Advice Friendship

25 Iconic TV Show Best Friends Ranked From Toxic to #Goals

Be the David to our Stevie?

With Galentine’s Day rapidly approaching, we’re looking for all the friendship inspo we can get. And where better to look than in our Netflix queues? TV show best friends range from frenemy status to full-on inspirational. But either way, they have a lot to teach us.

This list contains the television friendships we looked up to as kids, the comforting characters we feel like we know, and the besties who call each other out when necessary. We pulled together our favorites (and the television friends we love to hate) in our ultimate ranking from worst to best.

Keep in mind: we’re young Millennials and Gen-Z over here, so the Golden Girls and other vintage picks didn’t make the cut. All due respect to the legendary Betty White.

Iconic TV Show Best Friends Ranked From Toxic to #Goals

25. Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf (Gossip Girl)

Talk about toxic. Blair and Serena are the ultimate frenemies. They do each other dirty so many times we’ve lost count. The top betrayals included Serena sleeping with Blair’s boyfriend and Blair sabotaging Serena’s chance at ivy school acceptance.

To think we were only arguing with our high school best friends about who would drive to the bowling alley.

While Serena and Blair aren’t the most loving TV best friend duo, they do have their moments. And ultimately, they are there for each other when the going gets tough. We’ll chalk their toxic moments up to youthful immaturity. And excessive wealth.

TV Show Best Friends - Blair and Serena

Photo Courtesy: The CW


24. Rory Gilmore and Lane Kim (Gilmore Girls)

Rory and Lane painted a more realistic portrait of high school friendship. While Rory had a tendency to keep conversations focused on her, Lane was ever the supportive companion.

Still, they were there for each other, and as time went on, they maintained a strong friendship. Lane spent some time living with Rory at Yale when her mom kicked her out, and later returned the favor when Rory moved out of her grandparents’ pool house.

As the eternal star of the show, Rory had a tendency to keep the spotlight on her, while Lane was always there to be her listener and cheerleader. We just wish Lane had her turn in the spotlight more often, too. Drumsticks in hand, naturally.
TV Show Best Friends - Rory and Lane

Photo Courtesy: The CW


23. Carrie Bradshaw and Miranda Hobbes (Sex and the City)

Sure, the whole SATC squad is iconic, but our favorite duo within the group has to be Carrie and Miranda. Reddit user u/WelcometoBrooklandia summarizes it best: “Carrie is all of the women’s best friend, but Miranda is Carrie’s best friend.”

In the big moments, Carrie turned first to Miranda. While all the women serve different purposes in the dynamic, these two complement each other best.

That being said, Carrie is a notoriously flaky and self-absorbed friend. Miranda deserves better, as the most loyal and genuine pal of the bunch.
TV Show Best Friends - Miranda Hobbes and Carrie Bradshaw

Photo Courtesy: HBO / Everett Collection


22. Jackie Burkhart and Donna Pinciotti (That 70’s Show)

The saying “opposites attract” might have made its first appearance in reference to Jackie and Donna’s friendship. Jackie Burkhart is the popular, pretty, judgemental type, while Donna is the cool, tomboy, couldn’t-care-less-what-you-think gal.

At first a friendship of mere circumstance, born when Jackie integrated into the friend group with her boyfriend, Kelso, their relationship evolves into something deeper. Jackie learns from Donna how to let her real personality come through, eventually proving herself as a kind and loyal person.

They never become the warm-and-fuzzy type of besties, but they genuinely care about one other and bring out the best in each other. And isn’t that what friendship is all about?
TV Show Best Friends - Jackie and Donna

Photo Courtesy: FOX


21. Fiona Gallagher and Veronica “V” Fisher (Shameless)

Fiona and V start out in early seasons of Shameless as the ultimate besties. They confide in each other about everything, spend tons of time at each other’s places, and are always there for the other in a pinch.

But as the seasons progress and time marches forward, their friendship changes. Which is normal, and totally realistic. The writers of Shameless never shy away from presenting life as it really goes down.

After all, Fiona begins running multiple real estate investments, while V juggles parenting twin girls and working. They drift apart slowly, and the difference is perceptible. It’s sad and true, and makes us want to call our BFFs and tell them we love them.
TV Show Best Friends - Fiona Gallagher and Veronica Fisher

Photo Courtesy: Showtime


20. Tully Hart and Kate Mularkey (Firefly Lane)

Firefly Lane paints a very real, uplifting, and equally disheartening view of a friendship through time. The show follows best friend duo Tully and Kate who are, by all accounts, total opposites.

They both help each other through tough times and the pair endure through decades, divorce, and disappointments. But their friendship is far from perfect. Underneath the surface, there is jealousy, resentment, and even betrayal.

Theirs is truly a story about deep bonds and its a worthwhile example for women that plan to maintain their friends long after college is over.
TV Show Best Friends - Tully Hart and Kate Mularkey

Photo Courtesy: Netflix


19. Lorelai Gilmore and Sookie St. James (Gilmore Girls)

At the foundation, Lorelai and Sookie’s friendship is built on love. However, this love isn’t always expressed in the healthiest or most productive way. Neither woman is a perfect friend to the other.

Sookie proves herself to be a somewhat unreliable business partner several times throughout the show. She expresses her feelings about Lorelai’s marriage to Christopher and pushes her toward Luke, even when Lorelai herself was still trying to figure out her own feelings on the situation.

For her part, Lorelai occasionally fails Sookie, too. She can be self-centered, and makes lots of body shaming comments that are insensitive and downright mean when you consider that her best friend is a plus-size woman.
TV Show Best Friends - Lorelai and Sookie

Photo Courtesy: The CW


18. Abbi Abrams and Ilana Wexler (Broad City)

Abbi and Ilana are total friendship goals in a lot of ways. They completely embrace one another for who they are, mess and all. Their lives aren’t put-together, and that’s what makes them so relatable.

Sometimes, though, boundaries get crossed and Abbi, in particular, has to remind Ilana that they exist. While their friendship is admirable in a lot of ways, it can also be fairly codependent, giving neither woman a lot of space to explore and nurture other friendships outside of the dynamic duo.

Their relationship gives the “no new friends” vibe that we loved in our early twenties, but it’s not a sustainable dynamic as time goes on. In the end, they realize they can still be besties and have space. But we still love the BFF Best-Friends-Forever optimism of it all.
TV Show Best Friends - Abbi Abrams and Ilana Wexler

Photo Courtesy: Comedy Central


17. D.J. Tanner and Kimmy Gibbler (Full House, Fuller House)

As one of the youngest friendship dynamics on this list, a lot of what D.J. and Kimmy go through in Full House can be taken with a grain of salt.

They both have their rough moments: D.J. ditching Kimmy for Steve on more than one occasion, Kimmy getting drunk at a party and fighting with D.J., who was just trying to keep her safe.

Ultimately, though, the two grow up together and it’s all water under the bridge. Kimmy can be annoying, but she’s loyal to D.J. And really, we can all be annoying sometimes. Especially at age nine.
TV Show Best Friends - DJ and Kimmy Gibbler

Photo Courtesy: ABC


16. Grace Hanson and Frankie Bergstein (Grace and Frankie)

What happens when your husband falls in love with (and leaves you for) his male business partner? You become best friends with the business partner’s wife, obviously.

Grace and Frankie are an unlikely pairing, and an example of how you’re never too old to make a new friend. The women are polar opposites, but that doesn’t stop them from forging a truly deep bond of friendship.

It’s a heartening idea: that even in your seventies, with your life turned upside down, there is hope yet. And that friendship might be the greatest type of love of them all. Okay, we’re done being cheesy now.
TV Show Best Friends - Grace and Frankie

Photo Courtesy: Netflix


15. Miley Stewart and Lilly Truscott (Hannah Montana)

We had to include one of the Disney Channel dynamic duos that we loved so much as kids, and Miley and Lilly are the best of the best.

Their relationship is unique. They’ve been best friends since fifth grade, and then suddenly Miley finds herself having to hide a huge part of her identity from her best friend (that she’s Hannah Montana. Spoiler alert).

The very first episode of the series shows Miley finally revealing the truth to Lilly. And after the initial shock wears off, Lilly is understanding about it and doesn’t treat Miley any differently. In fact, she remained a loyal friend and guarded her secret as if it was her own.
TV Show Best Friends - Miley and Lilly

Photo Courtesy: Disney


14. Issa Dee and Molly Carter (Insecure)

On this list, we have quite a few duos that serve a secondary purpose on their respective shows: people who happen to be work friends on a workplace sitcom, for example. But Insecure is all about the friendship between main characters Issa and Molly.

Best friends since college, the two go through more than their share of ups and downs, fights and makeups. But they showed that arguing with your friends is okay, and it can even be healthy and lead to a deeper, more genuine dynamic on the other side.

Issa and Molly showed us how to be brutally honest without being mean, and that real friendship can be hard, but the reward is worth it.
TV Show Best Friends - Issa and Molly Insecure

Photo Courtesy: HBO


13. Howard Wolowitz and Raj Koothrappali (The Big Bang Theory)

A true pal is someone you can nerd out on all your favorite things with. For us it was Degrassi and our latest crush, but for Howard and Raj, it’s Star Trek and science. Mad respect for the brains on these two.

The friends start the series spending every waking minute together and…well, that doesn’t totally change, but their friendship does evolve over time. Howard is able to pull Raj out of his shell and Raj contributes to Howard’s life in his own ways.

The duo might border on codependent tendencies, but they are far from toxic.
TV Show Best Friends - Howard and Raj Big Bang Theory

Photo Courtesy: CBS


12. Leighton and Kimberly (Sex Lives of College Girls)

The new HBO Max series from Mindy Kaling features a modern day foursome of besties: Leighton, Bela, Kimberly, and Whitney. They all come from different backgrounds, but perhaps the two most dissimilar are Leighton and Kimberly.

Leighton is the cool girl from an affluent family that also happens to be a closeted lesbian. Kimberly comes from a poor background and is forced to work odd jobs to help pay for college.

In a move that is total BFF energy, Leighton helps Kimberly get fertility treatments by injecting hormone shots in her friend so she can afford to stay in school. The squeamish person inside us is in awe of this act of absolute heroism.
TV Show Best Friends - Leighton and Kimberly

Photo Courtesy: HBO


11. Poussay Washington and Taystee Jefferson (Orange is the New Black)

When you’re sharing a 10-by-10 cell in prison for years on end, it’s natural to form tight bonds. Of all the female friendships we see in Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, Poussay and Taystee’s dynamic is our favorite.

Their relationship is so natural and organic, and the on-screen chemistry of the actors makes it so believable. They go through their share of ups and downs, but its clear through it all that there is real love there.

Taystee proves it when she leads a rebellion against the brutal prison conditions that resulted in Poussay’s untimely death at the end of season four. Would your bestie go to bat for you like that in your honor? Everyone deserves a real one like Taystee.
TV Show Best Friends - Poussay and Taystee

Photo Courtesy: Netflix


10. SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Star (SpongeBob SquarePants)

Everyone’s favorite childhood show (yeah okay, we still watch it sometimes) also includes one of the most wholesome and sweet best friend dynamics around.

SpongeBob and Patrick are lovable, silly characters that remind us of friendships from our youth. They’re always finding new ways to have fun together under the sea in Bikini Bottom.

Best friends don’t let each other go to jail for stealing a balloon on free balloon day alone. Patrick and SpongeBob are total goals.
TV Show Best Friends - SpongeBob and Patrick

Photo Courtesy: Nickelodeon


9. Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins (Parks and Recreation)

“Ann, you poetic and noble land mermaid.” All we know is if we’re not getting compliments like that from our BFF on the regular, we don’t want it.

Leslie Knope, the founder of Galentine’s Day, is quite possibly the best friend of all time. She never fails to show up for the people she loves, even when this leads her to be pushy and forceful about what she thinks is right for them.

Ann initially gets sucked into Leslie’s world, but eventually grows to be immensely grateful for her friendship. And Ann grows as a result of their bond, becoming a stronger person and better self-advocate by the end of the series.
TV Show Best Friends - Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins

Photo Courtesy: NBC


8. Rachel Green, Phoebe Buffay, and Monica Gellar (Friends)

Okay, we kind of cheated here. It’s just impossible to choose which friendship is the best. Monica and Rachel? Rachel and Phoebe? Phoebe and Monica? And who wore it best? (Rachel, obviously.)

The three worked best as a unit. Phoebe, the fun, free-spirited one. Monica, the perfectionist, type A one. And Rachel, the sociable, flirty one. In the ideal best friend group, you need all three.

The relationship between the Friends is aspirational, but entirely unrealistic. How many adults do you know that have a group of six tight BFFs who all live in the same building and see each other every day? Sure, they’re goals, but we’re not holding our breath.
TV Show Best Friends - Rachel, Pheobe and Monica

Photo Courtesy: NBC


7. Chandler Bing and Joey Tribbiani (Friends)

Unlike the debate between which of the ladies are closest, choosing the best friendship of the Friends men is easy. Chandler and Joey play off each other in an effortless way.

They both refuse to take life too seriously, and know how to find the joy in the little things. Yes, many of the little things are stupid, but joy is joy nonetheless.

They display a bond of delicate closeness that a lot of men seem to have trouble maintaining over time. Both men can be unexpectedly sweet to one another when the situation calls for it, and it’s a refreshing, positive example of male friendship to see play out.
TV Show Best Friends - Chandler and Joey

Photo Courtesy: NBC


6. Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang (Grey’s Anatomy)

Shonda Rimes has a way of writing believable, complicated, dynamic women and equally interesting female friendships. Cristina and Meredith start out as intern rivals of sorts (the enemy to friend trope is a good one).

But trauma from their intense jobs eventually leads to a deep, intense friendship between the pair, rivaling even the best TV friends.

Even after Cristina left the show, their relationship was keenly felt and remains at its heart. The only thing toxic here is how many hours healthcare workers are expected to put in per shift.
TV Show Best Friends - Meredith and Cristina

Photo Courtesy: ABC


5. Troy Barnes and Abed Nadir (Community)

The chemistry between the actors who play Troy and Abed in Community is palpable and at the heart of what makes the show so much fun to watch.

The pair come from totally different backgrounds and circumstances, but came together and ended up in what is widely regarded as one of the most fulfilling friendships in television history.

They’re the heart and soul of the show, and they constantly make us long for a friendship as rewarding as theirs. Catch us on Bumble BFF as we binge-watch.
TV Show Best Friends - Troy and Abed

Photo Courtesy: NBC


4. J.D. and Turk (Scrubs)

A bromance is a very special kind of love, as exemplified in the Scrubs song, “Guy Love,” inspired by the relationship between doctors J.D. and Turk.

The two embark on a journey together throughout the series, from being avoidant in showing their affection (toxic masculinity strikes again) to becoming more comfortable in their friendship.

They’re a prime example of a tight workplace friendship, perfect to relate to with your office bestie.
TV Show Best Friends - JD and Turk

Photo Courtesy: NBC


3. Steve Harrington and Robin Buckley (Stranger Things)

Steve and Robin have great chemistry with next-level banter that’s fun to watch. Their relationship is often lighthearted, but they’re there for each other in deep moments too, like when Robin came out as a lesbian to Steve (in the 80s, might we remind you).

Robin, for her part, encourages Steve to grow up a bit, become more mature, and find his own way in life. Their dynamic is one with practically no toxicity, just good vibes all around.

True friendship goals. And don’t even get us started on Steve and Dustin.
TV Show Best Friends - Robin and Steve

Photo Courtesy: Netflix


2. Nick Miller and Schmidt (New Girl)

Nick and Schmidt had what Buzzfeed once called “the best TV friendship of the 2010s,” and tbh, we have to agree. Their hilarious conversations are the type you can only have when you’ve known someone for years.

They’re also the rare pair of BFFs that can handle living together – and for a long time. As in, over ten years. With no friendship breakup. Essentially, they’ll be best friends for life now.

There’s something so special about having a buddy that you’ve truly grown up with. They know all your flaws, and they love you anyway. We could watch them all day.
TV Show Best Friends - Schmidt and Nick Miller

Photo Courtesy: FOX


1. David Rose and Stevie Budd (Schitt’s Creek)

David and Stevie are those friends who seem like they just “get” each other without much effort. They’re allergic to mushy displays of affection, but you can tell their love for one another runs deep regardless.

Even a failed romance between the two wasn’t enough to break them up. Their sarcastic, witty banter is total friendship goals. They’re able to express how much they care for each other through actions instead of words, and that seems to work well for them.

All we know is that we want to be friends with them IRL, and every time they’re on our TV, we can’t stop smiling and thinking about our own BFFs.
TV Show Best Friends - Stevie Budd and David Rose

Photo Courtesy: CBC Television

By Laura Davis

Laura is the co-founder of Adultescence, a podcast and blog for post grads, where she writes about friendship, dating, and career with the mission of helping guide twenty-somethings through early adulthood. She has written and edited for a variety of lifestyle publications, including Let's Eat Cake, Popular Science, and Flixed.

When she's not typing away on her laptop, you can find Laura working on her MBA at Boston College, listening to Taylor Swift, or sweating it out at an OrangeTheory class. Follow her on Instagram @LauraKristine21 and LinkedIn.

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