"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 a 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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- 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).
- In Shaman King Ren Tao seems to demonstrate this towards everyone. Especially Chocolove and Horohoro.
- Axis Powers Hetalia:
- China is friends with America, Russia, France and England (making up the Allied Forces). However, he is easily the woobie of the group, getting hell from the others, from being forced to make lunch for them to assembling airplanes for them.
- Shown in the strip where Russia, England and France are helping China get his land back after being defeated by Japan in the first Sino-Japanese war, but they soon start demanding things from their comrade, causing him to panic.
- Ayaka Yukihiro and Asuna Kagurazaka of Mahou Sensei Negima! literally have this as the defining point of their relationship, to the point where their fellow classmates start to worry when they don't fight with each other. There's a reason for it, though.
- In the Galaxy Angel the anime, Forte and Ranpha are constantly bickering with each other. In later seasons, The Ojou Mint starts to join in thanks to Flanderization of her Trickster personality.
- Juuni Senshi Bakuretsu Eto Ranger: One has to wonder how the Eto Rangers managed to stay together as teammates. Their interactions are regularly shown to be a powder keg, with a minor slight sending the entire squadron into a frenzy, they often resort to casual violence towards each other, total humiliation of another Ranger is never out of the question — such as summoning Pakaracchi just to muzzle him and trade him away for a bundle of cloth — and then there's their Jerkass Ball moment when they all ganged up on Tart about her physique. They really do care about each other when it counts, but looking at them during times of peace, one certainly couldn't tell.
- Good God, Squalo's relationship with Xanxus from Katekyo Hitman Reborn!. How Squalo manages to put up with all the projectiles Xanxus throws at him (including a chair) and still remain so loyal is beyond comprehension. Though many people seem to have their theories...
- Usagi (Sailor Moon) and Rei (Sailor Mars) in the anime version of Sailor Moon. They constantly argue and pick on each other, but they actually do share a very sister-like bond and care quite a bit about each other. Much more apparent in The '90s English dub, where the other girls constantly pick on Serena.
- Sanji and Zoro from One Piece. So, so much. But like the above Sailor Moon example, they're like brothers who fight for the role of dominant male.
- All of the Straw Hats are like this from time to time, but Zoro and Sanji are the straightest example in that they seem to genuinely dislike hanging out with each other and only respect each other as warriors, while the others members are shown to be able to have fun with each other even if they bicker a lot and are more like Vitriolic Best Buds.
- Dorry and Brogy, the giant pirates, have been best friends since they were pirate captains together. They've also been trying to kill each other for 100 years because they are both members of a Proud Warrior Race who had a dispute over who killed the biggest sea monster.
- Mio from K-On! suffers heavily under Ritsu's constant manipulative behavior, but still seems to care for her friend quite a bit.
- To be fair Mio does bonk Ritsu on the head a few times in response.
- Revy and Eda from Black Lagoon. Somehow, the two are best friends despite over half of their dialogue consisting of the two insulting each other, and they even pull guns at each other several times.
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ritsuko and Misato are presented like close friends since they were college students. However, the former constantly mocks the later's bad traits, such like her being lazy, a slob or an awful cook, or taunts her about her and Kaji's relationship. On the other hand, Misato actively ignores her taunts or complains. However, during the course of the series, she starts treating Ritsuko more coldly due to her growing supicions about Nerv's real mission.
- Ranma has this kind of relationship with virtually every other character (except possibly Kasumi, but even she has her moments). Almost all of them greet him with either death threats, taunts, or glomps which incite the wrath of any nearby fianees. Despite this they stand up for him when he's weakened, accompany him on treacherous journeys (though they often supply the treachery part), and willingly stand with him against impossible odds.
- Ranma does this even more than most of his friends. He bullies them, beats them up, and manipulates them on a heartbeat, but he'll help them when they're down.
- Gudelhian and Heinel from Future GPX Cyber Formula. They often get into fistfights, but they work together in order to pursue their dreams.
- A couple of One-Scene Wonder characters from High School Of The Dead demonstrate this. When her so called Best Friend Forever gets dragged down on a staircase by zombies, what does the other girl do? She kicks her in the face to get free. She only gets about half a step before the zombies get her as well.
- In Tokyo Mew Mew, Retasu hangs out with a few other girls from her school who treat her terribly before joining the Mew Mews. She believes they have a certain problem in their lives, and she, by being around them, can help them get over it.
- Earlier chapters and episodes of Soul Eater show that this is the nature of the relationship between Soul and Maka, with Soul constantly teasing Maka for being flat, having fat ankles, being violent, having no sex appeal - you get the point - and Maka often chiding Soul for one thing or another, hitting him over the head with books, making all the decisions without his input, and talking about how horribly sexist men are. That being said, Soul goes absolutely hysterical whenever something happens to Maka, no matter how small. Maka herself becomes brokenhearted when Soul is hurt and blames herself, deeming herself to be an unworthy meister. They also have several moments that show how much they really do care about one another, even holding hands, hugging, and blushing around one another.
- In Saint Beast, initially Pandora and Cassandra get along but their rivalry for Zeus' attention turns friendliness into more of necessary pretence.
James: With enemies like that, who needs friends?
- In the Kanto era, Ash and Misty had this going on between them quite a bit.
- Quoted almost verbatim by Brock in episode 9 when the Power Trio learns what a young Pokemon Tech student has been put through for his entire time there. A later episode has the saying turned on its face by James in a dub-exclusive Actor Allusion:
- Chespin and Pancham in the XY series. They bicker nearly every time they're seen on screen together, most of the time this being Chespin's fault. When they work together, though, they generally work well.
- In the original Mobile Suit Gundam we're repeatedly told that Hayato was friends with Amuro when they lived in Side 7. It doesn't show, with Hayato going so far as to desert when Amuro isn't executed for, wait for it, desertion. Amuro, for his part, seems to barely be aware that Hayato is alive.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, we are constantly told that Beecher and Mondo were really good friends with Judau and Elle (in fact, we're told that Beecher has a thing for Elle). It's never demonstrated, with Beecher's whole personality boiling down to "I'm not Judau's cheering section" and endangering the entire crew to try and maxmize his profits. He eventually betrays the Argama to their enemies, and drags Mondo along for the ride; even after this, the show insists on telling us what great friends they are.
- Kira and Athrun are definite examples in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED. They are childhood best friends, who for a time hesitated in fights trying to find a way out of having to kill each other. That is until they both kill friends of the other. Then the gloves came off. And even after burying the hatchet and joining forces, they admit to not fully being over it, and even wanting to kill each other still.
- Played with in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Dio Brando antagonizes Jonathan Joestar from the very first day he invades the later's house. Seven years later they seem get along fine enough for the neighbors to call them buddies, but Jonathan senses there's no real friendship between them, especially since Dio plans to kill Mr. Joestar and inherits his fortune. After the messes Dio causes in the Phantom Blood arc, Jonathan sympathizes with Dio then concludes their relationship, in his word, a bizarre friendship.
- Played straight in the Diamond is Unbreakable arc with Josuke and Rohan's relationship - despite being stalwart allies in uncovering the secret of the murderer in Morioh, they truly can't stand each other to the point where they could honestly say they share mutual hatred. Despite their strong incompatibility, they proved to be invaluable and unhesitating partners in the Highway Star chapter.
- John Constantine and Chas Chandler in Hellblazer. (Arguably, this trope describes nearly all of Constantine's relationships, be they friends, relatives or lovers, but Chas, being nearly the only person close to John who's still alive, is the prime example.)
- Both Archie and Reggie, along with Betty and Veronica, from Archie Comics.
- Sub-Mariner - Namor and Doctor Doom have had this going for decades. Both are leaders of small, isolated nations, and both are considered ruthless by the outside world, so they relate to each other quite well. However, Doom's a true villain and Namor's just determined to protect his people, so they often wind up on the opposite side of conflicts.
Namor is also strained friends with The Fantastic Four, in spite of fighting against them countless times. No matter how many times they seem to clash, the Four still come to him if he can help them, and vice-versa. Granted, it's not clear just how much of his willingness to help the group comes from thinking Sue is hot.
- Quantum and Woody - The title pair. Compounded when they casually throw racial insults at each other.
- The page image shows Dick Grayson (during his Batman days) and Roy Harper at the lowest point in their friendship; Roy was tripping on drugs and attacking civilians, and afterwards Dick abandoned Roy in prison. This isn't the first time these best friends came to blows either. When they were both on the Outsiders an argument concerning how the team was run devolved into petty insults. When Roy badmouthed Batman Dick responded by badmouthing Green Arrow and brought up Roy's heroin addiction. Then they started beating the crap out of each other. Of course they make up like they always do and go back to their Ho Yay filled friendship.
- The Joker and Penguin, believe it or not. Between regularly scheduled betrayal, multiple acts of attempted murder, and verbal and physical abuse (both men seem to really enjoy watching each other suffer), they still insist they're friends. Joker even cried when he thought Penguin had died and worked with Batman to catch the culprit. When he found out Penguin was Faking the Dead he did try to murder him for real, but this being the Joker the Penguin was lucky it was only a token attempt.
- At times, the role of The Joker has been replaced by The Riddler (not the first time this has happened in a Batman franchise) as best frenemies with Penguin.
- J. Wellington Wimpy has sold out Popeye on multiple occasions for the promise of food, safety or money. Not to mention that Wimpy mooches off Popeye on a regular basis. The rest of the town hates him, and Olive seems to only put up with him because he's friends with Popeye. Wimpy does, however, draw the line with killing.
- Hector to Jeremy from Zits. Most of times, he isn't very supportive, preferring to be a Deadpan Snarker instead. Not very helpful for Jeremy's self-esteem. Emblematic in this sense, the series of strips in which both guys do an IQ test, and Jeremy scores only 38. All that Hector (who scored 108) can say in response to depression of a friend, is more or less: "Hey, what should I say, I have an underdeveloped as friend.". For the record, at last Jeremy discovers that the test is not reliable at all: his father did the test too, and he scored a little bit too high, for a guy who doesn't even know how to use a computer.
- Cyclops and Wolverine. Somewhere beneath the bickering, insults, fights, differences and rivalries are two men that actually do respect one another, care about each other and are even friends. In fact Logan's entire position over Schism is revealed in Wolverine and the X-Men #40 to ultimately come down to Logan believing Scott actually is the better man, and that it's not right for him to be taking the darker approach. Logan genuinely wants to protect Scott from dirtying his hands and conscience with the ugly things that Logan generally does on the X-Men's behalf.
- Ari the Gorgon and Tess the Succubus have this dynamic in The Demon Mages, according to the Character Blog.
It's all fun and games until Tess does something dumb like punch Ari in the boob.
- Akbar and Jeff may love each other, but they have quite a few desires to physically destroy each other.
- It's sometimes difficult to tell why the titular Calvin and Hobbes are friends at all. Hobbes condescends to Calvin, attacks him for no reason, occasionally bullies him, and has betrayed him for his own gain multiple times, while Calvin tends to see Hobbes as little more than a partner for his own schemes and often treats him no better than Hobbes treats him. The implication seems to be that because Calvin is so terrible, he has to take what friends he can get, and even Hobbes may or may not be imaginary.
- Light Yagami and Naomi Misora in All You Need Is Love: "Naomi realized her closest friend was a Serial Killer who crashed at her house and tormented her son and husband."
- Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy in King Lightning.
The boys had become very strange friends. They still despised each other but could often be seen trading the rudest insults to each other over a chess board.
- In Wonderful, Taylor and Sophia are friends... after a fashion. Still they fight and argue constantly, and Taylor pokes fun at Sophia every so often.
- Children of an Elder God: Misato and Ritsuko are old friends... although they bicker constantly, and Ritsuko seems to enjoy getting Misato riled.
Ritsuko: Hmm. I see you're busy. When you two are done, I need to see Misato."
Misato: I was just trying to find out who his girlfriend is!
Ritsuko: I suppose he had it written on the inside of his underwear or something?
- Mean Girls has Regina to Karen, Cady, and (especially) Gretchen. "Frenemies" indeed!
- Star Wars has R2-D2 and C-3PO.
- R2-D2 and C-3P0 were said to have been modelled off of Tahei and Matashichi from The Hidden Fortress who bicker and fight constantly (when they're not swearing eternal friendship to each other).
- 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.
- This is Heihachi and Kikuchiyo's dynamic in Seven Samurai. Kikuchiyo is a boisterous and energetic wannabe samurai who likes to show off, and the wittier and more reserved Heihachi is Kikuchiyo's most outspoken critic who laughs at and makes fun of him constantly.
- 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 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 millennia 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.
- Schooled: Hugh Winkleman, who demonstrates that being a middle-school outcast does not make you a nice guy. Instead of warning his new (and only) friend Cap about being bullied, he uses Cap to shield himself from abuse, although he admits to not being proud of it. When Cap starts gaining popularity, Hugh jealously turns on him and sets him up get to get brutally tackled by the football team. Hugh then takes advantage of rumors of Cap's death to manipulate the student body into liking him.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer had the Scooby Gang and Faith. After her Face–Heel Turn, they give her a We Were Friends Once speech (Buffy and Willow in particular), and yet never seem to realize that their idea of friendship was to lie to her, go behind her back, betray her trust, and most damning of all, let her live in a dump of a motel room that could be (and was) attacked by vampires. And despite all of that, Faith still wanted at least one of them to try and get her to come back.
- The classic example occurs in Star Trek: The Original Series in the close friendship between Mr. Spock and Dr. McCoy. When someone asks Kirk whether Spock and McCoy are best friends or bitter enemies, Kirk insightfully answers, "I don't think even they know."
- Later on, when Spock is allowed to invite his closest companions, he asks McCoy as well as Kirk to join him. Dr. McCoy is clearly touched by the honor.
- 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 Flashheart.
- 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.
- Barney is a terrible person, but a very good friend and wingman, since he follows the Bro Code except when he doesn't want to; sleeping with a bro's ex is against the Bro Code, after all.
- Actually, Barney is a pretty assholish, selfish, manipulative, abusive, and generally crappy friend as well when things are good and the consequences aren't serious. However, you can always count on him whenever when the shit hits the fan (see: Marshall and Lily's breakup, Ted's car accident, Robin's deportation).
- When Marshall is finally ready to move on after his breakup with Lily, Barney offers to be his wingman, which consists of picking up every girl that showed an interest in Marshall. It's hinted later on that he did this because he wanted him to get back together with Lily.
- Barney is a terrible person, but a very good friend and wingman, since he follows the Bro Code except when he doesn't want to; sleeping with a bro's ex is against the Bro Code, after all.
- 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.
- If family members count as friends, everyone 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.
- 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 & 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.
- At some point in the series, Del will be such a manipulative and dangerous friend to Boycie, Trigger, Denzil and Mike that it is any wonder that they like him at all (and despite everything, we see in Sickness and Health when they thought that he might be dying that they do). Highlights include narrowly escaping an exploding bus, poisoning them with toxic waste, strong arming Denzil to hand over his redundancy money and burning Mike's head with an electric paint stripper that he passed off as a hairdryer. Boycie is the only one who comes close to also being this trope. In one early episode the man was perfectly willing to take absolutely everything that the Trotters owned over a game of cards that he was cheating in.
- 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 Destroy The Godmodder, the AGs sometimes end up doing more damage to their buddies than the PGs do.
- The Ricky Gervais Show: Ricky and Steve constantly ridicule Karl and his crazy ramblings. Still, at times there seems to be a genuine friendship between the three.
Karl: I sort of know what I mean anyway. When I'm saying stuff, I know that I'm not that great at explaining what I'm getting at, but deep down, there's something there.Ricky: Yeah, there is. He doesn't look smart, and he didn't have a full education, but he's got a spark of genius about him.Karl: I'm like Columbo. You know how everyone is like "He's daft." But then he gets them in the end.
- 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.
- How Mary, Charley, and Frank end up in Merrily We Roll Along. Frank and Charley especially.
- Kendra and Lucy in Thirteen. Poor Kendra is too much of a Spoiled Sweet to realize that Lucy is trying to usurp her position as Queen Bee and steal her Love Interest.
- Shakespeare did it first. As per the first page quote, Much Ado About Nothing's Beatrice And Benedick can't be in the same room without Volleying Insults, and they end up as an Official Couple. See also Belligerent Sexual Tension.
- Hamlet has the title character's "old friends" Rosencratz and Guildenstern, who have no trouble spying on their friend for his uncle/stepfather. Hamlet, in turn, has no trouble forging his uncle's orders to have England kill them in his place.
- Mame Dennis and Vera Charles in Mame. As Mame puts it in "Bosom Buddies:"
And if I say that sex and guts made you into a star,
It's simply that who else but a bosom buddy
Will tell you how rotten you are.
- In Pokémon Live!, Ash, Misty, and Brock spend as much time arguing as they do traveling to the city. Their journey isn't helped by Brock throwing away the map and Misty being unable to confess her feelings towards Ash.
- 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 clashing with each other either due to their contrasting attitudes, worldviews, and egos. 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 Sturgeon's Law is in a one-sided version of this trope.
- The Black Hat Guy from Xkcd. His friends are just people he likes enough to either ask them to join him in his "classhole" shenanigans, or treat them marginally better than the average victim. In fact, what he loves about his girlfriend is that they're this to each other.
- 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.
- All of the Ultimate Sidemen with one another, considering they run on the principle of banter. There are many times where this bantering leads to them messing with each other. The entire group is full of ham and kooky personalities, and even the Only Sane Men of the group (Tobi and Josh) aren't immune to this.
- In American Dad! Steve's friends ditch him the first chance they get when something out of the norm happens to him. He also fights with them alot.
- Roger to Steve. In theory Roger is Steve's alien friend, but always ends up causing him trouble.
- 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.
- 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!
- From Avatar: The Last Airbender, Azula tries to control her friends through fear. And it backfires.
- Dan in Dan Vs. is often this towards Chris. He would often compel Chris into joining him on his vengeance spree and even uses him as bait in a few of them, not to mention how much Dan mistreats Chris. Whenever Chris gets injured, Dan would show little to no concern for him and is sometimes more upset that his scheme failed. There was even an episode where Chris mentioned that Dan used to bully him in high school even though the two first met and befriended each other in summer camp. Despite all of this, Chris remains loyal to Dan and forces himself to come along with him in his schemes.
- 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.
- In later seasons of Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy, Eddy and the other two Eds.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In The Hair Bear Bunch episode "No Space Like Home," Bubi tells the inhabitants of the planet Taluria that Hair Bear is their leader so the inhabitants make him their leader. But when Bubi tells them that Mr. Peevly is their Earth leader, the Talurians usurp Hair and make Peevly their leader.
Hair: With you as a friend, Bubi, who needs enemies?
- In Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, 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.
- In Josie and the Pussycats Alexandra and Alexander (sometimes Alan as well) got the Pussycats more often in trouble than aided them.
- Henry and June from KaBlam!. They constantly argue, and if Henry's in trouble...don't expect June to help.
- 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.
- The cast of Looney Tunes, most notably Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
- Daffy is this with pretty much any protagonist, due to his selfishness, overambitiousness or just out and out screwiness. When not Bugs, Porky Pig or Speedy Gonzales are the ones to suffer.
- Daffy really goes into this category in The Looney Tunes Show, going so far as to lie to Porky that he needs money for a kidney transplant, and then uses Porky's entire life's savings to buy a yacht.
- In an episode of The Mighty Heroes, a citizen comments on the Heroes' collateral damage during a battle with a foe: "With heroes like these, who needs enemies?"
- 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 B.S.O.D. after the brainwashing of all of her friends.
Twilight Sparkle: With friends like you, WHO NEEDS.........enemies?
- 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.
- 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.
- Phil and Lil DeVille of Rugrats can be like this at times, mostly to Tommy.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race has two examples:
- Spud was one of The Load variety to Rock basically letting his partner do all the work and carry him through each leg of the race. He gets better later on.
- Josee gets away with a lot of abuse towards Jacques thanks to Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male. It comes back to bite her in the ass later on.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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...
- In Ultimate Spider-Man, all Spidey's teammates have their moments. Pretty much often. One example for all of them? 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.
- Wacky Races. Muttley to Dick Dastardly. Being Dastardly's much abused assistant, he often mocks his downfall at any opportunity.