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This Is My Side

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A treehouse divided.

"This is my side, that's your side! This is my side, you stay on your side! My side, your side, my side, your side, my side... your side!"
Stark, Farscape

If two characters who don't like each other, or who happen to be angry with each other at the moment (especially in a Feud Episode), live in one house or apartment, one of them will be eventually seen painting a colored line (or laying down a long strip of tape) in the middle of the residence, explaining: "This is my side; this is yours. Don't go on my part!" Naturally, it's Serious Business.

Eventually complications will begin to show up, like how long the line is expected to be maintained, guests being forced to follow those rules, or necessities like the fridge or bathroom being available only on one side.

Related to This Is My Chair, which is usually a throwaway gag. See also Property Line, which is the same plot on a larger scale. Truth in Television, as those who have ever had an argument with a sibling, roommate, or Soviet Bloc can attest to.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Subverted in Asteroid in Love. As Mari recalls the early days when the Astronomy and Geology clubs were merged due to administrative fiat—both are Club Stubs and involves in the same broad category of subjects—into the Earth Sciences Club. She (formerly of Astronomy) originally sees Mikage's (formerly of Geology) decision to divide the newly merged club into Geology and Astronomy groups as this, since she notices quite a bit of unfriendliness from Mikage. In hindsight, however, she sees it as a practical concern since the activities of the two former clubs were too different, and it's hard to manage without dividing it that way—it's just Mikage is being Tsundere about it.
  • Black Butler: William does this in the manga to Sebastian when forced to share a room during the Circus arc. Enforces it with gusto when Ciel encroaches on his space by 3 cm.
  • In Cherry Juice, a Not Blood Siblings brother and sister have to share a room when their grandmother moves into the house after suffering a hip injury.
  • DARLING in the FRANXX combines this with a battle of the sexes; after the boys of Squad 13 accidentally see the girls semi-naked, the girls tape off half of their shared living quarters, leading to a goofy passive-aggressive escalation that quickly gets out of control.
  • GTO: The Early Years: When Ryuji stays with Eikichi for a while after his dad disowns him, Eikichi tries to make him stay in a closet at first. Eikichi's mom makes a dividing line through his room, giving Ryuji the half with the bed.
  • Himouto! Umaru-chan has this happen in one chapter, except that anger/hate isn't a factor.note  Taihei suggests dividing the apartment in half using a curtain; Umaru likes the idea at first since it's like having her own place, and Taihei thinks it'll improve his productivity. However, it doesn't even take a full day before the two siblings start to miss each others' presence and decide to do away with the curtain.
  • The seventh episode of Kira Kira Happy Hirake Cocotama has two sisters get into a squabble over having to share their room, with the elder sister at one point using tape to separate her side of the room from her younger sister's side.
  • Komi Can't Communicate: Downplayed with the Tadano siblings. While they get along well enough that they don't have many issues sharing a room, they have a mutual agreement that if one of them wants some privacy, they set up an imaginary "barrier" that the other isn't allowed to cross.
  • My-HiME: Akira and Takumi, who are roommates, have this arrangement, less because of any dislike between the characters than because Akira has a secret to keep from Takumi. Thus, Akira uses a curtain to separate the room, rather than a line.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: While there was no actual line drawn, Asuka tells Shinji that the door between two rooms is "the impenetrable wall of Jericho, Third Child. Take one step over this line and you'll be a dead man." Given that in the story from the Bible, the wall of Jericho fell at the sound of a trumpet, many fans perceived this as a come on. This is helped by the fact that Asuka herself breaks the line after a bathroom trip, lying next to Shinji instead of returning to her room. Whether she did it on purpose or unconsciously is up to debate.
  • Happened once in Pokémon where Jessie and Misty fell onto a small rock ledge on a cliff together. Misty draws a line on the rock to give each of them a side while they wait for rescue. Her side is much larger than Jessie's.
  • In the Read or Die TV series, Anita's side of the room is divided from the others' by a curtain. "Nobody crosses!" One wonders what she's hiding.
  • Suiseiseki in Rozen Maiden, who initially dislikes Jun, draws an obviously biased one in his room.
  • Strike Witches has "The Seigfried Line," separating Barkhorns perfectly ordered half of the room from Hartmanns junk heap.

    Asian Animation 
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 7 episode 3, the dog and cat planet ambassadors' children, Keke and Lele, who are constantly fighting with each other due to the dog and cat aliens being hostile to each other, are not happy to be forced to sit next to each other at the same school desk. Lele draws a line on the desk to separate his side from Keke's, only for Keke to keep cleaning the dividing lines Lele draws since she's a neat freak. Happy S. solves this problem by using a strip of tape as the dividing line, but the two students are still mean to each other afterwards, with each destroying the other's property if it happens to cross the line. This includes a fish that was in Keke's thought bubble.
  • Hello Jadoo: In "Reunification", a feud between Jadoo's parents reaches the point where a line is painted through the house, dividing it into sides for each parent to stay in. This impedes their daily lives since the bathroom is on the mother's side and the kitchen is on the father's side.

  • The first argument in Bill Cosby's routine "To My Brother Russell, Whom I Slept With" between a young Bill and Russell is over what constitutes Bill's side of the bed that they're sharing. It becomes a Brick Joke when, after their father forces them to stand up all night instead of sleeping, Bill tries to claim part of the floor.

    Comic Books 
  • A story in What If?: Planet Hulk had a one-man version; Hulk lands on the planet the Illuminati wanted him to land on in the first place. Bruce Banner cobbles together a radio to try and get off the planet, but Hulk decides he likes it there so he smashes the radio, which leads to a back-and-forth war of Bruce and Hulk screwing each other over. Eventually Hulk wakes up and sees that Bruce pulled this trope.
  • In one story on The Smurfs, the village is divided over linguistic issues (they can't agree on the use of "smurf") and one enterprising Smurf paints a line along the middle. Unfortunately, it runs right through one poor Smurf's home, creating confusion as to which side he belongs to. The whole story must've been an allegory on the French/Dutch language struggle in Belgium (where the Smurfs' creator is from).

