29. Ferris and Cameron (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off)
Ferris Bueller is the worst. He’s just a selfish, obnoxious, abrasive, entitled, snotty human being with no regard for how his actions impact other people who are just trying to do their jobs (like, say, a school principal). (Yes, I am very pro-villain.)
Then again: He did help Cameron come out of his shell to become… a more selfish, obnoxious, abrasive, entitled, snotty human? Or he might have been a creation of Cameron’s all along. In which case, Cameron can’t even get respect from his own id.
Rating: .5 out of 5 Fight Club spoilers
28. Peter and Sydney (I Love You, Man)
I Love You, Man is the rare film explicitly and specifically about the challenges of forming an adult male friendship. (Forming any sort of relationship as an adult is basically impossible, by the way. Get a dog.)
Then again: While Jason Segel’s character, Sydney, has his heart in the right place and (spoiler) everything turns out OK he really is unnecessarily, like, prone to hijinks. And while some friendships may thrive on hijinks and a mutual appreciation of Rush, most really very much do not.
Rating: 1 out of 5 dogs named after dictators
27. Scott and Wallace (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World)
OK, let’s get this out of the way: I think Scott Pilgrim is kind of a jerk. The way he cast Knives aside? His general vaguely creepy vibe? But, like, I get it. Everyone is a creepy jerk sometimes. That’s why it’s good to have a friend who encourages you to get your act together and grow up, like Wallace Wells does for Scott. Also, never underestimate the power of a friend who hates the person who broke your heart as much as, if not more than, you do.
Then again: What has Scott ever done for Wallace, really?
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 Michael Ceras jumping out a window
26. Harold and Kumar (Harold & Kumar franchise)
We all have that friend who does selfish things sometimes, like embarrass us in front of our crush or force us to embark on a harrowing, pot-fueled journey for tiny hamburgers. But, ultimately, those kind of friends teach us how to relax, let go, and be ourselves, because that’s the person they happen to like most.
Then again: Kumar is a high-maintenance friend. No pun intended. Hahaha!
Rating: 1.75 out of 5 Neil Patrick Harrises doing blow off a stripper
25. Harry and Lloyd (Dumb and Dumber)
Love is stupid, and so are these two. Even though they hit a rough patch when both fell for the same woman, Harry and Lloyd proved that true friendship can conquer all. Even revenge-fueled bathroom stuff.
Then again: Revenge-fueled bathroom stuff.
Rating: 2 out of 5 dead birds
24. Detective Marcus Burnett and Detective Mike Lowrey (Bad Boys franchise)
It’s tough to talk about this duo without just rehashing a lot of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence’s (mostly improvised) lines, and I’m pretty much going to do just that:
Store Clerk: Hey, freeze bitch!
Mike Lowrey: [as he points the gun her way, in a flash Mike and Marcus stop arguing and point their guns at his head] YOU freeze, bitch!
Store Clerk: Oh shit, I’m fucked.
Mike Lowrey: Now back up, put the gun down, and get me a pack of Tropical Fruit Bubblicious.
Marcus Burnett: And some Skittles.
Then again: Why can’t we cut through the sharing of one-liners all around Miami and get to the emotional core of two men talking about their feelings?
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 packs of Tropical Fruit Bubblicious
23. Garth and Wayne (Wayne’s World franchise)
Sometimes a friend is just someone who will go to rock shows and talk about girls and ride out fame with you, even if it ends badly. Or mega happily.
Then again: Is Wayne really as present for Garth as Garth is for Wayne? Like. It’s not “Garth and Wayne’s World.” It’s not even “Wayne’s World, feat. Garth.” Rude, tbh.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 schwiiiing-worthy ’90s babes
22. Dalton and Wade (Road House)
One of the very best bad movies out there, Road House tells the time-honored story of a murderous cooler named Dalton, who transforms a rough-and-tumble bar into a better rough-and-tumble bar without so much as tousling his mullet. Through it all, he’s given advice and support from his mentor, friend, and legendary cooler, Wade, who has the most beautiful hair in all of coolerdom.
Then again: Dalton has literally ripped two men’s throats out, which means that maybe his friend could do a better job of setting him down the right path.
Rating: 2.75 out of 5 lustrous silver manes
21. Will and Chuckie (Good Will Hunting)
Sometimes it’s tough to live up to the expectations of people around you, even if they truly want what’s best for you. That’s why you need a best friend like Chuckie to frame things a little differently. Basically: Don’t be an asshole. Especially not to yourself. Don’t allow your talent and your potential to go to waste. To paraphrase your aunt’s favorite pillow: Be the person your best friend knows you are.
Then again: Who wants to be friends with a genius?
Rating: 2.75 out of 5 apples
20. Jay and Silent Bob (Various Kevin Smith movies)
If you ever find yourself in the View Askewniverse, selling illegal substances in front of a convenience store, it’s good to have a pal who doesn’t talk too much except to occasionally espouse paradigm-shifting words of wisdom.
Then again: These two are oddly perfect for one another, but it’s still grating to be friends with Jay because he just never stops. He just. never. stops.
Rating: 3 out of 5 pairs of jorts
19. Mike and Trent (Swingers)
Trent does his best to lift Mike’s spirits after his breakup, trying to distract him from the fact that he and all his friends are living in Los Angeles at a time when bowling shirts and “Jump Jive an’ Wail” were happening, and defending him against friends who think growing up in Anaheim makes them hard.
Then again: No one who describes you as “so money” in earnest can ever be a real friend.
Rating: 3 out of 5 ill-advised ’90s revivals
18. Sheriff Bart and Jim (Blazing Saddles)
Sheriff Bart and Jim (aka “The Waco Kid”) have the odds stacked up against them. Bart is a black man in what appears to be the most racist town in the Old West, and Jim is a drunk whose glory days of shooting things real fast seem to be mostly behind him. But the two are proof that, with the right partner, you can do anything, including shooting things real fast in a gross, dumb town.
Then again: Never call Sheriff Bart the n-word.
Rating: 3 out 5 old-timey prostitutes with German accents.
17. Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid (Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid)
Your best friend is the person who will be by your side while you are literally blowing shit up and shooting stuff and being tracked and frequenting so, so many old-timey brothels and deciding that a life of not blowing shit up and shooting stuff and being tracked and frequenting so, so many old-timey brothels may not be for you.
Then again: It’s probably bad to encourage your friend to continue pursuing a life of crime.
Rating: 3 out of 5 supremely hot actors
16. Evan and Seth (Superbad)
High school is a weird time for friendship, because you’re forging your own personality and interests and values apart from your family, all while wading through a thick soup of hormones and chemicals and Goldschläger. Sometimes it’s tough to maintain friendships with people going through so many changes. And that’s the beauty of Evan and Seth’s friendship — it is tested, and there are times where both act out impulsively or selfishly, but, in the end, they acknowledge their differences, their growth, and the growing up they both have to do.
Then again: I think even teen boys sometimes get tired of being friends with teen boys.
Rating: 3 out of 5 suspicious stains on your pant leg
15. Bill and Ted (Bill & Ted franchise)
Only a true friend will stand beside you throughout history and its most “whoa”-inducing moments. And only your best friend will stick with you to hell and back. Like, literally.
Then again: I’m too distracted by Keanu here to think of a negative, but I’m sure there is one.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Keanus
14. Prince Akeem and Semmi (Coming to America)
Look, it’s hard being friends with royalty. All my friends complain about it constantly. But Semmi knows exactly how to manage Prince Akeem’s utter lack of awareness for how the other 99% lives, and looks out for his friend while the two find themselves completely out of their element in New York City amid crime and rats and glistening Soul Glo mullets.
Then again: Semmi lied about his identity to get girls, which could have totally blown Akeem’s cover. Selfish booty chasing hurts everyone.
Rating: 3 out of 5 McDowell’s burgers
13. Murtaugh and Riggs (Lethal Weapon franchise)
Quite a few adult male relationships in movie history is of the “buddy cop” variety, and none is more famous (or more copied) than Murtaugh and Riggs. There’s nothing like working with an armed dude with a death wish to help expand your horizons and make you feel like a valued member of law enforcement despite your age and age-related tiredness.
Then again: We’re all too old for Riggs’ shit.
Rating: 3 out of 5 glorious mullets
12. Johnny Utah and Bodhi (Point Break)
Jesus Christ, this relationship is so beautiful it makes me weep. What are the odds that a friendship could form between a former quarterback-turned-FBI agent and the leader of a surfer gang? What is a surfer gang? Don’t question any of it, and just let the beauty of two men bonding and solving a string of crimes unfold before you, like a wave crashing on the shore.
Then again: LOL.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Reagan masks
11. Han Solo and Chewbacca (Star Was IV - VI)
Han and Chewie demonstrate that, even if you tease one another from time to time, your best friend is someone you absolutely know has your back when fighting against dark forces in the unending abyss of deep space.
Then again: Han is mean. Sexy, but mean.
Rating: 3 out of 5 “I know“‘s.
10. Sgt. Angel and Danny (Hot Fuzz)
It’s difficult to gauge emotion in satire because, while satire can definitely have high emotional stakes — we satirize the things that are absurd or that don’t work for us because we care about its impact on us and the world — it’s based on creating a reality that isn’t meant to be taken seriously or at face value. We’re not operating in a reality we know and perform in every day, so our metric has shifted. That said, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are geniuses at creating an emotional core around which they build their genre satires. And a lot of that is based on the chemistry between the two actors, yes, but also on their deep understanding of the way relationships, particularly between men, inform genres like action and horror. Hot Fuzz is a great example of how affection between men creates and relieves tension in buddy cop action movies.
Then again: In a lot of ways, Danny is more of, like, a beloved pet than an equal you respect.
Rating: 3 out of 5 violent swans
9. Shaun and Ed (Shaun of the Dead)
This movie came out 10 (ten) (TEN) years ago, but here’s a spoiler alert. Scroll past this if you haven’t seen this movie. OK. You know the friendship in this movie is legit because it very literally transcends death, with Shaun caring for the ravenous, murderous corpse of his best friend, Ed, even after Ed’s been attacked by zombies. That’s love. That’s a heart beating still within a time-ravaged torso with all sorts of bits missing from it.
Then again: Having a best friend who is a ravenous, murderous corpse necessarily makes the partnership unequal. And somewhat strained.
Rating: 3.25 out of 5 Cornettos
8. Fezzik and Inigo (The Princess Bride)
It can be hard to support a friend who is so singularly focused on a mission — like wooing a crush or avenging your father’s brutal and untimely murder — that he tends to put himself in harm’s way. But Fezzik, a strong giant with a penchant for rhyme, always had Inigo Montoya’s back, and thought nothing of carrying him on his.
Then again: Inigo gets way, way more out of this friendship than Fezzik does.
Rating: 3.25 out of 5 white boys constantly referencing this movie
7. Felix and Oscar (The Odd Couple)
The quintessential pairing of two ostensibly mismatched personalities that, together, form something greater than the sum of its parts. Felix is an uptight collection of neuroses pining over his wife, while Oscar is a sloppy, cantankerous mess of a dude. However, each gives the other something he lacks, all while watching out for one another in their own ways. Oscar, in particular, is there for Felix at what is very likely the lowest point in his life.
Then again: Would you want to live with either a Felix or an Oscar?
Rating: 4 out of 5 cooing British sisters
6. Harry and Ron (Harry Potter franchise, various works of slashfic)
A big part of what makes the Harry Potter books and movies so endearing to the people who love them is the friendship between Harry and Ron, and the way the two act as both partners and foils. While Ron is human and, as such, prone to jealousy or pettiness, he is, above all else, a loyal and steadfast friend to Harry, overcoming his own fears and insecurities to help him time and time again.
Then again: As with a lot of these friendships, one person tends to assume the role of hero and the other as more of a sidekick, rendering the partnership unequal more times than not.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 teens years spent on camera
5. Frodo and Sam (LOTR franchise)
Nothing eases a journey into the unknown like having a friend by your side. Sam knew Frodo better than Frodo knew himself, which helped him deal with the unfortunate impact that carrying the ring had on his friend. A true friend knows that the things that test us can make us betray ourselves in ways the person who loves us most never would.
Then again: Yet again, Sam has to bear the brunt of the effort in this friendship.
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 poh-tay-toes
4. Adam and Kyle (50/50)
Look, there is nothing akin to the fear of death, to the sinking, cold, drowning, panicked feeling of facing an inevitable ending. It is in our wiring to reject death, to physically recoil and shudder and turn away, to buck at the very last moment, to “[blank] at the glare.” To calm that or conquer that takes work, and it often takes the people around you. Including a best friend who lifts your spirits, holds your hand, tends to your wounds, and, in a very real way, keeps you living. Not just existing, but living.
Then again: Man, vocalize your feelings! Don’t wait until your friend discovers the depth and breadth your concern and involvement during a film’s climactic turning point! Come on!
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 afternoons spent staring at this .gif
3. Kirk and Spock (Star Trek franchise)
Love is illogical. Beyond the minimum amount of care needed to keep your fellow humans (and/or Vulcans) alive, the act of caring for someone more than you care for yourself, and doing anything for that person, is deeply and profoundly devoid or reason. And that’s what makes the love between Spock and Kirk so poignant. Spock genuinely loves Kirk, even though he shouldn’t be able.
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 Vulcan salutes
2. Andy and Red (The Shawshank Redemption)
Before Orange is the New Black, this movie gave audiences a glimpse of the abuses, violence, predatory behavior, and assault that takes place in American prisons, both by fellow inmates and those who oversee them every day. It’s against this backdrop that Andy and Red forge a friendship, looking out for one another in a system that seeks to chip away at their dignity and their humanity. As Andy is continually exploited in prison, his hope is what buoys him, even as the more pragmatic and jaded Red worries whether that’s what’s really best for Andy’s mental state.
Then again: This is a rare case of a movie friendship where two men are equally devoted to the other, each in his own way. No “then again” for this one.
Rating: 5 out of 5 pin-up posters
1. Woody and Buzz (Toy Story franchise)
It wasn’t even tolerance at first sight for Buzz and Woody, but over the course of three movies, these two forged a friendship that withstood obstacles, distance, trauma, growing up, and… can’t finish this without crying. Suffice to say, they’re in this thing to infinity and beyond.
Then again: Nothing.
Rating: 5 out of 5 childhood memories in fading crayon.
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