->'''[[Characters/SonicTheHedgehogTeamSonic Sonic]]''': [''to Shadow''] Hey, buddy! I'm so happy you're still okay, that's great! Say, we were just on our way to Eggman.
->'''[[Characters/SonicTheHedgehogGUN Shadow]]''': So are we.
->'''Sonic''': Huh. Let's kill each other!
->'''Shadow''': DIE!
-->-- '' VideoGame/SonicHeroes [[WebAnimation/SonicInXMinutes in minutes]]''

A character introduces or provokes conflict for reasons which are weak or which contradict previous characterization.

For example, why is Alice--TheLancer--[[CommanderContrarian arguing]] with Bob--TheBigGuy--about his plan to [[StormingTheCastle infiltrate the enemy base?]] Alice actually suggested similar plans before. In fact, it's her favorite kind of plan, so why is she disagreeing with Bob ''now''? She never says. Alice's behavior is entirely plot mandated: now she can [[IneffectualLoner go off on her own, screw up]], [[DistressBall get captured and need rescue]], and then [[AnAesop learn a valuable lesson]] [[ThePowerOfFriendship about teamwork]]. For added annoyance, Alice might [[AesopAmnesia forget all about it]] just in time to be handed the Conflict Ball ''again''.

{{Conflict}} is the driving force of a story. Unfortunately, [[SturgeonsLaw not all writers are good at pulling it off]]. So we often get conflict out of nowhere or conflict based on trite or contrived reasons, as if the characters had simply picked up a ball (hence the trope name). Much like PoorCommunicationKills, this is done to keep the plot moving, or at the least to [[{{Railroading}} steer it along]] to where the author wants it to go.

This trope almost always involves a character suddenly gaining a HairTriggerTemper momentarily. This temper comes out of nowhere and more often than not, ''[[OutOfCharacterMoment isn't]]'' [[OutOfCharacterMoment one of the character's personality traits]], so he/she/it comes across as an instigator who wants to start a fight.

TheLoad, the IneffectualLoner, and CommanderContrarian often carry this Ball, being belligerent and contrary for no apparent reason, or to OvercomeTheirDifferences with the leader.

When there is some ''actual effect'' or force compelling the characters to fight, that's a HatePlague.

Compare RuleOfDrama, IdiotBall, AppleOfDiscord, OutOfCharacterMoment, LetsYouAndHimFight.

See also DesignatedHero, DesignatedVillain.

Now since this trope involves contrivance, this is not technically possible in real life.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', Usopp is adamant about not abandoning the ''Going Merry'', despite admitting that he knew it couldn't be fixed, because it was a present from his sick friend, a reminder of his hometown, and he knew it was sentient. Luffy can't keep sailing with a doomed ship, but he is quite undiplomatic about his decision to let it go, going out of his way to avoid admitting that he himself had been unwilling to accept that the ship was doomed. Luffy even silences Nami when she tries to explain his point of view to Usopp, which makes it easier for Usopp to perceive Luffy as being heartless.
** The ''Going Merry'' [[spoiler:fixes itself in the Skypeia Arc and Usopp knows that too]]. It's plain heartless to abandon it, but at the same time still sailing in it is plain brainless (and Luffy is not THAT brainless). Franky [[spoiler: even points out it's better FOR THE SHIP to abandon it, because if the crew it loves sinks with it, the ship will not find peace]]. Usopp's denial is part of his character personality [[FreudianExcuse based on his own side story]]. Eventually Usopp learns that [[spoiler: things like this happen and he has to learn from this, not deny it or lie to himself]] leading to a moment of redemption, yes, this one, at the end of Water Seven Arc [[spoiler: he's still a coward and fights with deception, but now he doesn't make excuses for his coward personality; he now accepts he is a coward. Plain and simple]].
* The Soul Society in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' does more than occasionally show fondness for this trope as Captain Yamamoto and Central 46 have been considered to do this before. Though some are willing to contest the former, the latter not so much.
** Which is a little odd considering how little the Central 46 have actually been in it; their biggest mistake was exiling Urahara for a crime he didn't commit, but was expertly framed for by [[spoiler:Aizen]]. In the Soul Society arc they were presented as ruthless pedantic to the point of LawfulStupid, if not plain evil, in wanting Rukia dead, but this too was a ploy by [[spoiler: Aizen as he had actually murdered all of them already and had taken their place]].
*** The problem with these is that between Yamamoto and Central 46, one will suggest a plan of action and the other will agree out of respect, seemingly without taking into consideration whether this plan was good or not. Also, almost every problem encountered in, say, the movies, the fillers, and many in the canon are their fault. In the Bount arc, it's revealed that Central 46 ordered genocide of the Bounts because they ''might'' eat human souls to get stronger, despite the fact that they didn't really show any definite desire to do this. In the second movie, Central 46 decided that since Hitsugaya and his friend had the same Zanpakuto in two different forms, that one of them needed to die... for some unexplained reason. When Urahara tried to blame [[spoiler:Aizen]], Central 46 informed him they had collected witness statements from ''200 shinigami'' to confirm [[spoiler:Aizen]]'s whereabouts at the time in question. Urahara didn't have a leg to stand on, especially as he was caught "red handed" with the forbidden hollowfication research (and victims). Revealed earlier in the series, but chronologically later, forging this would be child's play for [[spoiler:Aizen]].
** Uryu Ishida [[spoiler:joins the [[PuttingOnTheReich Vandenreich]], a Quincy Empire, during the final arc. It's clear from the start that he's just there to avenge his mother, so the BigBad Yhwach declares him [[KickedUpstairs successor to the throne]] to keep him on a short leash from the harsh scrutiny of his subordinates. Without any real plan to fight Yhwach for most of the arc (he eventually decides on collapsing a castle that wasn't created until well over halfway into the arc, and that was sabotaged before it went anywhere), Uryu picks a fight with his friends twice just to force a subplot over bringing him out of his supposed HeelFaceTurn.]]
* [[WhatAnIdiot Certain viewers]] have noticed in ''Anime/ProjectAKo'' on how B-Ko's desire for C-Ko probably would have gone better if she didn't antagonize A-Ko so much. One might think that while conflict is an absolute necessity in an action story but then [[FridgeLogic you realize]] that B-Ko wasn't exactly the main antagonist in the 1st movie.
* Mousse from ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' is almost always in conflict with the titular protagonist, which is absurd when you realize that their primary goals regarding Shampoo coincide perfectly. They have literally no reason to fight, since (aside from his massive ego) Ranma should love an opportunity to remove one unwanted love interest, and Mousse should be happy to have at least one ally who will want to see Shampoo end up with Mousse. But that would be too easy, so instead Mousse is too blind to see the reality, and Ranma just responds as usual to someone attacking him.
* In the ''Manga/{{Area 88}}'' manga, it seems implausible to have Shin go into temporary psychosis upon learning that Kanzaki was flying a commercial plane near the base. Nor was it plausible for a frenzied Shin to attack said commercial plane, then attack Saki and Mickey once he was back on the ground.
* Heero Yuy in ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'' is normally TheStoic and in perfect control of his emotions, to the point where another character remarks "Everything he does is thorough and well thought-out." However, this obviously isn't the case in Episode 7, where he impulsively attacks an airplane supposedly containing TheFederation's leadership (and acts quite smug while doing so), falling right into [[TheChessmaster Treize]]'s trap and actually killing the people who wanted to make peace with the space colonies, which sets up the conflict for the rest of the series.
* Jeremy from ''Manga/ACruelGodReigns'' tends to do this often to Ian, picking fights with him for seemingly no reason and attempting to seduce him, although considering his {{Dark and Troubled Past}}, this could be passable.
* In ''LightNovel/HaiyoreNyarkoSan'', the trio of [[UnwantedHarem Nyarko, Cuuko, and Hasta]] are always being clingy and disruptive, to the annoyance of [[OnlySaneMan Mahiro]]. However, they take it even further in episode 11 of the second TV series, when Mahiro is asked by his mother to babysit a young alien girl named Guthatan. While he does his best to look after the child, the other three are acting even worse than normal, with Cuuko constantly harassing Mahiro to make her breakfast while Hasta gets extremely jealous of how much attention Guthatan is getting. Nyarko gets it even worse, acting even more jealous than Hasta and at one point jumping to the conclusion that Mahiro [[{{Squick}} had sex with Guthatan]]. While the conflict ''is'' a plot point, only one small element ([[spoiler:Guthatan getting a cut on her forehead during a battle where Nyarko ''et al.'' went overboard]]) is explained; the rest of it comes off as if the trio just woke up that morning and decided to be as selfish and annoying as possible. And this isn't even mentioning the things they did earlier, like loudly playing video games in Mahiro's room while he was trying to sleep.
* In episode three of ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'' Allen seems to carry one around him constantly. After hearing Hitomi's scream Van comes running to find Allen holding her unconscious in his arms. Not only does Allen refuse to explain the situation he actually threatens Van when Van starts to draw his sword. Unsurprisingly, Van attacks. By the end of the episode Allen has revealed that Van's kingdom was destroyed in a surprise attack and makes no suggestion that Allen or his country will help Van. Van gets into his titular mecha to go back to his people, only to find Allen waiting to stop him... for literally no reason.
* Parodied in one ''Anime/FairyTail'' filler episode, Juvia buys a dodgy love potion that acts as this, causing truly random declarations of rivalry. Some are rather plausible, like Mirajane vs. Erza, but then you have Erza vs. wooden post (because it wouldn't move out of her way), Makarov vs. alcohol (because it got him drunk), and [[spoiler: Gray vs. The Horizon (he ends up on Galuna Island)]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The ComicBook/CivilWar in Creator/MarvelComics. Many characters are fighting over the issue of a SuperRegistrationAct, but insist on LetsYouAndHimFight with some of their fastest friends rather than getting their act together to prove their case (pro or anti) and finding a solution that doesn't result in very necessary heroes being hunted down like dogs, or ''more'' battles as the pro and anti sides fight and invariably give villains free rein in the chaos. In the end, the Pro side got {{Designated Villain}}s to [[DebateAndSwitch simplify the debate]].
** Also, one of the ''leading advocates'' of the new SuperRegistrationAct, [[ComicBook/FantasticFour Reed Richards]], had previously [[AesopAmnesia singlehandedly thwarted an attempt at what was apparently the exact same thing]]. While it's hard to be sure since Marvel never bothered to tell readers ''exactly'' what was in the new version (or the old one for that matter), and it was inconsistently described from one comic to the next, the only thing we know for sure is different between the two is that the version Reed ''supports'' involves [[DesignatedHero permanently imprisoning violators in what amounts to]] '''[[DesignatedHero Hell]]''', while the one he opposed did not.
*** Johnny even angrily points this out to Reed in Creator/{{Dwayne McDuffie}}'s ''Fantastic Four'' tie-in to the event. He also notes that not only does Reed routinely disobey the law in order to serve the greater good, but that the ''whole reason the Fantastic Four even exist is because he performed an unauthorized space launch''.
* ''ComicBook/AvengersVsXMen'' is this in SPADES to the point where people are hoping for a huge retcon to make it all a fever dream or something. The main conflict comes from the Phoenix coming back to Earth to find a new host, which most likely will be Comicbook/HopeSummers, the Mutant Messiah. The Avengers decide that they must stop it, since the Phoenix is killing people on its way back, and they want to take Hope off-world. The X-Men want Hope to stay on Earth so that she can repopulate the mutant race. The plot kicks off with the Avengers, particularly Comicbook/CaptainAmerica, deciding to take the reigns of the destiny of the mutant race, even though they've never shown much concern for mutants. But wait, you could just have Cap tell Cyclops to have Hope meet the Phoenix in space, which would lower the risk... Instead he shows up on Utopia and demands that Cyclops hand over his granddaughter... Cyclops then blasts Cap, Cap then calls in back up, Cyclops does the same, Hope runs away, and loads and loads of fighting ensues. The rest of the plot consists of the Avengers [[BullyingADragon antagonizing the X-Men who possess the Phoenix]], which was [[NiceJobBreakingItHero split thanks to]] ComicBook/IronMan. You may have noticed that, if both sides had sat down and talked this over like actual adults, then there would've been no problem. The plot can be summed up as follows:
-->'''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica''': AvengersAssemble!
-->'''{{ComicBook/Cyclops}}''': To me, my X-Men!
--> *Punch punch punch*
** It gets worse. ComicBook/RachelSummers used the Phoenix for years with no ill effects. Comicbook/{{Wolverine}} knows this. Wolverine is an Avenger, and, in fact, is the guy who gave Cap his intel... His horribly outdated and bias intel. The conflict requires both sides to ignore the existence of Rachel Summers, her history and basically most Phoenix-related stories outside of ''Comicbook/TheDarkPhoenixSaga''. You may think that the writers merely forgot about Rachel... Except that she is still a prominent character in the X-books, and ''she actually has a role in the story''. She just never speaks up about the Phoenix for no apparent reason.
* In a ComicBook/BlackPanther comic, T'Challa is explaining his plan to take out a vampire infested city to Comicbook/{{Luke Cage|HeroForHire}}, Brother Voodoo and Comicbook/{{Blade}}. Blade tells T'Challa that just because he runs a country doesn't mean he can tell him what to do. Cage says Blade is being difficult for no reason since he doesn't have a plan. Blade admits to it and says he just doesn't want to be part of a team. So T'Challa tells Blade to go off on his own and this immediately puts him in a good mood, so good he gives Luke Cage one of his guns before leaving.
** Blade and John Blaze also traded the conflict ball around in the various Midnight Sons series. One notable example was after Blade had a possession exorcised and returned with information vital to the team but Blaze wouldn't hear any of it and threatened to shoot him.
* The Lehrigen arc in ''ComicBook/ElfQuest'' pushed this to pretty extreme levels: Scouter's rebellion against Ember was not only extremely out of character (although he has been {{flanderiz|ation}}ed into a complete asshole over time), but pretty much against everything the elves stand for.
* In the ''ComicBook/BirdsOfPrey'' series, Comicbook/{{Huntress}} is a living Conflict Ball between Franchise/{{Batman}} and Oracle. Batman is always suspicious of Helena thanks to her past (she killed mobsters in her campaign to avenge her parents -- who were also mobsters), and Oracle is always willing to give her a chance.
* ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'' have had some infamous problems under [[WriterOnBoard Ian]] [[RunningTheAsylum Flynn]]:
** Issue 178-179, the House of Acorn imprisons Tails' dad for wanting to reform the government, invoking the Prowers to become hostile with the heroes, especially Sonic, who runs his bad mouth and supports the monarch. Tails suddenly becomes unfriendly to his otherwise big brother, however, over a whole different reason: [[spoiler: he is holding grudge against Sonic for him stealing his {{Love Interest|s}} despite that Fiona Fox always treated him like dirt and despite he was on a very friendly term with him on Antoine's wedding, only few episodes prior.]]
** Sally's infamous yelling at Sonic for calling off their wedding to keep his active role in the Freedom Fighters. Problem #1: This isn't Sonic's first attempt to ditch a wedding, and back then it was treated as a joke. Problem #2: Sally pulling her happiness over her subjects and angsting over it are huge out of character moments. Problem #3: There's no real consequences following the slap then [[RomanticPlotTumor heightened tension of their romance]], since apparently they soon go back to the healthy boss-subordinate relationship afterward.
* Franchise/{{Batman}} and [[Franchise/GreenLantern Hal Jordan]] were not always at odds. The rationale for Batman disliking Green Lantern was initially because Batman did not trust Hal after he became [[DemonicPossession Parallax]]. But that eventually got {{Retcon}}ned so that they never liked each other from the start, with little convincing justification as to why. John Stewart once claimed that it was because Batman's main schtick is instilling fear, and Hal, having the ability to "overcome great fear", never "bought what he was selling". But that doesn't explain why Batman doesn't dislike Franchise/{{Superman}}, Franchise/WonderWoman, Franchise/TheFlash, or any number of other superheroes who also don't seem to be afraid of him. The New 52 Justice League {{Reboot}}ed version seems to suggest that Batman doesn't like Green Lantern because he's a JerkWithAHeartOfGold.
* Mary Jane went from supporting, loving partner to Franchise/SpiderMan who understood his need to be a hero, to someone who all of a sudden couldn't handle the pressure and questioned his accomplishments, even belittling the "With Great Power..." mantra. She finally left Spider-Man being threatened by an average thug (despite being attacked by villains such as Venom, the Green Goblin and Spider-Slayers) with the argument that she couldn't deal with the notion that her life could be in danger. She's recently realized that she does love Peter, but for some reason has yet to actually tell him this. And when she does, [[Comicbook/SuperiorSpiderMan Peter's not entirely home.]] It gets worse once Peter DOES get back: once Peter explains everything, Mary Jane reveals she kinda figured that and reaffirms that being with him and being in danger is ridiculous and goes off with her boyfriend. Even more, Carlie Cooper decides to wander off as well, deciding that living away from Peter and this sort of crap is a good thing.
