Created By: Gitaxias on May 25, 2014 Last Edited By: Gitaxias on October 7, 2014
Troped

Inevitable Mutual Betrayal

From the start, the characters know that their alliance must end in betrayal.

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Trope
Harry Dresden: You know he's not going to honor the truce. He's going to try to take me out somewhere along the line. He's going to betray me.
Queen Mab: Of course. I expect superior, more creative treachery on your part.

Sometimes, characters form alliances. Sometimes, those alliances end in betrayal. This trope is for when both sides knew it was coming. For whatever reason, two or more characters must work together despite knowing that the alliance is temporary. This is usually the case in any Enemy Mine situation, and what distinguishes it from others is that the alliance will certainly end in betrayal assuming that both parties are alive when they finish what they teamed up to do, and that they both know it from the very start. The connection may be friendly or not, and in fact both parties will frequently be horrified enough at the idea that they hope one of them dies before it comes time.

Compare Enemy Mine, which often overlaps, and Betrayal Insurance for a plan against betrayal, which one or both sides may or may not have. Contrast Teeth-Clenched Teamwork, where they can't get along even for the limited time they are working together but may or may not betray each other by the end.


Examples

Anime and Manga
  • In Bleach, Aizen predetermined that Ichimaru Gin would betray him when he joined up with him, nearly a hundred years ago. He was only concerned with how.
  • Nearly all alliances in Liar Game. This is the reason why the protagonist is so important - with her naive and righteous attitude she can serve as The Heart for her team, because she is the only one in the game anyone can ally with reliably.

Film
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, it is stated that Vader was planning to betray Palpatine, and that Palpatine was taking every available precaution to keep Vader under control while he searched for a viable replacement apprentice.

Literature
  • In the Kamigawa Cycle, Toshi and Hidetsugu. Toshi had to make a deal to get away from Uramon and keep Hidetsugu from killing him, but Hidetsugu only expected it to be slightly more convenient. Both of them knew that one of them would betray the other, but they had hoped that one of them would die first. It is later revealed that Hidetsugu had figured out before they had even bound themselves how to kill Toshi without triggering the Hyozan magic.
  • In The Hunger Games, tributes frequently form temporary alliances. Since there can only be one winner these alliances are by necessity temporary and end in betrayal, except for Katniss and Peeta.
  • In Mistborn, the alliance that Vin's crew forms near the beginning of the story is expected to end in betrayal, but Vin's crew decided to bail out way earlier than expected, accepting only the 3000 boxing down-payment offered by the obligators and then trying to vanish and let the other crew take the fall.
  • In the Codex Alera series, everyone who works with Invidia Acquitaine tries to take her Chronic Backstabbing Disorder into account, with degrees of success that range from "filleted for their trouble" to "left Invidia stranded naked in the woods deep in enemy territory."
  • In Skin Game, the plot revolves around Harry being forced into working for Nicodemus, a member of The Dresden Files' Big Bad Ensemble. Harry fully expects that Nicodemus, being Nicodemus, will turn on him the moment that their task is complete, while Nicodemus expects that Harry, being Harry, will do the same as soon as his obligation ends. The person who got Harry into this mess is also fully aware of this, and expects "superior, more creative treachery" on Harry's part.

Tabletop Games
  • In Munchkin, most of the strategy is based around convincing people that you are the opponent who has gone the least distance across the Godzilla Threshold. Betrayals can come at any time when it would be profitable or funny, and are more or less guaranteed once you reach level 9 and will win the game in your next combat.
  • In Diplomacy it is essential to team up with one or more of your opponents just to survive vs. other alliances. However, only one player can win, so in almost every game there will be multiple occasions where one member of an alliance will backstab the other(s) for an advantage or total victory. Ethical players will put limits on their alliance (such as it only lasting for a specific period of time) so that when they do attack their allies they won't be making a surprise attack.
  • In the Game of Thrones board game, alliances can be very beneficial, but since the game ends when one nation gets 7 castles, your alliance will break the moment one member is close to getting 7. Either that player exploiting the weaker defense of his ally, or his ally stopping him from getting the 7th castle.

Video Games
  • Dawn of War: Winter Assault has this in all four campaigns. The Imperials are violent xenophobes, while the Eldar are known to happily allow billions of humans to die if it can save one of their own. The forces of Chaos and the orks, on the other hand, end all their conversations cheerfully reminding the other that they will kill them as soon as they're no longer needed.
  • BioShock Infinite: In Part 2 of Burial at Sea, Elizabeth strikes a deal with Atlas to rescue a Little Sister; bring him the "Ace in the Hole" and he lets The Little Sister (named Sally) go. She knows that Atlas cannot be trusted and Andrew Ryan even tells her as much in an attempt to get her on his side. In the end Atlas betrays her, by threatening to lobotomize her and Sally if she didn't hand him the Ace. She does it because she knows that Atlas will die in the original Bioshock, though she dies by the end of the episode

Western Animation
  • In Max Steel 2013, Dredd and Makkino form an alliance to defeat Max Steel and N-Tek but both have previously admitted to the other that they don't trust each other and both fully understand that the alliance lasts only as long as Max Steel and N-Tek does.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender : After Long Feng and Azula pull off a coup in Ba Sing Sae, Long Feng approaches her with the line, "Now comes the part where I betray you." Which they both knew was coming. He then orders the Dai Li to arrest her, but she had already co-opted them, and brought them onto her side. Long Feng acknowledges that she's beaten him at his own game, which she laughs off with, "You were never even a player."

Real Life
  • The USSR and USA in World War II, since more or less everyone knew that conflict would be inevitable but that a Nazi victory would be far worse than a war with the other.

Community Feedback Replies: 79
  • May 25, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    A major example is almost any alliance made during The Hunger Games. Tributes may band together for protection, but (except for Katniss and Peeta) every one of these alliances has ended in one partner turning on the other to win/survive.
  • May 25, 2014
    partner555
    In Max Steel 2013, Dredd and Makkino form an alliance to defeat Max Steel and N-Tek but both have previously admitted to the other that they don't trust each other and both fully understand that the alliance lasts only as long as Max Steel and N-Tek does.

    You should really create an example section sooner rather than later. Makes things easier.
  • May 25, 2014
    DAN004
    This is pretty much Teeth Clenched Teamwork.
  • May 26, 2014
    Arivne
    • Capitalized the title.
    • Created Examples section.
    • Capitalized (toshi).
  • May 26, 2014
    Arivne
    I've seen this in many works, mostly in two different situations:
    • The Hero and Villain are forced to team up in an Enemy Mine situation. The Hero knows the Villain will probably betray them at some point, they just hope it won't be until after the Bigger Bad is defeated.
    • Two or more Villains decide to team up and know they will eventually betray each other simply because they're villains. The only question is which one will backstab the other first.

    Tabletop Games
    • In Diplomacy it is essential to team up with one or more of your opponents just to survive vs. other alliances. However, only one player can win, so in almost every game there will be multiple occasions where one member of an alliance will backstab the other(s) for an advantage or total victory. Ethical players will put limits on their alliance (such as it only lasting for a specific period of time) so that when they do attack their allies they won't be making a surprise attack.
  • May 26, 2014
    partner555
    ^^^ Hmm, forgot about that, and I added it to Max Steel 2013 less than 24 hours before I saw this too. Looks like we do have this unless the sponsor can distinguish this from Teeth Clenched Teamwork.
  • May 26, 2014
    Arivne
    ^ ^^^^ This trope is specifically about the inevitability of betrayal in an alliance, which (as far as I can tell) is not stated anywhere in Teeth Clenched Teamwork, which is about teammates clashing with each other while cooperating.
  • May 26, 2014
    henke37
    • Fate Stay Night has several master/servant pairs. Allies are allowed, but there can only be one winner.
  • May 26, 2014
    zarpaulus
    And we shall call it... This land.
    I think we should call it Your Grave.
    Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal.
    — Wash playing with his toy dinosaurs, Firefly

    • Alliances in just about every Reality Show where only one person can win. A notable exception was Boston Rob and Amber Brkich in Survivor All-Stars, when Rob proposed to her right before it was announced which one of them won. Though Rob did still stab everyone else in the back.
  • May 26, 2014
    Generality
    Isn't this Enemy Mine?
  • May 26, 2014
    partner555
    ^ That one doesn't have a betrayal as soon as the alliance ends.

