->''You can't live with 'em; you can't live without 'em.\\
There's something irresistable-ish about 'em.''
-->-- '''Rowlf the Dog''', "I Hope That Somethin' Better Comes Along", ''Film/TheMuppetMovie''

A development often used in [[ThePowerOfFriendship buddy]] films and [[ThePowerOfLove romantic]] comedy. One person, often a loner-type, is paired off with someone else against his/her will.

He can't stand the person/situation and wishes for his old routine. When he gets his old routine back, he suddenly realizes he misses that person a lot and does everything in his power to get her back. Usually, happens when a bickering pair become VitriolicBestBuds, or generate an AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther situation, whether it's a fraternal sort of love among buddies, or romantic love.

Sometimes subverted to "Can't live with 'em, can't kill 'em".

See also OddCouple.

Compare WeWantOurJerkBack (when the resident DeadpanSnarker's presence is sorely missed), BelligerentSexualTension.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* This is pretty much a staple of Creator/RumikoTakahashi's works.
** ''Manga/UruseiYatsura:'' Ataru [[CasanovaWannabe constantly chases all girls other than Lum.]] Yet whenever Lum disappears from his life, he'll instantly drop his perverted maneuvers and go to great lengths to get her back. That doesn't stop him from [[StatusQuoIsGod immediately resuming his lecherous ways]] the moment she's safely back.
** ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' has Ranma and Akane. Once he had disappeared she was depressed and cried when she thought nobody was looking. When Ranma thought Akane [[spoiler:was dead after touching one of the Saffron's devices,]] he was completely apathetic and emotionless.
** ''Manga/InuYasha'': Pretty much the same example as the above for [=InuYasha=] and Kagome. All they ever do is fight, mostly leading to Kagome storming off after a massive sit. However, anytime they're seperated for too long, all Kagome can think about is [=InuYasha=], while [=InuYasha=] will be unbearable to be around until Kagome's back. And in any fight, they will put themselves in any kind of danger to save the other (which more than half the fight is of [=InuYasha=] taking all those moutain busters to keep everyone else safe).
* ''Anime/AxisPowersHetalia'' has several examples though most predominantly would be England and France. The two have known each other since the beginning of time and despite all of their bickering, they are quick to defend the other when a third party intervenes.
** Another example is Spain and Romano, who actually did live together for a while. Despite Romano constantly referring to Spain as a 'tomato bastard' the two do look out for each other.
* ''Lightnovel/FullMetalPanic''. Kaname Chidori spends every waking moment berating Sousuke for whatever screw-up he made. The second he is redeployed and out of her life for good, she suffers bouts of depression, paranoia, and a horrible sense of insecurity. Of course, she was being marked for death at the time, which makes this a ''literal'' case of "Can't live without him."
** Every ''third'' waking moment. She spends a similar mount of time trying to prevent and/or renumerate his messups. The remaining time is spent dreading what will happen next.
** She was also pretty moody when Sousuke was called away for a long mission to Helmajistan ("The Wind Blows at Home, Part 1-3"), even sitting outside his apartment until he returned.
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': For all what argue when they are together -and claim they don't need each other-, Kouji and Sayaka tend to ''lose it'' when they are apart.
* ''Manga/MidoriDays''. Midori becomes Seiji's right hand and remains this way for the majority of the series. Eventually in the manga, however, Seiji ''does'' become quite capable of living with Midori and acknowledges this, although she ends up disappearing anyway.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion''. So very very true with Shinji and Asuka. Up to the point that Shinji [[spoiler: ends the world]] when he discovers' [[spoiler: Unit 02, and probably Asuka's half-eaten corpse]] as he just arrived to try and save her. The series ends with [[spoiler: Shinji and Asuka looking out over a devastated earth, as the last two people in existence and the firs two people in the new world]].
** WordOfGod said Asuka [[spoiler:returned together with him]] because- despite of how much they had hurt each other- he did not want to live in a world without Asuka.
* ''Manga/RozenMaiden''. The protagonist just wants to be left alone, and he ''[[ChildHater hates]]'' [[ChildHater little kids]]. Before you can blink, he's got a small army of childlike, living dolls hanging out in his room, one of whom [[WellExcuseMePrincess enjoys ordering him around like a servant]], while the rest tend to merely be noisy with a penchant for wanton property damage. Of course, in the end, when they all leave, it gets rather lonely all of a sudden... [[spoiler:Fortunately, they're only gone for 'bout half an hour]].
* ''LightNovel/BludgeoningAngelDokuroChan''. This trope occurs despite the fact that the titular character spends most of her time "accidentally" ''killing the male lead'' and then reversing the process, (and that's "accidentally" with a large helping of sadistic glee).
* In ''Manga/TheWallflower'' manga, womanizer Ranmaru tries to get out of a date with a sweet, timid girl, as he prefers [[CoolBigSis assertive women]]. Of course, after he succeeds, he realizes that he actually ''likes'' her.
* The morning after Morinaga [[LovingForce takes advantage]] of a doped-up Souichi in ''Manga/TheTyrantFallsInLove'', the extremely homophobic Souichi attempts to murder Morinaga, and yells that he doesn't want to see his face again. When Morinaga takes his declaration to heart and disappears from his home and university for weeks, Souichi predictably falls apart. Of course, with his [[{{Tsundere}} tsunderish]] personality, his first action upon seeing Morinaga back is to punch him ''hard'' and scream at him for hiding himself for so long.
