troperville

tools

toys

SubpagesImageLinks
Laconic
Main
Music
PlayingWith
Quotes
YMMV

main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Arch-Enemy

Optimus Prime: After eons of conflict, I finally see the truth of your words, Megatron.
Megatron: And what might that be, Optimus?
Optimus Prime: This universe, no matter how vast, will never be big enough for you and I to coexist.

An Arch Enemy, archfoe, archnemesis, or simply nemesis is some character's designated and most important enemy.

The Arch Enemy can be the Big Bad, The Dragon, The Rival, an Evil Counterpart, or even a Harmless Villain. The essential element is that, with them, It's Personal. Most typically, the Arch Enemy is a foil of some sort. For example, the Arch Enemy of the physically strong could be very smart. If the villain is the Bigger Bad, his Arch Enemy commonly is the Big Good.

The Arch Enemy will stand out from the Super Hero's Rogues Gallery — there will be one opponent where the relationship to the hero and the motivations for battling them are more potent. These feelings may be one-sided, felt more by the villain than the hero.

A hero's Arch Enemy is not necessarily the biggest threat to them. Lex Luthor is considered Superman's Arch Enemy; Brainiac is smarter and Darkseid is vastly more powerful and dangerous, but for Lex - and, to a lesser extent, for Superman - it's personal between them.

Sometimes, the hero could have made the same choices as the Arch Enemy: the Arch Enemy is showing us what he could have become, as in the case of Batman and the Joker.

A hero may possess more than one Arch Enemy if more than one villain from his Rogues Gallery stand out, or if a former Arch Enemy dies and new one comes in to the picture. As an example, consider Spider-Man: the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, and Venom have all established themselves as recurring and iconic foes of Spider-Man, each of whom has been considered the wallcrawler's Arch Enemy at different points in time.

Lastly, remember that this generally refers to the enemy the hero considers to be his Arch Enemy, and ideally, it should be personal on both sides (though there are plenty of good "But for Me, It Was Tuesday"-type Arch Foes out there). Especially in the case of a Rogues Gallery, the hero is usually considered an Arch Enemy to all of his villains, but he doesn't treat all of them as such. Electro, Rhino, Scorpion, and others all consider Spider-Man their most hated foe, but compared to the Goblin, Venom, or Doc Ock, Spidey regards these guys more like superpowered nuisances. Also, remember that being the Big Bad does not automatically make a villain the hero's arch enemy.

Beware of letting an Arch Enemy fall victim to Diminishing Villain Threat.

See also Breakout Villain, for those instances when a run-of-the-mill villain ascends to Arch Enemy status.

Not to be confused with various works known as Nemesis. Also not to be confused with the Swedish death metal band.

The Arch Enemy is more prone to certain tropes than the common villain:


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Light and L from Death Note are each other's archenemies, foils, and near intellectual equals.
    • Near is Mello's Arch Enemy even though they're theoretically on the same side.
  • Baikinman from Soreike! Anpanman is Anpanman's Arch Enemy, who was born to fight Anpanman. However, Anpanman treats him as friendly as anyone else as long as he isn't causing trouble.
  • In Shakugan no Shana, Wilhelmina Carmel explicitly refer to Sabrac, The Destructive Blade, as her nemesis.
  • Seto Kaiba in Yu-Gi-Oh! might qualify, though he could also be considered a rival to Yugi. He even invokes this trope in the abridged series:
    Kaiba: After all, he's my arch rival. The Sherlock Holmes to my Moriarty, the Kaneda to my Tetsuo, the Speed Racer to my Racer X. I could go on but I won't.
  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni has Furude Rika and Miyo Takano, who have been at each others' throats for 200 years due to a Groundhog Day Stable Time Loop. Takano invariably kills Rika, at which point Hanyuu pushes the Reset Button, and it gets more personal for poor Rika, who is completely conscious of the time loop. Rika only finds out Takano is her Arch Enemy in the second-to-last loop, and Takano is never aware of the loop..
  • In Umineko no Naku Koro ni, both Battler and Beatrice, as well as Bernkastel and Lambdadelta have reached this point with each other. Or have they?
  • Spike in Cowboy Bebop has Evil Counterpart Vicious. He also has Lord Error-Prone Andy, who is a mockery of this trope, being a one-shot foil who's a near perfect expression of Spike's id despite the latter's constant protests to the contrary.
  • Negi Springfield in Mahou Sensei Negima! has Fate (no, not that Fate), who seems to go out of his way to make personal attacks on Negi's friends.
  • Zero and Suzaku in Code Geass, though it's another case of moral ambiguity/ideological antagonism. They eventually get over their issues and honestly work together.
    • For Lelouch himself, both Charles and Schneizel follow this straight. And maddeningly enough, he has the misfortune to get sold out to both to them after they've already caused him enough grief for several lifetimes.
  • In Naruto it's a little hard to decide, but mostly earlier friends turn into enemies, such as Orochimaru and Jiraiya, or even Naruto and Sasuke (though, the latter is in a quite difficult situation). Also Sasuke considered Itachi his arch-nemesis for a long time until learing the truth now turns to Naruto and the leaf village. Tobi and the Akatsuki to Naruto and his allies.
    • The Second Tsuchikage and Second Mizukage had a long-standing grudge, which eventually led to their final battle where both perished.
  • In Detective Conan Shinichi's rival might be considered Kaito Kid, wherefore his nemesis is 'the organization' with his most present member Gin.
  • Char Aznable and Amuro Ray are perhaps the most iconic throughout the Gundam fandom. What started out as a professional military rivalry, later turned deeply personal after the death of Char's assistant Lahlah Sune, whom both men loved, when she attempted to intervene in a battle between the two of them. In the end their rivalry leads to a Mutual Kill in Char's Counterattack.
    • Zeta Gundam: While Paptimus Scirocco might be the Big Bad and Yazan Gable the resident Hero Killer, it's Titans' Ace Pilot and former Jerk Jock Jerid Messa who is Kamille Bidan's archetypal archnemesis. The two of them essentially go back and forth on killing one another's friends and loved ones (Jerid kills Kamille's mother, girlfriend, and one of his friends; Kamille Jerid's crush, his Big Brother Mentor, his girlfriend, and a truckload of his subordinates), until the rivalry had turned deeply personal, especially on Jerid's part; by the end all he wants is Kamille's head on a pike.
    • Judau Ashta and Haman Khan from Gundam ZZ play the trope rather differently from the usual Gundam rivalry. Haman is in love with Judau, who kind of reciprocates, but Haman's philosophy of life is completely irreconcilable with Judau's idealism. Mutual attraction and a Newtype connection between the two, rather than hatred, is what makes their opposition into a personal feud, to the point that when they go looking for a duel, the reaction of their respective crews is to Leave the Two Lovebirds Alone.
      • Contrasting them is the equally twisted relationship between Roux Louka, Judau's right-hand girl, and Haman's treacherous subordinate Glemmy Toto. From shortly after his first appearance, Glemmy becomes obsessed with Roux, stalking her wherever she goes, and doing his best to gain control over her, while Roux alternately manipulates and defies him, using him for information one moment, then trying to kill him the next. Glemmy, in return, begins to subvert Roux's expectations, using her attempts at manipulating him in order to gain advantage over her crewmates. In the end, it's Roux who kills Glemmy, who accepts it with grace.
    • In G Gundam the Canadian fighter Andrew Graham considers the Russian Fighter Argo Gulski his nemesis because he blames him for his wife's death. Also Domo Kasshu's and Master Asia's difficult relationship might be some kind of arch nemesis.
    • In Gundam Wing Zechs spends too much time on the good side to be this for Heero despite their constant battles, but Wufei definitely has one in Treize Kushrenada.
    • Rau Le Creuset of Gundam SEED is the Arch Enemy of Earth Forces' Ace Pilot Mu La Flaga. Their rivalry goes back to early in the war, and is extremely personal, even before The Reveal that Le Creuset is a dying clone of La Flaga's father. Early in-show, the Le Creuset team, and especially Athrun Zala are set up as the Archenemies of the Archangel, and Kira Yamato in particular. By the end they have pulled a Heel-Face Turn and Le Creuset takes their position as Kira' Arch Enemy.
    • In Gundam SEED Destiny Shinn Asuka and Rey Za Burrel both consider Kira Yamato to be their Arch-Nemesis, although Kira doesn't necessarily agree. An interesting case in that the arch enemies never so much as knew each other by name, only by the machines that they piloted (and in Shinn's case, recognizing Kira's fighting style after they each got a Mid-Season Upgrade).
    • In Gundam 00 Graham Acre considers Setsuna F. Seiei and his Gundam Exia his arch nemesis for their crimes (though he calls it a special kind of love...) But he's really more The Rival in that regard. A better fit for Setsuna's archnemesis is psychopathic Blood Knight Ali Al-Saachez for destroying not just his life, but also killing off Lockon Stratos' family as well.
    • In Gundam AGE Decil Galette is Flit Asuno's Arch Enemy starting late in Season 1 and continuing into Season 2. Flit might hate all of the Vagan with a passion, but it takes Decil's return to send him into a murderous enough rage that he sorties himself, while Decil is living for revenge after Flit humiliated him in Season 1's climax.
  • Gauron and Sousuke in Full Metal Panic!!. The feeling tends to be a lot more one-sided on Gauron's part, as he makes it his personal mission to put himself in a position where he can constantly antagonize Sousuke. It's so bad, it's to the point where it's suggested that he actually stalks and watches Sousuke, and purposefully chooses missions that would put him at odds with Sousuke, allowing them to meet again. Sousuke, on the other hand, finds Gauron insanely annoying, and would really love nothing more than for the guy to just go die somewhere and leave him alone.
  • Red and Giovanni in Pokémon Special are the most important. Also Yellow and Lance.
  • Pokémon has several examples:
    • The original enmity was between Ash and Gary, with Gary rubbing his superiority in Ash's nose and Ash going crazy as he tried to catch up. They eventually buried the hatchet when they finally battled at the Johto League. Although Ash beat Gary, Defeat Means Friendship and they became friendly rivals afterward.
    • Ash later developed a more bitter rivalry with Paul over their methods of training Pokemon. A combination of Break the Haughty on Paul's part and Ash eventually beating him in the Sinnoh League again led them to bury the hatchet, and while they didn't exactly become friends afterward, they did develop a new respect for one another.
    • Galactic Commander Saturn's Toxicroak to Brock's Croagunk.
    • Team Rocket's Meowth feels this way towards every Persian he comes across.
  • Ranma of Ranma ½ had Happosai (outright stated to be Ranma Arch Enemy in the datebook)
  • Harima the delinquent in School Rumble had Hanai the class president. Harima's love rival is Karasuma. Eri & Yakumo too.
  • Makoto and Jinnai in El-Hazard: The Magnificent World.
  • In Bleach, Ishida originally had Mad Scientist Mayuri Kurotsuchi as his nemesis, although now that they're on the same side, Ishida seems to come across as the Butt Monkey victim of Mayuri's sociopathic humor. The protagonist always had at least one mayor rival at each point in the story (first Ishida, followed by Renji, Kenpachi, Byakuya, Grimmjow and Ulquiorra).
    • We also have The Grand Fisher, the first major antagonist. He went down quickly, but at the time he was Ichigo's archnemesis. He killed Ichigo's mother, the event that changed his life completely. It is because of him that he changes his motivation for fighting hollows, taking it much more seriously. Grand Fisher seems to acknowledge this, seeking out Ichigo as soon as he returns to the human world.
    • Yamamoto's seems to be Yhwach. (who could be considered his Evil Counterpart, complete with a Not So Different moment when the latter accuses the former of being a Retired Monster) Notably, Yhwach is the only enemy that Yamamoto doesn't call "child", and he immediately unleashes his incredibly destructive Bankai as soon as he shows up. The feeling is mutual - they've been at it for at least a millenium and it's pretty obvious that they really hate each other.
  • Kimblee to Scar in Fullmetal Alchemist, as well as Hohenheim to Father. Wrath also becomes this to both Greed and Scar.
  • GUN×SWORD - Justifying the Designated Girl Fight, Carmen 99 and Fasalina are arch enemies. Fasalina is responsible for destroying Carmen's hometown, causing the death of Carmen's best friend from childhood, and Carmen ends up blamed for Fasalina's actions and shunned and exiled from her town.
  • Johann vs Tenma in Monster, but Nina wants in on it for a good reason.
  • Griffith to Guts in Berserk. The Skull Knight also has one in Void, the leader of the Godhand.
  • Neo Saiba to Taichi Yagami in Digimon V-Tamer 01.
  • Kyubey to Akemi Homura in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. There are some parallels to Takano Miyo and Furude Rika.
  • Black★Rock Shooter: The eponymous character versus Dead Master. Ultimately Defied in the anime thanks to Power of Love.
  • InuYasha and his friends have Naraku.
  • In Durarara!!, while almost anyone can set off Shizuo's Hair-Trigger Temper, just seeing Izaya (and sometimes just hearing his name) is enough to send Shizuo into a homicidal rage. Meanwhile, Izaya screws around with everyone's lives, but that's just because he likes seeing how they'll react; Shizuo's the only person in the world he actually hates.
  • In Soul Eater, Medusa is the Arch Enemy of Maka, on Maka's part due to Medusa's connection to the black blood and Crona, and on Medusa's side thanks to Maka's Soul Perception. Asura is this Lord Death and his DWMA Students, Staff, and many of their allies, including The Heroine Maka and her friends.
  • Alucard and Alexander Anderson from Hellsing. Both regard the other as a Worthy Opponent.
  • In HunterxHunter, Hisoka is this to Gon. He has an unnerving obssession with Gon and anticipates the day he "ripens to his full potential" just so he can have the chance to fight and possibly kill him. Gon also had a desire to fight Hisoka earlier in the series for hurting his pride.
    • Chrollo Lucifer is Kurapica's Arch Enemy, due to being the leader of the group responsible for killing his entire clan.
    • The one person Killua hates and fears more than anyone else is his own older brother Illumi. Illumi is psychotically devoted to Killua and has done some truly awful things to him and to others because of it.
  • In Jojos Bizarre Adventure, Dio Brando is this to Jonathan Joestar in Part I and arguably to the entire Joestar bloodline for the rest of the series. Even after he is permanently slain in Part III, the mess he left behind causes trouble for Jonathan's descendants.
  • One Piece: While for the most part subverted due to the Arc Villain formula, there have been exceptions.
    • Vivi, who's practically an angel, hates Crocodile with such a passion that he was the only person she has ever expressed the desire to kill. Then again, he's more than earned her hatred, and that of all of Alabasta for that matter.
      • It should be noted that Luffy, who is arguably one of the most forgiving people in the entire series (read: Robin), had been aided several of his enemies, including Buggy and Mr. 3, but immediately had his live-and-let-live tendencies shut down the very moment he met Crocodile again while in Impel Down. Luffy would have never let him out of his cell had it not been for Ivankov.
      • Crocodile himself has or had one in Whitebeard.
    • Akainu to Luffy and the remnants of the Whitebeard Pirates for killing Ace.
    • Blackbeard to the Whitebeard Pirates for betraying them and killing nakama, then orchestrating the Marineford war for his own personal gain, thereby indirectly causing Ace's death, and then personally killing (with the help of his crew) Whitebeard himself.
    • Law and Doflamingo. To the point that Law is willing to do anything to ensure Doflamingo's death, even at the cost of his own life. Doflamingo, after the last two arcs, has come to hate him just as deeply.
      • Doflamingo is also a personal enemy of the Riku royal family, the previous rulers of Dressrosa. Let's put it this way: what Crocodile did to Vivi and Alabasta was nothing compared to what Doflamingo did to the Riku family and Dressrosa as a whole.
  • In Futari wa Pretty Cure, Jaaku King is the Arch-Enemy to the Queen of Light.
  • In Fresh Pretty Cure!, Eas was this to Cure Peach until her Heel-Face Turn, even if Peach wasn't really aware of it.
  • In HeartCatch Pretty Cure!, Dark Precure is this to Cure Moonlight. She's an Evil Knockoff who is especially created to defeat Moonlight. Also Dark Precure is the Cain to Moonlight's Abel.
  • Subverted in Suite Pretty Cure ♪. It seems that Mephisto is the Arch-Enemy to Aphrodite, but it later turns out that Mephisto actually is the king of Major Land, Aphrodite's husband and he's brainwashed by the real Big Bad Noise.
  • In Doki Doki Pretty Cure, Regina is this to Cure Heart. With a lots of Foe Yay. Sadly, both actually love each other (in a platonic way), and Cure Heart wants to save Regina because she's brainwashed by her father King Jikochuu, Regina is still a villain.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta is this to Goku until his Heel-Face Turn.

