With Friends Like These...
"I love Dora. Sure, I might fantasize about smothering her in her sleep sometimes, but that doesn't mean we're not friends!"
...who needs enemies?
Two people are supposedly friends, except they seem to hate each other. Like, a lot. They're always bickering, insulting each other
or outright whupping each other, which leaves the audience wondering, "How the hell are these people friends?"
This is often because one or both are Jerkasses
, though sometimes it seems that they reserve all their hostility for one other. Once in a while they'll have a heartwarming moment which will make the audience go "Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other
." Then it's back to business as usual. The other option is that one will eventually go for The Uriah Gambit
Note that the conflict does not create serious problems when dealing with worse enemies — that is Divided We Fall
(which is often enough also polite).
Not to be confused with Don't Shoot the Message
. For the romantic version, see The Masochism Tango
and Belligerent Sexual Tension
. Contrast Friendly Enemy
. Compare Vitriolic Best Buds
and Odd Friendship
. Contrast Who Needs Enemies?
, where two characters really ought
to be friends given their similar goals, but somehow aren't. May be due to coming from a Friendless Background
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Anime and Manga
- Goldfish Warning: Chitose & Wapiko, also Chitose & Aoi. They all have this oil-&-water chemistry. Sometimes Chitose puts in effort to be as friendly with Wapiko as Wapiko is with her, but most of the time she is filled with contempt for her, turns down her ideas, & leaves her behind.
- Hunter × Hunter: Leorio & Kurapika. Though fans will tell you that they act like a bickering old married couple.
- Kouji and Boss from Mazinger Z are real good friends. You would not guess it from watching how they treat each other, though. Kouji is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold constantly picks on Boss, and Boss is a Small Name, Big Ego with bullish tendencies gets angry at Kouji when he taunts him or just shows him off.
- Watanuki and Doumeki from Xxx HO Li C. Watanuki loaths Domumeki entire because he thinks Doumeki is a rival for Himawari's affection, and Doumeki is just the type to give Wananuki crap just because the guy is easy to wind up. Despite this, they save each other's lives quite often. It used to be even worse. As of now they just snark at each other; according to Doumeki, Watanuki tried to drop kick him when they first met.
- Saiyuki. Sanzo and Gojyo bicker hilariously in one arc when they have to work together without Hakkai to mediate, while Gojyo and Goku constantly toss insults back and forth, to Sanzo's eternal frustration (it's no wonder he goes from smoking few cigarettes occasionally to full-blown chain smoker).
- Mean Girls has Regina to Karen, Cady, and (especially) Gretchen. "Frenemies" indeed!
- Star Wars has R2-D2 and C-3PO.
- The comedy duo Abbott and Costello in their many many films.
- The Big Lebowski. The Dude and Walter spend most of the time bickering, but they're good enough friends to see it through. Even verbally said by an exasperated Dude at one point:
The Dude: With friends like these, huh, Gary?
- It's hard to call Bad Boys a Buddy Cop film, since Mike and Marcus spend so much time fighting and throwing insults at each other, with few moments of peace and friendship. In Bad Boys II, on the other hand, they're practically Heterosexual Life-Partners.
- Inception has Eames and Arthur. One is a chilled out thief, the other is a slightly stuck up researcher type. The fangirls loved this.
- Max Fischer and Herman Blume in Rushmore. There's a reason though.
"With friends like you, who needs friends?" -Dirk (to Herman)
- Meeko and Percy (somehow) become friends at the end of Pocahontas. Enter the Direct-to-Video sequel, and Meeko is still tormenting Percy by stealing his food.
- Meeko and Flit also have this dynamic, though to a lesser degree.
- Cry_Wolf. The group of friends in the film love scaring each other very often for several reasons and don't have complete trust in each other. Despite all that, they're still friends.
- Harry Potter - Hermione likes a little bickering, which is why she prefers Ron to Harry, who backs down just to get her to shut up. Harry doesn't have any middle gears; he either backs down or he treats it as a verbal duel to the death, often reducing Hermione to tears before he's finished ranting at her. Ron, however, will jab back but rarely goes past the limit like Harry does; the extreme difference between their upbringings may explain this. Harry never saw 'playful bickering', pre-Hogwarts - just deadly-serious insults. It goes to the point where when Harry tells them to grow up and stop bickering they're offended and take it as a sign that there's something wrong with him.
- In the previous generation, Peter Pettigrew was that kid who let his friends — namely James and Sirius — pick on him just so he could remain in their group, and Remus failed to intervene for the same reason. And it seems that for a long time before she finally broke it off, Snape and Lily had a relationship where she was always standing up for him to others and he was always letting her down.
- Sherlock Holmes - Holmes takes every opportunity to belittle Watson, sends him off on fact-gatheing missions only to tell him he's brought nothing back of any use, tricks him into thinking he's dead for three years, and often uses him as an intellectual punching-bag. Watson, however, remains faithfully devoted. This dynamic is recreated by a number of later mystery authors, notably Agatha Christie's Poirot and his sidekick Hastings. But for all his snarking, Holmes does actually deeply care for him — see ''The Three Garridebs''. He trusts Watson is watching his back and trusts no-one else so implicitly. He also appreciates him for giving him an insight into how a normal person would interpret a situation.
- Lampshaded in the Dragaera novel Five Hundred Years After. A character mentions that Sethra Lavode and Aliera e'Kieron seem to have become very good friends in the last few days. When someone else expresses confusion, saying that he'd heard they were challenging each other to duels to the death roughly every 10 minutes, the first replies, basically, "They're from Houses Dragon and Dzur. Why wouldn't that make them friends?"
- In Discworld, the rather uptight Granny Weatherwax, and Dirty Old Woman Nanny Ogg are best of friends, despite constant bickering. In Witches Abroad, when Granny is making a list of why she disapproves of all the other witches in the area, it concludes "And she really couldn't be having at all with Nanny Ogg, who was her best friend".
