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Vitriolic Best Buds / Real Life

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  • Lord Byron and John Keats. One anecdote recounts that Byron had once cut contact with his circle of acquaintances for an alarmingly long time, and so Keats sent their mutual friend, Percy Shelley, to look for him. Shelley eventually wrote back from Paris, having found Byron, who had been having so much sex that he nearly died from malnourishment and dehydration. Keats' answer basically boiled down to "You should have let him".
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  • This behavior predates and transcends the human species. Most mammals, some birds, and even a few fish engage in "friendly" fights, usually between males (but not always), as a form of social interaction. (If you've ever been around a litter of puppies or kittens, you know what we're talking about. There are times you're not sure if they're playing, or if one stole the other's food and they're having an actual knock-down drag-out.) Little everyday scuffles burn off energy, reduce tension within the group, and keep the hierarchy in balance. It's also (supposedly) 'training' in young members of a predator species (like kittens). Some animals even have sex (in a non-reproductive context) to establish dominance or form social ties.
  • Supposedly this tradition was started amongst the English nobility by Oliver Cromwell. Duelling over insults had gotten so out of hand that Cromwell encouraged a joking, insulting familiarity among his friends, and it became the style among the upper class. Centuries later you're still expected to "take the piss".
  • The relationship between Britain and Australia is probably the clearest-cut example of Vitriolic Best Buds being applied on a national level. For all the sporting rivalry and "convict"/"pommie" sniping (for if any Anglophone nation took the concept 'taking the piss' to heart, it was the Aussies), the two countries get on surprisingly well with each other.
    • This frequently occurs between Britain and much of Western Europe:
      • The French think Brits ('rosbifs' after the famous British love of roast beef) are uncultured barbarians and Brits think the French ('Frogs' after the consumption of frogs legs) are lazy nancy boys (admittedly, this is the British view of anywhere in Europe south of Dover and west of Frankfurt). The two have been fighting wars for the best part of a thousand years, including two proto-World Wars (the Seven Years War and the French Revolutionary Wars) and the longest conflict in military history, The Hundred Years War. The War of the American Revolution is even considered to be a proxy war between Britain and France - Americans like to forget this. But when it comes down to it, they actually get on reasonably well, with massive French expat communities in London and British expat communities in Paris and along the French Riviera, and will instantly band together in a crisis, as seen after the 7/7 London bombings, and the Paris Gun Attacks of November 2015, when the immediate result was utter horror followed by an explosion of pure rage from everywhere north of Calais.
      • The response to the latter was particularly notable, because of two things: First, ISIS, perpetrators of the attacks, had a territorial base to attack. Second, a friendly soccer match was scheduled between England and France to be played at Wembley ('the home of English football') two days after the attacks (and friendly matches between the two are usually anything but friendly). The match went ahead, with Wembley lit up in the colours of the French flag, with 'Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité' emblazoned on the side of the stadium, a minute's silence that was impeccably observed and both English and French fans singing 'La Marseillaise', the French national anthem (and appropriately, a rousing call to arms), thanks to the words being displayed on the scoreboards. This was quickly followed by a scheduling of a Parliamentary vote on bombing raids in Syria as soon as possible. Where a previous vote had had the motion defeated handily, this time it passed by a landslide and RAF Tornado bombers were taking off within the hour.
      • Of course, as of January 2017, relations are tense again following an ill-advised decision by gaffe-prone British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson to compare the French to concentration camp guards in Britain's EU departure negotiations, something then doubled down on by Downing Street, but matters softened after the Borough Market attack and the Manchester concert bombing in March 2017 led to immediate condolences from France and, when an England-France friendly football match took place at the Stade de France ('the home of French football') shortly afterwards, the French did as the English had done: lit up the stadium in the colours of the English flag, impeccably observed a minute's silence, and both sets of fans sang 'God Save the Queen' and Oasis' 'Don't Look Back in Anger' (adopted as an unofficial anthem in response to the bombing). In general, it's beyond doubt that while they sometimes can't live with each other, they certainly can't live without each other. In short, they can generally be relied upon to act Like an Old Married Couple. Even when Britain and France were at their bitterest, the Brits eagerly guzzled claret from Bordeaux and often spoke fluent French and the French gladly studied British economic and political theory and practice and literature. They also took a few recipes for custard, though they'll never admit it. Nowadays, it is almost expected for Brits to eat French cheese and drink French wine and for the French to speak English and read English literature (usually much better than the British speak French - though French is still taught as standard in English schools. Moreover, as a general rule, despite English generally being considered a Germanic language, in many ways it is far closer to French).
      • With Germany. Brits talk about the war and 1966 and Germans talk about almost every football match since 1966 (except for Munich, 2001). Brits like to claim that the Germans have no sense of humour and the Germans like to claim that the British aren't as funny as they think they are. Both sides persistently accuse each other of getting up early on holiday to claim sun loungers for themselves. Research has shown that they're both pretty much as bad as each other, and much worse than everyone else. But Britain loves German beer and German accents, while Germans love British comedy and tend to speak excellent English (British attempts to speak German are generally considered to be hilarious). Many people are under the mistaken impression that not only are Austria and Germany one place, which in fairness they were for seven years, but Arnold Schwarzenegger is Austrian, not German.
      • Less so with the Spanish, a rivalry that goes back half a millennium to the reign of Elizabeth I, with the British seeing the Spanish as lazy heathen Catholic imperialists and the Spanish seeing the British as workaholic heathen Protestant pirates - in former Spanish colonies at least, this perception persists. The Spanish hate the Brits for Gibraltar and, somewhat, for displacing them as a global power. The Brits don't care; they're too busy taking over Ibiza and Magaluf. This has done nothing to diminish the Spanish opinion that the British are uncultured beer swilling heathens, but the British still don't care.
      • The relationship between England and Scotland - the two nations have been fighting each other for most of 2000 years, long before either technically existed, and even up to the 18th century, English and Scottish armies occupied each other's territory and fought vicious pitched battles (in the Scottish case, usually with French support). The last pitched battle on British soil, the Battle of Culloden in 1746, was between English and Scottish forces. Nowadays, it's sporting rivalry, where Scotland seeks to get one over its larger, richer and more populous Southern neighbour, and politics, where a significant proportion of Scots (45%) voted to break away from the Union in the 2014 referendum. The campaign bore remarkable resemblance to a rocky friendship/marriage, with significant vitriol being flung by both sides, mixed in with pleading for reconciliation and spiteful comments of 'fine, see how you do without us'.
      • Ironically, here it's the Scots who consider the English to be snobby soft southern nancy-boys and the English who consider the Scots to be skirt-wearing drunken barbarian psychopaths who invented three of the worst things in the world: golf, haggis and bagpipes.
      • The same basic relationship exists between Northern and Southern England, with the North thinking that the South is a) soft, b) completely unconcerned about anything North of the M25 or, at a stretch, the Watford Gap. Birmingham and the Midlands are either lumped in with the North and seen as No Man's Land. The South, for its part, sees the North as slightly less barbaric than the Scots, but still thinks that everything North of the Watford Gap should be marked on a map as 'Here Be Monsters' or possibly, 'Mordor'.
      • England and Wales have a very longstanding rivalry. Even though, legally speaking, they're the same country and have been for nearly 500 years (with English forces having occupied parts of modern Wales for nearly 1000 years, and raided parts of it for nearly 1500, and to an extent, vice versa), they most definitely do not see it that way. The English went to great lengths to squash Welsh culture and their language, which the English spent several centuries doing their best to squash out of existence. That having failed, they now simply default to mocking it. Significantly, another Welsh national hero is Owain Glyndwr (rendered as Owen Glendower in Shakespeare's Henry IV Parts I and II) is most famous as an anti-English revolutionary, being the last Welshman to hold the title of Prince of Wales and almost succeeding in liberating all of Wales from English rule in the early 1400's. As with the Scots, any sporting victory by the Welsh over their larger neighbour is met with mass gloating - and, since Wales is effectively the northern hemisphere's answer to New Zealand, right down to the small population, rugby obsession, large and overbearing neighbour and proliferation of sheep, this happens fairly regularly in the annual Six Nations rugby matches. However, like the Scots, the Welsh happily join up with the English for the Olympics as Team GB, and for the biannual rugby tours of the Southern hemisphere as part of the British and Irish Lions, and show little sign of separatist sentiment.
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    • The relationship between France and the US; the amount of vitriol between the two countries is sometimes so high that they seem to be on the verge of throwing their nuclear arsenal at each other, yet, both countries have been allies since before the US even existed. Might be caused by chauvinists from both countries being ignorant of their own history while the rest of the population knows better.
    • The US is like this with Britain as well. Some of the US thinks that they're wimpy tea-drinking mustachioed upper-class crumpet-munchers (or, alternatively, beer-swilling, soccer-rioting yobbos), and most of Britain sees Americans as crazy God-obsessed gun-toting obesity-burgers. Even so, a good portion of the American population admire the perceived sophistication of British culture, and the Brits... still believe Americans are crazy God-obsessed gun-toting obesity-burgers, but in a good way. They're crazy bastards, but they're our crazy bastards, or so the thinking goes.
      • After 9/11, Britain was the first nation to offer condolences and pledge support. After the 7/7 attacks on London, the US returned the favour.
      • Plus, a lot of Americans seem to really like a British Royal Wedding, while Prince Harry noted that the Brits seemed to like Obama more than his own people did.
      • Though things are a bit tetchier as of 2018, mainly thanks to the fact that going by surveys, a good 60% or so of the British population actively hates President Trump - and most of the rest 'just' don't like him - with news of his impending visit being greeted with derision the commissioning of a giant 'Trump Baby' balloon designed to float over London. However, attitudes to the US as a whole are mostly sympathetic - 'we hate him, but you poor bastards, you have to live with him'.
  • The Netherlands has this kind of relationship with Belgium. They often throw jokes about dumb Belgians and boring Dutchies to each other, but in the end, they're best buddies.
  • Authors G. K. Chesterton (devout Catholic with conservative social views and opposed strongly both to capitalism and socialism) and George Bernard Shaw (vegetarian, socialist, and atheist — "Christianity would be a good idea if anyone actually tried it.") frequently debated each other viciously over political, social and moral issues, then they would go have a few rounds at the pub afterwards. Both were Deadpan Snarkers with a fondness for epigrams and wordplay.
    Chesterton: George, you look like you came from a country in a famine!
    Shaw: G.K., you look like you caused it!
    • Shaw was an honest man who didn't mind matching intellects with anyone, especially those with different or, better, opposing ideas.
    Shaw:(in a note to Winston Churchill) Enclosed two tickets to first night of my new play. Bring a friend, if you have one.
    Churchill: (in reply) Cannot possibly attend first night. Will attend second night, if there is one.
  • The mainly English-speaking countries (the US, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland) are a big family of these, often with branches of the family acting like this as well.
    • Canada's provinces are a bit of a semi-dysfunctional family. Anglophones and Francophones look down on each other. The Western provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) like to pick on the Eastern side, focusing on Ontario and Quebec. The Maritime provinces (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island) moan how they never get the cool stuff. Everyone bashes Ontario or at least Toronto. But when the chips come down and someone needs help, they jump in to help and they really do care about each other. And nobody but Canadians are allowed to make fun of each other. (Well, maybe the US. Sometimes.)
      • Between Alberta and Toronto, where the relationship is more strained, as due to some unpopular bills passed, it gave Alberta less sovereignty over its oil. And some of these bills have caused environmental damage, along with causing health problems for those who live near the Oil Sands (the area in northern Alberta where oil is located) and natural gas deposits. Despite this, when the chips are down, any Albertan still feels loyalty to Canada as much as any other province.
    • Canada and the US are this. Most of their interaction consists of ripping on each other, but in the end, even if the Canadians are too Tsundere to admit it, we all know that one country isn't complete without the other. ♥
      • Three words: Operation Yellow Ribbon. Immediately following the September 11th attacks, Canada diverted numerous flights to Canadian airports to prevent further damage, essentially offering to take the bullet if any of said planes did turn out to have terrorists on-board. Fortunately, none of them did, but it could have potentially saved a lot of American lives.
      • The US talks a lot of smack about Canada, but a large chunk of Americans don't take too kindly to other countries giving Canada a hard time.
      • Meanwhile, Canada's relation to Mexico is night and day compared to the US. While both countries do appreciate Mexican beers and food; the US tends to have a hatedom of Mexico (usually due to rampant crime, drug running, and illegal immigration), and only uses it as a vacation destination and cheap labor. Meanwhile Canada has an openly good relationship with Mexico.
      • To be fair about the U.S.-Mexico relationship, for every American hater railing about illegal immigrants there's another two Americans arguing for improved immigration so there wouldn't be illegals in the first place. There's more talk nowadays about ending the War on Drugs that's made the border states on both sides unsafe. And most Americans and Mexicans would agree that, as neighbors, we've been pretty okay.
      • Also, about 101% of all Americans ADORE Mexican food. To the point where we love it more than them! That's some appreciation.
    • This is the kind of relationship that exists between the states that made up the Union and the Confederacy, for obvious reasons. The antagonism created by the Civil War still hasn't dissipated much, but at least the North and the South are no longer archenemies and the US (begrudgingly) admits it's better off together than apart. Just expect a lot of jokes about accents and rednecks and those damn Yankees.
    • Australia and New Zealand have a similar relationship. Sure, they might be merciless to each other at the sports ground, but if any other country was to try and invade one of them, or a national disaster was to strike, the other would be the first to help, and not just because they're close neighbours.
    • US and Australia seem to be a mild case of this and Bash Brothers... both are loud, boisterous nations with a lot of crazy folk. In a weird turn of events, the fighting tends to be in regards to who is more Crazy Awesome, rather than who is less sophisticated or uncouth... Americans see the Aussies penal colony status and general rugged nature as a direct affront to their rednecks and general insanity, but any country fool enough to mess with them has to deal with the pair of them trying be the first to mess you up.
    • Scotland and Ireland, so much so that many people can't tell the difference. Scottish and Irish Americans seem pretty aware of their similarities, but in the old countries, these are pointed out at one's peril.
      • The Republic of Ireland and the UK in general, but in particular England, naturally. The Irish do love banging on about the past - moaning as a national pastime is one of the many things they have in common with their dear neighbours! - but they really do love them. A 2004 study by the British Council in Ireland showed 80% of Irish have a favourable view of Britain - more than in France, Germany, or even the US. Not to mention that when the Irish economy ever so impressively tanked a few years ago, the UK offered loans on top of their contribution to the international funds that went to prop Ireland up. ("You're Ireland. For all the ribbing, we like you too much to see you sink.")
      • Also the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, to some extent (the South's response to the WWII bombing of Belfast comes to mind), though it's light on the vitriol these days.
      • Not to mention that when the Queen went on a state visit to the Republic of Ireland (the last time a British monarch did this was in 1911, when it was still part of the UK), the Irish population went wild.
  • Finland and Sweden also have a rivalry in sports and the Finns have a habit of making jokes about the Swedes — mainly about their sexual preferences (in general, Finns joke about Swedes being gay, as Sweden abolished its sodomy laws long before Finland—not that the laws were really enforced that much in the first place in either country). The Norwegians apparently also have a habit of making fun of the Swedes, and the Swedes make fun of both the Finns and the Norwegians. Still, when the push comes to a shove the Nordic countries almost always support each other in for example political issues. When Winter War broke out, almost entire Swedish officer corps including the pilots attempted to volunteer to fight for Finland, Swedish government stopped issuing passports so they would still have an army to defend the nation. When the Winter War was over, many Swedes went to Norway to fight the German invasion.
    • Note, however, that Norwegians tend to make jokes about Swedes being stupid, not about their sexual preferences.
      • This goes both ways. The jokes are mostly the same as well, just with exchanged nationalities. And even Norwegians will share in the laugh when either (or both) Danes and Swedes jokes that Norway is the country neither wants.
      • Many Norwegians will also make jokes about Danish being a throat diseases rather than being a real language.
      • In fact, and this doubles as a bit of Self-Deprecation, Finns have a joke that goes: "Finns are Swedes with their brains knocked out. Swedes are Finns with their balls torn off."
  • In Major League Baseball, St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs fans act this way as a whole—if a person attends a Cardinals/Cubs game, they'll hear a lot of verbal jabs and intense cheering for both teams, but it will have a generally more friendly feel than a Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees game will. This looks like a Type 1 at first because the Cardinals have more to boast about in the long run, but quickly becomes a Type 2 if the Cubs win at Busch Stadium.
    • This is usually the case with sports rivalries, with the exception of the really heated, bitter ones (like Yankees/Red Sox). A person's favorite sports team is a fairly personal decision that tends to be most influenced by things people don't have much control over, like where they grew up or which team their parents supported. Most sports fans, even hardcore ones, recognize this and aren't about to fault their friend from Philadelphia for rooting for Philadelphia teams (for example) against the home team.note  It's when people's choices are based less on personal history and more on who they think has the best chance of winning that the vitriol starts flying. (For example, it's hardly just Red Sox fans who get angry at the fact that there are numerous Yankees fans who don't have any sort of connection to New York.)
    • This is particularly evident where rivalries exist within the same state (Duke and UNC, Mississippi State and Ole Miss, Boise State and University of Idaho, etc).
  • In the American News arena, you have political pundits James Carville, a passionate Democrat who worked for the Clinton campaign, and Mary Matalin, a staunch Republican who worked for George H. W. Bush's campaign. They often appear together on CNN with opposing viewpoints. They've been Happily Married since 1993. (Their secret? No shop talk at home, and certainly no political talk in front of their daughters.)
    • Also worth mentioning are The Five co-hosts Eric Bolling(A conservative financial analyst) and Bob Beckel(Walter Mondale's presidential campaign manager, now a political pundit). They agree on next to nothing and take constant jabs at each other and their viewpoints. But the two are the best of friends and will stalwartly defend each other when outside sources take pot shots.
  • Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart. Despite being on opposite ends of the spectrum and slinging barbs at each other almost nonstop, they also seem to regard each other as worthy adversaries and have appeared on the other's show multiple times over.
  • Boston and New York. More than just a baseball rivalry. On the surface, they hate each other, but they have more in common than they like to admit, and Bostonians do travel down to New York quite often to take in the sights and the like, and the same goes for New Yorkers. Both cities have instantly come to help when disaster befalls the other, such as during the 9/11 attacks and more recently the Boston Marathon bombings.
  • Manga authors Masakazu Katsura and Akira Toriyama.
  • Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell of American Idol and the US version of The X Factor, who fight constantly - when they're not draped all over each other like little cuddlebugs. He has called her his poodle more than once.
  • Any actors who spend a decent amount of time together almost inevitably turn into this, because they spend so much time together and have to go through so many emotions, they often resort to teasing each other to get a laugh and let off steam. The best examples seem to come from Doctor Who, as the actors playing the Doctor and his companion almost always fall into this, with David Tennant / Catherine Tate and Matt Smith / Karen Gillan probably tying for the Best Example, although Jensen Ackles / Jared Padalecki / Misha Collins (of Supernatural fame) are a very close runner-up.
  • Pretty much all of the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation.
  • William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson had a professional rivalry, though how much of it spilled over into their strong personal friendship is anyone's guess. At any rate, it's amusing to picture them as a swift English cutter (Shakespeare) and an overbearing English toff (Ben Jonson) who keeps rubbing his university education in his friend's face. Jonson in his Introduction to Shakespeare's First Folio couldn't resist putting a dig about how his long dead friend "the sweet Bard of Avon" knew "little Latin and Greek".
  • Typical in Bavaria (at least among older men in the countryside). There's this joke about a butcher and his customers:
    Sepp: "Hä Hans, gib ma amol drei Boor vo deine greislichen Pfälzer, du Leitbscheisser, du windiger!" (hey Hans, give me six of your horrible Pfälzer [sausages], you sleazy rip-off!"
    Hans the butcher: "Für dein Saumogn taugns allawei! No, du gschwollkopferter Bauernfünfer!" (They're still good enough for your pig-like stomach! You fat-headed hick!)
    Tourist from Prussia: "Geben Sie mir bitte hundert Gramm von ihrer verfaulten Salami, Sie Vollidiot!" (Give me 100 g of your rotten salami, you damn idiot!)
    It didn't end well for the latter.
  • The relationship between Austria and Hungary. Even with all the historical rivalries and grievances (such as the failed 1848 Revolution), the two countries remain close to each other. During the Cold War, Austrians welcomed and for a time felt the bigger bulk of Hungarian refugees fleeing the fallout of the failed 1956 Revolution. While today, both are intertwined in various ways and despite occasional bickering are on very good terms.
  • The German-speaking nations. They all dish out merciless teasing to everyone else, frequently ridiculing each other's accents and dialects of German (Swiss German suffers particularly badly!), and attempting to one-up each other with regards to cultural achievements, but it's all in good fun, and aside from the deep historical and cultural connections they share, politically they're all very close and on good terms.
  • Despite their public image of being arch foes, this is really the relationship between Microsoft and Apple. Microsoft is first and foremost a software company who wants their products on every piece of hardware imaginable while Apple is first and foremost a hardware company that uses their proprietary software as a selling point (Microsoft Excel even started as a Mac application). They only really compete when those two paths overlap and are otherwise pretty friendly with each other. It helps that Macs would be useless without Microsoft Office, and iTunes would never have become the de facto standard for digital music if it wasn't available on Windows. They also have a mutual enemy by way of Google, who has been stepping on the toes of both their established markets. They have had a huge rivalry through the years, with the 1988 court case Apple Computer, Inc. v. Microsoft Corpnote  being the time when their rivalry was at its worst. But they are very friendly at the end of the day, and they have always respected one another since the beginning. Plus, lots of Apple software is available for Windows and vice versa. Also, Microsoft pretty much saved Apple from bankruptcy in 1997.
  • Hunter S. Thompson - author, journalist, boozer, doper, Center-Leftist extraordinaire - and Pat Buchanan - author, political pundit, speechwriter for Richard M. Nixon, hard-core Right-winger - were very good friends for over forty years. Thompson said of Buchanan, "I recognize quality in the enemy. I like him. We disagree almost violently on so many things it's actually a pleasure to talk with him."
  • Siskel & Ebert: Just watch this clip
  • Texas's premier universities, The University of Texas and Texas A&M, have this relationship with the former treating the latter like mentally deficient rednecks and the latter treating the former like self-important, "tea sipping," snobs, but the minute something bad happens (A&M's bonfire collapse being a prominent example) both are the first to rush to the other's side. And don't get either of them started on Oklahoma.
  • Science Fiction fandoms. with the top examples being Star Wars and Star Trek. Fans of each will never miss an opportunity to tout their own franchise's accomplishments while ripping on the other's failures; "Those prequels were sooo lame," - "Were those Special Effects in The Original Series store bought?" But the truth is fans of one have at least watched the other and generally respect the other's status as a pop-culture icon. Both fandoms will generally also do a fair bit of ribbing to that other big sci-fi phenomenon, Doctor Who, while the Whovians give as good as they get.
    • There's even a song about it.
    • And all the rivalries will be forgotten completely if they need to team up against bigots. Or Twilight. And when a prominent actor or actress passes away, all three fandoms will salute them, as was the case with John Hurt, Leonard Nimoy, or Carrie Fisher.
  • Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin. He's a journalist, very straight-laced and stoic; she's a comedian, very loud and brash. Their entire friendship seems to hinge on Kathy doing everything in her power to push his buttons.
  • The Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears. American Football hath no greater rivalry (except perhaps the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox). But it's all in fun. Even if the Bears do suck.
  • Get two Boisterous Bruiser types behind the same table, add some alcohol, shake, get a insult fight, and maybe a real fight. Expect them to be back at the table sharing drinks and stories 5 minutes later.
  • This is all too common in the Military:
    • This is generally the form that Interservice Rivalry takes. As much as the five different services of the United States Armed Forces make fun of each other and use less-than-complimentary nicknames (Jarhead, Grunt, Squid, Flyboy, Puddle Pirate), God help any civilian who tries to join in on the insults.
    • On the other hand it's surprisingly averted (mostly) between Canada's Army, Air Force, and Navy. Unlike the U.S, they're all part of one service and most units consist of a mix of the three elements.
    • This is very common between the Canadian and U.S. Forces serving together on tours. They'll do nothing but make fun of one another's everything, but they'll also fiercely protect one another.
    • During the Cold War, this was common among American, Canadian, and British troops serving in West Germany. Get them in the same bar and they'd be dissing each other in seconds. Try to provoke a bar fight with a soldier from one of those countries and you'd instantly have troops from any of the other two who happened to be there deciding to take an interest. In one instance a group of neo-nazi youths started harassing two African-American enlisted members just trying to have a drink, assuming that six-on-two would be an easy fight. And then the group of British Army soldiers off in the corner and a group of Canadians in the other corner, none of whom had been interacting with the others, stood up...
    • Common amongst Military members as well. It's not at all uncommon for two members of a unit to dislike one another, but you'd better believe they'll look out for one another when the chips are down.
  • In the US Supreme Court, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg (one of the most liberal justices) and Antonin Scalia (one of the most conservative justices) had spent their careers on the bench trying to dismantle everything the other believed in, with each putting their own kinds of dry barbs at the other in their respective opinions. They were also great friends, had dinner at least once a week, regularly attended the opera together, and their families went on vacation together. (It helps they knew each other for a very long time—although Ginsburg joined the high court seven years after Scalia, they served together on the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit for four years—Ginsburg served 1980-93 and Scalia 1982-86—and before that were colleagues in the DC legal community.) When Scalia passed away, Ginsburg went on record saying that though they never agreed politically, they also had enormous respect for the other personally.
  • Stand-up comedians tend to have this relationship with each other, particularly those from the New York and Boston comedy scenes.
  • A lot of cats have this relationship, alternately snuggling up and fighting with each other.
  • Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke were this to each other. The insults they exchanged when they would meet at Science Fiction Conventions were so (seemingly) real that they actually concerned fans who didn't know the truth. Probably reached its peak when Clarke came across a news story about an in-flight emergency: one passenger said he read his copy of Clarke's latest novel to keep himself calm. Clarke sent the clipping to Asimov, with the note 'Shame he didn't have your book. He would have slept through the emergency.' Asimov replied: 'Good thing he had your book — if the plane crashed, death would have come as a blessed relief.'
  • Marvel Comics and DC Comics have this kind of relationship. They always exchange jabs at each other, always try to one up each other, constantly making expies and equivalents of each other's characters, competing in every medium that they can, But at the end of the day they love each other. They have made a metric ton of crossovers (including unofficial stealth crossovers, such as Marvel's very obvious Writing Around Trademarks and very touching tribute to Barry Allen after Crisis on Infinite Earths - though, naturally, there was a dig at DC's editorial within it), share writers and artists, and when Marvel Filed for Bankruptcy in the late nineties, DC offered to buy every single character they had so that the Marvel Universe could remain. Marvel politely declined.
    • Tellingly, when Marvel published a history of their company and all the characters that they had featured from when they were Timely Comics (pre-WWII) until now, the foreword of the book featured Superman and Batman, acknowledged the unparalled influence that these two characters have had on comics since their introduction, and finished by saying that without Superman and Batman, Marvel Comics wouldn't exist.
  • Many, perhaps most siblings are like this as kids. They usually get nicer to each other as they grow up.
  • Jon Stewart and Denis Leary. Any appearance of Leary's on The Daily Show involved a constant stream of insults, banter, merciless ragging, and kvetching, with whatever allegedly prompted Leary's appearance being totally forgotten in the first thirty seconds.
  • J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis had this kind of relationship, being very good friends despite having vastly different views on religion, and including many digs at each other in their respective books.
  • In German TV, Gerhard Delling and Günter Netzer were this for several years, until Netzer quit. On big football events, like the WC or the EC, Delling would moderate with former football player Netzer as expert. They didn't waste a chance to insult and snark at each other and people would think that they are enemies, but Netzer was first man at Delling's wedding and they eventually admitted that they actually do like each other.
    Delling: (to Netzer) You are the expert here, the emphasis is on "ex"...
  • MIT and Caltech are two scientific universities located on the far ends of the United States from one another, but you wouldn't know it from how often they prank one another. It's generally handled all in good fun, though, and when, for example, one school stole the other's cannon, the team who meant to steal it back were greeted with a barbecue and general good humour.
  • Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski had an...odd friendship. They made five films together, despite disagreements, coming to blows and even trying to kill each other on occasion. Kinski's scandalous (and largely fabricated) autobiography contains many outrageous insults aimed at Herzog - which Herzog helped him with. The director even made a documentary about their friendship in 1999 - My Best Fiend.
    Werner Herzog: People say that we had a love/hate relationship. That is not true, for I did not love him, nor did I hate him. We were merely two guys who had tremendous respect for each other, even as we planned the other's murder.
  • John Wayne and John Ford. Ford discovered Wayne back when he was still Duke Morrison and had to go to work in the film business after an injury ended his college football career. Wayne was mentored by Ford, and eventually they made 24 films together. But Ford was demanding, with a bit of a sadistic edge, and took pleasure in needling the stoic Wayne. People outside Ford's circle who worked on a Ford/Wayne film were often shocked by how verbally abusive Ford was to Wayne (Robert Montgomery even confronted Ford over it during the filming of They Were Expendable). Still, Wayne considered Ford to be a father figure and always had good things to say about him.
  • Various accounts indicate that bluesmen Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters largely had this type of relationship. It's also reportedly the case between Howlin' Wolf and Hubert Sumlin, his guitarist.
  • While their music might not seem to suggest that this is the case, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel reportedly have this type of relationship - and have pretty much from the moment they've first met each other.
  • Chris Farley and David Spade became good friends on the set of Saturday Night Live and went on to make Tommy Boy and Black Sheep (1996) together. While the two frequently butted heads, which wasn't helped by the times Farley would become emotionally volatile due to his alcohol and drug addictions, they always stuck together and Spade did everything he could to keep Farley's bad habits from getting out of hand. When Farley died suddenly from a drug overdose in 1997, Spade was so heartbroken by his death that he couldn't even attend the funeral.
  • Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor didn't get along very well, yet starred alongside each other in four films. By all accounts, the two greatly respected one another as performers, with Pryor going as far calling Wilder "a genius".


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