    @Arivine: Good distinguishing.
  • May 26, 2014
    DAN004
    @Arivne: so this trope is Teeth Clenched Teamwork deconstructed / Up To Eleven?
  • May 26, 2014
    MrL1193
    ^Not at all. Sometimes the allies and future enemies can cooperate quite well, possibly even amicably, sometimes to the point that they regret that their partnership will have to end in betrayal.

    The main point is that Teeth Clenched Teamwork is about conflict during the partnership, focusing on the partners sorting out their differences so they can get the job done, while this trope concerns what happens after the job is completed.

    Also, while this trope usually results from an Enemy Mine situation (especially if the partners are both villainous), it doesn't always have to be so; plenty of Enemy Mine scenarios end with the partners becoming Fire Forged Friends instead.

    In terms of narrative purpose, this trope results in a good deal of tension as the partners cooperate while at the same time watching for the right opportunity to betray the other and trying to prevent the other from betraying them first. The trickery and deception involved makes it very different from the out-in-the-open, straightforward conflict of Teeth Clenched Teamwork.
  • May 26, 2014
    LordHerobrine
    • In Bleach: Aizen predetermined that Ichimaru Gin would betray him when he joined up with him, nearly a hundred years ago. He was only concerned with how.
  • May 26, 2014
    DAN004
    ^^ Then it's closer to Remember That You Trust Me
  • May 27, 2014
    MrL1193
    ^There's definitely not any trust between the two sides in this scenario; each one is plotting betrayal and knows the other is doing the same.
  • May 27, 2014
    AP
  • May 28, 2014
    Mozgwsloiku
    Nearly all aliances in Liar Game - this is the reason why the protagonist is so important - with her naive and righteous attitude she can serve as The Heart for her team, because she is the only one in the game anyone can ally with reliably.
  • May 28, 2014
    Chabal2
    Dawn Of War: Winter Assault has this in all four campaigns. The Imperials are violent xenophobes, while the Eldar are known to happily allow billions of humans to die if it can save one of their own. The forces of Chaos and the orks, on the other hand, end all their conversations cheerfully reminding the other that they will kill them as soon as they're no longer needed.
  • May 30, 2014
    DRCEQ
    • Straight up Lampshaded several times over in the Captain Scarlett and Her Pirate's Booty DLC for Border Lands 2. Captain Scarlett herself is Affably Evil, and her introduction caption says "WILL ABSOLUTELY STAB YOU IN THE BACK." She even tells you multiple times that she will eventually betray you at some point down the line, and teaches you a moral from a life lesson she learned from betraying others.
      Scarlett: Never betray your friends... until you're absolutely certain you have the upper hand.
  • May 31, 2014
    dspeyer
    As for the trope relationships, Dresden Files illustrates them well:

    • Teeth Clenched Teamwork is Harry working with Marcone, whom he loathes, but knows has similar goals
    • Enemy Mine is Harry working with Lara Wraith, who's an unambiguous villain but often has worse villains as enemies
    • Inevitable Betrayal is Harry working with Nicodemus:

      Harry: You know he's not going to honor the truce. He's going to try to take me out somewhere along the line. He's going to betray me.
      Mab: Of course, I expect superior, more creative treachery on your part.
  • May 31, 2014
    Psi001
    • In South Park episode "Something Wal Mart This Way Comes", Cartman acts as The Mole to the town's (sentient) Wal Mart to stop the other boy's trying to shut it down. When he attempts to feign a team up, Kyle is immediately certain it's a trick, but eventually just goes through with it anyway. Cartman later "reveals" his treachery, refusing to accept Kyle's claims he saw it the whole time.
  • May 31, 2014
    EnlightenedLime
    Firefly: The co-operation between Serenity's crew and Saffron in "Trash." She's already conned them before, and several crew members are aware that she's likely going to do it again.
  • June 1, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    Firefly could probably use Jayne in a separate sub-bullet.
  • June 1, 2014
    Larkmarn
    This doesn't seem terribly distinct from Reliable Traitor.
  • June 1, 2014
    Gitaxias
    Enlightened Lime- That case is not an example of an inevitable betrayal because while it was likely to lead to betrayal, It was not a Foregone Conclusion. Larkman- A Reliable Traitor thinks that they haven't been found out and only learns that the others expected their betrayal too late to change their plans. In an Inevitable Betrayal situation, both parties know openly and full-well that they are going to be at odds once the alliance inevitably ends. As a general note that it seems I didn't make clear enough in the description, it is at least informally agreed upon by both parties that their alliance will last only as long as it is convenient for both parties, and that who comes out on top will be determined by who is in a better position to betray the other when that time comes.
  • June 2, 2014
    Gitaxias
    I'm not a very experienced YKTTW maker. I would appreciate either hats or some advice on what this needs to be ready for launch.
  • June 3, 2014
    partner555
    ^ Looks well formatted. Just need some more examples. And don't create example sections for things like comic books and fan fiction if you don't have examples for those as that would just create an empty spot, or at least, that's how I feel anyway.
  • June 3, 2014
    Arivne
    • Italicized work name(s).
    • Examples section formatting
      • Media section title(s): Changed to our standard style.
      • Added a space between *'s and the first word following them.
    • Corrected spelling (aliances, Palapatine).
  • June 3, 2014
    Gitaxias
    ^^ Creating the currently empty spaces makes it more convenient for examples to be added, and it is almost inevitable that they will be added if the trope is not actually genre-locked. I don't think that YKTTW entries are supposed to necessarily have massive example lists, just enough that they can clear up any confusion from the description (which shouldn't exist anyway, but redundant safeguards never hurt) by giving examples of how the trope behaves in actual works. Once you have that many, tropers will add more as they find the page.
  • June 8, 2014
    m@xwell
    One of best examples of Inevitable Betrayal is a "sorcerer's ordeal" from game named "Soul Sacrifice". ordeal must be passed by teams of two, and last test is a battle to death between partners, participant must prove his/her resolve by sacrifising his/her partner
  • June 8, 2014
    MrL1193
    ^Poor grammar and formatting aside, I have one major concern with that example. If the partners are heroic or altruistic enough, I could easily see the so-called "betrayal" at the end turning into more of a Heroic Sacrifice, with one or both partners insisting that the other be the one to survive.
  • June 8, 2014
    Mr.Movie
    • The thought experiment known as the "Prisoner's Dilemma" boils down to the idea that pragmatic-thinking humans will inevitably betray each other to gain the upper hand as long as there is a perceived "final round" of struggle.
  • June 8, 2014
    MetaFour
    Firefly even had this (in a fashion) in the pilot episode. In Wash's introduction, he's playing with toy dinosaurs. The Tyrannosaurus attacks the Stegosaurus that he'd been working alongside until that point. The stegosaur cries, "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"
  • June 8, 2014
    Statzkeen
    Many tabletop wargames are this way - anyone you ally with in Tabletop Game/Risk will inevitably have to fight you to win, for example. Tabletop Game/Diplomacy is usually a great example as well, although some versions allow for joint victory between two or three players if they eliminate the others and are at a stalemate with one another.
  • June 9, 2014
    Arivne
    ^^ That should be the page quote.
  • June 9, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    ^^ How To Write An Example: examples are not general. It looks like you have two examples to submit, instead. Curly brackets ({{ & }}) around the final word will link the pages properly.
  • June 9, 2014
    Tallens
    • Avatar The Last Airbender: After Long Feng and Azula pull off a coup in Ba Sing Sae, Long Feng approaches her with the line, "Now comes the part where I betray you." Which they both knew was coming. He then orders the Dai Li to arrest her, but she had already co-opted them, and brought them onto her side. Long Feng acknowledges that she's beaten him at his own game, which she laughs off with, "You were never even a player."
  • June 10, 2014
    KyleJacobs
  • June 10, 2014
    Gitaxias
    I put up the most recent few, but please simply edit examples directly into the page. Thank you.
  • June 11, 2014
    TheWanderer
    Compare Rash Equilibrium where two parties agree to work together and immediately begin planning to betray each other or break the agreed upon rules of engagement.
  • June 11, 2014
    CrypticMirror
    • Also from WW 2:
      • The non-aggression pact between USSR and Nazi Germany. Hitler knew Stalin planned to betray him at some point and Stalin knew Hitler was bound to turn his attention east eventually. It was essentially a race to see who would betray the other first (Hitler won that one, obviously).
      • Hitler and Chamberlain. Contrary to popular opinion, Chamberlain did not expect any real form of peace from Munich, it was merely an exercise in buying time to try and get the British public and the British economy into a place where it could support another war. Hitler knew that Munich was merely an exercise in buying time to finalize his plans in invading Western Europe.
      • Basically everyone in the run up to, and prosecution of, WW 2 was planning to betray each other.
  • June 11, 2014
    MasamiPhoenix
    In the Game Of Thrones board game, alliances can be very beneficial, but since the game ends when one nation gets 7 castles, your alliance will break the moment one member is close to getting 7. Either that player exploiting the weaker defense of his ally, or his ally stopping him from getting the 7th castle.
  • June 11, 2014
    StrixObscuro
    Comic Books
    • In Runaways, Alex quickly realized that Topher was evil, but invited him to join the team anyway, expecting that he would either kill a few of his teammates or provide them with some valuable combat training. Sure enough, he turned out to be a vampire who tried to feed on the team, but died after his first victim, Karolina, turned out to have solar-charged blood.
  • June 11, 2014
    MorningStar1337
    • Bio Shock Infinite: Burial at Sea is seperated into two parts. In the second part, Elizabeth strikes a deal with Atlas to rescue a Little Sister; bring him the "Ace in the Hole" and he lets The Little Sister (named Sally) go. She knows that Atlas cannot be trusted and Andrew Ryan even tells her as much in an attempt to get her on his side. In the end Atlas betrays her, by threatening to lobotomize her and Sally if she didn't hand him the Ace. She does it because she knows that Atlas will die in the original Bioshock, though she dies by the end of the episode
  • June 17, 2014
    Gitaxias
    Strix Obscuro: Inevitable Betrayal is a situation where all parties are aware from the beginning that they will need to betray each other, are at least implicitly open about it and still work together. If one person knows that the other plans to betray them, but the other doesn't know their cover is blown, that is a Reliable Traitor.
  • June 17, 2014
    Synchronicity
    Film

    • In Thor The Dark World, Thor and his friends are well aware that Loki could betray them and seize power for himself at any moment, but team up with him anyway because he'd be very useful in getting out of Asgard and fighting Malekith. He does betray them, although they don't find out about it.
  • June 17, 2014
    TheTitan99
    Who else thinks this might as well call Firefly the Trope Namer? It has the page quote already, the line matches perfectly, and the name is very clear, as oppose to many other named tropes. It's VERY rare to have trope namers this... easy to understand to people unfamiliar with the work.
  • June 17, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ More like the line is so generic that people won't even know that it refers to something at first glance. But "not getting the reference" is part of what makes a good Trope Namer, so yeah, I support it.
  • June 17, 2014
    agentOfSlash
    Video Games: Mass Effect 2. Shepard would not have worked for The Illusive Man & Cerberus forever. It was a mutual coalition just to stop the Collectors.

    Live Action TV: Once upon a time in Wonderland. The alliance between The Red Queen & Jaffar.

    Sorry for not italicizing & linking correctly as I am new to this.
  • June 17, 2014
    MrL1193
    ^^^There's just one problem—with no context to speak of, the line doesn't provide an actual example.

    Frankly, looking over the example list, I'm starting to think that the name is going to be a problem. We've gotten quite a few examples that simply read, "X knows that Y will turn traitor if given a chance, but X decides to ally with Y anyway." Such examples fit the name, but not the actual definition.

    The actual definition implicates both sides equally. They both know that they will have to turn on their partner once the common goal is achieved. This may be the result of circumstances beyond their control or it may just be that both sides are villainous enough that each one is looking for an opportunity to rob the other blind and knows the other is doing the same, but what's important is that the intention or need to betray is not just on one side.

    As such, I think it would be a good idea to start looking for a clearer name. The best name I can come up with at the moment is Tragic Alliance, but that doesn't quite feel like it would fit for examples where all parties involved are villains...
  • June 17, 2014
    agentOfSlash
    Video Games
    • "Mass Effect 2" Shepard would not have worked for The Illusive Man & Cerberus forever. It was a mutual coalition just to stop the Collectors.

    Live Action TV

    Western Animation
    • "Justice League" has the temporary alliance between Superman & Lex Luthor to defeat Darkseid.
  • June 18, 2014
    Statzkeen
    I disagree about Hitler and Chamberlain. Edit wars will likely result from that assertion.
  • June 18, 2014
    TheTitan99
    ^^ Well, Free Range Children is named from a Simpsons quote, but the actual Simpsons episode has nothing to do with the trope itself. It's just a good name. Also, I think it'd be simpler to just state that this can work either with both parties planning on betraying the other, OR just one side planning a betrayal. Like, saying Superman and Lex Luthor team up. Lex plans on betraying Superman. Superman knows this, but goes for it anyway, because he needs the help. That is an inevitable betrayal with only one side doing the betraying.

    I think the name fits just fine as is. It's the definition that needs slight updating. Not much, just a bit.
  • June 18, 2014
    MrL1193
    We don't have to apply a Trope Namer marker to everything. "Trope Namer" does not just mean "This work included the exact phrasing of the trope's name." By definition, it means, "The work that provided the phrase the trope was named after," not the other way around. What we actually have here is a rather simple phrase that very probably originated from the sponsor's creativity alone, for no other reason than that it seemed appropriate. The excerpt of dialogue from Firefly was mentioned after this YKTTW was made, and it's not even an actual example. That's not a Trope Namer; that's just plain old coincidence, and I'd rather not see the description and/or examples section cluttered up with an explanation regarding a non-example that didn't actually influence the name.

    In any case, though, I disagree with the idea of including one-sided betrayals. I feel that it creates a very different dynamic, enough to be considered its own thing.
  • June 18, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Eh, one-sided betrayal is still lumpable here.
  • June 18, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    Except we have that with Reliable Traitor.
  • June 18, 2014
    DAN004
  • June 18, 2014
    KyleJacobs
    Added examples, changed out the page quote to the one from The Dresden Files that actually illustrates the trope.
  • June 18, 2014
    nielas
    Inevitable one-sided betrayal would be covered by Reliable Traitor and Chronic Betrayal Syndrome. The 'mutual' aspect is the important plot point here that distinguishes the trope.

    Mutally Assured Betrayal sounds good.

    We should also consider whether to include examples where one side merely has a contingency plan in case the other side betrays them but does not plan to betray the alliance first. eg In Firefly Mal would have stuck to his deal with Saffron if she did not betray him but knowing her he had a backup plan.
  • June 18, 2014
    crazysamaritan
    I think you meant Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
  • June 18, 2014
    nielas
    ^ Correct. Serves me right for posting in a hurry and not checking for red links. :)
  • June 18, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ "where one side merely has a contingency plan in case the other side betrays them but does not plan to betray the alliance first."

    That's Betrayal Insurance
  • June 21, 2014
    Gitaxias
    I don't think I worded the description vaguely enough to cause the confusion there seems to be, but I'll clarify.

    To count as this trope, both parties are fully aware from the start that their alliance will end in betrayal. Both parties know that the other knows this as well. Both sides also know that they are still better off with an ally even knowing that that ally doesn't have their best interests at heart. It may be possible for the two sides to reconcile when the time comes or for the betrayal to be put off indefinitely, but neither side expects that at the time.

    In general, the parties either have irreconcilable idealistic differences that coincide only on the point that they work together on, or both parties are purely self-interested but expect the alliance to be more profitable than its end or that they will betray the other first or more effectively. It doesn't count if either side only suspects that the other is planning a betrayal, or if either side is only prepared for a potential betrayal by the other. Each side must also think that they have at least a small chance of winning the inevitable conflict.

    As a side note, the firefly line was the Trope Namer, and I had even considered "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal", but that was too long and less clear. However, it is unlikely that the situation Wash was imagining would actually qualify as this trope.
  • June 21, 2014
    DracMonster
    How about Mutually Betrayable Arrangement?

    • In Star Trek Into Darkness, when Kirk needs to get on to the Vengeance before it blows up the Enterprise, he strikes an alliance with Khan, even though he and everyone else knows that it can't end well. He stuns Khan as soon as they win through, but Khan turns out to be immune to stuns and feigns being knocked out until he rises up and curb stomps (literally in the case of poor Carol) everyone.
  • July 2, 2014
    Gitaxias
    Mutually Betrayable Arrangement has a different bit of ambiguity. It implies that the deal might remain and that both parties simply have the option to betray it. What does everyone think of Inevitable Mutual Betrayal?
  • July 2, 2014
    DAN004
  • July 3, 2014
    Arivne
  • July 3, 2014
    DAN004
    If we go by that title then Bleach example shouldn't count.

    And paragraph breaks plz.
  • July 3, 2014
    hbi2k
    Tabletop Games
    • In Risk, alliances of convenience are the rule of the day, quickly broken when a stronger ally seems poised to win... or when a weaker ally seems particularly vulnerable.

    Video Games
    • The free browser-based FourX game Neptunes Pride is far more about diplomacy and the strategic making and breaking of treaties and alliances than mastering the game's (very simple) systems.
  • July 3, 2014
    Quatic
    In The Mummy Returns Imhotep's servant is caught by the Scorpion King; the servant cries out to Imhotep, "My Lord, save me!! Save me!!" Imhotep shrugs and responds "Why?" before running away.
  • July 3, 2014
    Gitaxias
    DAN 004 and Arivne: Mutually Assured Betrayal would have the problem that it sounds too much like Mutually Assured Destruction, which has the opposite end result. Mutually Assured Betrayal sounds like it means that both sides have Betrayal Insurance, and could respond in kind rather than that they both have active plans to betray the other.

    Quatic: That is just a betrayal, when it sounds like the servant actually expected his faith to be repaid. It was not planned by Imhotep, and there was no similar plan for the servant to betray him.
  • July 3, 2014
    DAN004
    "Mutually Assured Betrayal sounds like it means that both sides have Betrayal Insurance, and could respond in kind rather than that they both have active plans to betray the other."

    They're so close as to be lumpable.
  • July 4, 2014
    Gitaxias
    The thing that differentiates this from other betray and distrust related tropes and scenarios is that both parties openly (or at least implicitly) acknowledge that the alliance is temporary, but they both still go through with the deal. Betrayal Insurance means that you are prepared to deal with betrayal, not that you consider it the only possibility.
  • July 4, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Again, lumpable.
  • July 4, 2014
    MrL1193
    No they're not. You can know the falling out is coming and still have no plan to actually deal with it. Betrayal Insurance is about the betrayal plan but doesn't require that the betrayal be likely. This trope is the inverse of that—the betrayal is certain, but the partners don't necessarily have to have plans in place on how best to defeat the other when the alliance is over.
  • July 4, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Ah... I see.

    Still, though, a "compare" note would've been nice.
  • July 5, 2014
    Gitaxias
    Ok, got it. Be sure to tell me about any other ambiguities. You can't be the only one who got confused, and I want to get everything understood as well as possible before I launch this.
  • October 7, 2014
    KyleJacobs
    Bumping this.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=8ixngpe33bmp2vx0jpq3no2h&trope=InevitableMutualBetrayal