Bromances are the extreme sports of friendship. When performed properly, their intense connection tends to make outsiders feel uncomfortable; it's like watching two people make out, but instead of using their mouths, they’re using their emotions. If you’ve ever observed two people and thought to yourself, “They seem like they might be a little too close,” chances are you’re watching a bromance unfold. Also, chances are you’re creepy. Why are you just standing around watching people? Read a book! Buy a hermit crab! Start a TV theme song-only karaoke company! Read a post about television’s greatest bromances! Actually, coincidence alert, I can help you out with that last one right now.
Dawson Leery and Pacey Witter from Dawson’s Creek
When Charles Dickens wrote “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times," he had no idea his words would be completely useless until Dawson, Pacey, and a creek came along and finally gave them the relevance they deserved. With the subtle confidence of a Junior Olympic Hockey champion, Pacey fell in love with Dawson's soulmate, thus ruining their friendship. But the saying is “Best Friends Forever,” not “Best Friends Every Now and Again," and the two eventually reconciled—and even though they’re both too prideful and fictional to admit it, their friendship was important. Other than Joey Potter, movies, Jen, hot teachers, ridiculously named boats, and a disproportionate amount of vernacular knowledge, their friendship was the most important thing in their lives.
Ryan Atwood and Seth Cohen from The OC
An unusual bromance blossomed when endearingly awkward Seth Cohen broke down the walls of emotionally guarded Ryan Atwood to create a unique friendship consisting of equal parts pop culture references and people getting punched in the face. Side note: haven’t we all felt like Seth Cohen at some point in our lives? I mean, who among us hasn't accidentally run into our cool upstairs neighbor and his ridiculously good-looking girlfriend in the hallway when coming back from the deli on a Saturday night? There you all are: the good-looking couple dressed to the nines and headed to a party, and you, in your pajama pants, holding a carton of frozen yogurt. “All the taste, none of the guilt” you mumble as you shamefully walk by the happy couple, thinking to yourself, “Alright, that just about does it for me and humans for awhile.” Right, guys? Right???
Ron Swanson and Meat from Parks and Recreation
One thing all exceptional sitcoms have in common is the ability to create well-defined characters that are overly passionate to the point of obsession. Gob Bluth has his magic, Dwight Schrute loves him some beets, and Ron Swanson is a man who would bare-knuckle box a grizzly bear for an aged steak. I'm not a Dr. Scientist, but quirky details seem to help an audience develop a personal relationship with a character. In my new animated TV script, Detective Frog Hopperton M.D., when the title character’s not off solving a crime, performing surgery, or living the life of a debonair frog, he collects marbles. I can’t relate to all the trials and tribulations that come along with being a handsome frog doctor detective, but I can relate to having a hobby. Sometimes I wonder where I’ll store all of my Emmys.
Chandler Bing and Joey Tribbiani from Friends
Chandler and Joey may be television's first example of a modern day bromance. In the season three intro they can be seen dancing in a fountain, partaking in a clothing optional bathroom chitchat, and of course, the classic bromance staple: overenthusiastic hugging! And that’s just the theme song! These two Friends punched their bromance hall of fame ticket when they eventually decided to raise a duck together, which was completely unrelated to their other best friend briefly owning a monkey. Hijinks! Hijinks! Hijinks! One may question the plausibility of two adult men raising an aquatic bird in an unusually spacious New York City apartment, but it’s been proven time and time again that Matt LeBlanc + Animal = Comedy Gold.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson from BBC's Sherlock
If television is the true mirror of our lives, then why are universities wasting their time teaching outdated relics like engineering and medicine when there’s an obvious vocational boom in the curmudgeonly detective field? By television's estimation, about 90% of the job is solving intricate mysteries while being equal parts snarky and sexy. The other 10% is looking adorable in cable-knit sweaters.
I lumped these four together because, while they're both perfect examples of bromanticism at its finest, they’re completely different in tone and execution. When you really stop to think about it, friendships are a lot like snowflakes. People are a lot like snowflakes. Pizza, the cast of Glee, romantic literature: snowflakes. Doorknobs, cereal mascots, Karate Kid movies? You guessed it: snowflake, snowflake, snowflake! The only thing on the planet that is not like a snowflake is the new movie Vampire Dog. That bad boy has original written all over it.
John Dorian and Christopher Turk from Scrubs
I’d lose my blogging license if I failed to mention the duo that quite possibly best exemplifies the very definition of bromance: J.D and Turk. Their bromance was so prolific they decided to sing a song about it.
Shawn Spencer and Burton Guster from Psych
In my epic, hang-on-the-refrigerator-worthy post about television crushes, a few commenters brought to my attention the glaring lack of Psych representation on the list. Agreed. This cleverly written procedural boasts a plethora of arcane pop culture references, a catchy theme song, and one of the greatest odd couple bromances in fake psychic detecting history. Fun fact: empirical evidence has shown that women are surprisingly not impressed when you interrupt their conversation at a Jamba Juice, hold a finger to your temple (a la Shawn Spencer), and say, “I sense that you have the urge to give me your telephone number.”
Seth Meyers and Stefon from SNL's Weekend Update
Weekend Update host Seth Meyers and City Correspondent Stefon have developed a new age bromance live from New York on Saturday nights. Stefon's unusual correspondence about the clandestine nightlife of NYC comes as no surprise considering where he attended boarding school. Wait, you've never heard Stefon's back-story about boarding school? Allow me to enlighten you:
Run by literary Simpsons fan Edgar Allan D'Oh, this former vampire movie theater-turned boarding school has everything. Calculators, dog proms, an old teacher asking, "What the heck is with all this yolo anyway," a wisecracking bully named Chet, books, a slightly overweight gym teacher who wants to know "just who you think you are, Mister," and pajama pancake Fridays. Are you a troublemaker? Then it's straight to the Princi-Dahls office for you. Don't worry, he's not just your Princi-Dahl; he's also your friend. The student with the highest GPA at the end of the semester wins the option of managing an enigmatic chocolate factory or turning into a Giant Peach.
Which bromance did we miss? Are Ben Affleck and Matt Damon the very first bromance? Who's available to give me notes on my first draft of Detective Frog Hopperton M.D.?