A Friendship is a finishing move introduced in Mortal Kombat II in response to the public controversy surrounding the gruesome Fatality finishing move in the original Mortal Kombat. Friendships allowed players to perform various (and highly unlikely) acts of kindness and goodwill towards their helpless opponent instead of killing them after winning the match. This included giving a birthday present, blowing bubbles and doing a funny dance. To perform a Friendship, when the opponent is defeated, the player must perform a special button combination for their character and have won that round using only High or Low Kick. In Mortal Kombat 3 and its updates, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 and Mortal Kombat Trilogy, the player had to win the round without using the Block button.
Whenever a Friendship was performed in MKII, the announcer (the voice of Shao Kahn) was heard incredulously muttering, "Friendship. Friendship?" while large, multicolored balloon letters would wiggle on the screen stating the name of the finishing move, sounding like Shao Kahn was reading it out of a script. When Friendships returned in MK3 and its updates, the announcer responded, "Friendship. Friendship, again?" in disbelief that such a thing would reappear in another game.It is generally accepted that the introduction of Friendships to the Mortal Kombat series was intended to mock the parental outcry in 1992 over the first game's violent content, similar to Babalities. However, they were dropped from later games as controversy diminished and was redirected to newer games, and the series returned to its dark roots from Mortal Kombat 4 onward. They appeared in Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat 3, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, and Mortal Kombat Trilogy.
They make a quasi-cameo in Mortal Kombat: Deception's Puzzle Kombat, where the characters sometimes hand their foe an exploding gift. This partially mimics Baraka's Friendship in the regular Mortal Kombat games, with the exception that the "gifts" are offered during the fight, instead of after the fight is decided, and they explode. You can even see Nightwolf do his Mortal Kombat Trilogy N64 Friendship as he juggles his tomahawks. Also, in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, one of Kung Lao's Fatalities refers to his MKII Friendship; after he pulls the rabbit out of his hat, the opponent makes a gesture as if not wanting it. Kung Lao then proceeds to smack the opponent to bits with the rabbit itself. He also has a hidden variation of this Fatality not displayed in the ingame Fatality list where he tosses the rabbit to the opponent, which then proceeds to savagely assault them.
Friendship makes a return in Mortal Kombat X in the form of a social networking site (a parody of Facebook), it only makes an appearance in Cassie's second fatality where she uploads a selfie of her jawless victim on the website with comments about it from different characters.
In a Mortal Kombat 11 pre-fight interaction, Kung Lao requests Johnny Cage to stop trying to get his hat, with Johnny asking if rabbits are inside of it or not; Kung Lao responds that "only [his] friends know for sure", referencing his Friendship from Mortal Kombat II. The Joker's first fatality has him handing over a large cake to his opponent, and the words FRIENDSHIP appear as balloons on a sign in the background before the cake explodes and he shoots them to pieces. The popped balloons then reveal the word FATALITY.
List of Friendships
- Baraka: Gives his opponent a birthday gift. (MKII, MKT)
- Johnny Cage: Gives an autographed photo, which reads "To my best fan! Cage." This Friendship found its way into the first Mortal Kombat movie in a scene where an autographed photo signed by Cage lands near Scorpion's remains following their battle. In MK 2011, this becomes part of his Babality. In MKX, this is Johnny's victory screen if a finishing move is not performed. (MKII, MKT)
- Classic Sub-Zero: Scares the opponent with a snowman in a jack-in-the-box. (MKT), Covers himself up in a snowman. (MKT (N64))
- Cyrax: Dances the Charleston. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Ermac: Levitates the opponent who then transforms into a rabbit (MKT), Scares the opponent with a monitor in a jack-in-the-box. (MKADV)
- Jade: Pogo-jumps with her staff. (UMK3, MKT)
- Jax: Cuts out some paper origami dolls. (MKII, MKT); Skips rope. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Kabal: Uses one of his hookswords to roast a marshmellow. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Kano: Blows a bubble with gum, and it pops on his face. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Kitana: Gives the opponent a birthday cake. (MKII); Blows bubbles at the opponent. (UMK3, MKT)
- Kung Lao: Pulls a rabbit out of his hat. (MKII, MKT); Throws his hat off-screen like a Frisbee, while a dog follows it to fetch, only for Kung Lao to wince and shake his head sadly after a pained whine is heard. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Liu Kang: Breaks out into a disco dance. (MKII); Makes a shadow puppet of the MK dragon symbol. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Mileena: Waters the ground near her feet to grow a flower (MKII); Looks at her unmasked face at a mirror, which shatters. (UMK3, MKT)
- Nightwolf: Performs a Raiden transformation, as a Mortal Kombat II arcade falls from the sky behind him (accompanied by the caption "I've never seen a Kano transformation" or "No, but I can do a Raiden transformation"). (MK3, UMK3, MKT), Juggles tomahawks. (MKT N64 version)
- Noob Saibot: Goes bowling, getting a split. Shao Kahn is heard saying "That was pathetic." afterwards (MKT)
- Raiden: Summons an infant version of himself called "Kidd Thunder". It was mentioned in the MK Card Games by BradyGames that he is Raiden's "favorite nephew". (MKII, MKT)
- Rain: Summons raindrops. (MKT); Opens an umbrella and floats away. (MKADV)
- Reptile: Shows a Reptile doll, advertising it with the message "Buy a Reptile doll". (MKII); Scares the opponent with a snake in a jack-in-the-box. (UMK3, MKT)
- Scorpion: Shows a Scorpion doll, advertising it with the message "Buy a Scorpion doll". (MKII); Scares the opponent with a skull in a jack-in-the-box. (UMK3, MKT)
- Sektor: Hits a strength testing pole with a mallet, causing the bell to ring. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Shang Tsung: Makes a rainbow with his hands. (MKII); Turns into the main character of the retro game Joust. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Sheeva: Spins plates on sticks held with each of her hands. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Sindel: Kicks a football and states "That was fun!". (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Smoke (Robot): Blows a loud horn produced from his chestplate. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Smoke (Human): Scares the opponent with a skull in a jack-in-the-box. It was in fact a version of Scorpion in gray. (UMK3); A sign that reads "No Smoking" falls from the sky, causing his own smoke emission to cease. He then looks at the ground and says, "Aw..." (MKT)
- Sonya: Waves her arms back-and-forth. (MK3); A row of flowers grow from the ground near her feet. (UMK3, MKT)
- Kurtis Stryker: Blows his whistle and pulls out a school crossing stop sign and all the MK3 characters (including a clone of himself) run across the screen. In Mortal Kombat Trilogy, all the ninjas (male, female and cyborg) run across. However, in the Nintendo 64 version of Trilogy, Kung Lao's dog pulling a small red wagon passes through holding baby versions of Unmasked Sub-Zero, Sindel, and Jax, while the 16-bit versions show lots of dogs. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)
- Sub-Zero: Shows a Sub-Zero doll, advertising it with the message "Buy a Sub-Zero doll". (MKII); Covers himself up in a snowman. (MK3, UMK3, MKT)