We’re officially in the Age of the Bromance, celebrating a deep, platonic love between two or more male characters in movies and TV. The men involved often have nicknames for each other, shared emotional moments and a seemingly infinite capacity for ball-busting insult humor. Nevertheless, they’re always there for each other with a commendable loyalty. Even when things aren’t going well, you can usually count on these guys to find their way back to each other.
In honor of the bromance character trope, the one that has brought us so many unique characters, laughs and tears over the years, we have put together a list of the 22 best bromances in movies and television. Read on to relive your favorite bro-tastic moments in TV and film.
In the best of bromances and strongest of friendships, it’s not always just about hanging out and just being there for each other; there’s also a willingness to share knowledge, however small or random, in order to help out a fellow bro. Though Peter and Sydney display a natural chemistry and loyalty in their fairly new friendship, it’s Sydney’s willingness to take Peter under his slightly crazed wing to show him that its okay to loosen up, to be passionate. In what amounts to Peter’s first close male relationship ever, Peter does learn open up and be more assertive around other men. On a much smaller scale, however, Sydney also teaches Peter about the finer points of farting (and dating) behavior among men. You can view that particular lesson in the clip below.
This bromance is mostly marked by co-dependence. Shore’s kind of a loner and just needs someone to just give a damn about him to keep him going and Denny Crane is an oddball who could really hurt himself if he isn’t careful and he often isn’t. (Some of this behavior is just Crane’s personality, but some of it could be due to some form of dementia.) That’s where Alan comes in. There’s a loyalty here that seems indestructible, that allows them to protect each other above all else even though most of the time they both seem self-absorbed and only concerned with their own interests.
Part of what makes Piccolo and Sayers’ friendship so iconic is that it was a real friendship—tragic enough to became a TV movie. Piccolo and Sayers were football players and Chicago Bears teammates. Piccolo died at a young age from cancer. The story of their friendship was depicted in an ABC Movie of the Week, and while it with death and friendship, it wasn’t at all maudlin or schmaltzy. Part of Piccolo and Sayers’ charm (in real life and in the movie) was how much they actually engaged in a sort of constant brotherly insult humor. That humor cut through much of the tragedy of the movie though Piccolo dies at the end. In the movie, Caan and Williams’ portrayal of the friendship between the two athletes seemed like a real bromance—a real friendship—and so it’s no wonder that it’s often counted as one of the the few films that can cause most grown men to cry. Also, as damn near everyone on the Internet agrees: If you don’t cry during or after the Gayle Sayers’ acceptance speech scene, you’re dead inside.
Long before they were a pair of grumpy old men, Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau were an odd couple of divorced men who move in together after their respective relationships go south. The story of a friendship between two men so diametrically different from each other was popular enough to inspire a movie, a TV series and a sequel in 1998. Felix Ungar and Oscar Madison’s bromance is a rare breed: It consists of a cantankerous duo that fights most of the time they’re around each other. It’s not just good-natured ribbing. Most of the time, these two men really don’t understand each other, don’t want and spend a lot of time either changing their own habits or trying to change the other’s. The fact that they care about each other is still there, it’s just buried under a lot of bitter fights.
Let’s be real: Murtaugh was already too old for the emotional roller coaster shit his bromance with Riggs put him through. It started out as a competition between a veteran poilce officer and a relative rookie, a by-the-books kind of man and a loose cannon. But then it turned into this buddy-cop movie bromance filled with mutual respect. What Murtaugh learned is that you can’t beat crazy, so you’ll just have to join forces.
In a word, Stan and Kyle’s bromance is adorable. They’re each often the first person the other will go to for help, advice or even just to share the best news ever. They’ve been through every adventure possible kids their age could go through, and some impossible. Stan and Kyle’s scenes are often the heart of each South Park episode. Moments with them are of real compassion, respect and yes, curse-word laden ball-busting. (We didn’t say they were perfect, and plus it wouldn’t be as much fun if all they ever did was cry over each other and gaze lovingly in each other’s eyes. Plus, even their dads are besties, so really their bromance is like an awesome generational tradition.
This bromance is primarily based on food, fornication and fun fueled by drugs, and we love Harold and Kumar for it. And while the friendship could have just ended there and still have been funny, the bromance that’s revealed to us over the course of the movie takes it to the next level. There’s a sense that while other friends may fall to the wayside, there’s nothing that could keep Harold and Kumar from coming to each other’s rescue. I mean there might an occasional pretty lady/drug/NPH-induced delay, but they’ll still be there for each other.
It’s a bromance that has spanned middle school, high school and college. They grew up and became men together and have been there for each other through all sorts of things, but especially relationship issues (Cory) and family drama (Shawn) and through it all they’ve made us laugh. We couldn’t have asked for a better bromance to grow up with. We just hope Cory’s daughter, in the upcoming series Girl Meets World will have an awesome gal pal of her own.
Boop. Their bromance can actually be summed up by one cute meme: boop. What makes this bromance fun to see is that you kind of don’t see it coming. Or at least, you don’t the see outpouring of emotion that happens later in the movie coming. Because while any Michael Cera character is inevitably going to be some combination of awkward/sensitive/sweet, Jonah Hill’s character is a vulgar, Cartman-esque, just plain angry bastard most of the time. And so no one saw that sleepover bromance confessional scene coming. No one thought that Seth could boop his bestie’s nose. It never occurred to anyone that he had a soft side. But that’s the genius of this bromance: only Evan can bring that out of him. Well, Evan and alcohol. But mostly Evan.
They are the wolf pack. A pack of wolves who ran around Vegas looking for strippers and cocaine. It’s the only bromance on this list that involves more than two men but that just means there’s more love and less strippers and blow to go around. It also means that the amount of hijinks and adventure quadruples. And so this is the type of bromance for you if you prefer nights where you’re not entirely sure when or if you’re coming home.
Barney is seriously lucky to have his boss also be his best friend. Because who the hell else would employ him? No one. That’s why the one time he did leave Andy, the only way he could make money was by selling vacuums door-to-door. This is one of the earliest bromances on this list. It’s also one of the hardest to understand: Andy is such a cool, popular guy. What the hell is he doing running around with Barney? What magical hold does Barney have on Andy? Barney’s a hot-headed bumbling mess, and it just boggles our minds that Andy would, time and again, agree to double dates with Barney. This bromance is on our list purely because of its mystifying staying power.
We’re officially in the Age of the Bromance, celebrating a deep, platonic love between two or more male characters in movies and TV.
It was a bromance so popular it stretched beyond television sets on Saturday Night Live and turned itself into a comedy classic for the silver screen. The movie explores what happens when Wayne and Garth’s bromance is tested by sudden fame, money and a new relationship for Wayne. And their friendship fell apart, right? Sh’yeah, as if!
You would think that the fact that they’re both incredibly dumb and immature would just fuse them together in this unshakable blind-faith-based bro-bond. But it doesn’t. Their friendship goes through ups and downs like everyone else’s. (Well, not exactly like everyone: Not everyone poisons their best friend because of sexual jealousy.) They both seem to still understand what it is they want, need and expect from their bromance. More than that, they have no problem enforcing those needs. And though they take extreme measures like poisoning and walking away from each other, they always seem to get back together.
“I am the one who gripped you tight and raised you from perdition.” It’s Castiel’s first line and how he introduces himself to his brand-new bestie: Dean Winchester. How could anyone not want to be bros with this guy after he literally saves them from Hell? Since then, Dean and Castiel have embarked on a bromance that is at times truly brotherly and sometimes mostly brotherly with not-so-platonic-kind-of-romantic undertones. It really is the bromance that launched thousands of Tumblr gifs and fan-fics. It’s a beautiful friendship between a human and an angel, that millions of fans would never want to see end.
If you somehow weren’t aware of Michael and Dwight’s intense bromance over the last nine years or if you were mistaken and just thought Dwight just likes to be an insufferable brown-noser to his superiors, just know you were wrong and that’s okay. Just watch the following, most emotional “that’s what she said” you’ll ever see in life and then, we promise you’ll begin to understand the beauty of Michael and Dwight’s bromance.
Will and Chuckie just seem like a couple of fun guys from the neighborhood. And then you find out one of them a genius who has a chance to make something of himself and get out of said neighborhood. And like many of the other characters you root for Will, you even get sort of annoyed with him for resisting and downplaying his own gifts. Chuckie gets how we feel. Because you see, beyond all of surface-level aspects of their friendship: the drinking, the ball-busting etc. they really are two guys that care about each other. Guys that would defend each other. Guys, like Chuckie, that would give up a wicked awesome bromance, if it meant giving their bro a shot at a better life. (Of course the reward is eventually becoming Batman).
It’s a bromance with limitless creativity. Because of Troy and Abed, there have been music videos, a morning-news show, and even a campus-wide pillow fort town. Every time they get together, we benefit from few minutes of hilarity. What’s not to love about their bro-love? What’s most fascinating about them is that they don’t need much to create such epic adventures for themselves. They just need each other.
In competing for their human’s love, they find a bromance with each other. And they needed that because humans come and humans go to college or run off for other non-toy-related reasons. It is because they have each other that they are able to ultimately accept it when Andy leaves them for good with Bonnie.
What was so moving about The Shawshank Redemption was after everything Andy and Red had been through, after all of the traumas and the losses they suffered in their lives, they still were able to grab a bit of solace and rest for themselves and that they found that in each other, in a strong, seemingly unbreakable friendship with each other. The two men had lost so much time, so much of their lives to the prison system, you just wanted them to be able to keep the one thing (besides their wits) that allowed them to survive, to keep their humanity and love (and yes, hope) for life intact. They could have ended up hopeless and lonely like Brooks, but they didn’t. And that was because of their friendship.
Star Trek is already one of those shows that has legions of fans obsessing over it, but then it had one of the earliest sci-fi bromances that people couldn’t and still can’t stop talking about—between Spock and Capt. Kirk. The bromance that has sparked all sorts of fan fiction worldwide was between a human and a half-Vulcan/half-human. One was known to fly off the handle and other for his sometimes infuriating adherence to the use of logic at all times. It’s like The Odd Couple meets Lethal Weapon meets space. And you loved it. We all did.
It’s guy love, between two guys. They met as college roommates and have been inseparable ever since. Turk and J.D. are so close that their significant others even became besties. Theirs is an epic bromance,that has been sung about, given nicknames (Vanilla Bear and Chocolate Bear) and even made a reality outside of the show, as the actors who play Turk and J.D., Donald Faison and Zach Braff, respectively, are best friends in real life.
They’re not the earliest bromance. Nor are they the most recent. But they are the most lovable. On the surface they just look like two 20-somethings living together. But their bromance blends together and brings out many different types of love from each of them: brotherly (both of them), paternal (mostly Chandler) or that almost-but-not-quite-romantic-soulmates kind of love (mostly Joey). They’re just there for each other and it’s not a love that can be quantifiable. You can’t just make a pro/con list about them. Okay, Ross? All we really know is that when their bromance started, their bond really solidified early on over a shared love of Baywatch and recliners. That’s all it took. A simple, bro-beginning to the bromance of a lifetime. (Also, foosball and a couple of birds played a part.)