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Small Town Rivalry

Lisa: What's so special about this game anyway? It's just another chapter in the pointless rivalry between Springfield and Shelbyville. They built a mini-mall, so we built a bigger mini-mall. They made the world's largest pizza, so we burnt down their city hall.
Homer: Heh, heh, heh. Yeah, they swore they'd get us back by spiking our water supply. But they didn't have the guts.
Marge: (drinks the tap water) Ooooh. The walls are melting again.

Aliceville and Bobtown are right next door to each other, and they're both fairly quaint, rural towns full of nice loving people...unless you happen to mention one while in the other, in which case all hell breaks loose. The residents of the two towns hate each other with a passion, either due to some old score that remains unsettled or just because they don't like the looks of each other. If it's the former, you can bet the hero will delve into it.

Note that this is sometimes Truth in Television: small towns are more likely to have residents whose families have lived there for generations and often have rocky histories. If something happened a long time ago to spread bad blood between the two, the current population may well continue the fighting, especially if it's over something still relevant such as boundaries or land development. Team sports, particularly football, are a popular focus point for the rivalry now that cattle raids and arson are emphatically discouraged. Besides, sometimes there's not a whole lot else to do.

These towns may have some Feuding Families, or if the trope is taken Up to Eleven one town's name may be The Scottish Trope in the other. This trope is also commonly used to throw out the Conflict Ball for a Feud Episode.

Examples

Animated Films
  • The two yards of Lawn Gnomes from Gnomeo and Juliet are towns to the Gnomes, and each side hates the other.

Anime & Manga
  • Slayers Try has Alto and Bantone exchange cannon fire every day at the same time. The cause of the war is that the rulers of these countries had a fight when they were kids.

Comic Books
  • In a Lucky Luke album, Luke is leading a group of railway builders when they come to the two rival towns East City and West City. Both want the railway to come to their city and when one of them holds a party for Luke and his horse Jolly Jumper, the other attacks. Luke and Jolly flee from the brawl, thinking that they are all crazy. While the inhabitants are busy fighting, the railway gets built right between the two cities.

Film
  • In Lagaan, two of the eventual members of the cricket team have a small town rivalry that stems from one's children pestering the other's chickens, and both being too Hot-Blooded to handle it reasonably. They do end up putting aside their differences for the match.

Literature
  • The two towns on either side of the wall in Dr. Seuss's The Butter Battle Book, named so because the conflict began on how the two groups of people have differing ideas on how butter should be eaten with toast.
  • Gulliver's Travels: Lilliput and Blefuscu are neighboring islands which are at war with each other over which end of an egg one should open.
  • In P. G. Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster story "The Ordeal of Young Tuppy" the towns Upper Bleaching and Hockley-cum-Meston have a heated rivalry which is expressed in the form of an annual rugby game known for its violence and injuries.
  • Lancre Town and Ohulan Cutash (which Lancrastians consider a big city because it contains over a thousand people) in the Discworld novels. Their rivalry comes to a head in the annual Morris Dancing championships, which in the Ramtops is an extreme sport.

Live-Action Television
  • Residents of Dog River, the setting of Corner Gas, have a deeply entrenched dislike for nearby Wullerton *spit*. Exploited by Emma in "TV Free Dog River":
    Emma: Those in favor of no TV for a week and sticking it to Wullerton, spit!
    (everybody spits)
    Fitzy: *bangs gavel* Done!
    Oscar: Hey! You tricked us!
    • Truth in Television: The Dog River - Wullerton rivalry was inspired by the real rivalry between Brent Butt's hometown of Tisdale, Sask. and nearby Melfort.
  • Pawnee vs. Eagleton on Parks and Recreation.
  • Spanish TV series Villarriba y Villabajo is about two rival adjoining towns - they even share the main square and the bar, even if each town belongs to a different political-administrative division.
    • These fictional locales had previously appeared in Spanish TV advertisements where the towns have had their respective fiesta with a huge paella, but Villabajo fails to clean the big paella dish because only Villarriba thought about buying the correct washing liquid.
  • Hooterville and Pixley on Petticoat Junction and Green Acres

Real Life
  • There are two towns in Montana that were once one combined town called Vida. The split was due to an argument over what to name the place, and so both names are now used for the separate towns on opposite sides of the highway. There's still some contention.
  • This is the entire reason Milwaukee came into existence. Before the city was incorporated, there were three small settlements along Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee River: Juneautown, Kilbourntown, and Walker's Point. Juneautown (East Side) and Kilbourntown (West Side) in particular had a rivalry that frequently erupted in violence, culminating in the Bridge Wars on 1845 in which all three bridges that had been erected across the river being burned as each town attempted to isolate the other from it and Walker's Point. As a truce, all three were incorporated as the City of Milwaukee in 1846.
  • Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota.
  • Cleveland, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Video Games
  • This is the basic premise of Harvest Moon: Tale of Two Towns.

Western Animation
  • In King of the Hill there's Arlen and McMaynerberry.
  • In the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Great Divide," the Gaang mediate for two tribes (here used as the nomadic equivalent of towns, not extended families) whose conflict began over either a ritual courier being attacked or a wrongfully accused Good Samaritan, depending on who you ask.
  • Stoolbend and Goochland from The Cleveland Show.
  • Dimmsdale and Brightburg in The Fairly Oddparents.
  • Springfield and Shelbyville from The Simpsons hate each other despite being directly adjacent. It turns out that cause of the hatred is due to Jebediah Springfield falling out with Shelbyville Manhattan, when the latter expressed a desire to marry his cousins in the town they would found together.
    Jebediah Springfield: Why would we wanna marry our cousins?
    Shelbyville Manhattan: Cause they're so attractive. I thought that was the whole point of this journey!
    Jebediah Springfield: Absolutely not!
  • South Park, North Park, and Middle Park have this relationship.
  • In the VeggieTales segment "The Story of Flibber-O-Loo" (a re-telling of the Good Samaritan story), the towns of Flibber-O-Loo and Jibberty-Lot have a heated rivalry, where they launch shoes and pots at each other with catapults and other devices.

Kiss-Kiss-SlapDiscord TropesSomebody Doesn't Love Raymond
Small Town BoredomSettingsSmart House
Slumber Party PloyNarrative DevicesSmart Ball

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