->''"There are two wars going on: The one out there and the one in here, and we're losing both of them."''
-->-- '''Cap. Kathryn Janeway''', ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', ("[[Recap/StarTrekVoyagerS3E25S4E1Scorpion Scorpion Pt. 2]]")

The opposite of LockedInARoom: the ensemble of diverse characters starts to argue and turn against each other during intense situations. E.g. being boarded up in a house/building/store when there are rampaging [[TheVirus viruses]] / [[ZombieApocalypse zombies]] / [[AlienInvasion aliens]] / [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampires]] / [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent Werewolves]] / [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Jehovah's Witnesses]] or what have you [[TheSiege looming outside]] ([[TenLittleMurderVictims or inside]]) [[TenLittleMurderVictims trying to get to you]]. Which leads to paranoia, frustration, and disagreement among the group when it comes to fixing the dilemma. Patience starts to run short, the ensemble is starting to get on each other's nerves, and things quickly get out of hand and possibly implode.

When this occurs against something threatening to [[ApocalypseHow wipe out humanity as a whole]] (such as the ever-popular ZombieApocalypse) this usually leads to AnAesop for the survivors (or the audience) about how we need to [[TeethClenchedTeamwork look beyond our differences and focus on the big picture,]] or a scathing indictment of humanity's [[ZombieInfectee self-destructiveness]] and how we can sometimes be even [[HumansAreTheRealMonsters worse]] than the monsters we're fighting. This trope is also a good way to showcase [[ADarkerMe the darker side]] of characters under stressful situations whom are otherwise good people. This also can be caused by clashing egos, But mostly it's due in part to conflicting personalities.

This trope is named for a famous Biblical quote that Lincoln later borrowed about how "a house divided against itself cannot stand," though it is also referred to in writing circles as "[[ScaryScorpions Scorpions]] in a Box" (not to be confused with RatsInABox, which is when this trope is invoked for the purposes of PerpSweating).

This is frequently combined with an OntologicalMystery.

Subtrope of DividedWeFall. May be caused by an ArtifactOfAttraction or other AppleOfDiscord. Compare GoldFever. When this erupts into a full-scale war, particularly within a country, you have a CivilWar.

Occasionally, a villain will try to [[DivideAndConquer set this up deliberately]]. [[ThePowerOfFriendship This never works.]] See also: WeAREStrugglingTogether making this TruthInTelevision...unfortunately.
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Typical Character types that are found in this trope are:

* ActionGirl, Probably resents the Damsel.
* AgentMulder
* AgentScully
* BaldBlackLeaderGuy
* BlackBestFriend (or just the token black)
* CrazySurvivalist, on occasion fights with both the {{Jerkass}} and the MartyStu.
* DamselInDistress
* DamselScrappy
* The {{Jerkass}}...obviously.
* MartyStu, always at war with the JerkAss
** Similarly an IdealHero
* TheMillstone
* StrawNihilist,
* IgnoredExpert, OnlySaneMan, and CassandraTruth
* TheLoad
* PsychoPartyMember
* TokenEvilTeammate[=/=]TokenGoodTeammate
* ZombieInfectee, sometimes the main cause of the division
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/InfiniteRyvius''. After the adults die, it takes all of two episodes for the children to start turning on one another. The vicious infighting continues even in the middle of battles.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', there's a [[RightHandVersusLeftHand hardlined military faction called Root that works against the members of Konoha that follow the teachings of the 3rd Hokage, which includes, among others, the main character and the 5th Hokage]]. There are also other factions in the Land of Fire who want the fifth gone. None of these groups particularly liked the third Hokage either.
* In the RS arc of ''PokemonSpecial'', the Gym leaders realize that there's a terrorist group out there planning to screw over Hoenn. Since Aqua and Magma work against each other, the Gym Leaders argue about which group are the real bad guys, not realizing that though the two teams have opposing goals, ''both'' groups are terrorists. The Gym Leaders probably would have duked it out between themselves if not for the fact that Groudon and Kyogre start destroying the region. Made worse by the fact that Tate and Liza weren't there due to their duty to guard the Red and Blue Orbs, and Norman knew better and refused to take sides. Shame Sapphire wasn't at this particular meeting, or she could have vouched against them both, being a witness to the heinous deeds of both groups.
* Happens to the girls holed up in the lighthouse in the ''Manga/BattleRoyale'' manga.
** And [[spoiler:they all wind up dead,]] especially the instigator. Oh so much.
* ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'': The alchemists aboard the ''Advenna Avis'' were already divided in conflict before they received their elixir of life. Immortality should've resolved most of their disputes and rendered the rest futile to continue. But the gifting demon left an escape clause in case they tired of eternal life; they could absorb each other to take all their knowledge and experience. They quickly figured how this might be used against each other.
* In {{Literature/Gate}}, it seems that the Empire isn't in complete control of their lands, as seen in episode 2 when the Emperor orders his allied nations to get slaughtered by the new enemy forces occupying their gate. He later orders the surrounding regions to undergo a SaltTheEarth policy, officially to deny the JSDF from obtaining local resources. But secretly it's meant to further quell any rebellious mood against the Empire.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comicbooks]]
* Marvel's ''Comicbook/CivilWar'' arc has caused this among its heroes.
* So far the group in ''ComicBook/TheWalkingDead'' comic manages to avoid this...for the most part.
** The core members have learned to trust each other over the constant fear that the other people aren't making the best decisions. EVERY time someone new comes into the fold, the tension surfaces. Time, and sometimes a death or two, will put things back to 'normal'.
* Used in a strip in ''Magazine/DoctorWhoMagazine'' in which a group of minor villains that the Doctor has previously defeated gather together in a deserted space-station to plan a final attack that will finish him once and for all. One of them dies horribly, and as the others begin dying one by one afterward, it seems (to them, anyway) as if the Doctor has infiltrated their midst in disguise and is picking them off one by one. Finally, the last couple paranoid that either one of them could be the Doctor in disguise kill each other... and at that point, the Doctor arrives, not recognising any of them. Turns out the first death was just an accident with a faulty machine and the other deaths were just everyone picking each other off out of sheer paranoia.
* The ''ComicBook/PocketGod'' story arc "A Tale of Two Pygmies" revolves around this. [[TheSmartGuy Klik]] doesn't like how [[ThePrankster Ooga]] treats the tribe like a joke and is jealous at him for meeting the gods. When their hut burns down, he accuses Ooga of doing it and exiles him. However, [[TheDitz Nooby]] and [[TheBigGuy Booga]] go with Ooga; splitting the tribe of six into two tribes of three. When their sacred Gem of Life is missing, Klik accuses Ooga's tribe of stealing it and the tribes go to war. [[spoiler: Turns out the culprit was a female pygmy named Sun, who manipulated the tribe into fighting amongst each other so she can steal their Gem of Life]].
* The entire point of ''Schism'' was to break up the X-Men into those siding with Wolverine and those siding with Cyclops.
* This was pretty much the plot of the "Home Schooling" arc of ''{{Runaways}}''. Victor Mancha inadvertently causes a drone to crash into the Runaways' house, resulting in Klara and Old Lace getting buried beneath rubble. The rubble gets sorted out relatively quickly, but Old Lace dies and Klara loses control of her powers, burying the house in vines. The team then becomes divided over how to deal with the vines, with Chase and Victor preferring to force Klara to retract them while Karolina, Nico and Molly prefer to wait until she's calmed down enough to retract them of her own free will (eventually, Nico uses a magic spell that tranquilizes Klara, but this angers Molly, who considers forcing someone to sleep against their will to be abusive.) Further complications arise when a paramilitary unit arrives to investigate the attack, causing the Runaways to flee the house while Chase abandons the team. Apparently, the arc was supposed to end with them being reunited by a suddenly-revived Gert Yorkes, but the series was cancelled halfway through the arc...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* ''FanFic/RosarioVampireBrightestDarkness Act III'': Throughout the first few chapters, the ghoul inside Tsukune causes a schism within Tsukune's posse, with some (Moka, Kurumu, and Rason, for example) trusting Tsukune to keep the ghoul contained with the Holy Lock and others (Dark, Mizore, and Felucia, for example) firmly convinced that the ghoul is too dangerous. They all get over it pretty quickly, however.
* ''[[FanFic/IcedFairysANewWorld A New World]]'': Weakened as the Gensokyo forces might be after centuries of isolation, had they the political will to do so, if pooled together they could deliver a lethal ZergRush / CurbStompBattle to the invading Lunarians. However, to Kanako's ire, the two strongest armies (the oni and the tengu) are staying out, the oni because they don't see it as their problem, and the tengu because of potential succession issues, and the most technologically advanced, the kappa, are too cowardly to enter the fray without the tengu. Gensokyo's remaining forces have to make do with the remaining warriors [[spoiler:until the Lunarians seal their doom by unwittingly helping the tengu out, allowing them and the kappa to enter the battle.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* In ''Film/NightOfTheLivingDead1968'' [[OnlySaneMan Ben]] and the [[JerkAss Mr. Cooper]] fight over the use of the cellar. Ben believes it should just be a last option, with Mr. Cooper thinking it's their only option and threatens to close everybody else out of the cellar if they don't make up their mind. Eventually things come to a boil in both versions of the film. [[spoiler:Unfortunately, it turns out that Cooper may have been right.]] In the underrated remake Ben and Cooper get into a shoot out within the besieged house over the fact that Cooper wouldn't let anyone kill his [[ZombieInfectee daughter]].
** The main plot point from ''Film/DayOfTheDead1985'', and also found in the original ''Film/DawnOfTheDead1978'' and [[Film/DawnOfTheDead2004 its remake]], the remake more than the original.
* ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' is definitely a member of this trope.
* Lampshaded in ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd'', and referred to as "Cuttlefish in a barrel".
** Also averted, partly because they were GenreSavvy enough to know about it.
* In John Carpenter's version of ''Film/TheThing1982'', The researchers at Outpost 31 turn on each other when they realized the alien could imitate anyone. Paranoia and intense tension build up, Resulting in one of the most bone chilling endings ever made.
** The 1951 version, ''Film/TheThingFromAnotherWorld'', centers on a conflict between the scientists and the military over how to best deal with the alien creature (which is a more conventional monster rather than a shape-shifter).
* ''Franchise/{{Saw}}''
** Between the players of Jigsaw's latest Lethal Game in ''Film/SawII''.
** Partially subverted in ''Film/SawV'', in that [[spoiler: Jigsaw not only does nothing to promote his captives' squabbling, but arranges things so that cooperation would've greatly reduced the casualties]]. Too bad the prisoners were so determined to act this trope out straight...
* ''Film/ShaunOfTheDead'' - Shaun: As Bertrand Russell once said, "The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation." I think we can all appreciate the relevance of that now.
** You read that on a beer mat, didn't you?
* The latter portion of ''Film/TwentyEightDaysLater'', where the cast are at odds with surviving military members.
* ''Film/{{Cube}}''. Although the eponymous Cube is filled with lethal booby traps, they only kill two of the seven characters.
* ''Film/TheDescent''. Mostly between Sarah and Juno, especially after the former found out the latter took the group caving/spelunking in a dangerous uncharted cave that's filled with flesh eating subterranean mutants, [[NotQuiteTheRightThing in a misguided effort to reunite the group]]. Not to mention the fact that Juno also slept with Sarah's deceased baby daddy. Juno's ''Good Intentions'' not only contributed to her friend Sarah's breakdown . But also led her friends to their doom.
** Juno also accidentally [[spoiler:mortally wounded one of her friends (Beth) in the cave thinking she was one of the cave dwelling monsters. And left her there to die]] and tried to cover it up. When Sarah comes across the [[spoiler:injured Beth, Beth explains what happened (including info about the affair Juno had) . And tells Sarah not to trust Juno,]] essentially putting the proverbial nail in the coffin of Sarah and Juno's friendship.. Of course [[spoiler:karma is a bitch, as Juno [[KarmicDeath sufferers the consequences]]]] [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation (unfairly or not)]].
* A literal example (well actually an apartment complex) in the films ''Film/{{REC}}'', and ''Film/{{Quarantine}}''. The inhabitants never fully reach this level seeing as how the [[TheVirus infection happens so fast]] people rarely get the chance to argue with one another. Although they came DANGEROUSLY close to this trope during the initial panic.
* ''Film/TheBeastOfWar'' is a forgotten war movie from 1988, depicting the struggle between a Soviet tank crew and their mujahadeen opponents. Not all the conflict takes place outside the tank. The commander shoots his Afghan translator, convinced he's working with the enemy, and when another soldier threatens to report the killing he's tied to a rock and booby-trapped for the mujahadeen to find.
* In ''NightAtTheMuseum 2: Battle of the Smithsonian'', Larry [[ChekhovsGun remembers some advice the (animated) Lincoln Memorial gave him]], and begins taunting the villains and playing them against each other. Ultimately, their inability to work together proves to be the ultimate reason for their defeat.
-->'''Lincoln Memorial''': A house divided cannot stand.
* The Stephen King story and movie, ''Film/TheMist.'' A military project codenamed 'Operation Arrowhead' has gone awry and a quaint Maine town is shrouded in mist that happens to be filled with flesh eating monsters from another dimension. A lucky few residents are able to barricade themselves in the local supermarket. TheFundamentalist Mrs. Carmody preaches that this is all an act of God for landing people on the moon and homosexuality. Yes, really. Yet as people start getting picked off by the monsters most of the people in the store let their fear get the better of them and start listening to Mrs. Carmody's sermons, save for a level headed group that finds its self outcast and fearing for their lives after Mrs. Carmody has her followers sacrifice one of the townspeople to the monsters. When they decide that they would rather face the monsters then face a religious nut, Mrs. Carmody tries to stop them and utters her final words, 'Kill them all!' before she is finally put in her place with a BoomHeadshot.
* Happens to a small group of teenagers on a plane in the film ''Film/{{Altitude}}''.
* ''Film/SurvivalOfTheDead.'' Only it's more like an '''island''' divided. The O'Flynns and the Muldoons have such a sharp family rivalry that [[spoiler:they don't even pay attention to the zombies killing everyone around them during the final showdown at the end. And they don't let up, either. ''Not even when they become infected themselves.'']] Tsk, tsk.
* M.Night Shyamalan's ''Film/{{Devil}}'' takes this beyond the average person's tolerance with an elevator full of people slowly being killed off.
* The post-apocalyptic film ''Film/TheDivide'' is fueled by this trope.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLegoMovie'', the Master Builders are at a huge disadvantage thanks to Lord Business' massively more organized robot troops.
--> '''Abraham Lincoln''': A house divided itself... would be better than this. *flies away on a rocket chair*
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'' by RickRiordan, the Greeks and Romans need to ally themselves so they can defeat Gaea. Otherwise, they are SCREWED.
** And then in ''The Blood of Olympus'' [[spoiler:the actual union between the campers is sidelined to the point where it has literally nothing to do with the conflict against Gaea and the giants.]]
* The story ''Literature/WhoGoesThere'' by Creator/JohnWCampbell, which provided the inspiration for the movie ''Film/TheThing1982''. A [[ShapeShifter shape-shifting]] alien is thawed out, and proceeds to start killing people in an isolated Antarctic research station. Everybody is understandably paranoid and scared to death. Besides being eaten to death of course.
* Much of Creator/TanyaHuff's ''[[Literature/SmokeAndShadows Smoke and Mirrors]]''--in which a television crew gets locked in a HauntedHouse--consists of this trope; they don't descend to killing each other, but... not by much.
* In the Creator/StephenKing short story "Literature/TheMist", this happens to around 80 people stuck in a supermarket. The main threat is a deeply religious woman who urges the others to make a blood sacrifice to stop the monsters outside.
* Will Navidson and his significant other Karen move into the [[color:blue:house]] because they are trying to avert this trope, but the [[MindScrew strange happenings]] in ''Literature/HouseOfLeaves'' don't allow for that sort of healing.
* In Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'', wizards have a weird, formalized version of this. Wizards get along about as well as a sackful of soggy cats, something apparently programmed into them at a ''genetic'' level (or at least the level that passes for genetics on the Disc). Unseen University was created to redirect that murderous energy into a strict hierarchy where a cutting note could do nearly as much damage to one's opponent as a hurled fireball, but with a much smaller risk of bystanders being turned into charcoal (or possibly haddocks). They still cheerfully murder one another with creative booby traps, but things have settled somewhat now, since the current head of the University has proven himself more or less unkillable (and he sleeps with [[GunsAkimbo two loaded crossbows]], although he's a kind man and probably won't shoot you in ''both'' ears).
* Machiavelli in ''Literature/DiscoursesOnLivy'' believes that this is one of the reasons for a republic's ''strength'', since it allows the right leader to come to the fore at the right time.
* Seen in ''Literature/StarTrekGemworld'' during a crisis, when the six races of Gemworld, and their leaders, fail to work together succesfully. Barclay calls them out on it, by appealing to the GoodOldWays:
-->"This is not how your ancestors survived, by ignoring a problem...The inhabitants of Gemworld have gotten soft. You prefer to bicker and fix blame instead of finding a solution. I'm sorry...that's not how the Ancients would have faced this ...The question is - will you act like your ancestors? Will you do what it takes to survive? Or would you prefer to hide in this room and bicker?
* The lighthugger ''[[CoolStarShip Nostalgia For Infinity]]'' in ''Literature/RevelationSpace''. Despite having a crew of ''six'' ([[ManInTheMachine seven]] if [[HumanPopsicle you're generous]]), almost the [[SpacePirates entire crew]] hate each other's guts and are willing to murder each other. The only two characters that get along are [[CyBorg Hegazi]] and [[IceQueen Volyova]], or Volyova and [[ActionGirl Khouri]]
* The good guys in Creator/JRRTolkien's works are all too prone to this. The elven factions in Beleriand are one example. Another would be the mistrust between Arnor and Gondor, and the various succession crises, secessions, and outright civil wars within the realms, which give Sauron opportunities to weaken and (in the case of Arnor) eventually destroy an enemy he couldn't take on all at once. It looks like the Ring-war is going the same way (Rohan occupied with internal problems, and the southern fiefs of Gondor reserving most of their manpower to defend their coastlines) until Gandalf and Aragorn shake things up.
* In the first ''[[Literature/TheHungerGames Hunger Games]]'' novel, it's mentioned that this usually happens to the [[BloodKnight Career tributes]]. The Careers typically work together in the beginning of the games to set camp, protect each other and kill as many of the non-Career tributes as possible early on. However, since there can only be one survivor in the end, as soon as there are so few non-Careers left that the Careers don't really have a common enemy anymore, distrust and disapproval starts spreading among the group, until they inevitably turn on each other.
* In ''Literature/UndeadOnArrival'' the rival gangs that control Devon seem more concerned with killing each other than the hordes of zombies.
* ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' has this as a recurring theme played straight, subverted and deconstructed in many flavours, both in the backstory (the split between the Targaryens and Blackfyres is a classic example) and the main (the three-way Baratheon split couldn't play it straighter). [[{{Realpolitik}} Of]] [[DeadlyDecadentCourt course]] [[BigScrewedUpFamily it]] [[RoyallyScrewedUp happens]] [[TheClan depressingly]] [[DysfunctionJunction often]]: [[ManipulativeBastard with]] [[SnarkToSnarkCombat bells]] [[CrapsackWorld on]]. It's safe to say that ''any'' House or [[NotSoOmniscientCouncilOfBickering institution]] is at risk when they all play the Game of Thrones. No exceptions. Moving one stage further and hitting DividedWeFall occurs, too [[spoiler: (the Freys, Karstarks, Greyjoys and even the Lannisters face this as an increasingly likely outcome of their inner rivalries)]]. Some [[FireForgedFriends manage to pull through]], however battered: the rarer cases, these (the Night's Watch has a long, chequered history of [[WeAreStrugglingTogether falling apart at the seams, patching it as required and soldiering on kind of as a unit]]... to then repeat the process all over again down the line).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/BabylonFive'', the alliance against the Shadows turned in against itself when it was left leaderless by Sheridan's death. Order was only restored when the MessianicArchetype returned from the dead.
* Happens from time to time on ''Series/{{Lost}}''. Often a main character will stop the fighting and remind everyone that there are other threats to their survival without them turning on each other. Jack, Locke, and Hurley have delivered such speeches, beginning with Jack's "live together, die alone" speech in an early episode.
** One interesting example, from season two: Sawyer and Michael, essentially LockedInARoom on the wreckage of their raft, start bickering about whose fault it was that [[spoiler:Walt was kidnapped by the Others]]. This becomes the issue that their being LockedInARoom allows them to overcome.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** Pretty much the entirety of [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E10Midnight "Midnight"]] is an extended Scorpion Box. it's easily one of the most disturbing ''Doctor Who'' episodes ever aired.
** Also the plot of the First Doctor serial, [[Recap/DoctorWhoS1E3TheEdgeOfDestruction "The Edge of Destruction"]].
* The ''[[Series/TheTwilightZone Twilight Zone]]'' episode "The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street".
* In ''Series/TheOuterLimits1995'' episode "Abduction", an alien kidnaps five high school students, and tells them that one must be killed. They must decide which of them it will be. And of course they're from completely different social groups. Ray, a typical jock, Danielle, the hottest girl in school, Jason, a stereotypical geek, Brianna, a devout religious girl, and Cody, a social outcast. So needless to say they don't get along. But then again it was a test. And the ensemble was picked for that very reason.
* ''Series/TheFortyFourHundred'' episode "No Exit" features most of the major characters being LockedInARoom... that's trying to kill them. Their bickering and political differences lead to [[spoiler: Shawn and Meghan's deaths]], and in the end [[spoiler: Jordan and Tom need to work past their personal differences to save the others.]]
* In ''Series/{{Angel}}'' when the cast were regressed to their 17 year old versions and trapped in the hotel. They all belong to the types listed in the header: Angel (MartyStu), Gunn (BaldBlackLeaderGuy), Fred (DistressedDamsel), Cordelia (DamselScrappy by that time), and Wesley (JerkAss).
* Also happens in the ''Series/{{Buffy the Vampire Slayer}}'' episode "[[Recap/BuffyTheVampireSlayerS4E20TheYokoFactor The Yoko Factor]]" when Spike turns the Scoobies against one another.
* In the ''Series/{{Haven}}'' episode "[[Recap/HavenS3E6RealEstate Real Estate]]", the house is a malevolent GeniusLoci that uses the characters' pre-existing tensions against them, culminating in a three-way MexicanStandoff.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': This came up in "[[Recap/StarTrekDeepSpaceNineS05E02TheShip The Ship]]", when Captain Sisko and crew have to take shelter in a crashed Jem'Hadar fighter while more Jem'Hadar are shelling their position. Most of the tension is between O'Brien and Worf over how to deal with a dying RedShirt (O'Brien wants him to keep fighting for life, while Worf implies killing him to spare his suffering), though everyone gets into the act.
-->'''Sisko:''' I know it's hot. We're filthy, tired, and we've got ten isontons of explosives going off outside. But we will never get out of this if we don't pull it together and start to ''act like professionals''!
* Series/GameOfThrones is this TurnedUpToEleven. The whole realm is at war with one another over the iron throne, while a greater threat of the [[HumanoidAbomination White Walkers]] with a horde of [[ZombieApocalypse wights]] mobilizes in the north.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* This was offered as the main reason the [[NewWorldOrder nWo]] was so successful against {{WCW}}; the WCW wrestlers were a bunch of gloryhounds with a ton of unsettled issues against each other and a desire for the spotlight, while the [=nWo=] operated like a well-oiled machine.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'s'' Imperium intentionally invokes this trope with every institution, organization and military unit mistrusting everyone else. This does leave them with a bureaucratic nightmare where military or humanitary aid for worlds may arrive a century after it was needed, but it also keeps the human race comparably safe from the danger of a high-ranking defector. This lesson was learned after two bloody civil wars, one of them tearing humanity out of its beginning golden age.
** This also happens to foster an environment where different parts of the military occassionally go to war with each other, however...
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}} Fantasy'', this happens occasionally in The Empire, when an Emperor dies or retires the Elector Counts tend to disagree who would be the next. There was once the time of the Three Emperors, where three Counts decree themselves as Emperor of the Empire that its a miracle that the provinces didn't go on an all out civil war on who is the rightful Emperor.
* Then there's the Realm in ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', now that the Scarlet Empress has vanished. The Anathema are on the loose, new and sinister forms have emerged, one Realm outpost has been conquered by a Deathlord, the Bull of the North is on the rampage, and the most likely outcome within the Realm itself is all-out civil war over the Scarlet Throne.
* Happens regularly in ''TabletopGames/BattleTech'', the five great houses generally have infighting among themselves from time to time. The most prominent example is House Marik, which broke up into four factions after the Jihad. The Clans also have this a lot, they are divided into two groups the Crusaders, and the Wardens who have conflicting views on Kerensky's legacy.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/DanganRonpa'', the villainous headmaster Monokuma informs his students that the only way to escape Despair Academy is to [[DeadlyGame murder one of the others]] without getting caught. On top of this, he gradually introduces extra motivation, leading to more paranoia as nobody can be sure who's going to try and get out.
* This came out particularly strongly in the first arc of ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' because the characters are stuck in a ClosedCircle where EveryoneIsASuspect.
* This quickly sets in during ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward'' due to the way the Nonary Game is set up. If someone opens the "9" door before everyone else can get 9 points, then no one else will be able to escape. Furthermore, if someone is betrayed and drops to 0 points, they die. And finally, it's fairly certain that one of the participants in the game is Zero, the mastermind behind the whole thing.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* A subversion of the villainous version happens in ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'' - Burton Harris/Ken Lawson plays off the paranoia and reservations of a group of students hanging out in a cottage in order to get the entire uneasy alliance to dissolve. Burton/Ken wasn't exactly a villain though, just a [[{{Jerkass}} dick]] who thought that the place was too crowded.
* The Trolls from ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' eventually become this, as shown by [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=005221 this update]] and the ones following it. They start off with twelve. Currently, they're down to four (five and a half if you include Aradia and Sollux), and Kanaya expresses an interest in making it three.
* ''WebVideo/OneHundredYardStare'': Episode four sees the girls turning into this trope.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Parodied on ''CloneHigh''.
* The driving conflict of ''Animation/TheNightTheAnimalsTalked''
[[/folder]]
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