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The Best TV Friendships In History

There are an endless number of beloved TV romances. From Sam and Diane to Jon and Ygritte, romantic couples easily become some of the most fan-beloved relationships on TV. We're not saying they're not great — after all, we love to write about them — but they're usually not the longest-lasting or the most rewarding overall. Iconic TV friendships stand the test of time and can take many different forms, whether it be a duo that grew up together or two co-workers who build a begrudging sense of respect over the course of a series. Friendships can often be the most dependable and enduring relationships in a person's life, but they're not always given the reverence and attention they deserve, in real life or on TV.

We've combed through TV history to find the absolute best friendships that have ever appeared on the small screen so we can all take a moment to appreciate the many fun and heartwarming scenes that have come from a platonic love between two great characters. These are the best TV friendships ever.

Turk and J.D. (Scrubs)

How could we have a list of the best friendships in TV history and not include the duo whose platonic devotion to each other inspired "Guy Love," one of the most iconic TV musical numbers ever performed? Doctors Turk and J.D. from the screwball medical sitcom "Scrubs" are best friends from the get-go, and viewers get to see that friendship grow as they take part in numerous hilarious workplace hijinks.

Not only are Turk and J.D. funny, but they actually do manage to address quite a few legitimate issues that many men face in their friendships with other men thanks to the influence of toxic masculinity. Turk is initially very uncomfortable showing and receiving the affection he and J.D. feel for each other, worried that it might indicate something romantic to the outside world. But, by the end of the show, they're comfortable expressing their love for each other, having realized that it's okay to embrace intimacy in relationships that aren't romantic.

David and Stevie (Schitt's Creek)

From the very first episode of "Schitt's Creek," Stevie and David enjoyed an easy rapport that endeared them to fans. Despite the fact that they face several challenges in their friendship, they always seem to understand each other better than anyone else in their lives. It's interesting to see them attempt (and fail to develop) some kind of romantic entanglement early in the show, because it's the kind of bumpy history you might find in a real-life friendship.

As the show goes on and Stevie finds purpose in her ownership of Rosebud Motel and David falls in love with Patrick, the two of them are always there for each other, always a safe place for them to land. It's also important to note that they're completely hilarious with each other; there are few things more satisfying than seeing a couple of jaded and dry know-it-alls fail to keep themselves from grinning at the antics of their best friend.

Blair and Jo (The Facts of Life)

Blair and Jo do not start out as friends on "The Facts of Life." In fact, they clash quite a bit as fellow students and housemates. However, over the course of the show, they slowly begin to appreciate each other despite their differences (Blair is a stuck-up teacher's pet and Jo is a rough-around-the-edges tomboy). By the end of "The Facts of Life," they are so close that Blair is Jo's maid of honor at her wedding.

"The Facts of Life" is, of course, an older show (the "Diff'rent Strokes" spin-off ran on NBC from 1979 to 1988). Many current fans of Blair and Jo tend to ship them as a romantic couple, and it certainly seems like that might have been a possible outcome for them had the show come out a few decades later. Regardless of their romantic potential, Jo and Blair are one of the best all-time examples of a childhood friendship between two young women that enriches their lives and helps them learn more about themselves.

Lorelai and Rory (Gilmore Girls)

Yes, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore are mother and daughter, but the entire premise of "Gilmore Girls" relies on the fact that they're friends first. Lorelai gave birth to Rory when she was 16 years old. Instead of marrying Rory's father and living a life just like her rich, emotionally repressed parents, she chose to run away from home and start a new life in a small, quaint little town called Stars Hollow. While it aired in the 2000s, "Gilmore Girls" has been kept alive thanks to streaming services, earning the adoration of a new generation of fans.

Lorelai and Rory's friendship is the heart and soul of "Gilmore Girls," and while theirs is not a standard mother-daughter relationship, it is one that has most likely inspired many mothers and daughters to get to know each other better and appreciate the many ways they can be there for each other. Of course, real life isn't like an episode of an Amy Sherman-Palladino show, but "Gilmore Girls" is far more relatable than many shows of this type.

Din Djarin and Grogu (The Mandalorian)

Din Djarin and Grogu are definitely more like father and son when we first meet them in the "Stars Wars" show "The Mandalorian," but a mutual respect develops between the pair that blossoms into a beautiful friendship. Din takes it upon himself to become Grogu's caretaker, and Grogu being the adorable baby Yoda that he is definitely makes their dynamic extra precious. Grogu and Din have a lot of fun together — they're partners in crime, taking the galaxy by storm and giving each other the back up and emotional support that they need.

It was devastating to watch Luke Skywalker take Grogu away from Din for his Force training, and equally satisfying to see Grogu return to Din during "The Book of Boba Fett." Din's life had a purpose before Grogu but he was still emotionally unfulfilled and the definition of a loner, and Grogu hadn't known real safety since Anakin's attack on the Jedi Temple decades before Din recovered him while on a job for some remnant Empire forces. Together, they're stronger and happier, and we're excited to see where their story goes in future seasons of "The Mandalorian."

Hawkeye and Hunnicutt (M*A*S*H)

Even though military surgeon B.J. Hunnicutt wasn't on "M*A*S*H" from the beginning, he felt like the partner-in-crime Hawkeye could never quite find in Trapper from some of his earliest episodes until the very last scene of the show. "M*A*S*H" is first and foremost a comedy, and Hunnicutt and Hawkeye were a rambunctious duo for a lot of the show. That being said, "M*A*S*H" is also a show about a group of medical officers attempting to save lives and stay alive throughout the Korean War, and Hunnicutt and Hawkeye's friendship proved itself more than just a comedy bit on many occasions.

B.J. often served as a reasonable foil to Hawkeye's emotionally driven way of doing things. In the end, he is the one who maintains optimism that their friendship will not have been for nothing, despite the fact that they are returning to their lives on opposite coasts of the United States.

Troy and Abed (Community)

Troy and Abed's iconic friendship was not originally a defining cornerstone of the show "Community." According to creator Dan Harmon, he saw the chemistry between Danny Pudi and Donald Glover during initial press junkets and rehearsals and decided to try pairing Troy and Abed together more often onscreen. Soon enough, their friendship became perhaps the most important relationship on the show, and instead of having Troy's character growth and emotional development catalyzed by a romantic relationship with Annie (which, thankfully, fizzled out as an idea halfway through Season 1), Harmon decided to write one of the most beautiful and fulfilling friendships in television history.

From their special handshake and their fake morning show ("Troy and Abed in the Morning"), to their adventures in the Dreamatorium, many of the best "Community" episodes revolve around the dynamic duo that is Troy and Abed. The besties are even responsible for some of the most memorable "Community" bloopers.

Meredith and Cristina (Grey's Anatomy)

It's not always easy to write a great TV friendship on a show that is, first and foremost, a stone-cold drama, but Shonda Rhimes pulled it off beautifully when she brought us the bond between Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang on "Grey's Anatomy." While they were initially a little wary of each other (they were both surgical interns, which is already one of the most competitive jobs someone can take up, in a very competitive program at a prestigious hospital), Cristina and Meredith soon became bonded for life thanks to the many traumatic situations they found themselves dealing with on a daily basis, both personal and professional.

Many viewers feel that "Grey's Anatomy" has probably gone on for too long at this point. Cristina left Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital a while ago, but it's impossible to forget how powerful it was to see Meredith taking care of Cristina after Burke left her at the altar, or Cristina supporting Meredith after she nearly died from a bomb going off right outside the OR. Theirs is a friendship for the ages, one that will live on after the show eventually ends.

Grace and Frankie (Grace and Frankie)

The premise of "Grace and Frankie" is unique. Two older women come together after their husbands fall in love and divorce them, and they become best friends. It often seems like it's impossible to make new friends after 25 let alone after 70, but "Grace and Frankie" gives all adults hope that even in our later years we can find new, meaningful relationships.

Grace and Frankie are soulmates. Housemates as well, and friends of course, but ultimately their friendship has become the most anchoring force in both of their lives. Neither Frankie nor Grace will ever have to deal with the sharp realities of life and growing older alone — they have each other, and they will always have someone with whom to share their fun and joy. Airing for seven seasons, "Grace and Frankie" is Netflix's longest-running original series, and it's not hard to see why when you witness the warmth and excitement of their life together.

Laverne and Shirley (Laverne & Shirley)

Played by the brilliant Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley have to be one of the most iconic television duos to ever appear on screen. Even if you've never seen the show, the chances are you've at least heard the names of the two main characters. While Laverne and Shirley actually made their TV debuts as a pair of dates for Fonzie and Richie on an episode of "Happy Days," they soon became so much more than a couple of girls interested in spending time with The Fonz.

"Laverne & Shirley" ran from 1976 until 1983 and in many ways it became just as successful a show as "Happy Days," thanks in huge part to the tender, physically comedic dynamic between its titular BFFs. Laverne and Shirley were — just like Jo and Blair in "The Facts of Life" — polar opposites, but they were also incredibly supportive of each other and a testament to the longevity of female friendships.

Liz and Jack (30 Rock)

Both Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin gave consistently impeccable performances on "30 Rock," and a big part of what made those performances so incredible was the comedic chemistry between Liz and Jack. They have a pretty adversarial relationship in the beginning (as many great TV friendships do), but Liz soon comes to understand that Jack is uniquely competent. In turn, Jack realizes that Liz is smart enough to keep up with him. They described their relationship in many ways throughout the years (at one point Liz calls Jack her "work husband/uncle" and Jack refers to her as his "co-worker/little brother"), and the show often took a very meta approach to the idea that fans were romantically shipping the two characters.

As anyone who watched "30 Rock" can tell you, Liz and Jack's relationship is anything but tender or romantic. Jack is Liz's mentor, the friend who picked her up from the oral surgeon's office, the man who taught her how to value herself. Liz was Jack's voice of reason (on the rare occasion where he couldn't perform that role for himself), his emergency contact, and the woman who helped him through his many existential crises. They're among the best platonic TV friends ever written.

Issa and Molly (Insecure)

Over the course of its five seasons, "Insecure" managed to show viewers almost every side of a complex female friendship through Issa and Molly. The HBO dramedy never shied away from showing its characters' flaws, and it never shied away from leaving room for conflict in relationships. Molly and Issa fought plenty — they disagreed with each other, lied to each other, and at times resented each other. But they also supported each other. They found laughter in some of the most depressing periods of their lives, and they never stopped being friends.

Part of what makes friendship so scary is that it feels so easy to lose — after all, we don't enter into legal contracts with our friends or run into them at family reunions. Committing to a real, true friendship can be hard work, but it's what Issa and Molly do in every episode of "Insecure." No matter what, through thick and thin, they stick together.

Norm and Cliff (Cheers)

"Cheers" is a show with many friendship dynamics worth noting, but none work quite as well as the bond between drinking buddies Norm Peterson and Cliff Clavin. They're two middle-aged guys just looking to unwind at their favorite bar over a beer on any given night of the week. Of all the male/male friendships on this list, Norm and Cliff are probably one of the most accurate examples of what it means to be an adult man with a best buddy.

Norm and Cliff get into plenty of hijinks together, as is usually the case with friend pairings in ensemble sitcoms like "Cheers," but they also live their lives alongside each other. They celebrate together, commiserate together, and nothing about their bond was formed through trauma or dramatic events. They're just buddies that have fun together and look out for one another, and their friendship is quietly one of the most consistent ever to appear on television.

Robin and Steve (Stranger Things)

There are few friendship dynamics that are more fun to explore on screen than that of a lesbian and her emotional support himbo. When Robin Buckley came out to Steve Harrington in "Stranger Things," it was a huge moment — remember, the show is set in the 1980s, when coming out was less straightforward than many people find it to be today. Right from the get-go, viewers could see that their friendship was more than just a fun summer distraction for Steve. After the end of Steve's romantic relationship with Nancy and his development of a great friendship with Dustin, he graduated high school and promptly became lost, but Robin helped him find himself again.

Dustin is a great friend to Steve, and the bond they share is awesome (and definitely something that almost made it onto this list). However, it's Steve's friendship with Robin that really helps him to move forward in his emotional development as an adult. Robin and Steve have some of the best TV banter around, and, weirdly, their combined tendencies toward chaos (albeit different brands of chaos) have literally saved them and the lives of their friends a few times over.

Tyrion and Varys (Game of Thrones)

Putting a "Game of Thrones" friendship on this list was always going to be a bit of a hard sell, given all the backstabbing and the fact that most of the characters on the show die horrible deaths. But friendship is still an important moving force behind many of the things that happen in "Game of Thrones." Tyrion and Varys' friendship is not only pretty fun to watch (they're two of the smartest, least reprehensible characters on the show), but it's also a big driving force behind the many power plays in Westeros.

Varys has actual affection for Tyrion despite the fact that his allegiance is first and foremost to the realm. Luckily for him, Tyrion's continued survival is the realm's best chance at becoming something stable again, and so he's able to get his friend out of a lot of scrapes for the good of the realm. Unfortunately, Tyrion never fully recovers his ability to mastermind a situation after he leaves Westeros to serve Daenerys, and it is Tyrion's lack of surety in himself and his new ruler that ultimately prevents him from stepping in to save Varys from Dany's wrath.

Pam and Dwight (The Office)

Dwight and Pam might not be the first duo you think of when you think about friendships on "The Office," and certainly there are others that have more screen time (like Dwight and Michael, for example), but their friendship is one that serves both of them very well throughout the series. Pam often pranks Dwight alongside Jim, but after Jim's transfer to Stamford in Season 3, they develop a relationship independent of Jim and Dwight's rivalry, and Dwight himself later admits that he most likely would have liked Pam sooner had she not been so involved with Jim.

Thankfully, Jim and Dwight themselves become good friends by the end of the series, and this allows Dwight to admit in one of his many mockumentary interviews that Pam is his best friend. She is often the only person who treats Dwight like a person with real feelings, and he is sometimes the only person who actually takes Pam seriously. They are two people who are very frequently put into boxes by the people around them, and as such they are two people who can see each other more clearly when no one else seems willing to take a second look.

Shawn and Gus (Psych)

Someone could definitely make the case that Shawn Spencer's relationship with his father is the core dynamic of "Psych." Certainly, it is this relationship that often leads to the most growth for Shawn as a person, and it's the relationship that probably undergoes the most transformation throughout the show's eight seasons, but it's not the heart of what makes "Psych" so worth watching. "Psych" isn't a particularly innovative show — after all, it's mainly intended as a series of smaller spoofs on different film and TV shows contained within a larger spoof of another fake psychic show called "The Mentalist." But, the raucous and fantastic friendship between Gus and Shawn is definitely what makes the series stand apart from many others.

There are so many great running gags with these two guys, including Shawn's refusal to introduce Gus by his actual name and their propensity for over-prioritizing delicious food. Most importantly, Shawn and Gus truly take care of each other, and make actual life decisions based on the importance of their friendship. At the end of the show, Gus literally moves to San Francisco to continue living and working with Shawn, cementing their status as a great TV friendship.

Mary and Rhoda (The Mary Tyler Moore Show)

"The Mary Tyler Moore Show" broke many barriers in television, and it brought us one of the best onscreen friendships ever in Rhoda and Mary. Mary is a single career woman living in Minneapolis and Rhoda is her colorful, wisecracking upstairs neighbor. Considering the difference between Mary's demure sensibilities and Rhoda's feistiness, it would have been really easy for the pair to clash and develop a passive aggressive, antagonistic dynamic. Instead, they became best friends.

Mary is a kind person and Rhoda is very authentic. Despite their apparent differences, it's these qualities along with their shared values that facilitate their close friendship. Even though Rhoda (Valerie Harper) left the show as a series regular after Season 4, she and Mary never stopped being friends, and it was always a joy to see the two back together onscreen whenever she was guest starring in an episode in the later seasons.

Jake and Terry (Brooklyn Nine-Nine)

Another show with multiple iconic friendships, "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" is one of the brightest spots of TV comedy in the last 20 years. Every dynamic between characters is fun — from Jake and Charles' rambunctious longevity to Rosa and Holt's dual commitment to saying less rather than more, there are so many great friendships to highlight. Ultimately we decided to go with Jake and Terry, for the simple reason that their friendship undergoes the most growth throughout the show.

At first, Terry is unsure whether Jake is true friendship material (after all, he does come off like an irresponsible goofball a lot of the time), but Jake soon proves himself a steadfast presence in Terry's life. He helps him work through his decision not to get a vasectomy and becomes godfather to his daughter Ava. Terry's love of fitness and fastidious organizational habits often clash comically with Jake's lack of physical ambition and sloppy lifestyle, but they never resent each other for those differences. They give their opinions to each other when it matters, but at the end of the day Jake and Terry never try to change each other, because they love each other for exactly who they are.

Wallace and Veronica (Veronica Mars)

When Wallace Fennel came to the town of Neptune, California, he promptly saved the life of Veronica Mars, memorably portrayed by Kristen Bell. No, he didn't take a bullet for her or rescue her from a burning building, but he did restore some of her faith in humanity, and that was something she sorely needed. "Veronica Mars" started and finished as a show that didn't shy away from life's ugliness and often leaned into very dark humor, but it couldn't be 100% dismal or else it might have been unwatchable. That's where Wallace came in.

Wallace is a good person who often brings out the best in Veronica, and after she cuts him down from the telephone pole outside of their high school (he was taped there by some of their fellow students for being a "snitch"), he decides that he wants to be friends with her, despite the fact that she is persona non grata among basically all of her classmates. Without Wallace, Veronica would have descended into a life without levity or peer support, and it's hard to say where her rage may have taken her if she didn't have him to always be her anchor in the storm.

Leslie and Ron (Parks and Recreation)

The beloved comedy "Parks and Recreation," much like "Brooklyn Nine-Nine" and "The Office," boasts many excellent friendships among its characters, but none are quite so interesting or original as that between Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope. Ron and Leslie could not possibly be more ideologically opposed to each other — Leslie believes that the government has the power to do good and should do whatever it can to support its citizens, and Ron believes that the government should not exist under any circumstances.

In general, Ron's ideology is played as much more of a joke than Leslie's, which is fair considering his views (at one point he actually suggests that the fire department be dismantled), but at the same time he's one of the most respected characters in the show. Leslie and Ron completely disagree about many things, but they share the same core values; integrity, honesty, bravery, and an inherent understanding of what is good and what is bad. Their friendship might not actually be realistic, especially considering the very bitter political divide between them, but it's aspirational and darn fun to watch.