It happens quite frequently: one roommate refuses to do something, usually a menial chore, and the ensuing conflict stretches for an extended period of time. Two instances immediately come to mind when thinking of a classic roommate stand-off.
The first example took place in Gilmore this year. Jake refused to clean his room until (in an inebriated state) he gathered all of his trash into three big bags. He then left said bags next to his sink in the bathroom. This sink, by the way, was no treat either; it may or may not have been the root of the H1N1 virus outbreak with its collective grime, stains, and beard shavings.
Jake's "garbage bag conflict" was the talk of the dorm for weeks. Who would take it out? Jake refused to, and none of his roommates would do his work for him. They attempted to strike deals, but neither side could reach an agreement.
Finally, when Jake was in Arizona for a baseball team trip, his roommate Dave threw the bags onto Jake's bed. This was meant to send a message, and that it did: Jake took out the bags as soon as he returned from sunny Arizona.
The second stand-off that recently occurred was at my current residence in Minneapolis; Bryan Cooper, noted for his lazy tendencies, extended his dishes day into a dishes two-weeks. Piled high and reaching critical mold mass, the dishes were hampering the lifestyles of everyone in the house. I had even brought my own dishes, and people were starting to steal my supplies as a result of the clean dish drought. Moral was at an all-time low with residents using plastic cups as cereal bowls and re-using plastic forks multiple times.
Cooper had promised to do the dishes many times throughout the two week period, but every time he managed to slither out of it. He cited class, naps, and even TV shows as reasons why he was not going to do them. Finally, after much verbal abuse, he finally did them. Barely before he left for the week, he went into beast-mode and washed the entire dish collection. It marked a two-week hiatus of chore duty, possibly a new house record.
He didn't leave without leaving his own sly revenge, however; he left all the drying dishes out on the dining room table minutes before he left town. This left Flynn and I to the almost equally-despicable task of putting away the dishes. Damn Cooper. Damn roommate stand-offs... they almost always lead to decreased roommate relations and bitter feelings afterwards.