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Playing With / Vitriolic Best Buds

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Basic Trope: Two best friends fighting, but still care for each other.

  • Straight: Steve and Pete are best friends despite the fact that they constantly insult and berate each other.
  • Exaggerated:
    • Steve and Pete are inseparable, despite the fact that they're always trying to kill each other.
    • Steve and Pete unquestionably hate each other like arch enemies, but they consider each other best friends, although they adamantly deny it.
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    • With Friends Like These...
    • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You
  • Downplayed:
    • Pete and Steve often insult each other even though they mutually respect each other.
    • Friendly Rivalry
  • Justified:
    • Steve and Pete are always making creative insults to one another, but only because they both know the other one won't get offended, allowing them to make insults as creative as possible.
    • Steve really does care about Pete, but is too proud to admit it, or thinks that friendship causes him to become "weak".
    • Steve and Pete are good friends, but their polarizing views, interests, or cultures can cause them to butt heads a lot.
    • Steve and Pete's egos get in the way of them being friends.
    • Steve and Pete have Belligerent Sexual Tension.
    • Steve and Pete are both competitive, impatient, or any other type of person generally prone to butting heads with others. As such, the reason they bicker so much is the same reason they're so close.
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    • Steve and Pete started out hating each other's guts, and got so used to fighting with each other that it kind of became their thing.
    • Steve and Pete were initially enemies or rivals. While circumstances pushed them into become friends (and also pushed either of them into reforming their ways), their first encounter still had an effect on them and made it impossible for them to completely get along.
  • Inverted: Friendly Enemy
  • Subverted:
    • Despite his usual nature, Steve is nice to Pete whenever they're together...
    • It seems that there is friendship hidden deep down under Steve and Pete's insults, until they sell each other out in there time of need.
  • Double Subverted:
  • Parodied: Steve and Pete hate each others' guts. Everyone around them interprets this as a sign of how close they are.
  • Zig Zagged:
    • Steve and Pete start out insulting each other, but end up starting to genuinely care for one another, which causes them to insult each other even more.
    • Steve begins their relationship by insulting and taunting Pete whenever he gets the chance, but eventually becomes friends with him for real. He continues to insult Pete, but Pete is not offended since he knows that Steve doesn't mean it.
  • Averted: Steve and Pete are never berating each other.
  • Enforced: "Let's make these characters different from your average goody-goody bunch of friends. Hey! What if they act like they hate each other?"
  • Lampshaded:
    • "How can two people who insult each other so much be so friendly?"
    • "They act like mortal enemies, but that's how their friendship goes."
    • "Sometimes, I wish those two would stop squabbling like children."
  • Invoked:
    • Steve is an unrepentant Deadpan Snarker. Friends are no exception.
    • Dave believes that Steve and Pete's friendship is boring and fake when they get along all the time, so he encourages them to argue and fight more often, thinking it will make their friendship interesting and real.
  • Exploited: Steve and Pete are captured by villains. They start arguing and fighting to distract the guards, and then beat up the guards. (They may or may not continue to bicker while beating up the guards.)
  • Defied:
    • Steve and Pete decide to always be nice to each other, despite their differing natures and actions towards those around them.
    • Steve and Pete decide to become enemies. No friendship, no Enemy Mine allowances, no nothing. The way they figured it out, if they are already going to be acting like enemies 99% of the time, they may as well go for an even hundred.
    • Bob, the poor guy that has to deal with them day in and day out, hearing them bicker all day long and ordering people to take a side in their rivalry but if someone insults one of them at the wrong time they go all "he's my friend!" and team up for a beat down before starting to bicker again, puts his foot down and demands them (after some extensive questioning to make sure they actually consider each other "friends" to some extent) to actually act like friends from now on, no insults or vitriol whatsoever, or he will fucking kill them both. He is just that tired of them.
  • Discussed:
    • "Why does Steve and Pete insult each other like that?" "Oh, they're just being Steve and Pete."
    • "How could anyone still be friends and argue with each other? If anything at all, this proves we all can't get along, friend or enemy."
  • Conversed: "You think Steve and Pete would be nicer to each other, as inseparable as they are."
  • Deconstructed:
    • Steve and Pete start off as friends but their continuous fighting and mutual abuse eventually drives them apart.
    • They both feel legitimately hurt by their fighting.
    • Their constant fighting with one another is not only brutal, but treated as a sign that one or both of them are mentally ill and/or have a twisted morality.
    • Their constant sniping is the only way to interact so when Reality Ensues and it makes things worse, both parties have no idea how to better interact and reflects the nature of their relationship.
    • Pete is tired of dealing with Steve's insults, believing that insulting each other isn't what friends do, so he abandons him.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Steve and Pete are friends who go through rough periods of bitterness and anger, but this only reinforces their appreciation for one another, since they know they can be totally and completely honest with one another.
    • While they still freely snipe and insult one another, it's either more toned down or balanced with more positive examples of their friendship.
  • Played For Laughs: Steve and Pete get in a huge argument that looks like it's about to become a fistfight. Jimmy steps in to break them up, and they both seem genuinely confused about what the problem is.
  • Played For Drama:
    • Pete doesn't snipe back.
    • Steve or Pete go way over the line at a bad time and the reaction of the other fellow is to kill him. Of course the survivor may start to go all "I didn't wanted to kill my friend!" but those who interrogate him will obviously snark back that "you have a pretty interesting way to treat your 'friends'."

Just go back to Vitriolic Best Buds, you little moron. ...You know I don't mean that, right?

Example of: