TV Tropes Monday: Childhood Friend Romance

Tweet of the Day: From “A Continuous Story” by Anonymous


This trope comes into play when a couple meets at a prepubescent age (anywhere between 6-11) and create a romantic connection of some kind (even if they think boys/girls are icky).  It also requires that the couple either remain in contact with each other while they grow up or meet up again (usually in their teens) and rekindle their romance. It may or may not succeed (the trope former name was “Victorious Childhood Friend”).

Common in YA and coming of age stories this trope is built on three principles:

  1. True Love is Eternal: The love between the characters starts early and regardless of distance, time or circumstances.
  2. First Love is True Love: Others may come and go, but since True Love is eternal, they are just goalpost on the road back to True Love.
  3. Because Destiny Says So: True Love is magical and larger than the people involved. The children met so as to create the connection and will continue that connection through their lives. Throw in Love is Blind while their at it, since you never know how children will turn up later in life, but physically as well as psychologically.

For writers it is an easy way (if not the easiest) to set up a romantic link between characters. It also allows them to play with the trope (and the whole raft of associated tropes) to their hearts content. It is not unusual for things to fall to pieces later on in the story, derail the relationship by adding other people . And there is no guarantee that the couple will in fact end up together, happily or otherwise.


2 comments on “TV Tropes Monday: Childhood Friend Romance

  1. I’ve always been a hopeless romantic. As a child, I used to dream of having that childhood romance. Of falling in love and being with that one person forever. Of course, in a story, we need tension between the two or else we lose the reader’s attention. But still…it’s such a nice idea, isn’t it? Of each of us only having that ONE love? Although as an adult, I’m certainly happy that isn’t the case since my first marriage was a joke!


    • That’s the problem with romance stories, they rarely gel with reality. Not that these types of stories can’t have tension. Just throw a third wheel into the mix or have the childhood friend be the third wheel and watch the sparks fly.


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