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Amigas y rivales ("Friends and Rivals") is a Mexican juvenile telenovela produced by Emilio Larrosa for Televisa in 2001. Ludwika Paleta, Michelle Vieth, Angélica Vale, Adamari López, Arath de la Torre, Gabriel Soto, Rodrigo Vidal and Johnny Lozada starred as protagonists, while Joana Benedek and Susana González starred as antagonists.

The telenovela tells the story of four women. Laura is a studious and sensitive girl from a humble family. Jimena is a rich girl, spoiled and addicted to drugs. Ofelia is Jimena's best friend and discovers she has HIV. Nayeli is a poor girl who dreams of being an actress and singer, but works as a maid in Jimena's house. The four women will change their lives forever.


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Amigas y rivales provides examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • Irene falls madly in love with Luis, blatantly flirting with him. Luis finds her annoying and fat. Averted in the 15 final episodes, when Luis falls in love with Irene after separating from Tamara and living daily with her for a long time.
    • Nayeli is this for Roberto, at the beginning of the novel, since he sees her only as a friend, and really loves Laura.
    • Ulises is this to Laura at the beginning of the telenovela, before he fell in love with Ofelia. Although Laura doesn't have a problem with his appearance, she only sees him as a friend.
  • Age-Gap Romance: Don Roberto is 45 years older than Laura.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Although Roxana is a psychopath who has killed several people, her ending (disfigured and institutionalized) is still portrayed as a tragedy.
  • Alpha Bitch: Jimena and Ofelia are elitist and quite unpleasant to people before their Character Development.
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  • Awful Wedded Life: The two Robertos with Roxana. The first Roberto because Roxana invents that she was raped by an assailant, so she doesn't have to have sex with him. The second Roberto because he is in love with Laura and Roxana constantly lies to him.
  • The Baby Trap: Roxana makes this with Roberto.
  • The Beautiful Elite: Averted. Dom Roberto is rich, but his married life with Roxana is unhappy. While his son Roberto is a good man, his daughter Jimena is a drug addict.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Averted.. well, kind of.
    • Ulises is ugly, but he is also the most sympathetic and heroic character in the plot... and he becames handsome in the second half of the telenovela.
    • Almost all female characters are beautiful, including the monstrous villain Roxana. Meanwhile, Irene is fat and one of the purest and most lovable people of the telenovela.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • Luis is Archie, Irene is Betty and Tamara is Veronica. Irene is a chubby, friendly and sensitive woman who dresses conservatively. Tamara is a cooler, exotic, sensual and Ms. Fanservice.
    • Roberto is Archie, Nayeli is Betty and Laura is Veronica.
  • Big Bad: Roxana is the main villain in the story, a woman who seduces Roberto to take his money and is willing to kill anyone in her path.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Irene and Luis during a vegetarian lunch when she says that having Luis in her life is more important than being thin. Luis replies that he is also happy to have her in his life, and the two kiss for the first time, passionately.
  • Big Eater: Irene, to her own frustration and also to the frustration and disgust of her friends, especially Tamara and Luis. Irene does this as a self-defense mechanism after her father's suicide, and also when she is sad, depressed, anxious or afraid.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Roxana is beautiful... and also a psycho.
  • Brainy Brunette: Laura has brown hair and is the most intelligent character of the telenovela.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: In the final episode, Roxana and Roberto discover that they are brothers.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Luis becomes this in the second half of the telenovela, after leaving his mother's house and being abandoned by Tamara.
    • Irene, a fat woman with a sad life, who is constantly humiliated by her schoolmates and even some friends. And to make matters worse, the man she fall madly in love with is dating her best friend.
    • Tamara. All her romantic relationships fail miserably.
  • Chick Magnet:
    • Luis. Three female characters (Tamara, Irene and Lourdes) fall in love for him.
    • Ulises had already won Ofelia's heart when he was still ugly, and became the target of dozens of women (including Tamara) after becoming beautiful.
  • Chubby Chaser: Luis becomes this in the ending, when he falls in love with Irene.
  • Contrived Coincidence: During dinner with a friend at a restaurant, Roxana finds a person who knows of her dark past by pure chance.
  • Covered in Kisses: When Luis reveals to Irene that he has rejected Tamara's proposal, that he really is in love with Irene and wants to be with her for the rest of his life, Irene does it to him. A lot.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Luis meets Tamara and Irene, and falls in love with Tamara. Irene insists on remaining close friends with the couple and flirting with Luis in the hope that he will notice her. It fails miserably... for a while. In the final 15 episodesof the telenovela, Tamara and Luis end the relationship, but he continues to be living at her house (it's a long story...) and tries to convince her to date again. When he is finally forced to admit that Tamara does not want to date him again (in the most humiliating way possible, when she brings a boyfriend to her house and throws Luis out of her house), he comes to known Irene better and falls in love with her. In the end, Irene got what she wanted.
  • Evil Laugh: Roxana, Roxana, which is typical of telenovela villains.
  • Fat Comic Relief: Irene is this in her first appearances, with her huge gluttony and brazen flirtations with Luis being treated as a joke... until she reveals the reasons why she eats so much and why she is so lonely...
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Irene to Tamara and Luis sometimes. Irene considers Tamara her best friend, and although Tamara likes her, that specific feeling is not reciprocal. Tamara is also deeply bothered by Irene's excessive gluttony and both she and Luis are very angry when Irene flirts with him shamelessly, even though they are already interested in each other. Irene goes without interacting with the couple for twenty episodes, and only returns to interact with Luis in the final 15 episodes, when he is no longer dating Tamara and had a Took a Level in Kindness.
  • Gold Digger: Roxana, that seduces even a rich man and his rich son.
  • Green-Eyed Monster:
    • Downplayed. Ofelia gets a little jealous when her ugly husband Ulises becomes a handsome man and catches the attention of several women, but the couple stays together.
    • Tamara when she discovers that Luis is dating Irene. So far, Irene was one of her best friends, but when she finds out about their dating, she immediately tries to insult Irene as "fat" (Luis prevents her from doing this) and asks him to be her boyfriend again (she feels guilty when thinking about Irene's situation, but even so she still expects Luis to leave Irene and date her again).
  • Has a Type:
    • Ulisses is interested first in Laura and then in Ofelia. Both have brown hair.
    • Averted. Luis dates Tamara and Irene throughout the plot. Apart from the fact that they are friends, both women are the exact opposite of each other, physically and also in personality.
  • Hot Guy, Ugly Wife: From the point of view of the other characters, Luis and Irene are this in the end.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Ulises and Irene are the most pure characters of the telenovela.
  • Jerkass: Roxana is a psychopath who thinks only of herself.
  • Jerkass with a Heart of Gold:
    • Luis becomes this in the course of the telenovela, moving from a spoiled and arrogant boy to a hardworking man who knows how to judge people by their personality and not by appearances.
    • Ofelia, Jimena, and Tamara also go through the same transformation from spoiled riches to good people who care about their friends, regardless of social background.
  • Jerkass Realization: Luis when he learns more about Irene's past and realizes how insensitive he was to her.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Luis considers Irene annoying and ugly when he meets her. During the first half of his appearances, he insults her and mocks her weight, but always behind her back and just tells these things to Tamara, who reproaches him. This becomes ironic when Luis falls in love with Irene at the end of the telenovela.
    • When Tamara discovers that Luis is Irene's girlfriend, she is so shocked that she screams, "Luis, but she's a...". Luis tells her to shut up and never dare to call Irene fat.
    • Nayeli also laughs and scoffs when she discovers that Luis and Irene are dating, before regretting it.
  • Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places:
    • Tamara and her boyfriends: one reveals to be a drug dealer, the other is homosexual, a third is already married, etc. The only one with whom she had an almost stable relationship, Luis, she drove him away, and when she tried to get him back, it was too late, because he was already dating Irene.
    • Luis falls in love with Tamara, but the romantic relationship with her is troubled and ends up with him deeply hurt. And then he ends up getting to know Irene better and falling in love with her in a way that hadn't happened to Tamara. Irene, the fat woman who was Tamara's best friend, who had been in love with him since the first time she saw him, and which he humiliated all this time.
  • Love at First Sight: Irene falls in love with Luis right from the first time they met.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Luis meets Tamara and Irene, and both women fall madly in love with him. Luis falls in love with Tamara, but midway through the novel, the two split up because of problems in the relationship. Luis then comes to live daily with Irene and ends up falling in love with her. When Tamara tries to convince Luis to return to her, it is too late, and Luis and Irene end up together.
    • The two protagonists, Nayeli and Laura, fall in love with Roberto. Roberto falls in love with Laura and sees Nayeli only as a friend. It is even sadder because in this case, both female characters are heroines, without any negative quality that makes the viewer specifically hope for one of them. The exact opposite of Roxana, a killer.
  • May–December Romance: Laura and Don Roberto, who is old enough to be her father.
  • Meaningful Echo: In his first appearances, Luis mocked Irene for being fat, and Tamara said he should be ashamed to say such things. At the end of the telenovela, when Tamara discovers that Luis and Irene are dating, she tries to insult Irene of "fat", and Luis tells her to shut up.
  • Ms. Fanservice: It's a Mexican telenovela, after all. Except for Irene and the elderly female characters, almost all young female characters fit this, with special emphasis on Tamara, Laura and Roxana.
  • Nice Guy:
    • Ulises is by far the most sympathetic and pure character in the telenovela, in a story where most characters are troublesome or simply monstrous.
    • Luis becomes this in the ending of the telenovela, after Character Development.
  • Opposites Attract: Luis and Irene. Apart from having black hair, they couldn't be more different from each other physically and in personality. At least until the final episodes of the telenovela.
  • Pet the Dog: Luis does this to Irene in the final 15 episodes of the telenovela, when she asks for his help to trying to lose weight. Until then, Luis found Irene an annoying and ugly woman, but after becoming a better person and Tamara breaking up with him, he decides to do this good deed. In the process, Luis ends up falling in love with Irene.
  • Please Don't Leave Me: A contrast occurs with Tamara and Irene at this trope. At the end of the telenovela, Tamara wants to date Luis again, and even after discovering that he is dating Irene, she still begs him to return to her. When Irene discovers this, she cries a lot, but decides to keep her pride and says she accepts the break before Luis makes his decision, trying to kick him out of the house and even pushing him out. To her great surprise and happiness, Luis says he loves Irene and will stay with her, and has never seriously considered Tamara's proposal.
  • Reality Ensues: Irene asks Luis for help to help her lose weight. The two fall in love in the process, and Irene loses five pounds over the course of a few months, but the telenovela ends with her still fat, and with a long journey ahead.
  • Rich Bitch: Jimena is rich and a very unpleasant person at the beginning of the soap opera.
  • Running Gag: Irene eating nonstop and flirting shamelessly with Luis.
  • Second Love: Luis initially falls in love with Tamara. After a series of disastrous events that prove that both are incompatible, he falls in love with Irene in the final episodes of the telenovela. The irony here is that Irene has always been in love with Luis since the first time she met him.
  • Shipper on Deck: Ulises actively supports the romance between Luis and Irene.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Irene is this to Luis, flirting with him constantly and without any shame in front of everyone, leaving him embarrassed.
  • Stout Strength: Irene is fat and seems to be a pretty strong person considering she can push skinny Luis away when she tries to kick him out of her house.
  • Turn of the Millennium: The telenovela is situated in 2001, and boy, it shows. You can clearly see it in the clothes, hairstyles and especially in the songs.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife:
    • Laura and Don Roberto at the start of the telenovela.
    • Ofelia and Ulises, before he became handsome.
  • The Ugly Guy's Hot Daughter:
    • Manuel is an old and chubby man. His daughter Tamara is gorgeous.
    • Also, Don Roberto de la O and his daughter Jimena.
  • Unrequited Love Switcheroo: Luis initially falls in love with Tamara, and vice versa. Irene falls in love with Luis from the first time she sees him. Luis and Tamara date. Irene is devastated and gives up on Luis, to the point of avoiding the couple. During the telenovela, a series of disastrous events make Tamara tired of Luis and she breaks up with him. Depressed, Luis meets Irene and gets to know her better. Irene has hopes again, and the two soon start dating. Tamara finds out, is shocked and jealous, and asks Luis to date with her again. Luis refuses, since he is happy with Irene.
  • Unwanted Harem:
    • Luis, with Tamara, Irene and a co-worker falling madly in love with him.
    • Roberto, who becomes the target of Nayeli's passion (which he sees only as a friend), Laura (who he really loves) and Roxana (who is a murderer).
  • Weight Woe: Irene is ashamed of being fat, is constantly bullied for her appearance, and is rejected by the man she loves. Her attempts to diet and lose weight fail, at least until Luis helps her.
  • What You Are in the Dark: When Tamara asks Luis to go back to date with her, she still doesn't know that Luis is dating Irene, and the only person in the circle of friends who knows this is Ulisses. Luis could very well have accepted her proposal and discreetly ended his relationship with Irene without her knowing what happened. Instead, he is honest with Tamara immediately about his relationship with Irene. Luis also talks about Tamara's proposal with Irene, making it clear that he loves Irene and will continue to date her.
  • What Does She See in Him?:
    • All the characters initially think this when they meet the couple Ofelia and Ulises... until they get to live with the couple and find out that Ulises is a great guy. And he becomes handsome in the middle of the telenovela.
    • Don Roberto de la O and Laura in the beggining, considering he's old enough to be her father.
    • All the characters think this when they discover that handsome Luis, who was the ex-boyfriend of the gorgeous Tamara, is dating the fat Irene. Ulises is initially surprised, but also happy with the couple. Tamara, who at this point in the plot wants to return with Luis, is initially shocked, and then disappointed, but finally accepts resigned the couple. Nayeli is also shocked and initially laughs before regretting it and saying that Irene is a great person.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Laura, one of the four protagonists in the story, completely disappears from the final episode, with the characters vaguely explaining that she is ill.
    • Luis and Irene, who appeared extensively in the second half of the telenovela, also do not appear in the final episode, even when most of the characters come together.
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