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[Aziraphale was] The Enemy, of course. But an enemy for six thousand years now, which made him a sort of friend.
Crowley, Good Omens

One of the most fun on-screen relationships antagonists can have isn't white-hot hatred, deep-seated revenge, or even bitter contempt, but... friendship.

Over the years, a Hero and his nemesis will share trials, failures, and successes at each other's hands, each becoming enormously important in the other's life and more intimate (not that kinda intimate! ...Well, sometimes) than many best friends. Over the course of a series' many Story Arcs, the two will develop a grudging respect for their Worthy Opponent. It can sometimes grow to the point that the villain will refrain from killing the hero in a "cheap" or dishonorable way, and even start to concoct bizarre excuses to avoid doing so entirely, spare his life, or even saving him. In these cases, the hero and villain are very likely to become Strange Bedfellows to beat a new villain who doesn't play by the rules, which may lead to Fire Forged Friendship. Sometimes, the villain will decide to admit to the friendship and perform a full Heel Face Turn. If, another villain kills the hero, this one may make sure that the hero doesn't die alone, and the hero will do the same for him.

Even if the villain doesn't switch sides, it's not impossible for both to be friends "off the clock", or take time out of their latest fracas to Go-Karting with Bowser, or share a meal, or run errands together.

Other times, the opposite happens. A Genre Savvy villain will notice that this is weakening him against the hero, and he'll promptly jump off the slope that they've been slowly climbing and undoing Seasons worth of Villain Decay by doing something truly vile, like stuffing the hero's girlfriend in a fridge, or just plain pulling out new and lethal tactics when the hero is expecting the same old Harmless Villain. The above trope is common enough that the subversion is becoming a normal trope in and of itself.

In these relationships, the hero rarely stops trying to catch the villain, while simultaneously making his capture a personal quest or mission. Needless to say, humanizing a person whose capture you've objectified can complicate your priorities.

Related to Worthy Opponent. Contrast It's Not You, It's My Enemies, Big Bad Friend, and With Friends Like These.... See also Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu? See Dating Catwoman for the (explicitly) romantic version. Often goes well with Antagonist in Mourning. Frequently the target of Foe Yay.

Essentially, platonic Foe Yay.

Examples of Friendly Enemy include:

Anime and Manga

  • Dominion Tank Police and the sequel series New Dominion Tank Police feature the Puma Twins, a lovable, troublemaking pair of catgirls who have several run-ins with the title squad. Even though they are criminals, their relationship with the Tank Police is more one of friendly mischief than anything.
    • In the first series, they are sidekicks to another example of this trope: the cyborg thief Buaku, an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain who befriends Tank Police officer Leona.
  • The Fukuyama siblings from Girls Bravo. Though, they tend to get a little "too friendly" at times.
  • Death Note's Light and L. There is room for debate on how genuine the relationship was, but this is not the place for it.
  • Saiyuki has this sort of relationship between the heroes and the opposing side.
    • Mostly because the Quirky Miniboss Squad is headed by a literal Noble Demon who's probably a better person than the leads. Except maybe Goku.
    • Also, one of the members of the opposing side is Gojyo's brother
  • Krillin in the early part of Dragon Ball, and Piccolo and, later, Vegeta in Dragon Ball Z. Most of Goku's friends went through this stage at some point, though often not for long before the next Big Bad pushed them into a full Heel Face Turn.
    • One interesting case was the android trio of 16, 17, and 18. After 17 and 18 killed Dr. Gero, which actually went hand in hand with Future Trunks's prophecy about their terror, they only went after Goku because it was in 16's programming to do so and the twins needed some entertainment. When 17 and 18 curbstomped the Z Fighters on a mountain road somewhere, they didn't kill them, but instead actually left Krillin standing (as he was too scared to jump in), told him to use the holy beans to heal the others, and offered to fight them again anytime they wanted. 16 actually didn't take part in this fight at all, as he would rather embrace his newfound love for nature rather than fight anyone not named Goku…until Cell showed up to absorb the twins. Then, they each had a gradual Heel Face Turn, 16's being the most pronounced.
  • In Suzumiya Haruhi, Nagato and Asakura. Nagato kills Asakura in the series, but in the Disappearance Movie, Asakura takes care of Nagato and cooks for her. While Nagato was reborn without her memories, Asakura does remember everything, as seen in the 7th novel. This might fall in both Foe Yay and LesYay.
  • Andrew Waltfeld in Gundam Seed. Initially presented by the local Desert Dawn rebels as an oppressive and ruthless dictator, the Desert Tiger turns out to be a likeable and friendly guy with a penchant for coffee. By the penultimate episode of the desert arc, he's already become friends with Kira, despite knowing he pilots the Strike, and openly regrets having to fight him to the death in the next episode.
  • Interestingly, most of the Rivalries in Eyeshield 21 seem to be of this nature. While always competing very aggressively with one another, the rival characters typically hold good feelings for each other. Sena had this kind of relationship played up with Shin, Riku, Yamato, and Panther.
    • The moment that Gaoh seriously considered Kurita his rival, he had nothing but respect for him. In fact, AFTER being defeated by said rival, he openly declared Kurita to be a friend on the basis of his strength and honor.
    • Hiruma and Kid were even seen at a bar playing darts (getting a perfect bulls-eyes every time...both of them), discussing what to do with Hakushuu.
  • In the Lupin III canon, the titular character treats Inspector Zenigata more as an affectionate rival than a threat. More often than not, they end up teaming up to take down a more serious threat, and Zenigata typically goes into a fit of grief whenever Lupin fakes his own death.
    • Also, any time he's taken off the Lupin case or when Lupin appears TRULY dead, one of his first reactions is usually to go dick around with the rest of Lupin's gang.
  • Extreme case: in the Spiral manga, Ayumu and Hizumi immediately hit it off, despite (or perhaps because of) everyone constantly assuring them that Kiyotaka set it up so that one of them will have to kill the other. They go from strangers to Heterosexual Life Partners almost instantly; literally living, going to school, and hanging out together. They even share the housework.
  • Despite the fact that, historically speaking, Musashi will kill Kojiro in their final duel, in Vagabond, the two have nothing but admiration for one another. Musashi even thinks of Kojiro whilst dueling with another (inferior) opponent, and Kojiro, whilst practicing calligraphy, constantly draws the character for Musashi.
  • Thorkell likes to think that he and Thorfinn have this relationship in Vinland Saga. Thorfinn thinks otherwise.
  • Desty Nova and Alita in Gunnm are just as often on the same side of a conflict as they are at odds with each other, from destroying the berserk Zapan in their first meeting to trying to reach Ladder in Gunnm: Last Order. This partially has to do with Nova's Mad Scientist nature, as he considers Alita a valuable experimental subject and/or variable in his continuing study of Karmatron Dynamics, and tends to consider her much more valuable alive than dead. This doesn't, of course, stop him from antagonizing her allies or dropping the occasional mind screw on her to see her reactions. Alita's on-and-off alliance with Nova is purely out of necessity, but they did share a critical moment of empathy when Nova trapped her in the Ouroboros program and he let his emotional guard down. Unfortunately, the next back-up was right before that moment of empathy.
    • Similarly, Sechs, one of the rogue Tuned replicas of Alita, attempted to destroy Alita to prove her superiority when they first met. They soon became allies in the Z.O.E. tournament, but Sechs' desire for a final "proving" battle remains obvious.
  • Despite being the classic archetypes of masked hero and monstrous evil general, Sunred and Vamp in Tentai Senshi Sunred are the best of pals in everyday life, even if Sunred is a bit too uptight to admit it sometimes. Vamp's even helped Sunred move into his new house.
  • Through most of Peacemaker Kurogane's prequel, Suzu and Tetsunosuke have this sort of relationship. Until Suzu goes insane and becomes obsessed with Tetsunosuke...
  • In Code Geass, Lelouch and Suzaku: it is only thanks to their antagonizing that the Eleven's situation and self-esteem improved progressively over the course of the series, culminating twice in a Japan Administration Zone. Too bad that the first time was Diabolus Ex Machinized, which left the second time without credibility. At one point, they realize this and work together.
    • More impressive still, over the course of two seasons, they each Jump Off the Slippery Slope, betraying each other and swearing to kill each other, then somehow met up at the bottom of said slippery slope. They join up again and dig their way back to the top.
  • The Team Rocket trio in the Pokémon anime partake in this occasionally, particularly in one episode where everyone enters an orienteering contest, including Team Rocket in disguise. James wins.
    • Gary seems to be this as of the D/P arc. Whenever he makes a rare appearance, it's usually to help Ash and the gang out with the problem of the week.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: while he kidnapped Yugi's grandpa in the first episode of the anime (and flat out tried to kill Yugi and his friends in the manga), Seto Kaiba generally ended up helping Yugi and his Scoobies quite frequently.
    • In the movie, Pegasus saved everyone with a helicopter. In fanon, they frequently achieve this with Bakura, despite his proven credentials as a dyed-in-the-wool sadist, and the fact that it would be totally unfair to Ryou.
  • In One Piece, Gold Roger and Vice Admiral Garp are shown to have become good friends after all of their encounters and fights, resulting in Roger asking Garp to look after his child for him and hide him from the government after he dies, and Garp accepting.
    • The same goes for Whitebeard and Roger, to the point where they were seen drinking together in a Flash Back shortly before Roger's death when Roger told Whitebeard the truth about the Will of D.
    • Mihawk towards the Straw Hat crew in general. Specifically, he keeps tabs on Luffy and Zoro's growth as pirates, gives a mental apology to Shanks before attacking Luffy at Marineford and agrees to train Zoro during the time skip so the latter can protect his crewmates.
    • Trafalgar Law has shades of this toward Luffy and the Straw Hats as well (his recent switching around of some of their hearts and personalities notwithstanding). For one thing, he's directed Luffy and company as to where they need to go on the Punk Hazard island, even as Luffy acknowledges that they'll be enemies as long as they're both searching for One Piece. Law also acknowledges his role in saving Luffy's life during the Marineford arc, though he claims that that was something he did on a whim.
  • Ranma and Ryoga are this trope to a tee. When Ryoga is first introduced, he tried to kill Ranma in his sleep. By the end of the series, they've saved each other's lives repeatedly, helped each other unlock more true potential, and defeated near-demigods together. And then there was the whole koi fishing rod story, in which Takahashi herself spoofed the "Friendly" part of the equation by having Ryoga accidentally cause Ranma to fall madly in love with him.
  • In Dorohedoro, Shin and Noi are quite friendly to Cayman's crew (they're not to Cayman himself, however, at least so far). With the Grey and Grey Morality, however, the issue is a bit shady.
  • In one episode of Sands of Destruction, the World Destruction Committee and World Salvation Committee work together to escape from a sand submersible. The otherwise adversarial Lia goes dere dere over Kyrie. When the ordeal is over, Naja opts to part ways with a gentleman's agreement rather than attempt to arrest the Destruction Committee, and Kyrie and Toppi suggest in a joking yet not-so-joking manner that it would be nice if they weren't at odds with one another.
  • Hand Maid May has Kotaro Nanbara, who proclaims himself Kazuya Saotome's "best friend and worst enemy".
  • Most of the cast of Black Lagoon. Eda and Revy have a Mexican Standoff one day, and share drinks in a bar the next. Shenhua is an ally in a mission against terrorists, an enemy in a Carnival of Killers, and a hired muscle for a later mission. This trope reached its ultimate in absurdity when Sawyer shows up to "clean" a hotel room for Greenback Jane. Everyone else, having met her off the clock, just greets her and lets her do her business. Jane freaks out, since the last time she saw Sawyer, she was part of the aforementioned Carnival of Killers, and Jane was the target!
  • In Katekyo Hitman Reborn, Yamamoto acts like a very friendly enemy towards Squalo, who can't stand him.
  • If they weren't swinging swords at each other all the time, it'd be pretty hard to tell that the characters of Sengoku Basara were enemies. Yukimura and Masamune have a friendly rivalry that borders on Ho Yay, Shingen and Kenshin never seem to have an ill word to speak about the other, Sasuke and Kasuga have some definite Foe Yay, and Keiji...well, he wants to be friends with pretty much everyone.
  • Seth, of the manga ARAGO. He's made it absolutely clear that he's just helping Arago so he can wait for the right time to take Arago's power for himself.
  • Utena and Touga, in Revolutionary Girl Utena, strongly give off this vibe in their final duel - Utena wonders how often they've dueled, and comments that it feels like it's been dozens of times more than it has, while Touga swears to protect her. More evident in the manga, where he isn't as manipulative and later makes a complete Heel Face Turn away from Akio's influence.
    • A straighter example is Utena and Miki, the only member of the student council (and probably among any of the duelists in general, other than Mitsuru) who doesn't actively antagonize Utena and Anthy, and doesn't harbor any ill will toward her, even during their duels.
  • Naruto and Sasuke from Naruto (of course), though they're more rivals than enemies. They constantly bicker and fight and attempt to outdo one another, but do have times when they get along fairly well.
    • Though, of course, for a long time now, they've been the opposite--functional enemies who Naruto won't acknowledge aren't still friends.
    • A better example would be people summoned back from the dead by Edo Tensei. It reaches extreme levels during the Fourth Shinobi World War when summoned "enemies" happily warn the good guys of what moves they're about to be forced to perform and generally doing their dead level best to lose to former students and family despite their lack of free will.
  • Alucard and Father Anderson in Hellsing. It's clear that they enjoy fighting each other far more than anyone else, they take any excuse to go into open combat (even when ordered not to by their superiors, to whom they are ordinarily absolutely obedient), they often pass up opportunities to finish one another off for contrived reasons (though it's unclear at first whether either of them is actually capable of killing the other), etc. This is probably because they both enjoy combat, but are so powerful that almost anyone else is just a boring Curb Stomp Battle.
    • Alucard is absolutely crushed when Anderson uses an ancient "holy" artifact that destroys his mind and turns him into a monster in order to become more powerful in the final battle.
  • Kaitou Kid, like Lupin III above, has shades of this relationship with his favorite pursuers. Especially Conan/Shinichi, in his Detective Conan appearances, because he just has more meta-motive and opportunity, given that VERY few chapters of Magic Kaito actually exist.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple:
    • Agaard Jum Sai, the resident Muay Tai master of the YAMI group's One Shadow Nine Fists. Although his disciple, Tirawat Koukin, is a mostly cold bastard, Agaard himself is quite friendly, has great respect for his rival Apachai even before and after the two fight each other, and freely and openly acknowledge's Kenichi's growth as a martial artist under Apachai's tutelage. He also gives Kenichi pointers for defending himself against a YAMI weapons master even while he himself is unable to assist directly due to temporary paralysis from his fight with Apachai.
    • Fellow Nine Fists member Akira Hongo could also count as an example, coming in second place to Agaard in spite of his cool and aloof nature. While he and his rival Sakaki Shio aren't exactly on friendly terms due to their shared past, Hongo does acknowledge Kenichi as a worthy disciple of Sakaki, appreciates the bond that should exist between a martial arts master and his disciples and encourages Sakaki to stay close to Kenichi and offer the boy support while Hongo himself takes the burden of fighting Silcardo Junazard.
    • Miu's father Furinji Saiga the leader of the Nine Fists, is pretty friendly to Kenichi after revealing "John" was him in disguise all along. He thanks him for helping Miu, and pretty much gives his parental approval for their developing relationship.
    • It would probably be easier to list the enemies that aren't friendly, given how rare Complete Monsters are in this series. And if they aren't friendly at the start, they usually become friendly after a fight or two.
  • While he may be locked in a seven-sided battle royale to the death against them, Alexander the Great from Fate/Zero has absolutely no problem with inviting King Arthur and Gilgamesh to go get some drinks with him.
  • Papillon is this to Kazuki in Buso Renkin. Plus quite, QUITE the Foe Yay from Papillon's side.