    Comic Books 
  • Most Super Heroes have one.
  • Superman has Lex Luthor, Brainiac and General Zod.
    • Lex Luthor is Superman's ultimate Arch Enemy and typically uses his brain against the Man of Steel's brawn, carefully avoiding any actions that could make Superman be justified in attacking him. To the point where only the muckraking Clark Kent, not Superman, can even put a scratch on Luthor. In Infinite Crisis, Alexander Luthor Jr. (son of a heroic alternate universe Luthor) eventually becomes convinced that one of the few things every universe has in common is that the resident Luthor and Superman (or Superman analogue) will always be archenemies.
    • After Luthor, Brainiac comes in a close second, being one of the oldest villains in the rogues gallery, and certainly one of the most evil. He can match Superman blow-for-blow, shows up constantly, is feared by all Krytponians regularly endangers the entire world or even the multiverse, holds a Kryptonian city hostage, and recently killed Jonathan Kent. As one writer pointed out, he's the alien Superman isn't, an evil otherworldy invader instead of a messianic refugee.
    • General Zod is the Arch Enemy of Superman's father Jor-El, the one responsible for stopping his coup and imprisoning him in the Phantom Zone, with Superman inheriting the grudge. Following Superman's defeat of Zod in Last Son and the events of New Krypton, the rivalry turns very personal for the both of them.
    • The Ultra-Humanite was originally designed to be Superman's arch-enemy - brilliant mind in a crippled body contrasting to the incredible physical might of Superman - but many of his traits were absorbed by fellow Mad Scientist Lex Luthor, and Ultra-Humanite rapidly faded from Superman's Rogues Gallery and became a more general villain for DC.
    • Post-Crisis Supergirl has Reactron. Over the course of both her solo series, and the New Krypton crossover, the two clashed repeatedly, leading to Reactron's murder of Supergirl's father, her mother Alura's Cold-Blooded Torture of Reactron upon his capture, and the eventual destruction of New Krypton when Reactron blew up himself, the planet, and Kara's mother. For both of them the conflict was always personal.
  • Batman has Joker, Rā's al Ghūl, and Two-Face.
    • The Joker is Batman's Arch Enemy. His insanity and chaotic nature are the complete opposite of Batman's rigidly, even obsessively ordered intelligence. Though it's also their similarities. Both were shaped by great tragedy and loss (at least in the Joker's most commonly accepted origin story). Many people have said that Batman is just as insane as The Joker, he just manifests it in a different and more positive way and keeps control over it. The Joker himself has pointed this out numerous times and in many adaptations.
    • Ra's Al-Ghul has a great deal of respect for Batman, may be even more dangerous, and a far larger scale threat, than the Joker, and is the father of one of Bruce's main love interests. If not the Arch Enemy, Ra's is definitely the main Big Bad of Batman's enemies.
    • Two-Face was once a great friend of Batman's, and is a personification of his failure. He's also got an ugly relationship with all of the Robins.
  • The wrathful vengeance of Doctor Doom will never be sated! Never — until the earth runs red with the blood of that accursed REED RICHARDS!!
    • The rest of the Fantastic Four as well, to a lesser extent. After he crushed Doom's hands, the Thing also jumped pretty high on his list.
  • Sinestro is Hal Jordan's Arch Enemy; similarly, the Green Lantern Corps treat the Sinestro Corps as their most dangerous opposing organization (even though the Red Lanterns have the potential to go on homicidal rampages if left unchecked).
  • Wonder Woman's is generally Circe or Cheetah, depending on who's writing. Ares gets in on the act too. He was, after all, her original Golden Age arch enemy, and is the biggest bad in her rogues gallery. As of Flashpoint Hera may be stepping into the role.
  • Aquaman's Arch Enemy spot is shared with his brother, Ocean Master and Black Manta.
    • Depending on continuity the reasons behind Arthur and Orm's rivalry differs. But it usually revolves around the two brothers fighting over who is more fit to lead Atlantis. With Black Manta, their relationship is just full of mutual hatred.
  • Deathstroke the Terminator is Robin/Nightwing's Arch Enemy. Of all the Titans, Slade hated Grayson the most. Whenever Slade and Grayson were in the same fight, regardless of how many others were involved, they nearly always went after each other. This animosity was ramped up immensely when Slade orchestrated the destruction of Blüdhaven, Nightwing's "Gotham" so to speak, and, when he, even more recently, cybernetically hijacked Damian Wayne's body in an attempt to kill Grayson. Deathstroke also harbors a grudge against Grayson for "stealing his kids" from him
  • Shazam: Things get interesting here, and a little complicated. Billy/Captain Marvel has usually considered Black Adam or Dr. Sivana to be his worst enemy. Freddy/Captain Marvel Jr. considers Captain Nazi, who killed his grandfather, to be his worst enemy. However, the archenemy of the Marvel family as a whole, and certainly the most dangerous of their foes, is telepathic Venusian worm, Mister Mind, who destroyed their hometown, brainwashed their friends, and murdered their cousin. Whenever Mind shows up, you can bet that the storyline will get darker, and Billy, Mary, and Freddy alike will take it very personally.
  • The Flash. Flash varies from era to era.
    • In the Golden Age comics, it was the Thinker, who appeared more often than any other villain. In the Silver Age, it was Gorilla Grodd, who was the one exception in his roster of Harmless Villain antagonists. In the Bronze Age it was Zoom/Reverse-Flash and his repeated attempts to outright steal his foe's life, who eventually killed his wife. Wally West in the Modern Age had Vandal Savage at first, and later the acclaimed Mark Waid run boosted Abra Kadabra to this role by making that villain much Darker and Edgier. Finally, Geoff Johns promoted Captain Cold to leader of the rogues — in the Silver Age it was usually the original Mirror Master or an outside villain in this role — and also contributed a new Zoom as a contender for the role, another villain who was far too dangerous to join the Rogues. And now that Barry's back, it seems to be the original Reverse-Flash again.
    • Another candidate for Wally's Arch Enemy under Waid is Mirror Master II; much was made of his role as a second-generation villain "reflecting" Wally; he discovered the Mirror Dimension at the same time as Wally began channeling the Speed Force, and he was a member of Luthor's "All Archenemies" Injustice Gang.
  • Then, the Justice League's arch-nemesis is the Legion of Doom/Injustice League/Injustice Gang.
    • The Justice Society's arch-enemy is the Injustice Society of the World.
  • Merlyn is considered Green Arrow's arch-enemy. Due to both being skilled archers on opposite sides of the law.
  • Captain Atom had General Wade Eiling. Although Cap didn't know that Eiling was his arch-enemy.
  • Superman Prime possibly sees the fourth Flash (Bart Allen), the second Ion (Sodam Yat) and Kon-El, the cloned Superboy as his archenemies. Prime's new enemies, the Legion of Super Heroes might think so, too, bringing back all three heroes (two Back from the Dead, in fact) to combat Prime.
  • Jonah Hex has Quentin Turnbull.
  • Orion, Mister Miracle, and the Forever People all have Darkseid.
    • Existence, all superheroes, all living beings, and every single universe in the history, future, present moment, or wiped timeline of reality has The Anti-Monitor.
  • The Legion of Super-Heroes has three: Mordru, the Fatal Five, and the Legion of Super-Villains. The Fatal Five probably win the title for showing up the most often, but the L.S.V. has Lightning Lad's personal arch enemy Lightning Lord, and Mordru is certainly the most powerful of the three.
    • The Time Trapper is another arch-enemy of the Legion.
  • Spider-Man has various Arch Enemies. Part of the reason this situation arises is that the Green Goblin died in the 70s and spent a good 20-odd years dead before he came back to torment his foe, which is probably the record for dead A-list villains to beat; it also means that Ock and Venom are arguably more famous, even though the Goblin is easily the most dangerous of the three. The other reason is that the Goblin, as Norman Osborn, suffered frequent bouts of amnesia in the run up to his death so he didn't even remember that he was Spidey's arch-enemy, which helped Doc Ock who was the next most formidable villain. Venom appeared in the 80s and made his chops by being in some ways a more personal (and visually stunning) enemy than either of the other two (that and overexposure). So essentially, Spidey has three arch-enemies because they kept replacing each other. However, since his return the Goblin has cemented himself as Spidey's one true Arch-foe.
    • The Green Goblin. Unlike most superhero arch-villains, he actually is the most dangerous foe of his enemy, possessing far greater resources and deep personal information (he was the first to discover Spider-Man's secret identity) that the others mostly all lack (though one could argue that, apart from Osborn killing Gwen Stacy, Venom was originally more personal with his invasions of Peter Parker's life). There's also the whole "best friend's father" thing.
    • Doctor Octopus: What Peter could end up becoming if he abused his intelligence and powers. (Peter was even a former student of his in the animated series). Also the first villain to really defeat Spider-Man, completely shattering his confidence for a while, and is certainly the longest lasting and most recurring.
    • Venom: Evil Counterpart. Not only is he effectively an even stronger version of Spidey himself, but Peter's Spider-Sense doesn't work on him, which means Eddie / Venom could be right behind him without Peter knowing. Being bonded with the symbiote also gave Venom knowledge of Peter's secret identity, which Venom immediately used to scare Peter by harassing Mary Jane and Aunt May. Venom's initial grudge against him was kind of weak, but every adaptation makes it a lot more personal.
      • In addition to Spidey, Venom has Carnage, his son, as an arch-enemy. Spider-Man can't normally defeat Carnage on his own. The fact that Venom willingly comes to aid Spider-Man shows that he must hate Carnage more. Either that, or he just wants to be the one to deliver the killing blow.
  • Magneto is Professor X's Arch Enemy, extending to the X-Men. They are often actually friendly enemies.
    • The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants serves as a collective Arch Enemy to the X-Men as a whole, though they have generally been replaced with more and more frightening mutant supremacists such as Mr. Sinister's Marauders, the Hellfire Club, or the various henchman of Apocalypse.
  • Wolverine
    • Sabretooth, as he represents Wolverine without any inhibitions, giving into his feral nature.
    • Later, Logan's son Daken.
    • A brave attempt was made to kill off Sabretooth and make new villain Romulus Wolverine's new arch-enemy, but it failed spectacularly.
  • Mystique could be considered Rogue's arch-nemesis. Due to Rogue feeling like she's being used. And what she did to Ms. Marvel led her to leave Mystique's Brotherhood.
    • For obvious reasons, Ms. Marvel can also be considered Mystique's Arch Enemy, in fact Ms. Marvel Vol. 2 #48-50 even refers to Mystique as Ms. Marvel's Arch Enemy.
      • Mystique also killed Ms. Marvel's then-lover towards the end of her first series. As for herself, Mystique may also consider the Shadow King her arch-enemy, seeing that he was responsible for her life-partner Destiny's death.
    • Cyclops and his family have Sinister, who is obsessed with gaining control of the Summers bloodline, and has repeatedly used cloning and various other gambits to get said control. Scott takes this very personally.
  • The Sentry's Arch Enemy is The Void, which is his own alternate personality. Complicated.
  • Ant-Man's is Ultron, the rogue robot he created. Though the villain he's most likely to face by himself is probably Whirlwind. Since Ultron's programming is based on Ant-Man's own thought patterns, this also means that Ant-Man is his own worst enemy. Used to be Egghead...but he died.
  • Thor has Loki.
  • Doctor Strange
  • Captain America has the Red Skull and the Barons Zemo (both the father and son).
  • Iron Man's traditional Arch Enemy was The Mandarin, but he's faded a bit over time as the Yellow Peril aspect of the character is no longer kosher. Matt Fraction brought him back in big way during his run on Invincible Iron Man, however, nicely cementing The Mandarin's status as the worst that Iron Man's rogues gallery has to offer.
    • Seeing as thirteen different people have taken up the mantle, the Crimson Dynamo certainly is one of his most recurring and dangerous enemies, and has the best shot, after The Mandarin, of claiming this title. As a Communist holdout, the Dynamo also makes a useful counterpoint to Stark's capitalist ideology.
    • During the eighties and nineties, and up until his apparent death in the early 2000s, evil industrialist Justin Hammer served as the archenemy of Tony Stark. He was the mover and shaker behind "Demon in a Bottle", "Armour Wars I", and several other major arcs, and made repeated attempts to take down Stark Industries and their founder, all in order to increase his own profits. Hammer was one of the few villains Stark always took seriously, their hatred was definitely mutual, and in the end, his legacy lives on to this day in the form of his equally mad daughter and granddaughter.
  • The Punisher has Jigsaw. In The Punisher's case, "Arch Enemy" just means "enemy who's still alive". In the MAX imprint one could make a case for Barracuda for similar reasons.
  • Daredevil has three modern day contenders.
    • Bullseye. A Psycho for Hire who typically acts as The Dragon to Kingpin, Bullseye's killed two of Matt Murdock's girlfriends, tried to kill his wife, Milla, and has generally dedicated himself to making Matt's life as hellish as possible; he's also inspired the likes of Lady Bullseye. In return, Matt wants Bullseye dead, and is willing to violate Thou Shalt Not Kill for him in a way he will for nobody else.
    • The Kingpin (who would also be an impressive fourth place on Spidey's Arch Enemy list). As the ultimate gang boss, everything that Daredevil fights against can be traced back to him, and he's orchestrated several collapses of Matt's life, during "Born Again", "Devil In Cell Block D" and various other arcs, hurting him worse than anyone else ever has. As practically the deuteragonist of the series, Kingpin will always be a part of Matt Murdock's life for better or worse, a fact that his late wife Vanessa, comments on in-series.
    • The ninja clan known as The Hand collectively fill the third slot on Matt's hit parade. They're among his most persistent enemies, many of his major foes (Elektra, Lady Bullseye, Kingpin) have either worked for them or tried to gain control of them at one point or another, they're the ultimate adversaries of his mentor, Stick, and worst of all, they want Matt to be their new leader. It's hard to get more personal than that.
    • Originally, as written by Stan Lee, it was the Owl. These days, he's reduced to second-string status; while still dangerous he just doesn't carry the emotional weight that Bullseye, Kingpin, and The Hand do.
  • Silver Surfer:
    • Galactus, depending on the day of the week.
    • Also Mephisto, who hates Norrin for just being so danged good.
  • The Sphinx and Nova.
  • Sleepwalker and Cobweb.
  • Darkhawk
    • Mob boss Phillip Bazin, later replaced by Dargin Bokk, creator of the Darkhawk armor.
    • And now replaced by Talon and possibly the whole Fraternity of Rapors, real creators of his armor.
  • The Black Panther and Klaw.
    • There's also M'Baku, the Man-Ape, who is an Evil Counterpart to T'Challa for the White Gorilla cult.
  • The Incredible Hulk
    • The Leader.
    • And The Abomination. And Gen. Thunderbolt Ross who was revealed to be the Red Hulk, bringing this feud to new, even more bitter heights.
    • One could even make a case about Hulk being Banner's.
  • She-Hulk had Titania.
  • Ben Reilly's, aka the Scarlet Spider, was Kaine...now the current Scarlet Spider.
  • Deadpool has T-Ray.
  • Rom Spaceknight and the Dire Wraiths.
  • The Micronauts and Baron Karza.
  • Captain Mar-Vell had Thanos. Although Thanos did double duty as Adam Warlock's arch enemy, too. And he screwed with the Silver Surfer pretty seriously, too. After arcs like Infinity Gauntlet and other stories on that scale a case could be made that Thanos is the Arch Enemy of the entire Marvel Universe.
  • The Octopus is the Arch Enemy of The Spirit.
  • Colonel Olrik is the Arch Enemy of Blake and Mortimer.
  • The Shredder to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mirage and their Obi-Wan Master Splinter. Shredder goes down pretty early in the original comics. However the first issue clearly shows the backstory Splinter and Shredder have, that Splinter and the Turtles owe their origins to Shredder, and that Splinter trained the Turtles for the sole purpose of killing Shredder to avenge Hamato Yoshi. Regardless of how long Shredder was around for, he's still their archnemesis.
    • The Arch Enemy dynamic is played interestingly in the story. After Shredder was killed, the Turtles never really had another central enemy. A few issues show that the Turtles aren't really sure what to do with themselves with Shredder gone. In fact, in the City At War arc that capped off the original series, Leonardo argues that killing Shredder was more Splinter's goal than theirs.
  • Atomic Robo has the Nazi Baron Heinrich von Helsingard. Dr. Dinosaur may also qualify for Robo in modern times.
    • Thomas Edison for Nikola Tesla and, by extension, Robo.
  • One volume of Powers deconstructs the usual comic treatment of archenemies. It shows what were essentially the world's first superhero and supervillain. The two are immortal and have existed since humanity was still diverging from the ape, and have had a grudge just as long. When they meet for the last time in the present day, the hero, (who has a case of The Fog of Ages) demands to know why he and the villain have been fighting so long. The villain, whose memory is not impaired like the hero's, admits that he can no longer even remember what originally sparked their feud.
  • While Green Lantern Rebirth and Blackest Night initially pegged Parallax as the Arch Enemy of The Spectre, it seems that the Spectre's true nemesis is actually Butcher the Rage Entity. The Spectre exists to punish murderers, and Butcher is apparently the homicidal spawn of the first murder — the embodiment of murderous rage.
  • The Iron Major is Sgt. Rock's Arch Enemy.
  • Raven Red, an Evil Counterpart of Jet, is the only villain to appear more than once in Jet Dream.
  • Sin City villains usually don't live past their initial story but Manute has menaced Dwight McCarthy enough times to count. Manute is dead now but he shows up anyway due to the nonlinear timeline.
    • The Yellow Bastard did go up against Hartigan a few times before kicking the bucket. We only ended up seeing two confrontations in the same story, though.
  • After becoming evil, being killed, and then brought back to life, Maxwell Lord has become the Arch Enemy to Booster Gold.
  • As with the Brotherhood being the collective Arch Enemy of the X-Men, The Avengers have the Masters of Evil.
    • Kang is also arguably the Avengers' Arch Enemy.
  • Baron Wolfgang von Strucker has served this mainly to Nick Fury, but also a bit to Captain America. Makes sense seeing as he's the leader of HYDRA.
  • The Fabulous Frog-Man is a Super Zero wearing the Power Armor of his father (Daredevil villain Leap Frog) which he cannot control so he just bounces around aimlessly and sometimes gets lucky. The White Rabbit is a ditzy Harmless Villainess that read too much Alice in Wonderland when she was a little girl and now dresses like a Playboy Bunny and pretends to be a Super Villainess despite having no powers or skills. They became each other’s arch-enemies because they are so pathetic nobody else would take them seriously.
  • The Martian Manhunter has had several contenders over the years including Commander Blanx and his expy (and J'onn's Evil Twin) Malefic. The best example, however, may well be Galactic Conqueror and walking engine of destruction, Despero. While Despero is usually a Justice League calibre threat, J'onn is always the one he attacks first, and he takes a perverse delight in forcing the Martian to telepathically relive the destruction of Mars. At one point, Despero went so far as to Mind Rape J'onn into believing he was on a Mars that hadn't been destroyed by Blanx and/or Malefic...only to then invade the dream and personally slaughter the psychic constructs of J'onn's family that he had created. J'onn hates Despero about as much as he hates anyone, and is usually the JLA member who ends up having to put the crazed being down at the end of his rampages.
  • In their fictional universe the characters from the two British Comics The Beano and The Dandy are arch enemies with frequent jokes but at the other's expense and infrequent raids between the comics. This arch enemy rivalry has died down quite alot since The Dandy's revamp. Also characters from within the two comics have their own arch enemies as well. Dennis the Menace (UK) has Walter the Softy, The Bash Street Kids had the Blob Street Kids, the Three Bears had Hank and Grizzly Gus (another more evil looking bear who hasnt been in the strip for years) and Desperate Dan had Dangerous Dan Mc Groo.
    • This arch-enemy comic rivalry was taken Up to Eleven in the Fleetway comic Whizzer and Chips which was one comic which was made up of two comics and these two comics and their characters were archenemies with even more frequent 'raids' in the two comics than with the Beano and Dandy
  • Darkhell is this to the Legendaries, and this on soooo many levels: he was the one who made part of them what they are now, was the first threat they faced, fought them for several years, is the most recurring antagonist in the series and was the most dangerous of their enemies until Anathos shew up. Now that he finally died for real, it seems like his self-proclaimed heir Abyss is taking the mantle.
    • Darkhell had his own arch-enemy, Skroa (though more of a Rival than an actual one) before the Legendaries formed, but ended up defeating him.
  • Generation X (specifically M, although he targeted the rest of the team as well) had Emplate.
  • Moon Knight had Raoul Bushman, Marc Spector's commander in his mercenary days, who proved to be much more violent and ruthless.
  • More Marvel archfoes:
    • The Inhumans king Black Bolt's Arch Enemy is his insane brother, Maximus Boltagon the Mad. Currently (July 2012), the two have buried the hatchet, with Maximus loyally, if eccentrically, serving Black Bolt.
    • Havok used to have the Living Monolith, who fed off Havok's power.
    • Ex-mafioso hitman Underworld's Arch Enemy was his traitorous, sociopathic brother, Mr. Pain, whom he killed.
    • The Johnny Blaze/Zarathos incarnation of Ghost Rider's Arch Enemy is Mephisto.
    • The Danny Ketch/Noble Kale incarnation of Ghost Rider's Arch Enemy is Blackheart.
    • Shi'ar empress Lilandra Neramani and her sister Deathbird.
    • Banshee and his cousin "Black Tom" Cassidy.
    • Colossus and his brother Mikhail.
    • Agent X and Black Swan.
    • The Eric O'Grady Ant-Man and Mitch Carson.
    • The Sub-Mariner and Attuma.
      • Also Llyra, killer of Lady Dorma.
    • The Arthurian-era Black Knight and Mordred.
    • Captain Britain and the first Slaymaster.
    • Araña and Amun, formerly. Now Araña and Hobgoblin.
    • Angel and Cameron Hodge.
    • Cable and Apocalypse.
    • Blade has Dracula and Deacon Frost (who also has Hannibal King).
    • Spider-Man 2099 and Tyler Stone.
    • Beast and evil alternate self Dark Beast.
    • Longshot and Mojo.
    • The Runaways and the Pride, in particular Geoffrey Wilder.
    • Merlin and Morgan le Fay.
    • Doom 2099 and Tyger Wylde.
    • Gravity and Black Death.
    • The Power Pack and Snark leader Queen Mother Maraud.
    • Ka-Zar and his brother the Plunderer.
    • Spider-Man J and Lord Gokibu.
    • Bishop and Trevor Fitzroy.
    • Odin and Surtur.
    • Elektra and Kirigi.
    • Iron Fist had Master Khan, now he has Steel Serpent.
    • Moondragon and the Dragon of the Moon.
    • The Guardian and Jerry Jaxon.
    • X-23 and Kimura.
    • The Alana Jobson version of Jackpot "dibbed" the Goblin knockoff Menace as her Arch Enemy.
    • Quasar and Maelstrom.
    • The New Avengers and The Hood.
    • Xavin and Commander Chrell.
    • "Dum Dum" Dugan's archfoe was Godzilla, back when Marvel held Godzilla's comic license.
    • Shang-Chi and Fu Manchu, his father. Since Marvel no longer has Fu Manchu's license, he goes unnamed in his most recent appearances.
    • Nightwatch and Warbringer.
    • Annex and Brace.
    • The Prowler and Nightcreeper.
    • Solo and Deathstorm.
    • The third Spider-Woman and Flesh and Bones.
    • Wonder Man and his brother, the Grim Reaper.
    • Howard the Duck and Dr. Bong.
    • Luke Cage and Chemistro.
    • Hercules and Ares.
    • Spider-Man 2211 and Hobgoblin 2211, his daughter.
    • Amadeus Cho and Pythagoras Dupree.
    • The Sarah Ehret version of Jackpot and the fourth Rose.
    • Jessica Jones and the Purple Man.
    • Dazzler and Mortis.
    • Hawkeye and Crossfire.
    • Komodo and ex-boyfriend Hardball, before he returned to good guys.
    • Elixir and Wither.
    • Psylocke and Matsu'o Tsurayaba.
    • Spider-Woman and Madame Hydra/Viper.
    • New Mutant Warlock and his progenitor, Magus.
    • Skaar and Hiro, the sons of Hulk.
    • At one point, Kid Omega proclaimed No-Girl his Arch Enemy.
    • The original Human Torch and the Mad Thinker.
    • Adam Warlock and the Magus.
    • Magik and Belasco.
    • Ulysses Bloodstone and Ulluxy'l Kwan Tae Sy.
  • Nothing can compare to what John Constantine the Hellblazer has. Having Satan as an arch-enemy is simply the worst.
  • In Sonic the Comic Sonic has two Arch-Enemies Doctor Robotnik and Super Sonic, Knuckles Arch-Enemy is Doctor Zachary, Vermin the Cybernik is the Arch Enemy of Shortfuse the Cybernik and Tails' Arch-Enemy is Trogg.
  • Mickey Mouse as seen in more recent comics has his own kind of dynamic with his two arch enemies Pete and the Phantom Blot. Mickey is typically more or less an Amateur Sleuth, naturally opposed to both of them as professional criminals. Pete is generally shown as a more crude but very experienced and enterprising criminal, whereas the Blot is a shadowy criminal mastermind. Pete is not totally evil and has been shown with a kind of affection towards Mickey as an opponent and is more prone to end up in an Enemy Mine situation with him, whereas the Blot is closer to being simply sociopathic. The two can even get contrasted in the same story, with Pete more human and the Blot more effortlessly smooth and evil. Of course, it's still Depending on the Writer.
  • In the Robin comics of the 90's, King Snake (the father of Bane) filled this role for Tim Drake.

    Fan Fic 

    Film 
  • Dr Evil is the Arch Enemy of Austin Powers and his Evil Twin.
  • Rene Belloq from Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Evil Counterpart to Indiana Jones, is probably the closest thing he has to this.
  • Star Wars: Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's Arch Enemy; meanwhile, Vader probably counted Obi-Wan as his.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean's Jack Sparrow and Barbossa. Once both men have died at least once, the conflict between them becomes more of a friendly rivalry.
    • Commodore Norrington might also want to put himself in for consideration as Jack's Arch Enemy, though Jack seems to regard him as more of an obstacle and sometimes pawn.
    • Cutler Beckett may qualify, as he has been the source of much/most of Jack's problems in his life. When using Jack's compass, it points him towards Jack, and Jack guesses that what Beckett wants most in the world is to see Jack dead.
  • David Allen Griffin to Joel Campbell in The Watcher.
  • In The Prestige, Borden and Angier start as friendly rivals, but the two become arch-enemies when one loses a wife. By the end, one has lost his wife and his life, the other reaches a Pyrrhic Victory in besting his enemy but losing his brother and wife as well.
  • In The Matrix, Neo to Smith.
  • Castor Troy for Sean Archer in Face/Off.
  • Harmonica and Frank in Once Upon a Time in the West. The former has been hunting the latter for decades to put an end to his horrible crimes and to avenge the death of his brother.
  • Since Bruce Willis turns out to be a comic book superhero in Unbreakable, it only stands to reason that he'd have an arch-enemy. One who is right under his nose.
  • Mystery Team: Old Man McGinty
  • In the Film of the Book of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Humma Kavula is this to Zaphod.
  • Godzilla is the Arch Enemy of the Japanese Self-Defence Force as a whole during the films where he's the villain (or not). He also has his own recurring nemesis in King Ghidorah, who has battled him across eight films and four continuities, and whose gleeful malevolence provides a stark contrast with the Big G's more mindless rage. One could also make a case for Mechagodzilla, Godzilla's only enemy to rival Ghidorah for number of appearances (save for Mothra) and ability to hurt Godzilla (the Heisei version of Mechagodzilla in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II is even stated to have been based on the recovered remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah from Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, essentially making it a combination of Godzilla's two arch-enemies).
    • As far as Mothra goes, her arch-enemy is Ghidorah as well; she tolerates Godzilla's existence as long as he's not misbehaving too much, but when Ghidorah gets involved, she knows fully well that the whole planet she has sworn to protect is in danger. Epitomized by the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy, the first and third of which featured either Ghidorah or a close relative as the antagonist.
      • Godzilla Final Wars made Gigan her arch-enemy instead so that the single coolest redesigned monster in the film could fight her during the climax while Godzilla dealt with the more plot-relevant antagonist—who was again, eventually revealed to be Ghidorah (this time in Kaiser form).
  • In Halloween no matter where Michael Myers goes, his psychiatrist Dr. Samuel Loomis will always be there to stop him.
  • In Iron Man 3 the Mandarin finally makes his film debut as a Diabolical Mastermind out to destroy Tony. Tony's true Arch-Enemy — and the true Mandarin — is Killian, who is every bit as smart as Tony, but more ruthlessly manipulative and clever enough to hide in anonymity.
    • The Iron Monger aka Obidiah Stane may have a better claim to the title in this film series (even if he was only in the first movie). He had a very personal relationship with Tony until their goals ended up diverging. It's implied that his betrayal may have mentally impacted him into the second movie.

