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Rivals Team Up

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Kaiba's always willing to help Yugi save the world... but only if he gets another rematch.

Revered by many — I, too, revere him
Feared by many — I, too, fear him
Now, that person stands at my side
Now my friends are with me
Some of them were once heroes
Some, my mortal enemies
And as we face each other in battle, locked in combat
We shine ever brighter
Theme song,note  Super Smash Bros. Brawl

The Rival joins forces with The Hero against a mutual foe. Can be temporary (due to The Only One Allowed to Defeat You sentiment) or permanent (a Heel–Face Turn if The Rival previously served the evil side, especially when Defeat Means Friendship or Fire Forged Friendship ensues).

Some genre-specific variations:

The opposite of Rival Turned Evil. Bear in mind, however, that The Rival may not always be evil. He or she may simply be an antagonist trying to one-up The Hero in doing good things, or the rivalry may be based on other unrelated reasons, such as personal ones. A Sub-Trope of Enemy Mine, which is any case in which a protagonist and antagonist team up against a common enemy (not just rivals). Can overlap with a Technician/Performer Team-Up.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach:
    • Ishida Uryu started out as a genuine Rival, but in spite of his constant insistence that he's still Kurosaki Ichigo's enemy, has put himself on the line for his companions multiple times. He even tells a Shinigami at one point that the Five-Man Band are True Companions — "nakama", as if that explains why he's come to Soul Society and sacrificed his powers for people who supposedly mean nothing to him. Even though Hichigo stabbed him, Ishida merely did his Deadpan Snarker schtick when Ichigo snapped out of it. But Uryu doesn't care. Really.
    • Also Ichigo teamed up with Renji against Aizen but they fail.
    • Byakuya and Kenpachi do this against Yammy only because he was in the way of their fight.
  • Happens on a constant basis of Captain Tsubasa. As early as the first arc, protagonist Tsubasa Ozora has his first match as part of Nankatsu against Genzo Wakabayashi and his Shutetsu, then the two become teammates for the Nankatsu SC team formed with the city's best players to tackle the nationals. Tsubasa would later team up with many of his former rivals in the school tournaments as part of the Japanese National team, including Hyuga, Matsuyama, Misugi, and many others.
  • Similar to Kira and Athrun are Lelouch and Suzaku in Code Geass who team up on a few occasions throughout both seasons, despite becoming bitter enemies. In fact, Lelouch says many times that there isn't a single thing that they two cannot accomplish if they work together. And they do, indeed, change the entire freaking world together. Also note that while both of them could be called "The Hero", neither of them can really be called "A Hero".
  • As noted, most examples of Dark Magical Girl do this sooner or later.
  • Dragon Ball: The franchise has a history of enemies joining forces, which naturally includes this.
    • Dragon Ball Z starts with Goku and Piccolo Jr putting aside previous grievances (You Killed My Father) to take down Raditz. Goku ends up letting Piccolo kill both of them in a Taking You with Me, although Piccolo knows Goku's friends can revive him. Upon learning of Vegeta and Nappa, Piccolo ends up training Goku's kid, Taking the Bullet for him, and growing into a solidly reliable hero.
    • Vegeta and Goku. When these two team up, there's very little that can stand in their way for long. And the result of their Fusion Dance... let's just say that he is able to (literally) punch out Cosmic Horrors, upon which nobody could land a hit before.
    Goku: (after they beat Kid Buu) I guess we make a pretty good team after all?
    • In Dragon Ball Super, Goku briefly teams up with Hit from Universe 6 during the Tournament of Power. Even though only one universe's team can win, Goku instinctively dislikes seeing two of the Universe 11 fighters ganging up on Hit.
  • Happened in Eyeshield 21, when players from the various teams banded together to form an all Japanese team to compete in an international tournament held in America.
  • In Fairy Tail, Gajeel and Natsu team up to defeat Laxus.
    • Lyon and Gray team up to defeat Racer.
    • Natsu and Gray team up to defeat Mard Geer
  • One episode of Freezing sees Satellizer and Rana tricked into fighting each other over Kazuya. When Rana learns that Kazuya genuinely cares for Satellizer, she relents, then decides to fight by Satellizer's side when two of the upperclassmen decide to finish her off.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, this happens very often. Ed and Al team up with Scar briefly to escape Envy and Gluttony during their first encounter with Father, and have another, much longer alliance when they need his help to translate research notes that they need to save the country—they even stage him kidnapping their childhood friend Winry, whose parents were killed by Scar, and who suggested the plan herself, no less, despite all three of them hating his guts in order to save her from a mutual enemy. By the time the Promised Day comes about, Scar pulls a full-blown Heel–Face Turn.
  • Scar also does this in Fullmetal Alchemist (2003). Despite killing dozens of State Alchemists, he saves Ed and Al's lives more than once. But he also plans to create a Philosopher's Stone by sacrificing hundreds of State troopers.
    • When Scar was making the stone, he and Ed were quasi-officially on the same side, with it being Ed's task to evacuate all the Lior citizens. (He'd also sent a letter to Central telling the troops not to invade, but Archer screwed that.)
    • There's also Episode 24, which is all about Scar and Al teaming up to save a young Ishvalan boy who had been captured. And of course, Laboratory 5.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers: the Allies definitely count as this. France, America, and England are not exactly enemies, but they do argue a lot; America and Russia are obviously on bad terms; China seems to look down on everyone except Russia ... the only thing they all have in common is that they're fighting the Axis.
  • Inuyasha:
    • Inuyasha and Koga, who end up fighting together against one of Naraku's incarnations on numerous occasions.
    • Inuyasha even teaming up with Sesshoumaru to fight Naraku.
  • This is a fairly common occurrence in Kamisama Kiss.
  • At least three characters from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple function as The Rival to Kenichi, and given the rather idealistic nature of the series... This doesn't always overlap with Defeat Means Friendship (an otherwise rather frequent occurrence).
    • The most obvious case is Hermit, who is still thinks of himself as Kenichi's rival after his slow climb towards AntiHeroism. Additionally, there is Shou Kano from YOMI, who runs into the wrong end of Redemption Equals Death near the end of the Tournament Arc. Even Odin looks to be on his way, given the Character Development he underwent between series 1 and series 2.
    • Also, Kisara counts, given her strong (if one-sided) rivalry with Miu before she joined the Shinpaku Alliance.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, where you have Kira and Athrun fighting to a draw in every engagement, until Athrun realizes that his motivation is false and joins with Kira who simultaneously defects the opposite side he fought for.
  • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam has once Arch Rivals, Amuro and Char teaming up, since they both joined the AEUG. Unfortunately, this is cut short, since the next time they meet after Zeta Gundam, they are once again enemies.
  • In Moriarty the Patriot, Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty team up on multiple occasions to solve murders Moriarty wasn't involved with or to help people in need (even enrolling one as a student under Moriarty). They also team up after The Final Problem arc, working together as partners in New York.
  • Naruto: Zabuza Momochi, after Haku dies. Unfortunately, Redemption Equals Death.
    • Whenever Naruto and Sasuke work together, either before or after the latters Face–Heel Turn, asskicking ensues.
      • An especially awesome moment of this was during the second Shippuden movie, Bonds.
      • Also, this happened again when Sasuke pulled a Heel–Face Turn during the Ten-Tails arc.
    • Happened historically when the Uchiha and Senju clans, bitter rivals since their founding, joined forces to create Konoha.
    • While their "rival" status depends on which one you ask, Gai and Kakashi make a formidable team.
  • Negi and Kotaro in Negima! Magister Negi Magi do this to take down the demon Wilhelm. Kotaro ultimately joined the True Companions.
  • One Piece:
    • Downplayed with Luffy's alliance with Law. As they are both members of the Eleven Supernovas/Worst Generation, they are assumed to be rivals by the world at large, and Luffy also figures they will be eventually if they're both after the One Piece. However, Law has never actually stated that this is his goal, and they have a pretty amicable relationship with each other from the start, eventually growing to be genuine friends over the course of their relatively long partnership.
    • Played straighter with Luffy's team-up with Bege, another member of the Worst Generation, in the Whole Cake Island arc.
  • Downplayed with Gary Oak from Pokémon: The Series. He's still Ash's rival, in a sense, but he's on friendlier terms with him, and the two do team up a few times against Team Rocket and also against Team Galactic in Sinnoh.
    • Played with in regards to Ash and Paul...they team up from time to time, but Paul never displays any desire to improve his relationship with Ash (or with anyone) during all of these.
    • Pikachu and Meowth any time they have to work together when separated from the humans.
    • Ash and Alain develop a rivalry in Kalos, with Alain being the Always Someone Better for Ash — as well as an Unwitting Pawn for Team Flare and its leader Lysandre. When Lysandre shows his true colors and Team Flare declares war on Kalos itself, Ash and Alain (and a few dozen other trainers) team up to stop them and save Kalos.
  • By the end of the series, rivals Ranma and Ryoga of Ranma ½ spend almost as much time fighting on the same side as they do against each other, eventually settling into Friendly Enemy territory after a number of Enemy Mine situations. Mousse also joins them occasionally, especially against true Big Bads like Prince Herb and Saffron.
  • Suigintou joins up with Shinku in the manga reboot of Rozen Maiden to defeat the threat of Kirakishou. It still turns out inefficient as they are still not powerful enough to take on her.
  • Considering the show revolves around their rivalry, S Cryed does this with Kazuma and Ryuho teaming up to defeat Conflict Killer Kyoji Mujo, much like the Devil May Cry example below. They even duke it out with each other after they defeated their common enemy!
  • In the Sengoku Basara anime, two man army Date Masamune and Sanada Yukimura team up to take down Oda Nobunaga. Much ass is kicked.
  • The oldest example is probably from Space Runaway Ideon, where Gije spends most of the time hunting Ideon down, then is abandoned, captured by the Solo crew, and eventually allowed to co-pilot Ideon with Cosmo and Kasha.
  • SSSS.GRIDMAN Episode 11. Topped off with the hero's sword being lent to his former rival, now partner.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann parallels the above in Viral's case, as he is the only non-Spiral being to ever pilot Gurren Lagann, the very mech that brought about his eternal dishonor.
  • Usagi-chan de Cue!!: Inaba Mikami and Nekoi Koshka continue their duel in the Ayakagi Mall, until a new combatant enters the fray. It's Dekao the Admonisher, rebuilt yet again into a war machine on tank treads, and he's there to slay both of them. The first weapon Dekao deploys is his whirling tentacles, which Inaba easily dodges. Koshka, however, was caught by surprise, and suffers Clothing Damage. When Dekao retracts his tentacles and deploys a missile launcher, Inaba carries the fallen Koshka to safety behind some debris. Once Dekao is out of missiles, Inaba invites Koshka to engage him in combat, using the term "partner." Koshka is flummoxed by this, but follows Inaba's lead nonetheless. Together the two girls defeat Dekao with Teeth-Clenched Teamwork.
  • Seto Kaiba and Yugi Moutou from Yu-Gi-Oh! end up having to work together on several occasions. Of course, they win. (The duel on the roof with the Rare Hunters during Battle City; the duel with Big Bad Dartz in the DOMA arc; at the end of the movie, Anubis has a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness moment with Kaiba, whom he's been influencing the whole duel, and Yugi and Kaiba team up to kick his ancient ass.
    • Jack Atlas never truly ended his rivalry with Yusei, but after officially making a Heel–Face Turn, was closer to him than any other rival in the franchise. (He and Yusei were actually roomates with Crow for the second season, in fact.) The first time the two worked as a team (unless you count Flashbacks shown from when they were members of Team Satisfaction) was in the three-on-one duel against Godwin (along with Crow) in the Season Finale of Season One. Then there was the WRGP in Season Two, where they, Crow, and Aki made up Team 5Ds.
    • Yuma has teamed up with both Shark and Kaito (both of whom could be considered rivals) on separate occasions in Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, and in the Season Finale of Season One, all three characters were a team.
    • By the second season of Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V Yuya's rival Reiji creates and leads the Lancers at the end of season 1, a team dedicated to fighting the Academia who are attempt to take over the multiverse. While Yuya joins the Lancers, he spends most of season 2 disgusted by Reiji and only joins at first to save his best friend/love interest Yuzu. By the end of season 2 Yuya makes peace with Reiji and then even team up together against Big Bad Leo Akaba.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, it is implied in the first episode that Yusuke and Kuwabara are rivals, and later are often shown as best friends, and they get really angry if anyone hurts the other.

  • Gentleman Johnnie Marcone teams up with Harry Dresden in White Night, book nine of The Dresden Files while fighting ghouls in a natural Elaborate Underground Base owned by the White Court. This is hardly the only time Marcone and Dresden join forces, and whenever they do, much awesomeness ensues. They don't do it often, however, since Dresden vigorously hates Marcone's guts and is probably the only living being of whom Marcone is genuinely afraid wary.
  • Honor Harrington:
    • As of "A Rising Thunder", Manticore and Haven, at each other's throats continuously for over two decades and preparing for war with each other for several decades before that, form a military alliance. The new main bad guys of the series, who have been playing them for centuries, essentially shit a brick when they find out.
    • On a more individual scale, the heads of their respective R&D programs, Admiral Sonja Hemphill and Admiral Shannon Foraker, get sent off to Haven's enormous R&D facility in order to bring their combined genius to bear on even more technological innovation. The two immediately become fast friends and co-conspirators, with the expected results. Even their friends are a bit terrified at what they manage to accomplish together — Honor's nickname for them, the "Demonic Duo", is entirely justified.
  • Kal Zakath joins Belgarion's companions midway through The Malloreon, even though he spent The Belgariad and the first part of The Malloreon trying to stop him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Boys (2019), in the Season 3 finale, Billy Butcher and Homelander initially are pitted against each other with Butcher bringing Soldier Boy as his ally to take Homelander down. However, when Soldier Boy proves to be a threat to Ryan, the son of Butcher's deceased wife and Homelander (by rape, hence his enmity), they temporarily join forces to take Soldier Boy down to ensure Ryan's safety.
  • Cobra Kai in the second episode of season 3 both Daniel and Johnny have an Enemy Mine moment and team up to find Johnny’s fugitive son.
    • The team-up barely lasts an entire episode because of the animosity towards each other’s style.
    • In the season 3 finale episode it sticks longer than the one in episode 2. Daniel and Johnny both go after Kreese for going after their kids (Sam and Miguel).
  • El Chapulín Colorado joins forces with his rival Super Sam in episode El retorno de Super Sam against a dangerous mad man who wants to rape a woman.
  • Shown in the finale of Heroes when Peter and Sylar team up to save Emma and defeat Samuel.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: Abigail and Libba during Citydrop. Abigail's devastated when Libba gets killed, in spite of their previous dislike.
  • In The Office (US) episode "The Sting", Danny Cordray works for a rival paper company and has been stealing clients from Dunder Mifflin for years. After organizing a fake sale to observe his technique and realizing they can't replicate it, Michael convinces him to take a job as the company's new traveling salesman.
  • In Parks and Recreation, Leslie is in the race for a city council seat with Ben as her campaign advisor. Their main competition, son of local candy magnate, Bobby Newport, brings in a high-priced congressional campaign manager from Washington, Jen Barkley. Leslie wins the election despite Bobby's advantages while Ben impresses Jen, who offers him a job on a congressional campaign.
  • Given the nature of Star Trek, it shouldn't be surprising that this is an often-recurring plot line throughout every series.
    • Star Trek: The Original Series In "Day of the Dove" Kirk has to convince a group of Klingons who are trying to take over the ship to work together against an alien presence who is feeding off of their emotions.
    • Star Trek: Voyager: The entire series consists of this, when in the pilot episode the titular ship is forced to integrate the crew of the Maquis vessel they were sent to capture, and the focus shifts to joining forces in an attempt to return home.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: In later seasons the Federation, Klingons, and Romulans all team up to defeat The Dominion. Then in "What You Leave Behind" even the Cardassians join in after it becomes clear the Dominion has no further use for them.
  • On Xena: Warrior Princess, Xena and Callisto temporarily join forces in the episode "Sacrifice II". Callisto isn't much help.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • This used to be a common plot in the territorial days of wrestling. Take two guys known for wrestling each other in another territory and bring them into your own as a tag team. An example in a later era would be Air Paris and Air Styles, two wrestlers WCW acknowledged were enemies beforehand but were willing to put that aside for the oh so lucrative WCW contracts.
  • It remains pretty common on the independent circuit, such as Sinn Bodhi openly referring to Techno Destructo not only as a rival but as as his Arch-Nemesis, still putting that aside because tag team matches in NWA Vendetta were more important.
  • After Meiko Satomura defeated Kairi Hojo for the World Of STARDOM title belt and took it back to her own Sendai Girls promotion, Hojo formed an alliance with Thunder Rock, the tag team composed of her two principal rivals Io Shirai and Mayu Iwatani. The three of them vowed to focus all their energies on getting the belt away from Satomura and by the time Shirai defeated Satomura the three had become Fire-Forged Friends that proceeded to utterly dominate World Wonder Ring STARDOM, holding all of the promotion's belts between them. It got to the point Oedo~tai, the evil Power Stable using STARDOM as its base to spread blood and terror throughout joshi pro wrestling, were the only ones capable of effectively challenging them. And for once the baby faces mostly contained them, only losing the Artist Of STARDOM.



    Video Games 
  • Miles Edgeworth becomes Phoenix Wright's unspoken ally fairly quickly (even before his official Heel–Face Turn) in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, because he recognizes that the two of them working together are more effective at finding the real guilty party than either of them are alone.
    • Interestingly, because it's illegal (or at least against the rules) for a prosecutor to help a defense attorney, and also because he's kinda Tsundere, every time Phoenix tries to thank Edgeworth for the help, Edgeworth just gets a little smile on his face and claims not to know what Phoenix is talking about.
  • Yasha and Asura from Asura's Wrath from episode 16 onwards.
  • Dante and Vergil of Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening briefly team up to take down the Conflict Killer Arkham, then duke it out between just the two of them.
  • Meta example: Squaresoft and Enix were the two names to know in the JRPG industry, and their flagship franchises were the eternally Dueling Franchises Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. Then they merged, forming Square Enix.
  • In Dragon Age mentioned above, the first time the Orlesian Empire and the Tevinter Imperium joined forces, they stopped the Third Blight in just 15 years. The second time, they beat back the Qunari from the mainland. Too bad their cooperation never lasts.
  • The rival scientists Piero Joplin and Anton Sokolov spend most of Dishonored throwing jabs at each other, but after the Loyalists betray and abandon them (well, mostly Piero, as Sokolov was technically their captive) to their deaths, the two quickly put their minds together and jury-rig a new arc pylon model capable of incinerating or knocking out all hostiles in the area (while sparing them and Corvo), and, in the Low Chaos ending, continue their collaboration to invent a cure for the rat plague, too.
  • Dota 2 pits one side called the Radiant against another side called the Dire. Every playable character in the game is listed as being on either the Dire or Radiant side, but despite this a Radiant hero can end up on the Dire team or vice versa when a match starts. So anybody can be teamed up with anybody else, pretty much, even if the lore says that two characters hate one another's guts. Sometimes when this happens the two rivals will have mean things to say to one another, but will still work together.
  • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, through the main quest, the Nerevarine gets the attention of the King of Morrowind, Hlaalu Helseth. Beliving this newcomer to be a threat to his rule, Helseth hires the Dark Brotherhood to assassinate the Nerevarine. After they fail, the Nerevarine traces who hired them back to Helseth who, befitting his Chessmaster reputation, immediately offers the Nerevarine a job — spying on another threat to Helseth, the local Physical God Almalexia.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce: The hero Zophy and the pyramid witch Blackberry are commonly locked in conflict together. Blackberry seeks the resurrection of the ancient wizard Diamond Mine and to turn the world over to his control, and Zophy seeks to oppose her efforts at every turn. The two are forced to work together with the threat of the Dark Force invasion looming before them. At first, because Dark Force's commander Undata had stolen the diamond that houses Diamond Mine, and so working with the heroes brings her closer to reclaiming the diamond. And after, because there's no world for Diamond Mine nor Blackberry to rule if the Dark Force invasion succeeds. It remains an uneven truce, with Zophy willing to accept Blackberry's Heel–Face Turn but Professor Ace constantly antagonizing her and expecting her betrayal at any moment.
  • In The King of Fighters, Kyo and Iori, heirs to rival clans and flame wielders, have been bitter rivals for the whole series, but they teamed up back in 97 to help Chizuru bring down Orochi. They once again join forces in 2003 and XI and both have a vendetta against Ash Crimson by XIII.
  • In the opening cutscene for Magic: The Gathering, Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012, Gideon Jura convinces his rival planeswalkers to combine their forces to help him defeat Nicol Bolas.
  • Geo Stelar and Solo in Mega Man Star Force 3.
  • Happens on both sides in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. The superheros work with the villains of the DC Universe, while Liu Kang and Raiden are forced to work with the likes of Shang Tsung and Kano. At the end, Raiden and Superman, who each thought the other was an enemy, then team up to take down Dark Kahn (a fusion of Darkseid and Shao Kahn).
  • Most of Nocturne: Rebirth hypes up the conflict between the main character, Reviel, and his sworn enemy, Ristill. However, the two temporarily team up when Khaos turns out to have plans to destroy the world, to the point where Ristill joins as a Guest-Star Party Member in the Final Boss fight.
  • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle has Travis Touchdown team up with his brother and rival Henry Cooldown to take on the final boss...until the final boss transforms into a living parade balloon and he realizes just how ridiculous the game actually is, causing him to quit.