- After 'The Lost' arc of Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts series, Gaunt and Rawne now fit neatly into this trope. Surviving Gereon, the two became remarkably close for men who still take great joy in issuing death threats and sarcastically undermining one another.
- Unknowingly sharing a name with the Trope, is the short story With Friends Like These by Alan Dean Foster. Several alien races come in search of humanity and Earth after the planet and its inhabitants had been locked away for for millenia for being unable to play nice with the rest of the universe. Now they were desperately needed to defeat aggressive aliens known as Yops. At first the aliens are disappointed because the humans are hospitable and friendly, but appear utterly defenseless and technologically backwards. Until they find out mankind has... evolved. It's pointed out near the end of the story that the problem exists of what to do with the Humans (and the rest of their planet) once the Yops have been defeated. (At this point it's obvious that the question is no longer if the Yops will be defeated but only how quickly. One character even remarks that the poor Yops won't know what hit them.)
- In The Secret History, Henry and Bunny are thought to be best friends. Henry engineers Bunny's murder in the middle of the book. The rest of the main characters, despite being a near-impenetrable clique of supposed friends, aren't exactly models of love and caring either. Possibly the constant scheming makes it difficult to trust each other...
- In Star Trek: Titan, the belligerant Fethetrit to the other races in the Pa'haquel's hunting alliance. Besides considering the slow torture of sapient beings a game (they can win trophies), Fethetrit love to theatrically bluster about their imperialist past in an insanely over-the-top manner: "we raped worlds until they begged for mercy, then raped them harder until they screamed for death!!" At this point, a Pa'haquel usually face-palms (well, the equivalent, anyway) and tells the Fethetrit in question to "sit down, you fool!"
- Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Okay, Jack Emery and Harry Wong have a relationship where they supposedly love each other like brothers, but you might have a hard time believing that! Ted Robinson and Maggie Spritzer are both reporters, which is a dog-eat-dog career, and despite them living together, having sex and all that fine stuff, they have resorted to stealing stuff from each other. Later, Maggie becomes Editor In Chief of the Washington Post and Ted's boss, and she loves to ''boss' him around! Honestly, it's hard to believe those two are on good terms!
- The main plot of El Amigo Braulio (My Friend Braulio) by José Manuel González Prada. A young man, Roque publishes some poems in the university's newspaper. Unfortunately, everyone mocks him, specially the titular Braulio, whom Roque considers his best friend who has always been there for him. In order to avoid more bullying and Humiliation Conga, Roque decides to use a pseudonym (Genaro Latino) in his next publication and to his surprise everyone loves it, especially Braulio, who bullies poor Roque and compares him with Genaro Latino. However, thanks to a creepy yet nice classmate who has supported Roque all along, Genaro Latino's true identity is revealed much to Braulio's chagrin. Turns out that Braulio was jealous all along and the story concludes with Roque and Braulio stopping being friends anymore.
- A.J. Raffles often treats his faithful sidekick and chronicler, Bunny, less than kindly. But he does eventually admit that Bunny's utterly dependable in a crunch.
- Ford and Arthur in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It's safe to assume that Arthur is the best friend Ford had during his fifteen years on Earth, since Ford chose him to rescue from the Vogons, but they both generally seem to find each other extremely trying. Ford often remarks on how Humans Are Morons, and Arthur ascribes several negative qualities to Ford. ("How reliable [is he]?" said Arthur. He gave a hollow laugh. "How shallow is the ocean?" he said. "How cold is the sun?") They bicker almost constantly. Given the least opportunity, they tend to go their separate ways. But somehow they generally tolerate each other; Ford hitchhikes across half the galaxy just to see Arthur in So Long And Thanks For All The Fish and often tries to keep Arthur out of danger, and once they get the bickering out of the way they occasionally manage to hang out quite peaceably.
- Friend Or Foe: This game show, which aired on Game Show Network in the late 1990s and early 2000s, was built on this trope. Simply put, teams of two contestants each worked together to answer questions and earn cash. At the end of each elimination round, assuming the last-place team had earned any cash, the team that was being eliminated got to decide whether they wanted to split their earnings ... but the catch was they made their decision separately, setting up the trope. If they wanted to split, they said "Friend," but if they wanted to keep all the money for themselves, they marked "Foe." Thus, one contestant saying "Friend" and the other marking "Foe" meant only the contestant who chose "Foe" kept the money ... thus fitting the "backstabbing" aspect of this trope. (Incidentally, the team split the money 50-50 for a double "Friend" and lost everything on a double "Foe.")
- The Brady Bunch: Several episodes, most notably "Everyone Can't Be George Washington," where Peter merely feels this way after his classmates learn he's portraying Benedict Arnold, and thus assume he's sympathizing with a traitor, in a school play about George Washington.
- Col and Frank from The Adventures of Lano and Woodley , though this is one-sided (i.e. Col -> Frank).
- House and the entire hospital in House, but especially House and Wilson. The Ho Yay crowd will claim this is actually The Masochism Tango at work. The dynamics go thusly: "House is a jerk, his team puts up with him because he's da boss, and Cuddy just doesn't seem to have a backbone." Then there's Wilson, the mousy-looking Nice Guy cancer doctor, to whom House is an unrepentant bully: stealing his food, interrupting his meetings with outrageous claims, pulling pranks on him. Then comes an episode where Wilson says, proudly, that House is his best friend. * beat* LOL, WUT? (It is worth pointing out that unlike the other characters Dr. Wilson gives as good as he gets, and it's heavily implied that they both enjoy their pranks a lot and it's the rest of the world that just doesn't get them.)
- As seen in this video, it's pretty obvious Wilson enjoys pulling pranks on House as well.
- This is briefly subverted in the episodes immediately following Amber's death. House's seeming insensitive to Wilson's pain and ducking his responsibility for what happened lead Wilson to tell him, "We're not friends, House. I'm not sure we ever were."