* [[DeadpanSnarker Kyon]] from the ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' series constantly, '''constantly''' complains, rants and grumps about Haruhi and the SOS Brigade. In the 4th novel of the series, [[spoiler:he is finally freed from Haruhi and the SOS Brigade, only to realize that he actually misses Haruhi. Or just the "weird events", [[UnreliableNarrator who knows]]... After a RedPillBluePill decision, he returns.]]
** He never stops [[DeadpanSnarker his cynical snarking]], but he seems to see Haruhi in a different light (and appreciates her good deeds). He also ''does'' stand to his decision, repeatedly saying that he "wanted to be here", creating a TrueCompanions-like relationship.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', this is Sakura's friendship with the titular character.
* Eva from ''Anime/{{Monster}}'' spends a good bit of time plotting to make Tenma's life a living hell (getting him imprisoned and such), although every now and again she'll remember that she loves him and beg him to come back to her. She broke up with him, incidentally.
* In the Jdrama, ''Series/NobutaWoProduce'', Shuji says he hates Akira, but the two are actually very good friends. Maybe too good...?
* In ''Manga/ZettaiHeiwaDaisakusen'': Euda is stuck in an awkward love-hate relationship with her 'fiance', Johanne, although she herself [[WhatIsThisThingYouCallLove ain't fully aware of her feelings...]]
* In ''Manga/XXXHolic'', Watanuki is normally extremely frustrated with Yuuko, and keeps yelling that he can't stand the way she is. And then... [[spoiler: she disappears, and he completely breaks down, tears and all, revealing exactly how important Yuko had become to him. This results in him getting extremely depressed, and making a pact to wait for her in the shop forever, never aging, and never being able to leave, until she comes back to him. He even takes on some her traits like smoking from her pipe, and dressing in her extravagant clothes, as if he's trying to cling onto whatever he's got left of her]].
* Natsu and Gray, from ''Manga/FairyTail''. They pretty much complain and fight but do admit to themselves they respect the other. Heck in the Galua Island arc when Gray twice tries to use Ice Shell, a spell that will turn the user into ice to trap their opponents. Natsu stops him both times spelling out that he doesn't want Gray to die.
* [[MessianicArchetype Yuu]][[UnluckyEveryDude ri]] and [[RoyalBrat Wolf]][[{{Tsundere}} ram]] in ''LightNovel/KyoKaraMaoh''. Yuuri spends the first two seasons trying to back out in an [[AccidentalMarriage engagement that he accidentally caused]] in the second episode when Yuuri first enters the other word. Both of them hate the idea at first but Wolfram accepts his role as he constantly tries to get Yuuri to accept his as his husband. Yuuri constantly plots breaking the marriage on multiple occasions but always fails because Yuuri simply doesn't understand the demon world. However, the small things that piss Yuuri off at the beginning of the series, which range from Wolfram calling him "Wimp" (this was originally his BerserkButton at the beginning when the two argued each other) and Wolfram going everywhere declaring himself the spouse of Yuuri and [[MistakenforCheating accusing him of Yuuri cheating on him with every girl he meets.]] However, as the series goes on, the small things that annoyed Yuuri at the beginning is met with indifference as he slowly gives up on trying to break up the engagement. However, once season 3 hits and Wolfram [[ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies calls the engagement off]], this actually shocks Yuuri to the point where he works to get Wolfram back and then finally declares that he's not allowed to break it off. This is a sign that Yuuri is still confused with his feelings for Wolfram but won't let him design things on his own. Shortly after though, they fall right back into the roll.
* In ''Manga/WildRose'', Kiri and Mikhail don't get along initially and like to anger the other. Since Kiri literally can't live without Mikhail because he otherwise loses his sanity around humans, they are stuck together. Over time they both come to appreciate each other in spite of their differences and in the end [[EmotionlessBoy Mikhail]] hesitantly admits "You are necessary to me" in response to Kiri's LoveConfession.
* In ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross''[=/=]''Anime/{{Robotech}}'', Misa Hayase/[[DubNameChange Lisa Hayes]] ''despises'' cadet pilot Hikaru Ichijo/Rick Hunter, and he returns her contempt...yet when she thinks for a moment he was killed in a Valkyrie/Veritech hit, she panics, and later when she's threatened by a Zentraedi, Hikaru/Rick berserks. When Cadet Ichijo/Hunter becomes Lt. Ichijo/Hunter and then begins to rise up the ranks, the tension gets worse because they're always encountering each other...and discovering to their dismay that they work well together. Pretty much everybody that knew them saw what was happening before they did, though.
* Tomoe and Nanami from ''Manga/KamisamaKiss.'' Tomoe is a {{Kitsune}} that has been forced to serve Nanami against his will and is typically very rude and condescending towards her. Nanami thinks he's a JerkAss in return. However, should anything happen to Nanami he freaks and should another man take interest in her [[GreenEyedEpiphany watch out]]. Meanwhile, Nanami hasn't bothered to hide the fact that she has developed feelings for Tomoe.
* ''Manga/SangatsuNoLion'' has a downplayed variant of this. Due to his past, Rei's very persistent in living independently. He's also reluctant to get close to the Kawamoto family, despite their willingness to welcome him into their home, and will sometimes abstain from visiting when he has the choice. However, when he returns to his apartment after staying in their house and living with them for several days due to sickness, he's become much more aware of how empty and quiet his own place is.
--> '''''Rei''': "That house is like a kotatsu. When you go inside, it's so warm it feels like you're about to melt...But when you leave, you'll be reminded that your everyday life that felt fine before is'' freezing cold.''"''
