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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 and Opposites Attract. Supertrope of Bonding over Missing Parents. 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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    Anime & Manga 
  • Jeremy and Cass of A Cruel God Reigns. At the beginning of the series, Jeremy actively dislikes Cass because the latter is rumored to do drugs and prostitute himself. However, when Jeremy returns to Boston after the deaths of his mother and stepfather, is kicked out of his aunt's house, and begins taking drugs and selling himself, Jeremy at some point meets up with Cass and the two live and work together. They bond over their Dark and Troubled Past, Cass having admitted to Jeremy early on that he left home because his parents were abusive alcoholics and Cass being the only person aware of what Jeremy's stepfather did to him, as well as their shared statuses as Functional Addicts and teenaged prostitutes wishing for a better life.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has Major Armstrong and Sig Curtis form "a friendship forged entirely by muscle."
  • Arslan in The Heroic Legend of Arslan feels a connection to Jaswant despite being from different countries because both of them respect and want to please their adoptive parents and are uncertain with their place in the world.
  • Jigoku no Gouka de Yaka re Tsuzuketa Shonen, Flare quickly strikes up a friendship with Bella over their shared pasts as Happily Adopted orphans and their love for bread. He even says that like her, he's one of the "lucky ones" for having his dream choose him rather than having to search for a meaning or purpose.
  • In My-HiME, Natsuki stops Shizuru from killing Nao (and this is after she kills Nao's CHILD) by first standing between the two, then pointing out how she would've ended up just as bitter and broken as Nao, had it not been for Shizuru herself and the other HiMe.
  • The titular Nozaki of Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun was quite wary of Ken when they first met but warms up to him after their shared exasperation towards Maeno. When Ken proves to be a much better editor than Maeno, Nozaki all but worships him.
  • Omujo! Omutsu Joshi:
    • The series' Themed Harem is centered around the female cast wearing diapers for reasons of personal need, personal pleasure, and the personal belief it's the male lead Shouta's fetish. This last applies to Morei, who thinks what she does after witnessing Accidental Pervert moments between Shouta and Ichigo, who needs them. When Morei confesses to Ichigo that, as a result, she's been experiencing more frequent Potty Emergencies and failures, Ichigo comforts her with the fact that she's in the same boat. After that Morei, who had until then viewed Ichigo as a rival, is being much more friendly and even switching to a First-Name Basis with her.
    • Chapter 25 reveals that Shouta's sister, Shouko, has developed a bedwetting problem. This leads to an initial meeting with Ichigo. Precisely because Shouko realizes Ichigo has similar issues, Shouko confides in Ichigo and asks for her help with the matter.
  • The Reverie Arc of One Piece brings a lot of Luffy's friends together, like Vivi, Dalton, Coby, Shirahoshi, and Rebecca. Naturally, several of them end up bonding over their shared friend.
  • Phantom Seer: Both Iori and Riku have specific ideas of what life they want to live that are at odds with their abilities. Iori wants to be a normal high schooler, but his strong shamanic powers and shaman family have roped him into fighting Phantoms. Riku wants to help people like her police officer father and nurse mother, but her ability as a “Beckoning Hand” draws Phantoms to her, making it likely that she’ll endanger the very people she’s trying to help.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Towards the end of Battle City, Ishizu tries to convince Kaiba to give Yugi a card that will help him defeat Marik and save the world, but Kaiba repeatedly brushes her off and mocks her. He only changes his mind when he realizes that Ishizu entered Battle City to protect her brother Marik, and is willing to allow herself to die if her brother can't be saved. This reminds him of the time during Duelist Kingdom where he gambled with his own life in order to save Mokuba, and it convinces him to give Yugi the card he needs to win.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War: Kaguya was incredibly wary of Moeha for a long time (with good reason), but the two of them end up bonding very quickly when she discovers that both of them have a crush on Shirogane.
    The joy that comes from sharing things you like about your first love is a miracle that eclipses all contempt for one's rival in love.
  • Katarina from My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom! ends up befriending both Mary and Sophia when she discovers that they share her interests (gardening for the former and reading romance novels for the latter).

    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 
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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.

    Fan Works 
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Izuku and Sero quickly strike up a friendship over their shared desire to attend U.A. and usage of Building Swinging to get around when they meet on Bepsi Tower.
  • The Bridge has this happen all the time, often between the two casts.
    • Princess Luna and Godzilla Junior are both dutiful protectors of their respective realms and had a sad ending to their relationship with their father figures. note 
    • Both Aria Blaze and Monster X are homesick in a way. Aria is physically barred from her home in the sea due to being in the Equestria Girls world and in a human body. X meanwhile is missing his metaphorical home because he lost all his memories of it.
  • build your wings on the way down: Edward and Gabby bond when they talk about being disturbed by the quiet of their rooms after growing up with a family.
  • Children of Remnant: All over the place at the girls' night.
    • Emerald quickly connects with Velvet and Coco upon realizing that girls dating girls is allowed, which allowed herself to realize that she was a lesbian. Upon realizing this, Velvet and Coco hug and comfort her as the realization sets in.
    • Weiss and Ruby quickly become close when Weiss begins admiring Crescent Rose, followed up when Ruby offers her cookies that she snuck into the party.
    • Yang and Pyrrha begin to break the ice between them when Yang realizes Pyrrha's feelings for Jaune and offers her advice on the situation, alongside asking Pyrrha for similar advice regarding Blake.
    • After the party, Blake begins to become friends with Ren over their similar personalities and music tastes.
  • Dirty Sympathy: Klavier and Apollo become drawn to each other when they reveal that they're both abuse victims in situations they can't escape from.
  • Fantasy of Utter Ridiculousness: This is what helps Reisen, who normally doesn't like humans, form a friendship with Kiva: both of them were soldiers with their respective factions that weren't serving at present, both of them daily had to put up with the whimsical actions of their associates, and they both had to adjust to entirely new circumstances.
  • In From Muddy Waters, Todoroki takes an interest in Izuku after seeing his discomfort with his Quirk despite his clear skill with it. He began wondering if Izuku was like him: a Laser-Guided Tyke-Bomb raised by his Vicariously Ambitious father. Because of this, he begins trying to get closer to Izuku, sitting with him at lunch, offering him a seat on the bus, and working with him in a group. Izuku is utterly ashamed when he realizes this, as his father never beat him- only emotionally manipulated into accepting more and more Quirks. During their fight at the Sports Festival, Izuku firmly tells Todoroki to not let his father's ambitions control him. Unlike in canon, Todoroki is so shaken by this that he forfeits the match instead of using his fire powers.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità: Italy and Japan have this. Despite having vastly different personalities, they both liked literature, anime, manga, fencing, food, and cats. They both even cosplayed as Light Yagami and Teru Mikami respectively from Death Note. To say Germany wasn't pleased with this would be a massive understatement.
  • Lost to Dust: Weiss Schnee and Oda Nobunaga have a bonding moment when they learn they are both looked down upon by their families, and that they both have bratty Non-Action Guy little brothers.
  • The Many Dates of Danny Fenton: Danny Fenton discovers that he has some traits in common with (most of) his dates.
    • He is a teen hero that also has to juggle school and family life, like Kim, Alex, Gwen, Kara, Jenny, Violet, April,Lita/Makoto and Barbara.
    • He has superpowers which he uses to protect others, just like Gwen, Kara, Kitty, Violet and Starfire.
    • He has a secret double life, like Alex, Musa, Cleo, Felicia, Kara, Barbara and Diana.
    • He is connected to the paranormal world, just like Phanty, Spectra, Cleo, Musa and Sabrina.
    • He is half ghost, while Spectra and Phantasma are full ghosts.
    • He and Daria are both Deadpan Snarkers, with little tolerance for jerks.
    • He has expressed a desire to live a normal life, just as Debbie did.
  • Supergirl (2015) fanfic my youth is yours: In addition to their love of engineering, Lena and Winn bond over being from supervillain families. Lena is of course the White Sheep of the infamous Luthor family, while Winn is the son of the Toyman, a serial killer who used toys to kill people.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Izuku meets Momo Yaoyorozu early in the story, and after helping her retrieve her cellphone from a sewer, the two quickly become friends over their shared dream of being Pro Heroes and admiration for Princess Shazam.
  • In Danny Phantom fanfic Resurrected Memories: How Sam and Ember/Amberline end up becoming friends, along with the former’s willingness to help the latter defeat Paulina in the prom bet. Both girls are fans of dark clothing, the band Kiss and share a mutual hatred towards Paulina and the A-Listers, which help cement a genuine friendship between the two girls.
  • RWBY: Epic of Remnant: EMIYA Alter befriends Ruby Rose due to their mutual love of weapons, especially guns.
  • In Time Fixers: Nicktoons of the Future, Darry Fenton and Maxwell Neutron are always fighting and arguing until they are captured by SpongeCog, and when trying to escape, they bond over the discovery that they both suffer from an Inferiority Superiority Complex due to the pressure they feel about having to live up to their fathers' legacy.
  • Turnabout Storm: Princess Celestia acknowledges that Twilight and Phoenix will get along very well the moment Twilight starts talking about "contradictions" much in the same way Phoenix does. Indeed, after some bumps in the road, they end up considering each other a friend.
