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With Friends Like These...

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This is Batman's friendship kick.
You don't want to see his enemy kick.
"I love Dora. Sure, I might fantasize about smothering her in her sleep sometimes, but that doesn't mean we're not friends!"

...who needs enemies?

Two people are supposedly friends, except they seem to hate each other. Like, a lot. They're always bickering, insulting each other or outright whupping each other, which leaves the audience wondering, "How the hell are these people friends?" This is often because one or both are Jerkasses, though sometimes it seems that they reserve all their hostility for one other. Once in a while, they'll have a heartwarming moment which will make the audience go "Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other." Then it's back to business as usual. The other option is that one will eventually go for a Uriah Gambit.

Note that the conflict does not create serious problems when dealing with worse enemies — that is Divided We Fall (which is often enough also polite).

Not to be confused with Don't Shoot the Message. For the romantic version, see The Masochism Tango and Belligerent Sexual Tension. Compare/contrast Friendly Enemy which has enemies acting like friends. Compare Vitriolic Best Buds and Odd Friendship. Contrast Who Needs Enemies?, where two characters really ought to be friends given their similar goals, but somehow aren't. May be due to coming from a Friendless Background.


Compare to Fair-Weather Friend (which one could say is a Sub-Trope to this one). See also We Used to Be Friends, where the relationship evolves from "friends" to "enemies", but isn't both at once.

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • John Constantine and Chas Chandler in Hellblazer. (Arguably, this trope describes nearly all of Constantine's relationships, be they friends, relatives or lovers, but Chas, being practically the only person close to John who's still alive, is the prime example.)
  • In the Archie Comics, Archie and Reggie are sometimes described as being friends, but Reggie is very antagonistic towards Acrhie, verging on bullying. Additionally, Betty and Veronica are close friends, yet are regularly seen fighting, often over Archie himself.
  • Sub-Mariner - Namor and Doctor Doom have had this going for decades. Both are leaders of small, isolated nations, and both are considered ruthless by the outside world, so they relate to each other quite well. However, Doom's a true villain and Namor's just determined to protect his people, so they often wind up on the opposite side of conflicts.
    • Namor is also strained friends with the Fantastic Four, in spite of fighting against them countless times. No matter how many times they seem to clash, the Four still come to him if he can help them, and vice-versa. Granted, it's not clear just how much of his willingness to help the group comes from thinking Sue is hot.
  • Quantum and Woody - The title pair. Compounded when they casually throw racial insults at each other.
  • The page image shows Dick Grayson (during his Batman days) and Roy Harper at the lowest point in their friendship; Roy was tripping on drugs and attacking civilians, and afterwards Dick abandoned Roy in prison. This isn't the first time these best friends came to blows either. When they were both on the Outsiders an argument concerning how the team was run devolved into petty insults. When Roy badmouthed Batman Dick responded by badmouthing Green Arrow and brought up Roy's heroin addiction. Then they started beating the crap out of each other. Of course they make up like they always do and go back to their Ho Yay filled friendship.
  • The Joker and The Penguin, believe it or not. Between regularly scheduled betrayal, multiple acts of attempted murder, and verbal and physical abuse (both men seem to really enjoy watching each other suffer), they still insist they're friends. Joker even cried when he thought Penguin had died and worked with Batman to catch the culprit. When he found out Penguin was Faking the Dead he did try to murder him for real, but this being the Joker the Penguin was lucky it was only a token attempt. At times, the role of The Joker has been replaced by The Riddler (not the first time this has happened in a Batman franchise) as best frenemies with Penguin.
  • Cyclops and Wolverine. Somewhere beneath the bickering, insults, fights, differences, and rivalries are two men that actually do respect one another, care about each other, and are even friends. In fact, Logan's entire position over Schism is revealed in Wolverine and the X-Men #40 to ultimately come down to Logan believing Scott actually is the better man, and that it's not right for him to be taking the darker approach. Logan genuinely wants to protect Scott from dirtying his hands and conscience with the ugly things that Logan generally does on the X-Men's behalf.
  • Ari the Gorgon and Tess the Succubus have this dynamic in The Demon Mages, according to the Character Blog.
    It's all fun and games until Tess does something dumb like punch Ari in the boob.
  • Akbar and Jeff from Life in Hell may love each other, but they have quite a few desires to physically destroy each other.
  • Talia and Brody in Brody's Ghost; the former is pushy, snarky, turns Brody's life completely upside down, lies to him and cruelly manipulates him, and the latter is crusty, often unsympathetic, and constantly bemoaning running into the former. Somehow, they remain friends even at the end of the series. Sort of.
  • Be Prepared: When Vera gets to summer camp, she has difficulty making friends at first. She manages to gain some when she shows off her artistic skills. However, one of the counselors, Natasha, tells her that real friends aren't the ones you buy with things like that. True to Natasha's word, when Vera accidentally exposes her candy stash in her tent, which gets it confiscated, all her "friends" turn their backs on her and start bullying her mercilessly.
  • In The Silver Age of Comic Books, Superman's friends, especially Lois Lane, have a strange predilection for trying to discover his secret identity against his obvious wishes. In the Bronze Age, the writers get away from that when they presumably realized a true friend would respect his privacy.

    Comic Strips 
  • Peanuts: Lucy's treatment of Charlie Brown is utterly horrible, constantly calling him a "blockhead" and other insults to his (bad) luck, lack of intelligence and plainness, the Running Gag of pulling the football away (which she just won't stop doing even if that means making their team lose at a game in It's Your First Kiss Charlie Brown), blaming him for everything that goes wrong ever and even gloating about his humiliation over discovering he got the worst test grades in school in The Peanuts Movie (and her one line in the film Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown being the Title Drop's subtitle, "and don't come back!") , but they still consider each other friends and she occasionally tries to help him (in her own way).
  • J. Wellington Wimpy has sold out Popeye on multiple occasions for the promise of food, safety, or money. Not to mention that Wimpy mooches off Popeye on a regular basis. The rest of the town hates him, and Olive seems to only put up with him because he's friends with Popeye. Wimpy does, however, draw the line at killing.
  • Hector to Jeremy from Zits. Most times, he isn't very supportive, preferring to be a Deadpan Snarker instead. Not very helpful for Jeremy's self-esteem. Emblematic in this sense, the series of strips in which both guys do an IQ test, and Jeremy scores only 38. All that Hector (who scored 108) can say in response to depression of a friend, is more or less: "Hey, what should I say, I have an underdeveloped as friend." For the record, at last Jeremy discovers that the test is not reliable at all: his father did the test too, and he scored a little bit too high, for a guy who doesn't even know how to use a computer.
  • It's sometimes difficult to tell why the titular Calvin and Hobbes are friends at all. Hobbes condescends to Calvin, attacks him for no reason, occasionally bullies him, and has betrayed him for his own gain multiple times, while Calvin tends to see Hobbes as little more than a partner for his own schemes and often treats him no better than Hobbes treats him. The implication seems to be that because Calvin is so terrible, he has to take what friends he can get, and even Hobbes may or may not be imaginary.

    Fan Works 
  • Light Yagami and Naomi Misora in All You Need Is Love: "Naomi realized her closest friend was a Serial Killer who crashed at her house and tormented her son and husband."
  • Ron Weasley and Draco Malfoy in King Lightning.
    The boys had become very strange friends. They still despised each other but could often be seen trading the rudest insults to each other over a chessboard.
  • In Wonderful (Mazinja), Taylor and Sophia are friends... after a fashion. Still, they fight and argue constantly, and Taylor pokes fun at Sophia every so often.
  • Children of an Elder God: Misato and Ritsuko are old friends... although they bicker constantly, and Ritsuko seems to enjoy getting Misato riled.
    Ritsuko: Hmm. I see you're busy. When you two are done, I need to see Misato."
    Misato: I was just trying to find out who his girlfriend is!
    Ritsuko: I suppose he had it written on the inside of his underwear or something?
  • In Origin Story, despite everything Alex is doing to help the Scoobies while she's trapped in the Buffyverse, the Scoobies still treat her like she's a monster who's about to attack them. At one point, Violet the Vampire Slayer points out that Buffy is treating Alex "like a yeast infection," and punches Buffy in the nose when their attitude causes Alex to fly away in tears.
  • Discussed in Renegades. By this point in the Arrow timeline, Oliver has thrown Laurel's addiction struggles in her face twice (including telling her to drink herself to death), been completely unsupportive when she was starting as the Black Canary, and has said very demeaning things to her. Laurel at one point laments to Felicity how bad her relationship with him has become
    Felicity: He just snaps at you and gets so angry with you. He’s not like that with anyone else. We all see it. I don’t know why, but I want to believe it comes from some place of caring about you. If he didn’t care he wouldn’t be so angry, right?
    Laurel: It was hard, at first, to let go of the idea that he would ever be there for me the way I had been there for him and his family. I thought I was doing so well, until tonight. No one has ever been able to cut me down like he can.
    • To his credit, Oliver later admits he's been a terrible friend to her for a while now and starts treating her like an actual friend.
  • After filling in for Voldemort in Professor Riddle's Chronicles, Dolohov sums up his opinion of Hogwarts in the late 1960s: with enemies like these, it’s impossible to win, and with friends like these, even more so.
  • Echo's of the past is a look at Laurel's life and the people in it, and largely consists of how terribly most of them have treated her. This is really pointed out in Nyssa's chapter, which starts by pointing out that if Nyssa once poisoned and nearly killed Laurel and is still one of her closest friends, the only conclusion to draw is that Laurel needs better friends. Nyssa herself comments on this, is genuinely baffled that Laurel still tries to save people who do not care about her.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Izuku still considers the hyper-aggressive Jerkass Katsuki Bakugou to be his best friend. This is partially due to Izuku's massive guilt complex over nearly killing Katsuki when they were toddlers. Even after everything they've been through and his fear of his growing powers, Izuku can't help but rush into the fray when Katsuki is in danger.
  • In Persephone, it does not take long for the Hooligans them to realize that one of the reasons why Astrid was so quick to join Hiccup and his cause was because he treated her ''far'' better than they ever did.
  • Lampshaded by Odin in What If in regards to Heimdall who insists he's loyal to Asgard, not to the throne. Heimdall also insists Loki is a traitor who cannot be trusted, even though all of Loki's actions were actually on Odin's orders. As a result, Odin decides against letting Heimdall work off his prison sentencenote  because it'd be better to "know he's blind than to rely on untrustworthy eyes".
  • In The Long Road (2015), Hiccup immediately regrets promising to introduce Jack to his friends, as he semi-sarcastically comments that he should have just pretended he didn't know them and he can really only trust Stormfly not to offend.
  • X-Men: The Early Years: Scott, Jean, Hank, Warren, and Bobby are great friends who enjoy making each other miserable every so often.
    Warren turned to glare at them, "I hope you both realize that you're going to die. And, for good measure, I might just kill Scott for leaving the two of you alone, unsupervised."
    Hank rolled his eyes. "One of these days you're going to have to tell me where you met Barbie's blow-up, anorexic cousin."
    "Her name is Candy, Hank," Warren griped. "Thank you SO much for wrecking my date with her."
  • In Everybody's Gotta Leave Sometime, the Peanuts gang have a last get-together before parting ways forever. And even though it's their last day together, Lucy and Violet are unable to say their most heartfelt goodbyes to Charlie Brown without adding some putdowns.
  • All of Jaune's friends start out like this in Operation: Jaune's Ex-Girlfriend, forcing him to do things (talking about his ex-girlfriend, trying to get him to reunite with said ex-girlfriend) that he clearly doesn't want to do (them taking their methods Up to Eleven probably didn't help matters). Though to be fair, they didn't understand the full scope of the situation and thought they would be doing Jaune a favor in a Tough Love sort of way. Once they finally get all of the details (Jaune's ex-girlfriend is a Yandere who, among other things, planned to kidnap him), they realize they acted horribly and resolve to make amends.
  • Downplayed in Heaven's Eye when Izuku inwardly speculates that Momo and Iida don't have the highest opinion of him.
    Why do I get the feeling these two don't think too highly of me a lot of the time?

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Mean Girls has Regina to Karen, Cady, and (especially) Gretchen. "Frenemies" indeed!
  • Star Wars has R2-D2 and C-3PO.
  • R2-D2 and C-3P0 were said to have been modeled off of Tahei and Matashichi from The Hidden Fortress who bicker and fight constantly (when they're not swearing eternal friendship to each other).
  • The comedy duo Abbott and Costello in their many many films.
  • The Big Lebowski. The Dude and Walter spend most of the time bickering, but they're good enough friends to see it through. Even verbally said by an exasperated Dude at one point:
    The Dude: With friends like these, huh, Gary?
  • It's hard to call Bad Boys (1995) a Buddy Cop film, since Mike and Marcus spend so much time fighting and throwing insults at each other, with few moments of peace and friendship. In Bad Boys II, on the other hand, they're practically Heterosexual Life-Partners.
  • Inception has Eames and Arthur. One is a chilled out thief, the other is a slightly stuck up researcher type. The fangirls loved this.
  • Max Fischer and Herman Blume in Rushmore. There's a reason though.
    "With friends like you, who needs friends?" -Dirk (to Herman)
  • Cry_Wolf. The group of friends in the film love scaring each other very often for several reasons and don't have complete trust in each other. Despite all that, they're still friends.
  • This is Heihachi and Kikuchiyo's dynamic in Seven Samurai. Kikuchiyo is a boisterous and energetic wannabe samurai who likes to show off, and the wittier and more reserved Heihachi is Kikuchiyo's most outspoken critic who laughs at and makes fun of him constantly.
  • Hannah and Her Sisters: Holly and April. They compete over acting roles, men and everything — and the latter usually wins. However, they still do projects together, like catering.
  • In Preservation, the hunter leader doesn’t treat his cohorts the best, even stealing the inhaler of the asthmatic one, silently threatening not to give it back and beginning to drown him until he complies to stay and keep searching for Wit. The third hunter just quietly ignores this quarrel, clearly not wanting to get involved.
  • Red Zone Cuba: Griffin regularly beats his so called friends, who laugh at each other's suffering.
  • The infamous Tongue on the Flagpole scene from A Christmas Story has Ralphie and the others desert Flick after the latter has been triple-dog-dared into pressing his tongue to the flagpole. When the teacher tries to guilt-trip them into confessing, the narrator points out that they "knew darn well it was always better not to get caught."
  • Devil in a Blue Dress: Almost all of Easy's friends wind up manipulating and betraying him for their own ends, and in some cases try to murder him outright. The only exception is Mouse, who is genuinely looking out for him, though Easy isn't particularly happy about this since Mouse is a ruthless and unhinged thug who's idea of helping Easy is to murder anyone who crosses him.

  • Harry Potter:
    • Hermione likes a little bickering, which is why she prefers Ron to Harry, who backs down just to get her to shut up. Harry doesn't have any middle gears; he either backs down or he treats it as a verbal duel to the death, often reducing Hermione to tears before he's finished ranting at her. Ron, however, will jab back but rarely goes past the limit like Harry does; the extreme difference between their upbringings may explain this. Harry never saw 'playful bickering', pre-Hogwarts — just deadly-serious insults. It goes to the point where, when Harry tells them to grow up and stop bickering, they're offended and take it as a sign that there's something wrong with him.
    • In the previous generation, Peter Pettigrew was that kid who let his friends — namely James and Sirius — pick on him just so he could remain in their group, and Remus failed to intervene for the same reason. And it seems that for a long time before she finally broke it off, Snape and Lily had a relationship where she was always standing up for him to others and he was always letting her down.
  • Sherlock Holmes — Holmes takes every opportunity to belittle Watson, sends him off on fact-gathering missions only to tell him he's brought nothing back of any use, tricks him into thinking Holmes is dead for three years, and often uses him as an intellectual punching-bag. Watson, however, remains faithfully devoted. This dynamic is recreated by a number of later mystery authors, notably Agatha Christie's Poirot and his sidekick Hastings. But for all his snarking, Holmes does actually deeply care for him — see ''The Three Garridebs''. He trusts Watson is watching his back and trusts no one else so implicitly. Holmes also appreciates his friend for giving him an insight into how a normal person would interpret a situation.
  • Lampshaded in Five Hundred Years After. A character mentions that Sethra Lavode and Aliera e'Kieron seem to have become very good friends in the last few days. When someone else expresses confusion, saying that he'd heard they were challenging each other to duels to the death roughly every 10 minutes, the first replies, basically, "They're from Houses Dragon and Dzur. Why wouldn't that make them friends?"
  • In Discworld, the rather uptight Granny Weatherwax and Dirty Old Woman Nanny Ogg are best of friends, despite constant bickering. In Witches Abroad, when Granny is making a list of why she disapproves of all the other witches in the area, it concludes "And she really couldn't be having at all with Nanny Ogg, who was her best friend".
  • Unknowingly sharing a name with the Trope, is the short story With Friends Like These by Alan Dean Foster. Several alien races come in search of humanity and Earth after the planet and its inhabitants had been locked away for for millennia for being unable to play nice with the rest of the universe. Now they were desperately needed to defeat aggressive aliens known as Yops. At first the aliens are disappointed because the humans are hospitable and friendly, but appear utterly defenseless and technologically backwards. Until they find out mankind has... evolved. It's pointed out near the end of the story that the problem exists of what to do with the Humans (and the rest of their planet) once the Yops have been defeated. (At this point it's obvious that the question is no longer if the Yops will be defeated but only how quickly. One character even remarks that the poor Yops won't know what hit them.)
  • In The Secret History, Henry and Bunny are thought to be best friends. Henry engineers Bunny's murder in the middle of the book. The rest of the main characters, despite being a near-impenetrable clique of supposed friends, aren't exactly models of love and caring either. Possibly the constant scheming makes it difficult to trust each other...
  • In Star Trek: Titan, the belligerent Fethetrit to the other races in the Pa'haquel's hunting alliance. Besides considering the slow torture of sapient beings a game (they can win trophies), Fethetrit love to theatrically bluster about their imperialist past in an insanely over-the-top manner: "we raped worlds until they begged for mercy, then raped them harder until they screamed for death!!" At this point, a Pa'haquel usually face-palms (well, the equivalent, anyway) and tells the Fethetrit in question to "sit down, you fool!"
    • In the Star Trek Novel Verse overall, the Federation/Klingon alliance tends to be this more often than not - Chancellor Martok is a staunch supporter of the alliance after Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but this tends to create a lot of tension between segments of the Klingon High Council who still can't get over the fact that the historical conflicts with the Federation have never been resolved by battle, regardless of how worthwhile the alliance has proven. Meanwhile, on the Federation side of things, during the special election for Federation president in 2379, while canny enough to not outright say he wanted to dissolve the Khitomer Accords, candidate Fel Prago still openly made many questions about why the Federation was allied with a species and government who openly engage in campaigns of conquering other races and are constantly seeking a fight with their stellar neighbors such as the Romulans. There are times that the Federation-Klingon alliance seems to persist more because the two sides don't quite want to get caught up in a losing war, as opposed to a genuine desire for peace between the two nations.
  • Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Okay, Jack Emery and Harry Wong have a relationship where they supposedly love each other like brothers, but you might have a hard time believing that! Ted Robinson and Maggie Spritzer are both reporters, which is a dog-eat-dog career, and despite them living together, having sex and all that fine stuff, they have resorted to stealing stuff from each other. Later, Maggie becomes Editor In Chief of the Washington Post and Ted's boss, and she loves to ''boss' him around! Honestly, it's hard to believe those two are on good terms!
  • The main plot of El Amigo Braulio (My Friend Braulio) by José Manuel González Prada. A young man, Roque publishes some poems in the university's newspaper. Unfortunately, everyone mocks him, specially the titular Braulio, whom Roque considers his best friend who has always been there for him. In order to avoid more bullying and Humiliation Conga, Roque decides to use a pseudonym (Genaro Latino) in his next publication and to his surprise, everyone loves it, especially Braulio, who bullies poor Roque and compares him with Genaro Latino. However, thanks to a creepy yet nice classmate who has supported Roque all along, Genaro Latino's true identity is revealed much to Braulio's chagrin. Turns out that Braulio was jealous all along and the story concludes with Roque and Braulio stopping being friends anymore.
  • A.J. Raffles often treats his faithful sidekick and chronicler, Bunny, less than kindly. But he does eventually admit that Bunny's utterly dependable in a crunch.
  • Ford and Arthur in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It's safe to assume that Arthur is the best friend Ford had during his fifteen years on Earth since Ford chose him to rescue from the Vogons, but they both generally seem to find each other extremely trying. Ford often remarks on how Humans Are Morons and Arthur ascribes several negative qualities to Ford. ("How reliable [is he]?" said Arthur. He gave a hollow laugh. "How shallow is the ocean?" he said. "How cold is the sun?") They bicker almost constantly. Given the least opportunity, they tend to go their separate ways. But somehow they generally tolerate each other; Ford hitchhikes across half the galaxy just to see Arthur in So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish and often tries to keep Arthur out of danger, and once they get the bickering out of the way they occasionally manage to hang out quite peaceably.
  • Schooled: Hugh Winkleman, who demonstrates that being a middle-school outcast does not make you a nice guy. Instead of warning his new (and only) friend Cap about being bullied, he uses Cap to shield himself from abuse, although he admits to not being proud of it. When Cap starts gaining popularity, Hugh jealously turns on him and sets him up get to get brutally tackled by the football team. Hugh then takes advantage of rumors of Cap's death to manipulate the student body into liking him.
  • In The Machineries of Empire, the six Hexarchate factions are mired in infighting, and Kel Command is as dangerous to Kel Cheris as the heretics she's supposed to be fighting are, if not more so.
  • Lions & Liars: Frederick's initial friends, Joel and Raj, are pretty quick to make fun of him.

  • Anberlin quotes this trope almost verbatim in the chorus of "To the Wolves" (it's phrased "Who needs enemies when we've got friends like you?")
  • Saigon's "Enemies" cites this trope in the chorus:
    With friends like you, who needs enemies
    Brought a n***a bad luck like the Kennedy's
    You had a n***a's ass up in the penitentiary
    With friends like you, who needs enemies?
  • Owl City quotes this trope verbatim in "The Bird and the Worm".
    For all my pals who live in the oceans and the seas
    With friends like these, well,
    Who needs enemies?
  • "Game Shows Touch Our Lives" by the Mountain Goats.
    People say friends don't destroy one another
    What do they know about friends?
  • The Of Mice & Men song “Contagious” pretty much quotes this trope verbatim as well.
    My pessimistic attitude is contagious,
    With friends like these, who needs enemies?

    Professional Wrestling 
  • A somewhat common staple, particularly for younger wrestlers, where a newcomer (usually initially presented as a face) will have trouble "fitting in" and the heels will often try to influence the newbie. The storyline will often see the newbie get sucked into the heel faction but when the chips are down, they will abandon him in mid-match and allow the faces to obtain victory. The newbie will then turn face and begin a steady climb through the ranks.
  • Hulk Hogan: Several of his "friends" have turned on him for various reasons, most notably "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff, André the Giant, and Randy Savage (all because they thought Hogan was too much of a bigshot, was using their friendship to avoid offering a shot at the WWF World Championship, or was behaving inappropriately with his manager). When another of Hogan's "buddies," Tugboat, turned heel, Tugboat (who would rechristen himself Typhoon and join forces with Earthquake, another of Hogan's enemies) made a passing derogatory reference to Hogan, but nothing ever came of it other than a few short encounters in various battle royals.
  • Ultimate Warrior: Famously in the setup for a planned feud with Jake Roberts, who presented himself as a friend who wanted to help him in his feud with The Undertaker. Roberts eventually revealed this was a trap and that he was in cahoots with Undertaker all along. Nothing ever came of it, as Warrior was fired shortly after the last segment - an obviously fake snake bites Warrior's arm, causing him to "pass out" due to the venom - was aired days before SummerSlam 1991. (Meaning a possible kayfabe explanation might be that Warrior was traumatized by his experience with Roberts and the "bad" outcome of his feud with Undertaker.)
  • La Parka and Psicosis were nominally a tag team in WCW but the two spent more time arguing and hitting each other with La Parka's chair than they did working together.
  • John Morrison had the nerve to berate R-Truth for his lack of conditioning and supposedly undeserved WWE title shot when part of what got Truth that title shot was beating Morrison, clean. However, R-Truth's reaction to falling for Morrison's attempt to goad him into giving up said title shot ranged into Disproportionate Retribution.
  • La Perra Del Mal Taya Valkyrie is often very rude and unhelpful to her fellow stablemates outside of Perros Del Mal Producciones shows or AAA. In AAA, she's still very unhelpful and sometimes actively hindering to Ivelisse Vélez (though The World Wrestling League had already pitted the two Perras Del Mal against each other as part of its dream matches tour, so it probably didn't come as much surprise to the fans)

  • Dead Ringers: Queen Elizabeth II is totally willing to sell her own son out to the FBI in exchange for the opportunity to go into the Witness Protection Program. Failing that, she's quite content to sit back and laugh at his self-inflicted misfortune.
  • The Ricky Gervais Show: Ricky and Steve constantly ridicule Karl and his crazy ramblings. Still, at times there seems to be a genuine friendship between the three.
    Karl: I sort of know what I mean anyway. When I'm saying stuff, I know that I'm not that great at explaining what I'm getting at, but deep down, there's something there.
    Ricky: Yeah, there is. He doesn't look smart, and he didn't have a full education, but he's got a spark of genius about him.
    Karl: I'm like Columbo. You know how everyone is like, "He's daft." But then he gets them in the end.


    Tabletop Games 
  • In Paranoia, those whom Friend Computer deems to be its "trusted agents" have a death rate 270 times higher than regular people. And the people you should fear the most are your "fellow party members" who will kill you faster than you can say "Commie Mutant Traitor" the moment your back is turned.

  • How Mary, Charley, and Frank end up in Merrily We Roll Along. Frank and Charley especially.
  • Kendra and Lucy in Thirteen. Poor Kendra is too much of a ditzy sweet girl to realize that Lucy is trying to usurp her position as Queen Bee and steal her Love Interest.
  • Shakespeare did it first. As per the first page quote, Much Ado About Nothing's Beatrice and Benedick can't be in the same room without Volleying Insults, and they end up as an Official Couple. See also Belligerent Sexual Tension.
  • Hamlet has the title character's "old friends" Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, who have no trouble spying on their friend for his uncle/stepfather. Hamlet, in turn, has no trouble forging his uncle's orders to have England kill them in his place.
  • Mame Dennis and Vera Charles in Mame. As Mame puts it in "Bosom Buddies:"
    And if I say that sex and guts made you into a star,
    It's simply that who else but a bosom buddy
    Will tell you how rotten you are.
  • In Pokémon Live!, Ash, Misty, and Brock spend as much time arguing as they do traveling to the city. Their journey isn't helped by Brock throwing away the map and Misty being unable to confess her feelings towards Ash.
  • " In the "Enchanted Edition" of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Cinderella evokes the classic phrase by saying "With a fairy godmother like this, who needs a stepmother?" after the aforementioned Fairy Godmother insists that wishes are "poppycock and twaddle" and dreamers are "dizzy in the noodle." Her Godmother is really trying to help her, though, by teaching her to follow her dreams instead of just wishing and waiting to be rescued.

    Video Games 
  • Baldur's Gate II has some:
    • Edwin, perhaps the most powerful recruitable mage in the game, surely the less humble. He will constantly remember how amazing and superior he is, compared to the main character, while insulting everyone thinking nobody's listening;
    • Safana, a potential companion in BG1, but now willingly looking for a bounty on the main character's head once met near the end;
    • In the expansion Throne of Bhaal, Sarevok if the player chooses to recruit him, considering the story. However, the player has the choice to pursue a route where he/she can redeem him;
  • Happens a lot in the first third of Tales of the Abyss. The party tells haughty Jerkass Luke virtually nothing about their motives, intentionally keeps valuable information from him, and is openly defying the one person he trusts. Then, after Luke is manipulated into destroying Akzeriuth, they all yell at him for not trusting them.
    • Luke himself is typically quite abrasive toward his companions (even Ion and Mieu, the only two people who put up with him no matter what he does), refuses to admit that he is wrong or that Van is in any way untrustworthy and is also quite selfish (he wants to save Akzeriuth Van's way because it will make him a hero and because Van promised to take him to Daath). Of course, he's actually seven so his entire character during that point makes unfortunate sense. He gets better, to the point of being the nicest person in the entire game (discounting Ion).
    • They don't really get away from this trope until the end game either as they continue to treat Luke as the Butt-Monkey and keep various secrets and avoid talking about their problems. A stand out example is the fact Anise is The Mole and the consequences of her being such.
    • If this is sounds horribly unfair, well, it's meant to come across that way. One of game's main themes is Scapegoatism; the idea that humans, by our very nature, will often try to offload responsibility onto another being or entity rather than deal with it ourselves. Luke, being a Deconstruction of The Chosen One, makes an easy target for this sort of thing.
  • Almost everyone in Touhou Project has at least one of these, and it seems to be one of those inevitable hazards of living in Gensokyo. Reimu in particular has managed to develop friendships with Suika Ibuki, a Stalker Without a Crush oni that mooches off of her; Yukari Yakumo, a teasing, scheming Reality Warper; and most notably Marisa Kirisame, an insane kleptomaniac Cute Witch who has twice attempted to sic EX bosses on her by giving Reimu's name when introducing herself (Flandre Scarlet in Embodiment of Scarlet Devil and Mamizou Futatsuiwa in Ten Desires).
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, the crew of the Ebon Hawk, both incarnations. Particularly notable between Carth and Bastila, Bastila and a dark-side player, HK-47 and everyone, Mandalore and Bao-dur, and Kreia and everyone. It's much, much worse in the second, though. Almost every single person hates everyone else, except for the Exile, who is the reason they're all there in the first place.
  • This constantly happens in Koudelka. One or more of them argue every time they are in a cut-scene together.
  • The Legion and the Trow in Myth 2. There's even a mission named after the trope. On the evil side, the Watcher and the Deceiver, whose rivalry stretches back over a millennium, and who actually seem to prefer fighting each other than dealing with the good guys.
  • Onmyōji: What makes Ibaraki-dōji memorable is his blatantly masochistic loyalty toward his old friend Shuten-dōji, even though the latter treats him like dirt the moment they reunite and, as commented by Seimei, never really acted like a proper friend in the first place.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • Sonic and Knuckles in the earlier games. Even after the two became allies at the end of Sonic 3 & Knuckles, they still find themselves clashing with each other either due to their contrasting attitudes, worldviews, and egos. As time goes on, they're getting along better; but still snark and tease each other every now and then, and like to be smug when they get one over on each other.
    • Even after Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic considers Shadow a friend, which doesn't explain the times the two hedgehogs clashed due to their conflicting goals in various games, even during the time Shadow had amnesia. Even if Shadow doesn't consider Sonic a friend, he does work well with him when the situation calls for it; and does seem to at least care a bit about him deep down, despite being loath to admit it.
    • The Babylon Rogues from the Sonic Riders series come across as this, mostly Wave and Storm who bicker and insult each other to no end, but Jet is also often shown getting annoyed with Wave's nagging and Storm's daftness, respectively.
  • This can cross over to real life with the Ju-on game for the Wii. Its multiplayer mode is comprised of player 1 playing the game as normal, and player 2 adding to the haunting the player is experiencing with timed button presses.
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening, the Black Knight says the trope (almost) word for word after Gangrel mocks the hell out of him in Rogues and Redeemers 2. To quote: "With allies like him, who needs enemies?"
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Ingrid is supposed to be part of the Childhood Friends group along with Dimitri, Sylvain, and Felix, but you wouldn't know it from the way she interacts with them, as her supports with them involve her scolding/yelling at them for various reasons and complains about always "having to" run around cleaning up their messes. Felix arguably counts as well given how abrasive he is, but his attitude is more because of ideological differences than personal ones and he acts like that to pretty much everyone in his House (barring Annette), not just his friends, and he tends to get called out for his behaviour a lot more than Ingrid does.
  • Tony Hawk's Underground: Eric Sparrow in a nutshell! The guy starts off as your one true friend you help out and then later attempts to upstage the protagonist of the story just to rise on top in the skating fame by backstabbing the protagonist three times to a point where he's willing to have the protagonist kicked off the team after turning pro. It's very refreshing to play the game twice just to get the pleasure to watch the protagonist punch him out.
  • The actual name of a mission in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm. In order to find the place where Jim Raynor is imprisoned, the Raiders want to use Colonel Orlan, the best hacker in the sector. Orlan is being kept on ice since the last game by Mira Han, who'll be happy to turn him over... as soon as Jim gives his okay since the imprisonment deal was made with him. And since she can't just hand over prisoners without damaging her reputation, which as a mercenary is her most prized possession... Oh, and she's Matt Horner's (Jim's Number Two) accidental ex-wife.
  • Quoted words by words in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney regarding the relationship between Phoenix Wright and Kristoph Gavin, as the former tries to pin the later for a murder charge while the later desperately tries to make Phoenix look as bad as possible, although it's briefly mentioned in passing that Kristoph was the only one who defended Phoenix when he lost his badge. In the flashback case, Kristoph is the one who manipulated his friend into losing his career, meaning the bad blood has been maintained over years before Phoenix finally has an opportunity to take revenge.
  • In Fallout 4, if your relationship with Deacon sinks very low to the point of him hating you, he'll say this:
    Deacon: With friends like you, the Railroad doesn't need enemies!
  • Grand Theft Auto V: Michael Townley and Trevor Phillips may just be the best example of this trope. The two fight about everything, from how to approach a job to Michael's decision to retire. Trevor is extremely bitter about Michael giving him up to the police as part of a deal with the FIB and becomes homicidal when he discovers that their partner Brad was killed, instead of arrested like Trevor thought. Yet, no matter how bad things get between them, they can never stop caring about the other's well being. To borrow a quote from South Park, they're best friends whether they like it or not.
  • In Until Dawn, aside from Sam, it's not really known how close the others were with Hannah, but they were willing to prank her in a humiliating fashion. For that matter, Hannah seemed perfectly okay with having an affair with Mike, knowing he was dating Emily at the time.
    • In the present time, Jessica and Emily can get into a nasty catfight. Mike and Matt can wrestle with each other. They still pull pranks on each other which is slightly in poor taste, considering two of their friends (Hannah and Beth) died because of their hijinks the year before.
  • In Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair, the friendship between Momoko and Kamen can come off as this upon closer examination. Kamen is one of the few people Momoko trusts after many people took advantage of Momoko's helpful nature to force her to do things for them, but even she notes that eventually, she was the one always doing things for Momoko. What really indicates them as being this trope, though, is that not long before the start of the game, Kamen, having been asked out by Momoko's boyfriend Hiro, tried to warn Momoko about Hiro's infidelity, but Momoko refused to believe her, even threatening to end their friendship if Kamen persisted. Some time later, Momoko snuck a peek at Kamen's phone while Kamen was in the bathroom, and found texts from Hiro on it. She assumed Kamen was seeing Hiro behind her back and plotted to kill Hiro and kill herself to frame Kamen for their deaths.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core has Genesis on the giving end. He's extremely petty towards Angeal and especially Sephiroth, whether out of not taking their concerns seriously (Angeal) or simple jealousy (Sephiroth). It's pretty telling that Sephiroth tells him he can rot after everything he pulls.
  • Dragon Quest V: Tuppence Tends to be unusually rude to his king, to the point of planning to steal his wife from him after he dies. He does respect him as a leader though, he's just envious of his skill with the ladies.

  • Outsider: This is a big part of Alex's reasoning for preferring to join the Loroi over the Umiak. While both sides have done terrible things in the war (with various justifications trotted out), the Umiak treat their "allies" as little better than slaves to feed the war machine. The Loroi do go on about their cultural superiority and their interspecies alliance is clearly weighted in their favor, but at least they treat their allies as people who deserve their own opinions.
  • Sluggy Freelance: Since Bun-Bun is a sociopathic Jerkass, this trope applies to just about any "friendship" he has.
  • The Order of the Stick: Belkar and Vaarsuvius. Vaarsuvius actually attacks Belkar at one point simply due to the fear that Belkar liked V too much. This is a borderline example, though; Belkar and V are part of the same group, but never actually considered each other friends. Then again, V considers very few people to be his/her friends and the only creature that Belkar might see as one is his cat. It might not be so borderline after all. However, as V postulates, Belkar only hates or lusts after everyone in a binary fashion, so he probably has a very large number of these.
  • Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name:
    • Doc Worth and Conrad. In the February donation comic Doc says he thinks of the two of them as friends, though Conrad may not see it that way. Their constant yelling and shoving matches might have something to do with that, along with Doc's constant stream of belittling comments.
    • Definitely has Doc Worth and Lamont Toucey. They make a hobby out of beating the everliving shit out of each other (such beatings may end in childish apologies) and insulting each other. They first met when they were kids, and Lamont sneaked into Worth's back yard to get a ball he had thrown too far, and Worth beat him up just for the hell of it. They just started hanging out after that, and they've been best friends ever since.
  • El Goonish Shive: Lucy is quite critical of Rhoda. And anyone else, for that matter. To a lesser degree, even Diane.
  • 8-Bit Theater: The Light Warriors push this trope to the breaking point. Whenever they're not bickering, insulting, swindling, and trying to kill each other, they're... doing the same, only to other people. They have very rare bonding moments, usually in the form of Casual Danger Dialogue. The only exception is Fighter, but only because he's such a Horrible Judge of Character that he doesn't notice he's teammates worser (IE, True) natures.
  • Roommates: Almost the entire cast, as well as those of and the Spinoffs Girls Next Door and Down the Street, especially Jareth and Erik, who co-exist in a state of open warfare punctuated by occasional bouts of empathizing with each other's relationship drama.
  • Homestuck: The trolls, coming from a race of jerkasses, often bitterly bicker and fight with one another. In most cases, it's simply how they interact, and in the end they'll work together. In others, not so much. This is the entire point of the trolls' Ashen and Caliginous quadrants, A.K.A blackrom romance, a relation based off mediation and hate-love respectively.
  • Sturgeon's Law: Max is in a one-sided version of this trope.
  • Unsounded: When Prakhuta realizes he's not going to be able to leave with Duane under his control like a pain filled puppet to help feed his magical superweapon he shouts that the whole affair is Bastion's fault, his friend who he tricked into helping him by framing his genocidal ambitions as a noble revolution to free his people who have been treated worse than slaves, slaughtered and had their homes stolen since humans first discovered their underground cities seventy years ago.
  • xkcd: The Black Hat Guy. His friends are just people he likes enough to either ask to join him in his "classhole" shenanigans, or people he treats marginally better than the average victim. In fact, what he loves about his girlfriend is that they're this to each other.
  • Exterminatus Now: The main cast are pretty willing to torment each other on the spur of the moment, steal from each other, and generally be terrible to each other. They will work together when under pressure, and only when under pressure.
    Virus: We should report to high command.
    Eastwood: You know what? Let's not. After all, I did, if you want to be technical, steal a forbidden relic from a forbidden vault. That's kind of forbidden.
    Virus: Well, you're just going to have to sack up and face the consequences, Harry. This is important. We can't just hide intel from Command just to save your thieving skin.
    Eastwood: You're implicated too: I used your ID to get in. It'll show on the records.
    Virus: So it's agreed we're not reporting to Command.

    Web Original 
  • Why does Nella put up with The Nostalgia Chick's abuse? Because she gets paid, of course. She's not totally innocent, however, as Maven complains that if she forces Nella and Chick to see The Moth Diaries again, they'll put her coffin in the sun just to freak her out.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • Most obviously, the Reds and Blues. They spend as much time fighting each other as the "enemy".
    • Whichever Freelancer is currently hanging out with the Reds and Blues. Whether it's Tex with her constant backstabbing, Wash working out his psychoses, or Carolina, the Freelancers are always at least as much trouble as help. Except the ones they're fighting, who are at least as much help as trouble. The Reds and Blues are some of the worst-ranked soldiers humanity hasn't kicked out of their militaries, and the Freelancers are each a One-Man Army.
    • Among the Freelancer organization itself; Carolina, South, and CT all get special mention. Between them, they're abusive, cold, and occasionally shoot teammates in the back or betray them to the enemy out of spite. Maine and Wyoming are willing to frag teammates to stay on the leaderboards.
    • Tex. She gets her own mention. She backstabs her teammates and loved ones, steals from them, physically abuses them, demeans them, uses live rounds and other military hardware on and around them, beats them up in humiliating ways, shows up other Freelancers in personal and demeaning fashions, and steals credit/lays blame on her direct rival whenever possible.
  • Where the Bears Are: While the bears always make up when they fight, they are occasionally horrible to each other. Examples include Reggie having jailhouse sex with the serial killer who tried to murder Nelson, and Wood neglecting to tell Nelson that said serial killer had escaped from prison months ago.
  • Sailor Moon Abridged takes it to the extreme. Serena is constantly picked on for being fat, while Amy can never get a word in and is always being forgotten. Then there's Raye, who is constantly yelling at the others and is the main source of the group's in-fighting.
  • In Noob, Sparadrap considers all his guildmates to be his friends. This can be understandable for his Guild Master and the two later recruits, but Gaea and Omega Zell tend to be quite mean to him. Gaea and Omega Zell, who qualify for both Jerkass and Too Much Alike, are also this to each other and closer to being rivals.
  • All of the Sidemen with one another, considering they run on the principle of banter. There are many times where this bantering leads to them messing with each other. The entire group is full of ham and kooky personalities and even the Only Sane Men of the group (Tobi and Josh) aren't immune to this.
  • GoAnimate:
    • Leo, Clementine and Sarah. Even if one can ignore their (occasionally justified) tendency to tattle on Caillou, they often tend to verbally abuse him as well. On Caillou's side, he often tends to beat them up and insult them as well.
    • Fred.: He always gives concussions to the rest of Mystery Inc. even for doing things that any sane person would consider harmless. Makes one wonder why they don't just get a restraining order on him.
    • On the rare occasion he appears in Dora the Explorer related videos, Boots is usually depicted as a Dirty Coward who throws Dora under the bus whenever it's convenient for him.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Koden says this in the Special Info Episode after Andy and Bill tease him.
  • This story from Not Always Learning - the submitter's old friend enters an ugly tie contest during their senior year of high school. His entry is a tie covered in pictures of the submitter. That's bad enough, but the contest is judged based on the applause and cheers of the audience (which includes several of their other schoolmates/friends)... and the submitter's friend wins.
  • Ace Attorney According To An AI:
    • Despite having been Trucy's friend since infancy, Athena Voss(not to be confused with Athena Cykes), willingly testifies that she saw Trucy murder Valant and commit other crimes in #1.
    • In #5, Matt claims that Juan was his best friend, but murders him for using expensive cooking oil. Maggey can't seem to decide whether they're actually supposed to be friends.
  • SuperMarioLogan:
    • Despite all the nice things Mario has done for Black Yoshi, like give him food and shelter and hide him from the police whenever he commits crimes, Black Yoshi treats Mario very poorly. He always begs Mario for money and the latest Call of Duty games when the latter get released, he is very ungrateful when Mario gives him things he doesn't like (like the (fictional) Call of Duty: Black Ops III Wii U bundle), and he has gotten Mario arrested on several occasions. The few times he does save Mario, it's usually because Mario is the one who pays the bills and lets him live in his house.
    • Despite Mario letting him stay at his house, Shrek tends to treat Mario very poorly, always clogging up his toilet, begging him to buy him more toilet paper and cheesecake, and getting his possessions very dirty at times.
  • A large part of Superdickery is taking out-of-context (or just plain bizarre) images to make it look like most of DC's superheroes and supporting casts have it out for each other. The most famous examples are of course Superman being a complete dick to everyone he knows (especially Lois and Jimmy), but Batman, Supergirl, Lois, Jimmy, and even Clark Kent get in on the action. And yes, there are covers where Clark and Superman are dicks to each other. Somehow.