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If there is anything more irresistible in entertainment than romance, it has to be bromance. A bond between male friends almost as strong as a love between life partners is truly a beautiful thing, which is why it has been a staple in pop culture for decades. If you cannot take our word for it, just take a look at these essential, world-famous duos from movies and TV shows as proof.
Bert And Ernie (Sesame Street)
There are Sesame Street characters whom we love on their own, such as Big Bird and Elmo, and then are those we cannot separate from one another, particularly Bert and Ernie. Some have theorized that the roommates are really in a romantic relationship, but that could also just be a sign of just how strong their "bromantic" relationship is.
Bill And Ted (Bill & Ted Movies)
The aspiring San Dimas-based musicians known as Wyld Stallyns — Ted “Theodore” Logan (Keanu Reeves) and Bill S Preston, Esq. (Alex Winter) — have a friendship defined by a philosophy to be excellent to each other and “party on, dude!” It is no wonder that the time-traveling pair from the Bill & Ted movies went on to make music that ensured a most non-heinous future.
Bing Crosby And Bob Hope (Road To… Movies)
Throughout and 1940s to the early 1960s, the multi-talented Bing Crosby and comedy legend Bob Hope were one of Hollywood’s most dynamic duos, appearing in several hilarious adventure movies together and as a different set of characters each time. The Road To… movies, as they came to be collectively known, would also star Dorothy Lamour to help add a little romance among the road trip comedies’ central bromance.
Butch And Sundance (Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid)
While undisputed legends of cinema on their own, some would say that Paul Newman and Robert Redford were at their best when sharing the screen together. Case in point, their eponymous roles as a pair of desperate outlaws on the run in early 1900s Wyoming from 1969’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Chandler And Joey (Friends)
Some use their Max subscription to revisit Ross and Rachel’s bumpy relationship or Chandler and Monica’s aspirational romance, but I think the beloved sitcom’s most essential couple is Chandler and Joey. With how seamlessly they maintain a close bond even after their tenure as roommates ends, could there be a better duo in the Friends cast than Matt LeBlanc and Matthew Perry’s characters?
Cory And Shawn (Boy Meets World)
The transition from adolescence all the way to adulthood is a profoundly challenging time that's hard to survive without help from friends — something the Boy Meets World cast demonstrated beautifully. This is especially true in the way Cory Matthews (Ben Savage) and Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong) relied on each other for support almost completely without fail, despite coming from entirely different walks of life.
Crockett And Tubbs (Miami Vice)
In the ‘80s, there was no cop pairing on TV cooler than James “Sonny” Crockett (Don Johnson) and Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs (Philip Michael Thomas) on Miami Vice. The detectives’ unexpected collaboration in the pilot turned into a trusting partnership against drug trafficking and other crimes that lasted five years.
Drake And Josh (Drake & Josh)
The titular teens from this popular Nickelodeon sitcom are the only duo on our list of bromances who are actually brothers… legally, that is. If their respective mother and father had not married, Drake (Drake Bell) and Josh (Oppenheimer cast member Josh Peck) — who could not have been more different upon meeting — might not have become so inseparable.
George And Grover (Silver Streak)
In one of the best movies set on a train, 1976’s Silver Streak, book editor George Caldwell (Gene Wilder) finds himself forcibly marooned when he witnesses a murder that he is later accused of. His only hope to make it back on board to his new lover (Jill Clayburgh) is street smart thief Grover T. Muldoon (Richard Pryor) in the first of many beloved collaborations by the comedy legends.
Hank And Manny (Swiss Army Man)
Before Best Picture Oscar winner Everything Everywhere All At Once made them household names, filmmaking duo DANIELS made their feature-length debut with another great A24 movie about a friendship like no other. The title of 2016’s Swiss Army Man refers to the inexplicable arsenal of magical abilities that reanimated corpse Manny (Daniel Radcliffe) possesses, which helps Hank (Paul Dano) survive the wilderness in this hilarious, highly inventive fantasy adventure.
Harold And Kumar (Harold And Kumar Movies)
Whether they are desperate for some fast food, desperate to flee prison, or desperate to save Christmas, Harold Lee (John Cho) and Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) stick by each other through thick and thin. We would love to see another Harold and Kumar movie just to see more of the stoner buddies’ friendship continue to thrive.
Harry And Lloyd (Dumb And Dumber)
As Jeff Daniels recalled on Off Camera with Sam Jones, Jim Carrey had already been cast as Lloyd Christmas in the Farrelly Brothers' classic 1994 comedy, Dumb and Dumber, and had to fight to get and keep Daniels a Harry Dunne -- a role the studio wanted a real comedian for. Casting the actor -- primarily known for drama -- resulted in a beautiful onscreen bond that made these otherwise hopelessly infantile pals hard not to like.
Harry And Ron (Harry Potter Franchise)
The Harry Potter movies (and books that inspired them) have one of pop culture’s strongest trios in the titular wizard (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint), and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson). However, the group’s core bromance may be even more iconic on its own in the astonishing loyalty Harry and Ron have toward one another and the way they bring out each other’s best qualities.
Holmes And Watson (Sherlock Holmes)
Out of the various onscreen iterations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law’s versions may be the most definitive. The Guy Ritchie movies depict the detective and his flatmate/assistant/biographer as almost more than friends with genuine affection for one another despite their constant bickering.
Jay And Silent Bob (Various)
The shared universe of Kevin Smith movies that include Clerks, Chasing Amy, and more is anchored by its two most important, most dynamic, and most hilarious characters: Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith). Usually stoned and rarely seen doing much of anything productive, the inseparable pair have still managed to make a lasting impression on pop culture even beyond the View Askewniverse without saying much, in Bob’s case at least.
J.D. And Turk (Scrubs)
One of the first times I ever heard the word “bromance” was by Zach Braff’s Dr. John “J.D.” Dorian to describe his relationship with his longtime friend and colleague, Dr. Christopher Turk (Donald Faison). Rarely have a pair of sitcom characters reflected the term so definitively and it helps that the Scrubs cast members have reunited on camera in recent years, as reflected in their T-Mobile ads lately.
Kenan And Kel (Kenan & Kel)
It was not until I recently rewatched Kenan & Kel that I realized these classic Nickelodeon characters (played by All That’s Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell, who are reuniting for Good Burger 2) had such an aspirational relationship. Only friends who truly wholeheartedly care for one another would be able to put with up the insurmountable trouble they get each into on a regular basis.
Mike And Marcus (Bad Boys)
Detective Mike Lowery (Will Smith) is a well-to-do player, while his partner, Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence), is a committed family man. What makes the heroes of the Bad Boys movies (which have a fourth installment on the way) such a strong pair despite their different lifestyles is a shared commitment to fighting crime, even if it means breaking a few rules.
Mike And Trent (Swingers)
When struggling actor Mike (writer Jon Favreau) is dumped by his longtime girlfriend, his buddy, Trent (Vince Vaughn), goes out of his way to help him get back on his feet. It is this strong inclusion of supportive friendship as a central theme amid the raunchy comedy that makes director Doug Liman’s Swingers so “money.”
Murtaugh And Riggs (Lethal Weapon)
While buddy cop action films had already existed before the Lethal Weapon movies did, director Richard Donner’s 1987 classic is easily the most quintessential example. If not for the brotherly bond between the otherwise unlikely pairing of widowed, sharp-shooting maverick Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) and by-the-book veteran detective Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover), the film might not have spawned a four-part franchise.
Pedro And Man (Cheech & Chong's Up In Smoke)
The many stoner buddies on our list likely would have never existed if not for Cheech Marin and Thomas Chong — the legendary comedy duo collectively known as Cheech & Chong. In their most esteemed cinematic achievement (and one of the best ‘70s movies), 1978’s Up in Smoke, they star as the motor-mouth Pedro (Marin) and slower-witted “Man” (Chong), who become fast friends and, eventually, bandmates over their mutual admiration for greens.
Peter And Sydney (I Love You, Man)
When straight-laced real estate agent Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) gets engaged, he suddenly realizes that he has no male friends to ask to be his best man, but finds the perfect choice instantly in outspoken investor, Sydney Fife (Jason Segel). I Love You Man was Rudd’s third collaboration with Segel and it certainly shows in how seamlessly their chemistry meshes in this instant classic “bromantic comedy.”
Schmidt And Jenko (21 Jump Street)
While they were enemies in high school, when Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum) reunite at the police academy, they become brothers. Their new kinship certainly comes in handy when they soon have to go undercover as teenage siblings when leading the cinematic 21 Jump Street cast in 2012.
Shaun And Ed (Shaun Of The Dead)
Real life best friends and flatmates Simon Pegg and Nick Frost made their film debuts together playing best friends and flatmates in the classic horror-comedy movie, 2004’s Shaun of the Dead. Said friendship between our title hero (Pegg) and the aimless Ed (Frost), is not without its dysfunctions, but strong enough to survive a zombie apocalypse, even when one succumbs to a bite.
Shawn And Gus (Psych)
Charming con artist Shawn Spencer (James Roday Rodriguez) has been best friends with the nervous Burton “Gus” Guster (Dulé Hill) since they were children, as seen in nearly every cold open from the long-running USA dramedy, Psych. That likely explains why, despite Gus’ reluctance, he becomes Shawn’s business partner after convincing the Santa Barbara police that he is psychic.
SpongeBob And Patrick (SpongeBob Squarepants)
With the exception of Squidward, anyone would be lucky to have a friend like SpongeBob Squarepants (voiced by Tom Kenny) — case in point, his life-long pal and neighbor, Patrick Star (Bill Fagerbakke). The square, yellow fry cook does not just accept the dim-witted starfish for who he is, but is almost oblivious to anything beyond his positive character traits, which is something I think everyone hopes to find in a friend.
Steve And Bucky (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
Before he received the chance to become Captain America, the only person who ever believed in Steve Rogers’ (Chris Evans) potential as a hero was his good friend, James Buchanon “Bucky” Barnes. After Bucky was discovered decades later to be a brainwashed assassin, Steve returned the favor by fighting for his protection, even if that meant antagonizing his fellow Avengers in one of the best Marvel movies, Captain America: Civil War.
Troy And Abed (Community)
It is not very common for a college student (even a community college student) to find a friend who brings out your inner child, but Troy Barnes (Donald Glover) and Abed Nadir (Danny Pudi) are a clear and most heartwarming exception. From participating in intense “Floor Is Lava” challenges, to hosting their own imaginary talk show, and more of their iconic Community moments, this duo defined the kind of friendship you hope to find once you reach adulthood and, together, were the heart and soul of Greendale.
Ted, Marshall, And Barney (How I Met Your Mother)
There are not very many trios in this list, but there was no way we were going to exclude all three of the inseparable boys from the How I Met Your Mother cast. While Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) has a longer history with Marshal Eriksen (Jason Segel) and Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris) had his selfish tendencies, you could argue that he really did help teach his bros “how to live,” even if they were reluctant to take his advice most of the time.
Phil, Stu, Alan, And Doug (The Hangover)
Even though they are partially to blame for Doug Billings’ (Justin Bartha) disappearance during his bachelor party, Alan’s claim that he, Phil Wenneck (Bradley Cooper), and Stu Price (Ed Helms) are the “three best friends that anyone could have” is not so incorrect, considering the trouble they endure for his benefit in The Hangover. Though we see most of the main trio in this blockbuster comedy, it would be wrong to not count Doug as part of The Wolfpack.
Bromance is in the air and here to stay!