TV's greatest on-screen friendships

TV's greatest on-screen friendships

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Monday, 1st June 2020
Gilmore Girls, New Girl and Sex Education (credit: Robert Voets/Netflix/Fox/Sam Taylor/Netflix)

There's nothing greater than finding that person you click with and these on-screen friendships are some of the most heartwarming. 

Lorelai and Rory – Gilmore Girls

Known for their quick-witted back and forth filled with pop culture references, Lorelai and Rory are the ultimate mother and daughter duo. More like sisters, Lorelai is a single parent to Rory and they live in the tight-knit community of Stars Hollow filled with plenty of quirky characters.

Fact File

Names: Lorelai and Rory Gilmore

How they met: As a mother and daughter duo, they met as soon as Rory was born.

Personality traits: An academic whizz Rory is the ultimate perfectionist and often sees the world in black and white. She is fiercely loyal and being kind is very important to Rory. Lorelai is full of energy and always has a witty comment to give, she is always willing to give a listening ear and offer advice.

Most iconic friendship moment: When Rory graduates from high school, she gives the valedictorian speech which includes a special dedication to her mum and best friend Lorelai. There was not a dry eye when Rory said the line, "as she guided me through these incredible 18 years, I don't know if she ever realized that the person I most wanted to be was her."


Abbi and Ilana – Broad City

The co-dependent and often obsessive friendship between the filthy, feminist ‘kweens’ Abbi and Ilana proved that soulmates aren’t confined to romantic relationships. Unlike its shinier predecessor Sex and the City, the surreal and bonkers comedy Broad City shows the reality of millennials scraping up enough pennies to survive, let alone thrive, in New York City. From busking in Central Park to raise funds for Lil Wayne tickets, to hijacking a Hudson party cruise, the pair tear up the Big Apple through a series of wild shenanigans.

Fact File

Names: Abbi Abrams and Ilana Wexler

How they met: When they both missed the same subway train on a fateful day in 2011.

Personality traits: Ilana oozes self-confidence, and her freewheeling spirit often gets her and Abbi into hilarious high jinks. Abbi is the more awkward of the pair, bumbling through cringeworthy encounters with invasive flatmates, attractive neighbours and intense colleagues. Whether its Abbi championing Ilana’s phone-wig business, or Ilana caring for Abbi after her wisdom teeth removal, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, they’ve always got each other’s backs.

Most iconic friendship moment: When Ilana treats Abbi to a fancy seafood dinner for her 26th Birthday, she refuses to scrimp on the shellfish despite her severe allergy to the saltwater delicacies. Instead of curing her friend, Abbi accidentally stabs herself with Ilana’s EpiPen. Fuelled on injected adrenaline, she carries Ilana to the hospital in her arms. Undergoing a near-death experience to ensure your friend has a boujee birthday? Now that’s friendship.


Patsy and Edina – Absolutely Fabulous

The iconic British sitcom follows fashion director Patsy and PR agent Edina who smoke and drink their way through life. Falling from one mishap to another, the pair are constantly chasing the latest fads in an attempt to recapture their glory days.

Fact File

Names: Patsy Stone and Edina Monsoon

How they met: This is not particularly clear, it seems as though they met as teenagers, with Patsy being the older and more popular one, they soon became best friends and have been inseparable ever since.

Personality traits: Patsy is a woman who lives on champagne, cigarettes and any drug she can get her hands on, claiming to not have eaten since 1973. She is the driving force in the pair and often convinces Edina to join in on her bad ideas and is never afraid to speak her mind, often bluntly. Edina is desperate to be thin, young and relevant which causes her to be shallow, immature and rather neurotic, but she means well.

Most iconic friendship moment: With such a dysfunctional friendship firmly cemented by copious bottles of Bolli, it’s hard to choose just one standout friendship moment. In the good and bad times Patsy and Edina are there for each other and are often the only ones who can keep up with each other.


Nick and Schmidt -  New Girl

From dressing Nick for his first date with Jess, to buying him a cookie because he was thinking about him, Schmidt adores Nick. Best friends since college, the pair have seen through failed business ventures (the swuit), heartbreak and parental loss together, as well as children and marriage (although, much to Schmidt’s dismay, not to each other).This bromance is perfectly encapsulated in the lyrics Schmidt croons to Nick: “’cause the ice in my glass represents the tears in my eyes, I LOVE you Dawg”.

Fact File

Names: Nick Miller and Winston Saint-Marie Schmidt

How they met: At college when Schmidt inexplicably appeared in Nick’s room eating uncooked ramen noodles.

Personality traits: With a douchebag jar dedicated to his regular obnoxious comments, Schmidt’s personality is somewhat of an acquired taste. A clean freak with a chiselled physique, lavish Schmidt can be seen as the antithesis to his lovably lazy and frugal roomie Nick Miller. The pair are living proof that opposites attract: Nick calls Schmidt out on egotistic swagger, while Schmidt coaxes Nick out of his emotionally stunted shell.

Most iconic friendship moment: ‘Ten Years, Two Hearts, One Home’ - the Tinfinity celebration sees Schmidt organise a party of wedding-sized proportions to celebrate ten years of living with Nick. While the pair initially bicker over the state of Nick’s abysmal portaloo, the gruff bartender proves what friendship is truly all about – Nick comforts Schmidt through the devastating news of Cece’s engagement.


James and Alyssa – The End of the F***ing World

The dark comedy based on a graphic novel sees suspected teen psychopath James team up with mouthy rebel Alyssa to embark on an ill-fated road trip. Bored by suburbia and desperate to escape her chaotic home life, Alyssa decides to leave town and James joins her planning to kill her at some point. During the road trip, instead of killing Alyssa, he starts to develop feelings for her. During their Thelma and Louise escapades the pair are forced to rely on each other forming an unbreakable bond.

Fact File

Names: James and Alyssa

How they met: James is 17 years old and is certain he is a psychopath; he has been killing animals since he was a child and when new pupil Alyssa arrives, he decides he will kill her next. Alyssa approaches him during a lunch hour and criticises his skating, he quickly retorts back for her to fuck off. From then on, the two fellow outcasts soon bond together and James decides to pretend to fall in love with Alyssa to lull her into a false sense of security.

Personality traits: Alyssa is confident, wild, free-spirited, quick to say what she thinks and prefers to act spontaneously. Bored by normal people, Alyssa likes the company of those deemed to be outcasts, hence her attraction to James. Convinced that he is a psychopath, James closes himself off to other people. Cautious and apprehensive James resists showing an emotional side, but Alyssa works out how to get under his skin.

Most iconic friendship moment: Not many people can say that their friend has killed for them, but that’s exactly what James does for Alyssa. During their cross-country escapades they break into an empty house, but when the owner comes back, he becomes violent towards Alyssa and attempts to attack her. James in response to Alyssa being in danger stabs the man in the neck with a knife, killing him. After removing evidence of their presence in the house, the pair’s road trip turns into two criminals on the run.


Liz and Jack  - 30 Rock

Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy’s friendship proves that complex and fruitful platonic relationships between the sexes do exist! With their self-described ‘symbiotic relationship’, the inseparable pair are mentor and mentee. Liz describes the dynamic with her boss as that of a ‘work husband / uncle’ while Jack sees Liz as his ‘co-worker / little brother’. While Jack undoubtedly provides grown-up advice and corporate know-how to his colleague, it’s Liz who instils her boss with a much-needed emotional intelligence.

Fact File

Names: Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy

How they met: Jack became Liz’s new boss at NBC.

Personality traits: Showrunner Liz is a whip-smart writer with an acerbic wit, yet despite her hugely successful career, she is innately self-deprecating. In contrast, Jack exudes a business bravado; he’s a winner and surrounds himself with similarly successful people. Liz and Jack initially hate each other, but across 30 Rock’s seven series they blossom into a pair who can’t live without each other, especially since they’re both the other’s emergency contact.

Most iconic friendship moment: When Liz and Jack head to Florida, the pair end up having to share a bed in the home of his mother’s surprise girlfriend. Confronted with the unavoidable fact that nothing romantic has ever happened between them, they discuss how their dynamic is infinitely more exciting and interesting.


Sandy and Norman – The Kominsky Method

Set in Los Angeles, a city obsessed with youth and beauty, Norman and Sandy are trying to navigate their older years, learning that they may be older but are not necessarily wiser. Sandy was once acting royalty and is now an acting coach; Norman is his best friend and long-suffering agent who has recently lost his wife of nearly 50 years to cancer. Tackling grief, friendship and the changing nature of masculinity, The Kominsky Method delves into what it means to enter a new phase of life.

Fact File

Names: Sandy Kominsky and Norman Newlander

How they met: Norman and Sandy have been friends for decades, having seen each other through life’s ups and downs. Both being from the world of showbiz, it’s likely that Sandy and Norman met through acting and a friendship formed when Norman became Sandy’s agent.

Personality traits: Norman is struggling to adjust to life without his wife after she dies, with grief now clouding his days. He is honest and always has a sarcastic comment to give. Sandy is confident, straightforward and prides himself on being there for his friends. As a former actor, he knows how to command the attention of the room and is always there to support best friend Norman.

Most iconic friendship moment: At its core, The Kominsky Method is a comedy but that doesn’t stop it from tackling some dark themes. When Sandy is ordered to pay over $300,000 in back taxes, as a washed-up actor, he has no way to pay it back. Norman kindly offers to pay, much to Sandy’s chagrin, who does not want to be seen as a charity case. In the end, Sandy agrees to take the money saving his business and with the promise to pay it back.


Maeve and Aimee – Sex Education

While Maeve might look like the grungy evil twin to Aimee’s bubble-gum pop and pastels aesthetic, the pair go together like butter on crumpets.  From initially sharing forbidden cigarettes in a decrepit toilet block while chatting about boys, the series sees Maeve encouraging Aimee to cast off her toxic friendship group and Aimee championing Maeve’s academic ‘Quizheads’ success.

Fact File

Names: Maeve Wiley and Aimee Gibbs

How they met: Classmates at Moordale High.

Personality traits: Fashion queen Aimee is lovably ditzy and hilariously forthright. Initially she tries desperately hard to fit in with the ‘popular’ group of mean teens at school, who quell her flair. In contrast Maeve is fiercely independent, intelligent and a fan of what Aimee calls ‘feminine books and altitude tests’ (feminist books and aptitude tests). Together, the pair support each other through the tricky terrain of adolescence.

Most iconic friendship moment: After an assault on the way to school leaves Aimee unable to take the bus, Maeve organises a troop of girls to travel alongside her in a sisterhood of solidarity and support. The scene, which sees Aimee overcome some of her trauma as the group sit along the back seats, was one of the most talked about moments of the series, leaving no dry eyes in the house.

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There's nothing greater than finding that person you click with and these on-screen friendships are some of the most heartwarming.