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October 9, 2015

Top 20: TV's Best BFFs

by Kim Potts, posted Jul 26th 2010 3:30PM

The 'Entourage' pals are back with their seventh season, and the 'My Boys' friends kicked off season 4 recently, which got us to thinking about our other favorite TV friendships.

Whether it's the duo who inspired 'Guy Love' and the other guy pair who would be quick to point out that there's nothing wrong with that or the Milwaukee ladies who schlemiel-ed and schlimazel-ed their way to making their dreams come true and the Miami foursome who proved friendship (and feistiness) is even more important in your 'Golden' years, these are the 20 TV BFFs we'd be happy to call friends.

20. Chuck Bartowski & Morgan Grimes
Show: 'Chuck' (2007-present)
Stars: Zachary Levi and Joshua Gomez
Friend-ly conversation: So loyal are childhood buddies Chuck and Morgan that their geeky pursuits have led them to be employed at the same place -- the Best Buy-ish Buy More -- and when Morgan finally finds out that his friend has been keeping his spy guy life a secret, he doesn't get angry with him, and instead immediately wants to join Chuck in the spy game. Chuck, in turn, helps the sometimes hapless Morgan secure a pseudo position as his undercover cohort.
That's what friends are for: Morgan sometimes takes a backseat to his smarter friend, but they prove to always have each other's backs, as in the season one Halloween episode, in which Morgan, dejected by Chuck's recent criticism of him, still sticks up for Chuck when Mr. Bartowski misses a job interview, and Chuck repays him by telling Morgan he should be the front end of the duo's sandworm costume.

19. Bart Simpson & Milhouse Van Houten
Show: 'The Simpsons' (1989-present)
Stars: Nancy Cartwright and Pamela Hayden
Friend-ly conversation: One's a popular mischief-maker, the other's a class geek, but Bart and Milhouse share a love of comic books, Krusty the Clown and not getting beat up by Jimbo and the other bullies (though, unfortunately, they often are on the receiving end of beatdowns). Bart sometimes acts like he's ashamed of his nerdier cohort, but anytime he and Milhouse are separated, like when Mrs. Van Houten forbids them from playing together after Bart once again proves to be a bad influence on her son, he realizes how much he loves his bespectacled bud.
That's what friends are for: Among Bart and Milhouse's crazier outings: Finding a $20 bill and purchasing an all-syrup Super Squishy, which led to a night of tattoos, Broadway musical-style shenanigans and -- most horrifying to Bart -- joining the Boy Scouts-ish Junior Campers.

18. P.J. and Andy Franklin, Bobby Newman, Brendan Dorff, Mike Callahan, Kenny Morittori and Stephanie Layne
Show: 'My Boys' (2006-present)
Stars: Jordana Spiro, Jim Gaffigan, Kyle Howard, Reid Scott, Jamie Kaler, Michael Bunin and Kellee Stewart
Friend-ly conversation: Female sportswriter P.J. has a female BFF -- writer Stephanie -- but she's also got a wealth of the male perspective on life, love and baseball, thanks to her group of guy friends: her big brother Andy, fellow sportswriter (and now her boyfriend) Bobby, old college pal/current roommate Brendan and friends and poker buddies Mike and Kenny.
That's what friends are for: The dating advice works both ways: P.J. is also a source of the female perspective for her dude friends, which they often sorely need. And, though there have been flirtations between her and a couple of the guys, the 'My Boys' gang is proof that Billy Crystal got one thing wrong in 'When Harry Met Sally': men and women can be just friends.

17. Shawn Spencer & Burton "Gus" Guster
Show: 'Psych' (2006-present)
Stars: James Roday and Dule Hill
Friend-ly conversation: Shawn's the eccentric, super-excitable fake psychic and Gus is his more pragmatic best friend and co-owner of the Psych detective agency. Friends since childhood, Shawn's more over-the-top personality is actually a good match for the sometimes uptight pharmaceutical salesman Gus, while Gus' sensible ways have kept Shawn out of more than one jam. The two also share a love of pop culture and Gus' Little Blue Car, while Roday explains their bond as "unbreakable. It's one of those friendships that make people who don't have one ask, 'Why does Gus put up with Shawn?' It's not about putting up with one another. It's about knowing each other so well that things that might annoy someone from the outside don't annoy you anymore."
That's what friends are for: The friends also share a friendly rivalry for things like women and attention, as in a season three 'Psych' promo where they re-create the video for 'Ebony and Ivory.'

16. Ralph Kramden & Ed Norton
Show: 'The Honeymooners' (1955-56)
Stars: Jackie Gleason and Art Carney
Friend-ly conversation: Pals who lived in the same Brooklyn apartment building, Ralph and Norton, a city bus driver and a city sewer worker, often poked fun at each other -- Ralph's weight and Norton's dimwitted demeanor were reliable fodder for barbs -- but were loyal pals who joined the Raccoon Lodge together and were often partners in Ralph's many get-rich-quick schemes.
That's what friends are for: In one of the classic series' most classic scenes, Norton tries to teach Ralph the teen dance craze The Hucklebuck, so the fellas can prove to their wives that they still know how to have a good time. Hilarity -- and Gleason and Emmy winner Carney at their comedic best -- ensues.

15. Carrie Bradshaw & Miranda Hobbes & Samantha Jones & Charlotte York
Show: 'Sex and the City' (1998-2004)
Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kim Cattrall and Kristin Davis
Friend-ly conversation: In a city where people are often too busy to maintain friendships, Carrie and her posse beat the odds and remain connected through break-ups, breakdowns, cancer scares, marriages, divorces, fights, making up and lots and lots of shopping, cocktails and fabulous fashions.
That's what friends are for: "It felt really sad ... not to have a soulmate," Carrie says after yet another relationship meltdown, but, as Charlotte points out in an apt description of the womens' friendship, "Maybe we can be each other's soulmates."

14. Denny Crane & Alan Shore
Show: 'Boston Legal' (2004-08)
Stars: William Shatner and James Spader
Friend-ly conversation: They were political opposites, and both had egos so big that it's a wonder they could be in the same room at the same time, but attorneys Denny and Alan quickly became BFFs who shared their love of women, their fears and their appreciation for good Scotch and cigars in nightly chats on the balcony of Denny's office.
That's what friends are for: In the show's series finale, Denny, worried about his medical and financial future with his worsening Alzheimer's disease, asked Alan to marry him, so Alan could make medical decisions for Denny and so Denny could pass his considerable wealth along to Alan, tax-free. Alan agreed, and the two were wed in a fishing lodge and then shared a celebratory slow dance on Denny's balcony.

13. Meredith Grey & Cristina Yang
Show: 'Grey's Anatomy' (2005-present)
Stars: Ellen Pompeo and Sandra Oh
Friend-ly conversation: They went on a honeymoon together! What else do you need to know about the friendship of these two Seattle docs, who, after Cristina's planned wedding to Preston Burke was called off, got away from all their angsty relationship woes by taking off on Cristina and Preston's honeymoon trip to Hawaii. Even though the two have opposite personalities -- Cristina likes logic and reason, and Meredith never met an emotion she wouldn't express -- and even though they've had their share of tiffs, Cristina remains Meredith's closest friend and confidant, and Meredith remains Cristina's "person."
That's what friends are for: Being there for each other, even in their later years. In the clip below, from season five, Cristina has a flash forward about what she and BFF Meredith will be like when they're golden girls. Not surprisingly, they're still friends and Cristina is still using her surgical skills, this time on a chicken dinner.

12. Dave Starsky & Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson
Show: 'Starsky and Hutch' (1975-79)
Stars: Paul Michael Glaser and David Soul
Friend-ly conversation: Their car, nicknamed the "striped tomato" sparked a lot of discussion surrounding the cop drama, as did the relationship between Bay City friends and partners Starsky and Hutch, the former moody and reactionary, the latter more intellectual and laidback. Starsky and Hutch were loyal co-workers who weren't afraid to show their respect and affection for each other -- They hugged! They cried! They wore cardigan sweaters! -- something that was not common among other male TV drama characters of the day.
That's what friends are for: Starsky and Hutch had to see each other through some major scrapes, including being set-up to look like brutal cops in 'Starsky and Hutch Are Guilty,' and in 'Shootout,' Starsky being seriously wounded by a hitman's gun. Through it all, as the fanvid below shows, they really did touch each other a lot. A lot.

11. Mary Richards & Rhoda Morgenstern
Show: 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' (1970-77)
Stars: Mary Tyler Moore and Valerie Harper
Friend-ly conversation: They started out as rivals -- Rhoda desperately wanted Mary's swankier apartment, and tried to trick her, unsuccessfully, to get it -- but the two became fast friends afterwards, bonding over being two women in the big city, trying to forge successes in their careers and their personal lives ...
That's what friends are for: ... in their personal lives, despite Rhoda's penchant for dating thieves, like, as Mary points out, Arnie the exterminator.

Memorable TV BFFs: No. 11-1 >>

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