Like an Old Married Couple

Penny: It's kind of nice. Look at us, I'm reading, you're reading. We're like an old married couple.
Sheldon: If we were an old married couple, the wife would serve iced tea and snickerdoodles.
Penny: I don't have iced tea and snickerdoodles.
Sheldon: A good wife would go to the store.
Penny: I want a divorce.
Sheldon: Good, on the way to the lawyers pick up some tea and cookies.

Two characters who seem very comfortable with each other to the point that it seems like they have been married for a long time, though obviously it doesn't apply to couples who actually have been together for a long time. Usually it is done through constant arguments with each other, as only people who are so closely bonded can have such open communication between them (whether they will admit it or not). Someone is apt to comment that they behave just like a married couple.

Typically the argument will be a back and forth of opinions, such as a Cavemen vs. Astronauts Debate. It is likely to get heated but neither of them are willing to just leave. In extreme cases it might start getting ugly with insults about personal issues being flung about. If not an argument based, it is often tied with Heterosexual Life-Partners where domestic issues are a common topic. The two bickering characters in question do not have to be romantically involved with each other as the trope can apply to any two individuals such as best friends, siblings, military comrades, and a couple of strangers who don't know much about each other and are not romantically or sexually involved but their situations make them bicker as if they knew each other for a long time

Often applied to those with Belligerent Sexual Tension and Unresolved Sexual Tension. Compare Slap-Slap-Kiss. When this leads to an outsider concluding that they're really a couple, one of them will say "She Is Not My Girlfriend". See also Vitriolic Best Buds. Can be a staple of having characters be Mistaken for Gay by way of adding to the Ho Yay-derived humor.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Doumeki and Watanuki of ×××HOLiC behave like this around each other, much to the amusement of Yuuko (and the readers).
  • Tsubasa and Misaki from Alice Academy would often pair up in couple events. They both scoff at the notion that they might be going out, but their peers noted that they're practically married already. They eventually got together for real, though.
  • Levi and Hanji from Attack on Titan seem to have this going on. They're implied to have known each other for quite some time and they're almost always teasing one another. (Something most people would get roundhouse kicked for if they tried that with Levi.)
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia there's France and England, who've known each other since the very beginning of time and probably have a thousand romance tropes under their belt. Not to mention, almost every time they're seen together they are bickering.
  • After consummating their love for one another Guts and Casca from Berserk begin acting like this toward one another throughout the entire Griffith rescue operation, with them both getting miffed and jealous toward one another, but are clearly seen being very caring and sentimental toward each other (with some Slap-Slap-Kiss action in-between, especially from Casca). Judeau and Pippin take this as a good thing and play it for the laughs. Griffith, judging from they way he is staring at the couple from underneath his helmet and seeing that he had been through the hideous ordeal of being tortured for a year only to come back to see a change in authority, power, and affection between Guts, Casca, and himself doesn't seem very pleased with this...
  • Hotsuma and Shusei of Betrayal Knows My Name are super harmonic and gentle with each other but they do bicker quite often and Luka (yes, that Luka) calls them out on it at one point. They're not amused.
  • Beyblade (the dub, at least): Max and Rey describe Tyson and Kai this way. The amount of Slash Fic those two inspired back in the day makes this about ten times funnier.
  • In Brave10, Rokuro acts the nagging wife to Yukimura's lazy lech of a husband. Taken up a notch during the exile arc of the sequel, where Rokuro starts dressing like a housewife and beating Yukimura with a broom for being a drunk who's in the way of his cleaning.
  • Yuu and Nao from Charlotte are very much this trope, and it even gets discussed by Yusa and Joujirou at one point.
  • Childhood Friends and Heterosexual Life-Partners Liszt and Chopin from Classi 9 are roommates and often fondly bickering about their way of playing the piano. They're usually paired in duets when playing in public because it helps with Chopin's stage fright and Liszt has fewer chances to stay in his demonic form long enough to hurt someone or himself.
  • Lelouch and C.C. from Code Geass have a constant back and forth going on, usually involving C.C. stealing his credit cards to order ridiculous amounts of pizza among other things. In addition, they share Lelouch's room, possibly his bed, and C.C. is constantly seen wearing his clothes.
    • Lelouch and Suzaku also have quite a bit of this, especially when they were kids, and in the audio dramas for both pairs.
  • Detective Conan:
    • Heiji and Kazuha. They are Childhood Friends who bicker with each other, but do love each other, even if they have a very hard time confessing to each other.
    • The same goes to Shinichi in Ran; when Conan was reverted to Shinichi for a day in Desperate Revival, their classmates just referred to them as married.
  • In episode 2 of Digimon Savers, Marcus is trying to tell Yoshi to leave, but she refuses, so they get into an argument. Then Kristy walks past:
    Kristy: [to Marcus and Yoshi] Stop arguing like an old married couple.
    Marcus and Yoshi: We're not a couple!
  • While Izaya and Namie's relationship in Durarara!! began with hostility, they maintained a working relationship because of their confidence in the other's skills. Soon, they're comfortable enough to hang out together outside work (e.g. Namie cooking dinner for Izaya, and having meals together). Even though their interactions consist of mostly trying to annoy one another in some way, they probably know each other better than anyone else.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Bulma and Vegeta do this infrequently in some episodes and the movies too. It's pretty funny watching them snip at each other.
    • Goku and Vegeta also get a good share of bickering in, mostly while exploring Buu's body in Z and during the battle against Omega Shenron in GT.
  • Free! has Haruka and Makoto. The latter is frequently seen taking care of Haru, saying exactly what he thinks and knowing just how to convince him of something. The occasional bickering, while quite mild, is also present. In recent episodes though their relationship starts to show signs of slipping into other territories.
  • Kyo and Yuki are called out on this (word for word) by Shigure in Fruits Basket. They're both displeased with the comment.
  • Highschool of the Dead: It takes awhile for them to get there, but it's clear that Hirano and Saya are made for each other. By chapter 29, it's gone beyond the point where Everyone Can See It, to the two of them practically being Alice's foster parents.
  • In K, Saruhiko and Misaki, whenever they're not at each others' throats. The audio dramas add a lot more of this between them.
  • In Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san has an adorable "rivalry" with his cute classmate, with them each trying to get the other to react or blush. They aren't quite at the point of being an Official Couple, but the rest of their class thinks of them as such.
  • Not lampshaded in the animanga itself, but Yamamoto and Gokudera from Katekyo Hitman Reborn! do act like this
  • In the Love Hina manga, when Keitaro decides to get a job, he suits up and all the girls laugh at him. Naru however, does up his tie, leading Kitsune to make this exact comment about them. Denials follow.
  • Lovely Complex: Koizumi and Otani are accused of acting like this - after they're already together, surprisingly, but they still both get embarrassed.
  • Konata and Kagami from Lucky Star are pretty good examples of this. Much of their dialogue consists of verbal jousting, and the barbs get quite vicious on occasion. You just know that both would happily give every organ in their body to the other if they had to.
  • In Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force, Signum and Agito have a heated argument over Signum's decision to cut her hospital stay short, which ends with a mixture of affection and pouting. Apparently, five years were enough time for them to start acting like a married couple (even though the bond between a Lord and her Unison Device is pretty much just that).
  • Mazinger Z: Kouji and Sayaka were like this. Once while they are arguing -and fighting- in the background, Shiro is fortune-telling. He notes the cards tell his brother and Sayaka are destined to be together forever.
  • Since the very moment they met, the interactions between Hachiman and Yukino from My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU are basically the former making fun of the latter and explaining why his view on life is wrong as he tries to defend himself from her arguments. They have no problem acting like this in front of everyone who, one way or another, conclude that the two get along just fine.
  • Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water: From the moment Jean and Nadia find Marie, they become an almost familial unit - with the two of them essentially acting as her guardians. Though Jean and Nadia's relationship takes time, between spats and misunderstandings, to where they become comfortable with each other.
  • Naruto has one with the villains; both Deidara and Sasori and Kakuzu with Hidan bicker to one another like, as fans put, this trope. However, they take it in two different ways; Deidara and Sasori, being artists, bicker about their type of art (apparently often), even when the situation at hand has NOTHING to do with it. Kakuzu and Hidan, on the other hand, already hate each other, so all they need is one reason, and they're very likely to go off on one another and spend a pointless amount of time doing so.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Shinji and Asuka. The above Running Gag about Nadia and Jean was parodied by Toji about them.
      Toji: Uh oh, look out! The newlyweds are fighting!
    • Shinji and Asuka double on this score in the Lighter and Softer manga spinoffs. There, Asuka's rage level and Shinji's Extreme Doormat level are both turned down, so there's more arguing and more friendship at the same time. They're always together, care for each other deeply, and... never stop griping at each other. (Add to that Asuka crushing on Shinji, Shinji not noticing, and that being the cause of Asuka's more canon-Asuka-ish moments.) It's still Toji who jokes about it; he refers to them as "the newlyweds" more often than he actually uses their names.
    • When Kaji arrives late and somewhat disshelved for a wedding, Misato first criticizes him for his tartiness, then for not having shaved recently, before finally correct his loose tie. When Ritsuko comments on this behavior between them, pointing out that they act much like a married couple, Kaji is amused, Misato is not.
  • Noragami:
    • Yato and Hiyori act very much like a goofy husband without a job and his nagging wife, with Yukine acting as their surrogate child. They argue a lot, but it's clear how much they care about each other.
    • Kofuku and her Shinki Daikoku also aren't married, but they surely seem like it since they have been together for centuries and they get along very well despite him getting fed up with all the trouble she causes as a poverty god.
  • Pandora Hearts:
    • Gilbert and Alice have the tendency to act like this. All the time. They can hardly have a serious conversation without making some sarcastic retort to the other. Oscar even made the comment that "They get along well enough to bicker".
    • Elliot and Leo also have the tendency to bicker over various things, and some of these bickerings may escalate to an outright fight with a lot of fighting and throwing of various nearby objects. Despite this (more like because of), they're still best friends.
  • Patlabor: While the relationship between Captains Gotoh and Shinobu is strictly professional, they fit the trope to a tee. Their bickering rarely goes beyond snarking, and they relate as if they've known each other their entire lives. This is best seen in "The SVU's Longest Day" in the OVA continuity, and the entirety of the "Two in Karuizawa" episode in The Mobile Police/New Files continuity.
  • Sayaka and Kyouko, of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, evolved from bitter rivals to this by the time of the Drama CDs and The Movie. They could be argued as Vitriolic Best Buds, but that's certainly not how the fandom sees it.
  • Ranma ½: This observation is what gets Ranma and Akane engaged. Even their classmates notice.
    "Ooo! A lovers' quarrel!"
    "Practically married already."
  • Soul Eater:
    • Maka and Soul. They are very comfortable around each other, they live together, have the occasional lover's spat and Snark-to-Snark Combat and can read each other well. Arachne even comments on of the fights they had as entertaining.
    • Black☆Star and Tsubaki are all but Happily Married. They are even raising a kid together!
  • Mentioned about Yusuke and Kuwabara in YuYu Hakusho. Botan even has an Imagine Spot dedicated to it.
  • Dazai and Chuuya from Bungou Stray Dogs are former partners. They throw insults and claim to dislike each other. They still manage to battle the common enemy together perfectly well, however, and their banter can be seen more as a version of this trope between snarky, jilted ex-lovers more than anything.

    Comic Books 
  • Captain America and Iron Man, throughout almost all of their friendship.
  • On a totally different note, Lewis Trondheim's Kaput & Zösky.
  • Booster Gold used the phrase (in #36 of his ongoing title) to describe his own relationship with Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), after Vril Dox II assumed they were lovers. (This was rather a broad-minded assumption on Vril's part, but only because Ted had been transformed into a chipmunk at the time).
  • Wolverine and Nightcrawler act as a married couple and parents, sometimes for Kitty and Piotr (with Dad-Wolverine being hard when Piotr hurts Kitty or wishing that his "daughter" remains on the team)
  • Bone gives us the Two Stupid Rat Creatures, Smelly and Stinky. Pretty much every time they appear they spend most of their panel time bickering with each other like idiots. The fact that one of them is hopelessly determined to eat a quiche dosen't help.
    Purple Rat: If we keep him for ourselves we can do whatever we want with him.
    Brown Rat: Does that include baking him into a quiche?
  • In their neverending quest to include as many Ho Yay tropes as they possibly can without kissing on-panel, Professor X and Magneto spend seemingly more time doing this than they do actually battling.
    Magneto: I generated a pocket wormhole.
    Professor X: I don't believe this. I leave you alone for barely a night...

    Comic Strips 
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, Susie's fantasy sequences depict her and Calvin as an old married couple. Their arguments tend towards utter ridiculousness, since Calvin insists on acting like the immature six-year-old he really is.

    Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust: In chapter 5 Shinji and Asuka stage a fight during lunch break so that nobody suspects they are together. However they are not very good actors and rather a fight between two friends that do not get along well it seems an argument between two persons have been married for years. When Touji says so, they blush profusely and shout in unison "It's not like that!" Of course, their synchronized reply only reinforces the effect.
    Touji: Oi, oi, what's this? A quarrel between husband and wife?
  • The Child of Love: According Touji, Shinji and Asuka not even are married and already behave like a married couple:
    Asuka: Shinji! Listen to me, dummkopf!
    Shinji: [surprised] What is it, Asuka?
    Asuka: Hikari told me about AXL's Game Center! It sounds fun! I want you to take me there, okay?
    Shinji: I don't know if...
    Asuka: Stop being so hesitant! You're getting on my nerves!
    Toji: [to Shinji] Not yet married, and she's already henpecking you...
  • Escape From The Hokage's Hat: While out on Not a Date, Naruto goes on rant to Hinata about how the ramen stand they passed was substandard and not worth their time. Hinata gives him a smile, lightly pats his hand and tells him he is very knowledgeable. Naruto pouts at being humored.
  • Evangelion 303: As soon as they met, Shinji and Asuka bickered. They were attracted to each other, argued constantly, opened up each other and talked about personal issues... and as soon as Shinji moved in the base Asuka started to spend her whole free time in his home, sleeping in his bed, using his shower... and Shinji cooked for her. When he left for a week Asuka stayed the whole time in his home... and that was BEFORE they got together and long before they got engaged.
  • HERZ: Asuka and Shinji already argued like an old married couple before becoming one. In chapter 12 their bickering is hilarious.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: After getting together, Shinji and Asuka's arguments are less violent and hurtful. Asuka starts sounding like a wife nagging her husband, and Shinji like a husband pretending to listen to her.
  • In Prison Island Break, Sonic the Hedgehog and Shadow are cellies. At first they hate each other but their relationship evolves to this, especially since they have to spend every night in the same room together.
  • In the Pokemon fanfic Travels of the Trifecta, Brandon says that Paul and Conway act like an old married couple when he hears them bickering.
  • Q and Eve Monneypenny in the Sky Fall fic, so you were never a saint. Eve constantly fusses over his appearance and frequently crashes to his house to cook or watch TV with him. In the MI-6 HQ, they are either bickering or ranting about their work to each other, to Bond's amusement. Despite this, they are not in a relationship.
  • -Hilariously- inverted in The Second Try. After being told the secret, Misato mutters Shinji and Asuka used to bicker Like an Old Married Couple before, but now that they ARE one, they act like new-found lovebirds. Shinji and Asuka explain that is -partially- because they are hormone-driven teenagers again... without Belligerent Sexual Tension separating them.
    • The "Hey, look, the newlyweds are fighting!" line from Toji is revisited, and Shinji and Asuka both try hard to act like they did the first time, except Toji notices that the two of them are having a hard time containing their laughter.
  • In the first episodes of Thousand Shinji, Shinji and Asuka combined constant bickering with a huge helping of snark. At the same time they were very close, and Shinji teased Asuka constantly because he loved getting her angry:
    Shinji: You know, if you flashed the class, I bet you could kill half the male population.
    Asuka: Toji's an idiot and Rei's a liar.
    Shinji: Toji's been hospitalized and you never denied that quote from Rei.
    Asuka: Alright, she’s a horrible exaggerator! Happy now?
    Shinji: No! This shirt was brand new.
    Asuka: Gah! Why must you take her side?
    Shinji: I'm not. I just enjoy winding you up, or have you not figured that out by now?

    Films — Animation 
  • Used in a deleted scene of The Princess and the Frog, between Naveen and Tiana.
  • In Strange Magic, late in the film the fairy knight Roland realizes that his ex-fiancée the fairy princess Marianne and the seemingly "evil" Bog King have fallen in love because they start arguing like a couple. He says in a very shocked way "Are you actually having... a lover's tiff?"
  • Finding Dory has Destiny and Bailey, a pair of "neighbours" who frequently bickers over random stuffs, but works together very well when they need to, and Bailey's echolocation serves as Destiny's guide (because she's really nearsighted).
  • Lilo & Stitch:
    • Gantu and Reuben (Experiment 625) in the series, have several bicker spats with each other as they make snarky comments towards each other which range from their professions to their looks.
    • Jumba and Pleakley have some of their moments of this as well, which includes disguising themselves as such a couple even when there's no need to and even having some spats with each other.
  • The Lion King:
    • Timon and Pumbaa do not show much of this in the films but its very evident in their own series as they frequently bicker with each other. Apparently, their philosophy of "Hakuna Matata" does not protect them from having such bicker spats.
  • Zootopia:
    • Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde. While its ambiguous as to whether their relationship is romantic or platonic, Judy acts like a nagging wife towards Nick, who in return acts like an lazy and oafish husband pretending to listen. They showed this while trying to solve the missing mammal cases.
    • Bucky and Pronk Oryx-Antlerson, Judy Hopps' noisy neighbors, argued like this for at least half of their screen time (limited as it was), though their arguments are mostly childish exchanges along the line of "No, YOU shut up!". According to co-producer Jared Bush, Bucky and Pronk actually are a married couple!
  • Storks: Junior and Tulip quickly get into this, though they also argue like a newly married couple when they are dealing with the baby.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Grapevine. To Susan Crawford and Matt Brewer:
    Thumper Klein: Why don't you two just get married right now? You already argue like an old married couple.
  • In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Snape enters the Shrieking Shack and remarks to Sirius and Lupin, "Listen to you two, quarreling like an old married couple."
  • High Anxiety the Mel Brooks character and Arthur Brisbane's daughter use this to get through airport security undetected by being a loud old arguing married (Jewish) couple.
  • Detective Spooner and Doctor Calvin in I, Robot.
  • This is the relationship between Maleficent and Diaval, helped by the fact they've been Parental Substitutes for Aurora ever since she was a baby.
    Diaval: How could you do that to me?
    Maleficent: You said anything I need.
    Diaval: Yeah, but not a dog! Dogs are nasty and vicious and they eat birds!
    Maleficent: Fine. Next time I'll turn you into a mealy worm.
    Diaval: I'll be a mealy worm, gladly!
  • In The Naked Gun 33 1/3, Frank Drebin is infiltrating a family gang hired to blow up the Academy Awards. Then his wife Jane shows up, thinking that he is cheating on her. Playing his role, he suggests they keep her as a hostage. Then they start arguing (even though they supposedly don't know each other), causing the head of the gang to get suspicious and claim that they sound like they're married.
  • Scientists Dr. Newton Geiszler and Dr. Hermann Gottlieb in Pacific Rim, which may be the most popular pairing in the fandom despite a couple of canonical pairings. Though they almost never stop fighting over their approaches to the kaiju, they really do seem to care about each other.
  • Lampshaded by Word of God in his commentary of Red Eye when Lisa reminds Jackson of his promise that he would call off the gunman in front of her father's house:
    Jackson: What?
    Lisa: You know what. My dad. Make the call. Your part of the deal.
    [Jackson takes the phone and puts it on the receiver]
    Jackson: I still need you.
    Lisa: You promised.
    Jackson: And I'll keep that promise...
  • This is how Robert Downey, Jr. described the relationship between his character and Watson in Sherlock Holmes.
  • The Force Awakens: Han and Leia. Of course, they are married, but when they reunite after having not seen each other in years, they slip back into this mode in seconds.
    Han: I was just trying to be helpful!
    Leia: When has that ever helped?
    Han: [opens his mouth]
    Leia: And don't say the Death Star.

  • In Boundary the two linguists are described as this by several characters. They end up getting a Relationship Upgrade at the end making then the Gamma Couple
  • In one of the Bunnicula books, "Return to Howliday Inn", the ghost (actually Hamlet the dog pulling some ventriloquism) comments that Harold and Chester argue like an old married couple.
  • Monk and Ham in the Doc Savage novels.
  • It's more subtle than usual, but in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Ron and Hermione's bickering strongly reminds Harry of Molly and Arthur Weasley's bickering at one point. Molly and Arthur are an old married couple. Pretty damn cool method of Foreshadowing.
  • Shasta and Aravis in The Horse and His Boy. They end up getting married "so as to go on doing it more conveniently."
  • British statesman Lord Chesterfield in Letters to His Son: "the Duke of Newcastle and Mr. Pitt jog on like man and wife; that is, seldom agreeing, often quarreling; but by mutual interest, upon the whole, not parting." (letter 221)
  • Tonker and Lofty in Monstrous Regiment. Jackrum blurts out 'What are you, married?' at them in the middle of the book, though it's quite likely that he already knew they were an item.
  • The bickering between Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin can take on this edge since their working relationship specifically revolves around the latter being hired to nag, provoke and irritate the former into working when he is determined not to.
  • Toward the beginning of Redwall, as Matthias and Cornflower take care of the Churchmouse twins, Colin Vole comments knowingly that they're like an old wedded couple. He's instantly told off, since Matthias is in line to become a brother in the Redwall order, but sure enough, they're married by the end of the book.
  • The Trials of Apollo: Nico di Angelo and Will Solace have been together for six months, and argue like they've been married for five decades. It's both hilarious and adorable.
  • Someone Else's War: Asher and Eliza. Respectively sixteen and fourteen.
  • A Yellow Raft In Blue Water by Michael Dorris: The relationship of Christine Taylor and her brother Lee's high school friend Dayton Nickles when she comes back to the Indian reservation when she contracts a terminal illness.
  • The Dresden Files: The entirety of Harry Dresden and Karrin Murphy's professional relationship and friendship is rooted in this trope. Jim Butcher once mentioned to a fan that he even thought their eventual hookup was due to this trope, as Harry loved annoying Murphy even in the very first book long before either of them realized they had feelings for each other.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Adventures of Sinbad (1996). Sinbad and Maeve are arguing.
    Caipra: Alright you two, that's enough. Stop acting like an old married couple.
  • During the Ashes to Ashes Grand Finale, Shaz mentions that she's amazed that Chris and Ray never tied the knot.
  • A memorable scene in Babylon 5 had Londo and G'Karnote  arguing, to which a newcomer to the station remarks, "I wonder how long they've been married."
    • Of course, jokes about G'Kar and Londo being a married couple go all the way back to the first season, in a weird form of Everyone Can See It.
    • Doctor Franklin and Marcus Cole tended towards this when working together, most particularly when they were undercover in a Smithical Marriage.note 
    • Also Captain John Sheridan and his exec Commander Susan Ivanova, who had worked together even before he was stationed at Babylon 5. Because she's his Number Two (and also his best friend), they go back and forth like this a lot, especially when she's playing Commander Contrarian. Unlike many examples of this trope, however, there is no risk of this relationship turning romantic; Sheridan is desperately in love with Delenn, and in any case he and Susan acknowledge openly and comfortably that there's absolutely nothing of that sort between them anyway (in the middle of a bickering match that could easily make new viewers think they actually are siblings). This doesn't stop them from interacting like they've been married for decades, though.
  • The Big Bang Theory:
    • Raj and Howard are called out on this multiple times, most notably by Leonard's incredibly blunt scientist mother who asserts that Raj is afraid of women and Howard has unresolved Oedipal issues, so it's not surprising they've formed "an ersatz homosexual marriage."
    • When Leonard wanted time alone to Skype with his girlfriend, Sheldon patiently waited at Penny's apartment. They were both doing their own things, reading on the couch and chair and Penny mentioned how it feels like they are an old married couple (they are friends but no one can annoy each other the way the other can). They get into a mock fight where Sheldon demanded she get a treat, Penny asked for a divorce and Sheldon said to get the treat on the way to the lawyers office. They both briefly laugh over their "argument."
    • Leonard and Penny tried to hang out as merely friends and found that they had a lot of unresolved issues between them that caused them to argue. It really surfaced when they went to a bar and both of them tried to chat up other people, leading to embarassing secrets being discussed openly.
  • Bones and Booth argue about everything, but no one doubts that they love each other. They are aware of it, too; they're just terrible at timing.
  • Boston Legal has Denny Crane and Alan Shore, who make more jokes about their own Ho Yay than the rest of the cast put together. When Denny catches Alan doing their Once an Episode balcony routine with another man, he reacts as though Alan were cheating on him. In the finale, they actually do get married and literally become an old married couple, which is to say they are "old" (Denny is 75) and married.
  • Detectives Jake Peralta and Amy Santiago in Brooklyn Nine-Nine fulfill the constantly-bickering-yet-have-UST part of the trope, but it's also reinforced in more subtle ways. In particular, both frequently give off the vibe of having spent so much time together and gotten to know each other so well that they've picked up on all sorts of weird little bits of trivia and character tics about the other apparently without even realizing it; Peralta, for example, knows all about Santiago's "special routine" for brushing her teeth, while Santiago is aware that Peralta's grandmother called him "pineapples". In one episode, they pretend to be a bickering couple to get the drop on a couple of crooks, leading to this exchange when they finally drop the act:
    Peralta: [To Santiago] Nice work.
    Santiago: Thanks. You too.
    Crook: I'm sad y'all arrestin' me... but I gotta say, I'm glad you're back together.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel:
    • Angel and Spike in spades, especially during Season 5 of Angel. They argue over absolutely everything, but for some reason always hang out. This scene basically sum it up.
      Spike: Least I got company, eh? You and me. Together again. Hope and Crosby. Stills and Nash. Chico and the man.
      Angel: Yeah, are we done?
      Spike: Never much for small talk, were you? Always too busy trying to perfect that brooding block-of-wood mystique. God, I love that.
      Angel: Not as much as I love your nonstop yammering.
      Spike: The way you always had to be the big swingy, swaggering around, barkin' orders.
      Angel: Never listening...
      Spike: Always interrupting.
      Angel: And your hair, what color do they call that? Radioactive?
      Spike: Never much cared for you, Liam. Even when we were evil.
      Angel: Cared for you less.
      Spike: Fine.
      Angel: Good. [silence] There was one thing I liked about you.
      Spike: Really?
      Angel: Yeah, I never told anybody this, but... I liked your poems.
      Spike: [with feeling] You like Barry Manilow.
    • Buffy and Spike had shades of this themselves during seasons 4 through 5 of Buffy. It wasn't until later it escalated to something more than friends.
  • It has been noted by several observers that the frequently-bickering-yet-intensely-close friendship that Castle's Richard Castle and Detective Kate Beckett have become embroiled in is like, well, they're already married (or at least in a relationship). In one notable example, a suggestion that they brainstorm from the perspective of a married couple ended up with the two of them arguing like a married couple about being a married couple.
  • Cheers. Three words: Sam and Diane.
    Sam: You know — while we're talking about problems, you wanna know what really, REALLY bugs me about you?
    Diane: Fine!
    Sam: The way you eat pretzels! [beat]
    Diane: Pretzels!
    Sam: Yeah, that's right — three bites! Not two, not one like the rest of us — but THREE BITES!
    Diane: Do you want to know what "bugs" me about YOU?!
    Sam: Oh, I'd love to. What?
  • Partners Jay Halstead and Erin Lindsay on Chicago P.D., and they've only been working together for a relatively short time. She never lets him drive and he complains that he feels like a house husband, he beats up a guy who catcalls and rudely flirts with her, and they argue a lot, especially about Erin's father figure (and their boss) Voight. Heck, they even argue about their maybe-not-so-professional relationship.
    Jay: Did you see the look on his face?
    Erin: Yeah. So?
    Jay: So?
    Erin: We haven't done anything.
    Jay: Don't I know it.
    Erin: Would you just spit out whatever fit is that you're trying to spit out?
    Jay: Okay. Maybe this last month I don't wanna be the guy you use to get a rise out of your father figure.
    Erin: You wish I was using you.
    Jay: Oh, I'm serious. You have issues, you need to work them out. Work them out without me.
    Erin: I repeat, we haven't done anything. And if you wanna keep it that way—
    Jay: Hey, that'd be great.
    Erin: [annoyed] All right, perfect.
    Jay: Fantastic.
    Erin: You done?
    Jay: I was done long before this conversation started.
    Erin: Really? Then shut up.
    [and then later on...]
    Erin: Dinner at The Purple Pig? It's got the dump.
    Jay: Those things suck.
    Erin: I don't think so.
    Jay: Besides, you just told me to shut up and that we're done.
    Erin: No, you told me we were done. But a girl's gotta eat.
    Jay: [annoyed] Now you're hungry.
  • Covert Affairs: Annie and Auggie, definitely. It's lampshaded in the season 2 episode "Half a World Away". Auggie is in Turkey, not answering his phone, and Annie is getting very worried with good reason. Cue the random stewardess Auggie is with at the time getting an unexpected phone call:
    Annie: [annoyed tone of voice] Hi, can I talk to Auggie, please?
    Franka: It's for you. I think it's your wife. She sounds rather upset...
  • Dark Angel: Alec and Max in Season 2. Alec loves teasing her while Max gets royally pissed off by even being around him. They argue and spark off each other constantly yet somehow spend a lot of time together. Some fans speculate it was heading towards a romance if the show hadn't been canceled.
    [on ropes trying to steal the same famous baseball]
    Max: Read my lips, pretty boy. Get a life, get a job, and stop sticking your nose into mine! [pushes him] Don't make me kick you ass!
    Alec: You know, this whole 'tough chick act' is really unbecoming. "I'm gonna bounce you on your ass." "I'm gonna smack your bitch head". It's so unfeminine.
    [Max kicks the ball out of his hand and triggers an alarm]
    Alec: Great. Now look what you did.
    Max: [kicks him] God, I hate you!
  • Lucien and Jean in The Doctor Blake Mysteries are mistaken for husband and wife on several occasions. They don't always bother to correct this.