  • In to rest in crypts and wake in gardens (book 8 of You Can Only Use Your Own), Frisk initially distrusts Chara, but they end up bonding over their troubled pasts after Chara shows Frisk their Self-Harm scars.
  • Pokémon: A Marvelous Journey: Julia Parisa and Merlin Knowles become friends over the fact that they’re both autistic.
  • In the Star Trek fic "To the Journey", after Voyager returns to Earth, Seven of Nine approaches Tasha Yar for insight on having a relationship with an artificial life-form, based on Tasha's successful marriage to Data and Seven contemplating a relationship with the Doctor.
  • Cassandra and the Inquisitor are able to eventually become friends in Beyond Heroes: Of Sunshine and Red Lyrium in part because of this trope. They have something particularly unpleasant in common; they both know what it's like to lose their brothers.
  • In the Danganronpa/Danganronpa Another crossover A Student Out of Time, Iroha and Jataro end up bonding over their mutual love of art, and eventually their mutually abusive upbringings. After hearing about how much his mother despised him, she decides to become his big sister, promising to let him know how much he's loved.
  • these ruined hands of mine (they seek out you, always you) has the concept of baschna from Tatooine's slave culture. When someone calls another one baschna, it means both have suffered and understand each other's pain. Shmi Skywalker explains that to Feral to let him understand why her son Anakin designated him such after learning he was born a slave on Dathomir.
  • In PRT Threat Assessment, Batman invokes the trope. Celestia (a stranger to the group) is having a Heroic BSoD, so he tells Wonder Woman to go comfort her. Why Wonder Woman specifically?
"Because you and she are both millennium-old Greek-themed princesses with penchants for golden jewellery. Plenty of common ground."
  • In Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail, the Red Lotus Trio (Chloe, Atticus and Lexi) end up bonding cause they have similar connections.
    • They're all into stories. Atticus recites tales from his kingdom and reads classic novels, Chloe has a knack for writing macabre tales and Lexi himself is a book that records the accounts of cars within the train.
    • They're all excited to explore the train for different reasons: Atticus wants another adventure, Chloe is journeying to find herself, and Lexi wants to explore the other cars and hopefully have a chance to get revenge on Grace and Simon (who buried him alive for years)
    • The three are unable to forgive someone in their pasts: Chloe can't forgive her father or Goh for favoring Pokémon over her, Atticus will not let Amelia go so easily for the torment she unleashed as the Conductor, and Lexi wants nothing more than to hurt Grace and Simon.
  • Aunt Salem: Weiss discovers Blake's identity long before Blake intended to reveal it, and commiserates on them both being from prominent families and dedicating their lives to organizations that turned out to be worse than what they expected.
  • J-WITCH Season 1: In "The Underwater Mines", Jade and Caleb bond over their similar headstrong attitudes and senses of loyalty.
  • Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger: During the Beacon Dance, Jaune and Weiss bond over having Parental Issues and rebelling against their parents. Jaune's parents were extremely overbearing and overprotective, while Weiss's father was distant and emotionally abusive. This led both to strike out on their own and come to Beacon.
    Jaune: [raises glass] To crazy parents?
    Weiss: [toasts] To striking out on our own.

    Films — Animation 
  • 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!
  • 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.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Eagle Vs Shark: Lily has a crush on Jarrod because he shares an almost identical mole on his upper lip with her. After they become a couple, Lily comments on it, and Jarrod is unaware that he even has a mole on his lip.
  • The Lobster exaggerates the trope for satire. Residents of the hotel, who are required to find a mate, each announce their "distinguishing characteristic," such as wearing glasses or getting nosebleeds, with the intention of fostering a connection with someone else who shares this trait. Several of the relationships we see are built exclusively around this shared trait. To be with a woman who gets nosebleeds, John repeatedly hit himself in the nose to maintain the charade of sharing her trait.
  • Star Trek: Generations: On Star Trek: The Next Generation, Capt. Picard has been shown to be passionate about horseback riding. So, Picard finally convinces Capt. Kirk to help him while they're riding together through the Nexus. This scene was actually William Shatner's idea, since he's an avid rider himself, even teaching Patrick Stewart some tricks during filming.
  • The Sting. While the con men are planning to pull a scam on Doyle Lonnegan, J.J. Singleton mentions that Lonnegan came from a place called Five Points. Later on, when Lonnegan asks Hooker where he's from, he says that he came from Five Points in the hope that it will cause Lonnegan to trust him.
  • X2: X-Men United: Bobby Drake and Logan have a little chat about their inability to be close to the woman they have strong feelings for.
  • In Run Wild, Run Free, the Colonel suspects that Philip's attachment to the horse might be because they're both different from the others - the horse because of his albinism, Philip because of his muteness.
  • In White Frog, part of the reason why Nick's dead older brother Chaz was so protective of him is that neither one matched their parents' ideal of the perfect son - Nick has Asperger's syndrome, while Chaz was gay and in a relationship with his best friend Randy.
  • In Henry & Verlin, a mute child forms a close bond with his simple-minded uncle. It's implied that Verlin inherited Henry's disability or a very similar one.
  • In Molly (1999), Sam, who has a learning disability, is "kind of on the same wavelength" as Molly, who is autistic and intellectually impaired. Sam is pretty much the only person who's able to form a genuine human connection with her before her brain surgery.
  • Fielder's Choice: Advertising executive Philip has more in common with his autistic nephew Zach than he cares to admit, most notably their shared passion and talent for art.
  • Keep the Change (2017): After spending most of the movie trying to distance himself from the "weirdos" in the autism support group, David realizes that he loves Sarah because she's weird, like him.
  • In ...And Your Name Is Jonah, Jenny and Connie bond over the fact that they both have deaf children - their sons Jonah and Tommy attend the same speech therapy class.
  • Franny from Under the Piano was born with a paralyzed arm, and Rosetta is autistic. The sisters' disabilities help them bond.

  • P. G. Wodehouse:
    • In Uneasy Money, Elizabeth is reconciled to Bill as a house guest when he turns out to know how to handle bees, and is positively interested when he explains how he, like she, wants to live the Arcadian life.
    • In Hot Water, Packy sets out to help Jane and Blair Eggleston out of fellow feeling another pair of lovers.
    • This is how Mike and Psmith fall in with each other (both violently dislike the Boarding School to which they have been transferred).
    • In Something Fresh, Ashe and Joan bond over the fact that they're both reluctant magazine hack writers, and—in the American edition, Something New—both displaced Americans living in London.
  • In John C. Wright's The Phoenix Ascendent, Phaethon is arguing with Atkins when he realizes that Atkins calls his ship "she." (Earlier, Phaethon had rejected an offer to avoid exile when he told a man calling it "it" that ships are called "she.")
  • In C. S. Lewis's The Four Loves, this is how friendship arises.
    Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one."
  • In Anne McCaffrey's Dragonsinger, when Menolly is caught in a fight during a fair, another girl, jumping to join her side, calls for a boy to join in because Menolly comes from a sea hold. It works. Robinton rebukes him because his father had sent him to be fostered where he was to broaden his mind.
  • The short stories in Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution are full of this. It’s blatantly obvious that several characters would never have hung out with each other if not for the whole “esper on the run from the government” thing.
  • In Andre Norton's Dragon Magic, four boys each find a jigsaw puzzle, make one corner — and so one dragon — of it, and get shifted to an ancient era to experience something related to it. This, and their attempts to research the facts, draw them together at the end.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero Regained, when Caliban says that he always knew that Miranda was an angel, Theo says he did, too, and they shared a brotherly smile.
    • In Prospero Lost, Miranda had told the winds that she had to defend her people too when leading in to the offer to free them only if they could work out how to protect mankind from the winds.
  • In Terry Pratchett's Discworld:
    • In the short story "Troll Bridge", Cohen the Barbarian goes to fight a troll. They end up grumbling about Young People Today together instead.
    • Angua, Cherie, and Sally, despite being a werewolf, a dwarf, and a vampire and the complicated history between those races, find enough in being all women to bond over. They even connect with Tawneee on the same grounds in Thud!
  • In Terry Pratchett's Only You Can Save Mankind, Johnny manages to convince Kirsty to help the Captain when he refers to her by a female pronoun. Kirsty immediately assumes that it was sexism that turned her crew against her, and Johnny keeps his mouth shut about the Scree-Wee society actually being matriarchial. Johnny also has the habit of imagining them as human-like and so, because his imagination can change the game world, a tea cart comes around every afternoon for a snack.
  • In Rudyard Kipling's "A Matter of Fact", the main characters are all journalists together.
    we were all at home instantly, because we were men of the same profession needing no introduction
  • This - and possibly a Precocious Crush - is what drives Tash Arranda in Galaxy of Fear to like and trust Luke Skywalker from the moment she meets him. They're both Force-Sensitive. What's more, Luke is the first other Sensitive Tash has ever met, and the first to be kind and encourage her strange talents rather than just dismissing her as a Creepy Child.
    He winked at Tash, and she felt the Force flow between them, just as she had during their first meeting. It was a warm, electric tingle, as though she were on one end of a wire with Luke at the other. Together, they made a connection.
  • In Sarah A. Hoyt's Draw One in the Dark, Tom knows he can't leave Kyrie to fight alone, because she helped him, and because they are both shifters.
  • In Sarah A. Hoyt's Darkship Thieves, Athena and Kit bond when she assures him of her having to deal with Obstructive Bureaucrats and finding it no fun at all.
  • In Barbara Robinson's The Best School Year Ever, the narrator deduces that perhaps Imogene looked out for little Howard and made sure no one took his blanket away because someone had taken her blanket, just like his, away when she was little.
  • In John C. Wright's The Hermetic Millennia, Illiance calls on Menelaus to help him because of the brotherhood of scholars. Later, Menelaus calls on Illiance to help him with his own scholarly work.
  • In Seanan McGuire's October Daye novel An Artificial Night, Toby sees May and Tybalt together, and May assures her they have much in common. Tybalt adds that a common urge to hit her over the head until she stops doing stupid things leads the list.
  • In Jennifer Crusie's Maybe This Time, when Southie meets Alice and asks her what's new, Alice says she likes nuts now. Southie, eager to bond, assures her he does, too.
  • In Andre Norton's Dread Companion, Kilda's mentor at the creche became so because they both desired to do things they couldn't.
  • In Andre Norton's Catseye, Rerne tells Troy that a rider of Norden is always welcome at the Rangers' hearth. Troy denies; he's just a refugee now.
  • In Andre Norton's The Zero Stone, Eet tells Jern that it's not just for convenience that he hooked onto him, but also because they have much in common.
  • In Rebecca Lickiss's Eccentric Circles, Africa, Piper's blue-eyed blond cousin, and Sherlock, her black husband actually got to Meet Cute over this. He invoked trope on their anti-Meaningful Names, explaining that "Sherlock" means "the blond one."
  • In Ruth Frances Long's The Treachery of Beautiful Things, when appealing for a Cool Sword to save Jenny, Jack tells Wayland about her. Wayland comments that she sounds like his wife.
  • In Victoria Forester's The Girl Who Could Fly, Piper and Sally Sue at once, because their favorite ice cream flavor is strawberry.
  • Julie Kagawa's The Iron Fey: In The Iron King, Angie drives Meghan home. She talks about how they understand each other with the abuse they both get.
  • In Laura Amy Schlitz's Splendors And Glooms, when Parsefall bluntly states that he thinks death masks are gruesome, Clara, whose home is engulfed with such reminds of her dead brothers and sisters, feels a connection.
  • In Sarah A. Hoyt's Darkship Renegades, one reason for Thena's feeling hostile to Zen is that she has been widowed — as Kit had been, giving them a connection.
  • In L. Jagi Lamplighter's The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin, Rachel and Gaius were both admitted a year younger than normal to the school — a connection despite his being several years her elder.
  • In Allegiant, Christina and Uriah become very close because both of them lost someone important to them.
  • Harry Potter
    • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix several students who lost family members to Death Eaters in the first war start getting unwanted attention after the Azkaban breakout and find they sympathize with Harry when they realize how unpleasant it is. When Susan Bones involuntarily becomes the target of gossip in The Order of the Phoenix after the Death Eater who murdered several members of her family is one of the escapees, she thinks she knows a little of what it's like to be Harry Potter — and she doesn't know how he stands it, it's horrible.
    • Downplayed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Harry notices that Regulus Black also played Seeker.
      “He played Seeker,” said Harry.
      “What?” said Hermione vaguely; she was still immersed in Voldemort’s press clippings.
      “He’s sitting in the middle of the front row, that’s where the Seeker … Never mind,” said Harry, realizing that nobody was listening.
    • In the same book, he realizes the connections between him and two men he despises.
      Hogwarts was the first and best home he had known. He and Voldemort and Snape, the abandoned boys, had all found home here....
  • In The Hunger Games, Katniss and Johanna eventually somehow manage to bond over how much they hate each other.
  • In one Star Trek: Voyager novel, Tuvok mind-melds with a Romulan scientist; the narration describes how he automatically seeks out similarities between them (they're both family men, for example) to ease the shock of the experience.
  • In Touch (2017), James and Caspar have their first fight when the former believes that the latter only befriended him out of pity. James lets the issue go when Caspar starts crying, which reveals that he's wearing makeup to hide the signs of his Abusive Parents. James wears makeup to hide the Mark of Purity that he got from his own Traumatic Superpower Awakening.
  • Xandri Corelel: During her time as an attoaong, Xandri successfully pairs the chatty messenger Kirchak with the withdrawn engineer Prrchik because she recognizes their shared curiosity and longing for adventure. Xandri herself feels a connection with Kirchak, even though they're almost polar opposites, because they're both considered so atypical for their species.
  • In A Boy Made of Blocks, Alex's autistic son Sam gets along well with Sid, who Alex realizes is also autistic.
  • Accidental Detectives: Joel befriends paraplegic former fighter pilot Mad Eddie due to his fondness for kite flying, with Eddie understanding what it's like to want to fly.
  • Andersonville: Coral Tebbs ends up befriending Nat Stricker, an escaped Union prisoner, largely because they're both war amputees.
  • In Love Anthony, Beth used to think she and her husband Jimmy were soulmates because they had so much in common. They were both the only children of single parents, and they both had a fierce determination to do something they loved for a living.
  • Georg from Shtum sees every word as a lie. To him, the truest language is the language of the heart, which he shares with both his best friend Maurice, who didn't speak his language when they first met, and his autistic grandson Jonah, who can't speak at all and doesn't even like using picture cards.
  • In I Think I Love You, Petra and Sharon's friendship forms based on their shared obsession with David Cassidy.
  • In Wicked Good, Rory and Trish connect because they're both isolated and unhappy, Rory because of his autism and bipolar disorder and Trish because of her family's abuse.
  • Lois from Experimental Film feels a connection with her former student, Safie Hewsen, because they both suffered from vivid nightmares of terrifying angels as children.
  • Addie from A Kind of Spark is close to her older sister Keedie because they're both autistic.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Bones, Sweets and Daisy are in a Friends with Benefits situation but Sweets doesn't want casual sex; he insists that if they're going to be together they should be together. But they can't find anything to bond over: She likes Indian food, he only went there because she likes it. She loves dogs, he's allergic. They finally find a commonality: they both have issues with the final season of Saved by the Bell.
  • The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance: Rian bonds with Brea over their troubled relationship with their parents who have both died, during Brea's mother's funeral.
  • In Dinosaurs, Earl was initially hostile to a family of mammals staying with them at the time. But he and the mammal father quickly bond over how annoying their kids can be at times.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The First Doctor gets off on the wrong foot with his companions, to say the least. After enduring a "The Reason You Suck" Speech too many and nearly getting the crew all killed due to the paranoia his meanness was causing, the sign he is prepared to reconcile with his main enemy, Ian, is through a short discussion with him in which they express mutual appreciation for Victorian clothing.
    • "The Ghost Monument": Graham O'Brien has a moment of sympathy with alien race contestant Angstrom over the fact that they both lost their wives to the Stenza, a race of conquering aliens.
  • Friends:
    • An early scene has Monica and Chandler joking about their Hilariously Abusive Childhood.
      Monica: Chandler you were an only child, so you didn't have this problem?
      Chandler: No, though I had an imaginary friend... who my parents actually preferred. (Monica laughs and hugs him)
    • Parodied when Phoebe meets her birth mom. Initially hostile, Phoebe bonds with her when she learns they have so much in common: they both like pizza and The Beatles and think puppies are cute...
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Sansa starts to form this with Loras in "The Climb", as they are both extremely depressed after losing a loved one (Ned for Sansa and Renly for Loras), plus they find life in King's Landing intolerable.
    • Sansa begins to bond with Tyrion over their outcast status. Then she learns of the Red Wedding.
    • How Davos persuades Lyanna, as both know what it is to suddenly be in charge of a position they never expected to have.
    • Daenerys with Tyrion, as they discuss their abusive fathers and terrible childhoods.
  • In Here Come the Brides, Jeremy bonds with his Love Interest Candy over the fact that he stutters and she bites her nails.
  • "Jack Frost" from season eight of Mystery Science Theater 3000 has Professor Bobo and Brain Guy get along after discovering something they have in common: their hatred for Pearl.
  • This gets is played with in an episode of NCIS. Gibbs is trying to prove that a Medal of Honor recipient did not murder another soldier during the battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. However, the man's memory is failing and he no longer remembers what actually happened. All the other soldiers from the unit are dead so a desperate Gibbs brings in a Japanese war veteran who fought on the opposite side of the battle. Despite the fact that 60 years ago they were mortal enemies, their common connection is just what is needed to help the man remember how his buddy really died. This is then subverted when we find out that the Japanese man was never on Iwo Jima and is just a chef at a restaurant Gibbs eats at. Then it gets double subverted when he reveals that he actually fought on Guadalcanal where the American also served during the war and was injured.
  • Eliza attempts to invoke this twice on Selfie:
    • In "Un-Tag My Heart", she expresses how much she has in common with her neighbor Bryn when they obviously don't. Eliza tries to form an interest in Bryn's book club, (and avoid just thinking about sex with her current partner), but it doesn't work out when another member of the group points out Eliza's bookmark is eight pages in.
    • Eliza also does this in "With a Little Yelp From My Friends", by stalking co-worker Joan's reviews (after failing to find anything about her on things like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) of places online. Eliza parrots Joan's reviews, buys her her favorite pizza but blows it by revealing too much — that Joan's husband was allergic to garlic, which Joan never told her.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Attempted in the episode "Lower Decks." Ensign Sam Lavelle tries to ingratiate himself with Riker in order to secure a promotion. Ben (the 10-Forward waiter, a lower deck version of Guinan) suggests that Sam find something in common with Riker and mentions that Riker is Canadian. Sam's grandfather was Canadian, so he tries to use that. Turns out, Riker is Alaskan.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise: One of the first signs of Shran and Archer's rivalry turning into a genuine friendship occurs in "Babel One", when they bond over learning that both their ships, the Kumari and the Enterprise were named for a long string of famous vessels from the respective homeworlds.
  • Star Trek: Picard:
    • In "Maps and Legends", Picard and Jurati are both fond of Earl Grey tea.
      Picard: Your preference? We have a selection.
      Jurati: Earl Grey?
      Picard: (smiling) I knew there was something about you.
    • In "Stardust City Rag", it's not revealed to what extent Picard and Seven of Nine know each other otherwise (Raffi doesn't recall them having met before), but they have a familiar demeanour due to their time in the Borg Collective Hive Mind.
    • Elnor and Hugh are strangers, but they develop an instant affinity for each other in "Nepenthe" because they're both Good Is Not Soft Nice Guys who dedicate themselves to helping the helpless. This is confirmed by Jonathan Del Arco in this interview, and he even portrayed Hugh as being in love with Elnor because of the selfless qualities they share in common.
      Del Arco: I think there were a lot of things about Elnor that for me resonated as a gay man. You know, I think [Hugh] loved [Elnor]. I think in essence he might've been in love with him in the time that he was there. I think that the hope was really someone loves him. Someone who was idealistic. I think he saw a lot of himself in Elnor. Hugh used to have that sense of innocence, of righteousness. And all those things were hopeful to him, because he hadn't been in a space of hope for all this time. And I think for a minute he thought, 'You know, I think me and the kid can go all the way with this. We could take the cube. We could save it.'
    • In "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", Rios and Seven of Nine bond over the broken promises they've made to themselves, and they're both hardened, pessimistic Anti Heroes.
  • In the episode "Something Wicked" (S01, Ep18) of Supernatural, Dean bonds with Michael, recognizing his need to protect his brother based on Dean having almost failed to protect Sam from the same creature when he was Michael's age.
  • Waco: Despite Thibodeau's mother resenting Koresh's mother for the situation that the former's son is in, the two of them connect over being clueless teen mothers and wait out the tail end of the siege together.
  • You (2018): Joe and Beck both love literature. Since he's a Yandere he attempts to invoke this trope in other ways, in his stalking of Beck and showing up in places she likes.

  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • Advance Wars:
    • The Perky Gothic Evil Genius Lash and The Strategic Teen Genius Sonja form a connection over their similarly analytical and manipulative minds. Lash is enthused while Sonja is not happy about the idea (Though Sonja warms to her in the final mission), but they never-the-less work well enough together to get a modest 105% power boost when paired together.
      Lash: Tee hee hee! Hey, Sonja! Your last mission is with me! Man, total drag for you, huh?
      Sonja: Is that what you think? I beg to differ. I may not care for your personality, but your battle skills are unmatched!
    • Adder and Koal, despite never actually meeting in canon, get this in the non-canon War Room and Vs Modes if paired together to poke fun at Koal effectively being a Moveset Clone of Adder with a few very minor changes. They get a decent 110% power boost and, if their victory quotes are to be believed, have a serious bromance going on due to their almost identical personalities:
      Adder: Heh heh heh... What a pair we make!
      Koal: Heh heh heh... Like water and fish.
  • In a conversation in Baldur's Gate II Enhanced Edition, Gorian's Ward and Neera have the option to bond over how out of place they feel in the huge city of Athkatla. Neera grew up in the High Forest and Gorian's Ward grew up in the isolated library/fortress of Candlekeep, so they both realize that neither of them really had much experience with any of the traits of city life.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, the Warden and Alistair have this to bring them together because, as of the end of the prologue, they are the only two Grey Wardens left in all of Ferelden. They may have other things in common, depending on which background the player chose and how they elect to play the character, but no matter what they always have this to bond them.
    • Dorian and Solas, in Dragon Age: Inquisition, aren't exactly best buddy material; however, they are able to find this through their mutual interest in ancient magical techniques and artifacts.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The relationship between Cloud and Yuffie in Final Fantasy VII isn't exactly antipathic but it's not very good either. But, after Cloud has recovered from Heroic BSoD and gets his memories back in order, there are a few optional scenes between the two of them in which they bond over their mutual problems with motion sickness.
    • In Final Fantasy Tactics, Balbanes Beoulve was fond of teaching his children how to turn a piece of grass into a reed flute, and those children taught it to their friends in order to kill time when they were bored. After the Lion War is in full swing and nobody can trust anybody, you'd be surprised who you find playing a piece of grass like a flute...
  • In Mass Effect, a discussion with Ashley reveals that she and Shepard had the same drill instructor, one Gunny Ellison, during basic training. This comes up after Ashley says a word Shepard recognizes.
    Shepard: Don’t tell me you had Gunny Ellison! He’s the only one who uses that word to describe shirking duty.
    Ashley: Oh Lord. You went to the Macapá boot camp too?
  • In Legends of Runeterra, the CCG spin-off of League of Legends, arch-enemies Darius and Garen are able to find one thing they have in common if they're both played on the same side. It's hilarious(ly awkward).
    Darius: I, uh... like your pauldrons.
    Garen: Yours are... also acceptable.

    Visual Novels 
  • 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 


    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!

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Zuko bonds with an Earth Kingdom girl when he discovers that she too has a terrible burn (though hers is on her leg). Later, he's also able to bond with Katara over the fact that they both lost their mothers to the Fire Nation, to the point where Katara is even willing to try and heal his scar. Of course, he betrays her about twenty minutes later, so it takes a lot to properly earn her trust when he goes through with the Heel–Face Turn.
  • In Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, "The Mother Of All Vreedles", Ben attempts to do this with Ma Vreedle, but it falls flat.
    Ben: Wait! I'm a mother too. So I know what you're going through.
    Ma Vreedle: Where are the kids now?
    Ben: Out in deep space somewhere. Maybe this wasn't the best example.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "Dipper vs. Manliness," Dipper has to prove himself by killing the Multi-Bear. However, he can't go through with it once he realizes the Beary Friendly (if still dangerous) creature loves the same girly, Guilty Pleasure pop song that Dipper listened to earlier in the episode.
  • In Kim Possible's Christmas Episode, Ron and Dr. Drakken get stranded at the North Pole (and no, Santa's workshop is nowhere in sight). They continue to fight each other, but after learning that they both love the same TV Christmas special (and are dismayed by its cancellation) they apply its Power of Frienship Aesop to their own situation and make peace.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The episode "Maud Pie" focuses on the rest of the mane cast having difficulty getting along with Pinkie Pie's Emotionless Girl sister, Maud. They find their Commonality Connection in their mutual love for Pinkie after they see Maud leap headlong into danger to save Pinkie's life.
    • Though they initially despise one another and ultimately refuse to become outright Villainous Friends, Queen Chrysalis, Lord Tirek, and Cozy Glow at least become somewhat fond of each other after bonding over their mutual hatred of Twilight Sparkle and her friends.
  • In Scary Godmother, Hannah stops being scared of Bug-a-Boo because they both like pizza with olives.
  • In The Simpsons when Ralph Wiggum develops a crush on Lisa, he tries to get a conversation about mutual interests going. "So, do you like...stuff?"
    • Played for Laughs in "Lemon of Troy," which involves the rivalry between Springfield and neighboring Shelbyville. Everyone in Shelbyville seems to be an Expy of a Springfield resident, and Milhouse's counterpart is also named Milhouse. The pair are so shocked to find someone with the same geeky name that they wind up crying in each other's arms.
  • In the South Park episode "Chef Goes Nanners," Cartman and Wendy have to work together on a school assignment. Though he's initially lazy and she's irritated in him, they wind up bonding over the fact that they eat their Oreos the same way. The episode ends with Status Quo Is God, though, thanks to Wendy kissing Cartman to end the UST and they actually get more antagonistic to each other in later seasons.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Boating Buddies", Squidward explains to Mrs. Puff that the reason he's taking boating school is that he was trying to avoid SpongeBob, and refers to him as the bane of his existence. Mrs. Puff, who also has a history of having to put up with SpongeBob, responds with "Yours too?"
  • Squirrel Boy: In an attempt to play along Kyle's revenge scheme, Salty Mike pretends to be friendly with Andrew. It becomes legit when the parrot realizes that Andrew collects rocks that look like Snack food, a hobby he also shares. Rodney and Kyle aren't happy about this, but given the nature of the show, their friendship ends to keep the Status Quo in check.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks: In "Moist Vessel", after Lieutenant O'Connor admits that he's a jerk for pretending to be someone he's not just so that others would think he was unique and interesting, Ensign Tendi instantly latches on to the trait that they share in common.
    Tendi: We're both jerks! We wanted to be liked and lied about it. I think that means we're best friends!

    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.


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