Mal: You got all kinds a learnin' and you made me look the fool without even trying, and yet here I am with a gun to your head. Thats 'cause I've got people with me, people who trust each other, who do for each other, and ain't always looking for the advantage.
True Companions are just like a real family they may not necessarily like each other, or actually have liked each other at first, but they know they can depend upon each other in a crisis. It is a relationship considered to be deeper than mere friendship but more innocent than romance.
This sort of group dynamic appeals to younger audiences who are unfamiliar with romance, and appeals to older audiences who live in a world of complex relationships and convenience masqueraded as False Friendship, who are feeling nostalgic about the times when friendship meant a lifelong bond.
A writer may use this to avoid writing romantic relationships, though this usually doesn't stop fans from making up their own.
This trope was originally known as nakama, a Japanese word that means friends or companions.note
Related to and often overlaps with Best Friends.
Sometimes, out of a sense of loyalty, one of the true companions might decide to sacrifice himself on a very dangerous mission to spare his comrades. But usually that same loyalty will cause the others to insist they must also come along, so then Solo Mission Becomes Group Mission.
- Band of Brothers:
The group is formed by a shared dangerous circumstance, normally military.
- Blood Brothers:
The group is formed by some pact, oath or ritual, occasionally as a tradition in response to someone saving your life.
- Family of Choice:
A group of unrelated characters decide to replace their missing family bonds by committing to always support each other as family.
- Fire-Forged Friends:
People who specifically didn't care for each other but form a bond after a conflict forces them to work together.
- Honorary True Companion:
A character who never joins the main group of companions (for long) but is nevertheless treated by them as one of their own.
- Criminal Found Family:
Also a subtrope of Family of Choice, a group of criminals who find family with each other.
Compare The Power of Friendship, A Friend in Need, Close-Knit Community, and Undying Loyalty. Contrast Enemy Mine, A House Divided, We ARE Struggling Together, Headbutting Heroes and occasionally Teeth-Clenched Teamwork.
Heterosexual Life-Partners and Platonic Life-Partners are this trope distilled down to a two-person group (same sex and opposite sex, respectively). Often, a group of characters become true companions after a Misfit Mobilization Moment. If the characters happen to be particularly badass, you get a Badass Crew.
Examples with their own pages:
- Anime & Manga
- Comic Books
- Fan Works
- Films Animated
- Films Live-Action
- Live-Action TV
- Video Games
- Western Animation
- If the cast of Bloom County wasn't this at first, they surely were by the end of the series. Even Steve Dallas fondly remembers their time together in the following spin-offs.
- Flash Gordon, Dale Arden, Hans Zarkov, Barin, Thun, and Vultan. Any of them would die for any of the others. Aura eventually joins, too.
- Papa Roach No Matter What was written by the lead singer for his girlfriend and his bandmates.
- Dead Prez - "D.O.W.N."
To me bein down mean more than bein' friends, or kin/We comrades we struggle, through any trouble
- The Japanese band Arashi have described their relationship as this as is shown here and here
- The band members of Rammstein declared numerous times that the band would rather break up than replace one member of their band. Their music video for "Haifisch" subverts this trope: not only are they considering who to replace singer Till Linderman with at his funeral, it's shown that if they hadn't tried to flat out kill him, they've at least thought about it (save one), and they end up fighting over who caused their true-companion group to fall, resulting in keyboardist Flake Lorenz crashing into the singer's coffin which is when they found out he's still alive. The lyrics of the song, however, play this straight, as a form of principle declaration.
- In the same vein, Led Zeppelin did split up after the death of drummer John Bonham, and up to that death they had been more or less a united front. Even though the remaining members have had problems afterwards (how's that parking spot, Jones?) they are still united in protecting their music.
- The Beatles were often called "The Four-headed Monster". Before things started falling apart, they were essentially codependent. They made decisions as a unit (if even one Beatle didn't agree to an idea, they would consider it vetoed), and didn't like being apart for long periods of time. Ringo Starr said something along the lines of "I was a single child, and I got three brothers". There was talk of buying an island for the four of them and their families to live on together. At least one of the Beatle wives had said that the Beatles were practically married to each other, and that the women in their lives were superfluous. Even after the breakup of the band, the general consensus among the former members, and particularly John Lennon, was that while the Beatles could openly and horribly insult each other, they didn't want anyone else doing it.
- Their manager, Brian Epstein, was something of a dad to them as well. He looked out for their well-being, he always took care of their affairs to the best of his ability, and was probably the biggest factor in their early success. On their part, they appreciated his hard work and were devastated when he died of a drug overdose. In fact, Paul McCartney has said that if anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Epstein.
- Slipknot have often referred to themselves as this. Now that one of their own has died, their future is extremely uncertain. This also applies to Avenged Sevenfold, although they have continued to honour The Rev's memory.
- Good Charlotte's singer Joel & guitarist Benji are twins, and the entire band were solely credited by their first names on their first album in a show of unity as the brothers' father had walked out on their family & they didn't want to be credited with his name.
- Disturbed has become known for being a band that still hangs out and talks after a show when other bands would've been sick of seeing each other. They've gotten to the point that each member knows exactly what kind of song they want to write or album they want to make without having to talk about it. Some of them have had each other's back during fights.
- Fugazi is in the league of those rare bands that lasts for a long time, and the band mates actually like each other. There's a reason the line up never changed.
- The basic foundation of friendship within the band was said to be one of the reasons Split Enz were able to stick around for as long as they did (about thirteen years), as opposed to Crowded House which was more a straight-up commercial venture that soon fell apart (in its initial run) once the band members realised that they didn't really have that much in common.
- "Until the Day I Die" by Story of the Year was not written about a rocky romantic relationship, but how the band will always be there for one another, even though they sometimes feel like killing each other. Truly the anthem of bromance.
- Green Day, especially between Mike and Billie Joe, who have known each other since middle school and lived together as teens. Tre quickly assimilated into the group after their first drummer left, and they've been like brothers ever since for over 20 years.
- Rush, the progressive rock band from Canada, is very obviously a band of three best friends. Bassist/vocalist/keyboardist Geddy and guitarist Alex have known each other and been Heterosexual Life-Partners since they were in middle school, and like with Green Day, the drummer and lyricist Neil was pretty quick to mesh with his bandmates after the first drummer, John Rutsey, left for health reasons (he was a diabetic). The three of them have been brothers to each other since 1975.
- U2. Since their formation as school friends, they've never had a single lineup change.
- INXS was once described as "three brothers and their three best friends" and once the six of them came together as INXS in 1977, their first lineup change was 20 years later, when Michael Hutchence died.
- The members of One Direction tend to refer to each other as brothers, and Niall wrote Don't Forget Where You Belong about the band.
- All the members of the band Fall Out Boy are this. They were still close during the band's hiatus and Pete Wentz was the best man at Patrick Stump's wedding.
- Vocaloid fanon tends to portray the Vocaloids themselves as this. The Crypton Future Media ones (Meiko, Kaito, Miku Hatsune, Rin and Len Kagamine and Luka Megurine) are depicted as this the most, though.
- Aborted, while notorious for their unstable lineups, seems to have turned around and achieved this status with the current lineup. Many people have noted how they act less like a band and more like a group of very good friends offstage now.
- During Amesoeurs's beginnings, Neige became good friends with Fursy Teyssier and Winterhalter, and even after the band broke up after heavy problems with Audrey, the three still kept contact and even were live members for each of their bands for several years. Fursy in particular keeps great friendships with the two and when he asked Winterhalter to leave Les Discrets, it was to let Winterhalter focus on Alcest full time. Talk about true companions.
- Neige as well with Markus of Lantlôs. The two became really good friends when they worked on .neon up to Agape, when Markus asked Neige to leave so he could focus on Alcest. Neige himself agreed with this and left the band with no trouble. They've even met up on tour and hang out!
- It's been said in many interviews that The Moody Blues have grown to become a family after their brief hiatus, despite Mike Pinder leaving the group due to his personal life (and problems with Graeme Edge at the time). Justin Hayward, the frontman/guitarist of the Moodies, has stated in one interview that the band are like brothers who have gotten their personal differences out of the way years before working on Long Distance Voyager.
- The Adventure Zone: Balance the Tres Horny Boys, the Bureau of Balance, and the Starblaster crew all qualify, especially the latter. After spending a century together, the Crew is willing to sacrifice nearly everything for each other, whether it's fighting off the end of the world or getting Lup's $15 back from Greg Grimaldis on their home dimension. This is especially evident at Carey and Killian's wedding in the final episode; nearly the entire audience is either from the Bureau or the Starblaster, or both, and Magnus himself is the best man with Merle officiating and Taako catering.
- The entire wrestling business has been described numerous times as "one of the largest fraternities in the world". There's a reason why "brother" is such a common epithet (and no, not just because of Hulk Hogan) and why wrestlers band together so tightly against outsiders both in and out of kayfabe.
- When one of them falls, such as Owen Hart or Eddie Guerrero, they can all be seen to be hurting and will put the storylines on hold to pay tribute to their fallen comrade.
- After Jerry Lawler's real life Heart Attack on Raw, TNA (a company Lawler has never worked for) paid tribute to him despite the fact that, in theory, he worked for the hated enemy WWE. Similarly WCW in regards to Owen Hart's death and various other examples. Roman Reigns following his leukemia revelation in 2018, has likewise been flooded with unanimous support in addition to the WWE fraternity itself; from New Japan Pro Wrestling, Ring of Honor, individual wrestlers from both companies as well as TNA, and even Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo.
- The Four Horsemen: Specifically, the original iteration with Ric Flair, Arn and Ole Anderson, and Tully Blanchard. Arn Anderson said in Flair's autobiography that the Horsemen became a "full-blown shoot". Ole has a tendency to talk about the others, especially Flair, in manners one usually doesn't get away with outside of family too.
- The Kliq: Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman/the 1-2-3 Kid, and Triple H. Probably the best-known True Companionship in wrestling after the Horsemen. Though they are better known to most fans as New World Order and D-Generation X (or maybe even jWo)
- The OMEGA Clique: Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy, Gregory Helms, Shannon Moore, and despite a much publicized break-up with Matt, Lita.
- Prior to the giant brawl that really set the Pro Wrestling ZERO1\All Japan Pro Wrestling feud in motion Keiji Muto described the AJPW roster as "his family" in response to Shinya Hashimoto's claim that AJPW was disconnected.
- According to Jason Sensation, he Shooter, Danielson, London and Kendrick formed a "second generation kliq" in hopes of duplicating the success of the former. It's possible he was joking, but they do seem to be pretty close and the latter three have had intertwined careers.
- The Inner Circle, Chris Jericho's heel Power Stable in All Elite Wrestling, is a surprisingly tight-knit group of villains. Jericho, Sammy Guevara, Jake Hager and the team of Santana & Ortiz always have each other's backs and appear to genuinely like each other, Jericho is a Benevolent Boss and A Father to His Men who never punishes them for losing, and there's none of the constant backstabbing and infighting you normally see in heel stables. The only time fractures ever appeared in the group was when MJF joined with his bodyguard Wardlow, antagonising Sammy until he left and trying to turn the other three against Jericho by convincing them he was past it, only for the group to hold strong with Sammy returning to reveal MJF's plot to Jericho and the other three briefly pretending to turn on their leader before turning back to stand beside him and stare MJF down. After they ejected MJF from the group (and unfortunately fell foul of MJF's new group, The Pinnacle), MJF admitted that he'd only ever joined the Inner Circle to try and destroy it from within- and had failed.
- The Muppets, especially in the movies:
"I've had a dream too. It's about singing and dancing and making people happy. That's the kinda dream that gets better the more people you share it with. And I found a whole bunch of friends who all have the same dream. And it kinda makes us like a family."— Kermit, The Muppet Movie
- Jim, Rizzo, and Gonzo have one of these in Muppet Treasure Island, despite not even being the same species.
