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Only Friend

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"Listen — what I said before, John? I meant it. I don't have friends. I've just got one."

Some characters have True Companions. Some characters have social circles (however limited they may be). Alice doesn't have that. Alice has Bob and only Bob.

There are two possible (though not mutually exclusive) variations on the loner character here:

  1. The Loner is shy or a bit of a misfit, but ultimately a nice person. The friend is the only one to take the time to get to know her and realize that she's actually pretty cool.
  2. The loner is a Jerkass or otherwise hard to get along with. The friend is the only one willing to put up with her shenanigans.

There are also two variations on the friend character:

  1. The friend is a fellow misfit who was drawn to the loner because neither of them had any other friends.
  2. The friend is the one with all the social skills, and may try to help Alice make more friends and/or smooth over situations where her behavior has caused problems.

While shy loners often go along with fellow loners and mean loners with a social friend, they can be mixed and matched: a shy loner might have a social friend who tries to draw her out of her shell, while a mean loner might have a shy friend who's stuck with her because he's lonely or doesn't have the nerve to ditch her. Or both.

In many stories, an Only Friend doesn't stay that way for long: a nice loner will usually have learned to make friends by the end of the story, while a mean loner will often find their friend finally getting fed up and leaving her.

Compare with Living Emotional Crutch, which might be at play in an extreme form of this trope. Compare Best Friend, where a character has other friends, but one of them is the closest and most trusted, and First Friend, which this trope is likely to be in nicer cases.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Applies to Alice in ARIA to a degree. Since she's extremely unsociable and cold towards everyone, it's really only Akari and Aika that she can truly call her friends. She insists that they are different from all the other girls, although this is mainly because of her warped perception of the people around her — she thinks she's disliked and envied for being talented, when in reality most people admire her.
  • In Attack on Titan, Armin is Eren's only friend till he meets Mikasa. Most likely to be the case that Eren is also Armin's only friend.
  • In Azumanga Daioh, Nyamo is Yukari's only friend at the start of the series. She later bonds with several of her students, but they're obviously not as close as she is to Nyamo.
  • Beelzebub:
    • Furuichi is Oga's one and only friend, due to the latter's inability to stop fighting and rough personality.
    • Himekawa's only friend was Kugayama, until he betrayed him, which really screwed him up and left him unable to heal until he met Oga. That said friend was also in reality a chick and in love with him did not help.
  • In Bocchi the Rock!, when Nijika and Ryo are first introduced, it's stated outright that Nijika is the only friend Ryo has. This puts Ryo in contrast with the friendless, anxious Shrinking Violet Bocchi, as Ryo is more of an asocial loner.
  • In Bokura no Hentai, Akane was Marika's only friend from pre-k to elementary. Marika was bullied by the other kids growing up for being too girly.
  • In Code Geass Season 2 Lelouch has lost his love interest, his sister, his best friend, and has a confusing relationship with the rest of his friends. The only person who truly understands and trusts him is CC. Then she loses all her memories and personality. Because of this Lelouch takes over the pre-episode speech for the next few episodes, and the bitterness and anger in his voice just tells all.
  • Death Note:
    • L claims that Light is his "first ever friend". According to Word Of God, though, he's lying; he knows that even Light isn't really his friend.
    • Matt and Mello play this role (for real) to each other.
  • Digimon Adventure 02: Yukio Oikawa's only friend during his childhood was Hiroki Iida, with whom he shared a love for videogames and the dream of visiting the Digital World together one day. Unfortunately, Hiroki's father thought this could become a very codependent relationship and forcibly separated them, causing Oikawa to become a depressed and bitter man in his later years, which only worsened when Hiroki became a police officer and died in the line of duty. This made Oikawa easy prey for Myotismon's manipulations, essentially orchestrating all of the events of the entire season.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Dragon Ball Z:
      • After saving Gohan's life by jumping in the way of an energy blast, the dying Piccolo admits that the kid he abducted and put through Training from Hell is the only friend he's ever had. Granted, after his revival, this is no longer the case as he ends up becoming good friends with the Z-Fighters, or at least Goku, Krillin, and some of the others.
      • Hercule/Mr. Satan tearfully admits that despite his popularity, Fat Buu is his only real friend. He later becomes good friends with the Z-Fighters.
    • Dragon Ball Super:
      • Future Zamasu is the only person Goku Black regards as an equal and shares a good relationship with. It quickly becomes clear that the reason is because they are literally the same person.
      • Goku is one to Zeno, the Top God of the Dragonball Multiverse; Goku is the only being in existence to treat him with genuine warmth as opposed to obsequious respect, and not fear him as a force of nature. The Godling dearly loves the Saiyan Warrior in return.
      • In a roundabout way, Goku is one to Freeza of all people by the end of the Universe Survival Arc of Super; sure, they would still gladly pound each other into the ground, but Goku has become one of the few beings in the Universe that has earned Freeza's trust, admiration, and respect, and the feeling is completely mutual on Goku's part. Theirs is a "friendship" that resembles the furious yet oddly affectionate war between Batman and The Joker, and that is as close to having a "friend" that someone like Freeza will ever get.
  • Fairy Tail: Zeref had Mavis. She was the only one to ever see beyond his curse and empathize with his pain. After she herself fell under the same curse, she also became the only one that would ever be able to truly relate with him — it was what ultimately caused their friendship to evolve into love. Mavis's death is what drove Zeref over the deep end and to finally succumb to being as evil as the rest of the world declared him to be.
  • Food Wars!: Due to her father isolating her from pretty much everyone, at the beginning of the story Erina Nakiri doesn't have anyone she could call a real friend, barring her secretary/assistant Hisako Arato. And even then, Hisako mostly just hero-worships Erina and wants to serve her. Erina isn't quite happy about that, but Hisako doesn't find herself worthy to be anything more than Erina's secretary until Soma tells her otherwise.
  • In Hitoribocchi no OO Seikatsu, at the start of the series, Kai is the protagonist Bocchi's only friend, because Bocchi's social anxiety prevents her from reaching out to anyone else. When they get into separate middle schools due to Bocchi's social anxiety ruining her interview for Kai's middle school, Kai tells Bocchi that she'll break off their friendship until Bocchi befriends her entire class. As a result, Nako, Bocchi's first friend in her class, becomes her only friend until Bocchi befriends Aru.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • There are only two people in all the world (aside from his deceased mother) that Dio Brando ever legitimately cared about (and the latter might simply be a case of Undying Loyalty).
      • First and foremost is Jonathan Joestar, his adopted brother, though even that's complicated. At first, Dio despises Jonathan for what he sees as foolhardy friendship and brotherly love. This eventually turns into a bizarre form of respect after Jonathan continues to rise up and match against him through their battles to the death to the point DIO decides that Jonathan is the only person worthy of becoming his new body after he was forced to destroy his old one to survive being disintegrated by Jonathan's strongest attack. As the years pass and DIO reflects on his life and the meaning of happiness, he comes to realize that Jonathan's affection extended even to his last moment and was truly sincere despite having been fatally wounded by DIO and choosing to trap them both under the ocean for nearly a hundred years to slow his evil down. This realization prompts Dio to recognize Jonathan Joestar as the only person he truly considers a friend rather than a pawn or worthy opponent, to the point he almost regrets that Jonathan had to die to allow himself, DIO, to live.
      • Among his various subordinates, Enrico Pucci is the closest to him of all. Unlike the other servants who DIO would discard and kill without hesitation if it suited him despite their Undying Loyalty, he treats Pucci like a close equal rather than a subordinate and even talks philosophy with him and entrusted him with the final phase of his plan to remake the universe in his image which Pucci worked to fulfill even after DIO's death.
    • In Diamond is Unbreakable, Rohan Kishibe is only close to three people.
      • He respects the elderly Joseph Joestar. The two have a number of friendly talks and Joseph seems curious about Rohan's manga. While Rohan doesn't like Josuke at all, he is willing to put up with him for the sake of Joseph (given that Josuke is Joseph's estranged and illegitimate son).
      • But Rohan is especially close to Koichi, outright calls him friend and unhesitantly trusts him. Koichi, putting up less and less with Rohan's Jerkass antics, is ultimately a Positive Friend Influence on Rohan. By the end of Diamond is Unbreakable, one reproachful look from Koichi was enough to put a crack on Rohan's Tsundere attitude towards Reimi, revealing that he truly cares about her as she's about to go to the afterlife.
      • The aforementioned Reimi used to be Rohan's neighbor and babysitter and sacrificed her life to save him from Yoshikage Kira when he was 4. This explains why he's helping the heroes track down Yoshikage Kira. As a ghost, Reimi still jokingly treats him like a child while he acts Tsundere towards her. When her ghost ascends to the afterlife, Rohan confesses that he'll miss her.
  • Misaki Yata and Saruhiko Fushimi in K-Project. They were this to each other for a few years. Then Misaki decided to expand his social circle and Saruhiko got jealous, eventually becoming a perfect example of Love Makes You Crazy.
  • From the backstories of the girls in K-On!, it seems like before they met each other and became True Companions, nearly all of them had only one friend to depend on. Mugi (Alice-1) and Sumire (Bob-1) literally had no one else except each other growing up, because both of them were home-schooled and heavily sheltered. Yui (Alice-1) doesn't seem to have had any other friends before high school except Nodoka (Bob-2), and Mio (Alice-1) was so shy and quiet as a child that only Ritsu (Bob-2) ever managed to break through her shell.
  • In Kotoura-san, Dai'chi was Yuriko’s only friend growing up, mainly because Yuriko's being ostracized from the fallout of her mother's death.
  • Discounting Hayasaka (who is more of a sibling), Fujiwara was Kaguya's sole friend during middle school in Kaguya-sama: Love Is War. Kaguya didn't want friends at all since she felt that it was better to avoid people rather than risk hurting them with her Innocently Insensitive nature, but Fujiwara's sheer persistence eventually won her over.
  • In Legend of the Galactic Heroes, it can be assumed that this trope applies to Reinhard and Reuenthal, with Kircheis and Mittermeier respectively. The latter two are sociable enough to at least be able to have friends aside from them, but Reinhard is far too busy realizing his ambition to befriend anyone but Kircheis, and Reuenthal's trainwreck of a psyche doesn't let him get close to anyone aside of Mittermeier, who becomes his Living Emotional Crutch. Reinhard does open up a bit to others as the story goes on, most notably Hilda, Mittermeier, and Emil.
  • Koyuki is Ginta's only friend at the beginning of MÄR. Weirdly enough, it's implied that she's just a friendly classmate in the opening, but as we see more and more flashbacks, it turns out she's been his only friend for a long time.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • While his classmates respect him, nobody actually likes Bakugo, except for Kirishima, who plays this for him. He is the only one that can handle the boy's explosive behaviour, eventually developing into his Morality Pet.
    • A variation happens with Midoriya towards Todoroki. While Todoroki is by no means isolated from the rest of the class, Midoriya is still the one he is closest to, and he rarely ever speaks to other people.
  • In My-HiME, at the start of the series, Shizuru is Natsuki's only friend. Shizuru is a Bob-2 as a fairly popular individual on campus, while Natsuki is somewhere between Alice-1 and Alice-2, as she's given up on the idea of getting close to others.
  • From The Name of the Flower, Mizushima Kei's only friend is his editor and biggest fan, Akiyama Shinichi, though Kei tries to claim that he hates Shinichi.
  • Naruto: Naruto is this to Sasuke, being the only one to still be fond of him even after his various questionable actions. In turn, Sasuke calls him his "one and only friend".
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Shinji is this to Rei, as he's the only one to be drawn to her despite Rei's aloof attitude and always speaks to her in a friendly manner, leading to Rei defrosting and acting more warmly toward him.
    • In the original anime, Shinji is also this to Kaworu, as while everyone else is immediately suspicious and unaccepting of him, Shinji is instead drawn to him because of his kindness and open affection. In turn, Kaworu outright tells Shinji that he loves him and that he was probably born to meet him.
    • In the third part of Rebuild of Evangelion, Shinji and Kaworu are this to each other. To elaborate: Shinji unintentionally triggered Third Impact while trying to save Rei in the second movie, making people who were formerly his loved ones hate him and treat him like crap. Only Kaworu treats him with love and affection and genuinely wants the best for him, which makes Shinji love him as well. And Shinji is the only one to interact in an intimate way with Kaworu, making him also this to Kaworu.
  • Pokémon: The Series: Since Pokémon is about making friends, this rarely stays true for long.
    • Ash had Gary as his first and only friend for a while. They had a falling out and only made up in the latter half of the original series.
    • Cross and his Lycanroc in the movie Pokémon: I Choose You!
    • In Pokémon Journeys: The Series, Chloe was Goh's only friend before he met Horace and Ash (and before he owned any Pokémon). One of his first lines is that he doesn't need any more friends because he already has Chloe.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • Madoka is Homura's only friend in most timelines. It's the main reason Homura keeps going. It gets a little darker than that (naturally). She was friends with all of the girls before but with each new timeline she got closer to the edge of insanity and stopped caring about them altogether, admitting that she doesn't "give a damn" if some of them die along the way to save Madoka. It could be assumed that the reason she never stopped caring about Madoka is because in every timeline Madoka is literally the only one who never turned on her and was always nice to her no matter the situation they were in, unlike the other girls, who would call her a liar and sometimes attempt to kill her in a bout of depression. Sayaka in particular could be very cruel to her.
    • Which is ironic considering that Madoka happens to be the only person that stands behind Sayaka as well. For the same reasons as Homura. When Sayaka, in a moment of grief and rage, pushes Madoka away, she is freaking out about it soon after. The fact that she pushed away the only person willing to support her also happens to be one of the factors that makes Sayaka come to the conclusion that everything is hopeless.
    • This seems to be a recurring element of the series. It's shown in The Different Story that Mami and Kyouko once had this relationship, and them breaking it off is a major factor in Mami's possessive attitude at the time of the series, and why Kyouko is so desperate to get close to Sayaka. In Rebellion, it's revealed that Mami's greatest wish was to have a friend, hence the presence of Bebe/Charlotte/Nagisa, who acted as this toward her.
    • Then there's Oriko and Kirika, who take it all the way to Living Emotional Crutch territory on both ends.
  • Shi ni Aruki has Natsuki for Tokiko. The duo met in middle school, where Natsuki couldn't really fit in with the other kids, and Tokiko had no interest even interacting with other children. After making terrible first impressions on each other, they spent the following weeks embroiled in a prank war that, after getting in trouble for destroying school property, shifted into them simply competing over everything. By the next school year, the animosity became a close bond of friendship, and come high school, they openly declare themselves to be Platonic Life-Partners with Natsuki being the only person who can get any expressions of joy out of the otherwise stoic and detached Tokiko.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, Barnaby pushed people away for so long that he never had a single friend in his life before Kotetsu came along, defrosted him like no one's business, and became his Heterosexual Life-Partner/Living Emotional Crutch.
  • In Vinland Saga, Askeladd calls Bjorn his only friend as he Mercy Kills him from an infected gut wound. Whether it was genuinely meant is never made clear.
  • For most of ViVid Strike!, Victoria is the only one that Rinne is even remotely open with due to a combination of her Team Mom nature and being the only major competitor who's her social equal. That's not to say that the others don't try to be close with her though, since Vivio is shown subscribing to her mother's handbook for making friends, the season pretty much revolves around Fuka's attempts to reconnect with her, and everyone shows genuine concern when she's suffering from a Heroic BSoD. It's just that Rinne's cold attitude is a coping mechanism for dealing with her grandfather's death (and her guilt over what she did to the bullies that kept her from being with him) and she fears that any attempts to be open with others would be viewed as weakness.
  • For several volumes of Wandering Son, Kanako is Saori's only friend. Saori had a Friendless Background until the start of the series due to having No Social Skills and disliking the other children. At the start she starts befriending Nitori, which also makes her friends with Kanako, Mako, and Takatsuki. The Love Triangle between her, Nitori, and Takatsuki however ruins their friendship and Saori Takes a Level in Jerkass. She only hangs around Kanako for most of middle school, but eventually rekindles her old friendships. In high school Takatsuki is her only friend, as she's become distant with the others due to being in different schools.
  • Yuri is My Job! has both the main characters. Mitsuki Yano didn't have any friends back in elementary school due to her overly serious and duty-driven personality until she met Hime Shiraki. While Hime is well-liked in her class, Mitsuki also seems to be the only real friend she has, and after Hime and Mitsuki have a falling out, Kanoko becomes Hime's only friend. Similarly, Kanoko was a loner who didn't have any other friends before she met Hime.
  • Yuri!!! on Ice:
    • Episode 10 reveals that Christophe is this to Victor. During his years dedicating his life to his career, Victor had almost no time to actually create interpersonal relationships, but since Christophe has been competing with him from the start, they eventually became closer.
    • Otabek is this to Yuri Plisetsky. Otabek is explicitly stated to be Yuri's first friend.
  • Tetsuo from Yuureitou mentions that Amano was his first friend. Growing up he stood out and didn't get along much with the girls at his orphanage. As an adult he was very aloof until allying with Amano. In the end they have a Relationship Upgrade.

    Comic Books 
  • Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld: In the 2020 series, Amy's heroics have caused her to be deemed a political liability, and Turquoise is her only friend left.
  • Batman, when not the Papa Wolf for his collection of sidekicks, is often portrayed this way, with Superman as his only friend. In these cases, it's implied that Batman is friends with Superman because he's Nigh-Invulnerable and Batman is therefore unlikely to lose him, while Superman is friendly because Batman understands having the weight of the world on his shoulders and doesn't hero worship Supes.
  • Helena Bertinelli, aka the Huntress, had only one friend, the Black Canary. This was primarily because Huntress was a borderline sociopathic misanthropic loner, so she was an Alice-2. Eventually, Huntress seemed to be forming friendships with a couple of other characters, notably Renee Montoya (the new Question), and Oracle. All this, of course, was in the old DCU; now we're back to Helena Wayne.
  • Loki: Agent of Asgard:
  • In Mélusine, Cancrelune counts Mélusine as her one and only friend. Cancrelune is shunned by everyone because of her clumsiness and is essentially a walking disaster. Mélusine see past all of that and is the only one in the series who cares about her.
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: Brainstorm is a quirky Mad Scientist with a Lack of Empathy, a penchant for making weapons so utterly unethical he's built up a reputation for them, and a Heroic Comedic Sociopath streak. Chromedome is his only friend, a fact he acknowledges to have Brainstorm do him a few favors. Brainstorm actually cares for Chromedome, and tries to talk him out of erasing all the memories of his now-dead lover Rewind to spare himself the pain. He admits to seeing him do it three times before, and is concerned about him, worrying about his mental health and his lack of coping abilities. He gives Chromedome Rewind's last message, and leaves him to do what Chromedome thinks is best.
  • In Watchmen, Rorschach's only friend is Nite-Owl, and even his patience is really tested with Rorschach's personal habits and extreme opinions.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Veronica Cale seems to care very little for anyone besides her dear friend Leslie Anderson, whom she's very protective of. This makes her nonchalant betrayal of Leslie come off as out of character to most readers.
    • Wonder Woman (Rebirth): Adrianna Anderson is the only genuine friend Veronica Cale seems to have.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, Hobbes doubles as both Calvin's Imaginary Friend and his only friend.
  • In FoxTrot, Marcus is basically Jason's only real friend. The only other peer he ever spends any time hanging out alone with is Eileen (on a few rare occasions), and his feelings towards her are so conflicted — partly because she's also an academic rival and partly because he's still convinced Girls Have Cooties — that it's hard to call it a truly mutual friendship. This is acknowledged at the start of one storyline when Jason is asking his mother to go to a science camp for the summer and says Marcus is going, even calling him his only friend.
  • In Luann, a number of supporting characters have one friend each. Brad and TJ are each other's only friend (where Brad is the Bob to TJ's Alice-2), Toni once had another female friend but has since stopped spending time with anyone except her fiance Brad (to the point where she had to ask his sister to be her Maid of Honor due to not knowing anyone else) and Quill had only Gunther. Until she receives some Character Development enabling her to grow closer to the main cast, even the resident Alpha Bitch has only a single friend instead of the usual Girl Posse associated with the trope.

    Fan Works 
  • All Mixed Up!: Carlos, the sentient paper fortune teller that resides in the Language Room, served as Mariana Mag's only friend while she was employed with Odd Squad as Agent Ocean. They shared a love of language, which is how they bonded. Mariana would go and visit Carlos often up until Oprah scolded her for it, and Mariana eventually rebelled against her for this reason. Even as a villainess, she is still shown to harbor a love for Carlos, as when he tries to convince her to stop attacking Otto, she considers it for a moment before going right back to what she was doing.
  • Arc Corp: Jaune never had any friends prior to meeting Blake. His family never really liked him even before he partially transformed into an anomaly (after getting his mother killed no less), and after that incident, went out of their way to make sure he would never be able to create close bonds with another person. The only reason they allow his friendship with Blake is because the duo managed to develop a bond before the rest of the family learned Blake even existed, and she has a pragmatic use as someone actually motivated to maintain Jaune's mental health and keep his anomalous half stable, as opposed to killing him the moment things seem iffy.
  • Asylum (Daemon of Decay): Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy are each others' only friends until Twilight begins befriending them. Fluttershy has extreme social anxiety and shuts down around most ponies, while Dash is very aggressive and keeps everyone at arm's length. The two go back years because they were foster siblings.
  • Bakery "Enemies": Chloe was the only person Adrien was allowed to interact with growing up, and after the Hawkmoth reveal she was the only one who stuck by him.
  • The Bridge: Xenilla and Destroyah. While they don't use the term "friend" to describe each other initially, Destroyah is the only Mutation faction member genuinely loyal to Xenilla and backed him up against multiple attempted overthrows. After some time in Equestria however, they softened considerably. Freeing her of any duty owed to him, Xenilla awknowledged the Oxygen Destroyer mutation truthfully had always been his friend and the feeling is mutual.
  • The plot of Castling Cozy Glow is kicked off because despite everything Cozy Glow had done, Sweetie Belle still believed there was good in her and even went so far as sincerely declaring her her friend, while pleading with Twilight to give her another chance. Even Cozy herself is surprised there's still anypony that still considered her a friend at that point when she's first released. And doesn't even learn the identity her "friend" is Sweetie Belle till she actually shows up to visit her. Despite that, Sweetie Belle becomes Cozy Glow's first genuine (and at first only) friend.
  • Crimson and White: Princess and Bubbles become this to each other. Princess is too untrustworthy of others to have friends and Bubbles isn't close to the other children. When they start becoming friends Princess at first tries to act like they're just spending time together, not acting like friends, but she later accepts Bubbles as her best friend. This only makes Bubbles murdering her later all the more tragic.
  • Despair's Last Resort: It's made clear that Chiyo is Kumiko's only friend since they were kids. After Chiyo dies, Kumiko begins to make friends with the others.
  • Does Marge have friends?: Maude is the closest Marge could call a friend, but even then she admits that they were acquaintances at best.
  • Don't Touch That Remote!: Handy is this for Nutty, as implied in Chapter 3.
  • Enlightenments: Wander has been banished from anywhere he'd have contact with anyone besides his abusive wife and the god Dormin, whom he initially wants nothing to do with. Dormin's a god with no followers. The fic is about their slowly-growing friendship; it means more to Wander because of Dormin's different social expectations as a deity.
  • In the Kieshara fic Gryphontears, the hybrid shapeshifter Agrippina is discriminated against and has no friends except for Riadne.
    Most falcons my age refused to be seen near me- if I entered a room, they would leave it. Aside from Riadne, the peregrine in front of me, I had no friends. And because of me, neither did Riadne.
  • In A Sky Of A Million Stars: In Aldera Junior High, Midoriya Izuku was this to Bakugou Katsuki and vice versa, despite Katsuki treating Izuku terribly at first. Katsuki comes to this realization in the wake of Izuku's suicide attempt, and is proven correct when he briefly returns to Aldera a few weeks later. All of his former lackeys outright ditch him and join the other students in gossiping over the situation, leaving Katsuki alone to stew in his grief and rage until he hits his Rage Breaking Point. In return, Katsuki is the only student from Aldera shown to make any attempt at all to visit and/or make amends with Izuku. This situation persists throughout Izuku's recovery, until Katsuki enters U.A. and joins Class 1-A.
  • Limpet AU: In "Meet the Skywalkers", Mara claims that Vader only has one friend in the whole galaxy, in reference to Admiral Piett, who had served as his second-in-command for twenty-eight years. That being said, Piett sees himself as merely Vader's subordinate, until they get to a point where Piett can't in good conscience remain a Yes-Man, which leads Piett to defy Vader's orders, but concludes that he still cares for the man.
  • In Mortality, Holmes and Watson are this for each other.
  • Edward and Van Hohenheim in My Master Ed are each other's only friend, Ed due to being stranded in a time and place where he only knows two people in any capacity and can't afford to open up to anyone new, and Van because his life of slavery left him unable to facilitate any real connection with others.
  • In Necessary to Win, Sumire is Teru's only friend, as perhaps the only person who knows her from before her personality was altered forever and she became colder, more distant, and estranged from her younger sister, Saki, making Teru something of an Alice-2. Sumire is a Bob-1, who was, originally, the Alice-1 to Teru's Bob-2, since Teru was the one who reached out to her, back when she was more social.
  • In the W.I.T.C.H. fanfic Ripples, Will — Trapped in the Past as a child and operating under the Secret Identity of "Van Rivers" — becomes this to a young Prince Phobos, something that everyone acknowledges.
  • Lydia is this for Betelgeuse in Say It Thrice. He rants at Danny Phantom that this is the reason he calls her "his girl" — she's his only friend and that makes her his.
  • Shatterheart, Kurogane is initially the real Syaoran's only friend since the rest of the group avoided him or hated him.
  • In A Triangle in the Stars, Bill comes to consider Steven this, since he overall thinks Kryptos and Hectorgon only befriended him out of pity, and the rest only see him as a boss.
  • Variation Modification: Dave becomes Karkat's only friend after saving him from a gang of bullies.
  • In Where Talent Goes to Die, Anzu Sugiura, the Ultimate Waitress, is a cynical and blunt girl who keeps most people at a distance, especially after she's exposed as the Ultimate Poisoner. As a result of this, Kaori Miura is the only person she considers a friend.

