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Lisa: What's so special about this game anyway? It's just another chapter in the pointless rivalry between Springfield and Shelbyville. They built a mini-mall, so we built a bigger mini-mall. They made the world's largest pizza, so we burnt down their city hall.

Homer: Heh, heh, heh. Yeah, they swore they'd get us back by spiking our water supply. But they didn't have the guts.

Marge: (drinks the tap water) Ooooh. The walls are melting again.

Aliceville and Bobtown are right next door to each other, and they're both fairly quaint, rural towns full of nice loving people...unless you happen to mention one while in the other, in which case all hell breaks loose. The residents of the two towns hate each other with a passion, either due to some old score that remains unsettled or just because they don't like the looks of each other. If it's the former, you can bet the hero will delve into it.

Note that this is sometimes Truth in Television: small towns are more likely to have residents whose families have lived there for generations and often have rocky histories. If something happened a long time ago to spread bad blood between the two, the current population may well continue the fighting, especially if it's over something still relevant such as boundaries or land development. Team sports, particularly football, are a popular focus point for the rivalry now that cattle raids and arson are emphatically discouraged.

These towns may have some Feuding Families, or if the trope is taken Up to Eleven one town's name may be The Scottish Trope in the other. This trope is also commonly used to throw out the Conflict Ball for a Feud Episode.

Examples of Small Town Rivalry include:


Animated Films

  • The two yards of Lawn Gnomes from Gnomeo and Juliet are towns to the Gnomes, and each side hates the other.

Anime and Manga

  • Slayers Try has Alto and Bantone exchange cannon fire every day at the same time. The cause of the war is that the rulers of these countries had a fight when they were kids.

Comic Books

  • In a Lucky Luke album, Luke is leading a group of railway builders when they come to the two rival towns East City and West City. Both want the railway to come to their city and when one of them holds a party for Luke and his horse Jolly Jumper, the other attacks. Luke and Jolly flee from the brawl, thinking that they are all crazy. While the inhabitants are busy fighting, the railway gets built right between the two cities.

Film

  • In Lagaan, two of the eventual members of the cricket team have a small town rivalry that stems from one's children pestering the other's chickens, and both being too Hot-Blooded to handle it reasonably. They do end up putting aside their differences for the match.

Literature

  • The two towns on either side of the wall in Dr. Seuss's The Butter Battle Book, named so because the conflict began on how the two groups of people have differing ideas on how butter should be eaten with toast.
  • Gulliver's Travels: Lilliput and Blefuscu are neighboring islands which are at war with each other over which end of an egg one should open.
  • In PG Wodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster story "The Ordeal of Young Tuppy" the towns Upper Bleaching and Hockley-cum-Meston have a heated rivalry which is expressed in the form of an annual rugby game known for its violence and injuries.

Live Action Television

  • Residents of Dog River, the setting of Corner Gas, have a deeply entrenched dislike for nearby Wullerton *spit*. Exploited by Emma in "TV Free Dog River":

 Emma: Those in favor of no TV for a week and sticking it to Wullerton, spit!

(everybody spits)

Fitzy: *bangs gavel* Done!

Oscar: Hey! You tricked us!

    • Truth in Television: The Dog River - Wullerton rivalry was inspired by the real rivalry between Brent Butt's hometown of Tisdale, Sask. and nearby Melfort.
  • Pawnee vs. Eagleton on Parks and Recreation.

Real Life

  • There are two towns in Montana that were once one combined town called Vida. The split was due to an argument over what to name the place, and so both names are now used for the separate towns on opposite sides of the highway. There's still some contention.

Western Animation

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