"Oh mate, the missus and the ex! Welcome to every man's worst nightmare."Alice and Bob are in a relationship. Carol, who Bob chucked acrimoniously, turns up at a social event that the first two are attending. Either there will be a fight, Bob will get chucked by Alice or the two ladies will strike up a friendship. If the latter happens, Alice and Carol will usually bond over making fun of Bob. Either way, Bob will be highly uncomfortable. As the title implies, this is usually a guy's missus and ex, but it can go the other way, too. Often given a Perspective Flip where the focus is on the "ex" character, who has the added awkwardness of being single where their partner has found someone new. Made especially difficult if a Psycho Ex-Girlfriend is involved.
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Anime & Manga
- In Ah! My Goddess, Tyr was once involved with Hild, the Queen of Hell, and had a daughter, Urd, with her before they were forcibly separated by The Gate of Judgement to the dismay of both. Tyr's current wife, Ansuz, gets along well with Hild and the two are Vitriolic Best Buds who fight whenever they meet but genuinely like each other.
- In one The Flash storyline, Wally West's ex Frances Kane—a magnetic powerhouse with a slight sanity problem—encounters his current lover, reporter Linda Park. There's initial tension, but by the time Wally makes the scene, they're having a good laugh over his dreadful taste in food.
- In Spider-Man there are several occasions, usually involving Mary Jane:
- During the "Drug issues", Mary Jane very harshly dumped Harry Osborn, which hastened his descent into drug addiction. Although she later became Peter Parker's girlfriend (and later wife), she did reconcile with Harry and she and Peter became the godparents of Harry's son Normie.
- Mary Jane always got along well with Peter's ex-girlfriends Betty Brant and Liz Allan (later Liz Osborn). Peter also eventually became friends with Betty's fiancé Ned Leeds (though not too close) and he and MJ served as Best Man and Maid of Honor at the Brant-Leeds wedding.
- Betty Brant Leeds had an affair with Peter Parker shortly after Mary Jane rejected his first wedding proposal, but on MJ's return to New York (ASM #242), Betty set up a date between MJ and Peter in order to bring the two back together. (Another matchmaker for Peter and MJ at the time was Liz Osborn).
- Flash Thompson, the Best Man at the Watson-Parker wedding, had in the past dated Mary Jane.
- As Mary Jane was re-established as Peter's love interest after his painful break-up with the Black Cat, relations between MJ and Felicia Hardy were very prickly and competitive, especially during the run-up to the Watson-Parker wedding. However, the two eventually became friends during The Clone Saga after MJ asked the Black Cat for help because she had nobody else to turn to. However, things did not always run smoothly because on some occasions MJ suspected, not without justification, that Felicia still wanted Peter.
- After MJ and Peter broke up, she got on very well with Carlie Cooper. When Carlie learnt Pete's secret identity, they settled down to a chat about it, leading Peter - who was nowhere nearby - to suddenly realise his "Peter Parker sense" was tingling.
- In Kyle Rayner's Green Lantern run, his ex-girlfriend, Donna Troy, showed up at his art gallery showing, leading to tensions between Kyle and then-girlfriend Jade. (Donna and Jade, when they both became Kyle's exes, eventually went on to be teammates in the Outsiders and the Justice League... with further ramifications whenever Kyle enters the mix.)
- In Kathryn Immonen's run of Journey into Mystery, Lady Sif comes to Jane Foster for medical advice regarding Lady Gaea. They easily get along and crack a few puns at Thor's expense.
Sif: [Thor] is bold, but you and I in the same room would scare him half to death. And rightly so.
- Over My Dead Body is similar. The Ex (Eva Longoria Parker) being deceased.
- High Noon features an interesting dynamic between the hero Will Kane's sweet, proper Quaker bride Amy (played by Grace Kelly), and Helen Ramirez, a saloon owner with whom he has a history. When Kane goes alone to face off against the film's villains, Helen gives Amy a piece of her mind:
Helen: I don't understand you. No matter what you say. If Kane was my man, I'd never leave him like this. I'd get a gun. I'd fight.
Amy: Why don't you?
Helen: He is not my man. He's yours.
