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Interclass Friendship is when people are friends regardless of their vastly different social status. This is usually represented by a rich person being chummy with a commoner. However, a master-servant or employer-employee relationship is just as common.
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Often times the friendship will be vitriolic in nature due to the difference in upbringing. Expect the rich friend to be insensitive to the commoner's living and the commoner believing the rich to be snobbish.

A common plot involving this trope is that the poorer friend finds themselves in a financial crisis. Logic would indicate that it be an easy solution for the richer friend to give them money. However, the poorer friend would have too much pride to accept the offer and instead insist on earning their keep.

Another common plot is having the rich friend lose all their money and move in with their poorer friend. Hilarity Ensues as they learn what it's like to be "poor."

The romantic variant of this is Uptown Girl — or, if their class inexorably divides them, Star-Crossed Lovers. Might also be seen as the mundane version of Pals with Jesus. Friendships falling under this trope are often an Odd Couple and may be subject to weird looks from other people. If the reason the two characters are friends is that they went to the same school, it becomes School Forced Us Together. The rich character is usually Nice to the Waiter, though sometimes this is only the case with that one particular friend.

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Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Carole & Tuesday: Carole is an orphan working various odd jobs to get by, while Tuesday is a child from a wealthy family. They connect with each over a love of music and form a band.
  • Detective Conan: Ran Mouri is the daughter of a Defective Detective who can barely solve a proper case (thus depriving him of income) without the help of Conan. Her best friend is Sonoko Suzuki, who is the daughter of a conglomerate group.
  • Doraemon: Rich kid Suneo is friends with middle-class Gian, Shizuka, and (when not bragging about his family's wealth, teasing, and playing pranks on him) Nobita.
  • Fairy Tail's Strongest Team consisting of Natsu, Lucy, Erza, Gray, Wendy, Happy and Carla. Lucy came from the formerly wealthy Heartfilia while the others are orphans by different circumstances. Lucy actually considers them and the rest of Fairy Tail as her friends and true family.
  • Fruits Basket: The commoner Tohru becomes friend with almost the entire Sohma family (some takes more time to warm up to her). She is even allowed to stay permanently at Shigure's house along with Yuki and Kyo, who both have a very soft spot for her.
  • Glitter Force has Nao Midorikawa who comes from a big working-class family and Reika Aoki who is part of a wealthy, traditionalist family. The two were even Childhood Friends before they became Pretty Cures.
  • In Hunter × Hunter, Gon comes from a small fishing island. His best friend Killua is the scion of an obscenely rich family of assassins.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War:
  • Kill la Kill: Downplayed with Ryuko Matoi and Mako Mankanshoku. The latter's family are so poor that they use very questionable meat for their croquettes and the former was implied to be rich since her former house was a giant mansion. Though, by the time the two became friends, Ryuko is a orphan vagabond. Then it's revealed that Ryuko is a Kiryuin and the daughter of Ragyo and sister of Satsuki.
  • Little Witch Academia (2017)
    • Muggle-born witch Atsuko Kagari becoming friends with Blue Blooded witch Diana Cavendish during Diana's trial to be the head of her family. Though, the two butted heads over their opposing ideals of magic before becoming friends.
    • There's also Akko and aristocrat Lord Andrew Hanbridge. And like Diana, the two had their fair shares of arguments before becoming friends.
  • Lyrical Nanoha:
    • Nanoha (daughter of a baker/retired bodyguard) is Childhood Friends with Arisa and Suzuka, both of whom are Ojous.
    • Vivio's circle of friends in ViVid ranges from working-class to incredibly wealthy, and several of them are direct descendants of royalty.
    • Fuka and Rinne from ViVid Strike!. They grew up in an orphanage together, until Rinne was adopted by rich fashion designers. Their friendship fell apart a few years later and the season revolves around them reconnecting.
  • Poor orphan Asuna from Mahou Sensei Negima! has been Vitriolic Best Buds with the ridiculously wealthy Ayaka ever since preschool. Subverted when it turns out that Asuna is a princess.
  • In chapter 62 of Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid, Kanna (who lives in a middle-class household) becomes friends with Chloe (the daughter of a wealthy CEO). When Chloe comes to visit in Kanna's Spin-Off, she also becomes friends with Kanna's Implied Love Interest Saikawa (whose family is upper-middle class).
  • My Hero Academia has the friendships between Class 1-A students, who are wealthy (especially Yaoyorozu, Todoroki, Iida) to comfortable (Midoriya) and relatively poor (Uraraka). The class disparities between the students are played both for laughs and drama.
  • My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!:
    • Katarina is a member of a high ranking noble family and is engaged to a prince. She ends up befriending Maria during their first year of magic school and specifically brings her into her circle of friends (which includes other high ranking nobles and royalty) in order to dissuade people from bullying her for her commoner status.
    • It's mentioned in a side story that Katarina's late grandfather had been best friends with the family gardener, Tom.
  • Haru from Ojojojo is best friends with the middle-class Akane. Due to Haru having worn the mask of being a Rich Bitch since elementary school, she occasionally refers to Akane as "commoner" by reflex. Their boyfriends have a similar relationship.
  • One Piece:
    • In general, most of the Straw Hats are from lower-class backgrounds(especially Nami, whose foster mother Belle-mere struggled to provide for her and her adoptive sister, Nojiko), but have several friends who are royalty. Princess Vivi of Alabasta is the most prominent example, being an Honorary True Companion of the crew who had actually temporarily joined them.
    • Speaking of Vivi, all of her childhood friends from the Sand-Sand Band also apply.
    • There is also Shirahoshi from Fishman Island, Rebecca from Dressrosa, Mansherry from Green Bit, and Dalton from the Sakura Kingdom; all of them are royalty, yet all of them are friends with the Straw Hats. Naturally, when all of them and Vivi meet each other at the Reverie, they're quick to bond over their shared friendship with Luffy.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Mami Tomoe who lives in a Big Fancy House became both a friend and mentor towards Kyouko Sakura, who came from a poor religious family. Sadly, their friendship falls apart after Kyoko's world views become different from Mami's after the death of her family at the hands of her father.
  • In The Royal Tutor, it is revealed that Heine (commoner) and Viktor (nobility) are very good friends. The manga has yet to go into detail how this Odd Friendship started.
  • In Spy X Family, Anya, who comes from an ostensibly normal, middle-class family, becomes best friends with Becky, the daughter of the CEO of a Fiction 500 company, even though the rest of the "elites" of the school demean her for being pretty much a Penny Among Diamonds.
  • Sherry Belmont from Zatch Bell! became best friends with the "so poor her family has to steal to survive" Koko when the latter saved her after a suicide attempt. Her main motivation for a good chunk of the series is saving Koko from being mind-controlled by one of the Arc Villains.

    Asian Animation 
  • Yamucha's Kung-Fu Academy's two main protagonists Miko and Nao. Miko comes from a poor family and had been chased by creditors. Nao comes from a rich family with a kung fu background.

    Comic Books 
  • Archie has Betty and Veronica. Betty is not dirt poor, but everyone in Riverdale is in comparison with the super-rich Lodge family. When they're not feuding over Archie, they're good friends. And when they are, it's mostly friendly. The economic differences in their friendship as described by Betty in one issue:
    Betty: When it comes to money, we're not from different worlds, we're from different galaxies!
  • The DCU:
    • Depending on the Writer and continuity, Superman and Batman are this. Clark Kent is a refugee space alien raised by the Kents on a farm and who is a reporter (which makes him middle-class) and Bruce Wayne is from the wealthy Wayne family and one of the richest men in the DC Universe. The relationship tends to fall in the Vitriolic Best Buds because of their own world views. Though, they do respect each other.
    • Tim Drake, a Lonely Rich Kid from the same neighborhood as the Waynes, and Conner Kent, who was born as a teenager in a Cadmus lab and later became a Farm Boy when he was taken in by Ma and Pa Kent, were unquestionably best friends who always had each other's backs prior to Flashpoint.
    • Following in their father's and predecessors' footsteps but with more headbutting is Jonathan Kent, "regular" old Farm Boy raised by his reporter parents and Lonely Rich Kid Damien Wayne who was raised by the League of Assassins.
    • Before Jonathan Kent was put to paper the incredibly wealthy Damain's first friend was the orphan Colin Wilkes, who lived in a Catholic orphanage in a run-down part of Gotham and after surviving being kidnapped and experimented on roamed the streets using his new power to protect other down on their luck kids from Gotham's criminal underworld.
    • Likewise, in the Batfamily, Batman is rich but Dick Grayson was born to a family of circus performers and grew up knowing carnies and circus people and Jason Todd was a poor street-kid. Likewise, Alfred Pennyworth, the Butler and Team Dad had far humbler origins, as did Commissioner Gordon.
    • Before becoming boyfriend and girlfriend Tim Drake and Stephanie Brown were friends from entirely different economic backgrounds. He was from Gotham's richest neighborhood where he lived next door to Bruce Wayne and she was from a run-down middle-class neighborhood with an unsuccessful criminal for a father and a drug addict mother. These differences became less pronounced when Tim's dad lost most of his money on the stock market and Steph's mother started working again but by then they were dating.
  • The New Mutants has Samuel Guthrie, a working-class lad who grew up in rural Kentucky, and Roberto da Costa, a multi-billionaire from Brazil. The huge wealth gap between them was negated by being on the same superhero team, and the two have steadily grown into Heterosexual Life-Partners.
  • In Runaways, Molly comes from the upper-middle class, being the daughter of two doctors (a dentist and a speech therapist, respectively.) Her best friend Klara is a poor immigrant from Switzerland. And the early 1900's.
  • During the early days of Spider-Man, there was Peter Parker, living with his widow aunt May Parker, and Harry Osborn, son of evil business man Norman Osborn. Sadly, the friendship falls apart thanks to learning Osborn was the Green Goblin and Peter was Spider-Man, and thinking he killed him. Indeed, in Peter's circle in college, the only one of his friends who shared his working-class background was Mary Jane Watson.
  • In W.I.T.C.H., Queen Elyon is quite friendly with her maid/personal assistant Nagadir, to the point where they're quite comfortable talking informally to each other.
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    Fan Works 
  • Fanon in Horatio Hornblower. Horatio Hornblower is a son of a doctor and therefore a commoner, and rather poor. Word of God has it that his friend Archie Kennedy is a third son of a Scottish lord. In fanfic, the Kennedy family tends to be vastly rich and Blue Blood, though all the money is supposed to be inherited by the oldest son, not Archie. Their different background becomes a plot point in "shore leave stories" when they visit together their respective families. However, they are equal in that they both serve in the Royal Navy as officers (a job respectable enough for sons of nobility or impoverished patricians). And importantly Horatio is above Archie in rank and therefore his superior in the Navy.
  • Souza and Kasen's friendship in The Red Web Of Fate qualifies as this; Kasen even goes to Souza's apartment to visit him and his family.
  • In Where Talent Goes on Vacation, most of Himeno Himemiya's friendships qualify, since her family is incredibly wealthy, but her relationship with her Childhood Friend and maid Kanae Tsukimura stands out most.

    Film — Animated 
  • The Princess and the Frog has a twofer, as it's set in the 1920s New Orleans. There's Tiana, a poor working-class black cook who dreams of owning a restaurant, and Charlotte, a wealthy white debutante who dreams of marrying a prince. Despite being divided by both their economical standing and their race, the two are Childhood Friends who are very supportive of one another. Charlotte even helped out Tiana by hiring her to cater her party for the visiting Prince Naveen.

    Film — Live Action 
  • The Breakfast Club: The movie ends with all of the five students that consist of rich, pampered, popular girl Claire and the rest who come from middle and working-class backgrounds, being friends.
  • Bride Wars: Liv, a rich and successful attorney, and Emma, a middle school teacher, who have been best friends since childhood.
  • The Cheetah Girls consist of 4 friends: Aqua, Chanel, and Galleria who come from well-off families, and Dorinda, a foster child who works as a janitor at the community center.
  • While it is never stated what social class Craig and Neil in The Cinema Snob Movie belong too, it is best presumed that they are lower-middle-class given the house they share and the budget they have for filming. They also happen to be old classmates of Gene (played by Noah Antwiler), the richest man in Springfield, who agrees to be their producer, getting them the rights to film at the local roller-rink and getting Vladimir Jackson to star. They drink with them when they fail to get filming rights to the rest of the city, get them a pizza when they ask him and he even helps them find out about the sketchy police officers that have been antagonizing Craig.
  • The Fisher King is about former high-profile shock-jock Jack Lucas whose life is saved by a crazy homeless Parry who turns out wound up insane and homeless after surviving a shooting Jack inadvertently caused. Feeling guilty, Jack tries helping Parry get together with his crush, growing to care about Parry in the process.
  • Marta from Knives Out is a working-class nurse who was hired by the extremely wealthy Thrombley family to care for the aging patriarch, Harlan. Of the Thrombleys, she's genuinely close to Harlan himself, and Meg, one of his grandchildren. Harlan's friendship was very genuine, to the extent that he leaves Marta his entire fortune after he dies. Meg, unfortunately, turns out to be a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing like the rest of her family, and betrays Marta's confidence by telling the others that Marta's mom is undocumented. That said, she does seem to genuinely regret this, and Marta forgives her.
  • The Chilean film Machuca is about this: the friendship between a low-class kid (Pedro Machuca) and a high-class kid (Gonzalo Infante), both met when a group of poor children were taken by a prestigious school in order to promote the no-discrimination between social classes. The plan of the school, as well the friendship between Machuca and Infante, went broken because of the Augusto Pinochet's coup d'etat.
  • The Princess Diaries: Amelia "Mia" Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi, the princess of a Ruritania, Genovia, and Lilly Moscovitz, a commoner student activist, have been best friends for a long time, way before Mia found out that her late father was actually the Crown Prince of Genovia.
  • Princess Protection Program: Rosalinda as a Princess of a small nation and Carter the bait shop salesgirl.
  • Richie Rich: Richie, world's richest kid, ends up being friends with the children of the workers of the factory his dad acquired, who, at first, only agreed to befriend Richie for money, thanks to Richie's butler, Cadbury.
  • Troop Beverly Hills: All of the girls from the titular troop have rich parents, except Emily, whose father is a cash-strapped out-of-work actor. When Emily finds out she can't pay for the new scout badge, one of the girls, Tiffany (whose father is a wealthy, successful Beverly Hills plastic surgeon), helps her paying for it.

    Literature 
  • A Little Princess: Sara Crewe is the pet student at a boarding school and quite well off. While there, she meets Becky, the scullery maid, and strikes up a friendship with her. Sara tells Becky stories just like the other girls and sneaks her food that she has bought, and Becky makes her a pillow out of flannel as a present. When Sara loses her wealth, she and Becky become fellow sufferers under Ms. Minchin's rule. Then, when Sara is adopted at the end, she mentions Becky to her new father and takes her away from the boarding school to a much better life as her personal companion.
  • Circle of Magic: The Family of Choice: Sandry, a noble, siblings with Briar, a street rat, Tris, a merchant, and Daja, a member of a nomadic people.
  • City of Bones by Martha Wells: Khat and Elen become Fire-Forged Friends as they save the world together, despite the fact that she's a Magic Knight near the top of the Fantastic Caste System and he's firmly at the bottom. Her preconceptions about lower-class citizens and his profound distrust of Patricians are definite stumbling blocks along the way.
  • In Crazy Rich Asians, middle-class Rachel is friends with the wealthy Peik Lin. She later befriends the even wealthier Astrid and Araminta.
  • The Essex Serpent, set in late Victorian England:
    • Between Martha and Cora. Martha is from the working class, though her family was one of the "good" families that have had stable income and she's also well-read and educated. She works as a governess/nanny for the Seabornes to Francis and she's a close companion to Cora, a lady from a rich upper-class family. They are very close and Cora often takes her out for dinner parties and essentially treats her like her equal. Martha never forgets about her origin and campaigns for workers' rights. It's strongly implied their relationship was physical, too.
    • Naomi and Joanna's friendship; Joanna Ransome is the daughter of the village priest and she belongs to the upper-middle class. Her friend Naomi Banks is a daughter of a fisherman who is also a local drunk. They go to school together and are great friends. The Ransome are no snobs and the girls are allowed to be friends. When Joanna meets and befriends Cora and Martha (adult ladies), she wants to be more like them and the two girls start to grow apart. There is no malice and Joanna doesn't want to hurt her friend, but Naomi still feels betrayed.
  • Harry Potter
    • Harry is implied to be somewhere between very and obscenely rich. Ron, his best friend, is a member of the poorest family depicted in the novels. The issues of class are played down in that Harry was raised by muggles and more or less a Spear Counterpart to Cinderella in that he lived as a poor servant to a rich step-family but then gets pushed forth into celebrity-superhero-dom. The class issues don't become part of their dynamic until Book 4, where Harry casually admits that he forgot about missing Leprechaun gold, and has a trust-fund that provides him new robes and books, while Ron still has second-hand items passed down to him and mutters that if he got a sum of that much leprechaun gold he would certainly notice it missing.
    • In the backstory, James and Sirius were from very wealthy families, albeit the latter was a White Sheep Cultural Rebel. They befriend the much poorer Remus Lupin. Lily Evans, who had a middle-class upbringing also befriended the very poor Severus Snape. Severus Snape likewise befriended the very wealthy Lucius Malfoy in Slytherin.
  • The Heroes of Olympus: At the start of the series, Leo, an orphan who was raised by a working-class single mother, is friends with Piper, the daughter of a famous actor.
  • The Kingkiller Chronicle: The Maer Alveron, a de facto King, has been close friends with his Old Retainer Stapes since their boyhood; they trust each other absolutely and have nicknames for each other. After Kvothe saves the Maer's life, Stapes declares himself eternally in Kvothe's debt, even after Kvothe is disgraced at court.
  • The classic Mark Twain story The Prince and the Pauper is about the friendship of two young boys who are identical in appearance: Tom Canty, a pauper who lives with his abusive father in Offal Court off Pudding Lane in London, and Prince Edward, son of King Henry VIII.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire
    • Arya, a member of the most powerful noble house in the North, has such a friendship with Mycah, a butcher's son, at the beginning of the first book. It ends poorly when Prince Joffrey has Mycah killed over a minor offence. Later as a runaway, she has this dynamic with Gendry and Hardwin of the Brotherhood Without Banners.
    • From Tales of Dunk and Egg we have Prince Aegon (Egg) who serves as squire to the Working-Class Hero Self-Proclaimed Knight Dunk of Flea Bottom. Both of them bond over the fact that they grew up in King's Landing.
    • To the extent that King Stannis Baratheon can have a friend (since in his view, "Kings have no friends. Only subjects and enemies"), Ser Davos Seaworth, the Onion Knight who started as a poor smuggler, qualifies. The King values his genuine street-smart intelligence and moral authority.
    • Tyrion Lannister's relationship with Bronn the Sellsword is a much colder take on this. Their relationship while not without warmth and good cheer is one of dependency and subject to how much money and advancement Bronn can score off him. Later when Tyrion is in exile and meets the dwarf Penny, he finds himself amused to note that despite both he and she being dwarfs, their class differences prevent any real friendship and bond developing between them.
  • The Lord of the Rings: Frodo is the heir of one of the wealthiest hobbits in the area. Sam is the gardener/manservant. While Sam never forgets that he isn't of Frodo's rank, their already good relationship becomes very close as the two make their way to Mt. Doom.
  • The Raven Tower: Eolo and Mawat are trusted friends despite Mawat being heir to the country's throne and Eolo being a runaway Farm Boy turned soldier; upon returning to the capital, several people remark on the fact that Eolo can reason with Mawat when no one else can. Implied to overlap with Fire-Forged Friends, since they were active in the military together. However, their relationship is always underscored by the power imbalance between them.
    It's clear that you trust [Mawat] ... And you must have concluded that he trusts you. Though perhaps his is a more confident trust, he has so much power over you, and you none over him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 13 Reasons Why: Justin Foley, who comes from working-class background, is friends with rich fellow jocks Bryce Walker and Zach Dempsey.
    • In fact, thanks to Justin's friendship with Bryce, who always buys him stuff, including a new pair of basketball sneakers, and lets him stay at his pool house for as long as he likes, he reluctantly allows Bryce to rape his girlfriend, Jessica.
  • The basic plot of 2 Broke Girls. Max Black is a diner waitress and high school dropout. She doesn't know who her father is and frequently references her broken childhood. Whereas Caroline Channing is the socialite daughter of a billionaire, who has a horse named Chestnut and ends up broke. She tells everyone about her college experiences at Wharton.
    Caroline: When I was 15, I paid the security system guys extra to not wire the skylight, and then I snuck out and went to Illiano Schapiro's sweet sixteen.
    Max: Cute.
    Caroline: In Greece.
    Max: Hardcore. I used to sneak out of the house and huff spray paint with an ex-marine.
  • Beverly Hills, 90210: Middle-class Brandon and Brenda Walsh are friends with the rich kids of 90210.
    • Also goes for its Sequel Series, 90210, where middle-class Annie and Dixon Wilson are also friends with their wealthy, privileged classmates, like Naomi Clark, who's best friends with Annie.
  • Big Little Lies: The rich queen bee of Otter Bay Elementary mothers, Madeline, befriends Jane, a struggling young single mother after Jane helps Madeline walking to her car due to her hurting foot. Madeline even helps fighting for Jane, after Jane's son, Ziggy, is accused of hurting his classmate, Amabella.
  • Best Friends Whenever: Daisy, a Princess from the 16th century, becomes friends with two ordinary girls from the 21st century.
  • Boy Meets World.
    • Cory Matthews and Shawn Hunter. Cory comes from a middle-class, two-parent family. Shawn lives in the Pink Flamingo Trailer Park with both a Missing Mom and a barely-there dad.
      Shawn: And to think you were my only rich friend.
      Cory: Comfortable. Never rich.
      Shawn: Indoor plumbing? Rich.
    • There's also Cory's brother Eric Matthews being friends with Shawn's brother Jack Hunter whose family is more well off.
  • The TV adaptation of Clueless has Sean, who in the near series finale is revealed to come from a working-class background living in South Central, something that he hides in order to attend a good public school due to the school's policy. Despite that, his rich Beverly Hills friends like Murray (his best friend, the only one besides Cher's father who knew about this), Cher, Amber, and Dionne have his back.
  • Joe and Blair from The Facts of Life are a Vitriolic Best Buddies type. Joe comes from a single home from the Bronx while Blair came from old money family. The two were the most likely to bicker with one another amongst the four girls with many jokes directed at their social status. Despite that, the two ended up being very close to one another. This was best demonstrated in an episode that had the two going back home and each of them hanging out with an old friend. At first the two were excited to get away from each other. But after learning their old friends' bad personalities, they realized internally that they were actually good friends.
  • In Friends, Chandler (his father is old money) and Rachel (her father is a surgeon) come from very upper-middle-class families (both families had live-in servants); Monica and Ross (their father is a retired military officer) come from a middle-class family (nice suburban house in a good neighborhood, yearly vacations); Joey (his father is a plumber) comes from a working-class family; and Phoebe although had been born into a middle-class family (her father was a pharmacist) but she was orphaned at age 14 and lived as a street-urchin afterwards. All of their mothers were stay-at-home wives (Chandler's mom later became a best-selling novelist).
    • In the course of the show, Ross and Chandler more or less stay the same, with Ross becoming a well-paid academic with tenure, Chandler having a well-paid IT executive job early-on and then shifting, rather smoothly, to advertising. Monica, Rachel and Joey struggle in their jobs at various times, being fired and unemployed and sponging off the rest before landing smoothly, becoming a head chef at a classy restaurant, a fashion executive at Ralph Lauren, and a daytime soap opera star, respectively. Phoebe's income situation is never made clear, but at the end she is shown having a well-paying masseuse job.
  • Gilmore Girls: While Rory does have rich old-moneyed grandparents, she's still financially poor, which makes her friendship with rich Paris Geller count as this.
  • Gilligan's Island: Mr. and Mrs. Howell are upper-class and extremely wealthy, but they become friends with the rest of the Castaways (of whom only movie star Ginger Grant might be anywhere near their "class") during the time they're marooned on the island. Mr. Howell even changes his will for them and during Rescue From Gilligan's Island, they throw out a couple of upper-class guests for insulting Gilligan and the Skipper.
  • Girl Meets World has a similar friendship like its parent show with Riley Matthews, daughter of Corey and Topanga, being friends with Shawn Expy Maya Hart who lives with her single-parent mother.
  • Gossip Girl: Wealthy Nate Archibald, while best friends with fellow upper-class Chuck Bass, is also good friends with middle-class Dan Humphrey.
    • Dan's sister, Jenny, is best friends with the wealthy Eric van der Woodsen.
  • Hannah Montana: Rich and successful double-platinum selling pop star Hannah Montana / Miley Stewart is best friends with comparatively poorer Lilly and Oliver.
  • How I Met Your Mother: The main gang consists of independently wealthy Barney Stinson (raised in a lower-middle-class home by a single mother, became rich as an adult), old-money raised, but self-reliant middle-class Robin, and middle-class raised and living Marshall, Ted and Lily.
  • Jessie: Emma's closest school friend Rosie is a Bronx resident and her family is stated to be not wealthy. Continued in Bunk'd where Emma is friends with Lou.
  • Kamen Rider Gaim has Kouta Kazuraba who lives with his sister in an apartment and trying to find a job and Mitzune Kureshima who lives with his brother in a mansion and goes to a private school. The two are best friends with Mitzune considering Kouta more like a brother than his own. Sadly, their friendship turns sour and it takes a lot to repair it.
  • Kimmy Schmidt and her boss, Jacqueline, the socialite wife of a New York billionaire.
  • Midsomer Murders: One episode has a local hobo who is also best friends with one of the village's most notable figures. Lampshaded by one of the village's inhabitants:
    You'd think he could find a better friend than a former appeals court judge.
  • One Day at a Time (2017): The working-class Alvarezes and their wealthy landlord, Schneider, who practically consider each other family.
  • The O.C.: Seth Cohen, whose family is very rich (and probably the richest in Newport Beach), is best friends (and later, adoptive brothers) with working-class bad boy Ryan Atwood.
  • Revenge: Nolan Ross, a tech billionaire, actually tries to be friends with poor bar owner Jack Porter by buying his boat (that Nolan later gives back to him). They later do become genuinely friends.
  • Smallville:
    • The relationship between alien farm boy Clark Kent and human billionaire Lex Luthor actually starts with the two future arch-enemies being friends. Pretty much everybody was sceptical of the two being friends since Lex was a Luthor. Despite that, Clark did genuinely consider Lex a friend and was his confidant. Sadly, the two do have a falling out thanks to all the lies and secrets being too much.
    • By the time Clark and Lex's friendship was falling apart, rich boy Oliver Queen aka Green Arrow enter to be Clark's new ally. Though it does start out rough and the two did have a falling out after Ollie killed Lex. They do make up and Ollie actually becomes Clark's best man at his wedding to Lois.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: Kirk and Spock started their strong friendship when Kirk was captain and Spock still held a lieutenant commander's rank. This downplayed example disappears when Spock becomes first officer, but the second season replaces it with another, much more dramatic, gap — "Amok Time" and "Journey to Babel" state that Spock comes from an important clan and that his father serves as the Vulcan ambassador. Kirk comes from Iowa and had no apparent special status before coming to Starfleet.
  • Maddie Fitzpatrick and London Tipton in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody are close friends, despite London being a spoiled Innocently Insensitive Valley Girl hotel heiress and Maddie being a multi-employed sarcastic counter girl from a poor family.
    • This also happens between London and Bailey, a small-town farm girl, in The Suite Life On Deck.
    • London is also good friends with Zack and Cody themselves (whose mother works at London's hotel as the lounge singer).
  • Will & Grace: Jack McFarland, a Camp Gay cash-strapped freeloader, and his Fag Hag, Karen Walker, an extremely rich socialite, who are best friends.
    • Karen's friendship with the comparatively poorer titular characters can also count as this, especially with Grace, who's also her boss.

    Theatre 
  • Hamlet: Hamlet, prince of Denmark, and Horatio, university student and only commoner at Elsinore. Horatio's humble station is part of the reason Hamlet trusts him so implicitly; as a prince, he's used to being surrounded by Professional Butt Kissers who flatter to gain favor and advancement, whereas... that's kind of off the table for Horatio. He also makes it clear that this is why Horatio can trust him:
    Hamlet: Nay, do not think I flatter;
    For what advancement may I hope from thee
    That no revenue hast but thy good spirits,
    To feed and clothe thee? Why should the poor be flattered?
  • The relationship between Prince Hal and Sir John Falstaff in Henry IV is considered the definitive example of this in all of literature, the most poignant and heartbreaking in its refusal to back away from the mutual exploitation and sadness such interactions do have.

    Video Games 
  • Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia from Art of Fighting (and later, The King of Fighters), Alternate Company Equivalents to the below Ryu and Ken. Like their SF analogues, Robert is the son of a wealthy businessman who spent his childhood with Ryo, a hard-working martial artist. Despite the social divide, Ryo and Robert are best friends, with their clashes coming mainly from Robert's constant flaunting of his affluence (as the Sakazaki family is usually in financial trouble due to the expenses of the Kyokugen Dojo, though Robert is occasionally implied to help them out) and Ryo's conflicted feelings on the romantic attraction between his younger sister Yuri and Robert.
  • This was the case in the backstory of Bayonetta with Jeanne and Bayonetta, who were Childhood Friends and frequent sparring partners despite the fact that one was the heiress to the clan and the other an outcast for being a Child of Forbidden Love. While they are still friends in the present day (once Jeanne's brainwashing is undone and Bayonetta regains her memories), their class differences no longer exist due to their clan being otherwise extinct.
  • While most characters in Ensemble Stars! are pretty wealthy other than Hajime, it's notable that he's friends with the two absolute richest among the cast - Tori and Eichi. Tori in particular loves to flaunt his superiority over 'commoners', but gradually grows very close to the selfless, hard-working Hajime.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics had Ramza Beoulve, a noble, and Delita Heiral, a commoner, whose friendship was akin to brotherhood. It's Deconstructed as the nobility and high class like Argath looked down on the friendship and Delita was conscious of the prejudice. Also, the friendship didn't last as the game progress. Likewise, there's also a friendship between their respective younger sisters, Alma and Tietra, at least before Tietra dies at the end of the game's first act.
  • In The Idolmaster, Yayoi Takatsuki who became an idol to help her large and poor family is best friends with Iori Minase who comes from a wealthy family and became an idol to be acknowledged.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
  • Recette (working-class girl forced to become a Young Entrepreneur to pay off her father's debts) and Alouette (daughter of the owner of a massive retail chain) in Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale. Alouette claims to view Recette as a rival, but her actions (buying expensive items from Recette's store at higher prices to alleviate her debt) make it clear that she views her as a friend.
  • Senran Kagura:
    • After the two groups stopped trying to kill each other and got to know each other, Asuka's Hanzo Academy, an elite ninja school, ends up being friends with Homura's Crimson Squad, who end up being runaway ninjas. Though, the two who fit this the most are Ikaruga, who was adopted into a rich ninja family, and Yomi, who was born in the poorest slums.
    • Ikaruga's first true friend in Hanzo Academy was with the orphaned Katsuragi.
  • Street Fighter
  • Asuka Kazuma and Emilie De Rochefort from Tekken play with this trope. The two are rivals, with the latter wanting to constantly fight the former to her utter annoyance. However, Lili's ending in the sixth game implies that Lili wants to be friends with Asuka but doesn't know how to express it except by fighting her. And then there's Asuka's ending in 7, where Lili buys her family's struggling dojo and moves with in Asuka at her house.
  • Spiderman PS 4: Harry Osborn is childhood friends with Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. When M.J. sneaks around Norman Osborn's penthouse, she muses to herself that even though the few times she and Peter had spent in that penthouse watching tv was some of the most amazing memories from their childhood, she had "never seen Harry more happy than when he was watching cartoons with them in front of the tiny TV in Aunt May's kitchen."
  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel, Class VII was assembled from individuals from all social classes ranging from nobility, middle class, war orphans and even a tech company heiress (who is still regarded as a member of the middle class). While the group begins on rocky footing (especially in regards to Jusis and Machias), eventually through their collective experiences they become True Companions. As it turns out this was part of the reason why the class was formed, being Prince Olivert's way of resolving the severe class division that plagues Erebonia.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair, there's Rie Miyamoto and Runa Hikari. At first glance, you would think that the laid-back and unsophisticated Rie is relatively poor while the well-mannered and kimono-clad Runa is rich, but it's the other way around. Rie comes from a wealthy family who owns the resort that the game takes place in, and Runa is the daughter of a cleaning lady and a fishmonger.
  • Spirit Hunter: NG:
    • Akira is a Working-Class Hero who used to live in poverty, while his best friend Seiji is the rich son of Yakuza. Once they became friends, Seiji hooked Akira up with an underground fighting gig which, along with being adopted by his aunt, helped Akira get on his feet.
    • Rosé comes from the upper-class, which is reflected in her glamorous appearance and mannerisms. On the contrary, investigative journalist Ban is always a little strapped for cash due to his gambling addiction. Though calling what they have a 'friendship' might not be accurate, as their differing stances on money are one of the many things that cause them to clash.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe: Ayla, a kid from the richest family in America, is friends with Generator, the orphaned child of a street-level thug, and Aqurena, from a "low-income family in Zanesville, Ohio".

    Western Animation 
  • As Told by Ginger: Although she's not on the same level of friendship with Ginger as Dodie and Macie, Courtney Gripling is nevertheless on good terms with her and often tries to be Ginger's friend despite coming from a rich family while Ginger is middle-class. Her younger brother Blake has a friendly rivalry with Ginger's younger brother Carl.
  • Arthur
    • There's rich girl Muffy Crosswire and Francine Frensky whose father works as a garbage man. The two are squarely in the Vitriolic Best Buddies territory with Muffy acting snobbish which irritates Francine. There was even a episode that dealt with Muffy hiring Francine so she be able to buy some new sneakers. Though, Muffy was too demanding and quit.
    • Another example includes Muffy and her butler Bailey. There was an episode that dealt with the two's friendship with a worried Muffy trying to find a missing Bailey. Francine would point out that the two weren't really friends despite what Muffy thought since she didn't know his personal life. Though that changed afterwards and future episodes do show the two being close.
  • This is a recurring theme among the various Team Avatars in the Avatar franchise. In the first show, Aang is an airbending monk and he quickly joins up with Sibling Team Sokka and Katara. Their dad is the chief but the Southern Water Tribe is the most impoverished location in the series so they’re quite poor. Along the way they pick up Toph whose family is one of the richest in the entire Earth Kingdom, if not the world, and Zuko who’s a prince. Korra in the Sequel Series is also the daughter of the Chief of the Southern Water Tribe (but this he’s democratically elected) who originally came from a rich family in the Northern Tribe so she’s pretty well off (although she lived in a compound her whole life where she didn’t need to worry about money). The first friends she makes in Republic City are former Street Urchin brothers Mako and Bolin (who also come from a poor family on their dad’s side) and then they bring extremely wealthy heiress Asami into the fold. Aang’s predecessor, Roku, came from a noble Fire Nation family and he was friends with Aang’s monk Parental Substitute, Gyatso. Kyoshi, his predecessor, was also an orphaned Street Urchin but at the beginning of her novel her only friends are Yun (another poor orphan) and Rangi, a girl from a noble Fire Nation family.
  • Doug
    • Working-class Patti Mayonnaise is best friends with Beebe Bluff, whose family are rich and also the founders of Bluffington.
    • There's Doug Funnie, whose parents are in the working class, being friends with Mr. Dink, who is implied to be rich since his house is twice as big as Doug's and he buys very expensive stuff.
  • DuckTales (1987):
    • Scrooge calls Mrs. Beakley his friend in "The Status Seekers", gives her birthday presents, and chases after a gang of Vikings to get her back. Mrs. Beakley, on her side, is far more loyal to and concerned for her boss than one would expect for a disinterested employee (e.g., she forces him to get the rest he needs rather than trying to work through a fever.)
    • Scrooge is Launchpad's boss and the world's richest duck. However, Launchpad verbally refers to Scrooge as a friend, remains loyal to him whether or not the older duck actually has the ability to pay him, and guards him against all harm as well as he can, and despite Scrooge's vitriolic treatment of his pilot much of the time, he honestly cares about Launchpad, getting a few Pet the Dog moments directed at him and doing some pretty big things to protect him.
  • Elena of Avalor: Crown Princess Elena's best friend Naomi is the daughter of the Harbormaster and unofficially the assistant Harbormaster. Elena also counts Royal Guard Gabe as a friend, who is the only offspring of the village bakers.
  • The Fairly OddParents: Middle-class Timmy is best friends with upper-middle-class A.J. and lower-class Chester.
  • Futurama
    • Something like this happened in "A Fishful of Dollars". Normally, Bender the bending robot and Fry the delivery man are at about the same social standing, but the seventy-five cents Fry had on his bank account when he was cryogenically frozen in the year 2000 had become a 4.3 billion dollar balance after 1,000 years of interest.
    • Amy comes from a very wealthy family (her parents own half the land on Mars), yet she gladly hangs out with the rest of the team.
    • At the other end of the spectrum, there's Zoidberg, who, despite being a doctor (of dubious credentials, but still), lives in a dumpster and eats off the garbage. He is mostly employed because he's good friends with Professor Farnsworth, and once saved his life from a Tritonian yeti and made a deal to put the Professor out of his misery if he ever got Tritonian hypermalaria.
  • Hey Arnold!: Middle-class Nadine is best friends with the wealthy Rhonda Wellington Lloyd.
    • There's also lower-middle-class Sid who's good friends with Lorenzo who's even more wealthy than Rhonda.
  • In Mixels, royal prince Camillot befriends Jamzy and Booger, two public school students, when he and his cousin are transferred into Mixopolis Middle School to learn how to mingle with the common Mixels.
  • South Park
    • Token Black and his family are the only rich people in South Park. Feeling he didn't fit in with his poorer friends, Token tried and succeeded in bringing more rich people and their kids. Unfortunately, he even has less in common with them. After spending some time with a pride of lions, he realizes that he did belong with his poorer friends.
    • Lawyer Gerald Broflovski and white trash Stuart McCormick use to be friends when they were teens. Stuart blames their falling out and not getting into college to Gerald being Jewish when in reality it was because he was a lazy alcoholic.
    • Stan, Kyle, Eric and Kenny are also this. Stan and Kyle come from a working middle-class family while Kenny and Eric are the poorest kids in town. Though, calling Eric a friend might be stretching it. Kyle and Stan do make fun of Kenny's poorness, but not to the same level as Eric.
  • Tangled: The Series: Rapunzel makes friends with her maid/guard Cassandra.
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has Twilight Sparkle, a mare of a fairly upper-class Canterlot family and protege of Princess Celestia, and her friends from Ponyville, a small rural community. Though the significance is entirely lost on Twilight herself, episodes like Sweet and Elite have made it quite clear the majority of the Canterlot upper-class view Ponyville residents as uncultured boorish hicks.
    • Rarity is a posh fashion designer and owns two boutiques who's best friend is Applejack, a tomboy country girl who works at an apple farm. They originally started off as not really liking each other and having a rather nasty feud in Look Before You Sleep but character development in later seasons made them very close friends. One thing they also share is that they're the only two ponies in the main cast who run their own businesses.

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