Listen - what I said before, John? I meant it. I don't have
friends. I've just got one.
Some characters have True Companions
. Some characters have social circles (however limited
they may be). Alice doesn't have that. Alice has Bob. Just
There are two possible variations on the Alice character here:
- Alice is shy or a bit of a misfit, but ultimately a nice person. Bob is the only one to take the time to get to know her and realize that she's actually pretty cool.
- Alice is a Jerkass or otherwise hard to get along with. Bob is the only one willing to put up with her shenanigans.
There are also two variations on the Bob character:
- Bob is a fellow misfit who was drawn to Alice because neither of them had any other friends.
- Bob is the one with all the social skills, and may try to help Alice make more friends and/or smooth over situations where her behavior has caused problems.
While Alice-1s often go along with Bob-1s and Alice-2s with Bob-2s, they can be mixed and matched: a shy Alice might have a social Bob who tries to draw her out of her shell, while a mean Alice might have a shy Bob who's stuck with her because he's lonely or doesn't have the nerve to ditch her.
In many stories, an Only Friend doesn't stay that way for long: a nice Alice will usually have learned to make friends by the end of the story, while a mean Alice will often find Bob finally getting fed up and leaving her.
Compare with Living Emotional Crutch
, which might be at play in an extreme form of this trope.
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Anime and Manga
- Helena Bertinelli, aka the Huntress, had only one friend, the Black Canary. This was primarily because Huntress was a borderline-sociopathic misanthropic loner, so she was an Alice-II. Eventually, Huntress seemed to be forming friendships with a couple of other characters, notably Renee Montoya (the new Question), and Oracle. All this, of course, was in the old DCU; now we're back to Helena Wayne.
- Transformers More Than Meets The Eye: Brainstorm is a quirky Mad Scientist with a Lack of Empathy, a penchant for making weapons so utterly unethical he's built up a reputation for them, and a Heroic Comedic Sociopath streak. Chromedome is his only friend, a fact he acknowledges to have Brainstorm do him a few favors. Brainstorm actually cares for Chromedome, and tries to talk him out of erasing all the memories of his now dead lover Rewind to spare himself the pain. He admits to seeing him do it 3 times before, and is concerned about him, worrying about his mental health and his lack of coping abilities. He gives Chromedome Rewind's last message, and leaves him to do what Chromedome thinks is best.
- Jenny to Forrest Gump in their youth. And Bubba to him in the war.
- Dante to Randal in Clerks and Clerks II, which is why Randal is so rattled by the thought of Dante leaving in the second one.
Randal: You think I wanna start making friends at my age? Christ, who would want me as their friend? I hate everyone, and everything seems stupid to me, but you were always the counter-balance to that. The guy who was the yin to my yang. Now what the fuck am I gonna do for the rest of my life?
- House has only Wilson for a friend.
- In Teen Wolf, from what's seen, Stiles seems to be Scott's only friend. And possibly vice-versa. At least until the Love Interest pops up.
- Despite being the obvious Alpha Bitch, this also appears to be true for Lydia whose only friend seems to be Allison. Jackson has some other friends floating around, such as Danny.
- In The Vampire Diaries, Alaric is Damon's only friend... despite the fact that they've tried to kill each other a few times.
- Early on "In Plain Sight," Marshall and Mary proclaim each other to be this. Ultimately, it seems like their circles have expanded . . . by maybe one or two people each.
- Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers. He is her only true friend. Funny enough it also works in reverse - while Lynley does have one or two other close friends, he is nearly as difficult to work with as Havers is. They ultimately wind up as True Companions, via complementing each other surprisingly well, presumed betrayal, a near drowning, and more tragedy than any two people should ever have to go through.
- Sherlock, being an adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, has this in spades between Sherlock and John, providing some of the above-mentioned Lampshading and the page quote.
- In Person of Interest, Reese admits that Finch is his only friend while trying to save him from a kidnapper.
- Most characters on Teen Wolf:
- Scott and Stiles are best friends and before Scott got together with Allison, they were unpopular and had only eachother.
- Jackson is a straight-up Jerk Jock, and the only person is actually nice to is his Straight Gay best friend Danny.
- Lydia (and Jackson's girlfriend) is the school's Alpha Bitch, but New Transfer Student Allison is the only person she's close with.
- A Running Gag in the one man play "Shylock" is that Tubal is Shylock's best friend - well, his only friend.
- In Chess, Florence is Freddie's only friend, although by the end of the first act even she has gotten fed up with his Jerkass behavior and left him. (Which, given what we see of their interactions, is less surprising than the fact that she was with him in the first place.)
- In Wicked, Elphaba is a mix of Alice-1 and Alice-2, while her only friend Glinda is a Bob-2.
- In Katawa Shoujo, Lilly is initially Hanako's only friend, until Hanako falls in love with Hisao in her own route, and befriends Hisao and the members of the Newspaper Club in Lilly's route.
- Shizune and Misha are also this to one another unless you take Shizune's route, although Hisao says in Lilly's route that he considers both of them his friends.
- In Bionic Heart, the only friend Luke seems to have at work is Tom, who is the social type trying to help Luke get out more. This makes it all the worse when Luke learns that Tom was having an affair with Helen, his girlfriend. And then if Luke chooses to tell him about Tanya, the fugitive android hiding in Luke's apartment that was manufactured by their company, Tom sells Luke out to the company to ensure his own safety.
- Many people who are autistic or have other neurological disabilities, especially if they are in their school years, will often be Alice-1s, though sometimes this is combined with the Jerkass aspects of Alice-2 and either have nice neurotypical Bob-2 friends or else act as Bob-1s to others like themselves.
- True for many people who are naturally shy, or who are perceived as "weird" by most of their peers.