- In Iron Man 3, Pepper Potts gets along quite well with Maya Hansen, whom Tony had a one night stand with.
- The initial dynamic between Erin, Abby and Holtzmann in Ghostbusters (2016) plays like a (mostly) non-romantic example of this trope. Although not (explicitly identified as) girlfriends, Erin and Abby were friends and research partners until Erin 'dumped' Abby to develop her own career, which led to initial awkwardness when Erin later re-entered Abby's life only to discover that she'd found a new, younger, cooler partner in Holtzmann, who she even seemed to get on better with. Played with in that, outside of the initial bad feelings, Erin and Abby rather quickly manage to rekindle their old friendship and, outside of some initial protectiveness and teasing, Holtzmann never seems that hostile to Erin and actually seems much fonder of flirting incessantly with her.
- A man is at a party talking to a friend when he happens to see his wife talking to his ex, heading in his direction, and makes a swift retreat behind a plant. The friend asks him what the problem is, and is told that the wife and ex were just spotted. The friend goes to check... and promptly gets behind the plant as well, saying "Small world".
- In A Brother's Price, one of the heroes accuses the villain of having stolen her girlfriend, and the villain intentionally taunts her with this. The hero had earlier told Jerin that her girlfriend left her because her face was disfigured, so it is not clear whether the accusation is genuine, or just meant to serve as distraction.
- Played with in Tamora Pierce's The Immortals: Daine and Numair aren't in a relationship—they aren't even aware of their feelings yet—but when one of Numair's exes, Varice Kingsford shows up, it starts getting awkward, and Daine gets jealous.
- In High Profile, one of the Jesse Stone novels, Jesse's ex-wife Jenn winds up being guarded by Jesse's current squeeze Sunny Randall after she's assaulted, and much to Jesse's relief they get along quite well. Sunny is also the person to convince Jenn that she needs to get therapy after it's revealed that she wasn't actually assaulted, just threatened with it, and that she's still not over Jesse.
- In the Agatha Christie novel Towards Zero, Neville Strange brings his current wife Kay to visit his relatives at the same time his ex-wife Audrey is also visiting them. Neville actually did this on purpose, claiming that life would be so much simpler if Kay and Audrey could be friends. Actually he's doing it in order to murder Audrey in revenge for her leaving him; Kay's presence is entirely superfluous to his plans.
- Another Christie example comes in the Miss Marple short story "The Case of the Caretaker": Harry Laxton introduces his wife Louise to his "old flame" Bella, now married to the village chemist. Also, the friendship between Louise and Clarice Vane may qualify: Harry is in love with Clarice and murders Louise in hopes of marrying Clarice after she's dead.
- In The Lost Fleet, Black Jack Geary has to deal with having his former lover as his political advisor and ally and his present lover as the captain of his flagship - which they all live aboard. Basically he keeps his head down barring the occasional plaintive plea for civility... which is basically what he'd been doing from day one anyway, because the two of them hated each other long before he'd even met either one, much less started any kind of relationship.
- In the Colleen McCullough novel The Touch, the male protagonist's wife Elizabeth and mistress Ruby meet at an event and instantly hit it off. Despite initially resenting each other, the two end up feeling sorry for each other—Elizabeth for having left everyone she knows and loves to move halfway around the world to marry a man she's never met and doesn't love, and Ruby for having to watch the man she loves with another woman while their relationship must be conducted in secret because she's a madam.
Live Action TV
- Doctor Who sometimes has this dynamic with current and previous companions.
- In the trope-naming instance: Rose and Sarah Jane in the above-quoted episode. They have a funny argument, but quickly become friends. As the quote also shows, Mickey is delighted to see it; mainly because Rose was his girlfriend before she unceremoniously ditched him for the Doctor.
- In "The Sontaran Stratagem", Donna and Martha meet. The Doctor worries there will be a repeat of the events of "School Reunion", but since Donna has no romantic attachment to the Doctor and Martha got over hers, the two become pretty friendly and pick at the Doctor a bit, who ends up wishing they would fight.
- Amy Pond has a similar conversation with River Song in the fifth season, even though it is not entirely clear just what kind of relationship River and the Doctor have (or will have, or have had). And it's pretty clear that Amy isn't in it for the "long-term" like Rose or Martha might have been. Given that Amy's marriage is a long time ago tomorrow morning, it's understandable. Turned out that River was Amy's daughter, and she knew it, so in retrospect, the sub-text is subverted.
- Neither one is anything close to a love interest, but a couple of deleted scenes from "Battlefield" provide an example of the companion not warming up to an older one right away: The Brigadier manages to offend Ace by referring to her as "the latest one," and a line about how looking after the Professor is her job reveals that she may feel a bit threatened. By the end of the serial the Brig has managed to prove that he can be trusted to take care of the Doctor and the two bond over a nice big explosion. In the Brig's case, at least, it's less "mutual hostility" on his part and more "old-fashioned stuffy social awkwardness":
(after Ace has stormed off in a huff)
The Brigadier: Oh dear. Women, not really my field, Doctor.
The Doctor: Don't worry, Brigadier; people will be shooting at you soon.
- Another occasion where "missus and the ex" is invoked in almost those terms is "The Name of the Doctor" in which the Doctor's current companion, Clara Oswald (who has entered into an unconventional subtle romance with the Doctor) encounters the Doctor's wife, River Song - who is actually dead, but whose consciousness has been retained inside a supercomputer (long story). The Doctor, when asked by Clara if River is his "ex", replies in the affirmative. Other than an awkward moment in which Clara, who has heard of River before, indicates she thought River was a man, the two get along fine and River is directly responsible for keeping Clara alive at the climax of the episode.
- A more tragic example comes from Waterloo Road. An ex-girlfriend of Earl Kelly's showed up and Maxine chucked Earl when she discovered what he was doing to the previous girlfriend's baby (selling it). Maxine was shot dead by the end.
- In the episode "Ex-File", Gibbs has to deal with the combination of his current girlfriend Lt. Col. Hollis Mann, his third ex-wife and his former lover Jenny Sheppard. All redheads.
- Gibbs friendship with FBI Agent Fornell is complicated by the fact that Fornell married and then divorced one of Gibbs's ex-wives. When Fornell and the ex-wife think about getting back together they both seek Gibbs's advice despite him vehemently insisting that they keep him out of it.
- Gibbs is none too pleased, as usual, when ex-wife Diane shows up at a crime scene, even moreso when another ex-wife joins her, and looks flat-out horrified at the realization that the two are friends.
- This is how the first season of Grey's Anatomy ends, the characters in question being Meredith, Derek, and Addison.
- In Two and a Half Men Alan's young, hot girlfriend Kandi starts complaining about him to his ex-wife Judith. They go out, get drunk, and Kandi moves in with Judith. In the next episode it gets worse, or at least weirder.
- Ross's girlfriend Emily becomes friends with his ex-wife's wife Carol. He assumes that the interest is sexual because it's what happened last time, and is horrified.
- Emily and Ross broke up because she wanted him to stop seeing Rachel even as a friend.
- A running gag is that Chandler's obnoxious Janice keeps showing up, even once Chandler happily dates Monica.
- After Rachel dumped Barry at the altar, he got engaged to Mindy, who was Rachel's best friend. Barry then got back together with Rachel behind Mindy's back, and when they compared notes Rachel learned that Barry's relationship with Mindy went back to during their engagement. They end up both dumping him at once for being a horrible human being, but Mindy goes back on it.
- In at least one episode of Cheaters, the girl being cheated on and the other girl became friends, much to the horror of the cheating boyfriend.
- In One Tree Hill, Karen (the ex of Dan, who got her pregnant and then left her) becomes friends with Deb (Dan's wife, whom he met after dumping Karen... and got her pregnant three months later).
Dan: You haven't worn out your welcome (at the cafe) yet?Deb: No, in fact Karen made me her partner.Dan: I hope you mean in the business.
- An episode has Lilith Crane tangling with Frasier's first wife, children's entertainer Nanny Gee (Emma Thompson).
- Carla and Nick Tortelli's second wife Loretta were the "striking up a friendship" variant.
- This happened in the Dream On episode "Three Coins in the Dryer". Martin imagined all kinds of craziness about them viciously fighting each other. It turned out that they were indeed rather awkward and uncomfortable with each other, but perfectly nice to each other. Martin's ex-wife only reacted with a friendly detached amusement that they had so obviously been having sex.