    Films - Animated 
  • The Book of Life:
    • Chuy to Maria when she was studying abroad for 10 years.
    • La Muerte is heavily implied to be this to her husband, Xibalba. The realm he rules over has souls who just rot into ashes.
  • Dumbo: Timothy Q. Mouse is the only one besides Dumbo's mother who never made fun of Dumbo and instead tried to help him deal with the bullies and become a better circus elephant.
  • Mary and Max is a story about the Odd Friendship between two unusual Pen Pals, a lonely young Australian girl and a Jewish man with Asperger Syndrome living in New York. While Mary's social awkwardness and poor self-esteem causes her to have trouble making friends, Max's condition makes it all but impossible for him, leaving Mary as the only person he ever considers a true friend in his entire life.
    Max: You are my best friend. You are my only friend.
  • In Turning Red, it is implied that, for Ming, Jin was her only friend growing up given her declaration that she never went to concerts and put her family first. Ming's lack of support network outside of her family in contrast to Mei having close friends explains why Ming ended up being so repressed.

    Films - Live-Action 
  • Jason and Derek in Back to School, at least at first. When Jason's trying to explain to his dad why he wants to drop out, he says:
    Jason: I don't fit in, you know? I got one friend...Derek. He's got no friends.
  • Back to the Future: Marty McFly is all Doc has, except for his dog. Doc is an Alice-1, a decent and loyal man who happens to have the reputation of being a Mad Scientist. Marty himself is implied to be part Bob-1 and Bob-2, as he is a "loser" who nonetheless knows enough about making friends to have the fellow members of his garage band, not to mention an attractive girlfriend.
  • Chaitanya in Bad Words doesn't have any friends due to being a bit of a nerd (he initially thought that being a good speller would get him friends). He takes his friendship with Guy very seriously, so much so that he's willing to lose the spelling bee on purpose to prove that the friendship was real.
  • Dante to Randal in Clerks and Clerks II, which is why Randal is so rattled by the thought of Dante leaving in the second one.
    Randal: You think I wanna start making friends at my age? Christ, who would want me as their friend? I hate everyone, and everything seems stupid to me, but you were always the counter-balance to that. The guy who was the yin to my yang. Now what the fuck am I gonna do for the rest of my life?
  • In the film version of Crazy Rich Asians, out of the entirety of Nick's huge family, Astrid and Oliver are the only two to genuinely befriend Rachel and treat her kindly.
  • Electra Glide in Blue: Willie, who reports Frank's death, is an elderly loner with no friends besides Frank. He killed Frank out of loneliness and jealousy after Frank became a drug dealer and was suddenly too busy with his younger friends to spend time with Willie.
  • Jenny to Forrest Gump in their youth; Bubba during the war; Lt. Dan for a time after the war.
  • Before the main events of The Hunger Games, Katniss's only friend is Gale, due to her other only friend from the books, the mayor's daughter Madge, being Adapted Out.
  • The Imitation Game: Christopher was this to the young Alan Turing.
  • In The Princess Bride, Fezzik and Inigo are each other's only friend (at least until they team up with Westley and Buttercup). However, as these things go they both seem fairly easy to get along with, so it probably has more to do with that they're busy doing Vizzini's bidding, Inigo is obsessed with avenging his father, Fezzik is used to being an outcast, and it emphasizes their Heterosexual Life-Partners relationship.
  • Shaun of the Dead actually starts off with Shaun saying he's Ed's only friend, which is why Ed ends up coming to most of Shaun and Liz's dates.
  • Sherlock Holmes (2009) and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows: Holmes and Watson are most likely this for each other.
  • Tragedy Girls: Sadie is McKayla's only friend, even though McKayla is beautiful, charming, and wealthy. This is probably because McKayla is a remorseless psychopath who sees other people as little more than objects, apart from Sadie — who is a psychopath herself.
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men: First Class:
      • Near the beginning of the film, Raven points out to Charles that she is his only friend. Presumably an affable fellow like Xavier would have numerous acquaintances, but his sister figure is the sole person he fully trusts.
      • Charles becomes this to Erik because the latter has spent his life on the hunt. Lehnsherr hasn't met anyone who could empathize with him since his mother died.
    • The Wolverine: Yukio was adopted from the streets with the specific task of serving as this to a young Mariko. Mariko, however, always saw her more as a sister.
    • X-Men: Days of Future Past: After Past Xavier isolates himself from the outside world due to his severe depression, Hank becomes his sole companion. McCoy also doesn't seem to have a social circle, as he has taken it upon himself to be Charles's caretaker, which appears to be something of a full-time job.
  • In Zig Zag (2002), Singer has no friends besides ZigZag, as he thinks they're more trouble than they're worth.

