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[[quoteright:300:[[Film/MyBestFriendsWedding http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/MyBFsWedding_2115.JPG]]]]

->'''Jes:''' How about this, you pay for cable and you get one night a week with Ian.\\
'''Dom:''' Tempting, but you're lowballing me.\\
'''Ian:''' As the commodity being traded, do I get any say in this matter?\\
'''Jes & Dom:''' No.\\
'''Ian:''' [PuppyDogEyes]
-->-- ''WebComic/ThreePanelSoul'', [[http://threepanelsoul.com/2009/12/16/on-security-deposits/ On Security Deposits]]

When a character's best friend (possibly a HeterosexualLifePartner) and the LoveInterest have a rivalry over "ownership" of the third party.

Generally, HilarityEnsues, except when the friend is {{poisonous|Friend}}, the love interest is {{clingy|JealousGirl}} or [[{{Yandere}} psycho-possessive]]. One or both might decide to MurderTheHypotenuse, leaving the other a CassandraTruth. Less murderously, both start a secret war for the affection and attention of the third party, trying to slander the other while seeming innocent. By the end one or the other usually reveals they were [[DerailingLoveInterests less than ideal]] as a friend or lover and get cropped out of the picture.

When it doesn't come to blows, they either reconcile their differences... or draw up a "custody" contract that is ludicrously complicated. On occasion, the third party will [[WhatTheHellHero call them out]] over being [[DidYouThinkICantFeel treated like a commodity]]... [[NotNowKid before being shushed so the grownups can talk.]]

When the third party manages to put their foot down, they might manage to mediate a solution. However if both descend far enough in this petty politicking, the third party may well dump them ''both'' as an incentive to make them get over themselves. [[OT3 Fandom often comes up with its own, sexier, solution to the dilemma.]]

For some reason, the third party [[TwoGuysAndAGirl is usually a guy, the love interest a girl, and the friend another guy]]. Only rarely are the gender roles switched.

See also YokoOhNo, when fans dislike a new lover.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Animated Film]]
* ''Disney/TheLionKing'': Although the song "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF4CWCXirZ8&feature=related Can You Feel the Love Tonight?]]" is mostly just a romantic montage between [[NewOldFlame Simba and Nala]], it begins and ends with Timon and Pumbaa, Simba's best friends, lamenting the fact that they will lose him if he goes back to the Pridelands.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''LightNovel/BakaToTestToShoukanjuu'' [[ClingyJealousGirl Shoko]] (the love interest) thinks she and [[IdiotHero Akihisa]] (the best friend) are in this for Yuuji's affection. In reality, Akihisa doesn't see her like this and is willing to sell Yuuji out so he can win this competition against her.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'': In all of a moment, the relationship between Shirley (love interest) and Rolo (clingy surrogate brother) becomes this when [[spoiler:Shirley mentions wanting to get Lelouch back together with Nunnally, which causes Rolo, who can't stand the thought of not being Lelouch's only sibling, and promptly ends things by killing Shirley]].
* Yui and Tamahome over Miaka in ''Manga/FushigiYuugi'' (because Yui has a crush on Tamahome, too, and wants him for herself).
* In ''Manga/PandoraHearts'' Gilbert and Alice sometimes do this over Oz.
* ''Manga/ServantXService'' has this with Taishi and his sister [[{{Tsundere}} Touko]]. He mentions that his girlfriends usually break up with him right before Christmas. Chihaya suggests that this might be because he celebrates Touko's birthday (which falls on Christmas eve) [[ChristmasInJapan rather than spending time with his girlfriend on Christmas Eve.]]
* In ''Manga/SkipBeat'', Ren (mutual crush) and Moko ([[{{Tsundere}} best friend]]) sometimes act like this towards Kyoko. On Kyoko's birthday, they were secretly trying to figure out who could get her a better present.
** Averted, Ren was taking the mature route of "it doesn't matter which gift is the better" and Moko originally didn't know it was Kyoko's birthday but had gotten her a gift anyway.
