As Norwich and Ipswich square up against each other this weekend, Cory Varney looks at some great TV rivalries to see if they match up
PUBLISHED: 14:29 07 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:29 07 February 2019
Norwich v Ipswich Derby Day: Ahead of Sunday’s East Anglian clash, we look at other famous rivalries on the small screen, from Tom v Jerry to He-Man v Skeletor, Walter White v Gus Fring to Wile. E Coyote v Roadrunner.
On Sunday, rivals Norwich City and Ipswich Town will meet for what may very well be the last time for at least a season.
Since playing out a 1-1 draw back at Portman Road in September, the pair have enjoyed (or not enjoyed) wildly contrasting fortunes. Come Sunday, the Canaries can cement their place as league leaders with a win while three points for Ipswich would not even be enough to get them off the bottom of the table.
Norwich are gunning for promotion whereas the Tractor Boys will be desperately hoping for some sort of tonic to spark a great escape.
But regardless of whether there happens to be an East Anglian Derby next season or not, one thing is certain: these old rivals will meet again because after all, that’s the point of having a rival, isn’t it? No matter how hard you try, you just can’t seem to be rid of them as many characters on the small screen have found.
Yes, you have unwittingly stumbled into a feature shamelessly linked to the build-up to Norwich versus Ipswich, one that takes a closer look at some of the weirdest and most wonderful long running feuds on television. Forget about Canaries and Tractors and decide whether you’re on Tom or Jerry’s side and if you’re cheerleading for Peter Griffin or Ernie the Giant Chicken.
10 clashes on the small screen that rival Norwich City and Ipswich Town
1) Peter Griffin v Ernie, the Giant Chicken: An expired coupon was all it took to spark the long-running, hilariously violent, ridiculously destructive rivalry between Peter Griffin and Ernie, the giant chicken, in Seth MacFarlane’s Family Guy. Mid-scene, the all-powerful bird will show his beak and thus lure Peter into a lengthy fight to the death that will routinely obliterate the environment around them. Peter always wins. Ernie always dies. The bloodied, battered patriarch of the Griffin family then picks up from the exact point – it really is the exact point – he left off while comes back to life to ensure that they’ll do it all over again one day.
2) The Buffays: Phoebe v Ursula: They say you can’t choose your family but Phoebe Buffay of Friends may be wishing she could have. In Ursula, she has herself an identical, albeit one minute older, twin sister who is near enough to exact opposite of her and forever taking advantage of her kind, giving nature. Perhaps the crème de la crème being when Ursula forges a career as a porn actress using Phoebe’s name – only for her minute younger sister to finally gain revenge by cashing her pay slips.
3) Jerry v Newman: Seinfeld, in which a fictionalised version of Jerry Seinfeld – played by Jerry Seinfeld – had himself a nemesis in the shape of Newman.
Described by Seinfeld as “pure evil”, the cunning Newman would often scheme against his rival and address him in the most sinister of tones. Though, it wasn’t always black and white between them – with the pair even teaming up for certain schemes in a handful of episodes.
4) Wile. E. Coyote v the Roadrunner: Wile. E. Coyote – or, more simply, the Coyote – wants to eat the Road Runner – a fast-running ground bird for those of without a prior knowledge of ornithology. Animal instincts are shoved aside in favour of weird and wonderful contraptions as the Coyote bids to catch his prey, contraptions that almost always backfire and lead to bring substantial pain to the luckless hunter – including being crushed by a giant falling boulder or plummeting off a cliff. But the Coyote would live to hunt (unsuccessfully) again and again.
5) Anti-Brexit protestor tries to outwit BBC director: Persistence is key to rivalry. It’s that old adage, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.
That was the case for one anti-Brexit protestor. Equipped with multiple signs, a flag cape and a hat, this was a man that meant business. He was more than ready to take on a BBC director who could not have foreseen coming up against such a nemesis at 11.45am. Nevertheless, the director rose to the challenge, cutting left, right and centre to ensure the protestor was out of the shot. The protestor, however, continued to shuffle back in. T’was truly a game of cat and mouse for the ages.
6) He-Man v Skeletor: While nowadays, they have had their time of their lives dancing for a certain UK financial comparison site, once upon a time He-Man and Skeletor were facing-off as staunch rivals. The skull-faced overlord of evil continuously conjured up all sorts of weird and wonderful nefarious plots in a bid to conquer the planet, Eternia. Though, time and time again, his archnemesis, the muscular marvel He-Man himself would foil those plots and send old skull head back to the drawing board once more.
7) Walter White v Gus Fring: There were many rivalries in Breaking Bad, the greatest television series ever made (no, I have not seen The Wire or The Sopranos yet), but perhaps none more defining than the one shared by Walter White and Gus Fring. Gus was the arch enemy that took the show to a whole new level and dragged Walt into deeper, darker depths of villainy. Initially, the pair of them worked well together: Walt was a key cog in Fring’s drug empire - he would cook the product. Gus would get it out into the world. Vast sums of money were enjoyed. However, when Walt killed two of Gus’ drug dealers for the purpose of protecting his protégée, Jesse, things changed. Friend turned to formidable adversary and Gus was out for blood. As it happens, Gus would be the only one losing face from this feud. Quite literally.
8) Jim v Dwight in The Office: The best way to sum up Jim and Dwight’s relationship in The Office across the pond is most probably, love/hate. Aside from bickering, there was a whole lot of pranking that went on – mostly Jim making the most of the overly gullible nature of his overly serious counterpart – though there were a few cases of Dwight striking back. Sure, it was a rivalry that would mellow in the end with Dwight even asking Jim to be the best man at his wedding, but not without a whole lot of laughs along the way.
9) Tom v Jerry: Cat and mouse. Old enemies that have stood the test of time. Also, a combination that brought about Tom and Jerry the cartoon. Sure, it was more akin to two brothers with Tom (the cat) wanting to win and torment Jerry (the mouse) rather than eat him. Yet, more often than not, he would often find himself majorly outwitted by his much smaller counterpart.
10) J.D. v the Janitor in Scrubs: What on earth would possess one man to paint another as an American flag and hoist him up a flag pole? Only a penny jamming a door, as it so happens. That was the foundation for the rivalry between J.D. and the Janitor for eight whole series of the medical sitcom, Scrubs, with the latter striving to make life difficult for the former. Such devious schemes included the simplicity of rogue use of a mop all the way to the more extreme idea of locking him in a water tower. Nothing was off the table and the Janitor pretty much always won.