->'''Wolverine:''' You sold out your kind for a little cash?\\
'''Gambit:''' ''Absolutment non!'' I sold out my kind for a '''large''' amount of cash. There is a difference.
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/WolverineAndTheXMen''

Evil has a lot of things going for it. [[EvilFeelsGood It feels great]], [[EvilTastesGood it tastes great]], [[VillainousFashionSense it has style]], and [[EvilIsCool it's just plain cool.]] For most of a given story, evil can probably be expected to give the heroes a very rough time, and if the EvilOverlord and his {{Mooks}} are competent enough, they will come [[NearVillainVictory alarmingly close to victory]] before the end of the story.

But for all it has going for it, Evil is just not very conducive to teamwork.

You see, [[TrueCompanions one of the keys for a team to really work well together]] is that there has to be at least some level of mutual trust among them. People on the same side need to know their friends will be there to [[BigDamnHeroes bail them out in a tight spot]], and [[FaceHeelTurn won't sell them out to the enemy or abandon them for some selfish gain at a bad moment]]. They need to know that, when the going gets tough, or when some temptation arises, their allies will still be right by their side, through thick and thin. For the most part, such willingness to put the group before oneself is inherently at odds with the whole idea of being a Bad Guy.

And so we have this trope. While the heroes cling to the PowerOfFriendship and trust in their TrueCompanions to see them through, the villains simply cannot trust one another. Always, even when their victory seems closest, it seems to come undone because the bad guys are inherently treacherous and suspicious of one another. If the EvilOverlord is near to victory, you can expect TheDragon to make some [[TheStarscream bid for personal power]] at the last minute that gives the heroes enough breathing room to gain the victory. And if you have a team of more or less equal [[CardCarryingVillain Card Carrying Villains]] in it ForTheEvulz, expect them to fall prey to this in no time at all, with their momentary shared goals falling by the wayside the second any of them sees an advantage in turning on their old 'friends.' This is the reason why trust and willingness to work with each other is one of the EvilVirtues.

In short, this is ChronicBackstabbingDisorder, or even just chronic lack of trust, applied as a persistent Achilles heel of the bad guys. Subtrope of EvilWillFail. Often results in an EnemyCivilWar or EvilVersusEvil. Compare with TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong and EvilCannotComprehendGood. The opposite is EvilIsOneBigHappyFamily and of course, HonorAmongThieves. Could be considered a form of [[PVPBalanced PVP Balance]], to make up for the fact that the heroes [[WhatTheHellHero aren't allowed]] to cross the MoralEventHorizon to prevent DarknessInducedAudienceApathy.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/SailorMoon'': The third season didn't need the Senshi or a BadBoss to off the QuirkyMinibossSquad - they ended up saving everyone the trouble quite nicely. However, this only happened between the first three members, Eudial, Mimete, and Tellu- who took out each other in order. Tellu, Viluy, and Cyphrine and Ptolil were all taken out by the Senshi.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'', Placido is so rotten he even steals from his partner Lucciano to accomplish his own - unauthorized - plan. (This takes the Trope UpToEleven and becomes far more serious when [[TheReveal it is discovered later]] that the Three Nobles of Yliaster - which Placido and Lucciano were members of - are three embodiments of one being, Aporia, meaning Placido was so full of hostility, it even extended towards himself.)
* This comes up quite a bit in ''Manga/OnePiece''; with so many pirates, sailors and misc. of differing moralities, how long an alliance lasts usually depends;
** A Flashback to Luffy's childhood shows the Bluejam Pirates being paid to burn a WretchedHive to the ground by the local kingdom's corrupt nobility. Once the deed was done, however, the nobles just locked the pirates out of their safe zone, leaving Bluejam and company to die.
** On Fishman Island, Hody Jones and Vender Decken team up to take over the kingdom, but Hody decides to kill Decken when it seems that doing so will destroy Luffy faster. ItMakesSenseInContext.
** The focal point of the Totland arc is a VillainTeamUp between the Big Mom Pirates and Germa 66. What the leaders of the Germa 66 don't realize is that their "alliance" was a sham to begin with; Big Mom wants their cloning technology for herself, and the ArrangedMarriage to seal the deal is just a trap.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/DarkEmpire'', Han Solo tries to recruit the help of Mako Spince, the man who [[Literature/TheHanSoloTrilogy helped him out]] when Han was first getting into the smuggling business, someone he considers a friend. Mako sells him out.
** For that matter, most of Han's old friends sell him out by ''Literature/TheNewRebellion''. Even [[Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack Lando]] had, though Lando had [[SadisticChoice a very good reason]] and had later doubled back to help him at great personal risk. The smuggler community actually regarded Han, and Lando to a lesser extent, as unrealistically honorable and idealistic even before they went straight.