- In The Movie of Sesame Street (you heard me), Big Bird is pulled away from the neighborhood to be adopted by "his own kind" (other birds). The Aesop at the end is that his family isn't those related to him but those close to him, on Sesame Street... in other words, his true companions.
- The Cabin Crew of Cabin Pressure may start out as just a group of people who work together, but by the end of the show they constantly support each other, even working together to bring down the antagonist of the series, Gordon. The company is even changed to reflect their true companion status - from My Jet Now to Our Jet Still.
- DC Nation: It could easily be argued that the Titans South have become this as much as the other teams in their universe.
- Generation X and, for some of them, the Crusaders of Marvels RPG.
- The players of The Wall Will Fall Alternate Reality Game have become this after facing down various fictional threats together. Many of the members are still in close contact after the ending of the game.
- The Player Characters in most roleplaying campaigns, if only by virtue of being the main characters and with each being a player's own persona, form a tightknit brotherhood. Usually players will be friends out of character. So characters might gladly argue with, mock, or even steal from, each other but then, as soon as one is attacked, even by somebody the other characters previously liked, the group as a whole will plan, plot, and scheme. Eventually wiping their attacker from the face of the planet, destroying people, governments, maybe even whole planes of existence, all for the sake of a single friend.
- In Dungeons & Dragons, Thri-Kreen society revolves around the concept of True Companions — their primary social unit is tightly-knit hunting groups whose dynamics are closer to what most other races would consider a family than a group of coworkers or team. They tend to feel lost and confused when living outside such close groups, and take readily to adventuring parties since the dynamic is very similar.
- GURPS has the Sense of Duty Disadvantage at the -5 level, where it can apply to others in your adventuring group. Assuming everyone in the group has this Disadvantage, and are properly roleplaying it, they are True Companions.
- New World of Darkness-specific:
- The same goes, to a lesser extent, for most of the other supernatural groupings (Mage cabals, Promethean throngs, Changeling motleys, Hunter cells). Which, given the often cathartic nature of the supernatural societies, makes a lot of sense.
- Quite possibly as a reference to the (now former) name of this trope, the name for a group of Radiant in the Princess: The Hopeful fan game is nakama. This term applies both in-universe and from a metagame standpoint.
- Although, Vampire coteries tend to be depicted as brief coincidentally convenient temporary arrangements formed by the recently Embraced until they get to grips with Vampire existence. This is perceived to be true in every single book except the Ventrue specific guide. The Ventrue guide claims that other clans share bonding rituals and things that irretrievably link members of the coterie. This is not true, as any other clan guide would tell you.
- The antagonist Vampire covenant Belial's Brood has what are called "coveys", which are much closer to this trope than other supernatural groupings.
- Kindred Cyclical Dynasties are another good example. Closer than family, often to the point where the lines between them begin to blur, cyclical dynasties are made up of two or more kindred, with the eldest acting as mentor to the next eldest, who acts as a mentor to the next eldest, etc. When the eldest falls into torpor the next eldest takes over, secure in the knowledge that his dynasty-mates will take him under their wing when he wakes up confused and isolated in decades or centuries.
- The One Ring: As in The Lord of the Rings, players are expected to form a company of adventurers that can rely on each other. The company generates Fellowship Points that can be traded for Hope points to help adventurers succeed at their tasks. Also, each adventurer chooses one comrade as a "fellowship focus" and can generate Hope points by protecting them in times of danger.
- Sentinels of the Multiverse:
- The Freedom Five evolve into this over time, particularly once Absolute Zero lightens up and stops treating the whole thing like an inconvenient chore. In one of the two timelines after the card game, Zero is told that his suit has been paid off and he can go wherever he wants; he replies "Where else would I go? You guys are my family."
- The Southwest Sentinels are so close-knit that at first they're treated as one deck, and they remain very close-knit as they evolve into the Void Guard. Unfortunately, things kind of go badly after that, what with Dr Medico being slowly corrupted by a demon god, and Writhe kind of gradually drifting over the edge into darkness.
- 7th Sea has the concept of "Rucken," two fighters who trust each other completely. Players can purchase an Advantage of the same name to gain an unusually powerful (100 Hero Points instead of the usual 75) NPC companion, with the catch that if the player ever abandons or betrays his Rucken, the Rucken becomes his sworn enemy (denoted by gaining the Nemesis background at its most dangerous level).
- Warhammer 40,000:
- One Gaiden Game has guidelines for creating a Chaos warband. One possible characterization is this, that they are loyal to their battle-brothers beyond all else. Of course, this being 40K, there's another where the character views his warband as walking sacrifices to the god of his choice.
- Similarly, one piece of advice given by Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!) to cadets for rooting out Chaos is to look for close-knit veterans forming battle-brotherhoods, especially if they start trying to get into melee rather than use their guns.
- Space Wolves marines spend their lives with their packs rather than assigned by squads like the usual Space Marine chapters. From Blood Claws to Grey Hunters to Long Fangs, the packs will remain as one without any reinforcements to replace their casualties. As a result, the Space Wolves pack members in a Dwindling Party will become grim and bitter Longfangs or vengeance seeking Lone Wolf in case of Sole Survivor from the destroyed pack.
- The werewolves of both Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Werewolf: The Forsaken follow the combined social instincts of humans and wolves to form small "packs" with each other, ideally a Five-Man Band. These packs follow the entire true companions trope: packmates are practically family, you might love or hate them, and intra-pack romantic relationships are considered incestuous. (But then, in The World of Darkness games, any werewolf/werewolf relationship effectively is incestuous, as werewolves must mate with humans — or, in the Old World of Darkness, wolves — or breed twisted, sterile mutants.)
- The revolutionaries in Les Misérables, much as how they are portrayed in the book. "Red and Black" pretty quickly confirms that they are all close friends, and "Drink With Me" later compounds this fact. Even Grantaire, the most cynical of the revolutionaries, stands by Enjolras and the others when they are killed, and is usually one of the last — if not the last — to die. Which makes Marius's guilt over being the only survivor in "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" all the more potent - just listen to any version's Marius sing "oh my friends, my friends" and try to remember that it's not real.
- The Sons of Liberty (or at least the ones that Hamilton associates with) in Hamilton: Lafayette, Laurens, Mulligan, and Hamilton are all fast friends who can rely on each other in battle and at a wedding alike. Burr and Washington are often treated as Honorary True Companions as well: Burr clearly knows and is somewhat friendly with the Sons of Liberty (as shown in "Aaron Burr, Sir", "A Farmer Refuted", and "The Story of Tonight - Reprise"), and Lafayette and Hamilton are both quite close to Washington. They are so close, in fact, that the fact that Hamilton refuses to help France in their revolution (led by Lafayette) in "Cabinet Battle #2" is seen as a huge betrayal of trust by Jefferson.
- The Mrs. Hawking play series: Mary and Nathaniel. Their experience in the adventure working cases with Mrs. Hawking bonds them closer and closer together.
- The seven main protagonists of Ascension are so tightly-knit, they manage to hold off armies together with The Power of Friendship multiple times.
- The main cast of Extracurricular Activities is a very close-knit tennis team and they get along better when compared to other tennis teams.
- Princess Evangile: Over time, Masaya, the White Lily Society, and even most of the Red Rose Society sans Mitsuki prove to be this whenever one of them gets into trouble of some sort. Each time, they provide much-needed assistance to their fellow in need, and never waver in the face of intense opposition, whether it's the Yakuza or the headmistress giving them trouble. In fact, both societies are actually in opposition of one another over particular issues within the school, but are so tightly-knit that they refuse to abandon the other to their fate.
- FreeSmart from Battle for Dream Island Again and IDFB are the result of The Alliance in the show splitting off from their current team and forming their own. From this, the Alliance ditches their bureaucratic ranking system and treats all members as equal teammates, serving to be one, big Ragtag Bunch of Misfits who fight alongside each other against the world to win the competition and have fun with each other in the process.note Their roles in the team also serves to be a fun time.
- The four main protagonists of Broken Saints have a bond akin to this. They all immediately feel a connection because they "recognize" each other from their shared visions/dreams/nightmares. With Raimi and Oran, who spend half the series together (and who are the only heroes to survive the Grand Finale), this enters Heterosexual Life-Partner territory. Kamimura does not have as much time to bond as the two of them, but after he joins the team, the three men become a Power Trio. Shandala only really interacts with the guys for about two chapters of time, but The Dulcinea Effect — plus her being The Empath — connects them all very quickly very fast.
- Camp Camp has the campers and councilors of Camp Campbell as a whole form an admittedly dysfunctional one over time, though particular note goes to the main trio of Max, Neil, and Nikki. This is solidified in the season three finale, where their camp is shut down by its owners, Camp Corp., but the kids are offered a chance to go to the camps they actually wanted to attend and the councilors offered better positions. But they realize they were happier together in that crappy camp and conspire to force the Camp Corp. owners into giving it back.
- Dreamscape: The relationships between the characters, especially the more abrasive ones, are given a deep focus in this series.
- DSBT InsaniT: This trope is not generally focused upon, but it's definitely there.
- Boone and Veronica are this to Logan in Logan's Day, saving his life on a few occasions, and he in turn goes far out of his way to rescue them from the Think Tank.
- Everyone in hololive is tightly knit with one another, but there are many individual examples of camraderie and sisterhood:
- In-character, GAMERS stars Korone and Okayu border on Sickening Sweethearts. Out of character, the two were close friends even before joining hololive, and their friendship has endured over the years.
- The fourth generation's Kanata and Coco are roommates in real life, with the two supporting each other both financially and emotionally.
- Everyone in the English branch is close with one another, but Calliope and Kiara are standout examples. At the time they were introduced, Kiara — in-character — had a completely one-sided crush on Calli, with Calli refusing to reciprocate and being a harsh Tsundere. Over time, however, they became close friends, and that friendship bled over into their streams as, while Calli still will not return Kiara's overt affections, she became more warm and friendly to her. During Kiara's last stream in Japan before returning to her home country, Calli comforted her and assured her that she would still be around when she returned.
- The Misadventures of R2 and Miku is a strange case. While the titular pair are normally more of a Boke and Tsukkomi Routine (with Miku and R2 respectively serving those roles), one episode shows their friendship breaking down near-completely, with R2 telling her off for her idiocy and carelessness towards him so badly that she's left genuinely depressed as a result. It ends with Miku apologizing sincerely for her actions and admitting that she needs him:
"That's why I'm always with you. Because you're kind and funny and smart. You always try to make me feel better when I'm sad. And it's in moments like this one when I'm glad I have such a good friend... I need you, R2. Your stupid friend needs you..."
- Parodied in a non-canon The Most Popular Girls in School video, "Love or a Dumpster?":
Bridget: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know the [MPGiS] app. I'm on it, its—like I finally have a family. A family that really loves gifs about fat kids.Rachel: But Bridget, you already have a family. I-I'm your sister, and... and we have parents...
- In general canon, the Football Team's friendship easily the most loyal, closest, and happiest. The Cheer Squad's as well, albeit being much more afraid to admit it.
- The eponymous Red and Blue teams from Red vs. Blue reach this point in their relationship with each other by the end of Revelation, when they realize that although their units suck, they fit in better with each other than anywhere else. This isn't just among each team, either — they're true companions with each other, too, even though they're all technically enemies. They even have welcomed Wash into their ranks, even after all he did to them. Also applies to the makers of Red vs. Blue, Rooster Teeth.
- Team RWBY (Ruby, Weiss, Blake and Yang). Though it takes them a bit to get there. Weiss even says that they're more family to her than her actual family ever was.
- Team JNPR (Jaune, Nora, Pyrrha, and Ren) bond together a bit faster, and quickly become team RWBY's closest allies. In fact, when team RWBY temporarily splits up, Ruby ends up joining team JNPR, and when her team reunites team JNPR stays with them.
