The best female buddies on film and TV

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It seems like every couple

of years or so, someone will release another one of those lists: You

know, the ones that talk about the greatest on-screen partnerships and

duos. There will be a top ten: Hepburn and Tracy will be mentioned,

as will Bogart and Bacall. In the realm of (allegedly) non-romantic

pairings, there will be Paul Newman and Robert Redford as Butch Cassidy

and the Sundance Kid, and maybe Laurel and Hardy, or the guys from

Lethal Weapon
. What there reliably never will be is any female-female

buddy relationships.

Well, I think that’s nonsense

— so without any further ado, here is a list of my favorite (allegedly)

non-romantic female partnerships on film and television:

Dorothy (Jane Russell) and

Lorelei (Marilyn Monroe), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

(1953)

The ’50s showgirls of this

classic film travel together, trade banter, stick up for each other

in the face of outsiders, and even walk up the aisle together at the

end in matching wedding dresses. Sadly, they weren’t actually marrying

each other — even though the picture does make it look like it.

Kate/Offred (Natasha Richardson)

and Moira (Elizabeth McGovern), The Handmaid’s Tale (1990)

Trapped in the dystopian future

imagined by Margaret Atwood’s novel, in this film adaptation Kate gets

strength, courage, and some much-needed humor from her rebellious lesbian

friend Moira.

Thelma (Geena Davis) and

Louise (Susan Sarandon), Thelma and Louise (1991)

In this iconic reworking of

the traditional road movie, the waitress-and-housewife-turned-stickup-artists

became so close that by the end, as Sarandon has said, “they were

finishing each others’ sentences.”

Patsy (Joanna Lumley) and

Edina (Jennifer Saunders), Absolutely Fabulous (1992–2005)

The Bolly-drinking, pill-popping,

square-daughter-enraging socialites from the cult British sitcom were

apparently unable to function without each other. Admittedly, they were

sometimes just plain unable to function.

Cybill (Cybill Shepherd)

and Maryann (Christine Baranski), Cybill (1995–98)

No divorced fortysomethings

ever had as much fun as Cybill and Maryann did in Shepherd’s semi-autobiographical

LA-based sitcom. Whether pondering life’s important questions (“Who

would you rather sleep with? Ross Perot or one of those devil monkeys

from The Wizard of Oz?”), climbing up on an advertising

billboard to paint curves on a young, emaciated model, or making travel

plans (“Cybill, let’s go to Mexico and get our butts tattooed!”),

these were the two women who made you believe that, together, they really

could do anything.

The Women of

Sex and the City (1998–2004)

Mr. Big said it best when he

told Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte: “You’re the loves of [Carrie]’s

life, and a guy would be lucky to come in fourth.” The rock-solid

friendship of the quartet was the foundation on which this show was

built.

Missy (Eliza Dushku) and

Torrance (Kirsten Dunst), Bring It On

(2000)

This popular teen film got

much of its spark from the chemistry between perky blonde cheerleader

Torrance and sarcastic, Goth, ambiguously gay Missy. Whether battling

homophobic teammates, stolen routines, or dangerously insane

dance teachers, the two stuck together and fought it out.

Lana (Bridget Neval) and

Sky (Stephanie McIntosh), Neighbours (2004–05)

The first gay character on the long-running Australian soap,

teenage newcomer Lana discovered a soulmate in straight series regular

Sky. Their friendship survived Lana’s early crush, Sky’s sexual confusion,

and homophobic pressures from outsiders, and they emerged as platonic

BFFs who took each other to the prom.

Who are your favorite on-screen

female buddies? Let me know in the comments.

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