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File:Friend batman 3712.jpg

"I love Dora. Sure, I might fantasize about smothering her in her sleep sometimes, but that doesn't mean we aren't friends!"


With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Two people are supposedly friends, except they seem to hate each other. Like, a lot. They're always bickering, insulting each other or outright whupping each other, which leaves the audience wondering, "How the hell are these people friends?" This is often because one or both are Jerkasses, though sometimes it seems that they reserve all their hostility for one other. Once in a while they'll have a heartwarming moment which will make the audience go "Aw, Look — They Really Do Love Each Other." Then it's back to business as usual. The other option is that one will eventually go for The Uriah Gambit.

Note that the conflict does not create serious problems when dealing with worse enemies—that is Divided We Fall (which is often enough also polite).

Not to be confused with Don't Shoot the Message. For the romantic version, see The Masochism Tango and Belligerent Sexual Tension. Contrast Friendly Enemy. Compare Vitriolic Best Buds. May be due to coming from a Friendless Background.

Examples of With Friends Like These... include:

Anime and Manga

  • Goldfish Warning: Chitose and Wapiko, also Chitose and Aoi. They all have this oil-&-water chemistry. Sometimes Chitose puts in effort to be as friendly with Wapiko as Wapiko is with her, but most of the time she is filled with contempt for her, turns down her ideas, & leaves her behind.
  • Hunter X Hunter: Leorio & Kurapica. Though fans will tell you that they act like a bickering old married couple.
  • Sasuke and Naruto, even after Sasuke's Face Heel Turn (though one-sided on Naruto's part). Sakura too, for she would hit Naruto on occasions, didn't care about him at all at first, and in the bell test, was determined to get a bell for herself and Sasuke (which, according to the rules she heard, would get Naruto sent back to the academy).
  • Nyamo and Yukari from Azumanga Daioh define this trope. Tomo and Yomi are a very good example too.
  • Watanuki and Doumeki from Xxx HO Li C. They save each other's lives quite often, though. It used to be even worse. As of now they just snark at each other; according to Doumeki, Watanuki tried to drop kick him when they first met.
  • Saiyuki. Sanzo and Gojyo bicker hilariously in one arc when they have to work together without Hakkai to mediate, while Gojyo and Goku constantly toss insults back and forth, to Sanzo's eternal frustration (it's no wonder he goes from smoking few cigarettes occasionally to full-blown chain smoker).
  • In Shaman King Ren Tao seems to demonstrate this towards everyone. Especially Chocolove and Horohoro.
  • China from Axis Powers Hetalia is friends with America, Russia, France and England (making up the Allied Forces). However, he is easily the woobie of the group, getting hell from the others, from being forced to make lunch for them to assembling airplanes for them.
    • Shown in the strip where Russia, England and France are helping China get his land back after being defeated by Japan in the first Sino-Japanese war, but they soon start demanding things from their comrade, causing him to panic.
  • Ayaka Yukihiro and Asuna Kagurazaka of Mahou Sensei Negima literally have this as the defining point of their relationship, to the point where their fellow classmates start to worry when they don't fight with each other. There's a reason for it, though.
  • In the Galaxy Angel the anime, Forte and Ranpha are constantly bickering with each other. In later seasons, The Ojou Mint starts to join in thanks to Flanderization of her Tricksters personality.
    • And of course, it's done all over again in Galaxy Angel Rune, where Space Pirate Anise Azeat (who happens to be in debt to Mint) and Lady of War Lily C. Shebert (taught by Forte) are much more quick to resort to violence upon each other than their predecessors.
  • Good God, Squalo's relationship with Xanxus from Katekyo Hitman Reborn. How Squalo manages to put up with all the projectiles Xanxus throws at him (including a chair) and still remain so loyal is beyond comprehension. Though many people seem to have their theories...
  • Usagi (Sailor Moon) and Rei (Sailor Mars) in the anime version of Sailor Moon. They constantly argue and pick on each other, but they actually do share a very sister-like bond and care quite a bit about each other.
    • Much more apparent in the English dub, where the other girls constantly pick on Serena.
      • Sailor Moon Abridged takes it to the extreme. Serena is constantly picked on for being fat, while Amy can never get a word in and is always being forgotten. Then there's Raye, who is constantly yelling at the others and is the main source of the group's in-fighting.
  • Sanji and Zoro. So, so much. But like the above Sailor Moon example, they're like brothers who fight for the role of dominant male.
    • All of the Straw Hats are like this from time to time.
  • Mio from K-On! suffers heavily under Ritsu's constant manipulative behavior, but still seems to care for her friend quite a bit.
    • To be fair Mio does bonk Ritsu on the head a few times in response.
  • Revy and Eda from Black Lagoon. Somehow, the two are best friends despite over half of their dialogue consisting of the two insulting each other, and they even pull guns at each other several times.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ritsuko seems to hold a very low opinion of Misato, although the latter for the most part acts oblivious and views Ritsuko as a friend. It's unclear how much of Misato's obliviousness is deliberate. It's also not clear if this is the way it's always been between the two or if they were closer once and just grew apart over the years.
    • Also, Shinji tries hard (for him) to maintain connections with Asuka and his own father in spite of both of them treating him like dirt.
  • Ranma Saotome has this kind of relationship with virtually every other character (except possibly Kasumi, but even she has her moments). Almost all of them greet him with either death threats, taunts, or glomps which incite the wrath of any nearby fiancees. Despite this they stand up for him when he's weakened, accompany him on treacherous journeys (though they often supply the treachery part), and willingly stand with him against impossible odds.
    • Ranma does this even more than most of his friends. He bullies them, beats them up, and manipulates them on a heartbeat, but he'll help them when they're down.
  • Gudelhian and Heinel from Future GPX Cyber Formula. They often get into fistfights, but they work together in order to pursue their dreams.
  • A couple of One-Scene Wonder characters from Highschool of the Dead demonstrate this. When her so called Best Friend Forever gets dragged down on a staircase by zombies, what does the other girl do? She kicks her in the face to get free. She only gets about half a step before the zombies get her as well.
  • In Tokyo Mew Mew, Retasu hangs out with a few other girls from her school who treat her terribly before joining the Mew Mews. She believes they have a certain problem in their lives, and she, by being around them, can help them get over it.
  • If Ranma is an example of this, then also count Inuyasha.
  • Earlier chapters and episodes of Soul Eater show that this is the nature of the relationship between Soul and Maka, with Soul constantly teasing Maka for being flat, having fat ankles, being violent, having no sex appeal - you get the point - and Maka often chiding Soul for one thing or another, hitting him over the head with books, making all the decisions without his input, and talking about how horribly sexist men are. That being said, Soul goes absolutely hysterical whenever something happens to Maka, no matter how small. Maka herself becomes brokenhearted when Soul is hurt and blames herself, deeming herself to be an unworthy meister. They also have several moments that show how much they really do care about one another, even holding hands, hugging, and blushing around one another.
  • In Saint Beast, initially Pandora and Cassandra get along but their rivalry for Zeus' attention turns friendliness into more of necessary pretense.
  • In Pokemon, at least in the Kanto era, Ash and Misty had this going on quite a lot. One could almost be called The Rival to the other.
  • In the original Mobile Suit Gundam we're repeatedly told that Hayato was friends with Amuro when they lived in Side 7. It doesn't show, with Hayato going so far as to desert when Amuro isn't executed for, wait for it, desertion. Amuro, for his part, seems to barely be aware that Hayato is alive.

Comic Books

  • John Constantine and Chas Chandler in Hellblazer. (Arguably, this trope describes nearly all of Constantine's relationships, be they friends, relatives or lovers, but Chas, being nearly the only person close to John who's still alive, is the prime example.)
  • Both Archie and Reggie, along with Betty and Veronica, from Archie Comics.
  • Calvin and Hobbes.
    • If you're of the school of thought that Hobbes is a figment of Calvin's imagination, this raises more questions. Most kids have imaginary friends. Calvin has an imaginary ennemy. Ok, technically, Hobbes may be rotten with Calvin only 40% of the times they interact. But still, that means Calvin is himself his own exemple of With Friends Like These. We're talking major schizophrenia issues here.
  • Sub-Mariner - Namor and Doctor Doom have had this going for decades. Both are leaders of small, isolated nations, and both are considered ruthless by the outside world, so they relate to each other quite well. However, Doom's a true villain and Namor's just determined to protect his people, so they often wind up on the opposite side of conflicts.
    • Namor is also strained friends with The Fantastic Four, in spite of fighting against them countless times. No matter how many times they seem to clash, the Four still come to him if he can help them, and vice-versa. Granted, it's not clear just how much of his willingness to help the group comes from thinking Sue is hot.
  • Quantum and Woody - The title pair. Compounded when they casually throw racial insults at each other.
  • The page image shows Dick Grayson and Roy Harper at the lowest point in their friendship. And afterwards Dick abandoned Roy in prison. This isn't the first time these "friends" came to blows either. When they were both members of the Outsiders an argument concerning how the team was run devolved into petty insults. When Roy badmouthed Batman Dick responded by badmouthing Green Arrow and brought up Roy's heroin addiction. Then they started beating the crap out of each other.
  • J. Wellington Wimpy has sold out Popeye on multiple occasions for the promise of food, safety or money. Not to mention that Wimpy mooches off Popeye on a regular basis. The rest of the town can't stand him, and Olive seems to only put up with him because he's friends with Popeye.
  • Minimonsters: Victor has this relationship with Frank's Gang despite being his True Companions, mostly because he's a narcissistic and spoiled prick who looks down on them for not being as rich and privileged as him, which makes him The Friend Nobody Likes. He's able to work with them on occassion, though, which is more than can be said for...

Fan Works


  • Star Wars has R2-D2 and C-3PO.
  • The comedy duo Abbott and Costello in their many many films.
  • The Big Lebowski. The Dude and Walter spend most of the time bickering, but they're good enough friends to see it through. Even verbally said by an exasperated Dude at one point:

The Dude: With friends like these, huh, Gary?

  • It's hard to call Bad Boys a Buddy Cop film, since Mike and Marcus spend so much time fighting and throwing insults at each other, with few moments of peace and friendship. In Bad Boys II, on the other hand, they're practically Heterosexual Life Partners.
  • Inception has Eames and Arthur. One is a chilled out thief, the other is a slightly stuck up researcher type. The fangirls loved this.
  • Max Fischer and Herman Blume in Rushmore. There's a reason though.

"With friends like you, who needs friends?" -Dirk (to Herman)

  • Meeko and Percy (somehow) become friends at the end of Pocahontas. Enter the Direct to Video sequel, and Meeko is still tormenting Percy by stealing his food.
  • Cry Wolf. The group of friends in the film love scaring each other very often for several reasons and don't have complete trust in each other. Despite all that, they're still friends.


  • Harry Potter - Hermione likes a little bickering, which is why she prefers Ron to Harry, who backs down just to get her to shut up. Harry doesn't have any middle gears; he either backs down or he treats it as a verbal duel to the death, often reducing Hermione to tears before he's finished ranting at her. Ron, however, will jab back but rarely goes past the limit like Harry does; the extreme difference between their upbringings may explain this. Harry never saw 'playful bickering', pre-Hogwarts—just deadly-serious insults. It goes to the point where when Harry tells them to grow up and stop bickering they're offended and take it as a sign that there's something wrong with him.
    • In the previous generation, Peter Pettigrew was that kid who let his friends—namely James and Sirius—pick on him just so he could remain in their group, and Remus failed to intervene for the same reason. And it seems that for a long time before she finally broke it off, Snape and Lily had a relationship where she was always standing up for him to others and he was always letting her down.
  • Sherlock Holmes - Holmes takes every opportunity to belittle Watson, sends him off on fact-gathering missions only to tell him he's brought nothing back of any use, tricks him into thinking he's dead for three years, and often uses him as an intellectual punching-bag. Watson, however, remains faithfully devoted. This dynamic is recreated by a number of later mystery authors, notably Agatha Christie's Poirot and his sidekick Hastings. But for all his snarking, Holmes does actually deeply care for him—see "The Adventure of the Three Garridebs". He trusts Watson is watching his back and trusts no-one else so implicitly. He also appreciates him for giving him an insight into how a normal person would interpret a situation.
  • Lampshaded in the Dragaera novel Five Hundred Years After. A character mentions that Sethra Lavode and Aliera e'Kieron seem to have become very good friends in the last few days. When someone else expresses confusion, saying that he'd heard they were challenging each other to duels to the death roughly every 10 minutes, the first replies, basically, "They're from Houses Dragon and Dzur. Why wouldn't that make them friends?"
  • In Discworld, the rather uptight Granny Weatherwax, and Dirty Old Woman Nanny Ogg are best of friends, despite constant bickering. In Witches Abroad, when Granny is making a list of why she disapproves of all the other witches in the area, it concludes "And she really couldn't be having at all with Nanny Ogg, who was her best friend".
  • After 'The Lost' arc of Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts series, Gaunt and Rawne now fit neatly into this trope. Surviving Gereon, the two became remarkably close for men who still take great joy in issuing death threats and sarcastically undermining one another.
  • Unknowingly sharing a name with the Trope, is the short story "With Friends Like These" by Alan Dean Foster. Several alien races come in search of humanity and Earth after the planet and its inhabitants had been locked away for for millenia for being unable to play nice with the rest of the universe. Now they were desperately needed to defeat agressive aliens known as Yops. At first the aliens are disappointed because the humans are hospitable and friendly, but appear utterly defenseless and technologically backwards. Until they find out mankind has... evolved. It's pointed out near the end of the story that the problem exists of what to do with the Humans (and the rest of their planet) once the Yops have been defeated. (At this point it's obvious that the question is no longer if the Yops will be defeated but only how quickly. One character even remarks that the poor Yops won't know what hit them.)
    • It was also the title story of a collection of his short stories. The sequel collection is titled after the other half of the phrase.
  • In The Secret History, Henry and Bunny are thought to be best friends. Henry engineers Bunny's murder in the middle of the book. The rest of the main characters, despite being a near-impenetrable clique of supposed friends, aren't exactly models of love and caring either. Possibly the constant scheming makes it difficult to trust each other...
  • In Star Trek: Titan, the belligerant Fethetrit to the other races in the Pa'haquel's hunting alliance. Besides considering the slow torture of sapient beings a game (they can win trophies), Fethetrit love to theatrically bluster about their imperialist past in an insanely over-the-top manner: "we raped worlds until they begged for mercy, then raped them harder until they screamed for death!!" At this point, a Pa'haquel usually face-palms (well, the equivalent, anyway) and tells the Fethetrit in question to "sit down, you fool!"
  • Sisterhood series by Fern Michaels: Okay, Jack Emery and Harry Wong have a relationship where they supposedly love each other like brothers, but you might have a hard time believing that! Ted Robinson and Maggie Spritzer are both reporters, which is a dog-eat-dog career, and despite them living together, having sex and all that fine stuff, they have resorted to stealing stuff from each other. Later, Maggie becomes Editor In Chief of the Washington Post and Ted's boss, and she loves to boss' him around! Honestly, it's hard to believe those two are on good terms!

Live Action TV

  • Col and Frank from The Adventures of Lano and Woodley, though this is one-sided (i.e. Col -> Frank).
  • House and the entire hospital in House MD, but especially House and Wilson. The Ho Yay crowd will claim this is actually The Masochism Tango at work.
    • The dynamics go thusly: "House is a jerk, his team puts up with him because he's da boss, and Cuddy just doesn't seem to have a backbone." Then there's Wilson, the mousy-looking Nice Guy cancer doctor, to whom House is an unrepentant bully: stealing his food, interrupting his meetings with outrageous claims, pulling pranks on him. Then comes an episode where Wilson says, proudly, that House is his best friend. * beat* LOL, WUT? (It is worth pointing out that unlike the other characters Dr. Wilson gives as good as he gets, and it's heavily implied that they both enjoy their pranks a lot and it's the rest of the world that just doesn't get them.)
    • As seen in this video, it's pretty obvious Wilson enjoys pulling pranks on House as well.
  • Jimmy and Spinner on Degrassi the Next Generation are supposed to be best friends, but in every single episode where they are featured, they play ghastly pranks on each other—and somehow forgive each other after a few episodes. The writers finally took this one to its dark extreme, leaving the friendship imperiled (and the audience hanging) far longer than usual after one prank left its victim in a wheelchair.
  • Dr Cox and JD from Scrubs, though this is also rather one-sided.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series has Spock and McCoy.

Flavius: Are they enemies, Captain?
Kirk: I'm not sure they're sure.

  • The entire cast of The Young Ones.
    • They are roommates, it's doubtful any consider the others as actual friends.
      • But when their first house is destroyed, they take it for granted that they will continue to live together in the next house. A conscious choice, not just accident.
      • There's also an episode where Vyvyan introduces them to his mother, referring to Mike and Neil as friends (and Rick as "a complete bastard I know").
  • The two characters in Bottom. Previously played almost identically by the same two actors who were also two of The Young Ones in Filthy Rich & Catflap and the Comic Strip Presents episode "Mr. Jolly Lives Next Door.
  • Hyde to Eric in That '70s Show (one sided), and to Kelso, whose Jerkass tendencies are at least as strong as Hyde's own.
    • Really, everyone. In one episode Kelso takes the gang out to eat, but plans to skip out on the check. One by one, everyone leaves, until Donna and Eric are stuck paying the bill. They get their "friends" back by making them "special" brownies with laxatives in them.
  • Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, being the Jerkass TV Genius.
  • In the earlier seasons of Smallville Clark and Lex make a big deal of how important their friendship is while lying to each other, accusing each other of various crimes (often without cause or evidence of any kind) and making pointed remarks about each others psychological and relationship problems. How much of this is planned building on their later relationship is an exercise left up to the reader.
  • The crew of Moya on Farscape, who in the first season alone alternately try to kill each other, sell each other out, steal from each other, beat each other up, and in one particularly painful and memorable case (because unlike many of the others, they were under no duress) they succeed in dismembering one of the crew so they can sell the limb they take. He got better, but still... Oh, and their hobby seems to be finding new speciesist ways to insult each other.
  • Sometimes Jack O'Neill and Daniel Jackson from Stargate SG-1 fall under this trope.

Jack: You're going to miss me.
Daniel: The belittling comments, the rude remarks, the pointless arguments...
Jack: You're going to miss Carter and Teal'c.

  • CSI: Nick Stokes and Warrick Brown are generally quite good to each other... but there's an episode where, for some reason, they were betting over the outcome of a case they were working on. Yes, making bets with the gambling addict. Way to be an enabler.
    • IIRC this was before Warrick was being open with his gambling problems.
    • Also, Warrick's game was slots. Betting on a case was more akin to poker (the cards had been dealt, they just hadn't seen them), which Warrick explicitly avoids as he doesn't get the 'gambling thrill' from it.
  • Lord Percy Percy from Blackadder suffers absolute continued abuse from his 'friend' Edmund Blackadder and yet shows utter loyalty and devotion (so does his Bumbling Sidekick Baldrick of course, but then he is Blackadder's servant - Percy is a lord in his own right). Even more noteworthy in the second series when Percy and Blackadder actually have equal status and yet Percy wants nothing more than to be Blackadder's friend.
    • Lieutenant George basically takes over this role in Blackadder Goes Forth.
  • Mark and Jeremy from Peep Show screw each other over pretty much once per episode. Jeremy is the usual culprit, but Mark has had his moments.
  • The gang of friends in Brit com Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps, but most noticeably Louise. Louise is vapid, vain and downright nasty- she has no redeeming features whatsoever. The others frequently comment how much they dislike her, so why is she still there?
  • Kamen Rider Den-O: The four Imagin, who spend every episode fighting.
  • This is the entire concept behind Moonlighting. Maddie (Cybill Shephard) and David (Bruce Willis) spent the entire series bickering.
    • To the point where they practically (albeit not officially) hate each other's guts. For this reason, this may in fact be a subversion, an aversion, or an inversion of this trope. It depends on who you ask (It Makes Sense in Context).
  • Vorenus and Pullo from Rome. Just a few examples: Vorenus kicking Pullo to the curb claiming he is dead to him, the two of them beating each other up to the point of falling off a balcony, insults on the other one's quality of character.
  • Commander Shran in Star Trek: Enterprise. Although arrogant, militant and speciesist (his favourite nickname for Captain Archer is "pinkskin", and he loathes Vulcans and Tellarites) he has a strong sense of personal obligation and provides more practical help than humanity's Vulcan allies during the Xindi crisis.
    • Anyone else wonder what he calls black members of Enterprise's crew?
  • Sonny from Sonny With a Chance with both Tawni and Chad.
  • Every main character/the Gang in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. They constantly sabotage each other with dangerous stunts and yet they're still close enough to sing a cappella every once in a while.
  • Barney Stinson to, well, everyone else on How I Met Your Mother.
    • Barney is a terrible person, but a very good friend and wingman, since he follows the Bro Code.
      • Actually, Barney is a pretty assholish, selfish, manipulative, abusive, and generally crappy friend as well when things are good and the consequences aren't serious. However, you can always count on him whenever when the shit hits the fan (see: Marshall and Lily's breakup, Ted's car accident, Robin's deportation).
  • On Gossip Girl neither Serena nor Nate seem to be able to decide whether Chuck is their great friend or their annoying enemy. Usually they complain about him until they need something, in which case they go straight to him.
    • The ironic thing is, Chuck is always loyal to Nate. Nate is however a pretty lousy best friend. At one point he temporarily called off their friendship because Chuck sold his club Victrola in order to get money to lend Nate's mother so they could keep their home. Nate is also the guy who got back together with his ex Blair, knowing full well she's the only girl Chuck has ever loved, and then proceeded to go to Chuck and whine about how Blair hasn't changed and he doesn't like who she is. Then don't date her, and don't try to get your best friend to solve your relationship problems.
    • Also hilariously referenced when Chuck and Blair go to face Georgina - "With friends like these, who needs armies?"
  • Merlin and Arthur tend to be like this. They bicker and insult each other, but when it comes to it, they do care for each other. Though probably they wouldn't admit it.
  • Seinfeld. Even though the four main characters hang out only with each other they snark each other constantly; George Costanza, in particular, is more pitied and tolerated than liked. By the last season the antagonistic rapport between the main characters has deepened into mutual contempt, culminating in the final scene of the four in jail, complaining about trivialities and each other.
  • iCarly: Sam Puckett and Freddie Benson. She tends to use him as her personal punching bag, often beating on him or attacking his self-esteem. Though they constantly go head-to-head, they have a few moments that shows they do care for each other as friends, like in the episodes iKiss, and iReunite With Missy.
    • And in the early episodes, the answer to the question "Why does Freddie put up with Sam?" is Carly.
    • Also, Sam and Gibby.
    • Speaking of whom, thanks to a bit of Fridge Logic, Carly can be this to Freddie at times. Given that she has humiliated him on camera, enables Sam's abuse towards him (To the point where she thinks it's cute that she no longer hits him in the face), and played with his feelings for her on more than one occasion. As this fanfic points out, Carly has treated guys who have actually wronged her in the past better than she does Freddie.
  • On Diff'rent Strokes, Dudley and Arnold's other friends would turn on him for any reason at any time in a heartbeat. Throughout the series run. After watching the TV Movie based on the cast's backstage story, one wonders if this wasn't another source of script frustration for the late Gary Coleman.
  • Lucille Bluth and Lucille Austero from Arrested Development.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Third Doctor and the Brigadier: the Brigadier orders the Doctor around and is generally military, while the Doctor snaps and jibes and is generally uncooperative... but then one of them smiles.
    • The majority of interaction between The Sixth Doctor and Peri is made up of nonstop bickering.
  • Ruxin from The League will do just about anything to his friends to improve his position in their fantasy football league.
  • Top Gear, the three presenters can go from laughing like old chums to legitimately trying to kill one another in the span of seconds. For Instance:
    • James coming after Jeremy with a Machete after Jeremy crashed into him on purpose on the most dangerous road ... in the world.
    • Jeremy throwing away Richard's targa roof in the middle of a snowstorm in the Alps after Richard drove over his drum kit. Jeremy followed this up by forcing Richard to drive faster to make Richard colder.
    • Perhaps this trope is best epitomized by the "Get the Others Shot or Arrested" challenge from the America special. They came disturbingly close to succeeding, too.
  • The cast of Jackass are assholes to each other, pulling horrible and violent pranks on each other all the time. None of them really mind for too long, largely because they are a gang of sadomasochists.
  • In Sherlock, there's probably a reason John keeps insisting he's Sherlock's "colleague" and not his "friend" - friends aren't supposed to leave you standing holding objects used in a crime and then leave you explaining yourself to the police. He can count on Sherlock in life-or-death situations, thankfully. Day-to-day, not so much.
  • Drake and Josh.
  • The Ferals. They smack each other upside the head and insult each other at a moments notice. But break down a have a tearful goodbye when it looks like they'll have to split up.
  • The four main characters in Will and Grace (Will, Grace, Karen, & Jack) treat each other horribly, despite apparently being each others BFFs.


  • Anberlin quotes this trope almost verbatim in the chorus of "To the Wolves" (it's phrased "Who needs enemies when we've got friends like you?")

Tabletop Games

  • In Paranoia, those whom Friend Computer deems to be its "trusted agents" have a death rate 270 times higher than regular people.
    • And the people you should fear the most are your "fellow party members" who will kill you faster than you can say "Commie Mutant Traitor" the moment your back is turned.


Video Games

  • Happens a lot in the first third of Tales of the Abyss. The party tells haughty Jerkass Luke virtually nothing about their motives, intentionally keeps valuable information from him, and is openly defying the one person he trusts. Then, after Luke is manipulated into destroying Akzeriuth, they all yell at him for not trusting them.
    • Luke himself is typically quite abrasive toward his companions (even Ion and Mieu, the only two people who put up with him no matter what he does), refuses to admit that he is wrong or that Van is in any way untrustworthy and is also quite selfish (he wants to save Akzeriuth Van's way because it will make him a hero and because Van promised to take him to Daath).
  • Almost everyone in Touhou has at least one of these, and it seems to be one of those inevitable hazards of living in Gensokyo. Reimu in particular has managed to have friendships with an oni that mooches off of her, a teasing, scheming Reality Warper and an insane kleptomaniac (who also does this with other characters).
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, the crew of the Ebon Hawk, both incarnations. Particularly notable between Carth and Bastila, Bastila and a dark-side player, HK-47 and everyone, Mandalore and Bao-dur, and Kreia and everyone. It's much, much worse in the second, though. Almost every single person hates everyone else, except for the Exile, who is the reason they're all there in the first place.
  • This constantly happens in Koudelka. One or more of them argue every time they are in a cut-scene together.
  • The Legion and the Trow in Myth 2. There's even a mission named after the trope. On the evil side, the Watcher and the Deceiver, whose rivalry stretches back over a millenium, and who actually seem to prefer fighting each other than dealing with the good guys.
  • Even after Sonic Adventure 2, Sonic considers Shadow a friend...which doesn't explain for all of their fighting in Sonic Battle, Sonic Rivals, Sonic Rivals 2, Sonic Heroes (granted, Shadow had amnesia), and Shadow the Hedgehog. However, one time Shadow does come through for Sonic is when he saves him from Silver in |Sonic 2006, and then proceeds to kick Silver's ass and knocks him out with one kick, getting a roar of approval from the people playing the game.
    • Even BEFORE that were the scuffles of Sonic and Knuckles, but they got better, although they still argue. A lot.
      • And then there's Shadow's other friends (i.e: those who aren't friends to Sonic)...
        • To explain further - his only other friends are Rouge the Bat and E-123 Omega. Judging from how cold Shadow is with both of them, it's unclear whether they truly like each other or if they just put up with each other for work related reasons - and even if it IS the former, it's unlikely that Shadow would ever express it.
        • Not true at all, actually. Rouge and Omega quite clearly care about each other and Shadow, and Shadow is introduced in Sonic Chronicles as searching for Omega, concerned for his safety.
  • This can cross over to real life with the Ju-On game for the Wii. Its multiplayer mode is comprised of player 1 playing the game as normal, and player 2 adding to the haunting the player is experiencing with timed button presses.


  • Gabe and Tycho in Penny Arcade.
  • To some extent, the entire cast of Something*Positive.
  • Early on in Questionable Content: Faye to Marten. (She got better after The Reveal)
  • Bun-Bun and Torg in Sluggy Freelance. Actually, since Bun-Bun is a sociopathic Jerkass, this trope applies to just about any "friendship" he has.
  • Belkar and Vaarsuvius from Order of the Stick. Vaarsuvius actually attacks Belkar at one point simply due to the fear that Belkar liked V too much.
    • A borderline example, though; Belkar and V are part of the same group, but never actually considered each other friends. Then again, V considers very few people to be his friends, and the only creature that Belkar might see as one is his cat.
  • Hanna Is Not a Boy's Name Possibly has Doc Worth and Conrad. In the February donation comic Doc says he thinks of the two of them as friends, though Conrad may not see it that way. Their constant yelling and shoving matches might have something to do with that, along with Doc's constant stream of belittling comments.
    • Definitely has Doc Worth and Lamont Toucey. They make a hobby out of beating the everliving shit out of each other (such beatings may end in childish apologies) and insulting each other. They first met when they were kids, and Lamont sneaked into Worth's back yard to get a ball he had thrown too far, and Worth beat him up just for the hell of it. They just started hanging out after that, and they've been best friends ever since.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Lucy is quite critical of Rhoda. And anyone else, for that matter. To a lesser degree, even Diane.
  • the Light Warriors of Eight Bit Theater push this trope to the breaking point. Whenever they're not bickering, insulting, swindling, and trying to kill each other, they're...doing the same, only to other people. They have very rare bonding moments, usually in the form of Casual Danger Dialogue. The only exception is Fighter, but only because he's such a Horrible Judge of Character that he doesn't notice he's teammates worser (IE, True) natures.
  • Almost the entire cast of the Mega Crossover fancomic Roommates and its Spin-Off s Girls Next Door and Down the Street.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Cartman and everyone else from South Park.
    • Cartman takes this further than most cases of this trope, as Cartman has almost no redeeming qualities. Also uncommon for the trope, the other characters will flat out tell Cartman that he is a monster.
    • Possibly averted, as not only do they state he's a horrible person but that they all hate him and the only reason he was ever with anyone was that they thought he was just always following them or that he was with someone else. After realizing this they decided to ignore him completely.
    • The creators stated that Cartman's relationship to the others is based on their assumption that everyone has one friend that they don't really like. It's worth noting that in the early seasons, Cartman was just a fat idiot - his supervillainish disposition evolved over time.
    • It's also partially justified considering that Stan and Kyle often act as lower scale Jerkasses that endlessly bully and exploit anyone more normal acting than Cartman (Kenny and Butter's Butt Monkey status often stands as proof of this). It is also vaguely implied that Cartman's own monsterous behavior was a result of being excessively picked on and embittered by Stan and Kyle's "fat ass" jokes (Clyde very narrowly dodged this bullet). Heck there are even some times that Cartman gets flak from them for absolutely no reason.
    • Stan & Kyle tell Scott Tenorman Cartman's Cunning Plan.

Scott: How do you know?
Stan: Because we're his friends.
Scott: So why are you telling me?
Kyle: Because we hate him.

    • For what it's worth, both sides have used (and rebuffed) the "I thought we were friends" line several times over. They also frequently abuse or manipulate the other in an scheme or convinience and show out and out apathy when they get into trouble. Granted the boys amnosity towards Cartman is far more justified, but still they are willing to ignore all the horrible things he's done if they can profit from it at times.
  • Josie and the Pussy Cats, and Alexandra.
  • In later seasons of Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy, Eddy and the other two Eds. This turns Up to Eleven and deconstructed in The Movie: Edd gets fed up of Eddy's bullshit, and after a fight, he tries to leave them behind. Thankfully, Eddy's tearful apology brings him back, and the trope becomes subverted.
  • Jimmy Neutron and Carl Wheezer. While his other idiot friend Sheen has some redeeming qualities such as loyalty to his friends and an unselfish relationship with his girlfriend, Carl has none. Even if you ignore the fact that a large amount of Gilligan esque screw ups are due to his stupidity, and how he would hoard food for himself and allow his friends to starve, perhaps the biggest friend breaker about him is his desire to become Jimmy, steal his life, and how he's in love with Jimmy's mother.
    • To be fair, Jimmy regulary abuses Carl as guineapig for his (often dangerous and painful) experiments, so it's pretty much mutual.
  • Dave to Jerry on Code Monkeys.
  • Rattrap and Dinobot from Transformers: Beast Wars.
    • Among Dinobot's last words were a quote from Shakespeare and expressing a desire to be upwind of Rattrap. And Rattrap is glad about it (normally those were fighting words between the two). This could be interpreted as how their friendship trumps death, still...
      • Yet Rattrap is also specifically tasked by Dinobot after his Heroic Sacrifice with making sure no one turns him into a legend in the retellings. In this dislike, there is also trust. And in a scrapped episode for season three, Rattrap disobeyed orders and infiltrated the Predacon base in an attempt to download the original Dinobot's memories into his evil clone.
  • Bloo and Mac from Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends.
    • To the point that there are even major inconsistencies in how far their loyalty to each other goes. One suspects that the creators are unsure how far they want to take Bloo's Flanderization.
  • Sentinel Prime and Optimus Prime from Transformers Animated. To the point where it led to Optimus being reduced to an Elite Guard Washout as the captain of a Space Bridge Repair crew (which Sentinel never fails to use against Optimus). What makes it particularly hard to understand is the fact Optimus got demoted because he took the blame for the dumb idea that Sentinel came up with: going to a forbidden planet to look for energon.
    • Even worse in the case of Blackarachnia/Elita-1, who Sentinel decides to kill not because she joined the Decepticons or what she did to Wasp, but because she was now a techno-organic (which he considers a Fate Worse Than Death). The irony? Her "death" was the reason why Sentinel hated Optimus in the first place!
  • The Fashion Club from Daria. Sandi is always trying to undermine Quinn (despite making her the vice-president), and Stacy is thoroughly abused, either maliciously by Sandi, or callously by Tiffany. Considering Kevin is on somewhat friendly terms with Daria, he may qualify as well.
  • Dale Gribble from King of the Hill, and to a lesser extent Bill Dautrieve. On why Dale is a bad friend... how many times has he sold out his friends for his own gain? How many times has he gotten Hank in trouble, blaming him for a accident when he caused the problem? Too many times to count.
    • They actually do address why Hank is friends with Bill and Dale. The answer actually just comes down to the fact that they are actually insanely loyal to Hank and couldn't really live well without him.
      • There was one time Dale drilled underneath Hank's kitchen to form a 'friendship tube' and Hank falls through. Hank is forced to vacate his own house and live with the Gribbles until its repaired, and while cutting a piece of wood Dale puts his hand onto the wood, distracts Hank and gets his thumb cut off due to Hank being distracted. Yet Dale turns it around and BLAMES HANK and gets a restraining order. Why Hank bothered to save him, Bill, and Boomhauer at the end of the episode...after all the crap?! Anyone else would have let them get their Karmic Death.
    • Peggy Hill occasionally falls under this, but rather the case of "With Wives Like Her." In one episode, she accuses Hank of being a racist just so she can enjoy a Double Standard.
      • It is pretty much stated by everyone that the only reason they associate with Peggy is because she is with Hank. Dale at one point just comes out and states he hates her.
  • Penny's friends from The Proud Family certainly count. They berate each other every chance they get for any kind of flaws and most of the time sponge off one another for their own gain. Oh yeah and not exactly the type to stick around to help when trouble rears it head.
  • Henry and June from KaBlam!!. They constantly argue, and if Henry's in trouble...don't expect June to help.
  • Azula tries to control her friends through fear. And it backfires.
  • The entire cast of Looney Tunes, most notably Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
  • Played with a few times with Baloo and Rebecca in Tale Spin. Baloo is slovenly, slow witted business wise and occasionally self centered, Rebecca is pompous, bossy and occasionally vindictive. They do ultimately care for each other however, Rebecca even labelling Baloo her best friend (and occasional hints to things going further).
  • Phil and Lil DeVille of Rugrats can be like this at times, mostly to Tommy.
  • Said almost word-for-word in the My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "The Return of Harmony"- but a rare case of it being Played for Drama. Its the Darkest Hour when the hero goes through a Heroic BSOD after the brainwashing of all of her friends.