- Xionic Madness:
- Omega and Askad had been true companions since before they became cyborgs, it was only ruined when Askad's cyborg-daughter based on his dead daughter starts going evil, so Askad can't decide whether to warn Omega and Xero, or protect his daughter. He decides to limit her abilities in case he dies before warning them. Omega and Xero then form an unbreakable bond escaping from Kari (Askad's daughter), the government, red and green spies, and their own clones.
- In episode four, part two, Omega and Xero are helped by Omicron Squad, Omega's old crew from the military. They go up against a horde of zombies that have to be frozen and smashed to be defeated, simply because they would rather die alongside their former comrade than anything else. These soldiers even blow up a building being held back by Omega, so he'll be covered and protected when Kari removes Askad's limiters to increase her power output and makes a big badaboom destroying everything organic within range, except Xero, cuz he's just that badass.
- Simon and Lewis of the Yogscast Minecraft Series. Even more evident with Old/Knight_Peculiar.
- In 8-Bit Theater, The Other Warriors are seemingly the closest thing the series has to this, though the Dark Warriors seem to become close later on. All other groups range from Teeth-Clenched Teamwork or flat-out Enemy Mine in the case of the Light Warriors.
- In Achewood, most of the main characters certainly count. If something happens to one of them, the rest will rally. Spongebath and Emeril, despite not being central characters, definitely count as part of this, too.
- In Blue Yonder, Lena learns that the N-Forcers were almost this to a neighbor.
- The Cityof Reality portrays a world where everyone everyone else's true companion, essentially creating a true utopia. Unfortunately, as a Deconstruction of utopias, it has since seen cracks in the structure; but, like genuine examples, the people seem determined to push forward together.
- In Crimson Knights Judoch, Erikr, Nevio and Itham grow into this over the course of the story.
- The GM and roleplayers in Darths & Droids are like this. For all the squabling that goes on, it's clear that they all love the campaigns they've done together, and really do like each other's company.
- In Dominic Deegan, the Deegan family and their various hangers-on could be considered true companions, as could the faculty and students of the School of Arcane Arts, especially the students that fended off the Infernomancer's attack (although they were merely a random group of students in the wrong place) — Nimmel almost committed suicide because he felt he had failed the comrades who died. The clearest example of true companions, however, is Lord Milov's "pack" of himself, Jayden, and Siegfried. amusingly enough this most purest example of the trope is also the one to go the most sour.
- This is the core of the werewolf's "pack" concept.
- Doodle Diaries is a journal comic by three close friends who seemed to hate eachother at first when they met, but soon became like family.
- The Dreamland Chronicles: offering support
- Drowtales has the Highland Raiders, a group of drow who journey to the surface together and usually form strong bonds as a result. The Fallen Legion also seem to have a similar dynamic.
- The eight main characters from El Goonish Shive are true companions. See the "Painted Black" and "Grace's Birthday Party" arcs for particularly telling examples. Like any number of examples, they don't always get along, but once Tedd and Susan, of all people, became friends, becoming true companions was probably inevitable given what goes on in Moperville. Like Code Lyoko further down, they didn't start as true companions. The transition was a bit smoother, though, with the friend of friends having your back when the deadly stuff starts even if you were bickering only hours before.
- The main characters of Ennui GO! are a dysfuctional, hedonistic bunch who often screw each other over as much as they screw each other, but they are ultimately loyal and caring toward one another. No matter how strange or dangerous the situation, Izzy, Noah, Hashim, Renee, Darcy, Tanya, Len, Sarah and Hiro will always stick by one another.
- Friendly Hostility is all about how some people just seem to tumble into your life unexpectedly and stick with you for life.
- In Girl Genius, the traveling circus could be seen as this. Even the relationship between Zeetha and Agatha could count, even if it is bordering on Les Yay. A love triangle between Agatha, Tarvek, and Gil, Agatha has (in classic Mad Scientist fashion), chosen them both.
- Assistant from Gloomverse comes to feel this way about her and the Gloom family, Seaweed, and Mooching Hobo.
- In Homestuck, the troll concept of "Moirallegiance", one of their four kinds of romance, is most similar to this.
- Bob, his girlfriend Jean, their "synthetic pink daughter-thing" Molly, and Auntie Princess Voluptua in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!. Oh, and Molly's pet tentacle-bunny, Snookums.
- Dejoru of Juathuur tried to inspire a sense of family in his original team, but it didn't work out. He tries in his second team too and fails. By the time we meet him again, he has lost his faith on group cohesion.
- The protagonists of Looking for Group are also forming one. This is even more blatant with Richard and Cale (to the point that the Omnicidal Maniac warlock is turning into The Atoner as he stays in prolonged contact with the once-naive elf) and with Ben'Joon and Krunch (with the latter being the former's adoptive father).
- The Order of the Stick:
- The Order itself, of course. As the story progresses, they evolve from a Ragtag Band of Misfits press-ganged into working together due to circumstance into a real group of friends that are willing to go to the end of the world for each other. Even Belkar grows to be a real part of the team.
- To the surprise of everyone, Tarquin's evil adventuring party is this. Yes, they are evil, selfish monsters who enjoy copious amounts of Disproportionate Retribution and slaughtering random people to make a point. They are also honestly genuine friends, who have spent long years working together to further their collective goals. In their downtime, they reminisce about old jokes, comfort each other over lost loved ones, and pleasantly discuss their families. The team psion, Laurin Shattersmith, is horrified to learn Tarquin's son Nale killed their friend Malack, and Tarquin soon kills Nale when Nale makes the mistake of refusing his father's protection.
Tarquin: What did you think the price for killing my best friend was going to be?
- Sigdi had five friends, with their families, over for dinner every other Wednesday for years while Durkon was growing up. The five of them had originally been miners without family who died in a gas leak, a dishonorable death that would have seen them all sent to Hel. Sigdi selflessly used a massive treasure of jewels that she had recently come into possession of to pay for their resurrections, despite not knowing any of them at the time.
- The main cast of Questionable Content, if not just the workers at Coffee of Doom. Despite the relationship that developed between Marten and Dora which eventually ended, the group has held together quite well.
- The adolescent cast of Ruby's World functions like this, and the characters' relationships to each other are among the only things of value in a universe of Black-and-Grey Morality.
- In Schlock Mercenary the Toughs are bonded, and each wants to do the right thing for the whole, often sacrificing their own boni. Captain Tagon is very similar to Captain Reynolds, going so far as to suggest that officers go without pay, so that the grunts don't lose their paychecks.
- The main cast in Sluggy Freelance will fight vampires and demonic kittens, travel through alternate dimensions, and take down evil corporations to rescue one another. At one point, several of them are seeing a psychiatrist, partly by coincidence though it really benefits them too, and it comes up that even Gwynn, who thinks she doesn't like the others and that they don't like her, considers the others as family, since "family is supposed to be there when you really need them, right?"
- Most of the relationships in Something*Positive have something of this, especially the original core of friends Davan, Aubrey, PeeJee and Jason. Davan was described by the author as being often difficult to get on with and you might wonder why you bother, but he will be there if needed.
- The crew in Stand Still, Stay Silent turn into this over the course of the first adventure. Even the latecomer Reynir becomes a part of the crew. By the time Adventure II rolls around, when one member of the group heads off into Silent Finland, the others don't hesitate to follow, including Reynir, who in addition to having been a latecomer in the first adventure, had never intended to end up in the Silent World in the first place.
- In Voodoo Walrus Grymm and Creepknight certainly count. Its even a surprise to other character when one of the duo is seen without the company of other like in this page
- If you have an account on GameFAQs, you have a chance to join the Yusketeers. Its members have become this.
- Greek Ninja has "Sasha's group".
- The Knights of Fandom strive for this level of unity among its members. Success rate varies, depending on how involved the individual members choose to be in the group, but the spirit of the trope is there.
- The Saga of Tuck and the group of boys around its main character. At one point, one of them is attacked, and the rest — geeks all — immediately charge.
- The Lambsbridge Gang, the protagonists of Twig, function as this. They're a gestalt science experiment specializing in social manipulation and threat handling for an Academy of Evil, operating as a group to eliminate threats, but their loyalty to one another is absolute and it is never in question that the other Lambs come before the Academy's interests. This allows Token Good Teammate Lillian to steer them towards doing as much good as they can within their parameters.
- Whateley Universe:
- The teenagers of the group Team Kimba, at the Superhero School Whateley Academy. Not only are they brought together by a common characteristic, but many of them have the classic family issues: Phase (disowned), Generator (mother dead, abusive father in prison), Bladedancer (orphaned), Lancer (his brother sicked an anti-mutant military force on him), Tennyo (forced to leave her family because of assassins and worse), Carmilla (mother dead, father a demon), Heyoka (orphaned)... Only a couple of them have a supportive family. This true-companion group ends up shifting quite a bit. Carmilla forms her own, loosely allied team. (Sara's Pack). Also, it is stated in Jade's stories that Poe is designed to specifically create this, and Whateley itself has some elements of it.
- There is a second team of true companions, who band together almost specifically because they are all ridiculously outcast from rest of the school due to bad fashion sense (on purpose) and severe GSD (they look like monsters).
- There is a villainous (sorta) version with the bad seeds, who all watch each others backs, as they are all the children of supervillains, more, they are KNOWN to be the children of supervillains, although some have not had their parents identities outed to the public.
- Worm: The Undersiders may get along like a gang of teenage villains with varying morals and dysfunctions but they repeatedly come together against any threat they encounter. The brutal Extermination arc both shows the best of this and the inevitable low point.
- In Atop the Fourth Wall, the core cast (Linkara, Pollo, Harvey Finevoice, 90's Kid, Dr. Linksano, and the Magic Gun) definitely showed signs of this during the numerous storylines the show had over the years. Iron Liz used to be a part of said core cast until she left the show after the review of the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan comic adaptation.
- Carmilla the Series: The main characters are affectionately known as the Dimwit Squad, so named by a sardonic tweet from Carmilla. The core of the Dimwit Squad is two power trios: Tiny Gay Laura ("Cupcake"), Tall Gay Danny ("Xena"), and Broody Gay Carmilla ("Carm") make up the first, and the second is the LaFerry Family (LaFontaine, Perry, and JP). Though Perry is currently possessed by the Dean. Which we've all known since the Latin writing carved into her in her locked bedroom. Dean. Dean. Dean. Right?
- The Cry of Mann: Jack develops this relationship with his callers, who he believes to be a single person named Palmer note . He repeatedly calls "Palmer" his best friend, thanking him for being there for him. For the caller's part, they do their best to support Jack in his art, try to calm him down, and even show their loyalty for him by "pledging allegiance" and helping him insult Berry, even when they felt guilty doing so.
- The cast of Demo Reel was cemented as a dysfunctional family by the second episode, as their own families are so dreadful and Tacoma admits it feels like they're in a safe place removed from the rest of the world.
- Befitting a D&D show, Dimension 20 has a few.
- The Bad Kids from "Fantasy High" are six very different high school students who become Fire-Forged Friends after meeting in a detention that goes deadly. By the end of the campaign, they're family — literally, in some cases, as many of their parents start dating each other, and Kirsten ends up moving in with Fig, while Adaine is adopted by Kirsten's girlfriend's uncle.
- The exchange students from "Misfits and Magic" instantly bond over being Fish out of Water at Gowpenny Academy, and Jammer immediately promises to the other three that he'll have their back at every turn. The others wholeheartedly promise to have his in return, and they make a promise to be a team and look out each other. Over the course of the school year, the four grow to understand each other in ways no one else ever has, and in Evan's case, they are his first friends ever. It doesn't matter to them what obstacles they may face, magical or otherwise; as far as they're concerned, as long as the team stays together, they can get through anything.