* As a general rule, this occurs more often than not when two heroes encounter each other while working different ends of the same case. No matter how many times they've teamed up before, something will cause the two to brawl for five minutes before realizing they should team up.
* Tortuous Convolvulus of ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}} and the Roman Agent'' is a living example. He can cause people go at each other's throats just by standing in front of them and doing nothing. After seeing his ability to cause discord in action, Caesar hires him to destroy Asterix's village, something he comes very close to accomplishing.
* ComicBook/{{Supergirl}} catches the ball and flies away with it in ''ComicBook/HelOnEarth''. She cannot accept the fact that she's been in stasis for twenty years and that her formerly baby cousin (Superman) has grown up in that time. As such she refuses to listen to anything he says. This came back to bite her in the ass when [[spoiler: she ended up in a relationship with H'El despite everyone else telling her that it was a bad idea]]. Although Superman and the Justice League aren't exactly faultless here either, ignoring several opportunities to explain ''why'' she shouldn't trust H'El and letting her go on believing that they're trying to stop the two of them from going back in time and saving their home planet from destruction just ''because''.
* In the ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'' arc "Homeschooling", Victor, in a stupid attempt to impress Nico, causes an accident that kills Old Lace and causes Klara to lose control of her powers, burying the Runaways' house in vines. Naturally, Chase is pissed off, but because nobody realizes that the accident was Victor's fault, he blames Klara. Inexplicably, Victor takes his side in the ensuing debate about what to do to bring Klara's powers under control, going so far as to suggest that they "take the kid gloves off" (which presumably means "beat the crap out of her until she retracts the vines".) It's inexplicable because 1) There's no indication that he's aware that he caused the accident, and thus he has no real incentive to support scapegoating her, and 2) Assuming that he still wants Nico to take him back, advocating the beating of a badly-traumatized eleven-year-old girl is probably not going to win him any points.
* ''ComicBook/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTheRift'' features the Gaang constantly at each other's throats over minor disagreements, though thankfully this isn't actually the main story and they all apologize by the end of issue 1 as the real conflict arrives.
* In ''[[ComicBook/{{Swordquest}} Swordquest: Fireworld]]'', twin orphans Torr and Tarra have an argument shortly after arriving and go their separate ways. There is no rhyme or reason for this other than to separate them for the sake of the plot, and it's even lampshaded when they wonder why they were suddenly short-tempered.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* In ''FanFic/MyImmortal'', everything everyone does seems to be a bit arbitrary and stupid, but the conflicts bear special mention. Dumbledore appears to be portrayed as a prep because he's not goffik enough, and therefore he must hate all goffs and act cruel and mean to them, [[ForTheEvulz just because]]. [[BigBad Voldemort]] also appears to be the story's seeker in terms of conflict balls.
* Much to the dismay of the four in ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone: The Soft World'', the entire ''world'' seems to be holding a Conflict Ball. Even their attempts to avoid conflict often result in conflict. For example, the first day they're there, just by walking around and doing nothing even the slightest bit confrontational, they're attacked five times. (Six if you count the quasi- NoodleIncident when George describes how he was carrying Ringo back from the mesa and they were set upon by flying lizards that Ringo chased off).
* A chronic problem with bad FixFic, where the conflicts the author didn't like are removed but then the characters have to do ''something'' for the rest of the fic.

* In ''Film/AWomanOfParis'', both Marie and Jean's fathers are violently opposed to them getting married. There's no clue why, as they both seem perfectly nice and are much in love.
* In ''Film/TheCossacks'', no one respects Lukashka, the chief's son, because he won't go with them on raids against the Turks. This creates a lot of tension and problems for Lukashka both with his dad and with his girlfriend. However, the film never explains why Lukashka won't go fight the Turks. When he finally does, he really likes it and he's really good at it.
* ''Film/TeamAmericaWorldPolice'' spoofed this. One of the guys had a problem with the new guy, and he eventually told the new guy his improbable reason he had a problem with actors, although that traumatic event should have made him hate furries instead.
* George A. Romero just ''loved'' tossing this one onto the court in ''Film/NightOfTheLivingDead1968''. It wasn't guaranteed to get everyone killed, but it never helped their situation to stand around and quibble.
* In the ''Franchise/StarWars'' movies, the Jedi Council are more or less good people. Sticklers for the rules perhaps, and maybe they should have kept a closer eye on their Chosen One, but at the end of the day, they tried to do the right thing. In much of the ExpandedUniverse however, they don't just carry the Conflict Ball, they play intense games of [[{{Flanderization}} Volley Conflict Ball at a moment's notice]].
** Example: In ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic 2'', the Exile has to visit three hidden Jedi and convince them to band together and help fight the Sith. Individually they all agree with you that the Sith need to be fought. Once you get them together, however, they come to the conclusion that because the Exile's nature as a void in the Force might bring about the death of the Force itself, they turn their attention towards the Exile. Their rationalizations are fair enough but are jarring given how much the Sith have them backed into a corner.
** The Ruusan Reformations. This is where you see the movies' Order come to be from the KOTOR-era Order. Much stricter, less flexible, and a bunch of new rules that make conflict virtually impossible to avoid. (No love on pain of expulsion? Really?) This is where the Jedi stopped growing and became static/stagnant.
** The post-''ROTJ'' EU runs off this trope, particularly ''Literature/LegacyOfTheForce''. It doesn't matter how many Aesops the Galaxy has learned. It doesn't matter how many planets are devastated, how many populations eradicated, or how many governments toppled. There will always be one planet that feels the need to wage war for absolutely asinine reasons.
*** See also the Council during the ''Literature/FateOfTheJedi'' series. Internal politics and hypocritical bickering between members, rash judgments and plans that are enacted without considering the obvious, sensible alternatives, aggressive approaches to undo plots of a villain who could be handled without the need to lift a lightsaber. It gets pretty bad.
** In ''Film/TheLastJedi'', Poe Dameron and Amilyn Holdo spend most of their storyline tossing the Conflict Ball back and forth, each needlessly antagonizing the situation until it escalates to [[spoiler:a full-blown mutiny that indirectly gets the majority of the Resistance killed.]] This is despite the fact that both are trusted allies of Leia, both are [[DudeWheresMyRespect responsible for significant victories for the Resistance]], and Holdo even admits [[spoiler:laughingly that she likes Poe after all, immediately after said mutiny no less (!!).]]
* ''Film/BrideWars'' has the two protagonists have their weddings for the same date and the same place. The two have been best friends for years, but they now suddenly don't want their identical dream weddings to be combined in what would be an awesome double wedding. WebVideo/BadMovieBeatdown had a field day pointing out how arbitrary it was, to the point of a gaping PlotHole.
* ''Film/TheOddLifeOfTimothyGreen'': Timothy makes friends with Joni, the girl he has a crush on, and the two have a great deal of fun together. But Tim's parents quickly turn against her upon seeing them be friends because... they don't want their son to have friends, maybe? It makes even less sense considering that they were afraid Joni would bully him because Timothy had accidentally kicked her in the face, so why would they still be hostile to her when they see she's forgiven him?
* ''Film/LostInSpace'' had the father go from merely being neglectful of his son Will to outright dismissing anything he has to say, even when he should at least address some of those things.
* ''Film/WildWildWest''. Sure it was their first assignment, but Jim West and Artemus Gordon's fighting came across as petty instead of natural differences in their characters.
* ''{{Film/Apollo 13}}'' has astronauts Jack Swigert and Fred Haise argue over what may have caused their mission's accident. In real life, no such arguments occurred at all, and was added because WordOfGod thought [[RealityIsUnrealistic it didn't seem right]] that they were completely together through the rest of the mission. It is ultimately {{justified|Trope}} afterwards, when they discover their [=CO2=] levels have gone up considerably and it's affecting their judgment.
* In ''Film/AKnightsTale'' William picks a fight with Jocelyn for no good reason, presumably so he can spend the next half-hour trying to win her back via a beautiful love letter.
* In ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}'', [[spoiler:Loki's spear]] seems to act as a literal, physical conflict ball, escalating trivial disagreements and dislikes into full-fledged hostility. While it fails to permanently turn the team against each other, it does occupy them for a good while, distracts them from the incoming reinforcements, and [[spoiler:makes Banner more vulnerable to Hulking out during the attack]].
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' has several examples making several important supporting characters in direct conflict with the main protagonists. Among the victims are Faramir, Théoden, Elrond, and Treebeard, all of whom become road-blocks to the main characters to a greater or lesser extent. Justified for some examples, as the One Ring acts as a conflict ball in order to sow dissent amongst its enemies in hopes of either being reunited with its master or finding a new master to serve.