* The ''chibi'' Sivana in ''[[ComicBook/TheMultiversity The Multiversity Guidebook #1]]'' thinks the Legion of Sivanas are there to help him conquer his Earth. Instead the snake, vampire and torture porn versions attack him and eat him.
* In the ''ComicBook/AstroCity'' story "A Little Knowledge", a small-time crook discovers the secret identity of local crimefighter Jack-In-The-Box. As he tries to figure out how to use this for his gain, he becomes worried that his colleagues will also find out... and screw him out of the proceeds.
* All five of the Sinister Six in ''Comicbook/TheSuperiorFoesOfSpiderMan'' sell each other out about as often as they make speeches about how great teamwork is, and that they see the others as friends. And they seem to be sincere about this, it's just not a reason to ''not'' sell the others out.

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* Stated by WordOfGod to be a major theme in ''FanFic/WormMoreThanMeetsTheEye''. The ABB self-destructs as soon as [[TheStarscream Bakuda]] takes out Lung and starts planting bombs on her underlings so they won't betray ''her'' (and one does once Matrix saves her from the bomb Bakuda sneaked on her). Even the Undersiders, who were canonically loyal to each other, fall apart because of Coil's decision to keep Regent on the team after he abandoned Bitch to die and to add Trainwreck and Chariot. Basically the only gang not ready to fall apart to infighting at the drop of a hat is Uber & Leet, because they have a genuine VillainousFriendship.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'', Flynn betrays some fellow thieves, the Stabbington brothers, early in the movie. [[spoiler:It is a mark of his CharacterDevelopment that he tries to make amends, but by that point, they don't just want the goods, they want {{Revenge}}.]] After Gothel uses the Stabbington brothers in her plan, they end up arrested while she leaves with Rapunzel.
* In ''WesternAnimation/BatmanAssaultOnArkham'', the surviving members of the Suicide Squad fight over a helicopter even though it's big enough for all of them and they'd have a better chance of using it to escape if they cooperated.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Franchise/StarWars''. Somewhat in the films, but above all in the EU, the Sith, and later the Empire, have a nasty tendency to gain the ascendancy and then lose badly when they start turning on each other. Darth Bane's RuleOfTwo was an explicit attempt to mitigate the damage that this could do to the Sith by "legitimizing" it -- there were to only be two Sith, the Master to have the power and [[KlingonPromotion the Apprentice to crave/take it]].
* ''Franchise/PiratesOfTheCaribbean'' has Will Turner comment "No heroes amongst thieves, eh?" when Jack tells him part of the Pirates Code; "Any man who falls behind is left behind". Of course, all the good pirates ignore this for the rest of the series... except for one big stab or two courtesy of the GambitPileup.
* The hero in ''Film/DungeonsAndDragons'' goes to a Thieves' Guild for help and to get an artifact he needs. When the head of said guild sells him out, he incredulously asks, "What happened to honor among thieves?" Said guild leader basically laughs in his face for having such a silly idea. This is after the hero specifically tells his reluctant partner, a young female mage whose mentor was betrayed and killed by a fellow mage, that a thief would never betray another thief.
* The opening scene of ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' illustrates the way Joker's henchmen kill each other for a bigger share of the loot.
* The Mel Gibson movie ''Film/{{Payback}}'' starts with Porter (Gibson) being double-crossed by his partner for his share of the loot on a job. After recovering from his wounds Porter starts tracking down his old partner to get his cut of the money back.
* ''Film/TheKillers'', based on the Ernest Hemingway short story, has a payroll heist with double and triple crosses among the thieves.
* In ''Film/BlondieJohnson'', Louie is put on trial, Max decides to take over his side of their robbery "insurance" business.
* Carlito from ''Film/CarlitosWay'', believes there's a street code of honor among criminals. He even did a prison bid by not snitching on the guy who was really guilty and took over as the boss after he was jailed. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, this way of thinking leads to his demise after he discovers his best friend and personal attorney was a snake not worth defending.]]
* The norm in ''Film/FiveFingers1952'', as it was in the real life events during World War II that the film loosely depicts. The valet turned spy codenamed "Cicero" is betrayed by his confederate and would have been betrayed by his German spymasters had he not betrayed them first. He betrays his British employer during the main part of the movie, then cheerfully defects back to the British once it becomes clear that the Germans believe he has outlived his usefulness. Then he gives the slip to both sides, taking with him the money the Nazis paid him. [[spoiler: The counterfeit money]].
* ''Film/{{Parker}}'': Parker refuses to throw in with his partners and pool his share of the loot with them so they can pull a second job. His partners shoot him, take his share of the loot and leave him for dead.
