By EW Staff
Updated December 07, 2012 at 12:00 PM EST
Chris Large/The History Channel
  • TV Show
  • AMC

Letterman vs. Leno! The Barnes family vs. the Ewings! Bugs Bunny vs. Daffy Duck! Much of pop culture is built on feuds — both on-camera and behind the scenes. Here’s a list of 2012’s most memorable ongoing conflicts from scripted and reality TV.

5. The Situation vs. Snooki, Jersey Shore

Technically this feud started back in season 4, but the ongoing brawl between the 4’9″ pregnant guidette and the on-the-wagon alcoholic juicehead would not be ignored in Jersey‘s final season. For a bunch of people whose attention spans have been shortened by artificial UV rays and drunken blackouts, sustaining anything for this long is a reality-TV miracle.

4. Walt vs. Mike, Breaking Bad

As soon as arrogant teacher-turned-meth-kingpin Walt (Bryan Cranston) and weary cop-turned-criminal Mike (Jonathan Banks) went into business together, the tension between them began building. And despite peacemaker Jesse’s (Aaron Paul) best efforts, the pair’s constant squabbling wouldn’t cease until one of them wound up dead on a riverbank. We’ll be consoled only if Banks gets an Emmy to match Cranston’s three statuettes.

3. The Lannisters vs. the Starks, Game of Thrones

Fun fact: George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire was partially inspired by the Wars of the Roses, a series of bloody conflicts fought between two opposing factions: the House of Lancaster and the House of York. (Those names sound familiar?) Fittingly, the feud between two families is the driving force behind Game of Thrones’ second season, in which Rob Stark (Richard Madden) leads a rebellion against the ruling Lannister clan.

2. Ramona vs. Aviva, The Real Housewives of New York City

“Come back here you wimp!” So shrieked RHONY‘s willowy newbie Aviva to the show’s most lasting character. The hyper-anxious blonde arrived for a St Barths ladies’ getaway with her husband in tow — a cardinal sin by Ramona’s standards. But it wasn’t Ramona who set off the fireworks. Instead, Aviva’s post-flight rage resulted in her calling Ramona white trash. Once back in New York, Aviva proved bullying isn’t just for kids when she summoned Ramona to no less than four locations to berate her yet more and hurl out-of-of-the-blue accusations (naked spooning with Sonja… what?). In her coup de grâce, Aviva sent her 70-something sexaholic father to Ramona’s charity luncheon for battered women where, along with a donation, he delivered physical intimidation and coined the elegant turn of phrase “trailer turd.” Turd-le time anyone?

1. The Hatfields vs. the McCoys, Hatfields & McCoys

America’s most famous family feud inspired this History Channel miniseries starring Bill Paxton (as Randall McCoy) and Kevin Coster (as William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield; they knew how to name ’em in the 19th century). Hatfields & McCoys went on to become the highest-rated basic cable entertainment program of all time. Not bad for a fight partially spurred by the supposed theft of a pig.

Written by Lanford Beard and Hillary Busis

Best of 2012:

Episode Recaps

Breaking Bad

Walter White descends into the criminal underworld.

  • TV Show
  • 5
  • Off Air
  • AMC
stream service