have hung out with each other if not for the whole “esper on the run from the government” thing.
- In Andre Norton's Dragon Magic, four boys each find a jigsaw puzzle, make one corner — and so one dragon — of it, and get shifted to an ancient era to experience something related to it. This, and their attempts to research the facts, draw them together at the end.
- In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero Regained, when Caliban says that he always knew that Miranda was an angel, Theo says he did, too, and they shared a brotherly smile.
- In Prospero Lost, Miranda had told the winds that she had to defend her people too when leading in to the offer to free them only if they could work out how to protect mankind from the winds.
- In Terry Pratchett's Discworld:
- In the short story "Troll Bridge", Cohen the Barbarian goes to fight a troll. They end up grumbling about Young People Today together instead.
- Angua, Cherie, and Sally, despite being a werewolf, a dwarf, and a vampire and the complicated history between those races, find enough in being all women to bond over. They even connect with Tawneee on the same grounds in Thud!
- In Terry Pratchett's Only You Can Save Mankind, Johnny manages to convince Kirsty to help the Captain when he refers to her by a female pronoun. Kirsty immediately assumes that it was sexism that turned her crew against her, and Johnny keeps his mouth shut about the Scree-Wee society actually being matriarchial. Johnny also has the habit of imagining them as human-like and so, because his imagination can change the game world, a tea cart comes around every afternoon for a snack.
- In Rudyard Kipling's "A Matter of Fact", the main characters are all journalists together.
we were all at home instantly, because we were men of the same profession needing no introduction
- This - and possibly a Precocious Crush - is what drives Tash Arranda in Galaxy of Fear to like and trust Luke Skywalker from the moment she meets him. They're both Force-Sensitive. What's more, Luke is the first other Sensitive Tash has ever met, and the first to be kind and encourage her strange talents rather than just dismissing her as a Creepy Child.
He winked at Tash, and she felt the Force flow between them, just as she had during their first meeting. It was a warm, electric tingle, as though she were on one end of a wire with Luke at the other. Together, they made a connection.
- In Sarah A. Hoyt's Draw One in the Dark, Tom knows he can't leave Kyrie to fight alone, because she helped him, and because they are both shifters.
- In Sarah A. Hoyt's Darkship Thieves, Athena and Kit bond when she assures him of her having to deal with Obstructive Bureaucrats and finding it no fun at all.
- In Barbara Robinson's The Best School Year Ever, the narrator deduces that perhaps Imogene looked out for little Howard and made sure no one took his blanket away because someone had taken her blanket, just like his, away when she was little.
- In John C. Wright's The Hermetic Millennia, Illiance calls on Menelaus to help him because of the brotherhood of scholars. Later, Menelaus calls on Illiance to help him with his own scholarly work.
- In Seanan McGuire's October Daye novel An Artificial Night, Toby sees May and Tybalt together, and May assures her they have much in common. Tybalt adds that a common urge to hit her over the head until she stops doing stupid things leads the list.
- In Jennifer Crusie's Maybe This Time, when Southie meets Alice and asks her what's new, Alice says she likes nuts now. Southie, eager to bond, assures her he does, too.
- In Andre Norton's Dread Companion, Kilda's mentor at the creche became so because they both desired to do things they couldn't.
- In Andre Norton's Catseye, Rerne tells Troy that a rider of Norden is always welcome at the Rangers' hearth. Troy denies; he's just a refugee now.
- In Andre Norton's The Zero Stone, Eet tells Jern that it's not just for convenience that he hooked onto him, but also because they have much in common.
- In Rebecca Lickiss's Eccentric Circles, Africa, Piper's blue-eyed blond cousin, and Sherlock, her black husband actually got to Meet Cute over this. He invoked trope on their anti-Meaningful Names, explaining that "Sherlock" means "the blond one."
- In Ruth Frances Long's The Treachery of Beautiful Things, when appealing for a Cool Sword to save Jenny, Jack tells Wayland about her. Wayland comments that she sounds like his wife.
- In Victoria Forester's The Girl Who Could Fly, Piper and Sally Sue at once, because their favorite ice cream flavor is strawberry.
- In Julie Kagawa's The Iron King, Angie drives Meghan home. She talks about how they understand each other with the abuse they both get.
- In Laura Amy Schlitz's Splendors And Glooms, when Parsefall bluntly states that he thinks death masks are gruesome, Clara, whose home is engulfed with such reminds of her dead brothers and sisters, feels a connection.
- In Sarah A. Hoyt's Darkship Renegades, one reason for Thena's feeling hostile to Zen is that she has been widowed — as Kit had been, giving them a connection.
- In L Jagi Lamplighter's The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, Rachel and Gaius were both admitted a year younger than normal to the school — a connection despite his being several years her elder.
- In Allegiant, Christina and Uriah become very close because both of them lost someone important to them.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, downplayed. Harry notices that Regulus Black also played Seeker.
“He played Seeker,” said Harry.
“What?” said Hermione vaguely; she was still immersed in Voldemort’s press clippings.
“He’s sitting in the middle of the front row, that’s where the Seeker … Never mind,” said Harry, realizing that nobody was listening.
Live Action TV
- Eliza attempts to invoke this twice on Selfie:
- In "Un-Tag My Heart" she expresses how much she has in common with her neighbor Bryn, when they obviously don't. Eliza tries to form an interest in Bryn's book club, (and avoid just thinking about sex with her current partner), but it doesn't work out when another member of the group points out Eliza's bookmark is eight pages in.
- Eliza also does this in "With a Little Yelp From My Friends", by stalking co-worker Joan's reviews (after failing to find anything about her on things like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) of places online. Eliza parrots Joan's reviews, buys her her favorite pizza, but blows it by revealing too much-that Joan's husband was allergic to garlic, which Joan never told her.
- Attempted in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Lower Decks." Ensign Sam Lavelle tries to ingratiate himself with Riker in order to secure a promotion. Ben (the 10-Forward waiter, a lower deck version of Guinan) suggests that Sam find something in common with Riker and mentions that Riker is Canadian. Sam's grandfather was Canadian, so he tries to use that. Turns out, Riker is Alaskan.
- In Star Trek: Enterprise, one of the first signs of Shran and Archer's rivalry turning into a genuine friendship occurs in "Babel One", when they bond over learning that both their ships, the Kumari and the Enterprise were named for a long string of famous vessels from the respective homeworlds.
- This gets is played with in an episode of NCIS. Gibbs is trying to prove that a Medal of Honor recipient did not murder a another soldier during the battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. However, the man's memory is failing and he no longer remembers what actually happened. All the other soldiers from the unit are dead so a desperate Gibbs brings in a Japanese war veteran who fought on the opposite side of the battle. Despite the fact that 60 years ago they were mortal enemies, their common connection is just what is needed to help the man remember how his buddy really died. This is then subverted when we find out that the Japanese man was never on Iwo Jima and is just a chef at a restaurant Gibbs eats at. Then it gets double subverted when he reveals that he actually fought on Guadalcanal where the American also served during the war and was injured.
- In Bones, Sweets and Daisy are in a Friends with Benefits situation but Sweets doesn't want casual sex; he insists that if they're going to be together they should be together. But they can't find anything to bond over: She likes Indian food, he only went there because she likes it. She loves dogs, he's allergic. They finally find a commonality: they both have issues with the final season of Saved by the Bell.
Monica: "Chandler you were an only child, so you didn't have this problem?"Chandler: "No, though I had an imaginary friend...who my parents actually preferred." (Monica laughs and hugs him)
- As flashbacks reveal they didn't get on great at first (insults, knives and lost digits were involved) but by the start of the show they're very close, its likely a lot of this happened off screen.
- Parodied when Phoebe meets her birth mom. Initially hostile, Phoebe bonds with her when she learns they have so much in common: they both like pizza and The Beatles and think puppies are cute...
- In Doctor Who, the First Doctor gets off on the wrong foot with his companions, to say the least. After enduring a "The Reason You Suck" Speech too many and nearly getting the crew all killed due to the paranoia his meanness was causing, the sign he is prepared to reconcile with his main enemy, Ian, is through a short discussion with him in which they express mutual appreciation for Victorian clothing.
- In the episode "Something Wicked" (S01, Ep18) of Supernatural, Dean bonds with Michael, recognizing his need to protect his brother.
- In Dinosaurs, Earl was initially hostile to a family of mammals staying with them at the time. He and the mammal father quickly bond over how annoying their kids can be at times.
- "Jack Frost" from season eight of Mystery Science Theater 3000 has Professor Bobo and Brain Guy get along after discovering something they have in common: their hatred for Pearl.
- In Prickly City, Winslow wonders why they are friends, when they disagree on everything. Carmen observes they do agree, on one thing: they like being friends.
- In Final Fantasy Tactics, Balbanes Beoulve was fond of teaching his children how to turn a piece of grass into a reed flute, and those children taught it to their friends in order to kill time when they were bored. After the Lion War is in full swing and nobody can trust anybody, you'd be surprised who you find playing a piece of grass like a flute...
- In Mass Effect, a discussion with Ashley reveals that she and Shepard had the same drill instructor, one Gunny Ellison, during basic training. This comes up after Ashley says a word Shepard recognizes.
Shepard: Don’t tell me you had Gunny Ellison! He’s the only one who uses that word to describe shirking duty.
Ashley: Oh Lord. You went to the Macapá boot camp too?
- The relationship between Cloud and Yuffie in Final Fantasy VII isn't exactly antipathic but it's not very good either. But, after Cloud has recovered from Heroic B.S.O.D. and gets his memories back in order, there are a few optional scenes between the two of them in which they bond over their mutual problems with motion sickness.
- In Sinfest,
- Percy climbs a tree Tangerine was already in. She, looking feline between her ear-like horns and tail, asks him he wants to pounce on a bystander or should she?
- Monique and Buddha do Zendaps over their common worry beads.
- Tangerine connects with both Lil' E and Fuschia because of their horns — both times saying "Same!" and immediately asking if they can BOMF.
- The demon from Devil Tech, whose drones have been blasted, feels this toward the Trike Girl when she finds her ruined trike.
- Lil' E tells the Devil they are simpatico — they both have dogs that howl at the moon. Though his actually yaps. . .
- The amnesiac Lil' E to MMXIII, who can't remember much: "I can relate to that."
- In Bob and George, characters regularly bond over their love of ice cream. Such as George's introduction.
- In Nip and Tuck, two feuding boys deny that they stopped feuding and settled down because of this; mutual Blackmail, instead, over girlie hobbies.
- In the The Order of the Stick "Stick Tale" retelling of "Jack and the Beanstalk", the giant is willing to discuss commonalities with the human he smells. The housekeeper squelches Jack's reaction to that.
- In the webcomic main story, Belkar releases the dinosaur to save the two gladiators forced to fight each other, because he empathized now that he owns Mr. Scruffy. Realizing the Character Development involved, he yells at the cat, saying that he's supposed to change it, not it him.
- Malack and Durkon quickly bond over the life of the adventuring cleric, being The Medic in a Boring but Practical manner when the others never stop getting themselves hurt.
- In Freefall,
- both Sam and Florence were raised by people unrelated to them. Sam finds the notion they have more in common than they had thought is scary.
- Florence actively seeks out things in common so they work together better.
- Florence figures out a way to make them have something in common: give Sam a reason to fear what will happen to the robots.
- In an inversion, Edge is not pleased to realize there are other robots who think like he does. (Cuts down on his scope.)
- In The Red Star, the old soldier comments to Maya that soldiers' common knowledge of war means a common bond.
- In Blue Yonder, Lena tells Jared she'll help him search for his family because her own mother is missing.
- In The Specialists, Elijah and Hartmann bond by telling stories about how each of them, and their respective identical twin brothers, had exploited their likenesses.
- In Red's Planet, the alien abductees trade stories of their abductions.
- In Urban Underbrush, the girl Blair had dated gets his cousin to help her make him jealous on the grounds they both dislike him.
- In Questionable Content, Marten first establishes a rapport with Angus by discussing their shared interest in boobs. It's a downplayed example, because all this does is get them through the "Awkward Zone" and into a conversation.
- Parodied in this strip in The Non-Adventures of Wonderella, where a group of one-shot villains team up to oppose Wonderella one more time. The problem is that the sole thing the villains had in common with one another is that they all had faced her exactly once and their entire villain team-up was based on that theme, so when they return all they do is stare her down for a couple seconds before immediately disbanding, since their premise was no longer relevant.
- The Doomy Adventures Of Irken Doominess: Shortly after meeting Ryn and Melissa quickly became good friends because they are both insane killer aliens....
- In Worm, one of the reasons Taylor goes to such lengths to befriend Rachel is because they were both betrayed and abused by people they trusted and those in authority. (The other is that Rachel wouldn't be likely to have many friends otherwise.)
- The Honest Trailer for The Force Awakens had Jon Bailey (Epic Voice Guy) and Gannon Nickel (Epic Voice Guy Sr.) become best friends after they realise they have the exact same list for their "best" and "worst" moments from the movie, despite disagreeing on every other point.
- Another attempt: on The Simpsons when Ralph Wiggum develops a crush on Lisa, he tries to get a conversation about mutual interests going. "So, do you like...stuff?"
- Played for Laughs in "Lemon of Troy," which involves the rivalry between Springfield and neighboring Shelbyville. Everyone in Shelbyville seems to be an Expy of a Springfield resident, and Milhouse's counterpart is also named Milhouse. The pair are so shocked to find someone with the same geeky name that they wind up crying in each other's arms.
- Squirrel Boy: In an attempt to play along Kyle's revenge scheme, Salty Mike pretends to be friendly with Andrew. It becomes legit when the parrot realizes that Andrew collects rocks that look like Snack food, a hobby he also shares. Rodney and Kyle aren't happy about this, but given the nature of the show, their friendship ends to keep the Status Quo in check.
- In Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, "The Mother Of All Vreedles", Ben attempts to do this with Ma Vreedle, but it falls flat.
Ma Vreedle: Where are the kids now?Ben: Out in deep space somewhere. Maybe this wasn't the best example.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zuko bonds with an Earth Kingdom girl when he discovers that she too has a terrible burn (though hers is on her leg). Later, he's also able to bond with Katara over the fact that they both lost their mothers to the Fire Nation, to the point where Katara is even willing to try and heal his scar. Of course, he betrays her about twenty minutes later, so it takes a lot to properly earn her trust when he goes through with the Heel–Face Turn.
- The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Maud Pie" focuses on the rest of the mane cast having difficulty getting along with Pinkie Pie's Emotionless Girl sister, Maud. They find their Commonality Connection in their mutual love for Pinkie, after they see Maud leap headlong into danger to save Pinkie's life.
- In Kim Possible's Christmas Episode, Ron and Dr. Drakken get stranded at the North Pole (and no, Santa's workshop is nowhere in sight). They continue to fight each other, but after learning that they both love the same TV Christmas special (and are dismayed by its cancellation) they apply its Power of Frienship Aesop to their own situation and make peace.
- In the South Park episode "Chef Goes Nanners," Cartman and Wendy have to work together on a school assignment. Though he's initially lazy and she's irritated in him, they wind up bonding over the fact that they eat their Oreos the same way. The episode ends with Status Quo Is God, though, thanks to Wendy kissing Cartman to end the UST and they actually get more antagonistic to each other in later seasons.
- C. S. Lewis recounts in Surprised By Joy when he went to visit a sick neighbor when he was a boy. He didn't even remember why, but when he was there, the other boy had a book of Norse Mythology. When Lewis exclaimed "What, you like that too?", they spent the rest of the visit poring over the book and forming a steadfast friendship.
- Psychologists found that in a experiment where people could punish their partners for errors, if you told the people that the (invisible) partner had a thumbprint that was classified in the same group as them, they would punish this partner less. Even if the person doing the punishing was a textbook narcissist.