* ''Film/BlueStreak'' starts with Miles Logan stealing a $17 million diamond, only for one member of his crew to shoot his protégé and try to make off with the diamond. After Logan is caught and spends 2 years in jail, the traitor comes back to demand the diamond that Logan hid before his capture. [[spoiler:Logan in turn goes back on his word to him at the end and shoots him when the guy goes for his gun]].
* Creator/EdwardNorton betrays his partners in crime in both ''Film/TheScore'' and ''[[Film/TheItalianJob2003 The Italian Job]]''. In the latter he betrays the crew after the successful titular heist, leading the rest to come back after him one year later. [[spoiler: in both cases, he [[RewardedasaTraitorDeserves gets what he deserves]]]].
* ''Film/TheThieves'': The casino heist dissolves into a complex web of double and triple crosses, as the various members of the CaperCrew each pursues their own ends.
* In ''Film/MatchstickMen'', not only does [[spoiler:Frank run a MassiveMultiplayerScam against his longtime partner Roy, but Angela later reveals that he cheated her out of her cut, as well.]]
* Guerrero is gunned down by the other members of the Blackwater Gang when he disagrees with Red's plan for seizing control of the town in ''Film/DeadInTombstone''.
* Flint's crew (many of whom later became Long John Silver's crew) in ''Film/MuppetTreasureIsland''; "Every man on board would have killed his mate/ For a bag of guineas or a piece of eight."
* In ''Film/{{Goodfellas}}'', one of the reasons Jimmy has almost everyone else involved in the Lufthansa heist killed is that it netted more money than they expected and he doesn't want to share the extra cash.
* In ''Film/DiamondsOnWheels'', a gang pulls off an ArmedBlag on a diamond shipment in London. One of the crooks betrays the others and steals the diamonds.
* In ''Film/TheAsphaltJungle'', while the actual thieves show trust and generosity with each other, their main financial backer (Emerich) is planning to stiff them and disappear with the goods, and his associate Brannom proves equally treacherous.
* ''Film/{{Scarecrows}}'' starts off with one of the bank robbers parachuting off a hi-jacked plane with a sack of cash, leaving the others to have no choice but to land and find him.
* ''Film/DesertNights'': Steve, Diana, and their three fellow jewel thieves rob a diamond mine and escape into the desert. Steve and Diana's three accomplices decide to try their luck heading back rather than crossing the Kalahari, and ask for their share of the diamonds. After they leave, Steve reveals to Diana that he gave them fake glass diamonds.
* ''Film/IShotJesseJames'': Robert Ford shoots his friend [[UsefulNotes/JesseJames Jesse]] in the back to get the reward and a pardon. Granted, he was extremely conflicted about it and felt guilty for several years afterwards.
* ''Film/CityOfIndustry'': A recurring theme. Roy Egan is a career robber who is betrayed by his newest partner Skip Skovitch because the latter wants to keep the money they previously stole for himself. Skovitch later gets betrayed by some new "friends" of his own when they suspect that he's holding out on them. Egan specifically notes that he's going to retire because the younger generation of criminals don't hold themselves to the same old school standards that he used to.

* Allen Drury's novel ''The Promise of Joy''. The Soviets and Chinese work together against the U.S. throughout most of the book, but near the end they start a limited nuclear war with each other.
* ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'' has quite a few backstabbing thieves. The most notable is Cheesethief for trying to make himself the leader of Cluny's horde. [[BackstabBackfire It does not go as planned.]]
%%* ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}''
* ''The [[Literature/TheWheelOfTime Wheel of Time]]'' allows just as much ... [[PoorCommunicationKills individualism]] among the antagonists as the protagonists. Indeed, one member of the Black Ajah speculates that the [[SealedEvilInACan Dark One]] may select for treachery among his servants. Back when there were more than 13 random [[TheDragon Forsaken]], however, they had apparently worked well enough together to be on the verge of winning the war.
* The wizard-run British Government in ''Literature/TheBartimaeusTrilogy'' is vastly corrupt and falling apart, because a wizard's standard childhood and upbringing teaches them to value their own ambitions over anything else.
* In Creator/MatthewReilly's books ''The Six Sacred Stones'' and ''The Five Greatest Warriors'', several factions of bad guys are forced to work together to complete the tasks necessary to save the world and gain Ultimate Power. They are even forced to work with the heroes from time to time. Needless to say, they don't trust each other and try to backstab each other at every opportunity.
* In the ForgottenRealms ''[[Literature/LegacyOfTheDrowSeries Siege of Darkness]]'' Drizzt Do'Urden notes that while dwarves will fight tooth, nail, and beard for their brethren, dark elves have no such luxury. Their defeat is partly because they can't count on each other for cohesiveness.
** Let us not forget how The Dark Elf Trilogy opens: With the Do'Urden House outright exterminating a rival house for political gain. And the destruction of House Do'Urden in Exile.
* According to ''Literature/TheZombieSurvivalGuide'', bandit groups AfterTheEnd will inevitably wipe themselves out from in-fighting.
* "And he wondered, even as the sword came butchering between his ribs, how he had ever thought that the East, whose essence was treachery, could ever stand."\\
-- ''Empire of the East'', Creator/FredSaberhagen
* Varies among the Death Eaters in the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' series. Their degree of loyalty ranges from Bellatrix Lestrange, who is [[PsychoSupporter literally]] insanely loyal to Voldemort, to Igor Karkaroff, who ratted out other Death Eaters to avoid Azkaban. Most of the Death Eaters would seem to fall in the middle and will turn their back on Voldemort if it's to their advantage. Mainly because [[MachiavelliWasWrong he would do the same to them]].
* In ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'', Sauron doesn't dare let his orcs know he's looking for the Ring of Power (some orc would likely steal it). So he can't tell his armies, "If you find a hobbit, kill it and send any rings it has back to me." Instead, he orders them to take hobbits alive, and transport them (with all their possessions, even weapons) back to him. Naturally, this lets several hobbits escape from orcs at key moments--especially because while the orcs may not know what's so important, they ''do'' know that the captives are very valuable, so they end up fighting over the hobbits anyway.
** And of course, Saruman may have gone over to Sauron, but they both know that given the slightest chance, he'll grab the Ring for himself--which limits their ability to work together effectively.
* In David Eddings' ''Literature/TheRedemptionOfAlthalus'', the protagonists are a close-knit group more like a family than anything else, they have a major goddess in their fold (who fills the role of their mother), they have full command of said goddess' extradimensional house (allowing them to go literally anywhere they want), and they have an immense army of the best soldiers the world has to offer. The villains are ''supposed'' to mirror them (including having similar supernatural abilities), but they are constantly fighting with each other for authority, their god terrifies them and offers little help, and their house is a horror filled with flames which they do not use to much effect at all. And while they have an army of their own, their commander is obsessed with stone-age culture and at best allows flint weapons, as well as only rudimentary tactics.
* In the ''Literature/{{Parker}}'' novels, many of Parker's heists go astray when one of his partners decides to betray the crew and take the loot for themselves.
* In ''[[Literature/TheCanterburyTales The Pardoner's Tale]]'', the three {{Villain Protagonist}}s end up killing each other out of greed.
* In Jan Guillou's ''Ondskan'' (''The Evil'' in Swedish), the story starts with the young VillainProtagonist and his gang running several well-paying rackets at his school, including organized shoplifting at various record stores. Being rather clever, he's laid down a few ground rules for his gang to follow, including never hitting the same store more than once in a row; also, if anyone gets caught in any way, they are to keep their mouths shut no matter what, as the authorities can't punish them very much if they don't have anything solid to charge them with. When the goons end up working alone (as the protagonist is temporarily occupied otherwise), they quickly mess up by sealing from the same store several times in a row (thereby making the staff suspicious an going on alert) and get caught. They then throw the protagonist under the bus by revealing everything they've got going on and holding him responsible, insisting that he forced them to do it against their wills.
* In [[Creator/RudyardKipling Rudyard Kipling's]] "Rhyme of the Three Sealers," the sealers (all poachers in Russian waters) are ready to bluff, betray, and kill each other for the skins they seek (though they also have a "sealers' call" to summon each other for help).

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheATeam'', "[[Recap/TheATeamS2E18ItsADesertOutThere It's a Desert Out There]]". Al Driscoll is the former leader of the Scorpions, but is planning on turning state's evidence on them. To prevent this, they're planning on stopping the bus he's taking to L.A. and killing him.
* In one episode of ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'' the criminal community (i.e. all) of Camden turn on Earl when he reports the theft of a car to the police, calling him a snitch. However when one of the criminals gets picked up on Earl's info they in turn accuse another member of their community who has committed a more serious crime in order to get immunity for themselves. Earl makes sure he is standing outside the police station as they get released to let them know he knows that they too have "snitched", and that all their bragging of thieves hanging together is just that, empty bragging as there really is No Honour Among Thieves.
** Earl reported the theft because it was his car and the thieves did not want to give it back. In the old days the thieves would have returned it to him as a courtesy to a fellow thief. However, since Earl has gone straight, they felt that he was no longer covered by that Honour Among Thieves tradition. The cherry on top is that Earl figured out ''all'' the thieves giving him grief were snitching themselves because he noticed they each had an item from the drawer of cheap toys the cops offered him as a reward for snitching. So he just waits outside the police station until each of them comes in to snitch again.
* In ''Series/{{Community}}'' episode "[[Recap/CommunityS1E23ModernWarfare Modern Warfare]]", Pierce betrays Starburns while they're stealing from the vending machines.
