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“What Is Your Favorite Trope and Why Is It This One?”

Looking at you, Zuko and Gaang.

Zuko on Avatar the Last Airbender

Whether it be TV shows, movies, or books, if there’s found family around, then I’m down. I’m especially interested if it’s a story where the characters start out as enemies, and through trials, mishaps, and plenty of tribulations, they find out that they have more in common than they initially thought. Reluctantly, they let that spark flourish between them. It isn’t easy, working or being around this person who has been your enemy for ages, but there comes a point where the walls come down and they really give each other a chance. And before you know it, these once enemies are family and nothing can tear them apart.

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But what exactly makes such a trope compelling? Firstly, it allows the writers, creators, and fans to explore uncharted territories when it comes to relationships. In turn, we get to see what kind of people these characters are, what matters to them, and what they value in those around them. It also acts as a sort of self-reflection in a manner of speaking, because no matter what some people say, blood isn’t necessarily thicker than water. We can choose our families, and watching these characters explore who they are together, before becoming a family unit, feels relatable.

Enemies-to-found-family also allows us to explore different dynamics, understand new perspectives, and test bonds that are already there between you and your now closest allies. Sometimes, the union of different dynamics leads to the enemies-to-friends-to-lovers trope. You see that in Emma and Hook from Once Upon a Time, Leslie and Ben from Parks and Recreation, and Max and Kyle from Living Single. But sometimes it just leads to a found family that can stand the test of time, drama, and creative writing in the form of Kuzco and Pacha in The Emperor’s New Groove, Catra and the Best Friends Squad on She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, or any show on The CW.

What brought up this whole rant about enemies to found family? The following tweet did!

And the internet did what it does best and started throwing down examples I didn’t even think about, from Teen Wolf to The Owl House! What enemies-to-found-family-dynamics do you love? Let me know!

(image: Netflix)

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Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.