Not all rivalries are bitter. Some are actually quite friendly with both parties [[WorthyOpponent getting along very well]]. The rivalry usually manifests in a competitive drive to one up each other with both parties developing their talents. If the rivalry involves people of the opposite sex, there is always the possibility of them becoming more intimate with each other, or at the very least some {{UST}}.

Can be related to FriendlyEnemy, depending on the circumstances.


[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Bakuman}}'' is loaded with them. Every character is competing with one another, but you'd be surprised how well they get along.
* Tycho Science and Princess Lal'c in ''[[Anime/DieBuster Aim for the Top 2! Diebuster]]''. As the top two ranked pilots, they constantly traded friendly jabs at kill counts.
* ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' has many examples of these although it's usually seen as [[UnresolvedSexualTension more than]] [[HoYay just friendship]].
** The two main characters Gon and Killua have this relationship to the max! Being the only kids in the Hunter Exam they instantly become the best of friendly rivals, and in the 2011 anime they even have a friendly race to the finish line.
*** Although Killua did have his moments of bitterness in the final stage of the Hunter Exam towards Gon that could say otherwise, but in the end he does outright say [[IJustWanttoBeNormal he just wants to be friends]] with Gon.
** Meruem and Komugi also share this relationship when it comes to Gungi
* There are a number of examples in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''.
** Naruto and Sasuke (pre-time skip) as members of Team 7. Not the ''friendliest'' example, but they have their moments.
** Sakura and Ino become this upon Sakura's discovery that Ino also has a crush on Sasuke. At first they'd actually drifted away from the "friendly" part, but regain it after their match in the Chunin Exams.
** Guy and Kakashi, as proclaimed (multiple times) by Guy. Kakashi, true to character, is rather apathetic about the whole thing.
** Though only vaguely alluded to, the reader gets a sense that Jiraiya and Orochimaru had a relationship much like the one shared by Naruto and Sasuke.
* ''Manga/{{Eyeshield 21}}'': Sena has friendly rivalries with both Shin and Panther; in the case of the latter the two of them are practically friends, despite being on opposite teams. The same can be said of Ootawara and Kurita, and Sakuraba and Monta; one gets the feeling that if they played at the same school they would be the best of friends. Quarterback Youichi Hiruma isn't particularly civil to anyone, but his rivalries with Ojou quarterback Takami and Seibu quarterback Kid is about as close as he gets. He and Hakushuu quarterback/safety Marco verge on FriendlyEnemy.
** An interesting case is Hiruma and Kid, who for some reason (considering Hiruma's personality) get along splendidly. They both think the other one is the best quarterback in the region. Even in the final arc, Hiruma still trolls Agon by saying Kid is a better quarterback than him.
* ''Manga/HarlemBeat'': Kuwata from Yotsuya Unohara team has no qualms about teaching Naruse or conversing about team management with Kobayashi; both from rival team Johnan.
* In ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima,'' Negi has this relationship with Kotaro. Likewise, his father Nagi has this relationship with Jack Rakan.
* In the manga incarnation of ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'', this is the way Mion thinks of Keiichi. She also has a major crush on him too. WordOfGod says that [[spoiler: it becomes intimate via HookedUpAfterwards]].
* Ichigo and Ishida of ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' become this after some time.
* Tomo and Kagura of ''Manga/AzumangaDaioh'', both having learned that Sakaki doesn't particularly rival back -- she just wins and gets on with her life -- seem to settle into this by the end of the third season.
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'', Natsu's [[TheRival rival]] started out as Gray until their relationship gradually turned into this, while his former EvilCounterpart Gajeel became his new [[TheRival rival]] and he gained ''new'' [[EvilCounterpart Evil Counterparts]] in [[spoiler: the short-lived]] Zancrow and [[ShadowArchetype Sting]]. [[spoiler: Though Natsu may end up forming a friendly rivalry with both Gajeel ''and'' Sting, too]].
** Happy sometimes sees Lily as this, especially when it comes to Carla.
** Gray has his own with Lyon, who also started off as his [[TheRival rival]] and even EvilCounterpart.
* Though not without jerk rivals, Ash of ''{{Anime/Pokemon}}'' has several rivals he's friends with, most notably Bianca and Stephan. All of Dawn's rivals aside from Ursula are also friendly, and May has Solidad and Drew. (The latter after seeing May progress.)
** Special mention to Gary, from developing from a JerkAss in the Kanto arc to a FriendlyRival in the Johto arc, and [[RivalsTeamUp helping Ash fight against two regional Team Villains]] in the Hoenn and Shinnoh arcs.
** Ash and Misty also had one as VitriolicBestBuds in the original series.
* Hitomi and Merle have one in ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne''. One that [[ClingyJealousGirl Merle]] [[HopelessSuitor doesn't]] [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy exactly]] [[DidNotGetTheGuy win at.]]
* In ''Manga/KiniroMosaic'', there is Alice to both Karen and Karasuma in regarding to Shinobu (since Shinbou admires Karasuma and Karen really admires Shinbou). Regardless, she maintains a good relationship between the said two characters and any negative feelings are often PlayedForLaughs.
* ''[[Anime/VariableGeo Variable Geo]]'': Yuka and her best friend, Satomi, have known each other [[ChildhoodFriends since childhood]] and have been competing against each other for just as long. The series even concludes with the opening exchange between them, during the final match.
* In ''TigerAndBunny'', despite the competitive nature of the hero show and that the heroes themselves acknowledge each other as rivals, they remain friendly with each other, provide support and advice when the need arises and even throw a surprise birthday party for one of their own.
* In ''DragonBall'', Goku was this for many characters (eg Krillin, Master Roshi) early on before completely outclassing them, and had a more aggressive rivalry with some characters (Tien, Vegeta).
* Kale from ''Manga/HappyHappyClover'' has been friends with Clover ever since they we're little. However Kale would mostly challenge Clover to various games and actives. He does't take losing very well at all, but he really cares for Clover and his friends.
* Shinichi Kudo and Heiji Hattori from ''Manga/DetectiveConan'', once Heiji figures out that Kudo and Conan are the same person. They're close friends who clearly respect each other (their minds are often completely in-sync whenever they ''do'' work together on cases), but Kudo's ego and Heiji's competitiveness occasionally ends up with them competing to see who can solve a case first.

[[folder: Comics]]
* This is how Franchise/SpiderMan and [[ComicBook/FantasticFour The Human Torch's]] dynamic was for years. They become less competitive with each other as they get older, but there's still an element of ragging on each other/trying to outdo each other there, only now mixed with actual respect - to the extent that Johnny left instructions for Peter to replace him on the team in the event of his death.
* Franchise/{{Superman}} and Franchise/{{Batman}} went through a lengthy phase of this in roughly the middle third of their friendship. These days, it's down to the occasional joke between them - but the rivalry seems to have been handed down to ComicBook/{{Superboy}} and the third Comicbook/{{Robin}}.

* In ''WesternAnimation/TheBookOfLife'', Manolo and Joaquin remain close friends despite their feelings for Maria.
* Eddie Felton and Vincent Lauria have this at the end of ''Film/TheColorOfMoney''.

[[folder: Literature]]
* In Creator/DavidWeber's ''[[Literature/HonorHarrington The Honor of the Queen]]'', relations between chancellor Prestvick and Protector Benjamin Mayhew were described as this concerning interpretation of of monarchical power limits.
* Lissa Dragomir and Ariana Szelsky acted friendly while competing for the throne in ''Literature/LastSacrifice''.

[[folder: Live-Action TV]]
* Early in ''Series/{{CSI}}'', Nick and Warrick competed over who would solve 100 cases and make CSI 2 first.
* Zach and Hodgins on ''Series/{{Bones}}'' were like this. They both wanted to be honorary "King of the lab".