    "I can't be associated with that travesty. I mean, I've got standards, for fuck's sake!"
  • The two Ouendan teams do this in the climax of the sequel.
  • This is a major part of the third semester of Persona 5 Royal, when the protagonist's rival Goro Akechi unexpectedly completes his Heel–Face Turn to help fight a bigger danger, getting promoted to Aloof Ally and taking a Level in Jerkass in the process.
  • The protagonist ("Gold/Ethan" or "Soul/Lyra") teams up with the rival ("Silver") against Clair and Lance in Pokemon Heart Gold/Soul Silver. To writ, that's a grade-a Jerkass who's given you nothing but crap, teaming up with the happy-go-lucky protagonist against a Gym Leader and the Champion. If you win, "Silver" attempts to put things straight by giving the Pokemon he stole back to Professor Elm, but by this point he's learnt to treat Pokemon kindly, so his starter cares about him, so Elm lets him keep it.
    • In most other Pokémon games, the protagonist is already on rather good terms with the Rival character (if not outright friends) and alliances between them happen all the time.
  • Soaring Machinariae: The second segment of the Tower of Desire requires two handler-automaton pairs to go through parallel paths, where they have to activate paths for each other. Maria/Iris and Mel/Orchis end up cooperating on the opposing paths, despite their longstanding rivalry. The trial then throws in a twist where each combatant has to face a copy of the one who helped them.
  • Sega and Nintendo were huge rivals in the 16-bit days, the most remember of the great Console Wars in recent gaming history. However, Sega hit a sharp decline with two failed Sega Genesis add-ons (the Sega CD and the 32X), only made worse by the failure of their successor system the Sega Saturn. Then what seemed like a grand comeback with the Sega Dreamcast (fondly remembered to this day even with some non-fans) unfortunately wasn't enough to pull Sega out of the hole it was in, as well as the massive looming shadow of the PlayStation 2 was the death-knell for the former giant who then was forced to go exclusively third party. Much was made of Sega having to bury its hatchets, none more famously than the one it had with Nintendo, who luckily was perfectly fine with the idea of joining forces. Even wilder is the number of games featuring both Mario and Sonic, the mascots of the two formerly rival companies, namely the Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games series. The best of this probably culminated when Sonic made his debut on Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Now fans of both the Blue Blur and the Plumber-formerly-known-as-Jumpman could settle the gauntlet or tag team and kick ass.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog has many rivals and has teamed up with them on occasions. The characters are Knuckles, Shadow, Blaze, Jet, and Silver (who earlier in the game plays this with Shadow, who ironically fought the white hedgehog mere seconds before due to him attacking Sonic in the first place.)
    • Along with the Shadow example above, the Hero and Dark characters (minus Shadow) in Sonic Adventure 2 team up in the last level of the game to stop the ARK from crashing towards Earth.
    • Sonic Rivals play this in the last level where Sonic, Knuckles, Shadow, and Silver help each other out to fight off Eggman.
      • Knuckles and Rouge in Sonic Rivals 2. Both are treasure hunters in their own right and have fought over the Master Emerald in Sonic Adventure 2. They only team up since the Master Emerald is stolen by Eggman.
  • In more recent Star Fox games, Wolf and Fox team up, though of course this is usually after a short dogfight between the two teams.
  • Super Smash Bros..Brawl in adventure mode "The Subspace Emissary" many Nintendo characters (and some more) team up against Bowser, Ganondorf and Wario, though most of the times it's a Friendly Rivalry. Later in the story it becomes Enemy Mine when these three join to heroes's side to deafeat Big Bad Tabuu. Mentioned in page's quote a main theme of the game reflects these two tropes.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate also does this in adventure mode "World of Light", with even MORE characters.
    • Franchise itself is based around this trope in Team Battle mode, when you can team up characters like Mario and Wario, Kirby, King Dedede and Meta Knight or Fox and Wolf against other characters.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • DICE: The Cube That Changes Everything: Taebin and Dongtae happen to help each other protect Eunju from students completing the hurtful quests X gives them.
  • Gabe and Tycho are cast as rival Ping-Pong players in the "Paint the Line" arc of Penny Arcade. The two of them led the US national team to victory over the Chinese five years ago, and are now tasked with beating the Soviets in a two-on-two game. Too bad Tycho never makes it to the finale.
  • Problem Sleuth, Ace Dick, and Pickle Inspector are rival private investigators who initially don't care very much for each other. However, in order to achieve the surprisingly complex and difficult task of leaving their offices, they are forced to team up, in the process becoming Fire-Forged Friends.

    Web Videos 
  • SMPLive:
    • Schlatt and Connor form Schlatt & Co. after their courtroom dispute, People of SMPLive vs. Schlattcoin.
    • Schlatt and AntVenom team up to kill the Ender Dragon, despite their initial conflict.

    Western Animation 
  • Exo Squad is a complex case: we have the Neosapien Ace Pilot Thrax who is The Rival of sorts to The Squad (particularly, Kaz Takagi). In the end of the second season, Thrax realizes the pointlessness of the war and disbands his garrison, effectively pulling a Heel–Face Turn without directly facing the heroes.
  • WordGirl's titular character and the villainous Dr. Two-brains work together to stop Glenn, Two-Brain's crazed Fan Boy gone bad, trying to one-up Two-brains' every scheme in some minor way.
  • Teen Titans (2003) has done this twice with Robin — once with Slade, and twice with Red X. Unsurprisingly, ass-kickery ensued.
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius has the eponymous character and Cindy getting into this in situations which force them to work together.
  • Invader Zim:
    • Zim and Dib have to work together to synthesize a cure to stop them both from being turned into bologna (It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context)... but their teamwork is shoddy and they ultimately fail, and go down bickering.
    • In the Halloween episode, they must team up again but they both end up double crossing each other. Luckily they made it out alive anyway.
    • It seems like the only time their team-up actually worked out was in the season one finale, when they worked together against Tak.
  • Situations conspired in this direction with Zuko and the main characters in Avatar: The Last Airbender several times before his proper Heel–Face Turn.
  • Much like the Goku and Vegeta example above, when Optimus Prime and Megatron from Transformers put aside their differences to fight a common foe, there's very little that can stand against them.
  • Darkwing Duck join forces with his rival GizmoDuck in one episode, and both of them were not very happy about it. Of course, in later season they work together as part of an Avengers/Justice League parody.
  • Brian and Stewie in Family Guy were initially this in early episodes such as Road To Rhode Island before they became best friends.
  • Many of the later shorts of Tom and Jerry involve the cat and mouse former enemies teaming up against Spike the dog.

    Real Life 
  • Hundreds of thousands of years ago, both primitive humans and wolves had become two of the most successful top level predators on earth, forming complex social groups and hunting in packs, bringing down prey much larger than themselves. At some point some people must have figured out that local wolf packs did not have to be rivals for the same territories, and using similar tactics and social structures made working as a team possible. And it turned out to work very, very, well for them (and very, very badly for pretty much everything else).
  • During the 19th and early 20th century, the small Australian town of Eden at Twofold Bay had been home to several small groups of whalers who hunted baleen whales in small rowed boats from the coast. The whalers often got into conflict with a local group of orcas that hunted in the area and often tried to snatch away the whalers catches. Apparently the Davidson and Greig families were much nicer to the orcas and stuck to using rowed boats and hand thrown harpoons, so the orcas started to drive their prey near the Davidsons home and keep it from escaping until the humans got their boats out to kill the whales. The orcas where then allowed to eat the easily reachable parts of the dead whales before the humans would pull them to shore and cut up the much larger rest of the bodies. (This came to be known as the "Law of the Tongue" after the parts of the baleen whales the orcas liked to eat, the lips and tongue.) Being among the smartest animals in the world, the orcas eventually began to send one of them ahead to alert the humans that the main group was on their way driving a group of whales into the bay. They were also known to often play with the boats by grabbing ropes hanging in the water, and reportedly even pulled the boats on occasion, as they swam much faster and easily had the size and strength required for it.
    • One orca in particular was given the Affectionate Nickname of Old Tom because he seemed to be the leader of a pod that liked working with the whalers. He was found dead in Twofold Bay in 1930 at the estimated age of 35 years (the average age of death for male orcas is 29). His skeleton was preserved and is now on display at the Eden Killer Whale Museum.
  • The Spanish national soccer team of 2007 to around 2013 was an extremely successful combination of the best Spanish players from the rival teams of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, two teams with a long history of hating each other. For much of the Spanish national soccer team's history, a major flaw was often an inability for Real Madrid and FC Barcelona players to work well together. In 2008, coach Aragones worked to unite the two traditional foes, and they cruised their way to a dominant win of the European Championships in 2008 and 2012 and the World Cup in 2010. Unfortunately, after 6 years of dominance, in 2014 the "World Cup Winners Curse" took hold and they finished 3rd in their group, only managing to defeat Australia in their last game when both teams had already been eliminated.
  • Americans and Russians VS Germany in WW2. Many WW2 veterans and historians often cite the result of this trope as the reason for Germany's defeat being inevitable after 1941. Interestingly enough, the two superpowers would pull off this trope again IN SPACE! via the International Space Station. In fact, there's a rather surprising degree of cooperation amongst rivals (and even allies) in space programs; considering the nature of space operations, though, this strategy is extremely successful.
  • Cracked's The 5 Most Insane Teams in the History of Sports calls the Steagles, an alliance of longtime rival NFL teams from Pennsylvania when most of their regular players were drafted to fight World War II, "too stupid even for a sports movie".
  • The Syrian Civil War is a mess of different factions (including the Russian and Iranian-backed Arab government, Turkish-backed Arab rebels, and American-backed Kurds) who absolutely hate each other's guts, but, as pointed out in this article, they hate the Islamic State even more, whose infamy, bad PR, and tendency to antagonize just about everyone they encountered caused those factions to team up to destroy them. Same goes in next door Iraq, where the Iraqi government, Iranian militias, American troops, and Kurds briefly put aside their differences to finally end the IS as an influential faction in 2017.
  • Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, two of the greatest rivals in tennis history, played doubles together for the first time on day 2 of the 2017 Laver Cup.
  • The Dream Team was the first time legends Magic Johnson and Larry Bird ever played on the same team.
  • From 1950 to 1964, the Liberals and Conservatives made pacts in the industrial towns of Bolton and Huddersfield in a bid to keep Labour out. As a result, neither of the two Bolton seats (East and West) had a Labour MP from 1951 to 1964, and Huddersfield West had a Liberal MP from 1950 to 1964. This pact was broken during the Bolton East by-election of 1960 when former Liberal MP Frank Byers opposed the Conservative candidate Edwin Taylor )who held the seat anyway), and consequently Labour gained both Bolton seats, and also Huddersfield West, in 1964.
  • When The Sun wrote an article blaming Liverpool fans for causing the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster, not only were journalists from The Sun banned from Liverpool FC's stadium, but Liverpool's crosstown rival Everton also banned Sun journalists from their stadium as well.
  • Square Enix was born through this trope. Game companies Square and Enix used to be very serious rivals as JRPG makers in the world during the late 1980s and 1990s, with Enix having a lead in Japan and Square having a lead everywhere else, until they merged in 2003.
  • Major League Baseball also was born via this trope. Throughout The Gay '90s, the National League was considered to be the world's highest level baseball league folowing the collapse of the American Association. In 1901 however, sports editor Ban Johnson transformed a minor league in the Midwest into the American League, aimed at being The Rival to the NL. Following a couple years of fierce competition, the two leagues eventually came to a peace agreement and recognized each other as equals, and started playing an interleague series known as the World Series. Over the next century, this partnership slowly centralized into the MLB organization we know today.
  • The Brooklyn Dodgers and crosstown rival New York Giants won 8 of the 10 National League Pennants from 1947-1956 including the famous Shot Heard Round the World game where the Giants, 50 years later, admitted to cheating to win. The Dodgers, unable to get to acquire land for a new stadium in Brooklyn by the City of New York, accepted a deal to move to Los Angeles in 1958. The National League refused citing high travel costs for a 3 game series (commercial air travel was relatively new and most teams took the train between cities). The Dodgers worked a deal with Giants owner Horace Stoneham to move his team to San Francisco. The deal meant the other six teams would make a "West Coast Swing" by playing a series against one and then the other.
    • The partnership also meant taking on the Federal Government on Anti-Trust grounds because the City of New York was helping form the Continental League. The National League and rival American League both agreed to expansion into new markets to keep its Anti-trust exemption, a return to New York in the National League (eventually leading to the establishment of the New York Mets in 1962), and to limit other franchise moves that would leave a city without any team. In the years since, only two cities have had their teams leave with no eventual replacement: Montreal after the Expos left for Washington, D.C. and became the Nationals in 2004, and Oakland when the Athletics move to Las Vegas no earlier than 2025.
  • Western Reserve University and Case Institute of Technology in Cleveland spent almost a century as archrivals in college sports and academics. Eventually the schools' leaders decided that a merger would boost the national profile of both institutions, so they became Case Western Reserve University in 1967.