- Jimmy and Spinner on Degrassi The Next Generation are supposed to be best friends, but in every single episode where they are featured, they play ghastly pranks on each other — and somehow forgive each other after a few episodes. The writers finally took this one to its dark extreme, leaving the friendship imperiled (and the audience hanging) far longer than usual after one prank left its victim in a wheelchair.
- Dr Cox and JD from Scrubs, though this is also rather one-sided.
- The entire cast of The Young Ones. When their first house is destroyed, they take it for granted that they will continue to live together in the next house. A conscious choice, not just accident. There's also an episode where Vyvyan introduces them to his mother, referring to Mike and Neil as friends (and Rick as "a complete bastard I know").
- The two characters in Bottom. Previously played almost identically by the same two actors who were also two of The Young Ones in Filthy Rich & Catflap and the Comic Strip Presents episode "Mr. Jolly Lives Next Door''.
- Hyde to Eric in That '70s Show (one sided), and to Kelso, whose Jerkass tendencies are at least as strong as Hyde's own. In one episode Kelso takes the gang out to eat, but plans to skip out on the check. One by one, everyone leaves, until Donna and Eric are stuck paying the bill. They get their "friends" back by making them "special" brownies with laxatives in them.
- Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, being the Jerk Ass TV Genius.
- In the earlier seasons of Smallville Clark and Lex make a big deal of how important their friendship is while lying to each other, accusing each other of various crimes (often without cause or evidence of any kind) and making pointed remarks about each others psychological and relationship problems. How much of this is planned building on their later relationship is an exercise left up to the viewer.
- In the later seasons Oliver fills in for Lex. They practically do nothing but argue about this and that, and in the season eight finale Oliver shoots Clark in the back with a kryptonite dart. It's a long story.
- The crew of Moya on Farscape, who in the first season alone alternately try to kill each other, sell each other out, steal from each other, beat each other up, and in one particularly painful and memorable case (because unlike many of the others, they were under no duress) they succeed in dismembering one of the crew so they can sell the limb they take. He got better, but still... Oh, and their hobby seems to be finding new speciesist ways to insult each other.
- The subtitle of one multi-part season two arc is even called "With Friends Like These," and involves the crew of Moya throwing together an assault team of a Tavloid (Tavlek), a Sheeyang, a Vocarian Bloodtracker, and Zenetan Pirates (all of whom served as antagonists during the series's first season) to knock over a Shadow Depository, kill Scorpius, and rescue D'Argo's son.
- Sometimes Jack O'Neill and Daniel Jackson from Stargate SG-1 fall under this trope.
Jack: You're going to miss me.
Daniel: The belittling comments, the rude remarks, the pointless arguments...
Jack: You're going to miss Carter and Teal'c.
- Lord Percy Percy from Blackadder suffers absolute continued abuse from his 'friend' Edmund Blackadder and yet shows utter loyalty and devotion (so does his Bumbling Sidekick Baldrick of course, but then he is Blackadder's servant - Percy is a lord in his own right). Even more noteworthy in the second series when Percy and Blackadder actually have equal status and yet Percy wants nothing more than to be Blackadder's friend. Lieutenant George basically takes over this role in Blackadder Goes Forth.
- In the same series, Blackadder gets the same treatment from one of the many incarnations of Flashard.
- And is it arguable that this also applies to Blackadder and Captain Darling from Blackadder Goes Forth. They hate each other, Blackadder envious of his cushy job miles from the trenches and constantly picks on and riles him, yet it is implied that they do know each other well and were possible friends before the war. Their strange friendship is shown the strongest in the final episode Goodbyeeee, where not only do Blackadder, George and Baldrick fail to escape 'going over the top', but Captain Darling is also sent by Melchette to join them, and he and Blackadder seemingly bury the hatchet minutes before going to their deaths
- Mark and Jeremy from Peep Show screw each other over pretty much once per episode. Jeremy is the usual culprit, but Mark has had his moments.
- The gang of friends in Brit com Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, but most noticeably Louise. Louise is vapid, vain and downright nasty- she has no redeeming features whatsoever. The others frequently comment how much they dislike her, so why is she still there?
- Kamen Rider Den-O: The four Imagin, who spend every episode fighting.
- This is the entire concept behind Moonlighting. Maddie (Cybill Shephard) and David (Bruce Willis) spent the entire series bickering.
- Vorenus and Pullo from Rome. Just a few examples: Vorenus kicking Pullo to the curb claiming he is dead to him, the two of them beating each other up to the point of falling off a balcony, insults on the other one's quality of character.
- Commander Shran in Star Trek: Enterprise. Although arrogant, militant and speciesist (his favourite nickname for Captain Archer is "pinkskin", and he loathes Vulcans and Tellarites) he has a strong sense of personal obligation and provides more practical help than humanity's Vulcan allies during the Xindi crisis.
- Sonny from Sonny With A Chance with both Tawni and Chad.
- Friends: Occassionally Phoebe and Rachel towards Chandler. They often mock him and his relationship with Monica despite knowing he's an Insecure Love Interest. (This includes introducing Monica's "soulmate" right in front of him.) It's implied they're Green-Eyed Monster as they're mostly single while he and Monica have an unbelievably happy relationship. Plus they normally treat him badly only when Monica isn't around because, given how much she cares about Chandler and her hyper protective personality, she'd probably kick their asses if they hurt him.
- Every main character/the Gang in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. They constantly sabotage each other with dangerous stunts and yet they're still close enough to sing a cappella every once in a while.
- Barney Stinson to, well, everyone else on How I Met Your Mother.
- On Gossip Girl neither Serena nor Nate seem to be able to decide whether Chuck is their great friend or their annoying enemy. Usually they complain about him until they need something, in which case they go straight to him. The ironic thing is, Chuck is always loyal to Nate. Nate is however a pretty lousy best friend. At one point he temporarily called off their friendship because Chuck sold his club Victrola in order to get money to lend Nate's mother so they could keep their home. Nate is also the guy who got back together with his ex Blair, knowing full well she's the only girl Chuck has ever loved, and then proceeded to go to Chuck and whine about how Blair hasn't changed and he doesn't like who she is.
- Dawson's Creek: Dawson to everyone. He constantly belittles Pacey, manipulates Joey, treats Jen like crap, ignores Jack and can't acknowledge any problems other than his own. While he's idolized by the other characters, the audience is left wondering why any sane human would talk to him.
- Special examples include dumping Jen when discovering she's not a virgin, ending his friendship with Joey when she gets a new boyfriend a year after he rejected her, almost killing Pacey in a boat race, forgetting his brithday, admitting straight up he's uses him to make himself feel better and laughing at Pacey's Abusive Parents behaviour because they're 'just kidding'. (This is after being 'best friends' for sixteen years, in comparison Jack sees Pacey and his dad interacting ONCE and immediately understands the fraught relationship they have).
- Merlin and Arthur tend to be like this. They bicker and insult each other, but when it comes to it, they do care for each other. Though probably they wouldn't admit it.
- Seinfeld. Even though the four main characters hang out only with each other they snark each other constantly; George Costanza, in particular, is more pitied and tolerated than liked. By the last season the antagonistic rapport between the main characters has deepened into mutual contempt, culminating in the final scene of the four in jail, complaining about trivialities and each other.
- When Elaine starts dating "Bizarro-Jerry", who has a much healthier and normal relationship with his George and Kramer like friends, she finds the dynamic creepy and fails to fit it.
- iCarly: Sam Puckett and Freddie Benson. She tends to use him as her personal punching bag, often beating on him or attacking his self-esteem. Though they constantly go head-to-head, they have a few moments that shows they do care for each other as friends, like in the episodes iKiss, and iReunite With Missy.
- And in the early episodes, the answer to the question "Why does Freddie put up with Sam?" is Carly.
- Also, Sam and Gibby.
- Speaking of whom, thanks to a bit of Fridge Logic, Carly can be this to Freddie at times. Given that she has humiliated him on camera, enables Sam's abuse towards him (To the point where she thinks it's cute that she no longer hits him in the face), and played with his feelings for her on more than one occasion. As this fanfic points out, Carly has treated guys who have actually wronged her in the past better than she does Freddie.
- On Diff'rent Strokes, Dudley and Arnold's other friends would turn on him for any reason at any time in a heartbeat. Throughout the series run. After watching the TV Movie based on the cast's backstage story, one wonders if this wasn't another source of script frustration for the late Gary Coleman.
- Sherlock: Most of the time, Sherlock and John are sarcastic with each other, and Sherlock also locked his friend in a place, and left him stranded in Brixton but said that John was his only friend. John refers to Sherlock as his friend in a stressful moment in the episode "The Reichenbach Fall".
- Lucille Bluth and Lucille Austero from Arrested Development.
- Doctor Who:
- The Third Doctor and the Brigadier: the Brigadier orders the Doctor around and is generally military, while the Doctor snaps and jibes and is generally uncooperative... but then one of them smiles.
- The majority of interaction between The Sixth Doctor and Peri is made up of nonstop bickering.
- The First Doctor absolutely loathed his initial companions (except Susan, his granddaughter) and would try to get rid of them several times. Even after warming up to them, he'd troll them incessantly by playing a senile fool and then make fun of them when they fell for it. The Fourth Doctor constantly patronised his companions (called Leela a savage, chewed out Harry for everything, even talked down to fellow Time Lord Romana) yet would unfailingly call them "my best friend(s)".
- The bickering would rise to unprecedented levels whenever the Doctor met other incarnations, with name-calling and snide put-downs even when they were working together. Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee even kept up a mock animosity at con appearances (despite being good friends). Even during "Time Crash" (aka "David Tennant fangasms for five minutes over getting to meet his favorite Doctor") Ten can't resist slipping in a few cracks against Five, while Five dismisses Ten as a particularly annoying fanboy.
- One could argue that until his most recent incarnation (that is to say, 11th), this defined the relationship between River and the Doctor. Ten saw her as an incredibly vexing interruption which she found highly amusing because she already knows about him while he doesn't know her. Reversed parallel timelines, you see...
- In The League, Ruxin will do just about anything to his friends to improve his position in their fantasy football league.
- Top Gear, the three presenters can go from laughing like old chums to legitimately trying to kill one another in the span of seconds. For Instance:
- James coming after Jeremy with a machete after Jeremy rear-ended him on the most dangerous road ... in the world. This was after he'd been rear-ended (on purpose) several times on the previous leg of the journey.
- Jeremy throwing away Richard's targa roof in the middle of a snowstorm in the Alps after Richard drove over his drum kit. Jeremy followed this up by forcing Richard to drive faster to make Richard colder.
- Perhaps this trope is best epitomized by the "Get the Others Shot or Arrested" challenge from the America special. They came disturbingly close to succeeding, too.
- The cast of Jackass are assholes to each other, pulling horrible and violent pranks on each other all the time. None of them really mind for too long, largely because they are a gang of sadomasochists.
- Drake & Josh.
- The Ferals. They smack each other upside the head and insult each other at a moments notice. But break down a have a tearful goodbye when it looks like they'll have to split up.
- The four main characters in Will and Grace (Will, Grace, Karen, & Jack) treat each other horribly, despite apparently being each others BFFs.
- Oswald, Lewis, and Kate from The Drew Carey Show more often than not screw things up for the title character. It was once revealed that they accidentally messed up Drew's resume for College in High School without him knowing and Oswald hastily wrote one to cover it up and putting idiotic things in it like saying that his favorite animal was a bunny. With how much they mess things up, it's a wonder Drew didn't put poison in their beers and tell them it was a new flavor.
- Mickey Pearce towards Rodney Trotter on Only Fools and Horses.
