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A Boy and His X

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A heartwarming story told through the ages: Something unique enters a young man's (or woman's) life, and they form a bond that changes them forever, usually starting them down the path to adulthood.

What that something is, however, varies widely. From the classic "A Boy and His Dog", all the way to… well, keep reading, you'll see.

Be warned, however, that whatever X is can easily fall victim to Death by Newbery Medal, especially if it's of the huge and/or monstrous variety.

See also Interspecies Friendship, Monster and the Maiden and Nonhuman Sidekick.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • All-Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku: The ADV Films advertisements described the series as: "The heartwarming story of a boy and his cat... And a major military equipment manufacturer."
  • Bucchigiri?!: A Boy and his Boisterous Bruiser genie. However, the boy is mostly annoyed by both the genie's presence and the genies's Blood Knight tendencies, only changing his opinion once the genie's powers turn out to be useful for the boy's selfish motives. On the flip side, the boy is Claimed by the Supernatural and the genie actively conceals this from the boy, even getting a Traitor Shot.
  • Daisuki! BuBu ChaCha: Buddy is a toddler whose carelessness causes him to run into several near-death experiences and the only reason he hasn't passed away yet is his dog ChaCha. ChaCha first pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to prevent Buddy from being hit by a car. Miraculously ChaCha is reincarnated into one of Buddy's toy cars, which allows him to keep accompanying (and saving) Buddy while he teaches him about the important things in life.
  • In Digimon Ghost Game, in contrast to previous series the heroes draw no distinction between the sapient mons and people, with The Hero Hiro seeing his childlike partner Gammamon as a younger brother. At one point he even sends him out on his traditional first errand like a typical Japanese family (using Refuge in Audacity to allow them to get away with a talking dragon buying chocolate).
  • Fairy Tail: A Boy and his Flying Cat. The flying cat, while weak in combat, is essential for the boy as a means of transportation, as the boy's Power at a Price comes at the cost of making him unable to use standard means of transportation; the cat also enables him to fight in aerial battles, without needing to use more energy just to propel himself. Furthermore, the flying cat's origins become the focus of an entire story arc.
  • Gintama: Kagura is a short-tempered, sharp-tongued girl who struggles to control her own strength. Sadaharu number 28 is the first pet she hasn't accidentally killed because of her superhuman strength and this is due to this Sadaharu's nature as an Inugami (dog deity). Conversely, Kagura is the only one able to withstand Sadaharu's preternatural strength and does, in fact, loves his bites in the head. The two further complement each other in regards to their aggressive yet caring personalities. Moreover, the act of taking care and bonding with Sadaharu brings about Kagura's motherly and girly side. Kagura convinced the other Yorouza members to keep Sadaharu and, from then on, the two have become inseparable.
  • Hello! Sandybell: A girl (the titular character) and her collie/Scottish sheepdog mix, Oliver. He also serves as her Horse of a Different Colour.
  • Jiu Jiu: A girl and her two shapeshifting, demon-fighting, werewolf familiars. Takamichi was devastated by her the death of her beloved twin brother Takayuki, and the sudden focus placed on her as the heir to the family legacy of demon-fighting (when she'd previously been ignored and told she was of zero value to her clan) caused her to retreat emotionally. Being made responsible for werewolf "jiu jiu" pups Snow and Night gave the adolescent demon-hunter an outlet for the love & care she had only ever been able to express for her brother. Protecting the duo gave her a purpose in life beyond her family's work. Tor their part, Snow and Night are totally devoted to Takamichi (having been raised by her since werewolf-toddler-puppyhood). They want to see her succeed in her hunts, but more importantly they want to keep her safe and stay by her side. Snow and Night are the only people in the world who have shown Takamichi unconditional love since her brother, and Takamichi is everything to the two jiu jiu.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • First subverted in the first installment of the franchise. Nanoha's customary magical girl pet is the ferret Yuuno. It's true he teaches her how the Intelligent Device works and how to do magical spells with it. However, her actual Character Development occurs upon encountering a Dark Magical Girl.
    • The trope is then played straight in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's with the antagonists. Hayate is an orphaned, disabled girl with a chronic illness that threatens to cut her life short. To worsen matters, there's an Artifact of Death in her house that one day forces her into becoming its new master. In the process, the Book of Darkness summons the Wolkenritter as its sentient defense programs. They are not evil and easily bond with the kind-hearted girl, providing her with the family she always craved and them with their first compassionate, non-megalomaniacal master. As a result, they set out to try and prevent the Book of Darkness from consuming Hayate's life.
    • It's also worth noticing the way Nanoha and Fate's (the now allied dark magical girl) Intelligent Devices copy the programing of the Wolkenritters' Devices so they mistresses have the chance to fight their new opponents on equal footing. Raising Heart (Nanoha's) and Bardiche (Fate's) even encourage them to go through the difficult, very innovative, and potentially dangerous power-up. If witty, the Intelligent Devices are usually just there to channel and shape the magic, rarely getting to the level of Virtual Sidekicks.
    • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S: Played for laughs again with Hayate. After repairing the Book of Darkness, the new artificial intelligence inside it is as sentient as the previous one, but far more amenable and not corrupted. As such, Rein, the Unison Device, is Hayate's most loyal supporter of her dreams. She accompanies Hayate raises through the ranks and is her personal secretary when Hayate is finally appointed as the commander of her own military special operations unit. Rein is the Plucky Comic Relief more often than not (perks of being a miniature humanoid), but also soothes Hayate's insecurities and helps her tune down her immense raw magic output into usable spells.
  • Pokémon: The Series: Although the series has a large, rotating main cast with countless character arcs, the central characters are Ash Ketchum and his Pokémon partner, Pikachu. After getting off to a rough start in the first episode, the two became inseparable best friends, unwilling to part ways even when offered the choice.
  • Wonderful Pretty Cure!: Two girls (Iroha and Mayu) and their pets (Iroha's pet dog, Komugi and Mayu's pet cat, Yuki), all four of whom become superheroes.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica presents a deconstructed and Played for Drama example. Like nearly every anime of this genre, the magical girls get a cute Animal Companion who is the source of the magic and introduces them to the trade. Just, this time, roping prepubescent-to-teenage girls into a war against Eldritch Abominations proves to have very dire consequences. They are now exposed to trauma, injuries, and often death. Kyubey, the alien cat/squirrel, does not help them mature, he makes them realize who truly horrible the world can be as he milks their despair as free energy to counter the Entropy Death of the universe. He even comments how the conversion from a magical girl into a witch (the monsters they battle) is akin to the process of girls growing up to women. While all of the girls are "mentored" by Kuybey or interact with him in one way or another, this trope is most notorious with him and Madoka. Kyubey spends the better part of the series trying to convince her to turn into a magical girl, viciously exploiting her insecurities and the tragedies her friends, who are magical girls, face.
  • Remy: Nobody's Girl: Remy's Animal Companion is a performing circus monkey, Joli-Coeur, who acts as her sidekick and saves her from danger. Apart from Capi, he's all that she has left of Vitalis.
  • One Xenosaga Yonkoma aptly sums up the series as "A Girl And Her Doll". Said "doll" is a combat android with the power of a fleet.

    Comic Books 
  • The Badger: Parodied. Norbert pets Lamont, his North American "Buffalo". The villain promptly comments, "Ain't that sweet? A Deranged Individual and His Bison."
  • Supergirl: In "Supergirl's Super Pet" and "The Super-Steed of Steel", Supergirl meets Streaky the Supercat and Comet the Super-Horse, respectively, and starts bonding with them while teaching them how to use their new powers.
  • What If?: "I'll Be Your Best Friend!" (v2 #92) was the tale of a boy and his robot — specifically Josh (kid brother of X-Men Cannonball and Husk) and a damaged Sentinel (robot designed to kill mutants such as the X-Men.) Many readers questioned why this story was published as a "What If" given that it could've easily fit into Earth-616 canon.
  • X-Men:
    • The origin story of Maggot (a South-African mutant whose digestive system was two semi-autonomous slugs that could eat anything) was titled "A Boykie and His Dinges". Translated from the South-African slang the flashback was written in, that's "A Boy and His Things".

    Fairy Tales 
  • In the Aarne-Thompson-Uther Index tale type ATU 531, "The Clever Horse" (which includes The Fire-Bird, the Horse of Power, and the Princess Vasilissa and Russian literary tale The Humpbacked Horse), the hero is helped by his faithful steed, which warns him against the perils on his journey and is vital to ensure the hero's happy ending with the princess. In regards to the word "vital", the king orders the hero to enter a dangerous bath of hot milk or hot water - that could potentially kill him -, and he only survives with the horse's intervention. When the king tries to replicate, he simply burns to death.
  • In a cycle of Iranian tales known as "The Magical Horse" (Zauberfohlen) or "The Sea-Horse" (Korre-ye darya'i) - stories connected to the European texts of tale type ATU 314, "Goldener", of the international Aarne-Thompson-Uther index - , the protagonist is a king's son, who has a loyal pet horse that warns him about his stepmother's, the king's second wife, attempts against his life. Things come to a head when the queen pretends to be ill and demands the horse is killed and an organ used to "cure" her. Knowing that neither of them will be safe if they stay in the palace, the prince and the horse escape to another kingdom.
  • In the East Slavic (Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian) tale type SUS 532, "Neznaiko" or "Neznaika", the hero is a usually merchant's son whom his father buys a lame-looking horse for. When the merchant is away, his wife, the hero's stepmother, starts an affair and tries to murder her stepson, but the horse warns him everytime. Eventually, the stepmother pretends to be ill and demands the horse's meat as cure, but the horse plots with the merchant's son and both escape to another kingdom. There, the horse advises the hero to always answer "ne znayu" ('I don't know', in Russian), and gives him some of its hairs to be summoned.
  • In Latin American variants of tale type ATU 530, "The Princess on the Glass Mountain",note  the youngest of three brothers holds a vigil on his father's fields and discovers a horse of seven colours has been trampling/eating their fields. He tames the horse and it becomes his friend. Later, with the help of the horse of seven colours, the third brother beats the challenge and wins the princess for wife.

    Fan Works 
  • A common idea in Danny Phantom stories, likely because they were last seen both roaming on their own, is for Danielle and Wulf to meet up and become friends. Such examples include:
    • Harmless: Prior to coming to Danny aid's in a coming battle with a powerful, ancient ghost, Danielle met up with Wulf, and brought him along when she met the rest of the Fenton family.
    • In the Facing the Future Series, following being Happily Adopted by the Fentons, Danielle encountered Wulf, and due to her past with strays while roaming, was able to bond with him easily, to the point that she gave him a new outfit to replace his prison garb look. Unfortunately, Jack and Maddie won't let Wulf live at Fenton Works.
  • As well as the canon Dragon Riders, Luisa, Isabela and Camilo in The Dragon and the Butterfly end up training a Crimson Goregutter, a Snaptrapper and a Changewing respectively.
  • Essence is a Pokémon Alternate Universe Fic where 10-year old Ash goes on a Coming of Age Story journey with his loyal dog Pokémon Growlithe, instead of Pikachu.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Machinabridged reinterprets Barret and Red XIII, as part of the show's general recharacterization of the cast, as this, functioning as a duo and a double act; Barret's subplots co-star Red and vice versa, while they weren't required for each other's subplots in the original, and in general, not really especially closer to each other as they were to any of the other party members.
  • The Haddock Chronicles sees a young Elsa become the first person to train a Snow Wraith.
  • Godzilla: New Era has a downplayed example with Io Shinoda and the third Godzilla ("Junior") being playmates when they were both children at the Biotechnics institute for different reasons note . A big part of Io's arc was her learning to interact with others as Junior was her only friend as a child. That the current Godzilla seems to recognize and is docile to her is one of the first big hints he's Junior all grown up.
  • Sort of in Jessica. As time passes, Cameron starts to see true Pikachu Jessica as a close friend rather than as "pixels and bytes in a video game."
  • Pokémon Strangled Red: In universe. Steven's Pokémon journey revolves heavily around his Charmander/Charmeleon/Charizard, Miki. And her death traumatizes Steven so much that he descends into madness.
  • Springtrap and Deliah: A girl and her seven feet animatronic bunny-pal. Deconstructed, as the comic showcases just how quickly a relationship like that can turn sour and how much the inherent power-imbalance can screw both parties over.

    Films — Animation 
  • Astro Kid: After Willy crash lands on an alien planet, he befriends a local creature named Flash. Flash quickly becomes his best friend and together they manage to survive on the planet till help finally arrives.
  • Big Hero 6: Hiro and Baymax; a boy and his robotic healthcare companion. Hiro is a Brilliant, but Lazy Teen Genius who loses his brother Tadashi in a fire accident. The healthcare robot Tadashi built provides him his much-needed emotional support, and the two of them (along with Tadashi's old friends) become superheroes who fight crime, with Hiro maturing into a much more responsible person.
  • Charlie & Chunk is the story of a boy in New Mexico who has a living clay monster named Chunk. They attempt a dangerous skateboard stunt on 10-Year-Old Boy Day.
  • Inverted with The Good Dinosaur. Arlo, a talking dinosaur, befriends a feral human boy after the two became lost in the wilderness. Arlo is initially a nervous and cowardly dinosaur, but his adventures with the human boy help him find his courage.
  • How to Train Your Dragon: Hiccup is a viking boy who's too scrawny and too kind-hearted to become a dragon slayer. He meets an injured dragon he names "Toothless", bonds with it and becomes its rider, maturing a lot on the way.
  • Lilo & Stitch: A Girl And Her Alien(s). In the original film, Stitch was adopted by her by pretending to be a dog.
  • The Little Mermaid Golden 1992 features a girl and her dolphin; Lena, the titular mermaid, is always accompanied by her Official Royal Pet, Vink, who tries (and fails) to keep her out of trouble.
  • Ratatouille: A Man (Linguini) and His Rat (Rémy). Linguini even calls Rémy, "Little Chef". Linguini cares greatly for Rémy, whom he treats as his equal and best friend.
  • SCOOB! introduces Scooby-Doo as a stray pup meeting and befriending a young and lonely Shaggy Rogers, who later adopts him. Throughout, the movie focuses on their heartwarming and comedic friendship from childhood to adulthood.
    • The film also lampshades this, also connecting the Man/Dog bond with the two heroes that Scooby and Shaggy have always idolized, Blue Falcon (the original and his son, Brian, who took over the mantle from his father) and Dynomutt, and with the villains, Dick Dastardly and Muttley.
  • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron: A boy and his horse... and another horse who did not want to be owned by anyone but warmed up to the boy by the end of the film.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alpha (2018) is about a young hunter separated from his tribe taking care of a wolf separated from her pack. The two work together to bring down prey and help each other whenever one of them is injured. This can also count as the very first "A Boy And His X" in human and dog history.
  • A-X-L is a film about a teen boy named Miles who finds a highly-advanced military-created Robot Dog in a junkyard. The two form an unbreakable bond, but his creators want him back.
  • The Transformers Film Series spin-off/prequel/reboot Bumblebee narrows down this trope, with the focus of the film being entirely on Charlie and her friendship with Bumblebee. The alien invasion/disaster movie aspect of the prior films being pretty much all but removed, and the robot war mostly being a factor for the backstory and the motivation of the badguys.
  • There's a movie called Gargantua, in which a boy befriends a baby giant monster, and must keep it safe from a poacher that wants to capture it and sell it as a sideshow attraction.
  • Lassie Come Home: The story is about a Yorkshire boy and the collie that won't be separated from him. Lassie's strong relationship with Joe drives the plot, as she is determined to get back to Yorkshire against all odds to return to him. The film spawned five sequels, multiple reboots, multiple TV shows, cartoons, a manga and more, which all featured Lassie as a Heroic Dog with a strong bond to the 'boy' in each version, where she helped him and his family out of dangerous situations.
  • Lean on Pete is about the bond between a troubled teenager called Charley and Lean on Pete, a mediocre racehorse bound for the slaughterhorse. Charley steals Lean on Pete from his owner to avoid his fate and the two go on a cross-country trip.
  • The Magic Crystal: A Boy and his Sentient, Talking Venusian Crystal with Psychic Powers. Which he obtains from his uncle, a globe-trotting secret agent, during a tour in Greece. It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context.
  • Monster Trucks: The story of a boy and a subterranean creature that escapes from its secret environment, with Trip adapting his truck so that 'Creach' can basically use it as a wheelchair/support system to move around on land.
  • Old Yeller is about a boy named Travis, who is set up to learn responsibility while his father is away. Travis meets a stray dog named Yeller, and his learning to trust the dog leads to a close partnership.
  • Pete's Dragon (1977) features the dragon rescuing Pete from his abusive guardians, who had bought him. The opening song features Pete and the dragon playfully declaring their love for each other.
  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu is the story of a young man and his talking, snarky, coffee addicted Great Detective Pikachu teaming up to solve the mystery of the disappearance of the young man's father. With the added twist that the Pikachu turns out to be said missing father, trapped in the body of a Pikachu.
  • The Skateboard Kid: A boy and his talking skateboard. A young skateboarder named Zack builds a mechanical skateboard which comes to life after being struck by lightning. After the skateboard protects Zack from the neighborhood bullies, the two become best of friends.
  • "A Boy And His Vacuum Cleaner" is the subject of Stardust, a bizarre 1998 film that's two parts Mac and Me, and one part each of The Love Bug and Short Circuit, with a touch of Home Alone for flavor.
  • Ted: A boy and his teddy bear, who comes to life. Instead of helping him mature, the teddy bear hinders the boy's emotional development and results in him becoming a Manchild. But then over the course of the movie the now grown-up man learns the responsibilities of adulthood.
  • Many Terminator films have this vibe:

  • The Bartimaeus Trilogy has one in Ptolemy and Bartimaeus, they'd have died for each other... one did. Then there's Nathaniel and Bartimaeus that comes after Ptolemy dies (way after, 2000 years plus), though they may not be an example as they both loath each other until the end and continuously argue (hilariously) throughout the whole three books.
  • Harlan Ellison's A Boy and His Dog: Subverted. The setting is actually post-apocalyptic, so said dog is a telepathic mutant who's technically much smarter than the boy and even taught him to read, write and count. Said boy is also a teenaged serial rapist, and the dog pays him back for finding food by tracking victims for him. The story shows that the boy's Undying Loyalty to his dog is so strong that when the dog dying and he's met a cute girl who is sexually interested in him, he kills the girl and feeds her to his dog to save him. The first part of the story implies that this is a pretty common partnership, with solitary scavengers referred to as "Solos" drifting around the ruins with dog companions, though they're usually regular dogs, not mutants.
  • In one of Robert Rankin's Brentford stories Omally (always spelled without the apostrophe, for some reason) refuses to die without his faithful Marchant. Pooley comments, "A boy and his bike! I feel sick!"
  • An inversion in Fredric R. Stewart's Cerberon: The eponymous unicorn has been George's best friend his entire life. The novel opens with George clearly in command, but by the end it's Cerberon who is in charge. In a Shout-Out to C. S. Lewis, Cerberon's mother is named Jewel, after the unicorn in The Last Battle.note 
  • C. S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia book The Horse and His Boy: The book sometimes plays the trope straight and sometimes inverts it, as the boy is not always in charge, and is less experienced in the ways of the world than the former warhorse. The inversion is also discussed at one point, when someone tells the boy's traveling companion that it might be more accurate to say that she belonged to her horse.
  • A Dog's Purpose is this type of story from a dog's point-of-view. It follows a dog being reincarnated several times and its life with humans. To emphasise this, the protagonist often refers to his main owner Ethan as "the boy".
  • Dragonriders of Pern: Dragons Impress at hatching, and the ritual is a rite of passage for Pernese youth. This forms a lifetime bond that marks the beginning of a youngster's training as a dragonrider and their growth into maturity and their role as protectors of the planet.
  • Randall Garrett and Vicki Ann Heydron's The Gandalara Cycle has a Gandalaran and his sha'um (a giant telepathic cat that can be used as a steed).
  • Heralds of Valdemar: While bond-animals of various sorts are common throughout the series, the one that fulfills the trope most strongly is the Companions. These are magical horses (that are later revealed to be spirit-guardians given mortal form) who seek out and bond with children who would make suitable Heralds. This moment of bonding marks the start of their journey towards maturity, and the bond is so strong that the death of either Herald or Companion almost invariably leads to the death of the other.
  • Humanx Commonwealth: Flinx is an empathic, genetically altered mutant who, in his early life, forms a psychic bond with an Alaspinian miniature dragon (minidrag for short) named Pip. The species naturally forms such bonds in the wild, and is rarely known to do so with humans. However, due to Flinx's unique nature, Pip acts as an amplifier and focus for his powers in addition to being a fierce protector.
  • I, Q a Star Trek: The Next Generation book written by John De Lancie, parodies this when Q snarkily refers to Picard and Data as "A boy and his computer".
  • The Last Dragon Chronicles incorporates this trope a lot. Usually it's A Boy and His Dragon although A Girl and Her Dragon pops up almost as frequently (if not more). David gets many a dragon sidekick as the series progresses: G'reth, Golly, and even Sharing a Body with Grockle. But Gadzooks definitely takes home the medal. Lucy has Gwendolen and Zanna has Gretel.
  • The Life Of Alexander contains what is possibly the Ur-Example, although as with many such it is something of an Unbuilt Trope here. The titular Alexander supposedly tames a "wild" stallion as a young prince, whom he names Bucephalus. The horse then follows him through his exploits over the next 20 years before dying in India. The distraught Alexander builds a splendid tomb for the horse, and names a city for him: Alexandria Bucephalia. This was regarded as little more than a cute story, until some linguistic and archaeological evidence for the existence of Bucephalia was turned up. The jury is still out on whether there's any truth to the legends of Bucephalus, it's not as if Plutarch was the sort to let trivial things like historical fact get in the way of a good story (and none of the other biographies of Alexander which survive do more than mention the horse). Still, it's hardly the most ridiculous legend about Alexander that Plutarch recorded.
  • The Magic Shop book Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher is about Jeremy and the bond he forms with his pet dragon.
  • Interestingly played with in The Never Ending Story, where a Boy and His Horse relationship is early driven to a moving end... only to be replaced with a better partner, when The Hero finds a much more interesting companion, turning the trope into A Boy And His Dragon (and Dragon Rider, incidentally).
  • Isaac Asimov's Robbie: Gloria has had her Robot Buddy "Robbie" for three years before the start of this story. Her mother, worried about what the neighbors have been saying, wants to get rid of the robot. Gloria is, of course, devastated by her loss. She never stops looking for where Robbie might have gone, checking every robot she comes across, and even checking factory robots.
  • Skyward is described by author Brandon Sanderson as being about "a girl and her starfighter," with the starfighter being an artificial intelligence named M-Bot.
  • The Anthology Tales from Jabba's Palace has a story called "A Boy And His Monster" focusing on Jabba's Rancor Handler Malakili and his Relationship the abused Rancor. Fortunately for him the book gives him a happy ending, despite the death of his best friend, by having him opening a successful restaurant in Mos Eisley after Jabba's death.
  • The Temeraire series: A Boy and His Dragon. Or, possibly, A Dragon and His British Naval Officer. While not guiding Laurence into manhood, Temeraire does mark a significant shift both in his life and understanding of the world.



