Male camaraderie has found its way into film and television programming for as long as programmatic television has existed. Shows like the Lone Ranger, Wagon Train, and Bonanza were very popular representations of the guy-love phenomenon, but because these men were depicted as rugged cowboys on the plains no one discussed the gravitas of their bonds. It is only recently that a term was coined to adequately/accurately capture the true nature of this male bonding/love being exhibited for our viewing pleasure. It has since been dubbed BROMANCE! And who doesn’t love a good bromance?
Two guys who are each other’s “person.” The guy they spend the most time with and bond with on special level. The guy that gets him like none other. All dudes have ’em, but they don’t rarely discuss that level of intimacy that they have with another man. So, when we get a glimpse of it on the “big” or “small” screen it’s fun to watch them unfold.
Here is a list of the very best bromances out there! Enjoy!
17. Edward and Carter from The Bucket List
Although this is somewhat of a sad film, who can forget crotchety, rich old Edward (Jack Nicholson) and mild-mannered, unassuming Carter (Morgan Freeman) from the film the Bucket List. Edward is the owner of communal style hospitals that doesn’t support the perks, like private rooms, of regular hospitals because they are not cost efficient. When he falls ill and is diagnosed with cancer, he is admitted to one of his hospitals for treatment. He finds himself sharing a room with Carter, an old car mechanic, even though he would prefer a private room, because those are the rules that he has set into place. A bond develops between these two cancer battlers and imminent death unites them on a journey to complete each others “bucket list.” And rich old Carter has the means to do it.
16. Peter Klaven and Sydney Fife from I Love You, Man
This silly comedy about a newly engaged man, Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd), who has no friends and needs to have a relationship outside of his romantic one is hilarious. When Peter hosts an open house he meets Sydney (Jason Segal) who is just attending the showing for the snacks and to pick-up women. Although Sydney thinks Peter is weird he still gives him a chance. They get together and a full-on bromance blossoms. Every minute that Klaven isn’t working or with his fiance he’s hanging with his new friend. Peter realizes that he has been lacking that outlet in life. He has never had someone to share those moments of utter silliness and stupidity that you cannot always have with you significant other. With the Sydney’s help Peter finds an identity outside of his “ordinary life.” They spend lots of having ‘jam session’ in Syd’s man-cave, drinking too much, and going to Rush in concerts. These two pals are inseparable! I love you, Bro Montana.
15. Andy and Red from Shawshank Redemption
Ah the bond between inmates. This story could have gone in so many different ways, but the quiet, supportive relationship between two decent men in prison is the best story of all. Andy DuFresne, the formerly successful banker who is jailed and falsely convicted of the murder of his unfaithful wife and her lover. Red, well he committed the crime he was jailed for and makes not bones about it, but at his core is also a decent person. He is also the guy that can get you what you need in prison. He had been a resident of Shawshank Prison so long and his ‘dealings’ were overlooked by the guards – sort of look away to keep the “wild animals” at bay and slight satiated. The two men become friends because they each see something of substance is lurking beneath the surface of the other person. Over the years their friendship deepens and they began to look upon each other as allies. They trust the other with their lives. During their time together inside they have many lengthy conversations and when Andy escapes from prison he contacts one person…Red. Defresne knows that Red is his one true friend and he hopes to be reunited with him one day.
14. Harold Lee and Kumar Patel from Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle
These two best-friends have taken us on some journeys since they burst onto the scene. They formed a friendship based on survival and a mutual understanding of being he misunderstand Asian in the crowd. Their bond was solidified through their love of marijuana. Harold and Kumar are the perfect hetero life-partners. Kumar is the Yin to Harold’s Yang. Where Harold is steady and responsible, Kumar is a self-assured slacker, pot-head that helps his buddy relax and enjoy life a little bit. They are united in the their love of ganja and their ever need to balance each other’s shortcomings…AND let us not forget their craving for…White Castle.
13. Cory Matthews and Shawn Hunter from Boy Meets World
Ah, adolescent guy-love. Cory Matthews and Shawn Hunter are our only representatives of adolescent bromance on the list. The young pair met in kindergarten on a zoo trip. Shawn asked Cory to have lunch with him, but he refused. During that same trip Cory fell into the llama cage and Shawn jumped in when all the rest ran away and that day formed a friendship for life. Their friendship endured through high school, into college, and even after marriage. This bond is one that lasts forever. In later seasons of the show is revealed that Shawn has a brother that he never knew about. Eventually the two brothers would become close, but it never held a candle to the bond shared by Cory and Shawn. Their shared experiences and deep understanding, and support of each other makes them the longest lasting bromance on the list.
12. Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett from Bad Boys
Bad boys, bad boys; Whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey are a hilarious duo. One is a goofy, whipped family man [Marcus] and the other a smooth, sexy ladies man about town [Mike]. This pair grew up together, became cops, and have been partners on the LA Police Force for many years. Mike and Marcus know more about each other than any woman will ever hope to know – they know each other’s deep dark secrets. This pair fight like a married couple, but when push comes to shove they have each other’s backs no matter price. The love and camaraderie between these two is not easily rivaled and the bromance between to the two cannot be broken. Their brotherhood will live forever.
11. Daryl and Rick from the Walking Dead
Who would have thought that a show about a zombie apocalypse would produce a good bromance? Now it is safe to assume that if you put a bunch of people together and have them navigate their way through constant life or death situations strong bonds will form. But a to think that a such a bond would form between a straight and arrow cop and redneck outlaw in not one that your thought would immediately stray to. When Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon met it was NOT a bro-at-first-sight. Actually, Mr. Dixon tried to kill Grimes after he handcuffed his brother, Merle, to pipe on rooftop of a building when he wouldn’t play well with others. Many of us thought that their relationship was doomed from the get-go, but with the absence of big-brother Merle, Daryl was able to grow and develop healthy – well as healthy of a relationship as you can get in zombie apocalypse – with another man and others. His place within the group became less adversarial and more of a supportive member of the group. Where Rick is clearly the leader of group, he relies on Daryl as his second in command to provide consensus, support, a sounding board, and to call him out when the need arises. This bromance is important and works or more levels than either of them realize.
10. Alan Shore and Denny Crane from Boston Legal
Holy Star Trek! Do you remember William Shatner on a little show entitled, “Boston Legal?” We do! It was a fantastic series starring the “Shat,” James Spader, Candice Bergman, and many others. This quirky show about an upscale law firm and their motley cast of attorneys that inhabit the place. The two strangest birds, and one the best reason for watching the show, is the bromance between Denny Crane – a named Senior Partner of Crane, Poole, & Schmidt – and Alan Shore – a brilliant, plucky lawyer with a strong moral compass who is not afraid to get his hands dirty for ethical outcomes. This bromance is built on mentorship [Denny to Alan] and recognition of each other’s brilliance in practicing and cultivating the law to best suit there needs. Denny is a staunch Republican and is the perfect foil for Alan’s heavily left-leaning political ways. This duo is a wonderful Yin to the other’s Yang. In the end, what makes this bromance worthy of inclusion to this list is that fact that at the series end Denny is diagnosed with Alzheimer/Dementia and in order to appoint Alan as his heir and give him medical power of attorney, the two hetero-life-partners marry.
9. Seth and Evan from Superbad
Who’s bad? These two lovable geeks, that’s who! Evan and Seth have been attached at the hip for so long that no one at their high schools thinks of one without the other. This hetero partnership has been in effect since childhood and they do virtually everything together and like it that way. Where Seth is slovenly, rude, obscene mess of young man, Evan is the a precocious, sweet, and thoughtful person that you can’t help but love. This bromance is born out of mutual like and sustains itself bey commonalities of not quite fitting in, their unsuccessful turns with the fairer sex, and their life-long shared experiences. If the cops broke up your underage party would you be willing to carry your best bud to safety and out of the clutches of cops? Even if your mad at him? Seth will to do it.
8. Phil, Stu, Doug, and Alan from the Hangover
Never have four bros experienced so many wrong turns, missing teeth, bad tattoos, tranny experiences, and kidnappings and held on to their bromance so strongly. When we first meet this foursome we learn that Doug, Stu, and Phil are three best friends who wanted, like many prenuptial men, to celebrate the upcoming marriage between Doug and his fiance Tracy. When Tracy persuades the guys to take her idiot savant brother-in-law-to-be Alan along for the weekend in order to make him feel some sort of camaraderie. With this one act EVERYONE’S life was forever changed. Alan, always the well-meaning dullard, drugs the guys and blackout madness ensues. Throughout all of the films Alan is the at the epicenter of the of how things go sideways during their adventures together. His attempts to form a strong bond with guys leads them down a path of destruction and mayhem. Whether in Las Vegas, Thailand, Mexico, or back to Vegas, these guys will give anyone a run for their money in accumulating things that must never be mentioned again. And let us not forget Mr. Leslie Chan’s part in the debauchery.
7. John Beckwith and Jeremy Grey from Wedding Crashers
Two life-long friends, John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn) band together in business and the pursuit of no-strings attached womanizing. Jeremy and John are both divorce mediators who have seen the joy that weddings can bring and what can happen when the end of a marriage comes firsthand. What these guys have done that no one else has is capitalize on the industry on both ends. These two spend the height of the wedding season crashing big weddings and reaping the benefits of the drunk, desperate, unmarried, single women in attendance. With made-up names, back-stories, and occupations, they clean up like bandits with women longing – and envious of those who have – to take that trip down the aisle. The hopeful, unsuspecting women fall prey to their good looks, abundant lines, tricks of the trade, and charm. John and Jeremy are the perfect guests to liven up a wedding celebration and to capitalize on romantic dreams of one day wedded bliss.
6. Javier Esposito and Kevin Ryan from Castle
Kevin Ryan and Javier “Javi” Esposito are the best of friends and NYPD homicide detective partners. While Javi puts on the act as a tough NYC born and raised detective, Kevin in a seemingly polar opposite mild-mannered Irish-Catholic boy. They pair fight light an old married couple and are constantly competing to best the other at silly tasks. Although these bros are constantly competing, it is also evident that they have a great love and respect for each other and will have his partner’s back whatever may come. In the “Phantom” episode RySpo – a fan pet-name for the duo – find themselves trapped in an arsonist’s workshop with building burning and coming down around them. The partners are uncertain that they will make it out alive and Ryan’s thoughts stray to his very pregnant wife Jenny and their unborn child. The Ryans did not know the sex of the baby, and when asked what they would name male child, Kevin reveals…Javier. Esposito, not to be bested retorts, “Javier? You’re going to name a white Irish kid Javier?” Yeah. The actors, Seamus Dever & Jon Huertas, that star in these roles are good friends off the set and they even have a single, “The Definition of Love,” together.
5. Schmidt and Jenko from 21 Jump Street
Schmidt and Jenko are an unlikely team that just works. Jenko is a the sexy, strong, dumb jock who can climb buildings and attract any girl he wants. Schmidt is the geeky, tubby kid with no game and a head full of knowledge. “Schmenko” were high school adversaries, but the desire to be cops leveled their respective playing field. Put any physical test in front of Jenko and he can sail right through it, but the academics of police work he fails miserably. Schmidt is the complete opposite. If he is presented with a physical task he fails, but his academic prowess is off the chart. Realizing that they needed each other, the two combined forces to help each other with their shortcomings and a bromance blossomed. Jenko even takes a bullet for his old pal. Now that’s love.
4. Troy and Abed from Community
If you don’t know who Troy and Abed are you should. NBC’s comedy series, “Community,” produced one of the best bromances EVER! Check out “Troy and Abed in the Morning,” and you will have an idea of nerdy awesomeness of these two. Abed, who clearly has Asperger’s Syndrome, does not express emotions very well, he rarely makes eye contact with people, he constantly lives his life in a fantasy world, but he sees through all the BS and posturing and to the heart of every matter. Even though Troy was a big shot in high school, he is still a bit of an awkward nerdy thing. These two pals gel really well together. This unlikely pair fantasize about alternate dimensions, build massive blanket forts, have paint ball battles against other clicks, invented their own special handshake, and hosts their own morning show at Greendale Community College. Troy and Abed will eventually become roommates and their collective weirdness will only deepen. The best thing about their bromance is that it is endearing to us all. Two weirdos finding each other is the world is not that easy.
3. Bodhi and Johnny Utah from Point Break
Although their friendship was built on deception and lies, you cannot deny the connection that these two men shared. We’re not talking about the new iteration of this story, we talking about the original Point Break circa 1991. Keanu Reeves and the late, great Patrick Swayze‘s onscreen portrayal of Johnny Utah – former college football star turned FBI agent – and Bodhi – surfing guru turned seasonal bank robber extraordinaire – is cult classic bromance for the ages. As Johnny learns have how to surf, he also falls in love with the sport and the adrenaline rush that he feels when he’s out on the waves. Utah is also drawn to Bodhi’s philosophies about life and world. The two were kindred spirits on different sides of the law. They are each drawn towards the intellect and wildness in each other. When Johnny has his first chance to stop Bodhi after a foot chase, he cannot bring himself to shoot him in order to stop him. Nine months later when Utah has finally had a chance to catch up with Bodhi to arrest him Johnny lets him go again, but this time it off into the stormy sea where he is never to return. A bond built on mutual respect and adrenaline does a good bromance make.
2. Joey and Chandler from Friends
No one can deny that Chandler Bing and Joey Tribbiani have a connection. These two long-time housemates that supported each others shenanigans and argued like siblings. When the pair met it was not “love at first sight.” Actually, Joey thought that Chandler was gay, which was an assumption made by quite a few of the passing guest characters during the duration of the series. Once “Trib-Bing” became a twosome they were inseparable. Chandler often paid all the bills, purchased food, and footed the bills for head-shots for the often out of work actor. In this relationship Bing is obviously the more adult of the two and he brings a softer side to the duo. Tribbiani is his gruffer, more masculine counterpart that brings confidence and real “know-how” with the ladies. This domestic partnership also extended to pet ownership when the two adopted a duckling (The Duck) and a chick (The Chick) that lived in their bathroom tub. Joey and Chandler’s bromance is legendary and never-ending.
1. Turk and J.D. from Scrubs
And now, the most fun of ALL bromances: John “JD” Dorian (Zach Braff) and Christopher “Turk” Turk (Donald Faison). They are the best of friends. John and Turk met at the College of William and Mary in Virginia where they were roommates. John and Chris both attended medical school and become doctors – all the while remaining roommates – and they even served their residencies at the same facility, Sacred Heart Hospital.Their friendship is sustained by their brother-like, and sometimes co-dependent, relationship that is fed by their shared quirky sense of humor. They enjoy doing almost everything together including “dramatic slow running” sequences, pretending to be multi-ethnic Siamese doctors, and robot dancing. JD and Turk have also been known to stage themselves as the world’s tallest doctor. When J.D. is unable to spend time with Turk is prone to bouts of depression until they can be together again. When Chris returned from his honeymoon with Nurse Carla their reunion was epic. Carla is remarked, “One Day he’ll love me like that.” She also refers to John as Turk’s boyfriend. Even though J.D. will eventually marry Elliot, his bond with Turk is forever strong. What makes this the best BROMANCE of them all is that these two are a self-professed bromnance and they explained and immortalized their relationship in the duet, “Guy Love.” “It’s Guy Love/That’s all it is/It’s Guy Love/he’s mine, I’m his/There’s nothing gay about it in our eyes.”
Check “Chocolate Bear” and “Vanilla Bear” and their “guy love.”