  • The Anderssons:
    • In "Drömmar av glas", Rebecka and Samuel are each other's only friend.
    • In "Skärvor av kristall", Louise comes to see Heinz as her only friend after she has a falling out with her former best friend Caroline.
  • In Baka and Test: Summon the Beasts, it's revealed that Yuuji was the first person who treated Shouko as an equal and didn't fear her [[{{}}Ojou because of her wealth and high social status. In fact, this is one of the reasons why she's Yandere for him.
  • At the beginning of The Black Fox of Beckham, the autistic teenager Fi's only friend is the groom Evan Lockerby, who has been helping her ride horses since she was a young child, and who sees her as a younger sister.
  • In The Boy from Aleppo Who Painted the War, Nabil is the only boy in school who is friendly to Adam instead of mocking him. He sometimes invites Adam over to his house to play Guild Wars.
  • Jack Peter from The Boy Who Drew Monsters used to have friends in school, but after he developed severe agoraphobia at age seven that left him housebound, all of them stopped visiting except Nick. It sort of goes both ways - although Nick has other friends, Jack Peter is the only one he sees outside of school, since the others all want to avoid his alcoholic parents.
  • Bridge to Terabithia: Jess Aarons and Leslie Burke are this to each other.
  • In Cemetery Bird, the autistic teenager Brandon is this to his special ed classmate Boots, who is so angry and unpleasant that most of the other kids won't go near him. Jay isn't entirely comfortable with the friendship, since Brandon doesn't understand the seriousness of Boots' problems and thinks his convulsions and religious rants are funny, but he's still almost the only person who genuinely enjoys his company. The boys often visit each other's homes and go to movies together.
  • In Christine, Dennis is Arnie's only friend.
  • In A Christmas Carol, Jacob Marley was Ebenezer Scrooge's only friend and vice-versa until his death. It's telling that, although they were both unfeeling, ruthless capitalists, they remained business partners almost their entire adult lives, and neither ever tried to effect a takeover or muscle out the other. In fact, Marley says that the reason the ghosts visited Scrooge in the first place was "a chance and hope of my procuring, Ebenezer": Marley was unable to save himself, but he was able to get a chance for Scrooge.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rowley is this to Greg, who doesn't appear to have any actual friends other than him.
  • In Dragon Queen, since Sajag is a dwarf living among humans, and is normally pretty quiet, Trava is his only friend. Sajag also starts as Trava's best friend, but quickly becomes her only friend.
  • Cara from Eye Contact was socially awkward as a child. Her only friend was Suzette, whom she met in second grade.
  • In Fate/Zero, Gilgamesh cites this as the reason he refuses Rider's offer for them to join forces. Enkidu is the only friend he has ever had, and the only one he ever wants to have.
  • Flawed: According to Celestine, her sister Juniper only has one friend, though they are very tight-knit and brave school together.
  • From the Harry Potter series:
    • In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry and Ron are each other's only friend at first. Hermione begins the year friendless and doesn't become friends with Harry and Ron until midway through the book.
    • It's hinted that Ron's younger sister Ginny was this to Luna Lovegood, as one of the few people who didn't straightforwardly reject her for being odd.
    • From what we see of Snape's memories, it's made clear that his only real friend was Harry's mother, Lily, until she ended the friendship at the end of their fifth year because he was becoming a bigger jerk and delving into the dark arts with his Death Eater buddies, but the final drop came when he called her a racist epithet when she was trying to help him. In his adult life, if he has a friend, it's Dumbledore; he's certainly the only person who truly knows and likes him.
  • Haruhi Suzumiya:
    • Jerkass Haruhi Suzumiya notes with pride in The Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan that only Kyon speaks to her informally. In the original light novels, Kyon's sister (that's all we know of her name) and Tsuruya are the only people who are friendly towards Haruhi, without being burdened with Haruhi's secret.
    • Shy Yuki Nagato (in either series) doesn't feel comfortable going to the library without Kyon.
  • In High School D×D, Ophis refers to the protagonist Issei as its one and only true friend.
  • Before the main events of The Hunger Games, Katniss only had two friends, neither of whom was friends with the other. One was Gale. The other, her only friend at school, was the mayor's daughter Madge, whom she got to know as they both were loners and therefore got paired up together in activities by default.
  • John Cleaver from the I Am Not a Serial Killer trilogy is friends with Max, another social outcast, in order to try to avert falling into Loners Are Freaks. Despite his sociopathic nature, John makes other friends in the sequels, but is so focused on his quest that he pretty much still only has one friend at a time, leaving poor Max friendless.
  • A Kind of Spark: At Nina and Keedie's fourteenth birthday, Nina had lots of guests, but Keedie had no one except Bonnie, another autistic girl. Nina sat by quietly while her friends made fun of the two. Keedie quietly took any insults directed at herself, but let everyone have it for mocking Bonnie. Now Nina hasn't heard from any of her "friends" since they started university, while Keedie never forgot Bonnie even after she was involuntarily committed.
  • Lily and Dunkin: Before Lily meets Dunkin, her only friend is Dare, her best friend from preschool.
  • Mannie is this to Mike at the beginning of The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. His desire to make more friends is the main reason Mike becomes involved in the Lunar rebellion to begin with.
  • In The Mortal Instruments, Simon Lewis is the only mundane with whom Clary Fray is ever shown to interact.
  • The Place Inside the Storm: Tara's one friend in PacNW was Rosie, who walked up to her on the playground in fourth grade and asked if she wanted to help garden.
  • Power: Omishto's only friend in school was Jewel, who even brought her to school every day. However, once the panther is killed with Omishto being involved, even Jewel stops talking to her, though she admits they would've grown apart anyway.
  • RWBY: Fairy Tales of Remnant: In The Warrior in the Woods, although the Warrior keeps telling the hero to leave her alone and stop coming back, she eventually learns to accept the routine and even prepares tea in anticipation of his next visit. She still doesn't want him to tell the village about her, but she comes to accept him.
  • Sherlock Holmes:
    • Sherlock Holmes' idiosyncrasies and general lack of interest in other humans except as puzzles ensures that Watson is his entire social circle.
      Watson: That was surely the bell. Who could come to-night? Some friend of yours, perhaps?
      Holmes: Except yourself I have none. I do not encourage visitors.
      By "The Final Problem", Holmes appears to have some Character Development, writing in his note to Watson how his coming death will cause grief to Holmes' friends, and in "The Adventure of the Six Napoleons", he enjoys the regular visits of Inspector Lestrade.
    • Works in reverse too. Watson has very few friends and no surviving relatives. He does marry at the end of the second story, but is eventually widowed. So it's possible that Holmes is also one for Watson.
  • In Small as an Elephant, Jack's only real friend is a girl named Nina. They hang out with other kids at school so they won't be teased about going steady, but after school they only go to each other's homes. When Jack's grandmother realizes his mom abandoned him, she calls Nina, who tells her that Jack hasn't been going to school. His grandmother calls the police, resulting in Jack being all over the news. Jack feels betrayed when he finds out, because Nina knows he doesn't want her to ever even hint to anyone that his mother isn't a suitable guardian.
  • Francis is Michael's only friend in The Traitor Game. Not the other way round, though; there are mentions of Francis's other friends. They're both a mix of the two types. Michael doesn't easily make friends (and when he does form a friendship, he manages to break it), but that's only because he was bullied at his previous school. And while Francis is a Nice Guy, he's also a bit of a misfit - possibly because of his friendship with Michael and his homosexuality - and he too sees Evgard as an escape from everything else.
  • In Timekeeper by Tara Sim, clock mechanic Danny Hart has only one friend, Cassie, whom he's known since childhood. Not only is he bullied for this (among other things) by his colleagues, it's also a plot point when he investigates the site of a suspicious event and, encountering another mechanic, extemporizes that he's there to visit a friend—an excuse considered implausible by the other mechanic and everyone else who hears the story, even allies.
  • The Vazula Chronicles: Merletta's only friend at the charity home where she grew up was Letitia, who is now an apprentice shellsmith. After Merletta leaves the charity home, she gets so caught up with training at the Center of Culture and her romance with Heath that she neglects her friendship with Tish, which she feels a little guilty about.
  • In Why We Took the Car, Tschick and Maik eventually become this for each other.
  • You Look Different in Real Life: Justine used to be Rory's only friend before Justine ditched her after Five at Eleven finished filming. Rory was eventually able to meet other friends through her interest in The House of Tudor.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The early relationship between Leonard and Sheldon in The Big Bang Theory where everyone else found him seriously hard work, Raj and Howard were reluctant to get any closer, and Penny hadn't adopted her Team Mom persona to the guys. Leonard had a lot of interpreting the wider world to do for his flatmate.
  • The Bridge (2011) ends with Saga shouting at Martin, "How could you do this? You were the only friend I had!" It doesn't prevent her from arresting him, though.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Spike initially considers Joyce this, but she is later replaced by Dawn after Joyce's sudden death. This is later subverted after Dawn finds out that Spike tried to rape Buffy and cuts off their relationship.
  • Daredevil (2015):
    • Karen and Foggy are the only friends that Matt has.
    • James Wesley is Wilson Fisk's only true friend, which is why Fisk doesn't take it well when Karen kills him. When Karen visits him in season 3 and taunts him with the details of how she killed him, it's enough to make him order a hit on her.
  • Game of Thrones: "Friend" might be stretching it a bit, but Davos is the only man Stannis trusts and respects completely. His inability to make friends impacts heavily on his cause, as his natural allies (the bannermen of the Stormlands) prefer Renly and his easygoing nature.
  • Paris Geller of Gilmore Girls considers Rory this. She's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, but Rory is the only person who has the patience to sit through the "Jerk" side. According to Paris, everyone else leaves the room when she talks. However in high school Paris always hangs out with two girls, even before befriending Rory, so this mostly applies when they are in college.
    • Rory is also this to Jess before they date. He's an bookworm introvert with loner tendencies, and bitter about being sent From New York to Nowhere to live with his uncle. He and Rory find a Commonality Connection in literature, and form somewhat of an Odd Friendship to outsiders who wonder what she sees in him. When when he returns to the show in season 6, one of the signs of his massive Character Development is that he now co-runs a publishing house with two friends in Philadelphia—which he's still running in the 2016 revival.
  • Gotham:
    • When the series starts, Harvey Bullock has been on the police force for a long time, but he's such a hard-boiled jerkass that he doesn't have any real friends. Jim Gordon is a new transfer, and his idealistic campaign against dirty cops earns him enemies on the force, so naturally he and Bullock are each other's only friend once they warm up to each other. While they eventually both become friends with characters like Lucius Fox and Alfred Pennyworth, they remain each other's closest and most trusted companion.
    • Selina is the only friend to both Ivy Pepper and Bridgit Pike.
    • Ed Nygma/the Riddler, before his Face–Heel Turn, is a textbook No Social Skills and The Friend Nobody Likes on the GCPD, with the other cops routinely belittling him and taking his forensics work for granted. Once he properly meets Oswald Cobblepot/the Penguin, after a brief rough patch, the two hit it off almost immediately. Given the hell they put each other through in their descents to villainy, it's a damning sign of how alone they really are; despite the hatred they temporarily held for each other during their fallout, they were both shown to be depressed and lonely without each other. Though by the end of the series, they reconcile into a much more mutually beneficial relationship as true partners in crime and a Villainous Friendship.
  • House has only Wilson for a friend.
  • Early on In Plain Sight, Marshall and Mary proclaim each other to be this. Ultimately, it seems like their circles have expanded... by maybe one or two people each.
  • The Inspector Lynley Mysteries: Thomas Lynley and Barbara Havers. He is her only true friend. Funnily enough, it also works in reverse — while Lynley does have one or two other close friends, he is nearly as difficult to work with as Havers is. They ultimately wind up as True Companions, via complementing each other surprisingly well, presumed betrayal, a near drowning, and more tragedy than any two people should ever have to go through.
  • Little House on the Prairie: The early Season 1 episode "Mr. Edwards' Homecoming" begins with Charles' first encounter with Isaiah Edwards, a dirt farmer and drifter that came into the Ingalls' lives while they lived in Kansas. This happens while Charles is on a delivery run to Mankato and while passing a tavern overhears a bar fight and sees that a young man is being beaten to a bloody pulp in a 3-on-1 attack. After Charles evens the odds and runs the aggressors off, he assures the young man (whom he realizes is Mr. Edwards) that he's still alive. Mr. Edwards moans: "Charles Ingalls. My only friend."
    • The trope kicked into effect years later in "A Promise To Keep," when Laura (and Almonzo) were his only friends left, having lost virtually all his others when his alcoholism begins having very negative consequences. In the end, it's averted as – with the help of Rev. Alden (who went through a similar situation before he became a preacher) he's able to regain several of his friends, most importantly Charles, Caroline and the rest of their family.
  • Malcolm in the Middle: Thanks to Malcolm's other Krelboyne friends undergoing Chuck Cunningham Syndrome, Stevie is Malcolm's only friend in the final seasons. At the very least, it's implied that their friendship will last for years after the series.
  • Merlin (2008): Both Gwaine and Arthur have said that Merlin is their only friend.
  • During the enchanted forest years, Regina only had Rumpelstiltskin on Once Upon a Time. Rumple himself is aware of this, even at one point rhetorically asking her, "What other friends do you have?"
  • Person of Interest
    • Reese admits that Finch is his only friend while trying to save him from a kidnapper. However this is averted as the series progresses and the rest of "Team Machine" join up.
    • Finch himself lived a secret life after facing charges of treason for a college hacking, with his sole friend Nathan Ingram being the only one who knew his true identity. His guilt over Nathan's death (which he could have prevented) is what inspires Finch to start Team Machine in the first place.
  • In Please Like Me, Josh's boyfriend Geoffrey admits that Josh is his best and only friend. Which Josh finds odd.
  • Resident Alien: Asta is Hugh Mann Harry's only friend. He sees no problem with it, but she thinks he should befriend some more people (if only to reduce the likelihood that he tries to Kill All Humans again).
  • Sherlock, being an adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, has this in spades between Sherlock and John, providing plenty of Lampshading and the page quote. Also, as expected, John's the one with the social skills, and smoothes things out between his Bunny Ears Detective friend, who's a Jerk with a Heart of Gold Insufferable Genius with No Social Skills.
    M: I am the closest thing to a friend that Sherlock Holmes is capable of having.
    John: And what's that?
    M: An enemy.
    Cue John wanting to look out for Sherlock for Sherlock's sake since he likes the guy.

    Sherlock himself confesses this in a rare moment of emotional honesty that provides the page quote, and even as he realizes that he has more than one important person in his life, it's obvious that John is the most important.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series: In the pilot episode "The Man Trap", after Spock reacts with his standard stoicism to the landing party reporting a casualty, Uhura chastises him for his lack of concern about a man dying. She points out that the casualty could have been Kirk, whom she describes as the closest thing to a friend Spock has. Spock answers that getting emotional wouldn't change anything. However, Uhura's description of Kirk is vindicated later in the episode when the salt monster moves in on Kirk as its next meal and Spock suddenly decides emotion is in order. Even after he becomes friends with the rest of the crew, Kirk is still clearly the person he cares for most.
    • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Q claims that in all the universe Picard is the closest thing to a friend he has. Apparently the Q Continuum from which Q comes from has become far too rigid, boring, and predictable for his tastes, and Picard is one of the few interesting things going on in the universe.
    • Star Trek: Voyager: In "Life Line", we encounter the creator of the Emergency Medical Hologram, Doctor Zimmerman, who's an unabashed Dr. Jerk. However, in one scene Zimmerman is sitting alone in the dark making his will, and he admits that his nerdy and often-mocked associate Reg Barclay and his holographic creations are the only friends he has.
  • Most characters on Teen Wolf during the first season:
    • Scott and Stiles are the biggest example. They were best friends prior to the series and have been since kindergarten according to Word Of God. As awkward misfits they never had anyone but each other and their actors said that the fact that they're both missing a parent drew them together even more. Stiles seems perfectly happy with just having Scott and although Scott tries to make more friends, Stiles is the only one he confides in about his werewolf powers and dealing with supernatural issues puts somewhat of a damper on them socializing with other students. Stiles' actor Dylan O'Brien lampshades this trope.
      O'Brien: And there's really nothing beyond that, it's just we met in the sandbox when we were four and we've been best friends ever since and we felt, "Eh, no need to make any other friends, it doesn't matter."
    • Jackson is a straight-up Jerk Jock, and the only person he is actually nice to is his Straight Gay best friend Danny.
    • Lydia (Jackson's girlfriend) is the school's Alpha Bitch, but New Transfer Student Allison is the only person she's close with.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "The Shadow Man", Peter is Danny Hayes' only friend. The other students at Willow Creek Junior High School bully him or ignore him, at least until they learn of his apparent bravery in going out after dark when the Shadow Man is on the prowl.
  • In The Vampire Diaries, Alaric is Damon's only friend in early seasons, despite the fact that they've tried to kill each other a few times. In later seasons, Damon has on-again-off-again friendships with both Enzo and Bonnie.
  • Scully (Bob-2) and Mulder (Alice-1) of The X-Files. Scully seems to have peripheral friendships that come up when convenient, but for the most part they are each others' only consistent, trusted friend.
  • The Big Bang Theory Spin-Off Young Sheldon has Tam Nguyen as Sheldon's only friend during his childhood and vice-versa. And Sheldon outright admits that even he can't stand Tam half the time, only befriending him in the first place to get his mother off his back (she was pushing him to make friends at his new school). They spend less time together as the series progresses and we know from The Big Bang Theory that their friendship ends after Tam stays in Texas with a girl he's dating instead of moving with Sheldon to California.

  • Thoroughly Zigzagged by the narrator of "Birdhouse in Your Soul" by They Might Be Giants.
    "I'm your only friend I'm not your only friend but I'm a little glowing friend and really I'm not actually your friend but I am"

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Due to being socially awkward, Ivy's only stable friend throughout her life has been Luna, and even that started to drift when Luna become embroiled with Nadine's group. They've come back together after receiving powers, though the separation did cause some damage to Ivy's mental well-being.
    • Because he's spent so much time looking after his siblings, or otherwise working, Ciro hasn't fostered any deep relationships with his peers. The exception to this is Zia, who's been a longtime friend since they were kids and she defended him from bullies. While somewhat of an outcast herself, Zia does have some other close friends in Mirielle and Ivan.

  • In Chess, Florence is Freddie's only friend, although by the end of the first act even she has gotten fed up with his Jerkass behavior and left him. Which, given what we see of their interactions, is less surprising than the fact that she was with him in the first place.
  • Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy are each other's only friend in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, as both of them are shunned (but for different reasons: Albus is viewed with suspicion as the only one in the legendary Potter family being sorted into the Slytherin House [all of the other Potter family members are Gryffindor House members] while Scorpius has the baggage of being born into an infamous Death Eater family — the Malfoy family, in his case).
  • Willy Loman tells his neighbor and Vitriolic Best Bud Charley that he's the only friend he's got in Death of a Salesman. He seems to be right, in that Charley is the only person that Willy can turn to.
  • A Running Gag in the one man play Shylock is that Tubal is Shylock's best friend — well, his only friend.
  • In Wicked, Elphaba is a snarky, green-skinned loner who is rejected by most people whether she likes it or not, while her only friend Glinda is popular and tries to train her to become one of the elite.


    Video Games 
  • Due to his attitude problems, Barry Wheeler is Alan Wake's only friend, if you don't count his wife. The point is brought up several times throughout the series, with the imaginary Barry from The Writer mentioning how pathetic it is that Wake's only real friend is his agent, and Alan admitting, through a manuscript page in American Nightmare, that, while he doesn't make friends easily, he trusts Barry completely.
  • In Rockstar's Bully, main character Jimmy Hopkins is shy guy Petey's only friend. Presumably this changes after the end of the game when Jimmy convinces Dr. Crabblesnitch to make Pete the new head student at Bullworth.
  • Dragon Age:
    • A female Warden can become this to Morrigan in Dragon Age: Origins. It's stated outright in the "deleted scene" comic authored by David Gaider.
      Alistair: So you have friends?
      Morrigan: Only one.
    • In Dragon Age II, Fenris can tell Hawke that they're the only friend he's ever had before the final battle. In practice, he's on friendly terms with most of the party's non-mages (and plays cards with Aveline's husband every week). Hawke is just the one he trusts enough to call them a friend.
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, a befriended Dorian who is not romanced by the Inquisitor or Iron Bull will, at the victory party, refer to the Inquisitor as "my best and only friend." In the Trespasser DLC, he reiterates it, telling the Inquisitor that "you are my dearest, and perhaps only, friend."
  • In Ensemble Stars!, Keito was this for Eichi when they were kids. He had no other friends for a few reasons: as the heir, many people kept their distance out of respect, while many more only interacted with him to get something out of him; he was a very sickly child who wasn't expected to live beyond childhood, which made most people very careful with him; and as a result of the former two points, he turned into a major brat who bossed people around because nobody would ever say no to him. Keito was the first child his own age who was around often, as he's the son of the owner of a Buddhist temple who was called over a lot to conduct funeral arrangements for other Tenshouin relatives who were as prone to sickness as Eichi. And while Keito is also rather overprotective, he is very willing to tell him when he's acting selfish, allowing them to actually become close as friends.
  • In Fate/EXTRA, this is Gilgamesh's stance on Enkidu. Since Enkidu was originally a weapon whose life was "without worth", Gilgamesh proclaimed that Enkidu would be his only friend for all eternity, thus granting him an absolute and undiminishing value.
  • In Ghost Trick, Sissel the Cat was Yomiel's only friend in the original version of the previous 10 years. This eventually changes, as his fiancée doesn't commit suicide in the new timeline (however, the cat isn't his in this reality).
  • Kratos from God of War appears to only have two friends in the entire series who don't either die too quickly for him to develop any kind of bond with, betray him, or get betrayed by him, and those are Orkos and Pandora, the latter of whom has enough of an impact on Kratos that he finally starts to take responsibility for his crimes and feel remorse.
  • Billy from Kindergarten used to be this to Cloudcuckoolander Creepy Child Nugget, at least until he mysteriously disappeared due to being kidnapped by the principal to be used as a human guinea pig. Nugget's mission centres around the protagonist offering to take Billy's place as this and and having to find the Five Nuggets of Friendship to prove himself worthy.
  • Kingdom Hearts II gives us the scene of Axel's death, where he tells Sora that Roxas was the only one he liked, and basically his only friend. That wasn't really the case, since Xion was also his friend along with Roxas, though when she "died", all memories of her disappeared. Then there's the fact that, as also revealed in Days and shown in Birth by Sleep, Axel and Saïx were best buds before they became Nobodies and joined Organization XIII, though their relationship is very frosty in the present for various reasons and doesn't get patched up until the end of Kingdom Hearts III.
  • Elisabeth Blanctorche and Ash Crimson have this kind of relationship in The King of Fighters. So much that Ash's big-ass Batman Gambit (which included de-powering Chizuru and Iori, attacking Kyo, joining Those From the Past, antagonizing Elisabeth, manipulating everyone and ultimately getting himself Ret-Gone'd in order to stop the villainous machinations of his time-traveling ancestor) was to keep Elisabeth safe.
  • Loser Reborn: According to the Steam page, the protagonist has only one friend. That friend died in the same car accident and reincarnated as the Cultist, who believes it's his duty as the protagonist's friend to get him out of the false RPG world.
  • Mass Effect 2:
    • If Shepard is female and begins a romantic relationship with Garrus, Garrus tells her that she's his only friend in the galaxy.
    • Thane admits to Shepard that s/he's the first friend he's made in twenty years.
    • Liara suggests this when she asks Shepard for patience on Illium, saying she doesn't have enough friends left to lose him/her.
  • Metroid: Kraid to Ridley, what with him being described as Ridley's "comrade" and both of them being paired villains in the older games.
  • In No More Heroes, Bishop Sidaks is described as Travis Touchdown's only friend. His murder by the the Big Bad Jasper Batt Jr. convinces Travis to reenter the assassin ranks in the sequel.
  • Prayer of the Faithless: As her her character description, says, Mia is:
    A timid young woman who somehow managed to be Aeyr's only friend
  • Purgatory (RPG Maker): Emma is the only one who the Shrinking Violet Enri will hang out with. Unfortunately, she is a Toxic Friend Influence who manipulates Enri for her own ends.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Pandoria starts out like this for Zeke. When he ran away from home due to not agreeing with his father, Pandoria was the only one there for him for years while he was traveling as a nomad. This eventually changes when he joins Rex and the gang.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Bionic Heart, the only friend Luke seems to have at work is Tom, who is the social type trying to help Luke get out more. This makes it all the worse when Luke learns that Tom was having an affair with Helen, his girlfriend. And then if Luke chooses to tell him about Tanya, the fugitive android hiding in Luke's apartment that was manufactured by their company, Tom sells Luke out to the company to ensure his own safety.
  • Danganronpa:
    • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc: This is how Kiyotaka Ishimaru views Mondo Owada. Due to how strict he is and how much time he spends on studying and encouraging the rules and proper school behavior, Taka never had a chance to make a single friend, even among the cast as most of the other students consider him an annoyance (barring the optional friendship he can have with Makoto), until Mondo comes along. As a result, he suffers from a Heroic BSoD when Mondo is revealed to be the murderer in Chapter 2 and is executed. So not only is his only friend dead, but he also killed someone, even if it was unintentional.
    • Danganronpa 2: Sonia Nevermind is this for Gundham Tanaka. Gundham rarely socializes with the other students when there isn't a problem, claiming that his only friends are his pets and that he doesn't need human companions. Not including the optional friendship he can have with Hajime Hinata, the only student he eventually befriends and shows respect to is Sonia, who shares his interest in animals and occult things. She's also the only person whom Gundham doesn't refer to with any sort of contempt or condescending attitude, and the only one he willingly hangs around and communicates with.
    • Danganronpa V3: Keebo is this for Miu Iruma. Miu is a major Jerkass with an extreme arrogant streak and a tendency to make aggressively perverted and sexual comments. The only people who really seem to be able to tolerate her are Kaede, Shuichi, and Keebo. By the time Miu dies, Kaede is dead, which leaves only Shuichi and Keebo for people she might have liked. Keebo is the only one to truly mourn her death, and despite truly wanting to cry upon finding her corpse, finds that he cannot.
  • Heart of the Woods: Tara had a group of friends in the past, but by the time she transitioned from male to female, Madison was the only one she had left. At the start of the story, their friendship is on the rocks due to Madison announcing that she's quitting Taranormal.
  • Katawa Shoujo:
    • Lilly is initially Hanako's only friend, until Hanako falls in love with Hisao in her own route, and befriends Hisao and the members of the Newspaper Club in Lilly's route.
    • Shizune and Misha are also this to one another unless you take Shizune's route, although Hisao says in Lilly's route that he considers both of them his friends.
  • Kindred Spirits on the Roof has Yuna. In her final year of middle school, Yuna overheard the members of her cooking club badmouthing her for pushing them too hard, resulting in her distancing herself from everyone besides her Childhood Friend Hina. Upon getting into high school, Yuna befriended Ano, but isn't as close with her as Hina.
  • Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair has Momoko and Kamen be each other's only friends. Momoko has severe trust issues due to being taken advantage of in the past, and Kamen is the only person she trusts. Similarly, while Kamen is nominally a member of the group of friends invited to the party, Momoko is her only real friend.
  • In Tokimeki Memorial 2, Kaori Yae starts this way, with Kaedeko Sakura being her only friend. That's because Kaori is hugely distrustful of others due to a traumatic past experience, and Kaedeko is the only person she feels innocent, straight, and honest. By the end of her storyline, when she'll solve her personal turmoils, the male protagonist will be her other close friend and lover, and she'll have made a few other friends along the way.

