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Former Friend of Alpha Bitch

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"Genevieve. We used to be best friends, but post-middle school, for reasons having to do with her popularity and my lack thereof, we are now decidedly not."

Most stories that are in a school setting feature a mean but insanely popular girl and a likeable but considerably less popular girl who will invariably be at odds with each other. In the worst-case scenario, each will routinely be at the other's throat. (That may form a great deal of the story's plotline.) Even in the best case, these characters will rarely be able to share a civil conversation. Either way, it's very unlikely that these two characters will ever be friends.

Except that, in some stories, they were friends at one point, but some kind of rift came between them and split them apart. Their friendship may stretch back all the way to the first day of kindergarten, but now it's history...bitter history. Common causes of the rift are a romantic entanglement in which one of them ended up with a boy the other had a crush on or the simple fact that the Alpha Bitch outgrew her awkwardness and became popular and the Cool Loser didn't. In stories of this type, don't be surprised if the Alpha Bitch and the Cool Loser eventually start on the path to being friends again. At the very least, the Cool Loser may express the sentiment that popularity has changed her friend and that she wishes things could be the way they were before.

Subtrope of We Used to Be Friends. On the opposite side, there's Bully Turned Buddy.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Alpha Bitch Aya and Yandere Mariko in the anime of Dear Brother. More exactly: Aya threw Mariko under the bus during a school competition while in junior high, and now in high school they hate each other. Though they make amends...but not before Aya presses Mariko's Berserk Button to the bottom (which gets her kicked outta the Sorority and almost expelled from Seiran) and later is subjected to Break the Haughty.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka: Tomoko is the Token Good Teammate of Miyabi's Girl Posse (mostly due to Dumb Is Good), but Miyabi kicks her out after she screws up a plot against Onizuka. Despite this, Tomoko never stops thinking of Miyabi as her friend. Urumi was also Childhood Friends with both of them, but she can be somewhat cruel herself to Tomoko and others (and she was never as unpopular as Tomoko).
  • In Naruto, back when they were in the Ninja Academy, Ino was the most popular girl, and Sakura was shy and had no friends. Ino befriended her and helped her gain more confidence, but Sakura ended their friendship when she found out they both had crushes on Sasuke and this made her realize that she was in danger of eternally being under Ino's shadow. After they fight one another, they end up as Vitriolic Best Buds for a time, before largely setting the rivalry aside after the Time Skip when Sakura teaches Ino how to be The Medic.
    • Certain flashbacks (some canon and some filler) actually shows Naruto being friends with Shikamaru, Chouji, Kiba (all the former), and even Sakura and Ino (both the latter).
  • In My Hero Academia, protagonist Izuku was childhood friends with Bakugo, who would become his middle school bully and high school rival. Once Bakugo got a powerful Quirk he began to look down on Izuku, who was a Muggle Born of Mages, and gets insanely mad at any implication that Izuku thinks that they can be equals. Interestingly, Izuku never stopped admiring Bakugo's ambition, nor did he ever stop calling him by the Affectionate Nickname "Kacchan"note .
  • In EDENS ZERO, Rebecca used to be good friends with Labilia, with both having aspirations to be successful B-Cubers. However, whereas Rebecca proved to have little talent or knack for such a thing, Labilia became quite successful, and she began to ruthlessly bully Rebecca every chance she got. For her own, Rebecca still cares enough about her that she's horrified when offered a chance to get back, and torture her, and still makes an effort to save her.

    Comic Books 
  • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Etta Candy and Pamela Smuthers are definitely enemies in college, but they're from the same Texan town and seem to know each other incredibly well with several things Etta says implying they were friends in childhood, even if their very loud personalities and Pam's Spoiled Rotten nature meant it could never last.

