A good friendship is vital to many an existence. On television, it also helps make good characters great. Thus, the show will do better. Thanks to syndication and streaming services, there are plenty of best friends to quench our viewing thirst.
Here's out rankings of the 25 best TV friends of all time.
Bringing famed comic book characters to life can be difficult. Especially ones who are not action heroes. Yet, Riverdale has been a hit for The CW since debuting in 2017. Betty (Lili Reinhart) and Veronica (Camila Mendes) are a big reason why. They are different, sure. Betty is intelligent with few cares, while Veronica is rich and rather spoiled. But, their unique friendship keeps us watching because, for some reason, we think there's more below their collective surface. Plus, who can forget that cheerleading tryout?
This Comedy Central project might be under the radar for some, but it received plenty of critical praise during its run the last decade. Now, Abbi (Abbi Jacobson), a wannabe artist, and Ilana (Ilana Glazer), an outgoing slacker who likes the weed, aren't great role models. But, they are human and relatable to many trying to make it through their 20s in a big city. Why it works? The comedy is well timed and those heartfelt moments add to the depth of these rather likeable characters.
This was is a group, that each brought a unique take to the friendship. A little something for everybody . Khadijah (Queen Latifah) is the mother figure with an attitude. Max (Erika Alexander) is a wise-cracking lawyer who has more success in her professional life than her personal one. Synclaire (Kim Coles) is sweet and loyal, but also ditzy enough to draw plenty of laughs. Finally, Regine (Kim Fields) is self-absorbed, fashion-focused and rather lazy, but still endearing enough to be a good friend.
When it comes to these detective buddies, it might seem like a one-sided friendship. Charles (Joe Lo Truglio) is essentially obsessed with Jake (Andy Samberg). He was once jealous when Jake went on a cruise, hoping he would not pick up a new best friend. Jake, though, takes it all in stride and is always there for his buddy. Mostly because they enjoy plenty of juvenile moments on the job and off.
These buddies are quite goofy, but in a harmlessly comediac way. While SpongeBob can be a little bossy to his gullible buddy Patrick, he'll pretty much doing anything for him. They have been known to go jellyfish fishing, get into plenty of innocent trouble and annoy just about everybody in Bikini Bottom. At the end of the day, though, they realize they really enjoy being around each other.
Leslie (Amy Poehler) was in need of a best friend - or an object of her friendship affection. Enter Ann (Rashida Jones), the level-headed nurse who became the public health consultant for Pawnee. Ann is good at bringing Leslie back down to Earth when her ideas and actions get a little out of control. While Leslie can get on Ann's nerves, their friendship is pretty special because Ann probably needs Leslie more than she thinks.
Growing up, we need a friend to count on. Kevin (Fred Savage) certainly has that in Paul (Josh Saviano). And vice versa. While Kevin might think he's "cooler" than the somewhat nerdy Paul, that really isn't the case. Kevin can be a little bit of a whiner, while Paul has a hidden wit that's a bit underrated. Still, they make navigating adolescence a little easier with each other alongside.
Finding a best friend in prison likely helps make the time go by a little faster. if that's at all possible. Somehow, Poussey (Samira Wiley) and Taystee (Danielle Brooks) form a relationship that both need, but don't try to hard to attain - or maintain. They are relatively different people - in prison and out. There is a lot going on within OITNB, but this pair shines the brightest.
These British babes are not everybody's cup of tea. But man, are they hilarious. Raunchy, uncouth, totally improper and downright obscene, the alcohol-swigging, cigarette-puffing Patsy (Joanna Lumley) and Edina (Jennifer Saunders) live like they have not a care in the world. Their professional and personal dysfunction was so fun to watch during the 1990s and even the 2000s.
Troy (Donald Glover) and Abed (Danny Pudi) seem like two completely different people. Troy is more outgoing, yet never watched much TV as a kid since he was Jehovah's Witness. Abed is more socially awkward, but the two just gelled from the beginning. They host their own talk show ("Troy and Abed in the Morning") and are well known around Greendale Community College for their rap skills.
Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Cristina (Sandra Oh) have been through a lot. We mean a lot. From the pressure and trauma of their job as doctors to even more complicated personal lives - especially when it comes to love. Their friendship is not always easy, and at times viewers can get a little put off by the complexity, but it does not take a genius to see how dependent they are on the other.
Full disclosure, Cory (Ben Savage) and Shawn (Rider Strong) can be a little annoying. Shawn's bad-boy act as teenager gets a little old, but once we understand about his home situation, we see that goofball Cory and the Matthews' family are perhaps the best thing he's got going for him. Now, the way they rile up Mr. Feeny and Eric is quite entertaining.
This is a case were people can get funnier with age. That was obviously the case with The Golden Girls. Each one of the four brought something significant and humorous to the table. Dorothy (Bea Arthur) is the stern, but funny, voice of reason. Blanche (Rue McClanahan), the southern belle that hasn't lost her appetite for love, and Rose (Betty White), the dim-witted but good-natured, loyal confident, draw plenty of laughs. Even Sophia (Estelle Getty), Dorothy's mother, is the wise-cracking, underrated star of the group.
Whether as kids on Full House or adults via Fuller House, D.J. (Candace Cameron-Bure) and Kimmy (Andrea Barber) are always there for each other, even when things get pretty screwed up. For better or house. Kimmy's goofiness and immature antics play a nice compliment to the straight-laced, by-the-book D.J. However, their loyalty is truly remarkable and truly family-like in nature.
It's a wonder Ralph (Jackie Gleason) and Ed (Art Carney) got anything done. Every time we turn around, these classic characters find themselves in a jam, a scam or some situation that could have been avoided. Of course, many of their issues were brought on by Ralph, whose impatience and hot-headedness usually got the best of him, but made for some memorable comedy.
We don't want to exclude Phoebe, but she's more of a free spirit who seems fine going at it on her own. Now, Monica (Courteney Cox) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) balance each other out quite well. Rachell's goofiness helps curb Monica's compulsiveness at times, while Monica is pretty good about keeping Rachel grounded. Now, just don't put them on the same trivia team or they might end up losing their apartment.
Navigating life in Los Angeles as a young professional can be tough. Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) are doing their best, though it can also be intense. The honesty within their friendship, especially portrayed by Issa, is what makes them entertaining and interesting to watch - and relatable to those currently living that life. We heard Trump is a fan?
What often gets lost in the silliness, goofiness and childlike antics of J.D. (Zach Braff) and Turk (Donald Faison), is the fact they are actually pretty good doctors. In Turk's case, a damn fine surgeon. However, what makes them even more likeable is that their vulnerabilities show a human side that makes for a great sitcom friendship - and one we can't get enough of, even in reruns.
Time to head back for some prehistoric fun. Fred and Barney are the Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton of the cartoon world. Fred can be a little hot-headed and his predicaments are usually of his own doing. They are arguably the most recognizable best best buddies in animated TV history, and continue to make generations of viewers laugh on an almost daily basis.
Another best friend foursome. But instead of residing in some Florida retirement community, it's the bright lights of Manhattan. There's Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), the leader and most social conscience of the group. Charlotte (Kristin Davis), the good-hearted, sometime naive, girl-next-door type. Miranda ( Cynthia Nixon), the well-educated but unlucky in love realistic. And finally, Samantha (Kim Cattrall), the sexually confident wise guy (wise gal?) who provides the most consistent element of comedy. Put them together, and it's certainly a memorable group.
The best way to describe the friendship between George (Jason Alexander) and Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) is dysfunctional. The jams, schemes and embarrassing situations these best buddies find themselves in are often beyond imaginable. In many cases, we downright can take it because they're so far fetched. Of course, those kind of moments are usually quite hysterically memorable.
When it comes influential comedic TV stars, Lucille Ball must be near or at the top of the list. in her starring role as Lucy Ricardo, teammed with best friend Ethel (Vivian Vance), it was pure comedy gold. In many ways, Lucy and Ethel were George and Jerry before there was a George and Jerry. Plenty of outlandish capers and shenanigans, plus their fair share of embarrassments that kept fans laughing for years.
Is there a best friend duo that relies on each other more than Will Truman (Eric McCormack) and Grace Adler (Debra Messing)? No matter how many significant others and spouses come into the other one's life, Will and Grace are always there for each other. Yes, the meddling can be a little annoying, but their love and devotion to the friendship is genuine, and the security blanket both crave.
No offense to Ross, who regularly calls Chandler (Mathew Perry) his best friend, but Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Chandler just go well together. They might be two of the funniest roommates of all time. From their leather recliners to boarding the chick and the duck to a love of Baywatch, the two bring a childish, yet loyal and sweet friendship, that really should be the envy of TV fans throughout history.
The best friends that made Milwaukee famous. Ok, maybe not so much. But back in the 1970s and '80s, Laverne (Penny Marshall) and Shirley (Cindy Williams) were one of the most popular duos on network television- and grew to become legends of the genre. They worked in a brewery, found themselves in a pickle more times than not and kicked off every episode with perhaps the greatest TV comedy theme song of all time.
Jeff Mezydlo has written about sports and entertainment online and for print for more than 25 years. He grew up in the far south suburbs of Chicago, 20 minutes from the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Ind. He’s also the proud father of 11-year-old Matthew, aka “Bobby Bruin,” mascot of St. Robert Bellarmine School in Chicago. You can follow Jeff at @jeffm401.