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Belligerent Sexual Tension in film


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    Animation 
  • Anya and Dimitri in Anastasia. Mentioned by Vlad who calls it an unspoken attraction.
  • The centipede and the spider from James and the Giant Peach are constantly fighting and teasing each other in the beginning of the film but end up in love with each other. At one point the spider says that she doesn't know if she wants to kill or kiss the centipede.
  • Surly and Andie from The Nut Job as it follows in The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature until the climax of the same sequel
    • Alas, they mellowed out in the end of the first movie
    • Friendly rival, yet pompous Grayson may be handsome like Surly, but he ended up much worse
  • Tiana and Naveen from The Princess and the Frog, although the sexual tension only surfaces when the belligerence starts to die down.
  • Blu and Jewel from Rio. Though Blu is definitely not a jerk, Jewel's initial judging of his inability to fly and him being a pet does tend to rub him the wrong way. They actually do end up together at the end, though, even having chicks as well.
  • Sinbad & Marina in Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, especially the early parts of the film. Mellows down when they start to fall in love.
  • Strange Magic: Marianne and The Bog King almost immediately during their duet duel.
  • Doctor Doppler and Captain Amelia of Treasure Planet. In the beginning, they fight like cats and dogs, but by the end of the movie, they've developed a fondness for each other and bicker Like an Old Married Couple. Heck, they even have four kids together!
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    Live-Action 
  • Star Wars: Princess Leia and Han Solo. Oh, lord.
  • Lo and Jen from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, especially in the desert scenes. This trope has been translated for your convenience into martial arts action!
  • Ann and David Smith from Mr and Mrs Smith.
  • Basil and Joyce in It's Love I'm After.
  • Deborah Kerr and Robert Donat in Vacation from Marriage.
  • Doug Dorsey and Kate Moseley from The Cutting Edge.
  • Dexter, Mike, and Tracy in The Philadelphia Story form a BST Love Triangle.
  • This trope is also called a Tracy-Hepburn romance because of all the films where Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn behaved this way to each other.
  • James Cagney and Joan Blondell in Blonde Crazy.
  • Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in It Happened One Night.
  • Ben Quick and Clara Varner in The Long, Hot Summer. Snarky dialogue with a William Faulkner candy coating!
  • Marion Ravenwood and Indiana Jones. Willie Scott and Indiana Jones. And don't forget Indy and Elsa
    Indy (necking furiously): Leave me alone, I don't like fast women.
    Elsa: And I hate arrogant men! (they fall onto the bed).
  • Thick enough to serve up with an ice cream scoop between Christopher Wilde and Jessica Olson in the Disney Channel original movie Starstruck
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, everyone keeps giving Jack and Elizabeth crap about having the hots for each other. Do they admit it? No way in hell.
  • Dastan and Tamina from the Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time movie, so very much.
  • Kate Kat and Petruchio Patrick from 10 Things I Hate About You, what with the film being a High School A.U. of The Taming of the Shrew.
  • Philip Marlowe and Vivian Rutledge in The Big Sleep.
  • Following in the footsteps of the Star Wars example above, Spaceballs naturally has Lone Star and Princess Vespa.
  • Jake Gittes and Femme Fatale Lillian Bondine in The Two Jakes.
    Jake: Honestly, I'm tryin' to be a gentleman about this. Now just, get down on your knees, stick your ass up in the air, and don't move 'til I tell ya.
  • Alfred Kralic and Clara Novak in The Shop Around the Corner. To make matters worse, each has got a wonderful pen pal with whom they're falling passionately in love...
  • A classic example from the film The Mad Miss Manton, there's Melsa Manton and Peter Ames who hate each other at first, but they eventually get used to each other.
  • Tori and Junior in Roll Bounce, from the second they meet. They have The Big Damn Kiss right after X and Naomi do to the surprise of only Tori's mother. For that matter, given the argument they have on first meeting, Vivian and Curtis certainly seem on track for a relationship by movie's end.
  • Lucy and Jerry for most of The Awful Truth.
  • So much between Eve and Tibor in Midnight (1939).
  • Mia and Nicolas in The Princess Diaries 2.
  • Calamity Jane: Calamity and Bill Hickok, who are Vitriolic Best Buds until their Relationship Upgrade, have this on multiple occasions and perhaps most memorably so during their duet, I Can Do Without You.
  • Upstream Color has a very unusual example. Jeff and Kris have both unknowingly come under the influence of a parasite that causes their minds to be linked with others. They're subconsciously drawn to each other due to the lingering effects of the parasite, but their first few scenes together are awkward, tense and irritable. They have no reason to be with each other except for reasons that are beyond their understanding.
  • Between David and Rose in We're the Millers.
  • Walter Eckland and Catherine Fenno in Father Goose
  • Vinny and Lisa in My Cousin Vinny
  • It's implied that this was the backstory for the protagonist's first serious relationship in the Adam Sandler's Big Daddy. We first see Sonny and Vanessa at the beginning of the movie, during (what is presumably) their third-to-last encounter, and their very last encounter on at least superficially friendly terms. They can't stop arguing, with Vanessa telling Sonny he's lazy and childish and Sonny (a bit more charitably) telling Vanessa she's uptight. Vanessa finally storms out of the apartment, and it becomes clear that Sonny might never see her again. But the funny thing is, he actually falls into depression about this for a time, and ponders how to win her back. We also hear him discussing Vanessa with other characters, his best friend at one point saying that she "worshipped" him ten years ago when they were at college, and at another point Sonny himself remembering that she used to go to the sports bar with him and tease him by rooting for whichever team was playing against the one he liked. So there was something there for all those years, but we just arrived too late to see it.
  • In Singin' in the Rain, Don Lockwood's relationship with Kathy Selden is quite belligerent, but quickly develops into sincere attraction. Subverted by Don's behavior toward Lina Lamont—Lina fancies herself in this kind of relationship with Don, but he genuinely dislikes her, and his efforts to reject her only fuel her delusions of romance.
  • The relationship between Pearl and Lewt in Duel in the Sun (1946). It ends tragically with them killing each other.
  • In Once Upon a Spy, Jack Chenault and Paige Tannehill spend the first 2/3rds of the movie alternating between sniping at each other and flirting. Things start to defrost after an Intimate Healing moment.


Alternative Title(s): Films

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