* Michael Westen {{discusse|dTrope}}s this trope in the ''Series/BurnNotice'' episode "Seek and Destroy":
-->'''Michael:''' One of the problems when you're running a criminal conspiracy is that there's no way to avoid trust issues with your employees. If you steal with a man, he knows you're a thief. If you kill with a man, he knows you're a killer. ''({{beat}}, as the criminal of the week is shot by his partner.)'' It's a huge management issue.
* ''Series/WhereInTheWorldIsCarmenSandiego'' would always launch into the endgame with the villain of the day ratting out Carmen to the players. One even {{lampshade|Hanging}}d it with "Honor among thieves? Surely you jest!"
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': In season 7, the [[EldritchAbomination Leviathans]] start killing off the other monster races, since they don't feel like sharing their food supply (namely humans).
* Played straight and averted on ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. In general, vampires and demons will abandon or backstab each other all the time. There were, however, exceptions, usually taking the form of cults. The best example was the Order of Aurelius, the vampire cult that served as the main antagonists in Season One. In one episode, three vampire warriors offer their own lives in penance for failing to kill Buffy. They proved to be the exception, as shown when Spike, rather than offer his own life in penance for failing to kill Buffy, killed the Anointed One, and took over what was left of the Order.
* In season 3 of ''Series/NecessaryRoughness'' as soon as it looks like the FBI investigation is not going away, Cameron and Taylor turn on each other and try to set things up to make it look like the other one was behind the entire scheme. Cameron had the lead since he let Taylor do all the things that could be traced and Taylor is desperate to turn the tables and get Cameron to incriminate himself.
* While [[{{Nakama}} the team]] itself falls under HonorAmongThieves on ''Series/{{Leverage}}'', many of their adversaries fall under this, especially [[Creator/WilWheaton Chaos]] who has ChronicBackstabbingDisorder.
* In one episode of ''Series/PowerRangersInSpace'', [[SentientVehicle Storm Blaster]] managed to escape from Divatox's minions (having been taken prisoner along with Lightning Cruiser in the previous series. Divatox called Astronema, and asked (nicely) for her to keep an eye out for it, only for the current Princess of Evil to tell her straight out that she would ''keep'' it if she did find it. (This turned into a case of NiceJobFixingItVillain, because Storm Blaster quickly found Justin who attracted the current Rangers, who were able to rescue Lightning Cruiser too, despite Astronema's attempts to catch the escapee; if the two villains ''had'' cooperated, it might have been harder for the heroes.)
* ''Series/DueSouth'': In the episode "Free Willie", Fraser provides the quote above, explaining why he thinks an accomplice in a bank robbery tricked the robbers by [[spoiler: giving them an envelope of blank pages instead of the Bearer Bonds.]] He also ends up illustrating his family's CloudCuckoolander trait rather nicely.
* ''Series/WhodunnitUK'': In "Dead Grass", the VictimOfTheWeek is a thief done in by a fellow member of his gang while they were divvying up the loot from a bank job.
* {{Lampshaded}} by [[TheChessmaster Wynn Duffy]], no stranger to using this trope himself, to his bodyguard Mikey in ''Series/{{Justified}}''. [[spoiler:When confronted by Mikey about how he (Duffy) repaid his mentor Grady Hale by being an informant that resulted in his conviction and likely death years ago, Duffy replies that honor has no place amongst criminals, reminding him that their own bosses Markham and Katherine wouldn't hesitate to betray ''them'' if it suited their ends. That said, this doesn't apply [[VillainousFriendship between themselves]], as while Mikey is originally disgusted with this knowledge and originally intends to let Grady's widow Katherine kill Duffy, he ultimately decides to [[MutualKill stop her at the cost of his own life]] and Duffy, despite Mikey nearly getting him killed, is genuinely devastated by his death]].

* In Creator/{{Capcom}}'s unreleased ''Pinball/{{Kingpin}},'' the player is an up-and-coming member of the mafia who doesn't hesitate to [[KlingonPromotion get to the top by killing everyone in his way.]] The mobsters around him reciprocate by trying to kill him at the first opportunity.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''. Orks and Chaos, ''especially'' Chaos. The Dark Eldar {{avert|edTrope}} this: although backstabbing your superior is the only way to advance in Dark Eldar society, they won't risk compromising a raid to get a personal advantage. Once the raid is over, though, they're fair game.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}''. Chaos, Orcs and Skaven especially.
* Titan Avatars in ''TabletopGame/{{Scion}}'' are frequently at loggerheads. Muspelheim's avatars (Prometheus in particular) all plan to waylay Surtr once Ragnarok is over. The Drowned Road's two strongest avatars, Mami Wata and Ran, ''act'' aligned but will someday go for each other's throats, while Nu sits in the background and makes its own plots. Terra is led by Gaia, but the other avatars are open to offers. Sobe-no-Kumi is led by Mikaboshi... only because he arranged for Erebus to be pinned down in a deep part of the Titan. The list goes on; the only core Titan without avatar issues is Akhetaten, and that's because Aten is its ''only'' avatar.
** Why is Aten the only avatar, you ask? That's because he ''ate all the rest.'' No honor among thieves doesn't begin to describe that.
** This doesn't come up for the non-core Titans, in large part because most of them get only one or two avatars of theirs covered with little to no mention of their relations with each other. Hundun, however, explicitly doesn't have avatar issues since it can't manifest them in the first place, being unable to create defined, unique individuals. Instead, it grants its power to willing gods.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' pretty much says flat-out that even if the [[DemonLordsAndArchdevils Yozis]]' grand attempt at [[HellOnEarth the Reclamation]] is successful in any way, the Ebon Dragon is going to turn on the other Yozis and try to keep them permanently locked up in Malfeas while he alone escapes. Why? Because he's the ''[[GodOfEvil Ebon Fucking Dragon]]''.
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' this is pretty-much a staple of drow society, whether you're a thief, mercenary, ruler... basically anything. It's hard to find a drow who ''hasn't'' double-crossed an ally in order to get ahead. (In their society, a drow who isn't good at this is just going to be killed by someone who is. Their goddess actually encourages it.)
* In the ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' setting, the yugoloths are a race of greedy Lower Planar merchants who work for both sides of the eternal Blood War (or pretty much anyone else who will pay them) and they show no loyalty to ''anyone''. A yugoloth is willing to betray his employer at the drop of a hat if the employer's enemy offers more money, and would abandon the mission in a heartbeat if its life was threatened. The worst part is, this is hardly a secret, but the demons and devils keep hiring them, mostly because no-one else is willing to be their suppliers, agents, and hired troops. (Some stories and sources hint that the leaders of the yugoloths do this because they are engineering the entire Blood War and prolonging it on purpose as a grand experiment to discover which type of Evil is superior.)
* In TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering, The Orzhov Syndicate (or any White/Black pairing, really) tries to marry Black's greed and individualism with White's selflessness and collectivism by having having a council of ghosts running the guild, but keeping that council small. In theory, this group of individuals each view the other members as an extension of themselves, and act that way in kind. In practice, however, you get this trope; Each individual would gladly backstab the group and strike out on their own, but they can't handle the sudden loss of their power base coupled with having the rest of the group unified against them. So the guild continues on in this mockery of teamwork, because they can't afford not to.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Fiasco}}'' roleplaying game is very much built on this trope (for the sake of BlackComedy), with character creation making the players define their relationships with each other and their final goals, and then making it difficult for them to reach those goals without tossing somebody to the wolves.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'': This trope is ''actively enforced by the rules''. All troubleshooter team members have dark secrets and secret goals, and reaching them without attracting the attention of The Computer means that ''all the other Troubleshooters'' must die. ''[[JustifiedExtraLives Repeatedly]]''.

* In ''Theatre/TheEmperorJones'', the title character tells his stooge Smithers, whom he can barely hide his contempt for: "Dere's little stealin' like you does, and dere's big stealin' like I does." Smithers, in Jones's absence, has nothing but hatred for him.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* In ''Ride/TheGreatMovieRide'' at [[Ride/DisneyThemeParks Disney's Hollywood Studios]], Mugsy, a gangster that hijacks the ride vehicle, abandons his/her partners, leaving them to face the authorities by themselves.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic''. The Sith are ''rife'' with this problem throughout both the game itself and the backstory. Of particular note: the encouraged ChronicBackstabbingDisorder of the Sith leads to [[BigBad Malak]] attempting to kill his own master Revan, which deprives the Sith of their previous MagnificentBastard leader and starts the chain of events that finally leads to Sith defeat.
** In the sequel, the Sith Triumvirate nearly succeeds in wiping out the Jedi. Then Darth Traya's apprentices, Darth Sion and Darth Nihilus, turn on her and then on each other. This allows Darth Traya to [[spoiler:help the player in hunting them down]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}''. In game, merely used as an excuse for CivilWarcraft, the later backstory makes it clear that [[TheHorde the Orcish Horde]] lost the second war because Gul'dan and Orcish clans loyal to him abandoned the Warchief at a decisive moment in favor of Gul'dan's own plans to find [[SealedEvilInACan Sargeras]].
** To be fair, Gul'dan never planned to stay loyal. He was always the true power behind the previous Warchief Blackhand. Orgrim betrayed Blackhand and then threatened to kill Gul'dan. Gul'dan swore loyalty, planning on breaking his oath the moment he saw fit.
