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A Friend in Need

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"A friend in need is a friend indeed."

A profound test of character: someone is in trouble and in need of help. Will you stand by them? Help them? Give them moral support? Let others know that you do so, and face their contempt?

It will cost you. It may cost you a great deal.

While pre-existing friendship is possible, demonstrating The Power of Friendship in a Friendship Moment, the character may also be a Mentor, an acquaintance (perhaps nothing more than someone they are Lonely Together with), or even a stranger who sees the character in need and trusts them. It can create friendship and even the True Companions, and it is certainly the point at which a character knows they have friends. (If they are Vitriolic Best Buds, this may be the point at which the audience realizes they are friends.)

It can also be the way the Worthy Opponent demonstrates their worthiness, and the Friendly Enemy their friendliness, by some act such as acting as Character Witness for The Hero, or preventing them from being stabbed In the Back. In a Betty and Veronica triangle, Betty is the one who will come through — often the point at which Oblivious to Love trope stops.

Conversely, failing to do so can be how such groups as the Gang of Bullies or Girl Posse reveal that they are not really friends.

Chronic Hero Syndrome is a tendency to a certain type of this trope.

Super-Trope of Good Samaritan, I Got You Covered, Changed My Mind, Kid, Financial Test of Friendship, Gondor Calls for Aid, and Greater Need Than Mine. Compare Fire-Forged Friends. Contrast Fair-Weather Mentor and Fair-Weather Friend. In a more cynical series villains or even protagonists may wind up Dying Alone instead. Also cynical if the person in need happens to be a true odd man out.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach:
    • When Rukia was taken back to Soul Society and sentenced to be executed, Ichigo was determined to go rescue her. Same thing when Orihime got captured by Aizen.
    • Also with Chad, who refused to fight a bunch of thugs and Ichigo came to help him.
      Ichigo: "All right. Let's do this, Chad. You keep doing your thing and don't fight for yourself. But fight for me and I will fight for you. If you ever put your life on the line to protect something, then I'll put my life on the line to protect it too."
    • All the captains of Soul Society and the Vizards joined in the battle against Aizen to help out Ichigo and give him a chance to strike Aizen, letting him know right from the get go that he wasn't alone in this fight.
  • William from A Cruel God Reigns is this for Jeremy. He continues to be Jeremy's friend even when Jeremy tells him strange stories about why his back is bleeding, acts bizarrely, and makes moves on him. He is the first one to notice Jeremy's strange behavior, have suspicions about what is really going on with Jeremy without blaming him, and actively try to help him. William is also the one who convinces Jeremy to come back to school.
  • Gankutsuou: Franz. He took his best friend's Albert's place in a duel with The Count, an event both knew would have negative outcomes. Tragically, this causes him to die during the duel; Albert is too late to stop it. Sucks.
  • Holyland: Shin is the only character who always sticks by Yuu no matter what.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry:
    • Used in a pretty dark way - Rena killed a woman who tried to seduce her father for his money (and the woman's lover) and tried to hide it from her friends; however, when they discover the truth, they unanimously agree to help her dispose of the bodies.note 
    • In the same arc, When Rena is affected by the same paranoid delusions Keiichi had fallen to in the first arc, the friends all group together to save her, rather than abandoning her to the unfortunate fate despite/because Keiichi knows that Rena had tried to save him risking her life before.
    • In another arc, Rena decides to kill Satoko's uncle. Keiichi and Shion also realize this is the only way to save Satoko and become her accomplices to prevent each other from being caught by the police. Paranoia ensues.
    • Also on a lighter note, the origins of the game club (revealed in the Festival Music chapter) were to help the Hojo siblings cope with the crap they are put through. Partially successful.
  • Izetta from Izetta: The Last Witch choose to help protect her friend, Princess Finé's country from the Germanian soldiers even though her friend tells her to run away to safety.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Stardust Crusaders: Despite wishing to have no involvement with the team in their search effort for DIO's mansion, Iggy proves his loyalty after the battle with Pet Shop to lead the team to their destination.
    • Diamond is Unbreakable: Josuke, Okuyasu, and Koichi form this dynamic helping each other out whenever one of them gets in trouble with an enemy Stand User.
    • Golden Wind: After Bucciarati declares his Line in the Sand, everyone (with the exception of Fugo) chose to fight by his side in defeating Diavolo.
    • Stone Ocean: F.F. heads over to the prison's maximum security ward alongside Anasui to assist Jolyne in locating the bone of DIO.
    • Steel Ball Run: Wekapipo affirms his Heel–Face Turn for Gyro by protecting Stephen Steel from being assassinated.
    • JoJolion: Yasuho comes to Josuke's aid after he gets taken over by Dolomite's Blue Hawaii.
    • The JoJoLands: After appearing to have abandoned the others, Usagi is the one to save the team from The Cat after tricking it into a trap, proving his dedication.
  • The angel Tabris Kaworu in Neon Genesis Evangelion is poised to destroy mankind and basically unbeatable. Despite this, he gives Shinji a free opportunity to deny him his purpose and kill him, saving the human race, all because he loved Shinji and preferred that he survive.
  • One Piece:
    • Mr. 2 Bon Kurei (real name Bentham, nickname Bon-chan). His every action outside of when he was part of a Quirky Miniboss Squad is motivated by feelings of friendship and prompts him to take risks even when he has no obligation to do so.
      • In the Alabasta arc, he met and befriended the Straw Hat pirates for all of five minutes before being retrieved by his ship and discovering they were enemies. After the arc ended and they were no longer foes, Bon-chan helped the Straw Hats in their escape from a Marine blockade. While this part was somewhat self-serving since it helps his own escape prospects, when the Straw Hats risk it all to give a farewell to a friend, Bon Chan is so touched he ends up risking his own capture to ensure they can pull it off and get away.
      • Later, during the "Meet Baroque" cover story arc, Bon Kurei gave his aid to Miss Goldenweek and Mr. 5's attempts to rescue Ms. Valentine and the other incarcerated Officer Agents of Baroque Works. This act does result in his capture and sentence to Level Three of Impel Down.
      • After getting out of his cell in the prison Impel Down, Bon-chan offers to help the currently intruding Luffy reach his destination because it coincides with is own goal. He suffers a moment of weakness here and leaves Luffy behind to face Chief Warden Magellan alone, but comes back to rescue Luffy afterward and helps find treatment for his severe poisoning from the loss. The cause for this moment of weakness is that he knows Magellan's reputation and by the end of the arc, it was shown Magellan was powerful enough to simultaneously beat Luffy (the main character), some guy with a type advantage over Magellan's own abilities and several escaped prisoners armed with guns and cannons. After shouting for seven hours straight for Luffy to recover quickly, Bon-chan is himself recovered in time for the breakout. However, the only way the escaping prisoners can get past their final obstacle, The Gates of Justice, is if someone stays behind and opens them from within the prison. While Bon-chan successfully does this, he draws the full attention and killing intent of Magellan, who he promptly challenges alone, with his own eulogy in the background, all while declaring he has no regrets.
    • In essence, this was how Luffy met or helped out his friends, gaining their loyalty. Zoro was about to executed by the marines when Luffy jumped in. He beat the tar out of Arlong for making Nami cry. He helped out Usopp because he saw that Usopp was determined to protect his village. He helped Sanji protect Zeff's resturant ship. He stopped Wapol and defended Chopper's pirate flag. Robin wanted to die, but Luffy encouraged her to live. He accepted Franky into his crew, despite being enemies earlier. He gave companionship and freedom to Brook. And he broke Jinbe out of prison and helped him save Fishman Island.
    • This is Luffy in general. You don't even have to be one of his crew mates — you just have to be a friend. Because for Luffy, that's always been enough.
  • Saint Seiya: Shiryu. Even though most of the Bronze Saints are ready to go to great length for one another, Shiryu seems particularly prone to that especially toward Seiya. The most memorable example would be Shiryu willing to bathe Seiya's Cloth with most of his blood, aware that it would cost his life, in order to repair it. Without his Cloth, Seiya would not have stood a chance to survive the threat he was facing at the time and thus Shiryu was willing to offer his life for a friend in need.
    • Shiryu's biggest moment of this type was the fight against Perseus Algol, in which he BLINDS HIMSELF to be able to fight him out of his sheer determination to save his friends.
    • Shun was willing to risk his life to revive Hyoga in the House of Libra.
  • Variable Geo: Yuka's childhood friend, Satomi, has fallen on hard times ever since her parents died, leaving her to care for herself and her Delicate and Sickly kid brother on her own. Except she barely earns enough to support them, despite working two jobs, due to Daiskue's medical expenses. Which made her an easy target for The Jahana Group, who manipulates Satomi into entering the VG tournament. When Yuka becomes aware of the situation, she resolves to save her friend.