- Episode 2.4 of Ashes to Ashes in which Jackie Queen shows up claiming to be pregnant with Gene's baby. Barely hidden hostility ensues between her and Alex ("are you sleeping with my future husband?"), with Alex looking horrified as Gene proposes, until Jackie reveals it isn't his, and they're best buds.
- Happened on The X-Files, though it encompassed a season and a half instead of just an episode. And while Mulder and Scully were not a couple at the time, when Mulder's ex-partner and ex-lover shows up and tries to steal him away, Scully does not take kindly to that. It doesn't help that the ex-partner is evil, and in cahoots with Mulder and Scully's arch-nemesis. Mulder ditches Scully several times for Fowley, and ignores all evidence pointing to the fact that she's evil. Seeing Scully's claws come out, though, made it all worth it.
- The entire premise of Reba, where Reba's husband cheats on her, gets his mistress pregnant, and marries the mistress. The highly obnoxious Dumb Blonde mistress wants to be friends with Reba, but Reba doesn't want anything to do with her. Hilarity Ensues.
- There was an episode of Forever Knight in which Nick, the vampire cop, is about to get hot and heavy with Janette, the French vampire who is his sometimes friend/lover, sometimes enemy going back centuries, and Natalie, his human best friend/love interest/something walks in. There's no explosion, instead Natalie is nervous, Janette seems fascinated, and says to Natalie, "We must get together and... talk." We see the look on Nick's face and it's clear that this is not an idea he finds pleasing!
- Played with in Eureka. Sheriff Carter enters the diner and sees (or rather the audience sees) Allison Blake (the missus), Tess Fontana (the ex and the missus' best friend), and Nathan Stark (the missus' ex-husband, and bane of Carter's existence) all sitting at a table waiting for him. Amazingly, he doesn't instantly run. In a subversion however, only Carter and Allison are real. Allison can see Tess, and Carter can see Stark, but neither of them can see both.
- The season three finale of Fringe teases this scenario when Olivia (Peter's girlfriend) and Fauxlivia (Olivia's Alternate Universe counterpart who was pretending to be Olivia when she was with Peter) are suddenly brought together. However, that's the least volatile pair who are suddenly brought together at the same time, and then other stuff happened.
- Leonard from The Big Bang Theory deals with this trope in the episode "The Engagement Reaction" when Priya, his current girlfriend, and Penny, his ex, become friendly. He doesn't see a problem with it until Raj brings it to his attention.
- Happens (in a loosest sense) in the Firefly episode Trash. YoSafBridge is currently married to Monty when the pair of them encounter Monty's war buddy Malcolm Reynolds, whom she had previously married. Like most The Missus and the Ex scenarios, this doesn't work out well for her, however in this case it's because her marriage to Mal was part of a scam and all logic suggests she's pulling some sort of con on Monty as well. She's clever enough to realize immediately that her feminine wiles, however considerable, will also be entirely useless against the "War Buddy" brand of loyalty that Mal and Monty have towards each other, and immediately resorts to pulling a gun.
- In Scrubs, Dr. Cox comes in to find his ex-wife Jordan chatting to his new girlfriend. He greets them with "Well, isn't this horrible."
- Merlin (2008):
- Gender Flipped as Arthur and Guinevere are about to be married when Lancelot reappears. Arthur ain't happy.
- Appears in "Another's Sorrow" when Mithian comes to King Arthur (now married to Guinevere) for help. It's handled quite maturely: Gwen never shows any jealousy or suspects that Arthur is acting out of feelings for Mithian and Mithian never tries to seduce Arthur or cause trouble for the marriage.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- In episode "New Moon Rising", Willow is just starting to slide into relationship territory with Tara when her werewolf ex-boyfriend Oz comes back into town. Things simmer for a good chunk of the episode since Oz, having missed his Willow's Suddenly Sexuality, doesn't realise that he's in one of these situations. When he finally gets wise, he freaks out and kinda tries to eat Tara. It's a thing.
- It pops up in Willow's "What Do They Fear?" Episode a few episodes later, where Willow is clearly freaked out by Tara and Oz whispering together and giggling at her.
