I Hate You ! No wait, I don't. Let's be friends.
March 20, 2010 9:50 AM   Subscribe

What film, TV or literary female characters begin as adversaries and end up friendly?

This is somewhat inspired by this question. It made me realize that I'm drawn to this type of dynamic and am particularly interested in it from a female perspective. It's not really the 'frenemy' aspect, because those suggest actual dislike. I'm more interested in the aspect of a character's personality overcoming an opposing type to create a stronger connection.


Rory and Paris from The Gilmore Girls

Elphaba and Glinda from Wicked

Buffy and Faith from BTVS (I know friendly is a stretch, but there was definitely mutual respect in there toward the end).

Kim Kelly and Lindsay from Freaks and Geeks

Oh .. real-life examples are a bonus as well.
posted by duckus to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
elliot and carla from scrubs.
posted by bluloo at 10:01 AM on March 20, 2010

Buffy and Cordelia too.

Samantha and Charlotte on Sex and the City.

Echo and Adelle on Dollhouse.

I think Claire and Gloria on Modern Family are headed in that direction.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:01 AM on March 20, 2010

Allison and Claire in the Breakfast Club
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:04 AM on March 20, 2010

Susan and Sharon in the original Parent Trap.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:07 AM on March 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

Angua and Sally from the Discworld books (Sally's introduced in Thud!) I can't remember if they become friends, really, but they go from enemies to reaching some kind of understanding.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:13 AM on March 20, 2010

I think the problem with TV shows (I'm thinking of Scrubs and Buffy, for example) is that when you're several seasons in, you kind of need your characters to get along. Since for the sake of the show, Buffy and Faith were always together, they eventually "became friends," just like Cordelia eventually was enveloped into the group, mostly by just being a regular cast member -- she always "happened to be around" when whatever crisis was going on. It wasn't actually a result of their changing relationship and feelings toward each other, but rather just proximity through storyline and casting. So I don't know if I'd consider the TV instances of this phenomenon as really authentically embodying what you're looking for.
posted by thebazilist at 10:17 AM on March 20, 2010

@thebazilist: I think Willow and Anya's relationship actually deteriorated over time, so that doesn't always happen.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:20 AM on March 20, 2010

The Devil Wears Prada, Hathaway and Blunt's characters.
posted by cazoo at 10:23 AM on March 20, 2010

In Legally Blonde, Elle Woods and Vivian (Selma Blair)
posted by Neekee at 10:47 AM on March 20, 2010 [2 favorites]

My girlfriend works with this woman that sounds next to unbearable, and she used to think so, but now calls her a friend and no longer tends to talk poorly about her. Does that count?

enemies to lovers happens a lot between male and female characters on tv.
posted by djduckie at 10:52 AM on March 20, 2010

Anime? Takamachi Nanoha is notorious for that, to the point where fans of those series use the term "befriend someone" to mean "Nanoha fires Starlight Breaker at someone".

By the way, the thing you're asking about is a trope: "Defeat means Friendship"
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:56 AM on March 20, 2010

Sistah Girl and White She-Devil from Undercover Brother
posted by doh ray mii at 10:58 AM on March 20, 2010

web comic, Penny and Aggie
posted by edgeways at 11:05 AM on March 20, 2010

I used to work at an office where a couple of the female employees were very harsh about a new girl behind her back, but really overtly to everyone else - I wasn't involved in the situation at all, but I still knew about their shit-talking because they were not discrete about it... but over time they ended all ended up as best friends. With this knowledge, it was strange to see them interact, and it made me wonder if the new employee ever found out the truth about her friends' initial feelings.
posted by illenion at 11:13 AM on March 20, 2010

You could include Mary Richards and Rhoda Morganstern, although the adversarial part was only in the first show.
posted by jgirl at 11:44 AM on March 20, 2010

Personal Best
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:31 PM on March 20, 2010

In Stick It, the lead girl hated one of the other gymnasts, and they were friends by the end. A silly movie but a really nice example of this.
posted by smoakes at 2:27 PM on March 20, 2010

Helena and Hermia in Midsummer Night's Dream.
posted by zoomorphic at 3:12 PM on March 20, 2010

The canonical example is Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. The BBC version is pretty good, with John Cleese as Petruchio.
posted by Kattullus at 3:18 PM on March 20, 2010

Best answer: Gwendolyn and Cecily in "The Importance of Being Earnest."

"In my experience, women never call one another 'sister' until they have called each other everything else first."
posted by toodleydoodley at 4:40 PM on March 20, 2010 [4 favorites]

Betty Warren (played by Kirsten Dunst) and Giselle Levy (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal) start out as frenemies divided by class and religion and wind up genuine friends in the film "Mona Lisa Smile".
posted by Asparagirl at 6:06 PM on March 20, 2010

Joey Potter and Jen Lindley on Dawson's Creek.
posted by SisterHavana at 7:46 PM on March 20, 2010

This is the plot of almost every book in the Chalet School series. From wikipedia -

Throughout the series, various girls arrive at the school with personal problems, bad attitudes or behavioural issues. As a result of the ministrations of better-behaved classmates and the school mistresses, including Miss Annersley and Miss Wilson, they all tend to discover the error of their ways and become model pupils, or 'real Chalet School girls'. This formula of a troublesome new girl who reforms and conforms is most common in the later books.

posted by Sparx at 10:21 PM on March 20, 2010

For a slightly more complicated take on this (i.e. enemies become friends become enemies) I highly recommend Thomas Hardy's The Withered Arm (text here) and (in an elliptical way) David Lynch's Mulholland Drive.
posted by Hugobaron at 5:19 AM on March 21, 2010

The main characters of Baby Mama (a seriously underrated comedy).

Kirsten Dunst and Eliza Dushku in Bring It On.

I suspect Glee will head in this direction with Quinn and Rachel but that's just speculation.
posted by lunasol at 8:50 AM on March 21, 2010

I hate to admit how much I, a woman in my 40's, have been enjoying the "Bloody Jack" series of Young Adult books. They are really just ripping reads. I haven't gotten to the book in the series where Jacky and her nemesis Clarissa join forces, but I have accidentally read a few spoilers that suggest that this is coming in a book or two.
posted by thebrokedown at 9:00 PM on March 21, 2010

Hating Alison Ashley.

It's been made into a movie, but I have no idea how good it is.
posted by kjs4 at 8:26 PM on March 22, 2010

« Older PS3 games for kids   |   History of white (not whole-grain) rice in Japan Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.