Nice Job Breaking It, Rivals
Two characters are fighting over something and in the process the thing they are fighting over gets broken, damaged, or destroyed. Often overlaps with Nice Job Breaking It, Hero
. May be seen as poetic justice. Usually implies a moral
about how fighting is bad. A frequent variation is to have two Genre Blind
characters try to wrest a piece of paper from each other, only for it to split.
If the thing that is "broken" is a contest that either would normally win, this may lead to a Dark Horse Victory
. Compare No Macguffin No Winner
. The rivals may try to save face by claiming "We Win Because You Didn't
". Contrast Let's You and Him Fight
Anime and Manga
Film - Animated
- In the original Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, when Nanoha and Fate fight over one of the Jewel Seeds, they accidentally activate it, almost causing an explosion. Fate then risks her life to contain it and therefore ends up claiming it.
- In Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’, Goku and Vegeta are so caught up showing off their new transformation that they forget to take Frieza seriously, which results in him backstabbing Goku and then blowing up the earth when their respective guards are down. Because of his ability to survive in space, with that move Frieza would have won if Physical God Whis hadn't offered to reverse time and give Goku another chance.
Film - Live Action
- In the film version of James and the Giant Peach, this happens between Mr. Grasshopper and Mr. Centipede when they start fighting over a piece of food, which ends up falling overboard from the peach.
- In the movie The War, two groups of kids fight a battle over a treehouse. The treehouse is pretty much wrecked in the fighting.
- This is how the Ring is destroyed in the Lord of the Rings movie (though not the book). After Gollum wrests the ring from Frodo, Frodo tries to take it back. The result is that Gollum falls into Mt. Doom, still clutching the ring.
- Inverted in a short story from Tales of Ravenloft. A young bride's sorcerer husband fights another wizard. Each begs for her help, warning her that the other is evil and intends to destroy her using a cursed portal she's discovered. Repelled by how each cares more about beating the other than about her, she uses the portal herself to kill both men, becoming a nastier villain than either.
- By the beginning of the first Thursday Next novel The Eyre Affair, the armies of Great Britain and Russia have between them reduced the Crimean peninsula to a barren wasteland.
- Averting this is the reason that the Gods of both Light and Dark use champions in David Weber's The War Gods series. It's not that The Gods Must Be Lazy, it's that they know that if they fight directly, they'll only end up destroying the world that they're both trying to claim.
- In a Peanuts strip, Lucy fights with "Royanne," the girl who claimed to be Roy Hobbs's great-granddaughter, over a baseball bat. Snoopy solves the dispute by sawing the bat in half.
- A Sesame Street sketch involves the Two-Headed Monster building a two-headed snowman. Only one carrot is available, so the two heads argue over the carrot. The carrot snaps in two, so each head of the snowman can have a carrot nose.
- The Simpsons: Bart, Milhouse and Martin go in on buying the first issue of Radioactive Man for $100 and end up destroying it during their squabble.
- TMNT Back to the Sewer: Raph and Mikey manage to rip the Green Mantle in half while fighting over it, splitting its power between the pieces.
- A Gentleman's Duel: Over the course of the short film the gentlemen manage to sock the lady in the face repeatedly, destroy much of her estate and part of her mansion, and apparently kill her.
- Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century: The image used as an example was from a story where Duck Dodgers was assigned to find and claim Planet X for Earth because of Planet X's supply of an element needed to make shaving cream. Martian Commander X-2 (Marvin) was trying to claim it for Mars for unspecified reasons. Their efforts to destroy each other reduced the planet to the basketball-sized rock Dodgers was standing on.
- Again in the Duck Dodgers series, when he and the Martian were fighting over a device used by a pirate crew to disappear from crime scenes to avoid capture.
- In the Beast Wars episode Transmutate, the titular character is introduced as a powerful but sickly Cybertronian. Because of this, s/he is seen as dangerous to the Maximals, and useless to the Predicons. Only Silverbolt and Rampage from the different factions befriended Transmutate but they started fighting to get him/her to join with their respective side. Guess who tries to stop them from fighting by jumping into the crossfire only to get killed.
- One episode of Celebrity Deathmatch features a fight between Bruce Springsteen and James Gandolfini, where the two are fighting for ownership of a New Jersey rest-stop that's opening soon. Said fight also features Steve Van Zandt as both guest referee and future employee for whoever wins the fight. Guess who becomes the first fatality of the episode.
- Also the fight between Corey Haim and Corey Feldman has the two fighting over Harvey Weinstein. Not only do they end up killing themselves, they also end up killing the man they were both fighting over.
- Needless to say, it happens in real life all the time - from kids fighting over a toy and breaking it to governments fighting over a province and reducing it to a wasteland.