    Professional Wrestling 
  • Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus aka. AEW's Jurassic Express also go under the name "A Boy and His Dinosaur".

    Video Games 
  • Aether revolves around a boy and the fluffy monster pet he befriended who then takes him on a trip to the clouds.
  • The mighty Starscourge Radahn from Elden Ring is so attached to his horse Leonard that, once he became too big and heavy to ride it, he learned gravity magic just so he could continue to do so. Even in his feral state, indiscriminately attacking anything which moves around him and devouring corpses which don't, he doesn't attack his horse.
  • Guardian Heroes: A band of adventurers and their Undead Hero.
  • League of Legends: Nunu and Willump, "the Boy and his Yeti". Nunu discovered a lonely Willump deep in the mountains of the cold Freljord, and the boy's compassion and vibrant imagination gave some much needed joy to Willump. They now venture to search for Nunu's mother, with Willump providing ancient the pair ancient magic to brave the icy region. Notably they're the only "champion" who consists of two individual characters.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky:
    • A somewhat twisted version with how the insane Angel of Slaughter treats her Mecha Pater Mater like family, more specifically as replacement for her parents, who sold her into slavery. She pilots and summons it into battle.
    • A more classic example comes in 3rd. The side story The Happiness Stone stars the orphan girl Mary as she whimsically befriends a small dragon.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel features Rean Schwarzer with his mech, Valimar the Ashen Knight after he inadvertently finishes the trial with his friends. Rean ends up piloting Valimar throughout the Civil War in Cold Steel II and helps end it. At first, Valimar talks robotic but when Rean gets better at piloting Valimar, Valimar ends up talking like a human and starts remembering things from before he slept 250 years before the start of the game.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Link's beloved mare Epona, first appearing in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and being a one of few characters with multiple recurring incarnations throughout the series. It's pretty telling that in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, when Link is stranded in Termina and separated from his companion Navi, Epona stays with him throughout his journey.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess features a fallen Twili named Midna who turns out to be the titular princess and her wolf companion Link (some of the time, anyway). At first, their relationship is more akin to pet and owner, with Midna riding Link around as though he were a horse and simply using him to fulfill her own ends, but by the end of the game, they've become Fire-Forged Friends (with no small amount of Ship Tease on the side).
  • MapleStory:
    • Maha is Aran's magic, talking polearm. The former is Aran's only link to her past and the two have been through thick and thin, turning aside entire armies and bickering with each other over her missing memories.
    • The whole point of Evan's class is forming this relationship between a Farm Boy and his magic dragon, who acts as Evan's ticket towards the life of adventure he's always dreamed of.
    • Ilium is a member of the Flora who only had his magic robot, Ex, for a friend because of Illium's crippling shyness. Ex is later joined by Machina, which was made from a statue Ilium made for a festival and the two can combine to form the powerful fighting robot, Deus.
  • This is a recurring trend in two of the Team ICO games:

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time is about twelve-year-old Finn, the last human, adventuring in a post-apocalyptic, RPG-like world along with Jake, a magically shapeshifting dog. In a rare case of this trope, Jake is not only sentient but is able to talk and perform very human activities such as playing the violin, doing magic when taught, and having a girlfriend. Also, Jake is literally Finn's family — he is his adopted brother since Jake's biological parents found a baby Finn alone in the woods. If one ignores that Finn is the protagonist, it could be said the show it's about a dog and his boy. In any case, both of them help each other mature and become better versions of themselves. Usually getting through life milestones together (e.g., Finn supports Jake when he meets his girlfriend's parents, Jake gives Finn advice in romantic matters).
  • Danny Phantom: Insofar, this trope happens twice and both times Sam lampshades it.
    Sam: A boy and his dog. Somehow, it's not supposed to be this weird.
    Sam: A boy and his snow beast.
    • Cujo's appearance in Danny's life is accompanied by a break of the status quo and the start of Danny's rocky relationship with Valerie. Cujo himself is a dog ghost who will grow from puppy to dangerous, giant dog whenever he feels menaced. Taming him helps Danny be more patient and responsible, as Cujo's aggressive rampages gained him a permanent enemy in Valerie.
    • Frostbite is a very imposing yeti and a constant source of aid and advice for Danny — Danny's mentor figure, in short. Frostbite gifts Danny the Infi-map (to guide him where he must go rather than where he wants to go), trains him in his newly-discovered ice powers, and teaches him a lot about what does it mean to be a hero.
  • Final Space: Gary and Mooncake. Gary, though in his twenties, starts out as a hyperactive head-in-the-clouds nut who's little better than the loser conman he started his five-year prison sentence as, then when he meets Mooncake (who is sought by the Lord Commander and Invictus as the key to Final Space), it starts Gary's Character Development toward becoming leader of the Team Squad.
  • Parodied in the Futurama episode "T: The Terrestrial," a Whole-Plot Reference to ET: The Extraterrestrial in which Fry befriends Jrrr, an adorable young alien... with the twist that Jrrr is the boy and Fry is the alien since Fry is stranded on Jrrr's homeworld.
    Jrrr: But T., can't you stay with me? We could grow up together.
    • Similarly, Fry's Interspecies Friendship with Bender seems to cut both ways; from a human perspective Bender is Fry's Snarky Non-Human Sidekick, but Fry is Bender's Monster Roommate, living with him in an apartment complex designed for robots. When Fry first moves in with him, he says that he's always wanted a pet.
      Bender: I should have understood how someone could love an inferior creature, because I love you. Not in the way of the Ancient Greeks, but the way a robot loves a human, a human loves a dog, and, occasionally, a gorilla loves a kitty.
  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2023): The trailers present the series as a story of a teen genius and the dog-like dinosaur she accidentally summoned to the present with her invention.
  • The New Scooby-Doo Movies: In "The Caped Crusader Caper," Shaggy and Scooby go missing on a camping trip. Batman (guest star with Robin) assures the kids that a caped crusader always gives priority to a boy and his dog.
  • While most witches from The Owl House have their own Palisman, special attention is paid to the relationship between Hunter and his Palisman Flapjack, who takes the form of a red cardinal bird. Hunter is initially dismissive of, sometimes even hostile towards Flapjack, but as time goes on and Hunter un-learns more and more of his Emperor's Coven brainwashing, a genuine friendship begins to form between the two. Flapjack, for his part, steers Hunter towards the people who might be able to help his Character Development, scavenges food for Hunter when the events of "Hollow Mind" force him to go on the run, and ends up sacrificing his own life to save Hunter's in "Thanks to Them".
  • The Simpsons parodies this with Soccer Mummy, a film within the show in which a reanimated Egyptian mummy joins a little league soccer team and teaches a young boy to believe in himself.
  • Sintel is about a girl who rescues a wounded baby dragon and befriends it. As the dragon grows up, it flies away with a flock of dragons passing above. Sintel sets out on a long journey to find it.
  • Tig 'n Seek: The series is about a boy and his super genius cat. Tiggy adores Gweeseek, and Gweeseek is always by Tiggy’s side.
  • Winx Club:
    • Overall, the series provides a very downplayed and mostly Played for Laughs example. Bloom is a fairy girl who discovers her magical powers kind of thanks to her pet bunny, Kiko, with whom she parts from Earth to the magical dimension she belongs to. Downplayed because the focus of the plot is not Bloom and Kiko's relationship, but the friendship between Bloom and other five fairies. However, it must be noted Kiko's supposed death triggered Bloom's first fairy transformation and that marked the start of Bloom's Character Development (gaining more confidence in herself). Other than that, Kiko is used as a Plucky Comic Relief and progressively loses screen time.
    • Another similar instance happens with Roxy and her dog Artu. Like Bloom, Roxy thought she just watched her Animal Companion being murdered in front of her, with the grief and rage unlocking her fairy powers. Therefore marking the point where Roxy has no other option than to accept she is a fairy and that she needs the Winx's protection and aid.
    • In season one, the witch Mirta is turned into a pumpkin by the villains. As the fairy of nature, Flora is the one in charge of finding the countercurse. During all the scenes dedicated to the two of them (Mirta warning her about stuff, Flora trying spells on her, the two simply talking), it's "a fairy girl and her witch pumpkin". The whole ordeal prompts Flora to overcome her insecurity of being The Load for her friends and gives her someone as sweet and caring as her to bond with. Given the credits pair the two of them, it's heavily hinted Mirta was intended to be Flora's love interest.
    • The second season presents us with the Pixies, miniature fairies with whom actual faires can bond. The power boost aside, each of the Winx girls overcome a personal struggle with the help of their pixies, which goes along with the first four seasons' overall theme of coming of age.
      • Piff is a constant reminder of Aisha's more maternal side and helps her soothe her separation anxiety — as a baby, Piff will always be dependent on her and therefore incapable of abandoning her. Furthermore, taking her of Piff is a very calming activity.
      • Chatta resembles Stella quite a lot, but it's Flora's bonded Pixie because Flora needs to get out of her shell in order to strengthen her relationships with her loved ones and to be more receptive to love.
      • Tune is uptight and clashes with Musa a lot, but her nature is exactly the kind of maternal figure Musa so desperately needs after losing her mother at a young age.
      • Digit is Tecna's Pixie precisely because they are so very alike. Yeah, Tecna has friends now and they help her get in contact with her feelings. But Tecna also needs someone to remind her that logic, videogames, and book smarts are as part of her as her feelings — she doesn't have to ditch the latter to achieve the former.
      • Like Chatta and Flora, Amore and Stella are polar opposites in several regards. They only have in common their fixation on playing matchmakers and romantic love in general. But Amore is the Pixie of love and Stella craves affection since her parents' divorce and often feels people only like her (not love her) by her looks.
      • Bloom's bond with Lockette is more metaphorical in nature than it is psychological. Lockette is the Pixie of Portals (or Directions in some dubs) while Bloom has only encountered (physical and proverbial) closed doors and dead ends in her journey of self-discovering.
    • A great deal of the seventh season's plot revolves around the eponymous group of girls (plus the villains, the fact three of them are witches notwithstanding) bonding with fairy animals. As the Winx are quite mature by then, the fairy animals are a subversion (compared with their previous magical companions) of this trope. Surprisingly enough, it's one of the villains the one to get a case of this trope. She bonds with a winged, black unicorn. Both Diaspro and Aryo were betrayed in the past (a two-timing fiancee and a broken horn respectively) and their bonding is the first time they are able to trust someone else anew.
    • Bloom is gifted a horse by her newly found biological parents in the second movie and names her Peg. Peg is used mostly as a device to rekindle Bloom and Sky's romance in the face of hardships, but one must remark Bloom is happier to re-meet Peg than Sky. After eating a seedling she probably shouldn't have, Peg is transformed into a winged unicorn.
  • Wolverine and the X-Men (2009): Marrow is a Broken Bird who lives in an apocalyptic Bad Future. Then, a day comes where she meets this unrepaired Sentinel (giant robot) named Rover and her life gets a little happier. Her days get a little more purpose as she destroys other Sentinels looking for robotic parts to fix Rover. Unfortunately, Rover is destroyed and it's partially her team's fault, which leaves her so distraught, she betrays her team.


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Alternative Title(s): A Girl And Her X


Yuuya and Night

While walking through the park one evening, Yuuya and his pet Black Fenrir from the other world encounter a mugging.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

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Main / ABoyAndHisX

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