    Literature 
  • The Nome King is the Arch Enemy of Dorothy Gale and Ozma of Oz in the Land of Oz series.
  • Professor Moriarty is Sherlock Holmes' Arch Enemy and Worthy Opponent.
    • Almost by default, since he only really appears in two stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
  • In The Dark Tower, Walter is Roland's Arch Enemy, but not the Big Bad.
  • Ernst Stavro Blofeld becomes James Bond's Arch Enemy over the course of three books, until Bond himself comes to think of it as a blood feud and refuses to get MI6 involved.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Voldemort to Harry. Also jerkass Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape, at least until Snape's death.
    • Rita Skeeter to Hermione Granger.
    • Bellatrix Lestrange to Neville Longbottom, Hermione Granger and the Weasley family.
    • The Malfoy family to the Weasley family.
    • Voldemort (and previously, Gellert Grindelwald) to Dumbledore.
  • Morjin to Valashu in the Ea Cycle.
  • Dracula meets his match after 400 years in the person of Abraham Van Helsing.
  • Soon I Will Be Invincible: After defeating Doctor Impossible and discovering her ties to him, Fatale considers this might make him her Arch Enemy, but is it worth it?
    I suppose I ought to vow to oppose him forever; make a nemesis issue of it. But it's a little beside the point. ... with CoreFire back, he's already got a nemesis. I'd have to be a co-nemesis. ... I'm not 100 percent sure what I'm supposed to angry about, if we come down to it.
  • Hakeswill in Sharpe seems to dedicate himself expressly to making Sharpe's life miserable - he has him flogged in pre-canon, he has Harper flogged after figuring out how close he and Sharpe are, he attempts to rape and eventually murders Sharpe's wife... Sharpe tries and fails to kill him in repeated inventive ways before he finally gets to give him the coup de grace at his execution.
    • Once Hakeswill had been written out of the novels, this role was arguably taken over by Major Ducos, a French spymaster who is constantly coming up with schemes to hamstring, if not outright stop, the British war effort, as well as to humiliate, discredit and kill Sharpe in the process.
  • Lex Luthor (or the Guy who took the name-Like he cared about a copyright infringment suit) thought he was in Tales of an Mazing Girl. He was more of a minor threat.
    • The Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte, whom some like to see as historical archenemies, even though they probably did not see themselves that way, show up in the series.
  • John Devil, from the eponymous novel by Paul Feval is the Arch Enemy of Inspector Gregory Temple, as well as being one of the earliest super-villains, anticipating the aforementioned Moriarty with about 30 years.
  • Carl Peterson was the Arch Enemy of Bulldog Drummond, until he was killed in the fourth novel. Afterwards, Carl's mistress, Irma took over his role.
  • Ballmeyer, aka Detective Frederic Larsan is the Arch Enemy of Joseph Rouletabille as well as the latter's biological father.
  • Franny Roote in Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe novels: although Hill dispatches Roote to jail in the series' second novel, An Advancement of Learning, he resurrects him as Pascoe's obsession in Arms and the Women, Dialogues of the Dead, and Death's Jest-Book, then finally elevates him to true Arch Enemy status in A Cure for All Diseases.
  • Visser Three to the Animorphs.
  • Chauvelin for the eponymous hero of The Scarlet Pimpernel, with generous traces of Inspector Javert and Foe Yay.
  • In the Back Story of Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Phoenix on the Sword", Set was this to Epemitreus. Which is part of why he helps Conan against Thoth-amon, one of Set's votaries.
  • The Deaf Man in the 87th Precinct series by Ed McBain.
  • Companions Quartet has Kullervo for the main character Connie
  • In the Warrior Cats series, the most notable examples are Fireheart and Tigerclaw, and, coincidentally, their mentors, Bluefur and Thistleclaw.
  • In the Shannara franchise, Bremen the last of the original Druids, and Brona the Warlock Lord (who betrayed and destroyed the Druid Order) were this in the backstory. This was eventually expanded on in First King of Shannara, where we see that Bremen in particular took this very personally. In The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara the Ilse Witch thinks that she and Walker are archenemies but in reality she's been duped, and he wants to save her. A straight example in Voyage is Elven Prince Ahren Elessedil and Mwellret Cree Bega. There's just something fundamentally twisted in the tortured relationship between this broken Elf and the sociopathic Smug Snake who turned him into The Woobie.
  • In The Wheel of Time the Forsaken Ishamael Later Moridin clearly views himself as this to Rand Al'Thor. Considering that he's The Verse's version of The Antichrist, from a metaphysical standpoint he's not wrong, either. However, another member of the Forsaken would contest the position- Demandred, who is said to have hated Rand's previous incarnation more than anyone has ever hated anything and has transferred that hate fully to Rand, making it plain that he sees himself as the only one allowed to defeat him though Moridin makes it plain he won't respect that if his plans call for it. Prior to his death, Sammael would have put himself up for the title too, though other Forsaken feel he falls well short of Demandred for sheer hatred- yeah, being the main character in a series where It Sucks to Be the Chosen One means you get lots of people who want this position. Other characters have them too, usually (but not always) their Evil Counterpart:
    • Mat has the Gholam.
      • Mat is also considered the counterpart to the Forsaken Balthalmel (since both are gamblers and womanizers), though the two don't really interact. There is also Padain Fain, due to their mutual connection with Shadar Logoth, and Fain once held Mats family captive. And it is ultimately Mat who takes Fain down. Though Fain considers Rand his archenemy (despite hating Mat and Perrin also, adn the Ishamael and the Dark One), and furthermore Fain kills Perrin's entire family.
    • Perrin has Slayer.
    • Egwene has Elaida.
    • Nynaeve has Moghedien.
  • Redwall has had a few examples, but the most obvious are Swartt Sixclaw and Sunflash the Mace from Outcast of Redwall. When Sunflash maims Swartt's trademark sixclawed paw while escaping enslavement, a feud is struck that will haunt them both for their entire lives. From the time they are teenagers until Swartt's death in late middle age, they are always hunting one another.
  • Soviet spymaster Karla to George Smiley in various John le Carré novels.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Cersei Lannister thinks that Tyrion is her worst enemy thanks to a prophecy stating that her she would be strangled to death by the hands of her younger brother. She is utterly convinced in A Feast for Crows and A Dance with Dragons that everything going wrong in her life is Tyrion's work.
    • More generally, House Stark considers House Lannister to be their archenemies and the conflict between the two is central to the story. The Lannisters see the Starks more as annoyances, but between killing Eddard Stark, holding Sansa and (supposedly) Arya Stark hostage, crippling Bran and masterminding the Red Wedding...Yeah, It's Personal. The Starks thought they were archenemies before, but by this stage several members of the Stark clan exist solely to destroy the Lannister House.
      • More specific examples, Cateyln despises Cersei and blames her for what happened to her husband and children; Arya seems to hate every single one of them but especially hates Joffrey; Joffrey thinks he is The Rival to Robb Stark (from a purely dynastic point of view, he is right, but Robb completely outclasses him as a warrior and commander, partly because Joffrey is still just a kid); and Robb himself probably saw Jaime as the Lannister he had to beat. On the flip side, the heads of these households, Tywin and Eddard, didn't seem to think about the other that much at all, while Tyrion Lannister has a...complicated relationship with all of them (both the Stark family and his own). The youngest children, on both sides, are treated more like victims of the whole thing.
    • Gregor Clegane, the Mountain that Rides, is an Ax-Crazy sociopath with a penchant for Rape, Pillage, and Burn, and as such several characters, including his own brother, have sworn to kill him for whatever specific crime he happened to commit against them or their family on any given day.
    • Rhaegar Targaryen was highly regarded by most people and generally seen as The Wise Prince by everyone...except Robert Baratheon, who hated him with a such a passion that he not only killed Rhaegar personally in mortal combat, he sworn to kill every single Targaryen he could get his hands on, including their children. Though the practice of slaughtering the kin of rivals to the throne is not exactly uncommon in this setting (and the surviving Targayen children actually are plotting to overthrow him and his House), it is strongly implied that Robert did this purely out of spite for the Targaryens' in general and Rhaegar in particular.
  • Elijah to Queen Jezebel in The Bible.
  • In Timeline-191 the United States of America and the Confederate States of America are one another's archenemies, fighting four wars against one another, and spending most of their time when they are not at war preparing for the next one.
  • Cold Days, in The Dresden Files, reveals two factions have this kind of relationship: the Fae Winter Court against Nemesis, a Hate Plague/alien invasion. An epic-scale war that has continued for centuries.
  • Dime Novel hero Nick Carter's greatest foe was the fiendish Professor Jack Quartz, a hypnotist and vivisectionist.
  • The balor Errtu is the self-proclaimed archenemy of Drizzt. Errtu claims that no one else hates Drizzt as much as he does. Errtu is glad that Drizzt is a Dark Elf, a being whose projected lifespan can be measured in centuries, since this means there's a good chance Drizzt will still be alive when Errtu is eventually allowed to leave the Abyss. Every time Errtu finds a way out of the Abyss he makes a beeline for Drizzt. During one of his stays in the Abyss, Errtu took great pleasure in torturing the soul of one of Drizzt's friends. While Drizzt has other noteworthy foes like the assassin Artemis Entreri and the orc king Obould Many-Arrows, Errtu is far more evil than either of those two and is also the only one who could theoretically hound Drizzt for the rest of his life.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who
    • The Master (at one point the Doctor specifically refers to him as "my Arch Enemy") and Davros to the Doctor. Also the Daleks, who Davros created, are the most recurring villains and were described as the Doctor's Arch Enemy by Amy Pond in "Victory of the Daleks".
    • Each Doctor appeares to have a personal rival...
      • 1: The Daleks and the Monk
      • 2: The Cybermen, the Ice Warriors and the Great Intelligence
      • 3: The Master
      • 4: Davros and the Master
      • 5: The Black Guardian and the Master
      • 6: Davros, Sil and the Valeyard
      • 7: Death, Fenric and the Timewyrm
      • 8: The Master, Rassilon, the Kroman, the Monk, and in Eighth Doctor Adventures Faction Paradox.
      • War: The Zygons and the Daleks.
      • 9: The Daleks and Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen
      • 10: The Daleks and the Master
      • 11: The Silence and the Great Intelligence
    • Madame Kovarian to the Pond/Williams family
    • The Daleks as Doctor's ultimate archnemesis was best summed up when the Eleventh Doctor took a wrench and proceeded to beat one with it;
    Doctor: YOU. ARE. MY. ENEMY! And I am YOURS! You are everything I despise! The worst thing in all creation! I've defeated you time and time again! I've defeated you! I've sent you back into the Void! I saved the whole of Reality from you! I am the Doctor- *kicks it* -and you are the Daleks!
    • Considering the events of "The Name of the Doctor" the Great Intelligence could be considered this.
  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures, the Trickster and Slitheen family are this to Sarah Jane Smith.
  • Drake/Thorne, the Jixen and the Korven to K9's team in K9.
  • Captain John Hart to Jack Harkness in Torchwood.
  • For a while in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harmony liked to think of herself as Buffy's Arch Enemy, but Buffy never took her quite that seriously. She even laughed herself sick when Xander told her that Harmony and her minions could be a threat to her in the second episode of season 5.
    • The evil trio in season 6 considers itself the archnemesis of Buffy, but... yeah... She doesn't take them serious either.
      • Big mistake. Their leader, Warren managed to screw with Buffy, mentally and emotionally, more than any other villain, save Angelus.
    • Faith is probably the closest thing to playing this trope straight. Even after Faith's Heel-Face Turn when the two are supposed to be on the same side during Season 7 and the Season 8 comic, they can't help fighting and sometimes trying to kill each other.
    • Joss Whedon plays with this trope again in Angel. Lindsey thought he would be Angel's arch enemy, having been Angel's enemy since the show's first season and having spent half his life trying to beat Angel. Which probably why he seems personally offended by the fact that it's not Angel who kills him, but Lorne.
      Lindsey: You kill me? [collapses] You... a flunky? I'm not just- Angel kills me. You- Angel...[dies]
  • Stephen Colbert declared Korean pop star Rain his Arch Enemy for constantly besting him in Time Magazine's Top 100 Influential People.
    • The rivalry intensified after Rain soundly defeated Colbert in a Dance Battle.
    • Second place for his Arch Enemy is probably Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton of DC. They always fight whenever she is on, but it is not mean spirited.
  • Sylar and Mohinder in Heroes. While there are many other contenders, with this couple there's the whole "You Killed My Father" issue. Also, since Sylar did a Heel-Face Turn, he's on the same team as all his other supposed-arch enemies. But then Mohinder had a turn of his own, so he and Sylar are still on opposite sides of the fight.
    • Later in the series, Sylar seems much less interested in Mohinder, and starts spending more time thinking he's Nathan Petrelli, stalking Claire Bennet, and collecting more abilities with which to execute his elaborate attempts to become more powerful. The first two not at the same time, thank God.
    • Also, Hiro and Adam Monroe. Although Hiro defines "The Speedster" as his.
    • Claire has Eric Doyle, the creepy Puppet Master.
    • Knox thinks of himself as Noah's arch enemy. Noah doesn't care, given that he's too much of a cold blooded son of a bitch to let things get personal (except where Sylar's concerned).
    • Arthur Petrelli was Peter's arch enemy. They even had a climactic final showdown where Peter displayed more guts and smarts without powers than he had in every episode where he HAD them.
    • And now Nathan is playing the nemesis role with his reason Lex Luthor styled knight templar turn.
    • Some of those examples don't really fit the Arch enemy type of relationship.
    • Peter and Sylar for the first 3 volumes. Even after Peter gets nerfed he is still always there to foil Sylar's plans.
    • HRG and Sylar. Only because Sylar is ALWAYS messing with Claire.
    • Sylar to Claire. Sucks for Claire since there is NOTHING she can do against him.
    • Arthur and Angela Petrelli.
    • Doyle was an arch enemy...for Claire's biological mother! Claire barely takes him seriously and Doyle is even quite civil towards her in volume 5.
    • Matt Parkman and Sylar can be added to the list as of volume 5.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent: Det. Robert Goren's arch-enemy is Depraved Bisexual Nicole Wallace now deceased. Nicole is oh-for-two in Breaking Speech attempts (well, technically oh-for-three, but #3 was rather weak).
  • Lucy Butler is the Arch Enemy of Frank Black on the television show Millennium.
  • Arguably, Adrian Monk's arch enemy is Dale "the Whale" Biederbeck. While Biederbeck is defeated by Monk in his first appearance, he appears a couple more times afterwards to taunt Monk. He provides a good counterpoint for Monk, as Biederbeck is mentally comfortable but hugely overweight to the point of being bedridden, while Monk can move around freely but is, to paraphrase Biederback, trapped in the prison of his own mind.
  • Seinfeld: "Hello, Newman..."
    • George and Elaine each have their own as well: Lloyd Braun and Sue Ellen Mischke, respectively. In these cases, the rivals seem unaware that George and Elaine aren't their friends and are actively rooting or plotting against them.
  • Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future has one in Lyman Taggart, who is better known as Lord Dread.
  • Sue Sylvester from Glee schemed constantly to bring down Will Schuster.
  • Callisto is the Arch Enemy of Xena in Xena: Warrior Princess
  • Hera is the Arch Enemy of Hercules in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
  • Recent developments in Top Gear seem to be pitting Rubens Barrichello as The Stig's Arch Enemy after Barrichello beat the Stig's lap record.
  • Star Trek
  • On Everybody Loves Raymond Ray Barone calls Peggy, bitchy mother of his daughter best friend his "arch enemy"
  • Gus Fring very much becomes this to Walter White on Breaking Bad. Interestingly throughout their feud we see signs that Gus and Walt really aren't that different.
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation mostly focused on a killer of the week formula, but an occasional seasonal Big Bad would emerge, a few of which ended up becoming arch enemy to one of the CSI team members.
    • In the early seasons of the show, forensically-gifted special effects artist and Evil Genius Paul Millander served as the arch enemy to team leader Gil Grissom.
    • Serial Killer Nate Haskell was the Arch Enemy of Ray Langston. When the two are first introduced Langston is lecturing Criminology and Haskell is a frequent "guest" speaker from his prison cell via video link, and grows to treat Ray as a Friendly Enemy (Ray, in contrast, just thinks Haskell is a despicable monster). He assists the team in capturing one of Ray's other nemesis', Mad Doctor Serial Killer Doctor Jekyll, just to get the chance to attack and nearly kill Ray. It emerges that they both share a particular gene that has been linked to a predisposition to violence, and both had violent abusive fathers, meaning Haskell is Ray's Shadow Archetype as he secretly fears they are Not So Different and Haskell is what he could become. In season 11 Haskell escapes and engages in Criminal Mind Games with him, culminating in abducting Langston's ex-wife, murdering her new husband, just to torment Ray, and in the series finale Ray snaps, and proceeds to beat and murder him.
  • Stargate Atlantis: Acastus Kolya was this to Sheppard. They only met a handful of times over the course of the series, but there was more animosity between them than Sheppard had with any other villain on the show.
    • That being said, the rogue Wraith/human hybrid Michael could be seen as an Arch Enemy to the team as a whole (and particularly Tayla in his later appearances).
    • Even the way the rivalry between Sheppard and Kolya ended is straight out of a western: a quick draw that Kolya loses.
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon has declared Wil Wheaton his arch enemy since childhood. In "The Russian Rocket Reaction," Sheldon finally forgives Wheaton but immediately replaces him with Brent Spiner.
    • However his rival Barry Kripke comes closer to be his true Arch enemy, as there both scientists of the same field, both highly intelligent, and both hold a strong rivalry, barring a few moments of them putting it aside.
  • Lampshaded in Sherlock when Mycroft and Sherlock refers to each other as such, and this conversation happens:
    Dr. John Watson: People don't have archememies.
    Sherlock Holmes: What?
    Dr. John Watson: In real life. People don't have archenemies.
    Sherlock Holmes: That sounds a bit dull. So what do people have in their REAL lives?
    Dr. John Watson: Friends, people they like, people they don't like, boyfriends, girlfriends...
    Sherlock Holmes: Like I said, dull.
    • Of course, Jim Moriarty is eventually revealed and solidly placed in the position of Sherlock's arch-enemy.
  • Black peppercorns are Yeheskel's enemy on Bitchin Kitchen.
  • The Wonder Woman TV series: The Baroness Von Gunther was the only enemy Wonder Woman faced in the comics that was showed in the series, and no one of Wonder Woman’s original villains in the TV series ever recurred, but it’s implied that Marion Mariposa did appear in a previous, unbroadcast adventure, as he is talked about last seen presumably drowned in the North Sea. The interesting part is that he is not Wonder Woman’s enemy, but IADC agent Diana Prince’s enemy. For Diana Prince and Marion Mariposa, It's Personal.
    Marion Mariposa: Oh, why are you so unpleased to see a familiar face? Did you enjoy the candy I sent you?
    Diana Prince, waking from her induced sleep: Not in the least, and I enjoyed the flowers even less.
  • Nina Myers in the first three seasons of 24, Charles Logan in the later seasons.
  • Castle doesn't have many recurring antagonists, but the most notable are the Triple Killer and the shadowy organization that seems determined to keep Beckett from investigating her mother's murder.
  • Wo Fat is the arch enemy of Steve McGarrett in both the original Hawaii Five-O and the re-imagining, Hawaii Five-0.
  • Jon Stewart and Brian Williams ironically pretend to have this relationship while actually being friends. There is nothing ironic, however, about the enmity between Jon and Tucker Carlson. Carlson has clearly never gotten over Stewart single-handedly getting Crossfire canceled, and in the process delivering a withering Reason You Suck Speech to Carlson, his co-host Paul Begatta, the media in general and CNN in particular. Carlson never misses an opportunity to insult or attack Stewart on air, frequently using the wording "Partisan Hack" which Stewart used when denouncing Crossfire and Stewart hasn't exactly made a secret of his opinion of Carlson.
    John Stewart: It's okay, I can say these things because Tucker Carlson is someone for whom I have not the slightest bit of respect or liking... one of the few people I can say that about.
  • While the enmity between protagonists and antagonists rarely become personal in the Kamen Rider franchise, there are a few notable relationships scattered throughout the franchise that could cover this trope.
    • Kamen Rider Black: Kotaro Minami/Kamen Rider Black and Nobuhiko Akitsuki/Shadow Moon.
    • Kamen Rider Kuuga: Yusuke Godai/Kamen Rider Kuuga and N Daguba Zeba.
    • Kamen Rider Ryuki: Shinji Kido/Kamen Rider Ryuki and Kamen Rider Ryuga. Shuichi Kitaoka/Kamen Rider Zolda and Takeshi Asakura/Kamen Rider Ouja.
    • Kamen Rider 555: Takumi Inui/Kamen Rider Faiz/Wolf Orphnoch and Kiba Yuji/Kamen Rider Orga/Horse Orphnoch.
    • Kamen Rider Blade: Sakuya Tachibana/Kamen Rider Garren and Isaka/Peacock Undead.
    • Kamen Rider Kabuto: Souji Tendo/Kamen Rider Kabuto and Souji Kusakabe/Kamen Rider Dark Kabuto.
    • Kamen Rider Double: Philip/Raito Sonozaki/Kamen Rider Double and Ryuubee Sonozaki/Terror Dopant. Philip/Raito Sonozaki/Kamen Rider Double and Katsumi Daido/Kamen Rider Eternal. Ryu Terui/Kamen Rider Accel and Shinkuro Isaka/Weather Dopant.
    • Kamen Rider Fourze: Kengo Utahoshi and Gamo Mitsuaki/Sagittarius Zodiarts.
  • On Criminal Minds Frank Breitkopf was Jason Gideon's Arch Enemy (and before Frank, the bomber who killed Gideons old team and caused him to have a nervous breakdown), The Boston Reaper was Aaron Hotchner's, and Ian Doyle was Emily Prentiss'. One could make a case for Billy Flynn being Derek Morgan's, and Tobias Hankel being Spencer Reid's.
    • Flynn and Tobias both lasted for one two-part storyline, though Tobias ended up casting a shadow over Reid for a few episodes. With Billy Flynn, Morgan just said It's Personal partly because he felt frustrated after the Boston Reaper case (the Reaper once knocked Morgan out and spared Morgan only because he didn't feel like killing him) and was taking out that frustration on Flynn (who, like the Reaper, was a prolific serial-mass murderer who had escaped justice for years).
    • Morgans true archenemies were Carl Buford and Rodney Harris. Buford was a child killer and pedophile who molested Derek when he was just a kid and later framed him for murders Buford himself had commited- Morgan joined the FBI to stop people like him, and years later is still disgusted and terrified of him, to the point that merely shaking Buford's hand s enough to make Morgan physically sick. Harris, meanwhile, has been Morgans enemy since both were kids where Harris was the local bully and gang leader; while a Small Role, Big Impact, he serves as Morgans' Evil Counterpart- a kid from the streets who turned to crime and drug dealing and years later is still a street level drug dealer, while Morgan worked his butt off to earn a promient job in law enforcement. While Morgan encourages kids to stay off the streets and get a good education, Harris encourages them to turn to crime and run drugs for him. And finally in season 8, it is revealed that Harris too was molested by Buford, but he ultimately became a Vigilante Man Serial Killer targeting men he mistakenly believed were abusing their own kids because, unlike Morgan, he let his bitterness get the best of him.
  • Farscape had first Crais and then, following Crais's Hazy Feel Turn, Scorpius for John Crichton and the crew in general. But it also gave some of the other regular characters personal arch-enemies: Aeryn has Xhalax, Zhaan Maldis, and Rygel Durka.
  • Though he only appeared in two of the four season one episodes of Lexx, His Divine Shadow was this to Kai, last of the Brunnen-G. Kai's grudge against him was very personal, considering His Divine Shadow destroyed his world, rendered his race extinct, and personally stabbed Kai to death and turned him into an undead brainwashed assassin. Kai was also the person destined to kill His Divine Shadow. The conflict between them went even deeper than Kai realized since His Divine Shadow was really the last survivor of the Insect Civilization whom the Brunnen-G defeated long ago. While His Shadow's goal was to eventually Kill All Humans to achieve his rebirth, he went out of his way to wipe out the Brunnen-G personally with his own flagship.

