Is there anything better than a strong male bond? Some of you might say, “Duh! GURLFRAAANDS!” but that’s just a given. There have always been ladies loves for us to feast our eyes and emotions on. Such outlets as Sex and the City, Golden Girls, Friends, Laverne and Shirley, Lucy and Ethel, and the more recent Bridesmaids have given the women of the world something to cling to – mainly, that it’s chicks before dicks. Ovaries before brovaries. Breasties before testies. We all know the great girlfriend bonds out there, but what about the great bromances? What are the greatest male bonds that might even make a guy shed a proud tear or two? Let’s discuss.
Before jumping into the list, let me fill you in on the requirements for this very important, extremely well thought out ranking system. First, the duo can’t be real brothers (and by real, I mean in their fictional worlds). That’s just not fair. Sorry Mario and Luigi. Second, it’s pretty much my opinion on things (with some help from my other half, Mike) so let me know if I missed a real good one. Or just shut up and enjoy.
5. Zack Morris & Samuel “Screech” Powers
This was the real odd couple of bromances. Here’s this hot, blond, up-to-no-good Zack Morris, dream of all high school dreams, whose best friend for life was this super smart, yet incredibly thick-headed geeky Screech Powers. THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE. But thanks to the magic of Bayside High School and their totally awesome hangout The Max, we get to see Zack and Screech go through high school and the ups and downs of their bromance. Remember when Zack forgets Screech’s birthday and his robot Kevin helps him patrol the halls only to put his BFF Zack and the rest of the gang in detention because he’s bitter and sad? Or the time when Zack convinces Screech to cut school to go skiing (Zack & Slater pushed a Teacher’s strike into motion) before he participates in the big Academic Bowl but then Screech gets the flu so Zack feels terrible and visits him in the hospital to try to learn everything Screech knows so he can take his place. AWWWWWW, right?! What great television!!! Zack and Screech always make up – of course. But this bromance was usually a bit one sided, with Zack roping Screech into more trouble than the other way around. However, what makes this bromance so good? Nooooo, not just Zack Morris. It’s the fact that the pretty boy and the geek always seem to stick together, despite what most high school stereotypes might suggest. Kids, it IS possible for the hottest guy in school to be best buds with the nerdiest guy in school! Now doesn’t that just make you so happy?!
4. Han Solo & Chewbacca
How great are these two? If you thought Zack and Screech were an unlikely pair, then get a load of these guys. Nothing says bromance like understanding your own language. What the fuck was Chewie going on about? No clue, but Han always knew what the big guy was urrrrrrr-ahhrrr-arrrrrgghhhnn-ing about, and that’s all we need to know that this is one helluva bromance. Know how Han and Chewie met? Han was supposed to kill the big hairy Wookie but took pity on him and refused, thus Solo was court-martialed from his position as Imperial Lieutenant. THAT’S LOVE! From then on, Chewie left his family behind to be Han’s co-pilot, and they kicked a ton of ass together in that galaxy far, far away. What’s even better about their friendship is the fact that they never expected anything more than each others loyalty. The moment Han refused to kill Chewie back in his Imperial days, they were BFFs – no questions asked. And nothing is better than knowing your BFF has your back no matter what. Especially when said BFF is, like, 8 feet tall. BOOM.
3. Martin Riggs & Roger Murtaugh
They’re not too old for this shit, goddammit! This is my favorite cop duo of all time. Whoever thought of bringing Mel Gibson and Danny Glover together to make Riggs & Murtaugh was a genius because you can feel their chemistry radiating off the screen. Between the police station shenanigans from 2 and 4, the rooftop scene from Lethal Weapon, and the opening sequence from 3 (“Grab the cat!”), the two go together like salt and pepper. Murtaugh’s panicky, I-just-want-to-retire demeanor is so perfectly matched up with Riggs’ spontaneous, I’m-going-to-cut-the-blue-wire-off-a-hunch persona. I also love the fact that those two fuck up a lot, but still get the job done in the end. Plus, we get to see the Murtaugh family – who are awesome – and how much respect Riggs has for them all. And Riggs usually has this fantastically quaffed hair in the majority of the films that plays out so silly with Murtaugh’s tightly kept ‘do. What’s not to love with these two? They’ll never be too old to me.
2. Joey & Chandler
If there was ever a more perfect love story of grown men being best friends, it’s Joey and Chandler from Friends. It was a genius idea on behalf of the writers to continually treat Joey and Chandler like a married couple, though they’re both as straight as the day is long. They have so many discussions that mirror married couples’ plights, and it just makes my insides feel good. I was beside myself when Joey moved out of their apartment during his Days of Our Lives stint. Wah! Rain window!!! But that led to one of the greatest reunions on television (Eddie, anyone?). When two grown men start jumping up and down, dancing together, and then hugging it out – my heart just gets soooooo happy! The sign of a true bromance is when the guys adopt a chick and a duck, thus caring for them as though they are their actual children. Even towards the very end of the series when Monica and Chandler dream of a house in the outskirts of the city, Chandler says aloud, “Of course, we’d have an apartment over the garage where Joey could grow old.” And that folks, is the epitome of best friendship.
1. Cory Matthews & Shawn Hunter
Of all the television shows I grew up watching, this is the ultimate friendship – the ultimate bromance. Cory and Shawn have basically known each other since the beginning of time. Right off the bat, we know they’re BFFs and they’ve been BFFs for a long time. Here’s two kids who grow up with each other without ever letting the other go. Cory has a stable, loving family (ERIC IS THE GREATEST, am I right?) while Shawn comes from a broken home – a trailer home, to be exact. Cory has always been the closet thing to family Shawn has ever had, and because of this they are just the best together. Both are total slackers in school, mainly concentrating all their efforts on sports, girls, and annoying the shit out of Mr. Feeny. Cory is neurotic, Shawn is super chill. Together, they are a wonderfully hilarious duo. They have their fights, of course (what bromance doesn’t? We have to know they love each other, people!), but they’re always able to patch things up no matter how messy it gets. The real clincher, however, is when Cory and Topanga get married. There’s poor Shawn, feeling like he’s losing his bromance, and then Cory getting all panicky (SOOO Cory!). Shawn hangs up his Best Man title, only to return mid-wedding, forcing the spotlight on Cory and Shawn rather than Cory and Topanga. OMGGGGGGG ::tear:: Topanga gets it, she let’s them have their moment. But the best part was Shawn’s Best Man speech:
“Cory and I have been best friends all our lives. And, um, this wedding’s been kinda hard for me because I know – no matter how much we may avoid talking about it – Cory and I aren’t gonna be best friends forever. Things are changing between us. Things have always been changing. We’ve had to deal with life … and death … and Feeny. But no matter what we faced, we always faced it together. So, then how can we possibly be upset with each other on his wedding day? Well, it’s because deep down I think Cory and I both know that we’re not gonna be best friends anymore. And that’s the way it should be. So, this is to Topanga: Cory’s wife … and new best friend.”
AND I’M DYINGGGGGG.
The end. Best bromance of all time.
Honorable mentions: Aragorn & Legolas, Rocky Balboa & Apollo Creed, John McClane & Allen, Ben Affleck & Matt Damon, Tom Brady & Bill Belichick.