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Opposites Attract Revenge

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A type of Love Triangle — heavy on the triangle, light on the love. When a girlfriend leaves her boyfriend, and ends up in a relationship with the boyfriend's ideological rival, resulting in a vendetta between the two men. It works with the genders switched around, too.

Compare Murder the Hypotenuse. See also Cock Fight and Emasculated Cuckold.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • This is one part of the relationship between Spike and Vicious from Cowboy Bebop. On the surface, they had one of these over Julia, resulting in the disintegration of their friendship and a lifetime of hatred toward each other. But this trope also applies to Vicious and Julia due to his feelings for Spike, which is why he hates them both so passionately but (initially) spares their lives after they betrayed him.
  • Turkey and Greece from Hetalia: Axis Powers were already on bad terms long beforehand, but them both liking Japan does not help one bit. According to France in the Christmas 2007 strips, it's bad enough that Japan spends most of his time with the two trying (vainly) to get them to be at least civil to each other.
  • Brutal example in the School Days anime. Makoto starts out interested in Kotonoha, gets help from Sekai, and later falls for her, then goes back to Kotonoha at the end after he suspects everyone ditched him due to his lecherous ways by sleeping around with all the girls in the series, and Sekai's declaration that she's pregnant. He gets knifed to death by a jealous Sekai, who in turn gets killed by Kotonoha at the end. When you're in a Psychotic Love Triangle, it's not going to end well.

  • In The Matrix Reloaded, Niobe used to be with the mystical Morpheus, now she is with the secular Locke. How much of the tension between the two men is a result of this and how much is due to their very different personalities and leadership styles is unclear since it all happened in the backstory. That Niobe keeps supporting Morpheus over Locke doesn't help matters much.
  • Played brilliantly in Spider-Man, where Mary Jane is constantly the center of the tug-of-war between Spider-Man and the Goblin Jr. AND their alter egos Peter Parker and Harry Osborn.

  • Alexandre Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo. This is particularly pronounced in the latest Film of the Book, in which Mercedes is one of the key reasons behind Fernand's plot to put Edmond in prison.
  • Harry Potter: Harry's mother used to be close friends with Severus Snape when they were children; he had an obvious crush on her (although no one but Dumbledore seemed to know), and a deep and abiding hatred for his then-rival, James Potter. Since Harry reminds Snape of his father, you've got some serious hostility there.
    • Also completely played straight since Lily initially didn't like James for being arrogant. However, her friendship with Severus was gradually breaking apart before it finally broke when Severus whipped out the Fantastic Racism card on her after she tried to interfere with him and James. She ended up dating the now less hot-headed James, whom she eventually married and had Harry with.

    Live-Action TV 
  • There is, of course, a Buffy the Vampire Slayer example. Tension over Drusilla's affections is the main source of the feud between Angel and Spike for much of the second season, even leading to Spike helping Buffy at the end of the season in the hope he'll get Drusilla back.
    • Ironically, Spike himself ends up romantically entangled with Angel's love interest, Buffy, in later seasons. These guys have VERY similar tastes in women.
  • Greek. Cappie's carelessness and jealousy lead him to beat up his best friend and roommate Evan for taking Casey to a formal when he failed to show. This leads to the pairing of Casey and Evan at the beginning of the series and the bitter rivalry between Evan and Cappie's respective fraternities ever since.
  • Smallville: Lex and Lana are an item for a time, resulting in upped tensions between Clark and Lex.

    Video Games 

  • Missi and Emily in Misfile to the point where Ash tells both of them to bug off until they can be decent to each other.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • LaBarbara Conrad from Futurama has been married to both Hermes Conrad and his limboing opponent, Barbados Slim. In this case, they are opposites mostly in terms of Conrad being a short, chubby bureaucrat and Slim being an "ebony adonis" professional athlete (though Hermes is usually the more talented one in their common sport of limbo).
  • El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera: Word of God states that in their teenage years, Manny would date Zoe Aves, and Frida would date Django of the Dead. Both relationships would fail, leaving Manny and Frida together and Zoe and Django getting into a relationship to spite them both. The latter two would eventually develop genuine feelings for each other.
  • Happens in Total Drama World Tour with Duncan leaving Courtney for Gwen, made worse by the fact that Courtney and Gwen had become friends by that point in the series. Courtney gets pretty heavily into the vendetta part, while Gwen feels guilty but likes the thrill of being with Duncan more. Courtney and Gwen eventually bury the hatchet; Duncan meanwhile destroys his relationships with both girls thanks to his fragile ego.