From ‘Batman’ to ‘The Walking Dead’: 8 of TV’s Greatest Rivalries

, and the excitement for this event has made me think about all the other great TV rivalries that we’ve had over the years.

Whether it be sworn enemies or former friends, the concept of on-screen rivals has existed since television’s inception. I ask you now if you could list one show that doesn’t have some sort of disagreeable twosome? Harder than you thought, right? With that in mind, let’s take a look at eight of the greatest rivalries that have graced our screens over the years.

Buffy and Faith, Buffy The Vampire Slayer


“It doesn’t matter what kind of vibe you get off a person. ‘Cause nine times out of ten, the face they’re showing you is not the real one.” – Faith

Arguably the greatest on-screen rivalry of all time, Buffy and Faith were the total opposite of one another — one wanted to save lives and the other didn’t mind taking them. When Buffy became better, Faith became jealous and ultimately the former friends became enemies, creating some of the most memorable fight scenes in TV history.

Meredith and Addison, Grey’s Anatomy


“And you must be the woman who’s been screwing my husband.” – Addison

Who could forget when Addison Montgomery — Derek Shepard’s estranged wife — showed up on Grey’s Anatomy, throwing a spanner in the works for TV’s favorite relationship?

Meredith and Derek weren’t together long, but when Addison showed up things changed for the fan-favorite couple. For the next couple of seasons, the show revolved heavily around who Derek would choose, as he tried to make it work with his wife but couldn’t hide his feelings for Meredith. Eventually, Addison and Meredith learned to maintain a working relationship and some would argue that the foes almost became friendly.

Darrin and Endora, Bewitched


“How would you like to spend your wedding evening with a bullfrog?” – Endora

Who could forget all of the amazing insults that Endora would yell at Darrin in ’60s hit sitcom Bewitched? Witch Endora could never accept that her beloved daughter Samantha had married a mortal human and from the moment they met, she made Darrin’s life a living hell.

Actress Agnes Moorehead and actor Dick York had amazing on-screen chemistry together. Although the humor was still present when York was re-cast, the show suffered. Endora arguably influenced the modern notion of infuriating mother-in-laws and this duo are still remembered as one of the greatest comedy rivalries of all time.

Peggy and Pat, EastEnders


Peggy: You bitch.
Pat: You cow.
Peggy: My friend – my dear friend. You won’t ever leave me will you?
Pat: No sweetheart, not for one single second.

Peggy Mitchell and Pat Butcher have been on-screen together for decades on BBC soap opera EastEnders. The trouble is, Peggy and Pat could never decide if they were friends or foes. One minute, they’d be busy getting drunk in an ice cream van together reminiscing about the past and the next they’d be sleeping with the same man. Both actresses Barbara Windsor and Pam St. Clement played their parts magnificently and created the two most legendary soap opera characters of all time. The two have created some of the most iconic cat fights to ever grace our screens.

Pat died several years ago, leaving Peggy without her friend. Despite having a rocky relationship over the years, Peggy and Pat were always there for each other and in a complete tear-jerking moment, the two legends re-united earlier this year as Pat ‘appeared’ to Peggy moments before her death. I’m pretty sure the two characters are bitching each other in soap heaven right now.

Will and Sue, Glee


’I will go to the animal shelter and get you a kitty cat. I will let you fall in love with that kitty cat. And then on some dark cold night, I will steal away into your house and punch you in the face.’‘ – Sue

Glee saw one of the greatest rivalries to ever grace our television screens and that was between glee club leader Will Schuester and cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester.

A storyline that was prominent throughout all six seasons, the writing was comedy gold and led to actress Jane Lynch winning an Emmy for her performance as Sue. Several of Sue’s insulting quotes are still often used on social media.

Rachel and Cassandra, Glee


“We’re short of boys and a girl needs to sit out, and you [Rachel] don’t have enough sex appeal to pull off a credible tango. You’re awkward, and tentative in your body and you move like you’re ashamed of it.” – Cassandra

It may have only lasted a total of five episodes, but the rivalry between Rachel Berry and her New York dance instructor Cassandra July (Kate Hudson) was one of the greatest storylines that Glee tackled in its six year run. Featuring some incredible music performances from both Lea Michele and Hudson, the tension between the characters lit up the screen and ultimately created one of the greatest teacher-student relationships in TV history.

Initially appearing as if Cassie was jealous of her younger, more talented student it became evident that she was pushing Rachel to reach her potential. It’s a shame that Kate Hudson never came back for the show’s final season, as she was easily one of the most colorful guest stars from the show’s run.

Rick and The Governor, The Walking Dead


“We’re gonna have to eliminate Rick soon or later. No way we can live side by side.” – The Governor

We have yet to see the brutality of Negan, but he’s not the first big bad to grace The Walking Dead. Our beloved gang had to go up against The Governor and his Woodbury folk, who were arguably as twisted as Negan. The Governor didn’t show his dark side at first, fooling everyone into thinking that he was one of the good guys.

Unlike a lot of the other rivalries on this list, these guys never reconciled or even attempted to become friends. Some fan-favorite characters met their makers at the hands of this sadistic fiend and because of that, it’s hard to believe that Negan could be much worse. Only Time will tell.

Batman and The Joker, Batman: The Animated Series


“Batman! You wouldn’t let me fry, would you?” – The Joker

No rivalry list could ever be complete without The Joker and Batman, and the unforgettable Batman: The Animated Series is arguably the best adaptation of the rivals in history. Despite being animated, the series broke free from all the usual tropes associated with animation — it’s wasn’t particularly child friendly and it dealt with mature storytelling and storylines.

It was Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy’s first outing playing the rivals and the actors would continue to do so for many more adaptations to come. The Batman and The Joker is probably the most well-known super villain/superhero story in history and no adaptation has come close to the animated versions in this show.

Game of Thrones is setting up arguably the greatest battle of all this Sunday, but TV has been blessed with some of the greatest rivalries over the years and this list just highlights a few. One thing’s for certain — there will be plenty in the future as one can never get enough of a good rivalry!

What is your favorite TV rivalry? Tell me in the comment section below!

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