The 5 Best College Rivalries in Movie History

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Who doesn’t love a good rivalry? Whether you’re a diehard sports fan who would rather cut your tongue out than see your team lose to their nemesis, or a celebrity gossip pro who is quick to take sides when lines are drawn between feuding stars — there’s just something about a little healthy competition that gets everyone excited.

When you’re in college, you’re experiencing some of the oldest and strongest rivalries around. I’m not just talking about school spirit! College is the only time you’re in one place with so many different opposing clubs and social groups — I doubt I have to tell you how heated things can get. Thankfully Hollywood has taken note of some of the best rivalries to come out of college campuses and made some awesome movies inspired by historic rivalries and competitive dynamics. Here’s what to dig into this weekend if you’re looking for a dose of collegiate drama.

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Legally Blonde: Elle Woods vs. everyone who says she can’t graduate Harvard Law School

Don’t tell Elle Woods she’s a Marilyn, not a Jackie. After being dumped by her hunky boyfriend for being too ditzy, Elle applies (and is miraculously accepted) to Harvard Law where she studies alongside her ex and his brainy new girlfriend. It’s West Coast glitz vs. New England propriety, Elle vs. the teachers who think she’s an airhead …and one of the best rivalries with a happy ending.

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Revenge of the Nerds: The nerds vs. the jock-y Alpha Betas

If you’ve ever preferred computers to collegiate sports, this movie is for you. It’s a case of nerds vs. jocks in Revenge of the Nerds, and the nerds give it their all to join a fraternity after being displaced from the Adams College freshman dorms. After being shunned by nearly every Greek organization, Lambda Lambda Lambda, a historically black frat, takes pity on the nerds by accepting them into the fold. War is waged during the Greek Games when the athletic and popular Alpha Betas terrorize the Tri-Lambs, but the nerds fight back making for an over-the-top rivalry.

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The House Bunny: The frumpy Zeta Alpha Zeta sorority vs. the uppity Phi Iota Mu sorority

Can Playboy Bunny Shelley, played by Anna Faris, transform a group of nerdy sorority girls from social outcasts to campus queens? That’s the challenge set forth in The House Bunny, and the popular girls will do anything to hold onto their reigning position. You’d be hard pressed to find a better or funnier sorority rivalry story.

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Pitch Perfect: The Barden Bellas vs. The Treblemakers

In a classic girls vs. guys setup, two campus a cappella groups complete to win the national championship. The rivalry runs deep between the Barden Bellas and the Treblemakers, but that doesn’t stop two opposing members from hooking up on the DL. Drama ensues, but with Rebel Wilson in the cast, a lot of laughs do, too.

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Animal House: The rowdy Delta Tau Chi fraternity vs. Dean Vernon Wormer and Omega Theta Pi

Ask anyone where their vote for most iconic college movie lands and they’ll likely respond with Animal House. If you’ve been to college, have plans of going to college or simply know what college is, then this 1978 cult classic should rank high on your list, too. The outrageous feud between the Deltas and Dean Wormer set the high water mark for legendary rivalries.

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