    Comic Strips 
  • Parodied in one Bloom County comic strip, when some of the characters start arbitrarily painting lines across the local meadow, cutting off one person each time: "This is our 'state'! Stay out of our 'county'/'town'/'house'!" Then only two of them are left and they're standing on a hilltop - with no room left for further lines. "You're violating my personal space." Cue the shoving match.
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • One arc has Calvin deciding to become a tiger, then finding out that tigers are territorial. He uses a boulder to define the boundary between his and Hobbes' territory, then brags about how much better his side is. Hobbes then rolls the boulder over toward Calvin and declares that "your side is smaller."
    • Calvin and Hobbes bickered in the back seat of Calvin's parent's car once.
    • They once had divided parts in Calvin's bed, with a demilitarized zone in the middle.
  • In For Better or for Worse, Mike and Dee's downstairs neighbours complain that there are toys all over the entrance hall, so Mike puts down a line of tape and says they'll keep their stroller, tricycles, etc. on one side and the Kelpfroths can keep their side as tidy as they like.
  • Parodied in a Garfield strip where he instead just paints a circle around Jon's feet. "If you need me, I'll be in my kitchen."

    Fan Works 
  • In C'est La Vie, an alternate universe Harry Potter is such a Jerkass that the Gryffindor boys' dorm was split down the middle "on the first night of the first week of the first month of our first year here," as Neville puts it.
  • In Cheating Death Harry makes James and Albus share a room so a recuperating Sirius can have someplace to stay and James is deeply unhappy about it. After he pushes Albus out of his bed, Ginny paints a line down the middle of it and tells the boys to stay on their own sides.
  • In Finding a Family, Harry reorganizes the Gryffindor boys' dorm so Ron is on one side of the line and the rest of the boys are on the other.
  • In Harry Potter and the Prince of Slytherin, after Harry's twin brother Jim is revealed to be a Parselmouth, some anonymous soul splits the Gryffindor boys' dorm with a conjured brick wall so he and Neville are on one side with the rest of the boys on the other.
  • Asuka uses her infamous "Wall of Jericho" line on two separate occasions in Shinji and Warhammer40k... once to Shinji, and once to Rei.
    Asuka: [to Shinji] This is the unbreakable wall of Jericho! Cross this line and I'll scream rape!

    Asuka: [to Rei] This is the unbreakable wall of Jericho! You will not cross it!
    Rei: That wall... was broken.
    Asuka: Fine! An even bigger wall! The Great Wall!
    Rei: That too, is broken.
    Asuka: ...this here is my Absolute Territorynote ! You will not cross it!
    Rei: [nods]
  • In Where Talent Goes on Vacation, the students are paired up into cabins for their cruise. While most of the students get along reasonably well, Satoshi Karita and Yuichi Asakura can't stand each other, so Karita divides the cabin into thirds: His side, Asakura's side and a neutral area (the bathroom, the closet and the door) where only one of them can be at any given time.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Brave Little Toaster, Radio makes a clear demarcation of his sleeping space. When Blankie attempts to snuggle with him, Radio furiously reminds him of it.
  • On Madagascar, Alex draws a line on the beach to divide the island between Marty, who likes being out in the wild, and the others, who want to go back to New York. Marty calls his side the "fun side", to which Alex responds, "You're in the Jersey side of this cesspool!"
  • In Shrek, Donkey tries to build a wall through half of Shrek's swamp while they have a falling-out.
    Donkey: I helped rescue the princess. I did half the work, I get half the booty! Now hand me that big ol' rock, the one that looks like your head.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Gunless, the general storekeepers Claude and Carl have split their store in half following a disagreement about selling liquor.
  • Into the Forest: After a fight, Eva staples a curtain over all the windows in her side of the house and refuses to interact with Nell.
  • A rare serious example occurs in Rupert Grint's Into The White, a World War II film with an Enemy Mine plot. See it in the trailer.
  • The UST couple in It Happened One Night spend the movie hanging a blanket (dubbed the Wall of Jericho) between the beds in their hotel/motel rooms for privacy.
  • The Odd Couple (1968):
    Oscar: Here's a key to the back door. Now, you stick to the hallway and your room and you won't get hurt.
  • Pacific Rim has rival scientists Dr. Newton Geiszler and Dr. Hermann Gottlieb sharing a room, with a faded yellow line down the middle. Gottlieb is very adamant about this unspoken contract, to the point where if a sliver of a Kaiju crosses the line, he'll kick it back over.
    Gottlieb: No Kaiju entrails over my side of the room! You know the rules! Every bloody day, it's incessant!
  • In Scooby-Doo! Curse of the Lake Monster, Scooby paints a line down the middle of the room he shares with Shaggy following an argument over Shaggy's date with Velma.
  • In The War of the Roses, the divorcing couple divides their Big Fancy House in two parts. The kitchen has a specific time table.

  • The page image comes from the children's book The Berenstain Bears Get in a Fight. Because they both woke up in a foul mood and are having a bitter argument, Brother and Sister divide their treehouse in half.
  • In the picture book Christina Katerina and the Time She Quit the Family, Christina gets tired of being pestered by her brother and scolded by her parents, so she announces that she's changing her name to "Agnes" and quitting the family. Her mother agrees to this, and they divide the whole house with string: "Agnes" gets her bedroom and small portions of the kitchen, the living room, and a few other rooms, while her family gets the rest of the house. After a few days, though, she gets lonely without her family and decides to be Christina again.
  • In The Disappearance Of Sister Perfect, the title character divides her and her sister's bedroom in two by gluing a line of hair ribbons to the floor.
  • Discworld:
    • In the novel Going Postal, the basement room where Junior Postmen Toliver Groat and Stanley Howler live has a line going down the middle of the floor and across the top of the dining table, with a little "neutral zone" circle for the salt. A scrap of paper which has fallen partially on the fanatically neat Stanley's side has had the protruding edge removed, and the rest left. The two don't appear to dislike each other, they're just very private people. (Although Moist gets the definite feeling that the reason they don't dislike each other is because there's a line, which to him seems to say: "This is my side, this is your side. As long as we both remember that, there won't be any more ... trouble". And he gets this feeling before he learns about Stanley's "Little Moments".)
    • The novel Jingo refers obliquely to the trope a few times, during scenes in which a group of Ankh-Morporkian and Klatchian fishermen are stranded on Leshp, as microcosms of the much bigger territorial dispute in the main plot.
    • Terraced houses in Morpork have a tendency to have very precise property lines, to the extent that each home-owner paints their own half of the drainpipe and no further. Although Vimes is of the opinion that this is just because Morporkians are too tight-fisted to buy paint for a whole drainpipe if only half of it is theirs.
  • Fire & Blood: During the Dance of the Dragons, Queen Alicent Hightower suggests doing this on a country-wide scale to her stepdaughter Rhaenyra, who she's been warring with. The side loyal to her son Aegon II get one half, Rhaenyra and her side gets another. Note that Alicent is imprisoned at the time, and her son missing, and the entire country is in the middle of a civil war, and that Alicent doesn't seem to consider the opinions of the various lords fighting on either side, or that neither Aegon or Rhaenyra might want to settle for anything less than the entire country. And then there's the fact that Aegon's side would consist of the wealthy Westerlands, fertile and populated (and pretty wealthy) Reach, and the resource rich Stormlands, while lands of Rhaenyra's side are poorer, less populated, and more devastated by the war. Rhaenyra rejects the idea.
  • In My Sister's Keeper, Kate and Anna did this at one point as children. Kate graciously allowed Anna to choose the side with all of her favorite toys on it, then smiled smugly as she left, since hers was the only side with a door.
  • In Joseph L. Schott's No Left Turns he mentions a two-man FBI field office where the agents involved grew to hate each other so much that they put a plywood partition in the middle of the office, with a space near the bottom so they could take turns answering the phone.
  • There's a children's Star Trek book where Worf and his roommate at the Academy do this.
  • In Pamela Dean's Tam Lin, one of the older students tells Janet that last year she and her roommate had to set up a clothesline with sheets in the middle of the room, and the roommate would go out through the window because the door wasn't on her side.
  • The Gordon Korman young adult novel The Toilet Paper Tigers. The bratty older brother has laid tape down the middle of the room, and penalizes any (real or imagined) affront with moving the tape to shrink the younger brother's side.
  • Israeli author Ephraim Sidon presents a particularly extreme version of the trope in his children's book, Uzu and Muzu from Kakaruzu. The titular Uzu and Muzu are brothers who share an extremely strong bond well through adulthood, until they have a petty fight over the correct way to cross one's legs. After the fight escalates to violence, the brothers build a huge wall in the middle of their house and never speak to each other again. The wall remains in place for generations, to the point where the original connection between the families on either side of the wall is completely forgotten, not to mention the reason for the fight.
  • In The War with Mr. Wizzle also by Korman: After Bruno and Boots have a fight, Bruno divvies up the room and refuses to talk to Boots. (He does permit him to use the bathroom, though.)
    Boots: "How come the bathroom and the closet are in your half? Not to mention the door."
    Bruno: "First come, first served. You can use all three. Especially the door."