* Becky in ''Film/LittleGiants'' comes up with the idea to form a new football team out of spite of her uncle not choosing her for his team, despite her incredible skills, simply because she's a girl. She also decides that her dad Danny needs to be the coach of this team, and has to talk him into it because he's not enthusiastic about doing it. But towards the latter half of the movie, Becky abruptly quits the Little Giants and gives Danny a scathing TheReasonYouSuckSpeech, accusing him of caring more about the team than her. This conflict really only served to create tension leading up to the big game, but considering that forming the team had been ''Becky's'' idea and Becky, ''not Daniel'' had decided that Daniel should be the coach of the team, her tirade against him seems illogical.
* In the cheesy sci-fi movie ''Film/{{ROTOR}}'', the snarling Commander Bugler exists entirely for this purpose. He orders Barrett Coldyron to finish R.O.T.O.R. within sixty days, although the project is not slated to be complete for ''four years.''
* ''Film/SidewalkStories'': The hoods who murdered a man early in the film show up again towards the end, and kidnap the man's toddler daughter from the street artist who's been looking after her. It's not really clear why they do this.

* In Creator/RobertMerle's ''{{Literature/Malevil}}'', the conflict ball is given to Catie. A [[TheTease shameless tease]], frequently undermining discipline, arguing against Emmanuel, and causing problems for her husband Thomas, Emmanuel's second in command.
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', it is often averted or played straight, depending upon your point of view. Despite the obvious rise and return of the Dark One, the many factions in the world bicker and fight each other rather than teaming up. Could be viewed as an aversion, as the entire series seems to be a response to classic fantasy series like LOTR, where political and philosophical differences are just too great to easily set everything aside and band together against the approaching evil. However, a straight example of this trope is Egwene's opposition to Rand's plan to destroy the remaining seals. Although it's a curious plan that's a bit outside the box, it never shows her even considering why Rand wants to do it or to try communicating with him to discuss the matter. She just immediately dismisses it as a horrible idea and sets about trying to turn everyone against him, all for the sake of conflict. This was finally (and ''thankfully!'') averted and eventually deliberately invoked (in-universe) towards the end of the series with Rand sending Perrin on mission and hiding it by publicly getting into a petty argument with him and concealing [[spoiler: the fact that he was Elayne's children's father]] by publicly avoiding her.
* James Corvidae, in ''Literature/{{Pact}}'', has this as his explicit superpower. A spirit who is speculated to have been created by the First Nations as vengeance against intruding Europeans, he has the ability to magically reassign the connections between objects-a treasured heirloom will find its way, legally and fairly, into the hand of another, or a lover will break it off to go be with someone else. In the story, he convinces a fire elemental belonging to a group of elementalists to take up shop in the [[PostModernMagik skywriting equipment]] of one of their allies, leading to conflict over who gets to keep the equipment and the elemental.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/TheWestWing'' episode "Isaac and Ishmael", the normally calm, moral and - of course - liberal Leo [=McGarry=] character has to turn into a ranting strawman of a right-wing ideologue for plot purposes. It should be pointed out that the actors give a small speech at the beginning that openly states that it doesn't fit into the regular continuity.
* In an episode of ''Series/ClarissaExplainsItAll'', she wanted a job, but the parents kept saying no. They gave no reason, even when asked, and they eventually relented for no stated reason either. That might have been justified, as the show was largely seen through her PointOfView.
* Ray Kowalski of ''Series/DueSouth'' in "Mounty on the Bounty," when he seemed to pick a fight with Fraser out of nowhere. The conflict just wasn't convincing.
* Some of the series in the New Generation of ''Franchise/KamenRider'' are particularly bad at this when it comes to provoking battles between Riders. They more or less have a rule that ''any'' given pair of Riders must fight at least once during the series (preferably more), no matter the cost in terms of character and story consistency. This is especially the case in works written by Creator/ToshikiInoue.
** This trend was however finally averted in ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'' and seemingly every show afterwards, with the Second Rider only having minor disagreements at worst with the main Rider.
** In ''Series/KamenRiderFourze'', Yuki Jojima is normally an outer space {{Otaku}} who, despite being quite {{genki|Girl}}, is knowledgeable enough about space to impress even the school principal, himself a former astronaut. This all goes out the window in the Aquarius arc, where she suddenly becomes a screeching, annoying lunatic who has to pray to "rocket gods" in order to pass a basic intelligence test, seemingly just to make her exactly the kind of person [[MonsterOfTheWeek Erin Suda]] despises. It's made even more blatant since Erin would probably get along with "normal Yuki" just fine -- as illustrated at the end of the arc, where they actually ''do'' become friends after the villains [[LaserGuidedAmnesia mind-wipe]] Erin following her defeat at the hands of Fourze.
** A massive example of this happens in the movie ''Film/HeiseiRiderVsShowaRiderKamenRiderWarsFeaturingSuperSentai'', where the old-school Kamen Riders abruptly show up and start attacking their modern successors while declaring that they're failures who have no right to call themselves Kamen Riders, not even bothering to explain anything beyond that. We eventually find out that the Heisei Riders' attachments to their dead friends are empowering [[Series/KamenRiderZX Badan]] (here recast as an ArmyOfTheDead), but the Showa Riders don't explain this until ''after'' Badan is defeated, and they '''still''' insist on fighting the Heisei Riders even afterwards. Notably, the film's treatment of the Showa Riders bothered Creator/HiroshiFujioka (star of the original ''Series/KamenRider'') so much that he co-wrote [[Film/KamenRider1 another movie]] in which his character is back to being a noble hero who has plenty of respect for those who followed in his footsteps.
* In ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'', Tommy and Jason suddenly stopped being able to work as a team for one episode, implying that they NEVER were able to work well together, so they could learn a valuable lesson of teamwork. It didn't use the IneffectualLoner path, but instead used a new variant of AllYourPowersCombined for the two of them to beat a monster without their mecha.
** Another version of this happens several years down the line in ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'', when after learning to work together as a team, some episode plot would revolve around the teammates disliking each other. This reached a new high in the SWAT two-parter when the bickering that occurred during the first part of the episode was pretty much unprecedented, even considering the fact that three of the Rangers were openly enemies of the other two in the beginning of the series brought together by an EnemyMine situation.
*** Part of ''Power Rangers''' problem is that a lot of these incidents is due to a case of converting ''Franchise/SuperSentai'' to ''Power Rangers''. For instance, in ''MMPR'', Tommy and Jason were friends after Tommy joined the team, yet in ''Series/KyoryuSentaiZyuranger'', their counterparts, Burai and Geki respectively, were brothers who had a falling out. Thus, a plot that worked for the Super Sentai version feels like this for Power Rangers.
* The character Steven Caldwell of ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' was, according to the actor, supposed to be more of a jerk in the original script. However, the actor subtly nicened him up a bit. Unfortunately the trade off was that whenever the script called for him to truly be a jerk, it often looked a little forced. One notable example is the episode ''Sateda'', in which Shepard claims that Caldwell doesn't value alien team members such as Ronin as much as earth members, a point that had never been hinted at before. Later subverted in a very clever way when the audience learned that [[spoiler: Caldwell was a goa'uld spy, normal Caldwell's personality was much more balanced]].
* Subverted with on ''Series/StargateSG1'', where Jack O'Neill suddenly starts acting like an uncaring, greedy jerk, and leaves the Stargate Program when reprimanded to join a group who steal alien technology. However, it later turns out that the whole thing is [[FakeDefector a trick to unearth said group]].
* In episode "Relics" of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', the normally levelheaded NiceGuy Geordi La Forge gets fed up with [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Scotty]] after about ten minutes. Even though Scotty is poking around and Geordi is (of course) under the thumb of ScottyTime, it's jarring to see Geordi yell at a man who is to engineers what Kirk is to captains. But it serves the purpose of pushing Scotty into a holodeck recreation of the original bridge to ruminate with Picard on being alone in the future.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' had an almost identical subversion with Tom Paris, showing him having more and more problems fitting in over a long arc culminating in his leaving Voyager to infiltrate an enemy group.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''. Sometimes conflict seems randomly shoehorned in among the characters just so the writers can meet some sort of mandatory drama quota.
** This was particularly glaring in Season 7, when Buffy and her cohort end up sharply at odds towards the end of the season. The most infamous example is how Buffy ends up kicked out of her own house in "Empty Places": the Potentials stage a coup voting for Faith to be put in charge instead of her after a perfect storm of failures is set up for Buffy ''and'' somehow all of the Scoobies have lost faith in her so none of them back her up (leading to Dawn of all people giving her the boot, which is particularly Conflict Ball as the episode didn't give her an excuse to turn on Buffy like the other Scoobies). Faith herself seems utterly stunned by the turn of events, as she'd only raised the argument because she had a few issues with Buffy's tactics. Also Spike, Buffy's biggest supporter, is noticeably absent on a mission for the episode just so they can have ''everyone else'' turn on her (which he promptly calls them on when he returns). It's undone within two episodes, making it even more jarring.
** Season 6 just may have been worse about this, particularly regarding [[spoiler: Xander and Anya's failed wedding]]. Or how about [[spoiler: Willow's magic addiction to try and justify her turn to the dark side after Tara is killed]]?
** There's a rather aggravating example in the Season 5 episode "Tough Love" where Willow and Tara suddenly get into a fight that comes out of nowhere so Tara can conveniently go out alone to get attacked by the BigBad.
** Let's just say that Joyce and Buffy's friends mishandled her return from LA on a thermonuclear level in Season 3's 'Dead Man's Party'. Joyce was an early S1 flake; Willow and Xander were their S6/7 selves four years early.
** Spike deliberately passes it around in the Season 4 episode "The Yoko Factor", making insinuating and subversive comments to make the Scoobies turn on each other and vent repressed feelings of anger and resentment that had been bottled up. He even lampshades the trope, pointing out that people latch onto one specific event or situation as a cause of strife, but that what really happens is that the event or situation is just an excuse to bring to the forefront issues that were there all along.
* There's an episode of ''Series/AllInTheFamily'' in which Mike, the show's resident liberal, abruptly reveals a stay-in-the-kitchen attitude toward women that runs contrary to his character. The purpose of this revelation is to create conflict between him and Gloria.
* One episode of ''Series/SavedByTheBell: The College Years'' has Slater discover he actually has Mexican heritage. He out of nowhere accuses Zack of being racist because Zack tries to set him up with a blonde girl. He actually says "why do you only think girls with blonde hair and blue eyes are attractive? I've dated girls with dark hair and dark eyes". This is completely ignoring that the love of Zack's life was brunette and that he dated girls of many ethnicities in high school, including their black friend Lisa. Slater spends the whole episode being overly sensitive and Zack is presented as the one who needs to learn the Aesop.
* In ''Series/TheAddamsFamily'', a scene in "Cousin Itt and the Vocational Counselor" has Morticia and Gomez pretending to be a bickering couple and then Morticia, who's usually level-headed, starts to take Gomez seriously and gets ''seriously'' peeved at him, even to the point of not letting him go to bed in their room. Even when they reconcile, it's because Gomez admitted to being a "cad", even though he never genuinely did anything caddish.
* In ''Series/TheDeadZone'' TV series, Johnny holds the ball whenever Greg Stillson is involved. One particularly annoying example is when Stillson (Vice President at the time) shows up at his house to ask for his help in bringing a space shuttle home safely after it loses radio contact. Johnny reluctantly helps him, with emphasis on ''reluctantly.'' The audience can identify with Stillson's frustration at some points, when Johnny berates him for (what he sees as) using the incident to advance his career. Come on, Johnny. You're helping a team of astronauts get home safely. Does it ''really'' matter that Stillson was the one to ask it of you? Notably, this was ''after'' Johnny had stopped getting Armageddon visions from Stillson. Stillson was still a shady, ambitious politician, but in this episode it seemed like Johnny was being a jerk for apparently no reason at all.
* ''Series/{{Sanctuary}}:'' In [[MusicalEpisode Fugue]], Will gets handed this big time. [[spoiler:His girlfriend]] gets infected with something that slowly turns them into a violent abnormal. Magnus then suggests a cure and considering she is the foremost expert of these things, you think that Will would go along with her idea. But NO, he thinks that the idea is too risky, which doesn't make sense in the first place because the victim has a 100% chance of dying without the cure. Then he accuses her of having ulterior motive, which doesn't fit with his character and there is no way that she would do that kind of thing anyway. [[spoiler: It gets so bad that they have to lock him away so he won't go on a violent rampage to "save" her.]] Classic Conflict Ball.
* On an episode of ''Series/ThePractice'' just about all the firm's lawyers except Bobby show resistance at representing a convict on Virginia's death row, despite evidence that he's innocent as he claims, and despite him being a big teddy bear. It's especially jarring in Ellenor's case, since she'll crusade against the death penalty in later seasons.
* In ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' Season 5, the sisters (especially Phoebe) were distrustful of Cole and constantly expressed as much. It didn't matter that Cole was constantly trying to do good, either. The stated reason was because of Cole's turn as the Source of All Evil, but these episodes overlooked that Cole didn't choose to be the Source at all. (Instead, he had been possessed by the old Source and overtaken.) The sisters themselves were even told as much by the wizard ("He didn't die. He was reborn into a new sorry ass.") and Cole's new personal assistant/failed seductress ("You've ruined him. Made him pathetic, weak, good.") near the end of Season 4. Their distrust was rooted in a severe case of NegativeContinuity.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' Season 3 had a habit of amplifying character traits until they became this trope.
** Captain Kirk has a reputation for being a ladies' man. But would he get in a fight over a woman with the only person who can give him the cure for a plague that's about to kill the entire crew of the Enterprise? Apparently so, in "Requiem for Methuselah."
** Spock has a tendency to have an arrogant attitude towards the human crew members. However, he goes way overboard in "That Which Survives", constantly badgering and sniping at the other crew members, including repeatedly harassing Scotty as he scrambles to prevent the ship from blowing up with seconds on the clock. Most illogical!
** Bones has a history of engaging in light-hearted banter with Spock, and often disagrees with his decisions. But would he, in a crisis situation, keep getting right in front of Spock's face, accusing his efforts to try to save Kirk of putting the entire ship at risk, and then, once Spock finally gives up on the rescue attempt and focuses on getting the ship out of danger like Bones wanted, getting all up in Spock's face ''again'', going so far as to accuse Spock of deliberately wanting Kirk dead so that he could steal his command position, and being incredibly cruel and accusatory the entire time? "The Tholian Web" says yes!
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': This has been a criticism of Sansa Stark's growing resentment of her half-brother [[spoiler: actually cousin]] Jon Snow in season 6 and 7. As the north rallies around Jon, Sansa begins to feel slighted as she believes rule of the North should be her inheritance, not Jon's. While this is an understandable feeling, it causes her to act in incredibly stupid ways that are harmful not just to Jon, but to Sansa herself -for instance, denying Jon knowledge of critical reinforcements from the Vale while he's planning the battle against Ramsay Bolton, who held Sansa captive for months and [[MaritalRapeLicense repeatedly raped her]], and plans to do so again if he defeats Jon's army. It also requires her to listen to ManipulativeBastard Littlefinger, whom Sansa has outright acknowledged has ulterior motives in helping her and can't be trusted, over her own brother who has never shown himself to have anything other than her best interests at heart.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* All over the place in Creator/WhiteWolf's ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'' games. It seemed that every single faction was in a war, cold or hot, with every other faction; a particularly standout example would be the entirety of the ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'' line, where the various tribes fought each other, other shapeshifters, regular humans, and ''sometimes'' the Wyrm (the entity they were supposed to be fighting), mostly for reasons that made the reader wonder how the place ever got past the stone age. Shapeshifters, simply put, can be just as bad as any humans but with infinitely more anger issues and less self-control.
* The [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer40000}} Imperium of Man]] would have a few less problems if they decided to wait and figure out whether or not a Xenos species needs to be exterminated before doing so (most of them do need that, though). Either that or one would cause a lot of damage while they were busy deciding.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The entire population of Azeroth was handed one of these between ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' and ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft''. Nearly all the civilizations of Kalimdor, which includes forces from both the Alliance and the Horde, allied to fend off the Burning Legion and the Scourge by the end of the former game, but those alliances dissolve ''offscreen'' in the years between the games. The release of ''Wrath of the Lich King'', and the corresponding rise of the Scourge as a major threat once again, has caused a thaw in relations between the coalitions, but they still battle openly in some places. The main purpose of the war seems to be to have an excuse for the two sides to be in opposition.
** The problem is that Blizzard can't seem to decide whether they want [=WoW=] to have the Alliance vs. Horde themes from the first two ''Warcraft'' games, or the EnemyMine theme of the third game. Instead they've tried to do both, but the two ideas are contradictory, and the result is a plot riddled with Conflict and {{Idiot Ball}}s as the two factions [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder chronically backstab]] each other while neutral characters lecture them on not getting along.
