"My friends are my POWER!
And I am theirs! "
A major theme in all media. The villain
or Ineffectual Loner
mocks the idea of relying on others, insisting that friends make you weak and only fear brings servitude
. Then he discovers to his extreme shock and dismay
that the hero's friends
really do stand up for him, and this really does enable the hero to kick the crap out of the bad guy. The Aesop
: Having friends makes you strong, being alone makes you weak
. Even What You Are in the Dark
can depend on your memory of your friends.
The moment at which The Power Of Friendship becomes clear is A Friend in Need
, but beware the Apple of Discord
. When the loner
has been brought into the group, Remember That You Trust Me
may be needed to keep him attached.
More often than not a hero who makes good use of this power is going to attract villains who try to prove that it doesn't work. (The biggest reason is such villains rarely have any friends, as heroes occasionally point out.) After slugging it out with the hero one or more times
the villain in question may become a Friendly Enemy
, a Worthy Opponent
, or do a full on Heel-Face Turn
A Combined Energy Attack
is another perk of believing in said power. Taken more literally, the Power of Friendship may be used as a required element of some magical effect, such as a Care Bear Stare
or a Circle of Friendship
. Heroes, especially the Magnetic Hero
, usually spend the first few episodes building this group of loyal followers
. Sometimes it can go too far; Heroes fall prey to becoming a Martyr Without a Cause
and allies could be Poisonous Friends
. Contrast In the End, You Are on Your Own
, in which case Friendship becomes less helpful. This trope is a key element of buddy pictures
See also Team Spirit
, True Companions
, The Power of Love
, The Power Of Trust
, Defeat Means Friendship
, Fire-Forged Friends
, Dying Alone
, You Are Not Alone
. Often results in a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming
if done well. The risk of Tastes Like Diabetes
or even Narm
is present if done poorly
. Be careful not to make this a Broken Aesop
or argue that Loners Are Freaks
; if your protagonists are entirely reliant on their friends for any characterization or motivation, they will rapidly become Flat Characters
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- A set of Commercials ("Belong") for Carling lager show a group of mates in fantastic situations sticking together despite the fact they're losing out on something if they didn't. For example learning the meaning of life.
Anime & Manga
- Attack on Titan plays with this to varying results.
- Eren, Mikasa, and Armin are noted to be such a potent team due to their friendship, which is later Invoked by a recap page as pivotal to humanity's chances of victory.
- Invoked with the Special Operations Squad, which are stated to be such incredible fighters due to the deep bonds they share. But ultimately it ends up horribly subverted — Petra's request that Eren trust in his comrades and believe in their friendship results in him fleeing while they cover his escape. As a direct result, the Female Titan slaughters the entire team. Eren ultimately concludes he should have believed in himself, rather than his friends.
- It plays a vital role in the defeat of all three Titan Shifters, as their attachment to the other cadets leads to them making huge mistakes. It even gets invoked by Jean and Connie, in an effort to talk down Reiner and Bertolt, appealing to the bonds of friendship formed between them all over the years.
- In a sense, Berserk does this as well, as a lot of the story revolves around the importance of camaraderie, with Guts, who had been solitary for most of his life, having to rely on his comrades and other people even if he doesn't want to, but forming bonds so strong that he'll go off on a rampage when that bond is broken, specifically when his former charismatic leader/friend Griffith betrays the Band of the Hawk by making them sacrifices to the Godhand so that he could continue his selfish life dream, resulting in a nightmare-fueled bloodbath of unforgivable proportions.
- Orihime's 'six hearts beat as one' speech.
- Parodied in the Karakurizer fillers (anime episodes 213-214). Tessai sells the Karakurizer in episode 213 that they will defeat the hollows using the power of friendship, and they they actually do in episode 214.
- Played straight at the end of anime episode 340. Kon tells Nozomi that Ichigo and his friends would save her by teaching the Big Bad Yushima "the power of friendship".
- Busou Renkin. Kazuki, while defending his school from a homunculus army released by Doctor Butterfly, says that he's regaining strength by drawing on the spirits of his friends and classmates. What he (and the audience at this point) don't know at the time is exactly how literal that statement is - he's begun to draw on the life force of the people in the school, signaling that the Black Kakugane in him is beginning to awaken.
- Code Geass: Lelouch salvages a potentially disastrous situation by successfully pulling off a speech about friendship and The Power of Love. The most startling is probably when he tells the Chinese Empress that she can marry for love, instead of being forced into a political marriage with one of his Black Knights.
- While the girls of Deadline Summonner are already pretty powerful by themselves, they can pretty much demolish anything that comes their way when Mamoru coordinates them with the help of his Desperation Attack.
- Each character in Digimon Adventure has a "crest" that ties them to a particular virtue; Most of the characters had some kind of crisis related to their crests, where they started to doubt their own virtues only to pick up an Aesop just in time for a Big Damn Heroes moment. For example, Tai tried to force a digivolution and traded courage for recklessness and hubris, then ended up with the rampaging SkullGreymon, he learned to be somewhat less reckless before Agumon reached the true ultimate stage. Also, one of the Crests is the Crest of Friendship. so.. it's the power of friendship saving the day. The digimon CAN'T digivolve really without these kids...in a sense, these kids, the bond the Digimon share with their human partners, lets them grow in power.
- Duel Masters, as mentioned above, used this a lot, with Shobu's friends constantly helping him build and rebuild his deck, and regain his dueling spirit, among other things. Shobu's not the only one to take advantage of this... Hakuoh, the aloof Dragon of the first season, was subjected to Defeat Means Friendship, breaking through his shell, and he manages to defeat Shobu in their next game.
- The second favorite trope of the namesake mage guild from Fairy Tail, the first one being friends. Not only the characters must rely on each other to win in this manga, hurting their friends pushes Berserk Button for more than one of them, resulting in Unstoppable Rage, directed at the villain responsible. Asskicking for justice usually ensues. One could say that it's a theme prevalent throughout the entire series and is not just limited to the namesake guild.
- Fist of the North Star plays it straight in the final battle, where Kenshiro draws power from everyone he cares about, but it's used before that when Rei, preparing to attack Raoh, yells "Everyone, lend me your strength!" before hurling himself at Raoh and using his Dangerous Forbidden Technique... and Raoh not only point-blank counters it, but hits him with an attack that kills him over three agonizing days.
- Flint The Time Detective has this in most if not all of the episodes with frienship not only being what is needed to void the effects of the Petra Stamp but also make the Great Clock move again and save the world.
- The climax and resolution of Fruits Basket revolves around this.
- A recurring theme in Fullmetal Alchemist (manga and Brotherhood anime), though most beautifully portrayed at the very end when Edward has his final confrontation with the Truth. He offers to exchange his ability to use alchemy in order to get his brother Alphonse's body back. When the Truth asks if he's sure he can manage without the ability, Ed replies that he knows he'll be okay because he has his friends to back him up. The Truth smiles, tells him that he's just given the right answer, and shows him how to get out with Al's body.
- Fushigi Yuugi. Specifically, Nakago scornfully mentioning it and declaiming that it won't defeat him. And then it does.
- GaoGaiGar. Friendship + Courage + G-Stone = VICTORY.
- Likewise in the show's Spiritual Successor by the same writers, Guilty Crown. The main character, Shu, gets the ability to draw powerful weapons known as Voids (that always take full advantage of the show's seemingly limitless animation budget) from other people. Voids that Shu draws from his friends are usually more powerful than others. The page quote says it all:
Shu: The power to use my friends as weapons. This is the sinful crown I shall accept.
- High School Of The Dead has a subversion. Toshimi and Misuzu's bid for BFF survivors of the apocalypse — complete with pinky promise — lasts about as long as it takes one of them to kick the other down a flight of stairs.
- Higurashi: When They Cry:
- In the answer arcs, the protagonists believe The Power of Friendship to be the key to Screw Destiny. In that light, the question arcs can be seen as examples of what happens when the friends are broken up by suspicion and distrust.
- The answer arcs of Higurashi do show that the power of friendship can help overcome anything...especially if one of your friends is the heiress to a family of Yakuza, a couple others are moles for the conspiracy, and a few more are cops who are incredibly skilled at hand-to-hand combat.
- The tagline is even "Higurashi is a series about "friendship"! Friends help you move...Real friends help you move bodies!"
- THE iDOLM@STER - A good portion of the anime is about this.
- Early in InuYasha, it's suggested that the empathic sword Tessaiga's full power can only be unlocked if it's being used to protect a human. This quickly falls by the wayside as the plot progresses, in response to a general shift in the mindset of the title character from being only out for himself toward being more protective of others in general.
- The titular character of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple believes in this...which is odd, since in the beginning the closest thing he has to a friend is the blatantly self-serving Nijima. He's clearly aware of this too, since he uses Nijima's personality to make a point a few times.
- The penultimate arc dealt with the "theft" of the heroes' Friendship Power with a number of cursed dolls. This resulted in everyone abandoning our hero when he needed a partner for the tag-team Tournament Arc. Thankfully, he manages to get some help from his unaffected Obi Wan.
- The final arc returns to the issue. Kinnikuman, stripped of the Kajiba Kuso no Djikara, his Heroic Resolve in a can, early on, is constantly shown unable to perform his old tried-and-true techniques simply because he's fighting at barely more than 1% power. His first major fight after losing the KKD is one he only starts winning when he taps into a similar, though inferior, force known as "Shin Yujo no Power", "Genuine Friendship Power."
- Played with when Kinnikuman Soldier enters the picture. At first, he appears to be a rather cool-headed and stoic leader who constantly insists "This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself" whenever he's told to rush to a teammate's aid. After being called out for this attitude in the match between Team Super Phoenix and Team Soldier yet again, Kinnikuman Soldier fires back that the Justice Choujin's friendship is a rather weak one: sure, they're all pals, but they've become far too dependent and protective of one another, and that such a friendship is more of a detriment than an advantage. While everyone is skeptical at first, it's proven true twice, first when Buffaloman immediately demands to tag in Soldier when he sees the terrifying power of Mammothman's tusks because he's injured, and then when all of Kinnikuman's team wants to rush to Buffaloman's aid despite being on opposing teams. Soldier then goes on to show them "Genuine Friendship Power" in action.
- The Law of Ueki does this nearly as often as Yu-Gi-Oh!, which gets pretty Anvilicious at times. At one point, the gang is fighting a team of soldiers, and the soldiers can't comprehend how helping each other out is so important—they even mention that a soldier should "follow orders and look out for himself." Which is what real-life soldiers are taught...plus one more thing: Watch your buddies' backs.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is theorized to weaponize The Power of Friendship into giant energy beams, particularly in the first season where her motive is not to defeat Fate but to become her friend.
- Magic Knight Rayearth is built entirely on this trope, but Hikaru in particular has it really bad. The OAV is even more explicit.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!:
- Taken literally, as Negi's artifact allows him to use all of his partner's artifacts, meaning that he gets stronger as he aquires more allies.
- It's also deconstructed a bit, as Negi constantly goes through Training from Hell so that he won't have to rely on The Power of Friendship, and by extension, won't endanger his friends by forcing them to fight alongside him (not that it stops them). Makes his abovementioned artifact much more ironic.
- Played straight when Negi's Black Magic causes his Superpowered Evil Side to manifest. It only stops because Chisame, Asakura, and Nodoka pull one of these.
- In Mai-HiME, in the 25th special, Natsuki reflects on how she had once been a bitter loner, but meeting Shizuru, Mai and Mikoto enabled her to open up to others and realize that no one can live alone.
- In Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, the Power Trio sticks together through sadness via pep talks and cake sharing, making it through everything thrown at them. In the series finale, Lucia and Seira reveal that, no matter what kind of pain Michal and Michel, respectively, have put them through, they still empathize with them and want to become their friends. The Power of Friendship is strong enough to actually make them waver, and Fuku panics and goes to try and take over their combined mind and body. He succeeds... but not for long, as the mermaids' friendship and forgiveness reach even him.
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam has the Shuffle Alliance, five of the most powerful Gundam Fighters participating in the Gundam Fight. While they have to represent their individual nations during the tournament, they come together to fight the forces of the Devil Gundam. During the final battle, they combine their powers to defeat the Grand Master Gundam, before Domon can take on the Devil Gundam himself.
- The Evil General Durahan in the anime Monster Rancher specifically references this trope in an episode where the bad guys betrayed each other no less than four times in under an hour. Friendship has its benefits it seems.
- In a more straight use of this trope, the characters' courage, along with friendship, can be used to make themselves stronger. In the last episode Genki summoned the courage of every heroic character on the planet to use in a Combined Energy Attack. In contrast, when Moo goaded the heroes into hating him to make him stronger, the power of their hatred drove him insane.
- One can derive a considerable amount of strength from the mere fact that you're using it to protect someone important to you (chiefly Naruto himself, but there are others). This lesson is explained by one of the first villains in fact; a ninja's greatest strength comes when they are protecting someone they hold dear. (There are those in the Naruto fandom who call this phenomenon "Friendship no Jutsu" or an "Epic Battle of Friendship").
- The philosophical conflict between this and The Power of Hate leads to Sasuke's split with the village.
- In chapter 570, Naruto finally befriends the Nine-Tails himself!
- In a twisted way, this is also the key to unlocking the potential of the Uchiha clan's Sharingan power. The upgraded Mangekyo Sharingan can only be achieved by losing someone with whom the user shares a close emotional bond (ie a best friend or beloved sibling)
- One Piece:
- Not only does the entire series practically run on friendship, Luffy sets the stage early on with an epic speech to Arlong (while beating the living daylights out of him), in which he includes all of the things his friends can do that he can't:
Luffy: Of course I don't know how to use a sword! I don't know anything about navigation, either! I can't cook! I've never even told a lie! I know that I can't survive without people around me to help!
Arlong: And you call yourself a Captain!?" "What are you capable of?
Luffy: I can beat you to a pulp!
- But the best part is when all the Straw Hats declare war against the "World Government" (a.k.a. 170 united nations) just to prove their friendship to a desperate and suicidal Robin and save her from herself.
- Pokémon: All Pokémon companions. The various manga series will also often invoke this between the humans themselves, whether it's between trainers, rivals, gym leaders, and companions.
- The Pretty Cure franchise has this as its premise. The power of every Precure is formed by their bonds with the others; the first two sets can't even transform separately. The yuri fanboys for that series have popularized the notion of "the power of Romantic Two-Girl Friendship", which is sort of the same thing.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
- When Mami Tomoe gets hyped up on the Power of Friendship during the battle with Charlotte, it causes her to fight recklessly against the witch, as opposed to the cool, careful and methodical style of witch killing that she used from the second episode. This results in Mami freezing up when Charlotte goes One-Winged Angel, immediately followed by one of the most nightmarish and horrific deaths of the entire series as Mami is Eaten Alive.
- Episode 10, where it is revealed that Homura's reason for going through many timelines' worth of witch fighting is because of her undying devotion to Madoka.
- A spoiler-laden plot twist in Read or Die hinges on this. Maybe.
- Most of the major battles in Sailor Moon are won via the power of forgiveness, and the friendship of the protagonists is a major source of power. (Marketing for The Nineties Canadian dub of the anime emphasized this aspect of the series as much as it possibly could.) A VHS tape of the English dub has the words 'The Power of Friendship' on it.
- In Act 2 of Sailor Moon Crystal, when Brainwashed shortly after making her first friend ever in Usagi, Ami's attachment to the pen from their first outing is so strong it renders her oblivious to orders from the Monster of the Week as she tries to retrieve it from across a room. When Usagi's Secret Identity Sailor Moon explicitly calls Ami "friend," she gradually shakes off the brainwashing just in time for her pen to be revealed as a Transformation Trinket.
- Although the series is more focused on individual empowerment, Saint Seiya often indulges in The Power of Friendship. More often than not, combining everyone's Cosmo through their friendship is the only way to overcome the current arc's Big Bad.
- Saiyuki's Genjyo Sanzo, a mortal man with no supernatural powers beyond his religious rank, is several times shown able to stop the rampages of Son Goku in all-out Seiten Taisei God Mode - usually with his bare hands. How? Because of the depth of the friendship they shared in their previous lives.
- Though subtle, the Power of Friendship looks like the reason all the main characters survive the last few episodes of Samurai Champloo despite all odds. It is beautiful.
- Mentioned in Satou Kashi no Dangan wa Uchinukenai (A Lollipop or a Bullet), where the New Transfer Student and apparent Cloud Cuckoolander Umino states that she (who claims to be a mermaid), will die in one month's time unless she finds "true friendship", which supposedly will allow her to stay in human form.
- Likewise for the plot of the first Sgt. Frog movie
- Yoh Asakura in Shaman King manages to best the Tao family several times because they don't acknowledge The Power Of Friendship. Towards the end of the series, The Power of Friendship brings Tao Ren back to life and allows him to defeat half of the Quirky Miniboss Squad
- Soul Eater:
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann demonstrates that with friends as determined as you to Screw Destiny, anyone can destroy a force rivaling divinity...with a machine as big as a galaxy.
- The Power of Friendship is also part of what is necessary for Gattai to work, although it is primarily Fighting Spirit. But then, as the great Kamina says, "a true combination isn't the combination of mecha. It's when the spirits of great men unite and become one! THAT'S A TRUE COMBINATION!"
- Tiger & Bunny. Kotetsu tries to cure Barnaby's amnesia with the power of friendship, begging him to remember what a good team they are. It's the Embarrassing Nickname that does the trick, but only true friends can tease each other.
- In Tokyo Mew Mew, Ichigo's Power of Friendship with Masha ups her Ribbon Stawberry Check to Ribbon Strawberry Surprise. More kickass sparkles, anyone?
- Wonderfully parodied along with many other Shounen tropes in the first episode of The Tower of Druaga, where a Final Form Jil has been beaten by the Dark God Druaga... when the voice of a Goddess speaks in his ear, and every character shown so far, including the villains show up in spirit form to give support, including the Red Shirt who died early on of Retirony. Sadly, our hero cannot remember his name, despite remembering the correct names of all the enemies and bit persons he has encountered on his travels.
- This is a major theme of the Headmasters and Powermasters in Transformers. In the American continuity, the Transformers and his/her organic pilot must cooperate extremely closely in order to be an effective fighting unit. Transformers Headmasters has a technique called Head Formation, which allows the Autobot Headmasters to share energy between themselves and power up. The first time it is used, the narrator helpfully notes that we're seeing the power of friendship in action. They can use 'the power of friendship' to fire a great big DEATH RAY.
- The greatest strength of Eita Touga's army in 12 Beast is their impeccable coordination, complementing each others' strengths, and covering for the others' weaknesses. He also states that he "fights for his friends," and it's implied that his soldiers are so loyal to him because of honour or a sense of personal debt.
- The central plot of 20th Century Boys is more or less based on this trope.
- Unico is an almost literal example; it seems he can only use his magical powers to help out those he considers his friends. When Unico turns Katy back to a cat, he can't turn her into a human again because he's mad at her for ditching the old lady she was helping out and generally being selfish.
- Vandread pits giant killer robots from space against The Power of Friendship. You do the math. It did help that the friends included a Sufficiently Advanced Alien.
Jil: Fatina! Neeba! Kalli! And... I can't remember his name, but he's definitely one of my friends!
Utu: It's Utu!
- Yes! Precure 5: Inverted when Rin and Karen were forced to work together to save the others. They were particularly effective because they really rubbed each other the wrong way, and neither one of them wanted to get shown up by the other. Speaking of the power of Romantic Two-Girl Friendship, that's how you "turn on" a Simoun.
- The central theme of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. Let's count off what friendship can do: magically solve an extremely difficult puzzle, restore HP in a live-action fighting game, repel mystical mind-reading artifacts, magically write a name none of the characters remember, fuse dragons together, keep your soul from getting stolen by a magic circle, and summon an Egyptian God.
- In fact, Word of God claims that this theme was originally supposed to be even more important than the card game that is used so much in the series. Unfortunately, it didn't turn out quite the way they planned it...
- Used rather amusingly in the Japanese version of Yusei's duel against Taro. Yusei uses a card effect to power up a monster to attack for the win, and Taro claims that the effect shouldn't work because Taro's monster negates monster effects, prompting Yusei to give a long-winded friendship speech about how it works because 'the power came from his friends' and 'the power of the bond of friendship can never be negated!' Actually it's just because the win effect was from a trap card, not a monster effect.
- Tea/Anzu displayed this so much (at one point even saying "the power of friendship") that it became a running gag in the Abridged Series. Joey recovered from being struck by lightning because of friendship.
- Happily defied by Yuuji Yugami in Yugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga Inai. He neither wants nor needs friends and prides himself on being extremely self-sufficient. Being The Ace of the baseball team, his upperclassmen and underclassmen either find him a pain to deal with or are bossed around by him. Then there are Yugami's classmates, who ignore him after a few arguments (not that he cares). It's not until Chihiro Watanuki transfers into the class that it feels like someone is actually communicating with Yugami. Don't misunderstand, however, because Yugami and Chihiro will both deny being friends.
- Zatch Bell! emphasizes this extremely strongly. Not only the good guys generally get stronger and find New Powers as the Plot Demands in themselves through desire to protect their friends, not only friendship serves as the main driving force for most of them, in the end of the manga Power of Friendship becomes the Deus ex Machina that saves both worlds from the nearly unbeatable Big Bad.
- In .hack//SIGN, Tsukasa is finally able to log out thanks only to the pushing, pulling, and eventual bonding of his/her in-game friends.
- In Exiles, when the Exiles are being curbstomped by King Hyperion in the Crystal Palace, Beak's appearance prompts Hyperion to mock him for not running because he wouldn't have tried to follow, and Beak responded by openly admitting how weak he was, saying his only power was being good at making friends. At which point two heroic Hyperions made their appearance.
- As for the Fantastic Four themselves, this trope is the reason why, despite the fact that individually none of them are anywhere near the most powerful end of the spectrum of superheroes, they are the ones who everyone calls when faced with huge, world-destroying cosmic threats.
- In JLA/Titans: The Technis Imperative, Cyborg/Victor Stone (who has become confused and crazy and turned into a giant machine who tries to eat the moon) gets talked down by Garfield Logan, his best friend, who tells him repeatedly that they're still friends and he isn't buying the idea that Vic doesn't care about that. Incidentally, it's a shock of familiar friendship behavior that actually grabs Vic's attention: after several other Titans try reasoned pleas, Gar erupts with an irritated "Hey Rustbucket! Let go of the frickin' moon already!!" before launching into his long list of explanations of why Vic's actions mean he is a colossal dumbass.
- Invoked a few times in New Avengers, overriding a number of It's Not You, It's My Enemies objections.
- Nightwing's greatest weapon. Sure, natural acrobatics and Batman-trained skills in combat and sleuthing are nothing to sneeze at, but no other hero in the DC Universe boasts the sheer number of allies Nightwing has. Hell, the guy has had his villains team up with him against bigger or badder foes. Why? Basically because he asked nicely.
- While Spider-Man started out as a loner, he's become friends with a great deal of Marvel's other heroes (and even some of the less pleasant types like Loki and Deadpool are on good terms with the wallcrawler), especially the Fantastic Four, who treat him like family, and he's been part of several incarnations of The Avengers, and as Peter Parker he has a big group of Muggle friends who he can count on. When Spidey's in trouble, a large portion of the Marvel Universe has his back.
- The Titans and Young Justice are all over this trope. They aren't the equals to the JLA or JSA in sheer power. It's their ability to work as a team and the fact that you mess with one, and expect any and all past and present members to show up looking to kick your butt that makes them frightening.
- Tintin in Tibet is a great example of this, both with regards to the Tintin going on an apparently insane quest to rescue his friend Chang as well as with Captain Haddock sticking with Tintin through ever more hazardous situations despite his misgivings about mountaineering and believing that there is no chance that Chang survived the airplane crash.
- In Watchmen, The Power of Friendship is apparently the only thing that can counter Rorschach's Knight Templar attitude about everything. The only time we see him display a more-or-less human reaction (outside of flashbacks) is when Daniel bursts out and spells it out for him just how difficult exactly "being his friend" is.
- W.I.T.C.H. also relies on this: its tagline is "The Magic of Friendship". The heroines occasionally split up to tackle a problem, and don't always suffer for it, but are explicitly weakened when one of them actually quits.
- World War Hulk has a subversion. Several of Banner/Hulk's friends try to appeal to their history, their friendship, or his better nature. It never works because Hulk's own True Companions contain the traitor who caused the problem for which he blames the Earth heroes.
- A major facet of Taylor's powerset in Liaison is building strong relationships between people, especially others and herself. The stronger her relationships, the less effort required for her power-buffing and debuffing.
- Easily the strongest theme of Advent Crossover Crisis is how the heroes, combining their skills and willing to put others ahead of themselves, can best even the most powerful villains, who in turn have difficulty grasping this.
- Gets Deconstructed, Reconstructed, and Deconstructed again in A Pikachu in Love. Pikachu spends most of the fic questioning just how strong his bond with Ash really is, how long it would honestly last, and does consider leaving him at a few points to stay with Pichi, who he could have a full relationship with due to both of them being Pokemon. Gets Reconstructed in that Pikachu eventually realizes just how much Ash and Co. really love him, and feels ashamed of himself for thinking Ash would forget about and leave him behind one day. It then gets deconstructed again in that it's his friendship with them that forces him to leave Pichi for a final time, and just after she had confessed her love for him in hopes he would stay with her...
- This, along with The Power of Love, is what drives the good guys in the Elemental Chess Trilogy, and is the reason that several characters survive what happens to them.
- Fallen King examines and ultimately deconstructs this. While their friendship sustains them and helps them to never give up, Joey realizes that the villains can and will use it as a weapon, and ultimately decides that he, Tristan, and Tea must stop being friends to save the world.
- The Warblers in Hunting The Unicorn are the main source of heartwarming, comedy, and heartwarming comedy in an otherwise soul-crushing Deconstruction about Kurt and Blaine.
- Without this, Kyon Big Damn Hero would likely be far less upbeat. For a start, Tsuruya would likely be dead. Or illegally shipped to another country as a slave.
- Subverted in Equestria: A History Revealed. You would think that an essay detailing the past of Equestrian history would have a large focus on friendship, but it seems as though the Lemony Narrator doesn't believe this at all, and actually takes the real world's message of the show as a part of Celestia's "pro-friendship agenda". This is problematic as most of the major conflicts in the show are solved by friendship. But she finds another way to interpret this instead.
- Averted in My Little Unicorn. The author is not afraid to proclaim how much he hates the very idea of it.
- Done in a purely symbolic way in Power Rangers GPX. By the penultimate chapter in Part 1, four of the Rangers have become a tight friends even after one Ranger split from the team. Acutally, make that two, since he dragged his younger sister with him. Anyway, with said symbolic power, they were able to defeat the enemy general.
- In the Hunger Games fanfiction Some Semblance of Meaning, this is how Vale Whitaker makes it so far in her Games. She isn't a strong fighter by any means, nor is she at all ruthless, and she survives mainly by making friends instead of war. She has a lengthy list of allies—Kit, Fen and Lark, Phlox (though she quickly makes a Face-Heel Turn), and eventually Obsidian —and when she does die in the final confrontation , it is because she is defying the Capitol, not due to any betrayal. Both she and Obsidian comment over the course of the story about how it's more important to stand for something and to forge bonds than it is to win by plowing through everyone in your way.
- In With Strings Attached, the obvious love the four have for one another, despite their frequent quarrels and cranky moods, impresses the Hunter far more than any of their magic. After all, he's no stranger to power, but he doesn't have a single friend in the world. Ultimately, he is won over by this quality.
- The Avengers: Obviously a major theme in the movie.
- Tony Stark's kindness towards and acceptance of Bruce Banner/The Hulk, refusing to treat him like a ticking time bomb the way everyone else is, has drastic consequences later on, as not only does his insistence that the Hulk can be used for good get through to Bruce, who decides to come back to help during the final battle, but the Hulk remembers Tony and winds up saving his life.
- Rhino the Hamster from Disney's Bolt completely believes in this trope.
- Deep Blue Sea: lampshaded when Samuel L. Jackson gives a big speech about the Power of Teamwork, just before being unceremoniously eaten by a shark.
- Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children : Cloud is chastised by Tifa for being an angsty loner. When he finally lightens up, his friends show up en mass to save the day with a spectacular and very symbolic action set piece.
- Played with in Iron Man 2. When Rhodes takes the Mk II, his Beam-O-War with Tony produces a powerful blast, which is needed in the climax to defeat Whiplash after Rhodey makes up with Tony.
- At the end of Its A Wonderful Life, George Bailey ends up being saved by one of the more mundane versions of this trope: after he was falsely accused of stealing some money placed in his care that is now missing, all the people he's helped over the years come together and give him enough cash to replace the money that was stolen.
- The King's Speech focuses on the friendship between King George VI and his speech therapist and how it helped the former grow into a strong leader.
- In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, the group is ready to give up after one of the members betrays the group and they're almost killed. Tom Sawyer makes a dandy little speech about team unity and how they can win this fight because they have each other. Suddenly, and from that point on, everyone is BFFs and ready to fight.
- Thankfully, most of that scene was cut, indicating that the production team decided that giving any more screen time to an already insufferable token American character was a bad idea.
- Sam and Frodo's friendship in The Lord of the Rings can be summarised in eleven simple words: "I can't carry it for You, but I can carry You".
- In Madeline: Lost in Paris, "Togetherness Will Set Us Free" is built on this trope, with Madeline encouraging her new friends inside the sweetshop they are imprisoned in to work together for their freedom. This later leads to the girls to work together to take out the Big Bad and her dragon, with the help of Madeline's friends from the Old House in Paris.
- Pacific Rim: Because Drifting to pilot a Jaeger requires two people to be mentally linked so closely they'll be seeing each other's memories, they have to get along really well with no secrets; most pilot teams thus appear to involve close family or Battle Couples.
- In the movie Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, when Scott finally battles the Big Bad Gideon, his only chance to win is when his friend Knives steps in and battles alongside him.
- Smokey and the Bandit is all about this trope. Not only do Bandit and Snowman succeed by working with one another, but also by relying on assistance from all their CB radio friends.
- In Star Trek, Spock Prime cites this trope as the reason why Kirk and Spock must learn to work together; it is the only way the Enterprise can defeat Nero.
- Star Wars: The Emperor thinks Luke is a fool for trusting his friends to destroy the greatest superweapon ever built. We all know how that turned out.
Luke Skywalker: Your overconfidence is your weakness.
Emperor Palpatine: Your faith in your friends is yours.
- The climax of Guardians of the Galaxy, as fitting for a space fantasy movie, features the power of friendship weaponized. When Peter manages to snatch the Infinity Stone away from the Big Bad Ronan, the power bursting from it threatens to kill him. However, he's saved when his teammates, recalling a memory of several beings attempting to share its power, take each other's hands to divide the immense load. Thus the four (and a half) of them together are able to wield the Infinity Stone, letting them use its power to obliterate Ronan.
Peter: You said it yourself, bitch. We're the Guardians of the Galaxy.
- Animorphs plays with this a lot but ultimately plays it straight. While some books seem to imply that the group's close interpersonal relationships cause conflict and makes them less effective as guerrillas, the overall message that the group''s loyalty gives them the advantage over the uncaring Yeerks.
- The backbone of Avalon: Web of Magic, and stated outright by the author many times. No main character ever accomplishes anything without her friends backing her up.
- Battle Royale where Shuya and Noriko feel that the power of friendship will get them through the program. Shogo disagrees and is proved right when the rest of their classmates betray each other and play to win. In fact in the end Shogo pretends to betray them (I'm sure more than one person thought he really did) in order to get the three of them out.
- In Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000 novel Brothers of the Snake, the Space Marines in Damocles squad confess to Priad, their leader, that they have all pulled off a forbidden stunt: diving into a sea trench. Although they knew he would feel disgraced by it, they hoped he would not risk his life at it. (It doesn't work.)
- Seen throughout Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain. "The companions," as Taran's friends are known, help him and each other repeatedly. It's particularly a theme in the third book of the series, The Castle of Llyr, in which they discover that Princess Eilonwy's magic trinket becomes more powerful when the holder thinks more of others than of themselves.
- While this trope is present in almost all of Tamora Pierce's works, it's particularly notable in the Circle of Magic series. Four children, from the most different backgrounds possible (a kind and caring noble-girl, a frumpy and snarky merchant daughter, an outcast trader girl and an egotistical street rat) become best friends and foster siblings, whose minds become mentally linked. On their own, they're formidable mages. Together? Run.
- In the Codex Alera series, the Big Bad the Vord Queen calmly remarks to the hero that "Your bonds strengthen you. My daughter... will never understand that."
- In The Dresden Files novels, a big running theme is, as powerful a wizard as Harry Dresden is, he is only able to defeat the bad guys (who are FAR more powerful than him) with the help of his friends.
- During Dr Franklins Island Miranda becomes a bird and gradually seems to lose her human mind. Her friend being in danger seems to pull her back, a little. Certainly for most of the book the friendship between Miranda and Semi is a great comfort to them both, and helps them in some very dark times.
- A recurring theme in the The Elenium trilogy by David Eddings is that Sparhawk wouldn't manage to survive the epic quest he must undertake without the help of his best friend from childhood, his squire, his tutor, and the other knights who join them on the adventure. Sparhawk is The Chosen One, but his friends are what enable him to achieve his destiny.
- In the Fate/stay night prequel novels, Fate/Zero, the servant Rider, who actually happens to be Alexander the Great, has actually weaponized the power of friendship with his Noble Phantasm, Ionian Hetairoi. Because of the tremendous bond of loyalty and friendship between him and his soldiers, they are actually able to answer his call, breaking the laws of time and space to recreate the land they once marched over and fight alongside him once again.
- In the Gaunt's Ghosts novel Sabbat Martyr'', this is what saves Rawne from being converted by Chaos.
- In Victoria Forester's The Girl Who Could Fly, actually making friends makes Piper delighted with the institute.
- A very deep quote from Don Vito
Vito Corleone: Friendship is everything. Friendship is more than talent. It is more than government. It is almost the equal of family. Never forget that.
- In E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core!, Book 2 of The Guardians of Childhood , it is said in the ending that the power of freindship is magical indeed and that they had done what good friends should do: save one another.
- Harry Potter:
- A significant theme throughout the entire series; Word of God has even stated that Harry, Ron, and Hermione's bond is the chief reason for Harry's success and continued survival, and that they are a case of the whole being more than the sum of its parts.
- This is exemplified in every book: 1st book, Hermione's intellect and Ron's prowess with chess allow Harry to reach the last chamber of the gauntlet; 2nd book, Ron goes into the Forbidden Forest - which he knows has spiders, which he has a phobia to - out of his loyalty to Harry and Hermione; 3rd book, Ron and Hermione put themselves between Harry and Sirius, telling him that they'll have to pass through them if he wants to reach Harry; 5th book, when Harry believes Sirius is on the Ministry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville and Luna go with their friend despite Harry repeteadly telling them to stay at Hogwarts; 6th book, Ron and Hermione state that they are going to go with Harry on his Horcrux-searching quest, no matter what; and 7th book, Ron and Hermione stay with Harry for a lot of time - even Ron's leaving is useful as it allows him to gain information about what's going on everywhere else - and each of them manages to destroy one Horcrux.
- Also from the third book onwards whenever Harry needs to create a Patronus he uses thoughts of his friends or loved ones.
- In Ben Counter's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel Galaxy In Flames, when Tarvitz is trying to warn the betrayed Marines on Isstavan III, he invokes The Power of Friendship to get Garro to believe his word, because of their Fire Forged Friendship.
As my honor brother I ask you to trust me like you have never trusted me before. On my life I swear
that I do not lie to you, Nathaniel.
- At the end of Iron Dawn, Barra points out to the captive Big Bad that he lost out because he only had slaves on his side, whereas she had friends to back her up.
- In Edgar Rice Burroughs's A Princess of Mars, what Tars Tarkas learns from John Carter.
Tars: I would scarcely recognize you, John Carter, but there is no other mortal upon Barsoom who would have done what you have for me. I think I have learned that there is such a thing as friendship, my friend.
- The Law of the Jungle:
Now is the Law of the Jungle — as old and as true as the sky;
And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk, the Law runneth forward and back —
For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.''
- In the first The Kingdom Keepers book, the DHIs invoke this on the "its a small world" ride. They smile at the Audio-Animatronics, which stop attacking them and return to their posts.
- The Lord of the Rings:
- The series emphasizes this trope, particularly with the friendship between Sam and Frodo. Frodo would not have been able to make it through Mordor without Sam's help.
- The Fellowship itself is really all about this trope. Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli running for days with very little food and rest to try and save Pippin and Merry from death and torture is one of the strongest examples.
- A non-fellowship example is Merry attacking the effin Witch King to help Éowyn.
- Also, Gandalf's friendship and concern is what ultimately helps Bilbo give up the Ring of his own free will at the beginning of the story.
- Mildly justified in the climactic fight of Of Two Minds. The two main characters are fighting an older, more experienced, eviller version of one of them, and their only advantage is that it's two against one.
- In Rick Riordan's The Last Olympian, why the Ares's cabin campers followed Sirena; they didn't guess it wasn't Clarisse because they wanted to go fight next to their friends.
- From Skulduggery Pleasant: Death Bringer:
- According to Ghastly Bespoke, this is the main reason the good guys won the war against Mevolent.
"No, the reason we won was friendships like that. [...] Mevolent's lot? They wanted to bring the Faceless Ones
back, but the main thing was that they wanted to be
there when it happened. [...] So there were no sacrifices to save their friends, none of that. And that's one of the reasons they lost. It got to the point where they couldn't trust each other, because it was all about personal survival. Whereas with us... we were fighting, and dying, for each other."
- In the Star Trek: Voyager relaunch novel Acts of Contrition, Tom Paris is forced into a custody battle for his and B'elanna's daughter, Miral, as well as their unborn child, with his mother, Julia. When it comes time for the presentation of character witnesses for him, the first is the husband of Samantha Wildman (a relatively minor character on the series, who was not there because she was sent away by Paris on an important mission.) The second is the Vulcan Lieutenant Vorik, whom Paris never expected to speak on his behalf, especially since they had had words earlier in the book. After this, the judge asks if there are any more witnesses and Tom's counsel, Shaw, replies that there are and requests a recess. The recess is granted and Tom, curious, asks who else is there to speak for him, as he didn't think he had that many friends. Shaw presents him with a long list, explaining that "...every person I asked gave me the names of two or three more who would be happy to speak for you, and all of them are here today. ... They all said the same thing: 'If Tom Paris needs me, I'm there.'"
- Star Wars Expanded Universe:
- The series gives us a slightly lame scene wherein Jaina tries to save Zekk from The Dark Side with The Power of Friendship. It manages not to be completely lame, but only just.
- When a Sith Lord's spirit (Exar Kun) tried to push the young Jedi students attacking him over the Despair Event Horizon by taunting them about their weaknesses, their friendship strengthened them and thwarted his mental attack. At this point, Exar's former-Jedi master appeared as a Force Ghost and said "Together, Jedi can overcome their weaknesses."
- Fate of the Jedi book series: Dark Side people (Nightsisters and Sith) with a technique called a 'control web'. It allows them to combine their powers, and 'weave' their control over a dozen Rancors, or weaken an Eldritch Abomination.
- In Alexandre Dumas's classic The Three Musketeers: "One for All, All for One!"
- In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel "The Killing Ground", Leodegarius tells Uriel that Pasnius has been fiercely loyal to him. Uriel tells him that Pasanius is his friend, and that's what friends do.
- In Lee Lightner's Warhammer 40,000 novels:
- Sons of Fenris: Ragnar arrives at the mess hall feeling demoralized and isolated; his old company is eating, and his fellow Wolfblade, Haegr, is sitting alone. When they realize that he is there, one raises a toast, and they all pounce to talk and commiserate so eager that Haegr comes to reclaim him. Ragnar proclaims that his old company are still his battle brothers.
- Wolf's Honour: Ragnar goes to a cold and isolated spot on the Fang to think. Torin and Haegr track him down; Haegr deduces his location because whenever Ragnar is in a black mood, you can find him in the most unpleasant place where he could put himself. Ragnar admits to not telling where he was because they would have dragged him out of it as soon as they learned.
- In William King's Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novel Wolfblade, Sven stays with Ragnar while his case is being considered by the Wolf Lords, and fumes about the injustice of its even being considered something to be tried, until Ranek shows up to send him away. Ranek admits the support does him credit, but the Wolf Lords will be angry with him if they discover it.
- A major theme in many of the works of Dean Koontz.
- A major theme in many of the works of Stephen King, particularly IT.
Live Action TV
- Why The Amazing Race uses teams of two, and what differentiates the show from most other competitive Reality Shows.
- Angel, like Buffy, tends to play it pretty straight (although it's generally more subdued), but lightly parodied it at least once:
Angel: You may have the attitude, and you may have the power. But there's one thing you don't have and never will: friends. Four of 'em, standin' behind you with big, heavy things.
- The A-Team. So much so that in the beginning of Season 5, when Hannibal, Face, and B.A. are finally captured and put on trial all three of them choose to plead guilty for the infamous crime they didn't commit because the only way their lawyer can prove them innocent is by pinning the crime on Murdock. The team realizes that if that happens Murdock will be sentenced to death. All three of them stand up and plead guilty, knowing that they will face the firing squad. They were willing to die to protect Murdock.
- The basic premise of Black Hole High seems to be that, at least within the Applied Phlebotinum field of the school, character flaws trump physics. In the second episode, it makes perfect logical sense that realizing that your friends care for you can cure invisibility.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: It is specifically stated, both within the show and in interviews with writers, that the reason Buffy has lasted so long as a Slayer compared to her predecessors is that she has friends—the so-called "Scooby Gang"—who look out for her. This is why Faith fails; she's unable to trust people and form lasting friendships.
"A slayer with family and friends. That sure as hell wasn't in the brochure."
- Played for darker twists when it's revealed that many Slayers end up dead, not because they make physical mistakes which lose battles, but because constantly fighting demons cuts away a Slayer's ties to the world until everything she fights to protect has either died or abandoned her. With nothing they appreciate in the normal world, these Slayers become Death Seekers, and Buffy is forced to fight against her own suicidal feelings through seasons 5 and 6.
- In the Season Four climax, the Scoobies use a spell that combines all their powers into Buffy's body - becoming, in other words, The Power of Friendship given corporeal form. They proceed to demonstrate this power by curbstomping the previously unstoppable Adam.
- One of the themes in Burn Notice. Michael's a bad-ass spy who can handle anything...but even he needs the help of his friends and family to save the day. Moreover, Michael has acknowledged that he is Not So Different from many of the villains his team have dealt with over the course of the series—particularly Larry (yes, Dead Larry), and in the episode "Enemies Closer" he admits that what keeps him from crossing the Moral Event Horizon is his connection to his friends. Or maybe he was only talking to Fi.
- The "Power of Three" in Charmed relied on The Power of Friendship to work. At one point the sisters intentionally used their powers on each other in a heated argument, which immediately caused the loss of their powers.
- Chuck Bartowski has lost his powers and nothing seems to work to restore them. And to make matters worse the bad guys capture him and his best friend (who has no idea of what he really does) and are about to execute them, with no help in sight. In one of the series greatest moments, Chuck regains his powers.....with a simple buddy talk with Morgan.
- Near the end of Season 3, the Big Bad Shaw has effectively destroyed Team Bartowski, by capturing Chuck, Sarah, Casey and Beckman. Little does he know that by now there's a second brigade to Team Bartowski - Ellie, Devon and Morgan. This second string's counterespionage credentials are practically nil — but they'll do anything to rescue Chuck, Sarah and Casey.
- Throughout the series, any character who stubbornly holds to the belief that a proper spy should have no personal attachments is either shown to be at the very least wrong (Sarah& Casey, in early episodes), unlikeable (Corrina), or vulnerable to being turned (Shaw).
- Like with Leverage above, the Community universe seems to be fueled by this. The Rag Tag Bunch Of Misfits work together to bring home a space simulator, make a bullied kid feel better with Dungeons & Dragons, help Pierce get his rightful inheritance in a video game, and save the school with an elaborate heist.
- Doctor Who:
- In the series 3 finale, Martha escapes the Master's takeover of Earth and spends one year traveling the world telling everyone about the doctor and how they're supposed to say (and believe!) "doctor" over and over during an onconming countdown. When said time arrives, everyone in the world doing this (even the Master's human followers and his own freaking wife) gives the Doctor the strength he needs to overpower the Master and undo all his evil.
- All of the Doctor's previous companions have shown that they're quite willing to die (in some cases, repeatedly) to protect him. "Journey's End" has Davros that the Doctor basically turns everyone who loves him into living weapons for his cause.
- Rory makes a point of it too, in a somewhat different fashion, in series five, by pointing out that part of the reason the Doctor's so dangerous is because his overconfident behaviour and impulsive nature encourages others to risk their lives just to impress him. When Rory himself ends up doing the exact same thing later in the episode, in light of the previous guilt-tripping the Doctor is less-than-impressed.
- In "The Warmachines", the mind-controlled Polly clearly sees Ben escaping, and says nothing. When someone asks after him, she explains, but when he asks her why, she does not know, and after a moment, starts to remember that he had been her friend.
- In the first half of the Series 8 finale, "Dark Water", Clara, distraught over the death of her lover, Danny Pink, tries to force The Doctor to change the events that caused his death, despite The Doctor warning her of the consequences. It turns out The Doctor anticipated her grief-stricken behavior, and took precautions, so what Clara thought was a life-or-death situation was actually a Secret Test of Character, and one she failed. Then the Doctor tells her that while it won't be the way she suggested, he will help her.
Clara: You're going to help me?
The Doctor: Well, why wouldn't I help you?
Clara: Because of what I just did. I just...
Clara: Then why are you helping me?
- This also works in Firefly. It's what Mal tries to beat into Jayne's head throughout the show, especially in "Ariel," and it's how the crew gets the better of Saffron twice.
Saffron: Everybody plays each other. That's all anybody ever does. We play parts.
Mal: You got all kinds a' learnin' and you made me look the fool without trying, yet here I am with a gun to your head. That's 'cause I got people with me, people who trust each other, who do for each other and ain't always looking for the advantage.
- Friends obviously. Its pretty clear none of the characters would get through any of their problems, without the rest of the gang to support them. This was established from the minute the theme song played:
I'll be there for you..When the rain starts to pour
I'll be there for you.. Like I've been there before
I'll be there for you...'Cause you're there for me too
- Parodied in an episode of The Good Life: "You know, Tom and Barbara are the only real friends we've got. Pity they don't have any money or power."
- Even though they're often at each other's throats for one reason or another, the "non-judging Breakfast Club" of Gossip Girl always band together when one of them is in trouble. As Gossip Girl herself puts it, "With friends like these, who needs armies?"
- The theme in season 5 of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. In the episode "Descent", Hercules defeats D'muzi simply by screaming out Iolaus' name.
- Heroes also features a lot of this, but taken to almost anvilicious (but still enjoyable) levels concerning Hiro and Ando.
- This seems to be the main reason Sibuna keep winning in House of Anubis. Fabian makes a speech about it in season 2, even, claiming that while the teachers have more of the advantages, they have the team, and they'd win because they wouldn't let each other fail.
- In How I Met Your Mother, Future!Ted is pretty clear to his kids that life will occasionally (or even frequently) suck really badly, but if you have friends to accompany you on your journey through it, it'll never be completely terrible.
- He also notes that the pull of friendship is more powerful than any number of problems, complications, and conflicts that might get in its way: "Friendship is an involuntary reflex; it just happens."
- Kamen Rider Fourze: The show is perhaps more focused on this trope than any of the other Kamen Rider shows put together, as it stars a hero who wishes to make friends with nearly everyone, and lives up to the promise by creating the Kamen Rider Club, with contains him and six other True Companions.
- All of Gentaro's States' form are only fully achieved when he reaffirmed/gain friendshipnote .
- The bond between them also powers his Super Mode. The Super Mode is so depended on it that the lost of JK's friendship, as well as the disappearance of Tomoko, made Gentaro lose the ability to turn into Cosmic States mode.
- ''Leverage' features this heavily as the team is made up of individualistic thieves who had always worked alone. One they begin working together, they realize how much more effective they were than before.
- Series/Ultraman Mebius: The writers took this to heart. This features Mirai making friends with people on spot, trying to teach the meaning of friendship to others, and even being REVIVED FROM THE DEAD and gaining new powers from friendship.
- Sherlock plays this trope for drama. the titular character is forced to give up life as he knows it in order to save the only three people in the world he considers friends: John, Mrs Hudson, and Lestrade. It's made all the worse by a conversation not long before this:
Sherlock: Alone is what I have. Alone protects me.
John: No. Friends protect people.
- Star Trek features a lot of this; especially in The Original Series and in The Next Generation. Many episodes revolve around one of the crew being kidnapped, threatened, or otherwise in danger, and having the rest of the crew band together to save them. Has resulted in plenty of Crowning Moment of Heartwarming and Big Damn Heroes.
- Parodied in the comedy show Stella, in which the three main characters use the power of friendship to create an invisible forcefield to trap a rival group of evil paperboys that have been bullying them throughout the episode. They then threaten to use the power of friendship to crush the bullies to death if they don't cut it out. Stella's Aesop is ALWAYS the power of friendship. ALWAYS.
- In the second episode of Young Hercules, Ares decides that Hercules's weakest point is his "pathetic mortal feelings", and sends Strife to attack Hercules through his best friend, Iolaus. In the end, it is Iolaus shouting Herc's name during Hercules and Strife's final showdown that distracts Strife long enough for Hercules to win the fight.
- Believe it or not, on 24, this is what ultimately turns Jack Bauer back from the dark side in the final episode and prevents him from assassinating Russian president, Yuri Suvarov. When Chloe O'Brian comes for him to try to talk him down, he asks her why she came and she replies that she had to, she's his friend.
- On the subject of Reality game shows, this trope does have its place in some reality game shows like Survivor or Big Brother. In both games, there're one or two people who make friends and manage to make it further. Especially given these two games have people who proudly declare I'm Not Here to Make Friends. There's almost always one person who's evicted simply because they're at the bottom of the totem pole.
- In Big Brother, if the other houseguests don't like you for whatever reason, you can expect to face the public vote. This often leads to an Unpopular Popular Character, adored by the audience but disliked by their fellow players.
- Several seasons of the American Survivor show that this really can be an underestimated boon. In this game, you have to convince 7-9 players you most likely evicted to vote for you to win. If you wantonly bullied your way through the game and left a trail of angry and insulting jurors, you'll probably finish third or second, while someone who got in friendly with them will be seen as the lesser evil. This is even lampshaded by Jaison in Samoa, which is perhaps the most clear-cut example of showing this trope in action. In Samoa, one player called Russell Hantz carried his alliance through the game but was an Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy. He clearly knew the game, yet apparently didn't know that the players he sent to the jury had to like him, or at least respect him. He sociopathically pushed his way through the game, and ended by bragging to the jury about how awesome he was, and was surprised when their response was, "NO!", and their votes almost all went for the girl who went around making friends with people.
- The Arabian god Wadd was the deity of friendship, besides being also a moon and snake god.
- The tyrant of Syracuse was so impressed by the friendship between Damon, who volunteered to be a hostage for Pythias's return and be executed if he did not, and Pythias, who not only returned to his execution to spare Damon but did so in spite of being captured by bandits and Breaking the Bonds to escape, that he pardoned Pythias for conspiring against him. Thus this is Older Than Feudalism.
- Kane and Daniel Bryan (Hell No) are doing this right now albeit partially zigzagged (I AM THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS, etc.)
- Interestingly, having a large group of friends means something entirely different in professional wrestling. Factions comprised of more than 2-3 wrestlers are typically called "stables", and their primary function in story telling is usually to have members of the stable assist other members in their matches and post-match beatdowns... which is dirty play and against the rules. As a result, the aesops associated with this trope are usually averted: the heroes are loners who fight alone against the odds, the villains are cowards who come down to the ring with all of their friends in tow.
Tabletop Roleplaying Games
- Byron Falls from John Wick's Big Book Of Little Games utilizes it in mechanics - players divide points between their friends - the more points asigned to a person, the stronger is your relationship with them. When you help one of those friends, you use number of dices equal to how many points you spend on them. However, it also deconstructs the trope - you cannot asign the same number of points to two different friends, and if any of them betrays you, they use number of dice equal points you spend on them for all actions against you.
- The indie RPG Misspent Youth by Robert Bohl is all about this. Characters are required to be one another's friends by design, you ask questions about your friendship at the start of every session, all conflicts are between The Authority and the friends, the stakes of all conflicts are agreed-upon by all of the players at the table, and usually when a conflict is won it's with a friend's character's abilities.
- Absolutely included in Ponies and Parasprites due to the source material. In this game, the positive emotions that one feels when one is self-confident and/or surrounded by their friends is quantified by their Love score, which starts at 1 at character creation and goes up and down as play progresses. When a party is formed, their individual Love scores are summed up and used by every character in the group. Love is added to the total score of any die roll the character makes, meaning a character with quite a bit of Love associated with them can achieve feats they wouldn't be able to alone.
- In Breath of Fire II you're told that the only way to get the final dragon form to beat the Big Bad is for one of your friends to give their life. They're varying degrees of willing. It turns out that the real way to unlock it is to ignore the requirement and refuse to choose a friend, choosing to sacrifice yourself rather than others.
- Breath of Fire IV: Subverted in the "bad" ending in which the main character was absorbed by the villain who then proceeded to summon an enormous dragon to fight the remainder of the party. Said party spouted something about friendship, but it was quickly snuffed out by the fact that the dragon had infinite HP, which regenerated every turn, counterattacks that did thousands of damage, an attack that reduced everybody to 1 HP, and was controlled by the player. The game then proceeded to end with all of humanity being destroyed.
- In Bubble Bobble, it's this that breaks whatever curse Bub & Bob are under. So much that if you beat the game without your friend i.e. player 2, you won't get the True Ending.
- In Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, during the final battle, this is a Discussed Trope. While idealistic hero Almaz calls it this, Mao categorically denies that it has anything to do with friendship, claiming it's some sort of cosmic energy he was hiding in his body.
- Playing the trope straight, Valvatorez of Disgaea 4 strongly believes in the power of friendship, and utters the following line in the last battle:
Valvatorez: Do you see now, God!? This is the power of demons, angels, and humans! A power that's much stronger than yours, the ties of our camaraderie!
