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Buddy Picture

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Such deer friends.
A story about two friends and their adventures. The buddies in question serve as dual protagonists. The friendship itself will provide much of the drama along the way, as the buddies in a Buddy Picture are usually an Odd Couple.

Also known as "Wunza" ("One's a") movies, aptly named by Roger Ebert, as the plot generally revolves around the characters' clashing personalities and professions (For example, "Wunza cop, and wunza kid").

The resolution of a Buddy Picture typically depends on the friends working in concert together to defeat a common enemy and reap a shared reward. Needless to say, the Buddy Picture is fueled by The Power of Friendship.

As with any genre, there are certain flavors that spring up over and over. Sometimes the buddies involved don't start as buddies, but bond over their shared adventure. Almost always things come between them. Occasionally one of the buddies in the Buddy Picture is focused on a little more, making him or her the primary protagonist. Though scenarios like these can change the shape of a story a bit, don't be fooled: it is still a Buddy Picture.

The Buddy Picture can manifest itself in many diverse settings, and the central relationship can exist in many sorts of plots. Because of this, the Buddy Picture is typically crossbred with other more plot-dependent genres, such as westerns, action-adventures, and road movies. One of the most common variants of this type of story is the Buddy Cop Show. If the story is a comedy that focuses solely on the relationship between male Heterosexual Life-Partners, it is a Bromantic Comedy.

Historically, the Buddy Picture flourished particularly well in film, hence the name. However, this genre can be found in all media, as evidenced by the examples below. Because of this, the trope has Buddy Genre as a redirect for use on works pages that aren't classified as films.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bakuman。 puts a heavy focus on the relationship between Mashiro ( the artist) and Takagi ( the writer) to become a professional mangaka team. To the point where one of their editors suggests Mashiro work with another writer, he refuses, saying he can accept anything except not working along with Takagi.
  • The plot of The Case Study of Vanitas starts with the first meeting of the two main characters, the titular Vanitas and Noé. And as the story goes their friendship still plays a fundamental role, to the point that it is established that Noé will kill Vanitas. This is not a spoiler considering that it is revealed from the very beginning of the story.
  • GTO: The Early Years is about two Japanese Delinquents and their adventures.
  • Gundam Build Fighters, about two partners (A Gunpla builder and a mysterious boy from a different world who does the Gunpla fighting for him) who try to make it to the Gunpla world championships.
  • Hunter × Hunter starts out with Gon, Killua, Kurapica, and Leorio as the main cast, with Hisoka as the occasional adversary, but focuses mostly on Gon and Killua starting with the Heavens Arena arc. The other characters come and go, but Gon and Killua's adventures are the most consistent aspect of the series so far.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure became this in Part 7, Steel Ball Run. Johnny Joestar, a paralyzed prodigy jockey, takes interest in Gyro Zeppeli and joins a horse race across America with the express purpose of learning about him and his Spin technique after he finds himself very briefly able to stand. Gyro himself has his own, more complex reasons for joining the race, but the two nonetheless hit it off, their friendship and dynamic taking up very much of the story.

    Comic Books 
  • Zander Cannon's graphic novel Heck is a rare breed: a horror Buddy Picture.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 
  • Bosom Buddies
  • Breaking Bad is a textbook example. Walt and Jesse, despite their differences in age and approach to meth-making, find enough common ground to continue their trade.
  • The main plot of Entourage centers around a group of four friends moving up to Los Angeles after the big success of one of them as a new star in Hollywood.
  • The Falcon and the Winter Soldier
  • Hawkeye (2021)
  • Laverne & Shirley, a sitcom about two female factory workers trying to make it in the city.
  • Psych is a classic example, featuring an odd couple of crimefighters.
  • 2 Broke Girls, a sitcom about two female food servers trying to make it in the city.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time is the story of two best friends, a boy and a dog raised together, who have adventures and solve problems all around a magical, post apocalyptic world.
  • Ernest et Célestine is about the development of the surprising friendship between the mouse Celestine and the bear Ernest and what happens after they become friends.
  • Phineas and Ferb is a show that revolves around two step-brothers trying to make every day of summer vacation count.
  • The duo of Shaggy and Scooby-Doo gives the ensemble of characters that stars in the franchise a touch of the buddy genre, but it doesn't get the proper treatment until Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get A Clue!, where the other members of Mystery Inc. are dropped in favor of focusing on the buddies.

Alternative Title(s): Buddy Genre