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Companion Cube

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"The Enrichment Center is required to remind you that the Weighted Companion Cube will never threaten to stab you and, in fact, cannot speak.... In the event that the Companion Cube does speak, the Enrichment Center urges you to disregard its advice."
GLaDOS, Portal

Take an otherwise uninteresting object, and have the other characters (or at least one character) interact with it as if it is a real character, and you have a Companion Cube. Sometimes, the object blurs the line between real and imaginary by apparently doing things which would be hard for an inanimate object to do or telling people things they shouldn't have been able to already know, but the defining characteristic is that we the audience never, ever see it move of its own volition on camera, even if it clearly must've done something.

For some reason, Companion Cubes tend to become very popular with the audience. Maybe because the idea of having an inanimate object being a character is funny. Or maybe because it's easy to project the best traits you can think of onto the object. Or because you can make yourself a replica at home...

Dolls and stuffed animals, especially teddy bears, are common examples, probably because they're humanoid, friendly looking, and meant to be bonded with. Typically the owner will treat it as their Confidant. Security Blankets are also common in this regard. This can be used to reinforce a character's childlike innocence (if they're meant to be sympathetic) or make them look dangerously immature (if otherwise). Beware if they start Consulting Mister Puppet!

If a character gives a weapon this treatment, expect it to have a name.

This can go wrong in fandom. Horribly, horribly wrong.

As a frightening and interesting aside, it has been demonstrated in US Army experiments that people kept in isolation have a tendency to form attachments to inanimate objects (this is why this tends to show up in Speculative Fiction a lot, where the crew personifies their starships and other objects). Sweet dreams!

If an inanimate object does move onscreen, it slides from this trope to Through the Eyes of Madness or Magic Realism in general. (Unless it's designed to move independently, like a Roomba or something.)

The opposite is Living Toys. Also contrast Enmity with an Object (aka "Cargo Nemesis"). If an animal or a robot interacts with an object in a romantic way, that's Animal Sweet on Object. A subtrope of this is Companion Food, when the object in question is food.


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  • One IKEA commercial by Spike Jonze makes fun of the phenomenon by using camera angles and editing to make it appear like a lamp is being cruelly abandoned. Appropriately, the trope is lampshaded when a spokesman chastises the audience for feeling sorry for an inanimate object.
  • GEICO's "money you saved from using GEICO", which is a stack of money with eyes. They have been known to do things off camera like texting.
  • One commercial for the Seattle Mariners baseball team showed designated hitter Edgar Martinez treating his bat this way, hanging out with it in the park, taking it for car rides (buckling it into the passenger seat), and even bringing it to a massage parlor. Unfortunately, tragedy struck when the bat broke. Fortunately, he found another bat that he liked just as much.

    Asian Animation 
  • A literal version happens in Season 3 of Happy Heroes when Kalo takes on the form of a Rubix Cube to replace the one belonging to Careful S., after events he was directly involved in led to it breaking.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Wonky owns a little wooden doll he used to play with and talk to as a kid. This doll was the closest thing he had to a friend as a kid, as all the other wolves perceived him as a bully and ran away whenever he appeared... that is, until Wolffy saw the doll with its head broken from Wonky accidentally dropping it and decided to fix it.

    Comic Books 
  • Cheeks, The Toy Wonder, Ambush Bug's trusty young ward is... a stuffed animal. Even when turned into an OMAC, all he does is sit there. This is made especially clear when he's cast in the role of "Sgt. Cheeks, Frontline Medic". Yeah, that was a dark time for everyone involved.
  • Batman:
    • The Ventriloquist, a.k.a. Arnold Wesker is a villain whose multiple personality disorder led him to carry around an aggressive mafia-esque dummy named Scarface — which became the dominant personality of the duo, abusing Wesker and ordering him around. This made Wesker a rather tragic villain, because his core personality is mild-mannered and doesn't like what Scarface is doing or the abuse Scarface heaps on him, but cannot seem to break with the idea that he and Scarface are separate individuals. In one instance, Wesker actually shoots Scarface while the dummy is still on his hand, then proceeds to not notice that his hand is bleeding. At one point, when the Scarface doll is destroyed, Wesker uses a sock puppet that he called Socko in his therapy. Socko is a lot nicer.

      The second Ventriloquist is much the same, except we're told why she had a mental breakdown and took over Wesker's schtick. Unless, of course, Scarface really is the combined ghosts of all the murderers hanged on the gallows he was carved from.
    • The third incarnation of Clayface is in love with Helena, a cheerful blonde... mannequin. In his first appearance there's a creepy yet humorous moment where he says that he would have gone insane if he hadn't met her. Batman seems sympathetic by the second time they met: he pulled strings so Clayface could keep Helena in his cell at Arkham. By then, though, the spark in their relationship is gone and Clayface kinda wants a divorce.
  • The Beano's strip Number 13 ran a story in which Frankie obtained a pet brick. After taking it to a vet and for a run on a lead, he demonstrates how obedient it is by telling it to "stay" and walking away. Finally, the brick is accidentally incorporated into a wall and destroys the wall by following Frankie when he calls it, further demonstrating how obedient it is.
  • Deadpool has the same one that every comic book character has: his text boxes. The differences are 1. Deadpool's are yellow and 2. Deadpool often references, and occasionally speaks to these boxes as though they were not, by default, a part of him. This has further evolved — there are now two differently colored text boxes which converse with Deadpool. And occasionally refuse to speak to him.
  • An obscure British comics hero named Dolman fought crime using remote controlled mechanical puppets. The puppets had no minds or autonomy of their own whatsoever, but Dolman would frequently use his ventriloquism skills to throw his voice and hold conversations with them, even when no-one else was present.
  • Mellow Mister Monkey from Empowered. Emp claims that he protects her from bad dreams.
  • The Incredible Hulk: In his childhood, Bruce had a stuffed doll which served as a makeshift guardian (between his abusive dad and an abusive nanny, and burgeoning D.I.D., there wasn't a lot of love in the Banner household). Years later, Bruce's mind uses an anthropomorphization of the doll as a guardian entity.
  • Shmee, the creepy teddy bear carried by perpetual victim Squee in Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. Both Johnny and Squee refer to the toy speaking to them, and the things it tells them are rather disturbing (enough to get Johnny to take a knife to the toy at one point). In the follow up comic, there is a dream sequence where Shmee reveals that he is Squee's own personal trauma sponge, possibly an analog to the thing behind Johnny's wall, but this is open for interpretation since this is All Just a Dream, Or Was It a Dream?
  • Nooby from Pocket God has a coconut with a smiley face carved onto it named Wilson. Wilson is Nooby's most loyal friend and is sometimes seen somewhere in the background.
  • Marv has his colt 45, which he names Gladys, in Sin City. When "she" first appears, Marv talks to her and we get a full backstory about the gun.
  • One of Bill Maudlin's most famous Up Front cartoons is of a cavalry sergeant about to mercy kill his mount... a jeep with a broken axle.
  • Spider-Man villain the Looter thinks that the meteor that gave him his powers is alive and can talk to him. According to Spidey, he even watches TV with it.
  • In Transmetropolitan, Spider Jerusalem briefly but memorably made use of the "wise and terrible" Chair Leg of Truth while interviewing Fred Christ (with extreme prejudice). The Chair Leg was quite a fan favorite.
  • In the Danish comic Valhalla, Thor has a tendency to treat Mjollnir as a pet rather than a weapon; this is most evident in the second album, when the hammer is stolen by Thrym, and Thor is close to panic because the hammer "isn't used to being alone." Of course, Mjollnir is a magical hammer, and on one or two occasions does display something resembling sentience (like when Thor tries to throw it at the Fenris Wolf, and the hammer turns around in mid-air and flies back to Thor rather than face the open jaws of the wolf).
  • Lucille from The Walking Dead is this for Negan. A baseball bat covered in barbed wire that Negan enjoys talking to about killing people while being turned on by the senseless death she causes. However, when Carl damages his Lucille, Negan declares war with him just to avenge her. This is justified. He named it after his deceased wife.
  • X-Statix's El Guapo is a mutant with the power to telekinetically control his skateboard. But when nobody else is around, he talks to it and it appears to move of its own volition; at one point they get into an argument and the board beats him. Whether the board is actually semi-sentient or he's a lunatic and doing it himself is never established.

    Comic Strips 
  • Beetle Bailey has an odd example: Sarge's stomach. When it's growling, Sarge often treats this as a verbal demand for food, sometimes talking to it as if it were his best buddy and sometimes arguing with it.
  • In Bloom County, Reynelda (a headless doll) serves as this for Ronald-Ann. She speaks on rare occasions, such as after Ronald-Ann's conversation with Trump!Bill and during a tea party in Outland.
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Hobbes, depending on your interpretation. Aside from Calvin, the characters treat Hobbes as inanimate (though Susie has occasionally interacted with Hobbes similar to how Calvin does). When Calvin's mom laundered Hobbes, he stumbled around a bit after coming out of the drier. The creator of the strip, Bill Watterson, has stated that he does not believe that Hobbes is either truly alive or a Companion Cube — and as there is no Word of God saying otherwise, it seems that Hobbes's Companion Cube status is entirely dependent on the reader of the comics.
    • On occasion, Susie treats Mr. Bun, who is always depicted as a stuffed rabbit, as real. And Hobbes is at one point disturbed by the fact that Mr. Bun appears to be in a coma. Susie plays with toys like a normal child — Calvin brings the nature of reality in the comic into question. (Not an exaggeration. Word of God states that there will never be an official explanation regarding Hobbes's nature.)
    • Calvin's evil bicycle has ambushed and assaulted him several times, but like with Hobbes, it's ambiguous whether it's actually alive or not.
  • In one Dilbert strip, a woman has a baby that looks like a loaf of bread, which turns out to be an actual loaf of bread.
  • Quincy from FoxTrot, despite being a live iguana, fits this trope perfectly. When Jason uses Quincy (and some old clothes) as part of a "Lone Iguana" persona, the effect is that of a guest character.
  • Garfield treats his teddy bear, Pooky, as if he were a real person.
  • Get Fuzzy's Satchel has taken time to name just about everything in the apartment, though usually Mr. Hands (his wristwatch) and Mr. Bones (chewtoy) appear most often.
  • The brick in Krazy Kat is, at times, presented as a character with a mind of its own; this is not unexpected in such a surreal series.
  • Madariaga, Enriqueta's teddy bear from Macanudo. Even Fellini, her cat, talks to him as if the toy was a sentient being.
  • Mafalda: Mafalda often makes sarcastic comments to her terrestrial globe, once even tucking it in bed and acting as if it's sick. It's a tad deeper than most examples, seeing as she talks to it as a stand in for the world. It can get quite Anvilicious sometimes, such as in the "sick" example. The poor thing has frequent sharp pains in its democracy.
  • In one storyline of My Cage, Norm, the main character, spends a week out sick, but no one notices, as his secretary places a potted plant with a face and the word "Norm" drawn on the pot at his desk instead. The plant later shows up as a member of the company's softball team.
  • Peanuts:
    • Linus's security blanket, but not exactly to Linus himself. In one week-long sequence, Lucy becomes convinced that The Blanket had sentience and was out to get her, refusing to be in the house alone with it. One strip even shows The Blanket leaping from Linus's hands to pounce on Lucy. No one else witnesses anything of the sort; as Charlie Brown comments during the riff, "I never thought she would be the first of us to crack." (Interestingly, this was the only sequence of Schulz's strips ever to be rejected by his syndicate. They have turned up in collections, but never had a newspaper "first run".)
    • Sally regularly has conversations with the school building (or at least one wall of it). Eventually, the wall begins to produce thought balloons expressing opinions and making observations on life and its philosophical approach to wall-ness, while occasionally dropping bricks on the heads of people he doesn't like. When the building collapses, Sally interprets this as the school "committing suicide."

    Fan Works 
  • Downplayed in The Egg Team with Teddy's Sonic plush that he obtains early on. He thinks it's cute, and makes it watch him practice his aim while he's recovering in the basement.
  • In Empath: The Luckiest Smurf, Grouchy, being jealous of Empath having the privilege of marrying Smurfette and enjoying intimacy with her, creates for himself a love doll named Angel that he can enjoy himself with. Nobody else except Papa Smurf knows about it, though, until the doll is somehow given life.
  • Evangelion 303: Before starting her B-1C assignment, Asuka says goodbye to her Unit 02, reassuring it that "It will be only for a little while".
  • In Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality Harry doesn't want an owl, because of his past traumatic experience with pets, namely that his Pet Rock died. It turns out that Dumbledore killed it because of a prophecy. And he could never even figure out why this was important.
  • Kyon: Big Damn Hero: Kyon has his PDA, which can learn. He calls it Skynet and talks to it more than once.
  • Naruto: The Abridged Series:
    • "The Log", Sasuke's invincible rival. In fact, the only creature who might have a shot at beating him is Clucky... who is a chicken.
    • The "One-Foot-Tall Brick Wall", which is Naruto's response to The Log, though not a bitter rival so much as an occasional cameo sidekick and a way to keep Konohamaru and his tag-along buddies out of the story as much as possible.
  • Matthew's lamp is Part Right, Half Wrong, a Third Crazy. It is predictably an Ensemble Dark Horse, and supposedly gives terrible advice. However, given Matthew's status as both The Stoner and the local Cloudcuckoolander, this may or may not be justified.
  • In Progress, Princess Luna is rather attached to an antique abacus; in one chapter, her maid Sundance claims that Luna made pajamas for it and reads it bedtime stories. It became popular for a while for writers of other fanfics, especially (but not limited to) more light-hearted ones, to depict Luna with an abacus companion.
  • A Rabbit Among Wolves: Yuma has a bizarre fixation with the vending machine located in the White Fang building, which he calls "Vendi-chan". He goes into hysterics when Cinder destroys it.
  • In Shattered Stars, Jaune has a tendency to talk to machines he's working on out loud (as opposed to his usual method of mentally talking to machines, since he's a Technopath), which he says was a habit he picked up during his childhood on the Beacon, since there weren't many other children around. This ranges from singing lullabies to his ship, calling an electronic lock "sexy",note  and saying "Good morning, beautiful, how'd you sleep?" to the Beacon when he wakes up... forgetting that he's now sharing a room with Pyrrha...
  • Aside from Shinji himself, the first recurring characters in Shinji And Warhammer 40 K are the four miniatures with whom Shinji has several character-building conversations (a Space Marine Captain, an Eldar Farseer, an Ork Warboss, and a Chaos Lord). Then they develop their own personalities against Shinji's will. Then he starts having conversations with them entirely in his mind. Then they develop their own independent existences to the point where other characters have conversations with them (granted, those characters are Rei and Kaworu, who aren't exactly normal to begin with).
  • In Time Fixers: Nicktoons of the Future, SpongeBob's youngest son has his own jellyfish doll that he calls Mr. Jelly. Jimmy Neutron's son has his own teddy bear called Edwin Huggles.
  • In TSA: The Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man occasionally talks with Carl the gargoyle. Based on Bruce from Spider-Man: The Animated Series.
  • In The Witch of the Everfree, if Sunset's narration is anything to go by, Bloomberg wasn't the only tree Applejack named.
    I groaned and leaned against an apple tree. It was probably named Rupert or Jackanape or something like that.
  • In the Encanto fanfic The Wrath of Avelina, the titular Avelina has a journal whom she named Diana, and whom she talks (writes) to like she's a real person.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
    • Mako Tsunami plans to get married to the ocean. They have a falling out after that but eventually make up. Somehow.
    • Ishizu has a giant rock. It's the only one who understands her.

    Films — Animation 
  • In The Boss Baby, Tim has his Lamb Lamb, which the Boss Baby makes fun of. The Boss Baby then threatens Tim through his Lamb Lamb, and their fighting eventually results in Lamb Lamb being badly ripped. At the end of the film, Boss Baby presents Tim with a repaired Lamb Lamb.
  • Jonathan's backpack gets this treatment in the first Hotel Transylvania. It is even a groomsman at Jonathan's wedding during the montage at the beginning of Hotel Transylvania 2.
  • Scrat's acorn gets this treatment in Ice Age: Continental Drift movie. When he drops it in favor of Scratte, it "sings" a sad ballad as if it has just been dumped. At the end, Scrat leaves Scratte and runs back to his beloved nut.
  • The LEGO Movie: Emmett, who starts the film living alone without any real friends, has a potted plant called "Planty", who he considers his roommate.
  • In Madagascar, Skipper marries a bobblehead doll named Lola.
  • In Monsters vs. Aliens, B.O.B., a Blob Monster, treats a plate of Jello as if it was sentient, and even flirts with it.
  • In Open Season, crazed hunter Shaw has named his shotgun "Lorraine", sings to it, and even tucks it in at night.
  • In The Princess and the Frog, Ray the firefly has fallen in love with the Evening Star, which he calls Evangeline.
  • Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer has the Dark Princess, who dotes on and talks to a large green gemstone like a beloved pet, even yelling at it for laying on the bed. Though this doesn't stop her from throwing it into the furnace to give her starship a bit more fuel.
  • At the start of Rango, the main character, a pet chameleon, treats the toys, fake palm, and dead bug in his cage as his friends and fellow actors.
  • Penny from The Rescuers carries her teddy bear, Teddy, everywhere with her and treats it like her own child. Madame Medusa eventually holds the bear hostage when she sends Penny to get the Devil's Eye diamond from the grotto it's hidden in, telling her she'd better find the diamond or she'll never get the teddy back. It works.
  • In the Novelization of Turning Red, Mei refers to her stuffed dog, Wilfred, as her best buddy and mentions that he always make her feel better.
  • In Up, Carl is fastidious in preserving his house the way it was when his wife Ellie was alive, and sometimes even speaks to it as if it was her. This isn't really treated like a sign of serious psychological problems, but does demonstrate that he's failed to move on after her death.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Otto, the automatic pilot — who happens to be an inflatable doll — in Airplane! However, Otto seems to be capable of some independent action.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked references Cast Away, where Zoe has an entire collection of sports balls with drawn faces on them which she talks to as her companions aboard the desert island.
  • In Are We There Yet?, Kevin's Galactoman figure is his single most prized companion and he won't leave the car without it after the car catches fire because he keeps his asthma inhaler in the figure's leg. Nick's bobblehead Satch is also a companion cube, but he acts as more of a conscience.
  • Battletruck: The Battletruck's driver considers the huge rig his baby. It gets him killed when he tries to warn Straker that they are pushing the engine too hard in the final chase.
  • Big Driver: Even before her breakdown, Tess is in the habit of talking to her GPS, whom she has nicknamed "Tom". After her breakdown, she hallucinates that Tom is talking back to her. Tom is something of a Deadpan Snarker.
  • Blazing Saddles. Arch villain Hedley Lamarr has a small blue rubber frog.
    Hedley Lamarr: Daddy loves Froggy. Froggy love Daddy?
    [squeak squeak]
    Hedley Lamarr: Aaaaaahhh... ribbit... ribbit... ribbit...
  • In Cast Away, the stranded Tom Hanks finds a Wilson volleyball and draws a face on it to give himself a companion, which he calls "Wilson". The ball was inspired by the screenwriter's experience stranding himself on a beach and discovering a volleyball that washed ashore. Wilson is basically the only justification for the main character's dialogue through most of the film. Lines were even written in the script for it, so Hanks would know exactly how to play those scenes.
  • Darkly subverted in Child's Play. Nobody but Andy believes that Chucky the doll is alive... at first.
  • In A Face in the Crowd, Lonesome Rhodes's "Mama guitar" is his inseparable companion (or so he says). It becomes heavily exploited as his trademark prop.
  • In Full Metal Jacket, Gunnery Sgt. Hartman orders all of the Marines to personify their rifles with a girl's name. The rifle creed is "My rifle is my best friend. It is my life." Pvt. Lawrence/Pyle takes this a little too far and is later seen whispering to it like a lover... before he snaps and kills the Gunny and himself.
  • Gone in 60 Seconds (2000), Memphis treats one of the cars he's stealing (a make and model he has a previous history with, and which has the reputation of being finicky) as a Tsundere woman, addressing her as "Eleanor".
  • In the 2007 film I Am Legend, Robert Neville sets up several department-store mannequins around the video-rental shop and talks to them as if they were people to maintain some semblance of human interaction. As a sign of his degrading sanity, he begins begging a mannequin to answer him back. Then the zombie/vampires start moving them about to mess with him.
    Robert: Fred, if you're real, you'd better tell me right now! If you're real, you'd better tell me right now! [gunshots] ...Damn it, Fred! DAMN IT!
  • Teng-piao, the hero of the kung fu film Iron Chain Fighter, develops this sort of affection towards his, uh, iron chain. It's the same chain that bound him in prison for 15 years after he was made The Scapegoat, and upon escaping, he takes the chain along as his new weapon on a quest for revenge. He even talks to it while all alone at one point.
    Teng-piao: Oh iron chain, when can I have my long-awaited revenge? You have spend the past 15 years by my side in prison, and I will prove my innocence by using you to strangle the man who wronged me all those years ago. You are my only friend now...
  • Adele from Kalifornia keeps a cactus named "Lucy" in her purse and talks to it. When it's destroyed, she gets another one and names it.
  • The Knowledge: Lillian talks to her crinoline lady on the mantelpiece, instead of to her husband.
  • The 2007 film Lars and the Real Girl is about a man who treats a RealDoll as a real woman.
  • The Maiden Heist, being about three art museum security guards who have over the years fallen in love with one particular art piece each, brings this trope to mind.
  • A rather sad example in May. May's only friend is a china doll called Suzy, in a little glass display case. She talks to Suzy, gets advice from Suzy, tries to surprise Suzy when she gets contacts to fix her lazy eye... As the movie goes on and the already unstable May's attempts to find a real friend fail miserably, she starts to genuinely think that Suzy is actually alive, and starts to hate her sometimes, blaming Suzy for her own social mishaps. Eventually May, otherwise completely alone again, decides to make it up with Suzy and be best friends again... only for Suzy to get accidentally broken by some blind kids the next day.
  • MirrorMask:
    • The Really Useful Book for Helena. Whether it's actually alive or not is left a little bit vague, but it's really useful.
    • There's also Valentine's flying tower, with which he apparently had an argument.
  • In the film Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, Molly Mahoney is presented with a literal block of polished wood that her mysterious, eccentric employer calls the "Congreve Cube", which he indicates is extremely significant and powerful, although we're not sure how seriously to take anything he says. In at least one scene, we see her (skeptically) trying to talk to it as though it could understand her. It may or may not be a Magic Feather.
  • The Bowler's ball in Mystery Men not only serves as a focus for her power, but also provides curmudgeonly advice that only she can hear and occasionally checks corners for her... or maybe she's insane.
  • Oblivion (2013): Harper's Bubble Ship has a bobble-head figurine glued to the instrument panel that Jack calls "Bob" and occasionally talks to. He makes a point of gluing it to his fellow clone's replacement Bubble Ship's dashboard after his first one gets wrecked.
  • In The Ωmega Man, an earlier adaptation of I Am Legend, Charlton Heston speaks to mannequins as well.
  • In The Pink Panther (1963), a really drunk princess talks with the tiger carpet on which she's lying.
  • In The Professional, Léon's only friend has been a small houseplant, which he carefully waters with a squirt bottle and sets outside his windowsill each day. He says he likes the plant because it has "no roots", like him.
  • Scavenger Hunt (1979): Because it's the first item they obtain, the servants keep the toilet with them for the rest of the hunt as a mascot/good luck charm, naming it "Mont Clair". They are extremely upset when Mildred, Georgie, and Selsome steal it, and when it falls out the car and smashes, Babbette screams, "They killed Mont Clair!".
  • Mr. Universe and his LoveBot companion, Lenore, from Serenity.
  • Space Jam: A New Legacy: After most of the Looney Tunes cast left Tune World, Bugs Bunny made several dummies to stand in for his friends.
    LeBron: How long have you been alone here?
    Bugs: Alone? You're never alone when you've got friends like mine, doc. Ain't that right, Porky?
    LeBron: Uh... that's just a pile of pumpkins.
    Bugs: [gasp] Porky, did you hear what he just called you?!
  • Star Wars: In The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren keeps the cremated helmet of his hero and grandfather Darth Vader on display in his quarters, speaking to it for guidance.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: Sweeney Todd and his razors, as demonstrated in the song "My Friends" — just about the only Companion Cube trait they don't have is individual names.
    Speak to me, friend
    Whisper, I'll listen
  • Jeliza Rose from Tideland has a few Barbie doll heads as her only friends and companions.
  • UHF: Although he doesn't actually converse with it, Stanley has an extreme attachment to his first mop, claiming that they've never been apart. He nearly panics when it's confiscated after he loses his janitorial job, and the scene where he finds it again is shot and scored like a reunion between long-lost loved ones.
  • In 1959's The World, the Flesh and the Devil, with Harry Belafonte's character acquiring a mannequin and dubbing it "Snodgrass".

  • The bomber crews in The Big One name their aircraft (which is Truth in Television) and talk to them, believing that the aircraft talk back. It's unclear whether the aircraft are really supposed to be talking back or whether the crews simply imagine they are, with the "aircraft saying" what the crews might expect them to say if they were human. It should be noted that aircraft crews talking to their planes is commonplace and a surprising number of pilots think that their aircraft do respond on some level to that courtesy.
  • In Etgar Keret's short story Breaking the Pig, a boy becomes emotionally attached to his piggy-bank. When the bank gets full, he "sets it free" in the field so he won't have to break it.
  • In Katie Hafner’s novel, The Boys, the main character’s foster sons are revealed to be life-sized cardboard cutout figures.
  • By the Light of the Moon by Dean Koontz has Jilly and her potted plant, Fred. Fred is a stalwart, if silent, companion on whom Jilly practices her stand-up comedy routines.
  • In the Circle of Magic books by Tamora Pierce, Daja talks to the survival kit she recovers from her family's shipwreck while she's still adrift and later turns it into her mage-kit.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: One Christmas, Susan got Greg a baby doll named Alfredo which he became extremely attached to until he lost the doll (actually, his Dad took him and hid him). So Greg replaced Alfrendo with a grapefruit that he took care of in the same manner for the next three months.
  • Discworld:
    • Any time the question of why Ankh-Morpork doesn't have a king anymore comes up, it's likely that a past monarch's habit of appointing trees, flowerpots, and decapitated bodies as Privy Councilors will be cited as a reason.
    • Of the various troll street gangs from which Brick (from Thud!) has been excluded, the most abysmally stupid is Tenth Egg Street's Can't-Think-Of-A-Name gang. Allegedly, they consider a lump of concrete on a piece of string to be a gang member.
    • Men at Arms: When Detritus gets rather carried away in conscripting troops for Carrot's militia, he swears in the mannequin from the Natty Clothing menswear shop.
  • In The Fault in Our Stars, Hazel named her oxygen tank "Philip", and treats "him" like an annoying pet.
  • Angerman of The Fire-Us Trilogy carries a mannequin with him, calls it Bad Guy, talks to it, beats on it, and is absolutely frickin' terrified of it. He even believes that it is actively trying to hurt or kill his friends.
  • Goblins in the Castle: Igor's ever-present bear. William takes care of it for him after the goblins carry him off, but returns it to him when he comes to William's rescue during the final battle of the book.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's juvenile novel Have Spacesuit Will Travel, the main character, Clifford "Kip" Russell, names his eponymous suit Oscar and has conversations with it. In one particular case, it even gives him a pep talk as he lays dying on the surface of Pluto. While it's never mentioned outright, there's no indication that he actually believes he's talking to his suit. However, Patricia Wynant Reisfeld, aka "Peewee", remarks that when Kip was delirious while recovering from injuries sustained while nearly being killed on Pluto, he frequently talked to Oscar, and then answered himself, leading her to suspect that he suffers from multiple personality disorder.
  • Jaine Austen Mysteries: In Murder Has Nine Lives, Jaine gets interested in Jim Angelides, the nephew of her boss at her biggest client, Toiletmasters Plumbing. When she and Jim go on a date, Jim decides to run Jaine by his roommate Arnold for his approval. Arnold, however, is a teddy bear. He even takes him to the restaurant he reserved to take Jaine to, revealing that he and Arnold stage big fights to get out of paying for meals when the restaurants kick them out. Jim's uncle Phil finds this out, revealing to Jaine that he thought Jim was taking his meds.
  • In the Norwegian children's series Knerten by Anne Cath Westly, one of the main characters is a stick that looks like a human. The other main character, a little boy, treats him like his best friend and has apparently not realised that he's inanimate. Sort of like Calvin and Hobbes, although this one is older.
  • In A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Sara gets a doll named Emily from her father. Sara conceives of Emily as a listening companion, even a protective good witch, who moves around and does things when no one's looking. Then Sara's father dies in India, and Sara's attachment to Emily becomes one of her few escapes from her horrible situation. Until she breaks down and screams at it "You're just a doll!" and slaps it out of its chair. Movie adaptations cut that scene out, allowing Emily to be an expression of Sarah's imagination throughout.
  • In Minecraft: The Island, the protagonist uses a cow, and occasionally other mobs, for self-motivation, snark, and someone to talk to.
  • The girl in Enid Bagnold's National Velvet wants to own a stableful of horses, so she has a boxful of cutouts from magazines. She pastes them to heavy cardboard, makes saddles and bridles for them out of embroidery thread, and "rides" them on back country roads, then carefully rubs them down and puts them away. They all have names and histories.
  • Ursula Vernon's novella Nine Goblins. One of the goblins in the squad never expresses his own opinion; he merely reports on what his teddy bear says. At one point, the commander of the squad is taking the most senior members on a scouting mission and is forced to leave the bear in charge of the remainder until they get back.
  • Anne McCaffrey's book The Rowan has the title character treating her Pukha this way. The Pukha is essentially a child monitor and stuffed toy in one, but Rowan has one-sided conversations with it, even as she's clearly aware that it's an inanimate object. In fact, it's later revealed that it was something of a split personality that she focused on it, so when it's destroyed it's gone. Near the end of the books, it appears that her Pukha isn't quite gone and possibly a good reason why she grew up in good shape despite her Dark and Troubled Past.
    "You'd scorch your fur and blow your circuits!"
  • In Russell H. Greenan's The Secret Life of Algernon Pendleton, Algernon's best friend is a china pitcher called Eulalia.
  • In the Star Wars anthology Tales from Jabba's Palace, Dumb Muscle Gartogg hauls around and talks to the dead bodies of the cook's assistant and a B'Omarr monk after stumbling onto the mystery of their murder and being tasked with solving it. Even though he does solve it eventually, he keeps hauling the bodies everywhere he goes because he's gotten attached to them; they're the only people who don't seem to mind his company.
  • A Tale of Two Cities has a somber example Played for Drama: The shoemaker's bench and tools are this for Doctor Mannete. Being incarcerated completely alone by the Evremondes for 18 years, he begged the guards for something, anything to do to distract himself from the solitude, and when the doctor received it, he was so grateful he formed an attachment with "him", eh, it. Years later, Mannete's daughter Lucy marries Darnay, who is secretly an Evremond, and the doctor feels the compulsion to work with the shoemaker's bench again. When Mr. Lorry talks about destroying "it", Mannete refers to "him" as an "old companion", but he accedes. In the last chapters of the books, Manette asks for his friend again when he crosses the Despair Event Horizon. When Lorry and Miss Prost destroy the shoemakers's bench, they also treat "him" like something alive:
    On the night of the day on which he left the house, Mr. Lorry went into his room with a chopper, saw, chisel, and hammer, attended by Miss Pross carrying a light. There, with closed doors, and in a mysterious and guilty manner, Mr. Lorry hacked the shoemaker's bench to pieces, while Miss Pross held the candle as if she were assisting at a murder — for which, indeed, in her grimness, she was no unsuitable figure. The burning of the body (previously reduced to pieces convenient for the purpose) was commenced without delay in the kitchen fire; and the tools, shoes, and leather, were buried in the garden. So wicked do destruction and secrecy appear to honest minds, that Mr. Lorry and Miss Pross, while engaged in the commission of their deed and in the removal of its traces, almost felt, and almost looked, like accomplices in a horrible crime.
  • Warrior Cats: Jayfeather and his stick, to the point where he always looks for the stick when he needs answers, and is horrified when he almost loses it in the lake. Feeling it also seems to calm him down. JayxStick is also a very popular Cargo Ship within the fandom. The authors took notice of the Cargo Ship and killed it dead: The stick is broken in The Fourth Apprentice, by Jayfeather himself.
  • The very first Winnie the Pooh story makes it quite evident that Edward Bear (aka Pooh) and all of his friends are actually Christopher Robin's stuffed animals. It's justified since A. A. Milne invented the stories for his son, who had a teddy bear named Winnie, who was — incidentally — named after a real (female) bear at the zoo.
  • Words of Radiance (second book of The Stormlight Archive): Adolin's Shardblade. He talks to it before every duel, thanking it for helping him (though acknowledging that it would do that for anyone) and reminding it about all the previous battles they fought together. Since the Shardblades are all the dead spren of the old Knights Radiant, he's half justified in doing so. Also as of Oathbringer, this seems to be paying off for him, as while Kaladin, Shallan, and Adolin are trapped in Shadesmar, the "deadeye" spren jumps on an enemy when Adolin is injured and about to be run through, and during the subsequent battle in the physical realm, she manages to tell him her name (Mayalaran) and comes to him in only seven heartbeats instead of the ten usually needed for a dead blade when he is desperate and begs her.
  • In the novel Zip by Ellie Rollins, the protagonist Lyssa Lee treats her scooter almost like how one would treat their beloved horse. She considers the scooter as something of her best friend and constantly refers to it as her trusty and loyal companion. She pets her scooter, talks to it, and even reassures it whenever things are feeling hopeless on their journey, and even gave it a name, Zip, because of how fast it can go when she rides it. Zip is described like a living sentient life form with a personality of its own and not as a vehicle that is ridden from one place to another. Zip "squeals in delight" when ridden on fast by its owner, explaining excitement, "squeak[s] in frustration/sadness" when Lyssa turns it a certain way with how she herself is feeling or "groan[s] in protest" to her choices.

  • Big Black actually credited Steve Albini's Roland TR-606 drum machine as a member of the band (as "Roland").
  • Neil Diamond's "I Am... I Said" has in its chorus the line "And no one heard at all / Not even the chair". Diamond himself has stated that the song was written at a time when he was in a hotel room feeling incredibly lonely, to the point where he really did regard the chair as his sole companion.
  • Echo & the Bunnymen: Echo is a drum machine.
  • Primus's "Mary the Ice Cube" is a love song about an ice cube named Mary.
  • Diana Ross's "My Old Piano" refers to it as if it were a person.
    His international style
    Exudes an air of royalties
    His eighty eight key smile
    Is so pleasant to see
  • The Sisters of Mercy have had two official members since the beginning: lead singer Andrew Eldritch, and Doktor Avalanche, the name given to their drum machine. They treat Doktor Avalanche so much like a person that it is credited as "running" the online advice column on the group's website.
  • Yelle's "Best Friend" in the song "Mon meilleur ami". Her vibrator.
  • Neil Young feels this way about "This Old Guitar", which originally belonged to Hank Williams.
    The more I play it, the better it sounds
    It cries when I leave it alone
    Silently it waits for me
    Or someone else I suppose

    It's been a messenger in times of trouble
    In times of hope and fear
    When I get drunk and seeing double
    It jumps behind the wheel and steers


    Pro Wrestling 
  • Leva Bates has shown these tendencies at times with some of her props. She's even played Dungeons & Dragons with a few of them, albeit to demonstrate the rules to other wrestlers.
  • Celtic Championship Wrestling's resident Cloudcuckoolander Bedlam Billy carries around a puppet called William whom he talks to.
  • Boogeyman could be found serenading to various clocks, which he always ended up smashing over his head. If not to them, he instead serenaded a disembodied heart he wore as a necklace and squeezed.
  • Eddie Brown's duct tape mannequin torso Quicksilver. Yes, he sees what you're doing, and he tells Nite-stic everything he sees.
  • In the Japanese professional wrestling promotion Dramatic Dream Team (DDT), several inanimate objects have held the promotion's "Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship" (a joke title defended any time at any place during any match against anyone or anything, in a parody of WWE's retired Hardcore Title and its infamous "24/7 Rule"). Several of these inanimate "performers" include Kitty-Chan (a Hello Kitty plushie), a wooden baseball bat (which lost the title by a "KO" decision after being broken in half), YOSHIHIKO the inflatable love doll, and — most memorably — three different Ladders. All of these "wrestlers" were treated by actual wrestlers and DDT performers/crew as if they were any other human competitor. The 1000th champion? The belt itself.
  • Kimberly's Thing dolls in SHINE. In addition to about two dozen she keeps and regularly talks to, she also gives them out as gifts so other wrestlers can experience the joy of having one.
  • Eddie Kingston is a rare Played for Drama example, since he would refer to the CHIKARA Grand Championship, and even the wrestling business itself, as "she" or "her".
  • LuFisto's doll, ahem, mascot, Peegaboo. Until DJ Hyde had her murdered in WSU. In fact, SHIMMER's rule book allows for "managerial objects", which in turn can be "expelled" from ring side at the referee's discretion. Peegaboo at least found some company before her passing.
  • Norman the Lunatic carried a Teddy Bear around that he treated as if it was a pet or a person.
  • Ricardo Rodriguez's skeleton blowup doll, "Boner", who has even performed (assisted) choke slams. Boner was "killed" by Eric Watts at the 2014 NWA Vendetta Pro Zombie Walk, which saw Rodriguez attempt to perform CPR.
  • Nicole Savoy has referred to her Xbox One as her boyfriend.
  • In 2017, Hiromu Takahashi of New Japan Pro-Wrestling introduced the world to a stuffed cat doll named Daryl. Daryl is incredibly over even though all he does is sit in Takahashi's corner. Bad Luck Fale "killed" Daryl during the G1 Climax tournament, but he came back as good as new and is still over.
  • The WWE's Hardcore Title has received this treatment at least once itself — one of the most prominent members of the Hardcore division was Al Snow, a Cloudcuckoolander who carried around a mannequin head and treated it as if it was alive, and, in Al's mind at least, Head once held the Hardcore Title after she turned on Al.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The entire premise behind ventriloquist acts is someone holding conversations with puppets and voicing them as if they're alive.
  • Jeff Dunham frequently lampshades it during his routines. In Arguing With Myself, he relates a story of taking his "helpers" through airport security:
    "He could've swabbed Peanut on the head, on the foot... no. In front of God and everybody, he swabs his butt, just like that! I know it's only a puppet, but... I work with the guy! There's a relationship there!"
  • In Gerbert, the titular character talks to his stuffed toy bear, Rory.
  • The Muppets:
    • Muppet Treasure Island:
      • Squire Trelawney (Fozzie Bear) has an imaginary friend who lives inside his finger.
        Kermit: Your finger hired the crew?
        Trelawney: No, that's silly! The man who lives inside my finger hired the crew. Mr. Bimble!
      • Dead Tom, an inanimate skeleton that the ship's crew nevertheless treats as one of their own. At one point he's "killed" and one of the pirates starts mourning him, only for another pirate to point out that Dead Tom has always been dead. The first pirate, realising that his crewmate is right, unceremoniously drops Dead Tom on the ground and moves on.
    • Amy the Dancing Brick in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie. In theory, not totally dissimilar from Gonzo's usual acts (Yollanda the Dancing Cheese, for example), except that "she's" not a Muppet brick; she's just a brick.

  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, Jemimah has a tree in her home garden that's she's dubbed Uke, and in general doesn't find it odd to talk to inanimate objects. In a strange variation of the usual bond that comes with this trope, Jemimah's goal is to one day "defeat" Uke by knocking him down.
  • In Rain Quest, there's Aramu Kurokku-chan, Joel's alarm clock, whom he has claimed as his waifu. Later on, Joel gives Nina his umbrella as her own companion, which they name Anburera-kun.
  • From the Survival of the Fittest Spin-Off Virtua, we have Sycanus Appletin and her teddy bear Tobeyn. It's also a rare canonical example of Cargo Ship, as she's explicitly in love with it and at one point is shown making out with it.
  • In Ultimate Chat Fic of Mutual Memeing!, Nagito and Hajime's "son" Bobstevenson (actually a pet rock) eventually joins the chat by way of Nagito switching accounts and throwing him at the keyboard, thus becoming The Unintelligible.
  • In We Are All Pokémon Trainers, Vlad and Dintel's misadventures earn the Gliscor a Salamence-shaped Pokédoll. His Trainer gives it to Nadia the Salamence, who starts talking to the plushie about her issues and her lack of confidence after being hurt and rendered unable to fly. Eventually the plushie, nicknamed "Toothless", starts answering back and providing counsel. And it's not the only one.

    Tabletop Games 
  • You'll get this from time to time in BattleTech. Canonically, Inner Sphere pilots are much more likely to get attached to their gear, on account of it often being old and full of quirks. Many 'Mechs are passed down as Ancestral Weapons, so some families train the next generation of pilots with it and pass on its legacy that way. As a result, many Inner Sphere pilots specialize in piloting one or two chassis, and sometimes one 'Mech in specific, leading to this trope when a pilot spends their entire life with a certain 'Mech to the point that they give it a name and sometimes a "personality" based on its quirks. This is also because Inner Sphere pilots are much more likely to own their own gear than comparable Clan pilots, for whom being reassigned from one 'Mech to another depending on the needs of the unit is a fairly commonplace occurrence. Much of this is inspired by the real-life military examples below, and aircraft pilots/crews in particular.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • A Familiar Item actually can be alive and have personality and ego only for the owner... and just because the owner likes it so much.
    • Brass dragons are chatterboxes who can never get enough conversation for their tastes. As a result, some have a tendency to give nicknames and ascribe personalities to portraits, busts, and similar artworks in their hoards, and happily pass the hours having one-sided conversations with these inanimate objects.
  • In GURPS handbooks, the example given for Delusion is "all purple things are alive." How big the Delusion is (how many points it's worth) depends not on the nature of the Delusion, but on how much it affects your character's behavior. In practical terms, this Delusion could range from saying hello to purple objects and patting them (Quirk or Minor Delusion) all the way up to attacking purple things on sight (Major Delusion) and refusing to talk until all of them are taken from the room.
  • The closest things to being "cute" in a non-ugly way in the world of Warhammer 40,000 are the drones the Tau use. They're programmed to be loyal like puppies, and as a result the Tau consider them companions rather than, well, expendable drones (a sentiment decidedly not shared by the players).

  • Paul Hindemith's opera Cardillac is about a goldsmith who treats his creations like his own children; he sings to them, swears to protect them — and murders his customers to regain them. Indeed, he treasures his handiwork more than his life-and-blood daughter; his dying glance falls not on his heartbroken daughter, but on the beautiful gold chain hanging on her neck.
  • In Pokémon Live!, while the characters generally treat MechaMew2 like an actual Pokemon, Giovanni speaks to it as if it were alive at some points. His comments range from innocuous to parental to outright disturbing.
  • In The Rose Tattoo, according to the stage directions and author's production notes, the dummies should be poseable to make it look as if they were carrying on conversations with each other and Serafina.
  • In Shirley Valentine, bored housewife Shirley talks to her kitchen wall about her troubles because it's always there for her and nobody else in her life is interested. In the second act, when she's on holiday, a rock on the beach serves a similar confidant role.
  • Several characters in Sunday in the Park with George are played by cardboard cutouts. Most seem to be products of George's imagination, though other characters seem to interact with them. In particular, one of a pair of soldiers:
    Celeste #1: He's very quiet.
    Soldier: Yes. Actually he is. He lost his hearing during combat exercises.
    Celeste #1: What a shame.
    Soldier: He can't speak either.
    Celeste #2: Oh. How dreadful.
    Soldier: We have become very close, though.
    Celeste #1: So I see.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has this kind of relationship with his razors:
    Sweeney: These are my friends, see how they glisten...

  • Furbies — Designed to emulate a plush pet with a personality, they were in fact popular enough to warrant a revival after disappearing from the market. Though they've never threatened to stab anyone, others find them horrifically repulsive, even to the point of reacting to them with violence.
  • Since the RealDoll's invention in the early 90's, an obsession with them has been born and there have been full webrings dedicated to the fictionalized characters the owners have written for their dolls, with extensive bios, journals of their lives, and galleries featuring the dolls in a variety of fashions. A photo of one such doll named "Rebecca" belonging to a man in England by Bay Area photographer Elena Dorfman was featured in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle.

  • Larxene from Ansem Retort has a skull she named Skull-Fucky. She uses Skull-Fucky in Pokémon battles (where it uses Mega Punch) and is implied to be in a relationship with the skull.
  • Mistah Beah in Applegeeks.
  • Brat-Halla here:
    "Stones are an adventurer's best friend."
  • Monsieur Smokey, Mona's childhood toy rabbit and lifelong companion, in C'est la Vie.
  • Butch R. Mann's knife as evidenced by this episode of Chopping Block.
  • Fluffy, Roger's pet rock (not the sort described below, but a rather large rock specimen from a museum) in College Roomies from Hell!!! The weird part is that while Fluffy is never shown to move, Roger claims he followed him home, and Mike later complains that Fluffy had tried humping his leg. Occasionally, Roger claims that Fluffy wants a hump massage, and describes violence as 'erosive behavior'.
  • Gordon Frohman of Concerned gets a little too attached to the gravity gun, which he calls "the claw"
  • Cwen's Quest Introduced the companion cubes more sinister cousins the Companion Pyramid and the Nemesis Cube.
  • Luna, Colin's life companion in Dragon Tails.
  • Poodle the Beating Stick, weapon of convenience wielded by Nanashi in Earthsong.
  • Homestuck:
    • Lil' Cal. As a ventriloquist's dummy he naturally qualifies, but Dave treats him with nervous deference, even fear that the puppet is watching him. Lil' Cal's cold glass-eyed stare certainly gives him an Uncanny Valley appearance, but more unsettling is that he appears to move around when Dave turns his back. However, by the time Dave is fighting Lil' Cal in hand-to-hand Strife, it is clear the puppet is not moving of its own volition. Instead, Dave's Bro is puppeteering it via Flash Step. So even if the dummy is creepy, there is nothing demonic about it, right? ... Right? Isn't that right, Lil' Cal?
    • The Harley family seems to have a strong tradition of taxidermy. Jade gets embroiled in a conversation with her Grandpa's stuffed corpse.
    • Terezi introduces us to the scalemates, stuffed animals that Terezi pretends are alive. Of course, she then proceeds to pass judgement on them, and her home is littered with their "corpses."
    • The Duttle.
      You believe you will keep your distance from the Duttle.
  • In Knights of Buena Vista, Adriana names her dice, and is sure Becky, her 20 sided, is very sorry for the Critical Failure that caused an Endless Winter.
  • In this strip of Loserz, Jodie does this with two dolls representing her friends who have been absent. It's somewhat disturbing...
  • Man-Man featured a log as a detective on TV show "Log And Order." It was a loose cannon whose implacable manner would break the most uncooperative suspects.
  • Eldora from Messenger has Icy, her stuffed cat.
  • This is how Aiden treats all cars in Misfile, whether he is right to do so is left unclear. Emily seems to have absorbed some of those qualities too judging by one strip.
  • Lucile the Gnarled Staff of Ass Whoop and (to a lesser extent) Escape Dummy, from A Modest Destiny.
    • And after Hubert asks for his cloak back from Hechter, Hechter mourns the loss of "Steve," who was "the best pet cloak I've ever had".
  • Mountain Time has Xipe Totec, a bag of topsoil that some characters talk to, make plans with, and generally treat as a friend.
  • Amed, The Hero's pet rock from My Middle Name's Adventure, who seems to move about and do amazing things when his owner is not looking.
  • Banjo the Clown, Elan's beloved Handpuppet "God" from The Order of the Stick. Of course, Banjo is functionally a real god, complete with smitings. Not to mention Giggles, God of Slapstick, Banjo's brother/nemesis.
  • The On-Cue Ball from Precocious, which is like a Magic 8-Ball...but talks! And makes fun of everyone! It even burps!
  • A storyline in Sequential Art features the Buddy Brick, a Companion Cube expy... that apparently contains electronics that force people into having this sort of reaction to it, to the point of near-Instant Sedation.
  • In Sinfest, Pooch has Bally — a ball — and Percy has Yarny — a ball of yarn.
  • Thadius, Buwaro's pet rock from Slightly Damned.
  • Sluggy Freelance: Torg has been known to start referring to things like a glow necklace and a serving tray as if they were persons, though those occasions did not last long.
  • Plant from Station V3 is a character in his own - he comments on stuff, people know he's there and he has his own thought bubbles. But he's just a potted plant. Besides getting watered, cynically thinking about things (and talking whenever it would creep members of station v3 out), he's just a part of the scenery.
  • From Tales from the Pit:
    Mark: (To copier) So we meet again, my nemesis. Today I shall make copies.
    Copier: (Thought Bubble) Not only am I out of toner. My toner register is broken as well. Bwah, ha, ha!
  • The Geckoids of tinyraygun have guns so ingrained on their culture that the loss of his firearm at the jaws of a very hungry baby alien is enough to make the hulking Tork shed a tear.
  • Phonsekal Lauroe from Tower of God loves sleeping. He loves it so much that he sees his pillow and blanket as his younger sibling.
  • Validation (2013): Ally’s closest friend is a dinosaur plush named Mr. Dino.
  • The mysterious Walkyverse pseudocharacter known only as the refrigerator skull.
  • The eponymous Moo from The Wisdom Of Moo is a cow hand puppet which character Emm speaks through. The human characters understand what's going on... but the toys treat Moo as if he's his own character, even when Emm is clearly visible — or even actively brought to their attention.
  • Exaggerated for comedy in xkcd: Megan takes her pet dog to the vet, only to have to be told that a Roomba is not a dog. She also appears to later confuse it for a wild bird in the Alt Text.

    Web Animation 
  • In Baman Piderman, Baman and Piderman's friends Pumpkin and Tuba... except they appear to actually be alive and at least as intelligent and Baman and Piderman themselves.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Paper Boy and his red bulletin board, which he uses to hide behind. He says he hates the fact that he even needs it.
  • One Film Cow short features John McCain and his Vegetable Friends. Also has nice doses of Lyrical Dissonance, horror and Let's Meet the Meat if the title didn't seem creepy enough.
  • Happy Tree Friends: In "Sucker for Love", Nutty's obsession with a heart-shaped box of chocolates on display in a candy store window causes him to imagine himself marrying the box, making it breakfast, riding with it in an ambulance as it breaks water during its pregnancy (implied by the bulge in its center), and having three small boxes of chocolates as his children. Then he finds the box cheated on him, discovering the affair after seeing Lumpy (who's now a milkman) leaving their house with chocolate smeared on his lips. A quick scene shifts to Nutty in jail, where it's implied he killed Lumpy out of jealousy. When he walks in the visiting area, he meets the box of chocolates (now sporting a scarf and pair of glasses) with a dent on its side (which he may have caused after beating it in his rage from its affair with Lumpy), and expresses to it his regret for treating it. After his release from prison, they both live happily together until their old age, when the elderly box of chocolates dies by falling over and spilling its contents. Before returning to reality, the elderly Nutty stands in the rain, mourning over the box of chocolates' grave.
  • Several inanimate objects from Homestar Runner are treated as characters, like The Stick. Some of them, like Strong Bad's computers, seem to actually have minds of their own!
    • Paper actually "talks" to Strong Bad. Once, it admitted that it liked hushpuppies.
    • This was also parodied in the Strong Bad Email "Original", in which Strong Bad tells the tale of "Original Bubs", who supposedly left the series on unfriendly terms and whose absence was excused through a series of increasingly ridiculous tricks and guest stars, the most popular of which was "Onion Bubs" (just an onion with Bubs' face drawn on it).
    • Hell, even the sound made by Strong Bad's chair when he gets up has been turned into a character. Two characters, actually (The Geddup Noise and "his cousin, Chairscoot").
    • A list can be found here.
  • Box in Inanimate Insanity II can be classified as one of these. And this is in a world where everyone else is an Animate Inanimate Object.
  • In the Manga Soprano episode My sister, who takes all my things, brags that she stole my boyfriend. But she was mistaken.., the mascot Puni appears as a talking doll Kanade carried since she was a baby. Years later, she tied the Puni doll to a farewell letter for Alto after her sister Milano stole her high-school crush. However, she eventually gets it back after marrying Alto, who became a CEO.
  • Hubert Cumberdale from Salad Fingers. In fact, it's used an awful lot to emphasize just how messed up Salad Fingers really is.
  • Subverted in Red vs. Blue since, though characters interact with Andy the Bomb, who is an actual bomb, he is given a voice (and quite a nasty personality).
  • RWBY: The titular Ruby has her scythe Crescent Rose. She has hugged it, cuddled it and called it her "sweetheart". While she loves all weapons, she particularly loves Crescent Rose the most.
  • Smosh Babies:
    • Ian's Miss-Hugs-A-Lot teddy bear, which he treats like his girlfriend. She has been seen in several episodes of the series, and even made a live-action appearance in the SMOSH episode, "So Many Hickeys!"
    • To a much lesser extent, Anthony's Froggy doll, which only appeared in the episodes, "The Rise of the Bread Head" and "Ian's Lost Love". The former revolved around Anthony challenging Ian to get her back from the playground, guarded by Lenny, Bruce, and Melvin.

    Web Original 
  • JesuOtaku and his subtitles. Until they have a falling out about their use in the Now and Then, Here and There review.
  • There are a lot of examples in lonelygirl15, most notably the purple monkey puppet, P. Monkey.
  • Subverted in the Whateley Universe, where Generator (Jade Sinclair) has a toy rabbit, a stuffed toy lion, and what looks like a Hello Kitty compact. But Jade's superpower is the ability to cast a psychokinetic copy of herself into objects, so they really are temporarily alive, and intelligent, and often very dangerous.
  • Perfect Jones, the sanest double Darkwell in Star Harbor Nights, confides in her stuffed bunny Mr. Buttons, occasionally taking him on patrol. He also doubles as her Berserk Button.
  • In Overthegun's Let's Play of Half-Life 2, he befriends a circular blade named "Sharpy" during the Ravenholm section. He carries it around with the gravity gun for at least half an hour, eschewing (the faster, easier) explosive barrels littered around, in favour of bisecting every zombie individually. He even has a brief panic attack when he thinks he's lost Sharpy.
    Sharpy's just an all-round really cool fella. You can either shoot him, like that... or stuff'll jump at you, and he'll absorb a hit for ya. How great of a guy is he, really? These fuckin' washing machines wish I'd carry them around for three loads in a row.
  • Ramirez the Gnome in Episode 6 of Profound Moments In Left 4 Dead 2.
  • Actor and blogger Wil Wheaton frequently posts conversations with iTunes on his Twitter feed
  • Hitler in the Hitler Rants parodies shows a bizarre amount of affection towards his office desk, as he tends to bring it along with him no matter where he goes. One parody delves into the relationship he has with his desk, explaining how he was first united with it and why he treats it as a close family member.
  • A strange justification in the second episode of Perverts On The Internet: After raiding large amounts of Mike Gibbons' booze, Kunt winds up believing that a Girl's World doll is possessed by the spirit of his dead ex-girlfriend.
  • The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: Downplayed example is Jane's toy plushy cat. Jane introduces her as such: "She's not a real cat, which makes her far more superior to any real cats." Considering Jane's lack of friends, it's understandable she bonds and still relates to her toy, but she only showed her twice and she doesn't really talk to her.
  • When there's an odd number of players for The Sharkasm Crew's Doubles tourneys, the odd player out plays with a computer-controlled player. This CPU is represented by a piece of paper with a face on it, named Sonjai.
    • Ever since Sonjai's death, a new Companion Cube named Mogo (not to be confused with the original identity of Cephalo the Pod) has replaced him.
  • The Helix Fossil in Twitch Plays Pokémon.
  • Yahtzee Croshaw reveals himself to be Not So Above It All during Let's Drown Out Euro Truck Simulator 2, where he reveals that he bought a Roomba and named it Sodbury as a surrogate for a dog, which he can't have due to his apartment complex not allowing them. He mentions that it's also a good name for a butler, and is surprisingly forgiving of the machine's flaws when Gabe points out that it missed more than a few spots. He goes as far as to just patiently accept the Roomba's shortcomings and says that he'll just clean up where it can't reach. Bear in mind that the man hates to do cleaning chores and is at best acerbic and critical with his friend Gabe.
    Yahtzee: "Now clean the place, Sodbury, and by the time I get back, if you've been very good, I'll put you back on the charger."
  • SuperMarioLogan:
    • Bowser Junior's Thomas & Friends toy. The episode, "Bowser Junior Loses Thomas!" focuses on Junior going through a deep depression when he loses it behind the couch.
    • Cody's Ken doll. Being a closeted homosexual, Cody treats him like his boyfriend.
    • In "Cody's Sister!", Cody's twin sister, Katy, owns a Barbie doll, much like how her brother owns a Ken doll. Katy hasn't even taken her Barbie doll out of its box, though.
  • In Dragonball Z Abridged, after spending an indeterminate amount of time isolated in the hyperbolic time chamber, Vegeta begins talking to a volleyball with Nappa's face drawn on it.
  • In Monster Factory, The Final Pam takes a Radroach Corpse to be her son and husband. She also adopts a coffee can.
  • The Black Jack Justice episode "Now Who's the Dummy" features what is effectively a custody battle between two ventriloquists, Tom Simon and Leo Jones, neither of whom seem able to grasp that their dummies aren't actually people. When the two are face to face, Jones pulls a gun on everyone twice and has to be talked down by Simple, the dummy they're fighting over and which is currently in Jones' possession. Once that's settled, Simon's puppet, Morty, pulls his own weapon. Jack and Trixie can only lampshade the absurdity of it all.
    Trixie: The puppet has a cap gun tied to his hand!
    Jack: The nervous guy with the real gun is taking this seriously.
  • In SCP Foundation's SCP-3001, Dr. Robert Scranton has the blinking red light from an audio recorder as his only companion, and often talks to "Red" as though it were his friend.
  • Danny Gonzalez loves his giant nutcracker toy quite a bit, and keeps it in the background of his videos. In one video, he freaked out because he thought it had been magically stolen by the creators of Lily's Garden due to him mocking their ads.
  • YouTuber Patrick Willems has Charl, a coconut with googly eyes he found on a desert island in his Review of 2019 video (much to the consternation of his friends Jake and Matt.)
  • The Runaway Guys: During their Let's Play of Sonic Adventure, the guys got attatched to a mannequin of an old man that sits outside Station Square's burger shop. They then dubbed it the Old Man and attempted to take it everywhere with them, even into areas the mannequin isn't supposed to be in.
  • The 8-Bit Drummer: along with his plushies, he also has a jug and a water bottle with googly eyes that he drinks to stay hydrated during his streams.
  • Brandon Farris' co-host is a canvas portrait of a woman wearing a wedding dress, whom he has dubbed "Kelly". He accidentally received the portrait and contacted the original customer, who had received his portrait instead. Why he still has it is never explained. It has become a regular background item whenever he is doing a solo video and tends to get knocked over when Brandon either flips out from a jump scare or fails to perform a life hack correctly.
  • How Ridiculous, basically the Australian equivalent of Dude Perfect, features a T. rex doll that the group calls "Rexy" in many of its videos. The group even lists Rexy as an official team member.

    Real Life 
  • The Pet Rock, a 1970s phenomenon, was based around this idea.
  • The digital pet craze of The '90s could be seen as yet another variant of this.
  • Many people have toys, porcelain dolls and security blankets for this very reason. The practice is usually associated with children, but it's also quite common in adults with autism, who may experience object personification and/or trouble relating to other humans.
  • The practice of personifying ships and other forms of transportation goes back so far it's definitely Older Than Dirt and might be even as old as mankind. Many ancient cultures would ritually paint or carve eyes on the prow of ships as a way of granting them sentience, a practice still followed today in some places. Depending on the culture, ships (and other vehicles) may be personified as male or female, regardless of whether the vehicle's name implies one or the other. Of course, for the English-speaking crowd, a personified vehicle is almost always female, even if she's the USS John S. McCain.
  • In his book Water Transport, historian James Hornell mentions an old Hindu tradition which involves imbuing a protective god or goddess into a ship, taking the personification a step further. This coincides with an "opening of the eye" ceremony, in which pupils are carved into the outline of an eye to "awaken" the ship.
  • During WWI and WWII almost all aircrews named their birds, as they were assigned to fly only one. In those days production standards couldn't be as high as they were today, so every airplane had its own ticks and tricks. This was more noticeable in bombers. Nearly every B-29 bomber ever produced had its own unique flaw that would have made it inoperable. One of the design engineers, Victor Agather, had to fix 600 of these fatal flaws in a three-day time period. Every bomber's crew were the only people who could keep it flying, so they would only be paired with that aircraft, kicking off the relationship between crew and machine. Most of them even made their own extensive modifications to keep their birds flying, like waxing the props. Many bomber crews would not only refer to their airplanes as female, but went so far as to refer to the airplane's model as if it were the airplane's ethnicity. For that matter, the very fact that aircrews call their planes "birds" has overtones of this.
  • Also the subject of a psychiatry study with monkeys. Young monkeys were studied with various socialization forms: one was only socialized with its mother, one was socialized with many other monkeys, and the last was only socialized with a fur-covered board. The young monkey became extremely attached to the board. Psychologist Harry Harlow performed another, similar experiment with baby monkeys, putting them in a room with two surrogate mothers. One was made of wire and gave food, while the other was made of soft cloth and didn't give food. The baby monkeys only went to the wire mother when they were hungry, and would always prefer clinging to the cloth mother. He concluded that the baby monkeys had a psychological need for comfort and love, which was extremely important to their development and growth.
  • In 2000, a ficus tree ran against incumbent Rodney P. Frelinghuysen for the 11th district New Jersey house seat... and won the election by a 4:1 ratio before being disqualified. The Ficus campaign was masterminded by Michael Moore for his TV show The Awful Truth.
    Campaign ad: Rodney wouldn't know his ass from a hole in the ground, Ficus' ass IS a hole in the ground.
  • A New Scientist article on human interactions with robotics and attempts to bridge the Uncanny Valley notes incidents of US troops in Afghanistan seeking counseling after their bomb disposal robot was destroyed by an I.E.D. Other incidences include a report that an bomb disposal robot had been stolen, in Helmand, only to find the Commonwealth solders had taken advantage of its dexterous remote control arm to take it fishing with them. Here is Washington Post article covering human-robot interactions in the military and the aforementioned incidents.
  • US Marines are made to memorize an oath that basically personifies their rifle. Presumably so that they remember to take care of the firearm and have it at their side whenever possible.
  • Utada Hikaru owns a plush bear, which she named Kuma Chan. Kuma was issued a staff pass at one of her concerts.
  • In software development, when trying to fix a stubborn bug, it is sometimes considered helpful to discuss the bug with another developer. The practice is considered useful even when the other person is completely unfamiliar with the code, perhaps not even a developer at all. The reasoning is that the act of having to explain it to another person forces you to step back from the problem a bit and challenge some of your assumptions. Lone developers will sometimes resort to discussing the problem with an inanimate object, a practice which has come to be called "talking to the Furby." And then there's rubber duck debugging...
  • One university's engineering department has a teddy bear sitting in the dean's office. If a student comes in with an engineering problem that they can't handle, they are first urged to "talk to the bear". Often, after they go over the problem with the bear, they do actually come up with a solution.
  • A number of people name their cars and talk to them. There's even a service to register your car's name and get it a birth certificate.
  • Serge Kahili King in his book Urban Shaman explains that he named his personal computer and speaks to it. "All things have their own spirit. They cooperate better if you can relate to them well."
  • It's not entirely uncommon for musicians to name their instruments, especially adolescents in high school band.
    • B.B. King's guitar Lucille may be the most famous example.
    • Willie Nelson's guitar Trigger is at least a close second.
    • Andres Segovia at times ended up with rumors of a woman in his life after booking transit tickets for his guitar — by name.
    • Stevie Ray Vaughan played a Strat which he named "Lenny" after his wife Lenora.
    • The Sisters of Mercy has only two regular members left: Andrew Eldritch and Doktor Avalanche. Doktor runs the online advice column on the Sisters' website. He's also a drum machine.
    • Often professional musicians who play a large instrument (cello, double bass, etc.) travelling by plane will book a separate seat for the instrument (mainly to avoid it getting damaged in the hold). Owing to airplane regulations, they are consequently obliged to give the instrument a name (often something like "Cello Smith") so that all seats have a corresponding name on the flight manifest. Some instruments receive junk mail from the airlines or even qualify for frequent flyer status.
  • Steam Locomotives are always referred to as she, even if they have a male name. This often causes confusion to the punters.
    • Joe Duddington apparently gently encouraged Mallard to help her break the World Steam Speed record.
  • Champion Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark Fidrych talked to the ball before throwing it, among other eccentricities. Proof that the Bunny-Ears Lawyer exists in Real Life.
  • Hockey goaltender Patrick Roy was famous during his active career for naming his goalposts and talking to them, thanking them when a shot bounced off one of them instead of going in. Considering his highly successful career, he was probably on to something.
  • Build-A-Bear Workshop is a company that basically caters to this trope, where children (or even grown-ups) go to the workshop and pick the skins of their stuffed animal, fluff it up themselves, put a heart in it, and proceed to give it a birth certificate and even enter it in a system quite like Amber Alert.
  • This was done to a lesser extent with adopting Cabbage Patch Kids. It's played out completely at the official Cabbage Patch Museum. Hundreds of dolls are arranged in theme rooms. The main room is the actual cabbage patch, where several times a day visitors can witness the labor and birth of a real doll out of one of the cabbages. The audience is then asked to help name the new "baby" and she is immediately put up for adoption in the gift shop.
  • In a crossover with Cargo Ship, assigning names and personalities to sexual aids is incredibly common. Even on this very wiki the term Battery Operated Companion has been used.
  • The Inanimate Object's Party, a joke political party at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute that has an inflatable whale run for the position of Grand Marshall (read: Student Counsel President) every year.
  • A more serious example would be the Holy Crown of Hungary, which was assigned legal personhood and is considered the sole holder of all state powers of the monarch.
  • Delusional Misidentification Syndrome is a series of mental delusions where the identity of a person, place or thing is different or has been altered. One such delusion is called "Delusional Companions Syndrome", a condition that mostly affects Alzheimer's patients who believe inanimate objects are actually sentient.
  • With the dramatic increase in the use of robotic drones in the US military, there were a variety of concerns including the idea that soldiers might be more removed from battle or otherwise not want to use such things due to their inherent complexity in a chaotic environment (i.e. they'd be more trouble than they're worth). Well, as it turns out, this isn't exactly true...
    • One EOD squad ended up taking their bomb defusing robot out drinking with them.
    • A soldier was in tears when he brought in his squad's robot drone (nicknamed "Scooby Doo") for repairs. When told he'd just get a new drone, he replied that he didn't want a new one, he wanted Scooby Doo.
    • A soldier ran 84 yards through enemy fire to rescue a downed drone.
    • Some soldiers have been known to take their EOD bots fishing. Subverting Mundane Utility, the soldiers are not sure if they've ever actually caught a fish.
  • The custom of giving tropical cyclones human names started in 1944, when forecasters in the U.S. military started nicknaming storms after their wives and girlfriends. Giving human names to storms eliminates confusion, but it also adds a certain identity to the storms.
  • In 2007, a female swan fell in love with a swan-shaped boat.
  • The several TV examples of characters using pillows as either imaginary characters or replacements for real people is based on the real life phenomenon.
  • During the meeting between Napoleon and Tsar Alexander at Erfurt in 1808, Alexander's brother Constantine apparently told one of Napoleon's aides: "I say, Monsieur Oudinot, if your august master were to give me one of his swords, I should take it to bed with me!" (the original French sounded even more like a Double Entendre, with Constantine saying "je coucherais avec elle", which is more often used to refer to the other kind of "going to bed".)
  • A woman asks her husband to take some pictures of himself with his new selfie stick as he goes about his daily routine. Cue a series of pics where the guy actually includes the stick in the pics with him, treating it like a friend or a loyal pet.
  • The Opportunity Martian Rover (affectionately called "Oppy") held a similar place in the hearts of NASA, and nerd culture. "She" managed to last 15 years, and was even taught to sing "Happy Birthday" to herself. Her permanent deactivation on February 13th 2019 due to her heating unit being broken by a dust storm was cause for mourning in certain circles.
  • After the robotic Cassini spacecraft had been disposed of by plunging her into Saturn's atmosphere, there were tears in JPL's Mission Control, as some team members had been involved in the mission for decades.
  • Roomba has a policy wherein they will repair instead of replace damaged units because people get so attached to the darn things.
  • The dakimakura, a large pillow with an image of a fictional character on it, was invented for this purpose, and children in Japan still use them as security objects. However, they are more famous among otaku, who often buy body pillows of fictional characters that they are attracted to, which overlaps with Cargo Ship.
  • Twitter user @aritsmo owns a dog whose best friend is a brick.
  • Figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu has a plush Winnie the Pooh tissue box that follows him to competitions. If he's being interviewed or sitting at the kiss-and-cry while holding Pooh-san, it's more than likely he'll make the bear wave to the camera.
  • The Robot Combat sports fanbase, among whom many of these remote-control fighting machines are far more famous by name, capabilities, reputations and (alleged) personalities than their human designers or drivers. It's not uncommon for fan mail to be addressed to the robots, c/o their build teams. Most of the teams are proud enough of their handiwork to play along, and may "Cube-ify" their creations by calling them him/her, boasting of their bots' aggressiveness, or claiming that 'veteran' machines have grudges to settle.


Captain Qwark Cutout

Qwark acts as though his cardboard cutout is a living entity, even entrusting it to keep the Portalizer safe.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / CompanionCube

Media sources: