A certain kind of Sadistic Choice handed down by fate. Bob just got access to the best event EVER! His friends Alice and George have heard of the event and are dying to go so they ask Bob if they can come along. The problem is Bob only has two tickets...
Enter the dilemma, where Bob has to choose which of his friends to take. If he takes one, the other one might feel betrayed and their friendship might be strained. Even if Bob Takes A Third Option and gives both invitations away, poor Bob would himself be left out for his trouble. That, and if Greta also gets wind of the tickets due to them being a poorly kept secret, then there really is no way out for poor Bob. To add insult to injury, the longer he takes to decide, the more alienated his friends become.
Milder than your average Sadistic Choice, but a great plot to cause friction amongst friends as they duke it out for that precious ticket. It is also certainly not limited to tickets, as any kind of desirable goods and services when there aren't enough to go around can suffice. Taking A Third Option or a Deus ex Machina might be needed to escape the problem without anyone getting hurt. Often a way to test the Power of Friendship.
- In Growing Pains, the dad subtly tried to get his son to resolve the dilemma by giving his parents both tickets. (it failed and the son took his sister who was having self image problems in the same episode.)
- In Malcolm in the Middle, Francis got his hands on two tickets to a wrestling match, and made Reese and Malcolm compete for it. He ended up taking a girl he met, so his brothers took rather ingenious revenge.
- Becker: Reggie got two tickets to a hockey game, and couldn't decide whether to take Becker or Jake. Eventually, she left one between them and told them to decide. They sent Bob.
- One episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air did this with a Game Show Appearance - Will didn't want to choose between two of his friends (one of whom was Jazz) to accompany him on a teams-of-two quiz show, so he instead chose Carlton, as he was smarter than them. Somehow, both friends managed to be their opponents in the end.
- In The Big Bang Theory, Leonard gets invited to a conference at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland and is allowed to take a guest. He's going to take Penny, which infuriates Sheldon as they had a clause in their roommate agreement that says Leonard should have taken him instead. The night before, Penny and Sheldon both get sick, and Leonard ends up going with Raj.
- An episode of Everybody Loves Raymond takes the "ripping up the ticket" to its logical extreme — faced with choosing between his wife and his best friend to take to the Super Bowl, Raymond rips up both tickets. Meaning no one gets to go.
- The first half of the Victorious episode "Brain Squeezers" revolves around Tori having to choose three of her friends to be her team on the titular game show, with everyone giving them reasons why she should pick them or pretending not to care. Eventually Tori chooses Beck, Andre, and Robbie, but when she arrives to compete, Jade impersonates her so she can be on the team instead, though somehow, Tori and the rest of her friends still get to compete as opponents.
- In Henry Danger, Henry wins two tickets to an exclusive steak house, and pretty much everyone in Swellview tries to convince Henry to take them. But Henry already decides to take Ray since he has always wanted to go, until his girlfriend pressures him to take her instead.
- In one episode of The Golden Girls, Blanche wins three tickets to a party with several celebrities, among them Burt Reynolds. Of course, there are four girls, so Sophia gets left out... until the other three are mistakenly arrested when some police officers break up a prostitution ring while they're out to dinner before the party. Sophia will only pay the bail money if one of the others gives up her ticket, which they are unwilling to do - so Sophia leaves them all in jail and goes to the party alone. The others think she's lying until Burt Reynolds arrives the next day to take his new friend to lunch.
- On Full House, DJ wins tickets for herself and one guest to enjoy a VIP experience with The Beach Boys. Naturally, everyone else in the family starts bending over backwards to try to curry favor. She plans to take Uncle Jesse, since he's a musician and she reasons it will mean the most to him, but everyone else is so disappointed that she's ready to just give up the passes entirely. Then the limo arrives - with the Beach Boys inside. When they hear the dilemma, the Boys huddle up for a moment before deciding that they'll just have to bring the entire Tanner family to the concert.
- The intro to The Lonely Island's "I'm On a Boat!" (most of song NSFW)
Andy: Whoa, free boat ride for three! Now who should I take? Kiv. And....T-Pain.
- Team Fortress 2 invokes this in one of the Demoman's unused taunts:
Just bought two tickets to the gun show, an' I'm not givin' them to ya! I'm goin' with YOUR tickets!
- In The Weekenders, Tino wins two passes to a concert and can only take one of his three friends. In the end, he picks Carver for a deliberately arbitrary reason, and it's implied that the four friends will get over it... except, as it turns out, each of Tino's passes is redeemable for two tickets, and they all get to go anyway.
- Rocko's Modern Life: Rocko wins two tickets to a wrestling event, and Heffer and Filburt compete over who will get the second ticket. They take things too far by handcuffing themselves to Rocko as he is on his way to the arena. Brought to the edge of madness, Rocko tears the tickets into little pieces, ranting "A ticket for you, and a ticket for you, and tickets for everybody! Now we can all go!!"
- In Cooper's first appearance on Ben 10, he claims to have two passes to the premiere of a movie Ben and and Gwen want to go to. They each spend their time trying to impress him so he will give them the extra pass. It turns out he doesn't actually have any passes; he just made it up so they would talk to him.
- In one episode of The Mighty B!, "B Plus 1", Bessie wins two tickets to a sold-out boy-band concert. Fellow Bee Scouts, Portia and Gwen, fight for her extra ticket by buttering Bessie up with favors, breaking off their friendship in the process. Bessie's dog Happy is a closet fan of the boy-band attending and went as far as stealing the tickets. Mistaking Happy for wanting attention, she gives up both tickets to Portia and Gwen, who became friends again instantly afterward. In the end, they both enjoy the concert... until it was canceled when the boy-band suffers a case of puberty.
- The Aqua Teen Hunger Force short "Super Bowl" saw Meatwad win two tickets to, you guessed it, the Super Bowl. Master Shake and Carl both try to win over Meatwad's favor and get the second ticket. In the end, Meatwad ends up taking Boxy Brown, but Meatwad doesn't even know what the Super Bowl is and ends up going to a petting zoo.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Twilight Sparkle is invited to the "Grand Galloping Gala", an extremely popular exclusive event, and is given two tickets. The problem is she has five other friends who want to go, all with their own reasons. (The second ticket was all but stated to be for Spike, and he's not interested.) Eventually she breaks down from the stress and the others realize how hard they've pushed her. Fortunately, the The Princess makes everything better and gives her four more tickets.
- In an episode of Hey Arnold!, Arnold has to choose between two out of three of his boarding house neighbors to be his honorary family members on a game show. Oscar, Mr. Hyunh and Ernie start showing off as much as possible to prove themselves worthy to go. Arnold ends up stiffing Oscar, who isn't happy about it.
- In Make Way for Noddy, Noddy wins two tickets to the seaside, and both Mr. Jumbo and Martha Monkey try to get him to take one of them with him. In the end, he takes Skippy Skittle, who didn't get to go with his family due to having a bad leg.