Bromances. They are one of our favorite staples of modern culture, providing comic relief and star-studded talent whenever we need a lift the most. They exist on the court, the big screen, in the studio and even on our favorite podcasts, giving us pointers on how to start and keep a successful bromance going when times get tough (or when times couldn't be better.) Some make us envious. Others inspire us. Still more make us want to throw up in a fit of laughter. Here are some of our picks.
Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee
We were with them every step of the journey to destroy The Ring. We cheered them on in the face of mega-adversity. (Would you want to deal with smooshy-faced orcs and lava pits if you were four-foot-nothin'?) Heck, we wanted to be hobbits, too, of all the creatures in Middle Earth. And we owed it all to the bro-heavy trials these two characters faced together throughout three acclaimed epics, straight from the mind of J.R.R. Tolkien and director Peter Jackson. Epic brotherly love, if you ask me. And when Sam offers to carry The Ring for Frodo? Brings a tear to my eye…
George Clooney and Brad Pitt
Voted Sexiest Men Alive (I don't know how many times, but I'm sure it's enough), these two guys exemplify classy film-making, having appeared in films for the better part of a couple decades now. And while they will both admit the road hasn't always been paved in success (Batman & Robin, anyone?), their friendship has surely shown us the power of being buxom buddies. Accumulating a few hundred million ain't bad, but starring in a flick with arguably Hollywood's No. 1 and 2 would be priceless, if you could keep your eyes focused on working, not on their hunky appearances.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon
From Good Will Hunting to Dogma, these two have been inseparable as an acting duo that also provides polished writing and direction with Boston flair. Off-screen, their bromance is one of envious proportions. They helped each other's meteoric rise with a few good looks and a knack for fleshing out their roles - and scripts - with memorable charisma. Expect big things to continue for these silver screen giants as they take on the story of Whitey Bulger.
Jason Segel and Paul Rudd
Of all bromances, none are so overt than Rudd and Segel. The couple starred, of course, in I Love You, Man, John Hamburg's 2009 ode to the importance of brotherly love. In the movie, they share an affinity for fish tacos, prog-rock band Rush, and making fun of washed up B-list celebrities like Lou Ferrigno, all in the name of blurring the lines of kinship. Plus, these guys are the masters at bending comedic rules for today's taboo-free society. Totes McGotes!
Jonah Hill and Michael Cera
Speaking of, here's another pair while we're in the framework of game-changing comedians. It's hard to take your eyes off these goofballs when they're running around town trying to secure alcohol for an underage party or when affection spells out a friendly little finger tap to the nose, along with a cutely audible, "Boop!" The body of work for these young stars is already becoming more sophisticated with each new film they release. But who knows? Maybe we'll get another chance to see the Superbad adventures of Seth and Evan at least once more in the future.
Paul Newman and Robert Redford
This diehard bromance is all thanks to the quintessential bro movie, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Although the only other film they starred in was the grifter tale The Sting, these two forged a lasting friendship that apparently involved a number of elaborate pranks. One such occurrence saw Redford leave a beat-up old Porsche in Newman's driveway without bumpers or wheels, adorned with a blue ribbon. Newman returned the volley by crushing it into a ball, which he promptly left inside the former's living room, blue ribbon and all. Boys will be boys!
Dwight Schrute and Michael Scott
There's nothing more openly secretive than an office romance, especially in the world of Dunder Mifflin. Oh, and I'm not talking about Jim and Pam. This politically incorrect combo thrives on driving the entire building insane with their workplace antics. While there have been moments of agony watching them struggle through their own misplaced vigilantism, there have also been times of tenderness as they both, er, Dwight watches one another's backs. (Love The Office as much as Dwight loves Michael? Don't forget to check out these The Office t-shirts!)
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost
What's not to love about this adorable bromance? It makes me giddy just thinking of the two! After all, never before has facing a town full of zombies or crooked cultist cops been so loaded with laughs. These English actors keep bringing it, too, in Hot Fuzz, but more particularly with the hapless nerd-core flick Paul, in which a pot-smoking, trash-talking alien voiced by Seth Rogen attempts to make himself scarce with authorities on his tail. The only trouble is that scarcity exists in these guys' motor home. FACT: the image of true bromance lies in the last scene of Shaun of the Dead, which features the two in a shed, with video games and a great Queen song.
Craig and Smokey
One of my all-time favorites, Ice Cube and Chris Tucker cemented these roles of slackerdom from the pseudo-comfort of their front porch. Neighborhood moochers, vixens, and drug dealers all make appearances as Craig hesitantly pairs up with his perpetually stoned partner-in-crime to battle Smokey's creditors. The best evidence of bromancery: even when danger looms, they man up and defend their ground from the evil clutches of Deebo. It turns out to be a circus on city streets pretty quickly.
Wayne Campbell and Garth Algar
Party time! Excellent! Cue tongue rolls. Such was the life of America's favorite basement dwellers hellbent on delivering their rock and roll message to the world, one public access channel at a time. Saturday Night Live greats Mike Myers and Dana Carvey leave no knowledgeable stone unturned, imparting their wisdom about everything from SCUD missiles to Ted Nugent albums. Their finest credit: making the guitar and matching air drums cool for years to come. Far out!
Joey Tribbiani and Chandler Bing
It's almost like these Friends roommates' sense of humor was woven specifically from the laugh machines of the 1950s. How many quick-witted comebacks (and lack thereof) could be this funny? According to hip young people of the '90s, every single one of them. With their boyish good looks, and the female counterparts to match, these two launched a fairly successful career - all because of their longstanding purveyorship of terrible hair and decade-binding fashion. (And a duck and a chick.)
Han Solo and Chewbacca
It's a tough galaxy out there, but somebody's gotta take care of business. Enter Chewbacca and Han Solo, fearsome heroes of the universe. They've got it all: guts, brawn, and the Millennium Falcon, the Rolls Royce of space. If they need a bathroom break, the nearest toilet is but a light speed's jump away. Heck, they even fit right in at the local cantina. Well, sort of. The bottom line is these two go everywhere with each other. And if that isn't devotion, we suggest you take another peek at episodes four, five and six for a clearer view. (Here are some sweet Star Wars t-shirts that you and a friend can wear to show your devotion for this duo.)
Ren & Stimpy
Oh the humanity! Oh the… scatology! When bathroom humor was a new phenomenon, nobody did it more bizarrely or with such conviction as these wily cartoon buds. They had the gross factor firing on every level, giving clout to all manner of disgusting substances including boogers and jars full of spit. Was it always this inappropriate? Yes. Did they apologize for it? Not a chance. Maybe the only way to let a gabbing Chihuahua and an overweight house cat be heard on the country's premiere children's network was to start giving lessons on or near the potty. Consider parental crises averted.
Jay and Silent Bob
Kicking it at the mall and outside of convenience marts isn't the only way this slinky, doughy pair gets their rocks off. A true bromance is built to last upon foundations such as podcasts - or SModcasts, as they're known in the Jay and Bob universe - and even more ridiculous films (Zach and Miri Make a Porno), which is exactly how they like it best. Real-life compadres Jason Mewes and director Kevin Smith molded these epic personas out of sheer non-epicness, beginning with 1994's Clerks and coming to fruition the next year in Mallrats. In the process, they coined a variety of words and phrases. Somehow, thanks to them, "snoochie-boochies" will live on in our vernacular.
Chris Farley and David Spade
Aside from their classic skits on SNL, Farley and Spade burst into our homes with tales of wacky Midwestern salesmen and political thwarters in Tommy Boy and Black Sheep, respectively. The big guy's squirrely, childlike demeanor was the perfect potion for Spade's by-the-book exterior, and it made all the difference. (Plus, the deer in the car scene in Tommy Boy is cinematic perfection.) Scores of Rugby bros had their boisterous new role model in Farley, whose untimely death rocked the entertainment business. The rest of us, well, we got Joe Dirt. But, therein set sail a bro-ship that many an actor would sail on for future comedies.
This article was written by Drew Nelson. His dream bromance is a mix between Shaun of the Dead and Butch Cassidy. Or, really anything involving zombies.