*** Though, that might have been because of Ren's confidence in his present, considering he secretly gave her a crystal.
* In ''Anime/TigerAndBunny'', reading between the lines will enable you to see the antagonism between Karina ([[SmittenTeenageGirl love interest hopeful]]) and Barnaby ([[HeterosexualLifePartner partner and close friend]]) over [[CluelessChickMagnet Kotetsu]] -- especially noticeable in post-timeskip episodes and heavier on Karina's end than Barnaby's. It's lampshaded by WordOfGod [[note]] which mentions that Karina considers Barnaby her rival[[/note]] and in the 2nd drama [=CD=]; but since Kotetsu [[ObliviousToLove has yet to so much as ]]''[[ObliviousToLove consider ]]''[[ObliviousToLove Karina's potential to be his girlfriend]], an out-and-out feud was averted.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* PlayedForLaughs in ''ComicBook/ArchieComics'', with an unexpected conclusion. Archie tries to take Veronica out to a movie, while discussing Jughead seemingly getting too attached to Archie. The couple thought they have lost Jug, only to run back into him when they were at the theater. An argument rises up, and all three were kicked out because of the commotion. Archie makes up an excuse to get away from both of them, and when out of earshot he feels nothing but woe over being popular. [[spoiler:The twist is that, when Archie sneaked back in order to take a look at what's happening between Veronica and Jughead, thinking that they're still fighting over him, only to find out that ''they'' decided to go on a date with each other, effectively dumping Archie.]]
** Sometimes Jughead gets into a fight with Betty over Archie, but usually Jughead will team up with Betty against Veronica because, unlike Veronica, ''Betty is willing to share Archie with him!''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* The ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' fanfic FanFic/APikachuInLove forces this on Pikachu. He has to decide whether or not he wants to stick with Ash, who he'll never have a true friendship with due to being a Pokemon, and the possiblity that Ash might leave him one day once he grows up, or Pichi, his new found love who, besides also being a Pikachu, has a lot in common with him, and is able to openly communicate with due to them both being Pokemon.
** You know what? Forget any specific story -- the fan authors on the whole tend to do this ''really'' often with Ash, Pikachu, and whoever one or the other of them is being shipped with.
* A very interesting take on this concept forms the crux of the conflict in ''FanFic/RacerAndTheGeek''. It's interesting because the protagonist isn't the one who has to make the choice.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''Film/ChasingAmy'', Banky gets super bent out of shape when his best friend and comic publishing partner, Holden, starts hanging out with a fellow comic book writer Alyssa (who's a lesbian but so what?), and eventually starts dating her, MUCH to Banky's disapproval. Holden (who's also uncomfortable with how experienced his new girlfriend is) decides to kill two birds with one stone by [[WhatAnIdiot suggesting a threesome]], which makes BOTH other characters turn their backs on him.
* The plot of ''Film/AFairlyOddMovieGrowUpTimmyTurner'' is about Timmy having to choose between remaining a kid so he can keep his fairy godparents or growing up so he can pursue a relationship with Tootie.
* ''Film/MyBestFriendsWedding'' had this, with a little overlap in LoveTriangle. Julianne and Michael made a marriage vow that, as best friends, if neither was married at age 28 they would marry each other. When Michael tells her he's marrying Kimberly, she panics and does her best (worst?) to break them up so she doesn't end up a spinster.
* ''Film/PrettyInPink'' has two of these: [[UnluckyChildhoodFriend Ducky]]/Andie/[[SatelliteLoveInterest Blaine]] and Blaine/Andie/[[PoisonousFriend Steff]] - the latter with the twist that Steff also tries to get together with Andie, leaving him barely any time or energy for his [[AlphaBitch supposed actual girlfriend]], or exuding general predatoriness.
* The 2009 ''Film/SherlockHolmes'' movie has the tension between Mary (who's willing to share) and Holmes (who isn't) both wanting Watson at its center.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Replace the "friendship" side of the equation with "adoptive familial relationship" and you have Jean Valjean, Marius and Cosette in ''Literature/LesMiserables''.
* [[TheJeeves Jeeves]] spends a lot of the ''Literature/JeevesAndWooster'' stories getting Bertie out of romantic entanglements. This is mostly because Bertie [[FatalAttractor wouldn't be happy with the type of girls he attracts anyway]], and often ends up engaged by accident; however, this trope is clearly in play as well.
* Sparhawk (from the ''Literature/TheElenium'' trilogy by Creator/DavidEddings) has gotten this treatment more than once. A dedicated member of the ChurchMilitant, his wife basically negotiated with the church head to get his hand in marriage, and on numerous later occasions, when someone has needed his services in his area of expertise ('saving the world from Evil Gods', mostly) they have had to negotiate with his wife to 'borrow' him. And yes, he even used the "Don't I get a say in the matter?" line. With the predictable result.
** Justified, since Sparhawk is also the Prince Cosort and Champion of Elenia under command of his wife the Queen, and for political reasons she can't let the Church order her husband around while ignoring her authority.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* On ''Series/{{Awkward}}'', Matty is secretly dating Jenna and comes across a problem when his best friend, Jake, develops a crush on her.
* In an episode of ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'', one of Shawn's girlfriends gets so sick of [[HeterosexualLifePartners Shawn spending more time with Cory than with her]] that she bans him from seeing Cory any more. The show [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall being what it is]], Shawn and Cory promptly resort to [[DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything sneaking around and concocting elaborate lies to secretly spend stolen moments with each other behind the girlfriend's back]], stereotypical of an affair between a married man and his impatient mistress (the episode title is even "An Affair to Forget"), with Cory becoming [[HoYay rabidly insecure and jealous of the girlfriend and begging Shawn to dump her and be with him instead]], and Shawn trying and failing to resist the temptation to meet up with Cory, voicing highly romanticized descriptions of how it feels to be separated from him. Obviously, Shawn winds up dumping his girlfriend for Cory in the end.
** Shawn and Topanga have a similar tiff over Cory later in the series, during which Topanga insinuates that Cory loves Shawn more than he loves her and makes numerous quips painting Shawn as a homewrecker, while Shawn is jealous and hurt that Cory consistently blows off their friendship to be with Topanga. It's eventually resolved when Shawn concedes defeat, while Topanga realizes that she and Cory work ''better'' as a couple when Shawn steals him away periodically.
* ''Series/{{Buffy|the Vampire Slayer}}'' had Willow, who was Xander's best friend since kindergarten, and Anya, his girlfriend, occasionally clashing over him in Season 5.
-->''You have known him since you were squealing infants together. You will'' always ''know him better than'' I do!
** Buffy's influence over Riley Finn causes resentment among his military buddies, particularly Forrest.
* ''Series/DawsonsCreek'' started out with Jen/Dawson/Joey, and when that went the way of {{Aborted Arc}}s, Pacey/Joey/Dawson.
* In ''Series/EastEnders'', Roxy and Syed are not fans of each other at all, much to Christian's dismay.
* Wash and Mal in ''Series/{{Firefly}}''.
-->'''Wash:''' I mean, I'm the one she swore to love, honor and obey.
-->'''Mal''' Listen--... She swore to ''obey''?
-->'''Wash:''' Well, no, not... But that's just my point! You she obeys! She obeys you! There's obeying going on, right under my nose!
-->'''Mal:''' Look, Zoe and I have a history. She trusts me.
-->'''Wash:''' What's that supposed to mean?
-->'''Mal:''' Don't mean a thing, but you're making out like she blindly follows my every word. That ain't true!
-->'''Wash:''' Sure it is!
-->'''Mal:''' Not so. There's plenty orders of mine that she didn't obey.
-->'''Wash:''' NameOne!
-->'''Mal:''' [[DroppingTheBombshell She married you!]]
* This was the central plot of the ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' season 10 finale, where Frasier's best friend Roz absolutely ''despises'' his new girlfriend Julia and believes that she is a terrible match for Frasier, to the point of telling Frasier she's evil and has him brainwashed, telling Julia to her face that she's not good enough for Frasier, trying to sabotage the relationship by trying to trick Julia into thinking Frasier's two-timing her, cornering her and telling her to stay away from Frasier ''or else'', and even threatening her with physical violence. In the end, after Frasier refuses to listen to her pleas to take her advice and dump Julia, Roz point-blank tells him that "It's her or me, Frasier, tell me now or I swear to God I will walk out that door and I will not come back." The whole debacle ends in a rather nasty deconstruction of the trope: instead of reading this as a difficult choice between an old friend and his trust in her advice, and a new lover and his belief in her worthiness, Frasier is (quite understandably) so outraged by Roz's meddling that he impulsively chooses Julia in a fit of pique [[CliffHanger and Roz does walk out of his life]] (though they make up next season).
* It happpens a few times in ''Series/{{Friends}}'', like Joey choosing between Phoebe (friend) and Ursula (lover) and Ross choosing between Rachel (friend who has still feelings for him) and Emily (lover who tells him he doesn't have to see Rachel anymore).
* Happens in ''Series/{{House}}'' almost every time Wilson gets a girlfriend. The current one is fighting a secret war with House to see who'll win in the long term...
** When Wilson was with Amber, House actually did come up with a 'custody contract,' which Amber reluctantly agreed to and later added 'penalty clauses' to.
* Ted and Lily on ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' occasionally had this kind of conflict over Marshall, but tended to act out their possessive and jealous impulses on Marshall rather than each other (partly because they themselves were [[PlatonicLifePartners really good friends as well]]). On Ted's side, this came to a head in the episode "The Duel", where Ted panics that Marshall will abandon him and strikes back at this perceived encroachment on his territory by demanding that Marshall give him the apartment, which quickly devolves into a major argument and a ''frickin' sword duel'' between the two. They make up quickly though, partly because the sword duel was just that awesome.
