Removing the Rival

aka: Remove The Rival
"What's that you say? 'Good luck to me'?"

A character (usually a Prima Donna-type) is in direct competition with another for some sort of goal, and resorts to nefarious methods in order to somehow dispose of the competition, whether it be through physical violence or some form of trickery.

This is a Super Trope to the following Sub-Trope examples:

May overlap with Mugged for Disguise or in some particularly grim situations, Dead Person Impersonation or Kill and Replace.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Being a harem anime, this happens quite frequently in Tenchi Muyo! (where the page image is from) and its various spin-offs. Ryoko and Ayeka in particular often try to use all manner of underhanded tricks to dispose of one another and get Tenchi to themselves.
  • In an episode of Ranma , Ranma's female form leaves Akane Bound and Gagged backstage in order to steal her role in the school's production of Romeo and Juliet.
  • During the final season of Sailor Moon, Sailor Lead Crow poses as a judge at an idol competition in order to steal the Star Seed of one of the panelists. When the competition starts, Sailor Tin Nyanko appears in her place, and states that she unexpectedly had to fill in for her friend. The scene then shifts backstage where Sailor Lead Crow is shown Bound and Gagged behind some props, with it later being revealed that Nyanko wanted her out of the way in order to take sole credit for stealing the Star Seed.
    • In the first season, Zoisite was so threatened by the idea of Nephrite's potential success that he sent a trio of monsters after him to kill him. (And likely would have even without "Nephrite is a traitor" as an excuse.)
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, it is suggested that NERV sabotaged Jet Alone, an Angel-fighting Humongous Mecha developed by their rival company, Japan Heavy Chemical Industries. Both groups were vying for funding from the United Nations, which meant Jet Alone's poor performance netted NERV a ton of cash.
  • In "Zenigata Getcha into My Life" of Lupin III (Red Jacket), Lupin does this to Fujiko who has fainted after seeing a frog. Lupin then poses as her while the real Fujiko is kept Bound and Gagged by his gang, with the only tell being the new "Fujiko"'s very hairy legs.
  • In an early episode of Naruto, the titular ninja kidnaps his rival Sasuke, and then impersonates him in order to convince Sakura that Sasuke is a massive Jerk Ass.
  • In Episode 2 of Sabagebu!, Urara tries to get rid of Momoka by injuring her during warm-up exercises and tossing her into a pile of garbage. It's mentioned by the narrator that she's done similar things to other girls that she viewed as rivals for Miou's attention.

Comic Books
  • The Yancy Street Gang does this in FF by hacking into an online database so that they win free concert tickets that were meant to go to winners of a contest. By replacing the real winners, they end up in a prime position to heckle Darla Deering, the singer performing at the show (who they hate).
  • Count Carl, an actor and Golden Age Green Arrow foe who used his mooks to sabotage his rival performers.

Fan Fics
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, the beginning of Episode 14 has Tron planning to scare Kalinka into giving Mega Man up by knocking on her doorstep with the Gustaff mech.

Films - Animation
  • In Cats Don't Dance, The Prima Donna Darla causes a flood in order to get cats banned from the studio, resulting in her feline rival becoming a pariah.
  • Film/Cinderella's stepmother locks her in her room so she can't try on the glass slipper and stand in the way of one of her daughters marrying the prince. Which turns out to be useless anyway since neither stepsister fits the slipper.

Films - Live-Action
  • In Bruce Almighty, the title character gets rid of his rival news anchor Evan Baxter by magically having him act out on live television, getting him fired.
  • In Midnight, Tidor pays a man to get rid of all the cap drivers who are all over his new friend, Eve. They rush out to find out the man didn't want a taxi, and instead of coming back to dance with Eve, they decide to beat up the poor guy. A nice trick by Tidor.

Literature
  • In Dragon Bones, this is the normal modus operandi of backstabbing nobles (if they don't literally stab backs, that is). The king locked his younger brother up in an asylum for insane nobles, to prevent competition.
  • In Heart Of Steel, Alistair Mechanus offers to repair the boyfriend of his love interest, but does so by turning his mangled form into a clunky, misshapen cyborg out of jealousy as the perceived relationship between the two.

Live-Action TV
  • In the Monk episode "Mr. Monk Goes to the Theater", an actress frames a rival for murder in order to get her part in a play.
  • One of the dance segments from In Living Color! had actresses from the show filling in for the Fly Girls, the show's dance troupe. At the end of the skit, the real Fly Girls were revealed to be Bound and Gagged in a closet.
  • One of the "Mathnet" segments from Square One TV involved an aging diva who framed a younger actress for a kidnapping scheme so that she wouldn't be in competition for the same part.
  • The Adventures of Pete & Pete episode "Pinned" in which Big Pete joined the wrestling team—and Endless Mike was so determined to wrestle him that he took to murdering the other wrestlers to make sure it happened. (Well, implicitly, anyway. The Pete and Pete universe never specifies what happens to folks who get sucked into hand driers.)
  • A girl who claims to want to be just like Cher in Clueless locks her in a closet to steal her part in the school's production of Theater/Grease.
  • The A Different World episode "Three Girls Three" involves Jalessa and Whitley partnering with a classmate named Angela in order to win a contest to sing with Gladys Knight. Angela ends up stabbing them in the back and wins with another group. The episode then ends with a Fantasy Sequence where the girls imagine what would have happened if they had won, and the last shot reveals Angela Bound and Gagged backstage.

Video Games
  • Strong Bad plants Pom Pom's locker with an energy substance in one part of Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, in order to cheat in a race.
  • In Dragon's Crown, a later-game quest involves investigating a lake on behalf of a man who is being plagued by dream-visions of a beautiful woman calling him there, though his wife refuses to let him go. It turns out the woman is a witch and the woman in the dream visions is a mermaid she transformed into a hideous monster, because the mermaid asked for her help in winning the heart of the man who sets the players on the quest; the witch fell in love with him herself and so trapped her mermaid rival in a hideous form and in the lake before running away with and marrying the man.

Western Animation
  • In the Dude, That's My Ghost! episode "The Candidate", Shanilla says that Lolo is insanely competitive, and asks if anyone remembers when they were both up for the same part in the school musical. The scene cuts to a Flash Back of Lolo taking a bow in front of a cheering crowd while Shanilla hangs Bound and Gagged from the rafters backstage.
  • In the Grand Finale of King of the Hill, Bobby's meat-judging team is left stranded in a creek after fans from a rival school replace their driver and hijack their bus.
  • Done by Stewie in an episode of Family Guy where he kidnaps his babysitter's boyfriend. This is forgotten about until the end of the episode, when he realizes that the boyfriend is still in Brian's trunk and has likely suffocated.
  • In the Winx Club episode Miss Magix, the senior witches sabotage a number of the contestants at the titular beauty pageant.
    • Diaspora has made new attempts of getting rid of Bloom so she can have Sky.
  • A good deal the of episodes of Jem and the Holograms involved the Misfits trying to somehow dispose of the Holograms in order to get the spotlight to themselves.
  • In the Kim Possible episode "Team Impossible", the titular team tries to force Kim out of the world-saving business because for them it is literally a business, and Kim's willingness to help people free of charge is undercutting their bottom line.

Alternative Title(s):

Remove The Rival