"Fine, we'll work together. At the very least, we'll prove it's a bad idea."
Sometimes in Real Life
, people on the same side don't get along. In fiction, this often occurs when there are multiple villains trying to work together
, a mismatched team of heroes
, or a situation where former enemies have to team up
. The problem with this sort of team is that they have trouble using The Power of Friendship
or The Power of Love
to win—likely because this is essentially the more cynical version of those tropes
. It's still not at the far cynical end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism
, however, because it still assumes that people can (and should) at least work together.
Generally the imperfect teamwork generated serves as both a good source of drama and/or comedy, depending on the situation. It's particularly dramatic if the group undergoes a period of Divided We Fall
first. It also helps ensure that the group is interesting and varied without raising questions of why they work so perfectly together.
This dysfunctional teamwork often takes the form of Family Drama
(in cases where the team includes at least part of a Dysfunctional Family
). The touchstone of enmity is family, after all.
may often find himself demanding an Ordered Apology
Compare with Fighting the Lancer
, where animosity between teammates actually does leads to a fight.
Contrast Sour Supporter
, who is convinced that the team is doomed to failure, but works well with them anyway. If the series goes on long enough (and becomes less cynical), with enough Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other
moments, this might turn into The Power of Friendship
or The Power of Love
. Conversely, this trope is a good counterpoint to True Companions
; it is a way of introducing some conflict and authenticity into works that would otherwise be too sugary.
Contrast We ARE Struggling Together
, and A House Divided
where there's lots of infighting on the same side but no teamwork. An Enemy Mine
and Colliding Criminal Conspiracies
usually results in this trope. Chained Heat
is a more specific version of this trope involving being forced to work with someone by some method of a physical attachment. Family Drama
usually has this within a family. Not to be confused with teams whose members always clench their teeth
Red Oni, Blue Oni
and Vitriolic Best Buds
are duos rather than teams, but they usually display this trope. May end up as an Inevitable Mutual Betrayal
Often, this is how Fire-Forged Friends
start out. Also compare with Forced Into Evil
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Anime & Manga
- InuYasha and Kagome's relationship starts out this way. They spent just as much, if not even more, time, bickering with and insulting one another as they did fighting demons and collecting jewel shards, and by the time of the third episode, Kagome got so fed up with him that she promptly left to go home.
- Zombie Loan: a classic example of this: The two guys are literally chained together and have to work together (IE not kill each other again) to get their debt paid.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork, when Natsuki agrees to work with Mai and Mikoto, although she does eventually become friends with both of them. Further in episode 16, Midori unites the HiME into the "HiME Rangers" against a common threat despite them still holding grudges against each other... although it's subverted given Midori's selfish reason for doing so, and subverted again, and brutally, with The Reveal at the end of that very episode.
This happens quite a bit between Mai and Natsuki in the manga, as well. Aside from the pair sharing a Living MacGuffin in Yuuichi, the student council (under Haruka's watchful eyes) is attempting to keep them apart to prove that their side is more efficient in protecting the school from Orphans. Yuuichi once calls out Natsuki and Mai for always fighting, and demands that they start getting along better so that they can defeat Yukino and Haruka. Even when the two factions are merged together under Midori's leadership, Nao frequently verbally exchanges insults with Natsuki while making it clear that she's only in it for her agenda while Haruka contemplates taking control of the group.
- This one is central to Earth Defense Family the Daichis, or whatever the right translation of its title is. The Family's Defensive Alliance
- Naruto says this is the only reason he is going to tolerate Sai. After Sai abandons the secret mission and is no longer The Mole, he becomes a True Companion.
- The Akatsuki team of Hidan and Kakuzu hate each other but are the perfect team due to their complementary abilities and the fact that Hidan's borderline immortality means that Kakuzu can't kill him when annoyed.
- The antagonists' teams in the Chunin Exam, as noted by the databook, have by far the worst teamwork rating. Teams 7, 8, 10 and Guy have conflicts between their members, but have the ability to work together when they need to, and have ratings of 20-25 in teamwork. By contrast, the other teams do not care for each other, as Zaku shoots Kin in order to also injure Ino, who is possessing her, and the Sand Siblings (with a rating of 5) are essentially described as a one-man team that Gaara controls through fear (Their teamwork gets better after Gaara does).
- The Sound Four has conflicts between Tayuya and virtually every other member; when Shikamaru tries impersonating Jirobo, it fails because he doesn't complain about Tayuya's foul language.
- More recently there's the team-up of Kabuto and Tobi. Each has mutually exclusive long-term plans and is fully aware the other will backstab them at some point, but for the time being they are working together and putting up a significant fight. When Madara takes the former's place, this trope *still* applies despite the two of them having the exact same goal in mind.
- Near and Mello from Death Note. Also L and Light in the Yotsuba arc.
- Cowboy Bebop has this dynamic due to Faye joining the gang. She has a tendency to take off on her own and even stealing from Jet and Spike.
- In Fullmetal Alchemist (manga and second anime series only), Roy Mustang and Olivia Armstrong recognize that they are both allied to take out the bad guys, but they have such issues dealing with each other that the air actually darkens the first time they talk face-to-face. Olivia doesn't care at all for her brother, and refers to Roy as only the slightest bit more useful than him.
- In the anime, Roy and Ed live this trope. Over time, the relationship goes from trying to manipulate each other to "I still don't like you but I do respect you." Envy tries to use his/her/its tried-and-true Shapeshifter Guilt Trip on Edward. When he turns into Roy, Edward briefly hesitates and then smiles and says "You couldn't have picked a better target!"
