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True Companions / Western Animation

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Do you know you're all my very best friends?

Examples of True Companions in Western Animation.

  • 6teen's central 6 characters, with their shared friendship being a major part of the series. All of them (except Caitlin who joined later) have been friends since kindergarten, and as different as they are from each other, they always stick together and support each other.
  • In Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, the Series 5 Rangers definitely fall into this, but really solidify it in "Mindnet". Shane has been framed for theft by his fellow Supertrooper Killbane, and a Jerkass senator demands his head on a plate. Zachary tells the senator off, and a surprised Shane thanks him for the support.
    Zachary: The day we don't trust one another is the day the Galaxy Rangers are finished.
    • Mindnet also marks the first time the Rangers "pool their badges" in a Mental Fusion tactic that is used occasionally throughout the rest of the series. Zachary is very quick to fall into the Team Dad role, especially when it comes to the parent-less Niko and Shane. Fanon states that his true-companion relationship with the Rangers is what has kept him relatively sane after the loss of his wife and his rebuilding into a Hollywood Cyborg.
  • Atomic Puppet's eponymous partnership becomes this after some Character Development from AP, as he grows to accept being depowered by his Puppet Permutation and begin to put more value on Joey as not just a Kid Sidekick he is required to rely upon in order to fight crime but a true partner and friend that he really does enjoy fighting alongside.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Team Avatar. Season 1 starts off with siblings Katara and Sokka basically adopting Aang, Toph joins in Season 2, and Zuko and Suki in Season 3. They're all better off for it, with Toph able to be her real self in a way she never could with her controlling parents, and Zuko finding genuine love and affection compared to the abuse he suffered from his father and sister. Aang outright says they're all "family" - given all of the other Air Nomads were raised apart from their blood relatives by monks, this is likely his definition of family.
    • Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee are a unique subversion of True Companions. The trio have been close friends since finishing school. As time goes on, it's made apparent that Ty Lee and Mai obey Azula because they are afraid of her and see disobeying her as a hopeless and deadly cause.
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  • Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien has Ben's team, which consists of himself, Gwen, and Kevin.
  • The titular heroes of Centurions aren't just colleagues; they're friends who genuinely like and respect each other, despite their disparate personalities. They've saved each other's lives countless times, and they hang out together when they're not fighting Doc Terror's forces.
  • Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers: The Rescue Rangers, so much so that several episodes (including the pilot) feature one of the members leaving the group, to later return only because it's where they belong.
  • The five members of Sector V of Codename: Kids Next Door are best friends who mean the world to each other and will do anything to protect or rescue each other, as the show's list of Heartwarming Moments shows.
  • Danny Phantom: The three main heroes. Half the time, the true companions also includes Valerie. The other half of the time she's busily trying to destroy Danny.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Eddy is very much the "dad" of the group, while Edd is the "mom" and Ed is the "child." A lot of Eddy and Edd's arguments, especially involving Ed's behavior, come across as marital bickering. Slash writers are fond of invoking this trope, but it works on a purely platonic level, too.
  • Family Guy has Brian and Stewie Griffin, who started out as rivals but became best friends over the course the series, most notably in the various 'Road To' episodes. They've saved each other's lives, confessed their platonic love for each other (going as far as to say they give each other's lives meaning), and, considering the fact that most of the cast has taken a level in jerkass, possess what very well be the only strong and genuine relationship left on the show.
  • Fangbone!: The eponymous character and Bill are "battle brothers" to the end, and often episodes will have one of them overcome an episode's problem by putting faith in their shared friendship and its importance to them.
  • This is largely the whole point of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, with the "Foster's Five" considering each other to be family. Pretty justified, as four of them are imaginary friends, who can't technically have blood relatives, and one is the imaginary friend of the only human, who was created by said human and owes his existence to him, and the human's biological family consists of a mother who loves him but spends most of her time working and a cruel, idiotic bully of an older brother,
  • Futurama:
    • The Planet Express crew. Fry says so in his own odd way.
      Fry: Do you wanna be like us, or do you wanna be like Adlai... with no severe mental or social problems whatsoever?
    • Also subverted once by Farnsworth:
      Farnsworth: I've always thought of this company as a cheap source of labor... like a family.
    • Fry, Leela and Bender form a smaller group of true companions within the greater group of Planet Express.
    • Zoidberg and Farnsworth are revealed to be this in "The Tip of the Zoidberg". Zoidberg's Perpetual Poverty is because he chose to work with his friend out of loyalty when he could have a high-paying job under Mom. Farnsworth keeps him around because he (thought he) had contracted a deadly illness that could kick in at any time and killed its victims very slowly and painfully, so he asked Zoidberg to Mercy Kill him when it came around.
  • Gravity Falls gives us the people of the Mystery Shack, consisting of Dipper and Mabel Pines along with their Grunkle Stan and his employees, Soos and Wendy. The twins' arrival helps the group grow closer, even when things are complicated by the return of Stanley's brother, Ford a.k.a. the Author. Nonetheless, they along with various others work together to stop Weirdmageddon and defeat Bill Cipher, with Grunkle Stan performing a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Best noticed in the intro, with the last shot before the title being a happy picture of Dipper, Mabel, Wendy, Soos and Grunkle Stan.
  • Some of the main characters in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy openly admit to not liking each other, as Grim was forced to be Billy and Mandy's friend while Mandy doesn't like anybody at all (Billy and Irwin like everyone else in the group just fine, though). That doesn't stop them from going to great lengths to help one another (though Grim has tried to get rid of them a few times). Particularly striking is how Mandy constantly helps Billy out, even when she doesn't get anything out of it.
  • Grojband themselves. Corey, Laney, Kin, and Kon are shown to be an extremely tight-knit group of friends who value their unity as a band more than anything else and often go out of their way to support each other, working together constantly. This is well-demonstrated in episodes where the band breaks up like "All You Need is Cake" and "It's in the Card", with the characters finding themselves feeling unfulfilled and miserable without each other's company or the chance to play music together.
  • Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi: Ami and Yumi are as close as best friends can be, and for all his jerkiness, Kaz does have his moments few and far between, even going so far as to refer to himself as their "dysfunctional father figure".
  • Jem/Jerrica and all of the original Holograms on Jem and the Holograms are a fine example, seeing how they were all sisters (Jerrica and Kimber are biological sisters while Aja and Shana are their adopted sisters.) On the flip side, you have the original three Misfits. Some of the best pieces of evidence for this is their behavior towards one another on Island of Deception and in the song We're Off And Running.
  • It could be said that the original seven of the DCAU's Justice League are true companions. They would have to be after all they've gone through together. A great example of it this is Flash's Day in the Limelight episode of Unlimited, where Flash is able to convince Batman to come to the opening of his museum with little more than a "please," and delivers a brief but touching "you don't understand" at Orion, who straight up asked how he can put up with the Flash's antics and methods.
  • The main cast of Kaeloonote  are definitely this, although they don't show it that often.
    • One episode even had them rap about them going to Hell together (Kaeloo for getting angry, Stumpy for being a "phoney", Quack Quack for being greedy and Mr. Cat for obvious reasons).
    Kaeloo: (rapping) Eternity isn't long when you bring friends along!
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: After Benson and Dave decide not to leave Kipo. Benson is the one who chases after Wolf when she tries to abandon the group once Kipo's shapeshifting is revealed.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series: 'Ohana means family; family means nobody gets left behind—or forgotten.
  • Metalocalypse: Nathan flat out confirms in FatherKlok that Dethklok is his messed up dysfunctional family.
    • The members of Dethklok all see each other as family, though only Toki ever says it out loud. While it's been stated that they have agreed never to interfere with each others' personal business, let alone take active joy in the suffering of each other (such as the effect that Pickles' brother's blatant manipulation of his wealthy sibling and family has on him), they do care for each other.
    • Considering how listless and hurt that Dethklok was by Charles' angry outbursts and unintentional neglect in Doublebookedklok (and how they could be motivated to snap out of it just by him apologizing), it's pretty much confirmed that it's not just Nathan who considers Charles an extension of the crew now.
    • After Season 4, Nathan and Pickles have gone through a complete stage of a falling out friendship and patching it back up, with Nathan being the one to apologize. He refers to his actions as "alienating his friends" and pleads to have Dethklok back. Even Murderface at one point says that the five of them need to stick together after everything they went through in the penultimate episode.
    • The whole plot of The Doomstar Requiem: A Klok Opera revolves around Nathan, Skwisgaar, Murderface and Pickles admitting that Toki is not just their bandmate, but their brother, in order to rescue him and Abigail from Magnus and the Metal Masked Assassin.
    Metal Masked Assassin: You took my brother from me.
    Nathan: Well, we'd rather burn in hell than let you take ours.
  • The Burners in Motorcity. Mike, the leader, is a bit of a Papa Wolf to the others.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Twilight Sparkle, Spike, Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Fluttershy, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash. It's a series about The Power of Friendship, after all. They may fight sometimes, but it's crystal clear that, no matter what, there's no way they're abandoning one another.
      • "The Super Speedy Cider Squeezy 6000" takes this to its greatest height yet. During the competition for the farm, Applejack allows the others to help her and her family. Why? Because she now considers them her family. Cementing the mutual feeling is Twilight referring to herself, Fluttershy, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, and Pinkie Pie as "honorary Apple Family members" as a loophole to help in the competition, as well as the expressions on their faces when Applejack accepts their help by calling them her family.
      • In "Dragon Quest," Spike also calls the others his family after going out to meet other dragons to find out who he is, and learning An Aesop that seeing this in terms of his biological origins was missing the point.
      • This is taken even further in the Season 3 finale. Five members of the mane six have their memories and destinies altered thanks to a botched spell. Despite having lost their original talents, they more than happily try to perform those skills once their friends inform them that one of their number is in trouble, and doing so can help. This is simply because they still know, despite everything, who their true friends are; even if they don't think they can help, it doesn't stop them from doing whatever they can. The song that plays during this sequence of events, "A True, True Friend," is basically this trope in a nutshell. It was that same power of friendship that allowed Twilight to finish Starswirl the Bearded's unfinished spell, thus becoming a new alicorn princess. For her to become a leader, she had to bond with her friends and accept their help to become what she was being developed by Princess Celestia to be.
    • Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo, who bonded for a mutual reason to form the Cutie Mark Crusaders. In fact, they're so much this trope that they all got their Cutie Marks for the same thing!
    "Cutie Mark Crusaders forever!"
  • PAW Patrol: The Paw Patrol treated this very seriously. When Marshall packs his things and goes away thinking he was useless or a joke The Pups whimpered and searching for Marshall telling him that the Paw Patrol will never be without him. Second scenario: When one of the Paw Patrol members are getting captured by the Villains, they will do whatever it takes to free them putting their lives on the line.
  • In Phineas and Ferb, the title characters, Baljeet, Buford, Perry, and Isabella are true companions, though Isabella has romantic feelings for Phineas. The Fireside Girls can also be considered an example. (Proof of Perry's status as a true companion: in one episode, Doofenshmirtz's 'inator of the week "will destroy ANYONE who can't make up their minds." Perry flashes back to the title characters' uncharacteristic indecision at the kitchen table that morning, and proceeds to handcuff D. to a pipe before, as usually happens, the device can be ''activated.")
  • Ready Jet Go!: Even after all the drama they've been through regarding Jet's alien identity, and the occasional disagreements, Jet, Sean, Sydney, Mindy, and Sunspot love each other to death, hang out all the time, and will do literally anything for each other. Sean, Sydney, and Mindy are pretty much honorary members of the Propulsion family at this point.
  • The main six kids in Recess. They are usually always together, and in The Movie, when everyone except T.J. leaves for camp, he becomes depressed as a result.
  • The Rugrats babies are pretty much always together, and it's often hard to believe that the in-universe time the series takes up would have to be less than a year or two. Even Angelica is included. In the spinoff show All Grown Up!, their bond continues to grow, as they all remained good friends even into the beginning of their teenage years.
  • Mystery Inc. from Scooby-Doo — the characters travel together solving mysteries with little mention of contact with other friends or family. This becomes a main theme in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated.
  • The Best Friends Squad in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. Adora, Bow and Glimmer formed bonds quickly, but those bonds were amazingly strong. It's for this reason that Glimmer being split off from Adora and Bow in the fourth season is such a gut-punch, but it is worth noting that getting them to that state took Double Trouble's best efforts, combined with Shadow Weaver doing what she does best, combined with some extremely stressful situations, and even then, by the end of the season, all three still seem to want to fix it when they get the chance.
  • In Sonic Boom, all five members of Team Sonic (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, and Sticks). Always hanging out together, even when they’re not busy saving the day. In Knuck Knuck! Who's Here?, after Knuckles tried to find himself a family due to being the last of his kind, Amy tells him that she and the others are his family. Cue group hug.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog: The Freedom Fighters are clearly a tightly-knit group of friends, all of whom have lost their actual families and so turn to each other for that kind of support; Tails even considers Princess Sally his "Aunt", and she treats him very much like her own son at times. Likewise, Sonic and Tails have a very brotherly relationship.
  • Lampshaded in the South Park episode "The Biggest Douche in the Universe", when Chef tells Stan and Kyle that Cartman is their friend whether they like him or not. This trope becomes more apparent in later seasons, once their Weirdness Magnet status has begun to wear old; the boys fall victim to All of the Other Reindeer more often, making it evident that, while their classmates may tolerate them, they don't really have any friends outside of one another. As much as they would hate to admit it, they're a textbook example of this trope.
  • Spider-Man, Firestar, and Iceman on Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends are Exactly What It Says on the Tin, best friends in both their costumed and civilian identities.
  • The basic premise of Star Wars Rebels is the titular rebel crew, all of whom have been cast out from or have lost their own families, forming a family of their own with each other.
  • Steven Universe:
    • The Crystal Gems, who outright call themselves "a space family".
    • There's also Centipeetle and her crew.
    • It's even implied with The Diamonds—it's shown that even with all their villainy, at least Blue, Yellow and Pink Diamond cared for one another like a family, and Pink's death affected both Blue and Yellow very severely.
    "Yes, of course we still love her... and we're always thinking of her..."
  • Teen Titans gives us... well, the Teen Titans. Various characters within the show have referred to the Titans as a family. Their devotion to the team and each other has been proved countless times throughout the series.
    Raven: (to her father) The Titans are my family. This is my home.
    • Subverted in the spin-off, Teen Titans Go!. The Titans are this at times, but they'll often take any and all opportunity to throw each other under the bus for their selfish wants or out of pure spite. This is one of the reasons why some people don’t like the show. Fortunately, though, we have Starfire to balance it out.
  • All of the engines from Thomas the Tank Engine are considered this. Despite having their quarreling, which most of it involves teasing each other for their misfortunes and humiliating situations, at the end of the day, they will always look out for each other and are willing to help each other whenever they're in serious trouble.
  • Jose Carioca, Panchito Pistoles, and Donald Duck from Saludos Amigos and The Three Caballeros. Panchito and Jose adore Donald — Jose glomps Donald upon learning who he is and Panchito pulls them both into a bone-crushing hug upon meeting them. Donald returns this affection and is always excited to learn of his friends' respective cultures. While Panchito and Jose do play tricks on Donald throughout the second movie, it is mostly out of playfulness and not actual cruelty.
    • This is expanded upon in two comics by Don Rosa, where both Panchito and Jose speak very highly of Donald and constantly shower him with praise throughout the whole comics.
  • Thundarr the Barbarian, Princess Ariel, and Ookla the Mok were completely inseparable and each was absolutely loyal to the other two. It's too bad the makers of the cartoon never told the story of how they all met each other.
  • All of the Thunder Cats. The Thunder Cats 2011 reboot is very dysfunctional, mostly because of Tygra and Lion-O's tense relationship and the love triangle with Cheetarah, and loyalty turns out to be a big issue for the team. They stick together when it counts, and towards the end it seems like the main cast are finally true companions.
  • The main characters in Time Squad are sort of a dysfunctional family. While Buck and Larry bicker a lot, they have a mutual love for Otto.
  • Most friendships in the Total Drama series end up becoming Aborted Arcs or quickly fall apart due to Rule of Drama, but the Odd Friendship of Noah and Owen has remained a strong constant in the franchise since its beginnings in World Tour (although the two had friendly interactions in Island as well). This is especially highlighted in Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race, where the two compete as a team and thoroughly support each other in both challenges and Noah's budding romance with Emma. Their friendship even carries on into the Spinoff Babies show Total DramaRama, where Owen and Noah's bond is taken Up to Eleven as highlighted in episodes like "Inglorious Toddlers" and "A Licking Time Bomb".
  • Most of the combiner groups in The Transformers and Transformers: Prime, especially the Aerialbots and Team Prime but this trope is subverted for the Combaticons. For a group of villains, the Combaticons have had scenes together that are downright touching and they work well together (particularly when all the world is against them), but they were thrown together purely by circumstance, and Swindle has no loyalty to them at all (he once literally sold the others for scrap!).
    • The Maximals in Beast Wars were often this, but usually not everyone on the team had membership in the inner circle. Optimus, Rattrap, Rhinox and Cheetor were the core four with other members of the team (Dinobot, Depth Charge, Airazor, Blackarachnia, Silverbolt on occasion, and Tigatron of his own accord) being treated more as outsiders and generally not trusted with the same responsibilities and inside information.
    • Optimus explicitly refers to his group (himself, Ratchet, Prowl, Bumblebee, Bulkhead and Sari) as a family in Transformers Animated.
    • Team Prime from Transformers: Prime are especially close, since they are, as far as they know, the sole surviving Autobots in the universe. Established in a single word in the very first episode, when Bumblebee shows up to back up Arcee in a fight.
      Jack: Friend of yours?
      Arcee: Family.
  • The titular Trollhunters (note the plural; it is not a mistake), including Jim, Toby, Claire and their Troll friends Blinky, Aaarrrgghh, and Draal. Much ado is made about the fact that Jim has a crew to back him up through out his endeavors, particularly by the spirits of Trollhunters' past who exclaim that a Trollhunter must be alone, and either bemoan that Jim will get his friends killed or that they will get Jim killed. Hiccups and setbacks aside, Jim would have never made it anywhere without the support of his crew, and he knows this fully. In the climaxes of both halves of Season One, he makes specific mention to the antagonists that he and his friends are all Trollhunters, in the collective.
    • Tragically, the first Season finale, particularly the trauma and losses suffered up to that point and during it, cause Jim to rethink his stance on "Trollhunters." At the end of the episode, he sneaks off and makes his way to the Dark Lands alone, preventing his friends from following him in the process, a stark contrast to the finale of the first half of that Season where he cites Toby as the source of his gaining that "more" to life that he was looking for. This change in mindset is punctuated with Jim's new Eclipse armor, a dark gold and black version of his Daylight armor with blood-red highlights in place of blue (and a new Sword of Eclipse to match).
  • We Bare Bears: The main bear trio, to the point where "Pet Store" revealed that they gave up being adopted by their dream owners because they couldn't stand the thought of being away from each other.
  • Wishfart: Dez, Puffin, and Akiko are frequently shown to be this. Although the latter two like to use Dez's wish-granting powers for their own personal gain, the ¡Three Amigos! always have each others' backs when the chips are down and will always prioritize their friendship with each other above all else when in serious situations.
  • Xiaolin Showdown went to some decent pains to develop this among the four main character Chosen Ones. While they have the makings in place early on with Omi, Raimundo, Kimiko, and Clay, it takes well past Season 1 to turn them from a slapdash group of kids with elemental powers into a legitimate team who care about and understand each other.
  • The members of Young Justice, as exemplified in the episode "The Usual Suspects", where Superboy, Artimis, and Miss Martian each admit to keeping major secrets from the rest of the team and are immediately forgiven.
    • The runaways also count. They may not always agree, but they will stand by each other.


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