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Thicker Than Water / Western Animation

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  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Averted with Azula. Even after she's tried to kill him, Zuko believes Iroh subscribes to this in regards to Azula. Iroh corrects him on that part.
    Iroh: No, she's crazy, and she needs to go down.
    • By the time of the comics, Zuko himself decides to follow this belief. Most notably in The Search, he still pays occasional visits to his imprisoned father and institutionalized sister and have tea with them. His friends and allies think he's being too sentimental towards those who made his life completely miserable. During the climax of the story, Zuko flat-out says to Azula that, while it will never stop him from stopping her when it matters, he will always care for her because she is his sister. It actually genuinely touches Azula, who has spent her entire life believing love is conditional.
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    • In season 1 while everyone crashes into each other at Avatar Roku’s temple, Roku only lets the loyal Fire Sage and Zuko go out of all the Fire Nation characters. The former because he’s doing the right thing but it’s this trope for the latter as he finds out in season 3 that Roku is his great-grandfather.
  • The original Ben 10 series has cousins Ben and Gwen as this. They bicker and argue almost constantly, but when things truly become bad, they'd do anything to help each other out. Not that they'd actually vocalize it, though. Later installments in the same timeline have them openly care about their familial bond as they get older, with the 2016 reboot having them behave like best friends.
  • In The Brothers Flub the titular brothers Guapo and Fraz often act like they hate each other and argue a lot. Fraz even wishes he didn’t have a brother. However, they have stuck by each other for a long time and have shown affection and loyalty towards each other.
  • Futurama:
    • Fry brings up this trope when the Professor is deciding who will succeed him in "A Clone of My Own".
      Fry: Sorry, everyone, but need I remind you? Blood is thicker than water.
      Zoidberg: Really? [writing] Blood... thicker... water.
    • And in the "Beast with a Billion Backs" we find out Fry's is as thick as pancake syrup.
  • Gravity Falls: Grunkle Stan would do anything for his family, such as heroically fighting a pterodactyl so his grandniece would be happy , risking the apocalypse to bring back his brother and willingly let Ford erase his memory just to save his family.
  • Hey Arnold!:
    • Helga's parents are several shades of neglectful to her but aren't straight up physically abusive or (intentionally) emotionally abusive, despite what many fans think. Bob is outright horrified with himself when he almost kills Helga in the Halloween Episode, due to believing her and her friends were actual aliens.
    Big Bob: "It'll make me a ton money, and what's good for me is good for all the Pataki's, if you catch my drift, Helga."
    Helga: (to herself) "Alas, I ran again, torn between two forces. Arnold's foolish idealism… and my father's unbridled greed. And this time, I fear blood is thicker than water. Oh, curse the day I was born a Pataki!"
    • Helga overall has a very bad relationship with her big sister Olga, who receives most of the praise and affectionation by her parents due to being so talented and a perfectionist. It's an one-sided Sibling Rivalry as Olga is very much into her sister. When Helga changes one of Olga's grades to a B- Olga spirals into a sobbing, horrible depression. Helga is pleased at first however once she talks to Arnold about the issue she realizes what a terrible thing she did was and confesses.
  • Kaeloo: Twin sisters Pretty and Eugly will do anything to defend each other. Eugly will beat up anyone who tries to hurt Pretty. And Pretty, despite how mean she usually is to her sister, won't hesitate to get angry at anyone who is mean to her. Even if that someone is her crush.
  • Kim Possible:
    • In "Go Team Go", Shego gets hold of a staff that contains all of Team Go's powers, and then loses it rather easily:
      Wade: Boy, it sounds like it got ugly. Do you really think Shego would have gone through with it?
      Kim: We're talking about Shego? (thoughtful) But I've got to say it was pretty easy to get that power staff from her…
      (cut to Drakken and Shego)
      Drakken: Now that I know the whole story, I think you secretly wanted to lose.
      Shego: What?
      Drakken: That's right. You wanted your brothers to get their powers back. You don't really have it in you to betray them.
      Shego: Are you saying that I'm going SOFT?!
      Drakken: As a marshmallow!
      [A Gilligan Cut later, Drakken is holding to the reactors of the still flying mecha]
      Drakken: Shego, I take it back! You're not a softy! SHEGO!!!!!
    • Averted in "Car Alarm", where Drakken's cousin Motor Ed breaks Shego out of prison but leaves Drakken behind to rot.
  • My Life as a Teenage Robot
    Jenny: After all the bad stuff I said…
    XJ8: That's what sisters are for.
    XJ6: Oil is thicker than water.
    XJ4: But so much harder to get out of a carpet.
    XJ5: A few harsh words aren't going to break up the XJs.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle:
  • Static Shock: Averted in one episode when a hero faces down his evil brother.
    Ebon: Hey, this ain't no way to treat a brother, brother.
    Rubber-Band Man: Don't hand me that 'brother' stuff. You played me, Ivan.
    Ebon: Come on, blood is thicker than water.
    Rubber-Band Man: And right and wrong are thicker than blood. *cue Curbstomp Battle*
  • Young Justice:
    • Aqualad comment on this.
      Aqualad: "Blood is thicker than sea water."
    • Subverted with Aqualad himself. In season 2 it seemed he had switched sides to be with his villainous father, however in reality he is an inside agent on a mission. Only his teammates Wally, Dick, Artemis, and Zatanna know this. Miss Martian believing he was really a villain led to her temporarily destroying his mind, and her subsequently falling into a Heroic BSoD after realizing her error.
    • Artemis is a superhero while her older sister Jade is a supervillain (Cheshire). Despite them getting along poorly they do care for each other. When Jade believes Artemis has been killed by Aqualad she tries to get revenge.
  • In one episode of Action League NOW!, The Flesh meets a couple who claim to be his long-lost parents; actually, they're a pair of crooks who want his Super Strength to rob a house. When the rest of the League comes to tell him this, Flesh is forced to choose between his friends or the parents he's always wanted. The Lemony Narrator asks at the Cliffhanger, "Is action blood thicker than action water? And what exactly does that mean?" In the end, Flesh chooses his faux-parents, but by this time they're so fed up with his destructive bungling that they confess to the ruse anyway.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • After a failed assassination attempt on Unalaq, Tonraq (his brother and the accused for being part of the rebellion) says that even though he and his brother have their differences, he would never harm him in any way. Unalaq, however… doesn't feel the same way. In keeping with the trope, Tonraq chooses to comply with whatever decisions his brother has made in order to prevent conflict, but once he finds out Unalaq was behind his banishment all along, all compromises are off.
    • Notably averted between Asami and her father, Hiroshi Sato. Even after Asami found out her father was one of Amon's right-hand men, he didn't want to hurt her. If anything, he still cared for her enough. However, his hatred got the best of him, and Asami could not return the sentiment after he tried to harm her friends. Hiroshi's betrayal scarred Asami really badly to the point where she flat out wanted nothing to do with him.
  • Rugrats:
    • Angelica is as close to a villain as a three year old can get. Her baby cousin Tommy and his friends are the main target of her manipulation and teasing. Angelica does display her softer side occasionally, increasingly as the series goes on (though whether it's Villain Decay or character development depends on the fan).
    • In the first movie Tommy does not take lightly to having a new brother. He feels Dil is overshadowing him and thinks he's annoying. At one point Tommy even tries to abandon Dil to be with the monkeys; however by the end of the film he realizes how important Dil is to him. Afterwards he is depicted as a caring, protective sibling in Rugrats itself and in the Sequel Series All Grown Up!.
  • Frequently done between cousins Ben and Gwen in the original Ben 10. They often argue but when push comes to shove they have their heartwarming moments:
    • In an episode of Ben 10 where Ben is stuck as an alien and kidnapped by an "alien hunter", Gwen sees him trapped in a glass jar and says:
    Gwen: [the alien hunter] can't torture Ben like that, only I can torture Ben like that!
    • Another one takes place in the movie, Secret of The Omnitrix, when Ben thinks that Gwen is dead. He breaks down crying (something he never did in the entire series), and runs to hug her when it turns out she wasn't.
  • Max from Max and Ruby can be bratty and he doesn't always listen to Ruby but he's shown to care for her nevertheless.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Lisa and Bart sometimes have these moments, though it's also obvious that the only thing fragmenting their relationship is just Sibling Rivalry. Still, you find moments where something a significant fallout happens between them then they make up and realize they're still family. The episode "Barthood", a parody of Boyhood, has Bart feel like an inferior shadow to Lisa his entire life yet as an adult he made a mural dedicated to his love for her.
      • The best episode has to be "Lisa on Ice", where despite all their rivalries all episode in hockey, they hold hands and skate together at the end, ignoring the big game and just enjoying each other. Another contender is "'Round Springfield", where Bart spends his entire lawsuit settlement to buy Lisa Bleeding Gums Murphy's album because she was the only one who believed he was actually sick.
    • Subverted with Mr. Burns and his long lost son, Larry. When they meet, Burns is happy to have a son, but is frustrated by his boorish behavior. To regain his dad's love, Larry and Homer stage a fake kidnapping. When it all falls apart, Larry confesses to his stunt. Ultimately, Burns does love Larry, and forgives him for his hoax, but can't accept him as a human being, so he leaves Springfield.
  • Rocket Power:
    • The episode "Twisting Places." After Twister snapped Lars back into Big Brother Bully mode, his cronies insulted Twister with him, and then Lars tells them "Only I can pick on Twister! It's a brother thing."
    • In the episode "Escape From Lars Mountain" when Lars and his crew attempt to leave Twister and his crew lost in the woods, and Twister turns the prank back on him by making him think he fell off a cliff and died. At that moment Lars confesses that "Just because it's more fun to be mean to him than it is to be nice, that doesn't mean I don't care about him."
  • Candace has moments like this towards her brothers (though Ferb is unrelated by blood) on Phineas and Ferb. In this case, though, the rivalry is only ever one-sided; Phineas and Ferb always have an upbeat and helpful attitude toward her.
  • Cree and Abigail Lincoln from Codename: Kids Next Door have several of these moments. They might be arch-enemies, but they're also sisters. (In fact, in "Operation: M.A.U.R.I.C.E.", where Abby almost considered giving up, convinced that she was getting older and was certain to end up like Cree eventually, Cree was almost overjoyed, suggesting that she is very willing to reconcile, so long as it's on her terms. However, a pep talk from a Fake Defector told Abby that she could take a different route.
  • Dexter's Laboratory:
    • Word of God says that deep down, Dexter really does love his sister even though he'll never admit it. He has, on a couple of occasions successfully gotten Dee Dee out of his lab. Only to find that while the peace and quiet may be nice at first, in the long run, he's absolutely miserable without her. One point, when she was taken away by aliens, he was reduced to tears begging for her return.
    • In another episode where Dexter thought he was going to die, his parting gift to Dee Dee was to let her happily run wild in his lab.
    • When the two were auditioning to be Major Glory's sidekick, Dee Dee insulted Dexter and laughed at him for thinking he could ever win the title. When Dee Dee gets hurt by a gang of Glory's villains ambushing the audition Dexter went into a berserker rage and took out the whole gang single-handedly. At the end of that same episode, Dee Dee turns down Major Glory's offer of being his side.
  • CatDog:
    • Cat sometimes has these moments toward Dog, despite all the trouble Dog gets him in. One good example is in "CatDog 3001," where CatDog is sent to the future so Dog can help the fight against a giant descendant of Winslow (It Makes Sense in Context). They end up separated so Dog can fight alone. Dog ends up defeated, and when Cat sees what happened to his brother, he puts them back together and defeats the bad guy. Now that is brotherly love.
    • In "Full Moon Fever," Dog turns into a werewolf due to the full moon. Cat decides to let him get it out of his system, and he ends up wanting to join the Greasers. He passes their test - putting Cat in a LOT of pain - and becomes a member. They even give him a "tail" by putting a plunger on Cat's head. Dog then looks at his brother, sees how completely miserable he is - and turns back to his normal form, completely out of love for Cat.
  • Sure, Trina and Corey may have developed a bad sibling relationship in Grojband, but he admits that he feels guilty for putting his sister in a nightmare-induced coma in the "Dreamrever" two parter to beigin with, and upon meeting Katrina (Trina's nice side that loves him inside her brain) he feels a lot more guilty.
  • D.W. and the titular character of Arthur often argue but it's still shown they care for one another.
  • At the end of Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show, Sarah hugs Ed. She spent most of Ed, Edd n Eddy being a brat towards him, though "Honor Thy Ed" showed her being concerned for him when he and Eddy pretended they were being attacked inside the haunted house.
  • In DuckTales (2017), one of the few things that Donald and Scrooge can agree upon is that they both hate Gladstone Gander, for his being both a Lucky Bastard and a Smug Snake who revels in having such impossibly good fortune that he never has to do anything to fend for himself. Despite this, they'll still go out of their way to help him if he gets into trouble since he's family.
  • Robotboy: A rare instance of this being a negative trait. Despite Tommy's brother Donnie being a thug who is an ass to him for no apparent reason, Tommy still cares for him and treats him as family. "The Donnienator" best shows this — Donnie decides to steal and destroy all of Tommy's action figures by throwing them in a woodchipper. When Tommy tries to stop him, Donnie gets angry and tries to shove him into the woodchipper. When Robotboy intervenes and Donnie ends up in hospital, Tommy is worried about him and hopes he's all right. Robotboy is understandably confused, but Tommy explains that Donnie is still his brother and family is always family even when they're trying to hurt you.


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