- One Piece. Impel Down. Buggy the Clown and the tops of Baroque Works team up with Luffy, and none of them are too happy about it. Well, maybe Mr. 2. The "tops of Baroque Works" includes Crocodile, who not only gets along poorly with Luffy because of his attempt to destroy Alabasta, but also with Jimbei, over the fact that Crocodile wants to kill Whitebeard, while Jimbei wants to save him and Ace.
- Also Zoro and Sanji are a good example of this.
- And now we have Luffy, Law and Smoker. Smoker, at least, hates it. Considering he's a marine vice-admiral, forced to work with two of the world's most wanted criminals, with Law doubling as a traitor to the WG and Luffy being the first pirate to escape him and the one he's been chasing after for almost three years, that's completely understandable.
- In D.Gray-Man, it's an understatement to say that Allen and Kanda don't get along — to the point where, more often than not, they end up attacking each other instead. But there are numerous times where they have to work together in order to exorcise high level Akuma.
- Get Backers, during the Infinity Fortress Arc, has Ban paired with Shido — the person he gets along with least (which is saying a lot, since most people can't get along with Ban). They constantly bicker and start beating each other up. Though it is noteworthy that after their time together, they do get more of a grudging friendship.
- The Allied Powers from Axis Powers Hetalia.
- The eponymous duo from Tiger & Bunny, for a while. The conflict gradually ebbs out of their partnership the more they work together — especially after Episode 8, which marks the point at which Barnaby begins defrosting in earnest. By the time Episode 14 happens, they're on First Name Basis and somewhere between Heterosexual Life-Partners and a Battle Couple.
- The pre-Extended of Gundam SEED, consisting of Shani Andras, Cortho Bauer, and Orga Sabnak are a team of Sociopathic Soldiers with utterly lousy teamwork. They frequently shoot at or through each other, ignore one another's presences entirely out of battle, and hate helping one another out. Despite this, they're pretty dependent on one another psychologically, with Cortho having an utter Freak Out when the other two die.
- Goku and Vegeta in Dragon Ball Z. It's mainly on Vegeta's side though. Vegeta teams up with Goku only if he has to, to defeat a common enemy, and Goku usually has to beg Vegeta to give his energy to him to defeat a Big Bad, due to Vegeta's sheer stubbornness and not wanting to admit to himself that Goku is more powerful.
- Goku and Piccolo, as well, did this when Raditz appeared, with Piccolo (before his Heel-Face Turn) approaching Goku and calling for a truce to defeat a common enemy.
- This happens every time InuYasha and Kouga team up, to the point of "accidentally" smacking each other with collateral damage when they fight a common enemy.
- Ichigo and Uryuu's initial rivalry ends when a Menos Grande appears. This leads to Teeth-Clenched Teamwork against the mountain of hollows they're surrounded by and is the beginning of a Fire-Forged Friends.
- The Gotei 13 is made up of semi-autonomous divisions. As a result, when captains enter a battlefield together they usually stick to their own fights unless they're close friends. Some of the captains have almost nothing to do with each other and disdain each other at best (loathing each other at worst). Cue the battle with the espada Yammi where Kenpachi and Byakuya find themselves having to team up. The only way their pride can handle it is by turning it into a rivalry to see who can kill Yammi first while pretending he's getting in the way of them trying to kill each other. Strangely enough, they seem a lot more tolerant of each other after that event.
- Guts and Casca from Berserk start out as this alright... And it took them getting stranded in the woods, learning about each other's similar back stories, and having to ward off a hundred man army sent to kill them in for them to become Fire-Forged Friends.
- Natsu and Gajeel from Fairy Tail have expressed disgust in working with each other when teamed up against Laxus and Faust. It's mostly subsided by the time they fight two-on-two with Sting and Rogue, though Natsu sees no harm in pushing Gajeel away on a mine cart for a chance to fight them on his own.
- Natsu has been having this kind of teamwork with Grey as well, especially near the beginning.
- Card Captor Sakura: Sakura and Syaoran's initial relationship starts out as such, primarily because Syaoran is convinced that he is entitled to the Clow Cards and that Sakura is a pathetic weakling who's out of her league.
- In the Jackie Chan Adventures and W.I.T.C.H. crossover fanfic Kage (part of Project Dark Jade), Jade and Miranda have this dynamic, though it has been said that without Raythor, all the Knights would be at each other's throats.
- In With Strings Attached, the four are forced to travel with the Hunter on their quest for the third Vasyn piece. They can't stand him, he can't stand them, but they have to stay with him because they have no other way to the Vasyn piece, and he has to stay with them because his god told him to.
- Also in Strings is the uneasy alliance of Brox and Co. with the Raleka. Each side is contemptuous of the other, but they need one another to put together the Vasyn and move it around.
- In The Blue Blur of Termina, following their encounter in the jungle, Sonic and Tatl are forced to team up when the Skull Kid incapacitates and leaves behind Tatl in the Subterranean Forest. Despite having a mutual goal in finding the Skull Kid, Sonic and Tatl pretty much hate each other, especially the latter.
- In Chronicles of Harmony's End, Discord convinces his mortal enemy (and lawful opposite) Array to help him kill Harmony. They fully intend to betray each other afterward.
- In Game Theory, Megane does not get along with Lindy due to a personality clash and a bad first impression. Chrono and Yuuno also got off on the wrong foot. They all still work together to stop Precia.
- In Perfection Is Overrated, like in Mai-HiME, the Himes don't always get along, in particular suspecting Nao of attackign Yukariko, and Nao being bitter over being suspected. Nao does cooperate with the other Himes because even she is horrified by what Hitomi is doing. Over time, the group begins to work better together in response to the threat of the SUEs.
From here on out, survival required cooperating with the others, and while Nao was reluctant to get along with her fellow Himes, she realized she had no choice but to do things that were difficult for her in order to survive.
The same went for the rest of the Himes.
- Part one of Legacy of the Rasengan has Team 7 in all its glory. Naruto is the only one who actually tries to make them True Companions, but it's a little difficult, what with Sasuke's Inferiority Superiority Complex having him nurse a bruised ego and jealousy at Naruto being better than him (he calls Naruto out on being pragmatic, sneaky, secretive... y'know, the way an actual professional ninja acts). Sakura shows a lack of foresight and betrays Naruto's trust to impress Sasuke, which has Naruto viciously beat her down verbally. Kakashi's teaching method doesn't endear Sakura to him (by the time he wants to teach her, Tsunade has already taken over as her sensei) and Naruto considers him more a superior rather than teacher and hardly trusts him (teaching Sasuke one of Naruto's jutsu when he promised on his honor not to, pissed Naruto off), which causes him considerable grief.
- Fate Zero Sanity: Anytime Avenger arrives on the battlefield, you can expect any other Servants on that field to stop whatever they were doing and try to kill him. This occurs even if the Servants in question don't have an official alliance and even if they were just in the middle of killing each other. He's that big of a threat.
- Misunderstandings: Sveti a griffin only works with Wisk, the pony who held her captive in a sideshow, to cook a nutritional meal for Peter, the human who was also held captive, since it was Peter who freed her.
- Sergeant Peppermint York despises Peter and works with a few of the nobles to convince ponies that he is dangerous monster to be locked up. But it is clear York can't stand the nobles, since they only see targeting Peter as an opportunity to discredit Princess Twilight, and show no concern for the innocents who get hurt, while York does genuinely believe Peter is dangerous and he did, albeit accidentally, seriously wound a Royal Guard and becomes more infuriated with conspirators who endanger innocents than with Peter being free.
- In The Matrix and Supernatural crossover Hunting Series part four - Ghostry Hunting this is how the ex-Agent Smith and Agent Moore have to work together because Moore betrayed the System and let an important child get temporarily kidnapped.
- In Despair's Last Resort, Shigeru and Ryouta both have problems getting along with the other students. Shigeru sees most of the others as idiots who aren't worth his time and takes it on himself to act as a leader. It doesn't work out, as he's dead in the third chapter after trying to murder Shizuka. Ryouta on the other hand, is paranoid of the others and doesn't trust them. Even going to lengths like hiding away after the reveal of a new motive. After acting this way nearly gets him convicted as the second chapter's murderer, he gets better and slowly starts to trust the others. He even manages to try and help them. He's currently still alive.
- In Those Gilded Chains We Wear Bellatrix LeStrange, predicting that Lord Voldemort will likely lose the Battle of Hogwarts and not wanting to go to Azkaban again, approaches Hermione Granger with a conditional surrender. Hermione, not liking her chances of surviving the next five minutes, makes it into an Unbreakable Vow with the added condition that should one die, so would the other. Naturally, the Death Eaters that escape the battle aren't too happy that Bellatrix got off so lightly, forcing the Death Eater and the muggleborn to fight together to save their mutual lives.
Films — Animation
- A villainous example from My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks is the Dazzlings. The three of them were banished to the human world, and need each other's magic necklaces to feed off of the hatred and anger of Canterlot High's students. But none of them seem particularly happy with each other's company. Aria and Sonata seem particularly prone to bickering between themselves.
- Woody and Buzz Lightyear in the first Toy Story. Woody consistently fails to convince Buzz that he's really a children's toy, while Buzz is angry that Woody caused them to be knocked out of a window because of his jealousy over being replaced in Andy's eyes. They get over it, but not before some serious Character Development from both of them.
- Ichy and Dil, the Big Bad Duumvirate of the fourth The Land Before Time film. Ichy is too small to accomplish much, but points Dil, who is nearly blind, in the direction of food for them both; they make it clear that they are partners, not friends, and only stay together out of necessity. Their Villain Song even centers on how much they hate each other.
Films — Live-Action
- It's established through certain parts of the film that The Avengers can't stand each other at all, especially Iron Man and Captain America. However, when it comes time to fight Loki's forces, they'll be more than happy to drop their personal issues to stop the threat however they can. By the end of the movie, they are Fire-Forged Friends.
Thor: You speak of control, yet you court chaos.
Bruce Banner: It's his M.O., isn't it? I mean, what are we, a team? No, no, no. We're a chemical mixture that makes chaos. We're... we're a time-bomb.
Nick Fury: You need to step away.
Tony Stark: Why shouldn't the guy let off a little steam?
Steve Rogers: You know damn well why! Back off!
Tony Stark: Oh, I'm starting to want you to make me.
- The second of the Joshuu Sasori series, Jailhouse 41, finds the heroine obliged to work together with six other prisoners. Many of them hate her, but are also scared enough of her not to attack her, and recognise her toughness and experience will be a bonus.
- This is the whole point of most zombie movies, especially those made by or remade from George Romero. Night of the Living Dead started the trend, with the zombies providing constant pressure on a house full of strangers who fight over what to do while passing the Idiot Ball back and forth like a hot potato.
- The movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles is perhaps a defining text of this trope.
- The Saw movies did something like this to the extreme where enemies were put into a house and if they didn't cooperate, they died.
- In the Heat of the Night: Gillespie isn't too thrilled to have Tibbs second-guessing him during the early part of the investigation. But when Tibbs keeps getting proved correct, Gillespie lets up on the animosity. For his part, Tibbs doesn't help ease tensions as he withholds key observations at times and keeps trying to lead the investigation his way.
