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Amicable Exes
aka: Amicably Divorced

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"It's things like using force together,
Shouting till you're hoarse together,
Getting a divorce together,
That make perfect relationships."
Company (Sondheim), "The Little Things You Do Together"

So, people who break up must indefinitely hate each other, right?

Wrong.

Increasingly common in media are situations where a divorced couple still get along for the most part, and in many cases still care about each other even though they're no longer together. In many cases the divorce happened because of distance, circumstance or the simple fact that people change rather than infidelity, betrayal or other serious problems, and the fact that they got divorced is treated as a fact of life rather than due to a flaw in the people. Both parties also generally agree that it was for the best for both of them. Or maybe they realize they're just Better as Friends. It's also pretty common for couples who broke up because of Incompatible Orientation or who were each other's Last Het Romance to end up this way.

If there are children from the marriage they are shared without much complaint, and the amicability of the parents can often be interpreted as being partly for their sake. As such, this tends to show up in children's cartoons, perhaps as an attempt to counter the stereotype of the children of divorced parents being largely unhappy. May involve a Visit by Divorced Dad that will usually go well, and for the most part, any Divorce Assets Conflicts are avoided or settled reasonably.

The increase in this trope can be attributed to the dramatic shift in divorce rates and public perception of those who have gone through divorces in the last 50 years (i.e. between the 1950s and the start of the 21st century). While divorce used to be scandalous, it's now a fairly common occurrence, and this trope reflects the view that it's just a fact of life that doesn't have to permanently poison a relationship. Sometimes it even results in Divorce Is Temporary, though this is less common in more realistic works and those aimed at children due to an unrealistic message ("wish hard enough and your parents will get back together!").

This can apply to non-divorced former couples as well, thus the name. If someone's current and former squeeze get along well with each other, it's The Missus and the Ex.

Compare Working with the Ex, then there's Sex with the Ex, a Sub-Trope.


Example subpages

Other examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Miyuki and Yonamine from Bambino! maintain an amicable relationship as co-workers even after their divorce.
  • The Bloom Into You spinoff Regarding Sayaka Saeki discusses this trope, with the titular character arguing against it. Sayaka points out that relationships take time to build up, and if they collapse, it's almost impossible to build them back up. Because of that, Sayaka refuses to forgive her sempai and ex-girlfriend for breaking up with her, and she understands why Haru is fairly certain that she will never again be friends with her own ex. Of course, both those relationships ended on bad terms. When it comes to Touko, Sayaka notes that because Touko rejected her Love Confession rather than breaking up with her, the two are still friends, but she still found it awkward to be around Touko after her rejection and their mutual friend (and, ironically, Touko's girlfriend) had to be present to ease any tension.
  • Brick and Cathy are this in Bondage Queen Kate, mainly by the misfortune of both of them being strong dominants.
  • Richard and Deborah of The Case Files of Jeweler Richard are still very good friends after breaking off their engagement.
  • Digimon Adventure: Yamato and Takeru's divorced parents, Natsuko and Hiroaki. Their marriage clearly failed, and it didn't seem like it was amicable at first, but by the time of the show, the two are capable of being civil with each other when they meet again in probably the first time since their divorce when both get embroiled in the Chosen Children's war against Vamdemon in Odaiba. However, we get hints that the two still do care for each other. Natsuko even still privately (when no one else is around) still calls Hiroaki "dear"note  during when she and Takeru are separated just after reuniting, and the two are shown holding hands, with a close-up, as they look to the Children's final battle against Apocalymon. The impression being given is that while the two still do care for each other, actually getting back together just isn't in the cards. This certainly helps when both are in likely frequent contact with each other as part of the Children's support group in the real world by the time of the sequel.
  • Doctor Slump: Played for Laughs in an episode of the 80s anime. In the episode the Prince Monster had asked his servants to look for a human girl to be his girlfriend, they went to the Penguin Village and found Arale, whom they took to the castle of the Prince Monster, who ended up liking him a lot. But unfortunately Arale did not meet the ideal qualities that he had of a human girl, such as her beautiful song. In the end, he likes her even though Arale destroyed the castle with her N'cha cannon, causing Prince Monster to break up with her, but they seem to be on good terms as he gives Arale his autograph.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Bulma and Yamcha seem to have remained fairly good friends after their breakup, in spite of the fact that Bulma's new love interest is a former villain... who was indirectly responsible for Yamcha's death (he got better) while they were still dating.
  • Austria and Hungary in Hetalia: Axis Powers are still very much going out together, despite having been divorced after World War I.
  • Marmalade Boy starts when Miki's parents Rumi and Jin tell her all smiling "we're having a divorce ♥!" They get divorced and stay friends, then they swap spouses with Yuu's parents Chiyako and Youji, and both families move into a Big Fancy House so the two teens won't lose their parental figures and things will be easier in the financial and emotional senses. It's very justified: Rumi, Jin, Youji and Chiyako have been friends from several years before the story took place.
  • Yaichi and Natsuki in My Brother's Husband, to the point that when Mike sees them together he can't understand why they got divorced.
  • Haruka's parents in Noein have come to terms with their divorce and are able to get along when together. This is something that took time, as their initial feelings were far more bitter, but they eventually realized that despite their attraction to one another they were simply too different to function as a stable couple, and rather than raise a child in that environment they decided to split up to give her a life where her parents weren't constantly fighting. This makes it a case where the split was mainly for the child's benefit.
  • In NTR: Netsuzou Trap, Yuma and Takeda take a break from their relationship early on, one that eventually becomes permanent (at least in the anime). Nevertheless, Takeda remains on speaking terms with Yuma and helps her come to terms with her feelings for Hotaru.
  • Ureshiko and Tamotsu in Oku-sama wa Mahou Shoujo aren't officially divorced, but they don't live together anymore. Ureshiko comes over to help him clean once in a while. In the end, they presumably do get divorced amicably, since Tamotsu told Kagura to treat her well.
  • Random Walk: Yuka and Hiro are such good friends that the reveal that they used to date each other in the past is treated as a major surprise by their mutual friends. Sachie (Yuka's former stepmother) defies this, however, saying that she can't remain friends with Akimitsu after their divorce, even if she still cares for him and wishes for his happiness.
  • Ami's mother Saeko in Sailor Moon seems to bear no ill feelings toward her ex-husband, a famous artist who lives abroad, but this has never stopped Ami herself from angsting about it.
  • Parodied in Silver Spoon. Yoshino and Hachiken get along rather well, though they aren't particularly close, and their romantic involvement only ever existed in Tokiwa's overactive imagination. That doesn't stop anyone, including Hachiken and Yoshino, from acting like they were dating and broke up, but are still on good terms.
  • In Sing "Yesterday" for Me, when Rikuo and Shinako break up, it's the most honest and open they ever are with each other, and they agree to stay friends afterward.
  • In Tamagotchi, while it's never outright stated if they're divorced, Cafe Mama lives in a different city from Papapianitchi, and they're on good terms. They have a daughter named Pianitchi who is with Cafe Mama.
  • Cher Degre and Hubb Lebowski of Wolf's Rain get along professionally, though there is definite tension in their relationship, and they split mainly because Cher was so caught up in her work that their relationship suffered. By the end of the series, they have mostly reconciled, but Cher dies suddenly, causing Hubb to cross the Despair Event Horizon, and he spends his last moments cradling her scarf and inhaling her scent.

