Unapologetically Me

Top 30 Best Movie Rivalries

Perhaps my favorite suggestion from a friend and follower of Hotard Huddle is the column you are about to see. I received a text the other day saying a good topic would be the best rivalries in movie history. I instantly fell in love with the idea of the topic.

I think a lot of that has to do with the resurgence of the Karate Kid franchise thanks to the hit series Cobra Kai. After the topic was suggested, I thought about it. I love compelling rivalries in movies that can make or break the story. When you think about some of the most iconic rivalries in movie history, some end in friendship…some end in death…some end in defeat…some end in retribution. You never really know where the relationship of rivals will take you.

I don’t like to namedrop on the blog without permission. So, you know who you are. Absolutely love the idea and thank you.

The Rules

  • Excluding Super Hero Movies – Thor v Loki, Batman v Joker, Thanos v MCU and Professor X v Magneto all out of the equation
  • Only Movies I Have Seen
  • Random Action Film Rivals Do Not Count ex. John McClane v Hans Gruber
  • Excluding Team v Team ex. Tune Squad v Monstars or Toros v Clovers
  • If you comment any of these saying WeLL WhAt AbOuT tHiS OnE, I will make fun of you for being a moron and not reading this part.

I am sure there will be plenty of disagreement with the list from some people. If there is…get your own fucking blog then. This one is mine. I do what I want.

Without further ado, let’s do this.

Honorable Mentions

Scar v Simba / Mufasa – The Lion King

I had this in the top 30 until I realized I wasn’t sure who to actually put in the rivalry considering Scar feuded with his brother and his son. There is absolutely no questioning this rivalry. By way of technicality, I left them off.

Michael Corleone v Fredo Corleone – The Godfather and The Godfather Part II

I did not put this in the top 30 for the simple fact they weren’t necessarily rivals. Obviously Fredo poked the bear that is Michael one too many times and eventually gets whacked.

Carl Spackler v The Gopher – Caddyshack

When Sandy gave Carl the green light to kill all the gophers on the course, it was up to the eccentric groundskeeper to think like a gopher after being outsmarted time and time again. It also made for perhaps the best comedic relief in Caddyshack.

30. Kevin O’Shea v Danny O’Shea – Little Giants

An intense rivalry from the beginning of brotherhood. Kevin was the mega football star who put Urbania on the map leaving his little brother Danny in the dust. Eventually, Danny is convinced to take on the roll of coaching his daughter’s pee wee team after she was cut by her Uncle Kevin. This movie also gave me one of my favorite lines to tell people. “Some people were made to run the class projector.” Lastly, Ed O Neil is a national treasure.

29. Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn v Johnny- Major League II

Perhaps the greatest heckler in the history of not only movies, but mankind. Randy Quaid coming in hot being an absolute thorn in Wild Thing’s side after bringing his new soft identity to the next season. I could’ve said Vaughn versus Parkman, but Johnny deserves the recognition here. The clip below shows all of the above.

28. Dark Helmet v Lone Star – Spaceballs

Spaceballs is hands down my favorite spoof comedy ever made giving us so many classic lines like “I see your Schwartz is as big as mine” or “I am your father’s, brother’s, nephew’s, cousin’s former roommate.” Lone Star (Bill Pullman) and Dark Helmet (Rick Moranis) were fantastic foes in this.

27. Sidney Prescott v Ghostface – Scream Series

I know I am kind of cheating here because Ghostface was indeed portrayed by multiple people. All of them had the same goal in which they ultimately failed, killing Sidney Prescott. There was no way in hell I was going to leave my favorite horror movie series off this list. Also Scream 5 coming 2022, can’t effing wait.

26. Dottie Hinson v Kit Keller – A League of Their Own

Talk about the ultimate story of living in your sister’s shadow. You just feel bad for Kit the entire movie because no matter what, she is always looked at as the lesser younger sibling to the elegant and dominant ball player that is Dottie Hinson. I don’t care what anyone says, Dottie dropped the ball on purpose in the end to blow the game for the Rockford Peaches to give her sister a moment in the sun. If there is ever a good reason to shave points, that is probably the best one.

25. Zoolander v Hansel – Zoolander

What to do when you get ousted by the next best thing in modeling? Try going back home to ruin your pretty face in a coal mine or possibly assassinate a foreign leader. Then eventually befriend the person who led you to these decisions.

24. Jeff Spicoli v Mr. Hand – Fast Times At Ridgemont High

Another rivalry I can’t help but chuckle at the mere thought of it. Spicoli and Mr. Hand make up one of the best parts of the 80s classic. Hand being the strict no nonsense teacher while Spicoli is too focused on getting high and ordering pizza while in class. I wish I would’ve dropped Spicoli’s famous line on some teachers of mine growing up…

23. Thomas J v Bees – My Girl

Ok. I am going to hell for this one.

22. Ferris Bueller v Principal Rooney – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

And we are back to the 80s with another student teacher standoff. Principal Rooney knows Ferris is ditching school and he wants to prove except Ferris is way too smart to get caught in the act. Ferris is just too damn good at not getting caught.

21. Laurie Strode v Michael Myers – Halloween Series

The original scream queen Laurie Strode portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis thanks in large part to the cult following of Michael Myers…the single greatest slasher in cinema history. If this isn’t your number one horror rivalry, you’re wrong.

20. Woody v Buzz Lightyear – Toy Story

We’ve become accustomed to seeing Woody and Buzz as best friends. Let’s not forget the intense rivalry they had in the original Toy Story. Before the bromance blossomed, Woody was of course jealous when Andy got the new and awesome Buzz Lightyear. His frustration led him to trying to make Buzz disappear knocking him out the window. After escaping Sid and realizing co-existence is possible, to infinity and beyond for their friendship.

19. Sidney Deane v Billy Hoyle – White Men Can’t Jump

When you hustle someone out of a pile of cash, getting revenge only seems like a reasonable response. These two had an interesting dynamic of friendship from start to finish. After all, Sidney almost ruined Billy’s relationship as a result.

18. Ron Burgundy v Veronica Corningstone – Anchorman

Shit gets real when the news anchors don’t like one another, especially when one is a woman in a “man’s” world.

17. Ricky Bobby v Jean Girard – Talladega Nights

We got round 2 of the Will Ferrell rivalries. What do you get when you have a redneck race car driver and a homosexual French guy as his foe? Ooooof. An intense rivalry.

16. Neo v Agent Smith – The Matrix

I’d be lying if I said I remember much about The Matrix because it has been so long since I have seen any of them. Despite that, there is no way Neo v Agent Smith does not make the list.

15. Gordon Bombay v Jack Reilly – The Mighty Ducks

Jack Reilly’s win at all cost coaching led Bombay to a law career that became predicated on winning at all costs. After all, it’s not worth winning if you can’t win big. After a DUI derailed the lawyer within his firm, he was sentenced to community service coaching District 5. We all know the eventual showdown between Reilly and Bombay.

14. Kevin McCallister v Wet / Sticky Bandits – Home Alone and Home Alone 2

What happens when you leave a 9-year-old home alone? Burglars attempt to break in only to be outsmarted by him due to home field advantage. What happens when a 9-year-old gets on the wrong plane? He runs into said burglars only to outsmart them again in his aunt and uncle’s in-progress renovated home.

13. Rocky Balboa v Apollo Creed – Rocky I and II

Honestly, Rocky v anyone could find their way on this list. What I love about this rivalry more than anything is this worthy of being in the Top 10 movie bromances of all time as well.

12. White Goodman v Peter LaFleur – Dodgeball

White Goodman was an asshole through and through. Everything about him was deplorable from his gym to him wanting to do everything to send LaFleur down the dark financial hole. In the end, Goodman turns into a self loathing miserable human being. Note, Peter had a foot fault.

11. Harry Potter v Lord Voldemort – Harry Potter Series

Destined to be rivals from infancy, he was the boy who lived. It was up to Harry to destroy the horcruxes (including himself) thus leading to the defeat of he who must not be named.

10. Cady Heron v Regina George – Mean Girls

The top 10 is starting off so fetch. From burn books to bars that make you swell like a balloon to allegedly pushing someone in front of a bus, shit. That’s intense. For anyone who disagrees that this is top 10 worthy….

9. Maximus v Commodus – Gladiator

ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED! One of the most bad ass movies of all time by far. Maximus dedicates his life to seeking vengeance for the murder of his family. Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix, yes please.

8. Austin Powers v Dr. Evil – Austin Powers Series

The second spoof movie on the list gets a crack in the top 10. If you are a millennial, chances are you grew up watching Austin Powers. In terms of spoof comedies, it is easily one of the best. The fact Austin Powers and Dr. Evil are both played by the legendary Mike Myers needs the recognition it deserves. He created one of the best cinematic rivalries in movie history alone.

7. Doc Holiday v Johnny Ringo – Tombstone

Two of the best gunslingers in movie history had an intense rivalry throughout the movie upon their first meeting. Doc Holiday’s moxie clearly made a bad ass like Ringo uncomfortable. It came to a head with one of the best standoffs in movie history, which included the famous “I’m your huckleberry.”

6. Daniel Larusso / Mr. Miyagi v Johnny Lawrence / John Kreese – The Karate Kid and Part III

Considering the resurgence of this rivalry, I hate that I am not including it in the top 5. However, number 6 is a respectable spot for one of my favorite rivalries in movie history. If you want my thoughts on this, you can read it here: Cobra Kai – It Took Me 7 Episodes to Realize It’s a Top 5 Show for Me (SPOILER ALERT) – Hotard Huddle RIP Pat Morita aka Mr. Miyagi

5. Marty McFly v Biff Tannen – Back To The Future Trilogy

Hello MCFLY!?! THINK MCFLY THINK! If this isn’t in your top 5, then you are merely wrong. Anyone who disagrees, there is a good chance Biff will hate you because he hates manure. That is ultimately what any list without this in the top 5 would be.

4. Rocky Balboa v Ivan Drago – Rocky IV

The second Rocky rivalry on the list is none other than the brute Ivan Drago. He fucking killed Apollo Creed for God sake. It became up to Rocky to avenge his friend’s death and he did by knocking out Drago.

3. Happy Gilmore v Shooter McGavin – Happy Gilmore

I love that Adam Sandler and Chris McDonald recently renewed the rivalry with the videos they posted. Legitimately one of my favorite things to happen this year so far. Green jacket, gold jacket…who gives a shit? This rivalry is glorious. The best comeback in history…

2. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell v “IcemanTom Kazansky – Top Gun

It is pretty funny that Val Kilmer gets two nods on the top 10. But, my man deserves it. Maverick versus Iceman, come on. It doesn’t get much better or more dangerous. Two pilots going head to head in Top Gun to find out who’s the best. So much moxie. So much bravado. So much fun. Another great rivalry with a warm bromance in the end.

1. Luke Skywalker v Darth Vader – Star Wars Episode IV, V, VI

Is there really another option for number one? Let’s be honest here. Vader revealing himself as Luke’s father is still one of the biggest plot twists in cinematic history. A culmination of three movies leading to the human side of Vader overcoming the dark side to save his son. The story and the cult following still make this series relevant decades later.

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