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Vitriolic Best Buds
aka: Vitriolic Best Friends

"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:


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

alternative title(s): Vitriolic Best Buddies; Vitriolic Best Friends
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