View Full Version : Petty arguments to have with best female friends?

07-29-2009, 01:11 PM
Starting on my new YA manuscript, "Night Shift." It's a mystery about a girl who joins a support group her dead best friend was a part of before she died. However, I want my main character and her best friend to have had a very stupid argument in the parking lot of a store, but one that can easily elevate into shouting, screaming, swearing, etc. I've just had a mental block. It has to be relatively realistic - this isn't a sci-fi or fantasy novel. Can anyone help me out?

07-29-2009, 01:46 PM
One of the friends was flirting with a guy and the other thought she was being trashy. The other girl gets mad for being called trashy.

One of the girls shoplifted some small item just for fun and the other is upset about it.

One wants to borrow money to buy a great item on sale and the other won't lend it to her.

One girl is talking on her cell phone and almost gets hit by a car. The other grabs the phone and throws it on the ground and calls the other girl stupid.

One is talking about how great one of their other friends is. The other get jealous ("Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! Why is it always Marcia!") and it escalates into an argument.

07-29-2009, 02:28 PM
One has dawdled and the other gets a parking ticket when they get back to the car.
One has left something in a store and the other critical that they will have to return.

07-29-2009, 02:32 PM
Opinions on a celebrity scandal works well. They can be very opposite in their personal take of it and have seen or bought a magazine with the scandal on the cover at the check out.

"No way hotcelebfemale would ever do that! She is awesome!"

"She's a talentless plastic doll!"

I speak purely on...imagination here

Millicent M'Lady
07-29-2009, 02:51 PM
I think those petty arguments that escalate tend to be due to faults in the other that haven't been tackled in their first instance.

I fell out with a best friend because she used to try to dominate situations. She didn't realise she was doing and because of her dominative streak, I would let it slide. Eventually she tried it on the wrong day and, rather than rationally explaining what was bugging me, I exploded.

I think to make a petty argument believable (enough for two best friends to stop talking to each other) it has to be one that's boiled over from a existing resentment. Your argument should have a lot of "you always do this" or "I'm sick of you doing that".

Maybe one friend always "forgets" her wallet, maybe she insists that they get one brand of cola even though she knows her friend likes the other one, maybe one always gets very flirty when someone pays attention to her friend.

Just my two cents anyway. Hope it helps.:)

07-29-2009, 03:56 PM
Thank you :) All are brilliant :D

07-29-2009, 04:30 PM
You could have them have opposite personalities, such as one is very scatty, always losing car key, money etc, the other very organised.

I like what Millicent says about the argument being a flimsy excuse for a deeper ongoing problem; for instance the organised one is always irritated by the scatty one but has never said anything, till today when she loses the car key and the organised one explodes because now they are going to be late for a concert or something. Or Miss Scatty irritated by the other one being so anal and flips at one last criticism over car key (or whatever): get off my back, you're always nagging, etc etc etc.

Ms Hollands
07-29-2009, 04:50 PM
I too agree with Millicent. There's probably an underlying issue (relationship with a third person, ex-boyfriend problem?) if they're having a serious argument, although it's likely to start with something very minor (locking the keys in the car, spilling ice cream on the car seat, fizzy drink spurting onto newly-washed car upon opening the can). Or something...

07-29-2009, 06:34 PM
Could be they hung out earlier with other friends, and one dominated the conversation, putting down the other in her eyes (or really).

I agree about the unspoken subtext mentioned earlier.

Could be they talked about doing something fun together and one told the story and minimized the other's involvement or creativity in coming up with it.


07-29-2009, 06:46 PM
One made the other late for an appointment & the (job interview/teacher/doctor/whatever) wouldn't see her because she was late.

07-29-2009, 09:29 PM
I agree with the "always" statement. Nothing gets an argument heated up like an attack on someone's character and dragging up the past to fling in their face. It could be as simple as GIRL A makes some comment that could be taken as a put down ex. do you know how many calories are in that thing
GIRL B- accuses A of always putting her down
GIRL A- accuses B of being too sensitive and whiny
and presto...they throw out some past examples and a screaming match ensues.

07-30-2009, 04:13 AM
Something that I think is topical for teens, and very much overlies a deeper problem would be one character buying diet pills and laxatives in the store. Other character tries to tell her that's stupid, she's gonna end up killing herself, blah, blah, blah. First character tells her to f*** off, it's her body etc.

ETA: saw title of thread was about petty arguments. Don't think this quite qualifies, but I'll leave it here anyway.

Jersey Chick
07-30-2009, 05:13 AM
Could be something as simple as them both having a crush on the same guy.

07-31-2009, 01:03 AM
Here's what I got:

1. The MC catches the friend in a lie to someone else. "Oh, you don't want to hang out with her because she'll do XYZ." Mainly in a jealous snit because they both like the same boy. Could be the person the friend talked to likes the MC and let her know what's going on behind her back.
1b. Someone wanted to stir up trouble between the MC and her friend and was actually the one who told the lie by telling "Oh, your friend said this about you". The MC confronts her friend and they fight, although the MC knows deep down that her friend wouldn't actually say such a thing.

2. The MC's friend is always late, to the point where everyone who knows the friend tells her that the time to arrive to events is 2 hours earlier than it actually is just so she gets there on time. But this time, the friend shows up later than usual and the MC misses out on something she's been waiting for all year and probably won't happen again for another year, if ever. (Ideas: concert, fair, etc., nothing big, just something fun.)

07-31-2009, 01:25 AM
colour of nail polish or something? ;)

I know two people who had a heavy argument about whether the microscopes in the high school lab were black or brown.
(They were away from the lab at the time, boy & girl though, in high school.)

Of course there were unerlying issues, it's still one of the most hilarious things people ever argued about.