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Former Friends Photo

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A picture or video of two or more characters who have been previously introduced as bitter enemies or rivals shows them chilling out together back when they were young and, apparently, best of buds with each other. Also included are other types of recordings, such as video and audio tapes.

A specific expression of We Used to Be Friends and, at times, of Evil Former Friend. Also related to Happier Home Movie, which is about a particular character's happy past rather than past relationships, and Photos Lie, which is an inverse of this, where the photo hides past enmity, rather than revealing past friendship. See also Family Portrait of Characterization.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Chapter five of The Garden of Sinners prominently features an old photograph of Touko Aozaki (The Mentor to the good guys), Cornelius Alba, and Souren Araya (the Big Bad Duumvirate of the series) from back when they were working together at the Clock Tower. The three of them seem quite friendly on the photo for people who take every opportunity to murder each other in the story proper.
  • A photo in The Idolmaster shows that the President of 765 Production used to be friends with their nemesis, President Kuroi of 361 Production, along with his reporter friend and Kotori.
  • In Show By Rock!!, an old photo of Rom and Shuuzo when they were in a band together is tucked away inside one of their CD's. In the game, Selen finds it while researching old, obscure bands; in the anime, Yaiba finds it at BRR and shows it to the rest of Shingancrimsonz, who are understandably shocked.
  • Mobile Fighter G Gundam has a variation: At the outset of the show, Domon is searching the world for a man and shows people a torn photograph, asking if they've ever seen him. A few episodes in we find out that the man is Domon's older brother Kyoji, who went nuts and stole the Devil Gundam, and the torn portion of the picture shows Kyoji giving a preteen Domon a piggyback ride. By the end of the series it turns out that Kyoji was Good All Along, restoring Domon's opinion of his brother, and we see the picture taped back together.
  • In Muhyo and Roji, there's a photo of Page and Tomas, both of whom were friends and fellow magical law teachers. Some time after the photo was taken, Tomas was discovered to have been a criminal prior to coming to MLS, and he fled to join Ark, resulting in him and Page becoming enemies.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Racing Stripes' Rage Against the Mentor scene, Franny tells Stripes to "look closer" at a photograph hanging on the wall. Much to his surprise, Stripes recognizes its subjects as Tucker beside egotistical champion Sir Trenton. Turns out, Tucker is far more experienced with racing than Stripes thought.
  • The Eiger Sanction. Jonathan Hemlock has a photograph taken during the Vietnam War of his special forces buddies Henri Baq and Miles Mellough—the latter is crossed out because Miles is a Double Agent who betrayed them to the enemy.

  • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Mad-Eye Moody shows Harry a picture of the old Order of the Phoenix, that includes Harry's parents as well as their former friend who betrayed them to Voldemort and caused their death.

     Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 
  • In Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven, rival mob bosses Don Salieri and Don Morello are introduced as long-time bitter enemies, but towards the end of the game, Tommy finds an old photo of them back in their youth, when they were best friends working as caporegimes for the then-Don Peppone. This photo is part of what makes Tommy realize that Being Evil Sucks.
  • Promotional materials for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night contain an old photo of The Hero Miriam, her aloof ally Johannes, and the Big Bad Gebel chilling out as friends during happier times.
  • In Command & Conquer: Renegade, one of the mission loading screens shows a photo of the Dead-6 Commando back when Sakura was still a part of it. She starts helping Havoc again after revealing she was a double-agent working for GDI the whole time.
  • In Overwatch there are several photos of the title organization's members in their glory days, including several showing Jack Morrison (Soldier 76) and Gabriel Reyes (Reaper) standing next to each other.
  • In the final cutscene of the original Saints Row, Benjamin King ponders at an old photo of him and Julius Little back in their youthnote . Although in the game, the two of them are rival gang bosses (King leading the Vice Kings and Julius, the Third Street Saints), Julius reveals that both of them come from Sunnyvale, where they were Best Friends and started the VKs together for much the same purpose as the Saints' — to Clean Up the Town. When King and other VKs began turning into just another gangnote , Julius broke up with them, dropped his flags, and started anew in the Row. However, when the VKs turn on King for trying to go legal, Julius honors their old friendship and sends his own men to bail King out, then convinces him to drop his flags... by dismantling his gang. In turn, King having held on to their old photo after all these years shows that he also hasn't really stopped viewing Julius as a friend, even after ending on the opposing sides of the Mob War.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Double Homework, Lauren and Morgan are introduced as bitter rivals, but hints are dropped at a couple of points that they weren’t always that way. Finally, if the protagonist confronts Lauren about it at a critical juncture, she shows him a picture of the two of them, and admits that she used to be in Morgan’s gang.
  • In Lilly's route of Katawa Shoujo, Akira shares a photo of Lilly with her cousin Shizune and Shizune's friend and interpreter Misha, while they were working at the school festival together. Neither Shizune nor Lilly turns evil, but they had a falling out due to clashing over Shizune's approach to her Student Council President job. By the end of the route, they reconcile.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Lana and Gant used to be partners. Ironically the photo commemorating their achievements was taken only hours before the incident that started the entire mess with murder and blackmail.

  • In El Goonish Shive, the photo Raven looks at is a hint that he used to have a closer relationship with Tedd's parents.

    Web Original 
  • In Acquisitions Incorporated season 10, the party finds a photo of Jim and his "buddy" Roger back in magical school. Roger being the guy who murders Jim on his 40th birthday (though he gets better).

    Western Animation 
  • One episode of Recess features TJ secretly attending Menlo's birthday party, to the confusion of the rest of the gang. As he leaves, Menlo gives TJ a picture of them both when they were younger. He and TJ explain that when they realised they were drifting apart, TJ promised to always attend Menlo's birthday, and holds himself to it.
  • In the Donkey Kong Country episode, "Best of Enemies", Diddy Kong finds an old photo of King K. Rool and Cranky Kong when they were friends. Cranky explains to Donkey and Diddy that they used to do many exciting stunts together, such as tsunami wrestling, and skydiving without parachutes. Their friendship ended during the last event, walking across the wing of an airborne bi-plane, when Cranky accused K. Rool of cheating. Donkey and Diddy try to get Cranky and K. Rool to be friends again so that K. Rool will stop trying to steal the Crystal Coconut.
  • In Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Tummi and Gusto find an ancient Gummi city where they are met with hostile sentient trees. Later on they find a mural that depicts the Great Gummies and the trees as allies.
  • In Justice League: Gods and Monsters, the film shows a photo of Batman, the Big Bad and the latter's wife before the credits roll.
  • In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls, Twilight Sparkle finds a group photo of the human counterparts of her Equestrian friends during their freshmen year, which lead her to suspect that Sunset Shimmer may have had a hand in tearing their friendship apart. By helping them clear out their misunderstandings and amend their friendship, they in turn help Twilight defeat Sunset through The Power of Friendship and reclaim her Element of Magic by the movie's end.
  • The Owl House episode "Understanding Willow" is set in motion because of a photo of Willow and Amity back when they were friends. Amity panics when she catches a sight of it and attempts to burn her face off of it so her Girl Posse won't see. Unfortunately, it's actually a magic photo directly connected to Willow's memories, so when she ends up destroying it and all the other ones next to it by accident it causes Willow to suffer a bout of amnesia. Ironically, despite how happy the two are in the picture, it was actually a memory of the day that Amity's parents forced her to end their friendship.

    Real Life