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A story about two friends and their adventures. The buddies in question serve as protagonist and deuteragonist. The friendship itself will provide much of the drama along the way, as the buddies in a Buddy Picture are usually an odd couple.
The resolution of a Buddy Picture typically depends on the friends working in concert together to defeat a common enemy and reap a shared reward. Needless to say, the Buddy Picture is fueled by The Power of Friendship.
As with any genre, their are certain flavors that spring up over and over. Sometimes the buddies involved don't start as buddies, but bond over their shared adventure. Almost always things come between them. Occasionally one of the buddies in the Buddy Picture is focused on a little more, making him or her the primary protagonist. Though scenarios like these can change the shape of a story a bit, don't be fooled: it is still a Buddy Picture.
The Buddy Picture can manifest itself in many diverse settings, and the central relationship can exist in many sorts of plots. Because of this, the Buddy Picture is typically crossbred with other more plot-dependent genres, such as westerns, action-adventures, and road movies. One of the most common variants of this type of story is the Buddy Cop Show. If the story is a comedy that focuses solely on the relationship between male Heterosexual Life Partners, it is a Bromantic Comedy.
Historically, the Buddy Picture flourished particularly well in film, hence the name. However, this genre can be found in all media, as evidenced by the examples below. Because of this, the trope has Buddy Genre as a redirect for use on works pages that aren't classified as films.
- 48 Hrs., featuring buddies of the cop variety.
- Bill and Ted, a franchise of films and television shows (both live action and animated) about a time and dimension traveling pair of teenage boys.
- Blues Brothers, in which the buddies are also the titular siblings.
- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, a western about outlaw buddies.
- Dumb and Dumber, about two buddies on the road to return a suitcase full of money to its rightful owner.
- Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, the first in a stoner comedy trilogy revolving around the misadventures of the titular friends.
- Knockin' on Heaven's Door, about two terminally ill young men on a last journey to see the ocean while being chased by both gangsters and the police.
- Lethal Weapon, the quintessential 1980's buddy cop flick.
- The Road To series.
- Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, a film about about lifelong buddies going to their high school reunion.
- Sholay fits this trope to a T. It even has a buddy song; ie; a song where buddies sing to each other about how great buddies they are (yes, it's a duet and both singers are male). Also has one buddy Taking the Bullet so the other can have a happy life.
- The Sting, being a Spiritual Successor to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
- Thelma and Louise, an action adventure road movie about two women on the run.
- Toy Story, which focuses on the adventures of Woody and Buzz.
- Wayne's World, a comedy where the title character receives the primary focus, but the friendship with his buddy is integral to the plot.
- Rincewind and Twoflower in The Colour of Magic and its direct sequel, The Light Fantastic.
- Don Quixote of La Mancha and Sancho Panza.
- 2 Broke Girls, a sitcom about two female food servers trying to make it in the city.
- Bosom Buddies
- Laverne and Shirley, a sitcom about two female factory workers trying to make it in the city.
- Psych is a classic example, featuring an odd couple of crimefighters.
- The duo of Shaggy and Scooby-Doo gives the ensemble of characters that stars in the franchise a touch of the buddy genre, but it doesn't get the proper treatment until Shaggy & Scooby-Doo Get a Clue!, where the other members of Mystery Inc. are dropped in favor of focusing on the buddies.