10 Best Platonic Relationships on TV

I watch a lot of TV, it’s no secret. And when I’m not actively shipping my favorite romantic couples on my favorite shows, I’m totally shipping what the kids refer to as BROTPS. There are a lot of them out there, which made this list hard to narrow down. What I’ve come to discover is that all of my favorite non-romantic, platonic, best-friend relationships share the common ground of mutual respect and trust. Which, really, shouldn’t all friendships have that in common?! Duh.

So, without further ado, here are some of my favorites from shows currently (or recently concluded this season) on air, in no particular order.

Cristina/Meredith (Grey’s Anatomy): Meredith is her person! That line still chokes me up, even though it’s been repeated throughout the run of the series when the two remind each other of the bond between them if times get hard. Remember when Mer told Cristina that Derek was the love of her life, but Cristina was her soulmate? That’s friendship! These two have been through everything, SERIOUSLY EVERYTHING, together and they are still walking strong. From shootings and saving McDreamy, to plane crashes, to bombs in body cavities, to drowning, to tequila and stupid boys with their stupid boy penises…. this is what friendship is supposed to look like, and it is beautiful. I can’t even with them!


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Ron/Leslie (Parks and Recreation): A mentor/mentee type relationship that morphed into something more. Ron walking Leslie down the aisle at her wedding had me sobbing. These two really love each other! Ron hated Leslie when she showed up with her big ideas and enthusiasm for government, mainly because that meant he actually had to do his job. Leslie hated Ron because he was always trying to strike down her ideas. But their shared love of breakfast food spawned a beautiful friendship. Leslie is the only one that can talk Ron down off the ledge, be it with Tammy II or sadness over Lil Sebastian’s passing, and she always gets him the best presents. Ron is always there to support and boost Leslie when she needs it. Their trips to Ron’s cabin hit me right with the feelings. Looking at these two, you would never think they’d be besties, but they beat the odds! Ron doesn’t call just anyone his friend, but Leslie is lucky enough to have that title.


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Lady Mary/Anna: Is there a stronger relationship on this show than the one between Lady Mary and Anna? (Maybe Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughes.) You guys, I seriously love the friendship between Mary and Anna – you know they have been there for each other through the worst of times, as well as the happiest of times. Mary arranged for Anna to have a nice room in the house to celebrate her marriage to Mr. Bates! Anna helped Mary move poor Mr. Pamuk’s body from her bed! Seriously, you really do share everything with your maid/servant. Even though they’re from separate worlds in the upstairs/downstairs social ranking, they don’t treat each other as such, and it’s so sweet. Wherever Mary goes, Anna goes; they are together every step of the way… I mean, these two are BFFs for life!


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Liz/Jack (30 Rock): If Liz and Jack had ever dated, it would have been a train wreck, but damn if they weren’t amazing friends. What went from a strictly business relationship – Jack mentoring Liz with his DIHC program – morphed into one of the best platonic relationships on TV. Jack could go to Liz to sort out his problems (usually taking the opposite of her advice) and Liz could go to Jack with her problems, bodily function-related ones included. Remember when she almost derailed Jack’s ‘Reaganing’ with her sexual issues, but he solved the Tom Jones-inspired lock up? And the trip to her high school reunion, or their trip to Stone Mountain, or their trip to clean out Colleen’s house? These two were quite the pair. Jack pretty much is the only reason Liz got through life at TGS. Liz helped Jack with his romantic issues more time than he probably would have liked, but she really knew the way to his heart and helped the ladies get there. I will miss their dynamic, so I’m happy for DVDs and Netflix.


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Kurt/Santana (Glee): These two idiots are a perfect match. Santana is a snarky bitch with all the best one liners, Kurt is just as snarky, with the perfect ‘are you kidding me’ face, and they both have hearts of gold. Santana and Kurt always had a quietly strong relationship, based on their common ground of coming to terms with their sexuality while still in a bully laden high school in the Midwest. From the Bully Whips and razor blades in her hair remark, to the sneaky, MJ-inspired revenge for Blaine’s eye injury, to agreeing that Brody was up to no good, Santana has always had Kurt’s back. And Kurt has always accepted Santana, from singing to her when she was struggling to come out, to welcoming her to the Brooklyn loft and buying her a girlfriend pillow for those lonely nights, to worrying about her finding her dreams. Santana and Kurt in NYC has been a highlight of season four, and hopefully season five will feature them much more prominently.


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Don/Joan (Mad Men): The relationship between Don and Joan is one of my favorite things about Mad Men. Theirs is a quiet relationship, built on a mutual respect that they are the best at each of their jobs. They really just completely understand each other. Don seems to be himself around Joan as much as he can be. And Joan… Joan just keeps him in line. Joan keeps everyone in line, running a tight ship and firing those who cross her. Don totally gets it. When Don showed up at her apartment to stop her from prostituting herself for the Jaguar account, I cheered. But too little, too late, and the look on Joan’s face was heartbreaking. Don really loves her. Joan really loves him. Any scene between Don and Joan inevitably becomes a favorite because they are just so honest with each other. I hope they never act on their chemistry, even though I think they’d totally last.


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Dwight/Pam (The Office): “Pamela Beesley Halpert is my best friend.” Tell me you didn’t cry when Dwight said that in the finale and I will call you a liar. Pam always had a weird soft spot for Dwight, and Dwight always respected and loved Pam. When he had his concussion he was much more open about it, but it was always there. Maybe through his love of Pam, Dwight came to respect Jim. Sure, Pam played along with some of Jim’s pranks, but she never let it get too far. Regardless, Dwight always looked out for her. “Yes, Pam, I’ll get the ice cream…” Love these two. Dwight even loved her kids!  What made these two special is that they always knew when the other was down, and how to try to make it better.. I’ll miss their weird little three-desk dynamic.


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Schmidt/Nick (New Girl): To have a friend in my life who will plan an anniversary event when we surpass another milestone would be amazing! Schmidt has always been more open about his love for Nick, but that’s just because he’s more comfortable in his manliness. Maybe. He bought Nick a cookie because he was thinking about him (spawning one of my favorite New Girl quotes EVER: “Give me cookie, got you cookie”). But Nick really does love Schmidt, too, and has stuck by him through thick and thin, especially his heartbreak over Cece. Who else is going to keep Schmidt’s smugness in line with the douchebag jar? Nick and Schmidt are the best couple on the show, you guys!


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Will/Diane (The Good Wife): Will and Diane have one of the strongest professional relationships on television today. Built on mutual respect and trust of one another, they work through their differences to make their firm stronger. Diane has had to trust Will through his disbarment, Will has had to trust Diane through her vetting for a potential seat on the bench. They both have had to trust each other to get Lockhart/Gardner out of bankruptcy. At the end of the day, at the end of a brutal case, you can find them taking solace in one another at the office with a drink. Diane lets Will know when she’s not pleased (the whole fling with Alicia? She totally knew about it). Will lets Diane know when he’s not happy (the Kurt McVeigh thing…yeah, he’s not into that). To be a fly on the wall of one of their pow-wows.


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Watson/Holmes (Elementary): I’ll admit, I was skeptical when it was announced that Watson would be a woman, living with Holmes in Elementary. But I’ve never been more happy to be wrong. There is a certain chemistry between the two as they fight crime with their powers of deduction, but I don’t sense anything sexual. There is a deep sense of trust and love that comes between them, as well as respect for the knowledge of the other. Sherlock is used to being the smartest guy in the room, but he respects Joan’s medical knowledge and expertise. He listens to her and really does turn to her when he needs help, and she readily absorbs what he can teach her. Watching her move from sober companion to budding investigator under Sherlock’s tutelage has been wonderful. I hope these two never do the horizontal tango because it would ruin their one-two punch dynamic. It works so well because they are both such smart people. He even named his new species of bee after her- that is true friendship and loyalty!


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