Most shows have at least one romantic subplot. Not many, though, feature an epic Bromance, a deep and intimate, but non-sexual friendship between two straight men. The shows that do utilize the bromance, however, are often enhanced by it. Here are 10 great bromances from TV’s past and present, listed in no particular order:
O’Brien and Bashir
Miles O’Brien and Julian Bashir of Star Trek: Deep Space 9 are like brothers. Despite O’Brien’s initial hatred for the young doctor, their epic bromance began during an away mission, when they were under siege by an angry alien army. After that, hardly an episode goes by where the two Starfleet officers aren’t getting into some sort of hijinks or going into the holodeck to reenact hopeless battles of Earth’s past such as the Battle of Britain or the Alamo. Hell, by the end of the series, O’Brien spends more time hanging out with Bashir than he does with his own wife and child.
Henchmen 21 and 24
21 and 24 are the “best” henchmen of the villainous Monarch. They’ve been on on many missions together, always managing to come back alive from missions where their assigned partners bit the dust, often at the hands of Brock Samson. Their penchant for survival led to a brilliant bromance, one marked by a deep knowledge of henching clichés that allowed them to survive any mission… as long as they stayed together. From recreating the Monarch’s operation after his escape from prison to the final calamitous raid on the Venture compound, 21 and 24 accomplished a lot, always working with and aiding each other and displaying the “rare blend of expendability and indestructibility” that makes for perfect henchmen. In their downtime, they were often seen talking about such pressing issues as whether the Smurfs are mammals or reptiles or who would win in a fight between Anne Frank and Lizzie Borden.
Charlie and Frank (It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia)
Entry By Contributor Valentin Kulemin
Charlie and Frank of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia are unarguably bros of the highest caliber, regardless of their blood bond of father and illegitimate son. These magnificent compadres live together in a tiny cluttered studio where they have to eat cat food, sniff glue and drink beer to induce a sick and tired feeling that allows them to drift away into sleep regardless of loud cats that settled outside their house. They sleep on a fold-out sofa under the same blanket to keep worm in the cold nights brought about the perpetually broken air ventilation system and are okay with it because they have one another. They are in fact so close that even after multiple mystery-poops appearing in their shared bed neither even thought about moving out. They have no problem with catching each other pounding off in their tiny apartment and in fact Frank sometimes likes to hide away inside their fold-out couch to catch Charlie in the process just to shame him. They are also a lot like a dysfunctional old couple: both have a barrage of problems which includes excessive glue-sniffing, gun-toting and general antisocial doings, but they nonetheless always stick together because nothing binds two men like being secretly related, pretending to be Vietnam vets to pick up women, playing nightcrawlers and scavenging sewers and dumpsters together for trash treasure.
Killface and Barnaby Jones
Entry by Contributor Curtis Stone
Killface and Barnaby Jones (Xander Crews)
Halfway through season one of Frisky Dingo, Xander Crews is completely in ruins after losing his money, home, and life. He’s “the Town’s” ultimate superhero (Awesome-X), but also a bumbling lunatic who never realizes the results of his actions. Killface is the antithesis of everything Crews/Jones stands for, and hates him for, among many other reasons, ruining his plans for world domination. Unfortunately, he was blinded while planning his revenge. Shortly afterwards he’s reunited with Crews who’s now in the guise of Barnaby Jones. The adventures and hijinks these two take on their short time together (before the season finale and Crews abandons him) are remarkable. Some of the series best gags start with their mission to rescue Killface’s son, meeting new faces along the way and worsening their situation more and more. Although Killface and Crews/Jones weren’t “bros” for too long, they truly created a memorable friendship and lasting memories that really helped Frisky Dingo establish itself as an appealingly ludicrous series.
Frasier and Niles Crane
Entry by Contributor Valentin Kulemin
Unlike all the aforementioned bromances, this one is literal. Frasier and Niles of Frasier are sons of Martin Crane with whom neither can manage to connect due to the vast divide in their interests, the father being a steak-loving baseball-watching straight-up American and the sons being excessively cultured opera-going, chardene-drinking elitists. Frasier and Niles are really on such good terms because they mirror each other perfectly. They both love the orchestra, fine dining, suits, they frequently play squash together, are members of the same wine club, even the presidency of which they competed for, were both primary targets for school bullies and finally they are both psychiatrists. The reason for this is that they both did their best to take after their mother who they loved and looked up to so much – she, too, was a psychiatrist and an extremely cultured individual. Due to their love of their mother they both took after her and did their best to outdo one another in a fight for their affection, which resulted in an extremely strong bond of sibling rivalry and equal appreciation for the same things in life, crafting two perfect brothers.
Turk and J.D.
J.D. and Turk of Scrubs fame are the tightest of friends. They’re constantly seen in each others’ company throughout the hospital, cracking infantile jokes, lollygagging, playing with their stuffed dog, and being otherwise unprofessional. However, their antics are the cornerstone of the hospital’s life, and their friendship sets the bar for even romantic relationships among the hospital’s staff.
And then there’s this:
Bunk and McNulty
Entry By Contributor Valentin Kulemin
Out of the countless cop duos that litter the silver screen there are no realer bros than these two from The Wire. There’s nothing outworldly awesome about them and that is what’s really striking. They’re one of the greatest bros because they they’re real. They are each other’s wingmen at bars even if the routine is to go up to a lady and be a complete pig just so the other could shoo him off and comfort the girl himself, they have a bunch of after-work hangout spots which are almost exclusively by the train tracks where they get hammered on the broest of all alcohols – ordinary-ass bear, piss of the tracks and stand in front of the train until it’s almost too late like a couple of high-schoolers.
This scene is perfect for showing just how tight these two are – even when woken up in the dead of night by a distress call from his partner’s maiden McNulty gets out of bed without asking any further questions, drives down to pick up his partner and even has the ability to joke throughout. When it turns out that Bunk burnt his clothes to get rid of pussy-evidence he barely questions it and lets him sleep on his kids’ vacant bunk bed. Is this isn’t bro love, I’m not sure what is.
Tyrion and Bronn
At first, Tyrion Lannister’s relationship with the mercenary Bronn in Game of Thrones was merely that between master and hireling. However, it soon dawned into a beautiful bromance built on a mutual love of gold, wine, and prostitutes. After Bronn gets Tyrion released from captivity and gets him back safely to his family’s army, Tyrion offers him a permanent bodyguard position. The pair then become inseparable, even through their respective promotions, with Tyrion becoming Hand of the King (basically, the second in charge of the kingdom) and Bronn becoming head of the city guard. They remain close, often meeting to exchange banter. Their friendship is one of the few good things to come out of the Game of Thrones storyline, a shining beacon of humor in a world quickly falling into chaos.
Troy and Abed – Community
Troy and Abed of Community fame are about as mismatched as they come. Troy is a former football star and is not very geekily inclined, while Abed is a walking, talking encyclopedia of genre savviness and pop-culture knowledge. However, they’re able to see past these superficial differences and make a lasting and stable bromance. They host a morning show, make school-related raps (sometimes with Betty White), and just generally hang out together all the time. Their friendship forms the stable center of the study group, as the other members alternate between hating each other and hooking up with each other. They’re also nauseatingly cute and hilarious to the TV watching audience. I’d go so far as to say that there’s is one of the best bromances I’ve seen on TV.
And finally, because my editor insists that there be 10 entries:
Ron Swanson and Steak (Parks and Recreation)
Entry by Contributor Valentin Kulemin
Ron’s relationship with Steak began when Ron was 11 years of age. Then the only thing that got him through the day of middle school was the prospect of spending some time with Steak at the end of the day. As time went on, Swanson and Steak grew closer and although their relationship being mostly one sided it veered off in an almost creepy direction. Steak began to mean so much to Ron that the latter insisted to always have their picture taken when they encountered one another at Charlie Mulligan’s Steakhouse (Ron’s favorite), where Steak worked at the time. If this picture is not exactly weird or worrying, he also always noted down what drinks they had and what Steak was covered and accompanied with. Of course, as one can see from this escalation, this was never meant to last. Once Mulligan’s closed down, Ron lost his beloved Steak and he would never meet any as great as him, though not for his lack of trying. All in all it was a beautiful broship and even if Ron did nothing but receive in it, they were both happy to be each others’ best friends, to share only each others’ company on Ron’s birthdays where they did nothing but drink whiskey and watch their favorite movies as Ron devoured his best bro.
Are there any bromances YOU wanted to see on this list? Let us know in the comments, or email me at JakePPetersen@Gmail.com