    Films — Animated 
  • The original version of 101 Dalmatians invokes this, although the characters have long since finished school: "Oh, must be Cruella, your dearly devoted old schoolmate."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Stacey and Anna in the 2003 version of Freaky Friday (2003). Notably, Tess thinks this can be solved with a heartfelt speech, which blows up in her/Anna's face almost immediately.
  • Janis Ian is an avid hater of Regina George in Mean Girls. According to Regina, they used to be best friends in middle school but after Regina got her first boyfriend, they had a bitter fight. In an interesting variation of the trope, Janis proves to be almost as bad as Regina.
  • Heathers:
    • Played straight, only with the old friend being a minor character. It turns out that Heather D., who is becoming the new head of the school's food chain, was once best friends with the unpopular, unattractive, and obese Martha "Dumptruck" Dunnstock. Heather D. is so ashamed of this that when she finds out J.D. has photographs of the two of them playing together, she pays him to get rid of them.
    • Averted with Veronica and her best friend Betty. They are still friends but don't get to hang out as often due to Veronica being seized by the popular crowd. They reunite by the end when Veronica severs ties with the Heathers (whom she didn't really like to begin with).
  • The title character from Jennifer's Body is the Alpha Bitch; the narrator is her best friend and a Cool Loser. The entire film is about the main character escaping from this relationship.
  • Minutemen: Gender Flipped. Virgil and Derek were best friends, with a handshake and everything. But on the first day of freshmen year, Virgil became a victim of a humiliating prank that involved him being Dragged into Drag and hung on the school mascot. The incident tainted his reputation for the next three years, while Derek became the star quarterback and top dog. It gets worse when Virgil went back to that day and found out that the prank was Derekís idea in the first place, in a bid to get In with the In Crowd.
  • Amy to Dylan in Geek Charming...though she still considers Dylan a friend regardless and wishes for her to get over her Alpha Bitch-iness so they can hang out together again, which happens in the end.
  • Inverted in 13 Going on 30 where the Alpha Bitch is Jenna's best friend when she's 30 but they didn't get along in school. Subverted, when they aren't really friends at all.
  • Chris Otter and Katie Twentybreed in "The Mysterious Alpha Bitch" (2013). They were friends as little girls, but one day someone killed Katie's dog while Chris has custody and Katie blamed Chris.
  • Lisa Luder, a former Girl Posse member of Christie Masters' little clique in Romy and Michele's High School Reunion who secretly liked the titular girls' fashions but couldn't say anything in front of Christie about it except what Christie wanted to hear, eventually became a fashion magazine editor who was much more confident about her opinions. She famously shows up Christie at the high school reunion by speaking favorably about Romy and Michele's fashions in front of everyone and stands up against the Alpha Bitch with her delusions about herself being "happily married" by saying to her "keep telling yourself that."
  • To All the Boys I've Loved Before: Lara Jean and Gen were friends in middle school, but had a falling out. Gen went on to be a bitchy popular girl who singles out Lara Jean for bullying.

  • Chantal Simmons in The Geek Girl's Guide to Cheerleading. She used to be friends with the heroine when they attended the same dance school, but Chantal became a cheerleader and the heroine became a nerd. This marked the end of their friendship.
  • Samantha Deveraux in Marlene Perez's Dead Is series. In the first book, Dead Is the New Black, the heroine mentions that she and Samantha were friends until they had a falling out. By the beginning of the second book, Dead Is a State of Mind, they're working on becoming friends again. It helps that Samantha's bitchiness is mostly an act.
  • In Don't Look Back, Sam's twin brother Scott has a girlfriend named Julie, who used to be childhood friends with Sam until Sam befriended Cassie and consequently ditched Julie to be an Alpha Bitch with Cassie. After Sam's memory loss and Cassie's death, she goes out of her way to be nice to Julie and rekindles their friendship by going prom dress shopping with her.
  • Subverted by Aravis and Lasaraleen from The Horse and His Boy. They weren't the chummiest of friends, but they did have a history together and Lasaraleen is more of a Brainless Beauty than a true Alpha Bitch since, for all her snobbishness and irresponsibility, she does care for Aravis in her own way.
  • In Amelia, a variation happens where Amelia and Lucinda are best friends at the start but once Amelia's family loses their money, Lucinda acts more like an Alpha Bitch and looks down on Amelia for being poor.
  • Sam from All-American Girl (Meg Cabot) used to be childhood friends with Alpha Bitch Kris Parks before temporarily living abroad. Fortunatelly, Sam's sister Lucy happens to be more popular than Kris and can help with standing up to Parks when situation requires.
  • In Before I Fall, Lindsay and Juliet "Psycho" Sykes used to be friends before Juliet took the blame for Lindsay's bed-wetting.
    • Kent McFuller used to be Sam's best friend and was even her first kiss. Then he became a freak, as Sam puts it.
  • Not directly true with Janine and Candayce in Dinoverse, but when Janine was a new student in a new, handmade dress, Candayce made a show of acting nice to her before ruining it. Later Candayce went to the effort of turning Janine's best friend against her, getting her to join a more popular clique after publicly assaulting and denouncing Janine. Over the course of the book, they slide from bitter enemies to something still loaded with sniping, but friendlier.
  • In Sailor Nothing, Aki has a falling-out with Ami after the former's yamiko ruins her reputation, leading to Ami becoming her bully. It's actually the best thing that could have happened to Aki, who finally sees how shallow her life had been. They never reconcile: Ami loses all traces of her sanity after being tortured by Dark General Argon. Aki feels sorry for her former friend by the time she finds and rescues her but it's already too late, as Ami never mentally recovered from it.
  • Worm: Until the summer before they started high school, Taylor's best friend was Emma Barnes. After that summer, Emma was instead the leader of the trio of bullies responsible for making her high school life pure hell.
  • Funny Business: Not only did Isabella use to be the best friend of the protagonist Jeannette, but she used to be a Shrinking Violet too shy to interact with anybody else. However, even then, she had always been jealous of Jeannette's Reality Warper powers, and after the latter uses them to help her overcome her shyness, she effortlessly integrates into the popular crowd and becomes a bully, with an advantage over the others in that she knows what makes the protagonist tick.
  • Courtney Summers' Some Girls Are tells the story of Regina, a former Beta Bitch to her high school's Alpha Bitch, Anna, who falls out with Anna when another girl, Kara, spreads a false rumor that Regina slept with Anna's boyfriend (the truth is that Anna's boyfriend, while drunk, tried to rape Regina). Kara was previously bullied by Regina and relishes the chance to get revenge, and as she becomes Anna's new Beta Bitch and the girls devote their lives to making Regina's life miserable, Regina's rock becomes her unlikely friendship and budding romance with, ironically enough, a boy she used to bully. At one point, that is threatened as well, but another ex-friend of Regina's steps in to foil Anna's scheme, and Anna finally agrees to back off.
  • In Blubber by Judy Blume, narrator Jill becomes this to Alpha Bitch Wendy, who has led her entire class in bullying an overweight classmate, after she stands up to Wendy. Wendy responds by turning the class against Jill, and Jill again stands up to Wendy and her clique, ending Wendy's friendship with her Beta Bitch Caroline.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it was established one time that Cordelia, Xander, and Willow all used to hang out together when they were preteens. Cordelia becomes more friendly with the Scoobies once she starts dating Xander but then goes through another phase of being their "ex-friend" after he cheats on her with Willow. They apparently make up eventually, at least to the extent that Cordelia calls Willow in an episode of Angel', though calling them outright friends might be pushing it since Cordelia only found out Willow was a lesbian after she had been out of the closet for a whole year.
  • Abigail Armstrong and Kat Karamakov from Dance Academy at first appear to be a subversion of this trope, as it seems to viewpoint character Tara that ambitious, unlikable, dedicated (and unpopular) Abigail ditched gregarious, pleasant, careless (and popular) Kat as a friend after she stopped taking ballet seriously - but in fact the trope proves to be played rather straighter, as the truth is that when Kat (the daughter of a prima ballerina and a choreographer) started being unhappy with her ballet-focused life, she decided her former best friend Abigail was a boring 'Betty Bunhead' and ditched her.
  • Kacey Simon and Molly Garfunkle of How to Rock. They used to be best friends until Kacey had to get braces and glasses, resulting in her being kicked out of the Perfs and losing her popularity. She eventually learns Molly only liked her because she was perfect, and thus decides the Perfs were indeed not her friends after all.
  • Kate and the titular heroine of Lizzie McGuire. They used to be best friends until Kate become popular because she developed early in regards to puberty.
    • Something of the sort happened when Kate got dethroned by Claire due to Kate breaking her arm.
    • If The Movie is any regard, there are hints they'll be friends once more when they grow up.
  • Imogen from Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin was popular in Freshman year, being best friends with Karen. However, Karen's boyfriend Greg made out with Imogen at a party when he was drunk and then when Kelly told her twin sister what happened Greg tried to defend himself by saying Imogen came onto him, but to ignore it because Imogen was drunk. Karen turned most of the school against Imogen after this, labelling her a slut. It didn't help that Imogen was later revealed to be pregnant, leading to more gossip.

    Video Games 
  • The Sandman (2014): Part of the reason Sophie doesn't stand up to Regan's constant harassment is that she remembers being friends when they were younger.

  • An Adventures in Odyssey episode deals with middle-schooler Robyn, one of the series protagonists, trying to fit in with Alpha Bitch and head cheerleader Shannon, but drawing the line when refusing to attend Shannon's unchaperoned party (at which alcohol will be served). Shannon and her clique subsequently ostracize Robyn - except for Shannon's former BFF, Michelle, who is impressed by the way Robyn stood up to Shannon and decides she won't attend the party either. Subsequently, Robyn and Michelle become friends.

  • The now-ended webcomic As If had Hunter and Sandy, who used to be BFFs in junior high. (Hunter even says Sandy used to throw amazing Risk parties). But as time went on, Sandy got into makeup and boys, and Hunter...well, let's just say she didn't.
  • Dreaming Freedom: Jeongmin and Juhyeon used to be friends back in elementary school, however, Juhyeonís increasing possessiveness over Jeongmin made her stop being friends with her. Juhyeon still holds a grudge, and uses her popularity in high school to make Jeongmin's life a living hell.
  • Penny and Aggie: Apparently Helen used to be friends with Penny and is still bitter.
  • Sayuri Morita of Red String used to be friends with Miharu and Reika in middle school, but after only Miharu and Reika were chosen to appear on a sidewalk TV show, she became obsessed with being popular and pretty much declared them her enemies. Flash-forward to high school where she's given herself a new image, gained a clique, and keeps making Miharu, Reika, and Fuuko's lives miserable.

    Web Animation 
  • Desperate wannabe, Rachel Tice used to be one of The Most Popular Girls in School, and best friends with Mackenzie Zales, Brittany Matthews, and Shay Van Buren. Then, in the third grade, Rachel was caught eating a roly-poly bug by Brittany, who ended their friendship right then and there and spread the word, sullying Rachelís reputation all the way to high school. While her old friends went on to have a glorious rivalry over the top spot of the Popularity Food Chain, Rachel was left behind entirely to wallow in high school loserdom, desperate to be popular again.

    Web Original 
  • Youth & Consequences: Stacey used to be Farrah's Best Friend and part of her Girl Posse, but their friendship is over by the time the series starts, and even the rest of the Girl Posse doesn't know why. It's later revealed Farrah's dad was having an affair with Stacey's mother, and both girls decided to expose them together but Stacey backed out on the deal at the last minute.

    Western Animation 
  • Sharon Spitz and Nina Harper from Braceface are this — they were best friends as little kids, but sometime in 2nd grade (around the age of 7), when they were playing together at Nina's house, Nina saw that someone had ripped all the heads off of her beloved fashion dolls — despite never having any evidence to prove it, Nina assumed that Sharon was the one who did it and subsequently ended their friendship. Nina continued nursing a grudge against Sharon for it for at least seven years, and despite that, Nina's parents and Sharon's dad assumed that the two girls were still friends. It wasn't until well into their freshman year of high school that Sharon and Nina learned that the real culprit was actually Petra, a mean cousin of Nina's. Realizing that she had wasted basically half of her life being mad at Sharon for something that wasn't actually her fault, Nina makes an effort to patch things up with Sharon in the hopes of becoming friends again — it doesn't work out, and Sharon decides that at this point in their lives, she and Nina are probably just better off as enemies than friends.
    • However, over the course of the series, there are instances that show that Sharon and Nina do still care about each other to some extent and it's implied that they will eventually become friends again
    • Alyson became this about halfway in. She spends a season and a half as Nina's loyal, put-upon underling, but Season 2's "Triangles" sees her fall for Connor and start befriending Sharon and Maria (much to the latter two's admitted confusion and skepticism). Nina wants Alyson to stay away from all three of them, but when she makes a big ultimatum, Alyson tells her off. Alyson later gets blamed for a prank on Nina that almost went horribly wrong (it was actually Sharon and Maria trying to get some payback for something Nina had done to them), which pretty much tanks what's left of their friendship. When no one's looking, though, Nina is shown to be saddened by this whole development.
  • It's revealed in The Owl House episode "Hooty's Moving Hassle" that Willow was best friends with resident Academic Alpha Bitch Amity Blight when they were kids. Amity cut ties with her due to her being a late bloomer with her magic and she and her Girl Posse have been bullying her ever since. "Understanding Willow" reveals that Amity never wanted to end their friendship and in fact had been blackmailed into doing so by her parents. The two of them do start to rebuild their friendship once this comes to light, but it's made clear that it'll be a while before they reach their former closeness (if they ever will).
  • A gender-flipped version is featured on The Spectacular Spider-Man, Peter and Flash were best friends when they were in preschool, and they still live just around the corner from each other. Flash's mom assumes that her son and Peter are still friends, and even sent Peter an invitation to Flash's birthday party. When everyone at the party is told about this, they react as if they just witnessed a murder. It also turns out that Peter was behind Flash's nickname originally (and it was for more hilarious reasons than expected).
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: The episode that parodies Citizen Kane shows Buster Bunny and Montana Max used to be friends until Max's parents won the lottery.
  • 6teen: Caitlin to Tricia. After Caitlin maxed out her credit card and her parents forced her to get a job to pay it back, Tricia ended her friendship with Caitlin after seeing the uniform she was forced to wear at her new job, essentially saying that she can't be seen with someone who has to work for a living.
  • In Total Drama, Lindsay believed that her alliance with Heather was a genuine friendship. However, when Lindsay finally realizes that she was being used after Heather says that she's outlived her usefulness in "That's off the Chain!", Lindsay gives Heather an expletive-laden "Reason You Suck" Speech, even Flipping the Bird at her, officially ending their alliance.
  • What About Mimi?: Mimi Morton used to be friends with Sincerity Travers when they were in Kindergarten. However, as they got older, their interests changed, and they grew apart.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Libby My Old Friend


Judy and Stacy B.

Judy says that Stacy B. and her used to be friends, even wearing matching toe rings. Then Stacy B. began hanging out with the cool kids and now makes fun of her and her friends.

How well does it match the trope?

4.2 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / WeUsedToBeFriends

Media sources: