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9 Classic TV Show Rivalries That Kept Us Tuning In

TV Rivalries
NBC / Warner Bros.

Harvard and Yale. Batman and the Joker. Miley Cyrus and dignity. There’s nothing like a heated rivalry.

The same can be said for TV where viewers have been treated to some antagonistic relationships over the years. Here’s a look at a handful of the best rivalries that have come down the pike on the small screen:


Jerry and Newman, 'Seinfeld'

 
 
 

This duo was forced to co-exist, mostly because they lived in the same building and had a mutual friend in Kramer. But, have no illusion: they disliked each other quite a bit.

Whether it was causing a rodent infestation, stealing a snippet of hair or getting busted for mail fraud, these two were always trying to outfox the other and made "Hello, Newman!" a household expression.

Alexis and Krystle, 'Dynasty'

 
 
 

All good soap operas need feuding characters and hair pulling, and nowhere was this put on display better than on 'Dynasty.'

Alexis and Krystle, whose hatred for each other centered around Krystle being married to Alexis’ ex-husband, Blake. These two tussled in such unlikely spots as a pond, a salon and a cottage. Their brawls are so legendary that Joan Collins, who played Alexis, once said, "Unfortunately, the thing people remember about this show is the catfights."

Cheers and Gary’s Olde Town Tavern, 'Cheers'

 
 
 

The sad sack crew of Cheers could never seem to outdo crosstown bar Gary’s Olde Town Tavern and usually wound up outsmarting themselves while trying to pull a fast one and proving it was the better watering hole. They may not have been shrewder, but Sam and the gang were definitely funnier.

Drew and Mimi, ‘The Drew Carey Show’

 
 
 

These two combatants/coworkers managed to work alongside each other, despite their mutual disdain, and often traded vicious barbs.

The writers eventually threw a big wrench into their relationship when Mimi married Drew’s brother, forcing them to become a little nicer to each other. We liked it better, though, when the vitriol was spewing freely.

Zack and Slater, ‘Saved By the Bell’

 
 
 

The relationship between Zack and Slater was tense at first, since they both courted all-everything girl Kelly Kapowski. Zack eventually won her over, Slater hooked up with Jessie and these two went on to become best pals, although they did find themselves on opposite sides again while trying to woo new girl Joanna in a later episode that culminated in an ugly punch bowl-down-the-pants incident at the Max where they ultimately renewed their friendship.

Sheldon and Wil Wheaton, 'The Big Bang Theory'

 
 
 

Sheldon may be a genius, but he’s not smart enough to prevent Wil Wheaton from outwitting him time and time again.

Sheldon has held a grudge against Wheaton since he failed to show up at a ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ convention when he was a kid and it only intensified after Wheaton duped him into winning a game tournament, played mind games to win a bowling match and stole a seat at a screening of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark.' They have since reached a tentative truce and are now friends, although you'd think they will continue to mine the rivalry for more laughs.

Homer and Ned Flanders, 'The Simpsons'

 
 
 

Homer is a loser who can’t do anything right and Ned is the do-gooder who inadvertently rubs him the wrong way with everything he does. This is the rare rivalry where one side isn’t even aware they don’t see eye to eye.

These two live next door to each other and Homer despises Ned's all-too-perfect life, which is made all the worse because Ned is so nice he doesn’t even realize how much he irritates Homer.

Phil and Gil Thorpe, 'Modern Family'

 
 
 

Phil is a clueless realtor and Gil is the more adept thorn in his side. In addition to trying to hire Claire in an attempt to rile Phil up, Gil showed him up during career day at his son's school. Yup, Gil is the guy Phil can never seem to beat.

Jim and Dwight, 'The Office'

 
 
 

Jim knew how to push Dwight’s buttons. It was effortless, really, because Dwight had no real sense of humor and took himself and his job way too seriously. So serious, in fact, he was always determined to bring down Jim. And this combination is what made this show so fun to watch for so many years.

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