Violent altercations can lead to serious injury and death, and yet some interpersonal disputes that prompt physical violence originate over what are seemingly trivial issues. This study evaluates the theoretical premise that violence stemming from what typically are defined as trivial altercations can be explained by what is at stake in these conflicts; trivial altercations, or fights about “nothing,” actually represent symbolic contests of dominance and deference. These status contests are necessary primarily when the social relationship between opponents is symmetrical—when a dominance hierarchy is not clearly established. Data from interviews with incarcerated women in Ontario, Canada, show that relationship symmetry strongly predicts the issue of contention in their physically violent altercations. These findings suggest that, when violence erupts over trivial issues, both parties to the altercation essentially are locked in a battle for social rank.