Friendship - it's a beautiful thing that can be just as important as the typical 'boy meets girl' story, and these fictional girl gangs from our favourite TV shows prove it. From Upper East Side princesses Blair and Serena to Ab Fab's hapless Patsy and Edina, these are the TV characters that epitomise friendship goals.
Blair and Serena, Gossip Girl
They stole each other’s boyfriends, ball gowns and front row seats at fashion week, but whatever glossily implausible story lines the producers of Gossip Girl threw at us, one thing was always certain – that best friends / arch rivals / soul sisters Blair Waldorf and Serena Van Der Woodsen would come together in the end. As Gossip Girl once said (typed?), ‘Serena and Blair do besties better than anyone.’ It’s largely thanks to the power of a heart-felt apology, a total suspension of all judgement (‘We’re the non-judging Breakfast Club, we’re you’re best friends!’) or a well-timed shopping trip to Bergdorfs (with their parents’ credit cards.) XOXO…
Rachel, Monica and Phoebe, Friends
Could this BE a list of the best BFFs on TV without mentioning the holy trinity of telly friendships, Rachel, Monica and Phoebe? Don’t be ridiculous. The Friends girls support each other through money trouble rubbish boyfriends and questionable haircuts – not to mention unexpected pregnancies, minor insurance fraud and the whole ‘we were on a break’ fiasco – but they’re not afraid to make fun of each other’s foibles. The Monica/Rachel apartment years marked Friends at the peak of ‘friendship goals’ (case in point – ‘The One With All The Wedding Dresses’) and we’re sort of welling up just thinking about when Rachel had to move out – so thank heavens for Phoebe and her highly flammable apartment… * does happy Friends theme tune hand clap *
Taystee and Poussey, Orange Is The New Black
With its diverse array of female characters, each equipped with a three-dimensional personality and a proper backstory, Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black is one of the most refreshing shows to hit our (laptop) screens in recent years. OITNB shows female friendships in all their messy glory, but the relationship between inmates Taystee and Poussey is perhaps the loveliest example. They may squabble, fight and get caught on opposing sides of prison feuds – but each has the other’s back when it matters most. They’re also a total riot and a dream team at charades – and isn’t that the true meaning of friendship?
Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna, Girls
The opening scene of Lena Dunham’s Girls sets the tone for the four seasons that follow, with Hannah and her roommate Marnie curled up in bed together so that the latter can avoid the attentions of her overly demonstrative boyfriend. The Girls gang are all flawed enough to be believable (it’s hard to imagine proudly characterising yourself as ‘a Marnie’ or ‘a Jessa,’ as you might have done with the SATC or Friends girls), and the show manages to really get the closeness, the brilliance and the downright weirdness of the friendships forged in your twenties. Yes, they do terrible things to one another, but they’re also a (just about) stabilising influence, not to mention each other’s best cheerleaders - don’t we all need a friend who calls us ‘a striking and classic beauty in the vein of Brooke Shields’ when we’re wallowing in self-pity?
Patsy and Edina, Absolutely Fabulous
It’s a friendship founded on booze, Lacroix and a shared love of a bitchy one-liner, but Ab Fab’s Patsy and Eddie are totally (some would say unhealthily) devoted to one another. We’d even go as far as saying that Patsy loves her hapless PR BFF even more than she loves vodka and plastic surgery – a lot, in other words. You can catch the not-so dynamic duo on the big screen later this year.
Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda, Sex and the City
Yes, Sex and the City was ostensibly about finding love (or something a little less permanent) in Manhattan, but the show’s real romance was that between its four vastly different lead characters. Yes, Carrie, Samantha and co. pretty much managed to cement the stereotype that gal pals love nothing more than to eat cupcakes and drink lunchtime cosmos. Most importantly, though, they introduced the idea that female friendships can be way more significant than potential dates and feckless boyfriends – which was pretty revolutionary when the show aired. Amen to that!
Spencer, Hanna, Aria and Emily, Pretty Little Liars
Pretty Little Liars is teen melodrama at its most addictive, but at its core is the (on several occasions, literally) bulletproof friendship between its impeccably blow-dried leads. While the first few episodes seem to set up a Mean Girls inspired ‘frenemies’ dynamic between Aria, Spencer, Hanna and Emily, their relationship soon becomes one of the few realistic elements in a plot that hinges around an anonymous and unfeasibly tech-savvy psychopath (seriously…) And while romantic interests may come and go on the show, friendship always comes first – and the girls have plenty more to discuss than boys (and girls – Emily’s coming out storyline, and her friends’ response, is one of the best and most lightly handled on teen TV). Pretty Little Liars – an unlikely Bechdel test success…
Tanya and Chardonnay, Footballers' Wives
You probably remember this gloriously trashy Noughties drama for the over-the-top costumes, the random celebrity cameos (three words – Dame Joan Collins) and the increasingly bizarre plotlines. But against a Liberace-esque backdrop of bitching and backstabbing, the friendship between evil queen Tanya Turner and her unlucky best pal Chardonnay was as unbreakable as the diamonds (Ok, diamantes….) that both characters wore in bucket loads. Their finest hour? Tanya desperately trying to extinguish the flames when Char’s breast implants set themselves on fire in a freak accident. #FriendshipGOALS.