** [[CreatorsPet Varian and Garrosh]] were ''walking'' Conflict Balls until Varian gained CharacterDevelopment and Garrosh became so much of a villain that the Horde finally rebelled against him.
** The ''Wrath of the Lich King'' area of Grizzly Hills is of special note, as its main theme is that you must help your faction to gather as much of the Hills' plentiful resources as possible, while sabotaging the rival faction's attempts to do the same. Both factions want to use said resources to help them defeat the Lich King - which is to say that in Grizzly Hills, the Lich King's two main enemies are locked in a savage war over ''who will get to fight the guy they both actually came there to fight.'' With [[TooDumbToLive enemies like these]], the Lich King doesn't need any friends...
** In Icecrown, the Horde and Alliance each have a flying gunship specifically built to take on the Scourge, and yet are used almost exclusively against each other. This culminates in Icecrown Citadel, where they battle over who has the right to take on the Lich King. They do this even though the respective gunship captains are otherwise very sensible sorts who are perfectly aware that every Horde and Alliance soldier who falls in battle becomes a potential recruit for the Scourge.
** The ground forces in Icecrown are worse, and yes, there's a ground campaign simply because the Scourge would overrun anyone who just flew in to confront the Lich King. Anyway. Because of impassable mountains, the ground forces have to take a path right through a series of gates in some rather impressively defended walls. [[EpicFail The first assault]] starts off with some reasonable teamwork, but then the Alliance blames the Horde for what happens next, and the Horde apparently takes that as an excuse to screw the Alliance and go it on their own. They end up sabotaging and backstabbing each other whenever it looks like one faction might take a gate, because allowing someone to take the gate would mean having to fight through the other faction - again - to progress towards the Lich King, only from a less defendable position. The aforementioned airship captains praise the ground forces when they hear about this.
** When Garrosh Hellscream took over the Horde from Thrall, his goals were to secure the prosperity of the Horde, which he believed meant taking land and resources from the Alliance, even though the two Alliance forces closest to him are the night elves, who can magically grow forests and harvest lumber without damaging the trees, and Theramore, which actively fought for peace with anyone who wasn't evil.
** The blood elves were chased out of the remnants of Lordaeron's Alliance by the xenophobic Garithos. They ended up joining the Horde over Stormwind's Alliance due to a contrivance for gameplay. During Garrosh's reign, they got into peace talks with the Alliance, but it had to get sabotaged thanks to the Conflict Ball. It stands out because at this point the blood elves have far more in common with the Alliance, and their closest Horde neighbors have genocidal tendencies that the blood elves openly see as a ticking time bomb.
** ''Mists of Pandaria'' ends when an extremely blatant [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped aesop]] about war being wrong and implying that the factions have finally learned that lesson... only for the next expansion to have Ashran, where most of the factions' military might is tied up competing with each other for an artifact to fight their mutual enemy. It's obviously there more for PvP gameplay than story, but Alliance [=NPCs=] even {{lampshade|Hanging}} the Horde continually aggressing them after the recent truce. Also, there are orc [=NPCs=] from an alternate past (whose only exposure to the Alliance was when they [[BigDamnHeroes arrived to rescue their people]]) threatening to kill Alliance characters for no apparent reason (other than the person who wrote the dialogue not realizing that the faction conflict isn't racially innate).
** At this point, the Alliance vs. Horde conflict is really only sustained by liberal passes of the conflict ball. Everybody seems to realize that the war is counterproductive at best, and every expansion gives the two sides a common enemy. With the ridiculous amounts of EnemyMine, taking place between them, you would think they would start to realize that there's really no justifiable reason to be fighting anymore. At least not until the writers give them one by making characters more evil. Meanwhile, villainous factions have no problem being completely multicultural, which makes it even more blatant.
** Perhaps the most blatant example so far comes in ''Legion'' when the Horde and Alliance fight on the Broken Shore but in different areas (with the Horde up on a ridge overlooking the Alliance). The Horde get overwhelmed and have to sound a retreat but for some ridiculous reason, the archers providing covering fire for the Alliance turn and slowly walk away rather than run like they should. While all of the Alliance leaders see this, none of them seem to hear the horn calling for a retreat, and only Varian (who dies a few minutes later) sees the ridge overrun with demons and realizes the Horde didn't abandon them. Naturally, after Varian dies, the Alliance leader with the most hatred towards the Horde (Genn Greymane) becomes the new military leader of the Alliance.
** The really jarring part of the [=WoW=] Alliance vs. Horde is the fact that members of the opposite faction can't, for all intents and purposes, have any in-game communication with the other at all. To the point that ''emotes'' are obfuscated. It gets odd that there are ''a lot'' of groups and organizations that have Alliance and Horde members which get along fine.
*** If you're a Druid, it's even stranger. You can get training and talk freely with NPC druids of species from the opposite faction (which crop up quite a bit), but can't talk to other player druids ''of that same opposite faction species.''
*** This reaches maximum silliness with ''Mists of Pandaria'', which gives both factions the Pandaren race. Despite all Pandaren speaking the same language, they still can't communicate with Pandaren in the other faction.
* The "ring of conflict" in ''VideoGame/NetHack'' is a conflict ball... for the group of monsters you're facing.
* Used as a joke in some of the ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' games, especially fighting games. Often the fights are for improbable, ridiculous reasons. However, it's also clear that, ultimately, [[BloodKnight these people just like beating the crap out of each other]]! Even funnier in that it usually works. The logic is more or less "There is a problem. The problem was probably caused by someone. Keep beating people up until you happen to beat up the one causing the problem and they can no longer cause the problem"
** The plot and background of ''Touhou 3: Phantasmagoria of Dim.'' (Dimensional) ''Dream'' primarily circles this trope and this trope alone. The antagonists, [[spoiler: Yumemi and her assistant Chiyuri,]] set up a sort of battle royale. The winner would [[spoiler:get to make any wish that they wanted, and the pair of scientists would do their best to make it true]]. This, however, was just a guise for them to attempt to [[spoiler: capture somebody as a research subject to prove that magic existed, as part of their proposed "Grand Unified Theory".]] The 8 protagonists decide to go along with it, not knowing the intentions of Yumemi and Chiyuri.
** On a more dramatic note, the conflict ball is InherentInTheSystem. The setting's {{youkai}} are defined as forces that conflict with mankind and their existence depend on humans fearing them. And since the setting itself is a FantasticNatureReserve designed to keep youkai from going extinct via PuffOfLogic, youkai sometimes fill their fear quota by causing dreadful incidents for no greater reason than [[ItsWhatIDo "well, I'm a youkai,"]] and the resident humans who are in on the {{Masquerade}} sometimes beat up youkai for no greater reason than [[PretendPrejudice "well, she's a youkai,"]] in order to fill the conflict quota.
* During one infamous scene in ''VideoGame/TacticsOgre'', [[SchrodingersGun your choice directly affects your best friend's choice]] to put the Conflict Ball into play. Essentially one of you is going to be a KnightTemplar to the other's ChaoticGood and there's nothing you can do about it.
* ''Franchise/MegaMan''
** In ''VideoGame/MegaManX5'' many reploids you fight want to have a piece of your character for various reasons. While there are varying degrees of justification, the fact that several not in the throes of Maverick fever insist on doing this when the [[ColonyDrop giant space colony is coming crashing down]] is a bit incredulous.
** ''VideoGame/MegaManX4'''s entire plot starts simply because Colonel would rather throw the entire Repliforce into a pointless war with the Maverick Hunters than simply ''turn off his LaserSword when asked to come to the latter's headquarters''.
* The Conflict Ball ''is'' the plot to ''Vivisector: Beast Inside''. It starts out with a GeneralRipper hiring an EvilutionaryBiologist to create an army of {{Half Human Hybrid}}s, only to split into a civil war over disagreements over how the army should be utilized. Okay, that's reasonable. Then the General decides to [[NukeEm nuke the biologist's soldiers]] for no good reason, and when he tricks the player character into coming to their island hideaway, he conveniently forgets to inform ''his own soldiers'' that he required your help, turning them against you for no reason other than to add more enemies for you to fight. [[FromBadToWorse It gets worse, though]]; later on, the General kills your only ally in the game for absolutely no reason but to get you to abandon him for the doctor's side, and then you learn that the beast soldiers are pre-programmed to hate humans on sight, forcing you to ''fight your new allies'', even though there really should be no reason for that to happen. In essence, the ''only'' reason why you have to fight ''any'' enemies in the game is because ButThouMust.