** The episode "How Lily Stole Christmas" hinges on a variation of this conflict between Ted and Lily. Lily thinks Ted has been mad at her for hurting Marshall when she ran off to San Francisco and that since Marshall has now forgiven her, Ted should too. Turns out he is still mad, but more because she was also supposed to be ''his'' friend too, but never even called Ted during her absence. She had apologized to Marshall, but not to her other friend she left behind (the one who had to clean up the mess she made of Marshall by leaving)
* ''Series/ICarly'' had an episode where [[{{Tsundere}} Sam]] started dating a guy and repeatedly blew Carly and Freddie off as a result.
** Another episode had Sam as the third wheel when, dateless on the night of a dance, she seeks out Carly and Freddie only to be dejected to find them having a romantic moment together. Whether or not that was this trope or [[LoveTriangle another one]] was left ambiguous.
** This ended up happening to Carly herself when Sam and Freddie briefly dated.
* An episode of ''Series/MenBehavingBadly'' dealt with this (It was even titled "Your Mate Vs. Your Bird").
* Notable for its aversion in ''Series/{{Merlin}}''. Arthur and Merlin are HeterosexualLifePartners, but when Guinevere starts to catch Arthur's attention, Merlin [[ShipperOnDeck couldn't be more delighted]]. [[HetIsEw This poses quite a problem for the slashers]] considering Merlin and Guinevere are LikeBrotherAndSister, and more often than not it is Merlin encouraging Gwen to spend time with Arthur.
** [[ShipperOnDeck Merlin]] even takes on a DieForOurShip mentality toward anyone who looks as though they're a possible LoveInterest for either of them.
** The only time this is averted is when [[spoiler:Merlin is brainwashed and plans on killing Arthur. There are scenes between Gwen and Merlin arguing over who gets to serve Arthur lunch.]]
* Sean, Christian and Julia on ''Series/NipTuck'' have gone a few rounds on this.
* Sometimes touched on (and usually PlayedForLaughs) in ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'', especially with [[HeterosexualLifePartners JD/Turk]]/Carla, but it usually ends up that they're all okay with it.
** PlayedForDrama when Turk, after finding out [[YourCheatingHeart JD and Carla kissed]], decided that in order for him to get over it, he had to choose one of them to be angry at for a while. He chose Carla, giving her the "Silent Treatment".
** Occurred once between JD/Elliot/Turk. The episode ended with JD declaring he loved her more than Turk, which was very hard for him to say.
** Season 1 had a rivalry between Elliot and JD's girlfriend Alex. Alex, a social worker working at the hospital, has a problem with Elliot who has noticed some drugs have gone missing and suspects a patient who is a former addict. Turk tells him in a situation like that it doesn't matter who is wrong and the smartest move would be to side with the person he wants to sleep with; but even though he and Elliot are {{just friends}}, he's falling in love with her. He sides with Alex, and Elliot gets angry with him, but he breaks up with Alex when he finds out she's the one stealing the meds.
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', Clark is often this between Chloe and Lana, though almost entirely in the first half of the show. While the girls are usually fairly mature about it, [[LoveTriangle it is further complicated by Chloe's teenaged desire to be more than just friends than Clark and Lana's temporary]] [[spoiler:attraction to Lex]]. Luckily, Chloe grows out of it and becomes PlatonicLifePartners with him instead. Lana is PutOnABus, all while [[{{Superman}} Clark]] gradually begins realizing that his friendship with a certain LoisLane may have something deeper than just friendship to it...
* On ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', Bashir and Keiko occasionally have this sort of conflict over O'Brien.
* An early episode of the original ''BattlestarGalactica'' has Starbuck lamenting the fact that he's going to be "losing" his best friend to Serena when Apollo marries her. Apollo smiles and says how much he appreciates Starbuck's friendship. [[spoiler: Tragically, Serena is killed in a battle with the Cylons shortly after the wedding.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* This happened in an old ''ComicStrip/BloomCounty'' strip. Cutter John was with his animal friends when his girlfriend came over and borrowed him for an extended interlude. His friends were rather indignant at this.
* In ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'', after Jon started dating Liz, Garfield felt jealous of her, but eventually got over it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'' has two cases:
** In the main plot, Bassanio's friendship with Antonio versus his romantic relationship with Portia. This is an extremely mild case, but is often played up for the sake of drama in performance.
