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Headbutting Heroes

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Can't we all just get along?

"As intelligent men facing lunatic times, we were very alike, despising each other instantly. Recognizing me, he attacked anyway, 'Mistaking me for a criminal.'"
Ozymandias (discussing The Comedian), Watchmen

Alice and Bob are heroes. Bonafide heroes. They beat the bad guys, they save the world, they help old ladies across the street, the whole nine yards.

They also hate each other's guts, perhaps even worse than they do their enemies.

Headbutting Heroes refers to when two heroes thoroughly hate each other, or when one hero hates another hero (it doesn't have to be mutual). This is not the same as the animosity that can form between, say, a Lancer and his superior, since, while they may have animosity against each other, the Lancer deep down respects the Hero and will defer to his leadership. It's also different from Let's You and Him Fight, since the heroes have not been misled to face each other. They really want to duke it out every time they meet, or at the very least they are obviously disagreeable and might try to discredit each other in front of other heroes. They just cannot get along, no matter how others might try to get them to keep it civil.

There need not be actual violence involved in the feud, though. As said before, they might try to discredit each other, or have verbal spats. If there is a threat, they will face that threat, but this will practically never lead to them getting along. In fact, their animosity might even become a hindrance to the situation at hand, and they might get called on it by other heroes sick and tired of their bickering.

The reasons for such animosity are various, but they are rarely very deep. Truly worthwhile reasons for disagreement are also usually reasons they could mediate if they actually sat down and talked it out. However, part of what makes this trope is that the two heroes, deep down, don't NEED an excuse to fight. They just hate each other, and while they might have such a thing as a GOOD reason to fight, it's pretty much secondary to the hatred that has formed between them. Their reasons for disagreement could disappear, they could both grow more mature and understanding, and they'd STILL hate each other.

Examples of reasons for these characters hatred for each other might include:

  • Racism: While this may seem like a reason that makes either or both of the heroes seem VERY non-heroic, it might also be a reason so ingrained in them from their upbringing that it's actually kind of tragic. For example, a Kree hero and a Skrull hero might be two guys who are admired and respected by the hero community at large, but they will NEVER get along because their cultures practically revolve around hating the other one's race.
  • Personality Clash: The heroes don't like each other because their personalities or philosophies just clash too harshly. Perhaps a Martial Pacifist who believes in Thou Shalt Not Kill is disgusted by an Anti-Hero's more bloodthirsty approach. Perhaps a Lawful Good / Lawful Neutral character is driven nuts by a Chaotic Good / Chaotic Neutral's more, um, chaotic approach. Perhaps The Stoic is irritated by the Boisterous Bruiser's tendency to boast.
  • Never Forgetting the Past: One of the heroes did something in the past or failed in some way that has tainted them in the eyes of others, but while most heroes give him the benefit of the doubt or believe the hero has proven his worth, the rival just won't let it go.
  • Pride: The heroes see each other as a rival to be bested, and any action by the other hero is seen as a challenge or insult. Definitely the most petty reason AND the most permanent one. With any other reason, it might be marginally justifiable for there to be a rivalry between the heroes.

Quite obviously, Anti Heroes are VERY prone to this type of relationship with certain other types of heroes. It's almost a prerequisite of being an unscrupulous Chaotic Good hero that a hardass Lawful Good hero will hate your guts. Sociopathic heroes are also prone to this, for obvious reasons.

Subtrope of Divided We Fall that involves individuals rather than factions. Compare to Teeth-Clenched Teamwork, where, while hating each other, the heroes are willing to set aside their difference for the sake of doing what's right. Fighting the Lancer is when the teammates can't set aside their differences, and comes to blows. Compare Dueling Messiahs where it's both heroes who are like this with each other due to their conflicting methods in protecting the world. See also No Sympathy Between Mooks for the villainous version. Also contrast Villainous Friendship where two villains are the best of friends. If the two characters argue often, but are also genuinely good friends, that's Vitriolic Best Buds.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Berserk Guts gets on almost everyone’s nerves but him and Casca the Number Two fought like “Cats and Dogs” every since Guts joined the Hawks and won The Leader Griffith’s affection much to Casca’s jealousy. The fact they go from constantly fighting to Star-Crossed Lovers is pretty damn amazing though Guts taking a crap ton of arrows for her helped sway things.
  • In crossovers, Great Mazinger's Tetsuya Tsurugi and Getter Robo's Ryoma Nagare are often going at each other's throats.
  • Kaede Rukawa and Hanamichi Sakuragi from Slam Dunk.
  • Dragon Ball of course has Goku and Vegeta who were a literal case of this in the Buu Saga. Though it’s probably more accurate to say Vegeta couldn’t stand Goku for the most part while Goku himself only disliked Vegeta initially and the rest of the time genuinely respects him as a rival. Eventually they graduate to Vitriolic Best Buds who are nigh inseparable.
  • Probably Un-Go's Shinjuro Yuki and Kaishou Rinroku qualify as this, although we don't actually know how much Kaishou hates Sinjuro, and they both act civilized about this and usually even cooperate. Clashing ideologies are at fault in this case.
  • Kazuma and Ryuho of SCryed may have common goals at times, but once they're taken care of, it's back to fighting each other. Their ideologies and personalities, and their stubborn pride, make for unresolvable differences. The very last episode is a knock-down, drag-out fight between the two of them, with no hint of friendship apparent between the two.
  • In the My-HiME manga, Nao doesn't get along well with any of the other Himes, especially not Natsuki and Haruka. Unlike in the anime, however, she never turns completely hostile against the others after joining them.
  • This was the relationship of Obito Uchiha and Kakashi Hatake in Naruto when they were younger. They constantly bickered during missions and had conflicting views on what it meant to be shinobi. They did end up getting along before Obito's supposed death, but there were few situations in which they did so prior to this; with the former directly stating the two were like "oil and water" and their teacher, Minato Namikaze, urging that they must set aside their differences and act as teammates if they ever wanted to become an effective ninja unit.
  • One Piece has Zoro and Sanji which can be jarring considering given everyone else in the Straw Hat crew treat each other lovingly, Zoro and Sanji generally dislike each other and are constantly fighting, competing and insulting each other to point they refuse to call each other by their actual names (Zoro in the manga has never once referred to Sanji as Sanji only as “perv cook” or “curly brow”). They have even both stated respectively they’d be perfectly willingly to kill the other. Played With though as it is inferred they do actually care and respect each other deep down even though they would sooner die than admit it. Of course despite their mural animosity, when they do work together they’re nigh-unstoppable with even Kaido’s Co-Dragons getting blown away by their combined might.
  • In the anime and manga Elfen Lied, Lucy and Nana - both diclonius - despised one another, based on differences in their views toward humans, their goals in general, and a particularly violent encounter in which the latter was dismembered and almost killed by the former. Their relationship does improve slightly by the time they share the same living space, but they never completely set aside their differences.
  • In Shiki, Tatsumi and Chizuru Kirishiki, are on the same side and share the same goals, but they do not get along. While they do not openly quarrel often, Tatsumi views Chizuru's behavior as reckless and problematic, and does not understand why Sunako allows her to get away with as much as she does. Chizuru, in turn, is annoyed by Tatsumi for his prudence. In this example, though, Chizuru herself might be the problem, as Yoshie harbors the same sentiments as Tatsumi.
  • In The Ones Within, Kudo and Oshigiri clashed since the start of the Deadly Game, as Oshigiri found Kudo immature, Kudo got pissed off at the criticism, and away they went. They'll help each other out when actual danger strikes, but don't ever expect them to be in close quarters without sniping at each other.
  • Irresponsible Captain Tylor: For about half the show, most of the crew dislikes or disrespects Tylor. For his part, he’s not good at dealing with Yuriko but hides it far better than she does. After Harumi is annoyed by the marines disrespecting him, the story turns more serious and the crew realizes that they do trust Tylor.
  • Killer-T and NK cell from Cells at Work! don't get along and will bicker and fight each other given the chance. NK does this to make sure that the other cells will be safe, but Killer-T will still insist on doing the job.
  • Deconstructed in My Hero Academia. During the Hero Provisional License Exam, Inasa Yoarashi begins to argue with Shoto Todoroki during the second part of the exam, explaining that he hates Endeavor for not being the passionate inspirational hero and that Todoroki is the same because he recognized that look in his eyes. Despite his best attempts, Todoroki can't overcome the fact that Yoarashi just compared him to his father and lashes out. Their petty argument nearly gets another student flash-fried before Izuku Midoriya rescued him, giving them a What the Hell, Hero? in the process. This also costs them their licenses because of this argument. Afterwards, both boys apologize for their selfish behavior.
  • Rosie's animosity toward Red in The Red Ranger Becomes an Adventurer in Another World is a completely one-sided example. Red is hyped to work alongside another hero like Rosie, but Rosie wants nothing to do with Red, whom he sees as nothing more than an obstacle in the way of his affections for Teltina. Teltina has to bribe Rosie with promises of an Ear Cleaning and a Lap Pillow for him to agree with work with Red. And yet, even that is not enough for him, and he attempts to Murder the Hypotenuse by stealing Red's Bansou Plate, preventing him from transforming before an important fight.

