Follow TV Tropes


Two Guys and a Girl

Go To

For the 1990s sitcom, see Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place.
"Friends" is generous. It gets a bit more... complicated when the plot gets underway.

"Jessie is a friend, you know he's always been a good friend of mine
But lately something's changed, it ain't hard to define,
Jessie's got himself a girl and I want to make her mine"
Rick Springfield, "Jessie's Girl"

They grew up together, they've always been best friends, they're going to be happy forever, right?

Suuuure. Then the plot happens.

Inevitably, the main character, often an All-Loving Hero, gets pitted against the other guy, who is the Rival Turned Evil. Usually Because Destiny Says So. The girl, who usually owns the Amulet of Extreme Plot Significance, gets kidnapped a lot or is probably fought over by the two guys, usually via their own clashing ideas on how to protect her or just romantically (especially if they're hitting puberty). The Hero, The Lancer, and The Heart with the other stuff pruned off.

Whether romance is in the equation varies; sometimes the girl is the sister of one of the guys, though usually not by blood. Expect a lot of Slash Fic based on tenuous Ho Yay/Foe Romance Subtext between the two males, most of which applies Die for Our Ship to the girl.

Highly prone to feature a Cock Fight, especially if the girl is not related to either of the boys. Also prone to the With a Friend and a Stranger dynamic.

The setup of Two Girls and a Guy isn't unheard of, but is less common, probably due to a tendency to make The Protagonist male.

Compare to ˇThree Amigos!. A kind of Love Triangle. See also Cast Calculus. Contrast Friend Versus Lover.

If a Five-Man Band gets formed see Three Plus Two. It'll often be a spare Love Interest and a fifth wheel, especially if there's emphasis on the romance. This trope and its Gender Inversion, on the other hand, can sometimes come off as a "Two Plus One" variation.


    open/close all folders 

  • A 2018 Australian fashion promo video features two male models and one female model who are depicted as being friends. The woman points her binoculars at the raven-haired dandy (whom Trekkies would recognize as Evan Evagora, the model-turned-actor who portrayed Elnor on Star Trek: Picard), which suggests that she finds the Pretty Boy to be more attractive. An accompanying promo pic reinforces her preference for Evagora's character.
  • The Lunchables Brigade are two boys (Oscar and Abel) and a girl (Maya).
  • Meijer's M-Perks rewards program always features the same three examples: Tim, Sarah, and Bill.
  • In 1984, there was an ad for Purina Hi-Pro Dog Meal, in which a guy, a girl and a second guy all sing a military-style jingle about keeping their dogs strong with the advertised product while roller-skating through a park (and dressed very '80s-like, to boot) and walking their dogs at the same time. The ad starts off with one guy singing. He is then joined by the girl singing. She in turn is joined by the second guy singing. Each time one newcomer meets up with them, the previous skaters join0 in singing. At the end, all three skaters point to the camera while finishing up the jingle together: "Give your dog the Hi-Pro glow!"

    Anime & Manga 
  • Nagisa, Karma, and Kayano are the most prominent Class E students in Assassination Classroom, being The Hero, The Lancer and The Heart within the class. Karma and Kayano are also Nagisa's closest friends and he interacts with them the most.
  • Eren, Armin, and Mikasa in Attack on Titan. Without the romantic tension.
    • Another example is their Evil Counterpart and Foil Reiner, Bertholdt, and Annie.
    • There is also the background trio of Jean, Connie, and Sasha. Unfortunately it is reduced to a duo .
    • Levi’s backstory in Attack on Titan: No Regrets reveals he was once part of a trio with his two best friends, Farlan and Isabel. It did not last to present time in the main series.
  • Bakuman。:
    • Mashiro, Takagi and Miyoshi have this dynamic since Takagi starts dating the latter. Mashiro and Takagi being the mangaka Muto Ashirogi, and Miyoshi being a supporter and semi-assistant and is constantly with them for most of the time.
    • Mashiro, Takagi and Azuki have this dynamic when it comes to their promise. Mashiro and Azuki promised to marry each other once their dream comes true, and Takagi being the one who brought them to together. And the promise also includes Mashiro and Takagi's collaborated work. This is reflected in the pen name "Muto Ashirogi", with "Ashirogi" being composed of Azuki, Mashiro and Takagi's names.
      • The main characters in Muto Ashirogi's PCP are three elementary school kids, who are roughly based on Mashiro, Takagi and Azuki. Those characters are Makoto, Minoru and Mai.
      • Muto Ashirogi's other successful work has also a set of three main characters. The Villain Protagonist Satoru/Schwarz, the Hero Antagonist Weiß and the Love Interest Naho.
  • Guts, Griffith and Casca from Berserk. Things got ugly between the three of them. Very, very ugly.
  • Because they were hired around the same time, the three servants Finnian, Bardroy, and Mey-Rin of Black Butler fit this once they begin to adjust to normal life and each other at the Phantomhive Manor. Tanaka arguably doesn't change anything because he doesn't interact or do much in general compared to these three and was already working for the Phantomhives before the three were hired. Snake was hired by Ciel in the current storyline, but he prefers to be in the company of his pet snakes, thus still leaving the dynamic of the original three Phantomhive servants unchanged.
  • Momo Hinamori, Renji Abarai, and Izuru Kira in Bleach, though without the romance elements. Unusually for this trope, the girl is the one pitted against the guys, when she's under the manipulations coming of her love interest and boss, Big Bad Aizen.
  • Haji, Saya, and Solomon from Blood+ fit this one well, even though only two of them grew up together. They pack the vast majority of the romantic tension this creates into one episode, which actually seems to work out pretty well.
  • Moji, Nagi and Tsubasa of Bokurano were all childhood friends, being fellow orphans in the anime, or living in the same housing development in the manga. Their relationship got somewhat more complicated, though, when Moji and Nagi both "noticed that Tsubasa was a girl," resulting in a Love Triangle.
  • Moto, Midou, and Hiroki of Bokura no Kiseki qualify as this during middle school, and maintain a close friendship even during high school. Moto has an obvious crush on Hiroki, and Midou is a Shipper on Deck for the two of them. However, when Moto confesses to Hiroki, she turns him down.
  • Chihaya, Taichi and Arata from Chihaya Furu. Actually Arata gets shipped off to another district early in the story, but it doesn't stop Chihaya from thinking of themselves as ˇThree Amigos! forever and reminiscing Arata constantly (much to Taichi's chagrin).
  • Cowboy Bebop:
    • Spike, Vicious, and Julia from Cowboy Bebop.
    • And, in the show proper, Spike, Jet, and Faye form the core trio of the Bebop's crew.
  • This was the case for the first half of Death Note with L, Misa, and Light. And then L died.
  • Daisule/Davis, Miyako/Yolei, and Iori/Cody from Digimon Season 2 are a subversion. They're part of a Five-Man Band that included Takeru/T.K. and Hikari/Kari from the first season.
  • Digimon Data Squad Masaru/Marcus, Tohma/Thomas and Yoshino/Yoshi form DATS's core trio. Even though they are later joined by Ikuto/Keenan, the trio aspect still remains even in the later parts of the story.
  • Mikado Ryugamine, Masaomi Kida, and Anri Sonohara in Durarara!!. Of course, it turns out said trio each respectively are the founder of the Dollars, leader of the Yellow Scarves, and holder of the original Saika (which also has a Hive Mind with its children), also known as the gangs who are at each others throats.
  • Fist of the North Star:
    • Shin's jealousy towards Kenshiro (his best friend) for marrying Yuria (the love of both their lives) resulted in a bloodbath that shattered their friendships and kicked off the post-apocalyptic tragedy that is Fist of the North Star.
    • The trio of Kenshiro, Mamiya, and Rei. Rei is in love with Mamiya but she nurses a soft spot to Ken.
  • Tohru, Kyo, and Yuki from Fruits Basket. If you're confused by the names, Tohru is the girl. The two boys are her love interests and she's the only reason that those two can even cooperate with each other.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • We have Edward, Alphonse, and Winry. Granted, they're not together all the time, but anyway... They subvert the romantic aspect as Al has no interest in Winry, besides when he and Ed were very young.
    • In the 2003 anime, the Elric brothers and Winry are still Childhood Friends; however. Winry was Demoted to Extra. In contrast, Rose was made into an Ascended Extra. Rose likes Edward; however, Al has no interest in Rose (and Ed himself is ambiguous), subverting the typical romantic elements.
    • In Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa, the main trio in Germany consists of Edward, Alfons, and Noah. In development they were going to have a love triangle, but that was scrapped and the trio are platonic friends.
  • Several scenes in Gankutsuou hint that Edmond, Mercedes and Fernand had this kind of relationship before Fernand decided Edmond needed to disappear quickly.
    • Albert, Franz, and Eugenie have a similar relationship, though with slightly different dynamics. Since all three parties are basically good, forgiving people, it's much less destructive than the above.
  • The main power trio of Ghost in the Shell consists of Togusa, Batou and the Major (a woman). Though there is chemistry between the Major and Batou, Togusa is a married man.
  • Chiaki, Kousuke, and Makoto from The Girl Who Leapt Through Time. Both boys show interest in Makoto, Makoto tries to understand what she feels for both boys especially when other girls start making their move, and things become even more complicated due to Makoto's time-leaping habits.
  • Gundam Build Fighters Try: The protagonist three man team consists of two boys: Yuuma Kousaka and Sekai Kamiki, and one girl: their leader, Fumina Hoshino.
  • Isamu, Myung and Guld from Macross Plus: we learn during the flashbacks that they grew up together and were good friends... until Guld became jealous of Isamu's relationship with Myung and tried to rape her.
  • Kurokawa, Harada, and Mikura of Mezzo Forte.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 have four versions; An adult version (Hank Hercules, Sergei Smirnov and Sergei's wife Holly), a familial one (the Trinity siblings), The Aces of the three world powers (Graham Aker, Patrick Colasour and Soma Peries), and a more traditional one (Setsuna F. Seiei, Saji Crossroad and Saji's girlfriend Louise Halevy).
  • Shinn, Lunamaria and Rey from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. Towards the end of the series, as Shinn and Lunamaria grow closer (there seems to be some romantic interest, as they do share a kiss, but they don't actively pursue a relationship -– understandable, since they're in the middle of a war), Rey is visibly displeased, although he too is friends with Lunamaria. He does his best to not only keep Shinn from spending time with Lunamaria, but also effectively shuts her out of any major decision making. His reaction may partially be possessiveness over Shinn, but is actually largely because Rey is manipulating Shinn on behalf of Chairman Durandal into becoming a loyal puppet soldier, and Lunamaria, who has doubts about the Chairman and whose opinion Shinn seems to value, could potentially hinder his plans.
  • The Mysterious Cities of Gold has Esteban (male), Tao (male) and Zia (female).
  • Naruto, Sakura and Sasuke from Naruto. In fact, all the genin teams in Naruto follow the same gender configuration, though only Team 7 really follows this trope's thematic elements to T.
  • PandoraHearts:
    • Oz, Gil, and Alice. Except, instead of the two male characters fighting over the female, Oz is the frequently the one that gets fought over.
    • Break, Sharon and Reim. Also Jack, Glen/Oswald and Lacie.
  • Penguin Revolution gleefully monkeywrenches the trope around after Yukari moves in with Ryo and his adoptive brother Ayaori. The three of them quickly become close and develop a standard Two Guys And A Girl dynamic... but thanks to the combination of Yukari's Recursive Crossdressing and his own Selective Obliviousness, Ayaori spends most of the series believing that Yukari is a boy.
  • Platinum End: Kakehashi, Saki and Mukaido form a trio to fight and defend themselves against Metropoli Man. What differs them from other examples is that Mukaido is a middle-aged man paired with two first-year high school students.
  • Pokémon:
  • In Pokémon Adventures, this applies to the Pokédex Holders from Kanto to Sinnoh, with the later regions having a guy and a girl duo. The Kanto group originally counted until Canon Foreigner Yellow was created.
  • Used sorta at the beginning of Project ARMS, when it's Ryo, Hayato, and Katsumi. Except that Hayato kidnaps Katsumi before he becomes Ryo's friend and has no romantic interest in her — he just wanted her as bait and politely lets her leave when Ryo shows up. And then not too long after, Katsumi is taken out of the picture and another guy and girl (Takeshi and Kei) enter.
  • Ranma, Ryoga, and Akane from Ranma ˝.
  • Cordelia, Curio and Francisco in Romeo X Juliet.
  • Mugen, Jin, and Fuu from Samurai Champloo. Mugen and Jin are always at each other's throats, and Fuu is pretty much at the center of the whole plot. She frequently gets kidnapped, and one of the guys always saves her. Because of this, many shippers see them as an excellent example of OT3.
  • Looking only at the main masters in Soul Eater we have Maka, Black☆Star and Kidd.
  • Tatsuya, Kazuya, and Minami in Touch (1981), twin brothers and the girl next door who played together since they were born, until "we noticed one of us was a girl" (as Tatsuya puts it). Except only one of the boys is competing against the other, the stakes are the high school baseball championship of Japan, and Minami is a strong athlete in her own right.
  • Triangle Heart 3 plays with it: the brooding, angsty one is the hero, and the cheery, determined one is another girl. (Probably for the sake of filling the cast with cute girls despite logic; it is a Bishoujo Game, after all.) Interesting in that, taking Word of God and the OVA over Multiple Endings, the guy ends up with a third girl, making both of them Unlucky Childhood Friends.
  • Kamui, Fuuma and Kotori from X/1999.
  • Akiyuki, Furuichi, and Haru in Xam'd: Lost Memories.
  • Watanuki, Doumeki, and Himawari from ×××HOLiC qualify.
  • In an extremely rare example of the protagonist actually being the girl, Yona of the Dawn has the relationship between Princess Yona, Hak and Su-won. The life-long relationship crumbles within the first chapter of the manga, however, when Su-Won kills Yona's father and usurps her throne.

    Asian Animation 
  • The main characters of Eena Meena Deeka are two guys (Eena and Deeka) and a girl (Meena).
  • The Happy Heroes spin-off season Happy Heroes Alliance and the City of Mystery features Careful S., Kalo, and their new friend Lisa as the main characters, with the first two being the males and the third being the female.

    Comic Books 
  • The classic Doom Patrol: Robotman, Negative Man, and Elasti-Girl.
  • Hellboy, Abe Sapien and Liz in Hellboy.
  • In the Legion of Super-Heroes, Cosmic Boy, Lightning Lad/Live Wire, and Saturn Girl often fit the trope, depending on who's writing them. Particularly evident in the post-Zero Hour reboot continuity, with Cosmic Boy as the Standardized Leader, Live Wire as The Lancer, and Saturn Girl as, naturally, The Heart.
  • Preacher: Jesse, Cassidy, and Tulip.
  • In The DCU's Big Three, we have Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Bats and Supes often disagree on the proper course of action during crises, especially if hostages are involved. Wonder Woman, meanwhile, has spent time in love with both of them (depending on the continuity). While the rivalry between Batman and Superman has only ever boiled over when one of them is mind-controlled into evil-ness (as in Batman: Hush, when Superman is controlled by Poison Ivy and Batman gets to has to kick his ass), they rarely spend much time actively plotting against one another, and are stable enough to form the cornerstone of the Justice League.
  • James Howlett/ Wolverine/Logan, Dog Logan, and Rose from the comic book miniseries Origin.
  • In the regular X-Men canon: Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Wolverine.

    Fan Works 
  • Better Bones AU: Breezepelt, Harestar and Heathertail are close friends as children but fall apart from each other due to the first two becoming Dark Forest trainees while Heathertail refuses to participate, and then Harestar regretting his actions and being reintegrated into the Clan while Breezepelt remains resentful and refuses to atone, seeing Harestar as an enemy as well now. The three rebuild their bonds with each other during the events of the rewritten A Vision of Shadows, and rather than competing over Heathertail all three of them end up together romantically.
  • In Metroid: Kamen Rider Generations Samus Aran is joined with Mitsuzane Kureshima/Kamen Rider Ryugen and Gou Shijima/Kamen Rider Mach. It is also implied that Gou have been insinuating a Ship Tease between Samus and Micchy and enforces it throughout the story, the results were all according to plan.
  • In The Bridge we get a few examples.
  • In the Encanto fanfic Sanded Down, the three rats consist of two boys, Miguel and Queso, and one girl, Lola.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Reversed in 28 Days Later. The surviving trio are a woman, a girl and... uh... Cillian Murphy. The initial group of survivors is more conventional — chilly Action Girl Selena, a male survivor and Cillian as Jim, but, well... let's just say it doesn't work out.
  • Across the Universe (2007) has a two-guys-and-a-girl layout at times, but it helps that two of them are siblings. Among certain fen, though... If it's not Max hating Jude for laying a hand on his virginal little sister, Jude pining after Max and settling for the nearest female to hand, Max harboring some very un-brotherly affections, or a really Squick-y threesome... it's got a resident Mary Sue taking up the space in the middle.
  • The Australian movie BMX Bandits with a 15-year-old Nicole Kidman as the girl.
  • In Carny, a member of the road crew of a circus or amusement park (which is what the term Carny refers to) strikes up a romance with one of the customers. She decides she also likes his brother, and has sex with him, too. Apparently this doesn't bother or affect any of them, it's as if they have no jealousy at all, and have simply decided that both of them are going to share her with each other.
  • In The Giver, Jonas, Asher, and Fiona's dynamic is like this before things go down. The disruption of their friendship brought about by their conflicting responsibilities is even lampshaded by Fiona, when she snidely throws a "Friends forever, right?" at Asher when the latter reports Jonas's attempted escape. Eventually, Asher aids in his escape as well.
  • Gleahan and the Knaves of Industry: Mark, Gleahan, and Madison end up forming a pretty strong trio all on their own.
  • The Green Hornet sets up Britt Reid, Kato and Lenore Case as this instead of the Power Trio you'd expect in most hero movies. Not only do the Ho Yay and Cock Fight take place, but Lenore has been unwittingly planning the Green Hornet's every move by handing Britt her analyses of his modus operandi.
  • As the comic counterpart; Hellboy, Abe Sapien and Liz in Hellboy.
  • The remake Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey uses two male dogs and a female cat as protagonists. The original book and the first movie based on it have three male animals.
  • Brian, Jacob, and Anna in Keeping the Faith.
  • Slumdog Millionaire is made out of this trope (well, this and Flashbacks). Salim and Jamal are brothers. Otherwise, this trope is played dead straight, with Latika in the remaining role.
  • Sophie Scholl: The Final Days: Sophie, her brother Hans, and Christoph Probst from the German film, though in this case it is the girl who is the principal character.
  • Kirk, Spock, and Uhura in the soft reboot Star Trek (2009) and its sequel Star Trek Into Darkness. The writers upgraded Uhura as the third main character and downplayed McCoy a little bit. The marketing clearly shows this tendency.
  • In the original Star Wars trilogy, Luke, Han and Leia. In the prequels, Anakin, Obi-Wan and Padmé are also a trio. Most pre-release info about The Force Awakens indicates that Finn, Rey and Poe Dameron follow the same dynamic in the sequel trilogy.
  • Time Lapse: Finn, Callie, and Jasper. Finn and Callie are boyfriend and girlfriend, and Jasper lives with them. Then the plot starts. Jasper's greed strains their friendship, and Finn and Callie's relationship is gradually revealed to be more complex than it first seems.
  • Played for comedy in Too Many Husbands, which is Inspired by… Enoch Arden. Bill and Henry are best friends and business partners; when Bill is believed dead in a boating accident, his wife Vicky marries Henry six months later. This leads to awkwardness when Bill returns.
  • Between Gary, Steven and Sam in The World's End. Steven has carried a torch for Sam since they were all in school together, and even years later resents Gary for sleeping with her. Steven and Sam end up together at the end.

  • Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose from the A-Z Mysteries series. Being a kid's series, the same no-romance rule as above also applies.
  • Lampshaded in The Belgariad, as the-guy-who-is-not-the-hero assumes this will happen the moment the hero returns to his village. The hero, for his part, is not even remotely interested.
    • He was interested when he left, and the girl is still kind of (actually, probably even more) interested than she was at the time. But in the meantime, the hero has seen what's available in the outside world, and "prettiest girl of a certain age in a small village" is not necessarily the same thing as "actually pretty." On top of this, she's terribly naive and kind of shallow, so while the "rival" is worried the hero is going to take her away, but the hero is mainly worried he won't be able to give her away.
  • In The Conquerors Saga, Lada, a Wallachian princess, and her little brother Radu become friends with Mehmed, the prince (and later sultan) of the Ottoman Empire, and they grow up together. Even though Radu is Lada's brother there is still romantic tension in the group — between Lada and Radu as they are each in love with the sultan, and he loves Lada back.
  • Edmond, Fernand, and Mercedes in The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Danny, Joe, and Irene from the Danny Dunn novels. No romance however, as the books were written a few decades ago for kids. There has to be fanfic where someone gets Irene, though. She's too awesome.
  • Divergent series features Tris, Four, and Caleb. Must be noted that the romance is uncontested, because Tris and Caleb are siblings.
  • Alfred Lord Tennyson's narrative poem "Enoch Arden" has the more traditionally masculine of the two guys (the eponymous Enoch Arden) marrying the girl (Annie), getting lost at sea after a shipwreck, and returning home ten years later to find that she remarried his friend and romantic rival, the more intellectual and sensitive of the two (Philip), and that his children now call him father as they do not remember their own. Annie believed him dead and Philip offered to take care of her, and she fell in love with him (though he had always loved her, while respecting Enoch). Enoch never reveals to his wife and children that he is alive, for he loves them too much to intrude on their happiness, and dies alone.
  • Alexander Key's Flight to the Lonesome Place has Ronnie "Blue Boy" Cleveland, Luis Black, and Anna Maria Rosalita. They qualify as a Token Trio with Ronnie as white while Luis and Anna Maria Rosalita both Puerto Rican with Luis also very dark skinned.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry, Hermione, and Ron, naturally. Although Harry actually has no romantic interest in Hermione, that doesn't stop Ron from fulfilling his part of the trope.
    • Also works with Ginny, Harry, and Ron. In this case, Harry's afraid of My Sister Is Off-Limits, missing the hints that he is the only guy Ron would be happy seeing Ginny with.
    • James, Lily, and Snape play the trope a bit more straight, although the two men were never friends.
    • Scorpius, Albus and Delphi in the sequel Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
  • The Heroes of Olympus follows its predecessor's rule by featuring two guys and a girl in the first two books: Jason, Piper, and Leo (The Lost Hero), and Percy, Frank, and Hazel (The Son of Neptune). However, it is defied in the third book and beyond by featuring all six plus Annabeth. Apparently, seven is lucky enough to trump three.
    • however, it's noted that three Romans and four Greeks make up the Seven, and Leo, the extra Greek dies in the last book. So by following camps the Seven stick to this rule of three.
    • The last book of the series also features a side trio in the form of Reyna, Nico, and Coach Hedge. However, it defies many expectations of this trope because: 1. The girl is The Hero, and 2. Their relationships to each other are strictly professional.
  • In the original How to Train Your Dragon books, the main trio was Hiccup, Camicazi, and Fishlegs. After the books were adapted into the movie and later the TV show, which still retained some of this, the four guys and two girls were often split up into two groups: the original, Hiccup, Astrid (who was based off Camicazi), and Fishlegs; and Snotlout and the inseparable twins Ruffnut and Tuffnut.
    • The second movie also has Fishlegs and Snotlout fighting and beating each other up over Ruffnut. Hiccup, Toothless, and Astrid also count as this.
  • The Hunger Games series has Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark, and Gale Hawthorne.
  • The Infernal Devices has Will Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Jem Carstairs.
  • Biff, Joshua and Maggie in Lamb: The Gospel According To Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal.
  • The central relationship of The Saga of the People of Laxardal is one, with foster-brothers Kjartan and Bolli becoming competitors for the hand of Gudrun. It doesn't end well: in the final chapter, she eventually tells her grandson "He I loved most, I treated the worst."
  • While Bems and Bugs follows the exploits of Lisa Huntress, the Decoy Protagonist Jacques is inseparable from his two best friends Karen and Li. As the ship's hackers, the three enjoy a degree of autonomy and privilege not shared with their shipmates who lack such specialized skills.
  • The original trio of Michael Vey consisted of Michael, Ostin, and Taylor. The three never really become a Love Triangle, even after Jack and Wade joined the crew, although the five of them weren't together for very long before everyone else came into the equation. In the end, Michael and Taylor start dating and Ostin and McKenna hold hands and flirt.
  • The Mortal Instruments has Jace Wayland, Clary Fray, and Simon Lewis.
  • The 1967 book "The Owl Service" is all about this trope, as three present day teens find themselves re-enacting an old Welsh legend.
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians always feature a core trio of two guys and a girl as the main protagonists in every book. It's usually Percy, Annabeth, and Grover, though Tyson and Thalia replace Grover and Annabeth in the second and third books, respectively, due to their kidnappings. However, Percy and Annabeth serve as the Token Romance of the five; Grover and Tyson help Percy because they're his friends, while Thalia is like an older sister to Percy (which becomes Harsher in Hindsight when we learn in the second series that Thalia did, or rather, does, have a younger brother.) The third book provides a good reason why not adhering to this trope (or rather, the trio part) is a bad thing: anything more than three is undesirable to fate, so when two girls (Zoë and Bianca) join the group in the third, both of them die.
    • Percy, Luke, and Annabeth qualify this trope even more straight, though in their case, The Lancer is a childhood friend of The Heart, while The Hero is a newcomer.
  • Sudsakorn, Sawakon and her brother Hassachai in a 19th century Thai epic Prah Aphai Manee with the three of them going through many adventures together. Sawakon gradually fell for Sudsakorn but they didn't get together until adult after he fell for Sulaleewan. However, the story ends on happy note with both of them as his queens.
  • Luke, Resus and Cleo in Scream Street.
  • Eric, Julie, and Neil from the The Secrets of Droon series. Absolutely NO romance is ever considered, but that's just because the series is a kid's series.
  • The novel Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman uses a slight variation: evil villain Dr Impossible had a crush on Erica Lowenstein, before accidentally creating the superhero Core Fire whom she fell in love with. Dr Impossible's frequent kidnappings of Erica in his early career result from this (although "they grew apart" later and he stopped). In the end Erica resolves the plot of the novel, defeating both Dr Impossible and Core Fire.
  • The original example of this trope is probably Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities.
    • Or Arthur, Lancelot and Guinevere...
    • Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther is another influential work based on this trope. Werther grows up with Charlotte and is a close friend of Albert. Albert marries Charlotte; Werther Wangsts himself into suicide.
  • Edward, Bella and Jacob in Twilight. Although Edward and Jacob become friends only at the end of the books.
  • Edmund, Eustace, and Lucy in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. However, they're all related (Eustace is Edmund and Lucy's cousin) and neither Edmund nor Lucy even 'like' Eustace at first.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Adventures of Pete & Pete, "Starring Pete, Pete's brother Pete, and me — Ellen..."
  • Angel starts with the team only comprised of Angel, Cordelia, and Doyle, with Wesley replacing the latter halfway through the season.
  • Arrowverse
    • Arrow: The crime-fighting 'Team Arrow' has vigilante Oliver, ex-veteran Diggle and tech genius Felicity. Oliver and Diggle are quickly established as Heterosexual Life-Partners and Oliver and Felicity are Just Friends with bucketloads of Unresolved Sexual Tension. There's definitely nothing romantic with Felicity and Diggle though as they're Like Brother and Sister.
    • The Flash (2014) has the S.T.A.R. Labs team of Barry, Caitlin and Cisco. There doesn't seem to be any romantic tension, as all their dating prospects thus far have been outside the core group.
  • Babylon 5 had a large cast, but the station's main command staff for the first three seasons consisted of Commander Sinclair (later Captain Sheridan), Commander Ivanova (replacing Commander Takashima after the pilot), and Chief Garibaldi. In the last few seasons, Garibaldi went into private business and was replaced by Zack, Ivanova was given her own command and replaced by Captain Lochley (who took Sheridan's job after he went into politics), and Lt. Corwin took Ivanova's old job (if you're keeping score at home, by the end of the show it's still two guys and a girl, with the girl now The Captain rather than The Lancer. Simple, no?)
    • The trio effect also applies to other categories of characters on the station; the ambassadors have Delenn, Londo, and G'Kar, their assistants are Lennier, Vir, and Na'Toth at least until her departure in Season 2.
  • Being Human (UK) has John, George, and Annie.
    • The current inhabitants are Thomas, Hal, and Alex, who live in the same place John, George and Annie live in.
  • Being Human (US) has Aidan, Josh and Sally.
  • Cory, Shawn and Topanga in Boy Meets World. However Shawn not only had no romantic interest in Topanga, but at times seemed to be more romantically interested in Cory than her, though the latter was played for laughs.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer forms a rather twisted example with Spike, Angelus and Drusilla in Season 2. Buffy, Willow, and Xander also fit the trope.
  • This was the original set-up of BUGS for the first two seasons with Ed, Ros and Beckett. Ros was the Gadgeteer Genius, Ed was the Book Dumb action man and Beckett was the former intelligence agent who was kind of the second best at both (more intellectual than Ed but less likely to get the action sequence, knew his way around gadgets but not as much as Ros). Ironically, when it was just the three of them, they were portrayed as Platonic Life-Partners: It was only when the line-up shifted to Three Plus Two in the third season that Ros and Beckett suddenly gained UST.
  • Chespirito's shows:
  • Subverted in Community, when best friends Abed and Troy find themselves both pining over the same librarian. Rather than risk their friendship over rivalry, their Genre Savvy response is to approach the girl at the same time, politely explain the situation to her, and then ask her out on a mutual date so that she can decide.
  • Daredevil (2015): The plot revolves around Matt Murdock, Karen Page and Foggy Nelson.
  • Dawson, Joey and Pacey in Dawson's Creek.
  • Doctor Who: There have been several TARDIS crews with this gender ratio, i.e. one male and one female companion alongside a male Doctor, but only a few with the romance elements (the classic series in particular had a No Hugging, No Kissing rule).
    • The latter part of First Doctor's era generally had this after the departure of Ian and Barbara: first Steven & Vicki, then Steven & Katarina, then Steven & Sara, then Steven & Dodo, then finally Ben & Polly alongside the First Doctor. Only the last of these pairings had any hint of romance.
    • The Second Doctor initially inherited Ben and Polly from the first Doctor, and later on had Jamie & Victoria then Jamie & Zoe. Jamie had Ship Teases with Victoria and too a lesser extent Zoe, but also hints of homoerotocism with the Doctor, leading fans to speculate him as being Ambiguously Bi.
    • The Fourth Doctor travelled with Sarah-Jane Smith and Harry Sullivan for his first season. Not much was implied romantically at this time, although hints of romance between Sarah-Jane and the Fourth Doctor began to appear after Harry's departure.
    • The Fifth Doctor travelled with Tegan Jovanka and Vislor Turlough for most of the latter part of his era. There was absolutely no hint of romance, with the show's No Hugging, No Kissing policy being at its strictest at this time. Tegan had a bickering brother/sister type dynamic with Turlough.
    • Nine / Ten, Rose and Mickey: Rose and Mickey were a couple pre-series, but Rose ultimately chooses the Doctor.
    • The second half of Series 5 and almost all of Series 6 (except for River Song episodes) featured the Doctor, Amy and Rory. Naturally, this trope gets even more complicated when time travel is involved: the Doctor first meets Amy when she's a kid, then goes straight to meeting Amy and Rory as adults thanks to landing twelve years off-target. He doesn't find out they're engaged until after Amy has already had a few adventures with him and tried to have Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex, at which point he basically abducts Rory and starts shipping them. It works, and they form a fairly stable team from then on. And then he marries their grown-up daughter from the future.
  • Rooney, Moe, and Deedee in The Doodlebops.
  • Houdini & Doyle: Houdini & Doyle with Constable Adelaide Stratton.
  • Chase, Cameron and Foreman from House. Chase and Foreman often butt heads on differences of opinion and a drugged up Cameron sleeps with Chase. Later in the series they become more intimate, but it's only for fun. Later later in the series they get married. Later later later in the series they get divorced. However, through all of this, Cameron never really has any romantic interest in Foreman ... fair enough, given that Foreman is an enormous jerk to her ... in one episode he steals her paper (not literally, he just writes a paper on the same case and beats her to print with it because he asked House to sign off on it instead of actually reading it, while Cameron was waiting for feedback) and deliberately tries to infect her with a disease he's picked up from a patient, despite the fact that it might be fatal, feeling that that will make her work harder to find a cure.
  • Ted, Marshall, and Lily in How I Met Your Mother have known each other way back in their college years before meeting Barney and Robin, the latter whom they met at the pilot episode. The romantic element is averted in that Ted only feels friendly love toward Lily and actively encourages Marshall to pursue her.
    • Played more straight with Ted, Barney and Robin, especially after Barney's feelings for Robin become evident in Season 4.
  • Jessica Jones (2015): Jessica Jones' inner circle is made up of Trish Walker and Malcolm Ducasse, making her a gender inversion of the trope.
  • In the third season of Merlin a lot more emphasis is placed on Gwen joining what was previously the Heterosexual Life Partnership of Arthur and Merlin to form a Power Trio destined to rule Camelot together as King, Queen and Advisor.
  • Two series about Time Travel: The Spanish The Ministry of Time and the American Timeless have two guys and a girl traveling in time on government-endorsed missions to avoid damage on history from rogue time travelers. And yes, the similarities caused a copyright infringement sue from the Spanish producers.
  • The Mod Squad, though Pete, Linc and Julie were all just friends with no romance or friction between them.
  • The reverse variant (Two Girls and a Guy) happens in at least one Monk episode. In "Mr. Monk Goes to a Rock Concert," Monk investigates the murder with assistance from Natalie and from the murder victim's girlfriend.
  • Power Rangers / Super Sentai:
  • Preacher: Jesse, Cassidy and Tulip.
  • Done with extreme subtlety in Robin Hood between Allan-a-Dale, Will Scarlett, and Djaq; in which both men use their feelings for Djaq as a way to galvanise Robin into action after she's been captured, and which afterwards was barely ever dwelt on again except in body language and passing comments.
    • Used again, far less successfully in Season 3 between Much, Allan, and Kate. Failed because Much and Allan had to suddenly become BFF after spending the first two seasons all but hating each other, Much completely forget about his previous Love Interest, the actors had more chemistry with each other than either of them did with the actress, and Kate was a rather pathetic Satellite Love Interest anyway. And then she hooked up with Robin, and the entire Love Triangle was forgotten entirely.
  • Later Smallville seasons with Clark, Lana, and Lex. Early seasons had Clark, Pete, and Chloe.
  • Oenimus, Gannicus, and Melitta in Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. It doesn't end well.
  • Steve, Jonathan, and Nancy in Stranger Things.
  • On Teen Wolf, a triangle is shaping up between Allison, Scott, and Isaac. Scott and Allison are still in love. Isaac is very close to Scott, and a romance with Allison later developed.
  • In Torchwood, especially the third season, Jack forms this with partner Ianto and Gwen. This comes after the Love Triangle with Jack as the center is resolved in the previous season.
  • On the Nickelodeon series The Troop, with Jake, Felix, and Hayley.
  • In Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, this is... well... very oddly averted when ALL THREE (Ryan Reynolds, Richard Ruccolo, and Traylor Howard) end up being paired off with OTHER people (Ryan with co-worker, Richard with Tiffani Thiessen, and Traylor with Nathan Fillion). Very... interesting to say the least.
  • Henrik, Glenn and Mira from Vintergatan. Henrik and Glenn always thought the other was the object of Mira's affections, and thus tried harder themselves — she just didn't care.
  • The Walking Dead has a perfect example of this, with Rick, Shane, and Lori.
  • Kevin, Paul, and Winnie in The Wonder Years.



    Pro Wrestling 

     Puppet Shows 

    Tabletop Games 

  • Mickey, Eddie, and Linda from Blood Brothers, the Dramatic Irony being that it's actually a Sibling Triangle but none of them know it.
  • Merrily We Roll Along has Frank, Charley, and Mary.
  • In The Star-Spangled Girl by Neil Simon, Norman becomes obsessed with Sophie, who can't stand him. Norman's roommate and best friend Andy resents Sophie for her politics and the fact that Norman is letting himself fall apart over her. Sophie hates Andy just as much for his politics and for being Norman's enabler. They hate each other. Yup. Sure do. Oh, you know where this is going.

  • The three main mascots of the Tamagotchi toys and general franchise are Mametchi, Memetchi, and Kuchipatchi. Of those three, Memetchi is the girl.

    Video Games 
  • Arc Rise Fantasia has L'Arc, Alf and Adele falling pretty neatly into this trope.
  • In later years, BioWare took to giving you two starting party members, both human, one man, one woman. So, with a male player character...
    • The social dynamic in Dragon Age: Origins is rather different, as Alistair and Morrigan hate each other. Mass Effect 2 fits best, as that is the only one in which there is an explicit attraction between your two starting squadmates (though it's in the past, and neither has any problem with Shepard dating the other).
    • Also in Dragon Age II, one of the starting companions is your sibling; the other becomes a widow within minutes of meeting her, and is not a romance option.
    • Done differently again in Dragon Age: Inquisition. The first three party members you meet are two guys and a girl, none of whom are romantically interested in each other. You may have the option to romance either the girl (but only if you're playing a male) or one of the guys (but only if you're playing a female elf).
  • The initial trio of Blue Dragon is made up of the Hot-Blooded Shu, his bookworm friend Jiro, and the orphan girl (and subject of Jiro's crush) Kluke. This later becomes Three Plus Two once Marumaru and Zola join the party.
  • The Bound from Bound by Blades, a trio of heroic animal warriors, consisting of Teo the swordsman cat, Kota the brawler bull, and Guren the rabbit archer who's the trio's sole female character.
  • The main characters of Bug Fables are an explorer team of three bugs, with Kabbu the beetle and Leif the moth as two guys, and Vi the honeybee as a girl. Though initially, Kabbu and Vi were the only members of the team, with Leif joining them later in the Snakemouth Den after being freed from the spider web.
  • Chaos Legion had Sieg Warheit (Victory of Honesty), Victor Delacroix (Victory of the Cross), and Seila Riviere — but the big split happened before the game started.
  • The three Player Characters of Corridor Z are Logan, Sgt. Williams (Two Guys) and Megan (A Girl).
  • Cuphead's boy duo, Cuphead and Mugman, becomes a trio with the addition of Ms. Chalice in the Delicious Last Course expansion.
  • The three player characters of the Crisis Crossover series Detectives United are a platonic version of this trope. Anna Gray will occasionally refer to her partners, James Blackthorne and Dorian Brown, as "the boys." They all three get along quite well (and as the series progresses they seem to be evolving into something of a Family of Choice), but none of them are potential love interests for either of the others. In fact, although the subject of their families hasn't been brought up in DU gameplay as yet, playing the characters' origin series reveals that Anna is married with a daughter, and James gets married in the final installment of his series. (Brown, meanwhile, seems to be a Confirmed Bachelor, although his birth family is involved in the plot of the fourth DU game.)
  • Detroit: Become Human has three main playable characters who are androids. They are Kara, Connor, and Markus.
  • Dragon Quest II: The hero party consists of the Prince of Midenhall, the Prince of Cannock, and the Princess of Moonbrooke. All three of them are immediate cousins, though, so no love triangle shenanigans happen.
  • Caim, Inuart, and Furiae in Drakengard. The tension is initially over the fact that Caim is much better at protecting Furiae than Inuart, her betrothed, is, but it evolves as the game progresses into a squicky Love Triangle long after Inuart becomes the Rival Turned Evil.
  • Fate/Grand Order:
    • Thomas Edison, Helena Blavatsky and Nikola Tesla form a trio since the final part of E Pluribus Unum (better known as the American singularity). Edison and Tesla are rivals who constantly bicker with each other, with Blavatsky acting as the friend who would mediate between the two.
    • There is also the very unusual trio of Gilgamesh, Enkidu (who is officially genderless, but most often treated as male), and Ishtar. Gilgamesh and Enkidu are best friends... and they are absolutely antagonistic towards Ishtar. Gilgamesh shows barely any respect towards her and loves to throw insults at her, especially when she's put in an embarrassing situation. Enkidu just outright hates Ishtar. Ishtar feels very annoyed by both of them and doesn't like them either.
  • Cecil, Kain, and Rosa from Final Fantasy IV.
  • Final Fantasy V messes with this trope a bit. When the team first comes together, it's two guys and a girl. But then Faris joins, and it's three guys and a girl. But then it turns out that Faris is a girl, and it's two guys and two girls. And then, after a spoilerific event, it becomes three girls and the token guy.
  • Squall, Rinoa, and Seifer from Final Fantasy VIII effectively play out the trope in spite of the fact that Rinoa doesn't enter the picture until all of them are teenagers and Seifer is already on his way from The Rival to Rival Turned Evil.
    • Although, to be fair, there was Selphie, and Quistis, and... you know what, I think it was a case of everybody wanting everybody else.
    • Quistis subverts it since although she's known Squall the longest, by the time Rinoa shows up she's long given up on being his lover and instead tries to be a replacement big sister. Fanfic writers are apt to ignore this character trait and play the trope straight.
  • Marche, Mewt, and Ritz from Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (not including Doned nor Montblanc, since they don't meet each other at the same time).
  • Toy Freddy, Toy Bonnie and Toy Chica from Five Nights at Freddy's 2 could count as this, as well as their counterparts from the first game.
  • In the first two Golden Axe games, Ax Battler and Gilius Thunderhead are the two guys to Tyris Flare's girl.
  • Matthew, Tyrell, and Karis from Golden Sun: Dark Dawn.
  • Grandia II fits this trope to a T with Ryudo, Melfice and Reena. Ryudo and Melfice are brothers, Reena is Melfice's fiancée. He ends up being possessed and killing her, after which he and Ryudo become enemies.
  • Haunted Hotel: Silent Waters has Maggie, Clark, and Bobby, whose plight kickstarts the plot. Maggie and Clark are a couple; Bobby is their friend with no romantic designs on either of them.
  • Depending on choices in Henry Stickmin Series, one of the paths of the final game has Henry teaming up with fellow convict Ellie Rose and Ace Pilot Charles Calvin to sabotage a rocket launch.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • The franchise is built around this, with almost all the Original Generation protagonists falling into these groups.
    • The original, series-long examples are Sora, Riku, and Kairi, who even have Theme Naming all to themselves. Played 100% straight — Riku is the Rival Turned Evil because he wants to be the one to save Kairi, and doesn't want the rival who's always been one step behind one-upping him as The Chosen One. He gets over it in the sequels.
    • Ven, Terra, and Aqua in Birth by Sleep are a parallel to the above trio, complete with the same Theme Naming. There's less implied romance, with Terra and Aqua taking a more "parental" role to Ven, who's only a few years younger but has no memories besides training with them. While nobody turns evil this time, all three of them do end up in conflict for most of the game's plot due to some really poor communication and misunderstandings between them.
    • Roxas, Axel and Xion in 358/2 Days. In this case, Axel is a Knight Templar Big Brother who enters Psycho Supporter territory once things get really tragic. Like Riku and Sora, he and Roxas also end up fighting each other after being separated from Xion's influence (albeit for much different reasons than the latter two boys).
    • The two groups from Twilight Town with Hayner, Olette and Pence against Seifer, Fuu and Rai. However, both of these trios are decidedly less unstable and/or toxic than the main characters' trios.
  • Among the whole slew of teams in The King of Fighters series, the canonical team would be the "Three Sacred Treasures" Team, made of Kyo Kusanagi, Iori Yagami, and Chizuru Kagura. Other teams with this kind of lineups include Team K (Maxima, Kula and K himself), Team Mexico (Ramón, Angel and King Of Dinosaurs), Team South America (Nelson, Zarina and Bandeiras Hattori), Team Kim (Luong, Gang-il and Kim himself) , Team Ikari Warriors (Ralf, Clark and Leona), Team Psycho Soldier (Athena, Kensou and Chin), and Team Art Of Fighting (Ryo, Robert and Yuri).
  • The three holders of the Triforce from any The Legend Of Zelda game are Link, Ganon(dorf), and Zelda.
  • Mother:
    • EarthBound Beginnings is the only game in the series with a party of only three members, which is a party of two guys and a girl, even when Teddy replaces Lloyd.
    • Even though it's actually three guys and a girl, for a long part of EarthBound this is the basic formation. It even goes back to Two Guys and a Girl later in the game, as Poo leaves temporarily in order to learn PK Starstorm and rejoins them later.
    • Mother 3 has a party of two guys, a girl and a dog (for the most part) so it is an example of this trope, kind of.
  • The three main puppets from 123 Slaughter Me Street are the Follower, the Greeter, and the Waiter, although not many people are actually aware that the Greeter is a girl.
  • The big three of the original Overwatch strike team, Jack Morrison AKA Soldier: 76, Gabriel Reyes AKA Reaper and Ana Amari, have this dynamic.
  • In the Generation III and IV main Pokémon games, as well as the remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silver (and Pokémon Black and White if the player selects Hilbert), there is always the protagonist, their rival and their opposite-gender player character/pseudo-rival; though how much they actually interact tends to vary. One female and two males. It's also extremely popular to depict the two player characters and rival this way in fanworks of games that use the traditional two playable character options and one rival, whether the two player characters actually can meet in-game or not.
  • The main trio of Professor Layton 's Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box and Professor Layton and the Unwound Future consists of Layton, Luke, and Flora. In the prequel games, the trio is Layton, Luke, and Emmy.
  • Stocke, Marco and Raynie from Radiant Historia could be this, except Marco seems more brotherly to Raynie than anything.
    • Alternately, Stocke, Rosch and Sonja. In one Side Quest, when Stocke confronts Rosch about his feelings, Sonja overhears and runs off. If Stocke goes to comfort her, it's a Bad End. If Stocke pushes Rosch to chase after her, though, the two hook up.
  • The Scooby-Doo video game Scooby-Doo, Who's Watching Who? had Mystery, Inc. compete with a rival team of paranormal sleuths on a reality show called Ghost Scene Investigation. The Ghost Scene Investigation team consisted of two males (Dr. Scott O'Mulligan and Monty Caswell) and one female (Professor Lorelei Leigh).
  • Shin Megami Tensei franchise
    • The three main characters of Megami Tensei II (who are all nameable) follow this trope. The Protagonist and his Friend are two young men living in an underground fallout shelter when they are sent on a journey as the Messiahs of legend by Pazuzu, who claims to be a messenger of God. Later on, the two of them meet the "Witch of Tokyo Tower", a young woman who tells them that Pazuzu has been manipulating them so that he may rule Tokyo. The Protagonist believes her story and sides with her but the Friend doesn't, and leaves the Protagonist while vowing that the next time they meet, they would be enemies. Sure enough, they end up fighting a few times through the course of the game with the Friend eventually becoming the Dark Hero and later dying in battle against the demon Bael.
    • Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne has the Protagonist and his two friends Isamu and Chiaki. All three of them were close friends in school before the Conception and in the Drama CD, Isamu even implies that Chiaki and the Protagonist have some mutual romantic attraction to each other. However, that's where the extent of this trope ends because Isamu clearly does not have any feelings for Chiaki and instead of just him undergoing a Face–Heel Turn, both he and Chiaki go through one. The Protagonist can then choose which one of them he wants to side with or even not to side with either of them at all.
    • Persona 3: the groups of three introduced in the plot (though for the second and third points, the protagonist is a wild card case for Portable, thus, this trope only applies if the player chose the male protagonist's route):
      • The initial members of S.E.E.S. (the third-years) — Akihiko, Shinjiro, and Mitsuru
      • The initial playable party members (the second-years) — The male protagonist, Junpei, and Yukari
      • The people present at the flashback scene at Moonlight Bridge — The male protagonist, Ryoji, and Aigis
      • The members of Strega — Takaya, Jin, Chidori
    • Persona 4: The founding members of the Investigation Team are the protagonist, Yosuke, and Chie. Teddie doesn't quite count, since he didn't have a Persona at the time.
    • Persona 5: They have the protagonist, Ryuji, and Ann. (you can count Morgana if you want to)
      • in Royal, they have the protagonist, Goro, and Sumire.
    • Both Devil Survivor games have this as their initial power trio, though it's more pronounced with the hero, Atsuro and Yuzu in the first game (none of the other party members can join until at least Day 3, and many of them don't join until Day 7, whereas Devil Survivor 2's trio of the hero, Daichi, and Io are joined by Joe before the end of Day 1).
  • Koudelka starts with the title character, who then encounters the two guys, Edward and James, during her mission.
  • Maxi, Kilik, and Xianghua from the Soul Series. They're companions for the most part, but in the fourth game, Maxi diverges from Kilik and Xianghua for his own story. Kilik and Xianghua, meanwhile, are Star-Crossed Lovers...
    • . Xianghua has a daughter, and she's wearing Kilik's pendant, which probably means that he's the father, but it also seems that Kilik is forced to become the new weapons master, meaning he is not allowed to stay with her.
  • In the first Streets of Rage game, Axel Stone and Adam Hunter are the two guys to Blaze Fielding's girl.
  • Hero (Ryou), Jowy, and Nanami from Suikoden II. Literally Because Destiny Says So.
  • Some depictions of Mario, Luigi, and Peach from Super Mario Bros. put them like this.
  • Denim, Vice, and Kachua from Tactics Ogre. In a way, Vice is two people. Depending on whether the player as Denim chooses to do an evil act or not at the end of the first chapter, Vice chooses to do the opposite and opposes Denim. Villain Vice and Hero Vice do not resemble each other in the slightest.
  • Asbel, Sophie and Richard in Tales of Graces. When they were children, the three carved their names in a tree as a vow of friendship.
    • Also Malik, Kurtz and Lobelia.
  • Subverted in Tales of Symphonia, where Lloyd, Colette and Genis are all childhood friends, but Genis prefers Presea. Mostly because they're around the same age or so he thinks.
  • In the Warcraft backstory, the brothers Malfurion and Illidan Stormrage and Tyrande. Played more or less straight, even to the point where Tyrande is kidnapped and the feuding brothers have to work together to save her.
  • The first Wild ARMs game has three playable characters, Rudy Roughnight, Jack Van Burace, and Cecilia Lynne Adlehyde. Rudy and Cecilia have a few romantic moments throughout the game but that's it. Jack never has a Face–Heel Turn or betrays the party.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3: When it comes to the three members of the main team of Keves soldiers, Noah, Eunie, and Lanz, Eunie is the only girl. Ironically, when it comes to Agnes, Taion is the only guy in the group. This is just one of the things that connects Eunie and Taion together.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Ace Attorney saga gets one in the fifth game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies with Phoenix Wright, Apollo Justice and newcomer Athena Cykes being the protagonists of the story. While there are no romantic subplots between them, there's something that can resemble a rivalry near the end of the game when Apollo gets into a fight with Phoenix over Athena's innocence.
    • There's also the Themis Legal Academy kids: Hugh O'Conner, Robin Newman and Juniper Woods. They play this trope straight with both Robin and Hugh being rivals and fighting over Juniper's affection. That is until the big reveal, when the situation turns into a Two Girls and a Guy setup.
  • Amnesia: Memories has Shin, Toma, and the heroine. Each route alters how close they are in terms of their relations to each other, though a romantic rivalry only appears on Shin's route.
  • In Danganronpa, the Power Trio of the main games, dubbed Trial Point Getters by the devs, are like this. In the first game, there are Makoto Naegi, Kyoko Kirigiri and Byakuya Togami, though the interaction between them only fits if you put Naegi in the 'girl' role. The second game has Hajime Hinata, Chiaki Nanami, and Nagito Komaeda, which is played slightly straighter though not without some weird twist because of Komaeda's Blue-and-Orange Morality.
  • Shiki's backstory fits this perfectly in Tsukihime, with a "sister" Akiha and her real brother SHIKI as the other guy and Big Bad.

  • The Croaking has Scra and Ky (the two guys) and Ree (girl) as the main trio meeting at an elite military academy for avians.
  • 'Two guys and a girl' appears to be the fundamental adventuring unit of the RPG-influenced setting of Dominic Deegan; apparently a sort of unofficial custom or cosmic thing. Greg, Dominic, and Luna did it at the very beginning, but there are three plot-significant triads whose Love Triangle problems cause big drama.
    • In the backstory, Donovan, Miranda, and Karnak were an adventuring party of a dual-classed bard and swordsman, an outrageously powerful female wizard, and a barbarian warrior. Miranda and Donovan were a couple. Karnak liked Miranda. Karnak chose a very bad time and method to declare for her, then thought better of it and sacrificed himself to save Miranda and the world with little actual harm done, but it appears to have been a significant factor in his damnation anyway. The Demon Lord Karnak has recurred as various types of antagonist and problem for the entire run of the comic.
    • During the second major storyline, 'Visions of Doom,' we are introduced to the trio of Siegfried, Jayden, and Milov; Siegfried was the third recurring character to appear in the strip, but here he got friends and a more fleshed-out character, including his first real moral victory at the end. They reappear regularly and their story eventually becomes very tragic.
    • And at the end of the 'Battle For Barthis' storyline, Mookie introduced Grench, Stonewater, and Bulgak. As in the other two cases, the group is split up when the un-chosen man winds up going to hell, but it happens earlier and a little less tragically this time. Both parties reappear during 'The March Across Maltak' and 'The Court of Karnak,' although Grench becomes much less significant after the Love Triangle is resolved, not having a prophesied destiny or an exposition-heavy Redemption Quest.
      • Miranda escapes this post-triangle sidelining only because she's the main character's mother and one of the most powerful magic users in the kingdom. Also she and Donovan are possibly the most prominent Beta Couple, and definitely the one with the least issues.
  • The formula of this webcomic, only with added Ho Yay.
  • Elliot, Tedd (despite what he looks like and his tendency to transform into a female), and Sarah in the beginning of El Goonish Shive before the plot kicks off.
  • And of course, Agatha/Gil/Tarvek in Girl Genius, with the variant that she's the protagonist, not either of the guys.
  • The God of High School has Jin, Daewi, and Mira.
  • Juathuur has at least three examples of this trope. However, it is somewhat unusual as one of the girls is the main character, and there is no rivalry at all between her squad-mates.
  • Ben Winchester, Jodie Beretta and Eric Remington in Loserz, though there is no attraction between them.
  • Project 0 seems to be starting off this way
  • In Prophecy of the Circle it's a part of the backstory of Jacind, Yaren, and Calterra, a first thing out of many that would over time erode the three's friendship.
  • Two Guys and Guy, which lampshades the trope by naming the girl "Guy". Frank has zero interest in Guy (or anything except Mad Science, really), while Wayne's occasional efforts towards Guy invariably end in pain.
  • Remi, Blyke, and Isen from Unordinary are usually seen together. When Remi goes on her superhero missions, the two boys accompany her.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Ickis, Krumm, and Oblina in Aaahh!!! Real Monsters.
  • The Adventures of Dawdle the Donkey: Rola, Archie, and Dawdle.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball: Gumball, Darwin, and Anais.
  • Animaniacs: Yakko, Wakko, and Dot are a sibling team version of the trope.
  • Aang, Katara, and Sokka in Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang and Sokka being the guys and Katara being the girl. But this trope gets averted when Toph, Suki, and Zuko join Team Avatar.
  • Ben, Gwen, and Kevin in Ben 10: Alien Force; the romantic element is missing from part of the triangle, in that Ben and Gwen are first cousins and grew up almost Like Brother and Sister. Still, Ben and Kevin have something of a rivalry, since Kevin was formerly an enemy of theirs, and Kevin and Gwen's mutual attraction factors into the boys' antagonism.
    • It is usually played straight in fanfiction, however.
  • Mr. Bumpy, Squishington and Molly Coddle in Bumpinthe Night
  • The Greaser Dogs from CatDog consist of Cliff (Male), Lube (Male), and Shriek (Female).
  • Rudy, Snap and Penny in ChalkZone.
  • The main trio in Chuggington consists of Wilson (Male), Brewster (Male), and Koko (Female).
  • Vlad, Jack, and Maddie in Danny Phantom.
    • And in a non love triangle way, the main characters, Danny, Sam and Tucker.
    • Dash, Paulina, and Kwan are usually seen hanging out together, although Paulina only has eyes for the "Ghost Boy" (A.K.A. Danny Phantom, Danny's superhero alter ego) and gets extremely annoyed when Dash flirts with her.
  • Defenders of the Earth has Rick, LJ, and Jedda. Also, "The Lost Jewels of Tibet" sees Mandrake and Lothar teamed up with a female explorer.
  • The Dragon Prince has two brothers, Callum and Ezran, collaborating with an elven assassin named Rayla.
  • Milo, Oscar, and Bea in Fish Hooks.
  • Although the show has many characters, the basic trio is represented by Fry, Leela and Bender in Futurama.
  • In Gargoyles it would be Goliath, Bronx, and Elisa Maza during the Avalon World Tour arc.
  • Ghost Force has Andy, his sister Liv, and their friend Mike.
  • Grim, Billy, and Mandy in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy.
  • Harvey, Foo and Fee in Harvey Beaks.
  • The Hollow: Adam, Kai, and Mira form this. The same goes for the other team of humans.
  • Jake And The Neverland Pirates has Jake as the main character and his crew includes Izzy who’s a girl, and Cubby who’s a boy subverted when you include their male parrot as a part of the team. Izzy also counts as The Smurfette Principle as she’s the only girl to appear in every single episode of the show.
  • Jimmy, Beezy, and Heloise on Jimmy Two-Shoes, though the Love Triangle is replaced by a Friend Versus Lover plot instead.
  • Jojo: The Violet Mystery has Jojo, Fat Louis, and Violet, especially once the boys are friends with Violet at the end.
  • In the Kim Possible episode "Steel Wheels", Ron Stoppable, Kim Possible, and Felix Renton (even though he isn't a main character).
  • Korra, Mako, and Bolin in the Sequel Series The Legend of Korra until Asami Sato joins them.
  • Sarah, James, and Henri in Liberty's Kids.
  • Martin Mystery: Martin, Diana, and Java.
  • Subverted and Played for Laughs like everything else in Megas XLR. The hero (Coop) is a fat slob, The Lancer (Kiva) is the female in the trio, and The Heart (Jamie) spends his time cowering in fear.
  • K, J and L in most episodes of Men in Black, albeit L is technically not a field agent, she's often taking part on field operations.
  • Middlemost Post: Parker and Angus are both guys and Russell is a girl.
  • The Spiritual Successor to Phineas and Ferb, Milo Murphy's Law, gives us Milo, Zack, and Melissa.
  • Mo, Mimi, and Hitch in Moville Mysteries, although none of them has romantic feelings for each other.
  • Willy]m, Quincy, and Alyssa from My Dad the Rock Star. While Quincy did not have any feelings for Alyssa, his fears of becoming an unwanted third wheel when Alyssa and Willy hooked-up lead him to attempting to sabotage their relationship. The three all work it out within the span of the episode, though.
  • Ōban Star-Racers: Molly, Jordan, and Aikka. They also count as a Freudian Trio as well.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: The trio of best friends who work together at Gar's Bodega and fight bad guys together: K.O. and Radicles are the guys, Enid's the girl. It's devoid of romance for the most part, though; Rad and Enid had one date back in middle school that didn't work out, and in the present, despite K.O. shipping them and a bit of Unresolved Sexual Tension that crops up here and there, they're close-but-platonic friends. Meanwhile, there's no romantic aspect between them and K.O. as they are both around 7-12 years older than he is, and play the role of Big Sibling Mentors instead.
  • Oswald has the titular Oswald, Henry, and Daisy as being the main trio of friends.
  • Phineas and Ferb and Isabella form a trio distinct from the Five-Man Band of Phineas, Ferb, Isabella, Buford, and Baljeet, particularly in the earlier episodes where the others hadn't become regulars yet. However, Ferb is completely supportive of Isabella's crush on Phineas and appears to have no designs on her himself.
  • PJ Masks has the three heroes Connor, Greg, and Amaya. Season 2 introduces the Wolfy Kids: Howler, Kevin and Rip.
  • Plastic Man, Penny and Hula Hula in The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show.
  • Jet, Sean, and Sydney from Ready Jet Go!
  • Ky, Boomer, and Maya in Redakai.
  • The titular Rick and Morty (who are grandfather and grandson) are sometimes joined on their adventures by Summer (Rick's granddaughter and Morty's older sister), making them a family variety of this rather than the romantic version.
  • As mentioned in the literature section; Luke, Resus and Cleo in Scream Street.
  • SheZow has Guy Hamdon, his sister Kelly and his best friend Maz. There's no romance between any of them, though the show still manages to include plenty of Ho Yay between Guy and Maz as a result of Guy's situation.
  • This is present, to some degree, in The Spectacular Spider-Man: Peter, Gwen, and Harry have apparently been best buddies since at least the seventh grade. However, this trope goes into effect when Harry and Gwen begin dating, despite Gwen's greater interest in Peter, who at the time was dating Liz Allan.
  • In Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, with Spidey (Peter Parker), Iceman (Bobby Drake) and Firestar (Angelica Jones).
  • In Spidey and His Amazing Friends, with Spidey (Peter Parker), Spin (Miles Morales) and Ghost Spider (Gwen Stacy).
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars has Anakin, Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan, following the same dynamic as the trios in the Star Wars films.
  • Lance, Ilana, and Octus/Newton in Sym-Bionic Titan.
  • Baloo, Kit, and Rebecca in most episodes of TaleSpin.
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) episode "The Tale of Master Yoshi", we discover that Splinter's owner/father figure, Hamato Yoshi, grew up forming part of this configuration, with the other guy being Yukio Mashimi (his best friend/adoptive brother), and with the girl being Tang Shen, (their adoptive sister/mutual love interest). While things were initially fine, everything goes south once Tang Shen chooses Yoshi, resulting in a quick and tragic end to the friendship.
  • Thomas & Friends:
    • Duck's three slip coaches from "Duck and the Slip Coaches" follow this trope, with the first and third ones being male, and the second one being female.
    • The three harbor cranes at Brendam Docks follow this trope as well, with Cranky (Male) Big Mickey (Male), and Carly (Female).
    • Sir Robert Norramby's engines also follow this trope, with Stephen (Male), Glynn (Male), and Millie (Female).
    • The Experimental Engines from Journey Beyond Sodor also follow this trope, with Merlin (Male), Theo (Male), and Lexi (Female).
  • Transformers examples:
    • In The Transformers Marvel comics, the human trio consisted of Buster, Jessie, and "O". It all lasted until the seventh issue, wherein "O" was written out of the series.
    • The Transformers:
      • Dion, Orion Pax and Ariel. Ariel and Orion were in a relationship at the time of a Decepticon attack that left all three "dead". Orion was rebuilt into Optimus Prime and Ariel into Elita One, the two continuing their relationship. Dion's fate has been murky since: popular fanon suggested he had been rebuilt into Ultra Magnus or otherwise Ironhide, which later canon implied to be true for Ultra Magnus. Then an interview revealed Dion was supposed to be dead (which also was Ariel's original fate — she wasn't originally conceived to be Elita One). Then another comic stated Dion had survived and went on by that identity. Then Hasbro stated Dion was dead. Either way, the old friendship seems gone.
      • Averted with Spike, Carly and Chip. Spike shared episodes with either of his two friends, but there notably never was an episode in which both of them appeared. The only exception of sorts is the Japanese Scramble City OVA, in which there was one screen featuring them both with their backs turned towards each other. Starting Season 3, Spike was the only human to keep the regular spot. Carly got three appearances, but the plan to feature Chip in one episode got cancelled. Carly appeared more regularly in the Japanese "Season 4" Transformers: ★Headmasters, but only in the role of wife and mother.
    • In the IDW comics, it's Jimmy Pink, Hunter O'Nion and Verity Carlo.
    • Alexis, Carlos and Rad in Transformers: Armada. In the comics, Rad and Alexis were heading for a relationship when it got cancelled.
    • Sentinel, Optimus and Elita-1 used to be one of these in Transformers: Animated. Then Elita got turned into a techno-organic spider, took on a Femme Fatale persona and joined the Decepticons, Optimus became an Elite Guard washout and was put on a space bridge repair crew, and Sentinel became a Jerkass. Well, bigger Jerkass.
    • In Transformers: Prime, we have Jack, Miko and Raf. It subverts the "the girl has to be the reasonable one" expectation by having Miko be the adrenaline-lover (as the fan wiki put it, the "anti-Alexis").
  • Verne, Gus and Cassie from Ultimate Book of Spells are this to a T.
  • Daniel, Vince, and Larmina on Voltron Force.
  • Ansi, Olly, and Saraline from Welcome to the Wayne.
  • Wishfart has Dez, Puffin and Akiko.
  • Work It Out Wombats! has the wombat brothers (Malik and Zeke) and their sister (Zadie).
  • Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum: Xavier, Brad and Yadina.