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Zazu: Oh, just look at you two! Little seeds of romance blossoming in the Savannah. Your parents will be thrilled, what with your being betrothed and all.Nala: Yeah, it'd be too weird.
Zazu: Betrothed. Intended. Affianced.
Nala: ... meaning?
Zazu: One day you two are going to be married!
Simba: I can't marry her, she's my friend!
Childhood Friend Romance is a part of romantic plots, when characters develop romantic feelings for someone who they spent their childhood years with.
In the cases when this love turns out to be one-sided, it is sometimes explained with "Westermarck effect", a theory that describes how people who grow up together are psychologically hardwired to think about each other Like Brother and Sister.
When it is mutual, and none of the characters are bound by the "Westermarck effect" (maybe because they only met when they were older than 6, when it's supposed to apply, or only for a shorter time), it is usually played as a special bond between the two characters. Childhood Marriage Promises may be involved.
When it is one-sided, the friend might grow to care for the other's child or sibling.
The victorious form can be a Second Love, after one or both have married, and then lost their spouses.
See also Just Friends, which these sort of romances generally go through, because as the name says, they start off as childhood friends before all the confusing effects of puberty happen. (Stupid Sexy Friend may apply when the Westermarck effect doesn't.) See also I Don't Want to Ruin Our Friendship, in which these kind of romances may be postponed or avoided because of a strong childhood friendship. Or even see also Puppy Love, where 2 children below the age of puberty already form (or try to form) an officially romantic relationship.
Unrequited Love - Unlucky Childhood Friend
Anime & Manga
- Ukyō Kuonji in Ranma ½, even though she doesn't show up until the third season. Bonus points because Ranma thought Ukyō was a boy. On top of this, Ukyō tends to act and dress like a guy, so she really isn't helping Ranma think of her as anything other than his boyhood friend. Unlike most of Ranma's other suitors, he actually enjoys her company and sees her as a friend, and so often goes to eat at her restaurant.
- The anime decides to give this an extra bit of Yank the Dog's Chain in the "Great Girly-Girl Gambit" Filler episode. Ukyō decides to prove to Ranma that She Cleans Up Nicely, in hopes of making him stop seeing her as just One of the Boys... but, firstly, all of the pervert boys in her class decide that seeing her girlied up means they want (and even deserve) a piece of her, so they keep interrupting her efforts to talk to Ranma about their relationship. Then she gets into a literal Cooking Duel to decide who is Ranma's one true bride because the other girls don't like the idea that she's getting serious. And then the perverts attack Ranma for letting the duel take place, and so, guilty and ashamed for causing Ranma such trouble, she goes back to her masculine outfits.
- Mousse doubtlessly considers himself this, as well, but in practice comes off more as the Stalker with a Crush. Particularly seeing as how it's shown that Shampoo has been ignoring him and beating on him since they were kids together, and has basically grown even more disdainful of him since. It should be noted that Shampoo does refer to Mousse as "stupid friend from child times" when introducing him to Ranma. Though this might be a simple slip of the tongue, given Shampoo's notoriously poor Japanese skills...
- In the series Dog Days, Becky is all but officially Shinku's girlfriend... until he's transported to a magical world, there he falls in mutual love with the incredibly pure-hearted, painfully adorable, bright pink dog princess of Biscotti, who is also an Idol Singer. Becky isn't even aware that this happened. She went from Shinku's only love interest to completely forgotten in about a week. Any hope she may have had was obliterated when Shinku and Millhiore declared their love for each other.
- Nishino Mari, Takemoto Takeru's cousin and childhood friend in This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, stands no chance against the human alien Hikari.
- Chanohata Tamami in Mahoraba likes her childhood friend, landlady Aoba Kozue, but of course doesn't stand a chance against newcomer Shiritori, for the mere fact that her rival is male. Lesbians in anime sure have it tough.
- Alien Fiore of the Sailor Moon R film met Mamoru when they were both small orphans and they became good friends -- Fiore seems particularly possessive of Mamoru as an adult. When he eventually returns from space, Mamoru has already re-met his soulmate Usagi. Fiore tries to get her out of the way, but ultimately accepts their relationship.
- Both Tira and Chocolate Misu of Sorcerer Hunters have crushes (a sweet and quiet one in Tira's case, a much more explicit and open in Chocolate's) on Carrot Glace. They are the only females he doesn't chase after since they were raised together and therefore he views them as if they were his sisters.
- In the manga, Carrot marries Tira, leaving only Chocolate to fit this trope. And considering how her sister and Carrot aren't exactly happy after 10 years, it may have been for the best....
- Tomari in the Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl anime, though the OVA episode subverts it in an abrupt and contrived way.
- In the manga it's different. Hazumu does show great interest in Yasuna for most of the manga and doesn't show much care for Tomari until the end, she however still hooks up with her.
- Asuta also qualifies as a male example, being Hazumu's friend since childhood. Of course it gets a bit more complicated since Hazumu is a boy who turned into a girl, making Asuta very confused about his feelings. This is only played for laughs, though, in contrast with the girls, whose feelings are taken a lot more seriously.
- Shiho Munakata in Mai-HiME has a thing for her so-called "big brother" Yuuichi Tate, but he initially sees her as more of an annoyance, since she's always following him around and getting angry at him when it looks like he's taking interest in other girls.
- Kaede Fuyou in Shuffle actually lived with her childhood friend Rin for a while, but when he starts taking interest in another girl, she, um...loses it. She gets better, though.
- The "other girl", Asa Shigure, is also Rin's childhood friend.
- Neneko Izumi from DearS.
- Kirie from Girls Bravo, but she is more of an unlucky childhood tormenter than friend.
- Paraietta in Simoun is a milder version than the above two. She also gets better.
- The members of the Genshiken are all impressed that Saki is Kousaka's childhood friend, as they've seen this trope over and over in Anime. However, the two of them really do end up dating.
- Takamizawa Natsuki in Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro na and its anime adaptation, Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro Na ~Crescent Love~.
- Kizaki Tamayo in Kidou Tenshi Angelic Layer. In the anime, she does get her childhood friend; in the manga, she moves on to someone else.
- In Kami-sama Kazoku, Tenko is an angel whose job it is to guard Samatarou, the son of god. She has feelings for Samatarou but doesn't feel he values her as much as she values him. Samatarou actually falls for another girl and tries to win her over, making Tenko feel a little jealous. Samatarou eventually decides that Tenko is more important to him, though, making her not so unlucky after all.
- Jun Aoi from Martian Successor Nadesico is trapped in Yurika's "friend zone" throughout the series, eventually devolving into a Butt Monkey for his lack of screen presence. Yurika seems to be in this role for Akito, although that may be because of him being Tsundere towards her, and she gets him in the end.
- The main character of Doujin Work is named Osana Najimi, in an obvious reference. It's one of the other characters, Justice, who is her Unlucky Childhood Friend, though.
- Lovely Complex has one for both Koizumi (Haruka) and Otani (Mimi) respectively. Mimi is particularly annoyed since she's the same size as Koizumi and had been under the impression Otani didn't like tall girls.
- Cruelly twisted in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX: Ekou, Amon's oldest childhood friend (who by all appearances was a gift from his rich foster family), was "unlucky" not because Amon didn't love her back, but because he did... and then killed her.
- In the Spiral manga, Kōsuke and Ryoko are unlucky because all of the Blade Children were artificially conceived and have the same father. While Ryoko is initially upset with Kousuke when he tells her not to call him 'big brother,' wanting to still be the one closest to him, she calms down when he explains that he wants to still be able to dream of being with her.
- In the hentai game and anime Bible Black, the main character ends up with the childhood friend Imari in the "best" ending of the game and in the anime itself, despite quite a bit of competition and his initial resistance to the idea.
- Technically happens in the "good" EVIL endings of the game as well except she's not quite herself. Or alone.
- Played straight and subverted in Captain Tsubasa.
- Subverted: Sanae has been crushing on the male lead Tsubasa for three years and she's getting frustrated, since she's pretty much the poster girl for Unlucky Childhood Friend... But right after one of the big tournaments, it's revealed that Tsubasa does like her but has been waiting for the right moment to tell her; after a rocky incident with her Stalker with a Crush, and with the blessing of a former romantic rival turned into Playing Cyrano, they hook up. And later get married.
- Played straight: The girl who actually helped Sanae and Tsubasa to get together, Kumi, becomes the Unlucky Childhood Friend
- Male version in The Prince of Tennis: Akira Kamio and his unrequited crush on his team captain's beautiful sister, An Tachibana.
- Sakuno Ryuzaki is pretty much tailor-made for the Unlucky side of this trope, what with her crushing on the very tennis-obsessed Ryouma. While some of his greatest displays of gruffy kindness are for her, he doesn't seem to really notice her feelings. But according to Shin Tenipuri, after the arrival of the French player Ludovic who pretty much falls in Love at First Sight with Sakuno, it looks like Ryouma isn't as oblivious as before, and a Love Triangle is brewing...
- The main character of Ojamajo Doremi, Doremi Harukaze, takes it to the extreme, to the point where she calls herself "The unluckiest bishoujo in the world!" (she even gets called Dojimi sometimes). She never gets a boyfriend, but at least accomplishes her goal of confessing to the boy she liked at the end.
- Shinobu Miyake in Urusei Yatsura. Making it somewhat worse was that she and Ataru were supposed to end up together, but Rumiko Takahashi found that Lum was unexpectedly popular. Cue Ship Sinking in almost all of Takahashi's other works.
- Uh... wasn't it Ataru Moroboshi who lusted after Shinobu, while Shinobu tolerated it because they were old friends? With her agreeing to marry Ataru if he won the "Tag Tournament" simply a way to motivate him so that the human race wouldn't end up as slaves? And she loses any and all interest in Ataru after he hooks up with Lum, partially due to his Accidental Marriage, primarily because Ataru is a Loveable Sex Maniac. In fact, Shinobu actually spends most of the series pining after Shuutaro Mendo, and that she finally finds love with the shy, klutzy, Inaba.
- Actually, early chapters of the manga had her to like Ataru but just unable to get past his perversion and him being a Weirdness Magnet to become his official girlfriend. Also one chapter early in the series with Ataru's future offspring that was revealed at the end to be hers.
- Prétear has fun with this when the resident geek Yayoi digs up the fact that Himeno's stepmother Natsue and her driver Tanaka were classmates. Yayoi immediately assumes there had to be some romance going on between the two since their childhood, with the unlucky one being Tanaka -- he got to work for Natsue and stay close to her, but she chose somebody else over him twice. Made even more funny when it is hinted that not only it is not just a product of Yayoi's crazy imagination, but Tanaka actually still likes Natsue.
- It appears that Mahou Sensei Negima seems to setting Anya up for this in relation to Negi. It does not help that she is a full-blown Tsundere convinced her old friend is being lured into temptation by all those overdeveloped middle school girls.
- G, Ai's childhood friend (and the love of her life) in Real Bout High School. An orphan, he would eventually be adopted by a rich paranoiac and trained to be a killer. This brutal training involved assembling a gun while blindfolded and firing before the boy across from him could, and being forced to kill a wild dog he had befriended with his bare hands. This training would eventually break him (and blind him in one eye), and he and the other boys revolted and escaped. He's since become a sadistic street fighter and criminal mastermind, but Ai knows he's in there somewhere...
- Male, Boys Love version: Hiroshi "Hiro" Nakano is Shuichi's Unlucky Childhood Friend in Gravitation. He eventually hooks up with Yuki's own Unlucky Childhood Friend, his ex-fiancée Ayaka Usami.
- Kasumi from Hand Maid May, whose problem is merely having to compete with a harem full of cyberdolls for Kazuya's attention.
- It appeared she would win when Cyber-X/Takuya Saotome is revealed to be Kazuya's descendant from the future. The series pulled a twist when it revealed, in the last episode, that Cyberdolls are equiped to conceive and bear children. Talk about "fully functionial"...
- Marmalade Boy really adores this trope. We have at least SIX Unlucky Childhood Friends in the TV series alone, both males and females:
- Ginta Suoh (male, loves Miki but had no chance to tell her... well, he DID, since she wrote him a love letter, but his male friends found it first and It Got Worse...);
- Arimi Suzuki (female, Yuu's ex-girlfriend, still loves him);
- Tsutomu Rokutanda (male, Ginta's cousin and the series' Butt Monkey, loves Arimi);
- Anju Kitahara (female, Ill Girl and Yuu's close friend, probably his first love);
- Ryouko Momoi (female, loves Namura since school times);
- Takumi Kijima (Ryouko's Unlucky Childhood Friend, who got over it and married another long time friend of his', Rei, who would've been his Unlucky Childhood Friend if he didn't give up on Ryouko).
- Note that in the case of Ginta and Arimi, they tried "dating" to make Yuu and Miki jealous... but fell in love with each other instead.
- Yuzu Yamamoto of Bitter Virgin.
- In Nana: Reira/Layla, Trapnest's vocalist, fits this trope bad for childhood friend Takumi -- she's even called out by bandmate Ren when she admits to breaking up with Shin in favor of her career... Only, you know, this was less about the band and more about the fact Takumi is their bassist, further proving she's prepared to drop pretty much anything to keep what little "relationship" they have in tact.
- Ginko from Kure-nai. Sort of. Though Shinkuro doesn't return Yuno's feelings any more than he does Ginko's, he does hang with Yuuno a lot more than with Ginko. Also, Shinkuro and Ginko made a pseudo-Childhood Marriage Promise to run Ginko's family's ramen shop together when they grew up, but then Shinkuro decided to become a dispute mediator and spent eight years training in the martial arts of Yuuno's family.
- Done in Pretty Face. Granted, Randou didn't know the girl for very long (and while it's possible the version I read was mistranslated, apparently he didn't even know she was a girl in the first place) and he ends up together... sort of... with another girl that he met later in life, and then lived with for a year posing as her twin sister...
- Yoshimori from Kekkaishi pines for Tokine -- a childhood friend, next door neighbor, and fellow Kekkaishi. Despite their similarities and common histories, Tokine only sees Yoshimori as the crybaby kid she used to watch out for. Tokine also likes older, taller men, and Yoshimori is two years younger than her and rather short at present. Ouch.
- In recent manga chapters, however, it is hinted that Tokine seems to be developing feelings for him. Even having a mental He Is All Grown Up moment when she imagines how Yoshimori would be when he's older. The ending of the manga implies they hook up.
- Tsugumi from Kannagi.
- Izumi from Kemeko Deluxe.
- Male version: Teifu, for Ryoumou in Ikki Tousen.
- An odd variation from the anime-only Great Guardians season: Since childhood, Chuubou had dreamed of marrying Koukin as per her destiny (she was the reincarnation of his past self's wife), but not only she and Koukin had not met until she went to live in his Big Fancy House, Koukin was already in love with Hakufu and Chuubou was in love with the * idea* of him. After they talked it out and Koukin told her to build her own destiny instead of holding out for a dream, Chuubou gracefully accepted this and stepped aside.
- Choukou might be this for Sousou, too.
- Yuuno Scrya from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha if the most recent Sound Stages are to be believed. Not only has he been the subject of Die for Our Ship and Ship-to-Ship Combat Flame War, canon seems to indicate that he's only regarded as a close childhood friend by Nanoha.
- Telepathy Shoujo Ran: Ran and her childhood friend Rui are totally in love with each other, although Ran is most vocal about it.
- The aptly-named Najimi in Akikan. Not the best name to have as far as romantic circumstances go.
- Video Girl Ai, due to that Unrequited Love is a big part of its plot. Between Nobuko and Natsumi... Ouch.
- Kazuya from Touch. Even though he has everything, well almost everything, he worked damn hard for it. Maybe because he's too nice and too considerate of the feelings of others and he's less mischievous and less brave, he may had been seen as less fun than his brother. It Gets Worse.
- In Fruits Basket, Kagura is violently in love with her (fairly distant) cousin Kyou, who wants nothing of it.
- One of the most tragic versions of is Kagerou, the unfortunate Yandere from Basilisk. If not for her Death by Sex powers, she would've had a chance to marry Gennosuke, the love of her life...
- The Tsundere England from Axis Powers Hetalia is the closest to the trope, among the nation-tans. He's strongly hinted to have an unrequited crush on his adoptive brother America, but ever after the very sad end of The American Revolution... well, currently he's so unlucky that he doesn't even need a love rival.
- Canonwise, Prussia may be the Unlucky Childhood Friend if we read into Prussia's infamous and teary "Enjoy being alone" line, that apparently often pops up when Austria and Hungary are in the background, rabu-rabu-style. And then there's the Prussia/Hungary Ship Tease coming later, set in a period that came before her becoming Austria's retainer and later wife...
- Gankutsuou has Franz who harbors feelings for Albert but keeps it in secret.
- Tatsuhiko Aouta from Slam Dunk, in regard to Haruko.
- Arguably, Minori from Toradora! with regard to Taiga. Arguably because she's not entirely sure how much she likes Taiga.
- While one of Shinji's childhood friends is victorious in the Neon Genesis Evangelion spinoff manga Angelic Days, the other, Kaoru, is not.
- Ai from True Tears. Her love gets taken away by one of the weirdest girls ever.
- Taichi Yagami gets to be a male version of this trope in Digimon Adventure 02, since Sora chooses Yamato over him. He recovers fast enough to soon get a bit of a crush on Catherine.
- Isabella towards George, and Tokumori towards Miwako in Paradise Kiss. To be fair, the Distant Finale isn't very clear on the current state of affairs between the first pair, and she did tell him she wanted to devote her life to helping him in his career as a designer, even if he didn't love her back.
- Tanda from Seirei no Moribito has been in love with Balsa since they were children, and they're now in their thirties. She obviously has feelings for him but is apparently too Badass to settle down.
- Tamao from Shaman King. She did admit that she likes Yoh, even though the chances are slim to none, seeing how Yoh is already engaged to and in love with Anna.
- Junjou Romantica's Hiroki is a Boys Love example of this. He was in love with his childhood friend Akihiko, who fell in unrequited love with a high school classmate. Hiroki persuaded Akihiko to have sex with him (blindfolded, so that he could pretend he was with the one he loved), which only led to heartache, as it neither won Akihiko's heart for Hiroki nor got Akihiko out of his system. (Both of them ultimately find love with someone who loves them back, fortunately.)
- Merle, the Catgirl, in Vision of Escaflowne. She's known Van all their lives, is a friend of his since early childhood, and makes no secret of the fact she's got a crush on him (the main reason she's so hostile towards Hitomi, in the beginning, is because she's afraid she'll try and steal Van from her). Van, meanwhile, seems to do his best to ignore her feelings and ends up falling in love with Hitomi. Like a number of others on this page, she ends up pulling an I Want My Beloved to Be Happy and chooses to withdraw and leave Van and Hitomi to work things out, though she does give Hitomi a little "talk" about how Hitomi's inability to make up her mind over the Love Triangle.
- Played depressingly straight in 5 Centimeters Per Second. made painfully tragic by the fact that everything is realistically played out. At least it was a beautiful ride.
- Mawari of Seto no Hanayome. Poor girl had no chance, seeing as Nagasumi was already engaged by the time Mawari was introduced.
- Yuki from Dance in the Vampire Bund literally starts off as this where Akira is concerned, when he rejects her admission of love on the first non-allegorical page of the manga. Of course given how her love rival Mina enrolls in her class and ends up her (extremely affectionate) friend/confidant... well, things may turn out better for her than for most others on this half of the page.
- Mariya in Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru. Though in the end it doesn't seem as though she's given up entirely, nor is the hookup even more than implied.
- Akina of UFO Princess Valkyrie. She likes Kazuto but has to compete with Valkyrie, who is fanservice incarnate. Add to the fact that she suffers from feelings of inadequacy, has a foul temper, and runs a shrine and she has her work cut out for her.
- Kemonozume has a love triangle in which Kazuma is an Unlucky Childhood Friend to Rie who is, in turn, an Unlucky Childhood Friend to Kazuma's older brother, Toshihiko. For poor Rie it even involves a Childhood Marriage Promise.
- In Dragon Ball, Bulma didn't consider Goku boyfriend material due to him being Just a Kid. However, by the time the 23rd Tenkaichi Budokai came around, He Is All Grown Up. Unfortunately for Bulma right around when she starts to see Goku differently, Chi-chi turns up to remind Goku of his Childhood Marriage Promise to her, which he decides to go through with anyway due to the fact that he gave his word regardless of what he thought it meant AND because, not being a jerk, he realized that Chi-Chi did love him (and he warmed up to her quite soon). Then again, Bulma isn't too rorn about it: she and Goku remain Childhood Friends without trouble (and she and Chi-chi are more or less friends too), she keeps an on-and-off relationship with Yamcha for some more years, and ultimately hooks up with Vegeta aka The Rival to Goku and is genuinely happy with him and their kids.
- This is bound to happen to somebody in Naruto, we just don't know who yet, as the series is still ongoing and the pairings haven't been set, let alone finalized. Considering the Love Dodecahedron, there's no way several characters can all get the happy ending they originally wanted.
- The Big Three for this trope are:
- Naruto -- for Sakura.
- Sakura -- for Sasuke.
- Hinata -- for Naruto.
- Kakashi Gaiden plays this out in Tear Jerker fashion, literally, in Obito Uchiha, who sought the affection of his teammate Rin and the respect of the titular Kakashi. Being familiar with each other, poor Rin simply couldn't understand his knuckleheaded efforts until Obito died protecting the both of them, with a guilty Kakashi spelling it out for her.. And much later, it becomes even more tragic: poor Rin was forcibly transformed into an Apocalypse Maiden, she chose dying at Kakashi's hand rather than destroying Konoha... and unbeknownst to both of them, Obito had been rescued by Madara Uchiha, witnessed this terrible mess and went the Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds way...
- Jiraiya had been in love with Tsunade for years but it was one-sided. Plus Tsunade was hurting badly after the death of her own love interest, Dan. And they could've hooked up had he not died.
- The Big Three for this trope are:
- Gundam has some examples of this trope:
- In the original Mobile Suit Gundam, Frau Bow has a massive crush on her friend and neighbor Amuro, and serves as his caretaker, reminding him to do things like eat, and generally keeping him grounded and socially functional. Then the war starts, Amuro becomes the pilot of the Gundam, develops Newtype powers, has a romantic relationship with Lalah Sune and loads of Ship Tease with Sayla Mass and leaves Frau so far behind in the dust that she ultimately turns to her and Amuro's other childhood friend, Hayato Kobayashi, in an attempt to make sense of everything and get the HELL outtas this mess.
- In Turn a Gundam, Sochie Heim is (something like) this to Loran Cehack (given that they only became acquainted for only two years or so). Heart-breakingly shown at the end of the series while Tsuki no Mayu (Cocoon of the Moon) plays in the background. Alas, poor Sochie.
- Takashi was one of these in Highschool of the Dead when he and Rei made a childhood marriage promise, but went out with their other friend Hisashi in highschool because of his 'apparent noninterest' when he woudn't make a move. It worked out for him though when Hisashi was bitten by a zombie. (though Takashi feels bad about it because he believes he could've saved the poor guy).
- Souma Oogami from Kannazuki no Miko is this for Himeko.
- Played with in Midori Days. Seiji comes across a childhood friend who had moved away not long after they met. She comes back, and Seiji shows interests in her, but comes to a hard stop when he realizes she's a doujinshi manga artist that writes and draws Boys Love works, which is the justification for her not wanting anything to do with straight men.
- In Kaichou wa Maid-sama, Shintani Hinata has been in love with Misaki since they were children. Unfortunately for Hinata, he's got no chance against Misaki's feelings for Usui. Later chapters of the manga suggest that Misaki's little sister Suzuna has a crush on Hinata; it remains to be seen how this will pan out.
- Hokuto no Ken managed to pair this up with the Victorious Childhood Friend in the later part of its first anime series. As a childhood friend of Yuria's, Juuza fell in love with her very early. Sadly, his hope of marrying her was shattered to pieces when it was revealed that they were half-siblings; to further make it worse, he also discovered that she fell for Kenshirou in the end. Heartbroken, Juuza began to live a life as a Casanova, indifferent to the cause of Nanto Seiken -- cheerful, carefree from the outside, but weeping inside - until he learned of the true identity of the Last Nanto General and made his honorable Heroic Sacrifice.
- In Corsair, when Aura was young she found Canale lying on the streets and took him in. She's more or less had been planning to marry him ever since, but since this is a Boys Love series, she ended up on the wrong side of the triangle. She's upset about it, but doesn't push the issue when she finds out.
- Manami from Ore Imo. She has has an obvious crush on Kyosuke, but he doesn't have any strong feelings for her other than close friendship.
- As discussed in the quotes page, Sayaka in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, in regard to Kyousuke Kamijou. This doesn't end well, although her chances of winning were already shakey if it weren't for her unfortunate circumstances: she's too shy and Selfish Good to make her move, and her love rival Hitomi turns out to be far more honest and outspoken about her own feelings..
- While Ed and Winry get together by the end of Fullmetal Alchemist, this changes in the 2003 anime version. Depending on who you ask, it's a case of unrequited love on Winry's side, they're Platonic Life Partners at the end of the anime, or it's a case of Star-Crossed Lovers.
- Macross Plus has an Unlucky Childhood Friend and a Victorious Childhood Friend courtesy of the childhood friendship of Isamu, Guld, and Myung turning into a Love Triangle, which initially broke their friendship apart. Guld loved Myung, but his flashback suggested that Myung harbored stronger feelings for Isamu. It was Guld's jealousy that broke up their friendship, but in the end he lets her go with a Heroic Sacrifice to give Isamu a chance to save her.
- Zenkichi has been in love with Medaka most of their lives. She would probably have sex with him if he asked, but romantic feelings seem to be beyond her.
- Until chapter 140
- In Claudine the titular character's neighbor Rosemarie confessed her love to him but was rejected. She does seem to be the girl who understands him better, out of all of these involved in his life: she calls him "a true man given a female body".
- In Gintama, Otose and Jirochou grew up together in Kabukichou. He was a little punk, and she scolded the crap out of him trying to keep him out of trouble. When they grew up, Jirochou became a vigilante to "keep the peace" in Kabukichou, and graciously stepped aside when Otose married Tatsugoro, his best friend and rival (and a cop), because he knew the vigilante life couldn't make her happy. But when Tatsugoro died taking the bullet meant for Jirochou, he makes his friend promise to protect Otose and Kabukichou. It...didn't work out very well.
- Lana Lang, in some versions of the Superman mythos. (Smallville is definitely not one of them.) Especially in Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow.
- Archie Comics's Betty Cooper. See Betty and Veronica.
- Bamse has the example of former villain Vargen and his childhood crush Virginia, they meet up years later, but by then she is already married.
- Rayek from Elf Quest. So, so much. He grows up with Leetah, first starts communicating with her magically before she's even born, shares his life with her, and on the day he asks her to stay with him forever... the hero shows up and claims her for himself. (They eventually settle it with a good old fist fight. 10000 years later.)
- Mender, too: he spends his very early years around The Chief's Daughter Ember, eventually takes her virginity after they reunite, and is promptly forgotten when he goes off to fight in the war and Ember meets a Proud Warrior Race Guy stranger. It's interesting to note that elves have no concept of cheating - all sex is good sex - but Ember does treat him pretty horribly.
- A milder Elf Quest example: Cutter and Skywise, who are just enough years apart for Skywise to hit puberty first and Cutter to be left behind wondering why his friend spends so much time in the bushes with Foxfur. By the time Cutter is 16, he loses both of his parents and Skywise loses Foxfur, and it's implied that they spend some time together as mates after that before Cutter ends up with Leetah. They're still occasionally seen sharing a bed together from that point on, but they're never as close again as they were before Leetah came along.
- Lisa from the Scott Pilgrim series. She's pretty obviously interested in him from the start, but Scott doesn't see her as anything but a friend and ends up dating Kim throughout high school.
- Envy is this to Todd; they were friends since they were eleven, and they started dating after they graduated from college and formed a band, but he showed no signs of affection towards her, and cheated on her with two different girls, one of which was the drummer of their band. He also lied about being a vegan.
Films -- Live-Action
- In the Lord of the Rings-inspired movie Born of Hope, there is Elgarain for Arathorn and a rare male example in Dírhaborn for Elgarain.
- Essentially the plot of the Bollywood film Kuch Kuch Hota Hai. It doesn't specify how long the Rahul and Anjali have been friends, but one can assume they were friends since childhood.
- One of the quintessential examples in Western film has to be Ducky from Pretty in Pink. Come on, you know you were rooting for him.
- Raven/Mystique for Charles in X-Men: First Class. Charles does a lot of flirting with other women and Raven is clearly jealous. It's left ambigious whether she actually had romantic feelings for him or wanted to prove she was worthy of being a romantic interest. But either way, Charles only sees her as a sister and someone to protect.
- Laurie (who's a guy) in Little Women loved Jo since they met as teenagers, but she only ever saw him as a brother/friend. When he finally has to say it straight out for her to accept it (with Jo ignoring all his advances and even moving away to avoid the inevitable), she shoots him down and he freaks.
- In the last sequel, Jo's Boys, Tommy misses out on Nan since she just wants to be a single doctor, taking care of people. He's not too broken up, though; he marries a girl he only got with to make Nan jealous when she's his perfect match and Nan couldn't care less.
- Twilight: Jacob Black spent some time with Bella when they were kids and tried to reconect with her when she moves to Forks, but loses out to Edward.
- Sonya, who was given the Childhood Marriage Promise by Nikolai Rostov, in War and Peace.
- Arguably, Miro from Speaker for the Dead, with a twist: After he and Ouanda turn out to be half-siblings, he gets sent out to space, and because of relativity, everyone else ages a few decades. So while Ouanda has aged 30 years, long since forgotten Miro, and married someone else, Miro still misses her and feels abandoned. Doesn't help that he's handicapped either.
- Definitely Severus Snape, as revealed in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (and hinted at since at least Order of the Phoenix). In fact, his unrequited love for Lily, and guilt over her death, was a major factor in Voldemort's downfall -- not bad for the maladjusted kid who fucked up so badly with the girl he liked that he got thrown over for an ex-Jerk Jock.
- Littlefinger of A Song of Ice and Fire. He gets even by starting an awe-inspiringly violent civil war that begins with the death of the man his love married.
- Littlefinger has his own Unlucky Childhood Friend, Lysa Arryn. Whom he marries -- and then kills. She was batshit insane and fond of throwing people off tall mountains, so it's not like she didn't have it coming... though most of his other actions have less legitimate excuses.
- Rand and Egwene in The Wheel of Time series are more of a subversion. The decision to break up is mutual, they remain friends, and they both get happily involved with other people later in the series.
- Cinderpelt and Firestar Warrior Cats (verified by Word of God). She was originally Firestar's apprentice, meaning it started out as a case of Hot for Teacher, but by the end of the first series, she was one of his closest friends.
- Mason from Vampire Academy was so unlucky, he didn't even live long enough for Rose to give him a chance.
- Sylvie, the heroine of Kiss by Jacqueline Wilson, believes she is in love with her friend Carl and has always imagined they would get married one day - only for him to come out as gay. It's left somewhat ambiguous at the end of the book when Carl kisses her and tells her he will always love her; but she appears to take this in the platonic sense.
- Raoul to Louise in The Vicomte De Bragelonne. Then she falls in love with Louis XIV...
- Simon towards Clary in Mortal Instruments. After he reveals his feelings to her, Clary wonders if she feels the same way towards him. She doesn't.
- Stephen towards Cassandra in I Capture the Castle.
- You to Kim in Can YOU Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?.
- Double subverted with Willow to Xander in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They get together briefly in season three, only for Willow to realize she'd rather be with Oz. Turns out they were born to be Platonic Life Partners not lovers.
- ICarly: Freddie is a very early stage of this Trope and may end up as such. He has an unrequited crush on Carly, with Carly affirming the unrequited status as often as Freddie brings it up. In addition, it's quite possible one of the 2 girls will also end up like this once the show ends if there is a Last-Minute Hookup.
- Kevin and Winnie in The Wonder Years is this and a less tragic version of Star-Crossed Lovers; they clearly loved each other, but the ending narration reveals that Winnie went off to Europe and Kevin married and had a son with another woman.
- Ally McBeal was basically this to Billy.
- Deconstructed tragically in Harpers Island. Henry desperately loves his childhood best friend Abby, not realising he was made to spend so much time with her in childhood because he was adopted and she is actually his half-sister. His plan to win her heart involves murder. Lots of murder. It doesn't work.
- Stuart Minkus was madly in love with Topanga during the first season of Boy Meets World, while Cory could barely stand her (or so he claimed). But when Minkus went missing for three seasons, Cory came to terms with his feelings and made his move. You have to imagine that Minkus is still kicking himself for losing his chance.
- It is later retconned that Corey and Topanga were preschool sweethearts until Corey decided Girls Are Icky.
- Subverted in Pushing Daisies where Chuck is Ned's Victorious Childhood Friend and he instead has an "Unlucky Adult Friend" in Olive.
- Although Chuck has some bad luck in that she can't touch him. At all.
- Chloe Sullivan definitely is an example on Smallville.
- In Lost, arguably Kate to Tom, her childhood sweetheart, who was then married. That didn't turn out too well.
- Male example: Charlie to Megan in Privileged.
- Adam to Toby in Dantes Cove -- by the time he realises he's gay and in love with his best friend, Toby is in a committed relationship with Kevin.
- Boomer to Garland in the little-known children's series Maddigans Quest. It gets to the point that, at a crucial moment, Garland chooses to trust quasi-love interest Timon over him- which turns out to be a mistake.
- From Japanese drama Shokojo Sera, Kaito's childhood friend Yukari grew increasingly jealous of his relationship with Seira. It didn't help that Kaito romantically pursued Seira (who reciprocated those feelings) and his family immediately accepted Seira into the family while being critical of Yukari's attempts to fit in (it's implied she was only nice to Kaito's family when Kaito was around). She would eventually give up Kaito to Seira.
- Lily's ex-boyfriend Scooter in How I Met Your Mother. No matter how many times Lily tells him that she's Happily Married and wants nothing to do with him (right now), he keeps coming back.
- Dizzy to Cally in Dark Oracle.
- Switched At Birth: Emmett's been waiting for Daphne for eight years, but she's only just realized she's into him too...right after he starts dating Bay. Whoops.
- Pulp's single "Disco 2000" is sung from the perspective of a male version.
- The song "Todo ha cambiado" ("Everything has changed") by Chilean music group Canal Magdalena deals with a male Unlucky Childhood Friend who tries to change his situation, yet fails.
- The song "Bang Bang (He Shot Me Down)" by Cher and Nancy Sinatra.
- The song "Doushite Kimi wo Suki ni Natte Shimattandarou" ("Why Did I End Up Falling For You") by DBSK is from the point of view of an unlucky childhood friend watching his love get married to another man.
- The video for Empty Rooms by Gary Moore depicts the unlucky variation.
- Adele's very bittersweet "Someone Like You" is all about this, from the point of view of the Unlucky Childhood Friend.
- Taylor Swift plays the good friend to a guy in Tear Drops On My Guitar.
- Flight of the Conchords' "Bus Driver's Song." It is unique for being simultaneously hilarious and heartbreaking.
- Living Next Door To Alice from Smokie.
- "She Hasn't Always Been This Way" by Doc Walker has a guy coming to terms with a sudden crush on his best friend's little sister (also a friend of his) who is now very hot. They're not friends any more, and she won't even talk to him.
- "May" by James Durbin is the story of a very tragic version of this. The two kids grow up and get married, but the title character dies in childbirth and from that point on, the protagonist can't help but see her every time he looks at his daughter.
- Federica in Verdi's opera Luisa Miller.
- Micaela in Bizet's version of Carmen.
- The title character of Edmond Rostand's Cyrano De Bergerac, although he is the lead protagonist, also functions as the Unlucky Childhood Friend to Roxane. His story is, of course, notable for pioneering the trope of the Unlucky Childhood Friend deliberately assisting the Paolo (who also happens to be his best friend, Christian) in winning the affections of his unrequited love.
Roxane: Confession next!... But, ere I make my shrift,
You must be once again that brother-friend.
With whom I used to play by the lake-side!...
Cyrano: Ay, you would come each spring to Bergerac!
Roxane: Mind you the reeds you cut to make your swords?...
Cyrano: While you wove corn-straw plaits for your dolls' hair!
Roxane: Those were the days of games!...
Cyrano: And blackberries!...
Roxane: In those days you did everything I bid!...
Cyrano: Roxane, in her short frock, was Madeleine...
Roxane: Was I fair then?
Cyrano: You were not ill to see!
- Éponine Thénardier could be seen to be this in the musical of Les Misérables. However, in the book, Marius doesn't meet her until adulthood and barely knows her.
- The traditional Pantomime version of "Cinderella" adds the character of Buttons, who's been a servant to the family since both he and Cinders were children, and is in love with her. She, of course, is destined to marry the Prince. Depending on the production, she either never notices how Buttons feels or lets him down gently.
- Spring Awakening has Ilse as the most unlucky childhood friend ever to Moritz, who (among other things) is so terrified/confused about his own sexuality that he'd rather die than keep going on. That doesn't do wonders for romance.
- Guillo in Baten Kaitos Origins. Other obstacles standing between him/her and Sagi include the fact that he/she is a living puppet, and the fact that Sagi probably always thought of him/her as a man, even though he/she technically has no gender. Or rather he/she is both gender since he/she seems to be deeply influenced by his/her creators, who were a man and women and are the ones he/she got her voice(s) from.
- Tia from Lufia 2, to the point where she leaves the party when Maxim marries Selan because simply seeing him would cause her pain.
- There's a bit of Fridge Horror in that (at least in the original version of the game), she is nowhere to be found in Elcid or anywhere else after that, which implies that she's much worse off than anyone thought. Subverted in that she does show up in the ending, crying uncontrollably because subconsciously she knows that Maxim is gone forever. It is also very likely that Tia never saw him again when she left the party for the last time, and that they parted on shaky or outright bad terms. So not only did she lose any chance of getting Maxim, she also lost her friendship with him and will never have the chance to mend the latter since he's dead.
- Subverted (to a point) in Super Robot Wars: Original Generation. Kushua Mizuha begins the game with a crush on her childhood friend Ryusei, but by the middle of the game, has moved on to somebody else. In the Alpha series, however, she does end up with her friend (who was not Ruysei), but since the first OG game came out between the first and second Alpha games, it wasn't quite a foregone conclusion until she appears in her Mech from Alpha 1.
- The Disciple from Knights of the Old Republic 2 to a female player character who ends up with Atton or doesn't pursue a relationship might count. Canonically, the Disciple had a massive crush on the Exile from their first meeting when both were in their mid-teens, but the Exile was completely oblivious to his attraction and never really reciprocated.
- If the Exile is chosen to be male, it is heavily implied, through dialogue with Kreia, that Jedi Master Atris had strong feelings for him. But the Exile never reciprocated these feelings either.
- Dawn Star, Jade Empire's sweet-natured Chinese Yamato Nadeshiko with Psychic Powers, has it bad for a male PC. The player has the option of flirting, and eventually pursuing a relationship, with her, the spoiled Princess of the Empire, both women at once, or a dashing, clever rogue. Choosing either of the other two options, while more difficult than dating her alone, relegates her firmly into this category.
- On the other hand, if you try to pursue her with a female PC, she'll be painfully oblivious to your advances, relegating the PC to Unlucky Childhood Friend status. The clever reversal is only made strange by the fact that Dawn Star can end up with the spoiled princess if the PC is male.
- There's also a sidequest early in the game that deals with this. You come across a woman who tells you that her husband is being menaced by a gang of bandits. You later come across the bandit leader....who turns out to be said Unlucky Childhood Friend for the husband.
- Depending on the player's actions, Colette of Tales of Symphonia will either be Lloyd's Victorious Childhood Friend or this.
- This trope is further played straight in the sequel if the player chooses to pair Lloyd off with anyone other than Colette.
- Juno from Valkyria Chronicles is Welkin's classmate from the university, but it's fairly obvious from the opening who he ends up with.
- Bianca of Dragon Quest V becomes this if the player decides to marry Nera or Deborah instead of her.
- A running theme in the World of Mana:
- Dawn of Mana -- Ritzia, who gets kidnapped, used to unleash disaster on the world, and becomes the next Mana Goddess. That last one is especially a Player Punch because Keldy is the one who has to stab her with the Mana Sword for it to happen.
- Legend of Mana -- Matilda, Irwin, Escad, and Dana, the Love Dodecahedron that ends tragically for all involved.
- Secret of Mana -- Dyluck, who gets brainwashed by the bad guys and sacrifices himself to save the Girl.
- Final Fantasy Adventure -- Hasim, who dies trying to protect the heroine (too bad she can't use her unlimited healing ability to save his life).
- Possibly role-flipped in the first Tokimeki Memorial game: it is likely for the player character to become unlucky when pursuing childhood friend Shiori Fujisaki, as she is actually one of the harder girls to win over (due to high stat requirements across the board). Of course, if you play the game the right way, you'll be victorious instead.
- In Harvest Moon "Back to Nature" (For Girl), "Friends of Mineral Town", or "More Friends of Mineral Town", Rick and Karen are a rival pairing but you can marry Karen (boy versions) or Rick(girl versions) thus making one of them this if you marry them. Note worthy is you can also get them married.
- Chrono Trigger has Lucca, childhood friend to the main character Crono who ends up instead with Rebellious Princess Marle. There's no real dramatic tension between them in the game though... unless you play the Fan Sequel Crimson Echoes, where it's played up more.
- Chrono Cross clearly demonstrates this trope, with the male lead Serge already dating a girl called Leena, who later (rather unceremoniously and silently) gets shafted as Serge more or less begins to ignore her completely as the plot starts to thicken. The main ending of the game even implies that Serge and Kid (the female lead) are destined to be together.
- The player character of Shin Megami Tensei I ends up as the unlucky one when he finds out that his childhood friend is dating someone else, who later joins your party when she goes missing. Of course, it's also up to you to choose how you see her. After the End, though, she perhaps ends up the most unlucky...
- The girlfriend of the Law Hero just happens to have the same name as the Heroine. Don't remember if she was actually a childhood friend of the Hero but there are no indications that the Hero feels anything towards her. Given that he's a Silent Protagonist, who knows what goes through his head.
- Eternal Sonata has Falsetto for Jazz whom seems to be in a relationship with Claves.
- Happens in Halo, of all places. In the story Palace Hotel in Halo Evolutions reveals that John-117, when he was a child, had a friend with whom he made a "silly Childhood Marriage Promise". A month later, John was drafted for the SPARTAN-II project. During the beginning of the Battle of New Mombasa, John found her again, with that photo, and realized that she had missed him... but knowing well that she could die in the next fifteen minutes in the coming skirmish, and that revealing to her who was he would compromise the secret of the origins of the SPARTAN-II soldiers, he chose not to, leaving the poor woman to think John had died when he had been a kid, when the Spartan in front of her was him.
- In Dragon Age, Tamlen from the origin for the Dalish Warden becomes one of these if said Warden is female. The female mage can also actually establish herself to be one - while Jowan is introducing her to his covert girlfriend Lily, she can state that she actually has feelings for him, and if she says she means it, he'll become flustered that she's bringing it up in front of Lily and exclaim that she's like a sister to him.
- Kain from Final Fantasy IV.
- Siskier in Blaze Union, except in the C route/Nessiah route/Soltier route.. Said situation unfortunately leaves Jenon the Unlucky Childhood Friend to her instead.
- Adele for L'Arc in Arc Rise Fantasia. She doesn't take it well.
- Fuyuka for Endou in Inazuma Eleven, although it depends on which version of the GO game one's getting: In the Shine and Anime version, she falls into the unlucky side becaus Endo and Natsumi go the Junior High School Sweethearts way.
- The Fire Emblem series usually lets players determine whether two childhood friends hook up or not via the Support system, but there are a few examples outside their control:
- In Fire Emblem the Sacred Stones, no matter who Eirika is with (and even if she's with no one), Lyon will end up as an especially tragic Unlucky Childhood Friend.
- Fanon depicts Rolf as this to Mist in the Tellius games, since his middle brother Boyd gets the paired ending with her in Radiant Dawn.
- The Fire Emblem Gaiden remake, Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, has a girl named Faye who triples as a Canon Foreigner, Alm's Unlucky Childhood Friend and the local Unrequited Tragic Maiden.
- Kiri for Hiroki in Canvas 2, though he secretly reciprocated. Unfortunately, Yanagi was also one of these and Hiroki wanted to give those two a chance instead.
- Kei from Ef a Tale of Memories fits this trope to a T.
- Otome Katou from School Days. She and Makoto are friends from junior high times, but Makoto seems to see her only as a friend. She actually bullies Makoto's first girlfriend Kotonoha and becomes his "other woman", having sex with him several times behind his second girlfriend Sekai's back because of it, and dumps him in the end when she sees he's not worthy of her feelings.. Subverted in the games, where there's an ending where Otome becomes a Third Option Love Interest, does have sex with Makoto and hooks up with him.
- Watarase Jun in Happiness!. He wants to marry the main character, but since the main character's straight, Jun starts to dress like woman to get with him. The main character can get with him/her (Jun can become Gender Bender) in the game expansion.
- Losing Fuminori to Saya is the least of poor Yoh's various horrors and troubles.
- In Lux-Pain Hibiki is apparently this toward Ryo to the point that he crossed the Despair Event Horizon when he thinks that Ryo is more interested in his new co-worker Ai which drives him to leave to America but then come back a year later seemingly forgetting his feelings about Ryo...until Ryo says something that makes him realize his status again and make him temporary go crazy that almost kills him depending on what ending you get. However if he lives then he pulls himself out and only time will tell depending on how the viewer interprets their final scene together...
- Male example in Misfile, thanks to Rumisiel's screw up Ash's friend James was instantly propelled from cool best friend to Unlucky Childhood Friend and borderline Jerkass.
- Poor Chiaki in Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki finds herself in this role during Episode Seven.
- In Tales of the Questor, Kestral fits this role. She even wanted to kiss him before he began his quest, but thought better of it.
- Melissa in El Goonish Shive used to have some romantic expectations. Then It Got Worse, but she continued to throw herself at Justin even after he began to actively avoid her.
- Then, once Justin finds out how the problem started and finally forgives her...she's gotten over him.
- Right now, it looks like Jadis from the Whateley Universe qualifies. Her bestest bud from elementary school, who she hasn't seen in years, is now at Whateley Academy with her, but already has found a girlfriend. Only Jadis is the daughter of the internationally feared supervillain Dr. Diabolik, so things could change in a lot of ways...
- Jadis hasn't exactly been pining for Phase, though. At most, she seems to enjoy getting together with him and discussing literature like they used to.
- Parodied in Doppelganger with Lisa
- Equestria Chronicles has Nocturne for Scribble Quill.
- Joan of Arc in Clone High. Abe's obliviousness to Joan's feelings for him is taken to the point of parody.
- Inverted with the relationship between Jen and Alex in MTV's Downtown. Various characters assume that the two of them are or should be sleeping together, despite their vehement protests to the contrary. Although after a conversation about how desperately horny they both are, they attempt to hook up. It's a miserable failure.
- In Code Lyoko, Sissi Delmas reveals in episode "Marabounta" that she's in love with Ulrich Stern since kindergarten. Her lack of success wooing him doesn't come so much from him seeing her as a friend, though, but more from Ulrich simply not liking her.
- Jack Frost from the 1979 Rankin-Bass Christmas TV special Jack Frost. He sacrifices immortality to woo Elisa who seemed to have affections for what he did at least. Taking the name "Jack Snip", he jumps through hoops like enduring imprisonment, chancing becoming a sprite again to save the town from the Ka-Nights, outwitting Kubla Kraus, and getting a house, gold, and a good horse. And after all of that, he still doesn't get the girl. Although to be fair, Elisa's father reveals to "Jack Snip" that Elisa was always in love with Jack Frost. Too bad Elisa never found out who "Jack Snip" really was.
- There are two of them in Danny Phantom: Tucker, who is the resident Butt Monkey and Vlad, who spent years in the hospital and lost out the chance to marry the girl of his dreams. Equally unluckily for him, Maddie truely loves Jack and just doesn't feel the same way for him, even without Jack.
- And of course with Danny and Sam, who have been friends since second grade with an obvious attraction to each other, where only at the end they do get together.
- The Fairly Odd Parents: a Flash Back episode revealed that Mrs. Turner and Principal Waxaplax were this to Dinkleberg and Crocker, respectivly.
- Kevin in The Barbie Diaries.
- Noah has a long-standing crush on his best friend, the titular character in Atomic Betty. Naturally, she doesn't notice his feelings for most of the series. She does become aware in the post-episode short "Bizarre Love Triangle" when Sparky, De Gill, and X-5 spy on Noah with his webcam, revealing his feelings to Betty when she walks in on the trio. So far, she hasn't done anything about said knowledge.
- Aqualad in Young Justice had a longtime crush on his friend Tula, even considering leaving the team to be with her. Unfortunately for him, she began a relationship with his best friend Garth during the time he was away. But he understood and wished them the best.
- Tenzin and Lin Beifong in The Legend of Korra.
Mutual Love - Victorious Childhood Friend
Anime & Manga
- Afro Samurai: Afro and Okiku/Otsuru, kinda. (Okiku/Otsuru gets killed, but she gets to have passionate sex with Afro, it is shown that the normally emotionless Afro does care for her, and there is always the possibility that Afro might bring her back to life with the power of the Number One).
- Ai Yori Aoshi: Aoi Sakuraba. She wins at the very beginning, by virtue of having a seventeen-year head start on everyone else in Kaoru's Harem.
- Axis Powers Hetalia:
- Possible male-male example: Germany and North Italy. If Germany is the Holy Roman Empire (North Italy's first love), that is. And according to the end of the Valentines strip... it's very, very possible.
- Austria and Hungary are like this too.
- Baccano: Jacuzzi Splot and Nice Holystone. Their backstory in the later episodes was quite touching: After Nice permanently scarred her face and lost an eye as the result of playing with explosives when she was little, Jacuzzi got a large jagged sword tattoo on his face so she wouldn't be the only one with a distinctive face. They've been together ever since (although Nice still hasn't given up her love of explosives yet).
- Bleach: Rukia Kuchiki and Renji Abarai. Not only that, but a whole novel is about these two's Wedding Day.
- Captain Tsubasa: Sanae and Tsubasa meet at age 12, are in a Long-Distance Relationship from ages 15 to 18, and marry after the Would Youth Cup.
- Misugi and Yayoi, who met sometime before Sanae and Tsubasa did, count as this too. Their path isn't as smooth as it seems, however: at some point Yayoi tells Sanae that Misugi is an Insecure Love Interest to her, due to his extremely serious health problems.
- DNA 2: Junta's childhood friend Ami Kurimoto wins in the end. (By default, as Karin aka the one he actually fell for had to return to the future and deleted his memories of her to make sure the past wouldn't change. Ami herself asks Karin if that's the right thing to do, and Karin tearfully asks her to take care of him.)
- Elfen Lied: Kouta and Yuka in the manga. It's one of the only good things that ever happens to him in his life.
- Ironically, it comes about as a result of one of those bad things since Kaede would had have a very high chance of wining if she didn't die. Maybe its a good thing though since Kaede is the case of the majority of his heartaches, something he's probably never gonna be able to forgive her for.
- Eureka Seven: Euerka and Renton, along with Talho and Holland in Pocket Full of Rainbows.
- Fist of the North Star: A tragic example in Kenshirou and Yuria, barely... While the story of the Unlucky Childhood Friend Juuza is sympathetic, the story of the victorious Kenshirou is not any better, either. Just as they were about to get married as promised, his jealous best friend Shin suddenly took her away with his iron fist. From then on, Kenshirou was changed forever as a cold-faced stoic. At least, he still managed to reunite with his beloved Yuria in the last moment of her life - miraculously extended thank to his initially Aloof Big Brother, Raoh, who also wanted to grab her into loving him by force...
- Fruits Basket: Hatsuharu and Rin.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Edward Elric and Winry Rockbell. In the last chapter of the manga/last episode of the Brotherhood anime, Ed proposes to Winry in a funny way by stating that in accordance with Equivalent Exchange he will give her half of his life and she will give up half of hers to him and she says she'll give her whole life to him, then rethinks it and offers a percentage back. One of the final images from the series shows them as married with two kids; the Chronicles book released in autumn 2011 further confirms that they go on to have several children.
- Also, Roy and Riza, who have known each other since they were teenagers at least. It was debatable whether it was a case of Unlucky Childhood Friend or Victorious Childhood Friend until the publication of the third art book, in which Word of God confirms that they would be married if not for the military's anti-fraternization rules; as it is, they at the very least remain in a close working relationship for years.
- Future GPX Cyber Formula: Hayato and Asuka, as well as Shiba and Rena from the Play Station game.
- Gate Keepers: Subverted with Shun and Ruriko. Despite the happy ending, the sequel reveals that they didn't get married, as Ikusawa isn't the middle name of Shun's daughter, Ayane.
- Gokinjo Monogatari: Mikako and Tsutomu and Mariko and Shuu.
- Gokusen: Shinohara-sensei is seen with a cute girl and the Kurodas worry that Kumiko will have a fit. Then they decide that the girl will probably turn out to be his sister (since that always happens in manga). On learning that the girl is actually Shinohara's childhood friend, they go right back to panicking.
- Mobile Fighter G Gundam: Domon Kasshu and Rain Mikamura.
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00: Allelujah Haptism and Soma Peries/Marie Parfacy.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: Frau Bow managed to subvert the Unlucky Childhood Friend trope by letting go of her crush on Amuro Ray and hooking up with her other childhood friend, Hayato Kobayashi.
- Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ: Fa Yuiri becomes this for Kamille Bidan after they go through much heartbreak in Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam. Earn Your Happy Ending, indeed.
- Another set: Elle and Beecha. Double points since Elle was Judau's Unlucky Childhood Friend and Beecha was hers until almost the end
- Mobile Suit Gundam Age: A rather cruel subversion. While Flit Asuno does care for Emily Amonde and they're Happily Married with two kids in the second part of the series (and one of them is the second protagonist Asemu), this mostly happened because of the horrible death of Flit's first love, Yurin Le Ciel. Flit simply can't forget poor Yurin, and judging by episode 15 Emily is painfully aware of it.
- Guyver: Sho and Mizuki.
- Ikki Tousen:
- Infinite Ryvius: Aoi Housen and Kouji Aiba.
- Kamisama Kazoku: Tenko and Samatarou.
- Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl: This happens to Tomari, who gets a hold of Hazumu as the resolution of a very melodramatic Love Triangle. The other girl, Yasuna, is the one though who actually sacrifices most for her loved one--at least in the manga. In the anime, Yasuna dumps Hazumu after they try it for a while. Interesting detail is that all involved are girls, although Hazumu used to be a boy who as a kid promised to marry Tomari.
- Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho: Kaname and Amuro, though the part where their childhood encounter was revealed didn't get adapted in the anime.
- Kimba the White Lion: Kimba and Kitty.
- KimiKiss: After playing around with dating Yumi, Koichi canonically ends up with Mao.
- Lamune: After an entire series of She Is Not My Girlfriend, Kenji and Nanami do end up together.
- Lucky Star: Konata's parents. Lampshaded by Konata (a 17-year old saying this) that it's a common hentai game story; she seems to know a lot about those...
- Tragically played with in the original series. Misa Hayase had a fiancee named Riber Fruhling, whom she had known and loved since she was young (heck, her love for him was one of the two reasons why she joined the military). Some time before the Macross takes off, he leaves and promises to come back, but never does. And in a recognization mission in the Moon base, Misa finds out the truth... Riber was Dead All Along.
- Macross Frontier: Michel and Klan. Michel admits he loves her right before he dies. Apparently they like to make us cry. Interestingly, in the movies, this Tear Jerker is averted in the case of Klan and Michel. And elsewhere this was pulled out of freaking nowhere near the end of the second (and final) movie when Alto flashes back to a chance meeting with Sheryl when they were pre-teens in a revelation that she was the first girl after all.
- Macross Plus: Double whammy with Isamu, Myung, and Guld. They been friends since childhood but their friendship falls apart when it turns into a Love Triangle. Years later when they all meet up again, Isamu finally wins with a flashback that strongly suggests he had already if not for Guld's temper. This nonetheless gives it an entry in victorious and unrequited.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha:
- Chrono and Amy, who had been friends ever since they met in school and got married with kids after the Time Skip. Caused a good amount of screaming in the fandom as the Chrono/Nanoha and Chrono/Fate factions were quite up there in the Shipping Wars.
- And who could forget the "Takamachi Family?" Les Yay to the max with two main characters who are best friends ever since childhood.
- Mahou Sensei Negima: Konoka Konoe and her personal bodyguard Setsuna Sakurazaki. Setsuna's feelings are made painfully obvious; Konoka acts innocent but seems to intentionally provoke Setsuna. They make a pactio, and in the Where Are They Now? Epilogue, they're not explicitly stated to have married each other but they're mentioned to have married in the same year and the accompanying image certainly implies it.
- Martian Successor Nadesico: After years of childhood friendship, a long estrangement, and twenty-five and nine-tenths episodes of She Is Not My Girlfriend, Akito and Yurika end up together at the end.
- Medaka Box: As of chapter 140, Medaka may have fallen for Zenkichi.
- Naruto: Yahiko and Konan is the first Childhood Friend Romance that turns out to be reciprocated between both characters, even though it's only hinted at. Since Yahiko dies early on, becoming Nagato's avatar for his Deva Path, nothing much comes of it.
- When the main Naruto story was finished, the above mentioned deals between Naruto, Sakura, Hinata and Sasuke were resolved... Hinata and Naruto are Happily Married, Sasuke and Sakura's relationship is unstable for a while but gets kinda better with time. And both couples have children.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion: Asuka and Shinji in the spin-off Angelic Days.
- Princess Tutu: Rue and Mytho are revealed to be these, once you find out how long she's been waiting for him.
- Psyren: Ageha and Amamiya.
- RahXephon: Between the Year Inside, Hour Outside effect and the Laser-Guided Amnesia, Haruka was set up to be pretty much the unluckiest childhood friend ever. But then the ending managed to get around all that quite neatly.
- Rose of Versailles: Oscar and Andre. They do get together- but only get to consummate their relationship one night before Andre dies in battle, and two before Oscar herself dies.
- School Rumble: Mikoto Suo and Haruki Hanai.
- The Secret Agreement: Yuuichi and Iori meet by chance as kids and despite their different statuses fall in love while they're still quite young, and plan to carry on their affair even after Iori marries. The relationship is undermined a little by the possibility that their love is only a manufactured delusion, however.
- Shoujo Sect: Naito and Handa.
- Sket Dance: Bossun's parents grew up together in an orphanage.
- Special A: Hikari and Kei & Akira and Tadashi.
- Tenchi Muyo! GXP: Kiriko Masaki has known and looked after Sena since he was a child. She falls in love, and marries him at the end.
- Tokyo Mew Mew: Berry and Tasuku in A la Mode.
- Touch: Tatsuya and Minami. It turns out that, out of the Uesugi brothers, Tatsuya is the one Minami has loved all along.
- The Tower of Druaga: Gilgamesh and Kai.
- Yu Yu Hakusho: Yuusuke and Keiko.
- For Better or For Worse: Michael Patterson and Deanna Sobinski. They went to elementary school together, were parted when Deanna moved away, and reunited in university. Then they got married.
- Anthony Caine and Elizabeth Patterson met in elementary school as well. She moved away and then moved back home. They got married in the finale.
- Tales of the Frog Princess fics. Just... just... Tales of the Frog Princess fics.
- Zoe and Francis in several.
- In Confessions of a Vampire Prince, Ben and Andy.
- Chances are, for any work that averts or subverts this trope, there'll be at least one Fix Fic that plays it straight.
- Gift of the Dark Ancestor, a Warcraft fic, runs on this trope while completely averting Just Friends.
- The Official Couple in Deadly Mistakes became this.
Films -- Animation
- Carl and his deaceased wife Ellie in Up. Much of the plot revolves around his pain from believing that he failed to fulfill his promise to her.
- They were betrothed to each other, but they weren't at all keen on the idea until they grew up.
- Gloria and Mumble in Happy Feet.
- Nita and Kenai in Brother Bear 2
Films -- Live-Action
- His childhoodfriend starts out being the Unlucky Childhood Friend to the main character. However, at the end, he ends up choosing her after realizing that the popular girl he was pining after was very superficial.
- He starts out being the Unlucky Childhood Friend who won't make a move while she's in a relationship with another guy, but after he saves her a time or three he works up the nerve to tell her how he feels about her and they become an Official Couple.
- Temporary victory as the girl does get with the mature man, even having a daughter once they've reached the same age, but he eventually has to leave her due to his condition.
- H.W. and Mary end up together in There Will Be Blood.
- Jamal and Latika in Slumdog Millionaire
- Hal and Lane in Snow Day.
- In Braveheart, William Wallace and Murron.
- Forrest and Jenny in Forrest Gump.
- Melody (1971) took this to extremes with the ten-year-old lovebirds deciding to skip the part about growing up first and get married at once. They actually manage to pull this off, albeit very unofficially, and it turns into an elopement when the adults raid their wedding party.
- Subverted with Bruce Wayne and Rachel Dawes in The Dark Knight, where Rachel breaks her promise to wait for Bruce in Batman Begins and ends up with Harvey "The Two-Face" Dent instead. She winds up getting killed!
- Nine year old Anakin Skywalker does end up marrying Padme Amidala. Granted it didn't turn out too well in the end.
- In Some Kind of Wonderful Keith and Watts have known each other since at least the third grade. Initially Keith doesn't notice her--due not only to knowing her for a very long time, but also because she's this close to qualifying for Wholesome Crossdresser--but following a whole lot of Character Development for everybody and one hell of a Practice Kiss, he ends up choosing her. Curiously enough, the popular girl he was pining after isn't made out to be a bad person, just one who's better off on her own.
- When Mary of It's a Wonderful Life was a child she said that she was going to marry Gorge. He didn't fulfill his dreams but she did before too long.
- Little Women's Amy ultimately marries Theodore "Laurie" Laurence, who she's known since childhood, after he got over her sister Jo shooting his affections down. When she was afraid she would die without being kissed, he promised to kiss her before she died. She surely considered herself victorious when he started expressing interest in her.
- Nataniel "Nat" Blake and Margaret "Daisy" Brooke (Amy and Laurie's niece), who had been good friends since Little Women's sequel Little Men, got married in the final sequel Jo's Boys. Averted by Annie aka Nan and Tommy, however.
- Christopher Chant and Millie from the Chrestomanci series by Diana Wynne Jones.
- There are several examples in the Anne of Green Gables series. Perhaps the most extreme is with Miss Lavendar and Stephen Irving from Anne of Avonlea: they met when Lavendar was six and Stephen was nine, and soon after made a Childhood Marriage Promise. They were formally engaged when Lavendar was twenty... and then had a fight and broke up. Stephen then moves to America, marries, and fathers a son, Paul. Paul's mother dies, and Paul moves back to Avonlea to live with his grandmother, befriends Lavendar (who remained single for twenty-five years, having regretted their break-up and not wanting to marry anyone who wasn't Stephen), and writes to his father about it. Stephen returns to Avonlea and reconciles with Lavendar, and the two are married... twenty-five years after they were engaged and almost forty years after they had met.
- Not to mention Anne and Gilbert themselves, who were friends after she stopped hating him.
- Most of Anne and Gilbert's children, as well, marry childhood friends. The most notable is their youngest daughter, Rilla, who marries her childhood friend/crush Ken Ford. In Rilla of Ingleside, Ken gives Rilla her first kiss before heading off to war and begs her not kiss anyone else while he is gone. The book ends with his return and a sweet proposal using her childhood nickname.
- In Frankenstein, Victor and Elizabeth.
- Mia and Michael in The Princess Diaries.
- Taran and Eilonwy in the Prydain Chronicles. When Taran finally asks her to marry him after years of silent pining, Eilonwy replies, "Of course I will, and if you'd ever given any thought to the question you'd have already known the answer."
- Dawn and Jimmy in Dawn by V. C. Andrews, with a squicky twist: They were raised as brother and sister, but after the truth is revealed, Jimmy admits that he used to wish Dawn wasn't his sister because she's the only girl he's ever wanted. She eventually gets over this revelation and they get married.
- David Strong in Quills Window.
- Maximum Ride and Fang.
- Seylin and Emily in the Hollow Kingdom Trilogy.
- In the Dragonlance novels, Laurana and Tanis are childhood sweethearts, complete with a Childhood Marriage Promise. Tanis then leaves Laurana after being confronted by her family who do not believe a bastard half-human like him is good enough for an elven princess. Many years later Tanis is reunited with Laurana who is still very much in love with him and has become an incredibly beautiful woman. Tanis soon realizes he still has feelings for her as well, but the situation is complicated because he is now also in love with another woman, Dark Action Girl Kitiara Uth Matar, setting up a three-book-long Betty and Veronica triangle. It is only after Tanis sees Laurana's beauty and courage while she is a prisoner of Kitiara that he realizes she is the one he truly loves. Tanis then saves Laurana from a Fate Worse Than Death and the two are married.
- Lily in My Old Sweetheart.
- Jane Austen was fond of this trope:
- Fanny Price and Edmund Bertram of Mansfield Park (even though Mrs. Norris tries to invoke the Westermarck Effect), who are also cousins but in a time and setting where that was commonplace.
- Emma and Mr. Knightley.
- Has tragic results in Sense and Sensibility: Colonel Christopher Brandon was in love with his childhood friend Eliza, but they were forced apart due to an Arranged Marriage.
- Fred and Mary in Middlemarch.
- Agnes in Charles Dickens' David Copperfield.
- Probably Pip with Estelle in Great Expectations.
- In Harry Potter, Harry eventually marries Ginny Weasley and Ron and Hermione get married.
- At the same time, this trope is fairly common in the universe of Harry Potter, as not only do wizarding children go to the same school as others in their region/country from age 11 on, but also share a "house" for seven years. Basically, it's a dorm room atmosphere with the same faces from adolescence through puberty to of-age young adults.
- In the incredibly popular Phantom of the Opera, Raoul de Chagne and Christine Daae - not only in the original novel, but also in the musical and in the film.
- Lucy and Zach in Nancy Werlin's Impossible. It's kind of complicated by a prophecy that Lucy, like her mother, will go insane when she gives birth to a child if she doesn't complete three impossible tasks, but they work it out in the end.
- Although the length of their relationship is not specified, Lotte and Albert in "The Sorrows of Young Werther" have been close friends long enough that he was in the room with her when her mother died. They remain an established couple throughout the novel, much to the despair of her admirer , Werther, who blows his brains out.
- Anakin Solo and Tahiri Veila.
- Brandon and Madeline in Border Songs.
- Tre and Nora become this in Stuck after reuniting for the first time in 5 years. Then they broke up. And then they stick together permanently.
- Will and Alyss in Ranger's Apprentice. To the genre-savvy, it was obvious there were some feelings between them even as early as the start of the first book.
- In PG Wodehouse's Jill The Reckless, Wally. He confesses that his bad behavior stemmed from a crush in childhood.
- Lizzie McGuire. Gordo has pined after Lizzie for quite some time. She, of course, is oblivious to his feelings and her feelings for him until the near-end of the series. They officially get together in The Movie.
- Flash Forward.
- Pushing Daisies: Ned and Chuck. Even though they can't touch each other, they've officially agreed to be boyfriend and girlfriend. The not-touching thing kind of makes this an example of both this trope and Unlucky Childhood Friend From a Certain Point of View.
- Ned and Moze in Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.
- Cory and Topanga on Boy Meets World.
- Steve and Laura on Family Matters.
- On "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", we have Dawn and Xander, who appear to be together in the comics now. Dawn has always had a crush on Xander.
- If the Series Fauxnale of Scrubs is any indication, J.D.'s son Sam and Turk's daughter Izzy will become this! Of course, it's unclear if this is a vision of things to come or just J.D.'s final Imagine Spot.
- Lilly in Hannah Montana eventually gets together with her male best friend, Oliver.
- Happens in Life With Derek as a Last-Minute Hookup in the penultimate episode between Derek and Emily.
- Naturally Sadie has Taylor hook up with Rain after she comes back into his life during season three.
- Queer as Folk UK: Vince finally rides off into the sunset with Stuart at the end of the story.
- More like Victorious Young Adulthood Friend, but after 7 years and 4 movies, Star Trek: The Next Generation's Will Riker finally hooks up with Deanna Troi.
- The "second-greatest love story" Ted has ever heard in How I Met Your Mother. Involving a girl who is explicitly described as a Girl Next Door, too.
- Doctor Who: Amy and Rory, from the Eleventh Doctor's era... until Rory is erased from time, comes back to life as an Ancient Roman, and then is revealed to be a disguised Auton created from Amy's memories. Oh dear. But then he comes back to life for real, and they get married at the end of the 2010 series.
- Olivia and Peter in Fringe, though (like the Simpsons example below) it's an interesting case. They briefly met as children while both trying to run away from their guardians, and later got together as adults, but neither of them remember their first meeting as a result of suppressing traumatic memories from around that time.
- The 2000 TV version of Arabian Nights makes it that Scheherezade and the Sultan were childhood playmates, and she's not marrying him only as a noble act of self-sacrifice. By the end, he comes to realise that he loves her too.
- Implied in the video for Elvis Costello's "Veronica".
- Inverted and then played straight at the end of Living Next Door To Alice.
- Backstreet Boys song How Did I Fall In Love With You is about the realization that the singer's friend is one of these.
- A common theme in country music:
- George Strait's "Check Yes or No"
- Clay Walker's "One, Two, I Love You"
- Bryan White's "Rebecca Lynn"
- Trisha Yearwood's "She's in Love with the Boy"
- Tim Mc Graw's "Don't Take the Girl", though that one has a Downer Ending.
- Taylor Swift's "Mary's Song"
- Diamond Rio's "Meet in the Middle"
- Miranda Lambert's "Me and Charlie Talking"
- The Search Is Over by Survivor. The singer is searching for "the one" and finally realizes that it's his lady friend who's been there for him the whole time. A Truth in Television, since writer Jim Peterik based it on a friend of his.
- Implied in the music video for the Boyce Avenue song "Every Breath."
- Christine and Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera.
- Patience and Archibald in Patience were friends as small children, but then lost contact with each other for a while before falling in love during the play.
- Melchior and Wendla in Spring Awakening. However given the Downer Ending the show has, it fits Unlucky Childhood Friend more.
- Motel and Tzeitel in Fiddler On the Roof; initially it was thought that it would be unrequited due to Tzeitel being promised off to marry the town's wealthiest citizen, but with pleading on their part(and Motel standing up for himself on why he wishes for her), Tzeitel's father, Tevye, agrees to it.
- In the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Allegro, Jenny is Joe Taylor's girl from childhood, and she keeps writing to him while he is away at medical school. When they meet again, Joe decides to marry her even before finishing his education, though Jenny would prefer it if he were wealthier. In the second act, they move to the city at her insistence so he can earn more money at a big city practice. When Joe hears that his wife is having an affair with a soap tycoon, he feels he doesn't care anymore about the girl he's known since he was eight years old.
- Stuart Patterson's play Cinderella, which is based on the panto but is not itself a panto, calls the Buttons character (see above) Callum, and he and Cinderella end up together once she realises the Prince is a Prince Charmless. Callum then turns out to be Lost Orphaned Royalty of a neighbouring kingdom.
- Fire Emblem :
- Gaiden: Alm and Celica, Mae and Boey (as long as one of them lives).
- Mystery of the Emblem: Caeda and Marth. Thre remake adds Draug and Norne.
- Genealogy of the Holy War, if the player pairs them: Tailtiu and either Azelle or Lex, Ayra and Chulainn, Erinys and Lewyn; Seliph and either Lana or Larcei (or Muirne or Creidne), Lana (or Muirne) and Ulster or Diarmuid (or Dalvin or Tristan), Leif and Nanna (or Jeanne).
- Thracia 776: Again, Leif and Nanna.
- The Binding Blade: Lilina, if paired with Roy.
- Fire Emblem Blazing Blade: Wil, if paired with Rebecca.
- The Sacred Stones: Tana if paired with Ephraim, Innes if paired with Eirika, Colm and Neimi, Artur and Lute, Kyle if paired with Syrene.
- Radiant Dawn: Soren if paired with Ike, though the narrative keeps it somewhat ambiguous. Geoffrey/Elincia, Naesala/Leanne, and Boyd/Mist are also examples of this. Laura/Aran can be seen as such, but they suffer from a lack of a paired ending. There's also Sothe and his childhood friend Micaiah (although Sothe mentions that he sees her as a sister) end up married and as the Queen and King Consort of Daein if one keeps their preset A-Support for the entire game.
- Fire Emblem Awakening: Two of Chrom's brides are his childhood friend Sully and his sister's best friend Maribelle.
- Later in the game, there's a whole group of childhood friends who can potentially invoke the trope: The second generation, who began as this before the world went to shit. At times they even lampshade the trope, like when Chrom's daughter Lucina refers to her potential lover Gerome as "stalwart companion ever since childhood" in their S-support.
- Fire Emblem Fates: The Female Avatar has Jakob, who has been her Battle Butler ever since they were kids, and her Forgotten Childhood Friend Silas. On the other hand, a Male Avatar has known the Ninja Maids Felicia and Flora from childhood too.
- Among the Nohrians, if the Cute Bruiser Selena marries either the Black Mage Odin or the Chivalrous Pervert Laslow, she'll fill this with them. Because they are Severa, Owain and Inigo from Awakening.
- Among the Hoshidans, Sakura's retainer and best friend Hana used to train with her brother Takumi, whereas her other retainer Subaki taught her sister Hinoka to ride pegasi. Also, Ryoma's retainer Saizo and the local Diviner Orochi met when they were pre-teens. So if the player desires to hook them up, they can invoke the trope.
- Fire Emblem: Three Houses: Among Ingrid's potential lovers, there are three that she's known from childhood: Prince Dimitri, Sylvain, and her late fiancé's younger brother Felix. The DLC brings some more possible cases: Constance and either Ferdinand or Jeritza/Emile, Balthus and Hilda, and Yuri and Bernadetta.
- Potentially Aika and Vyse from Skies of Arcadia. The game's pretty vague about there even being a love triangle to resolve, though. Aika gives Vyse a kiss on the cheek, but Fina gets an arm around her in a scene either right after or right before.
- Although Colette of Tales of Symphonia and its sequel could become Lloyd's Unlucky Childhood Friend due to multiple endings and Relationship Values, this only occurs in the games as Word of God has stated that Lloyd/Colette is the Official Couple of the series, thus making her the Victorious Childhood Friend by default.
- Nero and Kyrie from Devil May Cry 4 fit this. Bonus in that Kyrie literally is Nero's adopted/surrogate sister.
- It took 6 games, but at the end of the Mega Man Battle Network series, Lan and Mayl finally hook up.
- Implied with Danette in the Danette (male) ending of Soul Nomad, if the Relationship Values are high enough.
- Played with in the Danette (female) ending a bit. It seems she's still crushing hard on the main character, she's just a lot more... confused about it.
- Though within the normal game this doesn't happen, a fan-made mod makes this possible for the PC and Imoen in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. Yes, yes, I know...
- And there is a canonical possibility to hook up with your childhood friend in Jade Empire.
- Luna and Alex in Lunar.
- Kushua and Brooklyn from the Super Robot Wars Alpha series. In OG she was Ryusei's Unlucky Childhood Friend, but she moves on to Brooklyn instead.
- Minori is victorious in one of the four routes in Brass Restoration.
- Although there isn't a canon couple in Dragon Quest V, Childhood Friend Bianca is far and away more popular than Flora/Nena as the marriage candidate among the fanbase, not to mention how the game itself quite wants the player to marry Bianca. (Though not AS much as it was believed). The US release almost has a canon couple in the protagonist and Bianca, considering that the box art has two blond children (Flora and her children have blue hair, and Deboera and her kids are dark-haired).
- In Overlord II, Kelda is the childhood friend of the Creepy Child that is to become the Evil Overlord and the only Nordbergian to actually like him (despite all reason), resenting her hometown for tossing him out for the magic-hunting Glorious Empire. When he returns approximately thirteen years later to conquer Nordberg she quickly joins him as a Mistress, though she eventually has to share him with two other mistresses. She can still be this trope if the player keeps her as First Mistress.
- Dart and Shana in Legend of Dragoon.
- Cecil and Rosa in Final Fantasy IV.
- Cloud and Tifa in Final Fantasy VII. Confirmed by Word of God.
- Irvine and Selphie in Final Fantasy VIII grew up together in an orphanage(along with Squall, Zell, Quistis and Seifer), but due to exposure to Guardian Force summons Selphie didn't remember him at first. They hook up at the end of the game.
- Vaan and Penelo in Final Fantasy XII, though you have to work really, really hard to see the scene where they kiss each other in the secret ending of Revenant Wings.
- The third Golden Sun game, Dark Dawn, confirms Isaac and Jenna hook up, and father Matthew.
- Most Dating Sims have at least one of the winnable girls as the Childhood Friend, so the trope is fulfilled upon winning that girl.
- In Jak and Daxter, Jak, Daxter and Keira grow up as friends, with both boys having a crush on Keira. Keira returns Jak's feelings and the two get together. Oddly enough, Daxter is perfectly okay with this. Then again, he is more of the flirty type who hits on any pretty girls. Plus, he later gets Tess, so it's all cool.
- Asbel and Cheria in Tales of Graces.
- Shiori Fujisaki and Naoto Takami (aka the main protagonist) in Tokimeki Memorial. In the original game, Naoto is likely to become an Unlucky Childhood Friend due to Shiori's high standards, but this game and all the Classic Kirameki Saga games (except Nijiiro no Seishun and Irodori no Love Song where Saki and Ayako are the respective heroines and main interest of the protagonist) treat the pairing basically as the Golden Ending.
- This pairing is also canon in the Motto! Tokimeki Memorial Radio Drama series,
- And as of Tokimeki Memorial 4, due to the fact that the Radio Drama-exclusive characters became Canon Immigrants in this game, and seeing the Ending of Shiori's Expy Yuu, it's strongly implied that the pairing became canon in the main series:
Yuu: there is a certain woman I have long since admired. She is wise, beautiful, athletic, gentle and kind... And right beside her, there was always a kind looking man. They always seemed so happy... it was lovely to see. One day, I asked her. How did your romance together first begin? And that was the first time I heard of the legend of the tree told in this [Kirameki High] school. On her graduation day, she confessed her love to him right under this tree, and that started their romance. Ever since that day, I thought, I too wanted to find someone wonderful and confess my love to them under this tree.
- In Final Fantasy X, at first, it appeared that Wakka was an Unlucky Childhood Friend. He had known Lulu since they were kids, but she had fallen in love with his younger brother. When his little brother died, it appeared that Lulu wouldn't accept anyone else into her life. We see in the sequel, Final Fantasy X 2, that they are married and have a boy.
- If you pursue her romance in Jade Empire, Dawn Star fulfills this trope. Played with a bit in that despite the player character's flirting, she never actually twigs to the idea of their relationship being romantic until Silk Fox shows up and pronounces Dawn Star a rival for the player character's attentions.
- In Kingdom Hearts, you have Sora and Kairi. They've pretty much been leaning there since day one.
- Siskier to Garlot in Blaze Union, but it only happens in the C route.
- Gabriel and Marie Belmont in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, who meet their tragic doom just before the beginning of the story; especially think about how sweet and warm it was when they married each other, fulfilling their promise to stay together forever. For such a reason, Gabriel breaks down completely after failing to resurrect her. Imagine how happy Gabriel must have been before Marie's tragic death...
- In Xenoblade, Shulk and Fiora seem to be going in this direction until Fiora is killed in the Mechon assault... but, then it turns out that she wasn't quite dead and they hook up in the ending.
- Hinted Ichinose and Aki from Inazuma Eleven, not married yet but having a long-distance relationship.
- Fuyuka is this in the Dark version of the GO game.
- In Pai Touch, the main character's childhood friend Nami has an enormous crush on you that you are aware of, and may choose to act on or not. Either way, you get to touch her chest area.
- However, if you do choose to act on her feelings for you, she becomes incredibly happy, as well as pregnant. If you choose to not make her your girlfriend, she is depressed greatly, much to your amusement.
- Another almost childhood friend Miiku, is another candidate for being a girlfriend, and interacts with Nami in the form of bullying. Either way, you get a girlfriend.
- In Valkyrie Profile Lenneth it's possible for Lucian to end up happy with his childhood friend Platina, if you get the Golden Ending. In fact, since Platina is now Lenneth Valkyrie and the new All-Mother, this may well be Eternal Love.
- Malfurion and Tyrande fall into this category; Malfurion's brother Illidan, however, is of the unlucky variety, and went crazy because of it.
- Kanon: Ayu, since she's pretty clearly the main heroine. In the original game, Nayuki also falls into this as well as being Yuichi's cousin. Makoto and Mai were also friends as kids, but he forgot them, which is another trope.
- Sayaka in Suika. It can be subverted in the alternate route, though. However, in the main story she is the winner.
- The two main heroines of Canvas 2 are Kiri and Elis. Kiri would be the childhood friend in question here. In fact, she would have been victorious years ago if not for Yanagi.
- Anyone you choose in Shuffle will become the Lucky Childhood Friend except for Primula since they had all met Rin sometime as children and Asa met him in Jr High. Mess up going after a girl however and you end up with Kaede, wishy washy on your choices and you end up with Kaede. She is clearly the default heroine in the game. EVERYONE becomes a Lucky Childhood Friend if you choose Tsubomi in Essence+ although it's also implied that this is the expected end for the first game too when you choose a girl and Eustoma and Forbesii remind you that polygamy is legal in heaven.
- Ryouta in Hatoful Boyfriend is, for all intents and purposes, this because even though the female protagonist can romance other pigeons, the game's true ending has him choose to stay with her for as long as it takes to cure him of his disease and transplant Hiyoko's brain and spirit into a body.
- Torta from Symphonic Rain is Chris's childhood friend and appears to be the main heroine although the golden ending features Arietta, Torta's sister and Chris's other childhood friend as the main heroine.
- Fox and Collin of Boy Meets Boy and Friendly Hostility, who still commonly refer to one another as best friends. Although not so much in Other Peoples Business.
- Deconstructed by El Goonish Shive with Justin and Melissa.
- Subverted in Kevin and Kell: Rudy and Fiona knew each other when they went to the same day care, but actually hated each other during their time together until Fiona moved away. Years later, when Fiona moved back, they ended up dating. Victorious Childhood Enemy, maybe?
- It should be noted that they did not remember any of this until their former teacher told them about it.
- Played straight with Bruno and Corrie, who first got to know each other when Bruno, on his first hunt, made the "mistake" of talking to his prey.
- Alan and Beatrice from The Dreamer. Alan and Beatrice have known each other since Beatrice was in her early teens.
- The Dreamland Chronicles for Alex.
- Teri and Matt in Terinu, growing up together as child slaves under an Ax Crazy Space Pirate.
- Love Gives Me Hope: Jake asked me to marry him when I was 5.
- The Flintstones: Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm have known each other from infancy - and their relationship, ultimately, ends up in marriage, with a whole movie dedicated to their Wedding Day and another to the birth of their twins.
- Gender-swapped example in Kim Possible: the biggest roadblock to Kim's and Ron's Relationship Upgrade, mostly for Ron (it's one of the reasons he decides not to risk it during The Movie) was their long friendship. However, in the end, they get together. Ron even broke up with Kim during a pre-hookup mind control episode which made Kim hot for Ron, because of their friendship.
- After Cleveland moved out of Quahog he got together and married his high school crush Donna.
- Mai and Zuko of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- Danny and Sam of Danny Phantom.
- The series ended far too early for anything other than a quick kiss in the final episode, but Word of God states that Manny and Frida of El Tigre become this sometime after high school.
- Phineas and Ferb: Candace and Jeremy who met in late elementary school.
- It's been stated that Isabella is going to marry either Phineas or Ferb. All three of them are "less than 15."
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles example: Although the details are glossed over, this is what apparently occurred between Hamato Yoshi and Tang Shen -unfortunately for them.
- Jonesy Garcia and Nikki Wong of Sixteen were best friends since they were four and got together relatively quickly in the series. While they do break up in season two, it eventually works out and they become solid High School Sweethearts throughout the rest of the series.
- Tootie becomes this to Timmy in The Fairly Odd Parents Live Action Adaptation, A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner! Word of God already established this in the Channel Chasers TV special.
- Timmy's parents themselves are this.
- Homer and Marge met when they were children. but they also subvert this since neither realized that they had met as children until long after they were married. Both thought that they had met in their senior year of high school.
- In the Christmas Episode "Holidays of Future Passed," set thirty years in the future, Milhouse and Lisa are married with a daughter. (Though apparently Lisa still sometimes talks to Nelson...) Interestingly, the other future episodes all explicitly show Milhouse still pining for her.
- Fridge Brilliance: The first three future episodes involved a look into the future by a fortune teller or Professor Frink. Holidays of Future Passed starts off with the Simpsons taking their Christmas card photos, with a fast forward to the future. This makes this the only future episode one that's canon.
- In the Christmas Episode "Holidays of Future Passed," set thirty years in the future, Milhouse and Lisa are married with a daughter. (Though apparently Lisa still sometimes talks to Nelson...) Interestingly, the other future episodes all explicitly show Milhouse still pining for her.
- In Rugrats, since Kimi's introduction in Rugrats in Paris, she and Tommy were often paired together during their adventures and both had similar traits and personalities (during their infancy). This possible pairing was assumed, due to Kimi being Tommy's female counterpart. However, things do not look so good in All Grown Up. But despite their interests in other one-time characters (Z; Olivia, Rachel, Anita), Tommy already dating his girlfriend, Rachel (up until their breakup), and their disinterest in each other (possibly out of respect for Tommy and Chuckie's friendship) in the episode "TP + KF" where the pairing is finally touched on, it is hinted at the end of the episode that they have a slight interest.
- From Chowder, the aforementioned protagonist and Panini as revealed in the finale.
- In ThunderCats (2011) The Sibling Triangle between Tygra, Cheetara and Lion-O resolves this way. Ironically there was never really any love triangle to begin with; Cheetara had fallen for Tygra years before she ever met Lion-O.
- Babar and Celeste's relationship in the animated series and film, eventually moving into Happily Married as adults. Notable in that, in the books, they were cousins, whereas the series ignores/changes that particular aspect and makes them unrelated to one another.
- Theodore Roosevelt's second wife Edith (the first one, Alice, fell to Death by Childbirth) lived next door to the future president in her childhood and was best friends with his sister Corinne Roosevelt.
- Also, Harry Truman. He first met his future wife, Bess Wallace, when they were five in Sunday School. From fifth grade through high school, they were in the same class. She turned him down the first time he proposed (in 1911); after time in various jobs, plus a stint as an artillery captain on the Western Front, she finally accepted in 1919 (shortly after he opened a promising haberdashery).
- Saint Elisabeth of Hungary and her husband Louis IV of Thuringia. They double as Perfectly Arranged Marriage: they were engaged by their parents as kids, Elisabeth went to live with Louis's family as a little girl, and they fell in love as they grew up. He died few years later, though, and Rebellious Princess Elisabeth went to great lengths to not be forced into an Arranged Marriage (even threatening to disfigure herself).
- Dorothea Hurley married her high school sweetheart Jon Bon Jovi at the height of the band's popularity, when thousands of girls were throwing themselves at him. They're together to this day.
- Ditto Cheryl Alley and Ron Howard, though he probably didn't have nearly as many girls throwing themselves at him back in the day.
- Former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt and Hannelore "Loki" Glaser first met in 1929 when they were both ten years old; they were happily married from 1942 until her death on 21 October 2010.
- David Eisenhower and Julie Nixon understandably got to be good friends as children in the late Fifties, seeing as his grandpa was President and her dad was Vice President for eight whole years (their first meeting was at the 1956 Republican National Convention, when they were eight). They married just under a month before her father was sworn in as President.
- Incumbent Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met his future wife Svetlana Vladimirovna Medvedeva when they were in middle school. They married after finishing their studies. They're still together.
Ambiguous, Conditional, or Open-Ended
Anime & Manga
- This is Gosho Aoyama's thing: Shinchi and Ran, Kaitou and Aoko, Heiji and Kazuha and even some side characters get in on this Officer Chiba has one who works with him, but he doesn't know it. While none of these pairs are official couples save for Shinichi and Ran, it's strongly implied that they will be, no matter what.
- Three members of Yuuto's Unwanted Harem in Omamori Himari are childhood friends: Himari, Kuesu, and Rinko, although he forgot about the first two after they parted ways until they reunited years later. Since none of the girls have secured his heart yet (Rinko hasn't even kissed him yet), which of the girls (or for that matter, whether or not any of the girls) will end up as the Victorious Childhood Friend has yet to be determined.
- Gin Ichimaru and Rangiku Matsumoto from Bleach pretty obviously care about each other, it's just complicated by the fact that he is first The Dragon and then dead.
- Likewise, Rukia/Renji. There are definitely feelings of some sort between them, but it's unclear whether they are romantic, platonic, or Like Brother and Sister. As said above, it was confirmed a Victorious later in the manga, and a whole novel was dedicated to their wedding.
- Ichika and Houki from Infinite Stratos can close to kissing in the finale before being chased down by the remaining members of the harem.
- Zenkichi and Medaka are this, since Zenkichi is trying to get Medaka to fall in love with him. However what makes this ambiguous on whether he will succeed, at least the way he intends to is the presence of Ajimu Najimi or Anshinin-san to as she likes to be called.
- Goshuushou Sama Ninomiya Kun both Reika and Mayu are childhood friends to Ninomiya and both are still fighting over him years later. Complicated by the fact that he forgot them both because Mayu wiped his memories with a kiss.
- In Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans Mikazuki Augus met one of his love interests, Atra Mixta, when they were both kids. He's a Child Soldier who found her when she was on her run from her Bad Bosses from a brothel, then helped her get a somewhat better job and she ultimately became the cook at the company he works on. There's quite the Love Triangle (with edges of Threesome Subtext) between them and the Politically-Active Princess Lady Kudelia. . . At the end of the series Mikazuki dies - but not before he and Atra have Their First Time, leading to her giving birth to their child Akatsuki. Whom she and Kudelia raise together
Live Action TV
- On Revenge, Jack Porter and Amanda Clarke were Childhood Friends and were so close that he continues to take care of her dog for her after 18 years and named his boat after her. Now he has feelings for Emily, not realizing that she is in fact Amanda all grown up. Emily/Amanda returns the feelings but doesn't act on them due to her revenge plot. Also she may or may not be falling for her Honey Trap victim Daniel.
- A childhood connection with the main winnable character is a staple of the Tokimeki Memorial series. Whether the player character chooses to pursue a romance is up to the player; whether or not they succeed is up to how well the player understands the game.
- If the Lone Wanderer is male, he and Amate are implied to have feelings for each other in Fallout 3, something her father doesn't fancy the idea of. They never get together because depending on LW's actions in the quest Trouble on the Homefront, he's either thrown out of the Vault for good or she gets killed (either by the LW himself or a group of Enclave soldiers). On the other hand, the "best" resolution of the quest has Amata becoming the new Overseer and hinting at the possibility that she will accept the LW back in the future.
- The incarnations of Link and Zelda from The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword are stated to have been very close for a long time prior to the game's events (to the point where their entire community is well aware, and one of whom, Groose, even harbours extreme jealousy over it) and there do seem to be hints of deeper feelings between the two (more obvious on Zelda's part, due to her flirtations with Link), but whilst the game does end with them reunited, they do not seem to have made the step into going through a Relationship Upgrade.
- YMMV on that last part; to many, the implication is that they stay behind to found human civilization on the surface, erm, the old-fashioned way.
- Dias and Rena from Star Ocean the Second Story grew up together and have been close since childhood, until Dias suffered a tragic loss and decided to leave the town. The couple can go either way with this trope, depending on whether the player chooses to attempt to earn Rena's ending with Dias or pursue someone else.
- Childhood friendships can often go either way in Fire Emblem series, thanks to the support system.
- If not paired up with the White Mage Edain (whom he's been crushing on for quite a while) or with Tailtiu (whom he's known for years) the mage Azelle becomes a male Unlucky Childhood Friend in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War.
- Something similar goes to the swordsman Chulainn if he doesn't hook up with his fellow swordswoman Ayra. And to Azelle's best friend Lex, if he's not paired up with Tailtiu. Lewyn/Annand is an odd variation; Lewyn is said to have had a crush on her, but it won't matter whether or not she returned his feelings since she dies halfway through the chapter no matter what the player does.
- Wil towards Rebecca in Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword
- In Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones, if Ephraim is with someone else than Tana, she'll also become his Unlucky Childhood Friend. Same goes to Innes if not paired with with Eirika, Artur if he doesn't up with Lute, and Colm if he and Neimi don't hook-up (though the last one is somewhat debatable since neither can really be "paired" with anyone else storywise).
- Lilina towards Roy in FE: Binding Blade, and vice versa. (Logically speaking, that is. In the actual game, only Roy can have paired endings despite the decidedly romantic nature of supports like Fir/Noah and Klein/Thea.)
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, Fire Emblem Fates and Fire Emblem: Three Houses, there are several groups of Childhood Friends that can hook up if the player so desires. If the player decides otherwise, then...
- If not paired up with the White Mage Edain (whom he's been crushing on for quite a while) or with Tailtiu (whom he's known for years) the mage Azelle becomes a male Unlucky Childhood Friend in Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War.
- In general, visual novels will often feature at least one childhood friend. Whether or not the main character ends up in a relationship with her (or him) depends on the player's choices.
- Nayuki in Kanon though she doubles as Yuichi's cousin. Ayu, Makoto and Mai were also friends as kids, but he forgot them, which is another trope.
- While Minori's technically Unlucky Childhood Friend in all routes of Brass Restoration except her own, it's only really mentioned in Yoshine's. And also in Yoshine's route, there's Koutarou.
- Arguably Minori's unlucky even in her own route. Just as things seem to be going well for her and Ryo, Ryo fails a Test Kiss and she takes it badly. The rest of the route involves little more than getting things back to the way they were.
- Chie in Kira Kira is one for Shika. She finds it very difficult to admit to him, but does eventually. Interestingly/conveniently enough, it happened right as he was beginning to shape up to be one himself.
- In ONE ~To The Radiant Season~ if you choose Nagamori's route. She gets flustered when he brings it up and Kouhei is such a jerk to her its amazing she still likes him.
- Otome Katou, if you choose her over all the other girls in School Days. Note that the anime downright makes her the Unlucky Childhood Friend despite her sleeping with Makoto. Then again almost EVERY girl in the cast sleeps with him in that continuity.
- Miou in A Profile. She was actually victorious in the past, but she and Masayuki broke up. She appears to be the main heroine, however, meaning that in many ways she's still 'victorious.'
- Three of the five main heroines in Maji De Watashi Ni Koi Shinasai are Childhood Friends. Miyako, in particular, is the Patient Childhood Love Interest, to whom Yamato has been maintaining a Just Friends stance to for the last several years, despite her being rather pushy about it.
- This is how Yoshiyuki Shingu from Shall We Date?: Ninja Shadow is introduced, as he appeared in his Benevolent Boss Zeyo's path before he got a route of his own. Naturally, he'll switch to a Victorious variant if he's the chosen boyfriend.
- In Sinfest, Baby Blue's first flashback to childhood has her passing a note to a boy telling him she thinks he's cute.
- Gwen Stacy takes on this role in The Spectacular Spider-Man. By the end of the series she had actually gotten Peter to reciprocate, but they were dating other people at the time; she was unable to immediately break up with her boyfriend, Harry, because of the "death" of his dad, and before that could get straightened out the show was Screwed by the Lawyers. If the show had continued, Peter would probably have ended up with Mary Jane anyway.