* The AI in ''VideoGame/GalacticCivilizations II'' likes to lob one of these your way if it gets bored. The galaxy is prosperous, quiet, and peaceful? A [[RandomEvent Mega Event]] goes off in which one of your citizens assassinates the head of the Drengin Empire, plunging you into war! Which drags the Drengin's allies the Drath Legion into it, and thanks to their [[ManipulativeBastard racial ability]] they convince the Yor to attack you too! But then the Altarians step in on your behalf, and use ''their'' racial ability to have the Iconians help out too, but ''that'' serves as the last straw for the Korx who team up with the Thalans...
* {{Fighting game}}s take this trope UpToEleven. Most of the time, characters are only fighting each other, because the players simply wanted to select those particular characters. If loving family members and TrueCompanions are in the roster of a fighting game, they can be "forced" to fight each other. This also leads to certain characters that [[WouldntHitAGirl wouldn't hit females]] or [[WouldntHurtAChild children]] breaking their ethical codes. Admittedly, matches like that aren't {{invoked|Trope}} through the stories, but fighting game Story Mode/Arcade Mode "conflicts" are very underwhelming, because the characters often fight over trivial things.
** Several rival cutscenes from ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV'' (along with [[CapcomSequelStagnation its updated sequels]]) fit this trope to a tee. For example, take a look at these [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wf2dFOKnjvA&feature=player_detailpage#t=14s Guile vs. Abel]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=F2ROg5goCXI#t=13s Blanka vs. El Fuerte]] cutscenes.
** In the General Story ''A Shadow Falls'' in ''VideoGame/StreetFighterV'', there are 2 instances where characters start fights for idiotic reasons, because the instigators are very stubborn and seemingly paranoid about theft. The first is in Brazil where Ken meets Laura. He politely tells her about a MacGuffin in her possession that he needs. For no reason at all, Laura believes that he was ''trying to steal it'' from her brother Sean and wants to beat Ken into a pulp. Later, Dhalsim travels to New York to speak with Alex about another [=MacGuffin=]. Dhalsim is also very polite, but Alex jumps to conclusions, accuses him of being a mugger with ''no proof'', then attacks him.
** The same goes for ''VideoGame/StreetFighterXTekken''. The [[VideoGame/{{Tekken}} Lars and Alisa]] vs. [[VideoGame/StreetFighterAlpha Sakura]] and [[VideoGame/StreetFighterII Blanka]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIerjiO-94s cutscene]] is by far one of the most ridiculous examples of this trope. It makes no sense considering that when it's the other way around, Sakura and Blanka happily approach Lars, confusing him for a [[{{UsefulNotes/Television}} TV]] {{Sentai}} hero that ''they love!''
** All of the rival cutscenes of ''VideoGame/PlayStationAllStarsBattleRoyale'' are made out of this trope. ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbLbuls2Fkk All of them]]''. The same goes for the [[DownloadableContent DLC]] characters' cutscenes, as well.
** {{Averted|Trope}} in ''VideoGame/Persona4Arena''. None of the cast save for maybe [[BloodKnight Kanji]] and [[{{Cloudcuckoolander}} Elizabeth]] want to fight each other; they're all being manipulated to do so by both the circumstances and the antagonist.
** {{Invoked|Trope}} in ''VideoGame/MortalKombatVsDCUniverse''. There's a phenomenon called Rage that increases aggression in people, seemingly at random. A character's eyes will flash yellow and they'll pick a fight with whoever is nearby, often over the flimsiest excuses.
** Parodied in with a few ''VideoGame/InjusticeGodsAmongUs'' clash dialogues:
-->'''Comicbook/GreenArrow:''' Why are we fighting?
-->'''Franchise/GreenLantern:''' You started it.
** Story mode in ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'' has several cases of this, but the biggest one goes to Smoke. Smoke, who usually calm and collected, becomes angry at Jade since he assumes that she attacked Kitana after the latter tried to turn against [[BigBad Shao Kahn]]. Raiden clearly points out that the female Jade attacked ''isn't'' Kitana (it's actually Mileena, who wears purple while Kitana wears blue), but Smoke attacks Jade anyway. The conflict between Smoke and Jade seem to serve no purpose other than to pad out the gameplay length.
* ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes'' really suffers from this. Each of the four teams in the game will fight two of the other three teams over the course of their story - for extremely lame reasons. Sonic beats up Amy just to get her to stop pestering him about marriage. Rouge assumes for NO reason that the Chaotix must be after Eggman's treasure and the Chaotix likewise assume for NO reason that Team Dark must be working against their client. The Chaotix try to take Cream's chao because their client gave them a mission to collect 10 chao...a task they already accomplished. The Team Sonic vs. Team Dark battle is even worse - Sonic's response to seeing someone who he thought ''died saving the world'' is to call him "stubborn and full of surprises" and automatically assume the worst, and it seems the reason the battle is being fought is because...both of them want the right to beat up the bad guy. Yeah. But what makes ALL of these battles worse is that it's not just two characters having a battle, it's ''two teams of three''. That ''should'' give plenty of opportunity for someone to say, "You know, this is a dumb reason to fight," but everyone just goes along with it.[[note]]Espio of Team Chaotix does in fact open the fight with Team Rose by saying there must be a misunderstanding, and yet insists on fighting anyway.[[/note]]
** The two ''VideoGame/SonicRivals'' games are full of this, hence the subtitle. The four main characters (then four teams of two in the sequel) fight each other because they want to be the one to find Eggman first as opposed to working together to find him. Just about every character meeting consists of one character telling the other, "Get out of my way! Eggman is mine!"; and the other character replies with, "No! He's mine!", thus the fight begins. Another reason for characters fighting each other is due to characters insulting one another for no apparent reason. For instance, in the second game, Knuckles calls Silver crazy for thinking that Chao can save the world, which angers Silver and the two engage in battle.
** Commonplace for character battles in Sonic games, really. Sonic Adventure does this with Sonic vs. Knuckles/Tails vs. Knuckles. Knuckles attacks Sonic and Tails because Eggman vaguely suggested that Sonic is after the master emerald shards (for no apparent reason), and after seeing Sonic and Tails carrying a chaos emerald (apparently the master of the emeralds can't tell the difference) he decides to start a fight with them without even bothering to explain why or ask why they might have an emerald shard.
* Gadlight Meonsam from ''[[VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsZ Third Super Robot Wars Z: Jigoku-Hen]]'' is capable of taking the sleeping desire for conflict inside the hearts of humanity and reversing them], which he took advantage of to throw the combined Earth into chaos.
* If you clear the arcade version of ''VideoGame/{{Double Dragon|I}}'' with 2 players, [[CainAndAbel Billy and Jimmy will fight each other to the death]] for [[DamselInDistress Marian]]'s love. It's pretty jarring considering that these BashBrothers fought an evil syndicate together on a rescue mission, then just turn on each other out of nowhere! And to top it all off, Marian's ''okay with it'', as she simply walks over to the victor to kiss him.
* {{VideoGame/Castle Crashers}}: Similar to the above, several times throughout the game, any time you rescue a princess, the players all turn on each other in a fight to the death over her favor, despite usually having more princesses left to save.
* In ''The Answer'' episode of ''VideoGame/Persona3'', the party falls apart and turns to infighting as to whether or not they should change the past. They figure things out and make up, eventually.

* Emily [=McArthur=] of ''Webcomic/{{Misfile}}'' does this a ''lot''. A straighter example would be the constant, immature sparring between Emily and Missi. While Emily has generally gotten better at this and only retorts back when provoked, Missi seems to take a perverse delight in annoying her. The only reason for this, it seems, would be so that the two can clash over their feelings for Ash. Even more irritating, though, is Missi's refusal to accept that Ash isn't her girlfriend anymore. It's makes one wonder whether Chris only created her to exacerbate personal drama in the lives of the two protagonists. When you consider that Ash and Emily are steadily becoming ''less'' hostile towards Rumisiel over time - they aren't friendly with him, but they seem to trust him more than they did at the start - this theory isn't without justification.
* Hardly a week goes by without ''something'' going down in ''Webcomic/{{Candi}}'', and there have been perhaps three instances over the course of the comic's six-plus-year run where characters have actually, permanently [[CharacterDevelopment learned anything from the resulting drama.]] [[ItsAllAboutMe Trevor,]] [[NeverMyFault Linda]], and [[ClingyJealousGirl Rebecca]] in particular are especially fond of The Ball.
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', this has been off and on with Ellen. This is demonstrated best when completely apropos of nothing she cornered Tedd and started yelling at him about wanting to help Nanase, revealing that she has seriously conflicted feelings about Tedd.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheAdventuresOfSuperMarioBros3'' cartoon series, "True Colors", the Koopas spray red paint on half the townspeople, and blue paint on the other half. The Toads begin arguing over petty differences (egged on by two of the Koopa Kids) and end up dividing based on color. Naturally, this allows for [[FantasticRacism a corny allegory about racism]].
* In episode 12 of ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingChanAndTheChanClan'', Tom and Anne both get a hold of the ball for a time when Tom refuses to believe Ms. Scarlet Avondale is the crook simply because she's female and Anne insists a woman can be a crook just as easily as a man, as if it's an accomplishment. Anne turns out to be right, but the ''reason'' for the argument is rather silly.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' uses this in a number of episodes, like Rarity and Applejack's escalating tiff in "Look Before You Sleep".
** Applejack and Rainbow Dash's competitiveness getting out of hand (or [[{{Pun}} hoof]]?) in "Fall-Weather Friends" is this because it starts with them wanting to see who's the most athletic. While they do both have stubbornness as a flaw, it goes a bit far when Rainbow Dash thinks Applejack cheated and actually cheats, causing Applejack to cheat back and on it goes. This is particularly out of character for Applejack, who is honest enough to represent the ''Element'' of Honesty and likely believes in two wrongs not making a right.
** ''Invoked'' by Twilight in "Lesson Zero" with the hope of being able to solve someone's problem and learn her weekly Aesop. It gets out of hand when everyone in town winds up fighting over [[ArtifactOfAttraction her doll]]. In doing so, she ironically ended up ''holding'' the Conflict Ball herself, by dint of her sudden obsession with helping fix others' problems.
** "Princess Spike" is an absolutely epic case. Twilight is worked to death and needs a nap. Rather than just take a nap she enlists someone to cover for her. Rather than enlisting Princess Cadance she enlists Spike. Needless to say Spike is in over his head within seconds, yet when ''offered help'' by Princess Cadance who's now apparently got nothing else on the go, he refuses for some reason. On the other end you've got people refusing to listen to who is famously known as Twilight's assistant and a hero merely because "[[FantasticRacism he's just some random dragon]]", and a bunch of trees planted everywhere that make [[IdiotBall creatures that sneeze fire sneeze uncontrollably]]. Basically the "conflict" could have been [[CouldHaveAvoidedThisPlot stopped within seconds]] at a handful of points of the episode had every single character present not seemingly been making decisions intended to prolong the conflict.
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'':
** Whenever Candace actually goes along with her brothers' latest scheme, she (usually) has a great time and often gets quality time with Jeremy. Yet she is constantly trying to bust them for no apparent reason beyond sibling upmanship (pointless as they genuinely look up to her) and winning her mom's approval. Later on even she has pointed out that the urge is irrational, but often tries (and usually fails) to resist the "urge to bust" like it's an odd GRatedDrug addiction. Sometimes, admittedly, the things the boys are doing would be dangerous if they were even a smidgen less competent (showcased in "Phineas and Ferb get Busted" where one misplaced bolt led to most of the house being wrecked), and sometimes she does seem to be in it more because she thinks what they're doing is dangerous (like the all-terrain vehicle bit) or disruptive (driving cattle through downtown).
** A near textbook case occurs in [[WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerbTheMovieAcrossThe2ndDimension the movie]]. Why does Phineas flip out at Perry despite going against his character (and the entire genre, at that)? Because it's the movie, and movies need conflict. [[BrokenBase There is a ''slight'' disagreement on this.]]
*** Remember, this was when Phineas [[spoiler: learns that Perry was a secret agent, and mad that he never told his family]], so it is pretty justified.
* ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama Action'': The cast seemed pretty cold and mean to Courtney's reappearance even before being shoe-horned in as the season's 'villain'.
** ''All-Stars'': In the season finale, it was specifically invoked by Chris. After Mal's defeat, things started to get all sweet and happy (not helped by the fact that Heather and Alejandro finally started dating off-screen prior to the episode). The distinct lack of drama, most of all from the two contestants who caused the most drama over the course of the series, drove him absolutely nuts, and he made it a free-for-all to make everyone, ''especially'' the aforementioned newly-made-couple, just ''stop''.
* Lots... and lots... and ''lots'' of episodes of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''. Even characters who have genuinely liked each other for years (e.g. Bart/Lisa, Edna/Seymour, Homer/Moe, Mr. Burns/Smithers) aren't immune. At least with Lenny and Carl it's pretty much just played for laughs.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/APupNamedScoobyDoo'' episode "Night of the Living Burger" Scooby and Shaggy have a falling out for some reason and spend almost the whole episode fighting before making up at the end. We never even find out what they were fighting about. Even they forgot.
* ''WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien'': Ben suddenly deciding that it's absolutely necessary to kill Kevin in the first season finale, even though he never focused on killing any previous enemies (including ones which were much more of a threat than Kevin), and Grandpa Max points out that he's acting out-of-character ''in the show itself''.
* ''WesternAnimation/AllGrownUp'' is full of these, compared to the original series. In ''WesternAnimation/{{Rugrats}}'', the babies almost always got along (with the exception of certain episodes), seeing as how they often had to band together to put up with [[SpoiledBrat Angelica]].
** Even Phil and Lil's occasional sibling rivalry moments (in the midst of plot) were PlayedForLaughs. However, ''WesternAnimation/TheRugratsMovie'' would be the first to show friction between the babies as the [[TheLoad colicky Baby Dil]] would come into the world, combined with a series of events that would leave them stranded in the woods. When things get intense enough, Phil and Lil put all the blame on Tommy.
** However, as the cast got older, Angelica would decide to mingle with the [[AlphaBitch cool clique]] and pre-teen angst would catch up to the former babies, putting them at each other's throats each episode. Whenever some dilemma would befall the gang, Tommy would be made the designated scapegoat, with Kimi being the worst offender and Phil and Lil about as loyal as two housecats during a burglary. In fact each of the 'Rats would have their own one-on-one disputes:
*** Tommy vs. Chuckie - Tommy and Chuckie's friendship would be tested on separate occasions, up to the point where Chuckie would suspect Tommy of liking his sister and go into [[MySisterIsOffLimits big brother mode]].
*** While [[GenkiGirl the original Kimi]] adored her new step-brother, as the two got older, Kimi would develop a [[LittleMissSnarker snarky attitude]] and become so wrapped up in her own interests that she disregards how Chuckie (or anyone else) feels, or would often force / blackmail him to support her ideas. Chuckie on the other hand simply [[ExtremeDoormat turns the other cheek]] and goes out his way for her best interest, without receiving too many thanks, let alone apologies.
*** Phil vs. Lil - As the twins got older, their sibling rivalry would be driven UpToEleven, where Lil would become gender-conscious and see Phil as an immature {{Gasshole}}. Because of this, Lil would move into her own room, get into a gender dispute with Phil on their birthday, and deprive him of a romance with one of her soccer friends.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'': Every episode that has [[HeterosexualLifePartners Stan and Kyle]] be at each other's throats. For example: in "Follow That Egg", Stan is angry with Kyle for being paired with Wendy for an EggSitting project because Wendy broke up with Stan in "Raisins" two seasons ago. Kyle points out that Stan got over her afterwards.
* ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'' has "[[Recap/JusticeLeagueUnlimitedS2E7Clash Clash]]", a rather infamous episode [[BrokenBase amongst the fanbase]]. Superman, typically the most rational and open-minded of the group, suddenly becomes a stringent hard-ass towards [[Comicbook/{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]]. What made this really stand out is that everyone else in the League, including ''Batman'', liked Captain Marvel.
* ''WesternAnimation/MillyMolly''. Some of the FeudEpisode's can be this.
** In the episode where they first met, "Monday", they have several arguments over minor things like whether apples or bananas are better for no apparent reason. Exaggerated in one instance when, just because both of them drew their cat, they start arguing over who had a cat the longest and whose cat is nicer.
** In "Cubby House", the girls argue over what game they should play in their cubby house. While it's not out of character for them to be a bit sore at each other and even try to give up their idea, they not only do that but they ''decide not to be friends anymore'', which is going a bit far for them.
** In "Sooty", Molly [[GreenEyedMonster becomes jealous of Milly]] because Chloe, a snooty but well-meaning girl in their class, invited her to her birthday party but not Molly (because her horse Prince was at the party and at that point in the series, Molly was still afraid of horses). When Milly phones from the party and offers to come over to help care for an injured cat that Molly is looking after, one would expect Molly to be grateful as she's finally getting attention. Instead, she says angrily, "No thanks, Milly, I can look after Sooty [[PunctuatedForEmphasis by! My! Self!"]]