->''"Two tigers can't rule the same mountain."''
-->-- '''Film/TheForbiddenKingdom'''

{{Mentor}}s are always helpful to any self respecting hero. Not only can they pass on knowledge or training, but also points of view, philosophies and even allies (or possibly [[GuiltByAssociation enemies...]]). Unfortunately, sometimes TheHero is particularly talented (or maybe in the right place at the right time) and has more than one mentor trying to recruit them as a student...and they have opposing philosophies.

Opposed Mentors are an excellent opportunity for character development; the hero is given a choice between them, and the one he chooses (and whether he comes to regret it eventually) can represent what the hero is on the path to becoming (or [[EvilMentor risks becoming]]). Expect the mentors to alternately argue with each other by proxy as they give the hero advice (The hero may be "[[VisualPun trapped]]" between them as they shout back and forth, eventually ignoring the hero all together in favour of their opinion). If one of the mentors is evil you can almost guarantee that they were once a student of the other mentor and if not, that both mentors were students of the same master (who the evil mentor no doubt betrayed, although a good mentor being a DefectorFromDecadence isn't unheard of).

It's also just as likely that [[BothSidesHaveAPoint both mentors are good but disagree on some key point]]. In this case it's far more likely that the hero will either remain neutral and learn from both of them or that one of them will [[MentorOccupationalHazard die or turn evil]]. Sometimes one of the mentors is proved to be right (in which case the other mentor is likely to accept that and mend their ways or, as you might guess, turn evil). Other times the hero will, through accepting both their philosophies, surpass them both (generally by becoming a JackOfAllStats).

If the hero rejects a mentor then the spurned mentor will almost certainly take on TheRival as a student ([[RivalTurnedEvil possibly tempting them towards evil]]) or stick around until the hero discovers that their chosen mentor [[BrokenPedestal wasn't all they appeared to be]].

GentleTouchVsFirmHand is a SubTrope. Other ways mentors can be opposed include, but are by no means limited to: training regimes (WaxOnWaxOff versus TrainingFromHell), ethics (WithGreatPower verses MightMakesRight), choice of techniques (MagicVersusScience or FighterMageThief can both be a source of duality), whether talent matters (HardWorkHardlyWorks and TheGift versus TaughtByExperience and TrainingFromHell) and progress ([[ObsoleteMentor the new ways]] versus the GoodOldWays). See also DuelingMessiahs, who are more concerned with doing right by the world than just one person.


[[folder: {{Anime and Manga}}]]
* ''Manga/KenichiTheMightiestDisciple'':
** Kenichi once finds himself in a situation where he can choose between Hayato's and EvilMentor Ogata's mentorship. It's very tempting for Kenichi because previously Hayato seemingly abandoned him and Ogata seems like a very friendly person. The catch is that the TricksterMentor Hayato himself put Kenichi in this situation to [[SecretTest test his moral priorities]].
** Within Ryuzanpaku itself, this is an averted trope. Despite one student having as many as ''seven'' mentors, each with their own style, there is no conflict between them. They take turns using rock/paper/scissors. Perhaps this is because they all believe in TrainingFromHell?
* A number of characters have these in ''Manga/{{Vagabond}}''. For example, the way UsefulNotes/MiyamotoMusashi approaches being a swordsman is influenced both by his father (who coveted his title of "Invincible Martial Artist" but was driven into a a paranoid, TriggerHappy state because of it, convinced that [[YouKillItYouBoughtIt everyone would try to kill him to claim that title for themselves]]... including his 12 year old son) and by mentor figures he encounters along his journey, like the practical RetiredBadass monk In'ei, and philosophical OldMaster Yagyu Muneyoshi, who has renounced violence in his old age.
** Musashi's great rival UsefulNotes/SasakiKojiro also has opposed mentors. First is his adopted father Jisai, who frantically tries to keep Kojiro away from the dangerous life of a swordsman, (despite being a skilled OldMaster himself) and then there's the half crazy BloodKnight Ito Ittosai, who knows only too well how to bring out Kojiro's inner BloodKnight.

