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Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch

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Baroness Rodmilla De Ghent: Jacqueline, darling, I'd hate to think you had anything to do with this.
Jacqueline: Of course not, Mother. I'm only here for the food.

It is a fact of life that, inevitably, the Alpha Bitch has her moment of comeuppance. Just when this moment occurs, the last person you would expect, someone who has always been a loyal member of the Girl Posse, in some cases even the Beta Bitch, turns on the Alpha Bitch at the perfect opportune moment, inadvertently aiding the heroes in the process.

Sometimes, this is to take the Alpha Bitch's place in her own right. Sometimes, the backstabber suddenly comes to the realization that the Alpha Bitch is simply a miserable human being, and not worth the loyalty. Sometimes the backstabber is motivated by some form of revenge, jealousy, or ambition. Whatever the reason, the backstabber's actions will aid the story's heroine (who is inevitably an outcast and the target of the Alpha Bitch's derision). Thus, the backstabber ends up doing the heroine's dirty work without the heroine having to get her hands dirty taking down the Alpha Bitch on her own. The backstabber often never realizes this, and such a result is frequently the furthest thing from the backstabber's mind when she moves to betray the Alpha Bitch. However, the backstabber often won't object to the heroine benefiting, as long as the Alpha Bitch is made to suffer, and they may even give the heroine a few concessions. Of course, in some stories, the backstabber might outright recruit the heroine into helping her do this, and you can expect the latter to be initially suspicious.

Occasionally the character has been pretending to be The Ditz, but is smarter than anyone suspects. Occasionally, the heroine manipulates a loyal member of the Girl Posse into taking this action, and that member is usually the weak link in the chain.

Sister trope to The Dog Bites Back (with which it can overlap if the Alpha Bitch is dumb enough to abuse her own posse) and Et Tu, Brute?. Also sometimes overlaps with The Starscream, though it is much more frequent that Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch comes out of nowhere and the Starscream is usually obvious from scene one. (And if the Alpha Bitch in question is really a Lovable Alpha Bitch, that makes this character an Evil Chancellor.) Can overlap with Insidious Rumor Mill if the heroine deliberately manipulates the Beta Bitch and Girl Posse to turn against the Alpha Bitch using Malicious Slander. Contrast Professional Butt-Kisser.

As this is a Betrayal Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • This happens to Manami in Life (2002), when one of her Girl Posse tells the teachers about her bullying. This causes Manami to bully her, to the point where she attempts suicide.
  • In Revolutionary Girl Utena, the Alpha Bitch Nanami gets backstabbed by her Girl Posse (Keiko, Aiko, and Yuuko) as part of her breakdown. The Starscream girl member (Keiko Sonoda, the one with Girlish Pigtails) remarks that it felt good to finally tell Nanami how they all felt about her, that they had gotten tired of exploiting her popularity, and then takes over the gang. Nanami's recent treatment of the girl, based in jealousy, didn't exactly help her.

     Fan Works 

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Jaqueline, the "ugly" stepsister in Ever After, rebels against her mother and sister's shameless vampiness after realizing they considered her just barely higher on the family's totem pole than Danielle (who they had made a servant in her own home and denied all happiness) and after being casually dismissed as never being able to attract any royal's attention at the ball ("You're only going for the food"). She wisely decided to help Danielle dish them out a karmic comeuppance. She's also the one who patched Danielle up after the whipping and expressed the opinion that her mother and sister had crossed a line, well before there was any profit for her in doing so. She also showed disgust when Marguerite tried to steal Danielle's mother's dress early in the film, so it is clear she sympathized with Danielle from the get-go.
  • In Happy Death Day, while stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop where every day ends with her death, protagonist Tree at one point demonstrates her decision to get over her own 'Alpha Bitch' status by tipping chocolate milk over the head of Danielle, the leader of her sorority (although it technically doesn't count as this was not Tree's final 'loop', with the result that Tree's the only one who even remembers this happened and Danielle continues as per normal once time progresses beyond this day).
  • Heather Duke from Heathers: After Heather Chandler's death, Heather Duke quickly becomes the new queen bee. Of course, Heather Duke morphs into this role herself rather quickly.
  • Tiara Gold in High School Musical 3 does it to Sharpay, but it ultimately backfires.
  • In The House Bunny, the Zetas are just one pledge short of the minimum, so the Alpha Bitch demands they be shut down. Just then, her much-abused friend decides she's finally had enough of being belittled and punched in the chest and announces that she will pledge Zeta as well. (Made all the more satisfying when the Alpha Bitch is herself punched in the chest at the end of the scene!)
  • In Jawbreaker, just as Courtney is being crowned prom queen, she gets her comeuppance when her ex-friends broadcast over the sound system her confession to killing Liz.
  • Cady in Mean Girls is an odd case of the heroine doing her own knifing. Jo Mitchell has this happen to her in the sequel.
  • Lisa Luder in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion waits until the reunion before confronting queen bee Christy Masters. Lisa seems to be motivated more by moral outrage and personal dislike of Christy than traditional jealousy. The flashbacks show Lisa had always been a more independent thinker than the rest of the group.
  • Tia from Saved! waits until the prom to destroy Hilary Faye's reputation by proving that she performed the vandalism on the school for which the heroine was blamed.
  • From Amanda Bynes' Sydney White, a modern retelling of "Snow White", sorority president Rachel Witchburn, after much verbal and emotional abuse to several people, including her sorority sisters, finally got stripped of her presidency and her regime by said sisters.

  • The YA novel Lets Get Lost has a rare example of this trope where the Alpha Bitch in question is the protagonist and her getting backstabbed is deconstructed, as Isabel is betrayed just as she's started to become a nicer, happier person, confirming her fears that being kind makes you weak, and the girl who takes her place as Queen Bee sinks to even worse behavior that Isabel herself ever stooped to.
  • In MARZENA, Livia is set up to become a Starscreamer and take down Marian with the help of Helena, although it turns out later to be only a clever ruse to gain Helena's trust (or was it?)

    Live-Action TV 
  • In 8 Simple Rules, one of the sisters explicitly invokes this trope.
  • BIA: Mara is Carmín’s assistant, who has grown sick and tired of the bad way she is treated by her. She has already started to sabotage her and is plotting to destroy her web fame. Following the downfall of her web fame Carmín closes her channel and Mara becomes the new Queen of Laix.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Harmony does this to Cordelia after it becomes public knowledge that she's been dating Xander. Arguably an Inversion, however — Cordelia was a Lovable Alpha Bitch by this point, while Harmony really had no such depths. (She eventually gained some, but only after graduating, becoming a vampire and transferring to Angel.
  • Control Z: Nearly all of persons within the popular clique backstabbed Isabela in different ways before and after she was outed as transgender.
  • In Glee season 2, former head cheerleader and Alpha Bitch Quinn tells Coach Sue Sylvester of New Cheerleading Captain Santana's boob job to get Santana demoted and put herself back on top.
  • In Gossip Girl, Penelope constantly is doing this to Blair.
  • This trope is a major plot point in the early 1990s Canadian teen soap opera Hillside (broadcast on Nickelodeon as Fifteen and starring a young Ryan Reynolds). The Alpha Bitch is the manipulative, conniving Brooke, who lusts after Hillside School's star athlete Matt and dedicates her life to trying to break up his relationship with "Little Miss Perfect" Ashley (played by Laura Harris). Little does she know that her own BFF and Beta Bitch Kelly (played by future anime voice actress Enuka Vanessa Okuma) has her own plan to ruin Brooke, and is even involving Brooke's own sister...
  • Kamen Rider Fourze has Miu being attacked and sabotaged by one of her Girl Posse in a beauty pageant. The latter became a zodiart monster, too.
  • Lizzie McGuire: When Kate breaks her arm, Claire kicks her out of the cheerleading team, takes over as captain, and quickly proves herself to be much worse.
  • In the finale of Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, Diabolico does this to Queen Bansheera, helping Carter out of the Shadow World portal and closing the lid for him, while taking Bansheera into the Shadow World.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • In Women Of Wrestling Rich Bitch Lana Star befriended an awkward chemist, Poison, in order to gain a minion. When Poison realized she was being used she teamed up with Star's favorite target Ice Cold to put green dye in Star's shampoo.
  • On Monday Night Raw, Candice Michelle turned on Torrie Wilson, the de facto leader of "Vince's Devils", after Wilson's efforts to help Michelle win WWE's Women's Championship backfired. That's right, the alpha bitch was brought down by trying to do something nice.
  • After Angelina Love got deported, the remaining Beautiful People went to the Knockout Tag Team Champions Sarita and Taylor Wilde to apologize for every bad thing they had done in TNA, saying it was all Angelina's fault. We were then introduced to Lacey Von Erich, Angelina's "replacement", who immediately joined Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne in assaulting Taylor Wilde and Sarita. When Angelina Love did return to TNA, well she didn't appreciate being scapegoated and "replaced" and backstabbed her former stablemates.

    Video Games 
  • Downplayed in The Sandman (2014). Regan's Girl Posse loves to stand around and giggle while she insults and belittles Sophie. When Sophie finally stands up for herself by insulting Regan right back, her 'friends' laugh at her expense.

    Web Animation 
  • The Most Popular Girls in School is full of this.
    • Deandra does this in season 1 to both head cheerleader Mackenzie Zales and socialite Shay Van Buren, taking advantage of their rivalry by selling them out for the other while pretending she is fully on their side to get perks.
    • It is revealed that Shay and Mackenzie’s rivalry began in third grade, when Mackenzie betrayed their friendship by deserting her on the playground when she got injured to steal the head cheerleader position from her, and has kept ever since, a title that every woman in Shay’s family before her has held, making Shay the first girl in her family to never be head cheerleader.
    • Ashley Katchadourian turns on her fellow Overland Park cheerleaders after Trisha mistakenly blows up at her for not watching the bathroom door and blames her for Deandra getting her arms ripped off and Brittany steals her boyfriend at prom. She joins forces with the rival Atchison cheer squad, trying to help sabotage the Overland Park squad and then officially joining the Aitchison squad at cheer nationals so that her former cheer teammates would not have enough members to compete themselves.
    • Deandra believes that this happened to her when she was an Atchison student. Back then, she was head cheerleader and Alpha Bitch, while Tanya Berkowitz was her Beta Bitch. Then one day, right before the Homecoming game, Tanya gave Deandra a pack of Pop Rocks while she was having tummy troubles because of three chili dogs and a load of Mountain Dew. Right when she was at the top of the pyramid, the Pop Rocks, swallowed whole, triggered diarrhea that bombed on the whole cheer squad holding her up, destroying her reputation at Atchison High, leading her to seek a fresh start at Overland Park. Deandra thinks that Tanya gave her the Pop Rocks on purpose, but some of the OP cheerleaders point out it was unlikely she knew of Deandra’s stomach issues before.
    • It is revealed at the beginning of Season 3 that Jenna Daurabond has been pulling the strings behind the conflicts of the previous seasons to get back at Mackenzie for backstabbing her, telling her to back off Ashley’s boyfriend because of “girl code”, and then making out with the guy herself. She takes this betrayal even further by attempting to change what is considered cool and popular, rendering Mackenzie and her Girl Posse obsolete as popular girls.
    • Season 4's main plot is Brittnay doing this to Mackenzie. After 8-and-a-half years, she's had enough of her. They reconcile at the end.
  • Supermarioglitchy4's Super Mario 64 Bloopers: You'd think this would count with Desti when she suffers a literal case of this courtesy of a false Sephiroth created by Francis, except she was murdered after having shortly before redeeming herself and reconciled with Meggy.


    Western Animation 
  • Happens to Azula from Avatar: The Last Airbender during "The Boiling Rock", when Mai and Ty Lee turn on her. As Azula thought she held total command over them, their betrayal makes her paranoid of everyone she commands and is one of the contributions to her Villainous Breakdown.
  • Grojband: After spending the whole series abusing her and treating her as a slave, Trina abandons her Beta Bitch Mina on Earth in the Grand Finale to be wiped out with the rest of the world by an asteroid so she can be with Nick forever. Mina snaps as a result of this and chooses to help Grojband destroy the asteroid by giving them their equipment before unleashing an awesome verbal tirade against Trina about all the crap she's been forced to put up with and how she gets no appreciation for her efforts.
  • Roxy does this to Pizzazz in the Jem episode "Roxy Rumbles". After Jetta and Pizzazz make fun of her due to her inability to read she calls them out and quits the band. She ends up returning a few days later due to her contract.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episode "Crusaders of the Lost Mark", Silver Spoon turns against Diamond Tiara after being treated badly one too many times. It's this little bit that sends Diamond spiraling towards a long-awaited Heel–Face Turn.
  • In the Recess episode "Outcast Ashley", Ashley B. and the other two Ashleys kick Ashley A. out of the clique for forgetting "Purple Day" (the anniversary of the day they first met where they all wear purple; Ashley A. was wearing yellow), and so Ashley A. decides to hang out with Gretchen for a while. However, the other Ashleys end up befriending her, and then in the end, they leave Gretchen behind and Ashley A. returns to the group.
  • In the Total Drama Island episode "Paintball Deer Hunter", Beth betrays Heather by shooting her repeatedly with a paintball gun after being bullied and bossed around by her for the entire season. Lindsay, Heather's other stooge, even joins in on the fun. Sadly, Beth is voted off soon after and Lindsay goes right back to working for her again...up until "That's Off the Chain" where Lindsay is eliminated, but nonetheless delivers her a "The Reason You Suck" Speech so epic that most of it is bleeped out. Later, in the penultimate challenge of the season, it is Lindsay's dare that ultimately gets Heather eliminated.