    Myth and Legend 
  • Loki and Heimdall in Norse Mythology. Fittingly enough, they kill each other in Ragnarok. There's also Thor and Jormungandr who do the same.
  • Older Than Dirt Egyptian Mythology examples:
    • Re/Ra and Apophis/Apep.
    • Osiris and Set. Also Horus and Set.

    Newspaper Comics 

    Pro Wrestling 

    Sports 
  • The Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants have been arch rivals since the 1800s, from their days in New York, all the way across the coast when they both moved to California.
  • The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, the American League's, and possibly Major League Baseball's, bitterest rivalry.
  • Completing the trinity of baseball rivalries is Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals. This due to the long history, close proximity and the fact that Cardinals are one of the most successful teams in history and the Cubs... are not.
  • In basketball, there really is no better rivalry than that between the Lakers and the Celtics. This one is born out of success, as opposed to any local enmity.
  • The Miami Heat versus the Chicago Bulls.
  • The Chicago Bulls versus the New York Knicks.
  • The Miami Heat versus the New York Knicks.
  • The New York Liberty and the Detroit Shock were very intense WNBA rivals, until the latter was sold and moved to Tulsa.
  • The Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers, Bill Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn in particular. When they were reunited as WNBA coaches on opposite sides, their egos got in the way, and both teams got into a fight.
    • The Pistons and Bulls as well, though that extends to any Chicago and Detroit teams (Blackhawks ones in particular shout "Detroit sucks!" in every game, not only those against the Red Wings).
  • Michigan State University's football and basketball teams, both called the Spartans, are each this to their University of Michigan counterparts, both called the Wolverines, and the feeling is mutual.
    • MSU may consider Michigan its Arch Enemy, but Wolverines fans would count Ohio State as theirs.
  • Really, there are far too many sports examples to list here. At nearly every level, if a team plays, it's got an arch-enemy and there is much hatred to be had.
  • Duke vs. UNC. One of the biggest rivalry in college sports (especially men's basketball).
  • Ditto for Kentucky vs. Louisville.
  • Not to mention Michigan vs. Ohio State in football.
  • The Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos in the NFL. When they play, there will be fights(in the stands, at any rate).
  • Celtic and Rangers in Scottish football.
  • Manchester City fans, as a rule, detest Manchester United. The feeling may not be reciprocated, as United supporters may see Liverpool or Arsenal as their archrivals(due to City's not winning anything for 42 years).
  • Ajax Amsterdam and Feyenoord in the Dutch football League.
  • Greek football has Panathinaikos-Olympiacos Piraeus. You know this rivalry qualifies when it is known as "The Derby of the Eternal Enemies."
  • Italy has Lazio-Roma and AC-Inter.
  • Spanish football has many rivalries, but none come close to the Real Madrid-Barcelona rivalry known as el clasico.
  • Turkish Football has Galatasaray and Fenerbahce.
    • And to a lesser extent, Besiktas.
  • Portuguese football has a three-way arch-rivalry, with Porto, Benfica and Sporting Lisbon fans all detesting each other.
  • The Montreal Canadiens have not one, but TWO: the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
    • For a while, the Habs had THREE archenemies. In addition to their enmity with the Bruins and the Leafs, the Canadiens also had an ugly relationship with the Quebec Nordiques, who played in the provincial capital of Quebec City. This seems to have died down after the Nordiques moved to Colorado and became the Avalanche, though.
    • The Leafs have another rival similar to Habs-Nordiques, the Ottawa Senators - as not only both are in Ontario, but it's nation capital/nation's largest.
  • The biggest, fiercest rivalry within Cricket by far is between India and Pakistan. The Ashes (England vs. Australia) is also Serious Business, especially due to the 100+ year history of the rivalry.
  • In Australian Rules Football, the Carlton Blues and the Collingwood Magpies..
  • In Brazil, not only inter-city teams are arch enemies, but some manage to cross state borders as well. A lot of contested important games between Atlético-MG and Flamengo (the country's most popular team) made the former hate the latter as much as city rival Cruzeiro.
  • NCAA hockey brings us the Battle of Commonwealth Avenue: Boston University vs Boston College, which stretches all the way back to BU's first hockey game ever on February 6, 1918. It doesn't help that the two schools are within 5 miles of each other and only a couple stops away on the Green Line.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: Urza and Yawgmoth is the best known Arch Enemy pairing, although there are dozens of individual hatreds. They've even released a variant named Arch Enemy, although that's dedicated more to a dynamic of Big Bad vs. Enemy Mine.
  • While everyone in Warhammer 40,000 will gladly fight everyone else, there are some special rivalries and hatreds. The Imperium of Man is the staunchest enemies of the Forces of Chaos, the Eldar fought the Necrons once before and have taken it upon themselves to take them down now they have re-awoken, the Tau view the Tyranids as the single greatest threat to their survival (and they may not be far off from the truth), the Space Wolves and the Thousand Suns and the Ultramarines and the Word Bearers Space Marine chapters have intense rivalries stretching back millennia, the Chaos Gods Khorne and Slaanesh battle constantly to one-up each other, and the Orks are constantly this to everyone including themselves.
    • As an illustration of how deeply the Ultramarines vs Word Bearers hatred runs: in the Horus Heresy novels, it is revealed that the Ultramarines keep a precise count of time since the beginning of a battle - known as the Mark. The Mark of Calth, for the battle in which the Word Bearers first attacked the Ultramarines, will be left running until every Word Bearer is dead. Meaning that an Ultramarine can give you a precise count of how long it is they have wanted the Word Bearers to die, even ten thousand years after the original battle. Now that is enmity.
    • On a smaller, more individual basis, there's Commissar Yarrick and Warboss Mag Uruk Thraka; Thraka thinks Yarrick is the greatest enemy he has ever fought and takes great enjoyment out of battling him, and Yarrick thinks Thraka is a hideous abomination and has vowed to kill him personally. They're still fighting to the death.
  • Eric and the Dread Gazebo.
  • Dungeons & Dragons fourth edition setting, Points Of Light, has a sourcebook detailing the realms of the gods, called The Plane Above. In it it mentions certain gods who have a special, personal hatred for one another, giving the examples as Bahamut vs Tiamat, Avandra vs Zehir, and Moradin vs Asmodeus. With the exception of Bahamut and Tiamat, these examples are kind of out of the blue. Other examples include Gruumsh vs Corellon (which is taken from their Forgotten Realms counterparts, as well as The Raven Queen and Orcus, though Orcus is generally traditionally seen as the arch enemy of Demogorgon.
    • Speaking of Dungeons & Dragons, Bane and Cyric. They hate each other worse than they hate any of the good gods.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, this seems to be the case between D.D. Warrior Lady and Warrior Dai Grepher. They are seen fighting on several Spell and Trap Cards in a feud that started when she was Warrior Lady of the Wasteland and continued when he became Dark Lucious. The first one was Simultaneous Loss, but there were several others.

    Video Games 
  • From the Resident Evil series Chris Redfield has Big Bad Albert Wesker as his Arch Enemy.
  • Bowser is Mario's Arch Enemy, hating him for always foiling his plans. Lampshade Hanging occurs in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time where it is revealed that even as toddlers Mario stopped Bowser from kidnapping Peach.
    • With the Luigi's Mansion games, Luigi seems to have gained his own nemesis in the form of King Boo.
  • Ganondorf is Link's eternal Arch Enemy.
    • However, Link is a Legacy Character, and no version of him has fought Ganondorf more than once. It is possible that Ganondorf considers all pointy-eared, green-suited blond boys to be his Arch Enemy, while each Link just thinks of Ganondorf as another Rogue.
    • However each Link is usually educated about the Triforce and how they are fated to face Ganon some way or another. But particularly Link from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker had a grudge against Ganon for kidnapping his sister and Zelda and Link from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was the first Link to face Ganondorf for endangering Zelda, killing the Deku Tree, and directly ruining every other society he had to rescue.
    • Justified, and borderline Deconstructed, in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Ganondorf is the reincarnation of Demon King Demise's endless hatred for Link and Zelda, and that continues to haunt them even as they keep reincarnating. The three are bound to fight for eternity.
    • It's also mildly subversive, since the revelation that Zelda is the mortal incarnation of Hylia, the goddess who initially sealed Demise, means she was his original Arch Enemy, not Link.
  • Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik is Sonic the Hedgehog's Arch Enemy. The same goes with Metal Sonic who was programmed by Eggman for the sole purpose to destroy Sonic.
  • Dr. Wily is Mega Man's Arch Enemy, Sigma and Mega Man X, and Dr. Weil and Zero in Mega Man Zero.
  • This, like every other trope, gets lampooned in Kingdom of Loathing: the player receives a quest from their guild to retrieve an item stolen by their Nemesis. The player wasn't aware that they even had a Nemesis before that.
  • Ridley in the Metroid games, to Samus Aran. This one is personal, since Ridley trashed Samus' home of K-2L and personally killed both of her parents. Ironically, the Metroid manga (which was made by Nintendo) has a brief scene where a 4-year old Samus, not yet knowing what Ridley has done, tries to make friends with the giant space dragon.
    • When Samus approaches him, Ridley is watching the chaos and fire his pirates have caused, and actually gets a sad look for a moment when he sees her. Then Samus' mother runs to save her from Ridley, and he promptly goes back to normal and kills Samus' mother in front of her.
    • In the manga, he also mocks her about how he killed her parents.
  • The old Donkey Kong had Mario but the new one has King K. Rool in the Donkey Kong Country games.
  • Kirby has King Dedede, although they've grown to be more friendly rivals because Dedede is a Harmless Villain.
  • In Star Fox, Fox has Andross.
  • Many Fire Emblem Lords get at least one
  • F-Zero has Captain Falcon vs. Black Shadow, and later Deathborn
  • In Guilty Gear, Sol Badguy has That Man.
  • Many characters in Street Fighter II have M. Bison as their Arch Enemy, among them Chun Li, who lost a father to him. He pisses off a lot of people. In Street Fighter III, Gill becomes Alex's Arch Enemy.

    Also Ryu vs. Akuma.
  • The original Street Fighter had Sagat as Ryu's original Rival, and it may have been that way ever since.
  • Fatal Fury has Geese Howard, who could practically be considered an Arch Enemy to Southtown as a whole. Terry Bogard actually winds up adopting his son, Rock (who despises his father anyway, since Geese abandoned Rock's mother).
  • Iori Yagami and Kyo Kusanagi in The King of Fighters. Iori really does seem to have no life outside of messing with Kyo. After the events of KOF XI, they both get a mutual Arch Enemy in Ash Crimson (who, like Bison before him, has that special talent for pissing off near anybody he comes into contact with).
  • Dracula has the entire Belmont clan (as well as the Belnades and Morris families) as his running archenemies in the Castlevania games.note 

