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Best Friend

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Doug: I need your help. I can't tell you what it is, you can never ask me about it later, and we're gonna hurt some people.
Jem: [thinks about it for a bit] ...whose car are we gonna take?

The best friend (also commonly referred as "the bro", "the bestie", "BFF" etc.) is The Protagonist's closest non-romantic associate and confidante in the story. Very often, the two of them will be Foils to each other, but they're just as likely to be Birds of a Feather. The best friend's importance to the plot can range anywhere from being a Satellite Character, to part of the support cast, or even the Deuteragonist.

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A group of best friends becomes True Companions.

Supertrope to:

  • Best Friends-in-Law: Sometimes, they marry into the family. Or you do.
  • Childhood Friends: They've known each other since they were kids and have a nigh unshakable bond because of it.
  • Fat Best Friend: Differences in body weight have no meaning for two best buds.
  • Gay Best Friend: 'cuz you know you're close when differences in sexual orientation is a moot point.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: When you go beyond friendship into bromance.
  • Muggle Best Friend: The hero's best friend has no supernatural abilities, to give an everyman POV to the work for viewers.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Proof that men and women can be close, without being romantically involved.
  • Token Black Friend: When your best friend is black to make your white ass look cool.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Who else can talk shit about each other (and get away with it)? It's a sure sign that they're close.
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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Kaneda from AKIRA sees Tetsuo as his best friend, which is why he goes to ridiculous lengths in an attempt to redeem him or, at least, to save his life.
  • Bloom Into You: For most of the series, Sayaka and Yuu had a rivalry of sorts, and while they got along, they weren't exactly friends. Chapter 45 implies, and Saeki's light novel series outright states, that the two have basically become best friends, with Saeki saying she actually sees and talks to Yuu far more then Touko. Chapter 45 tells it best when Yuu shows she not only knew Sayaka had a girlfriend when Touko did not, but has already met her.
  • Captain Harlock's best friend is Tochiro Oyama—the brains to his brawn, who has constructed Harlock's signature Cool Starship, Arcadia, for him.
  • In Code Geass, Suzaku Kururugi has been Lelouch's best friend since childhood, but life had tossed them apart when Japan was conquered by Britannia. When they meet again, they have unwittingly placed themselves on the opposing sides of the barricades, but even after they discover each other's true allegiances, they still help each other from time to time, before joining forces for good in the finale.
  • In Cross Ange, Salamandinay quickly becomes the title heroine's best friend by the virtue of being one of the few people able to hand her ass back to her, as well as by having a calming and humanizing effect on her wild nature. Reincarnation flashbacks imply that Ange and Salamandinay have been lovers in their past lives, but they don't share a romantic attraction in this one.
  • Don't Meddle with My Daughter!:
    • Clara and Mei have been close friends since middle school. Mei is even aware of Clara's secret identity as the Eighth Wonder, which she's kept hidden to protect her.
    • Also applies to Risa, Kisara, and Jun, who're always seen in each other's company. The events of chapter 5 proved the depths of their loyalty, when they were gunned down while trying to save each other. Thankfully, the girls survive the shooting and are seen in the infirmary afterward. All three eventually make a full recovery.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Goku and Krillin are best friends, despite the fact that Goku completely outclasses him as a fighter early on. Krillin's second death was what pushed Goku over the edge to become a Super Saiyan. After this he spends more time with Piccolo or Vegeta who trade off on being The Lancer in battle, but Krillin remains the best friend in downtime.
    • Gohan becomes best friends with Dende during the Namek arc since he's the only other character around his age. They have the most heartfelt goodbye when Dende has to leave earth. They don't interact that often afterwards but there are shades of being Old Friends after Dende returns as earth's guardian.
    • Future!Trunks considered Future!Gohan both his mentor and best friend as the last two saiyans. Present Trunks' best friend is Goten since they're much closer in age. They are rarely seen apart as kids to the point that their signature technique is to Fusion Dance into Gotenks.
  • EDENS ZERO: Rebecca was abandoned by her family and was left alone to wonder the streets while Happy is a cat from a planet called Exceed who was abandoned on planet Blue Garden (where Rebecca is). Rebecca found him and called him Happy. The two of them became best friends.
  • Gamma features a surprising number of very close non-romantic relationships, the most prominent being the Bash Brothers Hornetman and Blue Train, as well as Miyuki and Midori (a.k.a. the Ret-Gone other Lily Cure) in the back-story.
  • Hunter × Hunter: Gon and Killua are best friends, although Gon is far more open about it whereas Killua gets embarrassed when Gon brings it up.
  • Every finished part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has a Best Friend as part of its cast.
  • Maken-ki!: Kimi Satou used to spend her time reading manga alone, until she met Akaza Chacha who noticed what she was reading. They soon bonded over their mutual interests in manga and cosplay and have been virtually inseparable ever since.
  • Athrun Zala and Kira Yamato in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED have been best friends in their childhood, but end up as members of opposing armies in the present. Towards the end of the series, after much trauma, they recommit to their old friendship and team up to essentially change the world.
  • Though they rarely act like it, Naruto and Sasuke become best friends somewhere during the first story arc. This becomes a plot point after Sasuke's Face–Heel Turn. He fights Naruto as killing your best friend is one of the ways to unlock more of his hidden powers, but he ultimately spares him. The friendship is one-sided on Naruto's part for the next several years but deep down, Sasuke still considers Naruto his bestie throughout.
  • In The Seven Deadly Sins Meliodas and Ban are this, with Ban stating that Meliodas is the second most important person in his life, his girlfriend Elaine being the first.
  • In Simoun, Paraietta's been Neviril Best Friend since childhood, and she's always harboured romantic feelings for her. This strong emotions give her endless pain, since Neviril, while loving her platonically, doesn't return them.
  • Uzaki-chan Wants to Hang Out!: Sakaki was Shinichi's best friend before Hana started college, alongside being his only friend at the time.
  • Variable Geo: The strength of Yuka and Satomi's bond is the cornerstone of the OVAs plot. They studied Kyokushin together under Yuka's grandfather, which is how they met and became friends. Despite drifting apart, their bond has remained as strong as ever, to where Yuka can literally sense what Satomi is feeling through her aura — regardless of distance.
  • Wandering Son: Nitori and Takatsuki meet in fifth grade and quickly become best friends, However, Reality Ensues when they go to separate high schools and their friendship dwindles to the point where they go years without seeing one another.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie Comics have Betty and Veronica. Best friends ever and forever, who always share everything and only disagree when it comes to Archie.
  • In The DCU it's kind of an unwritten law that a Super will always be a Bat's best friend and vice versa.
    • Traditionally, Superman and Batman are best buddies. Early Worlds Finest often depicted him enjoying leisure activities together like shooting hoops or going swimming. Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths it was decided their personalities were too incompatible to be good friends and they remained uneasy allies until the early 00's restored their friendship.
    • Similarly, Supergirl has been consistently treated as Batgirl's best friend since the latter was created. Even though they weren't often seen together during the Pre-Crisis period, Barbara Gordon was the one to give the eulogy at the Kara Zor-El's funeral, saying she "was often my confidant and always my friend".
    • Their Earth-Two counterparts, Power Girl and Huntress -Helena Wayne- had a relationship even stronger. In the Power Trip arc, Kara turns to Helena Bertinelli as undergoing considerable emotional turmoil because, even though her Pre-Crisis memories had been wiped out, she instinctively remembered she could always rely on Huntress.
    • Robin/Red Robin Tim Drake was very upset when his best friend Superboy Kon-El was killed. Tim considered cloning Kon, along with their friend Bart Allen and Tim's father and girlfriend who had all died within a year of each other. When Kon returns Tim finally starts loosening up again after becoming incredibly closed off due to all of the losses he'd suffered and Kon is the first person since Bruce's "death" to accept Tim saying Bruce is actually alive without question. Steph had been willing to listen but that was ruined due to Dick's interference and Tim's mental state at the time.
    • There were two solo titles exclusively focused on the friendship between Jonathan Kent and Damian Wayne.
    • Even Krypto the Superdog and Ace the Batdog has been depicted as buddies in some comics and media like DC Super Hero Girls.
  • They're not as close as they used to be prior to the Flashpoint reboot, but the crux of the story of Birds of Prey revolved around the best friend-ship between Barbara Gordon and Black Canary.
  • Cassandra Cain and Stephanie Brown are best friends who bonded over training, similar backstories, their desire to help others and their contrasting personalities.
  • Robin Series: Outside of the caped community, and prior to becoming part of it, Tim's best friend is Ives. Ives isn't aware of what exactly is taking up so much of Tim's time, and really doesn't want to know which indicates he has an idea, but is willing to ruin his other friendships sticking up for Tim and is very casual about forgiving Tim for forgetting his birthday, since he knows Tim doesn't even tend to remember his own.

    Fan Works 
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     Film — Live-Action 
  • The Babysitter: 12-year old Melanie is Cole's closest and only friend at school. He explicitly refers to her as such, just before the film's climax, when he apologizes for putting her in danger by taking refuge at her house.
    Cole: [hushed tone] You're my best friend and I'm sorry I got you mixed up in this.
    Melanie: [understands] You were being shot at!
    Cole: Especially because we're being shot at.
  • In The Room, Mark is Johnny's best friend, as all the characters will constantly remind everyone.
  • Doug and James/Jem in The Town. When Doug asks Jem for a potentially dangerous favor that they'd never talk about again, the only thing Jem asks is whose car they'll be taking for it.

    Literature 
  • In the autobiographical poem Anna Snegina, the old miller was so glad to see the narrator that he couldn't "put two words together".
  • In the backstory of the Arcia Chronicles, the future emperor Ankhel and the future saint Erasti Cerna had been bros for life since their rebellious youth and have toppled a corrupt empire together. Too bad Ankhel betrayed their common ideals and, eventually, Erasti himself after their victory. In modern times, Erasti's descendant Raphael Kerna becomes the best friend of Alexander Tagere.
  • Bridge to Terabithia has the relationship between Jess Aarons and Leslie Burke, two outcasts in school who only had each other.
  • Harry Potter: Ron Weasley quickly becomes Harry's best friend in book one, and sticks with him for the rest of the series, through the good and the bad.
  • In The Neverending Story, Atreyu and Bastian become best friends after Bastian finally enters Fantasia. Subverted later on when Bastian's power goes to his head and Atreyu leaves in disgust, even battling him atop the Ivory Tower. Double-subverted in the end, when Bastian shows repentance and Atreyu forgives him, helping him return home and taking all of Bastian's unfulfilled obligations in Fantasia upon him.
  • Played With in Reflections of Eterna: Aldo Rakan and Robert Epine are best friends, but they understand their relationship very differently. For Robert, it means Undying Loyalty towards Aldo, to the point of Cruel to Be Kind. For Aldo, however, their friendship means merely giving Robert the second pick of trophies (after his own, of course) on his quest for power.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, there are several examples:
    • Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark had the friendship that took down the Targaryen dynasty.
    • Ilyrio Mopatis and Varys are a rather villainous example, as they're trying to destabilize the Seven Kingdoms for their own benefit.
    • Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly cement a quick bond when the latter arrives to the Wall.
    • Jaime Lannister and his cousin Daven are shown to be this, as the former is the "Kingslayer" to everyone except Daven, who knows him intimately and can attest to Jaime's true character.
  • For some inexplicable reason, Dandelion the Spoony Bard is Geralt's only associate who sticks with him through the good and the bad throughout The Witcher novels and games.
  • In the first Warrior Cats book, the first Clan cat the main character Firestar met was Graystripe, and when he joined the Clan they instantly became best friends. Throughout the series, they go through thick and thin together, and while Firestar is leader he makes Graystripe his deputy. Even in Graystripe's Vow, when Graystripe is the oldest cat in ThunderClan and Firestar is long dead, he still thinks about his best friend frequently and regularly speaks of him to younger cats.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Barrier: The Minister of Health Luis and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Álvaro are this to each other. From Luis' perspective, the fact that many of the people that he can call friends are putting up with him only because of his status makes the situation verge on Only Friend.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Seizhi/Suzy in Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, despite being known as The Best Friend, is a deconstruction. A lot of Seizhi's issues relate to having been literally created to be Chuubo/Shokyou's best friend, leading to a desperate pursuit of something, anything, outside that role to give him definition and make him more real.

    Video Games 
  • Varric Tethras is Hawke's best friend in Dragon Age II, as evidenced by him being the one person who knew where the Champion was all along in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Having served as a sidekick to both the Champion of Kirkwall and the Herald of Andraste, it is pretty obvious with whom he shares a deep personal bond and whom he accompanies out of respect and a sense of common cause.
  • The Legend of Zelda
    • In Ocarina of Time, Link is Saria's closest friend; much to Mido's chagrin. The narrative emphasises it by first having her give Link the Fairy Ocarina as a parting gift, when he first leaves Kokiri Forest. And later, she teach him her song while they're in the Sacred Grove, so he'll be able to communicate wth her no matter how far they're apart. Though they're eventually forced to part ways for good, after Saria awakens as a Sage.
    • Twilight Princess: Link grew up with Mayor Bo's daughter, Ilia, who's shown to be his best friend in Ordon Village by tending to Epona for him. She also made the Horse Call for him, to wish him well on his journey to deliver the Ordon Sword and Shield to Hyrule Castle, but was abducted by King Bulblin before she had the chance.
    • Prince Sidon in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild isn't Link's friend at first since he doesn't know who he is. Once he realizes that Link was very close to Mipha, who was Sidon's sister, Sidon treats Link as his best buddy and tries to make him feel welcome among the other Zoras in Zora's Domain. After Link manages to stop the rampaging divine beast that is Vah Ruta, Sidon tells Link that he'll always be his most treasured friend and is welcome to visit him anytime he wants.
  • Garrus Vakarian, Tali'Zorah, and Liara T'soni in the original Mass Effect trilogy gradually become Commander Shepard's closest confidantes (although Tali and Garrus are Promoted to Love Interest in part two and Liara is pretty much Shepardsexual from the get-go). Depending on whether the player romances one of them, either the other one or all three of them qualify for this trope. Overall, Garrus is best able to identify with Shepard as a fellow soldier and the needs that come with that, Tali places absolute faith in Shepards abilities as a leader and always supports his/her decisions, while Liara is best at being consistently able to get Shepard to drop their stoic mask and share their worries and stresses with a sympathetic ear. Joker is also a possibility as the only character who is guaranteed to be by Shepard's side for the entire trilogy.
  • The Protagonist of Persona 4 and The Lancer of the Investigation Team, Yosuke Hanamura: not only does the latter frequently dub the Protagonist "partner" and vice versa, but he explains in Spin-Off Sequel Persona 4: Arena that "best friend" isn't enough to describe their relationship.
  • Johnny Gat in the Saints Row series is established as the Playa/Boss' best friend, to the point where the two of them would risk their and other Saints' lives to help each other at the drop of a hat. In Saints Row 2, while Johnny is in the hospital, the Boss is permanently in a bad mood — the longest period of intense concern they ever show for anyone in the games (with only their brief Anti-Heroic BSoD over Carlos' death coming close).
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: SEGA introduced Tails as Sonic's best bud, in part 2. Since then, no matter the game, Tails is almost always on hand to lend Sonic his support: whether it's giving him a lift in The Tornado, or whipping up gadgets to help him out (i.e. Sonic Colors).
  • In Undertale, the monster prince Asriel Dreemurr and Chara, the first human to fall into the Underground after the Barrier was erected, have been best friends in the backstory, but their friendship ended very, very badly due to circumstances they had no control over: Chara fell ill and died, but not before asking Asriel to take them to see the surface one last time. Asriel complied, but the terrified villagers assumed that he killed Chara and lynched him for it. Asriel crawled back into the underground before dying and turning to dust in the royal garden. Much later, a flower from said garden was injected with human determination by Alphys, creating Flowey, the Big Bad of the game, while Chara somehow continued their existence as a malicious spirit who lends its power to Frisk in the Genocide route.

    Web Original 

     Western Animation 
  • Zuko becomes this to Aang towards the tail end of Avatar: The Last Airbender which carries into the sequel comics. By the time of The Legend of Korra seventy years later, Korra goes to Zuko for advice about what he'd do because he's the person that knew Aang best. Even though Lin who was noted to also be quite close to him is in the same location.
  • The Flintstones: The Flintstones and the Rubbles are an entire family of best friends. Fred and Barney were best friends who met best friends Wilma and Betty, paired off and got married, and moved next door to each other. As neighbors their pets Dino and Hoppy were de facto best friends. Fred and Wilma's daughter, Pebbles, and Barney and Betty's son, Bamm-Bamm, grew up together as best friends, but they started dating as teenagers and wound up getting married as adults, ultimately making their parents Best Friends-in-Law.
  • Hey Arnold!: Most of the kids of P.S. 118 had a best friend to pair off with—the most prominent examples were Arnold and Gerald, and Helga and her best friend/assistant, Phoebe. An opposites attract duo in best friends Rich Alpha Bitch Rhonda and insect nerd Nadine. Even antagonists like the fifth grade bully Wolfgang had a best friend without whom he was rarely seen, Edmund.
  • King Arthur & the Knights of Justice:
    • Among the Knights, Wally and Brick are thé dynamic duo, followed closely by Arthur and Lance. Less explictly so do Darren and Tone seem to get along very well. Squires Everett and Tyronne, although in competition for recognition, are rarely apart. And Guinevere and her ladies-in-waiting Elaine and Mary are, of course, also as close as can be.
    • As for cases of Villainous Friendship, Morgana and Viper have a strong case of Platonic Life-Partners going on, while team combinations Lucan-Blackwing and (for season 1) Bash-Blinder catch attention.

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