A Friendship is a finishing move introduced in Mortal Kombat II in order to soften the violence and the controversy that surrounded the Fatality in the original Mortal Kombat. Friendships allowed players to perform an act of friendship and goodwill towards their opponent rather than kill them after winning the match. This included giving a present, blowing bubbles, and turning into a snowman. 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 Block.
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 Khan 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 that the game was too violent, similar to Babalities. However, they were dropped from later games as the series returned to its dark roots, from Mortal Kombat 4 onward. They appeared in Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat 3, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3.
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. Also, in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, one of Kung Lao's fatalities refers to his MK2 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, Monty Python style.
- Baraka: give his opponent a birthday gift.
- 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 Cage has just beaten Scorpion (after Scorpion explodes, the picture can be seen burning amidst the flames)
- Classic Sub-Zero: scares the opponent with a snowman in a jack-in-the-box. (MKT)
- Cyrax: dances the Charleston.
- Ermac: levitates the opponent who then transforms into a rabbit (MKT); scares the opponent with a computer in a jack-in-the-box. (MKA)
- Jade: pogo jumps with her staff.
- Jax: cuts out some paper origami dolls (MKII); skips rope. (MK3)
- Kabal: uses one of his hookswords to roast a marshmallow.
- Kano: blows a bubble with gum, and it pops on his face.
- Kitana: gives the opponent a cake (MKII); blows bubbles at the opponent. (UMK3)
- Kung Lao: pulls a rabbit out of his hat (MKII); 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)
- Liu Kang: breaks out into a disco dance (MKII); makes a shadow puppet of the MK dragon symbol. (MK3)
- Mileena: waters the ground near her feet to grow some flowers (MK2); looks at her unmasked face at a mirror, which shatters while Shao Kahn intones, "Pretty." (UMK3)
- 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"). However, in the Nintendo 64 version of Mortal Kombat Trilogy, he instead juggles tomahawks.
- 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".
- Rain: summons raindrops (MKT), opens an umbrella and floats away. (MKA)
- 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)
- 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)
- Sektor: hits a strength testing pole with a mallet, causing the bell to ring.
- Shang Tsung: makes a rainbow with his hands (MKII); turns into the main character of the retro game Joust. (MK3)
- Sheeva: spins plates on sticks held with each of her hands.
- Sindel: kicks a football and states, "That was fun!"
- Smoke (Robot): blows a loud horn produced from his chestplate.
- Smoke (Human): makes a sign that reads "No Smoking", causing his own smoke emission to cease, then looks at the ground and says, "Aw..."
- Sonya: waves her arms back-and-forth (MK3); a row of flowers grow from the ground near her feet. (UMK3, MKT)
- Stryker: In MK3, Stryker pulls out a school crossing sign and all the MK3 characters 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, a dog pulling a small red wagon passes through holding baby versions of Sub-Zero, Sindel, and Jax.
- 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)