• Before making a single edit, Tropedia EXPECTS our site policy and manual of style to be followed. Failure to do so may result in deletion of contributions and blocks of users who refuse to learn to do so. Our policies can be reviewed here.
  • All images MUST now have proper attribution, those who neglect to assign at least the "fair use" licensing to an image may have it deleted. All new pages should use the preloadable templates feature on the edit page to add the appropriate basic page markup. Pages that don't do this will be subject to deletion, with or without explanation.
  • All new trope pages will be made with the "Trope Workshop" found on the "Troper Tools" menu and worked on until they have at least three examples. The Trope workshop specific templates can then be removed and it will be regarded as a regular trope page after being moved to the Main namespace. THIS SHOULD BE WORKING NOW, REPORT ANY ISSUES TO Janna2000, SelfCloak or RRabbit42. DON'T MAKE PAGES MANUALLY UNLESS A TEMPLATE IS BROKEN, AND REPORT IT THAT IS THE CASE. PAGES WILL BE DELETED OTHERWISE IF THEY ARE MISSING BASIC MARKUP.


WikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotesBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extension.gifPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifier.pngAnalysisPhoto link.pngImage LinksHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconic
Vitriolic best buddies2 1990.jpg

"A very good measure of how good your friends are is how much you can insult them without them taking offense."


They're best friends. You can tell because they bicker Like an Old Married Couple.

Like a beautiful and delicate snowflake, no two friendships are alike. Unlike the beautiful and delicate snowflake, some friendships break out the flamethrowers in the face of this sickening sweetness.

Somehow, Steve the Deadpan Snarker has been befriended by kind hearted Pete, who has become a loyal friend, but The Power of Friendship failed to cure Steve of his Jerkass tendencies (though it does allow his heart of gold to shine through at times). So Steve continues to openly insult, belittle, and antagonize Pete, who faced with this sanity cracking assault... smiles and says "Oh, you're such a kidder, Steve!" which of course drives Steve up the wall while "cementing" the friendship in Pete's mind. Hilarity Ensues.

Woe betide any outsider to this unusual 'friendship' who thinks that because one is constantly snarking on the other, it gives the outsider the right to make snide comments about the other as well; usually, they will quickly (and painfully) learn that "no one makes fun of him/her but me." This is more a given with the second variant than the first, but with the first it may be a Pet the Dog moment or proof that aw, look: They really do like each other!

Contrast with Headbutting Heroes, who just cold-out despise each other despite being the best of heroes. Compare Aw, Look — They Really Do Love Each Other for a romantic equivalent.

Examples of Vitriolic Best Buds include:

Anime and Manga

  • Kouji Kabuto and Boss from Mazinger Z and its sequels (Great Mazinger and UFO Robo Grendizer) and spin-offs (Mazinkaiser, Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z-hen, Shin Mazinger Zero...). Their first meeting consisted of Boss picking one fight with Kouji. They often bicker with each other, but they do get along rather well.
  • Vegeta and Goku from Dragon Ball.
    • Goku's actual best friend though, is more likely to be Krillin.
    • Also, Trunks and Goten, at least when they're 8 and 7 respectively. Trunks calls Goten an "idiot" or a "little child" numerous times, but with a big grin on his face and clearly no malice; less commonly, Goten calls Trunks out on the fact that he's a member of the world's richest family and has no real reason to be competing for money like he does. Once they become teenagers, this snarking has largely faded, to be replaced by Homoerotic Subtext.
  • Tower of God has a plethora of examples. First of all, Koon Agero Agnis and Rak Wraithraiser are a blue-haired noble and a giant humanoid Aligator respectively, and they do not get along from the very start, yet still maintain a bond of of trust and and rigid understanding after their team is disolved. Ronin Hatsu and Lizard Girl Anak are also pretty close despite fighting a lot. Then there is Evan/Yuri. He gets thrown off cliffs a lot. And finally, there are Androssi and Anak who play this out like an Ur-example.
  • Rukia abuses Ichigo on Bleach with hilarious results. Being that Ichigo is well over One Head Taller than his female counterpart, he can't hit her back. But he can throw tables, Death Glare those amused by his abuse and generally pout about it.
    • Ichigo and Ishida do this as well, to the point where they don't seem to be able to hold a conversation without snarking at each other. While it was somewhat serious in the beginning, by now they both seem to be doing it out of habit (as evidenced by Ichigo smirking to himself as he listens to Ishida rant away in chapter 344).
    • Ichigo and Renji also tend to butt heads within moments of trying to do almost anything, often to the point of immediate physical violence, but will nonetheless put their lives on the line for each other at a moment's notice.
  • Jonouchi/Joey and Yugi are so Sickeningly Sweet in Yu-Gi-Oh! that Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series just had to make them verbally abuse each other every episode. It's far from friendly banter.
    • This trope also applies to Miho and Anzu/Tea in Season 0
  • Katekyo Hitman Reborn does this too with Gokudera (the jerk) and Yamamoto (the oblivious idiot), mainly in the crack arc[s].
  • Gintoki and Katsura from Gintama have their verbal scuffles, the latter tries to drag the former back into their resistance group while the former tells him in so little words to shove it—but when they team up against an enemy or twelve, the results are frequently awesome.
    • The Shinsengumi have a bond similar to this, as well. They even refer to it as a "rotten friendship".
  • Kaoru Kaidoh and Takeshi Momoshiro in The Prince of Tennis.
  • Sano and Kenshin from Rurouni Kenshin. (Sano's Hot-Blooded, so he tends to be vitriolic towards everyone, even his allies.)
  • From Shaman King we have Yoh Asakura and Ren Tao with the latter usually snarking at Yoh's ideals and trust in others. Though Ren will usually go along with him anyway.
    • This could also apply for Ren with both Horohoro and Chocolove as well.
  • Maka and Soul in Soul Eater. Soul heaps verbal abuse at his meister and gainsays her half the time, while Maka usually replies with a heavy book to Soul's face. Naturally, the two are inseparable and will Take The Bullet for each other without a moment's hesitation.
    • In the first episode it appears Soul does not even like Maka that much... until:
    • Later episodes and chapters make it known that this is very much a close relationship and some chapters seem to imply that their snark has to do with their own insecurities (like Soul's inferiority to his brother Wes and Maka's inferiority toward other[female] meisters who want to be Soul's partner).
    • Maka and Black*Star also fit this. Maka doesn't let Black*Star get away with his arrogance quite as much as Tsubaki and Soul seem to, and Black*Star tends to call her out on her own faults...but they've known each other since they were small (Unlucky Childhood Friend to Soul/Tsubaki, maybe?) and Black*Star not only hunts down the person who left Maka paralyzed, but becomes extremely angry with and attempts to fight Crona after discovering Crona has no memory of Maka.
  • Kuwabara and Yusuke from Yu Yu Hakusho, who start out seemingly set up as outright rivals, except...not really.
    • Hiei has some shades of this with all of the team as well, although Kuwabara might be the first thing that comes to mind. Spoiler Alert! Hiei has been shown to care about his teammates in his own way very much on occasion don'cha know.
  • Kenichi and Tanimoto in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. After he first defeats him in combat, Kenichi insists becoming Tanimoto's best friend despite the fact that Tanimoto wants nothing more than to beat his face in. Being a Slave to PR, he's willing to tolerate it, but once nobody's looking...
  • Taiga and Minori both share this with Ami by the end of Toradora!, getting to the point where Taiga's insulting nickname for Ami, "stupid chihuahua", becomes more of a term of affection.
  • Rosette and Chrono in Chrono Crusade. Chrono's actually a full-grown demon, but his child-like disguise and Nice Guy disposition matched with Rosette's Hot Bloodedness make for lots of griping, teasing, and roughhousing (see Rosette's self-coined Super Noogie). Despite this, they're in a trust-based contract and are sort of, you know, inseparable.
    • Rosette and Satella personify this too, almost to a greater extent.
  • Both Digimon Adventure (Taichi/Tai and Yamato/Matt) and Digimon Frontier (Takuya and Kouji) had a form of this with their main characters and lancers, of the both insulting each other variety. Ruki and Takato, from Digimon Tamers, were less best friends, since theirs was a Power Trio situation, but it's still a similar outcome to the first description.
  • Asuna and Ayaka from Mahou Sensei Negima!, to the point that their classmates worry about them if they aren't fighting. Asuna calls Ayaka a pedophile for having a crush on Adorably Precocious Child Negi, while Ayaka belittles Asuna for having a crush on her much older teacher, and for getting terrible grades. Despite this, they're tight enough that it borders on Les Yay on some occasions.
    • Just read chapter 350 if you have a single doubt.
  • Sanji and Zoro from One Piece. If they're not fighting together they're snarking at each other. Cue many a Yaoi Fangirl's speculation as to what would happen if they snap. Played up for laughs by Oda himself.
    • Sanji often expresses disdain towards the male members of the Straw Hats, usually only seeming to care about the safety and well-being of the female members (all two of them). He has shown to care for them, particularly Usopp, he just won't express it. This was also his relationship with his adopted father figure.
    • Some of the loudest shouting matches are between Nami and Usopp, with either one calling out the other on whatever zaniness they're trying to pull. When they're not fighting, however, they're working together to keep up with the physically-stronger members of the crew. Usopp even provides Nami with magic weapons and helps her work out strategies for using them. This is probably because Nami and Usopp are the only members of the original crew with above-average intelligence (Chopper, Nico Robin, and Franky have not reached this level of closeness).
    • Really, the Straw Hats in general are like this toward one another, at any given time at least two or three of them are arguing and/or hitting each other. They're basically a Vitriolic Crew. But don't let that fool you, they're all immensely fond of each other. If you hurt one of them, the others WILL kick your ass (and considering they are, as of now, considered one of the most dangerous crews on the Grand Line...).
    • Also more recently, the way Ace and Sabo treat Luffy initially seems to be this.
  • Just about every word Sawamura says to Rintarou in Wa Ga Na Wa Umishi is snarky. He's not above hitting him either. Yet somehow the two work together great when a job needs to be done, right down to saving each others' lives multiple times.
  • Kei and Yuri, the Dirty Pair.
  • Meg and her rival Non share this relationship in Majokko Meg-chan.
  • Kurogane and Fai from Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. Despite the fact that Kurogane would never admit it, they have become very close over the course of the series. Just how close is debatable.
    • It's CLAMP. It's only debatable if you're in denial.
  • Ranma and Ryōga of Ranma ½ eventually evolve into this, being Worthy Opponents, although this is definitely NOT the case at the start of the series.
    • Ranma and Akane, also. When they're not using their insults to deliberately hurt one another, they demonstrate a surprisingly strong report in which they cheerfully exchange barbs back and forth.
  • Ryoma and Hayato in Getter Robo have this relationship in some continuities. The fact they like the same girl, Michiru, doesn't help. They have come to blows at least once, and an early iconic sequence in Getter Robo Armageddon involves them in a Mexican Standoff.
  • Keroro and Giroro from Keroro Gunsou qualify. These two, despite their constant arguments, are shown to be extremely close and will always pull through for each other.
  • Most different incarnations of Sailor Moon have this in some form:
    • Rei and Usagi in the anime version of Sailor Moon fall into a softened version. Usagi does get upset by Rei's name calling but Rei is her closest friend out of the Sailor Senshi (her death affects Usagi much worse than that of the other girls) and Rei seems to be trying to toughen Usagi up and it is Rei who she entrusts with the silver crystal when she can't trust herself not to give it to the enemy in return for Mamoru, and later is the one who expresses more sympathy for Usagi when she finds out in Stars that Mamoru has disappeared and Usagi was a Stepford Smiler over it.
      • The dub made it seem Raye was trying to usurp Serena's position as leader at times instead due to removal of subtlety in the dub. They blatantly made Raye openly express a desire to be leader instead of Serena and changed the show of trust between the two surrounding the silver crystal into having Raye keep it when Serena left it at Raye's house by accident instead of returning it.
      • And Sailor Moon Abridged took the dub version and took out the subtlety.
    • The anime also, at times, had this between Minako and Makoto. Usually when they were arguing over a guy. Interestingly this showed up in both their second season and fourth season power up episodes.
    • In the manga, Rei has this type of relationship more with Minako, not Usagi.
  • Essentially the relationship between Saki and the entire Genshiken through most of the story. Saki is disturbed or confused about the nerdy (and porn-obsessed) interests of the rest of the club, and responds to them with snark and insults unto the very end, despite eventually regarding most of the club members as close friends. Also, although she claims to wish for the day the Genshiken club is closed, she's more than willing to stand up for them.
  • Crest of the Stars: Given how large part of their social life is based on a culture of polite insult, it's not surprising that most of the Abh friendships happen this way. Among the best examples are Bibauth brothers, Crown Prince Dusanh and his Chief of Staff, and Admiral Spaurh with, well, everyone.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold Edward Elric of Fullmetal Alchemist this kind of relationship with his superior Roy Mustang. He complains about Mustang piling on orders, and the two snark at each other, but in reality, the two care about each other.
    • Ed's relationship with Ling. Ling is sort of an Idiot Hero (or at least acts the part) and considers Ed a good friend, Ed is annoyed with Ling's mooching food and money off of him, seeking immortality—essentially an evil goal given the method of getting it in this universe, and for being much taller than him even though he's a year younger. Deep down, Ed does actually like Ling (which becomes obvious when the two are trapped in Gluttony's stomach).
  • Samurai Champloo. Jin and Mugen have completely opposite personalities and ultimately plan to fight to the death but are best friends.
  • In The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Kyon and Itsuki hang out a lot, because they are both SOS Brigade members, but Kyon doesn't seem to like Itsuki at all.
    • Also with Taniguchi and Kunikida. He even said to Tsuruya that he threw Kunikida out the window once ("And that's how we became friends.")
    • As well as Kyon and Taniguchi, with the latter always looking for chicks and rating them.
    • Really, it's more or less Kyon and everyone else in the SOS Brigade. He begrudges everything that he does in it, but wouldn't change it for the world if given the choice ...and he was.
  • Once they get past the whole brainwashed murder attempt incident, Tamahome and Tasuki of Fushigi Yuugi fall into this. Tamahome regularly provokes the already short-fused Tasuki, and uses Tasuki's absolute phobia of water as a particular source of torment. Meanwhile, Tasuki tends to "accidentally" set Tamahome on fire, needles him about his Money Fetish, and starts using Tamahome's hated childhood nickname as soon as he finds it out. Still, when push comes to shove it's actually Tamahome who manages to give a successful I Know You Are In There speech when Tasuki goes Brainwashed and Crazy himself, and it's the idea of betraying a friend that finally gets Tasuki to successfully fight from the inside, even attempting suicide in order to stop himself.
  • Konata and Kagami from Lucky Star are pretty good examples of this (or Belligerent Sexual Tension, depending on how seriously you take the Les Yay vibes). Much of their dialogue consists of verbal jousting, and the barbs get quite vicious on occasion. You just know that both would happily give every organ in their body to the other if they had to.
    • But perhaps certain organs more happily than others.
  • Michiko Malandro and Atsuko Jackson from Michiko to Hatchin, maybe with a side of Unrequited Love.
  • Ino Yamanaka and Sakura Haruno from Naruto.
    • Back when the Sauce was still with Konoha, he and Naruto were like this, trading insults and each giving as good as they got. After he left, their relationship crossed into a different trope.
    • To varying degrees, Naruto has this with the rest of the Konoha 11 besides Hinata, having a Type 1 with Sakura and Shino, and a Type 2 with the others. Naruto often makes fun of his friends for their personality quirks, and they make fun of them for his, but they stand together in dangerous times, and Naruto's friends don't seem at all bothered by him being host to the demon fox. In a filler arc, the Arc Villain whom Naruto had often talked with reminds him of how he often complained about his friends, Naruto responds that while they fight, he likes them and trusts them to help stop his Evil Plan.
  • Revy and Eda from Black Lagoon are either this or With Friends Like These...... It's kind of hard to tell. They certainly haven't done anything selfless to help each other yet, but seem to get along well enough when there's a common goal (i.e. money, booze, Seinfeldian Conversation, shooting at other people, or any combination of the above) for both.
  • Lelouch Lamperouge and Suzaku Kururugi in the Code Geass Sound Stages, when Lelouch and Nunnally were staying with Suzaku prior to the invasion of Japan. They initially hated each other, but became friends after looking for a lost and injured Nunnally together. The two were willing to make fun of the other's physical and mental strengths and weaknesses, but they worked well together and formed a bond before Britannia invaded.
    • Also Kallen and C.C., particularly in the radio dramas set between seasons, and several scenes in the manga.
  • Azumanga Daioh has Yomi and Tomo, and Nyamo-sensei and Yukari-sensei. While both of these pairs are clearly adversarial, they do maintain a friendship of a sort. Although in both cases, particularly the latter, it may simply be a case of having been together so long, they're probably just stuck with each other.
  • Axis Powers Hetalia has quite a few (mostly Of the Homoerotic Subtext filled variety, understandably). The most notable are Germany and North Italy, Spain and South Italy and England and America (both major Tsunderes, with England more aggressively tsuntsun and America being a subtler Master of the Mixed Message). England's relationship with France is almost this but it's a little too heavy on the vitriol and not enough on the "buds" part.
    • Greece and Turkey, of all nations, seem to be set up as this in the new character profiles. Apparently, in spite of them taking any and every opportunity to exchange blows with one another, fighting over Japan's attention, and making England and France look positively peaceful in comparison, Greece still goes shopping in Turkey's malls.
    • The Hetalia Fantasia 2 Drama CD and his Image Song reveals Iceland to be this with his puffin.
  • Let's not forget the title character and Koga from Inuyasha who, as romantic rivals, could, according to Kagome, "scrap (...) all day"; have fought side-by-side against numerous adversaries while trading barbs about each other's ancestry, personal cleanliness and fighting experience. (Or, rather, the lack thereof...)
    • Notably, they keep it up right until the end, when Koga's jewel shards are stolen, but there is definite friendship between the two. Which is possibly why so many fans were up in arms when Inuyasha stated in the final battle, "there isn't one missing," and Koga notably was.
    • The rivalry-friendship evolves notably from the first appearance of Koga as a main sort-of villain, when he is quite determined to kill Inuyasha in a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, and it isn't even remotely funny. Once he discovers that Inuyasha wasn't the one who killed all his friends, he settles into a comfortable role of showing up occasionally and being annoying. In fact, the two have a tendency to rescue each other from various horrible situations, snarking at each other all the while for being unable to escape themselves.
  • Ash and Misty from Pokémon practically named this trope. This is due to the fact despite being friends they are rivals for being top Pokémon trainers, and their personalities naturally clash with each other. Many characters seem to take their bickering as a clue to "Aw, Look — They Really Do Love Each Other".

Nurse Joy: What's the saying? You only hurt the ones you love?
Ash and Misty: (both blush) No way!!!

    • Jessie and James in Team Rocket from Pokémon. Though they are constantly bickering (Jessie used to beat up James quite often) they do genuinely care about each other, are good friends and remain a team despite constantly losing to a bunch of kids.
      • Add Meowth. As demonstrated most recently in Unlocking the Red Chain of Events, any one of the them will go to the mat for the other(s).
  • Watanuki and Doumeki from xxxHolic. Doumeki acts like an ass around him? Check. Will Doumeki spend hours digging under the rain to rescue him? Definite check!
    • It is CLAMP, though. There's definitely something more on Doumeki's side.
  • Shinra and Shizuo from Durarara!!. Shizuo spends about half of the friendship (unsuccessfully) trying to resist the urge to beat Shinra senseless. Luckily for him, Shinra has something of a mile-long masochism streak, and doesn't consider things like "he regularly dislocates your jaw" to be barriers to friendship.
  • Yamada and Miharu from B Gata H Kei.
  • Light Yagami and Ryuk the Shinigami of Death Note. They exhibit both types 1) idealistic Selective Obliviousness: Light laughs it off whenever Ryuk reminds him that he's a Death God and he's going to kill him one day and 2) Jerkassery: teasing and insulting each other in equal measure.
    • Also Light and L fall into this, especially during the Yotsuba arc when Light becomes a Nice Guy that genuinely likes L but L isn't too enthusiastic about it, knowing (but unable to prove) that Light is an (amnesiac) mass murderer. It becomes more of a Type 1.
    • Matsuda and Aizawa. The latter would criticize the former for his idiotness, but looks up for him.
  • From Monster Rancher, we have Tiger and Hare, both who love nothing more than to snark and insult each other. But if the other was in any trouble, the other won't hesitate for a second to jump in and help them.
  • Lina Inverse of The Slayers has this with all of her friends (especially Gourry, topped off with varying quantities of Belligerent Sexual Tension depending on the adaptation) even though she'll pick fights with gods and volunteer for any hardship on their behalf in a heartbeat.
  • Shinagawa and Izumi of Flunk Punk Rumble. While they spend much of their time together either viciously staring each other down or outright brawling, they make a good team, and in spite of the fact that they clearly don't get along and often outright detest each other, they both seem content to admit that just because they hate each other doesn't mean they don't like each other, and would each inarguably (and demonstrably) go to the ends of the earth to save the other from danger.
  • Asuka Masamune and Hajime Tonomine from "Otomen". Hajime considers Asuka his number one rival and takes every opportunity they meet to see who is better at the task at hand. However Asuka often asks Hajime for favors, and they keep the other's secret, i.e., their Otomen identities. Recent volumes have even shown Hajime having a grudging respect for Asuka, though that doesn't stop him from engaging his rival in battle!
  • Ushio and Tora are definitely headed this way.
  • Mitsuba Marui & Miku Sugisaki from Mitsudomoe are generally rivals for the title of the Alpha Bitch. However, if one thinks the other's in genuine trouble (Mitsuba is sick, or Mitsuba thinks Miku's been kidnapped) they'll go to the other's aid.
  • Natsu Dragneel and Gray Fullbuster of Fairy Tail. They constantly snark and insult each other at every time, however both have proven time and time again that they would sooner take a bullet (or whatever other magical attack comes their way) through the face for the other.
    • Also Natsu and Gajeel have become this over time, with Gajeel being a bit more snarky than Natsu is, however both of them are friendly to each other in their own way, make a perfectly awesome team, and do actually care about each other as friends.
    • Really, this could apply to everyone in the Fairy Tail guild; the brawls that spark up between members for no good reason have been legendary and frequent. Often whenever anyone returns from a mission.
  • Hibiki and Kanade of Suite Pretty Cure have been like this since they entered middle school.
  • Touma and Misaka in A Certain Magical Index are very much this, seeing as most times they talk to each other there are usually some jabs mixed in (unless its a serious situation). It get funny during a couple times Touma calls and asks Misaka for help with something... like getting through a shuttered subway entrance...
  • Akina and Kyosuke from Yozakura Quartet fight. A lot. Unless they have a common enemy.
  • Clannad: Despite the fact that Tomoya regularly pulls pranks and snarks at Sunohara, they share a close friendship. In actually serious situations, they will help each other.
  • Mai, Yuuko, and Mio from Nichijou. Surprisingly, Nano is excluded.
  • Rental Magica has Adilicia and Honami, a pair of opposites bound by respect, disagreement and constant rivalry up to The Only One Allowed to Defeat You. They became like this back in Wizarding School where Addie plainly didn't perceive anyone else as even close to an equal - not that this part changed much. Even more evident in the Love Triangle: they don't usually mind much that Itsuki is unsure in which one he should be more interested, but instantly band together if it looks like he's distracted by someone else.
  • Slam Dunk: Akagi and Sakuragi and to an extent, all of Shohoku.

Comic Books

  • Groo is oblivious to how much his sister Grooella hates him and thinks every insult and raging verbal assault shows how much difficulty she has showing her affection. But, then, Groo is oblivious to practically everything.
  • Depending on the Writer, The Joker either imagines that he and Batman have an extreme variation on the trope, or just pretends he does because it bugs Batman.

Joker: Kill you? (laughs) I don't want to kill you! What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off Mob dealers? No, no... You complete me!


Terry: The real Batman never talked to you much, did he? That's probably why you were so fixated on him. [...] The real reason you kept coming back was you never got a laugh out of the old man. [...] Get a clue, clowny! He's got no sense of humor! He wouldn't know a good joke if it bit him in the cape! ... Not that you ever had a good joke.

  • Raphael and Casey Jones are type 2 in various incarnations of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
    • Donatello seems to stand in for Raphael in this role in the live-action film.
  • Emma Frost from X-Men seems to be this with all of the X-Women, particularly Kitty.
    • Same with Wolverine when he's with Cyclops and Gambit.
  • Batman and Superman had somewhat evolved in this direction following the reinterpretation of The Dark Knight Returns, whose creator opined that the characters were too fundamentally different to ever be friends. Following the launch of Superman/Batman, canon has them as good friends, but they are far from the World's Finest they used to be.
    • Of course, Depending on the Writer, the relationship can be either "close as brothers" to a lukewarm friendship, and all the various points in between.
  • Santo (Rockslide) treats everyone like this, at least all the staff and students at the Xavier Institute. Anole, Pixie, and Mercury return it with the most obvious friendship.
  • Ben Grimm and Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four spend most of their time either sniping and snarking at each other, planning increasingly elaborate practical jokes on each other, or lambasting each other with creatively brutal threats about what they'll do to the other (which are hardly ever followed through) after said practical jokes. They are, of course, practically inseparable.
    • The Torch also has a similar relationship with Spider-Man. Spidey and the Torch's team-ups usually consist of them trying to one-up each other, with the expected volley of insults and snark. But at the end of the day, Spider-Man is probably Johnny's closest superhero friend outside of the FF.
    • Also, Johnny Storm and Bobby Drake. Like fire and ice, those two.
  • Cable and Deadpool become this more and more throughout their series.
    • Before that, Deadpool had this relationship with Bullseye. They took it to the extreme though, where they would try to kill each other and then laugh about it together. When it's all said and done, Bullseye has admitted that Deadpool is the only person he likes.
    • Deadpool and Taskmaster have also had this type of "friendship"- perhaps said best by Taskmaster: "The things I do for the friends I can't stand..."
  • Catman and Deadshot from Secret Six.
  • Archie Comics' Betty and Veronica.
    • Reggie to the entire gang, most notable Archie and Jughead.
  • A certain village of Vitriolic Best Buds in Asterix. No Romans handy? No problem, they'll just find an excuse to brawl with each other....
    • Asterix himself usually has a bad argument with Oblelix at least Once Per Episode. It never takes long for them to make up, though.
  • In one Thimble Theater Poopdeck Pappy, the father of Popeye, says that the reason he made his one friend, the diminutive "Pookie" Jones, is because they used to be fierce enemies until one day Pappy suddenly considered Pookie and realized that he simply wasn't worth hating, so he made friends instead. Upon hearing this Pookie flies into a rage. Pappy holds him away at arms length as he punches at him furiously, chuckling, "Ain't he cute?"
  • In Transmetropolitan, Channon Yarrow and Yelena Rossinni, Spider Jerusalem's "filthy assistants," come to mind. In one issue they escape from Spider's apartment and go on a shopping spree without his knowledge, (or so they think) but when the conversation turns to Spider himself, both women find that, however much they despise their boss's personal character, they both respect and admire his integrity as a journalist and his staunch dedication to the truth.
    • And afterwards he, who was listening all along, remarks to the audience that they love him. Then he proceeds to eat a live pigeon.
  • As children, Sam and Max (of Sam and Max Freelance Police fame) seemed to be this way. Max used to mercilessly make fun of Sam, who was too shy to ever stand up for himself, but wouldn't stand for anyone else doing the same.
  • The Defenders, in most incarnations. They are in every way a "non-team" of "non-friends," and the standard Defenders' parting words are "Let's never do this again," but if one of them comes to the group for help, s/he'll get it.
  • Shimy and Jadina from Les Légendaires. Due to both the girls having opposite personalities and backstories, they constantly argue with each other, Shimy being easily irritated by Jadina's apparent silliness and shallowness while Jadina can't stand Shimy's Deadpan Snarker tendencies. Yet, they both display extreme shock when seeing each other seemingly dead, and occasionally attempt to comfort each other. When Jadina learned Danael was attempting to have Shimy killed so Anathos couldn't get her body, she was enraged and yelled that she wouldn't let that happen. In the same vein, Shimy had a violent Heroic BSOD when finding what appeared to be Jadina's decayed body at the end of book 13.

Films — Live-Action

  • 90% of The Hidden Fortress consist of Tahei and Matashichi arguing with each other.
  • Veronica and her dad in Heathers.
  • The two main characters from Planes, Trains and Automobiles, who form an Odd Couple.
  • Grumpy Old Men is based on a variant of this trope.
  • Gran Torino has Walt and his friend the barber.
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang has Harry and Perry, which is somewhere between the two types. Harry is sure that Perry is really his friend, and somehow ends up being right. Harry would give as good as he gets, except he's a colossal ditz and no-one can out-insult Gay Perry anyway.
  • The Boys in the Band. Michael and Harold. While it isn't clear they are best friends, two moments reveal their deep relationship: Michael's gift to Harold, and Harold's quiet assurance after giving him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech "I'll call you tomorrow."
  • Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, both in their "Road" pictures and in cameos in other films.
  • In Calamity Jane, Jane and Bill think they have this going on. At the end, they realise it was actually Slap Slap Kiss all along.
  • Will Turner and Jack Sparrow, from the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy. The principled blacksmith and scheming pirate are frequently at loggerheads, but in the first movie Will risks everything to rescue Jack from the gallows, and in the third, Jack sacrifices immortality to save Will's life.
  • In Made, the two main characters are best friends from high school, but they bicker almost nonstop due to Bobby's short temper and conservative approach in contrast to Ricky's loud, reckless and unreliable personality.
  • Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars film series and the expanded universe (Clone Wars and The Clone Wars) until not so much after the former's Face Heel Turn.
    • At least they become friends again near the end of Return of the Jedi.
    • See also Luke's relationship to Han Solo. Especially when they're arguing over Leia.
    • R2-D2 and C-3PO qualify as well.
  • In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Legolas and Gimli are portrayed in this manner. Basically Legolas is Bugs Bunny and Gimli is Daffy Duck. As much as Gimil was exasperated by Legolas and as often as Legolas would act smarmy towards Gimli, the two always ended up being there for each other. This is an exaggeration of a similar relationship in the books.

Gimli: "Never thought I'd die fighting side by side with an Elf."
Legolas: "What about side by side with a friend?"
Gimli: "Aye. I could do that."

  • Sam French and Jake Wyer in Fifty/Fifty have this in spades, although Jake likes to pretend he can't stand Sam.


  • Rudy and Liesel from The Book Thief sort-of become friends after Rudy is forced to walk Liesel to school as an apology for hitting her in the face with a snowball, and their interactions always involve lots of cursing and insults.
  • Jo and Laurie in Little Women. This is exactly why she turns him down when he proposes to her.
  • Polgara and Beldin in David Eddings' Belgariad 'verse. They basically greet each other with inventive insults (which are left to the reader's imagination). They both, however, admit to being close friends - Polgara typically calls him "Uncle Beldin", as he was one of the people who raised her. It's just their way, and apparently comes from the fact that Beldin is, unquestionably, hideous - so complimenting him would be a blatant lie.
  • In Hilary McKay's Casson Family Series, one character asks her brother why best friends argue with each other so much more than other friends. His response is because best friends listen to each other so much more than other friends do.
  • Shakespeare: for one excellent scene in Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick has been tricked into thinking that Beatrice (with whom he has a Slap Slap Kiss relationship) is secretly pining away for him... she shows up and insults him as she always does, but as soon as she leaves he begins analyzing their conversation, interpreting every line as a secret declaration of love. Notable for the line, "There's a double meaning in that!"
    • Subverted, after a fashion, in that Beatrice really is pining away for Benedick but won't admit it to herself. The first question she asks of Don Pedro's messenger is whether he has had any news of "Signior Mountanto," whom she proceeds to mock, telegraphing her real feelings to the audience.
  • A fairly common trope in the pulps as a form of comic relief. For example Monk and Ham of Doc Savage fame.
  • Marco and Rachel of Animorphs, with Rachel always jabbing at Marco and his jokes but still having his back when things got serious on them.
  • And Grag (robot) and Otho (android), faithful but bickering allies of Captain Future.
  • The Ogg extended family in Discworld is full of a dozen long-running petty feuds and twice as many short-term fights at any given point. However, if any outsider dares to openly agree with any one side, the family, as one, will close ranks, and the interloper might not be long for this world.
    • Similarly, Nanny Ogg's relationship with Granny Weatherwax:

... [Granny Weatherwax] really couldn't be having at all with Nanny Ogg, who was her best friend. (Witches Abroad)

    • Sergeant Angua and Lance Constable Salacia from Thud! seem to be becoming this.
    • Rincewind and Twoflower—Rincewind does technically like Twoflower, but he is frequently exasperated and snarky with him. Twoflower never picks up on it. This is especially apparent in their reunion in Interesting Times.
    • Gaspode is like this with Angua in Men at Arms. Despite having nothing in common, Angua tolerates Gaspode because he is the only being she can be honest about regarding her werewolf nature, and he follows her around because as a werewolf she's one of the few humans who don't ignore him because Dogs Can't Talk. In The Fifth Elephant, Gaspode instead becomes this to Carrot.
      • Also in Men At Arms, Cuddy and Detritus start out hating each other (Dwarfs and Trolls traditionally do), but soon become this.
  • In the Sword of Truth series, Rachel's adopted father Chase frequently tells her (most affectionately) what an ugly little girl she is, to which her typical response is to burst out into giggles.
  • Mundo Cani Dog and Chauntecleer of The Book of the Dun Cow are faithful allies when push comes to shove. However, the arrogant Chauntecleer constantly belittles the self-hating Mundo Cani, who is all too happy to accept and even agree with the verbal abuse.
  • Songs and Swords Forgotten Realms books by Elaine Cunningham has Danilo Thann and Elaith "The Serpent" Craulnober passing through Worthy Opponent phase to the mix of mutual admiration and annoyance. This strange friendship is interspersed and supplemented with Elaith's acidic sarcasm and Danilo's "innocent" clownade.
  • Dragaera: Vlad Taltos's friends Morrolan e'Drien and Aliera e'Kieron are cousins but act more like siblings - they usually can't be in the same room for more than ten minutes without bickering furiously, but they also often risk their lives for one another.
    • In one story, the two get in an insult-war with one another so that they can provoke a fight, and kill the other one in an effort to subvert some local hospitality rules and kill someone else.
    • Played with in Issola, when, after they start in on one of their fights while Vlad is bedridden and can't get away, he gets exasperated and neatly summarizes the real reason they're always at each other's throats. Notable because a) he hadn't even realized he knew until he said it and b) he made Morrolan look sheepish and Aliera blush. He made Aliera blush.
  • In William King's Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novels, Ragnar and Sven. Sven, for instance, habitually accuses Ragnar of hogging credit for Sven's deeds. In Grey Hunters, a young Space Marine is astounded that their talk does not lead to a Duel to the Death.
    • In Wolfblade, Torin and Haegr. Their bickering reminds Ragnar of his with Sven.
  • Aziraphale and Crowley of Good Omens have this relationship, to the point where many fans suspect they've taken it one step further.
    • In the book, it's kind of... not discussed. Anathema thinks they're together, but that's more Played for Laughs when she misinterprets Crowley calling Aziraphale "angel". He means it literally.
      • It also doesn't help that Aziraphale leaves the impression on people that he is "gayer than a tree full of monkeys on nitrous oxide".
  • Luke and Mara from the Star Wars Expanded Universe. She stays snarky even after they marry.
  • Arguably Kal Skirata and Walon Vau also from Star Wars Expanded Universe (in the Republic Commando Series). They've banded insults, fought each other multiple times, and have actually tried to kill each other at one point - but in the last book, Skirata admits that Vau's like family to him. It's reciprocal.
  • Trurl and Klapaucius in The Cyberiad, up to and including physical beatings.
  • Manny Rubin and Mario Gonzalo in Isaac Asimov's Black Widowers series. In "The Wrong House," the guest of the month points it out:

Levan: Whenever I hear two people spar like that, I am certain that there is actually a profound affection between them.
Rubin: (revolted) Oh, God.
Gonzalo: You've hit it, Mr. Levan. Manny would give me the shirt off his back if no-one were looking. The only thing he wouldn't give me is a kind word.


- You spoil me the kid! You teach a boy not to heed his own grandfather! That's your christian morality?
- [...] Just don't scream "Jesus!" if you're such an ardent materialist...

  • Claude and Reynolds in The Pale King.
  • Pavel and Will from The Year Of Rogue Dragons. Will calls Pavel a charlatan, Pavel tells him "Silence, insect", and both of them constantly insult the other's intelligence. Yet they can always count on each other for anything serious.
  • G'Joth and Davok in the Star Trek: Klingon Empire books, of the "equally insulting" variant.
  • A lot of the friendships in PG Wodehouse, sometimes overlapping with With Friends Like These....
  • Renton and Sick Boy in Trainspotting. In the book, Renton notes that he and Sick Boy started insulting each other in a joking way, but that over time they are starting to really mean it.

Live-Action TV

  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Xena and Gabrielle squabble occasionally, and it's almost always played for laughs.
  • Lister and Rimmer from Red Dwarf. They both loathe each other, yet sleep in the same quarters despite having the run of the entire ship, and have saved each others lives on countless occasions whilst always claiming to wish the other dead if only saving them wasn't in their own interests. Hell, in one episode shortly after Rimmer leaves, Lister dreams about Rimmer returning, and they make out.
  • Depending on the Writer, the friendship between Tony and McGee on NCIS can fall into either category. This relationship has evolved over time, too. At first it was mostly Tony insulting McGee, although as McGee has grown more confident he now throws a few back at Tony.
  • Law& Order Special Victims Unit has Detectives John Munch and Odafin Tutuola. The two have vastly different ways of thinking when it comes to crime and politics, but are willing to take a bullet for the other.
  • Later seasons of Friends could be like the second variety, where many of the characters (especially the females) had Flanderized from their various personality quirks and teasing into being just out-and-out vile to each other.
  • iCarly: Sam and Freddie, especially in more recent episodes.
  • Sort of Richie and Eddie from Bottom. For two guys who spend pretty much every minute of every day beating each other with forks, hammers, chairs, pianos, fridges, and pretty much anything else they can get their hands on, they certainly do stick by each other through a lot. Although this is more than likely that no one else would be willing or able to put up with one or the other.
  • Spock and McCoy from the original Star Trek. McCoy constantly insults Spock, and Spock's occasional rare outburst of anger or humor is usually a comeback, but they do pull together and worry about one another when danger looms. It would be more even-handed, but Vulcans are too rational to get into open insult exchanges.
    • Spock does hold his own in said exchanges, though, and usually manages to give as good as he gets—either through Insult Backfire, or more directly (e.g. his ridiculing of Bones's medical competence and his illogical nature, which is surely the gravest insult a Vulcan can think of).
  • Kipp and Lydia on Less Than Perfect vary between mean/indifferent to each other and openly admitting that the other is the only person each likes to be around.
  • McKay and Sheppard from Stargate Atlantis: they trade barbs, which frustrates Rodney to no end, combine their skills together in nearly every episode to save the day, but in the end, they are best buds—they take turns saving each other, and despite massive blows to their friendship they continue to have an unbreakable bond.
    • They've also bonded since the second episode of the first season, showing that their friendship was meant to last.
    • It should be rather telling that Rodney's testing of a personal force field involved the following line with huge smiles on both their faces:

Sheppard: I shot him!

    • McKay and Beckett also qualify for this trope, although it's a bit of a combination of the two types. On the one hand, Beckett knows that Rodney isn't kidding around when he insults medicine and everything else, but he brushes them off and sees past McKay's exterior to his heart of gold (also almost immediately) to the extent that they become best friends which at the end of Season Three culminates in a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming after Beckett's "death" which many fans also considered the series' hardest hitting Tear Jerker.
  • House MD's House and Wilson. Greg House, Dr. Jerk to the extreme, is the only person allowed to openly mock James Wilson's serial marriages and chronic neediness. They'd fall into the first category, except then you realize that Wilson's no doormat and snipes right back at House.
    • The end of the season two episode "Safe", a Crowning Moment of Awesome for Wilson, involves them getting fed up with living together and starting a prank war, which Wilson wins by sawing halfway through House's cane so it dumps him on his ass in the middle of the hospital. As Wilson shakes his head and walks away, House actually grins at the cleverness of the prank.
    • Season 5, episode 6:

House: Did you just invoke your dead girlfriend's name to get me off the trail?... You are my hero.

Really, House is such a bad influence on him.
    • And then there's the first episode of season 4, where Wilson attempts to blackmail House into hiring a new team by stealing (and vandalizing) House's guitar. Definitely a bad influence.
    • And then Wilson gets cancer and decides to try out selfishness for himself for a change...telling House that he can either accompany him on his road trip to Ohio willingly, or Wilson will drug and kidnap him. Oh, and remember that this is while House is a parolee and cannot legally leave the state of New Jersey. Naturally, House comes along.
  • Arguably, Dr. Cox and J.D. from Scrubs are a variation. No matter how many times Cox tells J.D. he is not his mentor nor is he his friend, J.D. always assumes Cox is kidding around. Of course there is plenty of evidence that Cox is just fooling himself given all the scenes that show that he does care for J.D. (he just refuses to admit it).
    • A case can also be made for Dr. Cox and Dr. Kelso. For two people that can't stand each other, they sure have lunch together or hang out in the break room together a lot.
    • After Kelso retires, he and Cox go from this to just secret friends. Eventually everyone finds out, so now they're just good friends.
    • In "My Finale", Dr. Cox actually admits that J.D. is his friend, and an amazing doctor that cares about his patients just as much as he does... only for J.D. to hear it (he had an intern insult him behind his back on purpose) and promptly hug Dr. Cox. The intern has yet to be punished for helping J.D.
  • On Martin, the title character and Gina's best friend Pam are constantly at each other's throats, but Gina doesn't mind because they have both separately confided in her that they think the other is OK, though they'd kill her if she actually said anything.
  • Rory Gilmore and Paris Geller from Gilmore Girls. Paris started out as Rory's academic rival but slowly grew to be her closest friend and confidant when Rory couldn't confide in her mother or Lane.
  • Stephen Colbert treats everyone this way and it's common practice at the ol' Daily Show. Notably, Stephen has mad Vitriolic love for his Papa Bear, Bill O'Reilly. (O'Reilly knows Colbert is shitting him, though.)
    • Actually, in an honest talk between them, Colbert did admit that, even though he disagrees with O'Reilly on alot of things, he has a great respect for him and pretty much owes his career to him. O'Reilly has also said he respects Colbert since he's rarely ever mean-spirited about any of his jabs at people.
    • This one skirts the line between Vitriolic Best Buds and Friendly Enemies.
  • The three presenters on Top Gear love taking jabs at each other constantly.

James May: We’re good mates because it just wouldn’t work otherwise. But we also quite enjoy hating each other. If Jeremy [Clarkson] was drowning, I probably would go and pull him out. Eventually. But only after laughing for a bit and making him think I wasn’t going to.

  • Angel and Spike have very strong elements of this in both Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, even more so in the latter's final season. Of course, they'll be happy as ever if someone other than themselves insults the other, but they really prefer to be the ones to do it, and even though most of the time they can't stand each other and make a big show of hating each other and fighting over the smallest things, there have been subtle moments that indicate they may care for each other more than they let on.
    • Willow and Anya from Buffy, with an entire episode in season 5 dealing with the matter.
    • Also, very famously, Xander and Spike. Also, Buffy and Faith were this before Faith's Face Heel Turn to the dark side.
  • Due South: Fraser and Vecchio, although all of the vitriol comes from Vecchio—often, he's venting his frustration at Fraser's unremitting politeness. It seems to be the way Vecchio compensates himself for the hassle of constantly going along with Fraser's do-gooding escapades.
  • Higgins and Magnum on Magnum, P.I..
  • On Babylon 5 the relationship between Londo and G'Kar veers back and forth between snarky best friends and serious mortal enemies. It's complicated by the fact that Londo has seen in a vision that G'Kar is the one who will kill him.
    • Of course we finally learn it's because Londo asks him specifically to kill him so as to save Sheridan, and because he is tired of The Masquerade. He didn't plan on retaliating, but the Keeper wakes up and in desperation takes control of Londo. They end up killing each other.
    • The two Minbari Ranger instructors, Sech Durhan and Sech Turval, in the episode "Learning Curve".
  • Unsurprisingly, Jeff on "Community" has this with many people, but Britta specifically. While they hurl insults at each other constantly, they do have a close friendship, and, at one point sexual relationship
  • All the main characters of The Inbetweeners have this kind of friendship.
  • The American version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? shows us a lot of this. Entire hoedowns have been composed out of insults and belittling each other's manhoods, yet they seem to get along just fine. (And, of course, Drew Carey did apologise when he felt he crossed the line out of this trope and into simple abuse).
  • The Winchester brothers of Supernatural. While they do have an unbreakable bond—to the point of being each other's Berserk Buttons—they're also Vitriolic Best Buds. Why? "Bitch." "Jerk."
  • The Mighty Boosh. This is pretty much the gag with Vince Noir and Howard Moon. They spend twenty minutes bragging to and insulting each other, being nasty, inconsiderate, and down right cruel. Howard acts like he hates Vince, and Vince acts like Howard is a loser. But when one sees the other is really in need, they start acting like real friends.
  • Doctor Who. The Doctor had this kind of relationship with Mickey and Jackie in his ninth incarnation. The 10th keeps it up but it's friendlier now. Jack also had this with Mickey at first as well.
    • The Doctor and Rory are beginning to shows signs of this. The Doctor has now realized it's "always with the Rory" and treats him like a Butt Monkey sometimes but they're good friends.
    • Also the Third Doctor and the Brigadier often had quite irate arguments with one another (see Doctor Who and the Silurians) but were obviously fond friends.
    • It seems like for every time that Adric and Tegan snap at each other, they have a caring moment to make up for it. Notably, whenever Tegan is missing or possibly in trouble, Adric will be the first to insist that they go save her.
  • A fair portion of B.A.'s dialogue on The A-Team is devoted to insulting Murdock and trying to get him to shut up. Sometimes B.A. actually tries to throttle Murdock. Murdock sometimes takes a break from being a pest in B.A.'s general direction to insult B.A. B.A. actually complains about being saved from a life-threatening injury because getting Murdock's blood might make him like Murdock; Murdock encourages these fears after giving the blood. However, it's clear that they care about each other quite a lot. B.A. really worries about Murdock when Murdock is in trouble, and Murdock really does try well-meaningly to help B.A. learn to deal with airplanes, among other instances of sincerely meant aid. There is even one episode where the B.A./Murdock dynamic seems to flip, so that Murdock is giving B.A. much more grief than he's getting.
    • B.A. also told off at least one person outside the A-Team who complained that Murdock should shut up, and it was nicely done.
  • Benji and Lewis Caine came across as this in Underbelly. They would rag on each other, tear into each other over who actually killed someone on a hit they were on, but when Benji died it hit Lewis hard.
  • Avon and Vila in Blake's 7. Although Avon will fling insults at most of the crew, his usual target is Vila - who not only counters the attack but will sometimes actually win. They actually seem to enjoy themselves, and sometimes (particularly in seasons 3 and 4) Avon insults Vila quite fondly. Avon also gets rather annoyed when Tarrant bullies Vila in Vila's Day in The Limelight episode, but their relationship breaks down somewhat after Avon considers throwing Vila out of a spaceship to gain escape velocity.
  • The two heroes protagonists of Peep Show, Mark and Jeremy, pretty much embody this. Mark is a frustrated, white-collar Jaded Washout while Jez is a jobless Dreadful Musician Ted Baxter. Their conflicting views on just about everything (Mark's attitude is worn-down world weariness, Jeremy's is pretentious pseudo-artsy ignorance of how the world works on any level, with a dose of sociopathy) fuel a lot of their interactions. Occasionally, one will reference their presumably much happier friendship in university as "The El Dude Brothers", but this is usually just for guilt-tripping. Still, even on a Sadist Show like Peep Show they pull through for each other sometimes.
  • Leverage - Hardison and Eliot. While Eliot is usually the more vitriolic, do not mistake his constant ragging on Hardison as permission for you to do the same. During The Office Job the pair are having a running debate as to whether Hardison stole Eliot's sandwich and Eliot is pissed with Hardison for most of the episode until someone tries to throw Hardison off the roof.

Eliot: Nobody throws Hardison off a roof. Except maybe me.

  • The Honeymooners: Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton. Maybe doesn't make the Trope Older Than Radio, but it's close.
  • Monk: Stottlemeyer has this kind of relationship with a couple of old high school buddies in one episode. It takes Monk quite a while to fully understand the concept.
  • On Have I Got News for You, Ian Hislop and Paul Merton often mock and insult each other but are actually good friends. The one time Merton took it too far, quite gratuitously calling Hislop "that little shit", he was mortified and immediately began apologising profusely. By way of contrast, Merton's dislike of the original host, Angus Deaton, was completely genuine, and the banter could turn from amusing sniping to uncomfortable quickly on occasion.
  • Ashes to Ashes: Though they start out disliking each other on sight, modern psychologist Alex Drake and sexist dinosaur Ray Carling reach this by series 3. In fact, one of the show's Crowning Moments of Heartwarming is in 3.03, where Alex makes it known to Ray she won't tell anyone he wasn't bluffing about killing himself and was truly sympathetic to the firefighter with PTSD:

Ray: (leans over and kisses Alex on the cheek) And Alex? If you tell anybody, I'll put itching powder down your knickers for a month. You'll be praying for a dose of the clap just to take the heat away.

  • MythBusters: Jamie and Adam aren't friends, but come very close whenever a more dangerous stunt is on the schedule. Don't believe me? Watch this clip from "Underwater Car"... but don't watch Adam (playing the trapped driver), watch in-car safety diver Jamie. Video here.
    • Adam has gone on record saying he and Jamie don't like each other and "annoy the crap out of each other every day ... [but they] have a tremendous amount of respect for each other."
  • Reba and the woman her ex-husband left her for in Reba. Usually Reba's the one firing off insults.
  • Roy and Tom of The Old Guys. They're expies of Peep Show's Mark and Jeremy with the same writers, so this should surprise no one.
  • Merlin and Arthur. While the abuse and insults are more likely to come from Arthur rather than Merlin, Merlin's shown that he's quite capable of matching Arthur's wit and that he's more than just a Beleaguered Assistant.
    • Interesting to note—while Merlin's Berserk Button is anyone hurting Arthur, Arthur's Berserk Button just seems to be... Merlin.
      • Well, what would yours be if you had to deal with Camelot's resident Tall, Dark and Snarky Klutz every morning at the crack of dawn and then not have him go away until you went to sleep again? And sometimes be woken up in the middle of the night and find him under your bed doing Merlin knows what?
  • Sam Axe and Fiona Glennane in Burn Notice, who started out hating each other on sight (well, Fiona hated Sam; there was that time he stopped one of her weapons deals). They've now become True Companions, Fiona helping rescue Sam in the S1 finale, Sam helping rescue Fiona in the S3 mid-finale, and they get Aw, Look — They Really Do Love Each Other Friendship Moments quite frequently.
  • Vinnie and Junior of American Choppers. Even when they are in serious danger of not meeting a deadline on one of their bikes, they are snarking away at each other.
  • CJ and Toby on The West Wing, (as CJ was the only one who didn't tiptoe around Toby's Hair-Trigger Temper and Toby the only one who dared to boss CJ around), often engaging in passive-aggressive word wars all episode only to drop them in a heartbeat in favor of quiet support and appreciation when a problem took a turn for the worse.
  • Siskel and Ebert. Roger has written entire blog entries on how they loved to insult each other. Also counts as a Real Life example.
  • Every host of Fear the Boot (with the exception of the guest hosts that they don't know personally) is like this. They've admitted on the show that they're even worse to each other off the air.
  • On Everybody Loves Raymond, Robert is usually jealous of Ray's success and resents the fact that Ray is their parent's favorite. Ray thinks Robert overstates the favoritism and whines too much. But if anybody ever else ever really offends one of them, the other brother can be expected to step to defend his brother and give a verbal lashing to the offender.
  • Jackson and Rico from Hannah Montana. Constantly trying to one-up each other, they eventually show their softer sides in the final episodes of the series.
    • Also, Oliver with Miley and Lilly.
  • Amiable shit-talking is pretty commonplace on The Wire, be it coming from the police, the gangsters, the unions, the journalists, the politicians... hell, even the school kids are constantly making cracks.
  • Aeryn and D'Argo of Farscape are heavy on the vitriol, though they do have their moments.
  • Frasier and Niles Crane on Frasier, although they're brothers, so it's not as much of an oddity. They snark at and insult each other almost every time they speak, but seem to view it as some form of strange etiquette and assurance of the other's state of mind, with one often complimenting the other's skill with words after a particularly witty jab with a raised cup or knowing grin. If one really impresses the other with an insult, the insultee will go so far as to say "touche".
    • Also, over the seasons Niles and Roz developed into this after starting out as enemies. In an outstanding instance of Character Development, the insults they threw back and forth in later seasons are exactly like the ones they threw back in season 1, but their delivery and demeanor changed subtly over the years from vicious contempt to good-natured teasing.
  • Santana seems to be this way with everyone on Glee. Rachel is probably the one who receives most of the vitriol since Santana actually has to be held back by the others from beating the living daylights out of her, but there are a few moments when they compliment one another. Brittany, Santana's true best friend, points out that Santana doesn't really hate Rachel: The Glee Club is like a family. No matter how much the piss one another off, they still love each other.
    • Mercedes, Rachel, and Kurt also fit into this trope. It's moreso because Rachel is completely clueless when it comes to how friendships work and because they're all incredibly ambitious divas...which, as Rachel points out, is why they're friends in the first place.
    • Sue admits that she is Vitriolic Best Buds with Will (Will does bite back on occassions) after he not only calls her out on her rude behaviour toward Becky, but runs her sister's funeral, including reading the speech Sue had prepared when she breaks down crying. Other episodes confirm this whenever someone else tries to ruin the Glee Club's chances and Sue jumps in at the last minute to save them. She even once admits that she thinks Will is a great teacher and the Glee Club is good for the kids.
  • The titular character on Castle and Det. Kate Beckett, although at first Beckett really can't stand Castle. She gets over it, though, and admits that she enjoys Castle "pulling her pigtails".
  • Smallville: Lois Lane and Clark Kent start out this way in Season 4 before the inevitable evolution to BST in Season 8.
  • The five main characters of How I Met Your Mother are like this: they're constantly giving each other trash-talk that's actually far more good-natured and non-personal than most "snarky" conversations in just about every other sitcom. Their insults can be quite brutal, but they're almost never truly mean-spirited. If someone does put a toe out of line in their teasing of another, the other characters are guaranteed to smack him/her down with a Dude, Not Funny.
  • Michael Wilbon and Tony Kornheiser of Pardon the Interruption are like this both on and off screen. The main difference, according to Kornheiser on his radio show, is that when they're not on camera, there's a lot more profanity.
  • Jade and Cat from Victorious, almost to the point of being "friends in name only". Cat will share a thought or suggest an activity to Jade, Jade will make a snarky statement or even a death threat. Cat will happily laugh it off, only for Jade to say "I'm serious" in a completely serious tone. Cat then laughs for a couple more seconds before all the joy disappears from her face. This has happened NUMEROUS times.


  • John Williamson's song "The Kiwi and the Emu" depicts the pair, symbolically representing the nations of Australia and New Zealand, as having this kind relationship:

So don't be fooled if you see 'em fight
When tempers fray on a summer's night,
If you pick on one, you pick on two,
The kiwi and the emu.

  • The Midnight Beast's Friends for never
  • Bowling For Soup's song "BFFF" from their album Sorry for Partyin describes the relationship to a T:

You're gonna say I'm gay, when you hear me say
That I really truly feel this way,
Not that there's anything wrong with being gay,
And sometimes we punch each other in the face,
Like when I hit on your mom, and got to second base,
Just trying to say I love a heterosexual way!

  • Gorillaz: Particularly in Phase 1, 2D never seemed to harbor any resentment towards Murdoc, who ran him over, put him in a coma and fractured his eyeball, ran him over again and fractured his other eyeball, knocked out his two front teeth at some point, regularly beats and insults him, and stole several of his possessions, at least one of his girlfriends, and (according to the website) most of his internal organs. 2D still once announced, "Aww, I love you, Murdoc!" in an interview, much to Murdoc's annoyance. He attempted to stand up for himself when the band re-formed, but evidently it hasn't gone very well, as he's currently being held captive by Murdoc on Plastic Beach. He did recently declare that he hates Murdoc, so he seems to be coming to his senses, either because of time spent away from Murdoc or because he's reduced his medication intake.
  • The Police. Despite catapulting each other to stardom, frontman Sting and founder Stewart Copeland could not agree on anything, even coming to blows during the recording of their last album, and their clashing egos severely alienated guitarist Andy Summers. However, after permanently disbanding in 1986, Sting invited the other two to his wedding in 1992 and they performed an impromptu gig for the other guests. The three came together one last time in 2007-08 to play 152 shows on a worldwide tour: on opening night, Copeland wrote a disparaging review of their performance, which finished by describing how they fell into each other's arms laughing backstage.
  • Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. They were actually called "The Toxic Twins" back in the day, though this may have had just as much to do with their Beyond the Impossible drug habits.
  • Simon and Garfunkel.
  • John Lennon always dished out his fair share of constructive criticism and potshots at Paul McCartney in the media post-Beatles breakup, but he truly loved and admired Paul and said he would not want to hear fans or journalists slag him off, thinking that that was what John wanted to hear. John very often defended his friend, and he greatly praised Band On The Run when it came out. Likewise, Paul greatly admired John, and downhearted stopped seesions for his Tug Of War album for several months after learning of John's murder (he wrote "Here Today" in tribute).

Newspaper Comics

  • Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse. Krazy loves Ignatz, Ignatz constantly insults/expresses his "hatred" for/tosses bricks at Krazy. However, Krazy loves getting hit with bricks...and Ignatz, for his part, genuinely cares about Krazy and spends a lot of his spare time dishing the dirt with the Kat (though it nearly always ends with the inevitable brick toss).
  • Nate, Teddy, and Francis from the newspaper comic, recently turned into a series of kid's books, Big Nate.
  • Calvin and Hobbes: The title protagonists, who even go to the point of violently beating each other up. This seems like a trend in Calvin's relationships, since he also has undeveloped Slap Slap Kiss with Susie.
  • Pearls Before Swine's Rat and Pig. Rat will abuse Pig to the point of literally throwing him under a bus, but underneath it all he does care for his little buddy, as evidenced by one strip where sat by an unconscious Pig's hospital bed.

Puppet Shows

Pro Wrestling

  • Shawn Michaels and Triple H, both in and out of the ring. When they're faces, the mockery is light-hearted and funny (i.e. only Hunter is allowed to mock Shawn's receding hairline; only Shawn can get away with mocking Hunter's thongs). When they're heels, as Shawn puts it, "You'll let your best friend do things to you in the ring that no-one else could get away with."
  • The Rock and Mick Foley. They began teaming up to take on common enemies, with Foley being much glad about it than The Rock. The Rock, however, couldn't stand Foley, up until the point when he could.
  • Rob Van Dam and Sabu, in the ring and in real life.
  • AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels have either tried to kick each other's heads in over envy and pride or stood up for each other against TNA's enemies so many times they have to be this.
  • The Undertaker and Kane, despite being 'half-brothers'. They've fought as a tag team together and fought each other multiple times. As JBL noted on the reunion match of the Brothers of Destruction, "You mess with Kane, you got Undertaker. You mess with Undertaker, you got Kane." Also on their reunion match, most of that time was shown "one-upping" each other as if they were having fun.
  • It usually can be seen with announcers, in some cases more than others, especially Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan who delighted in heaping insults on each other much to the fans' and their own amusement.


  • McGee and Doc Gamble have this type of relationship on Fibber McGee and Molly.
    • McGee and Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve are like this earlier in the series.
    • As are Gildy and Judge Hooker on The Great Gildersleeve.
  • The Jack Benny Program was based on this. Particularly with Phil Harris and to a lesser degree, Mary Livingstone. Jack's whole show was other people taking pot shots at him.
    • Jack Benny became this with Fred Allen, in an attempt to boost Fred's popularity. It worked very well.
  • Frosty Stilwell and Frank Kramer of the Frosty, Heidi, and Frank show have been friends for over 20 years. Not that you'd know it from the way they talk to each other. They've been friends with their co-host Heidi Hamilton for half that time, and are just as snarky with her. But she's far from being the show's Butt Monkey, and gives as good as she gets.
  • Connie Kendall and Eugene Meltsner from Adventures in Odyssey are arguably this (accent on argue):

Hank Murray: Boy, you two were made for each other!
Eugene Meltsner: We're just friends, actually.
Connie Kendall: Barely.

  • Ed Reardon and Jaz Milvane of Ed Reardon's Week. Milvane's fame as a film director really took off when he made a film out of Ed Reardon's first (and only) successful novel, without giving him any of the credit, and Ed still resents him deeply for this. They never pass up a chance to snipe at each other professionally and personally, but they've known each other for ages and play weekly music gigs together, and the only being Ed is on closer terms with is perhaps his cat.

Tabletop Games


1444. My Ally advantage and Arch Enemy flaw can't both represent the same person.

  • Warhammer 40,000 example: Leman Russ and Lion El'Johnson hated each other's guts for quite some time after their first encounter, in which the two primarchs ended up fighting each other over an honor issue, fueled by their vastly different personalities, but over time, they became accustomed to each other's personalities and eventually became very close friends. Their rivalries remained, however, so this is the kind of friendship that evolved. Their successors sadly only remember the rivalry part of their relationship, however.


  • The broadway musical Mame features a song about this, entitled "Bosom Buddies", where Vera and Mame take turns sniping at each other while still simultaneously declaring their great affection. This is a type two.
  • Rod and Nicky in "Avenue Q" are this way too. From the song "It Sucks to be Me":

Rod: We live together -
Nicky: We're close as people can get.
Rod: We've been the best of buddies,
Nicky: Ever since the day we met.
Rod: So he knows lots of ways to make me really upset! [Nicky: What?!] Oh, every day is an aggravation -
Nicky: Come on, that's an exaggeration!
Rod: You leave your clothes out, you put your feet on my chair.
Nicky: Oh yeah? You do such anal things like ironing your underwear!
Rod: You make the very small apartment we share a Hell!
Nicky: So do you! That's why I'm in Hell too!

    • By the end of the play, Nicky finds Rod a boyfriend to make up for outing him at Brian and Christmas Eve's wedding.
  • Why, Bialystock & Bloom, of course! Their friendship comes into question when Springtime turns out to be a huge success, but by the end, they've become Fire-Forged Friends.

Video Games

  • EDI and Joker in Mass Effect 2 are this trope for a while, to the point where Joker fractures his thumb hitting her mute button. Over time their relationship improves, however, particularly after he breaks Cerberus' control over her. Not only does this enable her to save the ship from a Collector attack, it also makes EDI's personality more pleasant.
    • Garrus and Tali are this as well, if their lift conversations are anything to go by ("I'm pleased that the imminent destruction of all organic life has improved your career opportunities," for example). However, they also seem to be very respectful of each other's abilities.
      • As of the third game you could consider this Belligerent Sexual Tension, as well, since the two of them get together despite their snarking at one another, provided neither one is already in a relationship with Shepard.
    • Mordin Solus is also this with STG operative Kirrahe. Mordin speaks of Kirrahe fondly when the latter's role in the first game is mentioned, but calls Kirrahe a "bit of a cloaca". In the game's cut content, Kirrahe's email to Shepard also speaks highly of Mordin, although he also calls the latter a "bit of a cloaca".[1]
    • James Vega and Lt. Cortez in Mass Effect 3. When you're speaking to one, the other will likely be heckling them from the side, typically Vega towards Cortez.
      • Mass Effect 3 also shows that Garrus and Wrex have developed into this. Having Garrus in your squad while talking to Wrex on Sur'Kesh is hilarious because of the way they just go at each other. With big smiles on their faces the whole time.[2]
  • World of Warcraft's Asric and Jadaar never stop bickering. But considering that they've stuck with each other even after their cop jobs in Shattrath fell through, they've got to genuinely be best buds (at least).
  • Touhou's Marisa and Alice spend the whole of Imperishable Night taking jabs at each other, sometime ignoring the boss to bicker some more. Alice also joins up with a boss to mock Marisa and, two stages later, it's Marisa blaming the endless night incident on Alice in front of what passes for law enforcement in Gensokyo (they're accomplices). They're also the most popular ship in the Fandom.
  • Arihiko and Shiki in Tsukihime. Fighting until they're unconscious is just... well, there's no real ill feeling behind it, it's just what they do. Shiki doesn't even know why. Arcueid and Ciel are also friends, which you might not pick up on since half the time they're trying to kill each other or something. Count the fact that Ciel is still alive yet isn't going after Arcueid 24/7 proof of Nasu's assurance that they're 'weird friends.'
  • Guillo and Milly in Baten Kaitos Origins are a cross between this and Fire-Forged Friends; they outright despise each other at first, and despite warming up to each other, they still hurl insults every chance they get.
  • In the Shin Megami Tensei Persona series, it's quite common to find a couple whose friendship is seemingly based on jabs and cheapshots.
    • Masao "Mark" Inaba and Kei "Nate" Nanjou from the Revelations: Persona.
    • Eikichi Mishina and Lisa Silverman in Persona 2: Innocent Sin. Both have derisive nicknames for each other, and argue constantly. At a certain point in the game, Lisa is revealed to be with an unsavory character, and Eikichi states that they better go find them before Lisa murders the guy. Another character (the Cool Big Sis) mentions that Eikichi is just saying that, and he really seems worried about Lisa.
    • Junpei and Minato seem to have this relationship in Persona 3
    • Yosuke Hanamura and Chie Satonaka of Persona 4. Some fans like to interpret their relationship as Belligerent Sexual Tension, but regardless, it's hard to deny that they're close.
    • Ryuji and Ann in Persona 5 have this to a lesser extent. The two argue a lot, but they seem to care about each other more than anyone else in the party.
  • Duncan and Sand from Neverwinter Nights 2 are all over this trope. While the term "best buds" might be a bit of a stretch, they are what one would call friends, and the general fan consensus is that if they ever were to stop insulting one another, they would probably just... implode... from the stress.

Duncan: Sorry I pointed out the fact that you were a charlatan, Sand.
Sand: And I didn't mean to bring up your excessive drinking, Duncan, and your long list of failed aspirations. It was uncalled for.

  • Daxter and Pecker in Jak and Daxter are the second type. While they usually show nothing but scorn for each other, Daxter has no problem letting Pecker drink at his bar for free. They even teamed up to try to save Jak from his banishment in Jak 3. it didn't work, but it's the thought that counts.
  • Banjo and Kazooie in... well, Banjo-Kazooie. Kazooie abuses Banjo, Banjo retaliates back, witch tries to harm one of them, both turn on her and kick the snot out of her with much high-fiving.
  • In The Walking Dead: Season Two, Clementine and Luke engage in some snark, but are nevertheless close allies.
  • Tomoya and Sunohara in Clannad. Sunohara is definitely taking all the abuse, here. Tomoya doesn't really seem to care much one way or the other and most of the 'jerk' part of Jerk with a Heart of Gold comes from interactions with Sunohara. However, he really does care. Sometimes.
  • Gan Ning and Ling Tong in the Dynasty Warriors series. Despite being the blue oni to Gan Ning's red oni, Ling Tong is the more vitriolic of the pair - which is justified in that Gan Ning killed Ling Tong's father before the two became comrades. Eventually they settle into ragging on each other's performance on the battlefield and griping at each other whenever an Embarrassing Rescue is called for.
  • Jahiera and Aerie in Baldurs Gate 2. Much of their dialogue involves them arguing or otherwise exchanging barbs with each other (especially if Charname's romancing one of them), but in the end they back each other up in a fight.
  • Star FOX. Fox McCloud and Falco Lombardi: although Falco is definitely more so. Fox takes playful shots back on occasion.
    • They were even more vitriolic during the original Super NES incarnation's comic, when Falco was even more cynical, Fox was even more prone to raising his voice, and the two were known to occasionally deal with their disagreements by beating the living shit out of each other, even while simultaneously expressing how much they cared about each other.
  • Left 4 Dead 2: Nick and Coach sit somewhere between this and Fire-Forged Friends. At the start, each of them sees the other guy as an idiot, but after a while, they come to have a bit of respect for each other, even though the way that Nick admits it is by saying Coach has "the stupidest idea I've ever agreed with".
    • From the original Left 4 Dead, Louis and Francis seem to get along like this; Francis's hatefilled world view and Louis's optimism clash, but if one of them gets killed the other is visibly upset.
  • Baird and the rest of the team in Gears of War, especially between him and Marcus. The two barrage each other with insults, but would risk their lives to save each other.
  • In Planescape: Torment, this is pretty much Annah's default relationship with the anyone in the party not the Nameless One, especially Morte and Fall-From-Grace. Morte himself also has a like/hate relationship with Nordom, as Nordom is part of a race that is quite literally pure, unchanging law, whereas Morte is a firm advocate of free will.
  • Tales of Vesperia has a mild case, with the Heterosexual Life Partners Different As Night and Day: Yuri and Flynn. Despite the teasing, they genuinely respect each other, and their insults are typically either endearing or something they like about the other. Of course, this is conveniently out of the other's hearing range. ... Otherwise, expect them to bicker like an old married couple, and not stop until someone else interrupts them. The prequel movie added a lot more vitriol, but there it didn't look like they were friends at all.
  • Tales of the Abyss has a case with Jade and Peony. Particularly notable in that Jade, in his role as The Gadfly, teases everyone, but actually turns it up for Peony, and Peony is the only character in the game who ever manages to tease him back just as hard.
  • Dead Rising 2: Case West has Frank West and Chuck Greene, type 2.
  • In Dragon Age II, there's Aveline and Isabela. They constantly bicker, calling each other things like "whore" and "man-hands", but hang out with each other in their free time, and by the end of the game it's obvious they care about each other. At the end of Act 2, if you opt to hand Isabela over to the Arishok, Aveline will object to the point of getting rivalry points for the act. Their relationship condensed:

Aveline: I'm the captain of the guard. I'm loyal, strong, and I don't look too bad naked.
Isabela: Exactly. And if I called you a mannish, awkward, ball-crushing do-gooder, you'd say...
Aveline: Shut up, whore.
Isabela: That's my girl.

    • Carver and Varric have a similar relationship:

Carver: Varric.
Varric: Carver.
Carver: Still think you're helping while burying us in debt to your brother?
Varric: Still riding side saddle while bitching at your betters?
Carver: Drinks later?
Varric: Never miss 'em.

    • Don't forget Varric and Aveline's frequent spats about the former's "guard serial" and who was the model for it.
    • Rivalries in general are like this. Hawke acts extremely antagonistic to his/her Rivals, but in a way that forces said Rivals to change and grow as people. The Rivals in turn will snark back and sometimes even lash out, but full Rivals will be just as loyal to Hawke as full Friends.
    • In Origins, many people interpreted Morrigan and Alistair's relationship to be something like this, even sparking a strong shipping base based on their seemingly-Slap Slap Kiss interactions, until Darkspawn Chronicles went and Jossed the fandom's interpretations, saying that they truly just plain hated each other. could've fooled us, I guess.
      • Saved by the fact that the Darkspawn Chronicles DLC was never meant as canon, but defined as alternate reality.
      • Morrigan does, however, say late in the game while proposing to sleep with Alistair to become pregnant with a Gray Warden's child that will become host to the Old God that Alistair despises her, which is why she is going to you and not him.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog Unlike his relationship with his best friend Tails, Sonic and Knuckles are type 2. Sonic often criticizes Knuckles' gullibility while Knuckles is always too short-tempered and reluctant to admit that Sonic is his friend. However, when things get tough, Knuckles shows that he's one of Sonic's most reliable allies and is easily his closest friend after Tails.
  • Cole Phelps in L.A. Noire appears as Type 2 to all of his partners.
  • Uozumi and Reiji in Kara no Shoujo.
  • Red Dead Redemption has John Marston and Uncle.
    • Hell, the Marston family is one.
  • In the Lufia games, the heroes tend to bicker amongst themselves. Lampshaded in the second game where Maxim explains to an NPC, that his friends argue because they're friends, or they wouldn't bother.
  • In Republic Commando, Sev and Scorch, (even more-so than the rest of the team). It's most evident when the squad is forced to leave Sev for dead in the Cliffhanger ending.
  • Made a plot point in Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords - shabby investigation leads to this trope being mistaken for actual enemies, leading to your local contact being placed under arrest.
  • Disgaea: Hour of Darkness gives us Laharl and Etna. He's an arrogant spoiled brat prince who demands utter loyalty and obedience from his vassal, and she is a tsundere Servile Snarker who claims she is constantly one last straw away from bumping him off and taking the throne for herself. They argue and insult each other constantly. But deep down Etna is devoted to making Laharl the best ruler he can be, and deeply respects how much he has matured, and Laharl truly admires her ambition and competence and basically gives her permission to scheme against him, because if there's one person who deserves to overthrow him it's her.
    • Disgaea3 has Mao and Raspberyl. One an Honor Student (meaning total jerkass) and one a Delinquent (goody two-shoes). They can't stand each other, insult each other, fight each other, and by the end of the game would clearly gladly lay down their lives for each other. They actually end up running the school together.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, Hisao has a Type 1 with Kenji and a Type 2 with Emi. Kenji gets on his nerves by constantly asking Hisao to loan him money and his misogynist rantings (especially when they're targeted at Hisao's current girlfriend), but there are times when he appreciates having Kenji around, such as when he gets Iwanako's letter in Shizune's route and when he hears that Lilly is leaving for Scotland in Lilly's route. Hisao and Emi often exchange playful insults in Emi's route, and in Rin's route.

Web Animation

  • Red vs. Blue: Church and Tucker. Actually most of the friendships in the series seem to work like that... not surprising, as in Real Life the creators and voice actors seem to get on this way.
    • When Caboose comes to his new base in Reconstruction, he tries to literally snipe him, but his aim is so bad that he repeatedly missed.
    • This comes up when Church meets the version of himself inside of Caboose's head. Mental Church claims to be Caboose's best friend. Real Church is not amused.

Church: You're not Caboose's best friend, okay? You don't have a best friend. You know why? You don't need one. You're Church! Knowing other people just waters down the experience. Live the dream, buddy!

    • Simmons and Grif also qualify quite nicely for this trope, even though always throwing insults or worse at each other they never stop being Those Two Guys (if not Heterosexual Life Partners). In fact, the very first scene of the series set them up to have this kind of friendship.
      • The voice actors for Simmons(Gus) and Grif(Geoff) also qualify, they make fun of each other for their heavy drinking, lousy gaming ability, extreme nerdiness, etc. but they also lived together for years, have made out with each other (as a joke), and live a block down the street from each other to this day.
    • Doc also seems to think that he and O'Malley have this relationship by season 4. However, given that O'Malley is pure evil, his hatred for Doc is probably completely genuine.
  • Vendetta hates Charlotte in Making Fiends, often attempting to kill her with her fiends. However, Charlotte (being a Cloudcuckoolander Genki Girl) thinks they're the best of friends.
  • Homestar Runner and Strong Bad. (Though Strong Bad is occasionally almost decent to Homestar, Homestar is oblivious to Strong Bad's constant insults almost all of the time.) This is noted a few times in Strong Bads Cool Game for Attractive People:

Strong Bad: I thought we were bros!
Homestar: Wait, I thought I thought we were bros, and you're always beating various stuffings out of me.

    • Meanwhile, Bubs and Coach Z describe the second type.

Coach Z: Aw, Bubs loves me like a brother. (Beat) Hates me like a brother, too!


Web Comics

  • Black Mage and Fighter of Eight Bit Theater. Fighter thinks BM just likes to kid around, even when BM stabs him in the head. (Fighter is dumb and gullible and more or less indestructible, so Black Mage's stabbing attempts either deal no damage at all anyway, or on the rare occasions they do, the resulting brain damage once even made Fighter smarter! Either way, he never seems to take offense.)

Fighter: Black Mage and I are bestest buddies!

    • Also, by the time of the epilogue, they're still together as adventuring partners despite the fact that the rest of the team has since broken up. Not like Black Mage is happy about this...
  • Enigma and all seven of his brothers in Dragon Tails. Despite threatening death to any who touch his lake and using memories of his brothers' past idiocy to fuel his rage-filled fighting style, Enigma will do pretty much anything to protect his family, risking his own life and limb to ensure their safety. There's also Lemuel and Norman. Norman often schemes to use Lemuel as a disposable pawn in his quest to conquer the world, or as a bodyguard or slave. Lemuel...has a pet food dish labelled "Normie".
  • Questionable Content. Faye and Dora in this strip. Also many others, but in this one Raven describes it: "Sometimes I can't tell if you guys are friends or if you hate each other."
  • Pretty much everyone in Something*Positive insults everyone else constantly and to their faces, as Davan explains here. Sometimes it's hard to see the difference between the way they treat their friends and the way they treat people they'd be happier without, even for the characters. There's more than one genuine hatred mistaken for affection relationship. Kharisma and Mike especially are prone to being on the unliked end of them. Then again, all the core cast are in vitriolic relationships, so it's hard to blame them for the mistake. As they put it themselves -

PeeJee: Sometimes I hate you so much I worry it might be love.
Davan: Talk like that is why people speculate about us, y'know.

    • Worth pointing out as well, though PeeJee, Davan and Aubrey collectively torment, insult and play with eachothers emotions or lack there of to a degree, all three would literally rip through hell to get at someone who'd wronged the other considering even Davan forgives Eva before the noose is loosened around her neck by any of his friends short of Jason.
  • Largo and Piro from Megatokyo are total opposites in many ways, with Piro spending a lot of time making snarky comments about his friend's loose sanity and total lack of social skills. For his part Largo seems to think of Piro as a weak hearted, easily manipulated fool who is easy prey for the forces of evil (They're both right). This makes the moments of true friendship they show all the sweeter.
  • Roy Greenhilt and Elan from Order of the Stick. Elan seems to be cheerfully oblivious to... well, a LOT of things, actually, but especially to how annoying Roy finds him.
    • Keep in mind, however, that Roy still does think of Elan as a friend and comrade - just an incredibly annoying one. At least from strip 162 onwards. Prior to that he saw Elan less as a member of the team, and more as an obstacle they overcame on a regular basis.
    • Vaarsuvius and Belkar are a pretty good example of the less benign version. They constantly attack, insult, sic animals on, and berate each other, but both have saved the other at least once, and have risked themselves for the other. And then there was the event....
  • Tony and all his friends in Charby the Vampirate but especially Zeno. While Zeno considers Tony his best friend, this hasn't stopped Tony from delighting in Zeno's rejection and humiliation. Menu is a major offender here too.
  • Similar to the Black Mage/Fighter example is that of Dominic and Steve in the Magic the Gathering webcomic UG Madness. As the author himself says, the best thing about Steve is that "he is far too intent on becoming your friend to ever get angry with you. You can even smash his car with a hatchet- it's cool."
  • Pretty much the entire cast of the CRFH belong to this trope, but Mike and Dave above all others.
    • Debatable since many of the characters actually hate each other and have tried to kill each other almost as often as they've aided each other, and when one of them is in trouble, it often takes some convincing before another one will help, and he or she might not be too pleased about helping.
  • The Adventures of Wiglaf and Mordred: Wiglaf and Mordred started out as type one and later morphed into type two as the characters began to show their true personalities.
  • Exterminatus Now has a four-way version: the entire main cast is horrifically abusive to each other (verbally and physically), but they're all close friends. One of the more noticeable examples of this is when Lothar actually goes out of his way to save Harry, Syrus, and Rogue, despite repeated claims that he only keeps them around to be meat shields.
  • Doc Worth and Lamont in Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name are textbook examples.
  • Penny Arcade has Gabe and Tycho, who constantly share petty insults and at times have been shown to violently murder each other.
    • Writing The Rant attached to the comic, Both Mike Krahulik (Gabe) and Jerry Holkins (Tycho) have depicted themselves as a parasite riding on the talent of the other.
  • In Girl Genius Gilgamesh and Tarvek fluctuate somewhere between "best friends" and "hate each other's guts". Agatha ironically predicted they "will like" each other before discovering they're already acquainted. Then they have a "worthy rival" thing going on, both romantically and politically at that.

Gil: (with Tarvek in a choking hold) Listen to everything this duplicitous snake says!


Tarvek: Snitch.
Gil: Sneak.
Tarvek: Libertine!
Gil: Fop!

  • Rob seems to think that he and Ethan have this in Ctrl+Alt+Del. Ethan just seems to hate him.
    • Ethan and Lucas, too. While smiling broadly:

Ethan: Happy Winter-een-mas, jackass.
Lucas: Happy Winter-een-mas, whore.


Tedd: Um, Susan? This isn't any fun if you don't sass-back.

  • Our Little Adventure: Rocky and Angelika. They snark and bait eachother on a regular basis, but they are obviously very good friends, and have protected eachother since before meeting up with Julie and Lenny.
  • Dorothy and Elanor in Kevin and Kell tend to be antagonistic to each other (once even indirectly causing a broken hip), due to natural prejudices (Dorothy's a rabbit, Elanor's a wolf), disagreements over how to manage Aby's business, and their mutual granddaughter's diet (Dorothy is trying to push a more vegetarian diet on the naturally omnivorous Coney), but they agree that they are each other's best friends, partially because between old age and predation, they don't really have anyone else left to call friends.
  • The Trolls in Homestuck are largely a species of Jerkasses, and their form of friendship is largely being jerks to each other, but they more or less get along. They ultimately grow out of it and into genuine friendship...offscreen.
    • Karkat and John do this onscreen, though.
  • Out There is something of a World of Snark, so many of the close friendships therein follow this (Miriam and Sherry, Sherry and Steven, Araceli and Rod, James and Chuck), or think they do (Miriam and James, Sherry and Clayton, Miriam and Clayton). The schizophrenic nature of these relationships is well represented here; Miriam and Sherry's volatile friendship borders on a parody of this trope at times; when they're not sniping at each other, they're often caressing each other.
  • Anthem and Gilgam in The Water Phoenix King - they're really the only two people who can, or would dare, to tease each other, until recently. Seriously, he's the Really Seven Hundred Years Old, battle-scarred Proud Scholar Race Guy who helped defeat her people's side in the war, and she's the Ax Crazy Dark Magical Girl who goes Dark Willow at the drop of a hat, and they both know all this about each other almost from the start and don't care. A more perversely-beautiful friendship you could hardly imagine.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, Bun-Bun and Kiki. Bun-Bun shows that he actually does like Kiki in this strip.
  • Bear and Tiger certainly have this in Bear and Tiger where it's taken to the logical extreme that they're both still friends even though they poop in each other's hats... No really.
  • In Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire, Buck and Whree [dead link] -

Ambassador Whree: (glomps Buck) I... have never found a sentient I enjoy hating more than I hate you.

    • This works on the scale of species: Klegdixals seems to be easily irritated (it takes a lot to make one say "I... I feel positively un-unhappy!") and have Jerkass reputation in turn. Humans happily drive them mad or blackmail, given a chance.

I predict that a Klegdixal/Humanity partnership will produce a unique dynamic, one that to outsiders will appear quite doomed, but...

  • VG Cats: Aeris and Leo, the main characters, do stuff to annoy the hell out of each other. It even got to the point where, in one strip, Aeris went back in time to abort an unborn Leo out of existence. But all said and done, there are moments when they show they actually do care for each other - "The Perfect Gift" being the main example.
  • Brooke and Layla in Eerie Cuties live in mutual abuse and caring, due to both being rather nice, but messed up while having Tomboy and Girly Girl personalities and vastly different worldviews.
  • Naga in Does Not Play Well With Others ends up with people willing to spend time around her to tell how they hate her. Occasionally it looks like it's simply the only relationship she understands:

Naga: (happily) Ooo, bitchfest! Can we make s'mores or give each other make overs next?

  • Gunnerkrigg Court has a pair of fairy girls (nicknamed "Red" and "Blue") who bounce between pout, adoration and Cat Fight, at least after being transformed into humans. Other students in their group perceive them as "such good friends" at any stage.

Red: Rraarrghh! I hate her so much! I wish she was my friend!


Web Original

  • Policeman vs. Fireman on Youtube has the ongoing "friendship" between Butt Monkey Policeman Perry and chick magnet Fireman Jake as the main subject matter. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The Jake & Amir sketches from College Humor are built on this trope. Amir is usually the one who is annoying (and often stalking) Jake. However, they occasionally switch roles.
  • The Tipping Forties crew are a circle of jerks but have been friends for a good time. See their Mario Party LP.
  • The Switcher's Two Best Friends Play series (viewable here). Only genuinely good friends could hate each other that much.
  • The Wisenheimer's Podcast between Yotam Perel (Lazymuffin) and Max Gilardi (hotdiggedydemon) thrives on this trope.
  • Voldemort and Quirrel from A Very Potter Musical. Harry and Ron also tend to act this way toward Hermione, but Ron, of course, is in love with her and Harry considers her to be like a sister. Ron also fits with his little sister, Ginny. To Draco:

She may be a pain in the ass, okay? But she's my pain in the ass.

  • Trixie and Jack of Black Jack Justice fit the bill. Not an episode goes by where the two PI's don't bicker and threaten each other at a pace that would make the Gilmore Girls jealous. They even have some pat, oft-repeated gibes for when they're tired ("You miss me?" "With every bullet so far" is pretty common). Police Lt Victor Sabien fits this bill with both of them. In fact, when an episode opens with Vic walking in and not insulting them, that's their first, best clue that he's truly upset.
    • For that matter, Jack and Freddie the Finger have a relationship of this sort, but a little softer and more gentle than the rest of the cast.
  • Lewis and Simon from the Yogscast, especially in the Minecraft series where they're regularly hitting one another with diamond swords, pushing each other off blocks, and being generally snarky... And the rest of the time they're calling each other pal, helping each other through fear inducing challenges, and making Slash Fic jokes. Woe betide anyone who unites them against a common enemy.
  • The title characters of Xolga and Mr. Toko practically are this trope. Every time Mr. Toko wants to help Xolga in some way, Xolga being his Jerkass Woobie self, constantly insults Mr. Toko and most of the time doesn't take him seriously. But despite their differences, they seem to really care for each other.

Western Animation

  • Teen Titans: Raven and Beast Boy fit into this trope quite nicely. They're (eventually) incredibly close friends, but usually they show it through sarcastic quips and the occasional fight.
  • Dinobot and Rattrap from Transformers: Beast Wars start off hating each other and argue constantly. The bickering continues after they grow close. In fact, it's when one doesn't snark back that the other knows something is wrong.
    • Hell, Dinobot's Famous Last Words were pretty much exchanging volleys with Rattrap and quoting Shakespeare.

Rattrap: Like I said, you're just a blasted slag-spouting saurian, but... it's nice to know where you stand.
Dinobot: Upwind of you for preference, vermin.

  • In Transformers Generation 1, type 2 seems to be how Tracks and his human friend Raoul relate to each other.
  • Optimus Prime and Sentinel Prime's relationship in Transformers Animated is another one-sided example, as Optimus is at best tolerant of Sentinel's Jerkassery (He's still willing to cover for his mistakes, even when he deserves what he has coming for them.) Although this is implied to be as a result of the events that led to Elita-1's "death." However given that this is Sentinel we're talking about, Your Mileage May Vary.
  • South Park: Stan, Kenny and Kyle's relationship with Cartman. They love and hate each other because Cartman is a sociopathic, deranged racist who makes everyone do his work. As Chef puts it, Cartman is "their friend, whether they like him or not."
    • Lampshaded in one episode where a formerly homeschooled kid with no concept of male friendships begins hanging out with them. He mistakes the boys for bitter enemies, and they are forced to give him a lesson in "guy talk" (a.k.a. the art of harmlessly insulting someone you actually like.)
    • Similarly, in the episode where Token gets upset about being 'the only rich kid in town', the boys explain to him that they all rip on each other all the time. Like they rip on Kenny for being poor, or Kyle for being a Jew, or Stan for being in love with Wendy, or Cartman for being fat, or Cartman for being stupid, or Cartman for having a whore for a mom, or Cartman for being a sadistic asshole...
  • A one-sided case in SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob is utterly convinced that Squidward is his best friend while Squidward makes it obvious he's anything but.
    • Except for whenever Squidward assumes SpongeBob is dead, and then he mourns him. When SpongeBob inevitably comes back, Squidward reverts to being a jerk, but we all know as annoyed by SpongeBob as he is, deep down, he likes him.

Squidward: SpongeBob, no matter what I've said, I've always sort of liked you!
SpongeBob: Squidward, I used your clarinet to unclog my toilet!
Squidward: Huh?

    • Another telling example is when Mr. Krabs sells SpongeBob into damnation with the Flying Dutchman for 62 cents, and Squidward is genuinely shocked and angry.
    • Also, when Squidward moves to a gated community where sponges and starfish aren't allowed, Squidward ends up trying to escape because he missed Spongebob (and because he was bored of every day being the exact same.)
  • Another one-sided case: Vlad Masters and Jack Fenton of Danny Phantom have this... Jack believes that Vlad's his "best bud" but Vlad actively wants to kill Jack. However, Vlad doesn't do much to disillusion the man, as Jack is an idiot savant and not even having not spoken to the man in twenty years seems to have dissuaded him from it. His put downs range from slamming the door on Jack after inviting the rest of his family into his home to "volunteering" Jack for a suicide mission. Sad, considering they really were best friends before the accident.
  • Skwisgaar and Toki from Metalocalypse. Skwisgaar almost never speaks to Toki except to insult him, yet Toki seems to hero-worship the guy. A few episodes even imply Toki has a crush on him.
    • To the point that in the Season Finale of the first season, when they are about to get killed together, Toki says he always hated Skwisgaar, and Skwisgaar responds with the words "I knows, Toki, I knows". They are said in a loving tone instead of a hateful one, practically proving this theory right.
    • Also of note, in the episode "Tributeklok", Toki is revealed to be a member of the Dethklok tribute band 'Thunderhorse', as Skwisgaar. He explains: "I'm not payings tributes to myself because in Thunderhorse I'm Skwisgaars!"
    • Hell, the entire band is pretty much like this with each other most of the time (when they're not hiding the fact that they really do care about each other), with Skwisgaar and Toki being the best in-group example.
  • In an episode of The Fairly OddParents, Jorgen calls Cosmo and Wanda his two closest friends, which completely surprises them since in nearly every appearance he's made before and since he's spent it berating them and putting them through painful ordeals. He's also friends with Binky, which usually ends painfully for him. Being Jorgen's friend is generally painful.

Jorgen: I don't have a lot of friends, okay? I mean, you punch them in the face once and it's all, "Ooh, stop punching me!"

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender. Toph is like this with pretty much everyone in the gang, but she seems to favor Katara in particular.
    • She says as much in "The Ember Island Players", when she gives Zuko advice and then punches him.

Zuko: Ow! What was that for?
Toph: That's just how I show affection.

    • In a way, Zuko and Iroh. It's clear that the two of them care for each other, but Zuko frequently acts insulting, domineering, and snappish toward his uncle, while his uncle is seemingly oblivious. On the flipside, Iroh more or less constantly trolls his nephew.
      • After Iroh devotes nearly an entire episode to interrupting Zuko's search for the Avatar solely to buy a new lotus tile to replace the one he lost:

Iroh: It was in my sleeve THE WHOLE TIME! *shit-eating grin*

  • Hawk and Dove from Justice League Unlimited are brothers that fall into this territory. The first being a hot-headed sulist who loves fighting and the second a very politically aware Technical Pacifist.
    • The show has quite a few including Black Canary and Huntress, Hawkgirl and Wonder Woman, and the Flash and...... anyone. As Hawkgirl described her relationship, "We're like oil and vinegar. We go together, but we don't mix."
  • Occasionally, Popeye and Bluto were depicted this way. The best example is "Fightin' Pals", which starts off with the two of them exchanging "playful" punches just as Bluto is heading off to explore Africa. When months pass and Bluto doesn't return, Popeye heads to "Darkesk Afrikey" to find his old pal. Driving himself to exhaustion, he finds Bluto... surrounded by lovely native girls, living in a tropical paradise. When Bluto sees Popeye on the brink of death, he hauls out a can of spinach and revives him. The two exchange polite greetings... and proceed to start beating the living crap out of each other, laughing all the way. The weirdest Moment of Heartwarming you'll ever see.
  • The Tallests of Invader Zim have something like this, constantly bickering and making jabs at each other. It's never explicitly stated what their relationship is, only that they became Tallest at the same time because they happen to be approximately the same height. But they do visibly dislike each other, even though they're together all the time and are often equally flamboyant and nasty.
  • Homer and Ned in The Simpsons. Homer insults Ned, steals from him (even to the point of breaking into his house!) and continually wishes him harm. Yet, when it comes to helping Ned through his anger issues, rebuilding his house after a hurricane, saving his business by drawing in potential customers, helping him find a new wife or showing him how to have a good time, Homer is always there for him.
    • Homer: "Stupid best friend Flanders>"
  • Buck and Larry from Time Squad. Larry frequently is very kind to Buck with his actions (much less with his words), cooking him meals, cleaning his weapons, sewing clothes for him and, according to Otto, disinfecting his underwear. Buck usually shows no gratitude whatsoever - in one episode, after exclaiming that "since Larry cooked us such a tasty dinner, I'll now amuse him with some anecdotes" takes out a diary he stole from Larry's room. However, Larry isn't blindly devoted to Buck whatever venom he spits at him; they regularly participate in old-married-couple-like quarrels, mainly throwing insults at each other, though sometimes Larry complains about being overworked and underappreciated. Usually Buck will reply telling him that he's just a robot and he's supposed to do what robots do. Larry then goes on about how he can't believe he is just a robot to Buck, and how he has dreams, needs and feelings too. But they have moments of Aw, Look — They Really Do Love Each Other (usually then spoiled by Buck, but not always) and blatant Homoerotic Subtext.
  • Uncle and Tohru in Jackie Chan Adventures, especially in the episode, "The Demon Behind".
    • More like Uncle and everybody.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Samy is Lucius' Yes-Man whom he treats like garbage. However, in one episode, Lucius states to no one that Samy is his best friend. Though he seems to bemoan even having friends.
  • On King of the Hill, this is Hank Hill's relationship with...well, pretty much every character who could reasonably be called a friend. No matter how much they piss him off, he does whatever he can to keep them out of trouble, and there's no one they'd rather have looking out for them.
  • Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck of Looney Tunes. Daffy also with Porky Pig and Speedy Gonzales.
  • Stewie and Brian on Family Guy. The two even have their own "Road To" episodes!
  • Tom of Tom and Jerry has this relationship with Butch.
  • Pororo the Little Penguin has the entire cast.
  • In Avengers Earths Mightiest Heroes, Hulk and Hawkeye.
    • In the second season, The Thing of The Fantastic Four and Hulk.
  • Applejack and Rainbow Dash of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic are regularly downright friendly with each other, but their competitive and prideful natures sometimes pushes them into this kind of relationship. AJ also has shades of this in her relationship with Rarity - they'll regularly argue, mock each other and bring up each other's most embarrassing moments, but if one of them needs help with something important, the other is there.
  • Baljeet and Buford in Phineas and Ferb. They even sing a musical number about their relationship in one episode.
  • Daria and Jane, which become more blatant as the series progresses.
  • Archer and... pretty much anyone, but especially his ex, Lana.
  • G.I. Joe had Leatherneck, a Marine and Wetsuit, a Navy S.E.A.L. They're constantly praising their own branchs while snarking at the other, have come to literal blows over the slightest thing, but undeniably have each other's back such as Leatherneck getting poisoned by Serpentor where Wetsuit let himself get bit by Serpentor's pet to get an antidote. Upon recovering they returned to insulting each other as a sign of things being ok.
  • Regular Show: The main duo with Muscle Man and High-Five Ghost. Though Muscle Man constantly makes jokes and pranks them at Mordecai and Rigby's expense, they gradually hang out more and more due to their similar interests.
  • Bender and Leela in Futurama. The only thing preventing the two from leaving each other stranded to die a horrible interplanetary death are the two's feelings for Fry by proxy. That and keeping their jobs.

Real Life

  • This behavior predates and transcends the human species. Most mammals, some birds, and even a few fish engage in "friendly" fights, usually between males (but not always), as a form of social interaction (If you've ever been around a litter of puppies or kittens, you know what we're talking about. There are times you're not sure if they're playing, or if one stole the other's food and they're having an actual knock-down drag-out.) Little everyday scuffles burn off energy, reduce tension within the group, and keep the hierarchy in balance. Some animals even have sex (in a non-reproductive context) to establish dominance or form social ties.
  • Supposedly this tradition was started amongst the English nobility by Oliver Cromwell. Dueling over insults had gotten so out of hand that Cromwell encouraged a joking, insulting familiarity among his friends, and it became the style among the upper class. Centuries later you're still expected to "take the piss".
  • The relationship between Britain and Australia is probably the clearest-cut example of Vitriolic Best Buds being applied on a national level. For all the sporting rivalry and "convict"/"pommie" sniping, the two countries get on surprisingly well with each other.
    • The relationship between Britain and virtually anyone else. Despite everything, Britain has been one of the US's best allies, despite everything, Britain and France have co-operated in two world wars, and numerous minor conflicts since, etc. Heck, every part of Britain manages to have this relationship with all the other parts of Britain.
    • Speaking of France, the relationship between France and the US; the amount of vitriol between the two countries is sometimes so high that they seem to be on the verge of throwing their nuclear arsenals at each other, yet, both countries have been allies since before the US even existed. Might be caused by chauvinists from both countries being ignorant of their own history while the rest of the population knows better.
  • Authors G. K. Chesterton (devout Catholic with conservative social views and opposed strongly both to capitalism and socialism) and George Bernard Shaw (vegetarian, socialist, and atheist — "Christianity would be a good idea if anyone actually tried it.") frequently debated each other viciously over political, social, and moral issues, then would go have a few rounds at the pub afterwards. Both were Deadpan Snarkers with a fondness for epigrams and wordplay.

Chesterton: George, you look like you came from a country in a famine!
Shaw: G.K., you look like you caused it!

  • Canada's provinces. We're a bit of a semi-dysfunctional family. Anglophones and Francophones look down on each other. The Western provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) like to pick on the Eastern side, focusing on Ontario and Quebec. The Maritime provinces (Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island) moan how they never get the cool stuff. Everyone bashes Ontario or at least Toronto. But when the chips come down and someone needs help, we would jump in to help and we really do care about each other. And nobody but us are allowed to make fun of each other. (Well, maybe the US. Sometimes.)
    • Between Alberta and Toronto, there the relationship is more strained, as due to some unpopular bills passed, it gave Alberta less sovereignty over its oil. And some of these bills have caused environmental damage, along with causing health problems for those who live near the Oil Sands (the area in northern Alberta where oil is located) and natural gas deposits. Despite this, when the chips are down, any Albertan still feels loyalty to Canada as much as any other province.
    • Hell, Canada and the US are this. Most of our interaction consists of ripping on each other, but in the end, even if the Canadians are too Tsundere to admit it, we all know that one country isn't complete without the other. ♥
    • Three words; Operation Yellow Ribbon. That is all.
    • We talk a lot of smack about Canada, but a large chunk of Americans don't take too kindly to other countries giving Canada a hard time. We love you, Canada. Even if we show our love with all the class and tact of a 12 year old boy with a crush. Who sometimes fancies himself as the school bully, and wants to act "tough", while still having a big heart and confused about himself, while we are the little softy kid in the schoolyard, that you want no one else other than you to pick on, because anyone else always takes it too far. U.S. and Canada would be the two countries the most interesting to psycho-analyse. Who wants a group therapy?
      • So, does this mean that Canada is the nerdy girl who is too focused on her studies while pining over that bad boy America who skips English class to go smoke in the boys room, all while thinking, "Oooh, I bet I can change him."?
      • Meanwhile, Canada's relation to Mexico is night and day compared to the US. While both countries do appreciate Mexican beers and food; the US tends to have a hatedom of Mexico (usually due to rampant crime, drug running, and illegal immigration), and only uses it as a vacation destination and cheap labor. Meanwhile Canada has an openly good relationship with Mexico.
  • While we're on the topic of provinces, this is the kind of relationship that exists between the states that made up the Union and the Confederacy, for obvious reasons. The antagonism created by the Civil War still hasn't dissipated much, but at least the North and the South are no longer archenemies and we'll (begrudgingly) admit we're better off together than we are apart. Just expect alot of jokes about accents and rednecks and those damn Yankees.
  • Australia and New Zealand have a similar relationship. Sure, we aussies might be merciless to the New Zealanders at the sports ground, but if ANY other country was to try and invade, or a national disaster was to strike, we would be the first to help them, and not just because we're their closest neighbours.
  • US and Australia seem to be a mild case of this and Bash Brothers... both are loud, boisterous nations with alot of crazy folk. In a weird turn of events, our fighting tends to be in reguards to who is more Crazy Awesome, rather than who is less sophisticated or uncouth... we Americans see the Aussies penal colony status and general rugged nature as a direct affront to our rednecks and general insanity, but any country fool enough to mess with us has to deal with the pair of us trying be the first to mess you up.
  • Finland and Sweden also have a rivalry in sports and the Finns have a habit of making jokes about the Swedes—mainly about their sexual preferences. The Norwegians apparently also have a habit of making fun of the Swedes, and the Swedes make fun of both the Finns and the Norwegians. Still, when the push comes to a shove the Nordic countries almost always support each other in for example political issues.
    • Note, however, that Norwegians tend to make jokes about swedes being stupid, not about their sexual preferences.
      • This goes both ways. The jokes are mostly the same as well, just with exchanged nationalities. And even Norwegians will share in the laugh when either (or both) Danes and Swedes jokes that Norway is the country neither wants.
  • In Major League Baseball, St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs fans act this way as a whole—if a person attends a Cardinals/Cubs game, they'll hear a lot of verbal jabs and intense cheering for both teams, but it will have a generally more friendly feel than a Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees game will. This looks like a Type 1 at first because the Cardinals have more to boast about in the long run, but quickly becomes a Type 2 if the Cubs win at Busch Stadium.
  • In the American News arena, you have political pundits James Carville, a passionate Democrat who worked for the Clinton campaign, and Mary Matalin, a staunch Republican who worked for George H. W. Bush's campaign. They often appear together on CNN with opposing viewpoints. They've been happily married for almost 20 years.
  • Bill O Reilly and Jon Stewart. Despite being on opposite ends of the spectrum and slinging barbs at each other almost nonstop, they also seem to regard each other as worthy adversaries and have appeared on the other's show multiple times over.
  • Boston and New York. More than just a baseball rivalry. On the surface, they hate each other, but they have more in common than they like to admit, and Bostonians do travel down to New York quite often to take in the sights and the like, and the same goes for New Yorkers. Only difference between this and a straight type 2 is Boston generally won't come to New York's rescue if it's getting insulted by someplace else.
  • Manga authors Masakazu Katsura and Akira Toriyama.
  • Scotland and Ireland, so much so that many people can't tell the difference. Scottish and Irish Americans seem pretty aware of their similarities, but in the old countries, these are pointed out at one's peril.
    • This (Irish) Troper's Scottish friend once said "My favourite holiday destination is definitely the USA - cause they think I'm Irish and they treat me great!"
    • The Republic of Ireland and the UK in general, but in particular England, naturally. We do love banging on about the past - moaning as a national pastime is one of the many things we have in common with our dear neighbours! - but we really do love you guys. A 2004 study by the British Council in Ireland showed 80% of Irish have a favourable view of Britain - more than in France, Germany, or even the US. Not to mention that when the Irish economy ever so impressively tanked a few years ago, the UK offered loans on top of their contribution to the international funds that went to prop Ireland up.
    • Also the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, to some extent, (the South's response to the WWII bombing of Belfast comes to mind) though it's light on the vitriol these days.
  • Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell of American Idol and the US version of The X Factor, who fight constantly - when they're not draped all over each other like little cuddlebugs. He has called her his poodle more than once.
  • Any actors who spend a decent amount of time together almost inevitably turn into this, because they spend so much time together and have to go through so many emotions, they often resort to teasing each other to get a laugh and let off steam. The best examples seem to come from Doctor Who, as the actors playing the Doctor and his companion almost always fall into this, with David Tennant / Catherine Tate and Matt Smith / Karen Gillan probably tying for the Best Example, although Jensen Ackles / Jared Padalecki / Misha Collins are a very close runner-up.
  • William Shakespeare and Ben Jonson had a professional rivalry, though how much of it spilled over into their strong personal friendship is anyone's guess. At any rate, it's amusing to picture them as a swift English cutter and an overbearing Spanish galleon, respectively.
  • Common between the various military branches. Each one loves to insult the others and use less-than-complimentary nicknames (Jarhead, Grunt, Squid, Flyboy, Puddle Pirate) but God help any civilian who tries to join in on the insults.
  • Typical in Bavaria (at least among older men in the countryside). There's this joke about a butcher and his customers:

Sepp: "Hä Hans, gib ma amol drei Boor vo deine greislichen Pfälzer, du Leitbscheisser, du windiger!" (hey Hans, give me six of your horrible Pfälzer [sausages], you sleazy rip-off!"
Hans the butcher: "Für dein Saumogn taugns allawei! No, du gschwollkopferter Bauernfünfer!" (They're still good enough for your pig-like stomach! You fat-headed hick!)
Tourist from Prussia: "Geben Sie mir bitte hundert Gramm von ihrer verfaulten Salami, Sie Vollidiot!" (Give me 100 g of your rotten salami, you damn idiot!)
It didn't end well for the latter.

  1. (In some animals, a cloaca functions as both genitalia and waste disposal, so among salarians, it's a way of calling someone both a dick and an ass at the same time.)
  2. well, a smile on Wrex's face anyway. Turians don't have the mouthparts to smile