* Inspector Gideon Pryke in the ''Series/JonathanCreek'' episodes "Black Canary" and "The Case of the Savant's Thumb". While his style is very different from Jonathan's, he's always happy to have someone else intelligent look at the case, and he and Jonathan are usually neck-and-neck in the deductions ... until Jonathan gets the EurekaMoment and Pryke misses it.
* Moze and Suzie from ''Series/NedsDeclassifiedSchoolSurvivalGuide'', once they stop being [[SitcomArchNemesis bitter enemies]]. They're friends, but still fiercely competitive. Best exemplified during the episode where they attempt to join a school club together but turn everything into an intense contest.
-->'''Moze:''' I don't think we're supposed to turn everything into a death match.
-->'''Suzie:''' Yeah, I know. We've been kicked out of every club.
-->'''Moze:''' I'm having fun!
-->'''Suzie:''' Me too!
* The contestants of ''Series/MyKitchenRules'' tend to get along quite well with each other, particularly during the Instant Restaurant rounds, which is usually more like a group of friends having dinner together. Most even root for the teams whose turn it is to cook, and hope they do their best, even though they are still competitors.

[[folder: Sports]]
* In UsefulNotes/{{Tennis}}, the most famous example would probably be John [=McEnroe=] and Bjorn Borg. Some other examples are Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, and Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
* In Main/TheBeautifulGame, the rivalry between Japan and Australia has been made up of constant ribbing and fierce games, with both teams tied for wins as of writing. Japan was a prominent supporter of Australia's move to the EAFF Cup, and players happily perform in each other's leagues.
* British middle-distance runners Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett had a notable rivalry, breaking each other's world records on a regular basis. While the press often tried to present their rivalry as a bitter one, it was actually very amicable. In retirement, they are now close friends.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''{{Franchise/Pokemon}}'':
** Unlike previous rivals, some of the rivals in future generations (Wally in ''[[VideoGame/PokemonRubyAndSapphire Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald]]'', Barry in [[VideoGame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Diamond and Pearl]] and Cheren and Bianca in ''[[VideoGame/PokemonBlackAndWhite Black and White]]'') are very friendly towards the protagonist.
** In ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY'', your main rival (either Calem or Serena, who are also the options for the player character) is a friend whom you occasionally train against, sometimes you even fight tag-team battles alongside them.
* In ''SoulNomadAndTheWorldEaters'', Danette is Revya's childhood friend/rival. In her ending (male), it is heavily implied that they will become intimate.
* ''Franchise/StreetFighter'':
** Ryu and Ken are one of gaming's earliest and long standing examples. They've been training together, since their teen years and have remained competitive with each other throughout the series. Ken's story in ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha Street Fighter: Alpha 2]]'' concluded with them having a friendly match, when he saw Ryu was still shaken by his duel with Sagat (in ''[=SF1=]''). Ken is also one of Ryu's rival battles in ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighter4 SSF4]]''. In games that have special intros, you'll often see Ryu and Ken either [[LetsFightLikeGentlemen tapping fists]] or doing something else that shows they're not in it to kill each other (like Ken playfully putting Ryu in a headlock, before he gets tossed to his own side of the screen).
** In the earlier parts of the series, Sagat was an enemy of Ryu and hellbent on getting revenge for being scarred by his {{Shoryuken}}, which served as [[ItsPersonal a permanent reminder of his defeat at Ryu's hands.]] This was [[{{Retcon}} retconned]] years later, to make it so Sagat had actually been the winner of the match and put him on friendlier terms with Ryu. Sagat now sees Ryu as his inspiration to delve deeper into his own spirituality as a warrior and relishes the opportunity to face him again.
%%** Sakura and Karin, too (mainly in ''[[VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha Alpha 3]]'' and ''NamcoXCapcom'').
%%** Yun and Yang and Ibuki and Makoto in the ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII'' series.
* ''VideoGame/ArtOfFighting'': [[HeirToTheDojo Ryo]] and [[SharpDressedMan Robert's]] rivalry is lampshaded in [[ the original game's intro]] and also by it's Japanese title: ''"Ryuko no Ken"'' (lit. ''[[TigerVersusDragon "Fist of Dragon Tiger"]]''). Which has carried over to the ''[[VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters King of Fighters]]'' series, where they often have special pre-fight intros and victory quotes for when they face each other.
* ''[[VideoGame/AdvancedVariableGeo Advanced V.G.]]'' features several among its main cast:
** Yuka and her best friend, Satomi, were both taught by Yuka's grandfather and [[ChildhoodFriends grew up together]] as sparring partners at his dojo. So they've been competing with each other since childhood, though their rivalry is {{downplayed}}, as they have little interaction in either game's story mode.
** It's played straight between Yuka and Tamao, [[{{fangirl}} who looks up]] [[ to Yuka]] as her role model and affectionately refers to her as, "sempai".
** Jun also competes with Yuka, but her main rivalry is with [[ForeignFanservice Erina Goldsmith]], with whom she's become close friends. They've [[ competed directly]] in almost every game and often [[ appear in each other's endings.]]
* A friendly rivalry between the protagonist and Jamie in ''VideoGame/HarvestMoon: Magical Melody'' is possible. Since Jamie is always the opposite sex, the option of marrying him/her is always an option. Doing so lands you a rare NonStandardGameOver good ending.
* Though it started off on a bitter note, [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Sol and Ky's]] rivalry eventually becomes more brotherly. By the time of Overture, they're practically a combination of this, and VitriolicBestBuds. [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Slayer]] also has a friendly rivalry with President Gabriel.
* This is apparently the relationship that [[Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog Tails]] and [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Yoshi]] have in the Mario & Sonic series.
** As well as with the main duo Mario and Sonic themselves.
** And Peach and Amy; Daisy and Blaze; most of the rivalries in the games... However, it's averted with Luigi and Shadow, who spend most of the time on-screen glaring at each other.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'':
** In contrast to his much more bitter relationship with the likes of [[AntiHero Shadow]] or [[ArrogantKungFuGuy Jet]], Knuckles eventually ends up having this relationship with Sonic over time. Their usual spats lack any real malice and treated more like playful teasing.
** Sonic tries to invoke this on Shadow in the hero path story of ''VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog'', but Shadow is rather annoyed about it. However, he reciprocates in the Pure Hero - Dark ending, where he decides that he is the Most Powerful Hedgehog In The World.
* Jack and the Blacker Baron in ''AnarchyReigns'' are in constant competition with each other, and neither can resist chances to land verbal (and sometimes physical) jabs at the other's expense... but when actually pushed, the two will immediately band together to crush anything that threatens either.
* Flavia and Basilio from ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' rule the East and West halves of the militant nation of Regna Ferox. Flavia tends to call Basilio an "oaf" due to his grumpy attitude, and the two hold regular CombatByChampion competitions (usually won by Basilio) to determine the full ruler of Ferox, but they are quite friendly with each other, both on and off the battlefield.
* Sora and Riku start off like this in ''KingdomHearts.'' The two would actually keep score of how many wins they had in their competition. [[TheDarkSideWillMakeYouForget But then Riku's jealousy of Sora and his own ambition for strength serves at the catalyst of him falling to the darkside.]] After his HeelFaceTurn, the rivalry in general started to die down and the two were more BashBrothers.
* [[RedOniBlueOni Masato and Kengo]] in ''VisualNovel/LittleBusters''. Though they're both part of the group of TrueCompanions that are the eponymous Little Busters and often show that they care about each other, both are very competitive, to the point where [[spoiler:Kyousuke is able to convince Masato to take his side in the baseball game in Rin's route by appealing to his need to prove himself over Kengo.]] Sasami and Rin also stumble into one of these, though both the rivalry and the friendship [[UnknownRival are mostly on Sasami's side]].
* In Setzer's backstory in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVI'', him and Darill were good friends who loved competition with one another. [[spoiler: Sadly, she died in a crash long before the story began, setting up Setzer's drinking and gambling issues.]]
* Reimu and Marisa's relationships with other characters in ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' often end up becoming this. It is not unusual for both Reimu and Marisa to mercilessly beat down their enemies in battle, only to hang out and engage in witty banter with them later. When they're not investigating incidents, Reimu and Marisa get along fairly well with others, but both will jump at the chance to settle scores and see how much their former enemies' skills have improved.

[[folder: Web Original]]
* Acrylic and Fetus from ''Literature/NextBreedOfThief'' have this. Acrylic, in a somewhat rare bit of humor, refers to Fetus as his "frenemy".
* TheSharkasmCrew features one between Cephalo the Pod and Alpha Delpha. It has recently been downplayed as more players of the same skill level as Cephalo and Delpha arrive on the St. Marys scene.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* Applejack and Rainbow Dash from ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' are great friends, but that doesn't stop them from competing against one another.
** Rainbow Dash apparently forms these kinds of friendships a lot, as evidenced by her interactions with Gilda and Lightning Dust.
** The relationship between Pinkie Pie and [[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E12PinkiePride Cheese Sandwich]] started out like this, with the latter emphasized on Pinkie's part. That changes when during their Goof-Off, birthday mare Rainbow Dash gets crushed by Pinkie's pinata (thankfully unharmed), making Pinkie realize that her rivalry with Cheese Sandwich is overshadowing her attempt to make Rainbow's party fun and forfeits. Also, Cheese Sandwich was a shy colt who was actually inspired by Pinkie to throw parties. As a token of their friendship, Cheese gives Pinkie one of his rubber chickens that he calls Boneless [[note]]which turns out to be [[spoiler:one of the Friendship Keys]].[[/note]].
** This is the purpose of the ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E24EquestriaGames Equestria Games]]'', which pit athletes from different parts of the kingdom against each other. Rainbow Dash and Spitfire [[LampshadeHanging lampshade]] this with an enthusiastic hoof-bump at the finish line after the relay race.
* Pick ''any'' episode of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold''. Especially those that feature Green Arrow.
* ''WesternAnimation/ThomasTheTankEngine'' and Bertie the Bus are rivals whenever they race, but are also good friends.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* In the current [[{{Main/Tennis}} tennis world]], the most famous and friendliest rivalry is between [[{{Main/RogerFederer}} Roger Federer]] and Rafael Nadal. A ''very'' friendly rivalry
* Many neighbor countries have some bitterness to each other, but are still major commercial partners - UK and France\Ireland, Brazil and Argentina, Japan and China\South Korea...
* One could say that this is the relationship between Nintendo and Sony nowadays.
** Said same with Microsoft and Sony, as indicated with [[ this tweet]].
* The Music/BackstreetBoys and Music/{{NSYNC}} were the two biggest boy bands of the late 1990s and early 2000s with a vicious FandomRivalry, but the two groups themselves are close friends and [[ get]] [[ along]] quite well. JC Chasez even produced a song for Backstreet Boys' album ''Unbreakable'' and Nick has joked that the two groups should do a concert together.
* Historical records indicate that Creator/WilliamShakespeare and Ben Jonson weren't above snarking at each other's work, but each still respected the other.
* Creator/PabloPicasso and Henri Matisse had generational differences (Matisse was a dozen years older) and were rivals by virtue of trying to sell to the same collectors. Each one also considered the other about the only artist who could understand them.
* Ever since ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5'', voice actors Creator/DCDouglas (Albert Wesker) and Creator/RogerCraigSmith (Chris Redfield) have had a friendly rivalry with one another.
* Gymnasts Simone Biles of the USA and Larisa Iordache of Romania consistently go head-to-head in major all-around competitions, with the 2014 World title coming down to half a point between them (Iordache took silver to Biles' gold). This doesn't stop them from maintaining a strong year-round friendship, including constantly tweeting each other affectionately and congratulating each other after a great set in competition.