- From the same season, Riley and Angel meet and come to blows. It really ends up like a dick-waving competition.
- My Name Is Earl: At the time of Earl's Accidental Marriage to Joy, he had started dating a woman named Jessie. When Jessie (who works as a receptionist at a bail bond clerk's office) hears that Joy has a bounty on her head for failing to appear in court, she volunteers to bring Joy in, and puts herself through Training from Hell to do so. They meet up, and Earl is afraid things will be ugly... he was right.
- Ringer has a couple of episodes featuring the Ex and the Missus' Twin Sister Pretending to be the Missus.
- Occurs in the Drake & Josh episode, "The Storm" when Drake's girlfriend of the week and two ex-girlfriends are at the same house party together. They constantly giggle at each other while saying Drake's name, which makes Drake freak out more.
Drake: I can't have my current girlfriend and my ex-girlfriend in the same house. You want the universe to explode!?
- The Cosby Show had a Thanksgiving Special in which Denise invited Martin's ex-wife to join the family for dinner. Everyone in the house (especially Martin) was on edge anticipating a horrible blow-up. However, when the ex arrived, Denise was genuinely glad to meet her and the two quickly became friends with no drama at all. It was especially sweet to see Martin's daughter, Olivia, spending time happily with her birth-mom and step-mom together.
- An unusually non-romantic example occurs in Monk when Monk's first assistant, Sharona, comes to visit and meets his new assistant, Natalie. Although neither woman has romantic feelings for Monk, they both care about him and very protective of him, which leads to a lot of friction.
- In Mad Men Betty can't stand the idea of Don Draper rebuilding his life with another woman and she is particularly mean and malignant whenever his new wife Megan is involved or crosses her path.
- In Castle, Castle makes the mistake of inviting his ex-wife to stay at his place to help tend to his sick daughter while Beckett, now his girlfriend, also happens to be staying there due to her apartment being fumigated. Needless to say, the atmosphere gets quite tense quite quickly. Beckett and Meredith end up becoming quite friendly, however.
- In Leverage, we have Sophie and Maggie, with the writers/producers referencing the trope by name in at least one audio commentary in the season four episode "The Last Dam Job." Interestingly, they also tease the idea of Maggie and Sophie being involved when Nate isn't around.
- It happens all the time on How I Met Your Mother as Robin and Ted broke up but remained close friends, and later the same happened with Barney and Robin. Sometimes it's a Girl of the Week who's either friendly with Robin or frustrated with Ted/Barney, or she may be a steady girl-friend. The most drastic example was Victoria telling Ted that he has to cut off all contact with Robin or she will break up with him. Ted chooses Robin/
- Doctor on the Go features a gender-inverted version in the episode "For Your Own Good". Dr. James Gascoigne's father has been admitted to St. Swithin's Hospital with a head injury, and Mrs. Gascoigne turns out to be an old flame of the Professor of Surgery, Sir Geoffrey Loftus. The elder Gascoigne seduced his future wife away from Loftus while the latter was away on holiday several decades earlier; Loftus and Mrs. Gascoigne have a chance encounter in the corridors of the hospital, their first meeting since their relationship ended.
- Babylon 5: This becomes an issue at the end of the third season when Captain Sheridan's wife (who everyone thought was dead) shows up at his quarters while he's spending the night with Delenn. As it turns out, Anna was changed by the Shadows, and Sheridan knew it, and both of them were dead by the end of the season. Sheridan would get better in the next season, but Anna was gone for good.
- And in the fifth season, Delenn is unhappy to learn that Sheridan has arranged for his first wife, Elizabeth Lochley, to assume command of the stationnote . Delenn and Lochley have no problem working with each other, but Delenn is upset because Sheridan didn't tell her about the prior relationship.
- Laser-Guided Karma if you ask me given Delenn's history of withholding information.
- And in the fifth season, Delenn is unhappy to learn that Sheridan has arranged for his first wife, Elizabeth Lochley, to assume command of the stationnote . Delenn and Lochley have no problem working with each other, but Delenn is upset because Sheridan didn't tell her about the prior relationship.
- In Season 2 of Vikings, Ragnar Lothbrok takes on the princess and mystic Aslaug for his wife, after conceiving a son with her. Ragnar's first wife, Lagertha the shieldmaiden, leaves him with their firstborn son. Lagertha returns a few times in season 2, and now Ragnar gets to enjoy all the awkwardness of sitting between them at the dinner table.
- On Rush 2014, Dr. William Rush goes to a medical conference where he encounters his ex-girlfriend Dr. Sarah Peterson. Sarah is there with her new boyfriend Dr. Griffin Wagner. Rush still has strong feelings for Sarah but is trying to let her go so he makes a token attempt to befriend Griffin. Griffin is a great guy and a splendid doctor but he is very insecure about his relationship with Sarah because he heard so many things about the wild and exciting William Rush and knows that Sarah is not yet fully over Rush. After a few drinks Griffin tries to show that he can be as spontaneous and unpredictable as Rush and performs a dangerous stunt that almost gets him killed. Rush saves his life but the two men get arrested. Much to Sarah's chagrin, they end up bonding over the experience.
- On Home Improvement, Jill meets Tim's ex-girlfriend Stacey, whom Tim never officially broke up with. Jill is less than pleased by this news, but she and Stacey get along well enough that it makes Tim nervous.
- Suddenly Susan, when the titular Susan meets her new boyfriend's ex when she comes by the house to pick up their children. They get along fine, but Susan is unnerved when she notices how much they resemble each other. Her fears prove well-founded—a few episodes later, she stops by the house and finds the woman there, the early morning hour and the Sexy Shirt Switch that she's pulling making it obvious that they slept together. Poor Susan realizes that she's nothing more than a Replacement Goldfish and that he clearly is still in love with his ex and ends things.
- This crops up a few times in the first season of Arrow, made doubly complicated by the fact that Oliver is Dating Catwoman both times.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "Galaxy's Child", Geordi has a truly unique case as both the Missus and the Ex are the same person; one is the holographic counterpart of Dr. Leah Brahms from the earlier episode "Booby Trap", the other is the actual Leah. Things get very tense when the real Leah finds the holographic Leah repeating the earlier episode's closing lines "Every time you look at this engine, you're looking at me. Every time you touch it, it's me.", and accuses Geordi of being a Stalker With a Crush.
- Gender Flipped in "Second Chances" between Troi and the two Will Rikers. Similar to "Galaxy's Child", both the Mister and the Ex are technically the same person; one is the Riker we've come to know over 6 seasons on TNG and had given up on his relationship with Troi to further his career. The other is the Riker who was stranded on Nervala VI for 8 years and still has strong feelings for Troi.
- In the Lifetime Movie of the Week The Other Woman, a woman and her children dislike her ex-husband's new, younger wife. Until the woman realizes that she's terminally ill and realizes that she needs to befriend the woman and teach her how to be a good mother. It works and they end up bonding so beautifully—she also gives her sincere advice on making her marriage work—that the stepmother is just as grief-stricken as everyone else when the woman finally passes away.
- Carrie Underwood's "Two Black Cadillacs" is a variation on this trope. A man's wife found out he had a mistress, who likewise wasn't aware that he was married. It's implied that they're the reason the song is primarily set at his burial, though that's the first and last time they ever met face to face.
- In the song "Trubbel" (Trouble) by Swedish songwriter Olle Adolphson, this pattern is combined with class issues. Working-class A and B are happy together, but then B has an affair with middle-class C. A is naturally upset, but then finds out that B has already been dumped by C. A finds this unforgivable and goes to visit C with a hammer hidden in the coat. However, C turns out to be a genuinely nice person, courteous and friendly, and A is just as charmed as B had been. A and B decide to settle for each other and for being lower-class people. The reason for the ABC routine here is that the lyrics are cleverly written to be not only fairly timeless, but also (with very slight changes) applicable to either gender combinationnote . In the original lyrics, A and C are males; in the most well-known cover they are females.
- According to Tony Hawks in a round of Uxbridge English Dictionary on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, this is the definition of "extension".
- Blithe Spirit is all about this, with the added twist of the ex being dead.
- Happens in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves when Nathan and Chloe unexpectedly run into Elena in war torn Nepal, causing the latter to introduce herself to Chloe as 'last year's model'. However, Nathan and Chloe aren't in a relationship per se (they seem to be more "friends with benefits" than anything).
- Mass Effect 3: If you romanced Ashley in Mass Effect, then romanced Tali in Mass Effect 2 and bring them both along on the Geth Dreadnought mission, things get, um... tense. Alternately, if you commit to Tali beforehand, both women quickly realize it's a fight that neither wants and instead share eager anticipation in fighting Geth. If you romanced Liara then Tali, Liara mentions that Tali's suit has a built-in vibrator if you bring Liara along (Tali being required if she's alive).
- Kevin & Kell
Bentley: That I'm a better ex-husband than a husband? Why?
- Martha is initially horrified to learn that she's been asked to be a bridesmaid for Danielle, who's marrying her ex-husband George, and initially says she will never warm up to her. Danielle, however, gets on her good side by making the dress the same as one she already owns, and the two become, in Fiona's words "unlikely friends".
- Dorothy starts dating Douglas, also known as D.B. Cooper. When he's found out and jailed for the crimes they can prosecute for (many had passed the statute of limitations) his jail cell roommate is none other than Dorothy's criminal ex-husband, Bentley, who strikes up a friendship with Douglas.
- Dorothy's Vitriolic Best Bud Elanor having an online friendship with Bentley, irritates Dorothy to no end. It's later revealed that Bentley arranged for that to happen so he can make sure Douglas is good enough for Dorothy. Their son Kevin is actually surprised.
- In Roommates Erik's meet here here. Went slightly melancholic but it ended with mutual respect.
- Girls Next Door (spin-off to Roommates), James' meet as Funny Background Event here... they won't get along well.
- In Shiniez, Alan's brings Marion to meet his ex Allison and she wrongly assumes they were trying to set up a threesome. They become good friends for a while afterwards.
- In a flashback in Girl Genius, Lucrezia is well aware of this trope, and deliberately subverts it. After announcing to Klaus that she intends to marry his best friend, who has proposed to her, she drugs him and sends him away to make sure he can't mess up her future marriage. Since Word of God says he ends up in Skifander, which is a lost city, she wanted to be very sure indeed.
Lucrezia: I'm afraid I simply can't have you around complicating things. If only by being such a temptation... I'm afraid you really will have to go.
- Vixen (Green Lantern's girlfriend) and Shayera (GL's ex) get put on a team in Justice League "Hunter's Moon". They end up getting along pretty well.
John: Why did you do that? [...] Sending my girlfriend and my ex on the same mission?J'onn: Difficult as it may be for you to believe, I don't take your love life into consideration when I make command decisions.
- Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures episode "The Robot Spies": Race Bannon's ex-wife Estella, and his ex-girlfriend Jade, both make an appearance. Save for a few tense moments, it's not as bad as one would expect.
- Kim Possible refused to admit that she was jealous when she first met Yori, a girl Ron made friends with while attending the Yamanouchi Ninja School. This despite Ron being oblivious to Yori's obvious attraction to him. Later, after Ron and Kim became a couple, Ron broke the news to Yori, who seemed to take it in stride. Later, when Kim and Yori were working together to retrieve a mystic monkey artifact from a temple, they bonded.
Kim: So, Yori, are you really okay with Ron being off the market?
Yori: Off the market?
Kim: You know, mine.
Yori: I believe Stoppable-san is your destiny, Kim Possible. Like change, we must always welcome destiny.
Kim: Yori, you sorta, kinda rock.
- Ginger from As Told by Ginger invokes this trope in the Thanksgiving episode "Ten Chairs" where she invites Jonas (her mother's ex-husband) to the Thanksgiving dinner where Lois's fiancee Dave will also attend.
Real Life - Historical
- The much married Henry VIII faced this dilemma after divorcing Anne of Cleves and marrying Catherine Howard. Anne had been given a generous settlement and the official status of 'Royal Sister' meaning there was no reason at all why she shouldn't come to court for the holidays. However contemporary accounts make it clear that Henry stayed away until he heard that the two women were getting along, only then did he join the party. By evening he was feeling comfortable enough to retire early leaving his Missus and Ex alone together.