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Odd Couple

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"What's wrong with policemen on television these days? They're always complete opposites. One's of them fat and poor, the other one's thin and posh. One of them's a woman, the other one's a Martian. One of them has four heads, one of them's allergic to heads."
Inspector Fowler, The Thin Blue Line

Mr. Neat/Tidy/Law-Abiding/By-The-Book forced to work/live with Mr. Messy/Slob/Zany/Risk-Taker/Plays-By-His-Own-Rules. Despite the name, they're usually not a romantic couple (though this depends on the show in question).

The couple might be cops. One might be a "loose cannon" Cowboy Cop, while the other is a cautious rule-follower who wants to follow procedures.

The original Odd Couple were, in fact, The Odd Couple, a play that became a movie that became a TV series. It featured two divorcees, Neat Freak Felix Unger and his sloppy friend Oscar Madison, having to live together.

If the pair lives in a High Fantasy realm, a Hidden World of Awesome, or an Absurdist World of Awesome, you may be watching a Psychedelic Comedy Bromance.

See also: Sibling Yin-Yang, Polar Opposite Twins, Tomboy and Girly Girl, Sensitive Guy and Manly Man, Red Oni, Blue Oni, Opposites Attract, Two Gamers on a Couch, Badass and Child Duo, Monster and the Maiden and Gleeful and Grumpy Pairing. Compare Heterosexual Life-Partners. May be part of a Wunza Plot. A movie centered on their relationship is often a Buddy Picture.

If it's not the two main characters, it's an Odd Friendship.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Two anime play on the Robot Detective motif (see Literature): Armitage III (Armitage is secretly a robot, Sylibus is an Earth transfer with anti-robot leanings) and Metropolis (2001) (robot and human detective, based on the book).
  • Azumanga Daioh:
    • The stern, mature, bookworm Yomi and goofy, brash, hyperactive Tomo.
    • The same applies to the sensible, caring Nyamo, and the playful, irresponsible Yukari.
    • Shy, quiet cute-obsessed Sakaki and outgoing, impulsive Kagura's growing friendship might also count; particularly later in the season; although it seems a little more one-sided (on Kagura's part) than the other pairings.
  • Bleach has a whole lot of these.
    • The Shinigami, most notably in the 13 squad divisions with many of its captain and lieutenant sets:
      • 1st Division: Subverted in the case of Captain Genryūsai Shigekuni Yamamoto and Lieutenant Chōjirō Sakisabe. Yamamoto enjoys Japanese culture but dislikes European, and holds Japanese tea sessions for his squad, while Chōjirō is obsessed with European culture and dislikes Japanese to the point of growing his own tea leaves. However, this is the only area in which they differ. They're very well-matched aside from this.
      • 2nd Division: Captain Shaolin "Soifon" Fon (Les Yay Tsundere Ice Queen) and Lieutenant Marechiyo Omaeda (Dumb Muscle Butt-Monkey Gonk).
      • 3rd Division: Smug Snake Trickster Mentor Captain Gin Ichimaru and melancholic Warrior Poet Izuru Kira. Averted with Rose and Kira who have bonded through their shared artistic natures.
      • 6th Division: Subverted with Aloof Big Brother Captain Byakuya Kuchiki and Hot-Blooded Lieutenant Renji Abarai. Clarified as being an in-universe belief that's not true in reality due to Byakuya being Hot-Blooded Beneath the Mask making the pair similar. However, a lot of characters don't know this.
      • Possibly an inversion as Renji is actually a lot softer than he appears. Of male shinigami, only Kira is more sensitive.
      • 7th Division: Calm and collected Captain Sajin Komamura and Hot-Blooded Lieutenant Tetsuzaimon Iba.
      • 8th Division: Captain Shunsui Kyōraku (Brilliant, but Lazy and The Dandy) and Lieutenant Nanao Ise (stiff and formal with a Prim and Proper Bun to show it).
      • 10th Divison: Captain Tōshirō Hitsugaya (an extremely serious, focused Workaholic Child Prodigy) and Lieutenant Rangiku Matsumoto, who is easy-going, easily distracted, and Brilliant, but Lazy, not to mention significantly older, taller, and bustier, subverting the usual image of the seasoned captain and the raw lieutenant.
      • 11th Division: Subverted with Sociopathic Hero Kenpachi Zaraki and Rose-Haired Sweetie Yachiru Kusajishi. Yachiru is as bloodthirsty as he is.
      • 12th Division: Mad Scientist Mayuri Kurotsuchi who will fly off the handle very easily and Extreme Doormat Nemu Kurotsuchi who barely reacts to anything unless ordered to. Mayuri created her to be like that.
      • 13th Division: Ukitake is a tall, peaceful, calm individual who tries to negotiate conflict between friends and allies with smooth-talking, friendly soothing words. Rukia's short, Hot-Blooded, and prefers to either beat sense into friends and allies or passionately yell at them.
    • In the "Turn Back The Pendulum'' arc, we have:
    • Even the ex-captain traitor trio qualifies: Kaname Tōsen is a mostly stoic Blind Justice Knight Templar, Gin Ichimaru is an Ax-Crazy Faux Affably Evil Enigmatic Minion, and Sōsuke Aizen, Hero Killer. Enjoyable Teeth-Clenched Teamwork ensues.
  • Candy☆Boy has Kanade (serious, somewhat Tsundere) and Yukino (ditzy). As the story progresses, it becomes apparent that the two are more alike than they initially appeared.
  • Darker than Black: The two Contractors, November 11 and April have this dynamic, especially in the dub. He is cool and kind of fastidious (at least in respect to smoking) and always wears a suit. She is a Hard-Drinking Party Girl who dresses the part and has dyed hair. They kill people.
  • Death Note: Light Yagami is an occasionally amnesiac mass murderer who kills criminals in order to make a 'better world' with himself as God. L is the detective who's trying to catch him. And they were HANDCUFFED TOGETHER for several episodes/chapters! Not to mention that Light is neatly dressed and charismatic, while L is a sloppy Bunny-Ears Lawyer with No Social Skills.
  • Descendants of Darkness: The Guardians of Death always work in pairs; the manga focuses on the goofy, playful, and hyperactive Tsuzuki and the serious, down-to-earth, and short-tempered Hisoka.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Goku and Vegeta are complete opposites that are repeatedly forced to team up, no matter how much they don't like it. It starts out as a still fairly tense Enemy Mine, but by the Buu Saga, we get whole episodes of them bickering and snarking at each other while wandering Buu's innards.
  • In Endride, the main characters are teenagers close in age but distant in temperaments. Shun is a ordinary Genki Guy Trapped in Another World and Emilio is a gloomy, Troubled, but Cute prince on a revenge quest. Their main coping mechanism for having to constantly put up with each other is Volleying Insults and the occasional fistfight. Naturally, they make a great team.
  • Detectives Ryo MacLean and Dee Laytner in Buddy Cop Show manga FAKE, who are partners with almost opposite personalities yet attracted to each other.
  • Kyou and Makoto from FullMaPla. One's a Genki Girl and the other is a Silent Snarker.
  • Futari wa Pretty Cure: Part of the premise; two unlikely partners are a sports-loving tomboy and a brainy class rep.
  • Gakuen Alice has a Mikan, Hotaru, Natsume, and Luka. Any way you mix and match you get an Odd Couple.
  • In Girls' Last Tour, Chito and Yuuri couldn't be more different. Chito being a mildly dour bookworm, and Yuu being an off-kilter goofball.
  • Good Day to You, How About a Game?: The series is about an extroverted Class Princess, Chise, befriending a friendless introvert, Sae, over the game of mahjong.
  • Grenadier has this in the form of the level-headed, gun-hating Samurai warrior Yajiro, and the off-beat, innocent gun-slinging busty blonde Rushuna.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya: Haruhi and Kyon, He's a down-to-earth, Ordinary Highschool Student, and Deadpan Snarker and she's a hyperactive Genki Girl, who is also God.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers:
    • Germany and Italy.
    • Denmark and Norway, to some extent.
    • Canada and America.
  • Hidamari Sketch: Yuno and Miyako have very different personalities, which doesn't prevent them from being very close. Miyako's often energetic efforts to show her feelings for Yuno are especially endearing at times.
  • Hunter × Hunter: Gon and Killua probably count, because it's been pointed out that even their Nen types are complete opposites of each other. Gon's a naive, strong-willed boy from the country and Killua is a devious ex-Assassin who also happens to be very, very rich. Kurapika and Leorio probably count, too.
  • Subaru and Teana in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS and all related releases where they serve as main characters. The former's too energetic for her own good while the other tries to keep professional in the face of that energy.
  • My Love Story!!. Sunakawa is the typical Bishōnen high schooler you hear about and see in all sorts of manga, Takeo is a big, squarely built guy whose appearance would usually be used as gonk in other manga. And those two have been friends for over 10 years. Their personalities also contrast each other, with Takeo being boisterous but naive and Suna being quiet but more perceptive.
    • The couple-couple of Takeo and Yamato also counts, in the sense that they are a Huge Guy, Tiny Girl pair, but they aren't all that different on the inside.
  • My-Otome: Country Mouse Arika Yumemiya and strait-laced #1-ranked student Nina Wang. Can also be applied to Arika and snobby Rebellious Princess Mashiro Blan de Windbloom.
  • Nana: Nana and Hachi, who is also really named Nana.
  • Naruto: Akatsuki offers two examples:
    • Hidan (dedicated priest who despises the greedy) and Kakuzu (bounty hunter who covets money and despises religions). The only reason they haven't killed each other yet is they're both immortal.
    • Sasori (strict artist who values the ageless quality of his puppets) and Deidara (relaxed artist who values the transient beauty of his explosions). Despite their constant arguing about art, they respect one another and work well together.
    • Arguably, 'Odd Couple' applies to virtually everyone in the entire show. Naruto is a loud, hot-blooded idiot that depends on sheer determination to be great vs Sasuke who is a quiet genius that can become great through sheer intelligence — now how well does that description fit Lee/Neji, Kiba/Shino, Kakashi/Gai, Orochimaru/Jiraiya, and much more? Even side characters have examples with Tsunade being an alcoholic gambler who just happens to be an incredibly talented ninja vs Shizune who is a strait-laced type but nowhere near as good of a ninja.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: It's implied that before Shinji Ikari's arrival in his class at school, Kensuke Aida (nerd) and Touji Suzuhara (jock) were this.
  • Niea and Mayuko from Niea_7, the latter being a serious cram-school student in contrast with the boisterous, freeloading, and food-stealing alien girl who lives in her closet. Still, their relationship shows signs of a sisterly bond, which gets especially prevalent when Niea goes missing.
  • Nodame Cantabile: Chiaki is a perfectionistic neat freak who prefers good manners, yet he spends much of his time with Nodame, who is eccentric, ill-mannered, chaotic, and an immense slob.
  • A central theme in Noir; Kirika and Mirielle's curious relationship is key to the plot.
    • Not just Noir, but all the Girls with Guns anime from Koichi Mashimo and Bee Train feature this Odd Couple relationship with at least one of the protagonists. If it isn't Kirika and Mirielle, it's Madlax and Margaret...or Nadie and Ellis.
  • Ojojojo: Bystanders frequently comment on how strange it is for elegant, wealthy Haru to be friends with weird, quiet Kawayanagi. Becomes a case of Opposites Attract when they start going out with each other.
  • Ping Pong: The friendship of Peco and Smile. The gap of differences between the two has only grown with time.
  • Princess Jellyfish: The main two characters are socially awkward jellyfish Otaku Tsukimi and the gorgeous, crossdressing fashionista son of a rich family, Kuranosuke. Also a case of Opposites Attract at least from Kuranosuke's point of view.
  • Scrapped Princess: The "Beast Princess" Seness Giat and Yamato Nadeshiko Eirote Borchard.
  • In The Secret Agreement, Yuuichi is down to earth and realistic while Iori is impractical, otherworldly, and has very scattered attachments to actual things. On top of this, there is a large wealth and class gap between them. They aren't quite a case of Opposites Attract, but in-story Yuuichi remarks to himself how they are an unlikely couple.
  • Seishun Kouryakuhon has Isezaki and Kurata. Their classmates are, at first, surprised that Isezaki can even get along with the latter.
  • In Sk8 the Infinity, the protagonist Reki is energetic and expressive and leaps headfirst into conflict, while his best friend Langa is reserved and stoic and mainly responds to others' challenges.
  • Soul Eater:
    • Maka and Soul are a pretty good example of this trope.
    • Tsubaki and Black Star are even stronger examples.
    • Then you have Death the Kid and the Thompson Sisters forming an Odd Trio. Kid's the aristocrat (being the "son" of Shinigami—it's complicated) with an obsession for symmetry that both helps and hurts him (for one thing, it's why he has two partners: one for each hand). Patty is The Ditz but as a result doesn't get scared and tends to see things the others may overlook, while Liz is the sanity of the trio despite being a scaredy-cat.
    • The groups are put together with this in mind. Opposites can resonate their souls better.
    • The meister/Weapon groups such as Harvar and Ox. Shinigami has a contrasting group in his named area heads, but he and scythe Spirit are not actually that dissimilar. Though it depends on how far Shinigami's obfuscating stupidity.
      • That being noted, Shinigami is Spirit's third partner. His first was Franken Stein, and his second Maka's mother, who has, as of writing, yet to be shown, but said to be much like her daughter.
  • Tenchi Muyo!: The space-cop pair "Miho-Kiyo" — Born Lucky Brainless Beauty Mihoshi and Cosmic Plaything By-the-Book Cop Kiyone. They're the same in whatever series they appear (though Kiyone does not appear in the first OVA series).
  • The title characters of Tiger & Bunny. Kotetsu (Wild Tiger) is impulsive, emotional, compassionate, and prone to poking his nose into other people's business. His partner Barnaby ("Bunny") is asocial, aloof, relentlessly formal, and generally unconcerned about anything other than avenging his parents' deaths.
  • Toradora!: Ryuuji and Taiga. He's tall, gentle, is an expert at housekeeping, likes to cook, and generally does his best to avoid conflict—unfortunately, the hereditary angry glare he got from his father makes everyone think Ryuuji's going to kill them, or worse. She's short, brutish, never bothers cleaning up after herself, burns salads, and has the temperament of a raging tiger—unfortunately, her pretty face and delicate figure make strangers think she's just a cute little girl.

    Comic Books 
  • Tintin: Gracile hyper-saintly jack-of-all-trades journalist meets chubby choleric, eccentric alcoholic — who could this possibly be? Tintin and the Captain Haddock, of course.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Cable & Deadpool: A muscle-bound, angsty psychic mutant from the future trying to make the world a better place and his buddy: A fourth-wall-breaking motormouth mercenary who is made of cancer and loves pop-culture riffs.
    • Spider-Man: There was a two-issue arc in The Amazing Spider-Man (J. Michael Straczynski) where he was forced to team up with Loki to save the world and Loki's mostly-mortal kid, who the person trying to destroy the world was possessing. It involved a lot of wordplay between the two masters of I Shall Taunt You and despite being a hero and a villain-just-doing-something-good, it was so well-written that a lot of fans remember and like it (and post it all over the web, particularly the "chili dog scene").
    • Power Man and Iron Fist headlined a comic together in the early '80s and this trope was invoked often in the advertising. Iron Fist comes from another world where he has mastered martial arts to an almost superhuman level. His is a life of discipline and dedication. He's also rich, but his lack of experience in the real world leaves him naive at times. Power Man, in contrast, grew up poor on the streets and knows entirely too much about how the world works, and completely lacks training and discipline, but gets by on the virtue of being super strong and nearly indestructible. Together, they're a nightmare for criminals of all sorts.
  • Blacksad has intellectual tough guy John Blacksad paired with precocious pervert Weekly. They get along surprisingly well.
  • Sehven and Leeka in Feather. Sehv is the last dragon slayer. Leeka is the last full-blooded dragon. You can see where the conflict comes from.
  • Lenore and Ragamuffin in Lenore the Cute Little Dead Girl.
  • The DCU:
    • Superman and Batman. Superman is an alien with almost godlike powers, raised under generally modest circumstances, inspired by the strong morals taught to him by his parents, believes in setting a good example for all of mankind, and is also Happily Married. Batman is a badass human, a tycoon who was inspired to be a hero by the murder of his parents, believes in creating a nightmare image to scare criminals straight, and he's got relationship issues out the wazoo. They're practically the superhero Good Cop/Bad Cop scenario, and yet they still acknowledge the other as their best friend.
      Though note that much of this dynamic only really solidified during The '80s, and is still heavily subject to Depending on the Writer. Before that, both of them were fairly clean-cut, upstanding hero-types; hell, Batman arguably had a healthier personal life and a fairly chipper relationship with Robin, Batgirl, Alfred, and Commissioner Gordon, while Superman often went to near-psychotic lengths to hide his Secret Identity from Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen.
    • Supergirl is a spirited, brash borderline Physical God. Batgirl is a quiet, introvert, cautious Badass Bookworm. And yet the two of them have had a sibling-like relationship since The '60s. It helps that they can bond over being permanently overshadowed by their male counterparts.
    • Supergirls and Batgirls usually compliment each other or are odd couples.
    • In the Legion of Super-Heroes, Supergirl and Brainiac-5 often team up together. She's a cheerful, impulsive, kind Flying Brick. He's a somber, reflective, jerkass of a genius. They're not only a very effective team but also a couple.
    • Green Lantern: The Green Lantern Corps seems to run on this, with nearly every partnership being an odd couple of some kind. For example, the cocky follow-your-guts Hal Jordan is partnered with the methodical and analytical John Stewart, and the Boisterous Bruiser Guy Gardner is partnered with either the sensitive artist Kyle Rayner or the Cold Sniper John Stewart. Or there's the example of the living planet Mogo, and his partner Bzzd, a wasp.
    • Bat Lash: Many stories contrast the taciturn Jonah Hex with the significantly friendlier Bat.
    • The New 52 All-Star Western pairs the ruthless, hard-as-nails, disfigured Bounty Hunter Jonah Hex with prissy Easterner Dr. Amadeus Arkham, who is one of the world's first criminal psychologists and a firm believer in the law and order and the humane treatment of criminals.
    • Robin: Kevin Hudman is the most serious, logically minded, and academically gifted of Tim's friends, and is always with Hudson who is the most impulsive, emotionally driven, hot-headed, and least focused on his studies of Tim's friends. Their relationship is never expounded upon but the two are so joined at the hip that Ives generally introduces them to people as "Hudster" like they're inseparable enough to be introduced as a unit, and they don't contradict him.
  • Quantum and Woody, with Eric (Quantum) as the by-the-books superhero and Woody as the slapdash slob. Though Woody repeatedly insists they're "not a couple."
  • Sin City has Dwight and Miho. Dwight is a down-to-Earth guy who tries to use his head while Miho is the Ax-Crazy assassin who never says a word. They get into conflicts a lot but Miho usually listens to him.

    Comic Strips 
  • Fritz and Bixby from Ink Pen function as the heads of the titular temp agency to employ the various cartoon characters. Fritz is a workaholic obsessive compulsive neat freak of a dog, and Bixby is a rude and lazy rat who spends a lot of time sitting in the trash can.
  • Nemi: Cyan and Nemi seem to be this, with Nemi as a dark, brooding goth and Cyan as a perky, cheerful Nice Girl. However, it's stated that their differences are the reason they work so well together; they both effectively pull the brakes on the other when their respective negative traits start to spiral out of control.

  • Laurel and Hardy: A dimwitted Manchild and a domineering arrogant man who always belittles the other one, despite not being much wiser.

    Fan Works 
  • More like odd trio in Hetalia: Axis Powers fanfic Gankona, Unnachgiebig, Unità. Germany is tough and harsh, Italy is carefree and energetic, and Japan is cold and calculating.
  • Most of the characters in Calvin & Hobbes: The Series fit this one way or another. You've got Calvin and Hobbes themselves, as well as Andy and Sherman. Even Dr. Brainstorm and Jack follow this!
  • The ever-popular pairing (sometimes romantic, sometimes just friendly) in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanon; Vinyl Scratch and Octavia. One's a partying, disco-pumping DJ that goes by the stage name DJ-Pon3. The other is a refined and distinguished cellist. They are placed together to do everything from share a radio studio to fighting crime.
    • Lyra and Bon Bon get a similar pairing with the former's strange and/or fun-loving personality being a constant foil to the latter's more straight-laced and grumpy persona. They're also portrayed as a romantic couple so often it's considered strange when that isn't the case, to the point where even the show showed them proposing to each other in one of its final episodes.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, crime-fighting pair Supergirl and Dev-Em. One's a kind-hearted, good-natured hero who refuses to cross determined lines. The other is an obnoxious, brash, rude spy who is willing to do whatever is needed to carry his mission forward.
  • In the "Pink Personal Hell" line of Pink Personal Hell And Altering Fate, we have an odd couple of Pinkie Pie, and Dominic. While they get closer together, it becomes quite obvious that Pinkie moves a little too fast and is a little too hyperactive for Dominic.
  • X-Men: The Early Years: A brooding, introvert, misanthropic loner who thinks too much and a high-spirited, extrovert, hot-tempered girl who is a bit too much reckless hooking up? Likelier than you thought. Scott Summers and Jean Grey reckon they get along because no one else would put up with each other.
    Scott: You know, the two of us are really pathetic sometimes.
    Jean: Definitely. No one else would put up with us. That's why we ended up best friends. You know what our friendship is like?
    Scott: The Titanic hitting the iceberg?
    Jean: Sometimes.
    Scott: A bad case of sea sickness?
    Jean: Nope. Not that.
    Scott: Maple, toffee-flavored coffee?
    Jean: Yuck! No.
    Scott: A no-plot, B-rated action flick?
    Jean: Double yuck! No.
    Scott: A tricycle designed by Dr Seuss?
    Jean: That's it! It works. It putters right along but no one can quite figure out how.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Pebble and the Penguin: Hubie is the perky sort while Rocko is more grumpy.
  • Wreck-It Ralph:
    • Felix and Calhoun. They were so different in every which way as well as being a justified May–December Romance that it was very hard for the audience to see it coming.
    • Ralph and Vanellope started this way, then developed a brother-sister relationship with each other.
  • Zootopia: Judy Hopps an optimistic female bunny cop bent on breaking the stereotype of rabbits through hard work while Nick Wilde is a cynical male fox conman who argues that you can't escape the social conventions that are assumed of each type of animal. By the end, they become police partners.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Ana: A broke car salesman and a 12-year-old street-smart girl working together to save the former from bankruptcy along with probable death at the hands of a loan shark.
  • The Avengers (1998). Mrs. Peel doesn't play by the rules, Steed does.
  • The Bride: Viktor, Frankenstein's Monster, is a very large man who initially doesn't say much (as he's not that knowledgeable) and doesn't know much of the world. He pairs up with Rinaldo, a garrulous, worldly little man with dwarfism. They even grow into a double act at the circus in Budapest.
  • Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman's characters in The Change-Up.
  • Cherrybomb (2009): Malachy (Rupert Grint) and Luke (Robert Sheehan). Malachy is a steady, dependable straight-A student with a doting middle-class family, and Luke is a loud, flamboyant drug dealer with a taste for vandalism and violence, whose family abuse and neglect him.
  • The Great Race: The Great Leslie is a charming male chauvinist. Maggie Dubois is a militant female chauvinist. Naturally, they fall in love and get married.
  • The Heat An FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) (not that one (probably)) who teams up with a short, slobby, crass, overweight detective (Melissa McCarthy); the only thing they have in common is that no one in their respective departments wants to work with them.
  • Ken and Ray in In Bruges. Ken being the warmhearted, wiser man and Ray being the impertinent, non-PC young one. Ken likes Bruges for the scenery; Ray hates it for being so boring.
  • In the Heat of the Night: Virgil Tibbs (black and big city Northern) and Bill Gillespie (white and small town redneck).
  • The Lethal Weapon franchise. Roger Murtaugh and Martin Riggs. Murtaugh is the family man detective who just wants to remodel his house in peace, while Riggs is the crazy loner cop who tends to have a Heroic BSoD every movie.
  • Mandalay: The former sex slave who just managed to run away from that life and the drunkard medic who wants to atone for his mistakes. They fall in love.
  • Deconstructed in Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Neal has no choice but to cooperate with Del because of how resourceful Del is and any time he tries to strike out on his own, things get much, much worse. He also doesn't wait until the third act to tell Del what a pain in the ass he can be, which makes Del more self-conscious of his behavior so he'll go easier on Neal throughout their journey while also telling him point-blank that he has no choice but to learn to love him. The whole thing makes the Teeth-Clenched Teamwork more believable.
  • Red Heat. Moscow's toughest detective, who happens to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Chicago's craziest cop, Jim Belushi. There's only one thing worse than making them mad. Making them partners.
  • The Rock: John Mason is an elderly British covert operative who has spent decades in prison. Stanley Goodspeed is a chemist with no combat experience. Both are sent on a mission to Alcatraz for different reasons (the former because he knows how to get in because he already broke out of the prison, the latter because the place is full of chemical weapons) and are the only survivors when their squad is massacred, leading to a partnership marked by much bickering that ultimately makes them both Unlikely Heroes.
  • Thor: The Dark World. Loki and Thor have put each other through a lot, but they still bicker like an old married couple/the brothers that one of them is always denying they are. At the beginning of the first Thor film, Loki is also much more quiet and thoughtful than Thor and his friends.
  • Turner and Hooch (1989) with Tom Hanks as the obsessive Neat Freak bachelor cop Scott Turner having to share his pristine apartment with... Hooch, a large slobbering Dogue de Bordeaux he-dog, the only witness in a murder case.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Roger and Jessica Rabbit. Not the least reason is the fact that she's drawn as a human (an overly-sexy woman complete with bangs) and he's a rabbit (a stereotypically-slapstick cartoon rabbit). They're married, and most Toons say Jessica got the better end of the deal.
  • Tallahassee and Columbus in Zombieland. Columbus is a nervous, twitchy college student who's scared of clowns and addicted to World of Warcraft. Tallahassee is a badass who's constantly on the hunt for Twinkies and creative new ways to kill zombies. The two get along surprisingly well.

  • Isaac Asimov's "Robot Detective" trilogy (The Caves of Steel, The Naked Sun, and The Robots of Dawn), where the couple is an intelligent robot detective and a robot-hating human policeman.
  • Conventional, polite nice guy John Watson and eccentric, sarcastic freelancer Sherlock Holmes, who were originally forced to live together because neither of them could afford the Baker Street flat on his own.
  • Miron and Joshua from Dora Wilk Series. One is outgoing, social, rebellious devil who drowns checks from his father in a fish tank as a matter of principle. Another is Shrinking Violet, compassionate angel who's under constant pressure from his father (Archangel Gabriel) and must live in Miron's house, as he can't afford his own. They met in Garden of Eden when they were seven and kept together ever since.
  • Deconstructed in John Dies at the End, with the relationship between John and Dave. For most of the book, Dave is seen as pretty normal, with John being the weirdo. However, as the book progresses, we discover that John is Dave's only friend, and the reason Dave still hangs around with him is that he's a codependent sociopath, and John's the 'normal' one.
  • Main characters of President's Vampire are an ambitious, Action Survivor White House politician and Nigh Invulnerable vampire. One couldn't use a pistol if his life depended on it, the other punches cars into nonexistence with his bare hands. One is a smooth talker, the other is an antisocial loner. Together, they fight the forces of darkness.
  • Aziraphale and Crowley from Good Omens are, in theory, about as different as it's possible to get: they met in the Garden of Eden, where Aziraphale was the angel at the eastern gate and Crowley was the snake. (They've both since been demoted.) Having worked opposite each other on Earth for countless centuries, they've realised that they have more in common with each other than they think and become best friends, still nominally working for good and evil but not interfering with each other's projects and occasionally having lunch together. Aziraphale is the neat, picky one while Crowley is wilder and always wears sunglasses.
  • In The Westing Game, the sixteen main characters are paired with each other in order to solve a mystery. Most of the pairs seemingly have nothing in common with each other.
  • Pettersson & Bendel: A Con Men Odd Couple. Pettersson is a dashing but rather naive homeless man whom most people take to straight away; Bendel is a scrawny illegal immigrant and financial genius who must have a Charisma score of about -10.
  • Bertie Wooster and Jeeves, to an extent. While they do fit the bill of nutty-goofball and sophistication-incarnate, respectively, their living situation is due to a professional, master-servant relationship.
  • Discworld: Esme Weatherwax (uptight, virginal, constantly testing herself and others), and Gytha Ogg (easy-going, mother of fifteen, gets on well with everyone).
    • Agnes Nitt and Perdita Dream. Bonus points for being the same person.
    • The City Watch books have Fred Colon, a simple, down-to-earth sergeant who's not as smart as he thinks he is and Nobby Nobbs, a shifty, "certified human" corporal who's smarter than he looks (which, granted, isn't hard).
  • Shadowleague: Zavahl, former head of the Corrupt Church and a dour man at best, and sunny Ailie in Maggie Furey's books.
  • The Princess Series: Snow White and Talia (Sleeping Beauty) were this back before Danielle (Cinderella) joined the team making it a trio. Snow is intelligent, immature, outgoing, wields magic, and is younger than she looks due to magic. Talia is reserved, stoic, cynical, a high-level warrior, and is older than she looks due to magic.
  • In Kidnapped David Balfour is a respectable(and rather priggish) lowlander and a firm Hanoverian. Alan Breck Stewart is a wild Highlander and a well-committed Jacobite.
  • Nita and Nailer of Ship Breaker. She's an upper-class Rich Bitch with a good case of Silk Hiding Steel. He's a ship breaker and the son of a world-class monster. They somehow become Fire-Forged Friends.
  • The John Varley novel Mammoth featured an antagonist trio of a young far-left militant and a geriatric far-right evangelical and his son. United in their opposition to cloning- the militant because he thinks cloning is a violation of animal rights and the evangelical because he thinks cloning is sacrilegious- they become terrorists.
  • Noah Landau and Viktor Borovsky in Greg Rucka's A Gentleman's Game. Landau is stoical, taciturn, phlegmatic, cynical, world-weary, patient, and polite; his family was almost certainly fifth aliyah or earlier. Borovsky is passionate, mirthful, profane, lustful, playful, optimistic, and earthy; he himself was born in Russia back when it was still the Soviet Union. The two of them work together at the Mossad, and somehow manage to make a very good team, even though Borovsky seems to drive Landau up the wall.
    Borovsky: I love her, I want to send her flowers....I adore her, and I want to show her my affection....What is her name again? Her real name, not the work name, not that Italian name.
    Landau: She's head of their special section. I'm sure you have it on file.
    Borovsky: I looked. Her name is Chace, Tara Chace.
    Landau: Then why are you asking me?
    Borovsky: It's more fun this way. There was no picture of her, I think it was removed. Did you remove it?
    Landau: Yes.
    Borovsky: Why?
    Landau: To keep you from drooling over it.
    Borovsky: Is she beautiful? Is she beautiful, this woman who assassinates Saudi princes?
  • Louie, a timid mama's mouse, and Dan, a brash slob, from The Porcupine Mouse. They're brothers.
  • In James Patterson's NYPD Red as the two partners meet, they have As You Know dialog which describes him as the by-the-book straight arrow and her as the loose cannon maverick. Appropriately for a book about investigating murders of movie people, it's virtually a pitch for the movie adaptation.
  • A less common version of this can be found in The Vampire Chronicles. Melancholic arsonist Louis and adventurous snarker Lestat. They couldn't be any more different but they still love each other.
  • Garrett, P.I.: title character and his best friend. Garrett muses that Morley stands for everything he hates, but somehow he still likes Morley.
  • In The Pillars of Reality, Mari and Alain. Even setting aside the fact that each of their respective Guilds consider so much as speaking to members of the other to be treasonous, their personalities are a case of Emotions vs. Stoicism.
  • The main character and her best friend in Eden Green are a rationalist nerd obsessed with routine and reliability, and an easy-going, gregarious, chaos-loving social chameleon. Together, they fight needle monsters.
  • The Nero Wolfe series gives the reader Wolfe himself and his assistant Archie Goodwin, although it's more of an employer/employee relationship than a friendship. Wolfe is sedentary, fastidious, cerebral, epicurean, reclusive, verbose, misogynist, and Comically Serious, while Archie is an irreverent, witty, playful, and cheerful man of action. It's also often suggested to be invoked since Wolfe recognises that their various personalities and skill sets complement each other nicely, and the points of tension between them can be useful in provoking Wolfe out of laziness and into working when necessary.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Odd Couple, the 1970-1975 adaptation starring Jack Klugman as Oscar and Tony Randall as Felix.
  • The Odd Couple, the 2015 adaptation starring Matthew Perry and Thomas Lennon.
  • Austin & Ally: Austin and Ally are quite opposites
  • Two and a Half Men: Charlie and Alan.
  • Hawaii Five-0: McGarrett and Danno are this trope right from the very beginning.
  • Simon & Simon: Rick and A.J. Simon are brothers so different in temperament that they had to be brothers for anyone to believe they'd voluntarily work together.
  • Michael and Joey from My Two Dads.
  • Larry and Balki from Perfect Strangers.
  • Scully and Mulder from The X-Files (at least until Scully began to believe). And when that happened, it became Scully and Doggett.
  • The Professionals: Hot-tempered and caring Doyle and cool Bodie.
  • Bones: Logical, scientific Brennan and intuitive, religious Booth.
  • Full House had an Odd Trio.
  • Sherlock: Sherlock and John. The former is an Insufferable Genius Jerk with a Heart of Gold Celibate Hero and the latter is a Unfazed Everyman Thrill Seeker Chivalrous Pervert.
  • Alien Nation: Francisco (Newcomer) and Sikes (who doesn't like Newcomers) in both the movie and the television version.
  • House: Gregory House and James Wilson define this trope.
  • Mythbusters: When the producers of what would eventually become Mythbusters first approached Jamie Hyneman regarding hosting his own show, he objected on the grounds that he is... not exactly an extrovert ("Do you actually have moods?" "No."). He suggested importing a much more outgoing colleague, Adam Savage, as co-host. The result has developed into one of the funniest, most charismatic Odd Couple pairings going.

    They more or less intentionally created a Double Act/ Comedy Duo/ Manzai, which given how often it shows up on this list, is probably a sub-trope.
  • Top Gear: Jeremy Clarkson (loud, brash, and confident) and James May (quiet, pragmatic, and orderly), whose on-screen bickering has frequently been compared to an unhappy marriage. They're good friends, however. And when you add Richard "Hamster" Hammond to Jezza and Captain Slow on the UK version of Top Gear you have one of the greatest Odd Trios the world.
  • Oz and James: James May co-presented with Oz Clarke: May plays the ignorant scruff to Clarke's long-winded pedantry. Early episodes feature May complaining about how Clarke would rather talk about alcohol than drink it. They eventually came to the point where they enjoyed each other's company, especially once May picked up enough wine knowledge to carry on an informed conversation with Oz.
  • Life On Mars: DI Sam Tyler and DCI Gene Hunt: an uptight, by-the-book, and slightly crazy cop trained in the modern and forensics-heavy methods of policing, and a reckless, bastardly, and semi-alcoholic cop trained in the 1970s Cowboy Cop method of breaking down doors and having people arrested for cattle-rustling because he needed an excuse to get them off the streets. At one point in the show, they beat each other up in a hospital room and the camera cuts to them sitting down together having a smoke and talking about their job.
  • Clark Kent and Lex Luthor from Smallville.
  • The Mighty Boosh revolves around the relationship between Vince Noir (super-trendy, cheerful, fey social butterfly with big eyes) and Howard Moon (curmudgeonly, misanthropic, mustachioed jazz-aficionado with tiny eyes). Vince is often mistaken for Howard's wife/lady friend, and Howard is often mistaken for Vince's father or geography teacher. The Odd Couple dynamic has an additional level to it, as it both mirrors and contrasts the real-life dynamic between actors Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt.
  • Red Dwarf: Arnold Rimmer and Dave Lister. Rimmer is the uptight, regulation-following kind of person who will insist that the red-alert bulb be switched on when all of the crew members are in the same small room and are all undoubtedly already alerted and delights in quoting "Space Corps Directives". Lister, on the other hand, is described as "toffed up to the nines" when wearing a t-shirt with only one curry stain on it and pants with a hole in them that he's spray-painted himself to cover up. Though initially antagonistic, their relationship eventually becomes far more friendly.
    • Invoked Trope: Red Dwarf's AI could only generate one hologram at a time, and thought Rimmer's totally opposite personality would help Lister stay sane due to the arguments and antagonism between the two.
  • Rome: Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo, with Vorenus as the uptight, honourable, stoic, by-the-book guy (with occasional cold-blooded murderous rage), and Pullo as the cheerfully hedonistic thug who never thinks beyond the next fight or fuck. Played with in that over the course of the series, Vorenus gets broken down into a crazed nihilist while Pullo matures into a thoughtful, responsible, father and leader.
  • True Detective: In Season One, Cohle is a misanthropic, nihilistic Insufferable Genius while Hart is a personable Good Ol' Boy. They frequently clash over their differing worldviews, personalities, and interpretations of the Dora Lange murder case.
  • Hannibal: The series' main focus is on the intense, both violent and tender relationship between secret cannibal serial killer Hannibal Lecter and his not-patient/friend/arch nemesis/only intellectual peer/ romantic soulmate Will Graham. Both are morally complicated Manipulative Bastards who lack real human connection without each other. The draw between them is so compelling that righteous Will eventually gives up any semblance of a normal life, leaves his wife and stepson, and kills with Hannibal to be with him instead. It's a complicated relationship, to say the very least.
  • Sam and Dean Winchester of Supernatural.
  • Angel and Spike in the fifth season of Angel. Earlier seasons had Wes and Gunn in this role.
  • The Naked Trucker and T-Bones:
    Trucker: ...That's why I do the drivin'—
    T-Bones: And I do the drinkin'.
    Trucker: You do the talkin'.
    T-Bones: You do the thinkin'.
  • Vince and Errol from 15 Storeys High. Vince is a mildly eccentric misanthrope (not to the extent of being wacky, but he gets his decorating ideas from pornographic magazines), whereas Errol is naive, trusting, friendly and helpful.
  • Mark and Jeremy from Peep Show are a classic example... at first glance. However, given the show's hook of giving us an insight into their thought processes, it quickly becomes clear that they're both quite equally neurotic, insecure, and introverted, and in many ways, Jeremy is even more socially uptight than Mark; Jeremy is desperate to be thought of as cool, edgy and sophisticated (often appearing smug, foolish and pretentious in the process) where Mark, whilst very socially inept, has fewer pretentions or illusions about himself or exactly how cool he is, and rarely bothers to put on airs as a result.

    David Mitchell (Actor) and Robert Webb generally play an Odd Couple in their various collaborations, and may even be one themselves.
  • Averted by Bottom: Richie and Eddie are forever playing catch with the Idiot Ball; there's always one stupid guy and one angry guy, but which is which is never constant, even within a single episode or a single scene.
  • Hardison and Eliot from Leverage. The snarky, socially awkward genius and the angry, charming badass.
  • The Suite Life of Zack & Cody: Zack and Cody. Maddie and London count as well.
  • Mork & Mindy.
  • Star Trek: And Cool, logical Spock and cranky, passionate Bones, with Kirk as intermediary. Id, ego, and superego... IN SPACE!!
  • A game in Whose Line Is It Anyway? called Title Sequence takes suggestions from the audience of "two unlikely roommates/coworkers/etc." Thoroughly crowned in one episode where the (unfortunately nixed) suggestion was "Bill Cosby and Hitler".
  • The Thin Blue Line: Ironically, despite Fowler's page quote above, he has his own Odd Couple-style relationship with Grimm, the CID inspector. Fowler is the By-the-Book Cop Parody who acts like he's in Dixon of Dock Green, Grimm is the Wannabe Cowboy Cop who thinks he's in The Sweeney.
  • The two lead characters of Route 66, Tod and Buz. Tod came from a wealthy family and attended Yale, and when drunk he has the tendency to reveal what a toffee-nosed snob he really could be if he weren't so nice. That is, he tells 'hilarious' stories about free tickets to the opera and being on the fencing team, while Buz sits stone-faced because he is an orphan from Hell's Kitchen.
  • The two survivalists of Discovery Channel's Dual Survival, an ex-military guy and a hippie being forced to play Survivorman together) who also have differing views on nature: the ex-military guy sees it as something to fight with while the hippie tries to live in harmony with it, to the point of always going barefoot even in 10-degree weather (which really freaks his partner out).
  • Ray (either one) and Fraser of Due South.
  • Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel from At The Movies. They hardly even knew each other before going on TV, aside from working at rival Chicago newspapers, but eventually became close friends. Their review dynamic, with Gene being more intellectual and nitpicky and Roger being more emotional and jokey made them the most popular and respected film critics in the country.
  • In White Collar, Peter Burke is an honest, upstanding, serious FBI agent and Neal Caffrey is a charming, romantic, and tricky con artist on work release as a consultant for the FBI.
    • They also clash in tidiness where the serious FBI man is messy and the con artist is the clean freak.
  • The Good Guys gives us Jack, the by-the-book cop, and Dan, the Chaotic Good cop.
  • The Adventures of Shirley Holmes: Book-smart, logical, no-nonsense, daughter-of-a-diplomat Shirley Holmes, who doesn't mind doing something that might get her in trouble in order to solve a mystery, and street-smart, emotion-driven, former gang member, parents-own-a-fish-market Bo Sawchuck, who is legitimately trying to get his life straight and nonetheless gets dragged into Shirley's adventures solely out of loyalty and friendship.
  • Inspector Lynley: Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, the eighth Earl of Asherton, and his partner, cranky, working-class Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. There's very little they do not clash on at some point. Naturally, there is also nothing they would not do for each other.
  • Murdock and B. A. on The A-Team.
    • Face and Murdock also qualify to some extent, although theirs is more of an Odd Friendship. They're the handsome con man and the crazy pilot who just happen to be best friends. Together they pull off some of the most improbable scams with ease.
  • Last of the Summer Wine, Compo and whichever great long dollop third man they have at the time.
  • Richard Castle and Kate Beckett. He's a flippant, playboy Manchild mystery writer, she's a no-nonsense workaholic NYPD homicide detective with an unhappy past. They fight crime and have UST. Played with, however, in that they're gradually revealed to have a bit more in common than they first let on, something which only helps with the UST.
    • On the same show, Those Two Guys Detectives Ryan and Esposito also have a more subtle Odd Couple vibe going; Esposito's a bit of a suave, sophisticated ladies' man whereas Ryan's more of a clutzy-yet-lovable geek. This is played with in an episode where Ryan has to once again to assume the persona he used when he did undercover work some years ago. He transforms into a suave, charming Irish criminal with nerves of steel who has women swooning over him. Essentially, Ryan is quite capable of acting just like Esposito but chooses not to.
  • Dharma & Greg: The two main characters form an Odd Couple.
  • Trick gives us the crime-solving duo of Ueda Jiro, physics professor, and Naoko Yamada, stage magician.
  • NUMB3RS pairs Don, head of a team of FBI investigators with his mathematical prodigy of a brother Charlie.
  • In an episode of NCIS, Tony is handcuffed to the criminal, White, and also plays a criminal himself, hoping that the suspect will lead the team to his partner. Tony plays the part of a tough, down-to-earth guy who has fallen on hard times. White doesn't like getting his hands dirty, is nervous, and clearly not the brains of the operation he and his partner are involved in. On the other hand, though, it turns out that White is also playing a part. He actually is the brains of the operation and is a very dangerous killer. So the fake pairing, a tough guy and a wuss, is much less odd than the real pairing, a federal agent and a psychopathic murderer. Despite all of this, though, at the end of the episode, both admit to really coming to like the other, even after learning the other's true identity.
  • Parodied on Community in the episode The Science of Illusion, when Annie and Shirley become temporary campus security guards: She's a seriously cute recovering teen drug addict. She's a newly single, single-mindedly Christian housewife and mother. They fight misdemeanours! Further parodied in that neither of them can agree on which of them gets the Good Cop/Bad Cop role in their little partnership.
  • An episode of Monk had Stottlemeyer bunk with Monk after an argument with his wife. Hilarity ensues as Monk drives Stottlemeyer crazy with his antics. Considering Monk's various issues he should have seen this coming. In the end, a close-to-a-nervous-breakdown Stottlemeyer declares that he is going to beg his wife on his knees to take him back.
  • Home Improvement: Manly Man Tim and Sensitive Guy Al. They are united in their fondness for tools and craftsmanship.
  • Stephen Fry and Alan Davies effectively function as this on QI.
  • Andrew and Bert on How to Be a Gentleman.
  • Lazy, extroverted, manipulative, boho-girl fashionable, borderline-anarchic Alex Russo is best friends with introverted, eccentrically dressed, somewhat nerdy Morality Pet Harper Finkle in Wizards of Waverly Place.
  • Bert and Ernie, right down to the stripes on their sweaters.
  • In Starsky & Hutch, the titular characters are also a good example, though to a lesser extent. They do have different tastes in cars, food, and vacation spots; for example, Hutch is a health nut while Starsky is more into junk food.
  • Deadwood features nebbishy Jewish businessman Sol Star and the two-fisted ex-lawman Seth Bullock.
  • Psych: Zany, always joking Shawn has been best friends with straight-laced pharmaceutical salesman Gus for pretty much their entire lives.
  • Duncan and Methos from Highlander eventually come to have a dynamic like this. Duncan is an honor-bound product of his time, who believes in chivalry and protecting the innocent, sometimes at great risk to himself. Methos is an ancient immortal who, in his own words, was 'born long before the age of chivalry', avoids fights with other immortals whenever he can, and used to be one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. They bicker constantly due to their different worldviews but appear to value each other's friendship nonetheless.
  • "Polar Opposites" Jane and Emma from the 6th Season of My Kitchen Rules. One is a prim-and-proper Neat Freak corporate lawyer living with a laidback, somewhat messy advertising accountant.
  • Black Mirror: San Junipero: The brash and groovy Hard-Drinking Party Girl Kelly and the painfully awkward and shy Shrinking Violet Yorkie become this, Tomboy and Girly Girl, and Red Oni, Blue Oni all wrapped in one.
  • Schitt's Creek has Johnny Rose and Roland Schitt. Prior to moving to town, the suave, intelligent, and hard-working Johnny would never have socialized with the oafish, crude, and clueless Roland but he puts up with him. Roland, on the other hand, considers Johnny his best friend but insults him all the time.
  • In Seinfeld, fastidious Deadpan Snarker Jerry and cheerfully obnoxious, sloppy-dressing, refrigerator-raiding Cloudcuckoolander Kramer. While they don't technically live together (Kramer's apartment being directly across from Jerry's in the hallway), you could have fooled anyone.
  • Hap and Leonard. Hap's a white, heterosexual, liberal, and a former hippie, while Leonard is a black, conservative, Manly Gay Vietnam veteran. The two are also extremely different personality-wise, with hints of a Stereotype Flip; Hap is an affectionate, mellow Nice Guy while Leonard is a snarky, grizzled Jerk with a Heart of Gold. They get along swimmingly and are rarely seen apart.
  • Emergency! has a recurring character example that counts. Craig Brice was known as “the perfect paramedic” and “the walking rule book”. He was extremely neat and obsessive about organization and following the rules. When John is in the hospital, he gets paired with Roy, who, while not particularly a rule breaker, isn’t afraid to incorporate his heart into his thinking when he needs to, and drives Roy nuts with his by-the-book outlook until John is back on the job. In the end, we learn he was paired with Bellingham, whose nickname was “the animal” and was known as the biggest slob in the department.
  • The central relationship in White House Plumbers is the complicated love-hate one between Watergate masterminds Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy. Howard is boisterous, methodical, and pragmatic, while Gordon is eccentric, offbeat, and dead-serious to a comical degree, and their relationship can go from genuine friendship to hating each other's guts at the drop of a hat. They do, however, share one very important thing in common: they're nowhere near as smart as they think they are.
  • Wild Cards (2024): Max is an energetic, impulsive, cheerful con artist who gets caught by the police robbing a bank but gets off with a Plea Bargain to help catch other criminals. She and Col, who's a disgraced police detective, are forced to work together. Col is a more laidback, staid and dour man who's often annoyed by Max's antics, but increasingly charmed as well.
  • Two Up, Two Down: Stan and Sheila couldn't be any more different from Jimmy and Flo if they tried: Stan is strait-laced and holds on to conventional concepts of property, whereas Jimmy is a free-spirited Anarchist-Leninist who has no problem with squatting or shoplifting; Sheila is content with a typical life in the kitchen, while Flo is more "out there" and makes her own smocks out of "special Third World material, all hand-woven, all organic, all recycled".

  • Welcome to Room #305: Jung Hyun (a regular college student) ends up living with Hom, an eccentric, slobby, and extremely camp.

  • Fat, French and Fabulous: A down-to-earth, sarcastic forensic psychologist and a Cloudcuckoolander translator discuss crime and culture.
  • The Odd-Couple dynamic between Riley and Evelyn is the heart of Less is Morgue. Riley is a weird, paranoid, and incredibly cynical ghoul, and Evelyn - who is stuck haunting Riley - is an extremely bubbly, outgoing, and optimistic ghost.
  • MarsCorp: Buttoned-up, businesslike maverick Hob is given the profoundly laid-back, moderately ditzy, and endlessly affable Jim Lake - a man who wears Hawaiian shirts to work and has a rapport with everyone, including the elevator - as her personal assistant.

    Professional Wrestling 


  • Subverted by satirists Bob & Ray, who were almost exact opposites as per this trope (slight, precise, and soft-spoken vs. burly, extroverted, and baritone) but could intuit each other's thoughts to the point where they could turn a chance word or phrase into a full-blown comedy skit without skipping a beat. Their character types did tend to reflect their personalities...except that big burly Ray ended up playing all the females.
  • Sid and Tony in Hancock's Half Hour.
  • Radio presenter Simon Mayo's blue to film critic Mark Kermode's red. Kermode tends to go off into wild rants while Mayo is much more composed and cool-headed; the banter is frequently hilarious.

    Role Playing Games 
  • The Shadowrun sourcebook Shadowbeat mentions a trideo show very popular in the Cyberpunk world, a remake of The Odd Couple with a student hermetic magician in the role of Felix Unger and a student shaman in the role of his sloppy flatmate Madison.

    Video Games 
  • Carefully set up in Snatcher, where Gillian's partner, Metal, is a Robot Buddy specifically designed to have a contrasting but complimentary personality to him, to help provide a different perspective and help him concentrate on his duties.
  • Can occur in many RPGs. Especially blatant in ones where your character is given a childhood friend, such as evil player character/Dawn Star in Jade Empire.
  • Quite well-done in Knights of the Old Republic with overly-serious and very dedicated Jedi Bastila mindlinked to a wisecracking amnesiac Sith with an inability to take anything seriously.
  • Drakengard: Caim and the dragon. Caim hates all dragons because a dragon killed his parents, and the dragon hates all of humanity.
  • Rico from Killzone is a Helghast-hating jerk and Hakha is a half-Helghast Deadpan Snarker. Much of the fun comes from watching these two talk to each other.
  • In Riviera: The Promised Land, Fia and Lina are roommates. Fia is quiet, wise, intelligent, a good homemaker, and cautious. Lina is outgoing, emotional, klutzy, messy, and constantly runs head-first into danger.
  • Tsukihime: Shiki and... everyone he meets, really. They're all really weird, except Satsuki. Don't worry, Roa fixed that. But bonus points for being a vampire killer and dating the strongest noncosmic horror vampire alive, and technically being the head of a demon-killing clan yet having a tsundere ojou part demon for a sister.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VII: Serious, stoic Rude partnered up with easygoing, chatty Reno. Not only do they work very well together, but they actually are good friends.
    • Final Fantasy VIII: The quirky pair of Fujin and Raijin fit this trope. They both have weird speech mannerisms and are highly eccentric.
    • Vivi and Steiner in Final Fantasy IX. Steiner is a knight captain, and he's very loud, very chivalrous, hilariously misguided, and prone to making an utter fool of himself. Vivi is a black mage, and he's quiet, introspective, under-confident at times, and pretty much universally agreed to be the most adorable thing in the series. They're insta-bros from the start of the game to its very end, and they have an awesome team-up attack they can only perform when they're both in the party. (Vivi enchants Steiner's sword, basically adding an element and a little extra oomph to Steiner's already devastating physical attacks.)
  • The World Ends with You: Neku and... well, all of his partners. But especially Shiki. Neku is an extreme introvert who seems to utterly despise people, whereas Shiki (at first) is your typical outgoing, fashion-obsessed teenage girl.
  • Link and Midna from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. He's a helpful, caring ranch hand; she's a scheming, Manipulative Bitch (or at least starts out that way). They actually work quite well together.
  • Touhou Project has a fair share of these, such as laidback and naturally talented Reimu vs. hot-headed, hard-working Marisa, or straight-laced Youmu vs. goofball Yuyuko.
  • Resident Evil 0: Billy Coen and Rebecca Chambers. He's a cynical, bitter, thuggish escaped convict and ex-Marine in his late twenties. She's a naive eighteen-year-old prodigy on her first day of work as a cop. Forced to team up together to kill zombies, they develop into a highly effective team as the game progresses.
  • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis: Jill Valentine is a cop being targeted by Umbrella because of her knowledge of their illegal bioweapons research. Carlos Oliveira is an oblivious, well-intentioned mercenary who works for Umbrella. Jill has no choice but to work with Carlos if she wants to make it out of the city in one piece, but she quickly warms to his company and they save each other's lives on multiple occasions.
  • Golden Sun canon has the first game's villain team. Saturos is a constantly-smiling cocky trickster with a penchant for Loophole Abuse; Menardi is more vicious and direct (and not always in on the trickery). They've been partners in combat for more than three years, and are the best warriors in Prox. In canon, they're a platonic Odd Couple, but in fandom, they're frequently portrayed as a romantic one.
  • The first Phoenix Wright trilogy centers around Maya, an overenthusiastic spirit medium, and Phoenix, a lawyer six years older than her with a flair for justice. They're not that different, as it turns out, but Phoenix still has to apologize for her antics often.
  • The Hitman series answers the age-old question, "What if a genius British heiress and a Romanian clone soldier teamed up to become the best assassins in the world?"
  • The eponymous Banjo-Kazooie. Banjo is a kind-if-simple bear who is very polite to everyone while Kazooie is a loudmouthed, sarcastic hothead "Breegull" who likes to insult and snark at people. Despite that, they still get on pretty well as a team.
  • The King of Fighters has Blue Mary (private investigator and friend of Terry,) Billy Kane (right-hand man of crime lord and Terry's archnemesis Geese Howard) and Yamazaki (Ax-Crazy Yakuza.) Because their inclusion in the series is the result of a fan poll to determine which pre-existing SNK characters would make it into '97, they've since been lumped together in the two Dream Match Games '98 and 2002 as the "'97 Special Team".
    • One of the most long-running teams in the series is the Korea Team/Korea Justice Team, usually consisting of agent of justice Kim Kaphwan and two criminals - Chang and Choi - that he pressganged into fighting alongside him as part of a special rehabilitation program. Occasionally, fellow justice-obsessed Tae Kwon Do practitioner Jhun Hoon joins the team, and in 2003 he replaced Choi in the roster, making Chang the odd man out. In XIII Kim forms a special team with former heels Hwa Jai and Raiden who, while no longer villains, are still a lot more sinister and thuggish than the upstanding Kim (in fact, Raiden is specifically fighting as his heel persona instead of his face persona Big Bear.)
    • The Benimaru Team from 2000 certainly qualifies, consisting of Benimaru himself (flamboyant ally of the former protagonist of the series,) Shingo (a Kyo fanboy and comic relief character,) Lin (a creepy assassin) and Seth (a well-dressed secret agent.)

    Web Comics 
  • The Pits comic strips, by John Cook (artist of Sev Trek and the other Sev cartoons), has Neat Freak Herman suffering from two annoying sloppy bachelor flatmates: Dumb womanizing Lance and the messy slacker Wayne, a textbook Trash of the Titans example. Things get worse when Herman gets a girlfriend.
  • Dr. Frost: Although they're not a couple and while the word "friendship" may be pushing it, by the end of season 2, it’s obvious that Seonga has a crush on Frost, and Frost at least genuinely cares for her in a way.
  • El Goonish Shive: In the form of True Companions. Tedd and Susan are an Odd Friendship.
  • Girly: Winter and Otra.
  • Freaking Awful Puns author GIROG uses an odd couple in his strips of the comic.
  • In Wapsi Square, the Bibliothiki is currently looked after by an odd couple of librarians. Nudge is a mythical trickster. Phix is a sphinx, and one of Nudge's former victims.
  • The main theme of Moon Over June. Beyond being perverted lesbian nymphomaniacs who would not know monogamy if it bit them, roommates Hatsuki 'Hats' Hasegawa (twenty-something math major/porn starlet) and Dr. Summer Winters Ph.D (OB/GYN in her late thirties) do not have a great deal in common.
  • C'est la Vie: Donna and Mona. One is fastidiously neat and tidy and a non-smoker, the other is French.
  • Joseph & Yusra: Almost in the form of Odd Friendship. One is a Nice Jewish Boy and the other is a Muslim girl. Also, they become friends through superpower, and they are involved in lots of troubles thanks to their power and backgrounds.
  • Homestuck has John and Dave. One's a goofy, outgoing prankster with a love for bad movies, the other's a narcissistic ironic rapping roof ninja and the epitome of cool hiding a massive inferiority complex. Dave even comments that in any other context, he'd have dismissed John as a total loser, and instead they're best friends.
  • M Ks The Strange Caseof Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde: Jekyll and Hyde are complete opposites and often argue, but do have an understanding and even develop an Odd Friendship like two brothers who annoy each other yet care about each other.
  • No Heroes: The two main protagonists, Katharina and Shara. The first is a mage and a scholar, comes from a rich background, tries to always keep things civil and doesn't like violence. The second was a street criminal from the big city, swears a lot, is quite confrontational and actively dislikes mages. At the start they are openly antagonistic to each other, but over time and after facing many dangers together, they grow quite close, while still being very different personalities.
  • Unreality: Dominic & Sarah, who are 13 & 16 respectively.
  • Pixie and Brutus: Pixie is a sweet, naive kitten and Brutus is a gruff, semi-aggressive ex-military dog. Pixie still adores her "big brother" and Brutus protects her and sometimes even plays along with her.
  • The Guy Upstairs: Rozy is tomboyish, paranoid, and not known for being friendly. Hawa is very feminine, rather naive, and incredibly popular. They’re best friends.

    Web Original 
  • SCP-1710 of the SCP Foundation: one an Eldritch Abomination known as the Serrated Void, a personification of sharpness. The other is a talkative housewife. Each of them has been reincarnated as a talking tree planted close to the other one.
  • Jake and Amir, the long-running CollegeHumor web series featuring regular guy Jake Hurwitz and deranged lunatic Amir Blumenfeld as perpetually bickering coworkers seated at opposite desks. Several episodes flip the script by showing Jake's less rational side and making Amir the Straight Man, but either way, you only have to scratch the surface to realize that they're similar.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • In a spoof of Odd Couple Buddy Cop Shows note , Troy MacClure announced his new show, "Handle with Care" (in which a retired cop "Jack Handle" and a retired criminal live together. He declared "We're the original Odd Couple!"
    • Referenced in "The Boy Who Knew Too Much", where Skinner and Homer are sequestered in a hotel room together.
      Skinner: You know, we're kind of like the original Odd Couple. You're the messy one and...
      Homer: Shut up!
      Skinner: Oh, yes. Very well.
  • Pinky and the Brain: The title sequence says it best. "One is a genius, the other's insane." Nevertheless, despite Brain being easily annoyed by Pinky, they do get along quite well.
  • In Justice League, Green Lantern and The Flash. Lampshaded once when after a fight, John uses his ring to tie up the group of villains and delivers the "Guess that's a wrap" line. After receiving stares from his teammates, he apologizes for the lame pun and states that he's been spending a lot of time with Flash.
  • Lilo & Stitch: Boisterous evil genius Jumba and meek, kindly scholar Pleakley. Even better is all the Ho Yay between them in The Series, where they pretend to be Lilo and Nani's respective uncle and aunt.
  • invoked This trope was shoehorned into Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) for one of the eleven-minute Antoine episodes when Antoine is forced to live with Sonic, who becomes conspicuously more of a comedic sociopath. The episode is actually called "The Odd Couple".
  • The Mr. Men Show: Mr. Persnickety and Mr. Messy.
  • Family Guy:
    • Stewie and Brian Griffin.
    • Parodied in the episode "Lethal Weapons" where Chris and Meg are raking leaves and Chris employs this trope to two of the leaves:
      "That's Randy and that's Fred. Randy's the messy one. Fred's very neat. And when you get them together, whoa! Hold onto your sides!"
    • Parodied in the episode "To Love and Die in Dixie" with the two FBI agents who watch over the Griffins' house while they stay in Bumblescum, Alabama:
      Agent #1: We’ll be watching your house together, even though he’s a slovenly liberal and I’m a fastidious conservative.
      Agent #2: I smell a sitcom!
  • The Oddball Couple with neat cat Spiffy and messy dog Fleabag.
  • Phineas and Ferb — while both play The Straight Man, Phineas is the talkative, scheming brother, while Ferb is quiet and calmer.
    • Unlike most other examples of this trope, however, they get along perfectly and never argue—quite an accomplishment, since they're also brothers.
    • From the movie Doof and Doof! Twice the Evil, Double Doofenschmirtz, coming at you, Fridays!
    • Ferb TV gives us this little sitcom staring Norm the Robot and Little Suzy Johnson;
      He's a robot from space, she's a little girl
      They come from totally different worlds
      You think they're worlds apart, you're misinformed
      Though it might seem unusual... That's the NORM!
      That's the NORM!
      That's the NORM!
      That's the NORM!
      Norm: That's me!
  • Milo Murphy's Law gives us Balthazar Cavendish and Vinnie Dakota. Cavendish is the uptight, stuffy guy that would prefer to stick to the rules, while Dakota is the sleazy, food-obsessed one that would occasionally break the rules to save his friend from death. Occasionally, though, their roles switch depending on the situation: Cavendish would feel daring for his want to feel important, but Dakota would try to play it safe when there's no reassurance that everything will be fine.
    • For a minor, yet romantic example, the titular Milo Murphy, The Jinx born with Murphy's Law and relishes in the occasional unavoidable disaster, develops a crush on The Perfectionist Amanda Lopez, who tends to freak out at the smallest of imperfections. Amanda later reciprocates Milo's feelings, however, having learned that Milo's always prepared for the most unexpected and that she doesn't necessarily have to worry about everything.
  • Cat and Dog in CatDog.
  • Robot Default and Monster Krumholtz in Robot and Monster.
  • Buck Tuddrussell and Larry 3000 of Time Squad. This leads to constant old-married-couple-like bickering. But They Really Do Love Each Other. Or not.
  • The subplot of one Jimmy Two-Shoes episode was Beezy hiding out in Heloise's house, resulting in this situation.
  • The Looney Tunes Show has cool, responsible Bugs Bunny living with scatterbrained egoist Daffy Duck.
  • On Rocko's Modern Life there's a Show Within a Show about the parasites living on Spunky. Specifically, Bloaty the Tick and his buddy Squirmy the Ringworm.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Twilight Sparkle and Spike. The former is a bookworm obsessed with schedules and studying, and the latter is a baby dragon who can range from an innocent kid to a Deadpan Snarker Depending on the Writer. They love each other dearly, and Spike's absolute worst fear is that Twilight will stop needing him one day and send him away.
    • A couple of these can be perceived within Twilight's circle of friends, the most popular one being Applejack and Rarity. Tomboy and Girly Girl pairings are popular in the show, with brash, headstrong, athletic Rainbow Dash and shy, quiet, animal-lover Fluttershy also spending considerable amounts of time together on screen.
    • A common fanfic ship since the early days is Octavia Melody, a classical musician, and Vinyl Scratch (aka DJ PON-3), an EDM DJ. This was made canon in Season 5 episode "Slice of Life", which shows them sharing a house, the interior of which is split down the middle, each half decorated in the characters' distinctive styles.
  • SpongeBob and Squidward from SpongeBob SquarePants: They work together as Mr. Krabs' only two employees, and while Squidward tries to avoid seeing SpongeBob outside work, he's certainly not always successful (especially since they're also next-door neighbors).
  • In one Tiny Toon Adventures sketch, messy Dizzy Devil and neat freak Hampton Pig parody The Odd Couple. The title is even called "The Weird Couple".
  • Messy Tommy Pickles and Neat Freak Chuckie Finster in the Rugrats episode, "The Odd Couple".
  • Only Sane Woman Lori Loud and Brainless Beauty Bobby Santiago in The Loud House.
  • Dudley Puppy and Kitty Katswell in T.U.F.F. Puppy, who always work together.
  • Hit-Monkey: Monkey is a serious, thoughtful animal, while Bryce is the cocky, talkative human ghost spiritually bound to him.

  • Gap has Tom and David, although Tom is only played this way from David's perspective.
  • The two core characters / split personalities in Film Conscience, Phillip the Inner Pessimist and Ringo the Inner Optimist.
  • Part of the initial success of Monday Night Football in the early '70s was due to ABC's broadcast booth having one of these in Howard Cosell and Don Meredith. Cosell was openly disdainful of ex-athletes being given prime broadcasting spots and made little effort to hide his dislike of ex-Cowboys QB Meredith. Meredith thought Cosell was a snobbish Know-Nothing Know-It-All. The dramatic tension generated by their mutual antagonism helped turn MNF from an experiment into a pop culture phenomenon.
  • Another sports-TV pairing: ESPN's Mike and Mike in the Morning. Mike Greenberg is a small, nerdy, germ-phobic, metrosexual neat freak, and cohost Mike Golic is a big, loud, ex-jock, man's man.
  • Subverted somewhat with ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and any of his puppet partners, particularly Peanut and Walter. "Peanut" has pointed out several times that Jeff is essentially talking to himself. ("You're arguing with yourself and losing!") In other words, Jeff Dunham is his own odd couple.
  • Although used often in the I'm a Marvel... And I'm a DC series in regards to the numerous characters used and the vast variety in personalities, the concept was taken to its most hilarious extreme in which Deadpool gets the crazy idea that he should be in a sitcom with none other than Rorschach. "I smell sitcom!"
  • The cops variant is parodied in a Cracked article with Rizzo and Flynn. Rizo likes to do things by the book. Flynn also likes to do things by the book. Together they are... Perfect Partners.
  • Beavis And Butthead and Cher.