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The Power of Family

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Family is a bond that can never be broken.

"A family is a bond that cannot be broken, by war, by strife, by force, or neglect."
Master Splinter, TMNT (2007)
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Love conquers all. Except when you're busy lashing out in anger. But don't worry, you have your friends to fall back on, who can get you on the straight and narrow.

Now, let's focus on a concept that is just as powerful: the bonds between family. A sibling, cousin, or grandparent can be a friend, confidant, and a close loved one. No other person on the planet can be all of those at once. Knowing you have the backup and support of your family spurs you to be stronger. In fiction, it can even at times lead to supernatural feats. This might be literal if something is actually In the Blood.

Related to Thicker Than Water, but the Power of Family is more distinct. Thicker Than Water can be summarized as "you have to stand with and be loyal to your family, no matter what happens or what you or they do". This, as a Sister Trope to The Power of Love and The Power of Friendship is more in line with "the love between family members can achieve amazing things". See also The Sons and the Spears for one such expression of it.

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Quite often leads into Badass Family, Sibling Team, and Brother–Sister Team. If it's merely an individual being inspired by the love of their family, it's more likely to fall under Mama Bear, Papa Wolf, Big Brother Instinct (or Big Sister Instinct), and Extremely Protective Child. This trope covers examples where multiple family members are bonded together by the love of their family, not just examples where one person is inspired by said love. Can also apply to a Family of Choice if the True Companions consider themselves as family.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Broly – Second Coming, it takes a combined "Family Kamehameha" from the entire Son family (barring Chi-Chi), to finish Broly off.
  • In Pokémon:
    • Ash considers his companions and Pokémon family. Also, Ash acts like an older sibling or younger towards his companions and has a parent-like relationship with some of his Pokémon. While in Alola, Ash has come to see Professor Kukui and Professor Burnet not only family but also his parents, although this maybe due to feeling embarrassed by his own mother at times whenever she would said something about his flaws or making him look helpless, but understands that she'll always be supportive and there for him whenever he needed it, and his own father not being there for him while he was growing up.
  • Soul Eater: "Bonds" is a soul-resonating phenomenon exclusive to family members such as parents or siblings. No matter the circumstances, it seems that a family member can always wield another should one be a Meister and another a Weapon (the most famous example being Liz and Patty). Even Soul Resonance attacks are possible like when Maka used Witch Hunter wielding her father, Spirit, against Crona. However, despite that, resonance between family members is not as strong due to a similarity in wavelength.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Tanjiro is able to gain an advantage against Rui thanks to remembering the Hinokami Kagura from his deceased father. Furthermore, Nezuko is able to awaken her Blood Demon Art thanks to her dead mother to help Tanjiro against Rui.
  • A major theme of Summer Wars. The Jinnouchi family all have their quirks as well as their disagreements like any family. But when the situation with the A.I Love Machine begins to escalate to the point it becomes personal when the family's matriarch, Sakae, is inadvertently killed by the A.I keeping her heart monitor from signaling her heart failure, the family slowly starts to come together to help bring it down. Bonus points for including the film's main character Kenji, a friend to family member Natsuki, as much of a factor as the rest of the family to the point by film's end, they consider him one of their own. Likewise poignant with Love Machine's creator, Wabisuke, who was considered a bastard child within the family and acts like a bad egg, but he loved his grandmother all same that his actions in making the A.I were to actually try to help her despite the family thinking he was doing it for selfish purposes and instantly helps the family destroy the A.I after being informed of Sakae's death. Even when they have a row in the middle of the film, it's very clear Sakae still cares for him and pleads with the family in her final letter not to push him away.

    Comic Books 
  • The Fantastic Four, designated as Marvel's First Family. They bicker, squabble, and tease each other (mainly between the Thing and the Human Torch) but at the end of the day, their bond as a superhero team/family unit allows them to overcome any bad guy they face.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It's been shown repeatedly that their familial connection to each other as brothers as well as master Splinter (their teacher/father) is their greatest strength, aside from all the weapons and ninjutsu skills.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Frozen the "Act of True Love" that saves Anna's life turns out to be Anna sacrificing herself to save her sister Elsa.
  • In Inside Out, the Family Island is the last to suffer damage, and it never collapses completely, even after all the others do, and is instrumental to the resolution of the crisis.
  • When Lilo & Stitch get captured by Captain Gantu, Stitch is able to escape the capsule before takeoff. Rather than abandon Lilo and secure his own freedom, however, Stitch recruits his nemeses, Jumba Jukiba and Pleakley, in a rescue mission to recover Lilo. Imagine Lilo's surprise when Stitch returns, shatters a hole in the capsule, and frees her.
    Lilo: You came back.
    Stitch: Nobody gets left behind.
  • The Incredibles: Along with being a Super Family Team, it's repeatedly shown that seeing each other at risk or harmed brings out the best in them. Violet being willing to use herself as a Human Shield to protect her brother Dash allows her to awaken her Force Field powers, Jack Jack being taken away from his family by Syndrome unlocks his huge array of abilities.
  • TMNT, Splinter comments that a relationship with family can't be broken.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The The Fast and the Furious films are mostly about family as Dom and his team would do anything for one another as it's the group's code.
  • Halloweentown: The Cromwell witches, which is the protagonist, her two siblings, her mother, and her grandmother, are only able to defeat Kalabar and save Halloweentown when all five of them are standing together, holding hands, combining their magical abilities. It's notable that, until Dillon decided to join in and help the rest of his family, the others could barely summon any magic.
  • Maleficent: The movie, much like the original Disney animated film, sees Aurora fall into an enchanted sleep that can only be broken by True Love's Kiss. The film and the characters' actions initially set this up as coming from Phillip's and Aurora's budding romantic attraction, but the love that breaks the curse in the end is Maleficent's maternal love for the young woman she has raised like a daughter.
  • The Kims in Parasite (2019) are a subdued example, as a family of con artists who work as an indivisible team, whether packing pizza boxes or covering up an accidental murder. They possess intense Undying Loyalty for each other, and the minute Ki-woo gets lucky in getting a cushy tutoring job at the Parks, his immediate instinct is to put his sister up as an art therapist, and they work on helping his parents also get jobs there. Even though it ultimately ends tragically, leaving his sister Ki-jeong dead, Ki-woo's first instinct is still to promise in a letter to his father in hiding that he will find a way for them to be back together.
  • Twitches: In the film version, upon learning that Alex and Cam are long lost twins, both have magic powers and have been separated due to the dark forces that are threatening them and their loved ones, both unite and manifest the power of familial love to defeat the shadows that cover their birthplace.

    Literature 
  • The Starks in A Song of Ice and Fire. Robb goes to war in The War of Five Kings both to avenge his father, Ned's, death and return his younger sisters; Catelyn is capable of fighting off several Frey men and killing one in a futile attempt to save Robb and nearly bites a guy's thumb off to stop him killing Bran, and even after becoming "No-one", Arya still clings to the memories of her family, with the implication that they stop her from becoming truly faceless.
  • Family is a very important theme that runs throughout the InCryptid novels. The Price-Healy family have always celebrated and are fiercely loyal to each other with even their non-blood-related relatives considered to be a part of the family. Antimony Price even invokes her female ancestors and the bond they share in order to destroy the crossroads parasite and stop its evil influence.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Supernatural: The fifteen-year run of the show could basically be summarized as "Family and Free Will above all". The power of family has helped the Winchester brothers defeat humans, monsters, demons, angels, death, Death, the Apocalypse, and a whole host of other seemingly insurmountable odds. In one such case, Sam's fond memories of the life he's spent with Dean is what allows him to retake control of his body from possession by the Devil himself.

    Video Games 
  • Devil May Cry 5: In the last stretches of the game, Nero learns that Vergil is his father and thus Dante is his uncle by default, right before Dante and Vergil leave to have a climactic Duel to the Death. Having never had a family before, Nero rejects everyone's insistence that Dante and Vergil must kill each other, and his resolve to not lose the family he just gained prompts a new Devil Trigger with which he breaks up the fight and beats Vergil himself to make his father stand down.

    Western Animation 
  • In Ducktales 2017 is a theme around family as their bond couldn't be broken no matter how hard the bad guys try to.
  • In She-Ra: Princess of Power, Adora quickly believed Adam/He-Man to be her twin brother and her newfound love for him was powerful to free her from the Horde's control. After that, Adora/She-Ra and Adam/He-Man have each other's back as they would drop everything to help one another whenever they were in trouble.
  • Family is an incredibly prominent and recurring theme within Steven Universe; barring his best friend Connie, Steven's strongest relationships are with his father Greg and his surrogate family, the Crystal Gems. Several episodes also center around the family ties of other characters, with said episodes always ending with a better understanding and/or strengthened bond between them.
  • Gravity Falls: The bonds between the Pines family are a major theme in the show, especially after Ford’s return in the second half of Season 2.

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