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Vagabond Buddies

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"Well, that's another nice mess you've gotten me into!"

Two funny guys who travel around the world (often in the Hollywood Atlas version), and though often at odds with each other are ultimately inseparable. They take on various odd jobs, Short Cons and capers, often to pay off their debts. They can go flat broke even quicker.

They often will have to compete for the affections of one local girl who assists them in their escapades.

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Examples:

Anime and Manga

Film

  • The Road to ... movies with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby (and Dorothy Lamour as the love interest) are the Trope Codifier.
  • In many of the Laurel and Hardy films, they are impoverished and looking for work. Occasionally they are even homeless. It varies from short to short though, with no established continuity.
  • Many The Three Stooges shorts follow this formula, with the stooges working odd jobs to get by or even begging on the street. Helps that it was the Great Depression. They often lose jobs due to their bungling.

Literature

  • George and Lenny from Of Mice & Men are the Trope Codifier examples, being two hobos that follow the train tracks looking for work. Many works after that employed this trope were either inspired by or parodying them.
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  • Ostap Bender and whoever he is travelling with (Ippolit Matveevich in The Twelve Chairs and the duo Balaganov & Panikovsky in The Little Golden Calf). Subverted in that his buddyships ultimately go sour: Ippolit betrays him out of greed, Panikovsky dies and Balaganov gets arrested.

Live-Action TV

  • Sam and Dean from Supernatural do a lot of traveling. As Dean puts it "Dad wants us to pick up where he left off. Saving people. Hunting things. The family business."
  • Doctor Who:
    • The First Doctor and Vicki would have this kind of dynamic, especially in their historicals - usually, Ian and Barbara would get into trouble, and the Doctor and Vicki would attempt to resolve that trouble through the Doctor excessively meddling in a Crazy Awesome way, with Vicki helping him out with Stereo Fibbing and the occasional spot of theft. This dynamic proved so popular that later Doctor/companion duos became more common (as opposed to the rotating quartet of Hartnell) and tended to be of the "Doctor and cheery supporter" mold rather than "Doctor and Foil" - notably the Second Doctor and Jamie, the Third Doctor and Jo, the Fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane, the Eighth Doctor and Grace, the Ninth/Tenth Doctor and Rose, and so on.
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Theatre

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • Naturally, given that it's styled after the Road to ... movies listed above, The Road to El Dorado had Miguel and Tulio. They have lots of comedic shenanigans traveling to El Dorado and and more places, including competing over Chilo.
  • George and Junior from Tex Avery's MGM shorts are this, though with a lot more animosity, chiefly from George to Junior. They start most of their shorts as hobos following the railroad tracks looking for work or a bite to eat.
  • Hanna-Barbera had Lippy the Lion and Hardy Har Har (the latter being a lugubrious hyena) in 1962, with each episode depicting the duo roaming about the world as Lippy hatches his latest Get-Rich-Quick Scheme. Thirteen years later, they would create Lippy and Hardy expies The Great Grape Ape and Beegle Beagle.
  • Brian and Stewie on the various "The Road to..." episodes of Family Guy. They're specifically homages of the Crosby/Hope films, played surprisingly straight for Family Guy. They travel the globe to their destination, sticking together through thick and thin (and usually conning their way through various situations).

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