Enmity with an Object

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Edward Elric: Picking fights with milk since 2001.

"This wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. Either it goes or I do."
Oscar Wildenote 

If Cargo Ship is the love someone will have for an inanimate object, this is the other side of that coin - a deep-seated, irrational hatred a person has with an object.

The person half of the rivalry will even see it as a legitimate rivalry on par with any they might have with a human. All that's required is that the human has an inordinate animosity towards the object, seeming almost like they believe the object somehow has volition, and that the object would actually lack said volition (although may be justified if said object annoys/harms him/her somehow). For example, a human harboring a suspicion that a Ridiculously Human Robot is out to get them would not qualify, but if they felt the same way about an ordinary brick, it would.

Often Played for Laughs, unless it's something like an Artifact of Doom or Artifact of Death.

Inherently, a subtrope of Unknown Rival (in that there's no way an inanimate object even know someone has a grudge on it). May be justified with a Job-Stealing Robot or Vengeful Vending Machine, as well as The Alleged Car (if your car hates you, you're going to hate it back). Sister trope of Cargo Envy where a person is envious on something that another, attractive person is showing some affection onto, which may or may not lead of said person having a rivalry with said object.

Compare Does Not Like Spam. Compare also Companion Cube (where the inanimate object is the focus of inordinate affection) and Animal Nemesis (where the foe is at least alive, if not capable of reason).

Careful when your object is/turns out to be an Animate Inanimate Object - the object must not be sentient/sapient, or at least the person with the enmity must not know that said object is sentient/sapient. Otherwise it doesn't fall here.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • In an advertisement for the Audi Quattro, a tow-truck driver in a snowy, mountainous region describes how he's towed every kind of car except the Quattro. When he speaks about the Quattro he uses phrases like "It haunts my dreams", and "Sometimes I think it's mocking me". The commercial ends with him screaming "Quattro!!"

    Anime & Manga 
  • In episode 50 of Fairy Tail, a misused potion cause Makarov to see alcohol as his rival, Ezra sees a pillar as hers, and at the end, Grey sees the horizon as his rival.
  • Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist doesn't just dislike drinking milk, he actively despises seeing any because it is "an opaque, white liquid secreted by a cow". This is played as part of the gag on Edward's diminutive stature, supposedly being the cause of it. In an interesting bit of trivia related to this, it seems that the creator, Hiromu Arakawa, grew up on a dairy farm, plus her Author Avatar is a bespectacled cow.
  • In A Certain Magical Index and A Certain Scientific Railgun, Mikoto Misaka has an emnity with a certain vending machine which once swallowed her 10,000 Yen (about $100) note. She often gets revenge on it by kicking or using her Shock and Awe powers on it to induce it into giving free drinks.

    Comic Books 
  • Luke Cage. Power Man vs. the coffee vending machine at police headquarters is a Running Gag. The soda machine in his office too; vending machines hate him.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes. Calvin's bicycle is out to get him. Really. And his baseball tried to bite him. Did we mention the leaf pile which tried to eat him? Twice?
  • Peanuts: Charlie Brown and the Kite-Eating Tree.
  • Garfield: Garfield and RX-2, the talking scale.

    Fan Works 
  • A running joke in A Voice Among the Strangers, where Jessica at various points swears vengeance against a tree (after bashing her already injured shoulder into it), stones on the path (which she has to walk on in bare feet), a staircase (again due to her bare feet) and her own brain (after she gets a headache from trying to rationalize the world around her).
  • In Naruto: The Abridged Series, Sasuke's eternal rival is The Log. Sasuke even notes how he keeps mistaking logs for people, causing him to mess up his aim. All because he hates the Log.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Battle Creek (a.k.a. The Big Brawl), Jerry maintains a venomous relationship with the practice dummy.
  • The dad from A Christmas Story was "one of the most feared furnace fighters in Northern Indiana." He attacks the thing offscreen while swearing so loudly at it, the whole house can hear.
  • In Office Space, the main characters have a very antagonistic relationship with a fax/copy machine. They end up finishing it off in an abandoned field with a baseball bat.
  • A 1967 Mustang GT500 has tantalized Memphis Raines in Gone in Sixty Seconds throughout his career as car thief. It's mentioned that he was arrested and imprisoned while trying to steal one, and at one point, Raines refers to this car as "unicorn:" something fantastic and wonderful that he can never, ever have.

    Literature 
  • From If Chins Could Kill, Bruce Campbell's autobiography, "The Classic", Sam Raimi's 1973 Delta 88 Oldsmobile. Raimi in particular is convinced that Campbell is out to destroy it in jealousy.
  • In Death. Eve Dallas has an irrational fear and hatred of all vending machines. If at all possible she refuses to use them directly, preferring to hand her money to someone else and have them buy the candy bar or whatever for her.
  • Discworld series:
    • Cribbins in Making Money stole the spring-powered dentures from a man he'd robbed. It's possible they were haunted by the ghost of their former owner, because the springs tend to malfunction at the worst times, and he has to gnash them back into position at the most awkward times. He's put out of commission when the springs finally break inside his mouth and nearly stab him in the brain.
    • There's a side story in The Truth about a town mayor who got hit by a meteorite. He then gets hit again, but this time it was waiting for him down an alleyway.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Chief O'Brien hates the station's computer so much he calls it his archenemy. Eventually an alien A.I. makes a home in it that makes it better disposed to him.
  • In an episode of CHiPs a big man in a tiny car gets pulled over for speeding and he beats up his car in retaliation, tearing it to pieces right there on the highway. His name in the credits is "car killer."
  • The villain Annorax from the Star Trek: Voyager two-parter "Year of Hell" considers the time to be his archenemy. And no, it's not meant in a mundane way like worrying too much about punctuality or about one's age or something.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "A Thing About Machines" revolves around a man who hates all the machines around him. In true Twilight Zone fashion, the feeling is mutual.
  • An episode of Seinfeld had George express anger towards a watch with "I hate you, you time piece from Hades!"
  • The Star Trek episode "The Ultimate Computer" had Kirk worried about being replaced with an AI. His worries are laid to rest when the AI's urge for survival overrides its other protocols, going out of its way to destroy a harmless freighter passing by and interpreting a war games exercise as a real battle. Because it does have its creator's sense of morality, in that taking human life is a sin, Kirk is eventually able to convince M-5 that it should die for the casualties it caused.
  • Inverted in a sketch on The Benny Hill Show. Benny is playing a slot machine and is coming up a loser every time. A man walks up to the machine next to him and starts giving it love talk ("I love you my darling" etc.) and it pays off every time he pulls the arm. Benny is bemused at first but as the man continues to win gets the idea. After the man leaves, Benny gives his machine love talk only to continue to lose. Then he quits playing it. The other man goes up to the same machine Benny was playing a moment ago, says to it "how's the wife and kids?" and scores big again.
  • Granville and the cash-register in Open All Hours. The spring is wound too tight and Arkwright is too cheap to fix it, but Granville is convinced it hungers for fingers.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • In The Order of the Stick, Durkon the dwarven cleric believes that trees are not trustworthy. Of course, given that this is a D&D parody, that might not be entirely unjustified.
  • In Tales from the Pit, Mark Rosewater's sworn enemy is the copier machine.
  • In Nebula it's inverted: Saturn thinks that their moons (which are just completely normal rocks) hate them, rather than them hating their moons.

    Web Original 
  • Pewdiepie with barrels, and to a lesser extent statues.
  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog fan animation Nazo Unleashed, Nazo has a deep sense of jealousy towards the Master Emerald, as Nazo wants to become the most powerful entity in the universe, but can't surpass the Master Emerald's infinite energy. Thus, he wants to blow up the Earth in order to shatter it.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • Sideshow Bob and rakes, after the extended "rake tripping" scene from the "Cape Feare" episode. Bart even lampshades how Bob apparently equates that rivalry with the one between the two (mind you, Bart at that point got Bob sent to jail multiple times).
    • In the episode "Deep Space Homer," Homer has an intense hatred for an inanimate carbon rod that was named Employee of the Month instead of him. After he accidentally saves the space shuttle crew (from a mess he himself caused, of course) by jamming it in a broken door while trying to bash his colleague with it, he's mad that the carbon rod he "used" to jam the door shut got the hero's welcome (including a Ticker Tape Parade) instead.
    • And there's the meme-worthy newspaper picture of Abe with the headline "Old man yells at cloud."
    • One episode had Homer's special recipe for moonshine remind a hillbilly of his feud with a nearby tree.
    • Mr Burns once mistook a candy vending machine for a working candy store, and when it failed to respond to his verbal request for a snack, he gave it a Death Glare and said it had made a powerful enemy.
  • In one episode of Phineas and Ferb, when Perry fails to show up, Doofenschmirtz uses a potted plant as a stand in for Perry as he rants about his evil plans, and even ties him up. Due to a series of accidents, the potted plant ends up thwarting Doofenshmirtz and is even awarded a medal at the end for his heroic efforts.
  • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. "My old enemy — stairs."
  • Code Lyoko. Odd vs. Vending Machine. Nicolas has struggled with it as well. Earlier, in the prequel "XANA Awakens", it was used by XANA to electrocute Jérémie.
  • Family Guy: Stewie Griffin and the toilet. Brian has a few bones to pick with it, too.
    Stewie: So they DO make bigger diapers! That deceitful woman told me I had to learn to use the toilet! Well fah on the toilet! It's made slaves of you all! I've seen it sitting in there, lazy, slothful porcelain layabout... feeding on other people's doo-doos while contributing nothing of its own to society! (runs to bathroom) You get a job!
  • The Angry Beavers has Norbert's Not-So-Imaginary Friend Stump. Dagget has a fierce rivalry with Stump, especially in his first appearance episode.
  • The police officer in Clone High played by Andy Dick addresses a plastic cup of beer as though it were a Worthy Opponent.
    "Well, well, well. If it isn't my old friend, Underage Drinking. So, we meet again. How are you, Underage Drinking? Besides illegal!"
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Hoss Delgado has a high school rivalry with a traffic cone named Kyle.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball:
    • In the episode "The World", Gumball stubs his toe on a coffee table and prepares to hit in retribution. However, Everything Talks in Elmore, so the coffee table is able to question his reasoning:
    Table: Hey, wait! Think about what's going on here. You punch me after you kick me? What do you think happened? You think I got up and walked in front of you? I'm a table, man!
    Gumball: Uh... oh yeah. Well, sorry. Itís pretty stupid to take it out on an object. It's not like you did it on purpose.
    (Gumball sees skids marks in the carpet left by the table)
    Gumball: What the— why?
    Table: Uh... because — it's because youíre always putting your feet on me!
    (Coffee Table leaps out of the window and runs off while Gumball stares in confusion)
    • In "The Ex", Darwin says his nemesis is a hat. Later in the episode, Gumball sees Darwin wearing the hat and asks if he got over his rivalry with the hat, pointing out that he is wearing it. Darwin runs around screaming that the hat "got him".
  • In the Steven Universe episode "Nightmare Hospital", Connie hates the abacus Mrs. Maheswaran threatens to use to figure out how long to ground Connie for bringing a sword into the house.
  • Captain Fanzone of Transformers Animated hates machines (sentient or otherwise) to the point of it being his Catch-Phrase. This includes his cell phone which, for added effect, is so obsolete it has a rotary dial.
  • In A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Snoopy is setting up the chairs for an impromptu dinner, and struggles with a large beach chair that won't stay open, and even starts fighting back at one point.
  • Often on the Classic Disney Shorts, Goofy will often come at odds with inanimate objects that won't act like he needs them to. Examples include the piano that won't stay in Goofy's truck in Moving Day and the clockwork figures that ring the bell he's cleaning in Clock Cleaners.

    Real Life 
  • As any pet owner can attest, animals, and dogs in particular, hate loud appliances. Even the most mellow puppy goes nuts when a vacuum cleaner is turned on. Cats, on the other paw, are much more inclined to run and hide from such racket.
  • The enemy of a good night sleep, the ender of weekends, and the herald of school or work: does anyone not hate the alarm clock?

Alternative Title(s): Cargo Nemesis, Inanimate Rivalry

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