** In the subplot, Lorenzo is in love with Jessica, and Launcelot is Jessica's friend, who acts as go-between delivering their love letters and helping them to carry out their elopement. All three characters aren't seen together until very late in the play, when Jessica is married to Lorenzo; at this point they've clearly become a case of this trope, with Lorenzo joking that he's jealous of Launcelot and the two proceeding to rank each other out.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 4|A Promise Unforgotten}}'', Fenrich and Vulcanus are frequently at odds with each other in regards to Valvatorez. Then again, the game tosses around enough hints to suggest that it might just be a straight-up LoveTriangle.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* In the ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' cartoon [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/datenite.html Date Nite]], Strong Bad acts like this when the Cheat goes out on a date with Marzipan, and ends up [[EnemyMine teaming up with a jealous Homestar]] [[DatePeepers to try to sabotage the date.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/GunnerkriggCourt'': Antimony is [[GreenEyedMonster jealous]] of Alistair who strikes it off so well with Kat. The whole argument gets negated when Aly reveals that he must leave at the end of the week, and any hopes of his return are dashed first by the fact that he [[{{Animorphism}} turns into a bird]], permanently, and second by the incredibly depressing line, [[TearJerker "And she never saw him again."]]
* A playful version where both the friend and the lover are female appears in [[http://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=1669 this]] ''WebComic/QuestionableContent'' strip.
* ''Webcomic/SomethingPositive'': One of Eva's issues in her relationship with Davan was that two of his best friends were women. That his relationships to [[LikeBrotherAndSister Aubrey]] and [[TheNotLoveInterest PeeJee]] were entirely platonic was something she could never really grasp.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/DanVs'', poor Chris is treated like the rope in a game of tug of war between Dan and Elise. Being a NiceGuy, Chris can't say no to either of them, so they usually have to sort it out between themselves.
* ''{{Daria}}'' often featured this with [[TheSnarkKnight Daria]] and [[CoolLoser Jane's]] relationship with [[TallDarkAndSnarky Tom]]--as in, ''each'' girl got to be the third wheel when Tom [[LoveTriangle dated both in successive years]].
* Played with in ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls''--[[{{Yandere}} Lil' Gideon]] is obsessed with [[CloudCuckooLander Mabel Pines]], but perceives her twin brother [[AdorablyPrecociousChild Dipper]] as standing in the way of their relationship. Gideon's solution is to MurderTheHypotenuse with [[spoiler:his psychic powers]].
** Also, in two seperate episodes, Dipper is forced to choose whether or not to improve his standing with his PrecociousCrush Wendy Corduroy at the cost of Mabel's happiness. Both times he ultimately chooses not to.
* On ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', Jimmy's PoisonousFriend Beezy and his {{Yandere}} Heloise are constantly at war for his attention. The only reason they remotely tolerate each other is to stay around Jimmy.
* ''WesternAnimation/KidVsKat'' presents a passive, one-sided example with Coop's ActionGirlfriend Fiona and his {{HeterosexualLifePartner|s}} Dennis. Dennis initially dislikes Fiona because she unintentionally distracts Coop from his usual "defeat Kat" plans, and because Coop spends more time with her than with him. However he warms up to her in later episodes, even saving her from Coop's {{Yandere}} StalkerWithACrush Phoebe in "Birthday Bashed".
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'': In "Stop Team Go", Shego is [[MirrorMoralityMachine temporarily turned good]] and becomes the best of friends with Kim, leaving Kim's boyfriend and {{sidekick}} Ron feeling left out. Of course, [[StatusQuoIsGod things are back to normal]] before the credits roll.
* {{Invoked}} on ''KingOfTheHill''--Joseph is getting close to a girl, and Bobby is reluctant to hang out with them because he feels like a third wheel. However, Nancy and Peggy find out that the girl is [[SurpriseIncest actually Joseph's half-sister]], so Peggy encourages Bobby to "fight for his place" in the group. Since he's always hanging around them, they never get a chance to hook up.
* ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryInc'' has Shaggy caught between Scooby and Velma. [[NiceJobBreakingItHero It's largely his own fault]], though: he blamed his own fear of going public with their relationship on Scooby even though Scooby already knew and seemed to approve... until Shaggy tried sneaking off to prom without telling Scooby what was going on, seemingly ditching him in the process. Then he actually ''started'' disapproving of the relationship.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManTheNewAnimatedSeries'', it was between Peter and Talon. As Spider-Man, he knows Talon's identity and was weary of her when Harry started dating her. Of course, he couldn't say anything without revealing his secret.
* In ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution'' between Kurt Wagner (Nightcrawler) and Lance Alvers (Avalanche) about Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat). Brought UpToEleven [[DieForOurShip in some fanfics]].
[[/folder]]

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