Two men are technically [[CockFight fighting over a woman]], or making up deals about her. Either [[LoveTriangle they are rivals]], or one has her as a LoveInterest while the other plays the role of the protective father figure. However, the whole thing is really about the relationship between these two men.

The woman is not really one of the players in this social game. It is strictly between the men. It's really about ''their'' relationship with each other and their feelings for each other. Their relationship doesn't have to have [[HoYay sexualized overtones]]. They may be, or be pondering becoming, HeterosexualLifePartners.

Sometimes used as a way of portraying the development of an ArrangedMarriage.

While this trope is usually about two men using a woman as playing field for their relationship, it can also be about two women using a man in the same way. The number of players may also be larger than two. In either case, it's about heterosexuality as a social dynamic between individuals of the same gender.

A variant of this exists in Regency and Victorian literature, where rather than being in conflict the same gender characters are very close, and one of them marries/pursues the other's opposite gender relative exists as a way to solidify the relationship. This becomes even more suggestive when the physical resemblance between the relative and the friend is brought up as a positive.

[[{{Opposite Tropes}} Contrast]] with FriendVersusLover, where neither the friend nor the lover really want to be friends and genuinely ''are'' fighting over the mutual interest.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Bakuman}}'': The Ashirogi Muto team decides they do in fact want Kaya hanging out with them at college to deflect suspicions of gayness arising from two hot young men who are constantly together.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In one ''Ernie'' arc, the local beauty queen suddenly takes a romantic interest in the protagonist. What he doesn't know is that she wants him only because he is his girlfriend's boyfriend: The sudden romance is a ploy in a competition between these two women, and he is merely a pawn.
* ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} and ComicBook/{{Cyclops}}. So much. Occasionally they have honest to downright heartwarming moments, but it's rare. Even when they are in danger, or have more pressing things to fight about, [[spoiler:and even though she's dead, you know, [[DeathIsCheap for now]]]], it's always about Jean. Right down to the morning Logan finds Scott in bed with Emma Frost. [[spoiler:Remember, Jean's already dead at this point. Her ''memory'' is reason enough for Logan to take a personal interest in Scott's... personal interests.]]
* ''ComicBook/DeCapeEtDeCrocs'': Two subversions in one: The two men fighting aren't the girl's romantic rivals (Armand and [[OnlyKnownByHisNickname the]] [[Literature/CyranoDeBergerac Swordmaster]] are the rivals for Selene, but Don Lope is intervening in Armand's [who's unaware he even ''has'' a rival in love] place: as the better fighter, he knows he can beat the Swordmaster), and as the two are arguing Selene manifests a personality other than DumbBlonde for the first time, claiming she's more than just a prize to be fought over. The two men, embarrassed, go their separate ways. And when Armand learns about it, he takes everything the wrong way, from the idea of his having a rival to Lope being a better fighter. He goes to Selene without being seen to confess his love, and she confesses back... [[AllLoveIsUnrequited thinking he's the Swordmaster.]] It takes learning his friends are in danger to pull Armand out of his suicidal funk.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The entire plot of ''Film/ThisMeansWar'' is this trope turned on full blast.
* The opening trap in ''Film/Saw3D'' involves two men, Brad and Ryan, and their shared girlfriend Dina, the two having never realized until now that she was [[YourCheatingHeart cheating on each of them with the other]]. Only two of them can escape the trap with their lives. As Brad and Ryan try to kill each other, while Dina roots for whoever is winning in their life-and-death struggle, they slowly realize that she is the entire reason why they're in their predicament in the first place, and that their lives and friendship are worth more than their respective romances with Dina. They make up and [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe turn the giant saw against her]].

* In ''Literature/LadyAudleysSecret'', the HoYay between George and Robert Audley is "resolved" or redirected when Robert falls in love with George's sister, Clara.
* In ''Literature/NicholasNickleby'', [[TheIngenue Madeline Bray]] falls in love with TheHero after developing a RomanticTwoGirlFriendship with his sister.
* In the ''Literature/BookOfGenesis'', Jacob's only daughter Dinah is raped by the prince of a local village while going out to visit her girlfriends. The prince decides he actually loves her, and asks his father to go see her father to make marriage arrangements. The king brings over large sums of whatever passed for wealth in that barter economy, and tries to persuade Jacob to allow the marriage, saying that intermarriage between the Shechemites and Jacob's tribe would increase the wealth of both. Jacob himself neither agrees to the terms nor disagrees, though, and deliberates with his sons, who persuade him to accept the terms. They do add the condition that all the men of the Shechemite village cut off their foreskins, which the Shechemites accept. And three days later, [[KickThemWhileTheyreDown while the men are still recovering, Jacob's sons slaughter]] the men of the village, rescue their sister (who was a hostage of sorts in the prince's tent or hut), and take the Shechemite women and children as slaves. Jacob says they shouldn't have done this, on the grounds that they would be considered enemies to other local peoples, at a time when they are just a nomadic tribe. His sons reply that [[RapeAndRevenge the prince shouldn't have]] [[DefiledForever defiled their sister]]. Not once does Dinah get a say in all of this.
* In the backstory to the ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' series, the War of the Usurper basically happened because both Robert Baratheon and Rhaegar Targaryen loved Lyanna Stark. Whether Lyanna herself reciprocated either's affections isn't known for certain, but was ultimately a moot point.
* In ''Literature/TheGoblinEmperor'' this is the expected thing to do. Eshevis Tethimar pesters Maia about his wish to marry Maia's sister Vedero. Maia [[spoiler: asks Vedero whether she wants to marry, and when she says she doesn't, he decides to respect that.]] Vedero herself tells Maia that marrying her off for politics would be the sensible thing to do. Later on, Maia himself proposes marriage to a woman in order to gain the support of her male relatives. (And it is made very clear that the marriage proposal is actually an order, as her family wouldn't let her refuse it.)

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/NorthAndSouthUS'', Madelyn is manipulated into an ArrangedMarriage based entirely on his friendship with her father. This scenario is gradually rolled up retroactively after the protagonist loses contact with her only to find out that she's suddenly getting married.
* Adding this dynamic was the reason for the inclusion of both Aunt Harriet and ComicBook/{{Batgirl}} in the 1960s ''Series/{{Batman}}'' Creator/AdamWest series. Not for nothing are Batman and Robin considered the original ambiguously gay duo.
* ''Series/{{Skins}}'' has this dynamic between Cook and Freddie in their fight over Effy.

* ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}'' has a RareFemaleExample with Elphaba and Glinda. They're caught in a LoveTriangle with Fiyero, but the story is more about the relationship between the two women than it's about Elphaba/Fiyero or Glinda/Fiyero. They also have rather a lot of [[LesYay not very heterosexual subtext.]]
* In ''Theatre/AMidsummerNightsDream'', Hermia's father is trying to force her to marry Demetrius, leading to this exchange with Lysander, the man she really loves:
-->'''Demetrius:''' Relent sweet Hermia, and Lysander, yield thy crazed title to my certain right.\\
'''Lysander:''' You have her father's love, Demetrius. Let me have Hermia's. Do you marry him!\\
'''Egeus:''' Scornful Lysander, true, he hath my Love; and what is mine, my love shall render him. And she is mine, and all my right of her, I do estate unto Demetrius.
* ''Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac'' is a classic example. To some viewers it seems clear that Cyrano and Christian come to care more about each other than either do about Roxanne.
* In ''Theatre/FiddlerOnTheRoof'', the traditional ArrangedMarriage custom is portrayed as an emotional and social affair between the groom and the father, the bride hardly being relevant to the process. And thus the plot is setting up for a [[ChildMarriageVeto massive backfire]].
* ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'' is playing the DestructiveRomance version of this trope with Judge Turpin. Mutual bonding in the scenes with the "Pretty women" song, and on the surface helping with the plan to force Todd's daughter to marry Turpin. However, the one Todd plan to sacrifice is not his daughter, but secretly Turpin instead.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the first ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsI'' game, Riku and Sora are supposedly in a love triangle with Kairi, but Kairi herself actually has very little screen time, spending the vast majority of the game off-screen and in a coma. The real point of the story is the boys' relationship with each other -- specifically, the way aimless competition with each other turns a once-healthy friendship into something bitter, broken, and increasingly violent. When you get right down to it, Kairi is just one thing among many for them to fight over.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', with the aptly named strip [[ Patriarchal Bromance Movie]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In season two of ''WebVideo/TheGuild'', Zaboo gets into a CockFight with Cyd's stuntman love interest. Cyd is initially flattered by the attention (although she feels guilty about it), but as the fight goes on, Zaboo and the stuntman recognize each other as {{Worthy Opponent}}s and the fight becomes much more about Zaboo fanboying over the stuntman and the two of them having a good time, much to Cyd's annoyance. It ends when they both decide she's not really worth fighting over anyway.