** In fact, it was Orgrim's own sense of honor that doomed the Horde more than Gul'dan's betrayal. Not wanting Gul'dan to escape unpunished, he sent a huge chunk of his own forces to hunt him down. Not only did it force him to lift his siege of Lordaeron, but the forces sent after Gul'dan suffered heavy losses killing the traitor clans and were then further obliterated on the way back by a surprise attack at sea by Admiral Proudmoore, leaving only a few thousand warriors. Had Orgrim chosen to continue the siege instead of seeking revenge, he would have razed Lordaeron, likely winning the war.
* In ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce 3'', none of the members of the Dealer syndicate have any real loyalty to their boss [[BigBad Mr. King]]. They all readily betray him as soon as it suits their own purposes.
* ''VideoGame/QuestForGloryIV'' has a literal version of this. The Chief Thief has been turned into a giant cockroach monster, but you can earn his gratitude by finding the ArtifactOfDoom that did it, making him human again. At that point, you're free to kill him (try when he's a bug and he'll spit acid on you). You suffer absolutely no consequences - except for the fact that your Honor stat drops to 0 immediately. The narration even drops the trope name afterwards.
* ''VideoGame/Uncharted2AmongThieves'' (go figure). From the get-go there's all kinds of back-stabbing and betrayals going on, even from our hero, Nathan Drake. Good thing [[SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan Elena]] shows up to set him straight.
** ''VideoGame/Uncharted4AThiefsEnd'' continues the trend. [[spoiler:There's a lost pirate city named Libertalia Drake and his brother go searching for. Libertalia was a town founded by a coalition of notorious pirates escaping the regular world, bringing the considerable wealth they've amassed with them. This trope is the reason that all went to hell.]]
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' has a classic case of this when Shepard encounters the "MSV Strontium Mule", which has been recently invaded by a group of Blue Suns mercs. When the commander takes down the group's leader, Captain Vorhess, we soon find out [[TheStarscream Sergent Bootis]] deliberately held back his men, so Vorhess would be killed, leaving him in charge and more loot for the survivors. "The fewer men left, the bigger the prize for each of us". Needless to say, not combining all your available forces against Commander Shepard is essentially suicide. His betrayal only grants him a swifter death. [[TooDumbToLive This is made into an even stupider move]] when he notes [[TheDreaded how big of a threat Shepard is in a datapad.]]
** Also shows up with Zaeed's {{Backstory}}. His business partner for the [[PrivateMilitaryContractors private military company]] the two started had this mindset. He hired terrorists and such, leading to a case of EvenEvilHasStandards from Zaeed, resulting in said criminal further cementing his belief in this trope by hiring Zaeed's own men to kill him.
* This seems to be one of the main themes of ''VideoGame/MafiaII'', with the various intrigues between the 3 major crime families and the many betrayals committed by pretty much every Mafia member against each other and the player character. This is in sharp contrast to the much more idealized vision of The Family seen in the [[VideoGame/MafiaTheCityOfLostHeaven first game]].
* In ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCity'' Tommy Vercetti believes that among the family nothing is more important than [[HonorAmongThieves honor and loyalty]]. However as the story progresses he soon realizes he was very much alone in this belief as Sonny has screwed him at every turn.
** In the intro, Sonny pretty much states that he intends to come in and take over after Tommy has managed to establish himself in Vice City.
* It's brought up in ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'' as possibly the reason the forces of Evil have never managed to defeat the forces of Good. [[spoiler: And why all the hosts of heaven can't stop Diablo when all of the Great Evils are contained within him.]]
* In episode 303 of ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice'', General Skun-Ka'pe and Monsieur Papierwaite team up over a mutual hatred of Sam. Max can talk to them both individually and find that there's a bit of tension bubbling under the surface. Exploit this and...
-->'''Skun-Ka'pe:''' I can't ''believe'' I've allied myself to a snivelling irritant like you!
-->'''Papierwaite:''' ''Irritant?'' Do you think I ''enjoy'' having my schemes yoked to an uncouth half-naked ''space-'''fascist''''' who can't even capture a ''six foot tall dog in a suit?!''
-->'''Skun-Ka'pe:''' I assume you can do better, you half-witted conjurer?!
-->'''Papierwaite:''' ''Watch me.''
* ''VideoGame/{{Neverend}}'' starts with two members of Agavaen's bandit group making off with the gold and Agavaen's amulet in the middle of the night.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Superfriends}}'': Super Friends: The Legendary Super Powers Show had one episode titled "No Honor Among Thieves". In that episode, ComicBook/LexLuthor created a device to steal powers from the heroes and asked for {{ComicBook/Darkseid}}'s help. Luthor tried to doublecross Darkseid but Darkseid was CrazyPrepared enough to cover Luthor in kryptonite dust since, with {{Superman}}'s powers, comes [[KryptoniteFactor his weakness]]. Luthor still managed to use El Dorado's powers to send the powerless heroes the means to escape death. He then got a TitleDrop.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Lisa's First Word", it is revealed that Grandpa won his house in a rigged 60's game show, and he proudly says, "I ratted on everyone and got away scot-free!"
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'', the brutal bounty hunter Ezekiel Clench decides to call a truce with his ex-wife Josephine to bring in Jack. Amazingly, they are actually able to subdue the hero, but it turned out to be a very bad idea on Zeke's part; she double-crosses him, and this gives Jack the opportunity to pull one on her too and get away. (In fact, seeing as Zeke is the one who had a restraining order against ''her'', it's likely that she did something like that before.)
* In ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'', just about all of the villains will only ally with each other out of temporary convenience, and will often gladly take the nearest opportunity to betray whomever they were just working with. But this doesn't stop the bad guys from teaming up with the exact same untrustworthy partners [[ContractualGenreBlindness multiple times]], especially [[TooDumbToLive Jack Spicer]].
-->'''Omi:''' "So much [[{{Malaproper}} criss-crossing]][[note]][[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder double-crossing]][[/note]]. This just proves that [[LampshadeHanging there is no honor among thieves]]!"
* The ''WesternAnimation/XMen'' episode "Welcome To Genosha": after the attempted mass breakout is foiled, Cameron Hodge reveals the informer who grassed on the entire prison- Gambit! But when he is put into a jeep with two mooks and sent to the other end of the island, he is freed after the jeep is blown up and the mooks killed by...Cable! Who takes his restraining collar off and then TRUSTS HIM WITH THE KEY, telling to go back to the prison and free all the other mutants with it.
* Toyed with in ''WesternAnimation/TheDickTracyShow'' episode "Funny Money." Mumbles pulls a gun on Stooge Viller, who he thinks is welching the money they stole from a theater box office. Stooge pleads his innocence as the briefcase the money was in got mixed with a briefcase full of dirty laundry. Fortunately for Stooge, Hemlock Holmes (the episode's police officer) [[NiceJobBreakingItHero shows up with the briefcase full of money and gives it to him]].

[[folder:Real Life]]
* [[ThoseWackyNazis The Nazis]] often ran into a lot of trouble because everyone in the government was trying to carve out their own little fiefdom at the expense of everyone else, even when the war was clearly being lost. Though it can be argued that cases of this have happened in all kinds of regimes throughout human history, the Nazis especially succumbed to this due to Hitler's governing being a mixture of "divide and rule" and an odd form of social Darwinism. See also FascistButInefficient.
** The Seperations of Powers of the United States Government intentionally evoked. The Founding Fathers believed that all forms of government, even a Republic, would eventually be corrupted. The limits on each branch's powers and abilities generally mean that the Government is too busy fighting itself to turn onto the people. In order for anything to happen in the Federal Government, it must meet the approval of a majority of 545 individuals (100 Senators, 435 Representatives, Nine Supreme Court Justices, and One President) to work a law of the land. That's not getting into pleasing constituency that can vote to kick out the bums and put in someone who will do the job proper. And we're not getting into UsefulNotes/AmericanFederalism that can also gum up the system. Considering that even with a single party majority party rule, it's very difficult to push through changes through.
* Happens with a LOT of criminal groups in the real world. If they think they can make more money by killing a "friend", or simply need to throw someone to the wolves to save themselves, they'll do so without a second thought. Many criminal organisations are often brought down by snitches who will turn informant the moment they face time behind bars for their crimes.
-->'''[[http://aeon.co/magazine/technology/on-the-high-seas-of-the-hidden-internet/ John Quiggin:]]''' One consequence of all this bloodletting is that criminals must perpetually monitor each other’s statements for subtle intimations of betrayal. As Diego Gambetta, the sociologist of the Sicilian Mafia, put it, they are ‘constantly afraid of being duped, while at the same time they are busy duping others’.
* During the {{Enron}} hearings, after years of corporate fraud was discovered, both Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, tried to put all of the blame on their third partner in crime, Andrew Fastow, who himself was putting a lot of money aside and was planning on abandoning Enron. He instead pleaded guilty to a lesser sentence in exchange for testifying against both Kenneth Lay and Jeffery Skilling.
* A lot of con artists give the marks the impression that they're coming into stolen property or are participating in illegal activity, as well as giving them opportunities to scam the scammers. When the marks do realize they've been taken, very few of them are willing to go to the police, as doing so would be admitting to a crime themselves. This is why so many scammers are able to get away with it.
* Pirated software is often a vector for malware. Who are you going to complain to if you get a virus from something you torrented?