    According to the prequel Lament of Innocence, Dracula's real Arch Enemy is Sara Trantoul, whose soul empowers the Vampire Killer.
  • In the original Dracula novel and in many of the movies, Dracula has the Van Helsing clan as his archenemies, particularly Abraham Van Helsing who opposes him in the original stories. See Literature.
  • Mortal Kombat has these all over the board. Liu Kang's Arch Enemy is Shang Tsung, Sonya Blade has an Arch Enemy in Kano, Scorpion has Sub-Zero and Quan Chi as successive archenemies, Kitana has her evil clone Mileena, Jade has Tanya, Raiden has Quan Chi and Shinnok as archenemies, Kung Lao has a nemesis in Baraka, Jax has his in Hsu Hao, Cyrax has his Evil Counterpart Sektor and everyone from Earth Realm had Shao Kahn as a nemesis.
  • In the Metal Gear Solid series the main protagonist is constantly facing of against Ocelot and/or Liquid, though none of them'd ever use titles as arch-nemesis.
  • StarCraft
    • The Protoss are archenemies of the Zerg, primarily because the Zerg had driven them from their homeworld of Aiur.
      • The Protoss themselves are divided. The templars are frequently at odds with the Dark Templar. However, because of the Zerg, the two factions are being forced to cooperate and may actually begin to respect one another.
      • Jim Raynor considers himself an arch-enemy of Arcturus Mengsk, although Kerrigan also considers herself this.
  • World of Warcraft
    • Varian Wrynn is technically the Arch Enemy of Thrall, though this is mostly one-sided since it's only really Varian who wants to kill Thrall, while Thrall himself would gladly declare peace. Meanwhile, Garrosh Hellscream represents the anti-Alliance hate on the Horde side. He and Varian almost try to kill each other on a diplomatic meeting.
      • Almost is being generous, they were trying to kill eachother, someone else just got in the way.
    • Thrall would probably think of Kil'jaeden as his Arch Enemy, since he was the one who originally corrupted the Orcs and currently leads the Burning Legion. Kil'jaeden, though, probably wouldn't think much of Thrall at all.
    • Kl'jaeden and their subservient eredar are definite arch-enemies of the whole draenei race and their leader Velen - they once were one race, before Sargeras arrived with The Corruption. From then on, draenei where on the run from eredar for millenia, until they settled on Azeroth for their final stand.
    • The Arch Enemy concept is also presented with Outland factions. Major bad guys there are represented by two races - blood elves under the rule of Kael'thas Sunstrider and various demons, partly led by Illidan. Major player friendly fractions, Aldor and Scryers, don't get along very well and have different opinions - Aldor chose demons as their Arch Enemy, while Scryers prioritize stopping Kael'thas' elves.
    • In the Wrath Of The Lich King expansion, Arthas, the eponymous Lich King is an Arch Enemy of Tirion Fordring and Sylvanas Windrunner in addition to being a Big Bad for the expansion.
    • In a lesser example there is Loken, Arch Enemy of Thorim, who orchestrated first his Heroic BSOD, then the recovery from it, which only led into another trap.
    • Deathwing, leader of the Black Dragonflight, is the Arch Enemy of Alexstrasza and the other surviving Dragon Aspects.
    • Twilight's Hammer has been the arch enemy of the Earthen Ring, a shamanistic organization dedicated to preserving & protecting the elemental balance of Azeroth and Outland, since before Cataclysm.
  • Daiku no Gensan - The President of Kuromoku-gumi, Hyosuke Kuromoku, for Genzo. Only one game in the series has not featured the Kuromoku-Gumi and Hyosuke as major villains.
  • Crash Bandicoot - Crash has Doctor Neo Cortex. In the same series there is also the rivalry between sentient voodooo masks Aku Aku and Uka Uka
  • Asha the Assassin becomes Iji's Arch Enemy after losing their first fight. Originally, he was only after the bounty on her head (and the fame).
  • Empire Earth's 2nd campaign focuses on Great Britain and France's feud through the ages.
  • Fate/stay night - Shirou gets two, depending on which route you're in. His possible future self Archer is the antithesis of his ideals, yet embodies them entirely. The two are completely incompatible. And allies, at first. The other is Kotomine, who understands Shirou better than anyone else in the entire Visual Novel. He's also the first person Kotomine met who was like him, a person without a real sense of self. They get along rather well in their own way, they just happen to be completely and utterly opposed to one another.
    Kotomine: "You [and Rin] shall act out the final stage of the Holy Grail War."
    Shirou: "Are you saying I will remain until the very end?"
  • In Ratchet & Clank, Captain Qwark and Dr. Nefarious are considered this, although neither seem to consider the other that big of a threat (though Qwark obviously does). In A Crack in Time, Nefarious also calls Ratchet and Clank his archnemeses. While the Doctor considers the eponymous duo the far more formidable opponents, the history between Qwark and him causes the mere sight or mention of Qwark to make him to rage to the point of malfunctioning.
  • In God of War, Kratos' Arch Enemy is Zeus. No other enemy, even Ares, commands as much of Kratos' time and energy as the King of the Gods. They are truly arch enemies when you consider that Zeus wants to kill Kratos to restore order to the world, and Kratos is willing to destroy Zeus and Olympus in order to get his revenge.
  • In Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Wolfenstein (2009), the Nazi scientist and SS-General Wilhelm "Deathshead" Strasse is the Arch Enemy of OSA spy B.J. Blazkowicz, as well as "the single most dangerous figure in the entire Third Reich". He's also quite apt at getting away with all sorts of atrocities. Deathshead for his part also considers Blazkowicz to be his archfoe. In a trailer for Wolfenstein, his narration states that the most memorable part of the events of the game wasn't the eldritch horror he unleashed, but the lone badass (Blazkowicz) that stopped it.
  • In Assassin's Creed, the Assassins and The Knights Templar have been arch enemies for thousands of years, although the Assassins are losing as of now.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, it's actually pretty one-sided; the protagonist, Cloud, eventually has plenty of reason to hate the Big Bad, Sephiroth, but Sephiroth barely acknowledges Cloud at all, and as an insigficant pawn, until the very end when Cloud's group actually beats him. After this, as in the movie Advent Children (or Dissidia, below), they certainly are arch-enemies both ways, though it's possible the very reason Sephiroth has it in for Cloud is that he hates having been beaten by someone so insignificant.
  • The ten heroes and their respective villains, Chaos and Cosmos, and Shantotto and Gabranth in Dissidia: Final Fantasy.
  • Ultimately, Sora and Xehanort in the Kingdom Hearts series. Sora is the All-Loving Hero, while all the conflict in the games was caused by Xehanort in one way or another.
    • However, Maleficent also serves as this to Sora, as she constantly antagonizes him during his journey.
    • Riku's arch-enemy is Xehanort's Heartless Ansem The Seeker Of Darkness.
  • Legacy of Kain gives us Malek and Vorador in Blood Omen, The Sarafan Lord and Janos Audron in Blood Omen 2, and Kain and Raziel throughout the series. All of these are slightly one sided, though. While Malek had a deep personal hatred for Vorador, Vorador didn't think much of him and for the most part hated his order and humanity in general. Janos hated the Sarafan Lord for holding him prisoner for four hundred years, starving him of blood but the Sarafan Lord's issue was with vampires in general and he considered Janos little more than a tool. Raziel, likewise, hated Kain on a very personal level, but Kain's actions against him were necessary evils. Kain himself had much more personal grudges against Malek and the Sarafan Lord than he did against Raziel, and possibly his true arch enemy was Moebius. And in the end it turns out Kain was the arch enemy of the Elder God, who manipulated people across centuries to try and kill Kain, due to Kain's destiny to become the Scion of Balance, the only being that can destroy the Elder God.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: Malak and Revan, and arguably a parallel with Saul Karath and Carth Onasi.
    • In the second game The Exile has three: each of the Sith Lords which reflect an aspect of herself. The most strongest is Darth Traya who's fate is bound up with the Exile whether they like it or not.
  • Space Quest: Sludge Vohaul, despite appearing in only two games (but heavily implied to be behind the events of the first).
  • King's Quest: The Black Cloak Society to the Daventry royal family. The extent of which of the series' foes were part of the Society is debatable, but at least four (Hagatha, Mannanan, Mordak, Alhazred) have some kind of tie. The Fan Remake of King's Quest II cranks it up a bit with a designated Arch Enemy, Morgelien (aka "The Father").
  • BlazBlue has a number of these relationships.
    • While Ragna is dedicated to ending the Big Bad Terumi's existence, he believes that his true Arch Enemy will be his brother Jin once his "Power of Order" awakens since Ragna may be the "Destroyer of the World" that the "Power of Order" is meant to fight.
    • Terumi is an Arch Enemy to the remaining Six Heroes, Kokonoe, and Rachel since his betrayal of them was far more personal (murdered Jubei's wife/Kokonoe's mother Nine, sealed Haku-men in the Boundary, insults the master to whom Valkenhyn holds Undying Loyalty, and has been dueling Rachel in a battle of wits over thousands of years worth of time loops).
    • Carl's greatest foe as of Continuum Shift is his father Relius, who added his own daughter (Carl's sister) Ada's body and soul to the Nox Nyctores Nirvana and used the information he gleaned from that experiment to create a superior puppet — using Carl's mother Ignis.
    • Bang used to consider Jin to be his Arch Enemy, but thanks to Character Development has moved passed this. He now considers the system behind the NOL itself that ordered the attack on Ikaruga to be his Arch Enemy.
    • Even Taokaka has one. She and Arakune frequently come to blows since he terrorizes the Kaka clan village and she is its protector.
    • Tsubaki becomes her former best friend Noel's Arch Enemy thanks to Terumi's influence, the trauma of losing her sight to Izayoi, and her deep-rooted jealousy of Noel over her being chosen to be by Jin's side.
    • Relius Clover has a secondary enemy in Valkenhayn, as the two have a long-standing rivalry prior to the Dark War; this was suspended when Relius fell into the Cauldron the day the Black Beast emerged, but has reawakened with Relius' re-emergence.
  • The Grey Wardens and the Darkspawn of Dragon Age: Origins. The Grey Wardens were founded specifically to prevent the Darkspawn from destroying Thedas and will do anything to accomplish this task. The feeling is mutual during Blights — Archdemons will go out of their way to kill the Grey Wardens once they can sense their location since they know that only Wardens can permanently destroy them.
    • Each respective origin (except the Mage and Dalish) end with the Warden gaining one of these. Arl Rendon Howe for the Human Noble, Prince Bhelen for the Dwarf Noble, Jarvia for the Dwarf Commoner and Vaughn for the City Elf.
    • Teyrn Loghain serves as this for Alistair. Loghain earned Alistair's hatred for his desertion at the Battle of Ostagar, leaving the King and the Grey Wardens to die. Loghain meanwhile fears the threat that Alistair poses to his Regency, since as bastard son of King Maric, Alistair is the closest legitimate heir to the throne.
    • Shale considers Birds to be her personal nemesis, having endured thirty years of being covered by their droppings whilst frozen as a statue in Honnleath. Indeed, one of the first thing she does after being reawakened by the Warden is to stomp on a chicken and according to Dragon Age II, the pigeon population of Ferelden has mysteriously dwindled since the end of the Blight.
    • In the sequel, Dragon Age II, some of Hawke's companions have archenemies. Danarius for Fenris, Bartrand for Varric, and Castillon for Isabela.
  • Commander Shepard has a lot of powerful enemies: Saren Arterius in the first game, The Illusive Man and Kai Leng in the third game. However, Shepard's archenemies are the Reapers, and (s)he is theirs. They consider Shepard to be the greatest threat they have ever faced, and Shepard is the only thing in existence that has ever made the Reapers feel fear.
  • The God Wars Dungeon in Runescape would imply that the four Gods involved consider each other Arch Enemies, since even after thousands of years, the 4-way free-for-all is still going on. Saradomin and Zamorak, even though they aren't technically the "Good" and "Evil" Gods.
  • In Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright has Miles Edgeworth for most of the first game, although their relationship becomes exponentially more friendly after Wright defends Edgeworth.
    • Mia Fey also had Dahlia Hawthorne and Redd White.
  • In Super Robot Wars Original Generation, Sangar Zonvolt And Wodan Ymir
  • Marv claims to be this in Custom Robo Arena, but in practice he's just an idiot who won't leave you alone.
  • Touhou: Mokou vs. Kaguya. Good thing for them: killing each others over and over and over again is how they kill their (potentially infinite) time. Figuring out how to kill each others in new and interesting way is their joy in life, and sometimes they let other people in on their exquisite "pleasure".
  • UNSC and Covenant in Halo, specially the Spartans and the Elites. They've been fighting for decades, trying to wipe each other out. But later, it's revealed that humanity as a whole has a far more deadlier archrivalry with the Flood that is dating back to the time of the humans' ancient ancestors, the Forerunners.

    Webcomics 
  • Grace and Damien were arch enemies in El Goonish Shive
  • Hitlerella is Wonderella's Arch Enemy in The Non-Adventures of Wonderella.
  • The Wotch - Xaos to The Wotch.
  • The Order of the Stick.
    • Xykon is Arch Enemy to Roy Greenhilt by inheritance. The twist here is that Xykon rarely if ever remembers who Greenhilt even is, let alone that he's supposed to be his nemesis. He is aware he has nemeses, but Xykon has ruined so many lives (and afterlives) that he can't be bothered to remember any single one in particular.
    • Elan has Nale and Haley has Crystal (even if she has no idea what an arch-nemesis is) and Sabine.
    • The main female in every evil joint the Order encounters is bound to become an Arch Enemy of Haley (the Thieves' Guild - Crystal, the bandits - Samantha, the Linear Guild - Sabine and Kitty the hawk, Team Evil - Tsukiko), though only about half of them stick around. The exception so far is the Empress of Blood, probably because no one wants to be the Arch Enemy of that.
      • Belkar, at least, is of the impression that Sabine is Haley's one true Arch Enemy. This is actually Lampshaded by Haley, who notes this tendency and comments that she should have chosen 'Favored Enemy - Flying Skank' as her class ability.
  • Sluggy Freelance: Bun-Bun's arch-nemesis is Santa Claus, whom he tries to kill every Christmas that he's not stuck in an endless void outside of time. Bun-Bun doesn't actually remember why he hates Santa so much, but he's not about to let that stand in the way of a good grudge.
  • Casey and Andy: Andy's nemesis is Grover Cleveland. Yes, the president.
  • Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures : Until the latest chapter the series really wasn't that melodramatic, but now for Dan it's a toss up between Dark Pegasus and Regina Darkblood. Dark Pegasus is more dangerious and re-occuring (Dan has killed him twice), but with Regina it is far, far more personal.
  • Lightbringer: Darkbringer for Lightbringer. Both believe in an objective morality, but whereas Lightbringer believes what is "good" is the correct moral standard Darkbringer believes what is "evil" is the correct moral standard.
  • Super Hero Plot Twist from Acrobat has Plot Hole (yes, that's how they're calling themselves). It's Personal, but no one, even Plot Twist, knows why.

    Also, Coil had Mr. Kawagai before he committed suicide and Magnum has guy who created his armor.
  • Energize - Energize has Saroth and Cheggras, while Ferless has Death.
  • Dasien - Dasien has Lord Crismon.
  • Mechagical Girl Lisa ANT - Lisa has Evil Magical Girl Pink Flash.
  • Hero By Night - The Hero and Iron Talon
  • 8-Bit Theater: Sarda to Black Mage, for seemingly no reason. At first.
  • Last Res0rt has Daisy Archanis and Jason Spades; Jason probably cares more about Daisy than vice versa, though in Daisy's defense, she's got a lot more to worry about (namely, Veled) most of the time.
  • Zeera The Space Pirate has rival Space Pirate Kaligula, although this becomes less heated as time goes on, and the corrupt space cops become her real nemesis.
  • In Spinnerette, Spinnerette's arch nemesis is... Spinnerette. No, this isn't a case of Enemy Within, they just both happened to pick the same supranym. And then started fighting over it. They now distinguish each other as "Good Spinnerette" and "Evil Spinnerette."
  • "The Adventures of Gyno-Star" features two main arch-enemies: Uber-sexist Vlad Deferens, and The Stay-at-Home Mommy
  • In Sinfest, Seymour to Lil'E.
  • In Homestuck, the trolls recognize archenmity as a type of romantic, sexual relationship known as kismeissitude. Examples are Snowman/Spades Slick, past Eridan/Vriska, past but very recent Terezi/Vriska, and Karkat/John (unrequited because human John doesn't have a concept of romantic hate). In Act 6, Karkat seems to be soliciting Dave as a kismesis, as Dave has drawn Terezi's romantic (non-hate) attention away from Karkat. Dave does not react well to this; like John, he's not comfortable with romantic hate, especially from another male.

    Web Original 
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd and The Nostalgia Critic were like this for a while, until it culminated in one of the most awesome battles ever.
    • Mara Wilson also seems to view the Critic as one after his brutal A Simple Wish review. She's notably disappointed when told that he's dead, stating that the chemistry between them was "organic".
  • By the end of KateModern, Ax-Crazy Phlebotinum Rebel Terrence has become the Arch Enemy of the entire K-Team.
  • Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog - Johnny Snow claims to be Dr. Horrible's nemesis. Similar to the Buffy example above, Dr. Horrible does not take him very seriously, considering Captain Hammer to be his actual nemesis. For his part, Captain Hammer thinks of Dr. Horrible as just another villain that he regularly defeats, and a fairly pathetic one at that.
    Dr. Horrible "OK. Dude. You're not my nemesis. My nemesis is Captain Hammer. Captain Hammer, corporate tool! He dislocated my shoulder last week. Again."
  • Atop the Fourth Wall and The Spoony Experiment - Dr. Insano was both Spoony One's and Linkara's nemesis. Lately, though, Linkara's new archnemesis has become Lord Vycenote , and Insano is now more of an annoyance to Spoony.
    • Another major enemy of Linkara's is the Spider-Man story One More Day.
    • Mechakara is a better example, as he is Linkara's most determined enemy. He has been destroyed twice and came back stronger then ever.
  • In Survival of the Fittest, both the winner of V1 and the winner of V2 have their own arch enemies. The V1 Winner, Adam Dodd, has Cody Jenson, who killed his girlfriend, raped one of his friends, and beat his other friend into unconsciousness. The V2 Winner, Bryan Calvert, has Mariavel Varella, who killed his girlfriend after swearing vengeance on Bryan for killing her boyfriend. Neil Sinclair (who was not the winner, but definitely the hero) of V3 had Danya himself.
  • Agamemnon Tiberius Vacuum claims Brooke Brodack is his nemesis (a claim she embraces). What exactly the past relationship between the two that lead to this is, is still unclear.
  • In the Hitler Rants parody, Hitler's archnemesis is resident trickster Hermann Fegelein... the former is always at the butt end of the rivalry.
  • The Nostalgia Chick - The Chick treats both Michael Bay and The Little Mermaid as her sworn enemies.
  • The Global Guardians PBEM Universe is a superhero setting. Everybody has an Arch Enemy.
  • Ranger and Ice in Comic Fury Werewolf. It's pretty funny.
  • Finister2 - Arch Enemy to Mini-mitch and Skittles the Hog.
  • In The Intercontinental Union of Disgusting Characters, Peter Perfect is Ringman's arch enemy, and Sick Sword is Omnion's arch enemy.
    • In the 2nd sequel, Ringman actually becomes Tiamat's arch enemy, even though he personally never laid a glove on her; then because of his bid to free the centaurs, Ringman even becomes the Dungeon Master's arch enemy.
  • Cassidy Cain & Deus are a Classy Cat-Burglar vs. Phantom Thief version of this in Grandmaster of Theft. Which is just what Deus wants.
  • Prefessor CGI is this to Hewy in Mr Coat And Friends.
  • In his Minecraft Let's Plays, the Evil Chicken is this to Gronkh. It's uncertain whether he considers Evil Chicken a specific creature which keeps reappearing to ambush him, or the entire chickenhood is not only evil but his personal arch enemy.
  • Spikerbleeper - Arch Enemy of Mr. TARDIS.
  • [[STAR]] has a huge hatred for sentries, but what he hates the most is the Mini-Sentry from Team Fortress 2. Justified since it's the no. 1 thing that ruins EVERYTHING for him. The worst thing that happened to him was playing the perfect loadout to get ruined by a Mini-Sentry.
  • OMFGcata's Jesse Cox has declared that Husky Starcraft is his arch enemy (replacing Inanimate Objects and TotalBiscuit, in order of previous priority) from the results of the second TheGameStation podcast.
  • Liam the Leprechaun tends to be this to The Annoying Orange at times.
  • Achmed Frollo to Judge Claude Frollo in The Frollo Show.
  • When it comes to other Let's Players: squids to Sky Does Minecraft, barrels to PewDiePie, creepy mannequins/suits of armor and creepy things pertaining to children or babies to Markiplier, the list goes on...

    Western Animation 
  • Cartman and Kyle from South Park. It was mostly onesided on Cartman's side earlier on, but the two snowballed into mortal enemies somewhere in the fifth season, and has jumped up a notch with every subsequent season.
    • Also, Scott Tenorman to his half-brother Cartman.
  • The Monarch from The Venture Bros. wants to be Doctor Venture's Arch Enemy, but Doctor Venture doesn't consider him a threat.
    Hank: What's your problem with our dad anyway?!
    The Monarch: (awkwardly) Well, I- he- he's my nemesis. My Arch Enemy.
    Dean: I don't think pop thinks you're his Arch Enemy.
    The Monarch: Come on, I'm sure the walls of the Venture Compound are practically caked with the lingering curses of the Monarch's name.
    Dean: Uhh, no. I've never even heard him mention you.
    Hank: Yeah, I always thought Baron Underbheit was dad's arch-enemy.
    The Monarch: (astounded) Underbheit!?! Why, that dime-store Doctor Doom isn't fit to — just you wait till your father calls me back!!
    • Initially, at least. The Monarch quickly revealed himself to be a Not-So-Harmless Villain and an actual Diabolical Mastermind over the course of the first and second seasons. He was also involved in a vicious feud with Underbheit over who could kill Venture (before they decided upon a Villain Team-Up). By the end of the second season, Rusty wasn't willing to bury the hatchet, even though the Monarch was (though it's all back to the same routine by the later season).
    • Underbheit, on the other hand, has made very rare appearances now and again, until La Résistance deposed him of his throne. He hasn't been, and (according to DVD Commentary) probably won't be, heard from again.
      • He has been. About halfway through Season 4, he teamed up with Phantom Limb and Professor Impossible.
    • And, as of season three's "Home Is Where The Hate Is", Dr. Venture's new Arch Enemy was Sergeant Hatred, who was assigned by the Guild of Calamitous Intent. His actual goal is to be as nice to Dr. Venture as possible, so as to annoy the Monarch and pay him back for his henchmen robbing him. However Hatred eventually becomes the new Venture Bodyguard and Monarch gets himself a free pass to antagonize Venture once again.
    • The Venture Bros. has an interesting system wherein archrivalries are assigned, not chosen, by the OSI and Guild of Calamitous Intent (hence the coinage of a term: 'arching' to describe the act of being an archnemesis). In season 3, it's revealed that a reason for Dr. Mrs. The Monarch's attraction to her husband is that The Monarch's archrivalry of Venture doesn't stem from this stodgy system, but actual, living, breathing, unfounded hatred.
  • Captain Hero on Drawn Together belatedly realized that the random homeless guy they ran over was "My... ARCH... NEMESIS!"
    • As an added, subtlety that would only be found on this show, his goal is not Captain Hero's destruction, but to get him to wash his balls. And has succeeded multiple times.
  • Adventure Time: The Lich for Billy and Finn the Human.
    • Also, the Ice King for Finn and Jake in the season 1.
  • Daria: Ms. Angela Li for Daria.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: Mojo Jojo for all 3 girls, especially Blossom.
    • HIM for Bubbles.
    • The Gangreen Gang for Buttercup.
  • Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory has Mandark as Arch Enemy.
  • David Xanatos to Goliath in Gargoyles.
    • Though Xanatos fits best from a series standpoint, from a personal standpoint Demona, the Archmage, and Thailog might also want to claim that spot. From the same series, Tony Dracon is Elisa Maza's Arch Enemy (though he's not much of a threat to the Gargoyles themselves), while the entire line of Hunters consider themselves Demona's collective Arch Enemy (though in truth hers is probably MacBeth).
  • We never learn the details, but as per some kind of feud stretching to before the series, Dr. Quest and Dr. Zin seem to both hate and grudgingly respect one another's guts in Jonny Quest.
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants, Mr. Krabs and Plankton.
    • For a very brief time (about two episodes), SpongeBob himself had Bubble Bass; a slimy, devious and notoriously hard-to-please connoisseur who served as a Foil to SpongeBob, the workaholic, perfectionist fry cook.
    • Sometimes: SpongeBob and Plankton.
  • On The Simpsons, Bart Simpson and Principal Seymour Skinner and Sideshow Bob.
    • In the movies-within-the-show, McBain's archrival is Mendoza. Mendoza!!!!!!!
    • Even Maggie has the the one-eyebrowed Baby Gerald.
    • Homer's archenemies are Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders and Frank Grimes.
    • Although with Grimes it's mainly one sided, Homer seemed to actually quite like him.
  • Cobra Commander to Duke and the G.I. Joe.
  • In Transformers, Megatron is Optimus Prime's Arch Enemy. Or Optimus Primal's, depending on the series.
  • Vlad Plasmius to the eponymous character in Danny Phantom.
  • Each of the Teen Titans had one:
    • Slade to Robin.
    • Brother Blood to Cyborg.
    • Blackfire to Starfire.
    • Trigon to Raven.
    • Terra to Beast Boy (because she was his Psycho Ex-Girlfriend).
    • And the Brotherhood of Evil to EVERYONE.
      • On a personal level the Brotherhood (and specifically, the Brain) is Beast Boy's Arch Enemy. He was a member of the team that opposed them before he joined the Titans, and his past with them is what draws the other Titans into the conflict. Interestingly, this is a rare case of the hero taking it more seriously than the villain- the Brain considers Mento, the Doom Patrol's leader, to be his Arch Enemy, and regards Beast Boy as little more than an irritant. Yet, thanks to Beast Boy (and by extension, the Titans), the Brain considers ALL kid heroes his archenemies.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender : Prince Zuko is the Arch Enemy of both Aang and Zhao for the first season. In the second season, Zhao dies and his evil sister Azula becomes Zuko's new Arch Enemy. Aang himself himself has Fire Lord Ozai, though mostly from the fact that the two of them are destined to have an ultimate showdown, and everyone who wants to capture Aang intend to present him to the Fire Lord.
  • Dr. Drakken is Kim Possible's self-proclaimed arch foe, although Shego is her foil and the one she actually locks fists with. More specifically Drakken is an arch foe and Shego is the nemesis. It's like a love triangle...
    • Ron's Arch Foe is Monkey Fist, but that's mostly because Fist is the only one who recognizes Ron's name; that and the "Mystical Monkey Power."
    • Due to the (presumed) deaths of Warhok and Warmonga, the Lorwardians will probably be Ron and Kim's archenemies.
  • Dr. Claw to Inspector Gadget.
  • In the DCAU, Lex Luthor is still Superman's primary enemy, but Darkseid and Brainiac surpass him whenever they show up.
    • And yet Luthor has survived direct dealings with both of them while even as both suffered grievous defeat. He was fused with Brainiac and personally put away Darkseid with the Anti-Life Equation who, it should be added, was even fused with Brainiac at the time.
    • Of all three though, Darkseid is easily Superman's most hated enemy. To put it in perspective, he is the only villain in the DCAU that Superman has no problem with killing, and actually WANTS to kill.
      • The only one who was able to actually BREAK Superman was indeed Lex Luthor. That WAS the Justice Lord version, but he was still really, really close to it in the main DCAU also.
    • Brainiac seems to consider Superman's father Jor-El to be his archfoe even though Jor-El is long dead. Brainiac never forgot that Jor-El opposed him to the very end and nearly destroyed him. For someone who supposedly lacks emotions, Brainiac took great pleasure in making "the son of Jor-El" kneel before him when he went back in time to kill teenage Clark. When Brainiac and Superman encounter each other on Apokolips, Brainiac claims that Superman has no hope of stopping him since his father couldn't.
  • The Joker and Batman in Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Mocked (unsurprisingly) by The Tick:
    The Tick: Oh, for crying out loud...
    Brainchild: So, at last, The Tick, my arch enemy, sits helpless before me!
    The Tick: 'Arch enemy'? You must be joking, Charles. I mean, I don't like you and everything but if I ever do have an arch enemy it's not going to be some creepy little brat with a glass head.
  • Carter Pewterschmidt and Ernie the Giant Chicken to Peter Griffin on Family Guy.
    • Stewie to his half-brother Bertram.
  • For some reason or another, In Spider-Man's cartoon from the 80s, his arch enemy was Doctor Doom. While the two have had s few historic encounters with one another in the comics, Doom is otherwise always depicted as an enemy of the Fantastic Four above all else.
  • Using similar logic to the Kim Possible example, in DuckTales Scrooge McDuck's arch rival is Flintheart Glomgold, but his most threatening nemesis is Magica de Spell. If you have to have an obsessive, implacable arch nemesis, might as well be a sexy sorceress.
  • Imperiex and Superman clone Kell-El in the Legion of Super Heroes cartoon.
  • Ebon to Static in Static Shock.
  • Invader Zim and Dib.
  • Freakazoid! is another example of a series where the Arch Enemy and the most dangerous enemy are not one and the same. The Lobe is the Arch Enemy, but Freakazoid's most genuinely threatening foe is Corrupt Corporate Executive Armando Gutierrez.
  • Vicky on The Fairly Oddparents fits this for Timmy.
    • Crocker and Francis usually are also mentioned at the top when listing Timmy's enemies.
  • Blight to the new Batman (Batman Beyond).
  • In Spider-Man: The Animated Series all of the three traditional Spider-Man arch-enemies mentioned in the comic books section above are present, but the Green Goblin and Venom are both far less prominent, and Dr Octopus is downgraded to a B-list villain. Instead, the Kingpin serves as Spidey's main enemy.
  • Ben 10 has several characters possessing their own ach-enemies:
    • Ben Tennyson's most well known nemesis is Vilgax, who also used to be Max's. Kevin 11 and Dr Animo were considered as such as well in the original show, but by the sequels, Kevin made a Heel-Face Turn and Animo became a relatively minor villain due to new more dangerous villains showing up. Finally, Albedo arguably counts due to being Ben's Evil Counterpart.
    • Gwen Tennyson has Hex and Charmcaster (until Heel-Face Turn), both being directly linked to her connection to magic. While both of them did fight Ben, Max or Kevin, it's pretty clear their grudge toward Gwen is much more personnal.
    • While Ragnarock appeared for only one episode, his link to Kevin's origin is enough to qualify as Kevin's Arch-enemy.
    • Anti-Villain King George from the Forever Knight has Diagon;
  • Perry the Platypus and Dr Doofenschmirtz from Phineas and Ferb are aknowledged to be this, though Perry likely doesn't really respect Doofenschmirtz as a nemesis. Even so, the relationship is very important to both of them, and any time it's interrupted is treated like a romantic break-up.
  • Dr. Pretorius to The Mask in the animated series, at least for being the most recurring villain.
  • Looking at the Kim Possible and DuckTales examples, Aladdin: The Series had kind of the same deal with Abis Mal and Mozenrath. Maybe it's a Disney thing...
  • The Evil Emperor Zurg to the title character of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.
  • In ThunderCats and ThunderCats (2011) Mumm-Ra (the Ever Living) to Lion-O and the ThunderCats.
  • Emperor Krulos to Questar and the Dino Riders.
  • Mon*Star to Stargazer, Quicksilver and the SilverHawks. (Funny part is that they were voiced by the same actor.)
  • Heather to Gwen in Total Drama Island, which carries over into later seasons. Also, Alejandro's official title is "The Arch Rival".
  • Van Kleiss and Quarry to Rex in Generator Rex.
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers had a pretty good sized Rogues Gallery for an 80's cartoon, but two out of the four definitely had archenemies. The Queen of the Crowns had Zachary as an Arch Enemy while Killbane and Shane had a long, nasty history that only got worse after most of the Supertroopers went renegade.
  • The Huntsman is Jake's Arch Enemy in American Dragon Jake Long. Interestingly, he is only #4 on the Dragons' list of the top thirteen threats to the magical world. The #1 threat, the Dark Dragon, is Jake's Grandpa's Arch Enemy.
  • In Stormhawks, Aerrow's Arch Enemy is not the Big Bad Cyclonus; rather, it's The Dragon Dark Ace. Cyclonus is the Evil Counterpart and Arch Enemy of Piper.
  • Tom and Jerry.
  • Looney Tunes has Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, Sylvester and Tweety, and Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner.
  • Coop and Kat on Kid VS Kat.
  • Mrs Boots is Buckley's in Slacker Cats.
  • Mickey Mouse has two arch-enemies: Pete and the Phantom Blot, the latter moreso in comic books.
  • Scaredy Squirrel gives us Scaredy, Nester and Paddy
  • Rudy Tabootie, Mr. Wilter and Reggie Bullnerd in ChalkZone.
  • Eric Needles and Professor Pampelmoose in Sidekick
  • Tak, Cheif and Lok in Tak and the Power of Juju.
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars: The Mon Calamri often fight with the Quarren, both species are natives of the planet Dac.
  • Doc Terror to the Centurions.
  • Often played for laughs in Darkwing Duck, where Darkwing would frequently refer as his Arch Enemy/archrival/archnemesis any villain he would have met at least twice. Even a guys whose only power was to have a bunch of penguins at his service to commit robberies was once referred as his Arch Enemy. However, from a serious point of view, at least three antagonists can be seen as his archenemies:
    • Megavolt initially owned the role, being both the first villain Darkwing chronogically faced (at least in his more "realistic" backstory), a personnal ennemy and one of the most recurring antagonists. He gradually lost the post to Negaduck however, to the point the recent comic sequel has him retired.
    • Negaduck is mostly considered as the main Arch Enemy, due to both being an evil counterpart of the hero, the leader of the Fearsome Five and the most popular vilain amongst fans.
    • Taurus Bulba, while having only two appearances in the animated series, was the first villain seen onscreen, as well as one of the most fearsome and competent. His link to Gazolyne makes him a personnal villain. As such, he can be considered, in a way, as an Arch-Enemy
  • The Delightful Children and Kids Next Door but especially Numbuh 1 in Codename: Kids Next Door.
    • Numbuh 1 also had Father who is his Evil Uncle and Chad aka Numbuh 274, the former leader of the KND who hated him due to the fact that Numbuh 1 was considered to be a better operative than him (which was eventually proven true). Numbuh 5 has her sister Cree, Numbuh 2, the Common Cold, and Numbuh 4, the Toilenator.
  • Skysurfer One and Cybron from Skysurfer Strike Force. On the one hand, Cybron is responsible for stealing a an experimental computer brain from an A.I. lab, then blowing it to kingdom come, letting Sky's father (who Cybron may have also killed) take the blame. On the other hand, Skysurfer One and the other Skysurfers routinely stop his attempts to Take Over the World.
  • In the Futurama movie Into the Wild Green Yonder, the Encyclopod and the Dark One. Their species have been archenemies since time immemorial: the Encyclopods wish to preserve all life and the Dark Ones want to destroy it. After the last Dark One is killed, the last Encyclopod reluctantly decides to preserve its ancient enemy's genetic code. Fortunately, the last Dark One's remains are immediately wholly destroyed making this impossible so the Encyclopod doesn't have to carry its worst enemy on its back.
  • Although My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic works on a Monster of the Week format that discourages recurring enemies, Princess Celestia is only ever shown to have personal animosity towards one individual: Discord. He was the first character Celestia ever actually sent the Mane Six to defeat, and the first time we ever see her angry or genuinely surprised are when he steals the Elements of Harmony. He, of course, thinks this is all great fun. Fanon - shipping included, of course - makes a big deal of this. Now that Discord has pulled a Heel-Face Turn, this probably no longer applies, even if he's still a loose cannon.
    • Trixie is sometimes depicted as this in Fanon with regards to Twilight Sparkle… when they’re not being shipped, that is. (Granted, the two are not mutually exclusive.)
    • Diamond Tiara and (occasionally) Silver Spoon to the Cutie Mark Crusaders (but mostly Apple Bloom). Diamond Tiara does not like Apple Bloom one bit and all of her appearances show her trying to hurt and humiliate the "blank-flank".
  • The Warden of Superjail! has both The Mistress and Lord Stingray. Although the Mistress debuted first, it's lampshaded that while the Warden considers her an archenemy, he barely gets to see her that often. The Mistress and Stingray even teamed up and attempted their own relationship in the season 3 premiere (after taking over the jail), though the relationship fell through.
  • While Diesel from Thomas the Tank Engine is antagonistic towards all of the steam engines, he shares most of his enmity and rivalry towards Thomas in the later seasons. In his debut appearance, Diesel's original enemy was Duck.
  • In almost all incarnations of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise, the Shredder has always been at odds with the Turtles and Splinter, and always at a deeply personal level. However, the one who arguably displays this trait strongest is the Utrom Shredder of the 2003 TMNT cartoon series. His hatred of them was so deep that it culminated into the climax of the Turtles Forever movie, where he was willing to destroy the ENTIRE multiverse to destroy all turtles, even at the cost of his own life and that of his daughter Karai, the only other living being that he honestly cares about.

