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Always and Forever: My Favorite TV BFFs

Updated on September 27, 2011

When You're the Best of Friends...

Growing up, everyone had that one friend who could tell you the funniest joke, the one friend who could cheer you up, or the one who was always up for a good time. It's no different in television either. Some of my favorite shows involve two people who you know without each other probably wouldn't enjoy life the same way. And with all of the things in life that give us encouragement, hope, and laughter, friendship is something sacred that lasts lifetimes and or generations. There are some duos who are frequently discussed such as Andy and Barney and Lucy and Ethel, so I want to talk about best friends who aren't talked about but should be.


Cory and Shawn: Both Sides of the Tracks

Growing up, Boy Meets World was a must-see for those of us who grew up in the prime of TGIF. There was Cory (Ben Savage), his less-than-bright brother Eric (Will Friedle), the love of his life Topanga (Danielle Fischel), and the irreplaceable Mr. Feeny (William Daniels), among others. However, my favorite relationship he had was with his lifelong best friend Shawn Hunter (Rider Strong).

Shawn Hunter was not the best student in the world. He always slept through class, ditched class, or didn't even bother to come to class. Shawn's primary interests included girls and/or food, but he never made any qualms about it. He may not have made much of an effort to do his best, but you knew he loved his friend Cory. And Cory loved Shawn. It was one of the best bromances to grace television.

Cory went along with Shawn's schemes and Shawn supported Cory's ambitions. Cory was always trying to figure out a new way to make money, charm Mr. Feeny and pursue Topanga. He didn't always succeed, but he always made an effort and Shawn was always with him along the way.

Shawn and Cory both wanted the same things, even if they didn't come from the same type of family. Cory's parents were happily married and his dad was employed while his mom stayed home. Shawn's parents were barely together and his dad was preoccupied with the coach aside from the occasional job. Cory didn't always like his sister Morgan (Lily Nicksay/Lindsay Ridgeway) and Eric, but he loved them. Shawn barely knew his older half-brother Jack (Matthew Lawrence). However, Cory's unwavering faith in Shawn's potential and Shawn's devotion to Cory's persistence kept them together.

A keystone moment has to be the infamous Cory and Topanga breakup in which Cory is caught cheating with another girl. Everyone sides with Topanga in the demise of the relationship, except Shawn. He appreciated that Cory knew Topanga was the love of his life and helped him, even when everyone doubted their reconciliation. Shawn even begins to doubt Cory, but once Cory proves everyone wrong, it was obvious that Shawn had a hard time doubting his best friend.

Another poignant moment has to be Cory and Shawn's fight right before Cory and Topanga exchange vows. They hated the fact of their friendship changing so much, that it was almost too hard to accept the impending change in their lives. They obviously reconciled and in the very end began the next chapter of their lives together.

Better Together: Clarissa and Sam

When I was younger, there was one show that always made me happy. Clarissa Explains it All was that show. From the cool theme song to her Alex P. Keaton-esque brother, Ferguson (Jason Zimbler) it was the best show to watch. But my favorite part always came when her best friend, Sam (Sean O'Neal) would swing by to talk.

Clarissa (Melissa Joan Hart) was one of the best teens in television history. She wasn't totally boy-crazy, silly, or ignorant of everyday life. Clarissa was simply her ambitious and driven to write for the school newspaper, chase her favorite band, or simply stay out of trouble.

Sam, however, was more laid back. He was a west-coast kid at heart, enjoying skateboarding and surfing as well as music. Sam was cute and charming, but it never appeared that he and Clarissa were more than friends until he realized he had feelings for her. However, their friendship won out.

Clarissa and Sam were also passionate about the same types of things, which led to many adventures in and out of school. Clarissa and Sam even became parts of each other's families especially after Sam's mom left to pursue her passion.

Their friendship endured several trials, including parents, relationships, school dramas, and other teenage trials. Their bond is one of the premier male-female friendships on television. While they didn't end up like Harry and Sally, it probably was for the best.

Besides, this was the 90s, not the 1980s.

Shawn and Gus: Best Buds

I know, I did an entire hub on Psych, but the relationship between Shawn and Gus is worth another look. Shawn (James Roday) and Gus (Dule Hill) are on my list mainly because the have a rapport with each other that everyone longs for. Shawn is the eternal youthful optimist, naive and ignorant to the real world, while Gus is the pragmatic and practical voice of reason with great instincts. Together, they give each other a friendship that is irreplaceable.

Shawn and Gus have been friends since they were five years old. They grew up together, got in trouble together, but didn't go to college together. Shawn opted to see the world and work odd jobs while Gus prepared for his future by getting his degree. They kept in touch and return to their home town to solve crimes together.

Gus is the good kid that every parent wants you to befriend. The problem is he's a little too good. His coordinated outfits, mentions of stock options, and grandfatherly dress are off-putting, but beyond the surface he's a good friend. Even though he doesn't understand Shawn's need to prance around as a faux-psychic, he definitely supports his friend to the extent most of us wouldn't venture to.

Shawn, on the other hand, is the kid on the playground your mom probably eyed in case he tried to take your Juicy Juice. He's careless, self-centered, and doesn't have a real car. Shawn seems like the guy Cosmo would tell you to leave alone, but deeper than that he's insightful, observant, and witty. He can't see why Gus would want to slum it in the real world, but understands his friends needs.

As a crime-fighting team, Shawn sees the clues and Gus connects the dots. They go undercover, frequent suspect hangouts and eat alot of good looking food. And while they don't always agree on how to solve the crime, the job always gets done. Shawn, more or less uses Gus for his car and sometimes his super-sniffer but beyond that Gus is his biggest fan outside of Shawn's dad (Corbin Bernsen).

They both have a hard time sustaining romances because of the other's jealousy and as a result keep secrets from each other when they do start seeing someone. Remember when Gus hid the fact he was married or when Shawn tried to make it look like he valued Gus over his girlfriend because he felt guilty? Regardless, they have a hard time sustaining commitments because their biggest one is to each other. Now that Shawn is involved with Juliet (Maggie Lawson), who knows what will happen?

No matter what, I'm sure they'll find some way to continue their lifelong bond over 1980s pop culture, food, or old times.

To the End: Rhoda and Mary

I always loved watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Mary Richards was smart, she was funny, she was stylish but most of all she knew what she wanted. Or at least she tried to look that way. And then she met Rhoda (Valerie Harper), equally funny, smart, and stylish with a little bit of New York sass. She was honest to a fault, but she had trouble being honest with herself.

Mary was like the class president and Rhoda was like the wisecracking secretary. Even though Mary had more power and autonomy in her career, she was always depended on the advice of Rhoda to get her through tough days at the station.

And as confident as Rhoda was, she still thought of herself as the eternally chubby best friend. Even after entering a beauty pageant, Mary had to tell her how much she had really had to offer as a person.

They both endured Phyllis's (Cloris Leachman) schemes and deceptions as tenants. But the most refreshing part had to be their appreciation of each other. Even though Mary was technically the star, she never treated Rhoda as less than her equal

Rhoda and Mary remained friends through Rhoda's voyage back home, her disastrous marriage and Mary finally leaving the station. And fortunately for television fans, they reunited onscreen in a television movie several years later.

To this day, they serve as a premiere example of female friendships onscreen. There was never any backbiting, snarkiness, or unneccessary catfighting. They were just two strong, well-rounded women who knew how to go for what they want.

Shared Connection: Chris and Greg

Coming from a different neighborhood to a new school is rough. It's especially rough when you're the only person from your neighborhood, let alone race to go that new school on a long bus ride five days away. Not to mention getting pounded on a red-headed bully or getting dumped before you can ask out a girl. No matter his troubles, Chris (Tyler James Williams) could always rely on Greg (Vincent Martella) for moral support.

Chris is the quintessential fish-out-of-water. He lived in one neighborhood, but went to school in another school. Chris is the only minority in the school and only has his cunning abilities to rely on until he meets Greg. Greg is an amiable student who's has about the same popularity as Chris. They bond over their mutual distaste for Caruso (Travis Flory) and their classes.

Greg does the right thing and is usually right, at least in his mind. Chris does the easy thing and is usually caught and says he was trying to be right. Greg uses logic to think things through, Chris uses street smarts and hatred of his mom's spankings to get out of situations. One thing they both have enormous trouble with is girls. Remember the episode where Chris asked a less popular girl to the dance and then ditched her only to ask her out again? Or when Greg desperately wanted to impress a girl by taking her to the dance and then finds out he was a decoy for her own agenda?

They do teach each other things. Greg explained his allowance to Chris, who didn't understand it because his dad (Terry Crews) was too cheap to give him one. Or when Chris explained snitching to Greg because he didn't want to mess up with Jerome (Kevontay Jackson after he robbed Doc's (Antonio Vargas) store.

Their bond is tested when they go to separate high schools, but of course end up back together because Chris's new best friend turns out to be bad news. At the end of the series when Chris considers dropping out of school, he and Greg still seem to be good friends.

Who's Your Favorite Pair Mentioned in this Hub?

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    • nellyred88 profile image

      nellyred88 5 years ago from Southern California

      I absolutely adore this SHOW!!! Shawn was my t.v. crush

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Thanks for your comments! Yeah I thought Shawn was absolutely dreamy as well.

    • profile image

      juliafranceschini 5 years ago

      I'm loving this hub. You are great at splitting the difference between summarizing a show and capturing the feelings sparked by that show. I completely agree with Cory and Shawn and Clarissa and Sam. C and S forever!

      All I remember about Sam is how he'd come in through the window, and there was an alligator one time.

      And Cory was such a babe, I love that he got all smart in the end.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Thanks juliafranceschini! I'm glad I don't have to vote in this poll, because it'd be very hard. I think I remember the plastic alligator as well in Clarissa's room, I think it had a name too, but I forgot.

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

      Great hub lots of information....I have to admit I was not really aware of three of the ones on the hub....but I do like Rhoda and Mary and of course Shawn and Gus. I did not know Rhoda and Mary have a reunion TV movie, I will have to check that one out. As for Shawn and Gus....I love the look backs into their lifes....it makes their friendship seem more believable. As for Shawn and Gus...great points about their issues with relationships....one of my favorite shows currently on tv....voted way up...thanks for all the great information.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Thanks for the comments and the fan mail Cogerson! I have to agree with you on Shawn and Gus, the flashbacks do help you understand their relationship, a lot of the other friends I talk about have that same interaction as well. I remember the Rhoda and Mary TV movie a little. Mary was going out for a new job and Rhoda was helping her. I need to see it again, but I do wish there was a network that reran both MTM and Rhoda.

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 5 years ago from Tennesee

      Wow, you brought back some nice memories! I voted for Chris and Greg, as Everyone Hates Chris is such a sweet and funny show, and Chris is such a darling!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Thanks Beth Perry! I agree with you on Everybody Hates Chris because Chris, for all of his antics was very lovable.

    • Carlon Michelle profile image

      Carlon Michelle 5 years ago from USA

      This was a very well written hub. I don't generally care for TV/Movie review articles but yours I did. Makes me want to watch the shows besides the first and the last ones mentioned as I only watched ELC and BMW. Smile!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Thanks for commenting Carlon Michelle! I highly recommend all of these shows. They're all unique in their own way and provide great examples of friendship in real contexts.

    • ambassadornchains profile image

      ambassadornchains 5 years ago

      This brought back great memories! I grew up watching Boy Meets World after school every day! I miss that show so much! =)

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Thanks amabssadornchains! I loved that show too, I miss it as well!

    • Racheal Ambrose profile image

      Racheal Ambrose 5 years ago from Indiana

      Great hub! Voted up. I loved Boy Meets World!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Thanks Racheal for reading! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • PADDYBOY60 profile image

      PADDYBOY60 5 years ago from Centreville Michigan

      Great hub! I love psych, not only because it is a good show. I like how they mingled two different characters, but they still remain best of friends. I get a kick out of Gus, when Shawn gets going on one of his hair brained schemes.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Thanks Paddyboy60! I totally agree with you on Psych. The characters are well-mingled and I love when Gus gets all anxious when Shawn goes crazy. Thanks alot for stopping by!

    • trusouldj profile image

      trusouldj 5 years ago from Indiana

      Few friendships match "Richie" and "The Fonz" on Happy Days. First Fonzie was going to beat him up ... By the end they were like brothers.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Aww, man! How did I forget Richie and The Fonz. They were the bomb diggity! I'll have to remember that. Thanks for stopping by and leaving comments trusouldj!

    • ergenzinger profile image

      ergenzinger 5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Love the MTM show. Watched it on reruns on Nick at Night and had such a crush on Mary!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Thanks ergenzinger! I wish they still reran MTM. It never gets old. Especially the chuckles episode!

    • Rastamermaid profile image

      Rastamermaid 5 years ago from Universe

      Awesome hub!

      Some of the sitcoms mentioned are alittle too young for me but MTM was a fav of mine and of course Laverne and Shirley were the bomb!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Thanks Rastamermaid! I'm an 90s kid but I'm glad they had the classics like MTM and Laverne and Shirley in syndication then. I don't think anything compares to those types of shows. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • JoshuaDR profile image

      JoshuaDR 5 years ago from Charleston, SC

      I always had a crush on Topanga so I watched a lot of Boy Meets World on TGIF. I think I had forgotten about that show until I read your hub. =)

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I was just watching BMW today and yeah I totally had a crush on Rider Strong. He was really talented, too bad he didn't get bigger. But yeah that show is the ultimate 90s kid cult classic. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I guess I'm dating myself when saying that the only one I recognize is Rhoda and Mary. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Alocsin,

      I understand! Rhoda and Mary set the bar quite high. Thanks as always!

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      My daughter loved Boy Meets World so that show I knew about...loved Corey and Shawn! Rhoda and Mary were favorites when I was a kid! Great hub!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Hi Justateacher,

      I loved Corey and Shawn as well. But I think Rhoda and Mary has yet to be matched. Thank you for coming by and commenting!

    • profile image

      MundaneMondays 4 years ago

      Good one, i know you said television ...but still .i have to give my top 5 since i think this is a grat hub

      1.) Laverne and Shirley

      2.)Alex Mack and Ray (The Secret World of Alex Mack)

      3.)Arnold and Gerald (Hey Arnold)

      4.)Marshall Teller and Simon Holmes (Eerie Indiana)

      5.)Eddie Winslow & "Waldo" "Faldo" (Family Matters)

      I have one more you might like, Kennan and Kel, lol ...i love your list ..if i had to pick between yours ..i would go with Clarissa and Sam, im a SNICK head lol

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      MundaneMondays, you're definitely a 90s kid. I never saw Eerie Indiana but I like your list alot. Laverne and Shirley and the others are great but we never give enough credit to Alex Mack and Ray- to keep a secret like that was definitely big on them for teens. Thanks for coming by and commenting!

    • Der Meister profile image

      Der Meister 4 years ago from Virgo Supercluster

      Shawn and Corey are the original bromance. MundaneMondays, you have a lot of good ones as well. Shawn and Gus are my runner-ups. Psych is such a great show and they play off each other so well.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Thank you Der Meister. I agree as well. They are the original bromance. I love Shawn and Gus too. Thanks for coming by and commenting!

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Love Corey and Shawn. Thanks for the walk down memory lane. Voted up and shared! Kelley

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I agree kelley- they were the best! Thanks for commenting!

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 4 years ago from UK

      Awesome Hub and what a great theme Alecia. I love Psych and have watched episodes of Boy meets world but the others are new to me here in UK... you've done a wonderful job summing up the BFFs and the show outlines. voted up!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
      Author

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Thank you so much Docmo! I can't wait for Psych to come back this fall and BMW is a classic here in the states.

    • Angela Kane profile image

      Angela Kane 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      There are so many TV BFFs that I liked over the years. Shawn and Gus are my favorites mentioned here in this hub. One the earliest ones I liked were LaVerne and Shirley and the Golden Girls.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
      Author

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I love Shawn and Gus too Angela! But LaVerne and Shirley and the Golden Girls are among the classics as well. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting!

    • carladominique profile image

      Carla Dominique 4 years ago from Philippines

      When I get to see this stuff, I remembered how we do the same things with my bff.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
      Author

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I agree these shows do bring back great memories! Thanks carladominique!

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      I feel old. I don't know any of these shows except MTM, so I had to vote for Mary and Rhoda. Some of my favorites TV BFFs are Rachel and Monica on Friends and Jerry and George on Seinfeld.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
      Author

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      That's okay Deborah, it's hard to keep up with how tv changes but I love Rachel and Monica as well. Unfortunately, I've never seen Seinfeld. Thanks for coming by and commenting!

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 4 years ago from Kentucky

      Where was I during this time period? I only remember Rhoda & Mary... the rest are completely unfamiliar! Cagney & Lacey / Starsky & Hutch / Happy Days crowd / Laverne & Shirley & even the Cosby Kids... but where did these others come from? I gues when one gets old memory loss occurs. Oh, if I only had those lost brain cells. Great Hub!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
      Author

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Thanks rcrumple! I understand it's easy to forget who is on a television show. Thanks for coming by and commenting!

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 4 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      I'm not really familiar with most of the pairs you've listed. One pair that came to mind, though it is a group of movies rather than TV, are Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh, the two leads in the Lethal Weapon movies.

    • jillstrutt7 profile image

      jillstrutt7 4 years ago

      I knew Cory and Shawn would get the most votes, but I loved Clarissa and Sam! Thanks for the fun article :)

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
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      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Thank you Phil for coming by and commenting!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
      Author

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Hi Jillstrutt7,

      I agree Cory and Shawn are the sentimental faves but Clarissa and Sam were pretty awesome. Thanks for coming by and reading!

    • Amy Gillie profile image

      Amy Gillie 4 years ago from Indiana

      Is the kid who played Greg on "Everybody Hates Chris" the same one who voices Phineas on "Phineas and Ferb"? How did I not know that?

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
      Author

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      Hi Amy Gillie,

      I checked and yeah he is the same person- Vincent Martella. I've only seen P&F a couple of times, but that is a cool fact to know. Thanks for coming by and commenting!

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      I enjoyed Shawn and Gus pair. Great write up Alecia.

      Going back to yesteryears is memorable!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image
      Author

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I love Shawn and Gus too! They're coming on tonight! Thanks Ruchira :0.

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