  • Charity (Bouguereau): As the name would imply, Charity is willfully giving her time, energy, and body to make sure to feed five kids who given their wildly different crops of hair, are not hers. Since the children are all naked, it is likely that they are impoverished and either their parents can't afford a meal or they don't have a family to look after them.

    Comic Books 
  • In Astro City, M.P.H. tries to help Beautie in one of her distressed periods. He ends up lecturing her creator about how she is failing her.
    • Twice, Samaritan goes out of his way to offer help to a superpowered character who doesn't want to either fight or commit crime.
  • The Flash. He was desperately worried about his dying wife, but he had to look after his two children — until Arsenal cleverly brought his daughter to the League tower. This distracted the Flash's children enough so that Arsenal could look after them all, and Flash, after calling him a friend in need, could join his wife.
  • After Morbius the Living Vampire is infected with the blood of a demon and is resurrected as an undead, soulless being, one of his oldest friends decides to separate himself from the madness that is Morbius' life. He is chewed out by Werewolf by Night, who tells him Morbius now needs them more than ever. "I guess we see who Morbius's real friends are now."
    • And the inverse: when Werewolf by Night is infected with the zombie virus during an A.R.M.O.R. mission, Morbius goes against strict orders that state infected teammates are to be terminated immediately. He smuggles A.R.M.O.R. equipment to his lab and sends others on a dimension-hopping mission to collect blood samples so he can devise a way to cure him, which he eventually does.
  • Omaha the Cat Dancer has a scene when Omaha returns to Mipple City when she learns that her boyfriend, Charles Tabey Jr., has had a mental breakdown. When she visits him at the mental hospital, he is barely coherent with meds and she is extremely upset. On the trip to see him again a bit later, Omaha has a moment where she complains it's not worth visiting him. That's when their mutual friend, Huddle, responds "Well, I guess that depends on whether you are his friend." When Omaha protests, citing their relationship, Huddle answers, "Yes, you are his lover, but are you his friend? Are you prepared to stick with him, even when you don't get anything? If not, then we might as well turn back and go home now." At that, Omaha ponders the point and tells Huddle to keep going to the hospital.
  • Robin (1993): When Tim learns Ives has cancer, he goes out of his way to make sure he's there for him and even gets back in contact with Ives very quickly in Red Robin after cutting everyone but his sister out of his life and leaving Gotham.
  • Peter and many characters in Spider-Man, including Mary Jane and Flash. Even random people of New York show surprising courage and humanity when things get tough.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Prickly City, Carmen feels small, lost, and rudderless — Winslow offers to carry her for a time — and she feels big.

    Fan Works 
  • Bird: A defining characteristic of Taylor is her willingness to reach out to some of the less agreeable patients at Alchemilla. Mimi, in particular, badly injures her when her power rages out of control, and is confused and touched when Taylor doesn't take it personally.
    "Usually, when I burn someone, they, they never want anything to do with me anymore."
  • Contraptionology!: When Applejack makes her deal with the Nightmare, it's to save Rainbow Dash's life.
  • The Dragon That Will Pierce the Heavens: Besides the canon examples, the protagonist Hikari runs on this trope. If you are ever in trouble or need help, she will never hesitate to help and will go through a frankly absurd amount of punishment to see it through. This is seen as early as the first chapter, where she joined Luffy and fought to protect him from Alvida without hesitation, and is highlighted in their journey to help Vivi save Alabasta, where she signs up without so much as a second thought and puts herself through stabbings, cuts, broken bones, internal injuries, and an EXPLOSION to see Vivi's country survive.
    • This is turned on Hikari twice: first in the Drum Island Arc, where she was bitten by the Kestia Tick and becomes deathly ill. Despite her protests, the Straw Hats don't hesitate to find her a doctor, even if it means facing giant carnivorous rabbits or climbing a sheer rock-face to do so. The second is in Skypiea, where she is thoroughly beaten and kidnapped by Eneru, and the Straw Hats do not consider even searching for Shandora without her, immediately coming up with a plan to save her and beat up the 'God' for daring to hurt her.
  • From The Ashes (Miraculous Ladybug): While most of his old classmates believe that Adrien has been living the high life ever since their graduation, the truth of the matter is that he's secretly an Impoverished Patrician — has been ever since his father's death. Chloe is aware that Adrien has been struggling financially, and supports him by letting him stay at her family's hotel for free whenever he visits Paris.
  • A Growing Affection: Naruto's Nakama doesn't hesitate to go AWOL to rescue him after he is kidnapped. Even after Hinata tells them about the Fox Demon, all but one of them are still on board after only a few minutes of discussion.
  • Infinity Train: Knight of the Orange Lily: Paul London and Specter do...not have a good friendship (stemming from London's kooky personality clashing with Specter's stoicism and also cause London was forced to Mercy Kill Specter's denizen partner). But in the Fog Car (aka Silent Hill), London chooses to be tortured in Specter's place (due to Specter kicking his second denizen partner out of a window coming back for vengeance) and tells Specter to get to the ferry so he can escape, leaving him alone to fight Pyramid Head (who hates denizen abuse) and nearly die to him.
    • In Infinity Train: Seeker of Crocus, an alternate version of Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail that has London and Specter reunite, London tells Ryoken outright that he shows concern for Specter (who had to have his memories sealed in a geass after White Gestalt's actions nearly derailed the Train) because he is a friend and he cares for him. It's this declaration that makes Specter decide to leave the Hanoi to go back to heal, because he knows that someone cares for him as a person.
  • The Karma of Lies uses this for Dramatic Irony. While Marinette's classmates prove to be Fair-Weather Friends when it comes to her, they're all willing to stand by Adrien after his father is unmasked as Hawkmoth, leaving Adrien unable to access his family's fortune and regarded with suspicion that he might have been involved with his father's crimes. The irony is that this devotion is entirely one-sided; Adrien previously refused to act against Lila despite knowing she was conning them all because HE wasn't being hurt by her lies. Once they learn about this, the whole class calls him out and turns their collective back on him.
  • Loved and Lost: Twilight's loved ones don't hesitate to return to Canterlot in order to save her from the Changelings, even though they have all become hated pariahs and Luna — correctly, as it later turns out — points out that they could be walking into a trap. The dishonored heroes acknowledge this, but go through with the plan anyway, seeing it as their only chance to make amends with Twilight.
  • In The Lion King Adventures: Simba risks his life many times in order to protect Nala and Haiba, his best friends.
  • Mortality: Watson risks a lot to rescue his best friend. Heck, he even screws the rules to save Holmes.
  • Nosflutteratu: Although she usually subsists on blood leftover from the hospital blood bank, occasionally vampire Fluttershy needs to drink fresh blood — which her friend Rainbow Dash is more than willing to provide.
  • Off the Line: Yuffie/Treasure Princess and Nanaki/Red XIII risk themselves getting killed and looted when they help Cloud/Rainstorm escape bounty hunters.
  • Harriett Potter in The Rigel Black Chronicles warns Hermione that she's going to do something illegal, and offers to let Hermione remain ignorant if she wants. Hermione isn't having it.
    Hermione: I certainly won't look the other way, you idiot! If I'm not looking, I can't help you. I can't promise to keep my mouth shut if I disagree with you, Harry, but I will never betray you. If you do something you think is morally questionable I want to know about it, so I can help you figure out another way, if there is one, or support you, if there isn't. Now stop being dramatic and just tell me what's going on.
  • Sasha and the Frogs: Sprig repeatedly helps Sasha, regardless of her troubles.
  • Thirty Seconds over To-ki-rin: After carrying out the airstrike, Dusk Skyshine discovers that his best friend Dash Firehooves is wounded — and flying a damaged fighter plane. Dusk must shepherd him in to a safe landing, at considerable risk to himself.
  • A Year To Fill An Empty Home: Fukuyama starts out as Takeshi's junior assistant at Sato Electricians, letting his ambition get the best of him as he works to undermine Takeshi's authority at every turn, even going behind his back to do the project his way. When he accidentally starts a fire on the site, their Mean Boss reams Fukuyama out, only for Takeshi to suddenly speak up on his behalf, declaring that he's already learned his lesson and if Sato insists on ripping deeper into him, he'll quit. Fukuyama is completely taken aback at Takeshi's willingness to put himself on the line despite how disrespectfully he'd treated him, and the two become close friends.

