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Muggle Best Friend

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"Sometimes a guy needs a pal out of the locker room."
Cooper Manning, on his friendship with Saints QB Drew Brees

Part of the storytelling method is to make a character relatable to the audience. The audience would like to be relatable to the hero because who doesn't want Phenomenal Cosmic Powers and to get the girl (or guy)?

But since we're mundanes, the Muggle Best Friend is our relatable character — an ordinary person drawn into the hero's extraordinary world.

They have no super powers, no magic, no Applied Phlebotinum. But despite the danger, they're loyal and will stick to the side of their heroic best friend no matter what the Call to Adventure may throw in the hero's path. They are frequently secret keepers and can be Plucky Comic Relief as well.

They represent the tie that the character still has to their original, pre-super life. They will usually interact with the main character's family, friends and Love Interest even when the hero is unable to. They are most common in shows where The Hero does not have a Five-Man Band — if they do they will be overshadowed as the position of Best Friend tends to go to The Lancer, but might still serve a background function. At some point they will be held hostage by the villain and they are often in the risk of getting Killed Off for Real to provide The Hero with a reason for revenge.

Note that the key trait of the character is that they are a piece of the character's former life and so they do not exclusively appear supporting superheroes or magical beings, but simply shows when the hero moves into a different league after receiving the Call to Adventure.

Also, Love Interests can also be Muggle Best Friends, and will provide a good reason to be equally worried about your secret life and your normal life, especially if you are on a Wake Up, Go to School & Save the World schedule.

Occasionally you will have the Muggle Best Friend wish for powers so they aren't always a liability or potential hostage; they usually end up with powers that last for one episode only — just so they realize being normal is cool enough on its own, or that having powers isn't as cool as it's cracked up to be. For flavor, fits of jealousy brought on by I Just Want to Be Special may pop up and strain things between them before The Power of Friendship reasserts. Once in a while, the friend will leave the trope when they acquire some sort of metahuman abilities.

May cross over and into Badass Normal territory, but mainly Muggle Best Friends are just ordinary people. Related to A Boy and His X, obviously, especially when the X is super powered. May act as the Audience Surrogate. More than one may team up to become Those Two Guys. Compare Fantastically Indifferent and Unwitting Muggle Friend.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Attack on Titan: Armin, compared to Eren, who has the unique ability to transform into a Titan, and Mikasa, whose lineage gives her physical strength and agility far beyond the average person. Subverted in the Return to Shiganshina arc, where Eren saves Armin's life by turning him into a Titan and allowing him to eat Bertolt to gain his Colossal Titan power.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Tomoyo is Sakura's best friend and is quickly let in on Sakura's quest to find the Clow cards. She never develops magical powers of her own, but supports Sakura in her own way, by providing her with Magical Girl-esque outfits and filming her exploits.
  • Date A Live features Shido's best friend Hiroto Tonomachi who often appears in the story but had no idea that his best friend is trapped in a conflict between Spirits and DEM.
  • Don't Meddle with My Daughter!: Risa, Kisara, and Jun are Clara's closest three friends at N.U.D.E.note . They aren't able to help her fight supervillains, so they act as Mission Control for her instead.
  • Gunslinger Girl has Claes, sorta. She's also one of the Cyborgs, but just sits in the dorm as she's only used for testing after the death of her handler.
  • Lyrical Nanoha has Alisa and Suzuka, who are both upgraded to Secret Keepers at the end of the second season. Eventually phased out come the third season and beyond, when The Hero decided to move off of Earth. However, the first StrikerS Sound Stage shows that they still keep in contact despite living on an Insignificant Little Blue Planet (pictures of them can even be seen in Nanoha and Fate's room and Hayate's photo album during the season proper).
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid has a rare example of the character being friends with someone other than the protagonist. Saikawa is best friends (and in love) with Kanna.
  • My-HiME: Mai has Chie and Aoi, two girls who are never aware of or involved in the Himes' conflicts.
  • Phantom Thief Jeanne: Miyako to Maron/Jeanne. Unlike the other examples, Miyako is also an antagonist to her because Jeanne is a thief and Miyako helps her police father to arrest her. In the manga however, she knows all along that Maron is Jeanne and she protects her by intentionally failing to catch her.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • The titular Madoka is this for most of the series. The series is a tug of war between Kyubey (for) and Homura (against) over whether Madoka turns magical girl. While Madoka remains indecisive whether to take that path, her best friend becomes a magical girl and she becomes acquainted with others, which informs Madoka's final decision.
    • Episode 10 reveals that in the original timeline, Homura was the Muggle Best Friend to Madoka.
    • Played straight with Hitomi, who serves as Madoka's and Sayaka's friend. It's soon played straighter than most Magical Girl shows would usually go and have her unknowingly become one of the straws that break Sayaka's back and drive her to despair.
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Usagi/Sailor Moon has Naru, and to a lesser degree Umino. Especially meaningful in the R season of the first anime, where it's implied that Naru may have graduated into Secret-Keeper - she at least knows Usagi is into something very important, though she may not know why.
    • Similarly, in Codename: Sailor V we had Minako's best friend Hikaru, who bore an uncanny resemblance to Sailor Mercury and showed greater courtesy and common sense than her friend. (At one point, after Minako had lied about her age to participate in a blood drive for the sole purpose of receiving juice in exchange for her contributions, an aggravated Artemis pleasurably envisioned a scenario where the responsible Hikaru had alternately been chosen as Sailor V instead, and how much easier his life would be as a result).
    • In the live-action series, Motoki is also this to Mamoru (as well as Makoto's Muggle Love Interest).
  • Manta Oyamada from Shaman King is this to Yoh. Subverted in the 2001 anime adaptation, where Manta becomes a shaman (and may have caused a Broken Aesop due to the theme of coexisting shamans with normal humans through Yoh and Manta).
  • Miku fills the role of "normal friend and roommate" to Hibiki in Symphogear, though their relationship may not be strictly platonic and gets strained for a while once she finds out how much Hibiki's been lying to keep up her secret identity. She briefly drops the "normal" part and becomes a serious threat when she activates the Shenshou Jing Symphogear in season 2, though not by choice.
  • Tokyo Ghoul has several.
    • Hide becomes this to Kaneki, who tries desperately to keep Hide in the dark about his friend's transformation into a Half-Human Hybrid. Hide knew almost the entire time and didn't care.
    • Yoriko for Touka, who is desperate to keep her human friend from learning the truth about her. She found out in :re, but she blames herself for not noticing that she's been suffering to make her happy.
    • While Tsukiyama refers to her as his "pet", Chie manages to be his only known friend. Unlike the other examples in the series, she knows he's a Ghoul and doesn't care, at best manipulating events so he won't target someone she's interested in taking photos of.
    • In the sequel, it turns out that Eto Yoshimura/Sen Takatsuki's editor is one. He found out she was a Ghoul long ago, which puts a completely different spin on their conversation in an Omake.
  • In Ultra Maniac, Nina Sakura, a Cute Witch, transfers into a normal school in the human world, and meets Ayu, the one who would fit this trope. She befriends her (though at first, Ayu was annoyed by Nina), Ayu finds herself being the target of Nina's many (failed attempts) of helpful magic.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! has Joey Wheeler, a reformed street fighter, as the MBF to Yugi Muto, the wielder of the Millennium Puzzle and host to the ancient spirit contained therein. The other non-magical members of the gang — Tristan, Téa, and Duke — also count.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Janna vs. the Forces of Evil has Jackie Lynn Thomas towards Janna, though Marco technically counts as well. The difference being that while she does occasionally get involved with witch-in-training Janna's magical antics, it's karate kid Macro that's always along for the ride whether he wants to be or not. Meanwhile, Jackie is usually off doing more mundane things like skating around town, and only gets involved with the madness when circumstances require her to serve as a voice of reason for her oldest friend in addition to (or in place of) Marco.
  • In Lost in Camelot, Gwen and Kenzi serve as this to Morgana and Bo in particular, even if Gwen doesn't know about Morgana's powers so far; Arthur maintains at least the appearance of acknowledging the social gap between him and Merlin, although Lancelot may fill this role for Merlin and Dyson.
  • Meet Me Where You're Going reveals that Cass has made three during her year in Hong Kong: dancer Cunxin, programmer Xiao Yin, and easy-going Ho Seng. She still considers Steph her best friend, but Steph (who averts this with her social circle being all heroes now,) worries that Cass has outgrown her.
  • Spider-X: A crossover with Spider-Man and X-Men: Evolution, as well as the canon examples such as Amanda Sefton dating Kurt Wagner or Mary Jane Watson and Harry Osborn being friends with Peter Parker (although Harry is lying about his father's role in some of the team being abducted). Some more original examples include Scott and Jean’s friends Paul and Taryn, who are told about the existence of mutants before the X-Men go public, and the Connors family all form certain bonds with the team after the X-Men and Spider-Man are able to cure Curt of his Lizard transformation; Curt forms a bond as a fellow scientist with Hank McCoy, his wife Martha gets along well with Ororo, and his son Billy hits it off with Jamie Madrox and original character Spyder.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • Laura is the Muggle Best Friend to Kate in the Adventures of a Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom series, and she's the self-titled Sidekick as well. Even after reading the first book, it's clear that Laura's daughter Mindy will be the Muggle Best Friend to Kate's daughter Allie when Allie ends up trained to follow in Mom's footsteps.
  • Indira Fenstermacher to the alien "Paul Dwightson" in Alien in a Small Town.
  • Agent Abigail Summers of the ISA is this to Oberon. Dr. Morgan Flaye is this to Oberon as well at NGT in the science fiction series, Alterien.
  • Lester of Angel of Death is this for Cody.
  • Levin in The Solomon Code is an ordinary human to Chad's Nephil, but is a formidable fighter and a needed ear of advice. His human perspective often grounds Chad.
  • In The Chronicles of Amber, both Corwin (the protagonist and viewpoint character of the first set of five books), and Merlin (Corwin's son and the main/POV character of the second set of five), have muggle friends from their time living on Earth, who are unaware that the protagonists are essentially demi-gods and can magically travel among The Multiverse.
    • The main one seen in Corwin's stories is Bill Roth, a lawyer and neighbor who knew Corwin before Corwin recovered his memories. Although Corwin does his best to keep Bill safely in the dark about events, and while Bill is at the edge of the story he does get involved several times, most notably perhaps saving the life of a wounded Corwin by getting him to a hospital in book 3. He also guesses by the end that Corwin isn't human, and in the sequel series is shown to occasionally be called on by Amber's royal family for legal advice.
    • During the second book Corwin forms a Bash Brothers relationship with Ganelon, who was once a lieutenant of Corwin in a Shadow realm Corwin ruled, until Ganelon betrayed Corwin and Corwin exiled him. Many years later Corwin comes across a seemingly reformed Ganelon. The two reconcile and Ganelon comes along on Corwin's adventures, often providing surprisingly useful advice and backup, despite not being an immortal demi-god like Corwin and his family. Eventually subverted when it turns out that this version of Ganelon is actually Corwin's father Oberon, using shapeshifting powers to disguise himself.
    • Merlin has his college friend and Friendly Enemy Luke Reynard, who competed with him in some college sports. Subverted since Luke is actually not a muggle, but is in fact a cousin of Merlin. Some characters mentally facepalm at the fact that Merlin didn't pick up on this as soon as he found out that Luke could match him in athletics. note 
  • In the start of the Codex Alera series, Tavi is the only person who can be one of these to everyone he meets, since he is the only character who has no nifty elemental-control Furies. He prospers being a Guile Hero, by inspiring loyalty and through alliances. Later in the series he gains a little something a powerful Fury, Alera herself. When combined with his high intelligence and Training from Hell, well, suffice it to say he is justifiably lionized as the greatest First Lord, ever.
  • Lampshaded in Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I., in which Officer McGoo is Chambeaux's BHF (Best Human Friend}. Robin, his business partner, is more of a Muggle Surrogate Kid Sister to Dan.
  • Mostly averted in the Harry Potter series. Harry has no muggle best friends, and wizards are supposed to keep their magic secret from muggles. However, a few of the supporting characters do have a muggle best friend or two. For instance, Arabella Figg is this to the Order of the Phoenix, and Hermione's parents are implied to be muggle best friends of Arthur Weasley. Muggle family and spouses of witches and wizards are implied to normally fill this role, though Aunt Petunia is a subversion, as she hates all magic due to jealousy of the attention her sister got for being a witch. Dudley is a double subversion, as he starts out being a bully to Harry, but they reconcile at the beginning of the 7th book, and remain on "Christmas card terms" throughout adulthood.
  • Dillard from The Kingdom Keepers, though unlike most examples he's largely left out of the loop.
  • Rob's ex-roommates Cory and Eli in Magical Girl Policy. They didn't know him long or well but they're the only muggles who knew Rob before his transformation. Stacy is an Unwitting Muggle Friend who met Rob after his transformation.
  • Simon Lewis the only "regular" main character in The Mortal Instruments at first and only gets involved in the adventure because his friend Clary finds out that she's a Shadowhunter. Jace, Alec, and Izzy are initially skeptical about bringing him along since they don't think a "mundane" can keep up with them. Subverted later on when he gets turned into a vampire, thus making him a Downworlder like Luke and Magnus.
  • The Twilight Saga: Bella's friends Angela, Jessica, Mike, Eric, Ben (Angela's boyfriend), and Katie (Eric's girlfriend). The last two are cut from the films. Angela is the one Bella is closest to.
  • Cherise is the Muggle Best Friend to Joanna Baldwin in the Weather Wardens series as of Windfall, and the Love Interest of Kevin as of Thin Air.
  • In the Wings Quartet, David and Chelsea are this to Laurel, a faerie (which in this universe is the same as a Plant Person).
  • In Worm, there are two:
    • Emma Barnes is this for Shadow Stalker i.e. Sophia Hess.
    • Kevin Norton is this for Scion.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Scooby Gang (until Willow develops magic powers of her own). Xander retains this role all the way through the televised run of the series even as other characters grow beyond it. To be fair, Xander does develop into a Badass Normal who can deal with trouble on his own, and doesn't need to be watched over as much as he did in the early days - especially if he's got a wrecking ball handy.
  • Virtually every companion ever on Doctor Who, with the exceptions of fellow Time Lord Romana, half- Time Lord River Song, robotic Canine Companion K9, and time-traveling immortal Jack Harkness. Most of them are young (the exceptions being Adelaide and Donna's grandpa Wilfred) and human or humanoid, with no special powers. Even the aliens (Adric, Nyssa, Turlough) are fairly normal - they might be smart, but nothing beyond a Brainy Brunette or The Smart Guy.
  • Partial example: Teen Genius Doogie Howser's best friend Vinnie, a guy of average intelligence that helps him relate to the world of normal teenagers.
  • On Grimm, both Hank and Juliette can be this to Nick. Later, Juliette develops powers, leaving only Hank. Wu briefly occupies a slot in this role before becoming a lycanthrope.
  • H₂O: Just Add Water: Lewis is this to the mermaid trio, being their go-to guy for oceanic know-how and general support with mermaid business. Noticeably, he had many moments throughout the series where he could have jumped into the Moon Pool during the full moon and gained merman powers for himself, but never even thought of taking them.
    • Mako Mermaids: An H₂O Adventure: Cam is this for Zac, being his only support while hiding his secret of being a merman and his personal war with the mermaid trio for the first season.
  • Hercules: The Legendary Journeys has Iolaus a mortal man who accompanies Hercules in his journey's.
  • Ando on Heroes... until he got powers of his own.
    • Claire had Zach who had no powers, and later, Gretchen before their Relationship Upgrade.
    • Peter has Hesam
    • And lastly Noah Bennet could've been The Haitian's powerless pal.
  • Kenzi to Bo in Lost Girl.
  • Arthur to Merlin on Merlin. Merlin is a powerful warlock with extraordinary powers and abilities while Arthur is a human who possesses no superhuman powers but instead is royalty. However, this trope is rather played with in that Merlin is actually the more relatable character, especially at first, as he's a dorky Nice Guy whereas Arthur is, pre-Character Development, a Jerkass Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy.
  • George and Katie from No Ordinary Family. (Until she got a super powered baby who sometimes lets her use the powers, and he got put on the 'Super Powered Crash Test' plane in the last episode.)
  • The Other Kingdom: Morgan Tracey and Devon Quince play this role towards Astral, who's not only a fairy, but the princess of her kingdom, Athenia. In fact, Devon may play this trope even straighter than Morgan, since she at least has a vast knowledge of fairy culture. Devon, on the other hand, has no prior knowledge of their culture and doesn't want any part of it, so he's less than pleased to find out his whole world is being turned upside down with Weirdness Magnets Astral and Brendoni as his new roommates. Although, the trope may be played with as his father turns out to be Astral's uncle and Devon inherited some fairy genes from him that have yet to be developed.
  • Keely Teslow to Phil on Phil of the Future, though she quickly became the Love Interest as well.
  • Maria Deluca from Roswell. Also Liz and Kyle until they began to develop powers of their own.
  • Smallville: Chloe to Clark (until she develops her own powers). Before Chloe, it was Pete Ross.
  • Winn Schott and James Olsen are this to Supergirl.
  • Teen Wolf:
    • Stiles is this to Scott, they've been best friends their whole lives and each other's only friends for most of that time. He stood by Scott before he became a werewolf, when they were both nerdy outcasts and Scott suffered from severe asthma. He's also the only one who knew about Scott's supernatural powers initially and helped him through the transformation, and even after their group expands is still the first at Scott's side. Later as Stiles is only one in their circle that doesn't have any combat training or some type of supernatural powers, he becomes the Token Human and The Team Normal to the whole of Scott's pack.
      Matt: "Werewolves, hunters, kanimas. It’s like a frickin’ Halloween party every full moon. Except for you, Stiles. What do you turn into?"
      Stiles: "Abominable snowman, but it’s more of a wintertime thing. You know, seasonal."
    • Lydia is initially this to Allison, as she doesn't have combat training and is unaware of Allison's double life coming from a family of werewolf hunters. Subverted when it's revealed that between the two of them it's Lydia with supernatural powers.
  • Astrid is a Sap (short for homo sapiens) who is the best friend of Steven who is homo superior in The Tomorrow People.
  • On Wizards of Waverly Place: Harper to Alex. Zeke to Justin. Theresa to Jerry.
  • Robin is this to Vlad in Young Dracula, although he is definitely in the I Just Want to Be Special camp.

    Video Games 
  • Life Is Strange 2 has an unusual twist on this trope. Sean Diaz, the player character, is the Muggle Best Friend, or rather Muggle Sibling. Sean's younger brother, Daniel, is the one with supernatural abilities, and the frustration felt by Sean over not being the one with powers is also felt by the player.
  • Every Mother game has one:

    Web Comics 
  • The Wotch: Robin and Jason
  • Yvette and Liz in The Dreamer, Beatrice's 21st-century friends.
  • Collie from Alpha Luna.
  • Zig-zagged by Kat in Gunnerkrigg Court. She's the muggle to Antimony in all matters supernatural... but Annie gets lost when Kat starts talking technology.
  • Kat is this to Iron Violet. Although she has no powers, she is shown to be capable of defending herself in a fight.
  • It's heavily implied in Plume that Adventurer Archaeologist Magnus is this for immortal Corrick. Going by the latter's comments, Magnus is one of the very few Protectorates Corrick has actually managed to befriend over his long lifetime.

    Western Animation 
  • Spud and Trixie to Jake from American Dragon: Jake Long. Spud had his A Day in the Limelight episode as a frog boy.
  • Noah in Atomic Betty.
  • Pauline from Atomic Puppet might not be a superhero like her best friend Joey, but she is confident and clever enough to have been a big helping hand against threats that overwhelm even Atomic Puppet.
    Joey: If only we had a non-superhero friend who could help us...(looks at Pauline)
    Pauline: Very subtle, Felt.
  • Though having super powers in the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe is not uncommon, you still couldn't call the people without powers a minority. Sokka is the most obvious example for this, being surrounded by a little girl with earth powers, a sister with water powers and an omnipotent bald child. While his fighting skill was mostly a boomerang, he was also The Smart Guy, and most likely to come up with The Plan.
  • Gwen from series 1 Ben 10 until she got her Lucky Girl powers and then began studying magic. Ben 10: Omniverse has Rook Blonko, though he's an alien with no special powers.
  • Tucker and Sam to Danny on Danny Phantom. Tucker got ghost powers for one episode. Sam got plant powers for one episode.
  • In the Darkstalkers cartoon, Victor had a Muggle friend named Klaus.
  • Frida to El Tigre. She actually stole the El Tigre belt to go out as La Tigresa to satisfy her wish to be special too.
  • Invoked in Generator Rex. White Knight hired Noah to become Rex's normal friend so the latter would feel like a normal teenager while Providence kept an eye on him.
  • William Clockwell from Invincible (2021) is Mark's best and possibly Only Friend at school, often acting as The Lancer to him while being Locked Out of the Loop about him being Invincible or his abilities.
  • Brad and Tucker to XJ-9 in My Life as a Teenage Robot.
  • Rainbow Brite had a boy from Earth that she was friends with. His name was Brian, and he was the only human able to see her.
  • Sabrina: The Animated Series gives Sabrina Chloe Flan, a regular human, as her best friend.
  • Static Shock had Richie, Virgil's best friend — but it became subverted when in the third season they upgraded Richie to Late Boomer.note 
  • Most of the human friends in various Transformers media. Subverted in Transformers: Animated, where Sari appears to be this. She is, in fact, a Cybertronian protoform in a human alt-form.
  • In Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Marco Diaz is this to the eponymous princess Star Butterfly. Unlike most muggles, he knows karate and can handle himself in fights.
  • On Steven Universe, Connie Maheswaran is Steven's best friend, and the only full-human on the main cast with the exception of Greg. However, she is also a capable sword fighter and can fuse with Steven.