  • Doctor Who:
    • This will almost always happen if two or more incarnations of the Doctor meet each other, but special mention goes to the Third and Second Doctors, who appeared together twice onscreen, and bickered as if it was the end of the world.
    • Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton probably liked doing that so much, that every time they met each other at a convention, they would pretend to hate each other and (drumroll please!) bicker like an old married couple.
    • The Fourth Doctor and Romana in the classic series. True for both of her, as Romana I's book-smart personality clashed with the Doctor's street-wise nature and Romana II... well... yeah.
    • The Sixth Doctor and Peri seemed to do this a lot. Every episode with them has them exchanging insults and arguing about the stupidest things.
    • The Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble. There had to be a reason why everyone kept mistaking them for married. It's ironic since Donna is the only long-term female companion in New Who so far who isn't hot for the Doctor.
    • In "Forest of the Dead", one of several arguments between the Doctor and River Song is interrupted by a character remarking that they're "squabbling like an old married couple". Unknown to the Doctor, but not to River, they are, in fact, married.
    • "The Time of Angels": The first time Amy Pond met River, she eventually asked if River and the Doctor were married.
    • "The Pandorica Opens":
      The Eleventh Doctor: You graffitied the oldest cliff face in the universe!
      River: You wouldn't answer your phone!
    • The like-an-old-married-couple-factor is taken to the next level in "The Big Bang". When the Doctor saves River from a constant time-loop, he teleports into the TARDIS and saves her life that way. The following dialogue occurs:
      The Doctor: Honey, I'm home!
      River: And what sort of time do you call this?
    • And now added onto the list of girls who argue provocatively with the Doctor, we have the old girl herself, in "The Doctor's Wife".
      The Doctor: You are not my mother!
      TARDIS-Idris: And you are not my child!
    • "The Android Invasion" gives us Kraal Mad Scientist Styggron and his colleague Chedaki, who do nothing but snark and snip at one another throughout the story.
  • Downton Abbey: Carson and Mrs Hughes have been working together for years as Team Mom and Team Dad. They bicker a lot, but show a great affection toward each other. They used to be Just Friends, until Mr Carson proposed to her in Series 5 (They Do).
  • Fargo: The hitman pair of Mr. Numbers and Mr. Wrench. Their actors were specifically told to interact like an old married couple, and the arguments witnessed between them (coupled with their obvious ease around each other) certainly give off that impression.
  • Frasier.
    • In the episode "Bla-Z-Boy", Frasier becomes upset that he's been living with his father for 8 years, and 26 if his childhood is included. Things come to a boil when Daphne mentions that the two could be considered common law spouses. After Frasier snarks at Martin an umpteenth time, Roz muses, "Just like an old married couple!", which makes Frasier absolutely fume. This ends up causing a bit of friction over the episode, since Frasier isn't particularly thrilled with the implication that the most significant relationship he's ever had or is likely to have is with his father.
    • Also, Martin and Daphne on a constant basis. While their relationship is strictly father-daughter/doctor-patient, whenever they argue they really do sound exactly like an old married couple. Beautifully played with in the episode "Three Valentines". When Daphne and Martin find themselves having dinner together on Valentines Day, Daphne starts talking about their relationship, and how she enjoys looking after him, and it's almost like Martin is her ... then breaks off. It eventually turns out that she was thinking "It's sort of like you're my pet". Cue them arguing ... like an old married couple.
    • And Frasier and Niles, of course, do this constantly, what with the nitpicking, unwarranted commentary, and the barrage of swiftly and pitch-perfectly thrown insults so easy and practiced that it's almost a reflex. Whenever they don't sound like Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, they sound like Fred and Ethel Mertz, to the point of Does This Remind You of Anything?.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Will invoked this about his bickering with Jazz. Jazz's response, naturally, "Oh, now I'm 'old'?!"
  • Friends: One of the biggest running gags of the show is Joey and Chandler arguing like this. This is taken up to eleven when they get a chick and a duck, often treating the said bird-pets like their own children.
    Joey: Anyways, I gotta go change. I'm meeting some of the cast for drinks. note 
    Chandler: Excuse me?
    Joey: What?
    Chandler: I stayed home from work today while you were at rehearsal so somebody would be here with our chick.
    Joey: Hey, who was up from 2 o'clock this morning until 5 o'clock this morning trying to get her back to sleep?
    Chandler: You don't think I get up when you get up?
    Joey: Oh, here it comes!
    Chandler: Yes! Here it comes! I'm stuck here all day, and then you come in and spend two seconds with us, and then expect to go gallivanting with you friends?! Well, I don't think so, mister.
    Joey: Hey! I need to relax, okay? I was working all day.
    Chandler: And you don't think taking care of our chick is "work"?
    Joey: That's not what I said, okay? I just meant—
    Chandler: I know what you "meant"!
    Chandler: Have you noticed that ever since we got this chick, we've been fighting a lot more than we used to?
    Joey: I don't know. Maybe we weren't ready to have a chick.
    Chandler: I'll sure want them someday, though.
    Joey: I know. I know.
    • Also, Chandler and Monica at times. Interestingly, they actually went on to become a couple. A hilarious scene has them seriously discussing how to organize their CDs while Rachel, who has actual romantic problems, almost explodes with frustration.
    Chandler: Well, if we're gonna do that, we should come up with some kind of order. Y'know, alphabetically or by genre?
    Monica: Hmm, I don't know. We really have to talk this through.
    Rachel: Oh my God! You guys have such problems! I feel so terrible for you!
  • Lenni from Ghostwriter gets pissed off at her dad after he remarks that she and the boy she's working on a school project with are acting "like an old married couple."
  • Gilmore Girls:
    • In the episode "Happy Birthday, Baby", Lane witnesses one of Rory and Jess's arguments and even says as much. Jess is noticeably pleased.
      Jess: Hey.
      Rory: Hey.
      Jess: I got the video for tonight.
      Rory: What'd you get?
      Jess: Almost Famous.
      Rory: No, not again.
      Jess: I can't help it, I'm addicted.
      Rory: Fine, but if I'm going to spend two hours sitting there watching Kate Hudson commit suicide again, then we are ordering Indian food.
      Jess: Oh, come on.
      Rory: Hey, last night when we watched Ed Wood, we got burgers like you wanted to.
      Jess: Okay, fine — tonight, Indian food, but tomorrow, Saturday Night Fever and Thai food.
      Lane: That's so cute. You’re like a really sweet old agoraphobic couple.
      Jess: Thank you very much.
    • Ironically, Jess's uncle Luke and Rory's mother Lorelai have the same dynamic, much to the amusement of the other characters.
  • Glee has Blaine and Kurt, who, in their own words, are "like a fabulous old married couple".
  • The Goodies had an episode in which Tim and Bill bickered about dinner in this fashion, complete with snarky hissing and turning their backs on one another. Context: Tim was giving a gourmet meal to a guinea pig. (It Makes Sense In...uh...further...contexty...things...)
    Tim: ...Ruddy 'ell!
    Bill: Surely you're not resentful toward a little kindness for one of our dumb friends?
    Tim: The only dumb friend I've got is you!
    Bill: Well, thank you, after I make supper for you—
    Tim: Look, we can hardly afford to feed ourselves, and you start giving four-course meals to flaming guinea pigs!
    Bill: [turns his back] Temper, temper...
    Tim: Well, since when have we eaten that well!
    Bill: Since when indeed, yes...what did we get last time you cooked supper, eh? [Tim turns his back as well] A bowl of corn flakes! Yes, and they were burnt...
    Tim: Well, better than your soggy lettuce and potato peelings...
    Bill: [turns back around, snapping] On the money you give me, you're very lucky to get anything at all, I can tell you! [turning his back, hands on hips] Oh, I've a good urge to go back to mother's...
    Tim: Well, go.
    Bill: I shall.
    Graeme: Now listen!
    Bill and Tim: AND YOU KEEP OUT OF THIS!
    Graeme: Tim, you are being very, very silly!
    Tim: Oh, you always take sides with him, don't you...
  • In the new Hawaii Five-0, Steve and Danny have this in spades. They spend nearly every minute of screentime bickering and it has been lampshaded by other characters several times. ("How long have you two been married?"/"Are you talking to your wife?") They even managed to bicker while confronting a serial killer who had a hostage on a clifftop (though the argument is partially staged as a ploy to distract the criminal).
    Danny: [talking to the criminal] Listen to me. I know what’s it like to have someone you love walk away from you.
    Steve: [to Danny] What are you doing?
    Danny: What?
    Steve: What are you doing? The guy’s clearly a psychopath; you’re trying to make friends with him? You’re trying to connect?
    Danny: He’s standing right here in front of us!
    Steve: Danny you’re a cop, not a therapist.
    Danny: Hey, hey, I've been trained for this kind of thing, okay!
    Steve: What, to bore people into submission?
    Danny: [to the criminal] Don’t listen to him, okay? His idea of communication is he drops a witty one-liner and shoots you in the face!
    Steve: You know what? Maybe I should just shoot this guy, so he doesn't have to listen to you talk!
    • Also notable is the "Sexy Eyes" cargument:
      [Steve turns on the radio; "Sexy Eyes" is playing]
      [pause, in which Danny's face is a CMOF all on its own]
      Danny: Are you serious?
      Steve: What?
      Danny: You’re not going to change this?
      Steve: What's wrong with this?
      Danny: You're going to leave this; you’re not going to do something about this?
      Steve: It's okay.
      Danny: It's okay?! Alright, listen. I know you have been trained to endure torture, okay, but this is unbearable! This is not right. Songs this bad make stable people wanna kill other people, understand?
      [Danny turns the radio off]
      Steve: I think it's kind of catchy... [turns it back on]
    • In the season four episode "Kupu'eu", Danny tries to start an argument with Joe White about the shocks on his car (the two are traveling down a dirt road at the time). Joe invokes the trope by name while asking if that's all Danny and Steve do in the car.
    • In the season five premiere, Steve and Danny go to therapy. It was technically part of the mandatory psych evaluation, but it ends up looking more like marriage counseling.
  • Dr. House and and his bromantic best friend Dr. Wilson in House. They even live together for the better part of season 6 and for a few episodes in season 2.
    House: Please have an answer to this question: what's for dinner?
    Wilson: You STILL haven't done the dishes?!
  • Lily and Marshall in How I Met Your Mother. In one episode, where the couple remains in the bathroom after their friend Ted and girlfriend Victoria don't realize they are home after staving of their anniversary vacation, Lily says that her and Marshall seem like an old married couple...
    Lily: And we're not even married yet!
  • iCarly: Freddie and Carly act like this, but more the "familiar and comfortable with one another" side than the bickering one.
  • Inspector Lynley: The eponymous Inspector Lynley and his partner Sergeant Barbara Havers, at least once they've got comfortable with each other. By the end of the program, they practically are married—it's just not sexual. Yet.
  • In It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, roommates Mac and Dennis are described this way In-Universe.
  • A Law & Order/Homicide: Life on the Street crossover has one of the Baltimore detectives theorizing that Briscoe and Munch were "married in a former life."
  • NCIS, "One Shot One Kill": Kate is bickering with DiNozzo about his driving.
    Gibbs: Brings back memories.
    Kate: Memories of what?
    Gibbs: Marriage.
    • Tony and McGee, in "Guilty Pleasure".
      Ziva: You know what, you two? I have actually heard of this. You two are having a seven-year bitch.
      Tony: Itch, and yes, we are.
      Ziva: You two are like a married couple.
      Gibbs: No they're not—they're still speaking.
    • Tony and Ziva themselves can be like this.
    • Gibbs and Jenny Shepard often resembled this too. She stole his coffee, he used her glasses, and they generally acted comfortable around each other, though they also had amazing arguments.
    • Oddly, Gibbs and FBI's Tobias Fornell also qualified as this sometimes. That's what happens when you share an ex-wife...
  • Sam and Callen from NCIS: Los Angeles are frequently referred to as a married couple, both by their teammates and by various guest characters.
  • Psych:
    • Shawn and Gus. So married, they're legally domestic partners.
    • Shawn and Lassiter occasionally fall into this trope in the later seasons.
  • Royal Pains has Divya and Evan set up on a "kiss and make up date" by Hank.
    Divya: Here's an idea—let's have dinner, but absolutely no conversation.
    Evan: Yeah, like we're married.
  • J.D. and Turk on Scrubs. For instance, when Dr Cox sees J.D. welcoming Turk and Carla back from their honeymoon:
    Dr Cox: Ghandi, Mrs. Ghandi...Carla.
    • They even do it to themselves:
      Turk: When Sam gets older I teach him about sports and stuff, and you're in charge of Izzy's emotional crap. We agreed, that's how we'd raise our kids.
      J.D.: "Our kids"? Turk, we're not married.
      Turk: Dude, we're a little married.
      J.D.: I know, I love it.
    • This hasn't escaped Carla's notice either, for that matter.
      Carla: Tell me my husband loves me more than he loves you.
      J.D.: It's about the same.
      Carla: [sighs, smiling] I'll take it.
  • The Not That There's Anything Wrong with That Trope Namer episode of Seinfeld has the reporter who thinks Jerry and George are a gay couple include the line "The two bicker about the cleanliness of a piece of fruit like an old married couple." in her article about Jerry.
  • In 7Days, Frank and Olga needed to infiltrate a cult holed up in a country house. Their superiors suggest they go in as husband and wife. Some arguments ensue, and we get...
    "Sounds married to me"
  • John and Sherlock of Sherlock fit this trope perfectly. Their constant bickering over silly things, like whose turn it is to buy the milk and where Sherlock puts his experiments, comes off very much like a married couple—especially because they're flatmates, partners-in-crime-solving and Heterosexual Life-Partners. It's one of the reasons they're constantly Mistaken for Gay. Mrs. Hudson even refers to one of their quarrels as "a little domestic."
  • The titular Siskel & Ebert.
    • While not nearly as often, there were a few times where Ebert and Richard Roeper had this (though the generational gap made it seem more like a father/son disagreement). Also happened a few times after Roger left with Roeper and Michael Phillips.
  • In Smallville, Lois and Clark are all over this for years before they actually even admit having feelings for one another.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series seemed to have an old married threesome:
  • Stargate Atlantis: Sheppard and Weir. Their bickering about intergalactic space vampires and a mythological city comes across like arguing about washing-up duty.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Daniel Jackson and Jack O'Neill. This does help in at least three cases to help prove the identity of one of them:
      • In "Holiday", an old alien scientist switches bodies with Daniel, so Daniel has to convince the others that he really is trapped in an old man's body. O'Neill asks what color Daniel's sister's dress was when they went out last time. Daniel retorts that he doesn't have a sister, and if he did, he'd never let her date Jack.
      • In "Crystal Skull", Daniel is stuck out-of-phase and cannot be heard or seen except by his grandfather Nick. Daniel has Nick repeat everything he says exactly. Jack is being his usual smart-ass self and comments on how Daniel has "lost a lot of weight". Daniel absently comments, "Jack, don't be an ass." Nick, of course, repeats the phrase verbatim, prompting O'Neill to realize that only Daniel would say that.
      • In "Fragile Balance", a teenager claiming to be Jack O'Neill (actually, a clone) arrives to the SGC and tries to prove he is who he says he is. Then arrives Daniel, prompting this exchange.
        O'Neill Clone: Daniel! Will you tell them who I am? Please?
        Daniel Jackson: Okay. Love to. Who are you?
        General Hammond: This boy claims he's Colonel O'Neill.
        Daniel Jackson: This is a joke, right?
        O'Neill Clone: Daniel!
        Daniel Jackson: Sounds like him, at least the loud grating part.
    • Daniel and Vala. When those two get started, it's best to just sit back and get ready to laugh, a lot.
  • Starsky & Hutch tend to bicker like this a lot.
  • During the "Rashomon"-Style episode of Supernatural, Bobby calls Sam and Dean out on this as they try to paint each other in the worst possible light. They don't really try to deny it:
    Dean: No, see, married couples can get divorced. Me and him? We're like, uh, Siamese twins.
    Sam: It's conjoined twins!
    Dean: See what I mean?
    • Called out again in the episode "Pac-Man Fever":
    Dean: Sounds like something you should read about. In a book. At home.
    Sam: I'm not leaving until we find out whatever is doing this.
    Dean: Whatever. [stalks off]
    Charlie: You guys fight like an old married couple.
  • Glitch and Cain of Syfy's Tin Man, starting pretty much immediately after they meet. And that's not where the Ho Yay ends, either.
  • All three presenters on Top Gear, but particularly Jeremy Clarkson and James May.
  • The Vampire Diaries:
    • Damon and Bonnie embody this trope literally, especially in Season Six when they were trapped in a Prison World for four months with just the two of them as a company. They went grocery shopping, ate dinner, and breakfast together. All they did was argue.
      (Damon and Bonnie shopping. They fight for control of the cart)
      Bonnie: We need strawberries. Eggs, milk, and ooh— candles.
      Damon: I know it's been a while, but you couldn't do magic as an anchor, so I'm curious what momentary lapse of reason makes you think you can do it now.
      Bonnie: You know, when this all started, you sucked at making pancakes but now they're somewhat edible. Milk. There's no reason to be Peter Pessimist. We have proof we're not alone.
      Damon: First of all, don't nickname. That's my thing. And this proof ... this mysteriously filled in crossword, could very easily have been you.
      Bonnie: I didn't. Fill. It. In.
      Damon: No, you don't know you filled it in. You also don't know that you talk in your sleep—- eggs.
    • Damon and Elena in the early seasons, ironically until they actually got together.
  • Josh and Donna on The West Wing. At one point they spend an entire episode arguing over whether their anniversary is in February or in April (the anniversary of when she came to work for him, that is).
    • POTUS and Leo also act like this on occasion. (Both actors admitted to this in interviews, but each claimed that the other was the wife.)
      Bartlet: Honey, if we're gonna have this fight, can we not do it in front of the Joint Chiefs? It just scares the hell out of them.
  • Parodied on a 1997 episode of Wheel of Fortune where, in the final segment, host Pat Sajak and hostess Vanna White are at a table, respectively reading a newspaper and knitting. They both joke that people often interpret them as a married couple (even though in Real Life, both are happily married to different people), with Pat nodding and bluntly finishing all of Vanna's sentences.
  • Teen Wolf: Lifelong best friends Scott and Stiles. They're completely comfortable sharing personal space, banter constantly about anything and everything, have an open dialogue most real couples would envy, casually discuss their sex lives and admit they can't imagine living without each other.
  • On The X-Files, Mulder and Scully are frequently like this. In the beginning, it was bickering over scientific versus paranormal, but after awhile it was just... married couple bickering. They are often mistaken for a married couple by non-recurring characters. And to put this in perspective, Mulder's nickname at the FBI is "Spooky". Scully's? "Mrs. Spooky".
    • From "Syzygy":
      Mulder: Eh, Scully, if I'm not mistaken, we're gonna be taking a left up here. Eh, there's an intersection up here, you're gonna wanna...Scully! You're gonna, just ran a stop sign back there, Scully.
      Scully: Shut up, Mulder.
      Mulder: Sure, fine, whatever.
    • Nowhere does it get more obvious than the season 6 episode "Arcadia", in which they go undercover as a married couple. The Fridge Brilliance of that episode is that it wasn't originally an X-File, it was simply a missing-persons case in a creepy neighborhood. Which means out of all the male/female FBI pairs, whoever headed this case felt that Mulder and Scully would be most believable as a married couple.
    • From "Bad Blood": Mulder and Scully are waiting for a meeting and both are very nervous and anxious because Mulder stuck a stake through a teenager's chest, and the Bureau might face a major law suit and obviously he might end up in prison. Scully tries to adjust Mulder's tie and he just angrily pushes her hands away. She then pesters him to keep reminding their supervisor that he was drugged, which he refuses, convinced that he has killed a vampire. When AD Skinner appears, the very first thing Mulder very eagerly says? "I was drugged!"
    • The conversation from the end of season eight's "Alone" is a great example too:
      Scully: Well, first of all, it was never actually proven that it was a spaceship.
      Mulder: It wasn't?
      Scully: Well, no, what happened, was that we fell off of something—
      Mulder: Something?
      Scully: —that rose out of the ice.
      Mulder: And what do you think that was?
      Scully: Well, I don't know what it was, but we never, we didn't actually see a spaceship.
      Mulder: I can't believe you're saying it wasn't a spaceship.
      Scully: No, I mean, it could've been a spaceship, Mulder.
      Mulder: Of course it was a spaceship.
      Scully: But we don't know that it was, you don't have a picture of it or anything.
      Mulder: You know it was a spaceship, you saw it.
      Scully: No, no, remember, I was unconscious, and when I woke up, there was no spaceship.
      Mulder: I saw a spaceship.

  • Film critic Mark Kermode and radio presenter Simon Mayo are often compared to an old married couple - by others as well as themselves.
    Simon Mayo: (reading a listener's complaint about her husband not listening to her opinion on films anymore) "This is for the sake of marital harmony."
    Mark Kermode: What, ours?
  • During a discussion of gay marriage on The News Quiz, Alan Coren claimed to be in "a form of marriage" with his regular News Quiz and Call My Bluff sparring partner Sandi Toksvig (it may or may not be relevent that Sandi is in fact a lesbian).
    Alan: The exact form this takes is not easily defined...
    Sandi: Now, I've explained this; it'll be like any other marriage. We won't have sex, we'll just sit in bed and eat burgers.
    Alan: We did that last week.
    Sandi: That's true, actually...

  • In the final scene The Moon Is Blue, when Patty suddenly starts arguing with Don about spending so much money on gambling, he tells her: "Will you kindly shut up? We're not married yet." She smiles, realizing what he's just said.

    Video Games 
  • In the Assassin's Creed series, Shaun and Rebecca are like this throughout each game they appear in.
  • In Black Mesa, when going through the portals in the Lambda Complex, you can find a room with a male scientist, female scientist, and a guard.
    Guard: You two argue like an old married couple.
    Male scientist: We are an old married couple!
    Female scientist: Who are you calling old!?
  • Parodied by Etna in Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories when Adell and Rozalin argue.
    Etna: Ah, how cute! You two have one of those kind of relationships going...
  • Dragon Age:
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Sora and Donald act like this in the Deep Jungle world when bickering over finding Riku or King Mickey, which causes Sora to crash the gummy ship into the world. When Sora regroups with Donald and Goofy in that world, Sora and Donald give each other the silent treatment but are distracted from further bickering through their decision to help Tarzan and Jane stop Clayton from hunting and killing gorillas
    • Sora and Riku start up this kind of bickering in Neverland and Hollow Bastion when Riku reveals that he has fallen into darkness. Sora behaves like a wife who was wronged by her husband when he finds out.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, there’s a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment with Squall Leon and Aerith, in which the former ask the later if she’ll be okay by herself (the whole town was currently in a crisis) while he goes out to retrieve something, and her only reply is to coldly stare at him, who decides to shut up and leave.
  • Mass Effect 2:
  • Mass Effect 3: Citadel has Shepard do this with his/her other love interests.note 
    Shepard: (preparing to shoot a door open) Stand back!
    Love Interest: Wait. (politely knocks on the window and asks) Could you open the door for us?
    (door opens)
    Love Interest: Thank you.
    Volus Skycar Manager: Please leave!
    Love Interest: (looks smug)
    Shepard: Well, I could have done that.
  • During the Portal 2 co-op speedrun at Awesome Games Done Quick 2012, the other viewers joked that there was this kind of chemistry between romscout and ShadowWraith. In the bonus stream, Flicky and PJ had a similar dynamic when they played The Adventures of Cookie & Cream.
  • Ratchet & Clank spend a good portion of the first game of their franchise bickering, with Ratchet even denying their friendship at one point.
  • If Soji Murakumo is picked as the protagonist of Super Robot Wars V, his dynamic with Nine comes off as this. He even states this during the scenario where he gets the Mid-Season Upgrade.
  • Tales Series:
    • Asbel and Cheria are like this from time to time in Tales of Graces:
      Cheria: (to Sophie) Come on!
      Sophie: No.
      Asbel: What's going on guys?
      Cheria: Sophie is too picky about what she wants to eat. Come on!
      Sophie: (cowers behind Asbel) No.
      Asbel: Don't be like that Cheria. She doesn't have to eat something she doesn't want to.
      Cheria: *sigh* You coddle her too much. So what do you want for dinner?
      Asbel: Curry sounds good.
      Cheria: Mild I take it?
      Asbel: Yep.
      Cheria: *sigh* You're such a child.

      Cheria: Sophie, have you been bathing regularly?
      Sophie: (tilts head to the side before shaking her head)
      Cheria: (Death Glare at Asbel) You're supposed to be taking care of her!
      Asbel: I AM taking care of her. But I mean COME ON! There's only so much one person can do.
      Cheria: *sigh* (exasperated) I guess you're right.
    • Mary observes this of Rutee and Stahn at their very first meeting in Tales of Destiny. Not surprisingly, the pair inevitably become the Official Couple and their son even becomes the star of the sequel, TOD 2.
    • Flynn's joining the party in Tales of Vesperia PS3 gives much more opportunity to learn about his and Yuri's relationship. This trope describes their arguments quite nicely.
    • Same thing with the prequel film First Strike. Flynn squabbles with Yuri about cleaning their room and Yuri's reply is "Yes, mom."
    • Tales of Xillia 2 has a skit where Jude is scolding Leia about her Genki Girl personality and how it would make working as a journalist difficult, because she's more concerned about the headline than the article's content and how she used to copy his homework before class, which she won't be able to do anymore... And Ludger can either say they sound like a mother admonishing her daughter or he can call this trope into play. Picking the latter has Leia deny it gleefully, but pleased, and begins to beat Ludger with her staff.
    • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World: Emil (both regular and "Ratatosk Mode") and Marta after a while start acting like this. There's a particular series of skits (appropriately named "The Fight") where an angry Marta gives Ratatosk Mode Emil the silent treatment, he responds with growing anger and irritation at her refusal to talk to him and the rest of the party (on Regal's advice) stay out of it. Marta and Regular Emil have this notable little "argument":
    Marta: "So, Emil. Would you consider yourself stubborn?"
    Emil: "Okay. That was random. No, not really."
    Marta: "You'll have to admit though, you've had that same weapon equipped for a pretty long time. There's plenty of other weapons. Why don't you try something different for a change?"
    Emil: "I guess I like the feel of a weapon I've gotten used to. It's easier to fight with. It's not stubbornness. It's dedication."
    Marta: "What if you had a pair of shoes you wore every day, and I said "Why not try a different pair and spice up your wardrobe?""
    Emil: "Yeah but... Why stop wearing whatever shoes make you feel comfortable?"
    Marta: "Yep, you're stubborn alright."
    Emil: "What's so wrong about being a little stubborn?"
    Marta: "Nothing. I was just thinking how tough it will be once we're married. That's all."
  • If Soji is picked as the protagonist in Super Robot Wars V, his dynamic with Nine comes off as this. He even states this during the prologue of the scenario where he gets the Mid-Season Upgrade.

    Visual Novels 
  • This dynamic occurs fairly often in the Ace Attorney series.
    • Lampshaded in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies, because Edgeworth and Phoenix have finally hit that stage. Bobby Fullbright even points out that they're a good illustration of the phrase "close enough to argue". In their brief appearance in court together, they don't so much argue over facts as quibble about interrupting each other:
    Phoenix: (after Edgeworth withholds some info) Why didn't you just say so in the first place?
    Edgeworth: You're the one who screamed "HOLD IT!" and cut me off!
    • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice, they do a little investigating-slash-sightseeing together in the Kingdom of Khura'in. Despite the country being on the verge of a revolution and the atmosphere being incredibly tense, they spend most of their time together amicably bickering. Awww...
    • Apollo and Athena's dynamic is noted to be like this in Spirit of Justice. A magician in the second case mistakenly assumes they're a comedy duo practicing their "old married couple" routine when they were actually just conversing and interacting like they normally do. Apollo and Athena are both shocked that this is how they appear to others.

    Web Animation 
  • Parodied, along with Ho Yay, in the Homestar Runner episode "Date Nite". Bubs goes on a date with Marzipan, and Heterosexual Life-Partner Coach Z — with curlers in his hair and a rolling pin in his hand — gets angry.
  • In The Most Popular Girls in School, Shay and Mackenzie argue like this (according to Youtube comments). It really doesn't help that they were Childhood Friends.
    Mackenzie: This [football] team in a juggernaut Jenna (Darabond). So like it or not, they're going to state. And when they win state, everyone's gonna want to hang out with them. And who will they be standing next to? The brand new, better than ever Overland Park Cheer Squad.
    Shay: Yeah, because when they win, everybody's going to think they're cool, so we'll be cool too!
    Mackenzie: Shay, that's literally what I just said.
    Shay: No—no, I-I know, I was-I was just saying.
    Mackenzie: OK, well, you're not really adding anything to the discussion.
    Shay: I'm sorry, you didn't leave much room.
    Mackenzie: OK, that's because I got this.
    Shay: Well, as the Head Cheerleader, I feel like I should have the final word.
    Mackenzie: You know what Shay, you're really letting the Head Cheerleader thing go to your head. I'm clearly better at bitching people out so just let me handle it, okay?
    Shay: I'm sorry Mackenzie, just because you're the loudest doesn't mean that you're the best at bitching someone out.
    Mackenzie: OH, YOU WANNA HEAR LOUD, SHAY?!
    Shay: Oh here we go, here we go!
  • Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles
    Tucker: I'm still picking up the reds' transmissions from when we broadcast that Lopez song. There's a lot of chatter.
    Church: Well, are you at least getting any useful information?
    Tucker: Nah, it's just the same two guys bickering like an old married couple. I've only been listening for like five minutes and I can already tell they're really in love. Why can't they see it?
    • Exhibit uh... 807:
      Grif: Hey, what are you doing?
      Simmons: What does it look like? I'm getting in the jeep.
      Grif: What are we, on a date? Get in the back.
      Simmons: Oh, you're so insecure.
  • Kitten and the Emperor in If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device. Magnus lampshades it in episode 16:
    Kitten: [wondering whether the Emperor would tell him the history of the universe] I'm much unsure if he'd actually want to tell me. I mean, if he never told you, why would he tell me?
    Magnus: Well, he DOES seem to like you despite being grumpiness incarnate. He relies on you to listen to his boundless complaints and to inform him about, to quote, "stupid shit". I'd even say he trusts you. He certainly trust you more than he trusts me or any of his other sons for that matter. Actually, are you sure you're not his wife or something?
    Kitten: No, of course not, but... Really? You think so??
    Magnus: Indeed, stepmother.
    Kitten: First of all, quiet you!

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Unsurprisingly, Team Mom Grammi and Team Dad Gruffi on Adventures of the Gummi Bears are always at each other's throats, arguing over battle plans, complaining about the other not doing their chores, and playing Good Cop/Bad Cop when catching the kids, say, stealing candy or keeping a wild wolf pup as a pet (which Cubbi, at least, has learned to use to his advantage). In "A Gummi's Work Is Never Done," Tummi and Sunni watch them fight from the doorway just like two kids watching their parents fight.
  • Clarence: Jeff and Sumo, who are best friends have arguments like this several times with it being prominent in" The Break-Up" when Jeff and Sumo terminate their friendship and Jeff acts like he was divorced.
  • Code Lyoko: Everyone but, well, Yumi and Ulrich are prone to observing how Yumi and Ulrich argue like this.
  • Played with on Family Guy when Stewie (pretending to be a teenager) tells his "date" that they'll be "just like an old married couple!" He says it enthusiastically, but the ensuing Cutaway Gag shows aged-up versions of the two of them glaring at each other from opposite ends of a table.
    • Parodied again when Chris runs away form home and moves in with Herbert the pedophile. While Herbert spends the first ten minutes of his screen time going through his usual schtick of trying to get in Chris' pants (with his usual lack of success) by the end of the episode they've devolved into a sexless pseudo-marriage between a slob and a neat freak.
    Chris: Well I was only PRETENDING to be lightheaded! "Oh, this Kool-Aid tastes funny... ohhh! Ohhhh, ahhhhh" Sound familiar?!
  • Futurama: Fry and Bender in "Calculon 2.0" admit that they bicker around like this a lot but also claim that the only reason why they were not seen like that was because of their favorite soap opera show All My Circuits as they say the shown is what glues their friendship. They go into a spat of this in order to prove their point.
  • Gravity Falls: Agent Powers and Agent Trigger who are two federal agents, had an incident of this when they were seen bickering in a closet.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: Despite Billy's protest (and the fact that both are in denial), Billy and Mandy's relationship is basically a cynical Deadpan Snarker wife dealing with her idiot husband's exploits. Why else would Mandy willingly hang out with Billy?
  • The couple in Hot Stuff are a literal old married couple: she's an oblivious woman who calls her husband pet names and he is an impatient old man with a Hair-Trigger Temper and No Indoor Voice. Unfortunately, they're both also dumb enough to overload an outlet and leave a cigarette and iron burning.
  • The Justice League episode "Hearts and Minds" opens with Hawkgirl and Green Lantern arguing in the middle of repairing the Watchtower. The Flash walks by and remarks, "Geez, you two sound like an old married couple." HG and GL are then completely silent (presumably from embarrassment).
  • Drakken and Shego from Kim Possible spend their time arguing and snarking at each other, especially when Shego makes fun of Drakken's silly plans and repeated failures to take over the world.
  • In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Phineas and Ferb Interrupted", Perry the Platypus and his nemesis Dr. Doofenshmirtz are fighting over the controls to one of Doof's evil inventions:
    Doofenshmirtz: Awww, Perry the Platypus, look at us! We're fighting over the remote like an old married couple! [severely] It's not cute.
  • Rugrats: Stu and Drew's constant bickering is sometimes married couple-like, even though it's actually Sibling Rivalry.
  • Star Wars Rebels: Kanan and Hera interact with a strange mixture of comfortable familiarity, friendly banter, a fair amount of somewhat-playful bickering, and some flirtation. It's very strongly implied they're actually together (to the point that they jokingly refer to themselves as the mom and dad of the ship), but not actually confirmed. The more adult prequel novel A New Dawn, clarifies that, while Hera didn't mind Kanan's flirtation, she prioritizes the war over a romance.
  • Steven Universe
    • Lars and Sadie are Vitriolic Best Buds and Sadie wouldn't mind a Relationship Upgrade. However, she Cannot Spit It Out and he is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. You've never seen two people more Tsundere for each other. Even Steven jokes about it: when he suggests starting a gym, not long after Lars was unable to open a jar and they'd recently had one of their trademark arguments, Steven says to Sadie "You could beat up Lars," and to Lars "and you won't starve to death if Sadie divorces you!"
    • Amethyst and Pearl also engage in such spats as seen in season one. Its difficult to tell whether they are basically Vitriolic Best Buds or a pair of gems showing Belligerent Sexual Tension because Pearl and Amethyst show signs of both when they bicker. It mostly takes form of Amethyst doing something that annoys and frustrates Pearl while Pearl gets tired of how immature and snarky Amethyst acts. Its exaggerated in season one but downplayed in later seasons after Amethyst's backstory and origins are revealed.
    • Peridot and Lapis settle into this when they end up living together in season 3. It's especially notable in "The New Crystal Gems" wherein they get into a lot of childish bickering and Peridot threatens to leave when compared to Pearl.
  • Super Noobs:
    • Alien agent Vitriolic Best Buds Memnock and Zenblock bickered like this, at least for the first half of season one, showing their struggle in being Heterosexual Life-Partners. They usually don't take responsibility for their own actions as they blame each other a lot for multiple things, not realizing how immature they are when they act like idiotic man childrenduring their bickering. After having their own Feud Episode, their bickering became almost nonexistent, subverting this trope and replacing it with Friendly Rivalry.
    • Kevin and Shope have some moments of this too.
  • Word of God has described Teen Titans' Beast Boy and Raven like this. It worked too well, and led to the two gaining a sizeable fanbase online. The two eventually became a canonical pairing in the regular DC comics, and ended the pre-New 52 universe together (it didnt carry over into the reboot).
  • Shredder and Krang of the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series had moments like these.
  • Time Squad: Larry 3000 and Buck Tuddrussel act like this from the get-go, heck in one episode Larry told him that he's sleeping on the sofa!
  • Total Drama:
    • Chris and Chef Hatchet's friendship can be best described as similar to that of an old married couple. They even bickered like one for the first part of "Jamaican Me Sweat".
    • Katie and Sadie also occasionally bickers like this with it being prominent in "The Sucky Outdoors
  • In W.I.T.C.H., when Will discovers she can bring inanimate objects to life, her computer and printer react like this.

    Real Life 
  • Chris Farley and David Spade, which was endearing when the friendship didn't border on childish possessiveness. They were undoubtedly best friends, but they could get into some pretty fierce fights, both verbal and physical. On the set of Tommy Boy, they would sometimes go for hours without talking to each other, talk to each other through the director, etc. And when Rob Lowe — who said that they acted like an old married couple — got thrown into the mix... Well, let's just say that Chris's reaction to their "buddies' bar night" was of epic Yanderesque proportions. David got so fed up with Chris hounding him on the subject that he threw his Diet Coke on him, to which Chris responded by throwing David into a wall and down the stairs.
    David Spade: Chris was actually jealous of Rob Lowe. He admitted it later. That's probably why I'm not married now; my first experience didn't work out.