We’ve often heard the phrase– “Blood is thicker than water.” It’s typically used to justify familial obligations and emphasize that family ties are more important than other bonds. In actuality, this is a proverb that dates back to Ancient Rome, the full version of which is, “Blood of the covenant is thicker than water of the womb.” It means that people who have shed blood together on the battlefield (blood of the covenant) have a stronger bond than familial ties (water of the womb). In keeping with this spirit, the “Found Family” or “Family of Choice” trope emerges as a  device quite prevalent in literature and media. In this platitude, a group of characters unite in a family bond based on shared experiences, mutual understanding, and interpersonal connection


Media portrayal of this trope is widely cherished because of the way it conveys the intricacies of unlikely relationships blossoming. It expands the compact box labeled ‘family’, and converts it into the boundless boughs of an evergreen tree, an ever-expanding intuitive entity. Some of our favorite books, shows, animated movies, songs, and Bollywood films encompass this wholesome and pure idea beautifully.


Among the gems celebrating this trope, “Lilo & Stitch” (2002) stands out as an animated masterpiece. The unlikely duo of Lilo, a spirited Hawaiian girl, and Stitch, a mischievous alien experiment, forge an unbreakable bond through their shared loneliness. Through her unflinching faith and love, Lilo helps Stitch gain the ability to care for someone else.


Transitioning to the small screen, “Anne with an E”, is a television series inspired by Lucy Montgomery’s book, Anne of Green Gables. It explores Anne Shirley’s heartwarming journey from an orphan to a cherished member of the Cuthbert family. With its portrayal of kindred spirits finding solace in each other, the show highlights the power chosen family holds.  In addition to illustrating the family’s slow transition from indifference to love,   the show also highlights the deep friendships Anne forms with the girls at her school. It provides a moving depiction of girlhood, encompassing love, care, empathy, and loyalty.


“Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani” (2013), manages to capture the essence of found family through the lens of friendship. The characters, with their diverse backgrounds, showcase the enduring nature of relationships that survive the passage of time and distance. Naina, by abandoning all her inhibitions and embarking on an adventure of a lifetime, ends up finding love, family and finally, herself. It highlights how adventure can make people of different kinds come together and form lasting friendships.


Further exploring the musical spectrum, Harry Styles’ song “Matilda” paints a lyrical picture of souls finding comfort and belonging in each other’s company, embodying the spirit of chosen kinship. It validates the idea that you don’t have to force yourself to maintain relationships with a ‘family’ that never showed you love and, you can discover your family at a later stage in life. 


And, in the realm of literature, Leigh Bardugo’s “Six of Crows” series (2015) introduces a crew of diverse and morally complex characters who come together for a common cause. They form a found family amidst the gritty world of Ketterdam. It reiterates the idea that family is a mosaic of relationships forged through shared experiences, understanding, and a deep sense of belonging. The book expands on how an unlikely group of outsiders, suspicious of each other at first, slowly come to trust each other in pursuit of their goal, all the while, battling their demons and navigating conflicts. 


This trope at its core, encapsulates trust, support, and unity amongst kindred spirits. It often explores themes of resilience and overcoming adverse times. Time and again, the depiction of this trope in media has managed to transcend the notion of a mere narrative convenience and connect with viewers on a deeper level, reassuring them that family is more than the relations we’re born with.

Advaita Tyagi

An outgoing and people person through and through, Advaita is passionate about traveling and enjoys spending time by the beach. Guaranteed to be the biggest cat enthusiast you’ll ever meet.







Alvina Parvez

Eternally lost in her seamless reveries, Alvina has always found peace between words on pages and, of course, starless nights when time ceases to exist.


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