It can be difficult to find – and maintain – great friendships in real life. Likewise, it can be difficult to find a show on television that features groups of friends that are inspiring and supportive of each other (after all, friendships filled with drama, tension and betrayal seem much more common on screen).
It can be comforting to settle in front of the television and watch a show that portrays characters with dynamic and healthy relationships. Luckily, there are some friendships on television that are epic enough to make viewers wish they could actually be friends with the characters, too: one of the best examples is, of course, the 90s sitcom Friends. The group on this sitcom always seemed to be having a great time with each other.
There are a few great groups of friends on tv right now that keep us tuning in to watch while they survive the world and whatever challenges are thrown their way, all while still managing to have fun and stick together.
Jess and her roommates – New Girl
New Girl has made being a single woman living with three (recently four) other men actually seem appealing and fun. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend a night crawling over furniture and playing the made-up “True American” drinking game with their roomies? When Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel) moved in with a group of three men (played by Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamome Morris) – which has turned into four men as of the show’s fourth season, when one of their former roommates moved back in (Damon Wayans, Jr.) – there were certainly some challenges for her as the only woman in a large apartment full of men. After the group formed a close friendship with Jess and has supported her through a couple of failed romances, her career, troubles with friends and many other quirky antics, we can’t imagine this group ever falling apart. Of course, there has been romantic tension in the loft (Jess has an on again, off again relationship with one of the roommates), but in general their offbeat relationships have been platonic, supportive and even heartwarming.
Cosima, Alison and Sarah – Orphan Black
Nothing will unite a group of strangers more quickly than realizing that they all are genetically identical. That’s what happened with these three women when they discovered that they are all clones and share each other’s DNA. Their origins are a mystery. There are even other individuals that are also clones and share their DNA – although many of these figures are a less-than-friendly presence in the three women’s lives. Despite being biologically identical, Cosima, Allison and Sarah all have different personalities. There can be tensions, but these women will always stick up for one another even though they are often faced with many dramatic, mysterious and life-threatening situations as they try to discover the reason behind their existence and identity. Their personalities are so distinct and relationships with each other so well-formed that it can be difficult to believe only one actress (Tatiana Maslany) plays all three of these roles, as well as several other characters on the show. As a bonus, Sarah’s childhood friend Felix is also a loyal – well, probably loyal, it’s hard to know for sure on this show – friend to Cosima and Alison.
Meredith and Cristina – Grey’s Anatomy
Doctors Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Cristina (Sandra Oh) have had a heartfelt, strong friendship for 10 years on Grey’s Anatomy. They have faced many obstacles on the primetime soap opera/drama, and yet still managed to be great friends through thick and thin. Their friendship will soon come to an end, however: the season finale of the show in May also saw the end of Sandra Oh’s run on the show, effectively taking with her one half of this on-screen duo.
Carrie and Fred – Portlandia
It’s hard to know where reality ends and fiction begins for real-life friends and show-creators of Portlandia, Fred and Carrie (Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein), who perform numerous skits on this gentle satire show and portray a variety of unique characters, including a fictional duo who are also called Carrie and Fred. Their on-screen friendship is a bit surreal: “Fred and Carrie” seem to live together and even share a bedroom (with separate beds). They spend their days roaming through Portland together, performing various jobs such as campaigning against the Olympics coming to the city or helping a fictional Mayor of Portland with his various quirky endeavors. The two once had their friendship tested when both fell for the same woman, a roommate who they had brought back to Portland from Seattle, but ultimately decided their friendship was more important than romance.
Rachel and Curt – Glee
There’s something about friendships on Glee that is fleeting. We’re never quite sure which characters are friends at any given moment. At any rate, Rachel and Curt have (usually) been good friends throughout this series’ run, from their days surviving high school together as the odd ones out in Glee club, to making a big move to New York City and being roommates together in the Big Apple. When they are in fact getting along, there’s something comforting about watching these two sit around in their pajamas with a big bowl of popcorn and talking out all of their show biz and boy issues together.
Marnie, Jessa, Hannah, and Shoshanna – Girls
We can’t exactly say that these four young women (Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Lena Dunham and Zosia Mamet) have a flawless friendship, but this show revolves around the friendship they do manage to have (most of the time), which is in some ways one of the more realistic friendships portrayed on television. It is filled with many ups and downs and the characters sometimes even betray each other. Whether it’s overcoming one of the character’s random hook-ups with one of their friend’s best friends or ex-boyfriend, or going to rehab, these girls go through (and put each other through) a lot. Yet, they always seem work things out – or at least move on from the difficulties they face – and ultimately choose to stick together.
Elena and Bonnie– The Vampire Diaries
Like many other relationships in this list, the friendship between Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Bonnie (Kat Graham) has been anything but perfect, but somehow they have managed to remain friends. Needless to say, some supernatural forces have occasionally threatened their friendship – resulting in Elena both threatening to kill and attempting to kill Bonnie twice, for example. After these incidents, when Elena was feeling herself again, Bonnie was understanding and forgave her. The mothers of these two women were also once best friends.
Max and Caroline – 2 Broke Girls
2 Broke Girls is one of the few sitcoms on television right now that revolves around a close friendship between two women. Max (Kat Dennings) and Caroline (Beth Behrs) are two girls who know how to stick together through thick and thin: the two are waitresses together and come from different backgrounds. One is the child of a working-class mother and the other was born rich, but lost everything and is now penniless when her father was sent to prison. Their relationship with each other is supportive, and they share a great sense of humor about the situations and mishaps that they find themselves in.
Sheldon, Leonard, Penny, Howard and Rajesh – The Big Bang Theory
This mishmash of nerdy friends (Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar) and their cool neighbor Penny (Kaley Cuoco) have been through a lot with each other throughout the years on this long-running sitcom. The group of four male nerds and their attractive neighbor Penny is very close knit. They spend a ton of time together, eating takeout and playing games, while Penny enlightens the guys about the world outside of their game consoles and their serious academic careers. Over the years, Penny and Leonard have had an on-again, off-again romantic relationship, which recently turned into an engagement.
Troy and Abed – Community
All of the main characters on Community are good friends, since they are all a part of the same close-knit community college study group. However, Troy and Abed are so close that it’s easy to label their friendship an epic bromance. The short segments they do together to close off the show often portray how much these two love being friends. Both are nerdy: Troy was a football player who left his football behind to go to community college, where he learned to embrace his nerdy side, while Abed often has social issues and a difficult time interacting with others, yet Troy has helped him come out of his shell. Clearly, the two complement each other perfectly and thus have a strong friendship.