Comic Books

  • Batman has a hostile friendly rivalry with both Ra's al-Ghul and The Joker (usually, in both cases, with the 'friendly' part strictly one-sided on the villain's part). Neither will stop trying to kill Batman, though their attempts are worthy of him and their history. Of course, the Joker might just decide that it would be funny to simply shoot Bats in the back of the head in an alley one night...
    • Batman also struggles with this when it concerns the Joker, especially in stories where his crimes are especially horrific and excessive. See The Killing Joke for probably the defining example: after the Joker commits probably his most evil act in a long career full of them, the graphic novel ends with the Joker finishing a joke that actually makes Batman laugh, and the two of them laughing together as the police sirens draw closer. Well, laughing insanely, with Batman possibly strangling the Joker...

 In a Menacing Face-off style Pose, staring each other down:

Batman: How are the kids?

Joker: Just fine, yours?

        • A non-Batman (the person) example: in one issue of Robin, the Joker claims that he took a liking to Jason Todd's rougher, more streetwise style...which was why the latter had to die.
          • Less humorously, the Two-Face story ended with Two-Face actually waiting for Batman to come take him away after committing a murder.
    • Also from Batman, his relationship with Catwoman has always been inherently less hostile than with the other villains, primarily because she makes him hot under the cowl, and it's more justifiable here as her crimes are usually simple, for-profit theft and very rarely involve directly hurting people.
    • There's also the Riddler, who considers his rivalry with Batman a game and who, like Catwoman, is generally not harmful enough to warrant being treated as a serious villain.
      • Who, now, is just a friend-- after going legit as a private eye, they get on quite well. Well, as well as one can with Bats.
    • Half the time, Ra's al-Ghul doesn't want Batman dead; he wants him to marry his daughter and father and/or become his heir.
      • Especially obvious in Batman Begins, and it might be the one instance where the 'relationship' wasn't strictly one-sided on the villain's part.
    • Harvey Dent/Two-Face is one of Bruce's close friends, and one of the few relationships where the Bruce-centric version of their relationship seems more important than the Batman-centric version of the relationship to him.
  • A possible Fridge Brilliance for the Superman books suggests that Lex Luthor thinks highly of, or at least tolerates, Clark Kent and hates the everlasting the crap out of Superman: the Man of Steel, at least in All-Star Superman, seems to think he can reason with Luthor--which is a big step, all things considered. Not that Luthor ever listened to Superman anyway. But when the Man of Steel isn't around to stop him, Luthor starts doing really terrible things.
    • In All-Star Superman, Luthor even gives Clark Kent a backhanded compliment and derides Superman in the same sentence.
    • A lot of lower-level criminals (including Hitman) have this sort of relationship with Superman; it's been repeatedly noted that since Superman is so damn friendly and nice to everyone as long as they don't try to hurt or kill other people, very few non-super criminals actually dislike him. In one annual collection of short stories, it's even made into a gag in one vignette, where a member of a gang of bank robbers' opening question "Why Metropolis?" (of all cities to rob a bank in), is answered, after a long discussion about those assholes in Star City, Keystone City, and Gotham, when Superman catches them and politely hands them over to the police while recommending the Metropolis reform program to get their lives back together: "Because when he catches you, he's not a jerk about it."
  • Professor X and Magneto from X-Men. In fact, it's rare when either actively seeks to harm the other.
    • They've been compared to Malcolm X (Magneto) and Dr. King (Xavier). The reason they're like this is because they both want what's best for mutants as a whole, but disagree on what this is and the methods for getting there.
    • The movie actually shows them playing chess.
    • Except in their Ultimate incarnations, where, at least for the first few issues, Magneto is quite willing to kill Xavier if he could get the chance. Xavier is opposed to killing in general - not to killing Magneto per se.
  • Doctor Doom and Reed Richards vary between this and blind, relentless hatred, depending on the day of the week. Another example is Reed Richards and Namor the Sub-Mariner, mostly because Reed's wife is the love of both of their lives.
    • In one What If story, the Fantastic Four had been killed (or possibly disappeared) and the unlikely foursome of Spider-Man, Hulk, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider took over the title to uphold the legacy. They fight a massively powerful enemy who nearly kills them all, when...Doctor Doom steps in to take out the enemy, proclaiming that "None may kill the Fantastic Four... save Doom." That's right, he'll save their bacon simply because they're upholding his enemies' name, because he won't let that name be tarnished by being defeated by an unworthy opponent (that is, anyone but Doom).
    • And on a less serious note, Doom has no problem with Squirrel Girl entering his sanctum and doing whatever she pleases. Either he respects her, or he's just afraid she'll beat him up again if he protests.
  • Lee and the Magistrate in earlier Fallen Angel were both rivals and lovers.
  • In New Teen Titans, Deathstroke the Terminator and Changeling (now Beast Boy) developed a relationship like this in the '80s. Changeling was about to fight him to the death when Deathstroke appealed to his humanity by showing up without his mask, stating that it was the faceless mask that he wanted to kill, not the person behind it. They later talked things over in a diner.
  • The Comedian and Moloch of Watchmen. He specifically comments that Moloch is the closest thing he has to a friend. He's known him for decades. He then immediately comments on how sad and pathetic that is. It's not a one-sided friendship either. Moloch is one of the only people who visits the Comedian's grave.
  • The Sandman has a less venomous relationship with Spider-Man than the wallcrawler's other adversaries, even when he's not playing the good guy.
    • He has been known to form an uneasy alliance with Venom occasionally.
  • The Sonic X comic book portrays Sonic's and Eggman's relationship as exactly this. When Eggman's not launching an evil scheme, the two are practically friends. They have civilized conversations, face off in (mostly) friendly competitions...Sonic even helps Dr. Eggman get his secret lair back in control so he can get back to launching his evil schemes again. When Eggman shows up for a party, no one really bats an eye, either. Eggman's just the friendly neighborhood supervillain.
    • Eggman also does something "truly vile" to get out of this relationship quite often.
  • The Flash's Rogues Gallery can be kind of like this, with such gems as Flash going to a party the Rogues threw for Captain Cold when the latter was released on parole. He crashed at Cold's house at least once, and one of his best buddies, the Pied Piper, was still kind of playing the Rogue, if for a good cause. All bets are off now, of course.
    • The first Icicle (Joar Mahkent) apparently liked Jay Garrick and Barry Allen enough (and disliked his relatives enough) that he left half of his fortune to whoever was the Flash at the time.
  • When Eric Masterson served as replacement Thor for a while, he developed a friendship/rivalry with the villain, the Absorbing Man. When Masterson died, Absorbing Man visited his grave and openly admitted to Thor that they were friends.
  • Captain America has Batroc the Leaper. They both actually enjoy squaring off and are generally on good terms. He has even teamed up with Cap to defeat another villain on a number of occasions.
  • Played with in Damage Control. In the first issue, John Porter helps the villain Thunderball cut through Damage Control's Lost & Found department. Later, when several employees are trapped with the Wrecking Crew, Thunderball recognizes John among them; he instructs the Wrecking Crew to leave them alone and claims that John has superpowers.
  • In the Transformers Generation 1 comic books, Optimus Prime and Scorponok (who was the Decepticon leader for most of the second half of the book's run) become this through a series of Enemy Mines.
  • There is a friendship between sidekick Arsenal (Roy Harper) and criminal Killer Croc (Waylon) in Red Hood and the Outlaws, after the former hit Rock Bottom and tried to commit suicide while fighting Killer Croc. Luckily Killer Croc wisened up to the scheme and called him out on it. In issue #4 Roy even mentions Waylon sponsoring him in the Alcoholic Anonymous program.
  • The Shade and Jack Knight started out like this; Shade made a full Heel Face Turn later.


  • Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) and Captain Louis Renault (Claude Rains) in Casablanca are a textbook example. At least until the closing scene, when, impressed by Rick's heroic sacrifice, Renault does a Heel Face Turn. Rick famously declares, "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
  • Megamind and Metroman in, well, Megamind are an interesting example, although they appear to dislike each other at the start, it's later revealed that Metroman actually likes Megamind, calling him "little buddy", and Megamind basically loses all motivation when he thinks Metroman's dead. This is probably because there's no indication that Metroman has a Secret Identity or life outside his heroics, and Megamind spends all his time in prison planning to destroy Metroman, or in his lair trying to do so, add to that the film's Lois Lane Expy never actually dated Metroman and it all falls into place, they have no life or meaningful relationships apart from each other, they're pretty much friends by default.
  • Frank Abagnale Jr. (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks) in Catch Me If You Can. This is based on real life. While Hanratty was a compilation of the men that chased Abignale throughout his criminal career, he did remain friends with several of them after he went straight.
  • Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino) and Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) in Heat. The two men are both dedicated to their professions (one is a cop, the other a criminal), but they understand each other very deeply.
  • Subverted in The Watcher between David Allen Griffin (Keanu Reeves) and Joel Campbell (James Spader). David thinks that this is what their relationship has become, but Joel does not agree.
  • Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham have grown into this in the film Robin and Marian. Just before their Duel to the Death, the two old enemies kneel in prayer, side by side. Robin then helps the Sheriff to his feet, and the Sheriff tells him: "God be with us, Robin."
  • Hyoe Tadokoro in The Hidden Fortress.
  • In The Wrestler, The Ram and The Ayatollah are deadly enemies according to their gimmicks, but good pals outside of the ring.
  • French Kiss has one between Jean Reno's Inspector Cardon and Kevin Kline's thief, Luc. Luc once saved Cardon's life, and Cardon believes that Luc will go straight if he has a chance, despite having stolen a $100,000 necklace. Fortunately, he's right.
  • Early on in Casino, mobster Nicky Santoro sends his son to a little league team coached by a Las Vegas city detective; the two are seen chatting pleasantly about his son's progress. This is when Nicky newly arrived in Vegas and before his increasingly Ax Crazy antics made him public enemy number one, however.
  • The detective, played by John Candy, in The Blues Brothers. He never seems anything other than amused at the brothers' antics, and insists on watching their show before arresting them.
  • In Silverado, the main villain turns out to be Cobb, Payden's friend and former riding buddy.
  • In Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Peter Bretter tries his best to hate Aldous, who has cuckolded him for over a year. However, Aldous' cheerful personality and lack of malice makes this so difficult that he eventually gives up.
  • In The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Parnassus has this relationship with Mr. Nick.
  • In American Gangster, although drug baron Frank Lucas and cop Richie Roberts don't even meet until the final 20 minutes of the film, Lucas almost immediately displays a grudging respect for Roberts when the latter turns down his offer of a bribe. The closing montage shows the amicable relationship evolving as the two work together to bring down NYPD's corrupt officers.


  • Servant Saber ("King" Arthur) and Servant Lancer (Diarmuid ua Duibhne) from Fate/Zero. Both are knights hailing from Britain and masters of combat, and each regard the other with great respect and consider their duels as honorable fights between two knights.
    • Rider as well, although his concept of "friend" baffles even the other Servants. Eh, at least he's not like Caster, Gilgamesh, Kotomine, or Kiritsugu.
  • Aziraphale and Crowley (an angel and a demon, respectively) in Good Omens. This mostly developed in their backstory, centuries before the timeframe of the novel, and by the time we meet them, they are pretty much best friends (despite still technically working for heaven and hell, respectively).
  • As we learn in Krondor: The Betrayal, this is common enough among the moredhel (dark elves).

  Gorath: A friend can betray you, but with an old enemy, you always know where you stand.

  • Discworld has two examples of this in Vimes' relationship with the Assassins' Guild and the traditional interactions of wizards. In the former case, the Assassins frequently try to kill Vimes and he invariably foils their plans. When he becomes so prominent in the governance of the city that his name is taken off of their open list of targets, he expresses some disappointment, and some members of the Guild are shown admiring Vimes' cleverness. However, Vimes is not exactly a big fan of the Assassins' Guild. He considers the big price on his head as a mark of status, because "it showed he was annoying people who ought to be annoyed."
    • Vimes does seem to be on friendly terms with Mr Boggis, the head of the Thieves Guild. Boggis even serves in the citizens' militia the City Watch organizes. Although licensed thievery is not an area that Vimes, as Commander of the Watch, is charged with stopping, the friendly and willing interaction of a policeman and thief still probably fit.
      • The Thieves Guild appear to spend much of their time combating unlicensed thefts (pretty damn viciously - instead of a stylish weathervane like that nice Assassins' Guild over there, they have the body of an unlicensed thief turning slowly in the breeze), so, in that sense, Boggis is as much a crime-fighter as Vimes.
    • The wizards of Discworld are traditionally friendly enemies to one another, constantly trying to kill their rivals, and Pratchett characterizes their outlook in Sourcery somewhat similarly to the Watchmen quote on the Antagonist in Mourning page.
      • Until they appoint a head wizard whom nobody wants to try to kill. Because they can't. That failing has led to this trope in a more relaxed state, as the entire faculty becomes more permanent and almost friendly despite retaining elements of the old relationship. Now you get Ridcully promoting people at random when he thinks people aren't showing wizards enough respect, rather than wizards promoting themselves through a cunningly placed dagger.
      • In Unseen Academicals, the relationship between Ridcully and the former Dean becomes this. Ridcully at first considers him a traitor for leaving the university, but by the end, they are more like friendly rivals.
        • It helps that at the end of the book, Dean's university has a nasty and embarrassing accident with chickens due to improper and careless use of magic, so Ridcully and crew can swoop in like Big Damn Heroes and show Dean up. Nothing better for the ol' ego.
      • It's been said several times throughout the series that the more contempt a wizard (or witch) has for another, the more Dangerously Polite he will become. Granny Weatherwax and Mrs Earwig are described as being like duchesses.
    • Another example is the relationship between the old Count Magpyr and the villagers of Escrow in Carpe Jugulum. When the new Count was faced with the angry mob and tried to point at the old Count as an example of a Complete Monster, all that happened was the villagers and the old Count having a jolly trip down memory lane about how this family's grandmother had such a striking figure in a nightie and how the family's ancestor was a damn good shot for killing him (the old Count) with a stake at twenty paces, seventy-five years ago, with a lot of the villagers beaming with family pride as they respectfully referred to the old Count as "yer honour" and other similar titles.
      • Essentially, he knows that if he doesn't make it too hard to kill him temporarily, nobody will bother trying to make it more permanent. And it works pretty damn well.
    • The Ridcully brothers, Mustrum the Archchancellor of Unseen University and Hughnon the High Priest of Blind Io, insult each other in public because wizards and priests are supposed to dislike each other, but the two actually get on quite well.
  • Anton Zilwicki and Victor Cachat from Honor Harrington are technically enemies, as their respective governments are still lobbing salvos at each other. But it's really hard to find a time when the guys didn't work together. They're just like two buddy cops, really. And they pop CMOAs just like, well...popcorn.
    • The defining factor here is that even though they are technically spies for two warring factions, what they're actually up to is a separate shadow war against a third, mutual enemy.
    • Also, it's an Author Collaboration where one is a naval historian with libertarian leanings and the other is a former mining union organizer with socialist leanings. They're Author Avatars who Fight Crime.
    • In any case, as of the end of Mission of Honor, Manticore and Haven are now on the same side.
  • In Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Lu Kang of Wu and Yang Hu of Wei have this relationship. Locked in a cold war where each is too sure of the other's abilities to make the first move, they treat each other respectfully. For instance, when each army called a hunt, the borders were strictly seen to. After the hunt, Yang Hu had all the animals inspected. Any animals shot by arrows of the opposing side were sent over to Wu. Later, they would exchange gifts of wine and even medicine, despite the risk of being poisoned.
    • Their relationship can even be considered an Aesop on tolerating these relationships. Yang Hu is well trusted by the Sima family despite his familiarity to Lu Kang. Lu Kang, by contrast, is removed once news of the relationship reaches the Wu court. This is good news to Yang Hu, who only refrained from invading because he respected Lu Kang's ability as a general.
  • Haplo and Alfred have this relationship in The Death Gate Cycle, specifically starting in book 3, when they are actually forced to work together by the extreme environs and the attempt of a corrupt ruler to kill them.
    • Haplo's status as a frenemy is further developed in Serpent Mage, when, instead of causing chaos, he tries to help the lesser races cooperate with each other so that they can avoid being frozen to their island homes.
      • Which was also meant to demonstrate Halpo's incipient Heel Face Turn, since the entire reason he was traveling to the various worlds in the first place was to create as much chaos as possible, so that his master could eventually sweep in and conquer the lesser races.
  • Artemis Fowl, Holly Short, and the other fairies, especially in book two (before, they were worthy opponents at best; later, they were Strange Bedfellows and pretty much friends).
  • In the X Wing Series, both the New Republic and the Empire have task forces working to hunt down Warlord Zsinj; at some point, the leader of the Imperial task force sends a message to the New Republic one, wanting to meet with someone with authority. They send Face Loran; he and the Imperial admiral banter with each other and decide to share information on Zsinj, although this would count as treason if word got out.
    • They do more than that. Eventually, the admiral lends a rare Interdictor cruiser (which has the valuable ability to prevent jumps to hyperspace) to the Republic task force for the book's final battle, with himself as captain.
  • In the Don Camillo series, set in the decades after WWII, Don Camillo, the priest in a small Italian town on the river Po, has an interesting relationship with the Communist mayor, Peppone. While both are, in theory, completely in conflict with each other, and do work against each other fairly constantly, they consider each other worthy opponents. Peppone especially (because his Communist beliefs urge him into rather more extreme actions) has a tendency to make grand plots against Camillo, then do everything in his power to make things right again. Oh, and when the chips really are down - or someone from outside tries something against one of them - it becomes clear that they will do anything for each other.
  • Sparhawk and Martel in David Eddings' The Elenium. In their final battle, they make comments on each others style and equipment, and agree that their trainer would berate them for how sloppy they have gotten. When Martel loses, Sparhawk waits for him to pass on before leaving. Also, Sparhawk and Cyrgon in the Tamuli.
    • Sparhawk and Martel also have overtones of Not So Different, as they were originally best friends and were trained by the same people, until Martel made his Face Heel Turn. Throughout the series, Martel has made it somewhat clear that he still likes Sparhawk and his former teachers, in spite of his willingness to kill them if necessary to accomplish his ends. A number of things he says are clearly wistful (in a "I wish things could have been different" sort of way), and he clearly likes and respects Sparhawk and company far more than he does his own allies.
      • Hence the second-last sentence Martel ever speaks in his life: "I get to die in the presence of the only two people I ever really loved."
  • Silk and Yarblek in The Belgariad. They're intelligence agents for countries which are about to go to war, and are implied to have directly gone up against each other in the past, but their default interaction is a snarky sort of friendship. After Torak's death and the cessation of hostilities they drop the pretense and go into partnership. And proceed to build the largest business empire in the world and become obscenely rich.
  • The Hollows series by Kim Harrison has the protagonist, Rachel Morgan, and Trent Kalamack cooperating. Despite Trent's crimes, Rachel saves his life on more than one occasion, and eventually, Trent undergoes some Villain Decay.
  • Atlan and Rhodan in Perry Rhodan. The first couple of times they meet, they try to kill each other, but both refrain from exploiting the obvious opportunities. After the second duel, they become friends and allies for the next 3,000 years.
  • The Russian and British Missions in The Death of the Vazir Mukhtar (and especially Griboyedov and Doctor McNeal), at least until the climax. Accurate, seeing as this is basically an early stage of the Great Game on the diplomatic front.
  • In A Darkling Plain, from the Mortal Engines Quadrilogy, the Kriegsmarshal of Marnau fondly recalls how, after a Green Storm sniper injured him, the Green Storm General, Naga, sent him a bulletproof vest as a get well soon present, inscribed with the words 'sorry we missed you'. He also states that he finds Naga more likable than some of his allies in the Traktionstadtsgesellschaft.
  • Harry Potter and Cedric Diggory were this during Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire, whether they were competing with each other in Quidditch or the Triwizard Tournament. They gave each other tips and never went at each others' throats, despite the fact that the school was practically torn in two between the pro-Harry Griffindors and the pro-Cedric...well, everyone else. The same could be said about Fleur Delacour and Victor Krum in Goblet of Fire during the Triwizard Tournament. None of the four competitors showed any real dislike for any of the other three.
    • Note that one could say "perfectly normal, this is what sportsmanship is about". And it was a sport competition, not a war. But then, you notice that Harry refused an easy victory over Cedric even as Cedric was now a romantic rival for Harry (Cedric probably didn't know that).
  • Jiaan and Patrius in the Farsala Trilogy. Though on opposing sides of a war, they become good friends and are beginning to make a habit of capturing, sitting down and talking with, and then releasing each other by the time the war comes to an end.
  • In the Codex Alera novels, this is essentially what the Canim term gadara means, coupled with Worthy Opponent. To the Canim, a gadara is more trustworthy than an ally, as while an ally can betray you, a gadara is still an enemy and thus one can expect violence from them. Generally, to be acknowledged as a gadara, the two who declare themselves as such exchange swords in front of witnesses. Prior to the events of Captain's Fury, no Canim had ever had an Aleran (human) gadara, until Tavi became one of these with both Nasaug and Varg.
  • Magic the Gathering's Kamigawa novels have Toshiro Umezawa and Hidetsugu, two characters who formed a "truce" on their first meeting that they'd work together as far as they could while knowing that their ultimate mutually exclusive goals would probably demand one of them kill the other. They spend most of the trilogy sharing relatively friendly conversations and helping each other out and, when the time does come, they pause a moment to look sorrowfully at each other before promptly trying to murder one another.
  • Rikash Moonsword is this for Daine in the Wild Magic books.
    • The Dogs (guardsmen and women, that world's version of police officers) in the Beka Cooper Series often have friendships and even relationships with criminals. The main character even shares a lodging-house with a bunch of them.
  • Spartacus acts like this towards Julius Caesar in Emperor: The Death of Kings. They first meet when Crixus and Brutus independently have the idea of looking over the other camp by climbing to the top of a big rock, and while the other three constantly look for an opportunity to off the others, Spartacus enjoys a pleasant chat.
  • In The Dresden Files Harry Dresden and Lara Raith generally respect each other for the other's skills at manipulation, deceit, and fighting prowess, and have worked together in the past, even though she really kinda wants to eat him.
    • More like Lara wants Harry as her partner in crime, and if not, then her sex slave.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: Cordelia and Aral during the Escobar invasion. In this case they were not merely "friendly" but soon to be married.
  • In Michael Flynn's The January Dancer, the opposing sides of the civil war, in peace time, gather in pubs to drink together and sing songs of the exploits of the war, in perfectly indifference to which side was being glorified.
  • In the several sequels of The Three Musketeers, the four musketeers often find themselves on different sides of political intrigues. At one point, they actually all capture one another in battle. Still, they remain as close as brothers until they die, help each other escape even when ordered to arrest one another, and consider Athos' son "a son to us all."

Live Action TV

  • The Doctor and The Master from Doctor Who would be examples of the second type, though how friendly they are has varied during the (long) run of the series.
    • The Doctor has also had a chat or two with Davros. Davros enjoys talking with The Doctor to an extent because of his intelligence. There are points, however, when the Doctor feels he's taking it too far.

 The Doctor: We are not friends, Davros.

  • Gul Dukat from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine considered Sisko a friend for almost the entire run of the series but it was very much not reciprocated. It almost seemed to border on Genre Savvy at times, with Dukat acting as if Sisko was just pretending to hate him to keep up appearances, although it was pretty clear that he was genuine (what with Dukat being a murdering Nazi and all).
    • Perhaps a more straightforward example from the same show would be Quark and Odo.

 Zayra: "I can't believe you're defending him, Quark. You're his worst enemy."

Quark: "I guess that's the closest thing he has in this world to a friend."

    • On Star Trek: The Next Generation, it's implied that this is the standard state of affairs with Klingons, at least as long as they are fighting their fellow Klingons, even openly drinking with the warriors on the other side during the Klingon Civil War during the "Redemption" two-parter.
    • The omnipotent being Q seems to genuinely like and respect Captain Picard. Don't be mistaken, he'll put the Enterprise in grave danger just for kicks and he still thinks humanity is a "grievously savage child race", but at the same time he's been shown to admire Picard and has it's been hinted that he's saved Picard life once or twice.
  • In Juken Sentai Gekiranger, Rio and Mele end up pulling the Rangers' asses out of the fire so many times that it hardly surprises anyone when they turn good in the end.
  • In Kamen Rider Ryuki, Kitaoka Shuuichi (Zolda) is evil, but he also fraternizes with Shinji-tachi throughout the series.
  • In Smallville, Clark Kent's best friend is Lex Luthor. Of course, this isn't quite the standard trope since they have not yet become enemies (though there's been enough foreshadowing to choke Comet the Super-horse).
  • Yes Minister: although Humphrey and Hacker usually act at complete cross purposes, they are almost always polite towards one another and sometimes seem to genuinely enjoy each other's company; on the occasions they are forced to work together for a common goal, they are a very efficient and effective team, and the first time Humphrey suggests this, Hacker appears flattered that Humphrey wants his help. Humphrey once mentioned to a group of other senior civil servants that he and Hacker frequently enjoyed the perks of their jobs, as well as gifts of and parties held by powerful lobbying groups, together. They even laugh at each other's jokes.
    • This may be partly because the two of them are Not So Different, in that, while Humphrey claims to serve the good of the country, and Hacker started out intending to reform the country and serve a greater morality, by the end, they are equally self-serving and morally corrupt, and are in it purely for their own self interest and the good of the Civil Service/Party.
    • On one occasion, they're having one of their typical arguments on this case over the EEC, only for it to morph into this:

 Hacker "The problem with Brussels isn't the internationalism, it's too much beaurecracy"

Humphrey "But the beaurecracy is a consequence of the internationalism, whey else would you have an English Commissioner, with a French Director General immediately below him and an Italian reporting to the Frenchman and so on down the line"

Hacker "Oh I agree"

Humphrey "It's like the Tower of Babel"

Hacker "Oh I agree"

Humphrey "No, it's even worse, it's like the United Nations"

Hacker "I agree"

Bernard "Perhaps, if I may interject, you are in fact, in agreement"

Hacker and Humphrey "No we're not!"

  • Sylar and Peter on Heroes. In the fourth episode of season three, Peter has been brought four years into the future and visits Sylar, who gives him a hug and offers to make him waffles. This is also when Peter learns that the two of them are brothers.
    • Of course, once they realized that it's another Company scheme, they're back to punching each other's lights out.
    • Definitely emphasizing the "friendly" part in Volume 5 after spending years together trapped in a mental prison.
  • Jacob and "the man in black" in Lost hang out with each other on the island and talk regularly, despite the fact that they are archenemies. It turns out that they're twin brothers.
  • ICarly: Sam and Freddie become this in Season 2, wherein the first season, they were pretty much forced to work together out of their mutual interest in Carly.
  • Despite being a challenger five times on Iron Chef, and leading two factions to take the Iron Chefs down, Toshiro Kandagawa was on good terms with them, and even sent flowers to Iron Chef Rokusaburo Michiba when he was hospitalized for exhaustion.
  • In the second season premier of Dollhouse, Topher explicitly refers to ex-Agent Ballard as a "frenemy". Their relationship is actually more like a season-long Enemy Mine-cum-Heel Face Turn, though.
  • Occurs between the settlers and the Native Americans in F Troop. Ostensibly, Fort Courage's mission is to "keep the peace" against the Hekawi Indians. In reality, the Hekawis are pacifists and the two factions tend to leave each other alone, except for the Hekawi's business deals...
  • Max and Siegfried on Get Smart, most definitely.
    • In one episode, Max refers to Siegfried as, "my old friend and bitter enemy".
  • The various mads and their experiment subjects often behave this way on Mystery Science Theater 3000. TV's Frank, in particular, is overheard at least once wishing that he could hang out with the bots. In Time Chasers, Mike goes over to visit Pearl for a cup of coffee in the opening and closing segments. And in Manos: The Hands of Fate, Forrester and Frank famously apologize to Joel and the bots for the movie.
  • Angel and Lindsey from Angel occasionally team up with each other if they aren't busy killing/mutilating/beating the crap out of each other.
    • Same with Lilah. You could also possibly count the team's relationship with Harmony.
  • Babylon 5: Londo and G'Kar pass through this stage somewhere in the season 4 on the way to becoming Fire-Forged Friends.

 G'Kar: [In response to Londo's proposition to sign an agreement to incite other races to do the same] "Issue the statement. I will sign my name. ...But not on the same page, do you understand that?"

    • Like so many aspects in this show, this gives the long running foreshadowing of them killing each other (as in Londo's vision) a different meaning. G'Kar doesn't kills Londo out of hate, as hinted in the reason for the vision, but because Londo is under the control of an alien implant. Londo can't kill himself, even pumped full with alcohol, and will resist if someone tries to mercy kill him. G'Kar basically sacrifices himself to free Londo from being a puppet.
  • As of the season 1 finale of Glee, Sue and Will appear to be this. Or rather, Sue seems to think this while Will is convinced that Sue is really a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
    • Sue genuinely does hate the Glee Club, but will often put it aside for truly important issues.
    • Kurt and Rachel, beginning in season two, as they start to realize that they have a great deal in common.

 Rachel: (Teasingly) You were my only real competition!

  • Todd of Stargate Atlantis was not only prone to temporary alliances with Atlantis, but never openly opposed them. Had he not been a Wraith, he would probably have become a trusted ally. The whole "needing to eat people" thing makes trust a lot harder.
  • A popular approach in Law and Order and other courtroom dramas. Prosecution and defense spend all day battering each other to death in court, then end up sharing a table at an expensive steakhouse, chuckling about the absurdities of their clients.
  • Burn Notice has a one-sided version: Larry Sizemore just wants to work with Michael again, while Michael has a serious problem with his Psycho for Hire ways. Unfortunately, Larry has a bit of trouble taking no for an answer, even when "no" is delivered via a sniper rifle. (It has been so delivered twice.)
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: After Spike reveals his crush on her, Buffy remarks that he was "So much easier to talk to when he just wanted to kill me."
    • And in season seven, a new vampire says delightedly, "I was afraid to talk to you in high school, and now we're, like, mortal enemies. Hey, wouldn't it be cool if we became nemeses?" – And a bit later: "I'm sorry if I overstepped my bounds. I'm just new to this whole mortal enemy stuff."
  • Ally McBeal had Renee Raddick, a district attorney who often spoke against the clients of Cage and Fish, the law firm that the titular character worked for. She roomed with Ally, was her rock when Ally needed one, and was close friends with the attorneys at Cage and Fish, even singing for John at his birthday. Truth in Television among lawyers, see Real Life below.


  • The song "Snoopy's Christmas" depicts Snoopy and his archnemesis The Red Baron sharing a holiday toast after a fierce dogfight. (Moved by the distant sound of Christmas bells, the Baron could not bring himself to deliver the final shot, even though he had gained the upper hand. The song is set during World War 1 and is based on the Real Life "Christmas Truce" of 1914--indeed, just like in Real Life, it is Germany who extends the olive branch first.

Professional Wrestling

Tabletop Games

  • Warhammer 40000's Orks have no concept of "friend," but they do have a word for "favorite enemy." During the Second War for Armageddon, Warlord Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka found himself a proper nemesis in Commissar Yarrick, and when Ghazghkull captured him in a subsequent campaign he let Yarrick go (after the requisite amount of torture) so the planned Third War for Armageddon would be more entertaining. Ghazghkull considers Yarrick the one humie who knows how to fight, and has been known to kill any lackey who insults the commissar. After all, "good enemies iz 'ard ta find, an Orks need good enemies ta fight like they need meat ta eat an' grog ta drink." Note that this is entirely one-sided: Yarrick despises Ghazghkull and has vowed to pursue him to the ends of the galaxy to avenge the billions killed for his amusement.


  • Cyrano De Bergerac: Cyrano and De Guiche: De Guiche wants to humiliate Cyrano and even prepares a Last Stand for him. Cyrano doesn't waste any chance to really humiliate De Guiche. Meanwhile, they have civilized conversations, they treat each other with the utmost respect, they both have read Don Quixote and discuss it, and De Guiche is the only one who really comprehends Cyrano's motives.
    • And at the end, De Guiche even expresses envy for Cyrano's independence and tries to pass a warning to him of a coming assassination attempt. It doesn't help.
  • Fiddler On the Roof: the constable and Tevye. Despite one being a Cossack and the other being a Jew, they both show respect to the other and treat each other well, having a friendly chat every once in a while. When the constable receives orders to perform a pogrom in the village, he is obviously uncomfortable with the idea, and even warns Tevye in advance out of respect for their friendship.

Video Games

  • Big Boss and Ocelot in the Metal Gear Solid series. Big Boss, at the beginning, decides not to kill Ocelot because of his youth, and slowly starts pseudo-mentoring him with each subsequent fight, while Ocelot comes to pretty much worship Big Boss by MGS3's conclusion. This culminates when Ocelot joins Big Boss as a member of Foxhound.
    • And having an invitation for Big Boss to join the Patriots be his condition for joining himself.
  • Almost all of the characters you get in the Fire Emblem games used to be enemies. In dialogues before entering battles, you'll usually see a single character with a face and a name, saying "I can't possibly fight against these people!", and you can recruit him or her by talking to them.
  • Harman Smith and Kun Lan are frequently seen playing chess in Killer 7. Harman makes the nature of their relationship clear when he says to Kun, "You're a good friend, but unfortunately, our interest is not mutual." It kind of helps that both of them are impossible to kill. Maybe...
  • Kirby and the Affably Evil Anti-Villain, King Dedede. Outside of fighting each other over random stuff (most of which is either a misunderstanding, Dedede being possessed, or Dedede just being a greedy asshole in some of the older games), they enjoy racing and competing against each other in friendly competitions.
    • In Super Smash Bros Brawl's adventure mode, King Dedede even glomps Kirby! After he (that is, Dedede) saves the day, of course.
  • Certainly, Mario and Bowser have to be like this. They've even reluctantly teamed up on a few occasions. Not to mention the fact that Bowser regularly opens up his castle for Mario's go-kart races...
  • Gilgamesh in Final Fantasy V treats your party this way after the first couple of encounters, saying that he's glad to see you again and asking how everyone has been. It gets even more bizarre the last time you encounter him, as he delivers a pep talk to each of the heroes, then uses a Suicide Attack to destroy both himself and the boss you were fighting.
  • Final Fantasy IX: Zidane and Kuja have a moment of this after Kuja saves the team from the collapsing Memoria and Iifa Tree and Zidane decides to stay and attempt to save Kuja from the depths of the Iifa Tree. Then again, they are brothers and this brief moment of friendliness doesn't continue in their appearances in Dissidia Final Fantasy.
  • Fox McCloud and Wolf O'Donnell (and, to some extent, the entire teams of Star Fox and Star Wolf) in Star Fox Assault probably qualifies. Unless, of course, you refuse to believe that the game exists.
  • The Amarr and Minmatar roleplaying communities on Eve Online are like this. In character, they are bitter enemies, but they at least recognize that the other side tends to play by the rules (as opposed to genuine pirates). Out of character, they have the utmost respect for one another. If a roleplaying reason could be found for the two communities to work together, they would be a very effective alliance.
  • Gene and Elvis in God Hand, despite being enemies, do have some pretty friendly banter. After he kills Elvis, Gene goes into a bit of Antagonist in Mourning and is more than a little pissed off at Shannon for badmouthing him.
  • Tales of the Abyss has Van Grants, along with several of his Dragons. Most of them have a history with the protagonists, and both sides acknowledge that the other is only trying to save the world in their own way. In fact, the Big Bad himself constantly states that he has no desire to kill the heroes and would happily let them join him. Even before, during, and AFTER the final battle, both sides only express their respect for one another.
  • Sonic and Dr. Eggman are like this sometimes.
  • In the leadup to the new class update for Team Fortress 2, it's revealed that the RED Demoman and the BLU Soldier met at a gun convention and became friends. The person pulling the strings for both teams decided to sabotage this friendship by pitting the Soldier and Demoman against each other for new weapons.
  • In Mass Effect, Wrex mentions an old Asari commando friend of his named Aleena that he was contracted to kill. They agreed to fight it out in an abandoned space station filled with mercs and pirates. After days of hunting down one another and killing off all other mooks, Wrex managed to trap her while she's healing. However, the base was soon about to explode, forcing him to leave, deciding that No One Could Survive That, only to get a message from her. At that point, Wrex decided that anyone who survived all of that deserves to live a bit longer and just let her go.
  • Cate Archer and Magnus Armstrong in No One Lives Forever. Armstrong spares Archer's life several times despite his criminal peers' insistence that she be executed, partially out of camaraderie (they're both Scottish) and partially out of respect for her abilities.
    • Magnus leaves H.A.R.M. in the sequel and helps out Cate a little.
  • Axel has shades of this towards Sora in Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories, but it's mostly to manipulate him.
    • It may also have quite a bit to do with Axel's relationship with Roxas.
  • Despite the presumably high-stakes nature of Pokémon League challenges, the League Champion in all generations after the first displays impeccable grace and sportsmanship, even when defeated.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic IV: Emilia Nighthaven & Solmyr ibn Wali Barad.
  • Tomb Raider Anniversary: Lara Croft and Larson Conway show a degree of this. Larson even goes out of his way to save Lara's life from Natla's other goons a couple of times. The final confrontation between the two ends badly, though, with Lara eventually killing Larson when he refuses to back down and let her go after Natla.
  • Stern and Levi of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha As Portable: The Gears of Destiny. Their first interaction with Nanoha and Fate immediately show that, while they're technically on opposing sides, they really like each other and treat one another like old friends. Levi even manages to cheer up Fate after the latter had just gone through a traumatizing fight against a copy of her dead Evil Matriarch. Unsurprisingly, Stern and Levi were quick to suggest that they team up with the good guys once a bigger threat appeared, and were quicker to oppose the wishes of their leader, Lord Dearche, when she suggested that they should kill everyone in Nanoha's group.
  • Tales of Xillia Has Alvin be careful with those that are close to you, they just might turn against you when you least expect it.
  • Ace Attorney series has both Phoenix/Edgeworth and Apollo/Klavier. They are technically "enemies" (prosecution vs defense) but both have worked together in search for the truth.
  • In No More Heroes, Travis can be like this with some of the assassins he fights, sometimes one sided. Death Metal offers advice before Travis finishes him, he honestly respected Holly Summers a great deal and Speed Buster was impressed with him. He also spared Shinobu after realizing how she isn't like the other assassins and this comes back with Shinobu saving his life and eventually becoming a crazed fangirl. Henry becomes pretty friendly with Travis in the sequel (even if Travis doesn't care), while there are a few more he ends up liking. He tries letting Ryoji live for his warrior spirit, lets the broken Captain Vladimir enjoy a happy death and freaks out over Alice Moonlight, who he only killed because she wanted him to. There's also Kimmy Howell, although he's more freaked out by her since she's a stalker fangirl of terrifying levels.

Visual Novels

  • Lancer from Fate/stay night is a pretty decent guy once you get to know him. He generally finds it distasteful to stab noncombatants to death and allows Shirou the chance to defend himself while trying to silence him, and considers 'once tried to kill you' (or even 'once killed you' in Shirou's case) to be a perfectly natural way to be acquainted with someone; no hard feelings attached. This is mostly in-story Values Dissonance because, in his time, enemies could also be drinking buddies the night before a battle, at which they would slaughter each other mercilessly. He's gets annoyed when Tohsaka explains that it doesn't work like that anymore.
    • Assassin is also a good example of this trope, being perfectly polite and courteous to Saber even as he's trying to separate her head from her body, and complimenting her swordsmanship when she kills him at the end of Unlimited Blade Works.
    • Even after the conflict has entirely ceased, Shirou is surprised to learn that, despite how friendly he is with the other Servants, Lancer still views them all as enemies. And enemies are to be killed.

Web Comics


  Malack: "We agreed Brother Thundershield was not to be harmed!"


Web Original

  • Homestar Runner and Strong Bad evolved from generic enemies to this trope, and finally to Vitriolic Best Buds.
    • There was also the time Blue Laser invited the Cheat Commandos over for Thanksgiving dinner (except the overzealous Gunhaver).
    • Strong Bad is this in relation to Homestar, Strong Sad, and The Cheat. He's a bit harsher on Strong Sad, and quite a bit friendlier to The Cheat, but all of the relationships have a bit of friend and a bit of enemy in them (usually on Strong Bad's part).
  • Caboose from Red vs. Blue is generally a very nice guy, even to the Reds, even when they attempt to kill him. The reason for this is because he's not too bright. The Reds themselves don't capitalize on this, though it's debatable whether this is due to them being friendly, or them not being brilliant tacticians either.

 Caboose: Hey Simmons. Um, are you guys coming to attack me? Um, because I'm kinda busy right now. Do you think you could attack me later maybe, like, uh, like next week?

Simmons: We're not attacking you, I'm just coming over to spy on you.

Caboose: Oh, awesome!


Western Animation

  • Many a Popeye cartoons started out with Popeye and Bluto being the best of chums-- until Olive Oyl appears and they start fighting over her.
  • Carmen Sandiego and the Acme Detectives were often friendly rivals, even helping each other at times within the scope of their roles. It does helps that she only became a criminal to experience more of a challenge, working against detectives (she was one herself, before finding criminals to be insufficient challenges for her), and she quickly relinquishes any of her loot when it is found (not herself, though).
  • Shego and Kim Possible go so far as to exchange pleasantries and fashion tips during their fights, albeit with a lot of sarcasm and snark. She saves Kim from imminent death a couple of times (though she claims that's because she's The Only One Allowed to Defeat You), and several times, they even team up to save the day from a bigger threat. When Shego was temporarily turned good by a Mirror Morality Machine, she and Kim quickly became the best of friends, and Kim said that it was like having a big sister. That's pretty much how their relationship is normally, except they keep beating each other up and trying to put the other in jail or in a grave.
    • True also for Kim and Dr. Drakken, her Arch Enemy and Shego's employer. He even threw a Christmas party for everyone, once (albeit with the promise that everything will be "back to normal" after the holidays). He did an Enemy Mine in the last episode, which led to Drakken getting an award from the UN for saving the world.
  • Aeon Flux is a freedom fighter against Trevor Goodchild's regime, but despite their bitter rivalry, it is obvious that there is grudging sexual tension between the two, and neither seems to want the other to come to any serious harm. The two have been known to have sex with one another in the midst of battle.
  • Captain Stickybeard in Codename: Kids Next Door, particularly to Numbah 5. Due to their mutual love of candy, they've helped each other out on several occasions, and Numbah 5 often calls him by the oddly Affectionate Nickname of "Stickybuns".
  • In the third season of The Venture Brothers, Dr. Venture's new archenemy is Sergeant Hatred, who is much friendlier and sociable than one would expect from a guy with "HATRED" tattooed down the front of his body. However, he does seem to have some pedophilic tendencies...
    • Still, the only reason Hatred is actually friendly to Venture is to get back at The Monarch, who hates Venture, for stealing his technology, since, as Venture's official nemesis, The Monarch cannot do anything to Venture without angering The Guild. In the fourth season, however, he makes a full Heel Face Turn, replacing Brock (who's got business to take care of) as the Venture Bodyguard.
    • Played much straighter when it comes to Dr. Venture and Dr. Girlfriend Mrs. The Monarch. Girlfriend believes that Rusty is Not So Different from The Monarch and is usually not that hostile towards the Ventures compared to her husband. By season 4, they're quite amicable towards each other when they have time to talk.
  • The words Friendly Enemy actually occur in the Theme Song to the British Kids' show Cloppa Castle. The villains, the Hasbeens, are punch clock villains who sit down for a friendly cup of tea with the good guys, the Bygones, at the end of each day's non-lethal battle.
  • David Xanatos and the Gargoyles had a pretty rocky, ally-again/enemy-again relationship until the former finally performed a final Heel Face Turn after the latter helped save his baby from a superpowerful fairy. Because you just can't stay mad at anyone who helps save your baby from superpowerful fairies.
  • Vlad of Danny Phantom implied in one episode that his relationship with Danny is like this, stating "I'm sorry, but funny, joke-around Vlad isn't here today" before attacking him. This is a relationship Vlad often saw with Danny during most of the series' run on account of the villain's desire to have Danny as his surrogate son, his role as an Unwitting Pawn notwithstanding.
    • Debatable. "Jokes" are not necessarily an indication of "friendliness" per se. Vlad might see it that way, but Danny tends to see it more as "head games". "Aren't you going to say some deliberately provocative and insulting things about my parents (because you know it pisses me off)?" "No, I don't have time to screw around with you just for my own amusement right now." Because he's planning to do something worse.
      • Played with in the Alternate Timeline in "Ultimate Evil." Danny seeks Vlad's help when his friends and family are killed, and Vlad seems to be genuinely sympathetic when Danny arrives at his door.
    • Heck, by the end of the series, Danny was frenemies with most of the recurring ghost characters. When dealing with a problem bigger than he could handle on his own, he'd often turn to one of the ghosts for help. The fact that he was able to convince nearly the entire population of the ghost zone to help save Earth pretty much cemented that status.
  • The Flash and The Trickster are like this in Justice League Unlimited, with the latter being more delusional than villainous.

 Flash: James, you're off your meds again, aren't you?


 Cause we're frenemies

We like disliking one-another

Cause we're frenemies

He's like my least favourite brother!

  • Several Looney Tunes cartoons starred a pair called Sam the Sheepdog and Ralph the Wolf. They'd talk amicably, punch the clock, and share lunch together. However, when they were on the clock, it was Ralph's job to try and steal sheep and Sam's job to stop him at all costs. While it got comically brutal (this was Looney Tunes, after all), the characters recognize that it was just business.

  Bugs: Dat's friendship if I ever heard it!

  • On The Fairly Odd Parents, Dark Laser seems to have this relationship with Timmy, letting him borrow the Death Ball for a party and willing to tell him about his irritable bowels.
  • Eugene, AKA Bling Bling Boy, from Johnny Test.
  • Duck Dodgers and the Martian Commander. In one episode, convinced that they're both about to die, the Martian admits that Dodgers is probably his best friend. And Dodgers, of course, responds "Ha! What a loser!"
  • Skipper and Julien from The Penguins of Madagascar. They spend most of their shared screentime arguing and generally being annoyed by the other, but Skipper will go out of his way to help Julien, and Julien has gone to Skipper to have his problems fixed. It was to the point that they were actually mistaken as 'BFF's by Skipper's Arch Nemesis Dr. Blowhole... and the other penguins agreed with him.

 Julien: So I face danger and the adventure of a lifetime and nobody will ever know about it?!

Skipper: Welcome to my world. That makes you an honorary penguin.

Julien: Does that mean I am your BFF?

Skipper: Eehh... we'll keep that code on the QT.


 Chuck The Evil Sandwich Making Guy: I HATE Wordgirl!!... No... hate is a strong word... I don't like Wordgirl AT ALL!!!

  • Red X and Robin of Teen Titans don't actually manage to do anything but the frenemy routine. Red X appears in only two episodes[1], but both times, he and Robin end up essentially on the same side. In "X", despite having battled each other for most of the episode, Red X tracks Robin down to the villain's lair and ends up saving his life, and proceeds to help Robin save the city — he even averts the I Was Just Passing Through excuse.

 Robin: I thought you didn't like to play the hero.

Red X: Doesn't mean I don't know how.

  • In the 1990s X-Men animated series, this dynamic is really played up with Professor X and Magneto. They even spend the entire second season working together to escape from the Savage Land. In the finale, Magneto describes the Professor as "my greatest enemy... and perhaps my only friend."
    • Also in the season finale, when Jean asks Magneto if he loves Charles, he's insulted that she even feels the need to ask.
      • It's not even that she asked if he loved him, but how much.
  • On Invader Zim, one interpretation of Zim and Dib's relationship is this, especially given the unfinished episode where they were both miserable without each other. This trope is at its most overt in the Pilot where Dib cheerfully compliments Zim's plan and Zim graciously thanks him for it, though shades of it sometime show up throughout the rest of the series (such as Zim prefacing the explanation of his brilliant, evil plan to Dib in "A Room With a Moose" by saying that Dib is the only one smart enough to really appreciate it).
    • Another example could be the episode "Hamstergeddon", where a giant hamster(altered by Zim) is destroying the town. Zim fights his mutated creature since it does not obey him, and Dib is pleasantly surprised. But Zim crashes his ship, and Dib is conflicted on whether to capture him or let him continue protecting the humans. Zim wakes up before Dib's decision, where Dib then thanks Zim for the good he's doing. Zim denies helping anyone but they have a temporary truce.
      • Perhaps the most glaring example of this is the cancelled episode "Mopiness of Doom", in which Dib drops his rivalry with Zim out of frustration and goes on to pursue "real science" like his father. He eventually finds it to be incredibly dull, and Zim becomes listless with depression over the loss of his own personal arch-enemy. The last few minutes of the episode are almost like a happy reunion, in which Zim and Dib gleefully exchange death threats and laser blasts in a way that is almost affectionate.
  • Numerous relationships on Total Drama are like this, since Love Interests are often put on opposite teams. The usual "good/evil" version of this is also present in Heather's friendships with Harold, Leshawna, and Cody. (Though the writers seem to have forgotten about those first two.)
  • In Family Guy, while Peter and Ernie the Giant Chicken are fighting for the third time in "No Chris Left Behind", Peter interrupts the fight by wondering what they were even fighting about. They apologize to each other, and, to make up, the chicken invites him to dinner. After the meal, they argue over who pays the bill and become enemies again, continuing the fight at the restaurant.
  • On The Simpsons, Bart and Mrs. Krabappel actually have this in a few episodes when he goes out of his way to help her with something.
    • The same goes for Principal Skinner.
  • On Adventure Time, this seems to be how the Ice King thinks of his relationship to Finn (and Jake). In reality, not so much (though they are willing to help him out sometimes, such as when he tries to learn how to be happy). Its eventually revealed that the reason he thinks of them as friends is because they stop him from hurting those around him, his last request before going completely insane. Of course, until The Reveal to both the audience and the protagonists, not even he remembered it except on a subconscious level.
    • Finn (and Jake) and Marceline are a borderline example, mostly because, by now, she's dropped the "enemy" part entirely. Her relationship with Princess Bubblegum has also been characterized as a "friendly rivalry", according to Word of God.
  • Tom and Jerry have this dynamic sometimes, Depending on the Writer. In "The Lonesome Mouse", Jerry manages to get Tom kicked out of the house, but finds that he misses being chased and schemes with the cat to get him back in. And in "Springtime for Thomas", Jerry gets jealous when Tom spends all of his time with a girl cat, and introduces Butch to break the two up.
  • In The Batman this is one-sided from The Joker to Batman. At one point the Joker says totally happily to Batman "I miss your company Batman!" and Batman shoves the Joker away in disgust.
  • Roger Klotz is this trope towards the titular character of Doug. He bullies him mercilessly with mean pranks and japes, but the two have worked together on several occasions and Roger has shown he cares for and trusts Doug more than once. He's this to the rest of Doug's friend group by extension.

Real Life

  • During the English Civil War, several battles were fought between parliamentary general Sir William Waller and royalist general Ralph Hopton. The two were close friends, and at one point, Hopton asked for a meeting, hoping to persuade Waller to change sides. Waller declined, but wrote in his letter, "...Certainly my affections to you are so unchangeable, that hostility itself cannot violate my friendship to your person, but I must be true to the cause wherein I serve... That great God, which is the searcher of my heart, knows with what a sad sense I go upon this service, and with what a perfect hatred I detest this war without an enemy, but I look upon it as an Opus Domini, which is enough to silence all passion in me... We are both upon the stage and must act those parts assigned to us in this tragedy. Let us do it in a way of honour, and without personal animosities, whatsoever the issue be. I shall never willingly relinquish the dear title of Your most affectionate friend..."
  • It's said that, despite being truly bloodthirsty against each other's armies during the Crusades, Richard the Lionhearted and Saladin often exchanged gifts and had great respect for one another insofar as their roles allowed. Saladin supposedly offered his physician when Richard fell ill, for instance. Amusingly, when Richard's army was dying of heat stroke on the march to Jerusalem, Saladin allegedly had snow sent to them.
    • There's also talk of them once considering a marriage between their families and having Jerusalem as the wedding dowry.
    • For the most part, they had similar ideals of honor and understood that they were both fighting for their religions. They even had the same taste for music and were patrons of the arts and sciences. It's possible that they saw the other as a Worthy Opponent, and were hoping to eventually end the war so that they could get along and possibly convert the other to their own religion.
  • Takeda Shingen and Uesugi Kenshin were two rival samurai in Medieval Japan. Shingen's territory didn't have any salt, and he usually bought it from the Hojo clan. When they cut him off, Uesugi Kenshin secretly sent salt to Takeda Shingen. Later, Takeda Shingen was killed facing Oda Nobunaga's allies, and a very angry Uesugi Kenshin fought a (winning) battle against Oda Nobunaga as a result.
  • Seth MacFarlane and Matt Groening. While it is implied on both of their shows that they hate each other, they are actually pretty good friends.
    • Seth MacFarlane and Rush Limbaugh too, despite being near polar opposites on the political spectrum. They are actually friends, who each see their own highly-politically-charged works as chiefly a matter of entertainment. Rush has even guest voiced on Family Guy more than once, occasionally parodying himself.
  • Another, though involving more people, was the so-called Christmas Truce between the British and French troops and the German forces during World War I. Men left the trenches and started playing football (soccer) with each other on No Man's land (the war scarred area between the opposing trenches) and generally having a good time. That's right, in the middle of a war. Understandably, the higher ups thought this might hinder the war effort, as humanizing the people you're supposed to kill often does. More about it at the Other Wiki.
    • Reportedly, there were many such instances between Union and Confederate forces during The American Civil War - brother against brother and all that.
      • Northern and Southern troops were eager to get together for pragmatic reasons, too: the Confederates had all the good tobacco, and the Union soldiers had all the good coffee. Informal trading went on whenever possible.
    • During the Bangladeshi War of Independence, the Pakistani commander (occupying Bangladesh) and the Indian commander (invading in support of the independence movement) were personal friends who had studied together at Sandhurst military college.
  • Athletes on rival sporting teams often form friendships even while their fans are pummeling each other in the stands. One notable example of this is when Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre practically threw himself under Michael Strahan of New York so that the latter would break the sack record.
    • The physios, too. When Alan Smith broke his leg playing for Manchester United against Liverpool, the Liverpool physio was first on the scene to do what he could to help. The Liverpool fans stayed true to form by bricking the ambulance taking him to hospital.
    • North of the England-Scotland border, Kevin Thomson and Scott Brown were inseparable when they came through the youth ranks together at Edinburgh side Hibs, but are now opponents as the midfield enforcers of beyond-fierce Glasgow rivals Rangers and Celtic respectively. Despite this, they've remained friends - when Brown was recently sent off in a match between the teams, it was Thomson rather than any of his teammates who calmed him down.
    • It is a common occurrence in the NBA.
      • Rival centers Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell spent thanksgivings together, talking about model trains.
      • Larry Bird and Magic Johnson started developing a friendship after shooting a commercial together in the early 1980's and have remained close friends since. They even worked with each other on a book released in 2009
      • Rival point guards Chris Paul and Deron Williams play poker together and exchange texts.
      • LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony once embraced one another after a game in the 2012 playoffs.
  • Most of the Founding Fathers fell into this kind of dynamic.
    • John Adams and Thomas Jefferson could write this trope. During the Revolution, they supported each other in the Continental Congress, and later, as ambassadors to the European courts; Abigail Adams treated Jefferson's daughters as her own. Later, they were political rivals on the opposite sides of many issues, especially federalism versus states' rights. The early elections rules caused Jefferson to be Adams's vice president because he came in second. The following election, Jefferson's revolution of 1800, was the source of what seemed to be the final bitter dispute between them. Despite a quarter century of political bickering, they were convinced to reconcile and wrote letters to each other after they retired from public life, including Adams' vow "While I live, I will be your friend." John Adams' last words, when he died on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, were, "Thomas Jefferson still survives." (Ironically, Thomas Jefferson died earlier that day.)
    • During a battle in the Revolutionary War, the English general's pet dog wandered into the Americans' camp. Washington had his aide return the dog to the British camp with a friendly note, and the English general expressed his admiration for Washington's gentlemanly conduct.
  • General Lewis Armistead was a commander of the Confederacy. Winfield Hancock was a general in the Union Army. Both men went to school at West Point and became closer than brothers. Both would not meet again - until at the Battle of Gettysburg. Sadly, General Armistead died on the battlefield.
    • A more impromptu case: Nathan Bedford Forrest once rode up to the Union lines, having mistaken them for the Confederates. The Union soldiers, rather than taking a shot at him, told him where he was and suggested that he return to his camp; Forrest saluted them and rode off.
  • Disney and Warner Bros That would probably explain why Pinky and The Brain is on Disney XD (in spite of it making several jokes at Disney's expense).
    • The comic book publishers that these companies acquired (Marvel Universe and DC) relationship have regularly slipped into this trope. Their bosses used to play golf together. Also, Bob Kane (creator of Batman) and Stan Lee (creator of basically most of the more well-known Marvel superheroes) were friends.
    • Greg Weisman noted in one of his "Ask Greg" posts that when he was on staff at DC, there was a gentleman's agreement in place that saw Marvel and DC supplying complimentary copies of all their books to each the other's employees.
  • Senators Orrin Hatch and Ted Kennedy were supposedly very good friends, despite their wildly differing political ideologies.
    • John McCain and Morris Udall were a similar case.
    • Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, too.
    • Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill went fishing a lot. They were enemies only from nine to five, and even made it an in-joke between the two of them.
    • Daniel Inouye and Ted Stevens, until the latter's death in a plane crash.
  • A Trans Atlantic Equivalent to the previous example: Dennis Healey and George Howe, though being literally on opposite sides of the aisle for over a decade, were actually really good friends and got on really well. This is especially poignant when you consider that British politics involves the two parties shouting ad hominem at each other and Healey stating that hearing Howe give a report was like "being savaged by a dead sheep", yet they have been and still remain to this day good friends.
  • On the one occasion that Oliver Cromwell and Charles I met after the English Civil War, during which Cromwell essentially threw Charles off the throne, they reportedly got on quite well. One (probably apocryphal) story has Cromwell visit the grave of Charles in secret after the king was beheaded for treason and mutter "Cruel necessity" to himself.
  • Prince and Michael Jackson, though it's reported that they never really got along (mostly due to sales rivalry and philosophical differences over music rather than any real nastiness), they respected each other's work and made it a point to never say anything negative about each other in public.
    • It should be noted that Michael's hit single "Bad" was originally envisioned as a duet with Prince. The only reason Prince declined was because he felt that the song was good enough without him.
  • Picasso and Matisse would send each other paintings as challenges, and they both expressed disdain for the other's style, but when Matisse died, Picasso was devastated.
  • In 1484, at the field of Badh na Fola, John of the Isles, supported, among others. by the Macleans and the Macleods, met Angus Og, to decide the title of Lord of the Isles according to the Good Old Ways of Bonnie Scotland. Angus prevailed and sent around a man to eliminate the more prestigious of the prisoners, including a Maclean titled the Chief of Ardgour. However, one of Angus' followers, Macdonald of Moidart, an old rival of the Chief's, intervened, saying, "If Maclean were gone, who should I have to bicker with?"
  • This trope even exists in nature. Baboons and Chimpanzees often compete for food, yet they have been known to play together.
  • In the realm of Catholic Theology, Hans Kung and Joseph Ratzinger (now Benedict XVI) have, shall we say, conflicting views on the Church and the future. Yet they're personally friendly with each other's company. It helped that they were also friends in the seminary back in the day.
  • According to Harry Blackstone, Junior, His father and Harry Houdini were both "Friendly Enemies". Both respected each other's talents, though both mocked each other at times.
  • This is how many diplomatic analysts describe the relationship between the United States and China. Not only are both strong economic trading partners and strongly economically dependent on each other, but both are willing to work together to stop worldwide terrorism, nuclear proliferation and maintaining world peace. On the other hand, both China and the United States are suspicious towards each other politically and militarily. In addition, certain political issues like human rights, Taiwan, and Tibet are usually the hotbed topics between China and the United States. And it doesn't help that China and the United States are engaged in a small cyber-warfare. Thus, any fiction that depicts a hypothetical military war between China and the United States usually fall into Did Not Do the Research or You Fail Economics Forever.
    • You Fail Economics Forever? Politics have always won against economics. Just look at the first and second World War. Germany has waged war both times against her primary trade partners. Ok, more a situation of Germany failing economics forever, but still, wars are kind of always against trade partners.
    • Japan's diplomatic relationship with China and their former occupied Asian states during the Imperial Japanese era is also like this as well. The only major difference is that the enemy part is relating to Japan's own denial of their war crimes during World War II (and in the case with China, the Rape of Nanking). But perhaps the most sour relationship in regarding the Friendly Enemy thing is with South Korea, see No Koreans in Japan for more details on this [2].
    • Progressively avoided with Chinese-South Korean relations: being a partner of North Korea, China's relations with South Korea was strained, though not vitriolic. In recent years, the two countries started cooperating economically and decided that they liked the arrangement and the tension between the two fizzled out since. The most amazing sign of that came with Wikileaks, when the Chinese indicated that they would be cool with a South Korea led unification so long as Seoul can ensure that the Chinese-Korean border will not have a US base. It helps that both countries have mutual memories of the Japanese occupation.
  • Bill Maher and Ann Coulter are good friends, frequently hanging out with each other.
  • While there is a strong competitive and economic rivalry between Apple and Microsoft, their respective CEOs and founders, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, were good friends. This relationship is more noticeable in the biographical film Pirates of Silicon Valley.
    • Which just makes Steve Jobs' recent death a Tear Jerker on many levels. You can almost guarantee that the iconic head of Microsoft cried at the news of the death of the iconic head of Apple.
    • Also, whenever Mozilla releases a new major version of Firefox, the Microsoft Internet Explorer team sends them a cake.
      • So that's why they started treating every new feature release as a major version update after 4.0 — they get free cake for it!
  • Captain Beefheart and Frank Zappa.
  • G. K. Chesterton and George Bernard Shaw. Chesterton was a staunch Catholic and one of the great Christian apologists of the 20th century. Shaw was an atheist and a leader of the socialist movement. Despite their almost total disagreement about philosophy and politics, they were great friends and had enormous respect for each other.
  • Werner Herzog and Klaus Kinski, as lampshaded in Mein liebster Feind ("My best enemy", translated as My Best Fiend).
  • Current Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, Avigdor Liebermann, who has a very right-wing view of security and nationality (the most dominant aspects of Israeli political discourse, at least up until the protests started on July 14th), was reported to be close friends with Yosi Sarid, former Minister of Education and a die-hard leftist. Despite this, Liebermann declared, back when both were in parliament, that his party would not be in the same coalition as Sarid’s.
  • Stephen Hawking and Leonard Susskind have long been good friends, despite opposing each other diametrically over the black hole information paradox, and having a friendly scientific "war" with each other until they can find a way to prove one of them wrong.
  • Lawyers are like basketball players. Despite being on opposite sides in court, they often get along quite well with each other. One troper has witnessed lawyers joking with each other and sharing hearty laughs while walking to the courtroom and, once, both lawyers and the judge cracking the occasional joke during a trial.
    • You work for your client for a few months or years. You'll be seeing your opposing council for the rest of your career unless you work in a crowded market where you can afford to burn bridges. Staying on good terms is just common sense, and both sides know that their "enmity" is just professional duty to their clients anyway.
  • Pornographer Larry Flynt and Reverend Jerry Falwell, who once argued all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, later became friends and remained so up to Falwell's death, though they never came close to an agreement on what they were selling. They even capitalized on their friendship through a series of debates.
  • Stephen Harper, leader of the Canadian Conservative party mentioned missing his recently-departed friend Jack Layton, leader of the New Democratic Party. He said once during an exceedingly tedious session, he just walked across the parliament floor and sat next to him, talking about music (both being musicians) and family for a few minutes.
  • During the battle for Gallipoli in 1915, there were times when opposing armies' trenches were only a few yards apart. There are records of Turks and Australians tossing food to one another, and of a Turkish soldier carrying a wounded Allied soldier back to the Allied side...mid-battle.
  • Talleyrand Perigord and Joseph Fouche.Talleyrand the Foreign Minister of Napoleon and Fouche his Minister Of Police.Despite being bitter enemies in public both politically and socially[Talleyrand the son of aristocrats,Fouche the son of a teacher]and being considered polar opposites of one another,in private they were close allies and often worked together to undermine Napoleon.
  1. actually three, but just a cameo in "Homecoming" Part 2
  2. and it doesn't help to note that both Japan and South Korea are well known to have strong ultranationalist groups