Today is the birthday of Anthony Edwards—perhaps best known for playing Goose in the classic 1986 film Top Gun. Goose’s role in the movie helped bring the term “wingman” into popular culture, and so we’ve decided to honor his legacy with the 20 best wingmen in film, television and literature.
Though the term “wingman” is most commonly used for romantic scenarios, we all know that a true wingman is there for you no matter what. Even outside of a bar or club, a wingman is your best friend, your partner in crime—the Goose to your Maverick.
Wingman To: Miles (Paul Giamatti)
Sure, Jack might not be the world’s most moral human being. He doesn’t exactly set a good example for Miles when he cheats on his fiance, days before his wedding. But Jack helps the downtrodden and cautious Miles by encouraging him to pursue the beautiful Maya (Virginia Madsen). Though Jack’s own lifestyle may be incorrigible, he helps breathe life back into his best man.
Wingman To: J.D. (Zach Braff)
Our two favorite docs at Sacred Heart Hospital, this bromance can best be summed up by this.
Wingman To: Napoleon (Jon Heder)
With Pedro’s arrival at Preston High School, the eccentrically awkward nerd Napoleon gains a compadre to stand by him through all the torments of high school. And only true friendship can incite this dance.
Wingman To: Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier)
It takes a lot to put up with Vince’s whims, extravagance and tenacity, but Eric has been there for him since they were both six years old. Known as “E,” he becomes Vince’s manager when the actor hits it big in Hollywood. Vince relies on E to make major career decisions, and E always pulls through.
Wingman To: Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick)
Stealing his father’s cherished Ferrari, Cameron embarks on the most epic day off from school with Ferris and Sloane in this classic John Hughes film. Only a true friend would roam the streets of Chicago, risking major trouble with his parents, to enjoy one of their last times together before college.