- A recurring theme in Dragon Age:
- Depending on how you play the Warden, Dragon Age: Origins has some very powerful examples of this. A female Warden who befriends Morrigan can induce her to admit that she has never had or even wanted a friend before, but has come to view the Warden almost as a sister. A number of the other companions have similar trust issues, but with thoughtful gifts and compassionate dialogue choices, you can get them to make similar confessions regardless of the Warden's gender. This translates in gameplay as stat boosts.
- In Dragon Age II, the mechanic returns, allowing you to build up Friendship by making choices your current two companions agree with... As well as building up Rivalry, which makes them fight just as hard to either sway you to their reasoning, prove you wrong, or just out of spite. Ultimately, however, both the Power of Friendship and the Power of Rivalry lead to Undying Loyalty if you spend enough time with a character.
- The power of friendship allows everyone to survive their Duel Boss fights in the last route of Duel Savior Destiny. Otherwise, they'd all have died either before the fight or right after it.
- Used against the player in E Xceed 3rd: the third boss, Giee, uses Summon Magic, and claims that the love and trust between herself and her summons grants her incredible power (since she's just the Stage 3 boss, she goes down hard).
- Final Fantasy:
- Final Fantasy IV (II in its first western release):
- The player's party is about to be wiped out right before the final battle, when the camera switches back to Earth, to show people sending "their prayers" to the characters. After that, several of the protagonist's friends (some dead ones too!) materialize briefly by his side with words of encouragement. Each such speech heals the members a bit, until they're at full strength again.
- The same game also turns it against you with the Four Fiends. After taking down the final Fiend, Rubicant, he realizes that you beat him because your party fought him as a team.
- In Final Fantasy VI, upon reaching the Final Boss, the party responds to his nihilistic revelations by talking about all of the individual bonds they've made with one another, what they've learned throughout their individual experience, and why real love is worth risking their lives and fighting to preserve. The villain's response? "This is sickening. You sound like chapters from a self help booklet!" Kefka is wrong. He is stopped. It's also worth noting that in a game where one of the central themes is "human connection makes you a person," Kefka, the villain, is alone in absolutely every way.
- In Final Fantasy IX, after a particularly distressing revelation, Zidane turns into a zombie-like Jerkass note and tries to go it alone. His friends gather around him and convince him that they need each other, helping him turn back into a nice guy.
- This is used more literally during the ending; after the party is completely wiped out by Kuja's Ultima and helpless when Necron appears, the four party members not participating in the final battle hand their power over to the four others, fully healing them and giving a few encouraging words as they do so.
- Final Fantasy XII pulled this one twice: once when the main cast is getting ready to fly off to destroy the source of the game's Applied Phlebotinum, and again when they're just getting ready to fight the Big Bad.
- Dissidia: Final Fantasy almost as much as Kingdom Hearts. The initial idea for the game was to make it a Kingdom Hearts game, which is telling.
- Fire Emblem:
- In the later games, units that spend significant time battling near each other can have what are called "Support Conversations" wherein they develop their relationships, causing them to have a boost to their offensive or defensive ability when within a short distance of each other. You heard that right: Shipping provides a strategic advantage. This is justified in Fire Emblem, as all of your characters are soldiers or fighters of some degree. The support levels are gained by having the units fight near each other, so the game is recognizing that people who fight as a team tend to get better at it over time.
- Ike from Fire Emblem's famous line in Super Smash Bros. Brawl: "I fight for my friends."
- Near the end of Awakening, it is revealed that the Avatar can destroy Grima for good, although doing so would erase him/her from existence. It's mentioned it is possible, although very unlikely, for him/her to be brought back if the bonds s/he formed with other people was strong enough. It works.
- Grand Theft Auto V of all things heavily employs this trope, particularly in the Golden Ending. Rather than kill his two friends and mentor figures at the behest of Devin Weston and the FIB, Franklin instead opts to get Michael and Trevor together to take down everyone who wants them dead, despite the latter two's ongoing feud. In the end, the protagonists eliminate all their enemies, deal with their inner demons, strengthen their bonds, and earn their happy endings. The other endings where Franklin betrays one of the two are much bleaker.
- In Improbable Island, there are some situations, especially when there is threat level 1 in every outpost, it simply is not feasible to continue normally, as the cost of healing will outweigh the payouts of hunting. However, in you are part of a large guild, especially one with maxed out buffs, a competent player can become nearly invincible to all level-appropriate encounters, as the enemies will barely be able to overcome your damage resistance, let alone your regen.
- In InuYasha: Secret of the Cursed Mask, depending on which character you spend your rest days with, you gain more powerful combination attacks with said character as your in-game friendship grows (and character-specific endings, but they just follow similar formats).
- In the final battle of Jade Empire, your allies weaken the enemies that the Big Bad sends at you before you face him. The game's Karma Meter system makes this a Downplayed version. The only difference between being an All-Loving Hero who believes in the power of friendship (Open Palm), and a tyrant who just killed all the followers who disagreed with him (Closed Fist), is you have to fight a few more enemies.
- Crucial to the Kingdom Hearts series. Sora's Keyblade, and indeed all keyblades, seem drawn to individuals with strong hearts and emotions, including — and especially — friendship. But magic and normal combat also seems to operate under this trope; Donald Duck and Goofy and all of Sora's various friends triumph repeatedly through their bonds with each other.
- Sora's Drive Forms could be seen as a physical manifestation of this, as can the Keyblade itself actually. The Keyblade changes form when you use a different trinket as the keychain. The keychains he uses are representative of the worlds that he visits, and Kairi's charm is the chain for the Oathkeeper Keyblade. The Power of Friendship gets you better weapons!
- Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep states that The Power of Friendship is Sora's superpower. Birth By Sleep makes friendship essentially Kingdom Hearts version of Spiral Power. It also allows Aqua to smash the Keyblade equivalent of Excalibur by turning her own into a lightsaber of friendship. It gives Ven the power to leech Vanitas's abilities off of him and use them to defeat Vanitas, and it gives Terra the ability to control his own armor even after his heart and body have been taken by the big bad. Finally it allows Ven (who's currently comatose) and Terra (who's currently trapped in his own body while another controls it) to magically transport their keyblades to the realm of darkness to one shot freaking Darksides (the strongest of the pureblood heartless) and save a currently HBSOD ing Aqua while also giving her the will to live again. If you have a keyblade and at least one close friend in KH verse, you will be unstoppable. Gameplay-wise, D-Links are basically the invoking of The Power Of Friendship, in which characters tap into the powers of characters they've interacted with. Most of these actually involve friendship (Experiment 626, Zack and Mickey) while others a bit less so (the Disney Princesses and in Terra's case, Maleficent).
- coded keeps up the trend; the connections and friendship that data Sora has built with Mickey, Donald, and Goofy allow data Sora to summon a keyblade, and may have actually created a heart for him.
- The Power of Friendship is the central theme of 358/2 Days too, centering around the friendship of Roxas, Axel and Xion
- Played with like wow in Kingdom Hearts 3D. The villains use Sora's reliance of the power of friendship to lure him into a trap and Xigbar attempts to deconstruct the trope by pointing out that if Sora's power comes from his friends then he doesn't have any of his own. Sora completely ignores the attempt to send him into a Heroic BSOD and reconstructs it on the spot, saying that that makes him part of something bigger than himself and he's totally cool with that.
- Done in Left 4 Dead as game mechanic. Going Rambo and your chance to die is
100% 99.999% (solo runs are being attempted, but no one yet seems to have bagged 'em all) from Smoker and Hunter. Only your friends can help you out of that.
- The Legend of Zelda:
- An argument could be made for this trope's inclusion in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Link and the imp Midna increasingly learn to trust and rely upon one another; there's even a screencap after one battle they fight together where they look like they're posing for some kind of friendship poster. Additionally, the first item Link receives in the game is a fishing pole handcrafted by his young friend Colin; if Link pulls the fishing pole out during his final fight with the Big Bad, his enemy actually stops moving and stares at it, giving Link the opportunity to get in some hits without retaliation.
- Since this trope is part of the premise of the gameplay of The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks, Zelda develops a habit of randomly turning into Tea from Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series and delivering Friendship-speeches. Aside from these speeches, however, the concept works incredibly well for a game series where The Hero usually fights all alone and leads to many heartwarming scenes. The cheesiness of this is rather hilariously lampshaded: after they fight together to beat Byrne they have a huge celebration for their teamwork...then notice the boss took the opportunity to hobble away in the meantime.
- In Mario Baseball, some characters have good chemistry with other players. Moves involving two players (e.g. one throws the ball to the other) are improved if those players have good chemistry with each other. This kind of friendship is represented visually by music notes.
- While Commander Shepard's skill to inspire Undying Loyalty in his/her crew is a recurring motif in the Mass Effect series, the aesop of how important it is to have loyal friends covering your back is pretty much hammered home with a sledge in the "Citadel" DLC campaign for Mass Effect 3. Its entire plotline is basically as a series of situations where The Power of Friendship ensures the continuous survival, sanity, and success of the entire party.
- In Mega Man Battle Network:
- Mega Man gains power by fusing with the "souls" of his friends, and some powerful items are only available by playing link games with other players (ostensibly, friends). The game focuses more on the bond between family members though.
- The main character of Battle Network would go on to create the foundation of the world of Star Force, making him the most successful protagonist ever.
- Mega Man Star Force:
- The game harps on the importance of relationships almost constantly. In fairness, the "Brother Band" system that underpins this emphasis on relationships also confers very practical benefits. Brother Banding with NPCs (or actual humans over Wi Fi) gives the player (or both players) bonus HP and the option to share their "favorite cards" for use in battle. This doesn't stop the game from also using it somewhat Anviliciously in other contexts, including when the main character is Lost in Space and his friends direct him back to earth using the awesome power of friendship. And not all of them are even really Brothers with him.
- Wait, it gets better! The Power of Friendship can also apparently bring the dead back to life!
- Solo praises the civilization of Mu... which went down solely because its inhabitants didn't trust each other. Meanwhile, ingame the Rogue powers that can be gained are far inferior to what Geo can get from the standard Brother features, and the Super Mode (which, amusingly enough, is a symbol of what Mu could have been if the people worked together) is only accessible if you have a Brother from an opposite game (Or a Wave Command Card). In fact, by the next game Solo ditches the whole "alone" aspect by teaming up with an ancient Mu relic. This doesn't stop him from constantly talking down to Geo, no matter how many times Geo beats his face in or how many "battle of ideals" Solo loses. There's a reason most people don't take Solo seriously.
- Worth noting that Solo does believe in the power of friendship... but he sees it as an evil power. This is because Solo has a tendency to creep people out, so they run from him... then they come back with their friends, and beat up the alleged threat.
- Done at the end of Earthbound in possibly the most heartwrenching, most powerful, most incredibly meta way ever. Giygas is defeated by all the prayers of the friends the Chosen Four make over the course of the game, including the player.
- The song "Bein' Friends" from MOTHER could fit as well.