[[folder: {{Film}}]]
* ''Film/TheKarateKidPartIII'' has the main character pick up an EvilMentor after an argument with Miyagi.
* Pyro in ''Film/X2XMenUnited'' had the choice between [[BigBad Magneto]] or [[BigGood Xavier]]. This is often the case with some characters in the comics too.
* ''Film/ABronxTale'' is a {{Subversion}}. The movie is about a kid called Calogero growing up under the conflicting influences of his hard-working, honest, but poor father, and the charismatic, rich and powerful, AffablyEvil local mafia don Sonny. Despite their different social standings and lifestyles, [[NotSoDifferent both of them want the same future for him]]: doing well in school so he can go to college and stay out of trouble. The real difference is that Lorenzo just wants him to keep his head down and off the streets while Sonny wants to teach him street smarts so he knows how to navigate trouble and avoid it.
* ''Film/GoodWillHunting'': Will has Sean Maguire and Gerald Lambeau arguing about what direction he should take his life in. Lambeau is convinced that Will has a duty to use his genius-level abilities and become an academic like him, while Sean believes that he first needs to find himself and deal with his demons before he can go forward in life.
* ''Film/StarWars'': Anakin Skywalker has to choose between following Obi-Wan Kenobi -- representing both Jedi tradition and authority, and general goodness -- and Palpatine -- representing an apparent sensible opposition to Jedi strictness really hiding lust for power and temptation to evil. For a long time, as Palpatine hides his evil and lets Anakin stew in his own dissatisfaction rather than openly encouraging rebellion against Obi-Wan, he doesn't even realise there's a clear opposition. Eventually, he chooses Palpatine and turns to the DarkSide.
* ''Film/IHeartHuckabees'' featured philosophically opposed existential detectives (who both served as {{Trickster Mentor}}s for their clients) who may or may not have actually been working together, but would never admit it.
* ''Film/{{Platoon}}'': WideEyedIdealist Chris is torn between two Sergeants about how he should conduct himself in Vietnam. As his closing monologue goes''" The war is over for me now, but it will always be there, the rest of my days. As I'm sure Elias will be, fighting with Barnes for what Rhah called "possession of my soul"''.
* ''Film/TheForbiddenKingdom'' had Jackie Chan and Jet Li as the two mentors. It even provides a quote, "Two tigers can't rule the same mountain."
* ''Film/RideTheHighCountry'': Steve Judd and Gil Westrum spend much of the movie contesting with each other for the loyalty of their mutual protege, Heck Longtree; Judd wants him to stay honest and reliable, while Westrum hopes to enlist him in his plot to steal the gold.

[[folder: {{Literature}}]]
* An evil example is in the Creator/CSLewis novel ''Literature/ThatHideousStrength'', where the two chief villains disagree on the best way to dehumanize their initiate/captive.
* A classic example is ''Literature/{{Candide}}'', in which the title character falls under the influence of Pangloss and Martin, who are at opposite ends of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism.
* In the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' novel ''Crookedstar's Promise'', the titular character is taught by his real mentor, Cedarpelt, but, unknown to other cats, he also is trained in his dreams by the deceased warrior Mapleshade. Mapleshade focuses more on combat skills, while Cedarpelt tries to explain that being a warrior is about more than just being a good fighter. Even their advice on battle moves differs, though that can be explained by the fact that [[spoiler:Mapleshade came from another Clan]].
* In ''Literature/LifeOfPi'' the title character has two mentors, [[OneSteveLimit both named Mr. Kumar]]: the first is an uneducated but devout Muslim shopkeeper while the other is Pi's intelligent, atheistic science teacher. Despite their antithetical worldviews they actually get along well the one time they happen to meet each other, and Pi, whose two main interests are religion and animals, doesn't seem to feel conflicted between them.
* In ''Literature/AtlasShrugged'', science professor Robert Stadler and philosophy professor Hugh Akston competed for college students John Galt, Ragnar Danneskjold, and Francisco d'Anconia. The latter won and later joined their movement, while the former went on to become a government sell-out.
* In ''Literature/GoodOmens'', Heaven and Hell both send hand-picked childhood influences (a nanny, a gardener, two teachers) to the home of the boy they think is {{The Antichrist}}. It's the wrong boy. It's also intentional; Crowley and Aziraphale are secretly in cahoots to make sure the final "score" is a tie.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', after Harry [[spoiler:temporarily dies]], Lea takes over his responsibility as Molly's mentor. Her more [[TrainingFromHell violent]] training clashes strongly with Harry's methods, and is much more painful for the student...but it's more effective at teaching her how to fight, as Harry concedes.
* In ''Literature/TheWitchlands'', Aeduen is pulled from both sides by Ragnor's and Evraine's teachings. The former argues that Aeduen should concede to being a demon and embrace his nature, whereas Evraine believes that he's more human that he wants to admit and should help the newly-manifested Cahr Awen.

[[folder: LiveActionTelevision]]
* In ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' [[DrJerk Dr. Kelso]] and [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold Dr. Cox]] have this dynamic for the first few episodes, with both being presented as possible mentors to JD. With Dr. Kelso being concerned with money (arguing that if the hospital doesn't make a profit, it'll close) and Dr. Cox arguing that the patient should come first. JD chooses Cox, earning him Kelso's contempt (although later episodes show Kelso in a better light). They recycled this plot a few times;
** One episode had JD ''think'' that Cox and a Private Practice Doctor were warring mentors to him, but really it was about the PPD having slept with Jordan.
** When JD moved up to attending in the middle of the series they replayed the Cox vs Kelso only this time with Cox taking Kelso's part and JD taking Cox's part with some of the new interns being the ones caught in the middle.
** In the last season, after the {{Retool}} Drew was subject to the warring between Denise and Cox (although given he was in a relationship with Denise it was as much about the sexual relationship as much as the mentorship).
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'': In Xena's backstory the evil shamaness Alti is pitted against Cyane, the noble Queen of the Amazons. They even have a mental struggle with Xena literally between them. Cyane wins, but Xena [[spoiler:chooses Alti, and kills Cyane and the other leaders of the northern Amazons, helping Alti to trap their souls and prevent them from crossing over. Xena eventually sets things right.]] Alti is also pitted against Lao Ma, though they never directly argue over Xena.
--> '''Alti''': "Your friend you told me about, Lao Ma, her powers come from denial, from self-sacrifice, from the light. That’s not for people like you and me. I wanna tap into the heart of darkness - the sheer, naked will behind all craving, hatred, and violence. I’ll become the face of death itself - capable of destroying not only a person’s body, but their soul. Help me, and I’ll make you ‘Destroyer of Nations’.”
* An episode of ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'' sees Ron and Chris clash over the best way to train April to be a manager. They get competitive, and have a wager over whose method can get the most productivity out of Jerry in the course of a workday. In the end, they discover that [[spoiler:April [[LetsYouAndHimFight set the two of them against each other]] so she could blow off the management training]], and see this as a sign that she's going to be fine on her own.
* ''Series/{{Justified}}'': After her father's "disappearance" in Season 2, [[CowboyCop Raylan Givens]] and [[BigBad Mags Bennett]] both take an interest in Loretta's future, with Raylan attempting to extract her from the criminal underworld, while Mags leads her further into it. Loretta eventually sides with Raylan once his cold war with the Bennetts turns hot, but as future seasons show, Mags is the one whose influence has ultimately lasted.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Wrestling/ChrisHero and Dave Prazak, two of the trainers of Nadia Nyce, got into a feud with her in the middle during their shared time in IWA Mid-South. Nyce ended up siding with Hero, who (at the time) had her best interests in mind.
* Wrestling/TripleH and Wrestling/WilliamRegal regarding [[Wrestling/NickDinsmore Eugene Dinsmore]] on Monday Night Raw. This is a case of two evil mentors, as Regal is a self described "Dirty Rotten Scoundrel, [[LargeHam With Hate In His Heart!]]" but Eugene is Regal's MoralityPet, Triple H saw Eugene as a tool to win him the World Heavyweight Championship.
* In SHINE, one of the primary reasons behind the formation of Wrestling/{{Daffney| Unger}}'s All Star Squad was Valkyrie, and one of Daffney's first recruits was Solo Darling, who was trained by Valkyrie's [[DragonWithAnAgenda odd member out]], Wrestling/IvelisseVelez.[[/folder]]

[[folder: VideoGames]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' you have the choice of being backed by the Greybeards (who are {{Actual Pacifist}}s) and the Blades (who want to slay every single dragon in existence). In the end [[spoiler: The Blades ask you to kill the dragon who served as the mentor to the Greybeards, forcing you to choose one side or the other.]] Neither side is shown as better or worse than the other.
* In ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'': Michael and Trevor to Franklin. One is corrupt but level-headed, the other is honourable but excessively violent. Both of them butt heads trying to teach Franklin the ropes of high-class heists and their rivalry obstructs them to the point [[spoiler:that Franklin has to choose which one to kill, or if he's willing to risk his life and millions of dollars to save them both]].
* In ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'', the player encounters two kung fu masters playing [[VariantChess Yi]]. They complement each other [[{{Foil}} in every way]]- one is a Closed Fist practitioner who's disdainful of the player, the other is a polite Open Palm. (They used to be teacher and student, but split over ideological differences.) The player can learn from one- and ''only'' one- of these masters.
-->'''Mistress Vo:''' You taught me much, Jian- but the most valuable lessons were in learning where you were wrong.

[[folder: WesternAnimation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''
** Katara and Toph have ''very'' different opinions on how Aang should be trained. Katara, his [[MakingASplash waterbending teacher]] goes for the soft, encouraging, positive attitude, while Toph, his [[DishingOutDirt earthbending teacher]], prefers the rougher, blunter, drill sergeant style. This culminates in an interesting MudWrestling scene between the two.
** Zuko had the dueling influences of his [[BigBad father]], a power-mad warlord attempting to raise his son to follow in his footsteps (or get him killed so his [[DaddysLittleVillain sister]] could do so, whatever) and his [[CoolUncle uncle]], a wise [[TheAtoner Atoner]][=/=]DefectorFromDecadence who wanted his nephew to pursue peace on taking the throne.
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' played with this. Stan and Francine wanted to raise Steve different ways, and Steve ended up with a clone, allowing both parents to try their own ways. It turned out neither one alone worked.
* In a gag on ''TheSimpsons'' Lisa makes a square on a family heirloom patchwork quilt honoring her two musical mentors:
-->Look Mom, I've finished my patch. It depicts the two greatest musical influences in my life. On the left is Mr. Largo, my music teacher at school? He taught me that even the noblest concerto can be drained of its beauty and soul. And on the right is Bleeding Gums Murphy. He taught me that music is a fire in your belly that comes out of your mouth, so you better stick an instrument in front of it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ElTigreTheAdventuresOfMannyRivera'' Manny had his dad, the hero White Pandera, and his grandfather, the villain Puma Loco.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'': In season two Korra ends up with two mentors. The Chief of the Northern Water Tribe who is also her uncle, Unalaq. And the Airbending master Tenzin, the son of her previous incarnation. Unalaq wants to teach her how to understand and heal the new corrupted spirits [[spoiler: which he is responsible for twisting.]] While Tenzin has his doubts about Unalaq's intentions and wants her to work with himself. In the end Korra rejects [[spoiler: Unalaq]] but goes along with part of his goal.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'': This often comes up when [[TheSmartGuy Pearl]] and [[TheBigGuy Amethyst]] are trying to tutor [[KidHero Steven]]. Pearl seems to be more of a rigid [[ParentalSubstitute motherly-figure]] to Steven while Amethyst is a more irresponsible but more fun CoolBigSis. Ultimately {{Downplayed|Trope}} as the two will always defer to [[TheAce Garnet]]'s judgement anytime she intervenes.