troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Vitriolic Best Buds

"A very good measure of how good your friends are is how much you can insult them without them taking offense."

They're best friends. You can tell because they bicker Like an Old Married Couple.

Like a beautiful and delicate snowflake, no two friendships are alike. Unlike the beautiful and delicate snowflake, some friendships break out the flamethrowers in the face of this sickening sweetness.

These guys bicker constantly. They're always sniping at each other. They snark relentlessly. They duke it out on equal terms, hurling insults at one another with prejudice. But underneath the verbal fencing is a rock-solid friendship that no Smug Snake could hope to chip at. A Friend in Need may be needed to make this manifest. Often, they have opposite morals, personalities, or fighting ability which is presumably the cause of the vitriol (or maybe it's just because they're both Deadpan Snarkers). Such characters may go for a Friends All Along fight if one is introduced before the other.

This trope can often serve as a warning that something may be wrong as well. When one of the Vitriolic Best Buds suddenly stops responding to insults or flinging barbs of their own, the other may pick up on the sudden change in behavior as a sign that something is not right.

Woe betide any outsider to this unusual 'friendship' who thinks that because one is constantly snarking on the other, it gives the outsider the right to make snide comments about the other as well; usually, they will quickly (and painfully) learn that "no one makes fun of him/her but me." This is more a given when the vitriol is mutual between both friends, but in the variation where only one is vitriolic it may be a Pet the Dog moment or proof that aw, look: They really do like each other!

Compare Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other, Belligerent Sexual Tension, and With Friends Like These.... Contrast with Headbutting Heroes, who just cold-out despise each other despite being the best of heroes. Some types of Villainous Friendship have a similar dynamic.

NOTE: Due to a recent rewrite of this page, many examples will still refer to previous "type one and type two" dynamics. "Type two" is the version of the trope described above, while "type one" is a variation in which only one friend is vitriolic while the other friend is completely oblivious to the vitriol and much, much friendlier. If you come across such an example elsewhere on the wiki, please correct it to be clear without the type label.

Example subpages:


    open/close all folders 

    Fan Fic 
  • In Transformers Meta, Barricade and Soundwave are this.
  • Calvin & Hobbes: The Series remarks on the relationship between its title characters in "The Case of the Rogue Water Balloons":
    But Calvin and Hobbes were still best friends, and that would never change.
    No matter how much one ticked the other off.
    • Hobbes' segment in "Tales of a Tiger" also has the narrator remark on it:
    "Hobbes, as we all know, is Calvin's closest friend, and not just because they have to share a bed. Despite a truckload of arguments and disagreements, Calvin and Hobbes are both dependent on each other. Calvin sometimes to bring Hobbes back down to Earth when he gets too overconfident and Hobbes needs Calvin to keep his life interesting. Oh, and he also needs Calvin for tuna."
  • Empath: The Luckiest Smurf: Besides the Brainy and Clumsy relationship from the cartoon show, there's Empath and Hefty as well as Hefty and Duncan McSmurf. Despite Hefty's dislike for both Empath and Duncan, he pretty much knows that they care for him and will stick by him like glue.
  • Everyone is this for each other to various degrees in Story Of The Century, especially where L, Light, Misa and Erin are concerned. Inevitable when the first is a Defective Detective and Sociopathic Hero, the second and third are his suspects (not that he's wrong to suspect them), and the fourth is an exchange student who is forced into the story due to being at the wrong place at the wrong time and subsequently being kidnapped by the first. Doubles as A Match Made in Stockholm. They do share a few tender moments between them, but ultimately it ends about as well as you'd think.
  • In Gensokyo 20 XX, Yuuka and Eirin are more less this, as they do spend a bit of time being subtly hostile to each other but are nonetheless on good terms and they do care for each other.
    • In 20XXII, we have Kaguya and Mokou. Confirmed that they are roommates.
  • The central premise of the MLP fanfic Unlikely Allies. Trixie drags Twilight along on an adventure to save Equestria. Along the way they constantly bicker with each other over Twilight's need to compensate for something, Trixie's shady past, whether or not Starswirl the Bearded was the father of magic theory or an overrated joke, and practically everything in between... while sneaking into enemy territory, taking down monsters, and fighting the bad guy together. They are clearly enjoying themselves immensely.
  • Sunset Shimmer and Twlight Sparkle become this in Stallions Of Harmony Verse. In their first scene together, they mock and belittle each other, and are clearly academic rivals. However when their attempt to sneak out of Canterlot and help save Shining results in Sunset assaulting a Royal Guard, Sunset assures Twilight that she'll take the fall for the assault , while Twilight assures her that they (and Moondancer) are in this together. As the narrative points out, "Friendship is weird."

    Pinball 

    Multiple Media 
  • Golgotha from Noob acts this way towards everyone she considers allies or friends. Nobody is giving the vitriol back, but only the stupidest characters are oblivious to it while most just understand that this is her way of addressing people and interact with her normally.

    Puppet Shows 


Vagabond BuddiesDuo TropesWacky Parent, Serious Child
Villainous FriendshipFriendship TropesWe Really Do Care
Token Evil TeammateDiscord TropesVolleying Insults
Sour Outside, Sad InsideIndex with a Heart of GoldThe Wonka
Villain over for DinnerFrenemy TropesWe Used to Be Friends
Lightning BruiserOverdosed TropesPsychic Powers
Tomboy and Girly GirlFoilWhite Sheep
Third-Option Love InterestImageSource/Comic BooksWe're Still Relevant, Dammit

alternative title(s): Vitriolic Best Buddies; Vitriolic Best Friends
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
21273
1