    Asian Animation 
  • In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Mighty Little Defenders, the goats go to search for Uncle Gogoa so that he can help save Goat Village from General Wolf's attacks. When they finally find him, he and Blady have difficulties working together due to their opposing views on how to get the wolves to stop trying to eat the goats (Blady thinks driving the wolves out will do the trick, while Gogoa thinks making peace with them is the best option), which they argue about any time the wolves are brought up.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • The Caped Crusader has a tendency to rub many other heroes the wrong way, with some of them actually going hostile on him. Superman is not one of them (which can surprise people, considering how opposite they are portrayed usually), but Hal Jordan and especially Guy Gardner are. Harvey Bullock is sometimes portrayed this way towards him too, but he eventually gets better.
    • With Hal Jordan, why they don't get along varies. Initially, it was because Bruce didn't trust Hal after his whole Parallax ordeal, but that was in modern times. Flashbacks show that they never really got along, with no clear reason aside from Hal hating Bruce being a jerkass and Bruce hating that Hal was loud and bright all the time. The New 52 changed this so that Hal was the jerkass from day one, while Bruce of all people was the chilled one.
    • Nightwing and Red Hood despite being adoptive brothers for the most part did not get along with a lot of their interactions being extremely violent or at the very least passive aggressive. Dick doesn’t like how ruthless Jason is and Jason has always had an inferiority complex regarding Dick and can’t help but vent that frustration out on his stick wielding brother. In DC Rebirth Jason does reconcile with Dick however conceding he was dickishly ungrateful to a family member who would always care for him.
  • Captain Marvel: Carol Danvers carried a grudge against Rogue for quite a while for Mind Raping her to steal her powers back when Rogue was still a villain working for Mystique. They eventually reconciled (but whether any given writer remembers that is up for grabs). More modern comics has Rogue be more a Friendly Rival who ironically is the only one who can talk Carol back from a Despair Event Horizon due to their equally messed up pasts.
  • The DCU: Depending on the history, The Phantom Stranger and The Spectre are heroes who don't get along at all or even archenemies.
  • Deadpool: Wade Wilson, due to his frequent work as a mercenary and assassin. Also, because everybody finds him freaking annoying. He's often paired with the aforementioned Punisher, the ultimate Straight Man who'll put a bullet in Deadpool's head despite knowing he'll regenerate, just to have two minutes' peace and quiet.
  • Green Arrow:
    • Green Arrow and Hawkman. Hawkman has a pretty conservative view of the world, due to either of his cultures (Carter Hall is a reincarnated Egyptian prince and Katar Hol is from an oppressive race full of Proud Warrior Race Guys), while Green Arrow is very liberal, to put it lightly. The two have never gotten along, and Power Girl even invokes Feuding Families when discussing the Hawks and Arrows.
    • Green Arrow and The Flash, mostly due to Ollie being a liberal and Barry being conservative and a police officer like pre-Crisis Katar Hol. In Barry's case, he's also a bit of a hypocrite as he condemned Ollie's actions in Justice League: Cry for Justice (killing Prometheus) — despite the fact that Barry himself killed Eobard Thawne sometime before Barry's own death in Crisis on Infinite Earths.
      • Then again, Ollie is himself shown to be a hypocrite as the first arc of The Flash (Infinite Frontier) shows Ollie is still bitter about Roy's death in Heroes in Crisis, ignoring one: that Wally wasn't in control of himself with the cover-up as an issue of The Flash (Rebirth) retconned that Professor Zoom screwed with Wally's mind, two: that he himself deliberately killed criminals, and three: Roy was only in Sanctuary himself because of Ollie's own history of Hands-Off Parenting and being a failure of a mentor (and he's unaware Roy came back). He also has a Heel Realization when Barry points out that Wally should've gotten help from others instead of being ignored, something Ollie himself is guilty of with the aforementioned history of turning his back on Roy. Oh, and the arc retcons that Wally was innocent in the deaths themselves; Savitar and his attempts to control the Speed Force were the true cause.
  • Green Lantern:
    • Guy Gardner REALLY has an ability to rub people wrong. Countless people have manifested the desire to beat the shit out of him. Batman actually did...WITH ONE PUNCH!!!
    • In Green Lanterns, Jessica Cruz and Simon Baz fail to get along from the moment they meet, and thus begin to blunder rather spectacularly until they learn how to get along.
  • The Incredible Hulk:
    • The Hulk REALLY has this in spades. He has loads of characters he'll never get along with. Amongst them, Thor is the one with whom he has the biggest rivalry. The Juggernaut, Wolverine and The Thing are also common rivals.
    • As far as the Hulk goes, he and Thor will occasionally get along perfectly well until one sets the other off, and a fight breaks out. Hulk and Ben also have mutual respect for each other. That being said, the Hulk does have a few heroes he absolutely hates, especially after the Planet Hulk / World War Hulk incidents. Reed Richards, Tony Stark, and Professor X being among them. Wolverine and Juggernaut, on the other hand, are purely antagonistic with the Hulk.
  • Mage: The Hero Discovered: It happens an awful lot in The Hero Defined, as many of the culture-heroes, accurate to their mythological personalities, are driven by ego or other personal drives rather than any idealistic concept of "good".
  • Power & Glory: A-Pex (Allen Powell) and Michael Gorsky, his partner and handler. Even though Powell has a crippling fear of disease that leaves him relying on Gorsky to take care of things, the two completely despite each other and never miss an opportunity to cut each other down.
  • The Punisher: Frank Castle is a surprisingly dark anti-hero. He kills frequently in ways which are either Bloody Hilarious, or just bloody. Additionally, he readily goes all-out with firearms. As the name implies, mercy is not one of his virtues at all. This doesn't help his popularity with more idealistic heroes. Since he was first introduced as an adversary of Spider-Man, it's not surprising that Webhead isn't a fan.
    • The same thing goes for Daredevil, who has worked with the Punisher once or twice when he's had no other options. Anytime they meet is guaranteed to end in a fight, as the criminal Daredevil is trying to prosecute in that story is also the one Frank is trying to kill.
      • Batman and the Punisher occasionally cross over. It ends in Batman beating the crap out of Frank (in one case, for almost shooting the Joker, who realized Frank was very much about to kill him, unlike Batsy).
      • Nick Fury is just about the only one who can vaguely get along with Castle. And even then, not for long. In one story, a Super-Soldier gone wrong (as in, contagious uncontrollable Nigh-Invulnerable vampire wrong) is finally defeated by Castle, but Fury allows its creator (and father) to live because his genius is needed by SHIELD (although he does end up unable to leave the island lab SHIELD leaves him in). The MAX version (who carried out a CIA assassination with Frank) had this to say:
      "You can't ever like Frank Castle, but you can sure as hell appreciate the man."
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics): Sonic the Hedgehog and Knuckles the Echidna started off as this. Every time the two cross paths, they would act hostile towards one another and this ends up in the two fighting each other, usually due to ego. As time goes by, their antagonism towards each other would develop into a Friendly Rivalry.
  • Sub-Mariner: Namor has this with the Marvel Universe, primarily due to him being a royal Jerkass. Literally the only two non-Atlanteans who don’t hate Namor’s guts are Sue Storm (who is somewhat attracted to him) and Jim Hammond Golden Age Human Torch (his long time Worthy Opponent).
  • Superman:
    • The way Frank Miller, and then John Byrne, conceived the Batman/Superman relationship played this trope straight, with Frank Miller noting that their ideologies are completely different and concluding that "these two people do not like each other". Of course, Miller's story is set in an alternate universe, and Byrne's only showed their first meeting. Subsequent writers showed that Batman very quickly developed a friendship with Superman.
      Superman: He barely tolerated me.
      Wonder Woman: He loved you.
    • The Death of Superman: A little ways into the Reign of the Supermen arc, Guy Gardner instigates a fight between himself and The Last Son of Krypton. It ends when the Last Son purposely tosses him into a building being used for an illicit arms and drug trade, upon which the two of them briefly team up and part ways relatively amicably. In fact, Guy likes him a lot better than Superman given both had Nineties Antihero tendencies at the time.
    • In Post-Crisis continuity, Supergirl gets along with most of young heroes, especially members of the Bat-Family, but she barely tolerates the youngest Robin Damian Wayne. Whenever they team-up in her own book or the Superman/Batman and World's Finest titles, she has to constantly remind herself that throwing him into the Sun would be wrong due to Damian treating her like a glorified utility tool or putting down one of her actual friends.
    • Power Girl and Wildcat got into a lot of arguments in the early days. Kara used to be cocky, dismissive and short-tempered, but it didn't help that Ted could be a bit sexist sometimes, and she was not having it.
    • To put it bluntly, Jonathan Kent and Damian Wayne do not get along well at all at first, but this evolves into Vitriolic Best Buds down the line.
      Damian: [after making fun of each other over getting a Christmas tree] I'll have your miserable, mutated head, ALIEN!
      Jon: Come and get it, TWERP-ZILLA!
  • Watchmen:
    • Rorschach is considered a lunatic and subversive by the authorities, and most heroes don't want anything to do with him. Laurie Juspeczyk, specifically, can't stand him at all. Dan Dreiberg is pretty much his only friend. Rorschach does at least try to be nicer and more respectful to Laurie after she and Dan break him out of prison though, which considering his low opinion of women in general is a miracle in of itself.
    • The Comedian played this role in the flashbacks, due to starting out as an excessively violent Anti-Hero and Grade-A Jerkass in the early days and only getting worse with age. He notably picks a fight with Ozymandias when they first meet.
  • X-Men:
    • One of the most famous examples would be Cyclops and Wolverine. Initially, it stemmed from Cyclops being a typical hero and leader while Wolverine was more of an anti-hero with a disdain for authority. Later, Logan's love for Scott's wife Jean Grey would also play a role. After she died, aside from a few scuffles, the two actually got along better, if anything, and they repeatedly stated their respect for the other. Once mutants were close to extinction and Cyclops became the de facto leader of the mutant race, they mostly got along. This changed with Schism, when Wolverine suddenly developed a thing against children learning to fight, despite this being a thing since the X-Men's inception and Wolverine himself making a tradition of taking a teenage sidekick once a generation. The two got into a big fight that split the X-Men down the middle and a Phoenix-influenced Cyclops killed Professor Xavier and became a wanted fugitive shortly after. The two briefly had a heart-to-heart before Logan died. By the time Logan came back, Cyclops had died.
    • Wolverine can't go a week without running into a hero who wants to beat him up. If said hero is a government agent or came from the Weapon X program, even more so. Among the X-Men he constantly butts heads with both Cyclops and Gambit with neither of them liking Logan too well initially though it eventually evolved into Friendly Rival - Vitriolic Best Buds territory.

    Fan Works 
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami features this with a very interesting twist. Sailor Mercury is a unquestionably heroic character displaced by interdimensional weirdness, and, through no fault of her own, has been made a Keeper. Keepers usually have a dash of The Unfettered thrown in. The worst count as Omnicidal Maniacs. Mercury is nothing like this. The Light's forces, however, are extremely reluctant to consider her as anything but a madwoman to be eliminated. The Avatar outright states that he has difficulty tolerating her on an emotional level, due to the crimes perpetrated against his people by Keepers, and he's one of the more open-minded of the Lightworld rulers.
  • A KanColle fic Eternity has Hiroshi Goto and Hina Togo, Admirals of Yokosuka and Kure districts respectively, share a strong mutual dislike, due to being near polar opposites. Goto is the half-american son of a shopkeeper who enlisted out of high school, became a mustang officer and worked long and hard to achieve his command, and was only promoted due to a lack of qualified flag officer candidates. Hina meanwhile is a descendant of Heihachiro Togo, the Nelson of the East, who was groomed for a naval career, has the midas touch, has had a fast and steady rise through the ranks, and was already a shoo-in for Admiral. Goto is jealous of Togo being a pampered ace who never had to lift a finger (which is not true), and Hina resents Hiroshi for successfully fighting the enemy while she looked like she had been kept out of combat for her own safety and/or abandoned her crew (which is also not true).
  • In A Different Kind of Truth, Gyro and Naoto don't like each other that much. Most of their interactions together have them either subtly insulting each other or just plain making their dislike apparent.
  • Nova and William from We Stand Unified hold a serious grudge towards each other over some past event, with enough hate to spark brawls and psychic "arm wrestling".
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Superman and Dev-Em don't like each other at all. Dev-Em is a jerkass who enjoys taunting Kal-El, and Superman in turn has no issue with biting back. The only reason they try to be moderately civil to each other is because Dev-Em is dating Superman's cousin.
  • Goombella and Ms. Mowz in Better Off Alone, though Goombella headbutts a bit more. Goombella also seems to be this with Waffles.
  • A Prize for Three Empires: Carol Danvers really hates Rogue, who stole her memories and powers and almost murdered her in the past. Rogue has reformed since, and she's a full-fledged hero nowadays, but Carol will never forget what Rogue did to her.
  • In Light, Darkness and Paradox, Alice and Ilias refuse to be in the same group together, except when investigating the Tartarus. Even then, they still get into arguments.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Happens in The Avengers, and many have argued that this is part of the movie's appeal: successfully translating the complex dynamics of the heroes' relationships in the comic books to the big screen. It is a very large plot point actually.
  • The film In the Heat of the Night gives us a rare look at a situation with realistic racism for our heroes to contend with. Tibbs is a black detective from Philadelphia. Gillespie is the chief of police of a small town in Mississippi. They have to work together to solve a murder, because Tibbs is an expert in forensics, and Gillespie has reluctantly asked for his help. The film's story revolves around Gillespie slowly overcoming his racism. Also, there's a murder.
  • In L.A. Confidential the core element of the plot is that hotshot cops Bud White and Ed Exley utterly loathe each other due to their polar opposite approaches to upholding the law (Bud uses brute force while Ed uses his straight-laced wits) and their contempt for each other is so great, the other officers have to prevent Bud from attacking Ed at one point and their superior Dudely has to tell Ed to stay away from Bud. The villains even use their mutual animosity to try and get them both out of the way. Needless to say how gloriously awesome it is when Bud and Ed cotton on to it and miraculously decide to work together instead resulting in some serious Corrupt Cop ass whooping.

  • Everland: This sums up Pete and Doc's relationship. Pete holds a grudge against Doc for failing to prevent his sister's passing from the Horologia virus and the two prefer to stay away from each other during their time in the Lost City. Their scorn for each other only escalates after Doc's supposed "cure" for the virus mutates, leaving nearly all of their allies, particularly Bella, in an even worse state than before, which Pete holds Doc responsible for. Their contempt escalates into physical spats between the two at times.
  • This sums up Tal and Millas relationship from book 1-4 of The Seventh Tower pretty nicely, and in five, there is a certain frostiness to their relationship. Most of it comes from Millas pig-headed aggression towards Tal, who is someone she disliked from the moment she saw him and never quite let go of it, but Tals condescending attitudes towards anyone who isn't a Chosen certainly don't help matters. Milla would have killed Tal if she'd had the chance. Tal simply wants rid of her. Nonetheless, they put their differences aside to fight the greater evil and accomplish their objectives, and while you could put that down to simple necessity, both Tal and Milla put their own lives in danger to save the other when necessary.
  • Tash and Maga, in Galaxy of Fear. Maga sees Tash's Force powers as taking attention from him, his tribe's garoo or shaman/leader. Tash thinks he hates her, and later has to confront her own racism towards someone whose people still wear skins and live as nomads.
  • Transformers: The Covenant of Primus: Prima and Megatronus fought constantly at the beginning, being alike in temperament to Primus and Unicron, respectively.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Frank Pembleton in Homicide: Life on the Street is much like the Batman example. While Pembleton is an extremely talented detective, dedicated to his job and willing to see all murder victims as equals, he generally rubs those in his squad the wrong way, considering them amateurish by comparison. Having said that, his squad members get along with him considerably better than other members of the police force.
  • Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock and most of Scotland Yard. Sherlock and pretty much everyone, in fact.
  • Spike and Angel. Even when they were soulless they didn't really get along. In the fifth season of Angel, with souls, they still don't get along. At all.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • This is pretty much the premise of any face vs. face feud in pro wrestling.
  • John Cena and The Rock are both supposed to be "heroes" (i.e., babyfaces— Cena gets booed more than almost any other face ever, though), and they can't stand each other at all. Same applied to Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker towards the end of the former's career, although that was more due to Michaels' (kayfabe) obsession with defeating Undertaker at WrestleMania.

    Video Games 
  • In Dragon Age II, this is very prevalent when it comes to both Fenris and Anders, both of whom have very strong opinions when it comes to the Mage/Templar conflict of the game. Fenris has a deep distrust of mages due to growing up as a slave in the Tevinter Imperium, an Always Chaotic Evil Magocracy, while Anders is an advocate of mage rights possessed by a spirit incapable of seeing shades of gray (to the extent that the spirit's influence eventually drives Anders to extremism). Unsurprisingly, the two despise each other - though Anders eventually becomes such an extremist that he sees nearly anyone as a potential enemy, whereas Fenris might gain a great deal of respect for a Mage Hawke for their ability to control their powers and temptations, and compares Anders negatively to Hawke at a later point in the game. Still, if there's one thing that the two agree on, it's that both of them dislike Merrill for being a Blood Mage (a very taboo and controversial form of magic in the setting).
    • If you have his DLC, Anders will also butt heads with Sebastian, a devoutly religious man. Since the Templars who are oppressing mages are bankrolled by the same Chantry that Sebastian supports, while Anders is an open heretic who (if you gave it to him) wears a medallion from the schismatic Tevinter Chantry under his clothes, there's just a bit of hostility there. When Anders goes off the deep end and commits a terrorist act in the name of mage freedom, if Hawke doesn't execute Anders immediately, Sebastian will storm off, eventually leading an army against Kirkwall in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
    • Aveline (strongly Lawful-aligned city guard) and Isabela (strongly Chaotic-aligned pirate) will butt heads in the early- to mid-game, although they settle down to Vitriolic Best Buds later on.
    • It's not just in Dragon Age II. In the first game, Alistair and Morrigan hate each other from the first words they exchange and continue to exchange bile-filled insults throughout the entire game, right up until the end.
    • Slightly lessened, but still somewhat prevalent in Dragon Age: Inquisition, usually from the part of Vivienne (a Pro-Circle Mage with classist views) and Solas (a spiritually-inclined Elven apostate contemptuous of all mortal races). The two tend to bitterly snipe at one another due to their completely opposing views.
  • Detective Cole Phelps and DA Investigator Jack Kelso in L.A. Noire.
  • Kain and Raziel are headbutting anti-heroes.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VII:
      • At the beginning, Cloud and Barret can't stand each other. Barret apologises to him by the time they storm the Shinra building, saying he misjudged Cloud; Cloud doesn't return the affection until Barret's sidequest, when he grudgingly admits that "if you die on me, I'm gonna have nightmares". By the Compilation, they're best friends and found-family.
      • In Disc 2, Barret and Cait Sith are constantly at each other's throats. Barret hates Cait Sith for being a Shinra member and having kidnapped his daughter; Cait Sith resents Barret for being a terrorist whose attacks harm the innocent people he attempts to protect.
    • Noel Kreiss to Snow Villers in Final Fantasy XIII-2. They get over their differences pretty quickly, though.
    • Final Fantasy XIII: Before Noel, there was Lightning, who has the same issue. And that issue is also named Snow Villers.
  • Most of the party in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II harbors some kind of deep-seated dislike for at least one other crewmate. Bao-Dur can't stand Mandalore, Atton can't stand the Disciple, Brianna won't trust Visas, T3-M4 and HK-47 have a conversation that ends with a tazing, and nobody likes Kreia except the Exile herself.
  • Lightning and Vaan are occasionally this in Dissidia 012.
  • Subverted in Mortal Kombat with Johnny Cage; he butts head with the other fighters but is mainly on the receiving end rather than mutually dishing it out due to his often cocky, narcissistic, Jerkass behavior. It only got worse in the most recent installment.
    • Evolved in Mortal Kombat X. Johnny can still be a complete ass at times, but he does back up his cocky attitude with legitimate badassitude, being instrumental in defeating Shinnok, making an effective diplomat with the other factions of the MK-verse, and is recognized several times as being Earthrealm's champion. And he's a good dad too.
  • Mass Effect: Jack and Miranda in 2; Jack endured hellish torture in a rogue Cerberus facility, Miranda is the biggest fan Cerberus has ever had, to the point where after you finish both their loyalty missions, they will attempt to kill each other and you have to separate them, costing you one's loyalty unless you have a high Paragon or Renegade score. A similar situation arises with Tali and Legion, since Tali really dislikes the geth and Legion is a geth. Finally, Javik gets into near-constant arguments with both EDI and a Paragon Shepard, EDI because he hates synthetic life and Shepard because the Protheans' default means of solving problems involved an airlock, while Paragon Shep tends to be more of a diplomat who tries to bring about a peaceful resolution. Thankfully, by the late-stage Citadel DLC, most of these settle down into at worst Vitriolic Best Buds, Javik comes to have a great deal of respect for Shepard and his/her idealism, and Legion and Tali's alliance ends up being the last, best hope for a geth/quarian peace.
  • The King of Fighters: Kyo Kusanagi and Iori Yagami are always ready to go at each other. Killing Kyo seemingly the only goal of Iori's life. This is troublesome because these two are part of a trio who hold the to seal away Orochi. They manage to come together for the sake of humanity in some games. Said games usually end in a clash between the two with an unresolved conflict.
  • A major theme in two video games released at the same time in 2002: Kingdom Hearts and Ratchet & Clank (2002). The duos of Sora and Donald in the former, and the titular duo of the latter, spend a good portion of their games at each other's throats because one of them (Donald and Ratchet) happens to be a Jerkass who puts his single-minded goals ahead of the safety of countless worlds threatened by The Heartless or Chairman Drek, and is full-on abusive to the other, with Donald willing to leave Sora to die in Deep Jungle, and Ratchet threatening to scrap Clank. Both feuds do eventually come to an end when they see the consequences of their actions, and they apologize to their victim.
  • In Resident Evil Chris and Leon despite being both the badass heroes in The 'Verse, do not get along very well with their interactions in Resident Evil 6 and Resident Evil: Vendetta being quite hostile. Even though they cut through biohazards like hot butter when working together, they simply get irritated by each other’s personality despite having a fair amount of mutual respect deep down. Rebecca summarises it’s simply because they are too much alike and feel the need to butt machismo when meeting. In Resident Evil: Death Island they lean more towards Vitriolic Best Buds.
  • In Persona 5, like many others of the Magician and Chariot arcanas, Morgana and Ryuji almost immediately butt heads and snipe at each other, almost to the point where they seem to genuinely dislike each other. Morgana is annoyed by Ryuji's hot-headed, Attention Whore personality and frequently insults him without any reason while Ryuji unintentionally presses Morgana's insecurities and low self-esteem by praising other members on the team (especially once Futaba joins) in comparison to Morgana. It eventually boils over to the point where Morgana and Ryuji fight and Morgana temporarily leaves the Phantom Thieves over their differences. They slowly grow out of this relationship over the course of the game.

  • In Jupiter-Men, Arrio and Nathan do not get along because of their completely opposing personalities. Arrio's laidback demeanor infuriates Nathan, a Workaholic insistent on performing his duty as best he can. Similarly, Arrio can't stand Nathan's nagging and willingness to put the twins in harm's way even if there's no other choice. It doesn't help that Nathan introduces himself to Arrio by threatening to deport Arrio to another dimension. But they're stuck on the same team defending the world from monsters and supervillains from other worlds.
  • One of the main things driving the plot of Pacificators forward; Muneca Powell and Cinna Grossul do not get along at all.
  • Bhatair Hollingsworth and Joshua Shephard of The Silver Eye, while both being likable characters, hate each others' guts due to the bad blood between their families, their conflicting personalities, and all the past insults between them.

    Web Original 
  • Twitch Plays Pokémon features this trope being carried out by the legions of players controlling the player character at the same time. It's most commonly seen with the fight between the Anarchists (followers of the Helix, who hold that the original play style is the best and that it's more fun that way) and the Democrats (followers of the Dome, who hold that democracy mode is necessary to progress and thus better). Nonetheless, both sides want the heroes to be successful, and will swap to the other style of play if necessary (best seen with the Safari Zone in Red, for which democracy was practically required, and the Arceus linking in Conquest, which really was impossible in democracy).

    Western Animation 
  • Avengers Assemble:
    • As in the movies, the Avengers spend a lot of their time bickering with one another. Usually Iron Man, but sometimes it's Hulk. In season 2, the headbutting gets so bad the team splits in half for a few episodes.
    • In season 4, Captain Marvel and Black Widow don't work well together. Carol thinks Nat is too closed off and reserved, while Nat thinks Carol talks too much.
  • Throughout the many The Land Before Time films, Littlefoot and Cera avert this in the usual sense (except in the first movie, where it's played straight), but the trope holds true in the literal sense: at several points they've actually butted heads.
  • Batman: The Animated Series gives us the titular Batman and Detective Harvey Bullock. Bullock would love nothing more than to see Batman behind bars (or sometimes even just dead), and Batman just flat-out can't stand Bullock. Their relationship comes this close to Vitriolic Best Buds: they're at least willing to work together for the greater good, and Bullock is genuinely upset when he thinks Batman has died in The Man Who Killed Batman.
  • Dofus: Kerub's Bazaar has rival adventurers Kerub and Indie. Part of their hatred for each other comes from both of them being infatuated with Lou.
  • Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.: Happens in the series finale between the Smashers and the Avengers, with the later generally treating the Hulk like Dumb Muscle, much to the other Hulks' outrage.
  • Tangled: The Series: This is the existing dynamic between Cassandra and Eugene. Cass, being the daughter of the captain of the guard, justifiably has some suspicions regarding a former rogue, especially one so close to the princess and a criminal record longer than Rapunzel's absence. Eugene of course has left that life behind and is trying to prove he doesn't care about riches anymore as long as he has Rapunzel.


Video Example(s):


Was it you or your egg?

Monk and Pochiro will turn literally anything into an argument, so when the unsolvable Trope Namer comes up, naturally they'd snap at each other about it. Their teammates suggest asking Tart, the Zodiac Chicken Spirit, might settle the debate. Of course she'd know about her own species's origins, right...?

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / ChickenAndEggParadox

Media sources: