The ties that bind are stronger when it comes to family than people outside the family (e.g., friends, colleagues, strangers, etc.).
Blood = family (though not necessarily related by blood, such as husband and wife)
Water = non-family
1) "Don't trust anyone outside the family. Blood is thicker than water. Never forget that."
2) A man wakes up from a coma to find all of his family around him. Man: "Where are all my friends? They said they would be there for me no matter what!"
Nurse: "I suppose it's true what they say: blood is thicker than water."
3) "Why did this man's friends show up to his funeral, yet none of his family did?"
"Well... I guess water is thicker than blood!" (the opposite can also be used for dramatic effect)
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