    Films — Animated 
  • Bolt: Rhino says this trope verbatim when, after being told by Mittens that Bolt left to "face the Green-Eyed Man alone"note , Rhino immediately goes to follow him.
    Rhino: If Bolt's taught me anything, it's that you never abandon a friend in need!
  • Reconstructed in Frozen (2013). The plot hinges on Anna helping Elsa even when it involves great hardship, like journeying through a snowstorm on foot, and when she has plenty of reasons to distrust her and other characters question her decision because of them. This eventually gets Anna struck with a deadly curse, but she still sees that Elsa really doesn't mean any harm and continues to help her.
  • The Jungle Book (1967) has a song about this, performed by four friendly singing vultures to a depressed Mowgli. They do initially flee when Shere Khan turns up, but during the fight, they swoop in and harass the tiger, so it's not like they were lying.
  • In My Little Pony: The Movie (2017), Twilight is about to be Taken for Granite. Rainbow Dash and Derpy Hooves both make to rescue her. Dash gets her out of the way, while Derpy takes the bullet, supplying the distraction needed for the Mane Six to get away and go seek help.
  • The Princess and the Frog:
    • Ray calls on his relatives to help point Naveen and Tiana in the right direction, and continues to help them for the rest of the film.
    • Charlotte helps Tiana clean up at her party, even though the prince has just arrived and she has always dreamed of marrying one. At the end, she's willing to kiss Naveen to let him marry Tiana, and seems genuinely upset that it didn't work.
  • Sing: Buster Moon is at his lowest point, with his dream theater being destroyed and being forced to do what his father did to earn that money. That would be to use his koala body to wash cars. Eddie, who's rich enough to waste his life doing nothing, willingly joins in being humiliated by using his sheep wool to dry the cars to help his friend.
    Eddie: You know what's great about hitting rock bottom? There's only one way left to go, and that's up!
  • Tangled:
    • At the Snugly Duckling, the hook-handed thug shows them the escape tunnel. Later, all of them, and Maximus, come to break Flynn out of prison.
    • At the city, Flynn recruits three girls with elaborately braided hair to help Rapunzel with her hair.
  • In Treasure Planet, Silver intervenes when the crew turn on Jim, and Jim grabs Silver's lifeline before he's tossed from the ship.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph, tracking down Vanellope after she robbed him, finds the other drivers beating her up and comes to her aid.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • CODA: Ruby is about to begin her audition for the Berklee College of Music when she realizes she forgot the sheet music needed for the accompanying piano player. Luckily, her mentor Mr. Villalobos happens to also be there and offers to play the piano while she sings.
  • Die Hard: In the first movie, the only person to believe John was the policeman Al, who didn't even know the guy.
  • In The Duff, almost as if to prove that they truly consider Bianca a friend despite her rejecting them, Jess and Casey hack into Youtube and delete Bianca's mannequin dance video.
  • Elysium: Julio does everything he can to help Max after he's been irradiated, from taking care of him, to unhesitatingly offering him his savings even though they both know it's not enough to get him to Elysium, to joining him on the job he takes for Spider in exchange for help getting to Elysium. Sadly, it costs him his life.
  • In Godzilla vs. Gigan, there are several moments in which Godzilla and his partner, Anguirus got each other's back:
    • When Gigan starts kicking Anguirus in the head, how does Godzilla respond? By chucking a boulder at Gigan's head.
    • Anguirus sees Godzilla being attacked by the high powered weaponry from the Godzilla Tower at the center of the amusement park where the battle is taking place, while Gigan and Ghidorah look on. Headless of the danger to himself, he charges to the rescue, willing to go headlong into Gigan's buzzsaw to try to save his friend.
    • After recovering from being bombarded, Godzilla returns the favor when he sees Anguirus being attacked by King Ghidorah.
  • It's a Wonderful Life, the climax of the movie shows the entire town coming to rally around George Bailey.
  • Newsies: This triggers Jack's change of heart after abandoning the strike; when he sees his friend David and Satellite Love Interest Sarah being threatened by Pulitzer's goons, he weighs in to help them, knowing that he's sacrificing the cushy position Pulitzer promised him.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • When it mattered most, Jack Sparrow came through for Will Turner in the third film— he sacrificed his chance at immortality to save Will's life.
    • And then he does it again to save Angelica in the fourth film.
    • Earlier, in the second movie, Jack came back to the Black Pearl to help fight the Kraken after first abandoning the crew to save his own skin.
  • Schindler's List: Oskar Schindler is a greedy womanizer who has little issue using German racial prejudice against the jews to make a quick buck by using them as cheap labor outsourced from German concentration camps. He's charming but also a spendthrift who doesn't have a mind for business, (he flat out admits the only reason he's making money now is that what with profiteering off the war, it's essentially impossible not to) and leaves the management of his enamelware factory to his more shrewd-minded jewish accountant Itzhak Stern, becoming fabulously wealthy. The jews begin to look up to Schindler, who treats them humanely and is the only authority figure around who isn't The Sociopath. The camp is eventually shut down, and Schindler plans on leaving since he already has more money than he could ever spend in a lifetime. But the jews who work in his factory are soon to be deported to Auschwitz, where they will certainly be massacred. The next day, Schindler has Stern type up the titular 'list' with the names of all his workers on it, telling him that he is relocating them all to a munitions factory he's building in his hometown. Itzhak openly wonders how Schindler convinced Commandant Goeth to let them go... and then it dawns on him that Schindler has spent everything he has buying them from him. Stern calls the list an 'absolute good', awed by such an act of pure, unadulterated love and compassion.
  • The Schoolgirl's Diary. Everyone looks out for each other in the socialist utopia of North Korea, which is why Su-ryeon's neighbors build and install a new chimney for her family's house after the old chimney collapses.
  • Tropic Thunder: Rick Peck went all the way to Vietnam to personally give Tugg a TiVo and save him from the Flaming Dragons.

  • The Amy Virus: After Cyan's emotionally and financially abusive parents threaten to institutionalize her for "relapsing" back into the autism they supposedly cured when she was little, Cyan runs away the next morning on a rental bike and leaves a note for Renate to let her know what's going on. Renate catches up in her own rental bike and has Eroica drive up to the upcoming town so they can bring her back. However, once they hear about what happened, they immediately decide to help her run away from her parents and make sure they no longer dish their crap onto her.
  • In Beowulf, Wiglaf goes to help Beowulf against the dragon.
  • In Bequin, Deathrow appears to save Judika from the warblind in the holloways.
  • In Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold, Ivan to Tej and Rish — sheltering them in his apartment and then staging a fake marriage to protect them. The consequences for him snowball. When they are trapped underground, Tej is glad she can be there for him because their situation brings back painful memories for him.
  • In Andre Norton's Catseye, the fox appeals to Troy, and he helps the kinkajou.
  • In John C. Wright's Chronicles of Chaos — the children for each other, all the time. Plus:
    • Lelaps, set to track them, deliberately leads pursuit away.
    • Hermes offers to Amelia to assist them. They wisely do not trust him but have to get his help.
    • Romus helps against Mrs Wren and leaves Amelia and Quentin with gifts.
    • Miss Daw can not fail to warn Boggins if they try to escape, but she does overlook everything that is not an escape attempt, and dallies when she must tell him. At her request, Corus also lets Amelia escape.
    • Sam picks up Amelia when she tries to hitchhike. She jumps in front of him when Corus shoots.
    • The ship picks them up in the middle of the sea. Victor weighs whether to help the ship even at the price of risking the universe because of this assistance; Colin refuses to not help. And when Amelia goes off to save them all, Vanity and Colin come after her.
  • In Dorothy Gilman's The Clairvoyant Countess, Madame Karitska provides advice and guidance to many people at crucial moments. At one point, she advises Mr. Faber-Jones to come to the hospital and sit with Lt. Pruden while he recovers because his father is too ill to do so. He does.
  • In Devon Monk's Dead Iron, when Rose is thrown out of the meeting where the Witch Hunt is started, she resolves that nothing can stop her from helping Mae.
  • In Sarah A. Hoyt's Draw One in the Dark, Tom knows he can't leave Kyrie to fight alone, because she helped him — and because they are both shifters.
  • Andre Norton's Dread Companion:
    • Kilda, despite needing it herself, is unable to deny food to the creature dogging her steps because she had just learned it may need to reverse a Forced Transformation. She throws it some and runs away.
    • Later, she hears someone calling names and realizes she can then escape. After that, the creature, more man-like, is able to confirm that he had returned the favor.
  • Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files:
    • In Death Masks, when Harry needs a second, Charity, although she despises him, truthfully says that Michael would have helped him, and Shiro volunteers to fill the role. Later, Shiro voluntarily takes Harry's place as Nicomedus's prisoner.
    • In Dead Beat, Harry hears Billy and Georgia talking: Billy wants to help Harry, but Georgia is afraid that his trouble is too big for them, and so they would end up hindering him instead.
    • And in Proven Guilty, Murphy comes along to help him pull a Big Damn Heroes moment even though she's in the middle of leading an investigation and got demoted from head of SI to sergeant for disappearing.
    • As of Changes his friends all show up to help him when he needs it. Not all of them make it out, and Murphy at best is getting a half pay retirement.
    • Ghost Story shows that there were further consequences. Molly's injury left her with a limp, and she's not all there, thanks to being a sensitive who went into battle, surrounded by the psychic effects of death and black magic, not to mention the bloodline curse.
    • In Cold Days every single one of his allies spends at least a few minutes chewing him out, using varying degrees of subtlety, for thinking they would abandon him just because he became the Winter Knight.
    • In Skin Game has a domino effect of this.
      • Now retired paladin Michael Carpenter sees Harry and Karrin about to be killed in front of his lawn, and despite his crippling injury, offers to come out if Nicodemus would stop his attack. Harry and Karrin plead to him to not do this, but he does so because they are friends.
      • During the same scene, he openly calls Archangel Uriel his friend. Uriel is bound by many Laws that keep him from messing with free will and people's choices. What Uriel can do is help Michael in fulfilling a Choice Michael has already made and loans Michael his literal Grace of God, restoring Michael to full health. And if Michael abuses this Power while holding it, it will cause Uriel to Fall.
      • Because of the above scenes, Waldo Butters is helping protect Michael's home and when Harry goes down and Charity held by Nicodemus' crew, to be forced to watch as Nicodemus burns the house down with all her children and friends inside. Butters makes a choice to sacrifice himself not to stop them completely, just buy time until other help can get there. His faith in Right overcoming Wrong combined with the other acts of Faith Harry and others make that night, allows for a Divine Aide to appear and sends Nicodemus fleeing.
  • In Wen Spencer's Endless Blue, Mikhail recalls such moments between him and Turk: Turk's stopping him from committing suicide, and his attacking a man who had hurt Turk, because Turk had bitten the man, and by attacking, he ensured that this was not just a matter of a Red attacking a human.
  • In Andre Norton's Forerunner Foray, Turan uses the last of his strength to save Ziantha from being trapped in D'Eyree's death.
  • In C. S. Lewis's The Four Loves, he notes that friends not only help each other but don't care afterwards. "Don't mention it" expresses what they really feel.
  • In Aaron Allston's Galatea in 2-D, when Roger escapes the attack on his life, he deduces that Donna has also been targeted. He goes to her, finds the paintings brought to life haunting her, and when this triggers an attack, gets her away safely.
  • John C. Wright's The Golden Oecumene: In The Phoenix Exultant, assistance by the Old Woman of the Sea, Harrier, and various Neputanians keeps Phaethon alive and gets him to his ship.
  • Ron and Hermione in Harry Potter, who repeatedly risk their lives out of loyalty to Harry when they could easily choose to go about their normal teenaged lives instead. In Ron's case, he's willing to make a Heroic Sacrifice on Harry's behalf as early as the first book.
    • The Marauders (Harry's father and his best friends) all support their friend Lupin instead of spurning him when they find out about his furry little problem (he's a werewolf).
    • Marietta is apparently the only member of Cho's posse to stick with her after she became distraught over Cedric's death and started behaving differently in her depression in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Unfortunately, Cho pushed this too far and forced Marietta to join the DA when she wasn't comfortable with it and didn't take the group seriously resulting in her betraying them in a move that almost got them all expelled, Cho included, and caused problems for the many of their relatives who were employed by the ministry. Fudge coming to expel Harry with Aurors along implied he wanted to toss him in Azkaban for starting the group. The only reason it didn't ruin or seriously hamper her fellow students' job prospects is that Dumbledore intervened.
  • C. S. Lewis's The Horse and His Boy:
    • Shasta tells a horse that he really needs someone to tell him whether the nobleman who's planning to buy him as a servant is evil. Bree, the horse, promptly reveals himself as a Narnian Talking Horse to tell Shasta that the nobleman is indeed very evil. This gives Bree the opening to suggest that they could run away together.
    • Later, they meet another human and talking horse pair on the run: Aravis and Hwin. The four of them join together, and Aravis reveals that Hwin stopped her from killing herself before their decision to run away together.
  • In P. G. Wodehouse's Hot Water, Packy sets out to help Jane and Blair Eggleston out of fellow feeling another pair of lovers. Later, Soup Slattery does something because among his few principles is to never let down a pal.
  • In Andre Norton's Ice Crown, Roane helps the kidnapped princess. Later, realizing she can never return to her own people if she goes, she nonetheless goes to help rescue Nelis Imfray.
  • Julie Kagawa's The Iron King:
    • Meghan frees the ogre Grumley in return for his help.
    • When Shard makes a counter-offer, Grumley refuses to attack his friends.
    • The packrats assist Meghan.
  • In P. G. Wodehouse's Jill The Reckless, Freddie thinks he is being this when he goes to the train station where Derek is meeting his mother.
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs's John Carter of Mars: In The Gods of Mars, when Xador loses favor because of his defeat at John Carter's hands, all his erstwhile friends fail this utterly, much to Carter's horror. Carter therefore intervenes on his behalf.
    My blood was up. For minutes it had been boiling at the cowardly treatment they had been according this once powerful comrade because he had fallen from the favour of Issus. I had no love for Xodar, but I cannot stand the sight of cowardly injustice and persecution without seeing red as through a haze of bloody mist, and doing things on the impulse of the moment that I presume I never should do after mature deliberation.
    • Later, when a companion proposes a way to escape, John Carter says he can't leave Xodar, and his companion agrees that recapture would be better than deserting a comrade.
    • Still later, Kantos Kan, Carter's Fire-Forged Friends from A Princess Of Mars, pledges his support to Carter after hearing a death sentence on him. Fortunately, this inspires the crowds.
    • In The Chessman of Mars, when Tara is on trial as a Corphal, U-Thor advises her:
      "Yet you do not deny the accusation," said O-Tar.
      "It is not worthy the dignity of a denial," she responded haughtily.