- This one of the main themes of the series, really. By themselves, all of the series' party members are both good people and more-than-decent fighters, but once they all have each other, they can achieve practically anything. You will believe a halitosis-ridden cripple, a potty-mouthed teenager, a PTSD-stricken shepherd boy, and a dog can single-handedly save the world thanks to the Power of Friendship.
- In Neverwinter Nights 2's endgame Black Garius uses your tiefling companion Neeshka's devil blood to put a geas on her. If your Influence with her is strong enough, she'll break the geas, refusing to attack the only person who's ever been nice to her.
- The Paper Mario series has this, and not just because switching between your immediate partners is what allows you to overcome the obstacles along the way. In each game, the climactic battle with the Big Bad begins with you getting in a few hits before he makes himself invincible somehow. Then the wishes or prayers or feelings of the friends you've made in all the places you've been enable the breaking of the barrier, so the fight can begin in earnest. The whole "power of friendship" scene is extremely long in the second game against The Shadow Queen compared to the ones against Bowser and Super Dimentio.
- In Persona 3, the strength of your fused Personae is dictated by how strong your relationships with other people are. These relationships are usually platonic, but five of them are romantic, and several are of the surrogate family variety. During the ultimate confrontation with the Big Bad, the combined strength of all of the protagonist's relationships creates the Universe Arcana and sustains the PC during the final battle, providing the power to create the Great Seal, which prevents The End of the World as We Know It.
- The Social Link system returns in Persona 4. Many of your social links are with party members, and having a stronger social bond with them will improve their combat abilities to the point where their Personae are upgraded to an improved form. During the game's True Final Boss fight Izanami-no-Ookami attempts to use One Thousand Curses on the protagonist, only to be blocked by each active party member in turn. When the Protagonist is finally hit with the attack, every completed social link appears before him, telling him about the impact he's had on their lives and offering their support. The power of all these social links transforms your starter Persona into Izanagi-no-Ookami, allowing you to break free from the attack and lift the fog of deceit once and for all.
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney:
- This trope is, thankfully, subtly, invoked, and called 'trust' by Detective Gumshoe. In the first game (especially the DS-exclusive 5th case) Phoenix unintentionally shows this to Edgeworth. When Edgeworth returns in the 4th case of the second, he either reminds Phoenix of this or shows it to him directly. Through the combined efforts of Wright, Edgeworth and Von Karma, Engarde is found guilty, which is called a 'miracle' in the end.
- Mia also mentions in the 2nd game that friendship is "the strongest weapon in the world and you have it in abundance". Mostly to cheer Wright up though.
- One of the major themes in the franchise is the relationship between trainers and their Pokémon. Regardless of the forms they take or abilities they have, all can be befriended and made into potential allies. Another theme is the relationship between trainers themselves, both in-game and the players since it's almost impossible to collect all Pokémon within a single game and trading between players is vital.
- The move Return, which grows stronger the higher the user's happiness value is. Inverted with its opposite counterpart Frustration, which is stronger the less happy the user is.
- This trope is what drives the plot of PokéPark Wii, because friendship powers a crystal that keeps a floating island from falling and crushing the park.
- Some Pokémon can only evolve when their happiness level is at maximum.
- The Pokémon-Amie feature in Pokémon X and Y allows you to interact with your Pokémon and increase its affection for you. Pokémon with high Affection get a number of bonuses like an increased critical hit rate or a chance to shrug off status effects, ignore stat-lowering moves like Leer, or even survive attacks that would have knocked them out through sheer force of will.
- Given a very bittersweet nod in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future. It's revealed during the course of the gameplay that Luke, the Prof's devoted apprentice, is going to be moving overseas with his parents (and his father is also one of Layton's closest friends). Layton points out a statue depicting the friendship between a different adult and child, and promises Luke that no matter where they are in the world, they will always be friends.
- Friendship equals literal psychic power in Psychonauts—while absolutely no one will help you save the world, when you save someone's brain, they thank you by adding their psychic energies to yours, making you stronger. (Which in this case means more health.) If you reach a certain level, all of your friends start focusing their positive energies on you to cheer you to victory, and you slowly heal as you go.
- Rival Schools thrives on this. The students (and teachers) in this game usually gain their strength from their bonds with their friends, and are able to triumph over loner villains in each game. It's so powerful that in each game, a mole sent by the villain (Kyosuke in United By Fate and Yurika in Project Justice) ends up switching over to the good guys because of the friendships they've developed.
- Parodied in the season finale of Sam & Max: Freelance Police season 2 when Sam tells Satan that he managed to escape his own eternal punishment through the power of friendship and cooperation. Max then adds that he mauled the demon guard and ripped out his kidneys.
- Samurai Warriors - The personal philosophy of Kanetsugu Naoe (well, that and Justice). Everyone else is annoyed by his constant speechifying and tells him to shut up.
- This is a gameplay mechanic in Shining Force III. If two characters work together to defeat an enemy unit or heal each other they can gain relationship point,to increase the level of their relationship Ally-Partner-Friend-Trusted-Soulmate. When two characters with a relationship level stand near each other, they get a stat boost.
- This is what Red of Solatorobo says keeps him going even when things get rough. Also the reason he claims the Caninu and Felineko will not dissolve into war like the humans did, since humans only began to war on a global scale when they stopped helping each other get better.
- In Sonic Adventure, the power of friendship restored the Chaos Emeralds' power after they've been drained by Perfect Chaos, giving Sonic the means to go Super in order to stop the rampaging beast from destroying the world.
- The general theme of Sonic Heroes deals with teamwork and friendship.
- The general theme of Sonic Rush, where the power of friendship allows Blaze to access the power of the Sol Emeralds and go Super to stop the Eggmen from taking over the world.
- The main character, Edge, of Star Ocean The Last Hope will repeat the same sappy, sugary lines about the power of friendship until the player gets diabetes.
- Star Wars: Republic Commando. "We'll beat them, Delta Squad!"
- Not only do characters in Super Robot Wars get bonuses when they're next to a friend (Or rival or romantic interest), but two of the abilities a pilot can have, Trust and Faith, replenish an ally's HP - That's right, you're repairing physical damage to a Humongous Mecha through The Power of Friendship.
- A similar system applies to Jump Ultimate Stars. If you place friends next to your playable characters in your deck, the friend will give the playable character a boost to their maximum HP.
- Tales of Graces:
- There's a joke that the "f" added to Tales of Graces for its PlayStation 3 Updated Re-release stands for "friendship" because this trope is pretty much the key theme of the game.
- Try to count how many times Asbel says the word "protect" or "friends" in Tales of Graces. But don't make this into a drinking game. If you did, you would die. You would die horribly. The frequency of friend-protection rivals that of KUREAAAA.
- Tales Series:
- Played with in Thief II: The Metal Age. One of the epigraphs that preceed the cinematic sequences before each level is from the Keepers' Book of Secrets: "Reliance on others is strength for the weak, but weakness for the strong. Wisdom lies in knowing one's own nature over time." Garrett has always been a (effectual) loner, but winds up needing to make allies to solve the problems he faces in the game. If the epigraph is correct, this means Garrett used to be strong but now has become weak.
- A major theme in Thomas Was Alone.
- Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume deconstructs this trope. The main character carries a cursed artifact, the Destiny Plume, which makes the target super-strong for one battle but kills them at the end of the fight. It only works on people who trust him and consider him a friend, and none of them realize he's the one who's cutting them down. Frequent use of it makes you more powerful, but as you can imagine, it's not exactly healthy for your Karma Meter. As it's mentioned, "The closer the better". This also turns it into a form of Gameplay and Story Integration, since you can't sacrifice "guest" characters (partly because they're important to the plot of that story arc) as they haven't actually considered Wyl their friend yet.
- This theme is prominent in The Witcher if you choose to work with the Order or, more accurately, with the knight Siegfried. From the very start, Geralt muses that he prefers to work alone but fighting monsters back-to-back with Siegfried has unexpected advantages. Throughout the game, the two men can develop a friendship that is awkward at first (since they come from very different backgrounds and neither is particularly good at being friends) but becomes one of unconditional trust towards the end.
- Part of the point behind The World Ends with You is getting Ineffectual Loner Neku to open up and cooperate with his teammates in order to survive "The Game" being played around Shibuya. Keeping close ties (or, in game terms, a high "Sync" ratio) with them increases their fighting effectiveness, since the Noise also fight in tandem.
- In World of Warcraft defeating both raid bosses and the opposing faction requires effective communication, teamwork, and persistence. This is why guilds are more successful than pick-up groups.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction, a recurring theme is the connection between duelists and friends.
- Choose a video-game where players are put in teams and have to play against one another. Any game. Even if one team has better players, if they're not working together or supporting one another, and the other team is, the other team is almost certainly going to win.
- Wyn from the web fiction serial Dimension Heroes refuses to team up with the other Dimensional Guardians until he falls under the control of a monster and is subsequently freed by them, realizing that the only way he'll be able to defeat the forces of darkness is to team up with them.
- Dreamscape and DSBTInsaniT both have this message, the former playing it far more straight than the latter.
- According to the 11/26 uStream, this along with the fanbase are what's keeping the cast of Everyman HYBRID sane. Compare it to many other Slender Man Mythos stories where, for the most part, the protagonists are alone against him.
- This happened precisely once in the entire history of the Global Guardians PBEM Universe: When Doctor XX had captured several members of the Hyperion Academy student body, she gloated over her prisoners, proclaiming that as "mere children", they never had a hope of defeating her.
Doctor XX: Did you really think you'd win? I'm more powerful than any of you!
Battlecry: Yeah? Maybe so... (cue the wall coming down as the rest of the students arrive) but you're not more powerful than all of us!
- This is the primary 'weapon' utilized by members of the Knights Of Fandom.
- In her review of Spice World, the only plus The Nostalgia Chick can give the Spice Girls is at least they were marketed as being friends. But they screwed that up in their reunion video when they weren't even looking at each other.
- Red vs. Blue:
- Once the series starts moving away from pure shenanigans and starts providing a framework to understand their universe, the odds stacked against the Blood Gulch Crew are absurd - the only way they can even survive is by increasingly relying on each other, working past their faults and shortcomings, even as they relentlessly needle each other for those faults. Of note are two instances in the later seasons:
- The crew's combined efforts allow them to take down the Meta, who had spent all of seasons 6-8 being a ruthless, terrifying juggernaut. The only way they accomplished this, according to Word of God, is by the power of friendship.
- When Agent Carolina and Epsilon are on their last legs, the Blood Gulch crew arrives in style to help her fend off a seemingly endless wave of mooks.
- The Runaway Guys, when not at each other's throats, manage to pull of impressive feats of gaming with their teamwork. Chugga in particular inspires his teammates through his friendship speeches.
- Sailor Nothing:
- Played darkly straight. The usual tone of this trope's use in Sailor Nothing: Himei wakes up everyday and stops herself from slitting her wrists open by reminding herself that she has friends to live for.
- When Himei is ready to lie down and die at the hands of her own Yamiko, Aki gets her up by saying, "Himei! If you die, you can't go on your date tomorrow!"
- Survival of the Fittest plays this for drama, and also tragedy. In a story where the goal is to the the last one left standing and the main moral appears to be "don't trust anybody", friendship has no place and SOTF has no qualms with showing the reader exactly why. Version 0 ends with Sydney Morvran and his friends hiding in the school building. An accidentally dropped flashbang causes them all to go insane with paranoia and butcher each other, Syd using one of them as a human shield. Groups and friendships both tend to collapse in a dramatic fashion, especially once suspicion of killers starts to go around, and people often end up being slaughtered by others who were their closest colleagues before the game. Battle Royale, which SOTF is based on, used this trope.
- Ultra Fast Pony takes a middle-of-the-road approach to this one. On the one hand, it acknowledges how great it to have someone you can trust to be on your side in a fight. (Even if the friendship is very dysfunctional.) On the other hand, the series loves to mock the idea that friendship is a literal, supernatural power.
Apple Bloom: Well, isn't friendship magic?
Applejack: I don't know. Do you have friends?
Apple Bloom: Yeah...
Applejack: Are you magic?
Apple Bloom: No...
Applejack: Well, there you go then!
- In The Wall Will Fall Alternate Reality Game, this was an integral part of defeating Cthulhu. Yes, that Cthulhu. The final battle involved players writing stories and songs around the theme of teamwork after selecting one of their own to challenge the Elder God directly. According to Word of God, the players hit the required amount of writing within two days of the announcement. This, plus their concern for the player being sent on what was effectively a Suicide Mission lead to the end of the game being changed in order to save them.
- In X-Ray and Vav, Hilda uses this to free her robotic friend ORF from The Mad King. The Mad King responds to this with "What is this Disney bullshit?!"
- Given its prevalence in the original show, this trope is spoofed every which way in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series.
Yugi: Losing a children's card game has caused me to have an existential crisis!
Tea: I have prepared a friendship speech for such an occasion!
Tea: [to a doctor] Go back to your leeches and your potions! Friendship is the only cure!
- One episode even had a drinking game for how many times friendship was mentioned. Though it also happens to be the one where Yugi and Joey have to duel each other to the death.
Yugi: I just wanted you to know how important your friendship is to me, Joey. It means even more to me than card games.
- Discussed in the Cracked article, "So You've Discovered You're a Scooby Doo Villain"
Chris Bucholz: OK, so they all have rings of fire. That makes sense, actually.
: Isn't that cheating, all of them having the best power?
Chris Bucholz: Technically their best power is probably friendship, but yes, all of them having fire rings is also pretty devastating.
Scooby Doo Villain: How did they get the rings?
Chris Bucholz: Have you angered any wizards lately?
Scooby Doo Villain: Maybe?
Chris Bucholz: Well, what about the government? How on board do you think they are with your little operation?
Scooby Doo Villain: Not very.
Chris Bucholz: Right. What I think has happened here is the government has developed powerful magic rings and given them to these teens, to harness their natural anti-smuggling powers.
Scooby Doo Villain: You think that's more effective than sending the FBI or the DEA or a highly-trained team of military operators after me?
Chris Bucholz: None of those have the power of friendship.
Highly Trained Secret Agent: Breach on my signal. Remember to cooperate, share, and above all else, have fun in there.
- Mandell was a little more subtle about it with the Galaxy Rangers, but their "pool the badges" tactic is built on this. It also featured prominently in "Mindnet," where the other three go out of their way to clear Shane's name, and Shane overtly chooses his friends over his Supertrooper "family." It also was played wonderfully in "Psychocrypt" when Doc, Niko, and Shane decide to help Zach.
- In an episode of The Amazing World of Gumball, Gumball bursts out of a cement prison after seeing the possible outcome of his friendship if he weren't to get to someone's house in time whilst saying the trope name in the process.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- It's the only thing that can cool down Aang's Unstoppable Rage. Azula's Villainous Breakdown is largely due to her inability to inspire loyalty through trust and friendship instead of fear. It was also implied that friendship can withstand generations—as in, they last lifetimes through reincarnation.
- Avatar Roku tried to use the Power of Friendship to restrain Fire Lord Sozin, and it worked initially. When Roku tried to stop a volcano from destroying his village, Sozin helped him, and this was after Roku put the veto on Sozin's expansion plans. Then Roku fell into a vulnerable position and Sozin left him for dead. When he was older, he immensely regretted it.
- The whole point of Barbie & The Diamond Castle.
- The Boondocks makes a Spoof Aesop out of this, with Flonominal and Thugnificent stating that the only reason to ever have friends is so that you never have to deal with your own problems like a man, instead relying on other people to take care of your problems for you.
- The Care Bears do this a lot, often by using the Care Bear Stare, or actually telling people about true friendship.
- Cubix runs on this. If Connor refuses to give up on him, then he's coming back, even if everyone else in the show agrees he shouldn't be able to. This is how Connor fixes him in the first episode, before the two of them have even technically 'met'.
- The second season of Ewoks has this as its basic premise - the four main characters are the best friends.
- In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, this is lampshaded in the Show Within a Show Dinobonoids where one character boldly exclaims how useful their friendship was to destroying their enemies.
- My Little Pony And Friends features this in the episode "The Magic Coins". Niblick, creator of the coins, refuses to help Megan and company undo the damage the ponies' poorly though-out wishes on the coins have caused unless they bring him a treasure of greater or equal value than the coins. After three failed attempts, Megan finally gets the idea to use the last of the coins to wish for a friend for Niblick, which even the crotchety troll comes to agree is a better treasure than anything he could think up.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. It's right there in the title.
- The Magic of Friendship, backed by the Elements of Harmony, can fire a rainbow-coloured nigh-omnipotent Wave Motion Gun to punch out Lovecraftian Chaos Gods and reform villains into forces of good (namely Luna becoming Nightmare Moon). Then again, what else could you possibly expect from something with a title like that?
- The Season 2 finale adds the Changelings, creatures that feed on love, who aren't defeated by The Power of Friendship. Instead, they suffer a nasty backstab from their evening meal (and friendship's close cousin). Though the matter of whether the Elements would have worked against them—as Celestia seemed to think—is debatable, the available evidence implies that the Elements of Harmony, and the Power of Friendship by extension, are only useful against disharmony or pure chaos.
- In one of the show's most effective examples, the episode "Keep Calm and Flutter On" shows Fluttershy reforming Discord, the mad spirit of chaos and disharmony, simply by trying to be the first friend he ever had. When Discord tries taking advantage of this in a gambit to keep her from using her Element of Harmony against him so he can run rampant, she agrees to it—she'll just stop being his friend if he continues to misbehave. Discord, it turns out, would rather have fun together with someone than no one at all.
- Even in the spin-off feature film My Little Pony Equestria Girls, despite being in a human world, the same friendships Twilight developed in Equestria work here to magically defeat the demonic form of Sunset Shimmer.
- The Season 4 finale "Twlight's Kingdom" invokes this trope literally. The Big Bad Tirek has absorbed all of the magic powers of the ponies in Equestria — including the four near-immortal alicorn goddesses — and towers over the countryside as a titan. Yet the Mane Six are able to defeat him with the power of Pure Friendship from the Tree of Harmony.
- The major theme in Once Upon a Forest.
- Zig-Zagging Trope in The Penguins of Madagascar when Private builds a robot suit to hug a deadly poisonous frog who has taken over the zoo with threats.
"I'd be a grumpy gus too if no-one ever hugged me."
"Hey, you know what? I never have been hugged. Maybe this is what I needed. Or maybe I'm just a jerk who enjoys bullying other animals."
"Oh. Well, in that case I can just squeeze you until you pop like a grape."
"No, no, hugging's good! ... Actually I'm liking the hug."
- Princess Gwenevere and the Jewel Riders is built on this trope. The Riders and their jewels are even bound in a ceremony called the Circle of Friendship.
- Rocket Power: Part of Reggie Rocket's pep talk in the later part of "Race Across New Zealand": "We're not just another team out here. We're friends. And that's what makes us better."
- The Grand Finale to Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated has the gang apply this in order to defeat the Eldritch Abomination that's served as the true Big Bad the whole time.
- Definitely a theme of Sofia the First, in which the title characters ability to make friends and see the good in everybody is revolutionizing things in the castle that she moved to after she became royalty.
- Deconstructed in Sponge Bob Square Pants, where the titular character tried to invoke this to force Mr. Krabs and Plankton to work together in The Other Patty. In fact, this plan was to support his own "goofball scheme" as Mr. Krabs in fact. So in the end, they try to give Spongbob a piece of their mind while he flees from them.
- Strawberry Shortcake is big on this and large portions of the 2003 series in particular operate on it. The ultimate expression of it is the songs "Back Together" (from "A Horse of a Different Color") and "The Gift of Friendship" (from "A Berry Merry Christmas.")
- Teen Titans:
- In Trollz, the Magic of the Five runs off of this. If the girls used spells by themselves, or if one of them were missing, they usually weren't able to defeat Simon.
- Wonder Pets: What's gonna work? TEAMWORK!!
- Disney seems to like this trope a lot:
- The theme of friendship and teamwork as key to the heroes' success underlies many of the plots in Kim Possible. In fact, in the first movie "A Sitch in Time," Shego mentions not understanding this phenomenon between Kim and Ron, but acknowledges it, and specifically made efforts to separate the two of them in order to counter it!
- Recess often plays this trope straight as the main cast works together to resolve whatever problem they face. Then there's this weird episode.
- When playing kickball against a team of weirdly similar kids from a neighboring school, T.J. tells his friends they can beat their doppelgangers because they have The Power of Friendship... and the camera cuts to his counterpart telling her team the same thing. Both groups are friends internally, but competing against each other.
Truth In Television
- Dennis Rodman seems to be trying to invoke this with his visit with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, telling him that he has a "friend for life." It is Rodman's hope that his visit may help, if even in some little way, to cool the hostility of the North Korean government towards the United States.
- Hoplites in battle, whose main strength was in trusting that they could depend on each other.
- Also done by any successful army: when they trust their companions their teamwork make them stronger, but if they don't they're liable to break up at the first trouble even when they should have a crushing advantage against the enemy.
- Invoked by the US military after a massive earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on the 11th of March 2011. The aid mission that they launched on the 12th was called "Operation Tomodachi" (Japanese for friend).
- The most successful animals in nature tend to be those who cooperate with others, either of their own species or not.
- Truth in music? Queen wrote an awesome song about the Power of Friendship, the aptly titled Friends will be Friends
- The reason why the Human species has become the dominant species of Earth, along with great creativity, the ability of think out strategies and unlimited ruthlessness.
- Some anthropologists also suggest that the Toba Event forced the early humans of Eastern Africa to learn to work together or face extinction.
- Not just Humans, Mammals in general tend towards being social animals, and it's a large reason to why they're so successful. Orcas, Wolves, and Chimps also have complicated strategies relying on teamwork to take down prey.
- The relationship between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill helped save Britain and the world from Nazi Germany. Indeed, one could easily imagine a dialogue between Churchill and Hitler much like the one between Luke Skywalker and Emperor Palpatine.
- There was an attempt to arrange a dialogue in Munich between Hitler and Churchill in November 1932, when both struggled for power. Hitler declined.