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Addams Family: In the episode "Gomez and Morticia vs. Fester and Grandmama," Gomez and Morticia think Fester and Grandmama spoil the children too much, so when they plan to go on a trip, they hire a babysitter for the children instead of trusting the two older relatives to look after them. The offended Fester and Grandmama respond by dividing the house (and even Lurch) with a white line.
  • The Benny Hill Show: In a sketch, Russian and American sides of an unnamed European Countrynote  are decided after years of negotiation — down the center of the bedroom of a pair of newlyweds. A painter paints a line down the wall and on the floor. Suddenly the husband (on the American side) needs a passport to visit his wife (on the Russian side).
    Official: Is the purpose of your visit business or pleasure?
    Benny: Business.
    Wife: I think he means pleasure.
    Benny: You'll find I mean business.
  • The Brady Bunch: In at least one episode, a line was painted or taped, and possibly in several episodes.
  • An episode of CSI: Miami was the investigation of a murder in the house of a couple that was undergoing a pretty bitter divorce (and the ensuing Divorce Assets Conflict going wrong in many ways). The very first thing that the police noticed when they went in was that the couple had divided their house in two with a laser grid that would immediately trigger an alarm if somebody crossed it as a reminder to stay on their side.
    Horatio Caine: And this is how divorce... goes high-tech.
  • In an episode of Dad's Army, Hodges and Mainwaring have to share and office and Hodges attempts to draw a line down the middle of the desk in chalk, which Mainwaring keeps rubbing off.
  • Drake & Josh have done it at least once.
  • In one episode of Drop the Dead Donkey, Henry and Sally have to share a desk and get into an argument about each keeping to their own side. As the episode goes on the argument takes an increasingly militaristic tone with disputes about how one of them has made excursions into the agreed-upon neutral zone in the middle of the desk. In the end, Helen removes their desk entirely and puts two kiddie tables in its place.
  • In Farscape, Stark split his and Crichton's shared prison cell in this way, with some slightly creepy ranting, which became something of a feature of his character. "My side, your side" was his catch phrase, used in a number of contexts.
  • Full House: D.J. divided the room she shared with her younger sister Stephanie. Too bad Stephanie's half didn't have access to the door.
  • Happened in one episode of Gilligan's Island between Gilligan and the Skipper.
  • In Happy Days, Ralph and Potsie acted on the bad advice secretly written by Richie in an advice column about dividing their apartment. This creates a war of sides where each has the entirety of a necessary part of the apartment (Ralph = kitchen, Potsie = bathroom). Eventually, the resulting fight gets so bad that when Richie tries to resolve the situation, he has to make them all stand on the line itself as neutral territory like tightrope walkers, only to have Fonz come and note to the bizarre sight, "And you're doing it without a net."
  • Hey Dude! featured an episode in which bunkmates Brad and Melody fought over the latter's fondness for loud music and exercising, leading Melody to "solve" the problem by putting up a blanket as a dividing line, and then blasting her stereo, as she could do as she pleased on her side. However, the outlet into which her stereo was plugged was on Brad's side...
  • House: House and Cuddy do this when Cuddy is forced to temporarily share House's office. This includes dividing the desk into two sides.
  • I Love Lucy:
    • The episode "Men Are Messy", in which Lucy — fed up with cleaning up after a careless Ricky — divides their apartment with masking tape and tells him to look after his own half. The kitchen is in Lucy's half, so Ricky can't eat, while the bathroom is in Ricky's half, so Lucy can't bathe. At one point, the telephone (which is on the line) rings, and Lucy insists that they continue to respect the line by answering it together: Ricky listens to the earpiece (which is on his side) and talks, and Lucy repeats what he says into the mouthpiece (which is on her side).
    • Another episode finds the Ricardos and Mertzes running a diner together. When an argument erupts over which couple should greet guests and which should work in the kitchen, a dividing line of this sort is placed in the middle of the establishment (and across the middle counter stool). It gets more interesting when their sole customer decides to sit on that middle stool, and both couples outdo themselves trying to serve him.
  • LazyTown: Happens in "Birthday Surprise" after an argument between Stingy and Trixie. Robbie exploits this by building a giant wall to literally divide the town.
  • In Life with Derek, when Derek and Casey's family went on a road trip, Casey divided the house with pink and blue tape so that she and Derek could avoid each other.
  • Joey and Parker in Liv and Maddie find it difficult sharing a bedroom so they decide to divide the room in two. Parker claims the lower half, and insists that Joey can't set foot on "his" floor. Joey gets round it with a system of ropes and pulleys to move back and forth, and sets up in the top half, insisting that Parker crouch down to avoid invading Joey's space.
  • In one call on Live PD, a separated couple divides their house in half and one of them lives on either side. The police are regularly called when the boundary is violated.
  • In Married... with Children, Al Bundy takes a vacation without leaving home, by cordoning off the couch area, ignoring everything going on in the rest of the house, and faking it. "I'm sorry, the captain's turned on the 'No Peg' sign."
  • The M*A*S*H episode "The Billfold Syndrome" has Charles section off the Swamp between himself and Hawkeye and BJ.
  • In the "Milky Jo" episode of The Mighty Boosh, Howard and Vince end up washed up on a desert island and divide it up this way. Howard doesn't realise until after he's drawn the line that all of the trees (so basically everything of use) is on Vince's side of the island.
  • A four-way version happened on The Monkees when the four boys were fighting over a girl. The show played with it, noting that each would have access to only one particular vital part of the apartment. Davy's side had the front door, implying he was the only one with the ability to come and go; however, he "would gladly trade Mike for the bathroom right away". Moments later, the whole arrangement is quickly forgotten when a show comes on TV that they want to see and everyone rushes to Peter's side (which contains the television set).
  • An episode of The Munsters had Grampa and Herman split the house down the middle after an argument about who actually owned the place heats up. This includes a painted white line (with some effort being put toward an actual stone wall), and the vindictive act of cutting in half any item halfway across both sides. The whole thing is put to rest when Lily uses some awkward food placement at the dinner table to get them to rethink the logistics of the layout.
  • In Mustangs FC, Marnie and Lara use tape to divide their shared room in half. The episode where they decide to take it down marks a major piece of Character Development.
  • On My Name Is Earl, Earl is married to Billie in a coma fantasy based on the Dom Coms he watched during childhood. During the Clip Show at the end of the coma, Earl reminisces about their first fight, which involved dividing the house in half.
  • My Talk Show: Guest William Shatner takes over one section of the house/set and declares it Canadian territory.
  • The Office (UK): In the first episode of the first series, Gareth slides a ruler between his desk and Tim's, to move things overlapping from Tim's desk. He says "One word, two syllables: demarcation". Later, in the same episode, Tim makes a pile of box files between their desks, so that he does not have to look at Gareth.
  • In One Tree Hill, Lucas and Peyton get into a argument over which bedroom to use (Lucas wants to stay in his childhood room, and Peyton wants to move into the master bedroom, a.k.a Lucas’ mother’s room) and decide to use masking tape to divide the house in two with the "no-cross" rule in effect. This cuts off Peyton's access to the kitchen appliances and the house's circuit breakers and Lucas' access to the bathroom and the front and back door.
  • Alexia does this in the Pixelface episode "High Spirits" when the others get angry at her for taking their stuff with permission. She divides the console in half, with her on one side and everyone else on the other.
  • In the Steptoe and Son episode "Divided we Stand", Harold and Albert divide the house in two with a partition wall. Even the cooker, the sink, the outside toilet, and the TV get divided between them.
  • Variant: in WKRP in Cincinnati, Les Nessman, believing that he deserved an office of his own, used masking tape to mark off an area on the floor of the newsroom around his desk which he claimed to be his "office", and demanded that people "knock on the door" and request entry before crossing the taped line to approach his desk.
  • The X-Files: In "Never Again" Scully complains that she has to share Mulder's desk. Mulder responds that there's no room in their cramped basement for two desks anyway. Scully is pissed off at this and continues to remain so throughout the episode, engaging in a number of Out of Character behaviors like getting a tattoo. At the end of the episode Mulder says, "I don't understand...all this over a desk?" Scully just replies: "Not everything is about you, Mulder." The truth is Scully had just discovered she had cancer and is keeping it from Mulder.
  • Spoofed in the "Divorce" episode of You Can't Do That on Television: Lance and Valerie Prevert have separated, and they've drawn a huge white line down the middle of the house (we only see the living room). Marjorie, who plays the role of the Preverts' child in the sketch, invites Lisa over for the evening, and when Valerie says it's time for Lisa to go home, Marjorie simply crosses over to Lance's side. Lisa notes that she can't see the television from Lance's side, and Marjorie says Valerie got custody of it, but Lance says he got custody of the fridge, so they can help themselves to food.

  • Uncle Bonsai's "There Is A Line," about a feuding husband and wife.
    There is a line across the floor
    It runs right through the coffee table
    We don't see it anymore
    Cause it's been there so long
  • The Bonzo Dog Band's My Pink Half of the Drainpipe is sung from the perspective of a man who has painted his half of the drainpipe between his and his neighbour's house pink to distance himself from his neighbour's tedious life and opinions.

    Print Media 
  • A Nickelodeon Magazine issue listed several annoying songs to sing in the car. One of them was to the tune of "Oh My Darling, Clementine", and was all about this trope.
    In the back seat, down the middle,
    is a line no one can see.
    It divides this side from that side
    and this side belongs to me.
    Don't you cross it, don't you cross it,
    the imaginary line.
    Stay on your side, stay off my side,
    that is yours and this is mine.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In the The Book of Pooh episode, "A Wood Divided", Rabbit and Tigger get into a feud with each other when they run into each other at the footbridge, ruining the former's prized tomato and the latter's tail-bouncing record. At one point in the episode, Rabbit paints a line in the middle of the Hundred Acre Wood, with one side for himself, and the other side for Tigger.
  • In "Team Fort" from The Pajanimals, this is done with the bathroom sink after an argument over borrowed blankets and pillows.
  • Done in an episode of Sesame Tree, the Northern Irish version of Sesame Street. The two characters realise that dividing the room is silly, and they should learn how to share it. Clearly no analogy intended there.

  • There is a song about it in Kiss of the Spider Woman.
  • Shrek: The Musical has a good one, at around the same time as Donkey's example in the first film... but it's not Donkey saying it this time.
    Shrek: I'm gonna build me a wall. A perfect place to hide.
    Hey, world, stay on your side!
  • In Zemsta, lifelong enemies have an actual stone wall separating their sides of the castle they are fighting for control over.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy XIII: Early on, when Vanille and Sazh stop for the night, she grabs a stick and draws a circle around her blanket, and orders him not to cross the line, to much eye-rolling on his part. It then cuts to her distinctly on the wrong side of the line, huddled against his back and sniffling.
  • In Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, the warring sibling gods Duma and Mila divided Valentia into halves- Duma established the empire of Rigel in the north, while Mila established the kingdom of Zofia in the south.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • A Link Between Worlds: Ravio becomes more and more imposing within Link's home as the game progresses. He goes from a mere guest to shoving all of Link's belongings up against the walls to open up a shop.
    • In Breath of the Wild, at the Hateno Ancient Tech Lab, Purah and Symin have very different working habits as Purah's side of the lab is unkempt and disorganized while Symin's is neat and tidy; it got so bad that Purah drew chalk lines on the ground splitting the lab into parts. Yes, that's "lines", plural. The lines show that the lab was split roughly in half, but on two occasions, Purah redrew the line to make her side bigger.
  • In Pokémon Snap, a Charmeleon in the Volcano stage paces around a Lava Pit, occasionally marking his territory by roaring.
  • Was supposed to be referenced in Portal, in the final battle, before the line may have been Dummied Out: An increasingly desperate GLaDOS offers to take a laser and inscribe a line right down the side of the entire research facility, and each of you can have a half, if that'll get you to stop hitting her with rockets.
  • In The Sims 3, the Lin sisters in Riverview have a house divided into two styles reflecting their contrasting personalities.
  • In the supplemental comics of Team Fortress 2, the team has been broken up due to being fired and Miss Pauling is tasked to gather them back together again. She finds Demoman, Soldier, and Pyro first. The latter two, being Psychopathic Manchildren, proceed to squabble about sides in the back seat of Miss Pauling's sedan. Like a child, Soldier complains to Miss Pauling and pushes Pyro. Unlike a child, Pyro doesn't settle for pushing Soldier back.
  • World of Warcraft: Put Horde and Alliance in the same city, and you end up with this. If it's a sanctuary city where noone can attack each other, then there will be mages that teleport you out of the side you aren't supposed to be on.

    Web Animation 
  • In the AstroLOLogy episode "The Line", Scorpio and Libra become frustrated enough with each other when they are stranded on a tiny island that they divide the island into two sides, one for Libra and one for Scorpio. This eventually turns out to be terrible for Scorpio, when a ship arrives and Libra is ready to get off the island... only for him to point out to his friend that the ship is on his side, not Scorpio's.
  • Used in Djy's video adaption of Half-Life: Full Life Consequences, during the expanded part in which John Freeman fights the Combines at the climax. GLaDOS uses this on John Freeman, but he gets bored after 3 seconds and shoots her with a RPG.
  • As pointed out in LORE in a Minute, this is how Mila and Duma solved their debate on how the continent of Valentia should be ruled, by dividing it in two (remember, they're siblings).
  • Red vs. Blue: The Chorus Trilogy: Sarge divides Red Base down the middle, forcing Simmons and Grif to share a room. Simmons in particular is less than pleased.

  • Becky does this in Dumbing of Age when she's sharing a room with Dorothy whom she insists on seeing as her nemesis:
    Becky: 'Kay, Dotty, I'm gonna run this maskin' tape down the middle of the room so we know who's side is who's.
    Dorothy: Huh, do you think that cliche has wrapped back around to being funny, yet?
    Becky: Is that a tired cliche? I'm sorry, my late parents didn't allow me to watch television.
  • The Cherubs do this in Homestuck. Not with a line, because since they're a Split Personality there's no way to ensure the other respects it, but with leg irons that stretch a bit over half way across the room, and that only the personality that puts them on can unlock. The zone reached by both chains is neutral territory.
  • Occurred once in Irregular Webcomic!... in an infinite featureless void.
  • Happened in an early Penny Arcade strip:
    Tycho: The fridge is on your side!
    Gabe: So is God.
  • In Skin Horse character Nick Zerhakker's Character Blog: Unity, dimly recognising that she and the sentient helicopter are not getting along, spray-paints a line across the centre of the chopper cabin and says they can both stay on their own sides. She refuses to see a flaw in this.

    Web Videos 
  • Episode 11 of Freeman's Mind references this. After he hops over a laser tripwire, a Vortigaunt spawns on the other side of it. After killing it, he shouts:
    Gordon: Stay on your side of the line! My roommate in college used to do the same thing. Your side is the one where everyone is dead and there are no exits. My side is the one filled with hope, love and submachine guns.
  • During her time on The Funday Pawpet Show, Liesl would often use this phrase to try to get Poink to stay on the other side of the stage. In this clip from the 2008 Christmas in July episode Yappy puts up the tried and true white line down the center of the stage.
  • This PSA from College Humor pretty much sums it up.

    Western Animation 
  • On American Dad!, Stan and Francine draw a line across the house after a fight over remodeling the kitchen. It's an Invoked Trope, as Stan comments he saw it on The Brady Bunch. Eventually they build a wall across the middle of the house and a Time Passes Montage shows the family celebrating holidays on Stan's and Francine's side. (It turns out they celebrated all those holidays in one week to make each other feel bad.)
  • In Amphibia episode "Civil Wart", The town is split between a Hunter side and an Alastair side upon watching a romance film, the town separates on the movie's Love Triangle, the border marked with a row of stones. One poor civilian realizes that his home is on the wrong side and is attacked trying to cross the border.
  • In Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps, Angelina and Marco did this with a poster after they were assigned to work together. Marco didn't want frills and a tutu on his poster, while Angelina couldn't abide by the idea of having soccer balls in the poster. It didn't work work out, and they went through a couple of other hangups, before finally hitting on a working idea.
  • In Arthur, a babysitter did this to try to stop Arthur and D.W. from fighting. It didn't work, as the two soon begin fighting over a jacket draped over the tape line.
  • In the animated Back to the Future, the kids' room is divided by a red line with "KEEP OUT!" written on each side. Note that unlike most other examples, this is the default state, rather than a one-time thing.
  • Big City Greens: In "The Room", Tilly and Cricket predictably split the room in half, but with a twist; instead of dividing it left and right (which Cricket points out change depending on which way they're facing), they split it up and down, with Tilly getting the up and Cricket the down. They then proceed to divide the rest of the house this way, including Gloria and Alice.
  • The first episode of Bonkers has Lucky trying to divide up his and Bonkers' office this way.
  • In BoJack Horseman episode "Int-Sub", Todd and PC's argument ends up with them labeling items as theirs and using tape to divide areas that they mark as theirs.
  • Caillou, in a fifth season episode of Caillou with his and Rosie's playroom, when Rosie accidentally scratches his bike and he decides that she can't be trusted with any of his stuff.
  • On CatDog, Cat and Dog once took this to the extreme by physically sawing all their possessions in half, including their house.
  • One episode of Catscratch involved this. Like every other misadventure on this show, things took a turn for the extreme, resulting in a full-blown war for territory.
  • Classic Disney Shorts: In "Beezy Bear", Donald Duck and Ranger Woodlore agree to have a boundary line in Brownstone National Park when Donald complains that one of Woodlore's bears has been stealing his honey. One side is for Donald and his bees, and the other side is for Woodlore and his bears, and neither party is allowed to cross the line. Humphrey The Bear keeps crossing the line in unsuccessful attempts to steal Donald's honey.
  • Clerks: The Animated Series has a pseudo-Flash Back to just such a situation during its second-episode Clip Show, parodying it when the third roommate indignantly reminds Dante and Randal that he lives there, too.
  • Parodied in Clone High: Joan and Cleo are forced to share a room, so Joan paints a line dividing it in half — a horizontal line (bunk beds, you see). Cleo gets the lower half, and Joan gradually becomes "like a monkey in every way."
  • In Dan Vs. episode "The Ski Trip", Dan and Elise get Snowed-In a cabin together, so Dan divides the cabin in half, going so for as to declare his side Dantopia.
  • Darkwing Duck: Appears in "Bad Tidings", where the perpetually feuding Darkwing and Grizlikoff paint a line on the desert island they're trapped on. Taken to the logical extreme at the end of the episode, where they do the same thing to the moon. (It makes sense in context..sorta.)
  • Mr. Pteranodon does this in "New Neighbors" from Dinosaur Train when the lambeosaurs move in start eating all the leaves off the oak trees.
    Mr. Pteranodon: See this line? Ha! Well, these are my trees. You cannot eat them. This side is Pteranodon Terrace! Okay?! Come on, kids.
  • The 2017 DuckTales series shows that at least one room in the Duckburg Billionaires' Club is divided into 2 halves with a line down the middle for members Flintheart Glomgold and Scrooge McDuck. Each half has a giant portrait of that half's owner on the wall, Scrooge's half is mostly red while Glomgold's half is mostly blue and green, and Glomgold keeps a shark he likes using in his Evil Plans on his side.
  • Eddy & The Bear: The titular characters do this with the woods during "Kings for a Day".
  • In an episode of The Emperor's New School, Kuzco does this with the room he has to share with Pacha's kids. But being the Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist that he is, his half takes up 90% of the room, and the dividing line actually goes on Tipo as well ("Which half of me is mine?")
  • In "Pig Trouble" on Goldie & Bear, The Big Bad Wolf ("Big Bad") blows down the pigs' straw and stick houses, in the hope that if they're all forced to be together in the brick house, they'll make up and stop arguing. Instead, they just split the interior of the brick house three ways.
  • House of Mouse: In "Chip 'n Dale", Mickey, accusing Donald of causing trouble, tells him not to leave the lobby for the rest of the show and has a pencil-bird draw a line dividing the lobby and theater. Donald later goes past the line by physically lifting it up and going under it.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, when Lucius and Jimmy are trapped on a "Far Side" Island, Lucius does this, trapping Jimmy on a very small "half". Being Jimmy, he's flattered that Lucius gives him half.
  • In the Johnny Bravo episode "Doomates", Johnny and Carl move into Pops' old trailer parked on the edge of a cliff and Johnny draws a line in the middle after Carl keeps bothering him while he's trying to watch TV. The two of them end up fighting over the remote, with Johnny failing several times to sneak onto Carl's side, only for the trailer to go over the cliff and land in Pops' diner.
  • Happened in an episode of KaBlam! where June is laughing at Henry for getting his shirt caught in his pants zipper. Henry is angered by this, and makes June stay on her side of the (comic) panel, and he'll stay on his. Unfortunately for Henry, June throws a huge party on her side.
  • In the Littlest Pet Shop (2012) episode "Frenemies," Pepper and Zoe divide the day camp room with a thick red line down the middle to keep each other's parties separate.
  • "The Green Line" was a Mighty Mouse cartoon that had a section of a town divided by said line, half populated by mice and the other by cats. Both are sworn to never cross the line which is honored fully until a demon cat persuades a cat to cross it anyway. He does, and the agreement becomes horribly violated as the cats chase the mice, who use warfare to protect themselves. Mighty Mouse flies in to fight the demon cat. The hero wins, naturally, to the cheers of both cats and mice who kiss and make up.
  • In the Muppet Babies (2018) episode, "A Backyard Divided", when Gonzo and Piggy get into a feud, they divide the backyard into two separate halves, and since they're pretending the backyard is a medieval setting, they imagine their halves are are kingdoms. The feud only grows stronger when Piggy's magic wand is on Gonzo's side, and Gonzo's soccer ball is on Piggy's side. Later in the episode, Kermit, Summer, Fozzie, and Animal demand their own kingdoms, dividing the backyard into sixths.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Seen during the pageant in the episode "Hearth's Warming Eve". After the three bickering rulers of the earth pony, pegasus, and unicorn tribes get stranded in a cave during a blizzard, the rulers start arguing over who gets what part of the cave, with the pegasus leader eventually starting them on drawing lines in the dirt.
    • Downplayed in "Slice of Life"; We see that Octavia (The cello Earth Pony) and Vinyl Scratch (The disc jockey pony) are housemates, and their house is literally split down the middle, each side reflecting their styles ala Two-Face. Nothing is made of it, and there's no indication that Vinyl and Octavia are on bad terms.
    • Discussed in "The Ending of the End"; Before the Legion of Doom put their final plan into motion, they remind each other that their alliance only lasts until they have defeated all of the heroes. Then, they all plan to divide Equestria into three equal parts as different sections of their own kingdoms, letting them rule alone once again and never have to see each other again.
  • In one episode of OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes, Darrell divides their bedroom in two after Fink gets on his bad side. Fink just ignores the line.
  • On PB&J Otter, Pinch and Jelly do this in "The Silent Treatment," but can't even agree on where the line that divides the sides should be, resulting in a sort of theoretical middle-ground that neither of them can be in.
  • The Penguins of Madagascar, "All King, No Kingdom": King Julien divides the lemur habitat in half, one side for Maurice and Mort, the other for himself. Naturally, Julien's "half" occupies most of the habitat. Maurice and Mort then throw a party and invite all the animals in the zoo, except for Julien, who starts going crazy with loneliness.
  • An Al Brodax Popeye cartoon had Popeye and Brutus running a hotel. Popeye wants the hotel to emphasize good food while Brutus wants to emphasize great entertainment. Popeye paints a line through half the hotel, telling Brutus to run his half his way and Popeye will run his half his way. It's all mutual until their first guest, Olive Oyl, arrives. The two start sabotaging each other's emphasis in trying to appease Olive.
  • Regular Show: In "Wall Buddy", this is what the Wall Buddy is intended to be used for. Rigby uses this to invoke Mordecai into cleaning up the trash that's on his side. He's not having any of it, and turns it against him.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Subverted when Homer begins to draw a line across the house "à la I Love Lucy" after a fight with Marge, but instead draws himself into a tiny corner of the bedroom.
    • Mentioned in passing by Principal Skinner, when he says that his mother put cardboard over her half of the TV screen.
    • In one episode, Lisa and Bart are fighting over being able to sit on a certain part of the carpet.
      Bart: Hey, I was sitting there!
      Lisa: I don't see your name on it.
      Bart: It's right there! (The camera pans down to Bart's name scrawled on the carpet.)
      Marge: Bart, don't write on the carpet!
  • In 6teen, Nikki and Caitlin split their working sides in the mall in "Fish And Make Up". This ends up causing problems for the latter later on, due to the washrooms being on the former's side of the mall.
  • The Smurfs:
    • In the episode "Romeo and Smurfette," Papa Smurf has Brainy divide the village like this when Gargamel starts a dangerous Smurfette/Handy vs. Smurfette/Hefty Ship War. Seriously.
    • The village was divided again in this fashion in the cartoon special "The Smurfic Games" to separate the Smurfs into two teams...only for the line to be painted right over Clumsy and his house!
  • South Park:
    • In "I'm a Little Bit Country", the townsfolk enter a huge argument with themselves over the Iraq war. They eventually decide to split the town into what Skeeter calls the "Pro-War side" and the "Unpatriotic side" (to which Randy responds they should call the Anti-War side the "Rational side" and the Pro-War side the "Redneck side"). Very quickly they realize the flaw in their plan as the town only has one school, post office, grocery store, etc. Eventually, they make a realization that they're behaving foolishly:
      Skeeter: Hey everybody, this is never going to work. Don't you see? All this dividin' up the town, it's just ridiculous. What we really should be doing, is just beatin' the hell out of each other like we were.
      Randy: He's right. Boy, do I feel like a fool.
      [both sides instantly revert to their usual behavior and begin a mass brawl]
    • An episode uses a sinister variation of the trope. Two visitors from out of town come across South Park, but find it devoid of adults because the kids had the vast majority falsely arrested for "molestering" them and the remaining adults moved away for fear of being arrested. Run by kids, the town has fractured into two units; the area now known as Treasure Cove is apparently led by Stan and occupies the poor side of town, whereas Cartman has seized control of the wealthy side of town and renamed it Smiley Town. Aside from the fact Cartman as dictator is scary enough (add to that the fact only one phone has survived in the entirety of South Park, effectively cutting off communication with the outside world), both sides have an agreement where they essentially play Capture the Flag with a book from the opposing side- whichever side doesn't have a book by 8:00pm must sacrifice one of its number to "The Provider" (in reality, the town's statue of John Elway with a faulty electrical cord nearby rendering it a Death Trap). It's only through the outsiders' interference that the kids are prevented from killing everyone in town and the adults are allowed to return.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Pineapple Fever", Squidward does this when he is stuck at SpongeBob's house during a storm. It backfires on him when he has to go to the kitchen for some food, and SpongeBob, dressed as a security guard, restricts him from crossing the line.
  • Steven Universe: Defied in "Barn Mates"; when Lapis feels living with Peridot in a large barn isn't going to work out, Steven's solution is to draw a line down the center. He notes that he's seen this on TV before, though never got to see how it worked out. Lapis immediately recognizes that it's a bad idea and just decides to leave the barn.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!: Luigi does this to Mario in "A Basement Divied".
  • Taz-Mania: In "Unhappy Together", an argument between the Platypus Brothers ends with them cutting their house in half.
  • In the DC Nation Teen Titans (2003) short "Taped Before A Live Studio Audience", Robin and Cyborg get into a major escalating war of this after the two want to do something different on TV, taping everything in half - the tower, a donut, the Titans themselves, The Brain... before they get to another roll of tape and...
    Cyborg: You can't divide tape with tape! You created a paradox!
    Robin: No, YOU did!
  • In The Tick, Thrakkorzog, ruler of dimensio-err... Apartment 14-B, has this relationship with his (perfectly normal human) room-mate.
    Thrakkorzog: How many times must I tell you: Don't touch my stuff! This is my side of the living room, and that is your side of the living room. And, must you drink straight from the milk carton? It's disgusting!
  • Happened in a Time Squad episode when Tuddrussel and Larry were extra angry at each other: they divide the satellite in two, declare their own side off limits to the other and decide to take a trip to the gun range and kitchen respectively...then they realize that the former is on Larry's side in the latter on Tuddrussel's side. Not wanting to switch, they up trying the others hobby out of boredom, then make up with an added appreciation for each other...until the end of the episode.
  • Total Drama: Following the teams merging, Heather and LeShawna have had it with each other and split the cabin in half with tape. Lindsay sides with Heather while Gwen and newcomer Bridgette (who did not want the girls to have this feud and hoped that they could try to make up with each other) side with LeShawna. The line is removed in the next episode due to the girls' fear of Eva.

    Real Life 
  • A very literal case is that of the brothers Caracalla and Geta, joint Emperors of Rome, who divided the Imperial palace in this way in 211.
  • Legendary bar Cafe Lautrec in Adams Morgan, Washington DC closed after its two owners, who came from competing tribes in Eritrea, went to war against one another, War of the Roses-style. They divided everything in the bar down the middle, staffing alternate shifts, keeping separate books, and brown-bagging liquor, even going so far as to visit the bar on alternate nights to tell customers not to patronize the place, submitting bomb-threats and ABC violations against their own establishment when the other owner was on-duty.
  • Nation-states can arise from this trope writ large. Especially if a country is internally divided later on. Especially when one considers how language, culture, and all the meaningful aspects of individuals and collectives fade one into the other without as clear-cut barriers as those imposed by the current multi-governmental system, and within a single government many idiolects, microcultures and such co-exist without barriers.
    • East and West Germany, with the most visible part being the Berlin Wall. This was taken to such an extreme that when the Berlin U-Bahn was divided, a couple of ghost stations existed where the trains passed through on the wrong side of the wall.
    • North and South Korea were partitioned between the United States and the Soviet Union after the peninsula's liberation from Imperial Japan in World War II. After The Korean War resulted in a stalemate that indefinitely put the war on pause without formally ending it, the two halves remain divided to this day, with the Demilitarized Zone being dotted with land mines and guard towers in the event that anyone decides to un-pause the war.
    • North and South Vietnam were split between the United States and the Soviet Union. After the nearly 20-year-long Vietnam War, the two halves were reunited under the north's flag.
    • North and South Cyprus. The line also cuts the capital, Nicosia, in half.
    • Averted and eventually inverted by North and South Yemen, who were not part of the same country before their independence, and joined each other in 1990.
    • The Peace Lines in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which unlike most examples on this page were imposed by a neutral third party (for a given definition of 'neutral') in the midst of The Troubles rather than something the feuding factions devised for themselves.
    • The Confederates tried this in the American Civil War.
  • This trope was played extremely straight by Mitford sisters Unity and Jessica. Unity was an ardent Nazi; her sister Jessica, three years younger, was a similarly-ardent communist. They shared a room. In the '30s. They very quickly took a piece of chalk to the floor, dividing the room in two. On Unity's side were innumerable swastikas and pictures of Adolf Hitler. On Jessica's were similarly innumerable hammers and sickles and pictures of Vladimir Lenin. The Glorious War of Sisterly Rivalry, indeed.
  • Real-life tales of the strange: in 2015, a guy actually did this with a portion of his neighbor's driveway, placing bricks to portion off an area and claiming that portion fell within his property line. The two worked it out, though.


Video Example(s):


You Can Tell Her...

In "The Silent Treatment" from "PB&J Otter," Jelly Otter and Pinch Raccoon are upset with each other and don't want to speak to each other. They have Peanut Otter speak for them instead, running back and forth until he collapses from exhaustion.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / TellHimImNotSpeakingToHim

Media sources: