Follow TV Tropes

Following

Like Brother and Sister

Go To

"She loves me. She's like the big sister I never had. Only, you know... short."

Sometimes, two characters of the opposite sex are very close — so close that you might expect them to be dating. Except they're not. They admit that they matter a great deal to each other, that they would die for each other, that they can't imagine life without each other. They aren't just any pair of friends. They're as close as family. They're like brother and sister!

Advertisement:

Often, other people don't believe this. They assume that the couple must be dating — or at least that they secretly wish they were. When the couple say they are like brother and sister, they will point out the one tiny but debilitating flaw with their theory: They are not brother and sister.

The couple are at pains to explain that their love is completely platonic with no sexual attraction on either side. No matter how other people view them, they can't see each other in that light. They love each other, like siblings love each other, but they're not in love. They really are "just" friends.

The Greek word for this love is storge, as explained in detail in C. S. Lewis' book on the subject, The Four Loves. The fact that this doesn't stop everybody is a whole other can of worms all together. Relative Error would be somewhat the inverse of, but definitely comparable to, this trope.

Advertisement:

Platonic Life-Partners is a sub-trope in which the characters are not only close, but their relationship is the primary one in their lives. If you can imagine the same-sex versions of the characters being Heterosexual Life-Partners, then they belong under Platonic Life-Partners. Of course, almost all instances of Platonic Life-Partners fall under this trope, but to avoid redundancy they should not be listed on this page.

Simply being friends doesn't make a pair an example, nor does just being True Companions. Because most childhood relationships are inherently platonic, friendships between children do not qualify unless they continue into adulthood and remain platonic. Contrast Just Friends for when this does actually blossom into romance. Not to be confused with Unlucky Childhood Friend, in which one side does have feelings for the other. Compare with Stupid Sexy Friend. The trope may be averted if the relationship becomes a Childhood Friend Romance or (for actual siblings) subverted by Brother–Sister Incest. This trope is sometimes the result of the No Hugging, No Kissing rule.

Advertisement:

Fanfics may confer such a bond onto characters for one of two reasons: to make up for the characters' lack of actual siblings, or to justify unwanted attachments for the sake of shipping; the unwanted character needs not die for the ship.

Examples with Sub-Pages:

Other Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Comic Books 
  • Cloak and Dagger: Cloak and Dagger, in most incarnations, are more like siblings than anything else. They were initially written as runaways who teamed up to survive, and the nature of their powers means they have to stick together to mitigate the worst of the side effects.
  • In Elseworld's Finest: Supergirl & Batgirl, Barbara Gordon alias Batgirl and Bruce Wayne have this kind of relationship. The Wayne family took her in after she was orphaned, and although she changes clothes around Bruce, there doesn't seem to be sexual tension between them.
  • Hulk and She-Hulk, although they are cousins, and were partially raised together.
  • Chase Stein and Karolina Dean from the Runaways. They're close enough that Chase even stopped using "gay" as a pejorative after Karolina came out as a lesbian.
  • Dwight and Miho from Sin City have this relationship.
  • To Roxy's chagrin she learns Superboy sees her as a sister, which makes sense as they've been living as a dysfunctional family for most of his life. Over time her crush on him fades and she finds herself viewing him as family herself.
  • Superman and Supergirl are extremely close in most continuities.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Dick Grayson and Donna Troy from the New Teen Titans. They really act like brother and sister and shared leadership of the team. note  Which is surprising given that he is the Chick Magnet and she looks like a younger version of Wonder Woman. Also, they both really prefer redheads (see Oracle and Starfire on his end, Red Arrow and Terry Long on her end).
    • Dick also sees his relationship with the post-Crisis Supergirl this way. On the other hand, Supergirl was attracted to him at the beginning, but after a while she started treating him like a big brother.
  • Tom Strong: Zig-Zagged Trope. When Tom leaves Attabar Teru for the first time, Dhalua tries to confess her love for Tom. He answers that he loves her like a sister and gently kisses her forehead. A few pages later, Tom comments, after a fight with Paul Saveen that nearly killed him (and during which his life presumably flashed before his eyes), that he has to take care of something back on Attabar Teru. The next page is a full-page drawing of Tom and Dhalua's wedding.
  • Wonder Woman and Superman: they've been shipped together for years (both in-universe and out, to a lesser degree), and are frequently paired up in Elseworlds and Alternate Universes, but they've never been anything more than close friends in the main continuity. A common Alternate Character Interpretation is that while they do love each other, it's just that Clark loves Lois Lane more, and Diana respects that so they keep their relationship at this level, and the New 52 turned them into an Official Couple for a while. However, they ended up as Amicable Exes, before being retgonned by DC Rebirth.
  • In the Golden Age of Comics Steve Trevor and Etta Candy were good friends who enjoyed snarking at each other and each trusted the other to have their backs in a fight, or even to make excuses for them to escape an unwanted conversation. The only person they were closer to than each other was Wonder Woman.
  • Storm and Gambit from X-Men have had this relationship ever since they met in Cairo. Storm got Gambit into the team and they've been tight ever since, despite Gambit's secrets putting a strain on their relationship.
    • Rogue had this kind of relationship with Nate Grey, being one of the few people in the 616 universe that he completely trusted. He usually acted as her grumpy little brother, but generally listened to her, while she was the sympathetic and occasionally protective big sister (including giving Bishop a memorable bitching out for all but attacking Nate on suspicion of being suspicious). Amusingly, thanks to the fact that they both had a skunk stripe in brown hair, they could actually pass for siblings quite easily.
    • Jean Grey has this with Angel, Beast, and Iceman, the latter moreso, due to the four of them plus Cyclops having been the original students and more-or-less growing up together. Originally all the boys had crushes on her (and she in turn was attracted to them in turn), but she ultimately picked Cyclops, and in time her relationships with the others all morphed into this.
  • The Flash:
    • Similar to the Superboy example, this was how Wally West saw Jesse Quick, who he met right before he made it official with Linda Park, his future-wife. Jesse by contrast was shown to have had a crush on him, which caused some heartbreak on her end when not only did he not reciprocate, but he was so oblivious to her feelings he casually hurt her feelings. However, after they aired out their tension, the two grew much closer, and after working together on the Titans it was shown they'd grown into this, enough so that when Linda was erased from everyone's memory and their friends tried to play Shipper on Deck between Wally and Jesse, it was Jesse who objected as she'd began to see Wally as a brother.
    • Likewise, Jesse Quick and Bart Allen/Impulse were like this, with Jesse immediately trying to be a Cool Big Sis to Bart upon meeting him. The two maintained a pretty strong Vitriolic Best Buds type dynamic, often expressing both annoyance, amusement at the idea of annoying, and genuine affection and concern for one-another. Together with Wally (who had an Aloof Big Brother dynamic with Bart), the trio formed a pretty solid three-sibling-type dynamic when working together.

    Fan Works 
  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): : Vivienne Graham's father-daughter relationship with Dr. Serizawa is a variation. It's mentioned in Chapter 4 that Monarch operatives debated whether or not the nature of their closeness was romantic.
  • The Elfen Lied fic Family Sticks Together depicts such a relationship between Kaede (aka Lucy/Nyu) and Original Character Alex. At first, he becomes her Only Friend at the orphanage, but within a few chapters, they've become so close that Kaede asks Alex to be her brother, and he happily agrees.
  • In the pro wrestling AU Mountain Murders trilogy of stories, small-town police officers Seth Rollins and Trina Copley are frequently described as being like this.
  • Child of the Storm:
    • Jean Grey quickly more or less adopts Harry as the little brother she never had. Emotionally, he happily reciprocates, though his hormones take a while to catch up. The fact that they're second cousins helps. In any case, threatening him will quickly cause Jean to go nuclear (emphatically not reassuring in an Omega Class psychic), and in the sequel she coolly informs Coulson that if she thinks that SHIELD are going to even breathe the wrong way towards Harry or her recently recovered stolen at birth twin sister, Maddie Pryor a.k.a. Rachel Grey, then she will destroy SHIELD singlehandedly.
    • Harry and Hermione are like this, as per usual. Amusingly, in one alternate reality, they were, albeit by adoption — since Hermione's birth mother, Wanda Maximoff, is Harry's godmother.
    • Wanda and Thor have this dynamic: they're old friends from their time with the Order of the Phoenix (Thor having been incarnated as James Potter), and since Wanda is Harry's godmother and maternal figure of choice since Jane's a bit young, they're essentially platonically co-parenting Harry.
  • DC Nation:
    • It takes the Troia and Nightwing dynamic and cranks it to eleven. One of the alternate universe plotlines even implied that they may have been brother and sister in several of Donna's other "short and unhappy lives."
    • In the same universe, Connor Hawke will say his feelings for Mia (Speedy) are like this... the truth is a bit more complex.
  • In Titans and the Lost Boy, Starfire apparently decides that Ryouga is similar to a Tamaranian. This leads to her growing closer to him, which eventually leads to this kind of relationship. Said relationship persists throughout the sequel, Dark Titans, and the sequel/crossover with The Road to Cydonia, ''Reflections Lost on a Dark Road''.
  • In the ''Subroutine'' Fan Verse (TRON: Legacy / TRON 2.0 Patchwork Fic), Jet and Quorra fall into this pattern.
  • In A Study in Regret, Inspector Lestrade and Mary Watson develop this relationship in the story's Rescue Arc.
  • In My Little Castlevania, this describes Shatterstorm and Spitfire's relationship. And given Shatterstorm's usual feelings towards mares, it's rather refreshing.
  • In AAML: Diamond and Pearl Version, after Misty starts travelling with Ash, Brock and Dawn through Sinnoh, Misty and Dawn reach a point where they openly state that they consider the other girl a sister, Misty enjoying the chance to be a good big sister to someone after her own older siblings neglected her for so long.
  • Ponies One Half:
    • Ranma and Pinkie Pie have this kind of relationship.
    • Emi and Shou as well. They are both otaku, have many of the same interests, and are rarely seen without the other. Despite that, they have no romantic interest in each other, with Shou actually being more interested in Momo, Pinkie's talented human form.
  • In the Warrior Cats fic Close, Firestar and Sandstorm's canonical romance is described as this, conveniently allowing Firestar to mate with Tigerstar. The fact that he mated and had kits with her is glossed over.
  • The grown up Godzilla Junior and Mothra Lea became this by time we meet them in The Bridge. They've been close friends and allies for over a decade since they first teamed up, able to read each other better than anyone. For all intents and purposes, they are a platonic Battle Couple. (This is in huge contrast to how their parents got along... or rather, didn't.)
  • Breda, Falman, Fuery, and Havoc have this relationship with Riza Hawkeye in the Elemental Chess Trilogy. Havoc lampshades it in his turn at the narrative, thinking of the group as "a band of brothers (and one sister, of course)". She has a similar bond, though to a lesser extent, with the Elric brothers.
  • In the Danny Phantom/Beetlejuice Crossover Say It Thrice, this may be the best way to describe the relationship between Betelgeuse and Lydia. They've grown, in the two years since the events of the film, into devoted friends who clearly love each other, but there's nothing romantic about it. The last chapter even has Jazz calling Betelgeuse Lydia's "crazy big brother who'd do anything for [her]."
  • Prince Vince views Lydia this way in the Contractually Obligated Chaos series, and goes so far in the second story as to make the relationship official, at least by Neitherworld law. This makes her a member of the Neitherworld royal family, which has assorted consequences throughout the remainder of the series.
  • The Heralds of Andraste describe themselves this way in All This Sh*t is Twice as Weird, with Mahanon noting that Victoria is the closest thing he's ever had to a sibling. She actually has three older siblings of her own; it's just heavily implied that she likes him better. She has a similar, if less intense, bond with Dorian as well.
  • Ororo and Scott become this in Stars from Home. Initially, Ororo is still quite young, but as she grows up this becomes Mistaken for Romance — although they both insist it's platonic and he's really not her type.
  • Original Character Ty and Pyrrha Nikos in So We're A Couple, to the point that Ty repeatedly greets and refers to Pyrrha as "Sis". Though Pyrrha states that Ty is a "cousin from her mother's side", it's apparent right from the category tags of the fic that that particular situation won't be an issue. Considering the usual... flavor of OC pairings in RWBY, it's an interesting and welcome change of pace.
  • To Hell and Back (Arrowverse): Oliver, Barry, and Kara are not interested in each other romantically, to the point that even the thought of it sickens all of them.
  • Always a Ranger sees original Pink Ranger Kimberly Hart (Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers) return to Tommy Oliver's life after he becomes the mentor to the Dino Thunder team. As Kim spends more time with the modern team, new Yellow Ranger Kira Ford muses at one point that she has come to see Kim as a kind of surrogate older sister, to the point that Kim asks Kira to be a bridesmaid at her wedding to replace the deceased Trini.
  • Total Drama Legends: Throughout the story, Duncan and Zoey grow a strong bond, playfully teasing each other, and frequently helping the other out during their relationship issues. At one point, Duncan explicitly admits that he views Zoey more as an annoying little sister when the idea of the two dating comes up.
  • In the Underworld AU fic “The Vampire Leader”, after Lucian's death during his attempt to escape the vampire fortress, his vampire lover Sonja and lycan protégé Raze become the leaders of the lycan rebellion, with Raze serving as its public face while Sonja provides her tactical expertise. While they work together for centuries, Sonja and Raze never consider taking the relationship further, at least partly out of respect for Lucian's memory, but they are each aware that they can trust the other with their lives, to the extent that Sonja had planned to make Raze the hybrid before circumstances prompted her to transform herself to face her father.
  • In The 100 fic Lightning Only Strikes Once, Clarke explicitly refers to Wells as the closest thing she’s ever had to a brother. For his part, while Wells was initially hurt when he realised that Clarke was now involved with Lexa, he later assures Lexa that he’s happy for them as he now retains his existing bond with Clarke rather than risk losing it by trying for something more and failing.
  • In Did I Make the Most of Loving You?, when Adama and Roslin's six-year-old son Liam is told that Kara is family during their first meeting, the boy immediately takes this to mean that Kara is the sister he asked for, and Kara tentatively accepts the title. Even after the infant Evelyn Adama is born after the destruction of the Colonies, all concerned parties make it clear that Kara can still consider herself Liam and Evelyn’s sibling even before she marries Lee.
  • In Calamity Jane Meets Doctor Isles, while Jane and Frost never explicitly state that they consider the other a sibling, their interaction with each other makes this dynamic obvious.
  • In Demented Verse, when a ritual requires the participation of those the Winchesters consider family, Castiel, Kevin and Charlie each affirm to themselves that they see the Dean and Sam as family (Jodie Mills also takes part in the ritual, but her role is more ‘maternal’ than the aforementioned three).
  • Kimberly T's Gargoyles series all but explicitly features this kind of dynamic being established between Alexander Xanatos, the infant son of David and Fox Xanatos, and Bethany Marsden, the daughter of the Xanatos's new nanny Anne. Anne and Bethany are introduced in Unsolved Mysteries, which immediately establishes that Bethany is a part-fey like Alexander with exceptional magical potential, prompting Owen/Puck to suggest that Anne be hired as the family nanny so that he can teach Bethany while giving Alexander his lessons in magic. Bethany initially asks if Alexander will be her little brother, and while Anne establishes that he is only like a little brother, there is never any sign that everyone else does not basically consider the children siblings, with Lexington observing that Alex needed 'rookery siblings' when the gargoyles first learn that the Marsdens are moving in.
  • It’s not explicitly stated in Avenger of Steel, but while Clark has experienced potentially romantic moments with other women (including Natasha, Sif, Trish, Karen and Skye), his relationship with Jessica Jones is so far close but platonic ever since she learned that he had powers after he moved into her building, with both of them denying the idea that they’re romantically involved with varying degrees of disgust. Later, Raven, the would-be Black Sky and daughter of Trigon, appears to develop a similar affection for Superman, with the love she feels for him being compared to the love one might feel for an older brother.
  • Guilt Undone puts a more emotionally painful twist on this; when Daniel Jackson asks Samantha Carter out on a date, Sam tells Daniel that she only sees him as a brother, starting a chain of seemingly simple events that lead to Daniel getting killed on their next mission... and then, after spending the next month grieving how her friend and teammate died because she hurt his feelings, Sam realises on the one-month 'anniversary' of Daniel's death that she actually was in love with him.
  • In Z To A, events lead to Wanda Maximoff and Peter Parker from some point post-Avengers: Endgame travelling back to the Battle of Leipzig Airport (Captain America: Civil War), allowing them to change the future. Watching the two interact, characters such as Bruce Banner compare their dynamic to bantering siblings, with Wanda explicitly musing at one point that Peter reminds her of her lost brother Pietro.
  • In "The other side", after the other half of the universe survived Thanos's Snap, Peter Parker becomes Tony Stark's primary surviving heir, and makes it a priority to gather resources to find a way to undo the Snap. After a year of work, Peter Quill and Wanda Maximoff have each developed a low-key 'competition' with each other over their self-appointed status as Peter Parker's older siblings, and a later group chat affirms that Yelena Belova has a similar view as her name in the chat is "Sister Widow" (Doctor Strange, Jane Foster and Hope van Dyne are also in the chat, but they are listed as Uncle Wizard, Aunt Prof and Aunt Wasp respectively).
  • In Avengers: Infinite Wars, Padme makes it clear to Anakin that she understands how Ahsoka is basically his little sister when he sees her kissing Peter Parker and wonders if he should say something, Padme encouraging Anakin to just trust Ahsoka's judgement and offer his support.
  • In the Angel/The Hunger Games crossover "Demon's Games", a key relationship is the bond formed between Angel and Katniss Everdeen after he saves her from the Capitol's demonic forces. While Angel's primary reason for saving Katniss is to help him take down the Senior Partners as the power behind the Capitol, he ends up forming a good bond with Katniss as a friend more than a leader, to the extent that Katniss finds herself comparing Angel to a brother even after she becomes a Slayer and he basically assumes the role of her Watcher.
  • In "What If... Wanda Didn't Mourn Alone?", after Peter provides Wanda with emotional support during and after the Westview crisis, once Wanda regains her memory of Peter post-Spider-Man: No Way Home, even as she puts him back in touch with the rest of the Avengers, Peter states that his "family" is only complete when she joins his hug with Ned and MJ, the two practically adopting each other as siblings.
  • In the Hannah Montana fic "Higher Power" and its sequels, Robbie Ray eventually marries Lilly's mother Heather, but while Lilly has no problem with the relationship or the idea of Jackson as a brother, she privately admits to her mother that she's really in love with Miley and actually wants to be more than a sister to her (although Miley eventually realises that she feels the same way).
  • In The Confectionary Chronicles, after Hermione essentially becomes Loki's High Priestess before she even starts at Hogwarts, she swiftly forms such a strong bond with her god that the rest of Loki's children come to consider Hermione their little sister (even after they confirm that she isn't actually Loki's daughter)
  • AQUA: The First Step: Original Character Alexander Wallace of the RWBY fic becomes partners with Amber at Beacon Academy, and they eventually develop this relationship. Amber even remarks at one point that she's Alexander's sister "in all but blood."
  • This is more or less stated to be the nature of the relationships between various characters in Skyhold Academy Yearbook. It's perhaps most pronounced with Dorian and Evvy, especially since she's the closest thing he's ever had to a sibling.
  • One Game of Thrones fake screencap has an entirely logical if unfortunately accurate take on the trope:
    Cersei: You love him, don't you?
    Brienne: Like a brother, Your Grace.
    [beat]
    Cersei: [Blue Screen of Death]
  • In Communication, Taylor views Homura as this due to them both being a previous Host of Consensus.
  • I am [REDACTED]: Izuku explicitly describes his relationship with Melissa Shield as this.
  • White Sheep (RWBY): Salem took in Cinder Fall so she could be a babysitter for her son Jaune (her only other option was Tyrian). Jaune ends up seeing Cinder as yet another older sister, which Salem finds annoying because she thinks their babies would be adorable.
    Salem: I thought all boys lusted after their babysitters?
    Cinder: Wait, was that why you took me in?!
  • Although it's never stated explicitly, Obi-Wan in Star Wars: Lineage essentially sees Bant as his little sister, a sentiment she returns. They snark at each other, she bosses him around, and he displays quite a bit of Big Brother Instinct, but it's always clear that a) they love each other, and b) there's absolutely no Ship Tease between them.
  • This Bites! develops this relationship between Jeremiah Cross and Nico Robin, with Cross working to make Robin open up to the Straw Hats earlier than canon to prevent her from surrendering herself to Cipher Pol in a futile attempt to protect them. Of course, their relationship usually ranges from teasing to confining with each other, with both referring to each other as "little brother and older sister" by the end of Enies Lobby.
  • In Son of the Sannin, Naruto admits to viewing Fu as a sister while training to tame their tailed beasts due to their shared status as jinchuriki and the past several months they've spent together. Fu is overjoyed at this admission because she's always wanted a little brother... to torment.
    Fu: [while giving him a noogie] Feel my sisterly love!
  • In Miraculous Ladybug fanfics, this is common when Chloe has been or is going to be redeemed. She was Adrien's Only Friend growing up, so they ended up close despite Chloe's... problems.
    • Hero Chat: They grew up watching anime together, and she mostly pretended to flirt with him to drive off his obsessive fangirls. She also figured out he was Chat Noir in about two seconds because she's the only person close enough to him to be aware of how much he puns.
    • Lady Luck (Miraculous Ladybug): Since Chloe has the Ladybug Miraculous in this AU, the relationship between the partners is entirely different. Chloe even openly ships Adrien with Marinette, and gags when someone suggests she's dating him. The Copycat event still goes mostly the same, with Chat Noir saying something to Théo Barbot to give him the impression that they're dating. We don't see what Chat actually said, but he's embarrassed after and admits he can understand how what he said could be misconstrued. On the other hand, Lady Luck solved the problem even easier than in canon because it was blatantly obvious the Chat who was acting lovestruck was not her partner.
    • Bakery "Enemies": Chloe and Adrien seem like a one-sided Sickeningly Sweethearts situation, and Marinette assumes they're dating. Adrien later explains that she's been his only friend for most of his life (and she was the only one who stuck with him when his father was outed as a supervillain), but she's secretly a lesbian.
    • Queenie: Chat Noir and Queen Bee realize their secret identities early on, and from then on don't do much to hide the fact that they know, constantly exchanging childhood stories and commiserating each other over their various Trauma Buttons. In fact, they're so close that Ladybug comes to the mistaken conclusion that they must be twins. When she mentions this to Queen Bee, Queen Bee realizes they've been too cavalier with their identities and says Sure, Let's Go with That rather than correcting her.
  • In Legacy (DocSuess), Jessica Jones considers herself Peter's "honorary older sister/wine aunt."
  • Reunion Falls:
    • Various pictures imply that a young Soos helped raised Dipper as a surrogate big brother.
    • While canon Wendy was a friend to Dipper and Mabel, here she acts as a "cool older sister" to Dipper.
  • While Abuela never approved of Anná's place in the family in La polilla y la mariposa, Pepa and Julieta came to see her as a sister, recognizing the positive influence she has on their brother.
  • In ⫚ - His Daughters, The Miracles of the family, while the rest of the family begrudgingly pretend that nothing is wrong and leave the three sisters to go without the support they need, Dolores (since she is always hearing how they suffer) becomes a shoulder to cry on for the three of them. This eventually leads to her become their honorary "fourth sister", her being the only person Casita allows to enter Isabela's room when the three of them are there.
  • In Ships Ahoy!, Oscar sees Opal as an older sister when it comes to their friendship. It never turns romantic because Opal has eyes for Otto.
    • Otto also apparently sees Olive as an older sister to him, which makes sense considering they have a sibling-like relationship with each other, and one chapter that was originally planned for the story would explore why them being in a romantic relationship would never work out.
  • When Mirabel was a baby, Isabela in The Seer and His Butterfly played the part of big sister to the girl, playing with her and caring for her when Bruno couldn't. This changed after Mirabel's gift ceremony, the added pressure Alma put her under to compensate for Mirabel's lack of gift souring Isabel's opinion of her.
  • In The Great Dual Substitute Turnabout, Canonverse Phoenix Wright had this dynamic with Maya Fey. When he's in a world where he is a prosecutor, he finds himself jealous of how Miles Edgeworth (who in that world is Maya and Mia's stepbrother) is close to Maya.

    Films — Animation 
  • Lilo & Stitch has the titular duo. He's supposed to be her pet, but their relationship is very much like that of loving siblings, They squabble, fight, forgive, play and love each other. She sometimes also seems almost like a mother to him.
  • Toy Story: Woody and Jessie, being toys from the same collection, are equivalent to siblings and act like it: they fight, apologize, love, and care for each other in a sibling-like fashion.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • According to Johnny Depp, this is the relationship between Alice and the Hatter in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland (2010).
  • In Blood Harvest, Jill tells Gary that she loves him like a brother after she wakes up to find him trying to rape her.
  • Scarlett from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra claims that she and Snake Eyes are like this, presumably as a way of Ship Sinking for any fans who know about their relationship in other continuities.
  • The Hunger Games: Katniss Everdeen believes this to be her relationship with Gale in the first movie. Turns out it's not quite that simple. It also turns out to be an unrequited love from Gale's side.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, Eggsy and Roxy are close and stick up for each other a lot, but there's no romance between them.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Natasha Romanov and Steve Rogers seem to have this relationship following Captain America: The Winter Soldier; she spends most of it trying to set him up with dates and make constant jokes about his advanced chronological age, while Steve becomes uncomfortable when having to fake being lovers in public — though he also doesn't seem to mind her making out with him as part of that faking at all, with the two having genuine chemistry. After that, however, they settle into this dynamic, with Natasha developing an interest in Bruce, and the two of them playing team parents to the New Avengers at the end of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
    • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Natasha's dynamic with Hawkeye also appears to be this, as he is Happily Married to a civilian and has some adorable tots who call the master assassin "Auntie Nat."
  • In Mission: Impossible III, after Lindsey's death, Luther notices how upset Ethan is about it and asks him whether something was going on between the two of them. Ethan negates and tells him that she was like a little sister for him.
  • Invoked in The Parent Trap in terms of Nick and Elizabeth's relationships with Chessy and Martin respectively, Chessy being Nick's housekeeper while Martin is Elizabeth's butler. While they are employees on paper, Nick and Hallie clearly see Chessy as a close friend to the point that Chessy gets very emotional when she learns that Hallie has switched places with her twin sister Annie, and when Elizabeth is having a stressed rant about seeing Nick again, she mentions that Martin is more than a butler and more like a dear brother who just happens to work for them.
  • In Written on the Wind, Mitch views his and Marylee's relationship like this. She doesn't, which leads to conflict between them.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men: First Class: Charles Xavier and Raven Darkholme grew up together as foster siblings for 18 years, and he introduces her as his sister to Amy. He later cites this when Raven, feeling insecure about her looks, asks if he would date her... although it falls a little flat coming right after he's answered the question with "of course" in reference to her human form, before she clarifies that she means in her real form.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: Lampshaded by the older Professor X when he mentions that Mystique was like a sister to him. It's later referenced when a nurse wonders if the blue, scaly woman at the Paris Peace Accords has a family, and Raven replies, "Yes, she does." On the plane ride to Paris, Charles argues that he had raised Raven to be something better than a killer. Erik is quick to point out that Charles didn't raise Raven — they grew up together. This is what it takes for Xavier to realize that Raven is not his to control.
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Mystique tells Magneto, "I'm going to fight for what I have left," which specifically refers to her foster brother Charles.
    • While they never admit it out loud like Charles and Raven in the later films, Wolverine's entire relationship with Rogue through out the first three films is more than implicit.

    Music 
  • Subverted by French singer Jean-Jacques Goldman in Elle a fait un bébé toute seule: "I'm like her big brother... a little incestuous when she wants to."

    Pro Wrestling 

    Theatre 
  • Clopin and Esmeralda in Notre-Dame de Paris. Clopin even calls her "my little sister".
  • In the Mrs. Hawking play series, this is Mary and Nathaniel's relationship. While they're extremely close and have a genuine love for each other, it's not romantic in the slightest; Nathaniel is Happily Married to Clara, and Mary has a sweetheart in Arthur Swann. It's part of the play's many subversions of tropes — in the late nineteenth century, the idea of close, platonic male/female relationships was unheard of.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Phoenix Wright and Maya Fey consider themselves a little family and Maya calls herself Phoenix's sister; they constantly rib on each other but it's clear that they care about each other deeply and will go to any lengths to keep each other safe.
    • Miles Edgeworth and Franziska von Karma were raised together since he was 9 and she was 2 and consider themselves siblings. She makes it a point to call him her "little" brother and it's really not wise to correct her on that.
    • Apollo and Trucy seem to fit into this trope perfectly until it's revealed that they, unbeknownst to them, actually are half-siblings.
  • C14 Dating: Upon Rosemarie's introduction, she and Hendrik are shown to know each other extremely well and their banter makes in clear that Rosemarie will be staying in Hendrik's place while she's in the area. When Melissa asks, Rosemarie confirms that they are not a couple and mentions that she's not even attracted to men. She remains the person Hendrik is the most likely to be found hanging out with and Hendrik's romantic route has him mention Rosemarie figured he had romantic feelings for Melissa before he did.
  • Corpse Party has Mayu Suzumoto and Sakutarou Morishige. Sakutarou does not take it well when he finds out that the mutilated corpse he's been obsessing over is Mayu's.
  • Ikemen Sengoku: Hideyoshi, the Team Mom of the Oda forces, becomes a protective older brother-like figure to the female main character after he gets past his initial suspicions of her. In most routes, their relationship is genuinely platonic, but in his route their growing romantic feelings for each other make it increasingly impossible for them to keep treating each other as only "family".
  • In Little Busters!, if you don't get together with the main heroine Rin, she and Riki stay friends like this.
  • In Umineko: When They Cry, Shannon and Kanon's relationship is like this. It's eventually made clear that they're actually the same person, created as alter egos of Sayo Yasuda; Sayo even created Kanon to be a "little brother" for Shannon.
  • Carlos and Akane in Zero Time Dilemma develop this bond over the course of the story (At least in the timelines when she's not murdering him for killing Junpei). Their friendship is purely platonic given that Akane only has eyes on Junpei, and Carlos not only ships them, but is not interested in romance whatsoever. In the True End Carlos actually says that he feels like he gained a new sister.
    • Sigma and Phi are another example. They have trusted each other nearly since the first time they met, he's a lot more outspoken when in her presence, and saving her is her first thought when they're about to be executed. Zero Time Dilemma subverts the trope by revealing that they are actually father and daughter.

    Webcomics 
  • Bittersweet Candy Bowl is Mike and Lucy when they are younger, though they later develop romantic interest in one another. Paulo claims to feel this way about Daisy, and Daisy seems to feel this way about Paulo, but there are some hints that Paulo, at least, is somewhat interested in his friend. Mike also sees Daisy this way, much to her frustration.
  • Dumbing of Age:
    • Billie and Walky. They've known each other since childhood (though Billie avoided him in high school), bicker near-constantly, and Billie seems to view Walky as her Annoying Younger Sibling. They tend to act angry or nauseated when someone suggests they could be a couple.
    • Even Walky's actual sister Sal acknowledges this, telling Billie she's the "daughter [our parents] like" and smiling when Walky tells her he wants to be a good brother — to Billie — as a backhanded way of acknowledging he hasn't always been a good brother to Sal.
  • El Goonish Shive: When Elliot tried to assess why his recent feelings toward another girl are different from his feelings towards his girlfriend, Sarah, he suddenly realized that he sees her more like a sister than as a girlfriend, but had been oblivious to it all that time.note  While his girlfriend didn't feel the same way about him, she ultimately wasn't too disappointed as she had her own reasons for wanting to break up with him.
  • Elsanna – Bram Stoker's Dracula: Anna and Kristoff are this, despite their canonical relationship in Frozen (2013) and Mina Murray being Jonathan Harker's wife-to-be in the 1992 film.
  • The Friendly Winter: Da-Jeong and Min-Seong are like this. The manga has implications of their parents pairing up so they could literally end up siblings one day.
  • Girl Genius: Bang and Gil are this, especially post-Time Skip. Gil doesn't seem at all surprised to wake up sharing a bed with Bang and she is extremly protective of him, but they both have other canon Love Interests.
  • Homestuck has Karkat Vantas and Kanaya Maryam. Karkat is a raving, permanently angry misanthrope who hates everyone, including himself, but he will never get mad at Kanaya and is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold through and through. Similarly, while Kanaya can sometimes be condescending and aloof she's mostly a Nice Girl, and rarely raises her tone to Karkat. If either needs advice or support they talk freely. Since Trolls have no formal definition for siblings, they refer to each other as "best friends". This probably originates in the past, when Kanaya's ancestor adopted and raised Karkat's ancestor.
  • Scarlet and Brook from I'm the Grim Reaper eventually develop this dynamic. While they often argue with each other, after all that Judah does to Brook, he ends up breaking down and asking Scarlet for a hug, which she gives him, showing that deep down, they care a lot about each other.
  • Joseph & Yusra have been best friends ever since Yusra came to America as a toddler and they discovered they had a telepathic link. Yusra has no problem taking off her Hijab at his house and openly admits that she can't see him as anything other than an older brother. Ironically, she says this right before running into her actual brother.
  • Lavender Tea: Nina shows a sisterly affection to Jasper. Later this frustrates Jassie as he feels he's not respected as a guy but a child.
  • The Order of the Stick: Roy and Haley. Also, assuming Vaarsuvius is a guy, him and Haley as well.
  • Ozy and Millie had this so much that in the final arc their parents get married.
  • Sluggy Freelance: In "Brain Games", Torg claims this trope about himself and Gwynn... but it's clear it doesn't really apply, even if the fact that it doesn't seems to confuse him. (Really it's leading up to the conclusion that they're like family in a different sense.)
    "That girl has a lot going for her, I mean besides being gorgeous! I mean I think of her as a sister, not that I'd find a sister hot. That's sick! And I'm healthy! And a healthy guy finds Gwynn hot!"
  • Something*Positive:
    • Davan and Aubrey are like this, especially since they've known each other long enough for the Westermarck Effect to be in place.
    • Davan and Pee-Jee are an almost as good an example, although they haven't known each other nearly as long and Davan had a crush on her prior to the comic's beginning. Davan even refers to her as Mei-Mei (Chinese for "little sister") on occasion. She's also shown to be good friends with his wife, Vanessa, whom she affectionately calls "teeny-tiny".
  • TwoKinds: Kat has a crush on her master Eric, but Eric reveals that he thinks of Kat as his little sister. This causes issues, so Kat takes an interest in Natani instead.

    Web Videos 
  • Lulu and Lala from Cream Heroes grew up together, love to eat, and have a record of stealing treats as a team. They are also some of the more energetic cats among the bunch.
  • Grog Strongjaw and Pike Trickfoot from Critical Role were both raised together. He is a hulking goliath barbarian who likes to rage, and she is a more down-to-earth gnome cleric, but the sibling-like bond they share is one of the strongest in the Vox Machina party, second only to twins Vex and Vax.
  • Midnight Screenings: Brad Jones and Sarah Gobble have appeared together in the reviews probably more than any other male-female duo (or just any duo in general). They’ve never had a romantic relationship with each other as they’ve each had romantic relationships that have come and gone; and now Brad is married to Laura while Sarah is married to Dave with a daughter. Brad and Sarah are still clearly very close though.
  • The Nostalgia Chick and The Nostalgia Critic, as well as their real-life counterparts (Doug Walker and Lindsay Ellis), have been described as such. Given the 2018 #ChangeTheChannel movement, though, that is probably no longer the case.
  • Out With Dad: Rose and Kenny. They're quite close, though only as friends, reinforced as Rose realizes that she's a lesbian.

    Western Animation 
  • Arcane: Jayce with Caitlyn, as he is several years older than her and the two enjoy each other's company. Their first appearance has Caitlyn interestedly asking about Jayce's trip to Zaun, and neither are happy when she's forbidden from seeing him following his expulsion. This relationship continues in the present, with the two happily exchanging teasing banter and Jayce supporting her choice to be an Enforcer while her parents disapprove.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In "The Ember Island Players", the Show Within a Show portrays Aang and Katara as this. Aang, who has had a crush on Katara since the first episode, freaks out and begins to wonder if Katara really thinks of him this way.
      • This same play portrays the characters that actually are this trope, Katara and Zuko, as a couple (though some fans would prefer this); their immediate reaction is to scoot further away from each other in embarrassment.
    • In The Legend of Korra, despite some vague prodding at the possibility of romance, Asami and Korra both develop this sort of relationship with Bolin.
  • Terry (Batman) and Maxine in Batman Beyond have this, being really really close. Although many fans think they'd just be better off dating, neither character actually shows any interest in the other that way, aside from a teasing banter here and there. Word of God states that one writer suggested making them a couple, but the creator decided to have them stay purely as friends.
  • In the Brandy & Mr. Whiskers theme song, the eponymous duo are described as "like a dysfunctional brother and sister."
  • Carmen Sandiego: Back in her V.I.L.E. days, Carmen had this relationship with older student Graham/Gray, until she saw how he was willing to go lethal during a heist. Since her defection, they see each other as enemies, though the remains of their old relationship still linger. Subverted after Gray's mind-wipe, where his feelings towards Carmen take a more romantic direction.
  • Jeremie Belpois and Yumi Ishiyama of Code Lyoko have this relationship as do their respective love interests Aelita Stones/Hopper/Schaeffer and Ulrich Stern. Yumi is also technically this trope with teammate Odd Della Robbia.
  • Wallabee Beatles and Abigail Lincoln, AKA Numbuhs Four and Five, from Codename: Kids Next Door, with Five taking the big sister role and Four being the little brother (both are the same age, but of the two, Five is slightly older). Ironic, considering they're the youngest sister and oldest brother of their respective families
  • From the DC Animated Universe, this is how Clark Kent seems to have come to view his ex Lana Lang, though she threatens to go back to Lex Luthor if he ever calls her that.
  • DuckTales (2017): Huey, Dewey, and Louie are initially put off by Webby due to her having No Social Skills, but they quickly come to treat her as a fourth triplet of sorts (though of the three, she's closest to Dewey due to their interests overlapping the most). By the time the second season rolls around, you could easily mistake her for having always been a part of their lives. Of course, the series finale reveals that she actually is related to them. Specifically, she's their first cousin once removed due to being an Opposite-Sex Clone of their great-uncle Scrooge.
  • Elena of Avalor: Despite Esteban being their cousin, Elena and Isabel view him as this, and it would appear this sentiment is reciprocated. Elena even admits as much while giving him a "Reason You Suck" Speech while sentencing him to exile for his compliance in her parents' murders and Shuriki's regime. What happens next leads to Elena and Esteban's relationship devolving into Cain and Abel.
  • The titular character and Ingrid Third in Fillmore! are the Safety Patrol's best officers and the best of friends.
  • Gaspard and Lisa (from the All-CGI Cartoon based on the illustrated books) are much like brother and sister. They met at school and are almost inseparable, perhaps since their personalities click very well. Although, the nature of the dialogue-heavy drama that unfolds between them (always resolved by the end of an episode, of course) makes them look a whole lot Like an Old Married Couple despite being kids.
  • Gravity Falls,
    • As of the end of the series, Dipper and Wendy fall into this trope. If not for his own relationship with his actual sister, Mabel, Dipper and Wendy could have become Platonic Life-Partners.
    • Mabel describes Gideon as "a little sister I can do girly things with." Unfortunately, he feels differently about the situation.
  • Played with in Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law:
    Birdgirl: You realize there's absolutely no chance we'll be kissing, right?
    Peanut: Yeah, duh, of course; you're like my sister. (pause) Which, given a little thought, could be a very hot concept.
  • In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2021), the amnesiac Adam and orphaned Krass were raised together by the Tiger Tribe. The two are as close as siblings, occasionally squabbling while deeply caring about each other. This leads to some initial friction between Krass and Teela when the hand witch arrives in the Tiger Tribe, as Krass doesn't like the idea of Teela tempting Adam away from their home.
  • As seen in the page quote, Flash and Hawkgirl in Justice League. Any flirting between these two can be entirely attributed to Flash's tendency to hit on anything in a skirt (Hawkgirl never wears those, though...), and even that stops by the shift to Unlimited. He even describes her as being like his "big sister" in the final season of the series.
  • Henry and June from KaBlam!, according to Word of God.
  • The relationship between Kaeloo and Stumpy. In fact, one episode even has her call him her "little brother".
  • Milo Murphy's Law has title character Milo and his best friend Melissa, who besides being his best friend is also often invited to events that are otherwise for Milo's immediate family only.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Depending on the Writer, Twilight's relationship with Spike slides between this trope, Platonic Life-Partners, and Twilight being a Parental Substitute toward Spike. One constant throughout all these interpretations is that they are utterly inseparable, to the point where the Season 3 premiere establishes Spike's greatest fear as being Twilight not needing him anymore and sending him away.
    • Spike's relationship with most of his friends can be seen like this too. It's clear he really loves the Mane Six and the feelings appear to be mutual. He said he considers them family in "Dragon Quest" and the tie-in book We Like Spike! ends with the narration saying that the Mane Six are Spike's family. In the "Nightmare Rarity" arc, Twilight said that Spike would do anything to help the girls if he could, and there's a scene in the background of the movie where Pinkie Pie is seen protecting Spike as the Sky Pirate Ship is getting attacked by Tempest.
  • The Owl House:
    • Willow and Gus. They were each other's Only Friend for years until Luz showed up and spend most of their free time hanging out together with absolutely zero romantic interest between them. Their interactions are very reminiscent of a goofy little brother and the responsible older sister, she's often trying to look out for him but she'll also let him know when he's being an idiot.
    • King's relationship with Luz is a hybrid between a younger brother and a pet, something that is further reinforced by the fact that both of them view Eda as a Parental Substitute. He even refers to her as his friend/sister in "Edge of the World".
    • Luz and Hunter's relationship is quite similar to siblings close in age, complete with petty squabbling and bickering. Their first meeting face to face even included the infamous "licking the hand covering your mouth" move familiar to fans who grew up with siblings. However, they seem quite protective of the other when push comes to shove and even put themselves in danger to make sure the other doesn't get hurt, especially in the second half of season 2.
  • Initially, this is how Shaggy and Velma were envisioned in the earliest Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episodes. Velma kept a bottle of cough medicine for Shaggy ("What a Night For a Knight") and Shaggy kept an extra pair of glasses for Velma ("Decoy For a Dognapper"). They had also been seen clinging to each other in fright when one of the faux ghosts appear.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Even though they are Master and Padawan, Anakin and Ahsoka have this sort of dynamic. It helps that they're only a few years apart from each other.
  • Likewise, Star Wars Rebels has this between Ezra and Sabine, after some initial awkwardness. The creative team even refers to them as siblings, in keeping with the crew's family dynamic.
  • Lance and Ilana from Sym-Bionic Titan pose as siblings in their high school. Genndy Tartakovsky said before there was to be no romance between those two.
  • All the Teen Titans are in this sort of familial friendship, except for Starfire and Robin, but it's most obvious with Beast Boy and Raven.


Alternative Title(s): Storge

Top