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Clashing Cousins

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Cousins having a tense relationship is not unheard of. Often times this is the product of a Sibling Rivalry between their parents rubbing onto the children. Other times this has similar reasons to a Sibling Rivalry considering how close many cousins are (usually closer than other parts of the extended family). Or maybe they just don't like each other and their familial relationship cannot fix that. Either way, the cousins don't get along much of the time.


Compare to Sibling Rivalry and in extreme cases Cain and Abel. Can often overlap with (or lead to) Feuding Families.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • When introduced Neji from Naruto has a beef with his cousin Hinata for being the daughter (and thus, heir) of the main Hyuga branch (while Neji is in the branch family but is generally stronger than Hinata). He softens after Naruto beats him in the Tournament Arc, though. They eventually become close friends and Neji undergoes a Heroic Sacrifice for Hinata.
  • Shokugeki no Soma: The Nakiri cousins Erina and Alice were very close to each other until Alice departed to North Europe to learn more about cooking. Due to Erina's father Azami educating his daughter into an iron-hearted Supreme Chef who should look down on any dish that is considered terrible by their standards and him throwing every letter away that Alice sent to Erina, the cousins have barely contact each other until they are reunited in Tootsuki. Due to these circumstances, they developed a rivalry, with Alice trying to overthrown Erina's position as the best student of their year, while Erina is "trying"note  to defend her position. After Azami's return to Tootsuki, Alice is trying to get his Erina from his hands and to protect her, reconciling their cousin relationship.
  • Chapter 98 of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War reveals that this is the case with Kaguya and Maki, with the latter being the only character in the series who is outright rude to Kaguya. Part of this is due to the whole main/branch family dynamic, but it's mostly because they're Too Much Alike.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Arrow and Rudolph from Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1998) are enemies and cousins (as shown by throwaway lines showing that their fathers are brothers). Arrow is The Bully who teases Rudolph for his unusual nose. They're also pining after the same doe — Zoey.
  • This is implied in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. Nuka and Vitani are two lions raised in the Outlands after being banished from the Pridelands as young cubs. Their parentage is never confirmed, but it's implied that they're Scar's children (thus making them Kiara's first cousins once removed). Kovu is explicitly adopted by Scar (and possibly by Zira as well). The Outlanders are enemies of the Pridelanders until undergoing a group-wide Heel–Face Turn near the end.
  • Annabelle from All Dogs Go to Heaven is an angel who has an evil cousin named Belladonna. Belladonna is implied to be a Fallen Angel.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The main antagonist of Black Panther is T'Challa's previously unknown cousin Erik.

  • The titular protagonist of Horrid Henry and his cousin Steve loathe each other's company, to the point of Henry scaring Steve out of his bedroom in order to get out of sleeping in his aunt's attic. This forms a tit-for-tat war between them whenever they meet at family reunions.
  • Inverted in Fudge-a-Mania, when Peter and his rival Sheila become (step)cousins due to his grandmother marrying her grandfather.
  • In the Deryni works, Conall Haldane is jealous of his cousin Kelson. Kelson is the son of King Brion Haldane, while Conall is the eldest son of Brion's younger brother Nigel. Kelson is sometimes low-key about his authority, while Conall is very (perhaps excessively) proud of his royal rank; Conall haughtily stands on ceremony at the court of the Earl of Transha, and Kelson scolds him for it. Later on, Conall secretly seeks to learn to use the "Haldane powers", though they're traditionally reserved for the ruling monarch (who is, at that point, Kelson), and he pursues Rothana Nur Hallaj after Kelson disappears in The Quest for Saint Camber in large part because she's not only beautiful, but also because he once witnessed Kelson wooing her. Conall actually persuades her to marry him since Kelson is presumed dead and his father Nigel is then in a coma and not expected to come out of it. Eventually, Kelson and Conall fight a duel arcane at the end of The Quest.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry was reluctantly taken in by his aunt Petunia's family as a baby after his parents died. They spoiled their son Dudley, who used Harry as his favorite punching bag; Dudley never manifests any jealousy towards his cousin's magical ability they way Petunia envied her sister Lily, perhaps because of his father having drilled it into him all his life that Harry is "abnormal." After Harry saves Dudley from a Dementor attack, Dudley starts becoming a slightly less repugnant human being, actually showing concern for Harry's safety before they part, and later sending Harry some of his childhood items after Petunia dies. Word of God says that as adults, they sometimes get their children together for playdates.
    • In Order of the Phoenix, it is established that this was the dynamic that Sirius Black had with his cousins Bellatrix Lestrange and Narcissa Malfoy. In fact, the former kills him in the climax of that book.
    • Played With for Nymphadora Tonks and Draco Malfoy, who are first cousinsnote  and fight on different sides of the Wizarding War (The Order for Tonks, the Death Eaters (at least, initially) for Draco). However, the two are never shown interacting face to face, let alone fighting each other. In fact, Tonks makes an offhand remark about Draco, calling him "the Malfoy family".
  • Warrior Cats: While their kinship was never discussed, cousins Mudclaw and Onewhisker turned into enemies in a fight for succession. It was rather one-sided on Mudclaw's part, as he was furious about having his deputyship revoked in favor of Onewhisker just seconds before Tallstar died, making Onewhisker the WindClan leader over him. This led to Mudclaw and several other warriors among three Clans rebelling and trying to kill Onewhisker before he could officially become the leader.

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Justified Boyd and Johnny Crowder are cousins in a family of criminals. They are initially on very good terms, but then Boyd's Heel–Faith Turn results in Johnny being crippled and Johnny grows to hate Boyd. They seem to reconcile for a while but Johnny was simply waiting for a good opportunity to backstab Boyd. The cousins become biter rivals and much blood is spilled before Johnny is killed.
  • In How to Be Indie, Indie's Sitcom Arch-Nemesis is her 'evil cousin' Rubi, who is constantly one-upping her.
  • Supernatural: Sam and Dean Winchester are the perfect, pre-destined blend of one elite hunting family line and one family line of world class scholars of the supernatural. However, in the Supernatural world, hunters and Men of Letters don't get along and despite their last name, their hunter genes actually come from their mother's side, the Campbells. When the Campbell clan resurfaces in season 6 (mostly, second and third cousins of Sam and Dean), they have a deep disdain for both brothers. This ultimately leads to bloodshed, although this may be primarily because the season 6 Campbells are almost all demon-possessed. However, it is shown in season 4 flashback episodes that Samuel Campbell never approved of Mary and John's marriage (Sam and Dean's parents) because John wasn't from a hunting family. Also when, Henry Winchester appears in a season 8 episode, he's appalled to find out that his grandsons are hunters instead of scholarly Men of Letters.
  • The premise of the CBBC comedy Kevin's Cousins: Kevin's horrified that his cousins (who happen to be girls) will be staying with him for the summer.
  • That's So Raven: In a first season episode called "Dissin' Cousins," the show's Title Character is revealed to have a rich and beautiful (but also mean and snobby) cousin named Andrea who lives in Europe and gets to travel to all kinds of exotic places all over the world—Raven's friend, Eddie, also has this huge crush on Andrea. In the end, Raven and Andrea manage to patch things up when their relationship turns out to be a case of Mutual Envy—Andrea explains to Raven that even though she has the chance to live in Europe and travel to all kinds of exotic places, she hates having to move around so much and has always been secretly envious of Raven's much more "normal" life (it's unknown if Andrea knows about Raven's Psychic Powers).

    Video Games 
  • Marie and Callie from Splatoon usually avert this by having a good relationship (even with a lot of teasing between the two). However, during Splatfest they are on rival teams. It's usually all in good sportsmanship but during the Christmas 2015 Splatfest Callie called out Marie for her rude and sarcastic behavior (and it was implied to not be staged).
  • In Pokémon Gold and Silver, Clair, the eighth and strongest gym leader, has a one-sided rivalry with her cousin Lance, the game's Champion. Since Second Place Is for Losers she refuses to give up trying to beat him, though off the battlefield they've got a pretty good relationship.
  • Crusader Kings 2: As patrilinear cousins are close enough related to inherit a claim on each others titles, this is a common sight. Furthermore, if they are in each others line of succession, they will gain a casus belli to take their cousin's titles, meaning that they will often try to dethrone one another.
  • In Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, Alm fought against his distant cousin Berkut for several occasions. However, they didn't know about their familiarity until the final act.
  • Dragon Age has a few examples.
    • In Dragon Age II, the Exiled Prince DLC brings this into existence for the city-state of Starkhaven, which is ruled by the Vael family. It's eventually revealed that a friend of the ruling Prince and Princess had them, as well as their children and grandchildren (with one exception); she then propped up their idiot nephew as the new Prince, all so that she could marry him to her own daughter and become more powerful. The lone exception to the slaughter was youngest son Sebastian, a priest, who recruits Player Character Hawke to help him get to the bottom of things and eventually take what is now his throne back from his cousin.
    • Empress Celene and Grand Duke Gaspard in Dragon Age: Inquisition ended up this way after Celene essentially stole the Orlesian throne from him via political maneuvering. Eventually Gaspard gets fed up with his cousin's very different way of handling things and it erupts into civil war. Lampshaded by an illegitimate nobleman who remarks that when he quarrels with his cousin, some wine gets spilled and maybe someone loses a tooth. When the empress quarrels with her cousin, the country gets torn apart and thousands of people die.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Umineko: When They Cry this is downplayed between the four Ushiromiya cousins, who mostly get along with each other and don't carry the rivalries and resentments their parents do, but George admits to being jealous of Battler in the past and sported an Entitled to Have You attitude towards women when he realized Battler was getting more attention from the maid Shannon at the Ushiromiya estate. By the time of the main story he's outgrown this and is deeply ashamed that he once acted this way.
  • Lily and Shizune from Katawa Shoujo are revealed in both of their arcs to be cousins. They get along poorly due to their contrasting personalities. It doesn't help that they can't communicate well due to Shizune being deaf and Lily being blind.

    Web Comics 
  • In Drowtales there are several examples among the noble family, since drow tend to have Massive Numbered Siblings and encourage competition:
    • Nega'fanea Val'Illhar'dro and her cousin Balsii eventually end up going to war over the leadership of the clan, since while Balsii is the regional ruler of the clan's home city of Nuqrah'shareh she's wildly xenophobic and believes Nega, who was born in a neighboring city of Val'Ravern, is weak and leading the clan down a path of destruction. Balsii goes so far as to try and stage a coup during a civil disturbance in the city but is thwarted when the leaders of the two other most powerful clans in the city refuse to support her.
    • Among the ruling Vel'Sharen clan the clearest example is between Chrys'tel and her cousin Nihi'liir, clearest on this page and with the latter confirmed by Word of God to be a deliberate Shadow Archetype of the former. In their case it's clearly an extension of their mothers.
  • Girl Genius:
    • The underhanded Tarvek Sturmvoraus and his brutish cousin Martellus von Blitzengaard are both potential heirs to the Lightning Throne and Martellus makes numerous assassination attempts on his cousin and instigated several battles between their allies.
    • Tarvek is also the victim of constant abuse from his cousin Violetta, who spent years thinking he'd gotten her reassigned to Mechanicsburg in an attempt to upend her carer. Even after learning that he did it to save her life, she still finds him incredibly annoying. Violetta also detests Martellus for what he's done to Agatha and spends time undermining his plans.

    Web Videos 
  • Cousins James and Percival Darkmagic in Acquisitions Incorporated form a bitter rivalry, though it's mostly one-sided, as Jim is too self-obsessed to remember anyone having beef with him. The rivalry stems mostly from the fact that Jim has always been their grandfather's favorite grandson, and Percy, The Unfavorite. Subverted later when we learn that the two are secretly brothers, turning their relationship into Sibling Rivalry instead.

    Western Animation 
  • Clash and Video from Jem have gotten poorly all their lives. They were next-door-neighbors growing up as well. Their relationship seems to be an extension of the Sibling Rivalry between their fathers.
  • The Delightful Children from Down The Lane in Codename: Kids Next Door are villains and Numbuh 1's adopted cousins, though the latter point is never actually discussed in-series. (It's only very late in the series that it's revealed that their fathers are brothers.)
  • Ben 10: Ben and Gwen have an antagonistic relationship and are always trading insults. Unless one of them is in trouble, in which case the other one will do whatever it takes to help.
  • Lilo & Stitch: The Series has Stitch going around fighting and befriending his "cousins" (though, being created by the same person makes them closer to siblings). In particular, Experiment 625 remained Stitch's enemy until he underwent a Heel–Face Turn in the finale.
  • In the The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius episode aptly-titled "Clash of the Cousins", Jimmy has an antagonistic relationship with his cousin Eddie, who is trying to destroy the Neutron family in order to get their money for himself.
  • In Rugrats, one-year-old Tommy Pickles has an antagonistic relationship with his three-year-old cousin, Angelica, who regularly calls him and his friends "dumb babies" and bosses them around.
  • In Phineas and Ferb, Ferb has several cousins from England who are convinced that living in America has made him less British. This prompts a competitive game of soccer/football between the boys, along with their friends.
  • In Mixels, royal cousins Camillot and Mixadel are pitted against each other, primarily one-sided, thanks to Mixadel disapproving of Camillot taking to the "common Mixels" so fast.
  • In The Crumpets, Caprice enjoys bullying her adopted cousin Cordless, even though she usually respects him in "Acne Dents Happen". Despite protecting him from her harassing family due to his radioactive powers in this episode, she tries to treat him by leaving him inside a refrigerator. In other episodes, she fooled him into dropping his video game portable, injected him with a huge syringe by surprise, and pushed him out a window to his adoptive mother's car. In one phone call between the cousins, Caprice hears that he will get revenge.
  • Early on in Elena of Avalor, Chancellor Esteban seems like an antagonist in the making towards his cousin, Princess Elena, and everyone just puts up with his jerkassery because he's family and is a vital figure in keeping the kingdom running. It eventually turns out that this only goes as far as Jerk with a Heart of Gold; he deeply cares about his family, and if anything, his relationship with Elena is more Like Brother and Sister. Thanks to Character Development, he goes from deliberately trying to undermine Elena (whom he sees as irresponsible) to trusting her judgement.
  • In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Babs Seed is a bully to her cousin Apple Bloom. However, Babs later has a Heel–Face Turn and the two become friends.

     Real Life 
  • Often Truth in Television throughout European history. European royal houses frequently married into each other for political purposes. By the 19th century, nearly all European royals were related in some way. When countries ultimately went to war, cousins would often be on opposing sides.


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