Skip to main content

50 Greatest Movie Rivalries

The Sharks vs. The Jets (West Side Story)

The Rivalry: Gang war between the white American Jets and the Puerto Rican immigrant Sharks.

Darkest Moment: In attempting to stop a big rumble, Jets Tony and Riff get mocked by the Sharks and this results in Shark leader Bernardo stabbing Riff. Enraged by the death of his best friend, Tony retaliates by killing Bernardo.

Kiss & Make Up? It looks like it, although it takes the tragic death of Tony and a hysterical, suicidal rant from his Shark girlfriend Maria to make the gangs realise the errors of their ways.

Woody vs. Buzz Lightyear (Toy Story)

The Rivalry: Andy receives the Buzz Lightyear action figure, which replaces Woody as his favourite toy. Cue child-friendly jealousy and resentment.

Darkest Moment: Woody plays dirty to be picked by Andy for an outing to Pizza Planet restaurant by trapping Buzz behind Andy’s desk. Unfortunately, the space ranger gets knocked out of the window, leading all the other toys to think that Woody intentionally bumped him off.

Kiss & Make Up? The two become friends after getting separated from Andy and suffering a horrific ordeal at the hands of sadistic neighbour Sid. The rest is Pixar – and multi-million dollar franchise – history.

Cady Heron vs. Regina George (Mean Girls)

The Rivalry: High school clique The Plastics – led by Regina – take an interest in Cady and she sees this as an opportunity to infiltrate the group and dethrone the bullying queen bee.

Darkest Moment: After Regina is openly mocked in front of the entire school, she runs out and is immediately hit by the school bus, breaking her spine in the process.

Kiss & Make Up? They may as well have done. The Plastics disband and everyone – including Regina and Cady – return to normal roles within the school without a bullying clique overshadowing everybody.

Edward Cullen vs. Jacob Black (The Twilight Saga)

The Rivalry: A good old-fashioned love triangle centred around Bella Swan, which also heightens tensions in an existing rivalry between vampires and werewolves in general.

Darkest Moment: We would say the moment that Jacob kisses Bella while she is away from Edward, but DARKEST moment? That has to be Jacob declaring his love for their newborn baby. That’s pretty below the belt.

Kiss & Make Up? There’s still some antipathy there, but also an unspoken agreement that essentially boils down to Jacob agreeing to leave Bella alone if he’s allowed to date their daughter. So messed up.

Cole Trickle vs. Russ Wheeler (Days Of Thunder)

The Rivalry: While receiving medical treatment for a previous racetrack altercation, Cole is replaced on the NASCAR team by reckless rookie Russ. The pair soon become teammates though, albeit with an underlying competitive tension.

Darkest Moment: Russ plays dirty at the North Wikesboro race, causing Cole to spin out of control. Cole then retaliates after the race by deliberately crashing into Russ' car.

Kiss & Make Up? Not so much, but Cole ends up proving himself as the better driver by beating Russ in the Daytona 500 with a sneaky manoeuvre.

Peter LaFleur vs. White Goodman (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story)

The Rivalry: White Goodman buys out Peter’s Average Joe’s gym in order to demolish it and build a parking garage for his own Globo-Gym members, unless Peter can raise $50,000 to cover the mortgage. Cue a dodgeball tournament with a perfect cash prize.

Darkest Moment: White makes Peter give up on his gym and team mates by buying him out for $100,000.

Kiss & Make Up? Average Joes wins the tournament, with Peter using his new payment to bet on themselves and winning enough money to become a controlling interest in Globo-Gym, leaving White Goodman to wallow in junk food, alone and depressed.

Daniel LaRusso vs. Johnny Lawrence (Karate Kid)

The Rivalry: Daniel-san gets on the wrong side of Johnny when he befriends the Cobra Kai student's ex-girlfriend.

Darkest Moment: After another Cobra Kai student intentionally injures Daniel in a previous round, he finds himself hobbling into the ring to finally face Johnny in the tournament final, who deliberately targets the injury.

Kiss & Make Up? In the quickest, least likely turnaround known to man, our Karate Kid defeats Johnny in the final, only for the bad boy student to give the trophy to Daniel himself declaring "You're all right, LaRusso! Good match!"

Roy Munson vs. Ernie McCracken (Kingpin)

The Rivalry: Bowling pro McCracken convinces up-and-comer Roy to hustle some other bowlers.

Darkest Moment: The start of their rivalry: a con goes spectacularly wrong and McCracken runs away, leaving Roy to have his hand cut off by the angry victims of the swindle.

Kiss & Make Up? Nuh-uh. Roy ends up competing against McCracken in the final of a winner-takes-all bowling tournament. McCracken wins, celebrates obnoxiously and the pair go their separate ways, although gambler Stanley ends up in search of the old pro believing that he stole his bankroll and Roy gets the girl, so the good guys still win out. Kind of.

Obi-Wan Kenobi vs. Anakin Skywalker (The Star Wars saga)

The Rivalry: A mentor/apprentice relationship gives way to brotherly friendship and then adversaries as Anakin gradually slips from the Jedi path and succumbs to the Dark Side.

Darkest Moment: Their epic duel on Mustafar results in Obi-Wan cutting down Anakin mid-jump and leaving his charred, dismembered body to be enveloped by volcanic lava. Remember this is a 12A.

Kiss & Make Up? Not until a ghostly reunion at the end of Return Of The Jedi when, most recently, an elderly Obi-Wan spirit must wonder how Anakin’s ghost managed to maintain his youthful looks.

Freddy Benson vs. Lawrence Jamieson (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels)

The Rivalry: Lawrence takes Freddy under his wing and shows him the art of the con but, when Freddy gets restless in his role, he decides to strike out on his own. The pair then make a bet to decide which one has to leave town: Freddy has to bed American heiress Janet.

Darkest Moment: Freddy, posing as a crippled soldier, makes the ultimate move on Janet by demonstrating that his love for her has given him the ability to walk again.

Kiss & Make Up? The pair become friends in mutual respect for Janet who, it turns out, has been conning them both the whole time.