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Commonality Connection

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Once in a hotel dining-room, I said, rather too loudly, "I loathe prunes."
"So do I," came an unexpected six-year-old voice from another table.
Sympathy was instantaneous. Neither of us thought it funny. We both knew that prunes are far too nasty to be funny. That is the proper meeting between man and child as independent personalities.
C. S. Lewis, "On Three Ways of Writing For Children"

Two characters, strangers or hostile to each other, accidentally discover a common thing. It can be an interest, a past experience or a background, but it foments friendship between them. For dramatic purposes, this is often between extremely different characters.

It can also mark the deepening of an existing relationship.

Lies can sometimes backfire when another character thinks it's this trope; see I Am One of Those, Too.

Compare Fire-Forged Friends; note that merely finding they were both soldiers or the like is this, though if they fought in some of the same battles, it may shade into that. For much more extensive commonalities, see Birds of a Feather. Also compare Lonely Together.

Contrast "Not So Different" Remark and Opposites Attract. Supertrope of Bonding over Missing Parents and A Shared Suffering. The lack of this drives Joins to Fit In. Examples that do not precede a friendship may go under The One Thing I Don't Hate About You.


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    Audio Plays 
  • In the Big Finish Doctor Who story "Echoes of Grey", Zoe falls into conversation with a young woman called Ali who, like her, was a lonely child prodigy working in an isolated base. Subverted when it's revealed that Ali was nothing of the kind; her backstory was faked to gain Zoe's trust.

    Comic Books 
  • Aquaman: Black Manta, an African-American supervillain, has on occasion exploited solidarity to get other Black people to help him, most notably in the Silver Age when he conned a bunch of black men to serve as his henchmen and even get surgery to breathe underwater by claiming he was trying to create a Black homeland underwater. It’s clearly a trick, since Manta doesn’t care about racism or feel any kind of kinship with other Black people.
  • In Astro City, Samaritan, who severely feels the pressure to keep on saving the world, twice spontaneously offers assistance to superpowered characters who don't want to fight or commit crime, but whom supervillains try to capture to exploit.
  • Injustice: Year Zero: Lois Lane and Jim, Alan Scott's husband, share a moment talking about their husbands' shared quirks, including floating when concerned. This leads to them laughing their heads off at Alan and Superman entering the room doing just that.
  • In Marvel's Voices: Comunidades, Eva and Germán bond over being Mexican-American students of magic at Strange Academy.
  • Spider-Man has formed a lasting friendship with the X-Men over the years due to both parties having a serious case of Hero with Bad Publicity.
  • In The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion, Diego and Luther fall victim to a surreal, telepathic bacteria from which they can only free themselves if they discover a point of similarity. This seems impossible at first, but it turns out they do share one very important feeling.
    "I never never feels like...the right time to say-"
    [Luther thinks of Allison]
    [Diego thinks of Vanya]
    "-I love you."

    Comic Strips 
  • In one tech-related comic strip of a Mexican newspaper, it presented two characters: a stereotypical Nerd and a Jock as complete opposites destined to be eternal enemies, then the jock says "I like SpongeBob SquarePants", and the nerd "Me too!". The next panels show them laughing and bonding.
  • In Prickly City, Winslow wonders why they are friends when they disagree on everything. Carmen observes they do agree, on one thing: they like being friends.

    Films — Animation 
  • A Bug's Life: After the "warriors" save Dot, Atta and Flik bond over how they feel the colony is always watching them, waiting for them to screw up.
  • Coco: In separate scenes, Héctor and Imelda reveal their musical skills to Miguel, foreshadowing that they have more in common.
  • In Frozen II, Kristoff gets a taste of it when he meets Ryder, a Northuldran with an identical love for reindeer. They immediately become fast friends, and Ryder even tries to help Kristoff propose to Anna.
  • Monsters University: When Mike takes his Oozma Kappa teammates to Monsters, Inc. to watch the scarers in action, he and Sulley start to bond over their shared hobby of collecting Scarer Cards.
    Mike: You collected Scare Cards, huh?
    Sulley: Yep, 450 of 'em.
    Mike: Impressive. I have 6,000 still in mint condition. But you know, 450's pretty good, too.
  • Storks: Tulip seeing her own reflection in the baby's pod convinces her to help the baby, as she knows what it's like not to be delivered.
  • In Strange Magic, Marianne and The Bog King bond over how much they hate love since both of them have had bad experiences with love.
  • In Tangled, Rapunzel appeals to the thugs of the Snuggly Duckling: haven't they ever had a dream? They reveal a lot of dreams—mostly Real Men Wear Pink—and even help her and Flynn escape.
    I've got a dream
    She's got a dream
    He's got a dream
    They've got a dream
    We've got a dream
    So our differences ain't really that extreme
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph eventually decides to help Vanellope because her situation is almost identical to (if not worse than) his - from living in the dump ostracized by others to seeing the medal as their means of finally getting their due - and they bond over their shared dreams.
    • In Ralph Breaks the Internet, when Vanellope claims to be a princess, the other Disney Princesses are skeptical at first, until they bond over shared similarities, notably that Vanellope, like many of the princesses, doesn't have a mother.
      Rapunzel: And now for the million-dollar question; do people assume all your problems got solved because a big strong man showed up?
      Vanellope: Yes! What is up with that?
      All: She is a princess!
  • In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Mario and Donkey Kong, who start out as rivals, start to bond and turn more into friendly rivals when they find out that they have similar problems with wanting to earn their fathers' respect.
  • Happens a couple of times in Turning Red:
    • When Meilin sees that her mother's astral self is a teenager, and hears Ming's anguished confession, she realizes just how mentally tortured her mother has been all these years, and why. She also realizes just how much alike they are. Not a word is said, or needed; Mei simply gets it, and her reaction is automatic. In just a few seconds, she and her mother form an entirely new bond over their shared experiences, and that becomes the basis for their new and better relationship as seen in the ending.
    • After spending most of the movie at odds with each other, Mei and her friends manage to find common ground with Tyler through their shared love of 4*Town.
  • Zootopia: Judy and Nick start to become friends when they bond over the fact that both have had experiences with their dreams clashing against the unfair stereotypes society holds against them.

  • Zucchero: The song "Hey Man" tells about Zucchero having recently gone through a breakup, and as he walks across a busy street he sees a man who is going through a similar situation. He offers him some company so they can sing together and cope with the mutual sorrow.

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Edward became friends with both Ivan and Destiny due to being disabled; Ivan also has a disability, which led to the two meeting in the hospital, while Destiny's father is disabled and thus she's heavily involved in the community.
    • Ivy and Luna became friends, despite their wildly different personalities, due to their shared love of video games and anime. It was Luna's abandonment of those interests, out of a fear of being seen as uncool, that caused their friendship to drift apart for a while.
    • Lenore and Vivian, like the two above, couldn't be more different from each other. However, their shared interest in Dungeons & Dragons brought them together, and the two have been thick as thieves ever since.
  • The Doomy Adventures of Irken Doominess: Shortly after meeting Ryn and Melissa quickly became good friends because they are both insane killer aliens.

  • In John Milton's Comus, the Spirit urges that Sabrina will be glad to add the Lady — she will be "swift to aid a virgin, such as was herself, in hard-besetting need."
  • When Director-General of Israel's Foreign Ministry Uri Savir and Finance Minister for the Palestine Liberation Organization Ahmed Qurie step away from the peace negotiations to take a walk through the frigid Norwegian countryside in Oslo, they discover that they both have daughters named Maya. This connection brings into focus why they're fighting so hard for peace, and opens the door for them to see each other as allies in the process of hashing out the negotiations (rather than enemies at cross purposes).
  • In RENT, Roger and Mimi's romance is cemented when they realize they both are HIV-positive after tiptoeing around it for the first act.

    Visual Novels 
  • Morgan and Amy from Double Homework share exactly two things, according to Morgan: a birthday, and a real name (Morgan’s real name is Amy). The two of them form a friendship that far outlasts the end of the summer.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, Phoenix convinces a member of La Résistance to trust him by showing his defense attorney badge. Though their situations and countries of origin are drastically different, they both believe in something greater than themselves.
  • Spirit Hunter: NG:
    • Akira's cousin Ami is a cute young girl, while Maruhashi is a Gonk lackey for the Yakuza. They hit it off quickly due to their shared interest in idol singer Momo Kuruse, which Akira is surprised by.
    • According to her character profile, the reason Yuri met and befriended Kaoru (Momo Kuruse's secret identity) was that she too was aiming to become an idol.

    Web Animation 
  • Jaiden Animations spoofs this in her "Flirting & My Stories" video. After admitting her anxiety (yet again), she breaks into this skit...
    Jaiden: "Hey there!"
    Guy: I have a girlfriend...
    Jaiden: Omigod, same! We have so much in common!
  • RWBY: Yang expresses her unhappiness over Blake's absence by stating that Weiss can't comprehend the loneliness of growing up in a broken home that forced her to parent Ruby because the surviving parent became too emotionally unavailable. Weiss comments that her father ruined her tenth birthday by revealing he only married to obtain the family name and company, resulting in her having a dysfunctional, alcoholic mother and an unloving, abusive father. She explains to Yang that everyone experiences loneliness in their own individual way, and that Blake will have her own form of loneliness, too.

    Web Original 

    Web Videos 
  • Honest Trailers: The trailer for The Force Awakens has Jon Bailey (Epic Voice Guy) and Gannon Nickel (Epic Voice Guy Sr.) become best friends after they realize they have the exact same list for their "best" and "worst" moments from the movie, despite disagreeing on every other point.
  • Ultimately defied in The Nostalgia Critic's "Top 11 F-Ups Part 3" when he and Douchey McNitpick learn they both love sugar-frosted burrito-stuffed hot pockets:
    Douchey: Oh, I love those! With the extra lard on the side?
    Critic: Yeah, I know! And the creamy buttery taken from real liposuctions?
    Douchey: And the side of oil found in most suntan lotions?
    Critic: Those are the best.
    Douchey: They are the best!
    Critic: I love them.
    Douchey: I love them, too—I MEAN, OOOOOOOOH! How dare we almost find something in common!
  • Sword Art Online Abridged makes both Kirito and Kayaba into this who both complain about the other players of the game as annoying pissants, considers themselves a massive cut above normal people due to their intellect, but what really clinches the deal for Kayaba is that Kirito is as big of a Movie Nerd as he is, and they both love to spout movie quotes that nobody else gets; it was one of the many things that allowed for Kirito to deduce Kayabas' secret identity as Heathcliff.
    Kirito: You're the only one I've ever met in this game who makes as many movie references as I do.
    Kayaba: Ah yes, I guess I should have known that would... Wait. You get my references?!
    Kirito: Um, yes. I just remembered-
    Kayaba: "There Can Be Only One."
    Kirito: Oh, ah Highlander.
    Kayaba: "Well who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?"
    Kirito: Duck Soup Marx Brothers, 1933.
    Kirito: Ah, getting tricky are we? While that line is famously attributed to the 1995 film WaterWorld, it is never actually spoken in the movie.
    Kayaba: ...Hot damn, you're the real deal.
  • Mystery Incorporated (2022): Velma reaches out to Freddie because she knows what it's like to lose a parent and because he's looking up demonology like her mother does. While Fred seems to appreciate the thought he correctly points out that her having experienced grief doesn't mean she understands his grief.
  • Welcome To The Table: Hawai'i and Florida are happily surprised by how much they have in common, with similar grievances with tourists and ineffective infrastructure, and similar climates and local foods. It also helps that they both love messing with the Government.
    • Similarly, Alaska and Maine bond over wildlife, weather, and a love of nature, to the point that grumpy and insular Alaska grudgingly offers to start talking about "... the lower 47".
    Florida: I think Alaska found his brother bear!

    Real Life 
  • C. S. Lewis recounts in Surprised By Joy when he went to visit a sick neighbor when he was a boy. He didn't even remember why, but when he was there, the other boy had a book of Norse Mythology. When Lewis exclaimed "What, you like that too?", they spent the rest of the visit poring over the book and forming a steadfast friendship.
  • Psychologists found that in an experiment where people could punish their partners for errors, if you told the people that the (invisible) partner had a thumbprint that was classified in the same group as them, they would punish this partner less. Even if the person doing the punishing was a textbook narcissist.
  • Starring together on Star Trek: The Original Series, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy became friends in no small part thanks to learning they were both Jewish (Nimoy had an Orthodox Jewish upbringing, Shatner had a Reform Jewish upbringing). Through various ups and downs, their friendship lasted almost 50 years.
  • Cops who play the "Good Cop" in interrogation will often start off "befriending" the suspect by chatting with them about sports, etc., or claiming to understand their feelings of anger towards the victim. Many suspects will inevitably slip up.
  • Similarly, this is a tactic used to survive being held hostage or taken prisoner by enemy soldiers. Enforcing your humanity to them to elicit sympathy and sharing similarities such as children you both have or even mutual interests makes it harder for them to mistreat you since they begin to connect with you on a personal level and no longer merely see you as "prisoners." Even something as simple as looking a gunman in the eye makes it more difficult for them to shoot you by evoking this.


Video Example(s):


Jalana Olsen

While Jalana Olsen was standoffish at first, she shows her softer side after learning that Jimmy is also Flamebird like her which they bond over. After Mister Mxyzptlk is dealt with, Jalana secretly teleports Clark, Lois, and Jimmy back to their universe without the other Loises noticing.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / TokenGoodTeammate

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