aka: Heterosexual Life Partner
You love me. You love me the way men can love each other and still have wives and children and connecting pools.
— Burton Guster
to his best friend, Shawn Spencer
A trope as old as time itself. Two extremely close friends or partners, of the same gender, who are as close or closer than a romantic couple. They aren't romantically linked, but they might suffer withdrawals from not being around each other. There might be much drama over a potential "break-up". When one gets a romantic partner, you can almost certainly expect the Friend Versus Lover
quarrel to be epic. Though despite the trope name, the characters in question are not necessarily both heterosexual
Sometimes this is an extreme form of an Odd Couple
, in that the two are different as night and day. Those Two Guys
may acquire this label, as may the title characters of any
show with a title of the form X and Y
. Don't expect them to be friendly to each other though, quite a few are Vitriolic Best Buds
. In adventure stories, they are often Blood Brothers
. The pair may be Mistaken for Gay
by those around them.
Works often lampshade, mock or play with the relationship by throwing in some Homoerotic Subtext
, but that's by no means necessary. For fans' delight at such scenes or ship teases
, see Ho Yay
. Be careful though - Heterosexual Life-Partners
who are often Mistaken for Gay
can carry Unfortunate Implications
, commonly referred to as "queerbaiting
If the two friends are different genders, they're Platonic Life Partners
, perhaps Like Brother and Sister
. When an entire group are life partners, they're True Companions
. Compare Chastity Couple
, whose relationship is
romantic but not sexual.
Examples with sub-pages
Examples without sub-pages
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- The fic Mortality definitely has this with Holmes and Watson. Plus, there's some massive ass-kicking. Here's one example that lampshades the friendship dynamic, which doubles as a boast which is passionate and scary. Basically, for a Combat Medic he's ruthless with the criminals if his friend's life is on the line.
"If your masters actions destroy him whom I regard as the best and wisest man I have ever known, make no mistake that I shall hunt down, to a man, everyone who played a part in his destruction."
- Lightning Bolt and Cloud Kicker from Ace Combat: Equestria Chronicles.
- Alone On The Water uses this trope by name when talking about how difficult it is to define Sherlock and John's relationship. John remembers that Sherlock was amused when Harry referred to them as this.
- In the pro wrestling story A Ring of Their Own, Ivory and Molly Holly are portrayed like this. Ivory is the one who convinced Molly to finally come out of retirement and wrestle again. When Molly won the FWF Championship, the first thing she did was hug Ivory.
- In Empath: The Luckiest Smurf, Empath Smurf and Polaris Psyche are considered this, although Polaris is more asexual than heterosexual.
- Akane ends up with two in Fist Of The Moon: her best friend Ranma and her pseudo-cousin Ami.
- In the Star Trek fanfic Heroes, Surak compares Kirk and Spock's relationship to the "warrior bond-brothers" he observed in his own day.
- The Heterosexual Life-Partnership of Soarin and Braeburn by Draconian Soul has this trope as the title and basic premise of the story.
- Holiday Vacation and Lucky Star After Story portrays original characters Mariko Aratani and Chiyoko Sakamoto as this. Both of them have boyfriends, however the two girls are almost never seen apart, and have been best friends since their first day of kindergarten back in 1996.
- Ring Man and Magnet Man in Mega Man Recut.
- Jamie and the Doctor are this via Rose Of Pollux's work. As in canon, of course.
- The first ten chapters of Sugar Rush Stories seem to exist specifically to make sure everyone is involved in this trope.
- Touhou Ibunshu plays up Reimu and Marisa's canon HLP status for all it's worth (turns out Marisa isn't heterosexual though, but she ends up with someone else instead) and also adds Remilia and Sakuya, Yuyuko and Youmu, and Yukari and Ran, revolving much of the drama and heartwarming moments around their respective intensely close relationships. Kaguya and Eirin are not an example however, as they're Happily Married.
- Valkron and Emeth, and Khan and Amaru, in Warriors of the World: Soldiers of Fortune.
- Ric Flair and Arn Anderson, spending twenty-five years on and off together. First, there was the Four Horsemen.
- Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake. Hogan basically being why Beefcake was allowed to stick around as a barber when the WWF had no other use for him.
- WWE's Shawn Michaels and Triple H are probably wrestling's longest-running Heterosexual Life Partners (16 years and counting). Not that they haven't made us wonder about that first word. They've been enemies, friends, tag-team partners, and gone years without speaking, but they'll be the first to tell you that neither of them has a better friend than the other. According to Hunter's wife, Stephanie McMahon, Shawn is Hunter's "road wife".
- Perhaps the most tragic example is Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit, who were together for decades, through New Japan Pro Wrestling, ECW, WCW and finally WWE. Eddie's death was something Chris never got over, and it eventually lead to that fateful weekend in Atlanta. Of the talented trio known as "The Holy Trinity" or "The New Japan 3", only Dean Malenko remains.
- Edge and Christian aren't brothers in real life, as they used to be billed, but they have been best friends since the sixth grade. They went to junior high together, went to high school together, went to college together, trained for wrestling together, broke into the indies together, went into the WWF together... Christian's TNA stint is the first time in their lives they weren't around each other constantly. The second being Edge's retirement.
- Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy. Yes, they're brothers, but they're also a lot closer than most brothers their age would be; living within line of sight of each other, doing a webshow together, going out together, etc. They've built up a pretty substantial group of True Companions around themselves as well, with the rest of the OMEGA crew in close proximity.
- Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles. They're so close that they named their children after each other.
- CM Punk and Colt Cabana. To a lesser extent, Punk and Kofi Kingston, as Punk has said that Kofi is his "road wife".
- The Minnesota Home Wrecking Crew, with Lacey specifically calling Rain "The Love Of Her Life" in SHIMMER, which becomes funny in the context of their earlier career, as they spent almost as much time feuding as they did teaming. Rain even credits Lacey with setting her up with one "Sick" Nick Mondo, who she eventually married.
- The Bombsquad: Dozer, "The Bomb" Rob Williams, The Diva and "The Bombshell" Macaela Mercedes. Up until The Divas untimely passing, they went through several different promotions with the four winding up under every possible alignment combination Heel-Face Revolving Door would allow them.
- Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, aka The World's Greatest Tag Team, have a very strong bond with each other; Charlie has said in interviews that, sometimes, he thinks that his deceased brother Russ sent Shelton to him as a replacement.
- Daffney Unger has called MsChif her better half (half of The Scream Queens, their tag team). MsChif has in turn said she can make Daffney's ASS whole. (Unger was scouting for another member of her All-Star Squad).
- Starting from at least the Independent Wrestling Revolution in Detroit up to TNA where they used this exact phrase (specifically, Alex Shelley in regards to Chris Sabin) to describe each other, the Motor City Machine Guns (or Murder City Machine Guns, depending on where you get you wrestling from)
- Kane and The Big Show have this type of relationship with a dash of Foe Yay.
- The Miz and John Morrison during their time as a tag team. When they were separated in the WWE Draft, one announcer stated "The bromance is over!".
- AJ Lee and Kaitlyn: As Kaitlyn herself says.
- Raze has described Hudson Envy has her other half in Vendetta Pro.
- Warhammer has Gotrek Gurnisson and Felix Jaeger - originally kept together by a rashly-sworn oath on Felix's part when horribly drunk, but over the many decades of their adventures they have become pretty inseparable. Despite Felix's constant feeling that he'll never understand Gotrek's dwarfish psychology as long as he lives.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- Ursarker E. Creed, the Lord Castellan of Cadia, and his Colour Sergeant Jarran Kell.
- In a very strange and horribly twisted way, Warboss Ghazhgkull Mag Uruk Thraka and Commissar Yarrick, though it is only one way; Ghazhkgull regards Yarrick with as much affection and respect as any Ork can muster, especially for a 'puny 'umie', as a good Ork needs a Worthy Opponent. Yarrick, for his part, hates the Warboss with all his being.
- Lion El'Jonson and his first mate Luther. Lion failing to recognize how much he needed Luther was the first in a long string of tiny mistakes that ultimately doomed the planet of Caliban.
- Mame and Vera in Auntie Mame. The musical version gives them a duet about their relationship, "Bosom Buddies."
- Avenue Q: Rod and Nicky, who are Captain Ersatzes of Bert and Ernie respectively. "We live together, as close as people can get / We've been the best of buddies ever since the day we met!" Which segues, just a song later, into "If you were gay / That'd be okay / I mean, 'cause hey / I like you anyway / Because you see / If it were me / I would feel free to say / That I was gay / But I'm not gay." Rod however had non-platonic, repressed feelings for Nicky.
- Elder Price and Elder Cunningham at the end of The Book of Mormon.
- Brick and Skipper in the backstory of Tennessee Williams' play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - that is, if you believe Brick when he vehemently denies they did "sodomy" together:
Brick: Why can't exceptional friendship, real, real, deep, deep friendship! between two men be respected as something clean and decent without being thought of as—
Big Daddy: It can, it is, for God's sake.
- Janet van der Graaf and The Drowsy Chaperone.
- Buddy and Ben in Follies.
- Kristina from Duvemåla has Robert and Arvid.
- Enjolras and Grantaire from Les Misérables. This is somewhat more evident in the musical than in the book, probably because of how it's usually staged. When all the other students walk off with their girlfriends at the end of "Do You Hear The People Sing", these two leave with their arms around each other. The two were played by real life best friends, Ramin Karimloo and Hadley Fraser, in the 25th Anniversary Concert. Jason Forbach and Joseph Spieldenner, who play Enjolras and Grantaire respectively, in the US 25th Anniversary production are engaged.
- Oscar and Felix in The Odd Couple.
- Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom in The Producers. "'Til Him" is one of the most touching (and funny) love songs ever sung by one straight man to another.
- Prof. Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering in Pygmalion/My Fair Lady.
- Mark Cohen and Roger Davis in RENT. Their duet, "What You Own" comes complete with Manly Tears and a big climatic Man Hug. The blink-and-you'll-miss-it instrumental reprise of "I Should Tell You" during their fight in "Goodbye Love" is also heartwarming.
- Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, expanding on the original play.
- A Very Potter Musical:
- Voldemort and Quirrell, at least, by the end. Senior Year takes it to the next level.
- Harry and Ron in both musicals:
Ron: Favorite way to say "red wines" in a German accent?
Both: Red Vines!
Ron: (hugging Harry) Oh my god, where have you been all my life?
Harry: In a cupboard under some stairs!
- Estragon and Vladimir from Waiting for Godot. They have pet names for each other and put off killing themselves because of the slight possibility that one of them would live and be left alone. They were going to hang themselves so they could get erections. There is so much Ho Yay in this play, Wikipedia even has it's own entry on it.
- Elphaba and G(a)linda from Wicked. Though how heterosexual they are varies, as some performances deliberately play up their relationship as a love story.
- Kate and Queenie from The Wild Party, although they don't look it.
- In the works of William Shakespeare:
- Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Hamlet. Possibly Hamlet and Horatio.
- Antonio and Sebastian in Twelfth Night.
- Antonio and Bassonio in The Merchant of Venice.
- Rosalind and Celia in As You Like It. Even marriage doesn't likely break it up, since they marry brothers.
- Proteus and Valentine from Two Gentlemen of Verona, and (more humorously) their respective servants, Launce and Speed.
- Mercutio and Benvolio, and/or Mercutio and Romeo, in Romeo and Juliet.
- Lucentio and Tranio from The Taming of the Shrew. Tranio is "as secret and as dear" to Lucentio "as Anna to the Queen of Carthage was"note , and he'll do anything to help Lucentio.
- A Year with Frog and Toad: Frog and Toad were always good friends in the original kids' books, but The Musical elevates them comfortably to life partners at the very least. They invade each others dreams to sing about how much they like each other. Twice. ("That's funny, you've been in all my dreams too...")
- Katawa Shoujo has Hanako and Lilly. Hanako is an extreme social recluse, to the extent that she depends on Lilly just to help her cope at school, while Lilly has taken a role very similar to that of a mother in taking care of her. Their routes in Act 1 don't split until the very end, and each of their routes beyond that still feature the other heavily. In Lilly's route, Hisao comments that they're sort of like an odd family altogether, with him and Lilly as the parents and Hanako as the child.
- Axel and Zexion in Ansem Retort. They're so close that Zexion was able to hit on Axel's wife-during their wedding-and not suffer a horrific death.
- Arthur and Lancelot in Arthur, King of Time and Space. Which is... kind of awkward, in the circumstances, though it depends on the timeline. The "fairy tale" timeline strains their relationship the greatest, and they were never friends in the Mash parody line. The present-day and sci-fi timelines (especially down the road a few years) treat it as just a fact of their relationship - they both love Guinevere and each other too much to let it get in the way, and it's usually only a problem if someone else makes it a problem for them (like, say, political realities of their relationship or someone trying to reveal the queen is "unfaithful").
- Rittz and Skip in Boxer Hockey have been friends since childhood and still live together.
- Donna and Mona in C'est la Vie. One is French and deep, the other is Californian and something of a Valley Girl.
- Bumper and Stunt of Dominic Deegan - this has been noted by other characters in the series, often to tease Stunt, a staunch homophobe.
- Black Mage and Fighter from 8-Bit Theater. So...Fighter McWarrior and Blackmage Evilwizardington have been travelling together for probably years. If Fighter's memory is to be trusted, they have been "best buds 4-eva" since when they were both kicked out of their respective schools, and in the epilogue continue to adventure together 3 years later.
- Elliot and Tedd in El Goonish Shive, driven home by the fact that, in an alternate universe where Elliot was born a girl, they're dating. Later revealed by Word of God to be true in nearly every alternate continuity where they are both alive and sexually compatible. Which is probably why Lord Tedd is such a grumpy gus - no Elliot and no relief (his "Grace" is an extremely large (and male) squirrel hybrid by the name of General Shade Tail).
- Emergency Exit has quite a few relationships like this, the most obvious being the main characters and roommates Bob and Eddie, as well as Karl and Jason even though Jason technically expressed romantic interest in Karl, but since Karl's straight they are only very close friends.
- Lucco and Guz in Fite! are close enough to go Skinny Dipping together.
- Black and White from Grey is... live together and spend all their time together, and care about each other more then anyone else.
- Gunnerkrigg Court:
- Gamma and Zimmy's relationship is simultaneously sweet and toxic: On the one hand, Zimmy would gladly die if Gamma asked her to; on the other hand, she poisons other people's friendships with Gamma to insure she never leaves. It really doesn't help that Gamma is about the only thing that keeps Zimmy from freaking out and bad *** happening. Word of God is that they are together, romantically but not sexually, but in the comic itself they're "only" this.
- Annie and Kat, to the point that their relationship is frequently used as a symbolic representation of the harmony between the Court and the Forest. Not heterosexual however, as Kat and Paz start dating in Chapter 42 and Annie comes off more asexual than anything else.
- Donald Donlan and James Eglamore. Surma noted in one flashback that when Jim was away for training, Donnie seemed to miss Jim more than she did. Surma was Jim's girlfriend at the time.
- Casimiro and Finas of Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name have been together for centuries even though they are polar opposites in personality. Cas describes their relationship as "too unique to put a label on", but says yes, Finas is his best friend.
- Zeke Fahrenheit and Doofus J. Thump in How To Raise Your Teenage Dragon, as well as "Macho" Hannigan and George the Scourge.
- Gertrude & Brunhilda in The KAMics.
- Viktor and Mordecai◊ from Lackadaisy. At least, until Mordecai found a better job and shot Viktor in his good knee on the way out. Having a murderer for a partner carries a certain degree of risk.
- Rayne and Noel of Least I Could Do confirm this status themselves.
- Mandatory Roller Coaster infrequently features two unnamed men who are always drinking at a bar together.
- MegaTokyo: Piro and Largo, and Kimiko and Erika. All are canonically straight, but each pair lives together, and have done so at least since college.
- Brent and Cole of PvP. Also Robby and Jase, the strip's Two Gamers on a Couch.
- Sakana: Jiro and Taisei have been best friends since middle school, and they are practically inseparable, go shopping together and share an apartment, and after Jiro finally goes on a date with cashier girl, Taisei can't stop worrying about him getting hurt, and so he stalks their date. The artist also stated that Shigeru and Taro are "bros for life", and it shows.
- The main character 9 and his best friend Chuckles, in Serious Emotional Disturbances. Lampshaded at one point during a reunion scene with a Celine Dion song being played as the two run towards each other. So much that the town of Bum*** (where they live), including 9's evil Gramma, assume the two are gay for each other.
- Torg and Riff from Sluggy Freelance. Though even after being best friends for decades, they're still not that comfortable with hugs. Zoe and Gwynn too, for that matter.
- Terinu and Matt. They spent half their young lives together as the abused slaves as a pirate warlord, with Matt stealing food to keep Teri healthy and at one point he cuddled in bed with him after Terinu's powers were traumatically activated. Wordof God has stated "Both of them would rather be dead than see the other hurt."
- Lero-Ro and Quant from Tower of God.
Yu Han Sung: Since Ro has left, I guess I should fire you, too. Since you two are a set menu, like a hamburger and a cola. It would be inhumane to separate the two of you. I hope you continue your beautiful love forever and ever.
- Bloody Urban has two sets, the first being Murray and Shaz, and the second Libby and Angelica (who are living together to boot).
- AmazingPhil and danisnotonfire who've lived together for years, work and frequently travel together.
- Raimi and Oran of Broken Saints, although it takes them a while to bond.
- Cammy and Duncan, AKA A Couple Of Cunts In The Countryside.
- In CHKilroy and Beagle's series of intertwining ARMA 2 videos, they grow into firm friends and share for a while, a brotherly bond. The death of one causes the other to exclaim in despair, or even go into a kamikaze rage. In one mission Beagle accidentally proposed marrige to Kilroy, who said yes.
- Jon and Arin on Game Grumps. These guys go together like salt and pepper, peanut butter and jelly, and any other heavy handed simile you can think of. Then they broke up, and Danny replaced John.
- Homestar Runner's Strong Mad and The Cheat, and Bubs and Coach Z. Homestar and Pom Pom are supposed to be this, but in later cartoons it became much less apparent.
- Alberta and Saskatchewan in the iammathewian project. Although whether there is evidence of it being a bit more romantic or not is up for debate.
- Batman and Superman in I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC, when Luthor's time travel reverts them into their older forms.
- James Rolfe and Mike Matei give off this kind of vibe.
- Bald John Green and Other John Green on John Plays FIFA 11 were thought to be this... until episode 21.
- Mark and Corey of Modestly Proph Itic are this and Vitriolic Best Buds at the same time. They have mentioned that they worry they will be mistaken for a real life couple.
- A lot of Agent partnerships go under this heading in Protectors of the Plot Continuum.
- In Psycomedia, only one half of the Double Act thinks this is the case. The other is adamant that they're not life partners and that he has a girlfriend.
- Ratboy Genius has the close Interspecies Friendship of Happyman and Green Monster.
- Red vs. Blue: Grif and Simmons (and apparently, their voice actors in real life), and Tucker and Church to a lesser degree.
- Dexter Gilligan and Lyle McDouchebag of Sanity Not Included. At least up until the end of Season 3, in which Lyle commits suicide in the animated section of the show, marking his departure.
- Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox of SMOSH. Lampshaded at the end of the episode Replacement Needed; after splitting up, Anthony tearfully looks over a photograph of him pushing Ian on a swing, with the caption "Always and Forever...But We're Not Gay".
- Survival of the Fittest: Jacob Charles and Ben Powell, or as their more affectionately known by the handlers, "BROMIES!".
- That Guy with the Glasses:
- Spoony and Linkara give the distinct impression of being this in the instances where they interact, which are much more common for the two of them than it is for other Channel Awesome people.
- The Nostalgia Chick and Nella; however, "My BFF, Nella" subverts the trope by revealing that their relationship is actually a business venture—the Chick pays Nella to look good and take her abuse.
- Even though they're brothers, Doug and Rob. They moved out of their parent's house and started living together, and proposed to their girlfriends on the same day.
- In We Are Our Avatars, Jacky and Nichole are best friends with each other and they sleep in the same hotel room together. Caim and Hakumen are this and Vitriolic Best Buds.
- nigahiga and Wong Fu Productions explain the word. In the most heterosexual way, of course!
- Simon Lane and Lewis Brindley. The two first met in World of Warcraft and have been almost inseparable ever since, now sharing a main channel and living together at one point.
- Sips and Sjin are almost always cooking up some diabolical scheme together in their collab videos, snarking and abusing one another all the while. In spite of their channel growth, the pair still collab whenever they can and clearly have one hell of a time doing it.
- Strippin, In The Little Wood and Sparkles* from Area 11 form this during their time as the "Dream Team", livestreaming together many times and clearly enjoying being with each other. Strippin also has this vibe with Benji, his collab partner from Rail Bros; Benji may not be part of the Yogscast, but they're very good friends.
- Kazamaru and Kebano in Yu Yu Hakusho Abridged, apparently.