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Three friends that have been True Companions for most of their lives: a girl, her best friend and her best male friend.

The main girl is The Hero, and is usually an Audience Surrogate. Whether or not she's an Action Girl, or a Cute Clumsy Girl, or the Girl Next Door, the audience finds it easy to relate to her. The other girl will usually be the opposite from her in some way in personality or looks. She isn't The Rival, usually. That's usually saved for another girl who's the main villain, maybe the Alpha Bitch or a Dark Action Girl. Tomboy and Girly Girl or Red Oni, Blue Oni combinations are common with this pairing.

The guy in the equation is usually friends with both of the two girls or knows them. He is often a childhood friend of both of them and has different interactions with the girls based on their personalities. He is usually just a friend or has no romantic feelings of any sort towards them. Often times, he's One of the Girls. He's usually The One Guy.

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This type of trio is very present in female-targeted works, particularly with young girls. Very much susceptible to the Love Triangle, if romance is in the equation, whether the guy is in love with The Hero or The Lancer is usually up to the particular show. There may be a Cat Fight that might ensue, but usually there's more tension amongst the trio than anything. Expect a lot of Ship-to-Ship Combat and Die for Our Ship in regards to which girl ends up with the guy, or, in the case of strong Les Yay, if the guy ends up with neither of them. Rarely do they become a threesome.

In some variations, the male character may even be The Leader and The Big Guy, if both the main and the other girls also serve the Smart Chicks role.

Compare ¡Three Amigos!, where the protagonist is usually male; see also Two Guys and a Girl.

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Not to be confused with the 1997 film of the same name (which, of course, is an example).


Examples

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    Advertising 
  • In a 2018 Australian fashion promo video, there are two female models and one male model (Trekkies would recognize the latter as Evan Evagora, the model-turned-actor who portrayed Elnor on Star Trek: Picard), and they're depicted as being good friends with no romantic overtones.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Aggretsuko : This the dynamic that exists between retsuko, fenneko and haida.With Love Interests from two of the trio being involved.
  • By the end of the series Genji Tsuushin Agedama has Agedama, Rei and Ibuki, the third of which is Agedama's Love Interest
  • A "switched places" variant on Macross Frontier in the form of "A Guy and Two Girls": Alto, Ranka and Sheryl.
    • Same goes for the sequel Macross Delta with Hayate, Freyja and your choice of either Mirage or Mikumo.
  • In the early seasons, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha had Nanoha, Fate and Yuuno as the core cast. Atypically, Fate and Yuuno were Nanoha's love interests.
  • Soul Eater: Death the Kid is the meister of Liz and Patty. A subversion in that Kid, is the lead (of the partnership) and neither Liz or Patty are in love with him.
  • IGPX: Immortal Grand Prix: Takeshi, Amy, Liz. A rare example where the one male is The Hero.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has the initial Three Children: Rei, Asuka and Shinji.
  • Sailor Moon began with Usagi befriending Naru and (Gurio) Umino.
  • While Tenchi Muyo! is your typical harem anime comedy, the tension is mostly centered on the main Love Triangle of Tenchi, Ryoko and Ayeka.
  • No matter the version of Cardcaptor Sakura you go after, there'll always be a girl rounding out the group with Sakura and Syaoran (Kero-chan notwithstanding): if you go for the manga, Tomoyo's always there with them, but in the anime, Meiling is added to the equation.
  • Those Who Hunt Elves: Junpei, Ritsuko and Airi.
  • The anime adaptation of School Days takes this setup and pushes it past the breaking point with reckless abandon. Two girls, one guy, zero brains. And that's the point.
  • Penguindrum has Tabuki, Yuri and Momoka. Both Tabuki and Yuri are in love with Momoka, whom she has known them since they were children. And then Momoka dies/disappears in the Tokyo subway attacks and since this is a Mind Screw series, things get... complicated from there.
  • Samui, Karui and Omoi (the guy) from Naruto, in contrast to the overused Two Guys and a Girl formula of the series.
  • Log Horizon has the older Akatsuki and the younger Minori vying for the affection of the protagonist, Shiroe.
  • Trigun: From the start it's Vash, Meryl, and Milly.
  • Scrapped Princess: Pacifica—the main character—and her adoptive siblings, Raquel and Shannon. (The latter two are blood relatives, but Pacifica is an Apocalypse Maiden from the royal family.) Its Spiritual Successor, Coffin Princess Chaika, starts out the same way with Chaika, Toru, and Akari; but it soon adds Frederica to the group, making it three girls and one guy.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War: The main cast starts off with this dynamic for the first 23 chapters with Kaguya, her best friend Fujiwara, and Love Interest Shirogane. It later shifts into a Gender-Equal Ensemble when Ishigami finally starts bothering to show up to meetings (and then further adds another girl with Iino joining following the reelection arc).
  • Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid actually has two different trios that get different focus in the various spin-offs, there's the school trio (Kanna, Saikawa, and Shouta) in Kanna's Daily Life and the work trio (Elma, Kobayashi, and Takiya) in Elma's Office Lady Diary.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • Kill la Kill fanfiction Before My Body Is Dry has Ryuko and Mako joined by Original Character Akio Takahiro, who later become's Ryuko's Love Interest. They are certainly an odd trio, but still work as a trio of close friends ready to provide one another emotional support.
  • Descendantsfan03 writes fan fiction in which Mal from Descendants is young. In her 'little Mal' series, Mal’s best friend is named Olivia, and Olivia has a cousin named Sebastian who often hangs out with the girls.
  • Escape From the Moon: In the fifth and last story of the series, the main characters consist of main protagonist Scratched Wrench, her griffon girlfriend Aerostorm, and their male harpie friend Zaat, who considers Aerostorm a sister.
  • In Total Drama fanfic Lunch Date with a Goth, an Indie Chick, and a Wide-Eyed Bubble Boy: The protagonists Gwen, Zoey and Cameron.
  • Grace, Anna, and Ian from The Night Unfurls. In an unusual spin of this trope, no Love Triangle is present, since Anna and Ian are already married. Their dynamic is more established in the remastered version, where all three of them work in the same Fantasy Tavern.
  • Various commentary and stories told by Varric and Hawke indicate that, years before they came to be on staff at Skyhold Academy, they formed such a trio with Hawke's younger sister Bethany. Varric still refers to the sisters as "my girls."
    • The student body, meanwhile, has the Partners in Crime, a trio of students consisting of two girls (Rory and Nessa) and a boy (Jim). As in the aforementioned example, the three have been close-knit ever since the opening of the eponymous school.

    Film — Animated 
  • Blu and Jewel's children, Bia (female), Carla (female), and Tiago (male) in Rio 2.
  • Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island has Simone, Lena and Jacques, although Jacques has a bit of a minor role from the first acts the final act has them work together reveal themselves to be the villains of the film.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph (and to a lesser degree, its sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet (where they are Demoted to Extra)), two of the Sugar Rush racers, Candlehead and Rancis Fluggerbutter, spend much of their screen time with a third racer, Taffyta Muttonfudge. Like the other racers, the trio bullies Vanellope, not knowing that King Candy manipulated the code and locked up everyone's memories of her, making them believe that Vanellope was nothing more than a glitch. After their memories are restored, Taffyta, Candlehead and Rancis, along with all the other racers, apologize to Vanellope for their behavior.

    Film —Live Action 
  • Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome: Dr. Dealgood is always accompanied and assisted by two women (although neither has much importance or any dialogue). They seem to be on genuinely close terms and not just professional associates, based on how the three are huddled together, frightened and confused, after the methane plant blows up and the future of Bartertown looks perilous.

    Literature 
  • The Empirium Trilogy: Rielle, Ludivine and Audric are a trio of friends that have known each other since childhood. Rielle is the headstrong, determined heroine, Ludivine her more gentle and snarky best friend, and Audric their quiet bookworm. Rielle developed feelings for Audric- which he reciprocates- but since Audric's already engaged to Ludivine, they don't act on their feelings (at least, not at first).
  • The "secondary trio" in Harry Potter: Neville, Ginny, and Luna.
  • Phenomena has a quite odd one with Alk and Ilke travel with their friend Millian. Millian isn't interested in either of them as she only looks about 19 and is in love with the twins' friend Azur, and Alk already has a girlfriend.
  • In The Migax Cycle, Leafsong, Summer, and Moonwafer, although Moonwafer's role is minimal compared to the first two.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The Targaryen conquest of the Seven Kingdoms was done by Aegon I and his two sister-wives, Visenya and Rhaenys, aboard their dragons.
    • History Repeats when Jaehaerys I arrived at King's Landing to take over kingship from his predecessor, Maegor, accompanied by his sisters, Rhaena and Alysanne, aboard their dragons. There was one other female noble involved (their mother, Alyssa Velaryon), but she didn't ride a dragon.
  • Tabitha Twichit's kittens, Mittens (female), Moppet (female), and Tom (male) in The Tale of Tom Kitten.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Andi Mack: Andi, Buffy, and Cyrus. Andi, the creative and artsy main character with her athletic best friend Buffy and male friend Cyrus. No romance in the equation at all, as Cyrus is gay.
  • A.N.T. Farm: Chyna, Olive and Fletcher. Later on though, Angus joins them.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy, Willow, and Xander. Buffy is strong and snarky contrasted with her best friend Willow is nerdy and earnest. Xander is the male friend and has had Ship Tease with both girls but ultimately their dynamic is platonic.
  • The three main protagonists of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance are two girls, Deet and Brea, and one guy, Rian. Brea is a Badass Bookworm princess from the advanced (if not haughty) Vapra Clan, while Deet is a nature-loving All-Loving Heroine from the cave-dwelling Grottan Clan, although they both have equal focus in the story. Rian, a soldier from the Stonewood Clan, has Ship Tease with Deet.
  • Doctor Who:
    • When the Doctor has three companions, they generally consist of one male and two females.
    • The Fifth Doctor travelled with two female companions (Tegan and Nyssa) for part of his run.
    • Recurring characters the Paternoster Gang consist of Vastra, Jenny Flint and Strax.

Cucu Ashley and Yoshy from Gordita Chronicles

  • Hannah Montana: Miley, Lilly and Oliver. Miley being the talented and stylish main character contrasting with her friend Lilly who was (initially) more of a Tomboy and their male friend Oliver who ends up dating Lilly with no drama between the group.
  • Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger: Like the Macross Frontier example above, Nobuo, Mitsuki (for season 1) or Luna (for season 2), and Yumeria.
  • House of Anubis: As part of the Three Plus Two dynamic of Sibuna, the main trio is Nina, Amber, and Fabian. While there was some ship tease between Fabian and Amber, it was Fabina that became the main pairing of the show.
  • iCarly: Carly, Sam and Freddie (pictured), until Gibby joins them. Carly is the epitome of a Girly Girl and Sam is a Tomboy, with her attitude and demeanor. Freddie is their nerdy male friend and crushed on Carly hard but later ended up dating Sam for a bit. At the end of the series however, it appears Carly returns Freddie's feelings but she ends up leaving for Europe and it remains a question on which girl Freddie is in love with.
    • After Carly left for Italy and Freddie stays in Seattle, Sam & Cat has Sam, Cat and Dice.
  • Lizzie McGuire: Lizzie, Miranda and Gordo.
  • Misfits: The Jumper Posse has Helen, Karen and Sam.
  • Naturally, Sadie: Sadie, Margaret and Rain.
  • Maddie, Henry and Gwen in Northern Rescue. Interestingly, Maddie is the main character of the three, and Dylan's love interest, while he and Gwen were friends before meeting her.
  • That's So Raven: Raven, Chelsea and Eddie. Only once (for each girl) was there ever so much as a Ship Tease; in one of said instances, Raven points out the Unfortunate Implications of what would happen.
  • True Jackson, VP: True, Lulu and Ryan. True is the responsible and driven main character, Lulu is Asian Airhead through and through and Ryan is their male friend. Unlike many examples however, each of their characters have their own love interests.
  • Man About the House (remade in the USA as Three's Company) centred on two girls and a guy.
  • Unfabulous has Addie, Geena, and Zack.

    Music 
  • Disacode, from 2013 onward with female vocalist Akira and drummer Marcy and male bassist Shun.
  • Gossip, comprised of Lipstick Lesbian Beth Ditto, Butch Lesbian Hannah Blilie and The One Guy Brace Paine.
  • Alcazar, comprised of Andreas Lundstedt, Therese Merkel and Lina Hedlund, from 2007 onward. It was this from 1998 to 2002, when Magnus Carlsson joined.
  • The Fleetwoods (not to be confused with Fleetwood Mac) was a pop trio from the late 1950s, comprised of Gary Troxel, Gretchen Christopher, and Barbara Ellis. In fact, the band name was originally, quite literally, "Two Girls and a Guy", but changed it to The Fleetwoods after the Fleetwood telephone exchange.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • The Capitoline Triad, the three most important deities in Ancient Rome, consisted of Jupiter (male), Juno (female), and Minerva (female). The three were related; Juno was Jupiter's wife, while Minerva was his daughter. This arrangement was borrowed from Etruscan religion, as scholars have noted just how unusual this grouping was among Indo-European civilizations, which generally had groups of same-sex deities.

    Video Games 
  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness has Laharl the prince and two girls, Flonne and Etna.
  • Legends of Runeterra: Nami, a longtime champion of League of Legends, joined the roster along with two follower units, Loto, the Abyssal Defender, and Tama, the Marai Songstress. The three form the trope's structure, though instead of humans it's two mermaids and a merman, and they're also a rare mutually-romantic example, the three of them being a throuple.
  • Mitsumete Knight R: Daibouken Hen: while the party is always composed of one guy (MacLeod) and two girls. You choose which two girls, from among a pool of five, will follow MacLeod in the quest. Choosing the two girls wisely is crucial, as they have different battle strengths, and have different relationships between each other (some, like Hanna and Linda, hate each other's guts, leading to crippling Jealousy Events).
  • If you choose the female character in Pokémon Black and White, you have Hilda, Bianca and Cheren.
  • Skies of Arcadia gives us the famous trio, the Air Pirates Vyse and Aika, and the Silvite Fina. This is played with; Vyse is the leader of the group, and though there is a visible Love Triangle, it is not the main focus of the story, and it strays away from it, leaving it unresolved - given the circumstances, it's handled quite well.
    • Not only is it unresolved, but numerous fans found the handling of the Love Triangle to suggest a canon OT3.
  • Dragon Age:
    • If Hawke is female, this is the dynamic between her and her younger twin siblings in Dragon Age II. If female Hawke is not a mage, she and sister Bethany can have a dynamic like this with Varric during the first act, especially when they are the only party members (before Aveline joins them).
    • The advisors in Dragon Age: Inquisition fall into this. Josephine and Leliana have known each other for years and are close friends. Cullen is newer in their acquaintance, but they work well together; ambient dialogue in the game indicates that the girls seem to treat him almost like a younger brother.
  • Super Robot Wars X-Ω has this with Asahi Inui, Shatte Judevesten and Asahi's sister Honoka.
  • Persona 3: In Portable that introduce are this:
    • The initial playable party members (the second-years) - the female protagonist, Junpei, and Yukari
    • The people present at the flashback scene at Moonlight Bridge - the female protagonist, Ryoji, and Aigis

    Visual Novels 
  • The Good End of the Unlimited Blade Works route of Fate/stay night has Shirou, Rin, and Saber end up as this with the added bonus of being in a menage-a-trois.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, main character Hisao can date one of five girls, each of whom has a best friend who often shows up during her route. The possible "two girls" are Lilly and Hanako, Rin and Emi, and Shizune and Misha (who does not have a route). Though there's a certain and infamous option in Shizune's route that includes her...
  • In Mahou Tsukai no Yoru, you have the main character Aoko, her foil and best friend Alice, and her schoolmate Soujuurou, who claims to like her. Played with in that while Soujuurou has Ship Tease moments with both of them, only Alice is implied to have feelings for him while Aoko and Soujuurou only become very intimate friends with little to no romantic interest in each other.
  • The survivors of Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony, Maki, Himiko, and Shuichi.
  • Highway Blossoms features "The Trio," a group that competes with Amber and Marina to find the miner's hidden treasure. The group consists of Mariah, her younger sister Tess and their mutual friend Joe, who's the only significant male character in the game.

    Webcomics 
  • Sparrow, Bianca, and Patrick from But I'm a Cat Person. (Except for those few times when Patrick isn't presenting as a guy.)
  • Mulberry, Taffy, and Jack from Mulberry.

    Western Animation 
  • Bob's Burgers has the three Belcher children. Although they all get about the same amount of screen time, Tina and Louise are very different in personality and Gene is very much one of the girls.
  • Braceface: Sharon, Maria and Connor.
    • Though in the episode "The Pickford Project", Connor was bitter about not having any guy friends and was paired with Alden and Brock. By the end of the episode, Connor's happy with the friends he's got.
  • Cyberchase: Matt, Jackie and Inez.
  • Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable and Monique (even though she isn't a main character).
  • Doc McStuffins: Lambie, Hallie and Stuffy are this when they're sometimes on a team while helping Doc take care of other injured toys.
  • Mona the Vampire: Mona (female), Lilly (female) and Charley (male)
  • Pepper Ann plays this pretty straight, Pepper Ann (lead), Nicky Little (female opposite) and Milo (male just friend).
  • Cupcake (female), Rebound (female), and Patches (male), the puppies in Discovery Family's Pound Puppies (2010).
  • The short-lived Rugrats spin-off, Pre-School Daze, as well as the episode of the same name that inspired it has this dynamic with Angelica (female), Susie (female), and Harold (male).
  • Scooby-Doo always has Daphne (Female), Velma (Female) and Fred (Male) together.
  • Sofia the First plays this straight with Sofia and Polar Opposite Twins Amber and James.
  • Thomas & Friends:
    • Annie (female), Clarabel (female) and Thomas (male).
    • Also in the books, there's Alice (female), Mirabel (female) and Duck (male); Isabel (female) Dulcie (female) and Oliver (male) (Dulcie teamed up with Oliver and Isabel later); Henrietta (female), Victoria (female) and Toby (male) (as of 'Thomas and Victoria'). Victoria also had Helena (female) and Albert (male) prior to Toby and Henrietta.
    • "Hasty Hannah" has Hannah (female), Henrietta (female), and Toby (male).
  • What About Mimi? has Mimi, Elaine and Russell.
  • Wonder Pets! has Tuck (a male turtle), Linny (a female guinea pig) and Ming Ming (a female duckling). Funnily enough, many have assumed that it was the inverse trope due to many mistaking Linny for a male.
  • Hilda and her two friends Frida and David.
  • The trio of younger kids featured in Ready Jet Go!: Mindy (female), Lillian (female), and Mitchell (male).
  • In Carmen Sandiego, there's Carmen and her gang (if one does not count the Player): Carmen (female), Ivy (female), and Zack (male).
  • The Best Friends Squad from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Adora/She-Ra (female), Glimmer (female), and Bow (male).
  • Tirek, Chrysalis, and Cosy Glow, who would become a Terrible Trio in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
  • In Miraculous Ladybug's backstory, the Childhood Friends Gabriel, Emilie, and Nathalie quested through Nepal to find the lost Peacock and Butterfly Miraculous. There was a bit of romantic friction, but everyone involved really cared about each other until Emilie fell into her coma. With her gone, Gabriel quickly fell into darkness and Nathalie followed, almost killing themselves in their obsessive attempts to resurrect her.
  • A variation occurs in The Life and Times of Juniper Lee, in which Juniper has three best friends: Jody (female), Ophelia (female), and Roger (male).
  • Molly of Denali: Molly (female), Trini (female), and Tooey (male).
  • Elinor Wonders Why: The main ¡Three Amigos! of the series; Elinor and Olive are girls, while Ari is a boy.


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