    Comic Books 
  • In Amalgam Universe, Diana Prince and The Punisher are an Outlaw Ex-Couple.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender comic The Promise plays this for laughs with Penga. She claims that Sokka is her boyfriend, despite the fact that he is dating Suki. She later decides to "dump" Sokka in favor of the Dark One, while remaining friendly to him. Sokka takes this in stride, never attempting to indulge or dissuade her fantasies.
  • Hank Pym and his wife Janet of The Avengers after their rough divorce got along very well and even had romantic relations before Janet's death.
  • Jefferson Pierce aka Black Lightning and his wife Lynn Stewart split up because of the stress Jeff's superhero life put on their family, but the two remain in friendly contact and Lynn makes sure that their daughters, Anissa and Jennifer remain in contact with their dad, and both even become superheroes later (though Jefferson was very adamant that Anissa finish college first).
  • Black Widow gets along pretty well with her ex-lovers Daredevil, Hercules, Hawkeye, the Winter Soldier and the Red Guardian (who is her ex-husband).
  • The Flash: Hunter Zolomon and Ashley Zolomon were not this at first, due to the circumstances. Hunter predicted that a suspect wouldn't have a gun, and thus urged his team to make the arrest without waiting for backup. He turned out to be wrong, and the killer shot him in the knee, crippling him, before gunning down his father-in-law; in response, Ashley filed for divorce and he was let go from the FBI. It was clear that Hunter still very much loved her and regretted his mistake, but he sadly accepted that she would likely never forgive him and was trying to move on with his life. Ashley's thoughts on Hunter after the divorce were only told by Hunter's account, but it's clear she was angry and bitter at Hunter for his mistake that cost her father's life. When Ashley learns that Hunter transformed into Zoom, she left the FBI to come to Keystone City to take over his former spot as the local metahuman profiler to help reform him. She makes it clear that she still loves Hunter, regrets leaving him, and swore that she'll help him and never leave him again. It very clear that they have lingering feelings for each other.
  • Emery and his ex-wife in The Internship are still on good terms and both take care of their two daughters.
  • Jonesy: Despite being divorced, Jonesy's parents still get along quite well and reveal they broke up due to just marrying too young and having different interests. So, out of convenience for their daughter, her father agreed to look after Jonesy while the mother went off to pursue her dream of going to law school.
  • As pictured above, Nightwing usually stays friends with his exes, which is a good thing since he regularly works with his two most well-known ex-girlfriends.
  • Omaha the Cat Dancer had the title character being forced to confess that she was married to a long-separated man, but never formally divorced. As it turns out, the man found out about her new notoriety and got in contact with her not to cause trouble, but to arrange a proper divorce which is done on good terms with everyone involved.
  • Robin (1993):
    • Tim Drake and Zo remain friends even after he breaks up with her over the phone. While the way he broke up with her upset her it helps that they didn't date for very long beforehand.
    • When Tim's girlfriend Stephanie Brown turned out to be not dead after all, they dated at first and then broke up and stayed good friends.
  • Fred and Daphne in Scooby Apocalypse, though Fred still has feelings for her. To the point that he regularly asks her to marry him, to her constant frustration. She eventually admits that she does reciprocate his feelings and accepts one of his proposals before they undergo a recon mission, only for the next issue to reveal that the mission went awry and that he died.
    Daphne: I swear, if you ever propose to me again, I'll—
    Shaggy: "Again?" He's done it before?
    Daphne: I lost count two years ago.
  • A same-sex example in the first volume of Secret Six is Scandal Savage and Jeannette, who were a couple when they were imprisoned in a gulag together but didn't work out in the long run for unspecified reasons. Even though they're no longer an item they clearly care for each other a great deal and have no apparent resentment or hard feelings over their breakup, and encourage each other to pursue new relationships. It's safe to say they consider each other their best friend.
  • Spider-Man:
    • Peter Parker has remained good friends with his high school girlfriend Betty Brant for decades since their breakup.
    • Post-One More Day, Peter and Mary Jane remained best friends throughout Dan Slott's run on the title, albeit with the ship repeatedly being teased and sunk. However, when Nick Spencer took over in 2018, their lingering feelings for each other proved unignorable and they finally got back together, with recent issues hinting that their marriage may even be restored to continuity in the near future.
  • Superman:
    • Clark and Lori Lemaris of Atlantis dated in college, but Lori dumped him, since she was ultimately unwilling to pursue an Interspecies Romance (she is a mermaid). They've managed to remain friends since then, though.
    • Clark Kent and Lana Lang have been great friends after their time as high school sweethearts.
    • Linda Danvers and Dick Malverne dated for a while in their high school years. They drifted apart when Linda moved out, but they remained friends.
      Supergirl: We dated for years, all through college. Were were good together. [...] I guess we grew apart... grew up. We stayed friends, but I hadn't seen him in years.
    • Superman had a brief relationship with Wonder Woman when they were both starting out as superheroes, but they quickly realised they were Better as Friends.
    • Clark's Smallville pals Lana Lang and Pete Ross got married and had a child together, but they got divorced after several years. In Day of the Dollmaker, when Kara asks Lana about her family, her friend replies that things between her ex-husband Pete and her are going awkward, but they will manage.
  • Tim Drake: Robin: Tim and Steph's romantic relationship is well over but the pair as still good friends and allies and Steph is excited to meet Tim's new boyfriend since he's one of Tim's few high school friends she didn't get to meet back when they were all still in high school.
  • In a Titeuf comic, Titeuf's dad meets an ex and they have a casual and friendly conversation.
  • Ultimate X-Men: Xavier gets on far better with Moira MacTaggert after divorcing her than he ever did while they were married.
  • Longshot and Dazzler of the X-Men divorced off-panel, but seem to still get along well enough and still enjoy the occasional roll in the sack for old time's sake.
  • Valhalla: Skadi and Njord. Skadi is a mountain jotun, who can't stand the sea, and Njord is a sea god who can't stand living up in the mountains. They chose separation over trying to build a life where at least one of them would be constantly miserable, but speak of each other with great affection, and are still quite lovey-dovey when they meet.

    Fan Works 
Arrowverse
  • These Foolish Things:
    • Oliver and Laurel are trying to be this at the start of the story. It's proving to be difficult, not because of any negative feelings, but rather because they still love each other but are both convinced the other doesn't love them back anymore. Eventually it is subverted when Laurel inadvertently admits she still loves Oliver, prompting Oliver to finally acknowledge that he still loves her, and allowing them to get back together.
    • Oliver and Sara are a more traditional example, with Sara giving Oliver some poignant advice regarding his relationships with Laurel and Felicity.
  • What It Takes: Oliver and Sara, who are still best friends despite their previous break-up and completely supportive of each others' relationships with Laurel and Nyssa, respectively.

Crossover

  • How the Light Gets In (Arrow & Supernatural): Turns out Joanna and Laurel briefly dated in law school, and in fact, Joanna was in love with Laurel. The romantic relationship is over, but they remain best friends. (Until Laurel's death and resurrection at least).
    • Oliver and Laurel also canonically dated, but exactly how "amicable" they are varies.
  • J-WITCH Series (Jackie Chan Adventures & W.I.T.C.H.): Uncle Chan and Yan Lin used to date when they were younger. While they're no longer a couple, they're still very good friends.
  • Stan Pines and Eda Clawthorne in the There Was Once an Avenger From Krypton series used to date and were married for a very short time, but they divorced and aren't a couple anymore, though they do still get along well and have been trading goods with each other for years. Considering that she calls him "handsome" in a flirty tone when they meet again, she may also still be attracted to him too.

Daria

  • God Save the Esteem manages to avert canon's infamous Love Triangle by having Tom start high school at Lawndale High instead of Fielding. As such, he and Jane have already met, dated, and amicably broken up before Daria moves to town and develops interest in him herself.

Disney Animated Canon

  • Never Say Goodbye (the ending of the trilogy started by the infamous "Zootopia abortion comic", I Will Survive), shows that Nick and Judy have managed to mend their bond despite how harshly they broke up and how horribly Nick's attempt at reconciliation went. They engage in friendly banter throughout the comic, and in the end, the two hug and call each other "friend".

Friday Night Funkin'

Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation: Mo Dao Zu Shi / The Untamed

  • The Beast Of Gusu series portrays Lan Xichen and Nie Mingjue as this for all of Unstoppable and most of Heavy is the Head.
  • Jiang Yanli and Mianmian in "call it what you want".
  • In A Game for the Fool, while the SI and her husband Walter ended up divorcing, they still remained such good friends that his family still considered her one of theirs.

Harry Potter

Hetalia: Axis Powers

The Hunger Games

  • The End of the World series story "The Final Eight": Jemina Kingery, a merchant girl Peeta went on one somewhat bad date with, actual happy to tell the reporters that he spent a lot of the date talking about Katniss, having no hard feelings and knowing that saying so will help them get sponsors.

Jem

  • Rock Stars: It's mentioned that Stormer dated Riot at one point. They've since broken up but are still on friendly terms.

The Loud House

  • Power Chord: High School Musical: Luna and Sam were in a relationship in the past, but broke up and decided to remain good friends. This does end up wavering a bit when Sam gets jealous of Luna and Carol, though they do end up reconciling in the end.

MonsterVerse

  • Dr. Vivienne Graham and Dr. Ling Chen are hinted in Abraxas — and outright confirmed by Abraxas: Empty Fullness — to be a former couple who remained good friends after breaking up.

My Little Pony

  • The blog Ask Serious Rainbow has a few examples:
    • Serious's parents had been this to each other until her mother's death, having only divorced when Serious's father realized he was gay.
    • Serious herself is on amicable terms with her ex Twilight, even joking that they had had breakup sex before breaking up. After finding out Gilda had been blackmailed into cheating on her, Serious ends up on good terms with her high school ex Gilda as well.
  • Sparkling Shimmer: Flash rather gracefully takes Sunset breaking up with him. Timber also wants to be this with Twilight, despite how badly things ended.

Naruto

Pokémon

  • Guys Being Dudes: Despite her bitterness towards Arlo from their past as teammates and ex-lovers, Candela still gets along well enough with him to have been willing to get drunk with the Team GO Rocket trio after Go Fest 2020.

RWBY

  • Ruby and Nora: Daisy and Winter subvert this. While both try to be professional, Winter is still enraged at Daisy for why their marriage fell apart.

South Park

  • My Super Best Friend:
    • By the end Stan and Wendy have become this. While they don't get back together, they are able to have friendly conversations about mundane things.
    • Downplayed with Heidi and Kyle by the end. While they still aren't on speaking terms, Kyle no longer hates Heidi and is happy to see her chatting with her friends, while Heidi is happy that Kyle was able to forgive her and is being hopeful that they can one day be friends again.

Unsorted

  • Cast Swap: Unlike canon, Duncan and Gwen become this after the latter breaks up with him (for different reasons than canon).
  • The Little Busters! fic Deep Purple deconstructs this trope with Riki and Rin. While the two of them were able to reconcile and get back on friendly terms after breaking up, it doesn't change the fact that they did break up and that it added a layer of awkwardness to their relationship. They used to be close childhood friends, but their breakup made it impossible for them to be as close as they used to be before they dated each other.
  • Though nobody is exempt from Ron the Death Eater, there's a trend for Dragon Ball Z fans who ship Vegeta with anyone other than Bulma to portray the two of them as this. It probably helps that Vegeta and Bulma started out as just a one-time hookup, and he's often paired with Goku, who has a wife most fanfic writers seem to find easier to demonize.
  • EQuestria Girls Marvel Universe: Flash is still good friends with his ex-girlfriend Sunset Shimmer, with Sunset especially helping Flash deal with the grief of his Uncle Ben's death. Downplayed, as Flash's journal reveals they weren't actually "together", more like they had a "hang-out-with-me-and-act-like-we're-together thing", and he is completely afraid of what she might do to him and Thorax when they tell her they told Sci-Twi about the magic around CHS.
  • Flame's Shade:
    • Blake and Yang had a short relationship. Though it didn't last, they're still good teammates and best friends nevertheless. Yang doesn't have any qualms when Blake begins dating her younger sister Ruby and she even encourages it.
    • Pyrrha and Jaune tried dating but it didn't work out and Pyrrha fell out of love. They're still close friends and teammates nevertheless.
  • In Kill la Kill AU, we have Ragyo and Soichiro, who actually still love each other and, after the events of Comic 25, seemed to have gotten back together (along with the fact that they do live together and spend time together), making that also a case of Divorce Is Temporary.
  • The Harvest Moon DS fic A Longing For Home features such a scenario in the final chapter. Jack and Leia tried to make their relationship work, but ultimately realized it couldn't and thus split up. Despite this and their eventually moving on to other loves and starting a family, the two remain close friends, with Leia visiting Jack as often as she can.
  • Draco Malfoy and Harry "Vampire" Potter in My Immortal, particularly impressive considering that they're also in a Love Triangle over Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way.
  • Ships Ahoy!:
    • Despite the breakup causing Oprah to become mentally ill, she and O'Donahue remain on good terms with each other and she eventually works up the nerve to call him again after 31 years of not seeing each other. By the end of the story, they've decided to become boyfriend and girlfriend again, although O'Donahue doesn't return to Odd Squad and continues being a fisherman.
    • Octavia and Oz are also best friends by the end of the story when the former rejects the latter's confession, and the two begin dating different agents entirely.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Bon Cop, Bad Cop, David Bouchard still lives in the same house as his ex-wife (in a basement apartment) and both seem committed to raising their daughter together, sharing meals, and attending school recitals together. Somewhat subverted in that David still has regrets.
    • They remarry in the ten years that elapse before the sequel.
  • In Breaking Point (1976), Helen is still on good terms with Andy's father Peter, who doesn't seem at all jealous of her marriage to Michael.
  • Chef (2014): Despite being divorced, it is clear that Carl and Inez care for each other greatly. Inez is also friendly with her other ex-husband, Marvin. Carl and Inez end up remarrying by the film's conclusion.
  • Celeste and Jesse Forever: Celeste and Jesse began their separation a couple months before the movie began, and get officially divorced partway through. Despite that, they remain friends throughout the movie. They never get back together, although they both consider it at various times. Apparently, they were longtime friends, got married relatively young, and realized they were Better as Friends.
  • Hester and William in The Deep Blue Sea. They're not yet divorced but live separately since William found out Hester had been cheating on him with Freddie. While initially very mad at her and refusing to give her a divorce, the film shows he's mellowed out completely in a few months and visits Hester to make sure she's happy. On her part, Hester never blames him for their unhappy marriage, though she refuses to continue it, and is grateful for his concern.
  • In Definitely, Maybe, Will (played by Ryan Reynolds) and his ex-wife were on good terms when together on a trip with their daughter Maya at the end of the movie. Maya realizes from her father's stories and through this trip that her parents aren't meant to be together, and that's okay.
  • Disenchanted (2022): Edward and Giselle used to be engaged, as did Robert and Nancy. Now the happily-married Edward and Nancy are shown to be close friends with Giselle and Robert and the godparents of their daughter Sofia.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: Upon returning to her husband Marlamin's home to pick up extra gear, Holga finds that he had remarried during her two years in prison for a gentler barbarian who loves home over adventure. Nevertheless, he still graciously tells her that she was his best friend, and wishes that she finds true happiness and a family of her own. Though sadness for what could have been clearly lingers, Holga and Marlamin at least part on a handshake of warm friendship.
  • In Everyone Says I Love You, Joe (Woody Allen) and Steffie (Goldie Hawn) were once married, but they still get along great with each other. Joe is even good friends with his ex-wife's current husband Bob (Alan Alda).
  • Jurassic Park III:
    • Paul and Amanda Kirby are very caring and friendly with each other. Granted, they initially pose as a couple and they do have an important common purpose, but given the stressful circumstances, one would expect them to get on each other's nerves at some point and show some signs of resentment. Instead, there are strong hints that they will get back together.
    • This even extends to Grant and Satler in the same movie; she's married another man and started a family, but she's still in regular contact with Grant and even saves his life during the climax. Heck, their actors even still have visible chemistry on screen! Sure enough, they get back together decades later in Jurassic World Dominion.
  • Kung Fu Zohra: At the end, Zohra and Omar are divorced following a climactic fight that had Zohra triumph of Omar's Domestic Abuse. When Omar comes to bring their daughter Zina to Zohra's apartment afterwards, Zohra proposes him coffee without an issue.
  • L.A. Story: Sara and her ex-husband Roland get along well together. Roland thinks it's because of their nationality:
    Roland: England and America are different. The English keep civil relations with their exes. The Americans sue them.
  • Love Is Not Perfect: Elena and Marco, the father of her daughter, are friendly with each other when they meet again. She's also still close with her ex-lover Adriana once they break up.
  • Marriage Story: When Charlie and Nicole decide to get a divorce, they make clear from the get-go that they refuse to hurt each other and be this trope for the sake of their son, and when the divorce finally is done they make do on that promise. The drama of the plot is then that they both still go through said drama of tearing each other apart in the courtroom because they make the mistake of hiring rival Amoral Attorneys and they absolutely refuse to let the other attorney win. Nicole's attorney even does a massive Kick the Dog act when she, explicitly against Nicole's wishes, requests Nicole to have more time with her son over Charlie, when Nicole wanted a 50/50 split in joint custody.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Doctor Strange (2016), Stephen and Christine work together and used to be lovers prior to the start of the film, leading Christine to now follow "The Strange Rule" and not date colleagues, but the two still clearly have feelings for each other and she attempts to help him through his depression after a car accident leaves him unable to use his hands to perform surgery, at least until he pushes her away in an angry outburst and goes off to Nepal searching for a cure. Once they're reunited, she gives him a kiss on the lips when he says he has to leave for good and both are clearly torn by his having to go, but the damage has been done already and they don't end up back together.
    • For most of Ant-Man, Scott Lang and his ex-wife Maggie aren't this despite his best efforts, with Maggie not even being too keen about Scott seeing their daughter Cassie until he gets his life back together after getting out of prison. But after he saves Cassie's life at the climax of the film, she's warmed up to him again completely (although not romantically; she's happy with her new partner Jim Paxton, although he and Scott are also cool with each other) and in Ant-Man and the Wasp, Maggie's fully supportive of Scott, furiously taking his side against what she sees as his unfair harassment by the FBI enforcing his home arrest situation, even after the trouble he got into in Civil War.
    • Having danced around each other in Avengers: Age of Ultron before a sudden trip to space put the brakes on their romance, Bruce and Natasha have reached a version of both this and Better as Friends in Avengers: Endgame, with the pair both on warm terms following the five-year time jump in the wake of Thanos's death. Naturally, Bruce's transition into his Professor Hulk form would have made the logistics a little bit difficult even if they hadn't.
    • Spider-Man: Far From Home: Ned and Betty have a mutual breakup at the end of the film, where they both agree that while they don't regret their relationship, they also don't regret ending it. This confuses the hell out of Peter since they only started dating at the beginning of the film, about a week earlier. They spent the entire week being Sickeningly Sweethearts until suddenly they were broken up.
  • In The Meg, Jonas and Lori surprisingly get along despite being divorced. Lori even gets in on the Everyone Can See It Shipper on Deck business once she notices Suyin's less-than-subtle interest in Jonas.
  • Mission: Impossible – Fallout: The film reveals that Ethan and Julia amicably divorced sometime ago. While it was because Julia figured out that Ethan would never be able to settle down properly with her, they both recognized that the decision was the best for both of them, and remained friends afterwards.
  • The conclusion of Mrs. Doubtfire shows Miranda and Daniel coming to terms with their divorce and ending their custody dispute. This trope is discussed in the closing monologue.
  • In Night at the Museum, Larry and his ex-wife, Erica, are quite friendly with each other (almost with a sibling-like relationship) and have no trouble with both of them taking care of their son. Larry is even friendly with Erica's fiancé, Don, who also doesn't see him as a threat.
  • Panic Room: Downplayed with Meg and Stephen. When Sarah starts Calling the Old Man Out, Meg tells her not to talk about her father like that but agrees that the woman he cheated with is a bitch. When Meg calls him for help in the middle of the night, he immediately comes to her aid and does whatever he can to protect them even after being severely beaten by the burglars.
  • In one of the short stories in Paris, je t'aime, a separated couple have one final date before the divorce papers are settled.
  • Run Sweetheart Run: Cherie and Trey, for the most part. She calls him for help after Ethan attacks her and he comes to get her. Cherie cannot really explain to him that Ethan is a monstrous creature who is determined to hunt her down and kill her or how much danger he still represents to her and their daughter. He still takes her to his home and later apologizes for things said earlier in anger, stressing that what happened was not her fault.
  • In The Santa Clause, Scott Calvin and his ex-wife came to terms with their divorce and sharing custody of their son Charlie, as well as Scott being the new Santa Claus (in a particularly touching scene, she tosses the court papers that say Scott can't see Charlie into the fire). In the sequels, he grows close to Lucy, his ex's daughter with her new husband, who even calls him "Uncle Scott."
  • At the beginning of Taken, Bryan Mills (played by Liam Neeson) and his ex-wife Lenore are definitely not this trope, having divorced mainly because of his career with the CIA convincing her that he didn't care about them, but by the end of the film, after he single-handedly rescues their daughter, he most certainly earns back a measure of her love, as well the friendship and respect of her new husband. Taken even further in the sequel. The events in the film rekindle old feelings they had for each other and it implies that they'll end up back together.
  • Ticket to Paradise: Discussed. David says that he and Georgia are not friendly exes like one might see on television (they really hate each other).
  • Scottie and Midge from Vertigo were once engaged but are now Just Friends, although she still retains obvious feelings for him. This adds a lot of conflict as Scottie falls in love with a married woman.
  • You Are So Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah: Lydia's parents are getting divorced and while there's ample snarking between the two, they take Lydia shopping for her dress together, and also arrive together for Stacy's party.
  • Young Hearts: Even after they break up, Harper and Tilly soon become friendly to each other again.

    Music 
  • Adele's song "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" is about moving into this after a rough breakup and ultimately deciding to forgive and move on with their lives. It also has her sending good wishes and blessings to his new relationship.
  • Belly has song "Suffer the Fools", in which Tanya Donelly sings about dividing property with a partner ("You keep my key and my lazy letters/I'll keep the angel that you bought to watch over me") and moving apart, but still hanging out together ("I'll bring that terrible wine you love").
  • Subverted in the Corpse Husband song "Life Waster". The song seems to feature a situation where Love Cannot Overcome, and some of the early lyrics imply that there is at least some lingering fondness and good will between the two. However some lyrics that come later in the song pretty firmly establish that even if the two initially parted ways on good terms, anger and bitterness have overridden it.
  • "Same Old Lang Syne" by Dan Fogelberg is about two ex-lovers who run into each other on Christmas Eve. They either parted on good terms, or enough time has passed that they're not upset anymore because they share a few beers and catch up, and both are genuinely happy to see the other doing well. She gives him a kiss before they part ways once more at the end of the song.
  • Franco De Vita: The theme of "Un Buen Pededor" (A Graceful Loser). In the song, Franco is aware that his ex-girlfriend found someone else in her intimate life, but he's okay with it. He wishes her the best of luck, and should she need the advice of a good friend, he'll always be there to talk with her about it.
  • Gwen Stefani's song "Cool", which was inspired by her ex from No Doubt. Notably this was written several years after No Doubt's groundbreaking album Tragic Kingdom, which was about the polar opposite of this trope.
  • P!nk's song "So What" is a subversion of this trope. While the song is about a harsh breakup full of revenge and bitterness, she and Carey Hart did get back together after some marriage counseling.
  • "Every Other Weekend" by Reba McEntire and Kenny Chesney (or Skip Ewing) is about two exes who are sharing custody of their children, but still having feelings for each other — feelings that they can't share in the children's presence.

    Podcasts 
  • Downplayed by Asmoraius and Misroch from Brimstone Valley Mall. They're ex-lovers and are still friends, but argue a whole lot, and still have a lot of Belligerent Sexual Tension, not helped by the fact that Asmoraius flirts with everyone and has a new boyfriend whom he has sincere feelings for. The two of them can barely be in the same room without sniping at each other, but they obviously still care for each other, and still hang out every day regardless.
  • Jonathan Sims and Georgie Barker from The Magnus Archives. They're apparently such good friends Jon even stays at her place in season two, when he's both in hiding and at the height of his paranoia, suggesting she's the person he trusts the most, and she's willing to let him stay for weeks no questions asked.
  • Dot and Dale Harper from Unwell Podcast remain friendly after their divorce.

    Radio 
  • In New Dynamic English, Kathy received a phone call from her ex-husband to remarry again. Her response? She refused his offer, and said that he cares about him but not necessarily love him, and maybe even become friends.

    Religion and Mythology 
  • Skadi and Njord in Norse Mythology are usually seen this way. Their relationship got off on the wrong foot when the Aesir offered Skadi a marriage deal as part of the negotiations to compensate for the death of her father, and stipulated that she had to pick a husband from a lineup of bachelor gods... whom she was only allowed to see from the knees down. Skadi was angling for Baldr, and assumed that the most beautiful of the feet had to belong to him. It turned out that the constant salt soaks put Njord far ahead of his competition, and though she was disappointed, they made a go of it anyway. The brief marriage produced the twins Freyr and Freyja, but it turned out that Skadi and Njord were incompatible roommates - he couldn't stand the wolves howling in her domain, while the seagulls in his drove her nuts. They split up, but given that Skadi still considered her deal with the Aesir to be fulfilled and the couple regularly continued to attend divine events together, there can't have been too many hard feelings.

    Theater 
  • This trope is the basis for a scene in Company (Sondheim):
    Robert: You mean you two are not married now?
    Susan: Well, not since the divorce.
    Robert: Then where are you living now, Peter?
    Peter: Why, here at home. I mean, I've got responsibilities. I've got Susan and the kids to take care of. I certainly would never leave them.
    Robert: So, are you two considering getting married again?
    Susan: Married? Oh, no, we tried that, thank you very much.
  • In Critic's Choice by Ira Levin, theatrical critic Parker Ballantine and actress Ivy London are on very friendly terms with each other despite being divorced; she's also the mother of his only child. Ivy arrives at Parker's house just before some simmering tensions between Parker and his current wife Angela come to an ugly head.
  • The Mrs. Hawking play series: It is revealed in Base Instruments that Nathaniel's wife Clara and his brother Justin have some sort of romantic history. They have both moved on from it, and Justin clearly wishes his brother and sister-in-law well, though they do still tease one another.
  • Henry and Charlotte in Tom Stoppard's The Real Thing. Though they divorce after Henry's affair with Annie is exposed, by the second act (two years later), Henry and Charlotte are on friendly terms. They trade witticisms and discuss both their daughter's impending departure as well as their respective relationships. By the end of the scene, Charlotte slyly offers sex (which Henry declines):
    Charlotte: You don't fancy one for the road?
    Henry: No, really.
    Charlotte: Or a drink?
    Henry: (Smiles) No offense.

    Toys 
  • Barbie: Barbie and Ken broke up for a few years, however they stayed close friends nevertheless. Eventually, they got back together.

    Video Games 
  • In The Boogie Man, one possible ending has Helena and Keith end up going through with a divorce and having a pleasant chat at a bar. Then Keith kills Helena and himself, revealing it to be a bad ending.
  • Between the events of Borderlands and Borderlands 2, Roland and Lilith were in a relationship, but the former broke it off so that they could focus on their war against Handsome Jack. Despite this, they get along pretty well (though Roland is still somewhat awkward with her) and Lilith seems interested in trying to rekindle things with him.
    • Mad Moxxi has three ex-husbands, two of whom we've met, and appears to have this sort of relationship with them. The first is a bandit named Mr. Shank, whose relationship may have failed due to him being in a Transparent Closet. Even though Moxxi is the one who sent you after him (he was holding Athena hostage), she is saddened when he dies and tearfully oversees the funeral arrangements herself. We get a better feel for her relationship with the series' resident arms dealer Marcus, as both characters are still around. Marcus admits that he misses her sometimes and that he respected the cunning business advice she provided. Moxxi is fond of him but isn't above snarking that paying his tab in her bar does not constitute alimony.
  • Mario's original love interest in the Donkey Kong arcade game was a woman named Pauline, but she was soon replaced by his more famous love interest, Princess Peach. When Pauline returned in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series (and later Super Mario Odyssey), it was made clear that she's still good friends with Mario.
  • Dragon Age:
    • It's possible for the Player Character and their former Love Interest in the games to avert this or play it straight due to how the companion approval systems work. Ending a romance can lose approval, but gaining it back is often a trivial matter.
    • In Dragon Age II, this seems to be the background situation for Hawke's mother Leandra. She ran away from her Arranged Marriage to the Comte de Launcet in order to marry Hawke's father; however, once the family is back in Kirkwall, it's mentioned more than once that she's in contact with her ex and his wife, and even goes to visit them at least one time.
  • In Fire Emblem Fates, Saizo and Kagero used to date but broke up to dedicate themselves to their duties. They can potentially get back together, but it depends on the player; if not, they'll remain like this.
  • In Kitty Powers' Matchmaker, Spicy candidates don't mind if their date's ex shows up, and they'll acknowledge that at least they're still friends.
  • In Love & Pies, Amelia is initially embarrassed when her high school ex Joe applies to work part-time at her café to help rebuild it, but her lingering feelings for him after her divorce lets her consider hiring him full-time to try repairing their lost relationship. Joe then finishes raising enough money for his father's medical bills to quit his job at Edwina's café to work at Amelia's not only to help save it, but also to try reciprocating his feelings for her. In fact, they have always been on good terms with each other since they dated a few times in the past before drifting.
  • In the Mass Effect trilogy, ending a romance from one game in another usually results in this, since if the ex is a squadmate they're still in the party with you:
    • Played with in the case of Ashley or Kaidan, whose reunion with you on Horizon in the second game does not go well regardless of if you were in a relationship, though in the third game you get the opportunity to patch things up.
    • Similarly things reach this point with Liara after Lair of the Shadow Broker where she'll confront you if you entered into a relationship with someone else if you were with her in the first game, but after that, you talk it out and she's on good terms with you again throughout the third game.
    • Garrus is also very understanding (if obviously somewhat hurt) if you romanced him in the second game and decide not to continue it in the third, and his loyalty to Shepard is unaffected by this.
  • Johnny Cage and Sonya Blade wed some time after the ending of Mortal Kombat 9's Story Mode as the only two Earthrealm warriors that survived the events of the game but prior to the sequel, Mortal Kombat X, their relationship fell apart (but not before they had a daughter named Cassie, which is why they try to stay agreeable after their falling out). They patch up their relationship by the end of the game, and at the beginning of Mortal Kombat 11 seem to be on very good terms, but unfortunately Sonya dies in a Heroic Sacrfice saving Cassie.
  • Taizo Hori and Masuyo "Kissy" Tobi are the divorced parents of Susumu Hori. If Namco × Capcom is any indication, they seem to get along fine when working together, though there are shades of Teeth-Clenched Teamwork at first.
  • In Night in the Woods, you find out that Mae briefly dated Cole in high school, but their prom date was a disaster of epic proportions. (It involved her biting him so hard he bled while trying to kiss him, and him nearly choking to death on paper towels while she vomited in the sink.) Mae is understandably anxious about seeing him at a party, but it appears Cole would like to try for this trope with her — he doesn't bring up what happened and acts warmly towards her when he sees her. Unfortunately, Mae is raging drunk and begins publicly ranting at him. (And then he apologizes for upsetting her, possibly in hopes of calming her down.) The whole thing ends with Mae puking and swiftly being brought home by Bea, leaving a very confused (and sober) Cole.
  • In Persona 4, if the PC chooses to ask Ai out midway through her Social Link, in the second-to-last scene, she will break up with him. Unless the PC tells her that he needs time apart (which will break the link), the link concludes with her asking to stay friends.
  • In River City Ransom: Underground, it's revealed that Ryan and Cyndi broke up at some point after the events of River City Ransom, but they aren't really broken up about it and remain good friends 28 years later. Alex, on the other hand, is shown to have harbored feelings for Cyndi for some time and is visibly upset that she's living with a deadbeat husband. How deep Alex and Cyndi's relationship went, if there even was one, is not brought up by the game, but it's worth noting that Cyndi named her daughter after Alex, suggesting she might have returned those feelings at one point.
  • The "best" ending of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories involves Harry and Dahlia leaving on equal terms, and only divorce because their relationship has grown irreconcilably stale. The other endings, though...
  • In Spider-Man (PS4), Peter and Mary Jane had broken up six months prior to the start of the game and haven't seen or spoken to each other since. When they do meet up, they are civil enough to have friendly conversation over a meal together. While Peter wants to repair their relationship even if it's just friends, Mary Jane is more hesitant due to the "baggage" from their previous romance. Peter had been under the impression that they broke up because Mary Jane wanted to focus on her career but in reality, Mary Jane felt that Peter's overbearing and overprotective nature made him treat her less than an equal and she couldn't get past that frustration. However, MJ later admits that her blaming Peter was just an excuse for the guilt she felt over being unable to help him save the day, which in turn caused her reckless Going for the Big Scoop behavior in an attempt to compensate. They gradually fix their relationship during the game and by the end, they are an Official Couple again.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Sith Inquisitor PC gets to meet their companion Andronikos Revel's ex-girlfriend Casey Rix during their Tatooine storyline. They're still on good terms despite having been forcibly broken up when Revel's Starscream of a Number Two led a mutiny and ejected him in an Escape Pod.
  • In Tomodachi Life, it's possible for two Miis who were sweethearts to end their relationship on good terms and go back to being friends.
  • Averted and then possibly played straight in Undertale when it comes to Toriel and Asgore. In the events that happened before the game, Toriel abandons Asgore after he declares war on humanity when his son was killed by humans. In the final leg of the pacifist route, Toriel and Asgore meet up again after a long time, but Toriel still hates her ex's guts for what he did and finds it near impossible to forgive him, especially after it's heavily implied that Asgore killed several children to harvest their souls so that he could break the barrier keeping his people trapped and go through with his plan. In the Golden Ending afterwards, Asgore wants to make amends and he can be seen trimming the hedges at Toriel's school, implying that the two of them may be working things out.

    Visual Novels 
  • Backstage Pass: John and Lloyd, who are still working together rather splendidly.
  • Deconstructed in Double Homework with the protagonist and Rachel. When the story begins, Rachel is still in the phase when she hates him, but she warms up to him again when it’s clear that he’s changed for the better. The two of them can even get back together.
  • In Heart of the Woods, long-time best friends Madison and Tara dated for a few weeks while in college, realized it was a mistake, and ended their relationship in order to salvage their friendship. Their friendship continued to be healthy for some time, until at the start of the game, when Madison announced her decision to quit Taranormal, the Vlog Series they'd founded together, after their trip to Eysenfeld.
  • In My Magical Divorce Bureau, the marriages weren't mutually agreed in the first place, so the parties certainly aren't amicable towards each other when they come to you. If you manage to address the underlying failures of communication, however, they may be on better terms by the time the divorce is finalised. Indeed, the protagonist seems to see securing this outcome — not processing the divorce paperwork — as the proper function of the divorce bureau.

    Web Animation 
  • Anon has Kyle being this with both Chelsea and Kandi.

    Webcomics 
  • Dumbing of Age:
    • Danny was dumped by his high school girlfriend Dorothy soon after they both started college, and while it takes him a while to get over the shock, he trusts her enough to confide in her about his new relationship and newly discovered bisexuality.
    • Joyce still gets along with her ex Ethan. They only broke up because Joyce realized that it was wrong to be Ethan's beard or try to change him into a heterosexual.
    • Dorothy tries to be this with Walky, but it's complicated because she still has feelings for him that she's trying to ignore because it's affecting her grades (even to the point of setting Walky up with Lucy so he's 'unavailable').
  • Josh and Mare are this in A Girl and Her Fed... twice over. And they've been talking about getting married a third time. They don't really do traditional relationships.
  • Justified in Girly: Autumn and Chuy get divorced during their honeymoon because Chuy is physically incapable of living a monogamous lifestyle (his life force is tied directly to his libido.) They're technically still a couple, it's just an open relationship now.
  • Elliot of El Goonish Shive has two exes who're still his friends. Nanase broke up with him because she was gay (although she didn't realise it at the time, and eventually hooked up with his Opposite-Sex Clone). He and Sarah both came to the conclusion, independently of each other, that they were better off as good friends, and the only potential drama involving their breakup was that they didn't think anyone else would believe it went so smoothly.
  • Homestuck:
    • Meulin and Kurloz were originally in a long-term romantic relationship until Kurloz had a nightmare, after which he screamed enough to deafen Meulin. This incident prompted him to chew off his own tongue and sew his mouth shut, and even though the two of them are no longer together they're still very close. Slightly complicated by the fact that Kurloz is seen to use at least some level of Mind Manipulation on her to make her loyal to his religion, which in fact worships the comic's Big Bad, so it's uncertain how much of this is genuine.
    • Dave broke up with Terezi partly because he was weirded out by troll polyamory and partly because the other guy she was being polyamorous with was less than savory, but they stayed friends.
  • In I Don't Get It, this is the case with the main character's stepmother, who is still close to the father despite being divorced.
  • Inhibit: Julia and Joanne are still good friends, despite the fact that they used to date.
  • Commander Badass of Manly Guys Doing Manly Things is still on good terms with his ex-wife to the point of having a barbecue together and casually exchanging custody of the kids after work. As a result, it's a huge kick in the tear ducts when Nomura Syndrome renders the Commander unrecognizable to them. He's also cool with his former team keeping a pin-up of her as their ship's Nose Art, stating that just because they divorced doesn't mean she's not hot anymore.
    • The Commander is also on good terms with his high school girlfriend Spider, and they still meet up for drinks and talk occasionally. Things got a bit strained between them when she decided to go full-body cyborg (the Commander has always been violently opposed to full body-mods), but that seems to have passed when he realized it was what she genuinely wanted and not some conspiracy from the higher-ups.
    • The Commander's relationship with his ex-boyfriend Tank is a bit more strained but largely amiable. Still, Tank has a whole slew of mental health problems and another slew of non-related personality issues which make him... not the easiest person in the world to deal with.
  • Ménage ŕ 3:
    • Yuki and Gary, of all people, eventually reach this point after Yuki realizes that her issues have made their relationship incredibly one-sided and unhealthy for him, causing her to break up with him. When they run into each other later they're seen chatting with each other in a friendly way, and when she finds out he has a new relationship she is genuinely happy for him.
    • Despite a traumatic break-up that was very much caused by Zii, Erik and Zii later get into friendly conversation when he discovers her crying over another problem. When Zii thanks Erik for his kindness under the circumstances, he replies that he prefers to remember the good times.
  • In Midnight Macabre, Gaspar and Natalie are friendly after their divorce. This is probably because they were friends even before they dated; Gaspar's friend Art, however, thinks it's because Texas doesn't have alimony laws (or didn't, as this comic is set in the 80s).
  • In Niels, Agent 250 and his ex, Irene, are practically best friends, and Irene gives pointers to his current paramour, Agent 300.
  • In Polandball, Czechoslovakia's "Velvet Divorce" is sometimes portrayed as this.
  • In Punch an' Pie, there are several examples:
    • Heather's hippie mother is described as "happily separated from [Heather's] father after the two of them came to the mutual conclusion that they just weren't meant for each other" and talks about him with affection even though they're no longer a couple.
    • Angela eventually meets up again with Seamus, her ex-boyfriend from when she appeared in Queen of Wands, and after spending some time catching up and doing a post-mortem on their relationship are on good terms again.
    • By the end of the strip Angela and Heather have moved into this after running into each other by chance and catching up, and by the end, both have apologized for what led to them breaking up.
  • Questionable Content:
    • Marten Reed's mother is a famous fetish model, and his father is the owner of a very successful gay nightclub who realizes as an adult that he is himself gay. Their marriage falls apart due to this, but they remain in friendly contact. Despite being an unsuccessful couple, they are excellent parents to Marten; Veronica's approval for Henry's remarriage is contingent with Marten's. She says that they just make better friends and parents than they do husband and wife. She rehearses a speech at Henry's remarriage about how he ruined her life, but it's revealed to be just a joke — Henry's right there and playing along, while Marten is busy choreographing a Wedding Smashers brawl with the groom. The speech she does give (in 2402) revolves around loving your ex.
    • Additionally, Marten and Dora eventually fall into this after some initial awkwardness after their breakup, and both are supportive of the other's new relationships.
  • Rain (2010):
    • Fara and Vincent. Or, at least, they were; they're officially back together as of chapters 41/42.
    • Rain and Rudy still get along well, even after their break-up.
    • It took a long time, but Maria and Emily as of Chapter 35.
    • Aiken and Jess both seem like they've arrived here as of Chapter 38.
  • In Something*Positive, Davan and Branwen are a huge example of this. Their breakup was over Branwen moving rather than any issue between them, and they've remained close friends ever since, with Branwen even meeting Davan's new girlfriend Vanessa and getting along perfectly well with her, too. It's really showcased during Davan and Vanessa's wedding reception when Branwen shows up in a t-shirt with "I used to screw the groom" on the front and "now I've come for the bride" on the back.
  • In Starward Lovers it's revealed Bakesby and Matsumoto, the two older members of the team, used to date in the past. They're still on good terms (and co-workers), though Bakesby seems a bit wistful at what might have been.
  • Ally and Alan in Sunstone had a really volatile break up back in college, but you wouldn't guess as much considering how indestructible their friendship is now. They broke up due to two dominant partners being a poor match, and part of the reason they are such great friends now is that they share common interests.

 
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Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Amicably Divorced

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Marco and Jackie

Marco unexpectedly meets up with Jackie, who previously broke up with him due to his lingering feelings for Star and has since moved on with her new girlfriend Chloe. But despite what happened between the two of them, Jackie reassures Marco that she has no hard feelings from the break up and still see him as a great friend.

How well does it match the trope?

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Main / AmicableExes

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