Arch Enemy

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"I think you and I are destined to do this forever."

An archenemy, archfoe, archnemesis, or simply nemesis is some character's designated and most important enemy.

The Arch Enemy can be the Big Bad, The Dragon, The Rival, a Worthy Opponent, an Evil Counterpart, or even a Harmless Villain. The essential element is that, with them, It's Personal. Most typically, the Arch Enemy is a Foil of some sort. For example, the archenemy of the physically strong could be very smart.

The Arch Enemy will stand out from the Superhero's Rogues Gallery—there will be one opponent where the relationship to the hero and the motivations for battling them are more potent. These feelings may be one-sided, felt more by the villain than the hero.

A hero's archenemy is not necessarily the biggest threat to them. Lex Luthor is considered Superman's archenemy; Brainiac is smarter and Darkseid is vastly more powerful and dangerous, but for Lex - and, to a lesser extent, for Superman - it's personal between them.

Sometimes, the hero could have made the same choices as the Arch Enemy: the Arch Enemy is showing us what he could have become, as in the case of Batman and the Joker.

A hero may possess more than one archenemy if more than one villain from his Rogues Gallery stand out, or if a former Arch Enemy dies and new one comes in to the picture. As an example, consider Spider-Man: the Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, and Venom have all established themselves as recurring and iconic foes of Spider-Man, each of whom has been considered the wallcrawler's Arch Enemy at different points in time.

Lastly, remember that this generally refers to the enemy The Hero considers to be his Arch Enemy, and ideally, it should be personal on both sides (though there are plenty of good "But for Me It Was Tuesday"-type Arch Foes out there). Especially in the case of a Rogues Gallery, The Hero is usually considered an Arch Enemy to all of his villains, but he doesn't treat all of them as such. Electro, Rhino, Scorpion, and others all consider Spider-Man their most hated foe, but compared to the Goblin, Venom, or Doc Ock, Spidey regards these guys more like superpowered nuisances. Also, remember that being the Big Bad does not automatically make a villain the hero's arch enemy.

Beware of letting an Arch Enemy fall victim to Villain Decay.

See also Breakout Villain, for those instances when a run-of-the-mill villain ascends to Arch Enemy status.

Not to be confused with Nemesis the comic. Also not to be confused with the Swedish death metal band. See Also Sitcom Arch Nemesis.

The Arch Enemy is more prone to certain tropes than the common villain:

Examples of Arch Enemy include:

Anime and Manga

  • Light and L from Death Note are each other's archenemies in a morally ambiguous situation.
    • Near is Mello's archenemy even though they're theoretically on the same side.
  • Baikinman from Soreike! Anpanman is Anpanman's archenemy, who was literally born to fight Anpanman. However, Anpanman treats him as friendly as anyone else as long as he isn't causing trouble.
  • In Shakugan no Shana, Wilhelmina Carmel explicitly refer to Sabrac, The Destructive Blade, as her nemesis.
  • Seto Kaiba in Yu-Gi-Oh! might qualify, though he could also be considered a rival to Yugi. He even invokes this trope in the abridged series:

Kaiba: After all, he's my arch rival. The Sherlock Holmes to my Moriarty, the Kaneda to my Tetsuo, the Speed Racer to my Racer X. I could go on but I won't.

  • Higurashi no Naku Koro ni has Furude Rika and Miyo Takano, who have been at each others' throats for 200 years due to a Groundhog Day Loop Stable Time Loop. Takano invariably kills Rika, at which point Hanyuu pushes the Reset Button, and it gets more personal for poor Rika, who is completely conscious of the time loop. Rika only finds out Takano is her ArchEnemy in the second-to-last loop, and Takano is never aware of the loop..
  • In Umineko no Naku Koro ni, both Battler and Beatrice, as well as Bernkastel and Lambdadelta have reached this point with each other. Or have they?
  • Spike in Cowboy Bebop has Evil Counterpart Vicious. He also has Lord Error-Prone Andy, who is a mockery of this trope, being a one-shot Foil who's a near perfect expression of Spike's id despite the latter's constant protests to the contrary.
  • Negi Springfield in Mahou Sensei Negima has Fate (no, not that Fate), who seems to go out of his way to make personal attacks on Negi's friends.
  • Zero and Suzaku in Code Geass, though it's another case of moral ambiguity. When they eventually get over their issues and honestly work together, they achieve both their goals, albeit with a great cost.
    • For Lelouch himself, both Charles and Schneizel follow this straight. And maddeningly enough, he has the misfortune to get sold out to both to them when they've already caused him enough grief for several lifetimes.
  • In Naruto it's a little hard to decide, but mostly earlier friends turn into enemies, such as Orochimaru and Jiraiya, or even Naruto and Sasuke (though, the latter is in a quite difficult situation). Also Sasuke considered Itachi his arch-nemesis for a long time Until learing the truth now turns to Naruto and the leaf village. Tobi and The Akatsuki to Naruto and His Allies.
  • In Detective Conan Shinichi's rival might be considered Kaito Kid, wherefore his nemesis is 'the organization' with his most present member Gin.
  • Char Aznable and Amuro Ray are perhaps the most iconic throughout the Gundam fandom. What started out as a professional military rivalry, later turned deeply personal after the death of Char's assistant Lahlah Sune, whom both men loved, when she attempted to intervene in a battle between the two of them.
  • In the latest entry, Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Graham Acre considers Setsuna F. Seiei and his Gundam Exia his arch nemesis for their crimes (though he calls it a special kind of love...) But he's really more The Rival in that regard. A better fit for Setsuna's archnemesis is psychopathic Blood Knight Ali Al-Saachez for destroying not just his life, but also killing off Lockon Stratos' family as well.
  • In G Gundam the Canadian fighter Andrew Graham considers the Russian Fighter Argo Gulski his nemesis because he blames him for his wife's death. Also Domo Kasshu's and Master Asia's difficult relationship might be some kind of arch nemesis.
  • Gauron and Sousuke in Full Metal Panic!!. The feeling tends to be a lot more one-sided on Gauron's part, as he makes it his personal mission to put himself in a position where he can constantly antagonize Sousuke. It's so bad, it's to the point where it's suggested that he actually stalks and watches Sousuke, and purposefully chooses missions that would put him at odds with Sousuke, allowing them to meet again. Sousuke, on the other hand, finds Gauron insanely annoying, and would really love nothing more than for the guy to just go die somewhere and leave him alone.
  • In Gundam Wing Zechs spends too much time on the good side to be this for Heero despite their constant battles, but Wufei definitely has one in Treize Kushrenada.
  • Rau Le Creuset of Gundam Seed is the Arch Enemy of Earth Forces' Ace Pilot Mu La Flaga. Their rivalry goes back to early in the war, and is extremely personal, even before The Reveal that Le Creuset is a dying clone of La Flaga's father. Early in-show, the Le Creuset team, and especially Athrun Zala are set up as the Archenemies of the Archangel, and Kira Yamato in particular. By the end they have pulled a Heel Face Turn and Le Creuset takes their position as Kira' Arch Enemy.
  • In Gundam Seed Destiny Shinn Asuka and Rey Za Burrel both consider Kira Yamato to be their Arch Nemesis, although Kira doesn't necessarily agree.
  • Pokémon has several examples:
    • The original enmity was between Ash and Gary, with Gary rubbing his superiority in Ash's nose and Ash going crazy as he tried to catch up. They eventually buried the hatchet when they finally battled at the Johto League. Although Ash beat Gary, Defeat Means Friendship and they became friendly rivals afterward.
    • Ash later developed a more bitter rivalry with Paul over their methods of training Pokemon. A combination of Break the Haughty on Paul's part and Ash eventually beating him in the Sinnoh League again led them to bury the hatchet, and while they didn't exactly become friends afterward, they did develop a new respect for one another.
    • Galactic Commander Saturn's Toxicroak to Brock's Croagunk.
    • Team Rocket's Meowth feels this way towards every Persian he comes across.
  • Ranma of Ranma ½ had Happosai (outright stated to be Ranma archenemy in the datebook)
  • Harima the delinquent in School Rumble had Hanai the class president. Harima's love rival is Karasuma. Eri & Yakumo too.
  • Makoto and Jinnai in El Hazard.
  • In Bleach, Ishida originally had Mad Scientist Mayuri Kurotsuchi as his nemesis, although now that they're on the same side, Ishida seems to come across as the Butt Monkey victim of Mayuri's sociopathic humor. Curiously the arch enemy for The Hero, Ichigo, is not Aizen, the Big Bad. His arch enemy is whoever happens to be his main rival at that point in the story (first Ishida, followed by Renji, Kenpachi, Byakuya, Grimmjow and Ulquiorra).
    • We also have The Grand Fisher, the first major antagonist. He went down quickly, but at the time he was Ichigo archnemesis. He killed Ichigo's mother, the event that changed his life completely. It is because of him that he changes his motivation for fighting hollows, taking it much more seriously, similar to how Mayuri, in sense, killed Ishida's grandfather. Grand Fisher seems to acknowledge this, seeking out Ichigo as soon as he returns to the human world.
  • Kimblee to Scar in Fullmetal Alchemist, as well as Hohenheim to Father. Greed and Wrath seem to have become this in recent chapters.
    • Ed and Envy in the first version of the anime, as well as Mustang and Pride.
  • Gun X Sword - Justifying the Designated Girl Fight, Carmen 99 and Fasalina are arch enemies. Fasalina is responsible for destroying Carmen's hometown, causing the death of Carmen's best friend from childhood, and Carmen ends up blamed for Fasalina's actions and shunned and exiled from her town.
  • Johan vs Tenma, but Nina wants in on it for a good reason.
  • Griffith to Guts in Berserk. The Skull Knight also has one in Void, the leader of the Godhand.
  • Neo Saiba to Taichi Yagami in Digimon V-Tamer 01.
  • Kyubey to Akemi Homura in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. There are some parallel to Takano Miyo and Furude Rika.
  • Black★Rock Shooter: The eponymous character versus Dead Master. Ultimately Defied in the anime thanks to Power of Love.
  • Inuyasha has Naraku.
  • In Durarara!!, while almost anyone can set off Shizuo's Hair-Trigger Temper, just seeing Izaya (and sometimes just hearing his name) is enough to send Shizuo into a homicidal rage. Meanwhile, Izaya screws around with everyone's lives, but that's just because he likes seeing how they'll react; Shizuo's the only person in the world he actually hates.

Comic Books

  • Most Superheroes have one.
  • Superman has Lex Luthor, Brainiac and Darkseid.
    • Lex Luthor is Superman's ultimate archenemy and typically uses his brain against the Man of Steel's brawn, carefully avoiding any actions that could make Superman be justified in attacking him. To the point where only the muckraking Clark Kent, not Superman, can even put a scratch on Luthor.
    • After Luthor, Brainiac comes in a close second, even holding the last surviving Kryptonian city hostage for decades. That's pretty personal. As one writer pointed out, he's the alien Superman isn't, an evil otherworldy invader instead of a messianic refugee.
    • Darkseid holds a pretty good claim to the title as well in some (read: galactic-level) contexts, seeing as he can match Luthor's brains and Big Blue's brawn. His main draw, however, is being the foil to Clarks' morality- he is every bit as evil as Superman is good, and is perhaps the enemy Superman hates the most for the amount of horror he is responsible for, and the fact that, while in broad terms the likes of Zod, Brainiac and Luthor commit evil for power or glory, Darkseid commits evil for the sake of evil.
      • As an aside, General Zod is the Arch Enemy of Superman's father Jor-El, the one responsible for stopping his coup and imprisoning him in the Phantom Zone. In the movies it's Jor-El who cast the deciding vote that sent Zod and his cohorts to the Phantom Zone. Zod's grudge against Clark is mostly due to Clark being Jor-El's son.
      • The idea of Zod being Jor-El's Arch Enemy is made more apparent in Smallville in Season 9 where it shows that they were once best friends until they had a falling out when Jor-El refused to clone Zod's son murdered in a civil war, being Zod's Start of Darkness. Their relationship actually mirrors Clark and Lex's.
  • Batman has Joker, Hugo Strange, Rā's al Ghūl, Two-Face and the Penguin.
    • The Joker is Batman's archenemy. His insanity and chaotic nature are the complete opposite of Batman's rigidly, even obsessively ordered intelligence. Though it's also their similarities. Many people have said that Batman is just as insane as The Joker, he just manifests it in a different and positive way and keeps control over it. The Joker himself has pointed this out numerous times and in many adaptations.
  • Hugo Strange was arguably Batman's original Arch Enemy, or set-up to be, but was quickly supplanted by The Joker who showed up a few months later. In his earliest appearances he was given a Moriarty vibe as the "greatest organizer of crime in the world"—to quote Bruce Wayne himself—and though he's rarely been used since, and more rarely used to his fullest potential, he is making a comeback in recent years. He's higher up in the Big Bad Ensemble in Batman: Arkham City.
  • One could also make a case for Ra's al Ghul and Two-Face. Ra's al Ghul has a great deal of respect for Batman, may be even more dangerous, and a far larger scale threat, than the Joker, and is the father of one of Bruce's main love interests. If not the archenemy, Ra's is definitely the main Big Bad of Batman's enemies. Two-Face was once a great friend of Batman's, and is a personification of his failure. Most people agree however that he is only second to Joker as an archenemy.
  • Due to appearing in as many television adaptations as the Joker, one could make the argument that the Penguin is Batman's second archenemy. Debatable since Penguin's current mainstream popularity owes a lot to the TV series, while in the comics he has been reduced to a B-lister. A gentleman thief just doesn't cut it anymore.
  • Interestingly enough, Bruce Wayne, when not chasing after the Joker as Batman; and Lex Luthor, when not in "kill Superman and covertly Take Over the World"-mode, frequently become arch enemies because LexCorp and Wayne Enterprises are the two most powerful Mega Corps in the country, and the two people have very different philosophies about their companies' missions.
  • For a while it seemed that Hush was intended by the writers to usurp the title of Batman's arch enemy. He has many classic nemesis qualities, such as the fact that it is very personal; however, it just generated controversy.
  • Harley Quinn usually likes Batman and most of his allies, often having an Odd Friendship with Batgirl. The only character she vehemently calls her arch-enemy is Punchline, a character designed to be a Darker and Edgier foil to Harley. The first time they met is was hate at first sight for both of them.
  • The wrathful vengeance of Doctor Doom will never be sated! Never — until the earth runs red with the blood of that accursed REED RICHARDS!!
  • Sinestro is Hal Jordan's archenemy; similarly, the Green Lantern Corps treat the Sinestro Corps as their most dangerous opposing organization (even though the Red Lanterns have the potential to go on homicidal rampages if left unchecked).
  • Wonder Woman's is generally Circe or Cheetah, depending on who's writing. Ares gets in on the act too. He was, after all, her original Golden Age arch enemy.
    • The post-Flashpoint series is starting to play up Hera herself as the Big Bad.
  • Black Manta is Aquaman's archenemy.
    • Aquaman's archenemy used to be his brother, Ocean Master. Manta got promoted to Big Bad when he killed Aquaman's infant son.
  • Deathstroke the Terminator is Robin/Nightwing's archenemy. In the Teen Titans cartoon, anyway. For a while, Nightwing's archenemy was Blockbuster until he was killed as Nightwing stepped aside to let it happen.
    • A case could be made for Deathstroke being Grayson's archenemies in the comics. Of all the Titans, Slade hated Grayson the most. Whenever Slade and Grayson were in the same fight, regardless of how many others were involved, they nearly always went after each other. This animosity was ramped up immensely when Slade orchestrated the destruction of Blüdhaven, Nightwing's "Gotham" so to speak, and, when he, even more recently, cybernetically hijacked Damian Wayne's body in an attempt to kill Grayson.
  • Doctor Sivana for Captain Marvel. Or Black Adam, though he's sometimes an Anti-Hero.
  • The Flash. Flash varies from era to era.
    • Professor Zoom/The Reverse Flash.
    • Captain Cold, considering he's the leader of the Rogues and his most persistent foe.
    • In the Golden Age comics, it was the Thinker, who appeared more often than any other villain. In the Silver Age, it was Gorilla Grodd, who was the one exception in his roster of Harmless Villain antagonists. In the Bronze Age it was Zoom/Reverse-Flash and his repeated attempts to outright steal his foe's life, who eventually killed his wife. Wally West in the Modern Age had Vandal Savage at first, and later the acclaimed Mark Waid run boosted Abra Kadabra to this role by making that villain much Darker and Edgier. Finally, Geoff Johns promoted Captain Cold to leader of the rogues—in the Silver Age it was usually the original Mirror Master or an outside villain in this role—and also contributed a new Zoom as a contender for the role, another villain who was far too dangerous to join the Rogues. And now that Barry's back, it seems to be the original Reverse-Flash again.
    • Another candidate for Wally's Arch Enemy under Waid is Mirror Master II; much was made of his role as a second-generation villain "reflecting" Wally; he discovered the Mirror Dimension at the same time as Wally began channelling the Speed Force, and he was a member of Luthor's "All Archenemies" Injustice Gang.
  • Then, the Justice League's arch-nemesis is the Legion of Doom/Injustice League/Injustice Gang.
    • The Justice Society's arch-enemy is the Injustice Society of the World.
  • Merlyn is considered Green Arrow's arch-enemy. Due to both being skilled archers.
  • Captain Atom had General Wade Eiling. Although Cap didn't know that Eiling was his arch-enemy.
  • Superman Prime possibly sees the fourth Flash (Bart Allen), the second Ion (Sodam Yat) and Kon-El, the cloned Superboy as his archenemies. Prime's new enemies, the Legion of Super Heroes might think so, too, bringing back all three heroes (two Back from the Dead, in fact) to combat Prime.
  • Jonah Hex has Quentin Turnbull.
  • Orion, Mister Miracle, and the Forever People all have Darkseid.
    • Existence, all superheroes, all living beings, and every single universe in the history, future, present moment, or wiped timeline of reality has The Anti-Monitor.
  • The Legion of Super-Heroes has three: Mordru, the Fatal Five, and the Legion of Super-Villains. The Fatal Five probably win the title for showing up the most often, but the L.S.V. has Lightning Lad's personal arch enemy Lightning Lord, and Mordru is certainly the most powerful of the three.
    • The Time Trapper is another arch-enemy of the Legion.
  • Spider-Man has various Arch Enemies. Part of the reason this situation arises is that the Green Goblin died in the 70s and spent a good 20-odd years before he came back to torment his foe, which is probably the record for dead A-list villains to beat; it also means that Ock and Venom are arguably more famous, even though the Goblin is easily the most dangerous of the three. The other reason is that the Goblin, as Norman Osborn, suffered frequent bouts of amnesia in the run up to his death so he didn't even remember that he was Spidey's arch-enemy, which helped Doc Ock who was the next most formidable villain. Venom appeared in the 80s and made his chops by being in some ways a more personal (and visually stunning) enemy than either of the other two (that and overexposure). So essentially, Spidey has three arch-enemies because they kept replacing each other. However, since his return the Goblin has cemented himself as Spidey's one true Arch-foe.
    • The Green Goblin. Unlike most superhero arch-villains, he actually is the most dangerous foe of his enemy, possessing far greater resources and deep personal information that the others mostly all lack. There's also the whole "best friend's father" thing. He once collected nearly all of Spidey's main enemies into the Sinister Twelve, and was recently the arch-villain for the entire Marvel Earth.
    • Doctor Octopus: What Peter could end up becoming if he abused his intelligence and powers. (Peter was even a former student of his in the animated series). Also the first villain to really defeat Spider-Man, completely shattering his confidence for a while.
    • Venom: Evil Counterpart. Not only is he effectively an even stronger version of Spidey himself, but Peter's Spider Sense doesn't work on him, which means Eddie / Venom could be right behind him without Peter knowing. Venom's initial grudge against him was kind of weak, but every adaptation makes it a lot more personal.
      • Venom could also be considered to show great power with no responsibility. He more or less said so himself in an Annual back-up story.
      • In addition to Spidey, Venom has Carnage, his son, as an arch-enemy. Spiderman can't normally defeat Carnage on his own. The fact that venom willingly comes to aid Spiderman shows that me must hate Carnage more. Either that, or he just wants to be the one to deliever the killing blow.
        • Venom and Carnage both hate Toxin, Carnages Son and Venoms grandson. This doesn't make him an arch enemy, but it is worth noting.
  • Magneto is Professor X's archenemy, extending to the X-Men. They are often actually friendly enemies.
    • The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants serves as a collective archenemy to the X-Men as a whole.
  • Wolverine
    • Sabretooth, as he represents Wolverine without any inhibitions, giving into his feral nature.
    • Later, Logan's son Daken.
    • A brave attempt was made to kill off Sabretooth and make new villain Romulus Wolverine's new arch-enemy, but it failed spectacularly.
  • Mystique could be considered Rogue's arch-nemesis. Due to Rogue feeling like she's being used. And what she did to Ms. Marvel led her to leave Mystique's Brotherhood.
  • The Sentry's archenemy is The Void, which is his own alternate personality. Complicated.
  • Ant-Man's is Ultron, the rogue robot he created. Though the villain he's most likely to face by himself is probably Whirlwind. Since Ultron's programming is based on Ant-Man's own thought patterns, this also means that Ant-Man is his own worst enemy. Used to be Egghead...but he died.
  • Thor has Loki.
  • Doctor Strange
    • The dread demon Dormammu.
    • Also his Evil Counterpart Baron Mordo and the dream demon Nightmare.
  • Captain America (comics) has the Red Skull and the Barons Zemo (both the father and son).
  • Iron Man's traditional archenemy was The Mandarin, but he's faded a bit over time as the Yellow Peril aspect of the character is no longer kosher.
    • Seeing as at least ten different people have taken up the mantle, the Crimson Dynamo certainly is one of his most recurring and dangerous enemies.
    • After the Mandarin, Obadiah Stane would probably be Tony's next greatest arch-enemy. Just like Tony, he is a businessman with powered armour (towards the end), only much, much more ruthless than Tony. He also had a major effect on Tony's life, and ruined him financially for months.
  • The Punisher has Jigsaw. In The Punisher's case, "Arch Enemy" just means "enemy who's still alive".
  • Daredevil
    • Bullseye.
    • Kingpin (who would also be a impressive fourth place on Spidey's archenemy list).
    • Originally, as written by Stan Lee, it was the Owl.
  • Silver Surfer
    • Galactus, depending on the day of the week.
    • Also Mephisto, who hates Norrin for just being so danged good.
  • The Defenders didn't have an arch enemy, but they were supposed to be a "non-team" anyway.
  • The New Warriors had plenty. The two Sphinxes. Psionex. The Folding Circle. Tai. Night Thrasher, the leader, had his brother, Bandit. The team proper had the Black Hand who were created by the same elderly lady helped to form the team. She created them specifically as human sacrifices. She was killed off early in the series.
    • Night Thrasher also had Midnight's Fire as an arch-enemy for a while.
  • The Sphinx and Nova.
  • Sleepwalker and Cobweb.
  • Darkhawk
    • Mob boss Phillip Bazin, later replaced by Dargin Bokk, creator of the Darkhawk armor.
    • And now replaced by Talon and possibly the whole Fraternity of Rapors, real creators of his armor.
  • The Black Panther and Klaw.
  • The Mighty Thor and his brother Loki
  • The Incredible Hulk
    • The Leader.
    • And The Abomination. And Gen. Thunderbolt Ross who was revealed to be the Red Hulk, bringing this feud to new, even more bitter heights.
    • One could even make a case about Hulk being Banner's.
  • She Hulk had Titania.
  • Ben Reilly aka the Scarlet Spider
    • the current Scarlet Spider
  • Deadpool and T-Ray
  • ROM Spaceknight and the Dire Wraiths.
  • The Micronauts and Baron Karza.
  • Captain Mar-Vell had Thanos. Although Thanos did double duty as Adam Warlock's arch enemy, too. And he screwed with the Silver Surfer pretty seriously, too. After arcs like Infinity Gauntlet and other stories on that scale a case could be made that Thanos is the Arch Enemy of the entire Marvel Universe.
  • The Octopus is the archenemy of The Spirit.
  • Colonel Olrik is the archenemy of Blake and Mortimer.
  • The Shredder to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their Obi-Wan Master Splinter. Shredder goes down pretty early in the original comics. However the first issue clearly shows the backstory Splinter and Shredder have, that Splinter and the Turtles owe their origins to Shredder, and that Splinter trained the Turtles for the sole purpose of killing Shredder to avenge Hamato Yoshi. Regardless of how long Shredder was around for, he's still their archnemesis.
  • Atomic Robo has the Nazi Baron Heinrich von Helsingard. Dr. Dinosaur may also qualify for Robo in modern times.
    • Thomas Edison for Nikola Tesla and, by extension, Robo.
  • One volume of Powers deconstructs the usual comic treatment of archenemies. It shows what were essentially the world's first superhero and supervillain. The two are immortal and have existed since humanity was still diverging from the ape, and have had a grudge just as long. When they meet for the last time in the present day, the hero, (who has a case of The Fog of Ages) demands to know why he and the villain have been fighting so long. The villain, whose memory is not impaired like the hero's, admits that he can no longer even remember what originally sparked their feud.
  • While Green Lantern Rebirth and Blackest Night initially pegged Parallax as the Arch Enemy of The Spectre, it seems that the Spectre's true nemesis is actually Butcher the Rage Entity. The Spectre exists to punish murderers, and Butcher is apparently the homicidal spawn of the first murder—the embodiment of murderous rage.
  • The Iron Major is Sgt. Rock's archenemy.
  • Raven Red, an Evil Counterpart of Jet, is the only villain to appear more than once in Jet Dream.
  • Sin City villains usually don't live past their initial story but Manute has menaced Dwight McCarthy enough times to count. Manute is dead now but he shows up anyway due to the nonlinear timeline.
    • The Yellow Bastard did go up against Hartigan a few times before kicking the bucket. We only ended up seeing two confrontations in the same story, though.
  • After becoming evil, being killed, and then brought back to life, Maxwell Lord has become the archenemy to Booster Gold.
  • As with the Brotherhood being the collective archenemy of the X-Men, The Avengers have the Masters of Evil.
  • Baron Wolfgang von Strucker has served this mainly to Nick Fury, but also a bit to Captain America (comics). Makes sense seeing as he's the leader of HYDRA.
  • The Fabulous Frog-Man is a Super Zero wearing the Power Armor of his father (Daredevil villain Leap Frog) which he cannot control so he just bounces around aimlessly and sometimes gets lucky. The White Rabbit is a ditzy Harmless Villainess that read too much Alice in Wonderland when she was a little girl and now dresses like a Playboy Bunny and pretends to be a Super Villainess despite having no powers or skills. They became each other’s arch-enemies because they are so pathetic nobody else would take them seriously.
  • The Martian Manhunter has had several contenders over the years including Commander Blanx and his Expy (and J'onn's Evil Twin) Malefic. The best example, however, may well be Galactic Conqueror and walking engine of destruction, Despero. While Despero is usually a Justice League calibre threat, J'onn is always the one he attacks first, and he takes a perverse delight in forcing the Martian to telepathically relive the destruction of Mars. At one point, Despero went so far as to Mind Rape J'onn into believing he was on a Mars that hadn't been destroyed by Blanx and/or Malefic...only to then invade the dream and personally slaughter the psychic constructs of J'onn's family that he had created. J'onn hates Despero about as much as he hates anyone, and is usually the JLA member who ends up having to put the crazed being down at the end of his rampages.
  • In their fictional universe the characters from the two British Comics The Beano and The Dandy are arch enemies with frequent jokes but at the other's expense and infrequent raids between the comics. This arch enemy rivalry has died down quite alot since The Dandy's revamp. Also characters from within the two comics have their own arch enemies as well. Dennis the Menace UK has Walter the Softy, The Bash Street Kids had the Blob Street Kids, the Three Bears had Hank and Grizzly Gus (another more evil looking bear who hasnt been in the strip for years) and Desperate Dan had Dangerous Dan Mc Groo.
    • This arch-enemy comic rivalry was taken Up to Eleven in the Fleetway comic Whizzer and Chips which was one comic which was made up of two comics and these two comics and their characters were archenemies with even more frequent 'raids' in the two comics than with the Beano and Dandy
  • Darkhell is this to the Legendaries, and this on soooo many levels: he was the one who made part of them what they are now, was the first treath they faced, fought them for several years, is the most recurring antagonist in the serie and was the most dangerous of their ennemies until Anathos shew up. Now that he finally died for real, it seems like his self-proclaimed heir Abyss is taking the mantle.
    • Darkhell had his own arch-ennemy, Skroa (though more of a Rival than an actual one) before the Legendaries formed, but ended up defeating him.
  • Generation X (specifically M, although he targeted the rest of the team as well) had Emplate.
  • Moon Knight had Raoul Bushman, who like him was a mercenary, only more violent and bloodthirsty.
  • Spawn has the Violator,Malebolgia,and Jason Wynn.
  • Savage Dragon has the Overlord, Cyberface, and Damien Darklord.
  • Hellboy has Ordru Jahad and Grigori rasputin.


  • Rene Belloq from Raiders of the Lost Ark, the Evil Counterpart to Indiana Jones, is probably the closest thing he has to this.
  • Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker's archenemy; meanwhile, Vader probably counted Obi-Wan as his.
  • Godzilla: King Ghidorah who fought Godzilla in eight films across four continuities. In one of them he's, oddly enough, the good guy. Mechagodzilla might also count, being Godzilla's most recurring enemy after Ghidorah. Both are Hero Killers and both have come closer to killing the big guy then anyone else. Ghidorah also fought Mothra solo (and had an Expy fight her solo as well).
  • Pirates of the Caribbean's Jack Sparrow and Barbossa. Once both men have died at least once, the conflict between them becomes more of a friendly rivalry.
    • Commodore Norrington might also want to put himself in for consideration as Jack's Arch Enemy, though Jack seems to regard him as more of an obstacle and sometimes pawn.
    • Cutler Beckett may qualify, as he has been the source of much/most of Jack's problems in his life. When using Jack's compass, it points him towards Jack, and Jack guesses that what Beckett wants most in the world is to see Jack dead.
  • David Allen Griffin to Joel Campbell in The Watcher.
  • In The Prestige, Borden and Angier start as friendly rivals, but the two become arch-enemies when one loses a wife. By the end, one has lost his wife and his life, the other reaches a Pyrrhic Victory in besting his enemy but losing his brother and wife as well.
  • Neo to Smith.
  • Castor Troy for Sean Archer in Face Off.
  • Harmonica and Frank in Once Upon a Time in the West. The former has been hunting the latter for decades to put an end to his horrible crimes and to avenge the death of his brother.
  • Since Bruce Willis turns out to be a comic book superhero in Unbreakable, it only stands to reason that he'd have an arch-enemy. One who is right under his nose.
  • Mystery Team: Old Man McGinty
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Humma Kavula is this to Zaphod.


  • Professor Moriarty is Sherlock Holmes' archenemy and Worthy Opponent, making this Older Than Radio.
  • In The Dark Tower, Walter is Roland's archenemy, but not the Big Bad.
  • Ernst Stavro Blofeld becomes James Bond's archenemy over the course of three books, until Bond himself comes to think of it as a blood feud and refuses to get MI6 involved.
  • Voldemort to Harry Potter. (A heavily one-sided example, since Voldemort remains obsessed with Harry throughout the series, but Harry does his best to ignore Voldemort most of the time.) Also jerkass Draco Malfoy and Severus Snape, at least until Snape's death.
    • Rita Skeeter to Hermione Granger.
    • Bellatrix Lestrange to Neville Longbottom, Hermione Granger and the Weasley family.
  • Morjin to Valashu in the Ea Cycle.
  • In the original Dracula novel and in many of the movies, Dracula has the Van Helsing clan as his archenemies. In parrticular, Dracula met his match after 400 years in the person of Abraham Van Helsing.
  • Soon I Will Be Invincible: After defeating Doctor Impossible and discovering her ties to him, Fatale considers this might make him her Arch Enemy, but is it worth it?

I suppose I ought to vow to oppose him forever; make a nemesis issue of it. But it's a little beside the point. ... with CoreFire back, he's already got a nemesis. I'd have to be a co-nemesis. ... I'm not 100 percent sure what I'm supposed to angry about, if we come down to it.

  • Hakeswill in Sharpe seems to dedicate himself expressly to making Sharpe's life miserable - he has him flogged in pre-Canon, he has Harper flogged after figuring out how close he and Sharpe are, he attempts to rape and eventually murders Sharpe's wife... Sharpe tries and fails to kill him in repeated inventive ways before he finally gets to give him the coup de grace at his execution.
    • Once Hakeswill had been written out of the novels, this role was arguably taken over by Major Ducos, a French spymaster who is constantly coming up with schemes to hamstring, if not outright stop, the British war effort, as well as to humiliate, discredit and kill Sharpe in the process.
    • The Duke of Wellington and Napoleon Bonaparte, historical archenemies, both show up in the series.
  • John Devil, from the eponymous novel by Paul Feval is the archenemy of Inspector Gregory Temple, as well as being one of the earliest super-villains, anticipating the aforementioned Moriarty with about 30 years.
  • Carl Peterson was the Arch Enemy of Bulldog Drummond, until he was killed in the fourth novel. Afterwards, Carl's mistress, Irma took over his role.
  • Ballmeyer, aka Detective Frederic Larsan is the Arch Enemy of Joseph Rouletabille as well as the latter's biological father.
  • Franny Roote in Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe novels: although Hill dispatches Roote to jail in the series' second novel, An Advancement of Learning, he resurrects him as Pascoe's obsession in Arms and the Women, Dialogues of the Dead, and Death's Jest-Book, then finally elevates him to true archenemy status in A Cure for All Diseases.
  • Visser Three to the Animorphs.
  • Chauvelin for the eponymous hero of The Scarlet Pimpernel, with generous traces of Inspector Javert and Foe Yay.
  • In the Backstory of Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Phoenix on the Sword", Set was this to Epemitreus. Which is part of why he helps Conan against Thoth-amon, one of Set's votaries.
  • The Deaf Man in the 87th Precinct series by Ed McBain.
  • Companions Quartet has Kullervo for the main character Connie
  • In the Warrior Cats series, the most notable examples are Fireheart and Tigerclaw, and, coincidentally, their mentors, Bluefur and Thistleclaw.
  • In the Shannara franchise, Bremen the last of the original Druids, and Brona the Warlock Lord (who betrayed and destroyed the Druid Order) were this in the Backstory. This was eventually expanded on in First King of Shannara, where we see that Bremen in particular took this very personally. In The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara the Ilse Witch thinks that she and Walker are archenemies but in reality she's been duped, and he wants to save her. A straight example in Voyage is Elven Prince Ahren Elessedil and Mwellret Cree Bega. There's just something fundamentally twisted in the tortured relationship between this broken Elf and the sociopathic Smug Snake who turned him into The Woobie.
  • In The Wheel of Time the Forsaken Ishmael Later Moridin clearly views himself as this to Rand Al'Thor.
  • Redwall has had a few examples, but the most obvious are Swartt Sixclaw and Sunflash the Mace from Outcast of Redwall. When Sunflash maims Swartt's trademark sixclawed paw while escaping enslavement, a feud is struck that will haunt them both for their entire lives. From the time they are teenagers until Swartt's death in late middle age, they are always hunting one another.

Live-Action TV

  • Doctor Who
    • The Master (at one point the Doctor specifically refers to him as "my archenemy") and Davros to the Doctor. Also the Daleks are the most recurring villains and were described as the Doctor's archenemy by Amy Pond in "Victory of the Daleks".
    • Each Doctor appeares to have a personal rival...
      • 1: The Daleks and the Monk
      • 2: The Cybermen and the Quarks
      • 3: The Master
      • 4: Davros and the Master
      • 5: The Black Guardian and the Master
      • 6: Davros and the Valeyard
      • 7: Death and the Timewyrm
      • 8: The Master
      • 9: The Daleks and Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen
      • 10: The Daleks and the Master
      • 11: The Silence
    • Madame Kovarian to the Pond/Williams family
    • The Daleks as Doctor's ultimate archnemesis was best summed up when the Eleventh Doctor took a wrench and proceeded to beat one with it;

Doctor: YOU. ARE. MY. ENEMY! And I am YOURS! You are everything I despise! The worst thing in all creation! I've defeated you time and time again! I've defeated you! I've sent you back into the Void! I saved the whole of Reality from you! I am the Doctor- *kicks it* -and you are the Daleks!

  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures, the Trickster and Slitheen family are this to Sarah Jane Smith.
  • Drake/Thorne, the Jixen and the Korven to K9's team in K9.
  • Captain John Hart to Jack Harkness in Torchwood.
  • For a while in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harmony liked to think of herself as Buffy's archenemy, but Buffy never took her quite that seriously. She even laughed herself sick when Xander told her that Harmony and her minions could be a threat to her in the second episode of season 5.
    • The evil trio in season 6 considers itself the archnemesis of Buffy, but... yeah... She doesn't take them serious either.
    • Faith is probably the closest thing to playing this trope straight. Even after Faith's Heel Face Turn when the two are supposed to be on the same side during Season 7 and the Season 8 comic, they can't help fighting and sometimes trying to kill each other.
    • Joss Whedon plays with this trope again in Angel. Lindsey thought he would be Angel's arch enemy, having been Angel's enemy since the show's first season and having spent half his life trying to beat Angel. Which probably why he seems personally offended by the fact that it's not Angel who kills him, but Lorne.

Lindsey: You kill me? [collapses] You... a flunky? I'm not just- Angel kills me. You- Angel...[dies]

  • Stephen Colbert declared Korean pop star Rain his archenemy for constantly besting him in Time Magazine's Top 100 Influential People.
    • The rivalry intensified after Rain soundly defeated Colbert in a Dance Battle.
    • Second place for his archenemy is probably Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton of DC. They always fight whenever she is on, but it is not mean spirited.
  • Sylar and Mohinder in Heroes. While there are many other contenders, with this couple there's the whole "You Killed My Father" issue. Also, since Sylar did a Heel Face Turn, he's on the same team as all his other supposed-arch enemies. But then Mohinder had a turn of his own, so he and Sylar are still on opposite sides of the fight.
    • Later in the series, Sylar seems much less interested in Mohinder, and starts spending more time thinking he's Nathan Petrelli, stalking Claire Bennet, and collecting more abilities with which to execute his elaborate attempts to become more powerful. The first two not at the same time, thank God.
    • Also, Hiro and Adam Monroe. Although Hiro defines "The Speedster" as his.
    • Claire has Eric Doyle, the creepy Puppet Master.
    • Knox thinks of himself as Noah's arch enemy. Noah doesn't care, given that he's too much of a cold blooded son of a bitch to let things get personal (except where Sylar's concerned).
    • Arthur Petrelli was Peter's arch enemy. They even had a climactic final showdown where Peter displayed more guts and smarts without powers than he had in every episode where he HAD them.
    • And now Nathan is playing the nemesis role with his reason Lex Luthor styled knight templar turn.
    • Some of those examples don't really fit the Arch enemy type of relationship.
    • Peter and Sylar for the first 3 volumes. Even after Peter gets nerfed he is still always there to foil Sylar's plans.
    • HRG and Sylar. Only because Sylar is ALWAYS messing with Claire.
    • Sylar to Claire. Sucks for Claire since there is NOTHING she can do against him.
    • Arthur and Angela Petrelli.
    • Doyle was an arch enemy...for Claire's biological mother! Claire barely takes him seriously and Doyle is even quite civil towards her in volume 5.
    • Matt Parkman and Sylar can be added to the list as of volume 5.
  • Law and Order: Criminal Intent: Det. Robert Goren's arch-enemy is Depraved Bisexual Nicole Wallace now deceased. Nicole is oh-for-two in Hannibal Lecture attempts (well, technically oh-for-three, but #3 was rather weak).
  • Lucy Butler is the archenemy of Frank Black on the television show Millennium.
  • Arguably, Adrian Monk's arch enemy is Dale "the Whale" Biederbeck. While Biederbeck is defeated by Monk in his first appearance, he appears a couple more times afterwards to taunt Monk and generally be a Complete Monster. He provides a good counterpoint for Monk, as Biederbeck is mentally comfortable but hugely overweight to the point of being bedridden, while Monk can move around freely but is, to paraphrase Biederback, trapped in the prison of his own mind.
  • Seinfeld: "Hello, Newman..."
    • George and Elaine each have their own as well: Lloyd Braun and Sue Ellen Mischke, respectively. In these cases, the rivals seem unaware that George and Elaine aren't their friends and are actively rooting or plotting against them.
  • Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future has one in Lyman Taggart, who is better known as Lord Dread.
  • Sue Sylvester from Glee schemed constantly to bring down Will Schuster.
  • Callisto is the archenemy of Xena in Xena: Warrior Princess
  • Hera is the archenemy of Hercules in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
  • Recent developments in Top Gear seem to be pitting Rubens Barrichello as The Stig's archenemy after Barrichello beat the Stig's lap record.
  • Star Trek
  • On Everybody Loves Raymond Ray Barone calls Peggy, bitchy mother of his daughter best friend his "arch enemy"
  • Gus Fring very much becomes this to Walter White on Breaking Bad. Interestingly throughout their feud we see signs that Gus and Walt really aren't that different.
  • CSI mostly focused on a killer of the week formula, but an occasional seasonal Big Bad would emerge, a few of which ended up becoming arch enemy to one of the CSI team members.
    • In the early seasons of the show, forensically-gifted special effects artist and Evil Genius Paul Millander served as the arch enemy to team leader Gil Grissom.
    • Serial Killer Nate Haskell was the archenemy of Ray Langston and the purest example of this trope on the show. When the two are first introduced Langston is lecturing Criminology and Haskell is a frequent "guest" speaker from his prison cell via video link, and grows to treat Ray as a Friendly Enemy (Ray, in contrast, just thinks Haskell is a despicable monster). He assists the team in capturing one of Ray's other nemesis', Mad Doctor Serial Killer Doctor Jekyll, just to get the chance to attack and nearly kill Ray. It emerges that they both share a particular gene that has been linked to a predisposition to violence, and both had violent abusive fathers, meaning Haskell is Ray's Shadow Archetype as he secretly fears they are Not So Different and Haskell is what he could become. In season 11 Haskell escapes and engages in Criminal Mind Games with him, culminating in abducting Langston's ex-wife, murdering her new husband, just to torment Ray, and in the series finale Ray snaps, and proceeds to beat and murder him.
  • Stargate Atlantis: Acastus Koya was this to Sheppard. They only met a handful of times over the course of the series, but there was more animosity between them than Sheppard had with any other villain on the show.
    • That being said, the rogue Wraith/human hybrid Michael could be seen as an archenemy to the team as a whole (and particularly Tayla in his later appearances).
  • In The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon has declared Wil Wheaton his arch enemy since childhood. In "The Russian Rocket Reaction," Sheldon finally forgives Wheaton but immediately replaces him with Brent Spiner.
  • Lampshaded in Sherlock when Mycroft and Sherlock refers to each other as such, and this conversation happens:

Dr. John Watson: People don't have archememies.
Sherlock Holmes: What?
Dr. John Watson: In real life. People don't have archenemies.
Sherlock Holmes: That sounds a bit dull. So what do people have in their REAL lives?
Dr. John Watson: Friends, people they like, people they don't like, boyfriends, girlfriends...
Sherlock Holmes: Like I said, dull.

Marion Mariposa: Oh, why are you so unpleased to see a familiar face? Did you enjoy the candy I sent you?
Diana Prince, waking from her induced sleep: Not in the least, and I enjoyed the flowers even less.
Marion Mariposa: What’s the matter? Lost your sense of humor?
Diana Prince: I was hoping we were rid of yours. Weren’t you supposed to be drowned at the north sea after our last encounter?
Marion Mariposa: By now you should know that I have my entrances and exits carefully choreographed, Diana. I had one of my submarines pick me.

Myth and Legend

  • Loki and Heimdall in Norse Mythology. Fittingly enough, they kill each other in Ragnarok. There's also Thor and Jormungandr who do the same.
  • Ra and Apophis/Apep.
    • Osiris and Set. Later Horus and Set.

Newspaper Comics

Professional Sports

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants have been arch rivals since the 1800s, from their days in New York, all the way across the coast when they both moved to California.
  • The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, the American League's, and possibly Major League Baseball's, bitterest rivalry.
  • In basketball, there really is no better rivalry than that between the Lakers and the Celtics. This one is born out of success, as opposed to any local enmity.
  • Michigan State University's football and basketball teams, both called the Spartans, are each this to their University of Michigan counterparts, both called the Wolverines, and the feeling is mutual.
    • MSU may consider Michigan its archenemy, but Wolverines fans would count Ohio State as theirs.
  • Really, there are far too many sports examples to list here. At nearly every level, if a team plays, it's got an arch-enemy and there is much hatred to be had.
  • Duke vs. UNC. One of the biggest rivalry in college sports.
  • Celtic and Rangers in Scottish football.
  • Ajax Amsterdam and Feyenoord in the Dutch football League.

Professional Wrestling

  • Wrestling tends to avoid this, due to frequent Heel Face Turns (and Face Heel Turns), but there are still a few, most notably:
  • In the fandom, Wrestlecrap and Kent Jones (their Message Board went as far as to filter Kent Jones' name as "Can't Shoot," "I like tired fads," etc.). They also hate 420Chan's /wooo/.
  • Due to pro wrestling's nature as a staged sport, as well as the close bonds of trust most wrestlers have with one another (literally putting their lives in each other's hands), many of the cases listed here (not all) are actually good friends in real life, with a great amount of respect for one another. Even Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, whose real life rivalry was as legendary as any staged rivalry in the sport (before they finally buried the hatchet), expressed tremendous respect for each other's skill and ability, while personally despising one another.
  • WCW to WWF and ECW, for stealing stars from both feds, the cruiserweight divsion idea from ECW and almost putting the WWF into bankruptcy. Paul Heyman who was fired from WCW fostered this with both the wrestlers and the fans. ECW and WWF were somewhere between Worthy Opponent and Friendly Enemies.

Tabletop Games

  • Magic: The Gathering: Urza and Yawgmoth is the best known archenemy pairing, although there are dozens of individual hatreds. They've even released a variant named Archenemy, although that's dedicated more to a dynamic of Big Bad vs. Enemy Mine.
  • While everyone in Warhammer 40,000 will gladly fight everyone else in Warhammer 40,000, there are some special hatreds. Particularly Ultramarines vs. Word Bearers, Space Wolves vs. Thousand Sons, Necrons vs. Eldar and Orks vs. Everything. The Tyranids are arguably the Arch Enemy of the Tau, since they are the most immediate threat to the Tau's survival. The Tyranids on the other hand just see them (and everything else but the Necrons) as just another meal.
    • The Chaos Gods are kept in a perpetual Enemy Civil War with rare alliances (fortunately), because they represent radically opposite urges: Tzeentch is hope and change while Nurgle is despair and entropy; Khorne is rage and violence while Slaanesh is pleasure and excess. And ultimately, they view the God-Emperor as their real enemy.
    • As an illustration of how deeply the Ultramarines vs Word Bearers hatred runs: in the Horus Heresy novels, it is revealed that the Ultramarines keep a precise count of time since the beginning of a battle - known as the Mark. The Mark of Calth, for the battle in which the Word Bearers first attacked the Ultramarines, will be left running until every Word Bearer is dead. Meaning that an Ultramarine can give you a precise count of how long it is they have wanted the Word Bearers to die, even ten thousand years after the original battle. Now that is enmity.
  • Eric and the Dread Gazebo.
  • Dungeons & Dragons fourth edition setting, Points of Light, has a sourcebook detailing the realms of the gods, called The Plane Above. In it it mentions certain gods who have a special, personal hatred for one another, giving the examples as Bahamut vs Tiamat, Avandra vs Zehir, and Moradin vs Asmodeus. With the exception of Bahamut and Tiamat, these examples are kind of out of the blue. Other examples include Gruumsh vs Corellon which is taken from their Forgotten Realms counterparts, as well as The Raven Queen and Orcus, though Orcus is generally traditionally seen as the arch enemy of Demogorgon.
    • Speaking of Dungeons & Dragons, Bane and Cyric. They hate each other worse than they hate any of the good gods.
    • Giants and Dragons are hated enemies. They've been at war so long that no living giant or dragon can remember how this enmity started, and seeing as both often have lifespans of centuries, that's really saying something.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game, this seems to be the case between D.D. Warrior Lady and Warrior Dai Grepher. They are clearly seen fighting on several Spell and Trap Cards in a feud that started when she was Warrior Lady of the Wasteland and continued when he became Dark Lucious. The first one was Simultaneous Loss, but there were several others. The motives behind this conflict are a mystery, especially seeing as many cards suggest they used to be in the same unit under Freed.

Video Games

  • From the Resident Evil series Chris Redfield has Big Bad Albert Wesker as his Arch Enemy.
  • Bowser is Mario's archenemy, hating him for always foiling his plans. Lampshade Hanging occurs in Mario & Luigi: Partners In Time where it is revealed that even as toddlers Mario stopped Bowser from kidnapping Peach.
  • Ganondorf is Link's eternal archenemy.
    • However, Link is a Legacy Character, and no version of him has fought Ganondorf more than once. It is possible that Ganondorf considers all pointy-eared, green-suited blond boys to be his archenemy, while each Link just thinks of Ganondorf as another Rogue.
    • However each Link is usually educated about the Triforce and how they are fated to face Ganon some way or another. But particularly Link from The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker had a grudge against Ganon for kidnapping his sister and Zelda and Link from The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time was the first Link to face Ganondorf for endangering Zelda, killing the Deku Tree, and directly ruining every other society he had to rescue.
    • Justified, and borderline Deconstructed, in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. Ganondorf is the reincarnation of Demon King Demise's endless hatred for Link and Zelda, and that continues to haunt them even as they keep reincarnating. The three are literally bound to fight for eternity.
    • It's also mildly subversive, since the revelation that Zelda is the mortal incarnation of Hylia, the goddess who initially sealed Demise, means she was his original archenemy, not Link.
  • Dr. Ivo "Eggman" Robotnik is Sonic's archenemy.
  • Dr. Wily is Mega Man's archenemy, Sigma and Mega Man X, and Dr. Weil and Zero in Mega Man Zero.
  • This, like every other trope, gets lampooned in Kingdom of Loathing: the player receives a quest from their guild to retrieve an item stolen by their Nemesis. The player wasn't aware that they even had a Nemesis before that.
  • Ridley in the Metroid games, to Samus Aran. This one is personal, since Ridley trashed Samus' home of K-2L and personally killed both of her parents. Ironically, the Metroid manga (which was made by Nintendo) has a brief scene where a 4-year old Samus, not yet knowing what Ridley has done, tries to make friends with the giant space dragon.
    • When Samus approaches him, Ridley is watching the chaos and fire his pirates have caused, and actually gets a sad look for a moment when he sees her. Then Samus' mother runs to save her from Ridley, and he promptly goes back to normal and kills Samus' mother in front of her.
    • In the manga, he also mocks her about how he killed her parents.
  • The old Donkey Kong had Mario but the new one has King K. Rool in the Donkey Kong Country games.
  • Kirby has King Dedede, although they've grown to be more friendly rivals because Dedede is a Harmless Villain.
  • Fox has Andross.
    • Perhaps Wolf after Andross is defeated for good. The two teams have worked together though.
  • Many Fire Emblem Lords get at least one
  • F-Zero: Captain Falcon vs. Black Shadow, and later Deathborn
  • Guilty Gear: Sol Badguy has That Man.
  • Many characters in Street Fighter II have M. Bison as their archenemy, among them Chun Li, who lost a father to him. He pisses off a lot of people. Oddly, Bison doesn't see Ryu as such, even though he's the one who (canon wise) defeats him in every game he appears. In Street Fighter III, Gill becomes Alex's archenemy.
    • Also Ryu vs. Akuma.
  • The original Street Fighter had Sagat as Ryu's original Rival, and it may have been that way ever since.
  • Fatal Fury has Geese Howard, who could practically be considered an archenemy to Southtown as a whole. Terry Bogard actually winds up adopting his son, Rock (who despises his father anyway, since Geese abandoned Rock's mother).
  • Iori Yagami and Kyo Kusanagi in The King of Fighters. Iori really does seem to have no life outside of messing with Kyo. After the events of KOF XI, they both get a mutual archenemy in Ash Crimson (who, like Bison before him, has that special talent for pissing off near anybody he comes into contact with).
  • Dracula has the entire Belmont clan (as well as the Belnades and Morris families, and his own son, Alucard.) as his running archenemies in the Castlevania games.[1] According to the prequel Lament of Innocence, Dracula's real archenemy is Sara Trantoul, whose soul empowers the Vampire Killer.
  • Mortal Kombat has these all over the board. Liu Kang's archenemy is Shang Tsung, Sonya Blade has an archenemy in Kano, Scorpion has Sub-Zero and Quan Chi as successive archenemies, Kitana has her evil clone Mileena, Raiden has Quan Chi and Shinnok as archenemies, Kung Lao has a nemesis in Baraka, Cyrax has his Evil Counterpart Sektor and everyone from Earth Realm had Shao Kahn as a nemesis.
  • In the Metal Gear Solid series the main protagonist is constantly facing of against Ocelot and/or Liquid, though none of them'd ever use titles as arch-nemesis.
    • Skull Face is the primary true arch enemy of Metal Gear Solid V after he wipes out Snake's entire base. The survivors are referenced as Captain Ahab's obsession with Moby Dick in their quest for revenge.
  • World of Warcraft
    • The biggest example is the Forever War between the Alliance and the Horde. They've often had to cooperate against common enemies, some leaders have tried to make peace, and some have come close to succeeding. Unfortunately, any truce between them will always be temporary, seeing as there's no way to do so without eliminating PVP from the game entirely.
    • Varian Wrynn is technically the archenemy of Thrall, though this is mostly one-sided since it's only really Varian who wants to kill Thrall, while Thrall himself would gladly declare peace. Meanwhile, Garrosh Hellscream represents the anti-Alliance hate on the Horde side. He and Varian almost try to kill each other on a diplomatic meeting.
    • Thrall would probably think of Kil'jaeden as his archenemy, since he was the one who originally corrupted the Orcs and currently leads the Burning Legion. Kil'jaeden, though, probably wouldn't think much of Thrall at all.
    • Kl'jaeden and their subservient eredar are definite arch-enemies of the whole draenei race and their leader Velen - they once were one race, before Sargeras arrived with The Corruption. From then on, draenei where on the run from eredar for millenia, until they settled on Azeroth for their final stand.
    • The Arch Enemy concept is also presented with Outland factions. Major bad guys there are represented by two races - blood elves under the rule of Kael'thas Sunstrider and various demons, partly led by Illidan. Major player friendly fractions, Aldor and Scryers, don't get along very well and have different opinions - Aldor chose demons as their Arch Enemy, while Scryers prioritize stopping Kael'thas' elves.
    • In the Wrath Of The Lich King expansion, Arthas, the titular Lich King is an archenemy of Tirion Fordring and Sylvanas Windrunner in addition to being a Big Bad for the expansion.
    • In a lesser example there is Loken, archenemy of Thorim, who orchestrated first his Heroic BSOD, then the recovery from it, which only led into another trap.
    • Deathwing, leader of the Black Dragonflight, is the archenemy of Alexstrasza and the other surviving Dragon Aspects.
    • Twilight's Hammer has been the arch enemy of the Earthen Ring, a shamanistic organization dedicated to preserving & protecting the elemental balance of Azeroth and Outland, since before Cataclysm.
  • Daiku no Gensan - The President of Kuromoku-gumi, Hyosuke Kuromoku, for Genzo. Only one game in the series has not featured the Kuromoku-Gumi and Hyosuke as major villains.
  • Crash Bandicoot - Crash has Doctor Neo Cortex. In the same series there is also the rivalry between sentient voodooo masks Aku Aku and Uka Uka
  • Asha the Assassin becomes Iji's Arch Enemy after losing their first fight. Originally, he was only after the bounty on her head (and the fame).
  • Empire Earth's 2nd campaign focuses on Great Britain and France's feud through the ages.
  • Fate Stay Night - Shirou gets two, depending on which route you're in. His possible future self Archer is the antithesis of his ideals, yet embodies them entirely. The two are completely incompatible. And allies, at first. The other is Kotomine, who understands Shirou better than anyone else in the entire Visual Novel. He's also the first person Kotomine met who was like him, a person without a real sense of self. They get along rather well in their own way, they just happen to be completely and utterly opposed to one another.

Kotomine: "You [and Rin] shall act out the final stage of the Holy Grail War."
Shirou: "Are you saying I will remain until the very end?"
Kotomine: "Of course. You are Emiya Kiritsugu now. There is no way you cannot win."

  • In Ratchet and Clank, Captain Qwark and Dr. Nefarious are considered this, although neither seem to consider the other that big of a threat (though Qwark obviously does). In A Crack in Time, Nefarious also calls Ratchet and Clank his archnemeses. While the Doctor considers the eponymous duo the far more formidable opponents, the history between Qwark and him causes the mere sight or mention of Qwark to make him to rage to the point of malfunctioning.
  • In God of War, Kratos' archenemy is Zeus. No other enemy, even Ares, commands as much of Kratos' time and energy as the King of the Gods. They are truly arch enemies when you consider that Zeus wants to kill Kratos to restore order to the world, and Kratos is willing to destroy Zeus and Olympus in order to get his revenge.
  • In Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Wolfenstein, the Nazi scientist and SS-General Wilhelm "Deathshead" Strasse is the Archenemy of OSA spy B.J. Blazkowicz, as well as "the single most dangerous figure in the entire Third Reich". He's also quite apt at getting away with all sorts of atrocities.
  • In Assassin's Creed, the Assassins and The Knights Templar have been arch enemies for thousands of years, although the Assassins are losing as of now.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, it's actually pretty one-sided; the protagonist, Cloud, eventually has plenty of reason to hate the Big Bad, Sephiroth, but Sephiroth barely acknowledges Cloud at all, and even then as an insigficant pawn, until the very end when Cloud's group actually beats him. After this, as in the movie Advent Children (or Dissidia, below), they certainly are arch-enemies both ways, though it's possible the very reason Sephiroth has it in for Cloud is that he hates having been beaten by someone so insignificant.
  • The ten heroes and their respective villains, Chaos and Cosmos, and Shantotto and Gabranth in Dissidia Final Fantasy.
  • Ultimately, Sora and Xehanort in the Kingdom Hearts series. Sora is The Messiah, while all the conflict in the games was caused by Xehanort in one way or another.
  • Legacy of Kain gives us Malek and Vorador in Blood Omen, The Sarafan Lord and Janos Audron in Blood Omen 2, and Kain and Raziel throughout the series. All of these are slightly one sided, though. While Malek had a deep personal hatred for Vorador, Vorador didn't think much of him and for the most part hated his order and humanity in general. Janos hated the Sarafan Lord for holding him prisoner for four hundred years, starving him of blood but the Sarafan Lord's issue was with vampires in general and he considered Janos little more than a tool. Raziel, likewise, hated Kain on a very personal level, but Kain's actions against him were necessary evils. Kain himself had much more personal grudges against Malek and the Sarafan Lord than he did against Raziel, and possibly his true arch enemy was Moebius. And in the end it turns out Kain was the arch enemy of the Elder God, who manipulated people across centuries to try and kill Kain, due to Kain's destiny to become the Scion of Balance, the only being that can destroy the Elder God.
  • Knights of the Old Republic: Malak and Revan, and arguably a parallel with Saul Karath and Carth Onasi.
  • Space Quest: Sludge Vohaul, despite appearing in only two games (but heavily implied to be behind the events of the first).
  • King's Quest: The Black Cloak Society to the Daventry royal family. The extent of which of the series' foes were part of the Society is debatable, but at least four (Hagatha, Mannanan, Mordak, Alhazred) have some kind of tie. The Fan Remake of King's Quest II cranks it up a bit with a designated archenemy, Morgelien (aka "The Father").
  • BlazBlue has a few of these relationships. While Ragna is dedicated to ending the Big Bad Terumi's existence, he believes that his true Arch Enemy will be his brother Jin once his "Power of Order" awakens since Ragna may be the "Destroyer of the World" that the "Power of Order" is meant to fight. Terumi is an Arch Enemy to the remaining Six Heroes, Kokonoe, and Rachel since his betrayal of them was far more personal (murdered Jubei's wife/Kokonoe's mother Nine, sealed Haku-men in the Boundary, insults the master to whom Valkenhyn holds Undying Loyalty, and has been dueling Rachel in a battle of wits over thousands of years worth of time loops). Carl's greatest foe as of Continuum Shift is his father Relius, who added his own daughter (Carl's sister) Ada's body and soul to the Nox Nyctores Nirvana and used the information he gleaned from that experiment to create a superior puppet—using Carl's mother Ignis. Bang used to consider Jin to be his Arch Enemy, but thanks to Character Development has moved passed this. He now considers the system behind the NOL itself that ordered the attack on Ikaruga to be his Arch Enemy. Even Taokaka has one. She and Arakune frequently come to blows since he terrorizes the Kaka clan village and she is its protector. On a more tragic note, Tsubaki becomes her former best friend Noel's Arch Enemy thanks to Terumi's influence, the trauma of losing her sight to Izayoi, and her deep-rooted jealousy of Noel over her being chosen to be by Jin's side.
  • The Grey Wardens and the Darkspawn of Dragon Age. The Grey Wardens were founded specifically to prevent the Darkspawn from destroying Thedas and will do anything to accomplish this task. The feeling is mutual during Blights—Archdemons will go out of their way to kill the Grey Wardens once they can sense their location since they know that only Wardens can permanently destroy them.
    • Arl Rendon Howe for the human noble PC, (possibly) Prince Bhelen for the dwarf noble PC, Jarvia for the dwarf commoner PC, Vaughn for the city elf PC, Loghain for Alistair.
  • Mass Effect: The closest Commander Shepard has to this is Harbinger.
  • The God Wars Dungeon in Runescape would imply that the four Gods involved consider each other Arch Enemies, since even after thousands of years, the 4-way free-for-all is still going on. Saradomin and Zamorak are probably the most literally example in the game, even though they aren't technically the "Good" and "Evil" Gods.
  • The Nemesis System in Champions Online lets you create a customized arch-enemy for your hero once you hit level 25. And if you finally defeat and jail your nemesis, you can create another to take over for them.

Web Comics

  • Grace and Damien were arch enemies in El Goonish Shive
  • Hitlerella is Wonderella's archenemy in The Non-Adventures of Wonderella.
  • The Wotch - Xaos to The Wotch.
  • The Order of the Stick.
    • Xykon is archenemy to Roy Greenhilt by inheritance. The twist here is that Xykon rarely if ever remembers who Greenhilt even is, let alone that he's supposed to be his nemesis. He is aware he has nemeses, but Xykon has ruined so many lives (and afterlives) that he can't be bothered to remember any single one in particular.
    • Elan has Nale and Haley has Crystal (even if she has no idea what an arch-nemesis is) and Sabine.
    • The main female in every evil joint the Order encounters is bound to become an Arch Enemy of Haley (the Thieves' Guild - Crystal, the bandits - Samantha, the Linear Guild - Sabine and Kitty the hawk, Team Evil - Tsukiko), though only about half of them stick around. The exception so far is the Empress of Blood, probably because no one wants to be the Arch Enemy of that.
      • Belkar, at least, is of the impression that Sabine is Haley's one true archenemy. This is actually Lampshaded by Haley, who notes this tendency and comments that she should have chosen 'Favored Enemy - Flying Skank' as her class ability.
  • Sluggy Freelance - Bun-Bun's arch-nemesis is Santa Claus, whom he tries to kill every Christmas that he's not stuck in an endless void outside of time. Bun-Bun doesn't actually remember why he hates Santa so much, but he's not about to let that stand in the way of a good grudge.
  • Casey and Andy: Andy's nemesis is Grover Cleveland. Yes, the president.
  • Schlock Mercenary - Xinchub was Captain Tagon's, but it's all got a bit confused right now.
  • Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures - Until the latest chapter the series really wasn't that melodramatic, but now for Dan it's a toss up between Dark Pegasus and Regina Darkblood. Dark Pegasus is more dangerious and re-occuring (Dan has killed him twice), but with Regina it is far, far more personal.
  • Lightbringer - Darkbringer for Lightbringer. Go figure.
  • Superhero Plot Twist from Acrobat has Plot Hole (yes, that's how they're calling themselves). It's Personal, but no one, even Plot Twist, knows why. Also, Coil had Mr. Kawagai before he committed suicide and Magnum has guy who created his armor.
  • Energize - Energize has Saroth and Cheggras, while Ferless has Death.
  • Dasien - Dasien has Lord Crismon.
  • Mechagical Girl Lisa A.N.T. - Lisa has Evil Magical Girl Pink Flash.
  • Hero By Night - The Hero and Iron Talon
  • 8-Bit Theater: Sarda to Black Mage, for seemingly no reason. At first.
  • Last Res0rt has Daisy Archanis and Jason Spades; Jason probably cares more about Daisy than vice versa, though in Daisy's defense, she's got a lot more to worry about (namely, Veled) most of the time.
  • Zeera The Space Pirate has rival Space Pirate Kaligula, although this becomes less heated as time goes on, and the corrupt space cops become her real nemesis.
  • In Spinnerette, Spinnerette's arch nemesis is... Spinnerette. No, this isn't a case of Enemy Within, they just both happened to pick the same supranym. And then started fighting over it. They now distinguish each other as "Good Spinnerette" and "Evil Spinnerette."
  • The Adventures of Gyno Star features two main arch-enemies: Uber-sexist Vlad Deferens, and The Stay-at-Home Mommy
  • Sinfest: Seymour to Lil'E.

Web Original

  • The Angry Video Game Nerd and The Nostalgia Critic were like this for a while, until it culminated in one of the most awesome battles ever.
  • By the end of Kate Modern, Ax Crazy Phlebotinum Rebel Terrence has become the Arch Enemy of the entire K-Team.
  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog - Johnny Snow claims to be Dr. Horrible's nemesis. Similar to the Buffy example above, Dr. Horrible does not take him very seriously, considering Captain Hammer to be his actual nemesis. For his part, Captain Hammer thinks of Dr. Horrible as just another villain that he regularly defeats, and a fairly pathetic one at that.

Dr. Horrible "OK. Dude. You're not my nemesis. My nemesis is Captain Hammer. Captain Hammer, corporate tool! He dislocated my shoulder last week. Again."

Western Animation

  • Cartman and Kyle from South Park. It was mostly one-sided on Cartman's side earlier on, but the two snowballed into mortal enemies somewhere in the fifth season, and has jumped up a notch with every subsequent season.
  • The Monarch from The Venture Brothers wants to be Doctor Venture's archenemy, but Doctor Venture doesn't consider him a threat.

Hank: What's your problem with our dad anyway?!
The Monarch: (awkwardly) Well, I- he- he's my nemesis. My archenemy.
Dean: I don't think pop thinks you're his archenemy.
The Monarch: Come on, I'm sure the walls of the Venture Compound are practically caked with the lingering curses of the Monarch's name.
Dean: Uhh, no. I've never even heard him mention you.
Hank: Yeah, I always thought Baron Underbheit was dad's arch-enemy.
The Monarch: (astounded) Underbheit!?! Why, that dime-store Doctor Doom isn't fit to -- just you wait till your father calls me back!!

    • Initially, at least. The Monarch quickly revealed himself to be a Not-So-Harmless Villain and an actual Diabolical Mastermind over the course of the first and second seasons. He was also involved in a vicious feud with Underbheit over who could kill Venture (before they decided upon a Villain Team-Up). By the end of the second season, Rusty wasn't willing to bury the hatchet, even though the Monarch was (though it's all back to the same routine by the later season).
    • Underbheit, on the other hand, has made very rare appearances now and again, until La Résistance deposed him of his throne. He hasn't been, and (according to DVD Commentary) probably won't be, heard from again.
      • He has been. About halfway through Season 4, he teamed up with Phantom Limb and Professor Impossible.
    • And, as of season three's "Home Is Where The Hate Is", Dr. Venture's new archenemy was Sergeant Hatred, who was assigned by the Guild of Calamitous Intent. His actual goal is to be as nice to Dr. Venture as possible, so as to annoy the Monarch and pay him back for his henchmen robbing him. However Hatred eventually becomes the new Venture Bodyguard and Monarch gets himself a free pass to antagonize Venture once again.
    • The Venture Brothers has an interesting system wherein archrivalries are assigned, not chosen, by the OSI and Guild of Calamitous Intent (hence the coinage of a term: 'arching' to describe the act of being an archnemesis). In season 3, it's revealed that a reason for Dr. Mrs. The Monarch's attraction to her husband is that The Monarch's archrivalry of Venture doesn't stem from this stodgy system, but actual, living, breathing, unfounded hatred.
  • Captain Hero on Drawn Together belatedly realized that the random homeless guy they ran over was "My... ARCH... NEMESIS!"
    • As an added, subtlety that would only be found on this show, his goal is not Captain Hero's destruction, but to get him to wash his balls. And has succeeded multiple times.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: Mojo Jojo for all 3 girls, especially Blossom.
    • HIM for Bubbles.
    • The Gangreen Gang for Buttercup.
  • Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory has Mandark as archenemy.
    • Dee-Dee's arch-nemesis is Lala Vava, Mandark's sister.
  • David Xanatos to Goliath in Gargoyles.
    • Though Xanatos fits best from a series standpoint, from a personal standpoint Demona, the Archmage, and Thailog might also want to claim that spot. From the same series, Tony Dracon is Elisa Maza's Arch Enemy (though he's not much of a threat to the Gargoyles themselves), while the entire line of Hunters consider themselves Demona's collective archenemy (though in truth hers is probably MacBeth).
  • We never learn the details, but as per some kind of feud stretching to before the series, Dr. Quest and Dr. Zin seem to both hate and grudgingly respect one another's guts in Jonny Quest.
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants, Mr. Krabs and Plankton.
  • The Simpsons: Bart Simpson and Principal Seymour Skinner and Sideshow Bob.

Bart: I'm only 10 and I already have two mortal enemies.

    • In the movies-within-the-show, McBain's archrival is Mendoza. Mendoza!!!!!!!
    • Even Maggie has the the one-eyebrowed Baby Gerald, although it's a mystery as to why.
    • Homer's archenemies are Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders and Frank Grimes.
    • Although with Grimes it's mainly one sided, Homer seemed to actually quite like him.
  • Cobra Commander to Duke and the G.I. Joe.
  • Marvin the Martian is this to Duck Dodgers, although he's the Dragon-in-Chief to Queen Tyr'ahnee, who is both an enemy and love interest to Dodgers.
  • In Transformers, Megatron is Optimus Prime's archenemy. Or Optimus Primal's, depending on the series.
  • Vlad Plasmius to the titular character in Danny Phantom.
  • Each of the Teen Titans had one:
    • Slade to Robin.
    • Brother Blood to Cyborg.
    • Blackfire to Starfire.
    • Trigon to Raven.
    • Terra to Beast Boy (because she was his Psycho Ex-Girlfriend).
    • And the Brotherhood of Evil to everyone.
      • On a personal level the Brotherhood (and specifically, the Brain) is Beast Boy's Arch Enemy. He was a member of the team that opposed them before he joined the Titans, and his past with them is what draws the other Titans into the conflict. Interestingly, this is a rare case of the hero taking it more seriously than the villain- the Brain considers Mento, the Doom Patrol's leader, to be his Arch Enemy, and regards Beast Boy as little more than an irritant. Yet, thanks to Beast Boy (and by extension, the Titans), the Brain considers ALL kid heroes his archenemies.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Prince Zuko is the archenemy of both Aang and Zhao for the first season. In the second season, Zhao dies and his evil sister Azula becomes Zuko's new archenemy. Aang himself himself has Fire Lord Ozai, though mostly from the fact that the two of them are destined to have an ultimate showdown, and everyone who wants to capture Aang intend to present him to the Fire Lord.
  • Dr. Drakken is Kim Possible's self-proclaimed arch foe, although Shego is her Foil and the one she actually locks fists with. More specifically Drakken is an arch foe and Shego is the nemesis. It's like a love triangle...
    • Ron's Arch Foe is Monkey Fist, but that's mostly because Fist is the only one who recognizes Ron's name; that and the "Mystical Monkey Power."
    • Due to the (presumed) deaths of Warhok and Warmonga, the Lorwardians will probably be Ron and Kim's archenemies.
  • Dr. Claw to Inspector Gadget.
  • In the DCAU, Lex Luthor is still Superman's primary enemy, but Darkseid and Brainiac surpass him whenever they show up.
    • And yet Luthor has survived direct dealings with both of them while even as both suffered grievous defeat. He was fused with Brainiac and personally put away Darkseid with the Anti-Life Equation who, it should be added, was even fused with Brainiac at the time.
  • The Joker and Batman in Batman: The Animated Series.
  • Mocked (unsurprisingly) by The Tick:

The Tick: Oh, for crying out loud...
Brainchild: So, at last, The Tick, my arch enemy, sits helpless before me!
The Tick: 'Arch enemy'? You must be joking, Charles. I mean, I don't like you and everything but if I ever do have an arch enemy it's not going to be some creepy little brat with a glass head.

  • Ernie the Giant Chicken to Peter Griffin on Family Guy. Or Carter Pewterschmidt, depending on the plot.
    • Stewie to his half-brother Bertram.
  • For some reason or another, In Spider-Man's cartoon from the 80s, his arch enemy was Doctor Doom. While the two have had s few historic encounters with one another in the comics, Doom is otherwise always depicted as an enemy of the Fantastic Four above all else.
  • Using similar logic to the Kim Possible example, in DuckTales Scrooge McDuck's archrival is Flintheart Glomgold, but his most threatening nemesis is Magica de Spell. If you have to have an obsessive, implacable arch nemesis, might as well be a sexy sorceress.
    • In the comics, he has two, Flimheart Glomgold and John D. Rockerduck.
  • Imperiex and Superman clone Kell-El in the Legion of Super Heroes cartoon.
  • Static Shock: Ebon to Static.
  • Invader Zim and Dib.
  • Freakazoid! is another example of a series where the Arch Enemy and the most dangerous enemy are not one and the same. The Lobe is the Arch Enemy, but Freakazoid's most genuinely threatening foe is Corrupt Corporate Executive Armando Gutierrez.
  • Vicky on The Fairly OddParents fits this for Timmy.
  • Blight to the new Batman (Batman Beyond).
  • Ben 10.
    • Ben Tennyson - Vilgax, Kevin 11 (until Heel Face Turn), Ghostfreak, Dr. Animo, Eon, Albedo,Will Harangue and Diagon.
    • Gwen Tennyson - Hex, Charmcaster (until Heel Face Turn) and Sunny.
    • Max Tennyson - Vilgax and Phil
    • Kevin E. Levin - Vulkanus, Darkstar, Argit, Ragnarok and Aggregor
    • Team Tennyson - Forever Knights, Negative 10, Highbreed(until Heel Face Turn), Aggregor, and Diagon.
  • Perry the Platypus and Dr Doofenschmirtz from Phineas and Ferb are aknowledged to be this, though Perry likely doesn't really respect Doofenschmirtz as a nemesis. Even so, the relationship is very important to both of them, and any time it's interrupted is treated like a romantic break-up.
  • Dr. Pretorius to The Mask in the animated series, at least for being the most recurring villain.
  • Looking at the Kim Possible and DuckTales (1987) examples, the Aladdin animated series had kind of the same deal with Abis Mal and Mozenrath. Maybe it's a Disney thing...
  • The Evil Emperor Zurg to the title character of Buzz Lightyear of Star Command.
  • In Thundercats and Thundercats 2011 Mumm-Ra (the Ever Living) to Lion-O and the Thundercats.
  • Emperor Krulos to Questar and the Dino Riders.
  • Mon*Star to Stargazer, Quicksilver and the Silverhawks (Funny part is that they were voiced by the same actor)
  • Heather to Gwen in Total Drama Island, which carries over into later seasons. Also, Alejandro's official title is "The Arch Rival".
  • Van Kleiss and Quarry to Rex in Generator Rex.
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers had a pretty good sized Rogues Gallery for an 80's cartoon, but two out of the four definitely had archenemies. The Queen of the Crowns had Zachary as an archenemy while Killbane and Shane had a long, nasty history that only got worse after most of the Supertroopers went renegade.
  • The Huntsman is Jake's Arch Enemy in American Dragon: Jake Long. Interestingly, he is only #4 on the Dragons' list of the top thirteen threats to the magical world. The #1 threat, the Dark Dragon, is Jake's Grandpa's Arch Enemy.
  • In Storm Hawks, Aerrow's Arch Enemy is not the Big Bad Cyclonus; rather, it's The Dragon Dark Ace. Cyclonus is the Evil Counterpart and Arch Enemy of Piper.
  • Tom and Jerry.
  • Looney Tunes has Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, Sylvester and Tweety, and Wile E Coyote and The Road Runner.
  • Coop and Kat on Kid vs. Kat.
  • Mrs. Boots is Buckley's in Slacker Cats.
  • Mickey Mouse has two arch-enemies: Pete and the Phantom Blot, the latter more so in comic books.
  • Scaredy Squirrel gives us Scaredy, Nester and Paddy
  • Rudy Tabootie, Mr. Wilter and Reggie Bullnerd in ChalkZone.
  • Eric Needles and Professor Pampelmoose in Sidekick
  • Tak, Cheif and Lok in Tak and the Power of Juju.
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars: The Mon Calamri often fight with the Quarren, both species are natives of the planet Dac.
  • Doc Terror to the Centurions.
  • Often played for laught in Darkwing Duck, where Darkwing would frequently refer as his archenemy/archrival/archnemesis any villain he would have met at least twice. Even a guys whose only power was to have a bunch of penguins at his service to commit robberies was once referred as his archenemy. However, from a serious point of view, at least three antagonists can be seen as his archenemies:
    • Megavolt initially owned the role, being both the first villain Darkwing chronologically faced (at least in his more "realistic" backstory), a personal enemy and one of the most recurring antagonists. He gradually lost the post to Negaduck however, to the point the recent comic sequel has him retired.
    • Negaduck is mostly considered as the main archenemy, due to both being an evil counterpart of the hero, the leader of the Fearsome Five and the most popular villain amongst fans.
    • Taurus Bulba, while having only two appearances in the animated series, was the first villain seen onscreen, as well as one of the most fearsome and competent. His link to Gazolyne makes him a personal villain. As such, he can be considered, in a way, as an Arch-Enemy
  • The Delightful Children and Kids Next Door but especially Numbuh 1 in Codename: Kids Next Door.

Real Life


Durkon: "Meh. It could be worse, ye know."
Vaarsuvius: "Oh?"
Durkon: "They could have magic trains."
Vaarsuvius: "Point taken."

    • And Baker also turns up in Start of Darkness (the trope namer, that is) as one of Xykon's rivals for the position of second-in-command to the Unholy Master early on in the book.
  • Bobby Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson hated, hated each other with a passion. Bobby felt Johnson was a devious coward, Johnson thought Bobby was a foul tempered "little shit." Intensified tenfold after JFK's assassination.
    • Also, Robert McNamara, the Secretary of Defense and a close personal friend of Bobby's who only got closer to him after Jack's assassination, got caught in the crossfire. This may have influenced some of Johnson's decisions in The Vietnam War.
  • Mark Gottlieb, the rules manager of Magic: The Gathering, is the archenemy of Mark Rosewater, the game's head designer. That's according to MaRo, at least, but he's nuttier than a bag of squirrels.
  • Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope were two of the major pioneers in the field of paleontology and between them identified over 142 new species of dinosaurs. Unfortunately, they hated each other with a passion and each became obsessed with defeating the other and proving himself the better scientist. Their frenzied race, known as the Bone Wars, extended over fifteen years and ended in a virtual stalemate, and both men were nearly bankrupted by the effort. In the end, they both made enormous contributions to the study of dinosaurs, committed any number of shady deeds to undermine each other, and ended up in the poorhouse. Not So Different, indeed.
  • John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the second and third presidents respectively, were this; after George Washington left the office, these two formed bitterly divided parties against each other. Ironically, due to how voting worked at the time, Jefferson wound up as vice president to Adams when he entered office, making things even worse than they were before. After both of their terms as president were over, however, they went on to become good friends.
    • Actually, they were good friends before Adams became president, having collaborated on the Declaration of Independence and worked together overseas. But when their political ideologies started to diverge, their relationship fell apart. Luckily they patched it up when they retired.
    • Then there was Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, a political and personal rivalry that actually ended with Burr (then Vice-President of the United States) killing Hamilton in a duel.
    • Another example from US politics: Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich.
    • In the current[when?] Congress, John Boehner vs. Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell vs. Harry Reid.
  • Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz fought for years over who invented calculus.
    • Newton also hated Robert Hooke with a passion.
  • Liberal William Lyon Mackenzie King and Conservative Arthur Meighen were bitter rivals in university, and the bad blood between them carried over when they both went into politics. Both men would serve as prime minister of Canada and led their parties against each other, but this trope was arguably subverted because King repeatedly wiped the floor with Meighen in their political Curb Stomp Battles.
  • Half a century earlier, a much more balanced version of this played out in Britain between William Gladstone and Benjamin Disraeli. Gladstone was a vaguely anti-imperialist Liberal (until he took office, whereupon the empire actually nearly grew twice as much as it had under Disraeli), a devout Christian very involved in social causes, and very much a man of ideas. Disraeli was a raw politician (though not without principles), ethnically Jewish and not a particularly serious Anglican, and a Conservative imperialist extraordinaire (he was responsible for making Queen Victoria Empress of India). The Queen loved Disraeli and hated Gladstone. Gladstone was frugal and very good with money (becoming Chancellor of the Exchequer four times, including twice as his own Chancellor); Disraeli was a bit of a spendthrift and kept having to write Romance Novels and other penny-dreadfuls to stay solvent. They led their parties against each other in several elections in the late 19th century, more or less taking turns governing the country and trading insults: Disraeli mocked Gladstone's nickname, GOM (the "Grand Old Man"), as really meaning "God's Only Mistake." For his part, Gladstone called Disraeli shallow even in death. These two men hated each others' guts with a passion not seen since in British politics.
  • Conservative political consultant Mary Matalin once called Liberal political consultant James Carville her "arch-nemesis" and her "worst enemy" when it came to political campaigns. And she said this after she married him and gave birth to his children (they apparently never talk politics at home).
  • Marius and Sulla, Caesar and Cato, Crassus and Pompey, Antony and Cicero, Antony and Octavian.
  • Hunter S. Thompson, author of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, hated Richard Nixon almost more than words can adequately describe. When he told Nixon this, Nixon said "Don't worry. I, too, am a family man, and we feel the same way about you." To give you an idea of just how much Thompson hated him, observe this article, written just a few days after Nixon's death.

If the right people had been in charge of Nixon's funeral, his casket would have been launched into one of those open-sewage canals that empty into the ocean just south of Los Angeles. He was a swine of a man and a jabbering dupe of a president. Nixon was so crooked that he needed servants to help him screw his pants on every morning. Even his funeral was illegal. He was queer in the deepest way. His body should have been burned in a trash bin.

Countries and Institutions

  • England and France have historically been enemies that never got along and warred constantly. Nowadays they're kinda like Vitriolic Best Buds instead.
    • Similar with France and Germany.
    • England and Oireland.
    • Sweden and Denmark also have this.
  • Athens and Sparta, even as there were some times that they helped one another.
  • The U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Became more like rivals during Detente in the late '60s and '70s, but escalated back into archenemies during the '80s until the Soviet Union's fall in 1991. These days they are on more or less good terms, though Russia has a habit of blowing a lot hot air every now and then, but it's treated more like an Unknown Rival now.
    • The US-Soviet rivalry is odd in that the recent rise of China as an economic superpower seems to have made some Americans nostalgic over the Soviet Union. The recent Russian spy scandal was rife with jokes about how the FBI and CIA were ecstatic about a return to the good old days.
  • The Roman and Persian Empires battled each other for centuries, but Rome's traditional archenemy was Carthage, as per The Aeneid.
  • Greece and the Ottoman Empire. North and South Korea. China and Japan. Japan and Korea, Israel and Palestine. Really, it could go on and on...
  • The United States Republican and Democratic parties in general and their presidential nominees every four years.
    • For that matter, the North and the South of America. Some don't really care, but attitudes for both range from Southerners viewing Northerners as obnoxious "left wing loonies," and Northerners viewing Southerners as ignorant rednecks. There are also some individuals in the South who still are bitter about losing The American Civil War, and will react quite angrily if questioned on this point. Likewise, some Northerners have never gotten over the incident.
  • India and Pakistan. Three major wars and one minor conflict and several close calls and both sides have nukes? Archenemies.
    • India and Japan are petitioning for permanent security council seats, while Pakistan and Korea are in committee to vote them down. This would strangely make Mexico a burgeoning rival for Brazil.
  • Australia and New Zealand - but only in the sporting arena, elsewhere we're Vitriolic Best Buds at worst, Best Friends when having to be part of The Squad at best...
  • In any duopoly, the two dominant companies could be considered this.
    • Pepsi and Coke
    • Marvel Comics and DC Comics
    • Nintendo and Sega, during the fourth generation of video games.
      • Sega was Nintendo's arch-enemy before it stopped making its own gaming consoles. Nowadays we have the three-way archenemies of Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft.
    • Disney, being a multi-media conglomerate, has different arch-enemies in different fields
      • Disney and Warner Brothers were this in the field of animated shorts before that format mostly disappeared. Nowadays, there's a bit of this between Disney Toon Studios (which makes films, mostly direct-to-video ones) and Walt Disney Television Animation on one side vs. and Warner Bros. Animation (which also does TV shows and direct-to-video films) on the other side.
      • And since Disney owns Marvel now and DC has been owned by Warner Bros, the Marvel/DC rivalry takes on an extra layer.
      • Toon Disney vs. Nicktoons before Toon Disney ceased to exist.
      • In TV in general, Disney channel vs. Nickelodeon
      • In theme parks, Disney World vs. Universal Studios
    • Pixar and DreamWorks Animation
  • At times, Gladstone and Disraeli, the head of the major rival parties in parliament in the UK in the Victorian Age, were personal archenemies, while their respective parties were full-time organization archenemies.
  • The African countries of Ethiopia and Somalia Somalia have had more than their share of spats over the centuries.
  1. The Belmonts have to destroy Dracula. They are fated to do so. Dracula makes it easy by actively pissing off the current Belmont. The Morris family, however, has no such problem with Dracula, instead being chosen by the Belmont clan to defeat the vampire out of necessity when they can't. It's a confused mish-mash, but the end result is that Dracula has the Belmont clan as his arch-enemies, but it's one-way and he should really stop exacerbating the situation.
  2. because getting Spoony to appear in his videos all the time is logistically unfeasible