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Childhood Friend Romance / Live-Action TV

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  • Finn and Raven from The 100 have this in their backstory together. They've been so close for so long, they actually refer to each other as family, even after they've broken up.
  • The 2000 TV version of Arabian Nights makes it that Scheherezade and the Sultan were childhood playmates, and she's not marrying him only as a noble act of self-sacrifice. By the end, he (comes to realise that he) loves her too.
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  • Batwoman (2019): Ryan was raised as a foster kid with Angelique, who became her close friend. Later, they became lovers after growing up.
  • Boy Meets World: Cory and Topanga met in elementary school, become friends, and then become so oblivious to their mutual attraction that their friends set them up.
  • Willow and Xander in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Willow had a crush on him for years. They get together briefly in season three, only for Willow to realize she'd rather be with Oz. (And then with Tara.) Turns out they were born to be Platonic Life-Partners, not lovers. In "The Gift", the fifth season finale, Xander declares, "Smart chicks are so hot!" Willow replies with a wistful smile, "You couldn't have figured that out in 10th grade?"
    • The comics reveal Dawn and Xander, who appear to be together in the comics now. Dawn has always had a crush on Xander.
      • Also opens up some questions about free will when you realize Dawn was a construct built by the monks to hide the key. ALWAYS in her case is literally from the beginning of season 5 when she was made. The crush memories she has that ARE shown from before then were implanted by the monks.
  • Diego and Temo were friends since childhood, and even dated briefly before the start of El corazón nunca se equivoca. Unfortunately for Diego, Temo was too in love with Ari and couldn't reciprocate.
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  • Adam to Toby in Dante's Cove — by the time he realises he's gay and in love with his best friend, Toby is in a committed relationship with Kevin.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Zig-zagged with the Doctor and the Master, they were very close during their childhood on Gallifrey and have fond memories of playing in the fields together. However the Master’s lust for power turned him and the Doctor into enemies, though it’s still clear in certain episodes e.g “The Sound of Drums” there’s still strong feelings between them. This is only heightened when the either Master and Doctor swap genders, as the Master aka Missy wasted no time kissing the Doctor.
    • Amy and Rory, from the Eleventh Doctor's era... grow up as childhood best friends, with Rory having a crush on Amy. When Amy meets the Doctor for the third time, it’s revealed Amy is engaged to Rory, and Rory soon joins the Doctor on his adventures alongside Amy, until Rory is erased from time, comes back to life as an Ancient Roman, and then is revealed to be a disguised Auton created from Amy's memories. Oh dear. But then he comes back to life for real, and they get married at the end of the 2010 series. For bonus points, the one who makes Amy realise Rory has feelings for her in the first place is their daughter.
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    • "Demons of the Punjab": Umbreen and Prem grew up together as neighbours, before they got married. Sadly, it ends in tragedy.
  • Emergency!: Roy and Joanne Desoto. One of the few things we learn about them is that they were childhood friends who later fell in love.
  • The Flash (2014): Barry is in love with Iris when they're kids - "Before I knew what the word love meant" - and is highly embarrassed when he has to move in with the girl he has a crush on. Iris, for her part, takes another decade to realize her romantic feelings for Barry.
  • Olivia and Peter in Fringe, though (like the Simpsons example below) it's an interesting case. They briefly met as children while both trying to run away from their guardians, and later got together as adults, but neither of them remember their first meeting as a result of suppressing traumatic memories from around that time.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • An occasional and sometimes expected outcome of the practice of fostering between noble houses.
    • Petyr Baelish fell in love with Catelyn Tully as a child, but she only thought of him as a little brother.
    • Sansa accompanies her father to King's Landing with the intention of having one of these with Prince Joffrey.
    • Myranda and Ramsay, of the Enfant Terrible sort. She befriended Ramsay at the age of 11 because she was the only one who wasn't afraid of his already apparent sadistic tendencies.
  • This trope is rampant in '"Glue'', where all the characters grew up together. To list all examples, Rob and Tina, Ruth and Dominic, James and Cal, and Tina and Eli.
  • The Goldbergs:
    • Barry Goldberg and Lainey Lewis. She has been Erica's friend since they were kids and got to know Barry just as well. Though it always seemed to be that Barry's crush was one-sided, Lainey eventually reciprocates in Season 2.
    • Erica Goldberg and Geoff Schwartz. Barry's good friend who also got to know Erica when they were kids. Once again, was one-sided on Geoff's part, but then after a season of obsessing over Erica and constantly being shut down by her, ANOTHER of him dating another girl with Erica discovering her own feelings and trying to win him over them, them getting together only for a dickish plot twist to push them apart again and one final exhausting plot line involving the prom episode, it finally FINALLY came to fruition much to the relief of the fans!
  • Lilly and Oliver in Hannah Montana. They have been best friends since preschool and eventually get together.
  • Harper's Island. Henry desperately loves his childhood best friend Abby, not realising he was made to spend so much time with her in childhood because he was adopted and she is actually his half-sister.
  • The Haunting of Bly Manor: A tragic example with Dani and Edmund. They were best friends since they were young children and Dani was treated like part of his family. As young adults, Edmund proposed to Dani but he died before they got married. It gets even sadder when it's revealed that Edmund was actually an Unlucky Childhood Friend; Dani did love Edmund but she wasn't in love with him because she's a lesbian; she initially couldn't bring herself to tell him because she didn't want to hurt him.
  • How I Met Your Mother: The "second-greatest love story" Ted has ever heard involves a girl who is explicitly described as a Girl Next Door and her childhood friend. To elaborate, the girl in question is almost never single (since she's the perfect Girl Next Door hottie) so there's a limited "window" where she's single. Long story short, the window opens and Ted tries to keep other men away from her. She manages to get away from him and his rival, and on her way home meets the man she had grown up with and loved (mutually). The window never opened again.
  • iCarly: Freddie and Carly have known each other since the sixth grade. Freddie started off on the show with a crush on Carly. He saves her life, they get together for an episode but break up though they do finally get together again at the finale.
  • Jam and Jerusalem: Tash and Marcus. The latter eventually becomes an Unlucky Childhood Friend.
  • Jonas: Joe and Stella have known each other since kindergarden and have since developed an undisguised level of Unresolved Sexual Tension. Naturally, Everyone Can See It. However, it has been stated multiple times that the two don't want to be together because they fear it will jeopardize their friendship and Stella's job as the band's wardrobe stylist. They finally become a couple in the Series Finale.
  • Mary Connell and Danny McCoy in Las Vegas, both having known each other since they were toddlers and Danny always coming to Mary's aid when her molester father would come after her. They come together and he proposes to her in the first season finale, but they end up breaking it off because of Danny's post-traumatic stress disorder. Two seasons later, Danny winds up falling for Delinda Deline (whom he had a brief affair with in the first season) and they become official, even impregnating her later on, much to Mary's dismay.
  • Happens in Life with Derek as a Last Minute Hookup in the penultimate episode between Derek and Emily.
  • Lizzie McGuire: Lizzie and Gordo have been friends since they were one day old. Gordo has pined after Lizzie for quite some time. She is oblivious to his feelings and her feelings for him until the near-end of the series. They officially get together in The Movie.
  • In Lost, Kate was Tom's childhood sweetheart, but then he was married.
  • Maddigan's Quest: Boomer to Garland. At a crucial moment, Garland chooses to trust quasi-love interest Timon over him— which turns out to be a mistake.
  • The Middle: Sue Heck and Sean Donahue knew each other ever since they were little kids (for about as long as Sean has know and been best friends with Sue’s brother Axl) and while she’d always had a crush on him for the longest time, he’d never seemed to have feelings for her until years later. Though those three times that he attempted to escort her to a dance, prom or ball were likely him testing the waters for whether or not something might actually be there.
  • Interesting case on Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers with Kimberly and Skull. Skull maintained a strong and obvious crush on Kim, including flash backs to their childhood. His affection was returned on several episodes before Kim's departure and he might have stood a chance if not for her boyfriend at the time. However, writers have stated that they had intended for Kim to be the mother of Skull's confirmed son, Spike, in later seasons.
  • Mr. Young: Adam Young and Echo Zizzleswift are revealed to have attended the same 4th grade class for one day, only Adam didn't want to talk to Echo then because he was in the mindset of Girls Have Cooties. He's clearly kicking himself now. That said though, finding this out is likely the moment that Adam decided to finally confess his feelings to Echo at the beginning of a three-part special that does indeed end in a Relationship Upgrade.
  • Naturally, Sadie has Taylor hook up with Rain after she comes back into his life during season three.
  • Ned Bigby and Jennifer "Moze" Mozely in Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide having known each other for more than ten years. After an episode in season one ship teased the idea of them hard, Season 2 teased it harder right near the end and then the latter half of Season 3 turned up the Unresolved Sexual Tension until it culminated in a Relationship Upgrade in the Grand Finale.
  • Peaky Blinders, Freddie and Ada. She was his best friend's sister.
    Freddie: I love her, Tommy. I've loved her since she was 9 and I was 12. And she loves me the same.
  • Charlie is Megan's childhood friend who has a crush on her in Privileged.
  • Pushing Daisies: Chuck and Ned grew up next door to each other, but were separated when Ned went to boarding school and Chuck had to move to her aunts' place. They reunite as adults (after Ned revives Chuck), and promptly get together.
  • Queer as Folk UK: Vince finally rides off into the sunset with Stuart at the end of the story. The US version has the failed version— Michael is in love with Brian, who loves him but not in that way. Both eventually find love with others and move into Heterosexual Life-Partners territory (minus the heterosexual part).
  • On Revenge, Jack Porter and Amanda Clarke were Childhood Friends and were so close that he continues to take care of her dog for her after 18 years and named his boat after her. Now he has feelings for Emily, not realizing that she is in fact Amanda all grown up. Emily/Amanda returns the feelings but doesn't act on them due to her revenge plot. Also she may or may not be falling for her Honey Trap victim Daniel.
    • Things get even more complicated when the real Emily Thorne, who of course has taken on the identity of Amanda Clarke, shows up and Jack ends up marrying fake-Amanda.
  • If the Series Fauxnale of Scrubs is any indication, J.D.'s son Sam and Turk's daughter Izzy will become this! It's unclear if this is a vision of things to come or just J.D.'s final Imagine Spot.
  • From Japanese drama Shōkōjo Seira, Kaito's childhood friend Yukari grew increasingly jealous of his relationship with Seira. It didn't help that Kaito romantically pursued Seira (who reciprocated those feelings) and his family immediately accepted Seira into the family while being critical of Yukari's attempts to fit in (it's implied she was only nice to Kaito's family when Kaito was around). She would eventually give up Kaito to Seira.
  • Smallville
    • Clark and Lana had been classmates since childhood, with Clark harboring a crush on her. Eventually, they got together. Clark finally grows out of it during the last couple seasons.
    • Chloe Sullivan was one of Clark's closest friends since the eighth grade and has a crush on him, though she eventually matures out of it, similar to how Clark himself grew out of his former crush on Lana.
  • More like Victorious Young Adulthood Friend, but after 7 years and 4 movies, Star Trek: The Next Generation's Will Riker finally hooks up with Deanna Troi.
  • Switched at Birth: Emmett's been waiting for his long-time best friend Daphne for eight years, but she's only just realized she's into him too...right after he starts dating Bay. Whoops.
  • On Teen Wolf, Stiles' childhood friend Heather resolved to lose her virginity on her 17th birthday, and Stiles was her intended target. Subverted somewhat in that it is not indicated that she was in love with him, but felt comfortable enough with him that he was the preferred choice for her first time.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): Deconstructed in "Spur of the Moment". Anne Henderson and David Mitchell were childhood sweethearts who always knew that they would get married when they were older. They were engaged but Anne broke it off and became engaged to the investment banker Robert Blake. However, she has a change of heart and elopes with David on June 13, 1939, in the middle of her engagement party. This proves to be the worst decision of her life as David becomes an abusive alcoholic who bankrupts her family's estate and turns her into an alcoholic as well.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Appointment on Route 17", Mary Jo and Jamie Adler were neighbors and best friends from the time that they were five years old. They dated for years and always knew that they were going to get married but Jamie was killed in a car accident before they could do so.
  • Matt and Elena on The Vampire Diaries. They grew up together and dated in high school.
  • The White Queen: Anne Neville and Richard of Gloucester are Childhood Friends who are head-over-heels for each other. Lord Warwick wishes for them to be betrothed, but King Edward IV dismisses it. Anne and Richard are then separated after war breaks out between their families. When they eventually cross paths again, their fondness has evolved to include a more adult desire, and their courtship is of the Rescue Romance variety. Richard ultimately affirms his lifelong love for Anne, and she joyfully agrees to marry him.
  • This was the original series arc for Wizards of Waverly Place. The main character Julia (Alex) was a young wizard whose best friend was Jordan (Justin), the "Boy Next Door" — and the idea was for them to have wacky adventures while slowly but surely becoming something more as they grew up. (Selena Gomez and David Henrie were hired for, among other things, the obvious chemistry they had as best friends who would grow into a romantic relationship.) However, the chemistry and timing that the two had as potential love interests didn't go away when Executive Meddling turned them into siblings, creating a Relationship Writing Fumble.
  • Kevin and Winnie in The Wonder Years is this and a less tragic version of Star-Crossed Lovers; they clearly loved each other, but the ending narration reveals that Winnie went off to Europe and Kevin married and had a son with another woman.


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