Jammer: "Goat house" on three, "family" on six! ONE, TWO, THREE!
All: GOAT HOUSE!
Jammer: FOUR, FIVE, SIX!
- Yellow Guy, Duck Guy, and Red Guy of Don't Hug Me I'm Scared fame appear to be this. Despite all the crazy, horrifying situations they're constantly put through, they seem to enjoy each other's company and look out for each other. Because of this, in the fifth episode, Duck Guy and Yellow Guy realize that Red Guy's missing (despite the teachers attempting to distract them) and Red Guy is attempting to contact his friends from wherever he ended up.
- The web doc F*** Kayfabe: Wrestling With Labels starts out as a film about a young wrestler but does an abrupt U-turn and shows how he and his friends have become this...and are about to be separated as college comes to an end.
- The ''Game Grumps have become this in recent years, now counting over five regular members, plus a load of guests. While the actual friendship between the Grumps is real enough, and, to many, is the very thing the channel was build on from the start, the fanbase deliberately exaggerates this aspect, naming any and all guests, however minor they are, as a member of the Grump family.
- ScrewAttack.com are this, to the point that they have been referred to as the ScrewAttack Family. Not just the people behind the website, but the community as well (to the point of a Broken Fanbase). Insult so much as one member of the SA crew, and the community will respond in kind, as will the other members of the SA crew; and this goes even further if you badmouth the team's only female member.
- The Case of the Gilded Lily has Wilhelmina and Fig, and Wilhelmina and Cliff as well. Although they seem incapable of keeping their own secrets, they never betray each other's confidences.
- Also from Shipwrecked Comedy, there are the girls from "American Whoopee," who band together to retrieve a "scandalous" photograph and end up in jail together.
- The Strip Search house. No, no. The ENTIRE house. All 12 contestants, without a single exception. Plus arguably the host, judges and production crew for good measure. Did I mention this is an elimination-based reality competition? And this trope not only happened at all but happened with breathtaking speed?
- The team at That Guy with the Glasses/Channel Awesome — They've had three anniversary crossovers where they all met up to provide something for the fans, numerous members of the team frequently have appearances in other's videos, and behind the scenes footage would ascertain that they've become friends away from the cameras. They also tend to move with lightning speed to defend each other should anyone be so foolish as to submit nasty/trollish remarks in comments on the site, on Twitter, or anywhere else on the internet. This is how The Nostalgia Critic descibes their In-Universe reviewers as well, jerks who band together because they're like the Looney Tunes — jerks to everybody else, but damn if someone else will ever take one of theirs down.
- In Australia, there is this thing called mateship. It's not the same thing as friendship, you might not even be friends with your mates — your mate could be your best buddy from Primary School who you've lost touch with, and a friend might never become a mate, because friends come and go, but mates stick up for each other no matter what.
- Due to the fact that almost everyone in any given cast and crew has the potential to either make a career or stop it dead, it's no surprise that actors intentionally try to make it happen. This is beside the fact that the work can be emotionally intense/draining/scarring. You see each other go through incredibly intense emotions, and everyone involved is very vulnerable during rehearsal... and that sort of thing does tend to create a bond. Whether or not you actually like each other is beside the point... you just have to trust each other.
- The Irish leaders during the Irish War of Independence were very close (many of them having fought together during the Easter Rising, and all of them sharing the hardships of the war). This makes the Irish Civil War, in which they split into two opposing factions and many killed each other, especially tragic.
- The Howard family behind The Three Stooges considered Larry Fine one of the family.
- He may not have been considered family beforehand, but he sure as hell was after suggesting that he, Moe, and Shemp each took $50 out of their pay to give to Shemp and Moe's brother Curly, who had recently had a stroke and was unable to work. Moe was reportedly touched by this, since Larry was not a member of the Howard clan and he was the one who came up with the idea, and he was family from that point forward.
- Studies in World War II found that soldiers interviewed tended to claim this as their main motive. Compilers of the study called it by exasperatingly prosaic terms like "primary group cohesion." It's also been theorized that one reason American veterans of the Vietnam War exhibit higher rates of psychological fallout like PTSD is that some of the army's new policies tended to prevent True Companionship-formation.
- Much to the delight of fans, the actors who played the seven children in The Sound of Music are this and remain so to this day.
Nicholas "Friedrich" Hammond: I heard that what [Director Bob Wise] wanted to do was construct a family - and he did.
- The core members of Critical Role are a close-knit group of friends, including (but not limited to) two married couples (Matt and Marisha, Laura and Travis) and two Best Friends (Liam and Sam).
- The idea of True Companionship gains a lot of currency in the field of queer theory as an example of an alternative to the traditional "nuclear" or "sanguinuptial" family - and yet one that, like the "traditional" family, is not of one's choosing. Some see it as the best argument against the fact that "family" needs to be defined by blood and/or marital relations. Johns Hopkins professor Sam Chambers uses examples of it from media in his book The Queer Politics of Television, with Buffy the Vampire Slayer as his main example.
- The casts of a couple of different sitcoms eventually came to be this after a while. When former Full House star Jodie Sweetin became addicted to meth, her fellow former cast members all helped intervene to get her into rehab. Meanwhile, the cast of Married... with Children became very close to each other as well, with Ed O'Neill almost becoming a surrogate father to Christina Applegate, whose own parents were divorced.
- The Inklings, an Oxford-based group of writers and scholars that included C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien (among many others) in their membership, functioned very much as a true companionship group for its members. The other wiki has details.
- The Z-Boys, a group of skateboarders in the 1970s from South Santa Monica and Venice California who are credited with inventing modern skateboarding and essentially creating the punk/skater subculture that now exists. Their name is derived from the name of the team they competed with together, the Zephyr Competition Team. AKA The Lords of Dog Town
- When you go to the Canadian Improv Games, spot any high-energy team. Any. These teens are usually closer than blood, and it shows in how powerful they are.
- The cast of Friends - They all insisted on equal paynote , and if they were nominated for awards, you could not nominate one of the cast for Best Lead and another for Best Supporting Cast Member. The cast are so close that frequent guest star Tom Selleck has said he felt left out when he filmed his appearances, and Paul Rudd has said that he didn't want his character to appear in the penultimate episode where the group is bidding farewell to Rachel or the show's final scenes, as it didn't feel right.
- The Rat Pack of The '50s and The '60s, the Brat Pack of The '80s, and the Frat Pack of the present.
- Sir Terry Wogan used to josh around that "there's no 'I' in 'team'" and that the people working around him during his breakfast radio days were merely his "minions", but there's no doubt that that group of people were true companions, from his late producer Paul "Wally" Walters to Walters's replacement Alan "Barrel 'ands" Boyd, newsreaders Alan "Deadly" Dedicoat and John "Boggy" Marsh, and the "Traffic Totty" Lynn Bowles, all of whom formed a close union. (One might argue that Mick Sturbs, the person who wrote all the "Janet and John" stories, and the various religious figures who appeared on the "Pause for Thought" segment could be considered true companions as well.) On Wogan's last morning broadcast, not a dry eye was spotted amongst the group.
- The "film brats" of the 70s: Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas and Martin Scorsese. Epitomized when the first three presented the latter with his first Academy Award for Best Director for The Departed in 2007.
- Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve became fast friends while at Julliard and vowed that they'd always take care of one another. When Reeve became paralyzed, Williams did everything he could to cheer Reeve up and made clear, if it ever came to it, he wouldn't hesitate to pay for Reeve's ongoing medical care and financially support Reeve's family.
- The cast and crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation grew extremely close during their years working together, and were completely united forever by the ideas the series was trying to put out— and no doubt their inability to actually get away from each other, even if they wanted to. They've been best men at each other's marriages and are still close, though they don't see each other as much as they used to. It's true when they say that, on board the starship Enterprise, no one is alone.
- Ditto, the cast of The Fast and the Furious. Of course, this was bound to happen, as true companionship is a major theme of the series. Apparently Dominic Toretto's family mantra affected them all. Their respective reactions to Paul Walker dying were emblematic of this trope:
- When fans gathered at the crash site, Vin Diesel commandeered a policeman's bullhorn and improvised a eulogy on the spot.
- Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris recorded a tribute song, My Best Friend.
- All the cast members donated to Walker's charity, and encouraged fans to do the same, organizing various memorial drives worldwide to raise money.
- Diesel's emotional state from Walker's death is oft-cited as one of the reasons his voice of Groot was so powerful.
- Furious 7 was dedicated to the man, ending with Brian, this time played by one of Walker's brothers, driving off into the sunset.
- The cast and crew of The Lord of the Rings became this thanks to the three years they spent filming the movies back to back/concurrently. Also, while the entire cast became close, smaller groups of true companions formed between the actors playing the four hobbits (Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan, and Billy Boyd), and between the trio who played Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli (Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, and John Rhys-Davies).
- Same could be said for the cast and crew of The Hobbit, to the point that the actors who play the Dwarves form a same level of camaraderie as the Fellowship actors.
- The cast and crew of the Harry Potter films, at least that which carried over from movie to movie and director to director, were this, especially the Power Trio of Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Rupert Grint (Ron), and Emma Watson (Hermione).
- NASA went out of its way to ensure that the crew members of a space shuttle mission became True Companions.
- The Guild were this in game, and have slowly been becoming it out of game for the past six seasons.
- Find any group of people who had to work closely together in stressful and/or dangerous circumstances, such as the military. Chances are, they will be an example.
- The group of nations commonly termed "The Anglosphere": The UK, The US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and sometimes Ireland. Go after one of them, and you go after all of them — perhaps best illustrated by the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
- Heaven Sent Gaming cofounders Mario Lucero and Isabel Lucero were High-School Sweethearts when they started it in 2006. They had started dating in 2004, and they got married on their tenth anniversary in 2014. They are still with the group, and they continue to create stuff.
- The cast of Band of Brothers became just as close to each other during filming as the real men of Easy Company did during the war. They hold a cast reunion every year and frequently participate in USO tours and World War II historical events together.
- Juggalos. Sure, there are plenty of fan communities in the world that might consider fellow members to be family, but the Juggalo community is one of the few groups that has taken that attitude and made it the cornerstone of the lifestyle. In your typical Juggalo gathering, the only real rules are "Everyone is welcome" and "All Juggalos are to be treated like family". And even though most members of the community are known for being a bit on the hedonistic side, not even abstaining from drugs and alcohol is enough to get one shunned. As most practicing Juggalos will happily tell you, excluding someone else for their lifestyle choices is about the most un-Juggalo thing that one can do.
- Sadly, a lot of criminal gangs and cults will use this ideal to draw vulnerable kids in.
- The cast and crew of NCIS, helped by the fact that the show has been running for fifteen years. Maria Bello warmly describes series anchor (and executive producer) Mark Harmon as "the captain of the football team", and says she felt like she was part of the family from the first moment she walked on set.
- Helen Keller became life-long friends with her mentor Anne Sullivan, who taught her sign language and would become her governess, then later, her closest confidant. When Keller passed away, her cremated remains were interred next to Sullivan's at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
- The "Bad Boys of SNL" (Adam Sandler, Chris Farley, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider) became a tight knit group during their time on the show and even to this day frequently appear in each other's projects (sans Farley, who died in 1997). However, even he is still fondly remembered by the others as shown by Sandler's tribute song to him on his Netflix special 100% Fresh.
- The cast of It (2017) very quickly became a close knit group of friends, especially the actors who played the Losers. There is plenty of behind-the-scenes video that show them hanging out together and having fun. There have also been many instances where the cast have posted their support for each other's projects outside of the film series. They write that they are "best friends", and encourage their followers to watch/support their work. Even now about five years after filming they still seem close, as they consistently stay connected through social media.
- There's a reason dogs are called "man's best friend". Treat a dog with love and respect and you'll receive it in kind. There's been cases of dogs loyally sticking by their masters even after the latter has died.