    Web Animation 

  • In The Bug Pond, Eldwin is the only friend of Flash because Eldwin's the only one that can put up with him.
  • In Gifts of Wandering Ice, chapter 1, Rikter is Elie's only friend.
  • Homestuck:
    • Karkat is Eridan's only friend (and even that's stretching the definition a bit) after Feferi breaks up with him. And even Karkat abandons him after he murders Feferi and Kanaya and hopesplodes the Matriorb.
    • Kanaya is Vriska's only friend after the Incident that led to the split-up of Team Scourge, for reasons like this:
      AGnote : Lousy st8pid godd8mn supportive fri8nd!note 
  • Ozy and Millie, in the most heartwarming way. Ozy's zen nature is the only thing that can withstand Millie's craziness, and Millie gives his life much-needed excitement.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Onni explicitly states that Emil is the first friend Lalli has ever made. There is a dose of No Social Skills and hard-to-handle personalities on both sides, but other aspects of their personalites manage to complement each other.

    Web Original 
  • In the Noob webseries and comics, Dark Avenger's only friend is his student Précieux. Sparadrap is more than willing to be a second one, except that Dark Avenger mistakes his attempts at cross-faction friendship for a "getting your enemy's guard down" strategy.

    Western Animation 
  • Archer: In "Heart of Archness", Archer tells Lana that she is this to him. This changes over time as, by season 6, Archer is somewhat dismayed to realize that he's become best friends with Pam.
  • Subverted Trope in Babar in the main story of the episode "The Missing Crown Affair". Babar wakes up in the morning of his first coronation anniversary to find his crown missing. And to make things worse, almost all of his friends are suddenly acting very strangely. Zephir the monkey is the only one who is the same as always. Babar believes that a coup d'etat to remove him from his throne has been set into motion, and Zephir is now his only friend. Of course, it all turns out fine. All of the other friends were planning a surprise party for Babar, and the crown was only taken from him so they could have an engraving done inside it. But if the others had not decided to keep Zephir out of the loop (and we don't find out why he was never included in their secret), Babar would have thought that he suddenly had no friend at all.
  • By the end of Danny Phantom, Danielle is still on the run from Vlad. The only friend or family she has is Danny, the boy from whom she was cloned, who is the only member of his family aware of her existence. Of course, when it comes to Danielle, he won't hesitate to help her.
  • Dan Vs.: Chris is Dan's only friend. Chris occasionally asks why "Ted" can't help Dan with his schemes, but whenever he does, Dan brings up some reason that the two aren't speaking to each other.
  • Daria: Daria and Jane (a rare combination of Alice-2 and Bob-1, respectively) are this to each other in the earlier seasons of the series. They eventually form other friendships, especially after Tom enters the mix.
  • On Futurama, Fry is the only one to unambiguously consider Bender a friend.
    Bender: You know, Fry, of all the friends I've had... you're the first.
  • Harley Quinn: As Harley says to Ivy, she's both her Best Friend and only friend. That isn't a plant, so Frank doesn't count. Over the course of the show, Harley's crew clearly bond with Ivy as well, so much so that they'd come back together to rescue Ivy even when they're pissed at Harley.
  • Johnny Test may be Bling-Bling Boy's Arch-Enemy, but both recognize that he's the only person who can stand said Arch-Enemy. It helps that all of Bling-Bling's actions are driven by the desire to get a date with Johnny's sister Susan, making him more sympathetic. At one point, when Johnny is captured by the other villains, Bling-Bling goes and rescues him because of this trope.
  • The Legend of Korra: Mako is forced to work with and be around Prince Wu, and Team Avatar saves him. None of them bother hiding dislike at his antics and the friendliest behavior he gets from them is stone-faced tolerance. He still says they're the best friends a guy could have. Is this pure obliviousness, or has he never had friends? Despite some supporters early on he also suggests that he's never had a girlfriend. In the second half of the season however Mako starts to warm up to Prince Wu when he see his positive traits and the prince grows into a more mature and thoughtful person. At the end of "The Last Stand", both Mako and Korra are proud of Prince Wu and it's implied that they're are warming up to him and becoming his friends.
  • Mary and Max has Mary as this for Max.
    Max: You are my best friend. You are my only friend.
  • The first season finale of Megas XLR reveals that Non-Action Guy Jamie resents being taken on dangerous missions, and the main reason why he doesn't simply leave is because Coop's his only friend.
  • Before Milo Murphy's Law's first episode, Milo doesn't seem to have had any close friends other than Melissa; the series begins with him meeting his second friend, Zack. Most of the other kids are nice with him, but prefer if he stands at least five feet away from them, thanks.
  • Deconstructed and ultimately averted with Adrien and Chloé in Miraculous Ladybug. Until the series proper, Chloé was Adrien's only friend, but it is painfully clear that it's a toxic relationship, and it doesn't help that Chloé is incredibly possessive. She eventually cuts off their friendship in season four, after Adrien refuses to put up with her nonsense one time too many. Chloé is also the sole friend to her Beta Bitch Sabrina, though this too is a rather unbalanced relationship and it often seems like her proximity to Chloé is precisely why Sabrina doesn't have other friends.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Fluttershy actually causes Discord to do a Heel–Face Turn after becoming this to him.
  • In Samurai Jack, Jack usually travels alone in his quest to return to the past. He eventually makes friends with the Scotsman.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • Bow was Glimmer's only friend prior to them meeting Adora, and in "Princess Prom", she gets really twitchy at the prospect of Bow drifting away from them. Averted for most of the series, though, since she almost always has two - Bow and Adora - and in the second season she forms a close bond with Frosta as well.
    • In season four, Scorpia eventually realizes that instead of having two genuine friends in Catra and Entrapta, she had one genuine friend in Entrapta, and one abusive, dysfunctional relationship with Catra. The realisation that she'd failed to defend her only friend out of blind loyalty to Catra prompts her to pull a Heel–Face Turn and join the Rebellion, where she swiftly makes new friends in the form of Frosta, Perfuma, and eventually Glimmer.
    • At the beginning of the series, Adora is Catra's only friend. It becomes clear over the series that being "abandoned" by the only person to care about her in the Horde is Catra's Start of Darkness.
  • The Simpsons: Bart and Milhouse, although it’s worth noting that in earlier episodes, they actually had a few other friends. Although Bart sometimes hangs out with Nelson, the two of them are clearly meant to be each other’s only friends.
  • The Smurfs: "Bigmouth's Friend" ... the forest ogre's only friend is Clockwork Smurf, a robotic creation of village handyman Handy Smurf. Prior to making friends with Clockwork, Bigmouth mourned that he had no friends, his attempts at making some always failing. He mourns Clockwork's apparent demise when the robot is smashed to bits in a confrontation with the evil Lord Balthazar's giant robot, Goliath, during an attempted coup of King Gerard and concurrent bid to find and kill off the Smurfs ... but after Balthazar is ultimately defeated (by Bigmouth), the Smurfs restore Clockwork to full health. (By the end, the trope is averted, as his friendship with the Smurfs and King Gerard is newly affirmed.)
  • In the South Park episode "You Have 0 Friends", a kid named Kip Drordy doesn't have any Facebook friends until Kyle friends him out of pity. Kip becomes ridiculously attached to following Kyle's every post; however, since Facebook is Serious Business, Kyle's "friendship" with an otherwise friendless kid makes people unfriend him until he finally unfriends Kip, leaving him heartbroken. He gets a happy ending when Stan's thousands of unwanted Facebook friends are somehow transferred to him.
  • Steven Universe:
    • Steven has been the only known friend to several people, including Connie, Lapis, and Peridot, but all of them eventually socialize enough to make others.
    • Since several years before the story's beginning, Sadie was Lars's only friend — not counting Steven, whose admiration for Lars was very one-sided. Even after Lars nominally befriends Buck, Sour Cream, and Jenny, Sadie is the only he's actually close to.
    • Because of how the Diamonds genuinely believe themselves superior to, and different from, everyone else, Blue Diamond and Yellow Diamond treat only each other as equals.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): Although Leatherhead calls the four turtles his friends, only Michelangelo (the one who actually befriended him) reciprocates this. The others are at best trusting or at worst afraid (Donatello being the latter).