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 even trying, and yet here I am with a gun to your head. That’s 'cause I've got people with me, people who trust each other, who do for each other, and ain't always looking for the advantage.
True Companions are just like a real family – they may not necessarily like each other, or actually have liked each other at first, but they know they can depend upon each other in a crisis. It is a relationship considered to be deeper than mere friendship but more innocent than romance.
This sort of group dynamic appeals to younger audiences who are unfamiliar with romance, and appeals to older audiences who live in a world of complex relationships and convenience masqueraded as False Friendship, who are feeling nostalgic about the times when friendship meant a lifelong bond.
A writer may use this to avoid writing romantic relationships, though this usually doesn't stop fans from making up their own.
This trope was originally known as nakama, a Japanese word that means friends or companions.note You may have heard that it means something stronger, but that's a misconception. A popular One Piece fansub group left the term untranslated and asserted (incorrectly) it was untranslatable, creating the false impression that it had no good English equivalent.
Band of Brothers The group is formed by a shared dangerous circumstance, normally military.
Blood Brothers The group is formed by some pact, oath or ritual, occasionally as a tradition in response to someone saving your life.
Fire-Forged Friends People who specifically didn't care for each other but form a bond after a conflict forces them to work together.
Honorary True Companion A character who never joins the main group of companions (for long) but is nevertheless treated by them as one of their own.
Papa Roach No Matter What was written by the lead singer for his girlfriend and his bandmates.
Dead Prez - "D.O.W.N."
To me bein down mean more than bein' friends, or kin/We comrades we struggle, through any trouble
The Japanese band Arashi have described their relationship as this as is shown here and here
The band members of Rammstein declared numerous times that the band would rather break up than replace one member of their band. Their music video for "Haifisch" subverts this trope: not only are they considering who to replace singer Till Linderman with at his funeral, it's shown that if they hadn't tried to flat out kill him, they've at least thought about it (save one), and they end up fighting over who caused their true-companion group to fall, resulting in keyboardist Flake Lorenz crashing into the singer's coffin which is when they found out he's still alive. The lyrics of the song, however, play this straight, as a form of principle declaration.
In the same vein, Led Zeppelindid split up after the death of drummer John Bonham, and up to that death they had been more or less a united front. Even though the remaining members have had problems afterwards (how's that parking spot, Jones?) they are still united in protecting their music.
The Beatles were often called "The Four-headed Monster". Before things started falling apart, they were essentially codependent. They made decisions as a unit (if even one Beatle didn't agree to an idea, they would consider it vetoed), and didn't like being apart for long periods of time. Ringo Starr said something along the lines of "I was a single child, and I got three brothers". There was talk of buying an island for the four of them and their families to live on together. At least one of the Beatle wives had said that the Beatles were practically married to each other, and that the women in their lives were superfluous. Even after the breakup of the band, the general consensus among the former members, and particularly John Lennon, was that while the Beatles could openly and horribly insult each other, they didn't want anyone else doing it.
Their manager, Brian Epstein, was something of a dad to them as well. He looked out for their well-being, he always took care of their affairs to the best of his ability, and was probably the biggest factor in their early success. On their part, they appreciated his hard work and were devastated when he died of a drug overdose. In fact, Paul McCartney has said that if anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Epstein.
Slipknot have often referred to themselves as this. Now that one of their own has died, their future is extremely uncertain. This also applies to Avenged Sevenfold, although they have continued to honour The Rev's memory.
Good Charlotte's singer Joel & guitarist Benji are twins, and the entire band were solely credited by their first names on their first album in a show of unity as the brothers' father had walked out on their family & they didn't want to be credited with his name.
Disturbed has become known for being a band that still hangs out and talks after a show when other bands would've been sick of seeing each other. They've gotten to the point that each member knows exactly what kind of song they want to write or album they want to make without having to talk about it. Some of them have had each other's back during fights.
The basic foundation of friendship within the band was said to be one of the reasons Split Enz were able to stick around for as long as they did (about thirteen years), as opposed to Crowded House which was more a straight-up commercial venture that soon fell apart (in its initial run) once the band members realised that they didn't really have that much in common.
"Until the Day I Die" by Story of the Year was not written about a rocky romantic relationship, but how the band will always be there for one another, even though they sometimes feel like killing each other. Truly the anthem of bromance.
Green Day, especially between Mike and Billie Joe, who have known each other since middle school and lived together as teens. Tre quickly assimilated into the group after their first drummer left, and they've been like brothers ever since for over 20 years.
Rush, the progressive rock band from Canada, is very obviously a band of three best friends. Bassist/vocalist/keyboardist Geddy and guitarist Alex have known each other and been Heterosexual Life-Partners since they were in middle school, and like with Green Day, the drummer and lyricist Neil was pretty quick to mesh with his bandmates after the first drummer, John Rutsey, left for health reasons (he was a diabetic). The three of them have been brothers to each other since 1975.
U2. Since their formation as school friends, they've never had a single lineup change.
INXS was once described as "three brothers and their three best friends" and once the six of them came together as INXS in 1977, their first lineup change was 20 years later, when Michael Hutchence died.
Patrick Stump and Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy are this. They were still close during the band's hiatus and Pete was the best man in Patrick's wedding.
Flash Gordon, Dale Arden, Hans Zarkov, Barin, Thun, and Vultan. Any of them would die for any of the others. Aura eventually joins, too.
If the cast of Bloom County wasn't this at first, they surely were by the end of the series. Even Steve Dallas fondly remembers their time together in the following spin-offs.
The entire wrestling business has been described numerous times as "one of the largest fraternities in the world". There's a reason why "brother" is such a common epithet (and no, not just because of Hulk Hogan) and why wrestlers band together so tightly against outsiders.
When one of them falls, such as Owen Hart or Eddie Guerrero, they can all be seen to be hurting and will put the storylines on hold to pay tribute to their fallen comrade.
After Jerry Lawler's real life Heart Attack on Raw, TNA (a company Lawler has never worked for) paid tribute to him despite the fact that, in theory, he worked for the hated enemy WWE. Similarly WCW in regards to Owen Hart's death and various other examples.
"I've had a dream too. It's about singing and dancing and making people happy. That's the kinda dream that gets better the more people you share it with. And I found a whole bunch of friends who all have the same dream. And it kinda makes us like a family."
In The Movie of Sesame Street (you heard me), Big Bird is pulled away from the neighborhood to be adopted by "his own kind" (other birds). The Aesop at the end is that his family isn't those related to him but those close to him, on Sesame Street... in other words, his true companions.
The werewolves of both Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Werewolf: The Forsaken follow the combined social instincts of humans and wolves to form small "packs" with each other, ideally a Five-Man Band. These packs follow the entire true companions trope: packmates are practically family, you might love or hate them, and intra-pack romantic relationships are considered incestuous. (But then, in The World of Darkness games, any werewolf/werewolf relationship effectively is incestuous, as werewolves must mate with humans — or, in the Old World of Darkness, wolves — or breed twisted, sterile mutants.)
The same goes, to a lesser extent, for most of the other supernatural groupings (Mage cabals, Promethean throngs, Changeling motleys, Hunter cells). Which, given the often cathartic nature of the supernatural societies, makes a lot of sense.
Although, Vampire coteries tend to be depicted as brief coincidentally convenient temporary arrangements formed by the recently Embraced until they get to grips with Vampire existence. This is percieved to be true in every single book except the Ventrue specific guide. The Ventrue guide claims that other clans share bonding rituals and things that irretrievably link members of the coterie. This is not true, as any other clan guide would tell you.
The antagonist Vampire covenant Belial's Brood has what are called "coveys", which are much closer to this trope than other supernatural groupings.
Kindred Cyclical Dynasties are another good example. Closer than family, often to the point where the lines between them begin to blur, cyclical dynasties are made up of two or more kindred, with the eldest acting as mentor to the next eldest, who acts as a mentor to the next eldest, etc. When the eldest falls into torpor the next eldest takes over, secure in the knowledge that his dynasty-mates will take him under their wing when he wakes up confused and isolated in decades or centuries.
In Dungeons & Dragons, Thri-Kreen society revolves around the concept of True Companions — their primary social unit is tightly-knit hunting groups whose dynamics are closer to what most other races would consider a family than a group of coworkers or team. They tend to feel lost and confused when living outside such close groups, and take readily to adventuring parties since the dynamic is very similar.
GURPS has the Sense of Duty Disadvantage at the -5 level, where it can apply to others in your adventuring group. Assuming everyone in the group has this Disadvantage, and are properly roleplaying it, they are True Companions.
7th Sea has the concept of "Rucken," two fighters who trust each other completely. Players can purchase an Advantage of the same name to gain an unusually powerful (100 Hero Points instead of the usual 75) NPC companion, with the catch that if the player ever abandons or betrays his Rucken, the Rucken becomes his sworn enemy (denoted by gaining the Nemesis background at its most dangerous level).
One Warhammer 40KGaiden Game has guidelines for creating a Chaos warband. One possible characterization is this, that they are loyal to their battle-brothers beyond all else. Of course, this being 40K, there's another where the character views his warband as walking sacrifices to the god of his choice.
Similarly, one piece of advice given by Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!) to cadets for rooting out Chaos is to look for close-knit veterans forming battle-brotherhoods, especially if they start trying to get into melee rather than use their guns.
Final Fantasy V. The four Light Warriors hold together through failure, poisonings, and the death of one of their own without fail. Galuf even calls a retreat when he's attacking Castle Exdeath to go and rescue the other three, alone. And in the ending, a lonely Krile is told by the other three that there's no way she's going to be alone when they're around.
Final Fantasy VII and Crisis Core both stress the importance of having True Companions. Cloud needs his friends and comrades to be a complete and effectual person and in the FFVII: Advent Children movie, Cloud actually calls the other characters his family.
It is revealed in Crisis Core that even Sephiroth had True Companions through Angeal and Genesis. Though that was not enough to stop Genesis and Angeal from leaving Sephiroth behind when they discovered their true origins and went rogue.
Final Fantasy IX has a similarly strong message about the importance of true companions and how what you do and who you love is more important than where you come from. This is most strongly illustrated during the YouAreNotAlone sequence, when Zidane's tendency to help people for no real reason other than it's the right thing to do pays off in spades. Broken in mind and spirit, he's in the middle of a Heroic BSOD when his friends risk life and limb to save him, because he'd have done it for them. It's absolutely beautiful.
Final Fantasy X. Although Tidus functions as the narrator, the story as a whole is centered around the exploits of Yuna's guardians, as mismatched and misfit as they were, in their efforts to protect her and defeat Sin. It's carried on to a lesser extent in FFX-2, with Yuna as the main protagonist, though much of the original cast has disbanded and moved on. Tidus' sword is even named "Brotherhood," and powers up as he grows closer to the party.
Somewhat played with in that most of the party were already True Companions to Yuna before her pilgrimage: Rikku is her cousin, Kimahri and Auron knew her father, and Wakka and Lulu grew up with her on Besaid.
The six main characters of Final Fantasy XIII form a powerful bond thanks to the fact that the entire world wants to kill them. Especially poignant with Fang and Vanille, who come from an egalitarian culture where everybody shared everything and took the same last name. At one point when Vanille's hit rock bottom, Fang encourages her by reminding her that they have a new family now.
In the Japanese version of Dissidia: Final Fantasy, the ten main heroes in this crossover are true companions and several smaller, fluctuating groups are as well. The concept serves as a major overarching theme across their stories.
Fire Emblemsupport conversations often develop into this. A more blatant example is the Greil Mercenaries from Path of Radiance and Radiant Dawn. A notable part is a speech Griel gives before chapter 6:
"In times like these, it matters not what our blood ties are. We are family."
Right before the final chapter, Ike states in a Rousing Speech that he finally understands what it means.
Sakura Taisen takes camaraderie very, very seriously, with the main force, the Teikokukagekidan, having reinforced it to its most extreme in multiple games, blurring the line between friendship and family.
The level of friendship you form with your team in Persona 4 is truly heartwarming; not surprising in a game where building social links increases your potential and efficiency in battle. Most of the storyline, apart from being a supernatural/murder mystery, is about the bonds you share with others. In the final battle of the game, your teammates sacrifice themselves one by one to protect you; don't worry, they all live.
That goes for its predecessor, Persona 3, as well, which was the game that first introduced the social link aspect. In regards to the actual storyline, the bond between the members of your team — SEES — grows stronger and stronger as you progress through the game. By the end, all the members of SEES have become True Companions.
One character gives a passionate speech about what it means to be true companions to another character in Ever17.
The chosen ones of the Red Night in 11eyes refer to themselves as true companions several times, though sometimes it feels like it's being used to hold team spirit together as the challenges get tougher. Their group even has a motto. "For our friends and tomorrow!"
Star Fox has this for both teams: the main team Star Fox are like family to each other, but on recent plot themes, they have then become disbanded or at least one of them would leave to fly solo. Ironically, Star Wolf experiences this in reverse - Star Wolf originally has Wolf, Leon, Pigma, and Andrew. The last two were kicked out because of the lack of loyalty and code of honor, and were replaced by Panther. Panther is then a permanent member, and the trio have become so closer than ever.
Chapter 8 of Valkyria Chronicles has Welkin refer to the main players in Squad 7 as a family, with himself and Alicia as the father and mother, Rosie and his sister Isara as the daughters, and Largo as the grandfather. This scene is referenced again, as well as the reactions they all have to certain events in the game.
Sora of Kingdom Hearts has a very large true companionship group, though the most obvious central examples are the Sora-Riku-Kairi and Sora-Donald-Goofy trios. Also Mickey-Donald-Goofy, and Axel-Roxas-Xion (at least it looks that way). The most close-knit trio, though, is Terra-Aqua-Ven, who are like siblings or two parents and a child, depending on the situation.
In Tales of Symphonia, towards the end of the game, the main party is split into multiple groups as a result of a trap. Lloyd and his Soul Mate go and rescue their friends, and Lloyd goes to each event, where the characters are being tormented by their own fears and demons. He accepts them for who they are and they manage to break the trap. This is most prevelant in Genis & Raine's torture, where they are singled out for being half elves. Lloyd disperses their fears and returns them to the group.
Also subverted by Zelos, if you choose Kratos' path: Lloyd never fully grows to trust him as a member of the team, and as a result, when he reveals his status as a Double Reverse Quadruple Agent, rather than faking a Face-Heel Turn and going off to act as The Mole so he can enable a later Big Damn Heroes, he decides to commit Suicide by Cop and fights the party, forcing them to kill him and delegating the remainder of his story role to Kratos. At the end, he laments that he was never completely able to gain Lloyd's trust.
Planescape: Torment, if one plays it with a team, that team appear to be true companions, often jumping to the enthusiastic defense of teammates over insults and slights by others. However, this is actually a subversion because: it's the Nameless One's Mark of Torment that's magically compelling the team to stay together.
Cave Story shows this forming, but it only comes to fruition if you get 100% Completion. Quote and Curly Brace go from fighting each other, to fighting side-by-side, and they even convince Recurring Boss Balrog to help them at one point. In the Standard Ending, this is as far as it goes. But if Quote saves Curly after the Core battle, and then restores her memories, she gives him the Iron Bond: "Your tie to Curly Brace, the only warrior you would trust your back to." The endgame then involves them fighting the True Final Boss together as Back-to-Back Badasses, with Balrog swooping in to rescue them at the end. And then the three of them decide to move someplace with a nice view and live together.
In the Japanese version of Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse, Akumajou Densetsu, the uber-genki pirate/freedom fighter Grant Danesti immediately declares himself and Trevor Belmont to be true companions. The sequel game, Castlevania: Curse Of Darkness, proves him right. As soon as Hector stats flailing about Trevor having beaten Dracula, Trevor immediately says he couldn't have done it without his friends. (Castlevania Judgment's continuity twists this, for better or worse, by suggesting that Grant grew distant from Trevor due to a Love Triangle with Sypha and continued on his own path even after reconciliation. On the brighter side, Alucard remembers his teammates well even after centuries have passed.)
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow has a great scene. Soma, about to challenge Chaos, worries about that thing, only for everyone he's befriended throughout the game banding together to telepathically contact him and say, "Okay, you're Dracula... so what? You're our friend, and we think you can do this, and we're here for you." Once he wins, they all congratulate him, and they all return in Dawn of Sorrow to cheer him on and help him out again.
The whole premise of Mass Effect 2 is to not only gather a team of soldiers, assassins, and scientists, but also develop strong friendships with them. To do that, Shepard has to help each of his teammates resolve their respective pasts, not only to earn their loyalty and friendship, but also to show that he/she is a True Companion to them. Otherwise, Shepard's teammates would only think of him/her as their boss, rather than as a friend, and they wouldn't be as motivated to follow his/her lead, thus costing them their lives in the suicide mission.
Shepard views turian squadmate Garrus Vakarian and quarian squadmate Tali'Zorah as such in terms of them watching his/her back when walking through hell. Dr. Chakwas, the Normandy's medical officer, considers Shepard, "the center of her galaxy," a true companion. Chakwas also considers Joker a true companion, in terms of helping Joker with his brittle bone disease when he needs her. Joker views Shepard as his true companion in terms of being on Shepard's side 100% despite the occasional sass-laden conversations. In-universe example: Krogan use the term "Krantt" for true companions that serve as battle-brothers.
Shepard: Shepard and Vakarian, storming Heaven. I can think of worse things. Garrus: Heh, I'll meet you at the bar.
The trope is most prominent in the DLC quest, Citadel. In the first half, Urdnot Wrex temporarily rejoins Shepard's squad, and as Shepard and his/her squad hunt down and defeat the Shepard clone, they do so together, as a single unit and family designed to protect each other at any cost. Then, by the second half, Shepard invites all of his/her squadmates, former and current alike, to Admiral Anderson's apartment for a party, to celebrate their friendship and teamwork throughout the entire Mass Effect trilogy, before their inevitable final push against the Reapers. The party then ends with a group photo of Shepard and all of his/her squadmates, which truly cemented their friendship.
Hawke's group in Dragon Age II fit this trope well, with their conversations showing that each are willing to support each other. Varric looks out for Merrill, protecting her at night when she walks alone, drinks often with Carver, even as they rail on each other. Aveline and Isabela become Vitriolic Best Buds by Act III, and many of the characters display an uncommon tenderness towards Bethany. Like the first game however, several of the team simply do not get along, especially in the case of Anders. Fenris and Sebastian will even discuss turning him or Merrill over to the Templars, with Fenris pointing out they can't do it without Hawke's approval.
Metal Gear series: Solid Snake has one of these with Otacon, primarily, and later Sunny. Even more so, his father Big Boss in Metal Gear Solid 3 and especially the PSP spin-offs. It's the fracturing of this crew that has retroactively become the basis for the conflict of Solid Snake's story.
Even more so prominent in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, with virtually everyone in Maverick going back at some point or another: Boris was vital in helping Raiden rescue Sunny from the Patriots, Kevin and Boris both worked together in the past at an NGO for the UN, and Kevin and Courtney were college buddies. Eventually, all of them ended up working at Maverick Security Consulting. The only real odd duck is Doktor, who primarily joined For Science!, but he too ended up becoming a part of their weird family.
In the Pokémongames, much emphasis is placed on the bond between Pokémon and their Trainers. Everyone feels this way for at least one specific Pokémon.
The Nuzlocke Challenge puts severe limitations on what Pokémon you can catch, and forces you to release or permanently box any Pokémon that gets KO'd for real. Several players, including the creator who initially challenged himself for the lulz, have admitted that the challenge actually makes them feel much more passionately about the few, fragile Pokémon they have, especially species that they would normally pass over without a second thought.
Knights of the Old Republic is all about this. In the original game and the sequel you have a team of misfits (some of whom have very good reason to resent each other), and yet the team sticks together by the player character's leadership. Then the sequel turns right around and Deconstructs it by giving a slightly discomforting reason as to whyyour party forms around you.
NieR: Nier forms one with the maladjusted but sympathetic freaks he meets along his journey, extending his Papa Wolf nature onto them. Even the arrogant Grimoire Weiss sees the group as friends.
Exit Fate: To varying degrees, the Elysium Army — particularily Daniel, Ljusalf and Ayara, who join together early on. At one point, when you've amassed many followers and generals, Ayara runs off, believing that you don't need her anymore, and you have to track her down and convince her that she's important too. And then there are Daniel's friends since childhood, Angel and Jovian - much of Daniel's grief stems from his fear that Jovian betrayed him due to their conflicting ideals. He didn't. Jovian would never betray him. Ever.
Professor Layton: The Professor's true-companion group consists of a pair of children — his apprentice, Luke, and his ward, Flora.
Leonhardt and his true companions (Borgnine, Ellis, Vira-Lorr, Zerva, and Winfield) in Agarest Senki have a bond that is so strong, that they actually stick together with the descendants of Leo for four more generations. And this group is one of the few Combination Attacks that are EX Combos.
Numerous Touhou characters have formed what are probably the most bizarre crews of true companions in existence, a combination of a regular dysfunctional family, disgruntled employees, and a Badass Crew that will brutalise anyone that dares harm any of their fellows. Let's analyze them one by one.
The household of the Scarlet Devil Mansion are united against all threats, especially because they are the obviously-Western supernaturals in a Japanese setting.
The Yakumo household blur the line between true companions and actual family. Chen is often depicted as having two mommies, Ran and Yukari, in fan works. Official source states that Chen is not just Ran's student, she's like a daughter to her.
The Eientei household will defend their members viciously from any external threats, especially due to their circumstance: they house at least three wanted Lunarian fugitives, two of which are eternal enemies of the state.
Say what you want about the atrocious beginning of Kanako and Suwako's relationship, but in this modern time, they are Sanae's two mommies.
Subterranean Animism plays with this. The Komeiji household is an example of true companions, but the justification for this is because the Komeiji sisters can read into any sentient beings' mind, which is how they won the loyalty of their pets: they are the only ones who can understand their pets' feelings.
This is one half of the Player Punch of fighting Byakuren's followers, the other half being Fantastic Racism. They aren't some kind of crazy cultists seeking to release a nasty sorceress sealed in the demon realm, they are Fire-Forged Friends who aim to liberate their saintly leader.
The Survivors in Left 4 Dead (even though certain characters won't admit it). It can be summed up in Bill's final message to the group "Take care of each other, you guys are the only family I've got left!"
In the first Baldur's Gate game, the canonical party of Charname, Imoen, Jaheira, Khalid, Minsc, and Dynaheir were true companions. Charname and Imoen were foster and blood siblings raised together their entire lives, Jaheir and Khalid are Happily Married and were friends and comrades of Charname's foster father Gorion, and Minsc and Dynaheir also have a close though nonromantic relationship as per the customs of their people. This is what makes the first part of the sequel Shadows of Amnespeciallypainful. Irenicus kills Khalid and Dynaheir and ruins their bodies beyond any hope of resurrection and nearly drives Imoen insane by ripping out her soul.
Golden Sun games have a very strong focus on family and on friends that are like family. It gets lampshaded in Dark Dawn when an NPC comments on the wide variety of friends you have with you from so many different backgrounds, and how close-knit you've become anyway, and draws a comparison to family.
While Suikoden often consists of many combinations of the Five-Man Band, each army of 108 stars ends up being a macro version of this trope. They fight, go on adventures, drink, party, and judge cooking contests together as a sprawling enclave.
In The Reconstruction, though your guild doesn't start off like this, it eventually ends up this way by the end.
Resident Evil series: Despite the Ship Tease found in some of the games, Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield are like this. Jill is willing to sacrifice herself to save Chris from Wesker. While Chris is on his next mission, the moment he gets wind she might still be alive he drops everything else to find her.
The main plot of Little Busters revolves around a group of five childhood friends who are all extremely close. Naturally, since this is an utsuge, the 'true' route involves them fighting and their entire relationship breaking beyond repair. Naturally, since this is a Key Visual Arts utsuge, they figure out a way to repair it anyway.
The Eight Companions of the Avatar, who accompanied him on the quest to Avatarhood, are this throughout the Ultima series, especially games four through seven.
Every party in the MOTHER series consists of four friends. There are three total, and all are fine examples of this trope.
The main cast of Questionable Content, if not just the workers at Coffee of Doom. Despite the relationship that developed between Marten and Dora which eventually ended, the group has held together quite well.
The main cast in Sluggy Freelance will fight vampires and demonic kittens, travel through alternate dimensions, and take down evil corporations to rescue one another. At one point, several of them are seeing a psychiatrist, partly by coincidence though it really benefits them too, and it comes up that even Gwynn, who thinks she doesn't like the others and that they don't like her, considers the others as family, since "family is supposed to be there when you really need them, right?"
Drowtales has the Highland Raiders, a group of drow who journey to the surface together and usually form strong bonds as a result. The Fallen Legion also seem to have a similar dynamic.
The eight main characters from El Goonish Shive are true companions. See the "Painted Black" and "Grace's Birthday Party" arcs for particularly telling examples. Like any number of examples, they don't always get along, but once Tedd and Susan, of all people, became friends, becoming true companions was probably inevitable given what goes on in Moperville. Like Code Lyoko further down, they didn't start as true companions. The transition was a bit smoother, though, with the friend of friends having your back when the deadly stuff starts even if you were bickering only hours before.
In Dominic Deegan, the Deegan family and their various hangers-on could be considered true companions, as could the faculty and students of the School of Arcane Arts, especially the students that fended off the Infernomancer's attack (although they were merely a random group of students in the wrong place) — Nimmel almost committed suicide because he felt he had failed the comrades who died. The clearest example of true companions, however, is Lord Milov's "pack" of himself, Jayden, and Siegfried. amusingly enough this most purest example of the trope is also the one to go the most sour.
This is the core of the werewolve's "pack" cocept.
The protagonists of Looking for Group are also forming one. This is even more blatant with Richard and Cale (to the point that the Omnicidal Maniac warlock is turning into The Atoner as he stays in prolonged contact with the once-naive elf) and with Ben'Joon and Krunch (with the latter being the former's adoptive father).
In Girl Genius, the traveling circus could be seen as this. Even the relationship between Zeetha and Agatha could count, even if it is bordering on Les Yay. A love triangle between Agatha, Tarvek, and Gil, Agatha has (in classic Mad Scientist fashion), chosen them both.
Most of the relationships in Something Positive have something of this, especially the original core of friends Davan, Aubrey, PeeJee and Jason. Davan was described by the author as being often difficult to get on with and you might wonder why you bother, but he will be there if needed.
The adolescent cast of Ruby's World functions like this, and the characters' relationships to each other are among the only things of value in a universe of Black and Grey Morality.
Dejoru of Juathuur tried to inspire a sense of family in his original team, but it didn't work out. He tries in his second team too and fails. By the time we meet him again, he has lost his faith on group cohesion.
The Order itself, of course. As the story progresses, they evolve from a Ragtag Band of Misfits press-ganged into working together due to circumstance into a real group of friends that are willing to go to the end of the world for each other. Even Belkar grows to be a real part of the team.
To the surprise of everyone, Tarquin's evil adventuring party is this. Yes, they are evil, selfish monsters who enjoy copious amounts of Disproportionate Retribution and slaughtering random people to make a point. They are also honestly genuine friends, who have spent long years working together to further their collective goals. In their downtime, they reminisce about old jokes, comfort each other over lost loved ones, and pleasantly discuss their families. The team psion, Laurin Shattersmith, is horrified to learn Tarquin's son Nale killed their friend Malack, and Tarquin soon kills Nale when Nale makes the mistake of refusing his father's protection.
Tarquin:What did you think the price for killing my best friend was going to be?
In 8-Bit Theater, The Other Warriors are seemingly the closest thing the series has to this, though the Dark Warriors seem to become close later on. All other groups range from Teeth-Clenched Teamwork or flat-out Enemy Mine in the case of the Light Warriors.
Friendly Hostility is all about how some people just seem to tumble into your life unexpectedly and stick with you for life.
The Cityof Reality portrays a world where everyone everyone else's true companion, essentially creating a true utopia. Unfortunately, as a Deconstruction of utopias, it has since seen cracks in the structure; but, like genuine examples, the people seem determined to push forward together.
In Schlock Mercenary the Toughs are bonded, and each wants to do the right thing for the whole, often sacrificing their own boni. Captain Tagon is very similar to Captain Reynolds, going so far as to suggest that officers go without pay, so that the grunts don't lose their paychecks.
In Achewood, most of the main characters certainly count. If something happens to one of them, the rest will rally. Spongebath and Emeril, despite not being central characters, definitely count as part of this too.
Doodle Diaries is a journal comic by three close friends who seemed to hate eachother at first when they met, but soon became like family.
In Voodoo Walrus Grymm and Creepknight certainly count. Its even a surprise to other character when one of the duo is seen without the company of other like in this page
In Homestuck, the troll concept of "Moirallegiance", one of their four kinds of romance, is most similar to this.
The GM and roleplayers in Darths & Droids are like this. For all the squabling that goes on, it's clear that they all love the campaigns they've done together, and really do like each other's company.
The teenagers of the group Team Kimba, at the Superhero School Whateley Academy. Not only are they brought together by a common characteristic, but many of them have the classic family issues: Phase (disowned), Generator (mother dead, abusive father in prison), Bladedancer (orphaned), Lancer (his brother sicked an anti-mutant military force on him), Tennyo (forced to leave her family because of assassins and worse), Carmilla (mother dead, father a demon), Heyoka (orphaned)... Only a couple of them have a supportive family. This true-companion group ends up shifting quite a bit. Carmilla forms her own, loosely allied team. (Sara's Pack). Also, it is stated in Jade's stories that Poe is designed to specifically create this, and Whateley itself has some elements of it.
There is a second team of true companions, who band together almost specifically because they are all ridiculously outcast from rest of the school due to bad fashion sense (on purpose) and severe GSD (they look like monsters).
There is a villainous (sorta) version with the bad seeds, who all watch each others backs, as they are all the children of supervillains, more, they are KNOWN to be the children of supervillains, although some have not had their parents identities outed to the public.
The Saga of Tuck and the group of boys around its main character. At one point, one of them is attacked, and the rest — geeks all — immediately charge.
The four main protagonists of Broken Saints have a bond akin to this. They all immediately feel a connection because they "recognize" each other from their shared visions/dreams/nightmares. With Raimi and Oran, who spend half the series together (and who are the only heroes to survive the Grand Finale), this enters Heterosexual Life Partner territory. Kamimura does not have as much time to bond as the two of them, but after he joins the team, the three men become a Power Trio. Shandala only really interacts with the guys for about two chapters of time, but The Dulcinea Effect — plus her being The Empath — connects them all very quickly very fast.
ScrewAttack.com are this, to the point that they have been referred to as the ScrewAttack Family. Not just the people behind the website, but the community as well (to the point of a Broken Fanbase). Insult so much as one member of the SA crew, and the community will respond in kind, as will the other members of the SA crew; and this goes even further if you badmouth the team's only female member.
The team at That Guy with the Glasses/Channel Awesome - They've had three anniversary crossovers where they all met up to provide something for the fans, numerous members of the team frequently have appearances in other's videos, and behind the scenes footage would ascertain that they've become friends away from the cameras. They also tend to move with lightning speed to defend each other should anyone be so foolish as to submit nasty/trollish remarks in comments on the site, on Twitter, or anywhere else on the internet.
This is how The Nostalgia Critic descibes their In-Universe reviewers as well, jerks who band together because they're like the Looney Tunes - jerks to everybody else, but damn if someone else will ever take one of theirs down.
The eponymous Red and Blue teams from Red vs. Blue reach this point in their relationship with each other by the end of Revelation, when they realize that although their units suck, they fit in better with each other than anywhere else.
This isn't just among each team, either — they're true companions with each other, too, even though they're all technically enemies. They even have welcomed Wash into their ranks, even after all he did to them.
In Atop the Fourth Wall, with the exception of 90's Kid, the core cast (Linkara, Pollo, Harvey Finevoice and Iron Liz) definitely show signs of this, especially when they all work together to rescue Linkara when he's kidnapped by Lord Vyce.
And as of the revelations of the Silent Hill: Dead/Alive review, we can now add the Magic Gun to the team as well.
Generation X and, for some of them, the Crusaders of Marvels RPG.
It could easily be argued that the Titans South have become this as much as the other teams in their universe.
Going from their forums, the guys of Turnabout Musical are this, sticking together since 2007 in their efforts to make the musical.
Xionic Madness; Omega and Askad had been true companions since before they became cyborgs, it was only ruined when Askad's cyborg-daughter based on his dead daughter starts going evil, so Askad can't decide whether to warn Omega and Xero, or protect his daughter. He decides to limit her abilities in case he dies before warning them. Omega and Xero then form an unbreakable bond escaping from Kari (Askad's daughter), the government, red and green spies, and their own clones.
Also in Xionic Madness, in episode four, part two, Omega and Xero are helped by Omicron Squad, Omega's old crew from the military. They go up against a horde of zombies that have to be frozen and smashed to be defeated, simply because they would rather die alongside their former comrade than anything else. These soldiers even blow up a building being held back by Omega, so he'll be covered and protected when Kari removes Askad's limiters to increase her power output and makes a big badaboom destroying everything organic within range, except Xero, cuz he's just that badass.
Simon and Lewis of the Yogscast Minecraft Series. Even more evident with Old/Knight_Peculiar.
The cast of Demo Reel was cemented as a dysfunctional family by the second episode, as their own families are so dreadful and Tacoma admits it feels like they're in a safe place removed from the rest of the world.
The players of The Wall Will FallAlternate Reality Game have become this after facing down various fictional threats together. Many of the members are still in close contact after the ending of the game.
The Strip Search house. No, no. The ENTIRE house. All 12 contestants, without a single exception. Plus arguably the host, judges and production crew for good measure. Did I mention this is an elimination-based reality competition? And this trope not only happened at all but happened with breathtaking speed?
The Knights Of Fandom strive for this level of unity among its members. Success rate varies, depending on how involved the individual members choose to be in the group, but the spirit of the trope is there.
In Australia, there is this thing called mateship. It's not the same thing as friendship, you might not even be friends with your mates - your mate could be your best buddy from Primary School who you've lost touch with, and a friend might never become a mate, because friends come and go, but mates stick up for each other no matter what.
Due to the fact that almost everyone in any given cast and crew has the potential to either make a career or stop it dead, it's no surprise that actors intentionally try to make ithappen. This is beside the fact that the work can be emotionally intense/draining/scarring. You see each other go through incredibly intense emotions, and everyone involved is very vulnerable during rehearsal... and that sort of thing does tend to create a bond. Whether or not you actually like each other is beside the point... you just have to trust each other.
The Irish leaders during the Irish War of Independence were very close (many of them having fought together during the Easter Rising, and all of them sharing the hardships of the war). This makes the Irish Civil War, in which they split into two opposing factions and many killed each other, especially tragic.
He may not have been considered family beforehand, but he sure as hell was after suggesting that he, Moe, and Shemp each take $50 out of their pay to give to Shemp and Moe's brother Curly, who had recently had a stroke and was unable to work. Moe was reportedly touched by this, since Larry was not a member of the Howard clan and he was the one who came up with the idea, and he was family from that point forward.
Studies in World War II found that soldiers interviewed tended to claim this as their main motive. Compilers of the study called it by exasperatingly prosaic terms like "primary group cohesion." It's also been theorized that one reason American veterans of the Vietnam War exhibit higher rates of psychological fallout like PTSD is that some of the army's new policies tended to prevent True Companionship-formation.
There is actually a reason for this. While The Power of Friendship can move a man to do great things, you have to complete your mission first; everything else is secondary. Even if it means leaving wounded friend behind to die alone.
Much to the delight of fans, the actors who played the seven children in The Sound of Music are this and remain so to this day.
Nicholas "Friedrich" Hammond: I heard that what [Director Bob Wise] wanted to do was construct a family - and he did.
The idea of True Companionship gains a lot of currency in the field of queer theory as an example of an alternative to the traditional "nuclear" or "sanguinuptial" family - and yet one that, like the "traditional" family, is not of one's choosing. Some see it as the best argument against the fact that "family" needs to be defined by blood and/or marital relations. Johns Hopkins professor Sam Chambers uses examples of it from media in his book The Queer Politics of Television, with Buffy the Vampire Slayer as his main example.
The casts of a couple of different sitcoms eventually came to be this after a while. When former Full House star Jodie Sweetin became addicted to meth, her fellow former cast members all helped intervene to get her into rehab. Meanwhile, the cast of Married... with Children became very close to each other as well, with Ed O'Neill almost becoming a surrogate father to Christina Applegate, whose own parents were divorced.
The Z-Boys, a group of skateboarders in the 1970's from South Santa Monica and Venice California who are credited with inventing modern skateboarding and essentially creating the punk/skater subculture that now exists. Their name is derived from the name of the team they competed with together, the Zephyr Competition Team. AKA The Lords of Dog Town
When you go to the Canadian Improv Games, spot any high-energy team. Any. These teens are usually closer than blood, and it shows in how powerful they are.
The cast of Friends - They all insisted on equal pay, and if they were nominated for awards, you could not nominate one of the cast for Best Lead and another for Best Supporting Cast Member. The cast are so close that frequent guest star Tom Selleck has said he felt left out when he filmed his appearances, and Paul Rudd has said that he didn't want his character to appear in the penultimate episode where the group is bidding farewell to Rachel or the show's final scenes, as it didn't feel right.
Sir Terry Wogan used to josh around that "there's no 'I' in 'team'" and that the people working around him during his breakfast radio days were merely his "minions", but there's no doubt that that group of people were true companions, from his late producer Paul "Wally" Walters to Walters's replacement Alan "Barrel 'ands" Boyd, newsreaders Alan "Deadly" Dedicoat and John "Boggy" Marsh, and the "Traffic Totty" Lynn Bowles, all of whom formed a close union. (One might argue that Mick Sturbs, the person who wrote all the "Janet and John" stories, and the various religious figures who appeared on the "Pause for Thought" segment could be considered true companions as well.) On Wogan's last morning broadcast, not a dry eye was spotted amongst the group.
The cast and crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation grew extremely close during their years working together, and were completely united forever by the ideas the series was trying to put out— and no doubt their inability to actually get away from each other, even if they wanted to. They've been best men at each other's marriages and are still close, though they don't see each other as much as they used to. It's true when they say that, on board the starship Enterprise, no one is alone.
The cast and crew of The Lord of the Rings became this thanks to the three years they spent filming the movies back to back/concurrently. Also, while the entire cast became close, smaller groups of true companions formed between the actors playing the four hobbits, and between the trio who played Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli.
The cast and crew of the Harry Potter films, at least that which carried over from movie to movie and director to director, were this, especially the Power Trio of Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron), and Emma Watson (Hermione).
NASA went out of its way to ensure that the crew members of a space shuttle mission became True Companions.
The Guild were this in game, and have slowly been becoming it out of game for the past six seasons.
Find any group of people who had to work closely together in stressful and/or dangerous circumstances, such as the military. Chances are, they will be an example.
The group of nations commonly termed "The Anglosphere": The UK, The US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and sometimes Ireland.