A girl’s friendships with other girls – and later, a woman’s friendships with other women – can be such important aspects of female identity. Why, then, do so many movies focus solely on romantic relationships (usually between men and women), or portray women and girls as petty, competitive, and hateful towards each other?
It’s always thrilling when pop culture, whether that be books, movies, or television, shows supportive and loving friendships between women and girls, which can often be more complex and beautiful than any romantic love story.
Here are 11 of our favorite female friendships from pop culture.
1Leslie Knope and Ann Perkins, Parks and Recreation
Leslie and Ann’s friendship is too pure for this world. From the first season of Parks and Recreation, when they first met and became friends, Leslie never hesitated to declare her love for Ann, supporting her at every available opportunity.
2Blair Waldorf and Serena Van der Woodsen, Gossip Girl
While the friendship between these two upper-east-siders was often steeped in turmoil, their love for each other withstood the growing pains of leaving adolescence.
3Poussey and Taystee, Orange is the New Black
The friendship between Poussey and Taystee, as they loved and supported each other while serving time in prison, was truly unforgettable and profound.
4Jess Day and CeCe Parekh, New Girl
Jess and Cece complement each other perfectly, with Cece’s calm and self-aware manner acting as the perfect antidote to Jess’ enthusiastic silliness.
5Issa and Molly, Insecure
Issa and Molly’s friendship is one of the realest depictions of a relationship on television. Both women are flawed, brilliant, and loving. They don’t hesitate to call each other out on their mistakes with brutal honesty. They argue, they laugh, and they help each other grow.
6Anne and Diana, Anne of Green Gables
Anne and Diana’s blossoming friendship as children perfectly represents how important friendships are to young girls. Their devotion to each other cements them as an iconic duo.
7Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, Gilmore Girls
Yep, moms and daughters can be best friends, too! So many of us grew up with Lorelai and Rory, whose tight-knit relationship served as the backbone for the entire show.
8Lindsay and Kim, Freaks and Geeks
Lindsay and Kim’s fierce friendship is one familiar to many of us: A perfect blend of two totally different personalities from two totally different backgrounds. Kim is brash, loud, and devious while Lindsay is nervous and quiet. The two don’t know exactly why they like each other, but their bond becomes unbreakable.
9Miriam and Laila, A Thousand Splendid Suns
In Khaled Hosseini’s book, Miriam and Laila are forced into each other’s lives rather unwillingly, but their relationship solidifies itself, becoming one of support and intense understanding. They are best friends, sisters, and mother/daughter to one another.
10Jane, Xiomara, and Alba Villanueva, Jane the Virgin
One of the best parts of the CW’s hit show, Jane the Virgin, is the sublime tri-generational love between the Villanueva women, who all live together throughout most of the series.
11Liz and Jenna, 30 Rock
Liz and Jenna are often, rather comically, not-so-great friends to each other. Their shared history, from when they were both aspiring artists in college, keeps them together even as their interests diverge with age and success. The reason their friendship remains so great is this: It’s real about the fact that, as you grow up, sometimes being a good friend is hard. That doesn’t mean the two don’t share strong affection and love for each other, and won’t be there when the other needs them. That’s what friendship’s really about.