- Jay and Will from The Inbetweeners. The dynamics are like this among the four main characters: Will and Simon are best friends, and Jay and Neil are best friends. Will and Simon both consider Neil a friend in the end due to him being generally nice though his stupidity often annoys them. Simon and Jay often seem to hate each other, but they have been friends for 13 years, so in the end, they have some grudging respect for each other and sticks together due to simply having known each other so long. However, Will - the newcomer to the group - and Jay have basically nothing in common. 98 % of their interaction consists of them insulting each other (even interrupting each other's conversations to do it), and Jay trying to get Will in trouble. Jay has a very, very few Pet the Dog moments towards Will that may suggest they're really Vitriolic Best Buds deep down, but most of the time they are this trope.
- The Golden Girls often verged on this. For one example, in "The Artist" Blanche, Rose and Dorothy lie to each other repeatedly, fight over the same man ( who turns out to be gay, but they don't know that), and spend the whole episode basically calling each other old, fat and ugly, only for the artist at the end to commend them on what wonderful friends they are.
- Anberlin quotes this trope almost verbatim in the chorus of "To the Wolves" (it's phrased "Who needs enemies when we've got friends like you?")
- Saigon's "Enemies" cites this trope in the chorus:
With friends like you, who needs enemies
Brought a n***a bad luck like the Kennedy's
You had a n***a's ass up in the penitentiary
With friends like you, who needs enemies?
- Owl City quotes this trope verbatim in "The Bird and the Worm".
For all my pals who live in the oceans and the seas
With friends like these, well,
Who needs enemies?
- A somewhat common staple, particularly for younger wrestlers, where a newcomer (usually initially presented as a face) will have trouble "fitting in" and the heels will often try to influence the newbie. The storyline will often see the newbie get sucked into the heel faction but when the chips are down, they will abandon him in mid match and allow the faces to obtain victory. The newbie will then turn face and begin a steady climb through the ranks.
- Hulk Hogan: Several of his "friends" have turned on him for various reasons, most notably "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff, André the Giant and Randy Savage (all because they thought Hogan was too much of a bigshot, was using their friendship to avoid offering a shot at the WWF World Championship, or was behaving inappropriately with his manager). When another of Hogan's "buddies," Tugboat, turned heel, Tugboat (who would rechristen himself Typhoon and join forces with Earthquake, another of Hogan's enemies) made a passing derogatory reference to Hogan, but nothing ever came of it other than a few short encounters in various battle royals.
- Ultimate Warrior: Famously in the setup for a planned feud with Jake Roberts, who presented himself as a friend who wanted to help him in his feud with The Undertaker. Roberts eventually revealed this was a trap and that he was in cahoots with Undertaker all along. Nothing ever came of it as Warrior was fired shortly after the last segment, an obviously fake snake bites Warrior's arm, causing him to "pass out" due to the venom was aired days before SummerSlam 1991. (Meaning a possible kayfabe explanation might be that Warrior was traumatized by his experience with Roberts and the "bad" outcome of his feud with Undertaker.)
- La Parka and Psicosis were nominally a tag team in WCW but the two spent more time arguing and hitting each other with La Parka's chair than they did working together.
- John Morrison had the nerve to berate R-Truth for his lack of conditioning and supposedly undeserved WWE title shot when part of what got Truth that title shot was beating Morrison, clean. However, R-Truth's reaction to falling for Morrison's attempt to goad him into giving up said title shot ranged into Disproportionate Retribution.
- La Perra Del Mal Taya Valkyrie is often very rude and unhelpful to her fellow stablemates outside of Perros Del Mal Producciones shows or AAA. In AAA, she's still very unhelpful and sometimes actively hindering to Ivelisse Vélez (though The World Wrestling League had already pitted the two Perras Del Mal against each other as part of its dream matches tour, so it probably didn't come as much surprise to the fans)
- In Paranoia, those whom Friend Computer deems to be its "trusted agents" have a death rate 270 times higher than regular people.
- And the people you should fear the most are your "fellow party members" who will kill you faster than you can say "Commie Mutant Traitor" the moment your back is turned.
- Happens a lot in the first third of Tales of the Abyss. The party tells haughty Jerk Ass Luke virtually nothing about their motives, intentionally keeps valuable information from him, and is openly defying the one person he trusts. Then, after Luke is manipulated into destroying Akzeriuth, they all yell at him for not trusting them.
- Luke himself is typically quite abrasive toward his companions (even Ion and Mieu, the only two people who put up with him no matter what he does), refuses to admit that he is wrong or that Van is in any way untrustworthy and is also quite selfish (he wants to save Akzeriuth Van's way because it will make him a hero and because Van promised to take him to Daath).
- Almost everyone in Touhou has at least one of these, and it seems to be one of those inevitable hazards of living in Gensokyo. Reimu in particular has managed to develop friendships with Suika Ibuki, a Stalker Without a Crush oni that mooches off of her, Yukari Yakumo, a teasing, scheming Reality Warper and most notably Marisa Kirisame, an insane kleptomaniac Cute Witch who has twice attempted to sic EX bosses on her by giving Reimu's name when introducing herself (Flandre Scarlet in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil and Mamizou Futatsuiwa in Ten Desires).
- In Knights of the Old Republic, the crew of the Ebon Hawk, both incarnations. Particularly notable between Carth and Bastila, Bastila and a dark-side player, HK-47 and everyone, Mandalore and Bao-dur, and Kreia and everyone. It's much, much worse in the second, though. Almost every single person hates everyone else, except for the Exile, who is the reason they're all there in the first place.
- This constantly happens in Koudelka. One or more of them argue every time they are in a cut-scene together.
- The Legion and the Trow in Myth 2. There's even a mission named after the trope. On the evil side, the Watcher and the Deceiver, whose rivalry stretches back over a millennium, and who actually seem to prefer fighting each other than dealing with the good guys.
- Sonic the Hedgehog:
- Sonic and Knuckles in the earlier games. Even after the two became allies in the end of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, they still find themselves scuffling with each other either due to their contrasting attitudes and worldviews. As time goes on, they're getting along better, but still snark and tease each other every now and then.
- Even after Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic considers Shadow a friend, which doesn't explain the times the two hedgehogs clashed due to their conflicting goals in various games, even during the time Shadow had amnesia. Even if Shadow doesn't consider Sonic a friend, he does work well with him when the situation calls for it.
- The Babylon Rogues from the Sonic Riders series come across as this, mostly Wave and Storm who bicker and insult each other to no end, although Jet is annoyed with Wave's nagging and Storm's daftness.
- This can cross over to real life with the Ju-on game for the Wii. Its multiplayer mode is comprised of player 1 playing the game as normal, and player 2 adding to the haunting the player is experiencing with timed button presses.
- In Fire Emblem Awakening, the Black Knight says the trope (almost) word for word after Gangrel mocks the hell out of him in Rogues and Redeemers 2. To quote: "With allies like him, who needs enemies?"
- The actual name of a mission in Heart of the Swarm. In order to find the place where Jim Raynor is imprisoned, the Raiders want to use Colonel Orlan, the best hacker in the sector. Orlan is being kept on ice since the last game by Mira Han, who'll be happy to turn him over... as soon as Jim gives his okay, since the imprisonment deal was made with him. And since she can't just hand over prisoners without damaging her reputation, which as a mercenary is her most prized possession... Oh, and she's Matt Horner's (Jim's Number Two) accidental ex-wife.
- Quoted words by words in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney regarding the relationship between Phoenix Wright and Kristoph Gavin, as the former tries to pin the later for a murder charge while the later desperately tries to make Phoenix to look as bad as possible. In the flashback case, Kristoph is the one who manipulated his friend into losing his career, meaning the bad bloods have been maintained over years before Phoenix finally has an opportunity to take revenge.
- Gabe and Tycho in Penny Arcade.
- To some extent, the entire cast of Something*Positive.
- Early on in Questionable Content: Faye to Marten. (She got better after The Reveal)
- Bun-Bun and Torg in Sluggy Freelance. Actually, since Bun-Bun is a sociopathic Jerkass, this trope applies to just about any "friendship" he has.
- Belkar and Vaarsuvius from The Order of the Stick. Vaarsuvius actually attacks Belkar at one point simply due to the fear that Belkar liked V too much.
- A borderline example, though; Belkar and V are part of the same group, but never actually considered each other friends. Then again, V considers very few people to be his/her friends, and the only creature that Belkar might see as one is his cat. It might not be so borderline after all. However, as V postulates, Belkar only hates or lusts after everyone in a binary fashion, so he probably has a very large number of these.
- Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name Possibly has Doc Worth and Conrad. In the February donation comic Doc says he thinks of the two of them as friends, though Conrad may not see it that way. Their constant yelling and shoving matches might have something to do with that, along with Doc's constant stream of belittling comments.
- Definitely has Doc Worth and Lamont Toucey. They make a hobby out of beating the everliving shit out of each other (such beatings may end in childish apologies) and insulting each other. They first met when they were kids, and Lamont sneaked into Worth's back yard to get a ball he had thrown too far, and Worth beat him up just for the hell of it. They just started hanging out after that, and they've been best friends ever since.
- In El Goonish Shive, Lucy is quite critical of Rhoda. And anyone else, for that matter. To a lesser degree, even Diane.
- the Light Warriors of 8-Bit Theater push this trope to the breaking point. Whenever they're not bickering, insulting, swindling, and trying to kill each other, they're...doing the same, only to other people. They have very rare bonding moments, usually in the form of Casual Danger Dialogue. The only exception is Fighter, but only because he's such a Horrible Judge of Character that he doesn't notice he's teammates worser (IE, True) natures.
- Almost the entire cast of Roommates and its Spin-Off s Girls Next Door and Down the Street. Especially Jareth and Erik, who co-exist in a state of open warfare punctuated by occasional bouts of empathizing with each other's relationship drama.
- In Homestuck, the trolls, coming from a race of jerkasses, often bitterly bicker and fight with one another. In most cases, it's simply how they interact, and in the end they'll work together. In others, not so much.
- The entire point of the trolls' Ashen and Caliginous quadrants, A.K.A blackrom romance, .
- Max from Sturgeons Law is in a one-sided version of this trope.
- Why does Nella put up with The Nostalgia Chick's abuse? Because she gets paid to, of course.
- She's not totally innocent however, as Maven complains that if she forces Nella and Chick to see The Moth Diaries again, they'll put her coffin in the sun just to freak her out.
- Red vs. Blue:
- Most obviously, the Reds and Blues. They spend as much time fighting each other as the "enemy".
- Whichever Freelancer is currently hanging out with the Reds and Blues. Whether it's Tex with her constant backstabbing, Wash working out his psychoses, or Carolina, the Freelancers are always at least as much trouble as help. Except the ones they're fighting, who are at least as much help as trouble. The Reds and Blues are some of the worst-ranked soldiers humanity hasn't kicked out of their militaries, and the Freelancers are each a One-Man Army.
- Among the Freelancer organization itself; Carolina, South, and CT all get special mention. Between them, they're abusive, cold, and occasionally shoot teammates in the back or betray them to the enemy out of spite. Maine and Wyoming are willing to frag teammates to stay on the leaderboards.
- Tex. She gets her own mention. She backstabs her teammates and loved ones, steals from them, physically abuses them, demeans them, uses live rounds and other military hardware on and around them, beats them up in humiliating ways, shows up other Freelancers in personal and demeaning fashions, and steals credit/lays blame on her direct rival whenever possible.
- While the bears always make up when they fight, they are occasionally horrible to each other. Examples include Reggie having jailhouse sex with the serial killer who tried to murder Nelson, and Wood neglecting to tell Nelson that said serial killer had escaped from prison months ago.
- Sailor Moon Abridged takes it to the extreme. Serena is constantly picked on for being fat, while Amy can never get a word in and is always being forgotten. Then there's Raye, who is constantly yelling at the others and is the main source of the group's in-fighting.
- In Noob, Sparadrap considers all his guildmates to be his friends. This can be understandable for his Guild Master and the two later recruits, but Gaea and Omega Zell tend to be quite mean to him. Gaea and Omega Zell, who qualify for both Jerkass and Too Much Alike, are also this to each other and closer to being rivals.
- Cartman versus everyone else from South Park.
- Cartman takes this further than most cases of this trope, as Cartman has almost no redeeming qualities. Also uncommon for the trope, the other characters will flat out tell Cartman that he is a monster.
Not only do they state he's a horrible person but that they all hate him and the only reason he was ever with anyone was that they thought he was just always following them or that he was with someone else. After realizing this they decided to ignore him completely.
- The creators stated that Cartman's relationship to the others is based on their assumption that everyone has one friend that they don't really like. It's worth noting that in the early seasons, Cartman was just a fat idiot - his supervillainish disposition evolved over time.
- It's summed up in four lines when Stan and Kyle tell Scott Tenorman about Cartman's plan to have a horse bite off Scott's penis:
Scott: How do you know?
Stan: Because we're his friends.
Scott: So why are you telling me?
Kyle: Because we hate him.
- Both sides have used (and rebuffed) the "I thought we were friends" line several times over. They also frequently abuse or manipulate the other in a scheme or convenience and show out and out apathy when they get into trouble. Granted the boys animosity towards Cartman is far more justified, but still they are willing to ignore all the horrible things he's done if they can profit from it at times.
- Josie and the Pussycats, and Alexandra.
- In later seasons of Ed, Edd n Eddy, Eddy and the other two Eds.
- Jimmy Neutron and Carl Wheezer. While his other idiot friend Sheen has some redeeming qualities such as loyalty to his friends and an unselfish relationship with his girlfriend, Carl has none. Even if you ignore the fact that a large amount of Gilliganesque screw ups are due to his stupidity, and how he would hoard food for himself and allow his friends to starve, perhaps the biggest friend breaker about him is his desire to become Jimmy, steal his life, and how he's in love with Jimmy's mother. To be fair, Jimmy regularly abuses Carl as guinea pig for his (often dangerous and painful) experiments, so it's mutual.
- Dave to Jerry on Code Monkeys.
- Rattrap and Dinobot from Transformers: Beast Wars.
- Among Dinobot's last words were a quote from Shakespeare and expressing a desire to be upwind of Rattrap. And Rattrap is glad about it (normally those were fighting words between the two). This could be interpreted as how their friendship trumps death, still...
- Yet Rattrap is also specifically tasked by Dinobot after his Heroic Sacrifice with making sure no one turns him into an overrated legend in the retellings. In this dislike, there is also trust. And in a scrapped episode for season three, Rattrap disobeyed orders and infiltrated the Predacon base in an attempt to download the original Dinobot's memories into his evil clone.
- On Rocko's Modern Life, Heffer and Filburt can be like this to Rocko in their less sympathetic moments. In one episode, Heffer gives Rocko a truly horrible makeshift birthday present, and Filburt tries to exploit ensuing feud on daytime television.
- Bloo and Mac from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
- To the point that there are even major inconsistencies in how far their loyalty to each other goes. One suspects that the creators are unsure how far they want to take Bloo's Flanderization.
- Sentinel Prime and Optimus Prime from Transformers Animated. To the point where it led to Optimus being reduced to an Elite Guard Washout as the captain of a Space Bridge Repair crew (which Sentinel never fails to use against Optimus). What makes it particularly hard to understand is the fact Optimus got demoted because he took the blame for the dumb idea that Sentinel came up with: going to a forbidden planet to look for energon.
- Even worse in the case of Blackarachnia/Elita-1, who Sentinel decides to kill not because she joined the Decepticons or what she did to Wasp, but because she was now a techno-organic (which he considers a Fate Worse Than Death). The irony? Her "death" was the reason why Sentinel hated Optimus in the first place!
- The Fashion Club from Daria. Sandi is the Alpha Bitch, and Quinn is her Beta Bitch...except that she wants to move up in the world, and Sandi knows it, so the two usually act incredibly sweet and polite while trying to backstab each other. Stacy, meanwhile, is constantly being cut down by Sandi, aided by some tactless comments from Tiffany. Despite all this, the four do seem to care about each other on some level: the Grand Finale ends their subplot with the four crying together when the club is officially disbanded, though with the implication that things between them will remain basically the same.
- Kevin and Brittany usually act friendly to Daria, but seem to balk at actually calling her a friend, since she's so unpopular. (The exception is "The Lost Girl," when they wanted something from her.) While never really malicious, they're so clueless that they often make insensitive comments to her too.
- Dale Gribble from King of the Hill, and to a lesser extent Bill Dautrieve. On why Dale is a bad friend... how many times has he sold out his friends for his own gain? How many times has he gotten Hank in trouble, blaming him for a accident when he caused the problem? Too many times to count.
- They actually do address why Hank is friends with Bill and Dale. The answer actually just comes down to the fact that they are actually insanely loyal to Hank and couldn't really live well without him.
- To be fair Hank does give as good as he gets often forcing his friend to demean themselves or even outright risking their lives for his beliefs. This is the most blatant in "Patch Boomhauer" where Hank spent every second of the episode switching from rubbing the fact that Boomhauer's brother was about to marry the love of his life to believing the absolute worse in him. You have to wonder why Boomhauer didn't punch Hank in the face.
- Peggy Hill occasionally falls under this, but rather the case of "With Wives Like Her." In one episode, she accuses Hank of being a racist just so she can enjoy a Double Standard.
- A good example would probably be Hank's Dirty Laundry despite being married to Hank and knowing him since high school not once during the entire episode did Peggy believe that he wouldn't rent porn. She even went so far to say that she was disgusted by his habit. Yet she kept wondering why he would try so hard to prove his innocence.
- It is pretty much stated by everyone that the only reason they associate with Peggy is because she is with Hank. Dale at one point just comes out and states he hates her.
- Penny's friends from The Proud Family certainly count. They berate each other every chance they get for any kind of flaws and most of the time sponge off one another for their own gain. Oh yeah and not exactly the type to stick around to help when trouble rears it head.
- Henry and June from KaBlam!. They constantly argue, and if Henry's in trouble...don't expect June to help.
- Azula tries to control her friends through fear. And it backfires.
- The cast of Looney Tunes, most notably Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
- Played with a few times with Baloo and Rebecca in TaleSpin. Baloo is slovenly, slow witted business wise and occasionally self centered, Rebecca is pompous, bossy and occasionally vindictive. They do ultimately care for each other however, Rebecca even labelling Baloo her best friend (and occasional hints to things going further).
- Phil and Lil DeVille of Rugrats can be like this at times, mostly to Tommy.
- Said almost word-for-word in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "The Return of Harmony"- but a rare case of it being Played for Drama. Its the Darkest Hour when the hero goes through a Heroic BSOD after the brainwashing of all of her friends.
- This happens a few times in As Told by Ginger, Let's look at a few cases...
- Courtney, despite being a drama queen and a Spoiled Sweet is best friends with Mipsy and Miranda, who take her role of Alpha Bitch Up to Eleven. Miranda even flat out admits she's friends with Courtney mostly to sponge off her popularity. Seriously, why are they still friends?!?
- Ginger's friends. Granted; it's pretty much Dodie, as Macie only has a few Jerk Ass moments that are few and far in between. Dodie is willing to backstab her friends and only thinks of herself, while Macie has been too emotionally dependent on Ginger a few times, but Ginger's been there to help her. The sad thing is, Courtney acts as a better friend to Ginger!
- Sonic and Antoine from Sonic SATAM. Antoine acts like a stuck-up jerk towards Sonic a lot, and Sonic constantly insults Antoine. While Sonic does show that he cares about Sally, Tails, Rotor, and Bunnie, it's really hard to tell if he even cares about Antoine.
- In one episode, when Antoine gets captured, Sonic just labels him an idiot and outright refuses to go after him. Sally is unable to really retort that Antoine would actually save him if the roles were reversed, only coaxing him into the job by reminding him of the potential danger if Robotnik gets a hold of the power ring he had at the point of his capture.
- In the Archie comics series, both Sonic and Antoine undergo Character Development and gradually set aside their feud. It helps that Antoine stopped lusting after Sally when he realized Bunnie cared about him. By the time Bunnie and Antoine get married, Sonic is chosen to be the Best Man and is genuinely happy for them.
- Muttley to Dick Dastardly. Being Dastardly's much abused assistant, he often mocks his downfall at any opportunity.
- PJ's relationship with Max on Goof Troop can look like this, with Max dragging PJ along with him on basically every plan, sometimes explicitly not taking "no" for an answer, not taking him or his criticisms seriously despite his track record of being right and dragging him down when the plans he criticizes go wrong, using him, not acknowledging it when PJ is upset, and having absolutely no patience and blaming him the few times that PJ actually does appear to do something inconsiderate (which is, by the way, never his fault). However, Max will also act like a true friend to PJ at other times, and the second episode makes it absolutely clear why PJ has Undying Loyalty to Max: without Max's friendship, he'd be completely miserable due to his awful home life.
- Bart and Milhouse in The Simpsons. While it's more a case of Depending on the Writer (they are genuinely close buddies in some episodes), Bart bullies Milhouse on a frequent basis, while Milhouse will weasel out on Bart at any appropriate opportunity. Among some of the most erroneous examples, Milhouse left Bart and Lisa at the mercy of their bloodthirsty schoolmates in "Das Bus" while Bart once inexplicably set up Milhouse as a fugitive on America's Most Wanted, seemingly all just for a quick laugh.
- Other episodes depict Bart and Nelson in this light - close friends in some episodes, or Nelson trying to bully Bart in others. Bart has also tried to get one up on Nelson as well on more than one occasion.
- Family Guy: A staple, and these are just a few examples:
- "And I'm Joyce Kinney": A Season 9 episode where Lois and new Channel 5 anchor Joyce Kinney form a close friendship. In strict confidence, Lois reveals that as a teenager, she had starred in a pornographic movie. Joyce promptly betrays Lois' trust and reveals this on TV - justifying this as revenge for a long-ago prank in high school - causing Lois to be shunned by the community.
- "Into Harmony's Way": From Season 12, Peter and Quagmire - who have formed a successful singing duo - basically ditch Mort Goldman and abandon their friendships with him as their manager once they become successful.
- "A Fistful of Meg": A Season 12'er, Meg's friends tell her they are discontinuing their friendship with her because of the threat a bully - who has threatened to beat Meg to death - poses to them. This is but the latest example where these supposed "true" friends of Meg will drop her at the slightest hint of trouble.
- In Ultimate Spider-Man, all Spidey's teammates have their moments. Pretty much often. Like when they organized a party in Peter's house, without having consulted him! You'd can think it's the Surprise Party episode, but... nope! They just wanted to have some fun of their own, and that house was the only available for the purpouse. Probably they didn't even think for a moment to Peter's opinion. Douches.
- The engines from Thomas the Tank Engine are such assholes to each other, sometimes it's hard to remember that they're supposed to be friends. Especially evident in the earlier seasons. Examples include everyone teasing Gordon for his size, making insensitive remarks about Henry's condition, belittling Thomas and Percy for being small engines, jokes involving Edward and scrapping, having your embarrassing accidents brought up again and again, and so on.
- In Archer, everyone in I.S.I.S. are their own worst enemy, they are either jerks to each other, do something that screws up their mission, and are quick to rat each other out.