It’s been said time and again that men and women can’t be friends. Countless relationships in movies, books and TV have told us this is an undeniable fact. And yet a few heartening examples of friendship between the genders have managed to eke their way into popular culture. So the next time you’re thinking you can’t possibly be best pals with the boy or girl next door, just remember the following fabulous friendships:
Harry and Hermione prove the impossible – teenage boys and girls needn’t fall in love or form two legs of a love triangle. The Harry Potter series never lacked in the romance department, but the focus of the series was firmly footed in the power of friendship. Harry and Hermione exemplified the male/female dynamic by never wasting chapters on pining over their secret love for each other. Hermione was always ready to put her life on the line for Harry, but her heart was firmly Ron’s. Harry was just supremely lucky to be one of the main planets in Hermione’s solar system of friends.
Traditionally, Watson and Holmes are the best of friends, classic man style. The latest American interpretation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s beloved characters turns that well-trod relationship on its head by making Watson a woman. Somehow Holmes and Watson manage to avoid the hazards of most men and women pitted together on television and have no romantic bubbles floating betwixt them. They’re both serious, stylish and great examples of supportive friends.
Perhaps it’s because they both had to battle to the death for survival, but Johanna and Finnick in The Hunger Games have no romantic interest in each other, despite both being sexy flirt monsters. Johanna even claims she joined the alliance with Katniss and Co. solely because of Finnick. And if there’s one place you may as well fall into the romance trap, it’s in a fight-to-the-death scenario because what else are you going to do other than kill people and hunt for a passable toilet paper substitute? But Finnick and Johanna never fall prey to romantic love and keep their eyes on the prize.
Veronica and Wallace easily prove that men and women can be friends. They’re a dynamic duo – sure Veronica takes advantage of Wallace, having him doing this and that whenever she needs him to, but he does it out of the duty to their friendship, not because he secretly loves her. Friend love is all the love people need sometimes. They’re together through thick and thin without the need of a possible kiss between them.
Can’t Hardly Wait gave us the friendship between Preston and Denise. Preston moons over Amanda, but never does Denise try and wedge herself into that love sandwich. It’s simply a non-issue. Preston and Denise are best pals and that’s just the way it is. There is no territory more treacherous to the temptation of love for a female/male relationship than high school, and these two keep it classy and romance-free.
Andy and Maggie never had a lick of romance on Extras. Both of them got around the old dating merry-go-round, but never did either of them shoot a love arrow in the other’s butt. The power of their friend love even managed to repair epic arguments and screw-ups. And why would you want anything more out of a relationship than a never-ending game of “Would you rather” peppered with great queries like Would you rather be a penguin who’s a bird but can’t fly or a flying fish that’s a fish that can fly a bit?
And when all else fails, throw pop culture to the wind and just be friends with whoever the flip you want!