    Real Life - Individuals 
  • Keith Baker is the Arch Enemy of Rich Burlew, creator of The Order of the Stick, due to his Eberron setting being chosen over Rich's creation as the new campaign setting for Dungeons & Dragons. When Keith wrote an article for Rich's site, it was lampshaded twice, and there have been numerous jokes at Eberron's expense within the comic.
    Durkon: "Meh. It could be worse, ye know."
    Vaarsuvius: "Oh?"
    Durkon: "They could have magic trains."
    Vaarsuvius: "Point taken."
    • And Baker also turns up in Start of Darkness (the trope namer, that is) as one of Xykon's rivals for the position of second-in-command to the Unholy Master early on in the book.
  • Bobby Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson hated, hated each other with a passion. Bobby felt Johnson was a devious coward, Johnson thought Bobby was a foul tempered "little shit." Intensified tenfold after JFK's assassination.
    • Also, Robert McNamara, the Secretary of Defense and a close personal friend of Bobby's who only got closer to him after Jack's assassination, got caught in the crossfire. This may have influenced some of Johnson's decisions in The Vietnam War.
  • Mark Gottlieb, the rules manager of Magic: The Gathering, is the Arch Enemy of Mark Rosewater, the game's head designer. That's according to MaRo, at least, but he's nuttier than a bag of squirrels.
  • Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope were two of the major pioneers in the field of paleontology and between them identified over 142 new species of dinosaurs. Unfortunately, they hated each other with a passion and each became obsessed with defeating the other and proving himself the better scientist. Their frenzied race, known as the Bone Wars, extended over fifteen years and ended in a virtual stalemate, and both men were nearly bankrupted by the effort. In the end, they both made enormous contributions to the study of dinosaurs, committed any number of shady deeds to undermine each other, and ended up in the poorhouse. Not So Different, indeed.
  • John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the second and third presidents respectively, were this; after George Washington left the office, these two formed bitterly divided parties against each other. Ironically, due to how voting worked at the time, Jefferson wound up as vice president to Adams when he entered office, making things even worse than they were before. After both of their terms as president were over, however, they went on to become good friends.
    • Actually, they were good friends before Adams became president, having collaborated on the Declaration of Independence and worked together overseas. But when their political ideologies started to diverge, their relationship fell apart. Luckily they patched it up when they retired.
    • Then there was Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, a political and personal rivalry that actually ended with Burr (then Vice-President of the United States) killing Hamilton in a duel.
    • More on 19th Century American politics - Andrew Jackson vs. Henry Clay; a rivalry that started for political reasons when Clay allegedly cheated Jackson out of the presidency in 1824 by making a "corrupt bargain" with John Quincy Adams and which later turned personal in 1828 when Clay organized and carried out the slander campaign which led to the death of Jackson's wife, Rachel. The blood feud lasted for over twenty years!
    • Another example from US politics: Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich.
    • In the current Congress, John Boehner vs. Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell vs. Harry Reid.
  • In the related area of American campaign strategizing and punditry, James "the Ragin' Cajun" Carville and Mary Matalin, respectively Democratic and Republican campaign strategists and pundits extraordinaire, have called themselves arch-enemies on several occasions. They're quite right: they repeatedly found themselves fighting campaigns for opposing candidates in The Eighties all the way up to 1992, when they were high-ranking members of the Clinton and Bush campaign staffs, respectively. Then they got married in 1993. Opposites Attract, one supposes... (They still appear opposite each other from time to time on CNN and other networks to bash each other's political heads in. One wonders what their daughters—around whom they do not talk about politics—think of all this.)
  • Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz fought for years over who invented calculus.
    • Newton also hated Robert Hooke with a passion. It's widely believed that his famous statement "If I have seen far, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants" was a swipe at Hooke, who was notably short.
  • Sheryl Leach and Caroll Spinney have each gone on record criticizing the other's show.
  • Liberal William Lyon Mackenzie King and Conservative Arthur Meighen were bitter rivals in university, and the bad blood between them carried over when they both went into politics. Both men would serve as prime minister of Canada and led their parties against each other, but this trope was arguably subverted because King repeatedly wiped the floor with Meighen in their political Curb Stomp Battles.
  • Half a century earlier, a much more balanced version of this played out in Britain between William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli. Gladstone was a vaguely anti-imperialist Liberal (until he took office, whereupon the empire actually nearly grew twice as much as it had under Disraeli), a devout Christian very involved in social causes, and very much a man of ideas. Disraeli was a raw politician (though not without principles), ethnically Jewish, not a particularly serious Anglican, something of a hedonist, and a Conservative imperialist extraordinaire (he was responsible for making Queen Victoria Empress of India). For her part, the Queen loved Disraeli (and not just for making her an Empress) and hated Gladstone ("He always speaks to me as though I were a public meeting."); she made Disraeli an Earl but didn't even give Gladstone the courtesy of recommending a successor when he retired (and picked his least favourite candidate out of spite). Gladstone was frugal and very good with money (becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer four times, including twice as his own Chancellor); Disraeli was a bit of a spendthrift and kept having to write Romance Novels and other penny-dreadfuls to stay solvent. They led their parties against each other in several elections in the late 19th century, more or less taking turns governing the country and trading insults: Disraeli mocked Gladstone's nickname, GOM (the "Grand Old Man"), as really meaning "God's Only Mistake." For his part, Gladstone called Disraeli shallow even in death. These two men hated each others' guts with a passion not seen since in British politics.
    • While not to the same level as the two mentioned above, the rivalry between Labour leader Harold Wilson and Conservative leader Edward Heath dominated British politics for a decade.
  • Marius and Sulla, Caesar and Cato, Crassus and Pompey, Antony and Cicero, Antony and Octavian.
  • Hunter S. Thompson, author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, hated Richard Nixon almost more than words can adequately describe. When he told Nixon this, Nixon said "Don't worry. I, too, am a family man, and we feel the same way about you." To give you an idea of just how much Thompson hated him, observe this article, written just a few days after Nixon's death.
    If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.
  • Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison
  • Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, who saw themselves as the protectors of their respective faiths and battled one another for control of the Mediterranean for their entire lives. Their chief admirals, Andrea Doria and Khizr Barbarossa became archenemies by association.
    • Francis I of France has also been seen as Charles' arch-enemy, and to a lesser extent, Francis and Charles also both had considerable personal rivalries with Henry VIII of England.
  • Czar Peter the Great of Russia and King Charles XII (Carolus Rex to Sabaton fans) of Sweden, who spent all of Charles' adult life at war with each other. It was noted that as long as Charles ran Sweden and Peter ran Russia there would be no chance of peace, so much did they hate each other.
  • Reinhard Heydrich, Deputy Leader of the SS and founder and head of its insidious intelligence branch, the SD, was The Rival and archenemy of Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, the head of German Military Intelligence (the Abwehr). Heydrich was a Deceptive Disciple to Canaris; Heydrich had a lifelong hatred of naval officers (due to being fired by the navy for dishonourable conduct- namely, falsely promising a woman he'd marry her to get her in bed; said woman was the daughter of an admiral) but he made an exception for Canaris, who became his friend, mentor and even his neighbour. Canaris in turn liked and respected the intelligent, ambitious, and multi-talent Heydrich- until the mid-to-late 30's, when he gradually realized that Heydrich was also a murderous psychopath indifferent to terror and mass murder of innocent people, which went hand-in-hand with his growing contempt for Nazi Germany as a whole and led to Canaris becoming a leader of La Résistance (though, like most conservative enemies of the regime, he hoped to make Germany a large nation at the expense of some neighbours before getting rid of it). Heydrich seemed to regard Canaris as a Friendly Enemy- he liked him, but as a ruthless careerist he had zero qualms about plotting his downfall and death; he knew full well of his anti-Nazi activities and was building a case against him at the time of his assassination. Canaris may have had a hand in Heydrich's death, and the eventual arrest and execution of Canaris was built in large part on evidence collected by Heydrich.

    Real Life - Countries and Institutions 
  • England and France have historically been enemies that never got along and warred constantly. Nowadays they're kinda like Vitriolic Best Buds instead.
  • Ancient Athens and Sparta, even as there were some times that they helped one another.
  • The U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Became more like rivals during Detente in the late '60s and '70s, but escalated back into archenemies during the '80s until the Soviet Union's fall in 1991. These days they are on more or less good terms, though Russia has a habit of blowing a lot hot air every now and then, but it's treated more like an Unknown Rival now.
    • The US-Soviet rivalry is odd in that the recent rise of China as an economic superpower seems to have made some Americans nostalgic over the Soviet Union. The recent Russian spy scandal was rife with jokes about how the FBI and CIA were ecstatic about a return to the good old days.
    • Ironically, the United States had good relations with Tsarist Russia. Russia was officially neutral during the American Revolution, but nevertheless indirectly helped it by supplying arms to France and Spain, both of whom were allied with the colonists. Russia was also the only European country to declare support for the Union during the American Civil War (because they thought an intact America would stand a better chance of counterbalancing the power of The British Empire), although they didn't actually intervene. The Russians also sold Alaska to the U.S. in 1867, and boy are the Americans glad that the Russians didn't have that land during the Cold War.
  • Argentina and Great Britain over the Falkland Islands.
  • The Roman and Persian Empires battled each other for centuries, but Rome's traditional Arch Enemy was Carthage, as per The Aeneid.
  • Poland and Germany have long detested one another. Luckily, this seems to be winding down what with the end of the two big wars.
  • Greece and the Ottoman Empire. Greece and Turkey. China and Japan. Japan and South Korea, Israel and Palestine. Really, it could go on and on...
    • Let's see, North Korea and South Korea. North Korea and Japan. North Korea and United States. North Korea and anyone in the EU who is not Switzerland or Sweden.
    • And now North Korea and China, considering North Korea's recent actions.
  • The United States Republican and Democratic parties in general and their presidential nominees every four years.
    • For that matter, the North and the South of America. Some don't really care, but attitudes for both range from Southerners viewing Northerners as obnoxious "left wing loonies," and Northerners viewing Southerners as ignorant rednecks. There are also some individuals in the South who still are bitter about losing The American Civil War, and will react quite angrily if questioned on this point. Likewise, some Northerners have never gotten over the incident.
  • India and Pakistan. Three major wars and one minor conflict and several close calls and both sides have nukes? Archenemies.
    • India and Japan are petitioning for permanent security council seats, while Pakistan and Korea are in committee to vote them down. This would strangely make Mexico a burgeoning rival for Brazil.
  • Australia and New Zealand - but only in the sporting arena, elsewhere we're Vitriolic Best Buds at worst, Best Friends when having to be part of The Squad at best...
  • In any duopoly, the two dominant companies could be considered this.
    • Pepsi and Coke
    • Marvel Comics and DC Comics are a subversion: while they compete with each other, they generally work together to bolster the comics market, share most of the same customer base, and often team up for crossovers.
    • Nintendo and Sega, during the fourth generation of video games.
    • Disney, being a multi-media conglomerate, has different arch-enemies in different fields
      • Disney and Warner Bros. were this in the field of animated shorts before that format mostly disappeared. Nowadays, there's a bit of this between Disney Toon Studios (which makes films, mostly direct-to-video ones) and Walt Disney Television Animation on one side vs. and Warner Bros. Animation (which also does TV shows and direct-to-video films) on the other side.
      • And since Disney owns Marvel now and DC has been owned by Warner Bros, the Marvel/DC rivalry takes on an extra layer.
      • Toon Disney vs. Nicktoons before Toon Disney ceased to exist.
      • In TV in general, Disney channel vs. Nickelodeon
      • Disney XD vs. Nicktoons, or Disney XD vs. Cartoon Network Well, until CN abandoned serious action cartoons.
      • In theme parks, Disney World vs. Universal Studios
    • Pixar and DreamWorks Animation
  • Nickelodeon vs Cartoon Network.
  • Fox News Channel (Conservative) vs Al Jazeera English (Liberal).
  • On a more regional level, Al Jazeera (Qatar) vs Press TV (Iran).
  • The African countries of Ethiopia and Somalia have had more than their share of spats over the centuries.
  • Adolf Hitler (and by extension Nazi Germany) saw the Jews as his archenemy. By the time he died, the feeling was definitely mutual.
  • Armenia and Azerbaijan, or Armenia and Turkey. The former is pretty much India and Pakistan on a small (and not world-ending) stage.
  • Egypt and Israel apparently have the lowest approval ratings of each other than any other pair of countries.
  • Denmark and Sweden have apparently fought more wars than any other two countries.
  • Given their long shared history, everybody in South-East Asia could be argued to be each other's archenemies. Malaysia and Indonesia fought a confrontation over the formation of the former, Singapore has at best Teeth-Clenched Teamwork with Malaysia, Malaysia butts heads with Thailand and the Philippines over Islamic insurgencies along their borders, Vietnam and Cambodia still aren't on good terms after the Vietnam-Cambodia war, Vietnam jockeys with Indonesia in ASEAN over who's the regional power, everyone fights over the Spratly Islands, and nobody cares about Myanmar or Laos.


Apple of DiscordDiscord TropesArtifact of Attraction
Apocalypse How/Class X-4Older Than DirtArc Number
Revenge TropesObsession TropesBlind Obedience
AnimesqueThe Millennium Age of AnimationUnions In Hollywood
ArcadiaWe Are Not Alone IndexArcology
Animation BumpThe Renaissance Age of AnimationAward Bait Song
The Anti-GodFoilArmored Villains Unarmored Heroes
Values DissonanceOverdosed TropesThe Ace
BatmanImageSource/Live-Action FilmsBat Signal
Arc VillainVillainsArchnemesis Dad

alternative title(s): Arch Nemesis; Arch Enemies; Arch Nemeses
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
403627
1