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Teeth-Clenched Teamwork

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These guys made five films together. Surprisingly, this wasn't the last one.

"Fine, we'll work together. At the very least, we'll prove it's a bad idea."
Black Mage, 8-Bit Theater

Sometimes in Real Life, people on the same side don't get along. In fiction, this often occurs when there are multiple villains trying to work together, a mismatched team of heroes, or a situation where former enemies have to team up. The problem with this sort of team is that they have trouble using The Power of Friendship or The Power of Love to win – likely because this is essentially the more cynical version of those tropes. It's still not at the far cynical end of the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism, however, because it still assumes that people can (and should) at least work together.

Generally, the imperfect teamwork generated serves as both a good source of drama and/or comedy, depending on the situation. It's particularly dramatic if the group undergoes a period of Divided We Fall first. It also helps ensure that the group is interesting and varied without raising questions of why they work so perfectly together.

This dysfunctional teamwork often takes the form of Family Drama (in cases where the team includes at least part of a Dysfunctional Family). The touchstone of enmity is family, after all.

The Leader may often find himself demanding an Ordered Apology.

Compare with Fighting the Lancer, where animosity between teammates actually does lead to a fight.

Contrast Sour Supporter, who is convinced that the team is doomed to failure, but works well with them anyway. If the series goes on long enough (and becomes less cynical), with enough Aww, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other moments, this might turn into The Power of Friendship or The Power of Love. Conversely, this trope is a good counterpoint to True Companions; it is a way of introducing some conflict and authenticity into works that would otherwise be too sugary.

Contrast We ARE Struggling Together, and A House Divided where there's lots of infighting on the same side but no teamwork. An Enemy Mine and Colliding Criminal Conspiracies usually results in this trope. Chained Heat is a more specific version of this trope involving being forced to work with someone by some method of a physical attachment. Frequently a by-product of Jurisdiction Friction. Family Drama usually has this within a family. Not to be confused with teams whose members always clench their teeth. Red Oni, Blue Oni and Vitriolic Best Buds are duos rather than teams, but they usually display this trope. May end up as an Inevitable Mutual Betrayal.

Often, this is how Fire-Forged Friends start out. Also compare with Forced into Evil.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • InuYasha and Kagome's relationship starts out this way. They spent just as much, if not even more, time bickering with and insulting one another as they did fighting demons and collecting jewel shards, and by the third episode, Kagome got so fed up with him that she promptly left to go home.
    • This happens every time Inu-Yasha and Kouga team up, to the point of "accidentally" smacking each other with collateral damage when they fight a common enemy.
  • Zombie Loan: a classic example of this: The two guys are literally chained together and have to work together (IE not kill each other again) to get their debt paid.
  • Mai-HiME, when Natsuki agrees to work with Mai and Mikoto, although she does eventually become friends with both of them. Further in episode 16, Midori unites the HiME into the "HiME Rangers" against a common threat despite them still holding grudges against each other... although it's subverted given Midori's selfish reason for doing so, and subverted again, and brutally, with The Reveal at the end of that very episode.
    • This happens quite a bit between Mai and Natsuki in the manga, as well. Aside from the pair sharing a Living MacGuffin in Yuuichi, the student council (under Haruka's watchful eyes) is attempting to keep them apart to prove that their side is more efficient in protecting the school from Orphans. Yuuichi once calls out Natsuki and Mai for always fighting, and demands that they start getting along better so that they can defeat Yukino and Haruka. Even when the two factions are merged together under Midori's leadership, Nao frequently verbally exchanges insults with Natsuki while making it clear that she's only in it for her agenda while Haruka contemplates taking control of the group.
  • This one is central to Earth Defense Family the Daichis, or whatever the right translation of its title is. The Family's Defensive Alliance
  • Naruto
    • Naruto says this is the only reason he is going to tolerate Sai. After Sai abandons the secret mission and is no longer The Mole, he becomes a True Companion.
    • The Akatsuki team of Hidan and Kakuzu hate each other but are the perfect team due to their complementary abilities and the fact that Hidan's borderline immortality means that Kakuzu can't kill him when annoyed.
    • The antagonists' teams in the Chunin Exam, as noted by the databook, have by far the worst teamwork rating. Teams 7, 8, 10, and Guy have conflicts between their members, but have the ability to work together when they need to, and have ratings of 20-25 in teamwork. By contrast, the other teams do not care for each other, as Zaku shoots Kin in order to also injure Ino, who is possessing her, and the Sand Siblings (with a rating of 5) are essentially described as a one-man team that Gaara controls through fear (Their teamwork gets better after Gaara does).
    • The Sound Four has conflicts between Tayuya and virtually every other member; when Shikamaru tries impersonating Jirobo, it fails because he doesn't complain about Tayuya's foul language.
    • More recently there's the team-up of Kabuto and Tobi. Each has mutually exclusive long-term plans and is fully aware the other will backstab them at some point, but for the time being they are working together and putting up a significant fight. When Madara takes the former's place, this trope still applies despite the two of them having the exact same goal in mind.
  • Near and Mello from Death Note. Also L and Light in the Yotsuba arc.
  • Cowboy Bebop has this dynamic at times after Faye joins the gang. She has a tendency to take off on her own and even stealing from Jet and Spike.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist (manga and second anime series only), Roy Mustang and Olivier Armstrong recognize that they are both allied to take out the bad guys, but they have such issues dealing with each other that the air actually darkens the first time they talk face-to-face. Olivier doesn't care at all for her brother, and refers to Roy as only the slightest bit more useful than him.
    • In the anime, Roy and Ed live this trope. Over time, the relationship goes from trying to manipulate each other to "I still don't like you but I do respect you." Envy tries to use his/her/its tried-and-true Shapeshifter Guilt Trip on Edward. When he turns into Roy, Edward briefly hesitates and then smiles and says "You couldn't have picked a better target!"
  • One Piece. Impel Down. Buggy the Clown and the tops of Baroque Works team up with Luffy, and none of them are too happy about it. Well, maybe Mr. 2. The "tops of Baroque Works" includes Crocodile, who not only gets along poorly with Luffy because of his attempt to destroy Alabasta, but also dislikes Jimbei due to the fact that Crocodile wants to kill Whitebeard while Jimbei wants to save him and Ace.
    • Also Zoro and Sanji are a good example of this.
    • And now we have Luffy, Law, and Smoker. Smoker, at least, hates it. Considering he's a marine vice-admiral, forced to work with two of the world's most wanted criminals, with Law doubling as a traitor to the WG and Luffy being the first pirate to escape him and the one he's been chasing after for almost three years, that's completely understandable.
  • In D.Gray-Man, it's an understatement to say that Allen and Kanda don't get along — to the point where, more often than not, they end up attacking each other instead. But there are numerous times where they have to work together in order to exorcise high-level Akuma.
  • Get Backers, during the Infinity Fortress Arc, has Ban paired with Shido – the person he gets along with least (which is saying a lot, since most people can't get along with Ban). They constantly bicker and start beating each other up. Though it is noteworthy that after their time together, they do get more of a grudging friendship.
  • The Allied Powers from Axis Powers Hetalia.
  • The eponymous duo from Tiger & Bunny, for a while. The conflict gradually ebbs out of their partnership the more they work together – especially after Episode 8, which marks the point at which Barnaby begins defrosting in earnest. By the time Episode 14 happens, they're on First-Name Basis and somewhere between Heterosexual Life-Partners and a Battle Couple.
  • The pre-Extended of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, consisting of Shani Andras, Cortho Bauer, and Orga Sabnak are a team of Sociopathic Soldiers with utterly lousy teamwork. They frequently shoot at or through each other, ignore one another's presences entirely out of battle, and hate helping one another out. Despite this, they're pretty dependent on one another psychologically, with Cortho having an utter Freak Out! when the other two die.
  • Goku and Vegeta in Dragon Ball Z. It's mainly on Vegeta's side though. Vegeta teams up with Goku only if he has to, to defeat a common enemy, and Goku usually has to beg Vegeta to give his energy to him to defeat a Big Bad, due to Vegeta's sheer stubbornness and not wanting to admit to himself that Goku is more powerful.
    • Goku and Piccolo, as well, did this when Raditz appeared, with Piccolo (before his Heel–Face Turn) approaching Goku and calling for a truce to defeat a common enemy.
    • Frieza and everyone on Universe 7's team during the Tournament of Power arc in Dragon Ball Super. This gets to the point that Freiza uses a Batman Gambit of fake-betraying his teammates to get the Super Dragon Balls not once but twice, only for it to work both times! Dyspo shoots him down the third time, while Gohan eventually warns him that if he tries it for real, "I'll knock you off myself."
  • Bleach
    • Ichigo and Uryuu's initial rivalry ends when a Menos Grande appears. This leads to Teeth-Clenched Teamwork against the mountain of hollows they're surrounded by and is the beginning of a Fire-Forged Friends.
    • The Gotei 13 is made up of semi-autonomous divisions. As a result, when captains enter a battlefield together they usually stick to their own fights unless they're close friends. Some of the captains have almost nothing to do with each other and disdain each other at best (loathing each other at worst). Cue the battle with the espada Yammy where Kenpachi and Byakuya find themselves having to team up. The only way their pride can handle it is by turning it into a rivalry to see who can kill Yammy first while pretending he's getting in the way of them trying to kill each other. Strangely enough, they seem a lot more tolerant of each other after that event.
  • Guts and Casca from Berserk start out as this alright… and it took them getting stranded in the woods, learning about each other's similar back stories, and having to ward off a hundred man army sent to kill them for them to become Fire-Forged Friends.
  • Natsu and Gajeel from Fairy Tail have expressed disgust in working with each other when teamed up against Laxus and Faust. It's mostly subsided by the time they fight two-on-two with Sting and Rogue, though Natsu sees no harm in pushing Gajeel away on a mine cart for a chance to fight them on his own.
    • Natsu has been having this kind of teamwork with Grey as well, especially near the beginning.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura: Sakura and Syaoran's initial relationship starts out as such, primarily because Syaoran is convinced that he is entitled to the Clow Cards and that Sakura is a pathetic weakling who's out of her league.
  • In the Lupin III series, this is how Jigen and Goemon usually react whenever they have to work with Fujiko. It's understandable on their part since Fujiko has a bad case of Chronic Backstabbing Disorder.
  • Pokémon: This happens whenever Ash and his friends have to work with Team Rocket. In "Pokemon Shipwreck", when they were trapped aboard a sunken ship, Pikachu electrocutes Meowth while shaking hands.
  • In Brave10, not all of the Braves like or agree with each other, which has repercussions in some pretty important fights, especially the sequel.

    Comic Books 
  • Stan Lee's Fantastic Four might be the Trope Maker (especially when it comes to the Thing and Human Torch), but even they resorted to The Power of Friendship when they were in deep trouble...
  • The comic Nextwave has the Nextwave Squad, a superhero team formed by what turned out to be a supervillain corporation, on a mission of retaliation with stolen equipment and feeling like it.
    Monica Rambeau: No. Enough. You people will by God act like a team, or at least like people who know each other, or I'll incinerate the bunch of you here and now.
  • In the "Tower of Babel" arc in Justice League of America, Ra's al Ghul has incapacitated the JLA using Batman's anti-JLA contingency plans. Like exposing Superman to red kryptonite. Once Batman reveals that he's the one responsible, most of the team (especially Plastic Man, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter) are closer to killing him than working with him, but they push through. In the end, he's expelled from the League. For a few issues. In a neat epilogue, Batman's extended family is shown being mistrusted by their own teams (the Titans don't trust Nightwing, Young Justice doesn't trust Robin, and the JLA stop calling Oracle for advice).
  • Supergirl:
    • Green and Red Lanterns don't get along... at all. However, in Red Daughter of Krypton Hal Jordan's GL squad and Guy Gardner's RL group worked together to help Supergirl to get her mind and her sanity back while she was suffering from power ring-induced madness.
    • In Many Happy Returns super-villain Xenon has this with his sometimes ally the Fatalist. They don't like each other but the Fatalist helps him for his own reasons, simultaneously withholding crucial information from Xenon.
    • In Gates/Igle's run final arc Day of the Dollmaker, Supergirl and Catherine Grant have to work together to find a child kidnapper even though they can't stand each other.
  • This pretty much describes the Crime Syndicate of America, a group of Evil Counterparts of the Justice League from Earth-3, at least when they do show teamwork. Unlike the true League, they despise each other, each member using blackmail, threats, or both as protection from betrayal.
  • In X-Force and later X-Statix, this was the dynamic between the Anarchist and the rest of the team, Spike and the rest of the team, and especially Spike and the Anarchist. The Anarchist and Spike are both African-American, but the Anarchist is adopted and his parents are white; Spike feels that this makes him, well, not a real black guy, and will never let him forget that; On rare occasions where the two agree on anything, it's usually in the form of Dumbass Has a Point. Eventually, however, they reconcile, with Spike acknowledging that he never really had anything against the Anarchist, and it was all talk to make him look good on camera.
  • Crops up whenever Batman and Judge Dredd have a crossover — since Batman is a somewhat freelancing vigilante, while Dredd is the law, they're willing to work together to bring down their enemies, but that doesn't mean they have to enjoy each others' company. Especially given Batman's strict no-killing rule, while Dredd won't bat an eyelid to shoot a criminal if necessary.
  • The Punisher almost always has to employ this trope whenever Frank Castle teams up with someone. He and Spider-Man can't stand each other, but they can usually swallow their bile long enough to cooperate against whichever bad guy they're both after.
  • Spidey feels this way about Wolverine too, disliking Wolverine's willingness to kill and his generally sour attitude. It doesn't help matters that Wolverine long since figured out Spider-Man's civilian identity on account of his heightened senses, and he has no problem knocking on Peter Parker's front door when he wants to talk Spider-business. Again, when the chips are down they've got each other's back.
  • Kitty Pryde is this when it comes to Emma Frost, due to her past with her. That is, until they finally got along when the former is trapped in the space bullet.
  • In the Transformers comic, this often happens when opposing factions face an Enemy Mine situation (the Time Wars and attack of Unicron, for instance), but some set groups within the canon fall victim to it as well. The car-based Decepticon combiner team the Stunticons are noted to loathe their loud, browbeating leader, Motormaster, and generally not get along with each other, as their team includes a vain but depressingly fatalistic killjoy, a paranoiac who fears he's being watched by everything (including inanimate objects), a over-competitive braggart with an ego the size of an immodest planetoid, and an unhinged maniac who terrifies the other four with 'Terrorist' for a function.
  • In the 2007 Union Jack miniseries, the Israeli agent Sabra is forced to work alongside the modern Arabian Knight, who works for the Saudi Arabian government, in order to help Union Jack stop a planned terrorist attack in London. Neither is exactly thrilled by the notion.
  • Hawkeye left the West Coast Avengers because he couldn't stand U.S.Agent. When he returned, the later was still on the team. The dislike was mutual, leading them to start trading blows quite often. They still worked together pretty well when the situation called for it.
  • In Lesbian Zombies from Outer Space: Ace is a guy who fantasizes about hot lesbians who want to bang him. Gwen is a lesbian who hates guys like that. And now they have to work together.
  • In Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog two of Robotnik's henchmen, Tundra and Akhlut, hate each other and only work together because Robotnik orders them to. Before Robotnik showed up they were rivals locked in a bitter turf war, so there's a lot of bad blood going on. Eventually, the idea gets deconstructed when their extreme hatred of each other leads to them almost blowing a major operation by getting into a fistfight mid-mission, nearly getting the rest of the Egg Bosses killed.
  • Brody and Talia in the first part of Brody's Ghost, with Talia constantly insulting Brody for his slobby slacker lifestyle and Brody for how pushy Talia is to make him hunt down a Serial Killer. Over time they warm up to each other, although when he learns that she lied to him about why they were hunting the killer down, their relationship breaks back down into this once more.
  • Secret Empire deconstructs this trope alongside Let's You and Him Fight. After several crossovers involving nothing but superheroes fighting each other, this is all they have left to keep them from falling apart. But with no real trust between them, there's no motivation to patch things up or a desire to help each other beyond what is absolutely necessary. So when Evil Captain America swoops in, he all-too-easily plays divide-and-conquer to keep everyone from foiling his plans.

     Fan Works 
  • In Power Girl fanfic A Force of Four, Badra and three Kryptonian outlaws form an alliance to destroy Power Girl and the Amazons but they can't stand each other. They -barely- manage to work together, but Badra tends to treat them as servants and they often point out they outnumber her.
  • In the Jackie Chan Adventures and W.I.T.C.H. crossover fanfic Kage (part of Project Dark Jade), Jade and Miranda have this dynamic, though it has been said that without Raythor, all the Knights would be at each other's throats.
  • In With Strings Attached, the four are forced to travel with the Hunter on their quest for the third Vasyn piece. They can't stand him, he can't stand them, but they have to stay with him because they have no other way to the Vasyn piece, and he has to stay with them because his god told him to.
    • Also in Strings is the uneasy alliance of Brox and Co. with the Raleka. Each side is contemptuous of the other, but they need one another to put together the Vasyn and move it around.
  • In The Blue Blur of Termina, following their encounter in the jungle, Sonic and Tatl are forced to team up when the Skull Kid incapacitates and leaves behind Tatl in the Subterranean Forest. Despite having a mutual goal in finding the Skull Kid, Sonic and Tatl pretty much hate each other, especially the latter.
  • In Supergirl story Hellsister Trilogy, Superman and Dev-Em don't like each other. Like, at all. Dev-Em bullied Kal-El when he was Superboy, attempted to frame up him for vandalism and got away with it. He's reformed since, but he's still a jerkass, and he's dating Superman's beloved cousin. Yet still, they try to fight together during the War against Darkseid, albeit it's clear they can't stand each other.
  • Tales of the Emperasque:
    • The Imperium and Craftworld Eldar work together, to their own mutual distaste, because they're the only races left in the galaxy actually willing - to some extent - to cooperate.
    • Blood Ravens and Space Wolves aren't exactly fond of each other - cough, Ravens kidnapping Wolves' oldest marine, cough - but they fight together nevertheless.
  • In Chronicles of Harmony's End, Discord convinces his mortal enemy (and lawful opposite) Array to help him kill Harmony. They fully intend to betray each other afterward.
  • In Game Theory, Megane does not get along with Lindy due to a personality clash and a bad first impression. Chrono and Yuuno also got off on the wrong foot. They all still work together to stop Precia.
  • In Perfection is Overrated, like in Mai-HiME, the Himes don't always get along, in particular suspecting Nao of attacking Yukariko, and Nao being bitter over being suspected. Nao does cooperate with the other Himes because even she is horrified by what Hitomi is doing. Over time, the group begins to work better together in response to the threat of the SUEs.
    From here on out, survival required cooperating with the others, and while Nao was reluctant to get along with her fellow Himes, she realized she had no choice but to do things that were difficult for her in order to survive.
    The same went for the rest of the Himes.
  • Part one of Legacy of the Rasengan has Team 7 in all its glory. Naruto is the only one who actually tries to make them True Companions, but it's a little difficult, what with Sasuke's Inferiority Superiority Complex having him nurse a bruised ego and jealousy at Naruto being better than him (he calls Naruto out on being pragmatic, sneaky, secretive... y'know, the way an actual professional ninja acts). Sakura shows a lack of foresight and betrays Naruto's trust to impress Sasuke, which has Naruto viciously beat her down verbally. Kakashi's teaching method doesn't endear Sakura to him (by the time he wants to teach her, Tsunade has already taken over as her sensei) and Naruto considers him more a superior rather than teacher and hardly trusts him (teaching Sasuke one of Naruto's jutsu when he promised on his honor not to, pissed Naruto off), which causes him considerable grief.
  • Fate Zero Sanity: Anytime Avenger arrives on the battlefield, you can expect any other Servants on that field to stop whatever they were doing and try to kill him. This occurs even if the Servants in question don't have an official alliance and even if they were just in the middle of killing each other. He's that big of a threat.
  • Misunderstandings: Sveti a griffin only works with Wisk, the pony who held her captive in a sideshow, to cook a nutritional meal for Peter, the human who was also held captive, since it was Peter who freed her.
    • Sergeant Peppermint York despises Peter and works with a few of the nobles to convince ponies that he is dangerous monster to be locked up. But it is clear York can't stand the nobles, since they only see targeting Peter as an opportunity to discredit Princess Twilight, and show no concern for the innocents who get hurt, while York does genuinely believe Peter is dangerous and he did, albeit accidentally, seriously wound a Royal Guard and becomes more infuriated with conspirators who endanger innocents than with Peter being free.
  • In The Matrix and Supernatural crossover Hunting Series part four - Ghostry Hunting this is how the ex-Agent Smith and Agent Moore have to work together because Moore betrayed the System and let an important child get temporarily kidnapped.
  • In Despair's Last Resort, Shigeru and Ryouta both have problems getting along with the other students. Shigeru sees most of the others as idiots who aren't worth his time and takes it on himself to act as a leader. It doesn't work out, as he's dead in the third chapter after trying to murder Shizuka. Ryouta on the other hand, is paranoid of the others and doesn't trust them. Even going to lengths like hiding away after the reveal of a new motive. After acting this way nearly gets him convicted as the second chapter's murderer, he gets better and slowly starts to trust the others. He even manages to try and help them. He's currently still alive.
  • In Those Gilded Chains We Wear Bellatrix LeStrange, predicting that Lord Voldemort will likely lose the Battle of Hogwarts and not wanting to go to Azkaban again, approaches Hermione Granger with a conditional surrender. Hermione, not liking her chances of surviving the next five minutes, makes it into an Unbreakable Vow with the added condition that should one die, so would the other. Naturally, the Death Eaters that escape the battle aren't too happy that Bellatrix got off so lightly, forcing the Death Eater and the muggleborn to fight together to save their mutual lives.
  • In The End of All Things, this describes Zach and Midna at the beginning. Zach is a snarky Jerk Ass who is rude, Midna is a snarky princess who is also rude. They need to work together because Zach (generally) knows what's going on and Midna has magic powers that greatly help Zach fight and get around while in wolf form.
  • In Nouvelle this is pretty much the premise where Erina and Soma, who don't get along as a result of their opposing philosophies on their cooking methods, are forced to work together for a Shokugeki match.
  • Cycles Upon Cycles: Although they are now nominally allies, the StarCraft races are still rather wary of each other and prefer to keep out of each others' business when possible. They keep up the appearance of a more unified front for the sake of the Citadel races. On a smaller scale, Shepard and Miranda Lawson, who despite being Commander and XO, have some unpleasant history.
    "I'm not asking for us to be friends, Miranda; hell, I'm not even asking for a clean slate. All I want is for the people under us to know that we aren't trying to kill each other. So... truce?"
  • In Thousand Shinji, the Warhammer 40,000 Gods hate each other, but they were forced to team up to defeat the C'Tan.
  • In Cissnei's Path, a Final Fantasy VII fanfic, Crimson (Cissnei) and Tifa don't get along all that well, due to their pasts serving Shinra and AVALANCHE respectively. Crimson notes that the previous incarnation of the terrorist group caused no shortage of problems and she dragged Cloud into the reactor bombing, while Tifa points out that Shinra (and especially the Turks) silence anyone that opposes them through normal means and are causing lasting damage to the Planet. That being said, they both take measures to make sure that it doesn't interfere with their collective mission because the sheer opposition they face means that they can't afford to let it get in the way.
  • In Children of an Elder God, Asuka and Rei were members of the same squad, but they didn't get along because they were in love with the same person. After an Eldritch Abomination seized Rei and forced her to hurt Asuka, their teamwork was even more strained.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide, Asuka didn't like or trust rookie pilot Keiko and had a hard time working with and fighting alongside her.
  • Once More with Feeling: Gendo and SEELE work together to destroy the Angels, although they mistrust and hate each other.
    Their investigations had uncovered that there was some kind of friction between SEELE and their point man at Central. As far as Kaji had understood and explained it, the goals of SEELE and Gendo meshed well until some undetermined point in the future, at which point… things would probably happen.
    Both sides pretended it wasn't the case, but both sides knew the truth and were constantly maneuvering for position even as they worked together closely on what they needed to cooperate on.
  • In This Bites!, Cross attempts to invoke this trope when he meets Mr. 5 and Miss Valentine again by exposing Mr. 0's identity to them, putting them on Baroque Works' hit list too. Unfortunately, the Unluckies aren’t around to witness it, so all that it accomplishes is reaffirming their desires to kill him.
  • A Brighter Dark: Hans considers Mozu to be an irritating whiny brat, while Mozu considers Hans to be a murderous brute. The two are forced to work together along with Sakura to escape the Nohrian army.
  • The New Adventures of Invader Zim:
    • When Steve and Viera are first introduced, they don't get along very well, due to their different views on what takes priority in paranormal studies, which badly affects their functionality as a team. Fortunately, Dib helps them get over this.
    • Tak and Tenn likewise do not work well together at all to start with. They only reluctantly eventually agree to put aside their differences and move forward, but time will tell how this works out.
  • In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Ash's dynamic with Red devolves into this during the Fuchsia Tag Tournament when he learns that Red is a bloodliner and freely uses his abilities to help himself in his Pokémon battles (as opposed to Ash who considers it cheating). This almost costs them the semifinals, but they agree to a truce for the finals after Paul releases his Raichu without properly healing her just for losing one too many battles, something they're both equally disgusted at.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • It's established through certain parts of the film that The Avengers can't stand each other at all, especially Iron Man and Captain America. However, when it comes time to fight Loki's forces, they'll be more than happy to drop their personal issues to stop the threat however they can. By the end of the movie, they are Fire-Forged Friends.
    Thor: You speak of control, yet you court chaos.
    Bruce Banner: It's his M.O., isn't it? I mean, what are we, a team? No, no, no. We're a chemical mixture that makes chaos. We're... we're a time-bomb.
    Nick Fury: You need to step away.
    Tony Stark: Why shouldn't the guy let off a little steam?
    Steve Rogers: You know damn well why! Back off!
    Tony Stark: Oh, I'm starting to want you to make me.
  • The second of the Joshuu Sasori series, Jailhouse 41, finds the heroine obliged to work together with six other prisoners. Many of them hate her, but are also scared enough of her not to attack her, and recognise her toughness and experience will be a bonus.
  • This is the whole point of most zombie movies, especially those made by or remade from George Romero. Night of the Living Dead (1968) started the trend, with the zombies providing constant pressure on a house full of strangers who fight over what to do while passing the Idiot Ball back and forth like a hot potato.
  • The movie Planes, Trains and Automobiles is perhaps a defining text of this trope.
  • Saw II and Saw V did something like this to the extreme, as they had enemies put into a house and if they didn't cooperate, they'd die.
  • X-Men Film Series
  • In the Heat of the Night: Gillespie isn't too thrilled to have Tibbs second-guessing him during the early part of the investigation. But when Tibbs keeps getting proved correct, Gillespie lets up on the animosity. For his part, Tibbs doesn't help ease tensions as he withholds key observations at times and keeps trying to lead the investigation his way.
  • Big Game has a villainous example: while Morris and Hazar are Big Bad Duumvirate, they have very different motives and are often at each other's throats.
  • Captain America: Civil War:
    • Despite being on Cap's side when it comes to the Accords, Sam Wilson makes no bones about his dislike/distrust of Bucky, which worsens when they have to start working with each other. They can't even sit quietly in the same car without antagonizing each other.
      Bucky: [dangerously] Can you move your seat up?
      Sam: [also dangerously] No.
      [Bucky scoots over in the back seat, glaring at Sam the whole time]
    • Likewise, Black Widow does not like the fact that she's on the same side as Tony as she's a closer friend of Steve's, while T'Challa is mostly on the team because he wants to kill Winter Soldier.
    • Civil War also deconstructs the group's initial Teeth Clenched Teamwork. As the Avengers never fully trusted each other or worked out their initial grievances, it makes it much easier for politics and Zemo to drive a wedge in and break them apart.
  • Defiance: Collaboration between the Bielski Partisans and Soviet Partisans happens to be quite problematic, thanks to rampant antisemitism from the Russian population.
  • In Sorority Row, Jessica and Cassie really can't stand each other. However, they are forced to work together if they are to stand any chance of getting out of the sorority house alive.

  • In the third book of Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson and the Olympians", 'The Titan's Curse' a prophecy forces the campers of Camp Half-blood and the Hunters of Artemis to work together, despite their strong, long-living feud.
  • In Rick Riordan's The Heroes of Olympus, there is quite a bit of animosity between Hera and more than a few demigods, particularly Annabeth and Thalia, but as Piper points out, they will have to work together to beat the Giants and Gaia.
  • In Terry Pratchett's Truckers, the tiny Nomes must form a team to drive a lorry. If they can't they will die when the store they live in is demolished. They bicker and fight, but in the end, they face the fact they have to work together. They harness the power of the engine to save themselves. Due to the uneven teamwork, steering control comes a poor second.
  • Discworld: the Ogg extended family is described in a similar light.
  • Nathaniel and Bartimaeus in The Bartimaeus Trilogy.
  • Harry and Marcone in The Dresden Files.
  • Black Legion has Khayon and Telemachon. Both hate each other and at first, Telemachon only works with Khayon because otherwise, he loses the ability to feel any emotions. Later he joins the Black Legion's case wholeheartedly, but Khayon mentions that since then, they've tried to kill each other multiple times.
  • Snape and Sirius in Harry Potter despise each other despite being on the same side; Snape has never forgiven Sirius for encouraging him to go look for a fully-transformed werewolf while they were at school, while Sirius trusts anyone who worked for Voldemort as far as he can throw them. Dumbledore has to cajole them into shaking hands at the end of book four, and they continue to trade insults through every scene they have in the following book.
  • In Andy Hoare's White Scars novel Hunt for Voldorius, the White Scars and the Raven Guard manage to overcome Divided We Fall and do this. They find it difficult enough that the Raven Guard, attacking first, has brothers wondering if the White Scars will really support them.
  • In the Star Trek Novel Verse, any threat to the entirety of known space results in this, as the Federation tries, with varying degrees of success, to gather all the local powers into a coalition. It sort of works during the Gateways and Genesis Wave crises, and in the desperate days of the Borg Invasion, but there's always a lot of complaining. Now the Typhon Pact has been formed, motivating in turn an expansion of the Khitomer Accords, meaning there's a lot more teamwork going on in the Star Trek galaxy - and with it, more teeth clenching...
  • In the second Warrior Cats series, one cat from each of the four Clans is chosen by their ancestors for a mission. Two more cats end up coming along on the journey. Since they are from different Clans, some of them are quite a bit tense around each other, even hostile at times, but after helping each other through numerous dangers, they become Fire-Forged Friends.
  • In Catching Fire Katniss and Peeta have to forge an alliance with previous victors during the Quarter Quell, even though they can't trust them. And, you know, only one person can come out of the Quell alive.
    • Even on top of that, Katniss and Johanna really take the cake. At one point, Johanna slaps Katniss, and at another, Katniss considers the possibility of shooting Johanna "just to shut her up." They become more like Fire-Forged Friends in Mockingjay though.
  • This has been the consistent dynamic in Stephen Booth's Ben Cooper/Diane Fry police procedurals. Over the course of thirteen novels, the two have occasionally managed to reach a brief accord, but their personalities are so different that they are always misreading each other, even when it looks like they're about to become Fire-Forged Friends. It's typical that at the beginning of the series, Fry directs a Do You Think I Can't Feel outburst at Cooper when he's asleep.
  • In The Underland Chronicles, if two or more Underlander species have to work together, it most likely involves this.
  • In Julian, Libanius and Priscus are trying to write a biography of the titular character to combat the rising tide of Christianity. If they can only agree on the costs of copying the manuscript, that is.
  • Safehold has some examples:
    • Raynos Alvahrez and his artillery commander have quite a strained relationship at first, as the latter is a great supporter of admiral Thrisk, while the former blames Thrisk for death of his cousin. However, over time, they come to understanding, as Desnairans they're supposed to work with force them into sort of Enemy Mine situation.
    • Dohlarans and Desnairans as a whole are forced to work together as the "Army of Justice", but neither side has much love for one another. Both have been at war multiple times in the past and Dohlarans consider Desnairans moronic snobs, while Desnairans think that Dohlarans are uncultured and poor.
    • Vicars Rhobair and Zhaspar. They hate each others' guts and would love to get rid of each other as soon as possible, but are forced to work together as their departments (Finance and Inquisition, respectively) are two only things keeping the Church of God working.
  • In The Pillars of Reality, members of the Mages' and Mechanics' guilds have been taught to hold each other in contempt, so after Mari and Alain become the sole survivors of an attack, their initial interactions are full of suspicion and tension. They improve.
  • In All For The Game, the Palmetto State Foxes do not get along off the court—and before the series begins, they don't do very well on the court, either. However, as the series goes on, the players learn to understand each other a bit and get some Team Spirit.
  • In The Witchlands, Iseult's and Aeduen's journey starts of this way, as they're both antisocial, both unwilling to speak to one another unless they really have to, and expecting Inevitable Mutual Betrayal from each other. They warm up to one another as the time goes on, though.
  • In The Red Vixen Adventures Salli loathes Melanie for enslaving Ali, and Melanie thinks Salli is a stuck-up prig, but both of them put their feelings of animosity aside whenever Ali is in trouble.
  • Villains by Necessity: The party at the beginning. At one point they nearly end up coming to blows, before Kaylana gets the others to realize that none of them can complete the quest - or even survive in the long run - without the abilities of the others.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Jon Snow's unpopular plan of teaming the Night's Watch up with their enemies, the wildlings, against their common foe. No one is particularly happy about it.
    • Loboda, the Thenn who had just spurned Jon's offer of safe passage through the Wall, volunteers to accompany Jon to rescue the dragonglass and even has a Last Stand against a White Walker to buy Jon time.
    • As much as Tywin hates it, he does respect Tyrion as the most capable (or at least most trustworthy) of the lords in King's Landing. While he is harsh and abusive towards Tyrion, he does also speak to him as somewhat of an equal.
    • Grey Worm distrusts Tyrion as a foreigner and hates the diplomatic tactic of appeasing the former slavers, but lends his support because his Queen trusts the dwarf. Later, Dany's new allies don't seem to get along very well. Tyrion despises working with Ellaria Sand because Ellaria poisoned his niece Myrcella while Ellaria blames Tyrion for Oberyn's death. Olenna doesn't seem to trust Tyrion and advises Dany not to always listen to him. When Jon arrives to seek aid in the defense against the Night King, he and Dany spend much of the formative days of their alliance struggling to find a compromise between their goals.
    • Downplayed with Stannis, but it's quite visible that he doesn't particularly like using Melisandre's dark magic, but needs her all the same.
  • Our Miss Brooks: This happens whenever Mr. Conklin forces Miss Brooks to go along with a scheme of which she does not approve.
  • Frequently in Supernatural. Especially when Crowley is the person that the Winchesters or Castiel or both is forced to join forces with against a threat much worse than Crowley.
  • Hawaii Five-O. McGarrett and Danno in the remake hate each other's guts, but make one hell of a team. It should be noted that their everlasting hatred for each other ebbs and wanes as the plot dictates frequently. In the original, Danno was much more of a loyal follower.
  • This was a staple of 24. Jack being the kind of guy he is, most of the people who work with him do it with teeth TIGHTLY clenched. But it's not just him. Various government agencies will struggle to cooperate, as will individuals on those teams. Even the villains behind the given terrorist plot will be shown to be ready to cut each other at a moments' notice.
  • The first season finale of Torchwood. Jack summarizes it when he lists what his colleagues did during the season.
  • Firefly: Firefly is actually fairly mixed about this, as Jayne and Simon are often at odds with everyone else (and each other), and Inara and Shepherd are often at odds with Mal, but other than that everyone seems to get along just fine. Well except for Jayne and River. And Jayne and Inara. Or maybe it's just Jayne.
  • Farscape, especially in the earlier episodes, has the theme of highly incompatible beings having to work together to survive. Happens again when Scorpius joins the crew in season 4 (and again in "The Peacekeeper Wars".) No one wants him around, and with very good reason, but John is especially reticent to keep him aboard.
  • Lost has this come up every time three or more people have to cooperate on something, especially if Ben is involved.
  • Top Gear (UK) plays this up for laughs whenever the hosts have to work together. Jeremy's MO is to rush through a job with brute force while James likes to slowly work on a project with intricate/plodding attention to detail. Richard tends to get caught in the middle, not having Jeremy's penchant for raw power or the patience for James' fussiness. They were unnaturally supportive of each other for most of the 24 Hour Britcar Endurance Race, but admitted afterward that working together in a Power of Friendship way had made them "feel dirty". In Real Life, however, they are Vitriolic Best Buds and True Companions.
  • Blake's 7 has this due to some conflicting strong personalities among the crew.
  • House. Dr House's team falls into this category. The team is polite at best, and Dysfunction Junction at worst. The team does always set aside differences to help the patient, but they never stop sniping at each other. Still, even at their lowest low, they're productive. Then Season Five grabs a shovel. Up to that point, they were still cooperating, but after Season 5, Episode 13, it's pretty obvious that the team has almost no morals whatsoever, and no one seems to be trying to change that. Foreman has all but fallen from grace, Kutner lacks the gumption to back himself up, and everyone else has pretty much bent to House's will. At this point, they're the poster child for why every Five-Man Band needs The Chick.
    House, being House, seems to prefer that his team be at each other's throats. Hence his signing off on Foreman's thesis and not Cameron's, when Foreman basically cribbed off of Cameron. Among many other things.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: At the start of the show, this was the relationship between Major Kira and Commander Sisko since Kira felt as though the Federation was just waltzing into the vacuum left by Bajor's departed oppressors (the Cardassians). They eventually become Fire-Forged Friends. At the end of the show, this became the relationship between Major Kira, Gul Damar and Garak: after seven years of mutual loathing and mistrust, the trio are forced to work together to build La Résistance to throw the Dominion off Cardassia because, even though the Federation, Klingons and Romulans have joined forces to fight the Dominion, they still can't defeat it unless they can convince the Cardassians to fight against the Dominion, too. This also leads to Fire-Forged Friends.
    • Just because they enter the coalition to defeat the Dominion doesn't mean the Romulans like the Klingons any more than they didn't before. The feeling's mutual.
    • Dukat and Weyoun have this during the early stages of the war. The latter eventually drops this with Dukat's successor, Damar.
  • Star Trek: Voyager was all about this; what with the Federation and Maquis having to work together while not necessarily trusting each other. This wore off pretty quick by the end of the first season.
    • When Janeway proposed an alliance with the Borg to stop Species 8472, it was clear from the beginning it was going to be a suspect team-up.
  • In Star Trek: Enterprise, this makes up the last half of Season Three, once Archer convinces Degra and most of the Xindo Council that they were being manipulated by the Sphere Builders into attacking Humanity, planning to prevent their own defeat in the future at Human and Xindi hands. This comes across hardest for Tucker, who's forced to work with the man who's responsible for designing the weapon that killed 7 million people on Earth, wiped out his hometown and killed his younger sister.
  • Murphy Brown. The FYI team will almost always be at each other's throats when they need to be working together, mostly instigated by the size of their egos. Although The Power of Friendship comes through beautifully in the end, they'll have to have a free-for-all shouting brawl first.
  • A frequently recurring theme on Stargate Universe, primarily demonstrated in the Young and Rush characters.
    • Also happens on a national scale on planet Novus, populated by descendants of the Destiny crew from an alternate timeline who were thrown back in time by a gate malfunction. The two countries (Tenara and Futura) are bitter rivals over the philosophies of their founders but have gotten over their differences and pooled their resources together to build numerous Generation Ships to take them to another world when their civilization is threatened by a rogue Black Hole.
    • Played for Laughs when Brody innocently goes to download the Tenaran archive to Destiny, only to receive a withering Death Glare from all the Tenarans present in the room. After a moment of confusion, his colleagues point out that the alternate Brody was one of the chief architects of the Futuran government.
  • This happens frequently on Misfits, most notably when the group of Fire-Forged Friends kill their probation worker and have to go to extreme lengths to hide the evidence. There are a lot of clashing personalities (and generally appalling attitude problems note ) in the group, plus there's no clear leader, so the bickering never stops and occasionally gets nasty. But they usually manage to stick together when they absolutely have to. That said, when the situation gets really desperate in the season one finale and it looks like a full-scale Misfit Mobilization Moment might be on the cards, the team buckles under the pressure and falls apart completely. In season two, the group shows they are also True Companions, whenever one of them is in danger.
  • The entire fourth season of Angel, with one exception - that brief period when they were all mind controlled into working together. The depths of distrust, resentment, and betrayal spread through the team meant that imminent apocalypse was pretty much the only thing that could get them in the same room. This was especially noticeable between Gunn and Wesley, due to the latter's betrayal over the Connor affair and his interest in Fred. Furthermore, when pressed, Gunn confesses he can never be friends with Angel, his natural enemy. In Season 5 this happens between Angel and Spike, usually Played for Laughs.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The show had Cordelia as a reluctant team member (sort of), it gets worse after her breakup with Xander.
    • Spike could also be an example, especially in season 4, when he's only working with them so he can get to kill anything at all. Especially prominent with Xander.
    • Xander towards Angel, although not so much Angel towards Xander.
    • Anya winds up behaving this way to the rest of the Scoobies during the end of season 6 and the beginning of season 7 when she becomes a vengeance demon again after Xander leaves her at the altar.
  • Not every team on The Amazing Race ultimately finds themselves getting along, the separated couple of Tara & Wil (Season 2) being the best example. She actively flirted with another racer in front of him.
  • In the Season One finale of Legend of the Seeker, Richard and the newly-introduced Mord-Sith Cara are sent by an explosion to the Bad Future, where Darken Rahl and Kahlan's son killed his parents and confessed everyone in the world to worship him. Cara is initially reluctant to help her master's enemy. However, after she finds out that Nicholas Rahl has killed all her Mord-Sith sisters, she agrees to help him find the way to return to the present. In Season Two, she becomes a loyal companion to him, partly because of the revelation that Richard is next in line for the throne of D'Hara.
  • Battlestar Galactica: Blood & Chrome Hot-headed, rookie, want-a-be ace Adama teams up with weary, tired, just wants to make it out of the war alive Coker. Throw in a top-secret mission and you've got a lot of shouting between the two.
  • Roy and Brice in the Emergency! episode "The Nuisance." John is hurt and Brice is his temporary replacement. But Brice's lack of people skills and over-fondness for the rulebook irritate Roy to no end. He half jokingly tells the captain at one point that he might have to pop him in the jaw to work with him.
  • Sliders: This was very much the dynamic between Wade and Maggie during the latter half of season three (before Wade got Put on a Bus to Hell.) Maggie found Wade too weak and easily frightened while Wade didn't like Maggie's tough, uncaring persona. Quinn and Rembrandt managed to get along pretty well with both women (and each other), though.
  • Uchu Sentai Kyuranger: Stinger/Sasori Oranger and Champ/Ouishi Black work together only because they are on the same team and have the same goal. Champ would rather squish Stinger for killing his creator, Professor Anton and Stinger is just antisocial prick.
  • In Feud, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis utterly despise one another, but they agree to team up on Whatever Happened To Baby Jane in order to stay in the limelight in the face of the collapse of studio system and Jack Valance's efforts to banish Davis from Hollywood.
  • Kamen Rider OOO: Eiji Hino and Ankh start with a mutual agreement that they work together for as long as they need and try to kill each other the moment they will not.
  • Kamen Rider Ex-Aid:
    • Doctor Riders cooperating to defeat Graphite Bugster. Cooperating is very generous term as they butt heads through the whole fight, scoff at each other and generally show how much they hate having to do this.
    • Hiiro Kagami and Taiga Hanaya form this for the sake of their fellow rider, Emu Hojo. They justifiedly hate each other and see Emu as nuisance at best, but neither of them wants him to die.
  • Kamen Rider Build: This is where relationship of Sento Kiryu and Ryuga Banjou started. They are complete opposites - Sento is genius physicist and Ryuga is former pro fighter. They are initially stuck with each other out of necessity, but develop into Bash Brothers with a dose of vitriol over the time.
    • This is also present among the villains, Night Rogue, Blood Stalk and Juzaburo Nanba, with Blood Stalk in particular seemingly taking every opportunity to stab his allies in the back. It doesn't help that they have different goals: Night Rogue wants to trigger a war between the three nations that Japan was split into with the intention of Touto emerging on top, Nanba wants to do the same but only so he can swoop in and turn Japan into his own "immortal Nanba Empire", and Blood Stalk wants to annihilate all life on Earth.

  • This applies to two pairs of characters in Guiders of our Dreams. Fang murdered Lexia's family AND destroyed her village, and they are forced to work together for a greater cause, which is to kill the queen of Skiya. After a while, they do start to get along and look out for each other. Zephyr and Orpheus are also like this, but they simply don't trust one another.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Dr. Cube, the evil surgeon and Midori no Kaiju, who just wanted to destroy things, did not get along but worked together because they would be defeated by the Kaiju Big Battel heroes as individuals.
  • Chris Candido and Lance Storm in ECW, under stipulation they had to work together as a tag team or be fired, which came after Storm was kicked out of their group, Triple Threat.
  • Long-time rivals Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit were forced to work together during their reign as WWE Tag Team Champions in 2002.
  • The bizarre situation regarding the NWA World Tag Team Titles in TNA when they were won by a third of Triple X(Prime Time Elix Skipper) and half of America's Most Wanted (Chris Harris) by accident thanks to a shoddy call by a referee. They still disliked The Naturals and Team Canada more than each other but then their preferred partners, Christopher Daniels and James Storm accidentally won the belts from them and had even more trouble getting along.
  • Long time enemies Shantelle Taylor and Angel Williams were forced to team up in Deep South Wrestling against Shantelle's friend Tracy Taylor by general manager Krissy Vaine. Williams proved so insufferable the Taylors ended up dropping all concern about win loss records and company standing just to shut her up.
  • A one sided example in Radiant Rain and Mercedes Martinez, after the two made peace with one another in WSU. Mercedes likes Rain, but simply developed an aversion to tag team matches. Rain doesn't like Mercedes at all and only managed to tolerate her in tag team matches because there was usually someone else she liked even less, however slightly(and they officially made peace)
  • Bobby Roode and James Storm used to be in a tag team called Beer Money before Roode betrayed Storm. So they don't like each other too much but every once and while, find themselves slipping back into their old mannerisms and working together for short periods of time. They even did their old pose after double teaming AJ Styles before immediately resuming their own fight amongst themselves in mid 2012.
  • Basically the appeal of Team Hell No, the scourge AJ Lee accidentally brought on herself as general manager in her efforts to get revenge on Daniel Bryan by putting him in anger management with Kane.

  • Present in The Navy Lark whenever Commodore Povey and the Troutbridge Crew were forced to team up to defeat whatever lunacy the Admiralty foisted upon them. In Season one whenever Lt. Cmdr. Price and CPO Pertwee had to team up to outfox Povey's plans to drill them out of the Navy.

    Religion and Mythology 
  • Some versions of The Krampus have his partnership with Santa Claus be this, enslaved by Santa rather than it being genuine friendship like in other versions. Despite his terrifying appearance, Krampus is actually an example of Dark Is Not Evil, and punishing naughty children is simply his duty.

  • The 1986 New York Mets were one of the best baseball teams ever assembled. They were also, almost to a man, a bunch of drunks, womanizers, drug abusers, and masters of Jerkassery. More memorable then their fights against other teams (like literal, knuckle-up fights) were the ones among themselves. One of the more fractious ones was between team star Daryl Strawberry and the unofficial team captain Keith Hernandez.
  • The New York Yankees of the 1970's weren't called "the Bronx Zoo" for nothing. Team star Reggie Jackson and team manager Billy Martin nearly came to blows in the dugout and had to be separated. Team captain Thurmon Munson and Jackson did not get along, and that was no secret. And of course, owner George Steinbrenner, fired and rehired Martin multiple times. By some miracle of talent and skill, they found the time amidst all this dysfunction to win back-to-back World Series titles in 1977 and '78.
  • Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant spent 8 years together knowing they each would be more likely to win with the other around, but finally, in 2004, the team fell apart in the Finals largely due to their feud and it was obvious one or the other had to go. Both men did end up winning a title or two afterward though. Now that both men have retired from the NBA they have made an effort to mend fences.
  • In a similar vein, the 1985 Chicago Bears are often considered to be one of the greatest teams in the history of the NFL, but their head coach Mike Ditka and defensive coordinator Buddy Ryan did not get along at all. The roots of the problem began when their deceased founder and owner, George 'Papa Bear' Halas, hired Ditka to be the head coach in 1982 over Ryan, who had been with the Bears five years prior and felt he should have gotten the job. Both men were able to stomach each other for the cause of winning, but their animosity came to a head on a Monday Night Football game against the Miami Dolphins, who ended up spoiling an otherwise perfect season giving the Bears their only loss that year. During halftime, Ditka and Ryan finally came to blows and after that year Ryan left for the head coaching job at Philadelphia. Ditka later commented that they were both better together than apart.

    Tabletop Games 
  • A Teeth Clenched Party can lead to some brilliant situations in Dungeons & Dragons, especially when the players make their characters without caring how well they'll work with the rest of the team. Regularly degrades into We ARE Struggling Together, forcing the Dungeon Master to come up with Enemy Mine scenarios just to keep the players' characters from knifing each other over a few pieces of gold. Often overlaps with Elves vs. Dwarves and Evil Cannot Comprehend Good.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Imperial forces working together with xenos, which has happened in a variety of ways from Worthy Opponent to painfully bad. Indeed, several Imperial forces working with other Imperial forces, such as Space Wolves and Dark Angels, qualify.
      This is sometimes codified: the races are broken up into two super-factions, Order and Disorder (since the punchier antonym for "order" is already taken.) Disorder are everybody's enemies, all the time, especially each other; Order will team up in the face of an overwhelming threat from Disorder, and fight to the death any other time. This is officially codified by the Allies system introduced in the game's 6th edition rules, which has four settings (ranging from "battle-brothers" to "come the apocalypse, but not before"), with the middle two representing this trope. The main difference is that in the first the factions dislike each other a great deal but are willing to mostly cooperate, while the second is for those who are relentlessly paranoid and keeping an eye on each other in order to spot the coming betrayal so they can fire first.
    • This is the only way the Chaos Gods know how to work together, as the constant struggle for power they engage in inside the Warp, plus the intrinsic opposition some of the Gods have to each other, makes any alliance grudging at best and guaranteed to only last as long as they can keep causing trouble in realspace.
  • Changeling: The Lost revolves around this kind of teamwork. Four to six vaguely human characters who have been tortured in unique ways for the last twenty years all show up on earth around the same time and agree to work together out of necessity for numbers. Then a Fetch shows up and three of them want it dead, two of them want to reason with it and one of them is off picking his nose. If any of them actually hurts the others, they will get hit with the result of their Magically Binding Contract that keeps them allies.
  • This is how the Inner Sphere responded after the invasion of the Clans in the 3050s timeframe in Battle Tech. The five Great Houses (and Com Star) have spent the last three or four hundred years fighting with each other constantly, and when the Clans arrive, initially each faction leaves their rivals to their fate, believing they can hold their own or at least let these 'alien invaders' do the hard work for them. Only the intervention of Jamie Wolf finally makes the Inner Sphere cooperate in what is at best an Enemy Mine scenario.
    • The invading Clans also have their own beef with each other, specifically with Clan Wolf and Jade Falcon, who's invasion corridor are next to each other, and they don't mind taking the time to attack the other when they get the opportunity. Then there's Clan Steel Viper, who share the Falcons invasion route. Eventually, they too started fighting each other and the Vipers were forcefully ejected out of the Inner Sphere for good.
  • The five Praetors of New Phyrexia in Magic: The Gathering. In particular, Jin-Gitaxias and Vorinclex never hide their hatred towards each other.
    • Many fans believe that this will eventually lead to an all-out Enemy Civil War.
  • Exalted: this is a common feature, especially in Circles that don't get along very well, but the absolute peak has to be when Sidereals of different factions are forced to cooperate. There's even an NPC who goes out of his way to force Bronze and Gold Sidereals to work together.
  • Can pop up in Masks: A New Generation. The players get a "Team Pool" that they can spend to boost each other through Team Spirit, but difficult circumstances (no clear leader, a distrusted leader, diverging aims in a given scenario) will reduce the size of the team pool and the overall effectiveness of the team.



    Video Games 
  • Crash Twinsanity has it when Crash and Cortex team up to fight the Evil Twins. For starters, there's the game's Rollerbrawl mechanic, as well as the fact that Crash also tends to use Cortex as a bludgeoning and throwing weapon. The game's tagline even lampshades it ("They're working together, but they don't have to like it!").
  • Mega Man and Proto Man: They never actually have a problem working together, but they also never actually work together. Proto Man does his own thing while Mega Man saves the day (usually). They help each other out, however.
    • Mega Man and Bass, though again, they never work together, just towards the same goal.
    • Mega Man Battle Network: Lan and Chaud, and, by extension, MegaMan.EXE and ProtoMan.EXE
    • Mega Man Star Force: Geo and Rogue.
      • Also, in the early stages, Geo and Omega-Xis.
  • Just try to say anytime you played a game online you didn't have to do this at some point.
  • The Survivors in Left 4 Dead 2 have this kind of relationship, at least initially. They're complete strangers, but eventually, emerge as Fire-Forged Friends.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, big time. Being a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits the Exile's companions have only their mutual loyalty to him/her in common, and nothing else. Being hostile to each other because of their directly conflicting views and opinions. Bao'dur hates Mandalore for what his people did during the war. Handmaiden sees Visas Marr as a rival for the Exile's affection. If the Exile is female then Atton dislikes Disciple for the same reason. None of the droids are particularly fond of each other. Hanharr hates everyone, and nobody likes Kreia. Mira being pretty much the only one who doesn't have it out for anybody else.
    • If you count the restored content, by the end of the game almost everyone is trying to kill each other for one reason or another.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2, too. Obsidian Entertainment seems to like this trope.
  • Alistair and Morrigan of Dragon Age: Origins. Big time. Especially if they sleep together in a dark magic ritual to save his/the PC's life.
    • This theme continues on into ''Dragon Age II' as well; Fenris and Anders aside from their deep hatred for each other despite an awful lot of similarities tend to alienate others. Fenris in general dislikes mages (though he has less of a problem with the Hawkes) and Anders' obsession with the Mage/Templar conflict compounded by Vengeance leaves him antagonistic towards most of the party members by the third act.
    • Depending on whether Hawke sides with the mages or Templars in the endgame, certain teammates with full Rivalry scores, but opposing alliances, can be convinced to continue working with Hawke for the final boss fights.
    • In Dragon Age: Inquisition, Vivienne tends to look down on almost every other character due to her classism and snobby demeanor. As a Pro-Circle mage with a lot of political influence, she tends to treat most characters with disdain, particularly those with differing opinions of mage politics such as Solas or those from lower-class backgrounds such as Sera and Blackwall. Cole, in particular, gets the scorn of both Vivienne and Sera due to his status as a spirit in the form of a human and both of them refer to him as "it".
    • While Hawke gets along fine with their Grey Warden friend at first in Inquisition, the revelations as to what the Grey Wardens have done and are doing infuriates Hawke leading to a back and forth What the Hell, Hero? between the two of them, with the Warden responding by calling out Hawke's part in the beginning of the Mage-Templar War. Alistair in particular takes his/her anger at the Wardens quite personally.
  • Basically everyone playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii if they're not actually out to kill each other.
  • Bowser, in Super Paper Mario. Mario's archenemy first refuses to join Mario in his quest to stop Count Bleck from wiping out all dimensions, even at the first request of Peach (despite the fact he finally got one of his dearest wishes come true thanks to the Count who forcefully married them). He changes his mind however, very begrudgingly, once Mario and Peach point out that his desire to be the ruler of the world would never come true should their world be destroyed by the Count; and his minions are now brainwashed to serve the Count, infuriating Bowser at the idea.
  • Mass Effect 2. Similar to the Knights example above, several of your team-mates go at it against each other with biotics (Jack and Miranda) or end up with weapons drawn (Legion and Tali) forcing you to pick sides (or choose a third option if you're charming/intimidating enough). And of course, there's the Justicar who agrees to work with you but also vows to kill you after the mission if you're too much of a Renegade.
    • In the first game, Garrus and Shepard can have this dynamic if one plays Shepard as a Paragon. Garrus wants Saren, and the antagonist of his personal mission, dead, with very good reason. He really doesn't care to deal with any red tape or rules in pursuit of these goals, which is mostly why he left C-Sec in the first place. Paragon Shepard can insist on playing everything by the book because the rules are there for a reason. This can continue to the point that Garrus grumbles it's like he's still in C-Sec. Eventually, they get past it and he becomes one of Shepard's most loyal and closest friends.
    • Also in the first game, depending on how Wrex is talked down on Virmire, him agreeing to help you destroy Saren's facility follows this. Turned around in the third game, if Shepherd would rather not cure the Genophage. If you don't cure the genophage, Teeth-Clenched Teamwork turns into a shootout on the Citadel.
    • Overall, this is something of a theme for Shepard and Cerberus. They tried to kill Shepard in the first game and s/he ruined several operations, but now they're working for a common goal. By the end of the trilogy, they're back to the first game relationship, only with more personal hatred and heavier artillery on both sides.
    • Miranda is initially distrustful of Shepard, particularly Paragon who is extremely opposed to Cerberus, not trusting them to truly work for the better of Cerberus. Once Shepard helps her protect her sister with no ulterior motives, Miranda greatly warms up to him/her, culminating in her abandoning Cerberus in favor of Shepard and a friendship that lasts into 3.
  • In Mass Effect 3 much of the galaxy is in this position in their rather desperate fight against the Reapers. Depending on Shepard's actions the final united force can include krogan and turian armies fighting together on Palavan, the Geth and quarians fighting together over Earth and the rachni helping build the crucible.
    • One of the people that Shepard can recruit is the batarian terrorist, Balak, who Shepard stopped from making a Colony Drop on a human colony three years before. Despite now being on the same side, both Balak and Shepard make it clear how much they despise each other.
    Officer Noles: Do you want me to arrest him?
    Shepard: I want you to put a bullet in his head, but we're all making some sacrifices today.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • The team of Sonic and Knuckles in Sonic Advance 3. When the two are chosen in the character selection, the two are noticeably uncomfortable about it. Eggman actually teams up with Super Sonic to fight the True Final Boss in this game, however he averts this trope. His only line of dialogue is him telling Super Sonic to use tag action to hurt the boss.
      • One of the verses of Knuckles' theme song in Sonic Adventure actually points out about how he views teamwork:
        I have no such things as weak spots
        Don't approve of him, but you gotta trust him
        This alliance has a purpose
        This partnership is only temporary.
    • Also, Shadow and E-123 Omega in the beginning of the Team Dark Story in Sonic Heroes after Rouge stopped them from fighting each other. They've got better from then on.
    • Knuckles and Rouge in Sonic Rivals 2. Justified since Knuckles can't trust her in retrieving the Master Emerald from Dr. Eggman with him.
    • Sonic, Tails, and Eggman develop this in Sonic Lost World. They spend just as much, if not even more, time bickering with and insulting one another as they do actually working together.
  • In Scaler, the first person the titular character meets is a Lizard Man named Leon. While he's no less hostile than any of the other wildlife Scaler's encountered so far, he and Scaler are united in their mutual hatred of the Big Bad, Looger. They form an uneasy partnership to try and deal with him. They eventually grow to get along, though they aren't willing to admit it at first—until they realize they're long-separated father and son.
  • Kane and Lynch. In the first half, they are actually forced to work together, much to the disdain of both- in the second half, they're working together to kill a common enemy, but they still hate each other. In the sequel, they both end up pissing off a major crime lord in China, once again forced to work together to survive.
  • A few of the characters you get in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn often argue amongst themselves and occasionally leave the party due to the other character. Example: If you keep Keldorn the paladin and Viconia the dark elf in the party together for too long, Keldorn will pick a fight with her for the sole reason of her being a dark elf (though given how he reacts to a certain renowned good dark elf he might have been able to look past that if it wasn't for his other issues with her).
  • The Australian team in World Destruction League: War Jetz fight among themselves as much as they attack the player. Good thing too, as they fly the best plane in the game.
  • Master Chief John-117 and Arbiter Thel 'Vadam start off like in Halo 3, given that they were on opposite sides less than a month ago. They end up becoming something of Bash Brothers by the end, though.
  • Norman Jayden and Carter Blake in Heavy Rain. One's a by-the-book FBI profiler agent, the other's a Rabid Cop. They Fight Crime! (poorly).
  • Final Fantasy XIII starts off like this; after being turned into l'Cie they are forced to cooperate in order to survive, but each member of the team has it's own goals and many members hate other members. This often leads to the party being divided into smaller groups and many fights between main characters. Other than Hope holding a large grudge that borders on hatred toward Snow, Sazh could only barely keep himself from killing Vanille, Lightning really doesn't like Snow to the point of punching him three times, and tries to leave the entire party behind on several occasions and doesn't hold back on punishing Fang for her part in getting them in this mess either.
  • The team in the Fallout: New Vegas DLC Dead Money composes of a band of individuals with their own emotional baggage (and you) who are forced to cooperate together due to the fact that their lives are under the whims of an even worse lunatic who's strapped Explosive Collars on all of them and linking them to ensure cooperation. The Courier is forced to work with them to progress, all the while trying to ensure each others' survival. Later on, when the team finally splits up, you're given the option of either killing them or helping them deal with their own issues, after which they might try to help you in the final mission. At the end, if everyone survives long enough to deal with their employer and remove the threat of their collars going off, they still don't trust each other, but decide to part ways peacefully.
  • Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099 in Spider-Man: Edge of Time, mainly due to their differing ideologies and ideas on how to handle the situation.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • The Alliance and Horde forces guarding the Dark Portal (the common entrance into Outland for both factions) in the Blasted Lands are forced to put aside their hatred for one another for a common cause, but neither is happy about it, and you will be asked to spy on the other faction's plans.
    • And then there's pick up groups for the players, which range from being decent enough to clear the dungeons to being plagued by bickering, infighting and scapegoating for failures, and being unable to make any progress. To be fair, guilds are also susceptible to drama that can result in players making an exodus from the guild or the entire guild breaking up, despite (or because) of the fact that the players tend to group with each other more often and are used to how they work as a team.
    • The issues associated with pick up groups are only escalated by the pick-up raid feature introduced in Cataclysm. Take all the problematic combinations you can get with jerks, incompetents, and trolls in a five-man group, and multiply that by five. All new avenues of conflict open up when you realize that healers and tanks, while previously unique and indispensable to their teams, are now in competition with each other.
    • The Ashen Verdict is a combined order of Paladins and Death Knights devoted to fighting the Lich King. The former, being more traditionally heroic, and the latter, being a group of anti-heroes, often clash over tactics, such as whether to fire on enemy forces with a risk of harming soldiers webbed as human shields. Unlike the Alliance and the Horde, however, they can actually work together.
    • In Cataclysm, when players are sent to meet Thrall at the Maelstrom, the Alliance quest giver knows full well that an Alliance hero would feel this while working for the former Horde warchief. Unfortunately the developers forgot this and as the expansion put more focus on Thrall, they were faced with angry Alliance players playing patsy to a character that was their enemy just prior to Deathwing's return.
    • In the Legion expansion's Warlock class quests, human warlock Kira Iresoul is initially unwilling to work with you because of your association with her former mentor, orc warlock Ritssyn Flamescowl. After you do some quests on her behalf, she agrees to out of obligation to you, but regularly insults or threatens Ritssyn.
    • Also from Legion, the high, night and blood elves ally with the Nightfallen rebels against the Nightborne. Unfortunately, the three groups of elves have long-standing grudges against one another, which one NPC says are enough to make the enmity between the Alliance and the Horde look petty, and Tyrande, leader of the night elves, doesn't fully trust Thalyssra, leader of the Nightfallen. Despite their differences, as well as the Nightborne's efforts to take advantage of them, the groups do ultimately work together and march against the Nightborne together, with Khadgar marveling at how much their teamwork improved.
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun: Firestorm GDI and Nod temporarily join forces to defeat CABAL, both sides not too happy about it, and go their separate ways after CABAL is defeated.
  • Tales of the Abyss has Jade, Tear and Anise each suffering this with Luke for a while, when they rejoin him post-Akzeriuth. They're all justifiably angry with him, and clearly don't trust him anymore, and they're mostly working with him for convenience or by coincidence. The only exception is Guy, who went back to Luke voluntarily. And don't worry, they all get better.
    • This trope also applies to the sequence just before this, in which Asch takes Luke's place to investigate Ortion Cavern with Natalia, Jade and Anise. He's a Jerkass the whole time.
      • Asch IS this trope through the majority of the game. He becomes the Sixth Ranger after the Akzeriuth incident, but opts to work by himself because he can't stand his "teammates" (particularly Luke); Natalia is the only exception.
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening the player can command certain units to pair up and work as a team such as Chrom and Gangrel, even though in the story those two clearly hate each other.
  • In Tekken 4 Kazuya and his father Heihachi briefly team up in order to fight a squad of robots. They perform well together as a team and are in perfect synchronization, and only when the battle is about to end with an explosive finale does Kazuya betray his father and leave him to die in a massive explosion. The fact is that Kazuya and Heihachi despise each other to the point that they each tried to kill the other. In the Tekken Tag Team spin offs the player can pair up Jin with Kazuya his father and like in the previous generation Jin wants nothing more than to hurt Kazuya and Kazuya returns that gesture. Their victory poses actually have them staring each other down, while in another Jin attempts to punch Kazuya before he flies away.
  • The allied races in Guild Wars 2 tend to clash quite often due to their greatly different social, religious, and moral differences. This is especially pronounced between the Charr and humans due to their long history of war with one another. Only renewed aggression from the Elder Dragons convinces them to put aside their differences.
  • Ratchet and Clank through the latter half of the first game. The two start on friendly enough terms, but after Qwark's betrayal Ratchet becomes excessively bitter and bent on getting revenge or goofing off rather than going after Drek like Clank wants to and blames Clank for falling for Qwark's trap, while Clank becomes irritated at Ratchet's lack of responsibility, leading the two to personally start clashing. The only reason they remain together is they need each other to accomplish their respective tasks, and both make it clear they're not happy it. They're able to get over things by the end of the game and through the rest of the sequels they're back to being friends.
  • In Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle, Morgane and her father's first mate, Diego, don't much get along, since he considers her unfit for the responsibility her father has given her. However, they find common ground on the need to get Morgane's father to come to terms with his wife's death. The teamwork gets less forced after they succeed at that.
  • In Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, King Dedede, once Kirby's most iconic rival, joins the side of good for a change. However, he was very reluctant about his decision to do so. Averted in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, where he joins Kirby's adventure of his own volition and with no hesitation.
  • Persona 3 initially has a fair amount of friction between the second-years and the third-years who are the founding members of SEES (especially Mitsuru, whose family was responsible for the incident that created the Shadows SEES fights), particularly since Yukari accuses the latter group of ordering the others around while keeping secrets from them. In the spinoff Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, which pairs the casts of Persona 3 and 4, on the Persona 3 route, Yukari notes how much closer the cast of the fourth game is, and gradually gains the resolve to do something about it. In the end, though, the group becomes a cohesive force, and Yukari and Mitsuru eventually become friends.
    • During The Answer, virtually no one trusts Metis, Aigis' "sister," since Metis starts off attacking them, and they see her as first and foremost concerned about Aigis. On a party-wide scale, the group's teamwork regresses as a result of lowered morale following the protagonist's death, and near the end, they end up fighting each other to resolve their dispute over what to do with the Keys of Time. They come to their senses, though, in time to defeat the final boss and return to their own time.
  • Granblue Fantasy: The Luminary Knights and Gilbert mutually despise each other with the only thing keeping them from descending into fighting being their loyalty to the True King.
  • Grand Theft Auto V: The main trio all work together, usually because the FIB are making them, despite Trevor's anger at Michael faking his own death, Michael not wanting anything to do with Trevor and wanting to prevent him learning the truth about North Yankton, with Franklin caught in the middle of their bickering, much to his own annoyance. It's made even worse when Trevor finds out Brad died and was buried in Michael's place.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse has humans, the angels led by Merkabah, and the demons led by Lucifer, all working together in order to defeat the Divine Powers, who have stepped into the picture as the greatest threat to all. The three temporarily-aligned factions make it clear that they still hate one another's guts and are only putting in as much teamwork as they absolutely need to; Lucifer and Merkabah by nature of being opposites to each other and humans against Lucifer and Merkabah due to the sides they represent (Chaos and Law, respectively) always using humans as pawns instead of having humanity's best interests in mind.
  • In Overwatch, some combinations of Heroes on the same team lead to conversations where it's clear that the involves Heroes are not too thrilled about having to work together:
    • Widowmaker and Tracer:note 
      Widowmaker: It looks like we will be working together.
      Tracer: Don't think I'm happy about that.
    • Symmetra and Lúcio:note 
      Symmetra: To think, I would have to work with a street ruffian.
      Lúcio: I'm not all that excited about this arrangement either.
    • Torbjörn and Bastion:note 
      Torbjörn: I hate working with these talking tin cans!
  • In The Elder Scrolls backstory, Akatosh, the draconic God of Time and chief deity of the Aedric Nine Divines pantheon, had one of these with Pelinal Whitestrake during the Alessian Revolt. Pelinal was sent by the Divines to be Alessia's champion, but he could always feel Akatosh's burning gaze upon him. With Pelinal believed to have been a Shezarrine, a physical incarnation of Lorkhan's (the "dead" creator god of Mundus, the mortal plane) spirit, this makes a degree of sense as Akatosh/Auri-El considered it a "moment of weakness" when he went with Lorkhan's plan to create Mundus and likely still harbors a grudge. When Pelinal went too far in one of his berserker fits of rage and damaged the lands themselves, Akatosh and the other divines nearly left Mundus in disgust until they were placated by Alessia. Eventually, Alessia's forces won, Pelinal was cut to pieces by the Ayleids, and Akatosh became the patron deity of Alessia's new empire of Men.
  • In Divinity: Original Sin II, you can have Sebille, a woman who was enslaved by the lizardfolk and forced to kill her own kind resulting in a burning hatred of lizards and slavery, in the same party as The Red Prince, an exiled lizard prince (exiled for consorting with demons, if you're curious) who has no problem with the idea of slavery and actually suggests that he should execute Sebille for breaking her bonds in their second meetingnote . Needless to say, they don't get along at all well, though, given enough time, they can become Fire-Forged Friends, with The Red Prince even teaming up with Sebille to kill her former master.
  • In Doom (2016), Doomguy and Samuel Hayden both want to defeat the invading demons and save the universe, but that's pretty much the extent of any agreement between them. Hayden wants to use the energy from Hell to provide power for all humanity, while Doomguy knows said energy is more trouble than it's worth and destroys everything relating to the demons. Hayden can only just barely hide his contempt for Doomguy, while the latter doesn't even bother trying and only agrees to work with Hayden at all because he's forced to. Once the demons are beaten and the Hell portal closed, Hayden almost immediately backstabs Doomguy by teleporting him to another realm where he can't get in the way of further research.
  • In Injustice 2, Batman and Superman still hate each other following the events of the first game. When Supergirl arrives on earth, to protect her cousin, she allies herself with the remainder of Superman's Regime to bust him out of his red sun prison. When Braniac invades earth and captures several cities for his collection, Batman's allies are against that idea of freeing Superman to help them, until Batman himself frees Superman. The Rigime and Batman's allies work toghether to save earth by fighting the Society and their ringleader, Braniac. Once they're defeated, the feud erupts once again, and if the player sides with Superman, then Superman will merge with Braniac's ship, and brainwash Batman to do his bidding and threaten to do the same to Supergirl. However if the player sides with Batman, then the Regime is captured of forced to go into hiding again, Superman is de-powered, and put in the Phantom Zone. Gotham and several other cities were destroyed, Batman then tells Supergirl that its up to her to show the people of earth that the symbol of the house of El still means hope.

    Visual Novels 
  • M and Mary sign a contract in Shikkoku no Sharnoth in order to destroy the Metacreatures. M is completely dispassionate, while Mary grows to hate him more as time passes. In the end, she finally understands him and saves him in some sense, but contrary to what might be expected this does not develop into a romance.
  • Akai Ito: Uzuki the demon hunter openly despises supernaturals since her big brother was killed by one, Sakuya yields an undying grudge toward the demon hunters due to their act of genocide on her clan, while Tsuzura just want to get the hell out since she hates being the leader of the demon hunters, and don't like people in general. However, they must set aside their difference because Nushi is the real threat.
  • All over the place in Dangan Ronpa, because forcing multiple volatile teenagers into solving murder cases under the threat of death is bound to cause some friction. The Rival characters, in particular, tend to make life even more difficult for their respective protagonists while simultaneously being a valuable asset in the investigations and trials.
  • Fate/stay night is full of this, though it usually lessens as the parties get to know each other or come to a mutual understanding. Rin and Shirou, Shirou and Saber, Saber and Rin, Illya and Rin, Illya and Saber, everyone and Kotomine... but nothing tops the sheer molar-grinding of Shirou and Archer. Shirou cannot stand Archer, as his callous nature and willingness to sacrifice innocent people to achieve victory so long as he saves more than he kills fly in the face of Shirou's ideals of "saving everyone, regardless of the cost to myself". Archer, on the other hand, would like nothing more than to murder Shirou in cold blood so that he can be erased from existence, but typically he can't either because Rin has him under a Command Seal to not hurt Shirou, or because he considers keeping Rin alive to be more important. The one route where Archer manages to Xanatos Gambit his way into being free to act on that desire? Everything goes to hell very quickly.

    Web Animation 
  • Broken Saints gives us a villainous example: Benjamin Palmer and Lear Dunham clearly have no great love for each other, but they need each other's help to execute the Evil Plan. Of course, once Palmer has outlived his usefulness, Lear is quick to dispose of him.
  • Red vs. Blue
    • This is true for pretty much the entire casts, especially at the start of the series, with neither team getting along with each other, let alone with the opposite team. This is downplayed somewhat as the series goes on, with them becoming more or less True Companions, but even then they still have their squabbles, especially with Sarge insisting on acting like the war between Red and Blue is still on, long after both teams had more or less made peace with each other.
    • This is noted to have been Felix's and Locus' relationship during the war. They greatly disliked each other and were extremely competitive, but they were on the same side in a very deadly war, so they worked together to survive it. Now that the war is over they still work together, due to the fact that they make a disturbingly effective team, allowing both of them to make a good living for joint mercenary work. But they still most certainly hate each other, and are implied to want to kill each other, but they both know they will never get another partner who works in sync with them as well as the other.
  • This is the conflict driving RWBY's first season. Three mostly good people are forced to work with a bratty, arrogant Alpha Bitch (although she eventually becomes more of a Lovable Alpha Bitch as she undergoes Character Development).
    • This also applies to Ozpin's personnel circle and the Atlas Military, most notably between Qrow Branwen and Winter Schnee who only barley reluctantly associate with each other and in the first appearance together quickly get into a fight.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Between Asia and Julie vs their Darkness counterparts in 'VRcade'.

    Web Comics 
  • The Light Warriors of 8-Bit Theater are each others' greatest enemies and can barely cooperate. However, unlike other examples, this indeed makes it so that they tend to make little to no progress for much of their story, most of it being the actions of others or an individual member (in fact, teamwork tends to make things worse). The problem is that they're a Five-Man Band with no fifth member. The closest thing they have is White Mage, who tries to get them to cooperate — but that only leads to more bickering. Couple that with the fact that the closest thing to a Hero amongst them is a Cloud Cuckoolander who is only capable of Crowning Moments of Awesome when his Crazy Awesome falls just right into place (which is rarely), and the other three are an amoral swindler, a homicidal philanderer, and a delusional roleplayer... well, yeah. It's surprising they're capable of doing ANYTHING throughout the series.
  • All twelve trolls in Homestuck. They spend 90% of the Hivebent arc bickering, scheming against, and attempting to murder each other, but eventually knuckle down and work together to fight (and defeat!) the Black King in their session. It doesn't last for too long after that however...
  • In Juathuur, Juoira's group bicker a lot, but most of the bickering is playful, and they still function. Contrast with Faevv's group. which bicker less until everyone goes separate ways because of a general lack of cohesion.
  • Zii and the Troublemakers, the three-woman rock band in Ménage à 3, more or less runs on this. Yuki and Sonya can't stand each other (though Sonya quite enjoys provoking Yuki), and Zii finds both of them stressful to work with for various reasons — but they all enjoy being in the band too much.
  • Wastelanders Anonymous has Benjamin, Jeff and Felix not getting along with each other. Benjamin especially keeps trying to quit the team but then he keeps coming back to the team.
  • In The Order of the Stick, the Order of the Stick's predecessors who created the original Gates were individually strong but two of them had some serious problems working together. The Chaotic Rogue Girard Draketooth and the Lawful paladin Soon Kim did not get along at all. The death of a comrade near the end of their journey brought their mutual hostility to a boiling point and only the intervention of another comrade kept them from killing each other on the spot. An illusionary trap left behind by Girard reveals that he apparently never stopped hating Soon.
  • Winter Moon is set in an MMORPG. The two main characters kind of hate each other, but end up forming a guild and (barely) working together because they've made powerful enemies. They do become genuine friends later, though.
  • The Lackya of Girl Genius were built to be perfect servants in upper-class households, so they despise the rowdy, violent Jägermonsters... but they all work for Baron Wulfenbach, and they all hate the Other's mind control wasps.
    Jäger General: Sir—dere iz a time to twit nancy-boy feetsmen und a time to crush bogs.

    Web Original 
  • The Vindicators of the Whateley Universe. Kismet, the leader, won't admit she ever makes a mistake. Lemure hates her and is only still on the team because of Sizemax. Dynamaxx enjoys playing them off against each other. Captain Canada! is likely to go off the deep end at the first serious stressor.
  • Our Avatars Were In A Room Together The Continuation: When Sol steals the Fireseal and beats up a bunch of knights in order to get to Justice and destroy her himself, Ky is forced to join Sol out of desperation to end the war, despite disagreeing with his methods.
  • In Marble Hornets, Tim and Jay pretty much hate each other when they first start working together (admittedly, Tim did attack Jay, albeit while temporarily insane, and Jay kept Tim in the dark about things he couldn't remember). However, after a while, they eventually develop a strong friendship.
  • The behind-the-scenes work for Bennett the Sage's anime review show Anime Abandon is largely done by Marc the Engineer, who seems to barely tolerate Sage and does his job extremely grudgingly. Outside the show's 'verse, they are genuine friends.

    Western Animation 
  • The Killer Bass of Total Drama Island invoke this trope in the second episode when self-designated Team Mom Courtney forces them to work together to build a hot tub, Hilarity Ensues.
  • In "To Where and Back Again", the sixth-season finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, a team of misfits assembles to do the world-saving typically done by the protagonists, who are indisposed. Although the group members are not all averse to teamwork, none of them are used to being team players, and at least one is actively antisocial. Of course, this just makes the group dynamics all the more interesting, and the eventual victory all the more fulfilling.
  • The Five-Man Band from Code Lyoko starts out like this, evolving into a True Companions as the series goes on. Though technically fueled by their Power of Friendship towards Aelita, in the beginning they don't really have much loyalty to each other, and it's kind of easy to get them to break up or lose at least one member.
  • In Young Justice, the villains Sportsmaster and Cheshire obviously can't stand each other from their first appearance together. Fridge Brilliance kicks in a few episodes later when it is confirmed that Sportsmaster is Cheshire's (verbally and emotionally abusive) father, who she ran away from home to escape.
    • This also occurs between Kid Flash and Artemis for a while after Artemis' arrival, since Wally saw her as usurping the position that should have been occupied by his friend Spee- sorry, Red Arrow. All of this ends when they enter a relationship in season 2.
  • In the BattleTech animated cartoon, the 1st Somerset Strikers don't exactly get along all the time.
  • Starscream and Megatron of Transformers Animated are stuck working together for good part of season 3. They clearly hate each other and don't even bother to hide their contempt for the arrangement.
  • An Alternate Character Interpretation of a certain band of teenagers:
    I fucking hate my job. I'll try to sum it up by first telling you about the folks I work with:
    First, there is this supermodel wanna-be chick. Yeah, okay, she is pretty hot, but damn is she completely useless. The girl is constantly fixing her hair or putting on makeup. She is extremely self-centered and has never once considered the needs or wants of anyone but herself. She is as dumb as a box of rocks, and I still find it surprising that she has enough brain power to continue to breathe.
    The next chick is completely the opposite. She might even be one of the smartest people on the planet. Her career opportunities are endless, and yet she is here with us. She is a zero on a scale of 1 to 10. I'm not sure she even showers, much less shaves her "womanly" parts. I think she might be a lesbian, because every time we drive by the hardware store, she moans like a cat in heat.
    But the crown jewel has got to be the fucking stoner. And this guy is more than just your average pothead. In fact, he is baked before he comes to work, during work, and I'm sure after work. He probably hasn't been sober anytime in the last ten years, and he's only 22. He dresses like a beatnik throwback from the 1960's, and to make things worse, he brings his big fucking dog to work. Every fucking day I have to look at this huge Great Dane walk around half-stoned from the second-hand smoke. Hell, sometimes I even think it's trying to talk with its constant bellowing. Also, both of them are constantly hungry, requiring multiple stops to McDonald's and Burger King, every single fucking day.
    Anyway, I drive these fucktards around in my van, solving mysteries and shit.
  • This happens occasionally on Kim Possible, notably in the episode "Go Team Go" when Shego teams up with Kim and her estranged family to defeat Aviarius.
  • Slade teamed up with the Teen Titans to save Raven and the world in the "The End" episode arc. Slade and the Titans still absolutely hated each other's guts, but managed to cooperate for some time. (Craziest part? Slade was a least trying to be polite about it, Robin was not.)
  • This happens a lot in Archer, the ISIS employees tend to get into petty fights on a daily basis. Whenever Archer and Lana are on mission together, Archer tends do stupid things that mess up their mission. Things get worse when the rest of ISIS take part in a mission, at least one of them will slip up, or were the cause of why their mission is compromised.
  • Happens frequently between Dudley Puppy and Kitty Katswell on T.U.F.F. Puppy; they are a dog and a cat, after all.
  • Sideswipe and Strongarm in Transformers: Robots in Disguise, Sideswipe's rebellious attitude clashes with Strongarm's By-the-Book Cop tendencies.
  • The Season 2 opener of Iron Man ends with Force Works dissolving as Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, and Century decide to quit after Tony fakes his death and War Machine and the Julia Carpenter Spider-Woman deciding to stay. While Spider-Woman, Century, and Scarlet Witch don't hold anything against the others, War Machine and Hawkeye do have mutual contempt for the other side, with the latter making being an ass to Rhodey and Julia for staying with Tony and Rhodey likewise being hostile towards Clint and even making a snide remark about Wanda about their leaving after she and Clint return.
  • The Wander over Yonder episode "The Robomechabotatron" involves Wander attempting to convince Sylvia and their enemies Lord Hater and Commander Peepers to stop squabbling over the titular Humongous Mecha, which, after all, can only be controlled by four people at once. He finally gets them to successfully mobilize, only to stop the whole operation dead after realizing that the others intend to fight the Big Bad.
  • Samurai Jack:
    • In Jack in the Scotsman's relationship starts out this way, with them (despite Jack's best efforts) getting into a prolonged fight almost immediately after meeting each other and only end of (reluctantly) working together, because a group of bounty hunter handcuffed them together. Though after they get themselves out of that predicament, they have grown to respect each other as warriors, with the Scotsman even becoming Jack's only real recurring ally for the first four seasons, with them still occasionally butting-heads, but more as a friendly rivalry, than genuine displeasure with the other.
    • There's also a villainous example with Josephine and Ezekiel Clench, a pair of formerly married bounty hunters, who reluctantly put their differences aside to capture Jack, but spend just as much time bickering with each other. They actually do manage to capture Jack, but Josephine lets her greed get the better of her and betrays her former husband, giving Jack the opportunity to free himself.
    • Jack was also forced to do this with The Labyrinth Thief, despite both of them wanting the MacGuffin for themselves, but having to work together to survive the labyrinth's Mecha-Mook guardians and other hazards. Predictably, they end up destroying said item, after they start fighting over and Jack leaves him, without another word.
  • In the Rick and Morty episode "the Ricks must be Crazy," Rick and Morty encounter Zeep, an inhabitant of the micro-verse Rick created to power his car. When Rick demands to know why the micro-verse isn't generating electricity anymore, Zeep reveals that he created a mini-verse to power his world, where they discover that an inhabitant of the mini-verse intends to do the same thing in a teeny-verse he's just created. After being stranded for months inside the teeny-universe, Zeep and Rick spent that time arguing over who's smarter. When Morty shows up leading the Tree-People, he tells Zeep and Rick to work together and fix the machine that will transport them home, just as they are going to explain why they can't work with someone whose intelligence they consider inferior, Morty sics the Tree People on them. Sometime later, they fix the machine, they exit the teeny-verse, and their rivalry resumes.

    Real Life 


  • Great Britain and the United States allying with the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany. Winston Churchill famously said "If Hitler invaded Hell, I would at least make a favourable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons."
    • And even for the Western Allies. Despite being on the same side, American George S. Patton and British Bernard Law Montgomery did not get along at all.
      • Monty himself wasn't very popular with the British higher-ups and even among his fellow officers as well, partly for being an Insufferable Genius after victories and occasionally being arrogant.
  • The Eight-Nation Alliance, a bunch of European powers along with Russia, the US and Japan quelling the Chinese Boxer Rebellion.
  • In 1936, after almost a decade of civil war between their respective Nationalist and Communist parties, Chiang Kai Shek and Mao Zedong agreed to put their differences aside (for the time being) and work together to beat back the Japanese. Photos of the two together suggest a rather strained relationship indeed.
  • Conversely, South Korea and Japan have a shared interest in keeping Russia, China, and North Korea at bay, despite some major disagreements.
    • China and both the Koreas are working together to build better relations while purposely excluding Japan. This may be because, although the relationship between China and the Koreas have been strained, they are still much better than any of their relations with Japan. Though recently this has been shifting to South Korea and Japan's relations warming due to the North's recent aggression due to the latter supporting the South while China is mostly silent.
  • In the War On Terror, the USA and NATO cooperate with nations like Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to combat terrorist groups like Al Qaeda; these nations have been accused of harboring terrorists, and they don't like the western nations themselves.
  • One of the many reasons the Peninsular War was such a disaster from the French was that the Marshals Napoleon sent there, expecting them to take care of everything while he conquered the rest of Europe, hated each others' guts for the most part and could not cooperate. Michel Ney and Jean de Dieu Soult had to sign a full-blown convention to ensure that there would be no back-stabbing on either side when they pursued John Moore's troops in 1809, and that was only the beginning.
    • In fact, when Auguste Marmont - freshly transferred from the government of the Illyrian Provinces - took over command of the Army of Portugal in 1811 and tried to help Soult lift the siege on Badajoz and Ciudad Rodrigo despite having received no specific instructions to do so, it came as a huge surprise for everyone.


  • The page image is Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski, who made Aguirre: The Wrath of God and according to rumors wanted to murder each other during the production. They made four more films together.
  • This is a not uncommon feeling among some members of the military, when they are instructed to pose with celebrities or politicians who are eager to show that they "support the troops." The "support" usually consists of smiling next to the service members while photos are snapped, then leaving as soon as possible, completely ignorant of the problems that our service personnel face. An excellent example of this was the soldier who got so fed up with the whole business that when he was ordered to shake Hillary Clinton's hand for a campaign event, he crossed the fingers on his left hand and made certain it was clearly visible in the photo.
  • General Leslie Groves was in charge of The Manhattan Project. His deputy Colonel Kenneth Nichols said he was "the biggest sonofabitch I've ever met in my life, but also one of the most capable ... I hated his guts and so did everyone else, but if I was to have to do my part all over again, I would select Groves as boss."
  • MacArthur and Eisenhower in 1930s. MacArthur was the chief of staff of the US Army, and later, the "chief military advisor" to the Philippines, which was yet a US dependency. Eisenhower was his loyal, lowly, overworked, and overlooked aide who was unhappy over the way his imperious boss treated him but was still a very efficient and capable underling. After World War 2, when both were five-star generals and big war heroes, neither had nice things to say about the other during this period, however.
    • MacArthur as a rule didn't work and play well with others; he was a notorious influence peddler within the Army even in an era when that was commonplace. He cooperated with the Air Corps when necessary and the Navy only when forced to. When the US entered World War II MacArthur demanded overall control of all Allied forces. FDR and Marshall saw otherwise and kept him in the Philippines.
  • True even for the Apollo missions, apparently. One of the astronauts himself admits that there were flight crews that "would make you say 'Don't put those three guys in the same room together'", but they were all so motivated to do the job that "it worked."
  • Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, who comprised Brooks & Dunn, reportedly had almost no interaction outside the studio or on tour — they even had separate tour buses, and their pre-show interaction was mostly limited to having a shot of whiskey together before each show. One of them even told Country Weekly that the impetus behind their 2011 breakup was that they just felt like they had been together for too long.
  • Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman from Mythbusters don't interact much with each other outside of the show. Adam is frustrated by Jamie's fussiness and methodical approach and Jamie is irritated by Adam's showmanship, competitiveness, and occasionally sloppy work. They've got a healthy respect for each other, but they just do not get along on an interpersonal level.
  • Similar to the above, Howard Cosell and "Dandy" Don Meredith of the classic Monday Night Football announce team. Cosell was openly disdainful of ex-player sportscasters like Meredith, who he considered unqualified meatheadsnote . Meredith considered Cosell a fussy, pompous Know-Nothing Know-It-All. They had little love for each other, but managed to use that mutual dislike to add a dynamic element to the MNF broadcast not seen before or since.
  • On The Brady Bunch Variety Hour. Ann B. Davis (Alice) was less than thrilled to be working with Rip Taylor, whose raunchy routine contrasted with her religious views, and therefore shunned him outside of shooting scenes together, to the confusion of Taylor, who was a fan of hers beforehand. The fact that Taylor was playing Alice's Canon Foreigner boyfriend probably did not help.
  • The Police were patron saints of this trope, being (as they themselves freely admitted) three men with very strong egos who had all been established musicians in their own rightnote  before forming into a band essentially by chance. They would fight over tracks to be included, with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers trying to get their compositions on albums dominated by Sting's songs (though, admittedly, they did concede Sting was the strongest songwriter of the trio). This included the Grammy-winning instrumental, the Copeland/Summers-written "Behind My Camel" from Zenyatta Mondatta. Sting refused to play at all on the track, and even buried his copy of the master in his garden. By the end of the band's main run in 1986, they were barely speaking to each other, and their last recording sessions were fatally marred by a vicious fight between Sting and Stewart Copeland over, of all things, which drum machine to use on their re-recording of "Don't Stand So Close To Me".note