- In Rick Riordan's The Heroes of Olympus, there is quite a bit of animosity between Hera and more than a few demigods, particularly Annabeth and Thalia, but as Piper points out, they will have to work together to beat the Giants and Gaia.
- In Terry Pratchett's Truckers, the tiny Nomes must form a team to drive a lorry. If they can't they will die when the store they live in is demolished. They bicker and fight, but in the end they face the fact they have to work together. They harness the power of the engine to save themselves. Due to the uneven teamwork, steering control comes a poor second.
- Discworld: the Ogg extended family is described in a similar light.
- Nathaniel and Bartimaeus in The Bartimaeus Trilogy.
- Harry and Marcone in The Dresden Files.
- Snape and Sirius in Harry Potter despise each other despite being on the same side; Snape has never forgiven Sirius for encouraging him to go look for a fully-transformed werewolf while they were at school, while Sirius trusts anyone who worked for Voldemort as far as he can throw them. Dumbledore has to cajole them into shaking hands at the end of book four, and they continue to trade insults through every scene they have in the following book.
- In Andy Hoare's White Scars novel Hunt for Voldorius, the White Scars and the Raven Guard manage to overcome Divided We Fall and do this. They find it difficult enough that the Raven Guard, attacking first, has brothers wondering if the White Scars will really support them.
- In the Star Trek Novel Verse, any threat to the entirety of known space results in this, as the Federation tries, with varying degrees of success, to gather all the local powers into a coalition. It sort of works during the Gateways and Genesis Wave crises, and in the desperate days of the Borg Invasion, but there's always a lot of complaining. Now the Typhon Pact has been formed, motivating in turn an expansion of the Khitomer Accords, meaning there's a lot more teamwork going on in the Star Trek galaxy - and with it, more teeth clenching...
- In the second Warrior Cats series, one cat from each of the four Clans is chosen by their ancestors for a mission. Two more cats end up coming along on the journey. Since they are from different Clans, some of them are quite a bit tense around each other, even hostile at times, but after helping each other through numerous dangers, they become Fire-Forged Friends.
- In Catching Fire Katniss and Peeta have to forge an alliance with previous victors during the Quarter Quell, even though they can't trust them. And, you know, only one person can come out of the Quell alive.
- Even on top of that, Katniss and Johanna really take the cake. At one point, Johanna slaps Katniss, and at another, Katniss considers the possibility of shooting Johanna "just to shut her up." They become more like Fire-Forged Friends in Mockingjay though.
- This has been the consistent dynamic in Stephen Booth's Ben Cooper/Diane Fry police procedurals. Over the course of thirteen novels, the two have occasionally managed to reach a brief accord, but their personalities are so different that they are always misreading each other, even when it looks like they're about to become Fire-Forged Friends. It's typical that at the beginning of the series, Fry directs a Do You Think I Cant Feel outburst at Cooper when he's asleep.
- In The Underland Chronicles, if two or more Underlander species have to work together, it most likely involves this.
- In Julian, Libanius and Priscus are trying to write a biography of the titular character to combat the rising tide of Christianity. If they can only agree on the costs of copying the manuscript, that is.
- Frequently in Supernatural. Especially when Crowley is the person that the Winchesters or Castiel or both is forced to join forces with against a threat much worse than Crowley.
- Hawaii Five-O. McGarrett and Danno in the remake hate each other's guts, but make one hell of a team. It should be noted that their everlasting hatred for each other ebbs and wanes as the plot dictates frequently. In the original, Danno was much more of a loyal follower.
- This was a staple of 24. Jack being the kind of guy he is, most of the people who work with him do it with teeth TIGHTLY clenched. But it's not just him. Various government agencies will struggle to cooperate, as will individuals on those teams. Even the villains behind the given terrorist plot will be shown to be ready to cut each other at a moments' notice.
- The first season finale of Torchwood. Jack summarizes it when he lists what his colleagues did during the season.
- Firefly: Firefly is actually fairly mixed about this, as Jayne and Simon are often at odds with everyone else (and each other), and Inara and Shepherd are often at odds with Mal, but other than that everyone seems to get along just fine. Well except for Jayne and River. And Jayne and Inara. Or maybe it's just Jayne.
- Farscape, especially in the earlier episodes, has the theme of highly incompatible beings having to work together to survive. Happens again when Scorpius joins the crew in season 4 (and again in "The Peacekeeper Wars".) No one wants him around, and with very good reason, but John is especially reticent to keep him aboard.
- LOST has this come up every time three or more people have to cooperate on something, especially if Ben is involved.
- Top Gear plays this up for laughs whenever the hosts have to work together. Jeremy's MO is to rush through a job with brute force while James likes to slowly work on a project with intricate/plodding attention to detail. Richard tends to get caught in the middle, not having Jeremy's penchant for raw power or the patience for James' fussiness. They were unnaturally supportive of each other for most of the 24 Hour Britcar Endurance Race, but admitted afterward that working together in a Power of Friendship way had made them "feel dirty". In Real Life, however, they are Vitriolic Best Buds and True Companions.
- Blake's 7 has this due to some conflicting strong personalities among the crew.
- House. Dr House's team falls into this category. The team is polite at best, and Dysfunction Junction at worst. The team does always set aside differences to help the patient, but they never stop sniping at each other. Still, even at their lowest low, they're productive. Then Season Five grabs a shovel. So far, they're still cooperating, but after Season 5, Episode 13, it's pretty obvious that the team has almost no morals whatsoever, and no one seems to be trying to change that. Foreman has all but fallen from grace, Kutner lacks the gumption to back himself up, and everyone else has pretty much bent to House's will. At this point, they're the poster child for why every Five-Man Band needs The Chick.
House, being House, seems to prefer that his team be at each other's throats. Hence his signing off on Foreman's thesis and not Cameron's, when Foreman basically cribbed off of Cameron. Among many other things.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: At the start of the show, this was the relationship between Major Kira and Commander Sisko since Kira felt as though the Federation was just waltzing into the vacuum left by Bajor's departed oppressors (the Cardassians). They eventually become Fire-Forged Friends. At the end of the show, this became the relationship between Major Kira, Gul Damar and Garak: after seven years of mutual loathing and mistrust, the trio are forced to work together to build La Résistance to throw the Dominion off Cardassia because, even though the Federation, Klingons and Romulans have joined forces to fight the Dominion, they still can't defeat it unless they can convince the Cardassians to fight against the Dominion, too. This also leads to Fire-Forged Friends.
- Just because they enter the coalition to defeat the Dominion doesn't mean the Romulans like the Klingons any more than they didn't before. The feeling's mutual.
- Dukat and Weyoun have this during the early stages of the war. The latter eventually drops this with Dukat's successor, Damar.
- Star Trek: Voyager was all about this; what with the Federation and Maquis having to work together while not necessarily trusting each other. This wore off pretty quick by the end of the first season.
- When Janeway proposed an alliance with the Borg to stop Species 8472, it was clear from the beginning it was going to be a suspect team-up.
- In Star Trek: Enterprise, this makes up the last half of Season Three, once Archer convinces Degra and most of the Xindo Council that they were being manipulated by the Sphere Builders into attacking Humanity, planning to prevent their own defeat in the future at Human and Xindi hands. This comes across hardest for Tucker, who's forced to work with the man who's responsible for designing the weapon that killed 7 million people on Earth, wiped out his hometown and killed his younger sister.
- Murphy Brown. The FYI team will almost always be at each other's throats when they need to be working together, mostly instigated by the size of their egos. Although The Power of Friendship comes through beautifully in the end, they'll have to have a free-for-all shouting brawl first.
- A frequently recurring theme on Stargate Universe, primarily demonstrated in the Young and Rush characters.
- Also happens on a national scale on planet Novus, populated by descendants of the Destiny crew from an alternate timeline who were thrown back in time by a gate malfunction. The two countries (Tenara and Futura) are bitter rivals over the philosophies of their founders but have gotten over their differences and pooled their resources together to build numerous Generation Ships to take them to another world when their civilization is threatened by a rogue Black Hole.
- Played for Laughs when Brody innocently goes to download the Tenaran archive to Destiny, only to receive a withering Death Glare from all the Tenarans present in the room. After a moment of confusion, his colleagues point out that the alternate Brody was one of the chief architects of the Futuran government.
- This happens frequently on Misfits, most notably when the group of Fire-Forged Friends kill their probation worker and have to go to extreme lengths to hide the evidence. There are a lot of clashing personalities (and generally appalling attitude problems note ) in the group, plus there's no clear leader, so the bickering never stops and occasionally gets nasty. But they usually manage to stick together when they absolutely have to. That said, when the situation gets really desperate in the season one finale and it looks like a full-scale Misfit Mobilization Moment might be on the cards, the team buckles under the pressure and falls apart completely. In season two, the group shows they are also True Companions, whenever one of them is in danger.
- The entire fourth season of Angel, with one exception - that brief period when they were all mind controlled into working together. The depths of distrust, resentment, and betrayal spread through the team meant that imminent apocalypse was pretty much the only thing that could get them in the same room. This was especially noticeable between Gunn and Wesley, due to the latter's betrayal over the Connor affair and his interest in Fred. Furthermore, when pressed, Gunn confesses he can never be friends with Angel, his natural enemy. In Season 5 this happens between Angel and Spike, usually Played for Laughs.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- The show had Cordelia as a reluctant team member (sort of), it gets worse after her breakup with Xander.
- Spike could also be an example, especially in season 4, when he's only working with them so he can get to kill anything at all. Especially prominent with Xander.
- Xander towards Angel, although not so much Angel towards Xander.
- Anya winds up behaving this way to the rest of the Scoobies during the end of season 6 and the beginning of season 7 when she becomes a vengeance demon again after Xander leaves her at the altar.
- Not every team on The Amazing Race ultimately finds themselves getting along, the separated couple of Tara & Wil (Season 2) being the best example. She actively flirted with another racer in front of him.
- In the Season One finale of Legend of the Seeker, Richard and the newly-introduced Mord-Sith Cara are sent by an explosion to the Bad Future, where Darken Rahl and Kahlan's son killed his parents and confessed everyone in the world to worship him. Cara is initially reluctant to help her master's enemy. However, after she finds out that Nicholas Rahl has killed all her Mord-Sith sisters, she agrees to help him find the way to return to the present. In Season Two, she becomes a loyal companion to him, partly because of the revelation that Richard is next in line for the throne of D'Hara.
- Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome Hot-headed, rookie, want-a-be ace Adama teams up with weary, tired, just wants to make it out of the war alive Coker. Throw in a top-secret mission and you've got a lot of shouting between the two.
- Roy and Brice in the Emergency! episode "The Nuisance." John is hurt and Brice is his temporary replacement. But Brice's lack of people skills and over-fondness for the rulebook irritate Roy to no end. He half jokingly tells the captain at one point that he might have to pop him in the jaw to work with him.
- Sliders: This was very much the dynamic between Wade and Maggie during the latter half of season three (before Wade got Put on a Bus to Hell.) Maggie found Wade too weak and easily frightened while Wade didn't like Maggie's tough, uncaring persona. Quinn and Rembrandt managed to get along pretty well with both women (and each other), though.
- This applies to two pairs of characters in Guiders of our Dreams. Fang murdered Lexia's family AND destroyed her village, and they are forced to work together for a greater cause, which is to kill the queen of Skiya. After awhile, they do start to get along and look out for each other. Zephyr and Orpheus are also like this, but they simply don't trust one another.
- Dr. Cube, the evil surgeon and Midori no Kaiju, who just wanted to destroy things, did not get along but worked together because they would be defeated by the Kaiju Big Battel heroes as individuals.
- Chris Candido and Lance Storm in ECW, under stipulation they had to work together as a tag team or be fired, which came after Storm was kicked out of their group, Triple Threat.
- A one sided example in Radiant Rain and Mercedes Martinez, after the two made peace with one another in WSU. Mercedes likes Rain, but simply developed and aversion to tag team matches. Rain doesn't like Mercedes at all and only managed to in tag team matches because there was usually someone else she liked even less, however slightly(and they made peace)
- Bobby Roode and James Storm used to be in a tag team called Beer Money before Roode betrayed Storm. So they don't like each other too much but every once and while, find themselves slipping back into their old mannerisms and working together for short periods of time. They even did their old pose after double teaming AJ Styles before immediately resuming their own fight amongst themselves in mid 2012.
- Basically the appeal of Team Hell No, the scourge AJ Lee accidentally brought on herself as general manager in her efforts to get revenge on Daniel Bryan by putting him in anger management with Kane.
- Present in The Navy Lark whenever Commodore Povey and the Troutbridge Crew were forced to team up to defeat whatever lunacy the Admiralty foisted upon them. In Season one whenever Lt. Cmdr. Price and CPO Pertwee had to team up to outfox Povey's plans to drill them out of the Navy.
- The 1986 New York Mets were one of the best baseball teams ever assembled. They were also, almost to a man, a bunch of drunks, womanizers, drug abusers, and masters of Jerkassery. More memorable then their fights against other teams (like literal, knuckle-up fights) were the ones among themselves. One of the more fractious ones was between team star Daryl Strawberry and the unofficial team captain Keith Hernandez.
- The New York Yankees of the 1970's weren't called "the Bronx Zoo" for nothing. Team star Reggie Jackson and team manager Billy Martin nearly came to blows in the dugout and had to be separated. Team captain Thurmon Munson and Jackson did not get along, and that was no secret. And of course, owner George Steinbrenner, fired and rehired Martin multiple times. By some miracle of talent and skill, they found the time amidst all this dysfunction to win back-to-back World Series titles in 1977 and '78.
- Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant spent 8 years together knowing they each would be more likely to win with the other around, but finally in 2004 the team fell apart in the Finals largely due to their feud and it was obvious one or the other had to go. Both men did end up winning a title or two afterward though.
- A Teeth Clenched Party can lead to some brilliant situations in Dungeons & Dragons, especially when the players make their characters without caring how well they'll work with the rest of the team. Regularly degrades into We ARE Struggling Together, forcing the Dungeon Master to come up with Enemy Mine scenarios just to keep the players' characters from knifing each other over a few pieces of gold. Often overlaps with Elves VS Dwarves and Evil Cannot Comprehend Good.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- Imperial forces working together with xenos, which has happened in a variety of ways from Worthy Opponent to painfully bad. Indeed, several Imperial forces working with other Imperial forces, such as Space Wolves and Dark Angels, qualify.
This is sometimes codified: the races are broken up into two super-factions, Order and Disorder (since the punchier antonym for "order" is already taken.) Disorder are everybody's enemies, all the time, especially each other; Order will team up in the face of an overwhelming threat from Disorder, and fight to the death any other time. This is officially codified by the Allies system introduced in the game's 6th edition rules, which has four settings (ranging from "battle-brothers" to "come the apocalypse, but not before"), with the middle two representing this trope. The main difference is that in the first the factions dislike each other a great deal but are willing to mostly cooperate, while the second is for those who are relentlessly paranoid and keeping an eye on each other in order to spot the coming betrayal so they can fire first.
- This is the only way the Chaos Gods know how to work together, as the constant struggle for power they engage in inside the Warp, plus the intrinsic opposition some of the Gods have to each other, makes any alliance grudging at best and guaranteed to only last as long as they can keep causing trouble in realspace.
- Changeling: The Lost revolves around this kind of teamwork. Four to six vaguely human characters who have been tortured in unique ways for the last twenty years all show up on earth around the same time and agree to work together out of necessity for numbers. Then a Fetch shows up and three of them want it dead, two of them want to reason with it and one of them is off picking his nose. If any of them actually hurts the others, they will get hit with the result of their Magically Binding Contract that keeps them allies.
- This is how the Inner Sphere responded after the invasion of the Clans in the 3050s timeframe in BattleTech. The five Great Houses (and Com Star) have spent the last three or four hundred years fighting with each other constantly, and when the Clans arrive, initially each faction leaves their rivals to their fate, believing they can hold their own or at least let these 'alien invaders' do the hard work for them. Only the intervention of Jamie Wolf finally makes the Inner Sphere cooperate in what is at best an Enemy Mine scenario.
- The invading Clans also have their own beef with each other, specifically with Clan Wolf and Jade Falcon, who's invasion corridor are next to each other, and they don't mind taking the time to attack the other when they get the opportunity. Then there's Clan Steel Viper, who share the Falcons invasion route, eventually they too stared fighting each other and the Vipers were forcefully ejected out of the Inner Sphere for good.
- The five Praetors of New Phyrexia in Magic: The Gathering. In particular, Jin-Gitaxias and Vorinclex never hide their hatred towards each other.
- Many fans believe that this will eventually lead to an all-out Enemy Civil War.
- Exalted: this is a common feature, especially in Circles that don't get along very well, but the absolute peak has to be when Sidereals of different factions are forced to cooperate. There's even an NPC who goes out of his way to force Bronze and Gold Sidereals to work together.
- BIONICLE has this trope in several instances, particularly in the Toa Nuva team. It's mostly just Tahu and Kopaka, though, and they settle most of their differences by the Karda Nui story arc. In the Toa Metru's case, Whenua and Nuju could barely stand one another and Onewa and Matau got on the nerves of everyone on the team. Both teams are True Companions, however, and their reluctant teamwork can be very effective when the situation calls for it.
- The Piraka on the other hand really hate each other, and are only temporarily working together to get the Mask of Life in Voya Nui, once one of them has it they plan to betray each other.
- M and Mary sign a contract in Shikkoku No Sharnoth in order to destroy the Metacreatures. M is completely dispassionate, while Mary grows to hate him more as time passes. In the end, she finally understands him and saves him in some sense, but contrary to what might be expected this does not develop into a romance.
- Akai Ito: Uzuki the demon hunter openly despises supernaturals since her big brother was killed by one, Sakuya yields an undying grudge toward the demon hunters due to their act of genocide on her clan, while Tsuzura just want to get the hell out since she hates being the leader of the demon hunters, and don't like people in general. However, they must set aside their difference because Nushi is the real threat.
- Broken Saints gives us a villainous example: Benjamin Palmer and Lear Dunham clearly have no great love for each other, but they need each other's help to execute the Evil Plan. Of course, once Palmer has outlived his usefulness, Lear is quick to dispose of him.
- In Red vs. Blue, this noted to have been Felix's and Locus' relationship during the war. They greatly disliked each other and were extremely competitive, but they were on the same side in a very deadly war, so they worked together to survive it. Now that the war is over, on the other hand...
- The Light Warriors of 8-Bit Theater are each others' greatest enemies and can barely cooperate. However, unlike other examples, this indeed makes it so that they tend to make little to no progress for much of their story, most of it being the actions of others or an individual member (in fact, teamwork tends to make things worse). The problem is that they're a Five-Man Band with no fifth member. The closest thing they have is White Mage, who tries to get them to cooperate — but that only leads to more bickering. Couple that with the fact that the closest thing to a Hero amongst them is a Cloud Cuckoolander who is only capable of Crowning Moments of Awesome when his Crazy Awesome falls just right into place (which is rarely), and the other three are an amoral swindler, a homicidal philanderer, and a delusional roleplayer... well, yeah. It's surprising they're capable of doing ANYTHING throughout the series.
- All twelve trolls in Homestuck. They spend 90% of the Hivebent arc bickering, scheming against, and attempting to murder each other, but eventually knuckle down and work together to fight (and defeat!) the Black King in their session. It doesn't last for too long after that however...
- In Juathuur, Juoira's group bicker a lot, but most of the bickering is playful, and they still function. Contrast with Faevv's group. which bicker less until everyone goes separate ways because of a general lack of cohesion.
- Zii and the Troublemakers, the three-woman rock band in Ménage à 3, more or less runs on this. Yuki and Sonya can't stand each other (though Sonya quite enjoys provoking Yuki), and Zii finds both of them stressful to work with for various reasons — but they all enjoy being in the band too much.
- Wastelanders Anonymous has Benjamin, Jeff and Felix not getting along with each other. Benjamin especially keeps trying to quit the team but then he keeps coming back to the team.
- The Vindicators of the Whateley Universe. Kismet, the leader, won't admit she ever makes a mistake. Lemure hates her and is only still on the team because of Sizemax. Dynamaxx enjoys playing them off against each other. Captain Canada! is likely to go off the deep end at the first serious stressor.
- This is the conflict driving RWBY's first season. Three mostly good people are forced to work with a bratty, arrogant Alpha Bitch.
- Our Avatars Were In A Room Together The Continuation: When Sol steals the Fireseal and beats up a bunch of knights in order to get to Justice and destroy her himself, Ky is forced to join Sol out of desperation to end the war, despite disagreeing with his methods.
- In Marble Hornets, Tim and Jay pretty much hate each other when they first start working together (admittedly, Tim did attack Jay, albeit while temporarily insane, and Jay kept Tim in the dark about things he couldn't remember). However, after a while, they eventually develop a strong friendship.
- The Killer Bass of Total Drama Island invoke this trope in the second episode when self-designated Team Mom Courtney forces them to work together to build a hot tub, Hilarity Ensues.
- The Five-Man Band from Code Lyoko starts out like this, evolving into a True Companions as the series goes on. Though technically fueled by their Power of Friendship towards Aelita, in the beginning they don't really have much loyalty to each other, and it's kind of easy to get them to break up or lose at least one member.
- In Young Justice, the villains Sportsmaster and Cheshire obviously can't stand each other from their first appearance together. Fridge Brilliance kicks in a few episodes later when it is confirmed that Sportsmaster is Cheshire's (verbally and emotionally abusive) father, who she ran away from home to escape.
- This also occurs between Kid Flash and Artemis for a while after Artemis' arrival, since Wally saw her as usurping the position that should have been occupied by his friend Spee- sorry, Red Arrow.
- In the BattleTech animated cartoon, the 1st Somerset Strikers don't exactly get along all the time.
- Starscream and Megatron of Transformers Animated are stuck working together for good part of season 3. They clearly hate each other and don't even bother to hide their contempt for the arrangement.
- An Alternate Character Interpretation of a certain band of teenagers:
I fucking hate my job. I'll try to sum it up by first telling you about the folks I work with:
First, there is this supermodel wanna-be chick. Yeah, okay, she is pretty hot, but damn is she completely useless. The girl is constantly fixing her hair or putting on makeup. She is extremely self-centered and has never once considered the needs or wants of anyone but herself. She is as dumb as a box of rocks, and I still find it surprising that she has enough brain power to continue to breathe.
The next chick is completely the opposite. She might even be one of the smartest people on the planet. Her career opportunities are endless, and yet she is here with us. She is a zero on a scale of 1 to 10. I'm not sure she even showers, much less shaves her "womanly" parts. I think she might be a lesbian, because every time we drive by the hardware store, she moans like a cat in heat.
But the crown jewel has got to be the fucking stoner. And this guy is more than just your average pothead. In fact, he is baked before he comes to work, during work, and I'm sure after work. He probably hasn't been sober anytime in the last ten years, and he's only 22. He dresses like a beatnik throwback from the 1960's, and to make things worse, he brings his big fucking dog to work. Every fucking day I have to look at this huge Great Dane walk around half-stoned from the second-hand smoke. Hell, sometimes I even think it's trying to talk with its constant bellowing. Also, both of them are constantly hungry, requiring multiple stops to McDonald's
and Burger King, every single fucking day.
Anyway, I drive these fucktards around in my van, solving mysteries and shit.
- This happens occasionally on Kim Possible, notably in the episode "Go Team Go" when Shego teams up with Kim and her estranged family to defeat Aviarius.
- Slade teamed up with the Teen Titans to save Raven and the world in the "The End" episode arc. Slade and the Titans still absolutely hated each other's guts, but managed to cooperate for some time.
- This happens a lot in Archer, the ISIS employees tend to get into petty fights on a daily basis. Whenever Archer and Lana are on mission togerther, Archer tends do stupid things that mess up their mission. Things get worse when the rest of ISIS take part in a mission, at least one of them will slip up, or were the cause of why their mission is compromised.
- Happens frequently between Dudley Puppy and Kitty Katswell on T.U.F.F. Puppy; they are a dog and a cat, after all.
- The page image is Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski, who made Aguirre: The Wrath of God and according to rumors wanted to murder each other during the production. They made four more films together.
- Great Britain and the United States allying with the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany. Winston Churchill famously said "If Hitler invaded Hell, I would at least make a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons."
- True even for the Apollo missions, apparently. One of the astronauts himself admits that there were flight crews that "would make you say 'Don't put those three guys in the same room together'", but they were all so motivated to do the job that "it worked."
- Chinese civil war, Japanese invasion, Nationalists and Communists. Xi'an incident.
- North Korea supports South Korea's claim over Japan's in the Liancourt Rocks Dispute.
- Not really an example of this trope, though. Both Koreas view themselves as the sole representatives of united Korea, with unification being a long-term goal (halfheartedly pursued) of both states...just under different political/socioeconomic systems and with different people in charge. As such, North Korea supports the South Korean claim not out of a sense of loyalty to fellow Koreans, but because it believes (or is working towards it eventually) that the islands will eventually end up in their own possession.
- Conversely, South Korea and Japan have a shared interest in keeping Russia, China, and North Korea at bay, despite some major disagreements.
- China and both the Koreas are working together to build better relations while purposely excluding Japan. This may be because, although the relationship between China and the Koreas have been strained, they are still much better than any of their relations with Japan. Though recently this has been shifting to South Korea and Japan's relations warming due to the North's recent aggression due to the latter supporting the South while China is mostly silent.
- In the War On Terror, the USA and NATO cooperate with nations like Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to combat terrorist groups like Al Qaeda; these nations have been accused of harboring terrorists, and they don't like the western nations themselves.
- General Leslie Groves was in charge of The Manhattan Project. His deputy Colonel Kenneth Nichols said he was "the biggest sonofabitch I've ever met in my life, but also one of the most capable ... I hated his guts and so did everyone else, but if I was to have to do my part all over again, I would select Groves as boss."
- Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, who comprised Brooks & Dunn, reportedly had almost no interaction outside the studio or on tour — they even had separate tour buses, and their pre-show interaction was mostly limited to having a shot of whiskey together before each show. One of them even told Country Weekly that the impetus behind their 2011 breakup was that they just felt like they had been together for too long.
- MacArthur and Eisenhower in 1930s. MacArthur was the chief of staff of the US Army, and later, the "chief military advisor" to the Philippines, which was yet a US dependency. Eisenhower was his loyal, lowly, overworked, and overlooked aide who was unhappy over the way his imperious boss treated him but was still a very efficient and capable underling. After World War 2, when both were five-star generals and big war heroes, neither had nice things to say about the other during this period, however.
- One of the many reasons the Peninsular War was such a disaster from the French was that the Marshals Napoleon sent there, expecting them to take care of everything while he conquered the rest of Europe, hated each others' guts for the most part and could not cooperate. Michel Ney and Jean de Dieu Soult had to sign a full-blown convention to ensure that there would be no back-stabbing on either side when they pursued John Moore's troops in 1809, and that was only the beginning.
- In fact, when Auguste Marmont - freshly transfered from the government of the Illyrian Provinces - took over command of the Army of Portugal in 1811 and tried to help Soult lift the siege on Badajoz and Ciudad Rodrigo despite having received no specific instructions to do so, it came as a huge surprise for everyone.
- Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman from Mythbusters don't interact much with each other outside of the show. Adam is frustrated by Jamie's fussiness and methodical approach and Jamie is irritated by Adam's showmanship, competitiveness, and occasionally sloppy work. They've got a healthy respect for each other, but they just do not get along on an interpersonal level.