      "And I were you, woman," said a deep voice at her side, "I should, nevertheless, deny it."
      Tara of Helium turned to see the eyes of U-Thor, the great jed of Manatos, upon her. Brave eyes they were, but neither cold nor cruel. O-Tar rapped impatiently upon the arm of his throne. "U-Thor forgets," he cried, "that O-Tar is the jeddak."
      "U-Thor remembers," replied the jed of Manatos, "that the laws of Manator permit any who may be accused to have advice and counsel before their judge."
    • In A Fighting Man of Mars, when Tan Hadron has been condemned to The Death, his fellow prisoner Nur An condoles with him and tells him they will suffer together. Tan Hadron encourages him, reminding him they aren't dead yet.
  • Les Misérables: Grantaire can't do anything to prevent Enjolras from getting shot by the Army, but he can stand by him so that he doesn't have to die alone.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: In Return Of The King, Faramir overrules the healers in this much: Éowyn can go walk in the garden and look east.
  • In Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey novels:
    • In Strong Poison, two of Harriet's friends stick by her through the trial.
    • In Gaudy Night, after Harriet has defended his detecting — even if he does it for fun, he does do it, and many people have reason to thank him — and another woman brings up a neighbor who had helped with her drains for nothing because he liked working with them.
  • In Devon Monk's Magic to the Bone, Zayvion does this, repeatedly, for Allie, such as giving her money for a taxi. She is suspicious of motives, though his working for her father does give her some reason.
  • In Gene Stratton-Porter's Michael O'Halloran, Douglas, in the opening, intervenes when Mickey is about to fight a boy twice his size for cheating him and makes the other boy cough up the money. Shortly thereafter, Mickey takes in the crippled girl Peaches to prevent her from going to the Orphanage of Fear.
  • In Teresa Frohock's Miserere: An Autumn Tale, Lucian quickly goes to help Lindsey when he realizes she needs it, without having met her first.
  • Towards the end of Gauntlgrym from The Neverwinter Saga, Jarlaxle of all people jumps into the maw of an erupting volcano to rescue Arthogate. This would have been a Heroic Sacrifice if not for him being crafty enough to save both of their skins in the last moment.
  • In Terry Pratchett's Only You Can Save Mankind, when Johnny realizes Bigmac has seen his friends crash the car they stole, he is running after him before he even thinks; he stops Bigmac from getting too close.
  • Pact has a community of starving artists in Toronto, most of them poor and generally unsuccessful. When Blake, the local Handyman, finds himself threatened by supernatural forces due to his inheritance (and is convinced to actually tell them what's going on), all of them pitch in to help out, in spite of his warnings that people are trying to kill him and worse.
  • In John Hemry's Paul Sinclair series, most of the junior officers will stick together, as when they attend Wakeman's trial to provide moral support during Sinclair's testimony.
  • Being too willing to do this is Percy's Fatal Flaw in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (and all subsequent series where he appears). It comes to the point where Percy is more inclined to choose his friends in any conflict, even if letting them die would mean saving the world (such as when he hurls himself into Tartarus to save Annabeth).
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero's Daughter, Astreus toward Mephisto, though it takes Miranda a while to figure out how, and then how badly he paid for it.
    • In Prospero Regained, the siblings are always having to rescue each other. And come through.
  • Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry:
    • David Logan sacrifices the cotton crop by setting it on fire, to distract the lynch mob from going after TJ. The cotton crop was the only thing generating income for the family at the time. His wife had lost her teaching job (at the fault of TJ), he was unable to return to his railway job because of an injury. Also, this takes place in the '30s.
    • Also, Hammer, David Logan's brother, who lived and worked in the North, had previously been shown to making enough money to buy a Packard car, the same type as a wealthy white family in the area possess. When he receives word about his family's financial difficulties and the immediate need to pay the mortgage (courtesy of a particularly nasty white who wanted the land), he sells the car for the necessary money.
  • In Sherlock Holmes when Holmes is ill, Watson is the one who helps him out, and when Watson is shot, guess who helps him out and keeps him safe? Yeah, that's right. Holmes is the one who's helping out Watson.
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's Smith of Wootton Major, the birch that saves Smith from the wind.
  • Winds up being serious subverted in A Song of Ice and Fire with Tyrion and Bronn. Bronn made a point of warning Tyrion just after they met that he was interested in money, not in risking his neck for no benefit to himself. Three books later, when they've become close — Bronn saving Tyrion's life several times, Tyrion using his influence to get Bronn more wealth and power than he could have ever dreamed of — Tyrion finds himself in desperate need of a champion to help prove his innocence in a trial that is rigged against him. Bronn winds up turning him down, reminding him that he did, in fact, make the nature of their relationship clear right up front. Tyrion has to settle for A Brother In Need instead.
  • In Andre Norton's Storm Over Warlock, when Shann is scouting for supplies on the downed ship, a Throg attacks him. He is aided by a thrown rock by a survivor from the human ship.
  • In Robin McKinley's Sunshine, many people from the coffeehouse help out Sunshine after the kidnapping. Constantine also helps cure her; when Yolanda confirms that he had done so, she is willing to take it as proof of his friendliness, even though he's a vampire.
  • In Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Darnay returns to France to save the man who had administered his estates while he lived in England; and, of course, Sydney Carton.
  • Thinner: When his wife fails to believe he is cursed (and in fact conspires with a local doctor to commit him to a Mental Institution should he return home), Billy turns to Richie Ginelli, a Mafioso who he is acquainted with. Richie sends Billy a doctor, then shows up himself to wreak havoc on the Gypsies until they agree to lift the curse. He dies for his troubles, but accepted that fact beforehand.
  • In Patricia C. Wrede's Thirteenth Child, William comes to visit Eff every day when she is recovering from rheumatic fever.
  • In Ruth Frances Long's The Treachery of Beautiful Things, Puck helps Jenny escape as the cottage is swallowed up the forest.
  • In Terry Pratchett's Unseen Academicals, Glenda and Trev both stick up for Nutt. Trev, in fact, tells Ridcully that Nutt is his friend, and he won't stand for him being hurt.
  • Urban Dragon:
    • In Mark of the Dragon, Homeless Mayor Mike Jones lets Rosario and Arkay hide in the homeless camp and sleep in his tent when they're running from a Necromancer, despite the fact that they got thrown out previously because of Arkay's anger issues.
    • Rosario found a starving, deathly ill dragon and spent every last penny she had to nurse it back to health. Now it's her BFF and bodyguard.
  • Warhammer 40,000 books:
    • In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel His Last Command, when Gaunt and his team are brought before a tribunal on suspicion of being Chaos-tainted, Ludd volunteers to defend them. Although he is a junior commissiar, he knows no one else will and that they will assign someone who hates them if he doesn't.
    • In Blood Pact, when Dalin Criid delivers a report, Hark knows there's another reason because it doesn't take two and he can see Merrt in the hall behind him. Merrt tells Hark that he came for moral support.
    • In William King's Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf novel Wolfblade, while Ragnar awaits his Trial of the Mystical Jury, his friend Sven stays with him, grousing about the injustice, until their old teacher Ranek comes to send him away, saying his loyalty does him credit but might harm him. Then Ranek explains that he will defend Ragnar, that he volunteered to do so, and that he believes he is not Chaos-tainted.
    • At the end of Sandy Mitchell's Ciaphas Cain novel The Traitor's Hand, when Cain is awaiting the judgment of the tribunal, the colonel and XO of his regiment wait with him.
    • A few times in Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novels:
      • In Galaxy in Flames, Tarvitz realizes that the ship following him is under the command of a friend, Garro, and appeals to him, telling him of Horus's treacherous attack. Garro shoots down his pursuers, and then begs him to assure him that he told the truth.
      • In Betrayer, when Angron is buried under dozens of meters of rubble, Lorgar teleports there and starts to dig him out despite being under heavy attack, thus beginning the two's Odd Friendship.
      • In Scars, Leman tries to invoke it on Jaghatai when under Alpha Legion's attack, but by this point, the Khan doesn't know who's loyal and who's a traitor and all but ignores him in favour of going to Prospero to find out.
      • Also in Scars, Jaghatai promises Horus that he'll always help him, but ends up breaking that promise when Horus goes traitor.
    • In Nick Kyme's Warhammer 40,000 novel Salamanders, Daki'er, when troubled by his discovery of an artifact, appeals to Ba'ken to forget that he is his sergeant and speak to him as his friend; Ba'ken tells him that it does seem that he was intended to find it and touches his arm in support.
  • In Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, Badger, Rattie, and Mole set out to prevent Toad's insane obsession with cars from ruining him. He escapes their attention by convincing Mole that he needs a doctor. Later, they help him reclaim Toad Hall.
  • Winnie the Pooh:
    • Christopher Robin pretends to believe that Pooh is a cloud to try to fool the bees and shoots down the balloon to get Pooh away from the bees.
    • Christopher Robin reads to Pooh when he's stuck in Rabbit's front door.
    • Pooh and Christopher Robin go to rescue Piglet in the flood, and Owl, well-intentioned, goes to encourage him with news that rescue is coming and tell him a story to divert his attention (accidentally endangering as it nearly puts Piglet to sleep and causes him to slip into the flood, but he meant well).
    • Pooh helps Tigger find something to eat.
    • Tigger goes to rescue Rabbit when he's lost in the mist.
    • Piglet volunteers his home for Owl to live in after Owl's is destroyed.
    • Pooh says Piglet would come live with him if he lost his home.
  • In Poul Anderson's "A World Called Maanerek", Smit thinks he is being this when he suggests that Wanen could watch a woman being lobotomized, have the first chance to rape her, and then throw her out the airlock when she was used up — "tension release" as the Hegemony puts it. Wanen feels an "illogical resentment" for it and then realizes that he's insane.
  • In Andre Norton's The Zero Stone, Eet saves Jern and the captive patrolman from the Guild; he points out to the Patrolman that he was lucky that Eet and Jern have an alliance since he had to rescue both of them.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The original Battlestar Galactica has Apollo and Boomer help clear Starbuck's name in one episode, "Murder on the Rising Star". Starbuck is framed for the murder of his rival Ortega by Baltar's former pilot, Karibdis.
  • Chuck:
    • Sarah and Chuck unhesitatingly went rogue to try and help their partner Casey when they thought he'd been falsely accused of treason.
    • Similarly, Casey has covered for Sarah and Chuck with Beckman more than once when they bent the rules.
    • In defense of Chuck, his best buddy Morgan attempted to attack a Ninja in the pilot. Said ninja promptly beat the crap out of him, but it's the thought that counts.
  • In the Doctor Who story The War Machines, when another man is hassling Polly, Ben tells him to stop and does not retreat from a fight. (Polly starts complaining, but Dodo urges that he was only trying to help.) Then the Doctor shows up looking for Dodo, and Ben stays with them until they close shop, and continues to be involved in the adventure for no more reason than that they need help.
  • Simon Tam's rescue of his sister in Firefly. One of the best examples ever. As it happens both The Government and her parents who were supposed to protect her betrayed her. And her big brother did not.
    • "I didn't think you'd come for me." "Well, you're a dummy".
    • "You take care of me, Simon. You always take care of me. My turn."
    • Don't you dare forget that Simon stood beside her on that pyre!
    • And of course, the whole crew coming to rescue Simon and River from that pyre in the Trope Namer for Big Damn Heroes.
    • The whole crew storming into Nishka's fortress to rescue Mal without a moment's hesitation.
    • Mal protects his old war buddy from an evil Alliance official in The Message. Even though he had just mortally wounded said buddy when he tried to take one of Mal's crew hostage out of desperation. When you can't walk you crawl, and when you can't do that... you find someone to carry you.
    • Mal comes to Inara's aid in Serenity even knowing it was a trap because he knew she wouldn't ask him into a trap unless she was already caught in it herself.
  • Friends: When Monica is stung by a jellyfish, Chandler, going above and beyond the call of duty, pees on her to stop the pain. Not only does this disgust their other friends but kills his chances of ever becoming 'boyfriend material' in her eyes. Or so it appears at the time. Joey also tries to help but gets stage fright.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Concern for his friend Robert's safety is a major motivation for Ned to accept the office of King's Hand as Ned read a letter sent by Lysa Arryn that accuses the Lannisters of killing Jon Arryn and plotting to kill Robert Baratheon. This letter was sent to him by Lysa, on Littlefinger's behest, to specifically invoke this trope.
    • Podrick refuses to betray Tyrion in exchange for a knighthood, even though the alternative is likely persecution.
    • Averted when Bronn jumps ship the minute he gets a better offer, just like he always said he would.
    • Theon's concern for his surrogate Sister Sansa is what leads to his redemption as he takes great risks in order to ensure her safety.
  • Leverage:
    • In "The Miracle Job" Nate, a leader of a band of thieves who target corrupt executives, receives a call from his ex-wife that their friend and the man who baptized their late son, Father Paul, had been beaten up. Nate rushes over to his friend in the hospital. He also assumes some corruption is at work as the beating prevented Paul from his meeting with the city council to block the sale of his church. With the work of his team, knowing Paul's honesty, and a miracle, they are able to save the church.
    • In "The Two Horse Job" Elliot receives a call from an old friend, whose daughter he had a relationship in their teenage years, after the man's barn is set on fire and all but one of the horses he trains died. The man's employer is now smearing his name and blaming him for the fire.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power: After the king refuses to help the Elves, Durin IV decides to go behind his back and mine in secret for Mithril with Elrond. King Durin catches them, resulting in Elrond's exile, and a heated argument between father and son that results in Prince Durin getting disinherited after calling Elrond his brother.
  • NCIS: In Season 13 episode "Spinning Wheel" flashes back to the 1960s with Ducky and his lawyer friend Angus Clarke. After the events previously shown when Ducky tells Angus' fiance he loves her and the fight in which Ducky knocks two of Angus' teeth out but the woman still marries Angus, Ducky goes to Angus for help in securing custody of Ducky's half-brother from the boy's biological mother. When the legal case is against them, Angus tells Ducky he will give Ducky the 10,000 pounds the mother is asking for in exchange to give up custody of her child. Ducky is shocked at this benevolence from the man, who will simply take Ducky floundering for the words to thank him as payment.
  • Our Miss Brooks: Miss Brooks can always be counted on to standby for her friends; even Mr. Conklin who often plays the role of Friendly Enemy.
    • On multiple occasions, she protects Walter Denton from having one of his practical jokes exposed and backfiring on him. "Cure That Habit" and "Mr. Conklin is Honored" are cases in point.
    • Miss Brooks is eager to protect Mr. Boynton, naturally enough. "Mr. Conklin Plays Detective", where Miss Brooks believes Mr. Boynton used Mr. Conklin's phone to make a long-distance call, is a case in point. Likewise, "The Jewel Robbery", where Miss Brooks wrongly believes Mr. Boynton robbed a store.
    • Miss Brooks saves Mr. Conklin's job in "Wake Up Plan" and "Saving the School Newspaper". When Miss Brooks wrongly concludes Mr. Conklin has been fired in "Rumors", she sets up a laundry to raise money.
    • Miss Brooks saves Mrs. Davis from a hurried marriage in "Marriage Madness".
  • Sherlock:
    • In the first episode of when Sherlock is with a serial killer and is on the verge of taking one of the (purportedly) poisoned pills the man had been using to kill his victims, John arrives and shoots the killer through the window from the next building.
    • Sherlock returns the favor in the second episode by saving John and his date Sarah when they're captured by the Black Lotus.
    • John does the same thing when said gangster tries to kill BOTH Sarah and Sherlock, despite being tied to a chair at the time. Things end badly for the gangster.
    • And again when the professional killer grabs Sherlock in a headlock in an attempt to strangle him or snap his neck.
    • In the third episode, when the Big Bad is strapping innocent people to bombs as part of his mind games with Sherlock, John calls Sherlock out for not caring that there are lives at stake. Sherlock shrugs this off, reasoning that caring about people won't help save them, so he won't make the mistake of doing so. Then John gets strapped to a bomb. Guess who decides to start caring?
    • And when John's life is threatened in the series two finale, guess who has to fake their death for him?
    • And when John is thrown in a bonfire- Sherlock gets him out of it.
    • Also, he does shoot Magnusson when John's being screwed with, as well as Mary. Which, in turn, screwed things up for him.
  • In Star Trek: The Original Series, the Enterprise crew often risk their lives to help a fellow member. In "Amok Time", Kirk was willing to disobey a direct order from Starfleet to help Spock get to Vulcan, fortunately Spock's family matriarch pulls some strings to make sure the Captain is not in trouble. In "Turnabout Intruder", Spock was the first one to believe that Kirk was in another body and defended him when the imposter tried to kill Kirk. In "The Empath", McCoy knocked out both Kirk and Spock so that they won't be subjected to a torture that would either kill them or leave them insane and he would be chosen instead of them.
  • In Star Trek: Voyager episode "Flashback," which has Tuvok remembering his time serving on the USS Excelsior under then-Captain Sulu during the events of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country when Kirk and Bones are in dire peril.
    Sulu: You'll find that more happens on the bridge of a starship than just carrying out orders and observing regulations. There is a sense of loyalty to the men and women you serve with. A sense of family. Those two men on trial... I served with them for a long time. I owe them my life a dozen times over. And right now they're in trouble and I'm going to help them; let the regulations be damned.
    Tuvok: Sir, that is a most illogical line of reasoning.
    Sulu: You better believe it. Helm, engage!
  • Starsky & Hutch are willing to go out of their own ways to help each other when each is shot, poisoned, or even framed for murder.
  • From Supernatural: Sam's gone off to unknowingly break the last seal and Dean's been put on ice by the angels. His only hope is to convince his one angelic ally Castiel to help him out.
  • In Teen Wolf, Stiles doesn't waver when his best friend goes through his...wolfish tendencies. He offers support and stands by his side even when he tried to kill him in one of his transformations. So far, he's The Confidant and the Secret-Keeper to Scott.
  • In Torchwood, after Ianto deceived them all, nearly killing them all, by hiding a Cyberman whom he did not realize was no longer the woman he loved, and the Cyberman was killed, Ianto grieved. Much to his surprise, Jack touched his arm in a gesture of support.

  • "Hey Brother" by Avicii:
    Oh, if the sky comes falling down for you
    There's nothing in this world I wouldn't do
  • "Lean on Me", by Bill Withers. The lyrics are shown in the illustration on this page.
  • "You've Got a Friend" by Carole King from Tapestry:
    You just call out my name
    And you know wherever I am
    I'll come running to see you again
  • Cher Lloyd's "Oath" is all about this, especially these lines:
    Wherever you go, just always remember
    That you got a home for now and forever
    And if you get low, just call me whenever
    This is my oath to you
  • "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel, from Bridge Over Troubled Water
    I'm on your side/When times get rough/And friends just can't be found
  • "Black Saturday" by Soundgarden takes this in morbid ways. The narrator remembers all the time his friend helped him, while also asking if he could provide a Mercy Kill in case he becomes a really inept person when old.
  • "Carry You Home" by Ward Thomas acknowledges that life will sometimes have rough patches and promises the listener that they will support them in various ways when that happens.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Bobby Heenan: Famously twisted in so many ways … especially since one of his most famous sayings was “A friend in need is a pest!”

  • In Hamilton, Jefferson accusing Hamilton of subverting this by not helping France in their revolution (and therefore, not helping their mutual friend Lafayette bring freedom to the people of France after Hamilton explicitly promised he would in "Yorktown", although it's unclear how Jefferson would have known this). Hamilton points out that the official treaty they made with France was made with the King (who was one of the first to go in the Reign of Terror), that France doesn't quite have a clear leader at the moment, and that Lafayette is smart enough to figure out a way to survive the revolution (he does, but he's also imprisoned for most of it by the revolutionaries, so it's not like he was doing well for himself).
  • Like the Literature example, Grantaire of Les Misérables is one of the last revolutionaries to die, alongside Enjolras, whose idealism he frequently spurns. The fact that he's at the barricades at all despite quite vocally mocking Enjolras and his cause shows that he feels this for all the revolutionaries.
  • Timon of Athens plays with this trope. Timon is very generous to his friends at the start of the play— he gives one friend money so he can get married, and bails another friend out of an execution sentence. When Timon goes bankrupt, you expect his friends to repay their debt, but they don't. This act of betrayal is so great Timon becomes a misanthropic hermit and swears to never be kind to anyone ever again.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright became a lawyer because of this trope. Never mind that said friend is someone Phoenix knew for eight months in grade school, and that he doesn't necessarily even want Phoenix's help in the first place.
  • ANNO: Mutationem: Ayane assists Ann in her mission to rescue her brother with all the support she can give. Likewise, after Ayane is captured by The Consortium, Ann doesn't hesitate to find out where she is and rescue her.
  • Two examples in Daughter for Dessert:
    • Amanda confided in Kathy that she was attracted to her own father. Kathy not only doesn't judge her but also agrees to post erotic fiction stories that Amanda writes about the two of them on the internet. If the inspiration for the stories were to be discovered, it would be traced back to Kathy, not Amanda.
    • Mortelli has his moment at the end. Sacrificing his professional reputation, and quite possibly his freedom, he intentionally sabotages the prosecution in the protagonist's trial.
  • In Double Homework, the protagonist has the option to speak up in Ms. Walsh’s defense when the other students verbally attack her over their disappointment in her classes.
  • Fading Hearts revolves around this trope, with Ryou trying to help his friends Claire and Rina with their problems. Claire's Jerkass boyfriend is verbally abusing her, while Rina's behaviour is becoming more evasive, making Ryou wonder what is really happening.
  • In Final Fantasy X, the whole gang goes off to rescue Yuna from her marriage to Seymour, despite pretty much effectively declaring war on the Yevon church.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: Cesar leading Carl to the Wham Mission is what solidifies the friendship between the two.
  • Kingdom Hearts: When Sora was about to be attacked by Riku, Goofy and Donald Duck step in, essentially breaking their promise to their king to stand by the one who held the Keyblade, which at this point, Riku had.
  • At the end of Mass Effect 3: Citadel, both Shepard and his/her clone are knocked onto the open ramp of the Normandy shuttle bay. Without hesitation, Shepard's squad races forward to help them back up, whereas The Dragon decides to just let her boss die. Foreshadowed by one of Shepard's comments earlier:
    Shepard: "You don't have a team, you have minions! And you're running out."
  • Also the climax of Neverwinter Nights 2, in which Garius tries to get several party members to betray you. Some of them even listen to him, if you were mean to them. Qara is especially hard to keep on your side, especially if you've been getting along with Sand. At the Betrayer's Gate in Mask of the Betrayer, you can set down a Line in the Sand for your entire party. If you treated them well, nobody refuses.
  • Near the end of Persona 5, the Protagonist is forced to turn themselves in as leader of the Phantom Thieves so he can testify against the Big Bad and make sure that he'll be punished. Of course, this means that he'll be sent to juvenile hall since he'll be admitting to breaking his probation and the authorities care more about saving face than doing the right thing. However, the rest of the Phantom Thieves manage to rally together to try and free their leader, and any Confidants that have reached max rank will be shown tapping their connections to help in any way they can. It takes nearly two months, but it pays off and the Protagonist is exonerated from the false charges that led to his probation and he leaves juvenile hall a free man.
  • In Planescape: Torment, all your party members will one by one confront the Transcendent One and refuse its offer to betray the Nameless One and even attempt to put up a desperate fight against the monster.
  • Ursaring from PokéPark Wii says this after Glalie offers him shelter from the cold.
  • Chris and Jill in Resident Evil. In Resident Evil 5, Chris even abandons his original mission with Sheva to search for Jill when he finds out she may not actually be dead.
  • This is a recurring theme in the fan-game Rakenzarn Tales. Especially with the main character Kyuu. He makes it clear that he will stick with his friends until they save Rakenzarn from magical disasters called the plagues, in spite of the fact that he is not from this world. During the game, when he's sent back in his world while the plague hasn't been destroyed, the player can make him choose to go back to Rakenzarn to help his friends. Choosing to not go back leads to a Non Standard Game Over.
  • Sly 2: Band of Thieves: One mission in Episode 6 is called "A Friend in Need", involving Sly rescuing Murray after he gets captured by Carmelita.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog, despite Blaze the Cat's antagonistic nature at first, everyone nonetheless tried to reach out to her and offer her friendship. It takes the entirety of Sonic Rush for her to accept.
  • The scene immediately after The Reveal in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, if you play it right. After Carth expresses his extreme doubts about your loyalty, you can ask each and every one of your crew if they will stand with you, and all of them back you up.
  • In Tornado Outbreak, after being kidnapped by the flame elementals called Fire Flyers, Zephyr scavenges nearly around the world just to find his friend and mentor; Nimbus.
  • In Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Elena keeps coming to Nate's rescue despite their prickly relationship, and almost gets killed by a grenade for her trouble. Compare her to Chloe, the sex kitten love interest of this installment, who repeatedly gets the hell out of dodge and saves her own skin rather than stick around and help Nate.
  • In The Witcher, one of the added adventures is Geralt repaying Dandelion's debt to a gangster precisely because Dandelion is one of his true, through-thick-and-thin friends.
  • Aeka's route in Yume Miru Kusuri focuses on this. Kouhei starts as the only person who will speak to her. Except Kouhei still doesn't stand up for her until about 90% of the way through her route because he simply doesn't want to make trouble for himself. The rest of the class is even worse.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 
  • On Cinema: Joe Estevez is this to Tim. Even in Tim's darkest moments such as a burning accident caused by his vapor addiction and his role in a music festival disaster that killed 20 people, Joe is always trying to help support Tim even when others won't (though Tim's harsh and sometimes downright abusive treatment of others is a big reason for that).
  • When somebody starts sabotaging Ella's entry for a competition to win a prestigious internship in University Ever After, all of Ella's friends pitch in to help her, even when the saboteur starts blackmailing them.

    Western Animation 
  • Danny Phantom : After an argument with Danny, Sam inadvertently wished they never met, causing a nearby Literal Genie to grant it; Danny ends up losing his powers and memories of her. With a ghost on the loose, Sam goes to great lengths to restore Danny back to normal, struggling since she only has herself to pull the whole thing off, not to mention Danny's great reluctance. He's grateful by the end.
  • Milo Murphy's Law: Zack and Melissa, who are the two best friends of the titular main character (who is a massive jinx), are always there to help him get out of a jam and overpower "Murphy's Law", even though he is very optimistic and has shown that he is completely capable of doing that himself most of the time.
  • The song, "A True, True Friend" from the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 3 finale is basically all about this trope. In order to break the destiny-switching spell, Twilight has her friends help each other out and rediscover what their true destinies are in the process.
  • A Pup Named Scooby-Doo: In "The Computer Walks Among Us," Velma is expelled from school after her computer goes on a crime spree. Scooby Doo is the only other member of the gang who never once doubted Velma's innocence.
  • Superman: The Animated Series:
    • "Heavy Metal": As soon as he sees Superman is in danger due to Metallo's kryptonite heart, John Irons/Steel steps in and helps Superman the best he can.
    • "Legacy": Darkseid brainwashes Superman and sends him to conquer Earth under his own symbol. While Lois manages to snap him out of it, she can't do so before he's become a pariah to most of the world. Jimmy proves his status as Superman's friend by defending the disgraced hero on public television, standing alone against every other person interviewed to insist he get a second chance.

    Real Life 
  • Niccolò Machiavelli recommends this in The Prince. It is tempting to sit on the sidelines or try to claim neutrality if an ally is attacked, but doing that (rightly) makes you look weak and unreliable.


Video Example(s):


Jack and Carly Meet

Seconds after meeting him, Carly is recruited to help Jack duel with an injured arm, and the two become friends as they duel for their lives and start protecting each other.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / FireForgedFriends

Media sources: