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Ricky & Fred (“I Love Lucy”)
The original TV bromance, Ricky Ricardo and Fred Mertz paved the way for followers, such as Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton and countless others. As with most things concerning comedy on television, “I Love Lucy” paved the way for the classic male pairings that followed. Ricky and Fred were at their best commiserating over the insanity that their wives tended to find. But they found their share of full-blown physical comedy, as well, including the night they decided to cook dinner and made a carbohydrate-laden mess of the kitchen while cooking four pounds of rice.
Jerry & George (“Seinfeld”)
Even the least sane and stable characters on television need best friends, and this was never more true than with the bromance between Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza. It seemed that no matter what kind of shenanigans George managed to create, Jerry provided the level-headedness to understand it. Their highlight came when they pitched their “show about nothing” to TV executives, but there was something incredibly bromantic about the moment when Jerry walked in on George, who’d tripped over himself with his pants around his ankles, and said, “…and you want to be my latex salesman.”
Fred & Barney (“The Flintstones”)
Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble are the “Ricky & Fred” of cartoons, and their legacy endures despite years of reruns. The memorable images of the cartoon pals bowling and participating in Water Buffaloes meetings are indelibly etched into most of our memories, but it was Barney’s undying loyalty to Fred that made their relationship work. While Barney came off as a little dim, he oftened proved to be the wise one when it came to Fred’s many get-rich-quick schemes. Even if Barney didn’t always buy Fred’s ideas, he went along with them because, well, that’s what friends Yabba-Dabba-Do.
House & Wilson (“House”)
One of the more complicated bromances on TV is House and Wilson’s strained friendship on “House.” It’s never quite been clear why these two are such close friends — and especially why Wilson continues to take the crotchety doctor’s abuse. The mess hit the fan this season, though, as Wilson threatened to end their friendship, which finally made House realize how precious it is. Wilson is the one who can cut through all of House’s antics and knows him better than anyone, and House knows that he needs that kind of a challenge from his best friend.
Derek & Sloan (“Grey’s Anatomy”)
Forget Meredith and Derek, Alex and Izzie, or Cristina and Dr. Hunt, the most exciting couple on “Grey’s,” of late, is Derek and Sloan. The longtime best friends were introduced to viewers as bitter nemeses after the revelation that Sloan slept with Addison, Derek’s ex-wife, which put the final nail in Derek’s first marriage. It wasn’t clear, at first, why the two would be friends. But in the past couple of seasons they’ve demonstrated an easy chemistry that makes for some of the great comic relief around Seattle Grace Hospital with their banter, sage wisdom on each other’s lives, and locker room-style teasing.