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They're sharing a drink they call lonelinessBut it's better than drinking alone.
—Billy Joel, "Piano Man"
Characters with nothing in common except their loneliness band together. Anything from brief moments of A Friend in Need as they offer moral support to the formation of a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits from the Power of Friendship can ensue. Couples may get all the way to the Power of Love starting from here.
May justify Pairing the Spares.
- Kind of a running theme in White Album.
- England and Japan form an alliance at one point in Axis Powers Hetalia because of this. The strip featuring this event is even titled "The Anglo-Japanese Alliance Between Two Lonely People."
- Due to their histories of being isolationist, some fans have started to group America, England and Japan together as the "Lonely Trio".
- In fandom, the Russia/China pairing gets this, as the two are, in canon, the more outcast of the Allied Forces. It also helps that they were about the only major Communist forces during the Cold War and pretty much banded together against the rest of the world (for some time, at least).
- Prussia/Canada also gets this, as many fans like the idea of the lonely ex-nation finding a sympathetic ear in the forgotten nation and vice versa.
- This trope comes into play during tender scenes of Neon Genesis Evangelion in which the protagonists show a kindred spirit toward each other (although this rarely lasts). Usually comes into play between Shinji and one of the female protagonists (especially Rei).
- Also subverted. There's a symbolic (?) scene where Asuka rejects Shinji and bitterly accuses him of only approaching her to stave off his own loneliness, saying anyone would do in her stead.
- Thus far played (comparatively) straight in Rebuild of Evangelion. Sorta.
- Played straight in volume six of Angelic Days where Rei and Ritsuko lament on that they both fell into the same situation: loving an Ikari who doesn't return their feelings but instead loves someone else. Ritsuko is highly jealous of Yui and Rei is worried that her synch ratio is dropping because she still loves Shinji but he's with Asuka.
- In Bleach, despite their contrasting personalities, Starrk and Lilynette -- two Arrancars that had been split from the same Hollow -- have stayed with each other ever since out of their loneliness and desire for friendship. They even (possibly) died together while a flashback of when they met for the first time is shown
- Turns out this is how Gin and Matsumoto met and became friends, too.
- This is a big part of the reason the crew of the Bebop stay together, despite how dysfunctional they are.
- Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai is a series exactly based on this trope, starring seven social losers under the banner of the Neighbor Club, whose ostensible purpose is to help them open up to society.
- In Power Pack, when their mother was in the hospital, Katie invited several characters they had met to have Thanksgiving with them. This infuriated her brothers and sister, and at the climax she explained that when they met the Morlocks, her sister had told her how she had realized it was better to be alone and miserable together. Her older brother declares that they can have a party, if they're going to be miserable at it.
- In a recent issue of Wonder Woman, Diana and her frequent opponent, Giganta, take a brief time out in fighting to discuss their respective man troubles. As much as Giganta hates Diana, she does offer advice all the same.
- The theme of Mozart And The Whale .
- Poul Anderson's "Losers' Night": The Old Phoenix, the Inn Between the Worlds, has a night where all the guests are failures. Unusually for the inn, this night allows people to magically understand each other -- so they can commiserate.
- In an Outlander novel, Claire and Lord John got married and slept together because they both thought Jamie was dead.
- In Robert E. Howard's "Shadows in The Moonlight" Olivia uses this on Conan the Barbarian.
"You are a barbarian, and I am an outcast, denied by my people. We are both pariahs, wanderers of earth. Oh, take me with you!"
- From Scrubs:
J.D.: So I guess...this is over.
J.D.: So, you'd rather hang out with someone you don't even like than be alone?
Danni: Yeah, pretty much.
J.D.: Yeah, me too. I mean, come on, how many couples out there actually have fun together?
- Heroes: Sylar and Peter as of Season 4 episode 18 (or around there), The Wall. Rather forced on them since spending five years with only each other as company would suck pretty badly, especially if it's with the guy who killed your brother. It appears that their reluctant alliance will last into the real world.
- On NCIS, after a story arc where they both gain significant others, Tony and Ziva note that no matter what happens, at the end of the day, they're always the ones sharing drinks alone in a bar together.
- Happened once in That 70s Show, when Jackie was lonely, Hyde suggests that she find someone to spend time with (specifically, Donna, or someone that's not him). However, Jackie mentions that he's alone a lot too, before stating:
Jackie: You're alone. I'm alone. We could be alone together!
- On Babylon 5, Lennier and Vir are shown sitting at a bar commiserating on a number of occasions, having similar concerns about their jobs and various ongoing situations. It is implied that this is something they actually do on a regular basis, despite their bosses spending a significant portion of the show on opposite sides of the larger conflict.
- Billy Joel, "Piano Man"
- Owl City, "The Christmas Song"
- The Barry Manilow song "Lonely Together". Should possibly be the Trope Namer. Video here.
- Harry Chapin, "A Better Place to Be". The refrain says it all: "If you want my to come with you then that's all right with me / 'cause I know I'm going nowhere and anywhere's a better place to be."
- The main characters of Get Set Go's song "Lonely World" don't particularly care about each other, but they're lonely, and they can get together, so why not.
- In the musical Promises Promises, Chuck and Marge, acquaintances from work, sing "A Fact Can be a Beautiful Thing" while hanging out in a bar on Christmas. (I'll add more info after I get the libretto out again. It's been a while.)
- A song in Spamalot titled "I'm All Alone" starts with King Arthur singing about how alone he is, and Patsy reminding him that he's right there, while the king is singing the song. Then the chorus comes in and sings "We're all alone," leading to:
King Arthur: We must be lonely side-by-side. It's a perfect way to hide.
- Promethean: The Created in White Wolf's World of Darkness. It doesn't matter if you can barely stand your Throngmate... he's not trying to kill you just for existing!
- If you choose Otacon's ending in Metal Gear Solid, it's basically this. Otacon has no friends because he's a painfully unlucky Otaku and Snake has no friends because he killed them all. In later games, they fight Metal Gear proliferation.
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: "Let's be independent TOGETHER!"
- In Futurama's "Xmas Story" (The Trope Namer):
Leela: You didn't need to buy me a present, Fry.
Fry: I just wanted to do something to make you happy. I mean, I miss my family but you never even had a family.
Leela: It's OK. You're lonely and I'm lonely. But, together, we're lonely together.
[They hold hands]
Fry: Merry Xmas, Leela.
Leela: Merry Xmas.
- In the Justice League episode "Hereafter", Vandal Savage and a time-displaced Superman are stuck on a barren future Earth devoid of all other human life. The driven-to-sanity Vandal Savage is overjoyed to meet a fellow person even if he is an old enemy and invites him to his house for lunch.
- A group of villains in My Life as a Teenage Robot, the Lonely Hearts Club Gang, are based entirely around this. Their goal, apparently, is to make everyone in Tremorton as miserable and loveless as they are.
- The Thanksgiving episode of Hey Arnold does this to Helga and Arnold, even though they have families, they feel alone like they've never truly celebrated Thanksgiving before, so they bond with each other as they try to find the perfect Thanksgiving.