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Battle Couple

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"Well, I was hoping that our relationship would be a long and happy one, but I suppose I'm willing to settle for short and exciting."

This is the kind of couple where bullets figure prominently in the story of their romance. Where "war buddy" and "significant other" are synonyms. If you harm either one of them, the survivor will kill you as surely as the sun rises. Their mere presence increases the chance of a Back-to-Back Badasses scene to nearly 100%. They may also bicker or flirt in the middle of a fight, much to the confusion or consternation of their opponents. They tend to be extremely resistant to breakup since their bond was forged in combat, so if they're married, they're Happily Married. In fantasy settings, they'll probably manifest as Sword and Sorcerer. If they have gone all the way, expect them to engage in a lot of Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex. It's also possible they may get it on before the fighting. Add a kid or two for a Badass Family with a Mama Bear and a Papa Wolf.

In Real Life, it's also the same as above — and often, they're officers or military. There are laws in some areas against this sort of thing if one outranks the other to prevent the superior from forcing the under-ranked into it.

Compare Adventure Duo, Bash Brothers, Sibling Team, Combination Attack, and Fire-Forged Friends for other, not necessarily romantic forms of this trope. See also Badass Minds Think Alike. If they're criminals, they're an Outlaw Couple. If they are royalty who do this as one of their jobs, they are also a Ruling Couple. If they're villains, they live in Unholy Matrimony. If she's (in most cases) a human and he's not, they could be the Monster and the Maiden. If it's a case of one person with multiple ass-kicking admirers, that's a Battle Harem. Aversion of My Girl Back Home.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Films — Animation 
  • 101 Dalmatians: Pongo and Perdy lay the hurting on the two thugs who plan to kill not only their puppies but the other 84 parentless puppies as well. Their treatment of the bad guys is SCARY. You do not mess with puppies and let their parents find out. It is clear these dogs will go through hell and back to save their puppies — all of them.
  • Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses: All the sisters get their moment to shine in the climactic fight to take back the kingdom, but Genevieve and Derek get the highlight when they have to fend off the duchess's Animated Armor.
  • Manolo and Maria in The Book of Life, when they both fight Chakal together. They even do a fastball attack, on him after doing the "romantic twirl-around" thing.
  • How to Train Your Dragon:
    • Hiccup and Astrid couple up in the first movie, and they work together through the following movies and the spinoff series. It's a Brains and Brawn thing.
    • Their relationship is touted as being a significant factor in Hiccup's leadership by the time of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. In particular, Astrid is invaluable to him during the raids at the beginning of the movie and the attack on the Warlords' armada at the end.
  • The Parrs from The Incredibles. In the prologue, they almost miss their own wedding because they were fighting crime. However, they don't actually team up on-screen until the climax — the closest they get for most of the movie is Elastigirl punching out the mugger Mr. Incredible was holding (from about twenty feet away).
  • In Kung Fu Panda 2, Po and Tigress have questionably become this, frequently fighting together and showing off Combination Attacks in the process.
  • The Land Before Time: Grandma and Grandpa Longneck. Whenever their grandson is in danger, they come charging in full-force.
  • The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part: The film has two of them. The first is Emmet and Lucy, who work perfectly together to get out of danger and defeat enemies. There's also Batman and Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi, who prove to be such in the final climax of the film when she transforms into a battleship that Batman pilots.
  • The Lion King:
    • The Lion King (1994) has Simba and Nala become this during the final battle when they kill several of Scar's hyenas by shoving several of them off the ledge of Pride Rock.
    • Simba's daughter Kiara and her eventual mate Kovu follow in their pawprints in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. They interrupt the fight between Simba and Zira and though they are working to stop the fighting, Kovu makes it clear that he won't let Zira hurt Kiara or Simba, and Kiara cuts off Zira's lunge at Simba after the rest of the outsiders have given up the fight and joined with Simba's side.
  • Mulan II: Mulan and Shang are engaged in the sequel and fight off bandits.
  • Quest for Camelot gave us Kayley and Garrett. Their wedding doubles as a dual knighting ceremony.
  • The Rescuers: Bernard and Bianca make a living out of beating down bad guys. He's about to propose to her in Down Under before another adventure interrupts him.
  • Shrek:
  • Miles and Gwen invoke this in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse during the Final Battle, enough for adult Spidey to call them "adorable".
  • In The Steam Engines of Oz, lions Magnus and Lucila are mates (and, according to their dialogue, he chose her because she was the only female willing to stand up to him) who hunt and fight and together. Fighting side-by-side (or back-to-back) they cut a swathe through the Tin Man's army.
  • Marianne and the Bog King from Strange Magic — both of them hold their own in the first fight scene they share, but it's when they team up to defeat Marianne's ex-fiancé that they truly show that together they're a force to be reckoned with. The Bog King is naturally terrifying given what kind of creature he is, but Marianne shows that she can be just as ferocious and threatening.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Calhoun and Felix given that both of them are heroes and undertake a Save the World mission together. The latter's even shown in the credits shooting Cy-Bugs with his wife.
  • Not really an official couple, but Zootopia's Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde would have otherwise unofficially qualified as one, considering that they're up against a corrupt mayor bent on turning them and their people against each other with a poison flower. Not to mention, the Ship Tease at the end to reinforce their implied — if not stated — battle couple status:
    Nick Wilde: You know you love me.
    Judy Hopps: Do I know that...? Yes. Yes, I do.

  • The Adventure Zone: Balance:
    • Carey and Killian are both incredibly talented fighters in the Bureau, and show of their teamwork skills in the Grand Finale as the Hunger attacks the base.
    • Towards the end of the story, Barry and Lup, who both take full advantage of their Lich powers to obliterate the Hunger's forces. They're so amazing at mowing them down that Taako, who was planning to join Lup in the fight, turns right back around with a "Looks like they can handle it."
  • Red Panda Adventures has the Red Panda and the Flying Squirrel. It takes a while to reach the point, but even after marriage they fight side by side and nothing will anger either one faster than threatening the life of the other. They each frequently note that their best chance at staying alive long enough to retire and raise their son is by sticking together.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Al Szasz, Ada Ash, were billed the World's Strongest Man and Woman in the 1960s. And their opponents were often bears and alligators, which they would take turns wrestling rather than jumping at once...ironically their success against human tag teams was middling.
  • AAA had Xóchitl Hamada and Pentagón Black, typically against members of the Moreno family. AAA also sort of encourages this kind of thing with its "mixed" tag team division.
  • Tarzan Goto and Despina Montagas were this in FMW, due to envy over Megumi Kudo's popularity eventually leading up to them trying to best her in matches, in fact leading to the first mixed tag team match in a Japanese promotion(Kudo teamed with Ricky Fuji for that one).
  • Ring of Honor (and JAPW for that matter) has a possible case Buff E and Mace Mendoza of the Christopher Street Connection. Confirmed cases? Steve Corino and Simply Luscious, Raven and Trinity, CM Punk and Lucy, Jimmy Jacobs and The Lovely Lacey, Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis, Michael Elgin and MsChif, BJ Whitmer and Kelly Klein...
  • It's not just a connection to Beyond Wrestling that makes CZW a frequent contributor to WSU's Queen and King Of The Ring, as the promotion seems to produce quite a few battle couples. Confirmed cases include Christina Von Eerie and Masada who fought off Drew Gulak's Campaign, Cherry Bomb and Pepper Parks who ganged up on Greg Excellent, Nevaeh and Jake Christ, who were targeted by evil owner DJ Hyde...
  • Pro wrestling's hottest couple...ever, Santana Garrett and Chasyn Rance of FOW (and many more Southern Championship, Believe, Belleview, etc).
  • Mad Man Pondo and Crazy Mary Dobson were engaged while they were Juggalo Championship Wrestling's Tag Team Title holders.
  • Isao Kobayashi and Kyoko Kimura were not above working together as a tag team. Especially not if it provided an opportunity to help or teach their daughter, Hana.
  • The South Pacific Power Couple (TK Cooper and Dahlia Black) who have appeared in companies such as Progress Wrestling.
  • If Rance and Garrett are the hottest couple, then Lady Frost says she and Victor Benjamin The Savage Gentlemen are wrestling's coolest couple. While they have entered some tag team tournaments and thus do qualify for this trope, "Pretty Proper" prefer helping each other beat opponents in one on one matches.

  • GTA Radio: Princess Robot Bubblegum and Sword Boy are stated to be a couple, though it's stated that Sword Boy goes both ways, so not everyone thinks he's the best match for Bubblegum.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In general, a lot of games have options to create love interests or to romance NPCs, and unless you're planning on having the love interest stay home, they have to be combat-capable. Dungeons & Dragons in particular has the Ceremony spell, where two married humanoids get a +2 bonus to AC and saving throws as long as they're within 30 feet of each other during the first 24 hours of their marriage.
    • Pathfinder Second Edition brings us the Heartbond ritual, which allows for a Battle Polyamory. All members of the ritual, who must share genuine love, can actually sense each other's locations and tell if they're in a bad state. If the ritual is a big success, they can even transmit messages via their bond. No, you are not limited to two people in your Heartbond, but all members must be willing.
  • Exalted has this as part of the mechanics; specifically, all Solars and Lunars are matched up in three hundred pairs called Bonds. The Bond is not necessarily romantic, it can just as easily be platonic; in fact, most examples of it are. Nonetheless, the possibility is there — for one, the Exalted setting has very little prejudice against homosexual pairings, and for the other, Lunars are consummate shapeshifters.
  • Couples in Magic: The Gathering occasionally share a creature card, with one example being Pia and Kiran Nalaar. They may not have shared their daughter's pyromancy, but they were still pretty good at making things go boom pre-Death by Origin Story.
  • Ah, the sweet romance and Unholy Matrimony that is Vlad and Isabella von Carstein in Warhammer Vlad is one of the deadliest melee characters and a decent Wizard to boot, being a Vampire Lord. Isabella's no slouch as a Vampire Hero, though her role is to be a Combat Medic. They get a significant buff if they share a unit. Either goes into a frenzy if the other is killed.
    • In universe, when Vlad was killed, Isabella threw herself to her death, and in the End Times, a resurrected Vlad's love for Isabella let Vlad be coerced by the big players that ended up causing the Class X destruction of the setting.
  • Weapons Of The Gods, the wuxia RPG based on the comic of the same name, has several sections on this trope as exemplified in Shen Zhou, both on setting lore and mechanical impacts of the relationship. The example couple given for the section "Husband and Wife" is Sun and Yin, who keep arguing about Sun's oath of compassion and Yin's reluctance to honor that oath as Sun's wife while surrounded by and fighting an enemy army all by themselves.

    Visual Novels 

  • AntiBunny has Mors and Knell who are also Superhero Nailbat, and former supervillain Furi, who become a married pair of badasses.
  • Commander Kitty has veteran spacers Ace and Freeda, holding hands and kicking ass together.
  • In Crimson Knights Erikr and Judoch become one in chapter 7.
  • Ellen and Nanase from El Goonish Shive, were both involved in the fight with the Omega Goo and both fought against Vlad during the battle at The Nest. Although they haven't been seen to fight any battles together since their Relationship Upgrade, they have been featured fighting together in at least one sketchbook strip and they like to play multiplayer video games where they fight side by side. Also, they might have had to fight some of the perpetrators of the Scooby Doo Hoaxes that they have foiled. As of the Family Tree story arc, they are fighting together.
  • Fans! gives us Will and Shanna, and (in the Badass Threesome category), Rikk, Rumy and Ally.
    Rikk: I've spent the last five years with two remarkable women. One of them is one of the toughest, cleverest fighters I've ever seen anywhere. The other is Rumiko Tanaka Oberf!
  • Girl Genius has several:
    • Early on in the comic, even though we're not sure if they're an 'official' official couple Gil and Agatha definitely make this work during the slaver wasps' invasion of Castle Wulfenbach.
    • Later on, given events in Castle Heterodyne, we have a battle threesome. Agatha cares deeply for both Gil and Tarvek, and when they're not trying to kill each other they do actually get along fairly well with each other too.
    • Zeetha and Badass Normal (or maybe not so normal) Airman Higgs have been this ever since hooking up in the middle of a war over mutual admiration of each other's fighting skills.
  • Homestuck has several, mostly among the Trolls.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Elan and Hailey from the Order are a general teamwork couple during their adventurer raids. After Elan literally Took a Level in Badass by becoming a Dashing Swordsman they form a classic Guys Smash, Girls Shoot dynamic.
    • Elan's Evil Twin Nale also forms one with Sabine, a combat Succubus. They once had a lover's quarrel during an Evil Plan because Nale feared that Sabine had a crush on Elan. She reassures him and they go back to committing evil together.
    • Daigo and Kazumi are both soldiers in the Azure City army. They hooked up while defending the city from a hobogoblin invasion. Then Kazumi pulled way ahead of Daigo on the awesome scale when she turned into a Pregnant Badass.
  • Our Little Adventure has Julie and Lenny Magilligan, happily married and kicking ass with family and friends (Julie's sister Angelika, and her bitter friend Rocky).
  • Leo/Jason and Tigris/Kira from Panthera. They met by being the first two students to become elemental-powered panthers designed to fight a secret government project. They've had spats since Jason brought his little sister into the club, though.
  • Melty Flame and Melty Frost in Sleepless Domain, to the point that when Undine considered asking to join them, she quickly realized that she would be a Third Wheel. (According to an Interstial, Amahle and Carina were infatuated with each other as children, drifted apart, then reconnected when their powers awakened and they discovered that they were thematic partners.)
  • Torg and Zoe from Sluggy Freelance have a Battle Couple moment in this strip. True, they're not actually a couple, but Torg's crush on Zoe does develop not long after this storyline.
  • Spinnerette and Mecha Maid, both super heroes, are a lesbian example.
  • Night and Lady Liberty of Supermom routinely fight crime together. They have since married and their honeymoon consists of more crimefighting across the country.
  • The author won't tell whether Guinea and Pig, the vigilante duo from Trying Human have an Interspecies Romance or a platonic, but close, Interspecies Friendship, but they're definitely the most important persons in each other's lives and have a child together, whom they're raising and obviously love, even though none of them actually asked for the Playing with Syringes that resulted in the baby.

    Web Original 
  • Ascension Academy has many examples of this trope. Cadets are broken into six squads and there is a battle couple in three of the six:
    • Chipz and Vevina are the battle couple of Ignis Squad ever since they became a couple after the Desert Mission.
    • Rex and Misty are the battle couple of Gallant Squad since shortly into the Second Year.
    • Stark and Flora became the battle couple of Crystal Thorn Squad late into the Second Year.
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: Linkara and Iron Liz have beaten up Mooks together.
  • Belkinus Necrohunt: Luna's partner Scorpio, when the party encounters him in the mountains, is a mercenary that's just as capable of fighting against a pack of worgs as the rest of the party. Luna officially proposes to him with a ring in Session 13.
  • Critical Role
    • Lord Sylas and Lady Delilah Briarwood were Happily Married before they became Unholy Matrimony when Delilah started working for Vecna because Vecna revived Sylas for her. They're both quite powerful, and fittingly so considering they are the villains of the Whitestone Arc and ultimately lieutenants of the Big Bad himself.
    • Vax'ildan and Keyleth of Vox Machina, a cunning rogue and powerful druid, respectively, are sort-of-but-not-really this since Vax's Love Confession during the Whitestone arc, and then properly get together during the Chroma Conclave arc.
    • Percy and Vex of Vox Machina also qualify, both of them powerful ranged combatants who eventually become the Lord and Lady of Whitestone. While the improvisational nature of the show precludes this being intentional, their relationship acts as a notable foil to that of the Briarwoods', and as the Dalen's Closet one-shot reveals, they later become Action Parents.
    • Beau and Yasha, the human monk and aasimar barbarian of the Mighty Nein. Their first date includes a fight with some illusory ninjas at Beau's specific request.
  • DC Nation is fond of this trope, and sometimes dovetails it with Badass Family. Sand and Merlynne (and, previously, Merlynne and Caleb); Green Shield and Green Lantern Travis Grey; Changeling/Beastboy and Fauna...
  • Suggested for Final Fantasy XIV players in Basically, Paladin. Made even funnier because the healer shown in the video is actually his IRL wife's character.
    Larryzaur: You can't just go out dungeoning with a healer. You need to establish a relationship first — and no, that doesn't mean pulling the entire dungeon, in Sword Oath, with no buffs. You should probably try some other things. You know, like, ask your healer out, take your healer on a nice date, marry your healer. (Royalty-free love song plays over a Ceremony of Eternal Bonding) That'll get 'em.
  • Helluva Boss has Millie and Moxxie, a pair of happily married assassins. A villainous example (well, MORE villainous) is Martha and Ralphie, although Martha does sleep around.
  • A More Personal Union has Winifred Shakespeare and Geoffrey de Bourbon. Their son ends up being raised at his paternal grand-uncle's estate, while mom and dad go globetrotting on their mercenary business.
  • Protectors of the Plot Continuum: Some pairs of agents are in an active romantic relationship with each other and continue protecting the multiverse from the effects of bad fanfiction together.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • Church and Tex; it's clear they both still feelings for each other no matter how many insults they toss back and forth. Probably more feelings from Church than Tex as her emotions seems to have taken a beating during her time as a Freelancer paired with a psychotic Ax-Crazy AI. Later seasons reveal it's more a case of her emotions taking a beating during her time as an AI paired with a psychotic Ax-Crazy AI. Just to be pedantic.
    • Season 10 gives us a straighter example in the Insurrectionist Leader and CT, who give Tex and Carolina a good fight (even though CT was mortally wounded by Tex).
  • In RWBY, Bumbleby has its debut battle as an Official Couple in the seventh episode of Volume 9; Blake and Yang fight a series of Jabberwalkers together, doing Combination Attacks in perfect, nonverbal coordination.
  • The Cartoon Hangover short Story War has Goblin and Fairy, who track down and fight Medusa and Gremlin side by side. When Goblin gets turned to stone by Medusa, Fairy brings him back with a kiss, prompting a declaration of The Power of Love from Goblin.
  • Whateley Universe examples: the superheroes the Mystic Six were three Battle Couples, until Cirque died. The other two couples are still together, although nominally retired. Then there's Pendragon and Gloriana, the leaders of the Future Superheroes of America at the school. It is also mentioned in passing that the Winter Session special topics course "Powers Integrationnote " is often considered the 'cheap date class', because couples who are looking to be heroes (or villains) together when they graduate often take it as a way to practice (and stay close) together. It is also mentioned that a breakup in the middle of the course can make things rather sticky, though Pendragon and Gloriana seem to have done fine in it...
  • Worm:
    • Skitter and Grue, whose powers (he generates darkness, she can use her insect control to tell where objects and people are in his darkness) work together to make them a terrifying combination.
    • Later, there's Dragon and Defiant, the Artificial Intelligence that is the world's premier Tinker and her cyborg Tinker boyfriend.

    Real Life 
  • In ancient Greece, Plato wrote about this sort of thing in Symposium. Below is one example of the trope in action.
  • Italian strategist Giuseppe Garibaldi and his wife Anita Garibaldi fought in three wars and had four kids together.
  • Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon (the two kingdoms that formed what is now Spain). Married at 17 despite the opposition of Isabella's brother and king, then went on to win a civil war, finish the Reconquista, fund Columbus's voyages to the Americas, and secure Spanish dominance over Italy and the western Mediterranean.
  • In his book The Greatest Battle (on the Battle for Moscow in World War II) Andrew Nagorski interviewed two former members of an NKVD special forces unit who were ordered to go Undercover as Lovers (in the belief that a married couple would draw less attention) who, despite their initial awkwardness, ended up getting married for real.
  • Ivan and Aleksandra Boiko, driver and commander respectively of the IS-2 heavy tank Kolyma of the 48th independent Guards heavy armour regiment, were married before they got to drive the tank they had paid for.
  • King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in World War II. When someone suggested that the princesses should be evacuated to Canada, the Queen said: "The children cannot go without me. I cannot go without the King. And the King will never leave his country."
  • William Hays and his wife Mary Ludwig, also known as "Molly Pitcher", who took her husband's place at a gun when he fell.
  • While the eighteenth century military was male-dominated this was an unofficial institution of eighteenth century armed forces. Camp followers, while they did include prostitutes, also included the wives of servicemen (in the Royal Navy prostitutes were more likely in port; after all their profession didn't pay enough to go to sea to practice it). Officially they were disliked by officers but they would often look the other way and service wives could provide useful services. In the British Army it was customary to cast lots for which of the soldier's wives would go with their husbands on campaign. In the Royal Navy when the chief came through to wake up sailors he would shout, "show a leg". If it was hairy the chief would roust the leg's possessor out of bed, and if it wasn't the leg's owner was assumed to be female.
  • Robert Guiscard, Norman king of Sicily and his wife, Sichelgaita, the Lombard queen of Apulia. They won against the Byzantine army of Alexios Komnenos in Durrazzo 1081, commanding the Norman army together. At one time the Normans were repulsed and about to rout. Sichelgaita rode ahead the army, undressing herself and yelling naked, "Are you men or maidens? Follow me!" Anna Komnena, the Byzantine historian, compared Sichelgaita "like the Amazons of the old".
  • Common enough among Scythians to the point of being a possible origin of the Amazons; the women rode, fought alongside and even dressed like their husbands and were buried together in the same graves.
  • Same-sex relations weren't accepted in Japan of old unless they were this trope, and they still had to be discreet about it.
  • A common downplayed version was when the women were expected to Minor In Asskicking while the men were on campaign. This was known in Japan where women from samurai families trained to protect their homes, families, honor and exclusivity with the Naginata (a polearm sort of like a halberd). In Europe, noblewomen were sometimes in charge of castles and acted as chief of staff during a campaign; though that is closer to Ruling Couple it had military aspects. Viking women regularly owned axes, which were both a peaceful and warlike tool. As American folklore remembers, frontierswomen could, in a pinch, handle a rifle if their cabin was attacked.
  • When a city was under attack, historically, it was common for everyone to fight. Yes, that means absolutely everybody.note  Married couples fighting together in some capacity was a common sight. This is one reason sieges were so disliked.
  • Alexander the Great had numerous consorts, some of which would help fight along side him (Thaïs being the best known example).
  • Waidstill and Martha Sharp are a downplayed example, while they never did any actual fighting, they risked their lives multiple times to help people escape from Nazi Germany, and were even give a reward/title by Israel for their work.
  • This cop couple who happened to be eating in the right place at the right time during a robbery.
  • General Nguyễn Chích and his wife Nguyễn Thị Bành (no prior relation) met because she pulled a Sweet Polly Oliver to join the Vietnamese resistance against the Chinese Ming and curbstomped his best soldiers at hand-to-hand via Waif-Fu, impressing him enough to allow her to join. When she was cornered into revealing her identity, he kept her in the militia because he admired her spirit and skill (read: had fallen head over heels). They eventually married and she became his second-in-command. Together, they joined the larger Lam Sơn resistance, trained an army of messenger pigeons (which came in handy when the resistance was besieged for a long time), and she once staged a daring rescue of her husband and his soldiers in the dead of night when they were surrounded by Ming forces. (The Ming ran away from her and her mere 60 men because they thought it was a two-pronged attack.) They stuck together through thick and thin, even when Nguyễn Chích was stripped of his post in the new Later Lê dynasty because the Emperor had descended into paranoia and suspected the founding fathers of treason, and when he was eventually reinstated by the new Emperor who had taken over from his deceased father. It's not known when she died, but he lived to the ripe old age of 67.


Video Example(s):


Burt and Heather Gummer

Two Gun-enthusiasts living on the outskirts of Perfection, Nevada, and are Survivalists that have garnered enough firepower to warrant a Wall of Weapons inside of their basement and plenty of ammo for all of those guns. Woe betide to any Graboid that tries to break into that Rec Room.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / BattleCouple

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