TIME Television

The 11 Greatest Female Friendships in TV History

From Broad City's Abbi and Ilana to the Golden Girls

On Wednesday, Broad City returns to Comedy Central for its third season. It’s a show that very lovingly (and so hilariously) celebrates the friendship between its two main characters, Abbi and Ilana. (They’re the alter egos of the show’s stars and creators, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, who also happen to be best friends in real life.) Really, what makes the show so great is the chemistry and love between these two women. Oh, and their endless supply of inside jokes, secret codes and absurd adventures.

To celebrate the duo’s return to the small screen, we decided to take a look back at some of the greatest female friendships in television history, starting with our girls Abbi and Ilana.

 

  • Abbi and Ilana, Broad City

    Comedy Central

    Would you carry your best friend through an upscale restaurant after she suffered a severe allergic reaction to shellfish? Would you dispose of her poop during a power outage so she wouldn’t embarrass herself in front of her crush? Would you help her track her stolen phone through Manhattan’s ickiest tourist traps? Abbi and Ilana wouldn’t think twice. Because they have each other back’s under the most absurd circumstances.

    Their “open sex friends” and boyfriends come and go (Male Stacy, we hardly knew ye) but at the end of the day they have one ride or die: each other.

     

  • Taystee and Poussey, Orange Is the New Black

    JoJo Whilden—Netflix

    The Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black has been praised for presenting a diverse array of complex female characters navigating daily life in prison. The friendship between two of these women, Taystee and Poussey, is complicated and at times strained, but ultimately defined by an unwavering bond. “Their relationship is so beautiful, and it’s not false or made to just be a cute, they-get-along-all-the-time relationship,” Danielle Brooks, who plays Taystee, told HuffPost Live. “We argue, we fight, fuss, then we come back together in love.”

  • Daria and Jane, Daria

    MTV/Courtesy Everett Collection

    Life can be pretty rough for teenage girls, especially hyper-observant, cynical and slightly odd teenage girls who don’t quite fit in with their peers — and don’t really want to. Luckily for Daria Morgendorffer, she found Jane Lane (at a self-esteem class), who became her best friend, her confidante and the only person who could possibly keep up with her constant sarcasm and dry wit. Of course Daria and Jane would never be sentimental enough to utter the word love, but over the course of the series, it’s clear that that’s exactly what they feel for each other.

  • Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia, The Golden Girls

    NBC/Getty Images

    The Golden Girls promised us that no matter what happens in our romantic lives, our girlfriends can really be our family — at every stage of life. The four women, three widows and one divorcée, all lived together in Miami, and totally balanced each other out with their unique personalities. And whenever things got tough, they could always work together to solve their problems over a few slices of cheesecake.

  • Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha, Sex and the City

    HBO

    Though people who’ve never seen the show might assume it’s all about sex and romantic relationships, at its core, SATC is about the unbreakable bond between four women. Throughout the series, plenty of men come and go, but it’s the friendship between Carrie, Charlotte Miranda and Samantha that really endures.

  • Laverne and Shirley, Laverne & Shirley

    ABC Photo Archives/Getty Images

    Bert and Ernie. Peanut butter and jelly. Laverne and Shirley. Some duos are iconic and you just can’t imagine one without the other. Laverne and Shirley are each other’s everything: roommates, co-workers and total partners in crime. They showed that a friendship between two women can be compelling and entertaining enough to go down in television history.

  • Ann and Leslie, Parks and Recreation

    Danny Feld—Getty Images

    Who would have thought one of television’s most magical friendships would start with a pit? Over the course of the series, Ann and Leslie go from strangers to sisters. They’re so close that people often mistake them for a couple. One of the most memorable parts of their relationship is Leslie’s frequent use of bizarre compliments. (For example: “Ann, you cunning, pliable, chestnut-haired sunfish” and, when describing her own wedding dress, “It is the most beautiful object I’ve ever seen. It is like the Ann Perkins of dresses. It is amazing.”)

    And of course, Ann and Leslie taught us an important lesson in female friendship: “Hoes before bros. Uteruses before dude-eruses. Ovaries before brovaries.”

  • Joan, Maya, Lynn and Toni, Girlfriends

    CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

    These four women saw each other through tough breakups, dating disasters, family troubles and career obstacles. They all come from different backgrounds, and they don’t always agree with each other, but at the heart of the show is the support network they’ve built for themselves. Tracee Ellis Ross, who played Joan, once said she’d love to do a Girlfriends movie — so who knows? The girlfriends might just bring their friendship to the big screen one day.

  • Lucy and Ethel, I Love Lucy

    CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

    Lucy and Ethel were always dreaming, always scheming and always by each other’s side. In one of the show’s most memorable scenes, they scheme their way into a candy factory and then when things go totally haywire, they don’t start blaming each other — they start covering for each other. Of course, Ethel often serves as the voice of reason when Lucy’s ideas get a bit too wacky, but she stands by her no matter what.

  • Meredith and Cristina, Grey’s Anatomy

    Ron Tom—ABC

    Meredith and Cristina are, in fact, more than just best friends. They’re each other’s person. (And they make sure to remind each other of that.) Their friendship isn’t always sunshine and hugs and mimosas. They fight. Things get difficult. Things get real. As Entertainment Weekly once wrote, “They’re well-rounded characters who fully accept each other. There are no hidden meanings or ulterior motives. And even though they’d never dare get sappy enough to say it, they’re soul mates.”

     

  • Tia and Tamara, Sister Sister

    Ann Summa—Getty Images

    Okay, so Tia and Tamara were more than just buds. They were twin sisters. But the premise of the show — they were separated at birth and just happened to find each other in a shopping mall — makes them more like best friends. After all, they did not grow up together and they come from very different backgrounds. And personality-wise, they’re total opposites. (Tia is the responsible, mature yin to Tamara’s more reckless yang.) But now that they’ve found each other, there is no way they’re ever letting go.

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