* [[VillainProtagonist Light]] [[SerialKiller Yagami]] of ''Manga/DeathNote'' seems to have this relationship with [[SympatheticInspectorAntagonist L]] to some degree. He spends much of their time together monologuing about how much he hates L and how many of L's strange quirks drive him crazy, until [[spoiler: he actually manages to kill L]]. After that... Light doesn't hate him anywhere [[StealthPun near]] so much, and even seems to [[AntagonistInMourning miss him]] to some degree.
** Not only that, but L is the person Light sees standing by his side as [[spoiler: he's ''dying'']].
* Mahiro from ''LightNovel/HaiyoreNyarkoSan'' gets easily annoyed by how clingy and off-the-wall his alien PrettyFreeloaders Nyarko, Cuuko, and Hasta are, but in the finales of both TV series he gets a harsh reminder of what life would be without them. In the first season finale, he's put in a "Last Man on Earth" situation and realizes how lonely he is; in the second, the trio is about to be reassigned away from Earth, and hearing a heartbroken Nyarko say "Does this mean I have to leave Mahiro forever?" makes him realize that he's about to lose them for good. After the latter situation is resolved, Mahiro remarks "I get the feeling you three will always find a way to stick around me," but it's obvious he views that as a good thing.
* Jeremy and Ian from ''Manga/ACruelGodReigns''. Jeremy tells Ian that he needs to see him because Ian is the only one to know that he is a murderer and [[RapeAsBackstory why he did it.]] To the point that when they do not see each other Jeremy [[SanitySlippage just about]] [[DrivenToSuicide loses it]]. Additionally, Ian, though knowing their relationship is [[TheMasochismTango not a healthy one]], cannot focus his studies or anything else when Jeremy does not see him.
* In one episode of ''Anime/SamuraiPizzaCats'', Francine comments, "Tomcats! You can't live with them, and you can't throw them down a well and drown them!"
* In ''Manga/YugamiKunNiWaTomodachiGaInai,'' this is more or less how the baseball team feels about their pitcher [[TheProtagonist Yugami]]. In a slight twist, Yugami is both [[LonersAreFreaks the loner]] ''and'' the person that others have to put up with, instead of the other way around. Most of his teammates can't stand him [[BrutalHonesty due to]] [[IWorkAlone his]] [[PrinciplesZealot personality]] but they rely heavily on him to win because Yugami is TheAce.

* Subverted by [[Creator/EmoPhillips Emo Philips]]:
--> Women: You can't live with them, and you can't get them to dress up in a skimpy little Nazi costume and beat you with a warm squash or something.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In one arc of ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'', Lucy and Linus move out of town and Schroeder finds that he can't play his music without Lucy present.
--> '''Schroeder''': Don't tell me I've grown accustomed to THAT face!
* ''ComicBook/CableAndDeadpool'': Can't stand him, [[TeleporterAccident can't bodyslide without him]].
-->'''Cable:''' For two people who say they don't need each other, both of us keep doing a lot of stupid things to try and stay together.
* ComicStrip/{{Garfield}} and Odie. Garfield even says this line after Odie saves him from being bitten by another dog.
* [[ShipTease Hinted at]] with [[ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes Calvin and Susie.]]
* [[ComicBook/{{Transmetropolitan}} Spider Jerusalem]]: "Editors. Can't live with 'em, and the mass grave by my compound is getting full."
* ''ComicBook/HaloBloodLine'': The Covenant warrior Thon 'Talamee is constantly annoyed by his younger foolish brother Reff, but has protected him from harm all his life in the belief that Reff is destined for greatness. Unfortunately for him, Reff doesn't return his affection, and thinks of his brother's care as condescending. [[spoiler:When Reff decides to turn on the Covenant, Thon tries to stop him, but Reff kills him first.]]

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ACrownOfStars'': This was Shinji and Asuka's relationship’s state at the beginning of the story: they were so damaged and traumatized that they failed to open up and make a connection; and at the same time neither of them would think of leaving because they thought that no one else in the world would be able to understand their pain, and they could not stand to be apart.
* ''Fanfic/AdviceAndTrust'': Subverted. Gendo thinks his son and Asuka's relationship consists of Shinji being infatuated with her and dependent on her despite of her abusing him and detesting him. He is very wrong. They used to fight and need each other simultaneously, but they got over the "Can't live with them" part when he was not paying attention.
* Calvin and [[ThePrankster Socrates]] fit this role quite well in ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries''.
* ''Fanfic/TheChildOfLove'': While watching the fireworks durin the Obon festival Shinji and Asuka talk and realize even if they often argue and fight and find each other’s attitude and behaviour exasperating and overbearing they really like each other and would hate being apart.
* ''Literature/SherlockHolmes'' and Beth Lestrade in ''[[Fanfic/ChildrenOfTime "Dynamics of a Point"]]'': Holmes can't handle Beth's independence, and Beth can't live with his need for control. But she also makes it [[TearJerker/ChildrenOfTime tear-jerkingly]] clear that leaving him will be ''painful''. He ''tries'' to say something along the same lines, and [[CantSpitItOut ends up telling her that she shouldn't think he'll be glad to see her go]].
* ''Manga/{{Evangelion 303}}'': Since they met [[BattleCouple Shinji and Asuka]] had became very co-dependent on each other. However, when [[BrokenAce Asuka's]] [[BreakTheHaughty started to fall apart]] their relationship [[DomesticAbuse became very abusive]] for several weeks. And still, even though Asuka claimed that she hated everything and Shinji got emotionally hurt constantly, neither of them ever thought of breaking up. Put simply, neither of them thinks they they can possibly being happy without each other.
* ''Fanfic/GhostsOfEvangelion'':
** Shinji and Asuka argue a lot… but they are unable to live without each other. It was repeatedly shown, stated and ultimately and literally proved: Shinji died barely three days after his wife.
** In a discarded chapter Asuka told Misato that Shinji could survive without her, but the opposite isn't true.
** When Asuka has to babysit Ryuko for first time she is gloomy because Shinji is in a business trip. She mutters that he usually pisses her off, but when he is gone she feels very lonely.
--->'''Asuka:''' (shrugging) I can barely stand that idiot most days, but when he's gone…
** When [[spoiler:Asuka passes away in 2080, Shinji dies shortly after]]. Sixty-five years of arguments, fights and reconciliations and he could not live three days without her.
* ''Fanfic/{{HERZ}}'': Shinji and Asuka had greatly hurt each other… and yet they could not live without each other. Asuka never stopped loving Shinji, not matter what she said or did. Shinji never wanted another woman, and when he thought Asuka was leaving and she hated him he was so grief-stricken that he tried to kill himself.
* ''Fanfic/OnceMoreWithFeeling'': While Shinji sleeps for first time -again- in Misato's apartment, he recalls that sometimes he begged for someone -anyone- getting Asuka out of there... and now he feels terribly alone without her, he misses her and he needs her.
* ''Fanfic/ScarTissue'':
** Shinji and Asuka developed a co-dependent relationship during the series, but the war against the Angels and the Third Impact scarred their minds further. Due to Shinji's actions Asuka abused him constantly and Shinji was torn between blaming himself and resenting her. However, Shinji refused being apart of Asuka, and as soon as Asuka thought that she could lose him or never see him again, she was utterly terrified and mortified and stopped abusing him.
** In one scene, Fuyutsuki modifies the sentence:
--->'''Fuyutsuki''':''"Can't live with them, can't successfully control the Armageddon without them."''
* ''FanFic/TheSecondTry'': Shinji and Asuka. This was apparent in the series to [[EveryoneCanSeeIt everybody except them]], but in the fanfic they became aware of the fact during the AfterTheEnd chapters (and Asuka is particularly hit hard by it). When one of them is missing, the another gets worried and upset. When they are neither talking to each other [[spoiler:nor sleeping together]] cause a fight, they miss each other. And both are terrified of the possibility of breaking up and going separate ways after a dispute.
* ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'': When they met, Shinji and Asuka fought and argued for weeks. Soon it was evident, though, that they were unable to live without each other. When one of them was hurt, the other crumbled down.
* In ''Fanfic/ChildrenOfAnElderGod'', Shinji is this to Asuka. Sometimes he drives her mad, and sometimes he makes her happier than nobody ever. In chapter 16:
-->"Sometimes you drive me nuts. But then you do something that changes my mind, like dancing wonderfully. I had a lot of fun tonight, Shinji."
* In ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionGenocide'', Shinji and Asuka argued a lot... but when she was in a coma, Shinji thought that he didn't mind Asuka called him names because it meant she was fine.
-->A part of him thought it was ridiculous question—saying that he missed Asuka was like saying that he missed having a toothache. But another part, the part surprised at the look on her face earlier, the part that had pushed him into that tunnel when the Angel was descending into Central Dogma, knew that he did miss her, very badly.\\
Suddenly, even the silence reminded him she was gone.
* ''Fanfic/LastChildOfKrypton'': At the beginning of the story Asuka complained about Shinji constantly, but whenever he was missing, she was restless and worried.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'', the titular ogre has this happen after he rescues the princess, when he believes she can't care for him because he's an ogre. He receives the deed to his swamp and returns to it, but feels very empty inside. Eventually, Donkey makes him realize he does love the princess. Cue a rush to beat her WeddingDeadline to Lord Farquaad.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime'', Despite constantly complaining about them, Cera seems to genuinely value her friends.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/MyFairLady'': Henry and Eliza seem to have this problem.
* Taken very literally in ''Film/DieHardWithAVengeance'', wherein John [=McClane=] finds his new sidekick obnoxious, Zeus (said sidekick) despises him in return, but quite literally cannot live without him as the evil mastermind has set traps that he demands they solve together.
* ''Film/HelloDolly'': After Dolly Levi has spent the whole movie trying to maneuver Horace into marriage, he angrily tells her that he 'wouldn't marry (her) if she were the last woman on earth!', she promptly bids him "So Long, Dearie". Cue Horace grousing to himself the very next morning about how he doesn't need her, what a horrible woman she is, he'd never do it, etc. It's clear to the audience that he's firmly in this trope, as he proposes to her the moment she comes back.
* ''Film/TheMuppetMovie'' has a song called "I Hope That Something Better Comes Along", sung by Kermit and Rowlf and referring to Miss Piggy (and, by extension, women in general). It opens with the lines, "''You can't live with 'em / You can't live without 'em...''"
* The ''Film/MissCongeniality'' sequel plays with this trope in the following exchange:
-->'''Sam Fuller''': Men. You can't live with 'em, you can't...
-->'''Sam Fuller''': ... no, that's pretty much it.
-->'''Gracie Hart''': Yeah.
* C-3PO and R2-D2 throughout the original ''Franchise/StarWars'' trilogy.
* ''Film/TheShining'' has this theme throughout, especially in Jack's actions after about halfway through the movie. Accentuated in Jack's conversation with a ghostly bartender about halfway through, in which the bartender echoes this trope.
* Jokingly subverted by Tom Arnold's Gib in ''Film/TrueLies'': "Women. Can't live with 'em, can't kill 'em."
* In ''Film/PlanesTrainsAndAutomobiles'', Neal Page keeps trying in vain to lose Del Griffith. When he finally does, he finds he actually misses Del's company [[spoiler:and ends up going back to invite Del to come home with him]].
* Cruelly played with in ''GoneGirl''. [[spoiler: Nick wants to leave his controlling, emotionally empty wife, Amy. However, Amy sets things up to where Nick practically begs her to come back, because he would go to prison and possibly face the death penalty for her murder, which Amy fakes to set Nick up. In the end, Amy comes back and makes this trope clear to Nick, much to his and his twin sister's horror.]]

* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels, Granny Weatherwax is less than thrilled with having to take part in a witch's coven, not least of all because [[TheHecateSisters the maiden]] of the coven, Magrat, keeps annoying her by being a GenreBlind WideEyedIdealist. Yet, when Magrat leaves the coven after ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'' she grows despondent with the whole thing since she hasn't got anyone to boss around or quarrel with, which sets in motion the events of ''Discworld/{{Maskerade}}''.
** In a meeting of all the local witches, it's noted that Granny "couldn't be having with other witches, and ''certainly'' couldn't be having with Nanny Ogg, who was her best friend."
* Somewhere in the ''Franchise/StarWars'' [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]], Mara Jade tells her husband Luke: "Sometimes I can't stand you, and I love you for it." Awwwwww.
* Literature/SunnyRandall has this relationship with her ex-husband Richie, and though they've divorced they still see each other and have hooked up a few times since the divorce, to the detriment of both of their other relationships.
* ''[[Literature/TheVampireChronicles Interview with the Vampire]]'' sees this trope reflected in the relationship between Lestat and Louis. They live together and share a quasi-romantic relationship for like seventy years-- during which Louis constantly complains about how much he despises Lestat, and Lestat insults and denigrates Louis. Expanded upon in ''The Vampire Lestat''.
* Fisk seems to have this relationship with Michael in the ''Literature/KnightAndRogueSeries'' (Michael is too sweet to not stand Fisk). He spends his time alternating between griping about Michaels naive, cheerful, chivalrous attitude, and fretting about Michael's wellbeing. Acording to Michael, Fisk will try to protect him from anything from the noose to chills, all while being insultingly sarcastic.
* ''Literature/SisterhoodSeries'' by Creator/FernMichaels: This seems to happen between the Vigilantes and their boyfriends. In one book, Jack Emery makes a comment about women and how you can't live with them and you can't live without them. A short time later, Nikki Quinn makes a comment about men and how you can't live with them and you can't live without them. At least the feeling is mutual!
* A darker twist on this appears in ''Literature/ThereseRaquin'' where Thérèse and Laurent find Thérèse's husband Camille to be more of a roadblock than anything, but once he's dead they find that being constantly haunted by his memory is far, far worse.
* Haplo and Alfred from Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's [[Literature/TheDeathgateCycle Deathgate Cycle]] due to not only being from different fantasy races but also having completely contradictive personalities.
* Sasha and Daichi end up like this in ''Literature/GreekNinja''.
* Karal uses this trope to get out of what could have been a very uncomfortable conversation in ''[[Literature/HeraldsOfValdemar Storm Breaking]]''. After Altra tells him about Firesong's near-fall into insanity (specifically, that [[spoiler:Firesong was close to injuring/killing Karal]]), Karal deflects any questions from Firesong about what made him look odd with the line:
--> Cats. You can't live with them, and the fur's too thin for a rug.
* ''Literature/HankTheCowdog'': Hank and Pete the barn cat may not like each other, but when Pete doesn't show up for dinner scraps that they'd usually fight over, Hank feels like eating scraps is no good without having a rival to fight over them.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Dexter}}'', the title character says of his adopted sister who crashed at his place for a while after some troubles: "Can't live with her, can't kill her." As Dexter happens to be a ''serial killer'', the second half of the phrase takes on a different meaning. He was joking though because he is "rather fond" of her.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'':
** Dr. Kelso initially couldn't stand his wife's snoring. She got the operation, but [[RuleOfFunny (this being Scrubs)]] only exacerbated the problem. Cue this trope:
--> Kelso: Here's the twist. Now, whenever she goes out of town, I can't fall asleep without the sound of that gasping, wheezing woman lying right next to me. Trust me. If I ever met a Japan air stewardess who snores like Enid, I'd marry her tomorrow.
** Dr. Cox and his ex-wife Jordan have this sort of relationship. Both are snarky, {{jerkass}} misanthropes who can't stand each other...and it's made abundantly clear that they'd never be happy with anyone else.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''
** Cordelia and Xander are oh so very much like this in Seasons 2 and 3.
** Buffy and Spike regularly cycle through this from the middle of Season 5. Lampshaded in the MusicalEpisode.
-->"First he'll kill her, then I'll save her / No, I'll save her, then I'll kill her!"
* ''Series/{{Oz}}''. A black inmate on Death Row is subject to constant racist taunts by a redneck in the next cell. After first breaking his hand when he punched the wall in frustration, he then gets smart and carefully digs a hole into the wall, then after one comment too many punches his fist through what's left and throttles the redneck to death single-handed. Unfortunately that means he's the only inmate left on Death Row, and the episode ends with him looking sadly into a hand mirror, with only himself for company.
* Ross and Rachel from ''Series/{{Friends}}''. If they're with other people, they want each other: If they're together they argue constantly and break up. Rachel is especially bad as at one point she manipulated Ross into breaking up with his current girlfriend and then refused to get back together with him unless he took all the blame for a past break up. (He didn't).
* The actual line was parodied twice on ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun''. In the {{pilot}}, Harry declares "Women, you can't live with 'em... and yet they're everywhere." In a later episode, Dick declares "Women, you can't live with 'em and you can't have heterosexual sex without 'em."
** To which Harry responds, "That's ''probably'' true."
** Also in one episode Judith says to Mary, "Men, can't live with 'em" ''[beat while Mary waits for the rest]'' "Goodbye, Mary."
* Norm, of course, subverts the line in ''Series/{{Cheers}}'': "Women. Can't live with them, pass the beer nuts."
* ''Series/TheVampireDiaries:'' Damon and Elena, until the last four or so episodes of the first season. After that, they drop the "can't stand them" part.
* Pretty much the reason why Al in ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'' hasn't just up and left his ungrateful life parasite of a wife and kids. Among Al's immortal quotes:
--> "Women. You can't live with them, you can't shoot them".\\
"Women, can't live with 'em, can't herd 'em all into Canada"\\
"Women. Can't live with 'em... The End."
* Jerry and Elaine in ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'', in that they are no longer interested in each other sexually but still hang out with each other because they don't have many other friends.
* In ''Series/{{Taxi}}'', Louie explains to Zena, who won't take him back, that "love is the end of happiness": he used to be happy staying home and watching the Mets; now, even though everything about watching the Mets is the same, he can't enjoy it without Zena. [[spoiler:She very reluctantly, like, to the point of self-disgustedly, takes him back. For a season or two.]]
* In ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', when Sheldon and Amy end their friendship over an argument as to whether Neurobiology or Theoretical Physics is the more important science, Howard offers the opinion: "Women, can't live with 'em, can't successfully refute their hypotheses".
* Invoked almost word for word in ''Series/{{Hannibal}}'' by Bedelia when talking to Will about his plan to escape with Hannibal.
* ''Series/TheITCrowd'' parodies this, with [[NoSocialSkills Moss]], resident nerd among nerds, trying to deliver the line to Roy. He begins nobly, 'Women -- can't live with them...' before trailing off and realising he has absolutely no idea how to talk about romantic matters or advice to give thereof. Later on he delivers the gender-flipped version:
--> '''Moss:''' ''Men'', can't live with 'em...
* Carlos towards Sister Bertrille in ''Series/TheFlyingNun''. As much as he complains about her getting him into trouble, he feels worse without her around.
--> '''Carlos:''' When she's around I tell her to get lost, but when she does I go looking for her!

* Music/{{Pink}}'s song "Leave Me Alone (I'm Lonely)" is all about the bi-polar affections of a girl wanting some space, promising cuddling later.
* The song "That's a Woman" is sung by Ryan Kelly and Paul Byrom of the group Celtic Thunder and is about a misogynist who finally falls for one of the women he so greatly disdains.
* Celine Dion's "I Hate You Then I Love You." The title should be self-explanatory.
* Senator John Dean's seminal dubstep/dubhop song, "Can't Live Without Em," a staple of the new genre. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hc1RGzH3sR8&feature=plcp "Can't Live Without Em"]]
* The Music/ThreeDaysGrace song "I Hate Everything About You".
* Music/{{Queen}}'s "I Can't Live With You."
* Stacie Orrico's song "Stuck" - "I hate you, but I love you. I can't stop thinking of you"
* The Music/{{U2}} song "With or Without You"
* French Canadian singer Jean Leloup song "I lost my baby" has the lines (translated) "I can't live with you / I can't live without you / But you can very well live without me /" ending up with "I'm screwed either way".
* Rihanna and Neyo's duet [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMOOr7GEkj8 "Hate That I Love You."]]
* The Coral's "Dreaming of You" has lyrics of "I still need you, but I don't want you now."
* The Music/{{Voltaire}} song "Stuck With You" is narrated by a married couple venting about all the things each partner has done to piss the other one off and how much they drive each other crazy. At the end of the song, after this long litany of complaints, they mutually agree that, "I'm not sad I said 'I do'/I'm just glad I was stuck with you."

* Amanda and Elyot in ''Theatre/PrivateLives''. They fight both physically and verbally, to the point of having divorced, but as they find when they actually meet again after remarrying different people, they are perfect for each other.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'' has several examples of this; Erk and Serra in ''Blazing Sword'', Lalam and Percival in ''Sword of Seals'', and to an extent Rennac and L'Arachel in ''The Sacred Stones''. ([[spoiler: His single ending states that he tries to escape her service, but admittedly doesn't try very hard.]])
* In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'', [[TheStoic Squall]] spends the first two discs of the game [[JerkassFacade grimly resisting]] Rinoa's efforts to get him to open up to her. When she falls into a coma at the end of disc two, however, he realizes how much he doesn't want to lose her, and abruptly she becomes his main priority.
* Nageki of ''VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend'' seems taken aback and annoyed when the player character makes an effort to befriend and spend time with him. In his diary he calls you "the nosy girl", he says you won't leave him alone... but he's glad, in the end. In the second game some of your friends also make an effort to spend time with him, and later he complains to someone threatening them that they exhaust him and are unpredictable, but he's happy to have them.
* PlayedForDrama and justified in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'' regarding Arado Balanga and Seolla Schweizer: Bronzo-class students of The School program function in pairs and are more combat effective when both partners are with one another. When Arado is erroneously believed to be KilledOffForReal, Seolla immediately undergoes HeroicBSOD, forcing The School "instructors" to sedate and reprogram her for single combat.

* Pretty much the longest running plotline in ''Webcomic/CollegeRoomiesFromHell:'' Margaret's attraction to and inability to let go of Dave.
* Also a long running plotline in ''Webcomic/BittersweetCandyBowl''. Mike and Lucy spend most of their time agonizing over this fact.
* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' Gwynn tends to flirt with this trope a lot in regards to the rest of the main characters.
** So did Zoe to some extent. The boys drove her nuts, but when she moved back home, she found she missed them, and ended up getting a job consisting entirely of recounting their crazy antics over the radio.
* ''Webcomic/LookingForGroup'' looked like it was going for a joke like this after [[TheHero Cale'Anon]] had gotten into an argument with his girlfriend, but the trope is ultimately (and naturally) subverted because the man who almost invoked the trope is a wee little bit worse than the common chauvinist...
-->'''[[SociopathicHero Richard]]''': Women.\\
'''Cale''': Yeah.\\
'''[[ChaoticEvil Richard]]''': Why are any of them still alive?\\
([[BeatPanel beat]])\\
'''Cale''': That's a little bit extreme.\\
'''[[CardCarryingVillain Richard]]''': You may be right... [[CrossesTheLineTwice What are your thoughts on]] [[RefugeInAudacity penning them up to use for mating]] [[EatsBabies and the creation of snacks?]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'':
** Monique and Slick are very self-centered, [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=276 can't even hold their eyes on each other]], don't really know what they want for more than a few minutes... yet [[GreenEyedMonster neither will allow anyone else to approach the other]].
** Monique looks at a guy she considers attractive, then [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=1870 he reminds of Slick, and finds this a turn-off]]. It's such a huge turn-off that [[HypocriticalHumor she starts hitting on him right on the next page]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Parodied, to great effect, in ''WebVideo/TheGuild''.
-->'''Vork:''' Women. Can't live with them -- they will not go out with me.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Francine and Stan to their sponsored African child, Tungee, in ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad''. He shows up on their doorstep and quickly aggravates them with his overly sunny disposition. They ditch him at Costgo, only to realize how much they miss him. They go back to get him but he annoys them again on the car ride home so they jump out of the car to get away from him...only to immediately complain that they miss Tungee again.
** This is also the general relationship between Stan and Roger, as is especially shown the episode "You Debt Your Life" where Stan saves Roger's life repaying him for when Roger did the same years prior and kicks him out, it soon becomes clear Stan misses him and, reaching to a point where he rents the attic out to Andy Dick who acts just the same as Roger and eventually ([[ItMakesSenseInContext after losing and regrowing both of his legs]]) Stan finally admits that despite Roger bugging him he likes having him around just didn't want to admit it, and until Hayley pointed it out he didn't even remember the debt.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}''
** On one episode this is parodied when Yakko, Wakko and Dot tell their latest victim, who is begging them to leave, that he'll "be lonely when they're gone". Predictably, after they leave, the man bawls "I'm lonely!"
** This was also done ''to'' the Warners in a different episode: they are followed around all day by an extremely dull man who continually tells a long, rambling story in a monotone voice. No matter where they run, they can't get away from him. Finally, at the end of the episode, he suddenly finishes his story and leaves. The three of them just sit in stunned silence for a few minutes, then declare "It's too quiet!" and go running after the man begging him to come back.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'': Creator/MarkHamill describes the relationship between ComicBook/TheJoker and ComicBook/HarleyQuinn this way.
-->"Expressing emotion in any way that's real and meaningful is alien to the Joker, but he's learning those parts of himself, however unconsciously, through Harley. On a physical level they're dynamite together. A lot of relationships are defined by that. Two people may be really horrible for each other, but physically they push each other's buttons so clearly they can't get enough of that person."
* ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory'':
** In "Spacecase", Dexter volunteers Dee Dee to go with the aliens in space. Along with realizing she may get harmed by the aliens, he begins to miss her and admits he can't even work at his lab without her presence. This prompts him to go and rescue her from the aliens.
** In the episode "Dee Dee and the Man", Dexter 'fires' Dee Dee and joyously works in his lab without her interference. After a montage of repeatedly doing the same thing, his energetic joy fades until he's depressed and starts looking for a new annoying sister. Eventually, Dee Dee is rehired at the end of the episode.
* WesternAnimation/TheDisneyAfternoon
** Scrooge (''WesternAnimation/DuckTales1987'') and Darkwing (''WesternAnimation/DarkwingDuck'') both have this relationship with Launchpad [=McQuack=] (in a platonic sense). Both initially start working with him just because they need a pilot[[note]]"Launchpad's First Crash" and "Darkly Dawns the Duck", respectively[[/note]] and are exasperated by his CloudCuckoolander side. But whenever Launchpad leaves (even if they ''told'' him to leave) or some kind of danger threatens to take him away from them, they don't like it at all. Launchpad is not an example as he rarely gets annoyed with either of his bosses[=/=]friends.
** A major theme in the relationship between cargo pilot Baloo and his boss Rebecca Cunningham or "Becky" as he likes to call her on ''WesternAnimation/TaleSpin''. They argue over various things during the series at least half of it stemming from the old SnobsVsSlobs theme but Rebecca is so physically and emotionally dependent on Baloo to help her run the company ''Higher For Hire'' that whenever he isn't there to do the long term heavy lifting the operation tends to fall apart or at least come to a halt.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': Stewie sings "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face" in a ShoutOut to ''Theatre/MyFairLady'' when Lois leaves him home alone to campaign for the school board.
* ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold''
** Helga and Arnold technically have a one-sided version of this. At ''least'' OnceAnEpisode, we see Helga slip off into private to deliver a [[TastesLikeDiabetes flowery, romantic poetic rant about her yearning for her one true love]], usually following a statement to the tune of "What a twerp, what a loser, what a football-headed dweeb. How I hate him. [[HereWeGoAgain And yet...]]"
** And then we have the episode where Helga drinks an 'anti-love potion' to erase her feelings for Arnold, and stops bullying him. Cue an [[WeWantOurJerkBack extremely disturbed]] Arnold.
* One of the unfinished episodes of ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'', called "Mopiness of Doom", has something like this. Dib decides to drop paranormal investigation and pursue "real science." Zim, finally being free of the one person that constantly ruins his plans, enjoys his newfound freedom for a while, but soon becomes unmotivated to continue coming up with new evil plans without someone trying to stop him. Meanwhile, Dib has a hard time concentrating on "real science" since he still loves para-science and eventually gives that up and goes back to hunting Zim. Zim is confronted by Dib again and is overjoyed that he's back. The episode concludes with the two happily slinging insults at each other.
* In ''WesternAnimation/KaBlam'', despite being his friend, June seems to get a kick out of hurting or watching Henry get hurt. However, in an episode where he leaves the show, June finds herself crying over missing him.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'': Mr. Cat claims to find Kaeloo too annoying and [[YouTalkTooMuch talkative]], but in the episode "Let's Play Courtroom Drama", [[spoiler: [[AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther when Kaeloo decides to leave Smileyland, he tries to stop her, even if doing so meant confessing to a crime he had previously claimed to be innocent of.]]]]
* Subverted in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/MyGymPartnersAMonkey''. Principal Pixiefrog starts saying "Women! You can't live with 'em..." He pauses, and we expect him to say "You can't live without 'em," but then he says "That's all. You can't live with 'em."
* ''WesternAnimation/PinkyAndTheBrain''. Brain insults Pinky frequently and takes every opportunity possible to bop him with whatever solid object is convenient, but should Pinky wind up missing or genuinely hurt, Brain truly feels bad for his companion. In the Halloween episode, Pinky gives himself up to a malicious supernatural entity so that Brain can take over the world, and Brain gives it all up in order to get Pinky back.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** One of the later Sideshow Bob episodes shows Bob realizing that he can't kill Bart. He's grown accustomed to his faaaaace...
** The titular family is also a great example. They love each other, but they drive each other crazy.
* In the "WesternAnimation/SouthPark" episode "Smug Alert", it turns out that this is how Cartman feels about Kyle. Of course, typical Cartman being Cartman, this isn't because he secretly cares for him but rather misses the amusement their rivalry brings (generally due to how Kyle reacts).
* In the ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' episode "Squidville" Squidward is tired of [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick bothering him and ruining his day, the last straw for him is when they accidentally destroy his house he sees an ad on TV for Squidville which is full of Squidpeople like him. At first he finds it relaxing and comfortable but after a while he gets bored of it. Later he pines for [=SpongeBob=] and Patrick to come back and cause a little chaos. When they don't, he starts causing the chaos and eventually gets kicked out of the town.
* ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'': The titular duo are pretty much like this by default. One example is the short "The Lonesome Mouse" has Tom getting evicted from the house. Jerry is initially delighted, but comes to realize that he's bored stiff without his adversary, and schemes to get him back in Mammy Two Shoes' good graces.
* This is what defines Larry and Tuddrussell's relationship in ''WesternAnimation/TimeSquad''.
* WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated: Also doubles as a [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments funny moment]].
--> '''Ratchet''': Young Bots... Can't live with them, can't melt them down for spare parts.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* Sadly, most [[DysfunctionalFamily dysfunctional families]] work this way.
** [[DownplayedTrope Downplayed]], however, in most ordinary families. It's normal to have squabbles once in a while and anger can definitely make you feel like someone is insufferable. Doesn't mean they are, though.
* Mathematics. With it, [[EverybodyHatesMathematics it's a pain in the brain]]. Without it, [[Series/NedsDeclassifiedSchoolSurvivalGuide we would live like cavemen eating mud]].
* School and work. Exhausting for the most part, yet you learn something, you socialize with people, get opportunities, and earn something.
* Rain. It may give you depression and misfortune oftentimes, but it's better getting wet than getting drought and scorching land.
* The relationship between predators and prey. Predators will kill prey, but without them the prey would overpopulate.
* Humans. While [[HumansAreBastards humans may suck]] at times, they are needed to make society function. After all, humans are social creatures.
* Taxes. While no one (especially right wingers) likes paying taxes, without them states could not pay for roads and other infrastructure spending, police and military protection, and much more.
* Advertisements. Annoying, intrusive, misleading, or all three at once, but without it, people can't buy your products and businesses will have no profit from it. [[strike:Except for pop-up ads and surveys when you want to download something; they need to be eradicated off the face of the earth.]]
* Pets. More often than not they can be infuriatingly annoying, if not downright destructive, but losing a pet after living with it for a while can (and most likely will) result in loneliness, as well as the urge to get a new one.